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S.C.S Chapter 426: A little late

With Wapol’s death, the citizens of Drum Island came together to elect a new leader, Dalton…

Dalton is a Devil Fruit user who could transform into a bison, rose to the throne as the new king. Though once a captain of Wapol’s guard, Dalton had betrayed his former leader, choosing to stand with the people of Drum Island instead.

Unlike his predecessor, Dalton did not reside in the grand palace atop the mountain, instead opting to live among the people at the mountain’s base. But when the notorious Blackbeard Pirates launched an attack on the island, Dalton rallied the army, determined to put an end to their tyranny.

Unfortunately, Dalton’s strength was no match for the powerful pirates. He was easily defeated and left injured in the wake of the attack. The entire Drum Island Kingdom was left defenseless against the Blackbeard Pirates’ relentless rampage.

Teach, the Blackbeard, set his sights on the mountain top palace as the destruction of the island’s villages neared completion. He had heard of the palace’s location and was eager to go and see it. However, Teach, being unfamiliar with the island, was unaware of the cables leading to the top of the mountain.

Upon realizing that the only way to reach the palace was to brave the harsh, snowy conditions on foot, Teach hesitated. The cold, wintery climate of Drum Island was not something he relished facing. The idea of climbing the mountain, amidst the fierce storm was not an appealing one.

As Teach surveyed the destruction he and his crew had inflicted upon the villages, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction. His collection of interest had grown vast, and with a hearty laugh, he and the Blackbeard Pirates set about looting the villages for food and water before departing the island.

As their ship sailed away, the wounded Dalton breathed a sigh of relief. He knew he had been lucky, for the Blackbeard Pirates had not ventured up the mountain where the palace of the king resided. Inside, Dr. Kureha and Chopper had managed to evade the crew’s wrath.

The entire nation was in need of medical aid now that so many had been injured, and the famous 20 Drs were no exception. They too had been hurt during the Blackbeard Pirates’ attack. But there was hope yet, for only Dr. Kureha had the skills to save them.

As the night set in, Kureha rode down the mountain on a sled pulled by Chopper, the wind and snow whipping past them. It was only then that she fully understood the extent of the pirate’s devastation. The mountain top was too far away, so it wasn’t until they came down the mountain that Chopper and Dr. Kureha realized a band of ruthless pirates had descended upon their peaceful island.

“Why?” Chopper queried, his voice tinged with confusion. “Pirates are supposed to be the most romantic and free people on the sea. Why would they harm innocent villagers?”

Kureha let out a sigh, her eyes falling upon the young reindeer. “You are still so naive, Chopper,” she said, her voice heavy with sadness. “Pirates are not the romantic figures you believe them to be. They are ruthless, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.”

It was Dr. Hiriluk who initially instilled in Chopper the belief that pirates were good people. And later, when Ian appeared on the island and defeated Wapol, it only solidified Chopper’s conviction.

Now he suddenly came into contact with such a vicious pirate group as Blackbeard Pirates. No wonder Chopper was confused.

Dr. Kureha didn’t say anything, instead, she and Chopper set to work healing the wounded.

As Kureha worked, Chopper grumbled, “If only Ian-san was here. He’d definitely teach those vicious pirates a lesson…”

Just as things seemed to have settled down on Drum Island, about ten days after the Blackbeard Pirates’ attack, another pirate ship appeared on the outskirts of Drum Kingdom’s waters.

The citizens, still on edge after the previous attack, immediately panicked at the sight of the black flag, fearing the return of the Blackbeard Pirates. They quickly notified Dalton and mobilized a large group of militiamen to intercept the ship at the port.

But as the ship drew closer, they were shocked to see that the flag was not that of the Blackbeard Pirates, but of the Dragon Hunters!

Yes, Ian and his crew had finally arrived.

As the people of Drum Island realized that the newcomers were none other than Ian and his crew, their spirits got lifted, and they quickly dropped their weapons to give these pirates the warmest of welcomes.

At first, Ian and Ace were taken aback by the reception, but as they began to survey the island, they saw that the villages were in disarray, with many homes still in the process of being rebuilt. It was then that they realized something was amiss and began to inquire.

It was then that Ian realized they had arrived too late.

He remembered that historically, the Blackbeard Pirates had indeed passed through Drum Island, but with so many variables at play, he couldn’t be sure if Teach would still take this route. Even though Ace had received word from the Whitebeard Pirates and they had set out for Drum Island together, Ian was unsure of exactly when the Blackbeard Pirates had landed on the island, and they had still missed their mark.

What irked Ian even more was that without Wapol, Teach had still managed to devastate the country, destroying many of its villages, all because they had hanged his own Pirate flag.

It was then that Ian realized just how deep Teach’s grudge against him truly ran…

“I’m sorry, I’ve caused you all so much suffering!” Ian apologized to Dalton. “The Blackbeard Pirates group is our target of this hunt, and because of us, you’ve all been caught up in this tragedy…”

Dalton shook his head. “It’s not your fault, in fact, if it weren’t for our rash decision to use your flag, we might not have drawn the Blackbeard Pirates’ attention at all.”

Ian didn’t dwell on this problem any longer, instead he asked Dalton, “How long has it been since they left?”

“About ten days ago,” Dalton replied. “If you intend to give chase, you must act swiftly.”

Ian and Ace locked eyes, both silently acknowledging the gravity of the situation. They made a mental note to set sail as soon as possible.

Due to the generous feast the villagers had prepared in their honor, Ian and his crew couldn’t bring themselves to depart immediately and instead lingered, savoring the delicious food and drink.

And just at that moment, Kureha and Chopper, who had received the news, rushed down from the mountain top.

As soon as Chopper saw Ian, he immediately leaped into his embrace.

“Haha, Chopper!” Ian exclaimed, holding him high in the air. “You’re looking well!”

“Ian, I missed you so much!” Chopper said, tears welling in his eyes.

Ian ruffled his head, “But unfortunately, I can’t stay here for long, I have to leave.”

“Are you going out to sea again?” Chopper asked.

“Yeah, I’m pursuing a dangerous enemy,” Ian replied. “The Blackbeard Pirates, so I can’t stay long.”

Chopper’s head drooped at his words, dejection etched upon his features.

Ian let out a chuckle, placing a comforting arm around the young reindeer. “Don’t be like that,” he said. “Soon enough, you will find your own crew and set sail. And when you do, if you ever want to come to me, you’ll always be welcome in my pirate crew.”

“My…my crew?” Chopper’s head lifted, his eyes alight with excitement and longing.

Ian nodded, for he couldn’t help but think of the Straw Hat Pirates. Perhaps it wouldn’t be long before they reached this island too. With Luffy’s personality, he would definitely take Chopper as a crew member.

Chopper was a gifted doctor, and with him, the Straw Hat Pirates would have someone to heal them when they were injured, especially the reckless Sanji.

After a few more words with Chopper, Ian handed him over to Robin and Reiju.

Robin who was quite fond of cute things, had already spotted the fluffy Chopper, and although she didn’t show it on her face, when Ian handed Chopper over to her, she smiled and hugged him, while chatting with Reiju.

Surrounded by the two beautiful women, Chopper felt both scared and yet, at the same time, reassured that they were partners of his brother, Ian. So, he stood there stiffly, listening to their words.

After they had finished eating and drinking, Ian and his crew decided it was time for them to depart. But before they left, Ian remembered something and turned to Dalton and said, “Can I ask you a favor? If in the near future, a pirate named Luffy with a straw hat comes to this island, can you tell him that we’ll be waiting for him in Alabasta?”

Dalton did not refuse and simply nodded in agreement.

And with that message left behind, Ace and Ian left the Island, continuing to pursue the Blackbeard Pirates.

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