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Chapter 15-Nice Try PinocchioEdit
In The East BlueEdit
A few days later found Oliver, Luffy, Zoro and Nami sailing along beneath a clear blue sky. Nami frowned at a map of the East Blue, "There's absolutely no way we're going to make it to the Grand Line in this condition." Luffy Zoro and Oliver looked at her. Luffy took the apple core, all that was left of the apple he'd been eating out of his mouth, "You're right, we're gonna need a whole lot more meat!" He promptly tossed the rest of the apple core into his mouth and continued chewing.
"Eating fruit every day is for the birds," he continued around the mouthful of apple core. "We'll also need more booze," Zoro added from where he was sprawled in the bottom of Luffy's boat. Nami threw an apple at him, "Shut up you boneheads!" The apple bounced off Zoro and nearly went into the water until Luffy snapped out an arm and caught it. Nami tossed another apple in the air and caught, "That's not what I mean! The Grand Line's a dangerous place! We'll need more than beer and meat to survive there! Not to mention it's crawling with pirates who are also searching for the One Piece, and they all have ships that are way better than this!"
"And we don't have a crew," Luffy added. "We don't have a crew, we don't have any gear, or even a real ship for that matter!" Nami corrected him irritably, "There is no way we'll ever make it like this!" "Yup," Luffy agreed, "We'll need a cook. And maybe a musician to keep us entertained!" "A musician?!" Zoro laughed. "So...stupid..." Nami sighed exasperatedly. She looked at her map again, "A little to the south of here is an island with some settlements on it, and it looks like we might be able to get our ship and some of the supplies we need there." She looked over at Oliver who was leaned against the mast with his hat pulled down over his eyes, "What do you think Oliver?" Oliver raised the brim of his hat, wincing at the sunlight, "It's not the Gecko Islands is it?"
Nami checked, "Yeah it's the Gecko Islands. Why, do you know people there?" Oliver pushed himself a little more upright, "A friend of mine is from the Gecko Islands, sails with Red Haired Shanks. Hey Luffy, you remember Yassopp?" Luffy looked at him, "Yeah I remember Yassopp. Is that who's from those islands?" Oliver grinned, "Yep. Syrup Village if I recall right, and didn't he have a son who'd be about the right age for pirating now?" Luffy grinned, "Oh yeah, Usopp!" Oliver smiled, "Well even if we don't find a ship there, we might oughta stop in and see if Usopp's as good a shot as his dad. If he is, we might find ourselves a sniper before we find a cook or a musician."
Oliver pushed himself to his feet, "And even if he's not, we should be able to pick up some supplies there. Nami, you said south right?" Nami grinned as Luffy and Zoro exulted at the prospect of meat and booze, "Yeah that's right." Then she looked at Luffy and Zoro, "Is that all you two think about? Ugh, what am I gonna do with you two?" Oliver just smiled.
A Little While LaterEdit
Oliver and Zoro pulled the boats up onto the sand and Nami and Luffy hopped out. Luffy looked around at the sheer cliffs extending to either side of a steep slope up onto the plateau, "There's a village around here right?" Nami looked around, "Yeah but it looks like a small one." Oliver nodded as Zoro yawned, "It is." Then Zoro's eyes narrowed and he slid one of his swords an inch from its sheath, "We're being watched."
Luffy immediately began looking around, "Where? By who? Do they have meat?!" Zoro turned, "Look out!" There were suddenly several whistling impacts around Luffy's feet that set him dancing to avoid them as little flags sporting a surprised looking skull and crossbones sprang up from the bushes. Luffy gawked for a moment and then waved his arms in excitement, "That's so coooooool!" He exclaimed. "Is this supposed to be where we're impressed?" Nami asked irritably from the boat she had taken cover in a moment earlier.
"Hahahaha! I am Usopp!" called a voice from the top of the cliff, "Leader of the invincible nation of pirates that reign over this island! You stand before a living legend! The most revered pirate who ever lived! I am the great captain Usopp!" The young man with the long nose exclaimed, indicating himself with a thumb and not even noticing the slight breeze that fwooshed past him. "Surely you know that plotting an attack on this island would mean certain death! My army of eighty million super mean pirate soldiers would squash you like buuugs!" He continued before gesturing grandly to the flags on the cliffs behind him.
"AAAWESOOOOOOME!" Luffy yelled while Nami and Zoro rolled their eyes. "You expect us to believe that?" Nami called. Usopp blinked and then clasped his hands to his head, "She knows!" "Yep," Nami said to herself, "Well, now I know." "How could I have been so dumb?" Usopp cried, "I practically told her I was lying! I'm such an idiot! So stupid!" "What?!" Luffy exclaimed, turning to look at Nami, "He was lying?"
"Yep!" Oliver called from a tree branch behind Usopp, "He's lying! Nice try Pinocchio." Usopp whirled, "AAAAH!" Oliver waved at him before disappearing and reappearing next to Luffy and Zoro. He smiled at them, "Three kids hiding in the bushes waving the flags." Usopp spun back to look at them, "How did you...?" Suddenly three small boys popped from the bushes, "They knoooow!" The three boys screamed as they ran away.
"Hey!" Usopp yelled, "Where are you going?! Come baaack!" Nami lifted a little metal pellet from the sand, "A pirate using a slingshot huh? Well now I've seen it all," she said with a smile as she blew the sand off the pellet. Luffy laughed, "That's pretty cool!" "Shut your mouth!" Usopp exclaimed angrily, "Or I'll shut it for you!" He rummaged in the satchel at his side and pulled out his green slingshot, "I'm a proud man and I won't stand for it!" He pulled back another pellet ready to fire, "This is your last warning! Or you'll get to see why they call me Proud Usopp and not Pushover Usopp!"
Luffy blinked, frowned, and lowered the brim of his hat, as Usopp asked, "Is that clear? You've already seen how good I am with this thing! So you know I can rival anyone carrying a pistol!" "Now that you've drawn your pistol," Luffy asked him, "Are you willing, to use it?" Usopp 's jaw immediately dropped as he realized Luffy was entirely ready to call his bluff. "Guns aren't for threats," Luffy continued, "They're for action. Are you willing to risk your life?" Zoro and Oliver grinned and looked up at Usopp.
Zoro chuckled slightly and drew his sword back an inch out of its sheath, "I can assure you, we're real pirates. Consider your next move very carefully." The following staredown lasted almost a full thirty seconds before Usopp let his pellet drop to the ground and collapsed to his knees, "Real pirates have a lot more punch behind their words because they can actually back 'em up! That's so cool!" Luffy smiled and then he, Oliver and Zoro exchanged glances and began to laugh. "I stole that!" Luffy called up to Usopp, "I stole those words from Red-Haired Shanks, a pirate I know!"
Usopp blinked and then exclaimed, "What?! You know Red-Haired Shanks?! You really are a real pirate! Wait, you've gotta be lying, do you really know him?" "Yep," Luffy replied, "I know your dad too, his name is Yassop right?" Usopp gasped and then laughed excitedly before falling down the rock face he'd been standing on and landing on his head. He sat up staring at Luffy, "You're right! My old man's name is Yassopp! But...uh...how in the world do you know him?"
Later At A Small Eatery In The VillageEdit
The four pirates and Usopp sat at a booth around a table loaded with bread, apples, beer, meat and local vegetables. Luffy tore a huge bite out of the shank of meat he was eating. "This is good huh?" Usopp said around a mouthful of rice. Luffy grinned and replied around a mouthful of meat, "So I met your dad when I was a little kid." Usopp leaned forward excitedly, "Hold on, does my dad really know Shanks?" Luffy grinned, "Know him? When I met him he was part of Shanks's crew, so they were probably pretty good friends!" "I can't believe it!" Usopp exclaimed excitedly as he picked up an apple, "My old man sailing the high seas with famous pirates!"
Oliver suddenly laughed, "With famous pirates? Usopp, your dad is one of the finest snipers in the Grand Line!" Usopp leaned forward, "Really? That's awesome!" Oliver nodded, "Yeah, I've only ever met a very small handful of people that could shoot as well as Yassopp, and they had all trained for decades to get that good. Yassopp can still outshoot half of 'em nine days out of ten. The only people I know of who can match him are the Big Three of the Orchard Pirates, and that's just because they can copy people's abilities."
Everyone looked at him, "They can replicate abilities?" Nami asked, trying to make sure she had heard right. Oliver nodded and smiled, "It's a family trick. A few seconds of contact and we can do anything anybody we touched can. It takes a little longer for Devil Fruit abilities, but..." He suddenly reached across the table, his fore arm stretching nearly six feet to grab some bread before snapping back, "As you can see, it can happen before you know it."
It took a few seconds to dawn on Luffy what had happened, "Hey, how did you make your arm all stretchy like that?" "He copied your Devil Fruit powers," Zoro told him bluntly. Luffy lurched back and stared, "WHAAAAT?!" Oliver smiled, grabbed his cheeks and pulled them so that they stretched nearly a foot to either side of his face, "Yep, now I'm a rubber man too!" There were stares all around as he let his cheeks go back to and smiled, "Changing the subject, Yassopp talks about you all the time Usopp."
Luffy nodded and looked at Usopp, apparently completely forgetting what he had just seen, "Yeah I think I must have heard enough about you to make my ears bleed. Let me tell you though, he's a great pirate." Usopp grinned, "Really?" He looked over his shoulder at a picture of a ship on the wall, "I sure am proud of my old man, he left to a pirates life on the endless sea! He chose a life of real adventure!" He said with a smile as he turned back to them.
"Well maybe you could help us," Nami said, trying to ignore the revelation of Oliver's abilities, "Do you know anybody who could provide us with a decent ship?" Usopp looked away from her and sighed with a slight smile, "Well this is a pretty small village. Sorry, but I just don't think we'll be able to help you." "What about that huge mansion?" Zoro suddenly asked, causing Usopp to squeak slightly with alarm as he continued, "The one on that big hill over there." "Hey," Nami said excitedly, "Do you know them Usopp? Surely with all that money they could help us get our boat!"
Usopp's expression suddenly became angry, "You stay away from there!" Then he looked almost as though his own words had surprised him, He made a strange noise, "I just remembered something that I really gotta do." He rose and put a hand on his chest, "Uh, everyone knows me at this place, so uh, stay and eat as much as you want. Well, ah," he reached for his bag, "Gotta go!" He hurriedly ran out the door.
Nami leaned out of the booth and watched him go, "Why was he in such a hurry to get out of here?" Oliver sighed, "Probably because he was lying and we're gonna have to pay." Nami's head whipped around, "What?" Oliver made a calming gesture with his hand, "Don't worry Nami, I got it. I'm the one who let him get away with it." The tension went out of Nami as he continued, "As to that big house on the hill, I got a glimpse of it in his head when Zoro brought it up."
"The girl who lives up there is very sick and Usopp tells her stories to make her feel better. She probably does have enough money for us to get a ship, but she's in very poor health and four pirates showing up on her doorstep asking for money might be a nasty shock for her. Usopp wants to protect her, so he doesn't want us going up there. All the same though," He cast a sideways glance out the window at the mansion, "I'm curious to know who else is up there. There's no way Kaya's the one with the stench of malevolence on her so strong I can smell it from here." Zoro looked at him, "You can smell malevolence from all the way over there?"
Oliver grinned, "In a sense. It comes with the whole mind reading thing. Yeah there's someone up there who's bad news. I think we oughta go up there and check it out before that malevolence I'm picking up on bubbles over and someone gets hurt." Nami went to get up, "Should we go now?" Oliver shook his head, "No I can hear him now that I'm listening, he's waiting for something, no wait, not something, somebody. It should be safe for now, but I don't think it's going to stay that way." Luffy nodded, "Right, so we go after we eat." Oliver nodded, "Sounds 'bout right. Besides, you still haven't told us your decision about Usopp joining." Luffy nodded, "Yeah, he's in."