I was down in the main foyay waiting for my father. I was thankful that they didn’t tie my obie as tight this time. I was nervous, so I needed the breath.
I felt someone stick something in my hair and looked up to see it was my father.
“Daddy?” I questioned.
“You look positively beautiful, Ceerie.” He told me with his signature smile, “Are you ready?”
I took a deep breath, “As I’ll ever be, I suppose.”
He hugged me quickly before we went to the front yard. There there was a small carried carriage. It was covered by red bamboo curtains. The wood was a deep cherry.
He got in, and then I was helped in by him and Benn.
I took one quick look around before the curtain came down. Everyone from our family was there. We had taken on all the subordinates of White beard who didn’t want to serve under Black Beard. Onii-chan was in the crowd with them.
My heart rate was starting to pick up as they walked. At one point Daddy placed him hand on top of mine in an attempt to calm me down.
“I was as nervous as you were when I was at my ceremony.” He told me, and places a dry kiss on my cheek, “You’ll be fine.”
For once relief came washed over me as he said that. He hadn’t said “You’ll do great”, or “We’re counting on you.”, or “Don’t worry.”, or even worse, “The entire family is behind you.”. But instead he said, “You’ll be fine.”
He had no exceedingly high expectations of me, he wasn’t worried of me messing up. He didn’t care I made a good impression or not. All he cared about was that I made it out of there alive.
During all of these gatherings, someone usually dies. Usually that person is one of the next bosses. And then because of that a large war breaks out and nothings alright anymore for the longest of times.
It’s just a giant mess I don’t want to get into. As much as I love blood shed, I’m in a kimono, and I have knives strapped to my thighs. I have nothing underneath that would work if a fight broke out.
I sighed as I looked through the curtains to see the temple come into view.
The temple was in the middle of the entire town. We all came here for numerous things; the blessing of a new heir, marriage, certain meetings, and ceremonies.
I was always fascinated with it’s history, but today I looked at it in disgust. How could it just stand there tall when people were about to die? Then again was anyone really going to die today? Or were we all going to die a little more on the inside after this?
I hadn’t the time to answer anyone of these questions, as the carriage was set down and I was helped out of it.
Looking around I saw all of our lesser families around us. I swallowed when I looked over and saw the Black family already here.
“You mustn’t worry about them, Ceerie-hime.” I heard someone next to me tell me, I turned to see it was Trafalgar Law.
“Arigoto, Law-san.” I told him, “But it’s not them I’m worried about.”
He didn’t open his mouth to ask, he already knew. Big Mama. She had just come, and Bonney stepped out in a bright pink kimono that was open so it showed her legs, and her cleavage.
I sighed, it was probably Big Mama’s idea. She liked me, but loathed my father. I honestly couldn’t tell you why.
“Good luck out there, Law.” I told him knowing I would have to head over to my father in just a moment.
“Same to you, Lady Ceerie.” He told me.
“I’m not a lady until I’ve become a boss.” I smiled, “Soon-to-be-Lord Trafalgar.”
He grinned back and we parted. My stomach was in knots, but the look I got not only from my father, but Onii-chan, settled it almost instantly.
I was behind my father, as it was supposed to be. All four families walked up together, side by side. No one saying anything. I had nothing to say to any of them as it were.
It still baffled me how you had to attend these ceremonies even if you didn’t meet the requirements of it. Black bears had no heir, yet here he was walking up to the ceremony with us.
We entered the temple and took out seats around the table. I took a unnoticable breath as the elder entered the room. He wasn’t exactly the eldest man in the town, but he had the wisdom, experience, and power that made him so.
Monkey D. Dragon. Luffy’s father. To be an elder wasn’t in the blood line like it was to be a boss, but it was the highest honor there was.
He took his seat in the tall throne, crossed his legs, and folded his hands.
“We begin with the last family for power.” He said, his voice boomed through the walls and rang in my ears. He had power and gravity about him.
“We start with the West Family.” He told us.
Then there was the Black Family, and then the sweet family, and finally the Red family.
“Basil Hawkins.” Was his name, and he never showed any emotion.
“Reverse order, Mussel family.”
Sweet family is was Apoo, I didn’t know who anyone was from the other families.
“The Second family.” He said.
I didn’t know who it was for the Black family, but for the West it was Bege, for the Sweets it was Kidd, and for us it was Law.
“Next in lines.” He told us.
“I have non.” Black beard laughed, “I’m not old like the rest of you.”
“Ceerie Le Roux.”
Dragon nodded, from behind him servants came out with trays, on them parchment, and pens.
The boss of the family districts signed it, as did those next to that position. Then the boss signed it. Another piece of parchment was then placed in front, except for Black Beard, of us the Boss signed it. Then the next in line did.
My hands were shaking slightly from this. But I managed to pull myself together in order to print a legible signature.
“Now we must bring up that matter of marriage.” Dragon told us.
My eyes went wide. Marriage? What about it? My father wasn’t really thinking of giving me to one of these idiots, was he?
“Perhaps it’s best that you do the explaining, Big Mama.” He told her.
She opened her large mouth to begin.
“With the death of the late White beard, I realized it’s almost impossible to keep one’s self above water without help. So here is what I propose.” She said smiling evilly, “I have had a conversation with all of my eledgable subordinates. Bonney, Kidd, and Apoo are all ready for the commitment of marriage. And don’t fret. The ceremonies wont actually happen until they’re finished with school of course.”
By the look of his face, Black beard had an evil plan brewing in his head.
“I’m sure some one in my family would be more than happy to accept one of them as their spouse.” He told Mama.
“absolutely not.” Kaido said sternly, “I have plans for my own subordinates.”
“All eyes on you, Shanks.” Dragon told my father.
“Well,” He said placing a finger under his chin, “The offer sounds tempting. Have three of the four families in alliance because of marriage, then leaving one on its own. Who could say no to that?”
I bit my bottom lip lightly and my grip on my kimono on my legs tightened. He wasn’t seriously thinking this over was he?
“Demo, I think I’ll let my people have the power to choose who they wish to have.” He told her.
relief spread through me. He wasn’t thinking of anything like that.
“You wouldn’t give into a good deal, even if it meant life or death?” Black beard asked him.
My father chuckled, “That’s just it.” He told him, “It did sound too good to be true. And as long as I have a say in it, not one of people is going to shed a single drop of blood uselessly.”
“How noble of you.” Mama told him sarcastically.
“Arigoto.” He grinned.
I held back a smile. My father could be so childish at times, but you couldn’t help but love him.
“Is that all then?” Black beard asked.
“Not quite.” Dragon told us, “I’ve notice a steady incline of your youth picking fights with one another and disturbing the peace of the civilians. I highly suggest you make it perfectly clear to your teenagers that no matter how powerful their parents are, or what position they may have or will be having, I still run this town. And the next time I see something that will disrupt the town, they’re in jail thirty days, no bail. Am I understood?”
“Hai.” They all said.
“Unless any of you have something you would like to add, I believe we are done.” He said.
“Actually Dragon-san,” My father chimed in, “There is something I would like to add to this discussion.”
He nodded telling him to proceed.
“There’s a man, Oflux.” He said as the room shifted, shivers ran up and down my spine remembering what he did to me when I was young. It was hard to trust very many men other than the the family and my friends and brothers after that, “I have an old score to settle with him. And I heard a rumor that one of the opposing families was hiding him. I would just like to extend that I will have people looking for him. And if I find out that one of you is hiding him, and aren’t coming forward about it, well, I suppose I’ll kill you along with him.”
“I believe you are understood, Shanks.” Dragon told him, “Anyone else?”
No one said anything.
He nodded, “Then I suppose the only thing left to do is present the next generation to the people outside.”