Battle x of x Nens
All the hunters who had passed the first three phases were given lodgings for the night. It had been privately booked with all the passing hunters’ names so the hunters who failed wouldn’t be able to sneak in. The night had been pretty uneventful but they all knew that it was the morning they really had to worry about.
When the morning came, they were directed to the site of the fourth phase, which turned out to be an arena.
“Ok, is everyone here?” Beans asks through the microphone and when no one objects he continues to explain the fourth phase. “As you might have all guessed, the fourth phase will feature battles. The winner is decided when a person loses consciousness or if someone surrenders and the examiner for this phase will be-” He was stopped midsentence when something, or someone rather, crashes down to the ground in front of him.
“Hohoho that would be me,” Netero announces with the microphone he had swiped from Beans.
The mutterings and whispers begin amongst the crowd but soon die out as the answer to the question on everyone’s minds was answered.
“To put it simply, I’m here to make sure there are no unnecessary deaths,” the chairman states simply.
Beans grabs the microphone back from Netero and continues with his explanation. “In this phase each hunter will be paired with another hunter with the same nen type. You are allowed to use other weapons as well as your nen abilities. Each of you will only fight one battle so you will only have one chance to win.” Beans proceeds to reveal six boxes. “I will decide the pairs by pulling out two names at a time from each of these boxes.”
The first two names Beans pulls out were Gon and Leorio.
“What we have to fight each other?!” Leorio shouts with clear disapproval in his tone.
“You’re just bitter because you know Gon will kick your ass,” Killua says casually.
“Killua!” Gon yells at Killua.
“What, we’re all thinking it.” Killua shrugs.
Everyone goes silent and tries to avoid eye contact with Leorio.
“I’ll remember this,” Leorio states sourly.
A couple other pairs were pulled out before Beans pulls Killua and Chase.
Neither of them objects the match up, however the same couldn’t be said for a certain someone in the back.
“Che, I wanted a chance at my little apple,” A voice says in disappointment.
They all knew whom that voice belonged to and a big shiver runs down Killua’s spine as soon as he hears it.
“Good thing I don’t have to fight him,” Killua mumbles under his breath.
The next people in their group to be picked were Maya and Hanzo.
“So you’re a conjurer,” Kurapika comments on Hanzo’s nen type, based on Maya’s nen type.
“Oh yeah, you never told us you nen abilities did you.” Gon and the others realize.
“Well ninjas are supposed to keep their techniques secret.”
“Great so he knows my abilities but I don’t know his.” Maya glares at Sakura.
“Haha… at least I didn’t tell him your wea-“
Maya stopped Sakura from saying anymore by pegging the closest object, which happened to be a small rock, at her. It hit her right on the forehead.
The next and last pair Beans picks out was Kurapika and Sakura.
“Are you okay?” Kurapika offers a hand to Sakura who was still on the ground, rubbing the red bump on her forehead.
“Ow… yeah,” Sakura assures Kurapika and gladly accepts his hand.
“At least now you’re both even.” Killua refers to the physical handicap Maya has given Sakura in comparison to the knowledge handicap Sakura gave to Maya.
Gon and Leorio’s battle was up first. They both stay in the arena whilst the others and the rest of the hunters go up to the stands. Netero stays in the arena as well whilst Beans goes up to the announcer’s box located in the middle of the stands.
“Hohoho you boys ready?” Netero asks.
“Yeah,” Leorio replies unenthusiastically.
“Let’s do this!” Gon shouts excitedly, his reaction completely overshadowing Leorio’s.
“Hohoho alright then, on my signal ready, set… fight!” Netero announces before jumping out of the way of Gon and Leorio.
“Just so you know Gon, I’m not going easy on you just because we’re friends,” Leorio warns Gon.
“Well then here I go!”
Leorio punches the ground beneath him and uses his nen to make it so his punch comes out from the ground underneath Gon. Gon easily dodges the punch by jumping back but Leorio had expected this and punches the ground again with his other hand. This time his punch comes out from one of the pieces of the floor that had been scattered around Gon from his first punch. His fist hit Gon straight across the face and sends him flying to the ground but Leorio doesn’t stop there. He keeps pummeling the ground beneath him and making them come out from the pieces of the floor around Gon.
“That was a smart move,” Kurapika comments.
“What do you mean?”
“Instead of creating the first warp hole on the surface of the floor, Leorio created it under the floor so that when he punched up the floor would shatter.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Hmph, Gon won’t let this do him in,” Killua says with confidence in his best friend. “Come on Gon! Get out of that and kick his ass!”
Just like Killua said, Gon was able to stop Leorio’s rain of attacks by focusing his aura into his hand and catching one of Leorio’s punches just before it hit him. He then grabs hold of Leorio’s wrist and pulls him through the warp hole. Once Leorio was all the way though, Gon proceeds to gather his aura in his leg and kick him straight in the gut and sends him flying across the arena and into the wall.
“Gah!” Leorio cries out in pain.
The kick was so hard that Leorio was now stuck in the wall and when he was finally able to crack open one of his eyes, he saw Gon preparing for his signature attack.
“First is rock… Janken…Pa!
Aura projects from the palm of Gon’s hand; Leorio covers his body with aura for protection but it wasn’t enough and he was smashed further into the wall behind him. The wall had been smashed so hard that it shatters to the point where it was unable to support Leorio anymore and he was sent falling down to the ground unconscious.
“Gon is the winner as Leorio is unable to fight,” Netero announces the result of the battle.
Gon goes over to Leorio to wake him up “Are you okay?”
“Ugh…yeah.” Leorio responds slowly when he starts to come around.
“Sorry Leorio, I didn’t mean to hit you that hard.”
“What, that was nothing! Don’t worry about it!” Leorio reassures Gon even though his legs were still shaking.
It was time for Killua and Chase’s battle.
“Don’t worry I’ll end this quickly,” Killua says with a cocky tone.
“Better not get your hopes up,” Chase responds just as confident.
“Ready, set… fight!” Netero announces/
Killua immediately sneaks up behind Chase and goes in for a chop, unfortunately Chase notices him and turns around and smacks his hand away before jumping back to put some distance between them. Seeing Chase trying to distance himself, Killua gathers his aura, which he transmutes into electricity, to his hands then slams his palms down on the ground to release the electricity through the floor. The electricity courses through the floor, destroying a path directly to Chase. He jumps up in the air to avoid getting electrocuted and gathers his own aura to his hands, which he transmutes into fire and forms into the shape of a ball. He combines the two and throws it down at Killua. Killua dodges the fireball by side stepping to the side then he throws thunderbolts back at Chase and since Chase was still in mid air, he wasn’t able to move out of the way and Killua’s attack hits him dead on.
“Agh!” Chase yelps before falling down with smoke trailing behind him and crashing into the floor. He lies on the ground, still twitching at times from the leftover electricity that was still coursing through his body.
Seeing this Killua turns around to leave the arena as he thought he had won the battle already, but he was soon proven wrong when he steps on the spot where Chase’s previous fireball had hit and was immediately engulfed in flames.
“Killua!” Gon shouts from the stands.
Killua tries moving away from the spot where the fire first appeared but that didn’t stop the fire from burning him.
“It’s pointless to run,” Chase tells Killua as he pushes himself off the ground. “The fire will continue to burn you no matter where you go.”
“What does he mean by that?” Kurapika turns to Sakura for some answers.
“Use gyo and you’ll see,” Sakura replies.
Kurapika did as Sakura told and gathers his aura to his eyes. He looks over to Killua and saw a barrier type thing surrounding him and the fire.
“He’s using his aura to trap the fire and Killua together.”
“Ping pong. The moment Killua stepped on that spot, Chase released the aura he had stored in that spot and transmuted half into fire to cover Killua then the rest to trap him inside with the fire,” Sakura confirms and elaborates further.
“Is there any way for him to get out?” Kurapika asks.
“Well, he could’ve released a stronger aura than Chase’s from his entire body but I don’t think that’s possible now,” Sakura comments as she watches Killua struggling with Chase’s flames.
Kurapika confirms Sakura’s assumption by looking over to Killua who was now on his knees, struggling for air.
“Hmph, that’s what the kid gets for being cocky,” Maya remarks.
Not long after, Killua wasn’t able to stand being burned any longer and collapses on the ground. Seeing this, Chase releases his nen and falls flat on his back. Killua had made him use a lot more nen than he initially planned to.
Chase was deemed the winner as Killua lost consciousness first.
Maya and Hanzo enter the arena.
“I’m telling you now I’m not going to go easy on you just because Sakura-chan’s friend,” Hanzo warns Maya.
“And I’m not going easy on you just because I feel sorry for your baldness,” Maya replies irritably. ‘Seriously, who does he think he is?’
“Wha-this was a choice!” Hanzo defends himself.
Sparks were seen flying before the starting signal was even given and when it was, all hell broke loose.
“Ready, set… start!”
Hanzo immediately reveals his hidden blade on his arm whilst Maya takes out her scythe. They both charge at each other and clash in the middle. Hanzo was superior in strength and so he was able to push Maya’s scythe out of the way and kick her in the side. Maya blocks the kick with her arm but the blow still sent her sliding across the ground. She was able to stand her ground and throw her scythe at Hanzo, who easily dodges her attack but that was what she was aiming for. When Hanzo sidesteps to the side she was right there to give him a kick to the face. Hanzo was able to block her kick with his arm but that didn’t stop her from continuing her barrage of attacks. After her kick was blocked, she follows with a punch but once again Hanzo blocks her attack by grabbing her fist before it reaches his face.
Maya continues throwing punches and kicks, which were continually blocked but that didn’t faze her as this was going exactly according to plan. As Hanzo was concentrating on blocking her attacks, he completely forgot about the scythe she had thrown at the start, which had boomeranged itself around and was set on a direct course at him. By the time he noticed the scythe was already really close to him and Maya wasn’t about to let him get away. She grabs his arms to hold him in place and waits for her scythe to hit.
“Looks like this is the end,” Maya says confidently.
The scythe finally seemed to have connected with Hanzo but one thing was off, there was no blood coming out from him at all.
‘How?’ Maya peeks from behind Hanzo and finds out the reason why there was no blood. Hanzo had conjured up a chain from his back and circled it around her scythe ‘This can’t be-’
Hanzo ends the battle by hitting the back of Maya’s neck, which causes her eyes to go blank and she collapse on the ground.
“Maya!” Sakura yells from the stands at the sight of her friend lying face down on the ground.
“What! No! I just knocked her out-” Hanzo flails his arms around when he sees Sakura’s distressed state.
Kurapika immediately hugs Sakura before Hanzo could even finish his explanation. Sakura’s eyes widen at Kurapika's actions but she quickly recovers from the shock.
“Uh…yeah, I just don’t like the sight of my friend like that, is all.” Sakura gives Kurapika a smile to show him that she was fine. “Anyway… how long do you think you’re going to keep hugging me?”
“Eh? Oh, sorry!” Kurapika quickly let go and steps back from her.
“Pff, why’re you apologizing?” Sakura laughs.
Kurapika really couldn’t think of a response back to her, in fact he didn’t even know why he hugged her in the first place. Why he felt like he needed to comfort her and acted on reflex.
‘Wait, could this be what people call… love?’ Kurapika thought. ‘No no no!’ He doesn’t have the time or the need for love in his life right now, and besides he was too old to fall in love at first sight. It was probably because he didn’t like seeing people upset, especially if he knew them.
The final battle for the fourth phase was Kurapika against Sakura.
“Is something wrong?” Sakura asks as she had notices that Kurapika had been trying his best to avoid eye contact with her ever since he hugged her.
‘It can’t be that he finally found out, could it?!’ This thought that pops into Sakura’s mind. But if he really did, he would’ve done something by now so that probably wasn’t it. But then again it has been a quite a long time, maybe he was that kind of person now. On the other hand, she was a pretty good judge of character and he didn’t seem like-
“Sakura!” Kurapika snaps Sakura out of her reverie.
“Huh, what?” She looks over to the source of the sound, which was Kurapika and for some reason when their eyes met, he grew red and immediately looked away.
“Hohoho. While I understand the two of you are at the peak of your youth, we have to start the battle,” Netero cuts in. “Will you guys be able to fight?”
Whilst Sakura only gets even more confused with the addition of Netero’s words, Kurapika grows a darker shade of red.
“…Yes?” Sakura answers hesitantly as she didn’t know why he would think she couldn’t fight.
Netero looks over to Kurapika who had managed to calm down and give a nod of approval. ‘Ugh! Okay, let’s just focus on the battle right now.’ He clears his thoughts and readies himself for the upcoming battle.
“Hohoho then let the battle commence. Ready, set… fight!”
Neither of them moves from their spot when the starting signal was given. They were both not one to make the first move in a battle, however Sakura had less patience than Kurapika and cracks first.
“Fine, if you’re not gonna come I will,” Sakura declares and conjures up her cherry blossom petals to form a pistol, which she then proceeds to shoot Kurapika with.
Kurapika easily blocks the bullets by lodging them in between the chains he swung in front of himself and drops them all on the floor in front of Sakura.
“It’s going to take more than that to hit me.”
“Then how about this.”
Sakura conjures up bullets, to reload her first pistol, along with another pistol she created. She shot a bullet each at Kurapika who easily blocks them again with his chain but as soon as he blocks those bullets another two immediately came his way.
‘How?’ Kurapika blocks one with his chain and dodges the other one. In the midst of his dodge, he looks over to Sakura who was completely unarmed. At least that’s what he thought until two pistols fell into her hands not even a second later. ‘Crap!’ He jumps back evade the bullets and create some distance between them. This action also allowed him to get a clearer view of Sakura and that’s when he sees that she was shooting at him with four guns.
“Ahahaha not so easy blocking these is it?” Sakura jeers at Kurapika.
Kurapika would’ve gotten mad at Sakura for taunting him if not for him having to use all of his concentration just to avoid getting hit. All of her shots seemed to be aimed at his vital points, which was really annoying… and scary.
‘I have to stop that crazy accurate aim of hers,’ Kurapika concludes, and with that thought in mind, he jumps up in the air then slams his dowsing chain down on the ground. He powers it up further with his aura so the chain was able to shatter the ground and send big chunks flying everywhere. ‘This should take away some of her sight and decrease her accuracy.’
Unluckily for him, his plan proves to be completely useless and actually ends up helping Sakura instead.
As soon as Kurapika smashes the floor to bits, Sakura reverts all her pistols back to petals then reforms them into rifle. Due to the pieces of the ground in her way she wasn’t able to aim for a vital spot, not that she would if she could in this situation where Kurapika was completely unaware that he was a sitting duck. She opted for his right arm, which had his chains instead. When she had a clear shot to her desired target, she immediately pulled the trigger.
Kurapika was only able to catch a glimpse of Sakura smirking with a rifle aimed right at him before a bullet lodges itself in his arm.
“Gah!” Kurapika cries out in pain and grips his bleeding arm but he wasn’t given any time to rest as another bullet was coming his way. Although this time, he was able to redirect this bullet with his chain but it still managed to nick his cheek. He continues to redirect the following bullets, keeping the damage he receives to that of shallow cuts. He was waiting for the moment when Sakura needed to reload and when that moment came he swiftly extends his dowsing chain towards Sakura. At this point most the pieces of the ground had all fallen back to the ground so he was easily able to maneuver his chain all the way to her. On top of that, she had been so distracted with reloading her gun that she didn’t even notice his chain around her arm until he tightens his grip and pulls her towards him.
“Yes! You got her now Kurapika! There’s no way she can beat you at close range!” Leorio yells out, taking into account the weapons Sakura had used in the battle so far.
“Hah, what are you talking about? Sakura is way better at close combat than long range combat,” Chase corrects Leorio.
“Eh?” Leorio looks back down at the fight and sees Kurapika tumbling across the floor. “What happened?!” He yells in shock.
“While you weren’t looking, Sakura grabbed the chain pulling her towards Kurapika and pulled on it so that Kurapika would come flying towards her. Then she kicked him across the face and sent him tumbling across the ground,” Chase explains.
“Hmph, I don’t get why she didn’t just conjure up a sword and end it there,” Maya remarks.
“She can use a sword?” Gon joins in the conversation.
“Yeah, she was pretty good too. I personally think that she was better with a sword than a gun,” Chas admits.
“Did she stop using it?” Killua asks as he picks up Chase’s use of past tense in his answer.
“Yeah, she stopped when she learned how to control her nen and conjure things up at will,” Chase replies.
“Why did she stop?”
“Who knows, one day she told us that ‘guns were awesome’ and I haven’t seen her use a sword since,” Maya jumps in and answers instead of Chase.
“She’s a very… special person isn’t she.” Leorio comments only to receive a punch on the head from Hanzo and Maya.
Meanwhile back in the arena, Sakura was walking up to Kurapika, who was still on the ground, to deliver the finishing blow. She bends down and goes to pull him up, but before she reaches him, Kurapika’s hand shoots up and grabs her arm. She wasn’t that surprised by this action, it was only when her gaze lands on his eyes that made her freeze up. It was faint due to the black contacts but she could still see it, the red in his eyes.
Kurapika feels Sakura approaching him and waits for her to get close enough for him to attack. Luckily for him, Sakura takes it upon herself to extend her arm towards him and he gladly takes the opportunity. He grabs hold of her arm and pulls her down to his level. Their eyes met and what he sees wasn’t the little shock he expected in her eyes. For some reason her eyes had contracted in what looked like fear as soon as they met with his. He didn’t think much of it and takes advantage of her frozen state and slammed her on the ground, reversing their roles. He holds his chain at her neck as a sign of his win, it didn’t technically mean it was his win but Sakura didn’t seem like the type who wouldn’t accept this method of loss.
“…I give up.”
Phase four was now officially over and the hunters who had lost their battles started filing out of the arena.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Beans yells out from the speakers to stop the hunters from leaving. “There is still the final phase!”
“So that has nothing to do with us,” the people who had lost respond bitterly.
“Hohoho but it does.” Netero takes over for Beans “None of you were eliminated from the exam.”
Netero’s announcement causes a lot of bewildered expressions from everyone in the room.
“What do you mean?” Leorio was the first to ask.
“Just what I said,”
“Then what was the point of this phase?” Killua asks, still annoyed at his loss.
“Well, for one it was for you to test out your nen abilities against similar opponents but it’s main purpose was to set up the final phase.” Netero explains to everyone, but they were still looking at him with puzzled looks. “I can see that you are all confused so allow me explain properly. The final phase is to obtain a valuable item and will be completed in the pairs you were in for the fourth phase. The winner decides what the item is and is allowed to keep the item once the exam is over. There are no restrictions to what you can choose except that it has to be worth over one billion jenny.”
None of the hunters were fazed by the price the item needed to be, but many were very displeased with the fact that they had to work in their previous pairs, mainly the losers.
“This is stupid, I don’t want to look for what he wants,” Maya protests, referring to Hanzo.
“You haven’t even heard what I want yet.”
“What do you want?” Gon asks curiously.
“Sakura-chan’s very first demo!” Hanzo proclaims with enthusiasm.
“I like how you say that with no shame at all…”
“Wait, wouldn’t you have that?” Leorio questions Sakura.
“No, I wasn’t the one who even made it,” Sakura answers then looks over to Chase to shift the attention to him.
“Well, I recorded her singing one time and sent it to a random record studio. I didn’t actually think it would get accepted but it did and I’ve never gotten it back. No idea where it is now,” Chase explains while sheepishly scratches the back of his head.
“I don't think it matters anyway, there’s no way it’s worth one billion yen.”
“I’ve got every Sakura-chan merchandise there is except for her demo since it was marketed at 700,000 jenny the last time I checked. I’m certain it’s gone up to a billion jenny by now. I will finally have it!” Hanzo was so excited he didn’t notice he was drooling at the thought.
Maya stands in front of Sakura and backs her away from Hanzo.
“Anyway, I’m guessing you’re aiming for the scarlet eyes,” Chase turns to Kurapika.
“Of course, I was looking for them before this exam anyway. What are you going to aim for?” Kurapika asks in return.
“Me? Uh… I don’t know, I can’t really think of anything.”
“Me either. I don’t really want anything over a billion jenny,” Gon agrees.
“Then why don’t you just hunt someone with a bounty over a billion jenny.” Hisoka chimes in from behind Gon.
Although all of them knew he would pass, his presence still made them jump, especially Gon who he was right behind.
“Hello Gon,” Hisoka greets him with a creepy grin.
“Where’s your partner?” Kurapika asks, as he doesn’t see anyone close to him.
“I killed him,” Hisoka says nonchalantly.
“But don’t you need him?”
“Since I won, no. I can easily obtain an item on my own.”
“I suppose that’s true.”
“By the way… you.” Hisoka turns to Sakura and questions her. “Why were you using guns in your fight?”
“Eh?” Sakura was caught of guard by Hisoka’s question. ‘I didn’t conjure up any swords in the fight right?’
“You’re a swordsman aren’t you?”
“Oi oi oi, how the hell does this bastard know, did you guys tell him?!” Maya yells at them in a whisper voice.
“Of course not! He just has some crazy weird sense thing!” Leorio yells back quietly.
“I think it’s called perception…” Kurapika correct Leorio.
“Well I prefer guns now,” Sakura answers Hisoka confidently, though she was dying from the pressure inside.
“Go back to swords,” Hisoka demands.
“Don’t want to,” Sakura responds immediately.
Everyone unconsciously holds their breath when Sakura defied Hisoka, but Hisoka didn’t do anything. People who don’t cower in fear and stand up to him gave him a thrill but he decides to let it slide and ask her another question.
“And, why did you freeze up in the end?”
“I was actually wondering about that too,” Kurapika joins in.
“Oh that… that was because… of your eyes,” Sakura answers hesitantly.
Kurapika thought about what she meant by that and finally realizes what most likely happened. “Are you… afraid of my scarlet eyes?” He questions her slowly.
“What, no. They just remind me of some really bad things…”
“Pff, like anything that horrible ever happened that you would freeze up at a mere reminder.”
“Leorio!” Gon yells at him for his insensitivity.
“It’s fine, I’m not one to dwell on the past. There’s nothing left for me there anyways.” Sakura says the last part with a little sad smile.