A Kingdom in Crisis. The Day of Destiny Has Arrived.Edit

The Grand Line, a stretch of sea that spans from one end of the Red Line to the other, is where this story takes place. In it sits a particular island, known quite commonly as Pleasure Island. Located near the end of the Grand Line, and situated between the Florian Triangle and Sabaody Archipelago, it's considered to be the entertainment capitol of the world, where the finest and greatest artists and performers call home. On this island, is a kingdom under the control of the World Government, the highest and most powerful authority in the entire world. And living in this kingdom, is a particular young man who would later shape the lives of those he met, as well as the fate of the entire island.

Walking down a grassy path, with the forest set behind him, a figure calmly started to approach the city ahead of him. His white shoes made a faint thud as they hit the ground with the man's relaxed stride constantly in motion. Elsewhere, in a house somewhere within the city, a little girl was sitting at a desk with her head resting on her arms. She seemed to be staring forelornly at a portrait on the desk. A woman, somewhere in her thirties or so, stepped out from behind a wall, and took notice of the girl sitting like a statue. "So that's where you've been," she addressed the girl, with a small tone of relief in her voice. The girl continued to stare at the picture in front of her, as if in a daze. "Marble, are you OK? I haven't seen you for quite some time."

"..." The girl, Marble, continued her stare, as if she couldn't hear her mother's words. Marble's mother then walked closer to her daughter, and saw what she was looking at. The mother's eyes began to droop, as they soon matched Marble's own pitiful expression. "I see... You still miss him, don't you?" Marble, too fixated on the picture, hadn't the heart to respond. It was too painful to even mention him, let alone think about him. But it was maddening. That was all Marble could do to console herself at the moment. Her mother tried once more to get through to her daughter. "Don't you worry a thing, sweetie. I'm sure your father's doing OK at the castle." The mentioning of her missing father was enough to make Marble lower her forehead onto her arms in despair. "Why did he have to be taken away, mommy...?" Marble's voice sounded as if she was about to cry. Her mother tried her best to comfort the depressed girl by placing her hands on Marble's shoulders. Although, she couldn't ignore the aching pain in her own heart as well. After all, Marble wasn't the only one who lost someone important. Her mother had lost the love of her life, and the father of her only child. Her voice started to weaken in strength, and was almost matching Marble's own sorrowful tone.

"I don't know, dear... They said it was the king's orders..." The two of them started to quietly reflect on the pain they were feeling. With Marble's father gone, the house didn't seem as lively or pleasant to be in as it once did. Marble's mother looked over at the family portrait on the desk, and while doing so, she could feel herself growing sadder by the second. The only thing keeping her from bawling outright, was the desire to be strong for Marble's sake. Such is a mother's duty for their child. After minutes had passed, doing nothing but silently staying put and allowing their sorrow to consume them, they could hear a knock at the door. Marble's mother sluggishly headed for the door as Marble herself continued to sit with her head on her arms. When the door opened, a young man, wearing a grey sweatshirt and blue trousers was seen standing in the doorway. His hands were stuffed into his trouser pockets, and his face was covered up in a veil of darkness and shadow, cast by the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. The mother looked a bit alarmed at first, as this appearaed to be an untrustworthy fellow. Wasting no time, the young man got down to business.

"Hello Miss, mind if I borrow some food and water? You see, i've been out in the-" Knowing this must have been a simple beggar, and not feeling all too generous at the moment, Marble's mother started shutting the door on the young man in mid-sentence. Not taking no for an answer, the young man managed to stop the door with his right hand, and forced it to stay open. "I'm sorry, but you didn't let me finish."

"There's no need to. We don't have anything to offer. I'm sorry, but you need to go."

"But like I was saying, I was out in the forest for about a week, and i'm running low on supplies. So could I please borrow a few things? I promise I won't take too much." Marble's mother stared on at the strange young man. He was out in the forest for a week? He was quite obviously a no good vagabond who was down on his luck. Though then again, it seemed that was the atmosphere of this island nowadays. The kingdom may have been in terrible shape due to the recent politics of the king, but with things as bad as they were, there really wasn't any strong desire to help one another. Surely this hobo of a man must've realized this himself. Undeterred however, he tried once more to appeal to the woman in front of him. "What if I said I could offer you something in return?" Marble's mother arched an eyebrow in response. Just what was this homeless man getting at? Willing to give him one chance to make good on his word, she finally gave him permission to enter her home. After going through the food and beverages in the house, and stuffing them into a large white sack, the vagabond stood in the middle of the room where Marble and her mother had been reminiscing about their missing family member. Marble was able to pull away from her growing sadness just enough to give the homeless young man an indifferent, melancholic stare.

"Now then, seems you two could go for some cheering up..." With that said, the vagabond managed to show the two family members a content smile, as if he had something in store for them. Both Marble and her mother, still feeling miserable, yet a bit curious, stared carefully at the strange person before them. The young man glanced around the room, as if he was trying to think up some sort of idea. His eyes fell upon the family portrait on the desk nearby, and he walked over to pick it up. This immediately grabbed Marble's attention, who tugged furiously at the vagabond's sleeve. "Put that down! That's not yours!" Not bothered in the slightest by Marble's protest, the vagabond looked closely at the picture. After finally taking in everything he felt he needed to see, he placed it back down on the desk. This only further confused Marble and her mother, who were beginning to wonder what this man could be thinking of. He walked over to the other side of the table, and placed his right hand over it. From his palm, a white substance manifested outward. It looked like a blobbish ball of sorts. To the shock of Marble and her mother, the blob started morphing, as if it was bending to the will of the vagabond it was attached to. Within seconds, the blob took the shape of a white pedestal. On it stood a familiar sight. It was Marble, her mother, and her father, all together in a family hug, looking happy and content. Satisfied, the vagabond left the miniature statue, roughly equaling seven inches or so, on the desk in front of Marble.

He then proceeded to head for the door, with a content smile on his face. He didn't make it beyond three steps without being stopped by Marble's mother. "Hold it, you!" The vagabond calmly came to a stop, and stood in place as he awaited what he assumed to be more of the mother's reaction to what he had just done. "What...?! What ARE you?! What did you just do right now?!" The vagabond slowly turned around to face the mother. His voice sounded casual and relaxed, as if nothing could faze him at the moment. A big grin appeared on his face, revealing his teeth, and he crossed his arms over his chest in an X formation, while he gave the victory/peace sign with both of his hands. "Who, me? I'm just your traveling freelance artist, that's all." Marble's mother silently gasped in response, as if it was no different than allowing a homicidal maniac into her house. "What are you doing here?!! Get out!! I won't allow Marble or me to be seen with you!!" The vagabond's grin dissapeared, and from behind the shade of his hoodie, he gave a confused look. "Look, I know i'm hated and all, but I really wasn't expecting this kind of reaction." In an instant, Marble's mother ran up to the vagabond and slapped him hard on the cheek. The vagabond took one step back as he stared on in the direction his face was slapped in.

"I said shoo!! If the king's guards see you here...!!" Marble's mother trailed off, as her mind wandered. She began thinking of the worst possible scenarios that could occur if this "freelance artist" were to be found here. Still unfazed, the vagabond slowly returned his gaze back at Marble's mother. However, instead of being enraged from the assault he just received, he seemed to sound somewhat understanding. "OK, OK, i'll go. But seriously, it's not like the royal guard is here in town today anyway."

"You didn't know?"


"The royal guard showed up for their annual inspection a few days ago. It's only a matter of time until they come here and see what you did!"

"...!!" The homeless artist's shocked, speechless expression was all that was needed to portray just how serious everyone seemed to take this inspection. "So please, just get out of here! We don't want any trouble!" The artist silently begun to let the situation sink in. It was an all too familiar reaction he'd get during his travels. Slinging his sack of food and drinks over his shoulder, he silently made for the front door. "Right, i'm off then. Sorry for the trouble." He non-chalantly raised his right hand in the air, showing the back of his hand in a lazy sort of wave goodbye. He only stopped once he finally reached the door. "Oh yeah, and thank you. The food and drinks is a nice payment." Marble's mother quietly glared at the artist, hoping he'd just leave already. The artist turned his head around afterward, as he tried to wrap up his farewell to the family. "But that smile's all the thanks i'll need." Confused, as she was obviously not smiling, Marble's mother turned to look at her daughter, who was too fixated on the small white statue the artist had made earlier. Marble, through her tears, was genuinely smiling for what her mother thought must've been the first time in days. "It feels good, doesn't it? That smile? ...Let that smile fill your heart with happiness, so that everytime you see that statue I made, you'll continue to smile again. And in time, that new smile will bring even more happiness." The artist turned his head back to the door, now preparing to leave for good. "Never let it die, Marble."


"That smile, your happiness, and the hope you have in your heart. If they live on, then in time, good things will come. And always remember this important fact..."


"What you just witnessed, that's the true power of art. Best not let that die either, or life will be dull. And a dull life, is kinda like that sadness you felt a while ago, before I showed up with my art. So do me that favor, and never let it die... OK?" Marble, still a bit choked up by the artist's gift, managed to let out a simplified answer. "O... OK..." With tears falling down her face as well, Marble's mother let out one last thing she felt she needed to say to the artistic hobo. "Thank you...!" Hidden from their view, and under the shade of his hood, the artist let out a huge, toothy grin again. "It was no problem. The pleasure's all mine." With everything finally out in the open, the big-hearted artist opened the door, and stepped back outside, shutting the door behind him. He managed to only make a few steps forward before someone noticed him. "Hey, you!!" The artist looked over his shoulder and saw something he wished he hadn't. "You're that freelance artist again!!" Grimacing, the artist realized he was in trouble once more. "Ah crap!! The royal guard!!" Having been found by the king's militia, the artist knew he had to either escape, or face a massive punishment for his efforts. Choosing the safer option of the two, the artist made a massive leap onto an adjacent building, located across the road from Marble's house. Feeling secure at last, the artist made an immature taunt at the royal guard, by sticking his rear end out at them, and patting it with his free hand, as if to tell them they could bite him for all he cared. He looked at them with a silly grin on his face. "Can't get me now, you losers!!"

Gun shots rang out seconds later, as bullets flew by the artist. Realizing he was being shot at, a look of shock appeared on his face next. "AAAAAHHHHH!!" Putting an end to his teasing, the artist broke into a run, and started leaping off of the rooftops of nearby buildings with tremendous acts of speed and grace. "After him!!" The group of soldiers, with rifles in hand, then gave chase after the artist, with something of a muredrous intent raging in their souls. The artist could be heard in the distance, screaming at his pursuers. "STOP SHOOTING AT ME, DAMN IT!!" As the artist ran off for the safety of the forest, something else of particular interest was beginning to happen off the shore of Pleasure Island.

Next Stop, Pleasure Island. The Land of Amusement Awaits!Edit

Out in the open waters of the Grand Line, and appearing from beyond the foggy waves of the Florian Triangle, came a rather noticeable vessel. It calmly continued its trek towards its next destination, as its crew went about their usual activities. "More! More! Play it again, Brook!" A young man, wearing a blue vest, black shorts, sandals, and quite clearly, a straw hat on his head, was grinning from ear to ear as he clapped in applause for the skeletal figure standing before him. "Encore!! Encore!!" Another young fellow, with dark skin and a rather long nose, called out towards the skeleton as well, with the same enthusiasm as his friend. The skeleton, seemingly alive somehow, responded with a hearty laugh. "Yohohohohohoho!! Very well then! Another rendition of Binks' Sake, coming up!"

"Brook, you're so amazing! It's hard to believe something like you even exists!" The skeleton, Brook, laughed once more at the innocent comment made by his blue-nosed friend. "Yohohohohohoho! This is nothing compared to the other wonders of the Grand Line! Though I have to admit, it sure feels great to be alive! ...Even though i'm just all bones. Yohohohohohohoho!!" Having made his joke, Brook began playing Binks' Sake on his violin, as Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper cheered him on in excitement. Stepping out from within a cabin aboard the Thousand Sunny, an orange haired young woman peered out at the horizon in the distance, with her thoughts focused on the upcoming island. "The seas seem to have calmed down, so it looks like we'll be making landfall soon." She then looked down at her companions, who were still in the midst of Brook's performance. "You guys got all that?! Be on the lookout for an island coming up!" The festivities were cut short as the four figures on the grassy deck turned their attention to Nami, as well as the next island. Luffy was sure a new adventure was right around the corner, and so he couldn't help but grow excited at the thought of a new island appearing soon. His eyes sparkled like stars as he thought more about it.

"Awesooome!! We're finally gonna see Fishman Island!!" Usopp gave his captain a rather dissapointed expression, as he was sure even Luffy wouldn't be so dull as to forget what their next destination was going to be. "Don't you remember? Fishman Island is supposed to be the next island over. We have to first get beyond this place, uh..." Usopp trailed off as he tried to think up the name of the island he and his crew were approaching. "The island's name is Pleasure Island," Brook replied. "It's supposed to be an artistic paradise, where visitors can spend countless hours, days, or even weeks there as they enjoy the culture of the island. Be it paintings, sculptures, comedies, stories, plays, or my favorite, musical performances. Thus it gained the name Pleasure Island, because one can't help but simply find themselves pleased with the amount of fun they'll find there."

"Wow, Brook! You seem to know quite a lot about this place, even though you were all alone in the Florian Triangle for fifty years!"

"Well of course, Chopper! Being in that accursed sea, with the state that i'm in, gave me nothing but time to learn more about my surroundings! That is, when I wasn't busy hunting down that zombie who had my shadow." All this talk about an island filled to the brim with fun and entertainment was starting to make Luffy restless. He could only imagine what he'd find there, once he and his crew reached it. "I can't waaaiiit!! Pleasure Island!! Even the name sounds fun!!" Nami, on the other hand, seemed to mistake the name for something else. "Wait, did you just say...?" Nami too, began to grow excited. She clasped her hands together as a huge grin appeared on her face, with her eyes inexplicably becoming beli signs. "TREASURE?!! A TREASURE ISLAND?!!" Nami stared off into the horizon as she imagined the amount of money she could rake in after obtaining so much treasure. "I'LL BE SET FOR LIFE!!" She then pointed straight ahead with her index finger, in a commanding pose. "Right!! Full speed ahead to Treasure Island!!" Her crewmates, particularly Usopp and Chopper, looked at her as if she had two heads. "Um, Nami? That's PLEASURE Island, not 'Treasure'," Usopp corrected her. "Huh? What was that, Usopp? I couldn't quite catch that..." Nami was still in a daze as she daydreamed of her imaginative Treasure Island. Her grin never seemed to leave her face as she stared at the horizon ahead of her. "I think we should just let her continue believing it's a treasure island, Usopp," Chopper commented. "Yeah, good point. I wouldn't exactly wanna deal with her if she knew the truth."

Luffy ran up to the bow of the Thousand Sunny and watched the horizon come closer towards him. A permanent smile creapt along his face as he watched the vast ocean and sky inch closer still. "I bet it's a spring island! The weather's so nice all of a sudden!"

"It's certainly nice enough for Zoro to fall asleep. Yohohohohoho!"

"Please, that bum could sleep through anything. I once saw him fall asleep in the middle of a snowstorm!"

"He fell asleep in a snowstorm? That was awfully stupid of him..."

"Yohohohohoho! Zoro's quite fearless, no doubt!"

"Or a complete idiot..." With the discussion between Brook, Usopp, and Chopper respectively coming to an end, Luffy could be heard from his position at the bow, yelling at the top of his lungs in excitement. "LAND HOOO!! WE REACHED PLEASURE ISLAAAND!!"

"TREASURE ISLAND!! AT LAST," Nami replied, with equal enthusiasm. With Pleasure Island finally within sight, the Straw Hat Pirates prepared to disembark once more. Back on the island, in a large forested area, the same grey sweatshirt wearing artist finally came to a stop on a rather big tree limb. He turned around to see if the royal army was still behind him or not, but all he saw was lush plants and dirt. Feeling secure for now, the artist finally pulled down his hood, revealing for the first time since his debut, his hair and face. His hair was pitch black, much like Luffy's hair, however, it was shaped rather differently. It had three large triangular bangs hanging over his forehead, with the one on his right curved into a crescent pointing to his left, and the bang on his left, again as a crescent, pointing to the right, making it a perfect symmetry between the two, with the bang in the middle drooping down as a simple triangle shape. Above the bangs, were the same set of three triangular hair spikes, in the same formation as the bangs below them. Behind the hair spikes, the artist's hair layed flat and smooth on his head, and only went so far as reaching his ears in length. His face however, looked rather youthful, yet still mature enough to indicate he was still a teenager, entering young adulthood. His skin, being a fair, yet light shade of white.

Confident and proud of himself for the moment, the artist decided he wanted to childishly taunt the royal army for not being able to catch him. He extended his left pinky finger and used it to tug on his left eye's lower eyelid, while at the same time, sticking his tongue out in a playful manner. "Naaah! Still haven't caught me yet, ya morons! Tootootootootoo!" After having a good laugh, the artist looked back in the direction he had ran away from. He shielded his eyes with his right hand as he tried to peer farther into the distance. "Stupid soldiers... They chased me away from the city before I could finish my business there." The artist sighed afterward. "Guess the hood wasn't enough to hide my face. Nnngh...!" The artist growled slightly in the back of his throat, indicating his frustration. "Whatever, maybe it'll work the second time," he reassured himself, as he then pulled the hood back over his head, obscuring most of his face's details. "Back to work I go!" With that, the artist hopped from tree to tree back towards the city, with the plan to make his presence known there as small and unnoticeable as possible.

Back at the shore, near the harbor, the Thousand Sunny pulled in casually before making a full stop. "Yeeeaaah!! We're finally here!!" Luffy looked about ready to leap off the ship and run into town. In fact, that's exactly what he did, much to his crewmates' dismay. "Ah! Wait for me, Luffy!" Chopper was the next member of the Straw Hats to leave the ship, as he didn't want to miss out on what could possibly be found and experienced on this island. "Seriously, don't they have any self control?" Standing alongside Nami, as expected, was the Straw Hats' cook, Sanji. "Can you blame them though?" Usopp was the next one to head off for town, with an excited grin on his face that could match Chopper and Luffy's. "Hey, guys, don't run off without me!" Before he could fully leave the ship though, Sanji decided to respond with a bit of teasing. "Oh? How unexpected of you, Usopp."

"Huh, what're you getting at?"

"I mean, it's not like you to wanna run off towards an unknown island, that could be full of dangerous things lurking around every corner..."

"Oh, uh..."

"I mean, this island may have monsters..."


"Or dangerous, strong criminals who'd wanna beat you to a pulp..."


"Or maybe it's just a ghost town, full of phantoms and spooks, like Thriller Bark..."

"EEK!!!" Usopp went blue in the face, and his eyes looked as if they were going to pop out of his head. "AHH, SANJI, STOP!! YOU'RE SCARING ME!!"




"Oh, that is true. I am a skeleton who's afraid of ghosts. Yohohohohohoho!!"

"Well, while those two have their fun, i'm gonna go look for some of that treasure!"

"Oh, Nami-swan, can I go with you to find the treasure?!"

"Dumbass, there is no treasure. She got the name wrong."

"And how would you know, moss head?! You were asleep earlier!"

"I know, because unlike Nami, I actually listened to what I was told!"

"You wanna go, you lame-ass swordsman?!"

"Bring it, you second-rate cook!" As Sanji and Zoro began their traditional skirmish, clashing feet against swords, Nami decided it'd be best to just get going, and catch up with the others later. "Yeah, you guys go ahead and fight. I'll be busy finding me some loot!" Nami's eyes became beli signs once more upon the mentioning of 'loot.' "I'll join you then, Nami," Robin replied. "Who knows? I might just find some fun on this island myself."

"Well, monsters or not, I can't miss out on the musical splendor that awaits me," Brook added. With that said and done, Brook tipped his hat towards his friends, and made an impressive leap off of the railing of the Thousand Sunny, complete with his usual sprint as he tried to catch up with Luffy and Chopper. Robin, in the meanwhile, produced two rows of connecting arms and hands as they sprouted from the ground adjacent to the Sunny, and then proceeded to lift her and Nami by the arms and pull them off of the ship and down towards the ground nearby. Afterward, the hands dissapeared as suddenly as they had shown up, without so much as a warning. "So I guess that leaves us with those two, huh?" Usopp turned his attention to a rather large fellow, who sported wavy light-blue hair, a metal nose, a hawaiian shirt, a gold chain necklace, and nothing else other than his blue speedos. His arms were far larger than most people's, and they seemed to have a blue star tattooed on each of them. "Actually, I was thinking it'd be a super idea if I took a look around and saw some of these artists at work. You sure you don't wanna come along, Long Nose?"

"Trust me, it sounds like it'd be a blast and all, but I think i'll play it safe and stick here with these two. Besides, this way, I can watch the Sunny for you while you're gone."

"Super thinking, Long Nose! I appreciate it!"

"All in a day's work for the mighty warrior of the open seas, Usopp!" With the plans set for each member of the Straw Hat crew (except maybe Zoro and Sanji, who were still arguing with one another,) the pirates went about taking their stroll through the city ahead of them. It was big and seemed to be active enough, at least. There appeared to be large monitors on some of the rather tall buildings, which must've been hooked up to video transponder snails. On the ground below, the residents went about their business as usual. However, it was rather strange to see that there were very few street performers as expected, or that not too many people seemed to be doing anything remotely entertaining. On the plus side however, the architecture was rather stunning and beautiful, obviously the signs of brilliant creativity at work. "Well, this is awfully dull," Franky said, as he observed the citizens nearby. "Yeah, where's all the fun stuff that we were promised? All I see is people doing normal, everyday things," Luffy replied, with the same dissapointment as Franky. "Maybe we should look for some buildings that host shows," Brook suggested. "Sounds like it'd be worth a try," Chopper agreed.

After some walking around, the four pirates were able to find one of these buildings. However, large white tape with the words "CLOSED" in red letters were put up over its entrance. "'Closed'? Is the show over or something?"

"Maybe there's another show going on that we can find." However, at the next building, the same white tape was crossed over its entrance as well. Luffy let out a complaint at this sight. "Again? What the hell's going on here?" Brook, much like Chopper before, insisted on trying again. "Third time's the charm, no?" Unfortunately, Brook too, was mistaken. Another building, another closed sign. Everywhere they went, they saw the same exact thing. Eventually, it was starting to get annoying. Luffy protested in irritation. "Arrrgh!! This is getting old!" Not yet willing to give up so easily on the island's reputation for merriment, Franky tried advising a new solution. "Let's just ask a local then. Surely they should know where we can find a good show that's playing." Going with Franky's idea, the Straw Hats began asking around, hoping to get a decent explanation as to what was going on. "Huh? You want to see a show? Uh... Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about."

"The closed signs? Those have always been there. Those places are just condemned and old."

"I have nothing to say to people like you! If you know what's good for you, you'll keep quiet about any performances as well!" Quite clearly, something odd was going on. And the more the Straw Hats were refused an answer, the more suspicious things seemed to get. "What's up with these people? They looked so nervous when they were talking about the canceled shows," Chopper observed. The pirates continued their stroll down a city street as they paid careful attention to the citizens nearby. And indeed, Chopper's intuition seemed to be accurate. The locals did appear to be somewhat on edge at times, though this was only well hidden due to their lack of energy or enthusiasm. It was almost as if the life itself was sucked out of them, with the only thing keeping them going being their willpower. "Maybe they've grown ashamed of their art." It was a theory that didn't sit right with Franky, considering everything he went through involving Tom and Spandam in his younger years. "How dissapointing. I was really hoping to hear what kind of music the locals could have came up with, considering their reputation as expert performers."

"Maybe those guys will know something," Luffy simply pondered as he began to approach a group of men covered in red armor, with black padding underneath. "Wait Luffy! They look dangerous!" Ignoring Chopper's warning, Luffy walked up to one of the men, who seemed to be busy observing the surroundings rather carefully. "Hey, do you know why some of these places are closed?" The man tried to shoo him away, as he was more interested in his observations, and simply considered Luffy to be nothing more than a troublesome child. "I don't have time for you, kid. I'm busy with the inspection here."

"Inspection? Of what?" The man sighed in response, knowing this wasn't going to be easy to deal with as previously thought. He turned his face to look straight at Luffy, and flatly gave his answer to the young pirate. "Have you been living under a rock, kid? It's the king's orders that we check to make sure no one performs anything illegal on this island. More specifically, that no performing for others is done, and that any and all remaining artists get sent directly to the king."

"Oh, so you were the guys responsible for closing up those places we saw before?"

"I take it you're new here, aren't you?"

"Sure am."

"Well then, newbie, i'll explain things nice and slow. This is Pleasure Island, the entertainment capitol of the world. If you haven't heard of us now, then you haven't truly experienced real pleasure before. You see, here on this island, any and all entertainers have an undying obligation to perform solely for our king, and no one else. Our king is a great man, who deserves the most fun out of any of us here. And so, anyone caught performing or entertaining for anyone else other than the king, is considered a freelance artist, and will be labeled a criminal. So be sure you don't try anything funny yourself, or we'll come after you too."

"That's dumb..."


"Everyone deserves to have fun. What kind of king would keep all the cool stuff for himself?"

"That's just how we do things here, newbie. An outsider like you wouldn't understand our ways."

"Guess I don't..."

"Shameful," Brook piped up. "Music is an art form too, is it not? How could you allow yourselves to work for a king who won't share the joys of music?" Some of the man's fellow soldiers began to freak out upon the sight of the skeletal Brook. "Aaahh!! It's a living skeleton!!"

"Relax, you idiot. He's just one of those Devil Fruit monsters, that's all. And as for you, monster, i'm warning you. If you keep talking nonsense like that, then i'll have no choice but to arrest you for starting rebellion against our king."

"So you're truly happy letting this man deprive you and everyone else here of a good time?! Are you really that simple-minded?!"

"Skeleton, knock it off!"

"Yeah, Brook! You're starting to make a scene!"

"Rrrrgh...!" The soldier began to growl furiously, as he tried to contain his anger. It was one thing to have to deal with a rebellious monster, but to be insulted by it as well? There was no other choice, it seemed. "That tears it, monster! By the law set forth by our king, you are under arrest!" Brook's crewmates, sans Luffy, seemed shocked at the mess Brook had gotten them into. "Skeleton, do you realize what you just did?!"

"I can't help it! This doesn't sit right with me! You agree with me, don't you, Luffy?!" Luffy spent a while silently standing there, absorbing everything going on around him. However, something inside him snapped when he saw the king's soldiers taking aim at Brook with their rifles. "Prepare to fire on my mark! Readyyy...! Set...!" The soldier never got a chance to finish, as one swift Gum Gum Whip from Luffy was enough to knock the soldiers down to the ground. Understandable worried about the consequences, Chopper began to panic. "Luffy!! What'd you just do?!!"

"No one aims a gun at my friend like that!" The soldiers moaned as they tried to lift themselves back up. The kick was strong and painful, but it wasn't enough to knock them out cold. "An act of violence against the king's royal guard... You're all in for it now!" With that vague threat out in the open, the soldiers began to quickly retreat back towards a gathering of rather impressively large deer nearby. They must've been around six or seven feet tall, at least, and they seemed to have quite the flashy set of antlers, seeing as how the points were shaped like lightning bolts. Once the soldiers got on their saddles, they commanded the deer to head back to what could only be assumed to be the king'a castle. After turning themselves around, the large, flashy deer, ran off at intense speeds. Even if it was only from a standing start, that level of speed was unheard of for deer, and not to mention most humans. Watching the soldiers leave, the Straw Hats could see the local citizens start to shy away from them. The threat of being near wanted criminals was a risk no one wanted to take. The Straw Hats however, could only imagine what kind of mess they were getting into now.


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