Chapter 787 is titled "4 Minutes Before".
Jesus Burgess was kicked back from Luffy by Sabo who declares that Luffy is under his protection. After realizing that Sabo and Lucy are the same, Burgess turns his attention on Sabo as Luffy is carried away to safety by Gatz. The gladiators who were facing Doflamingo were no match for the nearly exhausted Shichibukai who calls out for Luffy's head.
With time running out, the fleeing citizens have reached the center of the city, having nowhere to outrun the shrinking cage while Zoro and Franky are struggling at slowing the birdcage down. The gladiators who fought the Donquixote officers were healed by Mansherry and are assisting the citizens in reaching the plateau. Doflamingo, tired of chasing Luffy, decides to make Luffy come to him by speeding up the Birdcage. This leaves only three minutes left until the eventual massacre while Luffy has four minutes left to heal.
Sabo's kick sends Jesus Burgess crashing into the ground, and Gatz and the other citizens recognize him as the Chief of Staff of the Revolutionary Army. Sabo tells Burgess that Luffy is his brother and asks the Blackbeard Pirate what problem he has with Luffy. This confuses Burgess, who also heard Ace claim to be Luffy's brother, and Sabo reveals that the three of them are brothers. Sabo recalls the Duel at Banaro Island and states that while he won't hold Burgess and his crew responsible for Ace's death, Burgess should know that he will protect Luffy. Burgess angrily rushes toward Sabo, not caring about the two's relationship, but Sabo then lights his finger on fire, and Burgess and Gatz realizes that he was the Lucy that ate the Mera Mera no Mi in the Corrida Colosseum. Sabo then talks to Luffy, telling him that he would have his hands full with Burgess while Doflamingo is still on the loose. Luffy tells him to not worry, knowing that Gatz and the gladiators can buy him enough time, and expresses relief that Sabo ate Ace's Devil Fruit. Burgess then rushes toward Sabo as Gatz carries Luffy away and throws a punch at Sabo, causing a shockwave which destroys the building in front of him. However, Sabo turns himself into flames and appears to the side of Burgess, attacking him with Fire Flame Dragon King. The force of the attack blows Burgess through several buildings, and Sabo leaps after him.
Gatz continues running while carrying Luffy, and Luffy reveals after Gatz's prompting that Sabo took his place during the Colosseum Finals. Gatz states that was against the rules, but is more intent on having Luffy recover so that he can defeat Doflamingo. Suddenly, Gatz looks behind him to see several buildings being uprooted and several gladiators running away as Doflamingo massacres many of them using his awakened Devil Fruit powers. The gladiators continue pressing on, but an enraged Doflamingo states that he doesn't have time to deal with them, yelling at Luffy to show himself so he can give the Straw Hat regret.
The citizens of Dressrosa continue running away from the Birdcage, and they head toward the central street, but they realize with a shock that the central street has become a battle ground as they look with astonishment at Doflamingo's massacre.
Meanwhile, Zoro coats his swords in Busoshoku Haki and clashes against the Birdcage. A shocked Kin'emon and Kanjuro berate Zoro for being reckless, saying that the Birdcage could not be stopped by pushing on it. However, Zoro asks them how they know that and tells them to help him stop it, as he could not succeed on his own. In front of the SMILE Factory, Franky tells the dwarves to push against the Factory. Since the Factory is indestructible, Franky knows that the dwarves pushing on it could stall the Birdcage. Meanwhile, Robin and Viola contact each other about Zoro's plan.
On the New King's Plateau, several Donquixote Pirates stand on it, keeping the citizens away from the plateau which is the only place they have left to go. They shoot at the citizens, stating it was Doflamingo's plan for all the citizens to die. Suddenly, all the Donquixote Pirates are defeated by the Colosseum gladiators who helped Luffy, all of whom are up now due to Mansherry healing them. Kyros tells all of the citizens to climb up the plateau, while Sai tells the other gladiators to come with him if they have the will to fight.
Doflamingo finally loses his patience with Luffy and speeds up the Birdcage, causing Riku and the citizens to cry out in anguish. As Zoro and Franky try to stall the Birdcage, and the gladiators prepare to join in, it is revealed that everyone on the center street will be massacred in three minutes. However, Luffy still needs four minutes to recover his Haki.
- Jesus Burgess learns of Sabo's relationship with Luffy and his identity as the second "Lucy".
- Burgess sets his sights on Sabo's Mera Mera no Mi and clashes with Sabo.
- Sabo has managed to master the Mera Mera no Mi to some extent, as he was able to infuse his claw technique with flames.
- Doflamingo accelerates the shrinking of the Birdcage.
- Mansherry used her powers to heal the Corrida Colosseum fighters on the New King's Plateau.
- Zoro, Franky, and the dwarves attempt to hinder the Birdcage. Zoro uses his Busoshoku Haki while Franky and the dwarves use the SMILE Factory.
- Luffy's Haki will recharge in four minutes while the Birdcage will start massacring the citizens in three.