<Issho's mysterious saviors take him to their ship, and set sail away from the smoldering remains of his captors' ship, and his village. Issho is still disoriented and in pain from his injuries, and can barely tell what is going on>
???: It's okay. You're safe now.
Issho: Safe? Nothing is safe! Everything is gone! Please...I JUST WANNA DIE!
<Issho starts to writhe around and hyperventilate, and everything goes black. Later, he awakens, though being blind, he is disoriented by the lack of seeing anything. He can tell that he is lying on a bed, and someone is standing at his head>
???: You went into shock, but we took care of it. I don't blame you, given the emotional and physical injuries you went through.
Issho: Where am I? Who are you? Why am I here?
???: You are on my ship. I am Kumar, captain of the Black Sash Pirates.
Issho: Pirates?! You're pirates but you're not gonna kill me? What kind of people are you?
???: Why, we're a different sort than the barbarians who kidnapped you! We're all about adventure and having a good time...and set out to put an end to barbarians like the ones who kidnapped you...they who ruin what it is to be a pirate! Will you join us in our endeavor?
Issho: But why me? I mean, I'm useless without my eyes...
Kumar: ...which can make you an even greater force! Our specialty is taking in people with disabilities, because when one has lost the use of something, the rest of them becomes even greater. We've got a deaf crewmate who can see danger long before we can, a mentally disabled crewmate who has honed his body to the maximum, and a crewmate who's paralyzed below the neck, yet she is our best strategic mind! Sure, people call us the "Freak Show Pirates"...yet no one has ever beaten us. What do you say?
Issho: Well, I have nowhere else to go...so if you can truly help me become strong and acheive justice, then all right!
<A few days later, Issho is out of bed and his practice begins. He is sparring with a fellow crew member. Day 1 of training begins, and quickly Issho is disarmed and falls over>
Kumar: Don't worry, Issho...it will be like this for some time.
<Day 10. Issho still has trouble sparring and getting around. However, he manages to block some of the crew member's swings>
Kumar: That's right! We're getting there!
<Day 30. Issho's body is at its limit, and he doesn't feel like he's made much progress>
Issho: I don't know, Captain. I don't think my body can ever adapt to this! It might have been better for you to just leave me after all...
Kumar: You hit the wall? Good! That means you'll climb over it soon. I promise to you, Issho, that if you're not fighting like a pro by the end of the year, I'll leave you behind. Deal?
<Several months pass, and Issho gets better like Kumar said he would. Soon he can beat most of his crewmates in swordplay, and can navigate every part of the ship without an accident. Issho is sparring with Kumar, and winning, when he hears something in the distance....>
Issho: Wait, guys...I think I hear something! It seems like people shouting to the southwest!
<Kumar beckons to Numin, the deaf crewmate he had mentioned to Issho earlier. Numin scopes the scene, and frantically gives a sign to Kumar>
Kumar: THREE PIRATE SHIPS? This is gonna be tricky! Battle positions, everyone! <To Issho> See what I told you? You may have just saved us!
<Soon, the three pirate ships approach the Black Sash Pirates' ship and surround it>
Hurwin the Skull-Crusher, Captain of the Hydra Pirates: So these are the Black Sash Pirates! I can't believe such a rudimentary collection of half-people have stopped ten pirate crews from finding the Ultimate Devil Fruit. Your blind luck shall end today, I promise you!
Kumar: He who judges the strength of his crew based on motley appearance is doomed for a swift fall! ATTACK!
<A fierce battle ensues, and Issho and the Black Sash Pirates, despite their disabilities, catch the Hydra Pirates off-guard. Soon all three of their ships are flaming wrecks, and the Black Sash Pirates recover from their intense battle>
Crewmate, to Kumar: Despite what you said, that was a little too close. Soon, more pirates will come after us, with greater strength and numbers. At this rate, it may be best to-
Kumar: NO! You know what would happen if scum like this got their hands on a power that severe!
Issho: Then why don't you get it, Captain Kumar?
Kumar: I couldn't! Then I would be no different-
Issho: My old village...our main duty was to protect this fruit, and everyone except me died to keep its secret. People will only keep dying if the fruit is left to take. I've known you very long, Captain, and I am confident that even the Village Elders would approve!
<The other crewmates whoop in agreement, and the quest begins. Many days later, the ship docks at the branch holding the fruit, and with trembling hands, Issho plucks it off to hand it to Kumar. The Black Sash Pirates begin to celebrate, though Kumar holds off on eating it just yet>
Kumar: Issho...could you get some of the wine from the hold? I have a feeling that the men will be wanting to party tonight.
<Issho goes down to the hold, and picks up all the wine he can carry. Suddenly, he hears cannonshots and people shouting above, and he drops the wine and races for the door. But in his haste, Issho is locked in the hold. He can only hear the sounds of battle and hope everything is going OK. Some time later, though, someone bursts through the door. Issho can tell that it is Kumar, and he also can hear his captain's rough breathing, as well as smell blood all over>
Issho: Captain! What's going on??
Kumar: They caught us...by surprise...we were overpowered. They'll be down here soon. You are our only hope, Issho...so I am giving you this! <Holds out the Devil Fruit>
Issho: No! You eat it, Captain! You can eat it and save us!
Kumar: <shakes head> I'm afraid not...my injuries are too severe. I know your will, Issho, and it is nobler than even mine. Take this power, and use it to bring happiness to the pirate world!
<Issho reluctantly takes a bite of it, and reels when he gets a taste of what seems like tar and feces. Kumar then heads out>
Kumar: I'll distract the pirates...Issho, you go hide and live another day!
<Kumar leaves. Issho, still in a state of shock, is unable to move. He can hear the faint shouts of Kumar and his other crewmen, when eventually silence falls. As Issho hears stange people coming down the stairs, he snaps out of his shock and hides behind the wine barrels>
???: That fool captain! He must've taken the fruit with him to his death! Everyone, search the entire ship and annihilate any person you find! We will execute total vengeance!!
<The search begins, but the enemy crew miraculously fails to find Issho. Thinking they've got everyone, they head back to their ship, angered despite their victory, since their quest to find the ultimate devil fruit has failed. After they go, Issho heads up to the top deck, not thinking about all the bodies in his path. He then stands in the center of the deck, in plain sight of the pirates. They notice Issho with a shock>
???: What? We missed one?!
<Right now, Issho lets himself feel the loss of losing yet another family, and screams out with all his might. As he concentrates his anger on the pirates, he feels power flowing through him. Issho cannot see his high-pressure zone tearing the ship apart, but he can hear the screams of the pirates and the snapping of the ship as it goes down. It almost feels satisfying. When not a trace of the pirates is left, Issho sinks to his knees. He has lost two of the places he has called home, and now that his anger has been expelled, he just feels broken. Issho at first is at a loss on what his life is, when he suddenly snaps out of it. Kumar had given him a purpose, and it was his job to execute it. However, Issho knows he is still too weak, and he decides to go into training, to push his body to the maximum. Where could he do this? All throughout his childhood, Issho had heard stories of the Far Far North, where no one who ventured there ever returned. If he could conquer such a hostile place, then Issho would know that he was strong. He sets off, prepared for the oncoming wilderness, not caring how long it will take...
To be continued...