After talking with Johnny and Yosaku, Ian had some abdominal cases in mind about how to get to the Grand Line.
But Ian still has something to do before leaving.
Two days later, on the training ground of the marine Base of Loguetown, more than 300 marine soldiers lined up in two rows. When Ian appeared, they raised their hands and saluted him in unison.
Ian walked through these saluting marine soldiers, and there was a little lamented in his heart. No wonder there were so many people in the world who want to join the marines. This kind of etiquette, rules, and neat uniforms can indeed create a sense of majesty, even if Ian was only a temporary swordsman instructor. He was also treated by courtesy from the marine soldiers. In such an atmosphere, Ian felt that he was full of power.
Through the passage of the saluting soldiers, Ian came to the high platform of the training ground. He turned and looked down at the marine soldiers, who were neatly aligned, and looking at Ian.
Ian glanced at the crowd and slowly said, “There are still two more days. My tenure as a swordsman instructor is coming to an end. Although it was only a month, I’ve met many of you and got along well with you. So here, I want to thank you all for your support in my work.”
“Instructor! You’re welcome!” The marine soldiers shouted neatly, making a loud noise on the training ground.
Ian pressed his hand down and waited until the scene was quiet before he said, “Most of the people who are present here know why I am a swordsman Instructor… Yeah, it’s because I don’t have the money to pay for the destruction of the Execution Platform!”
The soldiers could not help laughing, and even Tashigi could not control herself. Ian, the swordsman Instructor, was abducted by Colonel Smoker. The soldiers at the base knew that Ian had admitted it without evasive, and for that, the marine soldiers were more kind to Ian’s frankness.
After they finished laughing, Ian continued, “Although the agreement with the old man Smoker was only one month, I swear that taught everyone with a serious attitude without holding back anything!! Without the slightest hidden secret, the most important thing about swordsmanship is the basic movement, which I made you practice every day. I have looked at you all. Now everyone basically masters it, so even if I leave, as long as everyone can persevere in practice, you will become a master of swordsmanship one day!”
“Sensei!” A marine soldier raised his hand and asked, “Can I really be a swordmaster like you and be able to kill a man like Krieg with one blow?”
“Yes!” Ian said with great certainty, “Although the time is not good to say, but certainly you will be able to! And not only will you be able to kill pirates with one blow, but maybe you can be recruited by the marine headquarters and become the real marine elite!”
“Ah… Really?” The marine soldiers under the stage were spurred by Ian’s words, and they could not restrain their excitement.
Smoker was in the windowsill of the base, holding the cigar in his mouth and looking at the training ground. He heard Ian calling him the old man smoker, but he didn’t mind, but he frowned at Ian’s words to inspire the marine soldiers.
Not that he thought Ian was wrong, but he felt that Ian seemed to have something to say.
Sure enough, after exciting the marine soldiers to howl, Ian suddenly opened his mouth again: “Of course, it is not enough to be an elite soldier in the headquarters. Now raise your hands and let me see how many of you have actually gone to sea and captured pirates?”
Half of the soldiers present raised their hands, while those who did not raise their hands lowered their heads in shame.
Although Loguetown is the largest marine base in the East Blue, it is true that most of the marine soldiers here were just maintaining the security of Loguetown. The former captain in charge of Loguetown is a hedonist, and it was impossible to take the initiative to lead his soldiers to fight pirates.
During the period when Ian stayed at the base, he had known this from the soldiers, so he had this information. So now, as it turned out, it was true.
And that wasn’t over yet. Ian then asked, “So, if you really have a face-to-face encounter with a pirate, please raise your hand.”
This time, even among the soldiers who just raised their hands, most of them dropped their hands. A face-to-face encounter? Was he joking! Most of them were junior soldiers, not even lieutenants. Even if they have captured pirates, they are bombarded with shills from afar on the warships. Even if they have taken part in the action of capturing pirates in the square, it was Colonel Smoker’s ability what tied them up, and they just took over from there. Their real battle experience was really pitiful…
Looking at all these soldiers with a look of shame, Ian expressed a smirk on the corner of his mouth. ‘Very well, these guys really cooperated.’
Then, he made a sad expression, shook his head, and said, “It seems that the situation is much worse than I expected… But I don’t blame you. Maybe you didn’t get a chance!”
Hearing that Ian had given them the reason, the marine soldiers raised their heads. ‘Yeah, it’s not that we don’t want to catch pirates, it’s that we didn’t get a chance.’
Ian walked around the stage, pretending to be thinking, and then suddenly clapped his hands and said, “Okay, that’s it!”
He looked at the soldiers and said, “As a marine, your duty is to protect the people and maintain the majesty of the marine flag. I said that although my teaching time is very short, I am absolutely serious and responsible. In this case, in the last two days, I intend to arrange a practical exercise for everyone. In addition to testing the results of your training in the past month, it also provides you with a real opportunity to fight.
“Really… Practical exercises!?” The marine soldiers under the stage were dumbfounded and began to talk about it.
Ian looked at them coldly and said, “What? Are you unwilling to? Ha, that’s funny. You have this kind of mentality, and you want to be elites of the marine headquarters?”
In a word, all of a sudden, the marine soldiers were immediately stimulated, and they stood upright and stared at Ian. This meaning was obvious.
“Very good!” Ian said with satisfaction, “Now listen to my command! Turn back! Run and walk! Target, harbor pier, get ready! Bring water and food, and then board the ship!”
The marine soldiers left the training ground at Ian’s command. Only Tashigi stayed alone. She came to Ian and shouted at him, “What do you going to do? You’re going to take a marine warship out to sea!? You can’t do that without Colonel Smoker’s approval!”
“In this case, would it be better for him to agree?” Ian shrugged, then turned his head and said, “Am I right? Colonel Smoker!”
Tashigi looked around and saw that Smoker had appeared behind her. She said anxiously, “Colonel Smoker, you must stop him!”
Unexpectedly, instead of paying attention to Tashigi, Smoker asked Ian doubtfully, “I have no objection to the actual combat exercises. Anyway, these guys need to practice, but what is exactly your idea? Is it really just a real exercise?”
Ian shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s a practical exercise. I’m going to take them out to sea to see if we can meet some pirates. I’m sure that you don’t want to raise a group of coward and weak soldiers, do you? And I want to try commanding marine ships. Is this reason enough?”
Smoker didn’t talk, sucked his cigar so hard then puffed a huge cloud of smoke from his mouth. After thinking for a long time, he finally poked at Ian’s chest and said, “I can give you permission from this exercise, but you have to promise me that you will bring my entire soldiers back! Can you do that?”
“Rest assured!” Ian said, “If we really meet a strong enemy, I will deal with them myself!”
With this guarantee, Smoker couldn’t say anything anymore. He waved his hand to Tashigi: “You look after him!” Then he left.
At Smoker’s command, Tashigi immediately grasped the sword in her hand and stared closely at Ian, as if she had begun to implement Smoker’s orders.
Ian didn’t mind at all. He turned around and left, while Tashigi hurried to keep up with him.
As they strolled to the harbor, the marine soldiers had already prepared the warship. The warships used by this branch were smaller than the warships of the headquarters. But it was enough to take two or three hundred people. In the attention of the group of the marine soldiers, Ian boarded the ship with Tashigi and said to everyone, “This exercise has already obtained the consent of Colonel Smoker, so… Let’s go!”
“Untie the ropes! Set the sail! Let’s go!”
With Ian’s commands, the warship slowly sailed away from the harbor, and then the residents who were at the port saw this scene naturally, looking at each other, wondering what the marines are going to do.
“Direction, the south-east!!” Ian shouted loudly on the deck.
“Hai! Direction, the south-east!” The marine soldier at the helm repeated that aloud and immediately began steering the wheel.
Ian stood at the bow of the ship, facing the sea breeze. He felt that it was a good sensation to be a captain. Just by shouting, the warship would move forward according to his call.
At this time, the marine soldiers on board thought that Ian was just taking them to the sea to make a turnaround. If they met pirates, they would catch them back. So they didn’t think anything wrong, so they all faithfully fulfilled their duties.
However, if they could look in Ian’s pocket at that moment, they might find a wanted poster form his pocket.
Seeing that wanted poster, it was estimated that all the soldiers present wouldn’t be able to hold back their tears.
Because this bounty in Ian’s pocket was the highest reward in the East Blue: Arlong’s!
What kind of actual combat exercises were said, it was all fake. This guy, Ian, was simply lying at them and telling them fake exercises. He came out with the marines, and it’s not as simple as turning around.
From the beginning, he was planning to go straight to Arlong.