"What else can you tell us about this place Skeleton-kun" Robin said towards brook.
"The owner of the ship, his name is Gecko Moria" Brook answered.
"ONE OF THE SHICHIBUKAI?" Robin said in astonishment.
"Whats the Shittybukai?" Luffy asked with a smile.
Upon hearing the question Nami proceeded to hit him several times in the head.
"WE JUST FOUGHT ONE NOT THAT LONG AGO YOU MORON" Nami yelled.
"ehhhh?" Luffy gasped.
"Crocodile" Robin said bluntly.
"Not to ask a stupid question…..but what are the Shichibukai?" Ichigo asked.
Robin looked at the orange haired Shinigami in interest. "They're strong, but don't know about the Shichibukai?" She thought to herself.
"They're basically pirates that the government allied with to oppose the Yonko, which are the pirate rulers in the new world. The Shichibukai get free reign to do whatever they want as long as the government isn't effected too badly." Robin Explained.
"So as long as they don't raise arms against the government, the government looks the other way to anything immoral or illegal?" Sasuke said unexpectedly.
"That's about right" Robin said.
"Sounds all too familiar" Naruto answered with a sigh.
"How despicable, we should bring them to justice" Saber declared.
"I wouldn't mind saving anyone under their tyranny." Shirou added.
The Pirates that understood the gravity of the political situation were looking on as Ichigo's crew were basically saying they would go to war with the government and Shichibukai.
"Something to worry about later, lets get back on track to the matter at hand" Tier interjected.
"You were talking about this Gecko Moriah" Tier said towards brook.
"Ahh yes… Gecko Moria, he posses the Kage Kage no Mi fruit" Brook said to the groups.
"So he can control shadows?" Ichigo questioned.
"That adds up to everything we've experienced so far" Jaina replied.
"Still, how does any of this make sense?" Rukai added in.
"What do you mean?" Franky asked.
"Where does control of shadows become making zombies?" Rukia replied to the cyborg.
Franky rubbed his chin a bit.
"You know…I never really thought about it. Some devil fruit abilities are a bit odd….." Franky replied.
"There hasn't been much research on it…but shadows do have some sort of significance in magecraft" Shirou said.
He traced a dark key and threw it into Rukia's shadow.
She was stunned for a moment, her movement was completely locked until she actively pushed through the restriction placed on her.
"Black keys when piercing the shadow of a target, they can bind their movement." Shirou said.
"If we're just creating the most basic of theories….then perhaps shadows hold an echo of the person from whom they are created? Adding that onto what ever the body retained from being alive...." Shirou voiced.
"That would certainly explain some of the phenomenon such as the zombies, the shadows of people placed in corpses mimics life to a certain extent." Robin said in agreement.
"The only real issue I see, is if the newly created "person" takes on the properties of the corpse or the shadow that's placed inside of them. And if so, then hopefully not both." Shirou said
"Shirou, you are starting to sound like a real magus" Saber mused.
"Sounds good enough for me, don't let your shadow get taken--check" Ichigo said.
"um….i can answer the last part regarding the properties." Brook said hesitantly.
All eyes turned to the skeleton.
"I met the corpse that held my shadow. It was much stronger than me. It had my techniques and the knowledge of the corpse. He was from an earlier era, a samurai that once held the title of strongest swordsman, it was said he once cut the head of a dragon clean off. " Brook said with a sad expression.
"Did you say a samurai?" Ichigo asked in astonishment.
"Yes, is there a problem?" Brook asked.
"It's a term I'm familiar with" Ichigo said.
"They're the warriors of the Wano Country in the new world." Robin said.
"I would like to fight him" Ichigo said absentmindedly.
The group finally made their way through the odd "town" they entered after leaving the forest.
They were standing in a very large courtyard, overlooking the courtyard was a mansion with a balcony.
"My guests finally arrived shi shi shi…." A voice was heard.
'I'm curious how you managed to avoid Absalom and his General Zombies" He said, walking out onto the balcony.
He looked down on the group.
His stature was very odd to say the least.
"Gecko Moria I presume" Saber spoke up, her presence commanding a certain amount of attention.
He was about to say something until he noticed the aura the petite blonde was putting out. "A ruler" He thought.
"I don't recognize several of you….." He said.
Before he could say anymore luffy suddenly shouted.
"DID YOU TAKE SKELETON-MAN'S SHADOW?" Luffy roared as he shot himself up to the balcony and collided with Gecko Moria, sending them both tumbling into the mansion.
"But why...…." Rukai asked at luffy's actions.
"We stopped asking that question long ago" Nami said with a sigh.
Then what could only be described as fighting was heard going on inside followed with a scream from luffy. Before they could charge in and help, he was thrown back out over the balcony.
He wasn't very hurt but a piece of him was missing, his shadow.
"Luffy!" Charmed yelled worriedly.
He was a bit shaken and barely conscious, but nothing serious..
"I can heal him" Orihime said.
This raised a few eyebrows, they didn't hear about her abilities when she was talking to chopper.
"Sōten Kisshun, I reject" She said and a familiar orange shield surrounded Luffy.
His wounds started to disappear at a quick pace. The pirates look on in awe.
"Some kind of time Fruit?" Robin asked. It wasn't a bad guess, It did look like she was reversing time.
"She hasn't eaten a fruit" Jaina said.
"The technical term I believe is a -fullbring-" She said, looking towards Ichigo for confirmation.
"Yeah its called a fullbring, it's a power a human can develop due to some interactions with certain
evil spirits, everyone's is different." He said, vaguely describing the power.
"Hers is the power of rejection, she is rejecting the damage luffy's body has sustained." Ichigo praised.
"That's amazing" Nami said with astonishment.
"He should be good in a few moments" Orihime said, withdrawing her abilities.
"Now we have to get this idiot's shadow back…" Sanji said, clearly annoyed.
"No big deal, what's he going to do; put it in a giant monster that can mimic his stretching ability?" Ichigo said sarcastically.
Just as he finished, the island shook and laughing from Gecko Moria was heard echoing out.
Everyone was looking towards Ichigo.
"I blame you." Rukia said.
Ichigo abruptly looked towards the direction of the mansion entrance. He noticed before everyone else but they soon sensed it as well.
The pirates noticed their expressions, it was similar to when they noticed the invisible man. An enemy approached.
"Yo…ho..ho…ho" A voice was heard giving a faint laugh.
"It's him…." Brook said in fear. He had tried to regain his shadow before….and lost miserably.
The man walked out of the building and finally was shown to all present.
He was clearly a zombie, he had stitches and his body had been rotting for some time,yet…..his aura was unmistakable. He was a true warrior….a samurai.
Ichigo was the one to step forward while the group backed away.
They both watched each other.
"What is your name?" The zombie asked.
"Kurosaki Ichigo" Ichigo replied.
"He who protects. Are you from wano?" He questioned again.
"No, my country shares a similar culture from what I can tell though" Ichigo answered.
"Your style of clothing is similar but its clearly not a samurai's garb, not only that….you don't feel like a human." He said.
"I am a Shinigami" Ichigo said bluntly.
"oh?" The samurai responded, he was clearly surprised by such a claim.
"I thought them to be just fairy tales." He said, a bit amused.
"People also consider dragons to be fairy tales" Ichigo responded with a smirk.
"ho ho, so I take it you know my identity?" He said, stealing a glance at the skeleton in the distance.
"I've been informed, Ryuma." Ichigo said, drawing Zangetsu.
"That blade….is not normal" Ryuma stated.
"Zangetsu, He's a Zanpakutō" Ichigo answered.
"To fight such a being after my death…I guess I changed my mind about this shameful appearance." Ryuma said, drawing his blade.
They both entered the state of sword intent. Ryuma was the first to make a move.
He performed a quick thrust with his blade, the air pressure was like a bullet as it was fired toward Ichigo.
Ichigo didn't panic as he slashed through the "bullet" with ease.
Ryuma took advantage of this and charged at the Shinigami. While Ichigo's blade was still in the motion of the follow through cut, Ryuma's blade was slashing horizontally at his side.
Ichigo quickly reacted, he turned his body sideways to buy extra time to recall back his blade and block the slash. After locking blades for a moment, Ichigo pushed the samurai black away and created some distance.
They clashed a few more times, Ichigo constantly on the losing end of each exchange until they finally separated once again.
"You havn't trained in your swordsmanship for very long…" Ryuma said towards the Shinigami.
"I've always had to rely on overwhelming power before, I'm currently trying to fix that" Ichigo said with a smile.
"You've barely mastered sword intent…I'll show you the next level of sword mastery I've reached, though my body isn't nearly as powerful as my living one and this shadow is holding me back it should give you an idea of where to go from here" He said to the boy.
"You're helping me train?" Ichigo said in surprise.
"You could beat me easily if you unleashed your full power yet you are trying to match me in swordsmanship, its stupid but commendable. And as such I wanted to give you something in return but you will have to earn it" Ryuma said.
Ryuma's aura changed, it felt like his sword intent was expanding.
Ichigo felt it, he was several meters away yet…he was within the samurai's range.
"I've hated this existence, I'm at the beck and call of a man I would have cut down in a heartbeat when I was living. I've been made to do things that have tainted my honor. I wish to end myself but my samurai code will not allow me so I offer this strike to you, use your full power to destroy me and In return I will show you the next step to take" Ryuma declared towards his opponent.
"This level is called, sword domain, your sword intent expands out words and encompasses an area. Anything in my domain is something I can cut" He warned.
Ichigo could feel it, all around him was the blade of the samurai. If he made a move, it would be immediately countered in a hundred different way.
The closest thing he could compare it to was shirou's unlimited blade works on a much smaller scale and level and with a lack of substance. In this domain, Ryuma was king, what he wanted to be cut was cut.
When one creates a sword domain, their senses within the area are heightened to the absolute extreme. The creator's perception of time speeds up, they can respond and attack much quicker than normal.
Ichigo felt the threat, he immediately released his Reiatsu and it shot out like a torrent.
"Here I come" Ryuma called out.
Ichigo didn't falter, he wanted to experience this but he would also reciprocate with his strongest attack.
"Getsuga…." He said with his blade held high.
The samurai charged forwards at inhuman speed, his blade held to the side to make the distance hard to judge.
As he approached, he blurred in speed and swung his blade.
"….Tenshō" Ichigo called as he slashed down his blade.
Both of them completed their attacks.
A line of blood was seen on Ichigo's chest, it wasn't deep by any means and his regeneration could kick in and heal it in seconds….but Ryuma's blade reached him. He had been wounded by a "humans" technique.
"I hope you saw everything" Ryuma said as his body started to dissipate from the wound he had just received.
"Yeah I saw it…." Ichigo said in awe.
It reminded Ichigo. He had begun calling himself a Shinigami every since he reincarnated because his human part kept getting smaller. But he remembered it, back in his old world he always considered his human part to be his strongest.
He wouldn't forget this favor the samurai bestowed on him, more so than the peak at the next level. It was the reminder of his humanity. The infinite potential it held.
Sorry for the late chapter, shit happened at work today so i was late. Again, taking the plot a bit slower and seeing how it turns out.
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