Two women sat on the sand in the center of the arena, an infectious giggle being shared as they were so rudely interrupted by a booming voice:
“NO TRUCES WILL BE ACCEPTED. DETERMINE THE WINNER THROUGH COMBAT OR WE WILL FLOOD THE ARENA!”
Margrette screamed back at the air, “Will you shut that alarm off? I’m tired of hearing it!” The Kuja shook her head and looked at Tashigi with a small smile, “Sorry for shouting, I just wish they’d stop blaring that every five minutes. We’re not going to fight!”
“I know, why would I just because some voice told us?” Tashigi laughed and rested her head on her hands. "So wait, please keep telling me about Amazon Lily! You were about to tell me about your lil cutie snake here!“ Tashigi patted the Amazon Lily serpent who was affectionately curled in the marine’s lap.
"Oh! He’s a little bow-boa that we find on the island. They go really stiff like a bow when you need a weapon! Everyone on my island has one, we keep them like pets!”
Tashigi sighed as the snake slithered merrily back to Margrette. "I wish I could keep a pet on my ship. But the poor thing would probably get cancer from all the secondhand smoke… ew.“
"NO TRUCES WILL BE ACCEPTED. DETERMINE THE WINNER THROUGH COMBAT OR WE WILL FLOOD THE ARENA!”
The pair laughed again, merrily chatting on and on without care towards the continued warnings. Until a few moments later, when the conversation took a turn.
“Wow,” Tashigi blushed a little, “I can’t imagine spending all that time around the Pirate Empress Boa Hancock. I’ve only ever seen her from afar.”
“She’s my role model,” confessed Margrette, “I am not strong enough to be a Kuja pirate yet, but it’s what I strive for. One day I’ll be strong enough to fight alongside the Snake Princess!”
“Oh!” The sudden burst of pride from her new friend took her by surprise Tashigi reached out and smiled, putting a hand on Margrette’s shoulder. "I am sure you’ll be a great warrior of the Sea, Margrette!“
Margrette blushed heavily and searched her mind desperately for a change in conversation. "Hancock actually has eyes for a man now, it’s so amazing!”
“Really? Who is it? I bet it’s Dracule! I could so see those two talking before the battle at Marineford!”
“Nope! She’s fallen for the pirate, Strawhat Luffy! It’s so precious, she does so much for him!”
Tashigi’s face sank, “She … does?”
“Oh it’s so romantic! She helped him try to save his brother, but when he couldn’t she let him stay on Amazon Lily! Trying to mend his broken heart!”
Tashigi stood up in a sudden burst, running to the far wall she started banging on it, looking for an exit. Margrette stood as well, confused by the sudden rush to escape. She nervously laughed at Tashigi.
“Hey! Why are you suddenly trying to escape? Are you worried about the flooding?”
“No!” Tashigi turned, glaring at Margrette, “Boa Hancock betrayed the marines and the world government! She knowingly assisted a wanted pirate who was able to cause a massive jailbreak, letting hundreds of terrifyingly strong prisoners into the New World! Margrette, your Snake Princess reversed the work and sacrifice of Marines for the past decade! The government needs to know!”
Margrette was confused, her princess was ruthless, but she didn’t attack Impel Down directly. Maybe she did cause all these things, Margrette started to feel guilty for helping Luffy, but she was his friend! The confused Amazon Lily warrior held her head in her hands, trying to make sense of this.
Then the original announcement returned to the arena. "THE ONLY PATH TO FREEDOM IS BATTLE. DEFEAT YOUR OPPONENT!“
Tashigi drew her katana and turned to face Margrette.
Margrette realized what was happening and her snake quickly snapped into form as the archer knocked an arrow.
The women did not exchange words, instead Tashigi charged. Margrette’s arrows flew with Haki-imbued power, slicing the air past Tashigi, but then the marine was gone.
"Soru.” And Tashigi was behind her new friend, slamming the back of the katana into her collar bone. Margrette let out a howl and collapsed into the sand, Tashigi caught her and helped her lay down.
“I hope you recover from that injury and become a great warrior, Margrette.” Tashigi strode away from her fallen foe, “But I need to tell Commander Smoker what is happening between Hancock and Strawhat! My allies need this information!” Then the sand below her feet was gone and she fell into the darkness below.
Want to know if Tashigi makes it through her next battle? Find her Round2 matchup right HERE!