Disclaimer: See disclaimer from Chapter 5.


~ Witch on the Waves ~


Chapter 6: Becoming Pirates

"Hey guys," said Nojiko and Nami in unison as they dropped into the boat.

"GAH!" Luffy and Zoro jumped out of their seats in surprise.

"Where'd you come from?!" shouted Zoro.

"Oh, you know," said Nami, "Invisibility is useful for many things."

"You can turn invisible? So cooool!" said Luffy.

"Moron. They can't turn invisible, she was joking," said Zoro.

The girls giggled at that.

"So where's Coby?" asked Nojiko.

"He decided he still wanted to be a Marine," said Luffy.

"Huh. Okay," said Nojiko. "How did you convince the Marines that he wasn't with you?"

Luffy laughed. "I punched him in the face!"

"That works."

"So Luffy," said Nami, "About joining your pirate ship. I've got a bunch of questions."

"Okay."

"As a pirate, you're gonna do a lot of fighting, especially since you want to be Pirate King. How do you feel about killing?"

"I don't like killing."

"Okay… do you feel that it's ever justified to kill someone? And when?"

Luffy scrunched up his face and thought for a moment.

"What does 'justified' mean?"

"Justified means when it's the right thing to do. So the question is, do you ever think it's right to kill someone? And when?"

Luffy scrunched up his face again.

"… Thinking huuuurts."

This time Nami did facepalm.

"Okay, I'll simplify the question. Imagine there's an enemy pirate. One of your crewmembers is down, the enemy pirate has a sword and he's swinging it at your crewmate, trying to kill him or her. You're too far away to use one of your Gum-Gum attacks, and the only way you have to stop him is to kill him with a sniper rifle. Do you kill him?"

"What if I shoot him in the arm?"

"He's too strong, if you just wound him he'll manage to kill your crewmate anyway."

"Then I'll kill him," said Luffy. "But I've never shot a sniper rifle before."

"We can get you some practice. Okay, next question, how to word this… Imagine a pirate from someone else's crew finds a map to the One Piece. He's already looked at the map and memorized it when you find him. You're stronger than him. Do you kill him, or do you let him live so he can take the knowledge back to his Captain, who's strong enough to fight you for the One Piece?"

"Nah, I'd just beat him up and take the map."

"Even if that means the other pirate Captain might get to the One Piece before you?"

"Then it'll be a race!" said Luffy, clearly enjoying the idea.

"Okay, fine with me. One last question. There's a number of things that are considered piracy, just things lots of pirates do with their crews in order to gain loot and build their treasure hoard. Attacking merchant ships and robbing them, raiding towns and villages, stuff like that. Do you plan on doing any of those things?"

"Nah, I don't care about money."

Nami rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I figured. You don't have a single Beri on you."

"Huh? How did you know that?"

"I'm an expert pickpocket. Trust me, I know."

Zoro immediately grabbed his wallet and checked on his money.

"You've got thirty-five thousand, three hundred and seventy Beri, Zoro," said Nami without looking.

The swordsman swore, which just caused Nami to snicker.

"So Luffy, you're going to need money to buy a ship, and when you have a ship you'll need money to repair it. And if you don't do that you won't be able to find the One Piece."

Luffy thought for a moment, then laughed, "That's what I have crewmates for!"

Nami shared a significant look with Nojiko. They nodded to each other.

"So how about robbing other pirates, any Marines we don't like, bandits if we find any, stuff like that? Oh, and I guess bounty hunters are fair game if they come after us."

"Sounds good!" Luffy nodded.

"Okay, Luffy, here's the deal. Nojiko…" Nami trailed off, looking at her sister.

"Will join your crew," said Nojiko, speaking up for the first time since Nami had started asking questions.

"Yaaay! But what about Nami?"

"Bit of a problem there. I can't join your crew fully. See, your dream is to be the King of the Pirates, right?"

"Yes!" Luffy nodded sharply.

"And Zoro's dream is to be the strongest swordsman in the world, right?"

Zoro nodded.

"And Nojiko?"

"I want to go on adventures and become strong!"

"Well," said Nami, "I have a dream too. When I was five, I decided I wanted to draw a map of the whole world. I've been drawing maps ever since, and I've expanded that to creating an atlas of the whole world, with maps covering the entire globe."

"Still not seeing the problem," said Zoro.

"I guess you don't really listen to news and rumors, do you?"

"Not unless it involves swordsmen."

"One-track mind then. If you had been, you might have noticed that Nojiko and I have been hunting bounties in all four Blues, not just the East Blue. And that the travel times between are WAY too short for us to be sailing the distance in between."

"What are you saying, that you have a faster method of getting there?"

"I'm saying…" said Nami, and she cast a scrying spell between her hands, making a transparent sphere appear which showed another location when you looked into it. She examined it for a moment, then continued.

"…that I can teleport." She collapsed the scrying spell and instantly teleported the boat and all its occupants to another stretch of the sea, where the sun was setting and the air felt colder. The boat splashed down onto the sea, making Zoro and Luffy grab ahold of something to steady themselves.

Zoro swore again. "Is that one of those Devil Fruits?" he asked.

"Something like that." She didn't outright say she was a witch. Maybe she'd reveal that sometime later. Distraction time!

"Welcome to the West Blue everyone! Back in the East Blue it was about three o'clock in the afternoon. Here in the West Blue, it's seven in the evening and the sun is setting."

"AWESOME!" shouted Luffy. "Can you teleport a whole ship?"

"Sorry Luffy. There are limits, and if I teleport something too big it gets crunched. You wouldn't believe how many masts I destroyed before I managed to teleport something as big as this boat.

"My plan is to go teleporting all over the world and drawing maps. If I went the normal way, sailing, it would take the rest of my life and I might never finish. That, or I would have to rely on other people to help do the map-making, which would make me somewhat subject to the World Government, who definitely do not want high-quality maps being sold in public where pirates can use them to navigate more easily. They're sort of anti-adventure like that.

"So, Captain Luffy, if I'm going to be running off on my own all the time I can't be a crewmember under your command. Instead, I'll be an independent pirate who you can consider an ally. I'll join in on fights when you need me and I'd like to have a place on your ship when you get one, just not as a full crewmember. What do you think?"

Luffy nodded. "Sounds good. Pirate allies then?"

"Pirate allies. With my sister as your navigator, we can't be anything else."

"And you're not going to go after One Piece yourself?"

"I have no interest in being Pirate King. Or Pirate Queen. I'm somewhat interested in examining any artifacts that Roger may have left as part of the One Piece, but it's yours when you find it."

"We're fine then!" he grinned.

"Oh, and Luffy," Nami smirked now, with an edge, "there's one more reason why I won't be a crewmember under your command. I'll show you when we've finished dealing with Buggy."

"Okay! Hey Zoro, where's the food?"

"Didn't you just eat a huge meal?" said Zoro.

"Yeah, but then I did all that thinking! And now I'm hungry again!"


~ Witch on the Waves ~


The Buggy Pirates had terrorized Orange Town, driving all the citizens to evacuate in fear of their "Buggy Balls" (which were really nothing special, just primitive mortar shells fired from a cannon). A number of houses were outright destroyed.

"So how do you want to handle this, Captain?" asked Zoro as they walked through the deserted town the next morning.

"What do you mean? We find Buggy and we attack him."

"Frontal assault?" said Nojiko. "Sounds good. That was our standard way of doing things as bounty hunters."

"Just the way I like it," grinned Zoro, his hand on one of his swords.

"One question though, Luffy. Who gets to fight Buggy himself?"

"A pirate captain should fight another pirate captain whenever possible," said Luffy like he was quoting someone.

Nami shrugged. "Fair enough. But I'm gonna be keeping an eye on your fight, because he's supposed to have eaten a Devil Fruit. He might have some interesting powers."

"If they have a swordsman," said Zoro, "I want to fight him."

"I suppose that leaves us with all the mooks then," said Nojiko, a bit gloomily.

"Boooring," said Nami. "I think I'll do this without my weapons."

"We could use… that," suggested Nojiko a bit mischievously.

"But if we did that, Zoro probably wouldn't get to fight his swordsman," said Nami.

"You could just pull out your… overkill contraption. They'd probably surrender as soon they saw it."

"Don't tempt me."

"That reminds me, I want to get one of those too."

"I'll order you one next time I get a chance to go there. You want anything different from mine? You know it's custom-built anyway."

"Hmm… I want to be able to detach one and use only one at a time. So I can use my sword in the other hand, you know?"

"Good idea! I should get mine modified to do that too."

"And I want it painted a bright metallic yellow."

"That'll contrast nicely with your hair."

Zoro asked Luffy, "Why is it that I hear the words they're speaking, but I don't understand anything they're saying?"

"They're speaking in code," Luffy explained, grinning. "My brothers and I could do the same thing."

"Then why do women always speak in code to each other?" Zoro reiterated.

"They do?"


~ Witch on the Waves ~


The four newly declared pirates ran into the Mayor of Orange Town before they reached the place where the Buggy Pirates were partying. It was… somewhat informative, though only Luffy really engaged. To the others this was more or less another standard pirate attack, and only the details differed. They did confirm that a number of people had been killed by Buggy's bombs.


~ Witch on the Waves ~


"Well, well, well. Pirate Hunter Zoro and the Fighting Sea Sprites. Bounty hunters working together are we?"

Nami shrugged. "Eh, something like that."

"You'll find you've bitten off more than you can chew! Men! Fire the Buggy Ball!"

"Hmm," said Nojiko. "I think those guys count as mooks, right Nami?"

"Mook, mook, minion, goon, minion, mook, mook, cannon fodder, oh hey Zoro! There's your swordsman," said Nami, pointing at a man who had just mounted a unicycle and drawn a sword.

"He's weak," said Nojiko. "Sorry Zoro, you could probably fight two or three guys like him at the same time and still win. Seems like he's got some dirty tricks but otherwise he's nothing special."

Then the men fired the cannon.

Nojiko vanished the moment it went off. She met the bomb halfway before it reached its target with a snap kick, and sent it right back at the men who had fired it. It came back a lot slower, which gave the men time to panic and dodge, but it still exploded near them, injuring and knocking out eight.

Buggy shouted in anger and tried to attack Nojiko with a "Chop-Chop Cannon," but his flying hands stopped in place when he was attacked by Luffy.

"Your fight's with me, Big Nose!"

"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!"

And the fight was on.

The fight between Luffy and Buggy was the only one that lasted any length of time. Nami and Nojiko just dashed around knocking out mooks with their fists, which took less than a minute. Zoro tried to extend his fight, but soon decided that Cabaji, his foe, didn't have anything more than dirty tricks, and Zoro declared him to be "not a real swordsman" and summarily slashed him down the torso and left Cabaji passed out from the pain.

"So", said Nami in summary as the two sisters and Zoro stood by and watched Luffy fight, "Buggy said he ate the Chop-Chop Fruit and now he's a parts man. He claims to be completely immune to cutting attacks, since he can just put his parts back together, and he can split himself into parts and send them flying all over the place, which he uses for various attacks."

"Most of which, aside from his knives, are completely useless against Luffy," said Nojiko. "It's like his biggest strengths and weaknesses are the opposite of Luffy's: Luffy is immune to blunt force strikes, and vulnerable to cutting attacks. For Buggy, vice versa."

"Hey, I wonder if his immunity to cutting attacks extends to his head? Would he still be able to think with his brain cut in half?" asked Nami rhetorically.

"I wonder how his clothes are able to re-attach like the rest of his body?" mused Nojiko. "You'd think that the Devil Fruit would affect only the body itself."

"Luffy's clothes do the same thing," said Nami, "though they usually slide out of the way if he's doing something like inflating his body. You know, that gives me a thought. Remind me to talk to Luffy later about it."

Nojiko nodded. "Hey, did you hear the conversation earlier about Luffy's hat and Shanks? Do you think they were talking about Red-Haired Shanks?"

"Could be. We'll have to ask."

Eventually, Buggy used a "Chop-Chop Festival", splitting his body into dozens of different pieces and sending them to pummel Luffy. It backfired on him when Luffy countered with a "Gum-Gum Gatling", which bruised him badly all over, sent his body parts flying into a wall, and caused Buggy to pass out from the pain.

They soon collected Buggy's parts and packed them into a small barrel, separate from his head.

"Alright!" said Nami, pumping her fist. "Time to go loot their ship!"


~ Witch on the Waves ~


Buggy woke up a little while later while Luffy was gorging himself on the Buggy Pirates' food stores, and Zoro was sleeping.

"My parts!" he shouted, unable to move them where they were stuffed in their barrel.

"Yeah," said Nami, crouching in front of his head, "we're turning you in for your bounty. After you killed over a dozen villagers firing off your bombs into the town, you deserve it."

Buggy growled and glared at Nami. Which suited her just fine, as she used the eye contact to dive into his mind.

Moments later, she stiffened in shock.

"What is it, Nami?" asked Nojiko.

"You," growled Nami, addressing Buggy. "You sailed with Roger. You were crewmates with some of the strongest, bravest people in the world, good people who would never condone what you've been doing. What the hell are you doing piddling around in the East Blue attacking defenseless villages? No, scratch that, I don't want to hear it. You may be stronger than most of the pirates in this sea because of your Devil Fruit, but you're the most utterly pathetic pirate I've ever seen."

"What?" shouted Buggy. "How did you– MRPH!" And Nami gagged him. And silenced him for good measure.

"Nojiko, you got any questions for him?"

"Did you find out who all of Roger's crewmates were?"

Nami nodded. "Oh, yes. Get this: Crocus was the ship's doctor."

"Whaaaaat?! Our Crocus? You're sure?"

"Yup. Remember when he mentioned Rayleigh? That's Silvers Rayleigh, he was first mate."

"Wow," said Nojiko, still a bit stunned.

"So, anything else?"

"Does he know where the One Piece is hidden?"

"Nope, apparently they left Shanks and Buggy behind when the crew went off to Raftel, and didn't tell the two cabin boys anything about the One Piece. Buggy doesn't even know what kind of treasure is in the One Piece. Trust me, I checked."

"Then no, no more questions."

"Obliviate. Stupefy. Let's turn him in for his bounty then."


~ Witch on the Waves ~


Nami and Nojiko had teleported off and collected the 15 million Beri bounty on Buggy's head, and after Luffy provoked the townspeople to chase them out of town, they set to sea again.

"Hey, what happened to the other bag of Buggy's treasure?" asked Nami.

"Oh," said Luffy, "I left it for the villagers."

Nami blinked. "Good idea. They did have a lot of houses to fix up. In any case, now that we've got some gold and money, we need to discuss division of loot."

"I don't care about money."

"Not even gold?"

"Nope."

"Huh. Well dividing the loot is something pirates do, so you'll have to hear me out."

"Fiiiiine."

"So we need to split off a large portion to save for a ship and general expenses like food, maybe 70% at the start. I'm thinking we'll split the rest evenly into shares among whatever crew are present when the loot is gained. That means future crew members don't get any of the loot we gained today, and I will only take a share if I'm there and involved in the fighting or robbing. We can change the percentage that we save for the ship once we have one, since we won't need to save as much. Sound good?"

Luffy shrugged. "That's fine."

"Zoro, any opinion? You're first mate, technically you should have more say in this than me. I'm not even fully part of the crew."

"Sounds fair to me."

"Okay. This also means that if I'm going off on my own on map-making trips, and I steal from some pirates along the way, it's all mine."

"Can't argue with that," said Nojiko.

"And if the crew disbands, you'll have to do something with whatever's left in the ship's funds. Maybe you can hold a vote on whether to hide it on an island and make another One Piece, or to split it up among the crew. If you have an even number of crewmates, the Captain can be tie-breaker if needed. And since I'm not part of the crew and I'll be making my own loot on the side, this doesn't involve me."

"Why would we disband?" asked Luffy.

"Various reasons," Nami said. "Gold Roger's crew disbanded."

"Really? Why'd they do that?"

"Their captain was executed," deadpanned Nami.

"Oh. Right," said Luffy. "I thought they were all dead or something."

"Luffy, you were friends with Shanks, right? Red hair, claw-mark scar on the left side of his face?"

"Yup. He gave me my hat. Thanks for fixing that by the way."

"No problem. So Shanks never told you he was part of Roger's crew?"

"WHAAAAAT?" shouted Luffy. "Shanks was part of Roger's crew?"

"Yup. He and Buggy were cabin boys on the Oro Jackson."

"Why didn't he tell meeee," moaned Luffy.

"Probably because he didn't want everyone to know. The Marines would have hunted him down. I mean, now that he's one of the Four Emperors it probably doesn't matter anymore, but that only happened about four years ago."

"He must have soooo many good stories he hasn't told me. Wait, what are the Four Emperors?"

"Only the four most powerful pirate captains in the world."

"Oh." Luffy laughed. "It makes sense that Shanks would be one of them."


~ Witch on the Waves ~


"So you may be wondering why we're stopping on a deserted island," said Nojiko, the sisters having silently decided that she would be running the show for this.

"Is there pirate treasure hidden here?" asked Luffy, sounding childishly interested.

"I thought you didn't care about money," said Nojiko.

"I don't. But pirates love hunting for buried treasure!"

"Okaaaay. Well no, there's no treasure here that I know of."

"Then why are we here?"

"Remember how Nami said there was another reason why she wouldn't join your crew?"

"Uh…"

"It was right after you agreed to become allies."

"Oh yeah!"

"Well you're about to find out why."

"Basically," said Nami, "as we are now, Nojiko and I are both than you and Zoro."

"Really? But I'm strong!" said Luffy.

"I don't know about that," said Zoro challengingly. "I've been training a lot since last time we sparred. And you won that with a dirty trick."

"That's why we're here on an empty, barren rock of an island," said Nojiko. "So we can fight." And she grinned.

"First up, Nojiko versus Zoro," declared Nami. "After that, Luffy and me. You up for this Zoro?"

"Anytime." Zoro's eyes gleamed. He and Nojiko stepped out and faced each other about five meters apart. Zoro drew his swords.

"Now this is a fight, not a sword duel," said Nojiko, pulling out her revolver and checking it before re-holstering it. "Anything goes. No starting call, no referee, and the fight ends when you surrender."

"Don't you mean when you surrender?" Zoro grinned devilishly, and put Wado Ichimonji, his white-hilted sword, between his teeth, the blade sticking out on the left side. Apparently he switched sides every so often, because when they had first sparred the blade was on the right.

"I do mean you," said Nojiko, placing her right hand on the hilt of her sword above her right shoulder and bent her knees in a stance reminiscent of iaijutsu, high-speed sword-drawing techniques.

Luffy laughed, enjoying the tension.

Then Nojiko and Zoro dashed towards each other. Zoro swung all three of his swords at Nojiko, expecting her to do a quick draw and block.

So he was highly surprised when Nojiko released her grip on her sword, her right arm blackened from her shoulder down to the tips of her fingers, and she used it to block. She hooked Wado Ichimonji in her hand and caught the other two on her forearm, edge-on.

The two nameless swords shattered.

Not giving Zoro a moment to register his disbelief, Nojiko fluidly raised her right leg and snap-kicked Zoro in the gut.

He flew back a full ten meters before tumbling to the ground, somehow managing to hold his remaining sword between his teeth despite the bone-jarring shock from when Nojiko had caught it in her hand. It was no help, as Nojiko immediately flashed forward, finally drawing her own sword.

Zoro froze as Nojiko placed her sword on his neck where he lay, standing on his left away from his blade.

"Surrender?" she asked.

Zoro coughed. "Yeah. What was that, when your arm blackened?"

"It's called Haki. We'll explain later, after Luffy and Nami's fight," said Nojiko, sheathing her sword. "I don't think Luffy has any patience left."

Luffy was literally bouncing on the ground now. "My turn, my turn."

"Ergh," Zoro grunted as he tried to get up, his abs sore. He rolled over and pushed himself to his feet the other way. "That's going to bruise," he said, lifting his shirt to show a red foot-shaped mark on his stomach.

"Now imagine if Nojiko had completed the follow-through on that kick," said Nami. "You'd be swimming with the fishes."

Zoro froze, remembering the kick. "Damn. I've got a lot of catching up to do."

"Okay," said Nojiko, grinning wickedly. "If I'm right, this is going to be funny. Clash of pirates! Captain Nami versus Captain Luffy, get ready!"

"Ha! C'mon Luffy, come at me with all you got!" said Nami.

"Okay, you asked for it! Gum-Gum… PISTOL!"

Nami smacked it aside with the back of one hand like it was nothing. "Don't you have something stronger than that?"

"Gum-Gum… BAZOOKA!" Luffy fired a double-palm-strike after his usual stretchy wind-up.

Nami just stepped to the side.

"Gum-Gum… WHIP!" Luffy whipped his stretched-out leg in a huge roundhouse kick at Nami.

Nami hopped over it. "Don't you have any attacks that are faster than walking?" she taunted.

"Fine, you asked for it. Gum-Gum GATLING!" And he charged at Nami, letting loose a storm of punches from both fists.

Nami deflected each and every on-target punch away with her hands. "Better, but still not good enough!" And she dashed in between punches and snatched Luffy's straw hat.

"Oh, look, now I've stolen your treasure!" taunted Nami, putting the hat on. "What are you going to do about it?"

Luffy growled and stretched his foot high in the air. "Gum-Gum… BATTLE AXE!" And he brought it down towards Nami, who leapt high in the air as shards of rock flew from where his attack had struck.

"That's more like it!" shouted Nami. "Still not good enough though."

"GUM-GUM GATLING!" Luffy repeated his attack, hoping that since Nami was in the air she wouldn't be able to counter it so easily.

No such luck. Nami grabbed one of his fists and used it to yank herself towards Luffy, smacking the other one aside on the way. Then she slammed a simple Haki-enhanced fist, without Hardening, down on Luffy's head. His attack immediately stopped and he crashed onto the ground.

"Owww," said Luffy, holding both hands on his head. "How did you do that? That was just like Grandpa's Fist of Love!"

Nami blinked. "Your grandpa knows Haki?"

"What's Haki?"

"Wait… grandpa… fist… Monkey D… YOUR GRANDPA IS MONKEY D. GARP?!"

"Huh? How do you know Grandpa?"

"Luffy. Your grandpa. Is. Famous. He's one of the strongest people in the world! They call him 'Garp the Fist'! He was Gold Roger's rival!"

"WHAAAAT?! Why didn't he tell meeee." said Luffy, now completely recovered from the punch to the head.

"I'm sensing a theme here."

"What's a theme? Never mind, we still have to finish our fight!"

"You do realize that I could have just kept pummeling you after I knocked you down with that punch. I think that was my win."

"I don't care. It's not over until I've got my hat back!"

Nami rolled her eyes and plopped the hat back on Luffy's head. "Find someplace safe to leave your hat when you go into a fight, Luffy. If I hadn't taken your hat, it would have gotten damaged when I punched you."

"Oh. Thanks then. Hey Nojiko! Keep my hat safe! It's my treasure!" And he stretched out a hand, putting the straw hat on Nojiko's head."

"You got it!" said Nojiko, adjusting the hat. "Hey, shade is nice. Maybe I should get a hat of my own."

"Best of three then?" asked Nami.

Luffy thought for a moment, then nodded. "Best of three!"

"Better get ready then, because I'm not just going to be defending this time."

"I just have to keep you from punching me! Gum-Gum RIFLE!"

Nami dodged. "Bit faster, but you should know by know that single aimed attacks don't work on me."

Luffy twisted his torso up and grabbed a large rock from nearby. "Gum-Gum WINDMILL!"

Nami enhanced herself with Haki and punched the rock, shattering it.

Luffy jumped in the air, spinning. He started wrapping his stretched arms and legs around him. "GUM-GUM…"

"DOUBLE GATLING!" Nami, seeing the opportunity for humor, was the one to shout this. She pulled her double Gatling guns from out of nowhere and started hosing down Luffy with two streams of bullets.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Those bullets are sharp! Gum-Gum Balloon!"

Nami stopped firing before the bullets started bouncing back at her. Her Gatling guns vanished mysteriously.

Nojiko was laughing. Zoro was chuckling too, but he stopped and called out, "One question. Where the hell are you keeping those things?"

"Don't you know it's rude to ask a girl where she hides her weapons?" responded Nami, smirking at him.

"Witch." said Zoro.

Nami and Nojiko cracked up and fell over laughing.

"All right," said Nami as she finished laughing and Luffy, now covered in small bruises, got ready to continue fighting. "Enough playing around."

"Whoa," said Nojiko, her sister's intentions obvious to her both through Observation Haki and through long years of time spent together. "Better back up a bit."

"I'm going to show you exactly what I mean when I say that I'm so much stronger than you that I will never be able to call you my Captain."

She clenched her fists, her entire body instantly turning a shiny black as she coated herself with Armament: Hardening. Then she punched the ground.

There was a thundering sound, and a massive circular crater appeared, stopping just in front of where Nojiko and Zoro stood at the edge of the water. Nojiko had to bat several flying shards of rock out of the air in front of them with her sheathed sword.

"Uh-oh," said Luffy.

And then Nami drew her sword from her shoulder. A massive slash of wind flew from the blade as she swung it, barely missing Luffy, and there was suddenly a clean, straight crack splitting half the rocky island to below the sea-level.

"Time to finish this." And she vanished.

"Yikes!" Luffy dodged to one side instinctively. It wasn't enough.

BAM! THUMP!

"Give up yet?" asked Nami, holding her shiny black blade across Luffy's throat as he lay on his back.

Luffy gulped and nodded.

As Nami sheathed her sword and dropped her Armament Haki, returning to her normal coloration, she said, "Starting to see what I'm talking about? Nojiko is also stronger than you. Not quite as strong as me, but she will reach the level I just showed in less than a year."

"So why did Nojiko join my crew and you didn't?"

"Two reasons. One: pride. Nojiko doesn't mind following a Captain who's not as strong as she is. I've got a bit more pride. And two: we'll be training you and Zoro to use the ability we both used in our fights, Haki, and you'll eventually become at least as strong as Nojiko, assuming she doesn't end up eating a powerful Devil Fruit. Me, on the other hand?" Nojiko grinned like a shark. "I was still holding back. A lot."

"Wow," said Luffy. "Well I guess it's a good thing you're my ally!"

"Yup. So, time to get underway?"

"What? Don't we still have one more fight?" said Luffy.

"Seriously? After that, you still want to fight again?"

He laughed. "Yyyyup!"

"We said best of three, and I won the first two, so there's no point in fighting a third time."

Luffy thought for a moment. Then he declared, "The first one was a draw!"

Nami rolled her eyes. "Fine. You ready?"

Luffy walked a few meters away and took a stance, his eyes hardened and his fists clenched. "I'm ready."

"Okay," said Nami, also taking a stance.

Luffy charged Nami this time, preparing a "Gum-Gum Bullet", trying to close the distance and attack, the one thing he hadn't done so far against Nami.

Nami teleported beside Luffy and struck him on the base of his skull with a Hardened karate chop, knocking him out instantly.

"Okay," said Nami, picking up Luffy and carrying him to the boat. "Now I'm hungry. What say you we eat before Luffy wakes up and devours everything?"