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Luffy suddenly burst out of the barrel. Alvida heard the commotion and threw her mace at the storehouse, and Koby chased after Luffy as he was sent tumbling away by the impact. Luffy asked Koby for a boat, and Koby presented him with his self-made boat, saying he did not have the courage to escape on it. Luffy was not impressed with Koby, telling him about his dream to become Pirate King and his lack of fear of dying in his quest. Koby was very impressed with Luffy's resolve and began talking about his own dream, but Alvida suddenly came in and smashed his boat with her mace.
Thinking Koby had hired Luffy to capture her, Alvida gave him one last chance to say she was beautiful, only for Luffy to insult her offhandedly.
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As he remembered Luffy's resolve, Koby threw away his fear of death and insulted Alvida as well. He stood firm as the enraged Alvida prepared to kill him, but Luffy suddenly jumped in front of Koby as he took Alvida's mace without being harmed and defeated her with a single punch. Luffy then told the Alvida Pirates to get him and Koby a boat, to which they complied.
As they set off to sea, Koby was concerned about what Luffy's fate in the Grand Line would be, and Luffy said he would recruit a strong crew starting with the bounty hunter Roronoa Zoro. The duo reached the Marine base where Zoro was being held prisoner, and prepared to part ways after eating at a restaurant. The other customers recoiled in shock when Luffy mentioned Zoro, but to Koby's surprise they also recoiled after he mentioned Morgan , the captain of the Marine base.
The two then went to the Marine base and looked for Zoro, and Koby became fearful upon finding him. When Zoro asked for Luffy to free him, Koby discouraged Luffy out of fear for his safety, but Luffy ignored him. However, a girl named Rika suddenly climbed up next to Koby and Luffy, and the two watched as she tried feeding Zoro some rice balls, only to be caught by Morgan's son Helmeppo and thrown out. Koby tended to Rika while Luffy went to Zoro, and after Luffy came back, they went into the village and Rika told them about how Zoro was unjustly imprisoned by Helmeppo and Morgan.
Helmeppo then came into the village, mentioning to Luffy how he planned to execute Zoro in three days despite giving Zoro a chance at freedom, and Koby watched as Luffy punched him for dishonestly imprisoning Zoro. Luffy went to go recruit Zoro, and a little while later, Koby went to free Zoro because he wanted to uphold real justice as a Marine. He was shot in the shoulder by a Marine,  but decided to stay and continue freeing Zoro.
Koby revealed Helmeppo's deception to Zoro and said that Luffy had attacked Helmeppo because of this. Suddenly, the two of them were surrounded by Marines. The Marines shot at Koby and Zoro, but they were suddenly shielded by Luffy, whose rubber body shot the bullets back, and Koby fainted after seeing this. However, Luffy freed Zoro and the two pirates took out the Marines.
As Luffy fought Morgan, Koby called for him to defeat the Marines, and was shocked as Morgans sliced an entire fence in two with his axe hand. Koby watched as Luffy overwhelmed Morgan, but he was held at gunpoint by Helmeppo in an attempt to stop Luffy. Koby said he was not afraid of death, and watched as Luffy punched Helmeppo while Zoro struck Morgan down. Koby, Luffy, and Zoro then went to Rika's mother's restaurant, and Koby reflected that Luffy and Zoro were the first friends he made.
The Marines then came in and asked Luffy and Zoro to leave the island since they were pirates, and they asked if Koby was with them. Koby denied it, but Luffy started telling the Marines about his past with Alvida. This caused Koby to punch Luffy and the two to get into a fight, but as they were broken up Koby knew that Luffy did that to distance the two of them and allow him to join the Marines.
He then asked to join the Marines, and although they were aware of his past, they agreed to his request. As Luffy and Zoro prepared to sail away, Koby came and saluted them in thanks, and to his surprise he was joined by the rest of the Marines as they thanked Luffy and Zoro for their actions. However, Koby, not willing to let them kill his friend, scared them away with a gun. Bogard sliced Koby's guns into pieces, but Garp stepped in before the two could continue fighting.
Though Morgan escaped,  the bravery shown by the two earned them the attention of Garp, who took the two under his wing as pupils. Koby went to Water 7 alongside Helmeppo when Garp paid Luffy a visit. On the vice admiral's order, Helmeppo charged at Zoro while Koby attacked Luffy. Both he and Helmeppo were easily beaten after a brief skirmish. Koby cheerfully admitted defeat and reintroduced himself to Luffy and Zoro, asking if they remembered him. Although the Straw Hat captain initially had trouble recognizing Koby due to his growth spurt, the trio were happily reunited.
Koby, like the Straw Hat crew and the rest of Garp's men, was shocked when the vice admiral revealed that the revolutionary Dragon is his son and Luffy's father. After some time, Zoro went back inside with the other Straw Hats, leaving Luffy, Koby, and Helmeppo to sit outside and reminisce about their first meeting and the young marine's journey to the Grand Line.
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Luffy insisted that the two Marines come in and share a meal with his crew, but Koby declined the invitation, saying that he and Luffy were members of opposing factions and that they should not be too friendly with one another. He became so worked up that he accidentally blurted out his dream of becoming an admiral before immediately collapsing in embarrassment. Luffy accepted Koby's ambitious proclamation as a certainty, saying that if the Marine wanted to fight with him in the New World, then he could not be anything other than an admiral.
Koby was moved to tears by Luffy's unshakable faith in him and was teased by Zoro for still being a crybaby.
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Koby and Helmeppo departed, repeating their challenge to the Straw Hats to meet again in the New World. Koby saw Luffy one more time as he left Water 7 when Garp attacked. He was afraid the vice admiral would sink the Thousand Sunny and its crew, but was relieved when the Straw Hats managed to escape. Koby and Helmeppo reported to Marineford to participate in the war against the Whitebeard Pirates , and they were present for Sengoku's speech about Ace's past.
After hearing that Ace was Gol D. Roger's son, the two came to a conclusion that Ace and Luffy were not biological brothers. Frightened by the display of power from both sides and the ensuing bloodshed as the Marines and Whitebeard's forces clash, Koby and Helmeppo ran away.