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The Love Life of Lady Long Nose

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The banquet had gone off without a hitch. As the ships sailed out of the waters of Dressrosa, everyone fell into tandem of diving into the food, throwing back their booze, and having a good time. There were some men who were doing silly dances, and there were others who were literally leaping off into the air and doing crazy acrobatics. Many of them surprisingly had already fallen into a drunken stupor.

 

Luffy was fighting over a huge slab of meat with two other men and came out as victorious (of course). Franky was showing off his hair installments by getting a group of Tontattas to press his nose. Zoro was sitting by a disgruntled Trafalgar’s side, laughing boisterously as he shared a drink with a long-armed man and a long-legged man.

 

Usopp was with Robin and the other Tontattas, regaling them a time when she had single-handedly defeated a giant man-eating plant. Just when she was about to describe how she had managed to blow off the plant’s vines to her engrossed audience, a large presence made himself known.

 

Everyone turned around. Standing next to them was a large hulking man with a thick white beard and mustache. Immediately, Usopp noticed that the crown of his head was tapered off into a thin cone, except it was bent perpendicular to the rest of his body.

 

Despite his imposing height and build, this man had a grandfatherly air about him, especially when he regarded them with a kind smile behind his wooly beard.

 

“Hello, God Usopp,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to speak to you.”

 

“Um, yes?” Usopp blinked rapidly, completely puzzled as to why this person would want to talk to her. The Tontattas fluttered about curiously.

 

“I am Chinjao of the Happo Navy. You may not know this, but I was one of the many who was turned into a doll and forced into labor down in the factory. It is because of you and your friends that we have been freed from what could have been an eternal nightmare.” He lowered his head. “You have my thanks, God Usopp.”

 

She gawked before quickly recovering. “It was nothing! Just doing what anyone would do,” she declared, puffing out her chest proudly.

 

“Nonsense! I know for a fact that facing any of Doflamingo’s subordinates is no easy feat. It takes an incredibly brave and skilled warrior to come out on top, and you, my dear, are certainly one.”

 

Usopp hadn’t gotten a compliment like that before. As she stared at the old man in bewilderment, Robin chuckled, saying, “That’s our sniper. She is the best there is.”

 

“Usoland is the coolest!” cheered the Tontattas.

 

“Indeed. And to thank you for your bravery, I would like to introduce you to someone.” Over his shoulder, Chinjao called out, “Boo! Get over here.”

 

Usopp closed her mouth, her teeth clicking. Introduce her to someone? How was that a repayment in gratitude? Unless it was customary to do so wherever Chinjao was from? She glanced over at Robin in confusion, only to see the older woman appearing confused as well.

 

Plodding next to Chinjao’s side was a shirtless man with long orangish brown hair. He was barrel-chested and wore a roguish grin. While he wasn’t as tall as Chinjao, he nevertheless towered over both Usopp and Robin. “Yeah, Gramps?”

 

“Come greet God Usopp. God Usopp, I would like you to meet my grandson Boo. He is the vice-leader of the Happo Navy. A strong and capable fighter, not to mention a man of leadership qualities and fortitude. If anything were to happen to my first grandson Sai, then Boo would be the one to step up and lead our people.”

 

“Ah, shucks, Gramps. What’re you doing bragging about me for?” Boo smiled sheepishly before turning towards Usopp, bowing. “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, God Usopp.”

 

Usopp startled and returned the gesture. “A-ah, yes, likewise!”

 

Chinjao clapped his hands. “Now that introductions have been made, let’s get down to business.”

 

This was getting more and more confusing. Usopp still didn’t understand what meeting Boo had to do with thanking her for what she had done. Was Chinjao planning on making Boo her subordinate or something? But if so, why surrender someone important for a downgrading position like that? She looked up at the old man and asked, “What do you mean?”

 

“Why, we need to discuss about your and Boo’s nuptials, of course.”

 

“What,” said Robin.

 

“What?” cried out Usopp and Boo.

 

What?” screamed two new voices. Standing before them were two men—one lanky and one burly—who were openly gawking at them. “God Usopp is getting married?”

 

“Whoa! A marriage? We must celebrate!” the Tontattas burst out excitedly.

 

“No no no!” Usopp shouted, flailing. “What the hell? I’m not getting married to anyone! Where’d you get that idea, old man?”

 

“Ah, well, you see, Sai is now engaged to his new fiancé Baby 5—” at the mention of said fiancé, Chinjao pointed at where a man was being lovingly fed by an incredibly pretty woman “—and I thought about how Boo was without a partner himself.”

 

“Gramps!” Boo gasped, mortified.

 

“So, to further establish the Happo Navy’s loyalty to the Straw Hat Pirates and to ensure that Boo gets a wife, I believe that the best way to settle both is to arrange a marriage between you and him,” Chinjao finished, obviously delighted of the idea that he had come up with.

 

So much for thinking that he was going to hand Boo over as a subordinate; no, he intended on handing Boo over as a freaking husband! Usopp’s eyes flickered back to the grandson and their eyes coincidentally met; flustered, they quickly looked away.

 

“G-Gramps, I’m grateful that you’re looking out for me, but this really isn’t necessary—” Boo tried to say but was cut off by Chinjao’s fervent denial.

 

“Don’t be like that, Boo! Don’t you see that this is a good opportunity? Look at her! She’s God Usopp, and you can’t say that she’s bad looking.”

 

“Well, okay, she’s cute, but—” Then Boo cut himself off as his face took on an instant shade of red. Usopp herself felt the blood rush to her cheeks.

 

“See? She’s a catch! Trust your grandfather, would you?” Chinjao chortled, slapping him on the back.

 

“My, this is rather interesting,” Robin giggled.

 

“Yay! Marriage!” the Tontattas exclaimed and, when no one had been looking, had already conjured a new supply of food and drinks to pass around. “Celebration time!”

 

“No celebration time!” Usopp snapped, waving away the offered cup.

 

“Hey, what’s going on here?”

 

Approaching the group were the long-limbed pair who had been with Zoro and Trafalgar earlier. While the long-legged man took an expression of interest, the long-armed man—who Usopp recognized to be one of the representatives of the newly created grand fleet—looked over to the lanky and burly man with a raised eyebrow. To them, he asked, “Jeet, Abdullah, what’s going on?”

 

“God Usopp is getting married!” Jeet and Abdullah yelled.

 

Just when the long-legged man spat out his drink, there was a resounding shriek of “Whaaat?” Coming in like a whirlwind appeared Luffy’s number one fanboy, Bartolomeo. His jaw was hanging and his eyes were popping, not unlike how Jeet and Abdullah had looked in the beginning.

 

“Uso-Uso-Usopp-senpai is getting m-m-m-married?” Bartolomeo cried. “To who?”

 

“To my grandson, of course,” Chinjao boasted, glowing like a happy rooster.

 

“I never agreed to that!” Usopp shouted. “And, for the record, I never agreed to any sort of marriage—period!”

 

Somehow, Bartolomeo had managed to interpret her words another way—the wrong way—because he immediately began to size up Boo and growl out, “Who the hell do you think you are, forcing Usopp-senpai to marry your sorry ass?”

 

Boo, despite also being an unwilling participant of his grandfather’s matching games, didn’t appreciate being a subject of intimidation. He drew his shoulders back and snarled, “Sorry ass? Who do you think you’re talking to, you mullet-headed freak?”

 

“I’m the man who’s gonna kick your sorry ass into next Tuesday if you don’t quit your pathetic delusions of grandeur.”

 

Noticing the escalating trouble, Usopp chanted under her breath, “Crap, crap, crap, crap.” Out of desperation, she latched onto the closest person next to her and pleaded, “Stop them!”

 

The person who she had thought she grabbed was Robin, but the person who she had actually grabbed was Jeet, who had migrated over to her side when she hadn’t been paying attention. Jeet gaped down at the grip she had on his sleeve before kneeling in front of her like a gallant knight. “At once, milady!”

 

Jeet threw himself at Boo and Bartolomeo with an inane war cry until he was swatted away like a fly.

 

“Milady, would you like me to try?” Abdullah quickly volunteered, bouncing around like an excitable puppy.

 

“Are you nuts? Did you not see what happened to Jeet?” the long-armed man asked incredulously. “Why even ask?”

 

“I’d do anything for God Usopp!”

 

Usopp, overwhelmed by...whatever was going on, backed away until her back hit the wall of the deck. 

 

Jeet was lying a few yards away, unconscious. Abdullah was beaming at her, waiting for her response. The long-limbed pair were staring at unfolding chaos in bewilderment. Boo and Bartolomeo were just about to duke it out; Boo was reaching behind him for his weapons that were strapped to his back while Bartolomeo was crossing his fingers. Meanwhile, Robin and Chinjao were amiably conversing to one another as though this shitstorm wasn’t going on.

 

“Are you kidding me?” Usopp cried at Robin and Chinjao.

 

Then, suddenly, a flash of white and yellow appeared, entering the scene like lightening. Boo and Bartolomeo were now lying flat on their backs as a handsome blond man—another of the representatives—stood between them. The man clicked his tongue at them and sheathed his sword. “Honestly, if you start fighting now, then what do you think will happen to the morale of the fleet? I thought better of you, Bartolomeo.”

 

“Hey, hey, hey! It’s not like I was the one picking a fight here, Cabbage!” Bartolomeo growled out defensively, propping himself up.

 

“Are you stupid? Yes, you were!” Boo retaliated.

 

“W-well, I wouldn’t need to if you weren’t strong-arming Usopp-senpai into marriage!”

 

Cabbage staggered. “What?”

 

“I’m not! This is just Gramps’s idea of strengthening the Happo Navy’s loyalty to the Straw Hat Pirates,” Boo insisted.

 

“Lies!” Bartolomeo accused before looking at Usopp for confirmation. Usopp mouthed to him that Boo was, in fact, not lying. His gasped. “What? Seriously?”

 

“And why would marriage be the answer to that?” Cabbage scoffed, flabbergasted. “For that matter, why would Straw Hat agree to marry his sniper to you? if anything, he should have gone to me.” He snootily threw his tresses over his shoulder, somehow creating metaphysical sparkles around him. “I’m clearly the superior choice here.”

 

“As far as I know, Straw Hat doesn’t even know about this; also, there isn’t even an actual agreement going on.” And then Boo added furiously, “And I’m not that bad of a choice! Why do people keep implying that?”

 

“So Usoland isn’t marrying anyone?” one of the Tontattas inquired.

 

“No, I’m not,” Usopp firmly stated. There was a feeling of hope that rose within her. Were they going to clear this misunderstanding and get on with their lives?

 

“But that can be changed,” Chinjao cut in, and effectively snuffed out that hope. Oh, great, she had forgotten about his absurd resolve on this matter. The old man stepped out of the sidelines to stand next to his grandson. “God Usopp, would you consider—”

 

“No! No no no. A definite no.” Usopp planted a foot forward and mustered a shred of willpower to continue. It looked like she had to take the situation in her own hands (because Robin didn’t appear like she was going to lend any help any time soon). “I-I am so sorry, but I have no interest in getting married soon. Please don’t take any offense!”

 

Chinjao wasn’t offended; rather, he seemed confused. “That’s what engagements are for.”

 

Arrrgh! “It’s too soon for me to even think about marriage! I’m not sure if I even want to get married at all.” Not that she would be wholly against getting married (at least, in the far and distant future where she had completed fulfilling her dream and could possibly be interested in taking up a lover), but she wasn't really set on it either. Additionally, she didn't want to be tied in holy matrimony with a man who she barely knew.

 

The group of men paused at this and exchanged looks. “How old are you?” Boo asked.

 

“N-nineteen,” Usopp answered meekly.

 

“Nineteen? You’re not too young for engagements, not even for marriages,” dismissed Chinjao. “Why, I myself got married when I was seventeen!”

 

“My ma told me that she had me when she was eighteen,” Abdullah mentioned.

 

“Back before I was banished from my kingdom, I was engaged to fourteen princesses when I was, well, fourteen,” Cabbage stated smugly, raising his nose to the air.

 

Holy cow, what? Usopp felt beads of sweat forming on her forehead, and she anxiously wiped them off with the back of her hand. Were adolescent marriages common here in the Grand Line? She couldn’t imagine something like that happening to her. Not even her own parents had married young. If Usopp remembered correctly, according to her mother, both of them had been in their mid to late twenties.

 

“In terms of age, Ideo would be the best fit for God Usopp,” the long-legged man said. “He’s twenty-two, after all.”

 

“Don’t drag me into this,” Ideo hissed.

 

Chinjao harrumphed and shook his head. “The difference in age isn’t an issue when it comes to love!” Love? What love? There wasn’t love in this equation! “And, besides, Boo is twenty-seven; there isn’t that much of an age difference.”

 

“Ha, I’m twenty-six! I’m closer in age with God Usopp than any of you,” Cabbage sneered.

 

“Hey, I’m twenty-four!” Bartolomeo protested.

 

“Are you joking? You look like you could be forty.”

 

“What did you say?” the green-haired man shouted in anger.

 

“Are we forgetting about Ideo being twenty-two?” the long-legged man persisted.

 

“Would you stop it, Blue Gilly?” Ideo snapped.

 

Blue Gilly grinned down at the long-armed man. “What? I’m just helping my dear captain out! Don’t tell me you don’t want to take this chance to be engaged to God Usopp, do you?”

 

“What?” Ideo shouted, alarmed. “Why would I want that?”

 

“I mean, you were eyeballing her ever since we got here, so I figured—"

 

“I-I wasn’t! What the hell are you talking about?”

 

“But you were, Cap!” a miraculously revived Jeet said as he hobbled back to the group. “I would know since Abdullah and I were also basking in the glory of the wondrous God Usopp!”

 

“Then your eyes would have been on her and not on me,” Ideo gritted out with thinly veiled patience.

 

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of!” Bartolemeo piped up with sparkling enthusiasm, his previous antagonism gone with the wind. “To marvel at any one of the Straw Hat Pirates is something that we should all do together!” He punched the air and declared wholeheartedly, “That is what unites us as one—as a part of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet! Yaaah!” He snatched a Tontatta in each hand and held them up in the air. “Yaaaaaah!”

 

Yaaaaaah!” the Tontattas roared.

 

“Yeah, but Ideo was paying special attention to God Usopp, so.” Blue Gilly shrugged.

 

The tinge of red that colored Ideo’s face was either from anger or embarrassment. It was hard to tell.

 

“So, about that engagement,” Chinjao brought up, and Usopp resisted the urge to groan aloud.

 

“Okay. Um, that may be true for you guys that marriage can be done at a young age,” Usopp began tentatively, “but those from East Blue…follow a set of guidelines before entering an engagement.”

 

Chinjao blinked. “You’re from East Blue?”

 

Usopp nodded quickly, and her brain quickly cranked its creative gears like how it usually would whenever she came up with a story. “I am! I know that you don’t get to encounter a lot of folks from East Blue out here in the Grand Line, so I understand that you may be unfamiliar with our customs.” She cleared her throat. “You see, it’s improper for any East Blue native to be involved in an engagement before obtaining the approval of both of our guardians. Furthermore, marriage cannot occur unless both individuals are well into their twenties.”

 

“Why, I had no idea,” Chinjao gasped.

 

“Erm, th-that’s right! I, a fellow East Blue native, can affirm that,” Bartolomeo added. Usopp blinked at that. Bartolomeo was from East Blue too? Well, as long as he was playing along, she was grateful for him chiming in.

 

“So that’s why you said that you were too young for marriage,” Cabbage noted.

 

“Yup, that’s right.” Just to be safe, Usopp added, “But, more specifically, on my island, there are particular customs that are strictly adhered to. And even though I have long left home, I am a Syrup Island girl through and through! I won’t settle for a man who won’t abide by my homeland’s culture!”

 

“Such dedication!” Chinjao said in awe. “Very well, God Usopp. Is there anymore to these customs?”

 

“Of course! You see, not only do you have to obtain the approval of my parent, but the husband-to-be must prove that he is capable of providing for his bride and any subsequent children."

 

"Then the payment of bride services, yes?"

 

"Well, that would be a given for any marriage, but there's more to it than that." Thus, Usopp proceeded telling the group of men how an engagement would be properly established between two people back in Syrup Village. With eight people giving her their rapt attention (twenty people if she counted Robin and the Tontattas), she slipped into her storytelling mode. Embellishing and polishing and crafting her fictional culture, she did what she could as a wordsmith to sell her masterpiece.

 

Usopp didn't realized that she had been getting caught up in her lie until she had finished.

 

"Amazing," Chinjao said. "I had no idea that the inhabitants of your island were so committed to their practice. I admire their conviction!"

 

"Uh." Usopp forced a smile. "Naturally."

 

"I dunno. Sounds like a bunch of stodgy old traditionalists," Blue Gilly said skeptically.

 

Jeet and Abdullah gasped, appalled. "Don't be a bigot, Blue Gilly!"

 

Blue Gilly huffed, crossing his arms. "If a set of rules exist, then they ought to be criticized in favor of creating better ones."

 

"Since when were you such a political analyst?" Ideo snorted, shooting his companion a dry glance.

 

"Well, I for one think that it's beautiful that you follow your customs so diligently, God Usopp," Cabbage announced. He held his hand up high and closed his eyes, his lips morphing into a serene smile. He was posed as though he was waiting for a dove to land on his palm. "The respect that you hold for your ancestors—that you would honor their memory by practicing their customs...! Such dedication is certainly a commendable trait."

 

"Human customs are so bizarre," whispered a Tontatta.

 

"Usopp-senpai, hearing you explain your homeland's culture is so incredible!" bawled Bartolomeo. “I’m so touched that you would share it with us! Thank you!” Good grief, Bartolomeo wasn't supposed to fall for her lies!

 

"God Usopp, please tell me the names of your parents so that Boo can uphold your customs," Chinjao requested.

 

"Gramps," Boo groaned, plopping his face on his hand.

 

Despite knowing that this would bite her in the butt one day, this was something that Usopp could not lie about. "My mother passed away when I was young, but my father is alive. He’s Yasopp, the sniper of the Red Hair Pirates," Usopp said, grinning widely with pride.

 

"Red Hair Pirates—as in, the crew of Red Hair Shanks, one of the Yonko?" gawked Abdullah.

 

"And your father is his sniper?" Jeet added with equal incredulity.

 

"As expected of God Usopp!" the two cried out.

 

Her family relation was nothing compared to Luffy's, what with him being the son of the Revolutionary Army leader, grandson of a famous vice-admiral, and brother of the Revolutionary Army's chief of staff and Fire Fist Ace. But she was indeed proud of how far her father had gone in his pirate career. After all, being a part of a Yonko's crew, not to mention help Shanks become one, was a pretty big deal.

 

"Ah, Chaser Yasopp. Yes, I know of him." Chinjao smoothed his beard. "I can see where you get your talents from, young lady. Ahh, I can just imagine what strong great-grandchildren you and Boo will make for me," he hummed, his expression wistful.

 

"Hey!" Usopp and Boo cried, their faces turning red.

 

"Hm? Oh, I was getting ahead of myself." The old man coughed into his fist. "We must do what is proper and follow according to tradition first."

 

This man really was intending on going through with it, wasn't he? Usopp inwardly berated herself for the lie that she had created—it wasn't zany enough!—but what was done was done. Before she could give herself up to this nonsense, she caught a glimpse of the resignation that Boo was already displaying. Hmm. Maybe there was something that she could do to escape this insanity once and for all.

 

"Chinjao-san, as flattering as it is to see your eagerness, have you asked what your grandson might want?" Usopp innocently inquired.

 

Chinjao blinked. "Pardon?"

 

"It just seems like you've been making decisions for him instead of consulting with him. Sure, this union might be beneficial for both of our crews, but would your grandson's unhappiness be worth it?"

 

"Bah, if he's unhappy with it now, then he'll get over it later," dismissed Chinjao. "I certainly did when I got married."

 

"Yes, but you're you and Boo is Boo. Just because I'm willing to follow my grandparents' path—" not that she had ever known her grandparents "—doesn't mean you should force your grandson to do the same," she persisted. And for a good measure, she added, "Besides, the happiest of children are born out of parents who are in love." Not that she knew about that either since her father had left home when she had been quite young, but it seemed like common sense.

 

Chinjao appeared to be considering her words, and he turned his attention onto Boo. "Boo? Are you opposed to the engagement?"

 

Boo rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm not necessarily against it, but...the whole thing seems kinda forced, ya know? The situation’s been thrust upon us and we’re supposed to take it? Doesn’t seem right, Gramps.”

 

“Boo…”

 

“I know that Big Bro Sai was okay getting himself into an arranged marriage with Chichilisia’s daughter, but, in the end, he was able to decide on who he would settle with for the rest of his life. I want to make my own decision too.”

 

Chinjao hung his head and sighed. “I apologize, Boo. You’re right; that was wrong of me to do such a thing. It’s just... After seeing Sai so happy with Baby 5, I wanted to see you enjoy the same marital bliss as they do.”

 

“They’re not even married yet,” groaned Boo. “But…I appreciate you looking out for me.”

 

“Of course, I would. You’re one of my precious grandsons, after all.”

 

The grandfather and grandson shared an endearing moment of love and acceptance and understanding. If they weren’t manly men, they probably would have embraced each other. Touched by the heartwarming display of the men just smiling at one another (because they were too manly to hug), Jeet and Abdullah sniffled. Even Bartolomeo, despite the row he had with Boo, was tearing up.

 

With one clap to Boo’s shoulder, Chinjao then turned his attention onto Usopp. “God Usopp, it appears that I owe you yet again. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.”

 

Usopp smiled. “It’s no problem. I’m just glad that it all ended well.” And that there wasn’t going to be an engagement happening.

 

When Usopp ambled back to Robin’s side, she shot the older woman a sour look. "Thanks for nothing, Robin," Usopp grumbled.

 

“Oh, I don’t know. I’d say that you handled the situation wonderfully,” Robin chuckled.

 

“Are you kidding me? I was stressing out over there! I really could’ve used your help.”

 

Meanwhile, Chinjao was sighing. “Though I must admit, it is a shame to not go through this. To have God Usopp as a part of our family would have been amazing.”

 

Boo coughed into his fist. “Well, I did say that I wasn’t against it.”

 

The grandfather stilled, hope lighting in his eyes. “Boo, you mean…?”

 

“I may not have liked being forced into an engagement, but I wouldn’t say no to help.” Boo glanced at Usopp. “And, besides, you were right—she is a catch.”

 


 

Another bird soared by and dropped the parcel onto the growing mound. Yasopp stared at the pile critically.

 

“Why do these people keep sending me shit?”

 

“More like, why are all the same pirates sending you the same kind of shit?” Shanks grabbed the closest parcel and checked the label. “Oh, this guy is new—Ideo from the Ideo Pirates.”

 

The sniper dug his fingers into his hair. “I don’t understand. Why the hell are they sending me wedding rings and fruitcake?”