we are back to talking about haki again. I hope this time its our last shot because I am very certain about my answers this time around. Well, we where pretty much on the money with most predictions that come to mind but we didn't get "why" yet. The key in understanding haki is funnily enough in its introduction.
Without further a do.
"Haki can generally be divided into two main shades"
This is what has been bothering me for such a long time. Why is Conqueror's haki not in Rayleigh's explanation immediately? If typically you can divide haki into two shades why can't you do the same with Conqueror's haki? Wouldn't haki typically be divided into three shades but one just has no access to it? Rayleigh is not stating "for most people haki can be divided into two main shades" but says "haki can generally be divided into two main shades", which is wrong unless he is right but we just don't understand yet how. Hear me out, this is going somewhere and this has been an observation of mine for at least six months. The point is that conqueror's haki(Color of Conqueror's = CoC) is atypical. You cannot divide the CoC like the other forms of haki, it can interact with the other colors to create new colors, hence why the color metaphor is used in the first place. Its actually extremely fitting to the idea that Oda is going for. Its a color pallet and go figure, there are three primary colors that are yellow, red and blue. Through the mixture of these three you can create the rest of the colors.
The only reason why Oda would use the color metaphor in the first place is if the colors can mix. This is sorta the point of taking 3 primary colors, which signals that Oda is going for this idea but what does this mean for haki? We soon will see but first we have to recognize that the plan has changed and what started as Flowing being the only form of armament haki was altered after the time skip. I have talked about this issue already and you can find it in the related theories down below with the title "Colors & Layers: Haki revisited". The point being its a bit more complicated now, because the metaphor doesn't perfectly apply any longer and we take some artistic creativity in illustrating the "new color pallet". Before we do that we have to find out what the new colors are and why they exist in the first place.
Typical & Atypical haki
Let's think about Observation haki(Color of Observation=CoO) as BLUE. For Armament haki(Color of Armament=CoA) its not that simple because it has now two distinct shades. For Flowing we take RED and for Hardening BLACK. These are the two colors(3 shades) of haki you can typically divide. They are distinct in a certain sense but Conqueor's haki is unique. For the CoC let's say its YELLOW but it can't be typically divided like the rest. It has its own effect and usefulness but it has a certain property, it can mix with the other colors creating new forms of haki that can't be taught.
This is what Hyou is referring to because these forms of haki can't be taught. Only a selected few have access to these shades of haki. Most people think Luffy showing off his abilities was just to create hype but there was a purpose behind it.
The point of Luffy displaying his abilities is to illustrate that Hyou doesn't possess Conqueror's haki. There is a distinction between those two that explains where the "haki training" plot line of Udon is heading towards.
Even though Hyou used to be a big shot that Lord Oden(A CoC master) idolized, he himself isn't a conqueror user.
The way Hyou talks sounds familiar, right? I think its safe to assume that this is what we will find out at any chapter now. Only those with the color of the Conqueror can use certain shades of haki. The description of the CoC that is "the quality of a king to stand above others" sounds extremely fitting now, doesn't it? Rayleigh already told us that it can't be typically divided and that it can't be trained. Hyou tells us that this form of Flowing goes beyond any Flowing that he can teach, which doesn't make any sense. How can Luffy have an ability as a newbie in the area of expertise of Hyou? Hyou is a Flowing master and tells us that this is a stage that he can't teach, even though he seems to be the one who trained Rayleigh/Shanks/Roger/Oden, who some of them have this ability for a certainty(all of them probably had it).
So how does it make sense to say that the one person who is a master at a specific type of haki can't master a stage of it, even though his pupils could? The answer is of course that he doesn't possess the CoC. There were two haki training arcs since the New World began. The first was when Luffy learned Future Sight, an ability that has only been mastered by CoC users(Luffy, Katakuri; most likely Admirals like Aokiji/Akainu; Shanks because Rayleigh knows a person who has Future Sight and we know they know each other) solely. Luffy only learned Future Sight by going through extreme conditions of battle or how I call it "character growth". By overcoming adversity you become a better person and that is what strength is, its actually a quite fitting metaphor for what we value in our world. Both Rayleigh/Hyou are talking about this "blooming" in the same terms. Did this "blooming" result in other differences between them? Oh yes.
Luffy is using Future Sight before Hyou, who seems to encounter the ability for the very first time. Taking into account that Hyou doesn't posses the CoC and he doesn't know what Future Sight is it shows its relation to each other. If one doesn't possess CoC one isn't able to learn these unique shades of haki and it just makes sense why CoC would be different. CoC is the manifestation of its user's spirit and hence why one can impose it onto others. That is why this color can "impose" itself on other forms of haki to create new colors. Its unique properties enables it to mix into other colors and why its such a fearsome ability. For instance, we get the color of FUTURE SIGHT by mixing CoO and CoC, a form of haki that can't be learned by non-Conqueror-users. Especially, if we consider how the same is true for this "new" type of haki that I call "Implosion Flowing".
By mixing CoA(Ryou) and CoC we get IMPLOSION FLOWING, one imposes their Flowing onto the enemy and this leads to them being destroyed from the inside. This is the reason why this goes beyond "normal Flowing" and why it can't be taught by someone who doesn't posses CoC. It is still a form of Flowing but it has a shade in it that can't be progressed through teaching. CoC can only be strengthened by ones personal growth. The descriptions are the same and the connections are all there. The truth about the CoC is that it can mix with the other two shades to create new colors.
I probably have talked this subject to death and it was not my original idea, so I won't bother you with rehashes. Again, you can find all the instances of its usage and what it is in the "Colors & Layers: Haki revisted" theory. The reason why I think now this ability is related to CoC is because all of the "advanced haki users"(Katakuri, Big Mom & Luffy) have it. The color pallet has changed and hardening having an additional form makes therefore perfect sense. There is Flowing(Ryou), which ultimately leads to Implosion Flowing and there is hardening. What would be the application of "hardening", an internal ability with the mixture of the CoC? It would be the "Flaming Hardening". You are imposing your will onto yourself, which enables you to remain with the properties of your devil fruit while using haki.
(I am not going to explain the details on how haki functions within this theory. There are detailed explanations in the above mentioned theory)
This is why Doflamingo has never encountered this ability before, even though he is a 50+ year old veteran of the Sea. Its only accessible and useful to people who need to use their devil fruit ability, haki at the same time and have CoC. This might apply to a few people in the whole world of One Piece. To help illustrate how useful this ability is let's take "Law" as a case study. Someone like him would benefit immensely from Flaming Hardening but he doesn't have access to it for some reason, even though he knows the normal hardening.
Is it a coincidence that the one guy who is very strong and benefits probably the most on the planet by using the Flaming Hardening(it enables you to use a devil fruit ability while using haki at the same time. It also enables you to apply your devil fruit on opponents, who use armament themselves) doesn't have the CoC? Law would be able to apply his devil fruit on his enemy while using his room+hardened sword. Though, he is forced to use an external ability like Flowing around his sword to cut people because he can't apply his devil fruit by hardening his blade(hardening changes the properties internally and Law can't apply his devil fruit when his sword loses the ability to be influenced by his devil fruit. In case you ever wondered why Law doesn't use hardening on his blade even though he can use it). Only super powerful people like Big Mom, Katakuri and Luffy obtained this stage of Hardening. Needless to say, all of them again, CoC users. The "special type of haki" that we have encountered has a 100% correlation to the CoC and therefore I come to the conclusion, that this is the new color pallet.
This entire stage of haki is separate to swordsmanship and one can create black blades through the usage of flowing and hardening at the same time.
If you apply this principle of creating a "barrier" around your sword and fill your sword with hardening this process seals the black inside it. This process isn't important to the theory but just in case people are confused why this isn't relevant to swordsmanship. The way of the sword is different than the way of the Conqueror and they don't necessarily align. The above illustrated color pallet shows us what access CoC users have to haki and the greatest hint to this idea is in a thing that has puzzled me for quite many months now, black lightning.
This is it
If you are a reader of mine you know what I believe the true form of Conqueror's to be, which is black lightning. I think we are finally there to state exactly what it is. We see that black lightning is emitted through the usage of the CoC on multiple occasions.
We already see the effect of what happens if CoC is being "mixed" with another persons CoC. Black lightning isn't emitted when one uses simply the CoC but when it clashes with another form of haki. Though for some reason we have seen the black lightning being emitted on other instances resulting in the same effect. Before I mention the other cases, I remind you of the entire premise of this theory. Certain shades of haki can only be obtained by people who have the CoC. Only if you mix the CoC with flowing, hardening, observation haki you get implosion flowing, flaming hardening and future sight. It wouldn't make much sense to see black lightning when future sight is emitted(it would occur internally in the brain of the user) but let's take a look at the other cases.
Implosion Flowing = CHECK
Flaming Hardening & at least a bit of Flowing = CHECK
Oh yes, Block Mochi is indeed CoC mixed haki(this is what Katakuri is telling us, this form of haki is beyond Armament because its not only Armament but has the CoC mixed into it. He is being very literal). Katakuri turns his arm into mochi and hardens it, proving it requires the usage of Flaming Hardening(otherwise he had to use his real arms or it would hurt him in the process, it has to be a mochi transformed arm), which Katakuri showed with the usage of Diced Mochi but there is more to it.
Katakuri creates an invisible armor(he can use Flowing as we have seen with Diced Mochi) around his hardened mochi arms pressing them even further together.
This is what Luffy is referring to and because Katakuri uses CoC mixed haki(Flaming Hardening) and uses "Flowing" it creates black lightning, the consistency is there.
Flaming Hardening & Flowing = CHECK
Implosion Flowing = CHECK
Implosion Flowing = CHECK
Go figure, all the shows of black lightning where usages of Conqueror's clashing or one of its mixed shades, that are Implosion Flowing and Flaming Hardening with Flowing. The reason why I do the distinction between normal Flaming Hardening and the additional usage of Flowing(block mochi for example) is Gear 4 itself. Only if Luffy starts letting the CoC/Hardening(Flaming Hardening) flow outside of his body it turns into black lightning. I predict that as soon as Luffy will master Flowing he will accomplish this feat. Either he goes into Gear 4 and uses Flowing at the same time, which results in black lightning or he will use Implosion Flowing for the same effect. Another possibility and this is the most intriguing, he might be able to mix both Implosion Flowing and Flaming Hardening. That is a form of haki we haven't seen yet and its possible that this could be Luffy's final technique to obtain. Being able to use Implosion Flowing and the Flaming Hardening at the same time would negate any defense anyone could ever have...it isn't surprising that Luffy learned Gear 4 now during the time skip, isn't it? Luffy has already mastered two of the CoC shades(Future Sight & Flaming Hardening), once he masters Implosion Ryou he has mastered the "way of the Conqueror". Luffy will have finally caught up to Shanks, who has mastered the same haki and the meeting can finally occur after Wano.
I hope you enjoyed it! Take Care!
- Related Theories & Content:
Theory Colors & Mixtures: CONQUEROR = SOLVED; KATAKURI = MAD; HAKI = CANCELLED
This time we are going to puzzle out where the entire haki story line is heading towards