Chapter 544 is titled "Even the Lid of Hell's Cauldron Will Open".
Blackbeard reveals to Luffy that it was he who captured Ace in order to become a Shichibukai. The two begin to fight; however, it is cut short by Jinbe who reminds Luffy to not lose sight of his goal. The escapees then leave as Magellan approaches while the Blackbeard Pirates go further into Impel Down.
Level 4, The Blazing Hell
The chapter begins with Blackbeard talking about how Luffy brought down Crocodile and freed up a Shichibukai placing. With an empty Shichibukai spot, Blackbeard decided to go in and take the place by bringing Luffy to the World Government, as he was the one that had defeated Crocodile.
Blackbeard states that fate was on Luffy's side: ever since he had committed the most treacherous crime aboard the Whitebeard Pirates, Ace had been hunting him down. Then Ace revealed that Luffy was his brother after he found out about Blackbeard's plan. This ultimately lead to Ace not being able to leave Blackbeard alone. Blackbeard says that if he was left alone by Ace, Ace himself would be bringing shame down onto the Whitebeard Pirates AND leaving Luffy in risk of being captured.
Van Augur says that fate is no coincidence, when Doc Q says that Luffy is a VERY lucky "kid". Laffitte also states that as Blackbeard is now Shichibukai, they no longer desired to capture Luffy. Jesus Burgess comments on Ace's fighting skills, saying that he was a fighter.
Blackbeard remarks to Luffy that he should thank Ace at his grave(meaning Ace's), that Ace had decided to show up, saying if he had not, Luffy would be dead. Enraged, Luffy shouts at Blackbeard to try killing him and punches Blackbeard in Gear Second. Blackbeard is sent flying into a wall, breaking the wall on contact. Luffy states that he will not let Ace die and prepares to attack again, when Blackbeard uses Kurouzu.
Luffy and Blackbeard both stand up and prepare to attack, when Jinbe steps in and holds Luffy by the arm. He reminds Luffy of his priorities and states that even in Whitebeard's crew, Blackbeard was an unknown person and that whatever he did, Blackbeard was strong enough to take the down the likes of Ace. Jinbe asks Luffy not to waste his energy on Blackbeard.
Blackbeard himself simply comments that Luffy's Haki has improved and that Luffy was stronger than previously thought. However, Crocodile talks to Blackbeard for the first time, asking why he would cast away a title that he had earned so quickly. Blackbeard simply replies with that it was all part of a "plan" and that he had no obligation to tell Crocodile.
Crocodile states that he has no interest in Blackbeard's plan, when someone shouts that Magellan had arrived to the jailer's relief. Magellan's Hydra is seen poisoning prisoners effectively. Ivankov, who is still in his Eccentric Girl form, urges Luffy to keep moving forward, saying that if he is to be attacked by Magellan's poison once more, he would not be returning again. Numbers of prisoners hurry towards the stairway when more prisoners are being attacked by another Jailer Beast: Minotaurus. This shocks Mr. 2, as they had defeated Minotaurous earlier.
Crocodile then reveals that the Jailer Beasts were all "awakened" Zoan Devil Fruit users, saying that their extreme physical endurance and recovery point were their advantages. Crocodile states that the other three would soon awake and that the Boss of Hell would be arriving soon.
Magellan is seen running towards the bridge, when a jailer tells him that Blackbeard was also there, to Magellan's surprise as he had sent Shiryu to deal with Blackbeard. Also, another jailer reports that the monitor room for the entire jail was going down and that they had lost communication with Marine Headquarters. The jailer is about to report that they have no way of communicating with the outside world, when Shiryu steps in and kills him, saying that he shouldn't be "tattling" to superiors. Magellan orders someone to get down to the Monitor Room and comments on the day, saying how when one intruder slips in and everything goes wrong.
Level 2, the Beast Hell
Level 4, the Blazing Hell
Luffy states to Blackbeard that he will save Ace. Blackbeard simply says that he will not say that Luffy is doomed as "nothing is impossible". Blackbeard asks Luffy if Sky Island did exist, saying if it did, then so does the great treasure One Piece. Luffy walks past Blackbeard as the great pirates says that in a few hours, the world would be shaken to its core by the Blackbeard Pirates. The escaping group heads onwards to Level 3.
Sadi is seen tied up, saying that she was tied up by Iva. Magellan orders her to be released as he prepares to take the Blackbeard Pirates head on. Magellan identifies Blackbeard and the latter replies with "Damn right I am!". At this point, Magellan uses his Hydra move on the Blackbeard Pirates. The Blackbeard Pirates sink to the ground in pain as the poison slowly kills them, including Doc Q's horse, Stronger. Magellan congratulates Hannyabal for holding out so long. The Chief Warden of Impel Down shouts at Straw Hat Luffy, that he will never let him escape out of Hell. Alive.
- As this chapter was released in Shounen Jump, they celebrated the release of Volume 54 in the One Piece series.
- As the story of Sanji at Momoiro continues, it appears Sanji has turned into an okama as well.
- Crocodile reveals that Devil Fruits can be "awakened", as with the four Jailer Beasts.
- Magellan poisons the Blackbeard Pirates.
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