After attaining the Shichibukai position, Issho didn’t bother concealing his movements. On his way back to Gat Island, any pirate or wicked wrongdoer he came across was swiftly dealt with, leaving no room for escape!
Whether their bounties were in the tens of millions or hundreds of millions, few could withstand even a single move from him. In the presence of a powerhouse who had honed their Kenbunshoku Haki (Observation Haki) to the peak, any minor action was in vain.
A trail of blood paved Issho’s reputation as “Fujitora,” a path that was built through a kill-or-be-killed approach.
Naturally, these events had nothing to do with Rowen for the time being. After returning to the Marine Headquarters with Kizaru, Rowen, now a suspect, was detained in the Headquarters’ prison. At this moment, he was chatting and laughing with Zephyr, who had come to visit him.
“I see now, Shuzo-San is in real trouble! Once the Fleet Admiral holds a grudge, that grudge is bound to be stuck for life!”
“Hmph! If he won’t listen and keeps causing trouble, it serves him right!”
Zephyr’s words might have been harsh, but his wrinkled old face was full of joy, and even his purplish hair seemed to shine a bit. Given that Rowen had gone as far as to scold him when he had visited the Fleet Admiral’s office for him, what could Zephyr be dissatisfied about?
“Sensei, if Shuzo hears you say that, he’ll definitely be heartbroken!” Ain, who was taking food out of a lunchbox, complained under her breath.
Then she rolled her eyes and turned to Rowen, saying, “And you, Rowen! Even if this matter has nothing to do with you, you shouldn’t have confronted Admiral Kizaru! Don’t you know the saying that might make right in the upper echelons of power?!”
Initially, after Rowen returned, he could have resided in his own courtyard during the investigation period. However, Kizaru had jumped in, demanding strict surveillance over Rowen due to the incident where Rowen had almost come to blows with him. Consequently, Rowen was thrown into the prison.
Ain was very displeased with Kizaru’s retaliatory actions, but what left her speechless was that Rowen actually dared to face off with Kizaru!
That was an Admiral at the Marine Headquarters whose status far surpassed his own!
He is one of the World Government’s strongest combatants!
Ain was angry with him and her delicate eyebrows furrowed, her face was stern, and her commanding presence was palpable as she scolded Rowen!
“Hmph! Such a woman’s perspective!” At this point, Zephyr chimed in with a cold snort. He knew why Rowen had acted this way, but explaining it to Ain would be difficult. After speaking, Zephyr picked up his chopsticks with a snort, already planning to start eating…
In a sound that grated on Rowen’s nerves, Zephyr’s face flushed red.
“Splutter… spit! How is this fish still raw?!!”
Although the tempura had been fried to a crispy golden brown, when Zephyr put it in his mouth, it immediately disintegrated, turning into dough-like blobs while the fish remained raw.
Moreover, the dough was a paste-like mess after adding water, and the fish… was a fresh piece of raw fish, still emitting a fishy smell!
“Eww!” Seeing Zephyr spit out a pile of blood-tinged fish meat, Rowen shivered.
This was even worse than eating sashimi, at least that had been cleaned.
“Sensei, the doctor said your blood pressure is high. You should eat more vegetables and less meat from now on!”
Visible black smoke emerged behind Ain, as she forced a smile and covered several clumps of tempura with pink energy. Soon, after the doughy masses fell away, they revealed fresh, tender, and juicy raw vegetables underneath.
Could the Modo Modo no Mi (Return-Return Fruit) be used this way too?!!
Rowen was truly amazed as he saw this scene!
Looking at the bowl full of raw vegetables and carrots, Zephyr’s mouth twitched. He stared at Ain in disbelief for a long time before finally managing to speak.
At this moment, Zephyr felt like he had dropped a stone on his own foot.
Ain’s Modo Modo no Mi (Return-Return Fruit) could rewind time by a fixed twelve years. While its practicality wasn’t absent, its limitations were significant. For instance, these fish and vegetables should have vanished when the time was rewound.
However, the activation of a Devil Fruit power had a process. As long as the effect of the fruit was ended prematurely, the object subjected to time reversal wouldn’t continue to regress.
It had taken a lot of effort to make Ain accustomed to controlling her time reversal ability, stopping it just in time. But never in his wildest dreams did Zephyr think he would be the first victim!!
The next day, Marine Headquarters, Fleet Admiral’s office.
“Rowen, do you know the consequences of lying?!”
Admiral Akainu, wearing a baseball cap, glared with authority as he stood up and questioned loudly.
Rowen had anticipated Sengoku’s challenge, but he hadn’t expected Akainu, the person with the strongest objections, to step forward! Yet, it was just a tedious interlude as Rowen wasn’t in the least bit intimidated.
Facing the watchful gazes of the senior Marine officers around him, Rowen remained composed and responded calmly, “But what I’ve said is all true!”
“You bastard!” Akainu’s lips trembled with anger when he heard Rowen and his aura fluctuated. Scalding magma emitted from him, filling the meeting room with the smell of sulfur.
This was an unofficial inquiry. After all, there was no formal interrogation. The presence of all Vice Admirals, Admirals, and the Fleet Admiral gathered together at Marine Headquarters was reserved for the most significant cases; the Judicial Island was the final judgment location.
Regarding this defense-oriented questioning, Rowen remained unfazed. He could provide a reasonable answer to any question that was posed.
Two of the Admirals seemed indifferent to everything, and Sengoku had remained silent the entire time. Only Akainu persisted, convinced of Rowen’s guilt.
It wasn’t because he held a grudge against Rowen, and it wasn’t that he felt embarrassed for failing to capture Fujitora.
It was because Fujitora’s appearance had exceeded the Marine’s expectations in terms of the overall combat strength of the Shichibukai.
Two Admiral-level figures, perhaps even three, three absolute monsters becoming Shichibukai— it was something that Akainu, who believed in “Absolute Justice” and had zero tolerance for pirates, couldn’t accept.
As long as they established a connection between Rowen and Fujitora, Fujitora’s Shichibukai position would become questionable. The Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) would be unable to prevent the Marine from eradicating Fujitora.
It had to be said that, besides his personality, Akainu truly lived up to the term “Justice”!
He was absolutely loyal to the World Government!
However, his Justice not only brought death to those below him, but also headaches to those above him.
For instance, right now…
Even if Rowen admitted it!
Even if Fujitora’s Shichibukai position truly had to be revoked!
Then, what would happen to the Shichibukai system?!
Inviting a new Shichibukai for the sake of stabilizing the sea balance, only to lose two consecutively within half a month, would render this system an utter joke! It might even shake the foundation of the World Government’s rule: and it would question their Authority!
So, Sengoku would never admit that Rowen had any connection to Fujitora, even if he personally agreed!
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