Categories > Anime/Manga > One Piece > The Life I Live

The Devil You Know

by I-Dont-Like-I-Obsess 0 reviews

Part of Summer's past is revealed in a violent flashback, but we find that she is actually stuck in Impel Down in the present day.

Category: One Piece - Rating: R - Genres: Humor,Romance - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2019-10-13 - Updated: 2019-10-13 - 2539 words - Complete

Three Years Previous

Summer awoke to the smell of smoke. Her eyes opened to the red glow of fire outside the window. It illuminated the dingy hotel room she was in, giving an unearthly red color to the walls. The air was too hot, as if the place had turned into a sauna. Jumping out of the bed, she grabbed her daggers on the side table, sheathing two on her hip and one on her thigh. Over her hard breathing, the shouts of men and the clash of swords pierced her ears.


Forcing herself to focus, she looked around the room for her rucksack but failed to spot it. The threat of the fire was growing and she was losing time. With wide eyes, she frantically searched the room. She began to panic but relief washed through her after finally finding what she was looking for underneath the bed. Throwing it over her shoulder, she checked again for anything she was missing.

'This can't be real.'

Gunshots rang outside, causing her to hesitate for just a moment. Because of this, she heard a large crack split the air and Summer had only a second to react. She dove under the bed just a moment before the large tree outside crashed into the hotel room. Debris flew around her, but she was protected by the thick bedding. The wood walls turned aflame and Summer realized she had to get out of there immediately.

The tree now took over two thirds of the room, leaving only a small path towards the door. If she didn't leave soon, the whole room would be aflame. A coughing fit came over her, racking through her small body. Stumbling through the only relatively safe place and avoiding the flaming wreck of the tree, her outstretched hand caught the door handle and she yanked it open. The hallway was clear compared to the room behind her, so she took off running down the stairs two at a time. Even in a hurry, her footsteps were silent and soft. Reaching the hotel lobby, she increased her pace as she went through the front door.

The stench of burning flesh and shed blood permeated the air. It was gut-wrenchingly strong, and Summer covered her nose in a vain effort to ward off the smell. Around her, the street was chaos. Screaming people ran in the opposite direction of the harbor, clutching crying children and a precious few belongings. Looks of pure terror marked their faces. Directing her attention to the town itself, she found almost all of the building to be on fire, burning with loud pops and cracks as they sent sparks into the air.

'Make it go away.'

Large men, most likely pirates or mercenaries, fought with a few members of the town guard farther down the road and it was obvious who was winning. The brutes were properly armed and outnumbered the small protecting force that had woken up unprepared to the same death and destruction that Summer did.

Summer rushed to the nearest fight, unsheathing her small blades. Mr. Porter, the captain of the guard, struggled to fend off his opponent's attacks. Their swords clashed, the mercenary's sword raised above his head, intending to finish the captain off. Summer's daggers dug itself deep into his neck, leaving him unable to cry out. He fell heavily, blood rushing out of the wound. Mr. Porter sagged onto the ground in exhaustion, panting quickly. He nodded his head in thanks, to which Summer nodded back. She kneeled next to him and checked him over for wounds. A few cuts crossed his arms and he had a bullet wound on his left shoulder.

"They…came out…of nowhere." He said. Standing up with visible effort, he lurched over to the fallen brute. "Most of them…are down by…the docks. This one ran…down the…main road." Mr. Porter's foot lashed out at the dead man, and Summer watched unfazed by the sight. She crouched down beside him to take a closer look.

Moving the greasy hair out of the man's face, she made a face of disgust. It wasn't a pretty sight. His nose was bent from previously being broken. Several teeth were missing, and those that remained were yellowed and crooked. He seemed nondescript. She started to stand but halted, staring at the black mark on the man's neck. Beneath his mass of hair, a tattoo depicting a coiled snake was partially hidden.


She stood and slowly backed away, not taking her eyes off of the man's neck. Mr. Porter watched her cautiously.

"What is it?" She didn't answer. Her eyes were wide in fear and her hands shook.

'How did he find me?'

She sprinted towards the harbor of the little village, leaving a confused and nervous Mr. Porter shouting behind her. "Isabelle! Where are you going? Come back, it's too dangerous!" She ignored his cries, feeling a pang of guilt as he used the fake name she had given him.

Burned and destroyed buildings were her only surroundings as she ran down the familiar little street. Despite the short year and a half she had stayed there, it felt comfortable. She remembered back to when the small community all pitched together to repaint and fix the dilapidated houses. Everyone wore smiles and laughed openly on that day, and even Summer couldn't resist a laugh or two. Snapping out of her thoughts, she looked around, only to find destruction and chaos. She blinked back tears that threatened to fall.

"No." She angrily told herself aloud. She kept running.

'I will not break my promise.'

The docks were damaged beyond repair, even more so than the buildings behind her. The smoke was thicker and darker as she neared the water, making her cough violently. Fishing boats were burning, a few remaining men and women ran screaming, chased by what she now knew were pirates. A few saw her running and began to pursue her, swinging their weapons. A raging anger flared within her as she spotted the same tattoo on all of them. She knew they were all the same pirates when she inspected the dead man before, but now the reality finally began to sink in.

Pulling out her second dagger, she stood her ground in front of the remains of the small pub. Two men closed the distance between them, and she pounced. Daggers swinging, her lithe movements worked effectively against the slow pirates.

"Ah, if it ain't our little sneak thief. We was wonderin' where you disappeared to." One of them said. The other grinned along with him.

"The captain was getting' worried, ya see. He thought you was kidnapped, and he searched all over for his favorite little puppet. He'll be happy to know that we found ya, safe and sound." He laughed mockingly. She didn't reply, but gave them both murderous looks. They swung their weapons at the same time. Blocking the swords, she used her momentum to thrust her elbow into the left one's face. He cried out, grabbing his bleeding nose. The sword went flying in another direction.

The other swung violently in rage down at her, but she managed to deflect the blow to the side, making him stumble from the lack of resistance. He fell to the ground, making him an easy target. She came from behind, grabbed his head and sliced quickly through his throat. The pirate fell limp to the dirt as blood sprayed out of his neck. Much of it stained Summer's clothing.

The other man, who had retrieved his sword, was on his feet. Any previous amusement was gone as he saw his crewmate lying dead.

"Viper was furious when he heard you double-crossed him. I always knew you wasn't one of us! Always one for your own ambitions, you was. Traitorous bitch." He spat. Her hatred boiled over and she shouted back at him.

"I double-crossed him? He ruined my life! Killed everyone I ever cared about! I never wanted any of this! He betrayed me!" She was on the verge of tears but her resolve prevented them from falling. She tightened the grip on her daggers and ran towards him. Fumbling with his sword, he wasn't fast enough to block. Her blades sliced two deep gashes into his stomach, and he screamed in pain, falling onto his back.

He wasn't dead yet, and she still felt the rage and adrenaline coursing through her. Surrendering herself to her emotions, she jumped on top of the pirate and stabbed downwards, again and again. Each blow relieved her of the pain she felt in her heart. Each one laden with the hurt and depression, the misery and suffering, the grief she had felt for so long. Her anger slowly, very slowly, subsided. He was long dead by the time she realized the fact. His torso was a bloodied lump. It almost looked filled with bullets with the number of stab wounds it had sustained. Her blades and almost all of her body was blood soaked, but she was too distraught to care. She stared down at his face, memorizing the surprised look.

'I did this.'

She looked up and scanned the decimated island. Even if it were to be saved now, it would take years to repair and make it livable again. Some buildings were still burning. Everything else was a blackened pile of ashes.

'I've done all of this.'

Summer watched in horror as the schoolhouse to her right collapsed in on itself. Before the broken building completely destroyed itself, she spotted several lifeless forms in its depths. She quickly turned her head away. Bodies littered the streets, most of them too badly mutilated to recognize. The stench of death filled her so completely she wasn't sure if she was actually breathing.

She needed to leave, to run away, do something, anything. A hand appeared on her shoulder, pressing down hard to keep her in place. She didn't dare look to see who it was, fearing that her suspicion was correct. A raspy voice stilled her movements and proved her assumption.

"That's right, look around. See the damage you've done? The destruction you have created?" Summer couldn't see his face, but by his tone she knew he was fondly surveying her 'handiwork.' "It's what you were made to do. You exist only for the purpose of creating chaos. How many times have I had to tell you that?"

'No, no, no, no…'

"No…" She whispered as she shook her head weakly, wanting to deny the cruel truth. The remaining crew gathered the dead townspeople and piled them up in front of her and Viper. She didn't know how long it took to complete the task. Her sense of time was gone, and she knew only that it took an eternity. Mr. Porter's body was among the dead, along with his wife and three children. They all had their eyes open, and seemed to stare directly at her. She wanted to look away but couldn't. Their eyes held sorrow and pain, but also anger and blame. They stared at her, only her. Not the pirates that killed them. Her.

'I'm sorry.'

"Come now, Love. Look in front of you. You can't keep running away from who you are. Bad things will happen." He said, implying the pile of bodies in front of them. "Now, I know you cared for them, but I'm only trying to protect you. They would never understand what you are, what you must become." He said in a too-sweet voice. She was only half listening at this point. Everything was going fuzzy.

"Why don't we come back onboard the ship and let things cool down awhile?" Viper squeezed her shoulder. Whether out of reassurance or anger she couldn't tell. She didn't really feel it anyway.

'I did this. My fault, my fault…'

The men began pouring gasoline onto the pile of bodies. Even though Summer knew what was coming, it still surprised her when the bodies began to burn. She kept assuming this was a dream and that she would wake up anytime now. Even as the heat hit her face and the smell intensified, she kept thinking that this couldn't be real. This was impossible. A part of her knew, however. She knew there was no denying it.

'Give up, give up…'

In that moment, her mind broke.

Tears began to stream down her face despite the promise to herself never to cry. Her small body shook in rage and terror and shock. She didn't answer him, simply allowed her limp body to be hoisted up into Viper's arms and carried towards the ship. She couldn't hear anything at this point.

"Get everyone on board. Tonight, we celebrate the return of an old friend!" Viper's words were met with sinister cheers.

Present Day

She stared up at the cold concrete walls of her cell, debating whether she should attempt an escape. The chains attached to her wrists and ankles were linked to a large metal ring on the wall, making her position sitting on the stone floor an awkward one. Somewhere in the prison, she heard a man crying and sobbing, proclaiming his innocence to any that would listen.

'Such weakness. How pathetic.' She thought to herself, as she stretched her aching muscles. Her long blond hair was beginning to annoy her as it made her neck itch. However, with her chained limbs she could not do anything about it.

A prison guard's footsteps could be heard approaching, and she lazily glanced up at the man they belonged to. He wore a standard guard marine uniform, the only thing standing out was the bright blue fedora that sat upon his head.

'So tacky…'

"So, this is the infamous Red Hunter?" He said, a smug grin on his face.

'His teeth are too white…' Despite her negative thoughts towards him, he continued with his mocking speech.

"Seems even someone as insane as you can't defy the World Government for too long, huh? You see, people like you don't have the capability of reigning free out in the world. At some point, you'll make a fatal mistake." He gave a short laugh, a bit high pitched for a grown man to be making.

'Almost like a girl…'

Summer didn't say anything. She just stared at the man, with indifferent eyes. His smug look fell a little at the lack of response. Scowling, he turned away from her cell.

"Fire Fist Ace's execution is scheduled for tomorrow. They say Whitebeard is gonna be there to rescue his own. Well, I say good luck because there's nothing that's gonna stop that execution. Just goes to show that scum like you all reach the same fate eventually." His footsteps walked away quickly until she couldn't hear anything except her own breathing and drips of water from the prison ceiling. She closed her eyes in thought. Despite the hopeless situation she was in, she couldn't help but grin.

'Fire Fist Ace, huh? Well, damn. Blood will be shed before all of this is over.'
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