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 "And then I slew the gigantic sea beast and used it to feed the tiny islanders!"

 "Hahaha! Well, I hope they appreciated it!"

 "You kiddin'? They made a statue of me!"

 Kaya smiled as she twirled her pen in her fingers. How many years has it been since she last heard those tall tales? Made-up, they were...but they were always so enchanting with the way her prince would sit on the branches of the tree outside her bedroom window and "regale" her with his "adventures".

 ...No, who was she kidding? He was no prince.

 A prince was dazzling and romantic, riding upon a white horse. The boy she thought of was some liar who would go about town, shouting about pirates that didn't even show up...except for the one time that it turned out it wasn't a lie. Pirates actually did show up on the island...the leader of which was a man she put her full trust in, long ago, when her parents died. The boy, though cowardly, was also brave...braver than any prince she could ever imagine.

 He was more like a bumbling fool...but a bumbling, brave fool who willingly risked his life for the sake of herself and the small village. He and his band of merry men...and a woman, too. She didn't know how, but they defied the odds and came out on top...and she was ever so thankful.

 Sure, that long-nosed boy was a bumbling, cowardly, brave fool...but she fell for that bumbling, cowardly, brave fool, nonetheless. She still remembered the day he left...when she kissed him on his cheek and how flustered he got. She saw him with a smile...even though it saddened her greatly to see him go.

 Even after two years had gone by, there was not one day that she didn't think about him. As the Little Veggies ran through town every morning, shouting about pirates and getting chased off by the villagers and Merry continued to chase off those who sought after Kaya's heart...she looked up from her medical notes at the wanted poster that was plastered on the wall...of a bloody young man with a long nose and a half-dead look on his face.

 Usopp was such a fool...but he was her fool...and on this day, especially, she thought of one thing.

 "...Happy birthday, Usopp," Kaya whispered.

 

XXX

 

 "Usopp!"

 Usopp was suddenly snapped out of his daydream as he heard Luffy call out to him.

 "Come on!" the captain called while holding two fishing rods. "Let's go fishing! Sanji's gonna make a big banquet and we gotta catch something for tonight!"

 "Uh...yeah, sure!" Usopp answered. "I'm coming!"

 He then gave one last look to the horizon...before he smiled and chuckled to himself, then ran to join his captain.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USOPP!