CHAPTER 0: PROLOGUE - Goodbye Strawhats! Zoro's journey begins again.
"Th-Thank God! That old man is really something!" Usopp said as he trembled at the sight he has just witness.
The legendary pirate "Dark King" Silvers Rayleigh had just blocked a kick from the "light man" Admiral Kizaru saving the life of the badly beaten Zoro. "Oi, Zoro! Are you ok!" Usopp asked as he shook the fallen swordsman. Before he received and answer he heard Luffy yell at the top of his lungs.
"USOPP, BROOK! GRAB ZORO AND RUN!" Luffy yelled.
"Let's go Brook!" Usopp said as he scooped up Zoro and ran away from the Admiral.
"EVERYONE! THINK OF ONLY GETTING AWAY!" Luffy yelled "RIGHT NOW, WE CAN'T BEAT THESE GUYS!"
Usopp continued to run away from the fight between the Light man and the Dark King. Then all of a sudden a bright light appeared around them. "UWAAAH! IT'S SO BRIGHT!" Usopp yelled as he was blinded.
"IT'S LIGHT! IS SOMETHING COMING!" Brook said wondering if it was an attack or teleport technique from Kizaru. Then all of a sudden the light died down. When they once again regained sight, they saw that once again Rayleigh had saved them from the Admiral.
"T-T-THAT WAS SO SCARY!" Brook reacted. "That old man saved us again…." Usopp said as he shifted the exhausted Zoro onto his back so he could move a little easier. Not even getting a moments rest, the two straw hat pirates heard a new voice ring out across the battle field.
"PX-1! RORONOA IS ON HIS LAST LEGS! START FROM THERE!" The man roared out. Usopp and Brook didn't need any command both bolted away from the huge Pacifista. Zoro knew that he was holding back his friends escape. He gritted his teeth at how useless he was being in this situation.
"Leave me…" Zoro blurted out.
"Huh?" Usopp answered not fully believing what he had heard.
"….I'll let you guys escape!" Zoro said as forceful as he could.
"DON'T BE STUPID! RIGHT NOW, YOUR'RE NOT OF ANY MORE USE THAN I AM! WE'RE GETTING AWAY TOGETHER!" Usopp raged. "THAT'S WHAT LUFFY TOLD US TO DO!"
"GYAAAH! HERE HE COMES!" Brooks yelled out cutting off Usopp and Zoro's argument. Then all of a sudden the living skeleton stopped and turned to the charging cyborg.
"Please, go on ahead!" Brook said steeling himself and preparing to protect his friends.
"STOP BROOK!" Usopp protested. "You know how strong he is, don't you!"
"There are times when a man must do what he must do!" Brook answered drawing his sword. But before he could even start and attack PX-1 blasted him away.
"STOP, YOU SHITTY BASTARD!" Sanji screamed as he suddenly appeared behind PX-1 kicking him in the back and sending him crashing to the ground. Sanji rolled on the ground carried by the momentum of the kick. PX-1 wasted no time and got back to his feet and extended his arm to prepare for and attack.
"RUN SANJI!" Usopp yelled. "He's aiming for you.."
"IDIOT! GET GOING ALREADY!" Sanji yelled as he clamored to his feet. But it was too late... A single bang rang out as PX-1 sent out an attack that went straight thru Sanji back and right thru Usopp's shoulder causing him to drop Zoro. Usopp, ignoring his own injury, ran over to Sanji to check on the downed cook.
"Sanji! Brook! Get up…" Usopp said. "We've got to get out of here, quick! That beam is coming again!" He continued as PX-1 on cue walked over to them charging for another attack.
"Wait, PX-1!" A new voice protested from behind them and obediently PX-1 stopped. Usopp confused turned to see who issued that command. He turned to see a mirror copy of PX-1.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE! I'M SICK OF THIS!" Usopp yelled grabbing his head. "JUST HOW MANY OF THIS GUY ARE THERE!"
'This guy is the real one!' Zoro thought as he struggled to get to his feet. He walked over to where Brook had dropped his swords and placed all three on his side.
"So, you're still alive, Roronoa." The original PX, Bartholomew Kuma, said as he began to take off his glove.
"Thanks to your mercy…" Zoro stated weakly as he struggled to stay on his feet.
"Hey, This isn't the time for a chat!" Usopp blurted out.
"If you were to take a trip, where would you like to go?" Kuma asked as he walked towards the swordsman.
The question caught Zoro by surprise. The only thoughts that ran thru his head were thoughts of bettering himself. He had once again failed to protect people close to him. All he wanted was another chance to start from the beginning so he could train harder, protect everyone around him, and become the world's greatest swordsman. Kuma looked down at Zoro, impressed with the swordsman unrelenting determination. "
GET AW…!" Usopp tried to warn Zoro but it was too late. Kuma's attack had already connected with the green haired swordsman and he was gone….
* Unknown forest-Unknown Land*
It was a pretty uneventful night. The sounds of the forest filled the cool night air. The animals that lived in this place went on with their lives without a care in the world. But this peaceful evening wasn't destined to stay that way. All of a sudden the forest went quiet. All the animals sensed something was off this night and began to scatter to safer parts of the forest. Heralded by the new silence that had engulfed the forest, a ball of air rushed across the night sky. As the ball rushed towards the ground, it destroyed everything in its path before unceremoniously becoming embedded into the ground. Out of the crater climbed a single figure with his three swords still strapped to his side. Zoro struggled to remain standing his wounds still hurt as much as if not more than they did before Kuma did that weird attack to him. Zoro took a couple of more steps, his swords seemed a little heavier than before, but he attributed this to him being so low on energy. Then he sensed it. A new energy rushed towards him at an unprecedented speed. He had never felt anything like this before. He drew his Sandai Kitetsu not knowing what to expect from this new energy source. Then two figures appeared before him. Zoro couldn't make out either of them due to the combination of the lack of light and the severity of his injuries. Zoro took up a defensive stance against the two unknowns.
"Look it's just a kid. Holy shit he's covered in blood!" One of the figures said. They both tried to approach Zoro but he wasn't having it. Zoro lashed out against the two with a simple horizontal slash causing both to jump back.
"Hey kid calm down!" He heard a voice call out. Following the sound of the voice Zoro rushed with a flurry of slashed.
"I'm not a kid." Zoro said as his breath became a little more labored. Zoro returned his defensive stance. He could hear the two people whispering to each other but couldn't pinpoint a direction.
"We mean you no harm. We just intend to take you to our village. We can treat your wounds there." A voice rang out. Zoro couldn't make out the direction of the voice, but he sensed no malice. He resheathed the Kitetsu.
"Fine…." Zoro said. The last thing he saw before the world went black was the two figures walking towards him.
*Unknown Village 1 week Later*
Zoro slowly opened his eyes. He shielded his eyes from the brightness of the light. "Oh you're up." A female voice said from the far side of the room. She walked up to him from across the room.
'Where am I?' Zoro thought as he tried to get adjusted to his new surroundings.
"Welcome to Konohagakure. You are currently in the hospital. When we found you in the forest outside of the village you were covered head to toe in blood." The woman answered as she walked over to the bed he was laying in. "I'm Mitarashi Anko, a Jonin of the Leaf. What's your name boy?"
Zoro was starting to get annoyed. This girl that couldn't be more that a couple of years older treating him like a little kid. "Roronoa Zoro." He said in a voice he didn't recognize. He quickly put his hand to his mouth.
"Well Zoro ca.."
"What did you do to me!" Zoro demanded cutting Anko off mid sentence.
"What do you mean? All we did was patch you up kid." Anko answered confused at the sudden outburst.
Zoro though back to the last thing he remembered. His swords did feel heavier when he climbed out of that crater and he was so focused that he didn't pay attention to the bass in his voice. Zoro jumped out of the bed.
"H-hey!" Anko protested as she held out her hand for the still heavily bandaged kid expecting him to stumble. When Zoro feet hit the ground he was at eye level with the top of the bed. He quickly looked around the room to find a mirror to examine himself properly. Finally spotting a full length mirror hanging on a wall he finally got a glimpse of himself.
"WHAT THE HELL!" Zoro yelled alerting everyone at his displeasure. He was in his regular pants and belt with at hospital gown over both, and a bandage torso but the most important differences was that he had shrunk at least 3 feet and his muscles where a little less defined than they were before. It took him a few more seconds examining himself in the mirror to realize he had been regressed in age somehow.
Then he remembered what Kuma had asked him. 'If you were to take a trip, where would you like to go?' Did that Shichibukai really give him a second chance?
He threw the gown to the side and started to take off his bandages. "Zoro! What are you doing?" Anko asked still kind of in shock of what was transpiring right before her. Then she saw it. Across this kid's chest was a vicious scar that had been stitched back together.
"It's still there." Zoro said.
"What's going on in here?" One of the doctors said opening the door reacting to the commotion that had disturbed the once peaceful hospital.
"Nothing. This kid, Zoro, finally woke up. Looks like he changed a little bit from what he last remembered." Anko said scratching her head over the events that where unfolding. "Hey doc. Did you do that stitch job on that scar. You did a good job." She said pointing at Zoro still examining himself in the mirror.
"We didn't do that. When he came in it was already done and healed up. Young man you should be in bed." The doc said as he reached out to Zoro.
"Where are my swords?" Zoro asked.
"Huh?" The doc replied.
"We gave them to the village's blacksmith for the moment." Anko answered. "You'll get it as… soon… as…" Anko trailed as the Zoro walked out of the room.
"HEY YOU'RE NOT CLEARED TO LEAVE YET!" The doctor yelled as he ran into the hall.
Anko sighed heavily. "My first job as a Jonin is watching after this difficult kid."
*5 hours later above Konohagakure *
Anko quickly jumped across the rooftops of Konohagakure looking for the now missing Zoro and only one word could describe Anko's current feeling. Anko was pissed. She had waited outside the town's blacksmith that had Zoro's swords for 2 hours and this Zoro kid didn't even show up. So she looked around town for about 2 hours and didn't find him. And when she went to report on what happened and the little information she got from him to her superior and he scolded her for the last hour. When she finds this kid he was gonna pay! If Anko wasn't fuming at her current situation she would have noticed a certain green haired kid walk into a nearby flower shop.
* Konohagakure- Yamanaka Flower Shop*
Ino stood behind the counter of her family's flower shop. Today had been a slow, a couple of regulars had dropped by today, her and her father had clipped and pruned the flowers, and she had cleaned the whole shop. She started to play with her hands when the bell at the door signaled a customer had entered the shop. "Welcome to..." Ino started.
"Where are my swords?" The green haired boy asked rudely cutting her off.
"What?" She asked a little annoyed by this new face. "Does this look like a weapon shop?"
The green haired boy looked around. "Hmm your right. I guess that old lady gave me the wrong directions." He said as he started to walk towards the door that led to the back of the shop.
Ino quickly ran and blocked the door. "Where are you going!" Ino asked while blocking the door.
"Back to the street." The boy answered as he stopped right in front of her. "I need to find the weapon shop."
"Then use the door you entered from!" Ino yelled pointing at the main entrance.
"What's going on here?" Ino's dad asked from behind her.
"This strange kid was trying to get in the back." Ino told her dad as she watched the weird boy roam around the shop appearing lost.
Ino's dad wasn't as clueless as his daughter on the identity of the boy. A messenger had just dropped by describing this kid to him and telling him on the situation he was in. He had to go get Anko and tell her where her wayward target was. He looked intent on leaving again and he didn't seem to be dangerous so he knew what he had to do. "Ino take him to the blacksmith down the road. Make sure he gets there." He said to his daughter as he put his hand on her head.
"But dad..." Ino protested.
"No buts young lady. Your mother will take care of the shop just do what I said." He answered as he left to find Anko.
"Thank you, old man." The green haired boy said as he watched the older Yamanaka leave.
Ino now angry about the new development walked towards the door. "Come on." She said coldly as she walked out of the door. The green haired boy nodded and followed suit.
* Konohagakure streets*
Ino waited on the street as the green haired boy exit her family shop. "Well, my name is Ino what's yours?" She asked.
"Zoro." He replied.
"Well the blacksmith is just a couple of blocks down this street shouldn't take us long. " Ino said as she pointed down the street.
"Ok." He dryly answered. So they started towards the shop quietly.
"So where are you from?" She asked trying to break the silence. No answer. 'Who does this jerk think he is?' She thought to herself. She turned around and noticed that Zoro had started walking in the opposite direction. "HEY IDIOT!" Ino yelled extremely angry at the moss-headed kid. Zoro and everyone else on the street stopped and turned towards Ino. She turned bright red and ran towards Zoro. "Where are you going!" Ino asked trying to keep her voice down to avoid further embarrassment.
"To the blacksmith shop." Zoro answered pointing in a random wrong direction then started to walk that way. Ino grabbed his hand.
"Dummy! It's this way." She said as she pulled him along with her. Just before they reached their final destination Ino's luck hit rock bottom.
"So Ino-pig who's this guy? Did you finally give up on Sasuke?" A voice that sent a chill down Ino's spine.
"S-s-sakura." She answered turning even redder than she was before. Looking at her hand still holding Zoro's she threw it to the side. "No Forehead girl!" She retorted regaining a little composure yet still a little red from embarrassment. Before she could get into a deeper argument she noticed that Zoro was about to start walking again in the wrong direction. "I don't have time for you!" Ino blurted out before once again grabbing Zoro's had and rushed into the blacksmith's shop.
"Welcome!" A burly voice greeted the two kids.
"You have my swords. I would like them back." Zoro demanded.
"Oh so you're the owner of those swords. Where did you get these beautify blades?" The owner asked as he motioned to his daughter to go get them.
"They where gifts that I received along my journey." Zoro answered. The smith's daughter walked back into the room holding the three swords.
"Here you go!" She said a little amazed that a kid that looked little younger than her had went on any kind of trip and received powerful swords. "I took the time to sharpen them for ya."
Zoro unsheathe each sword out by one and examined each blade. Pleased with the job she done he walked up to her. "Thank you..."
"Tenten." She finished for him with a mild blush. Placing the three swords on his side he walked out of the door.
"Ah Zoro wait!" Ino called out running after him.
"Zoro huh..." Tenten said as her mind started to wonder.
"No." Her father said sternly.
*Outside the smithy*
Zoro once again felt complete with his swords at his sides. "So what now?" Ino asked from behind him. Then suddenly Anko and Ino's dad appeared in front of them.
"Here you are!" An angry Anko yelled walking towards Zoro.
"Yo, Anko. I found my swords without your help." Zoro said then turned to Ino and her dad. "Thank you for your help. Now I will be going." Then Zoro turned and started to leave.
"Oh no no no no! You're not getting away from me again!" Anko said grabbing Zoro by the arm, eyes twitching in anger. "You're going to see the Hokage!" Then she jumped to the roof top and headed towards the Hokage's office dragging Zoro behind her.
"LET ME GO!" Zoro yelled as Ino and her dad just sweat dropped at what just transpired.
Anko and Zoro stood outside the door that leads to the Hokage's office. Anko was still furious at Zoro and the fact that she had to go out and buy him a new shirt so he would be presentable. She was ready to be rid of him. "Be on your best behavior." Anko said. "The only reason you're even seeing the Hokage instead of our head interrogator is because of your age." She stated as Zoro just kept silent not enjoying
"Enter." The Hokage commanded.
Anko grabbed Zoro by the collar and pushed him inside the door. Zoro cursed under his breath and walked to the front of the Hokage's desk. He studied the older man that he stood in front of. What he wore an entirely different from anyone else in this village so he assumed that this older man had to be the village leader. "So we finally meet Roronoa Zoro." The Hokage said as he puffed on his pipe. "Nice to finally meet the person who gave our young jonin friend so much trouble." He continued on with a light chuckle as Anko glared daggers at Zoro. "So where are you from?" He asked.
"Originally from Shimotsuki village, but I've been traveling with my friends for the past year." Zoro answered.
"Shimotsuki village huh?" The Older man asked as he took a deep draw of his pipe. "Never heard of it. Where is it located?"
"It's in the East Blue." Zoro answered not surprised that he hadn't heard of the small island.
"East Blue? If I show you a map can you show me where it is?" The Hokage asked.
Zoro was not as good at navigation as Nami was but he assured himself he could locate his home island on a map so he nodded his head. The Hokage looked at Anko and the young jonin walked out of the room and returned with a map. Zoro looked at the map.
"We are right here in the land of fire. Where is Shimotsuki village located?" Anko said as she held up the map. Zoro was in for his second shock of the day. There was way too much land on this map. He had looked at Nami's navigational maps every now and then and this wasn't anything like what she had created.
"Where is the grand line associated with this map?" Zoro asked thinking this might be the island cluster map.
"Grand line?" Anko asked.
"Ya know where all the pirates want to go the enter the new world and get Rogers' One Piece." Zoro stated.
"Ok kid are you making this stuff up?" Anko asked her annoyance reaching a new high. "If you are you're just wasting the Hokage's time." She said grabbing Zoro by the collar.
Zoro slapped Anko's hands off of him with a force that surprised Anko. "I'm being serious!" He said as he let slip out a little killer intent that washed over the whole tower. Anko and the Hokage was taken aback by the amount of killer intent that this kid had let out.
Fearing that the Hokage was in danger several ninjas rushed in from all angles of the tower. Zoro quickly unsheathe the Wado Ichimonji. A rash chunin rushed Zoro with his kunai drawn. Zoro parried the chunin's weapon and slashed him with the blunt side of his sword. On this action the rest of the ninjas charged in as Zoro put his hand on the hilt of Sandai Kitetsu preparing for a fight.
"STOP!" The Hokage ordered. All of the responding ninjas stop where they were. Zoro now on edge kept his hand on Sandai and Wado drawn.
"It's alright." The old man said as he left his seat and walked over to the moss haired kid. Zoro watched him warily as the Hokage walked past him and placed his hand on his shoulder. The other ninja's bowed deeply and gathered the unfortunate chunin and left the room.
Anko stood in utter amazement. She too was about to take action against her green haired nuisance but when he took out that chunin, a fully trained chunin she noted, he moved like he had been fighting for years. "I-I'm sorry Zoro." She finally said. "It's just that we have never heard of this One Piece or Rodger."
Zoro looked at the occupants of the room Anko had a look of shock and disbelief on her once rash face and the older man still had the same look as he did when he entered the room. He sheathes his Wado.
'If you were to take a trip, where would you like to go?' Kuma's message hit him again. These two didn't know what the grand line was. People can get away with that. Not everyone wants to be a pirate or marine, but not to know Gol D. Rodger was off. Everyone knew the pirate king. He wasn't in his world anymore.
"Lets continue were we left off." The Hokage said breaking the silence that had fell upon the room. He picked up the map that Anko had dropped. "Could you show us where you are from on this map?" He asked again.
Zoro looked at the map and then looked away. "No. I can't" He answered realizing what was going on.
"Really..." The Hokage said rolling up the map and handing it back to Anko.
The elder Sarutobi sat back in his chair and pulled his hat down. He realized that everything Zoro had told him, was the truth except the last part. He was from this Shimotsuki village that was on the east blue. Zoro's eyes showed the old ninja that he came to a realization after that altercation. He wasn't going to push this kid any further. Taking a couple of puffs from his pipe he thought of what to with Zoro.
"Where were you headed?" He asked Zoro but was met with only silence. "I see." Sarutobi said in responded. "I've decided. You will stay here and be enrolled into the ninja academy." He declared which caught Zoro off guard. Before Zoro could protest Sarutobi continued. "You will stay with Anko for the time being."
Both Zoro and Anko had a look of shock mixed with anger in their eyes. "I DON'T WANT TO LIVE WITH THAT PERSON!" They said in unison which was answer with a laugh from the Hokage.
"Anko your mission continues! Keep an eye on Roronoa Zoro and keep him safe. Don't worry, I'll give you the money to help take care of him and this way you can say you didn't fail at your first mission." Sarutobi said then continued to laugh as Anko and Zoro stared daggers at each other. "You two are dismissed." Sarutobi said.
Anko grabbed the Zoro by his arm and dragged him out of the office and closed the door. Left alone in his office he stood up and watched the Anko and Zoro's antics continue at the bottom of the tower.
"Jiraiya. In your travels have you heard of Shimotsuki village or the East Blue?" He asked. Sitting on the ledge just outside the window was the Toad Hermit himself.
"Can't say I have sensei." He answered. "But I sensed no malice in his voice. But that killer intent he let out. His chakra flow is too pure to be one of Orochimaru's experiments and no one his age should be able to exert that much..." Jiraiya said as he stood up on the ledge.
Sarutobi nodded in agreement. "I'm gonna assign a team to keep an eye on him when he's out of Anko's range." Sarutobi stated. "He is going to be very powerful in the future. Maybe he can help us keep Konoha peaceful."
"Always thinking of the village huh sensei?" Jiraiya asked.
"That's part of it." Sarutobi said then took a drag of his pipe. "If we let him leave the village no telling who or what village would pick him up. I want this kid to have a great childhood. That scar on his chest tells he has been thru some trouble." He finished. Jiraiya smiled at his sensei's statement and left without a word for parts unknown as Sarutobi looked over his roster to see who would get this new assignment.
After shopping for a whole new wardrobe and stopping her new burden from getting lost more time than she could count on the way back to her apartment Anko was ready for a long hot bath.
"Put your stuff in that room over there." She said as she watched Zoro like a hawk to make sure that he wouldn't take a wrong turn out of the door. Zoro opened the door and looked at his new room. It was mostly empty except for an old tea serving table, a futon, and the random bug scurrying about. "We'll get you a bed tomorrow so you just have to use that futon for now." She said.
"That's all I need." Zoro said as he started to arrange his stuff.
"Suit yourself." Anko said as she left the young man to his own devices. After her long much deserved bath, she walked out to observe what the moss hair kid was doing. She opened the door to the room to see that he had his room all set up and he was doing one arm push-ups with a bunch of random stuff on his back to simulate weights.
"Hey moss head we can get you real weights tomorrow if you want." She said standing in the doorway.
"Don't call me that!" Zoro answered. He lost his concentration for a second his hand slipped and fell causing all of the stuff he had stacked on his back came crashing down on top of him causing Anko to burst out laughing. "You realize how long it took me to get that stuff stacked!" He yelled at the female ninja.
"Heh. It just makes it funnier. But seriously you should get some sleep. You start the academy tomorrow." Anko said still laughing slightly.
Zoro just let out a grunt of acknowledgment and started to finish his rep without the makeshift weights this time. Anko smiled at the discovery of her new nickname for Zoro and left the room to go to bed herself. When he heard a door open and close he stopped what he was doing and walked over to the window and looked into the night sky with one lone moon reminding him that he was nowhere near anyone he knew.
"I've decided. If I can't get home I will just have to become the greatest swordsman of this world. He grabbed the Wado Ichimonji and held it up to his face. "Kuina, even though I am in this new world I swear I will." Zoro declared.
Standing on top of the window frame was Anko. She had just gotten a surprising look into Zoro's true self. 'Maybe this won't be as bad as I thought it would be.' She though as a big grin formed on her face.
Please Review honestly and thank you for reading my story.
* After a real nice PM I got from a reader im gonna move from paragraph format the more "acceptable" script format. Might take a little while for the next chapter while I fight the tiny voice of my english prof. in the back of my head"