Eve (前夜, Zen'ya) is the 358th chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

Synopsis

King Nasubi speaking to the crowd

The day of the voyage finally arrives as thousands of people gather at a port beside the Black Whale, ready to see the ship set sail to the New Continent. Gantai and Tamazo get the crowd excited about the momentous event and introduce King Nasubi, who rises up into the air on a raised platform. He declares that he is indeed the magnificent King of Kakin and assures the people that the continent is within their grasp. The announcers then direct the crowd's attention to a second stage where Beyond and the Royal Family appear, all happily waving. The first six Princes, with the exception of Camilla, all think to themselves that they will be the next King. An airship transports the King himself to the Black Whale, and the announcers praise his bravery for making the journey to uncharted lands. The Princes and other VIPs also make their way to the Black Whale by airship, and ferries are used to transport the general public. The announcers tell everyone to enjoy the festivities, and people are seen partying in the streets.

Aboard the ship, the Princes are seen chatting at a banquet with the wealthy of Kakin society. A diagram of the Black Whale is shown with all five tiers of the ship. It's explained that the first tier is for the Royal Family, V5 politicians, and industry leaders, the second for the wealthy and celebrities, and the bottom three tiers for general passengers. The passageways between the tiers are guarded by the Royal Army, and the ship itself is under martial law. A metal bulkhead is used to separate the second and third tiers, and it can only be opened from the Tier 2 side during emergencies.

Benjamin's soldiers listening to Balsamilco

Prince Benjamin's Captain of the Guards, Balsamilco, explains that only the first two tiers are to be used as "hunting grounds," telling Benjamin's soldiers to use restraint and that they are guards, not soldiers, until after they disembark in two months. He says that they will carry out "Operation Assault" if Benjamin gives the order, but the situation would have to call for it. He goes into more detail about the Princes' living quarters and their guard teams and says that all Princes will attend a banquet every Sunday, but since each Prince comes and goes at separate times, they may not have an opportunity during the entire voyage.

Kurapika assures Queen Oito that they will find a way to avoid the battle for succession, for now, asking her if it's possible to contact the other Queens and Princes with the phones onboard. Oito says that the lower-ranking wives can't contact the higher ones, adding that the military controls the phone lines and patrols the halls. She worries about assassination, but isn't sure what the King's plan is. Kurapika ponders the quantity and strength of the other Princes' forces, especially if Nen users are present. He says that he can't even trust the Provisional Hunters since they could be dangerous, adding that the examinees hired by Kakin were probably kept in the dark about the situation, which allowed them to avoid his Dowsing Chain. And the exams they took were easier than the ones taken by the team for the Dark Continent since they're only Provisional Hunters with limited licenses. He worries about the repercussions and says that on Tier 1, 150 of them may be moving about with their own secret missions. He also regrets that they didn't revise the Hunter Bylaws and that their decision will only cause more uncertainty and unpredictability, but he wonders if his mission to make contact with Tserriednich is making him hypersensitive.

Mizaistom calls Kurapika to inform him of the increasing levels of crime on Tiers 3 and 4 due to fights, apparent ticket forgeries, larceny, etc. He worries that riots could break out, and says that since he and Botobai are helping the military with the situation, they won't be able to attend the Zodiacs meeting before the ship departs. He tells Kurapika that they underestimated how unprepared Kakin would be, saying that there are only five medical clinics on the bottom three tiers, with Tier 5 not having a single dedicated doctor, and that the number of clinics should have been five times that amount and only 1/15 of the doctors boarded the ship. But in the upper tiers, one in twenty people are doctors, and he adds that Cheadle has had to hire more staff and reorganize things, with Kurapika wondering if the Zodiacs meeting will be canceled outright. Mizai says it's a possibility that this will be his last phone call before they leave, telling Kurapika to be careful.

Kurapika sensing aura from Woble's cradle

Kurapika hangs up and thinks that they may be able to use the chaos in the lower tiers to their advantage. He checks with Oito about confirming an evacuation route, telling her that a fire or riot could allow for the gate between Tiers 2 and 3 to be opened and possibly give them a chance to sneak past the guards and blend in with the general passengers. Oito seems unsure, but Kurapika stresses that knowledge is the most important thing when it comes to survival in a life-or-death situation. Oito begins to tremble, with the other guards making sure she's okay, and she reveals that she had prepared herself to die during the voyage, unable to fathom the possibility that there may be some hope of survival. Kurapika tells her to rest, assuring her that he will take care of things. The other guards begin to lead Oito and Woble to their sleeping quarters when Kurapika suddenly senses aura rising from Woble's cradle. Quickly turning around to look, he sees nothing out of the ordinary. The others ask if anything is wrong, but he says no.

Chapter Notes

  • The eve festival before the departure of the Black Whale started and came to an end.
  • A day later, the departure ceremony inside the Black Whale begins.
  • The Black Whale is layered into five tiers.
    • The first is for the Kakin royal family, V6 politicians, and industry dignitaries.
    • The second is for the celebrities and the rich.
    • The third to fifth are for general passengers.
  • The Black Whale will be under martial law.
    • The through-ways between tiers are guarded by the Royal Army.
    • The military will be managing all phone lines, while monitoring the halls and keeping track of all activities.
    • The second and third tiers are separated by a thick bulkhead, which can only be opened in emergencies from the second-tier side. Meaning only the first two tiers are "hunting grounds" for the succession battle.
      • Kurapika considers letting Queen Oito (8th) and Prince Woble (14th) escape through that bulkhead and blend in with the public if an emergency arises.
  • The Black Whale will reach its destination in two months.
  • Prince Benjamin's (1st) personal soldiers will be acting as guards while onboard the ship.
  • Every Sunday, all princes will attend dinner parties to which dignitaries are also invited.
    • The princes will enter and leave at prescribed times, and no prince will pass another in transit.
  • Kurapika plans to avoid the succession battle for the meantime.
  • Lower-ranking queens cannot contact higher ranking queens.
  • The crime rate in Tiers 3 and Tier 4 are higher than anticipated.
    • Mizaistom and Botobai are assisting the military by taking command of the ship's private security.
  • Kurapika senses an aura radiating from Woble's cradle.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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