"You see, King Jed is not a force to be reckoned with," Angie said as she handed the three guys drinks. They had managed to walk a few blocks to get to Angie's run-down home without getting caught by the many guards that now roamed the island.
"I thought that kings were supposed to be generous people," Chopper said, furrowing his brows. "Why would this guy be so intimidating?"
"Chopper, first of all, who told you that all kings were good people?" Zoro questioned. "Because that's a load of crap."
"Anyway, to answer your question, Chopper," Angie waved off Zoro's comments, "Jed is too selfish. He'll kill anyone that doesn't follow his rules, and he'd probably kill someone if they merely blinked in a way he doesn't like. He's picky about everything...violently picky, if that makes sense. He's the real devil. He aspires to hold world domination, but who doesn't? He killed more than half of the town in one night because they couldn't pay him properly. He killed the queen because she actually wanted to spread goodness around the island. He doesn't even care about his own daughter..."
Sanji jumped up from his seated position. "A princess?! Yosh! Let's save this damsel! It's finally my chance to be a knight in shining armor!" He raised his fists in the air and turned in the direction of the door. Before he could charge out, Zoro grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him back into the old wooden chair he was seated at before. "Now's not the time to be blindly chasing after some princess. She could be evil like her dad, you know."
Sanji frowned. "Marimo, I assure you that a woman can do no evil." Zoro rolled his eyes in response. "Oh, yeah? How about that CP9 woman or the pointy one from Alabasta or Nami? Seriously, I'm pretty sure Nami's actually the devil's right hand woman."
"Huh?" Sanji glared at Zoro.
Chopper cleared his throat as an attempt to distract Zoro and Sanji from getting into another fight. "Angie, you mentioned him killing half the town...did the survivors just flee after that? Why didn't you flee?"
"Yes, all of the survivors basically fled. My family did, but I didn't, because...because I just didn't. The elderly woman I mentioned earlier, who knows where she is. She always just appears in random spots throughout the island. She used to be a caretaker for the princess when she was little; there's a fun fact. The other families that decided to stay here live on the outermost parts of this island, since the patrols barely pay any mind to that area. I have no idea why they stayed since there's literally nothing beneficial for them." Angie looked down and played with her fingers. "There was one other guy that had stayed, but he left just recently. He was a really good friend of mine, too, so it's been kinda hard to not really have a good friend around at a time like this."
"Wow," Chopper breathed out. "I'm confused."
Angie raised a brow. "Confused? How?"
"Well, why did you choose to stay? You don't have your family or your friend, so why would you put yourself through this?"
"Because...oh, crap." Swiftly, Angie pushed Chopper, Sanji, and Zoro to the floor. "What the hell was that for?!" Zoro yelled. "Shut up! Stay down and keep quiet. It's the guards from earlier." Angie whispered. "Just stay behind the table here, so in case they come in, they won't see you at first glance."
"What about you?" Zoro asked. Angie shrugged. "I'll just act like I'm trying to enjoy myself for once."
Chopper looked as if he were about to cry. "Are they gonna kill us?" he whimpered. "They will if you don't stop talking," Angie responded with a fierce whisper. Then, the door of the house swung open, revealing the two guards from earlier. "Where are they?" the first guard demanded once he set his eyes on Angie, who was now seated calmly at the table that everyone was just at. Her chair was angled specifically to hide Chopper, Zoro, and Sanji as much as possible. She tipped her head. "I'm sorry, who?"
"The members of the Straw Hat Pirates!" the second guard barked.
"I have no idea who the Straw Hat Pirates are, so I can't really help you with their location."
"Don't be ridiculous," the first guard spoke slowly as he inched towards the table. "One of our men saw you scampering about with three suspicious beings. They all have matching descriptions to members of the Straw Hat Pirates."
Sanji clenched his jaw. He knew he shouldn't be letting these beefcakes be picking on such an innocent girl, yet he also knew that he'd be in deep shit if he were to act out against the guards. With a small nod to himself, Sanji knew what he had to do. He was a prince of chivalry, and he couldn't let Angie go through this irritating interrogation anymore.
"Oi, bastards." Sanji stood up from his scrunched up position on the floor. He then took out his cigarette and slightly pointed the butt of it at the guards. "Stop giving her such a hard time and fight me already."
"Sanji!" Chopper whisper-shrieked from the floor. "You're gonna get us killed!"
"Idiot chef," Zoro muttered before standing up as well. "Oh well. I've been itching for a fight all day, so this should be good."
"You guys!" Angie's eyes widened as the two men stood up from their hiding places. Devastation clouded her green eyes as she thought that there would be no way for two young men like Zoro and Sanji to survive a fight like this. However, this was usually the case when people would first meet members of the Straw Hat Crew.
"Don't worry, sweetheart, we've got this all under control," Sanji said coolly and placed the cigarette back in between his lips. "Now, let's take this outside so we don't have to ruin this kind girl's house."
Before anything else could happen, one of the guards swiftly grabbed Angie and held an ax right to her throat. "Don't try anything stupid or else blood will spill, pirates," the guard barked.
"Bastard..." Sanji muttered through gritted teeth. "Leave her out of this!"
"Oi, cook," Zoro whispered. Sanji glanced over at the swordsman, who had an all-too familiar look in his eyes. It was Roronoa Zoro's infamous "I've Got A Plan" look, and only dumb people would be willing to go against his plans (even though his plans were pretty dumb to begin with). Sanji raised his swirled brow, asking for an answer.
Zoro whispered, "Follow my lead" before raising his hands up...in surrender.
Sanji's eye widened, baffled with his crew mate's decision. "What the hell, you idiot swordsman!" Sanji yelled. Zoro shot him an evil glare. Sanji closed his eyes and began massaging his temples with slow motions. "Why I'm doing this, I have no idea. I shouldn't be following his shitty orders. He's an idiot. I'm going to die following the shitty orders of a shitty idiot." Then, he lifted his hands into the air as well, and gave Zoro a "I Really Hope You Know What You're Doing" look.
"No! Stop! You can't just surrender that easily! We can work something out!" Angie protested as she squirmed around in the guard's grip.
Meanwhile, Chopper watched in horror as he watched two-thirds of the crew's strongest trio surrender without a single second of fighting. He felt the need to stay hidden so he could get away safely, but then he felt obliged to join his crew mates in surrendering to guards of this mysterious king. With a gulp, he crawled out from his hiding position and stood between Zoro and Sanji, raising his hooves in the air.
The guard without Angie whistled, and four more guards entered the house. They cuffed the three Straw Hats, and shoved them out the door. The guard that held Angie released her, causing her to let out a sharp sigh of slight relief. "King Jed will let you know when your execution is," Angie heard a guard say before the door to her home shut.
"Yosh! Let's see..." Luffy looked around at his surroundings as he, Usopp, and Nami stood outside one side of the castle. "There are lots of windows. Let's bust through one!" Nami grabbed onto one of his cheeks, stretched it, and let it fly back into his own face with a loud snap. "Don't be an idiot, Luffy. We're bound to get caught if we recklessly crash through things."
"Nami is one thousand percent right. I vote we just skedaddle on back to the ship and make our merry way out of here!" Usopp cried.
"Usopp, your ideas are awful. Stop talking." Luffy shook his head in mock disappointment before looking at his surroundings again. "Hmm...there's no other way to get in. Nami, it has to be the windows!"
"Luffy, for the love of God, n-" Nami was abruptly cut off due to a string of loud profanities coming from nearby. Usopp screeched and started pulling on Luffy's usual red vest. "Oi, oi, oi, Luffy, this is it! We're dead! Let's make it out of here quickly!"
"Hang on a second..." Nami narrowed her eyes at the profanities that seemed to be getting louder.
As Nami was collecting her suspicions, a stream of glorious-smelling goodness spiraled into Luffy's nose, causing a small string of drool to fall from his mouth. "Mmm..." Luffy sighed contently and turned his head in the direction of the perfect smell. "I smell food~!" He pulled Usopp's hand off of his vest and began walking off to where the smell was coming from--another entrance in the castle. Usopp watched in dismay as his captain wandered away in a food trance. "Luffy!" he called out. Luffy kept on walking. "Dammit!" Usopp swore. He was about to go after Luffy, but then he realized that it was most likely a safer option to stay with Nami.
Luffy's strong, Usopp thought. He can get himself out of something dumb, no worries.
Then, a small gasp escaped from Nami's lips. "Oh, no!" She said with a hint of panic.
Usopp turned his head to look at her. "What? What's wrong?"
Nami pointed to a group of nine people. Usopp took a minute and scrutinized the figures who a bit far away carefully. Nothing was familiar about this group, until Usopp's eyes identified with a head of unmistakable green hair. After he was able to identify the green hair, he saw a hat that only the finest of doctors wore, and finally, he saw the head of a chef that knew no wrong when it came to girls. "Oh, God," Usopp groaned. "Those idiots. I should've known that they would be the first ones caught."
Nami turned to where Luffy was previously standing, only to find that he wasn't there. She then clenched her fists and viciously scanned the area. "Where the hell did Luffy go?! Usopp, you were just hanging onto him!"
"I'm sorry...I-I looked away for just a second, and poof! He was gone!" Usopp fibbed.
Nami let out a deep sigh before looking back at the large men who were dragging Zoro, Sanji, and Chopper into one of the castle entrances. "Do we go after them?" She asked with a hint of hesitation.
"Good question, I don't know," Usopp responded with a gulp as their nakama disappeared into the castle.
"Okay, you're about to see King Jed. If you do anything to anger him, he will kill you on the spot. Any questions?" A guard asked as he stood in front of a large red door. Zoro rolled his eyes. "Yeah, question, how pathetic is your king? I need a solid answer so I can get to know my enemy before I completely demolish him."
"Zoro!" Chopper whined. "Don't provoke them!"
"Chopper's right, you moron," Sanji agreed with an eye roll. "You're asking to get your ass handed to you."
The guards snickered. The two that were in charge of Zoro exchanged glances. Then, one of them spoke up. "If you're so cocky, then I think you should have the honors of meeting King Jed first."
The guard standing in front of the door nodded with a smirk. Then, the door creaked open, and Zoro was shoved into the room where this rumored tyrant sat.