Chapter 236 is titled "The Ship Goes Into the Sky".
Wapol's Omnivorous Hurrah Vol. 1: "Even if I get Killed, a Great Man like me will not just die!"
The Going Merry is swallowed by the whirlpool. While Usopp and Nami are terrified, Luffy is excited by this new adventure. Suddenly, when they have reached his center, the whirlpool disappears. This allows the Straw Hat Pirates to notice a raft that has came toward them. It belongs to Blackbeard Pirates, who have come to catch Luffy and Zoro now that they have high bounties. Unfortunately for them, the calm was just a short pause before the Knock Up Stream starts. The Merry is propelled toward the sky by this enormous pillar of water while Blackbeard's raft is simply smashed into pieces.
After enjoying the sensation of their ship sailing the stream, Sanji notices that their situation is far from safe as the boat is starting to lose balance and is about to fall down. That is until their navigator masters the situation. Nami tells them to set down the sail. Indeed, the stream is also creating a huge wind that will help them to fly to the sky.
As the crew gets closer to the center of the whirlpool, a Sea King emerges to attack them. Even he quickly succumbs to the power of the whirlpool however, terrifying Nami, Chopper, and Usopp while Luffy looks on unfazed. Masira and Shoujou wish the crew luck, as Usopp and Nami frantically try to get them to bring them back away from the whirlpool. They notice that the whirlpool is actually sucking them in now, and then turn their complaints to Luffy. They try to convince Luffy that the whirlpool alone is deadly enough and the Sky Island is just a fantasy, but to their horror, this only excites Luffy further. He tells them that if they were to miss an adventure like that, they'd regret it for the rest of their lives. As they sulk in acknowledgement of their failure, Zoro points out what has been happening during their fruitless efforts: the ship is now completely airborne, and about to plummet to the center of the whirlpool. Just as it falls however, the whirlpool seemingly disappears.
While they wonder how a whirlpool that large could just disappear, Nami notices something: the whirlpool has actually gone into the seabed. As they contemplate this new revelation, Usopp, Luffy, and Zoro notice the Blackbeard Pirates approaching them from the rear. Nami remembers him from Mock Town, while Sanji doesn't recognize him. Blackbeard announces that he's here to collect Luffy's 100 Million bounty, while the Saruyama Alliance ponders who he is from a distance.
Blackbeard wonders why it is only dark where they are, while a puzzled Luffy is questions this bounty, which confirms Blackbeard's suspicions that he was unaware of it but nonetheless reveals Luffy's bounty increase while also announcing Zoro's bounty. Usopp looks through his binoculars and confirms, informing Zoro that he's become a wanted pirate as well. Sanji asks Usopp to look again in hopes that there is one for him too, but he coldly tells the cook there isn't one, greatly disappointing him. Luffy is overjoyed at the new bounty, while Zoro casually smiles at his, wishing the amount was larger. Nami herself wonders what role Alabasta's events played in this, and tells Luffy and Zoro not to get cocky. Shoujou and Masira yell for them to stay focused, as the Knock Up Stream is approaching. Just then, the water beneath the Going Merry begins to swell and rise. Blackbeard is confused, and the Straw Hats all frantically look for a place to hide or something to grab on to. There is a massive explosion beneath them, and the Knock Up Stream finally emerges. It immediately blasts the Going Merry into the air but utterly destroys the Blackbeard Pirates' raft in the process.
Montblanc Cricket watches the Knock Up Stream from a distance, and breathes a sigh of relief. The stream is shown to extend all the way into the sky, above the clouds. The Straw Hats are still struggling to brace themselves as they ride the stream upward, while Shoujou and Masira cheer them on to Sky Island. The Straw Hats are confused by what is causing them to sail vertically upward, and Nami wonders if it is the wind. Sanji notices that the ship is slowly losing contact the with the stream itself, and points out that they will eventually get blown off if this continues. The crew isn't sure what can be done about this, as they are having enough trouble just holding on to the ship. To make matters worse, the Sea King from earlier emerges from the stream and falls towards them, among other debris that had fallen victim to the stream's power. Sanji further deduces that they will end up like that sooner or later if they don't do something, setting off a flurry of mixed reactions from the crew. In the midst of the chaos, Nami tells the crew to release the sails. They are confused by this, but Nami explains that this is no mere stream that they are sailing on: this is the sea itself, and they are riding a current, it just so happens to be going vertically upwards. She continues to explain that the water vapors from the explosion below are actually creating an updraft of air for them to ride. Since their opponents are the wind and sea, they will conquer them sailing by on in their faces. She concludes by reminding them all who's the crew's Navigator, reaffirming their trust in her ability.
Nami directs the crew to align the ship to be parallel to the stream itself. Sanji tells them to use the wind to help align the ship, but also actually picks Luffy up and throws him in into the deck of the ship for additional momentum. Chopper however points out that the ship has almost lost contact with the stream, and is falling. He implores Nami to come up with another plan, but she says there is no need. The Going Merry completely drifts off the Knock Up Stream, but with the sails released, and new wings as part of its refit, the ship begins to fly along the stream. The crew is amazed at the ability of the ship and Nami's navigation skills, with Sanji fawning excessively. Nami states that as long as they follow this wind and stream, they can make it anywhere. Luffy asks Nami when they'll make it there. She isn't sure, but the crew is finally approaching the Millenium Cumulonimbus cloud, and she believes it should be beyond there. Luffy wonders what will be on top of the cloud when they get there, as the Going Merry finally begins to enter the clouds.
- The Straw Hat Pirates finally learn about Luffy and Zoro's new bounties.
- Sanji expresses an interest in having a bounty.
- The Blackbeard Pirates try to capture Luffy and Zoro in order for Blackbeard to become a member of the Shichibukai, but fail when the Knock Up Stream destroys their raft.
- The Straw Hat Pirates ride the Knock Up Stream. It goes all the way up to the Millenium Cumulonimbus clouds.
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