In Chapter 998 we see Yamato and Momonosuke have hidden out in a storeroom, where a big dragon statue is located. Yamato reveals to Momonosuke that the statue was damaged by Ace when he came here to kill Kaido a few years ago.
This means that Ace, through his initial pirate journey, sought out 3 of the 4 Emperors, which is pretty impressive, all things considered. Ace really just kept punching above his weight – from Bluejam to Kaido to Whitebeard to Akainu, he never really stopped picking fights with people out of his league, did he?
As expected, Ace successfully reached Onigashima, which is the only way he could have met Yamato. I’m really interested to see how Ace is connected to Kaido. His name fits with the card game theme for Kaido’s underlings – and the Beasts Pirates, despite having a Jack, Queen, and King, are missing an Ace. I’m not saying this means Ace ever worked for Kaido, as it would seemingly be out of character, but it seems like it’s not a coincidence.
Ace’s role in this arc is one of the hardest things to predict. If he really did come to beat Kaido, it would be hard to see him not either dying or less likely winning, but it would be hard to see him losing and living on, as it’s already been shown that he will never run away from a fight, especially to protect his friend, like Yamato or Otama.
So the only thing that makes sense to me is he fought Kaido and was defeated, but Kaido saw potencial in him, kinda like Mihawk saw in Zoro and made a deal with him, maybe somthing like comeback in three years stronger and we will fight again, and until that day I won’t destroy Wano or something. Kinda like the deal with Oden which ultimately leads to the fact that Kaido was probably going to save Ace in Marineford.
Another possibility is that Ace heard about the prophecy according to which in twenty years, nine samurai would exact vengeance on Orochi in Oden’s name and open the borders of Wano Country.
So Ace was planning to return when the prophecy would be fulfilled and therefore he would have a better chance of defeating Kaido?
If this was true, this would also hint back to the idea of “right place at the wrong time” with Roger, Laugh Tale, and the original prophecy.
What do you guys think?