Chapter 549 is titled "Ship Sailing Forth".
In Impel Down, Shiryu joins the Blackbeard Pirates. On the Tarai Current on the way to Marineford, Jinbe reveals his Shichibukai status and Buggy receives a call informing him of his now-legendary status. Due to this, many of the former Impel Down prisoners agree to follow Buggy, while at Marineford, Ace proceeds to the gallows.
Impel Down: Level 4
En Route to Marineford
Meanwhile on the Tarai Current, Ivankov tells everyone to leave Inazuma to rest until he recovers from the poison on his own. While a fight erupts between Buggy and Luffy over Mr. 2 fate, Crocodile who confuses that why brutal Fish-man have the ability to talk to sea creatures, so he asks Jinbe this question, and Jinbe doesn't deny that Fish-man is a brutal race.
Jinbe later notices that Luffy jumps onto the deck where Crocodile and him are, so he thanks Luffy for giving him another chance to save Ace. He also wants to thank and apologise about Arlong, but he finally gives up because current target is more important. Jinbe then introduces himself properly to Luffy, telling him of his possibly revoked Shichibukai status and that he intended to go all out at Marine Headquarters to honor Mr. 2's wish.
This shocks both Luffy and Buggy, Luffy who did not know that Jinbe was a Shichibukai, Buggy who is surprised that they were heading directly towards Marine Headquarters. Crocodile tells Buggy that the moment they entered the Gates of Justice, they could only head towards Marine Headquarters, on the Tarai Current and that the purpose of breaking out was interest in the Whitebeard war.
While the pirates are arguing, a Den Den Mushi rings and Luffy answers. It is a call from the Marine who states that this was a report from an Impel Down escort fleet and that they had established two primary masterminds behind the jailbreak: Luffy and Buggy. The Marine states that they thought Buggy was an ordinary pirate but when closely investigated, they discovered he was formerly on Gol D. Roger's pirate ship. This surprises everyone, even Buggy, as they found out his past. The Marine also reveals that they did not intend to open the Gates of Justice for them, so that they could not reach Marine Headquarters and they could not break away from the Tarai Current.
All the prisoners congratulate Buggy about his "legendary" status. Buggy tries to tell them that he was only an apprentice but is bombarded with cheers. Buggy suddenly gets a brainwave, thinking that this could be the moment his reputation could sky rocket, even planning to take Whitebeard's head. He finally changes his mind and decides to go to Marine Headquarters too. All the prisoners agree saying that they would follow him anywhere.
In the Marine Headquarters, At noon, with three hours to go, Ace is dispatched to the gallows, forced to climb a very long staircase. As he climbs, he has a flashback where he and Luffy made a promise not to have a life without regrets. A guard opens the doors to the gallows. Ace soon steps out to meet his fate.
- Franky finds Vegapunk's old lab.
- Shiryu joins the Blackbeard Pirates.
- Buggy gains followers due to his past as a member of the Roger Pirates.
- This is the last chapter of the Impel Down Arc.