Ace’s Search for Blackbeard, Part 17: The Return of the Navy Spy Ship. A navy ship is seen sailing towards you. On the front of the sail, in large letters, is written: Top Secret!
Flashback 400 years: Jaya, Shandora: Noland stands before the golden bell and calls for Kalgara. He wants to know the reason why he is not talking to them. He does not want such a farewell. Someone throws a spear at him. Kalgara, staying in the shadows, asks him to leave if he does not want to die.
In one day the expedition ship will leave, the bell does not ring again. Mouse steals out of the village and goes to the beach. She meets the doctor from Noland’s ship. She wants to talk to him. Kalgara sits in the forest in front of a deforested area. He curses Noland and asks if these are the victims of the ‘progress’ he was talking about.
Mouse tells us that the trees are sacred to them. White trees into which their ancestors are supposed to return after centuries, guided by the sound of the bell. The ancestors remain in the trees and protect the people of Shandora. The forest is as precious to them as their own lives. Due to the debt they were in for curing tree fever, the islanders have done nothing, but Mouse wants to know the reason the trees were cut down.
The next day, Noland and his men leave. The doctor tells his captain about the Sacred Trees and understands the Shandia’s anger. He gives the order to leave all the gold behind. Mouse runs back to the village to Kalgara. She asks those present what they would have done if a tree precious to them had been poisoned and the entire forest died because of it. She urges her father to stop his friend, to whom the Shandia owe much.
Flashback: The doctor tells Mouse that the trees he cut down were all already dead. The dangerous thing about tree fever is the transmission to other trees. From tree to human and vice versa. So several islands have already been destroyed. More damage would have been done on Jaya as well. Noland and his crew cut down the already infected trees to prevent the epidemic from spreading further. The forest is now healthy. He apologizes that they cut down the trees without explanations, but plant scientists do not destroy forests.
The Shandia realize their mistake of always complaining about the losses. Kalgara runs to shore, hoping to still find Noland. The ship casts off and sets sail for Mary Geoise. Sudden ringing of bells makes them look back. They catch sight of Kalgara, who apologizes and invites Noland to visit them again. Until then, he will ring the bell every day to help them find their way. Noland promises to come back.
|Manga volumes||Skypiea Arc (Manga)|