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Chapter 5 is titled "Pirate King and Master Swordsman".
Morgan and his soldiers go to kill Zoro and Coby, while Luffy retrieves Zoro's swords. Zoro is thinking about how he cannot die at a place like this, remembering the promise he made to his childhood friend, Kuina. Just before Zoro and Coby are shot, however, Luffy gets in the way, protecting the pair from all the bullets. Zoro realizes that, if he wants to live, he has no choice and tells Luffy that he will join him.
Luffy is busy dragging Helmeppo through the base, trying to find Zoro's swords. After dragging Helmeppo for a while, Luffy asks Helmeppo where Zoro's swords are and he tells Luffy they are in his room. Luffy decides to use Helmeppo as a human shield, leaving some pursuing Marines in a position where they cannot do anything.
Coby meanwhile realizes that he has been shot and that he had started bleeding. Zoro tells Coby to run, but Coby will not go until Zoro is untied. He tells Zoro that Helmeppo never planned to keep his word. Zoro cannot believe what he is hearing, and Coby tells Zoro how Luffy punched Helmeppo because of what they overheard him say. Coby asks Zoro to help Luffy. Suddenly, some Marines approach Zoro and Coby and declare them traitors.
Elsewhere, Luffy has found Zoro's swords. Luffy suddenly spots what is going on down on the ground outside the window of the Marine base. Zoro and Coby are in trouble and Morgan wants them dead. Zoro, aware that he may die, begins a flashback to his days as a young boy and his reasons for becoming who he is.
Zoro is in a training dojo on the ground after a defeat against Kuina. Kuina is mocking him for failing to win against her (for the 2000th time). Zoro's friends stick up for him when he is called weak, as Kuina states even though he can stand up to the adults, it is no good if he still cannot beat her. The others accuse her for showing off because she is the dojo master's daughter. As the sensei enters the room, the other trainee swordsmen (save Zoro himself) accuse him of giving her special training because she is able to beat Zoro. The sensei just states that Kuina is older.
Later that night, a frustrated Zoro challenges Kuina to fight him with real katana. Kuina accepts Zoro's challenge. With one strike, Zoro loses and Kuina claims her 2001st victory against him. After the duel is over, Kuina breaks down in tears. She tells Zoro her woe about being a girl; as she gets older, she will fall behind him due to the fact girls do not acquire the strength guys do. Kuina says that she wishes she had been born a boy, but Zoro gets angry at her, saying that she does not have the right to complain after she beat him. Zoro goes further by saying that it was an insult to all the hard work he'd been doing. The two then make an agreement; one of them will become the greatest swordsman in the world.
Disaster hits the next day as Zoro is informed of the worst; Kuina has fallen down the stairs and died. Upset, Zoro calls to her body lying lifeless, its face covered with a cloth, accusing her of running away. Zoro asks the sensei to give Zoro her sword; he will become the world's greatest swordsman on her behalf.
Back in the present, Zoro faces death. As the Marines fire, Luffy jumps in front of them and the bullets hit him instead. The bullets then bounce off Luffy to the disbelief of everyone watching. Zoro accepts Luffy's offer to join his crew because he would rather become a criminal than die.
- Luffy finds Zoro's swords.
- Zoro's past, dream, and reason for traveling to sea are revealed.
- Bullets don't work against Luffy.
- Zoro comments that he has no choice but to join the crew now. In doing so, Zoro becomes the second member of the Straw Hat Pirates.
- new member
- first appearance