Chapter 540 is titled "Level 6 Eternal Hell".
Color spread: Robin reads a bedtime story aloud for the Straw Hat Pirates and various animals. Zoro, Luffy and Franky fall asleep while Usopp, Nami, Sanji and Chopper are enjoying the story. Brook plays music along with the story.
Ivankov, Inazuma and Luffy realize Ace is not in his cell and release Jinbe and Crocodile in order to help them escape Impel Down, as well as fight in the upcoming war. Ace is being transported to the Marines.
Emporio Ivankov, Inazuma and Luffy are seen running down the stairs into Level 6, where they easily defeated all the jailers present and passed through the traps without getting hurt. As they enter Level 6, they discover that Ace's cage is empty. Inazuma says that they had been a little late. However, Jinbe quickly recognizes Luffy by his Straw Hat and is astonished that not only had Hancock had not lied about Luffy's entrance to Impel Down, but the pirate in question also made it down to the Great Prison's lowest and most restricted Level. Jinbe quickly responds to the situation, shouting at Luffy to go towards the lift, which had already left; and then ponders to himself as Luffy heads towards the lift, noting that more than a couple of lives aren't enough to guarantee an unauthorized person make it all the way down to Level 6, and conquering all the previous hellish levels before it in the process.
As the trio look up the lift, a giant pad with spikes comes falling down, preventing them from going up the lift cables. Then, a metal cage surrounds the stairs, stopping them from exiting and sleeping gas erupts, destabilizing Luffy.
Monitor Room, Level ???
Level 1, Outside the Lift
Magellan is seen holding down a resisting Ace. Magellan says that they all heard the report and that resistance is useless. Magellan claims that Luffy, as a pirate, was doomed the minute he set foot into Impel Down. Ace silently despairs, as he had hoped that Boa had lied, and questions why Luffy came.
As the sleeping gas started to fill the entire room of Level 6, Inazuma turned his hands into scissors and "sliced" through the floor as if it was made of paper. He then used it, still treating it as though it were paper, and blocked the gas from coming from the metal cage. Some prisoners comment on this, and Iva explained his ability, the Choki Choki no Mi. Iva tells Luffy that they cannot make it in time, that it was too late. His Vivre Card was no longer pointing directly upwards, indicating that he had been already handed over to the Marines. Iva states that he will help Luffy out, in whatever manner possible. However, Luffy makes the decision of following Ace to the Marine Headquarters.
Iva instantly retaliates with a comment about the upcoming war between Whitebeard and the Shichibukai. Luffy states if he was to give up now, he would regret it and that he's going. Ivankov thinks to himself that this is what it feels like to be talking to Dragon.
Then, one of the prisoners says that he could make a hole in the ceiling, and it turns out to be none other than Crocodile. Crocodile states that it would be to both of their advantages, as this would provide him an opportunity to escape and challenge Whitebeard, while allowing Luffy to continue going after Ace.
Although reluctant to let Crocodile out, Iva reveals that he knew him from long ago and states that he knows a weakness to Crocodile, that if he were to betray them, he would use it against Crocodile. As Crocodile is being let out, other prisoners shout to be let out as well, saying that they will help them but instead, gets a faceful of Death Wink.
After this Jinbe shouted to be let out. He says to Luffy that he knew Ace since he joined the Whitebeard Pirates and that he wants to save Ace himself. Ivankov exclaimed at how another man of tremendous power is ready to join Luffy's entourage and aid the young pirate in his endeavor. After locking eyes with the fish-man, Luffy simply replies with "okay" but this time, it is Inazuma's turn to be reluctant. Instead, Luffy just tells him to get Jinbe out. More prisoners shout to be let out, only to get another Death Wink.
Ivankov states that they are to go immediately. Upon exiting their cells, the Shichibukai and the former Shichibukai sized up and looked down on each other, and Jinbe tells Crocodile, if he were to touch Whitebeard, then Jinbe himself would send Crocodile flying, which Crocodile responds (with his golden hook raised) with a challenge to a fight to the death. Inazuma states that they now have two Shichibukai freshly recruited from Level 6 fighting for their side, counting Crocodile (who is a former) and Luffy replies with "two?", unaware of Jinbe's status.
- Portgas D. Ace is handed over to the Marines.
- Inazuma ate the Choki Choki no Mi.
- Emporio Ivankov and Crocodile are revealed to have known each other in the past.
- Ivankov knows a certain weakness of Crocodile's.
- Jinbe and Crocodile join Luffy's attempt to save Ace.
- new introduction