Chapter 997 is titled "Flame Clouds".
Cover Page Request: "A raccoon Buddhist priest repeatedly smacks Sanji who continues to have worldly thoughts during Zen meditation." -PN Mr. Nakahara from Tottori Prefecture.
Sanji races to save a woman who sounds to be in peril, only to be caught in a trap by Black Maria and her subordinates. Meanwhile, Luffy and Jinbe's allies build them a ladder to get them to the fourth level. At the Live Floor, Big Mom has flown up to the roof of the Skull Dome while the Ice Oni continues to rage through the crowd. However, Zoro is able to strike Apoo down and seize the antidote, and Chopper announces that those infected can halt the spread of the virus by standing near fire until he makes enough antibodies for everyone. Queen tries to shoot him, but is stopped by Zoro. Suddenly, the ground starts to shake, and as Yamato, Shinobu, and Momonosuke reach the harbor, they discover that Kaidou has lifted Onigashima into the air with flame clouds and is bringing it to the Flower Capital.
On the third floor, Sanji continues to hear what he believes is a woman in danger. He runs up the stairs to see the silhouettes of a man untying the kimono of a woman despite her pleas not to. Sanji becomes worried he is witnessing sexual harassment and rushes to save the woman from losing her virginity. When he kicks down the door, however, he finds himself stuck in a spider's web, as it is revealed the man and woman were merely setting him up for a trap. The two proceed to kick him in the face before completely tying him up. Sanji is then brought forth to Black Maria as he demands he be freed. Black Maria refuses to let Sanji turn her banquet into a battlefield, though she says she finds him charming. She asks if he likes her and he, in turn, answers that he loves her, becoming completely lovestruck.
Elsewhere on the third floor, Luffy asks Jinbe where Sanji is, and Jinbe answers that he does not know. Meanwhile, two Shinuchi named Mizerka and Poker, who ate a SMILE that gives them the appearances of a gorilla and rattlesnake, respectively, are informed that Luffy and Jinbe are on their way to the stairs, where the two are currently stationed. Poker becomes excited, believing that if he and Mizerka can stop them, not only will it make up for Eustass Kid making it past them, but he believes it may promote him to Tobiroppo. Unfortunately for them, the former prisoners of Udon provide Luffy and Jinbe with a hand-made ladder to reach the fourth floor instead, which they accept.
On the Live Floor, Big Mom manages to reach the rooftop, but Zoro notices something fall out of the hole. After he sees it hit the ground, he looks around seeing the continued chase for Scratchmen Apoo for the Ice Oni antidote, as well as noticing Omasa completely becoming an Oni and Chopper starting to change himself. X Drake is still fighting Apoo, but in a split second Zoro defeats Apoo and claims the antidote. He immediately hands it to Chopper and asks if he can handle the floor now, which he confirms. Chopper then announces to everyone that he figured out how the virus works: Ice Oni is fused with a gas that chills the body, so everyone needs to use fire to stop the chilling. He declares he will make enough antibodies for everyone, friend and foe alike. Queen sees this and prepares to blast Chopper and Apoo for failing to hold on to the antidote. His gun, however, is destroyed by Zoro, who angrily tells Queen he did not come all the way to the island to waste time on his stupid game, but to cut down Kaidou, the strongest man in the world.
The ground suddenly starts to shake and Brook asks Zoro if this is his Haoshoku Haki which he immediately denies. Robin says to Zoro that she understands how he feels because she too saw what fell through the hole earlier: Kikunojo's severed arm. Zoro wishes he could fly up into the hole but King and Queen will not make it easy just as Marco flies in asking the crew if they need help with anything. The shaking ground continues to be felt throughout the island and even outside, as the Heart Pirates become unable to reach the island and aid in the fight. Black Maria says that he is extremely impatient.
At the port area outside the dome, Yamato successfully exits the castle carrying Shinobu and Momonosuke, but when they get to the port, they find no ships available to reach Wano. Yamato realizes they were too late as Momonosuke asks what they are talking about. Yamato explains that dragons have the power to fly through the air with flame clouds, which means that as of right now, Kaidou is levitating the entire island to move it to the Flower Capital.
- Sanji is caught by Black Maria and her subordinates.
- Luffy and Jinbe are currently on the third floor and the rebels from Udon built a ladder to the fourth floor for them.
- Big Mom reaches the rooftop of the Skull Dome.
- Omasa has completely transformed into an Ice Oni.
- After seeing Kikunojo's arm fall from the roof of the Skull Dome, Zoro defeats Apoo and gives the vial of antibodies to Chopper.
- Chopper has figured out how the Ice Oni virus works. Those infected can prevent the spread of the virus by keeping their bodies warm.
- Zoro attacks Queen and destroys his Gatling gun.
- Marco arrives at the Live Floor to aid the Straw Hats.
- Yamato, Momonosuke, and Shinobu exit the Skull Dome but are unable to leave the island.
- Kaidou uses his powers to lift Onigashima above sea level and is planning to move it to the Flower Capital.
- In the original magazine release, this chapter was titled "Flames" (焔 Homura?).