To Rise @the.samurai.prince
The Will To Fight

"Devil Fruit power?" Ozai asked in confusion. "What is a Devil Fruit power?"

Blackbeard's grin dropped into a puzzled frown, complete with a raised brow, "Eh? What's this? You don't know what a Devil Fruit is? It's what gave you those fancy powers! A fruit that, when consumed, gives you an ability! Let it be your body transformed into rubber, be made of fire, or changed into a beast! It would seem you devoured a Mythical Zoan Devil Fruit, meaning that it turned you into an animal."

Ozai blinked, "What!?"

'Wait, then that means...'

The realization hit him like a ton of bricks. It was all starting to make sense...well, actually, it really didn't, but it made about as much sense as what's happening right now in this different environment. His assumption of the fruit was correct; it was magical and it did change his entire being! How it was possible, he didn't quite know, but more importantly, it made him into a dragon, a true symbol of firebending! He didn't know what Zoan means, but from what this large man - Blackbeard was it? - told him, these fruits can grant anyone a certain power...

'Did he say a person can be made of fire when eating one?' Ozai briefly inquired in his mind until shaking his head firmly, "Wait. If I understand you correctly, are you saying that some fruit I ate turned me into a dragon?"

"Yes, you are indeed correct!" Lafitte commented with a gleeful smile on his pale face.

Blackbeard looked at Ozai oddly, "Hmmf...you don't get out much, do you? How long have you been stuck on this island?"

Ozai was about to answer when he paused for a moment. 'Wait...should I say where I am? I don't know where I am, technically. If this is the Spirit World, then I should lie. These large...people apparently don't recognize me... I think I will lie, for now, just to be cautious.'

"Oi, you there?"

Snapping out of his thoughts, Ozai answered, "I...I've been trapped here as long as I can remember..."

He watched the other crew near Blackbeard warily, giving him odd grins. He hopes that lie fooled them. Blackbeard squinted at him as if he was boring into Ozai's mind… then grinned toothily, "You're not very good at lying there, little man."

Ozai stood there rigid with a scowl, 'Damn it...'

Blackbeard chuckled, "Alright then. I don't care that much, but let me ask you something else; when did you eat that Devil Fruit?"

"Earlier today," Ozai answered shortly.

Blackbeard still grinned wider than before, while the rest of the crew looked disappointed. Shiliew grunted, "Damn. I thought I was gonna have fun cutting him down."

"Pounding him is gonna be way too easy," Burgess added.

"Huh. Well, you're a novice Devil Fruit user then. I guess it makes sense, since you acquired wings, but never used them to get off this island..." Blackbeard speculated.

Ozai's eyes narrowed at Blackbeard's observation. 'Damn him to the pits, he's smart for someone so unkempt.' he cursed silently.

Teach hummed in thought as his ring encrusted fingers rubbed his chin, staring at Ozai, "Well, I guess we're not gonna have a good fight on our hands after all. However...I do want to know one thing about ya before we kill ya; who are you and where did you really come from?"

Ozai only heard the word 'kill' once more and froze, now realizing his situation, "Wait...you're going to kill me!?" he exclaimed.

Blackbeard chuckled, "Of course! We're taking that Devil Fruit power for ourselves!"

"What? How...how do you steal a power that I already have!? Who are you people!? Just...where am I!?" Ozai exclaimed in frustration.

Blackbeard and his crew just looked at him peculiarly, some even blinking in confusion.

"Oi, oi, calm down there, little man. If you want to know that badly, I'll tell you before we kill you." Blackbeard told him.

Ozai narrowed his eyes in a glare, "You're all not going to kill me!" he then got ready into a firebending stance.

"Hold on a second! If you want answers, I'll give ya answers," Teach said with his hand raised up. He then grinned and raised a finger, "First of all, only I can steal your power and give it to someone who hasn't consumed a Devil Fruit," he raised a second finger, "Second, we are the Blackbeard Pirates, and as you can figure out, I am the Captain."

Ozai mentally cursed his luck before prompting further. "Okay. Now, where am I?"

Chuckling a bit, Blackbeard raised a third finger, "This is one of the many islands of the New World."

"The New World?" Ozai queried, his confusion returning. "What do you mean by that?"

"Eh?" Blackbeard looked at him in confusion.

Lafitte decided to speak up with his light voice, "The New World is the second half of the Grand Line, the strip of ocean dividing our Oceans into the West Blue, East Blue, South Blue and North Blue."

Ozai blinked. He felt as though they were making a fool out of him...but they did not seem to be acting. The former Fire Lord's expression then changed into a mix of surprise and irritation, the latter being that he didn't like how overconfident this man was on killing him. 'Pirates, huh? Great. Now I'm being threatened and assaulted by a pack of low-lives.'

Shiliew spoke up suddenly, "Hey Captain, look at his clothes. Do you think he may be from Wano Country?"

As the pirates discuss this topic, Ozai grimaced at the pirates in contempt, 'Damn it. It seems I'm out in the ocean somewhere with lowlife fools who seem to be playing a game with me asking if I'm from some Wano Country or whatever...wait...' he thought of asking one more thing, "Look, does anyone of you know of the Fire Nation?"

The Blackbeard crew all stopped talking and looked at Ozai in question.

"Fire Nation? Our last stop was on an island filled with fire. Is that what he's talking about?" Auger asked his crew-mates.

Hearing that and confused all the more at such a place existing, Ozai exclaimed, "No! It is not an island, it's a proud and powerful industrial nation where everyone has the ability to firebend!"

"Firebend? Hmm...interesting." Lafitte said, twirling his cane.

"Huh. I haven't heard of any nation like that during my time as a Head at Impel Down." Shiliew said, a little puzzled.

'Impel Down?' Ozai thought in confusion. 'Must be some other insane place.'

Blackbeard raised a curious eyebrow at Ozai, "Sorry, we don't know any nation like that. Sounds interesting, however."

Ozai remained outwardly calm, but inside, however, he was shocked. 'Wait...if they haven't heard of the Fire Nation before, then...what does that mean? Does this mean I'm not in the Spirit World? That's impossible, everyone should know of the Fire Nation, everyone! Especially pirates!' he glanced at each of the imposing pirates, 'But...these pirates don't look or act anything like the ones in my...world?'

Could this be? Is he really on some other world? Where did that portal take him?

"Hmm." Blackbeard hummed, his hand back on his chin, "What's your name, little man?"

Thoughts interrupted, Ozai snapped incredulously, "My name?"

"Yeah. What, you forget it?" Blackbeard asked him mockingly.

"No! I just..." Ozai then paused in thought, 'Wait a minute...my name...' he narrowed his eyes resolutely, 'I need one more test to confirm if I'm really actually on some sort of different world. This could be a big risk, but I need to know where I am, and if revealing my identity is the way to do it, then so be it.'

"You still there?" Blackbeard asked gruffly.

Ozai took that risk and answered, "My...name is..." he took a deep breath, "...Ozai...Fire Lord Ozai, the Phoenix King..." 'Now let's see if they know me...'

The Blackbeard Pirates just stared at him, seemingly not fazed by his titles.

"Fire Lord and Phoenix King, eh?" Blackbeard said, rubbing his black stubble in thought with his forefinger and thumb. "Quite a set of titles there, but we never heard of ya. Are you some sort of beginner pirate or something?"

Ozai gawked at them. 'Are they serious!? A pirate!? ME!?'

Van Auger muttered next to his Captain, "He probably is. He must have been trying to make a name for himself, but went over his head and has been stuck here on this island for a good while."

"That makes sense to me." Burgess agrees.

"I am interested in what he meant by 'firebend', though," Lafitte commented.

"I just think this guy is crazy." Shiliew bluntly stated.

While they were talking, Ozai was in his own incredulous thoughts.

'This...this is unbelievable! If they really honestly don't know who I am, then...I must BE on some other world! They would all know the title of the Fire Lord otherwise!'

"Wait!" Ozai exclaimed in desperation, making the Blackbeard Pirates direct their attention to him. "Have you ever heard of the Avatar!? The Elemental Nations!? The Spirit World!?"

They all just kept looking at him strangely.

"Yep. He's crazy." Shiliew muttered.

"Elemental Nations? Av-atar? Spirit World?" Burgess wondered, scratching his head in confusion, "Just what the hell are those?"

Van Auger raised an eyebrow, "Hm. He must be delirious."

"The Spirit World? That's where people go when they die, right?" Lafitte asked bemusedly.

Blackbeard looked puzzled by the whole thing, and said to Ozai, "Now what are you on about? The Elemental Nations? I've been around multiple islands and countries, and I've never even heard any of those places, especially this Spirit World. Also, what the hell is an Avatar? Some sort of device?"

Ozai's expression was of pure disbelief. 'What is this? People not knowing what a Fire Lord, an Avatar, the Elemental Nations, and the Spirit World is...but know of fruits that grant people powers!?' He shook his head and grasped it with his hand, 'This can't...I can't really possibly be in another world!'

Seeing that Ozai is distressed, Blackbeard continued saying, "Oi, listen, I'll just say it right now; I'm getting the vibe that you might be a little crazy, so...how about this?" he grabbed one of his pistols from his sash, and aimed it at him, "I'll shoot you right here, kill you and take your Devil Fruit power, and we'll give you a proper burial. It's the least we can do. How about that?"

Ozai broke out of his stupor, and looked at them in incredulously, "What!?"

Blackbeard sighed irritably, "I said I'm getting the vibe that you're crazy, so I'm just gonna-"

"I know what you said! You lowlife pirates are not going to kill me and...take my Devil Fruit power away or...whatever! And I'm not crazy! I'm just not from this world!" Ozai exclaimed in defiance.

"Not from this world? Sheesh, I was right." Shiliew muttered, lighting up a cigar.

Blackbeard glared at him as he readied his flintlock pistol, "Lowlife pirate? Now that's not a nice thing to say, you crazy little man."

Ozai gritted his teeth, glared back at the man named Blackbeard, tightened his fists, and felt anger coursing through him. 'That thing he's holding is probably what hit me earlier. I can't let it strike me again...'

"Since shooting you in the stomach isn't gonna kill ya, I'll just aim for your head. Hope that's okay, m'lord." Teach said with a twisted smirk.

"Then I'll aim for your weapon." Ozai countered, and shot his fist forward quickly to unleash a fireball. It soared and connected to Blackbeard's gun, entering the barrel and igniting the gunpowder, making a loud BOOM as it exploded in hand.

"DAAAGHH!" Blackbeard yelled, jumping away from the explosion as he shields himself from the flaming remains of his gun, clutching his burnt hand.

The rest of his crew, startled, readied themselves and prepared their weapons(or in Burgess's case, his fists), Van Auger raising his sniper rifle, while Shiliew grasped the hilt of his sword and crouched, and Lafitte tensed, gripping onto his cane.

Blackbeard coughed and waved his hand to clear away the smoke. As it was cleared away, he glared at Ozai for a moment...until he smirked once more. "Well...that's interesting. You shot fire from your fist! Is that part of your dragon ability?"

"I've always had this," Ozai said with a scowl.

Blackbeard raised an eyebrow in question, but soon his smirk widened into a grin and laughed his peculiar laugh, "Zehahaha! Well, I guess that makes you special now, does it?"

Ozai sneered at him, getting into a fighting stance.

"Wiihahaha! Now, this is what I'm talkin' about! Hey Captain, can I pound some manners into this guy!? With something like this up his sleeve, I want to face him!" Burgess asked Teach with a big grin.

Teach turned to Burgess and smirked, "Go ahead! Give him a good beatin' for busting my gun!"

"Wiihahaha! Alright!" Burgess exclaimed as he began walking up to Ozai, his fist smacked into his palm. "Okay little man, let's see if you're not just all talk and bark!"

Ozai smirked haughtily at Burgess, "What can you do? You may have incredible strength, but I have the upper hand! I can shoot long-range fire while you struggle with just your brawn!" he shot another fireball, this time at Burgess.

As it came hurtling towards Burgess, Ozai grinned. With his power, he was sure to win this fight...

...until the massive muscular man did something that surprised the former Fire Lord greatly.

Burgess reared back his arm and fist, and swatted the fireball away to the side like it was an ordinary ball!

Ozai's eyes widened, shocked at how casually this beast of a man, with no firebending, could deflect his fire so easily.

Burgess just laughed as he waved his hand back and forth to cool it off, "A bit hot, but that's nothing! Pretty good for just brawn, eh?"

'That's...impossible! How can he deflect my firebending with just his arm!?' Ozai thought in disbelief, 'What kind of monster is he!?'

Ozai didn't have time to ponder any further as he heard Burgess say to him while strutting forward, "I hope that's not all you can do! I'd be a little disappointed if that's the case!"

'Damn it! Keep using your firebending! It's stronger than it was before, so maybe if I can just use more of it, it'll weaken him!' And that's what Ozai did. Settling into a wider stance, he began punching a barrage of fireballs, each stronger and larger than the last, as the behemoth of a man grew closer. Burgess was still knocking aside the attacks, he wheel-kicked a massive wave of fire and jumped back. He breathed out slowly and watched the dancing flames. Surely that had done something!

Suddenly a massive arm swept the fire aside like a curtain and Burgess appeared. He grinned, and dashed at Ozai with one forearm in front of him, shielding his face and the other cocked behind him for an attack. Ozai was surprised at how undamaged he looked but did not lose his concentration. Calling upon his years of training he ducked under the powerful but clumsy attack and struck Burgess with an ignited fist into the solar plexus, letting their momentum inflict more damage. Burgess grunted in surprise as he was flung by the torrent of fire and landed on his back. Getting right back up on his feet, he coughed as he clutched his heaving chest. Ozai smirked…his flaming fist had burnt him! 'Perhaps it was only his arms that were so powerful', he thought.

Burgess crouched and Ozai grinned, he must have damaged him more than he'd thought… but something was not right, he thought, grin fading. Suddenly the burly man jumped forward and before Ozai could react, bodily slammed into him, sending him flying through the hole he made earlier and into a building, smashing through it. Ozai had the breath knocked out of him and he was sure something had broken in his body. He hacked and coughed a few times, blood trickling out. He scrambled to his feet and looked wildly at the man, no, monster, he faced. He was gripping his burnt chest again.

"Damn! It's still stinging from that punch!" he turned to Blackbeard called out, "Hoi Captain! Mind if Doc Q helps me out with this?"

Blackbeard chuckled as he walked over to where the hole in the wall was, "That's fine! You did give him one for me anyways." he stared outside of the hole that was made by Ozai, seeing if he can still sense him. As Ozai clambered out, Teach smiled widely and said, "Well, what do you know? He's still kicking."

"Really? Huh. Must be tougher than I thought." Burgess replied.

"Zehahaha!" Blackbeard laughed as he turned to his other crew-mates, "What do you say, boys!? Does anyone else want to take a go at this guy!?"

"Hm...I really don't want to waste another bullet on such small-fry." Van Auger replied with a mutter.

"Nah, I'm fine. I don't really feel like killing weaklings right now." Shiliew commented.

"You know, I'll have a go at it. I need the exercise." Lafitte said with a small, but somewhat devious smirk.

Blackbeard laughed once more, "Zehahaha! Alright then, Demon Sheriff! Show him what you're made of!"


Pain was evident in his body after that hit Burgess gave him. He clambered out of the hole in the wall, clutching his head to ease the headache that's forming. It was then his hand started to feel strange. Looking at it, he now noticed that his hand...was back to being a red scaly claw. As the pain subsided, he felt his whole body changing and shifting as if something was trying to pull apart his being. He fell to the ground during this strange process, and once it was over, he got up sluggishly. His body felt a little heavier than usual and noticed that he was on all fours. He tried to right himself up but found that he couldn't. He looked at his body and yelled in shock, only for it to come out as a roar. He was no longer human or even human-like, he was fully a dragon! With a long spear-like snout, decorated in whiskers, four strong but short legs and two leathery wings all covered in hard scales, like armor.

'I...think I'm okay.' Ozai thought stunned. His body felt rejuvenated despite moments ago being bloodied and broken during that hit. He stood there and adjusted the kinks in his joints, quite amazed that he wasn't in worse condition.

'It must have been the scales...they must have formed when I was in danger.' Ozai theorized.

Feeling more confident with this armor on, he looked up to face his burly opponent again, only to see that the pale man from before was standing in front of him.

"I'm certain your pain has subsided by now," he said cheerily before vanished suddenly, "...however, I think there will be more coming your way." the man's melodic voice said from somewhere else.

Ozai jolted at the sudden disappearance and looked frantically around him to find the voice.

"Up here." the same voice mockingly said.

The former Fire Lord looked up and saw him standing on top of a two-story stone building, holding his cane and resting it on his right shoulder. He seemed to be smiling in a wicked fashion. "Ah, I really was accurate on the guess. A real live dragon!"

Ozai glared at the man, "And who are you supposed to be? What monstrosity should I await from you?"

"Well, since you asked so kindly, my name is Lafitte. I am known as the Demon Sheriff where I'm from." Lafitte said with a disturbing smile. "Also, please don't take anything that we're doing personal. We're just trying to make a name for ourselves and follow our dreams, especially our Captain."

"A name for what? What dreams could a pirate have besides getting gold and having drinks?" Ozai asked, a little annoyed, but curious.

"Well, you see, our Captain wants to become the Pirate King, and to do that, he first must become a Pirate Emperor. To be a Pirate Emperor requires power of high-magnitude, and to be the King he must become the most powerful."

Ozai blinked at that, "What? Pirate King? There's a king for pirates? Th-That's ridiculous!"

Lafitte's smile turned into a confused frown, "Um...you don't know what the title of the Pirate King is?"

"Of course not! Why would anyone be a king of pirates? What kind of world is this!? And how did that large man protect himself from my firebending!?" Ozai exclaimed in aggravation.

Lafitte stared at him in blank confusion, "You really are crazy...although perhaps...well, to answer the last one, my crew-mate Burgess used Haki."

"Ha-ki?" Ozai said in bewilderment. "What is that?"

Lafitte raised an eyebrow, "It is a latent ability within all living beings. Presence, fighting spirit, and intimidation are the three kinds of Haki there are."

"Three?" Ozai said in interest. "What do the others do?" he asked the quaint man.

Lafitte leaned on his cane and explained. "The first, Armament Haki, is like an invisible armor formed by your fighting spirit. It was with this, Burgess's arms remained protected. The second is called Observation Haki, the ability to detect a person's presence of living beings. The Skypieans call it Mantra." Lafitte continued as he ignored Ozai's confused look when he mentioned Skypieans. "The third is called Conqueror's Haki, the power of intimidation of the supreme king, and is possessed by one out of a million people."

"Armament, Observation, and...Conqueror Haki?" Ozai repeated to himself, scratching his scaly head in puzzlement.

Lafitte nodded, his mouth forming back into a small smirk, "Yes. And it would seem our Captain has sensed Haki in you as well

Ozai's eyes widened, "What? I have this...Haki you speak of? And your Captain can sense it?"

"Yes, he can, as well as all of us. Our Captain said yours was a little weak, it's basically because you haven't awakened it yet."

Blinking in befuddlement, Ozai shook his head, "And how do I use it?"

"Ah-ah." Lafitte said with his left forefinger waving in a 'no-no' fashion, "I'm not here to give you a Haki lesson. I'm actually here to kill you, remember?" Lafitte stood straight holding onto the collar of his crook handle cane and pulled it to unsheathe a long thin sword. pointing the tip of the blade at Ozai.

The former Fire Lord snarled and readied himself.

"Ah, that animal instinct is already in you!" Lafitte commented. He then jumped off the roof of the building and landed on the ground. He was a few feet away in front of Ozai, still pointing the tip of his cane-sword in his direction with his right hand, while oddly enough, he used his left hand to pinch the brim of his black top hat. "Let's see if you fight like one."

Ozai tensed as if to get into a stance, forgetting his dragon form and to his surprise changed again. He retained his dragon features but was more human again. Blinking at the sudden change, but realized he has no time to marvel, he clenched his fists and prepared to ignite it. 'I don't know what kind of abilities this man has, so I need to be careful. He has a cane-sword, so that's his weapon...'

"Anytime now," Lafitte said with a smug smirk.

Ozai, irked at the taunt, jumped forward and struck, firing two tentacles of fire at Lafitte from above...but it was dodged effortlessly by quickly side-stepping the flame to his right! The fireball made contact with the building behind him, making the wall explode! Lafitte seemed to be posing his cane-sword upward in front of him, his right side facing Ozai as he stood straight, and his left hand still pinching the brim of his black hat. He looked like an insane tap-dancer of some kind.

Ozai's eyes widened in shock, his mouth dropped slightly open once more at how easily he had dodged it.

"I don't think that'll work," Lafitte said, glancing at him while still having that smug smirk.

Emitting a fierce growl, Ozai threw shot after shot of fire. But the odd pirate dodged it again and again, the fire stream destroying another wall. once more When Lafitte dodged Ozai's last punch, he disappeared again, reappearing at Ozai's left side. The former Fire Lord only just reacted to the flash of still, avoiding the skewering blade that likely will impale him.

'Damn it! How is he this abnormally fast!?' Ozai thought in aggravation. He continued to keep shooting fire streams, fireballs, and fire comets, adrenaline pumping through his veins, as he hoped to hit Lafitte. However, Lafitte kept dodging every single one of them, the blasts destroying his surroundings instead. It would seem his opponent was dodging his fire blasts in a circle, side-stepping and jumping over them like it was nothing but a game.

And it made Ozai furious.

The only thing that took damage were the buildings around him, all having blown out holes in them. Ozai kept blasting fire at Lafitte, but it was useless, that accursed Lafitte was far too fast for his attacks.

'Just what kind of freaks are these people!?' Ozai thought for the umpteenth time that day, feeling discouraged and outraged.

He decided to not do any more fire-fist punches and decided to feint and then do a swift jumping kick. Once he saw Lafitte in his left peripheral vision, he jumped and spin kicked, creating a stretching fire ring that went in all directions as the circle extends. It was a massive flame circle, and it would be too tall to jump over and impossible to duck under.

But once again, something surprised him...

The giant flames were parted by a vertical swipe downward, his cane-sword splitting the wall of fire! The flames dissipated around him, and he was still holding onto the brim of his black top hat he was wearing.

Was he untouchable?!

Ozai looked at him in shock, wondering how all of this is possible.

"You know, you should try a different tactic." Lafitte reminded him with a wicked smile. "Although, this firebending you have certainly is interesting. Did you really always have this power?"

The former Fire Lord snarled angrily, "Of course I always had it! Like I said, I'm from a different world!"

"You really are caught up on that." Lafitte muttered, "Well, either way, whether you were born with it or not, we're going to still obtain it and give it to one of our crew."

Ozai only glared contemptuously in response.

Lafitte continued, "But in all honesty, I think you need to try something else besides your fire attacks. How about a little one-on-one swordplay with your dagger?"

Ozai blinked. He completely forgot about his dagger! He was about to reach for it when he remembered something...

'My lightning-bending...'

Narrowing his eyes and keeping them on Lafitte, he 'reached' for his dagger...

...he cleared away his emotions...

...and with a swift finger jab, he shot a lightning bolt at Lafitte's head!

...But the tall pale man craned his neck to his right as the bolt of electricity flew past where his head was, as it split open the sky with a deafening clap and cracking another stone wall.

Ozai's eyes widened in slight horror. Never, not even in his battle against the Avatar, had someone dodged his attacks so easily. He never felt so helpless...

Lafitte was genuinely surprised however as he blinked, stuck a finger in his ear, and twisted it. "My, that was quite loud, Fire Lord. I'll admit that I did not expect such an ability from you. It must have been your lighting that caused that thunder we heard earlier."


Meanwhile, Blackbeard watched the fight from the busted hole in the ruins of the shrine, sitting and drinking his rum, his brows raised up in interest. His crew also had settled down within it to have a drink and rest. Doc Q was with them as well, resting as he patched up Burgess's wound.

"Oi, I heard thunder again. Is it gonna rain outside?" Shiliew asked in question as he laid on the floor to rest.

"What's going on, Captain?" Auger asked appearing from behind Blackbeard.

Teach looked out there in silence until he started chuckling, "Well boys, you may not believe it, but it seems this dragon-guy can fire bolts of lightning!"

Auger blinked, "Really?"

Shiliew raised his head and grimaced, "What? Are you serious?"

"Zehahaha! Yeah! Never heard of a dragon doing that!" Blackbeard grinned, "This just got real intriguing..."


Ozai knew that even his lightning bending was useless and decided to finally move on to the dagger as his opponent had suggested. He exclaimed once more, "Fine! No firebending, just knife and sword!"

Lafitte smiled evilly as he put his cane-sword blade up to the middle of his face...then disappeared!

Ozai remained on guard and waited, trying to anticipate from where the attack would come. But right then his mind flashed with an image... a blade penetrating a shoulder. Before he could make sense of it, he jerked forward as a long blade went through his shoulder.

"AAAGH!" Ozai yelled.

"Hmm...not very good at sensing people, are you?" Lafitte declared in a matter-of-fact tone, withdrawing the bloodied sword.

Ozai whipped around grinding his teeth, the stab wound on his shoulder had already started throbbing. He looked at the wound for a moment and saw that he still has his dragon-esque body, his red scales making it evident. The man had quite some strength for one so lithe. With the dagger still in his right hand, he settled back into a guarded stance, watching Lafitte, trying to read him, the pain he felt being ignored.

"Ah, you're still up! It seems you have some will in you after all!" Lafitte said with a disturbing smile, "Or perhaps I just missed my target."

"I...will not lose," Ozai said in firm resolute, glaring defiantly.

Lafitte couldn't help but grin sadistically, "Well, we'll see about that. But first, how about a little game?"

Ozai raised an eyebrow. "A game?"

"It's quite simple. If you somehow manage to dodge another attack, then I'll spare you and bring you to our Captain so he can kill you himself. If you fail, then I'll be the one to kill you instead." Lafitte explained. "I know, it's not fair game for you, but it's more fun for me." And with that, Lafitte disappeared in a flash once more.

Surprised, Ozai started to look frantically around in any direction to find Lafitte, from his left, right, and back. As he concentrated, he could hear pips and paps, the sound shoes hitting the ground, as well as...the walls?

'Where is he!?' Ozai thought in a panic. Ozai knew that this pirate was making no bones in killing him if he failed to dodge this one, so it was life-or-death. But how? Aside from the quiet and untraceable footsteps, he had no clue...except, that image. It corresponded with the attack...was it a premonition!?

His thoughts were interrupted by another vision, a sword arching toward a neck, HIS neck. He ducked and swung his dagger in a circle...and was brought to a stop as it clanged against another blade.

Feeling the force of the blow, he kept his right hand steady while holding the dagger. When he turned fully to his right, he could see Lafitte, a smirk on his pale face. He had his cane-sword still in his hand and pulled the blade away from him as he held it to his side.

"Well now, that's more like it," Lafitte said.

Ozai backed away from him warily and asked, "What was that just now!?"

"That, my soon-to-be deceased friend, was a part of Observation Haki," Lafitte told him, still smiling.

The dragon man looked at him with wondering eyes. "So this is the power of Haki?"

"Indeed. However, I don't think you're advanced enough to block all my attacks, so let's try something different." Lafitte then jumped high upward at an impossible height. Although Ozai was amazed by that, there was something else Lafitte did that made his jaw drop.

Lafitte grew a pair of white feathered wings from his back!

Taken aback by this, the former Fire Lord looked up at the man in shock. "H-How..."

Before the Fire Lord could finish his question Lafitte interrupted, "That's for me to know and you to wonder about" Lafitte replied, flapping his wings. "Now, since you're capable of flight yourself, how about we take this to the air?"

'Wait, that's right! I can fly! ...But how?' Ozai thought to himself, glancing at his leathery wings as he tried to figure out how to move them again.

"Oh yes, that's right. You said you just obtained your dragon ability." Lafitte stated, "Maybe you need a little motivation." he said with a crooked smile.

Lafitte then pointed the tip of the blade of his cane-sword towards him, flapped his wings back a little bit, and dive-bombed Ozai, the blade shining in a sinister way.

Ozai's tensed, the adrenaline in his body still pumping wildly and jumped back when Lafitte was getting closer...but he didn't come down. He looked down and saw the ground below his feet. The feeling of wings flapping on his back still felt foreign to him, but he soon felt a push of air going up.

Lafitte went down to where Ozai once stood, positioning his feet and landing in a dust shockwave. His wings spread out and bent inwardly, his cane-sword still in his hand as he jumped back up, after Ozai.

"There we go!" Lafitte said in mock encouragement.

Ozai's wings were still flapping and carrying him up above the village. He doesn't really know how he's controlling his wings; perhaps instinct? Either way, he was ascending. He could see around the island, and caught sight of the giant monster from before looking down at Lafitte, the village, and the shrine that he came out of.

"Oh! You found me again!" Wolf said in glee.

Ozai ignored it and looked around trying to sense his opponent. That Lafitte would not leave him alone for long.

Suddenly a blade slashed his leg. "Beware, beware, dragon-man!" Lafitte called, flying past him.

Ozai growled and habitually used his legs to fire flames and fly after the taunting pirate, clenching his dagger...


"Hmm..." Auger sighed as he looked at the walls with interest. He was studying the surviving pictographs of the shrine. "This village looks to have worshiped the concept of Haki at one time."

"Well, this is the New World, so that's common here," Shiliew said, not looking up from polishing his sword and examining it in the light of the caved in, cigar smoking as always.

Blackbeard remained at the hole in the wall watching the fight with interest and occasionally tilting his head back for another swig of his drink.

He put a hand on his chin and said after a moment, "...You know what, I think I might just get my hands dirty today."

Burgess, who was tentatively rubbing his chest, looked at him in surprise, "Eh? You want to fight him? What for?"

Blackbeard shrugged as he grinned. "I just want to test out this guy's endurance."

"Why? I doubt he's any challenge." Shiliew asked, giving the katana one last rub before sheathing it.

Teach turned away from the crashed hole, "Eh, he's been doing okay so far. Just thought I would give it a go."

Auger turned away from the pictographs and glanced at his Captain, "You know, you'll most likely massacre him, Captain."

Blackbeard's grin turned wider and more sinister, "Aye, I know. But it doesn't hurt to test out his will."

And with that, Teach made his way out of the shrine through the hole towards the flying fighters.


Meanwhile, Ozai was now hovering in place with his wings flapping regularly. He stared down at Lafitte, who was standing on a roof of a stone building, looking up at the former Fire Lord.

"Well, it seems now that you're really trying, we can now truly begin!" Lafitte exclaimed, a wild glint in his eyes.

Shooting straight up towards Ozai, his cane-sword arm arched inward, ready to swing at him. He was going at an alarmingly fast pace. Ozai grit his teeth and for the first time since he was a child, prayed to the Great Spirits to help him dodge this crazy man's blows. He briefly wondered for a second if he could use that Observation Haki again, but it seemed to be uncontrollably sporadic to be really useful.

When Lafitte came close enough, Ozai prepared to swing his dagger vertically down. But the tall pale man stopped and thrust his wings forward, sending a powerful gust of wind at him. The dragon man was blown off balance, the wind blowing him back and barreling him into the air. Ozai grunted, trying to right himself from the rotation, as he rolled around in the air. The dagger remained secure in his hand.

As he finally stabilized he felt a surge of excited, cruel emotions that were not his own. Ozai didn't have time to ponder on this as he instinctively turned to his left and swung his dagger.

CLANK!

The dagger's cross-guard and left side of the blade caught the cane-sword.

"You're getting better!" Lafitte said smiling crazily.

Ozai growled in response. 'I need to keep this up! This Haki business is what's keeping me alive!' he thought to himself.

"In fact, I think I should keep testing that Haki of yours to see if you can still catch up!" Lafitte grinned sadistically as he suddenly his cane-sword and began stabbing at him.

Ozai blocked wildly, working on pure instinct and the occasional intermittent Haki vision. However, he was slowing down while the flurry of strikes continued, slash mark after slash mark. Ozai grew desperate and folded his wings, diving down and landing heavily. His scales were all that prevented him from being eviscerated. He looked up at the angel-winged pirate, only to see that he's landing. His head was bleeding profusely and the hat was bent. His face seemed a mixture of furious anger and surprise.

Figuring out what happened, Ozai defiantly grinned, feeling almost his old self again. He realized that in his dive, his spiked tail had smashed into the pirates head at full swing.


"Oooh! That was really good!" Wolf complimented from afar, clapping his massive hands and causing a burst of wind over the island.

"What was!? What's happening, you big fool!?" Pizarro yelled to Wolf, who seemed to not hear.

"Those idiots must be having fun over there," Devon muttered to herself, squinting through the trees.

"I'm ready for my Devil Fruit power now!" Shot exclaimed suddenly as he woke up from his drunken stupor.


Lafitte muttered to himself, "Well, that was unexpected..." he then exclaimed. "You to think you've achieved something, Fire Lord? You forget who was struggling no five minutes before!" He raised his sword and vanished again. Ozai did not even have time to think when he bent double, the sword slashing him in the gut and sending him flying into a tree.

Lafitte was about to strike again, when a gruff voice interrupted, "You okay there, Lafitte?"

The tall man turned to face Blackbeard his face smiling as usual again, "Yes, Captain, I'm quite fine. He just got a lucky shot in, that's all."

Blackbeard chuckled, "Well, you did good on giving him a run of his money there. Mind if I cut in? I want to have a go myself."

Lafitte raised a brow, "Um...no, not at all, but why?"

"Just want to test him out." Teach said with a shrug.

Lafitte glanced at his Captain curiously, "Hmm...you only do that when you're really considering letting someone join the crew. Is he really worth it?"

"Eh, I just want to see if he is. Besides, that lightning attack impressed me. And if he's no good for a fight, he'll make an impressive lamp."

Lafitte shrugged, "Yes, it seemed quite unique, even for a Dragon Devil Fruit."

Blackbeard chuckled, "Which is why I want to see if there's any more surprises from him in store."

Lafitte nodded his head with a smile. "He's all yours, Captain." He walked past Blackbeard, towards the shrine, twirling his cane.

Just as Ozai finally regained consciousness, he got up slowly, leaning on the tree and stood to pant.

"This is just not my day," he muttered to himself, closing his eyes.

"Sure doesn't look like it!" a jolly voice commentated in an unbidden response.

Ozai's eyes snapped opened and jumped in a defensive stance. Blackbeard sat across from him, unconcernedly, grinning and all. Ozai glared back at him.

"Zehahahaha! I got to admit, you're doing pretty well holding out your own! You seem to have some fight in ya! Let's see if we can keep that going!" Blackbeard said getting up.

Ozai tensed and prepared himself, trying to stay steady at the dizziness from loss of blood. The injuries he had received were taking their toll.

"So, you're gonna fight me now?" asked a jeering Ozai, trying to futilely mask his weakness

"Yep! I do want to ask you though, what was that lightning attack you used a while ago on Lafitte?" asked Teach.

Ozai harrumphed, "That was lightning-bending. It's a special technique used by firebenders."

Blackbeard cocked his head as he smirked, "Huh. You keep saying that word 'firebend' a lot...just what are you, little man?"

Ozai growled at him calling him 'little man', "I am not a little man! I am the Fire Lord, master firebender, and the crowned Phoenix King, Ozai!"

Blackbeard just laughed, "Zehahahahaha! Well, lord, king, master firebender or whatever, you're in a tough situation here! Titles won't get you anywhere around these parts of the sea! You have to fight to survive!"

"And I intend to," Ozai said resolutely, and with that, Ozai fired a huge fireball at Blackbeard.

It came barreling towards the pirate Captain who remained still. The large man just kept on grinning...and that was when Teach held out his right arm with his palm spread out, letting a black pulsing aura surround his entire arm and hand. The huge fireball rushed even faster towards Blackbeard, and as it struck his hand...it disappeared into the darkness of his hand!

Ozai stood there in shock, not believing his eyes. The other two had knocked his fire aside, or battered through it, but the fire remained. Here it just...vanished. The fireball was gone, leaving lust Blackbeard with his hand stretched out.

Seeing his surprise, Blackbeard laughed and exclaimed, "Zehahahaha! If you think that's impressive, wait till you see this!"

He plunged his hand down onto the ground and it was covered in a wave of darkness. Ozai, felt himself being sucked in as it flowed around his legs. He tried to fly but his body had somehow returned to its human form. Panicking he fired flames from his hands and popped out. The surrounding trees and stones sank out of sight and the wave receded. Ozai landed on the ground, feeling decidedly shaken. He concentrated and his dragon-man form returned. He would need it to survive the fight.

Blackbeard then raised his hands to the sky and a geyser of darkness erupted from him. "Liberation!" he crowed gleefully, and Ozai stared as crushed trees and rocks were flung from the darkness. Teach laughed at his expression, "What do you think!? That, right there, is the power of darkness! Powerful innit!? Zehahaha!"

Ozai looked at the display of power, still in awe and amazement.

Teach laughed at his expression, "What do you think!? Oh, and hey! There's also something else I can do! Watch and learn!" Teach then extended the same right arm out, which a swirling black vortex was emerging out of thin air and into it his hand.

Ozai stood there for a moment, confused at what was happening, until he felt something...a pull.

He felt his body tingle for a moment, but then, his whole body jerked forward, sending him flying straight into Blackbeard's hand! Ozai grunted, struggling to stay grounded, but it proved futile. Ozai was violently pulled into Blackbeard's large hand, as it grabbed him. The former Fire Lord tried to struggle from his grip, but it was then he noticed something The snout that he had...was gone! It shrunk back into his face! He also looked down at himself and realized that his scales were gone! He also felt his tail and wings disappear too. Ozai felt as if the Avatar removed his bending once more, making him feel helpless and weak.

Blackbeard held him in place and grinned at him, "Pretty spectacular, eh!? When I touch you, your dragon form is nullified and back to your human one! That goes for all the other Devil Fruits users, Logia, Paramecia, and Zoan alike! My darkness power can pull everything in like gravity and not spare a single ray of life! That's the power of pure darkness!"

With that said, the large man reared his arm back with Ozai in his grasp and threw him to a nearby building with his surprisingly great strength. Ozai went through the building and landed in a crumpled heap under a collapsed rubble. The building itself was half destroyed, and with the last of his strength, he shifted the debris off of him, grimacing at the excruciating pain, and then slowly staggered up.

"Zehahahaha!" Teach laughed seeing that Ozai was emerging from the rubble, "Well well, it seems you're still moving! It looks like you do got some will in ya!"

Ozai grunted as he got the rest of the rubble off of him. He was in pain, but he was determined to keep going, to live. Concentrating once more, he got out of the building and brought out his dragon-man form, taking a stance. Despite being in eye-watering pain, he felt strangely calm, analytical.

'It seems that firebending is out of the question. He'll just absorb it with that power, so I need to strike him somehow!' His eyes shifted around and he noticed a shiny glint to his left...his dagger! The superior Fire-Nation craftsmanship remained unharmed by Blackbeard's crushing dark trap. He snatched it up and stood at the ready thinking up a plan of attack.

When Blackbeard saw Ozai grab the dagger, he chuckled, "I don't think that's gonna help you too much there."

Ozai only glared at him.

Seeing that he wasn't making a move, Teach smirked, "Alright then, Mr. Ozai, since you're so cautious, I'll give you the first attack. Let's see if you can stab me with that dagger."

Ozai just kept glaring back at Teach. He scowled, frustrated, being taunted and beaten so easily by a pirate was unforgivable! He will not be humiliated like this! "I am no weakling, you lowlife ogre! Do not underestimate me!"

And with that furious declaration, he dashed towards Blackbeard, dagger in his hand, anger dulling out the pain that he was in. He used a blast of fire to accelerate suddenly and bellowed out a war-cry, ready to run the pirate through. His dagger hand tightened and hardened as he put his very will into the blow.

Blackbeard lazily activated his darkness and stretched out his palm towards the charging dragon-man. At that moment, Ozai swung the dagger at Teach who put his palm in front of the blade. At first, the knife seemed to melt away in the darkness...but suddenly, Blackbeard cried out and began cursing furiously. His other arm arched back and was covered by a glowing white orb. Ozai tried to dodge whatever it was, kicking off Blackbeard's chest, however, the fist swiftly knocked him to the ground. Ozai mouth opened, but no sound came out. He felt wracked with pain as never before as if he was being shattered from the inside out. His scales crumpled and cracked apart and his body felt broken. As he was on his back on the ground, he rolled over to his front, picked himself up, and lurched to his feet once more.

He glanced at Teach, who was looking at the blood seeping through his palm with an expression of mild shock. However, it quickly turned to one of curiosity.

"Huh...interesting," Blackbeard muttered with a raised eyebrow. He glanced up at Ozai, "It seems your Armament Haki came at the right time. That little bit was enough to hurt me."

Ozai only breathed heavily in response. "So that tight feeling was Armament Haki then."

"Aye...either you're a natural, or you got lucky." Teach replied. "But since you're a beginner, it's not a real threat, although I'll give ya points for hurting me at all." Wiping his bleeding hand on his pant-leg, he grinned wickedly and continued, "So how did you like the taste of my powers, eh? Seems like a dragon is no match for the combined might of mine and Whitebeard's power!"

Ozai realized he was referring to the glowing white orb. "I thought your power was that of darkness, pirate?"

Blackbeard chuckled, replying, "Indeed, but why have only one, when I can control more!?" he continued. "You may be powerful wherever you're from, but compared to me, you ARE weak." He raised and activated his black-hand once more.

Ozai realized he had to act before he was beaten once more. Quickly concentrating, he finger jabbed towards the pirate, a powerful lightning bolt whipping towards the Captain. At such a close range, it made a direct hit to his chest, and Blackbeard out as he was shocked by the high voltage, his darkness vanishing.

'Yes! Take that, you wretch!' Ozai internally cheered at his success, smirking...until the smirk melted into a look of grim bitterness.

Blackbeard remained standing as he grumbled, "Aaaagh, that really burns." He looked up and glared at him, "So, you want to play that game, huh?" he held out his left palm again as darkness was swirling inside it, the right lighting it up the orb once more, a stark contrast to one another. The suction in increased suddenly and Ozai was slowly dragged towards the pirate, in spite of the claws that dug into the ground.

"You know, I don't think I explained my other power, did I?" Teach asked Ozai, "You see, I stole a Devil Fruit power from the one and only Edward Newgate, also known as Whitebeard! You know, that one guy I mentioned earlier! Anyways, he was my old Captain, and I respected the old man! He was a strong guy, but he was old, and it was time for a new era, my era! We beat the geezer in the War of the Best at Marineford and it was then I took his power." he laughed at that, "I'll spare ya the details, but not only do I hold the power of darkness, but I also hold the power of destruction! I'll give ya a guess on what that power is! Here's a hint: it's a natural disaster. Do you know what it is?"

Ozai only grunted, struggling to remain out of Blackbeard's reach.

"Don't know? I'll tell ya! It's the power of earthquakes! The Gura Gura Fruit! I can manipulate the air, the sea, and the earth as I please, shattering each as I please!" Teach declared with evident pride. "Now think what that will do to a body!?" Blackbeard finished his commentary by swinging the orb down once more on Ozai.

The former Fire Lord gritted his teeth in frustration as it dropped, reflecting on his situation mentally. 'Is this it? Am I going to die knowing that my fool of a son is ruling my country? Will I not return to re-conquer the Fire Nation? Was I truly just weak this whole time?'

That last thought hit him hard.

He grew furious. He had to get his nation back... that soft ingrate Zuko would turn the Fire Nation his grandfather Sozin and father Azulon envisioned and worked so hard for, into a country of weak fools... he could not let himself be weak and allow this to come to be. He had to survive. It will not be the end for him, it cannot!

'I am the Phoenix King, who has the power to burn the world to ash. I will not die here!'

With a flick of his wrist, Ozai knocked the blackened hand aside and shot another lightning bolt at Blackbeard, straight into the chest, knocking him back. Jumping back to his feet Ozai, wasted no time raining attacks onto the distracted pirate. Fireballs, flame-whips, even lightning strikes. Teach soon began dodging quickly, faster than would be expected of a man of his size. He was surrounded by darkness, trying to absorb the attacks. Ozai then formed a massive ball of fire and crashed it down in a massive explosion that rose far above the forest.

He kept on attacking Blackbeard, looking like he's actually getting the upper hand on the large man. Teach was trying to swat the fire shots that were coming at him, but there were some that even struck the pirate. Parts of his body were on fire, as his darkness power was trying to absorb all the damage that was on him.

In a fury, Ozai loudly proclaimed, "I will not lose to the likes of you! You are nothing! It is my destiny to go back to my nation and rule it, and to rule that world! My world! I will take back my throne and show my fool of a son to respect his king, and I WILL DESTROY HIM ALONG WITH THE AVATAR! I WILL-"

"ENOUGH!"

Ozai was blasted back by a sudden eruption. Blackbeard appeared in the dust, fist glowing. The wind began howling as darkness spread all around him and the dust, and everything not held down to the ground was swept in, the flames and smoke with them. Ozai was pulled in as well, and before he could fight back, Blackbeard crashed another orb-covered fist onto him.

KER-KLAK-POOOOOOOW!

That small amount of power made the ground, buildings, and one of the walls of the village shake and crumble at the sheer force. Ozai was blown far back as he skidded across the ground like a rag-doll. His was still in his dragon-man form and his scales had protected him slightly, but just barely.

He sluggishly tried to pick himself back up, but the pain was too much and he collapsed, coughing up blood. While on the ground in agony, he heard footsteps. Once they stopped, Ozai slowly looked up. And the last thing he saw before fading into darkness was the large silhouette of Blackbeard grinning down at him.

'Damn it...I've failed...' was Ozai's last thought before he passed out.

With a part of the village destroyed, as well as Ozai's pride, the battle was over...


Blackbeard stood over the unconscious man, grinning contemplatively. While burned in places, he was perfectly alright. It was of no importance. He looked around; the damage of the battles was devastating but did not extend far enough to be noticed from a distance. He didn't want the Marines to find them so soon.

Teach looked at the man named Ozai and seeing that he was still breathing couldn't help but smirk, "Heh...so he's still alive after all of that."

"Captain! Hey, what happened!?" Burgess yelled as he and the rest of the crew came running towards the commotion.

Burgess, Auger, and the rest of the crew ran towards the scene, while Lafitte seemed to have flown to where Blackbeard was, as he landed near his crew-mates.

"Oh my. You certainly beat him badly," said Lafitte with smile.

Auger, however, looked a little surprised, "Huh...the man's still living. Maybe he's not much of a pushover than I thought he would be."

"Wiihahaha! Well, whether he caused trouble or not, leave it to the Captain to finish anyone off!" Burgess said with a smirk, "So, what do you think, Captain?"

Blackbeard, after a moment, however, said, "...Get Doc Q over here."

The rest of the crew looked at their Captain in puzzlement.

"What!? Did he really hurt you that bad!?" Burgess asked incredulously.

Van Auger shook his head at Burgess. "He wants the Doctor for the Dragon-Man, Burgess."

"Ah, it looks like I was right once more," Lafitte said with another smile.

"You're not actually thinking of letting this weakling be a part of the crew, are you?" Shiliew rasped disbelievingly.

Blackbeard chuckled, "If he wants too. He certainly fought hard enough. I have to respect the man for the guts he has. I don't know his background, and I don't care, but he has potential. Now don't waste time! Get Doc Q over here and fix 'im up!"


Ozai, in his Dragon-Man form, was sitting on the throne of his forefathers, surrounded by flames. Suddenly a military messenger burst into the room. "My lord, the palace is under attack!"

The Fire surrounding his throne flared as he clenched his scaly fists, "Who DARES to..."

But before he could finish his words the doors were blown in, and a familiar large pirate walked in out of the smoke.

"Zehahahaha! This is a nice palace, little man."

Ozai could only sit, frozen in horror, "W-why... how are you here?" he stammered.

Blackbeard grinned, his beady stare boring into him, "Why to kill you, of course, 'Fire Lord'! I want your fruit!"

And he raised his hand and the room was enveloped in crushing darkness. Ozai yelled as his surroundings vanished and he tumbled through the air.


He suddenly stopped and grunted, feeling constricted around his chest and arms.

"He's waking up!" said the hoarse voice of a sickly sounding man.

Eyes slowly opening, his vision started to come back to him. He still felt a little pain in his abdomen, as when he coughed, it started to hurt. When his vision cleared, he can see Blackbeard and his four crew-mates, along with other new equally strange people sitting a fire. One of them had horns on his head, while there was some sort of...female with a shark-toothed grin, and a strange man with a huge nose and a crossed-eyed, dopey expression. The last one looked really sick and had a giant animal with him(he doesn't know which kind it is, but it looked like some sort of...hippo-horse?).

Blackbeard was in front of Ozai with a big grin on his face, "Wakey-wakey, little man!"

"Murunfuffuffuffu! He's kind of handsome!" Devon said in a teasing tone.

"Toputoputopu! So this is the guy who's got my Devil Fruit?" Shot said with a drunken grin, tongue hanging out.

"So, I've heard you're some sort of 'king', you say? Well, so am I!" Pizarro said with a smirk.

"You're a very lucky man, Mr. Ozai!" the sickly sounding man known as Doc Q commented with a crooked smile.

Ozai blinked at the array of strange faces and looked down...to see that he was heavily bandaged all over his entire body and had been tied up with rope. He groaned and shut his eyes to the fire, feeling nauseous. His head was pounding hard...he really took a beating.

"Since yer probably wonderin', we had Doc here patch you up! Thank those scales of yours that you're alive at all. I got to say, for a weakling, you sure do have some fight in you!" The Blackbeard Pirates all laughed, along with their Captain. Ozai opened his eyes and fixed him in an angry look, but said nothing.

Laughter dying down, Teach said, "Alright, enough beating around the bush! I want to ask you some questions!"

"Really now?" Ozai growled, "I thought you wanted me dead."

"First up, do you want to be strong?" Blackbeard asked, ignoring his sarcasm.

That question made Ozai narrow eyes, "Do I want to be strong? I already am!"

"Not by standards of the New World! Wiihahahaha!" Burgess laughed.

"Tch, you're probably strong by weakling standards," Shiliew stated.

"Mm-hm. Not to mention you're lucky." Lafitte piped.

"Look, little man, you may think you're strong, but in reality, you're weak." Blackbeard bluntly told him, "Although you manage to hold off your own, you're still in a pretty bad situation here. You wouldn't be able to take us all on, even if you tried. You couldn't even take one of us on, 'specially in this state. Granted, you did well enough in the fight before."

Ozai looked at the man as if examining him.

"He's right you know," an elderly voice in his head told him, "Even if you were the most powerful when Sozin's Comet came, you still couldn't assuredly defeat the Avatar." He looked at these freaks around him. To be able to rule unopposed, he would need to have the power they had.

"Since you seem to understand that, I have a proposition for you!" Teach continued as if he was uninterrupted.

The former Fire Lord looked at him suspiciously, "What kind of proposition?"

"Well, you said something about reclaiming your land, taking over your world or something like that, destroying your son, along with destroying this Avatar guy. To be perfectly honest, I don't really care about any of that crazy stuff you're saying. What does interest me, is your potential. I'm willing to have some new members in my crew to fortify my soon-to-be Pirate Emperor status. So, what I'm really asking is, how would you like to join our crew to become stronger?" Blackbeard said as he gave an evil smirk.

Ozai was silent. 'One surprise after the other, today.' He repeated the question back to Blackbeard. "You want me to join your crew?"

"Yep! How about it? You could become stronger than you can possibly dream of! You'll gain more power than this 'king' title that you've been going on about! You have a Devil Fruit power, and you clearly know some fancy fighting. With some training, your Haki will be more than an accidental fluke."

"Are you out of your mind!?" Ozai shouted. "Why would I join a pirate crew! I'm royalty!"

"Sure don't look like it!" Pizarro mocked as he laughed, drinking out a beer stein.

"Okay then, how about this?" Blackbeard aimed a pistol at Ozai's head. The former Fire Lord froze at the weapon aimed at his face.

Blackbeard continued, "If you don't join, then I'll blow your brains out, we'll steal your Devil Fruit and give it to one of our crew-mates here."

"Hello!" Shot drunkenly exclaimed.

"Your choice." Blackbeard finished with the same evil smirk.

Ozai looked at the barrel of the gun, and at the Captain of the Blackbeard Pirates, along with his crew.

'Not much of a choice, is there?' He thought to himself with a wince. Sighing, he relented."Seeing as I have no other option, I'll join your crew, Blackbeard."

"Zehahaha! Good choice!" Blackbeard said, retracting his pistol away from Ozai's face. "You heard him! Let's welcome our new crew-member!"

The Blackbeard Pirates all cheered and hollered out in celebration.

Ozai grumbled in discontent. But then he thought of something else. The portal...

'I can't just say I'm from another world again. I think it's already evident that they think I'm crazy. Hm...I probably shouldn't mention the portal, either...wait...the portal.'

He remembered what the log said on the Summer Solstice being able to activate the portal on his world...but...what about on this world? Would it be activated when the Summer Solstice arrives here? If that would be the case, then maybe when he was strong enough, he could fly back here on this island in dragon form when the Summer Solstice comes to this world!

...He needs to ask one more question.

"I have one question."

Blackbeard chuckled, glad to be having another crew-member on board, "What's the question?"

"My...firebending improves and strengthens immensely during the Summer Solstice. When is the Solstice?"

Teach looked at him oddly, "Uh...if you're talking about the world's Summer Solstice, then that was three days ago."

"Three days ago!?" Ozai pretended to look disappointed but was dancing in glee inside.

"Aye, however, if you're talking about where you are right now, then you're on a spring island. The sun should always come out, although, there will be times when it rains. Usually, seasonal islands have their own weather patterns. But hey, that's good to know! That'll be useful if we get in a scrap with the Navy." Blackbeard answered.

Ozai was confused but decided that he would figure it out more clearly later. He just had to be patient...

"By the way, here!" Blackbeard then got something out of his inner coat pocket. It was then Ozai realized that it was his dagger. Teach then swiftly cut the ropes off with one slash from it, releasing Ozai.

Breathing easily now, he sat on the ground, stiff from his injuries. Closing his eyes for a moment to release any tension in his body, he opened them...to see that his dagger was facing in front of him. Blinking, he realized that Blackbeard is giving him back his dagger.

"Congratulations! You're one of us now! A true pirate! Zehahahahaha!" Teach laughed vigorously, and swigged at his bottle.

Ozai just stared at him while he was laughing and drinking as he looked at the dagger that Blackbeard was holding.

"Yes...yes I am," Ozai muttered and took the dagger away from Teach's hand.

'For now...'

The crew had gone back to drinking and eating by the fire as if beating a new crew-member into joining was an everyday event.


Alrighty! That's the revised fourth chapter! :D

I made some major changes to this, and I have Zoomerfish to thank for that! :) He helped me on making Ozai sound like Ozai and on Blackbeard sounding like Blackbeard! ;D

Now, from this point on, I'm going to continue the story from where I left off. The next chapter will be set in the Avatar world two years later. We'll be focusing the Gaang to see what's happening with them and how they're faring. Then the NEXT chapter after that will be when Ozai returns...along with other new characters. ;D Get ready; things are gonna get crazy from there! XD

Everyone wish me luck on the next chapter! I need it as I go into the political stuff of things in the Avatar world. I think I can handle it, but it would be nice if one of y'all can probably help out me with this type of stuff...if that's okay? :O

Either way, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter! Tell me what you think of it with a review! And if you like it, go ahead and follow and fave! :)

Until next time, keep on rocking everybody! I'll see you all then! ^_^

-TSP

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