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 The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:41 pm

On a late afternoon most citizens, of the island commonly referred to as Apodis, were making their way home to their families after another long day at work. However, for the few who did not have a family to come home to, or whom they didn't want to come home to just yet, now was the time to head to the local pub of whichever vicinity they lived in. Cerise Videl, a young woman who collected scrap metal for a living, were one of the latter.

As Apodis was a big city there, in turn, were a seemingly endless number of pubs the citizens could go to to quench their thirst. The one Cerise was headed to had the awful name; The Lonesome Goat. She had been a regular here for a few years, yet the bartender still only knew her as "Cherry". It was a nickname someone had come up with based on her hair color some time ago, and somehow it had stuck to this day. To Cerise it was almost like she gained a whole new identity in the pub. Cerise was gone as soon as she walked through the door. It was Cherry who ordered the usual pint of beer as she sat down at the counter.

Whilst enjoying her beverage, Cerise liked looking around, observing the other costumers. Every so often she would pick up conversations, eavesdropping entire life stories, tales of faraway lands. She rarely spoke with the other costumers herself though, the red head definitely preferred to be a listener. Sure the time she spent here gave her some room to breathe some fresh air, but it also allowed her fantasy to run wild, as she self-inserted herself into the tales that were told. The vivid tales always seemed to reignite, and reinforce, her dream of one day setting out to explore the seas herself.

A few hours passed since Cerise's arrival and as the sun began to set so did the ability to hold back on the booze for some of the costumers. A big-boned blackhaired man, who was sitting a table away from the counter where Cerise was, suddenly started laughing loudly, gaining most of the bars attention. She hadn't really noticed him until now, but the outburst made her turn around to glance at the man. He appeared to be entertaining a few people who were scattered around the table he was sitting at. The man spoke loudly, yet his words were so slurred it was difficult to make out what he was saying. It didn't take anyone long to realize that the man was a rambling drunkard and most of the people in the room returned their attention to their own businesses. However, just as Cerise was about to do the same, the man mentioned something that caught her attention; the west coast of Apodis. Curious to know what the man had to say about the place, the redhead kept eavesdropping as she turned her back to the table once more, not to seem suspicious.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:12 am

”Who do you think I am?”


It had been a long-winded journey across the stormy ocean for the brown-haired drifter. But, his hike was at an end as he stepped onto solid ground after having walked on air for more than a few days. The eternal log pose that he pocketed after having confirmed its instruction, had led him true. This was the island of Apodis, known for its massive city, Apodis Port, filled with marble buildings and grand statues. It was a heavily populated city, and finding his way through town would not be easy, considering the town’s unfamiliar atmosphere. Of all the islands that the drifter had visited before, Apodis set itself just slightly apart, as it stood on the border of where Paradise met the Calm Belt. The weather’s unpredictability so close to the island could likely be credited to its location. But, that was no matter of concern now, as the weather on the island itself was pleasant enough. It was getting late in the afternoon when he arrived, and he hoped to find a saloon before sunset.

The drifter had not eaten for days, and his empty pit of a stomach was growling violently in complaint. Just a while longer… He thought to himself, as he walked through the crowd of relatively shorter people. His tall height and broad stature often stood out in places he visited, and Apodis Port was no exception. However, he did not draw as many eyes towards himself as he thought he would. It seemed as if the people had grown too used to ignoring the ever-growing crowd around them to even notice him walking amidst them. It was all the better for him this way, of course, as he wished to maintain a low profile wherever he went.

With a large pouch for a bag carried over his shoulder with a rope, he followed the noises of ruckus and laughter, the tell-tale signs of a tavern. His tattered black cloak and baggy pants had grown crusty from drying off in the sun after having bathed in the storm. His bandages over his exposed torso, however, still felt wet against his chiseled abs. Following the sounds of life from the cheerful building, he reached an establishment strangely named “The Lonesome Goat”. The name solicited a sarcastic smile on the drifter’s lips, as he shook his head and ducked to enter the relatively small door. Luckily for him, the ceiling inside was raised enough for him to have plenty of room to stand up straight. But, after his first glance around the room, which was met with surprisingly few onlookers, he realized that this tavern had the same flaw as most others he visited: all the chairs were of the same size.

With nowhere to seat himself above ground, he spotted an empty spot on the floor across the room. He decided to walk up to the bar and requested ten orders of the largest dish they served. The drifter had built up an enormous appetite from his pilgrimage across the ocean, and no matter what the item was, he was sure it would sate his hunger. He then followed his plan and crossed the seating area, planting himself onto the floor in the far corner of the room.

Even seated, he was almost as tall as some of the shorter people sitting in chairs. He scanned the room to listen in on useful conversations, as that was the aim he was here to follow. His mission was to gather information regarding the location of a certain person, however, he could not let his intentions regarding that person become clear. And so, eavesdropping was a good start before he resorted to asking direct questions.

When an unexpected fit of laughter exploded near the center of the seating area, his gaze turned towards it. Noticing a big-boned black-haired man to be the source, he perked up his ears to listen to his less-than-sober tales of wonderment regarding the west coast of Apodis. From what he knew of the target of his search, he may very well have to tread upon those lands. And so, any information the drunkard blurted out, accurate or not, the drifter would listen in closely to.

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:24 am

Cerise generally didn't pay much attention to the people who came and left. In fact she rarely paid attention to people at all. For some reason they just didn't interest her. Even the odd looking fishmen and the abnormally large people who flocked to Grand Line couldn't catch her attention. It wasn't what people looked like, but rather what they had to say that Cerise cared about. This was why a seemingly average man had gotten to the young woman's attention.

Although having lived on the island most of her life, Cerise had never heard of anyone openly talking about West Apodis before. The few who dared mention it in public were taken away by the police before they had any chance to flee. Of course since they were currently in the closed off space of the bar, it shouldn't be a problem. The blackhaired man appeared to be from Apodis Port. His accent at least sounded local. If that was the case, surely he knew the consequences of mentioning this forbidden place. Maybe in his drunken state of mind he had blissfully forgotten. Cerise chuckled quietly to herself as she listened.

"Ah swear, the whole ordeal about West Apodis is bullshit." the man stated, "Ain't nobody ever seen the place with their own two eyes? That's some lie made up by 'em government people." He emptied his glass and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "In fact, ah've been there meself." Cerise didn't know if she should laugh or not. The thought of him making it to West Apodis was outrageous. She had been near the border a few times and knew it was both heavily guarded and that the guards there weren't hesitant to attack. If that man truly had crossed the border he must've done it with someone else. Or of course, the more obvious explanation; he could be lying.

The man looked around at the people who were listening to his story and squinted his eyes. "Y'all don't believe me, do ya?" The man laughed loudly again and reached into his pocket. "How's about y'all come over here and take a look then." The man's challenging words drew Cerise over to the table. She had always been fascinated by the mysterious part of her home island. She left her empty glass of beer behind and walked over to the table, leaning against the back of a chair.

The map he pulled out of his pocket was clearly Apodis, to the north was drawn in the sandy beaches and to the south end was Apodis Port, only it was a lot smaller than the current bustling metropolis. The outline of the suburban slums was nowhere to be found. Cerise assumed it to be an old map of the island.

Sure, it was interesting to see what the place looked like back in the day, but what really caught her eye was the inclusion of West Apodis. It was unlike anything she'd ever seen or heard of before. "Where'd you get this?" she asked the man, being the first one to speak up. He replied with a chuckle and winked at her, "Ah told ya so already little miss, across the border." She turned her gaze back to the map on the table, staring intensely at it.

If this really was a map of the island, she needed to have it. The easiest solution: stealing it.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:08 am

”Who do you think I am?”


The carousing of the inebriated man had drawn the attention of the entire tavern’s consumer base. This brought an ever-so-slight frown upon the middle-aged bartender, who was most likely the establishment’s owner. The more attention the drunkard drew to himself, the less money the customers spent on indulging their appetites for booze and stale food; instead delivering their patronage to the story-teller with the most important currency of all, their time.

When the drunkard invited his audience to come look at the “proof” of his expedition, a small crowd began to surround him, completely blocking the drifter’s already disadvantageous view. As curious as he was to go see this souvenir, he was certain he had seen far more surprising and unbelievable prizes on his countless adventures across the seven seas. His inherent venturesome spirit could not hold out for long, however, as the crowd grew more and more dazzled by what the performer had to show. When a redhead who had previously displayed disinterest in the man’s tales inquired curiously after this object, the giant, black-cloaked man couldn’t help but cast his massive shadow upon the crowd, snatching himself an advantageous view as he towered behind the audience.

His eyes almost literally sparkled when he laid his gaze upon the piece of paper that looked all too familiar to him. It was a token of another era for him, a blast from the past. The markings on the crusty, yellowed paper seem to shift like serpents in his eyes, as he searched desperately through his memories to recall where he had seen this map before. It had the general outline of the island that was Apodis, as shown on a modern map, however, the geography of the island's content seemed different than what it was today. It was a duplicate of a map he had run into many years ago when he sailed the Grand Line with his long-forgotten crew mates.

The young woman stole the words from the tip of his tongue when she asked after the map’s origins. When the man informed her proudly of his gutsy trip “across the border”, the drifter finally interjected with words of his own. ”Say, stranger. How would you like to be my guide across this ‘border’, and take me to where you found this map, and perhaps even to where it’s leading? I have a strange feeling that I know what we might find there.” His sudden and unexpected request caught the audience and the performer himself off-guard, not realizing the large-framed man had been standing behind them this entire time.

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:43 am

When the stranger spoke up behind her, Cerise turned to face him. It would be a problem if others were as interested in the map as she was, so she saw it fit to get a good idea of who she was up against. To her surprise, the man standing a bit behind her, was in fact towering above the rest of the bar's guests. He had an aura to him that indicated he wouldn't be easy to deal with. Maybe trying to team up with this stranger would be better for her, since fighting against him could turn out to be a challenge. As she briefly glanced his way, she couldn't help but think he looked... familiar to her? Cerise thought no further of this and turned her attention back to the man with the map.

The man seemed shaken by the strangers request and shook his head laughing, trying his best to remain in control of the situation. "Ah don't think it's a good idea, young 'un. Crossing that border is a dangerous task, y'know. And you're quite a big one, aren'tcha? No way you'd fit through the whole we made, nuh-uh." Surprised by his own words, it would seem the man had said more than he had meant to. He nervously shuffled around in his chair,suddenly uncomfortable with the crowd he had gathered.

This was the opportunity Cerise had waited for. The redhead quickly reached in and snagged the map from the table. Triumphantly she glanced at the drunken owner who was sitting in his chair still, staring back at her. His mouth opened and closed without a sound, like a fish stuck on land. The crowd around her let out various noises of surprise and dissatisfaction. Ignoring all of them, she turned to the tall, rugged stranger with a confident look on her face, clenching the map in her right hand.

"I'll take ya there."

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:42 pm

”Who do you think I am?”


The drifter had often been a gullible fool when it came to matters that he took a personal vested interest in. However, in this case, he had already suspected the validity of the drunkard’s tall tales. It was more likely that the man had chanced upon the doubtlessly legitimate artifact whilst carrying on with his usual vices such as gambling, or perhaps even pick-pocketing. His suspicions were confirmed when the nervous man conjured up excuses as to why he could not set out on a second expedition into the wild. Nonetheless, as far as he was concerned, the map was still the trickster’s property, and so he couldn’t discredit the man without proof.

Regardless of whether the big-boned alcoholic wished to guide him or not, the drifter just knew he had to find his way to this mysterious land. No matter the obstacles, he was sure he had faced worse and come out unharmed. If it was a matter of the Marines guarding this border, the drifter was not worried. In what felt like another life, he had thoroughly trashed some of the best officers the Navy had to offer before their combined efforts had led to his defeat. He had no doubts that the venture into the wilds of Apodis would not turn out to be any more detrimental to his health than deadly combat against a good portion of the strongest fighters in the world.

Having no fear of any consequences, the drifter was about to call out the tale-teller on his bluffs, when the young woman who had been showing a keen and almost unhealthy interest in the map swiped it from its owner’s possession. When the drunken man stood agape, the drifter quickly took advantage of the situation. Not wanting to condone such obvious and shameless robbery, the drifter removed a small, but hefty, pouch from his pants’ pocket and placed it in the deprived buffoon’s open palm.

Feeling the weight of the coins brought instant relief to the aggrieved victim of robbery, and his outrage settled into a disapproving frown. However, the drifter’s now closer presence had seemed to intimidate him into complete submission, realizing the true difference between their stature. ”I’m sure you won’t mind if this lovely young lady buys your map, will you?” Feigning acquaintance with the lady to take advantage of her newly found possession was no longer an option, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t save her from potential trouble in order to gain favour. The nervous liar simply nodded in agreement, failing to find his composure from the overbearing presence of the drifter.

The drifter then turned to the girl as the crowd started to disperse to the relief of the tavern-owner and the drifter himself. He extended his hand forward to offer a handshake while half-expecting the bold lady to defiantly ignore it in order to display her willfulness against his towering size. ”My friends call me Gray. I’ll be relying on you to be my guide, Miss…?”

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:27 pm

The redhead did her best not to show her surprise as the pouch landed in the black haired man's hand. She had expected the stranger to simply agree with her and then they'd leave the place immediately, not giving a damn about the map's real owner. If he tried to do anything, Cerise would easily be able to overpower him. At least that's what she confidently believed. Besides, the guy had most likely stolen the map himself, so it was only fair it got stolen from him. Especially since he went out of his way to brag about it. Cerise kept her opinion on the matter to herself though, and simply watched the scene play out as she clenched her newly acquired treasure with both hands.

As everyone else's attention was elsewhere the odd familiarity kept coming back to her, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn't pinpoint from where she had encountered the man before. And despite doing what she could to forget about it, her mind kept on drifting back to the same thought. Eventually the pessimistic side of her got the upper hand and she gave up on stopping herself from thinking about it. The result of these nagging thoughts was that Cerise ended up starting at him in an inappropriate amount of time all while he took care of the angry crowd.

The ex-marine did what she could to improve her nearly perfect posture in order to minimize the height difference but to no avail. The tall stranger who suddenly had become her ally seemed a lot bigger up close. As the crowd dispersed this became even more prominent. Cerise herself was far from being a short woman, but there was still a significant height difference between the two that made her feel oddly insignificant.

By the time it was only the two of them left, Cerise finally began to focus on the task at hand rather than the stranger himself. At least somewhat.

The hand he offered her as a greeting sparked an idea of the more mischievous kind. Instead of simply reaching out and shaking it like a regular person would, Cerise decided she'd have a little fun. Partly to test him and partly for her own amusement. While looking directly into his eyes and letting go of the map with her right hand, she also started to rapidly increase the temperature of the skin in her right palm. She sent him a rather cheeky smile as she responded to his question. "I'm Cherry" she took his hand in hers, shaking it twice with a firm grip of her burning hot hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Gray." With a name that was the same as a color, Cerise found it wisest to simply give him a nickname of hers. Cerise wasn't a very common name, and in case things went south she needed an easy way out. Letting him know her real name could eventually mean the difference between freedom and death in the future.

After introducing herself, Cerise quickly let go of his hand. She didn't have any real intention nor interest in harming him after all. However, it appeared she needn't worry about hurting him; her little trick seemed to have had no effect on the man whatsoever. Needless to say she was surprised by this. In fact, had Cerise been a man this would've been a serious blow to the metaphoric balls of confidence. Maybe she really wasn't nearly as strong as she believed?

Having come out un-drowned by the tidal wave of surprise, Cerise took a deep breath and proclaim it was probably best they left the bar behind and moved to a new location. A change of scenery would be a good for the young woman after the early evening's events. First she had stolen a map of what appeared to be ancient Apodis, then her abilities suddenly didn't work right and now she was going to lead a random stranger she knew nothing about into the uncharted territory she had dreamt of exploring most of her life.

Talk about an eventful evening.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:27 pm

”Who do you think I am?”


Gray had expected at least some form of resistance from the crowd as they were forced to disperse upon the young lady’s acquisition of the map. But, the complaints and grumblings of the scattering crowd was hardly anything Gray couldn’t contend with. When the young lady introduced herself as “Cherry”, Gray could see the derivation instantly. Red hair, red fruit… It was either a nickname, or her parents weren’t the most creative. Then again, he could not fathom what his own parents had been thinking when they named him “Gray”, which happened to be his true name.

Gray was never the type to introduce himself falsely. If he had cause to hide his identity, he would simply refuse to share his name. However, he strongly believed that starting an acquaintance with a false name would simply open the door for more falsehoods and lies to enter the relationship. He was caught off-guard, though, from the sensation he experienced when the young lady accepted his handshake while revealing her name. Gray felt an abnormally high body temperature against his skin from the woman’s touch. And since he was nearly certain he couldn’t hear any violins playing, this couldn’t have been a meeting destined by fate, or a match made in heaven. While the temperature may have been potentially scarring to the average man, Gray barely felt its tinge. It was more plausible that the woman was marking herself as someone to be feared by showing off what was most likely a devil fruit’s ability. Nonetheless, Gray simply pretended to not even notice, since he barely even felt it, and shook her hand just as firmly.

When Cherry declared her intentions to exit the establishment in order to set off on their adventure immediately, Gray motioned her to hold momentarily. He then walked towards the counter, where the bartender had busied himself again with his menial tasks, and waved him over. He then dropped a few silver coins, more than enough to pay for the food he had ordered earlier and made his request. ”I’m going to have to take those meals to-go. Can you pack all of it into as big a bag as you can find?” The bartender hesitated for a moment, but once the value of those coins had clicked in, he complied immediately.
A large comically large bag was prepared for Gray outside the door, a strong smell of roasted meat emanating from it. Two young boys and three girls of around the same age had painstakingly dragged the take-out bag outdoors. As they huffed and puffed, they earned a bow of gratitude and a warm smile from Gray. Gray dug out a large piece of meat from bag and began chewing through it like a rabid carnivore. He then proceeded to pinch the mouth of the large bag along with his own personal bag together, and swung both bags over his shoulder with a single hand, carrying the weight as if it were a big ball of sponge.

He then turned towards Cherry and nodded his head in readiness, nonchalantly playing off his enormous feat of strength that had left the bag’s previous carriers’ jaws on the floor. ”Let’s head off before it gets dark.”

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:14 pm

A sigh of relief escaped from the map thief's mouth as her new companion agreed to leave the bar preemptively. Or rather, for him it seemed to be preemptively, as he ordered a whole sack of various foods. Cerise had planned on going to the beach or something for a while before planning out the next step, but clearly Gray had other plans. Rather than interrupting him in his food hoarding, the young woman merely watched as the poor kitchen staff sprinted back and forth to cover their customer's needs. As time passed the daylight slipped away and before Gray's need for food was satisfied it was more or less dark outside.

When the party moved outdoors Cerise had to quickly come up with a place to store the map. The poor scavenger rarely had anything of value and for a moment she was completely unsure of where to put it. It wouldn't be able to fit in her pockets of her shorts, and unless she had worn boots her shoes would do well for safekeeping anything either. The only pockets that really had the capacity to contain the map fully were the ones in her hoodie she had tied around her waist, so when she untied the knot and put the sweater on, Cerise also rolled up the map and put it in her pocket. To her dismay the rolled up map was a tad too large to fit completely. Furthermore the pocket opening was very large, making it easy for potential pickpockets to snag it from her. As she was fumbling around with her sweater and the map, Cerise suddenly realized that she actually had another pocket that the map could fit in, and it had even been in plain view the entire time.

With a smug grin on her face, the red head slipped the map down her cleavage and quickly zipped up the sweater entirely so it was out of sight. While Cerise had fumbled around with the map, it seemed Gray had finished up preparing for their departure, and had even had time to grab an on-the-go snack.

Other than the lack of daylight and the hiding place for the map, another concern of Cerise's was that the huge sack of food her companion had scraped together appeared to be far too large for anyone to carry. She could of course had told herself that a man of his size easily would be able to carry something so big and unhandy. Nonetheless, she was more impressed than she'd like to admit as he simply swung the bag over his shoulder. The fact that the bag itself could contain so much without breaking either was beyond her as well.

"Uhm, yeah, let's." Cerise agreed, although she had a strong feeling Gray not only wanted to leave the bar, but also planned on going westwards straight away. Surely she would be able to convince him otherwise.

After walking a few tens of meters from the bar, the map thief attempted to start up a conversation which hopefully lead to a change of mind in her companion. "So, Mr. Gray", she turned to face him while they continued their walk. "Where will you be staying overnight? Assuming you have a place to stay of course. I was thinking of walking there with you, so I knew where to meet when we plan out our route and so tomorrow morning. If you don't mind of course?" Being forced into a state of trust with a complete stranger was never easy, but Cerise did what she could in order to make this work, after all this was hopefully going to be the expedition she had always dreamed of. No way a little distance and false trust would ruin it for her.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:01 am

”Who do you think I am?”


Lugging a massive bag around him that barely held together, even with its considerably thicker weave of hemp and flax, was not exactly the most comfortable walk. But, a starving stomach could not be left unsatisfied. It was a shame that Gray did not get to enjoy a few barrels of Apodis’ finest drink, as he often liked to do upon his first visit of an island. But, once Gray had realized a more valuable prize awaited him on the island, he had no time to spare. He had to confirm his suspicions on what awaited him and his new companion in West Apodis.

When Cherry inquired after his plans for overnight accommodations, Gray snorted and smiled. ”You’ve got yourselves in a bit of trouble, young lady, having incurred debt with me. I plan to have you take me to West Apodis immediately.” He consumed a large chunk of the fleshy meat that he held in his right hand, chewing on it shamelessly while talking with a mouth full. ”We can plan our route while walking out of town, no?” He had a nagging sensation that the red haired troublemaker had plans of her own that may not have involved Gray.

To make his own intentions clear as he spoke, his brows furrowed while his lips maintained a smile. ”Besides, that map you’re holding is technically my property. And like it or not, I aim to keep an eye on it.” He let out a guffaw, regardless of how Cherry reacted to his subtle threat. It may have been a threat, but there was no violent undertone to it. He simply had enough confidence in himself to keep up with her, if she tried to slip away with that precious artifact.

His steps quickened a bit, prodding Cherry to pick up the pace as the light of the stars now defeated the sun’s evening orange hue. When they reached their first dark corner of the city, Gray switched his luggage over to his right hand, pointing his robotic finger forward before turning on a hidden flashlight on the finger-tip that illuminated their path. It wasn’t that Gray could not see in this level of darkness, he simply found it amusing to use his robotic gadgets whenever he had the opportunity to do so. It had been a while since he had the chance to use some of the other features of his mechanized arm. However, the flashlight was a well-worn tool, which he often used through overnight storms as he traveled across the sea on foot. The storm on his journey to Apodis this afternoon had been the last time he had engaged the torch.

As they walked, Gray decided to break the ice that he may have hardened by his earlier playful threat. ’So, Cherry was it? What do you do when you’re not out drinking or robbing maps from drunk liars?” He hoped his joyful expression would keep her from being offended by the somewhat sarcastic tone he had employed in his query. Whatever her response may be, Gray would give it his full attention.

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:37 am

It was the answer Cerise had feared, and suddenly the thought of adventure seemed far less appealing to her. Rather than keeping the conversation going, she gave Gray a cold shoulder, neither answering his question, nor responding to what he had to say in general. In fact, she turned her head back so she was facing straight ahead while maintaining a blank but clearly disappointed expression.

Sulking with her hands buried in her hoodie's pockets, Cerise did what she could to keep up with the large man while still keeping her distance. Why did she let herself get caught up in this random man's shenanigans? The weather would turn bad soon, it usually did so at night, and he wanted to go adventuring? No fucking way. Cerise became so caught up in her own thoughts that reality became second priority and she went from partly ignoring Gray intentionally to unintentionally ignoring him completely.

Her disappointment and frustration turned to fury, and before she knew it, her entire body had risen to a few hundred degrees. This parred with the light dust-like rain that had begun falling from the sky caused the red head to steam violently. The steam had it's advantages, as people on the streets quickly moved out of the the pair's way, quickening their progression through the city. Exactly what was going on inside her head was best left unsaid for both Gray's and her own sake.

After having failed to notice Gray's handy gadgets it was surprising how easily Cerise snapped back to reality when he asked about her daily activities. The young woman looked confused at him before noticing her body was more or less enveloped in steam. She quickly made the temperature of her skin drop to more reasonable temperatures before answering his question. "Stealing is not a habit of mine." Cerise stated, clearly pretending her change of mood never had occurred, nor that it had been as obvious as it had. She huffed, displaying her defiancy towards his idea of heading out so soon while crossing her arms across her chest. However, she did decide to tell him the truth. "I'm a scavenger. I collect scrap metal and sell it to whoever wants to buy it. It's mostly smiths and shipwrights. Which is also why I'd prefer to have a chance to get some sleep before going on grand adventures with strangers, Gray." She put a clear emphasis on his name as she looks him dead in the eyes, making it obvious that Gray's assumption had been correct; she did not believe it to be his true name. Cerise turned her gaze back to the road in front of them. "But if it really can't be any different will you at least allow me to stop by my house to get something to eat, maybe change my clothes and so?"

Letting go of some steam had clearly been good for her as as soon as she was finished talking, Cerise was able to put two and two together, connecting Gray with the extraordinary light that lit up their path. "Neat gadget you got there by the way." From the way she said it, it was clear Cerise wasn't in the mood for giving out compliments but still couldn't help but find Gray's mechanical arm pretty cool.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:21 pm

”Who do you think I am?”


A whiff of steam and smoke and an ever so slightest hissing sound, one that no average human would’ve been able to hear, caused Gray to turn his head towards the bratty woman, as she stubbornly crossed her arms and walked a few paces away from him. His earlier suspicion was almost confirmed, that she must have some sort of devil fruit power. But, he was now starting to suspect whether she actually had full control over it. The heat she dispensed in their earlier handshake may not have been intentional, and considering the fact that she acted like she didn’t even notice the steam that was emanating from her shoulders, he couldn’t even be sure if she realized her loss of control on her power.

This was all assuming that she wasn’t simply pretending to not notice her power’s effect, which was a strong possibility considering her allegedly underhanded excuses to delay their expedition. Nonetheless, Gray realized it would be poor manners for him to throw her over the deep end so suddenly, forcing her to drop everything and go with him on a possibly dangerous adventure. And so, he sighed and smiled in response to her complaints, all this time pretending to not have noticed her steaming aura, as hard as that may have been.

”Very well, Cherry. You can stop by your home, but I’m coming with you. I will respect your privacy and not enter your home, but I will be waiting outside until dawn. If you try to escape during the night, believe me when I say this…” His eyes intensified, and he glared at her firmly, his comparatively larger stature adding to the intimidating effect. ”...I’ll know.”

Gray then smiled again as if nothing had happened, and continued on, expecting his guide to now direct them to their detour. Gray recalled her earlier comment about how stealing was no habit of hers and chuckled to himself. ”I suppose I’m going to find out by tomorrow morning if you are a thief or not.”

Later, upon her mention of his flashlight, he nodded proudly and tweaked his wrist, rotating it a complete 360 degrees to show off the mechanisms of the machine. ”It was a gift from a good friend of mine after I lost my arm.” Regardless of whether Cherry would ask how he lost his arm or not, Gray would simply continue. ”I’m thinking about getting an upgrade. Might change the design a bit. This one is starting to look a bit outdated if you ask me.”

Gray cast a quick and cautious glance towards Cherry's bosom, where she was safeguarding his "property" so dearly. He swiftly averted his gaze, though, so as not to be mistaken as lecherous or inappropriate. His thoughts turned forward towards the contents of the map. If his initial guess was correct, the map was, in fact, identical to something he had seen when he sailed under the command of his captain. On an uninhabited island in Paradise, they'd met a man who had clearly lost his sanity to the isolation from civilization. Upon his rescue, he had rewarded the captain with a map just like this one, only in a much more dilapidated condition. The man spoke in riddles, mentioning how this island was in one sea, but also another. And on this island was a golden cube that told the history of the island in context to the world. At the time, Gray's captain and his crew had paid little heed to the man's rambling, and the map was lost amidst the heaps of other charts and books that the scholarly historian of their crew had gathered.

It was not until Gray laid eyes upon the map that Cherry had captured, that he remembered this event that took place decades ago. He then also came to the epiphany that the island that was in one sea, but also another, might very well have been Apodis, which is located on the border of Paradise and the Calm Belt. And after having discovered many poneglyphs, the stones upon which the history of the world is engraved, he realized that might be what the "golden cube" in the riddle was referring to.

Having put together much of the history of the world and the secrets behind the Void Century alongside his crew mates, Gray could not live at ease knowing that there was more to the picture than what they had found. Every discovery they had made, had shifted their perspective on the history of the world. And knowing that this priceless artifact may exist on Apodis, Gray could not sit idly by. His curiosity was like a child, being read a fairy tale, but being told that the end of the story would be told the following night. No child could resist the urge to pry for the ending, no matter how short the wait; and Gray was no different in this regard.

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Cerise

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Enter Tracker Here Name : Cerise Videl
Age : 23
Race : Human
Devil Fruit : Temp-Temp Fruit
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 0
Attack (ATK) : 0
Defense (DEF) : 0
Reflex (RX) : 0
Willpower (WP) : 0
Level : 1
Experience Points : 100
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 18

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:03 pm

Although pleased with his change of heart, Cerise returned his glare with a stern expression, not allowing him to outmatch her. Sure he seemed to counter her abilities, but that didn't mean she'd allow him to have the upper hand in anything else. His threats and accusations of thievery were shrugged off by Cerise as she guided them out of the city.

As Gray showed off his mechanical arm, the redhead tried her best to take good notice at how it functioned. If the two ended up in a fight maybe she could exploit potential weaknesses in it since her powers had little to no effect on Gray himself so far. Her ingenious plan was, however, foiled, as Gray's arm did a full 360, blinding her momentarily in the process. "T-That sure is... impressive." she muttered, blinking rapidly to make the floaters in her vision from the flash-blindness fade away faster. While her vision was impaired, both by the flash and the blinking, Cerise accidentally bumped into an old woman when she turned a corner in a relatively narrow street. Despite it only having been a light bump, the elderly lady dropped to her knees with a weak "O-Oh" emitting from her dry lips. Overcoming the immediate surprise, the redhead quickly offered the elderly woman a helping hand and an apology. The silver haired woman accepted her help and was soon back on her feet. "Thank you dear child." was the last thing the lady said before she was on her way again. As the elder left, Cerise followed her with her eyes for a while, but didn't comment on why. Instead she simply resumed her role as guide and the pair continued towards the slum.

The sparse streetlights indicated that the pair were soon out of the finer neighborhoods of Apodis, slowly but surely making their way to the slum. The deteriorating buildings also added to this notion, as well as the heightened amount of trash laying around. "I hope you don't have a sensitive nose." Cerise remarked as the two arrived at the "end" of Apodis Port. It was an odd place, a border of sorts. The road just... ended. Most tourists never wandered that far away from the central parts of Apodis Port, and Cerise was actually kind of curious to see how Gray would react to this odd landmark.

With a smirk plastered across her face, she continued a hundred meters or so straight ahead, before making a sharp turn to the right, heading into the rather dense copse which appeared to encircle the city. When the pair emerged on the other side of the copse they were met with a surprising sight. At least Cerise expected it to be surprising for Gray. Further ahead In front of them towered numerous mountains made of trash. Although there were no streetlights around except for the moon and the stars, the valleys between the mountains were lit up in a bright warm light. It was a welcoming, but peculiar sight. It was home.

Cerise had stopped just as the two left the copse and proudly stated; "Welcome to the slums!" with a cheerful tone and smile, eagerly awaiting Gray's reaction.

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Gray

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TrackerBioFighting StyleEquipment

Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Pirate
World Position : Super Veteran (Former Yonkou)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Destroyed)
Ship : Fistful AKA "The Fist" (Destroyed)
Crew Position : Captain (Former)
Devil Fruit : Pressure-Pressure Fruit
Haoshoku : 9
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 9
Attack (ATK) : 750
Defense (DEF) : 600
Reflex (RX) : 655
Willpower (WP) : 600
Level : 100
Experience Points : 10000
Bounty : 2,500,000,000
Income Multiplier : +10%
Berries : 25,000,000,000


Posts : 1139

PostSubject: Re: The Exploration of a Lifetime [Social]    Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:16 pm

”Who do you think I am?”


When twisting his wrist in order to boast its flexibility, he had accidentally folded his finger up, causing the bright light of the torch blind both him and Cerise for a split second during its rotation. While his robotic arm offered inhuman capabilities, it was not without its glitches and quirks. The involuntary finger-folding was an odd side-effect of the incalculable input into the nervous system as his robotic wrist performed feats his real one could not. He had enough mechanical skills and knowledge to perform regular maintenance on the machine, but his skills were not nearly thorough enough for him to debug such errors in the arm’s operation.

Before he could apologize for the blinding effect of his flashlight, Cherry bumped into an elderly woman in her moment of blindness, knocking the poor lady back on her rear. A soft thud on the stoney street suggested she had landed rather safely, something possibly having broken her fall. Or perhaps she simply had an ample butt to cushion her fall. Either way, before Gray could offer a helping hand, the flustered young girl responded with a swift apology and an arm to assist the old lady’s climb. Gray had mistaken Apodis to be the type of place where people didn’t forgive accidents easily, especially if they were the injured party. But, from how quickly the fumbled woman accepted the apology and granted her clemency, Gray had to reconsider his original judgment. At least until he noticed Cherry curiously eyeing the short, greying woman scurried away without exchanging many words. He was tempted to ask if she perhaps recognized the old lady, but he decided to pay it no mind, deeming it none of his concern.

As the distance between each streetlight grew, the quality of the buildings grew poorer and less well-maintained. He suspected they were nearing the outskirts of town, and from the looks of it, unlike many large cities, the suburban region of Apodis was a class below the core city. With the area pockmarked with trash and litter on the streets, the atmosphere was begin to transform into something he had become too acquainted with over his travels. He was by no means a neat person himself, so he could not judge the residents of these streets for their poor hygiene and lack of tidiness. When the red-haired girl made an obviously sarcastic remark about hoping he did not have a sensitive nose, he responded simply with a silent smirk and an expression that clearly said ”I’ve smelt worse.” It was the truth, as the smell of a mountain of rotting corpses smelled far worse than what Apodis had to offer so far.

As they neared the end of the city, the road abruptly ended, as if it had simply been cut off and replaced with a patch of dirty grass. He curiously scanned the surroundings to see remnants of what might’ve been there before it was so artificially removed. But, he noticed no signs of such artifacts. Perhaps they merely decided against constructing the road any further?

As Cherry turned sharply towards the right, walking now along the circumference of the city, Gray followed closely, his mind still inquisitive regarding the road’s end. ”That is a strange way to end a road. I would’ve expected at least some sort of closure to it. It looks like the city officials just gave up on this part of town.” His comments were not questions, but rather notes he was making out loud. He did not expect Cherry to respond. As they walked through a pleasant change of scenery, Gray enjoying the soft rustling of the poplar trees’ spade-like leaves, he was not ready for a jerk back to reality. But, it came nonetheless, once they had crossed the relatively peaceful grove.

Seeing the mountains of trash and the overwhelming stink of all manner of wastes, Gray’s eyes widened and his nostrils flared. He then turned to the foolishly smirking woman and reflected her smile as he responded jokingly to her welcome. ”If this is your home, you really need to learn to pick up after yourself. Gehahahaha!” As his gaze skimmed the infinitely dirty landscape of the slums, Gray’s brows furrowed and his smile all but disappeared. ”You know, this place reminds me very much of a town I once visited in the North Blue. Although, at least the folks on that island didn’t ignore the existence of such a dung heap.” The mention of North Blue sparked a curious query that Gray had wondered about. ”Have you ever been off the island before, Cherry-chan?” He half-expected her to change the topic, but he asked the question nonetheless, hoping to hear an honest answer. Getting to know his guide and her experience with the outside world could never be a bad thing, could it?

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