Chapter 7

Me: Apology of the late update. First I was a bit upset of myself that I had disappointed of one reader when receiving a review concerning chapter 2. Then I got really busy with things and new ideas that had to be written down before I forgot them. An explanation concerning Whitebeard and his crew would be in the end A/N, so please read it if you had the same feeling as iitrnr's review.

Luffy: Hope you guys like this chapter and it's surprise guest~shishishis~

Ace *shark teeth*: Nala does not own One Piece. Otherwise we would never see any updates!

Me *whimper*:…

Sabo *sigh*: Please enjoy reading.

Dream land:

Ace's POV


Eh? Who's crying?


Urgh…Come on, I'm trying to sleep here!

Finally, a few worried and rash words of comfort could be heard other than the loud wailing.

"Shh, it's ok," a boy's voice could be heard trying to comfort whoever was crying. "Please stop crying. Shhh."

Wait a minute…I'm the only kid on the ship! My eyes suddenly snapped open. Rubbing away the sleep with my hands, I looked around the bright white room…Eh, this…is not my room. Where am I?!

"Waa waa!" The loud crying can still be heard but there's no one in sight.

Normal POV

The little raven haired little boy looked around while still sitting on the ground. There's nothing and no one in sight. All he could see is whiteness that's starting to make him a bit dizzy.

"Where—" The raven haired asked, confused.

"WAAAAAAAAAA!" A louder than ever cry interrupted him.

"Urgh!" Clenching his ears with his hands trying to block out the loud crying, the little boy finally got up. Although there's nothing that shows any path, the little boy simply ran toward wherever the crying came from even though his ears is hurting from all the loud sounds.

Finally, after who knows how long, the loud wailing reduced to small sobbing, but it was enough for the boy to remove his hands from his poor abused ears while still following toward the voice.

Now that the crying is not as loud as before, the freckled boy could hear another voice that's still trying to comfort whoever's crying.

Then, suddenly, just when he was starting to get tired, about twenty feet away in front of him there was a bright red light ball, which soon changed to violet, then brown, then black, and next red again. It was the first thing that the little boy saw, but before seeing it, he first heard it since the crying seem to be coming from the light ball that's hanging a few feet above the ground.

Slowing down considerably, the boy walked toward the crying mysterious thing. Just when he was about to rise his voice, he heard a few more comforting words with frustration mixing in them.

"It's ok! Please stop crying!" a boy's voice saying soothingly.

Moving a little to the left, the raven haired boy's eyes saw a short curly blond haired boy standing near the floating ball of light.

"Brother!" The freckled boy yelled out excitedly before he could think of anything. His eyes glowing with excitement.

Sadly, the other boy's attention was completely on the thing that he's trying to comfort. The sudden yell caused him to jump at least a foot above the ground in surprise. "Yikes!" The boy's eyes swirled to the one that surprised him, but then his eyes also started glowing in excitement and happiness.

"Brother!" The blonde ran toward the other boy while yelling in happiness.

The raven also ran toward the other excitedly.

When they reached each other, both hugged and laughed loudly.

"Finally! We finally met!" The blond boy said with a grin as he pulled back a bit to get a better look of the other.

"Yes! Finally!" The raven too looked at the other while supporting a big grin as well.

For a few minutes or who knows how long, the two boys simply looked at each other while their hands still holding the other's shoulder in a hug. Grinning and content with silence, neither said anything.

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Suddenly another earsplitting cry filled the air, interrupting the peacefulness between the two.

As if just remembering again of what he was trying to do, the blonde let go of the other and quickly ran back to the ball of light.

"Shh! It's ok! Everything's ok! Please stop crying!" The raven watched as the other trying hard to making soothing sounds toward the floating crying light.

"What's that?" The raven asked when the wailing reduced to sobbing again.

"I don't know," the blonde replied while one hand moving against the light ball as if petting it.

"Where is this?" The raven looked around them. Except the boys and the floating crying light ball, there was truly nothing in sight.

"Don't know." The blond looked around as well, but quickly returned his attention to the ball of light when the crying voice raised slightly. "Shh. It's ok. Shh."

The raven boy walked up to the light and the other boy. Curiously, he raised a hand trying to touch the light ball, but gasped aloud when he felt as if the light trying to grasp his hand.

"It's…" The raven haired whispered in awed while staring at his hand that's suddenly surrounded by a layer of red light, which was the color at the moment.

"Warm," the blonde grinned, looking at the other while still petting the light ball. "Not hurt. Just warm and smooth and soft feely."

Nodding since he couldn't speak while still staring at his hand, which the raven had pulled back away from the light. The layer of red light surrounding his hand keep glowing a minute or two before slowly dimmed to nothing.

Turning his gaze to the mysterious light again, the raven haired boy's head lean to one side. "What is this?"

"I don't know," the other replied. "I just woke up suddenly in this place and heard loud crying, which came from this…thing."

"Me too," the raven said.

Before either one of them could say another word, a quiet man's voice came from their back.

"Welcome to the land of dream, children of men."

Swirling around, both boys instinctively stood back to back while still facing the same way. There, a few feet away, a cloaked figure sits with his legs crossed, hands on his knees without moving.

"Who are you!" the raven haired boy growled, which sounds really cute because he's so young.

Chuckles came from beneath the cloak before a man's voice said softly, almost ghostly like. "Calm yourselves, children of men. I mean you no harm."

"I'm sorry," the blonde put a hand on the raven's arm. "But who are you? Where did you come from? Where is this?"

Chuckling a bit, the cloaked man's cloak disappeared in dust, revealing the same young man with blue eyes and waist-long blond hair who Roger met sat in front of the two children with a gentle smile. The sword he wore before gone this time.

"Should you not be introducing yourselves first as it's only proper before asking questions?"

Blushing, the younger blonde scratched the back of his head embarrassingly. "I'm sorry," a proper bow. "Though I could say the same to you as you are the one who first started a conversation with us," the blonde countered him after rising himself from the bow. "My name is Sabo. Sabo Outlook."

Remembering the manner his mom had taught him as well, the raven gave a small bow as well. "Me Ace. Portgas D. Ace."

Smiled wider, the older blonde bowed while still remain sitting. "Nice to finally meet the two of you. Though I have no name, you may called me Kazuki."

Surprised, Sabo looked at the older man. "It means harmony hope, yes?"

"True," Kazuki smiled at the smart young boy. The younger one grinned and stood straighter in pride that he got right.

"You said this is the land of dream," Ace interrupted warily. "It truth?"

Kazuki smiled, especially seeing as Ace moved closer to Sabo as if to protect him. "Yes. Why don't you sit down, and I would answer most if not all your questions?"

The two youngsters shared a look, but then slowly moved closer and sat in front of him.

"Thank you," Kazuki nodded approvingly that they listened. Before they could ask him any question though, he continued. "Though, I have one question for you first, Ace."

Ace nodded at the older to go on.

"Why do you spoke so differently comparing to when you were talking to Sabo-kun?"

Blushing at the other noticing how he had tried hiding his language skill and intelligence, Ace scratched the back of his head. "Mama worried about Ace growing too quickly, so Ace try act younger so not to scared mama."

Sabo hold Ace's hand as if to lend his strength. He too understood what his brother was saying. Ever since his father known how quickly he could learn, how different comparing to other kids his age, Outlook had hired a teacher for him to learn while other kids his age playing with others.

Kazuki smiled softly at the two boys. Then he said gently. "But don't you think your mother would worried and hurt more because how you are hiding yourself from her?"

Surprised, Ace looked at him in the eyes then looking to the side thoughtfully.

Sure the boy understood his point, Kazuki kept on smiling at the two. After a few minutes, he spoke up again. "As for all your questions before, as I said, you may call me Kazuki. No need for honorifics. This," waving a hand around them, "is indeed the world of dream. Though, it's also the place where the dead comes to as well. Some called this place the Purgatory, where souls comes to decide where they go to next."

Looking at the two boys, who now has all their attentions on him, the mysterious man smiled. "All dreams are connected, but dreams can also be the gate to something else. Although everyone dreams, not everyone can enter and remember entering the dream land, especially this place."

When Kazuki paused, Ace asked, "Why? Why this place so special?"

Grinned at the curious boy, Kazuki answered. "Because this place is the place between the living and the dead. It's where the dead who have some unfinished business with the living could stays. The dead, or spirits or souls, whichever you prefer to called, could watched over the living."

For a few minutes, the three sat in silence as the two younger thinks.

"Does this mean my dad was here as well?" Ace suddenly asked, looking straight at Kazuki and looking hopeful.

Understanding the reason, Kazuki answered gently. "The Pirate King was indeed here. In fact, he had stayed here for a few days in your time."

Jumping up and grabbed the older man's arm, Ace asked while pulling, "Is he still here? Is papa still here?"

Gently, the mysterious man put a hand on his head. Then shook his head slowly. "He left as soon as saw that you and your mother was safe."

Upset that he couldn't see his father even if only once, Ace sat back down again. Tears was on the edge of his eyes, but none fall.

Looking at the sad boy, Kazuki explained gingerly. "Although this is a place for them to come to, they can't stay too long. Otherwise the soul started to lost themselves and eventually, rather than go to the place where peace existents, they would disappeared into nothingness."

Horror now etched on both of boys' face.

Kazuki reassured them both. "Do not worried. The Pirate King had not stayed long. He knows and understands how bad it is to stay here. Not only because of the chance of disappearance of his soul, he also known the price of staying here evened just for a second." At his last sentence, he turned his gaze to the still crying light ball floating behind the two.

The boys turned to looking at the light ball as well. Then Sabo looked at the older man again.

"What's the price, if I may ask?"

Looking down at his fellow blonde, Kazuki smiled. "Of course you may." Ace looked back him as well since he too wanted to know why his father didn't stayed long.

"All souls with regrets, wishes, last prayers passes through this in-between place." Kazuki looked upward as he continued in a deeper, older, and wearier voice. "As the souls passed through here, even if their regret, wish, or prayer, gone eventually in their stay or moved on after a while, they left a part of themselves behind. Like how snakes molting their skins, no harm would be done to the souls themselves. But those emotions, or whatever you may called them, eventually accumulated and became a light of ball."

Here, again, Kazuki looked to the ball of light that has grown silence. Realzing that he was answering their silent question that they had not asked before, the two brothers looked to the light ask well.

"The light of ball," Kazuki's voice grown sad and older, like an old man who knows too much, "is an energy force with no whole positive in it. The stronger the wish, the bigger the negative energy. The shorter the soul's stay, the bigger the positive energy they left behind when leaving. Despite all souls was warned of the price and the danger, who won't wanted to see their love ones a while longer?" The last sentence was whispered out as if he was talking to himself more than the two in front of him now.

In silence, the three sat. Ace and Sabo tried to remember all that they had learned and trying hard to understand it all. When the full meaning sink in, both looked at the other and then turned to the floating ball of light.

"I'm still a bit confused," Ace admitted, drawing the other two's attention to him. A small blush light up his cheeks.

Sabo grinned as Kazuki laughed softly.

Turning his attention to the older man, Sabo kept grinning. "Then let me summarize it a bit and see if I got right. Is that ok, Kazuki-san?"

Nodding his head, the mysterious man allowed the little genius to spoke.

"First, all souls come to this place when the time comes for them," Sabo hold up a finger. "Second, although they could stay here watching over their loved ones and finishing their unfinished businesses, it's not good as there's a chance that if they stayed too long, they would completely disappeared into nothingness." Holding up a second finger, he continued, frowning as he tried to remember. "Third, when they stayed and left later, they leave behind two type of energy. One positive and one negative. Depending on how long they stayed and how strong was their wish or desire, it would be how much either type of energy they left behind." Looking up at the one who had told them all, Sabo asked eagerly. "Is that all right, Kazuki-san?"

Nodding approvingly, Kazuki looked proud that someone so young understood everything with just one time explanation. "That was all correct, little boy of man."

Ace suddenly interrupted the two again. When the two looked at him, he looked really thoughtful. "What about the ones that disappeared into nothing? Why and how?"

Curious of that as well when he thought about it, Sabo turned to the only one that could answered.

Kazuki's gaze was on the ball of light again. The crying noises had started up again.

"When they stayed too long, the souls eventually begin to forget everything," Kazuki spoke sorrowfully. "Especially when the subject of their wish, regret, or prayer no longer existences within the living. Slowly and slowly, the soul disappeared. Leaving behind only their entire negative energy that was added to all the others. Some, who still holds and remembers everything, holds the chance of rebirth. Sadly, not all could do so as not all wishes could be granted even with a second chance."

Understanding that, neither boys asked any questions. All three looked at the glowing light ball that continuously change its colors as its crying voice raised louder and louder.

"Why," Sabo finally asked, "is it crying so much? Why does it have a voice at all, Kazuki-san?"

Looking at the boy who asked the question, Kazuki grinned mysteriously, which immediately draw all two boys' attention.

"It has a voice because it is now alive after so long," Kazuki explained. "Not only that, it contains not just energy but soul fragments, which surrounded and created this entire place." He waving around them.

Then the mysterious grinning came back on as he said, "As for why crying so much, it is because all the emotions it carries hurts so much with how heavy and big the negative energy is."

"Is crying all it does then?" Ace asked, a frown on his small face.

Grinning bigger, a cloak appeared and covered him again. Then the once strong, although at times old, voice now became once again ghostly whisper. "To you, it may sounds like only crying. But if you listen harder and more careful, children of man, then surely even you would be able to hear what was not meant to be heard anymore."

As the two boys closed their eyes and concentrated, the cloaked figure disappeared without them noticing. Soon, both boys slowly dragged back into the depth of sleep. Before complete darkness drown them while they were still trying harder to listen to the continuous crying, both of them heard many countless voices. But too late to hear any of the meanings, sleep once again consumed both boys.


Morning, within their respective rooms on their own bed, the two boys smiled as woke to a new day with their new knowledge. Both praying and wishing that they would see each other, as well as the light of ball, that they deemed as a little baby, within the dream again when night comes.

A/N: I knows that Whitebeard and Roger are similar ages as well as that Whitebeard won't have his name and crew till much later, but in my fanfic, for this one at least, Whitebeard would be having his bigger crew earlier than the canon. The sixteen division commanders won't be the whole and same crews for now. If you have noticed (maybe you didn't if you didn't care or look carefully), I didn't mention many, if any except Marco, division commanders' names except Teach, Marco, and Thatch. All the original division commanders would be older in this fanfic as well when they do become commanders. Thatch wasn't a commander at the time. Though still a chef and very good friends with Marco, he would only be a second-in-command of the fourth division. I mentioned Whitebeard was strong and good friends with Roger, but I did NOT said he's a Yonko. I'm trying to not draw attention to Whitebeard yet, but he did gain the title of Yonko after the rush of the Pirate Age created by Roger's death because the Marines doesn't want to worry about him while searching for Ace. Marco would always be the oldest of the crew and his son. I don't intent to create a romance for him, so he can be old just like the others. Teach's already on the crew, because I hates him and want to erase him as soon as possible. His longer stay on the crew would also give me something else, which I would not be explaining for now. Hopefully this clear up everything concerning Whitebeard and his commanders as well as their ages.

Please read and review so I could answer directly any questions rather than long A/N, which most likely annoying most if not all lol :P Sorry to those who think so, but it won't always be like this, promise~