It was because during the time Dante and Doflamingo were talking/fighting with each other, besides charging the Electromagnetic Cannon, he was secretly communicating with Sengoku to gather information!
Afterward, things became simple.
Kuma was prohibited from leaving Vegapunk’s laboratory after his last deployment and continued to contribute to the development of the Pacifistas. Later, Lirisk appeared and informed Sengoku that he would “retrieve” Doflamingo.
By saying these words now, Sengoku was telling Rowen that Lirisk had successfully “retrieved” Doflamingo, and the matter had come to an end.
Naturally, Lirisk had only anticipated that Doflamingo wouldn’t give up easily, but he hadn’t expected him to be insane enough to destroy the entire Dressrosa! Since Rowen hadn’t been informed in advance, he became an easy target.
Sengoku had concealed this information from Rowen, which was why Rowen received the highest level of funeral treatment.
And then… Rowen didn’t die…
Vice Admiral Momonga had no idea that a lot had been communicated between the two just through a single exchange of glances. After listening to Sengoku’s words, he asked solemnly, “Fleet Admiral, are we supposed to recruit new Shichibukai?”
“Indeed, Marines now has the capability to strengthen its control and supervision over the Shichibukai, so it’s only natural to invite new members,” Sengoku replied, shifting his gaze and getting down to business.
As early as when Crocodile was defeated, the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) had intended to invite new Shichibukai, and Ace was the one originally chosen.
However, it ended in failure.
Shanks intervened halfway and took Ace away and then he became the Second Division Commander on Whitebeard’s ship…
For certain reasons, the matter was put on hold.
Now that Doflamingo had fallen, the Shichibukai were even more anxious. In such a critical situation, Marines were unexpectedly launching a thorough investigation into them. What are they planning?
It was easy to imagine how the Shichibukai who received the news would react.
Following the policy of “carrot and stick,” the prompt invitation of the new Shichibukai was put on the agenda.
The addition of a new Shichibukai would not only appease the already restless Shichibukai and reduce their hostility but also facilitate the Marine’s investigation. It would convey to the Shichibukai that the Marines desired cooperation, not war, which could be considered a win-win situation for all of them.
“Indeed, with two Shichibukai consecutively falling, the sea appears calm, but in the shadows, the wind is already howling like a tempest before its arrival!” Vice Admiral Momonga nodded seriously.
The downfall of the Shichibukai would not only affect the situation in the sea but also cause the remaining Shichibukai to have reservations. The fall of one Shichibukai not only represented themselves but would also impact the attitudes of other Shichibukai.
For the sake of peace, the Shichibukai needed a powerful sedative.
And that was the appearance of the new Shichibukai!
“Who are the new candidates?” Rowen asked, crossing his arms. “It seems there are very few notorious pirates in the world who have both fame and a chance of accepting the invitation,” He continued.
At the end of the calm Sea Calendar 1517, the only significant events were Ace setting sail and the cessation of rain in Alabasta, except for the capital city, Arbana. However, Rowen had resolved both of these matters.
As for the remaining “Hundred Plans,” Kuro escaped by faking his death… Sorry, who was he again?
In any case, Rowen couldn’t come up with a suitable candidate to replace the Shichibukai.
“There is already a faction willing to join the Shichibukai. Considering their influence in the sea, I have decided to send you on a trip, Rowen,” Sengoku said.
“Oh? Is that so?” Rowen exclaimed, picking up the documents Sengoku handed him.
“The official power of Kano Country, the Happo Navy…?” He muttered after reading the information.
Don Chinjao, the previous Pillar of State of the Happo Navy, was a formidable fighter who could go head-to-head with Garp in his younger days. He even achieved several victories, earning great prestige in the sea.
Later, Garp trained relentlessly, punching the eight mountains and bending Chinjao’s drill-like head with a single blow, leaving him powerless.
But there was no doubt about his strength! Excluding the inexperienced Kuma and Mihawk, the current Shichibukai were probably on par with Chinjao…
Three young men in their prime, equal to a nearly 70-year-old man! And a bent old man at that…
“Wait… The 13th Pillar of State?” Suddenly, Rowen noticed that the document was labeled “13” and continued flipping through it.
“Sai, the grandson of Chinjao, the most outstanding inheritor of the Hasshō-ken – Eight Impacts Fist. Although his strength is not on par with Chinjao’s, his willingness to join the Shichibukai represents Chinjao, the Happo Navy, and even Kano Country’s willingness to assist the World Government.”
Sengoku explained briefly, then emphasized to Rowen.
“Kano Country is resource-poor and plagued by constant warfare. That’s why they formed a pirate group to go out to sea and plunder to supplement their domestic needs. Therefore, establishing a relationship with them is of greater significance than simply inviting a regular pirate!”
This was similar to Hancock forming the Kuja Pirates or Elbaf creating the Giant Warrior Pirates. In the island-dominated world of One Piece, there were few countries that could sustain themselves and lead prosperous lives.
But what if the citizens of such nations couldn’t survive? Then they had no choice but to resort to plundering.
“Understood. So you want me to be polite, right?” Rowen smiled faintly, nodding to indicate his understanding.
It seemed like they were inviting Sai alone to become a Shichibukai, but in reality, they were making a deal with the entire Kano Country. Naturally, Marines needed to send someone of sufficient status to represent their intentions.
But it couldn’t be an Admiral, and Vice Admiral Momonga would also have another mission soon. So Rowen, the “reborn from death,” “Undying Vice Admiral,” and user of the Goro Goro no Mi (Thunder Thunder Fruit), was chosen to go as a show of respect.
“That’s right! Prepare yourself and set off soon. The sooner we resolve this, the more reassured the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) will be,” Sengoku instructed.
“Yes!” Rowen nodded, taking the documents and leaving the office.
Once Rowen was out of earshot, Sengoku activated the privacy device and spoke seriously to Vice Admiral Momonga.
“Vice Admiral Momonga, your mission is to make contact with this person… His strength is not to be underestimated, so prioritize safety during the encounter.”
As Vice Admiral Momonga looked at the familiar yet unfamiliar face in the document, his expression hardened.
“Are the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) really serious about this, Fleet Admiral?”
Because the person depicted in the document was none other than “Whitebeard Jr. Edward Weevil!”
(End of this chapter)
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