One Piece Chapter 1020, “Robin vs. Black Maria,” opens with the conflict between Kaido and Yamato. Kaido reveals that Yamato ate the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Okuchi no Makami devil fruit, becoming a “wolf deity.” According to the Yonko, the wolf is the “Guardian Deity of Wano.” To Kaido, Yamato is just another tool, like the country of Wano itself. He wants her to run it as a “weapons factory.”
However, Yamato wishes to “liberate” Wano instead. This is the dream Oden wanted for his country. Yamato releases a mouth blast called Namuji Hyoga, which Kaido counters with Bolo Breath. Kaido says that he will never allow Wano to be liberated. Kurozumi Orochi was successful in exploiting his own people for profit. In one of the previous chapters, Orochi returns. I speculated that Orochi had eight lives but after Kiado and the Nine Red Scabbards killing him he’s down to six.
Nico Robin has faith in Sanji
Kiado is unaware of his survival. Orochi isn’t strong enough to fight Kiado, so I would assume he would plot behind the scenes. Regardless, Orochi would have to be officially killed before Kaido’s plan for Yamato to work. Elsewhere, Nico Robin and Brook face Black Maria, and her subordinates, Nure Onna, Tenjo Kudari, and Number Kunyun. Black Maria fails to trick Robin with the false images of Nico Olvia, Professor Clover, and Jaguar D. Saul. Brook was unharmed as well. He notes that both he and Robin have been “being hurt by illusions.” Oda reminds us what Robin and Brook have suffered. This is important when Black Maria attempts to convince Robin that Sanji betrayed her. The Straw Hats have been through a lot together and with Robin specifically. They have a strong bond.
Throughout all of this, Black Maria wields a polearm with a wanyudo at its end. Wanyudo is a Gifter, with a big head and a body of a small pug dog. He’s made to run along a hamster wheel at the end of Black Maria’s polearm, generating fire. It seems like a terrible life, but Wanyudo is always laughing, seeking pleasure from his masters violence. Black Maria creates a floor of fire that Brook eliminates with Cold Soul. Brook decides to take on Black Maria’s subordinates, leaving Robin to fight Black Maria herself. Like many of the Strawhat’s Robin is underserved, especially when fighting. She prepares to fight using Gigante Fleur, creating a large body with nine arms.