As one of the Shichibukai, Hawk-Eye Mihawk is a legend whose reputation precedes him. His piercing gaze is known to leave a lasting impression on all who lay eyes upon it. Even Ace, Reiju, and Robin have heard of his fame, and so when Mihawk boarded their ship, they were all taken aback.
Ian, too, was puzzled by Mihawk’s presence on their ship. But the swordmaster paid no heed to their surprise, instead turning his attention towards Ian.
“Ah, so you must be Ian,” Mihawk said, carrying his big blade and spreading his arms wide. “I am Dracule Mihawk, perhaps you’ve heard of me.”
“Hawk-Eye Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world,” Ian replied with a respectful nod. “It is an honor to make your acquaintance.”
But Ian couldn’t help but wonder why Mihawk had sought them out. “Mihawk, what brings you to our ship?” he asked.
Mihawk shrugged nonchalantly. “To be honest, I was simply bored and saw your ship as a means to pass the time. I didn’t expect to run into you, of all people.”
Ian couldn’t help but feel a touch of disbelief at Mihawk’s casual explanation. However, he couldn’t deny the thrill of potentially crossing swords with the legendary swordsman.
According to the original timeline, it seems that during this time period and the month prior, Mihawk was roaming around the Grand Line out of boredom, and it was because of his boredom that he happened to encounter the Krieg Pirate Crew, which had entered the Grand Line at that time. Perhaps it was because Krieg, the reckless and ignorant leader, angered him that he ended up defeating the Krieg Pirate Crew and then following the remnants of the crew all the way to the East Blue.
But… two and a half years ago, when Ian set sail, he had already defeated the Krieg Pirate Crew and even cut their captain in half with a single slash. Therefore, there was no longer a Krieg Pirate Crew in the world.
Without the Krieg Pirate Crew, Mihawk would not have encountered Krieg, and naturally would not have gone to the East Blue.
This is what is known as the butterfly effect. Mihawk not only did not go to the East Blue, but instead stayed in the first half of the Grand Line. That is to say, Zoro and the others did not encounter him at the Baratie restaurant, nor did Zoro receive the slash from him.
This made Ian scratch his head. Is this a joke or what? Zoro didn’t encounter him, but I did?!
Shaking his head, Ian temporarily put this thought aside and asked Mihawk strangely, “Killing time? You mean… you want to spar with me and have a little practice match?”
However, to Ian’s surprise, Mihawk looked at him, shook his head and said, “No, I know a little about your fighting style, because I saw that you were fighting Kizaru on Salamis Island. Although you were carrying a sword, in my opinion, you were not a pure swordsman!…
I just wanted to talk to someone. I’ve been alone for too long and it’s been boring. I was hoping to find some interesting stories or information from you.”
Mihawk, known as the world’s greatest swordsman, stood at the peak of swordsmanship. He was the ultimate goal for all swordsmen to strive towards.
Perhaps due to the abundance of people seeking to challenge him, Hawk-Eye was not particularly interested in such endeavors. In his view, the strength of many swordsmen did not meet his standards and failed to garner his attention.
As for initiating a challenge himself, that was even less likely.
He was well aware of Ian’s prowess, but Ian was not yet on the level of a character like Whitebeard. Therefore, Mihawk had no desire to engage in battle with him.
Ian couldn’t help but feel a bit self-centered. He hoped he wasn’t being sought out for a fight, but the thought of him randomly encountering a member of the Shichibukai and engaging in a showdown for no reason was a bit unsettling.
Ian was eager to test his swordsmanship against Mihawk’s, to see the extent of the gap between them. However, Ian’s swordsmanship was only at the master level, still far from the grandmaster level. Though this was merely a skill rating given by the system, Ian was uncertain of what level the master level truly represented.
However, it is also true, as Mihawk said, that Ian is not a pure swordsman anymore. Although his swordsmanship is the main means of attack, it is not the only means of attack. In other terms, Ian is not a swordsmanship specialist, so he may have a chance against Flower Sword Vista…
But Mihawk is different, he is the world’s number one swordsman, and his swordsmanship is on a completely different level from Ian’s, so Ian has no chance of winning against him.
Therefore, Ian had no desire to challenge Mihawk and Mihawk had no interest in fighting Ian. The matter was left at that.
Ian couldn’t help but feel a little curious as he asked Mihawk, “What brings you to seek me out?”
Mihawk’s piercing gaze met Ian’s as he replied, “I am fascinated by your blade. May I get a closer look at it? The truth is, I have been wanting to see it ever since I witnessed your battle with Kizaru.”
Ian was taken aback by the request, it didn’t cross his mind that Mihawk simply wanted to analyze his sword, the Senbonzakura. “Well, I don’t see why not. But, would you like to join me for a drink first? We have some ice-cold refreshing beer!” Ian offered.
Mihawk gave a nod before making his way over to the table and taking a seat. As he turned, Ian couldn’t help but notice the black sword, Yoru, strapped to Mihawk’s back. The blade shimmered with a dark luster, adorned with intricate engravings, and the hilt was particularly long, forming a large cross when carried by Mihawk.
Paired with the golden cross hanging from Mihawk’s chest, Ian couldn’t help but wonder if Mihawk was perhaps a devout individual. The world of One Piece was home to a vast array of religions, with each race holding their own unique beliefs. Ian’s crewmate, Raideen, was seen often praying to the God of Elbaf.
As Mihawk sat down, Ian poured him a cold beer and placed it in front of him. Mihawk picked up the mug and took a long swig, savoring the flavor of the brew.
Mihawk wiped the wine stains and said, “Excellent beer,” then put the mug down with a satisfied sigh.
Ian poured Mihawk another drink before handing him his blade. Despite being a weapon conjured by the System, it was a tangible, real object that could be examined by others as long as they were within ten meters of it.
Mihawk took it up and examined it closely, running his fingers along the edge of the blade before drawing it from its sheath.
“What a fine blade,” Mihawk remarked. “Does it have a name?”
“Yes, it’s currently called ‘The Thousand Cherry Blossoms’,” Ian replied.
“Currently?” Mihawk raised an eyebrow in confusion. “What do you mean by that?”
Ian shrugged, not wanting to explain. The truth was that his so-called exclusive weapon had always been changing. He had been using the Senbonzakura for the time being, but no one could say for certain that he wouldn’t switch it out in the future. The blade looks majestic, but it is not particularly the deadliest. Ian had other options at his disposal, such as Ryujin Jakka. As a Zanpakuto, both Shikai and Bankai had similar properties, both of which significantly increased Ian’s attributes.
Mihawk saw that Ian was reluctant to elaborate and chose not to press the matter further. After studying the Thousand Cherry Blossoms for a moment, he wrinkled his brow and said, “Why can’t I discern the provenance of this blade? I always assumed it was a famous sword, but now it seems it does not belong to either the Supreme Grade Blades or the Great Grade Blades.”
Upon hearing these words, Ian couldn’t help but scratch his head in frustration. It was inconvenient to encounter someone so well-versed in swordsmanship. Therefore, he admitted, “It isn’t exactly a famous sword, as it was crafted specifically to match my abilities.”
Ian’s response was somewhat vague, but Mihawk understood the underlying meaning. He couldn’t help feeling disappointed and said, “Is that so? I had hoped to perhaps lay eyes on another famous sword through you.”
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