I sat in front of the grand piano in the ballroom playing a very dark piece. The music reverberated off the high walls giving the best acoustics in the entire house. Yet I did not fail to notice the sound of the door being opened and the distinctive sounds of three sets of footsteps on the marble floor making their way towards me.
“Thank you for coming.” I said over the low music.
“Well, when I get a call directly from the head of house herself, how can I refuse?” Kaido asked from behind me, “What was it you wanted to talk about?”
“Those weapons you’ve been getting.” I said shortly coming to the climax of the song.
“I’m sorry?” Kaido asked, not really believing what I had just said.
“Recently,” I started, “You’ve been getting some large shipments. Naturally, I grew curious. I found out exactly where those weapons have been coming from.”
“And where is that?” Kaido snarled at me.
“Well, before being handled by a third party, they come from Punk Hazard.” I said, “More specifically, my research facility.”
“That facility was funded by your father and myself.” He roared, his vocals completely eclipsing the music my fingers still stimulated.
“At the beginning yes.” I said, continuing to play, “But after about three months of construction, you ran into financial issues. It was either become ruined due to the fighting that was occurring in Alabasta at the time, or sell off your share of the facility to my father to get yourself out of the hole. Which is exactly what you’ve done.”
“What are you talking about?” He demanded.
“A very large and detailed contract I found the other day.” I started, the music slowing down now, “You gave up all rights to the facility. Meaning you have no right to be there, talking to the scientists, or attempting to purchase anything they produce.”
“Your father and I signed that agreement, not you and I, Ceerie. Nice try.” Kaido boomed.
The piece came to and end and I folded my hands in my lap as I spoke, “Correction. The agreement was not between you and my father, Kaido-san, it was between the West Family and the Red Family. Meaning, I have just as much right over the facility as my father did before he died. You are in the wrong territory right now, and I suggest you watch your step.”
The crack of teeth broke out through the silent room, followed closely by an animalistic growl, “You’re trying to intimidate me!”
Before he or Urouge could move a muscle there were 10 guns pointed at them.
I stood from my place at the piano bench and padded around it towards them in bare feet, allowing my strapless, black dress to flow about me as it pleased. I stopped a few feet away from them and held my ground with my hands behind my back.
“I would never think of intimidating you, Kaido-san.” I started staring up at the much taller man, “But right now you’re trying to intimidate me, and that is simply something my subordinates will not stand for. What I am presenting to you is not an ultimadem, but an option.”
“You’re giving me a choice?” He snarled.
I nodded before continuing, “You may continue to stress these orders of my scientists and suffer the same gruesome fate that awaits the same man supplying these weapons to you, or, you may return all the weapons that have been illegally smuggled to you by this man and apologise to me for the inconvenience you have brought me, and we will go back to how things were, no one will have to know about this, and you, and the rest of your family will live another day.”
“What happened to us having a truce?” He snarled, assessing the situation.
“It’s all nullified when I find out that there’s someone stealing from me.” I hissed back.
“And I assume you don’t know who this man is, and that’s what you hope to gain from me handing the weapons back over to you, isn’t it?” He chuckled.
I shook my head allowing my hair to dance around my face with the motion, “I know exactly who this person is. And I will deal with him permanently once I’m done here with you. Now make your choice.”
“You’re bluffing!?” Kaido snarled.
“You wanna try that right now?” I countered staring him down, “Look around, Kaido. Even if I didn’t know who he was all I would have to do is turn over enough rocks to get the information I want. I know Cesar squeals easily when you squeeze hard enough.”
“And if I refuse?” He growled.
I said nothing but turned and walked towards the door leading to the hallway heading to the kitchen.
“Where the hell are you going!?” Urouge yelled at me.
I turned when I got to the door and gripped the handle.
“This is a new dress.” I told them, “I don’t want it dirtied.”
I opened the door and closed it behind me. Once the latch was in place the sounds of gun shots rang out through the door, throughout the entire house. And shortly there after, the sound of two heavy bodies hitting the marble floor with a thud.
I opened the door again and inspected the work the men had done.
Both bodies were riddled with holes, and their blood slowly seeping out and pooling around them.
“What now?” Law asked looking over at me, he had been the one to lead them in.
“Remove their heads.” I ordered, “Deliver Urouge’s to the West Family’s house and Kaido’s to the merged house. I want them to know I mean business now.”
“Anything else, ma’am?” Lucky asked looking over the bodies.
“Don’t get caught doing it.” I warned.
“Yes, ma’am.” Killer said rolling up his sleeves prepared to do the dirty work.
I turned around to see Benn behind me.
“He’s on the Mushi, waiting for you.”He told me.
I nodded, “I leave this to you then.” I said to Lucky before following Benn back to the office.
The mushi was already set up and waiting for me. I sat down and spoke into the receiver.
“Ah, Ceerie-san. It’s nice to hear from you. What would you like to speak about?” Doflamingo asked.
“Smile.” I said bluntly, I saw the grin on the mushi fall instantaneously.
“What, you would like me to smile for you?” He asked, the smile reappearing on his face, “If that’s the case you should have asked for a visitation.”
“Cut the shit Doflamingo.” I snarled, “I know it’s been you who has been hiring Cesar to produce Smile for you, and I know it’s been you selling the Smile to Kaido.”
The smile stayed off the mushi now, “Yeah, so what? It’s a number’s game, Ceerie you should know that by now.”
“I am perfectly aware of what the numbers represent, Doflamingo.” I told him, “But if you keep looking at this like a game, you’re the one who’s going to lose, not me.”
He chuckled, “Fufufufu, if it’s not a game to you, Ceerie, what is it then?”
“Life.” I told him shortly, “And unlike you, I don’t toy with people’s existences.”
“Oh that’s rich!” He laughed, “Like you didn’t force the majority of Blackbeard’s territory to become part of your empire.”
“I didn’t.” I replied, “We moved in, after I spoke to everyone in the area and they said that they would prefer to be under the rule of the Red Family.”
“And when did you find time to ask them this?!” He demanded.
“After school every day.” I smirked.
I heard him holding back a growl on the other end of the line.
“Use every opportunity you can, Doflamingo, that’s life lesson number 1.” I told him.
“Okay, Ceerie, now what? You caught me red handed, you know I’m stealing Smile and supplying it to Kaido. What are you going to do about it? You can’t stroll right into Kaido’s home and kill him, and you certainly can’t start a war with him, especially since he has all that Smile stock piled. What now?”
“Kaido has been taken out of the picture.” I told him calmly, “He’s no longer a concern of mine. And if I did fear the amount of Smile he had stock piled I would have taken his offer and married Urouge, which, if you haven’t noticed, I haven’t.”
“You don’t fear Smile?” Doflamingo scoffed.
“According to Cesar, between you and Kaido, you only have about twenty. And now that I know what Smile is, it’s laughable.” I told him.
“You don’t know Cesar like I do, Ceerie.”
“And you don’t know me like you think you do.” I snarled, that took him aback, “And here’s what’s going to happen, Doflamingo. Neither you nor any of your men are to step foot on Punk Hazard for as long as you live, or face the consequences.”
He chuckled again, “And what are these consequences, Ceerie?”
“I’m sure you saw the news paper a week ago, what happened to Oflux.” I heard him growl, “And I would keep your eye out for the paper tomorrow too. You’ll see what happened to your precious safety blanket, Kaido. Oh, and Doflamingo, before I forget. If you ever speak to me in such a way again I will personally rip your throat out and shove it up your ass. Am I clear.”
My only reply was a growl before he hung up.
I hung up the receiver and leaned back in my chair.
“You’re playing a very dangerous game right now, Ceerie. I hope you know what you’re doing.” Benn said from across the table.
“It’s not a game.” I told him, “My life is on the line if I slip. So’s yours, so’s Law’s, so’s Killer’s, and Lucky, Yasopp, Hawkins, Makino, Luffy, Ace, Sabo, everyone’s life is on the line.”
“That’s why I’m asking.” Benn repeated.
“I’ve thought out every possible scenario, if that’s what you’re asking.” I said looking him dead in the eye, “And I’ve thought about every scenario with my reaction to that. To say I know exactly what I’m doing, I don’t, because I don’t know at any given time what my adversary will do, but I’m doing everything I can to be ready for their counter assault.”
Benn just smiled at me and nodded, “You’re beginning to sound a lot like your father, it’s almost creepy.”
I looked down at the table. I was, wasn’t I?