The Reincarnator's Tavern

Many of the best Adventures start at a Tavern. This Tavern is a bit more special. Star Wars, Hunter X Hunter, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Naruto, and Marvel Cinematic Universe Crossover. Gaming without the levels, training according the Power System of the World. Contains elements of Jumpchains and DnD. Try three Chapters, and don't ask what I was smoking when I thought of this.

GnomeBob · Movies
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Chapter 67 The Strongest Swordsman of the Marines

Chapter 67 The Strongest Swordsman of the Marines

Rayleigh enabled Overdrive and readied his sword stance against the Princess of Marineford. He could not use Babylon without his Nensaber, but there was no point in sparring with her using one of his trump cards as he doubted she would be going all out either.

But even if he wasn't using Babylon, he could still use En, Gyō, Clairvoyance, Battle Precognition, and Force: Danger Sense. Using them together without using Babylon meant that each input was not as seamlessly integrated and the Force skills were not enhanced, but it still got the job done.

Clairvoyance and En picked up the setup in her posture for the Six Powers Technique: Shave, and Battle Precognition gave insight to the direction of the movement. A half-step on Rayleigh's part was all it took to dodge and align his sword to parry her strike.

Goddess of Ice showed a minor display of surprise when her Sword Intent saturated Haki-enhanced ice sword did not shatter the ice sword held by Rayleigh. It might have if Rayleigh had not known about sword intent, but after encountering it he'd done hundreds of simulations to figure out how to repel it using Shū, so it did not penetrate his aura coated blade as she had predicted it would.

After parrying her attack to the side, he flicked his sword in a manner that would have cut the end of her pony-tail that had been waving over her shoulder. She turned and parried this strike while giving a half-glare that he dared to attack her hair.

Rayleigh inwardly rolled his eyes. He was testing her defenses and wanted to see if the Observation Haki she was using could warn her about non-harmful damage. Rayleigh's Force: Danger Sense would not have told him about such an attack, so he was checking the similarities and differences.

The Marineford Princess twirled the tip of her sword from a slash into a thrust, aiming for Rayleigh's shoulder in a similar attempt to test the waters.

She aimed for the shoulder above the foot Rayleigh had kept his weight, so he was unable to shift his posture to dodge, but could bend his knee to dip under the thrust, causing her sword to brush past his own hair. Before she could use the position for a follow-up attack, Rayleigh rose up with an upward slash against her sword with enough force to strike it out of her hand, but Goddess of Ice held it firm and used the momentum to twist the upward motion of her sword into a downward thrust at Rayleigh's lung.

Seeing two back to back thrusts made Rayleigh understand what she was trying to do. It was very common for a Monkey-See, Monkey-Do mentality to form during a sword fight. If someone used the same move against you a few times, it was likely you would try to use the same move against them. She was trying to get him to lunge at her and likely had a counter for it.

Rather than fall for the guidance, he slashed to the side to knock her thrust away and followed up with a slash to the neck. With her sword further from her than Rayleigh's sword, she would have to step back and fall into a disadvantageous position.

She did not step back, but brought her wrist close and blocked the strike with the guard of her sword before using another piercing attack.

Between two opponents who could predict each other's moves, a sword fight was very much like a game of chess. You could see every potential move and know how to counter each, but your opponent could also predict your counters and position themselves to receive your counter and come out on top. You had to predict an entire line of exchanges on the board and ensure that prior to the beginning of the exchanges, your pieces were in a superior position and would come out on top at the end.

Rayleigh could tell that this Player was very skilled. Each movement had the foundation of a thousand practice sessions and each counter was filled with the experience of hundreds of sparring matches. Unfortunately for her, when it came to practice, Rayleigh was a cheater of the highest level.

Rayleigh could sense Goddess of Ice's presence in the Force, confirming that she had gone to the Jedi Galaxy to unlock her Jedi Class at some point, but she obviously did not train it well or use it much. Rayleigh was the opposite and had trained his mind to the degree that he could endlessly spar with himself using multiple instances all day every day. The amount of experience he had could not be compared with those who trained normally or even abnormally. Rayleigh was at a class all his own when it came to training and experience.

The esoteric mental operations that he discovered on Typhon and used to expand, enhance, and grow his mental capabilities were not things the Jedi or even Sith would have ever taught. Jedi became stronger by meditating on the Force while Sith became stronger by drawing deeper from the Dark Side. Putting so much effort into increasing the number of things you can think about at the same time was a meaningless waste of time for them and no benefit it granted was more useful than what they already had. Even among the Je'daii, those who practiced such things were considered weirdos. They didn't need a stronger mind to fight or think because they over-relied on the will of the Force to guide them in battle or assist them in making decisions.

Because of the vast quantity of experience Rayleigh possessed, he could see through each line of attacks Goddess of Ice attempted and disrupt them or fully counter them. He was using her to see through the sword styles taught by the Marines, memorizing each line of attacks to use as a reference or incorporate into his own style. Rayleigh even had several Wills in the background of his mind fight each other using her style to test the various combinations.

Goddess of Ice stopped holding back a few exchanges into the spar but Rayleigh's ice sword stayed unbroken and her strength was not able to push him back. He kept changing his attack patterns which caused her to counter using different form combinations she had learned, unaware that Rayleigh was essentially reading her like a book, taking his time to turn one page after another.

A few minutes and several hundred exchanges into the fight, Rayleigh realized that he had reached the last page and she had nothing more to show.

Rayleigh thrust out, just like she wanted. Rather than parry, she caught the tip of his sword at the side of her own and then jumped forward while turning. Her sword kept Rayleigh's to the side as she moved past it into her best range to use the finisher she'd trained more than any other move.

With Rayleigh's sword locked at her side, she could swing her sword through his neck with this approach, though since it was a spar, she would stop at the moment of contact.

Rayleigh then did something she had not expected. He dropped his sword and moved out of the way. He stepped forward as her attack moved past him. Her posture did not allow her to attack at the side he stepped past since it relied on locking the opponent's position.

After stepping past her, he grabbed the sword he dropped, pointed it forward as she turned around, and before she could react, Goddess of Ice found the familiar cold of the sword she had given Rayleigh at her throat.

Her eyes widened in disbelief as she realized how badly she had been read. There were many situations where she could have defended this and countered, but Rayleigh's thrust had been perfectly timed and positioned so that she found herself unable to counter or defend as she usually would have.

Inwardly, Rayleigh said to himself, 'Checkmate.'

Outwardly, Rayleigh complimented, "You're very good."

Justice, someone who was not a swordsman, did not fully understand the exchange and even thought that Rayleigh had gotten lucky while watching from the side. It was because Rayleigh didn't seem to have an advantage at any time and didn't appear to go very fast. He also knew that Goddess of Ice's main skill was her ice, not her sword. She would make the air in the area of her fight freeze well below zero, slowing and impeding her opponent's movements before going for the kill. Though, Justice had no way to know that this would not have worked anyways due to Rayleigh's proficiency in Tutaminis and Temperature Control.

Perhaps a little bit too fast, Justice said, "I'm next. You don't need to go easy on me. I've always wanted to see if my Sunsaber can face a Lightsaber."

Rayleigh saw Goddess of Ice give the solar-powered Player a dead-eyed expression but did not say a word as she left the arena. Rayleigh wondered about the chemistry between the Prince and Princess of Marineford and figured he had offended Justice by besting the girl that he, perhaps secretly, had a crush on.

Rayleigh pulled out his customized handle and said, "I'm afraid you'll have to keep waiting then, since this has been modified into a Nensaber that uses aura, not magnetized plasma."

As his sword extended and the glow of the blue and white sword aura materialized, a flicker of fear flashed by the Marine Player's eyes that Rayleigh did not miss. It was because of the weakness of Logia Devil Fruits. Such Devil Fruits granted Players the ability to elementize their physical body and for some reason, their clothes as well. Normal attacks had no effect on their elementized body and in the Pirate World, they could only be harmed by Haki or attacks that contained an element that opposed their own. However, something that all Players had long since discovered was that Nen attacks of Aura could also harm the body of an elementized Player. Aura was lifeforce, and an elementized human still contained lifeforce that could be harmed with Nen attacks, even if the element was unaffected.

This was one of the many reasons Rayleigh abandoned the traditional Lightsaber for this modification. Rayleigh still recalled when the Player Armory used magnetism to block his Lightsaber. He didn't know how many Devil Fruits could block, counter, or annul a Lightsaber, but his Nensaber was the great equalizer.

Justice's confident smile faded into a more serious expression as light seemed to gather around his palms. He then separated his hands while forming a pole of light that lengthened into a sword that was at least two meters long, standing taller than its own wielder.

Rayleigh's own Nensaber was of traditional height, only a little over a meter in length.

From the emotions he felt off the Marine, Rayleigh could tell that Justice wanted to win and would not hold back to just using sword skills. Since that was the case and Rayleigh had his Nensaber in hand, Rayleigh used Babylon on top of Overdrive.

Justice's form shined brightly in a way that would have blinded anyone looking directly at him. Rayleigh was in fact blinded by this, but his Clairvoyance and En were unaffected, so he could still perfectly perceive the surrounding area. Justice slashed forward and vanished from his position, reappearing at Rayleigh's side in the same mid-slash motion. Rayleigh's Babylon enhanced Battle Precognition detected this before Justice vanished and Rayleigh was already positioned to block the Sunsaber's slash.

Had Rayleigh not defended quick enough, the sword would have batted him to the side, but not cut him through. Justice did not give it a lethal edge since he expected to end the fight in one attack.

Rayleigh used the moment to boost his strength further and completely knock Justice's Sunsaber away, giving Rayleigh a chance to slash at the Marine's chest. It was an unspoken rule to end the fight after the first blood drawn from the torso was taken, so Justice immediately elementized and fled a few feet away before Rayleigh's slash could draw blood.

Rayleigh could have ended it there, but it would have been a shame to end the match before his opponent even warmed up.

Justice seemed to realize that his speed would not give him as great an advantage as he thought. Rayleigh moved like someone who completely mastered Observation Haki. Since he was no match for Rayleigh's technique and his speed didn't help him much, then he'd go with strength.

Justice released a full powered Ren, something that shined excessively brightly for a moment before vanishing under the effect of In. Justice said, "Make sure you use In when releasing Aura here, since those with Observation Haki can see it."

The warning was something of an apology for looking down on him earlier, but now he would go all out. What was superman's best trait? His strength. Justice transformed sunlight into aura that could be stored in the body and now he was releasing that aura. The amount far surpassed most veteran Hunters since this was not a mechanism a normal human could use. This was something unique to the physique granted by the Glint Glint Fruit.

Since Justice saw that Rayleigh seemed ready, he slashed down with all his strength while glowing brightly for a moment. Like before, he vanished and then reappeared in front of Rayleigh. He used every skill he learned to transfer all the force of his body into the swing, knowing full well that an Enhancer like Rayleigh should be able to survive and recover even if he didn't dodge.

Rayleigh used Kō on multiple sets of tendons, muscles, and bones, then used the strength granted by Kō to move while further increasing his movement speed with Force: Augment. As he moved, the aura saturated in various locations shifted to new locations using Ryū in a controlled program using Overdrive, strengthening them further. In what seemed to be a simple upward slash, Rayleigh used every ounce of physical strength enhanced using Overdrive while saturating his Nensaber with aura to produce more and more rapidly circulating lines of sharpened sword aura.

The fight's only witness saw two incredible sights at that point. The first was the Olympic swimming pool-sized crater that formed around Rayleigh's feet at the moment the Sunsaber and Nensaber impacted. The second was a line in the clouds high above the pair that seemed to be an opening that closed on its own a few moments later.

Justice's Sunsaber had been cut due to the strength of Rayleigh's swing exceeding Justice's own. If Rayleigh had used such an attack against him instead of slashing upwards, Justice would have either been bisected or at least greatly injured.

Justice noticed Goddess of Ice's gaze and spotted the line that had been cut into the clouds right before they closed and he unconsciously drew a gulp of nervousness. Weren't Dragon Chef and Titan bragging about how much stronger they were than Swordsman? Why did that not seem to be the case?

Rayleigh ended Babylon and said, "You need to practice the Enhancer aspect of your Nen more. More Aura does make you stronger, but only up to a certain point. The real strength Aura can grant you comes from converting your attribute-less aura into Enhancer Attribute Aura and using that to enhance your strength."

Justice sighed that he had suddenly become Rayleigh's student again and remarked, "Yeah, Superman doesn't use a sword either, so I can't enhance the swing like I want to using his image."

Rayleigh nodded and continued, "Yeah, if your image is Superman, then you should stick to enhancing your strength, using Laser vision, and flying."

Justice brightly smiled at the last part, stating, "Oh, I can already fly. Kinda."

Justice jumped while emitting aura downward and then turned his body into light and vanished. He then appeared in the air for a moment before he vanished and reappeared a few dozen meters elsewhere, vanished, reappeared higher, then lower, then back over the arena, and then back down on the ground.

He explained, "I can use Aura to push myself in a direction and then elementize and travel at near-light speed in that direction. I can then materialize, use another aura push to change direction, and then move as light again. Even my teacher can't do that. If he tries moving long distances as light, he might go over the curvature of this planet and end up in space, while I can stop, change directions, and keep going."

Goddess of Ice stated from the side, "Don't let him lie to you. He can't use that at all since his sense of direction gets messed up after turning into light."

Justice complained, "Hey! I can just bring a compass or Eternal Log Pose with me!"

The Princess of Marineford rolled her eyes and countered, "That would only work if you found an island. You can't use a compass while falling out of the sky. If you ever try that and don't find an island, you'll end up traveling until you hit the Red Line or end up going in circles until you exhaust yourself, fall into the water, and drown."

Justice seemed halfway torn between complaining and crying.

Rayleigh remarked from the side toward Goddess of Ice, "You really care about him, huh?"

She turned to face away from the pair and remarked, "As if," while deciding to walk away.

Justice didn't see the girl's faint blush before she left and instead of following her, he ignorantly asked Rayleigh, "So how can I get my aura to enhance me more?"

Rayleigh ignored the dense fool's relationship status and began his lecture. Justice's personality type was actually that of an Emitter, but Justice paid Class Points during Character Creation to make him a Transmuter type without changing his personality. Rayleigh found while testing him that Justice's talent in Emission was still very high and Enhancement, which was between Transmutation and Emission, was also very high. This might have been an Easter Egg or bug, but as a consequence, he had an almost negative talent for Materialization and Manipulation.

Rayleigh taught the foundation Nen exercises for strengthening the Enhancer, Transmuter, and Emitter attributes in his aura and recommended using Mission Points from the Tavern to purchase the Easy Masteries for Enhancer and Emitter Proficiencies, to let him catch up and reach his full potential.

Easy Masteries were how many Players rose their skill proficiency without practice as it turned anyone into a genius of the subject. Rayleigh didn't use them because he already had all the Easy Masteries he needed and there weren't any that would greatly contribute to his swordsmanship. Even getting the Transmuter Easy Mastery was ignored since a slow path to transforming his aura into sharpened sword aura might lay a stronger foundation for him as a swordsman. Besides, Easy Masteries were really expensive, and Rayleigh would rather spend Mission Points in the Tavern's Arena, fighting life and death matches against powerful opponents.

Justice and Rayleigh continued discussing Nen and possible ways to become stronger. Justice explained that the greatest benefit of the Glint Glint Fruit was attacking at near Light Speed, but he couldn't do it yet. The trick was to attack, elementize, move, and then materialize and have the attack make contact at the exact moment of materialization, allowing the attack to carry some of the speed of the Light-based movement.

Since Justice had also unlocked the Jedi Class, Rayleigh recommended using the Jedi skill, Force Valor, or the Sith Skill, Force Rage, since both allowed the user's timing in combat to be aided by the Force. He even said that Justice can practice Force Valor with Goddess of Ice, since it would be useful to both of them. The Prince of Marineford really liked that idea.

The Arena was a closed off area for the practice sessions of the students of the Admirals, so no one was allowed in. Due to this, it was Goddess of Ice who had to show up and remind Justice that Rayleigh's match was about to start and to take him there before they both got into trouble.

Justice quickly brought Rayleigh to an open area in the center of Marineford where a decent sized crowd and a few reporters had already gathered. The reporters already knew of the hype surrounding Rayleigh and that if he lost, there would be another genius joining the Marines.

Rayleigh's opponent stood imposingly in the center of the open space. Another possessor of the strange proportions many in this world had, Vice Admiral Momonga was over eight feet tall, something that was exemplified by the verticle blue and white stripes of his buttoned-up uniform. He had a black mohawk but instead of standing up, the mohawk was styled into a top-knot on the back of his head. He also had a mustache that looked like the pointed hands of a clock, facing the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. Wrinkles formed from a perpetual scowl covered his face and it was obvious to anyone that he did not want to do this.

From what Justice told him, Momonga was under the faction of Akainu, one of the three Admiral Factions besides Kizaru's and Aokiji's. Since Kizaru and Aokiji had genius students, Akainu was falling behind. One of the reasons they wanted to spar with Rayleigh was to make sure that he would not lose and join Akainu's faction under Momonga, since there wasn't a single Player that liked Akainu.

In other words, Momonga had been told to win this and take Rayleigh as his student.

Once Rayleigh entered the ring, all eyes turned to give him a once over. Not surprisingly, most of them found his outward appearance lacking. Not in looks, but muscle. This was a world where the strongest seemed to have the most bloated muscles. Momonga for example had a towering figure and broad, muscle filled shoulders. He looked like he could easily lift a ship's cannon in one hand and toss it across the ship. The strongest Vice Admiral, Garp, didn't even need cannons. He could pick up cannonballs and toss them at pirate ships with more force than an actual cannon.

Rayleigh's physique appeared, for lack of a better term, normal.

With one hand on the hilt of his sword and the other in his pocket, Momonga both figuratively, and literally, looked down on Rayleigh. Had he not been told to end the fight as soon as possible, he might have been tempted to hold back since his full strength might cripple the little guy.

One of the Marines shouted, "This is a sparring match between Vice Admiral Momonga and the swordsman Rayleigh. Draw your swords."

Rayleigh's nensaber handle was already in hand and to the surprise of the spectators, extended its blue and white glowing blade.

Momonga drew his sword as well. It was far longer than a katana to match the Marine's height, making it an nodachi.

"Begin!" At the marine's call, Momonga used Shave to quickly close the distance between himself and Rayleigh. The latter swung his sword to parry the Marine's high-speed strike and their dance began.

Similar to his fight with Goddess of Ice, Rayleigh did not use his full strength. His full strength was what he used in his exchange with Justice. He could tell that Momonga did not have the ability to raise his strength to that level, so Rayleigh simply matched it so he could experience the Marine's swordsmanship.

The man's sword intent and armament Haki were both a few levels above the Princess of Marineford, but Rayleigh could still make due by keeping his sword filled with a few hundred lines of sharpened sword aura. Many of the lines of sword aura circulating on the edge of his blade were cut from Momonga's sword intent and armament Haki, but they were quickly replaced, preventing the Marine from cutting through his sword.

Seeing that his sword did not break Rayleigh's and that his strength and speed did not over-power the latter's either, Momonga started using his sword skills, much to Rayleigh's delight.

There were several differences between what Rayleigh used and the High-Level swordsmanship used by the Marines. The biggest was brute strength. The human body has certain limits, and the Human-level swordsmanship Rayleigh learned from using Psychometry on Jacques Duquesne's collection fell within these limits. The swordsmanship of the Marines seemed to extend beyond human limits, using moves that would be impossible or heavily damage the body without a superhuman physique or the use of Armament Haki.

In other words, this was Anime-Swordsmanship.

Until this point, Rayleigh was really only using a faster version of Human-level swordsmanship. All his effort went into making human-limit swordsmanship faster.

Now Rayleigh took in the insights into Momonga's moves that would over-exert or damage a normal human's body and considered the best way to use those and enhance their speed.

However, as expected, superhuman level swordsmanship was not infinite, at least for the Marines, so it didn't take long for Rayleigh to see everything that Momonga had.

Rayleigh used Shatterpoint and looked over the Armament Haki covering Momonga's body and sword. The weakpoints he saw seemed to move around, like a sheet of plastic wrap with a hole in moving randomly over a surface. It was hard to predict where this weakness would move to in advance, but Rayleigh could move fast enough to just hit it before it moved, so he did just that.

Momonga slashed out expecting Rayleigh to parry the strike, but instead, Rayleigh ducked under it in a smooth motion, spun his sword backward, then thrust out the back of the handle at Momonga's gut. A wave of Force rushed into the weakpoint causing damage all over the man's body.

Rayleigh stepped back as the white of Momonga's eyes started to show. The clicks and flashes of dozens of cameras surrounded the pair as Momonga lost consciousness and fell to the ground.

A man in a brown, wide-brim fedora wearing a three-piece brown suit with a sword under his Marine coat calmly walked into the circle and checked on Momonga. After confirming he was fine, he said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to spar with you as well."

Rayleigh asked, "Are you a Vice-Admiral?" The bet he made was that if he lost to a Vice Admiral, he would become that man's student.

The fedora-wearing Marine shook his head in the negative and said, "No, I'm just a Captain under Vice-Admiral Garp, and babysitting him already takes up most of my free time."

Rayleigh tightened the grip on his Nensaber handle at the man's explanation. According to Justice, there was only one person who would openly say that kind of thing about Vice Admiral Garp in public. The sword instructor of Goddess of Ice, Captain Bogard.

Vice Admiral Garp was known to be stronger than the three Admirals, but he remained a Vice Admiral because he refused a promotion. Bogard, Garp's number two, remained a Captain for the same reason. The man had been at Garp's side for decades.

Rayleigh didn't even notice the smile he was wearing as he answered, "I'd love a friendly match with you."

Several Marines took Momonga away as Bogard drew his sword. It was a standard katana that could not appear more normal.

Rayleigh's Babylon had still not been disabled, but he added to it by entering what he thought of as the Heart of the Sword and his closest approximation of the One with the Sword state. This was the peak of his swordsmanship.

The only problem was that his Battle Precognition seemed to only see static. Was this man's Observation Haki so high, that he could make any prediction Rayleigh attempted obsolete?

Since he could not see through this man in the slightest, Rayleigh took his most reliable defensive stance and waited for Bogard to make the first move.

And move he did. With what appeared to be a standard usage of Shave, Bogard cleared the distance between Rayleigh and himself just like every other Marine swordsman Rayleigh had faced. That was where the similarities ended, along with the match.

After a single move, Bogard's sword was on Rayleigh's neck. Every single one of the thousands of strands of sword aura contained in Rayleigh's Nensaber had been passed through, cut cleanly.

Bogard then retracted his sword and said, "You're good, but your sword lacks sincerity." He then sheathed his sword and turned around to walk away.

Completely ignoring the camera flashes and cries of the reporters surrounding him, every one of Rayleigh's Wills analyzed what had just happened. Bogard's sword did not actually cut through Rayleigh's sword. It passed through without resistance, and the passing of the sword through the lines of sword aura is what caused the cut. It was like cause and effect had been reversed.

Rayleigh's Wills dedicated themselves to a single question. HOW?!

It actually only took a moment to figure it out. Bogard was within Rayleigh's En field, so every fraction of movement he took was measured. Rayleigh only realized after the fact that Bogard had completely matched Rayleigh's breathing rhythm. Expanding on that, Rayleigh realized that Bogard had somehow matched his sword to Rayleigh's Nen. Rayleigh's aura could not hurt himself or else any person using Ren would cause that person's body to explode. By matching his sword to Rayleigh's aura, Bogard's sword passed through Rayleigh's aura. It didn't negate the strength of Rayleigh's aura, but it was like slicing along the grain. Was this how Swordmasters of this world used a sword? It reminded Rayleigh of the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, an ability that allowed its user to see and cut through the grains of the world without resistance, letting him cut through and kill anything.

Then there was Bogard's advice. His sword lacked sincerity? Rayleigh was a teacher, so he did not take the comment as an insult, but properly thought it over. All eighteen wills came to the same conclusion. Rayleigh seemed to have been unconsciously looking down on swords. Why else create a blade composed of transformed sword aura? His nensaber didn't have any actual substance, it was just the mechanism that his sharpened sword aura circulated around. He didn't actually use a sword, but a sword-shaped chainsaw that lacked the inner metal part. Even when he was using it gently, he was still just using lines of unsharpened aura circulating around that would not cut or harm.

Why did this matter? From Rayleigh's initial perspective, as long as it cut, it was a sword, and anything else was unnecessary. This was likely the reason he had been looking down on swords. But now that Bogard pointed it out, Rayleigh realized that he missed a few things. The biggest thing was that an insubstantial sword would never have a strong enough foundation to pile on all he wanted his swordsmanship to be.

Rayleigh sweated a bit at this realization. Had he gone to Mihawk with this, he likely would have been beheaded. He needed a sword. Thankfully, he knew just what to do. It was time to make his third Hatsu.

As for Bogard, he skillfully avoided the reporters and returned from where he came. Bogard protected the reputation of the Marines like he had been sent to do. On arriving back, a heavily muscular man eating crackers asked, "How was he?" Said man did not witness the fight, but he didn't have to ask how it ended.

Bogard answered, "He reminded me of another Rayleigh I used to cross swords with."

The grey-haired cracker-eating Marine asked with interest, "Oh, do you think he might become another Dark King?"

Bogard shook his head, "Not a chance."

The man he answered then lost interest and went back to eating crackers.

What Bogard did not say aloud was his feeling that Rayleigh would not become another Dark King, but far surpass him.