The Succession Battle arc (継承戦編, Keishō-sen-hen; "Succession Contest arc" in the Viz translation), also known as the Succession War arc, or the Black Whale arc, is the ninth (officially eighth) story arc of the series, and currently spans from Chapter 349 of the manga. Like the previous one, this arc has not been animated in either anime adaptation. After the first chapter, Hunter × Hunter was put on a hiatus on August 11th, 2014. All the current chapters were adapted into tankōbon format including Chapter 349. On June 26th, 2017 the manga returned, and then relapsed to hiatus on August 24th, 2017. The manga returned once again on January 28th, 2018 with Chapter 371 and went on another hiatus on March 28th, 2018. It has returned from hiatus since September 22nd, 2018 starting with Chapter 381. It went on hiatus again after chapter 390.
King Nasubi's personal butler Nugui explains to Tserriednich that the Succession War would begin once the voyage began, but if any of the participants (the King's legal children) died before, the war would be canceled. Tserriednich then participates to a Kakin Empire rite, receiving, unbeknownst to him, an "egg" from which his Guardian Spirit Beast will hatch.
In the meanwhile, Kurapika and Mizaistom watch a recording in which the Ox interrogates Beyond on the identity of the spy in the Zodiacs, stating he will let him participate in the sailing ceremony that will take place on the eve of departure, in 34 days. Beyond declares he does not know anything and does not care about the ceremony; rather, the V5 will most likely pressure the Zodiacs into letting him go. Using his ability, Kurapika confirms he is not lying. They conclude the safest course of action would be to restrain Saiyu shortly before arrival.
Shortly afterward, they discover some of the princes are hiring bodyguards, which would allow some of the spies to board the Black Whale. Kurapika recruits Biscuit, Basho, Izunavi, Hanzo, and Melody to be hired as bodyguards by each of the 6 Princes of the Kakin Empire and get information regarding Prince Tserriednich. Izunavi points out that something significant must have happened for all 6 Princes to put up job postings simultaneously. Hanzo states that Tserriednich is likely not among them as he is a veteran at this, and he likely has a private army. Basho expands on that, saying that the naive princes are the ones using money as a reward. Melody argues that if that is indeed the case, then it will make things easier. Biscuit counters, saying that the "elimination of threats" sounds suspicious. Kurapika sums up that all he wants is information, no matter the means. The information would have to allow Kurapika to come into physical contact with Tserriednich, since that way he could use more abilities effectively. If they could do that, then they could abort the rest of the mission. Biscuit asks to confirm that Kurapika would still give them the money even if they aborted since the contract would be in effect once they've applied. Kurapika states that that was obvious, angering Biscuit. He recalls Killua's advice on dealing with Biscuit and proceeds to reluctantly flatter her in order to ensure her loyalty. Kurapika looks at the 6 profiles, which look virtually identical, and looks at the fine details of each prince (first to post, highest pay, the competitive one, the ones willing to interview, etc.). Kurapika focuses on two profiles: the one that had the highest reward by increasing theirs over the others', and the one who never changed at all. The former is competitive and likes to display power; the other has strong self-esteem. The one who matches these profiles is Prince Halkenburg. Kurapika thinks about his past: an honors student who had a poor relationship with his family, save Tserriednich. Kurapika decides that Halkenburg is the best option for getting close to Tserriednich, and chooses the one that he believes to be Halkenburg. He gets a response, which invites him to a hotel owned by the Hui Guo Rou family.
Kurapika meets his employer, who turns out to be Queen Oito, mother of Prince Woble. Kurapika is surprised and disappointed, something that she senses. However, she states that his disappointment is all the more reason that he is the worthy candidate for the job. She reveals that they're looking for someone who came under the pretense that they would be hired by Prince Halkenburg, even with the fewest of indicators. The information put on the site was purposely vague to prevent anyone who might want to hurt the Princes from pinpointing their target. As that applied to Prince Halkenburg, he did not put up a post. She explains Halkenburg's reputation and the various viewpoints surrounding him. As such, many applicants would-be assassins or fake followers, which would be convenient for Oito since they have similar aims. Anyone could reach their goal by protecting Oito. Kurapika asks why regular applicants could not be used, and Oito divulges the true nature of the expedition: Succession War. Oito cannot get out because King Nasubi strictly believes that his children should aim to be king, and deserters would be killed. If Halkenburg becomes the king, then he can be blackmailed for participating in this barbaric event. So the job is to get Woble and herself off the voyage ship for 10 times the payment, or keep the conversation confidential and leave for the original fee. Kurapika agrees to do the former if Oito agrees to certain conditions. Oito agrees to them. Oito reminisces on her life, and how she thought that wealth was everything when marrying the king, only to discover her true value laid in her daughter Woble. She allows Kurapika to hold Woble. Izunavi is hired by Prince Tyson; Biscuit with Prince Marayam, Basho with Prince Luzurus, Melody with Prince Kacho, and Hanzo with Prince Momoze.
Heavens Arena: Battle to the DeathEdit
At Heavens Arena, Hisoka challenges Chrollo, who has become a Floor Master to a duel. Chrollo decides to have a fight to the death, to which Hisoka consents. The battle begins with Chrollo using Black Voice, which he apparently stole from Shalnark, to manipulate the judge. Hisoka realizes that Chrollo was using the time he spent fleeing from him to steal more abilities. After having the judge manipulated, Chrollo uses him to pin down Hisoka so he can stab him with his second antennae. Hisoka deflects, but Chrollo uses this opportunity to launch a series of stomps. Amazed by Chrollo's resolve, Hisoka figures out the purpose of controlling the judge is to tire him out and strike while he's still weak. Hisoka attempts to slash the judge, but instead, the judge detonates. Chrollo reveals his ability: The Sun and Moon, which allows him to imprint seals with either plus or minus on a target, and when the opposite seals meet, an explosion takes place. Chrollo also demonstrates his other ability: Double Face, which allows him to use a bookmark on a page to maintain this page's ability. With this, he no longer has to hold the book open to use that ability, though he can use two abilities by having the book open to another page. However, this brought out new limitations to Skill Hunter. Chrollo says that he will show Hisoka three more abilities, thus setting a new record for the most abilities it has taken him to kill someone.
After a small talk, Chrollo explains the rest of his abilities; Order Stamp, which allows him to control any inanimate object provided that its head is still connected to the torso. But since the former owner didn't consider a real corpse to be an inanimate object, Chrollo makes use of Kortopi's ability, Gallery Fake, and make a copy of the judge's corpse. After that, he uses Order Stamp to command the copy to kill Hisoka, albeit unsuccessfully. He then reveals his final ability; Convert Hands, which allows him to switch appearances with a person he touches. He reveals that one of his abilities belonged to a now-deceased person. Hisoka realizes that it remained after death because of that person's Nen becoming stronger postmortem. The ability is The Sun and Moon, which belonged to a Meteor City elder that once turned his brethren into bombs in order to purge an outside threat. The seals from the Nen ability cannot be removed. Chrollo declares that he will win, but Hisoka is insistent on continuing the fight. Chrollo jumps into the audience and uses Black Voice to control a large spectator. Chrollo hides behind him and manipulates another. By the time Hisoka deals with the two, Chrollo is gone from his sight. He realizes that Chrollo originally bookmarked Black Voice to control the spectators, activated and changed his appearance with Convert Hands, and then shifted the bookmark to that page so he could retain it and hide.
A panicked audience begins to flee the arena despite being told not to rush the exists all at once by the commentator. Several audience members notice that they have been duplicated, which alerts Hisoka to the fact that Chrollo is using Gallery Fake. Shortly, many of them begin rushing towards Hisoka who realizes that Chrollo is currently using Order Stamp to command the copies to kill him. He uses Bungee Gum to propel himself towards the ceiling, away from the puppets. However, this is proven futile as his pursuers are capable of reaching him. Hisoka blocks their attacks, but leaves himself open from behind; an opening Chrollo exploits to land a hit on him. Despite being pummeled, Hisoka is enjoying the fight by continuing to decapitate the puppets, while Chrollo uses openings to land guaranteed hits. Chrollo tries to attack from above, but Hisoka anticipates this and attaches Bungee Gum to a decapitated head, flinging it at Chrollo who dodges it easily, having expected it, and proceeds to stomp his opponent. Hisoka, however, knew this and has swung his foot with a head attached to it, hitting Chrollo while he is laying injured on the ground.
Chrollo manages to recover from Hisoka's sneak attack. Hisoka uses the severed heads to smash the still attached heads of the remaining puppets, thus incapacitating them. He launches an attack on Chrollo who retreats again into the audience. Hisoka restrains one puppet to see through Chrollo's next actions:
- 1) Keep the bookmark on Gallery Fake. Open Order Stamp. Command the waiting puppets to kill Hisoka.
- 2) Keep the bookmark on Gallery Fake. Use both hands to create more copies. After that he would either:
- A) Open Order Stamp. Command the puppets to kill Hisoka.
- B) Open Convert Hands. Change his appearance with his left hand.
The stamp vanishes from the puppet Hisoka is restraining, which leads Hisoka to believe Chrollo chose the second option. Hisoka realizes the audience should panic on the sight of Chrollo if he plans to copy them, so he's wary that Chrollo would opt for Option B to avoid the risk. Hisoka understands that Chrollo might go where his copies are already on standby in order to both create more copies and stamp the previous ones. Using this logic, he spots Chrollo, pursues him into the stands, and goes on an all-out offensive to pressure him. He begins to consider a third possibility:
- C) Open Black Voice. Conceal the cell phone and antennae in his left hand.
Hisoka makes sure to keep his distance, then flings several audience members, to whom he attached Bungee Gum, towards Chrollo who dodges them. However, Hisoka managed to attach Bungee Gum to Chrollo's leg. He drags him, and launches several strikes, apparently killing him. He finds out that it was simply a right-handed copy of Chrollo, meaning the bookmark is on Convert Hands. Hisoka is confused why the severed head he was carrying from the start is still existing after Chrollo had removed the bookmark from Gallery Fake. He quickly realizes that it was a fake-out and that the puppets that have been afflicted by The Sun and Moon won't vanish.
Hisoka comes to the conclusion that Gallery Fake, a double-handed ability, can still be used in conjunction with another ability. Chrollo may imprint the plus mark with his left while he's opening the book on The Sun and Moon, and keeping Gallery Fake bookmarked. He comes to the final conclusion that instead of following Option 2B exactly, Chrollo added another step:
- D) Open The Sun and Moon. Imprint the plus mark with his left hand. Deactivate either or both. Open Order Stamp. Command the puppets to kill Hisoka.
Hisoka decides to go on the defensive to prevent a puppet from detonating near him. Chrollo steals the microphone from the commentator to issue a "break Hisoka" command. From there, hundreds of audience members begin rushing towards Hisoka, which excites him. He uses Bungee Gum to swing the copies and smash the rest. However, the bodies cannot handle constant collision, and the controlled puppets continue to pour in. All of a sudden, Chrollo has the head Hisoka is using detonate when he is holding it in his hand.
After one of the bodies explodes, blowing off his left hand, Hisoka tries to assess the situation. He soon comes to the conclusion that Chrollo figured out which body he decapitated, imprinted a left-handed plus mark on the body with his book open, before imprinting another minus mark on a different individual, then manipulating that individual using Black Voice, making them touch the body's plus mark, and creating a maximum-power bomb. Hisoka realizes the dangerous situation he is in and chooses to "go all-in", decapitating several puppets and climbing up the Heavens Arena walls using Bungee Gum in order to find Chrollo on the second floor. With the puppets in pursuit, Hisoka is faced with even more directly ahead of him, which have been ordered to self destruct after spotting Hisoka. Due to this, a large explosion comes from the second floor, sending Hisoka flying towards more puppets on the arena floor and blowing off his left leg. Before he is able to use Bungee Gum on his remaining leg to escape to the ceiling, a puppet from the second floor flies into his chest due to Chrollo's intervention. Hitting the floor, Hisoka is surrounded by a crowd of puppets before a large explosion engulfs them.
Later, a news reporter at the scene of Heavens Arena confirms the end of the deathmatch which resulted in several audience casualties. Hisoka's dead body is seen before Shalnark, Kortopi, and Machi in another room. Shalnark explains that the large crowd of puppets had a cushioning effect which protected him from the bulk of the explosion, however, Hisoka ended up dying from lack of oxygen due to the blast and the mass of flesh. Kortopi and Shalnark then leave after Machi says she'll stitch him up. Before she can do so, aura begins to re-emerge from his corpse and Hisoka comes back to life; it is later revealed that he placed Bungee Gum on his heart and lungs in order to restart them after his demise. After a brief conversation in which Hisoka admits he bit off more than he could chew, he says that it will be his enemies which won't have a choice in where and who they face. He then proceeds to restrain Machi using Bungee Gum before she leaves, saying that he won't stop until he's killed the all of the Spiders. He then leaves Machi, who continues to threaten him.
Shalnark talks on the phone with Chrollo, who is planning to board the Black Whale of the Kakin Royal family in order to steal their valuables. After he hangs up, Shalnark wonders why Kortopi is taking so long in the toilet. As he receives another call, Hisoka exits from the toilet with Kortopi's severed head in his hands. He throws it at Shalnark causing him to scream out and become distracted, Hisoka dashes forwards and delivers an extremely powerful strike to his head, killing him. Shalnark's mangled corpse is then seen tied to a swing, with Kortopi's severed head placed in front of him.
The Black Whale Departs: The Succession Battle BeginsEdit
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The day before the voyage arrives, and the eve festival celebrations start, all the voyagers gather in Kakin, in front of the Black Whale. The Kakin royal family is gathered at the assembly, with some princes believing that they will win the succession battle. Passengers begin entering the Black Whale; the first tier is structured for the Kakin royal family, V5 politicians, and industry dignitaries. The second tier is for the rich and celebrities, while tiers three, four, and five are designed for general passengers. Balsamilco, Captain of the Guards of Prince Benjamin, begins discussing the schedules of the princes with the other soldiers, noting they will act as guards until the disembarkation ceremony, also telling them that actual opportunities to assassinate the other princes may not come.
Kurapika and Queen Oito are discussing ways of escaping the Black Whale. Kurapika ponders the quantity and strength of the other princes' forces, as well as the consequences of the frivolous examination conducted by the Dark Continent committee. Mizaistom calls Kurapika to inform him of the increasing conflict levels on the third and fourth-tiers, due to fights, apparent ticket forgeries, larceny, etc. Because of this, the Zodiacs are unlikely to meet up as planned. Kurapika assures Oito that there are escape routes if the worst happens, to which Oito reacts emotionally because she was initially prepared to face death. Kurapika calls the system controls room to get data, when he senses Nen coming from Prince Woble, shocking him.
The Black Whale sets off for the Dark Continent. It will take 3 weeks, passing through territorial waters before venturing in the more volatile uncharted water for 5 weeks. The ship will make a nominal stop at the New Continent to avoid public outcry, while Beyond, the Zodiacs, and other Hunters will head to the dark waters using Morel's ship after crossing the gate at the far ocean boundary. The departure ceremony takes place with the King, Princes, and Queens attending. Kurapika and the other guards find the exsanguinated corpse of the guard Woody. Kurapika demands to know if the guards can use Nen, but they all claim they haven't even heard of it. Some guards chastise Kurapika for mentioning Nen, believing that their mission was simply to protect Queen Oito and Prince Woble.
The royal family attends a banquet, with the royal attendees believing that they will kill their siblings and win. Prince Kacho, Melody's employer, forms an alliance with Prince Fugetsu and acts like a diva; the latter action is discovered by Melody to be a facade. Kurapika comes across more murdered guards, prompting him to use his chain and interrogate the people in the room.
While interrogating the other bodyguards, Kurapika reveals that the true nature of the voyage was a Succession Battle among the Princes of the Kakin Empire. Several guards admit to being aware of this and also confess to not being fully aligned with Prince Woble. They explain that 7 bodyguards were chosen to keep tabs on Woble; one from each higher-ranked queen. While they are assigned to keep Woble alive, they must make sure that Woble does not become a threat to their clients. One guard divulges the Seed Urn Ceremony, which gave Woble an egg that would hatch into a Guardian Spirit Beast. Kurapika theorizes that one of the murdered guards had tried to act on his own, and the Guardian Spirit Beast reacted to him. However, the other guards disprove this by saying that the amount of time since Woble received the egg (one month) was too short for her to master Nen to such a degree. All of a sudden, some Guardian Spirit Beasts start crawling over the Nen-oblivious guards, and the room becomes infested with Guardian Spirit Beasts. Kurapika makes an emergency call using all channels and contacts his fellow Hunters, but they all state there's nothing abnormal going on. Kurapika realizes that the princes themselves are unaware of the Guardian Spirit Beasts. Kurapika asks Bill if the parasite-type Nen acts like a curse, to which Bill confirms. Bill decides that he and Kurapika must be more open to each other. The Guardian Spirit Beasts have disappeared, except for one sticking to Sayird, influencing him to murder the other guards. He goes to kill the other two, but Kurapika prepares to fight him.
Kurapika easily restrains Sayird and asks Bill whether Sayird's Nen ability is necessary for the mission. Bill reveals that Sayird's ability is an Emission-Manipulation based that allows him to project his aura into a ball and then control any creature caught inside the ball. Reminiscing on a training session with Izunavi where he told Kurapika to focus on co-operation with allies, Kurapika uses the Steal Chain to absorb Sayird's aura in the hopes that it would draw out the parasite in his body, which turns out to be a small spider-like creature. Though it manages to escape, Kurapika finds out that Sayird's Nen ability is called Little Eye, and it allows him to control captured creatures, excluding those that are created by Nen. Free from the Guardian Spirit Beast's control, Sayird admits that he was not in control. Because he is under arrest, he informs Kurapika that the largest creature he can control is the size of a hamster, but one can get sensory information from the creature. Additionally, he recommends that Kurapika not use tiny creatures like flies because they could easily be killed. With only two guards left, Bill says that without Kurton, in order to escape, they would need either Pariston or Beyond, both of whom would be difficult to co-operate with.
Prince Halkenburg announces to his father that he will be withdrawing from the battle, stating he initially joined to merely save his father's reputation, and he does not wish to earn the crown through bloodshed. Nasubi accepts his son's withdrawal.
Bill discusses the key issue surrounding countering parasites which is the parasite's propensity to being made through the host's thoughts and feelings. Oito states that the First through the Fifth Princes lust this upcoming battle and would never willingly opt-out.
Meanwhile, Tserriednich and Tubeppa agree to an alliance as the lower-ranked Princes are either unwilling or unable to fight, and the top 3 Princes have massive character flaws. Nasubi's monologue explains the rules regarding the usage of Guardian Spirit Beasts as follows:
- Guardian Spirit Beasts may not kill each other.
- Guardian Spirit Beasts may not directly attack other Guardian Spirit Beast bearers.
His monologue goes on to explain that Guardian Spirit Beasts are designed to protect the princes, but it is up to the princes themselves to figure out how to kill their brethren. During the age of rival warlords, Nasubi's ancestor created the urn, and his children helped build the Kakin Empire to what it is today. The Guardian Spirit Beasts are supposed to protect the one who possesses the legacy of the Hui Guo Rou family: one who has foresight, carefulness, and strong planning abilities.
Theta discusses how she will instruct Tserriednich to stay in his quarters without leaking the secret of Nen to him with Salkov. Salkov suggests that she inform him about Nen, but train him to use it in an inefficient way, such as having him use his weakest Nen type in combat. Luzurus and Tyson become aware of Nen and the Guardian Spirit Beasts that surround them. Halkenburg is horrified as he stumbles upon the unconscious bodies of at least eleven of his bodyguards. Theta is confronted by Tserriednich and his Guardian Spirit Beast, and he begins interrogating her about Nen. Theta admits that she is both aware of it and capable of using it.
Camilla asks her father to make sure that the condition for dropping out is biological death. Her father tells her that the sole survivor will be the official successor to the throne, as he told Zhang Lei earlier, though it is up to her to interpret that. Benjamin arrives and tells Camilla to not be so focused on others' interpretations of the rules. Camilla argues that she wants them to feel despair to the point where they willingly die. She leaves after being called arrogant by her older brother. Benjamin makes an oath to his father that he would win and defend Kakin. He then decides to kill his first target: Tserriednich. Benjamin's bodyguards talk about the Guardian Spirit Beasts and deduce that there are unknown rules about them. Balsamilco instructs Benjamin to stay put as the introduction of Nen makes things more dangerous. Benjamin inquires as to why a Hunter would leak the existence of Nen, but Balsamilco reasons that it is to prevent others from making strikes as the Hunters' goal is to get to the Dark Continent. Benjamin orders his bodyguards to act as royal family bodyguards. They are to observe the Hunters and Guardian Spirit Beasts while having permission to kill if they are threatened.
Kurapika and Bill discuss when to employ Sayird's power. The royal bodyguard Vincent shows up and kills a servant, claiming she attacked him. Kurapika realizes that he is not a bodyguard, but instead, an assassin.
Kurapika decides not to fight with Vincent because of the legal ramifications that would arise. Vincent says that he wishes to co-operate with Kurapika and the others, but Kurapika remains on the defensive. He transfers the right to use Little Eye to Oito. Vincent is distracted by the situation, which he perceives to be Kurapika attacking Oito, which allows Bill to get close to him. Vincent attempts to fend off Bill, but Kurapika steals his aura, and he is restrained. To avoid being forced to confess to attempting an assassination, Vincent swallows a poison he had hidden behind his back teeth. Kurapika decides not to report Vincent immediately as it would be ineffective and risky at the moment.
Listening to the ordeal remotely, Balsamilco and Benjamin discuss the nature of the guards' ability. They struggle to understand what happened, but Balsamilco theorizes that the guards lied verbally to mislead any eavesdroppers. Benjamin orders all guards to use Nen immediately after announcing the right to self-defense and sends Babimyna after Woble.
Kurapika decides Little Eye would best be used on Marayam's pet hamster at the next banquet, but due to time restraints, instructs Oito to use Little Eye on an insignificant insect like a fly to avoid suspicion. Despite the advantages of giving the dolphin his newly acquired ability, Kurapika decides not to do so because it would force him to stay in Emperor Time, which takes an hour from his lifespan for every second he uses it. They receive a phone call, which is a message from three princes (Benjamin, Zhang Lei, and Tubeppa), which presents an issue as choosing a Prince with whom to talk first will imply an alliance with that Prince. Additionally, Babimyna rings the doorbell, causing further pressure.
Kurapika cannot comprehend why Benjamin would send an assassin and call at the same time, but he believes Zhang Lei and Tubeppa want to learn more about Nen, meaning that no one in their troops is a Nen user. Kurapika orders Bill to remain with the soldier. Shimano connects Kurapika to Zhang Lei, much to his surprise. Zhang Lei asks why he was chosen over Benjamin, and Kurapika says it was because he perceived Zhang Lei to be more open to discussion due to his desire to learn about Nen. Zhang Lei invites Kurapika, Oito, and Woble to his quarters. Kurapika then contacts Tubeppa, whose guard Maor offers a truce in exchange for information about Guardian Spirit Beasts. Kurapika, preoccupied with Benjamin's guard and the upcoming meeting, informs Maor of the circumstances, so Maor gives him one hour to deal with the issue. Kurapika then interrogates Shimano about why she chose Zhang Lei. She justifies herself saying that Benjamin is a callous individual and that he would likely have his captain of the guards act as a proxy. Additionally, his intention is likely to kill Kurapika and herself in order to avenge Vincent. As her desire is strictly to live, she connected Kurapika to Zhang Lei whom she perceives to be more of a humble individual, but not humble to the point where he would accept being spoken to second. Additionally, if Kurapika manages to get on his good side, he is likely to hold off killing them until later, if at all. Tubeppa is a more patient individual and is strictly devoted to finishing off the princes older than himself while allowing the young ones to survive. Shimano dissuades Kurapika from allowing Babimyna to remain at the door since spurning his request would result in arrest by the royal army, which would give Benjamin an opportunity to kill Oito and Woble and then pretend it was a murder-suicide on Oito's part. Kurapika informs Babimyna that he, the queen, and the prince are going to meet Zhang Lei. Babimyna decides to wait in the room while they are gone. Kurapika instructs Bill to tell Tubeppa that the situation has been dealt with if she calls.
The three enter Zhang Lei's chamber, where he greets them. Kurapika explains the basics of Nen and reveals that the Guardian Spirit Beasts were assigned to the princes during the ceremony. Kurapika then asks Zhang Lei if he is willing to have the next part of the conversation in the room considering that the information could change the tide of the succession battle.
Hanzo and Biscuit note that Marayam's Guardian Spirit Beast is growing, and Momoze's guards each plan to kill her in a way to make their doing obvious to their employer, but not to the authorities. Fugetsu's guards Ryoji and Bachaem discuss how they are the only two legitimately protecting her while the other guards are assassins. Kacho vehemently complains about the food prepared for her, much to the annoyance of her guards and servants. Halkenburg awakens from his slumber, where he finds his guards to be alive, suggesting to him that he merely dreamed of his guards' demise. Salé-salé invites his mother's anxiety as he is rather frivolous about the succession battle, but he guarantees her things would change at the next banquet. Luzurus smokes a healthy drug created by Basho while discussing how he could distribute the drug as a therapy for addicts if he becomes King. Tyson lavishes her book, while Izunavi praises her attitude in such trying circumstances. Maor heads to Oito's room while Tubeppa contemplates on how to get rid of Benjamin's guard Butch. Tserriednich trains in Nen with Theta, where she discovers that he is a Nen genius. Kurapika wraps up his conversation with Zhang Lei, and he sends his personal bodyguards Sakata and Hashito to assist Kurapika. Slakka notes that he is colluding with Unma's soldiers because they have mutual interests. Coventoba stays with Zhang Lei while Slakka accompanies Sakata and Hashito under Queen Unma's orders. Camilla orders her mother to get close to Halkenburg so she can kill him, as well as Benjamin. However, Benjamin's guard Musse eavesdrops on her conversation and plans to use his Nen ability to get physical evidence for her assassination plot. Benjamin comments that Kurapika is doing a good job of holding off his guards to force a stalemate.
Kurapika returns along with the new guards. Slakka and Babimyna conspire to keep tabs on Zhang Lei's guards. Kurapika frets over the difficulty of applying Sayird's Nen ability.
Meanwhile, on one of the lower tiers, a passenger meets Chrollo and remarks that Chrollo looks as if he wants to kill someone. He suggests that Chrollo should forget his worldly ties, but Chrollo insists that ties are not forgotten; rather, they are severed.
Kurapika, Oito, Bill, and Shimano search for a small insect on which to use Little Eye, which earns the curiosity of Sakata and Slakka. However, their search is cut short when Maor arrives. Agreeing to divulge the nature of Nen, Kurapika has the guards and Oito convene in the back room so that Bill and Shimano can continue their search. When pressed to explain why he moved rooms, Kurapika lies and says that it was to reduce Oito's stress.
Kurapika explains how the Princes acquired Nen via the initiation, and the result was a protective force. Oito notices a cockroach near the door and stares at it, drawing everyone else's attention to it. Kurapika, needing to activate the ability on the cockroach immediately, deceives the guards by pretending to showcase the capabilities of Nen. Bill quickly catches onto Kurapika's ploy and pretends to shoot aura at the cockroach as Oito activates her ability. Oito requests to rest, which allows her to control the cockroach without being noticed. Bill commands the cockroach to move in specific ways to prove that Nen was controlling it. Kurapika asks Babimyna to confirm the accuracy of his lesson, and Babimyna agrees. Kurapika tells the guards that they would be able to learn the basics in 2 weeks, allowing them to stand a chance in a Nen battle. Babimyna notices that Bill released the cockroach through a vent, and using his En, deduces that the cockroach is being used for surveillance. The cockroach enters Marayam's room, and Oito sees Marayam, his mother, and his Guardian Spirit Beast.
Oito uses Little Eye clandestinely to survey the rooms of the other Princes and records the information such that Babimyna cannot read it with his En. Kurapika is concerned about the consequences of using Emperor Time for the extended period of time he did. Oito inspects Momoze's room, only to find her being suffocated by a bodyguard. Oito warns Kurapika of what Momoze's plight, so he has Bill and Babimyna get in contact with Momoze's operator. They are too late as Momoze already died of asphyxiation. Bill reveals that the guards were outside her room when the murder happened. Momoze's mother, Sevanti, is advocating for the execution of the six guards since she believes they are complicit in the assassination. Sakata asks Kurapika why Momoze's Guardian Spirit Beast did not protect her during the incident. Kurapika explains that because Momoze retired to her bedroom earlier than usual, she must have been fatigued. Because the beast draws its power from the host, it means that a significant amount of her aura was taken by the beast for some other activity, and while she was weakened, the perpetrator struck. Babimyna asks Oito why she took such an irrational approach to reveal Momoze's situation. Oito explains that while this was a survival contest, she still has the humanity to care for someone else's daughter. Babimyna leaves the room and retracts his En. Oito goes back to surveying with Little Eye. Bill returns from a phone call and tells Kurapika that they would receive bodyguards from 10 of the other princes, all of whom are likely to be stationed there to monitor Kurapika and Bill. The other Hunters have agreed to the 2-week timeline to teach Nen, although this could mean that many guards will be sent to learn Nen. Kurapika suddenly faints from the extended usage of Emperor Time, much to Bill's shock.
Hanzo laments over his failure to protect Momoze, and Biscuit comforts him. Hanzo deduces that the culprit used a clone to commit the murder, and arresting the 6 guards would only help vindicate them should another murder happen. Hanzo goes on to say that the murderer likely had to focus all their attention on the clone, and Biscuit continues the logic by saying it had to be an off-duty guard. Hanzo vows to avenge Momoze and catch the criminal.
Tserriednich asks Theta about the amount of time required to learn Nen, referencing a message he heard from Zhang Lei stating that Nen could be taught in 2 weeks. He threatens her to tell the truth about the time needed to learn Nen. Theta responds that while it is possible, it is hazardous, and her method is the best. Tserriednich's Guardian Spirit Beast comes threateningly close to Theta as she promises that she is telling him the truth. Blood spatter then comes onto the ground.
Kurapika regains consciousness after being unconscious for 9 hours. Oito had also passed out as her condition is linked to Kurapika's. Kurapika urges Oito to survey Tserriednich, to which Oito cynically asks if Kurapika is acting out of self-preservation. Kurapika justifies himself by explaining that the first two princes likely have Nen users in their ranks, and Oito has already established good relations with Zhang Lei. Woble suddenly shows affection for Kurapika, encouraging her to obey. Oito sends the cockroach through the vents to Tserriednich's chamber, but Tserriednich's Nen beast devours the bug, forcing Little Eye to end. Oito requests Kurapika to teach her Nen, but Kurapika reveals that she has already activated Nen by using Little Eye.
The next day, the bodyguards of several princes convene in Oito's room to learn Nen, and each thinks about how to gain leverage in the situation. Benjamin's bodyguard Furykov already knows how to use Nen, but is there to learn about Kurapika, and if Kurapika tries to fight, he would exercise his right to defend himself. Unbeknownst to everyone a feminine doll easily reads Furykov by his aura and will appease to his demeanor with its Nen ability: Silent Majority.
- Chrollo has apparently removed the Judgement Chain and battles with Hisoka.
- Hisoka dies after fighting Chrollo, but revives himself, and goes on a killing rampage against the Phantom Troupe. He has managed to kill Shalnark and Kortopi.
- Kurapika goes on the Dark Continent voyage in order to confront Prince Tserriednich and regain the eyes of his fallen clan members.
- Chrollo is on the Black Whale along with the rest of the Phantom Troupe, and they aim to avenge their comrades' deaths by killing Hisoka.
- Kurapika loses 5 years of his lifespan due to using Emperor Time for 12 hours.
- Neon has apparently died, since her name disappeared from Chrollo's book, which apparently only happens to those who are dead.
- This arc is characterized by a plethora of references to songs or performances of the Japanese idol group Keyakizaka46:
- The Silent Majority Nen ability has the same name as Keyakizaka46's debut single. The doll's hairstyle may also be considered reminiscent of the center girl of the song.
- The name of Camilla's ability, "Neko no Namae", is also the title of a song by the idol group.
- The sound made by Camilla's Nen Beast, "neru", is the onomatopoeia for kneading, but it is also the name of one of the group's members, Nagahama Neru.
- In Chapter 378, the item numbers of "Silent Majority" (SRCL 9041) and "Masshiro na Mono wa Yogoshitaku naru" (SRCL 9488) can be seen on a sign in Tier 3.
- Halkenburg's frontal pose when notching his arrow in Chapter 382 is taken from the music video of "Fukyouwaon".
- The servants dancing in Chapter 383, are seen striking a pose similar to one from the concert "Keyaki Kyowakoku 2017", a similarity which is reinforced by the flag in the background is identical to the ones waved by the group.
- The second name of her Guardian Spirit Beast's ability, "Season of Two" (Futari Saison), is a reference to their third single and the main name, "Without You", comes from the fourth track (Kimi ga Inai) from the "Masshirona Mono wa Yogoshitaku Naru" music album of the same idol group.
- Bill's Nen ability Erigeron is named after a song by Nogizaka46, Keyakizaka46's associated group.
|Dark Continent Expedition arc||Succession Contest arc||N/A|
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