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S.C.S Chapter 422: World’s No. 1 Slash

Mihawk’s sword cannot be dodged or escaped, a fundamental ability of a top-notch swordsman to lock onto an enemy with intimidating force.

Ian couldn’t help but feel a sense of danger as the colossal black sword came slicing down, a feeling akin to an unarmed person facing a criminal brandishing a weapon, inevitably experiencing a fear of the weapon’s danger.

Despite being aware of the danger, Ian stood his ground, for he was no coward.

He kept his eyes glued to Mihawk’s descending sword, and in the very instant the blade approached, Ian’s figure swiftly moved at an extraordinary speed.

A flash!

Although Ian no longer required the card of Samanosuke Akechi, this flash skill had become instinctual for him. As he dodged Mihawk’s sword, Ian’s iron sand sword also aimed for Mihawk’s waist.

However, Ian’s speed was remarkable, and Mihawk was just as swift. No one knew how Mihawk wielded his enormous black sword with such ease, but as Ian swung at him, Mihawk lightly flipped his wrist and smoothly withdrew his attack, instead intercepting Ian’s iron sand sword with a horizontal slash.

Ian’s attack was met with resistance as a metallic clang echoed through the air.

Take it easy, bro! The phrase flashed through Ian’s mind as he realized that Mihawk’s sword possessed an otherworldly strength.

But Ian did not falter. In a fluid motion, he withdrew the Iron Sand Sword and pulled it back before delivering a swift upward strike.

“Triple Death Hack: Horn!”

Normally, the Iron Sand Sword would have emitted a shining light. However, its black hue caused the light to take on a dark, almost malevolent quality. The black blade clashed against Mihawk’s sword, sending a resonating ring throughout the battlefield.

This attack should have been powerful enough to send anyone flying, but Mihawk’s wealth of combat experience allowed him to anticipate Ian’s move. With a fierce downward press, Mihawk’s Yoru suppressed Ian’s upward strike.

Ian’s body stalled upon being suppressed and a flaw appeared!

This flaw may have been brief, lasting only a fraction of a second. But in that moment, Mihawk’s eyes narrowed as he seized upon Ian’s opening. With both hands on his sword, he delivered a diagonal slash towards Ian!

Ian had no time to react as the black light bore down on him. In a split-second decision, Ian scattered the Iron Sand Sword, forming a shield to protect himself from the impending attack.

Chuck Chuck Chuck! The sound of metal clashing echoed through the air as the Yoru, waved by Mihawk! Slicing through the shield with ease, the blade ground rubbed against the iron sand, producing a sharp sound.

Mihawk’s Yoru was attached with Haki, the iron sand shield no match for its might as it was cleaved in two. Ian, however, managed to take advantage of the momentary distraction and quickly retreated, narrowly avoiding the assault.

“That was close,” Ian panted, relieved.

In truth, the exchange between the two had only lasted a few seconds, but Ian couldn’t help but feel outmatched. Mihawk’s swordsmanship was practically flawless, his understanding of the flow of battle unparalleled.

The massive black sword seemed to be an extension of Mihawk’s body, wielded with such proficiency that Ian struggled to find an opportunity to attack.

‘I have to be faster and faster!’ he thought to himself. Only by increasing his speed might he stand a chance against Mihawk’s impenetrable defense.

With a determined gaze, Ian stretched out his hand, opening his right palm, and the scattered iron sand coalesced in his hand again, molding it into a sword once more. Ian lowered his body, took a low stance, and got ready for the next attack.

“Ittoryu Iai? One Sword Style!” Mihawk saw Ian’s posture and immediately understood his intention, so he also held a blade with both hands and placed the wide Yoru horizontally by his side, and his foot was stretched… Very well!

“Ittoryu Iai, Lightning Cut!”

Ian paid no heed to his posture, fully aware that facing an elite swordsman like Hawk-Eye meant that any hesitation on his part would be a lost cause. Therefore, his mind was focused solely on how to launch an all-out attack, with no thought given to defending himself. 

In that moment, Ian’s speed reached its zenith as his figure vanished into thin air.


Hawk-Eye’s eyes narrowed as he too unleashed his One Sword Style slash, causing both men to disappear from view in the eyes of the watching people.

Even Reiju was taken aback, unable to discern the movements of the two men with her naked eye.

But in the next second, both men reappeared, Ian now standing in Mihawk’s previous position and Mihawk in Ian’s. Both men stopped their sword-wielding movements and stopped their bodies.

Suddenly, a gash opened up on Ian’s waist, spewing forth a torrent of blood. He had been struck by Mihawk’s black blade.

Though Hawk-Eye himself remained unscathed, a closer look at his face would reveal a small wound that was also dripping with blood, and the muscles on his face were twitching!

Ian’s speed had taken even Mihawk by surprise. He really did not think that Ian’s movement speed under extreme burst would surpass his own.

Mihawk’s sword had found its mark on Ian’s waist, yet Ian’s blade had not been idle, leaving a shallow but painful gash across Mihawk’s cheek.

It was clear that Ian’s defeat was due in no small part to the length of his weapon, the depth of his injury surpassing Mihawk’s. But the latter was far from victorious, as Ian’s sword, known as Lightning Cut, was charged with powerful electricity, capable of inflicting severe pain even with a graze.

The spasms on Mihawk’s face were a testament to this fact.

In that moment, Mihawk realized the gravity of his mistake, underestimating Ian. For though the young man may not have been a pure swordsman, he had seamlessly integrated other abilities into his swordplay, making up for any shortcomings in his technique.

As Ian faced off against Mihawk, the legendary swordsman could sense his growing excitement. Whereas before, he had seen their battles as mere distractions to pass the time, he now realized that Ian considered him a true rival.

It was widely known that Mihawk was the strongest swordsman in the world, and with that title came a certain level of isolation. Often times, this was why he would wander the seas in search of a worthy opponent, but now Ian had given him something to truly relish, a competition of exceptional swordplay.

Mihawk’s eyes glinted with newfound respect as he acknowledged Ian’s sword skills as truly special.

With a fierce determination, Mihawk overcame his feelings of numbness and quickly turned on his heel. In a single, fluid motion, he unsheathed his black sword, Yoru, and sent a tremendous wave of sword energy hurtling towards Ian.

As the sheer magnitude of the Flying Slash closed in on him, Ian’s pupils contracted in surprise. The blow was so enormous that it seemed to tower above him like a skyscraper.

Though Ian’s Nen capacity is also enough to support him in slicing out huge Flying Slashes, they were nothing compared to the might of Mihawk’s.

Could this truly be the world’s most powerful cutting attack?

In a split-second decision, Ian used all his strength to leap out of the way, narrowly avoiding the deadly strike.

In the blink of an eye, Hawk-Eye’s sword aura rent the earth asunder, slicing past Ian and cleaving through the small island before hurtling into the vast ocean.

This huge sword energy strike split the sea surface directly and disappeared into the distant horizon. The sea surface that was cut open took a while to close back up again.

When Ace, Matthew and Doroni saw this scene, their eyes almost popped out, while Reiju and Robin were also drenched in cold sweat. They had never seen such an amazing strike before, especially Reiju, who had always been told by her father that she was the strongest and most perfect human, but after seeing Hawk-Eye’s attack, she realized that there were beings beyond humanity in this world.

Ian looked at the sea that had been cut open behind him, and then looked at the ground that had been split beneath his feet. He found that Mihawk’s Flying Slash was indeed much stronger than his own. He too had wielded such power in Dressrosa, but the gully on the ground was not as deep. Mihawk’s sword energy was the true island-cutting! Because Ian saw that there was water seeping into the crack, it meant that the sword energy’s cutting depth had reached the bottom of the sea.

Ian took a deep breath and summoned all of his power.

The air around him began to shake, which was caused by the immense energy summoned when he used a large amount of Nen power. Like Mihawk, Ian too wanted to see if he could wield such fearsome power, if he could truly cleave islands asunder…

“Oh!? Haoshoku Haki!?” Mihawk felt this pressure and couldn’t help but be a bit surprised, but then relieved.

It would be really abnormal if a strong man like Ian didn’t have such kind of power and charisma!

As Ian’s Nen power reached its peak, the clouds above the island began to dissipate, signaling his rise in power. Discarding his iron sand sword, Ian once again coalesced the cherry blossom petals that surrounded his body, forming the blade of the Senbonzakura. He seized the handle of the blade and elegantly tossed the sword to the ground.

“Scatter, Senbonzakura!”

Invoking his Bankai, Ian’s enormous cherry blossom wings reappeared behind him, and the “Endscape: White Imperial Sword” materialized once more.

With a graceful wave of his hand, Ian swung the sword with a precision and finesse that left a trail of light in the onlookers’ eyes.

A brilliant pink Flying Slash materialized, just as grand and awe-inspiring as the previous one, though perhaps not as towering as Hawk Eye blow, it was no less dazzling to behold.

The Flying Slash sailed low along the ground towards the legendary swordsman, Mihawk. Yet even the great Mihawk found himself hesitating in the face of Ian’s prodigious technique. He couldn’t decide whether to withhold against the upcoming blow and risk defeat, or to avoid it and suffer the shame for being the world’s greatest swordsman and escaping from a sword blow….

Ian’s slash gave him a dangerous feeling. However, in the end, Hawk-Eye still chose to receive it. He put his sword across his body in front of him, and when the Flying Slash collided with it, the armored Haki on the sword protected the blade, sending Mihawk hurtling backwards with a force he had not expected.

Mihawk dug his heels into the ground, leaving deep trenches in his wake as he was propelled further and further away by the sheer power of Ian’s sword aura. The distance was much greater than he had anticipated and the realization dawned on him that continuing on this path would mean being pushed into the ocean. With a deafening roar, he unleashed his most powerful strength, fiercely holding his own sword blade.

He stopped, finally stopped. Mihawk’s arms were somewhat trembling, due to his excessive use of force and a bit of exhaustion. But he still straightened himself and stood in place.

As for Ian, he was also almost exhausted at this point. He looked at Mihawk with a panting breath, feeling a bit in disbelief.

Ian didn’t dare to accept Mihawk’s slash, but Mihawk took his slash, this showed that there was a gap between the two.

“…” Looking at the trajectory of his own feet, Mihawk remained silent. His upward-curling two-pronged beard made his expression appear a bit cold, and after a moment, Mihawk suddenly took back his black sword and inserted it into his back.

“Ian, who was your sword teacher?” Mihawk finally spoke with a serious tone.

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