Ace had to grin when he saw Luffy's shadow overlap on the clouds as the bell rang clearly from the sky. He made sure to take a few pictures to share with everyone.

"It'll take me a few trips to get everyone up there, but I have the feeling quite a few people are going to be happy to met Noland's descedant when we reach Skypiea."

Cricket had always believed in Sky Island, but had never thought he would one day visit it without facing several life or death trials. After seeing the Road to Dawn, excitement built up in his heart.

The two Saruyama brothers would be joining them since he needed to make a few trips in order to carry their ships with them. The Road to Dawn wasn't big enough for their entire crew and it would only take a few minutes to deliver the ships.

Ace grinned as the balloon easily carried them up past the cloud line and into the special cloud. Thanks to his powers, he could direct his balloon anywhere he liked while maintaining height.

Cricket's eyes overflowed with emotion as he got his first look at Skypiea. It looked a little worse for wear, but the fact remained that there was no denying the Sky Island existed.

"I had a feeling this would happen. That idiot always seems to find trouble," said Ace amused.

He sailed the ship towards the only area that had people on it, and to his amusement, Luffy was still there.

"Oi! Have you seen an idiot with a straw hat that eats way too much and wears a red vest?" Ace called out.

The people on the beach looked at each other.

"You know the guy who saved us?" said one man with tribal markings.

"He's my little brother. I was just curious if he made it up here or not," said Ace.

"They're still sleeping or exploring," another man replied.


"Is this Jaya?" asked Cricket.

"Who are you?" asked the first man.

"This is Monteblanc Cricket, descendant of Monteblanc Noland."

"Noland?! Did you just say Noland?!" he asked, wide eyed.

"Someone go get the leader!" shouted another.

If Cricket was overwhelmed with finally seeing the great city his ancestor had, it was nothing compared to meeting the descendent of the same man who had greeted Noland. Several centuries after Noland was chased off Jaya for helping the natives, their descendants had finally resolved the misunderstanding.

Apparently the broken half of Jaya really had been sent up into the sky by the Knock-Up stream.

A few more trips had the rest of the Saruyama Alliance in the Sky, along with their ships. Once Ace did a bit of trading, the locals gave their word to see Cricket and the two ships back to the Blue Sea safely.

Ace, on the other hand, was checking on the Merry. That sort of trip could be hell on a ship.

What he found had him frowning.

"Hey! Who's there?" demanded Usopp...before he recognized Ace. "How did you get up here?"

"Hot air balloon. Cricket deserves to see El Dorado as much as anyone else," said Ace absently. "Besides, I wanted to make sure you all made it up here safely before heading back to the Moby Dick."

"How's the Merry?"

"It looks okay, but I think you need to give the poor ship a break, at least until you find a shipwright. Did someone attack the ship directly while you were up here?"

"Yeah, some jerk tried to burn it down."

"I suggest having Luffy talk with Merry to see if it wants to keep going or take a little break until it can be fixed up in Water Seven. If he decides to bring out the Romance Dawn, I can fix it so that the Merry rests in a similar bottle until later."

"We aren't getting rid of the Merry!" said Usopp angrily.

Ace fixed a hard stare on the other man.

"I'm not suggesting you get rid of it. I'm saying that even a ship had a life span and this model was fairly old to begin with. It's a miracle it's survived this far into the Grand Line without major damages. However there's nothing that says you can't store the Merry and use it for quick supply runs once the crew gets a bit bigger. Better to delegate the ship to a minor role than to have it go to it's final rest," said Ace flatly.

Usopp deflated.

"Do we really have to?"

"Usopp, I understand your love for the ship. So does the Merry. However even love isn't enough to undo all the wear and tear on a ship and eventually the crew will grow too big for the Merry. Besides, the Romance Dawn has a much bigger room for treasure. If you bring enough of it from here to the Blue Sea you might be able to fix the Merry up good as new."

Usopp was wavering, and eventually relented to the idea of switching the ships for a bit. He could live with the fact that the Merry wouldn't be given up for good, and could still be used for supply runs.

Ace made a note to tell Luffy that he should probably leave the stand with the Merry in Usopp's room so he could personally reassure himself that the ship was fine.

Usopp likely had a close relationship with the person who gave

them the Merry Go in the first place.

Everyone watched with avid fascination as Luffy uncorked the odd bottle he took from his room. There was a sort of reverse vacuum as something was sucked out of the bottle and onto the cloud-sea in front of him.

When it was over, a ship at least half-a-size bigger than the Merry Go was sitting calmly.

"How...?!" said Nami in shock, her eyes wide.

"Magic. And a lot of blown up bottles and sacrificial row boats," said Ace. "I had to specially make the bottle so that it would release the Romance Dawn and still be possible to use again later."

All Luffy had to do was activate the runes and it would be sucked back into the bottle.

Ace then produced a second bottle.

"Lu, this is for the Merry Go. I think Usopp would be a good caretaker for it until you can get her fixed up to be the official supply run ship," said Ace.

Luffy's eyes lit up with what Ace wasn't saying.

"Supply runs like fishing trips, right?" said Luffy cheerfully.


Luffy handed the bottle to Usopp, who clutched it like a precious treasure.

The sniper quickly painted the Straw Hat's flag onto the main sails, while Zoro ran up their old one onto the mast.

Nami was already salivating because they could fit twice the amount of treasure onto the Romance Dawn and the navigator room was fully stocked with quality supplies.

Ace waved them off before calling Jack to take him back to the Moby Dick. He had completed his mission and he just wanted to crash in his own room.

With Luffy and the others...

Luffy was already grinning like mad as they crashed back onto the Blue Sea.

The crew was already examining the ship that Luffy had been keeping in storage since the beginning of their journey.

Chopper and Finn had made themselves at home in the large medical bay, with Finn reclaiming his usual spot.

Sanji was already in love with the kitchen, which was not only fully stocked but had brand new equipment and perfectly sterilized surfaces along with properly sharpened knives. There were even speciality dishes that were a pain to track down.

Zoro had gravitated to the exercise room...and had already found the special weights that made his own look like they were child's toys. They adjusted themselves to whatever the user wanted. There was even an armory that was half-stocked with weapons. There were a few swords there that had his interest that he wanted to look at later.

Robin found the library and hadn't been seen since. Then again, most of the library on the Dawn were merely copies of the ones Ace had in his pocket dimension.

(Luffy had already picked up a few of his old favorites to re-read again.)

Usopp was finding the best place to put the stand for the Merry. While he hated the fact they had to switch ships, he was happy they didn't have to give up the Merry Go forever. He could live with it being a supply run ship, which included fishing for more food. After all, Luffy was a black hole.

With Ace...

"How did it go?"

"Doctor Pyrite is now the proud owner of Blackbeard's bounty and two others," said Ace flatly. "On an unrelated note, Luffy is doing good and I have a picture of his current crew."

"Did he suffer?" asked Whitebeard.

"I weakened him before I used a one-hit kill technique. As far as I know, he went quickly," said Ace. "I do not tolerate traitors, especially snakes like Blackbeard. He's the sort of bastard who will only become more dangerous the longer he's left unchecked."

Whitebeard looked tired. He was angry Teach had nearly killed Thatch and betrayed him like this, and resigned at the fact Ace had essentially executed him without hesitation.

"Are you okay?" asked Marco.

Ace sighed.

"Just give me a week to center myself back on the ship and the crew that doesn't involve any killing. I should be fine. It's not the first time I've executed a dangerous traitor and unfortunately I doubt it will be the last."

"Take whatever time you need," said Whitebeard.

Ace wouldn't be back to normal for a least a week, but spending all that time with Luffy helped a lot.

Usopp was unhappy, but at least the prognosis of the Merry Go wasn't as bad as it could have been. Ace hadn't been joking that if they had kept using the ship, odds were that it wouldn't have lasted much longer. And despite his enthusiasm, Usopp wasn't a trained shipwright.

At least they could still use the Merry Go as a supply boat, which was better than nothing.

The more worrying thing was that Robin was missing and the Straw Hat crew was being implicated in an attack on the Mayor.

Before the crew could attack whoever attempted to strip down the Romance Dawn, Luffy stopped them.

"Don't bother. Anyone stupid enough to attack a ship Ace personally customized is going to be outed pretty quick anyway. Besides, Ace is such a paranoid bastard that they're going to be regretting it pretty soon," said Luffy confidently. "No one outdoes Ace when it comes to prank wards from hell."

"Prank wards?" repeated Nami.

Luffy's expression was a tad odd...for him anyway.

"Let's just say that the Whitebeards learned very quickly not to instigate a prank war against him. There were entire sections of the Moby Dick declared off-limits for two full weeks last time."

"...How big is that ship again?" asked Nami faintly.

"The Moby Dick is a massive ship and it's part of a trio," said Luffy confidently. "I should know since Ace had me measure the dimensions of the ship for better prank placement and finding the best spots for a surprise attack using silly string and other items."

His grin was wicked when he said that.

"I had a lot of fun during Ace's 'Constant Vigilance' surprise attacks. Marco squawked really loud the last time we nailed him with a water balloon filled with whip cream."

"Please tell me you aren't going to pull that on us later," said Nami, eyes wide.

"Not yet. Not until everyone gets up to speed on Observation Haki, so I can get you all using it instinctively. Nothing inspires people to learn how to master it than surprise attacks and minor embarrassment from having things like syrup dropped on them at random!" said Luffy.

As one, Zoro, Sanji and Usopp all looked at Nami.

"When we start Observation Haki you're going to have to step up," said Zoro flatly.

Nami shuddered.

"Agreed," she said. If sleeping with the captain kept Luffy from getting bored and starting up something like that on them, then she'd happily do it. Besides, once he got into the swing of things Luffy was a surprisingly skilled lover with a ton of stamina that she was going to put to good use.

By the time they finally finished Nami was ready to sleep for two days straight.

Nami and the others found out the hard way what Luffy meant about the idiots regretting it when they saw what happened to them.

"Thank the gods Ace is on our side," said Nami, eyes wide.

There were three chickens and two grown men in bright pink ballerina costumes. The chicken's skin was a bright flourescent blue and the pink ballerinas could only speak in was pretty clear they were terrible at it.

"Just think, it would have been ten times worse if they were attacking the ship with intent to kill or harm those on board," said Luffy. "This is pretty low-level compared to what he could have done."