Turn Red

Chapter 3

Gon and I stand on opposite sides of the large window in the abandoned house. Staring down at two members of the Phantom Troupe. One of small stature with bright pink hair and a taller one with long black hair down to his waist. Killua is in the next room, probably staring out a window that's identical to this one.

The taller one looks in our direction.

Right. At. Me.

"They saw us!" I whisper to Gon, immediately dodging away from the window with him following with speed, speeding for the door to make an escape.

But how did they see us? We were using our zetsu. And I refuse to believe that it was a coincidence that he just so happened to turn around and land right on us.

It must've been the guy on the phone. Whoever it was must've known we were here, and that means...

A woman in a small pink dress stands in the door. In our way.

And she smiles right at me.

Gon and I turn as we hear the slightest disturbance in the air. And the short pink-haired one is right there.

Still staring at me.

"Do you two know the chain user?" The one by the door asks.

We stay silent. Staring at them with gritted teeth.

I'm trying to figure out why they're so damn familiar.

And why they're smiling at me.

"A Nen user who uses chains to fight." The pink-haired one explains. "We're looking for him. He asked you to follow us, right?"

"I don't know who that is." Gon states.

"And what about you, Yuno?" The short one asks.

Shock. The first thing that registers when she says my name is shock.

How? How? How could she possibly know my name?

I stumble back two steps before regaining my composure.

"How do you know my name?" I growl.

"Oh. I see you haven't regained your memories yet. Then I won't spoil them for you. You'll remember soon enough anyway." She smiles at me malevolently.

"N-No. I don't know who that is either." I say, my voice shaking now.

"We were following you for our own reasons." Gon speaks up.

I can tell exactly what Gon's thinking. He's looking for an opening. Any way out that doesn't end in both of us dead.

"Well?" The short one asks the one by the door.

"Well indeed... If they're lying they're really good. Though I don't remember her being this good... But I can check." The one by the door replies.

Suddenly the one by the door's phone starts ringing, and Gon attempts to take advantage of this opening. But the pink-haired one grabs him before he can even make 6 inches.

She looks up at me.

"Guess you do remember something." Then she turns her head back to Gon. "It's useless. Don't try anything foolish."

She's right.

It is useless.

Completely useless.

Gon and I can't hope to beat these two, or even come close.

And it's obvious we can't run.

Can't run.

Can't run.

Never run.

Never get away.

"AHHHHH" I shout, grabbing my temples and falling to the ground, banging my head against the cement.

The pink haired one begins a lunge, but the one in the dress gestures for her to stop.

"She's remembering." The one in the dress states simply.

Then she refocusses on her phone conversation that I can't hear over the screaming in my head.

Two names to accompany the faces of the members of the Phantom Troupe before me.

Two names I know.

"Y-You," I point to the one holding Gon. "M-Machi... and you..." The one by the door.

"Paku-noda."

Pakunoda smiles at me.

"Good. You figured it out on your own."

"And your friend surrendered by the way."

"I'll ask you once more, do you know the chain user?" Pakunoda asks after they stuck us in the back of their fancy car.

"My answer is the same." Gon replies.

"What about you Yuno?" The man on my left asks, elbowing me.

Phinks. His name is Phinks.

"I-I-I don't know them..." I whisper. My eyes wide and fixated on the floor.

I'm remembering something. Even if it's just names. What if it's my family next? Where the scars came from? My last name?

"What about you?" Pakunoda asks Killua, draping an arm around his shoulders. "Any guesses?"

The car pulls into an abandoned city. We exit the vehicle, surrounded on all fours by the Phantom Troupe. The one on our right is Nobunaga.

"Welcome to our base." Pakunoda says as we turn corner to see the entire rest of the Phantom Troupe.

And I can name them all.

The large one with the long earlobes and stitches is Franklin.

The girl with black hair and glasses is Shizuku.

The blond guy wearing a purple and green outfit is Shalnark.

The one with gray hair covering their entire face and wearing a simple robe of sorts is Kortopi.

The one wrapped head to toe in bandages is Bonolenov.

And Hisoka is there. I don't need to regain my memories to recognize him.

But it's the last one I recognize who gives me a chill and soreness in every single one of my scars that I can't explain.

Feitan.

I fall to my knees. Suddenly too weak to stand. Just like the day Gon found me.

Because of the gash across my legs.

"Yuno! Are you okay?" Gon bends to try to help me.

"I-I'm fine Gon. Stop." I whisper.

"OH!" He declares when he spots Hisoka.

Then he seems to realize his mistake as he immediately calms down.

"What is it boy? Do you know someone here?" Nobunaga asks.

"Yeah! Her!" He points to Shizuku.

"Shizuku! Do you know these two?" Nobunaga asks her.

"Never seen the boys before. But how could I forget little Yuno?" She replies.

"Oh I remember..." Feitan's voice sends a chill down my spine, "It's the arm-wrestling kid."

"Who was that?"

"Two days ago that kid beat you at arm-wrestling." Franklin points to Gon.

"I lost?" She asks. "That's a lie. I would never lose to a kid."

"Well, you were using your right hand." Franklin replies.

"Why? I'm left-handed."

"Forget it. Once Shizuku's forgotten something, she'll never remember."

Never remember.

But I'm remembering.

This is a waste of time!

But we can't just kill her!

But we can't let her go! She'll tell the top-class bounty hunters where we are and who she is!

I'll wipe her memory. Then she can't tell them.

Then what?

We leave her outside. If no-one comes along, she'll die. If someone does, she won't remember who she is. Win-win for us.

But will she ever remember?

Most likely, but not until long after we leave this place.

"Okay, I'll challenge you." Nobunaga's words snap me back to reality. And then I realize he's said them to Gon.

"Don't Gon. You won't win." I whisper. My voice refusing to go louder than that.

But my words don't matter. Because Gon ends up on the opposite side of the rock-slab serving as a table from Nobunaga. The back of his hand bloody from the repeated slamming into the hard concrete.

And Nobunaga keeps insisting on more and more rounds.

More and more.

And Gon keeps losing.

"Hey. When it comes to arm-wrestling what's my rank among the spiders?" Nobunaga asks his friends.

"Seven." Franklin replies.

"You're not weak, but you're not strong either." Machi follows up.

She's said that to me.

I know it.

"Anything Feitan? Anything at all?"

"No, nothing yet. She's too damn calm."

"She's too calm?"

"I can't get any kind of declaration of hatred or revenge out of her."

"M-M-Make n-no m-m-mist-t-tak-ke Feitan... I d-d-do h-h-hate you. I am angry. B-But, y-y-you w-w-w-won't beat me..."

A searing rod brought to a flesh neck.

"That's right little Kurta. Scream. Scream and scream. Scream until your eyes turn as red as the rest of you."

"She's not weak. But she's not strong either."

I... I'm... A Kurta?

I'm a Kurta.

I remember.

I remember everything.

Kurapika is leaving. Why is Kurapika leaving?

Why would Kurapika leave me and Pairo here, alone?

Why would Kurapika want to leave?

No. He's leaving to help Pairo. To find him a doctor so Pairo will be able to enjoy the sight of the ocean as much as he enjoys the smell or the sound of it.

But he still left me here.

He could've taken me with him, right?

The blood. The blood and bodies everywhere. I run through the fires and large people killing my friends and family. I need to find Pairo. I need to get to Pairo...

No.

No...

NO!

I'm too late.

I'm too damn late.

The pink-haired woman who just cut Pairo's head off turns to face me.

"And what shade are your eyes?" She asks, malice in her tone.

And I keep my mouth shut about my secret. The reason I passed Grand-father's test with ease when my big-cousin had so much trouble.

She doesn't hurt me though. She patiently waits for my eyes to turn the same shade as the rest of the people they're cutting down.

"Why won't your eyes turn little Kurta?" She asks.

I fall backwards and slowly pull myself away from her.

She wraps a wire around my ankle, cutting into my skin and causing me to gasp with pain.

"Well, I can't very well kill you if your eyes won't turn red... But I know someone who can probably fix that."

And she takes me away. To an island in the middle of the ocean. To an abandoned building atop the hill.

Where she leaves me with one of her friends. Who uses his 'tools' to cut, shock, and burn me.

"We killed your clan for their red eyes. But you were different. Your eyes wouldn't turn red. WHY WON'T YOUR EYES TURN RED! COME ON!"

I was 8.

"This is a waste of time!"

"But we can't just kill her! Her eyes may still be of value to us!"

"But we can't let her go! She'll tell the top-class bounty hunters where we are and who she is!"

"I'll wipe her memory. Then she can't tell them."

"Then what?"

"We leave her outside. If no-one comes along, she'll die. If someone does, she won't remember who she is. Win-win for us."

"But will she ever remember?"

"Most likely, but not until long after we leave this place."

I begin to chuckle quietly, before it turns into full-blown laughter.

"What's so funny little Kurta?"

"The Great Phantom Troupe. Bested by a nine-year old girl. You know what that means?"

Feitan heats another metal rod.

"I won. I beat you." I smile.

He presses the rod into my skin and I squirm under its touch.

Once he pulls the rod away, Paku places her hands on my temples.

She's taking my memories.

I'll forget everything.

And everyone.

Grandfather.

Mother.

Father.

Pairo.

Kurapika.

Kurapika's still alive.

Pairo saved him. He switched out the medicine.

If I ever get my memories back... I could find him...

I could find him... and we could get rid of the Troupe together.

And then they left me in the forest, outside their hideout on Whale Island. Where Gon stumbled upon me. And saved my life.

"Hey Gon." I whisper from my place against the wall in the small room that Nobunaga has cornered us in.

"Yeah Yuno."

"You know what we've been trying to do for the past four years other than take the Hunter Exam?"

"What do you mean Yuno?"

"I remember."

"HUH?"

"I remember everything. Who I am. How I got on Whale Island. Who put me there. And how I got each and every one of these scars." I reply darkly.

"You... Who? Who put you there? Who are you?" He asks, turning to face me completely on the small concrete bench.

"They did. They put me there." I point at Nobunaga.

Don's eyes don't widen. Some surprise, but not any kind of shock.

"And who are you?" Killua asks, keeping his normal calm tone.

"A Kurta. I'm a Kurta."

And now Gon's eyes widen. Killua's too.

"You're eyes turn red when you're angry? That's never happened before! How do you know?" Gon demands.

"I know because I remember everything." I reply, staying completely calm. But I'm lying. I'm lying because Nobunaga is here. The lie is the only thing keeping me alive, and the only reason I survived the first year with these bastards.

I slowly stand, trying to ignore the screaming in almost every one of my scars. Probably from reliving the moment I got every single one of them.

"We are leaving Nobunaga." I state, walking towards him.

"I will not allow that Yuno." He replies, standing and placing his hand on the hilt of his sword. "If any of you come past this line," he nods to the one in front of his feet, "I will have to cut your head off."

"Why are you keeping us here?" Gon asks.

"It's just until the boss gets back. You see, I wanna recruit you Kid." He says as I slowly make my way to one of the benches and sit beside Gon. He means Gon. He wants Gon to join the Phantom Troupe. "And if the boss approves than you'll join and if he doesn't we'll let you go."

Over my dead damn body he's recruiting Gon into the Phantom Troupe.

"Hey, Killua, Yuno, Zepile-san taught us welding, exposing... what else was there?" Gon asks randomly.

He's really thinking about that at a time like this?

"I forgot." Killua replies.

"Yeah, me too." I follow up.

"Side stomping maybe? I don't think that was it..."

"Gon, Yuno... I'll act as a decoy. Use that chance to escape." Killua says seriously and somewhat darkly.

"No. We're not leaving you." I reply.

"Seriously. Forget it." Nobunaga speaks up, "The three of you are smart enough to know how much stronger I am, especially you Yuno. There won't be any chances."

Yeah. I know. But I'm not going to die here.

Not before I get back to Kurapika. I have to tell him I remember.

I have to tell him I remember him.

That I'm alive.

That I'm here.

"SHUT UP! Killua suddenly declares.

"I won't know until I try."

"What the hell are you thinking Killua?" I ask. Thinking how damn crazy he sounds right now.

"I'll stop his shodachi, even if it kills me." Killua states. "Use the chance to run away!"

Gon quickly stands and smacks Killua in the back of the head with his fist.

Killua grabs Gon's shirt front.

"WHAT WAS THAT FOR?" Killua demands.

"DON'T BE SO SELFISH!" Gon shouts back.

They really are kind of hilarious.

"Don't talk about dying like it's nothing!"

"What?! You did the same thing earlier!"

"I'M ALLOWED TO DO IT!" Gon shouts in response.

"BUT YOU AREN'T!"

"What?"

And Nobunaga starts laughing.

"You can't use logic against an Enhancer."

"None of us will escape if we aren't prepared to die, BAKA!" Killua yells in Gon's face, finally releasing his shirt-front.

"You have no idea what I was thinking!"

"Yeah we do! It was obvious!" I speak up.

"Shut up Yuno!" Killua shouts.

"Who's the selfish one?"

"Yes, I have no idea, because I'm stupid!" Gon retorts.

Nobunaga starts laughing harder.

"You kids are hilarious! Hey, I'm not gonna hurt you or anything. Just behave yourselves. I know you're serious. Don't throw your lives away. Wait until the boss gets back. If he won't give his approval, you can leave. But, if you try to escape, I'll kill you. Don't make me draw my sword."

"And what about me!" I have a sudden desire to talk, shout, argue as I stand to shout. "What happens to me when your boss comes back? I'm sure Chrollo will remember me too? He's not gonna just let me go! He'll give me back to Feitan! I'll spend the rest of my damned life with you bastards. I would rather have you kill me right here and right now!" I shout. Ignoring Gon and Killua's looks of concern or whatever's on their faces. I don't care.

I don't want to go back to that hell.

I don't want to go back.

I don't want anymore scars.

I don't need anymore scars.

I just wanna see Kurapika again.

Nobunaga doesn't reply. I didn't expect him too. Because he knows I'm right. And he won't kill me unless I cross his line. And I won't. Not when Gon and Killua are here. Not when there's still possibility of coming up with a plan.

"I remember now!" Gon declares happily, turning to Killua and then to me as I look over my shoulder at him.

"It was side stepping!" He continues.

"Welding, exposing, and the last one was side-stepping!"

It takes a few seconds, but eventually both Killua and I get what he means.

"Do you remember now?" Gon asks.

"Yeah, I do."

"Totally."

"See? How could we forget something so simple?"

"Now that we've figured that out..." Gon begins.

"Let's go!"

The three of us fire up our Nen, crouching as if preparing to jump right at Nobunaga.

He stands.

"Are you serious?" He questions. "You're going to die. I'm not skilled or merciful enough to control my strength."

We begin a charge straight at him, then, at the last second split towards the walls. Gon and I going right while Killua goes left.

We kick to holes in our wall, side by side, and begin a run through the building, kicking holes in every wall that gets in our way.

Take that samurai bastard.

"BAKA!" Killua declares as we run away from the abandoned city.

"Man, I wanted to beat him up." Gon states.

"Well, we completely humiliated him. I think that's good enough for now." I reply.

Once we approach the large fence, Gon and Killua jump it with ease, while I have to jump halfway and then jump the other half. Because I'm not a freaking super-human.

"Plus, we wouldn't stand a chance, only knowing the basics of Nen." Killua explains once we're all on the other side of the fence.

Gon smiles brightly at him.

"What?"

"You finally sound like yourself again." Gon replies happily. "It's my job to say crazy stuff. You're job is to stay cool and stop me, just like Yuno!"

"So I'm counting on you guys." He slaps both our arms before he continues running away from the buildings.

"You're so selfish." Killua replies and takes off running himself. I quickly follow.

The faster we get away from those bastards the better.

"Well? What do we do next?"

"We find Kurapika." I state.

"Why's that?" Gon asks.

"Did you figure it out too?" Killua asks.

"No, I don't know what you mean Killua, but I want to tell him I remember everything." I reply.

"He's the chain user." Killua states.

"That actually makes a lot of sense. Which means he killed Uvogin and he's a badass." I reply somewhat casually.

"WHAT? KURAPIKA'S THE CHAIN USER?" Gon questions.

"Yeah, you didn't realize either?" Killua asks.

"No."

"It makes more sense than some random guy. Kurapika is obsessed with taking them down. So, he would definitely do something like that." I reply.

"Plus, if it's true, we have a chance of defeating the Troupe." Killua adds.

"Yeah. That's a bonus."

Gon and Killua begins stuffing their faces with food. Trying to see who can eat more in the time allotted. I quickly glimpse up to see Kurapika.

He looks entirely different from the last time we saw hime. His hair is longer, and he has an earring in his left ear. His clothes are different as well. They look more like what he used to wear in the Kurta village. Blue and gold instead of blue and red. And his eyes look more somber.

"KURAPIKA!" I shout, running to him and wrapping my arms around his torso.

"Yuno?" He asks, looking down at me.

I feel my eyes well up with tears.

"I remember. I remember everything. I remember my mom and dad. I remember your mom and dad. I remember Grandfather. I remember Pairo. And I remember you." I say, looking up at him.

His eyes widen.

"You... You... Yuno?" He asks, tears begin to well up in his eyes as well.

I nod slightly.

Kurapika and Pairo were the only ones who would play with me.

Because I was different from the other Kurta.

My Mother was a Kurta, my father was an, an honorary member of the clan.

So I was genetically different.

I had brown eyes.

And they didn't turn red. No matter how angry I became.

My father died when I was four. And no one wanted to play with a half-Kurta.

But Kurapika didn't care. And neither did Pairo. He was different too. He couldn't see.

So I played with them.

Until Kurapika left to find a doctor for Pairo's eyes.

He left us there.

And a week later, the Troupe came.

They killed everyone.

Except me.

Because I was different.

It saved my life.

Kurapika kneels and wraps his arms around me as well.

"You're alive... you're alive..." He whispers.

"Mmm-hmm."

"Because my eyes don't turn red."

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