Chapter 296 is titled "High-Altitude Situation".
Ace's Great Blackbeard Search, Vol. 21: "The Life-and-Intel-Saving Marine Is Still Burning".
"Commander" Ace reemerges from the burning ship, an unconscious Marine in one hand, a case of intelligence reports in the other—and flames still rolling atop his body.
Zoro cuts half of the Giant Jack, yet it does not fall down. Nola has a flashback to ringing the Shandorian Bell and crashes her head into the Giant Jack. Wyper uses a Reject Dial once more and the Giant Jack finally begins to fall.
The chapter opens with Zoro preparing to cut the giant beanstalk, Giant Jack, with Usopp, Gan Fall, Wyper, Aisa and Robin plus an unconscious Chopper, all watching on, commenting that Zoro is the only one who can cut it. Meanwhile Enel, on top of the Golden Bell, talks of his plans to destroy Skypiea with Raigo before conquering the world underneath the Sky Island, while thunderbolts rain down below. Zoro, avoiding them, manages to slice a wedge out of the beanstalk before succumbing to a direct hit by a thunderbolt, collapsing through a layer of cloud into the ruins of Shandora. Usopp swears, stating that at least Zoro managed to cut the plant, before Robin points out that, despite Zoro's efforts, the beanstalk still stands.
Elsewhere, after a brief image of the statue of Kalgara in the Shandia village, Nola lies unconscious after the events of the trials. She dreams of accompanying Kalgara and Seto to ring the Golden Bell as a small snake, before the two vanished, ignoring her cries; awakening and upset, she slams her head into the beanstalk, causing a massive vibration of the cloud layer. The survivors of the trials are surprised by the vibration, having not known that Nola had caused it, with Usopp labeling it a 'cloudquake'. Again, despite the giant snake's efforts, the beanstalk only tilts slightly before stopping. Robin proposes that a bigger impact is required.
At this time Conis is on the Going Merry, lamenting at how there is no hope now and that if she had told the Straw Hat Pirates the truth about God, she would not have dragged them into 'this mess'. The Shandia and the Skypieans are also located on the sea of cloud, waiting for the conflict to run its course, with the captain of the Skypieans stating, 'Men... can never win against nature'.
Returning to the survivors of the trials, Wyper becomes angry at Luffy for wanting to ring the Golden Bell, stating that only a descendant of Kalgara can perform the task. Aisa attempts to dissuade him, but is ignored. Usopp tells Robin to ignore Wyper as he is 'half dead', assuring the group that he can use his abilities to topple the beanstalk. When Wyper tells Usopp to stop, Robin interjects, telling him the tale of an explorer who said he had found the Golden City but was later labelled a liar. She then mentions a descendant who has risked his life trying to find the city and explains that Luffy is trying to indicate that the Golden City does indeed exist. A thunderbolt suddenly slams into the trees behind the group dramatically before Wyper asks for this descendant's name. Robin replies, 'Mont Blanc Cricket'; Wyper immediately recognizes the family name and asks if the original explorer was Mont Blanc Noland, crying while doing so. Robin says 'Yes', causing him to wonder if this was Kalgara's will; he then pushes Usopp aside, who had up until now been trying to fell the beanstalk with his slingshot, before pouncing onto the plant and using his Reject Dial, punching a hole straight through it.
The rest of the group are shocked by the impact, with Gan Fall criticizing the usage of the tool again by Wyper, who collapses to the floor, severely wounded, willing for the plant to break. Finally, after the third attempt at felling it, the beanstalk begins to topple.
Up the beanstalk, Nami notices the beanstalk tilting, before turning the Jet Dial on the Waver to its highest level, having doubts as to whether she can control it or not. Luffy, also on the Waver, however encourages Nami, telling her 'I trust you!' After this, the duo begin to power up the side of the plant towards Enel. The Shandia and the Skypieans then spot the beanstalk toppling as well from the sea of cloud.
The chapter ends with the survivors of the trials encouraging Luffy and Nami, before Enel spots them commenting on their eagerness to die and directing a thunderbolt directly at them and the island below.
- Zoro is incapacitated.
- Wyper learns of Luffy's true intent.
- The beanstalk finally topples, continuing the battle between Luffy and Enel.
- Episode 191 (p. 2-19)
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