Chapter 290 is titled "The Light of Shandora".
Volume: 31 Pg.: 87
Ace's Great Blackbeard Search Vol. 16: "The Commanding Officer abhors bitter-tasting coffee".
Calgara takes Montblanc Noland to the Golden City, Shandora. There, Noland finally sees the large bell that he has been hearing at sea. Calgara offers the crew extended stay as they finish their work, and in this time Calgara and Noland bond deeply. A month into Noland's stay however, this is cut short by a sudden tension that has once again risen between the two groups. Calgara is no longer interested in seeing Noland, and Noland decides that he will leave after his crew finishes their work in the forest in the three days.
A small snake emerges in the forest, alarming a few of Montblanc Noland's crew. Now up and about after his injuries, Noland notices the snake's resemblance to Jaya and Kashigami. He asks Calgara if he may be "Its" descendant, and Calgara asks for clarification, however refers to it as a "snake" as well. Realizing Calgara's change in philosophy, both men share a roar of laughter together. The newfound camaraderie betweeen the two puzzles some of Noland's crew and the Shandians alike, but they are nonetheless happy to see the men getting along.
Calgara decides that he wants to show Noland something. He takes his crew to an area of the forest that leads down to some ancient ruins. As they descend the steps, Noland hears the sound of a bell, knowing that he's heard it before. They ultimately arrive in a city made completely gold, with a large belfry at it's center. Noticing Noland's astonishment, Calgara explains that this is the city of Shandora, and that the Shandians are the descendants of the people who lived here. Noland's crew can't contain their excitement and rush off, with Noland warning them not to take what isn't theirs. Calgara however gives the crew permission to take as much of the gold as they can carry, with the exception of the Golden Belfry. This is the Shandian's repayment for all that Noland has done to save them. Noland rebuts that his people have been guarding this place for centuries, but Calgara clarifies that they were guarding the city, not the treasure. Being more specific, he states that what they are truly guarding is the poneglyph at the base of the belfry. While none of the Shandians are able to decipher the message of the ancient stone, one thing Calgara knows for sure is that the city of Shandora was decimated for defending the poneglyph. He explains that it is thus the will of his people to protect the past and what remains of it at all costs. The sound of the bell acts as a beacon for the spirits of their deceased ancestors to find their way home, after they have descended to heaven. Calgara further explains that the bell represents the prosperous days of Shandora, and that they ring it to the four corners of the world with no fear of intruders. For this reason, they refer to the Golden Belfry as "The Light of Shandora". Noland in turn offers his testament, relaying the story of how he was able to follow the sound of the bell through the treacherous storms his crew faced out at sea. He notices that the same snake from earlier has followed them, as he also seems to really like the bell. Noland asks if it will become large too, and the snake smiles gleefully in agreement.
Calgara offers Noland and his crew extended stay as the first welcomed guests of the city. Noland accepts, stating that they still have plants to collect and people to cure. Some of Noland's crew discover an Eternal Pose, as well as a map of Jaya. Noland notes that Shandora ultimately leads to the "right eye of the skull" on the map.
Noland's crew and the Shandians work together on a variety of tasks including rebuilding the village after the destruction of the earthquake, gathering more vegetation, and fishing (the snake joins in here). They celebrate at night by dancing around a campfire, with Mousse personally making sure Noland joins in. The bond between Noland and Calgara continues to strengthen as they work together, with Noland even being allowed to ring the Golden Belfry himself.
A month later, there is suddenly incredible tension again between the two groups. The Chieftain warns the villagers to return to their homes if they cannot control their emotions. One of the Shandians vents that Noland's crew will always be "god-slayers", and that they have no respect, but is cut off by someone announcing the arrival of Noland's crew. Noland asks everyone if Calgara is around, but he is met with silence and glares from the villagers. Noland then asks Seto what is going on, who replies that Calgara is not interested in seeing Noland ever again. Seto angrily asks when Noland is leaving, and Noland is speechless. A few of Noland's crew asks about they have done to upset them again, but Noland stops them. He implores his crew to get back to work, as there are still parts of the forest that they need to check. A few Shandians approach Calgara at the Shandora ruins to notify him of Noland's crew, but he angrily retorts that he will for sure kill Noland if he sees him again.
Noland's crew has been ousted and is taking refuge at the beach by their ship. One of the crew notes that the bell didn't ring today, and wonders where Noland is. The crew doctor approaches Noland, who is sleeping in isolation. He reminds Noland that they should be done with their work in another two days, and Noland asks that he relay this message to the rest of the crew. The doctor voices a small amount of resistance to the plan, but Noland tells him that they are done talking.
- Calgara takes Montblanc Noland to the Golden City.
- Montblanc Noland is introduced to the Golden Bell that he heard outside of Jaya.
- Calgara and Noland bond deeply as the Shandians rebuild their village.
- A month after Noland cured the villagers, a strong tension has once again developed between the villagers and Noland's crew.
- Calgara states he will kill Noland if he sees him again.
- Noland decides that the crew will leave in 3 days after their work is finished.
- Episode 188 (p.2-19)
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