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 The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]

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Mazin

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Name : Mazin Botros
Epithet : Water Walking
Age : 15
Race : Human
Faction : Pirate
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin (a.k.a. “Pompoko Pirates”)
Crew Position : Navigator
Devil Fruit : Kilo Kilo no Mi
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 4
Attack (ATK) : 310
Defense (DEF) : 290
Reflex (RX) : 345
Willpower (WP) : 265
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Berries : 22,050,000
Posts : 31

PostSubject: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:30 pm



 
- RISE -
"Together, we’re gonna rise with the morning light."

The Kinship Mast rose from the east side of the Tournament Plaza. Built with brick walls, it was devoid of elegance or decorum, instead standing more like a tavern straight out of old tale, the aroma of smoke and wood chips drifting in the air. The interior of the structure spanned a whole three stories, but what stood out most was a single, immense tree standing at its center. A spiral staircase that was used almost exclusively by employees encircled this tree, leading all the way to the uppermost floor, for which the tree’s canopy acted as a ceiling. If one looked closely, they could see patches of daylight streaming in between its leaves.  

Anywhere else it might have seemed like crazy talk, but this building had just been finished days before tournament.

Many, many such freshly constructed establishments lined the three streets leading away from the The World’s Best Eating Tournament’s central plaza, as if someone had demolished an entire town center to make room for the tournament grounds.  Actually, that probably was the case.  Proof of the sheer amount of money that ran through the city, and more importantly, the even larger amount possessed by a select few of its inhabitants.

Not that they were all bad.  The Kinship Mast’s owner, Hagel, was one such example.  While he had reserved the main floor for himself, he still allowed others open stalls throughout the two upper floors provided they started no trouble. Or fires. Especially those. Even from the second floor, the bald, burly man could still be heard laughing heartily, and as he leaned on the railing, Mazin watched the crowd shifting around the man carefully. Not that there was much point.  Apparently, Hagel had a reputation as a former sailor, and no one even remotely suspicious looking was willing to get within five feet of him.

What Mazin really wanted to do was try hit the streets and try out all the stands, but apparently his Captain had her own goals as usual, which meant he had to play the inside job as security detail. Meaning he couldn't just carelessly eat whatever struck his fancy. Not that everything did, of course. There was at least one stall he didn't feel bad on missing out on.

That one. Well, it had the aura of the Demon King...

Letting out a sigh, Mazin looked over to his shoulder, where a rather strange looking bird sat.  Most birds, as far as he knew, did not possess ears, but this one did.  Of course, the bird’s true form was not actually a bird. At least he thought as much.  

Holding a rice cracker out in front of it, he turned back towards the stands. “I guess now is as good a time as any to pop out, boss. Unless the bird’s eye view shows you something interesting beyond a few shiny objects.”

JUNIER of GS+ Adox

________________________________________________________
Mazin's Tracker | I was going to come up with something witty about procrastination, but I'm too busy procrastinating.

Although while we're here, this is what made me choose Mazin's epithet:
 


Last edited by Mazin on Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Laurel O’Halloran

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Name : Laurel O'Halloran
Epithet : Hundred-Faced O’Halloran
Age : 48
Race : Human
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin
Ship : Xu Fu
Crew Position : Captain
Devil Fruit : Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Bake-Danuki
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 6
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 120
Reflex (RX) : 420
Willpower (WP) : 370
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 177,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 40

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:28 pm


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After the All Blue, Pucci was known to be the single greatest culinary paradise on earth, and it truly showed at times like this. A delicious aroma was wafting in the air from the countless stalls - an amalgamation from cooking meat, freshly-cut fruit and vegetables, and piquant spices - and that in itself was ambrosia. The sounds of bubbling pots, sizzling pans, and knives cutting through food and hitting wooden boards could invoke the “second stomach” phenomenon. It was a place where a cook could price a single side dish at tens or even hundreds of thousands of Berries—and someone would be eager to purchase.

That last part made the strange bird with “furry” ears on Mazin’s shoulder thankful that money was no object for them, even if an especially audacious chef was charging their food for not five, or six, but seven digits. If anything, circumventing that, and watching that chef turn flush red with anger as he realized he’d been swindled long after the fact, had proven quite amusing. It scanned the remaining stalls with beady eyes.

“I see aisles of food that would help you put on some weight,” the bird answered with a low chuckle. Its intonation that was clearly not an animal’s, its voice feminine, but distinctly husky. “I see some chefs who thought to prepare only the freshest ingredients by keeping them alive until the big event, now paying for their gamble with havoc in their and neighboring stalls. I see—Oh. . . .”

The bird rolled backwards, freeing its minimal weight off from Mazin’s shoulder. Behind him, an amorphous mass had appeared in place of the bird. It shifted and shuffled for a moment, then took the shape of a middle-aged woman who rose over half a meter over boy at her full height. She wore the same security uniform as he did, only with a hat that did a fine job covering the pair of canid ears atop her head. Snatching the rice cracker from his fingers at last, Laurel looked onward to one of the gatherings that had grown to be a little noisier, and more showy, than the others.

“What is this? What is this?! A tall man with ashen-blond hair and a perpetual scowl on his wrinkled face confronted a much smaller cook, whose chest puffed up in defiance. “What are you even serving? Because if the health inspector showed up it’d be ten fucking years!!”

“Yer head so far up yer ass ya can’t see?!” the cook retorted, raising his arm and displaying what looked to be a turkey. It was either that or a very large chicken. In any case, it was completely featherless and squirmed and squawked in fowl profanities. “C’mon!! I only started pluckin’ this putz and yer already bustin’ my balls!! The hell do ya think I am?! I’m Chef Dupéré!!”

“You’re a fucking embarrassment is what you are, and you think you have what it takes to use my kitchen set!! In what bizarro fucking land do you come from that you defeather the bird before you make sure it’s dead?! Did you really think that cute chopping block right there in front of the customers was going to stir up their appetites?! My god, I’d think you were one of those fucking vegetarians trying to drum up more followers like it’s a Kodō show!! At least they’re smart enough to bring the right  fucking drumsticks!! You donkey!!!”

And so a war between egos erupted amidst the stalls, curious onlookers encircling the two men at a safe distance. Laurel took out her smallest smoking pipe and a pouch of tobacco, but was tempted to clean her ears in light of the language that had reached her ears and continued to fill the air. In those few minutes, the voices of the two men were so raised, and their words moving so quickly, it became difficult to tell genuine criticism apart from the insult inferno. Eventually, real security had no choice but to step in and break up the spectacle and push the men away from each other.

“Piss off, you muppet,” the first man spat, before turning back to restore order in the stalls. Chef Dupéré muttered more curses to himself as he put on a newsboy cap and stormed off. The featherless bird, for its part, had long broken free of Dupéré’s inattentive grasp and disappeared into the crowd.

“Chef Rordon Gamsay.” Laurel took a draw from her kiseru, looking back at the first man.“Not a man to be crossed, even during the best of days. This event receives visitors hoping for a banquet worthy of what’s demanded from their wallets . . . but quite a few enjoy the open-fire roast as well. I’m sure our Goblin would have loved to see this—or even be the cause of Chef Gamsay’s infamous temper.” A pause. “We were wise not to bring him with us.”

Laurel pulled up a big wooden chair and took a seat, feet swung over the stall counter, and pulled out what looked to be a single playing card with an ornate back, and a blank face. Blank, that is, save for a note written on it with incredibly tidy handwriting:

That which nests in Paradise is a beast more ravenous than any other.
Continue to give praise to the spirit whose light shall be lost amidst the sword and the spear.
Free the spark it leaves behind, and I will be free.
Ahh, seeker. The eyes of God see only the truth, and pass it on to you.

The note had reached their ship by News Coo just a few days ago with the newspaper with the insistence it reached Laurel; whoever wrote it left no signature. For all its cryptic wording, it left no impression of a threat, but rather . . . a challenge? Of what sort? And where?

As it turned out, both answers were in the newspaper, which told of this very event: the newspaper headline was filled by a photograph in celebration, showing a tall banner emblazoned a knife and fork - the  “sword and the spear” - and from beyond, the three streets and the giant tree at the center. True, it may not have been one’s first choice when asked where to find filthy lucre, but money wasn’t the sole treasure to be had here. The kitchen set was enviable enough; a secret recipe was something a chef would kill for. Even that, perhaps, may not have been what the note was referring to.

Laurel certainly hoped that was the case, because she certainly wasn’t going to stick her neck out in this battle of the gourmets. Her cooking was passable, but it wouldn’t have a snowflake’s chance in Hell’s Kitchen compared to the chefs attending. She knew where she fell short, and she wasn’t interested in cheating her way to victory. Not yet, at least. She wanted to see where this breadcrumb trail of clues would lead.

She decided to put the card away and recline back in her chair, looking to see if there was another sap in the stalls to hoodwink.

________________________________________________________


Last edited by Laurel O’Halloran on Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:02 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Clue clarification and minor grammar corrections)
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Baltroy

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Name : Alice Baltroy Ronx
Epithet : Flying Dart
Age : 22
Race : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army (Commander)
Crew : Bonbon X
Ship : Wonderland Hatch
Crew Position : Captain
Haoshoku : 5
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 5
Attack (ATK) : 275
Defense (DEF) : 300
Reflex (RX) : 335
Willpower (WP) : 300
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 150,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 50

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:55 pm

The plaza was quickly filling up to the point that personal space could basically be considered a luxury. The street of tightly packed stalls erupted with the smell of spices and smoke, accompanied with the loud commotions of festivity and competitive spirit. Immediately succeeding the earlier clash between the two chefs, Dupéré and Gamsey, another battle was being fought. This battle was fought between two incredibly flashy-looking men. In the hall of aprons, rolled up sleeves and chef hats, the first man with his pristine iron-pressed shirt, dress shoes and regal mantle, didn't exactly blend in. But the more shocking appearance was that of his opponent. This was a fishman with skin brushed with blue and an almost ghastly attire. It was hard to decide where to look first, with the myriad of colours he wore. First was the belt of tassels, looped several times around his waste and the multi-coloured strings fell in mismatched lengths from his thighs to his ankles. He wore purple genie trousers and a matching purple crop top that exposed his perfectly sectioned six-pack. On his feet, he fashioned a pair of elf-like golden slippers that curled up at the toes and each had a pair of bells hanging on the end. Dangling from his earlobes were golden teardrop earrings that were so massive that they brush his collarbone when he turned his head.

They looked like a prince and his jester, but as the fight drew on, it quickly became clear that the jester acted more like a prince and the prince acted more like a jester.

"Put. It. Down." said the prince-like jester through gritted teeth.

"You. Can't. Make. Me." retorted the jester-like prince.

"Ronx, what are you even going to do with that damn chicken if you aren't gonna cook it?" barked the jester.

"How could you even suggest cooking it, you monster?" wailed the prince. "What if I cooked you because you're like a fish?!"

"I'm a fishman! That's a full-blooded chicken!!!"

"It's not a chicken! It's obviously a turkey!!"

"It's not fat enough to be a turkey!"

"Oh so now you're the turkey expert?? And how dare you discriminate Kennedy just because she isn't fat!"

"Oh for the love of...Don't name it!!"

This episode continued on for sometime with the turkey(?) flapping helplessly between the wrangling of the two men. They had managed to gather a healthy sized group during their exchange, all watching with amusement and there was even the start of a betting pool. Murmurs of "Fifty on the fishman" and "Twenty on the blondie" rippled from the crowd. Finally, the princely character pulled away with the turkey clutched in his arms as his prize, much to the featherless creature's relief. As the two men slumped tiredly on the ground, the crowd slowly dissipated, some even coming up to give the prince a congratulatory pat on the shoulder, others expressing their condolences to the jester. "Oh up yours," snapped the jester, angrily shrugging of a stranger's hand before turning to his companion with a glare. "Fine, keep the damn chicken ("It's a turkey!"), but we're getting out of here right now."

"But what about the prize?" complained the prince, looking up at the fishman with shimmering eyes.

The fishman froze and quickly tried to escape those wide, pleading eyes. "No, it was hard enough finding one runaway captain, now I have to find the other one again. So we're leaving now."

"But Beeeeckkyyyyy," moaned his companion, tears starting to form.

"No is no and you can't be serious. That freakin' chicken isn't also giving me puppy-dog eyes, right?" snapped the jester. The two leered upon the flamboyantly-dressed fishman before he inevitably relented. "Join the Wolhaiksong, they said. It'll be fun, they said. It'll be an opportunity, they said. You won't have to stress, they said. They're all bloody liars, I say!" He continued his begrudging mutter as he followed his younger companion, who was skipping happily ahead with Kennedy in his arms.

________________________________________________________
Alice B. Ronx at your service~
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Gray

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Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Yonkou (Former)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Former)
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
Berries : 25,000,000,000
Perks :

Posts : 1101

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:01 am

”Who do you think I am?”


The gamy aroma of Ruskainan boar, the muscadine smells of Dressrosan wine, the heady scent of Fishman Island’s rarest three-headed squids; these were all too overwhelming for the olfactory organs of a hungry man. And it was even more so the case with the man who had in fact hunted and brought along these ingredients with him, along with many other similarly rare ones. ”I must say, you make for a pretty useful Bishoku-ya, Gray-kun. I can’t remember the last time someone brought in so many rare ingredients, and the variety was much needed too. I’m feeling pretty confident about winning this contest.” Cassimo Mapra was a stubby man who was almost always wearing a dirty apron, the waist strings of which often hung loose clumsily. His twirly moustache had visible crumbs of bread and who-knows-what-else stuck in it, wiggling about in an ugly manner as he spoke. The aging man had lost most of his hair on top of his head, only left with a few solitary strands of brown hair that shared its color with his eyes and facial hair.

As the man lifted a large crate full of ingredients bigger than his size, his strength was made clear to any passer-bys on the crowded foodie street. ”I heard someone say that the competition has already started. Aren’t you going to be disqualified if you run too late?” The partner in the conversation was a black-cloaked man that dwarfed the shabby cook in size. His bare chiseled torso was a complete contrast to his bloated companion. With a robotic left arm replacing a missing limb, he was lifting a crate three times the size of the one that the fat cook was carrying. His pitch black cloak fluttered in the slight breeze, along with his slicked-back orangish-brown hair. The fur stitched over the cloak kept it from flying off his shoulders.

Around ten feet in height, he towered above almost everyone in the street, drawing suspecting eyes from the occasional pedestrian. However, most of the crowd seemed to be focused on moving in a single general direction. Near the end of the street was a massive tree, with a rustic structure wrapped around it. This seemed to be the destination of the majority of drooling folks that walked by him as he loaded the crate onto a hooded cart attached behind a grumpy black-haired yak. The large beast groaned in complaint, whipping her fluffy tail in a frenzy as she anticipated a hard day’s work ahead of her. ”My daughter’s already set up our stand next to all the other contestants in the main square. There are so many participants this time around that they couldn’t even fit them all in our massive tourney plaza. They had to find excuses to let so many of the local chefs go since they wanted to offer the foreigners a chance. But, I get along well enough with Hagel, so I’ve got a guaranteed spot on the list. Hagel is one of the organizers of the tournament and also the owner of the Kinship Mast.”

They could hear the ruckus from the plaza all the way down the street. But, the yells and cries seemed more like a battle than they did a friendly contest. This was because it was indeed a battle. The chefs of Pucci’s annual Love, Love Cook’s Cuisine Contest were very passionate and prideful about this event and saw it as a great opportunity to enhance their cooking skills whilst also representing their restaurants and advertising the products of their unique recipes. And the prizes were often worth participating for, even if there were little to no chance of winning. ”What’re the prizes this year, Cass-san?” The man coughed as he placed the final crate into the overloaded cart, closing the rear gate which could just barely keep the unevenly sized boxes from spilling out.

”They say one of the prizes is a centuries-old antique cutlery set that belonged to a famous pirate-chef. Honestly, I don’t much care for the prize. I just want to show off our recipes and impress the critics. Since I’m retiring soon, I wanted to give Cassie one final boost before she inherited the restaurant.” The taller man was slightly taken aback by the subtly-snuck news. ”You’re retiring and you're just now telling me? Not that Cassata isn’t ready to take over as head chef, but aren’t you a bit too young to be kicking up your feet?” Cassimo laughed heartily, the twirls of his moustache jumping up and down enthusiastically with the corners of his lips. ”MAAAPAPAPAPA! My love for cooking isn’t dead yet. My plan is to leave the Golden Appeal in Cassie’s care and then head out to sea in search of new ingredients. Who knows, I might end up a pirate like yourself in my late years… Mapapapapa~” Gray surrendered a defeated smile, walking alongside the yak as she began to move sluggishly, pulling the heavy cart behind her.

The roaring of the feisty chefs grew louder and louder as they approached the Kinship Mast, one ruckus amidst the chaos being painfully distinct from all the others. ”That’s Chef Gamsay and Chef Dupéré. They’re both excellent cooks, but they’ve got serious attitude problems. Especially that Gamsay, I’ve heard he even physically assaults his underlings that make the tiniest of mistakes. It could be hearsay, but from what I’ve seen of him, I’m inclined to believe it.’ The heated argument between the two chefs certainly lent some truth to Cassimo’s comment.

They quickly shuffled through the line of cooks to reach their stand, where Cassata, Cassimo’s nineteen year old daughter awaited them eagerly while having set up the utensils for Cassimo’s participation. When she spotted them approaching, she swiftly jogged to their side, excited as can be. ”Uncle Gray! I’m so glad you made it! Papa was going to lose the last of his hair worrying if you’d bring the ingredients in time. I hope you have time to stay for the tournament this year.” Gray smiled warmly at the tender welcome. He nodded and grinned before answering, ”Gehahaha~ I have plenty of time to spare. I’ll be sticking around to see if your father loses the last of his hair by the end of the event." The chef looked nervously to the far end of the stalls, his mind diverted to a second ruckus. ”I just might if we have to deal with so many noisy chefs this year.” When Gray directed his attention towards the commotion, he detected a somewhat familiar presence amidst the fuss. He decided against investigating, lest it be an unsavoury acquaintance from his past that he did not wish to be recognized by.

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Last edited by Gray on Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mazin

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Name : Mazin Botros
Epithet : Water Walking
Age : 15
Race : Human
Faction : Pirate
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin (a.k.a. “Pompoko Pirates”)
Crew Position : Navigator
Devil Fruit : Kilo Kilo no Mi
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 4
Attack (ATK) : 310
Defense (DEF) : 290
Reflex (RX) : 345
Willpower (WP) : 265
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Berries : 22,050,000
Posts : 31

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:23 am



 
- RISE -
"Together, we’re gonna rise with the morning light."

Mazin gave several nods as his Captain went on, not giving even a blink at her joke.  Not that he didn’t get it, but moreso that he was used to this game, and usually tried to avoid playing it for too long. Not that he needed to try, either.

Not far away, two voices rose above all other noise nearby. Several chefs at the stalls stopped to watch as the two’s squabble exploded, the sound of rustling pots and pans coming to a temporary halt. Mazin was torn on whether to actually jump in between the two chefs when a crowd formed around them, making the decision for him. Given the crowd’s interest, he imagined such things were common as the contest heated up. Just another part of the appeal, in a sense, not that he necessarily got it himself.

After the two chefs were separated, instead he simply shook his head in disdain as Chef Gamsay in particular took to kicking any nearby trash can he could find. E[/i]ager to find something better to put his attention to, he turned to his Captain, only to find her sitting in a chair, lost in thought. That was when he noticed a second racket, one over the very same featherless bird that was the catalyst for the first.  

No.

This was the first word that popped in his mind.  A word meant for himself.

The two flashy men were clearly trouble.  Mazin could feel it in his bones, and he had years, no, almost a decade of experience with this word and the sort of people that brought it. Where Sinbad had a sixth sense for treasure, Mazin had one for problematic people.  And just a glance at these two made that sense ring off like a very, very, loud alarm.

Still, his feet had begun moving. Yes, he’d been the one to actually sign up for the actual job, unlike Laurel. Yes, that meant he had a sense of responsibility, if not duty, to enforce the rules of the establishment.  And yes, he was feeling perhaps a bit guilty for not helping out with the two chefs. But that didn’t mean he had to be the one to approach these two, did it?

Yet before Mazin could stop himself, his feet had suddenly carried him in front of the pair.  In all the practiced grace one might expect from a butler, he appeared as if from thin air, although, what with his slate-gray uniform and matching cap, perhaps butler was too generous a word for the him.  Regardless, the blue-haired boy gave an apologetic smile as he spoke, “I’m sorry to bother you two, but I’m going to have to ask to have that chicken back. It’s the establishment’s property until its cooked, you see.”

“That is, unless you plan to prepare it yourself. In which case I can help you, well, more help get you supplied.” One time, Mazin had decided to make pancakes. He had knocked over some flour in a puff, and, well, that was the only time Mazin had ever decided to make pancakes. “Although I suggest you hurry.  If I remember correctly the owner mentioned that this batch of birds was quite eager with, erm, droppings...”
JUNIER of GS+ Adox




Spoiler:
 

________________________________________________________
Mazin's Tracker | I was going to come up with something witty about procrastination, but I'm too busy procrastinating.

Although while we're here, this is what made me choose Mazin's epithet:
 


Last edited by Mazin on Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:27 am; edited 6 times in total
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Laurel O’Halloran

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Name : Laurel O'Halloran
Epithet : Hundred-Faced O’Halloran
Age : 48
Race : Human
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin
Ship : Xu Fu
Crew Position : Captain
Devil Fruit : Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Bake-Danuki
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 6
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 120
Reflex (RX) : 420
Willpower (WP) : 370
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 177,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 40

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 pm


occulte à la carte
Under the circumstances, Laurel deemed that the best thing she could do was to “buy” something from the cheapest nearby confectionary stall. Thinking about it, the design and process of this tournament was really quite clever. Laurel assumed many of the stalls already selling food this early on had been overeager, and some certainly were, but most had small snacks meant to be just filling enough to sate a customer’s hunger, while the atmosphere around them insured their appetites were kept perpetually whetted. As such, most of these appetizers were larger than the norm, but not overly so; they would guarantee that a guest would not be kept so full as to be unable to eat at all, while preventing an empty stomach from getting too small to eat less than they could.

Consequently, it wasn’t difficult to imagine why Laurel seemed pleased with herself as she walked away from the stall with a generously-sized taiyaki filled with fig jam in one hand, and a similarly proportioned serving of swirled matcha ice cream in a waffle cone in the other for Mazin. It would pass the time as she waited for the mystery writer to make their next move.

As she was strolling back to their outpost, though, she noticed it was one person shorter than when she had left it. Namely, Mazin was missing. At first, Laurel thought nothing of it; maybe the boy had the same idea and went to get something through more scrupulous methods than hers. As she stepped back behind the stall, though, she could hear the crowd bubbling up with excitement again, and instinctively turned her head towards it to see for herself. Gamsay again? No, that’s not it. . . .

When she could distinguish faces from the masses, she saw the same familiar, vertically-challenged shock of bright blue hair she knew to belong to her subordinate. At first, Laurel blinked incredulously; Mazin wasn’t the sort to cause a public ruckus brazenly. Then why—Ah. She could make out two more faces in the crowd that, in hindsight, would have stood out just as well as Gamsay and Dupéré had. Something had come up that compelled the boy to act the part of security.

Laurel let out a sigh, and set the food down on the counter to readjust her uniform, making sure as little of her ears and tail stuck out as possible. Her cap, closer to a beret, was loose fitting enough that if she had to move her ears for better hearing, or at least keep them from getting cramped, it would be difficult to notice, especially in a busy crowd. As for her tail, her jacket was draped down long enough to cover it from behind, but just to be sure, she wrapped her tail around her waist, just tightly enough it seemed closer in nature to a fur belt. Right—now, a quick review of their alter egos: Sam (herself) and Max (Mazin), freshly recruited, freelance security-slash-police hired just for the event . . . which wasn’t entirely untrue.

Satisfied with that, Laurel picked up the taiyaki and ice cream again and waded through the crowd gingerly, holding the snacks high up to prevent them from brushing against the bustling people. Of course, it helped that plenty of people stepped aside as soon as they saw another security officer coming through; Laurel barely needed to even utter a token “Excuse me, pardon me,” to grab their attention. It wasn’t long before she neared the eye of the storm and get a good view of the two fancily-dressed men whom Mazin was, in his own way, confronting.

She pretended not to feel awkward about holding her fish-shaped cake in front of the fishman half of the duo, and smiled innocently as she finally poked completely through the crowd. “Max, I bought us something to eat—Ah.”

She gave the opulent dyad a closer examination. The human youth seemed familiar, somehow, but Laurel couldn’t place a finger where just yet. In any case, she saw the featherless big bird he was cradling protectively in his arms, and that’s when the lightbulb in her head clicked on. “My stars, isn’t that Chef Dupéré’s turkey?” Her smile took on a knowing twist. “Or, it was. Deplorable of him to put it under so much pain and stress, really.”

In the distance, Chef Dupéré, who was closing his stall with the assistance of two women, sneezed gratuitously.

Laurel continued, lowering her hand of matcha ice cream to pass to Mazin, “Just look at the poor thing, shivering. Cold turkey indeed! If it’s not going to be eaten now, we should at least make it more comfortable. Do you gentlemen have a stall for this event?”

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Baltroy

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Name : Alice Baltroy Ronx
Epithet : Flying Dart
Age : 22
Race : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army (Commander)
Crew : Bonbon X
Ship : Wonderland Hatch
Crew Position : Captain
Haoshoku : 5
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 5
Attack (ATK) : 275
Defense (DEF) : 300
Reflex (RX) : 335
Willpower (WP) : 300
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 150,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 50

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:51 pm

"Let's just get this over and done with," muttered Becker under his breath as he caught up with his jovial companion. As the two walked side by side, the contrast of the dark and unhappy fishman with the bright and merry human was startling. Added with their two contrasting fashion choices, yet both still managing to be a bombastic spectacle in their own way, they couldn't help but draw eyes. So when the blue-haired boy materialised as if out of thin air before them, stopping their advance, they shouldn't have been as surprised as they were that someone was talking to them. Becker was the quickest to react, grabbing his companion by the scruff of his neck before he could crash face first into the boy.

"Hey, no need to be so rough,"
whined Ronx while Kennedy clucked in distress as her neck jerked with the sudden change in direction. The young man turned to glare up at Becker, still failing to have noticed the smaller boy he had nearly tripped over. "You did that on purpose! You nearly made me drop Kennedy!"

"I would sooner take a picnic in the middle of the desert than acknowledge that featherless chicken," grumbled Becker. "And you nearly pushed over this midget. Now turn around and say sorry." Conflicted, Ronx remained close-mouthed for a moment. On the one hand, he did feel bad for the 'midget', but on the other hand, he couldn't let the fact that Becker had yet again called Kennedy a chicken. Becker eyed his young captain expectantly before Ronx turned around with a grumble. However, before he could voice his apologies, the boy spoke first. Despite the fact that he was young, he maintained a composure and maturity that was infinitely more than the two men he addressed. Ronx's jaw dropped at the boy's tone, so surprised by his manner that he almost missed the fact that he had called Kennedy a chicken. Almost.

"Becky, Becky, it's an old man in a kid's body," said Ronx anxiously. "And he's wearing the security clothes! Do you think he's being taken advantage of? We can't have that!" He spun around to his navigator, his eyes wide in panic. Suddenly he gasped and spun back around to the blue-haired boy, his eyes now narrowed in outrage. "How dare you! Kennedy isn't a chicken, she's a turkey!!" Kennedy clucked and flapped her wings, mirroring the outrage of her new owner. But the boy wasn't finished talking and both the plucked bird and the blonde-haired man froze. Seconds ticked by as their brains struggled to fully register his meaning. It might have been because Kennedy was no longer in possession of feathers, but one would actually see the blood drain from her face as she paled. As for Ronx, he was in a similar state of panic, quickly losing the "angry customer" mask that he never had a chance of maintaining in the first place anyway. "C-Cook?" he gasped, taking a step back as his entire frame shook. His back bumped into Becker's chest and he turned to him. His eyes widened further in shock as a devilish grin gradually spread across the fishman's face, his serrated teeth glinting menacingly as he did so.

"Oh you mean if he wants to keep the chicken, he has to cook it?" he asked his eyes drifted down to the quivering Kennedy. If he was lucky, the chicken might even kick the bucket with all the stress of being in an enormous kitchen of chefs and woks. He seemed very pleased with himself as Ronx tightened his arms around the bird.

"Noooo," he wailed and fell to his knees. "You can't do this to Kennedy!! And she's a turkey!!" The bird turned and flung her wings dramatically around his shoulders and the two seemed determined to make the biggest scene they possibly could. For the most part, it was working, especially with the fresh crowd forming. Those who had betted on the earlier conflict between the prince and the jester eagerly returned to see if they could make new money. Then another disturbance arrived, taking form in a woman that towered over the crowd. As she wriggled through the crowd, she seemed to be calling out to the boy and when she finally stopped beside him, he looked comically smaller. Ronx looked up with tears streaming down his face at the warmly dressed woman, eyeing her from top to bottom before resting on her belt. Something sparked in him and immediately, his distresses were lost.

"Oh that is a marvellous belt," he exclaimed as the tears stopped, leaving his cheeks damp with drying tears. "Would you perhaps be interested in..." he shifted Kennedy's weight onto one arm while the other pulled out a silk drawstring pouch. Catching the strings between his teeth, he fumbled to tip the contents onto his palm. However, before he could figure out how to open the pouch with one hand, the woman turned to examine Kennedy. At her next words, new tears started to stream down his cheeks again. "You called her a turkey," sniffed Ronx. "Kennedy, did you hear? Someone acknowledged you for what you are!" He thoughtlessly flung his pouch away to embrace Kennedy with both arms and the pouch slapped into the increasingly grumpy Becker.

The fishman glared at him as he caught the pouch before it could fall to the ground. "Whatever, let's just get back to cooking the damn chicken like the blue-haired kid suggested!"

"Oh poo, you blue people just get along too well," said Ronx, staring from the blue-haired boy to the blue-skinned fishman. He then giggled at his own joke. Turning back to the tall woman, he eyed her warily for a moment. "We have a store and although I admit you're a comrade because you called Kennedy a turkey, but I'm not taking you if you plan on cooking her too!"

Becker rolled his eyes.

________________________________________________________
Alice B. Ronx at your service~
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Gray

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Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Yonkou (Former)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Former)
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
Berries : 25,000,000,000
Perks :

Posts : 1101

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:36 pm






”And season it with a pinch of volcanic salt.” The fat cook was having a difficult time acting on his own instructions, throwing a violent coughing fit from the fumes of his own cooking. ”Be careful with that one. I collected it on an ancient island. It’s pretty volatile.” The young lady snickered mockingly, shaking her head in response. ”You clearly don’t understand how these things work, Uncle Gray. It’s just salt… volcanic or not.” Before the more experienced cook could intervene with a correction, the sous chef went ahead and threw a fistful of salt in the massive cauldron. If it were any normal sort of salt, that amount of it would’ve been required for such a large pot. However, as if to prove Gray’s point with a bang, the reaction from the mineral being thrown so “expertly” into the dish caused a small explosion, leaving behind a mini mushroom cloud of black smoke that only added to Cassimo’s coughing.  

A very visible expression of “Oh-shit-I-really-messed-up” was frozen on Cassata’s face as she bit her tongue and tried to laugh her error off. But, the aging chef was far less dismissive of the blunder. While Gray was still guffawing from having witnessed Cassata’s bold mistake, Cassimo (once he’d finished dying) knocked the back of his daughter’s head with his knuckles hard enough to leave a comical bump and the eyes of the girl almost bulged out of their sockets. ”YOU IDIOT! How can I trust you to be head chef if you still do stupid shit like this?! Did I not tell you to add a PINCH of salt?!” The sous chef rubbed the sensitive bump lightly while her eyes narrowed with irritation. ”It’s not my fault Uncle Gray brought in some weird salt that we’ve never used before!” Gray, who had been laughing childishly the whole while suddenly gulped and scratched the back of his head. ”Hey now, don’t lay this on me. I did try to warn you.” Cassimo seemed to take offense on Gray’s behalf. ”A proper chef shouldn't blame her ingredients! If you’d memorized the Compendium of Exotic Minerals like I told you to, you would’ve known not to throw a fistful of that stuff in there like a moron. Moron, moron, moron!”

Tears welled up in Cassata’s eyes, nearly turning the hilarious situation into a rather unstable one. ”Come on, Cass-san. Let it go. I’m sure she gets it. Just fix it together.” Cassimo’s frown remained steadfast, but his voice mellowed, his complaints turning into unrecognizable grumblings. Cassata pinched the corners of her eyes as if picking off dust, and quickly began to mix a batter in a large bowl. ”I’ll add some more meat and gravy. And we can skim off the extra saturated salt from the top.” The father nodded in agreement. This resumed cooperation brought out a warm smile on Gray. He reminisced to himself of the days when he used to visit the Golden Appeal with his crew in tow. He was often driven out by Cassimo on his first few visits on account of his criminality. But, after years of stubbornness, the man had grown fond of their cheerful spirit and generous tips, welcoming them to his humble restaurant that sat on the outskirts of the city.

In those days, when Cassata was still a young girl, Gray remembered how she used to convince his much younger crewmates to sneak off into the Golden Appeal’s kitchen with her and watch her cook, rewarding them with special treats for doing so. These escapades would often end with Cassimo screaming and kicking after them, a flour-covered rolling pin in hand, and later demanding compensation from a pouting Gray for the additional expenses that the kids on his ship had incurred. These sweet memories were what kept him going on his spirit-draining pilgrimage. And to actually visit folks he was well-acquainted with that weren’t buried deep in a grave was always a pleasant change from his usual calls.

His attention was suddenly drawn again by a gathering of notably powerful auras around the ruckus that had previously nagged at his consciousness. Cassimo, who had finally exited his raging fit, noticed Gray’s curious glances towards the commotion. ”What’s the matter, Gray-kun?” Gray responded in a hushed tone for no apparent reason, his gaze still directed towards the surrounding crowd. ”I detected a presence there that I recognize from somewhere. I can’t quite place where I remember it from, so I have to try to keep a low profile.” Cassimo smirked, busily shrugging it off. ”Shouldn’t you be doing that anyway, dead man?” Gray returned his sarcastic smirk with one of his own, answering with an affirming nod and then relaxed into his abnormally large lawn chair, taking in the surrounding smells of exquisite cuisine that made his mouth water and his stomach grumble in anticipation.

Word Count: 812
Tags: @Everyone
Notes: Sorry for the long wait, again!
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Mazin

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Name : Mazin Botros
Epithet : Water Walking
Age : 15
Race : Human
Faction : Pirate
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin (a.k.a. “Pompoko Pirates”)
Crew Position : Navigator
Devil Fruit : Kilo Kilo no Mi
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 4
Attack (ATK) : 310
Defense (DEF) : 290
Reflex (RX) : 345
Willpower (WP) : 265
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Berries : 22,050,000
Posts : 31

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:59 am



 
- RISE -
"Together, we’re gonna rise with the morning light."

Not every boy was in a hurry to grow up, but like most his age, Mazin always at least tried to put on an “adult” face. He hated when people called him kid, or worse, belittled him for his height. But not once did he expect to be addressed in the exact opposite manner.

Old man.

Old man in a kid’s body.

Someone might have heard an arrow being shot through Mazin’s heart, were it not for Alice’s continued theatrics. Yet Mazin still did not discard his stone-faced “adult” persona. No, he kept it up –  not knowing he was making everything all the worse. He watched as the blonde boy continued speaking, moving from pity to accusation and then finally tears, all the while wondering how he might best control the situation. Or was there any control to grasp to begin with?

Laurel’s entry gave him his answer.  One second the blonde was openly checking her out, the next he was asking if he could have her belt  – certainly the most innocent way of asking for some tail – only to once again return to tears and defiance in regards to the bird.

Mazin sighed, resting his hands behind his back. “If you want to purchase the ch—turkey as a pet, I can ask the establishment owner.  Until then, it is best you return to your stall.”

In the back of his mind, Mazin wondered if the boy could even prepare fish. Given his companion’s remarks, Mazin thought it was more likely a fish would serve him, but he felt that was better kept to himself. He’d just have to remember the boy’s name for the obituary…

Mazin reached down for his list of names, realizing he didn’t even have their names yet. “If you like I can even add – Kennedy, was it? – to your staff. I’ll need both of your names too, of course.”  If he had heard correctly, the fishman was called Becky, but it was best to make sure...

Or at least, so he thought, for an additional commotion in the form of groans nearby caught his attention. Mazin, who was looking down to match their names and stall, then glanced up, and doing so just in time to catch three figures squeezing inbetween the still thickening crowd, two of which he recognized.

Oh. Oh no.

One-Eye was the first to make it through, in no small part due his stinky, battered old hat.

Then came Goblin, a glint of mischief in his eyes.

The “adult” face Mazin had been wearing cracked as the frightened boy shot Laurel a worried glance.

Were it just one or the other, he’d have no cause for concern.  One-Eye was the one among the Pompokolin’s crew that best fit the brand of “lawless pirate”, a man whose avarice knew no bound, but he often knew when to pull out.  It was only when he was with his competitor and co-conspirator that the two of them were no better than giggling school children. And that was when it was just the two of them.

Indeed, if there were any consolation of things spiraling out of control, it would’ve been if someone street smart were along for the ride.  The sight of the third man, though, merely made Mazin’s frown deepen further.  The man had light-violet long hair styled with bangs and a long ponytail in the back, and was dressed in an expensive white suit with a violet belt strap around the waist. Mazin had little doubt as the kind of background the man possessed, not that he needed much guess work.  The rest of his ensemble included white gloves. White boots. A blue shirt, made to match blue frills on the ends his suit, marking him a somewhat more color coordinated version of the foppish clown and jester boys in front of him, albeit worse in some ways. He even wore a white cape, which was attached to his collar by a pair of spherical jewels.

In short, he smelled of money, the exact opposite of most of the establishment’s patrons, which had Mazin casting a suspicious glance at One-Eye, who gave him his best “I’ve got this covered” look. He almost would’ve believed it, if not for a cock-sure grin that only a fool would trust.

“Ladies!” he cried, taking a moment to give Laurel and Mazin a wink before turning to Alice and Becky, “Gentlemen! I’d like to introduce you to my client, Count Olivert, who has a proposition for you, and perhaps a special few in the crowd...”

The dark skinned man then gestured toward the third figure, who gracefully stepped forward.

“Why thank you, my good man. And good afternoon, everyone.  I have come to ask first and foremost if you two boys and your fine feathered, my mistake, defeathered friend would like to be sponsored as my contestants for Count Osbourne's private dinner this evening? I will be quite willing to share the majority of any winnings should we win his special prize, of course...and that is not counting the increased chances to win this contest begin with.”

Mazin, who had previously glaring at One-Eye, halted at the man's words.  If he remembered correctly, Count Osbourne was one of the World Best Eating Tournament's biggest backers. One who invited all the world's most notable judges and sometimes even influential figures to dine at an establishment that assuredly had the finest food and atmosphere, coupled with the best furnishing and service – at least until it moved to its public opening, where it was usually ravaged before the end of the night.  The kicker was, of course, that the Tournament wasn't entirely fair. Often the sort of judges and figures invited to the private dinner were given increased voting power, where one might hold a vote equal to thousands of votes. The power tended to actually be even more imbalanced, all to ensure that those in power within Pucci held a large degree of control over the contest.  

Mazin became even more wary as the refined man slid over toward himself Laurel. "Of course, you fine security personnel wouldn't be left out either, as they'd need to ensure no one attempted to interfere with their work, and my two companions here tell me that you quite reliable." The man then waved a hand toward Laurel. "I'm also quite certain I could find an outfit far more befitting toward your beauty, madam..."
JUNIER of GS+ Adox






OOC:
 

________________________________________________________
Mazin's Tracker | I was going to come up with something witty about procrastination, but I'm too busy procrastinating.

Although while we're here, this is what made me choose Mazin's epithet:
 


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Laurel O’Halloran

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Name : Laurel O'Halloran
Epithet : Hundred-Faced O’Halloran
Age : 48
Race : Human
Faction : Pirates
Crew : Apollo’s Pompokolin
Ship : Xu Fu
Crew Position : Captain
Devil Fruit : Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Bake-Danuki
Haoshoku : 0
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 6
Attack (ATK) : 300
Defense (DEF) : 120
Reflex (RX) : 420
Willpower (WP) : 370
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 177,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 40

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:52 pm



occulte à la carte
Minding the blond youth’s temperament, as it turned out, would be a more delicate matter than than even Laurel would have anticipated based on the few moments she’d seen him. As soon as her presence was made known, she noticed his eyes darted to her, scanning her up and down and resting somewhere betwixt, making an easy invitation for her to say a coy “my eyes are up here” remark―at least, until he commented on her “belt.” What was more, from the moment she called the bird a “turkey” Alice had sprung on her with an almost childlike clinginess, completely forgetting about his earlier comments.

Through it all, Laurel gave Alice a patient smile. Small wonder Mazin was having a hard time; she was finding herself put off slightly with how the youth would turn from spellbound, to chary, and back again, all in the span of half a minute. Though she would be lying if she said she didn’t find the histrionics and his “straight man” companion’s exasperation amusing. And it was this thought that gave Laurel another of her impish epiphanies.

“Oh, Max, it’s just one chicken,” she said, her smile growing wider, the corners of her lips ready to give and show her canines. “I doubt it’s necessary to do more than see Kennedy escorted properly off the streets and back to a coop. Though it would be a waste of a delicious grilled chicken Marsala.”

That thought alone, admittedly, was appetite-stirring, but before she could follow through with seemingly picking a fight for no good reason, another distraction bubbled out in the crowds. Mazin had managed to look on before her, and she noticed his face turn ashen, which in turn urged her to see the commotion for herself.

Goblin and One-Eye barely bothered to dress any different than their usual, and that alone was cause for concern. As if to openly mirror her sentiments, Mazin looked back up at her with worry. Her answer, once she noticed, was to return a callously beatific smile that was likely to simply make her subordinate worry more. As One-Eye addressed the crowd and acknowledged the two “guards” and guests, though, a stray strand of hair on Laurel’s head sprang out of formation from the rest at his mention of a client.

It wasn’t hard for her to guess what they were planning, even before this client of theirs stepped forward. A regular dandy, he was; he looked the type who would be mugged in a heartbeat by the two pirates accompanying him, if not for the crowd and security present. What Count Olivert offered, though, was nothing short of intriguing. It would bring her closer to the prize of this entire tournament, not to mention the wonderful dishes to enjoy - more than they already were - by merely attending this contest, be it as a judge or mere security. It was almost too good to be true.

Before she even had the chance to weigh her options, though, the Count began to move over to her, and come on to her more strongly than Alice unintentionally had. At first her answer was a blank stare and a single blink. Then she recoiled slightly in mock fluster.

“O-oh,” she answered with a nervous giggle, holding a single, curled hand over her mouth, “my stars, milord, but you are a bold one, aren’t you? How sly. . . .” She leaned over to Mazin’s shoulder and spoke in a hushed voice, this time normally, her mouth still hidden. “Stay calm, Max; he strikes me the type of fellow who would not hesitate to court even you.”

Before he could answer or her listen, she stood straight once more. “Well, for the two of us, it’s unanimous; we’d be glad to attend, if, of course, our charges are willing. We might even find something to address dear Kennedy’s, shall we say, bare necessities?”
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Baltroy

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Name : Alice Baltroy Ronx
Epithet : Flying Dart
Age : 22
Race : Human
Faction : New Revolutionary Army (Commander)
Crew : Bonbon X
Ship : Wonderland Hatch
Crew Position : Captain
Haoshoku : 5
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 5
Attack (ATK) : 275
Defense (DEF) : 300
Reflex (RX) : 335
Willpower (WP) : 300
Level : 50
Experience Points : 5000
Bounty : 150,000,000
Berries : 50,000
Posts : 50

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:33 am






Don't cause a scene~!




OOC:
 

Ronx's interest perked as Mazin pulled out a list of names and he flickered away from his irritable fishman friend to the blue-haired boy, peering over his shoulder as he did so. Curiously, Kennedy did the same, her beak pushing away a strand of Mazin's blue hair to get a better view, as though she had the intelligence required to read the list. Becker rolled his eyes at the spectacle that was Ronx and his chicken. "If we put Kennedy's name next to mine, does that mean she won't turn into stew?" asked Ronx excitedly, glancing over the list before frowning. "I can't find my name."

"It's under Baltroy and Axlow Becker," said Becker with a sigh. "Please don't tell me you were trying to find Becky on that list." Ronx didn't reply and only grinned impishly up at him with his chin rested casually on Mazin's shoulder. It seemed he had already forgotten his previously antagonism with the boy and was even ready to start anew. First impressions didn't leave a heavy mark on the young man and it wouldn't be farfetched to say that Becker was one of the few who could keep up with his ever-changing moods. To Ronx, the previous disagreement with Mazin was in the far past, but it was almost like the baton was being passed to his female companion. At her comment, Ronx froze, muted and stunned with mortification. When he finally registered her utter betrayal, his countenance suddenly darkened. But just as his aura started to heat up, a fist rammed into the back of his skull.

"Idiot, stop getting excited over a chicken," muttered the surly fishman and he snatched his limp companion up by the scruff of his neck. He proceeded to yank him away, exchanging a hard glare with the towering woman, who was clearly having a good time. Without even a curt farewell, he made for the line of fascinated onlookers, eager to get as far away from the dynamic duo as he could. He didn't like how long this commotion had dragged on for and he feared that if they stayed any longer, Ronx's "weird person" magnet would attract yet another misfit. It wouldn't be the first or last time that Ronx had managed to find himself in the midst of a dangerous situation that he failed to understand and it wouldn't be the first or last time the bemused fishman would have to lug his commander's behind away from such a mess. Ronx regained consciousness as Becker started to push his way through the crowd and waved a cheerful good bye to Mazin and Laurel, her words forgotten already. He didn't move to reclaim his feet, seeming to be content enough to leave the heavy lifting to his friend. However, a heavy boot suddenly stomped into his stomach and Ronx yelped, curling into a quivering ball. Kennedy clucked in horror, flapping her flightless wings with hopeless panic. Becker whirled around and upon seeing Ronx reeling on the floor, he turned his sharp gaze to the eloquently dressed perpetrator, his azure eyes ablaze with fury. Out of unknown judgement, pure instinct or otherwise, Ronx reached up to stop Becker, placing a steady hand on his elbow as he pulled himself up. The count was quick to apologise, but Becker's lips curled over his teeth into a snarl and gripped Ronx's shoulders as he helped straighten him up. First impressions might not mean much to Ronx, but it certainly did to Becker and for all intents and purposes, stomping on those he pledged his loyalties to wasn't a deed he would readily forgive. It was all fun and games with chickens and turkeys until somebody got hurt. Feeling Becker's unveiled animosity, Ronx maneuvered the fishman so that his body was between him and the stomping gentleman. Throughout this scene, Kennedy was remarkable quiet, as though she sensed that the disturbance caused by the newcomers wasn't going to be taken lightly. Or perhaps she was just glad that Becker's attentions were now concentrated on a new foe.

"Will Kennedy be pardoned from becoming stew if I accept?" chirped Ronx as the count completed his speech and turned his leer to Laurel. "Of course I'll agree if that's the case!" Becker openly bristled at his words, his distaste for the count clear and his venomous gaze didn't reduce even as Ronx prodded him gently with his elbow. "Come now, Becky, something interesting is going to happen and I believe those two think so too." When the fishman finally nodded with agreement, Ronx turned back to the others with a flourish and a refreshing grin on his face. "Then it's decided! Do you think we can get a cute little jumper for Kennedy? She's been trembling like crazy for a while now!" As he skipped over to join the rest of the group, Becker trailed begrudgingly behind him.


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cait at btn


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Alice B. Ronx at your service~
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Brood X. Bach

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Name : Brood X. Bach
Epithet : Tooth-Decay
Age : 28
Race : Human
Faction : Pirate
Crew : Primetime Pirates
Ship : Big Time
Crew Position : Captain
Devil Fruit : Amai Amai no Mi
Haoshoku : 5
Busoshoku | Kenbunshoku : 5
Attack (ATK) : 510
Defense (DEF) : 225
Reflex (RX) : 300
Willpower (WP) : 300
Level : 55
Experience Points : 5500
Bounty : 225,000,000
Berries : 2,650,000
Posts : 121

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:51 pm







Of course, with any good tournament, you're bound to find belligerents who cross the line. In the underworld itself, pleasure was a market that held a great deal of value; food itself was one of the most pleasurable industries in the world. Therefore, the advent of using illegal ingredients, poaching on endangered species and serving up delectable delights of a morally concerning nature were everyday occurrences. If you knew where to look, that is. It was clear that some of the contestants here at this mighty competition dabbled in those, darker, areas of cuisine, even if they did well at hiding it. Perhaps this was what attracted Brood to this island. Sure, his own crew had a chef that dabbled in culinary nightmares from time to time, but he wasn't knowledgeable about how to seer up...sentient beings. Perhaps that knowledge would be revealed here, if he studied enough underneath the masters of this competition. It was highly unlikely, but it didn't matter. Mama was enrolled as a contestant in this soiree, regardless of his own personal protests. The man knew his limitations and knew them well, but when Brood set his mind on something, it was a done deal. The male usually found himself in a purple garb, a trench-coat that covered not only half of his face-but the entirety of his body. It was his signature look, but it was one that he could not afford to wear today. Typically he'd just come here, steal that secret recipe for himself, and then flee with his crew. Causing as much collateral damage as humanly possible all the while. But he could not afford such a display today. So he found himself shirtless, wearing nothing more than a bright pink apron over his chest. Once stained with blood but turned pink in the wash.

With so many competitors here, a few going missing was not that big of a deal. Right? It didn't matter, he had made it expressly clear to his crew that he wanted to win this competition, even though he lacked any culinary expertise. It would prove a miracle if he could even find a means in which to boil a pot of water, let alone create a meal that would send the judges into a so called "flavor coma". As a result, he had set up at his stall, working as the sous-chef de cuisine for his crew-mate Mama Two-Tons. Brood had thought that his plan would go off without a hitch. Wait till the finals, and once the recipe presented itself he could shoot the presenter square in the face and then make off like a bandit. But, as with most things, his plans were not going as well as he had hoped. The portly bearded chef seemed to change personalities almost as soon as he got his hand on a cooking utensil. Taking command of the kitchen and taking some of the grunts from the crew and turning them into competent helpers in their own right. This was...strange to put it bluntly. Not even Brood was immune to the commanding presence of the older chap. As he found himself rinsing off a variety of vegetables absentmindedly. His subconscious obedience being something displayed due to the age gap and the authority that came with a long life. With a hard shake of his head, he passed the duties onto another. As something strange had caught his eye, something...out of place. He'd look over towards his ally, Licorice and as their eyes met, they walked towards the close group that had amassed. It seemed they were fighting briefly, but stopped. It was...interesting to say the least. But the shorts & apron wearing Brood, spoke.

"Couldn't help but overhear. Are you all colluding together to have an advantage in this...sacred...competition. It would be very odd for a group of competitors, a group of staffers and a man of obvious wealth to be...coming together in this manner. The advantages of who you know should not be relevant in a tournament such as this, wouldn't you all agree?" His statement was made, but his eyes drifted over towards the man that thought himself unrecognizable. Brood was old enough to know someone of power when he saw them, and none had a power emanating off them than the older gentleman who shared that...one in a million biological trait with ole Brood here. He might not have been a culinary giant, but he was as observant as they come. He knew that the ingredients that were near that power-riddled man were not commonly gathered. It was an advantage, an unfair one, but not one that could be considered cheating. Though in Brood's mind, any advantage another had over himself was cheating. He knew that there was no reason to speak in a manner that would be construed as calm and rational, because he was not ever calm and rational. At any moment he could have just snapped and turned this place into a riot. But it would go against his plans, his goal. Perhaps that was his one saving grace as a captain, he was always able to force himself to do something he hated. The male found himself growing in his agitation, the tip of his finger starting to fracture slowly as it hang by his waist. As if there was some sort of gurgling energy coursing through his body. But luckily it stopped as soon as the arm of Licorice found itself draped across Brood's shoulders.

The man with exceptional facial hair would laugh excessively. "Toooofufufufu. Do not mind my humorless friend here. He gets so passionate about fine dining. We just overheard something that sounded suspicious you see. It makes no sense that only two...chef-looking persons...were invited by such an illustrious patron. Furthermore, it is equally baffling that two members of our esteemed security staff get special invites as well. You could color the pair of us, jealous to say the least. If it pleases, we would like to be invited as well. Its not really a big deal if you say no, but it would be so very beneficial for us all." Licorice was trying the diplomatic route. Which was common given his disposition and his role as the treasurer of the crew itself. Given the fact that Brood felt every fiber of his being boiling up into irrational rage, it was lucky that he managed to take a good look at these persons closer, as he saw that something about them was...wrong. All wrong. He didn't exactly know what it was, but there was no way in hell that this scenario could play out in this manner unless something was....wrong. But he'd not comment on that directly. Instead he decided that he would do the same as his comrade, changing his body language and stance to that of one relaxed. He quite literally lacked any negative emotions as he continued to speak. "Yes...pardon my hostility." He had to remember that it was far too early for anything drastic to take place. If he got himself ejected from the event he'd never forgive himself. Thinking on it for a moment, he scoffed and then placed both of his arms behind his back. Thinking of a way to keep himself composed.




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Gray

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Name : Gray Starks
Epithet : The Conqueror (Formerly "Black Fist")
Age : 49
Race : Cyborg
Faction : Yonkou (Former)
Crew : Black Fist Pirates (Former)
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
Berries : 25,000,000,000
Perks :

Posts : 1101

PostSubject: Re: The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]   Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:01 pm






“You forgot the pressure cooker, papa!” The young woman betrayed a worrisome pout, crushing and mincing spices in a mortar. The father attempted to allay her doubts with a deliberate, smart-ass grin. ”Mapapapa! You must be blind! I brought a ten foot pressure cooker along, don’t you see?” Gray sighed in defeat when the soon-to-be-former head chef turned to him expectant. No harm in flexing my invisible muscles a bit.

Cassimo rushed like a stampeding cow while Cassata cleared the space with a pitch-kettled look. Once the deep and fat witch-like iron pot was set, the elder chef thumbed the spiky ends of his moustache and breathed deeply. His gut suddenly sunk in and his chest and arms seemed to puff up. He threw a massive burlap sack of rice over his shoulder and emptied the contents into the pot. Despite its dubious previous packaging, the rice seemed to have been washed and rinsed neatly. Cassata dumped a few buckets of distilled water into the pot before sprinkling her spices on top.

When Cassimo gave Gray the it’s-your-turn look, his brow twitched as if he were trying hard but failing to wink. Cassata let slip an odd and suspicious glance, still unaware of the plan. In no more than a few seconds, a thin plume of smoke whistled out from the center of the lidless pot. The strange phenomenon clearly took Cassata by surprise, for she approached the pot in amazement and leaned over it to look. “How are you doing that?! Did you eat a devil fruit?!” Cassimo hushed the young woman, subtly pointing out the audience formed out of their neighbouring contestants. “Woah!” “That’s amazing!” “What sort of gadget are you using?!” All expected reactions from fellow chefs who now must have been doubting their own chances at winning this competition. Who could compete with a cook who doesn’t even need the proper utensils?

Gray could not appreciate the confluence attracted by their bag of tricks, but his abstention from assistance would only have left his friends in a pickle. But his fears weren’t for naught, since the crowd only drew in a kettle of vultures. ”Greetings, my dear contestants and visitors! My friends here and I couldn’t help noticing the wondrous feats of modern cooking you were demonstrating here. I was quite impressed. Almost so that I might be inclined to present to you an otherwise exclusive proposition.” With the hefty auras in this dubitable posse, Gray had no choice but to suppress his own, even if it might’ve been too late. [Haki][Kenbunshoku Activated (Presence hidden)]

”Who the hell are you?” Cassimo was visibly irritated by the interruption. ”Oh how rude of me, I’m so terribly used to being introduced by my chaperones, that I often forget the new one’s incompetence. I am Count Olivert, and my friends here are--um..are..--yes. We are here to invite you to Count Osbourne’s exclusive party of exclusivity! He has a special prize arranged (far more precious than the one they’re offering here). It would be a shame for chefs so talented as you to miss out on such an opportunity.”

Cassata’s eyes twinkled like a cat’s but even in daylight. She whispered to the two of them in as much secrecy as could be afforded with the audience. ”Papa! Count Osbourne’s parties are always told to have the most wealthy and elite guests. Our restaurant could really turn around if we could get their attention.” Cassimo scoffed and spat to the side, approaching the smaller man claiming to be a count as if to intimidate him. ”You must be a fool to try and hawk contestants from Hagel’s thing. Does he know what’s going on? I oughta have a conversation with him.”

The count only smiled sly like a fox having trapped its prey. ”You know, my dear man, information is the most expensive ingredient there is. As it would happen, I’m no pauper. That makes me a great chef, for I happen to have the most scrupulous ingredient of them all. I imagine your friend-in-black here would make for a wonderful dish when used as said ingredient. So, what do you say my man?” The barely veiled threat was now directed towards Gray. Before he could offer to make amends by exiting the event, Cassimo regretfully accepted the count’s proposition, gesturing Gray to stay.

And so, Cassimo and company were now floaters in this stew of shady characters. And lately, Gray had avoided such shady folk about as well as toddlers avoid choking hazards.

Word Count: 756
Tags: @Everyone
Notes: Onwards to Count Osbourne!
STATS TRACKER:
 
0 TECHNIQUES USED | 1 ACTIVES USED | 1 PASSIVE USED:
 
0 TECHNIQUES COOLING DOWN:
 
NPC TRACKER:
 

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The Bun Also Rises [Arc - Part I]
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