9 Chapter 9: Cave of Secrets

Ray had his hands in his pockets, angrily kicking stones with his feet as he walked through the forest. Then, just as he was about to kick another stone, the ground beneath him suddenly gave way, and he fell down in a hole.


. . . .

Ray hurtled downward, the darkness engulfing him. His heart raced, and the wind roared past his ears. 


Ray collided with a solid surface, pain shooting through his body. He knew he had reached the bottom of the hole, trapped and disoriented. The only thing he could see was the inky blackness that surrounded him.

" Ugh! " Ray groaned, pulling himself up, clutching his aching stomach. The darkness pressed in, suffocating and foul. The stench was unbearable, much like the memories of his painful birth, a distant past he'd rather forget.

Ray extended his arm, desperate to find a wall that he could use to guide him in this pitch-black hole.

" I fell a long way... No sign of light from above, " he muttered to himself as he moved cautiously.

Plop! Plop!

Ray's keen ears heard the faint sound of water, a quiet but distinct presence in the darkness. His hands remained pressed against the rough wall as he carefully made his way toward the sound.

 The sound became louder, resembling an underground waterfall, and Ray continued forward

' A waterfall? it's strange, I've been walking on a straight path the entire time. Is this some sort of underground tunnel? ' he mused to himself.

And then, in the midst of the darkness, a small, blue light glowed in front of him. It was impossible to miss in this void.

' Where the hell am I?...This place wasn't shown in the manga.. not even the anime. ' Ray was confused yet curious. Ray slowly and cautiously made his way to the light. As he got closer it slowly started to get bigger and bigger.

 Ray released his grip on the wall and sprinted towards the blue light. He came to an abrupt stop just before entering it, a moment of hesitation.

" No going back now... " he whispered to himself. Ray extended his right hand, cautiously dipping his finger into the light. " Nothing happened... I guess it's safe. " With that, he took the final step and fully stepped into the light.



Atop the tree of knowledge in an office, two individuals sat facing each other. One had clover-shaped green hair, while the other had cascading white hair that flowed down to her chest.

They were seated across from each other, separated by a desk between them

" Clover, being the most seasoned archaeologist out of all us. Do you think there are things you don't know? " Olvia impassively stated to Clover.

Clover looked at Olvia with a thoughtful expression, then replied, " Olvia, there are always unknowns in the world of archaeology. The pursuit of knowledge is never-ending, and there are countless mysteries yet to be unraveled. I may be experienced, but I certainly don't know everything. In fact, the more I learn, the more questions I have. That's what makes being a archaeologist so fascinating. "

Olvia leaned back in her chair adjusting her glasses, " I guess... haven't you ever been curious as to how the world came about? " Olvia said.

Clover nodded, his eyes filled with a deep curiosity. " Of course, Olvia. The creation of the world, the ancient civilizations, the Void Century... these are the questions that have driven many to explore the Poneglyphs and ancient texts. The world's history is a vast puzzle, and I'm determined to piece it together, even if it takes a lifetime. Even this very island has its own secrets. "

Olvia nodded in agreement, " I suppose that's why I became an archaeologist too. Spending all this time studying 'that' thing has shown me that the world is like a giant book, waiting to be read. That's why, like 'Rosey,' I've made up my mind to set sail!. "

Clover raised an eyebrow and then erupted into hearty laughter, " HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I see no problem with that. Though I want you to stay for a few more years, before you decide to set sail. "

Olvia's response was softer with a warm smile, " Well, I already planned on staying, because of a promise I made to Ray... and to him... " She trailed off.

" POFFFFF!! Who's he? " Clover screamed as he sputtered mint tea all over Olvia.

Olvia's initial embarrassment quickly transformed into anger. She clenched her fists tightly, her face turning a deep shade of red. She reared back her fist.

" Whoa! Hey! It was an accident, I didn't mean to, " Clover stammered, rising from his chair and taking a cautious step back.


" Yuf Gonf Tof Fparf... " Clover's voice was muffled as he lay on the floor, his face bloody and bruised. A comically large number of bumps sprouting from his head.

Standing over him was the furious white-haired woman, her hair seeming to have a mind of its own, and her fists emitting steam.



Walking into the light, I found myself in a long passageway. The walls were adorned with texts and hieroglyphics, all inscribed in a deep blue font. Torches lined the sides of the hallway, casting a cool blue flame that danced gently in the dimly lit passage.

" Whoa, I've never heard anything about this before... " I uttered, my voice echoing down the long passageway. 

[- The walls displayed intricate sketches of an island in ruins, seemingly destroyed by an evil god. The drawings portrayed a group of figures who confronted this god, but ended up dying. Among them, a man with a straw hat was in a fierce fight with the god, ultimately dying. Following his death, his blood merged with a fruit, transforming it into a mysterious and otherworldly artifact, which later became lost to history. -]

" No way... the story of 'Joy Boy, " I gasped as I ran my fingers along the wall. Continuing down the passageway, I was completely shocked. My amazement grew when I reached an open cave with a large bridge that extended across to a tunnel, though it appeared to be weathered and broken in the middle.

Vines hung from the ceiling, and bright blue crystals were embedded along the sides of the cave. The cave walls were also cracked, and water was pouring out from the crevices.

" Where am I? Is this even One Piece? " I questioned, my voice filled with uncertainty as I cautiously moved across the bridge. My walk was interrupted as I reached the broken edge of the bridge, a gap too wide for me to leap across.

Glancing around, I smiled. " That'll work, " I muttered. Stepping back, I went into a run, launching myself off the edge.

My plan wasn't to jump across; instead, I aimed to swing across the gap. I reached out and grabbed onto a hanging vine, using it to propel myself through the air. Swinging across, I grabbed onto another vine propelling myself even further

" Woohooo!!!! " I couldn't help but scream as I sailed through the air, feeling the adrenaline rush through my veins.

As I neared the other side of the bridge, I braced myself for the impact.


With a giant grin on my face, I said, " That was fun! " Moving forward, I entered the tunnel and went deeper within. Soon, I saw a staircase leading downward.

' What is this place? ' I wondered, my curiosity piqued as I walked down the staircase.

At the bottom of the stairs, I saw another bridge, leading to a castle that seemed to be partially buried in the ground. Before I could fully process what was happening, the ground shook, and small chunks of rocks rained down from the ceiling.

Rumble* Rumble*

' This place isn't stable, I'm probably deep underwater, and the walls can't handle the water pressure anymore.' My thoughts racing. I sprinted across the bridge and dashed up a flight of stairs at the entrance of the castle.

I then stopped as my gaze fell upon more hieroglyphics on the walls.

[- The sketches on the wall depicted the battle between the man with the straw hat and the god, resulting in the splitting of the island and the sky. One half of the island floated away, leaving behind a massive tree, while the other half was ultimately destroyed. The island with the giant tree eventually vanished and faded into history. -]

' The history of Ohara? ' I pondered, my curiosity piqued.

Continuing down the passageway, I eventually reached another bright blue light at the end. Making my way through, I entered a space that was both large yet small.

In the center of the room stood a tree, its branches had a singular fruit, surrounded by lush green grass. The walls had the same blue-lit torches.

" This tree is still here after all this time? " I mused aloud.

" This tree must be spec-, " I began to say, but my words froze in my throat. My eyes widened, nearly popping out of my head, and my jaw dropped.

Rumble* Rumble* Pff* Pff* Rumble*

The castle started to shake violently, and water began to spew from the cracks, increasing as the cracks widened. I rushed to the tree, grabbed the fruit, and putting it inside my backpack, and dashed out of the collapsing castle.


Ray sprinted across the bridge, his heart pounding. Then, without warning, the cracked wall suddenly cracked open, and an enormous torrent of water surged out like a colossal waterfall.

" Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " Ray's frantic screams echoed through the tunnel as he dashed into it, narrowly escaping the incoming flood. Emerging on the other side, he continued his mad dash across the bridge, then he jumped, swinging across the vines.

Mid-swing across the vines, a loud crash erupted as water burst through the cracked wall behind him. Ray swiftly landed on the other side, sprinting with every ounce of his strength. The bridge behind him began to crumble and fall into the water bellow.

" HuFF! HuFF! HuFF! " Ray gasped for breath, his face drenched in sweat. As he continued, the ground beneath him suddenly gave away. With lightning reflexes, he leaped just in the nick of time, catching the edge of the tunnel. Hanging on by a thread.

" Phew! That was close! " Ray exclaimed, relieved to have narrowly escaped the brink of death. He pulled himself up and continued his run down the passageway.

However, his pace came to a stop as he slammed into a solid wall, sending him reeling backward.

' Oof! I made it! ' Ray thought to himself as he regained his composure. ' If I'm correct, the water coming should be enough to push me all the way out of the hole. '

As the wave of water rushed toward him, Ray could hear its powerful approach. The ground trembled beneath his feet as the torrent of water gained speed. The tiny blue light he had glimpsed before had disappeared into the darkness.

Puff* Boom* Rumble*

The sound of rumbling grew louder and closer, and Ray braced himself for the impending impact. The water drew nearer, and then, with a deafening boom, it struck him against the wall, knocking him out.



Clover and Olvia, who had been atop the tree, were suddenly jolted as the floor beneath them began to shake violently.

" An earthquake? " Olvia exclaimed as she tumbled backward in her chair, ending up on her back.

" Probably! Gather everybody and exit the tree! " Clover shouted as he was knocked back, his desk shaking from the quake.He unsteadily made his way to the door, and Olvia followed behind. Opening the door, they both ran out and began running down the staircase

As they ran down the staircase, Olvia, who was ahead of Clover, suddenly collided with the railing, nearly falling over the edge. "Ahhhhh! Huff!" She let out a panicked cry, fortunately, Clover was quick to react, reaching out and grabbing the hem of her shirt, pulling her back from the edge.

" Damn it! Stick close to the wall! " Clover screamed.

Olvia and Clover descended carefully, reaching the bottom floor of the tree, where a crowd of archaeologists had gathered, all trying to escape.

Clover, assessing the situation, brought his wrist close to his mouth, where a wristwatch den den mushi rested.

Through the wristwatch den den mushi, Clover's voice was amplified as he spoke, [ " Everybody, calm down! Everybody, back away from the door and, slowly, one by one, you guys go through! " ]

As Clover's voice rang through the room, the archaeologists obediently began to back up and exit one by one, creating a more orderly evacuation.

Clover wiped the sweat from his forehead with relief and let out a sigh, " That was the most I ran in a while! " he said, a faint smirk crossing his face.

" Clover! What about the village? We need to help! " A woman's urgent voice filled the air, snapping Clover's attention away from his momentary relief.

His smile faded as he heard her words, and without hesitation, he began sprinting toward the village. " Olga! Ray! I'm coming! " Clover shouted.



Olga sprinted through the streets, her voice raised in a frantic cry, " Ray! Where are you! Ray!!! " But amidst the chaos of the panicked villagers, her desperate pleas likely went unheard, adding to her growing worry as she searched for Ray.

" Ahhhhh!!!! the island is sinking! " The panicked cry from a person said.

Olga's eyes widened as she turned her gaze toward the sea, witnessing the rapidly rising waters. The houses that had been built close to the sea were now gone.

Pushing her way through the panicked crowd, Olga managed to make her way out of the village and into the open field. As she scanned her surroundings, she noticed a group of people coming down from the hill. At the forefront of the group, a man with clover-shaped green hair was leading them and a white haired woman beside him.

" Clover! " Olga called out as she rushed towards him, a mixture of worry and desperation in her voice. She grabbed him by the collar and continued, " I can't find Ray! Is he with you!? "

Clover's expression turned equally concerned as he replied, " No, I haven't seen him. He hasn't come to the tree in a while! "

Olga's grip on Clover's collar tightened as she demanded, " Are you telling me he's not with you?! " The fear for Ray's safety was unmistakable in her eyes.

"" Ray! "" Two shouts came from the crowd as their attention was drawn to a little boy with black hair in the distance.

Olga rushed over to the boy, her voice filled with relief, " Ray, where have you been! " But as she reached him and grabbed his shoulder, her eyes widened in alarm. Blood was streaming from an open wound on his forehead and atop his head.

" Ray, what happened! " Olvia joined Olga by Ray's side, her expression devastated.

Ray's lips twitched, and in a weak voice, he whispered, " N-Nothing happened... " But before he could say more, his eyes went back, and he slumped back in Olga's arms, losing consciousness.



[ - 2 weeks passed - ]

" Shitt!!!! " I screamed as I jolted up from my sleep, my heart racing. I quickly scanned my surroundings, taking in the room filled with medical supplies, and I realized I was in a medical bed with bandages wrapped around me.

" Agh! " A sudden and intense headache surged through my head, causing me to grip my temples with my hands. The pain was excruciating, but after a few seconds, it gradually subsided.

With a sense of relief, I looked around the hospital room and spotted my backpack. Weakly, I got out of bed and made my way over to it, picked it up, and returned to the bed.

" Please still be there, " I whispered as I opened up my bag. To my relief, it was still there.

" The- " I began to say, but my sentence was abruptly cut short by a loud noise as the door swung open. In a quick move, I closed my bag and discreetly tucked it behind my pillow,

" Rayyyy! I thought you were dead! " Olga exclaimed with relief, rushing over to my side and trapping me in a tight hug. " Oww, I'm still in recovery, you know! " I screamed as she squeezed me tightly.

" Oops, " Olga apologized as she let go.

"" Ray! "" Then, two more people burst through the door, one with clover-shaped green hair and the other with white hair. Both of them wore bright smiles on their faces, their eyes welled up with tears. The

" I thought you were deadd!!! " They both trapped me in their tearful hug.

" Aghhh, back off!!! " I winced and weakly tried to free myself as the intensity of their hug began to take a toll on my still-recovering body.

" Alright, that's enough... " A doctor entered the room, holding a clipboard. Olvia and Clover quickly obeyed and backed away, their childish faces completely disappearing

" If you keep hugging him like that, you're going to reopen his wounds, and I don't know if we can save him this time, " the doctor said, adjusting his glasses with an annoyed expression on his face. 

" This time? " I questioned, my confusion evident.

The doctor responded " You've been out for 4 days now. You're lucky to be alive. That day, you had a massive open wound on top of your head. It appeared as if you'd been struck by something heavy. You suffered severe head trauma and a major concussion. I'm still astonished that you're able to wake up after just two weeks of rest," he explained.

" I guess I'm just a strong kid... I don't feel anything, so I think I'm ready to leave, " I said with a beaming smile on my face.

" You sure are a kid, " Clover remarked with a chuckle, while Olvia and Olga nodded in agreement.

" I suppose so... but I'm not letting you go just yet. I'm keeping you here for a few more days and running more tests... and in the meantime, it's time for you to rest... sooo ALLL OF YOU OUTTTT!!!! " The doctor's voice suddenly escalated, as he forcefully pushed everyone out of the room and closed the door behind him.

I glanced at the closed door, my smile bright, and then I shifted my gaze to my pillow. With a sense of accomplishment, I reached behind the pillow and retrieved my backpack, my grin growing even wider.

With a wide grin still on my face, ' The Gomu Gomu no mi! Or should I say the Hito Hito no mi: Model Nika! ' I thought to myself.



[ - Somewhere in the West Blue - ]

Out in the middle of the sea, sailed a battered ship. The vessel had major scars, with gaping holes in its sides and visible signs of damage from cannonballs on its destroyed flags.

" Shitttt! That bastard Garp, how dare he put his rough hands on me! " a man seated on the broken skull figurehead exclaimed in anger. 

Suddenly, a long-haired man with jet-black hair, dressed in a brown coat and maroon pants tucked into sturdy boots, came from behind.

" Captain! In a day from here, there's an island. We can stop there to rest and recover our supplies. It's the perfect place to hide from Garp while we regain our strength! " the man said

Then suddenly the man dropped to the floor, choking off his words. " Aghghh... " he gasped, struggling to breathe. The man who had been sitting on the figurehead got up and walked over to the deck, where he observed the choking man.


" I'll let it slide, since you're my replacement vice captain," the man said and then continued. " Since Garp captured him... Anyways, make preparations to set sail towards the island. "



To Be Continued

- Let me cook! This was 3299 words long, usually I wouldn't do much. I gave yall something special since I haven't been uploading a lot.

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