The rumbling thunder, slashing cold winds, and the gradually escalating rain hid the evils that occurred in this town. It was like a curtain for those who existed only in the underground. Moments like this were when they would crawl from their dark holes with the night and weather as a curtain for their terror.
Instant Movement [Dash]
It only took Mwana a short while to cross the gap between him and the over a dozen men who had broken his pot, his mother’s pot. However, he naturally did not chase over a dozen suspicious men in the grey of approaching night just to demand compensation. He had long noticed that these men had actually been chasing someone else. When Mwana finally caught up to them, they had turned and entered a deserted and dark back alley. There was nothing there, only a disgusting river of sewage and dumped trash. Even Milele town had sections like this.
When Mwana heard the men’s conversation, he did not enter the alley and climbed onto the roof of one of the buildings to eavesdrop. ‘1, 2, 3, …14. So it is 14 men.’ From his hiding spot, Mwana counted a total of 14 men all dressed in black cloaks who were assailing one man.
“…then why did you have to play hard to get, huh? The boss’ demands were simple. We could have had a good relationship.” A deep menacing voice entered Mwana’s ears. This was clearly one of the assailants.
In response, the victim only coughed violently. Mwana could tell that the man had been roughed up to the extent that he could not speak clearly.
“My request is simple right? I will not ask you again, where are the Blood Devil Fruits?”
‘Blood Devil Fruits!’ How could Mwana not be shocked hearing this, it seemed this was no ordinary robbery. In fact, what Mwana did not know was that the victim below was actually a very influential and rich apothecary in Milele town. He was someone who dealt in a variety of herbs, medicines, and potions transported from various regions to the town through his own transportation methods. The man had just gotten a shipment of Blood Devil Fruits from the north but somehow the Red Hawk gang had found out.
“How did you bring the shipment in? You might not know, but we have been tracking all your channels but they still got past us this time, huh? Speak!” The same man who had spoken before continued to question the apothecary but received no response.
When the apothecary failed to answer the questions, what followed was a terrible beat-down of punches and kicks.
Crunch!!!! …it was the sound of bones breaking, no not just breaking but absolutely crushed. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaah”, a painful scream naturally followed.
Seeing the situation escalate, Mwana could no longer stand on the sidelines. He also could not lie and say that the mention of blood devil fruits did not attract his attention. If he had only intended to seek trouble before, then this time he was fully in. ‘This is an opportunity!’
“Hey! Hey! Hey now, there is no reason to resort to violence.” Before the men could continue beating up the middle aged apothecary, someone suddenly appeared between them and the victim. It was naturally Mwana.
In his grey and white fur coat that reached his ankles, Mwana looked like a squirrel in its comfy squirrel fur. Turning to the victim on the ground, he finally saw him clearly. The victim of this crime was a partially bald and scantily bearded middle-aged man dressed in green feather robes that were now drenched in blood. His face was currently fattened up from the savage beating and his left hand which had been broken was swollen like a club, ‘internal bleeding? But he seems otherwise fine.’
After examining the victim, Mwana turned to look at the perpetrators. Seeing everyone so tense he could not help but comment, “I come in peace. I hope you guys can settle my worries, alright? Alright.”
Mwana did not wait for the men to respond before taking out pieces of the broken pot and pouring them onto the ground.
Pting. Everyone just stared at the broken pieces in bewilderment. A strange atmosphere had overtaken the gravity of the situation.
While Mwana had first swept away the broken pot pieces, in the end he had chosen to circle back and pick up a few pieces as ‘evidence’.
“If you break something, you have to pay for it.” Mwana said firmly while pointing at the broken pieces he had dropped on the ground before pointing at the men at the end of his statement. Everyone was flabbergasted watching the entire situation unfold, not just the attackers but even the victim. The only thing on their minds was, ‘where did this daring brat come from?!’
Finally one of the men could not take it and proceeded to shout at Mwana, “This is a personal matter, settling the matters of the greatest trading and security organization in the world!” the man said the statement while flipping his cloak in a forceful yet confident manner before continuing, “The Red Hawk Organization! Now please, enlighten me, who the f**k are you?!!!”
While the man called their group a global trading and security organization, the Red Hawks were obviously a local gang; one of many in Milele Town. The speaker was clearly fanatical in his loyalty to the gang.
From his voice, Mwana recognized that this man was the one who had been questioning the victim. He was someone who went by the code name, the Cipher and within the Red Hawk gang he had the complimentary title of Code C.
“That is a good question. Great question in fact.” Mwana had a contemplative look as he slightly tilted his head like someone in deep thought before continuing, “But what does it have to do with anything? My request is simple right?”
“Hoo, we have a brave one here don’t we boys?” From a distance away behind most of the men, Mwana heard a calm voice that was filled with confidence. ‘Someone strong,’ from this person’s voice and aura alone, Mwana could tell that this man was above the rest.
“Ha ha ha ha.” Waves of condescending laughter entered Mwana’s ears as the other men laughed in response to this man’s words. All Mwana could think was, ‘These jerks are not taking me seriously at all.’
“Since you dare interfere in our matters and even speak rudely to your elders, I can only teach you a lesson in place of your parents.” The man continued speaking as the other gang members separated creating a straight open path between Mwana and this man.
“You don’t have to take action yourself, vice leader Mizira.” Somewhere in the darkness, another voice that was extremely chilling like blades of ice wind entered Mwana’s ears causing him to break out in a nervous sweat. ‘I did not detect him at all even when I was spying on them from above. Is he perfectly blended into the darkness? I should have activated my Awareness Eye from the start! So it was 15 men, not 14. But who is this man? Is it their leader?!’
“No, leave it to me boss. We have already wasted enough time as it is. This little bastard is pretty fast, he appeared out of nowhere. It is best I deal with him myself so we can finish our mission quickly and go get a drink, right boys?”
“Yeaaaaaaaaah!” The vice leader had quickly dismissed his superior’s words to the agreement of the crowd. He was clearly much more popular among the men than the leader. The man then entered a strange stance while staring right at Mwana. With his arms outstretched, he looked like a plane about to take off. This man was the vice leader of this particular squad: Code B, the Barracuda. In this special team that worked in the night, he was the second in command. In full, people referred to him as Storm Barracuda and his real name was naturally related to these words, Mizira wa Dhoruba or his family name, Sansuri.
“Uncircumcised brat, Prepare yourself!”
“A wingsuit!” when the vice leader stretched his arms, Mwana noticed that he was actually wearing a wingsuit. He instantly knew that this would be a battle of speed.
Before Storm Barracuda even attacked, the tension in the air had almost turned solid. The next moment, the man was not there! His speed reached a shocking level as he dashed at Mwana like a speed jet. Not only was his physical speed incredible, but the wingsuit spread out to boost his speed allowing him to run as if he was gliding resulting in vastly superhuman speeds.
“Heavenly Thunder, Tiger Spirit Rain of Strikes!”
Barracuda shouted at the top of his voice while unleashing hundreds of blows in an instant. The flurry of punches was so fast that it blurred into a fog of attacks that slightly brightened the dark back street. ‘Thrakoom!’ The sound of Storm Barracuda’s punches breaking through the air sounded like vicious thunder.
“What a long technique name.” However, when everyone expected Mwana to be laid out by this attack, an immature voice entered their ears. While the attack had been fast, Mwana had still seen through it and dodged at the last second. He did not dare to be careless and quickly prepared his counterattack.
“He dodged the vice leader’s attack?”
“I could not even see how the vice leader moved yet this brat managed to dodge?!”
Everyone at the scene was shocked when they heard Mwana’s unperturbed voice and his next words shocked them even more.
“You dare play with thunder in front of me?” In a sarcastic tone, Mwana asked before retaliating against Barracuda with his own martial art.
“Blood Thunder Cycle: Rushing Blood!” after a short pause, Mwana realized he had given his technique a long name too just like his opponent, “I guess I am not any better given how I name my own techniques, he he he.” He could not help but laugh at his own hypocrisy.
Naturally, Barracuda was not amused by Mwana’s antics, “You still have the gall to joke about while facing meeee?!” In anger, Barracuda increased his attack speed chaining his punches one after another like a machine gun but this time Mwana did not dodge.
Mwana faced the man head on blocking and parrying each of his blows at close range. This left everyone shocked, ‘this brat isn’t good at only speed alone!’ In close quarters combat, Mwana used his thunder affinity to increase the rate at which his blood cycled through his body and processed oxygen creating the effect of rushing blood. At the cost of stamina and oxygen deficiency, this was a basic self-created technique that temporarily boosted Mwana’s physical power.
“Whaaaa, the brat can actually match the vice leader?” The scene in front of them naturally shocked the Red Hawk gang members. Hearing the exclamations behind him, Barracuda resolved himself to go all out, “I cannot waste any more time!”
He disentangled from Mwana before unleashing his most fierce attack yet:
“Thunder Wave Canon!”
Barracuda punched out towards Mwana with this irregular technique. For a moment, it was extremely silent and nothing happened, but then a brutal and violent explosion followed!
In fact, the technique could be described as a vacuum blast created through extreme speed and power akin to the punch of a mantis shrimp or pistol shrimp. Just like the shrimp’s attack, the temporary vacuum and the collapsing air that followed resulted in an instantaneous explosion that was as hot as the surface of the sun. The ground was immediately blasted apart causing waves of dust to rise all over the place before the wind carried it away. However, this was not a supernatural technique! It was an attack of pure power and speed mastered through the observation of ordinary creatures and animals; the genius of mankind. As a result, it would be categorized as a Basic Skill.
Due to its extreme attack speed, this technique was practically inescapable.
“Did you get him?” Before the dust settled, an immature jokey voice entered the vice leader’s ear from behind him. It was not just Barracuda, but everyone else at the scene could not believe their ears and eyes.
Mwana was currently behind the vice leader on his tip toes while leaning over the man’s shoulder to take a look at the shocking damage from the attack. While Mwana maintained a calm exterior, the attack’s power left him sweating. ‘It would have been terrible had I been hit by that!’
The moment Mwana’s voice entered the vice leader’s ears, he rolled to the ground while throwing a kick behind him which Mwana easily sidestepped. A sweep followed which Mwana circled around without even needing to jump over it. His speed could only be described as a flash hidden in the wind. This insane speed was as a result of Mwana using hidden flash to outmaneuver his opponent.
Instant Movement [Hidden Flash] – a high speed movement technique that could be used after one surpassed 30 steps in the [100 Steps in an Instant] technique.
Now that he had an advantage, Mwana did not give his opponent the opportunity to gather himself as he unleashed a barrage of kicks and punches.
“Tiger Coat Defense!”
“Dambe: Spring Blast Power!” Entering a one arm forward stance, Mwana utilized his Dambe martial arts to unleash an attack that sent his body barreling towards his opponent like a released spring.
This blast power attack was a spring punch pulled from far back and thrown almost like a reverberating spear to break an opponent's defense. In front of this punch, Barracuda’s Tiger Coat Defense stood no chance and was instantly pierced sending him flying a great distance away. His body was sent all the way to the sewage river that flowed through this back alley. Not only did he hit the sewage river, Barracuda even bounced on the dirty water three times like a stone skipping game before slowly skidding on the water surface and coming to a stop.
“H-how, did you get through my tiger defense?” From the distance, Barracuda stood up unsteadily not even caring about the dirty water that soaked him and asked in a shaky voice. He was clearly injured as the punch had been delivered with Mwana’s full body weight behind it straight to his solar plexus.
“Tiger? Are you sure you did not train in the house cat defense?” The only answer he got was Mwana’s mocking words that made him almost faint in anger. The sight of Mwana’s smug face as he picked his nose with his middle finger while mocking him almost sent Barracuda into a frenzy of anger.
“Attaaaaack!” His subordinates did not need any more encouragement as they leaped towards Mwana like locusts in the dark.
“1 vs 15? Bring it on!”
“Tsiiiiiiiiiia!” With a loud battle cry, Mwana went into his stance before clashing against the men.
A flying knee here, a punch that sent one of the men flying there, a finger jab to the neck, an ear clap to disorient balance, an elbow to the base of sternum, a reverse somersault throw, multiple leg swipes and tripping techniques, followed by repeated explosive punches to the crotch, ‘after all, you cannot train your defence there’; all sorts of unorthodox techniques were applied assaulting the men with endless pain. From the moment of attack, barely 5 seconds had passed yet 4 men were already lying on the ground groaning in pain.
“Your basics are so weak that no martial technique could save them.” In addition to the physical assault, Mwana did not forget to include a few words here and there to strike at his opponents’ morale.
Fahamu-hali (Situational Awareness)
This was the reason Mwana was able to keep up in a battle against multiple opponents. Fahamu-hali was a concept in the martial arts of Toro referring to a unique state of awareness amidst battle. As one progressed in their training as a fighter, their Fahamu-hali would grow to the point that the minutest details during combat were captured by the martial artist’s senses and ingrained into them like second nature. After reaching such a stage as a combatant, one even had spare mental faculties to focus on other aspects of battle. Meanwhile, a fighter who was yet to reach this stage would find all of their mental strength consumed by the battle.
Mwana was simply able to dominate his opponents since his awareness during battle was much higher than theirs. While they had to put 100% focus into the battle, Mwana could set aside some of his mental faculties to plan several steps ahead and even come up with counter-tactics.
Mizira/Sansuri – Barracuda fish
Wa – of
Dhoruba – Storm