Chapter 1: The Mystery Hole in the Grand Line
"I'm so bored, is there anything to do?" cried Luffy. He just laid there with a bored, stretched out face as he stared at the sea.
It has been a while since they've seen any island on the Grand Line, and everyone was busy with their own thing. Chopper was in the storage room, creating some new kind of Rumble Ball. Zoro was just plain boring to be around with. All he did was train, eat, and sleep. Sanji was too busy trying to grab Nami's and Robin's affection to spend time with this one bored captain. Usopp was trying to create some new zany device and doing what he can to help out the Going Merry. Luffy tried to help, but created a catastrophe instead, so he was banned anywhere near Usopp's working station.
"I guess I'll see what Nami is up to?" he decided. He jumped up to the upper level of the ship and cracked open the door to Nami's room.
"Eh? She's working on those maps again. Boring!" he childishly commented in his mind. His posture stooped down once again as he slowly walked over to his favorite seat on the boat, Going Merry's "head".
"Land-ho!" he yelled out in excitement all of a sudden. Finally, a new place to explore, and it also meant he was one step closer in grabbing the throne of Pirate King.
Slowly the crew gathered around as their ship came closer to the new land mass. The area of land that lied in front of their eyes had a peculiar feeling to it though.
"Uh…, why can I see the island from this angle, but not from another?" asked Usopp as he observed their new destination through the binoculars.
"Usopp, are you drunk or something? Give them over here!" ordered Zoro. Usopp made some small snide remarks as he handed over the binoculars, but stopped once the green-haired swordsmn gave him a grumpy, scary look.
"I…, Usopp is right!" he said in total surprise.
"Eh, what you mean?" Nami, the navigator questioned. She grabbed the binoculars from the hands of the swordsman, and her response seemed to be much similar. "It seems like some kind of warp hole! (Luffy says "Ooh, a mystery hole!")" She looked down at the Log Pose to see if they were heading in the appropriate direction. Her next expression came to be a total shocked one. "I'm not sure what could've happened, but we're supposed to be going right of whatever that is. If we enter that hole, who knows what might happen!"
"Guys, you heard her!" shouted out Sanji. "Adjust the sails!"
All the men rushed to their appropriate positions to help make the ship avoid this "warp hole". But as they were about to reach there, their bodies froze still.
"Wha-what's happening?" Chopper asked in his over-sized form as he struggled to move.
"I can't move…," Usopp stated softly as he stared at the ship getting closer and closer to what can possibly be a gate to a new dimension.
"What the hell is this?" Zoro said in anger as he tried his best to move a muscle.
But he couldn't move his body at all, much like the rest of the Straw Hats. They helplessly watched as they were pulled into the warp hole. Soon they were all sucked into this portal, and hopelessly fell endlessly into this unknown swirling space.
"Guys, whatever happens, we'll be in this together. Got that?" he told the others loudly. In this mysterious and possibly dangerous situation, a captain's leadership to calm down his men needs to be shown. "Got it?"
"Hai!" they all shouted back. Wherever this portal led them, they will never lose sight of their goals and each other."
"I haven't seen All Blue yet, so there's no way in hell I will let this piece of crap throw me off course!" told Sanji. "And of course…, Nami-swaaan and Robin-chwaaaan, I'll always protect you guys!"
"As a true warrior of the sea, this is just another day!" Usopp said followed by one of his fake laughs to shield his fears.
"Maybe this will lead us to more evidence on the 'Void History'?" Robin considered optimistically.
"I'm not scared at all!" cried out Chopper in a semi-frightened voice.
"I hope they have some strong swordsmen there, because I'm not close to finishing my journey yet!" Zoro hoped out loud.
"And I'm…, I'M GONNA MAKE A MAP OF THE WHOLE WORLD, SO I'M NOT GOING TO LET THIS THING STOP ME FROM IT!" Nami shouted out in a burst of bravery.
"I can't wait where this mystery hole brings us. Let's go, guys!"
Shizune rushed into Hokage's office to report a new situation arising near Konoha. "Hokage-sama, a few villagers are running scared from some incidents that just happened in the lake 15 miles near the east gate. They stated that a group of people just dropped out of nowhere into the water with a large ship following after them."
"Could it be Akatsuki? Or what about Orochimaru finishing what he started last time? It is even possible that it can be a new enemy?" thought Tsunade. The rush of possibilities was endless, how was she supposed to act now?
"Send two ANBU members to the location of the scene. I don't care which two, just make sure they handle it!" she ordered. Shizune complied and rushed out the door to fulfill her commands.
"It worked! It worked! The Straw Hats are gone forever!" Buggy cried. He and his new groups of comrades celebrated in complete joy once they saw the presence of their enemy disappearing in thin air.
"Yes, their irking presence, especially Luffy's, are no longer our problem," stated Kurohadole, formerly known as Captain Kuro of the Black Cat Pirates. He pushed up his glasses with an evil smirk on his face.
"This news is wonderful, although I would've loved to pay him back personally," commented Alvida. She started caressing her silky smooth skin as the members of the Buggy Band intensely watched with drools on their face.
"Good riddance," Don Krieg stated.
"So who was the guy that helped us out again?" Kurohadole asked curiously.
"Well, they only issued their organization name. I think it was called Koragen or something," Buggy told. He was too happy to care for the little details. I mean, their long time nemesis is gone off the face of this world. Santa couldn't land any better gift than this!
"But why would they help us out for free. Are they also enemies of the Straw Hats?" Alvida asked, suddenly suspicious of the whole situation.
"Who cares? As long as I don't have to deal with that Gomu Gomu nonsense again, I'm a happy man!" Don Krieg said.
But they couldn't celebrate for long, as Marines surrounded the facility. They were immediately netted with Kairouseki to prevent them from escaping with the use of their powers. They were hauled outside by the Marine men. Outside, they met a familiar face.
"Yo!" Smoker said in his dull tone.
"The criminals have been apprehended, sir!" Tashigi said in a professional tone.
"Well done. Let's see who we have here: the clown and his circus, Kurohadole, Don Krieg, and of course, the lovely Alvida. With the Straw Hat on that list, this would be the perfect catch." Smoker said.
The captured criminals started laughing. "I'm sorry Smoker-san, but you'll never be able to catch them now," Alvida said as she let out a laugh.
"Tashigi, haul them away," Smoker said as he puffed smoke out of his two cigars.
Heading toward the scene they are to investigate, two ANBU jump tree branch to tree branch to advance under the night sky.
"Naruto, you shouldn't go so fast. We have to be cautious. This group of people can be anybody!" Shikamaru warned. Starting tomorrow, it would be his third year in ANBU. He knew the tricks of the field too well, and he didn't want his rookie partner to fall easily.
"I don't care. If it's Akatsuki, I'll crush them! If it's Orochimaru, I'll crush him! If it's Sasuke, I'll crush him!" he said as his demon chakra started fueling his anger.
"Damn, this guy is letting Kyuubi control his emotions. I can't allow him to enter a possible dangerous area while his blinded by hatred. How troublesome," the lazy pony-tailed ANBU thought. "Kage Mane no Jutsu!" His shadow trapping jutsu immediately grabbed hold of the shadow that laid under the jinchuuriki. He perfectly restrained the blonde ANBU to pacify him.
"What the hell! Let me free!" Naruto yelled as his mask slipped off his face. Fangs and whiskers turned out to be very visible on his face, a clear sign of Kyuubi taking over.
"Naruto, you know that you're one troublesome guy. I don't see how they allowed a reckless Chuunin, like yourself, into the field of ANBU. All you can do is screw up missions with your thoughtless behavior," Shikamaru lectured.
"I have no time for your boring commentary on how I'm supposed to act. I have a mission, and I plan to complete it!"
"And how do you suppose that would work? Rush in, fall into their trap, and enslaved for life with no chance in hell of ever being free. Or do you just want to just go in and fight till your 'tragic' death? Not only do those kinds of actions affect yourself, but it also affects the whole village. Do you want everybody in Konoha to suffer for your means of revenge? You're no better than Sasuke if you say you do…"
"I… You're right, I'll calm down, I promise. Now let me free," Naruto said in a more calm tone. "We still have a mission to complete."
Shikamaru released his jutsu upon request. He knew that Naruto cared for Konoha to much to place it in any type of danger, so he used that to calm him down. Naruto picked up his mask and put it on to hide his face again.
"Now, let's go," Shikamaru ordered. Within seconds, they started to advance forward again at a quick pace toward the area the 'invasion' was supposed to already happen.
"Hopefully, it won't be any big threat. Our manpower is too low at the moment to engage into any type of big battle…"
"Aaaaaaaaah, please don't eat me, big monster. Take Chopper instead!" Usopp cried out in his sleep. He immediately woke up to see his crewmates, off in a distance, examining the forest area.
"Eh, guys…, where are we?" he asked
"I'm not sure, but I do know we're not anywhere close to where we were," stated Chopper as he was examining the plants around him. "I never even saw these kind of herbs before!"
"Well, that's for sure. The Log Pose seems to be completely dead. The needle isn't reacting to any kind of magnetic field…" Nami said with a frown.
"Where's Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji?" Usopp asked as he looked around. They were near a lake surrounded by trees. Going Merry stood there on the body of water in pretty bad shape.
"They said that they're going to look around as well as gather some supplies," Robin told him.
"Guys, I smell people coming. There are two of them!" Chopper warned in a panic.
"MONSTERS!" Usopp shouted in complete shock of the unknown that are getting closer and closer to where they stood.
"Monsters?" Chopper asked in the same frightened tone.
"Usopp, stop making the situation look worser than it already is! I'm sure it's just the natives…" Nami said.
"I don't know, Nami. Their scent seems to be more distinguishable by the second. They are heading at us at a pretty fast rate," he told after he sniffed the air one more time.
"We have to hide or they'll eat us!"
"I also think hiding is the best solution. We don't want to cause unnecessary trouble or get caught," inputted Robin.
They all agreed on the hiding plan as they ran quietly over to the bushes to conceal their presence. Soon, Chopper's warning proved to be correct as two figures with masks landed at where they stood before.
"Where are they?" the blonde masked-man asked the other.
The other one bent down and started staring at the footprints on the dirt. He examined it and saw it going toward the bushy area.
"Oh my god, they're going to find us!" yelled out Chopper. His mouth was immediately covered by Usopp before the two mysterious men could notice the noise.
"Why is there a weird looking ship here?" the same one asked.
"Who knows? Let's check it out," he suggested as he got back up and went onto the ship with his partner. With his back turned, you could easily see his ponytail. They both jumped onto the Going Merry to investigate.
"Great! This is a perfect chance for us to escape from these dangerous men. I'm sorry we have to leave you behind Going Merry, but we will come back for you!" Usopp thought. "Guys, let's move quietly away from those scary guys," he whispered. He slowly tried to turn around, but found himself paralyzed from doing so.
"Stuck again?" Usopp cried.
"I'm getting really sick of this!" Nami exclaimed.
Then Usopp started taking off his backpack (the one he usually wears with all his gadgets in it) and unwillingly threw it aside.
"Naruto, retrieve the suspect's bag and search to see if these guys have any weapons on them," one ordered the other.
The blonde masked-man jumped and pick up the bag and threw it over to the other side. He then yelled out "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" and 4 clones of him burst out of nowhere.
"Is that another kind of devil fruit?" considered Robin as she stared at one of the captors duplicating himself.
"Usopp was right! They are monsters!" panicked Chopper.
"Luffy and the others will save all of us, and these guys will pay!" Nami threatened in her mind. "No matter what weird moves and powers they may have, Luffy, Sanji-kun, and Zoro will beat them!"
"Oi!" yelled out Usopp. "How…, weren't you guys just searching our ship? How did you get here so quickly?" Yes, Usopp was scared, but he was also confused. None of this made sense. "Are these guys even human?"
"Sorry, it'll be too troublesome to explain such a simple plan to a group of invaders," the pony-tailed masked-man stated.
The four clones suddenly poofed into the air once they were finishing searching the four captured Straw Hats. The blonde brought back Nami's Clima-tact and Chopper's Rumble Balls.
"Wait! We're not invaders! We just somehow came here from the Grand Line. We plan no harm. We're just planning to rest here for the night and then leave in the morning," pleaded Nami.
"Sorry, I don't plan on believing anything you guys have to say till you're brought to the interrogation room," he said as he turned around. They, in turn, also turned around and now faced his back as they were marching forward through unknown territory.
"Luffy, Sanji-kun, Zoro, rescue us!"
"They don't look like anybody that's in Akatsuki. They could be from Sound, but I can't believe that either. They just look like normal civilians that are a little bit under-dressed. But this can all be a cover-up. I'll just let old man Morino Ibiki find out who they really are…," thought Shikamaru. He continued walking at a casual pace, with his shadow locking onto their's, making them copy his every movement.
Naruto was behind them, watching them to make sure that they didn't do anything suspicious. Of course, Shikamaru's ultimate Kage Mane no Jutsu disabled them from doing that, but you can never be too sure.
"Do you guys know anything about Akatsuki or Orochimaru?" Naruto asked them. He knew they can easily lie about what information they had, but still he wanted some kind of answers, even if they were false.
"No, we don't…," the black-haired woman began before the long-nosed guy interrupted.
"Uh, yes! We are very good friends of Ashusiki and or Orochoram…, them. Yep, you should let us free, because Ashu… they will be very displeased if they knew you captured and imprisoned us!"
Naruto sighed at his obvious bluff. "They didn't even say their names right…"
Soon, they arrived at Konoha. As soon as they reached the gate, other shinobi came and tied up the four suspects and dragged them off to prison (obviously Shikamaru released his jutsu by then).
Shikamaru stretched as he stared up at the sky. "Wanna go get some ramen or anything?"
"Yeah, sure!" The thought of ramen at Ichiraku's already made Naruto's mouth drool.
While they were eating at the ichiraku Ramen stand, Naruto brought the subject of the suspects up again. He had doubts on if they were really enemies. They just look like normal regular people to his eyes. "I think they are innocent. I mean, they didn't seem like they knew anything about Akatsuki or Orochimaru…"
"Yeah, and they did allow us to catch them too easily. I didn't expect anybody from Akatsuki to fall for such a simple diversion with your shadow clones. But I say their actions are either a little too suspicious or too innocent… How troublesome…"
"Well if we think they are innocent, don't you think we should tell obaa-chan to go a little easier on them," Naruto suggested. He didn't want others to get hurt, because of their misjudgment. It seemed too cruel, and he always loyally followed his way of the ninja, even if it intersects with the rules of the common shinobi.
"We've done our part, plus I'm not 100 positive on their innocence either. We'll let Ibiki decide, since he's more of a professional than any of us."
"I guess you're right…"
"Luffy, they're not here!" told Zoro after he was searching around the campsite.
It was around midnight by now and still no signs of their nakama. The remaining Straw Hats have been searching for nearly an hour now, in hopes of finding them accidentally wandering off or something. But no, that wasn't the case. All three men had a feeling that their disappearance wasn't a voluntary one too.
"My sweet Nami-swaan and Robin-chwaan must've been captured. Those bastards!" Sanji shouted out in an outburst of rage. He spin-kicked a tree nearby, knocking it over to the ground.
"Let's go kick some ass to rescue them then!"