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S.C.S Chapter 424: Maybe I should meet him

Mihawk departed without so much as a word of farewell. But Ian was not surprised, for Mihawk was known to be a man of few words and a solitary figure, even among the ranks of the Seven Warlords. He held no allegiance to any pirate crew, preferring to chart his own course.

If it weren’t for Ian’s identity, he probably wouldn’t have spoken so much, but this was his limit. 

As Ian watched Mihawk’s raft disappear into the horizon, he let out a sigh and mused, “Ow well, I lost. This was my first time meeting my “uncle” and I didn’t even receive a gift. A failure, indeed!”

Robin couldn’t help but chuckle at this, and even Ace laughed, because he knew Ian’s personality very well and knew that he was a greedy person.

Reiju, however, looked somewhat gloomy. She hadn’t expected Ian to have such deep ties to so many Shichibukai, least of all to the reclusive and aloof swordsman that was Mihawk.

She couldn’t help but shake her head, thinking how foolish her father must have been to get involved with such a person.

“Let’s go, we will continue our journey,” Ian said to Ace. “We’ve already wasted half a day thanks to my new uncle Mihawk.”

And with that, the crew set off once again.

Unbeknownst to Ian, Mihawk had gone to seek out a visit with his friend, the Red-Haired Shanks, one of the Four Emperors…

The storyline has once again taken a slight detour. Originally, Hawk-Eye had set out to find Shanks with the intention of bringing him news about Luffy. Shanks had lost an arm during his return from the East Blue, and Mihawk was aware of this fact, having even inquired about it. Thus, he knew that Shanks had formed a friendship with a young man in the East Blue and had gifted him his cherished hat.

However, this time, Mihawk hasn’t gone to the East Blue yet and had not yet had the opportunity to meet Straw Hat Luffy. Instead, he sought out Shanks for other reasons.

Upon arriving at an unknown small island, Mihawk located Shanks. The henchmen of the Red Hair Pirates were taken aback by his sudden appearance.

But Shanks greeted him with a boisterous laugh, welcoming Hawk-Eye Mihawk.

“Mihawk, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?” Shanks asked, with a hint of perplexity, as he draped his coat over his shoulder.

“I’ve come to share a drink with you,” Mihawk replied.

“How intriguing,” Shanks exclaimed in surprise. “I had thought you had come to engage me in battle once more.”

“Not in the mood for it,” Hawk-Eye retorted, casting him a glance. “I had just engaged in combat with someone before making my way here.”

“Is that so?” Shanks inquired with great curiosity. “Pray tell, who did you cross swords with? I presume you emerged victorious?”

Shanks sat across from Hawk-Eye, the tension between them palpable as they sipped on their drinks. However, Hawk-Eye made no mention of his previous battle, instead opting to take a deep gulp from his glass before breaking the silence. “Shanks, do you know? I encountered an apprentice… He is the apprentice of Koshiro-senpai, and also his adopted son!”

Shanks was taken aback, his surprise evident on his face as he inquired, “Don’t tell me that, you fought with your apprentice?”

The thought of such a scenario made Shanks leap to his feet, his tone fraught with concern as he exclaimed, “You… You! Did you accidentally kill your apprentice and then come here to seek comfort from me because of guilt?!”

“Stop it with your Bullshit!” Hawk-Eye, known for his stoic demeanor, couldn’t help but curse in frustration, his gaze piercing as he rebuked Shanks, “If I killed him, how would I know he was my apprentice? Can’t you think before you speak?”

Despite their tumultuous past, Hawk-Eye found comfort in the company of Shanks, someone who understood the complexities of their relationship. It was this understanding that had led him to seek out the red-haired.

But the truth remained, that although Shanks is very powerful, he can sometimes speak and do things out of tune, leaving those around him to question his judgment and mentality.

After the harsh rebuke from Hawk-Eye, Shanks finally came to his senses, scratching his head in realization, “Oh, that’s right!”

He patted Hawk-Eye’s shoulder, his laughter genuine as he exclaimed, “Really, why didn’t you say so earlier? You had me worried for nothing!”

Mihawk stared at Shanks in silence, his voice tinged with concern as he spoke, “I have come to you today because there is something that weighs heavily on my mind.”

“What is it?” Shanks asked, lifting his glass to take a sip of his drink.

“It’s about the scar on your cheek,” Mihawk replied, his gaze fixed on Shanks.

The mention of the scar caused a change in Shanks’ expression, his demeanor becoming serious as he put down his glass and looked at Mihawk. “You already knew about this, didn’t you?”

“I do know,” Mihawk nodded. “It’s about Blackbeard Teach. Is he truly as powerful as they say?”

Shanks let out a sigh, his gaze becoming distant as he replied, “Mihawk, what I wish to tell you is that when I faced Teach, I did not take him seriously. It was his brute strength alone that left this scar upon my face.”

“… ” Mihawk fell silent for a moment before speaking once more, his voice tinged with worry. “Did you know? When I met my apprentice and found that he was in the company of Whitebeard Pirates second division captain, Ace. And this has me concerned.”

“Hmm?”  Shanks’ brows furrowed as he asked, “Who is your apprentice?”

“You definitely heard of him,” Mihawk placed his hands on his knees and looked at Shanks. “He is the newly appointed member of the Shichibukai, Black Dragon Ian.”

“What… What in the world is happening here?!” Shanks exclaimed in shock, his eyes widened with disbelief as he turned to Hawk-Eye and asked, “He’s your apprentice, you say? The one they call Black Dragon Ian?”

Mihawk nodded, “He is indeed.”

Shanks couldn’t help standing up, pacing back and forth as he tried to process this new information…

Suddenly, Shanks came to a halt and sat back down, his eyes fixed on Mihawk as he spoke, “I had heard that Fire Fist Ace had set out to hunt down Blackbeard Teach, but later I found out that Ace did not go directly after Teach, but instead went to the Travolta Island first… and then join forces with Black Dragon Ian, Jinbe and many other Shichibukai and appeared in Dressrosa, causing chaos and upheaval in Doflamingo’s kingdom… Because of this incident, I thought it was wrong news that Ace was chasing Teach, but looking at it now, I’m afraid that Ace has teamed up with Black Dragon Ian to deal with their enemies together…” 

Mihawk gave a somber nod, “It’s very possible. I’ve noticed that Ace and Ian have a strong bond.”

Shanks shook his head in disbelief, “I had heard that Whitebeard had once considered adopting Ian as his own, but after the incident with Teach, he was cast out. It’s hard to fathom that they would join forces now.”

“Ian’s assassination of Teach leaves me quite perplexed,” said Mihawk, scratching his chin in thought. “If the two have a grudge, then I can understand, but if that’s the case, then Teach and Ian’s powers should be quite evenly matched.”

Shanks shook his head in disagreement. “No, that’s not it. Ian’s attack on Teach should have been part of a sneak attack, yet he still couldn’t manage to kill him.”

“So, you’re saying that Ace and Ian together still couldn’t be able to defeat Teach?” Mihawk asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

This was the very reason Mihawk had sought out Shanks. He had heard Shanks talk about Teach before, and upon leaving Ian’s ship, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was amiss. The Whitebeard Pirates’ pursuit of the traitor Teach was well-known throughout the Grand Line, and Ian and Ace appearing together must have some purpose. Out of concern for his apprentice Ian, Mihawk sought out Shanks for answers.

Shanks pondered for a moment before giving his response. “I cannot say for certain, as I have not engaged in battle with Ian, the new Shichibukai, nor have I laid eyes on him. But if it was just Ace pursuing Teach, the odds would be against him. If Ian were to join the fray as well, it’s anyone’s guess.”

“You look more worried than me?” Mihawk couldn’t help saying.

“Yes!” Shanks nodded seriously. “Mihawk! What do you think of the current situation of the Whitebeard Pirates?”

Mihawk pondered for a moment before delivering his verdict. “A delicate situation, to be sure.”

Shanks nodded in agreement. “Indeed, a delicate situation. Whitebeard’s health is failing rapidly, and it may not be long before he succumbs to it. But do you truly believe the Marines will allow him to pass quietly?”

“No, it’s impossible!” Shanks said, not waiting for Hawk Eye’s response. “The Whitebeard, Edward Newgate, is a figure of the same era as the Pirate King Roger. Roger may be gone, but as long as Whitebeard lives, he remains a symbol of that era, a benchmark for all pirates. If the Marines and the World Government hope to bring an end to the Pirate Era, they must take a strike at Whitebeard. Only by destroying him utterly can they shatter the pirates’ faith and willpower.”

Shanks concluded, “They cannot simply let Whitebeard die of old age. I believe they will find an opportunity to strike soon. Whitebeard may be old, but he is still the strongest man alive. To bring him down is to bring down Roger once more.”

“And at this sensitive time, with a figure like Teach emerging, I always have an ominous feeling!” Shanks sighed: “If the fire fist Ace is caught by Teach, then the opportunity that the Marines wants may appear… At that time, the whole Grand Line and the new world will be in chaos, and the balance between the four emperors and the marines will be completely broken!”

Shanks finally said, “As for Ian, he… is a variable! Maybe I should talk to him…”

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