Chronicle 7

Quiz waddled over to Meijin and flew up to his shoulder. From his peripheral vision, Meijin caught a glimpse of Kuro and Jinn approaching the stage. Kuro was waving her hand and yelling, “Oi! Hope we’re not late! Kinda got . . . lost.” ”Hmm, that would explain a lot.” the Triviamaster thought. Jinn and Kuro finally got on the stage and Trivalu gave Jinn a hearty pat on the back, “Glad you could make it, buddy! I see that once again the fairer sex has gotten you lost.” Jinn blushed as he scratched at his temple and began, “Ummm, well . . . “

Across the plaza, Mei came running up to the stage. Catching her breath, she said, “I-I’m leaving.” A painful smile was pasted on her face as she let the decision set in. Meijin solemnly took out his books and removed the pages associated with Mei as he softly asked, “So, what brings this up?” The wolf-girl turned her gaze towards the ground as she explained, “Well . . . don’t get me wrong, I like you guys; but, every time that I happen to get close to someone, bad things happen. I’ve also got a deadly fear of sea kings, and I know the Grand Line is full of them. Let’s just say that I think you all will be better off without me.”

As she turned to leave, Trivalu said, “Mei . . . we’ll miss you. I hope that someday we’ll get to meet again. The rest of the crew stood in silence as they watched their cook walk away. The Triviamaster was never really good at goodbyes, so he pulled out a lighter and burned Mei’s information. As the pages smoldered on the stage, Meijin spoke, “Unfortunately, Mei is not the only nakama not joining us on our adventure. There are two others that have decided to part ways. Look around you. These are the members of the white bandana crew.”

Jinn spoke up, with an air of confusion in his voice, “If that’s true, then where’s the captain?” Trivalu let out a short laugh and said, “Well observed, tactician-san. That is correct; the captain is not here . . . yet. Although you may not see him, he is there. Just like the wind, which cannot be seen, but has enormous power, our captain is the power behind our crew. Even so, the time for our eventual meeting is approaching quickly.”

This time, Sakurai spoke up, “You said something earlier about a treasure in a chest that no key could open. That’s a cool riddle, and would make a great song, but I’m not so sure about the answer.” The Triviamaster sat down on the stage cross-legged and said, “Our captain has chosen each of us because we have a treasure in a chest that cannot be opened with any key.” Placing a hand on his chest, he continued, “Each of us has heart, a burning passion for our dreams and ambitions.”

Standing up, Trivalu said, “I know it’s early, but I wanted to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to finish up their business on this island. We’re going to meet at the docks on the west side of the island at 7:00 tonight. It is at that time that we will meet our captain.”

***

[Jinn, being angry at Meijin for waking him up that early when the meeting time was much later, pounded Meijin into the stage with his scarf. Meijin got himself out of the hole in the stage and . . .]

Meijin felt Quiz fly off his shoulder and watched as the parrot flew towards the docks. From behind him, Trivalu felt a hand on his other shoulder. Suddenly, the Triviamaster felt the power of a lightning bolt flow through his body as he fell to the stage. Sakurai walked away and muttered something about getting up early. A gasp of smoke emitted from Meijin’s mouth as he said, “The only one that has the right to do that is Jinn, because I woke him up! The rest of you came here of your own accord, I never set a time, you just all happened to get here insanely early at the same time!”

Trivalu sat up and began to brush himself off. ”Thank goodness I have a high resistance; otherwise, that could have killed me!” Glancing down at his shorts, Meijin noticed his throwing knives sparking from the recent voltage that passed through them. A smile came across his face as the gears in his head began to turn.

***

Meijin was grateful that everyone else wasn’t quite as violent when it came to expressing their true feelings. He was also grateful that those two were on their side, as they might come in very handy against a worthy adversary. Mat / Din helped Trivalu out of the hole in the stage that was created with the help of Jinn’s scarf. As the Triviamaster sat on the stage, he watched as Kuro left and Kato began his best impression of a ninja as the llama stalked the thief.

“Thanks, Din,” Meijin said as he stood up. It’s important to note here that most mortals wouldn’t even be able to do this after having an intense fight with Zason the night before, being electrocuted by an electric eel type merman, and having his head pile-driven into the ground with a scarf. As soon as Trivalu straightened up, he blacked out and fell backwards onto the stage.

The Triviamaster awoke with a start and only saw Kuro and Kato sitting on the edge of the stage. Kato was looking through Kuro’s bag. Kuro said, “Where is everyone?” She heard Trivalu wake up and turned around to look at the now recovered human nail. “Hey guys, I see that you’re both back. I’m surprised that you’re back so soon, seeing as it’s only just 7:00 in the morning.” Kuro raised an eyebrow and said, “Actually, it’s much later than that. You’ve been passed out this entire time.”

***

”Whoa! I’ve been unconscious? Hmmm,” Meijin patted himself down to make sure that nothing had been stolen. ”That’s strange . . .” Trivalu pulled out his wallet from his trench coat pocket, ”That’s not where it’s supposed to be.” He opened it to find that the money inside was missing. A sly smile crept across his face as he wondered what the thief would think after getting past the outer bills.

Kuro had thrown something to the ground where it sparked and generally made quite a bit of noise. The Triviamaster looked over at the thief and wondered if she had stolen the money. ”Wait . . . she couldn’t have stolen it because she left just as I passed out, which means that the last person to be with me was . . . “ Meijin let out a chuckle as he realized that he had been swindled by the person who helped him out of the hole in the stage.

Meijin had been around the block enough to know that he would get pick-pocketed in a town as large and populated as Trade Town. That’s why, as an extra precaution, he made some counterfeit money and placed it in a wallet in his back pocket. In order to fool any thieves, he put a real bill (of about medium value, not too big, not too small) on either side of the counterfeit stack, to make it look real. But once they used either real bill, it would become obvious that the thief had been conned, and not the other way around. The Triviamaster let out a pleased sigh as he put a hand on his chest.

***

Meijin made some bored popping noises with his mouth as the three crew-mates sat in silence. ”Zason said that we would be leaving at the end of the festival, and judging from the diminishing daylight, he’s bound to show up soon” Nervously looking around the area, Trivalu thought, ”I sure hope that the rest of the crew comes back soon. I’d hate to let my captain down with this simple assignment. They shouldn’t have had too much to do before we leave.”

The Triviamaster recalled the beating he took earlier that day. ”I sure hope that waking people up early isn’t enough to keep them from joining us on this adventure.” He let out a sigh as he glanced over to the stage where the townspeople were performing. A smile crossed his lips as he came to his feet and hopped down from the stage. “Uvaa . . . Where are you going?” the inquisitive llama questioned. “I just thought that I’d give a little performance. Don’t worry, it won’t take long.”

Jogging over to the stage where a balding man was attempting to find the key to a song that he didn’t know the words to, Meijin tugged on the microphone cord as the whole stand was graciously ripped away from the current performer. “Hey! I wasn’t done yet!” the man objected. “I’m sorry, but you were done before you even began,” the Triviamaster quipped. As the defeated man sulked off the stage, Trivalu cleared his throat as a spotlight centered on him.

“Legion of White: A poem.
Different folks from different places,
How we’d love to see your faces.
And how you’d love to see one face,
By meeting at that special place.
To see the sea, we leave tonight,
Come together, legion of white.”

With the last line said, the Triviamaster silently walked off the stage as the entire town raised an eyebrow in confusion. The emcee took the microphone and said, “Oooookaaaay, that was strange. But now, on with the show!” Back at stage 8, Meijin smiled as he said, “I hope that little reminder won’t get me beaten up again!”

[Note: That’s it. The story was abandoned after that post. It was pretty obvious when people started leaving that it wasn’t going to last. I can’t blame them, since it took forever to get nowhere. Still, I think the base of the story had some potential and if it had been planned out a little better it could have become something truly great.]

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