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Core (本体, Hontai) is the 286th chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

SynopsisEdit

Chap 286 - Pouf beginning his search of the palace

Pouf beginning his search of the palace

Still flying away with Morel's pipe, Pouf drops it in a nearby river and uses his ability, Beelzebub, to divide himself again. He plans to explore the palace and find the King, though knowing that he would just be a bother to him anyway. It's stated that the smallest of his clones can be nanosize, and the smaller they are, the more he can create. However, Pouf's core is forced to stay the size of a bee. Pouf reflects on his confrontation with Morel, saying that the core couldn't have escaped if Morel had just maintained his smoke, which would have limited his ability in combat by half.

He declares himself invincible now, and continues to analyze Morel's mistake, saying he should have wondered if the empty cocoon really meant that he had escaped, and then questioned if the voice he heard outside the smoke was the real thing. He describes the plan he had to kill off Morel's comrades as a suicide mission since Morel could have quickly figured things out, captured the bee-size Pouf, and squished him like a bug. He says that Morel may have lost a few of his friends, but he would have defeated him, and Pouf was about 10% willing to accept that outcome.

Pouf's clones survey the palace, finding Pitou healing Komugi in the west tower, with Gon sitting near them. They then spy Hina, Shidore, and Bizeff making their way to the shelter underground, with Welfin closely tracking them. Pouf surmises that one of the dragon arrows probably struck Komugi, but wonders if the boy sitting there knows Komugi since he isn't attacking Pitou. In the east tower, the clones catch sight of a human that was captured days ago, a female silhouette sitting up in a cocoon, and Pouf says it should be hatching soon.

Next, the clones spot Youpi's fight with Morel and Knuckle, and Pouf is surprised by the 50 or so enemies, but relieved that Youpi is dispatching them fairly quickly. He wonders if A.P.R. is Youpi's new ability, and guesses that all the Knuckles are made of smoke and that Morel is limited to those alone since he no longer has his pipe. He thinks Youpi will only need one minute to find the real one among the doubles, and summons his clones back, still wondering where the King is.

It's stated that even though Morel had let his fatigue and nervousness get the better of him in his showdown with Pouf, it was actually very fortunate that he released Smoky Jail when he did since it made sure that Knuckle didn't have to face Youpi by himself. In addition, this timing wasn't entirely coincidental, but the result of Morel's experience in battle, as he realized that the other team members may have needed his help against the overwhelming power of the enemy.

Pouf flies back toward the palace, with Killua and Meleoron hiding and left unseen by his clones. As Pouf draws near, he sees the explosion of aura and wonders if it was Youpi, confused since he seemed to be the one easily winning. He's concerned about him, but finding the King remains his top priority.

Chap 286 - Shoot receiving medical care for his wounds

Shoot receiving medical care for his wounds

Knuckle is seen barely escaping the blast, thanking Morel and saying he would have charged in without his constant reminding him. A flashback to the two of them before the invasion, where Morel tells him that the only time he will make doubles of him with an angry look on their faces is when Knuckle has lost his cool, unable to think clearly. He instructs him to hide among them, calm down, and then remember the task at hand. Back in the present, Knuckle runs off and realizes that Youpi wasn't the one who moved Shoot, still wondering who could have done so, but quickly refocusing. Shoot is seen lying on a table surrounded by three doctors, his body covered in bandages and an oxygen mask on his face. He wonders where he is at first, but recognizes a silhouette leaving Knov's Nen space.

A tower collapses near Hina, Shidore, and Bizeff, causing them to quicken their pace before their route gets blocked. Welfin continues tracking them, hoping to take Bizeff and wishing he knew what Hina's ability was. Elsewhere, Killua recharges his electricity using a wall socket and says he plans to return to Gon once he's done, telling Meleoron to check on Knuckle. Since Pouf is out, he guesses that Morel is probably in trouble, and tells him to see how things are going, and then decide to either stay out of it or help Knuckle in the fight. Meleoron asks him about the situation with Gon, and Killua knows he won't budge, himself prepared to go down with him if he has to. But he quickly says he was joking, and tells him that he can just mention Kite and everything will be fine. He tries to assure Meleoron, but the latter wonders why he looked so sad earlier. But since he either can't or won't tell him, Meleoron decides not to ask, and the two go their separate ways.

Chap 286 - Gon silencing Pouf

Gon silencing Pouf

Pitou continues using Doctor Blythe to heal Komugi, with Gon sitting in the same position in front of them. Pitou suddenly looks worried and tells Pouf not to come any closer as he stands in the doorway. He asks why and says he could have killed Gon if they had stayed quiet. He wonders why Pitou seems so afraid, and Pitou tells him that Gon would have noticed his bloodlust and then attacked Komugi, something they couldn't risk happening. Pouf is again confused, thinking that Gon is waiting because he wants Komugi to be saved, whereas Pitou seems to be implying that Gon would harm her. In the middle of his questioning, Gon coldly interrupts him, telling him to shut up and leaving Pouf with a serious look on his face.

Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit

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