He fell to the boat’s deck. This man, known all through east as one of the strongest and most feared criminals, was close to succumbing to a sharp, agonizing death caused by starvation. He heard shouts surrounding him, getting close, the noise distorted by his malnourished senses to the point of a blurred hum. The noise grabbed him, lifted him off his feet. The criminal had been weaponless, but, even if he had his tonfa, he lacked the energy to fight back.
The noise that had lifted him carried him out of his small boat and moved him to a battleship. It wasn’t huge, but it was definitely larger than the little dingy he was drifting in. The noise raised him up. He would’ve identified who had been making the racket, who grabbed him and lifted him, and the man standing over him at this very moment, but the criminal was too nutrient and sleep deprived to focus his eyes.
All of his senses were dulled almost to the point of complete numbness. He couldn’t feel the metal-clad fists tearing at his face, the rifle butts cracking his ribs, or the whip slicing the skin on his back. He knew they were there, but he was too weak to resist and, luckily, too weak to see or feel anything well, softening the experience. He was only focused on the agonizing aches and deafening roars from his stomach. It had seemed like he had been drifting for years. In reality, it had only been about a week. But even then, the criminal had been surviving on scarps before he was sent adrift. He was used to the empty feeling associated with hunger.
He and his cohorts had been starving for months, surviving on meek fish and salt water: the kind of diet that would drive a man to insanity. But the criminal was stronger than most. He managed to survive, barely, but it was survival none the less. Even he, the one of the strongest of his crew, was extremely weakened. His captain, a man with the strength to survive on the Grand Line, even seemed to be dulled by the growing hunger.
Cold and alone in the dark, the criminal was chained to an interior wall underneath the deck, with diseased rats scurrying about and mold hanging from the ceiling. He wondered how the rats would taste or if the mold would be able to stay down if he tried it. Both ideas were futile, since he was unable to move and, even without the chains, wouldn’t have had the energy.
A blur of a man walked into the room, and the criminal worked to raise his head and focus his eyes with what little strength he had left. It was a young man, scrawny and meek, but he had a glow in his eyes that would’ve worried the criminal. He was to weakened to worry, though, and he lowered his head once again. All of a sudden, a rush of pain cracked against the back of his lowered head, his scalp cut open and bleeding.
“Bastards like you,” the young man said, “needn’t live in this world.”
The criminal felt pain break over him, beat him, and fester in his bones. As the young man left, the criminal raised his head once again, and, focusing in, he caught another glimpse of the brutal fiend.
Time passed, he didn’t know how much. Once again, he grossly overestimated, as it was a few mere hours. He felt the ship come to a halt and heard noise above the deck: moving feet, clinking glasses, light chatter. Very strange things to hear on a ship. But as he thought more, the criminal realized the ship had arrived at the restaurant on the sea. As his stomach grumbled and mouth began to water, the criminal smelled a beautiful aroma, and, by some sort of miracle, his strength returned. He pulled at the chains, driven by a malnourished craze. The chains, after some time, eventually gave, allowing the criminal to make his escape.
He hazily rushed to the door, barreled up to the main deck, and saw the great restaurant on the sea, a dream come true. As he dodged and beat away the ship’s attacking crew, he quickly armed himself and ran to escape the hellish ship. As he approached the restaurant, he saw a man from the ship’s crew frantically racing for the door. He quickly recognized the man as the same young man who had beaten him earlier.
In a frenzy of hunger and revenge, the criminal lifted his arm, stolen flintlock in hand, and cocked it. Just after the young man, a coward who hid behind chains and darkness, yelled to his superior in the restaurant, he fell over dead. The irony of your end is more amusing then your end itself, thought the criminal.
At last, the criminal entered the restaurant, beaten and hungry, and asked to be served with a weak smile. The Demon of the East had found his heaven, or at least he had thought.