' What's up'- Thoughts
"What's up"- Speech
*What's up*- Sounds
►One year later◄
»Baterilla, South Blue, 1475«
The bright sun showered through the entire island. Even though it was pretty early, it didn't deter people from hitting a pub at such a time to enjoy themselves.
"Hahha, have you guys sighted the new bounties from one of the most notorious pirates?" mentioned a somewhat drunken fellow.
"Haha, currently Gol D. Roger is causing havoc. Here, look," spoke another guy as he placed the bounties of the Roger Pirates side by side on the table.
Dead or Alive→Gol D. Roger→1.400.000.000 ฿
Dead or Alive→Silvers Rayleigh→1.012.000.000 ฿
Dead or Alive→Scopper Gaban→670.000.000 ฿
"He's not included now, in fact, I also caught a glimpse of Edward Newgate's new bounty elsewhere! 700,000,000 ฿! And as far as I know, he's not even in a crew. He's literally a one-man army!"
"Really remarkable. However, plenty of powerful pirates roam around the new world. In comparison, the bounties of the Roger Pirates or Edward Newgates's are still relatively modest."
"Haha, you're right about that."
A man standing at roughly 1,80m in height arose from his seat and approached the remaining visitors to take a look at the bounties personally.
"Oyy, whose permission did you get for holding the wanted posters?" yelled one of the individuals.
"Oyy, Trod? Hahaha, that idiot was fussing just a moment ago, now he's dozed off. Well, I guess he drank too much," uttered the person seated beside him.
'Hmm, the bounties of Gol D. Roger and the other ones are already quite high. If I'm not wrong, he should be 28 years old now and Rayleigh a year older. Judging from the wanted poster, Roger is still known as one of the D. folks. Though that will change, once he is crowned as the Pirate King.
Unfortunately, in the South Blue, it was not possible to have a look at the bounties of all the big entities. I mean, based on the manga, the Rocks Pirates were meant to be formed in about 7-9 years. That said, what about Xebec before that time? Didn't he already have his own crew back then? Hmm, I suppose I'll figure that out once I head to the Grandline in person.'
Precisely. The individual seizing the Roger Pirates' wanted posters was Kurokami Pride.
Moments after burying everyone, both he and Dokai returned to the Briss Kingdom, whilst dropping the latter off.
Pride, a man that always saved as well as stashed his money away, had plenty of money to sustain his livelihood. As a result, he could also fund his journeys without difficulty.
Pride toured almost the entire South Blue. He passed through island after island either by civilian or merchant ships and would remain on each for a limited period.
Partly to train and also to distract himself from his sorrows.
There wasn't a time when he didn't train rigorously on either his devil fruit utilization or his swordsmanship. As a result, he progressed considerably through it.
His training during that time primarily featured the basic stances for further immersion in his swordsmanship, or he would subject himself to a gravitational pressure to accelerate his progression and to train more intensely.
And secondly, in pursuit of a pirate whose alias was Draco. For this purpose, he scoured each island of South Blue in an attempt to track him down. Unfortunately, he was unable to find a wanted poster of the above-mentioned figure, thus he proceeded with his search.
At last, he ended up on Baterilla. Though he didn't manage to find Draco's wanted poster, he did find the new ones from the Roger Pirates.
All of them glanced towards the entrance as it had been abruptly flung open.
"Hmm?" gushed out, from the majority of attendees.
"The Roger pirates were sighted not all that far away!!!" gasped the man whose arms were resting on his knees.
"Impossible? The Roger Pirates! What's a crew from the New World supposed to do here?" emphasized someone that abruptly rose from his seat and slammed down on the counter.
"Hurry, hurry, we've gotta go!" shouted several people at once whilst leaving the pub.
All of them ran out of the pub. Just the bartender and Pride remained inside.
'Hmm, to be honest, what is Roger's crew doing here? I mean, he shouldn't even have met Rouge yet. So what's he really up to?'
"Kid, why didn't you leave too? spoke the barkeeper.
"Sigh, there's nothing to be concerned about."
In all probability, the majority did not know the true nature of the Roger Pirates, or they would have been aware that these pirates don't inflict any harm on civilians. That being said, the civilians and pirates at the scene can't be blamed, considering the pirates are worth billions in bounties, the fear is bound to take over.
►A while later◄
The door of the bar opened as several people stepped in.
"Oyy, Rayleigh, have a look. People probably noticed we went ashore and all of them left the pub altogether, RA-HA-HAH."
"Hmm, well, there's one more. Most likely, the remainder thought we were being malicious."
"Bartender, will you bring us some booze? Today we are celebrating!"
All that echoed around were the laughter of the Roger Pirates, cheering on some unforeseen cause.
Pride, peering over, briefly drifted off into his contemplations...
'Roger... he literally looks like that scene from the anime wherein Roger first recruited Rayleigh before his boat and babbled something about a fateful encounter.'
Gol D. Roger, as usual, was wearing his straw hat, and a black button-up shirt. His well-trained upper body was clearly displayed to everyone, matching his height of approximately 2.75m. Above this, he was dressed in a black coat as well as wore blue trousers. With his Supreme Grade sword, Ace tied around his waist.
Rayleigh, however, was roughly 1.90m in height. He had medium-length blond hair and over his right eye, a scar that was quite prominent, and he used eyeglasses. Furthermore, he wore a purplish coat buttoned up to the top, with a sword strapped around his waist.
"Hahah, Captain. When do we sail back to the East Blue? After all, you were planning to visit your home island there temporarily."
"RAHA-HAH, Gaban. For now, we're gonna get wasted, and later on, we can be on our way."
Pride, overhearing the Roger pirates' conversation, froze momentarily stunned.
'This is it! Needless to say, I've spent considerable time in preparation for my journey, and have learned about navigation in the meantime. However, it is insufficient for crossing the Reverse Mountain and reaching another Blue Sea... not to mention I am neither in possession of a ship.'
"Hmm?" the majority of the Roger pirates stared in the direction wherein a young man, not older than fifteen years of age, was approaching them.
Pride, grabbed a nearby chair and seated himself beside them.
"RA-HAH, you are an interesting fellow." Laughed Roger aloud.
"Young man. Aren't you fearful of us?" spoke Rayleigh, the usually low-key character.
"What should I be afraid of?" Smirked Pride."
"RA-HAH, waiter! One more glass for the young one!" Roger's voice chimed in.
"I overheard, that you were planning to sail to the East Blue. Please take me with you until then!" spoke Pride resolutely.
"Young man, We....."
Yet before finishing his sentence, he was cut off.
"Pride is my name."
"RA-HAH, Pride. We're currently being chased by Vice-Admiral Garp and Vice-Admiral Sengoku from the Marines, so that's actually the reason why we're here at present."
Upon hearing Roger's declaration, Pride once again lapsed into a trance-like stupor.
'Garp is supposed to be 29 years old at this point. Well, I assume he joined the Marines around the same time as Sengoku and Tsuru, at the age of 22. And he already climbed the ladder up to the position of a Vice-Admiral within seven years? Most likely, he and Sengoku have already reached an astonishing level of strength.
Roger and Rayleigh... whose bounties are also a tad over a billion. Those two... I can't pinpoint their true strength. And as far as I can recall, Roger was the 'protagonist' prior to Luffy, thus he and Rayleigh surely possess far more strength. Their bounties are most likely that low in comparison solely based on the fact that they haven't revealed their true ambitions yet. Namely, to discover the mysteries and the secrets the world contains.'
"It doesn't matter if you guys are being pursued, I would appreciate it if you could bring me with you," emphasized Pride.
In response, Rayleigh overtook from the sidelines, smirking. "The real question is, are you not a burden to us?"
Subsequently, Rayleigh's eyes were shrouded in a slight hint of crimson.
Many objects, such as chairs and tables got slightly battered and as a result, lost their luster.
Pride, subjected to the force of Rayleigh's conqueror's haki, began to sweat a bit.
'Incredible! What a sophisticated conqueror´s haki! Despite him centering it only on me, the surrounding objects are all being affected by it! I guess they don't call him the Dark King for naught!'
Pride's eyes were likewise shrouded in a tinge of crimson, along with a ripple bursting out of him.
A rather tiny black aura faced a vast blue aura.
"I can take care of myself," resounded Pride's voice with a smirk, showing a vein bulging forth on his forehead.
"RA-HAH, to be able of using conqueror's haki so soon, you will surely grow into something great later on," laughingly stated Roger, as he tapped Rayleigh on the shoulder, indicating that it was enough.
Briefly afterward, both retracted their respective auras and everyone started laughing.
"Time to celebrate!" yelled the majority of Roger's crew, whilst clapping their cups on the table.