Twelve years prior to the start of the story, Ging Freecss left his infant son, Gon, with Gon’s aunt, Mito, on Whale Island. Gon, who was told all his life that both his parents were dead, finds out from Ging’s apprentice, Kite, that his old man is still alive and has since become an accomplished Hunter. Hunters are licensed, elite members of humanity who are capable of tracking down secret treasures, rare beasts, or even other individuals. Gon leaves his home to become a Hunter like his father by taking the Hunter Examination, a series of brutal tests involving skill, survival, and teamwork. During the exam, Gon meets and eventually befriends three of the other applicants: Kurapika, the last remaining member of the Kurta clan whom wishes to become a Hunter in order to avenge his clan and recover their scarlet-glowing eyes, plucked from their corpses by a band of thieves known as the Phantom Troupe; Leorio, a prospective physician who desires the financial benefits Hunters receive in order to pay for medical school; and Killua Zoldyck, another twelve-year-old boy who has left his former life as a member of the world’s most notorious assassin family.