Disclaimer: The following is a fan made work of fiction. One Piece is owned by Funimation, Toei Animation, Fuji TV, Shueisha, Shonnan Jump Manga, and Eiichiro Oda. I do not own One Piece or any of its characters, I'm writing this story for my own amusement.
Summary: There's another pirate on board the Going Merry with his own dreams and ambitions. Follow the Straw Hat Pirate Crew as they begin their journey to the Grand Line on the adventure of a lifetime to make their dreams come true.
Rating: T for Language, Violence, and Blood.
Okay, now that all that stuff's out of the way I think I'll explain what this story is going to be about and what you can expect from it. This is my second solo project on FanFiction, my other work includes my 'Can I Ask You Something?' trilogy in the Wrestling Section. I'd like to think my writing improved during the three years I worked on it. One Piece has been my favorite anime for years now and I have planned on doing this story for a while. I want to be upfront with what this story is about and how I plan on writing it, that way no one is disappointed with what happens. Here's what you can expect…
To be blunt, this will be a rewrite of the series with the inclusion of an additional character who will be my OC. My OC will be on the Straw Hat crew from almost the very beginning and will be a main character, but the story will still revolve around Luffy and his dream to be King of the Pirates. I plan on giving my OC as much character development as any other character, he has a dream, he'll get stronger and mature throughout the series, and he'll even have a 'character origin flashback' at one point. I'll probably be breaking the story up into parts according to the seasons and different story arcs. This story will cover the East Blue Saga. If you're a fan of the One Piece series you'll know that it's really long, about five/six hundred manga chapters, if I attempted to make this all one story I'd be up to chapter 200 by the end of the Alabasta arc.
I'm American, I speak English, the French I remember from high school, and the Spanish I'm attempting to learn in college. I live in New Jersey and I'm part Italian, part Czech, part Irish, and part Swiss. I do NOT speak Japanese and I will not be attempting to speak it in this story. The only things that will be in Japanese here are the names of fighting styles and sword names. Attacks will also be in English, with the exception of Sanji's 'French' attack names and Robin's 'Spanish'. However, the word 'Nakama' will still be Japanese, I feel that it is an important concept in the story and I will not translate it to something like 'shipmate'. Nakama means comrades, friends, and people who are considered closer than family. It wouldn't feel right to use another word since it's such an important part of the series.
My OC's name is Ricky, it's not very Japanese but I have my reasons. He has no known last name like a lot of characters in the series and lives in Fuchsia Village where he was raised from age 3 to 9 by his Aunt Makino in her tavern. He's almost two years older than Luffy and acts as another older brother to him. Ricky is going to be a Treasure Hunter, the difference between a treasure hunter and a pirate is that a treasure hunter sails the world searching for treasure's that no one has ever found or heard of before, while a pirate is typically seen as a dirty cut-throat that will do anything and kill anyone to get treasure. (Indiana Jones could be considered a Treasure Hunter.)
Another important concept in One Piece are people's dreams, everyone on the Straw Hat Crew has a big dream so Ricky has one as well. Ricky's dream is to FIND the One Piece. As a treasure hunter, Ricky's dream is to FIND the biggest and most valuable treasure in the world, the One Piece.
That's all for now, I just wanted to let everyone know what they're in for with this story. Everyone who's still here allow me to present QPython's Another Nakama.
In the words of Heath Ledger, "And here… we… go!"
Chapter I: Romance Dawn
The King of the Pirates, Gold Roger had it all. Wealth, fame, and power, had all been his. He had obtained everything the world had to offer and his dying words drove countless souls to the seas.
"You want my treasure? You can have it. I left everything I gathered together in one place. Now you just have to find it."
These words lured men to the Grand Line in pursuit of dreams greater than they'd ever dared to imagine. This is the time known as the Great Pirate Era!
Our story starts in a small harbor village called Fuchsia Village twenty-two years later. About one year ago a pirate ship landed here. A wind blows from the East and the village is at peace.
"Oi! What are you doing Luffy?" a pirate asked a small black haired boy who was standing on top of the bowsprit.
"I've had it with you guys! Now you'll have to take me seriously!" the boy exclaimed, his name was Monkey D. Luffy. His name was fitting, because this boy looked a lot like a monkey. Luffy was wearing a white t-shirt with the word 'Anchor' on the front and a pair of blue shorts, he currently had a small knife in his hand and was prepared to do something drastic. "This is how tough I am!"
"Dahahaha, go for it!" a pirate wearing a straw hat encouraged him, he didn't know what Luffy was planning but figured it'd be amusing, "let's see what you're gonna do!"
"Is that boy going to do something funny again?" questioned another pirate.
"Luffy, I'm not sure this is such a good idea," came the voice of another small boy. His name was Ricky, he had red hair and closely resembled a fox. He and Luffy, despite not being blood related, were brothers in the truest sense of the word, and right now Ricky's big hazel eyes were filled with worry for his younger brother. "Don't do something this stupid!"
But Luffy didn't listen, and to the shock of all the pirates, he took the knife and cut himself under his eye. SLIK!
"YEEEOOOOWWW!" Luffy screamed.
"I told you this was a bad idea," Ricky muttered while Luffy screamed in pain.
"WHAT'D YOU DO THAT FOR?" the pirate with the straw hat shouted. "YOU DUMB-ASS!"
Later in a small pub the pirates and the two boys had gathered and were celebrating. "Cheers! To Luffy's… um… courage… and our great voyage!"
Inside the pub all of the pirates were drinking, eating and having a great time. Luffy was sitting on a stool next to the pirate with the straw hat.
"It didn't hurt a bit!" Luffy bragged to anyone who would listen.
"Liar!" the pirate with the straw hat snapped, "don't do anything so stupid again!"
"I'm not afraid of pain!" said Luffy, "Take me with you on your next voyage! I wanna be a pirate too!"
"Dahahaha! You can't handle being a pirate!" the pirate wearing the straw hat laughed. He was wearing a long black coat over a white button down shirt, grey pants, and a red sash. The pirate had three parallel scars going down his left eye, it looked like some pirate had attempted to scratch his eye out at one point. He also had a head of deep red hair which he got his nickname 'Red Haired' Shanks. He was the Captain of this pirate crew called the Red Haired Pirates. "Luffy, the reason we call you 'Anchor' is because you can't swim! Not being able to swim is a pirate's greatest weakness!"
"But if I don't fall overboard then I'll be fine," Luffy pointed out, "then it doesn't matter if I'm an anchor. I'm a strong fighter! Ricky and I have been training and my punch is as strong as a pistol!"
"A pistol?" Shanks repeated, "Is that so?" He didn't really seem too interested.
"What kind of a tone is that!" Luffy demanded.
"Calm down, Luffy," a pirate called out, "let's just have a good time!"
"Yeah, pirates always have a good time," added Lucky Roux, a fat pirate wearing goggles and green and white striped clothing. He almost always appeared to be eating large hunk of meat. "the sea is vast and there's lots of islands to explore."
"And best of all, pirates have freedom!" another pirate chimed in.
"Wow!" Luffy exclaimed as he listened to the pirates.
"You guys stop giving him dumb ideas!" Shanks scolded his crew.
"But its true!" a pirate protested.
"Captain, let's take the lad with us just this once," Lucky Roux suggested.
"Aye!" another pirate agreed.
"Yeah!" Luffy cheered as he jumped off of his stool.
"Alright," Shanks relented, "but one of you will have to stay behind."
That got 'em.
"Haha, sorry lad, you've been beached," the pirates laughed before turning away, "let's drink!"
"I thought you guys were on my side!" Luffy whined.
"You're just too young," Shanks told him, "maybe in about ten years I'll give you a chance."
"Darn it Shanks!" Luffy snapped, "I'm telling you I'm not a little kid!"
"Don't get upset," said Shanks in an attempt to calm Luffy. "Here, have some juice!"
Luffy took the glass and quickly downed it, causing Shanks to burst out laughing. "Dahahahaha! See!" Shanks laughed, "a real pirate would never drink juice!"
"That was a dirty trick!" Luffy yelled.
"Hmph, I'm getting tired of this!" Luffy complained to himself as he got up walked away from the counter. "I even stabbed myself and he still won't take me with him! I wonder what Ricky's up to?"
Luffy wandered through the tables of pirates and found his partner in crime sitting at a table playing cards with a blond-haired man wearing a blue shirt and a bandana that read 'Yasopp'. It was fitting because that was the pirate's name.
"Hey Luffy," Ricky greeted him. "I'm just about to win Yasopp's treasure." Ricky pointed to the large sack of gold coins that was lying on the table.
"Yeah right," HIC "you'll never beat my hand!" the more-than-slightly drunk Yasopp boasted. "I won't lose to a kid!" HIC! "I've won thousands of—" HIC! "Thousands of card—" HIC! "…games before!"
"I'm sure you have," Ricky agreed condescendingly, the drunk pirate didn't notice. "Say… weren't you just saying something about a kid of your own?"
"Oh yeah," said Yasopp. HIC! "I have a boy of my own, he's about Luffy's—" HIC! "—age, his name's Usopp…" HIC! While Yasopp went off and told his story Ricky caught Luffy's eye and motioned to the cards Yasopp was holding. Luffy went peered at the pirate's cards while he was distracted with the telling of his story, then whispered to Ricky what he saw. "… It was heartbreaking—" HIC! "—leaving my boy, BUT WHEN THE PIRATE FLAG BECKONS… " HIC! "… YOU MUST HEED ITS CALL!"
"You've got that right," Ricky agreed as he glanced at his cards. "Yasopp, do you want to go all in? If you wager all of your treasure, I'll bet an entire barrel of my Aunt's best grog."
"You mean…" HIC! "…the stuff from the North Blue?' questioned Yasopp.
"Yup," Ricky replied.
"For all my treasure?" Yasopp clarified.
"What's the matter Yasopp? Are you scared you'll lose to a kid like me?" Ricky teased him, there was no mistaking the sly grin on his face. "I thought you said you had a great hand? Where's that confidence now?"
"Alright fine, I'm all in," Yasopp conceded, taking Ricky's bait, he put his cards down. "Read 'em and weep."
"I WIN!" Ricky exclaimed as he put his cards down.
"WHAT?" Yasopp shrieked as he stared at Ricky's cards. "You brat! How could I lose to a nine year old?"
"Thank you, Yasopp," said Ricky as he flashed the pirate a foxy smile, then took the sack of treasure from the table and hopped off of his stool. He and Luffy headed off into the crowd of pirates.
"There's bound to be over ten thousand berries in here," Ricky commented as he shook the sack of gold. Then he turned and glanced at his brother, "So what's going on Luffy?"
"I've had it with Shanks," Luffy replied. "He always treats me like a dumb kid. I even stabbed myself today and he still won't take me with him!"
"Well, stabbing yourself probably wasn't one of your best ideas," Ricky pointed out.
"Luffy," came the voice of a pirate with long black hair tied back in a ponytail, as he lit up a cigarette. This pirate's name was Benn Beckman and he was Shanks' First Mate. "Shanks is just trying to do what's best for everyone."
"How do you figure?" asked Luffy as both he and Ricky turned to the First Mate.
"The safety of the entire crew rests on his shoulders," Beckman explained, "being a pirate isn't all fun and games you know. A pirate's life is hard and very dangerous. Do you understand? He doesn't purposely tease your ambitions of being a pirate."
"I don't believe it!" Luffy snapped, "Shanks just likes to make me look like an idiot!"
"Oi Anchor!" called out Shanks from across the pub. "DAHAHAHA!"
"See," Luffy complained.
"Captain, you seem to be happy as always," Makino observed, the woman who owned the pub as she reentered the room carrying a barrel of grog with her. Coincidentally, she was also Ricky's Aunt and the only living relative that he knew of. While she and Ricky didn't exactly look alike with her dark green, almost black, hair in comparison to Ricky's red, her sister, Ricky's mother, was known to look and act like a female version of Ricky.
"Dahahahaha! Boy, I just love making fun of this kid!" Shanks laughed.
"Hmm, maybe the lad's got a point," Beckman whispered to Ricky as Luffy glared at Shanks and stormed back over to the bar. "What are you doing with all that gold?"
"I won it fair and square," Ricky insisted. "Its not my fault Yasopp can't hold his liquor."
"What's a nine year old going to do with that much money?" asked Beckman.
"I'm saving up to buy a sword," Ricky explained. "Then I can go after some real treasure."
"A sword, eh?" Beckman replied as he took a drag from his cigarette. "Those things can be quite dangerous, and fighting other swordsman can be really harmful to your health."
"So can smoking, but you still do it," Ricky countered.
"Ah, touché," Beckman admended with a smile as Ricky walked off after Luffy.
"Luffy, would you like to eat something?" asked Makino, Luffy was once again sitting on his stool at the counter.
"Okay! I'll pay you with my Treasure Tab!" Luffy assured her.
"Treasure Tab?" questioned Shanks, "look Luffy, don't try to swindle the lady!"
"I'm not!" Luffy protested, "I'm going to become a pirate, and I'll pay her with the treasure I find."
"Hah-ha, I'll be waiting," Makino agreed.
"For the record," said Ricky as he came over and ducked around to the other side of the counter. "The treasure I find will be worth ten times what yours is. Everything on Shanks' ship will be considered pocket change." Ricky opened a safe that was situated behind the bar and put the sack of gold he had won from Yasopp inside and locked it.
"Why don't you just find the One Piece then?" Shanks joked.
"That could work," Ricky commented with a thoughtful expression.
"Dahahahaha!" Shanks laughed at his fellow red-head. "You're almost as bad as he is! You could never find the One Piece!" Unlike Luffy, Ricky understood that Shanks was just teasing and that he wasn't purposely mocking the boy's dreams. He didn't let it get to him.
Makino shook her head at her nephew then glanced out at the pirates, "Ricky, would you mind taking this grog out to the pirates?" Makino lifted a barrel up onto the counter. "They're probably running low."
"Yes, Aunt Makino," said Ricky as he hopped the counter and took the large barrel of grog from Makino and went off into the crowd of pirates.
A little while later the pirates were still in the pub. Almost all of the grog was gone and both Ricky and Luffy were sitting on stools next to Shanks. Well, Luffy was sitting next to Shanks, Ricky was sitting on a stool staring at a small treasure chest that was on the counter in front of him.
"Shanks…" said Luffy as he took a bite of some steak.
"How much longer are you gonna stay at this village?" asked Luffy.
"Let's see…" Shanks thought out loud. "We've been using this town as out base for about a year. After a few more voyages and I plan on leaving and heading north."
"A few more huh?" questioned Luffy as he stuffed the rest of his steak in his mouth. "I'll learn how to swim by then."
"That's good kid, do whatever you want," said Shanks, who wasn't really paying attention.
KREEK! The swinging doubled doors of the pub were opened and a large group of people entered. "Make way for the scourge of the mountains!" called the man leading the group. Most of the people in the group were wearing white bandanas, except for one person who appeared to be the leader, he was wearing a big brown coat, had black hair with a bun in it and a black beard, he also had a sword.
"So you call yourselves pirates?" questioned the leader. "This is the first time I've seen pirates, and you look like a sorry lot to me."
Everyone in the pub turned to watch the man walk up to the counter, everyone except two boys. "Hey Ricky, whatcha got there?" Luffy inquired.
"I don't know," said Ricky. "But I think it's valuable."
Luffy peered into the chest in front of Ricky. "You dummy, it's a weird fruit," Luffy pointed out. "I bet it tastes great, why else would Shanks have it?" Luffy fished into the chest and pulled out the fruit.
WHAP! Ricky slapped Luffy's wrist and took the fruit away from him.
"What was that for?" Luffy yelped as he waved his hand in front of him.
Ricky stared Luffy directly in the eye and said, "No Luffy. Don't eat it, it's giving me the creeps!"
"Ricky, I'm hungry," Luffy complained, "this'll be dessert. You can have some if you want."
"I don't want it," said Ricky as he skillfully slid the chest out of Luffy's reach. "We don't know what it is."
"But I'm huuuunnnngrrrryyyyy…" Luffy whined.
"You just ate a bunch of meat," Ricky reminded him. "But if that's not enough, I'll get you something else. But at least ask Shanks before you try to eat that thing… it could be poison."
Meanwhile the mountain bandits were still addressing the pirates, "We're bandits," the leader announced. His name was Higuma 'the Bear'. "We're not here to cause trouble, we just want ten barrels of grog."
"Sorry," Makino apologized. "But we are out of liquor."
"Oh?" questioned Higuma, "Then what are these pirates drinking? Water?"
"Its grog," Makino admitted, "But that's the last of what I had stocked up."
Ricky let go of the fruit and stood up, ready to defend his Aunt if necessary. But as a result, he completely forgot about the fruit, and without Ricky stopping him, Luffy was able to eat it uninterrupted. CHOMP!MUNCH!GULP!
"My apologies gentlemen," said Shanks, who was sitting at the bar on a stool next to Higuma, "Looks like me and my friends drank the whole place dry." Shanks reached down and offered the bandit leader the unopened bottle of grog in front of him. "Why don't you have this? It's still unopened."
SMASH! In response Higuma took the bottle and smashed it over Shanks' head, soaking the captain with grog. Everyone in the pub stood and stared, wondering what was going to happen. Luffy stopped eating the fruit and waited to see what Shanks would do. But he just sat there with grog dripping off of his straw hat.
"What do you take me for, a fool?" Higuma demanded. "One bottle is not enough!"
"See this?" asked Higuma as he pulled out a wanted picture with his face on it. "I've got an eight million berri bounty on my head! I'm one of the prime fugitives here. I've killed fifty-six people before, mostly cocky bastards like you!"
"Just great," Shanks complained, not really caring about the bandit. "Now the floor is all wet."
Higuma turned and glared at Shanks as alcohol dripped down off of his straw hat, "Watch yourself if you're fond of breathing. After all, Mountain Bandits and Sea Pirates don't mingle well."
Shanks didn't really seem to care, and instead moved down onto the floor and picked up some of the broken pieces of glass. "Sorry about the mess Makino, give me a rag and I'll clean it."
"D-don't worry Shanks," Ricky stammered, as he slowly walked over to the spill, and the bandit standing near it, "I c-can get it."
SWOOOSH! Ricky quickly dropped down to the floor as Higuma pulled out his sword and swung it over his head. CRASH! SMASH! The bandit knocked plates off of a nearby table and into Shanks, creating an even bigger mess. "So you like cleaning?" Higuma taunted Shanks. "That'll keep you busy for a while."
Everyone was still as Higuma turned away and left the bar with his gang of bandits, "Farewell, cowards!" Higuma taunted as he walked out.
"Are you alright, Captain?" Makino asked Shanks as she ran out from behind the counter. "Did you get hurt?"
"No I'm fine," said Shanks. "Phew." This prompted all of the pirates (and Ricky) to start laughing.
"Hohoho! Captain, he got you good!" Lucky Roux laughed.
"Hah-ha, did you see the look on his face?" Ricky chuckled to the fat pirate. "That bandit nearly threw a tantrum, and Shanks just sat there!"
"Ahahahahaha! What a loser!" Yasopp laughed.
"Dahahahaha!" Shanks laughed along with his crew and the nine-year-old as he dumped the grog off of his straw hat.
"WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?" Luffy demanded, causing everyone in the tavern to turn and stare at him. "What's so funny? You should've fought back Shanks. I doesn't matter who strong they look or how many they are, if you just laugh it up you're not a man… or pirate!"
"Luffy it's just…" Ricky started to say, but he was quickly silenced by the glare Luffy sent him.
"Look I know how you feel," said Shanks as he put his hat back on. "But they guy just spilled booze on me, its nothing to get worked up about. Maybe when you get older you understand."
Luffy still didn't understand and turned to leave, but Shanks grabbed his arm to stop him. "Oi, where're you going?"
"To find a real role model!" Luffy snapped as he kept walking. But Shanks didn't let go of Luffy's arm. Everyone was shocked as Luffy's arm stretched as he kept walking.
"His arm… it's stretching!" Shanks exclaimed. "Does this mean…"
"He couldn't have!" said a shocked pirate.
"What's wrong with me?" a scared Luffy asked.
"IT'S GONE" Lucky Roux yelled, he took a break from eating and peered into the empty chest the fruit had been in. "The Gum Gum Fruit we took from that enemy ship isn't here! Luffy, you didn't eat that fruit did you?" Lucky Roux held up a picture of the fruit Luffy had just eaten.
"Yes…" Luffy admitted, "I had it for dessert. It didn't taste all the great though."
"That's the Gum Gum Fruit!" Shanks exclaimed as he grabbed Luffy and held him up in front of him, "It's one of the Fruits of the Devil. It's one of the secret treasures of the sea! Whoever eats it will turn into a rubber man, and will never be able to swim!"
"What? You're kidding me right?" Luffy pleaded as his rubber jaw, literally, hit the floor.
Shanks grabbed Luffy and turned him upside down, then started shaking him, "Spit it out!" Shanks ordered he shook the boy by his ankles, "Luffy spit it out now!" THUD! Luffy's rubber neck stretched and his head ended up hitting the floor. He couldn't spit the fruit out, now he'd never be able to swim and would be made out of rubber for the rest of his life.
"I'm sorry, Shanks," Ricky apologized, "I tried to stop him, but he wouldn't listen."
A few days later the pirates had left. It was the middle of the day and Ricky and Luffy were heading into town to get some fish.
"Hey Mr. Fish Monger! Gimme some fish!" Luffy called out when they came to the Fish Monger's shop.
"Hey Rubber Boy!" the Fish Monger taunted him, "Why are you in such a good mood lately? Didn't those pirates set sail without you? And you won't be able to swim for the rest of your life!"
"Don't make fun of him," Ricky growled, immediately coming to the defense of his younger brother, "He'll just be a pirate who never falls overboard!"
"I'm glad I ate the Gum Gum Fruit! Look at what I can do," with that Luffy reached up and grabbed his cheeks, then pulled them in opposite directions, stretching his face in a weird shape. WUUURRRK!
"What's so great about that?" asked an old man, called Woop Slap. He was the Mayor of Fuchsia Village, he had short gray hair and a red and white striped hat. "You think being gawked at like some kind of a freak is cool? This village doesn't need any more idiots!"
"Good morning, Mr. Mayor," Ricky greeted the mayor with a forced smile.
The Mayor glared at the two boys and continued his rant, "I'm telling you boys for the last time, don't become pirates! It'll give this town a bad reputation! Now that Captain's not such a bad fellow, but you boys stay away from those pirates!"
Ricky glared at the Mayor while Luffy stuck out his tongue. They didn't care what he thought. They were both gonna be pirates, even if one of them would never be able to swim. Ricky was still able to learn and neither of them was going to abandon their dream.
"What ever you say old man," Ricky agreed with a shake of his head, he and Luffy quickly turned and left.
"Well?" asked Luffy as he glanced at his brother while they walked down the street together.
Ricky grinned and once the mayor was out of sight and earshot he pulled a wallet out of his pocket. "Lunch is on me. Well… actually, it's on the Mayor, he just doesn't know it."
"Yeah!" Luffy cheered. "Forget the fish, I want meat!"
Days later, Shanks still hadn't come back. Ricky and Luffy were once again at Makino's tavern. Well, Luffy was visiting… Ricky and Makino lived there. Luffy was sitting on a stool having a drink while Ricky was helping Makino wash some dishes.
"They've been away for a while now," said Luffy in a sad tone.
"Do you miss them, Luffy?" asked Makino.
"No!" Luffy replied. "After the way those Mountain Bandits humiliated them? Not at all! I really overestimated Shanks. I though he was a tough pirate."
"But Luffy I keep telling you, it was just some grog," Ricky tried to explain. "the guy was a loser. There are some fights that just aren't worth fighting."
"Luffy, sometimes it takes courage not to fight," Makino suggested.
"You guys just don't understand," Luffy insisted. "A real man has to stand up for himself, no matter what."
"Luffy, what would've happened if they did fight them?" Ricky asked.
"Shanks would've kicked his ass!" Luffy answered immediately.
"You're probably right," Ricky agreed, "but if Shanks started fighting with the leader, then the other bandits would've gotten involved. And if the other bandits got involved, the other pirates would've gotten involved. Then we would've had a huge brawl going on inside our tavern. Stuff would've been broken, booze would've been spilled, just because Shanks had to lower himself to fighting on the level of some loser."
"And it would've taught him a lesson!" Luffy pointed out.
"Luffy, some people never learn," Ricky explained, "the guy thinks he's really tough, is Shanks beat him up, he wouldn't learn anything, he would've just gotten angry. Then what would we do if Shanks wasn't around and he came back? You and I can't fight an entire group of bandits, even if you are made of rubber."
"What makes you think he'll come back?" questioned Luffy.
KREK! Ricky was saved from answered when the door opened, a familiar voice called out, "Make way for the terror of the highlands!"
Makino, Luffy, and Ricky turned to see Higuma and his gang of mountain bandits walk into the tavern. "No pirates today, huh? Smells better…" Higuma remarked, "We're back again!"
"What are you waiting for?" Higuma demanded as he and his bandits sat at the tables. "We're customers, bring us drinks!" Ricky shook his head then grabbed a barrel of grog and headed over to the bandits.
"You do plan on paying, right?" Ricky asked as he cautiously approached the large group of bandits. "The pirates always paid fifteen thousand berries for every barrel of grog and they always did it upfront. Usually they'd just pay three hundred thousand berries since they drink almost everything we have."
"What's you're point, brat?" Higuma growled.
"Well, pirates are considered to be the low-lives of the sea," Ricky pointed out. "But they always paid and they did it up front. You mountain bandits aren't worse than pirates are you?"
"I'M BETTER THAN ANY PIRATE!" Higuma yelled, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of bills. "Here's five hundred thousand berries… up front. That'll teach you boys the difference between sea pirates and mountain bandits."
"Well I certainly learned something," Ricky thought to himself as he took the money and went to get another barrel, there was a sly grin on his face as he counted the money.
"Ricky…" Makino scolded quietly, "You know I only charge the pirates five thousand berries a barrel."
"I know that," Ricky agreed, "But he doesn't."
A little while later, Makino came rushing into the Mayor's house, "Mayor, hurry! Something bad has happened!"
"What's wrong Makino?" asked the Mayor.
"Luffy was kidnapped by mountain bandits!" Makino exclaimed.
In the middle of town Higuma was hitting and beating up Luffy. "What an interesting body," Higuma commented, "it seems like kicking and punching won't do it any harm."
"Hey we gotta go help Luffy!" one villager shouted to another.
"But they're bandits we could get killed!" the other villager protested, "besides, Luffy's the one who started the fight."
"DAMN IT! YOU'D BETTER APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW, YOU BASTARD!" Luffy shouted as he swung at Higuma, who was casually holding Luffy's rubber cheek.
"He's a rubber man," Higuma observed as he stretched Luffy's rubber face. "Who would've thought such a thing existed in this world?" Higuma suddenly threw Luffy, causing him to bounce away like a rubber ball.
"DAMN IT!" Luffy cursed, "YOU'LL BE SORRY FOR THIS!"
'"Hahaha! I've discovered a new form of life," Higuma laughed ignoring Luffy's threats, "if I sell him to a circus, I can sure get a lot of money."
Luffy got back up and charged at Higuma with a stick, "What a stubborn little brat," Higuma muttered as he took his foot and drove it down onto Luffy's head, pinning the rubber boy to the ground, SQUISH!
"We were just having a good time drinking and talking," Higuma told him. "Did we say something to offend you?"
"YES YOU DID!" Luffy shouted from under the bandit's foot, "APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW! MOVE YOUR FOOT YOU STINKING MOUNTAIN APE!"
"Let the boy go!" the Mayor yelled as he ran up with Makino, but then noticed how many bandits there were and added, "Please?" The Mayor paused then continued, "I don't know what Luffy did, and I don't want to fight you, but I'm willing to pay," Woop Slap dropped to the ground and bowed to the bandit, "So please, let the boy go."
"Mayor!" Luffy called out from under the bandit's foot.
"As one would expect, it's the elders that know how to deal with a situation," Higuma commented. "But it's too late, no one can save this brat now! He's done the unpardonable… he attacked me… and he called me names. I can't take that from this little rubber-spined freak!"
"You started this, you bastard!" Luffy insisted, "You big smelly ape!"
"That does it!" Higuma snarled, "I'm not gonna sell you! I'm gonna kill you!"
"Luffy!" the Mayor cried out. "Please, let him go!
"I was wondering what had Ricky so worried," came the voice of Shanks as he appeared with Ricky at his side, "And this is why… hey you guys are the bandits from the other day!" While Makino had run to get the Mayor, Ricky had run to the other end of the port somehow he just knew Shanks was coming back, it was as if he could feel it.
"Captain," said Makino, who was noticeably relieved.
"Luffy what's wrong?" Shanks teased the boy. "Isn't your punch as powerful as a pistol?"
"Shut up!" Luffy snapped.
"Pirate?" questioned Higuma, "Taking a break from your cleaning duties are you? I suggest you leave right now, if you get any closer, I might have to open fire, you coward."
"Didn't you hear him?" a bandit taunted as he held a pistol to Shanks' head, "Don't come any closer… or I'll blow your head off! Ha ha!"
"You putting your life on the line by pointing that gun at me," said Shanks in a calm voice.
"Huh? What are you talking about?" questioned the bandit.
"I'm saying it's not safe to point guns," said Shanks in the same calm voice, KA-BOOM! Lucky Roux, who was once again eating a big slab of meat, suddenly came from behind and shot the bandit in the head.
"Now you've done it bastard!" one of the bandits complained as the one who had been aiming the pistol at Shanks fell to the ground dead. "That was dirty!"
"Dirty?" came the voice of Benn Beckman as he and the rest of the red haired pirates walked up behind their Captain. "Don't make us laugh. You're not dealing with Saints here."
"We're pirates," Shanks pointed out, "and we don't play by the rules!"
"Shut up! This is none of your business!" a bandit yelled.
"Listen well bandits," Shanks instructed. "You can throw food at me or dump drinks on me, you can even spit on me. I'll just laugh that stuff off, but… GOOD REASON OR NOT… NO ONE HURTS A FRIEND OF MINE!"
"Haha, nice speech," Higuma chuckled, he wasn't intimidated, "You pirates spend your time floating around in your little ships, and you think you can stand up to us? KILL THEM!"
"DIE!" a swarm of bandits shouted as they charged at Shanks.
"Captain, I'll take care of this," Benn Beckman volunteered as he walked passed Shanks, holding his rifle with him. Benn took his cigarette out of his mouth, then pressed it into the forehead of one of the bandits. Benn was only using one arm but was still holding back the bandit, who had only managed to put out Benn's cigarette with his struggles. Benn suddenly pushed the bandit backwards and knocked him down to the ground, while tossing his extinguished cigarette to the side.
The rest of the bandits charge forward at Beckman but suddenly Ricky climbed up onto the First Mate's shoulders and jumped off. KRASH! Ricky took two bandits by surprise and knocked them down to the ground. Beckman smiled for a second, while the bandits paused and were surprised that a nine year old boy had taken out two of them. WHAM! Beckman swung his rifle like a club and knocked down all of the other bandits with one swing.
"You were saying something about mountain bandits and pirates?" questioned Benn as he lit up another cigarette and stared down at the fallen bandits. "If you want to fight us, you'd better bring a warship!"
"Wow, that was cool" Luffy exclaimed, he was still pinned under Higuma's foot.
"Ricky!" Makino scolded, "You're going to be in a lot of trouble when this is over!"
"It was worth it," Ricky replied. His brother was in danger, he didn't care if he got in trouble for defending him. It wouldn't be first time.
"But, wait a minute…" Higuma protested, NOW he was in intimidated. One man and some kid had just taken out his entire gang of bandits. "…the brat started it."
"It doesn't matter," Shanks stated, his voice became casual again, "there's a reward on your head isn't there?"
FWOOOSH! Higuma was really scared and thought quickly then smashed a smoke bomb down to the ground, "IT'S A SMOKE BOMB!" Shanks shouted as the smoke hid Higuma and Luffy from view. But didn't hide their voices…
"HEY! LET GO!"
When the smoke cleared, both Higuma and Luffy were gone. "LUFFY!" Shanks and Ricky shouted at the same time.
"Oh crap!" Shanks cursed, "We got careless, he took Luffy! What should we do?"
"Captain, don't panic!" Lucky Roux tried to consol him, "Let's split up and find them!"
Benn simple shook his head and smiled, "That Captain…"
"Um… Shanks …" Ricky chimed in. "He's a Mountain Bandit, trying to run away and hide, right?"
"Right," Shanks answered, "What's your point, kid?"
"Well, where's the last place you'd look for a Mountain Bandit?" questioned Ricky. Shanks stared at him, then smiled when he caught on.
"Hahaha! What a brilliant escape," Higuma laughed as he and Luffy floated in a little boat out in the harbor. "No one would've expected a Mountain Bandit to escape by sea."
"Well I only used you as a hostage," said Higuma as he turned to Luffy. "But you're useless now! I've killed fifty-six people who were foolish enough to make me mad. What's one more?"
"GO TO HELL!" Luffy shouted as he went to punch the bandit, but was merely kicked out of the boat and into the water.
"Ha, good riddance," Higuma chuckled.
"Damn it!" Luffy complained as he desperately tried to stay above the water. "YOU BASTARD! You said they were cowards! But you didn't even have the guts to fight them!"
Higuma stood in the boat and laughed at the events that had happened earlier that day…
-My very first flashback-
"Remember the expression on those pirates' faces the other day?" Higuma asked his bandit buddies as they sat around a bunch of tables in the tavern, "he didn't even say anything after getting hit by a bottle. What a gutless pansy! Cowards like that make me sick. I wanted to kill him! Pirates are all talk!"
"Boy! More grog!" a pair of nameless bandits called out to Ricky. He was about to comply, but then he noticed the expression on Luffy's face and quickly grabbed onto the back of his shirt to keep him from doing anything hasty.
"TAKE THAT BACK!" Luffy yelled as he rushed at Higuma, dragging Ricky along behind him despite the other boy's attempts to hold him back, "DON'T UNDERESTIMATE SHANKS! HE'S NOT A COWARD! STOP TALKING BAD ABOUT HIM!"
-End of my very first flashback-
Luffy continued to struggle to stay a float, but was sinking fast. The Gum Gum Fruit had cursed him so he'd never be able to swim. But suddenly, something started rising out of the water. Higuma turned in shock as he came face to fa—uh… teeth with the Sea Monster that lived in the harbor. "Wh-where did it come from?"
But that was Higuma's last thought, CHOMP! The giant sea monster lunged forward and swallowed the entire boat, the mountain bandit with it. But the eel-like monster wasn't full yet and set its sights on Luffy.
"S-SOMEBODY HELP ME!" Luffy screamed. The Neptunian lunged forward looking to eat Luffy, CHOMP!
But before the sea monster could eat him, Luffy was yanked out of the way. Luffy turned to look at his savior and suddenly exclaimed, "SHANKS!"
"Get lost!" said Shanks, his straw hat was nowhere in sight and he looked like someone you didn't want to cross. The gigantic eel that was over fifty-times Shanks' size paused and stared into the pirate's eyes. Then to Luffy's astonishment, it dove into the water and swam away.
"Wow," came the equally astonished voice of Ricky, who was bobbing in the water and had come out to help Luffy, despite the fact that he was being held captive by a bandit, and that it was a known fact that a monster lived in the harbor. This was why most of the villagers weren't too eager to learn how to swim. Ricky had learned in a small pond he and Luffy had found a bit away from the village.
"Thanks Luffy," said Shanks, "Makino and Ricky told me everything. You stood up for me." But while he was talking Luffy started sniffing and sobbed.
"Holy crap!" Ricky gasped as he saw what Luffy was crying about.
"Hey stop crying," Shanks reassured Luffy. "You're a tough guy remember?"
"But… Shanks…" Luffy cried, "YOUR ARM! YOUR AAAARRRRMMMM!"
It was true, in his haste to save Luffy, Shanks' arm had been bitten off and was reduced to a small stub and was still bleeding a quite a bit.
"It's a small price to pay," Shanks assured him. "It's just an arm, I'm just glad you're okay." Rain started falling as Luffy continued crying. Ricky bobbed in the water nearby amazed at what he had just seen. Shanks had sacrificed his arm to save Luffy and had scared off the monster with just a look.
Luffy now understood why Shanks couldn't take him with him. The dangers of the sea were too great, and both he and Ricky were not yet strong enough. But most of all Luffy realized what a great man Shanks was, and vowed to be just like him in the future.
"So you're really leaving this time?" asked Luffy. It was a few days later and Shanks and his pirate crew were setting off, but this time they weren't coming back.
"Yeah," Shanks answereed, "we've stayed here long enough, it's about time we move on. Are you upset?"
"Yes," Ricky admitted, who was as usually at Luffy's side.
"But, we wont force you to take us along anymore," said Luffy, "We're gonna become pirates too!"
"Heh, I wouldn't take you even if you begged me," Shanks teased the boys, "You two don't have what it takes to become a pirate!"
"That's what you think!" Ricky challenged. "But we'll show you! We're gonna lead the way for the next generation of pirates! Just wait, old man!"
"Oi! I'm not old, you brat!" Shanks complained.
"Well one day, I'll find myself a crew that is as strong as yours!" Luffy snapped, "And then I'll find the biggest hoard of treasure in the world…"
"And not just any treasure!" Ricky added, "WE'RE GONNA FIND ONE PIECE!"
"I'LL BECOME KING OF THE PIRATES!" Luffy announced. The Rubber Boy's loud claim caused all of the pirates to turn and smile.
"Oh?" questioned Shanks, "You're gonna be better than us, huh? Well then, do me a favor…" Shanks took off his hat and put it on Luffy's head. "Keep this hat safe for me. This hat means a lot to me. Promise you'll give it back to me someday… when you've become a great pirate."
"I have something as well," said Benn Beckman, carrying a box with him. He walked over to Ricky and knelt down front of him. "You fought bravely, and I wanted you to have this."
Beckman opened the box to reveal an unusual sword in a red and black sheath. The blade was that of a thick, curved cutlass, (A/N: A traditional pirate sword) but the handle didn't have the hand guard of a typical cutlass, it had a round guard and was black, it was eight inches long and wrapped in red cloth. From the ruby embedded in the handle to the tip of the curved blade the sword was two feet eight inches, more than half the size of Ricky. But when Beckman pulled it halfway out of the sheath Ricky saw what was really special about the unique looking sword, the curved blade was blood red. "I believe it's called Akaikyuuketsuki (Red Vampire). It's a unique blade that I confiscated from a shameful swordsman on one of our more recent adventures. You told me that you were saving up for a sword, so I thought you'd like to have this one."
"Really?" asked Ricky in disbelief.
"The swordsman that wielded this sword was a coward and a cheat," said Beckman. "After seeing you fight those bandits I know that you're at least not one of those. I hope you'll be able to put this sword to better use than he did. If nothing else, you can use it until you have enough money for another sword."
"Wow," Ricky gasped in amazement. "Thanks, old man, I'll make you proud."
"Good," Beckman replied as he handed the box to Ricky. "One day I want to hear stories about a crafty pirate wielding a red sword. Just don't let your Aunt find it, and promise me you won't start using it until you've learned how."
Ricky nodded, "It's a promise."
The Captain and the First Mate smiled at the two boys, then turned and walked towards the ship. Benn whispered quietly to Shanks, "Those kids are going to make something of themselves."
"Yeah," Shanks agreed, "I have no doubt about it. Luffy reminds me of myself when I was a kid."
"PULL UP THE ANCHOR! SET SAIL!" With that, Shanks and his pirate crew were gone, but would never be forgotten. Luffy's journey begins from that exact spot ten years later.
Ten years later at age 17, Luffy set sail on board a small boat. He was wearing a red vest, a pair of blue shorts and sandals, and on his head was Shanks' straw hat. The legend of Straw Hat Luffy was about to begin. Ricky had already left on his own journey and Luffy was looking forward to meeting up with him again.
"He's finally setting out," said Makino as she, the Mayor, and some of the other villagers watched Luffy sail off. "I'm going to miss that rascal."
"He'll ruin this town's reputation!" the Mayor complained, "I never thought he'd really do it."
Out in a small boat in the middle of the harbor a seventeen year old Luffy was happier than ever. "Wow, the weather sure is nice today!" Luffy observed as he stared up at the clear skies. But as he continued sailing something rose from the water. It was the sea monster that Luffy had had his run in with ten years ago. The only difference was a scar the monster had on the side of its face, probably Ricky's handiwork.
"I've been waiting for you sea monster!" Luffy called to it, with a surprising smile, "This is you're unlucky day. I'll show you what I've learned in the passed ten years!"
The Eel-like creature opened his mouth ready to eat Luffy and his boat. But Luffy wasn't afraid he had grown up a lot in these passed ten years and had practiced fighting a lot, so instead of being afraid, Luffy brought back his arm, "GUM… GUM… PISTOL!" Luffy shouted, POW! Luffy's rubber arm shot out as fast as a pistol and punched the monster in the side of the face, knocking it out cold. SPLASH! The big eel flailed around, then fell back into the water. "How'd that taste? Stupid fish!"
"Hmm, first things first, I'll have to find a crew," Luffy decided, :I think about ten men should do. And I'll need a pirate flag. LOOK OUT WORLD, HERE I COME! I'M GONNA BECOME THE KING OF THE PIRATES!"
Luffy's tiny boat floats on, his crew yet to be found. Luffy's great voyage of destiny has begun!
That's the first chapter.
I know 'Ricky' is not a terribly Japanese name, but Mohji's giant lion is called Richie which is a derivative of Richard, the same as Ricky. That means it's not unheard of. I put a lot of thought into the name, it wasn't just something I came up with on a whim.
Since berries are usually seen in high amounts I'm going to assume that they're about the same as a Japanese Yen, which means there's are about hundred of them to an American Dollar. So when Ricky won 10,000 berries from Yasopp it was really 100 dollars. And when Higuma overpaid him 500,000 berries for all the grog barrels (which he never really got around to drinking) he paid him 5,000 dollars. I just wanted to say what the currency exchange is so there's no major confusion.
I'm not sure how long I'll do this story for but I've got ideas of what to do with Ricky the Treasure Hunter in all of the arcs so far, so I could go as long as the series does. Like I said in my intro, I'm going to break the story up into parts to keep it from getting too long. I don't know what my update schedule will be like, but I plan on keeping them semi-frequent, I have a few chapters done already so for now frequent updates won't be a problem. I've wanted to do this story for a while now, and I've had a lot of fun writing what I have so far, I don't plan on abandoning it.
'Till Next Time…