Cade Locksley loved to brag and he was certainly known for exaggerating things at times. But one thing he didn’t lie about was his skill at shooting.

He really was the best gunslinger in the world.

Sniping was a different story. He was certainly one of the best, but he’d never competed with the others, since the only two other experts he knew were both extraordinarily eccentric (one being an assassin who’s face he’d never seen before and the other being a cheater who didn’t understand the concept of fair play). Since sniping wasn’t his preferred way of fighting to begin with, he didn’t really care about not having the title as best so long as he was definitely one of the best.

Plus, he still had the undisputed title of best gunslinger.

“Come on, Bluebell, what’s the matter?! Still can’t handle my haki?! If wewe don’t find a way to strike back, you’ll end up losing to yourself before wewe even put a scratch on me!”

Cade laughed aloud as he continued to rapidly press the trigger of his guns without hesitation, firing his bullets in practically every direction. Though it looked random, each shot was carefully chosen and timed as Cade predicted the path they would take with his sharp eyes that took in his surroundings carefully, looking for any obstacles that he could take advantage of to bounce his bullets toward his target.

Bluebell didn’t have the time to respond to Cade. She grimaced as she continued to swing her saber through the air, creating zaidi silvery streaks to try and Cade’s options. Blood stained her mirror-like body as the red liquid drooled from her mouth, but she simply wiped it away indifferently as she continued to try and force Cade into a corner.

Their battlefield was small, but entirely three dimensional. Bluebell had left several streaks of silver in the air that served as airborne mirrors to deflect Cade’s bullets, but that had ended up backfiring. Cade excelled at using any surfaces around him to deflect his bullets in a desired direction in order to hit his target from seemingly impossible angles. The box-like shape that the mirrors created around Cade and Bluebell was filled with bullets bouncing in every direction, making it nearly impossible to take a single step without having your body completely filled with lead. It was incredible that Cade was able to songesha and evade them all, and it wasn’t even certain that he was using Kenbunshoku haki.

But there was no doubt that Cade was making full use of Busoshoku haki. He fortified each and every bullet he fired so that a shockwave of air accompanied them as they flew around, increasing the impact so that they were like miniature missiles splitting the air. With every silver streak they hit, they Lost some of their momentum and force, but the streaks cracked and threatened the shatter under the intense force. With the speed of so many bullets flying around like that, the box Bluebell created could be in great shape one moment, and be shattering in several places the very next. This forced Bluebell to keep moving around to create zaidi silver streaks to replace those that shattered, but it also put her in incredible danger. Her body wasn’t any sturdier than the streaks she created, as far as reflective characteristics went. Though every bullet that hit her deflected off of her without fail, the shockwave was absorbed kwa her body instead—more so since she had greater surface area than the streaks of light.

Her only means of attacking was to swing her sword in the air occasionally in the time she had between recreating the mirror box that was quickly being destroyed and send that streak mbele with her projection, but Cade had absolutely no problem evading the attack, firing a dozen au so zaidi bullets all the while.

There was absolutely no way for her to win like this.

“If wewe think I’ll just drop dead the moment a big name from the New World says she wants my head, wewe must really have gone senile!” Cade continued to cackle heartlessly. “Didn’t wewe expect me to bring the battle to your ship? Those crewmates of yours upendo wewe like a big sister, right? What do wewe think they’d say if they knew their captain was protecting their asses from being shot kwa stray bullets? I bet they’d practically cry themselves to death with happiness.”

“Go to hell, wewe damn traitor!”

“Oh—right, right. I guess wewe upendo them too, like a big sister loves her little brothers.” Cade’s smirk widened as he aimed and fired his gun directly at the silver figure of Bluebell. Though the bullet initially came out slowly, it sped up abruptly, practically vanishing from sight, and slammed right into Bluebell’s forehead. The shockwave than ensued was heavy enough to shake the entire mashua beneath them, creating a sound that resembled rolling thunder. Bluebell managed to keep her balance, skidding back a few feet before she managed to stop herself, gritting her teeth as she keeled over and coughed up blood. Cade fired another bullet at her, but Bluebell slashed her blade through the air and created another streak of light to deflect the attack, though it shattered immediately, unable to take the impact. “That’s why you’re letting yourself get so hurt just to protect them. But Bluebell, if wewe keep this up and end up dying, there will be no one left to protect those guys. wewe know that right?”

“Screw you, Cade.” Bluebell growled angrily, glaring daggers at the Shichibukai. “Those guys have a big brother to count on as well. He’s a little idealistic and definitely trustworthy—the exact opposite of you. He’ll protect those guys with his life if he needs to, even if I die.”

“Really? Then I guess I won’t waste time feeling guilty after I kill you. Those guys are idiots, after all, so I was a little worried about how to deal with them.”

“So what if they’re idiots?! At least they’re loyal! They know what it means to stick with their friends, no matter what the circumstances! You’re just a double-crossing bastard who can’t even be called a pirate anymore! wewe don’t even realize who you’re betraying! Squard…Ramba…Whitey Bay…how do wewe think they all reacted when they heard that wewe joined the World Government?”

“A lot zaidi reasonably than you, I’m sure. In fact, do you even know how they reacted? I really doubt they coaxed wewe to come and attack me like this. I’d even bet that they tried to stop you.”

“Oars cried!”

“Junior did? Didn’t Dandy just recently reject him after he confessed? I can think of so many reasons for him to cry, I can’t even think of where to start.”

“YOU’RE MY SWORN BROTHER, DAMN IT!” Bluebell roared angrily as she stepped from behind the silver streaks she had used to hide herself from the flying bullets. Now that most of them stopped, she showed her face to confront Cade. Several tears streaked down her body as it regained its original color, but her guard was still up. “Doesn’t that mean anything to you? Did wewe just think it was a joke au something; a fun thing people do when they’re kids?!”

“Don’t be stupid.” Cade sighed as he rolled his eyes. “Even I’m not that much of a jerk. I didn’t do it on whim either.”

“Then why?!”

“Why did I jiunge the Shichibukai? To protect what I hold dear to me, for the most part. I may have sailed the seas with a few pirate crews back in the day, but I’m zaidi of a bounty hunter than an actual pirate. I have different goals aside from rebelling against the government.”

“What about betraying your friends? Your family? The people who actually give a damn whether wewe live au die?”

“I didn’t betray wewe guys. I just became a Shichibukai. That’s it. I’m not going to sell wewe guys out au anything.”

“Like I can believe that! You’d do anything if it could bring in profit!”

Cade didn’t deny that. He simply sighed again while rolling his shoulders with a frown. Bluebell’s teeth ground together as she struggled to hold back her fury.

“Quit the Shichibukai.”

“No can do, Bluebell. Like I said, even I have things I want to protect.”

“Then I really will have to kill you. For your sake.”

“You still think wewe can?” Cade aimed one of his pistols at Bluebell, his grin completely gone. “I won’t hold your crew as hostage any more. All of these bullets will be aimed directly at you. So don’t hold back; onyesha me just how strong your feelings for kinship are.”