One Piece: Truly Precious
Sorry for the wait for this chapter. I'm working on it, but it isn't easy. I would welcome fanart of a new ship for the Strawhats. I'm planning on merging the merry and the sunny and giving it several upgrades from the plans of pluton. They'll need it to take on the world and the marines. I just can't get an image in my head. I would like the help.
Disclaimer: Oda-sensei owns One Piece.
"So, what's our heading?" asked Ace as he munched on a leg of meat.
"Since Crocodile's plan involves the Poneglyph in the tunnels beneath the royal palace, our target is the port city of Nanohana," said Nami as she spread out a map, "from there we can get to Alubarna where we can take down him and his organization."
"So, you guys are really going to take on a Shichibukai?" said Ace, "I mean, you guys are from the future, but can you really take on a guy that powerful?"
"Sure," said Luffy cheerily, "we beat him before."
"Though in all honesty," said Robin casually, "he did win and nearly kill you the first few times you fought."
"That's not very reassuring," deadpanned Ace.
"Things are different now," insisted Luffy, "I'll kick his ass."
"We've all come a long way from who we were back then," said Zoro.
"And we're still working to improve," said Usopp as he walked out of his workshop with a wrapped package, "Nami, I've re-created it as best I could, but this time, I replaced all the party tricks with some of the inventions we've managed to re-create from Weatheria."
Nami smiled and unwrapped the package to reveal her Clima-Tact, recreated by Usopp based on the plans he had memorized and improved using what he remembered about the schematics Nami had brought back after her two-year training mission, creating a new and improved weapon for their navigator to use. Usopp had been expanding his own arsenal as well, moving from cheap tricks and lies to create a more dangerous and lethal set of weapons to use. Things that would have helped last time around.
The sniper of the Strawhat Pirates, in the absence of their shipwright, had taken it upon himself to be their main tinkerer and inventor, creating new weapons for use by their new members, and upgrading the ones that he and Nami had relied upon last time.
He was so looking forward to getting some Dials from Skypeia.
"So," said Nami as she pointed to the map, "we'll moor the ship here and purchase some disguises to get us to the capital. Usopp and Robin will be in charge of that Sanji."
"What! Why?" protested Sanji.
"Because," sighed Nami, "despite how attractive they are, belly dancer outfits are neither inconspicuous or good for traveling miles in the desert sun."
The blond chef moved to the side to pout as the group gathered around the map.
"How are we going to convince the people of Crocodile's treachery?" asked Vivi, "He's the hero of the people, defending the kingdom from pirates and such."
"We're not going to convince them," said Zoro, "you are."
"Me?" said Vivi in surprise.
"That is why you two infiltrated Baroque Works, right?" said Luffy.
"But…" began Vivi before Nami walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Vivi, I know this isn't going to be easy, but there's nobody better to do this. The people will listen to what you have to say."
"What they say is true," said Igaram, "you will have the support of many of the masses, and the rebels will at least listen to what you have to say."
"I guess," sighed Vivi before she nodded, "ok. I'll put my faith in your plan."
"I still don't see why we can't just kick his ass like last time," said Luffy.
"Because last time we got lucky and the Marines got wise to Crocodile's scheme and decided to help," said Nami, "plus Smoker and Tashigi aren't like other Marine officers."
"At least you didn't piss her off this time Zoro," teased Sanji.
"Shut up, ero-cook," muttered Zoro.
"In any case," said Nami as she tried to get back on track, "we'll want to try to be discrete, so we'll be arriving after sunset. That should also help us when we make our way through the Sandora Desert, as the temperatures will be easier to deal with at night. Once we get to Alubarna we'll have to hurry and expose Crocodile's scheme so his plans to start a war will be thwarted."
"So why does a Shichibukai want to start a war?" asked Ace, as he hadn't been fully filled in.
"It's complicated," said Zoro, "but basically he's going to use the war to gain access to the Poneglyph sealed under the Royal Palace."
"A Poneglyph?" asked Ace, "Why would Crocodile want something like that?"
Seeing Vivi and Igaram stiffen, Zoro simply shook his head, "I'm afraid we can't tell you that, but tell you that if Crocodile gets the information on the Poneglyph, he could have the power to conquer the world and crush all opposition. Including the Yonko."
"That bad huh?" said Ace, "I guess I can understand the need to stop him. Wish I could help, but I still gotta track down Teach and deal with him for dishonoring Pops by killing Thatch. Once we make landfall we'll have to go our separate ways."
The crew nodded and headed to their posts on the ship as they made sure the ship was well on its way toward the port town of Nanohana.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the desert, in the Spider's Café, a small building that had a water tower standing next to it, a slender woman with blue hair was reading a book behind the counter as a phonograph played some casual tunes. Suddenly, the door burst open and two portly figures walked in, one an older woman with frizzy red hair, and a man wearing a green outfit with a large gun strapped to his back.
"Hahaha! HeyheywalkfasterMr.4! My hips hurt from all the walking and I want to get this trip over with!" the woman said in a fast and annoyed tone, all her words blending together.
"Sooooooooooorrrr…" said the man in a slow and somewhat meek voice, but he was cut off by his partner
"You're way too slow Mr.4," said the woman, "so what do you have to drink Paula?"
"Miss Merry Christmas," acknowledged the woman behind the counter as she put the book down, "Mr. 4. The café has been specially reserved for our group tonight. Orange Pekoe tea and Apple Tea for the two of you as usual?"
"Nothing too hot or cold!" said Miss Merry Christmas, "I want to be able to drink it as soon as I can."
"Right right," said Paula as she placed the cups in front of the others.
"Hello~" said a 'man' in a swan themed outfit as 'he' waltzed through the front door while doing a pirouette, "Oh, everybody looks so wonderful today! Paula dear, I'll have one of your fruity mojitos if you please."
"Mr. 2 Bon Clay," nodded Paula in greeting as she moved to prepare the Okama's drink.
"Oh, I see the old hag is here as well," said Mr. 2 as he noticed Miss Merry Christmas, "I'd have expected you to be stuck in bed tending your hip."
"Shut up you!" growled Miss Merry Christmas from her seat, "Why don't you put that mouth of yours to use and get something done for a change!"
"Must you all be so noisy-gane?" said a man with hair that was styled to look like a number 3 as he walked in with a sigh, a child with red hair and a colorful outfit walking beside him, "Can we not act civilized-gane?"
"Hello Paula," said the girl, "do you have any hot tea? Earl Gray would be nice."
"So, you and Miss Goldenweek were invited too, Mr. 3?" asked Mr. 2 as he sipped his drinks, "Looks like all the Officer Agents have been gathered here…well, apart from the Mr. 5 and Mr. 1 duos."
"Mr. 5 did not make it to our appointment at Little Garden," said Mr. 3 as he sipped his drink, "and I have yet to meet Mr. 1 or his partner, so I cannot presume to know their whereabouts."
"You do not need to presume anything," said a serious voice as a muscular man with a buzz cut walked in wearing a loose vest and pants, "We are all here now."
"I see you are as punctual as always, Mr. 1," said Paula with a smirk.
"You should know that better than anyone…Miss Doublefinger," said the now identified Mr. 1, causing the other Agents to turn to the bartender in surprise.
"You never said you were Miss Doublefinger," said Miss Merry Christmas.
"Hmm," said the now identified Miss Doublefinger as she removed the cloth tying her hair back, "you never asked."
"Regardless," said Mr. 3, "we all seem to have received the same orders from Mr. 0."
"Indeed," said a voice, causing the Agents to turn and see an Otter standing next to a Vulture, carrying two Den Den Mushi, one normal colored, and one pure white, both linked together by cables, "and now we can begin."
"Mr. 0," said Mr. 1 in greeting.
"Indeed," said the transmission from the snail, "our endgame must be accelerated. Miss All Sunday has defected to the ranks of our enemies. We must move up Operation Utopia. Prepare to mobilize and have the Billions intercept the Pirates. They will likely make port at Nanohana with the princess, so that is where they must be stopped."
"Sir!" said the Agents and the Den Den Mushi shut down, allowing the two animals to pack them up and fly off.
It was just after sundown when the Going Merry pulled into the port town of Nanohana, and when they did, a horrific sight was waiting for them. The town was in chaos as the civilians were fighting with soldiers from the Alabastan Army, and several crates containing glittering powder were scattered across the ground.
"What's going on here?" exclaimed Vivi as she leapt over the railing and landed on the pier, "you must stop this!"
"Princess Vivi," said one of the soldiers, "we need to get you to a more secure location. The civilians here are revolting against the crown and started attacking! They've been working with pirates to undermine your father and smuggle Dance Powder into the Kingdom."
"Please," said Vivi, "we can resolve all of this peacefully without all of this violence! I just need to speak with the rebels."
"I'm sorry Your Highness," said the soldier, "but we have strict orders from your father the King. We are to escort you to the capital and arrest the pirates that were traveling with you."
"But these pirates are our allies," insisted Vivi before Nojiko cut her off.
"Wait," said the crew's scout, "how would the king know that his daughter would be traveling with pirates?"
The guard hesitated for a moment, and that was all Usopp needed to shoot an exploding star from his slingshot, knocking the man to the ground as the shell exploded in his face.
"It's a trap," said the sniper, "and I'll wager that these aren't real soldiers either. There's no way the king would know in advance that we were escorting Vivi to her home."
"Enough of this," said one of the soldiers, "Billions! Capture the princess and kill the pirates!"
Several dozen squads of the disguised Baroque Works Agents broke off and charged the pirates. The crew prepared to reach for their weapons, but a figure leapt off the ship and landed between the two groups, causing a crater to form in the cobblestones thanks to his weapons.
"Get the princess to the capital," said Gin as he spun his cannonball tonfa, "I'll keep these idiots off your back."
"Gin," said Sanji, "you sure about this?"
Gin smirked, his stance hardened by experience and lacking weakness of hunger that he had when the Strawhats had first met him, "One of me VS all of them? They're outnumbered."
Gin shot forward and began tearing through the ranks of the Billions, showing those watching just how he earned the title of Man-Demon as he smashed his way through their ranks, opening a path for the Strawhats, Vivi, Igaram, and Ace to run through as they headed into the desert, following the path of the Sandora River, but unknown to them, there would be several more challenges they would have to face before reaching their goal.