Keep x Moving x Forward
The previous examiner had left and the new one had taken his place, which was good since he was on the edge of losing it thanks to a certain someone.
Now everyone was waiting for the new examiner to make a move. Any move. Literally any move. She hadn’t moved an inch since she arrived and that was 3 hours ago. The sun had already swapped places with the moon a long time ago and she had just been standing there with her arms crossed and her back to them. A few people had already left and went looking for a place to stay the night but others had a bit more patience. Kurapika had been reading a book the entire time and had just finished at the 3-hour mark. He looked around to see how many were left and if his friends were still there as well. After looking around for a while he spots Gon chasing Killua around with something in his hands, Leorio pacing back and forth with a really angry expression on his face, Hanzo was meditating and Sakura was asleep, splayed in a rather awkward position on the grass.Wait… since when has he counted her as a friend?
‘Well she doesn’t seem like a bad person so I guess it’s ok,’ Kurapika thought.
Since Kurapika had noticed her he thought he might as well see if her friends stuck around. They were and for some reason Maya was glaring at him. He averts his eyes from her menacing gaze but what he saw was even worse and… disturbing. He saw Hisoka intently watching his friends Gon and Killua with a very questionable grin… Anyway, it was good that all his friends plus some extras were still here. Professional hunters were a lot more impatient than he thought they would be, well they have only been hunters for a decade.
Could it be that the exam was already over for today and they had just been waiting for a total random to make a move? No, this could also be a test of patience. Patience is a very important skill for a hunter. But then again the examiner didn’t seem to be concerned with them. She hadn’t even looked at them once-
Kurapika’s epiphany was interrupted by a sudden outburst from the very person who was causing his confusion.
“Ok! Let’s start this thing!” The examiner pumps her fist in the air then turns around to face them for the very first time. “To the moon!” She yells and fires up her aura before she began running towards the moon at top speed.
“Um are we supposed to follow her?”
“I guess so.”
“Let’s do this thing!” Sakura declares excitedly and fires up her aura, thinking that this was some form of race, which she loved.
Everyone else fires up their aura as well and speeds after her.
“Cool, this is just like the first phase of our hunter exam!” Gon shouts excitedly, remembering the event that had brought them all together.
“Which means we’ll breeze right through it,” Leorio says confidently.
“I don’t seem to recall you breezing right through last time,” Kurapika decides to casually remind him.
“Well this time it’s different, I have maximum stamina now,” Leorio tells them with confidence.
“What about those?” Killua points to the large array of deadly obstacles in front of them.
There were slitting saws coming out of the ground and swinging around on ropes tied to who knows where, lasers that were constantly moving and flames bursting out randomly from the right and left.
“At least they show us what we have to get through to pass right from the start. “ Gon tries to lift Leorio’s spirit’s up although the bursting flames weren’t really helping his case.
“Gah!” Leorio cries out in pain as a fragment of a saw that had been heated by the flames hit his face. “That’s it you’re going down!”
The others watched as Leorio stops to hit the ground, then by using his nen he was able to create a portal so instead of the ground, he punches hanging saws. He was able to hit it and shatter it to pieces but instead of celebrating he brings back his fist and cries out in pain “Gaaaaahhh!!!!!” Like the fragment from before the saw had been heated up by the flames and burnt his hand very badly.
“Want me to heal that for you?” Kurapika offers as he lets out a sigh at his friend’s actions.
“That would great.” Leorio quickly answers as he winces in pain.
Kurapika summons up his chains and uses his holy chain to heal Leorio’s burn and since it was only a minor injury it only took a couple of seconds to heal completely without using his scarlet eyes.
“Thanks.” Leorio smiles as he checks his hand and was really impressed by Kurapika’s healing abilities.
“Now let me show you how it’s done.” Killua says as he pushes Kurapika and Leorio out of the way and proceeds to create electricity in his hands.
Killua threw a lightning bolt and in a matter of seconds the whole thing went up in smoke.
“Piece of cake.” Killua turns to the others and gave a smirk at his handiwork.
“I think you should take another look.” Kurapika points behind Killua.
Killua turns back around and sees that the obstacles he had just destroyed was back and looked totally untouched. He could only gape at the scene.
“Looks like we have to do it the old fashioned way.” Gon says as he stretches his legs, getting ready to run then with a final jump he speeds towards the obstacles. He dodges all the saws and fires and makes his way through. “Come on guys!”
Hanzo follows in after Gon and easily gets through being the ninja he is. Killua races after them and quickly passes Hanzo to catch up to Gon. Kurapika goes off next with Leorio following close behind.
At the same time, Sakura was up the front and since she was right next to the examiner, none of the obstacles affected her. The examiner had tried speeding up to lose her but she caught right back up.
“Mou! You have to get behind me!” The examiner yells out in frustration.
Her ability was to create obstacles behind her so that people could not get through and since she didn’t want to get caught up in her own obstacles she usually creates them behind her but Sakura was beside her so that means she wasn’t affected either.
“Why don’t you just make the obstacles in front of you?” Sakura suggests with a seemingly innocent smile. At this point, she had already figured out what the examiner was doing.
Of course the examiner had thought of doing that but she really didn’t want to face those obstacles. Sakura may have gotten the gist of the examiner’s abilities but they were much more complex. Someone wouldn’t be able to survive as a hunter if that was all they could do. The true nature of her ability is the creation of a trigger to set off obstacles and the natures of the obstacles vary from person to person because every person pictures a different obstacle. She can control the level of the obstacles but the people who come across her triggers make everything else. The two ways to set off the trigger is either to step on the landmines that she had set along the way that activates her abilities or to think of the possibility of there being an obstacle in their way. This one may seem weird but it works very well against people who she was trying to catch. Cornered people tend to become very paranoid and think that there would be traps all around them, which would set off the trigger and make their imaginary obstacles come true.
The triggers were coordinated from white to black. White being the easiest obstacle ever and black is the worst thing you will ever encounter. The triggers in between could be any colour and are coordinated by shade. The lighter the colour the easier the obstacle will be, the darker it is the harder it is. In this case the triggers were green to camouflage into the grass. The examiner had set them up so the further the participants got, the more difficult the trigger levels were. The obstacles will disappear after a while but the triggers will still be active for the next person.
The one Kurapika and the others faced were made from Killua’s idea of an obstacle. Being a former assassin he was made to be wary of such traps and by doing that it set off the trigger although it was a white one so the obstacles were what Killua deemed easy.
Finally reaching the realization that Sakura was not going to slow down anytime soon. The examiner finally gives in and accepts the fact that she would have to face her own obstacles if she wanted catch Sakura in her trap. She unwillingly creates a grey trigger and w it in front of herself. As soon as it hit the ground there was a huge explosion that caused her, Sakura and the others behind them to jump back. When the smoke clears a series of lasers appear in front of them. They were constantly moving and at quite a fast pace.
“How do you like that?” The examiner says smugly and turns to her side only to see that Sakura was already running towards her obstacle.
“I love lasers!” Sakura yells out excitedly and happily dives into the deadly lasers. “It’s like a game!” She continues to yell out as she easily makes her way through the laser field.
The examiner could only stare before someone else enters the laser field as well and snaps her out of it.
“Hey! Wait! I’m supposed to be the leader!” The examiner calls out after them before she jumps in after them.
Gon, Killua and Hanzo were speeding through whilst Kurapika and Leorio were lagging behind. They had passed a couple of people on the way and were now onto the grey trigger area. Leorio had been struggling with the obstacles Gon, Killua and Hanzo had been creating due to the difference in their skills. This exam seemed to be based on speed and agility and those were not Leorio’s strong points.
“Kurapika, you go ahead,” Leorio tells Kurapika as he had noticed that Kurapika had been slowing down to match his pace.
“Are you sure?” Kurapika questions Leorio, as he could see just how much Leorio was sweating.
Kurapika didn’t want to leave Leorio alone and planned to stay with him until the end, that was until a hand that he hoped was only covered in sweat was placed on his back. Feeling the wet sensation on his back, a shiver runs up his spine and he bolts away from it.
“That jerk actually went ahead!” Leorio shouts in disbelief as he had watches Kurapika sprint away from him very fast. “I’m not going to lose!” He pumps himself up and chases after Kurapika.
Kurapika had run so fast that he had caught up to Gon and Killua.
“So you finally ditched the old man huh?” Killua casually remarks.
“I heard that!” Leorio yells from behind.
“I wonder where that girl with pink hair went.” Gon brings up since they hadn’t seen her at all and they had past quite a lot of people.
Truth be told Kurapika had hoped he would’ve bumped into her by now. They had been running for what seemed like forever and had encountered a lot of obstacles and other hunters along the way.
“She must be at the very front,” Killua says, bringing logic into play.
“That would make sense… let’s catch up to her!” Gon suggests excitedly.
“Ok, I bet we’re not that far behind.”
“But what about Leorio.” Kurapika decides to remind them and points to the man panting very heavily behind them. Sure Leorio was giving this race his all but he doesn’t seem like he was going to catch up to them anytime soon and asking him to speed up doesn’t seem at all possible in his current state.
“We’ll take care of him for you.” Chase suddenly appears beside Kurapika.
“When did you get here?”
“We were already here, stupid.” Maya appears on the other side.
“What do you mean you were already here?”
“Maya gave up and dragged me down wi-“
“I didn’t give up!” Maya cuts Chase off and glares at him. “I just decided to use my nen ability to finish this stupid thing.”
“Isn’t that kind of cheating?”
“Do you want me to hurt you?” Maya threatens Chase for not only agreeing to the accusation she was cheating but he had basically outlined her ability to Kurapika who she didn’t like. He was getting too close to Sakura in her opinion.
“Anyway…” Chase starts to speak but in return stops running. “Like I said we’ll take care of your friend.”
Maya looks back at him then clicks her tongue knowing that if she left him behind and he didn’t pass this phase Sakura would be upset. She stops as well and waits for Leorio to catch up to Chase so he would catch up to her.
“Thank you!” Gon yells out behind him then speeds out of sight Killua follows right after him whilst Kurapika looks back one more time, hesitant of leaving Leorio alone.
They seemed like good people from what he had witnessed so far, Leorio would be fine although it wasn’t going to end well if Leorio made Maya mad and being Leorio, he probably will… Good thing he can also fix him back up with his holy chain that is if he’s still alive.
‘Oh well.’ Kurapika thought and speeds out of sight as well.
They had literally been running for hours now and the way Kurapika could tell was the fact that light was starting to peek over the horizon, but the scenery hadn’t changed, it was still a mass of green all around. Although he had noticed some patches of the grass were lighter and some were darker. Had it rained without him noticing?
Kurapika didn’t have time to deliberate over it for long though, as a few moments later another obstacle sprouts from out of the ground. This time they were in the form of people, creepy, green, faceless people. Gon and Killua took care of them all really fast but then they started to regenerate themselves. It was slow but the action had caught them off guard. They decide to play it safe and watch how this was going to turn out. They watch as the green pieces on the ground start to gather together into a pile then form back into the shape of people. Gon and Killua went to destroy them again and this time he helped them but it happened again. After they were destroyed and scattered all over the place, they gathered themselves together again.
“This is never going to end!” Gon yells out and Kurapika had to agree with him.
At this rate they were all going to use up all their energy against there green freaks. “Ugh! How could I have not realised sooner?!” Kurapika finally realises the obvious solution, those things were made out of grass.
Gon and Killua look over at Kurapika confused at his sudden outburst.
“Killua use your electricity on them.”
“Why they’ll just regenerate again.”
“No they won’t. Those things are made out of grass and grass burns, but you would have to get them all in one go.”
“Hmph, who do you take me for.”
Killua gathers his aura between his hands and creates a mass of electricity before throwing it at the green creatures. In a split second the entire area in front of them were engulfed in flame.
“See easy!” Killua says confidently, admiring his work.
“Kurapika is something wrong?” Gon asks.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just normally you’d figure these things out right away.” Gon says with concern for his friend.
“Oh… it’s probably because we’ve been up all day,” Kurapika reassures Gon it was only a lack of sleep. Science does say that not getting enough sleep causes your brain to work less efficiently. Yep, just a lack of sleep, nothing else and it defiantly has nothing to do with a certain someone up ahead.
As Kurapika and the others were waiting for the fire to die down a little before they go through, Sakura was up ahead still competing with the examiner. They had gone through countless of obstacles made by the examiner but none of them had fazed Sakura.
“Why won’t you go down?!” The examiner yells at her in frustration.
“Isn’t the point of this phase to not go down?” Sakura tilts her head, confused as to why the examiner wanted her to fail so badly.
“No, the point of this phase is that I set traps for you people and you fall for it and die!” The examiner yells back.
‘Her true colours are showing…’ The other hunters behind them thought and sweat drop.
They continued on like this for a while and due to the examiner’s rage all the obstacles had been extremely difficult that even she herself sustained minor injuries and the distance between her and the others widened. But that still wasn’t enough to take Sakura down, so she decides to use her last resort.
To Sakura’s surprise the examiner had gathers up all her energy and speeds in front of her and when she deems she was far enough she gathers her nen to the palm of her hands to create a black sphere. Sakura could only watch as the examiner raises the sphere before slamming it into the ground. A mass of black spurted out towards her, causing her to reflectively close her eyes and cross her arms in front of herself to brace for the impact, but nothing hit her.
After about a minute of silence, she slowly opens her eyes and was greeted with a completely different scene. Instead of the wide-open field she was now in a completely desolate village and she knew exactly who it belonged to.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
On the outside, the examiner stands with a big smirk on her face as she looks upon the black sphere that had engulfed Sakura. “That’ll show her.”
The examiner then notices the people coming towards her from behind and decides that since she used her last level on Sakura she might as well do it for the rest. She may not like the kid but this was still an exam and it needed to be fair, so she created a bunch of black spheres and threw them at the upcoming contenders. She did this to Kurapika, Gon and Killua when they arrived as well.
“It must be part of the exam.” Kurapika was able to get out before he was completely engulfed by the sphere.
Gon and Killua got engulfed in the same sphere, but they were all split up inside.
When the darkness subsides what Kurapika could now see was even worse than the darkness. He was in his village after the massacre, the buildings were in complete ruins, the burn marks could still be seen and there was absolutely nobody there. It was just him surrounded by what was left of his village after the devastation. His eyes didn’t turn red at the scene though he already knew that even if he returned to his village it would be in shambles. As he walks around he starts to recall how everything used to be. He visits his old house and heads to his room that was now roofless and covered in dust. He goes through his shelves and finds that all his books were still there including the one about the outside world that he and Pairo used to read. He took it out of the shelf and rubs the dust off. Looking through it was painful but he continues to sift through it anyways and he remembers what he and Pairo used to talk about on the pages. He keeps turning but then stopped at a page that someone seemed to have spilt something on it.
~ Flashback ~
“Come on Pairo!” Kurapika calls out to his friend and waves the book the hunter Sheila had given them.
“I’m coming.” Pairo reassures him and joins him under the tree.
Once Pairo was beside him he opens the book onto the page they were last on, then turns over to the next one. This time is was about some mythical creature called ‘The loch ness monster’.
“Eh? But didn’t dinosaurs die out like a billion years ago?!” Kurapika says as he compares the resemblance between the loch ness monster and the dinosaurs he had read about on previous pages.
“That’s because it’s not a dinosaur, stupid,” A voice from above corrects him.
Kurapika looks up from the book and saw a girl dangling upside down in front of him.
“Gah!” Kurapika drops the book in shock. “I told you not to do that!”
The girl he was referring to flips off the branch and lands perfectly on her feet. She then walks towards him and Pairo to pick up the book off the floor.
“Give it back!” Kurapika stands up and attempts to take the book away from her.
“Why you let Pairo look at it.” She turns around and moves the book further away from him.
“Yeah but not when he has a popsicle.” Kurapika points to the sweet treat in her mouth, which was now hovering dangerously over the book.
“Relax it’s not going to fall,” She tells him when she realises what he was freaking out about.
“Yes it will!” Kurapika tries to grab the book again.
“No it won’t!” She pushes him back and moves the book further away.
‘This isn’t going to end well…’ Pairo thought as he sits there and watches his friends fight over the book.
“If you give it to me, you can still look at it!” Kurapika tries reasoning with her.
“Then why don’t you just let me hold it and you look on?!” She responds back only to have the popsicle fall out of her mouth and onto the open page. “Ah.”
“Don’t ‘ah’ me!” Kurapika takes advantage of her moment of hesitation and takes the book from her and carefully removes the popsicle from the page.
Luckily the page didn’t rip, it was wet and sticky though.
“See this is why I told you to give it back to me!” Kurapika yells angrily and shows the damage to his irresponsible friend only to find her crouched down on the ground.
“M-my popsicle!” She cries out with tears in the corner of her eyes.
Kurapika could only face palm at the scene.
~ Flashback End ~
Kurapika remembers being so angry that he didn’t talk to her for three whole days, which he now has come to regret. She may have been a little annoying and crazy but she was his friend and he wished he could’ve spent more time with her and Pairo.
His door was smashed open.
“Mi-tsu-ke-ta.” The person he had killed appears at the door with a massive grin on his face.
“You!” Kurapika shouts at the intruder, eyes immediately glowing red. “How are you here?!” He questions him harshly.He shouldn’t be here after all he, he had killed him that night in Yorkshin, it’s impossible for him to be alive and in front of him now, but it looks like the logic doesn’t apply here as another one of his victims from that night appears through the door.
“Stop it Uvo, remember why we’re here.” The woman named Paku put her hand on her companion and stops him before he jumps on Kurapika.
“She’s right.” A familiar voice that sent shivers down his spine came from behind her. “We’re here to make him suffer.”
“Kuroro Lucifer!” Kurapika’s eyes spike to the brightest red possible but only for a brief moment as he remembers that he had sealed his nen.
“Ho…” The leader of the spiders starts as he notices the sudden rise then fall of his eyes. “I wouldn’t let your guard down if I were you.” He gets out his book and summons his indoor fish.
‘He can use his nen?!’ Kurapika shouts in his mind with utter disbelief, but he didn’t have much time to think anymore as all three spiders were now launching an attack on him, in his own room.
Uvo runs up and jumps above him. “Big Bang Impact!” He yells before slamming his fist covered with nen down, rupturing the entire floor of the house. Kurapika had been able to jump back and dodge it. Seeing the damage to his house he had jumped higher than necessary to exit through the room through the missing roof but Kuroro wasn’t going to allow it. The indoor fish from behind him swam its way towards him ready to bite off his flesh making him use his chains to propel back into his room and avoid the fish. Before he even landed, Paku had started shooting at him, which caught him off guard and let Kuroro kick him right in the gut hard enough for him to cough up a little blood.
“Gah!” The kick sent him flying backwards, smashing through the wall and tumbling out of the room until he was stopped by another wall.
Kurapika struggles just to get up and Kuroro decides to bring it upon himself to help him up… by pulling his hair. “Gah!” He shut his eyes from the pain, only to reopen them to find a barrel pointed at his face.
“See you on the other side.”
Kurapika could only dangle helplessly as he watches Paku pull the trigger and hear the sound of a bullet being shot. He braces himself for the blow, but instead of a bullet in his head, he got a hard slap in the face.
“Ow!” He grabs his right cheek that was now stinging but to his surprise that was the only place that was hurting.
He took a quick scan of his body and found no injuries; in fact his clothes weren’t even ripped.
“Kurapika!” Gon shouts with relief as his friend regains consciousness.
“Gon?” He looks down at his friend who had just hugged him.
“Do you know how worried we were?!”
Kurapika lifted his head up towards the voice and saw Leorio along with Killua and Hanzo.
“What happened?” Kurapika asks with complete confusion. It didn’t make sense, one second he was in his village getting his butt handed to him by the spiders he had brought down in York Shin and the next second he was back at the exam site with his friends surrounding him.
“You were stuck in an illusion, stupid.” A voice behind him decides to clarify the situation to him. When he turns around he sees Sakura standing there with her body slight turned away from him.
“Illusion?” Kurapika repeats. The whole thing happening in his mind would explain why he wasn’t injured at all despite the beat down he got. But he couldn’t help but feel very disturbed; it all had felt so real. His village… his house… that book…
“Oi!” Maya snaps him out of his reverie by clapping in his face. “Aren’t you going to thank Sakura for helping you?”
‘For helping…’ Kurapika tries to recall what it was that she had helped him with and when he couldn’t, the stinging feeling in his face makes him realise what she might’ve helped him with.
“Did you slap me?” Kurapika questions Sakura.
“You can’t prove that!” Sakura shouts at the accusation.
“You know it was a good thing that you slapped him right? You snapped him out of the illusion,” Chase reminds her.
“Besides we all saw you did it.”
“Oh yeah haha... But there’s no need to thank me, I’ve sort of been wanting for a while now,” Sakura admits.
“What do you mean you’ve been wanting to do it?! What has Kurapika ever done to you?!” Leorio questions Sakura angrily, offended at her confession.
“That’s none of your business,” Sakura answers with a smile as if what she had just said wasn’t rude at all and before Leorio could get another word in she was already out earshot.
“I swear the next time I see her I’m going to give her a piece of my mind!” Leorio declares.
“Good luck with that,” Maya says knowing what would happen if he was actually stupid enough to do that to Sakura.
“By the way you owe us,” Chase tells Leorio and he meant it.
With that both of them takes off after Sakura who had probably already reached the finish line by now.
“We better get going too,” Killua states
“I agree.” Gon nods in agreement and he, Killua and Hanzo sped off as well.
“So… what did you see that made you so riled up?” Leorio enquires with all seriousness in which Kurapika could only sigh.
Seriously hasn’t he known him long enough to know that there was only one thing could get him so riled up.
“Take a guess,” Kurapika says then heads for the finish line like the others without giving Leorio a chance to take an actual guess.
Leorio was left dumbfounded as he had been left without getting a chance to respond, again.