A few days later, in the West Blue.
The full name of the country where “Queen of a Thousand Faces” Rosa resided was the “United Four Domains of the West Blue.” It was formed by the merger of four small countries on the island that used to have conflicts with each other. The name “Flower Capital” was the people’s beautiful nickname for it, not its formal name.
In contrast, “Kano Country” was much more formal.
Not only was “Kano Country” used in official documents, but it also differed from the floral divisions of the Flower Capital. In this country, flowers from all four seasons could be found in one place. Visitors could witness the blooming of different flowers corresponding to each season.
The most famous tourist attraction was the Rainbow Slope, where a multitude of rainbow flowers grew, creating a floral ocean that lasted all year round.
As a Four Seas nation, the withering and rebirth of plants during the changing seasons were experiences that could not be felt in the fixed climate of the Flower Capital.
Now, in the heart of winter, as they entered West Blue, the climate suddenly became colder. Marine soldiers donned thick fur military uniforms as they stood guard on the deck.
The notification had been sent to the Kano Country authorities several days ago. Now, Rowen led his soldiers, standing at the front of the deck, waiting for the Qilin to slowly enter the port of Kano Country.
Pū Tōng, Pū Tōng…
The anchor stirred up the mud as it hooked onto the seabed, and the massive Qilin came to a halt amidst the rolling white waves.
The Nation Lord of Kano Country cast an awe-inspired gaze at the Qilin. They couldn’t even fathom the existence of such a colossal beast. The cannons scattered across the ship were believed to be far from mere decorations.
“Stand at attention, salute!”
Without any hesitation, the Marine soldiers lining the stairs simultaneously raised their hands to their foreheads, displaying the tremendous discipline of the Marines.
Without discipline, there was no organization.
They would be nothing but a disorganized mob.
With discipline and organization, they became an iron-blooded elite force.
And this was the Marine force that suppressed the seas!
Compared to the Kingdom troops of Kano Country, who had crooked flagpoles and sloppy formations, the Marine troops were truly deserving of being called an army.
Huā Lā La!
The Justice cloak fluttered in the cold wind as Rowen, dressed in a long white military uniform, descended the stairs with a few of his close guards and walked directly to the Nation Lord of Kano Country.
“Welcome to Kano Country, Vice Admiral Rowen! I’m sure you’ve had a long journey and gone through a lot of trouble, haven’t you?”
“Your Majesty is exaggerating. It’s my duty, and it cannot be shirked!”
Rowen shook hands with the King and he suddenly recalled something.
There was a time when he had accompanied Garp to Flower Country as a valueless soldier, and he was received by Rosa as Garp’s companion. The scene was as vivid as if it had happened yesterday. But now, a Nation Lord treated him respectfully, and a fleet followed his commands. Truly… how things had changed!
“It’s cold outside, Vice Admiral Rowen. Let’s go back to the palace first.”
The invitation of Sai to become a Shichibukai was not directly related to the Nation Lord, but he couldn’t ignore the fact that the Happo Navy was the official pirate force of Kano Country.
King Ramen, believed that if he tried to deceive Marine and pretend that he had nothing to do with pirates, not only would the renowned former Admiral Sengoku, known as the “Resourceful General,” not believe him, but Vice Admiral Rowen standing before him would also not be so easy to deal with.
Therefore, King Ramen decided to take a firm stance, showing the importance he attached to the matter of the Shichibukai.
After a series of cumbersome formalities, Rowen followed King Ramen into the palace.
Kano Country had a distinct vibe of an ancient dynasty, and the architectural style unique to the One Piece world caught Rowen’s attention. It felt strangely familiar, and he couldn’t help but take a few more glances, occasionally showing an appreciative look.
King Ramen noticed Rowen’s attitude and felt relieved.
After all, this was the fearsome “Shichibukai Hitman”! Rowen’s visit was undoubtedly a show of force, to let them know that the Marine valued the Shichibukai but also had the power to destroy Kano Country.
Because of this, King Ramen had been on edge, afraid that Rowen would come and act arrogantly, and considering the volatile temperament of the individuals in the palace, there might even be a fight!
However, Rowen’s calm demeanor at the moment reassured King Ramen.
“Vice Admiral Rowen, please.”
King Ramen raised his hand slightly in front of the main hall’s doors, inviting Rowen to enter.
Rowen, who had been immersed in the familiar architectural style around him, suddenly snapped out of it, raising an eyebrow.
This place wasn’t Earth, and it was in line with the setting of kings in the One Piece world… It referred to Riku Doldo III, the king who led the charge in utilizing the land! Leaving aside his scattered thoughts, Rowen followed King Ramen, into the main hall. As soon as they entered, eight pairs of eyes focused on him.
These eight individuals emitted a formidable aura, and several of them possessed Haoshoku Haki. A faint oppressive feeling enveloped the air, gradually solidifying as Rowen and the King entered.
Rowen understood who these people were, they were none other than the Happo Navy, the Pillars of the Kano Country.
They weren’t just members of the Happo Navy; they were the Happo Navy.
Kano Country had a total of eight officially recognized pirate groups, ranging from the One Treasure Navy to the Eigth Treasure Navy which are collectively called the Happo Navy.
Each pirate group had around a thousand members, making them a formidable force nurtured by the entire country. They plundered, fought, and defended the nation, forming an integral part of Kano Country.
It could be said that Kano Country was raised by pirates as a whole, but they maintained the status of World Government Allied Kingdom Members on the surface, to avoid being wiped out by Marine.
Rowen understood this twisted structure, born out of a barren land and a dire environment.
When it came to survival, humans would go to great lengths to ensure it.
“Vice Admiral Rowen, please follow me…”
King Ramen, wiped away his sweat and led the way, inwardly cursing.
He wasn’t a fool. The unconcealed Haoshoku Haki emanating from the eight Pillars of the Happo Navy was undoubtedly meant to give Rowen a show of force, to let Marines know that they were not easy to provoke.
If Rowen had a bad attitude, this could be understood, but now that Rowen’s demeanor was decent… So weren’t they deliberately causing trouble here?
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