Several days later, Rowen, who was at the G-10 Branch, received a message from Fujitora. A large number of workers, led by Koala, had suddenly disappeared without a trace, and their investigation yielded nothing.
He wasn’t surprised by this at all, and in fact, he found it somewhat amusing.
The Revolutionary Army’s ability to survive in the face of secret government agents and a Marine presence throughout the world might raise doubts about their combat strength, but their ability to hide and evade crisis was undoubtedly top-notch.
Rowen could confidently declare the involvement of the Revolutionary Army in Century City simply because he recognized certain members of the Revolutionary Army. From the moment he recognized Koala, Sabo’s childhood friend, the Revolutionary Army’s plans were essentially exposed.
While others might be unaware of the Revolutionary Army’s members, he was in the know, thanks to his knowledge of the original story.
As he had mentioned earlier, there weren’t many secrets in this world that intrigued him. The greatest secret, “One Piece,” didn’t interest him in the least.
Operating in the shadows while the enemy remained in the light was Rowen’s greatest trump card.
However, Dragon’s decisiveness did make Rowen slightly more cautious. Century City was not only a massive piece of the pie, but it was also a complex area where the Shichibukai and the Marines overlapped. Koala, his undercover agent in the interior lands, simply lets things be. This was the mark of a true schemer!
But that’s how struggles go!
Rowen couldn’t allow the Revolutionary Army to freely interfere in Century City. While there might not be conflicts on a small scale between Rowen and them, in the grand scheme of things, the two were like water and fire, and allowing an enemy to capitalize on this foolish move was unnecessary.
In his eyes, Fujitora was not only a Shichibukai who suited his taste but also an important asset for his future plans. He couldn’t allow the Revolutionary Army to meddle.
After this incident, Dragon probably had some ideas about what he wanted in return, and Rowen didn’t expect any immediate actions.
This was evident from Koala leaving behind a layout of the defense vulnerabilities and potential underground spaces that Fujitora found rather unsettling. Without Rowen’s reminder, he might have ended up helping someone else count their money!
With the Century City issue resolved, Rowen had some free time on his hands.
He spent his days dealing with a few pirate crews attempting to cross the Grand Line’s fourth route, taking the Aircraft Force out for drills, training recruits, overseeing trade with the Sky Islands, and enjoying a relaxed and leisurely life.
Then, he was summoned back to the headquarters.
Marine Headquarters, Marineford.
The enormous character “Justice” was still imprinted on the massive fortress that was the core of the headquarters. Battleships came and went in the bay, bustling with activity. The newly developed aircraft port was noisy with Marine soldiers who had returned victorious boasting about their achievements to their comrades.
Everything seemed so harmonious.
Or did it?
“Casualties exceed fifty percent. Mozambia has been defeated and is critically injured, captured by the enemy…”
In Fleet Admiral’s office, Rowen held a freshly issued battle damage report, still warm from the press, and narrowed his eyes.
“They’re asking for trouble!!!”
This was the real tune of the Sea, and their temporary relaxation was just the calm before a bigger storm!
If pirates didn’t cause trouble, Marines wouldn’t need to be stationed in the Four Seas. If the day ever came when that happened, Rowen figured it would be Doomsday for the world, with everyone already dead.
So, to sum it up:
Pirates causing no trouble was impossible!
Just like now…
“This doesn’t seem like Kaido’s style!”
At the conference table, Vice Admiral Tsuru held her chin with a furrowed brow. “If he wanted to strike, he would have gone straight for Marine Headquarters. There’s no need for this, nor would he bother with this!”
This was not the first time Kaido had done something like this. His track record of losses to the Marines’ logs was almost entirely composed of such actions. With Kaido’s arrogance and recklessness, he wouldn’t engage in such a pointless act as having the Three Disasters attack a Marine branch.
“But they’ve already done it!”
Akainu, known for his fiery temper, stood up, his anger evident on his face as he spoke. “This is war! It’s a Yonko declaring war on the Marines!”
Due to the cost and the state of the world, Marines didn’t actively engage the Yonko Pirates. Their primary approach was surveillance, keeping their influence to a minimum.
But that didn’t mean the Marines were afraid of them!
If the Gorōsei (Five Elder Stars) gave the order, the Marines had the power to eliminate any Yonko pirate crew, including Whitebeard!
And not to mention that Marine military strength was growing day by day, bolstered by advanced artillery that even the Yonko Pirates had to consider the cost of going to war with the Marines.
In the past, they had barely won, with heavy losses indirectly affecting peace in the world. So, the Marines tolerated it.
But now, in the event of war, aside from the Yonko themselves, the Marines had no fear!
For example, in the case of Big Mom’s Totto Land, as long as the Marines wished, they could turn Totto Land’s territory into a no-man’s-land in half a month!
Rowen’s appearance brought about the biggest change in the way wars were fought. The old method of landing on beaches and fighting with cutlasses was outdated. Now, it was time for Cannonfire to reign supreme!
Akainu had harbored dissatisfaction with the Yonko Pirates for a long time, and now he finally had an excuse to lead a modernized force into battle. He was the first to step up and issue a challenge.
“You’ll have your chance, Sakazuki… but not now!”
Sengoku, breaking from his usual calm demeanor, didn’t suppress Akainu this time. Though Akainu had a somewhat firm stance as a member of the War Faction, when it came to starting a war, he was not in the same league as the other two Admirals.
He was the sharpest sword in Sengoku’s hand!
“Then… I’ll go gather my force!”
Akainu was overjoyed. He had grown accustomed to being suppressed whenever he volunteered for battle, so he didn’t expect Sengoku to leave any room for negotiation this time.
“Hold on for a moment, let me finish…”
Sengoku’s expression remained calm, but his eyes contained seething rage.
When Akainu locked eyes with him, he couldn’t help but feel a chill in his heart. This time, the Fleet Admiral was truly angry!
In the office, the relaxed atmosphere suddenly changed, and even Garp stopped snacking, waiting for Sengoku to speak seriously.
“I agree with Tsuru’s view. This is not Kaido declaring war on the Marines.”
Sengoku’s words defined the nature of the attack, and he continued slowly, “According to our spies, Kaido himself ordered King the Conflagration’ one of the Three Great Disasters, to take matters into his own hands and regain control for ‘Drought’ Jack.”
“Is he coming after me?”
Rowen squinted, his eyes filled with killing intent.
“They are afraid of the Celestial Dragons, and treating me like a pushover?” The attack on the G-5 Branch was carried out by the Hundred Beast Pirates, but only one of them took action, and that was ‘Drought’ Jack!
Subsequently, Jack occupied the Marine G-5 Branch and refused to leave, an act of arrogance beyond measure!
The reason that led Jack to take such actions was clear considering their knowledge of Kaido.
To regain his reputation!
Rowen’s ‘Raigo – Thunder Greeting’ and Lirisk’s fists were no walk in the park. Even for a Zoan Awakening user, without Lirisk’s skin molting ability to heal his injuries, he would need to rest for quite some time.
Jack had last appeared with the sudden idea to proclaim sovereignty over Jaya’s island and give a warning to the Marines. But since he had gone missing after being defeated by the duo, the matter had become a point of pride for Kaido.
The pride of a Yonko!
So, he had to regain his reputation!
Hence, Jack’s attack on G-5 Branch had occurred. They intended to make the situation big, letting the whole world know that Kaido’s banner was not to be trifled with!
And the most direct target was Rowen himself!
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