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Oh well, looks like rescuing Sanji will have to wait for a while longer. With Jack returning to Zou, I guess it is safe to assume that the Zou Arc has entered the conflict phase. So one big question is how long will the fight against Jack and his crew lasts? When Jack first fought the Mink Tribe, the battle lasted for five days and I’m certain that Luffy can’t afford to spend that much time with him since he needs to rescue Sanji. However, last time Inuarashi and Nekomamushi took turns fighting Jack individually. Considering that they each lost a limb, it would be in their best interest to fight Jack together as a team. And also this time, they will have the assistance of Law, the samurais, and the Straw Hats.
Even though rescuing Sanji is Luffy’s highest priority, it is unlikely that Luffy and Pekoms will leave Zou before Jack attacks. Luffy is not the kind of person who will leave his friends behind and I’m sure Pekoms will not leave his fellow minks when they’re in danger. I read from some of the chapter discussion threads that some people are hoping for Zoro to defeat Jack. There may be a chance for Zoro to encourage Luffy to go save Sanji and Luffy will put his absolute faith in him. It would be nice if someone other than Luffy defeats the arc’s major antagonist for once. Besides, Zoro has yet to have an opponent who can truly make him struggle. After all, Zoro did not receive any serious injuries from Pica.
Now to discuss how long the fight against the Beasts Pirates will be. I guess that in the next chapter, Luffy will discuss plans to sneak into Big Mom’s tea party with Pekoms and then Jack begins his attack by the end of the chapter. And in the chapter after that, everyone sees that Jack has returned and mobilize for battle. Since Jack is not going to disembark on Zou, they will have to take the fight to him. I predict that the good guys will spend 2-3 chapters dealing with the underlings before a direct confrontation with Jack. To give an educated guess on how long the whole battle will be, I would say at least 10 chapters assuming that Jack will be the only major threat in this arc. If Jack brings strong and challenging commanders with him, the battle could be longer. However, considering how dragged out Luffy’s fight with Doflamingo was, I won’t mind if the battle with Jack ended sooner and I really want to see Sanji again.