Beautiful Prey (1) is the sixteenth chapter of Takashi Shiina's Zettai Karen Children.


Oboro Kashiwagi explains to Akira Yadorigi and Hatsune Inugami that if their test for the day will determine whether they will become offical special Espers, under the team name "The Hound". She introduces the two to their leader for the test, Kōichi Minamoto. Their mission for the test is to capture three villainous Espers hiding somewhere in a forest. Akira asks why they are going up against other special Espers for their training, and Minamoto tells them that they shouldn't think of it as training, that they should aim to utterly defeat them; also stating his ulterior motive of wanting to teach the three villainous Espers the importance of obeying their commander.

The Children wait up in a tree. They discuss Minamoto's promise to them that if they win the mock battle then he will do anything they ask. Aoi shows the others the recording she took of Minamoto making the promise so that he won't be able to back out. Shiho tells the others that it will be easy for them, as even though their opponents are composite Espers, their powers are only between levels 2 and 4. An old man covered in a hooded cloak and holding a walking stick appears below the tree and warns The Children that their opponents are synthetic power Espers. The Children descend from the tree and ask Chief Taizō Kiritsubo what he is doing there, shocking Kiritsubo that his disguise was seen through. He goes on to explain that synthetic power Espers are able to combine multiple powers together to create a new power.

Hatsune transforms into a wolf, much to Minamoto's surprise as well as Kaoru's who is watching from a distance with binoculars. Kashiwagi explains that Hatsune covers her body in a fur-like material and uses Hypnosis to make people believe she is a wolf. Akira tells them that Hatsune's family have used this technique for generations, and have been known as descendants of werewolves. Minamoto is surprised to see how well Hatsune can control this ability and Kashiwagi explains that this type of power is becoming more mainstream and pure high level Espers like The Children are becoming more rare. Hatsune says that she can sense prey nearby, to which Kashiwagi further explains that she is using Precognition and Psychokinesis to give herself the abilities of a true wolf. Akira then activates his own powers to locate their targets. Noticing the strange behaviour of a bird flying above, Minamoto realises that Akira has transferred his consciousness to the bird and is controlling it. Having located The Children, Akira guides Hatsune to them. Realising that they've been discovered, The Children teleport away. Minamoto thinks to himself that since The Children are so inexperienced, he has a good chance of capturing them.

The Children wonder how Hatsune and Akira can be so powerful when they are only level 2-4, stating that they seem more like level 6-7. They decide to come up with a real strategy, trying to think of something they can use when they notice Kiritsubo standing beside them. The Children dive at him, announcing their love for him, hoping to gain his help for the battle.

Minamoto, Hatsune and Akira prepare for the battle. Minamoto tells them that their time limit is 12 hours. Akira asks Hatsune if she is okay, and Hatsune responds that she will only be able to last 3-4 more hours.