Even beyond his limits Zoro is still challenging the boundaries of what lies even further. His sight is set on an end far outside his current position. King is without question the stronger fighter in the battle at present but there is an inherit capacity within Zoro to get stronger within moments of strife. The wall that lies ahead of Zoro is one he knows he needs to overcome lest he fails to fulfill the promise he made to Luffy, to Mihawk and to Kuina. With his resolve now tempered, there is only one last thing he can do. And that is to go all out. Unleash and leave nothing in reserve.
None of Zoro’s attacks are impacting King in the way he would like but with each failure he encounters, his path forward becomes even clearer. Through the conflict between Zoro and Enma while evading King, Zoro came to realisation about who Kuina’s grandfather was and the relevance of the blades he now wields. All the blades Zoro is wielding chose him and at present, Enma is the one testing him to see if he is a swordsman worth partnering with. Zoro never had time to think before who the old man he met in Shimotsuki Village was in the past but now he is aware that he was the blacksmith, Shimotsuki Kozaburo. Zoro realised that the words Kozaburo exchanged with him weren’t random gibberish but advice on the soul of a sword.
With such knowledge, Zoro understands that there is only one path forward. He can’t hold back and worry about dying. He needs to give it his all and unleash EVERYTHING he has until he is completely exhausted and drained. Such a realisation not only triggered a mental shift in Zoro’s mind but it also allowed him to align closer to his Haoshoku Haki thereby activating it. Zoro’s desires not only victory but greatness. The promise he made to Luffy and to Kuina won’t die on this day. Rather it was will be elevated through Zoro’s action in this moment. I’m sorry King but you just awakened a real King now. Prepare yourself because your blood won’t be preventing your loss going forward now.
Oden has become the benchmark within this arc. Every single major player within the arc has been compared to Oden and his capabilities. Luffy through his Oden-like personality of being free. The Akazaya Samurai through the positions they hold and their inheritance of Oden’s will. Kaido through his desire for a challenge and his feelings of loss to Oden twenty years ago (which is part of the reason he hates Yamato wanting to be Oden). Momonosuke through his journey to become a man greater than his father which includes his current form that likely resembles Oden from twenty years ago. Hiyori through the conviction and resolve she effects sourced from her father being such a great Samurai. Zoro through the path of becoming the World’s Greatest Swordman which involves him having to wield Enma as easily as Oden. And Yamato, who has embraced the image of Oden as a source of inspiration and strength consequently styling himself and behaving in an Oden-like manner. You could even argue that Orochi wanted to be like Oden as illustrated by his desire to match Oden’s legendary hour long execution by bathing himself in boiling water. Oden and what he represents has become a concept relevant to these major players within this arc. Oden may have died but his spirit still lives on.
The Lunarians representing a godly race that were able to survive in any environment along with possessing additional abilities is a very curious development. If they were so powerful, how exactly were they defeated and erased from history? What lead to their eventual fall? Were they responsible for their own demise or did the Twenty Kings of the past find a weakness in the Lunarian race that they exploited? If the race is has a symbolic affiliation with the moon, could the sun have anything to do with why they went extinct? And is this why King wears a suit? So not to expose himself to the sun? If this is the case, could Zoro eventually turn the tide of his battle against King by slicing his suit and having the sun hit when dawn arrives? I wonder if Robin knows anything about the Lunarian race. The fact that Queen mentioned to Sanji to consult a history book suggest there may have been research done on the Lunarian race in the past. And if so, the Oharians may have had some knowledge on them which Robin eventually read when hanging out in the Ohara library when she was younger. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.