This time around, nobody interrupted Robin when she was talking to Vivi on the snail. Everything was going smoothly and according to plan, until they reached Loguetown.

"Alright crew. It's time for us to rob a bank." Nami declared.

"Eh?!" Was the common reaction.

"But we still have so much treasure? Why would we need to rob the bank?" Luffy, of all people, asked sensibly.

"Because they cheated me." Nami replied menacingly, a malicious air around her.

"Oi, if anyone cheated anyone it was the other way around." Usopp deadpanned. He had been there to see her negotiating over the value of the treasure.

"No!" Nami wasn't having it. "The money I got for the treasure is gone, and the treasure is also gone, which means the bank stole from me!"

"What did you expect to happen? We already knew that random stuff we pick up doesn't come back with us."

"Never mind that!" The navigator roared, frustrated. All this time travel was turning the treasure they plundered into dead weight and it was stressing her out!

"Ufufufu, it's been a while since I last robbed a bank." Robin chuckled.

"It does sound kinda fun." Luffy agreed, warming up to the idea.

XXXXX

"I WILL BE THE PIRATE KING!"

The shout echoed throughout the square, making Smoker bite down hard on his cigars. There was such absolute certainty in that brazen statement, made from the execution platform where Roger's life had ended. It was a massive insult to the World Government and to the Marines.

Smoker rushed forward to arrest this rookie that thought he could get away with that, expecting to see surprise and maybe panic in the eyes of the pirate as he saw a Marine propelled by smoke coming at him.

What he got was an easy grin and a strange familiarity. "Smokey!"

"Straw Hat!" He shouted back, temper worsened by the stupid nickname.

The fight, as expected, was very one-sided, but in the wrong direction. Smoker found that trying to pin Straw Hat down was worse then trying to grip a greased eel. The boy knew how to move, and he was both fast and strong.

For the first time since eating the Smoke Smoke Fruit, he found himself outmatched. Nobody he had faced before had ever been able to counter the Logia powers, even if they weren't offensive in nature.

Monkey D. Luffy more than managed. He seemed to know every trick and apparently delighted in mockingly slipping out of Smoker's reach at the last second. The Seastone-lined jitte didn't help either, likewise avoided and countered with ease.

Smoker had never been so furious in his life.

"Captain Smoker!" One of his subordinates interrupted, sounding panicked.

Smoker turned away from the pirate he was fighting to face the underling. Usually, that would be as good as giving your enemy a free hit, but his logia powers had been good for at least that much. To his private aggravation, Straw Hat didn't even try.

"What?!" He barked.

"Captain, pirates have robbed the bank!"

Realization crystallized in Smoker's mind. Straw Hat hadn't been taking him seriously, hadn't even been fighting him. He'd just caused a huge ruckus.

His head snapped towards the pirate with a furious glareā€¦ which was the same look he'd been giving him since the start, but this time it had a slightly different source.

"Straw Hat!" He roared.

Luffy pulled down his eyelid and stuck out his tongue. "Hehe, I'm a distraction!"

XXXXX

The Unluckies were curious members of Baroque Works, so named for their uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The wrong place and time for other people, that was. Quite a few agents had met their ends after the otter and vulture combo had overheard something treasonous or otherwise not permitted within the organization.

Robin was aware of this, and also knew that they were the greatest threat to their plan to deal with Crocodile. Thus, she fully expected the Unluckies to be on Whiskey Peak when the Going Merry sailed in.

She was right, and smiled to herself in amusement as she turned their moniker against them. It truly was unlucky for them to be there when secrecy was required. After all, there was only one way to truly assure that a person would never betray a secret.

The Unluckies died with their necks snapped behind a rock on Whiskey Peak, now food for other vultures.

The rest of the crew and the disguised bounty hunters/agents never realized anything. Robin sauntered through the small town in her Miss All Sunday outfit, defusing any shenanigans and quickly having them ensconced in a private room with the hidden princess and Igaram.

Robin still found it rather surreal how casually Luffy allowed the crew to usurp his authority. Oh, he certainly insisted on being known as the captain, but he rarely gave any orders and simply trusted people to do what they were good at.

She could definitely understand how she might have found herself joining this crew in truth, especially if they had gone so far as to assault Enies Lobby to get her back. This version of her didn't remember that, so there was still some doubt in her heart and she couldn't bring herself to fully trust them, but she could imagine the possibility.

"What can we do for you, Miss All Sunday?" Igaram, or Mr. 8, asked formally. He was pretty good at hiding his nervousness. "I recognize Straw Hat Luffy from his recent bounty. Is he a new recruit for Baroque Works?"

"Nothing of the sort." Robin said easily and turned to smile at Vivi. "He is here to help you save your kingdom, Princess-san."

Both Igaram and Vivi froze in shock. The statement was so far out of expectation that they had no idea how to react.

"W-what?" Vivi stuttered.

"Nami, you may release the captain." Robin nodded to the navigator.

The orange-haired girl nodded back and let go of the death grip she had on the captain. He could have broken out easily, but would have had to hurt Nami to do so, so he just mumbled into her hand.

Sadly, such measures were probably necessary to keep the rubber man from forgetting that he was supposed to keep his mouth shut. Sanji, at least, could be threatened into not making grand declarations of love and understood the importance of subtlety.

"Vivi!" Luffy cheered.

Vivi took a deep breath and visibly discarded the persona of Miss Wednesday, assuming instead a royal poise. "Please explain what is going on."

And so Luffy did. Dozens of resets had taught him through brute force repetition how to get through to Vivi. Plus, his subtly increasing Haki was helping to make him more charismatic. With the rest of his crew there to help polish off the rough edges and provide some proof of the situation, Vivi was eventually convinced.

"I believe I understand." The princess aid once it was done and bowed her head. "Thank you for helping me, I will place my kingdom's future in your hands."

"YEAH!" Luffy roared. "Let's go kick the sand croc's ass!"

XXXXX

This time, they entered Alabasta with all the advantages. Not only was Crocodile unaware of them, but Robin was still technically the second in command of Baroque Works. Making an excuse about her abrupt disappearance and placating the Warlord was a fairly simple matter.

She was still under suspicion because he was just like that, but she still had enough wiggle room to organize the downfall of his organization and bait him into a fight with Luffy where he couldn't use his Devil Fruit to its maximum potential. The situation was concluded in a matter of days and the Straw Hats once again found themselves being guests of honor in the royal palace.

It was there that Nami made one of the most difficult decisions of her life.

"C-C-C-Could you p-p-p-please k-keep my t-t-treasure s-safe in y-your v-v-vault?" She managed to force out even as every cell in her body wailed in protest at this action.

"Of course?" King Cobra blinked in baffled surprise. "But why? I was going to pay you for the aid you've given my people. It seems strange for you to be giving us treasure."

Seeing that Nami was on the verge of having a stroke, Robin took it upon herself to explain the situation with the time traveling swag and the troubles it was causing them.

"I see." King Cobra stroked his beard in thought. "Yes, that would definitely be problematic. We will be happy to guard your treasure here, of course. While I have no doubt that a pile of gold and jewels appearing in our treasury without explanation will cause some alarm, if you explain it to us in a future loop, we will gladly allow you to take as much of it or the money equivalent as you wish."

And since the money wouldn't travel back in time with them, they could continually cash it in every loop. Nami was still trembling from the effort of parting with treasure even temporarily, but she could see the value of this arrangement.

"Thanks, Vivi's Dad! You're a cool guy!" Luffy said.

Cobra laughed even as his guards bristled at the lack of respect. "Think nothing of it, This is the least I can do for the heroes of Alabasta."

"I'm not sharing my meat! This isn't a hero loop!"

XXXXX

The Straw Hats left Alabasta with time to spare, accepting Vivi as part of the crew even though she stayed behind.

Their first destination was supposed to be Ruluka Island and perhaps some answers to this strange new temporal situation, but the Log Pose would not lock on to it. Luffy mentioned that it wasn't always there, but they decided to check the place out anyway.

Nami, after raging at him for a bit for asking her to pull off the impossible, promptly pulled off the impossible and managed to at least eyeball the location from sheer memory and gut instinct about the sea currents.

There, they find no sign of the island, but they do find a familiar old man sitting on a raft.

"Henzo!" Luffy yelled at him in greeting.

"Straw Hats." He called back more sedately. "I was hoping you would come back here even if Ruluka Island is gone."

Their conversation was briefly paused as they brought the scientist aboard.

"Henzo-san, you seem to have some idea of what's going on." Robin restarted the conversation.

"Some, yes." He admitted. "I found myself dumped into the water here, where Ruluka Island was supposed to be. Thankfully, my friends were nearby to save me. They also retain their memories. In fact, they have two different sets of memories. One where Ruluka Island exists and events play out as normal, and another set where it does not exist, and they find themselves scattered on nearby islands, and became friends through some providence. Their memories came to them only at the moment when I assume yours did, and they decided to sail here, just in time to save me."

"That's strange, nothing of the sort happened to us." Sanji puffed on his cigarette. "Well, aside from the teleportation thing."

"That's not true!" Luffy butted in, pointing a finger at Nami. "Some loops, she already knew about Woonan's treasure, or weird stuff would happen, like islands moving around."

"So, this isn't a new occurrence for you." Henzo rubbed at his chin. "I would need more data before I can offer more than conjecture, but if I had to guess then whatever method of time travel you are using can sometimes 'miss' and drop you in an alternate timeline. And that is without factoring in the interference from the Rainbow Mist."

"Interference?" Nami prompted.

"Oh yes, you didn't think that bringing two different form of temporal meddling together would be without consequences, did you?"

"Consequences?!" Chopper and Usopp asked fearfully.

Henzi raised an eyebrow. "In the previous loop, Ruluka Island existed. My instruments all began detecting a build up of exotic energies. I had calculated that it would reach some kind of critical mass at approximately the time when the gateway to Ape's Concert opened. My theory was that the appearance of the Rainbow Mist would lead to a catastrophic release of energy."

"Eh?" Luffy tilted his head in confusion.

"Explosions, Luffy. Explosions." Nami said in a long-suffering tone.

"Oh. Why not just say explosions, then?"

Henzo continued as if he hadn't been interrupted. "The whole island would likely have been destroyed, so I told Wetton that Ape's Concert would come to him and advised him to evacuate Ruluka to prevent anyone from making off with 'his' treasure."

"Clever." Robin complimented.

"I am a genius." The old man stated. "But this does leave me at loose ends. My friends appear to be safe and content with their lives, and the mystery of the Rainbow Mist is as solved as it is ever likely to get. I have spent my life studying temporal phenomena, so I would request that you take me along with you on your voyage."

"Eh!?" Several people exclaimed in surprise.

"Aren't you upset about your home island being destroyed?" Nami asked, feeling a bit bad since it seemed that it was their presence that caused that.

"Not really." Henzo shrugged. "Like I said, my friends are well settled and not trapped inside Ape's Concert. I was never close to the rest of Ruluka Island and Wetton and his crew will get what they deserve. Your crew presents the best chance of unraveling the secrets of time."

"Sure, welcome aboard!" Luffy decided.

"One moment." Robin interrupted. "We believe that the time travel is now linked to the Going Merry and that she only carries back members of the crew. Am I right to assume that you have no interest in becoming a pirate."

"Yes." Henzo nodded. "But I came back with you that first time, so I believe that I only need to stay on the ship. Worst comes to worst, you can come collect me here again if the reset happens when I am not aboard. If you grant my request, then I will of course be happy to share my research with you."

"I already agreed!" Luffy said, annoyed.

"Sorry, Captain, but I had to make sure that Henzo understood the situation." Robin chuckled.

XXXXX

Sailing towards Jaya, they expected the usual spiel of avoiding Blackbeard and going to see Cricket. However, things started going off expectation right away.

"Old Man Cricket, what happened to you!?" Luffy burst out. "Did you lose a fight with a fish?!"

Cricket, covered in bruises almost head to toe, calmly took a drag from his cigarette. "Some fatass pirate and his crew wanted to go up to Sky Island and wouldn't take no for an answer. He beat up one of the local pests, some fool called Bellamy, took his ship, and forced me to alter it so it could ride the Knock-Up Stream."

"Blackbeard?" Luffy hissed.

"That's what he called himself." Cricket nodded.

"I take it that this has never happened before?" Robin asked.

"No." Luffy replied grumpily. "I have no idea what that bastard wants with Sky Island."

"You said that his goal was to join the Seven Warlords so that he can infiltrate Impel Down." The archaeologist continued. And hoo boy had it been a chore to coax that information out of him. Not because he was unwilling to talk, but because he didn't pay attention to details. "So we can reasonably assume that this is still his goal. Delivering a Sky Island to the World Government would certainly be enough for that now that Crocodile has been deposed."

"We have to stop him!" Sanji yelled, slamming his fist against the wall of the house. "There are angel girls up there!"

Zoro just snorted in contempt.

"Can he even beat Enel?" Nami asked dubiously. "I know you said he beat Ace, but that lightning Logia is nothing to sneeze at."

They were all well aware that Luffy's victory over Enel rested entirely on the fact that his Devil Fruit happened to be a hard counter to the Goro Goro no Mi. From the psychological profile they had built of Blackbeard by talking to Luffy and Ace, it was entirely possible that the treacherous pirate would get fried by the God impersonator.

"Blackbeard will win." Luffy said with certainty. He had fought both men and knew which one was stronger.

"Excuse, but what the fuck are you taking about?" Cricket asked calmly.

XXXXX

Convincing Cricket to help them get up to Skypiea was easy, especially after he heard that the resolution to his ancestor's story was up there. With Luffy's prior experience and the extra time they had from the quick conclusion of the situation in Alabasta, they were able to do all the work in good time.

"I am too old for this!" Henzo gasped as they made it to the White Sea, soaked in a full body sweat. He could barely breathe in the thin air and he was shaking uncontrollably.

"It really did seem like we were about to die for a moment there." Robin agreed, perfectly calm.

"Let's go! Up to the White White Sea!" Luffy declared, pointing in a random direction.

"Right! To the gold!" Nami agreed, checked the Log Pose, and turned about seventy degrees off from where Luffy was pointing.

"No Wyper this time?" Luffy asked nobody in particular as the berserker failed to appear. Then he shrugged it off as irrelevant, going to sit on his special seat.

The first sign that something was very wrong met them at Heaven's Gate. Instead of the elderly gatekeeper Amazon and her rip off admission prices, all they found was a splotch of dried blood and some structural damage.

That set a grim tone for the rest of the voyage to Angel Beach.

"You have to cut out the bottom of these and then you can drink the yummy juice inside." Luffy explained to Usopp and Chopper as they investigate the strange rock hard pumpkin things. If there was one thing that he never forgot, it was delicious food. "Conis taught us how to do this after we almost broke our teeth on them."

"Where is the beautiful angel lady?" Sanji asked, looking around.

"Her house is somewhere around here." Luffy replied, looking around as well. "Ah! It's over there!"

"Then let's go!"

They found the house that Conis lived in with her father, Pagaya, easily enough. It looked the same as ever, but Luffy couldn't help but feel like it was less welcoming than he remembered. Maybe that was just because Conis hadn't led them to it?

He stayed back and let Nami do the talking, as she'd demanded.

After the navigator politely knocked on the door, there was nothing but silence for a minute, then it cautiously creaked open.

"Yes?" Pagaya asked carefully, taking in their Blue Sea garb with tense eyes.

"Hi, we're new here and we were hoping you could tell us what's going on?" Nami asked with her best friendly smile. "We heard that an evil pirate crew from down below had made it up here and we saw signs of a fight at Heaven's Gate."

Pagaya was silent for a long while, before slowly nodding. "Please come in."

The Straw Hats trooped in, some of them rubbernecking more obviously than others at the strange (to them) house.

"Father, do we have guests?" Conis asked, her smile more than a bit brittle and uneasy.

"Yes. Could you please prepare some refreshments?"

XXXXX

"They weren't the first Blue Sea dwellers to come to Skypiea." Pagaya began speaking softly. "Nor the first to be hostile. Enel had decreed years ago that all were to be sent to Upper Yard so that they may be tested. None of them ever survived, but this Blackbeard fellow was different. He and his crew killed the White Berets that tried to send them to Upper Yard, and then went there anyway. We heard the sounds of Enel's thunder and thought that they had been killed like all the rest, but then they returned and said that we were going to be traded to the World Government."

Pagaya paused. "What is the World Government?"

Robin fielded that one. "It is a powerful, corrupt, and tyrannical organization that controls most of the Blue Sea. Their leaders will likely take immense offense at your leader being called 'God', as they consider themselves to be the descendants of the world's creators. If Skypiea falls under World Government control, they will most likely enslave all of you just to prove a point."

"Oi, Robin, isn't that a bit too blunt?!" Usopp protested as he saw the horrified faces of their hosts.

"We're not going to let that happen!" Luffy declared, smashing a fist down on the table. "We're going to fight Blackbeard and his crew!"

He knew that they would probably lose, but it had been a while since he'd fought the fat bastard. And it wasn't like they could just run away. Conis and Pagaya were their friends, even if they didn't remember, so were Gan Fall and even Wyper and little Aisa.

"Oh, so this is a hero loop?" Zoro asked, just a hint of teasing in his tone.

"I'm still not sharing my meat!"

XXXXX

As the Straw Hats made their way to Upper Yard, they passed the partially destroyed settlement of Angel Island, a clear sign of the Blackbeard Pirates handiwork. The survivors of the raid huddled in their homes and didn't even dare peek out at them.

Once they reached Uppet Yard, they once again saw signs of battle. Fallen Shandian warriors and Enel's enforcers. Further in, they started coming across the bodies of Wyper's strongest comrades alongside Enel's priests.

"Old Knight Guy!" Luffy exclaimed when they found Gan Fall next to the wrecked body of the giant snake Nola. The Knight of the Sky seemed to have been fighting side by side with the Master of the Sky.

Chopper rushed to see if there was anything he could do, but he could only shake his head. The old knight's armor was perforated by numerous large bullet wounds, as was the flesh beneath.

"Monkey D. Luffy, the new rookie out of the East Blue." A calm voice came from the side. "How peculiar to find you here."

The Straw Hats jumped into battle stances, ready to defend themselves.

The man facing them was tall and thin, with curly hair sticking somewhat sideways away from his head and a placid expression on his face. Over one eye was a marskman's monocle and he carried a long rifle in his arms.

"Ah, Blackbeard's sniper!" Luffy yelled. "When did you get here?!"

It was a good question, because there had been no trace of him anywhere just a second ago.

"Just now." Van Augur answered placidly. "I must ask you to come with me to see my captain. He will want to speak with you."

"I'll kick his ass after I kick yours!" The rubber man roared and launched into the attack.

Van Augur didn't so much as twitch as the first approached him. He took the punch straight to the face and was sent flying back.

"EH?!" Everyone, including Luffy, was baffled. That was too easy.

"Of course, how foolish of me." Van Augur stated, wiping some blood off his face. "It only makes sense that a rubber Paramecia would counter a lightning Logia. A good lesson about overconfidence."

The meaning of the words took a second to sink in.

"Eh, but Enel ate that Devil Fruit?" Luffy was confused.

"Indeed." A devilish smile broke Van Augur's placid expression, and he briefly transformed into lightning to travel some distance away. "If you will not come before my captain willingly, then I will drag you there by force."

Sparks of electrical energy crackled along the rifle as he aimed it at the Straw Hats.

XXXXX

Aside from his ability to enhance Kenbushoku Haki and shape metal with with given powers, Enel had been fairly unimaginative with his Devil Fruit. Most of his attacks were just variant blasts of lightning.

Van Augur was an entirely different beast. He was a sniper first and foremost, and used the powers of the lightning Logia to enhance that. Primarily, he used it for mobility or to boost the speed and power of his shots.

Luffy found himself defeated, unable to even close into melee, and the rest of the crew was still utterly powerless against a Logia, never mind such a strong one.

"Zehahaha, fate truly does work in mysterious ways, doesn't it, Straw Hat?" Blackbeard laughed as they were dumped in front of him. "I was just wondering if you were worth adding to my crew when a ship falls out of the sky and gets me thinking that there might be something valuable up here, now here you are as well!Zehahaha!"

The rotund pirate was looking a little bit singed, so he clearly hadn't beaten Enel easily, but it didn't seem to be slowing him down.

Luffy had encountered him often enough to know that Blackbeard was extremely tough, so he wasn't surprised.

"How did you transfer Enel's Devil Fruit to your subordinate?" A severely injured Robin managed to ask, knowing that this could be crucial information for the next loop.

"It's just something I can do!" Blackbeard bragged without actually revealing anything. "I have to admit, that I didn't expect to find such a powerful Devil Fruit up here, but it's a perfect fit for Van Augur. That delusional fool Enel could have killed all of us if he wasn't so arrogant, zehahahaha! Nobody ever expects the Yami Yami no Mi to cancel out their protection!"

Blackbeard laughed again, then tapered off as he took a closer look at who he was talking to. "Say, aren't you Nico Robin, the only person alive who can read the Poneglyphs?Fate really must be on my side, zehahahaha! With you in my crew, the road to One Piece is open!"

"We will never be nakama with you!" Luffy spat with genuine hatred.

"Eh? What did I ever do to you?" Blackbeard blinked in confusion.

"You betrayed Ace and his crew!" Luffy got up on his feet, prepared to fight to the death. He already knew that he wouldn't win, but he'd go down swinging.

"You know Ace?" Blackbeard was even more confused, but then realization lit up his face. "Wait, you're that little brother he always bragged about! Hah! That always annoyed me, so I tried to tune it out. Maybe I should have paid attention after all, zehahahaha!"

Luffy attacked with a yell, aiming to plant his fist in Blackbeard's extremely punchable face. Unfortunately for him, he was still pretty badly injured from the holes that Van Augur put into his legs.

Blackbeard slapped him down into the ground with ease, his Yami Yami no Mi nullifying the defensive properties of Luffy's Devil Fruit.

"Straw Hat, I'll give you one more chance. Join my crew, and then we can convince Ace to do the same. I know I might not seem like much now, but I've got big plans!"

"Go to Hell!" Luffy shot back without hesitation and attack again.

Blackbeard sighed in disappointment. "You first."

XXXXX

The Straw Hats once again awoke on the Merry's deck on Syrup Island.

Sanji didn't even bother getting up. He just lit up a cigarette and exhaled a cloud of smoke. "That lightning Logia is such bullshit."

"Sanji-san? Luffy?! NAMI?!" A familiar voice exclaimed in increasing confusion.

Princess Nefertari Vivi stood on the deck of the Merry, dressed in her Miss Wednesday getup, looking around in shock.

"HOW DID I GET HERE?!"

XXXXX

OMAKE

The Flying Dutchman was not a festive ship, which made it all the weirder for a party to be happening on it. That it was happening at all was due entirely to a misunderstanding.

Davy Jones had tried to attack the Black Pearl and gotten pummeled quite badly by the inhumanly powerful Straw Hat Pirates. The only reason his crew wasn't completely out of commission was because they were magical.

Frustrated, he had called to release the kraken. Unfortunately for him, Luffy had been hungry.

Zoro had sliced it up, and Sanji had started cooking it. Luffy had taken the summoning of the kraken as a peace offering, because 'enemies don't give you food' and declared that they would be having a party to celebrate their new friendship.

All further attempts at murdering the Straw Hats were taken as playful rough-housing.

"Do you poop?" That was the question that made Davy Jones choke so hard on his rage and humiliation that he stomped off with a roar, retreating into the bowels of his ship.

"I guess not." Luffy nodded sympathetically. "I'd be mad too if I couldn't poop."

XXXXX

Meanwhile, in a slightly out of the way part of the ship, Jack Sparrow had cornered Nami, having identified the orange-haired woman as the one who was actually in charge most of the time.

"I'm just saying, luv, we could work well together, you and I." He cajoled. "You love your gold, and I love the sea. If I were to become captain of the Flying Dutchman, just imagine all the gold I could raise from the bottom of the sea for you. All you'd have to do is convince your captain to let me take a little stab at Davy Jones' heart."

"Hmm, tell me more." Nami invited with half-lidded eyes.

One could be forgiven for mistaking her sultry tone as lustful. It was, in fact, greedy.

XXXXX

Still elsewhere, people had been won over by the delicious smell of perfectly seared and seasoned kraken meat and started eating. It was the most delicious thing they'd ever eaten.

"How could any woman turn you down when you can cook like this?" One of the Flying Dutchman's crew almost cried as he used his shark teeth to bite into a big hunk of sea monster meat. "They have to be stupid."

Sanji took a drag of his cigarette and politely waited for the fishified and barnacled man to finish chewing. Then he kicked him so hard that he flew into the hull of the ship and sank into it.

"Don't insult a lady in front of me, shithead."

XXXXX

Sitting with their backs against the ship's railing, the group that had come to be known as the Idiot Quartet (although they themselves were unaware of this) had taken their meals and started another discussion.

"Say, which type of Devil Fruit do you think is the best?" Mullroy suddenly asked.

"Gotta be one of 'em Logias, right?" Ragetti said immediately, pronouncing 'Logia' as low-gi-ah. "Just imagine being able to turn into fire or lightning. You'd be invincible!"

"I will grant you that they start out the strongest, but I personally think there's a lot to be said for the Zoan type." Murtogg posited. "Not only does it make you tough and you heal fast, but you also get to turn into an animal. My mother used to have a cat, and it was the most spoiled creature I've ever seen. If you ate a Zoan and ever got fed up with having human problems, you could just turn into an animal and relax for a while."

"That wouldn't work with all animals." Pintel sneered. "What if you turned into something like a cow or a pig? Wouldn't be very relaxing, now would it? I think the kind Captain Luffy has is the best."

"Paramecia?" Mullroy asked, figuring that Pintel forgot what they were called.

"Yeah, that." The 'belligerent homunculus', as Jack Sparrow had once described him, nodded. "Might not be turning into fire or lightning, but they give all sorts of weird powers. Captain can only stretch, but I went asking around what other kinds there are. Apparently, there's one that lets you turn things to gold!"

"Wot?" Ragetti gaped at him. "Just touch something and it turns to gold?!"

"Aye, imagine it!" Pintel's eyes glinted greedily. "Who needs anything else when you've got infinite gold?"

They all imagined it for a while, seeing themselves enjoying the benefits of unlimited wealth.

"I can't help but wonder why the sea hates people who eat a Devil Fruit, though." Mullroy eventually said. "No matter how I look at it, it just doesn't make sense. What if you get an aquatic Zoan, for instance? And Captain Luffy mentioned an ice Logia, which is just frozen water."

"Aquatic? What's that?" Ragetti asked, puzzled.

"An animal that lives in water is Aquatic."

"Oooooh. Wait, what would happen if you ate a fish Zoan?"

"That'd be pretty dumb if you couldn't swim, wouldn't it?" Pintel said to himself. "Maybe there's exceptions?"

The four looked at each other and shrugged.

XXXXX

Meanwhile, in a different reality.

King Cobra could only gape at the pile of gold and gems in shock and confusion. "How did all of this get in here?"

"We don't know, Your Majesty." One of the guards admitted. "It seemed to just appear out of thin air."

Which he knew was a ridiculous thing to say, but it was unfortunately the truth.

"Leave it be for now, and keep it separated from the rest." The king decided. An easy enough thing to do, since the mysterious treasure pile was already pointedly separated from the rest of Alabasta's gold. "Whoever put this treasure here will undoubtedly reveal themselves in time. Speak of it to no one."

"Yes, Your Majesty!" The guards saluted and shut the doors.

Shut them a bit too hard, as the vibrations of the slamming doors were just enough to set of a small gemstone avalanche.

Normally, this would not be a problem, but there was a large-ish canopic jar sitting atop those very gems, and it fell to the floor. With the tinkling smash of fragile ceramic, the ancient jar was destroyed, an event that would no doubt have a certain archaeologist coldly furious.

However, amid the ceramic shards was a peculiar, unnatural fruit.

XXXXX

With this chapter, the story goes back on hiatus.