We all stepped out into the sunlight. Staring down at the people below, they all looked like ants.
As I was still overwhelmed by all of this, I head my head up high as I followed Law down the steps. I figured nothing could really go wrong after this. And of course, I was proven wrong.
I felt a light tug on the end of my kimono, and before I could do anything, I tumbled face first down a few steps. I did however manage to brace my fall, but my shins, knees, and palms were burning from the impact and strange angle.
I looked back and saw Bonney smirking evilly at me.
“Warri.” She said trying to sound innocent, as the rest of the world froze waiting for my next move, “My mistake, this was my fault.” She stepped off of the edge of my kimono so I could get up.
I stood tall and brushed the dirt off. Before turning to her and bowing.
“No,” I said softly, “It was my fault for allowing my trail to get under your feet. So I apologise.” I told her and straightened up. The look on her face was complete and utter shock. Urouge shared a similar look as her.
“Bonney-san, Urouge-san.” I said and motioned my arms for them to continue on down the stairs, “After you two.”
Urouge went back to smiling, but the look of shock never left Bonney’s face. I bit back a smirk as I folded my hands in front of me and allowed my long sleeves to cover my hands once again.
We reached the ground, and when we did we made a square and bowed to each other before heading to our families.
I was helped back into the cart as soon as I approached it. I waited for my father to get in and the curtain to close before I adjusted my sitting position to the fetal position and checked my legs. There were they were red and had a few scratches on them, but nothing too bad. My hands were fine, and just a quick wash would do wonders.
“I’m proud of you, Ceerie.” My father told me as we were lifted up, “You handled that very well.”
“Arigoto.” I said and fixed my kimono and sat normally, “I just didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she got my temper.”
“What ever the reason, you did so well.” He encouraged, patting my shoulder gently, “I suggest you have Makino wash those quickly when we get in, before the meeting.”
“Neh, daddy?” I asked.
He smiled for me to continue.
“Why does Big Mama hate you so much?” I asked. This question had been bugging me for as long as I could remember.
He sighed, “He wanted to marry your mother and have a child with her, but I beat him to the chase. He wanted her before he had his surgery, but she became pregnant with you, and he got pissed off that I had what he wanted.”
“Soka.” I said, “But then she likes me, because I’m half of her.”
“I think finally understand.” I said to myself.
The rest of the way was quiet. There wasn’t really all that much to talk about right now anyways. We were set down and I was helped out.
I went straight up to my room and found Makino in my bathroom already with disinfectant, and warm water.
“I got a call from your Onii-chan.” She told me, “Said you fell down the stairs.”
I smiled lightly, and she motioned for me to sit on the counter. I did and opened my kimono so she could get at my legs.
When she was done I closed my kimono and thanked her before heading down to the meeting room.
I slipped through the door and all eyes were on me.
“What am I late?” I asked with a nervous, sheepish smile.
“No, Ceerie.” Benn told me, “We were just discussing what a great job you did handling Bonney earlier.”
“She’s nothing compared to Kidd.” I muttered as I walked across the room and took my seat next to my father.
“Alright.” My father said, “First order of business: Lucky, what’s the word on him?”
He sighed, “There isn’t much information I could get, sir.” He told him, “My spies are doing everything they can, but even finding out about what they know about him has become a challenge.”
He nodded, “Have your highest ranking spies in each family try and get phone records, spending receipts, any and everything they can get their hands on that would indicate a spike in that family’s normal pool; even in the slightest way.”
“Yes, sir.” He said.
“Second order: Benn, how much of Black Beard’s territory have we managed to obtain and keep over the past few months?”
“Between the other families we all managed to take about 40% of his total area.” He told him, “We managed 18%, taking the most of it.”
He nodded again before sighing deeply, “Thrid order of buisness: And quiet possibly the most difficult to deliver.” He paused and hand a hand through his shaggy red hair, “Law, Killer, Basil, Ceerie. You nakama, and anything else you have outside of the Red Family, you need to either exceedingly lessen or exterminate those relationships. The latter is always prefered. Understood?”
The other’s nodded, I stared at my lap.
“Ceerie?” My father asked, “Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
I nodded, “I knew this day was coming, and I promise I’ll try, demo, I can not extinguish my relationships with my nakama or my Onii-chen. I could try a thousand times and they’re all too stubborn to give me up as one of their own.”
He nodded, “Try. Lessen the time you spend with them, and if you absolutely cannot, meet with them behind closed doors.”
“Besides I really don’t want a stampede of your nakama bursting through the door demanding to see you and not taking no for an answer.”
“They’re quite determined.” I told him.
“I’ve noticed.” He smirked, “Fourth order of business:” He paused again and pinched the bridge of his nose,”Does anyone have any idea as to why the hell Big Mama would bring up something so drastic as marriage.”
“As she said, with white beard gone, and how we prospered from a partnership with him, it’s hard to stay on top alone. And so by offering a few of her own that are next in line, it’s the equivalent of saying marry in and together we’ll over throw all the others.” Hawkins said.
“It’s true, but out of all of them she offered up Bonney, Kidd, and Apoo.” Law added, “Why them of all people.”
“It’s not necessarily like she had a choice.” I cut in, “Most of her family consists of middle-aged men, were as all others have a good balance. Kidd and Apoo are young and fit and would be most desirable. As for Bonney, I know all of you have checked her out a few times.”
Law’s and Hawkin’s faces went red, Killer’s was covered by his mask, but I already knew his probably mated my hair.
“To be honest I don’t think we really have to worry about that marriage that may or may not happen.” I told him.
“What makes you say that?” Yasopp questioned, “If a marriage is coming we should at least prepare in some way!”
“Yasopp, hear her out.” My father told him, “These are of her generation, she knows them better than we could guess.”
“You really want me to take over on this?” I asked.
He nodded, “They’re your peers. You know them better than I ever could.” He told me, “Consider this a little practice for you aswell.”
I nodded, “The reason why we shouldn’t worry is because it’s Bonney, Kidd, and Apoo.” I told them, “If it were anyone else it would be a concern.”
“How do you figure?” Killer asked me.
I bit back rolling my eyes, “I’m sure we all can agree that Apoo is annoying as hell, neh?” They nodded, “And, Killer, you’re nakama with Kidd, you know better than anyone his temper, his controlling nature, his sadistic and controlling personality.”
“Sounds like you know him very well.” Benn added.
“Get to sparing with someone and you find these things out.” I said matter-of-factly.
“What about Bonney?” Law asked.
“What about her?” I asked, “The only reason why black beard said what he did was because of her body. He’s a sleaze for sure. And considering her eating habits and temper, he probably won’t keep her long if it happens. Besides, she’ll be pacing around wondering what to do now.”
“What do you mean?” Lucky asked.
“Black beard wasn’t the target with the marriage proposal.” Law told him, “Considering she knows about how much we took from him as he settled in his new position, she was most likely trying for us or the West family.”
I nodded, “So with that as a fail, she’ll try another approach. I suggest the four of us watch our backs. I have no idea what she’s gonna try and pull.”
“And you think she’s going to go after you guys?” Yasopp asked disgusted.
“I wouldn’t put it past her.” Daddy said, then stared at me a moment, as I was pulling the many things that held my hair in place out.
“Nani?” I asked Pulling a few flowers and the silver pin from my hair.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“It’s starting to bother me.” I told him as I started pulling out bobby pins.
He sighed knowing I wasn’t going to stop.
“Fifth and final order of business:” He said and sighed once more, “Retirement.”
The room became still as I pulled out the last bobby pin holding my long hair.
“Lucky, Killer’s exceedingly skilled. We all know he’s going to be amazing at his job when you step down.” He told him.
Lucky nodded, “But I don’t plan to retire just yet.” He told my father, “Maybe a few years after they graduate.”
Daddy nodded, “Yasopp, you got a wife and kid at home, Basil’s got everything covered from where I stand.”
“Awh, kid’s bright. However, everyday at the dinner table, Usopp tells these crazy stories about you and what you did. Apparently he get’s them from your little girl.” He told the red haired man, “If I have any pride as a man I’m staying around until you’re gone.”
He chuckled, “I look forward to keeping you.” The he turned his attention to Benn, “Law’s a good choice. He has everything needed to assist Ceerie in the long run and more. I understand if you want to retire now, Benn.”
Benn chuckled, “The kid is good, I’ll give him that. However, I still got a lot of bite left in me.”
“Yosh!” He nodded, “I have no plans to retire for a long time. So it looks like you guys are gonna have to wait a long while for your positions.”
In a way we all sorta shrugged and silently said we didn’t care. I don’t think any of us actually wanted the position while we were still in school.
“Alright then.” He said, “Shall we eat?”
We all nodded and left the meeting room to go to the dinning room.
“Ceerie-hime!” A voice screeched behind us.
I stopped in my tracks and turned around to see a furious Daddan glaring at me.
“Nani?” I asked and crossed my arms over my chest, trying to quiet my empty stomach.
“A lady should not have her hair down in front of a man other than her husband!” She scolded, “Now look at you! First you wouldn’t let me tie your obie corectly, then you fell down the stairs, now your hair is down! What man will accept you as a wife now!”
I rolled my eyes and brought my hair from my back to my right side over my shoulder and started to run my fingers through it as I turned on my heels and headed towards the dinning room.
“I don’t care about a husband, I don’t care about being proper, and I defiantly don’t care about being a lady.” I told her as she followed me into the dinning room not finished with me yet, “I swear if there’s one more incident with my hair not being proper I’m cutting it off.” I said and took my seat on the far end of the table opposite to my father.
“You are not cutting it!” Both my father and Daddan screamed at me.
I looked at them coldly and slumped in my seat.
“I’ll have a nice long talk with her after dinner, sir.” Daddan told my father.
“No, that’s alright, Daddan.” He told her, “I think we need some time together after all.”
I bit my tongue to stop from rolling my eyes and coming up with a witty remark, as they brought out the first course.