As Lirisk disappeared into the sea with the submarine, Rowen rubbed his shoulders, glanced at the vast ocean, then coldly chuckled and vanished on the spot.
In the depths of the sea, Jack, covered in blood, endured the painful bites of various fish and shrimp, his eyes filled with killing intent.
“That person… I can’t be mistaken!”
“Undying Vice Admiral Rowen!!”
“But who’s the other one?”
Inside the submarine, attended by a handmaiden, Lirisk donned a new outfit resembling the attire of the Celestial Dragons. He lounged lazily in a chair, holding a wine glass.
“Do you remember what I said, Zero?”
“Now do you know which part you were wrong about?”
Lirisk was referring to their recent conversation at the Nibelung Household’s household base, where Zero had pointed out the gap between him and Rowen. Lirisk had refuted it, claiming Zero had been mistaken.
Previously, Zero had contemplated a lot, pondering his own shortcomings.
Was it speed, or his unknown new transformation form?
No, it was neither!
Now he understood, and he nodded respectfully by Lirisk’s side, a smile behind his mask.
“Yes, I understand now.”
“What I said wrong was that, no matter how powerful Vice Admiral Rowen is, he wouldn’t allow the boss to fail. To debate who is stronger or weaker between them is a mistake.”
It wasn’t that Rowen wouldn’t allow Lirisk to fail; he simply wanted to surmount Lirisk.
This seemed like a contradiction, how could one thing lead to two results?
But in reality, it wasn’t a contradiction at all.
Because… the two groups of people who needed to know these two things were different.
“Exactly, because he owes me…”
Lirisk didn’t want to talk about it much. His lips curled into a slight smile, and he raised his wine glass, lost in thought. “Marine Headquarters Vice Admiral Rowen… truly an interesting guy! With him in the sea, the future is bound to be spectacular!”
Upon hearing this, Zero’s pupils dilated, and cold sweat instantly formed on his back.
So that’s it…!
To say that guy is just “interesting” is an understatement!
It’s absolutely mind-boggling!!
‘Will I one day be silenced because I know too much?’ Zero thought, feeling somewhat apprehensive.
At that time, should I just accept my fate or resist?
If Dante knew his thoughts, the two of them would probably find a lot in common.
Half a month later, Rowen returned to the G-10 Branch with one-third of his aircraft reduced. They had fiercely battled a group of pirates who had come to cause trouble at Yerkes Island, achieving a great victory despite being outnumbered!
However, the Marines didn’t make a big deal out of this victory; everyone’s attention was drawn to another earth-shaking event.
“Welcome back… Undying Vice Admiral, who dares to clash with the Celestial Dragons!”
At the Aircraft No. 1 harbor, Dante greeted Rowen with a sardonic smile on his face, performing an exaggerated and comical bow. His right hand rose to his head, then moved in circular motions crossing his abdomen, maintaining the same rhythm as his bowing motion— perfectly coordinated, and extremely graceful.
Rowen silently watched his performance and then kicked him away with a single foot.
Many people felt that the sea had been tumultuous recently.
First, Shichibukai Edward Weevil, who had only become a Shichibukai less than a week prior, was slain by “Fujitora” Issho. The latter had marched on Marine Headquarters, demanding to become a Shichibukai, instantly monopolizing the limelight.
Countless citizens admired Fujitora’s character; even the destitute and starving found a glimmer of hope and flocked to the newly emerging Century City, which currently had only a rough outline, to provide abundant labor.
Century City, a luxurious casino that had attracted countless gazes before even opening, became the favorite topic of discussion. After all, from the current perspective, Fujitora was truly different from other Shichibukai.
Describing him as “just” would be an exaggeration, but the term “virtuous” was undoubtedly fitting!
Upon hearing that Fujitora, though not wealthy himself, had generously used his savings to help refugees build makeshift shelters and treated Fish-Men and humans equally, “Sea Hero” Jinbe personally visited Fujitora to thank him for everything he had done for the Fish-Men.
Rowen could bet his ass that Jinbe was worried that Fujitora had ulterior motives, which was why he sheltered Fish-Man refugees— an example of classic persecution delusion.
But after experiencing everything firsthand, Jinbe was moved by Fujitora’s sincerity and felt guilty, which led him to publicly express gratitude to Fujitora, endearing Fujitora’s virtue to the people’s hearts.
And, of course, behind this, that sly old fox Sengoku must be stirring the pot— undoubtedly a thorough PR trade-off!
Haven’t you noticed that the other newly appointed Shichibukai, Son Sai, hasn’t made a single peep?!
Although Kano Country serving as an arms dealer at the moment is indeed rather inappropriate.
However, amid the buzz around this, a few days ago, a new piece of news spread across the sea.
“Rowen vs. Lirisk, A Holy Battle!”
Rowen’s identity needs no introduction; unless they’ve been imprisoned in Impel Down for the past two years, almost every corner of the sea has heard his name.
The once “lucky one” is now the embodiment of Marine’s Iron Fist! Bearing the responsibilities of the Aircraft Force’s overall command and the G-10 Branch’s base head, he is one of Marine’s most influential super rookies!
However, the other person isn’t quite famous… Saint Lirisk? What kind of name is that? Is he a new Supernova?
Citizens who received the news expressed that they hadn’t heard of him before, but then they opened the newspapers…
One can imagine the expressions when they saw the words “Celestial Dragons.”
Jaws dropped, eyes widened!
Especially those associated with Doflamingo, the bigwigs of the Underground World who had fallen after his defeat, were almost having heart attacks out of sheer astonishment!
So, not only did you secretly clash with Celestial Dragon, but you’re doing it openly too?!!!
However, when the newspaper was released, it was already several days after the battle had ended; their astonishment couldn’t change that fact. Zero personally reviewed the submitted article, and after much difficulty, he selected a satisfactory one to publish.
It’s said that he hadn’t slept for several days and nights because of this, making him as exhausted as a dog… No! Even dogs have it easier!
The article didn’t elaborate on how the two had met; it primarily depicted the battle scene on Nameless Wasteland Island. It was hard to believe that among those pig-like Celestial Dragons, there existed such terrifyingly powerful individuals!
From this perspective, Rowen, as a stepping stone, had gained fame by being stepped on by Lirisk.
The scenes where the two were on par with each other were meticulously captured by image Den Den Mushi logs, and people were screenshotting as they pleased.
The article used various grandiloquent phrases to describe Lirisk’s might. It’s understood by all why; after all, Celestial Dragons… but since the news had been officially released, there was no doubt about its authenticity. Even if the depiction was somewhat exaggerated, Lirisk’s strength was indeed genuine!
A Celestial Dragon capable of standing on equal footing with Rowen!
Is this still a Celestial Dragon?!
As everyone eagerly flipped through to see the battle’s outcome, the tone of the news suddenly changed. One of the Three Disasters of the Hundred Beast Pirates, under the banner of the Hundred Beast Pirates, barged into the fray.
The two who had been disrupted were furious and they each punched Jack and sent him flying, his whereabouts were unknown.
And thus, the battle came to an end.
Jack’s unexpected intrusion wasn’t just a thorn in Rowen’s side; it also involved New World Yonko…
“The terror of authority is merely intimidation; one’s own power is the truly astonishing part. Lirisk is good at calculating!”
Rowen ignited a cigar and took a silent drag.
The reason Celestial Dragons used to be feared was that Marine’s strongest forces included three Admirals and an undisclosed number of secret police, Cipher Pol.
But now there’s one more reason Celestial Dragons are feared…
As for Rowen, who fought against Celestial Dragons without receiving any punishment, it was a case of borrowing another’s power to intimidate. He also managed to benefit from it.
At the very least, his uniqueness had now spread across the sea through the news, making him known to everyone. There were even rumors circulating that Rowen hadn’t been punished because he had Celestial Dragons’ bloodline himself.
Various rumors were flying around, enhancing Rowen’s fame and making it even more resounding!
“So, in the end, I still owe you a favor, Saint Lirisk!”
Rowen sighed and said lightly,
“Make arrangements; I want to visit Fujitora tomorrow.”
At Dante’s words, he nodded earnestly. “Understood!”
*(End of Chapter)*
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