A loud crash is heard on the Moby Dick
Rakuyo: What was that?
Marco: God, don't tell me they're at it again.
They walk inside to a now familiar site.
Ace: Just what the hell is your problem!?
Marco and Rakuyo walk over to where some of the other commanders have gathered.
Izo: Should we do something?
Kingdew: I vote we let them tire themselves out.
Fossa: The last time we did that they didn't stop for three days. And I remember it took even longer to clean up the mess.
Rakuyo: We really should just stop them now. What even sparked this episode?
Blenheim: A nonchalant glance from across the breakfast table.
Namur: Alright, let's stop them.
Marco and Rakuyo are able to restrain Ace without much difficulty, while it took the collective efforts of Blenheim, Namur, and Kingdew to hold back Jozu.
Curiel then steps in between the two seething foes, a pistol in each hand, which he points at Ace and Jozu which irritates them but ultimately makes them subside.
Curiel: Alright. There are some issues between you two, clearly. Issues that need to be resolved. The ship can't take much more and frankly we can't take much more. Am I right, guys?
Commanders: Yes, mhm, damn straight.
Fossa (nudging Izo): "Curiel the 'Mediator'" strikes again.
???: What the hell is going on in there? That ruckus better be because one of you is dying! If not, there'll be a new ruckus because someone's about to die!
Loud footsteps are heard coming down the stairs.
Marco: Looks like you two woke pops up. Curiel, you can put the guns away.
The other commanders release Ace and Jozu and then stand back as Whitebeard enters the room.
Whitebeard: I figured it would be you two again. It's always you two.
Ace: Pops, we-
Whitebeard: Can it, squirt. The Moby Dick has had as much as it can take of your squabbles, and frankly I've had as much as I can take of it.
Somewhere in the background, Curiel coughs over a few muffled chuckles.
Whitebeard: I'm sending you two on an assignment.
Jozu: With him?
Whitebeard: Wouldn't be much of a lesson otherwise, now would it? You've no doubt heard about a pirate named Ramba? He's becoming one of the heavy players in this region. Well, I need him to agree to work under me. With Ace getting Doma to surrender last week and Jozu getting Brew last month, the two of you together should be more than a match for him. Take one of the supply boats.
Blenheim: Pops, there's something you might want to see before...
Whitebeard: In a moment Blenheim. The island he's on is about an hour's ride from here. Here's an eternal pose, a vivre card, and a map of the island so you can get there and back.
Ace (reading the pose): The island of Thundom.
Whitebeard: Now beat it.
Later, on the supply boat.
Ace (at the rudder): We might as well try to get along if we're going to get this guy into the alliance.
Jozu: I guess I can live with that.
Ace: But, if you don't mind me asking...did I do something to make you angry?
Jozu tenses his muscles and for a moment it looks like he's about to swing around and hit Ace, but he stops.
Jozu: You didn't do anything. You're too friendly.
Ace: Huh?...Hey, we're here.
They beach the ship and start walking.’’ ‘‘Earlier, on the Moby Dick.
Blenheim: Pops, I-
Whitebeard: Yes, Blenheim? What is so important?
Blenheim: Pops, I tried to tell you. This letter arrived early this morning.
Whitebeard (reading the letter): Is that so? Well, this definitely makes things more interesting.
Back on Thundom
Ace: I read that this island was formed when an extinct volcano with a wide outer plateau sank into the ocean. You can see the plateau from here. It's huge!
Jozu (pointing in a cave): I get the feeling we'll find Mr. Sky Blade in here.
Ace (checking the map): These caves run all around the volcano. This place is actually really elaborate. That cave is as good a place to start as any.
They walk through what feels like miles of caves, Ace leading the way by illuminating his outstretched hand.
Ace: I see a light up ahead!
Bursting out of the cave, they find themselves in the mouth of the volcano.
Jozu: What's up with those rocks?
Ace: They've been worn into. It looks like someone was practicing their wall running. They almost look like double corkscrews.
Jozu: Something's up ahead.
Ace: It looks like the belly of the volcano.
They come to a round clearing in the tunnel system with light coming in from above. There are intricate paths of various sizes and directions carved into the walls.
Jozu (pointing near the top): We're not alone.
High up the side of the volcano they see people standing in a circle, wearing streamlined body armor, all holding guns and swords as well as various other bladed weapons, looking down at Ace and Jozu.
Ace: Hello! We'd like to speak to your captain, if that's alright. Do you know where we can find him?
A shadow steps out from one of the corridors.
Ramba: You two have got a lot of balls. Can't the old dirty bastard handle rejection? Tell that worthless relic that my answer is still no.
Ace (suddenly with a stern look on his face): I'd like to, but you see, we now have an obligation to change your mind for you!
Ramba (with as sick grin): I know. They sure make them dumber in that crew now a days.
Jozu turns his fists to diamond while Ace turns his fists to fire.
Ace: So, are you going to be a gracious host, or are we going to have to show ourselves in?
Ramba: I think you already did that. And besides, what's the purpose of practicing if you can't show off? Get'em boys!
Dozens of subordinates rush out from the caves and descend on Ace and Jozu.
Ace: You set them up, I'll shoot'em down! Higan Twin!
He begins shooting fire bullets out from his index fingers. He manages to hit some of the people, but more just keep descending. Even worse, Ace is too busy looking up and does not see the four guys attacking at ground level.
One guy puts his hand over Ace's eyes, the second spins him around to face Jozu, and the last two grabs one of his hands and arms.
Ace: Get off!
He manages to get them off by turning his body to flames and releasing a ring of flames from his body, but in doing so set off his Higan. The men jump off before too much damage can be done, but still are hit by the ring.
Jozu: OOUUCH! You reckless idiot, I'm on your side!
Ace: Be alert next time!
Jozu punches the wall, shaking off several descending fighters and continues to throw rocks at enemies. He punches the walls intermittently, making them shake and knocking off even more guys. He is attacked from the ground, like Ace was, only there are more of them and he's surrounded.
Jozu: Diamond Drill Bit!
He hits the ground with a diamond fist, sending out a shockwave and leaving a crater 2' in diameter. The attack did what it was supposed to do, but unfortunately...
Ace: Hey watch it you oversized dumbass! I'm still here. Do that shit on your own time!
Jozu: I didn't mean to hurt the delicate baby! You know, you don't have to be here.
Ace: You know something, that's actually a good idea.
He picks up a bisento from a defeated fighter and starts running at Jozu.
Jozu: What the hell are you-!
Ace pole vaults over Jozu and onto one of the paths that run up the wall. He takes the weapon with him, breaking off the blade in the process.
Ace: I'll bring the fight to them!
Ace starts running up the walls with surprisingly little effort, beating people away as he runs. He gets about half way up the volcano when Jozu notices something.
Jozu: Ace, they're retreating! Hey, where's their captain?
Ace (jumping down): I don't know. I thought I saw him among the hordes of people, but I'm not sure now.
All of a sudden, Ramba comes flying out of nowhere. Jozu barely has time to intercept his attack.
Ace: That hilt, the slight cobalt hue of the blade, I know that sword. I saw it in one of Vista's books. That's Uekarashi, it's one of the 21! And the legend behind it is the kind of thing you only see in nightmares! Stay away! Jujika!
His flaming plus sign hits its mark. Ramba now turns his attention to Ace.
Ramba: A man of the cross, are we? I never pegged you as the religious type.
Ace: Shinka: Shiranui!
This time Ramba is ready and intercepts the fiery lance.
Ramba: Well, gentlemen, it's been a blast, but I really must wrap things up here.
He kicks off from the ground and repeatedly jumps through the air.
Jozu: I wouldn't have figured he'd know rokushiki.
Ace: Is he running away?
Jozu: No. And this next part is going hurt. There's a limit to how high one can go using geppo.
Ace: I heard about that. Go high enough and the air will become too thin. Kicking nothing will cause the muscles in the leg to contract and you'll lose feeling as you plummet back to the ground.
Jozu: You seemed worried by that sword of his. Why?
Ace: Uekarashi is a meito, and a cursed one at that. It will only answer to people from a certain family. Not only that, when wielded by someone in that family, it becomes solar-powered. The sun makes it bigger, sharper, and deadlier. The book said that everyone from that line was dead. But I guess not.
Jozu: He's coming back with new hardware like you said. Now what?
Ace: You need to get to the rim. Now! I need you to trust me on this. I'll give you some cover. Go!
Jozu starts climbing with amazing speed.
Ace lets loose a huge torrent of flames that shoot out the mouth of the volcano, making it look as if it were erupting, stopping only momentarily to let Jozu climb out.
Ramba (seeing it from the sky): Ha! You think that some measly flames will intimidate me? Fan blade!
He waves the sword and the flames are put out, as if it were a fan blade. Ace is seen down below, about to put his sense of timing to the ultimate test.
Ramba: SKY BLADE!
Ramba's impact with the bottom of the volcano is enough to shake the whole island. Ace was slightly off on his timing and was pushed back to the wall but found his opportunity with all the ash and dust kicked up by the attack, making sure to burn a tell-tale hole through the volcano.
Ace: Now it's my turn to get some air time.
He shoots highly concentrated flames from his hands and feet and propels himself upward to join Jozu.
Ace: Here's the plan. I need you to almost spinning piledrive me.
Ace: Hug me upside down at the chest so that it's level with yours and jump back into the volcano. We don't have much time before the dust clears.
A moment later
Ace: I hear them celebrating down below. Let's crash their party!
Jozu jumps down into the volcano, accelerating to high speed. Ramba's only warning came when they shouted the name of their combination.
Jozu and Ace: SEISMIC OVERBURN!
As the shockwave began to form, Ace released flames that traveled under the rock, so the whole crew received the impact from Jozu's shockwave followed immediately after by Ace's searing flames. The attack was powerful enough to destroy almost the entire volcano.
Whitebeard: Glad to see you two finally getting along.
Haruta: That was quite the story.
Ace: And the best part is we got Ramba to change his mind!
Marco: Funny you should mention that. Do you wanna tell them, pops, or should I?
Whitebeard: Ramba originally accepted my offer of alliance last week. However, this morning we received a letter of re-negation that I didn't see until after you left. Show them the letter, Blenheim.
Blenheim: So your "test" helped you two get along and we got an ally back, but on one condition.
Jozu: What's that?
Whitebeard: He wants you two to fix the volcano you wrecked.
This was a bit longer than my normal stuff, but I still hope you enjoyed it.