Ch. 14- Usoland
Color Spread: The Straw Hats all sleeping in a cave with bears to stay out of a cold snowstorm.
“JOKER!” cried Caesar. “Hurry and flatten this sorry excuse for- AGH!!”
Jupiter yanked the scientist back as Law glared at Doflamingo.
“You’re not getting him back, Joker!” shouted the Supernova. “You didn’t follow the terms of the deal, therefore everything is off the table, now!! You get NOTHING!!!”
“You’re not serious, are you?!” Caesar questioned. “I was so close!!”
Doflamingo only chuckled in his usual sinister manner.
“Is that really the nicest thing you can to the boss you haven’t seen in over ten years?!” he asked. “Leave Caesar here, Law! He’s a very valuable subordinate of mine!!”
Hearing that caused Caesar to gasp happily as a tear fell from his eye.
“Jo…JOKER~!!!” he cried.
“Issho,” said one of the Marine soldiers. “It looks like Caesar Clown is with Law.”
“Is that right?” asked Fujitora. “The scientist who was involved in that poison gas incident on Punk Hazard, long ago. However, if he’s working for the Warlord…then he’s exonerated. He has amnesty.”
“So, is that you?” Doflamingo asked, looking towards the Marines’ direction. “I’ve heard rumors about you, Fujitora: the man who was promoted to Marine Admiral after the International Military Draft. They say that you and Ryokugyu are both powerful monsters.”
“That’s mighty kind of you to say,” said Fujitora.
“Ha!” Doflamingo laughed. “You can drop the humble act!”
“I’m just a simple newcomer to the Marines,” the Admiral countered, “and I admit, I’m having a bit of trouble, grasping the particulars of your behavior. I don’t really know the full story here, but I’ve got information that suggests your activities have been violating the rules…for one of the Seven Warlords, that is. That man there…he’s been calling you ‘Joker’.”
“GAH!!” Caesar gasped.
“What kind of a name is that?” asked Fujitora. “A nickname? Or an alias, perhaps?”
“Hehehe…!” Doflamingo laughed. “If you want to dig into my background like a mole, then you’d better get your elbows dirty before you make accusations!! And what will the Marines’ course of action be…regarding Law’s punishment?”
Jupiter glanced at Law, who glanced at Fujitora.
“…If the reports from the newspaper are true,” the blind Admiral started, “and you’re allied with the Straw Hat Pirates, then you’re guilty. However, if they’re working for you, Law, as your subordinates…then you’re off the hook.” He then gripped his cane. “Depending on how you answer the question, we’ll be needing to arrest both you and the Straw Hats.”
“Are you serious?!” Caesar questioned. “You’re basing your decision on that?! One little lie, and he gets away scot-free!!”
“Law, talk to me,” Jupiter said. “What are we gonna do, now?!”
“I’m thinking,” Law answered.
‘All my plans have been turned onto their head,’ he thought. ‘Suddenly, it’s like I’m the target here! If I let this situation travel back to Dressrosa, things will only get worse! …I don’t have a choice.’
“Straw Hat and I,” Law started, “are equals!! As the article in the newspaper says…we have an alliance!!!”
The Marines and Jupiter gasped upon hearing this.
“What the fuck are you doing?!” Jupiter asked.
“Trust me, okay?!” Law asked.
“Hehehehe…!” Doflamingo laughed. “You just can’t make things easier on your self, can you?”
“In that case,” Fujitora began, “your title is herewith revoked. And let’s hope that’s all the news made for now.”
Just then, he crouched down, holding his cane, and a large amount of pressure seemed to shoot up from the ground. A pause…but then, something appeared in the sky. At first, it seemed tiny…but then it grew larger and larger until it came in full view.
“…Are you fucking serious?” Law asked, almost sounding fearful.
“Is that…a meteorite?!” Jupiter questioned.
Indeed, it was a giant meteorite, hurtling right for the beach!
“Hey, hey…!” Doflamingo said, surprisingly nervous. “Tell me this is your idea of a sick joke!”
“RUN FOR IT!!!” The Marines cried as they ran for the forest.
“JUPITER!!!” Law shouted. “GRAB CAESAR AND TAKE COVER!!!”
“WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M DOING?!!” Jupiter questioned as he grabbed Caesar and ran to hide.
Using quick thinking, Law summoned his Room and easily sliced the meteorite in half. Both halves ended up going towards Doflamingo, who used his strings to slice the giant flaming rock into smaller pieces, which were sent flying towards Fujitora, who raised his sword, somehow blocking the chunks.
KABOOM!! The meteorite exploded, creating a huge cloud of dust and smoke. After a moment, it dispersed, revealing a humungous crater left behind on the beach. The Marines, Jupiter, and Caesar took this moment to try and catch their breath, but when they saw the crater, they all gasped.
“W-what the hell was that?!” asked Caesar. “What did they do at the last second?!”
“Somehow…the spots they’re standing on is still intact!!” Jupiter added, and he was right, because in the crater are only three pillars of earth that Law, Doflamingo, and Fujitora are standing on.
“What the FUCK is Sakazuki teaching you at HQ?!” Doflamingo questioned, glaring at Fujitora. “You’re like wild dog with that bullshit!!”
“I guess whether or not he can see is merely a secondary concern,” Law said.
“Nothing to worry about,” said Fujitora. “Just a little test, is all.”
“Flower Field?! What the hell, Franky?! What is this, a picnic?!”
“Oh, really? And just have you been up to while the rest of us were hard at work, Sanji?”
“…I was helping a girl. Don’t judge!”
In the city streets, Franky is seen, rolling along on his tank treads, eating a hamburger and drinking cola while the Thunder Soldier sat on his shoulders.
“Well, why you were busy chasing some girl’s ass, as usual,” Franky started, “I’ve been working on finding factory, WHICH I might find sooner than I thought.”
“Wait, seriously?!” asked Sanji on the Mini Transponder Snail.
“Yep,” Franky answered. “Although, it doesn’t like we can just waltz in, knock it down, and go on our merry little way. This might take more work than I thought.”
“Hey, you!!” shouted a chef, chasing after Franky. “We don’t keep tabs! You pay with cash only!! Somebody stop that toy!!”
“Look, Franky, we don’t have time,” Sanji said. “Doflamingo has-”
“Yeah, I know,” said Franky. “I just read the paper. Looks like he really pulled the rug from under us, huh? If he pries Caesar away from us, too, then our entire plan goes down the toilet! Our only chance is to find that factory is and tear it down to get back at him! Why don’t you make yourself useful and make your way over to the Flower Field, too?”
“What is this, a fairy tale?!” Sanji asked. “Another thing, I can’t get in touch with Nami and her group!”
“Back on Sunny?” Franky asked.
“Dammit, I really hope she’s okay,” replied Sanji, worriedly.
“Oh, c’mon, man,” Franky chastised. “She’s not that delicate little flower she was two years ago! She knows Haki, now, for crying out loud! She’ll be fine! Besides, Brook and Chopper are with her!”
“I guess so…” Sanji muttered, but then he gasped. “HOLY SHIT!!”
“What? What’s wrong?!” Franky asked.
In another part of town, Sanji gaped at a large monitor.
“Violet…what the hell is that?!” he questioned.
“Oh, that?” Violet asked. “It’s footage from the coliseum, broadcasted live.”
“This mysterious gladiator and his canine companion are overpowering the field! Mighty Lucy and vicious Butch take no prisoners!!”
On screen, Luffy and Blizzard are seen, kicking butt and taking names.
‘That is totally Luffy and Blizzard!!’ thought Sanji.
“Damn, those two are really tough,” said a bystander, watching the screen.
“Hey, Franky!” said Sanji. “I don’t wanna alarm you or anything, but Luffy and Blizzard are-”
“Oh, right!” Franky said. “Don’t mind them. They’re just fighting in coliseum.”
“I CAN SEE THAT, YOU DUMB-ASS!!!” Sanji barked. “WHY WOULD YOU LET THEM DO THAT?! I THOUGHT YOU WERE WATCHING THEM!!!”
“Hey, you should talk, man!” Franky countered.
Just then, Violet turned around and gasped.
“Oh, no,” she whispered. “Black Leg! I’m sorry, but I have to go! My men are headed this way!”
“What?!” Sanji asked.
“You want to go this hidden factory, right?” asked Violet as he gave the cook a parchment. “Here. Take this map. Publicly, it’s known as the Toy House. That’s the factory.”
“Hold on a second!” Sanji cried. “Violet, are you sure about this?! You could get in deep trouble if they found if you helped me, this much!!”
“Don’t worry about me,” Violet assured. “This won’t make a difference, really. I bet all the other officers know of my betrayal by now.”
“What?!” Sanji questioned. “Oh, man, I can’t leave you like this! I may be a one-woman man, but dammit, I can’t turn a blind eye to a woman in need!!”
A pause…but then he gasped.
“I’ve got it!” he exclaimed. “The western harbor! We’ll meet there! Just try and stay out of sight and wait for me! That’s where my crew are gathering when we’re done here! I’m going to make sure I get you outta this mess you’re in!”
Another slight pause…but then Violet giggled.
“…You really are a hopeless man, aren’t you?” she asked, causing Sanji to smile.
“I get that a lot,” he said. “I’ll see you later…be careful.”
“You, too,” Violet answered. “And Black Leg?”
“…Nefertari Vivi’s a very lucky girl.”
With that, Violet ran off, and Sanji was about to do the same, but then, out of nowhere, he bumped into a disguised Kin’emon.
“AGH!!” Sanji cried. “What the-?! Kin’emon, what are you doing here?!!”
“Pardon my intrusion,” Kin’emon started, “but I’m afraid I’ve run into a problem, Sanji-dono.” He then pointed to a group of thugs. “Do you mind dispatching these ruffians for me?”
“…Oh, come on,” Sanji complained under his breath.
A moment later, Sanji is sitting on a pile of beaten-up thugs.
“Why didn’t you take care of these jackasses with those flaming swords of yours?!” Sanji asked, lighting up his cigarette.
“I would have,” Kin’emon answered. “However, these men are the ones who are holding Kanjuro prisoner. Attacking them would mean forsaking his safety. Now then, Sanji-dono, I insist that you come with me to this place called the Toy House, for Kanjuro is said to be held there, but I know not where it lies!!”
“Say what?!” Sanji asked. “I’m already headed there!!”
Concurrently, back on Greenbit, beneath the dense forest, Usopp, Robin, and the Tontatta Tribe looked upon feeling the tremors going on up above.
‘Sounds like Law’s causing a ruckus,’ Robin thought, nervously.
“What’s with all that shaking?!” asked one of the dwarves.
“Oh, man!” Usopp cried. “I don’t wanna die down here!!”
“Huh?!” questioned another dwarf. “The hero is panicking?!”
Catching himself, Usopp grinned as he turned to the Tontatta Warriors, pointing his nose up with confidence.
“M-me? Panic?” he asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! That trembling was just my Conqueror’s Haki, is all!”
“Haki!?” questioned a Tontatta dwarf. “You mean that thing you used to beat 50 thousand bad guys down on Fishman Island?! You’re amazing!!”
“The whole Tontatta Kingdom felt that tremor!” exclaimed another.
In front of Usopp and Robin is a large spread of food.
“Here! Eat!” said Leo. “This is roasted Fighting Fish! It’s a giant kind of goldfish!”
Usopp took himself a bite and savored the great taste.
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “This is way better than I thought! Tastes just like braised Sea King!”
‘So these little guys are the ones who caught the fish, huh?’ thought the sniper as he ate. ‘I guess even they have pretty amazing strength. I guess that’s the New World for ya.’
“Because the Fighting Fish is so big,” Leo started, “our whole kingdom can live off it for several months. You’re a big person, Usoland, so you and Robiland can eat as much as you want!”
“Well, you ought to see how Luffyland, another member of the Usolanders Squad,” Usopp said. “He could at least 10 of these things, whole!”
“WHOA!!!” the Tontatta Tribe exclaimed in awe.
“Usopp?” Robin whispered. “What’s this ‘Usoland’?”
“Check it out, Robin,” Usopp answered. “Does that over there ring a bell?”
Robin turned and gasped silently to see a small statue of Montblanc Noland, also known as “Noland the Liar”.
“That’s the same guy from that picture book, back in Jaya,” Usopp said.
“Isn’t that Montblanc Noland?” Robin asked.
“That’s right!” Leo answered. “Of course you’d know who he is! He’s the great big person botanist who came to the Tontatta Kingdom, 400 years ago! Some bad guys were trying to destroy our island, but he came to our ancestor’s aid and helped us win the battle! He’s a legendary hero to us all!!”
“When Usoland spoke his name and said he was a descendant of Montblanc Noland,” said a tearful Flapper, “it was…so incredible!!”
“C’mon! It’s true, I tell you!!” exclaimed Usopp, who was sewn into the ground by Leo’s powers. “Here! Just look at my head!”
The dwarves surrounding him looked at Usopp’s helmet and gasped.
“Holy smokes!” Flapper cried. “It’s true! He’s got a chestnut on his head, like Noland!!”
“You see?!” Usopp asked. “This chestnut dome of mine is the symbol of my family!!”
“…You really are a wicked man, Usopp,” Robin whispered.
“Hey, no skin off my nose,” Usopp replied. “It saved our asses, didn’t it? Now, c’mon! Let’s eat this grub, accept our gifts, and scram while the scramming is good!”
“Truly, this is an act of fate!” declared Gancho.
“That’s right!!” shouted Leo. “The legendary hero has finally returned after 400 years on the very day we vowed to fight back against Doflamingo!!”
“Hmm?” Usopp hummed, taken back by what the dwarf had said.
“Usoland!!” declared Leo. “Once you’re done eating, we have to head to the Flower Field through the tunnels!! The captain and his Riku Royal Army are waiting for us in Dressrosa, where the final battle will take place!!”
“Hmm?!” Usopp hummed, still in shock.
“You gotta stand at the front and lead us!!” shouted another dwarf.
“Yeah!!” cried one more. “You gotta defeat the Donquixote Family!!”
“You’ve got the strength of 100 men!!” exclaimed a third.
“Usoland! Usoland! Usoland!!” the dwarves chanted, while Usopp sat there with the same grin on his face….while sweating bullets.
‘Holy crap, what have I gotten myself into?!’ he thought.
TO BE CONTINUED…