The port city of Nanohana in the Alabasta Kingdom was bustling with activity as merchants, travelers, and even infamous pirates roamed the streets. But amidst the hustle and bustle, one small restaurant stood out for its eerie silence.
This was not because the restaurant had no customers, on the contrary, this restaurant was a very famous one in the city, with a lot of customers.
However, at this moment, all of the patrons were fixated on two figures sitting at a table, devouring plate after plate of food with a ravenous appetite.
One was a bare-chested man donning a cowboy hat, and the other was a black bear Mink with fur covering his entire body. The table before them was piled high with empty plates, at least a dozen stacks in total, each one towering higher than the restaurant owner standing behind the table.
It was estimated that these two had consumed at least 80 servings of food between them, an amount that would have been enough to feed a small army.
Are they… human?
The customers in the restaurant have never seen anyone eat this much! And it looks like these two were still competing, to see who can eat more.
“Five more servings of the pork chop rice!” Ace bellowed, his fork still clutched in hand, his cheeks puffed up like a chipmunk, not quite sure how he even managed to form the words.
Doroni, not to be outdone, roared, “I want ten servings of the pork chop rice!”
“Oh… Oh! O-Okay!” The restaurant owner and his team of chefs could only stand there, drenched in sweat, as they realized that the ingredients they had prepared for the entire day, enough to feed the entire restaurant, were about to be devoured by these two ravenous beasts in a matter of minutes.
Ian sat beside Ace, nursing a drink and couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pain as he watched the two continue to pile up their plates.
Goodness, what’s wrong with these two gluttons, this meal alone is going to cost me a small fortune!
He couldn’t understand why Ace always had a love for all-you-can-eat meals. It was very likely that he always ate too much and even if he had money, it wouldn’t be enough!
Ian couldn’t help but feel the urge to make a run for it, without paying…
He glanced over at Matthew, who was seated beside Doroni. The man was eating as well, but unlike the others, he was taking his time to savor each bite, making thoughtful comments on the chef’s skills and leaving a few insightful remarks about the dishes, resulting in the restaurant owner respectfully listening to him, bearing Matthew’s slow tone that works like poison…
“Ugh, these guys are really inconsiderate!” Ian felt a bit overwhelmed by the scene before him.
“Hehe, Ace truly has an insatiable appetite!” Robin, sitting to Ian’s left, couldn’t help but smile upon seeing the scene, “Doroni is the user of the Gluttony Fruit, yet Ace is able to keep up with him. That’s pretty impressive!”
“Impressive my A$$! More like a nuisance!” Ian couldn’t help but curse, “Just watch, later on, this guy will eat so much he won’t be able to move and will want me to carry him. If it was about eating, I won’t mind, but the bastard is just using me as his personal mule!”
Robin stifled a laugh as she covered her mouth.
Reiju too couldn’t help but chuckle as she watched Ace and Doroni gorge themselves on the feast before them. Her expression was one of gentle amusement and when Ian gave her a strange look, she explained, “Don’t you think people should be at their happiest when they are eating? When Sanji was young, he used to have that same expression all the time!”
Reiju and Robin were both mature women, so their perspective on the situation was different from Ian’s. But no matter what, Ian could only silently calculate how much this meal would cost and whether he had enough money to pay for it.
In reality, Ian was quite well-off. He had brought over 20 million Belly with him for expenses, and as a member of the Shichibukai, he could easily capture a pirate and exchange them for their bounty if he ever ran out of money. So, in theory, he shouldn’t have to worry about expenses.
But the problem was, he can’t stand the fact that Ace and Doroni eat like this!
After leaving Drum Island, it took Ian and his crew about ten days to reach the shores of Alabasta. Since this route passed through Alabasta, Ian and Ace both suspected that Teach would definitely be here.
However, to their surprise, upon arrival, their inquiries revealed that no Blackbeard pirate group had been seen landing in the port in recent times. Teach and his crew were known for their distinctive appearance, and if they had passed through, the locals would have undoubtedly remembered them. But despite questioning multiple people, no one had seen any trace of them.
Ian speculated that one possibility was that the Blackbeard pirate group had landed and quietly slipped away, as Teach and his crew had left Drum Island a full ten days before Ian. The other possibility was that something had occurred on their journey, delaying their arrival.
As Ian pondered over the possibilities, he couldn’t help but feel that the latter was more likely. The Grand Line is a treacherous place, where a sudden storm could easily throw even the most experienced crew off course. If Teach had been caught in such an event, he could have been forced to take a longer route before reaching Alabasta.
So, Ian and Ace decided to wait at the port of Nanohana City for a while, in the hopes that Teach would eventually make an appearance…
As the days passed, the wait seemed to stretch on forever. Each day was marked by a growing sense of unease, as Ian and his crew wondered whether they had made the right decision in staying put.
Just as Ian was lost in thought, Robin suddenly jolted him back to reality with a tap on the shoulder. “Captain, Ace has fallen asleep again,” she said with a hint of amusement in her voice.
Ian turned to see Ace, his hand still clutching a fork, his face buried in a plate of food, lost in the land of dreams. With a sigh, Ian pinched Ace’s neck, pulled his head out to prevent him from suffocating and dying, and gave him a good knock on the head to wake him up.
This was a routine he had grown all too familiar with in the past week…
After Ian hit him, Ace suddenly woke up, looked around, and then grabbed the fur of Doroni and used it to wipe his face vigorously. After the remnants on his face were wiped off, he turned to Ian with a disdainful expression and said, “Hua! Ian, I’m full, let’s go!”
The meal was a feast unlike any other, plates piled high with delicious food that seemed to never end. But as the final bites were taken and the last drops of drink were downed, Ian had to pay the bill. As a result, this meal cost Ian 997,000 Berries, and when he was paying the bill, Ian wished he could mortgage Ace to wash dishes here…
“Let’s go!” Ian shouted, and the six of them stood up and walked out of the restaurant.
However, just as they pushed open the door of the restaurant and walked out, Ian, who was in front, collided with a person who just walked in…
“Boy! Be careful when walking…”
The person who was hit by Ian just rubbed his chest before finishing his sentence, but when he saw Ian’s appearance, he suddenly froze.
Ian and the stranger exclaimed in surprise.
The stranger had white hair, wearing a coat, bare-chested, and smoking a cigar that never went out. It couldn’t be anyone else but Smoker!
When Ian saw Smoker, he had an impulse to slap his head. Did this guy come here because he was chasing the Straw Hat Pirates? Did his appearance mean that the Straw Hat Pirates had also landed in Alabasta?
Subconsciously, Ian looked behind Smoker, and the first thing he saw was Tashigi with her short hair, and the second one saw Kuina standing next to Tashigi like twin, but her hair was slightly longer and she was not wearing glasses.
Kuina was also surprised when she saw Ian, but then she reacted quickly and could not help winking at Ian mischievously.
Ian smiled as he understood Kuina’s meaning.
So, he raised his hand and greeted Smoker with a smile, “Hey, Smoker, you came here for a meal too?”
Smoker took a few puffs of his cigar and blew out a cloud of smoke, he said gloomily, “Why are you here?”
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