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Nen Beast (念獣, Nen-jū) is the 363rd chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

Synopsis

Zhang Lei learns of the deaths of all but two of Woble's guards, surprised that she was targeted first. However, he quickly remembers that the guards for the youngest Prince are assigned by the other Queens, and wonders if they took them out to avoid suspicion. One of Zhang Lei's guards brings up the issue of Nen beasts, saying that none of the others know anything about it. Zhang Lei ponders the term and believes that it could be the key to learning what happened in Woble's quarters. The layout of the Princes' quarters is shown in detail as the Royal Army patrols the area around it.

At a lavish banquet, Camilla asks her father to make sure that the condition for dropping out of the contest is biological death. Nasubi tells her that the sole survivor will be the official successor to the throne, as he told Zhang Lei earlier, but he adds that how she interprets it as part of the contest. Benjamin approaches the two and tells Camilla to not be so focused on others' interpretations of the rules. Camilla argues that she wants everyone to obey her and for all her siblings to volunteer to kill themselves.

Chap 363 - Benjamin's furious determination

Benjamin's furious determination

Benjamin becomes angry at his sister's arrogance and insults her, but she quickly rebukes him and attempts to leave. Nasubi tells her to show respect to Benjamin before leaving. As she walks away, she laments the fact that wanting something doesn't make it come true. Benjamin feels ashamed at those who don't know their place and makes an oath to his father that he will remove the diseased branches and protect the great tree of Kakin. Nasubi says that he expects great things from Benjamin as the latter's Nen beast is seen behind him.

Benjamin leaves the banquet and keeps repeating that he will kill them all, ripping his shirt apart as the soldiers in the hallway look on in fear. He meets up with his guards and asks them to tell Balsamilco to bring Tserriednich to him alive so he can kill him himself. Balsamilco informs him of parasitic Nen beasts, and Benjamin is taken back at first, asking why he can't see them when he can use Nen. Balsamilco surmises that it must be a limitation within the ceremony, or that a condition has to be met before they can be seen. He adds that since the Nen beast didn't make an attempt to kill Woble directly; there have to be rules in place for the Nen beasts which they don't know about, stressing the need to acquire such information before the others do.

Balsamilco instructs Benjamin to stay patient for two reasons: 1) going off by himself is dangerous since he is unable to see the Nen beasts; 2) after the emergency call that made Nen beasts and Nen common knowledge among the other camps, they have completely lost the advantage in that regard. Benjamin understands that the Hunters are the issue, and Balsamilco says that not only can all of them use Nen, but they are more knowledgeable about it as well. He adds, however, that guarding the Princes is their secondary mission, and that their lack of knowledge about the inner workings of Kakin gives them (Benjamin's camp) the advantage there. He again references the emergency call that was made and explains that it nullifies the surprise factor of the operation they had planned.

Benjamin inquires as to why a Hunter would leak the existence of Nen beasts if they already learned about the ceremony from Oito, but Balsamilco reasons that their purpose is to force a stalemate among the various camps since the Hunters' true goal involves the Dark Continent. Both agree that the low-ranking Princes will use this to their advantage to drag the contest out, and Balsamilco points out just how dangerous the Nen beasts and Hunters' abilities could be, worrying that the other Princes will want to learn Nen now. Benjamin asks him to summon all his soldiers, and Balsamilco follows his order, thinking to himself that while the Prince can be impulsive at times if he's presented with the necessary information, he can be very reasonable and is the only one capable of leading Kakin.

Chap 363 - Benjamin's soldiers beginning their mission

Benjamin's soldiers beginning their mission

With his soldiers summoned and standing around a table, Benjamin tells them that they will each be acting as Royal Guards for a Prince and reporting all their observations back to him. He informs of the mission's danger given the unknown threat of Nen beasts and orders them to be as cautious as possible in finding out the abilities of the Hunters and Nen Beasts. Lastly, he gives them permission to use lethal force in self-defense if they are attacked or feel threatened, and the fourteen soldiers all understand his orders. He asks Balsamilco if he can see his Nen beast, and as Balsamilco looks at the terrifying creature resting on his shoulders, he describes it as valiant and one that befits the next King.

One of Benjamin's soldiers arrives at Zhang Lei's quarters, and the Prince realizes his brother's plan, saying that because Royal Guards have to be official soldiers from the Royal Army to qualify, only Benjamin's guards will meet the requirement since he is the deputy military adviser. Camilla tells her guards not to let Benjamin's men wander in her sight and says that they will be dead if they enter the living room, as she asks for her mother. Zhang Lei realizes that this is happening because of the emergency call and that it's his chance to learn more about the Nen beasts. One of Tserriednich's guards informs of the situation and says that he doesn't have to comply since he is the son of the first Queen. Tserriednich tells him to call Benjamin an idiot, saying that he's focusing on Nen. Tubeppa realizes that the person who made the emergency call wants to force a stalemate, and she asks one of her guards for information on the Hunter.

In Woble's quarters, Bill suggests that Sayird's Nen ability be used to check on the other Princes, but Kurapika says that he needs to narrow down the targets since he can't sustain it for too long. In his head, he worries about numerous things, such as the Royal Army controlling the phone lines and the limited use of their radios. As he continues to feel uneasy about the lack of help, the doorbell rings and Kurapika says that it's probably Benjamin's guard, saying to himself that it's yet another spy to worry about. Sandra makes contact using the intercom, and Vincent introduces himself, saying that he's there on Benjamin's orders.

Vincent Kills Sandra

Vincent claiming that he killed Sandra in self-defense

Woble begins to cry, and Oito decides to take her to the bedroom, saying that new people make her (Oito) nervous. Kurapika says that he will have Bill guard the entrance, but Bill suddenly notices something at the front door, and Kurapika sees the situation and tells him to protect Woble. Vincent is seen standing beside Sandra, with a knife in her chest, and he says that she came at him with the weapon and he had no choice but to defend himself. He also reveals a vial of poison that she was carrying and guesses that she was planning to use it on someone. He reiterates his use of self-defense, and Kurapika realizes that he's not a spy, but an assassin.

Chapter Notes

  • Prince Zhang Lei (3rd) is informed about the current situation of Prince Woble's (14th) bodyguards and the existence of Nen beasts.
  • King Nasubi states that the interpretation of "The sole survivor will be the official heir to the throne." is also part of the succession contest.
  • Prince Benjamin's (1st) initial plan was to kill Prince Tserriednich (4th) first.
    • After listening to Balsamilco's advice, Benjamin decides to stay on the defensive for two reasons:
      • He needs to gather more information about the other princes' Nen beasts as he can't see them.
      • After Kurapika's emergency call, the surprise factor of their planned Nen operation assault is nullified.
  • Even though he's confirmed to be a Nen user, Benjamin still can't see his Guardian Spirit Beast.
  • Balsamilco theorizes that Kurapika's intention of that announcement was to:
    • Bring the succession war into a stalemate since the Hunters' true mission lies in the Dark Continent;
    • And benefit the younger princes who lack enough military power.
  • Benjamin orders his personal soldiers to act as the other princes' royal guards in alternating shifts with current teams.
    • He instructs them to report all observations and ascertain the abilities of the Hunters and Nen beasts. while giving them authority to kill anyone who dares to oppose them in the name of self-defense.
  • Tserriednich began his Nen training.
  • Prince Tubeppa (5th) demands information about Kurapika.
  • Kurapika realizes it's risky to call Melody and the others since all phones on board are controlled by the royal army.
    • On the other hand, the radios they're using have fixed assigned channels, and can’t call guards of other princes.
      • They were barred from carrying any different radio into the princes’ quarters.
  • Vincent (Benjamin's personal soldier) is sent to Woble's quarters.
    • He kills one of the remaining two servants, Sandra, in the name of "self-defense" as he makes his way into the room.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Navigation

ve Succession Contest arc
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