Cade and Dandelion exited through the windows, climbing to the top of the train to stand on the roof. Both had excellent balance as they stood casually in the rushing sea breeze that sent their hair flying wildly in a blur of black and red. They felt far more at peace here, in the outdoors, where they felt like they were once again a part of the blue sky and blue ocean. Cade, especially, knew that the sight of the middle of the ocean would never get old, no matter how many times he saw it.
He didn’t even mind the fact that the site was ruined by the cannon balls sailing through the air around them.
Both could see the pirate ship that had approached close enough to make sure their cannon balls hit. The ship wasn’t big in comparison to the really large pirate ships one saw in the New World, but this one was still large enough to warrant attention. It had a swirling shape that resembled a bellflower and the Jolly Roger emblazoned on the ship’s sail and flag was a round mirror with a purplish-blue flower in the center of it. It was a fairly famous insignia in the New World, one that would shock anyone here on the other side of the Grand Line.
“She seriously came back to Paradise just to attack you?” Dandelion shook her head pitifully as she folded her arms over her chest. “The way you piss people off has to be one of your rare talents. It’s like a reliable source of entertainment.”
“Bluebell is a very particular case, so I don’t think you can really count her.” Cade shrugged with an amused smirk as he tried to drape an arm over Dandelion’s shoulder. “Don’t let it get to you, Dandy. You’re still my woman.”
Dandelion mercilessly shoved Cade away, nearly pushing him into the sea water below. Cade crouched down low to prevent himself from losing his balance. Dandelion glared at him as she raised a foot, as if to kick him off.
“Don’t touch me. Don’t come near me. Don’t get familiar with me.”
“Sheesh! I was just joking around! Are you sure you don’t have androphobia?”
“Fearing men and hating men are two different things. But I don’t even see you as a man.”
“Hmm? More than a man, then?”
Cade had to hold onto Dandelion’s foot desperately to prevent her kick from knocking him into the ocean.
Cade abruptly pushed away from Dandelion and drew a pistol from his waist, aiming it to the side and firing it without even looking at what he was aiming at. The bullet collided with an oncoming cannonball and an explosion ensued in the air, the smell of gunpowder only reaching them for a brief second as the salty sea breeze whisked the smoke and smell away in the next second.
<Locksley! I knew you’d show your ugly mug if I called you out!>
The voice bellowed through the air from the ship and Cade simply waved cheekily at the speaker. Though the distance was nothing to laugh at, Cade could see Captain Bluebell clearly with his sharp eyes, honed as a sharpshooter and sniper. Her vivid red hair and billowing captain’s coat made it easy to recognize her as she stood at the foremost section of the ship in full view.
<You must think you’re really funny, trying to make a deal with the government to save your own sorry ass! Where is your pride
, man?! Those bastards are pop’s enemies! Our
“Ugh, not this story again.” Cade shook his head before cupping his mouth and taking a deep breath to yell. “I don’t give a damn about the pride of a pirate! In case you didn’t know, I don’t have any! And Pops is old! Tell him to retire already!”
<Screw you, traitor!>
Loud bangs filled the air as multiple cannons fired at once. Dandelion clicked her tongue as she unfolded her arms and let them hang loosely at her side, fingers flexed.
“Doesn’t look like she’s going to listen to reason. Do I have to hold back?”
“Not too much. A wake up call will be good medicine for her.”
Dandelion nodded once before she launched herself into the air with a forceful jump. If the train hadn’t been so strong, it likely would have crumpled under the force she used. As it was, Dandelion sailed into the air, right over the ocean, and slammed into one of the cannonballs. It exploded on contact, but Dandelion didn’t seem injured. She simply rode the explosion further into the air until she hit another cannon ball that exploded on contact, sending her right onto the ship.
“And people say I’m reckless.” Cade chuckled as he fired his pistol in quick succession, easily shooting the rest of the oncoming cannon balls out of the air, causing an array of explosions that shook the air. He sent a few extra shots in the direction of the cannons being fired, expertly hitting the shoulders of the people working them, making sure they wouldn’t be able to fire the cannons again anytime soon.
As soon as he was sure it was safe to move, Cade turned on his heel, aiming his back toward the ship, and drew his other pistol, holding one in each hand as he pointed them straight out.
“Busoshoku: Shōgeki (Impact)!”
He fired both of his pistols once in unison, but normal bullets didn’t fly out this time. Instead, a loud shockwave flew out as the bullets slowly moved out of the guns’ barrels, as if through a viscous fluid. Cade relaxed his legs and the shockwave immediately sent him flying back as the bullets picked up speed and flew into the ocean uselessly. Cade spun in midair to face forward once more, grinning as he easily cleared the distance between the Sea Train and the pirate ship, landing on its deck in time to duck his head and avoid an errant gun shot.
“Try not to kill anyone!” Cade called over to Dandelion, who was busy punching ferociously at the pirates surrounding her. Despite being out numbered, they quickly fell under the power of each punch she threw, even though she used no stance or notable martial art. “We need permission for that nowadays!”
Dandelion gave no response, though he swings did become somewhat softer—though still devastating for those nearby. Cade chuckled before turning to face the redheaded captain who was glaring daggers directly into his heart.
“Well, what can I say?” Cade spoke in a tone that completely ignored the hostility being aimed at him. “You look as gorgeous as ever…I guess?”
“Don’t give me your sarcasm, bastard. Marco told me that you refused Pop’s offer to make you a commander of a division?”
“And if I did? I don’t think that really matters to a former cabin girl.”
Bluebell’s hands gripped the hilt of her saber tightly and she drew it with a fluid movement, aiming the tip at Cade as a cruel smirk appeared on her face.
“Choosing the government over your own friends at sea…Just how many people in the New World do you think you shared saké with? You’re practically our brother! Do you really think we can just stand aside as you betray us all?”
“I’m not going to explain my reasons to a hotheaded girl like you.” Cade sighed miserably as he shook his head back and forth. “But I don’t want to wipe you out, either. So how about this? If you agree to promise yourself to me, I’ll make sure the whole crew gets back to the New World safely.”
“‘Promise myself to you’?” Bluebell repeated as a cruel grin appeared on her face. “Just what do you mean by that?”
“What do you think? I mean you should join my concubine—”
“LIKE HELL, YOU TRAITOR!”
Bluebell swung her sword angrily through the air, aiming to slash right through Cade’s neck. Cade evaded by ducking, crouching his legs so the blade passed over his head. A streak of silver trailed after the blade, as if left behind, and remained in the air, preventing Cade from standing back up. Bluebell took a step forward and slashed downward with all of her strength, forcing Cade to back up several feet to evade. This left another after image of silver that trailed behind the blade, bisecting the first one to create a cross in the air, created from the light that had come off of Bluebell’s blade.
“Mira Mira no Tōei (Projection)!”
The cross of light immediately shot forward like a bullet, flying straight at Cade far too quickly to be evaded. Cade didn’t even bother trying; he held one pistol out and aimed it at the middle of the approaching attack and pressed the trigger.
Just as before, the shockwave preceded the bullet, which moved slowly through the viscous air as it exited Cade’s barrel. But rather than shooting Cade through the air like last time, the bullet gained considerably speed very abruptly and struck the middle of the cross of silvery light. The air seemed to distort around the bullet as the shockwave continued to emit from the musket ball, flying outwards and slamming into the entire attack and ripping it apart, rendering the silvery light harmless.
Before Cade could gloat about his success, Bluebell shot forward and brought her sword around to attack Cade once more with light trailing off of the blade. Cade opted not to dodge and raised his pistol once more, blocking Bluebell’s saber with the short blade that extended underneath the barrel of Cade’s pistol like a bayonet might.
“So feisty.” Cade smirked as he looked right into Bluebell’s reflective eyes that were alight with her righteous emotions. “Are you forgetting who it was who taught you to use a sword? Do you really think you can beat me?”
“That was ten years ago, and you haven’t used a sword since.” Bluebell shot back as she continued to apply force to her swing in an attempt to overpower Cade. “Plus, the righteous always win.”
Cade snorted as he released the force behind his gun and let Bluebell complete her swing. He ducked to evade her attack and raised his gun to press it against her shoulder, mercilessly firing the gun. Bluebell threw herself to the side in time to avoid the normal bullet that flew out and she backed up several steps.
“I just love it when pirates use that word.” Cade continued to chuckle as he fired one gun at Bluebell several times, forcing her to deflect each bullet with her blade. “The same for when you say ‘justice’ and ‘good guy’. It’s like a pun or something.”
“Unlike like you, there are pirates who have morals!”
Bluebell thrust her saber forward and a spear of silver light flew at Cade, but he easily side stepped and evaded the strike.
“It has nothing to do with morals. The pirates are the opposite of the marines, who carry the name of justice on their backs. They pillage, lie, steal, destroy, and laugh. The marines protect the innocent from them. You know that. And yet, here you are, a pirate, trying to be the ‘good guy’ by delivering judgment onto my so called ‘traitorous actions’ that’s really just you throwing your emotions around in my face.”
“So is that what you’re
doing, Cade? Are you trying to become the good guy by joining the enemy side? Are you trying to gain retribution for all the evils you’ve done, all the mistakes you’ve made, and all the lies you’ve told?”
Bluebell continued to slash furiously at Cade, but he evaded each one while circling around her, forcing her to pivot on her heel to chase after him. This ended up leaving several silver streaks of light around her that showed the paths her blade had followed, essentially covering her entire figure and preventing Cade from getting to close. Cade was more than happy to take advantage of this and retreat several steps, aiming both of his pistols at once while firing repetitively. What resulted from this was a wall of bullets that seemed to defy the amount of ammo Cade should have been able to unload in such a short amount of time. Each bullet was skillfully aimed into the small spaces between the many silver streaks that protected Bluebell, bypassing her defenses to hit her body without mercy.
“Mira Mira no Tōei!”
The silver streaks all shot out at one in a storm of silver blades that flew in every direction, moving in dangerous arcs as they curved in midair to fly at Cade. The bullets were sliced in two and deflected as Cade hopped and pivoted on his heel as he evaded each streak of light, smirking all the while. Without even waiting to see where Bluebell stood at the center of the storm of silver light, Cade fired both of his guns once more to shoot another wall of bullets. Though he couldn’t see her clearly, even with his sharp eyes that could see a target miles away, his skill with Kenbunshoku haki made it easy for him to feel where Bluebell was standing so he could put each and every one of his bullets on a path to find her body.
“Don’t get cocky just because you’re a warlord now, Cade!”
The wall of bullets returned to Cade just as quickly as it left, leaving no space to properly evade with nothing around to take cover behind. Cade calmly fired his guns again and expertly fired bullets that collided with the oncoming bullets, deflecting them and leaving his body safe.
Bluebell stood in the same spot as before, completely unharmed by the bullets that should have pierced her body. Something had clearly changed with her appearance; she no longer possessed her warmly colored cheeks or her purplish captain’s coat that she so held so dear. Her entire body, along with her clothes, had turned to a smooth surface that reflected her surroundings perfectly, giving her a glossy appearance. She took on a primarily blue color thanks to the ocean and the sky above her, but brownish color also mixed in thanks to the wooden deck she stood on. Even her originally bright red hair was now glossy and sky blue.
“So you’re serious, eh?” Cade continued to smile even as he observed this jarring change in appearance. “I haven’t see you use your devil fruit in a while. You always used to complain about how unlike you it was to be a mirror human.”
“I don’t care if you’re a warlord, bounty hunter, or even a blood brother of mine. There is no way I’m going to lose to a traitor like you.”