Marine Headquarters, Fleet Admiral’s office.
In response, Rowen pushed open the door and entered. There were many people participating in the meeting today. The Three Admirals, Momousagi, and Chaton were all present, along with the arrival of some Headquarter Vice Admirals, making the spacious office overcrowded.
“Look, our Undying Vice Admiral is here!”
Dalmatian, the Vice Admiral, saw Rowen walk in and teased while puffing on a cigar. Upon hearing this, the expressions of the others present turned strange, and even Vice Admiral Momonga and other members of the Garp faction officers cast various scrutinizing gazes at Rowen.
After all, when Rowen was brought back, no one believed he was still alive!
Everyone present here was prepared to attend Rowen’s funeral.
But now the funeral was still being prepared, and Sengoku told them that Rowen was not dead.
Who knew what they had been through?
That terrifying self-healing ability, the trait of being undying, made the entire Marine Headquarters feel a chill. Rowen rolled his eyes weakly and walked over to sit next to Dalmatian, taking a cigar from his pocket and lighting it up without hesitation.
“Hey! Show some respect for your senior, you little asshole!” Dalmatian’s mouth twitched as he spoke while his dog-headed eyes widened.
“Tsk, who told you to joke about my death!” Rowen shrugged and ignored him.
“Cough, cough! Since everyone is here, let the meeting begin!”
At the front, Sengoku coughed and attracted everyone’s attention. He took out a thick stack of documents and passed them down to the officers, then spoke after everyone had read them.
“The Dressrosa incident has left the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) very dissatisfied! Regardless of whether Doflamingo is a Celestial Dragon or not, it is an established fact that such a terrifying weapon was in the possession of a Shichibukai.”
“Therefore, the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) has decided to conduct a thorough investigation of the current Shichibukai!”
“Any significant threats discovered will be severely punished!”
This piece of information was like a stone thrown into a calm pond!
After Sengoku finished speaking, the meeting room instantly exploded with discussions among the officers. Aokiji, sitting in one of the positions of the Three Admirals, rubbed his afro head with half-asleep eyes, looking troubled.
“Ah, this is no small matter like before!”
The Marines had conducted investigations on the Shichibukai before, especially when Crocodile was overthrown, and all the Shichibukai were gathered.
But compared to that kind of back-and-forth with the officials, this time the World Government was undoubtedly serious!
The killing intent revealed in the last sentence of the documents was apparent even to fools.
“Any form of resistance will result in the removal of their Shichibukai status and severe sanctions!… Are we going to war?”
“I think it’s highly likely! It seems that the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) are really angry this time. After all, this is different from the minor conflicts before. Doflamingo actually destroyed a whole country!”
“In my opinion, they might as well abolish the Shichibukai system altogether!”
“You’re right! Lock them all up in Impel Down and be done with it!”
“Calm down, Onigumo. Currently, the Marines don’t have enough forces to take over the mess left behind after removing the Shichibukai. Everything takes time!”
Hearing the discussions in his ears, Rowen remained silent. He didn’t know whether the Shichibukai system would be canceled or not, but Vice Admiral Momonga was right.
Indeed, since he came to this world, the military power of the Marine had been growing day by day, almost doubling from its initial power!
And it was likely to continue growing, reaching a military power of more than four times that of the original story!
Is an elite force of 100,000 at the top a lot?
Now the Marines could easily produce a force of two hundred thousand soldiers which is a lot!
The border defense lines of Alabasta and Pucci were almost completely taken over by the Marines. In the past, even if Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) silently approved, there would never have been enough forces. But now…
It was just a drop in the bucket!
In addition, with the gradual deployment of the Aircraft Force, the Marine’s deterrence power skyrocketed. Despite the loss of two Shichibukai, the entire Grand Line had become relatively peaceful!
In the face of the Marine’s surging military strength, pirates who used to take advantage of the vast sea to cause trouble now had to speak with their heads down, lest they attract a large force for cleanup. They had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!
But among the pirates… the Shichibukai were special.
They were legally recognized pirates by the World Government, and the system had been in place for 20 years.
This system was deeply rooted in the sea and could even sit on an equal footing with Marine Headquarters and the Yonko. To completely replace them, it would not only require strength but also time.
Marines wanted to see world peace, not reckless warfare that would drag the world into the quagmire of war. However, these orders indicated that the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) were truly angry this time.
The Dressrosa tragedy caused by Doflamingo told them that the threat of the Shichibukai was far greater than they had imagined and needed to be controlled!
This investigation would undoubtedly provoke dissatisfaction and even resistance from the Shichibukai, but they still issued the order for the Marine to be strict and rigorous.
“Sengoku, have you considered the possibility of war?”
Tsuru, as the Great Staff Officer of Headquarters, had to consider all aspects. She put down the documents and said, “Each of the Shichibukai has their own goals for becoming a Shichibukai. They cannot give up their power and status. So they are mutually using each other with the World Government. By doing this, the government is pushing them into a dead end!”
“You need to be more flexible, Tsuru…”
Without hesitation, Sengoku retorted, “It’s precisely because they have their own goals that they will never give up their Shichibukai status! And what Marine needs to do is not to force them into rebellion but to tell them that things are different now!”
“Now that Marine’s power has already disrupted the balance between the three major forces, not to mention that we’ve lost two Shichibukai, the previous rules have long become meaningless.”
‘Are you implying something with your subtle words?’
“What we need is a new balance!”
At this point, Sengoku swept his gaze around the spacious meeting room. Those who caught his gaze stopped their discussions and held their breath, focusing their attention. After a moment, Sengoku uttered one heavy word.
(End of Chapter)
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