The truly terrifying thing about it was that not one of them made any effort to hide.
Monkey D. Luffy was long dead and gone – it seemed every legend was doomed to die young. Every Pirate King, at least.
The Mugiwara had no funeral. Instead, he had celebrations: everywhere the word traveled, parties sprang up. They were not out of joy at his death, but at his life. Whole nations celebrated for days, drunk and laughing and crying in the streets: Alabasta, Skypeia, and Amazon Lily chief among them. Villages scattered across the Grand Line and all the other Blues rejoiced until they dropped as one from exhaustion. The ocean lit up with lights from ships everywhere, and crewmembers danced past dawn.
And when it was all over, not a one of them hid. In only a few months after the Death, the Pirate King's Navigator was sighted. And not just by one or two dubious sources, but by millions, standing by the side of Queen Vivi as she was. She became official Cartographer and Advisor to the Alabasta kingdom, and about half the Treasury was eventually hers by way of various debts.
A year and a half after, the Marines finally got around to sending a platoon to assess the situation and confirm the news. She greeted the Captain with a stuck-out tongue and twinkling fingers, winking obnoxiously behind Queen Vivi's back.
It took much longer to find the others. The King's Cook was next – out of nowhere in the third year came advertisements for the New Baratie in an unknown patch of sea that was marked on all the maps in curling letters as: All Blue.
His restaurant was a resounding success, to those strong enough to make it there. It served everyone equally and the food was unmatched. Dishes were served from around the world all at once, and as long as the customers cleaned their plates there was minimal bloodshed.
Two Admirals came this time. They ate at the restaurant for a day straight, paid their bill, and left the way they had come.
The Doctor and the Historian were next, at almost exactly the same time, though on different halves of the world. The Doctor had returned to Sakura Kingdom and a second member of the Mugiwara's lived in a castle.
Sakura Kingdom had made no fuss about it and since they were rarely visited it took five years until a shipwrecked crew was nursed from the jaws of death and spread the news. The island became almost a pilgrimage for the ill and not one was turned away.
Across the world in South Blue, on a small island that held no affiliations whatsoever with the Mugiwaras, a beautiful woman with six arms was seen reading a book on the beach, fanning herself, holding an umbrella over her head, and sipping from a frosted drink simultaneously. The villagers would have thought her a goddess had they not known better; instead, they bowed and made sure to send a child over with a book every day. She smiled and accepted every one and the word got out like rocketfire.
Neither was visited by the Marines.
The King's Sniper was spotted at Elbaf when a Marine fleet was trying to recruit new giant guards. He was perched comfortably on the shoulder of the tallest giant there, and when he saw them he laughed along with all the other warriors, screamed "Sogeking Super Shot of Death!" and hurled a rubber-band three hundred feet to hit the panicking Captain on the nose.
They left with no new guards, though a pale and slightly sickly-looking – though beautiful – woman did offer them apologies on the way out.
The King's Musician made an abrupt reappearance six years after when the latest newcomers to the Grand Line were welcomed by the sight of a dancing skeleton cavorting on top of a gargantuan scarred whale. The skeleton was wearing a tattered suit and top-hat and playing 'Bink's Sake'. The whale sang along, creating waves that rocked the ship and stunned the crew to silence.
Reverse Mountain was never officially visited by the Marines, but not two months after the first song, a ship with furled sails dropped anchor and a crew in uniform listened and sang along.
Exactly fourteen days after the tenth anniversary of the Death, the King's Shipwright returned to Water 7. He was greeted with a party on the docks and posters strung throughout the city proclaiming that Aniki was home. He didn't apologize for the wait; instead he led tours of the Millenium Sunny and complained about how hard it was to find enough soda to keep both himself and the ship SU-PER all the time.
By this point, a Marine Base had been long built in Water 7. The Shipwright set up shop next door to the building and did their repairs on a regular basis as officials looked the other way.
The First Mate was missing for so long that some began to speculate that he had actually died with his Captain, despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary. Had it been any other crew, his laying low would have been expected, but as things were, the World's Greatest Swordsman was impatiently waited for year after year.
In the end it took twenty-six straight years before anyone saw him. But halfway through that twenty-sixth year a man with green hair and three katanas on his belt stepped off a tiny dinghy and straight into the nearest pub. The straw hat hung round his neck and rested on his back as, two days later and just out of the pub, he marched into the Grand Palace of Alabasta – straight past both the Queen and the current negotiations meeting between the World Government and Alabasta.
With a scowl on his face, he slammed a worn piece of paper down in front of the Queen's Advisor and said, "Oi, witch, your map was terrible. How could you not even know North is up? You got me lost for years."
The ensuing violence only ended when the First Mate and Swordsman escaped the Palace at a run, screaming over his shoulder that he did not want to fight Captain Tashigi no matter how much she may have improved.
The Captain later claimed that the damage to the marketplace was completely his fault, and that the entire affair was in no way work-related. She was not questioned.
In the end, life wasn't really so different after the Second Pirate King; it was life and people lived it. The only addition was a new legend or nine, inspiration enough for pirates for years to come. The Age of Pirates outlasted itself again and nations across the world questioned the World Government's practices frequently enough to keep it in check. Dreams were cherished, Devil Fruits were clamored after, and small children grew up with another D. to wonder at wide-eyed.
All of this was commonplace enough in the grand scheme. The one truly significant, truly amazing and terrifying thing, was that not a single Mugiwara showed any shame. Not a single Mugiwara hid or regretted or was dragged away to prison.
And not a single person questioned them that right.