"It's not that I fear death. Not anymore. What I fear most is that those things lurking above me would go to great lengths to wring out any information I have on the King in the cruelest way conceivable. If caught, I would have no way to resist!! That's what this aura is telling me...!! This is as far as I can go!!"
Knov is a bespectacled young man, typically seen in a black suit and blue tie with a white button-down shirt. He is tall and lean. At the beginning of the Extermination Mission, Knov has medium-length black hair, but near the day of the assault on the Chimera Ant King's palace, Knov's hair turns white after he experiences a mental breakdown upon coming into contact with Shaiapouf's heinous En. When Knov enters the castle to save Morel and Shoot, he is in a bad state, with almost no hair anymore. Eventually, Knov becomes bald and wears a flat cap to hide his head.
As an experienced Hunter, Knov is a serious individual, and very reflective. He shows a hint of arrogance upon meeting Killua for the first time and labels him and Gon children. He is very cautious during missions, almost to the point of being paranoid. However in spite of his usual serious and calculating demeanor, he is also a gambler at heart, as shown when he engages with Morel's wager without hesitation and places his bet for 1 million (Morel starts the bet by putting in 100 thousand), stating that he has an appetite for long shots, which surprises Morel. This risk-taking side of Knov is at its paragon when he exploits the emergency within the King's palace that has forced Neferpitou to undo their En as an opportunity to stealthily enter and place teleportation exits for his Nen ability, Hide and Seek, in order to prepare for an upcoming surprise attack, despite not knowing the nature of the said emergency nor does he know how much time he is allowed to execute the infiltration before the Royal Guard's En is revived; during which he also comments that it is entirely fine to suffer 3 losses out of the 4 planned major battles, as long as the 1 loss of the enemy is the King.
He is also shown to be courageous where despite his fear when approaching the palace alone, with many unknown variables still up in the air, he nonetheless can repeatedly convince himself to keep on advancing and eventually reaching the palace to enter and commence his plan. He also commands an air of confidence while handling his student, Palm. However, this confidence, along with the rest of his personality, would later disappear, after he comes face-to-face with Shaiapouf's En, in which Knov then suffers from a brief mental breakdown that left him traumatized throughout the whole mission. However, despite the trauma, Knov is still able to reunite with some of his courage to return to the palace and help his friends. Later, during the elections for the next Hunter Chairman, he is back to his former personality.
Chimera Ant arc
When the V5 hire Chairman Netero to exterminate the Chimera Ants with any means, the Chairman enlists Morel and Knov's help, despite interference from Pariston. They are tasked with killing the Queen before she gives birth to the King, which is estimated to happen in two months at the earliest. As the three accompany Netero to NGL, Knov and Morel leave their disciples in a town near the border.
Knov makes his first appearance when he is about to cross the NGL border with Netero and Morel. They meet a demoralized Killua and an unconscious Gon at a checkpoint. Morel taunts Killua about his weakened confidence but Knov tells him to take it easy on the boy. When Killua says that he thinks the three elite Hunters will stand no chance against Neferpitou because of his aura, he tells him his perspective is warped and to leave everything to them then advances into NGL with Netero and Morel. He chides the latter two more times before they cross the border.
When Netero comments that Neferpitou might be stronger than him, Knov remarks that he must be joking, as otherwise, no Hunter would stand a chance. The Chairman claims his power has decreased to the point he is probably evenly matched with the two of them, causing Knov to point out that means he is still plenty strong. Netero's ensuing quip leaves Knov piqued. Because Pitou's En is so large that a surgical attack on the Queen is unworkable, Netero asks Morel and Knov for suggestions. Smirking, Knov asserts the Chairman had already planned to take out their enemies slowly and quietly when he chose them. He retrieves Morel's pipe from his pocket dimension and hands it to him, so he can create an army of Deep Purple bunnies to find out how many enemies they will have to deal with.
Over the course of ten days, they manage to eliminate two squadrons, starting from the leader. Netero reckons the Ants will use baits and traps, and Knov suggests they intentionally fall in traps at times, both to exterminate some of the more organized troops before they can all band together and to create chaos. He estimates they will be able to take out three or four squadrons before they come up with their next plan, and optimistically states they might complete their mission before their pupils arrive at the end of the month.
For their next plan, Morel creates a thick fog that covers an entire forest near the Ant Queen's colony while Knov places portals all over the ground. When a Chimera Ant falls into one, they find themselves in a large room conjured by Knov, where they are killed by the Chairman. Using this method, they manage to decimate 14 more squadrons. Morel feels their plan is unfair, to which Knov replies it is foolproof since, despite his modesty, Netero is still stronger than them and eager to fight. The Ants eventually wise up, and by the end of the fourth week they hole up inside the nest. Knov contacts Netero and asks him if they should take action. The Chairman insists on waiting for their disciples. When Morel objects they would not be not useful in a fight of that magnitude, Knov comments Netero likes to gamble and the two make a bet on whose pupils will show up the following day. Morel wagers 100,000 on Knuckle and Shoot, adding the clause that if they both lose, the pot goes to the Chairman. Knov bets for 1 million that Gon, Killua, and Palm will come along too.
The following day, they see Colt flying towards them. Knov opens a portal, but they stay when they notice the Ant is carrying a white flag. He comes to them with the intention of surrendering, telling them about the premature birth of the King and begging them to save the Queen. He warns them that should the Queen die, the Squadron Leaders will leave the nest and try to spread their seed. Knov confirms it is possible. They accept to take Colt to the Chairman. The four relocate to a sumptuous room where Netero requests the Hunter Association to send Dr. Lee, her best surgeons and artificial organ specialists to the Queen's nest. Knov and Morel are worried to see him don his "heart" t-shirt, which he reserves for serious fights. They are even more astonished by Colt's assessment of Netero's aura, according to which he will be killed by one of the Royal Guards before he can reach the King. Knov is disquieted by the Chairman's enthusiasm. They return to the colony with the surgeons. Knov is surprised to discover some Ants retain memories from their lives as humans. Despite the doctors' efforts, all they can do is prolong the dying moment of the Queen for a few minutes. When Morel threatens Colt with his pipe after the latter finds a baby in the Queen's body, Knov, befuddled, wonders what he is doing.
After Knuckle and Shoot find and capture Kite's manipulated body in the nest. Knov returns to the border town two days before the date he communicated to Palm to ensure Gon and Killua will be able to handle seeing Kite. He chastises Palm for using her ability without his permission. He adds that she should spill her blood only for him, causing her to fall for him again. He then enquires about her getup. He has Shoot spy on the boys. The Hunters gather at a castle where Shoot releases Kite from Hotel Rafflesia. Gon approaches him and lets himself be struck, as Killua and Knov realize.
Through Colt, the Extermination Team becomes aware of the Sorting and that the Royal Guards know how to awaken Nen by force. Netero infiltrates the Republic of East Gorteau and warns the Extermination Team to assume the worst if they do not hear from him by the appointed day. Ten days before the rally announced by Ming Jol-ik takes place, Knov, Morel, Knuckle, Shoot, Gon, and Killua take a train to East Gorteau. Morel remarks taking all of them breaks their promise to Netero, but Knov points out their agreement was for NGL, not East Gorteau. He then starts reading a book. While they eat in a restaurant, Knov updates the others on the Selection and Netero's movements. He receives a text from Netero, which brings a smile to his lips because he was already aware that Gon, Killua, and Palm would join the team and of a comment Morel only just made. When Morel tests Gon, Knov shivers upon sensing the boy's aura. Following the Chairman's instructions, the Extermination Team divides into three groups of two—Morel and Knov versus Shaiapouf, Knuckle and Shoot versus Menthuthuyoupi, Gon and Killua versus Neferpitou—and separate the Royal Guards from the King.
Nine days prior to the planned attack, in the evening, Knov and Morel talk to Marcos, a military leader in Ming Jol-ik's government, persuading him to sign an agreement whereby he shall disclose all military information in exchange for the protection of him and his family in a third country. He senses Morel's irritation at his hypocrisy and warns him with a look. Killua or Gon informs them that the "Selection" has already started. At Marcos' place, Knov asks Morel what is wrong when he starts screaming on the phone. They discuss the corruption of the Hunter Association, and Knov's impassivity vexes Morel. He reminds him that the Chairman took everything into account to kill the King for sure, including the possible casualties. Shortly afterward, they discover Killua and Gon sprung into action to stop the Selection. Although Morel is relieved, Knov observes overt hostilities will allow the Royal Guards to seal off the country and place it under martial law. To prevent them from slaughtering the 5,000,000 citizens, Morel puts the capital city Peijin under siege using his "Smoke Troopers", with Knov's assistance.
Six days before the attack on the King, Morel encounters Cheetu and is teleported away due to his ability. Knov notices Morel's disappearance but infers the plan is still on, as Deep Purple is still active. Unbeknownst to him, he is spotted by Flutter, who communicates his position to Leol. He effortlessly defeats Neferpitou's puppets and cautiously heads towards the palace. He evades more puppets by retreating into his conjured room. When he comes out again, he spots Flutter. He speculates the Ant specializes in reconnaissance and that the dragonflies he saw around the capital are his Nen ability. He runs towards him to take him down. He successfully cuts off Flutter's wings and incapacitates him, then drags him into his room. He sees Welfin and Bloster. When Morel returns from his fight with Cheetu, Knov briefs him. When Neferpitou cancels all of their dolls and retreats their En to treat the King's self-inflicted injury, Morel and Knov make conjectures about the reason. Knov is convinced it is not a trap and states that in any case, he needs to plant a portal near the palace. The two split up, with Morel staying in Peijin.
Exploiting the rain and the darkness, Knov crawls close to the palace, struggling but managing to keep his fear in check. He manages to sneak into the meat orchard, where 5,000 humans are kept into cocoons from which they will hatch as Nen-using soldiers for Neferpitou to control and invade the rest of the world with. Knov plants an exit there and runs towards the palace. He places another near the entrance. As he runs towards the central staircase to the second floor, he runs into Taragetter, whom he decapitates with Scream. He prepares to flee, but no other Ants come. He steps into Taragetter's blood, which forces him to discard his shoes. They will be later found by Welfin. Just as he reaches the staircase, Shaiapouf activates his En; his aura terrorizes Knov to the point he would comment that it is not death that scares him to such a degree but rather it is the kind of torture he may be cruelly subjected to by the Royal Guards to force the information out of him in ways he can never resist if he were to be caught, which would also ultimately bring about the failure of the entire operation. Knov then plants the portal at the bottom of the stairs as the last entry point into the palace and flees the scene. As he leaves, he hears trucks approaching. He surmises those are the women Marcos prepared for Bizeff, among whom should be Palm who is in an undercover mission. As his objective has been achieved, Knov then hurries away from the palace before being detected, with his mental health quickly deteriorating in the process and has later suffered a mental breakdown upon leaving the maximum range of Neferpitou's En; he wonders how Gon and Killua can keep going despite the overwhelming strength of the Royal Guards, and silently prays Palm to remain safe. His hair turns completely white as a result of his mental breakdown, and, with his spirit destroyed, he withdraws from the Extermination Team.
On the day of the assault on the palace, Knov volunteers to keep tabs on the Royal Guards. He reassures the other Hunters that he will not take any risks since he fears the Ants more than any of them. At sunset, he sees Shaiapouf spread butterfly scales on the crowd of citizens marching towards the palace. He reports to the team that the scales have a hypnotic effect, which they interpret as a good sign, as the crowd will not fly into a panic once the battles begin. At 18:00, Knov leaves the room again to check on the Ants, oppressed by the sense of guilt. He then takes the rest of the team to the entrances he has set up inside the palace. Seven minutes before the blitz, Knov relays the actions and positions of the Royal Guards to his teammates and heads back out, promising to update them if anything should change. Shortly afterwards, they storm the palace through his ability.
Knov rescues Shoot after he is severely injured in his fight with Menthuthuyoupi, taking him to a room with surgeons and medical equipment where he receives treatment. Knov is notified that Netero has taken the King to the appointed place. In spite of his mental trauma, he returns to the palace to inform the Extermination Team. He hears Knuckle state that he can no longer see Menthuthuyoupi as an enemy and warns him that he could change again at the King's orders. He asks if there has been any news from Palm, but Ikalgo could not find her. Stating he will likely be unable to come back to the palace again, Knov then asks the members of the Extermination Team what they want to do. He compliments them for deciding to keep fighting even after the King has been separated from the Royal Guards and takes a wounded Morel to get treatment.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
After the death of Meruem is confirmed, Knov is seen again in the hospital where Gon, Morel, and Shoot are being treated, along with the other members of the invasion team. When a senior doctor tells him and Knuckle that Gon is in an extremely dangerous state, Knov says he will do everything to save his life, even if it means having to rebuild the entire hospital. He then tells Killua that he will use Hide and Seek to bring all the necessary people and equipment to the hospital. In the first round of the 13th Hunter Chairman Election, he places in the 19th place with Loupe Highland; and 16th place with Kanzai in the second and third rounds. Later, after Morel reaches an agreement with Gotoh on the conditions for saving Gon, he calls Knov and tells him to prepare an isolated windowless room with nothing but Gon. In the fourth round, Knov places in 18th along with Kite and Gon, and is eliminated from the election for not making the top 16. Later he hands Morel the money of their past bet since Morel's students were the ones who arrived on the agreed date. Morel uses the money they had both waged to buy an expensive bottle of wine and drink to Netero's memory, placing a glass in front of a picture of the late chairman.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
Abilities & Powers
Knov has all the benefits granted by his status as a Hunter. In battle, he mainly takes on a supporting role, but he has proven to be able to acquit himself well in open confrontations, during which he can be often seen using his Nen abilities to escape the opponent and subsequently get the drop on them. Netero, who in the past was considered the best Nen user in the world, said Knov was on the same level of skill as him, although Knov denied it. His willpower used to be strong enough that he succeeded in venturing deep into the Royal Palace of East Gorteau, where the King and his three Royal Guards resided, all by himself and with the willingness to lay down his life; however, witnessing Shaiapouf's En traumatized him to the point that he was declared unable to continue the mission, although he managed to recover enough to monitor the Royal Guards with a spyglass and, on the night of the raid, to return to the palace twice, once before the Royal Guards left it, although by his own admission he would be unable to return a third time. Mere hours later he appeared to be already in full control of himself, making plans to save Gon's life.
Enhanced Speed and Reflexes: While infiltrating the palace, Knov gave proof of considerable speed, executing a series of high-speed dashes to minimize his visibility in broader spaces. When Taragetter surprised him, he noticed the Chimera Ant and killed him before he could react in any way, subsequently grabbing hold of his headless body and running several meters before it began to bleed.
Advanced Agility: Knov can run on rooftops and jump from one another with ease.
High Intelligence: Knov is a perceptive individual. He was able to sense Morel's disgust with Marcos and guess Netero's motive for choosing Morel and him. His acuity extends to the battlefield as well, examples of which he gave when he correctly guessed how Flutter monitored him and how the Chimera Ants would respond to the Extermination Team's attacks.
Master of Stealth: Knov is an expert infiltrator. He managed to sneak deep inside the castle that served as the Chimera Ants' nest and plant his portals totally undetected. He can take advantage of the low visibility granted by the rain and the dark and camouflage himself with twigs. Further proof of Knov's proficiency in stealth is the fact that he was able to approach and take out Flutter despite the latter's vantage point and Super Eye ability and without him managing to alert his allies.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While his degree of skill in the field is unknown, Knov was said to be able to beat back Neferpitou's armed puppets with bare-handed combat alone.
Despite being a Conjurer*, Knov might be able to use Emission, the type opposite to his, to a certain degree, as his portals are made out of pure aura detached from his body; since both the portals and Scream require him to alter the shape of his aura, he may have some proficiency in Transmutation too. He might have used a combination of Zetsu and In to sneak into the palace in a low profile and to kill Taragetter with his Nen ability, going completely unnoticed by the all of the other occupants within. On that occasion, he demonstrated the capacity to activate his Nen abilities at extreme speeds. Ginta hailed his Hide and Seek ability as an extremely convenient rarity that would be very difficult to replace, and another Hunter specialized in transportation admitted that her own ability was far inferior to Knov's and that a few more transporters would be necessary to match him.
|Knov's Nen Type: Conjuration*|
|Type: Conjuration||Hide and Seek (４次元マンション Fourth-Dimensional Mansion)[note 1]|
|Knov is a Conjurer with a teleportation ability called Hide and Seek. By touching a flat surface, like a wall or the ground, and drawing symbols in a circle, Knov can set and open a portal leading to an artificial Nen dimension—a four-level mansion containing twenty-one rooms of various sizes. Each portal is linked to a specific room, with the maximum number of entrances being dependent on the size of the room (the largest can have up to 32). Each room is completely separate from the others. Normally each entrance can only lead back to the portal Knov created for it; however, Knov can use a master key to connect any room exit to any previously set portal.
Although the specifics are unclear, it appears that Knov can make his portals undetectable in some circumstances, as Flutter, a Nen user, was not able to locate them before or after use, and Knov could plant three inside the Royal Palace of East Gorteau without them ever being detected by the Royal Guards or Welfin, who traced back the Hunter's steps. Aside from infiltration, thanks to their imperceptibility the portals can serve as trapdoors of sorts, transporting and trapping unsuspecting enemies into one of Knov's rooms.
|Type: Conjuration||Scream (窓を開く者 Window to the Void)[note 2]|
|Knov has also been seen using his teleportation ability offensively. Scream allows him to open a portal between his hands and wrap it around his opponent. At the command "Close", the portal closes, causing anything that was inside of it to be sent to another dimension. With this ability, Knov can maim and kill opponents quickly and silently. It is not known if this technique has Limitations or if it can bypass things such as the target's physical durability and Nen protection.|
Intertextuality and References
Translations around the World