Chronicle 4

Heading back to the “Drunken Roger”, Meijin started looking into other bars on his way. It was in one of these that he found who he was looking for. She sat at the bar on a stool with her head down, pigtails falling over her shoulder. Trivalu sat down beside her and did a once over with his eyes. Seeing the cherries and empty glass, he ordered a Shirley Temple and placed his white bandana invitation card underneath it as he slid the drink towards the wolf girl.

“You seem to be less confused than the last time I saw you,” began the Triviamaster as she looked up at him. “I’m Meijin “Triviamaster” Trivalu, and I don’t believe I know your name, miss,” he said with a smile. If you could see Meijin’s deep red eyes through his sunglasses, a slight twinkle accompanied his smile.

***

Meijin could tell that the girl in front of him was flustered from his generous offer. He just kind of sat there, lost in her eyes when an exclamation of “WHAT THE HELL!” shook him out of his daze. Trivalu wrote down the name in his journal and put it back in his coat while he said, “Oh, you don’t need to repay me with money, I have a feeling that your cooking will do just fine.”

Mei gave the Triviamaster an odd look as she thought I never told him I was going to be the cook. He got up off his barstool and said, “I’m sorry to meet and run, but I see that it is getting rather late and I have a very important meeting to attend to at 8:00.” Meijin stopped at the swinging doors as he looked back at Mei and said, “But don’t worry, we’ll be meeting again very soon, I guarantee it.” With these parting words, the Triviamaster left the bar and started heading towards the north shore, the setting sun casting the right side of his face into shadow.

***

Once again, Meijin felt the presence of someone following him, yet this time it seemed to stem more from companionship than animosity. Turning around, he found that Mei was right behind him and he nearly fell over because she was so close.

“Oh! Hello again, Mei. Can I help you with something?”
Mei spoke softly, “I don’t really know much about you, but you seem to know plenty about me. You ran out of the bar so quickly, I never got to ask you about yourself.”

A slight nervous chuckle came from Trivalu’s chest as he held the back of his head with his right hand. “Yeah, I guess I did jet pretty quickly. Tell you what; I still have one more stop before my private meeting, you can tag along and I’ll tell you about myself.” This seemed to agree with the wolf-girl as they turned a corner and started heading toward the concert stages.

The Triviamaster gave the same speech that he had given the last person that he caught trailing him. Staying to the outside of the crowd, Meijin was able to get a clear view of stage 8, where most of the rest of the crew was training. Mei was with him and seemed to have an air of recognition towards some of the people on stage. ”I just need one glimpse, and I can head to the meeting with all the information I need,” he thought to himself as he surveyed the scene.

”There!” Just for a brief moment, Trivalu’s keen observation caught the sight of Eris Kaiden peeking out from backstage. Mei watched over the Triviamaster’s shoulder as he made a quick sketch in his sketchbook and promptly put the book back with a sense of accomplishment.

Turning to Mei, Meijin said, “Those odd characters on stage are part of our crew. I believe you’ve already met the merman and the guy who’s playing the saxophone. I’ve got to go to my meeting now, or I’ll be late. If you want, you can hang out with those guys and get to know them a little better. I’m sure that they’d be pleased to know more about you. I can come back here after my meeting, if you’d like, but I’ve really got to go.”

Mei seemed to smile and nodded her head as Trivalu turned from the crowd and made his way through the back alleys. ”The sun’s already set! I haven’t much time!” The Triviamaster picked up his pace as he ran towards the north shore.

***

The sunset was in its last throes as Meijin arrived at the north shore. ”Excellent! It’s just now 8:00” Looking around the shore, he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, or even anyone else. Trivalu knew that he couldn’t be alone because he believed in the white bandana.

From behind him, the Triviamaster heard a familiar voice. “You’ve done well today. I’ve been very pleased with your performance.” Meijin turned around to see a figure in a black cloak leaning against the outer wall of the city. The faint ambience of a white bandana could be detected underneath the black hood.

With a smirk, Trivalu replied, “I’ve gathered the information, now I just need the information about the final piece: you.”

***

The voice in front of him said something about the choices for the crew. If Meijin knew anything, he knew that the crew that he was researching for the past few days was quite the eclectic group, but as a whole would seem to fit together nicely, like a riddle with a clear-cut answer.

Then there came a shocking revelation. From the same direction, another voice came from the black cloak. This wasn’t the same as Matt and Din, who’s voice only changed a little bit as they switched between personalities. This voice was drastically different, a much higher pitch and tone than the other voice that was present.

Trivalu thought to himself, ”A new member, huh? Damn, I missed one. Oh well, there’s still one more day to find this “Jinn” character” At the same time, he felt a little on edge, similar to the time that Yin was following him, but with a sense that the danger was more skilled and more lethal.

With a mocking remark, the black cloak in front of the Triviamaster fell to the beach as the figure holding the cloak up melted into the sand. Meijin crossed his arms above his head and pulled out a shotgun and his Sword of Question. From the ground a cage was woven around him that seemed to have a hole in the top. Trivalu crouched down and looked upward at the hole as he started to jump out of this cage.

Unfortunately, from underneath the beach came the black cloak with the White Bandana captain bursting upward with claws on each hand. ”That mark! It must be him!” The Triviamaster was in mid jump when the captain came down upon him.

A reflex caused the Sword of Question to be held out lengthwise to block the oncoming claws. The force of both pirates coming at each other was great and a loud sound erupted from the claws meeting the sword. In mid-air, Meijin could see a smirk appear across his captain’s face as he said, “Good, good! Most people wouldn’t survive that first attack.” Trivalu had jumped high enough to not be trapped in the cage again, but the downward force of the White Bandana caused the Triviamaster to be thrown to the beach.

The captain landed on the sand and planted his foot as the claws on his hands melted to his kicking foot, creating a sword-like protrusion off of the White Bandana’s foot. This quick action caught Meijin off guard as the captain’s blow hit Trivalu squarely in the arm, ripping off the sleeve of his white trench-coat and tearing some flesh off his bicep.

An anguished cry is all the Triviamaster could muster as his arm was ripped. ”This man is much more skilled than I had previously thought! All the more reason to fight harder!” Meijin took a jump backwards and ripped off his black headband so he could stop the bleeding from his arm. With only one usable arm, Trivalu grasped his Sword of Question and began charging at the captain with a renewed vigor.

Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, the Triviamaster’s attacks were being deftly deflected without much effort on the part of the White Bandana. Once again, the metal flowed from the captain’s foot and found its place on his fist. The final blow came to Meijin’s chest with the thud and feel of a sledgehammer.

On the ground, obviously bested, Trivalu breathed deeply through his pain and thought ”I’m not having much luck with battles this week.” From above him, his captain stood, extending his hand and saying, “That was a pretty good effort, Trivia-sama. But unfortunately, you never stood a chance.”

***

[The white bandana explains the high pitched voice (it was a metal-morphing, flying, talking cat named Alex) and there’s some sort of Vulcan mind meld that happens.]

Flashes of memories that were not his own flew through Meijin’s mind as Alex transferred his thoughts. He now knew some important things, the main one being the name of his captain, Zason. “Did everything just taste purple?” Trivalu asked after the transfer was complete.

The Triviamaster pulled out his books and wrote down the remaining pieces of information. Except for the Devil Fruit wielding Jinn, that he was yet to meet, Meijin had gathered vital statistics on all of the crew members. Turning to Zason, he inquired, “I’m supposing that we’ll be leaving the island at the end of the festival, which is tomorrow, right?”

***

All you need to do is gather our crew. Meijin mulled over this command in his mind as he watched his captain disappear into the night. It had taken him the good part of a day just to find everyone once. Hopefully it would be easier tomorrow. Trivalu figured that most of the crew would be meeting at stage 8, since that was a natural gathering ground.

The tricky part would be convincing the crew to follow a man that they’d never even met. Fortunately, the Triviamaster had his ways of persuasion for this predicament. Meijin started to leave the north beach when something caught his eye on the sand. There was a drawing on the beach that showed a circle with a mark on the west side. ”Well, at least I have a destination for tomorrow,” Trivalu thought as he made his way back into town.

The Triviamaster still needed to meet the new member of this rag-tag crew. The night was still young, so he decided to head on over to stage 8 to see if this “Jinn” had gotten caught up in the merman’s concert.

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