Century City, much like Water 7, was an entire island that had been transformed into a city. Using his Gravity-Gravity Fruit, Fujitora continuously pulled down space aerolites to create new land, solidly connecting Gat Island and Navi Island.
The result was a medium-sized landmass that, when viewed from above, resembled Mickey Mouse’s head.
Because the aerolite structure was exceptionally tough and difficult to cultivate, the core of Century City was established in the aerolite region. Gat Island and Navi Island served as the food-producing and hotel districts, providing logistical support to the central area.
The massive development had been ongoing for nearly two months, and Century City was starting to take shape.
According to Fujitora’s plan, the central area was divided into several sections, including Business Street and Snack Street, gambling venues, and entertainment shows. It was intended to be a comprehensive entertainment complex.
However, the most crucial location was the heart of the central area, which would become the future luxury residence exclusively for Nobles and high-ranking officials from various countries.
Fujitora knew how Nobles treated commoners, and although he was there to maintain order, he wanted to minimize trouble. So, he decided to separate the Nobles and host them in one place to avoid unnecessary disputes.
In any case, those Nobles only wanted to flaunt their uniqueness, so the various inconveniences in the central area didn’t matter to them at all.
At this moment, scaffolding and nets covered the outer walls of the palace. Enthusiastic hired workers were diligently contributing to the construction of Century City. Currently, Century City is still under construction, and almost everyone is living modestly.
The earnings from their labor only allowed them to scrape by. However, with Fujitora, a Shichibukai, overseeing the city, ordinary pirates dared not cause trouble.
Having enough to eat and wear, having life guaranteed, and working for a better future, were the simple aspirations of common people.
Rowen landed at Marine’s temporary encampment on the outskirts of Century City’s central area, adjacent to the harbor. This was a vital location within Century City!
Sengoku had invested a little over a Billion Beli and owned a share, though not as much as Rowen. Nevertheless, he had boldly established a Marine base there, which Rowen had only one thing to say about…
“That guy is utterly shameless!”
It’s only because Fujitora himself had no intention of clashing head-on with Marine; otherwise, it would have been a massive battle regardless of whose place it was!
Marine soldiers stationed there, having received an early notice, stood in formation at the harbor, with their heads held high and eyes forward. The surrounding citizens cast various gazes at them, but they all collectively acted as if they hadn’t seen anything and continued with their own business.
Suddenly, a thunderous sound rang out, and the tall figure of Rowen appeared in front of the encampment’s gate, cigar in his mouth. Seeing this, the leading junior commander took a step forward, and the heels of his shoes audibly clacked together.
“Welcome, Vice Admiral Rowen!”
“Hmm, where’s Fujitora?”
Rowen surveyed the spacious harbor, casting a disdainful glance at a few hidden spies in the corner, and asked in a detached tone.
“My apologies, Vice Admiral. Shichibukai Fujitora Issho has stated that he wants to supervise the construction, so please proceed to the palace to meet him…”
The junior commander’s tone carried a hint of disgruntlement as he couldn’t help but add, “Vice Admiral, Issho is not giving you the respect you deserve!”
Just like the citizens’ attitude towards Marines, Shichibukai, despite their pivotal role in providing stability to their lives, were still regarded as pirates, not Marines. Therefore, although it appeared that Marines had a heavy hand in Century City, there was an underlying sense of oppression.
It couldn’t be called hostility, nor could it be called warmth. To describe it more precisely, it was a “Cold War.”
But making the Marines withdraw was impossible, as Sengoku would never miss this opportunity to interfere with the Shichibukai’s power. Fujitora also didn’t want to engage in a confrontation with Marines over this matter.
The junior commander’s discontent stemmed from this situation. Marines had invested a substantial amount of money into Century City, and almost everything the citizens consumed came from there. However, despite this support, they still maintained this attitude toward Marines.
Rowen exhaled a smoke ring and raised an eyebrow.
“You should talk less and do more! Do whatever you should be doing. Dismissed!”
The junior commander hesitated for a moment before lowering his face and responding, “Yes!”
The palace in the central area exuded ultimate luxury. While it didn’t have the excessive gilding seen in Golden City’s “Gran Tesoro,” its grand, robust columns and clean, simple interior layout still conveyed a unique sense of opulence.
Rowen, adorned with a Justice cape and shoulder insignia, encountered no resistance and entered the palace unimpeded.
“Move the screen over there a bit… Yes, that’s it!”
“You guys, lend a hand outside, be careful not to shatter the glass!”
Upon entering the palace’s grand hall, Rowen was immediately captivated by a young woman with short orange hair. She appeared to be in her late teens, a period of youthful exuberance, yet she exuded a mature and composed aura in her work attire while holding a folder.
“Be careful! That thing is very valuable!”
“Understood, big sis! Leave it to me!”
In a corner of the room, a proud worker gave the thumbs-up to the young woman. He was perched on a 7-8 meter high scaffold, carrying a painting that Rowen couldn’t quite make out.
After he spoke to her, he turned around, holding the frame in his hands. However, at that moment, it seemed like his movements were too exaggerated. The scaffold beneath him suddenly gave way, and he began to fall backward.
“Oh no! He’s going to fall!”
From a height of 7-8 meters, a fall would be fatal in an instant for an ordinary person. Koala’s eyes widened, and she couldn’t help but move forward to use her abilities to catch him. However, just as she took a step, a tall figure suddenly appeared in front of her.
It was a true “Blink”!
Koala couldn’t make out the person’s movements at all; it was as if they had been there the entire time!
“This person… is incredibly fast!!!”
Koala’s pupils contracted, and a bead of cold sweat rolled down her forehead.
If this person were an enemy, she wouldn’t even know how she died!
With a cigar in his mouth, Rowen held the worker in one hand and the painting in the other, exhaling a white smoke ring from between his lips. He appeared somewhat helpless as he said, “Be more careful, you guys! Causing a tragedy before the opening is very inauspicious!”
“Yes… Yes! Thank you, sir!”
The clumsy worker was placed on the ground by Rowen, and he thanked him tremblingly. Once the workers got a clear look at Rowen’s appearance, their breaths collectively caught.
“Oh? Do you have a problem with Marine?”
Rowen narrowed his eyes. He didn’t mind minor issues, but if there was genuinely an anti-Marine force in Century City, then he wouldn’t mind dealing with it.
“N-No, sir! Marine sir, I was just surprised!”
At this moment, Koala regained her composure and quickly stepped forward to defuse the situation.
“It’s just that Fujitora-Aama didn’t agree to the Marine’s assistance in constructing the palace, so there are rarely any Marine personnel here.”
Simultaneously, her inner thoughts were screaming, “Why did this monster show up!!!”
(End of this chapter)
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