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Chapter 5: Haku Puts up a Vague Effort against Kasumi
What from I blamed it on my psychic ability to summon creatures, spells and traps for real.Yes, your psychic ability that has been well-established by now. Why was this line necessary? Admittedly, I didn’t start reading this until it was already almost finished, but was there a long delay between chapters? Or did the author just assume readers would skip around chapters at random and didn’t want them to miss anything? Kasumi hears a woman comment that she is awake and ask if she’s okay, to which she replies she wouldn’t know because she’s never experienced this before. When Kakashi interjects about what caused it (as if we hadn’t realized by now), she and the woman turn to him. Apparently, the woman is Tazuna’s daughter. Just kind of comes out of nowhere in the narration. Kakashi is apparently sleep-conversing, because he replies that he won’t be awake for about another week when asked. Maybe the author meant “okay,” though I’m not sure how such an error occurs. He then says he doesn’t know how long Kasumi will be out of commission, which she says is because she hadn’t summoned monsters outside of a duel before. I’m not sure how much of a difference that would make; in both cases, she’s making a hologram come alive. She even tributes for it, like she would in the card game but unlike actual psychics in 5D’s. Kasumi notices Naruto moving to examine her duel disk, which someone had taken off her arm while she was asleep.
"Don't touch that" I responded to Naruto making him think twice on his actions "Not unless you want me to send you sprawling into the ocean."I’ve well established by now that Kasumi is a bitch, so this should be self-explanatory. As she puts the duel disk back on her arm, Sakura asks her and Kakashi if their respective powers are worth using, since they exhaust their respective users so much. Kasumi retorts that without her, they would have lost to Zabuza. Of course, everyone is quick to agree with her, even though she ultimately impacted nothing. The topic of conversation quickly turns to the masked kid who took away Zabuza, Kasumi noting in particular the duel disk he had. Naruto begins to ask if she’s thinking of dueling him, but Kakashi interrupts.
"She can't duel" Kakashi interrupted him sternly "At least not in her condition."Card games are very Serious Business; at least the author got that aspect right. Naruto replies that he already knew that, and he wanted her to train him to duel in her place. Kasumi refuses, wanting nobody else to touch her deck because it’s a memento from her departed family. She name drops them all in the process, presumably so she could take another stab at Jack, calling him “her least favorite.” Psst, author, your bias is showing. Naruto pleads some more, but she tells him it’s not his type of game because it’s all about strategy and not rushing in headfirst. Technically, rushing in headfirst is a viable strategy in the card game, usually referred to as beatdown. It’s not like it’s brainless summoning of monsters; there is some strategy to be had there. Apparently, all Naruto would be able to handle is the brainless summoning. Sasuke interjects that Naruto is terrible at strategy, which is a load because Naruto came up with the plan to defeat Zabuza, and Kasumi basically ends that conversation there so she can’t be proven wrong, turning it back to the masked boy. Kakashi tells them about ANBU, since the boy is apparently a part of it; his explanation apparently involves dissection, since they all react with disgust to the idea of dismantling a dead body. When Kasumi says she doesn’t want that to happen to her, Sasuke assures her that they wouldn’t due to her psychic powers. Not entirely sure how those correlate to anything; her powers would be a reason to keep her alive, not necessarily one to keep her body intact. Cue a confusing transition to Kasumi suddenly asleep again, awoken by Sakura and Naruto screaming and the former yelling at the latter because they were about to see what was under Kakashi’s mask. Kasumi mutters that they’ll never find out because not even she’s ever seen it since she’s lived with him. I don’t think it would make much difference; he adopted her basically the same day he got his Genin team. Unless she stalks him; that would be a pretty rad twist. The whole time, she’s been a psychopathic stalker, getting adopted by families only to kill them and feign innocence so she’ll get adopted again and repeat the process. I have no idea where I was going with that. Anyway, Kakashi apparently came to an epiphany in his sleep or something, for it is not until after he wakes up from the transition that he realizes ANBU are supposed to pick apart the body on the spot. When the Genin are confused as to what this means, Kakashi posits to them how the kid got rid of Zabuza’s body.
"Hugh?" was the response from the Genin.Meet Hugh; he’ll be appearing quite a bit throughout the fic. Personally, he’s my favorite character within this nonsense. With all this in mind, Kakashi tells all present that Zabuza is likely still alive, with the return of emphasis via BOLD FONT. This shocks everyone, and Sakura states that she thought Kakashi examined the body. He did, but he replies that it could have been a trance that mimicked a state of death. Not much to really criticize here, because the vast majority of it is straight from Naruto. Kakashi elaborates that the needles the boy used were probably acupuncture needles, which could cause such a trance quite easily. Kasumi mutters that she should’ve stopped him, because she’s apparently the only one that could have done something, given that she’s by far the most important and powerful character here. Tazuna tells them all they’re over-complicating the matter and that it probably was just an ANBU. However, Kakashi rebuts that with how suspicious the whole scene was, something was most likely going on, and Kasumi agrees because she’s always on the right side of any argument, stating that ninja are supposed to be stealthy and take their opponent by surprise. Must resist urge to make trite jokes about Naruto's clothes. Kakashi says that even if Zabuza is actually dead, Gato has likely employed even deadlier ninja, so they need to prepare. When Sakura asks how, he tells her that he is going to increase their training regimen. Sakura asks what good it will do, but Kakashi tells her about what he saw in them during the fight against Zabuza.
”Think about who it was that rescued me...Kasumi and the rest of you three are all maturing, progressing rapidly, your powers are growing exponentially."Kakashi especially compliments Naruto’s growth, Kasumi compounding his compliment by saying he knew exactly what to do in that situation. Are we still talking about the Naruto that couldn’t think of the most basic strategies 20 lines up? Kakashi explains that the training will be to essentially tide them over, since Zabuza will take a while to recover from the near death trance if he is still alive. Naruto says that it could be fun, causing the killjoy known as Tazuna’s grandson, Inari, to enter and say that it won’t be fun for them. So he’s allowed to dictate what they can and can’t enjoy, apparently. Inari’s mother tells him to respect the guests, especially considering they saved Tazuna, but Inari says they’re going to die anyway. Wouldn’t that be more reason to pay them respect? Respect for the dead and all that? I’m not sure if this was in canon, but it’s stupid either way. In particular, Inari calls out Kasumi as a short stock (that’s 3 people who have used the nonexistent insult so far), which is weird because Inari is an absolute shrimp. So is Kasumi a midget, or is Inari just a hypocrite? Inari then says that nobody can beat Gato’s men, apparently ignoring that they already have beaten a few of his men. After Naruto is restrained from beating the snot out of this brat, he explains that he and Kasumi will basically become heroes. Kasumi proceeds to say one of the stupidest non-sequiturs I’ve seen.
"Gato? 'Gateau'? This guy's named 'chocolate' you can't seriously expect me to be afraid of that."Where do I even begin with this line. The first place would be the fact that it makes no sense in context; not only does it come out of nowhere and have no effect on the resulting conversation, but why did this not come up when Tazuna first talked about him. Did she just need a few days to think of a pun for his name? Second, this line is so clunky it hurts. It’s basically just there so the author can say “HEY GUYS, I CAN SPEAK FRENCH” (even though s/he can’t; gateau actually means cake). And why not go for the much more obvious reference, with gato being Spanish for cat? This line impacts so little, but hurts my brain so much. Inari ignores Kasumi’s stupid retort and declares that there’s no such thing as heroes, causing Kasumi to go on a long-winded presentation about the history of Signers and how they were all heroes and how amazing they were and such. Of note in her story is that she says the fifth Signer dragon was unknown, even though it is revealed in 5D’s later on. This error would not be as blatant if the author didn’t retcon it in later. As she tells the story, she gives helpful visuals which she somehow conjures through her psychic powers; as I said before, psychics in canon could only bring their cards to life. At this point in the story, psychics may as well be able to do whatever the author feels like. At the conclusion of the story, she explains the rebirths of the Signers throughout the years, leading us to a Title Drop when she answers that she is, in fact, the last Signer, hence how she knows all this. The idea of Signer-dom being passed genetically is still stupid, but stupider is Kasumi’s belief that her Signer mark will allow her to summon the Crimson Dragon by herself. Just to contrast, in the anime, the Crimson Dragon was never summoned by the Signers on purpose. Instead, the whole mark of the Crimson Dragon only appeared on a certain Signer in times of crisis or great tension when all the Signers were together, and the dragon itself appeared even more rarely. Those present ask questions about her story that really aren’t relevant to what’s going on in the slightest, except for one little thing I’d like to note. Dark Signers can cause damage in duels like psychic duelists,
”only if you lose to a Dark Signer, unlike if you dueled me, you'd lose your life."This becomes both a bit uncomfortable and plain wrong in light of later revelations. Kasumi laments that if her mark doesn’t appear by the time she duels a Dark Signer, she’ll be in trouble. Well, no need to worry then, since all the Dark Signers are gone now! This whole story was apparently just for the author to boast about how knowledgeable about 5D’s backstory s/he is, given that this takes up a large portion of the chapter but influences nothing. Instead, Inari stands by his statement that they’ll never defeat Gato, and he leaves to mope. Tazuna asks Kasumi to forgive him, in the process referring to her as Ms. Signer. Apparently, they can believe that story completely and totally because she had pretty pictures to accompany it. Naruto follows Inari into his moping space, and Kasumi overhears the latter say something about his dad dying. She volunteers to go talk to him, because she’s also lost someone important. Naruto’s about as eligible, considering he also lost his parents; why not him? She can’t even relate to his situation all that much; while her family was killed while she was asleep out of mean-spiritedness, Gato held an open execution of Inari’s adoptive father to crush the spirits of the citizens and to show what he would do to those who tried to rise against him. But nope, Kasumi has to be involved, so she goes up to his room with Naruto* and starts bawling because we need some forced pathos in here. She talks about how she lost her family, and Naruto realizes that if it wasn’t for Kakashi, she would have nobody to care for her. So her situation is not even as bad as Naruto’s; she had the possibility of nobody caring for her which was quickly defused, while Naruto had nobody care for him except for a select few for most of his life. How is she more eligible to speak to Inari, again? The author then apparently gets sick of this scene, since immediately after there is a hurried transition to Kakashi training the Genin outside. Well, no, first he talks about how important Kasumi is, since she’s a Signer, and how she’ll need a bodyguard once they return to the Leaf Village because she’s just so important. Kakashi actually gets onto the training now, asking them if they know what chakra is. Since Naruto is an idiot, Sakura needs to explain it to him, after which he complains she should have had some sort of visual like Kasumi. Again, visuals make any story instantly a million times better. Therefore, this story is only bad because it’s not animated. Totally. After Sasuke says they already have an understanding of chakra, Kakashi tells him he’s wrong, and that they still have much to master; same with Kasumi and her psychic powers. She replies that she’ll be continuing to work on them after out of her crutches; I’m not sure how much more she needs to work on them, considering she can already use them better than her mother after having them for maybe a month or so. When Naruto asks how Kakashi is going to train them, Kasumi laughs and says they’ll have to climb trees because she relishes in the pain of others. The Genin express disbelief, but Kakashi tells her she’s right on the mark. Of course she is, how could she ever be wrong? After Kakashi shows them how to climb trees the ninja way , the Genin start training, with Naruto attempting to do something or other to impress Kakashi (and Kasumi as well, but that’s a given; everything is centered around her). However, he fails, causing him to lose his grip and forcing Sasuke to save him. He tells him not to impress Kasumi, in the process barely avoiding death by purposefully not calling her short stock. Sakura, meanwhile, has already made it up the tree; I assume this is the only accomplishment Sakura is ever given because this is exactly what happens canonically. The training continues for a few days, and one day Kasumi tells Naruto she feels she’ll have to duel again soon. Apparently these special psychics are also precognitive. Kakashi objects, saying she’s still in no condition to do so because card games are still serious business, but she says that there’s a way she can duel in her condition. She explains that Jack taught it to her, in the process taking another pot shot at him, and that it involves one person calling the moves and an assistant actually laying the cards. Whatever happened to you not wanting anyone else to touch your cards, Kasumi? And two things strike me as strange with this statement. For one thing, of all things, why did Jack teach her this? It’s something he did a total of once because someone under the influence of the Dark Signers forced him into a duel while he could barely stand. Is it really that noteworthy that it needs to be recognized as an official form of dueling? Furthermore, Kakashi says she’d have to resort to this because she wouldn’t even be able to move her arm. While this was true for Jack, who had a broken arm, Kasumi has been using her arms this whole time to get around on crutches. If she couldn’t use her arms, she would have been in bed or supported by someone else this whole time. Regardless, Kasumi tasks Naruto with some duel puzzles in order to get him to learn the basics of dueling. As I said with Shikamaru, duel puzzles would be more helpful for advanced techniques and those specific to certain cards, but that’s beating a dead horse by now. That night, Winged Kuriboh wakes her up. Apparently psychics here actually are precognitive, given that she instantly knows somebody is out there that wants to duel her. She puts on her duel disk and goes outside, Tazuna showing surprisingly little resistance to her going out in the middle of the night with little explanation. As she goes outside, Naruto meets up with her, for he is also suddenly precognitive. When they are outside, two samurai are there, aiming to kidnap Kasumi, but the masked boy interrupts, approaching and introducing himself as Haku. Kasumi does likewise, but he recognizes her as the daughter of Yusei and Aki, in particular referencing Aki’s stint as the Black Rose Witch . Kasumi gets angry over this, saying she wasn’t a witch. Um, Kasumi, Black Rose Witch wasn’t a moniker created by those that feared her; she referred to herself as that. She might have stopped doing so, but it’s not as if she always hated that name. Haku then strikes a deal with her: if he wins, she joins Zabuza, while if she wins, he and his henchmen will leave. Kasumi would have to be stupid to agree to this, she could just get away on her o– oh, she agreed. Okay. This is despite saying she refuses to join Zabuza immediately before. She says it’s because they’ll get her anyway if she refuses, which I don’t really get. She never really says why they get her if she refuses; they just do, apparently. The two activate their duel disks, and the light emitted from them causes the others to go outside and see what’s going on. Haku goes first, summoning Spear Dragon in attack position. This worries the others, since apparently summoning a 1900 attack monster is such an accomplishment (hint: it’s not), and he places two cards face down to end his turn. Once Kasumi begins her turn, Haku activates Fatal Abacus (here butchered as “Fatal Acubbus,” which caused me much consternation when trying to find the card), which deals a person 500 damage when one of their monsters is destroyed. After Sakura exposits to Inari about what’s going on, Haku follows up with Ominous Fortunetelling. This card allows Haku to guess the type of card of one of the cards in Kasumi’s hand, and if he’s right, she takes 700 damage. This all causes Kasumi to smirk because setting TWO WHOLE TRAP CARDS is so amazing now, and she summons Thunder Mage Ilyana. She immediately sends it to attack Spear Dragon, causing Haku to immediately act as the cocky villain that says “Its attack is lower, what are you thinking?!” Why do villains never take spells or effects into account when this happens, honestly? Ilyana’s effect activates, so her attack doubles when battling dragon monsters, raising it to 2600 and destroying Spear Dragon. Yes, the 1900 attack points were so amazing, considering she destroyed it in one turn with zero planning. As Haku takes damage from both the attack and his own card’s effect, he comments that now he truly knows why Zabuza wants her. In the process, he outs himself as a stalker, because he reveals that he knows about her meditating to control her powers. Kasumi proceeds to activate her broken Silencer card, essentially freezing Haku’s spell and trap zone for the next couple turns. This elicits more comments about how smart and amazing she is, and Sakura comments that she’s fighting for all of them. Not really; she’s only doing this so she doesn’t get kidnapped. It doesn’t really involve anyone else at all personally. Sasuke points out that she’s a Signer, so that she can’t lose except to other Signers or Dark Signers. Well, there goes any dramatic tension from any of these duels. All the duels from here on out will have a Foregone Conclusion now, because it’s not as if she’ll ever actually face a Signer or Dark Signer. All the Dark Signers are gone, same with all other Signers. Hell, if this is true, why does Haku not just give up on the spot? Why did this line even need to exist? There’s no indication of it in canon, and it’s even directly contradicted by canon. Methinks the author is having self-empowerment fantasies. After Kasumi ends her turn, Haku takes his turn, only setting a monster during it. Kasumi draws Double Attack at the beginning of her turn, and because the author has very little creative thought, Naruto attacks the face down monster without Kasumi saying to do so, much like Carly did when assisting Jack. The monster turns out to be Blast Sphere, which attaches to Ilyana instead of being destroyed.
"Why wasn't it destroyed?" Sakura wondered.Well, on top of the fact that Blast Sphere’s defense is actually higher than Ilyana’s attack (isn’t it sad, Ilyana), Haku explains that it’s a part of Blast Sphere’s effect. Next turn, it will explode, dealing damage to Kasumi equal to Ilyana’s attack. However, the tension from this is immediately lost once Kasumi summons Heron Leanne, tuning it to Ilyana to summon Micaiah. Since the monster Blast Sphere was equipped to is no longer on the field, it now goes to the Graveyard. What’s weird is that everyone admonishes Naruto for this when it was so easily repairable; it’s not like when Carly attacked without Jack’s admission, which had actual consequences in the duel. Kasumi activates another special ability of Micaiah’s, which involves reducing its attack in order to revive a monster from her Graveyard. Micaiah could heal people, not revive them; it would make more sense for her to have an ability that regained Life Points. Anyway, she uses the ability to revive Ilyana, which gets an attack boost from Micaiah’s other ability. Kasumi says that neither of the monsters can attack now due to Micaiah’s effect, but it’s not as if they could anyway, since the Battle Phase is already over. She sets a card face down, then ends her turn. Haku starts his turn by summoning Amazoness Chainsaw (you can tell it’s an original card because of the blatant Anachronism Stew), and goes to attack Ilyana. Ilyana’s second ability activates, which says that she can’t be attacked if she’s not the only monster on Kasumi’s field, so the attack is redirected to Micaiah. Haku was hoping that would happen, because he couldn’t just attack Micaiah from the start for... some reason. Amazoness Chainsaw is destroyed, as expected, but Kasumi then receives the battle damage because of Chainsaw’s ability: if you would take battle damage from battles involving Amazoness Chainsaw, your opponent takes it instead. As a note, Kasumi takes 1500 damage, meaning Micaiah’s halved attack from her effect only lasts until the end of the turn. Why is the halved attack needed, then, considering Micaiah can’t even attack if it uses that effect? Also, the battle damage takes the form of a stray chainsaw whacking Kasumi in the face, which is hysterical. Kasumi then smiles, thinking this will be her hardest challenge and hopes she can beat him. Well, it’s already kind of her greatest challenge, because her Life Points never even got close to this low against Divine or Leo. Also, whatever happened to the “Only Signers or Dark Signers can beat Signers” crap? At this point, it really doesn’t matter, since that statement ends the chapter on a cliffhanger. However there’s one more thing after the chapter ends. The author brings up a second poll for the story, asking which male character Kasumi should get into a relationship with. She’s ten years old, she doesn’t need to be in a relationship! Regardless, join me next time, where we see the epic conclusion to this duel! Now if only it was truly that tense.
I'm pretty sure the "Gato/Gateau" thing was one of Naruto's lines in the manga (at least according to the Viz translation) that the author just ripped off because s/he thought it was clever, therefore, Kasumi should get to say it. Now obviously, YMMV, but I think that line actually kind of makes sense as something Naruto would say. We've got a preteen Idiot Hero being told that the sinister Corrupt Corporate Executive's name basically sounds kind of like "Mr. Chocolate" (or "Mr. Cake," as the case may be). I doubt he'd be inclined to take Gato seriously as a threat at that point. (Still pretty stupid, but again, Naruto isn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer at this point.) And oh goody, another poll. In my experience, when an author needs to ask the readers about what direction the fic should take, it reeks of poor story planning and indicates that the author cares more about getting reviews than putting together a coherent plot.
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