Chapter 254 is titled "Aubade".
Color Spread: "Excuse me Baby, No Parking On The Battleground".
Usopp gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, only to see someone or something repairing the ship. The Priests meet with Enel who is finally introduced. He greets them all by shocking them. After this they have a long discussion about his warriors, the Shandia, and the Straw Hats. He starts a survival game that he says will leave only himself and four others. At dawn, the Straw Hats divide into two groups. Luffy's group heads for the gold, while Nami's group brings the Going Merry around to pick them up.
Usopp gets up in the middle of the night because he needs to go to the bathroom. While going to the bathroom he hears some noise coming from the Going Merry. However, there is very thick fog, and he can only see a hand holding a hammer. When it is morning, Zoro finds Usopp sleeping near the place he went to the bathroom.
The scene then changes to where Ohm, Gedatsu, and Shura are at God's Shrine. Shura blames Ohm for letting Wiper live, saying that that is the reason why the three have been summoned. The doors to God's Shrine suddenly opens, and the three priests get into a position ready to fight.
From behind Yama asks what they are doing, and states that they are just hopeless. Ohm complains that the other two priests pull him down and that he can't reach his full potential. He then reveals that he is the Priest in charge of the Trial of Iron. Gedatsu states that the other trials are dull, and that his own trial of swamp is the ultimate one.
Yama asserts that this is no time to be fooling around, as this is the place where God lives. All of a sudden, the priests get attacked by someone. It is revealed that this attacker is infact the God of Skypea, Enel. He states that the Priests are still weak. The Priests are not happy at this attack, but Enel then laughs saying that he was just bored. He also states that the Priests are taking the citizens of the Blue Sea too lightly, and that their target is the gold.
Enel states that the Straw Hat Pirates will most likely start searching for the gold the next day, and that the Shandia will also attack again. Thus, he cancels all of the rules he has put in place, and allows the priests to do whatever they want in Upper Yard. When the Priests ask why Enel has had this sudden change of mind to cancel all of the rules, Enel replies by saying that Maxim is almost complete, and that they will soon depart to the dream world.
The Straw Hat Pirates notice that the Going Merry appears to have been repaired from its damage, and Usopp asserts that what he saw wasn't a dream after all. This causes the Straw Hats to question if in fact there is someone good on this island helping them. Luffy along with Usopp wonder how the mysterious person could have known how to repair the ship if they had not seen it before.
Nami then makes a plan on how to get the gold. Luffy, Robin, Zoro, and Chopper are apart of the Explore Team, and they will navigate towards the right eye of the skull at the ancient ruin to get the gold. Nami, Usopp, and Sanji will navigate the ship through the island and shore as close to the ruin as possible. Then the teams will meet and leave Sky Island being very rich pirates.
- The cover of this chapter is used in the anime opening Brand New World.
- A mysterious figure is seen repairing the Going Merry.
- It restores the Merry to its original form (prior to the Saruyama Alliance refits)
- Enel, the Priests, and Yama are introduced.
- Enel begins a survival game between his warriors, the Shandia, and the Straw Hat Pirates.
- An Aubade (Dawn Song in French) is literally a song played at dawn. The chapter title "Aubade" is a poetic take on the Straw Hats getting up at dawn to search for the City of Gold.
- The Straw Hats split into 2 teams.