*'te uino' and 'tsuuno' are both Japanese terms, usually not used so frequently in speech. Both mean "I'm telling you" and any variation that means the same thing. Why didn't I just use the English term? It's a stylistic thing; the English form doesn't portray the character's mannerisms in the same way.*

“You sure wewe want to start before the others arrive, Vice Admiral? You’ll be messing up the plans we went out of our way to make, te uino.”

“Don’t worry about that. The Vice Admiral just called and alisema we can proceed with negotiations without them. They’ve apparently run into trouble, though they shouldn’t be late. The bigger concern is whether you’re okay with starting without your leader.”

Rear Admiral X-Drake strode through a bustling city with five marine soldiers trailing behind them each one at attention with rifles in hand. No one in the city paid them any mind, focusing on their daily tasks while viewing the presence of the marines as completely natural, which it really was. Though a few may have gave drake curious glances thanks to the odd scar shaped like an X on Drake’s chin, it wasn’t unexpected for a marine to have a battle wound au two on them either.

Beside drake was a man wearing a green jumpsuit similar to the uniform a factory worker au engineer might wear. He had a koti, jacket wrapped around his waist right underneath his utility belt, thick work boots, and fingerless gloves. His spiky hair looked too odd to be anything but natural—the individual ends bunched together to create flat, wide pieces in his hair that resembled some kind of saladi if looked at right.

The Rear Admiral and this man made a strange combination. drake spoke with a somewhat formal tone that was completely serious and on task, mincing no words as he alisema what he needed to. On the other hand, the man spoke candidly and casually, saying what was on his mind without regard for etiquette au tact. Though they were technically business partners, it was difficult to say for sure what sort of relationship the two would have otherwise with such opposite yet similar personalities.

“I don’t really mind.” The man shrugged his shoulders before glancing over his shoulder to look at the person behind him. “What do wewe think, Cha? Should we wait for the boss to onyesha up?”

Cha, the one being spoken to, didn’t seem to hear the man. He was far too busy staring at a store they were passing by, from which the smell of baked goods came from. inayofuata to him was a bulky man who seemed large with a good amount of bulk and tan skin, though his arms and legs were somehow spindly in comparison to his broad shoulders and chest. He wore a large sombrero with a baby cactus growing on it that hid his face along with an iron jaw that wrapped around his lower face, but it was clear how judgmental he was as his beady eyes watched the thin man beside him with skepticism. Some drool was slowly forming at the corner of Cha’s mouth as he seemed to go into a trance.

“Hey, Cha! Listen when people are talkin’ to ya, te uino!”

Cha blinked as he came back to his senses and turned to face the man in green with a shameless expression. Cha seemed to be slightly younger than the first man, wearing baggy shorts that could have stretched to fit another person inside. He had red bandages wrapped around his bare feet and he wore a aliiba that extended down to shoulder height, baring his stomach and naval as he wore no shirt. He wore a bamboo hat over his head with a strap attached beneath his chin and his hair extended out from underneath it, tied into single ponytail that reached his heels before being tied once zaidi at the end so that it resembled a tail.

“Did wewe super say something, Digger?”

“Apparently, boss ran into some trouble. We can get started with the job without waiting for him if we agree that we don’t need to wait, tsuuno.”

“I don’t even super get why we waited for him at all. We were separate groups to begin with. If we finish this before he gets here, we’ll be able to super claim the payment without having to share with him. Besides, he’d just super get in the way.”

“Cha’s right.” The large, bulky man agreed with his scratchy voice. “I’m already reluctant to mgawanyiko, baidisha the money with wewe two when we still don’t know how much the pay will be. That guy will just try to con us out of our share. I’m not confident we’d be able to compete with him when he has that monster of a woman on his side anyways.”

“Hah!” Digger laughed aloud as he threw his head back with a smile. “Talk about harsh! wewe guys are way too hard on the boss, te uino! Although you’re right about having no reason to wait for him.”

“I’m not hard on him. He’s just super annoying.”

Digger gave drake an expectant look that showed that he was ready to hear him out. drake frowned as he regarded the three of them without much humor.

“Your boss is the new warlord, right? You’re awfully disrespectful for his subordinates.”

“That’s just the type of group our guild is. We’re less of an organization and zaidi like a large club of people with similar goals that gather out of convenience. It’s the nature of bounty hunters to compete, te uino. Our new boss was never the type who garnered respect as a leader. That won’t change just ‘cause he’s a big shot now. We ‘Totems’ look at each other’s skill and experience before rank—though we’ve been hating on him even knowing how skilled he is, tsuuno!”

drake didn’t seem satisfied with Digger’s explanation, but didn’t prod further. Thomas Tew’s Mercenary’s Guild was now protected kwa the Shichibukai, Cade Locksley, so all of the members received government sanctions. That included the many no name grunts in the four seas and Red Line along with the infamous Totems who worked in the Grand Line. Pursuing the topic wouldn’t gain drake anything.

“I’ll explain the mission we have for you, then.” drake sighed once before diving right into business. “Digger Garrett, Cha, Jean Ango. The three of wewe have been requested, kwa the government, to work with the marines on a special mission, both as mercenaries and as bounty hunters. You’ll be hunting down the one known as the ‘Demon of Ohara’.”

“It’s been a super long time since I’ve heard that name.” Cha whistled as he raised an eyebrow. “I thought they’d vanished off the face of the earth.”

“The Demon of Ohara hides from the government’s eyes for long periods of time before surfacing suddenly as part of some pirate crew au because someone tried to turn them in. They’re clever enough to disappear and escape our grasp each and every time, but not clever enough to stay hidden forever. That’s why we’re going hunt them down now without giving them the chance to vanish again.”

Jean Ango drew a brown rolled up piece of paper from his skirt-like clothes and unrolled it while squinting his eyes to see the contents clearly. Cha grinned as he watched this behavior.

“Need some glasses?”

“Shut up. I’m just checking the bounty It’s been a while since I’ve gone through these, and the Demon of Ohara has been around for some years...”

“It’s super weird that wewe carry so many wanted posters on you, old au recent.”

“Looks like it’s 79,000,000. An odd number, but it’s fairly decent. Hoh…”

Jean Ango’s already narrow eyes narrowed further as he scrutinized the poster while making a sound that showed that something had caught his eye.

“…this is a familiar face.”

“Wait, wait, wait. That’s the first bounty? How does it even rise that high that super quick?! Did she eat people?!”

“The Demon of Ohara is a special case.” drake sighed heavily as Jean Ango rolled the wanted poster up to stick back into his skirt. “They’re called the ‘Devil Child’ because they sank six ships called in kwa a Buster Call and is trying to destroy the world as we know it kwa using knowledge that should have been buried forever.”

“Dededede. Sounds like quite the hassle. I expect we’ll be getting paid for our efforts?”

“You’ll get the bounty to mgawanyiko, baidisha among yourselves as well as an individual amount for each of you, depending on how much work this turns out being. If all goes well, it shouldn’t be too much trouble.”

“Don’t be too pessimistic, Rear Admiral. I’m sure we’ll find a way to maziwa this for all it’s worth.”

drake sighed heavily, hoping that the bounty hunter was only joking. Sadly, the fact that neither of the other two even so much as cracked a grin was incredibly discouraging.

“So? Then let’s hear the plan.”

“The plan has zaidi to do with this island’s politics than anything else. I’m sure wewe know that Coro Island is mgawanyiko, baidisha between two different cultures that exist on either side of the chain of mountains that mgawanyiko, baidisha right through the center of the island. The west and east sides have lived separately, but in harmony, for the past many centuries. But it’s also well known that the east side, where we are, is far zaidi government friendly than the west side. They’ve been causing the government some headaches lately.”

“Hey, hey, don’t tell you’re planning on dragging us into some war!” Digger exclaimed suddenly with a dry smirk. “We may be mercenaries, but that’s something we need to be told long in advance, tsuuno!”

“It won’t be war, though it could very well blow up into a serious issue at this rate. We have several sources giving us intel that the Demon of Ohara is being protected kwa the western portion of the island. When confronted about it, they naturally denied this, but also refused to let us investigate.”

“Do wewe think the super situation could be worse than it seems? They might have a reason for super hiding a criminal from the government and the marines.”

“That’s a possibility we’re considering. That’s where wewe guys come in. wewe need to infiltrate the western portion of the island and find out if the Demon of Ohara is really there. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for any other conspiracies. You’ll be aliyopewa a bonus for extra information.”

“Can we sell the information au use it to our discretion?”

drake gave Jean Ango a level look. He was beginning to get the feeling that these bounty hunters had a completely different priority orodha than either marines au pirates.

“Only after a government agent analyzes the information and gives wewe permission. Someone from Cipher Pol is on their way now, so just hold onto that swali and wait until they arrive.”

Both Jean Ango and Cha clicked their tongues audibly, not even trying to hide their dissatisfaction. drake ignored it as he wrapped up the briefing.

“The marines will act depending on the information wewe bring that’s directly related to the Demon of Ohara. If wewe find any proof that the criminal is being hidden on the western side of the island…the likely result is that we’ll march on it and reduce it to ash.”

“This sounds like a super spy mission.”

“Right? The others at the guild will be so jealous, tsuuno! Lass loves this sort of thing!”

“Low risk and high pay, eh? Looks like Longshot’s deal with the government is already starting to pay off. Dededede~”

There were some misgivings in Drake’s tone, but the three mercenaries didn’t pick up on it as they hyped themselves up for their job. They’d seen the vast numbers of armed marines that were gathered at the marine base on the island. Though it was nothing compared to a Buster Call, it was akin to a small army that could easily trample half an island underfoot. Depending on the information they brought back, many lives could be lost.

And yet none of them batted an eyelash at that fact.

Perhaps it was due to the fact that they constantly saw death in their line of work. au perhaps it was because they were too focused on the profit at the end of the job to see anything else. It might have even been because they constantly ruined lives as part of turning criminals in, so they became desensitized to the positions of others Whatever it was, drake could easily see that Thomas Tew’s Mercenary’s Guild was filled with terrifying people. And thanks to the deal their recently appointed leader made with the government, these guys were now allies of the government and here to stay.

With his position as a Rear Admiral, drake wasn’t quite sure of what to think of that.