Truths x and x Lies
The ambulances have come and gone leaving only half of the original number of people in the building.
“Congratulations to all the hunters who have passed the first phase!” It was Beans on the TV again. It turns out that the holes led them back to the room they entered at the start. “I would like you to thank the first examiner for making the first exam possible.” The screen shifts moving Beans out of the shot and onto a guy in a black cloak. His face was completely hidden by the hood. He gave a quick a nod and then Beans was back. “Ok so the next examiner will be there soon and they do they will explain the second phase of this exam. I wish you all the best of luck.” With that the screen went black.
“There was an examiner?” Maya asks taken aback since the examiner didn’t appear at the start of the first phase like she thought examiners had to. They were all just thrown into it without any explanation.
“They were probably just testing us on how to react to the unexpected.” Kurapika explains. He knew it was an important life lesson after all it wasn’t a secret that he was no stranger to unexpected.
“Yeah plus he kind of looked like one of the guys who works in the shadows.” Gon adds. Leave it to Gon to put forward those kinds of explanations.
“I know right! You can practically feel it through his aura,” Sakura continues on Gon’s already interesting theory.
‘Can you even feel a person’s aura through a TV?’ Kurapika wonders.
“I thought conjurers were supposed to be smart…” Leorio mutters under his breath.
“What was that?” Sakura turns around and gave Leorio one of those smiles with dark aura seeping out of her.
“N-Nothing!” Leorio stutters out a reply and looks away from her. He did not want to end up like the guy she shot in the first phase. Even though he wasn’t dead it still looked like he was in pretty bad shape.
A smoke bomb suddenly went off at the front of the room. The smoke spread down and out a bit before dissipating and revealing a short fat man. He was wearing those weird spiral glasses and holding really big, thick books. For such a flashy entrance he was that pleasing to the eye.
“I am the second phase examiner!” His shrill voice echoes throughout the entire room, it was unbearable.
‘Why couldn’t he be like the first examiner and not reveal his face or voice ever…’ Kurapika thought blandly.
“Don’t tell me that guy is a professional hunter?” Leorio asks incredulously.
Not a moment later a book comes flying and hits him dead centre in the face. Kurapika would have felt a little sorry for him but the guy has got to learn his lesson on not judging a book by it’s cover especially with their encounter with a few certain people.
“Silence!” The examiner shrieks.
How could such a big voice come from such a small man Kurapika honestly could not figure out.
“Now I know some of you may be thinking that I could not possibly be a hunter.” The examiner glares at Leorio before continuing. “But let me tell you a little something… intelligence beats strength any day! In the second phase you will be tested on exactly that!”
‘Good something right up my alley,’ Kurapika thought happily, not that he wouldn’t be able to handle more physically demanding challenges, but he was kind of hoping that this exam wouldn’t be too difficult. This was the closest thing to a break he has allowed in a very long time and he wanted it to be an enjoyable time with his friends.
“Now I’ll explain the second exam as simple as possible so that even you simpletons can understand how it works.”
The examiner turns to face the wall behind him and sets his books down on the floor. Then he places both his hands on the wall. His eyes glow and suddenly doors start appearing on the walls until it encircles the entire room.
Kurapika assumes that there were for each participant to enter but upon further inspection there were definitely not enough doors for everyone. The people in the room murmur amongst themselves, probably having the same thoughts as he did or just out of plain confusion.
“Eh hem!” The examiner clears his throat really loud to silence the room. “I’m assuming you all are confused about the number of doors.”
“No kidding Sherlock.” Leorio decides to share his opinion out loud again and once again a book came flying and smacks him in the face.
“Anyway…” the examiner continues, veins clearly evident on his forehead. “The chairman agreed with me that you people are nothing but a bunch of imbeciles, so much so that he has decided this phase will be carried out in groups so that you might even have a very small chance of passing. Now get into groups and stand in front of a door so the phase can start.”
The room was fill with murmurs once again, but not out of confusion rather out of excitement. Most would hate to admit it but if they were to take this test alone they would most likely fail. But now they have a chance to rope in some poor sucker to do all the work for them.
“Kurapika looks like we can work together this time!” Gon announces excitedly.
“Yeah. It’ll just be like the good old days,” Leorio joins in while rubbing the spot on his face the book had hit him. Twice.
“That brain of yours is finally useful,” Killua adds on casually as if it wasn’t in any way an insult at all.
“Uh yeah…” Kurapika responds to his friends’ excitement. ‘Looks like I’m the poor sucker doing all the work…’
“Aw that’s so nice to see your friends appreciating you so much.” Sakura chimes in with sparkling eyes.
‘Did she actually see Killua’s comment as a compliment or was she being sarcastic?’ Kurapika couldn’t really tell…
“Not so fast!” Leorio suddenly jumps in.
“Huh?” Sakura tilts her head in confusion at Leorio’s sudden outburst.
“Don’t act all innocent. I don’t care if you’re a famous idol or whatever you’re not going to take advantage of Kurapika!” Leorio declares.
‘Aren’t you doing the same thing?’ Kurapika sweat drops.
“What?! Why would I do that?!” Sakura responds angrily at being wrongfully accused.
“Leorio you have to stop jumping to conclu-“ Kurapika tries to reason with Leorio before he got shot but was cut off.
“Besides I know way more than he does anyway!” Sakura proclaims.
“Ok now just hold on a minute, what makes you think you know more than me?” Kurapika questions her because no offence to her but from what he’s seen so far, he can conclude that she was the sharpest tool in the shed.
“I’ll have you know I have an IQ over 200,” Sakura states with confidence. She was now facing Kurapika, having completely forgotten about Leorio.
“You took an IQ test?” Chase enquires with disbelief.
“Well, I thought it was a game at first but it counts!” Sakura defends herself.
“Um… ok but just so you know I have an IQ over 200 too,” Kurapika shot back.
“Yeah well-“ Sakura starts.
“Ok enough!” Maya cuts her off deciding to bring this pointless fight to an end before it even started. “Look we have a smarty pants contest going on right now so why don’t we decide who knows more about things no one cares about based on the results of the contest?”
“…That’s actually a good idea,” Kurapika has to admit.
“Ok so whoever gets the most right wins!” Sakura announces showing that she too had accepted the idea.
Gon raises his hand in the air. “What if they both get the same amount right?”
“Then it’s whoever does it the fastest?” Kurapika proposes.
“That seems fair…” Sakura agrees. “So it’s on!” She announces once again.
“Fine with me.”
Sparks were flying as both Kurapika and Sakura glare at each other with determination and confidence in their eyes.
After both of them had calmed down the group heads towards the nearest two doors. They all decide to keep their original groups so on Kurapika’s side were Gon, Killua, Leorio and Hanzo and on Sakura’s side were Maya and Chase. Hanzo had wanted to go on Sakura’s side but she was too absorbed with Kurapika so Maya turned him down for her. In the end he resigned himself to joining Kurapika’s side and Hisoka went off on his own, not surprising.
“Looks like you all are finally ready.” The examiner remarks, making sure to put the emphasis on the word finally. Kurapika was a little surprised as well how long it took for professional hunters to simply get into groups, not that he and his friends were one to talk. He was almost certain they were the going to be the last ones to get ready. “Now I’ll explain how this is going to work.” He clears his throat before continuing. “The doors in front of you lead to a small room. It will be empty except for the wall you see directly across you when you enter. There will be a question on it in which you have to answer. You will only have one attempt meaning once you have written your answer down you cannot change it. That wall will immediately go up once an answer has been written and the next question will be on the wall behind that one. This will continue until you have completed all 100 questions and reached the end of the corridor, which opens up to a hall where you will have to wait until the time is up. The time limit is 10 hours. Also you have to get at least half right to pass. Any questions?”
“What do we write with?” A voice pops out from the crowd. The examiner had one of those ‘are you serious?’ faces but he decides it wasn’t worth fighting over such a trivial matter and answers the guy without a lecture.
“Use your nen.” The examiner answers with indifference and was about to start the second phase right away not waiting for anymore questions, since if he got asked another really stupid question like the one just then he would most likely shoot someone. However, as expected, the universe wasn’t that nice and another voice pops up.
“Are the questions difficult?” Sakura asks and
The examiner literally looked like he was about to explode. This question wasn’t even remotely important, it was a test, of course there was going to be a level of difficulty. He was able to hold it in though and answers her question though gritted teeth.
“Yes.” He opens his mouth to makes the action to start the second phase again but Sakura interrupts him again with a follow up question.
“Do you know all the answers?” Sakura asks with genuine curiosity.
“Of course I do.” The examiner responds with irritation.
“What do you mean how I was the one who wrote the damn thing!” The examiner looked like he was about to commit a bloody murder.
“Wow! So you wrote all 100 questions on the walls in all the rooms?!” Sakura exclaims with amazement. Kurapika had to admit he was a little amazed too. The guy actually made the effort to do all that for them. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.
“Well… no. I used my nen to create all the questions.” the examiner confesses.
“Oh…” Her amazement dies down as she takes in his confession. “But I’m assuming you’re marking all of the questions yourself right? Since if you told anyone else that could lead to cheating.”
“Well again… no. The questions are automatically marked once you move on to the next question,” the examiner clarifies the phase’s process..
“What do you mean automatically?”
“Come on little girl just get over it so we can start the second phase already!” A guy from the crowd yells angrily at her.
“Shut up! She’s asking a very important question!” The examiner yells back at the guy. He wouldn’t let a chance do to be able to brag about his own abilities slip by. He had been answering all her ridiculous questions, might as well get something out of it. “Ok look, I think this will be easier if I explain how my nen works.”
Kurapika was more than shocked that the examiner was actually cooperating. Maybe he was at least a good enough guy to explain something to someone for nothing.
“This way you’ll see how incredible it is!” The examiner declares in a smug tone.
‘Nope, he’s just another narcissistic jerk.’ Kurapika realises, although he didn’t have much hope to begin with.
“You see I ask the universe a question and it gives me the answer. This way I can know the answer to anything.” He explains and was now ready for an applause or sign of admiration. He didn’t get anything close…
“So you’re just a cheater,” Sakura says with a deadpan expression.
“Of course not!” The examiner exclaims, offended by the accusation.
“But you basically just have an answer book.” Sakura points to the book in the examiner’s hands, although she doesn’t know if it was actually the answer book.
“Well then how do you find things out? Through a book right?” He counters looking quite complacent. ‘Now way she can counter that!’
“I guess…” She actually appeared to be accepting what the examiner just said. A couple of people in the room gave a sigh of relief. Finally she was done and they can get on with the exam. “So who ate the first cake?”
“Well I’ve always wanted to know and you can know the answer to anything so…” Sakura prompts the examiner.
“Uh ok…” The examiner was getting tired of being interrogated so he decides it was best to answer her ridiculous question to shut her up and end this.
The examiner closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then after he breathed out, he was all ready to ask the question but Sakura intervenes before a single sound came out.
“You can’t do that!” Sakura shouts at the examiner with flailing arms.
“Isn’t this what you wanted?” The examiner asks with hints of malice laced through his words.
Kurapika was amazed that he hadn’t snapped from all the crap Sakura was giving him. Perhaps he had a soft spot for girls considering his reaction to Leorio and that other guy.
“Yeah but if you do that, that’s cheating!” Sakura firmly states and stomps her foot to add to the moment.
Eyes snap open.
“No one would know the answer to such a pointless question!” The examiner yells at the top of his lungs. He wasn’t holding anything back anymore. The fury, malice and annoyance were now very clear in his voice and all over his face. His temple was filled with veins just ready to burst, and this time he did it…
“You know what, I was going to take it a little easy on you people but I’ve changed my mind!” Eyes shut closed and were glowing like crazy when they reopened.
A shockwave passes through all of them and hit the doors. The doors shake and clatter then begins to settle down after a few more moments of violent shaking.
“There… now there are questions even… even I don’t know the answer to yet…” The examiner squeezes out in his exhausted state before collapsing.
Deadly silence fills the room as everyone stares at the unconscious body lying on the floor. Then every pair of eyes in the room shift to the person who was responsible for making the examiner faint.
“Huh. I can’t believe that worked,” Sakura says plainly while just staring at the examiner on the floor, her eyes were slightly widened as a sign of little surprise.
“You planned that?” Kurapika questions Sakura in shock.
Sakura just glances over to Kurapika direction and utters a “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.” And with that she reaches forward and opens the door then walks inside as if she didn’t just cause a mental breakdown. “A contest is more fun with harder questions,” she states before going out of sight.
“How does she do the worst things with the greatest of ease?” Kurapika meant to only say in his mind but accidently says it out loud.
“Well to her if you’re not dead, you’re fine,” Chase clarifies.
“…Is that so,” Kurapika responds hesitantly.
“Yep. By the way shouldn’t you get going? Aren’t you supposed to be competing with her?”
“Ah, that’s right!” Kurapika recalls the challenge and races through the door. He wasn’t about to lose to that wack job.
Both their friends follow them in and when the last one was through the door automatically closes behind them. Now the only way to go was forward but that didn’t seem be a problem for Kurapika and his friends. As soon as the door shut behind them the wall in front of them went up indicating a question has just been answered.
“Wow Kurapika that was fast!” Gon shouts with amazement.
“Yeah we just got he-.” Before Killua could even finish his sentence another wall went up. “-re…”
“Is it necessary to go this fast? For all you know she could still be on the first-” Another wall went up. “-question…”
“Better safe than sorry. I am not losing her,” Kurapika answers firmly.
“That’s the spirit! Here let me help.” Hanzo offers but his request was rejected by a slap on the hand.
“Ow! What was that for?” Hanzo asks confused while rubbing the back of his hand where Kurapika had hit him.
“Sorry.” Kurapika apologises, as his reaction was a bit harsh on a person that was only trying to help. “I just really want to do this myself.” It wouldn’t count if Hanzo or anyone else helped him.
“So you’re just going to do all this yourself?”
“Awesome! I’m down for doing no work at all.”
“Killua!” Leorio shouted at Killua for attempting to take advantage of Kurapika.
“What? We’d just get in the way anyway.”
“No we won’t! Right Kurapika?”
When Leorio turns to ask him Kurapika just turns away to avoid any chance of eye contact.
Leorio went to sulk in a corner and Gon goes to pat his back.
Maya and Chase had just entered the room to find their friend staring at the wall, unmoving.
“Sakura what are you doing?” Maya asks.
“I’m waiting for Kurapika to answer the first question so we can start together.”
“Um ok… but wouldn’t that just mean that he would have the head start?”
“…” Sakura was at a loss for words as contemplates on what Chase had just told her.
The sound came from the room Kurapika and the others were in.
“Ah! He already answered the first question. Why didn’t you tell me sooner?!” Sakura shouts and starts shaking Chase.
“I-I didn’t know y-you were w-waiting for him!” Chase manages to squeeze out while being violently shaken. “Anyway s-shouldn’t you get s-started?”
Sakura stops shaking her friend and shifts to the wall with the question. She raises her hand and pink petals swarm around then scattered to reveal a cute pink pen with cherry blossoms on it.
‘For a person short on time it was a really detailed pen…’ Chase thought.
She spins the pen around once before announcing, “Let’s do this!” Then she was off. Like Kurapika she answers the first question with ease and the rest follow suit.
The race was on.
Both Kurapika and Sakura were answering questions at an unbelievable speed. There was no hesitation as they answered each question. None of their friends could even read the question before the wall went up and revealed the next one behind it.
“Wow Sakura how do you know all this stuff? Didn’t the examiner say that even he didn’t know some of the answers to these questions?” Maya asks as she watches her in amazement.
“You shouldn’t think highly of that guy. I bet the books he carries are just for decoration. Unlike him I actually read a lot of books.” Sakura answers her whilst still answering the questions without the slightest falter in her movements.
“I didn’t know you were interested in history and all that other stuff about the world,” Maya remarks.
“Well I’m not but see I used to have this friend and he used to tell me I should use my time to read and learn instead of wasting it on useless things like music and building booby traps.”
“Wait you used to build booby tra-“
“So I was like stuff you I can be smart and still be able to play and have fun! Anyway now it’s just become a habit now and I just read random books when I have free time.”
Not knowing how to react to… whatever that meant, Maya decides to just leave her be but something clicked in Chase’s head and he decides to voice it out loud.
“Hey Sakura, how come we’ve never met that friend of yours or any of your other friends?” Chase asks with interest.
Sakura’s hand immediately stops moving. That was definitely suspicious.
“Because… I think he thinks that… I’m dead?” Sakura says hesitantly as if she had just come up with a random lie and just realised how stupid it sounded when she hears it out loud. It wasn’t a lie though. It may be an over simplified version of the truth but it was still the truth…
‘Ugh!’ Why did she even have to bring him up she wonders. ‘I should really learn not to get caught up in the moment and blurt out something stupid.’
She just really didn’t have the heart to talk about it and was hoping with all her heart that her friend would just drop it.
That hope was short-lived.
“Ok so he thinks you’re dead so that means he’s alive right? So why didn’t you tell him you’re not dead?” Maya asks puzzled. If she herself met a lost friend she would tell them immediately.
“To be fair, I thought he was dead as well!” Sakura defends herself. ‘Why did she have to be so perceptive now?’
“Anyway, I really rather not talk about it, okay?” She says right after so that Maya or Chase did not have a chance to retort.
She wasn’t ready. Everything was changing too fast. Things that she never thought she had to deal with again were resurfacing. Everything she had kept hidden deep down had the potential to be brought out into the light and she was honestly scared.
Silence fills the entire room only to be interrupted by the sound of the wall going up once again. Both Maya and Chase knew that, that was a sign that Sakura was serious when she was said she didn’t want to talk about it and that was saying something since she was rarely ever serious about anything. No one spoke a word and just let the sound of the walls lull the situation. It was at a much slower pace though. The energy their friend had at the start was long gone, which caused a whole lot of guilt to flood into Maya and Chase.
‘Why did I say that?’ Maya thought with regret. She didn’t know what it was that made her normally very cheery friend so upset, but no matter how curious she was she knew it wasn’t a good idea to push any further. “Sorry.”
“Ah! You don’t have to apologize! It’s not your fault!” Sakura reassures Maya, waving her hands in front of her and forcing a smile on her face. “I was just thinking about stuff…” She starts drifting away again at the end, but this time Maya didn’t say anything back.
Meanwhile on Kurapika’s end, things were actually going pretty smoothly. Leorio was still sulking a little but even if Kurapika had wanted his help he wouldn’t be able to help him… Kurapika’s pace had slowed down a little due to increase in the length and the difficulty of the questions and now that his friends could actually read the questions they saw that they had no chance in hell without Kurapika. It’s not like they weren’t smart but they were only geniuses at particular things. For instance Leorio would know more about medicine better than anyone, Hanzo would excel in martial arts, Killua with assassination techniques and Gon knew the forest like the back of his hand. Everybody had their own strengths and this was probably what the second phase was supposed to exploit but thanks to Kurapika that wasn’t the case.
“Kurapika how do you know all this stuff?” Gon groans. Just watching him made his brain hurt.
“Books,” Kurapika gives him short reply.
“Pff! What did you do read a whole library?!” Leorio questions Kurapika in a joking manner.
“Actually I read all the books in the library of my hometown,” Kurapika proclaims.
“You sure had a lot of free time.”
“Well it’s not like I could do anything else. Might as well do something useful for the future.” He had to inwardly sigh at the last part. All the reading and learning in the past was pretty much useless for the path he was on now. Although he had to admit that doing this quiz now and competing with Sakura struck a feeling of nostalgia and it felt nice. It was as if he had escaped for a brief moment in time and gone back to the peaceful days where he would compete with his old friend. But at the same time it was excruciating knowing that it would never really happen, after all what he once loved was all gone. His friend was no exception.
‘Ok no, let’s not think about that now,’ Kurapika tells himself and shakes his head.
His friends didn’t seem to question him further probably knowing to tread lightly when the subject of his past came up. It’s not like he was completely against talking about the past, but he did appreciate his friends’ gesture.
Both Kurapika and Sakura were now solely focused on completing the quiz now and it looked like they were almost finished without any problems with the questions. That was until they reached the final question. Both of them stop in their tracks. Their hand and whole body frozen in place as their mind processed the question on the wall. The others, curious about their friend’s sudden pause, decide to read the question themselves. They weren’t that worried because they have answered every other question with ease. It was only a matter of time they don’t know the answer to one of them. But that wasn’t the case this time. The reason both of them had stopped wasn’t because they didn’t know the answer it was something else.
For Kurapika’s friends it was obvious that it wasn’t that he didn’t know the answer to the question but it was a different story with Sakura’s friends.
“Did a question finally get you stumped?” Chase enquires with a smug look on his face. He wouldn’t admit it out loud but it had bothered him a little in the shift of intelligence in their friend group. He was more than happy to show his intelligence by answering a question even Sakura who has recently shown that she wasn’t as dense as she seemed.
That face was soon wiped completely off as he read the question.
‘How many kuratas lived in Lusko before the massacre?’
“Ok I think we’re screwed on this one,” Chase announces.
“Hey! What about me?!” Maya chimes in, offended that Chase didn’t even consider the fact that maybe she knew the answer.
“Oh, you know the answer?” Chase asks with a surprise.
“…Well no …but I could’ve known, you guys don’t know!” Maya defends herself. Sure she may not know the answer to this particular question but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t smart and anyway they didn’t know either so they were all in the same boat.
“It’s not that I don’t know the answer,” Sakura finally speaks up.
Chase and Maya stops glaring at each other and turned their heads towards her. Then looked back at each other in confusion then back at her. Maya nudges Chase telling him to ask her the question that she knew was on both their minds.
“Then why did you stop?” Chase asks slowly. Partly because he knew it wasn’t a good idea but mostly because he wanted to ask more than that one question. This was actually the closest they have gotten to unravelling the secrets that he knows that she has been keeping from them. Maya may not have noticed because they met first and have a lot more trust between them but he had watched Sakura from an objective point of view over the past few years and something about her just didn’t quite add up. How he wished he could just go up and ask her all his questions but he knew if he did she would just stealthily avoid them or worst case scenario she would cut all ties with them. He cared for her and not letting your troubles out isn’t good for you, plus Maya would kill him if Sakura cut ties with her because of something he did. Anyway, why can’t she see that they can help her instead of bottling it all up inside?
Sakura was a little confused on why Chase asked her so slow and how he was eyeing her but she decides to brush it aside and answer him.
“…I’m not sure if I have the right answer…” Sakura replies with uncertainty in her voice.
“Well your guess is as good as ours.”
“It doesn’t even matter anyway. You got all the other question right, right?” Maya adds an extra right as she realises that Sakura might have gotten all the questions wrong.
“Of course I did… haah… what the heck.” After much thought Sakura decides to answer the question. It’s not like it was going to change anything…
On the other side Kurapika did the same.
Kurapika – 128
Sakura – 129
The last question had been answered and the last wall had gone up. What was behind it was nothing but fresh air they so richly needed after being closed in for what felt like forever. It was a lot more emotional than what any of them bargained for.
“Uwaa! Finally free!” Gon flops onto the green grass.
The hallway had led to a wide open plain with green as far as the eye can see. It was a total change of scenery and Gon definitely preferred this one than the last.
“Wow who knew that dingy room led to this?” Leorio finally speaks after his long sulking session.
“Yeah! It’s amazing!” A voice rings out from behind them.
“Ah! What are you guys doing here?!” Leorio points at Sakura, Maya and Chase as they emerge from the hole next to theirs.
“The same reason as you?” Maya answers them. Did he really forget that they were all in the same exam?
“Right… haha.” Leorio scratches the back of his head sheepishly, which just causes Maya to roll her eyes.
“Hey since you both finished at pretty much the same time is it all down to how many questions you got right, right?”
“Huh? Oh! The competition I completely forgot.” With all that happened it completely slipped Sakura’s mind.
“If you could even call it a competition,” Leorio remarks.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well I’m just saying there is no way you can win.” Leorio tells her looking all confident despite the fact that he wasn’t even the one competing against her.
“What are you so proud of you weren’t even the one competing,” Kurapika decides to point out.
“Kurapika who’s side are you-”
“Yeah and you’re wrong! Sakura’s definitely going to win you should’ve seen her go!” Maya fires back at Leorio.
“No you’re wrong! Kurapika was going at the speed of light!” Leorio fires back.
It was really only Leorio and Maya who were in the heated battle. Kurapika and Sakura had backed away from the fire but they could still see the sparks flying between their two friends.
“Oi! Instead of arguing why don’t you people just be patient and wait until the exam is over to get the results of the competition?”
“Because they’re idiots,” Killua says with an indifferent tone.
“Killua!” Gon yells at Killua.
“Sakura-chan is not an idiot! She’ll score 100 out of 100 for sure,” Hanzo joins in.
“Hanzo you traitor!”
“What happened to no arguing?”
In the end everyone still continued arguing but as more and more people start to appear it slowly dies out until it was complete silence. Some people had been eyeing them since they were the first ones to finish and it was just plain uncomfortable, especially Hisoka’s gaze. Kurapika really hopes that maniac turns out to be an idiot and fails.
It didn’t take 10 hours for everyone to finish and the sun had just started to set.
“Ok time for the results.” The examiner steps out from the actual door on the wall. “Now let’s see if any of you fools passed.”
The examiner’s eyes started to glow and so did the sheet of paper he had in his hands. After a while the glowing dies out and the examiner clears his throat before announcing the results. “If I call out you name then you pass…“ He begins reading the paper and his eyes widen at the first name on the list. It almost looked like they were about to pop right out of his head. “It can’t be. There must have been a mistake. But that’s impossible I don’t make mistakes.”
“What’s wrong?” Sakura asks with genuine concern.
“What the hell are you doing?” Maya yells at Sakura in a hushed tone.
“Huh? I was just-“
“You!” The examiner points at her.
“You scored… 100.” The last part came out in a mumble. He continues to mouth it over and over trying to wrap his head around it.
Sakura herself looked a little surprised but more about the fact that the examiner instantly assumed that it was all her doing. Maybe he had overheard about her conversation with Kurapika…
‘Eavesdropping is a violation of privacy people!!” Sakura’s inner self yells and starts plotting ways on how to make them all realize this in the worst way possible. Of course she wasn’t actually going to carry them out but a girl can scheme can’t she?
“Her mind has wondered onto something really stupid hasn’t it?” Maya askes Chase while watching her friend make really weird facial expressions while exerting a pretty questionable aura. Although it was really more of a statement than a question but Chase gave his affirmation anyway.
Meanwhile Kurapika’s mind was nowhere near their contest. Right now the only thing on his mind was ‘How did she get the last answer right?’ Could it be that… no! What was he thinking she obviously just read it somewhere random she did say she read a lot of books… yes, that was the only explanation. He should know by now that it couldn’t possibly be what he first thought. Why was he torturing himself again especially after the Pairo incident. But now that he took a closer look she does sort of look like-
“Wait! Did anyone else score 100?” Leorio interrupts his train of thought. Absolutely not accepting that she may have beaten Kurapika.
“What? Oh.” At this point the examiner just decides to accept defeat and goes on to finish his job as examiner professionally. He already looked bad enough as it is.
Leorio’s question had been ignored but as the results were being announced it was soon answered when he reached their group.
“Gon, Killua, Kurapika, Leorio and Hanzo pass with a score of 99,” The examiner reads out.
“Wait, which question did I get wrong?” Kurapika interjects before the examiner could move on to the next group. He acknowledges the fact that Sakura is really smart but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t just as smart. He takes pride in his vast knowledge and none of the questions in his opinion was out of it.
“The last one.”
“What?” Kurapika asks completely dumbfounded.
The last question was about his clan wasn’t it? How could he have gotten it wrong… but more importantly how could she have gotten it right? That meant that their answers were different and he got it wrong? It makes no sense!
Seeing the conflict in his eyes the examiner motions to the person who was the very cause of his brain malfunctioning.
“Why don’t you just ask her? After all she seems to have all the answers,” the examiner told him in a bitter sarcastic tone and returns to announcing the results.
Kurapika decides to take his advice and walks up to Sakura who was recovering from her own mental meltdown of some sort.
“Um… how did you know the answer to the last question?” Kurapika asks Sakura a little dubiously.
The dark aura dissipates from around her and she turns to face him.
“Huh? Oh um… I don’t know it was just somewhere in my mind I guess haha.” She replies and gives Kurapika a nonchalant shrug.
“Did you read about it in a book?” Kurapika questions Sakura further.
“Uh yeah.” ‘Let’s go with that.’ She replies, deliberately leaving out the last bit unbeknown to him.
“So… what was your answer?”
“129. My memory was really hazy so I just took a wild guess. Looks like luck was on my side haha.” ‘Don’t look at him in the eyes don’t look him in the eyes he’ll know you’re lying!’ Sakura repeats to herself in her head. She was really regretting answering the last question the way she did now. Why didn’t she just answer it normally? Well a part of her knew exactly why and was both a little glad and sad she had been right.
“Oh…” So he was just one off. Maybe they had updated the records now that they knew one was still alive. But even so he only remembered there being 128 including himself… did he just forget someone?
At the thought of actually forgetting one of his brethren, he was hit with a sharp pang of guilt and hurt. Even though it literally felt as if the judgment chain had literally stabbed him in the heart he knew it was the only explanation and he had to accept it.
Both were unaware to what was going on in the other’s mind and both planned to keep it that way, causing a really awkward silence. Luckily that didn’t last long when their friends came and meddles.
“So you’re finally at the age when you think about that kind of stuff huh,” Killua implies slyly.
“You can’t do that. You didn’t even know about her!” Hanzo yells at him looking very betrayed.
“What no, I was just asking her what she got for the last answer!” Kurapika defends himself.
“That’s right! How did you get that question right when even Kurapika got it wrong and he’s actually a kurata!”
“That has actually been on my mind a lot since it was the only question Sakura struggled with. What is a kurata?” Chase asks.
“Me too! They must’ve been pretty bad people to have been massacred.” Maya adds without realizing what a terrible thing she just said.
“Maya!” Sakura yells at her and glares at her.
“W-What?” Maya couldn’t help but stutter. This was one of the very few times that she had seen her friend make a serious glare.
“No, it’s ok.” Kurapika cuts in before things got bad. He didn’t like seeing friends fighting and he certainly didn’t want to be the cause of it.
“Ah! I didn’t mean to-” Maya starts as she realize her mistake.
“It’s ok.” He reassures her. It’s not like she knew any better but it did surprise him that she and her other friend didn’t know about his clan. Didn’t they say they passed the hunter exam 5 years ago? Well it was sort of a good thing they didn’t since it shows that they’re not interested in those kinds of things and that made him feel a lot better around them.
“But so that we’re clear. The kurata weren’t bad people they were only massacred for their scarlet eyes.” It still hurt a lot when he said this but he wanted to set the record straight.
“Our eyes were named this as they turn red when we get angry.” Kurapika explains.
“Ooh! I want to see!” Maya says excitedly and stares intently at his eyes.
“Um… I’d rather not.” Kurapika says. He saw the look of disappointment in her eyes but he wasn’t really up for it right now more than ever.
“By the way just because you won this round doesn’t mean you’ve won it all!” Leorio points at Sakura. He was glad that Leorio adverted the attention to something else but shouldn’t it be the person who was actually competing that says those kinds of things.
“Bring it on I’ll take him on and beat him down any day.” Sakura responds, which lead to another fight.
‘Those two sure know how to make people mad’ Kurapika thought as he just watches it go down. Hanzo was holding back Leorio and yelling at him that he would kill him if he even put a scratch on his idol whilst Sakura was just taunting him by pulling her eye sticking and her tongue out at him. He couldn’t help but smile at the scene.
And thus phase 2 was concluded.