Red: near the Florian Triangle, Grand Line
"So, this is where you supposedly fell from the sky," Portgas D. Ace stared up at the darkening skies of the Grand Line. "Huh... interesting. We better find land soon... or we'll be caught out in a storm without a proper boat."
"Our target is here," Fudo Yusei considered as he held up a card. "Right. Aki! Left!"
The crafts known as the Yusei Go and the Bloody Kiss swerved over the water to the left, skidding up onto land and shadowed forest.
"The Log Pose's reacting," Ace held up the compass on his hand. "We're on solid land, at least. Three hours."
"Just nice," Yusei dismounted, staring. "We're here."
"Interesting," Ace smirked as he spotted a bouncing red... tomato, grinning at them. "I'll just roast that into soup for the moment. If Luffy here he'd eat it... maybe it tastes good..."
"Wait, Ace San!" Yusei tried to stop the pirate as the freckled man leapt for the monster.
"Hiiken!" Monster: 0, Ace: 1.
"It'll... summon another..." Yusei weakly finished as another large tomato leapt and bit Ace on the scalp.
"Eat this!" Monster: 0, Ace: 2.
"He's an idiot..." Aki sighed as more killer tomatoes swarmed the fire-man. "Must be genetic..."
"It seems like they're deck-thinning," Yusei thoughtfully observed as another tomato bit Ace on the behind. "Throwing small-fry monsters that can swarm at the opponent... means that they're flooding the graveyard..."
"All Dark Plants," Aki noted. "Then..."
Amidst the splatter of tomato juice, Ace stared as a hulking draconic figure raised its head to glare at him. The dragon was about the size of a Buddha Sengoku, wore metal armour, and did not look happy at all if the fireball launched at Ace was any indication.
"Is this our cue?" Aki murmured quietly.
"Ah," Yusei unpacked a DuelDisk. "Shall we?"
Orange: Weatheria, ten thousand metres above sea level, Grand Line
"So, these things are called Cloudians," Nami crossed her arms at the comrades which had somehow found a way onto a sky island on the trail of monster currently playing around with the technology of Weatheria.
"Yeah," Yusei nodded. "Always ready to attack, can't be destroyed by battle, and... hold a water attribute."
"They're the same class as Yusei's own monsters," Nami observed as vines restrained more cloud monsters and flames danced between them. "So these monsters were at Marineford too?"
"No," Yusei shook his head. "They're relatively weak... but they have special abilities."
"Oi, Yusei!" Ace hollered as a bunch of purple clouds swamped him. "Hurry up!"
"Card Rotator," Yusei pointed. Instantly, every cloud deflated, spiralling into the winds, gone.
The pirate glared as he coughed out purple mist like a puffing kettle. "Why didn't you use that earlier?"
Yellow: The Kingdom of Alabasta, Sandora Desert, Grand Line
An explosion sounded in the oasis village of Yuba. Once home to a great civil war, the thriving village was still no stranger to explosions.
"I really hate this!" Fire Fist Ace snarled as he threw a fireball as the jelly-bean swordsman, his fire having no impact as a blue fairy flew overhead, laughing. "How the hell is something so small in Paradise this strong?"
"Are you sure we shouldn't stop him?" Yusei muttered to his partner. "It's an Emissary of the Oasis, you know. With a Sword of the Soul-Eater."
"Of course," Aki nodded. "Perfect for him to handle them."
"Ace San, area of effect," Yusei called.
Flames raged around the fiery pirate as the sand beneath his feet turned into glass at the heat. "Enkai!"
The resulting explosion and glass crater would forever be known in the kingdom as the Glass Pyramid. Before the news could spread, though, the trio was already gone, leaving behind only the burnt cinder of a card in the centre.
"Did you have to set the card on fire?" Aki sighed as their camels trudged onwards to Rainbase.
"It was looking funny at me," Ace defended.
Yusei sighed. It was an everyday thing now, their arguments. At least the card got a burial, which was better than burning it into nothing.
Green: Boin Archipelago, Grand Line
Dark Urumi!" Aki snapped, the green fairy screaming in pain as the Shadowpriestess of Ohm cut through it with her weapons, shattering the monster.
Yusei then noticed the sniper cowering behind a nearby tree. "Usopp San? Why are you hiding behind the tree?"
"You guys are scary... that's a whole plant..." Usopp muttered.
"Well, if the plant spat out the Go earlier, then Aki didn't need to threaten it." Ace growled.
"That was its lunch! She made it vomit out its whole lunch!"
"Oh, he's asleep. Wait, how can he fall asleep at a time like this!" Usopp yelped as the Stomach Baron began to move.
"Again?" Aki growled, and the ground stopped shaking.
"Scary..." Usopp muttered, shivering as Aki dug into the remains of the monsters to pull out cards. "How strong is she...?"
"Still, Usopp San, your aim has improved," Yusei noted, seeing the Pop Greens in action for the first few trials.
"Of course!" Usopp flicked his nose in pride. "I'm growing stronger! We all are!"
"Food!" Ace declared, eyes wide.
Within the next week, the Boin Archipelago was one island empty and the Black Bird had sailed with Ace and the demonic metabolism.
Blue: Somewhere on the seas, Grand Line
"It's a year," the Black Bird was parked on Fireworks Island for the New Year. Four flags waved from the mast of the ship, fluttering in the breeze. The Straw Hat Jolly Roger, followed by a flag of blue, orange and white, followed by a red rose stylised against a red and black background, and the last being a single symbol of the spade. The trio who lived aboard it were scanning the clear night skies, waiting for the New Year.
Yusei, in his own brusque way, slid the present over casually. "Happy birthday."
Ace stared at him, before tentatively reaching for the wrapped box. "Oh. Thanks."
"I... really had no idea what you'd like," Yusei shifted uncomfortably. "So, Aki and I collaborated. She paid for the materials."
"I didn't know you could do clockwork," Ace praised, twisting the key in the dark wood sides and opening the cover. "Or carve."
Three figures held hands together, slowly dancing around what looked to be a bush. Some odd yet appropriate song began to clink together, the notes clear and precisely timed, and at the last line of the wordless stanza the figure in the straw hat fell down. Yet, the two others, one in a top hat and the other in a Stetson, helped the straw-hatted figure back to its feet in time for the next round. So it continued, again, and again, and again, and Ace stared at the tiny straw-hat figure even as the fireworks began.
"Thanks," he whispered. Whether the mechanic heard it, he could not confirm, but the peaceful expression Yusei carried for the next few days already told him what he knew.
Indigo: Baltigo, the Land of White Soil, Grand Line
"Fudo Yusei," the man with one side of his face stared at Yusei, who sweltered under his navy wear in the Baltigo sun despite being technically indoors.
Ace and Aki were being entertained by Robin at the moment, and Yusei was thus left alone to face the man who had been such a legend that he had become a mythological creature in his own right; the leader of the Revolutionary Army, most wanted man of this world, father to one Monkey D. Luffy... Monkey D. Dragon. The experience... was admittedly a new one.
"The one known as the 'Shooting Star'," the man gave a bark of laughter. "The man who broke into the middle of an execution on Marineford, who discredited the Navy more than any, and I mean any, be it traitor, pirate or revolutionary, in history." Hands clasped together. "Ivankov told me about you. My son has good taste in his crew. The Light of the Revolution... the man many see as a Shooting Star of the world... is it mere luck, or it is fate?"
"Luffy San was merely being himself," Yusei shrugged. "He fought for us when we joined him. He did not give up on saving Ace San, not till the very end. As handyman of the Straw Hat Pirates, it was merely my duty to facilitate that."
"Is it loyalty or duty that ties you to him, I wonder..." Dragon breathed, sinking in his chair. "Tell me, Shooting Star... which of the colours do you think would suit him; red or purple?"
Yusei frowned as Dragon held up cloth of the named colours. "As his father, even you don't know that?"
"I haven't met my son ever since he was born," Dragon grimaced. "To protect family, sometimes one has no choice but to keep away from them."
Yusei nodded. "Purple is a mysterious colour, indicating royalty, mystery and spirituality. A colour for one aiming to be king."
"And your choice?"
"I think red would be better."
Dragon gave the man with gold-black hair a look. "Really?"
"There is nothing spiritual about Luffy San," Yusei crisply replied. "He is inexorably there. Red is the colour the simplest meaning, which is always, inexorably, first. The world might be a complicated place, but Luffy San makes it look simple, and people around him are drawn in and they want to be part of that simple world. The World Government calls Luffy San a supernova... they don't know the truth of it. Others may claim the title of 'king', they may wear purple to signify that, but a true king requires no crown or clothes to show himself, no one can doubt that he is king, a king who is free."
The winds howled through the Land of White Sand, Dragon staring to the east even as the black stern of the Black Bird glimmered on the waves as it left.
"I trust that my nakama met your expectations, Dragon San," Robin brushed windswept black hair out of her face.
"That man..." Dragon smirked. "He gives answers worth thinking about. A king who is free... what a paradox."
"Captain Luffy will find a way," Robin murmured in reply, smiling slightly.
Violet: Kuraigana Island, Grand Line
The lack dragon raised its serpentine head to bare thousands of tiny fangs in its maw, purple tongue darting forward occasionally as its beady eyes followed the grim-looking swordsman.
The gleam of a black blade glimmered in the night as the swordsman darted forward. A stream of black petals showered over the swordsman, causing him to jump back as his cloak was shredded to bits, but vines trailing from the dragon shot forward to wrap themselves around the swordsman.
The swordsman grimaced further as he landed the black blade into the ground. "I concede this fight to you this day, dragon, but not forever."
Black Rose Dragon growled back as it faded into purple mist against the dark night of the former Shikkearu Kingdom.
"Nice!" Zoro clapped by the sidelines. "So, Aki... why are the three of you here?"
"We're exploring the Grand Line while hunting more monsters around," Yusei bluntly answered. "Zoro San, have you seen anything strange around here, even outside of the standards of the Grand Line?"
"Nope," Zoro shook his head. "The ghost-girl hasn't found anything either. Why?"
"Odd," Aki frowned. "Yusei, it did say Kuraigana Island, right?"
"Yes," Yusei extracted a card from his deck-case. "Kuraigana Island... the forest."
"That's full of Humandrills," Zoro frowned. "I can beat them, but you sure you'll be safe?"
"We won't know," Yusei noted. "Are you going to follow us?"
"We have a fight to clear up," Zoro indicated a rather miffed Dracule Mihawk. "You'll be fine by yourselves?"
"We'll have roasted baboons," Ace lightly smirked as he followed the other two Duellists.
"...they are rather mysterious, those friends of yours," Mihawk broke the tentative silence. "That idiot..."
"So they are." Zoro muttered. "Wait, they are?"
More screams echoed in the forests as hordes of armed baboons ran out.
"...that they are."
"What the hell was in there?" Zoro stared as all three finally got out of the forest, looking the worse for wear but mostly intact.
"Zombies," Ace cheerfully piped up. "Don't worry, I don't think there's any bones left. Right?"
"Possibly," Yusei nodded before turning to Zoro. "Zoro San, we'll see you at Sabaody in a few months, right? We have one more monster to find."
"See you!"Ace smirked as he waved back at them, the Humandrills waving back.
Zoro stared at the lead Humandrill which had gained a costume of red wings. "...I think Black Rose Dragon scared them into submission."
"Mysterious ways," Mihawk nodded.
Black: Aboard the Black Bird, Somewhere in the Grand Line
Whirlpools circled the hydrofoil as the nimble boat skipped over the waters, monsters surrounding it in a loose defensive formation. Fudo Yusei stood on the stern, facing the monster of this area unflinchingly despite that they were surrounded in rocks and whirlpools and outnumbered and weakened by the seas itself. Along the side, Ace blazed, a torch of hope in the storm, and Aki flew above, the Black Rose Witch riding on the dragon of blue roses, a stark reminder of their situation.
"Looks like a tough nut, this one," Ace observed. "Other than its size and the fact that it's causing whirlpools out at sea, anyway."
"We don't have a choice," Yusei frowned.
"Witch of the Black Rose, summon!" Aki commanded of the tiny magician. "Draw! Rose Fairy is summoned!"
The sea dragon roared at them proudly, fiercely even as red and black petals swept the seas.
"Chilling flames engulf the entire world," the witch began, her eyes cold and unflinching. "Pitch-dark flower, set in bloom! Appear now, Black Rose Dragon!"
Flowers scattered to the four winds as destruction personified in the serpentine dragon of the flowers of death appeared and the serpent was enveloped in them, it, too, scattering to the winds just as more monsters rose from the churning black waters caused by the Grand Line.
"There's more," Ace remained dead-pan. "I officially hate your sort of monsters, Yusei."
"There's nothing wrong about that," Yusei shrugged, motioning to a gleaming dragon of light and a floating teal-haired girl with wings as rings and stars rang around the general, the commander only they knew; the Duellist. "Still, there's a glimmer of hope here. Clustering wishes will become a new sword that crashes from the heavens! Become the path its light shines upon! Synchro Summon! Slash through, Seven Swords Warrior!"
White: Approaching Sabaody Archipelago, Grand Line
"We're approaching Sabaody," their navigator for the past two years grinned. "Soon we'll meet them and go to Fishman Island. And after that... the New World." a note of excitement rang through in his voice.
"Yusei," Aki smiled, as vines danced on the deck of the ship. "We're coming back."
"We are," Yusei agreed, watching the sun rise in the horizon in the oranges and yellows and the silence of painted ships upon painted oceans broken by the cry of seagulls in the skies. "We're coming back. We're coming all together..." Laid out on deck, all three of them reclined by the little standing raised house on the hydrofoil as the Grand Line bobbed peacefully under the seas for once.
In a rare moment, Yusei broke out in a smile. "Our wishes will cluster together and come true. I believe in that."