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Where Monarchs Dream, Part 5

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Just when you thought it was gone, it's back! Like herpes. Or Tupac. Anyway, enjoy.

The Straw Hats are racing off to find the people on the list Cobra gave to them.

Chopper: I thought he'd be here, but I never expected I'd have to seek him out like this!

Zoro: I bet he'll be surprised. What's your nose telling you now?

Chopper: This way! He should be right around this-

Zoro: WHOA!

Zoro has to stop right away to narrowly avoid crashing into the very man they are looking for.

Guard: You got some nerve! You're lucky you didn't crash into our beloved king-

???: That's enough, Sirg. It's quite alright. He happens to be an old friend.

Sirg: Oh, I did not know that. My apologies, King-

Chopper: DALTON!

Chopper in chibi form jumps seemingly out of nowhere to hug his friend.

Dalton: It's good to see you, Chopper. You as well, Roronoa. I've heard about all of your adventures.

Chopper: That's only the stuff we got caught doing! We did so much more!

Dalton: I'd love to hear it.

Zoro: I hate to break up the reunion, but remember the mission, Chopper.

Chopper: Right, sorry. You see, Dalton, I'm glad we ran into you for two reasons. It's great to see you again, but we also need your help with something...

Zoro: Something that is best discussed where others can't listen in too closely.

Dalton: I understand. Both of you walk with me.

Zoro: It's about the admittance committee hearings tomorrow...

Elsewhere

Luffy: You see, we know two of the kings applying for status tomorrow. One of them we really want to see get in, while another's admission would be really bad.

???: I see, after all you and your crew did for us recently, this is the least I can do.

Franky: So we need your help with making sure that doesn't come to pass.

???: Consider it done.

The conversation concludes with a fist bump that causes minor tremors.

Some other elsewhere

Usopp: Long story short, please help make sure that Neptune makes it in while Dragon doesn't.

Robin: We'd greatly appreciate your help in this matter.

Dold: After all your help during the Birdcage fiasco, this is the least I can do. Viola will be in the audience to make sure there is no foul play, so her powers might be useful for this.

Viola: I'll be able to spot Dragon's true intentions when he testifies.

Robin: Thank you so much.

Later, the Straw Hats are regrouping near the dining hall, waiting to go to dinner together.

Luffy: C'mon, I'm hungry! Can't we just meet them inside?

Nami: No, Luffy. We have to wait for everyone so we can see how well they did.

Chopper: Sorry we're late. Zoro got lost.

Zoro: I did not!

Nami: How'd it go?

Chopper: It went great! Dalton and I haven't even begun to catch up on-

Nami: But did he agree to help?

Chopper: He sure did!

Nami: Awesome. Great job, Chopper. You too, Zoro

Chopper: Don't tell me that, you asshole~

Robin: King Dold naturally agreed to help. And Princess Viola will be observing Dragon from the shadows with her powers.

Nami: Perfect! We got everyone we set out to find. I'm eating with Vivi so I can tell her father everything you told me. 

???: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU BASTARDS DOING HERE AND WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN ARRESTED?

Chopper: You! I should ask you the same question. How could a fat, stubby, selfish jerk like you even get within a mile of this conference?

Nami: Great, it's the guy we made sure to avoid, getting right up in our business.

Wapol: What guard was napping on the job when you guys made it through?

Luffy: Is there a problem, you grouchy tin kettle?

Wapol: And just when I thought I couldn't get infuriated any more, my least favorite person and #1 enemy shows up! Tell me, what bumbling retard allowed you in here?

???: That would have been me.

Wapol: AAAH! Captain Smoker! I didn't know you were assigned to the Marine detail this year, heh heh...

Smoker: It's Vice Admiral Smoker now. Shows how well you've been keeping in touch with global affairs, your majesty. Tell me, how is the Black Drum Kingdom doing economically in terms of exports?

Wapol: Why should I care? Imports are the only thing that matter to me...

Wapol looks around to see several kings looking at him and shaking their heads in disappointment.

Wapol: I don't have to put up with this! Chuse, Karimo, let's go!

Wapol walks past them, followed by two guys who look like crappier versions of Chess and Kuromarimo.

Smoker: Hey Straw Hat.

Luffy: What is it, Smokey?

Smoker: You're the one who drummed him out of Drum two years ago, weren't you?

Luffy: Yeah, so what if I was?

Smoker: I'm sure one of the more rational members of your crew told you to avoid violence, but if you could find a way to rough that pompous prick up and make it look like an accident, I'd consider it a personal favor.

Luffy: Really?

Luffy starts jabbing and bumping Smoker with his fingers and elbowing him.

Smoker: Don't be a dick about it...

Luffy persists.

Smoker: Knock it off!

Luffy doesn't let up.

Smoker: I said knock it off!

Smoker grabs Luffy and throws him away. As Luffy is flying away, Smoker could swear he saw the pirate wink and grin at him.

Luffy: Gomu Gomu No...

Wapol has no idea what's about to happen.

Luffy: Stubborn Oopsy!

Luffy, his entire head completely black from haki, smashes into the back of Wapol's head, blindsiding him to the full definition of the word.

Luffy (getting up from where Wapol has collapsed out cold on the floor): Sorry, guess I ran too fast.

Everyone: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTT!?

Luffy: Sorry about that, you okay? Hello? Slophole? Guys, he's asleep.

Nami: Because you knocked him out, you idiot!

Luffy: My bad everyone! I'll just go...

Onlooker: What do you mean? Stay a while. Anyone who knocks that pompous ass out cold is a friend of ours!

Other onlooker: Yeah! Pirate or not, you're okay in my book. Why don't you come eat with us?

Luffy: Uh, sure. Well guys, I'm gonna eat with these kings, I guess. 

King 1: It is a pleasure to meet you, Straw Hat Luffy. I am Nazar Bulau, King of Nepola, and next to me is my good friend and trading partner Thalassa Lucas, King of Ilusia.

Luffy: Thalassa Lucas... I've heard your name before somewhere...

Lucas: I'm pretty active on committees around here, maybe that's where-

Luffy: Oh, I remember now. Vivi mentioned you when she told us about when she came here as a kid. You thought my dad would become a threat or something.

Lucas: Indeed. I certainly was right about it.

Bulau: Though at the time, I was the only one who agreed with him.

Lucas: And now he's trying to apply for admission. I'd be remiss if I didn't say I told you so.

Luffy: Right now, though, I care more about grandpa-fish getting in than my dad.

Bulau: Grandpa-fish...Oh, you must mean King Neptune of the Ryugu Kingdom. Yes. Admitting Ryugu would certainly change the face of global politics.

Luffy: I'm not too worried, though Nami did seem concerned about the world noble on the panel.

Lucas (looking concerned): Yes, Mjosgard has had some less than favorable experiences with fishmen, so I could understand his disdain in letting them join. That could ultimately be the greatest obstacle they'll have to face. Especially if he pulls the Soaring Dragon Clause.

Luffy: What's that?

Bulau: It's basically a carte blanche for any world noble to override a majority decision. It's rarely ever used anymore but one does hear about someone playing it every few meetings or so.

Luffy: So basically my friends' dreams could be crushed because of one selfish jerk!? Where is he!? I already punched one noble out two years ago, what could another hurt?

Lucas: Whoa, calm down. Don't fly off the handle. There's probably another solution.

Luffy (sees Cobra walking back from the bathroom): Hmm.....I got it! Hey! Vivi's dad! Come here a second!

Cobra: What is it, Luffy? Ah, Thalassa, Nazar, good to see you.

Bulau: It's good to see-

Luffy: Listen, tomorrow during the hearing, i need you to-(the rest is unclear due to Luffy whispering it into Cobra's ear). Can you do that for me?

Cobra: Well, sure. But what will that accomplish?

Luffy: Shishi, leave that to me.

To be continued

Okay, I'll admit I originally wanted to wrap this up in 5 parts, but the story sort of took over and I didn't want to stop. It will definitely be wrapped in part 6.

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