"The Association isn't your sandbox any longer. Don't mess with it anymore. I'll play with you personally from now on. Until you beg me to stop."

— Ging Freecss

Challenge (布告, Fukoku) is the 342nd chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.


Beyond Netero is kept within a cell while Cheadle Yorkshire interviews him, and the rest of the Zodiacs stand by and watch. Beyond makes a prediction that the Zodiacs will end up releasing him and join him to the Dark Continent. Cheadle dismisses the idea, calling it an unrealistic delusion. She proposes that their conversation shall be recorded, for she knows that Beyond is in the offensive, while she and the Zodiacs are in the defensive.

Elsewhere, the V5 and the Deputy Secretary of the International Permit Agency (IPA), Steiner, discuss the previous Dark Continent expeditions. In their records, there are 149 attempts to challenge the voyage, but only 28 people survived from the five other voyages, which includes Beyond Netero. Out of the 28 survivors, only three were able to return to their ordinary lives. One employee asks about the "guides", and another member answers that they are a race of people called "gate-keepers" to the Dark Continent. A female employee asks if the Five Threats are well-documented, which the first employee agrees to. Steiner proposes that V5 should be ushered in, and have the Kakin Empire join them making them into the V6.

342 - Beyond in Captivity

Beyond Netero in captivity

As Cheadle and Beyond continue on their interview, Kanzai gets perplexed about the conversation asks someone to translate it for him. Saccho simply answers that Beyond offers the King of Kakin to become a historical figure in exchange for a ticket to the Dark Continent. Beyond then declares war against the Zodiacs, which Cheadle accepts. She asks Mizaistom to contact the V5. It is later confirmed that the Zodiacs will indeed go to the Dark Continent with Beyond, even against their will. When Kanzai gets confused again, Gel explains that Beyond will be transported to the Dark Continent, imprisoned, and then released. While under their surveillance, Beyond will make contact with his companions. Saccho offers to Cheadle to watch over Beyond Netero, while the subject in question agrees.

342 - Black Whale Ship

The Black Whale ship

Earlier, Steiner thinks that the book he read recently is a writer's fantasy, in which the IPA Director replies with a laugh. In some other place, the Black Whale transport ship is presented to the people. It is said to carry about 200,000 people, and in the next years, King Nasubi Hui Guo Rou will send 1,000,000 ships to the Dark Continent. The TV reporters continue to explain that the maiden voyage will carry Beyond Netero, King Hui Guo Rou, and 14 princes. More reporters discuss the bestiary known to mankind.

342 - Ging and Expedition Team

Ging's arrival

Ging Freecss arrives in the lair of Beyond's Dark Continent Expedition Team, and confronts Pariston Hill. Ging explains that if the government doesn't answer to Beyond's taunt and send them to the Dark Continent, Pariston would send in 5,000 Chimera. He continues that he will no longer allow Pariston to do as he pleases and challenges him. When Pariston sounds confident that Ging will join him, Ging answers that he wants to "play by himself."

Chapter Notes

  • The known world is located within an enormous lake called Lake Mobius that lies within the Dark Continent.
  • Humanity tried to go to the Dark Continent at least 149 times.
    • Only 5 trips had returning survivors, for a total of 28 people.
      • From the 28 survivors only 3 people were able to pass various tests upon their homecoming and return to their daily lives; a survival rate of 0.04% (3 out of 7,500 people.)
        • Of them, Beyond is the only one still alive today.
      • The 5 trips were all unofficial and took place after V5 formed the Inviolability Treaty.
    • Mankind failed to make a single round trip by themselves as they need the Guide to even cross the Far Ocean Boundary.
      • The Guide is a being summoned by the Gatekeeper.
        • The Gatekeeper is from a magical beast clan with the only pipeline to the Dark Continent.
  • V5 considers inviting Kakin and reorganizing themselves as V6 while supporting Kakin's journey, since the only means to stop them are limited and military.
  • In the neutral zone inside the Far Ocean Boundary, there are many uninhabited islands that could accept immigrants and act as the New Continent.
  • The actual voyage will be left to Kakin, while the Hunter Association will act as their chaperone.
    • The Black Whale will be the transport vessel responsible for carrying 200,000 people inside it.
      • The King has declared his country will build 20 of these in one year, sending 100 million people to the "Dark Continent" in only 5 years.
      • The commemorative ship will carry Beyond, the King, and the fourteen princes.
      • Civilians will be picked by lottery with an odds of 1 in 1,300 of landing a seat in the first ship.
  • Cheadle agrees to accompany Beyond in his voyage. She changed her plans by requiring the entire Association's help instead of only the Zodiacs.
  • Rumors say that the Dark Continent harbors deadly Rank-B or even Rank-A creatures. Rank-C creatures are the likes of bears, sharks, poisonous snakes, and wasps.
  • Ging appears before Pariston and asks him to let him join Beyond's team.
  • Ging claims that Pariston is sheltering 5,000 Chimera soldiers.

Characters in Order of Appearance


ve Dark Continent Expedition arc
Chapters: 340 | 341 | 342 | 343 | 344 | 345 | 346 | 347 | 348
Anime 1999: List of Episodes (1999 series)
Anime 2011: List of Episodes (2011 series)
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