Chapter 496 is titled "The Yarukiman Mangrove".
CP9's Independent Report, Vol. 6: "In St. Poplar, Town of the Spring Queen, Without Any Hospital Money".
The Takoyaki 8 crew prepares food for the Straw Hats. Duval comes to thank Sanji for re-constructing his face. Pappag explains to the Straw Hats how to get to New World. After the group arrives at Sabaody Archipelago, Hatchan warns the Straw Hats not to get involved with the World Nobles.
The Straw Hats enjoy a free meal from Hatchan, Camie, and Pappag as a thanks for saving their lives. Hatchan asks Nami what she thinks of the food, which creates an air of tension. Nami establishes that she does not forgive Hatchan for their past, but nevertheless assures him that she likes the food - much to the crew's joy. The Takoyaki 8 proprietors encourage the Straw Hats to eat their fill, to which they happily oblige. Sanji is denied the opportunity to learn more about the takoyaki sauce, as the group is soon approached by the Rosy Life Riders. Luffy doesn't recognize Duval - to which Sanji confirms that he altered the bone structure of his face. Duval is extremely grateful to Sanji to the point he now calls him "Young Master", as he believes his newly acquired looks will mean a life of peace. As a way of returning the favor Duval offers the crew assistance on their travels, knowing that the Straw Hats are new to the area. Sanji states that Duval having no hard feelings is enough for him, however the latter is revealed to be fawning over himself in the mirror rather than listening. After mistakenly believing that Sanji had called him "handsome", he makes eye contact with Nami as she wipes her mouth, thinking that she is blowing him a kiss. After more antics with the Straw Hats over his looks, Duval offers the crew his Den Den Mushi and implores them to call should they ever need help. With a final apology for the trouble they have caused, Duval and the Rosy Life Riders go on their way, much to the crew's relief. Brook notes that this was his first time having takoyaki, and couldn't be more pleased. He passes gas with no regard to his surroundings, and Nami berates him for his lack of manners. As the Takoyaki 8 crew finally is able to rest, Sanji invites them aboard the Thousand Sunny for tea.
The group discusses their potential routes to Fish-Man Island, with Hatchan clarifying that only fish-men and merfolk are able to survive the pressure of such deep water. Pappag elects to enlighten them on their 2 options; however only one of them is feasible for the crew due to them being pirates. One way would involve climbing the Red Line and going through the Holy Land of Mary Geoise, seeking the permission of the World Government. This would not be possible due to the crew's reputation, but more importantly, it would require leaving the Thousand Sunny behind in order to cross the Red Line. The notion makes Franky incredibly upset, to which Pappag notes that this is unequivocally the safer option of the two. The alternative involves traveling through the ocean floor, which often leads to ships being attacked by Sea Kings. While Chopper and Usopp reconsider if they actually want to go to Fish-Man Island in light of this, Nami and Robin wonder just how a ship can travel through the depths of the ocean. Camie and Hatchan explain that there is a small hole in the Red Line about ten thousand meters underwater, and this is where Fish-Man Island is located. In fact, it is essentially directly beneath Mary Geoise. While Zoro notes that the Sky Islands were also about ten thousand meters in the opposite direction, Camie and Hatchan further explain that the ship needs to be "coated" at the island they are headed to in order to dive to such depths. As they speak on this, the crew marvels at their new location, having arrived at the Sabaody Archipelago.
Usopp immediately calls out the large bubbles that constantly appear and float upwards, wondering if they come from the island itself. Camie confirms they do, however Robin interrupts the explanation to ask about the status of their log pose. Nami shares her concern, wondering if it will change course now that they've stopped at an island. Hatchan assuages their concern, noting that the Sabaody Archipelago is just a huge growth of trees and thus doesn't have magnetic pull. Hatchan further explains mangrove trees, noting that the ones of Sabaody are a special case since the water never rises above their roots. The Sabaody Archipelago is a forest of the world's biggest mangrove trees, which are known as the Yarukiman Mangrove. Each tree constitutes its own "island", of which there are 79 in total. The 79 islands together form the archipelago, and it is here that people venture to when they wish to cross over into the New World. The crew arrives to Sabaody at the "civilian" entrance Grove 44, though Hatchan has them sail further in and drop anchor at Grove 41. Pappag informs them the islands are all connected by bridges, so as long as they remember their grove number, they won't get lost. Usopp and Chopper muse over the potential of someone still getting lost, much to Zoro's annoyance.
With the crew finally stepping ashore, the bubbles immediately pique Luffy's interest; as he demonstrates that he can stand on them. Pappag explains that the Yarukiman Mangrove tree roots secrete a special kind of resin, and when the roots "breathe out" they push this resin into bubbles that float off into the sky. Luffy climbs several bubbles high into the air, and tells his crew he can see an amusement park. Camie notes that this is Sabaody Park, and she's always dreamed of riding the Ferris Wheel. Chopper questions this, and Pappag admonishes her for having a such a thought, slightly puzzling the reindeer. Nami questions just why they are here in the first place, and Hatchan reminds them that they need to have their ship coated in resin by a mechanic. They could all be killed by the pressure of the ocean if the job is not done properly, so Hatchan assures them he can take them to a mechanic that he'd trust with his life. In exchange for this however, Hatchan has the crew promise him that they won't get involved in the affairs of the World Nobles at any cost.
- The Flying Fish Riders have changed their name to the Rosy Life Riders.
- Pappag explains the two ways to enter the New World.
- You can scale the Red Line and seek permission from the World Government, but this requires you to leave your ship behind.
- Alternatively, you can travel through a hole in the Red Line on the ocean floor, where Fish-Man Island is located.
- Fish-Man Island is revealed to be 10,000 meters below sea, the same distance the Sky Islands are above sea.
- The Straw Hats arrive at the Sabaody Archipelago.
- It is here where they will acquire the ship coating that allows them to dive to Fish-Man Island.
- Hatchan and Pappag provide insight into the Sabaody Archipelago.
- It has no magnetic pull and thus does not impact log poses, being more so a forest of trees than an island.
- The archipelago consists of 79 islands total, each created by a specific mangrove tree.
- The Yarukiman Mangrove trees that make up the archipelago secrete a special resin from their roots which constantly floats into the air as bubbles.
- This is the resin that will be used to coat the Thousand Sunny in order for it to dive to Fish-Man Island.
- The archipelago features an amusement park, that Camie is unable to enjoy for some reason.
- Hatchan warns the Straw Hats not to get into a confrontation with the World Nobles.
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