Worm Toxin (蟲毒, Kodoku) is the 349th chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.


The Seed Urn Ceremony

King Nasubi's butler informs Prince Tserriednich of the rules of the succession war: only the legal children of the King can participate, and only the ones who will attend the sailing ceremony of Black Whale. The identities and number of participants will remain confidential until that date. If any of the potential heirs is killed before the first blow of a special whistle, which will be blown when the vessel says, the war will be stopped. From that moment on, all measures to survive will be legit. Tserriednich is then presented a jar used in a traditional Kakin Empire ritual.

Tserriednich completes his rite

The narrator explains that King Nasubi has 8 legal wives that have born him 14 "Princes", as they are called regardless of their gender, numbered according to the order of their birth. The reader is then shown a list of all the princes. Tserriednich puts a drop of his blood and then his hand inside. A fairy comes out of the jar, feeding him a small egg before disappearing. The messenger informs him that, according to the rumors, if someone who craves to be king puts his blood inside the jar, they will be blessed with a special power. Through a flashback, the reader can see narrating to his messenger about the nature of the ritual pot. According to the old scripts, the first king created it upon being inspired by the poisonous magic known as "Worm Toxin", thus using it in the succession war is like the following tradition. Everyone who puts their blood in the pot will, unbeknownst to them, harbor the "egg" of a "Guardian Spirit Beast" inside their body: after a while, the egg will hatch, giving them a protector whose appearance and powers will be influenced by the host's personality. The King claims that vessels are not fit to rule.

Kurapika's plan

Kurapika and Mizaistom watch the recording of the latter's conversation with Beyond. As he eats, the Ox announces the departure date is in 35 days, on August 8th. King Nasubi has requested that Beyond participates in the celebration on the eve of the voyage, appealing directly to the V5. If the benefactor was to miss, it would be awful for such a historical event, so Mizaistom promises Netero will be free to go, provided he reveals which of the Zodiacs is on his side. After a moment of silence, Beyond states that Mizaistom is wrong on two things: he knows nothing about any spy, and he doesn't care about the ceremony. All he knows is that he will have to eat and sleep in that cell for a month, and then wait two more months to reach the Dark Continent. Until then, he will behave in Hui Guo Rou's interest, but his true goal lies after that. He has been forced to attend those festivals because he is considered a legend who will lead the way to the new world. He is sure Kakin will put pressure on V5 to let him attend the celebration, and the Zodiacs themselves will beg him to go, ending up bowing their heads to him. At the end of the recording, Kurapika states Beyond has been telling the truth. Mizaistom concludes that Pariston is the mastermind behind Saiyu's conspiracy and they plan to free Netero without his knowing. Kurapika suggests they leave Beyond alone until landing since he does not intend to escape, but the Crime Hunter is dubious, as Pariston and Saiyu might try to break him out before the end of the journey. Kurapika explains why it is not likely: Kakin agreed to treat Beyond as an ordinary man until they land, and in the worst possible situation V5 would sever ties with Kakin, forcing them to take back the boat; Beyond has announced a truce and let himself be captured in order to avoid it. On the other hand, it means the Zodiacs can do nothing about Saiyu at the moment. Mizaistom agrees but says he'd rather avoid sitting idly while Pariston and his spy are plotting. They discuss Saiyu's Nen ability.

Kurapika states that the Monkey had eased up considerably when talking about his power, relieved he didn't have to lie. Thus, without a doubt, he was sincere about it, and he is on Beyond's side. The rest of the Zodiacs were notably tense while speaking, afraid to reveal their abilities at the presence of the mole, so they are torn between trusting the others and being wary of them: these emotions influenced their voices and movements. They all behaved as an innocent person would have, so it is feasible Saiyu is the only infiltrator. Kurapika proposes they keep tabs on Saiyu in secret, which would allow them to uncover his plans while gathering evidence. Mizaistom agrees it is safer than tailing him at all times, even if it means leaving him free to act. Considering Saiyu's ability, Kurapika expects him to attempt to free Netero upon landing. If they were to restrain him too soon, Pariston may arrange something else. Additionally, there is also a high probability they will try to break him out during the celebration on the eve of the departure. The best course of action would, therefore, be arresting Saiyu right before arriving at the Dark Continent without Beyond noticing. Mizaistom asks him what would happen if they acted without evidence, and the Kurta confesses wondering as well. They would have to admit Mizaistom used him, and the Ox says the other Zodiacs would surely denounce and criticize him.

Kurapika inquires if that would be due to his using a newcomer and acting independently, to which Mizaistom replies it is more than that: after speaking of dedication and resolve, he has been working behind their back to identify the culprit. Some of the Zodiacs give the same importance to means and results, and some are only concerned with the way those results are achieved. Things may even get so complicated they would have to change their approach to the mission. He states that sharing information about their powers has indeed strengthened the bonds among the Zodiacs, and Kurapika concurs that they will not react well if they discover it was a farce. The two then part ways. Mizaistom goes off with Cheadle, while Kurapika is called on his phone by Linssen. The two are told that six of the Kakin princes are recruiting bodyguards for the celebration and the journey. The Ox, Dog, and Rat realize this might mean that some of the spies they had screened out during the 289th Hunter Exam will still be able to sail aboard the ship.

Chapter Notes

  • The succession contest is only limited to the fourteen children (referred to as "prince" regardless of gender) of the eight legal wives of King Nasubi.
    • The contest will begin the moment the Black Whale finishes sounding its departure horn.
    • If a candidate dies before the departure ceremony, the succession contest will be canceled.
  • All fourteen princes are shown.
  • By proving his royal blood, Tserriednich (4th) completes the Seed Urn Ceremony that will grant him a Guardian Spirit Beast.
  • The Black Whale will depart in 35 days on August 8th.
  • Beyond doesn't know about Saiyu being his ally.
    • Mizaistom surmises that Pariston is the mastermind conspired with Saiyu and the one plotting to take Beyond back.
  • Saiyu's Nen ability is Three Monkeys which allows him to rob his opponent of vision, hearing, and speech.
  • Kurapika proposes a plan to restrain Saiyu right before landing on the New Continent without Beyond noticing.
    • He warns Mizaistom if they were to hurry, the enemy might come up with other means of escape.
    • Kurapika believes the escape plot will be carried out after the festival on the New Continent.
  • Mizaistom and Kurapika are concerned about the Zodiacs' reaction upon knowing about their secret alliance to capture Saiyu.
  • Six unidentified Kakin Princes are hiring bodyguards during the voyage.

Characters in Order of Appearance


  • Kodoku is a type of Japanese poisonous magic. To create it, several poisonous insects are closed together inside a jar, which is opened when only one of them remains. The title thus has a symbolic function, as it refers not only to the ritual through which the members of the Kakin Empire Royal Family obtain a Nen beast but also to the whole succession war: the siblings are in fact forced to stay on a ship journeying to the Dark Continent while they attempt to kill each other, with the only survivor becoming the legitimate heir to the throne.


ve Succession Contest arc
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Anime 2011: List of Episodes (2011 series)
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