Chapter 233 is titled ,"The Highest Authority in the World".
In Mock Town, Luffy had just defeated Bellamy with a single, powerful punch. Onlookers are stunned to see the mighty Bellamy taken out so easily. As Bellamy lies unconscious with a fist imprinting in his face, Sarkies tells him to get up and fight. Luffy however, simply stands over Bellamy, who does not move. Sarkies yells again, telling Bellamy to not be stupid and to give off the usual show. He says that he is the super rookie with a bounty of 55,000,000. Just then, a piece of paper blows into Sarkies' face, which is then shown to be Luffy's bounty poster detailing his bounty of 100,000,000. The man who had told the Bellamy Pirates that both Zoro and Luffy has higher bounties than Bellamy says he is right, making everyone afraid of Luffy. Luffy then asks for Cricket's gold back. However, most of the pirates, having seen Luffy's real strength, runs away, screaming about Bellamy's defeat.
Back at the Saruyama Alliance headquarters, the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates works with the Saruyama Alliance to fix the Going Merry and prepare it for the journey to Sky Island. Nami asks Zoro why he did not accompany Luffy, but Zoro simply asks why Nami is changing her mind on whether Zoro and Luffy should fight so much. She says that Zoro was defeated before, but Zoro simply replies that the Bellamy Pirates did not want to get in his way, and that a fight that you will feel sorry about afterwards is painful. The crew then starts arguing and get back to work on the ship.
Back in Mock Town, Luffy, having found the stolen gold, walks out of a bar. Sarkies, thinking that Luffy just got lucky, challenges Luffy, saying that he would not lose to a dream-chasing idiot. He asks Luffy where he is going, but when Luffy turns around, Sarkies falls to the ground in fear. However, Luffy simply points up and says "sky" indicating that he is going to sky island.
The day before, at noon, on an unknown island, Buggy and his crew are in a cave looking for treasure left behind by a legendary pirate. Mohji asks Buggy if they are at the right place, and Buggy says that it is correct. He adds that wherever there is treasure, there are bound to be guardians and traps for it. He is saying that they must be prepared to lose their lives, when a light suddenly comes on, revealing several miners who are coming down the tunnel. Buggy, Mohji, and Cabaji start chipping away at the rock, saying that sweating is such a pleasure. However, when the boss of the miners says that the rum will taste good when they are done, Buggy explodes in a fit of rage, asking what kind of sweat he wants them to shed.
Back on board their ship, Mohji tells Buggy that they cannot find the treasure, and Cabaji tells Mohji that Buggy must have mistaken the island for another. Cabaji says that Buggy must be upset, and does not want his face to turn red, making Buggy become enraged again. Mohji says that two of the Straw Hats have bounties of 100,000,000 and 60,000,000, and they are already famous pirates on the Grand Line. Buggy says that there is nothing to worry about, and says that witches fatten the kids before eating them. Mohji then realizes that the higher Luffy's bounty is, the higher Buggy's bounty will be when he defeats him. To celebrate the intelligence of their captain, the crew decides to party until nighttime, but Alvida tells the crew not to be so noisy, and says that if they cannot take care of Luffy if they do not know where he is. Buggy tells her not worry, and when an unknown person says that he can provide information, Buggy turns to him. Buggy then realizes that he does not know who the person is, and asks of his name. The figure, who is revealed to be Portgas D. Ace, says that he was attracted by a strong scent is sorry for interrupting the party. Buggy asks him who he is, and that he does not care about his overly inflated ego, but some of his crew members then inform his that Ace is the infamous "Fire Fist Ace", commander of Whitebeard's second division. Ace is happy to hear that they know about Whitebeard, but then suddenly falls asleep, surprising the crew. Mohji encourages Buggy to attack Ace, saying that if he does, they will become famous, but Buggy is against the idea, saying that they cannot fight against Whitebeard's men. Buggy says that Whitebeard is the only who tied in a fight against Gold Roger, and is the strongest man in the world and the one closest to One Piece. Buggy says that Whitebeard hates his friends getting hurt, and when Alvida comments that Buggy knows him well, Buggy states that when he first entered the Grand Line, he met him head-on. Ace then wakes up and says that it is cool that Buggy knows Whitebeard personally. Ace asks if it is a party, and Buggy, seeing the rare occasion, throws a big party. Ace then has Richie jump through a ring of fire.
At the Holy Land of Mariejois, it is revealed that Shanks had sent a messenger to Whitebeard, creating tension in the World Government. The Gorosei discusses the issue of Shanks, saying that he is not one to change the world single-handedly, and that they need to find a successor to Crocodile's position in the Shichibukai in order to maintain the balance of power. A Marine reports that they have summoned the Shichibukai for this matter, but are not sure how many will come, as one of the Gorosei states that Luffy cannot be forgiven either for defeating Crocodile. Marine Headquarters then alert Mariejois that two of the Shichibukai, Bartholomew Kuma and Donquixote Doflamingo have arrived.
- Ace meets Buggy.
- Whitebeard is the strongest man in the world and was the only one who was able to tie in a fight with Roger.
- Buggy mentions that he encountered Whitebeard when he first entered the Grand Line.
- Two more of the Shichibukai, Bartholomew Kuma and Donquixote Doflamingo appear for the first time.
- The Gorosei appear for the first time.
- The cover page of this chapter is black instead of the usual white as means for Oda's mourning of the passing of Gin Shinga, a fellow mangaka and assistant who worked with Oda while both worked under master Nobuhiro Watsuki. He died of heart failure attributed to a bout of anorexia he suffered from.