Disclaimer: I don't own One Piece or any of its characters. But I do own 'The Demon' Red Eye and 'One Eye' Ricky, Treasure Hunter Extraordinaire. It helps that they're the same person.
A/N: This is the final chapter of this story and as a result it is kind of long. The Straw Hats have to escape Loguetown and make it to the Grand Line. Enjoy the thrilling conclusion to Another Nakama.
The Legend Begins:
The mysterious green-cloaked man wandered aimlessly through Loguetown. The words of the former Pirate King Gold Roger rang through his head…
"Destiny… Fate… Dreams… These unstoppable ideals are held deep in the heart of man. As long as there are people who seek freedom in this life… these things shall not vanish from the Earth."
"The Pirate King, eh?" the man said to himself, "Fine by me."
Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji were still running for the harbor attempting to escape the Loguetown Marines. "What the heck is up with all this rain?" Zoro wondered.
The storm had finally hit and it was pouring. "Nami was right about this storm," Sanji realized, "if we don't get back to the ship and set sail soon, we're gonna be stuck here for good."
"RUN! JUST KEEP RUNNING!" Luffy exclaimed. "HAHAHAHA!"
In the town square the Marines and the Buggy Pirates were still fighting. The Marines were using their almost overwhelming numbers to take down the pirates and they would have won a long time ago if it weren't for one person… 'Iron Mace' Alvida. Most of the marines were too enamored to get near her, the ones that did couldn't get a good hold of her because of her Slip Slip Fruit Powers, and finally there was her GIANT mace which had already clobbered over fifty marines.
WONK! CHONK! Another bunch of marines were sent flying courtesy of Iron Mace Alvida's iron mace and were then crushed with the follow up swing.
Over by the toppled scaffold, Buggy's hand twitched and he sat up. "That was weird… I saw a field of flowers," Buggy muttered as he recovered from his near-death experience.
"Buggy, you're alive!" Alvida realized.
"I WON'T DIE HERE!" Buggy snapped.
"This isn't good," said Alvida, "they're sending troops from Headquarters. It's never ending."
"Heh, I don't care! They can stick their noses…" Buggy trailed off and spun around and punched Moe in the face, POW! "DON'T MAKE ME SAY NOSES!"
"My bad…" Moe groaned as he was knocked out.
WONK! Alvida took out another love-struck marine and turned to Buggy, "What now?"
"We go after that little rubber twerp!" Buggy replied. "Mohji and Richie are burning his ship as we speak so he's got no place he can run to. All that's left for us to do is to do what Buggy Pirates do best, KICK HIS ASS!"
"YEAH!" the Buggy Pirates cheered.
"MOTOR!" Buggy called out. Two pairs of wheels that were connected by axles were thrown over to Buggy, "CHOP… CHOP… BUGGY!" Buggy dropped down and grabbed the front axle in his hands and wrapped his legs around the motor that was attached to the back axle. Buggy's separated and then reattached to the back of his neck so he could see in front of him. "BOMB ENGINE… IGNITE!" BOOOM! The motor exploded and Buggy the buggy raced off.
"SET THE RAMP!" Alvida ordered.
"RIGHT!" a bunch of Buggy Pirate agreed as they lifted up a long plank of wood and made it into a ramp.
"NO FRICTION!" called out Alvida as she slipped off her sandals then jumped up onto the top of the ramp, "SLIP… SLIP… SLIDE!" Alvida's slippery feet caused her to slide down the ramp and slide off after buggy Buggy.
"DON'T LET THOSE PIRATES ESCAPE!" a marine called out as Buggy's crew ran after Buggy and Alvida.
"WHITE OUT!" Captain Smoker's gloved hands suddenly became clouds of gray smoke that shot off after the fleeing Buggy Pirates. FWOOOSH! The smoke surrounded the pirate crew and lifted all them up off of the ground.
"SMOKER, YOU BASTARD!" Buggy snapped as he struggled against the smoke that was holding him.
"I can't waste my time with fools!" said Smoker.
"Wow, he's so strong!" a civilian exclaimed.
"So that's the power of the Smoke Smoke Fruit," another realized.
"He took out Buggy's entire crew just like that!" the first civilian commented.
"FIRE!" Smoker ordered. BOOOOM! Two marines fired cannon-like guns and launched nets at the trapped pirate crew. WHISH!
"SMOKER! YOU BASTARD!" Buggy shouted again, he, Alvida, and his entire crew were all trapped in the steel net and were then tied up with a long length of rope.
"I can't break free of this horrible steal net!" Alvida complained. "Grr… where'd they get a gun like that?"
"It's a Prison Bullet developed by the Marines to deal with Devil Fruit Users like us," Buggy answered. "Cowards!"
"I'll get the Straw Hat," Smoker told the marines, "Bring my Blower Bike!"
"YES SIR!" the marines agreed.
"This is heavy!" Usopp complained as he and Nami continued to run for the harbor. He was still lugging Sanji's enormous Blue-Finned Elephant Tuna.
"They're going to be after the Going Merry!" Nami told him. "The Marine might even already be there! We've got to get back to the ship as soon as possible!"
"Nami, can't we just drop the fish?" asked Usopp.
"NO!" Nami answered, "Just try to keep up!"
"I knew you would say that," Usopp groaned.
"Look, there's the harbor!" Nami pointed out. The harbor was off in a distance at the end of the street, but they still had a ways to go.
Down at the harbor, Ricky was surrounded on three sides. Shogi stood between him and the Going Merry, Cabaji stood on his left and had just pulled a sword out of his mouth, and Mohji was sitting on top of Richie who was on his right.
Ricky held up Akaikyuuketsuiki, "Alright, let's do this."
"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!" came a loud voice. The four pirates and the lion all turned to see Lieutenant Devo and Unit One of the Loguetown Marines standing behind them. "YOU'RE ALL UNDER ARREST!"
"Yeah… I'm a little busy right now," Ricky pointed out.
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH, PIRATE!" the Lieutenant snapped, "You filthy pirates can finish your quarrel in prison!"
Ricky glanced at the Buggy Pirates around him, "All in favor of not being arrested?" he inquired.
Mohji, Cabaji, Shogi and even Richie all raised a hand. "That's what I thought," Ricky commented, he jumped and lunged at Shogi, "THROW ME!"
WHAP! Shogi caught Ricky and threw him at Lt. Devo, "STRONGMAN TOSS!"
Ricky flew through the air and moved his legs out in front of him, "Flying… ARROW KICK!" THWHAM! Ricky slammed his legs into the surprised Lieutenant's chest and used him as a springboard. WHUMP! Devo went flying and smashed into the marines that were behind him, taking them down like a bunch of bowling pins. Ricky bounced off of him and went flying in the other direction, he spun around in midair with his sword out in front of him, "Red Blade… HURRICANE!" SLA-SLISH! Ricky slashed Shogi across the chest with his sword. Blood soaked the strongman's black tunic and he dropped down to the ground unconscious.
"YOU BASTARD!" Cabaji growled as he lashed out at Ricky with his own sword, KLANK! Ricky got his sword up and blocked, then pushed with all his strength and sent Cabaji staggering backwards.
Ricky spun around in time to see a giant lion lunging at him, PUNT! Ricky lashed out his leg and kicked Richie in the jaw, the lion's head snapped up into the air cause its rider to go flying off. Ricky lunged up off of the ground and then drove his feet down into Richie's head, "Bludgeon… STOMP!" WHOMP!
Ricky launched up off of the lion and flew up into the air as Mohji was coming down. Ricky raised his sword and spun around in midair, "Red Blade… VOLCANO!" SLA-SLISH! Ricky slashed Mohji across the chest while in mid air, then went down and landed on his feet, TMP! Mohji on the other hand landed hard on the ground, THUD! The beast tamer was left in an unconscious heap alongside the unmoving forms of Shogi and Richie.
"And then there was one," said Ricky as he turned around in time to block another sword strike from Cabaji.
"Hmph," Cabaji grunted, "You may have beaten those idiots, but you've never beaten me and you never will!"
"Special Attack… FRESH EGG STAR!" SPLAK! An egg came flying out of nowhere and impacted with the side of Cabaji's head. The egg cracked and the yoke dripped into Cabaji's visible eye.
"AAHHH! MY EYE!" Cabaji complained as he staggered backwards, momentarily blinded by the egg yoke.
"You're wide open!" Ricky called out as he spun around and slashed his sword, "Red Blade… TORNADO!" SLA-SLISH! Cabaji was slashed twice across the stomach and went flying backwards, already out cold.
Ricky panted slightly then turned and smiled, "Thanks Usopp."
Usopp and Nami were standing behind the squad of marines. Sanji's Blue-Finned Elephant Tuna was on the ground and Usopp was holding his slingshot.
Usopp looked surprised when he noticed the unconscious lion next to Ricky. "That story… it was true…" Usopp realized.
"Of course," Ricky replied.
"Well… in that case," Usopp took a deep breath and addressed the Marines, "I AM CAPTAIN USOPP! YOU MARINES HAD BETTER RUN NOW! I'VE GOT A BAND OF SIX HUNDRED MEN BEHIND ME!"
"Do you think I'm an idiot?" Lieutenant Devo growled as he staggered back up and stood over the pile of marines. He glanced around him and noticed the four unconscious Buggy Pirates and the three conscious Straw Hats. "Ehahaha, I hoped I'd be the one to catch you three. You're all under arrest!" SWISH! A split-second later Devo was pointing a pair of pistols at Ricky.
"NOW USOPP!" Ricky shouted.
Devo whirled around and saw Usopp standing there fumbling to load his slingshot, he quickly realized he'd been tricked, "SHIT!" the Lieutenant cursed, he spun around in time to see Ricky charging at him with his sword drawn, "Red Blade…"
Devo quickly pulled the triggers on his pistols, BANG! BANG!
THU-THUNK! The two bullets struck Ricky in the chest, but he kept going and slashed Devo across the chest as he went passed. SLISH! KRASH! Ricky lost his balance and went crashing down to the ground. Blood squirted out of the large gash Ricky had made across Devo's chest and the marine dropped to his knees. "Damn you... pirates..." he groaned before he flopped forward and laid on the ground unconscious.
"Ricky! You okay?" Nami asked in concern.
"Uhhh… Did I get 'im?" he groaned.
"Yeah, you got him alright," Usopp answered as he glanced at the Marine Lieutenant, Unit One, the giant lion, the lion-tamer, the strongman, and the acrobat, all of whom Ricky had knocked out, "you got all of them."
"Great," said Ricky. He put his sword away once it finished drinking all the blood it had been given during the battle, then let out another groan as he shakily stood up. He held his hand over the two blood bullet holes on his chest then turned to the other two. "Let's get to the ship. We need to get it ready to cast off."
VRRROOOOOOOOMMMM! Smoker was driving down the streets of Loguetown in a three-wheeled motorcycle called the Blower Bike. He was looking to cut off Straw Hat before he could escape.
"Damn this storm," Smoker thought to himself as he continued riding.
"Which way is the sea?" Zoro wondered.
"I don't know," Luffy admitted, "The rain makes it hard to tell where we're going."
"THERE THEY ARE!" came a loud voice as a squad of marines raced after the three pirates.
"Damn, they're like roaches!" Zoro complained, "you wanna stop an fight 'em?"
"There's no time for that," Sanji replied. But then the cook's eye turned into a heart as he spotted someone blocking their path. "WOW! WHO IS THAT!"
Sergeant Major Tashigi was standing in front of the three Straw Hats with her head bowed. "I didn't know you were Zoro," said Tashigi, "and a pirate as well. You lied. YOU'RE JUST ANOTHER LIAR!"
"OH GREAT! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO THAT GIRL?" Sanji demanded, always one to defend a woman, even if she was a marine.
Zoro ignored him and stepped passed both Sanji and Luffy to confront Tashigi, she'd insulted his honor by calling him a liar. His word meant a lot to him, especially since he had two oaths that he was trying to fulfill. "You never asked me what my name was," Zoro reminded her. "So I never lied."
"I'LL NEVER ALLOW YOU TO LEAVE TOWN WITH SUCH A LEGENDARY SWORD!" Tashigi yelled, "I'M GONNA TAKE THE WADO ICHIMONJI FROM YOU!"
"Come and get it," Zoro taunted her as he held the white handle of his trusty sword.
Tashigi drew her Shigure and charged at Zoro, who quickly drew Wado Ichimonji and blocked the strike, KLANK! The two of them were in a deadlock until Tashigi slid her sword along Zoro's then pulled it back and lashed out at him again, KLANG! But Zoro blocked that attack too.
"YOU JERK! YOU CAN'T FIGHT A GIRL!" Sanji scolded him.
"I CAN HANDLE MYSELF!" Tashigi snapped. "THIS IS A FIGHT BETWEEN THE TWO OF US! I DON'T NEED ANY HELP! SO BACK OFF!"
"You heard her, get out of here," Zoro instructed.
"Let's go," Luffy decided as he ran passed the two swordsmen and continued towards the harbor.
Sanji went to follow him, but couldn't resist getting in a parting shot, "ZORO, IF YOU HURT HER, I'M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS!"
"Tashigi's got one!" one of the marines exclaimed as they watched the two swordsmen in a deadlock.
Zoro took on hand off of the handle of Wado Ichimonji and still managed to keep Tashig's sword at bay, he reached to his side and drew Yubashiri. KLANK! Tashigi pulled her sword back and blocked Zoro's attack, then lunged backwards and blocked Zoro's follow-up attack, KLANG!
Zoro's sword slid along Tashigi's, but she quickly slipped around him and lashed out at him again. KLANK! But Zoro managed to block the strike with Yubashiri and then followed up with a series of two-sword strikes, KLANK! KLANG! KLANK! "RAAHH!" Zoro let out a loud yell as he pushed Tashigi backwards and backed her into the front of building. KLANG! KLINK! Using a two-sword combo attack Zoro knocked Tashigi's sword away from her then stabbed Wado Ichimonji into the wall beside her head, CHUNK!
Tashigi stared wide-eyed at Zoro knowing that she'd lost, "I hate to disappoint," Zoro growled, "but you'll never get this sword from me."
Zoro pulled his sword out of the wall and put both of his blades away. The marines were just as shocked as Tashigi, "I can't believe she lost," one said.
"I've never seen her lose before," another commented.
"Now I think it's time for me to go," Zoro decided as he turned and walked away.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU KILL ME?" Tashigi yelled after him. "IT'S CAUSE I'M A GIRL, ISN'T IT?"
"You're lucky Zoro, being born as a man," said Kuina after their last duel.
"IT'S PATHETIC THAT YOU CAN'T FIGHT ME BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN!" Tashigi shouted. "IT'S EMBARRASSING! YOU MAY BE PHYSICALLY STRONGER, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE GUTS! THIS SWORD ISN'T JUST FOR DECORATION!"
"WOULD YOU SHUT UP JUST FOR ONE MINUTE!" Zoro hollered back at her. "YOU LOOK EXACTLY LIKE A FRIEND OF MINE WHO DIED A LONG TIME AGO! STOP IMITATING HER!"
"EXCUSE THE HELL OUT OF ME!" Tashigi argued, "IT'S NOT MY FAULT I SOUND LIKE YOUR DEAD GIRLFRIEND! I'M NOT IMITATING ANYONE, YOU JERK! DO YOU EVER THINK BEFORE YOU TALK?"
"WHAT'D YOU SAY?" Zoro demanded.
"Uh… should we stop them?" one marine wondered.
"I'm not getting in the middle of that," the other replied. The marines settled for watching the two bicker and argue.
"THE HARBOR IS UP AHEAD!" Luffy exclaimed. But then they noticed a figure standing under the Loguetown Arc.
"Now what?" questioned Sanji.
"Straw Hat Luffy," said Smoker as he stood in front of his Blower Bike blocking their path. "You're finally here. I already told you that you couldn't make it to the Grand Line without beating me first."
FWOOSH! Smoker's arms turned to smoke then flew at Luffy and grabbed him.
"Hey, what's this?" Luffy wondered as he struggled against the smoke.
"I ate the Smoke Smoke Fruit," Smoker answered, "I can turn my body into smoke whenever I want."
"YOU BASTARD!" Sanji yelled as he charged Smoker and swung his leg THROUGH Smoker's head. Sanji stared in surprise as Smoker's head reformed around his ankle.
"Don't mess with me, you weakling," Smoker growled as he reached up and grabbed Sanji's ankle, "WHITE BLOW!" FWOOOSH! One of Smoker's smoke arms flew out and slammed into Sanji's stomach and sent him crashing into a building behind him, WHAM!
"SANJI!" Luffy exclaimed, he glared at Smoker and lashed out his rubber arm at him, "GUM… GUM… PISTOL!" FWOOOSH! Luffy's fist went through Smoker's stomach.
"WHITE OUT!" Smoker became a cloud of smoke and surrounded Luffy. "You're not worth thirty million berries." Came Smoker's voice from behind Luffy, he grabbed Luffy's head and leapt up into the air, pulling Luffy along with him, then came crashing down to the ground on top of him, WHAM!
Smoker shoved Luffy's face into the ground and reached back for the handle of his Jutte. "Your luck's run out," said Smoker.
WHAP! "I think not," came a voice as a hand grabbed onto the handle of Smoker's Jutte and kept him from drawing it.
"It's you!" Smoker realized as he stared up at the green cloaked figure behind him.
"Hey, what's going on?" asked Luffy, who's face was still pressed into the ground, "Who's there?"
"The Government is after your head," Smoker growled.
"The world is still waiting for our answer," said the man. "STORM!"
FWWWOOOOOOSSHHHH! SHHHWOOOOO! A huge green wind came out of the sky and blew through the streets Loguetown sending everyone flying. Buggy, Alvida, and Buggy's Pirates went flying. Cabaji, Shogi, Mohji, and Richie were all sent flying. Smoker, Tashigi, and the Marines were sent flying, civilians were sent flying. Luffy, Sanji, and Zoro were sent flying. Ricky, Nami, and Usopp had to cling to the railing of the Going Merry to keep from going flying while the Merry itself went floating away from the shore. WOOOOOSSHHH!
As soon as it started, the wind stopped and the rain started again. Zoro staggered out of a pile of debris and spotted Luffy lying on his back nearby, "Come on!" Zoro snapped as he grabbed the captain and ran for the harbor. Sanji popped out an alley a moment later and ran after them.
"What the hell was that?" he wondered.
The reached the harbor and spotted the Going Merry off in a distance. "NAMI! WAIT FOR ME!" Sanji swooned.
"HURRY UP AND GET ON!" Usopp yelled.
Zoro and Sanji stood at the edge of the harbor and realized Luffy was missing, "GUM… GUM… ROCKET!" BWWOOOOINNG! Luffy came flying over and slammed into Sanji and Zoro, WHAM! The three of them went flying through the air towards the Going Merry.
"Heads up," said Ricky as he dove to the side, Nami heeded his advice and dove out of the way, Usopp wasn't so lucky, WHAM! Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji came crashing down and landed on top of the sniper. "That went well."
"You're here!" Nami exclaimed as she smiled down at the four pirates who were in a heap on the deck.
"Set a course for the Grand Line," Ricky advised, "If you'll excuse me, I've gotta remove some bullets from my chest."
Smoker stood at the harbor watching the Going Merry sail off, a pirate had escaped Loguetown on his watch. And the reason for the pirate's escape was standing on a nearby roof.
"HAHAHAHAHA!" the cloaked man laughed. "GO! If that's what you want, then by all means make your dream happen!"
"Why did you help him, DRAGON?" Smoker demanded.
"It is not our place to come between that man and his chosen path Smoker," 'Dragon' replied.
"Set sail, we're going after him," Smoker decided.
"What?" questioned Masshikaku.
"We'll enter the Grand Line," Smoker stated.
"But Captain, you can't abandon your post on this island!" Masshkaku protested, "What would command say?"
"Tell them, 'I don't care about orders'," said Smoker.
"I'm coming with you!" Tashigi announced as she held up her sheathed sword. "I have to hunt down Roronoa Zoro! He's mine! I will get revenge!"
"I'm coming too," came the voice of Lieutenant Devo as he staggered up to his feet. He was still bleeding from the wound on his stomach. "That scumbag One Eye won't get away with what he did to me!"
Buggy the Clown's Pirate Ship sailed away from the Loguetown Harbor. "What a flashy gust of wind," Buggy commented. Alvida and his entire crew had managed to escape the island. "I have never been one to turn down luck that's in my favor."
"Where are we headed now?" asked Alvida.
"The Grand Line!" Buggy decided. "We're gonna get that Straw Hat is it's the last thing we do!"
"Ugggghhh," Cabaji, Mohji, Shogi, and Richie all groaned, the four of them had all suffered injuries from their fight with Ricky. They weren't as excited about facing the Straw Hat's again as Buggy was.
"The Grand Line… how nostalgic," Buggy commented.
"It feels like the Merry's gonna capsize!" Luffy exclaimed as they sailed through the storm towards the Grand Line. The Straw Hats were all standing out on the deck in the rain. Ricky had removed the bullets from his chest and was still wearing his black and red cowboy hat, which did wonders at keeping the rain out of his face.
"HEY LOOK, A LIGHT!" Nami pointed out as she spotted a lighthouse off in a distance. "It's one of the guideposts. The entrance to the Grand Line is somewhere ahead."
"The Grand Line is somewhere ahead…" Luffy repeated with a smile.
"What now?" Nami asked the Captain.
"Do we have to go there in the middle of a fricken hurricane?" questioned Usopp who was clinging to the mast. Everyone just smiled in response.
"I think we should say something to mark the occasion," Sanji decided as he lugged a barrel of grog onto the deck. Sanji lifted his leg up and placed it on the top of the barrel, "I'm gonna find the All Blue."
Luffy put his foot on the barrel next to Sanji's, "I'm gonna be King of the Pirates."
Zoro put his foot on the barrel on the other side of Sanji's, "I'll become the World's Greatest Swordsman."
Nami put her foot on the barrel next to Luffy's, "I'm going to draw a map of the world."
Usopp put his foot on the barrel between Nami and Zoro's, "I'm gonna become a Brave Warrior of the Sea."
Ricky grinned and put his foot on the barrel between Luffy and Nami's, "I'm gonna find the One Piece."
"LET'S GO TO THE GRAND LINE!" Luffy exclaimed. The six of them raised their legs up into the air and brought them down on the barrel, breaking it opened so they could celebrate the start of the next part of the journey.
"NAMI! EMERGENCY!" Luffy shouted sometime later as he hung upside-down from the sheep figure head. "THE LIGHT FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE WENT OUT!"
"It's a lighthouse, it goes off sometimes," Nami explained as she exited the galley wearing a pink raincoat. "You have me as a navigator, so don't worry. I know the way."
"Hmm, you're right," Luffy agreed as he hung on the end of his 'special seat' seemingly oblivious to the storm raging around him.
"Would you get off of there?" asked Nami. "You can't swim… remember?"
"You just want my Special Seat!" Luffy refused.
"WHO SAYS I WANT IT?" Nami snapped. She calmed down and looked at the chart, "But we might be in trouble soon if this chart's to be trusted."
Luffy and Nami went in the galley where the rest of the crew was sitting around the table. "Look at this," Nami called out as she slammed the chart down on the table, WHAP! "As unimaginable as it may seem, the entrance to the Grand Line is UP a mountain!"
"A MOUNTAIN?" Usopp looked terrified at the prospect, his eyes bugged out, his head tilted to the side, and his mouth dropped opened.
Zoro and Sanji only seemed to be surprised, but Luffy was grinning. Ricky was grinning too, but because of Usopp's amusing over-the-top reaction.
"I couldn't believe it either," said Nami, "but the chart's clear. The mountain is riddled with small canals. We'll somehow have to go over it."
"Cool! Sounds like fun!" Luffy commented.
"Even if there is a canal, there's no way a ship can go up a mountain," Zoro reasoned.
"But that's what the map says!" Nami insisted.
"MISS. NAMI'S ALWAYS RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO NAVIGATING!" Sanji snapped.
"Yeah, but remember, you stole that chart from Buggy the Clown," Zoro reminded them. "Can we trust it?"
"So we use the canal to go up the mountain," Luffy repeated, "It must be a Mystery Mountain!"
"Do we really have to go up the mountain?" questioned Zoro, trying figure out another way. "Maybe we can just go around it and get into the Grand Line that way."
"THAT'S A BAD IDEA ZORO!" Luffy scolded him.
"He's right, there's a reason for that," Nami said.
"WE'RE SUPPOSED TO GO UP THE MOUNTAIN CAUSE IT'S THERE!" Luffy exclaimed.
POW! Nami punched him in the head, "THAT'S NOT IT!"
"Hey Ricky, would you mind contributing?" Sanji growled at the First Mate.
Ricky, who was calmly leaning back in his chair with his feet up and his cowboy hat tilted downward so it hid his eye and eye patch, grinned, "Finally remembered I'm here did ya?" Ricky asked as he tilted his hat up.
"That's right!" Nami realized. "You've been to the Grand Line before. How to we get in? Do we really have to go up a mountain? How is it possible?"
Ricky sat up and looked at the chart, it showed the World's four oceans separated by the Grand Line and the Red Line. An area in the exact middle of the map was marked Reverse Mountain. It had five canals on it that met at the top and each split off and went down into different oceans. One was from the North Blue, one was from the South Blue, one was from the West Blue, and one was from the East Blue. The final canal was from the Grand Line itself.
"The mountain's called Reverse Mountain," Ricky explained. "We go up it through this canal here." Ricky pointed to the canal going from the East Blue to the top of the mountain. "Then we go down through this canal here…" Ricky pointed to the canal that went from the top of the mountain to the Grand Line. "…and we'll be in the Grand Line."
"But how's it possible?" asked Nami. "Water current isn't supposed to flow UP."
Ricky shook his head and smiled, "You think that's weird, wait till we actually get there," he told her. "Waves are constantly crashing into Reverse Mountain from every direction. There's so much water pressure that the current just goes straight up to the top. I've been through Reverse Mountain four different times. I assure you that it's possible."
"So it's a Mystery Mountain!" Luffy exclaimed.
Ricky sweat-dropped while Nami hit him on the back of the head, WHAP! "Weren't you listening?"
"Why can't we just go around it?" questioned Zoro.
Ricky pointed to the map at two strips of water that ran parallel to the Grand Line, "We can't go in by going around the mountain because of the Calm Belts. They…" Ricky trailed up and looked up at the crew and seemingly counted them. "Luffy… Zoro… Nami… Usopp… Sanji… if we're all in here," Ricky glanced beside the table and noted that no one was manning the whipstaff and steering the ship, "Then who's driving?"
"OH NO!" Usopp shrieked as he bolted to the window to see where they'd ended up while no one was steering. "HEY! The storm is gone!"
"Yeah, the weather's calm," Sanji observed as he looked out the window beside Usopp.
Ricky's eye went wide, "Uh oh."
"Uh oh?" repeated Zoro.
Nami paled and bolted over to the window pushing Usopp and Sanji too the side, "UH OH!"
"Uh oh," said Luffy, since everyone else was saying it.
"WE'RE IN DEEP TROUBLE!" Nami yelled.
"No we're in big trouble," Ricky corrected her.
"What's going on?" Zoro demanded.
"We've drifted into one of the Calm Belts," answered Nami.
Ricky slowly got up from the table, "Zoro, you're about to find out why we can't go around the mountain." Ricky calmly walked out of the galley while the others raced out after him.
"Whoa!" Luffy exclaimed, "So this is the Calm Belt!" The sky above them were clear with the exception of a few spares clouds. There wasn't even wind blowing.
"Look! The storm's all the way over there!" Usopp pointed out. The dark clouds from the storm they had previously been sailing through were behind them. It looked like the course was clear.
"What's so bad about this?" asked Zoro.
Ricky came out of the storage room carrying a bunch of oars, "Just shut up and start rowing," he instructed.
"Why do we have to row?" questioned Luffy. "This isn't a rowboat."
"Why do we have to go back to the storm?" Usopp inquired.
"JUST SHUT UP AND DO WHAT HE SAYS!" Nami ordered, she wasn't as collected as Ricky was.
"I don't get it," said Zoro. "Why do we have to leave? We're going around the mountain. Shouldn't we be in the Grand Line?"
"IF IT WAS THAT EASY ANYONE COULD DO IT!" Nami shouted. "The Grand Line is surrounded by the two Calm Belts where no wind blows, that's why they're calm, because there's no wind."
"You're right, there's no wind at all!" Luffy realized.
"BECAUSE THIS SEA IS…" Nami started to yell but was cut off when the ship started shaking. THOOOM!
"Too late," said Ricky as he turned and went back into the storage room.
"WWWWAAAAHHH! AN EARTHQUAKE!" Luffy shouted.
"DON'T BE STUPID!" Usopp scolded him. "WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN!"
THOOOOM! The Going Merry suddenly rocketed up into the air and the Straw Hats stared in shock as they suddenly found themselves on the snout of an ENORMOUS Sea Monster.
The sea monster they were on was one of many. It was HUGE and made the Going Merry seem in comparison. It looked like a cow-spotted dinosaur with a huge blue fin going down its back and was roughly the size of one.
Also down in the Calm Belt was a gigantic orange puffer fish, a huge red centipede with pincers about ten times the size of the Merry, a pink and white bird with a freakishly long neck that actually went up above the monster they were on, a green and yellow striped snake-like creature that had the snout of an anteater, a huge dark blue cobra-like monster, and finally a yellow frog which was small in comparison to the other monsters but was still many, many times the size of the Going Merry.
"THEY'RE HUGE!" Luffy yelled as he stared down at the group of monster.
Zoro and Sanji were both speechless as they stared down at the enormous monsters. Usopp was so scared he was literally foaming at the mouth.
"IT'S A NEST OF NEPTUNIANS!" Nami screamed as she clung desperately to the central mast.
Ricky calmly walked out of the storage room carrying a length of rope. "See, what did I tell you? Big trouble." Ricky walked over to the main mast and tied the rope around it. This was made difficult by the fact that Nami, who had been clinging to the mast, was now clinging to him.
Ricky took advantage of the situation and tied the other end of the rope around Nami's waist. "Wh-what're you doing?" Nami stammered.
"If the ship goes flying, you won't," Ricky explained, "hold onto the rest of the rope, I'll get us out of here."
Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji had regained their wits and had each grabbed one of the paddles that Ricky had brought out earlier. "When the monster dives, we start rowing as fast as we can," Zoro instructed the others, "Got it?"
"RIGHT!" agreed Luffy.
"Actually, I'll take care of this," Ricky volunteered as he picked up the remaining paddle then surprised everyone by leaping out of the Going Merry and onto the snout of the gigantic sea monster.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" Nami shrieked. Ricky was supposed to be the rational one, but he just jumped out of the boat onto the snout of a sea monster. He was just a tiny speck compared to it.
"Hold onto something," Ricky advised as he took his paddle… and started tickling the monster's snout next to one of its huge nostrils. "Tickle… tickle… tickle…"
SNIFF! Monster sniffed as it felt something tickling its nose. SNIFF! SNIFF! The monster's nose twitched but the tickling continued. "AAAAAHHH… AAAAHHH…"
"AAACHOOOOOOOOO!" The monster let out a monstrous sneeze and the Going Merry was sent flying.
"YOU COULD'VE TOLD US WHAT YOU WERE PLANNING!" Sanji yelled as the Going Merry went rocketing through the air while Ricky was left standing on the snout of the Neptunian.
The Merry tumbled through the air and flipped over, with the exception of Nami, who was tied to the mast, everyone was sent flying and desperately grabbed onto part of the ship to keep from falling off.
"AAAAHHH! THE MONSTER LIZARD IS FOLLOWING US!" Luffy screamed. The yellow frog was chasing after the Going Merry, intent on eating the ship and its occupants.
Suddenly something whizzed passed him, it took Luffy a second to realize that it was Usopp and another to realize that he was about to fall into the enormous frog's mouth.
"OH NO! USOPP FELL OVERBOARD!" Luffy shouted. SWOOOP! Luffy shot his arm out and grabbed onto the back of Usopp's overalls, WHAP! Luffy yanked Usopp back to the ship right as the frog was about to close its mouth around him.
The Straw Hats screamed as the Going Merry went flying and eventually came down back in the storm outside of the Calm Belt. SPLLOOOOSH!
"Thank goodness all we have to deal with is a storm," Luffy commented as, he, Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp laid flat on their backs on the deck. Nami was slumped against the mast with the rope still around her waist.
TMP! Ricky landed on the deck and pulled his eye patch back down. "And that, is why we can't go around the mountain," he said calmly.
"Okay… I get it now…" Zoro told him.
Nami untied herself and a second later she had pounced on Ricky and was strangling him. "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?"
"Ned's ticklish," Ricky replied.
"NED?" Nami repeated, she stopped strangling him.
"The Neptunian we were on," Ricky explained. "I've seen it before. It's the biggest one in the Calm Belt and acts as the King of the Neptunians."
"AND YOU NAMED IT 'NED'?" questioned Nami, she seemed more upset about Ricky's name for the monster than his escape plan.
"I didn't see any of you guys getting close enough to a Neptunian to name it," Ricky retorted. "Actually… Usopp, you can name the frog if you want."
Usopp got over the shock of seeing the monsters in the Calm Belt and nearly being eaten and actually thought about it. "Hmm… how 'bout Gamakiiro?"
"Yellow frog? That's redundant," Ricky commented.
"You're worse than he is!" Nami snapped.
"How about Super-Yellow-Lizard-Monster?" Luffy suggested.
"THAT'S EVEN WORSE!" Nami yelled. "IT'S A FROG, NOT A LIZARD!"
"Can we forget about naming the lizard? We have a more pressing matter to attend to," Zoro reminded them. "We still have to figure out how to go UP the mountain."
"Oh that, no problem," said Nami. "Compared to the monsters in the Calm Belt, going up the mountain wasn't so bad. Ricky was right before, the powerful currents constantly crashing against the mountain will be enough to get us up to the top."
"But we'll have to be careful," she continued. "If we miss the canal, we'll crash full-force into the Redline. The Merry wouldn't survive the impact and we'd all drown, whether we can swim or not."
"So it really is a Mystery Mountain," Luffy realized, causing the crew to sweat-drop.
"He's never gonna get it," Nami sighed.
"YOU'RE AMAZING MISS. NAMI!" Sanji swooned.
"I've never heard of a ship going up a mountain," said Zoro.
"I've heard something," Sanji commented.
"About the Mystery Mountain?" questioned Zoro.
"No, the old rat-bag told me stories about the Grand Line," Sanji answered. "He said it's very tough to get in there and most pirates don't survive."
"Nami… I'm sure your comfortable and all... but if it wouldn't mind… GET! OFF!" Ricky demanded, who was still on his back under the navigator.
Nami sprang up and pulled up the hood of her pink raincoat so no one could see her flushed face.
"HEY! I SEE THE MYSTERY MOUNTAIN!" Luffy announced to the others as he stared off the side of the ship. "IT'S HUGE!"
"WWAAAAHH! THAT'S INSANELY HUGE!" Usopp screamed.
"There it is, the entrance the Grand line," said Nami.
"Wow! Awesome!" Luffy exclaimed. "It's bigger than I thought!"
"I CAN'T EVEN SEE THE TOP!" Usopp shrieked. "TI'S TALLER THAN THE CLOUDS!"
"There's a fog surrounding everything!" Nami pointed out. "I can't see anything!"
The Merry suddenly floated into a stronger current and picked up speed. The current was carrying them straight to the mountain. "WE'RE BEING SUCKED IN!" Luffy shouted. "GRAB THE WHIPSTAFF AND HOLD THE RUDDER STEADY!"
"WE'RE ON IT!" Usopp and Sanji replied as they ran into the galley and grabbed the whipstaff and tried to steer the ship in the extremely strong current.
"NAMI! WHERE'S THAT ENTRANCE YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT?" Luffy yelled.
"There's a crack in the mountain ahead of us," Ricky pointed out. "The canal's in there."
"NAMI, GIVE US A DIRECTION!" Usopp called out as he and Sanji fought against the whipstaff.
"Straight ahead!" Nami told them.
"You can't be serious!" Usopp protested.
"Trust me!" Nami assured him.
"Have we made it?" asked Luffy. "Is that the canal entrance?"
"Yup," Ricky answered as he calmly stared in front of them.
"Am I dreaming?" Zoro wondered as he stared through a pair of binoculars. "This is impossible. The stream is going up the mountain."
In front of them was the canal. It was marked with a series of ten gates. "We have to make our way through those water gates just right!" Nami called out to the others. "Or we'll crash into the Grand Line and be smashed into a million pieces!"
The Merry continued forward but started pulling to the left, if this kept up they'd crash.
"WE'RE DRIFTING OFF COURSE!" Luffy exclaimed. "WE'VE GOTTA GO MORE TO THE RIGHT, THE RIGHT!"
"Right? You mean starboard?" questioned Usopp as he and Sanji struggled against the whipstaff. The rudder was hard to control with the powerful current going around it.
Kreeeek-KRACK! Usopp and Sanji pushed too hard and the whipstaff snapped off and sent the two pirates tumbling into the wall of the galley.
"THE RUDDER!" Luffy, Zoro, and Nami screamed.
"That's not good," Ricky commented, he was still calm even in the desperate situation. "If we don't change course we're gonna hit the first gate."
"GUM… GUM… BALLOON!" BOING! Luffy leapt out of the ship and inflated himself like a balloon, he slammed into the first water gate and then the Going Merry slammed into him, SPLOING!
But Luffy's crazy plan worked and the Going Merry bounced off of him and changed course and was now going straight through the first water gate.
"LUFFY!" Ricky and Zoro shouted at the same time. Ricky practically tore his eye patch off and stretched his arm out and then yanked it back. The Devil's Eye's telekinetic ability grabbed hold of Luffy and mimicked Ricky's action, yanking Luffy back to the ship. WOOOSH!
"GRAB HOLD!" Zoro called out as he held out his hand while Luffy came flying towards him.
"Zoro… duck," Ricky warned the swordsman as he dove to the side. WHAM! Luffy slammed into Zoro and both of them went crashing down to deck. Ricky tugged his eye patch back down and stood up. He was able to maintain control due to his brief usage of the eye's powers.
"YEAH! WE MADE IT!" Usopp and Sanji cheered as they got back up and did a dance. Everyone was safe and they weren't going to crash.
The Going Merry was going straight ahead and in no time had gone through all ten water gates and was now on its way up Reverse Mountain. The Going Merry went up and up and up, higher and higher and higher. They passed the gray storm clouds and just kept going up into the sky.
Nami smiled and threw off her pink raincoat. They'd just sailed right out of the storm and were heading to the top of the mountain.
"WHOA! LOOK HOW HIGH WE ARE!" Luffy exclaimed, "WE'RE IN THE CLOUDS!"
"We're going passed the clouds," Ricky corrected him, "We're above them."
The Merry kept going and the Straw Hats spotted the top of the mountain up ahead of them. They saw the water splashing upward where all five canals met. Sanji sat on top of the galley in front of Nami's tangerine grove. Usopp clung halfway up the central mast. Zoro leaned against the railing on the front deck, Nami was leaning against the railing opposite him. Ricky was leaning against the back railing of the front deck of the ship, he was slightly to the side so he could see passed Luffy who was sitting on his special seat.
"It's amazing! We've done it!" Nami exclaimed, "We've reached the summit!"
FWOOOOSH! The Going Merry kept sailing and reached top of the mountain and was launched up into the air and over the mountain.
"WOOOHOOO!" Luffy cheered as the Merry flew through the air… then came down.
"WAAAH!" Five of the Straw Hats were left dangling up in the air due to the Merry's sudden descent, Ricky had the foresight to grab onto the railing he was leaning against and was still in the same spot when the other five came back down and landed safely in the previous spots.
Now they were going down the fifth canal into the Grand Line. They'd made it. "We're going down!" Ricky called out.
They were one step closer on their journey, they were on their way down to the Grand Line, on their way to make their dreams come true.
"To be the World's Greatest Swordsman," Zoro thought.
"To find the All Blue," Sanji said to himself.
"To draw a map of the entire world," Nami thought.
"To become a Brave Warrior of the Sea," Usopp recited in his mind.
"To find the One Piece," Ricky thought with a full-blown smile on his face as he pinned his hat on his head with his arm.
"To be King of the Pirates," Luffy said in his head as he pinned his straw hat to his head with his arm. "I CAN SEE IT! THIS IS THE GREASTEST SEA IN THE WHOLE WORLD! IT'S THE GRAND LINE!"
Ricky smiled as he stared through the clouds at the legendary ocean that was awaiting them and whispered, "I'm home."
"LET'S GOOOO!" Luffy cheered as the Going Merry continued on its path downward and took them closer to their dreams. New adventures, new friends, and new enemies awaited the Straw Hat Pirates in the Grand Line.
AND THAT'S THE END! The East Blue Saga is over and Straw Hat's have finally made it to the Legendary Grand Line!
But there's plenty of adventure ahead, keep your eyes peeled for my next story, Another Nakama II. I'm going to be taking a month-long break between now and when I post the first chapter of the second story in the series. I'll use that time to make some headway on that story and get used to my new semester in college. But I promise, the first chapter of Another Nakama II will be out on September 22nd 2010. During that time, feel free to go back and re-read this story now that you've reached the end. I pride myself on my detailed descriptions and made a point to include numerous hints about Ricky's true identity throughout the course of the story.
'Till Next Time…