Chapter 969 is titled "Fool of a Lord".
Gotti is defeated by the Marines.
Oden was prevented from killing Orochi by Kurozumi Semimaru, and his actions resulted in Orochi's allies attacking the citizens outside. Thus, Oden started dancing naked in the Flower Capital for five years. After a year, he was given the news of Roger's execution. 20 years before the present day, he learned that Kaido had captured Hyogoro on Orochi's orders and killed the yakuza boss' wife as well as 16 of his men. This spurred Oden to take action, and he and his retainers set out to defeat Kaido.
Despite recalling Toki's warning of a potential enemy counterattack, an enraged Oden prepares to finally cut down Orochi as he cowers in fear. However a barrier suddenly appears that protects the Shogun from the killing blow, much to Oden's confusion. After more failed attempts to attack Orochi and understand the barrier, Oden yells at Orochi to come out. An elderly man who has been observing and playing the Biwa - Kurozumi Semimaru, assures Orochi that he has nothing to worry about, as he is being protected by the "Barrier Barrier Arts". Semimaru tells Oden that his strength means nothing in this instance, which is then confirmed by Kurozumi Higurashi. Higurashi further taunts Oden about his time as a pirate, and how must have experienced Devil Fruits at one point. Orochi becomes brazen after realizing that Oden can't hurt him, and assures the samurai that if his rule were a problem that could be solved by anger and violence, then the Daimyos would have already dealt with him. Outside, supporters excited for Oden's return begin to gather and cheer on his ascent to the seat of Shogun, as the rightful heir of the Kozuki Clan. Oden reveals he had heard of his father assigning Orochi as his proxy, though only until his return, and demands Orochi give up the title. Orochi however reveals that the order never actually came from his father as Higurashi demonstrates her Mane Mane no Mi abilities by transforming into Sukiyaki. Orochi grows more emboldened as he unravels how this deception extended to Wano as a whole and not just the Daimyos, so he truly is under no obligation to cede his authority to Oden. The infuriates Oden even further, demanding to know what actually happened to his father. As the excited crowd outside continued to cheer for the return of the Kozuki Clan to power, poison arrows suddenly pierced the crowd. Two victims immediately began coughing up blood, and lost their sight. As the citizens flee into the safety of their homes, Kaido appears above the Flower Capital. From a crack in the ceiling, Shinobu overhears the conversation between Oden and Orochi.
After a few hours, Oden is suddenly seen stripped down to his loincloth, dancing like a fool and begging for money throughout the Flower Capital. Kaido and Orochi's underlings all laugh at him, as well as Orochi, Semimaru, and Higurashi. Oden had served as the people of Wano's final beacon of hope for freedom from a cruel tyrant, but their hopes quickly turned to disappointment and anger after seeing him like this. On a weekly basis Oden appeared in the Flower Capital outside of the castle to dance and beg for money, much to the disdain of the townspeople. Knowing that there was something he wasn't telling them, his retainers attempted to draw out the truth. However Oden coldly rejected their inquiries, simply stating that it was his job to dance and ask for money. Word of Oden's antics in the capital eventually reached Kuri as well, resulting in him being openly ridiculed everywhere he went. Children threw things at him, parents warned their children to be nothing like him, and fellow samurai criticized him for choosing to be Orochi's lapdog rather than committing seppuku.
After a year of this (24 years before the present), Oden received a newspaper that Roger had been executed. With the world abuzz about Roger's exploits and the allure of the One Piece, a great new age of piracy had begun. Oden repeatedly laughed and cried as he ran up and down Kuri Beach, praising Roger for the life he lived.
After two years had passed since Oden returned, a war between the Beasts Pirates and Gecko Moria's forces broke out in Ringo. Ryuma's grave was ransacked during this time as well. Oden continued to dance during this period, and any associates of his were considered fools. This included his family, which causes Oden to ask Toki if she wants to divorce him. She denies, wondering if he was attempting to upset her. His retainers appear unbothered by it, with Kawamatsu, Nekomamushi, and Kiku laughing that they've been familiar with his naked dancing for some time. Yasuie ridicules him as well, though on the same level that he did before Oden was even a Daimyo. Oden eventually goes to visit Hyogoro, though is insulted by one of his guards when he arrives. Hyogoro's wife immediately reprimands the guard for this, as she and her husband have tea with Oden. The Yakuza boss reveals that Orochi has been rather insistent in trying to get him to work for him, which prompts Oden to warn him to stay out of danger. His wife remarks on how Oden's dancing has gotten a lot better, which the samurai playfully denies.
Three more years go by of Oden dancing in the capital, and after the fifth year since Oden's return to Wano, Orochi visits the region of Kuri. He states that he would like to build a number of weapon factories in Kuri, and wants Oden's help, as he presses his sandle into a bowing Oden's face. Oden begins to asks about something related to ships and Kaido that might prevent this, but when Orochi responds that he has no clue what he is talking about, Oden grows visibily disturbed. Orochi states that Wano will be a weapons producer, and due to not being able to control Hyogoro, he handed him over to Kaido. He lays out how Hyogoro's wife wouldn't stop clinging to him, and how they shot her dead on the spot. He then proceeds to make a cruel joke about thinking that a Yakuza's wife would be easier to control. It is revealed that "Hyogoro The Flower" had been taken prisoner, and that when his followers attempted to fight back, a total of sixteen were killed. Oden begins uncontrollably sobbing at this, as the suspicion held by his family and retainers that he'd been shouldering a heavy burden all this time is finally confirmed. Much to the delight of his vassals, Oden announces that the time has finally come to strike down Kaido.
At sunset, the citizens murmur amongst themselves as they watch Oden and his nine retainers begin to march on Kaido. The bright red sun in the background appeared to shine on them like a blaze, which extended to their katanas. Due to this, and their fierce loyalty, they became known from that day forward as the "Nine Red Scabbards".
- Oden's attack is stopped by Semimaru, one of Orochi's aides, who is a former user of the Bari Bari no Mi.
- After Oden's initial confrontation with Orochi, Oden danced naked in the streets of the Flower Capital once a week for the next five years, causing most of the people of Wano Country to lose faith and respect for him.
- One year after his return, Oden read about Roger's execution.
- Two years after Oden's return, Gecko Moria and his old crew fought Kaido and the Beasts Pirates in Ringo. Ryuma's grave was robbed during this time.
- Five years after Oden's return, Hyogoro was captured for his defiance.
- Hyogoro's wife and 16 of his men were killed after starting a revolt.
- This event led Oden to gather his retainers to rebel.
- The origin of the name "Nine Red Scabbards" is revealed.
- It is a title given by people who witnessed the group heading to battle, with their bodies and katana dyed red by the sunset.
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