Chapter 22 – Various reactions and the world’s most stressed man
The big news that the World Economic Newspaper published caused big waves all over the world.
The citizens who remember the days back then trembled in fear and warned others who were unaware of their threat, while the rookie pirates were so surprised their eyes almost popped out.
The crew includes Lunacia as the captain, as well as strong men such as Whitebeard, Big Mom, Kaido, and perhaps also Golden Lion.
No one was not surprised by that.
Above all, the total bounty of just these five people exceeded 10 billion and even approached 20 billion, a fact that made everyone both scared and excited.
There are various speculations about what these five people intend to do, and rumors about whether it is time to defeat the World Government and the Marines have spread.
And there was a man who read this newspaper and remembered the old days while making a wry smile.
“…I was too young back then.”
Rayleigh whispered to himself while reading the newspapers.
He had never imagined that she would become such a ridiculous existence.
“I’m gonna win in the end, huh…”
Those were words Lunacia had said in the past, and he realized she might not be wrong to say that.
“In the past, I hoped that she would act more like a big guy, but now… she’s become a little too intimidating.”
Reading the article, it would seem as if Lunacia has subdued Whitebeard and the others as their captain.
From her various activities, the public thinks that she is the ally of the people, but the punch line is that she is far more frightening than any pirate out there.
But Rayleigh thinks that would turn out positively for her.
Being able to command even Whitebeard and the others gives off the message that no one will need to fear any pirate as long as they join her force.
Also, unlike the Marines, which only maintain security, Lunacia would come with an extra economic development.
Rayleigh was impressed with how good she was at doing things.
“Our former apprentices… who knows what they’d think?”
He thought of Shanks and Buggy, who should be sailing out there somewhere.
“Rocks Pirates, huh…”
Shanks said as he read the newspapers.
He had heard a lot from Roger, Rayleigh, and other crew members about Lunacia, who joined their crew for a period of time.
It was before he and Buggy became apprentices of the Roger Pirates.
He was told that Lunacia came to them to get stronger but would also leave the ship from time to time.
And taking strength is of utmost importance as the reason, they tried to test her ability making her fight Whitebeard, and she showed off her hidden ability that cornered even Whitebeard.
After that, except for eating meals three times a day, taking a bath, and sleeping, she fought all the time for approximately one year, training her Haki and battle tactics, then got off the ship――
Anyway, it was ridiculous in a lot of meaning.
“I wanna meet her…”
Shanks thought so with pure interest.
She’s on a whole different level, one that he can’t reach right now, but he swore he would get there someday.
On the other hand, Buggy, who was an apprentice of the Roger Pirates just like Shanks, was frightened to death.
‘Lunacia commands Whitebeard and others to take actions in the same ship――?’
“If we meet… I’ll get killed like an ant!”
A pirate with a bounty worth billions. A single one of them can move the world, but such people are forming a group.
It is very likely that they will wage war against the World Government and the Marines, and those who are living on the islands declared to be targeted by Lunacia probably won’t feel like living comfortably.
“…mm? Maybe I can make a profit attacking those who are panicking to escape from them…?”
‘No, wait,’ Buggy thinks.
There would be conflicts with those who are targeting the same prey, and it would be the worst if, by any chance, he meets the Rocks Pirates.
“As planned, I’m going to go to East Blue… and if by any chance that I meet with the Rocks Pirates along the way, I can only immediately kneel down and prostrate.”
If there was such a possibility of meeting the Rocks Pirates, there’s also the possibility that he could save his life by saying, ‘Lunacia-sama, please make me your subordinate’ or something.
It is well known that Lunacia would turn pirates into her subordinates, and what the pirates would gain after getting under her wing is a wealthy life and income.
Especially when it comes to her executives, it is said that they can live a better life than some nobles.
‘Of course, they are bound by her orders and policies, but the return is so attractive that it almost makes up for it――’
“Huh? Wouldn’t it be great to become Lunacia’s subordinate…? Uhhh, no, stop thinking about that. I want to take all of the world’s treasure for myself…!”
‘But being under Lunacia, you can easily get the kind of information that would allow me to do that――’
Attractive thoughts appear in Buggy’s mind but decides to go against them since it’s dangerous, but he repeatedly fails to do so.
‘Attacking pirates under Lunacia’s wing is the same as picking a fight with her.
Would there be such an idiot?
No, there wouldn’t――!’
“…I should train and gather companions first, and after earning some big bucks in East Blue, I’ll turn myself over to her.”
Buggy was convinced that that would give her a better impression of him.
“Lunacia, you selfish bastard… why didn’t you invite me!?“
In Kuri of Wano Country, Oden shouted.
Oden, who had seen the end of Grand Line with Roger and the others, performed his duties as Kuri’s daimyo so well that Sukiyaki and Yasuie were surprised.
However, reading the newspapers delivered by Lunacia’s trading ship, his blood boiled.
“This is no laughing matter, Toki! I’m gonna participate in this party…!”
“I hope that you can hold our child getting born soon with your arms.”
Oden was so surprised his eyes almost popped out and tremblingly asked.
“Our third child…?”
“Yes. Are you surprised?”
Oden roared incredibly with deep emotions, and his roar echoed throughout Kuri.
While there were various reactions all over the world, in a certain office in Marineford, Admiral Sengoku had an exhausted face that made him look like he could die anytime.
It’s because Fleet Admiral Kong made him in charge of dealing with the case this time.
“Fleet Admiral, damnit, throwing everything into my pot…”
It was great to gather his marine friends to make a response team, just like in the old days, but Lunacia’s method made him feel a pain in the ass.
“Bwahaha! I didn’t think that brat from that time would grow up to this point!”
“Garp! This isn’t a laughing matter!”
Sengoku yelled at Garp, who was sitting on the sofa while eating rice crackers.
“Since she has shown her fangs so clearly, we can only fight!”
“That’s right. We can only fight… but we don’t have enough forces to protect everywhere! Better yet, we should gather all the forces we have and wait in Marineford.”
“I can understand what you want to say… but this involves the face of the Marines. If we don’t strengthen the security despite being told of their targets…”
“Being Admiral’s so troublesome, huh? You need to think about so many things~.”
“I’m having a harder time because you keep refusing promotion!”
“Oh, right! Bwahahaha!”
Sengoku trembled in anger towards a laughing Garp.
But after a while, Garp asks with a serious face.
“So… how is it actually? How many can we gather?”
“At most, lower than the number we gathered at God Valley Incident. Pirates are rampaging all over the place… and although Lunacia and the others said they would only participate as individuals, there’s the possibility of their subordinates taking action as well.”
“A cunning enemy is really frightening. Perhaps this is a situation she created intentionally.”
Sengoku nodded at Garp’s words.
“There will be a big impact if any of the more than 30 of the enemy’s targets are really attacked.”
“That’s true. By the way, what about Impel Down?”
Sengoku answered Garp’s question with a bitter face.
“We have already cleared the corpses, and the clean-up and disinfection have already been done, but… who do you think did that?”
“Who knows? According to the video recorded by the Visual Den Den Mushi, there is no doubt that even inside was covered in fog. There are some people whose blood is recorded to suddenly burst out of their body and die from being emptied of blood from all over their body… just like being attacked by a vampire.”
“You’re saying the fog drank their blood? There’s no way such a ridiculous thing could happen.”
Garp shrugs at Sengoku’s question.
“I don’t know. But it somehow feels like that. Leaving aside the fog sucking blood, there are many legends and folklore about vampires turning into a fog, right?”
“Are we talking about fantasy creatures now?”
“Unfortunately, things that would make such fantasy creatures into reality exist in this world. I mean, aren’t you too?”
Sengoku understood what Garp was trying to say.
‘But,’ he argues.
“The Devil Fruit Lunacia ate was Zoan Mythical-type Bat-Bat Fruit, Model: Vampire. But all she has is an abnormal regenerative ability.”
“I’ve also heard that a long time ago. But, where do you think that information comes from?”
Sengoku suddenly realized something and looked at Garp’s face.
“…it came from those who escaped Rocks’ ship.”
“During that time, the Rocks Pirates are living an everyday life where they could kill each other at any moment. In such a place where everyone could be an enemy, would anyone of the right mind reveal all of their abilities?”
“Then why didn’t she use it in God Valley?”
“I don’t know about that, but it is a fact that she didn’t use it at that time, and since then, the ability she showed was only her regenerative ability. She might’ve used it somewhere, but the Marines doesn’t have any record of it.”
Sengoku continues Garp’s words.
“That’s why everyone was deceived.”
“Exactly. It is common for pirates during that time and even now to show their strength to gain fame. Lunacia had made use of that fact very well. Whitebeard, Golden Lion, Big Mom, and Kaido, leaving aside how strong they could be, at least we know what they could do.”
“That’s true. They didn’t hesitate to use their abilities in battles. Every time we fight against them, they would show many abilities, only Lunacia was different… she only showed her regenerative ability.”
With that said, Sengoku sighed deeply.
“So, what will we do? Lunacia’s bounty is the lowest among them because she didn’t go on a rampage like Whitebeard and the others until now, but… shouldn’t we raise it some more?”
“How much do you think is appropriate?”
“At least 5 billion. Depending on what she’ll do, it’s possible to exceed Roger’s.”
“If Whitebeard and the others didn’t think that they don’t mind gathering under Lunacia’s pirate flag, the incident this time wouldn’t happen. You should understand what that means.”
Listening to Garp’s words, Sengoku rubbed the wrinkles between his eyebrows while asking.
“I will discuss her bounty with the government. By the way, what’s the worst thing you think would happen?”
“Marineford getting completely destroyed. After all, each and every one of them is much stronger than before… oh, if they could clean up the garbages in Mary Geoise, then…”
“Bwahaha! I gave myself away a little there!”
Seeing Garp laughing like that, Sengoku sighs for the nth time.
Garp suggests to him.
“Sending several Vice Admirals to guard various places should make us maintain our face. That’s the limit of what we could do.”
He understands what Garp wants to say.
Sengoku really understands the meaning of it.
It is unknown whether Lunacia would truly attack the places she named.
There is a possibility of attacking a completely different place, so it’s better for them to retain more forces that can move freely.
By sending Vice Admirals to the targetted islands to protect them, they should at least be able to last long enough to request reinforcements.
Using those reinforcements as the vanguard, at least a fleet equal to Buster Call will be sent, and while that fleet buys some time, all of the forces that could be gathered will be thrown to that battlefield.
The main troops will probably require the participation of all the Admirals, as well as Vice Admirals who are as strong as admirals such as Garp.
However, even with that, it is unpredictable whether they could defeat the current Rocks Pirates.
And Sengoku doesn’t even want to imagine the casualties they would suffer.
“As long as we haven’t dealt with the Rocks Pirates, it will put a tremendous burden on the marines out there in the field. If other pirates attacked, we can’t even send any reinforcements even if the headquarters receives their request…”
“I’ll go and crush them as soon as possible. You can leave as many such threats as you can to me.”
“Sorry about that. I’m leaving it to you.”
“Sure, leave it to me.”
Garp answered Sengoku’s words with a fearless smile.
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