Chronicle 6

As the glorious rays of the sun just began to peek through Meijin’s window, he sat on the edge of his bed, waiting for them.  He had tried to sleep the entire night, but was just too excited by the smell of adventures to come.  Not getting any sleep was rare for him, so this adventure had to be big!  Trivalu had spent the better part of his life in the four main oceans and he had learned as much as he could.  But there was a sea that didn’t follow the reason and logic of the other four seas.  The Triviamaster needed to learn the idiosyncrasies of the Grand Line, and his quest would be complete.

Meijin grabbed his gear and rushed downstairs to the concierge’s desk.  Seeing that no one was attending the desk, he pounded on the bell quickly and constantly for a minute until a tired looking old man still in his pajamas came and pulled the bell away.  With a yawn and a scratch, the old man said, “How can I help you, this early in the morning?”  Trivalu responded, “I’d like to check out, please.”  The old man glanced up at the obviously over-excited man through half-closed eyes and said, “You’ll need to . . . “  The Triviamaster cut him off as he said, “HERE!” and slammed down his keys and the filled out paperwork on the desk.  Picking up the paperwork, the old man saw that the entire thing was filled out correctly.  He put down the paper and saw that the man had already run out of the room.  Muttering to himself, the old man said, “Kids these days, sheesh!  They seriously need to switch to decaf.”

The morning was brisk and Meijin could see his breath as he jogged towards stage 8.  As he approached, he picked up the pace just like a kid who is rushing down the stairs on Christmas Day.  When he entered the plaza, Trivalu couldn’t stop giggling and smiling.  Then the bubble burst.  His smile vanished.  His mouth gaped.  His eyes glazed over.  Just like a kid who opens all his presents on Christmas Day to discover that all he received were socks that were 4 sizes too big, the Triviamaster curled up into a fetal position of disappointment.  As he traced out a figure 8 on the ground, he whispered to himself, “I told them to come to stage 8 this morning, so why didn’t anyone come?”

In the center of the plaza, the big town clock struck the hour.  Meijin counted off the chimes to himself.  An unusually large sweat-drop formed beside his head as he did the non-existent math.  ”It’s only 6:00!” Immediately, Trivalu perked up as he realized that the reason that no one else was there was that everyone else was still asleep!  The Triviamaster hoisted himself up onto the stage and let his legs dangle off the side.  He kicked them back and forth as he waited for his nakama to come.

***

Sitting on stage 8, Meijin passed the time by watching the town come alive.  He watched as the vendors started to display their wares, as the shops opened up and as the cooks started picking up ingredients for brunch.  At about 6:10, Trivalu heard a familiar voice.  “Hey!  Good Morning!” glancing over to where the shout came from, the Triviamaster saw Mat / Din strolling up to the stage.  “How long have you been here!?” asked Mat as he arrived at stage 8.

“Oh, just about 10 minutes.  I’m glad to see you here, Schizo-kun.  I was worried that no one would remember to come here.  In fact, could you do something for me?  I’m betting that some of our nakama have just forgotten to come here, so I want to go out and collect them.”

Mat / Din seemed to be hesitant to comply, so Meijin said, “Tell you what, I’ll get someone to keep you company while I’m out.”  He whistled a short, high pitched note, and a few minutes later, an Amazon parrot flew into the plaza and lighted on Trivalu’s shoulder.  “Quiz, I’d like you to stay here with Mat / Din while I’m out.”

A smile came across Mat / Din’s face as Mat said, “Shorty and I would love to watch the stage!”  Din replied, “Argh!  Enough with the ‘Shorty’!  But I guess that there’s nothing else better to do this early in the morning, so we’ll do it.”

“Thanks!  You won’t regret this decision,” said the Triviamaster as he headed out to find the rest of the crew.  Meijin walked down the main street, stopping at each alley and looking down it to see if anyone happened to fall asleep on the street.  One of the alleys seemed to end with a little open area.  Trivalu’s interest was piqued, as he approached and saw a lone tree in a patch of grass.  What was more interesting was the sight of Jinn sleeping underneath the tree.

The Triviamaster approached the tactician and stood there for a second as he observed the sleeping man.  Jinn seemed to be in a state of relaxation that Meijin hadn’t seen before.  With his scarf over his eyes, Jinn mumbled something abut Jinntopia as he resettled and let out a sigh.  Trivalu let out a short laugh as he nudged the tactician with the tip of his foot.  Jinn mumbled, “Nooo, it’s so warm here in Jinntopia.  I don’t want to leave!”  A harder jab with the Triviamaster’s foot caused the scarf to come off of Jinn’s eyes and look up at the scoundrel that disturbed his sleep.  The Triviamaster said, “Jinntopia, huh?  Sounds like a wonderful place, but it’s time to wake up.”

***

Meijin gave a hearty chuckle as he walked down the main street to the inn.  Stopping at a newsstand, the Triviamaster bought a paper and continued on.  He was still smiling as he arrived back at the inn.  Zason had definitely chosen some unique crewmates for this pirate ship.  Going up the stairs, he arrived at the door for Yin’s room.  Trivalu slowly opened the door and went inside.  Yin was still asleep on his bed, with Icaris curled up on his chest.  They both looked so peaceful, nowhere close to the agitated state that the Triviamaster had found them in last night.

Opening the window, Meijin sat down in the empty chair and leaned back on its two rear legs.  He flipped through the paper, glancing at the headlines.  Some Marines caught another high bounty pirate, a hurricane in South Blue demolished a whole island, the World Government is holding another summit, and some pirates are rampaging about in a part of the Grand Line.  Trivalu found the bounty posters and thumbed through them.  Some interesting new bounties appeared, as well as some raised bounties.  ”Hmm, that Straw hat fellow seems to have done something impressive to have his bounty more than triple in this short amount of time.” the Triviamaster thought as he analyzed the wanted poster of the smiling pirate.  A new wanted poster caught his eye, because it happened to belong to his mutinous first mate: ASSARISHITA “CHIARASCURO” KURO: B 20,000,000.  “So, you’ve arrived, have you?” the Triviamaster said with a tinge of disgust in his voice.

Meijin flipped to the listing of bounties and browsed through them.  A name popped out, as he realized that he was on this new crew.  Mumbling softly to himself, he said, “35 million, huh?  Looks like I’ve underestimated that merman nakama of ours.”  Moving down the list, he saw his own bounty: MEIJIN “TRIVIAMASTER” TRIVALU: B 48,151,623.42.  A small smirk came across his face as he reveled in the fact that his bounty was not a round number.

Trivalu finished reading through the bounty list and flipped over to the puzzle section.  The Triviamaster finished the Sudoku and Kakuro and was in the middle of completing the crossword when Yin woke up.  The archer looked over at the analyst leaning back in his chair as he asked, “What time is it?”  Leaning forward and getting out of the chair, Meijin stood up and said, “It’s about 6:30. Time to get up and head over to stage 8.  What will everyone else think if we show up late?”  Yin blinked twice, as he sat up and began to get ready for the day.

***

As Yin gathered his things, he turned to Meijin with his head down and softly said, “I know that you want me to join this crew, but I haven’t even met anyone except for you!”  Trivalu scoffed and said, “Oh, come on!  They’re great guys, I’m sure that they’ll warm up to you after a while.”

Yin lifted his head and locked eyes with the Triviamaster, “Don’t try and persuade me otherwise.  I’ve got a lot of issues that I have to deal with right now.  I’m flattered that someone would want me to join him, but now is not the right time.”  Meijin turned to the window and looked out upon the emerging day as he said, “Well, if that’s your decision, I’m not going to stop you.”

Meeting Yin in the middle of the room, Trivalu extended his hand for a parting handshake, “I hope that you can solve your problems.  Just keep your chin up and I’m sure that everything will work out fine.”  The Triviamaster left the room and headed back into the street.  He made his way out to the docks and stared out over the open ocean.  Something caught his eye on the dock as he bent down to pick it up.  It was an invitation for the White Bandana Pirates!  On the back it had the name “ERIS” printed on it.  Taking out his sketchbook and notebook, Meijin tore out the pages for Yin and Eris and crumpled them up.

Trivalu threw these paper balls out into the ocean and watched as they absorbed the water and eventually disintegrated.  ”Two members gone.  I wonder who else isn’t coming with us.” He let out a deep sigh as he headed back to stage 8.  This time when he arrived, there were definitely more people around.  Besides Mat / Din, Sakurai and Kato had joined the bunch.  ”That’s strange, Jinn isn’t here yet.  I told him to go straight to the stage.  I guess he probably got lost.” Approaching the stage for the second time that day, the Triviamaster said, “Hey guys, I’m glad to see you made it!”

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