Chapter 8: Rescuing Hanabi, Abandoning Morality
Welcome back, all, for yet another installment of Kasumi: The Last Signer
! Given the lack of comments on the previous installment, Iíd presume most everyone is getting sick of it by this point. Fear not, for I am as well, and we only have 56 chapters to go!
...Ugh. Letís get this over with.
Chapter 8: Rescuing Hinabi
We start the chapter with an authorís note about changing the official pairing from Haku and Kasumi to Shikamaru and Kasumi. I remember being fine with this when I initially read the story, because the latter pairing felt more natural and less creepy. However, this note just goes to show that the author has no idea what to do with this story, which could end up extending to any other number of things within the fic.
The chapter proper begins with Kasumi and company returning to the Leaf Village after their little escapade in Neo Domino, and Kakashi and Kasumi getting ready for the funeral and
barrel soon after. This barrel had better be ornate, or Kasumi shall face the wrath of her ancestors. Kasumi notes that she dresses in all black for the event, but she keeps her duel disk with her in the likely event she has to duel a zombie goast.
Suddenly funeral, and the Third Hokage is giving a speech to all present. Iím wondering why Kasumi wanted the bodies brought to the Leaf Village for a burial in the first place; itís not as if the Signers had tons of acquaintances there. In fact, given that Haku and Kasumi are the only ones to know them, the people attending this funeral can probably be counted on one hand. The author probably avoided having it in Neo Domino, since s/he thought sticking to canon interpretations for so many characters (as much as s/he already does, anyway)
was too hard or something.
After the Third Hokage gives his most likely generic spiel that he keeps in a desk drawer, Haku gives a funeral speech which is utterly devoid of any emotion, which almost seems like a contradiction. There arenít any pauses in the speech at all, whether to describe actions or just for dramatic effect
; Haku just rambles it all off at once. Also, all he says about Yusei is that he didnít really know him at all. Way to appreciate him.
It is then Kasumiís turn to give a speech. Given that she is the daughter of these two heroes, clearly she has much to sĖ Oh, never mind, sheís just expositing Yuseiís backstory. Okay. After a brief interruption in the crowd to exposit about what Dark Signers are again,
Kasumi makes a pledge to defend the village from Dark Signers, despite the fact that theyíre all gone.
I stood addressing the audience which consisted the Third Hokage, Iruka-Sensei, Kakashi-papa, Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke whom surprised me because I swore that he had tears in his eyes, Shikamaru, Ino, Choji, and Asuma-Sensei
By Iruka, you mean Narutoís academy instructor who has only been mentioned exactly once, offhandedly?
How do you know him again? Why is he important enough to be attending your funeral? How are most of these people? Also, Haku must be off crying about either the death of Aki or how bad his speech was, given his absence.
After Kasumi gives one last thanks to her parents, the two are buried next to Obito Uchihaís grave. Obito is both a character that a person reading Naruto in concurrence with this story wouldnít know about, and a character that was never actually buried.
Sasuke decides that now, of all times, is the best time to ask Kasumi who murdered her parents. Such social tact he has. Kasumi replies that Orochimaru is the one responsible, and Sasuke somehow knows him here. Maybe this Sasuke read the manga and knows exactly what will happen!
Wait, never mind. Heís silly enough to believe that Kasumi, a ten year old girl, can defeat Orochimaru, one of the most powerful ninja alive. Knowing this fic, she eventually will do just that while people continually praise her for it.
More bantering occurs, including Haku rightfully telling Sasuke to shut up, and the author decides to end the scene there, of all places. With this author, it feels less like a chapter ends ďwhen a significant enough event has occurredĒ and more ďwhen I reach a specific word count.Ē It occurred in the last chapter, too; the conclusion to the Land of Waves arc could and should have been its own chapter, but it was instead hastily attached to the beginning of an entirely unrelated chapter.
The next morning, Kasumi tells Kakashi that sheís feeling much better than she did at the funeral. She could have fooled me, given how little emotion she actually expressed, and Kakashi apparently agrees, given that he completely ignores her. Instead, he tells her that heís going on another escort mission with his team, and sheíll be babysat by the Hyuuga clan
. I honestly doubt they would be so open to accepting a complete stranger into their rooms. Since when does one need an entire clan to supervise a single ten-year-old girl, anyway?
Kakashi brings up the subject of getting a third bodyguard, and Kasumi replies that sheís working on it, before saying sheíll be fine by herself for a week. Kasumi is so cute, acting all innocent and as if she didnít have every other character in the story waiting on her hand and foot.
They then decide to visit the Hyuuga compound, and Kakashi introduces Kasumi to Hiashi, the head of the clan. He notes that she shouldnít be that hard to look after since she is almost as old as Hanabi,
his younger daughter. Kakashi warns Hiashi to not let anyone call Kasumi short stock, as if everybody used that insult to refer to everybody else, along with giving Kasumi generic advice such as ďbe good,Ē before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Hiashi starts to give Kasumi a tour of the compound, and the only thing of note to happen is for Kasumi to meet Hanabi, Hinata,
In particular, Neji
immediately bows to the girl three years younger than him whom heís never met before, and he shows interest in Duel Monsters for a reason the author doesnít feel like disclosing.
Before he can inquire much about it, however, Haku appears out of nowhere to answer it. He must have Plot Convenience Senses.
Haku also exalts Kasumi some more, causing Kasumi to reluctantly reveal her Signer mark. Hiashi and Neji instantly know what it is, conveniently enough, and Hiashi tells Neji that this means Kasumi must be treated as a superior. Despite Neji already acknowledging her as his superior by bowing to her for some ungodly reason. Sure, okay.
This causes a long, boring string of exposition about Aki being Hakuís dueling instructor and Kasumiís parents being deaaaaaaad and yadda yadda yadda. Does this invariably need to occur? Canít it just happen while some sort of transition is occurring? Itís just there to needlessly pad out word count, to give the author the feeling that dragging these scenes out as long as possible gives them some deep meaning.
This line was funny though:
"I see" Hiashi said "So Kasumi's mother was special to you in your heart."
As opposed to in his small intestine.
Anyway, Hiashi tells Kasumi that she should duel sometime for all to see, because apparently people standing there and being hammy at each other still has not lost its gimmicky appeal, and she says she would need someone to duel. I guess Haku was too shamed by his defeat to ever challenge her again, and Shikamaru refuses to associate with her now.
Neji asks if she could demonstrate her powers by summoning a monster, but Haku stops her, saying that the first fight with Zabuza was an indication that they donít know the potential strain it could cause. She summoned three separate monsters there, and each of them either activated an effect or attacked. I sincerely doubt summoning one monster for the sake of showing it off will give her a dangerously high fever.
Haku boasts to Neji about Kasumiís psychic powers letting her injure others in a childrenís game, which impresses him. Whoever this character is, itís not Neji. You could replace him with some generic, nameless member of the Hyuuga clan, and this scene would not change in the slightest. Well, actually, that would improve the scene. Having the normally arrogant Hyuuga worship Kasumi is more than a little grating, especially considering how repetitive it is.
Neji, still being horribly out of character, asks Haku if he could duel Kasumi for him and Hiashi to see. Haku refuses, saying that there would be no point and in the process completely ignoring what Neji just said. Itís probably for the better; Haku is helping Neji fight his addiction to Character Derailment
Haku and Kasumi continue to refuse for dumb excuses, which I find very strange; wouldnít the author want to further increase the word count by including another pointless duel? I mean, in other stories by this author, duels occur for stupider reasons. And yes, this author does have many more stories of this ilk. I only wish I was lying through my teeth.
Shikamaru, having joined Haku in stalking Kasumi, appears from nowhere just to say that he wonít duel Kasumi because only Signers can defeat other Signers and more such lies that have been repeated en masse.
"When did you show up?" Neji asked
Neji does bring up a legitimate point. Do the Hyuuga guards just really suck, despite them being the strongest clan in the Leaf Village? Did Haku and Shikamaru go through the effort to break into the compound just to have a casual chat with those staying in it? Itís not as if the guards would recognize Shikamaru that much or even know who Haku was in the slightest.
Sadly, the author ignores the plot holes in favor of pointing out how Shikamaru, too, is a duelist. After that brief tidbit of nothing, the author throws in a brief mention of Kasumi visiting her parentsí graves, which really just adds up to another brief tidbit of nothing, since it covers maybe a line. Kasumi then notices Hinata and Hanabi sparring, just so the author can say s/he included something from a canonical flashback.
There's Hinata winning but lacking confidence, Hiashi deriding her for not having it and for failing her missions, nothing that isnít in canon. However, Hiashi being a Jerkass
is glossed over because heís supposed to be a good guy here, and good guys arenít allowed to have any negative traits at all.
That night, Kasumi hears Hinata and Hanabi scream just as she is getting ready for bed. She, Hiashi, Haku, and Shikamaru all enter their room simultaneously, to find Hinata unconscious along with some sort of bandit. They then head back outside to search for Hanabi, nobody even bothering to check on Hinata or keep her safe.*
Kasumi notices a group of bandits, as the others and Neji appear soon after her to confront the 60+ attackers. How nobody noticed this, Iíll never know. Either this compound is large enough to easily hide that many people, or the Hyuuga compound doesnít even have any guards.
One of the attackers charges at Kasumi, but she summons a Killing Edge from one of her cards and stabs him in the chest, killing him. This causes all hell to break loose, with all others present joining in the fight, and Kasumi ends up dismembering and decapitating the bandits indiscriminately (and cutting off their torsos somehow
Okay, so according to Kasumi, Sayer was okay to kill because of all he had done to her family, and the fact that she was not the one to directly kill him. Also according to her, Gato was okay to kill for similar reasons. Whatís her excuse for this,
then? Being directly responsible for the murder of countless people whom she does not even know? ďOh, theyíre nameless bad guys, so itís okay
I canít even get exaggeratedly angry over this like I can with other things in this story, it just makes me kind of depressed. I honestly forgot that this happened; I jokingly mentioned her sliding down the slippery slope, but I was referring to something later in the chapter. The whole thing leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I can get that itís kill or be killed, she has to save Hanabi, etc. Itís just the attitude towards the whole thing; I mean, Kasumiís ten.
Bleh, enough of the Mood Whiplash
for now, Iíll talk about the attitude more when itís actually relevant.
As expected, the heroes win without breaking a sweat, leaving five of the bandits remaining. One of them calls Kasumi short stock because... because, and as expected, Kasumi attacks them, except the one holding Hanabi. She sends a psychic blast their way, sending them through windows that suddenly exist. This causes them to be impaled by multiple glass shards killing them. As anachronistic as Naruto
is, I donít think glass windows exist in the Leaf Village, do they?
The one remaining attacker reveals a Duel Disk, which inexplicably calms Kasumi, but Shikamaru helpfully explains that this is just the calm before the storm, and her true wrath is unleashed. Itís so convenient the author just tells us that instead of going through the tedious process of establishing character!
The man removes his mask, revealing himself to be, much to the shock of Haku and Kasumi, Hunter Pace!
Weirdly enough, despite Yusei inspiring him, the characters act as if he not only still holds a grudge against Jack, but also holds one against Yusei. Apparently, he was supposed to have another rematch against Jack, despite having given up on that in canon, the day after Orochimaru attacked the Signers. Itís not as if later episodes that aired after this chapter are what caused this inconsistency; Hunter Pace never appears after the first 20 or so episodes!
Why did he even have to appear, and why is he even doing this? Was there some deep significance to making the Villain of the Week
some random character from 5Dís
? Itís as if heís fulfilling this role just for the sake of having another cameo from that series.
Pace states that heíll release Hanabi, but only if Kasumi duels him. This guyís an idiot, heís outnumbered five-to-one, why wouldĖ Oh, she accepted. Goddamn it, Kasumi!
As the two get ready to duel, Kasumi tells Pace to give her one good reason why she shouldnít use her psychic powers. He responds by telling her to go ahead and use them, since they canít be that bad. He was apparently busy having small talk with Hanabi while Kasumi killed four of his men by using her powers to blast them through imaginary windows.
Pace goes first in the duel, summoning a Burning Skull Head and setting one card before ending his turn. Kasumi starts by summoning Wyvern Rider Jill and equipping her with Javelin, which lets her attack directly. Since Jill has such high attack, Pace is reduced to half his life points. Author, having the hero reduce the villain to half of their life points with zero effort in the first turn is not an engaging conflict. Itís a matter of ďOkay, how much longer until this guy loses?Ē
Also, Javelin would be broken in a good equip deck.
Just pointing that out.
Pace tries to remove the weapon from his chest, but finds that he canít, since Kasumi is making her monsters physical with her powers. She declares that she canít hold back at all when someoneís life is on the line, making Hiashi smile. What was he even going to do with Hanabi? Nothing has been elaborated upon, so she canít definitively state they were going to kill her. I guess, since Kasumi refused a duel earlier for no real reason, the author needed a reason to put in a duel elsewhere.
Kasumi sets a card to end her turn, and Pace starts his by summoning another Burning Skull Head. He then activates Double Summon, allowing him to summon again, which he uses to tribute both of his Burning Skull Heads to summon Skull Flame. I donít get why so many people in this fic are so reliant on Double Summon; itís not that great of a card. It would be more convenient to have an easy way to special summon monsters, especially considering how many ways there are to do so.
Anyway, Skull Flame attacks Jill, destroying her and doing negligible damage to Kasumi. Pace ends his turn by setting a card, Dust Tornado, which he immediately activates at the beginning of Kasumiís turn to destroy her face down trap. Somehow, he does this before her Draw Phase, which is supposed to be the very beginning of a playerís turn. I would make a joke about screwing the rules
, but itís not a significant enough error to bother.
Kasumi summons Mist for the sake of Life Point restoration, though the real reason is that she canít go a duel without summoning Mist. Shikamaru recognizes this as the same combo she used against Divine, except it isnít really a combo if itís just with one card. I am going to try to avoid saying more about how everyone needs to talk about Kasumi being perfect and amazing, because Iím kicking a dead horse at this point.
She sets a card to end her turn, and Pace uses Skull Flameís effect to add a Burning Skull Head from his graveyard to his hand instead of drawing. He then activates Skull Flameís other effect, allowing him to special summon any Burning Skull Heads in his hand. Of note is that this is the anime effect; the effect in the actual card game only lets you summon one per turn. You would think the author didnít even know Yu-Gi-Oh
has a card game. That poor soul.
Since the Burning Skull Heads were special summoned from the hand, their effect activates, each of them dealing 1000 damage to Kasumi. One of the Burning Skull Heads attacks and destroys Mist, and Pace goes to finish the duel by having Skull Flame attack directly, but Kasumi negates the attack with Scrap Iron Scarecrow. Even in the anime, Skull Flame couldnít attack after using its effect! Iím not entirely sure from where the authorís getting these effects anymore; just from hir imagination, maybe.
Since the attack was negated, Pace settles for having the other Burning Skull Head attack directly, reducing Kasumi to 1400 Life Points. When he ends his turn, Kasumi takes 400 damage from each of the skull heads, further reducing her Life Points to 600. Burning Skull Head does not have this effect in any medium, but I feel that pointing out any inconsistency with card effects is redundant at this point.
Kasumi activates Fallen Comrades to start her turn, and she draws two cards since she only has that many monsters in her graveyard.
Hunter stated "Humph. Draw all you want girl there's nothing you can do!"
If she could draw as much as she wanted, she could do plenty. Unless blank cards made up the majority of her deck for some reason. Maybe she likes challenging herself.
The two cards are exactly the two she needed, so she summons Winged Kuriboh and sets a card to end her turn. When Pace starts his turn, he goes through the same routine as last turn, retrieving a Burning Skull Head from the graveyard instead of drawing, then special summoning it. Pace is surprised when this does not take out the rest of Kasumiís life points, but this is when Kasumi reveals her trap, the brand new card Nahli! Nahli is a continuous trap that negates any damage Kasumi would take from an effect, and she instead gets to draw a card every time this effect activates. Well, sheís supposed to, but when it negates Burning Skull Headís damage effect, she draws two cards. Donít ask me; Iím not the one who came up with a nonsensical card effect.
Pace orders Skull Flame to attack Winged Kuriboh and finish the duel, but Kasumi activates Transcendent Wings, tributing Winged Kuriboh to summon its LV10 variant. She then makes some shit up to win.
Well, okay, not really; the author just had no idea how to word Winged Kuriboh LV10ís effect. You can tribute it during the opponentís battle phase to destroy all your opponentsí monsters and inflict damage to your opponent equal to their combined attack. This manifests as Skull Flameís attack being redirected at Hunter Pace, which actually obliterates him. Resisting temptation to rant more about this...
Hanabi is joyful that Kasumi saved her, which makes me wonder where sheís been all this time. If Hunter Pace was holding her that whole time, she would have been obliterated, as well. If he wasnít, she could have just run over the whole time, rendering the whole thing moot. Figuring out the logistics of the duels in this story is more trouble than itís worth.
Kasumi collapses due to overuse of her powers, which the other characters are quick to helpfully point out, and Haku states that the excessive strain is due to using her powers to Synchro summon high level monsters. Except she didnít Synchro summon at all in that duel. Oops.
Hiashi walked over to Haku "What type of strain is it? I've heard of the Sharingan strain."
...Strain is strain is strain. It comes from different causes, but itís all the same thing; does it really need to be distinguished?
Haku explains what type of strain it is, what does little to nothing to differentiate it regardless, and Hiashi complements Kasumi some more because she totally needs it. Before Kasumi can properly respond, she falls asleep on Shikamaruís back, causing him to act awkward because oh yeah, the author just figured out that theyíre going to be in a relationship!
Shikamaru yells at the others to not say anything about it, an order to which Haku responds by snapping some pictures. ďHa, look at him, heís helping her move after she exhausted herself, theyíre destined to be!Ē
Itís a flimsy accusation, but enough for the author, apparently, since s/he ends the chapter on this note. Yes, using antics to end the chapter with a massive death count. Brilliant.
Well, that was just oodles of fun. However, despite it all, I shall withstand the authorís stupidity! Join me next time, everybody,*
for when Kasumi finds her third bodyguard! I can say that whomever you think it will be, youíre probably wrong~!