Chapter 9

When there were no more people coming in the buy any pastries Aru decided that it was time to leave and pick up Blue if she was still where she was. It was kind of odd though that she did that, she never leaves Blue anywhere unless it's in the forest or if she has to stay outside when she's in a building.

As Aru made her way towards the street to where the mother and her child were she noticed a kind of crowd in front of one of the ships. Curiosity moving her again she strolled over to see what was going on. Once she had reached the crowd made mostly of men she weaved her way in so that she could take a better look. In the middle were two guys in a heated battle of a gambling game. Rolling her eyes Aru was about to leave when one of the mean cried out in disbelief and started throwing a fit. Unfortunately Aru was within reach as she was pulled by the guy and had a knife put to her neck. The man that held Aru with his knife was shouting at his opponent, accusing him of cheating, that he should've won, and that if he didn't give him all the money now he would slit Aru's throat.

On the other side of the makeshift table that the two men were playing at was one of the pirates that Aru had fought with. Highly doubtful that the pirate would even care for her safety Aru knew that she would probably be dead if she didn't do anything. Seriously, this guy must be the stupidest person that Aru has ever seen, Aru thought and just sighed tiredly, getting everyone's attention.

"Why is it, whenever I just want to know about something, things like this," Aru grabbed the man's knife arm, who was too stupid to remember to hold her arms down, "Always happen!" With a sudden pull Aru removed the man's hold on her and threw the man over so that his back landed on the makeshift game table in front of them. "Honestly, this is why I never stay in towns for very long." Aru said and then stomped a foot on the man's chest. "If you can't win, don't gamble." Before Aru could move away she was caught from behind, probably the guy's friend, holding her arms back and locking his hand behind her head. Growling in anger at the ridiculous expense of a game Aru smashed her foot painfully on the other guy's foot, making him release her, elbowing him hard on his right side and then whirling around to punch him full on the face.

With both men knocked out and Aru feeling quite better she wiped her hands together and turned to leave when she saw that most of the men that had mad up the crowd were Cordova's pirates because he was standing right in front of her with a sword in his hand. Aru clapped her hand to her forehead and sighed.

"What is it now, Cordova?" Aru practically whined. If Aru had been paying attention she would've seen that once the two men that Aru had taken down were unconscious Cordova and his men lowered their weapons.

"We saw you being attacked and thought you might have needed some assistance, Aru, like last time with the dogs." Cordova said, shoving his sword in his belt. Aru's eyes widened. Almost without thinking Aru stooped down to grab her dagger so that she could put it to Cordova's throat. If he happened to one of the men that had set their dogs on her when she was little he would certainly pay. The only problem with that was, she forgot she didn't have her dagger and Blue wasn't with her.

"How do you know about that?" Aru asked, getting into a defensive stance instead. Cordova smiled somewhat, a genuine smile that held a kind of sarcastic look.

"I'm not surprised that you don't remember me, especially if I didn't. Though I was the one who told you to get out of our shop." Cordova said.

It took a long moment for that one sentence to sink in. Then she realized it. Cordova was Curoa's son that ran away. She stood there dumbstruck as she took in his appearance. He had the same build as his father and brothers and he had his mother's dark reddish hair color, and now that he was actually, kind of, smiling she could just barely see the face she remembered when she was younger impatiently trying to get her out. "So you're the missing son of Curoa who owns the pastry shop Zordoba." She couldn't believe it, the nicer Cordova in the past couldn't be this grumpy pirate before her, but there was no denying the resemblance. Especially now that she remembered seeing him work in the pastry shop that his family owned. So Cordova made pastries before he became a pirate, them some how they miraculously met up again, nearly becoming enemies, and then Kallen friends telling him that he was ... wait a minuted, Aru thought as she remembered what she said last night. Cordova. Zordoba.

All of a sudden Aru started to giggle. At first it was small but then she had to put her hands to her mouth in an attempt to try and control herself, but she wasn't the only one who was laughing. While all those things were going through Aru's head she failed to notice that Kallen had somehow appeared right next to her while Shanks and Toril were kind of on either side of Cordova. Since the other pirates knew that they were with Aru they let them in. Once they heard what Aru had said all four of them reached the same conclusion.

"What is it that you found so amusing?" Cordova growled. Yup, definitely a hot head like his mother said, Aru thought as she calmed down while the three other guys were not done laughing. Kallen had his hand over his face to hid his smile but his shoulders were still shaking up and down in laughter and you could still hear the slight wheezing noise as he continued to laugh. Shanks was doubled over, almost on the ground, as he choked on his laughter while Toril had his hand to his mouth as if he was thinking about something but you could still see he was smiling like an idiot.

"Last night, when Kallen and those two told me what your name was it made me remember your mother's pastry shop." Aru had to pause a bit cause she felt like she was going to start giggling again. "And, now I now why."

"And Aru can tell the future. We have such an amazing friend, don't you think Toril." Shanks said, suddenly gaining his composure as he put an elbow on Cordova's shoulder and on one foot.

"Who knew." Toril said. Cordova shoved Shanks off of him and tried to make a punch at Toril, both of whom quickly got out of the way so that they were standing with Aru and Kallen. His face was getting red but before he could probably say anything to them, or shout, one of Cordova's brothers shoved his way through the loose circle of pirates. He first looked to Aru, his expression somewhat confused at first but as he looked to Cordova his face changed to one of recognition.

"Brother, is it really you?" He immediately moved to Cordova and clapped him on the shoulder. "We never thought we'd see you again." Despite his anger earlier Cordova couldn't help a warm kind of smile at the sight of his brother's excited face.

"Hello, Jair. I see you've grown rather well. At least you didn't pick up on mother's strange accent." Cordova said

"No, I haven't. Where have you been all this time? Mother doesn't really show it but she has been worried about you." Jair said as he took a respective step back from his older brother.

Cordova shrugged. "Here and there. Crew, I would like to introduce to you one of my younger brothers." Cordova said, patting Jair on the shoulder and kind of turning in a circle so that he could see everyone. There was a circle of mumbled greetings. "So why did you come over when you didn't know I was here?"

"Well I actually saw that Aru was in a fight and mother nearly kicked me out the door to go help her." Jair said as he looked at his adoptive sister. "But I see that she's in good hands." Cordova huffed.

"I don't even think she ever needs any help. She avoided me and my men just fine." Cordova said without really thinking until he was cuffed on the back of his head by his brother. His younger brother.

"What were you doing trying to hurt Aru for?" Jair asked.

"How was I supposed to know she was the same little girl that was running from the dogs? That was a long time ago, Jair, and I left some time after that. I didn't even know that you all stayed in contact with her through the years." Cordova growled back at his brother.

"Well you would have if you never left."

"I don't need to because I don't care." With that Cordova waved to his crew and walked off and back to their ship.