|“||World Nobles...Slaves...Human shops...Against the "purity" of these "upper classes", the villains of the world look positively humane in comparison. It's because the world's in the hands of scum like them that it's all screwed to hell...I mean, we're not the nicest of guys, but at least we're honest about it.||„|
|~ Eustass Kid, commenting on the Celestial Dragons|
The Celestial Dragons, (Tenryubito) also known as the World Nobles, are minor and extremely despicable villains from the One Piece series.
They are the descendents of the founders of the World Government, the UNO like organization that rules the One Piece world. (Which displays increasingly blatant corruption as the series progresses, the Celestial Dragons being the most speaking example.) They are all obscenely rich aristocrats who live in the Holy Land Mariejois, where the headquarters of the World Government and the Marine HQ are located, and who all ironically got the epithet "Saint" before their name.
The Celestial Dragons are allowed to do absolutely anything they want without punishment. They can even get away with murder and slavery has not been fully abolished for their use. No one can insult them without going to jail for 20 years and no one can even oppose them without getting targetted by one of the Three Marine Admirals, three of the most powerful characters of the entire series. They are all extremely obnoxious, scornful, rotten to the core and corrupt people able to shot anyone who crossed their ways, talked back or even looked at them without enough deference; they can take anyone who pleases them as their slaves and sending back to their "peasant" lives when they have no further need of them; they can spend ludicrous amounts of money to satisfy their whims and they all wear bubbles aroud their heads to avoid breathing the same air as "lowly commoners."
Everyone in the world hate them and revile them, but they suffer in silence and try their best not to get involved out of fear of the Marine Admirals. As for the Celestial Dragons, they take this fear for granted and think that they are worth more than everyone else because of the long-past deeds of their distant ancestors. As such they make pretty extreme examples of eugenism and the stereotype of "Old Money."
However, this power didn't scare Monkey D. Luffy, who fearlessly punched a World Noble for hurting one of his friends in front of a room of shocked witnesses. He and his crew later escaped, leaving the Nobles angry and humiliated.