Third Person's POV; Five Days later, Jaya.
The crew of the Straw Hats has just come within reach of the docks of a new island. They were delayed by a storm. The sight that greeted them was disturbing. Ships were thrown inland, houses were destroyed with mud walls raised as high as the first floor and body parts of people were sticking out of the rubble and dirt.
“This looks like the aftermath of a tsunami, what happened here?”, wondered Nami, while carefully walking through the destruction.
A nearby woman heard her. “There was this sudden storm five days ago. It came out of nothing and raged for three whole days. Massive waves hit the harbour, one after the other. Lightning stroke the higher houses, setting them aflame and tornadoes destroyed any ship that tried to flee.
It was pure chaos and started with a nock-up stream.”
“And you say that this storm came out of nothing?”, questioned Nami, always eager to learn about new weather phenomenon.
“Aye,” said someone new. Nami, Luffy and Zoro turned around and found a heavily bandaged man. He was big, both in height and width. He also had lost a few teeth and black hair.
“I was there when it started, nearly killed me.” Continued the man, whom they later would learn to be Blackbeard. Much, much later.
“Can you tell me more?”, asked Nami with a disarming smile.
“Sure little lady. My crew and I were out, trying to hunt for a bounty. And it was the Kage pirates we were trying our luck with.” Began Blackbeard. Zoro was quick to silence Luffy from speaking something stupid. Blackbeard either didn't see or more likely, didn't care. “Then their captain did something to the sea. It began to steam and thick fog started to enclose us.
At first, we thought they wanted to use the fog to hide and get away, but then the fog, the sea, the air, simply everything turned to ice. My wounds are still showing the remains of the frost bite I got from this single attack.
And then it started. Tornados, waves as high as mountains, winds so fast they can peel off your skin and lightning so bright it blinded us. Everything happened at once and our ship got ripped apart nearly instantly.
I'm only alive thanks to my crew and our doctor. Without them, I would have drowned then and there.
We managed to swim back to Jaya, but by then the storm has already reached the island and was causing havoc. It lasted for three whole days before it calmed down.” Some passersby were nodding in agreement with Blackbeard.
“And the Kage Pirates?”, asked Zoro, the worry about Jonny, Yosaku and Lara were carefully hidden.
“Escaped in a sudden knock-up stream. I don't know if they survived, but if they have, then they are now a few kilometre up in the sky”, laughed Blackbeard.
“So Lia and Lara are now on a sky island?”, asked Luffy excitedly. He had bitten Zoro to get free. None of the present misheard him and glares stared to fly in their direction.
“You know Slicer Lara and True Shot Lia?”, asked someone nearby. Luffy, always the stupidest person in a room, nodded rapidly.
“Yes, both of them helped us a lot. They are good friends, why?” Of course, Nami had to groan and facepalm from the sheer idiocy that her captain was showing.
She was nearly hissing her next question. “Luffy, these people are in trouble, wounded or dead because Lara or Lia did something. Do you think it wise to tell them that we are friends with them?”
“Huh? Why not? Lia or Lara only did what they have done because the big guy here attacked them. So it's his fault and not theirs”, asked Luffy right back. Many onlookers switched their glare from Luffy to Blackbeard, who just laughed loudly.
“Hyahahaha, Aye, without us attacking them nothing would have happened”, agreed Blackbeard. It caused a ruckus and many shouted profanities at him. Some pulled their weapons and one even attacked him without a warning.
Blackbeard, being Blackbeard, simply punched him in the face. The punch nocked all of his teeth out and catapulted him over a broken house. “Hyahahaha, just because it's my fault does not mean that I will take the blame”, laughed Blackbeard.
“So Lara made the water evaporate and then froze it all over. It must have energised the air, which created a temporary magnetic field. It must have been the cause of the storm, in combination with the rapidly changing temperature of the sea. The remaining ice crystals were responsible for the lightning, the hot and cold air for the tornado and the wind that is produced also made the waves.
She might be able to change the weather of an island if she knows what she has to do. That is truly scary. But what is this knock-up stream they talked about?”, muttered Nami silently.
She looked up from her thoughts and looked to Blackbeard, the heavily bandaged man was sitting in the middle of the street, not caring about the dozens of glares he was targeted with.
“Old man, you've said they escaped on a knock-up stream, what is that?”
“Hmm? Oh, yeah. It basically is a massive geyser. It can pull a ship up into the sky and is said to reach beyond the clouds. Most ships get crushed by it, but it's said that you can ride one if you are in the middle of one.” Blackbeard then went back to his talk with Luffy about cake and its higher importance than meat.
Nami was just about to ask something else when suddenly a man came running over to the crowd. He had a stack of papers in his hands and was pale as chalk. “Guys! The new bounties are there. Slicer Lara and True Shot Lia were not worth their 150 and 75 million but 200 and 145. It's said that they raided a Marine base by destroying two warships, two corvettes and even heavily damaged a super-sized warship, before almost killing a Vice Admiral.
The guy that beat down Bellamy is also worth 45 million with the scrawny guy, who defeated Sarkies, being worth 35 million. They're named Big Cleaver Yosaku and Quick Draw Jonny.
There is also a bounty of their hen, but there must be a mistake in their press. It's said that she is the Hen of Death with a bounty of 1.3 billion. That makes their crew worth 475 million Belly.”
Zoro snatched the bounties out of the man's hands and whistled when he saw how much Jonny and Yosaku have developed. The former scrawny Yosaku was now buffed up and looked like he could pack a punch, while Jonny's whole build screamed speed and flexibility.
The picture of Mrs Chicken Wing was also quite strange. It showed her sitting on a deckchair with a mirror reflecting the sun on her face, a tiny pair of sunglasses was resting on her beak. There even was some sun cream on it. But the strangest thing was that one of her eyes was glancing over the sunglasses and it clearly looked as if the chicken was looking directly into the camera.
“Hmm, we have gotten a rise as well”, commented Zoro when he shifted through the papers. He himself was now 60 million worth with Luffy having a bounty of 100 million.
“Really? How much?” asked Luffy with glee in his voice. Blackbeard was also looking interested.
“I'm now worth 60 million with you being 100 million”, answered Zoro. He noticed Blackbeard's shift in posture immediately. And knew that the man was contemplating about attacking Luffy.
Zoro almost drew his swords when Blackbeard raised his arm behind Luffy's head, but then saw how the large man winced in pain and dropped his arm again.
Seems like the wounds he received from Lara or Lia were still affecting him, which was good. Zoro didn't want to fight this man or anyone else now. He promised Nami.
“Is that so, congratulations then”, said Blackbeard, a tinge of disappointment and anger in his voice.
The man then shrugged, waved at them and left without speaking another word.
“This man was strange”, said Luffy while watching the large back of Blackbeard. Not knowing that he will become one of the most hated people in his life.
It's now the fifth day that we are up here. All of us are now used to the air and we pass the time with training or doing our normal stuff. Lia was constantly giving our sails some more pressure, as there is little wind up here, and even added some to the backside of our ship. It made us reasonable fast and we will reach our destination sometime during the evening.
I was currently on my way to our newest member. The little Tontatta woman Fiara. She has settled in quite nicely. Her quirky way was well liked by Jonny, Noa and Yosaku. She was mostly found either by Jo, where they spoke about a possible prosthesis or with Noa, talking and brainstorming about the ship and things that could be done or improved. “Hey, Fiara.”
She was sitting next to the three-barrelled cannon, her many arms twisting and tweaking on it. “Oh hey captain”, greeted the tiny girl back.
“I see you're working on our cannon,” I stated casually while sitting down next to her.
“Yes, it is such an interesting device. Highly complicated and somewhat mighty.” She replied instantly and plucked one of the barrels off with her mechanic arms.
“Why somewhat mighty? It has three barrels shouldn't it firing rate be three times as high as a normal cannon?” At least that is what I have thought so far. There were also the strange cannonballs included. Whom I think will have a different effect from normal ammunition.
“Well yes, it is faster than a normal cannon. Even more than three times. It's also easy to load and the variety of its ammunition makes the weapon a good match against any other ship cannon. But that's it, it is a weapon designed against other naval crafts. You can't use it against people and its use against buildings is also not high.
I think the inventor wanted to design a weapon that can be used easily and has a good firing rate against other ship cannons. A whole line of these things will turn most ships into a sponge fairly quickly.” I nodded along to her explanation, in short, it is an anti-ship weapon.
“Can you recreate them and if you can, will you? I'd like to have them, rather than our normal ones.” I then asked. I still know that she told us of her aversion to building weapons for people she doesn't know.
She bit her lower lip in thought but nodded after a moment. “I think I can and I would also do it. You already have one so it's not as if I would invent them for you. They can also hardly be used against each other. You would need a ship for that.”
“However, I need a workbench and a forge. I have to make the barrels myself and can't reuse the old ones from our current cannons. So as long as I don't get those I won't be able to.” She also admitted.
I didn't fault her for this, there are things our ship simply lacks. “That's okay, I want one too. Once we are back down on the Grand Line we will set sail to Water 7. We desperately need a new ship. Not only for you but also me, Noa, Jo and Nojiko.”
“I'll wait then. But I have also spoken with Noa and have seen some of these shells you use for water. Do you know if there are different kinds of these so-called Dials? And if there are, where we can find them?”, she asked next.
“There are indeed. I have a few and can show them to you. As for where we can find more, well. These shells come from up here and we will most likely be able to find more once we reach Skyprie. I'm sure we can take some with us, why?”
“They are interesting and I want to experiment with them.”
I stood up, held a hand to her out and pulled her up as well, before gesturing for her to follow me. “They are inside a storage crate. We have all kinds of normal household dials.”
She nodded happily and kept up with me. Soon we reached our storage room, where I showed her a crate. Before we opened it I placed all the common dials from my inventory inside. “These are the normal ones we have bought in bulk. A vendor in East Blue sold them to us for little money. He didn't knew what he could do with them and thought they were only pretty.
But our father told us stories about the sky island and some of them we recognised from these stories”, I lied swiftly.
Fiara took some out and inspected them, before grinning up and me and thanking me for the new stuff to experiment with. She then happily skipped out of the storage room.
I shrugged and walked back up as well. Maybe a barbecue for passing time will help now. We haven't eaten grilled chicken for ages. The last time was almost four days ago.