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Chapter 14-The Clown and The Straw HatEdit
Oliver tied off his little boat at the shore and began to walk through the town to where the ship of his old friend was moored. He noted as he walked along that the town was completely deserted, "Looks like Buggy's gotten braver since last time I saw him. I guess his crew lent him some spare spine." A pretty girl with short red hair dashed around the corner and slammed into him. She knocked him back a step, she had been running full tilt, but the impact didn't knock him entirely over. He caught her by arms, "Hey now, what's the rush?" She struggled, but his grip was iron, "Let me go I have to-"
She was cut off as three men dashed around the corner, "There she is!" The men had cutlasses drawn and the girl suddenly leapt behind Oliver, "I got it boss! They're all yours!" Oliver raised an eyebrow at the three men who stopped upon seeing him. He said over his shoulder, "Did you now? Well let me have it." He offered her a hand and she handed over the rolled up paper that she'd had clenched in her hand with a reluctant look on her face.
Oliver unfurled it, "A chart of the Grand Line?" He smiled as he rolled it back up, "Good for Buggy!" He looked at the girl, whose name he plucked right from her mind, "Good work Nami, you are indeed a skilled enough thief to join my crew. Now let's get this back to Buggy before he goes to pieces." He looked at the three men, "Go back to Buggy, and tell him not to worry, Oliver was testing a new recruit and he'll be there with the chart momentarily. He'll know who you're talking about."
One of the men brandished his saber, "Why should we? We'll take you and the map to Captain Buggy!" Oliver sighed, "Buggy recruited idiots." He pulled off one of his gloves and casually blew a building apart just by pointing his hand at it. Nami and the three Buggy Pirates stared at the bombed out building in shock. Suddenly the one who had protested found the tip of a sword under his chin, "Now I'll say this again," Oliver snarled, a heavy note of menace in his voice, "Go tell Buggy that Oliver is here to see him."
The man gulped, "Yes sir! We're gone!" The three turned and ran. Oliver watched them go and sheathed his sword, the chart still in hand. He turned to Nami, "You're coming with me little lady." Nami's expression was pure terror, "What?" Oliver disappeared suddenly and reappeared inches from her. He pushed up her sleeve, revealing the jolly roger of the Arlong Pirates tattooed on her shoulder, "You're a member of the Arlong Pirates."
Nami caught her breath, this guy knew Arlong? Maybe she was in the clear! "Yeah!" She exclaimed, "And Arlong will be totally pissed if you hurt me! So hands off!" Oliver removed his hand and raised it peacefully, "I am here to kill Arlong and drive his fishmen back to the Grand Line where they belong." Nami gasped, "You're here... to kill Arlong?" Oliver smiled, "I can tell from your voice you like that idea." Nami's eyes hardened, "You have no idea."
Suddenly there was a distant cannon shot and a voice screamed from above as something, or more likely someone, fell from the sky. The impact raised a huge dust cloud and left a crater. Oliver lowered his long coat, which he had whipped up to shield himself and Nami from the impact. He squinted, "Who...?" Suddenly a young man stood up. He had black hair, shorts, a red shirt and a straw hat. Oliver raised a finger and opened his mouth, not quite able to believe what he was seeing, "Monkey D. Luffy?"
The young man turned his head, "Yeah?" Oliver's eyes bugged out and he looked from Nami to Luffy and back and back again, a smile growing and then he began to laugh. Luffy frowned, "What's so funny?" Oliver grabbed his hat and laughed even harder, "You look just like Shanks said you did!" Luffy's eyes bugged out, "You know Shanks?!" he exclaimed. Oliver calmed down and grinned, "He's one my oldest friends!"
Luffy put his hands in the air, "That's awesome!" Oliver grinned, "And now I'd have to guess you're gathering a crew to be so far from your hometown." Luffy nodded, "Yeah, hey, what happened to that building?" Oliver grinned smugly, "I blew it up with my hand." Luffy's eyes bugged out, "You can blow things up with your hand?" Oliver smiled, "I can. I can also tell you are in need of a navigator." Luffy's eyes bugged out yet again, "You can tell that just by looking at me?"
Oliver grinned, "I can learn a lot of things in very little time Mr. Rubber-man." Luffy gasped, "That's incredible! How are you doing that?!" He clutched his hands to his head, "Are you reading my mind?!" Oliver grinned, "Yeah. But relax, I'm also willing to join your crew. Nami here is too, but ya gotta do something for her." Luffy looked at her, "Who are you?" Oliver grinned and gently pushed Nami forward, she had been edging backwards, "Luffy, this here's Nami. She's one of the finest navigators in the East Blue, possibly the world."
Luffy's eyes bugged out, "You're a navigator? That's great! Wanna join my crew?" Nami was indignant, "No! I don't work for pirates!" Oliver shrugged, "I told ya Luffy, ya gotta do something to earn her trust." Nami whirled and stuck a finger to his nose, "Get out of my head!" Oliver grinned, "Calm down Nami, Luffy's here to help. First thing's first though! I imagine Buggy's getting a party ready. So come on!"
He draped his arms around their shoulders and guided them forward. Luffy went willingly, Nami slightly less so. "Who's Buggy?" Luffy asked. Oliver smiled, "Buggy is another old friend of Shanks. We've known each other for years. Don't say anything about his nose, it'll hurt his feelings." Luffy frowned, "What's wrong with his nose?" Oliver grinned, "Well considering he's Buggy the Clown Pirate, nothing, but it's very large and red, like a clown nose. You'll think it's not real but it is." Luffy blinked, "That's cool." Oliver grinned, "That you can tell him. He'll be very glad to hear it." "You said he's throwing a party, is there meat?"
Oliver smiled, "Yes Luffy, there is probably meat. I expect Zoro will be along soon, so we better hurry. It could get awkward if Zoro doesn't realize the Buggy Pirates are friends." Luffy blinked, "why would it be awkward?" "Well if he doesn't realize they're friends, he might attack them, and then that would be awkward." Oliver explained patiently. "Oh," Luffy said, "So Zoro might not like them." Oliver nodded, "Yes, they might make Zoro angry, but they won't if we introduce him first. Now everyone yell Hey Buggy."
Luffy promptly raised his hands to the air as they topped a rise and looked out at the wharf where the Buggy Pirates had docked and made camp in front of and atop a pub, "HEEEEEY BUGGYYYYY!" Oliver laughed heartily and called, "Buggyyy! Long time no see!" He laughed as he gently pulled Nami along and a man in an orange captain's coat with a matching orange bicorn, a red and white striped shirt, green pants and a huge round red nose yelled, "Oliver! Is that really you?"
Oliver laughed, "It is!" He gave the man a hug, "It's flashily good ta see Buggy!" They stepped back, "Eh Buggy, I'm sorry about my new recruit swipin' your chart. Just a little joke to test her abilities." Buggy grinned as Oliver handed him back his chart, "Why that's a flashy rotten trick Oliver! But all is flashily forgiven, I completely understand!" Then he looked at Luffy and Nami, "So which one of you was flashily skilled enough to steal my flashy chart of the Grand Line?"
Nami raised her hand tentatively, "Um, that was me." "Well flashy shame on you!" Buggy exclaimed, "But you have flashily returned it, so no harm done!" Then he turned back to Oliver, "So Oliver, these are your new recruits? They don't flashily look like much but if you're considering them I'm sure they are flashily formidable!" Oliver laughed, "Well my friend, Nami here, in addition to being a skilled thief, is also a most excellent navigator!"
Buggy smiled, "and flashily cute to boot! You can rest assured Nami, that Oliver's crew is one of the finest to join! The entire flashy Grand Line quakes in flashy terror at the mere mention of him!" Then he turned to Luffy, "And who is this in the hat that looks so flashily like Shanks's hat?" Oliver grinned and clapped Luffy on the shoulder, "Buggy, meet Captain Straw Hat Luffy. I am actually joining his crew." Buggy smiled and shook Luffy's hand enthusiastically, "Congratulations Luffy! Oliver's a great guy to have aboard, he's-"
Suddenly Buggy realized what Oliver had said and exploded to pieces which floated as Buggy bugged out and exclaimed, "JOINING YOUR CREW?!" Oliver laughed, "Calm down Buggy, calm down. Luffy here is going to be King of the Pirates. I swore years ago that I'd see Roger's successor to the One Piece, as of right now, I'm making good on that." Buggy grabbed him by the front of the coat, "But why not me?! I know you don't want the title, but I do! Why aren't you helping me?!"
Oliver laughed, "Buggy my friend, it wouldn't suit you. You should become one of the Seven Warlords! With your skill for speeches and the government off your back, you could command a pirate fleet! Think about it!" He wrapped an arm around Buggy and gestured grandly at the sky, "The infamous Captain Buggy! Pirate Warlord of the Sea and commander of the world's mightiest pirate fleet!"
He poked Buggy's chest gently, "Doesn't that sound better?" Buggy mulled it over for a moment, "Hmm, you know that does have a flashily nice ring to it." He suddenly smacked a fist into his palm, "It's a plan!" He turned to his crew and exclaimed, "Men! Let's have a flashily great party to celebrate my flashily amazing new plan and the arrival of my flashy good friend Oliver!"
Luffy exclaimed "Awesome! Come on! Let's party!" "Yes!" Buggy agreed, "Let's flashily party!" They both ran down to Buggy's crew which was hurrying to bust out the drinks and food. Nami looked at him, "The Grand Line trembles at mere mention of you and you're joining his crew?" Oliver smiled at her as he guided her along.
She was walking freely to avoid being dragged, but Oliver kept a hand draped across her shoulders to make sure she didn't run, "Well yes. My brothers and I are rather infamous, but as I said, I swore when Captain Roger died that I'd see the next Pirate King to the One Piece. I think Luffy is that successor, so I'm making good on my promise." Nami looked at the young man in the straw hat who was gorging himself at an incredible rate, "Why do you think that?"
Oliver smiled, "Because Nami, I can see past the goofy exterior. That guy's got the heart of a lion, the most one track mind I've ever seen, and potential like I've never seen. Plus, the inside of his head reminds me an incredibly great deal of Captain Roger. He'd become pirate king whether I helped him or not, but I swore I would and so I shall. The only tricky part will be holding back enough for him to realize that potential."
Nami raised her eyebrows as they reached the partying pirates, "Okaaay..." Oliver handed her a drink, "Cheer up Nami, he'll grow on ya." Then he frowned, "Whoa Buggy! Don't waste your special Buggy Balls! You'll need 'em for the Grand Line!" Buggy and Luffy were standing by a large cannon and Buggy had a torch in his hand, they both frowned, "Why not? They are flashily awesome!"
Oliver grinned, "Buggy! You know I've got enough fireworks for everybody!" Buggy brightened immediately, "Oh yeah! Your other forms!" Luffy looked at him, "Other forms?" Buggy smiled, "Yes, Oliver can change shape!" Oliver laughed as he walked up to them, "I won't be changing Buggy, I'm one of the Prism Selves. I'm already in my fourth form." Buggy's eyes bugged out and he split all to pieces again, "You are?! But where's your armor?!"
Oliver laughed, "Don't worry Buggy, I'm still toughened up, I just can't manifest the armor as easily. Don't worry, I've still got my Hell Grenades." Buggy grinned, "All right!" He yelled to his crew, "Hey guys! Check this out! We're about to fire off something even cooler than a super-flashy Buggy Ball!" Luffy grinned, "Really? Awesome!" Buggy grinned at Oliver excitedly, "Show 'em! Show 'em!"
Oliver grinned and skipped backwards away from the crew, spreading his hands to the sides. They began to glow with green energy that hissed and crackled and spat. Oliver grinned and placed his hands one over the other, making a green fireball manifest between them. Buggy yelled happily, "Here it comes! Oliver's super flashy Hell Grenade attack!" Oliver suddenly spun and launched the green fireball high into the air. It flew up, up, up, and then it exploded with such force that a powerful gust was felt on the ground, threatening to blow away several hats.
"THAT WAS SO COOL!" Luffy exclaimed excitedly holding onto his hat. Oliver swept off his hat and bowed with a smile. Nami watched the green blast in awe, and felt the flame of hope in her heart flare as she imagined Arlong the Fishman caught in that blast.
A voice suddenly said from beside her, "Huh, looks like Luffy's made some new friends." Nami looked and saw that a guy with green hair and three swords at his side was standing next to her with a mug in his hand, looking up at the rapidly dissipating fireball. She thought for a moment, "Who are you?" He looked at her, "Oh hi. Roronoa Zoro." He extended a hand and Nami shook it, "The Pirate Hunter Zoro? Aren't you a bounty hunter? That Luffy guy said you were part of his crew. Why are you part of a pirate crew if you're the Pirate Hunter?" Zoro shrugged, "Eh, Luffy helped me out of a tight spot a few days ago. Seems like he's a good guy, so I gave up pirate hunting. Now I'm his crew."
Nami blinked, "Well apparently the guy that made that blast, Oliver, is joining you. According to that Buggy guy he's from the Grand Line, and he's made some pretty crazy claims since I met him a few minutes ago. Of course, given the size of that blast he just made, he may be as tough as Buggy says." Zoro looked at her, "How tough?" Nami shrugged, "Apparently the entire Grand Line trembles at the mere mention of him. I didn't think anybody was that powerful." Zoro frowned, "There are actually pirates that powerful. Twelve spring to mind immediately, the Seven Warlords of the Sea and the Five Pirate Emperors."
Zoro took a drink thoughtfully, "One of the Pirate Emperors, and one of the Warlords, are both members of the Orchard Pirates. I've heard they're both named Oliver, but I don't know if it's true or not." Nami's eyes widened, "Are they brothers?" Zoro looked at her, "Yeah, how'd you know?" Nami's eyes went even wider, "That guy said he had brothers in the Grand Line!" Zoro blinked, relatively unfazed, "Huh. That may be one of the Orchard Pirates then."
Nami stared, "So he really is that tough?" Zoro shrugged, "Eh, he might be. Judging by that blast, I'd say he probably is." Nami smiled and thought happily as she looked at Oliver, who was readying another Hell Grenade, Arlong, you're a dead fish.