The bold, suave Dhrwen Gelhorn sails deep into the ocean. With his trusty crew behind him, the remaining Sea Gems will soon be in his grasp, as he…
“Dhrwen! Keep your hands on the wheel!”
Groaning, the man called Dhrwen looked forward from the bridge of ship, out into the vast ocean ahead of him. The Grand Line was proving to be an extremely formidable foe, and the mystic compass had shown no sign of the Sea Gems. Although he was doing his best to act stern, cracks in the armor were beginning to show.
“Are you sure we shouldn’t have gotten a Log Rose master?”
Looking down next to his hip, Dhrwen found the source of the voice, the beast he had dubbed Pero. Despite its odd, simian appearance and the presence of two wings on its back, the creature still considered itself the intellectual superior of the crew. It was a trait reminiscent of mermen.
Dhrwen hated mermen, ever since that one incident on the pier.
“I’m sure of it, Pero. All a Log Rose would do is point us towards an island we didn’t need to go to. The Light Compass will guide us.”
“But what about supplies? Without a port, we can’t…”
“When I want your opinion, I’ll slap it out of you. Now get to the watch post!”
“But Rheoz is over there! And Khwek hasn’t done anything.”
“Yes, and it’s time for Rehoz’s break, and Khwek is trying to determine our position. Now go.”
With a heavy sigh, the ape flew up towards the lookout as Dhrwen looked on. There was no end to the boredom he saw in just waiting around for the Light compass to…
Dhrwen’s musing was interrupted by the bright blue light emerging from the crystal inside the round glass case around his neck. The light could only mean one thing. A Sea Jewel was nearby. Gripping the wheel firmly, Dhrwen did what he did best.
“All hands to your stations! Teela, open the sails! Rheoz, check our rear! Full speed ahead!”
“Sir,” interrupted Pero, “there’s only the four of us.”
“Do you ever shut up?”
The calculations proved near infuriating. Why she agreed to something no navigator has been able to successfully do was unknown to her at this point. All she knew was that when she was asked, she said yes.
As she looked on at the maps and texts, with only the light of a nearby lantern illuminating the desk, Nami was holding back the urge to scream.
“AH! What am I supposed to do with this?! It’s impossible, impossible, impossible!”
The shout of frustration was met with silence. It was just as well, as she didn’t really need the boys hearing her going into a nervous breakdown. Mapping out a safe route in the Grand Line with only a few texts and a vague idea of where the log rose was taking them was simply not possible on such short notice. Maybe if she had a few weeks she’d be able to, but this was the equivalent of trying to ride a bicycle blind and deaf.
That didn’t mean she was willing to admit defeat just yet. Clutching the bright blue jewel on her desk, she nodded to herself, and once again began attempting to plot a course.
“Nami-san? I’ve gotten dinner ready.”
Turning her head towards the source of the voice, she saw the cigarette smoking form of Sanji holding what appeared to be a plate with fish surrounded by vegetables, the head chef grinning as he walked inside.
“Just leave it in here.”
“Again? No, no, you can’t eat cooped up in this room all the time! Come on out and get some fresh air.”
“I’m fine. Trust me.”
Sighing, Sanji put the food down by the desk, along with a glass of wine, and retreated back upstairs. It’s not that she didn’t want to go topside and get fresh air, it was just that what she was doing took priority for one major reason. Cash. So once again, she looked at the few maps of the region and the Log Rose.
The main problem with plotting any route, even with only the Log Rose as a guide in place of a compass, was the inevitable issue of unfavorable weather throwing the ship off course. Any adjustments would have to…
That was it! All she had to do was use the Log Rose’s calculations, make the adjustments, and they would be at Alabasta in only 7 days!
“I’m a genius!” she shouted enthusiastically. Unfortunately, the reply to her shout wasn’t an acknowledgement of success, but a warning.
“We’re under attack!”
There was no time to savor the fruits of success. Readying her bo-staff, Nami ran upstairs to face whatever intruder was approaching.
With the distance between the beam of the Light Compass and his prize narrowing, Dhrwen headed for the side of his ship in order to get a better view of the target. “There’s the ship! Khwek, the siege bow!”
Carrying a bizarre oversized crossbow with five arrows on it, a stout brown haired man appeared next to Dhrwen, heaving it over his shoulder.
“This is an easy target.”
“On my mark…Teela, keep the ship steady.”
“Now? I can nail it easy.”
“The siege bow isn’t like your fancy rifle or that gatling gun. Its use has been mastered over generations by the people of Darkwater.”
“Great story. So can I shoot it?”
Pausing to take one last look at the boat he was approaching, Dhrwen replied, “Now you may.”
Without responding, Khwek knelt down and pulled the trigger on the bow, watching as the five spear-sized arrows found their targets in the hull of the other boat. As soon as the weapon was fired, Khwek put it down next to a hook on the deck, tying the bow to the hook with a large piece of rope.
“Prepare to board!”
Ussop had yelled as hard as he could when he first noticed the boat approaching the Going Merry in an attempt to warn the other crewmembers, but by then it was too late. Several people were climbing the ropes that now connected the two boats together. Noticing the ropes, Zoro, who had just emerged onto the deck attempted to head for them with his sword, but was quickly stopped by a bullet striking the deck, a noise which rattled even Nami from her work and forced her topside. When the others had joined Zoro, the invaders were already on board.
“Ah, so this is our quarry,” began the man with white hair. “This will be rather easy.”
“Rather easy, huh?” replied a rather annoyed Zoro. “Who the hell are you supposed to be anyway?”
The man chuckled to himself, but not before drawing a broken sword and pointing it at himself.
“I am the great captain of the sea, Dhrwen Gelhorn of Darkwater, on a quest to find the thirteen Sea Gems and journey to the Twilight Island in the Grand Line where I shall fulfill the ancient prophecy and bring peace to my land.”
The Straw Hat pirates could only look on at the extremely confident man before Luffy finally spoke. “Never heard of you.” Surprisingly, the remark didn’t cause anger the man as he chuckled to himself, and then spoke again.
“You’ve never heard of me? Surely you’ve heard of the author of the renowned 700 page opus, The Cities of Darkwater?
“No,” immediately replied Luffy.
“Then you are all mere cretins, unworthy of my time.”
“Who did read it, anyway?” asked Ussop.
“Shut up!” replied Dhrwen, whose former confidence had disappeared, replaced by a rather noticeable rage. “You mere cretins are no match for the finest crew ever assembled!”
Standing still, the two humans and ape next to Dhrwen walked forward in synch and introduced themselves, one at a time.
“Teela, the ecomancer!” began a woman in bright cloth pants and equally bright leather armor above them.
“Pero, the fearsome wing-ape!” unenthusiastically continued the winged hybrid between a chimpanzee and a human, his wings fluttering as he spoke.
“And Dhreoz, mightiest swordsman of the four oceans!” finished the last man as he held a curved sword into the air, a tall warrior with a ponytail and sleeveless vest covering his otherwise bare chest.
“Of course,” added Dhrwen, “there’s Khwek, my expert marksman, but he’s back on board the Mist, to ensure no one here interferes with my plan.
Looking just past Dhrwen, Luffy grinned. “Yeah, there he is! He’s the one with the rifle, right?” The remark obviously annoyed Dhrwen, as he bit back a curse and stomped his foot into the ground.
“Enough of this! Charge!”
In mere seconds the deck was a flurry of violence, as weapons were drawn and blows were traded between various members of the pirate crews. The frenzy of battle was not organized in simple one-on-one duels; instead the various crewmembers attacked whoever was closest, with their intended target barely able to defend themselves. However, Luffy didn’t bother with the people on board his ship. As he saw the man called Khwek aiming his rifle at the members of his crew, instinct took over as he drew back his hand.
“GOMU GOMU NO PISTOL!”
The pirate captain’s right hand extended like a rocket towards the man on the deck, hitting him square in the jaw before he could react. Refusing to give his opponent time to recover, Luffy ran forward, his rapidly extending leg delivering a sharp kick to the rifleman’s ribcage. Not to be outdone, the man rolled to the side and began firing his weapon at Luffy, the bullets leaving large holes in the floor of the ship.
As the frantic fight continued, no one on either side began to notice the storm closing rapidly on the location of both ships. The chaos of battle had completely preoccupied the minds of all in the area, with only Dhrwen noticing a new beam shooting from his compass, far brighter than any he had seen before. Seeing the beam point, Dhrwen resisted the urge to laugh out loud.
Leaving his crew to their various battles, Dhrwen sheathed his broken sword and looked out upon the ocean, with a look of pure glee on his face. But that glee quickly turned to terror as he saw the storm approaching the ship.
Without even bothering to speak to the rest of his crew, Dhrwen ran towards the ropes he had used to board the pirate ship. He was extremely close to reaching his destination when a sharp pain struck him in the forehead, the impact sending him over the edge of the boat. Rather than pursue his enemy, Ussop instead used the opportunity to find somewhere safe from the carnage that had overtaken the ship.
By this point the storm had approached the boats too closely to be ignored. Forgetting his opponent, Luffy extended his arm once more to return to the Going Merry, while Khwek returned to the helm in a panicked attempt to bring the boat back on course.
In a panic, Dhrwen’s crew attempted to make a hasty retreat, only to be thrown aside by the oncoming winds the storm had bought about. With all their might, they attempted to reach the ropes connecting the two ships, with Rheoz firmly gripping one so he wouldn’t be tossed aside by the storm, while the others attended to Dhrwen as he held on for his life.
“Captain! What were you doing?”
“Never mind that, we have to get back to the Mist! I’ve found…”
“You’re not leaving that easy!” shouted a voice from behind. To Rheoz’s horror, the pirate swordsman leapt into the air and slashed the ropes to pieces.
“You fool!” shouted Dhrwen. “The Mist is…”
The next thing all of them heard was a crack of lightning, followed by the sounds of winds tearing at wood.
“Ow, my head…”
Struggling to get to her feet, Nami began to shake her head in an attempt to dull the throbbing pain in her forehead. As she looked around, the young woman realized her surroundings were unfamiliar, with the wooden flooring of the Going Merry replaced by a view of the ocean and a thick, dense forest.
What happened? Wondered the navigator. As she continued to observe her surroundings, it became obvious that she was on an island somewhere in the Grand Line, with the sun slowly setting. In addition, there was no sign of the Going Merry, the enemy pirates, or even the others. Her shirt was gone, leaving only her bra covering her top, but her skirt was thankfully still there. Quickly glancing at her wrist, she was relieved to see the Log Rose was still intact as well. Better still, Nami's trusty staff was still down at her feet, by the gem Vivi had given her. Picking them up, she journeyed into the forest.
“Luffy? Sanji? Zoro? Ussop? Vivi? Anybody out there?”
The only reply to her calls was the chirping of several birds, along with a new problem, the rumbling in her stomach. Biting back a curse at not eating dinner earlier, she began searching for any sign of food.
Sanji had no time for rest. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw the sneering cackle of a winged ape right above him. Moving through the sandy shore he had found himself on, Sanji did his best to dodge the stone thrown by the creature.
It was nothing a good boot to the head couldn’t fix though.
“Alright, no more! I give, I give!”
Sanji didn’t bother to acknowledge the beast’s cries for mercy immediately, instead using the time to light a cigarette. Luckily for him, his jacket still held a pack along with his lighter.
“So,” began the cook between puffs of his cigarette, “what the hell are you supposed to be?”
The ape looked upon Sanji with contempt before replying “a winged ape.”
“I can see that. You work for that guy that attacked us, right?”
Pausing for a few seconds, the ape replied “Not willingly.”
The sea cook chuckled at the response. “You looked willing when you tried to kill me.”
“I didn’t want anyone to find me. The one that calls me Pero doesn’t want me to escape.”
“Tell you what, Pero…”
“Don’t call me that. My name is Choshin.”
“Alright, Choshin” began Sanji as he wiped what appeared to be dirt from his shoes. “You stay away from my friends, and I won’t let anyone know you were here.”
The beast bowed, attempting to mimic human etiquette, before its wings flapped and it flew off. Paying the creature no further mind, Sanji began to walk forward into the forest in front of him to find his crewmates.
After thirty minutes of looking, Nami still hadn’t found anything resembling edible food. If this kept up, she was going to starve!
Not that the island itself seemed all that populated. Vegetation was abundant, but it was comprised mostly of trees, grass, and the occasional weed. Nothing that could satisfy her hunger, but it was more than able to impede her hike. Her mind was repeatedly muttering regret over not having eaten Sanji’s mackerel.
And that was when she saw it. On the ground, by several fruit-bearing trees, was a large melon. Not bothering to ask why a melon would be residing in a forest like this one, she quickly grabbed it and ate it greedily, not even bothering to spit out the seeds.
Almost immediately, as she finished the last bite of the melon, a wave of drowsiness fell over her. Struggling to even stand, her hunger was replaced with a tinge of regret as she crawled away from the grove, finding shelter in what appeared to be a cave. Nami grinned slightly, as the stone structure meant she was closer to the mountain, and with any luck, a higher vantage point to look for the others. She’d look for the others. Right after a nice nap.
The dense forest now in front of him would have only been a minor annoyance if it wasn’t pitch black outside. At this hour, it was becoming a hassle to walk through, and even more of a pain to figure out where he was going.
As he wandered through the forest with only a half moon providing light to guide him, Sanji began to remind himself exactly how he found himself on an abandoned island right in the middle of the Grand Line.
It had started that day on the floating…no that was too far. The problems, at least for him, started after Nami-san had AGAIN refused to go outside, preferring to remain cooped up inside with her work. And with no idea of what had caused this, he was forced to rely on his only lead, seeing Nami briefly talking to Luffy before her seclusion. That of course, led him to believe that Luffy, in his endless stupidity, said something to Nami that made her retreat into the cabin. What, he didn’t know, but if that idiot of a pirate kept him from seeing Nami-san, there would be hell to pay. With that mentality, he began charging right up to where Luffy was sitting down.
“It’s been two entire days! Why won’t she come out? It was something YOU said, wasn’t it?”
Turning around from his spot on the ship’s bow only to see an angry finger pointed at him, Monkey D. Luffy was unsure of how to reply. The sudden sound of Sanji’s accusations had startled him from his uneventful rest.
“I did something wrong?”
“Yes!” shouted Sanji as he began walking towards the bow. “Nami-san has been in her room for two days straight! She refuses to even eat topside anymore, you jerk!”
The captain could only look on confused at the tirade of his chef. “Why is it my fault? The last thing she asked me about was where the pens were!”
Had Sanji taken the time to logically think his reply over, he would see that Luffy wasn’t involved and have looked for the real problem. Unfortunately, he was single-minded in his approach, shouting “Liar!” as he approached the ship’s bow, or what Luffy referred to as his ‘special seat’, his hands ready to strangle someone.
“Did you even bother to ask what she was doing?” began another voice.
Interrupting Sanji just before he could climb onto the wooden aft of the ship was the rather calm voice of Ussop, looking over the side of the ship at seemingly nothing in particular.
“Well, no, but she hasn’t…”
“If you’re gonna complain, doesn’t it make sense to at least be sure why you’re complaining?”
Shrugging his shoulders, Sanji nonchalantly replied “Whatever,” before walking inside, only stopping to add “Dinner’s in the cabin” as he went downstairs. And that should have been the end of the mystery.
Except that when he went downstairs, Luffy was waiting for him, telling him that he couldn’t enter Nami-san’s room. One thing led to another, a bunch of idiot pirates attacked the ship, and now he was here.
Not a good day.
Nevertheless, Sanji moved through the condensed forest until he reached a cave by what appeared to be the edge. Reaching for his lighter, Sanji allowed the small flame to guide him inside. At the very least, he could find shelter, although they’re didn’t seem to be much of anything in the structure. Then the flame revealed a very familiar face, albeit an unconscious one.
Lying down on a flat slab of rock, completely asleep, was Nami. Her body didn’t react to the light at all instead it just lay there with a peculiar grin. Sanji couldn’t help but approach the sleeping navigator.
“What luck do we have!” he began in a purposefully exaggerated tone of voice. “A slumbering beauty, waiting for the kiss of a noble soul to awaken her.” Taking his own advice, the chef leaned over to kiss his prize.
“Nami-san, you’re so cruel!”
Rubbing his head, the chef peered through the dull light to see Nami standing up, her face wearing a look of slight annoyance.
“It was obvious that you couldn’t see me, right? Nami-san?”
Nami, looking on briefly, acknowledged him with a half-hearted reply. “Right. So, where are we? Where’s the ship?”
“Actually,” began Sanji as he lit up a cigarette, “I couldn’t find it.”
“And the others?”
“Couldn’t find them either.”
“Did you find anybody?”
“Some freak monkey thing.” More than ready to walk out, Sanji stopped himself when he noticed something odd.
“Nami-san, are you standing on something?”
“No, I’m serious,” continued Sanji in the same tone as before.
“I’m not standing on anything.”
“You sure? You look…taller.”
“It’s the light. Let’s just get out of here, OK?”
Not willing to refuse the request of the lady, Sanji walked forward, allowing the lighter to guide him out of the cave. The sky and the island were still pitch black, allowing a view of little except some nearby trees…and Nami.
The endless questions were beginning to grate on her nerves. “What?!”
“Are you sure you’re not on something now?”
“Because usually, I don’t come up to your stomach.”
The young navigator’s annoyance turned to a sense of confusion as she looked down, finding Sanji looking right up at him like a child. She didn’t know how to reply.
"I...I don't know."
She wasn’t in Alabasta.
It just demonstrated her concerns that after being marooned at sea, the first thing Vivi Nefetari would be thinking of was whether by some miracle or act of God, she had arrived home. Sadly, this was not the case, as she found herself in a dense forest with night having already fallen.
It was difficult for her to remember what had come before. When the pirates had boarded the ship, rather than simply duck into a corner and hope for the best, she charged forward and attacked them with her ring blade. She hadn’t really had the chance to do much else, other than swing it a few times at the female pirate before the storm hit. All she could do now was get a bearing on where she was.
“You’re awake then?”
Looking for the source of the voice, Vivi was relieved to see a familiar face.
“You don’t have to keep calling me that,” replied the ever-calm Zoro. “You make me sound like an old man.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just that…”
“Never mind. We need to get moving. If we survived, those other guys probably did too.”
“But the others! We don’t even know where we are, much less where we’re going! Mr. Bush…”
The rest of Vivi’s sentence was stifled by the taste of a large fruit entering her mouth. This wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t driven in with enough force to make her gag.
Struggling for a few moments, she finally swallowed the large fruit, taking notice of Zoro putting his hand back at his side.
“What was that for?!”
“Quiet,” replied Zoro. “Maybe a few seconds I could think without being interrupted.”
This obviously did not sit well with the young woman.
“Just because I’m a guest on your ship, doesn’t mean you need to treat me like that! And besides…”
“You’re not even looking at me!” Vivi shouted as she walked over to Zoro. “At least look me in the eye when I’m talking to you!”
“Will you RELAX?!” replied an annoyed Zoro, still looking at the ground. “If you’re so worried, go and look around.”
That last remark had done it. With a forceful push, she shoved Zoro away from his seat on the ground.
She didn’t expect to push him nearly as far as she did though. Her anger quickly turned to regret when she saw the swordsman knocked back around ten feet, seemingly bruised.
"Oh! I didn't
"What the hell was in that fruit?!" Zoro groaned as he got back up. "Steroids?"
"I did not mean to hurt you..."
Zoro would have replied, had he not noticed something odd when he looked up.
"What the hell was that? A Devil's fruit?"
"Is that why you're so short?"
"I'm not shorter dammit, you're taller! A lot taller!"
The conversation was quickly interrupted before the full ramifications of what just occurred could be thought of. "When you're both dead, it won't matter how tall you are!"
Zoro knew what to do as soon as he heard the threat. Thoughts gave way to honed instincts as the swordsman unsheathed one blade to block the incoming strike, and then quickly placed the handle in his mouth. With the same movement, he unsheathed the other two swords and got into a fighting pose.
"Go find the others," Zoro muttered to Vivi.
"Can't disappoint our little swordsman friend. Go!"
Vivi nodded, and running off, not entirely sure of what was going on. All she knew that was that she was taller, and Zoro was in a fight for his life. Luckily, her clothes were...
Now wasn't the time for that! She had to find the others, or else she'd be stuck here! And Zoro...what about him? Would he be safe?
The tension could be cut with a knife, but unfortunately for Sanji, his knives were back on the Going Merry, wherever the hell it was. As he and Nami continued to walk up the mountain in the hopes of getting a better view of the island, the cook found himself staring at a larger and larger form in front of him. Where he once came up to Nami-san's chest, now he was barely even with her knees. This left him with quite the view when he looked up, one that Nami didn't appreciate him getting.
"Ok, that's it. You walk in front of me."
"Why? Isn't it
safer back here?" Sanji asked, ignoring the puddle of drool forming at his feet.
"No, it's safer where I can see you," she replied sternly, tapping her shoe. Sanji's common sense overrode his libido as the vibrations from her foot shook his bones, and he reluctantly went in front of her.
"I still don't see anyone. How does the Log Rose look?"
The Log Rose, despite Nami's new size, had remained intact, along with the rest of her clothes. Unfortunately, it didn't fit on her wrist anymore, so she was forced to carry it.
"It's still adjusting. Not like we could leave the island if we wanted to."
"Yeah, tell me about it," Sanji replied as he lit a cigarette. "So what happened? You ate a Devil's fruit?"
Nami sighed. "I hadn't eaten anything all day, and the light was off. That and..."
"Well, there were other fruits just like it in the area."
"Aren't Devil’s Fruit's supposed to be unique? There shouldn't be a whole patch of them."
Neither one of them had an answer for that, but neither one was an expert on the Devil's Fruit. They knew the basics about the magic powers and the swimming, and that Luffy's had saved them more times than either one would care to mention. But that didn't make them experts.
"Is anyone out there?" Sanji yelled, trying to shake off the sense of uncertainty. Much to his surprise, a female voice replied "I am."
"Come on out!" Sanji yelled, doing his best to hide his surprise. As he looked on, out came a woman, gasping at the unusually tall woman by the man that had called out to her.
"Don't worry!" Sanji began as he ran over to the woman. "She's with me! She's my...assistant!"
"Assistant?" Nami growled. Sanji paid her no mind as he put his hand on the woman's shoulder. "You are?"
"Teela," the woman coyly replied. "I was lost in the woods, trying to find a way out, but I feel so much safer now that you're besides me." The cook blushed at her comments.
Teela. Wasn't that the...
"Move?!" Sanji asked, confused. His confusion quickly turned to fear as he saw what appeared to be a sharpened tree branch moving right for his heart. Expertly, Sanji dodged the blade by leaning backwards, only to run behind Nami's leg like a child clinging to a parent for protection.
"You found me out," Teela announced, the soft sweet voice replaced by a much harder, sterner tone. "I guess this means I have to kill you."
"Kill us?" Sanji asked.
"You idiots sank my ship! And now I can't find my crew! I, as an ecomancer, will kill you for that transgression!"
"What the hell's an ecomancer?" Nami asked.
Her tone changing once more, to a somber, dull one, Teela began to speak. "The ecomancers are a bloodline cursed by the Devil's Fruit. We have mastery over the earth, but no power over the seas. At sea, I'm helpless. That is why I joined forced with Dhrwen, to find the Sea Gems."
"And those do?"
"The Sea Gems are the only power in the world that can undo the curse of the Devil's Fruit. I wish to rid my bloodline of the...stop that!"
"What?" Sanji asked, even as he yawned in Teela's face.
"Grr...You could have died quietly. Now I'm just going to take away the woman."
Sanji's eyes widened, but by then it was too late. An enormous clod of dirt appeared from the ground, encasing Nami's giant form in a cocoon of dirt and gravel. Before he could respond, another clod encased Teela, with both clods of dirt sinking into the ground soon after.
Sanji's yells were futile, as no one could hear, least of all the person he was yelling out to. Kicking the dirt did little to change that fact.
Vivi continued running, hoping that she would find something familiar. A person, an item, or at the very least, a map of the area. All she could do was look down on the increasingly tiny landscape in the hopes of finding something. Despite her new vantage point (which she estimated around 30 feet tall), there was still no sign of life.
"OK, let's see. I ate a Devil's Fruit, right? So if I focus, I can reverse its effects till I need them. VIVI SHRINK!"
thought, thinking of the people she knew with Devil's Fruit powers, "Gomu gomu
gomu no shrink! Err...Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Uh...Shazam?"
Nothing worked. Her body was stuck, at least for the moment, at its current size. This could present a problem, but if she was unable to leave the island, there would be even greater problems to deal with. For now, it would be better to focus on finding someone else on the island, even if she might scare them with her newfound size.
Muttering met her response, filling Vivi with slight hope. Quickly, she dashed towards where she thought the voice was coming from, sulking when she didn't see any humans in the area, just several bushes.
"Excuse me? You can come out. I won't hurt you. I know my size must be intimidating, but I'm harmless! Really!"
What emerged from the bushes wasn't human, but she did remember it as a threat. Wasting no time, she readied her fist to pound the bizarre creature into oblivion, only to notice it raising its hands in fear.
"Don't kill me! Please!"
Vivi's hand relented, and she looked down on the winged ape. "Aren't you with...?”
"Not willingly! That's what I told your friend, giant!"
"My friend?" Vivi asked, her eyes glimmering with newfound hope. "What did he look like?"
"Blonde. Black suit..."
"Sanji! Where was he?"
"The other direction," the ape pointed. "Now please, let me be."
"OK, fine," Vivi replied, running off towards where he pointed. Looking behind, Vivi saw the ape look at her one time, then turn and run off.
Well, I thought that this whole size thing wouldn't work out, but I guess I was wrong? Wouldn't you say so servants? And don't forget, I want all that jewelry polished.
All of it?
You're in no position to complain, bug-swordsman. Now, give me your sword. My nails need filing.
Even while being held underground, completely unconscious, the one thought that drove Nami's mind was the pursuit of wealth. And here, she was thinking of how her new size would help with that wealth, imagining herself as the self-crowned Queen of the Seas, with the other members of the Going Merry as her servants.
Now, Sanji-kun? Where is that food I wanted?
R...right here Nami-san! All of it! Shall I bring it to you?
No, you're much too small to carry all that. But for me, it just takes one hand.
Whoa cool! I can see the whole ocean from here!
...Luffy? How long have you been on my head?
About an hour. Hey cool, meat!
Rumbling from outside her dirt coffin drove Nami awake, and the odd dream was quickly replaced with panic and fear. There was no room to move or even breathe, and no way to tell where she was. Thoughts of desperation and anxiety overtook her brain as she attempted to move her body to no avail. Nami futily struggled until something in her mind clicked.
The need to be bigger.
As soon as this need emerged in her brain, her body reacted to her mind's thoughts, as the panic turned into physical power. Her body echoed with the newfound power and began to increase in size, until finally; Nami could breathe and move her body again.
"Freedom!" she yelled, stretching her hands into the air. Shaking the dirt and debris from her hair, Nami looked down on the clumps of dirt that once encased her, along with the horrified form of Teela, who looked nearly 10 times as small as before.
"N...no one escapes the Earth Coffin!" she stammered.
"No one except me," the much larger Nami confidently replied, lifting Teela's miniscule form into the air.
"You can't kill me!" she yelled. "You have no idea why you're here! Or of the power of the Sea Gems! Why I'm..."
Nami shook her head, looking bored. "Do I look like I care?"
Teela could only gulp as the giantesses' expression changed into a sadistic one. Quickly, she dug into her pocket and pulled out a bright red jewel.
"Here, take it! It's one of the Sea Gems! Just...spare my life!"
Plucking the jewel from Teela's hand, Nami dropped it in a sash underneath her skirt, which had thankfully become large enough to hold the Log Rose and Vivi's gem as well.
"It's a nice gem, but you still tried to kill me. I think what you need," Nami began as she readied her arm to throw Teela, "is a nice, long, swim."
Sanji hadn't stopped kicking himself mentally even as he continued the trek up the mountain. His vantage point did nothing to help find the others, as it quickly became apparent that wherever he was, it was much larger than the usual tiny islands that were often ignored in the Grand Line. Even a 30 foot tall Nami-san would be difficult to spot from this high up, much less anyone else. The Going Merry, or what was left of it, God forbid, might be easy to see though.
Sanji's eyes lit up. He recognized the voice almost immediately, and it was coming from directly below him!
"Vivi-chan!" Completely abandoning his trek up the mountain, or any thoughts of where the others might have gone, Sanji ran down the mountain trail towards the blue smudge that was Vivi up close.
"Sanji-kun! I was so worried!" the smudge exclaimed as it started to resemble Vivi.
Sanji didn't even bother to reply. He just continued running down the mountain trail as quickly as he could, until he saw Vivi's new look.
"No no!" Vivi quickly interrupted. "It's me! Just a bit..."
"Bigger?” the dumbfounded Sanji asked.
Flashbacks of Nami's growth instantly went through Sanji's brain. But Devil's Fruits were unique, right?
"I ate a Devil's Fruit."
"But...so did Nami-san."
"Nami-san is a giant too?!" Vivi asked hurriedly. Sanji nodded as he started to walk back up the trail.
"We should go to the top of the mountain. From there, we'll hopefully get a sign of the Going Merry."
"Well, it's a nice gem," Nami said to herself as she continued walking down a path by where she found herself, "but a bit small."
There was still no sign of the others, or the ship. Worse, Nami's new size would be impossible to board the Going Merry with without crushing the ship like a bath toy. And to top it all off, she had no idea of how to stop or reverse this growth process. What if she never stopped growing? She'd fall off the island and drown!
"That'd be an embarrassing way to go," Nami groaned, even as she continued walking forward. "I don't want to drown."
Then another, odder thought went into Nami's head. If the growth continued, couldn't she eventually reach a point where she'd touch the sea floor? Even going a bit beyond there, she could lie down in the Grand Line and turn it into the world's largest bathtub.
"Now that I could use," Nami chuckled as she imagined the Grand Line being filled with bubbles, barely able to contain the Goddess of the Seas. The tiny ships that sailed unable to move past her huge frame, paying a 300,000 berry toll for the view (if she decided that they wouldn't make good bath toys), the storms doing nothing but warming the water for her...
Hey, I can see One Piece from here!
Luffy?! Why are you on my head?! I'M TAKING A BATH!
But I don't wanna. Hey, meat!
Shaking her head back to reality, common sense took the place of grandiose fantasy. She wasn't going anywhere without a ship, or the others to help steer it. But there was still no...
"A gunshot? That means..."
Wasting no time, she ran forward.
Khwek was outmatched. A new feeling for him, as he believed himself to be the best shot in the four oceans. But this...idiot in the straw hat outmaneuvered his every shot with nothing but his fists!
Luffy didn't really care though. The whole day had been one fight after another, most of them for no real good reason. Sanji yelled at him just because Nami asked him where some pens where. Then, Sanji got into another argument with him when he wanted to go interrupt Nami while she was working. All he figured was that if it was important, and she was busy, he wouldn't let her be disturbed. Sanji didn't take too kindly to that.
As if that wasn't bad enough, another group of pirates, led by some dumb guy with a broken sword attacking the Going Merry. Then the storm came, and now, this guy wanted him dead.
Oh well, just part of being a pirate! Luffy thought as he leapt towards the attacker.
"I've had it with you!" Khwek snarled as he drew two pistols and aimed them at Luffy. "Draw!"
"OK! Gomu Gomu
Khwek thought that he had the reputation as being the fastest gun in the four oceans. It came as great shock, both physically and mentally, when he found out this...thing's fist was faster. That was his last thought before he lost consciousness.
"Man, you were a pain," Luffy thought as he walked away. Now that was over with, he was going to go find the others. At least that's what he thought, when he saw a gigantic shoe blocking his path. Looking up, he saw a rather familiar face.
Oh great, she thought. He's gonna freak out.
That was unexpected. "Huh?"
"You're big! Really big! Nami could carry the whole crew in one hand!"
"I know," Nami
replied half annoyed. You're not scared?"
"Why?" Luffy asked. The thought of being scared never even dawned upon him. "Hey Nami?"
"Have you seen the others?"
She sighed. "I got separated from Sanji by that girl."
"Where is she now?"
"Taking a nice swim," Nami chuckled to herself. "The ship?"
"Got me," Luffy
replied. "What do we do now?"
Nami looked around for about ten seconds before replying "We need to find the others. Can you keep up with me?"
"Can you give me a ride?" Luffy asked, smiling up at the giantess.
"Let me guess," Nami began, still thinking of her earlier dreams, "you want to ride on my head."
"Actually," Luffy replied as he pointed up, "I wanted to ride there. It looks really comfy."
Nami was unaware of where Luffy was pointing at first, thinking he saw a pocket on her skirt or something similar. But when she did see, her face turned beet red.
"NO! No way! No way in the world!"
"But I wanna! It looks really soft!"
"There is no way I'm letting you ride there!" Nami yelled, her face becoming redder by the minute.
"I was right! This is comfortable! You OK Nami?"
"Oh, I'm fine," Nami groaned as she looked down at Luffy resting happily in her bra, using her two breasts as a plush hammock. "I'm just losing my dignity, that's all."
"But it's soft!" Luffy happily exclaimed as Nami continued to walk.
"Well, at least you're happy."
From her vantage point, there was still no sign of any life even as she began approaching the coast. Luffy probably didn't notice anything either, if he had, he would have said something. So it was just going to be another boring...
"HahahAHAHAHA! Stop that!"
"What?" Luffy asked innocently from his position in Nami's bra. "I'm just trying to get comfortable."
"Oh?" Luffy's innocent expression soon turned into a mischievous one, as he began rolling around the bra. "Does this tickle?"
"HHAHHAHAHAHAHA! STOP IT! I SWEAR," Nami stammered between fits of laughter. For a brief second, she forgot that she was lost and had no escape on the island, because of the simple fact that she was too busy laughing. Then, as Luffy continued to move, she got another idea.
"You like...my breasts, huh?" she asked between giggles. Luffy stared up for a moment, but it was all she needed. Grabbing hold of her breasts, she separated them, allowing Luffy to fall inside the vast cleavage.
"Still soft!" he replied, grinning.
"What about now?" Nami asked, as she pressed them together, watching Luffy get smothered in between the two breasts.
"B...big! Hard to move!"
"Then I'll just keep you like that for a while," Nami replied confidently. That would teach him for tickling her!
"Sanji, why did you stop?"
"I...I just had a feeling...that I'm missing something very important. Something I'm going to regret for a long time if I ever find out about it."
Nami was fully immersed with one thought, making Luffy realize who was in charge at the moment. He was persistent, trying to climb out of her cleavage in order to tickle her, but she had a rather significant size advantage.
The two had almost completely forgotten about the crew, and the fact that they were on an abandoned island, when out of the corner of her eye, Nami noticed a very large white ship heading for the shore. Although it was too far away to get a detailed view, it looked large enough to hold even Nami's 300 foot frame in its vast hull, along with the Going Merry.
"Who are they?" Luffy asked while climbing out of Nami's cleavage, his shirt ruffled and hat lopsided. Looking up at the face of his navigator/ride, he found her staring intently at the boat.
"I don't recognize it. And it doesn't have Marine or Pirate flags."
"Who are they?"
"I don't know!" Nami yelled, half-annoyed. "But, whoever they are, they might be our only way off the island."
"So should we go talk to them?"
"Unfortunately, most people won't take the idea of seeing a 300 foot tall girl as well as you would. You go talk to them."
Nami sighed, and then realized something a few seconds later.
"Luffy, you have to get out of there if you want to talk to someone on the shore."
"Do I have to?" he asked, his voice similar to a child being told playtime was over. And like an adult who would answer the child, Nami sternly replied, "Yes," scooping him up from her bra and putting him on the ground.
"But what about you?"
"I'm going to
hide here," Nami answered, pointing to a thick patch of forest by the
shoreline. "Don't tell them about me, got it?"
Ducking under the cover of the forest, Nami watched intently as the ship pulled ashore, hoping that Luffy would be able to convince whoever was on board to help them.
"Step lively men! That damned Gelhorn is on this island, and our Sea Gems with him! We're going to skin that little thief alive!"
The roar of several dozen men at the speech of their leader, a heavyset man with thick gray armor covering all of his pale body with the exception of his head, was loud enough to echo throughout the bay. What was almost as loud was the sounds of men taking supplies and weapons from the boat and putting them on the shore, setting up a makeshift camp on the land. Still, they could be surprised, and when a guy in a red shirt walked up to the camp, the crew looked on with shock.
"Captain Blorth! It's a native!"
"What?" began the heavyset man in a thick British accent as he went up to one of the crew, a short man in a torn shirt and pants. "Savages, Filor?"
"It seems so." Turning to a taller, lankier man by the steps from the ship to the dock, Blorth shouted, "Dieo! What language is most common from natives in this section of the Grand Line?"
"I...I think it's a variation of the Mayla tongue, sir."
"OK," replied Blorth as he asserted himself, "then ask 'Who are you?'"
The crew, including Blorth, all gasped at the man. "The savage knows English! Erm, uh...I am Blorth of the Tempest. We're a traveling expedition, trying to collect rare artifacts from the Grand Line. We don't mean to..."
"Hi. My ship got stuck here in a storm. Have you seen it?"
"Ship?" Blorth looked on, as if lost in thought, and then answered "Oh right! There was a pirate ship docked on the other side of the island. Small wooden vessel, big flag with...a straw hat like that one!"
Blorth was ready to answer when Filor tugged against his armor, interrupting him.
"Uh, sir, should we really be helping a pirate?" What seemed to be a perfectly logical question was met by Blorth's yelling.
"Filor! You idiot!"
"What have I told you? That is not a pirate! That is a potential customer!"
Luffy, along with the rest of Blorth's crew, stared on as he continued to berate what he believed, was an impudent upstart. "If one potential customer is upset with us, then he'll tell other potential customers not to visit our attractions. Before you know it, we've got a mob of irate people that don't want anything to do with us..."
"So we will help this potential customer any way we can! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT LAW OF CAPITALISM, SAILOR?!"
Turning away from his shocked underling, Blorth grinned at Luffy, asking "Now tell me Mr. Luffy. How on earth did you arrive in the middle of nowhere?"
Being forced to lie down for two hours was more than starting to grate on Nami's last nerves. Luffy and that 'Blorth' guy hadn't begun looking for the ship nearly as quickly as she hoped. Instead, Luffy helped them set up camp, and over a large fire, ate dinner with the rest of the crew. They were definitely not marines or pirates, too clean to be pirates, too rowdy to be marines.
So she was forced to watch Luffy and Blorth's crew eat dinner off of paper plates; laughing and drinking about past adventures, and other things that weren't helping her get back to normal.
"Ugh. Luffy, you really have to go home now," she gritted.
Luffy couldn't hear her of course, even if she spoke at normal volume. The crew of the Tempest was yelling and hollering as they exchanged stories and ate.
"Ok, so you're telling me that you followed Gelhorn here?"
"Yeah, he mentioned something about this gem and his book..."
Blorth laughed out loud. "You mean his comic book?!"
"Yeah!" Filor yelled. "It was voted worst comic two years in a row!"
"And half of the stuff he writes about was plagiarized, or accounts of him attacking other ships!" Blorth added. "That's how he started this whole 'Sea Gem' quest!"
Luffy looked on intently. "That's what he asked us about."
"Well," Blorth replied, "The Sea Gems are useful for something, but the main question, what, is still unknown. All we know is that when all thirteen are brought together on Twilight Island, something happens.”
"I said I didn't know! Dhrwen was too sissy to go find One Piece like most pirates, so he figures finding the Sea Gems would be his best chance at success. So he goes, and attacks us, because we have the Gems as part of our expedition!"
gonna do with them?"
"Show them off to the world, what else? It's proof of his grand conquest of the seas! Him and his con artist friends..."
Nami looked on bored, attempting to overhear the conversation for another few minutes when without warning, her hand brushed against a tree. This wouldn't have been so bad if two of Blorth's men weren't in the area, and noticed the brushing of the trees. Then the light shined on her face.
"Captain Blorth! Captain Blorth!"
"What is it? It had better be important to interrupt dinner!"
"There's something in the woods!" the first sailor exclaimed.
"It's huge!" added the second sailor.
"Men! Get the torches! We need to hurry into the woods!" With that one line, the sailors hurried into the woods, while Luffy looked on, still eating the meat in front of him. Then realization dawned.
"Nami!" he shouted, hurriedly running towards the woods. But it was too late. The crew had already found his gigantic navigator and all of them were staring.
"Oh my stars and garters..."
Both Nami and Blorth were speechless. And Luffy didn't have a good explanation for what was in front of them. The crew of the Tempest could only gasp at the 300 foot tall woman in front of them.
Blorth looked at Dieo, the first to recover from the trance, before answering. "I...must have her!"
"An actual giantess! And one of such beauty too! I've heard stories that most of the giantesses were hideous creatures. She's good enough for a poster!"
Nami couldn't believe what she was hearing. "WHAT?!"
"Boys! Get the nets!"
"You can't do that!" Luffy yelled. As Blorth looked on, Luffy stretched his arms out in front of the sailors, to symbolize that he would not move.
"And why not? She's mine!"
"No, she's mine! She's my navigator!"
Nami watched as the two captains argued over who she was the property of. Not only was it infuriating to her, it was offensive. And she wasn't about to deal with it anymore.
"What the hell gives any of you the right to say I'm property!? I don't belong to anyone!" Instantly, this was met with several nets encasing her body.
"Don't take another step Mr. Luffy!" Blorth threatened as he drew a sword. "You would do well not to interfere with business!"
"You can't take her!"
"She's mine! And you can't stop me, you're just one man!"
Luffy wouldn't take it sitting down. With a look of anger, he charged forward and raised his fist into the air.
"GOMU GOMU NO PISTOL!"
Luffy's fist flew towards Blorth, but when it landed on his armor, Luffy felt the momentum come to a complete halt.
"Huh?" Blorth only laughed.
"A Devil's fruit user I presume? Don't bother," Blorth began as he pounded his fist against the grey armor. "This is made with a combination of metal and seastone, very expensive...and completely immune to Devil's fruit powers. Try OW!"
Blorth couldn't finish his boasting as another fist landed directly in his face, the one part of his body not covered in armor. "That wasn't fair!"
"You're not fair!" Luffy yelled in response.
As the two captains continued to argue, Nami struggled against the nets that held her in place. They were tightly bound by what appeared to be several dozen sailors holding onto the ropes, all with enough force to keep her in place. Panic set in, and Nami began to yell and scream.
"Let me out!"
The panic enveloped her mind, and Nami struggled against the net with all her might. Soon, however, the panic turned to an unusual power, and like an unchained beast, she emerged from the nets nearly tripled in size, throwing the groups of sailors attempting to hold her down like rag dolls. The people by her didn't matter. She had to get away!
Luffy's attention quickly turned as he saw his now 900 foot tall navigator bulldozing her way through the forest, past the trees and hills and anything else unfortunate enough to be in her way. The sheer power and rage was stunning to just about everyone viewing the spectacle, yet Blorth still pursued her. And that was something Luffy couldn't allow.
"GOMU GOMU NO ROCKET!"
The force struck Blorth quickly, but all too decisively, sending him hurdling towards the sea. His crew turned and fled as well, leaving Luffy to follow the trail of carnage Nami left behind. The pirate captain, however, could only stare at the destruction in front of him.
Hours of climbing the mountain trail had finally paid off when Sanji and Vivi reached a ledge that gave them a rather breathtaking view of the entire island. Every single part of the island, from the forests in the center, to the...wait!
"The ship! Look!"
From her decidedly higher vantage point, Vivi saw the Going Merry on the other side of the island, seemingly undamaged. There was also a trail of destruction on the other side of the island next to an even larger ship.
And a very angry Nami, moving through the forest as if it was grass.
"Sanji-kun, how high up are we?"
"I'd say...about 1000 feet. Why?"
"Nami seems...almost eye level. She must be..."
The two couldn't say anything as the gargantuan Nami dashed past the mountain, the speed and force of her body creating a powerful gust that knocked Sanji from the mountain.
Desperately, Vivi reached over the ledge in a desperate attempt to grab Sanji before he fell to his death. But his body was too far, her arm too short. Try as she might...
No, that was a cliché, and not a very useful one at that. With one more push, Vivi stretched her arm out as far as she could, in the hope that she would grab onto something. Her movements finally rewarded her, when she felt her grip on something.
That's Sanji-kun's voice. He's alright! Enthralled with her success, she looked over the ledge, only to find out that a new problem had arisen. Instead of having a grip on a part of Sanji's body, the chef was literally inside her hand, being pressed against her body.
"Sanji-kun, what happened?"
"We'll figure that out in a bit, OK?"
“But that was Nami-san! What could have happened?”
“In a minute, ok?” Sanji replied with disinterest.
Amidst the flurry of activity on the deck of the Tempest, a lone sailor pushed his way through the crowds with a single paper in hand, struggling to reach Captain Blorth, seated and dazed.
"Sir! There's something you need to see!"
Standing to his feet, Blorth snatched the piece of paper from his assistant's hand, noticing the very familiar face of the man who humiliated him earlier. And below that...
"You mean that...straw hat wearing punk is worth..."
walking towards the stairs to the bowels of the ship, crumbling the paper inside
his hand. Not even looking back at his assistant, Blorth asked "And Dhrwen?"
"We saw the debris of the Mist next to Mr. Luffy's ship. He's definitely here."
"Then it's time to release the Entangler."
The sailor's blood drained from his face when he heard that. "Sir! The Entangler has never been released since..."
"I'm not playing around anymore. I'm going to kill Dhrwen, Luffy, and take the woman and Sea Gems off this island without fail!"
"Captain, might I just say that if that girl keeps getting bigger, not even the Tempest will hold her."
"All the more reason to hurry."
Swords still clashed near the edge of the forest as two swordsmen refused to back down even when the blades passed within mere inches of their body. Neither Zoro nor Rheoz backed down to look at anything but their opponent, fearful that the other would take advantage and deliver a death blow. It would take the very earth itself to stop them.
When the ground started quaking, both did stop to see what was happening. In Rheoz's case though, it was only a brief second as he prepared his sword, taking advantage of Zoro's distraction.
"NAMI?! What in the..."
Rheoz saw his chance. Unfortunately for him, the blade in his gut said otherwise. The one that was in Zoro's mouth.
"If you played fair, you wouldn't be dead," Zoro muttered before running off towards the source of the quakes. Rheoz, powerless to move, slumped in the floor, watching his blood drain from his body.
Despite all the pain on his body, screaming was still unusually natural for Ussop. He was sore all over, tossed and turned in the horrendous storm, but yet, he was living. That's good! Very good. And the ship! The Going Merry was still in one piece!
He remembered earlier. Everything that led up to this. The storm. Even before that, the argument in the ship about Sanji wanting to interrupt Nami's work. The one that he had to diffuse.
She's busy! Can't you come back later!
How do you know she's busy?!
Because...she locked the door?
Then the fight interrupted them all, and the storm, and all that other insanity, but what was noticeable was that he was alive and his ship was unharmed from the weather.
"Keep your mouth shut and don't move!"
The sword pointed at his throat and the threats were bad though. He recognized the irate pirate captain from earlier, but kept his mouth shut.
"Y...you don't wanna hurt me pal! I'm..."
"A hostage," the captain interrupted. "Come with me!"
"You were waiting for me?" Ussop asked, with a poke of the broken sword to his back as the only reply.
"OK, fine, I'm moving!"
"You'd damn well better," the captain replied. "You pitiful cretins cost me my ship! The Mist was..."
Dhrwen ranted and raved for another five minutes about his ship and various adventures as the two of them headed around the island. Ussop did his best to block out what came out as monotonous and annoying until the two came upon another passerby. An odd looking winged ape that stared at Dhrwen with absolute dread when he approached.
"Pero! You're alive!"
As Dhrwen ran over to the creature, still holding onto Ussop, he could hear the beast mutter a few curses as he was patted on the head, with an odd-looking belt attached to his waist soon after. 11 identical jewels adorned it, with two blank spaces, presumably for two additional jewels.
"The Sea Gem belt...erm...sir?"
"When the storm broke, I wanted it with someone I could trust. Me. Now that the storm has passed, I want to make sure it's somewhere that I can keep my eyes on it. Now, seeing as the compass pointed here..."
Revealing the same odd glass bobble from earlier, Dhrwen raised it into the air, expecting like before, a single beam to emerge from it. Instead, a plethora of blue rays of light were sent in every single direction, with several beams being brighter than others. Neither Ussop nor the ape had any idea what was happening, but Dhrwen began laughing.
"We've found it! We've found it!"
"Found what?!" Ussop yelled, finally sick of hearing Dhrwen boast and prattle.
"The Devil's island! The home of the 13th and final Sea Gem, and the source of the power that can eliminate Devil's Fruits from the world! I'll be rich! Famous! Influential! All I need is to find..."
What Ussop had just heard would have been fascinating under normal circumstances, warranting his full attention. It would have even merited a call to historians, philosophers, and others who could describe the situation and elaborate. Unfortunately, the ground shook just as Dhrwen began celebrating, with all of three of them looking up to observe the cause of the disturbance. Ussop's mouth dropped as he saw the cause of the quakes.
Moving towards the pirate captain and his hostage like an out of control train was the navigator of the Going Merry, the size of a small mountain and looking angry enough to put a hole through one. If Dhrwen hadn't had his hand firmly clasped around Ussop's arm, he would have taken off as soon as she stared at the group with that furious expression.
"She has the 12th gem?" Dhrwen stated aloud. "Then give it to me!"
Dhrwen's outburst didn't accomplish anything but enraging Nami and causing her to pick him up from the ground. Curiously though, Dhrwen didn't seem worried as he followed one of the compass beams towards a spot near the navigator's leg. He appeared to have taken something from it when the pirate captain was thrown right into the ocean, unable to utter another word.
Ussop was talking to air. The ape from before had been flung into the air on the same course as his 'master'. And the furious Nami didn't look like she wanted to hear anything.
"PLEASE DON'T KILL ME! IT'S ME! USSOP! ERM...THE GUY WITH THE BIG NOSE!"
A few seconds later, much to Ussop's relief, Nami fell down on all fours, and then looked down at him with a sense of confusion.
"Ussop? What are?"
"I woke up. You?"
"Is the Entangler ready to be released?"
"Yes Captain. The cage has been opened, and it's ready to be released into the island. We've also got observers in position all over the island to ensure nothing goes wrong."
"Good. Now Mr. Luffy, you're going to see what a true man of the sea can do."
"Sir! We've found someone!"
"I'm busy! Who
could it be?"
"Does the name Dhrwen Gelhorn sound familiar? He was literally thrown into the ocean by some force!"
"You say that like it's a bad thing. Bring him to me!"
"That makes no sense."
"Yeah, well neither does your story."
Both Nami and Ussop expressed disbelief over what the other had told them. Ancient gems and a cursed island with a power capable of destroying the Devil's fruits sounded ridiculous to the average ear, but so did a legion of sailors wanting to make Nami their latest attraction. Still, Ussop had his priorities in order.
"I guess it's time to leave," he firmly stated, walking back towards the Going Merry. "Too bad about the others..."
"I can't fit in the boat, and I can't swim," replied an irate Nami, standing still. Ussop looked on a bit worried.
"You can't shrink back to normal?" Nami just shook her head as she moved forward, much to Ussop's dismay.
"You're not going towards those guys, are you?"
"I have to find the others," Nami replied. "By the way, you're walking."
Ussop stared blankly as the situation set in. "Walking? And what the hell is that supposed to mean?!"
Despite Ussop's misgivings, the two began moving towards the center of the island in the hope of finding the others. Nami didn't have to think too hard about planning a course, simply backtracking on her path of destruction from earlier. There was no sign of life unfortunately as she went through the island. Not human life anyway. Ussop made sure that Nami knew about his opinion every chance he got.
"What are we looking for again? And why can't we just leave?"
"Because I can't shrink back to normal, remember? I can't swim with a Devil's fruit, and I can't fit on the boat. And don't you dare think of leaving me here!" Nami added when she noticed Ussop trying to slink away into the forest.
"Wouldn't d...dream of it."
The already annoyed Ussop was further confused when he looked up and saw Nami standing still.
She didn't reply, only pointing her finger ahead. From his vantage point in the forest, Ussop couldn't see past the trees and therefore had no idea what she was pointing at.
"Is it that bad?!"
An inhuman roar from the forest answered their question as the rumbling grew louder. All Ussop was sure of was that he didn't want to be anywhere near the creature that produced such a dreadful sound. Unfortunately for him, Nami had probably anticipated his retreat and grabbed him inside her hand. Not only did this prevent his escape, it also gave Ussop a clear view of the horrifying creature.
The beast in front of them had a clear body with no visible bones or any sort of skeletal structure. The closest thing to a front was a dome shape on the top of the creature's body, which was placed on top of a narrower body. From that body, dozens of odd, thick tentacles emerged, propelling the beast through the ground as well as whipping away just about anything near the creature.
It was enough to make even Nami tremble in fear, especially since the beast appeared even larger than she by at least a good 300 feet.
"Run?" Ussop meekly suggested. Nami nodded in agreement and grabbed Ussop in her hand as she took off through the forest, screaming.
The yelling was all too clear to Vivi's ears. She recognized it heading right for her and more importantly, who was screaming.
"Miss Nami is alive! But why is she yelling?"
"Who cares?" Sanji yelled, waving his hands. "Nami-san! Over here!"
Unfortunately for Sanji, Nami wasn't paying his cries for attention any mind, hurrying around the island with Ussop firmly in her hand.
"What are they running from?"
The sight of a bizzare creature crawling through the forest, even larger than Nami, answered their question. It also prompted Vivi and Sanji to start running as well.
"Ussop, shoot it!"
From his vantage point in Nami's hand, Ussop had a clear view of the creature chasing them, but no idea what to do. The slingshot in his hand might as well have been a harmonica.
"Shoot it in the eye!"
"What eye?!" Ussop yelled confused as he pointed out the creature's lack of such an appendage.
"Then shoot something!"
Ussop groaned, putting his telescopic goggles over his eyes to get a better view of the creature. Unfortunately, nothing near the gelatinous beast suggested any sort of vulnerability. Maybe he could ask one of those people in the forest for help. Wait...
"Nami, I think we're surrounded!"
She didn't even bother to look behind her, but asked "By whom?"
"People. Lots of people. Should I shoot them?"
There were only three groups of people on that island from what Nami recollected. Dhrwen's crew, and half of them were dead, the Straw Hats, and Blorth's men. Considering the sheer number, it was obvious to her which camp the men were in.
"Shoot the guys in front of us then."
"You sure?" Ussop asked briefly, but the pounding of the beast quickly forced him to be more assertive. Drawing his slingshot, Ussop took aim at a person behind them...
"I can't aim if you keep moving!"
"Yeah," Nami sarcastically replied. "I don't care about the monster behind us and I'll just stand still so you can aim. I'm sure he'll give us plenty of time."
Instead of replying, Ussop simply readies his slingshot, aiming in front of him. This time, the target was right in front of him.
With a well time shot, the steel pachinko ball whizzed through the air and landed a small yet piercing blow to the man's skull, causing him to collapse, dropping what appeared to be a whistle from his mouth. The person next to him began looking on, only to suffer the same fate seconds later.
Looking behind him, Ussop saw a stranger sight. For a brief second, it looked as if the creature had stopped moving, confused as to where to go next.
However, when two men rushed to replace their fallen comrades, whistles ready, the beast roared to life and gave chase.
"I think I know why it's moving!" Ussop yelled.
"OK, can you make it stop?! I can't keep this pace up!"
Looking around, Ussop gulped. The sheer amount of people in the forest, and the ever-closing beast in back of them ensured that taking out every single person with a whistle would take far too long."
"We need a new plan! Those...guys are controlling where it goes!"
Nami knew what to do before Ussop could explain it. Seeing where he was pointing, she moved towards the area, watching as the people in the trees were forced to jump off in a desperate attempt to avoid being crushed. Not stopping to catch her breath, Nami repeated the process on the area until the sailors were sent running for their lives, the beast following them.
"Now what?" Ussop asked.
"How about you get off and let me catch my breath?!"
The quakes seemed to be moving in a different direction, so that meant that whatever had caused them was living. Zoro wasn't sure who that could possibly be, seeing as Vivi wasn't that large when he last saw her. It didn't really matter to him, all Zoro wanted to do was to get off the island and away from whatever insanity that was there.
"Will you stop calling me...?”
As he looked up, nearly 60 feet into the air, he knew that Vivi was up there. Unfortunately, this meant that there wasn't really a lot he could do about correcting that habit of hers.
"Where are the others?"
"Well, if you count me as 'others'", began a familiar cigarette-smoking blonde male, "I'm here."
Zoro looked around for signs of anyone else. Three so far, but...
"Hi. Zoro, what happened?"
Four. "Just the usual life-or-death duel. Oi, Luffy, have you seen anyone else?"
"Nami ran into the forest. But..."
"She was big, right?" Sanji asked. Luffy nodded.
"Real big! Bigger than all the trees and the ship, heck, almost as big as the mountain!"
None of the others looked thrilled with the description. "At least she shouldn't be hard to find," Zoro replied.
The group didn't have to look far. In front of them, towering in the air, was a panting Nami, and down at her feet, an even more exhausted Ussop.
"This day keeps getting weirder and weirder," Zoro groaned.
"Any stranger than what we've dealt with?" asked a still-panting Ussop.
"Point taken. Now let's get out of here before that monster that was chasing Nami comes back."
“Uh, where?” asked Sanji. “The girls can’t fit on the ship like that!”
“Then what do we do?!” Ussop asked in a fit of panic. None of the others had a clear-cut answer.
Blorth, along with his entourage of men, hurried through the forest. His face appeared stressed and his movements were hasted as he and his entourage ran through the forest in pursuit of their goal.
And in chains by them were Dhrwen Gelhorn and Pero, the latter wearing the collar with the 13 sea gems on them. Their presence wasn’t viewed favorably by the members of Blorth’s crew.
“What are we looking for, and why was it important enough to keep you alive?!” Dieo asked.
“A short distance from here,” Dhrwen began, “is the Gem Arc, a temple built inside a large cave where the thirteen treasures are placed. When all of them are gathered together, something will happen.”
“I don’t know,” Dhrwen confessed, “the legends didn’t say. All I know is that it’s something very important, it could reveal a treasure beyond your wildest dreams!”
“Keep in mind, boy,” Blorth snorted, “that it’s my duty as an explorer that’s the only thing which is allowing this quest to continue. Otherwise, I would have fed you to the Entangler!”
Dhrwen said nothing as he moved ahead, pointing towards a cave by a nearby mountain. “The compass wants us to go there.”
Blorth’s men had entered the cave, but the initial promises of riches had betrayed them, for the only thing of interest in the cave was a stone table with a hole in the center. A similar hole stood above the table in the cave’s ceiling. On its circular edge, thirteen holes, each one with a stone-shaped groove embedded in the table, were waiting. Without being ordered, Dhrwen plucked the gems from Pero’s belt and began placing them in each groove. However, Blorth noticed something was wrong.
“There are only twelve jewels! You couldn’t even find the last one?!”
“When I acquired the twelfth gem, I didn’t realize that my target had the last one as well. But I’m sure that…”
The two of them were interrupted by the massive shaking of the entire island. Light from the hole in the ceiling descended upon the twelve jewels, and the empty hole. The light then reflected into the hole in the table, at which point the entire island began to shake to its very core!
“What in the hell is happening?!” a panicked crewmember gasped.
Blorth looked to ask Dhrwen, but he was gone, leaving the terrified ape behind. Although Blorth attempted to grab one of the jewels, the light burned his hand.
“We must leave at once!”
The shockwaves spread across the entire island. The Straw Hats felt the earthquake mere seconds after it first struck the cave, and like Blorth’s men, they had no idea what to do.
Even more bizzare to the crew was a strange blue light pulsating from the shore. As it reached across the island, they saw it wash over Nami, with a strange glaze forming in her eyes. A similar glaze formed over Vivi’s eyes, and the two stood still even as the island shook. Suddenly, without warning, they began moving towards the show, completely ignoring the quaking beneath them.
Ussop was already in full panic mode. “So we’re stuck on an island that’s coming apart, and we can’t leave because the girls don’t fit on the ship?! How could this get worse?!”
The long, slow rumbling from the forest answered them. It wasn’t the rumbling of an earthquake, but rather, it was the living, breathing form of a creature. Ussop was already trembling in fear even while the girls remained in their trance, moving forward towards the shore.
“What are we gonna do?!” Ussop yelled in fear. Sanji, Luffy, and Zoro however, had already answered that question, running forward to face the monster.
Blorth’s crew was in full retreat from the quaking of the island. As the sands of the beaches were tossed into the air, the crew attempted to return to the ship with no sign of hesitation. Equipment was left on the shore and the panic of the individual sailors had set in, with each struggling to make it to the ship before the other. Blorth was no exception, at least until he saw the two figures walking through the shore.
“There’s two of them now?” Blorth muttered aloud, stopping even as the two women moved towards the shore, not allowing the quakes to deter them.
“Men, there’s been a change of plans. Call the Entangler over here and get the ropes! I’m not leaving this island empty-handed!” The sailors, rather than risk defying their captain, almost immediately went to work.
“GOMU-GOMO NO PISTOL!”
The three combined attacked collided with the jellyfish-esque creature, causing a tentacle to fall to the ground, the impact being lost in the increased force of the quaking island.
Unfortunately, that was but one of what appeared to be dozens upon dozens of tentacles emerging from the creature, several of them already moving quickly to ensnare the trio. Undeterred, Luffy moved forward to attack the beast, dodging tentacles as they whipped towards his body. Sanji and Zoro were each ready to attack the beast when it suddenly began moving away, heading towards the shore.
“What, is it scared of us?” Zoro asked as he saw the beast leaving the area.
“I think it’s going after the girls!” Ussop replied as he pointed out that the area where Nami and Vivi were standing was now empty. Without a second of hesitation, the crew gave pursuit, even as the powerful whipping strides of the Entangler made it difficult to keep pace with it.
Even as the earthquakes raged across the island, Blorth’s men stood their ground, with not a single one even contemplating retreat. Readying rifles and other firearms, they stood in a makeshift line, prepared to stop the approach of the two giantesses. No doubt was expressed at how firearms designed to bring down humans were supposed to harm a creature as large as even the mighty Entangler, or how they’d fit the girls inside as the island seemed ready to rip itself apart.
“Remember, if the Entangler cannot hold them down, we are to fire until they are bought down, but not killed! Understand?”
“Yes sir!” the men all responded in unison.
Slowly, the Entangler came into view directly behind the two girls, its legion of tentacles reaching out to ensnare them from their straightforward path. The beast prepared, as it had so many times before, to drag its prey to the ground at which point Blorth and his men could take over.
However, neither girl stopped for the beast. In fact, with each step, their movements became harder and more forceful, with the crew looking on in dread at the reason.
“Sir…they’re both growing again!”
It was all too obvious to the crew that not even their captured monster could do anything against the two girls as they rose higher into the air, the larger one soon matching and just as quickly, eclipsing the size of the Entangler itself. Turning briefly to face the creature, the two girls began kicking the creature in order to force it off of them. With Vivi’s first kick, the Entangler was sent spiraling to the sand, its grip lost, and with Nami’s second kick, it was punted into orbit as if it were a football.
Hundreds of rifles, cannons, and other assorted weapons began pelting the two giantesses at a rapid pace, with each of Blorth’s crew firing out of desperation in the hope that their assault would bring the girls down. Unfortunately for them, the assault was to no avail as the girls walked through the barrage as if it didn’t exist!
“They’re not stopping!” a panicked sailor shouted as the girls began moving in closer.
“Hold your position and ready the gas cannons,” sternly replied Blorth. Two sailors immediately loaded cannons and fired them, only to have their hearts sink when the gas released was unable to pass the giantesses’ kneecaps.
“I can’t take it anymore!” a sailor yelled from among the front lines. “We’re going to die here! Nothing’s working!”
Murmurs echoing his doubt began spreading until Blorth yelled. “Continue firing! Ready the Bouken cannon!”
Several men began moving towards the line, hauling extremely large cannon which shined in the sunlight reflecting on it. Struggling, they put the weapon in place and loaded it with two shells each the size of the men themselves. A mere few seconds later, two rounds from the seemingly terrifying weapon were discharged. Unfortunately, much like the gas canisters, the cannon shells had no effect on the monstrous forms of the two girls.
“We’re all gonna die!”
Blorth groaned even as he continued shooting. “Shut up!”
“B…but they’re both too big!” the sailor yelled as he continued to whine and protest. The ship can’t fit them anymore and I think they’re still…”
“Shut up!” Blorth yelled, drawing a pistol from a holster on his armor. “You will do as you are told and if you dare abandon this battlefield, so help me…”
The sailor gulped and raised his weapon, but the crashing of a giant shoe approaching ever closer caused him to crack. “I can’t do it! I just wanted the money to go to college! Please, don’t let it…”
“Now,” Blorth continued to the rest of his crew, looking down at the sailor, “who else wants to run off?”
Blorth’s disciplining of the dissident put the crew in line for exactly 30 seconds. At that point, the girls, each soaring near 2000 feet in height, were looming above the comparatively pathetic trench, their mere presence showing just how futile their efforts were. When Blorth’s two lieutenants looked into the air and saw nothing but Nami’s gargantuan panties, they realized the truth of the situation.
“Sir, we must leave. We have no means to bring them down!”
“Fine! Everyone retreat to the Tempest!” the irate captain yelled even as he drew another pistol.
“Sir, where are you going?” a sailor asked.
“I’m going to find Dhrwen Gelhorn and make him pay for what he’s done!”
Instead of questioning their captain’s orders, the crew hurried from the beach to their ships, abandoning their weapons and anything that was going to weigh them down. About ten seconds later, it was all paste underneath Nami’s shoe.
The quakes didn’t make the trip easy for the Straw Hat crew, but even as the island threatened to collapse around them, they pressed forward. Or in Ussop’s case, as he dragged himself forward despite his body’s objections.
“Look! I found Nami-san and Vivi-chan!” Sanji yelled, pointing up at the gargantuan figures in the distance. The others could only look in shock until someone finally broke the silence.
“They’re a lot bigger,” Luffy eventually concluded. Zoro and Ussop just shook their heads and attempted to analyze the situation.
“OK, does anyone here have a clue how to stop that?” Zoro asked, staring up at the two monolithic girls.
No one responded for several minutes, even as the crew desperately tried to close the distance with the pair walking towards the beach.
“Maybe…” Ussop suggested as he attempted to stand upright, “whatever’s causing the earthquakes has Nami and Vivi in that trance!”
“Then we have to stop the earthquakes!” Sanji yelled. As he pushed onward, Ussop realized exactly what was implied.
“No, wait! That’s not what I meant! HEY!”
Dhrwen laughed as he emerged from his hiding place behind the rock. Looking up at the pillar of light formed from the table was enough to make his already unnatural white hair tingle.
“I have waited so long, and now, the thirteen Sea Gems will at long last be reunited! Absolute power and fame will be mine and mine alone! I can smell the awards, the money, the women...”
The two looming shadows over Dhrwen were the signal that he needed. Turning around, he saw two gigantic forms above him, showing no fear of what they were supposed to do.
“Ah yes. You two must have eaten the mixed fruit of the islands. Now, the Sea Gem if you please?”
The orange-haired monolith dropped a bright blue gem down at Dhrwen’s feet. Smiling, he went inside the cave and placed the gem inside the final empty slot. Almost immediately, the earthquakes came to a halt, and the Sea compass began glowing as the light from the gems struck the glass case.
“Finally, the Soul of the Seas is in my hand! The power of unlimited fame and wealth, and the power to control the devils!”
Dhrwen walked outside as the earthquakes ceased the ultimate power he had long sought firmly in the palm of his hand. But what to test it on first? He could rip the other people here apart and commandeer their ships, returning to Darkwater a hero.
Never mind that, there was a fool that needed discipline. He would write the greatest chapter in his epic, based on the events about to transpire.
“You honestly believe a simple firearm is going to stop me?” Dhrwen smirked, raising the compass into the air. Blorth didn’t reply, but instead fired his gun right at Dhrwen’s head.
The bullet never reached its intended target. From the compass, a blue light emerged, but one far brighter than the one that led Dhrwen to the island. The bullets that hit the light instantly evaporated.
“Guns? How primitive! Do you really expect those mortal weapons to hurt me?” Punctuating his frustration, Dhrwen raised his compass into the air again, as a light shot out at Blorth, holding him in place.
“…What are you doing?!” Blorth shouted even as he struggled against the light that held him in place. Dhrwen, taking a moment to fluff his hair, looked at his captive and answered.
“You are cursed by the ocean the same way a Devil’s fruit user is.”
“But I’m on dry land!”
“This wondrous gadget spreads the power of the ocean anywhere. Now, I think it’s time you were disposed of.”
With that, the blue beam glowed brightly around Blorth, and he could only watch as his favorite armor was shattered into dozens of pieces that were now decorating the ground. He could only swear at Dhrwen, as the rest of his body was paralyzed.”
“Will you kill me?”
“Me? Soil my hands with one not even a pirate? Of course not! You! Blue-haired girl!” he shouted, pointing to Vivi. Almost immediately, the giant hand of Vivi was raised above Blorth, preparing to ensnare him in darkness.
“More guests,” mused Dhrwen as he looked on, seeing as four men, no, four children were quickly approaching the Gem Arc. With his new power, they would be nothing. Nothing except test subjects. Using the beam to toss Blorth to the side like a ball, he then turned to face his opponents.
“What is it cretins? Can’t you see I’m busy? Oh, oh, I see,” Dhrwen replied with amusement. “You’re all here to save your crewmates and stop me from using this unfathomable power. Unfortunately for you, there are people that don’t agree with that.”
“Who?” asked a sarcastic Zoro.
“My two newest assistants. Ladies?”
The four men already knew what was coming, and didn’t bother to gawk. Instead, they quickly moved out of the way of hand swipes from each 2000 foot tall girl, barely avoiding the powerful hands, but at the same time, having no idea how this idiot could be controlling them.
The two towering titanesses didn’t need to move far, standing above their perceived targets. Raising their feet into the air, the two attempted to crush them as one would mere ants, their blank minds focusing on the targets as they narrowly dodged, ran, and otherwise escaped each smashing foot.
“What did you do to Nami-san?!” Sanji yelled as he charged Dhrwen, attempting to avoid Vivi’s powerful stomps. Laughing, Dhrwen pointed the compass at Sanji, with a blue beam of light soon following. The cook barely dodged it, but soon found himself right underneath the shadow of Nami’s hand reaching to grab him. With one movement, he was barely able to dodge the hand, finding himself pinned down next to the others.
“What I did?” Dhrwen continued, “It was their own fault for eating the fruit of this island! They weren’t ordinary Devil’s fruits!”
Almost immediately, at least to everyone except Luffy, a major piece of the puzzle fell into place. Why the girls couldn’t control their size. Why they seemed to go berserk at times, triggering spurts. And why this guy’s glowing jewel thing was able to control the girls while Luffy remained relatively unaffected by the energies of the Sea Gems.
Luffy didn’t really care. He wasn’t about to ask the questions that were forming in the heads of the others. He wasn’t going to give this jerk another second to try and control his nakama.
“GOMU GOMU GOMU…”
“Oh no you don’t!” Dhrwen yelled just before a blue beam froze Luffy in place. Smirking, he looked at the other two people in front of him, the third having seemingly run off.
“Surrender or your captain dies!”
Zoro and Sanji looked on at the man, laughing as Nami’s hand extended down, providing him with a suitable platform. Climbing onto it, the hand was quickly raised hundreds of feet into the air, beyond the reach of either person. This didn’t deter Zoro, as he ran straight for Vivi’s legs, swords ready. But much to his and Dhrwen’s surprise, Zoro found a hard boot knocking him away.
“What the hell are you doing you idiot?!” Zoro yelled at Sanji as he rubbed his cheek. “I’M ON YOUR SIDE!”
Sanji just groaned, looking up at the white-haired pirate captain. “What were those fruits then?”
“Last request?” mocked Dhrwen. “Fine, I’ll indulge you. They were connected to the Sea Gems, designed as weapons to counter the power of the Devil’s fruits. Now, I don’t know ALL the information, I’m afraid, but what I do know is that something lived her once. Something that dates back to the creation of the Devil’s fruits. The fruits that your friends ate were designed with the same power, the changing of size. The original creators of these fruits figured out something wonderful, the ability to grow the fruits of the Devil on their own!”
Onward and onward the man rambled and raved about what he had unearthed, even though he probably could have used the time to kill both Zoro and Sanji, who frantically asked him more questions to prevent that scenario.
“Alright and why did you come here then?”
“I knew, that finding this power, the power designed to defeat the Devil, would make me famous! I plan to return to West Blue and show my treasure to Darkwater, and become an instant celebrity! I can see the endorsements just flying in!”
Dhrwen’s obsession with fame was starting to grate on both Zoro and Sanji (and possibly Luffy if he could move), but Sanji had a more important question to focus on. “What are you going to do with Nami-chan and Vivi-san?”
“Oh, them? They’re going to be just fine as my new crewmates. You see, with this, even those afflicted by the fruits can cross the oceans without a problem. Now, I have a…”
It all happened so fast that no one realized what was going on until after the initial fact. If anyone in the area had known what was about to happen they would have most likely tried and prepared for it.
First, a steel ball hit Dhrwen’s compass, with a small explosion shattering the glass bobble into a million pieces that rained down onto the ground. Nami, now free from the control of the sea gems, but also disoriented, began stumbling towards the ground. If it wasn’t for Dhrwen’s proximity to the hills by where the Gem Arc was located, he would have been crushed. Unfortunately for him, that did not prepare him for the two things to follow. The first was a hard punch from the now free Monkey D. Luffy.
The second was the earthquakes that ripped through the islands, causing everyone on the ground to stumble and fall down.
“What now?!” Sanji yelled as he looked on at the terrified looking pirate captain.
“YOU IDIOTS! You destroyed the one thing that moderates the power of the Sea Gems! Without the compass, the energy flow will overload and create a resonance reaction that will sink this entire island, and generate a shockwave that could stretch for miles!”
“That’s bad, isn’t it?” Zoro asked.
Dhrwen only yelled back “YOU’VE DOOMED US ALL!” before running off towards the cave.
Everyone in the area could only turn and stare towards the figure hiding behind a group of rocks, emerging with a completely embarrassed look on his face.
“Oh, come on! How was I supposed to know this would happen?! I mean, it’s not like…”
The conversation was interrupted by a reminder in the form of another pounding earthquake which shook the island to its core. The Straw Hat crew could only wonder what was going on, when without warning, Luffy took off after the retreating Dhrwen into the cave.
“Luffy! Where are you going?!” the now composed Nami yelled. Unfortunately, her question fell upon deaf ears. Luffy had already entered the cave in pursuit of his prey.
“What do we do now?!” Vivi asked.
“Get the ship ready!” shouted Ussop as he tried to run off, only to be firmly caught in Nami’s grip.
“I told you that you’re not leaving me behind!”
“We need to head for the ship anyway, otherwise none of us are gonna get out of here alive!” Zoro shouted. Nodding, Vivi extended her hands, allowing Zoro and Sanji to climb on. Taking one last look at the cave, the pair began running towards the Going Merry, hoping that Luffy would succeed in whatever he hoped to accomplish.
By the time Dhrwen had entered the Gem Arc, the energies pulsating from the gems had moved past the initial table that was supposed to contain them. The blue light shone with a terrifying force, and any attempt of Dhrwen’s to try and touch it resulted in his hand being burned.
“I knew it! We’re doomed! DOOMED! The world will never hear of my exploits now!”
What Dhrwen didn’t hear over his own ranting were the footsteps of someone entering the room. A panting figure wearing a familiar hat turned towards Dhrwen, looking directly at him, with a blank expression.
“You’ve come to laugh at me, haven’t you, cretin? I can’t stop the pulse reaction, you know. The energy will overload and anything in its path will be killed.”
The pirate in front of him said nothing, but at the same time, didn’t remove his stare. It was if his eyes could pierce into Dhrwen’s soul, removing the need for words.
“Listen to me! You have no right to judge me! I wanted to be famous! I wanted people to remember ME! But I wasn’t suicidal! I knew that everyone and their mother wanted to find One Piece, so I began looking for something different! And if a few people died or were cheated, is that a crime? You’re a pirate! You can’t judge me!”
The man remained silent, which only served to infuriate Dhrwen further. Raising his broken sword into the air, he pointed it right at the pirate.
“We’re all going to die here because YOU had to be self-righteous and not give me the last Sea Gem! You’re a Devil’s fruit user, right? Then even being here must be weakening you!”
As the pirate took a step forward, Dhrwen continued on his tirade. “It’s true, isn’t it? You’re close to dying here! You can’t stop this any more than I can!”
As the island shook around them, the Straw Hat crew knew that escape was important. Unfortunately for them, the problem wasn’t whether or not to escape, but where to escape. Both girls were far too large to fit on the ship, and even if the men left Nami and Vivi behind (a reality that Sanji was not about to let occur), there was still the need to plot a course and sail towards it, impossible without the Log Rose firmly held in Nami’s pocket.
“So do you remember any of it?” Sanji asked as the girls ran towards the ship.
“I remember what happened, but I couldn’t control myself,” Vivi replied. Something else was controlling my body, and I couldn’t move it myself.”
“Same here,” Nami replied, “But it’s not like we hurt anyone important. Just that big squid that was following us and that psycho captain’s crew.”
Still, the lack of a destination didn’t stop the crew from running across the shore of the island towards the Going Merry, hoping that something; anything would change their luck and provide them with the means to escape. When they finally happened upon the ship, they were still waiting for that change in luck to occur.
The gunshot that rang out unfortunately, didn’t suggest anything of the sort. Although the bullet couldn’t harm either of the girls, it was still loud enough to get their attention.
“What now?!” Nami yelled, looking down for the source of the noise. She immediately groaned when she found the source, a furious man pointing a gun right at the two girls.
“Don’t you ever give up?!”
Looking up towards the girls, the furious man raised his pistol, pointing at the people in Nami’s hand.
“I’ve lost good men, millions of berry in equipment, and my finest catch because of you two girls! Having you as part of my exhibit will make me even at best!”
“I can’t go with you, wherever this is,” replied Vivi.
“This island is going to hell and so are your friends, unless you come with me!”
Nami wasn’t impressed by the threats of a man that didn’t even reach up to her ankle. Rather irritated, she began to lift her foot up towards the man, ready to teach him a thing or two about annoying people big enough to squash you flat.
A blast from off the shore hit Nami and Vivi first, sending the pair stumbling back. When they looked up, they saw the massive form of Blorth’s ship hovering off shore.
“The Tempest, right where I need her. Now as for you two, not even women of your stature can hold against the firepower of my ship!”
“I’m pretty sure you said that before,” Nami replied, only to be met with another cannon blast as Blorth began heading for the shore.
“You can’t get to the ship unless you drown! And those cannot shots won’t stop until you surrender! Now maybe you can survive the cannons, but can your friends?”
The two girls were trapped, not by their own power, but by the sheer fact that the others were vulnerable to the pounding cannons firing out of their reach. There seemed to be no way to fight back as the cannon fire rained down upon them.
As the two girls looked around for any sort of weapon to fight back, they saw something that might have been able to help. A hill, wedged deep into the earth, but with enough mass to be thrown.
Seeing as how she had little choice in the matter, Nami placed both Sanji and Zoro on her shoulder, ignoring their protests, and began tugging at the rock in an attempt to upheave it.
“You’re only delaying the inevitable!” Blorth yelled as cannon fire continued to rain down upon the girls. “Surrender now and I’ll go easy on you!”
Vivi did her best to ignore the taunts and threats of the captain, but as she strained in a desperate attempt to upheave the rock, doubt set in, even as the earthquakes continued to shake the island. “Nami, this is rather…heavy. I don’t think we can lift it!”
“I’m not going to die here, and there’s no way in hell I’m going to be fat guy’s circus attraction! NOW PULL!”
Blorth and the men on their shoulders could only stare as the two girls slowly but surely, began to lift the stone from its base in the earth, and pulled it above their heads. Amazingly, the rock, the size of a small hill, was being held aloft by the two girls. Although even at their size they strained under the weight, it appeared that both girls were able to control the stone.
“NO! WAIT!” Blorth shouted, but to no avail. The girls had already tossed the rock into the ocean towards his ship, crushing the mighty vessel in one blow.
Blorth sank to his knees in horror. His ship, enormous and seemingly invincible, was destroyed, along with seemingly all of its crew. Looking towards the sea, he saw the forms of a few badly hurt sailors along with the splinters of his vessel. His attempt to secure a new attraction has resulted in him losing everything.
“It doesn’t matter!” Blorth yelled. “We’re all dead anyway, and you’ve just destroyed my only means of escape!”
The men could only stare with their jaws wide open as the earthquakes shook the island to its core.
Staring at the man in front of him, struggling to take a step forward even as the island threatened to crumble around them was equally hilarious and horrifying for Dhrwen. It felt as if this man had come to judge him for what had transpired.
“You are no less guilty of this than I am! When this island crumbles, what will you say? Will you judge me?! Will you, even as you shrivel up in this light, feel as if you can judge ME?! I know you can’t fight back, so answer!”
Still the man said nothing, which was the final insult. Drawing his broken sword, he lunged at the pirate.
“ANSWER ME! ARE YOU NOT GUILTY?!”
And then, finally, the man said something.
“GOMU GOMU NO…”
Unfortunately for Dhrwen, the man’s arms were moving back, stretching themselves and preparing to strike him.
The last thing Dhrwen felt was the searing pain of the light against his body.
With one rapid motion, the island’s earthquakes stopped. In the few seconds afterwards, one last shockwave ripped through the island, causing both Nami and Vivi to collapse onto the beach, a truly terrifying sight to the tiny men riding on their shoulders. But as they looked down, they saw that they were unharmed, and alive.
What was truly curious however, were the two girls. A minute ago, towering giantesses able to lift what amounted to an entire mountain, were now back to their regular, human sizes, clothes and all. Nami, the first to come to, gasped as she saw herself staring eye-to-eye with the other Straw Hats.
She also saw Sanji staring intently at her skirt, which had been shredded by the cannon barrage from the Tempest.
“OW! Oh, Nami-san, what did I do?”
“Just be glad I didn’t hit you when I was bigger”, Nami replied as she stood up, dusting herself off. Turning to Vivi, she extended her hand, allowing the confused girl to stand up as well.
“What happened exactly?” she asked.
No one in the area seemed to have any answer, when along the beach a lone figure began walking towards the group.
“Oi Luffy?” Zoro asked as he walked over to the group. “What the hell did you do?”
“I don’t know,” Luffy replied. “I went in the cave and started to feel weak, and then that guy from earlier started yelling at me about judging him or some crap. Then he came at with a sword, and I hit him into the light.”
“What light?” Ussop asked, joining the others as they circled around Luffy.
“Weird blue light. It was right by where those gems were?”
“GEMS?!” Nami interrupted, shoving Ussop to the side. “Where are they?!” Extending his hand, Luffy revealed a pile of ash.
“That’s what was left.”
Nami resisted the urge to faint right then and there. “Then why did we even come here?!” she moaned.
“Then it all makes sense,” Ussop began. “Those gems were connected with the Devil’s fruits Nami and Vivi ate, so when they were destroyed, they returned to normal.
“That still doesn’t help,” Nami groaned as she looked tearfully upon the ashes that were once sparkling gems.
Opening his other hand, Luffy showed off a few other items, including a broken sword and several pieces of gold, which Nami quickly snatched up.
“Well, now what?” Zoro asked.
“We should get going,” Luffy replied. The others all nodded in agreement as they boarded the ship.
And with that, the Going Merry began sailing off towards the blue ocean, with only one person watching as it sailed off, an isolated and abandoned Blorth.
Dejected, with no escape, and nothing left of his empire save a few splinters of wood, he entered the forest looking for something, anything to help him. Journeying into the forest, he noticed many of the fruits that had once been present had now completely rotted, which only served to remind him that it was nearing dinnertime.
But as he made his way to the foot of the mountain, Blorth finally found something. Two bizarrely shaped fruits, free of the rot that was present in other parts of the forest, each with the exact same shape and size. Picking them both up, Blorth looked at them.
“Two? I wonder…”
With the sun setting upon the Going Merry, things had returned to normal on the ship, or at the very least, what amounted to normal. Sanji was cooking dinner, Zoro was sleeping, Vivi and Ussop were manning the lookout posts, and Luffy was off inside the cabin. Meaning that she was alone.
For rather obvious reasons, Vivi retracted her request to map out a direct route to Alabasta, which was just as well since Nami was sure that she didn’t have anything to pay her with. All that was left was to follow the Log Rose to wherever it would lead them.
There was nothing interesting occurring as Nami lay down on the lounge chair, reading her book. Most of the others seemed to be absorbed in their own activities, until Luffy came onto the deck. That wouldn’t have been strange, except he briefly looked down at Nami and positioned himself onto the same lounge chair.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!” she yelled, her arm already in the air ready to hit him.
“You said I could rest on those, remember?” Luffy replied, seemingly oblivious to Nami’s initial fury. The reply caused her to relax her hand.
“Yeah, but they were a bit roomier, weren’t they?”
“They’re still soft, and I couldn’t relax inside.”
Nami should have hit him right then and there. But something, she couldn’t quite tell what, stopped her. Sighing, she did the next best thing.
“It’s 200,000 berry the next time you want a pillow, got it?”
“OK, replied Luffy as he stretched himself out, getting comfortable. Nami sighed, feeling his weight on top of her. When he woke up, she would have to teach the intrepid captain a thing or two about personal space. Still, as she looked down, Nami found it difficult to stay mad at Luffy.
With a sigh, she lay back on the chair, relaxing and drifting off into sleep as the cool ocean breeze blew over the both of them. After everything that had occurred over the last few days, both she and Luffy deserved something of a break. Letting her hand rest on Luffy’s head, she too fell asleep.
Fifteen minutes later, Sanji went topside and in a combination of horror and fury kicked Luffy into the mast, rudely awakening the both of them.
He waited, looking out towards the sea. The provisions left on the beach would last two days at best. Like the good sailors they were, Blorth's crew didn't think highly of leftovers, preferring to eat as much as they could during a meal, not knowing when the next would be. He fought the urge to cry, even if no one could hear it. It was not becoming of a ship captain, even one without a crew.
The two fruits in his hand were not for eating. They would be the key to something glorious, something wondorous, if he could ever find his way off of this accursed island. No, it was his duty as a researcher, as a scientist to see these specimins to someone that would study them, how two Devil's fruits could exist, mirror images of the other. How do the fruit's work? What causes them to change the human structure?
All he knew was that he was alone on the island. The winged ape that was stolen from him had flown off towards another island, probably to live out the rest of his life in the wild. Too bad that he couldn't signal a ship.
"Mark my words Monkey D. Luffy, when I find you, I'll rip the heart right out of your rubber body!"
Blorth sighed, looking out at the sea in front of him, unsure of whether he should direct his blame towards the pirate captain that had led him to this accursed island, his old rival Dhrwen for stealing the Sea Gems, or the monstrous women that crushed his ship underneath a mountain. He was thinking of blaming them all equally.
Looking forwad, expecting to see the empty ocean in front of the beach, he saw instead, a boat. It was fairly modest, painted with a dull grey sheen, but it didn't appear to belong to any pirate. Rushing forward with the fruits in his hand, he shouted towards the vessel.
"You found my signal! Please, let me on!"
A man clad in all black, save for his head, appeared towards the edge of the ship. "I was passing through. Isn't this place abandoned?"
"I was marooned!" Blorth yelled, not deeming the details important. "Please let me on board!"
The man said nothing, but tossed over a roped ladder towards him. "Climb on."
Blorth nodded, and climbed aboard. "Where is this vessel heading?"
"Nowhere in particular. Now...what is that you're carrying?"