Chapter 589 is titled "Efforts Toward Glory".
Luffy is lying with his face on the ground on the cliff where Ace read Sabo's letter. He is crying, and Ace punches him in the head, scolding him for his behavior, saying that their hidden treasure is gone, and that there's no point in having treasure if it cannot be protected. Luffy tearfully cries out his will to become stronger in order to protect the ones he loves, and then begs Ace to survive with Ace's response being another punch. Ace then promises him that he will not die since he has a weak little brother to take care of. Ace and Luffy then vow to live without regret. He then says that what killed Sabo was the "opposite of freedom" and that the two remaining brothers must obtain freedom and become pirates, even if that means making a lot of enemies along the way, including Garp. The two then agree to set sail on their 17th years and become pirates, as Sabo told them that children born from Noble families truly obtain their title at the age of 18, and he wanted to leave Goa at 17. Elsewhere, on the night the World Noble reached Goa Kingdom: there are two brief scenes of Zoro's and Kuina's training in Shimotsuki Village, and on the coast Dragon is boarding his ship, with one of his men saying that noticing that he brought someone severely wounded that his men quickly attend to and Dragon then asks about the rations with his men telling the dojo being told about obtaining new supplies. He then orders his men to set sail back for Baltigo.
As months pass, the Gray Terminal is being reconstructed by the garbage dumping resuming as usual. Ace and Luffy are training again, and Luffy is trying to develop his "Gomu Gomu no Pistol" technique, but ends up hitting himself, to which Ace laughs and remarks that rubber is not for fighting. The two start arguing over the utility of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, but are interrupted by someone whom they think is Sabo, but in reality is nothing more than a rock; they are just remembering their beloved brother. Luffy states that Sabo was really a good brother, to which Ace angrily replies in a comical way, asking his brother if he wanted him to die instead. They return to Dadan's hideout and build two rudimentary shacks they name "Ace's country" and "Luffy's country", much to Dadan's surprise, as they want to survive alone and get stronger. Following this, the two adventure in the jungle and Luffy runs across a fierce bear. Ace refuses to help him, because they must grow stronger alone, but when the animal severely injures Luffy offscreen, he desperately cries for him. Ace managed to bring Luffy back to the Bandit hideout, where he was treated by Magura. Ace huddles up against the wall, telling Luffy that he is sorry. Some time later, Makino pays a visit to Ace, and he tells her of his intentions to meet Red Haired Shanks and introduce himself to the man who once saved his brother's life. Ace then asks her the proper way of making an introduction. He is irritated because Makino keeps smiling.
Ace and Luffy are then seen escaping from a restaurant owner after eating without paying the bill (an attitude Ace will show again in the future). They then stop in the middle of the street and thank the restaurant owner for the food. Later, they are once again seen training with each other. They fight and defeat a bear, then they chase hoodlums and fight a giant centipede. Garp is seen again, one more time beating up his grandsons. The two "brothers" are seen together one more time, and happily jumping from a building.
Seven years later Ace, at age 17, is finally setting sail: he is on a little boat with a triangular sail, and sports many of his trademark objects: his hat with the two smilies, the orange belt with his initial on the buckle, the armband on the left arm and his green bag with a black pattern on it. He happily says goodbye to the people on the shore: Luffy, who is now 14, Makino, Woop Slap, Dogura, Magura, and the other bandits, who wish him good luck in return. Dadan is not there, she remained in the hideout, where her subordinates inform her that Ace is already gone, to which she apparently remains impassive, saying that Garp will be angry with her and that Ace is always "an ungrateful little pissant". However, as the bandits tell her that Ace left her a message, "Thank you", she bursts into tears, showing off her sadness.
Luffy tries his "Gomu Gomu no Pistol" move again, this time against a rock. Finally, he shows off his capabilities, shattering the rock to pieces with his mighty rubber punch. He rejoices, having gotten stronger. He then receives a visit from Dogura, who shows him a newspaper: it's Ace, his crew, and his ship, already famous. Luffy is happy, and states that he will not let Ace surpass him.
Three more years pass, and a finally 17-year-old Luffy is ready to set sail himself. He says goodbye to the Bandits, who cannot go to Foosha Village because of its inhabitants being afraid of them. He thanks them, and then tells Dadan that he hates Mountain Bandits, to which she gets angry and shouts at him, but he then says he likes them, the woman then bursts into tears as she did 3 years ago after before for Ace's departed. Luffy is then seen on a dinghy in Foosha Village. One of the citizens asks him to take one of their old fishing boats, but he refuses, content with his little boat. To which they then call him an idiot for setting out on a dingy. Luffy then looks into the sky. He then cries Sabo's name, telling his deceased brother of his departure. He then labels each of them in the order they departed. He then says he's not gonna lose to them. The villagers (wondering who Luffy's talking about) ask what he's talking about to which he states it's a challenge. After saying goodbye to his friends, he sets sail, and he (offscreen) quickly defeats the Lord of the Coast with a single punch, a feat commented on by Dadan and Dogura, who are hidden behind a wall. Luffy then cries out he will become the Pirate King, and so the flashback ends, and One Piece's storyline begins from here...
- Ace promises Luffy that he will not die, but eventually fails to keep that promise at Marineford during the Whitebeard War.
- It is revealed that children born from noble families truly become nobles themselves at age 18, which leads to the reason why both Ace and Luffy departed and became pirates at age 17.
- It is revealed that Dragon and the other Revolutionaries were once near the Shimotsuki Village where the dojo in which Zoro and Kuina trained is located.
- Luffy finally develops his "Gomu Gomu no Pistol" technique.
- Both Luffy and Ace depart from Goa Kingdom.
- The flashback ends and the present storyline continues.
- Overflowing with emotions after losing everything (his brother's life and crew), Luffy, for the very first time, deems himself too weak to ever be the Pirate King.