One Piece: Truly Precious
Well, the Prologue has gotten some favorable reviews so far. I'm glad people think this is a decent story. I hope you like this chapter too.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Enjoy.
It was a beautiful day on a small island in the East Blue. The sun was shining and a cool breeze was blowing, all in all, a great day on the calm seas, while many would think this ideal weather for a day to relax, there was one little thing stopping that. Near the shore of said island, anchored just off the coast, was a large pink ship with a duck figurehead. What made this ship so dangerous, was the flag it was flying: the black skull and crossbones of a pirate crew
Said Pirates were your typical group of cutthroat criminals that pillaged and plundered from all manner of civilians, with their captain, 'Iron Mace' Alvida, a whale of a woman with strength enough to wield a massive spiked iron club as her weapon of choice along with a large and rotund body to match said strength. The crew was currently aboard their ship, the Miss Love Duck, preparing to set sail in search of new victims to attack and steal from, and the crew were just finishing their final checks.
"Alright you sea swabs," said Alvida as she walked to the prow of the ship and turned to face her crew, her iron mace resting on her shoulder, "who's the finest woman in all the seas."
"You are Captain Alvida!" said the crew dutifully, as they knew she would clobber them if they said anything different.
"Then let's set sail!" said Alvida, "There's treasure to steal!"
With that, the crew hauled up the anchor and raised the sails, casting off into the open waters of the East Blue, looking for any unsuspecting ships to target for their next raid.
Meanwhile on another part of the ship, a pink haired boy with glasses named Coby was leaning on the rail, looking a little green around the gills as the ship sailed along the waters of the East Blue. Unlike the other members of the crew, Coby wasn't a pirate, rather he was just an unfortunate civilian. He had gone out intending to go on a fishing trip and ended up getting on the wrong boat one day and got swept up into the pirate crew with no chance of escape. Ever since, he had been forced into becoming the cabin boy for the crew, knowing that if he resisted, he'd be killed, but he dreamed of one day escaping and joining the Marines, so that Pirates like these could be put to justice.
"Hey Coby," said a one of said pirates as he and his two friends walked up with smirks on their faces, "what're ya up to?"
"N-nothing," said Coby nervously, as he didn't want any trouble.
"Hey," said the second pirate as he looked over at the water, spotting something amidst the waves, "what's that barrel over there?"
"Maybe it's full of grog?" said the third one eagerly, "Let's fish it out. Should prove to be a nice treat while we wait to find a crew to loot."
"B-but Captain Alvida will have your head," said Coby, knowing that their captain would be incensed if they left her out of any sort of plunder.
"Not if you don't tell her she won't," said the first pirate threateningly, "you wouldn't do that, would you, Cabin Boy?"
"No, of course not," said Coby frantically.
"Good then," said the first pirate, "let's fish it out."
The two pirates fished the barrel out of the water and took it bellow deck, dragging the unwilling Coby with them for the heck of it. Just as they were about to smash the lid open, it exploded outwards and a figure wearing a red shirt, blue shorts, and a straw hat shot out of the barrel, knocking the two pirates unconscious.
"Wow," said the figure, "that was a great nap."
"Who are you?" asked Coby in a surprised and scared voice.
"I'm Monkey D. Luffy," said the teen in the straw hat as he gave a huge grin, "who are you?"
"I'm Coby," said Coby.
"Nice to meet you," said Luffy, "Where are we by the way?"
"On a Pirate ship," answered Coby nervously, "How did you end up in a barrel floating in the middle of the ocean"
"I fell asleep," said Luffy with a smile, causing Coby to sweatdrop, "so who's ship is this anyways?"
"The ship belongs to captain Alvida," said Coby fearfully, "she's a terrible pirate with a 5,000,000 berry bounty that wields an iron mace and ruthlessly kills any who oppose her."
"Really?" said Luffy, "So why don't you run away if she's so horrible?"
"Shhhh!" exclaimed Coby, "If she hears you say something like that, she'll kill us both!"
"So?" asked Luffy, "Then, do you like staying here?"
"Well…no," admitted Coby, causing Luffy to smile.
"Then leave," said Luffy, "nothing's going to change for you if you don't stand up for yourself."
"But…" stammered Coby.
"Come on Coby," said Luffy, "tell me right now, what do you really think of this Alvida?"
Coby hesitated and looked down at the deck boards, obviously torn between his fear of the Captain, and his desire to escape this living hell. Just as he began to muster his courage to speak his mind, a voice from behind him made his blood freeze.
"Oi Coby, who's this now?"
Paling drastically, Coby slowly turned around to see Alvida herself standing behind him along with the rest of her pirate crew, the massive woman glaring at her Cabin Boy and the newcomer he was sitting with, "Well, Coby? I'm waiting."
"Who's the fat hag?" asked Luffy suddenly, causing the crew to gasp and back away to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
"What did you call me?" growled Alvida, "Men! Who's the fairest lass on all the seas?"
"You are, Captain Alvida!" said the pirates automatically.
"Are all of you people blind or something?" asked Luffy, "Look at her. She's the size of a house. And finest lass in all the sea? I mean, she is a girl…sort of, but Boa Hancock or Princess Shirahoshi she ain't."
"You little brat!" growled Alvida as the members of her crew began to blush and stare off into space at the thought of the two most beautiful women in the world, "I'm going to give you one chance to take back what you said."
"Better to be a little brat than a fat whale like you," said Luffy with a cheeky smile.
"Why you!" growled Alvida as she raised her club and brought it down on Luffy's head with enough force to kill a normal man, but Straw Hat Luffy was anything but normal.
When the club was inches away from his hat, Luffy activated his Armament Haki, creating an invisible shield over his head that both deflected and destroyed the spiked mace upon it making contact with him, shattering the iron club as if it were nothing more than a porcelain bauble.
"You're not so tough," said Luffy as the lady pirate staggered due to the loss of counterweight, "don't you agree Coby?"
"Wh-what?" stammered Coby from being put on the spot.
"You got to stand up to these people," said Luffy with a grin, "otherwise they'll never let you go."
"Stand up to them?" mused Coby to himself as Alvida got to her feet with a grunt and glared at her cabin boy.
"Oi, Coby," growled Alvida as she tossed aside the remains of her club, "you wouldn't be thinking of mutiny? After I was kind enough to let you join our crew?"
"W-well…I…" stammered Coby, causing Luffy to put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Coby," said Alvida, "who's the most beautiful woman on the sea?"
"W-w-well," stammered Coby.
"WELL?" pressed Alvida.
Coby then steeled his resolve and shouted, "DEFINITELY NOT YOU, YOU FAT OLD TROLL!"
"Atta boy Coby," said Luffy with a smile as Alvida turned red with rage.
"You little runt," growled Alvida, "boys, rip them apart!"
The pirate crew roared and charged at them with their swords, ready to tear the two limb from limb, but Luffy just smirked and narrowed his eyes, releasing a wave of Conqueror's Haki that struck the crew overpowering their weak wills and causing them to pass out, foaming from the mouth, leaving only Coby and himself untouched.
"Wh-who are you?" asked Alvida as she stumbled back, her knees shaking and her body covered in sweat from the wave of Haki that had washed over her, the fact that she had a stronger will than her crew being the only reason she wasn't on the ground with them.
"The name's Monkey D. Luffy," said Luffy, "the once and future King of the Pirates!"
With those words, Luffy reared back his fist and snapped it forward, sinking a punch into Alvida's massive stomach, sending the obese Pirate Captain flying off her ship, disappearing into the horizon with a twinkle.
"C'mon Coby," said Luffy with a D-shaped grin, "let's get out of here."
Coby could only nod blankly and follow Luffy to a lifeboat that the two of them used to sail away, leaving the ship with its missing captain and unconscious crew.
"What are you?" asked Coby once they were on their way.
"I'm Monkey D. Luffy," said Luffy, "I ate a Devil Fruit and became a rubberman."
"But how did you beat all of them without even moving?" asked Coby.
"That's," said Luffy, causing Coby to lean in eagerly, "…a secret!"
Coby facefaulted at that answer, causing Luffy to laugh, "Shishishi, you're really funny. So, Coby, why were you on that ship?"
"Ahaha," laughed Coby emberresdly, "I meant to get on a fishing boat, but accidentally got on a pirate ship. I ended up becoming their slave so they wouldn't kill me, and I'd been trapped there until you came."
"Shishishi," laughed Luffy, "I know a guy like that. He did the exact same thing when we were supposed to meet up with the rest of our crew. Ended up causing a real scene when he realized where he was."
"Your crew?" asked Coby.
"Yeah," said Luffy, "he's my first mate."
"By crew, do you mean pirates?" asked Coby nervously as he remembered how Luffy had called himself the Once and Future Pirate King.
"Yeah," said Luffy, "but we're not like those guys back there. We're good pirates that want to live our lives freely and seek out our dreams with nothing holding us back. We don't care for money or treasure…well, our Navigator does, but she's an exception, and we don't hut innocent people."
"What's your dream?" asked Coby as he became a bit less scared.
"To gather my crew," said Luffy with a far-off look, "then make our way to Raftel where we'll claim the One Piece and the crown of the Pirate King."
"But why?" asked Coby, "Why do you want to be king of the pirates?"
"Because I made a promise," said Luffy as he took his hat off, "to the man who saved my life. I would become a strong captain and return this hat to him when I meet him in the New World. He taught me how to be a good pirate and I owe him everything. But enough about me, what are your dreams?"
"My dream?" said Coby nervously.
"Yeah," said Luffy, "I mean, you have to have one, right?"
"Well, yeah," said Coby awkwardly, "but it isn't anything special."
"No need to worry," said Luffy, "I'm sure it's a great dream. So, what is it?"
"Well," said Coby, "I want to join the Marines so I can make the seas a safer place and put away people like Alvida."
"That sounds like a worthy goal," said Luffy, "the world could use more people like you."
"What do you mean?" asked Coby in a confused voice, "If I become a Marine, I'd be your enemy!"
"Do you want to be my enemy?" asked Luffy.
"No, but…" began Coby.
"Then we have no problems," said Luffy as he cut him off.
"…So," said Coby, trying to change the subject, "the crewmate you told me about. Who is he?"
"Roronoa Zoro," said Luffy.
"Wait," said Coby, "you mean Roronoa Zoro the Bounty Hunter?"
"That's the one," said Luffy.
"But he hunts Pirates!" said Coby, "How is he on your crew?"
"I asked and he said yes," said Luffy simply, "I'm hungry. Do we have any fishing gear?"
Coby could only watch with his mouth hanging open as the pirate in the straw hat looked through the little boat for fishing supplies.
After a day or two of sailing, the small boat docked in a small port town where, according to Coby, there was a small Marine base. Mooring their craft, the Pirate and the former cabin boy got off of their small craft and looked around.
"Alright," said Luffy, "now to find Zoro!"
That declaration caused everyone in earshot to shrink back in fear, as if Luffy had just declared that he was going to free some sort of rabid monster.
"Why are they acting so weird?" asked Luffy, pretending to not understand their reaction.
"Luffy," said Coby, "you're scaring them. Maybe we shouldn't talk about Roronoa Zoro so casually. He is a scary Pirate Hunter after all."
Walking up to a lady and her child, Coby decided to ask for directions, "Excuse me, do you know if there's a place I could enlist in the Marines close by?"
That question emptied the streets faster than they could blink.
"That's weird," said Luffy with a grin before he walked off toward the large Marine base located deeper in the town.
"Where are you going!?" exclaimed Coby.
"I'm going to check out that big building over there," said Luffy.
"Why there?" asked Coby as he ran to keep up with the rubbery pirate.
"I'm going to find Zoro," said Luffy simply, "and my gut's telling me he's over there."
"But that's a Marine base!" said Coby.
"So?" asked Luffy.
"They'll arrest you!" said Coby.
"Nah," said Luffy, "they wouldn't arrest me. I don't even have a bounty yet."
"Wait," said Coby, "how can he be a part of your crew if you aren't known by the marines? Wouldn't they notice if someone like Zoro joined a pirate crew?"
"I told you," said Luffy, "we're good pirates. Not like those pirates led by that fat hag we just left behind."
"But why would Zoro be there?" Coby asked, "This isn't really the kind of base you go to to cash a bounty."
"Dunno," lied Luffy, "I'm just following my gut."
"Your gut?" said Coby.
"Yup," said Luffy, "it hasn't proven me wrong so far, though sometimes I get it mixed up with my stomach."
The two of them continued to walk until they arrived at the gates to the base and looked through to the courtyard within. Tied to a post in the center of the courtyard was a man with a white shirt, dark green pants and black boots. Around his waist was a green sash and a dark green bandanna was tied around his head.
"Oi Zoro!" called out Luffy, causing the man to look up, "How's it going?"
"Ah? Luffy?" said the man tiredly, yet still managing to sound a bit surprised, "I'm not quite sure how I ended up here again, but I'm assuming you have an explanation."
"It's a long story," said Luffy, "so, ready to join my crew as first mate again?"
"I don't recall ever leaving," said Zoro, "same deal as last time. Get me my swords and we'll deal with the fop and his father."
"Alright," said Luffy as he jumped over the fence leaving Coby behind.
"Wait," said Coby, "so you really are a part of his crew?"
"Of course," said Zoro with a smirk, "someone has to keep the idiot out of trouble."
"Then why are you tied up here?" asked Coby, "I thought you didn't have bounties yet?"
"Luffy told you that?" asked Zoro, getting a nod from Coby, "Well that is true, we really haven't done anything to warrant the ire of the Marines yet…well he hasn't."
"What do you mean?" asked Coby warily.
Zoro tried to shrug then remembered that his arms were tied to the post, "It's a bit of a story involving the stuck up bastard of a son to the corrupt Marine Captain of the base here and a disagreement we had when said son was harassing a little girl that had done nothing wrong. He set his pet on her, I killed said pet, and now I'm here serving time as part of a deal to keep his misplaced anger away from the kid."
"Wait," said Coby, "you expect me to believe that the Marines here are corrupt?"
"Not all of them," admitted Zoro, "but their leader surely is."
"I refuse to believe that," said Coby, "you're trying to trick me."
"Believe what you want kid," said Zoro, "but trust your eyes as well. You can see that all the people here are afraid of the Marines that are supposed to protect them."
"There has to be a good reason," Coby protested.
"If you say so," said Zoro as he craned his neck, "wonder what's taking Luffy so long?"
"Um, mister Zoro," said Coby cautiously.
"Yeah kid?" asked Zoro.
"He went in the other direction."
Luffy was currently in a bind. He thought it would be an easy job, grab Zoro's three katanas and rush back to his first mate, and then he realized that he had forgotten which room the swords were being kept in. This led him to start checking every room he came across for the swords, eventually leading to him having to run from a platoon of Marines that were in the rooms he was checking.
'DAMNIT!' groaned Luffy in his head as he ran from the pursuing Marines, 'Where are those swords? I swear it was around here last time. Maybe this room?'
Luffy opened the door to the room and to his relief, the Wado Ichimonji and Zoro's two other unnamed blades were leaning against a wall.
"Alright!" said Luffy, "Now to get back to Zoro!"
"Stop that intruder!" yelled the Marines that were chasing him.
"Whoops!" exclaimed Luffy as he slammed the door shut and barricaded it with several expensive pieces of furniture, "Not that way."
Luffy grabbed the swords and turned toward the wall with his fist reared back. Calling upon his Armament Haki, he coated his fist, transforming it to a shiny black color. Punching forward, he blew a hole in the wall and jumped through, landing in the courtyard just as a blond man was terrorizing a young girl for brining Zoro some riceballs.
"Hey Zoro!" said Luffy, "I got them!"
"Who are you?" demanded the blond man, "I should call my father and have you arrested for destruction of Marine property."
Luffy simply ignored him and walked up to Zoro.
"Hey!" yelled the man, "What do you think you're doing? If you free that criminal before his time is up, then he will be put to death!"
"Oh, shut up," said Zoro, "you were going to kill me anyways."
"Well yes…I mean…be quiet you criminal!" yelled the man.
Suddenly a shadow was cast over them causing them to turn and see a large muscular Marine captain with a metal jaw brace and an axe replacing one of his hands. This was the captain of the base on the island, Captain Axe-Hand Morgan.
"Helmeppo," Morgan growled to the blond man, "what's going on here?"
"Father!" said Helmeppo, "Arrest these men! They disrespected me and are going to free the prisoner Zoro."
Morgan didn't respond and instead backhanded his son across the jaw with his hand, sending the blond fop sprawling across the ground.
"You dare to give me orders!" Morgan growled, shocking Coby as he watched all of this, "You are nothing. It is because of me that you exist and because of me that you are allowed to continue on. I do not take orders from you."
"Captain Morgan!" said a Marine as the group chasing Luffy ran up, "The one in the straw hat broke into the base and stole Roronoa's swords!"
"So, one child managed to elude all of you trained Marines?" asked Morgan.
"Well…" began the Marine.
Morgan didn't let him finish and instead slashed him across the chest with his axe-hand with a quick movement, leaving the man to fall to the ground as he bled out.
"Incompetent weakling," growled Morgan, "if a mere child can escape you, you do not deserve to live."
"HEY!" yelled Luffy as he stood with a newly freed Zoro, "You can't just kill your subordinates!"
"Silence, child!" said Morgan, "You think to tell me what I can and cannot do? I am the great Axe-Hand Morgan! Know your place beneath the heel of my boot!"
"You talk too much," said Zoro as he put the Wado Ichimonji in his mouth and got into a Santoryu stance, "Maybe we should just shut you up."
"Coby," said Luffy, "you wanted to put away the evil and the corrupt, right? Well, let us help you do so with this man."
"Insolent scum," growled Morgan, "I shall show you that, in this town, my word is law."
Morgan roared and swung his axe-hand down at Luffy, but Zoro stepped forward and blocked the strike with his three swords, slicing the metal blade of the weapon to pieces with a quick movement, before stepping back as his captain decked Morgan across the jaw, shattering the metal brace he wore across his chin, causing the man to fall to the ground unconscious
"You can go ahead and arrest this bastard," said Zoro to the Marines that were watching, "after my captain and I get some food, we'll be leaving without any incident. So, there's no need to arrest us for this."
Luffy and Zoro turned and began to leave. Coby was just about to follow them when he was stopped by a call from one of the Marines.
"You there," said the Officer, "are you with them?"
"Oh him?" said Luffy before Coby could respond, "He wants to join the Marines. Let me explain how we met. It all began on a pirate ship belonging to this huge old hag named Alvida…"
'What are you doing Luffy?!' thought Coby angrily, 'If they hear that, they'll never let me join!'
Before Luffy could say any more, Coby gave him a hard kick to the shin, causing him to glare at the smaller boy.
"Attack a pirate will you?" he said as he began to hit Coby.
"Alright stop right there!" said the Marine, "As we can see he's obviously not with you, the kid will stay with us, but you will leave the island by sunset, or we arrest you."
Luffy nodded and he and Zoro walked off, leaving a slightly bruised Coby who was starting to put the pieces together.
'Luffy did that on purpose,' thought Coby, 'it was all to distance himself from me so I could join the Marines.'
"So, you said you wanted to put away the criminal and corrupt?" asked the Marine in charge.
"Yes sir!" said Coby, "It is my dream to enlist as a Marine and make the world a better place."
"Alright then," said the Marine, "you will be admitted on a trial period as chore boy. Should you do good work, we'll see about getting you an official rank."
"Thank you, sir," said Coby happily, 'and thank you, Luffy. I'll always remember what you taught me.'
"So, captain," said Zoro as he and Luffy sailed away from the town, "care to explain all of this?"
The two of them had been given a feast by the townsfolk and a formal sendoff by the Marines stationed at the base in gratitude for freeing them from the tyrannical grip of former captain Morgan. Now the two of them were on open seas looking for their next adventure.
"We've been given a second chance to do things right," said Luffy, "so we're gonna gather our crew and make sure we're strong enough so that everybody makes it to Raftel."
"Tell me one thing," said Zoro, "did you find it? Did you find the One Piece?"
"I found all that and more," said Luffy, "and we'll find it again. That's a promise."
"As expected of my captain," said Zoro with a smirk, "so where to?"
"To find our Navigator of course!" said Luffy, "Set said for Orange Town!"