So far, it's been smooth sailing since the Strawhats have left the Baratie. Luffy is resting at the bowsprit of Sanji's small boat, Natsu is taking a rest alongside the boat along with Sanji and Yosaku.
"I'm just excited that we finally got a cook on board! Now we just need Nami, then nothing will stand between us and the Grand Line!" Luffy says smiling as he stares at the clear blue sky.
"That is if she even WANTS to come back! I'm still a bit pissed that she just took the ship and left us." Natsu states with a tick mark appearing on his forehead.
"Nami." Sanji sighs dreamily and the smoke from his cigarette is now heart-shaped. "I can just sit around all day and think about how beautiful she is. I can't wait until I get to see her again."
Luffy sits down on the bow rails of the boat. "So, are we getting close to where Nami is? Y'know, the island?" He asks Yosaku, who hasn't said a word since they left.
Yosaku looks as if he's finally had enough of Luffy's happy-go-lucky attitude towards the situation. "You're way too naïve and way too young! Don't you get it?! Don't you realize every second that passes brings us closer to the infamous Arlong?! I'm telling you, Nami's planning on taking down Arlong and then collecting the 20,000,000 beri bounty. For all we know, while we just sit here she's already making her way through his compound."
Luffy brushes off Yosaku's worries with a yawn. "That's nice. Let's eat."
"Sounds good." Sanji quickly agrees.
"I could go for something as well." Natsu joins in drooling at the thought of something tasty.
"Don't tell me you guys are so clueless that you have actually never heard of the evil Arlong!" Yosaku exclaims.
"Uh, no. So, who is he?" Sanji asks.
Luffy is equally as clueless to just who Arlong is as well. "Yeah."
Yosaku's head drops in defeat. He then pulls out a whistle from out of nowhere and blows it loudly gaining everyone's attention. "Listen up! All of you! Time for your education on the cunning shark that is Arlong. Arlong is a fishman who used to destroy everything in his path up and down the Grand Line." The bounty hunter explains.
"A fishman?" Natsu echos. "I think Igneel told me about them when I was little."
"That's cool." Luffy comments. "I don't think I've ever met one of those before."
"I've heard that the females on Fishman Island are some of the most beautiful creatures in the world to behold." Sanji swoons with hearts in his eyes.
"Fishman sounds weird." Luffy had taken out a sketchbook out of who knows where and shows them a crudely made drawing of what he thinks a fishman looks like. "Do they look like this?"
Sanji and Natsu laugh at the terrible drawing.
"CAN'T YOU ALL JUST FOCUS FOR JUST ONE MINUTE PLEASE?!" Yosaku shouts. He calms down before continuing to explain. "Alright, I will start from the very beginning. The reason they call the Grand Line a pirate graveyard in the first place is because of Arlong and the other two powers like him who rule over it. One of them is the Seven Warlords of the Sea!"
"'Seven Warlords'?" Luffy repeats.
"The Seven Warlords are pirates authorized by the government." Yosaku continues.
"Seriously? Why would any pirate on the sea want government approval?" Sanji inquires.
"For protection. The government looks the other way in exchange for a cut of their treasure and they're allowed to exist. Of course, to other pirates, they're just government dogs. But they didn't get to where they are by being weak. These guys are powerful. The one who defeated big bro Zoro is a member of the Warlords. Dracule "Hawkeye" Mihawk!"
"So there are six more guys just like him?! Aw Hell yeah! I'm getting fired up just by thinking of them!" Natsu says getting excited.
"Yeah, well the first among the warlords, at least first you should know about is Jimbei, captain of the fishmen. He is dangerous like no one you've ever known. Easily causing as much havoc and destruction around the Grand Line as Arlong."
Luffy then scribbles a new picture. "Is this closer?"
"That looks just like your last picture only standing up." Sanji points out.
"Arlong has taken control of over 20 towns since coming to the East Blue. His strength easily surpasses anyone you've encountered, including that of Don Krieg's. He's devastating."
"So, why do you think Nami would go after this guy all by herself, huh?" Sanji asks.
"I told you already, she wants to collect the bounty on his head." Yosaku answers.
"Oh, wouldn't it be great if Nami was a mermaid. I'd give anything to see that." The blonde chef swoons, probably daydreaming of the orange-haired girl.
Luffy then scribbles Nami's hair onto the same drawing "Like this?" To which Natsu bursted out laughing but Sanji as he didn't share the same sense of humor this time gets up in the rubber captain's face and growls. "TEAR THAT THING UP OR DIE!"
"Have any of you morons heard a single word that I've said to you?!" The bounty hunter demands.
"Yeah, badass fishmen, some guy stronger than some other guy, we get it." Answers Luffy, clearly not getting anything Yosaku has been telling them.
The bounty hunter slumps down in his seat. "No, you don't get it. You've never had to face a fishman."
"Well uh, we will when we get there." Luffy assures. "So, don't worry about it."
"There is one more thing I should mention and this mainly involves you big bro Natsu." Yosaku adds. Natsu raises an eyebrow at this. "What is it?"
Yosaku clears his throat. "Well you see in recent years Arlong has began a partnership with a human. Now Arlong normally hates humans to their entire core but he made an exception just this once for this person. His name is Gajeel. "Black Steel" Gajeel. And he is just as strong if not possibly even stronger than Arlong but I can't say for sure."
"Okay so what the hell does this Gajeel guy have anything to do with me?" Natsu asks clearly confused.
"Well he is a dragon slayer just like you big bro Natsu. Except he is the Iron Dragon Slayer!" Yosaku reveals.
"WAIT WHAT?" Natsu exclaims. "Oh wait that's right that old Zeff guy mentioned him! So he is a dragon slayer too huh? I wonder if he knows anything about Igneel." Natsu ponders but his thoughts are cut off as his stomach makes a large growl and as he hears this Sanji stands up. "I guess I'll get lunch started."
"'Bout time! Let's eat!" Luffy cheers.
"What? Food?" Yosaku looks up.
"What are you three in the mood for?" Sanji rolls up his sleeves.
"I want meat right off the bone!" Luffy and Natsu both shout with gusto.
Yosaku runs up to stand beside Natsu and Luffy. "I want sautéed bean sprouts!"
"Okay." Sanji walks toward the ship's kitchen. "Leave it to me." He grabs a pan and ladle before getting to work. "This won't take long. Meat and bean sprouts. No problem."
Man, having a cook is the best, huh? Huh?"
"It sure is." Yosaku agrees.
"Bring me meat!" Luffy demands.
"Lots of meat!" Natsu adds.
"Sprouts! I want bean sprouts! Bean sprouts!" Yosaku shouts.
After some time passes Luffy, Natsu, and Yosaku are now pushing and shoving to get a look through the porthole window into the kitchen to watch Sanji cook. A few moments later, the table is set and all of them are eating aboard Sanji's ship. Luffy and Natsu practically stuff the whole two plates in their mouth. Sanji waves off Luffy, Natsu, and Yosaku's thanks for the meal saying that he's just practicing for the evening so he can make dinner for Nami.
"The hell is THAT?" Natsu wonders
"There's something down there." Sanji murmurs referring to the sea.
A large, familiar, creature bursts from the water and reveals itself to be a gigantic cow-like sea king, with a large round snout pierced by a golden nose ring, horns upon its head, and green cow-esque spots along its seal-like shaped body. Its massive size allows it to loom over the small boat.
Luffy and Natsu aren't the least bit fazed. "What the hell is that?" Natsu asks.
Sanji looks at the creature with disbelief.
"SEA MONSTER!" Yosaku shouts in terror.
"It's a cow." Luffy observes.
Sanji exhales smoke from his cigarette. "Not cow. They don't swim. A hippo?"
"Whatever it is, you can tell it's from the Grand Line!" Yosaku postulates. "What is it doing all the way out here in the East Blue?!"
"Why is he staring at us?" Luffy wonders.
Yosaku looks between Momoo and the food still on the table and comes to the most logical assumption.
"He wants the food!"
The rubber boy and fire eater don't appear to like this proclamation. "What?!"
"Quick give it to him before he sinks the ship!"
"GUM-GUM PISTOL!" "FIRE DRAGON IRON FIST!" Luffy and Natsu shout as they both strike the cow in the face, causing him to fall back in the sea and making the boat sway violently.
The cow then reemerges from the water with a loud roar and is now glaring over the side of Sanji's boat.
"Oh, crap you made it mad!" Yosaku shrieks.
Luffy gears up for another attack. "You back for more?!" He raises his fist to strike but is stopped by a kick courtesy of Sanji.
"Dumbass! There's no reason to punch this poor hungry hippo." "She's probably just a baby and can't catch food for herself yet, huh? That right?"
"You're insane." Yosaku deadpans.
Sanji holds out the largest plate of piping hot meat out for the cow. "Here you go. Eat up. Don't be scared; I won't hit you." The cow looks at the blond chef with a judging look, but contempt with the chef's smile and nonthreatening air he opens his mouth to accept the food.
Sanji's leg sails upward, hitting Momoo in the exact same spot where Luffy had struck just moments before.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, DAMN JERK!" The bounty hunter shouts angrily.
"It was going to eat me with the plate. What could I do?" Sanji answers nonchalantly.
The sea cow erupts in anger at this and comes in for an attack but in the end the three heavy hitters on the ship just beat the cow into submission as it gives them a ride to Arlong Park.
With Luffy and the others, the island begins to appear on the horizon. But things start to go wrong when the wound on Momoo's head starts to give him trouble and causes him to slow.
"HEY! KEEP UP THE PACE, COW!" Luffy yells at the beast.
"I feel sorry for it." Yosaku says. "Sanji's kicks must have really taken their toll."
The giant sea cow moos weakly before starting to veer away from Arlong Park.
"Not that way! Go to your other left! To the building, stupid!" The rubber boy exclaims angrily.
Momoo, though losing his sense of direction, didn't let up on his speed and goes crashing head first into a rocky cliff face. The sudden stop doesn't affect those on the boats and causes the ship to be flung over the rocky wall.
Amazingly, Luffy still manages to stay perfectly balanced on the bowsprit as the boat flys through the air.
Everyone but Luffy struggles to keep themselves from falling from the soaring ship.
"Whoa! It's almost like we're flying!" Luffy exclaims.
"ALMOST?!" Yosaku shrieks.
"We are flying, you moron!" Sanji fumes.
"Yeah, and now we're crashing!" Natsu yells as the boat begins to lose altitude and continue to 'sail' through the wooded area of the island.
"Landing successful!" Luffy proclaims. He continues to laugh until he spots a familiar green-haired swordsman in the way of their incoming ship. "Hey, Zoro!"
"Zoro?!" Everyone else shouts.
The swordsman cries out as he's now plastered on the front of Sanji's ship as the boat tears through a rice paddy field before coming to a stop as they collide with a steep cliff face.
"Awesome! We're here guys!" Luffy brushes dust off his hat and treats their crash landing like it was nothing.
"That was kinda fun!" Natsu shouts laughing.
"What the hell..." A gruff voice comes from underneath the pile of splintered wood that was Sanji's boat. "...were you doing?!" Zoro bares his teeth at Luffy and looks ready to cut someone in half.
"What do you mean? We're here to pick up Nami. Duh. How come you haven't found her yet? And where the heck are Usopp and Johnny?" Luffy questions.
"Usopp!" Zoro remembers why he was running so hard before he was flattened by the kamikaze ship. "Oh no! C'mon, we gotta hurry!" Zoro grunts as he shakes off the splintered wood and begins to sprint pass everyone.
"Why? The Hell happened?" Natsu queries.
"That dumbass has been caught by Arlong! We gotta hurry before they kill him!"
"He's already dead."
Everyone turns to see Johnny slump to the ground in exhaustion and begins to sob. "We're too late." He pants. "Big Bro Usopp is dead. Nami murdered him!"
The reunited Strawhats gape in shock at Johnny's statement.
"You can't be serious!" Yosaku is the one to finally break the silence.
Johnny seats himself on the ground. "Yeah, it's true. She was a traitor all along. She's been winning Arlong's favor, so she could have the treasure buried in Cocoyashi Village all to herself. That woman is just a cold-blooded killer. She won't stop until she gets what she wants. Nami had us fooled the entire—"
The bounty hunter is quickly cut off by Luffy rushing in and grabbing him by his jacket, hauling him up so he can look the rubber boy dead in the eye. Luffy didn't even notice that his precious straw hat had fallen from his head.
"Quiet! Say another word and you'll regret it!" He growls.
"Believe whatever you want, but I know what I saw. Nami killed Big Bro Usopp!" Johnny shouts, not caring what Luffy could do to him.
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH! NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WOULD NAMI KILL USOPP! SHE WOULDN'T DO THAT TO HER FRIENDS!" Luffy bellows.
"But I saw it!"
"What was that about friends, Luffy?" A familiar voice makes their presence known.
The Strawhats look over to see Nami.
"Nami." Luffy gasps as he drops Johnny and turns to face the orange-haired girl.
"What are you doing here?" She demands with her arms crossed with her wooden Bo staff out and a guarded cold gaze aimed at them.
"What are we doing here?" Luffy repeats as he picks up his hat off the ground and readjusts it atop his head. "You're our friend. We came to get you." He explains.
"What a pest." Nami scoffs.
At Luffy's confused look, Nami continues. "Friends, huh? Don't make me laugh." She says with a blank, yet cold, look, stunning Luffy into silence. "You're just pathetic enough to deserve each other."
Johnny then jumps forward from behind Luffy and points a finger at Nami. "Damn you! You killed him! I watched you do it! And now Big Bro Usopp is gone!"
Nami smirks. "Yup, that's right. So, why don't you kill me and get you revenge."
Johnny is taken aback by Nami's statement. "What?"
Nami twirls her Bo staff. "Word to the wise, fellas. Because of your friend's stupidity, Arlong is preparing to kill Zoro, along with his entire crew. And I don't care how monstrously strong you guys think you are, you're no match for the real monsters. I promise, you stay on this island, you will die."
"So, you have a choice to make between life and death." Nami finishes coldly.
Natsu just laughs at this. "I ain't gonna die! At least not until I see Igneel again!" Natsu shouts, smirking.
Nami then gives a quick glare to Natsu. "Are you sure about that? There is a dragon slayer here that is much stronger than you Natsu so I think you and everyone else should just get out of here while you have the chance. You outsiders have no right to butt into this island's affairs. Don't you get it yet? The only reason I got close to you idiots was to rob you of everything you had. But now that you're broke, looks like the dream's dead. So, go take your ship. Go on. Find a navigator dumb enough to join you and go to the Grand Line. Continue on your quest to find the One Piece or whatever. Just leave here!" She points her Bo staff at us in a threatening manner. "You're an eyesore!"
Johnny and Yosaku are growling at her blunt comments.
"Goodbye, now." She finishes.
Luffy then falls flat on his back in the middle of the dirt road and falls asleep.
"Big Bro Luffy!" Johnny exclaims.
"Sleepy." Is all the boy says.
"Sleep?" Johnny questions incredulously.
"At a time like this? In the middle of the road?" Yosaku joins in.
"Well, I'm pretty tired." Luffy reasons without opening his eyes at the two bounty hunters. "I'm not gonna butt into their affairs. I'm not interested. But I'm not leaving either. Night."
"HUUUUH?!" Yosaku screams.
"Uh Big Bro?" Johnny trails off in shock at Luffy's boldness (or possibly stupidity).
Zoro facepalms in agitation.
Luffy starts to snore lightly.
"Fine. WHATEVER! JUST GO AHEAD AND DIE!" Nami explodes and takes off running. Sanji tries to call out to her, but she's already long gone.
"Hey! Big Bro Zoro! What on earth are you thinking? C'mon!" Johnny demands, as Zoro, along with Sanji and Natsu, decide to follow Luffy and just take a load off. Luffy made up his mind, and no one could change it, so they see no point since it's captain's orders.
"Did you forget that Arlong is out to kill us? We should be running away!" Yosaku shouts.
"Now that we know what Nami's really like, there's isn't a single good reason why we should stay on this island."
"My reason for staying here…." The swordsman looks to Luffy sleeping body still in the middle of the road. "... is there."
"Don't be stupid, Big Bro Zoro." Yosaku says. "Are you saying you want to bring her back, too?"
"What I want has nothing to do with this." Zoro answers. "I don't decide who the navigator is. He does."
Johnny is hesitant but makes his decision. "Right. Understood." He looks to Zoro. "You're not leaving. Sorry to cut our reunion short, but I won't stay. My role as guide ends here."
"Yeah! I'm with him." Yosaku agrees. "I don't wanna deliberately get myself killed."
"Fine. I'll see you around." Zoro responds.
"Until we meet again, Big Bro." Johnny says as he walks off.
"Take care, you guys." Yosaku waves farewell.
"You too!" Zoro shouts back.
After a few moments nothing is heard but the wind rustling the nearby trees and Luffy's light snoring.
Sanji exhales smoke from his freshly lit cigarette. "Hey. Well what do you think it is? Why was she crying?"
"I don't know." Zoro replies. "Was she crying?"
"She was in her heart."
"Pfft. If they were, they were tears of guilt for killing Usopp."
"Yo Zoro do ya really think Nami had it in her to kill Usopp?" Natsu wonders as he watches the clouds.
"I don't see why not. She was willing to step on anyone else just to save her own skin."
"Yeah, right. Are you serious?" Sanji questions. "You really are dense. Do you still honestly believe that Nami could have killed Usopp?"
And thus Zoro and Sanji got into a huge argument over Nami and just before they could start a fight as Zoro's sheathed sword is about to meet Sanji's foot, Usopp runs ahead too fast and gets caught right between the two attacks. It was enough to make the two fighters wince.
"He's alive!" Sanji states.
"Well he was…. I hope he still is…." Zoro says in worry.
"Usopp!" Natsu shouts with glee as he completely ignored the fact that his friend just took two strikes to the face.
Hearing Natsu shout, Luffy wakes up and takes Usopp from the ground and begins to shake him around.
"USOPP! DID NAMI DO ALL THIS TO YOU?!"
"Sorry. Zoro and I did that." Sanji admits.
"No, you did." Zoro growls.
Usopp then starts to come around. "Luffy, Natsu! You're here now!"
"Yup, sure am." Luffy says.
"I'm here too. Hi there." Sanji feigns innocence as he smiles at Usopp.
Usopp gets upright and into Sanji's face. "One of these days, I'll kill you."
Sanji ignores the threat and pats the sniper's shoulder. "Oh, you just made a full recovery."
"Oh, and by the way . . ." Zoro cuts in. "We kinda heard you were dead. Killed by Nami."
"Huh?" Usopp looks at the swordsman confusedly.
"Stupid Johnny! He was spouting nonsense the entire time!" Luffy growls.
"Well in a way, it is the truth." Usopp says.
"ARE YOU A GHOST USOPP?!" Natsu shouts in worry.
"NO YOU IDIOT!" Usopp yells back, hitting Natsu over the back of the head.
Usopp then began to explain what happened between her and Nami.
"So, that's it. That's how Nami pretended to kill me and make sure I could escape from Arlong Park." The Strawhat sniper explains.
"Fine, what next? We're gonna destroy Arlong Park?" Zoro questions.
"Fine by me!" Natsu says, punching the palm of his hand. "I'll make that place nice and crispy!"
"Whoa! Hang on just a second!" Usopp halts. "Don't you better think we should find out what's going on with Nami first?"
"It's no use either way."
"Huh?" They all looked back and saw a purple-haired young woman with tattoos covering parts of her upper body.
"No matter what you all do, Arlong's rule won't come to an end."
"Nojiko." Usopp says in shock.
"Who's she?" Luffy asks.
"Nami's big sister."
Sanji starts to go all lovey-dovey again. "What? Nami's sister? No wonder she's so hot!"
"What do you mean that 'it's no use'?" Zoro asks.
"Just trust me. Don't get yourselves involved in what's going on here and leave poor Nami alone. I'll explain the situation."
"Situation?" Sanji echoes.
"Do you mean you can tell us why she joined up with Arlong's group?" Usopp asks Nojiko.
"Yeah. And if that doesn't get you to leave, I don't know what will."
"Okay. So, tell us all about it. I got to admit, I'm curious."
Everyone looks at Luffy and Natsu, shocked that we're leaving in the middle of a big reveal.
"Hey, wait!" Usopp calls out.
"I don't care about her past." Luffy answers.
"Where're you going Luffy, Natsu?" Sanji questions.
"On a walk." Natsu says back.
"A walk?!" Exclaims Usopp. "Do you mean you're not going to listen to this?!"
"Nope." Luffy replies simply.
"I don't need to hear about Nami's past." Says Natsu.
Meanwhile at Arlong Park
Arlong and his crew are having a nice time relaxing. It has unusually been a hectic day for them. First some long nosed human starts trouble up in town and then a bounty hunter does a number on most of their men. They were currently waiting for Nami to come run to them expecting her to be furious for what she is about to discover. As the gate of Arlong Park opens it isn't Nami they see but rather Gajeel.
"Ah Gajeel, where have you been?" Arlong asks.
"I had to take care of some things." Gajeel replies grunting.
"That so huh? SHAHAHAHAH!" Arlong laughs.
"Also I picked up on a strange scent recently." Gajeel says.
"A strange scent huh? What is it?" Arlong asks.
Gajeel gives a mean look as he stares over to the gate of Arlong Park. "I smell…. A Dragon Slayer!"