Chapter 10: Team Side Characters vs. Team Who Again?
It is that magical time of the week again, all. The time where you all gather around the campfire and watch me as I publicly humiliate myself and make myself suffer for the amusement of you all. The rendition this week involves a tag duel between two teams of characters that nobody actually cares about. I know how excited you all are, so I shanít waste any more time.
Chapter 10: Team Haku vs Team Alexis
The chapter starts with not a summary of the previous chapter, strangely enough for this fic, but with Kasumi expositing about the training she and Tenten undergo in the month time frame. This is a good sign; it means that an unnecessarily long training montage wonít take up half the chapter. Though, I still wonder who would ever need a month to train for a duel, especially when its results determine all of nothing.
Kasumi is concerned about the Chunin Exams, since Shikamaru had explained them to her off screen, and she just magically knows that the later rounds of it will have the shinobi fight against each other. The author doesnít even try to justify it; she just, and I quote, ďsomehow knows.Ē This causes her to fret over the possibility of losing Tenten and Shikamaru, which is only briefly posited before she disregards it entirely in favor of strategizing for a childrenís card game.
Tenten points out that getting Horus LV8 out early would allow them greater protection from spell cards (which is kind of a given, since thatís the entirety of its effect.
) In turn, Kasumi proposes a labyrinthine and impractical strategy, which requires entirely too much set-up just for this single card. Tenten likes the strategy, though, since nobody in this story can duel competently, and calls Kasumi a dueling genius. Iíll believe it when events in the story actually back it up.
Tenten wonders how Haku and Shikamaru are doing coming up with their own strategy, and Kasumi tells her that theyíre still caught up on Shikamaru not admitting he likes Kasumi.
Kasumi eventually blows it off by essentially saying, ďPff, boys,Ē then thereís a transition to later that same day.
Tenten proposes that she and Kasumi leave the boysĖ wait, they were actually there? Now Iím just confused; the girls certainly didnít speak as if they were there. Or maybe they donít mind who hears their gossip because KASUMIíS OPINION MUST BE KNOWN TO ALL?
Regardless, the two leave them to go get some food at some place, which is going to be either a bad attempt at comedy or a contrived excuse for a plot-important event to happen (as much of a plot as this story has, at least). Kasumi notices that a large amount of people are stopping in the streets to praise her. She hasnít even done anything yet! Weirdly, she acknowledges this herself.
Heck I didn't even do anything that good, well besides slaying Forty-Five people in one night to save Hinabi.
?! Jesus Christ, what?! Goddammit, author, I was willing to move past that bullshit and your fucked up morality. I was willing to act as if it never happened. Now you feel compelled to bring it up again, and make it even more ridiculous
! I canít even say anything more to this; itíll just be the same complaints Iíve repeated ad nauseam, only amplified.
Kasumi runs into Konohamaru
, who boasts some stuff that doesnít matter to anything and asks her for an autograph because sheís done so much to warrant something of such importance. She refuses until after the Chunin Exams, causing Konohamaru to complain that thatís in a month. She tells him that sheís not like Jack and that she wonít freely give away autographs. Yeah, Jack, how dare you grant the wishes of your multiple fans! Author, listen; Jack was not a bad person because he was a showman; he was a bad person because he did bad things
to become a showman. Even then, he got better later.
After the two leave Konohamaru, Kasumi explains to Tenten that she didnít give him an autograph because if she did, more people would come clamoring to her for one. Apparently, the girl who had her first duel in front of thousands and had no problem with it gets anxious from having fans. She probably expected to suck at that duel and cause everyone to hate her. With that thread of conversation over, the two decide to eat at Ichiraku.
No surprise there I liked the old man's ramen it was the best even better Neo Domino City's ramen!
Why would such an advanced city even have a ramen shack like that?
Theyíre not really comparable; if Neo Domino City did have ramen available in high-end restaurants or something, it would still be different from the kind made at something as rustic as Ichiraku.
Shikamaru and Haku appear out of nowhere right as they finish their meals, and Haku orders ramen for the both of them, saying that Shikamaruís paying. The resulting hijinks cause Tenten to think Kasumiís falling for Shikamaru for some reason, and she confirms it. They speak of it as if it will be some enduring relationship when they get together; I feel the need to reiterate that the older of them is still a preteen.
Shikamaru asks how their strategizing is coming along, and Tenten tells him that they have a strategy in mind, but theyíll be in trouble if the opponent figures out what theyíre doing. IE if their opponent is not a total dumbass.
When Kasumi asks the same to them, Haku admits they donít know what to plan for, since they donít know their opponents. Apparently, you must know every aspect of your opponentís deck to build a competent deck, go figure. Luckily, it is Kasumi to the rescue, who tells them that Asuka runs a warrior deck (as ridiculously vague as that is), and that Rei runs a maiden deck (which is even more vague, especially considering she only used it once, in her very first appearance
Kasumi states that they still have no idea who their opponents are, which obviously means theyíre going to be professionals, according to her. Haku tells her that she already defeated a professional, Hunter Pace, and mentions how she literally obliterated him. Kasumi explains how this happened to Tenten.
Author. Stop bringing that up. I implore you. I donít want to dwell on it. Can we just accept that it happened and move on? Please?
Cue abrupt time skip to a week later, when Team 7 has returned from their mission, and Kasumi greets them. Kakashi asks if she ever got a third bodyguard, and Kasumi responds that she did, and that the bodyguard is a girl.
Sakura looked at me as if I was staring at her "Me?"
Yes, Sakura. Kasumi looked at your amazing track record of standing around and looking pretty and decided that her team of bodyguards needed The Load
, so she chose you. Of all people. Because she obviously could not have met any other girls. Though, on the other hand, she really knew nothing of what Tenten could do when she recruited her...
Kasumi calls Sakura out on this and tells her that she wouldnít choose her because sheís obsessed with Sasuke. I have yet to see it in this fic, really; the supposed obsession only appeared during Kakashiís bell test, when she fainted upon seeing the illusion of a dead Sasuke, but then, so did Kasumi despite not being the target of the Genjutsu.
Besides that, she has done nothing to show any sort of unhealthy attraction to him. In fact, she has done nothing at all; that would be a much more legitimate reason to refuse her.
Tenten appears at that exact moment, in order to reveal that sheís Kasumiís third bodyguard, as well as her partner for ďsomething big,Ē which will be revealed during the Chunin Exams. The way the scene is handled, one would think the two are lovers or something. ĎTwould be interesting,
if nothing else. Having a Mary Sue that doesnít go after the nearest man isn't exactly common, though such thought is probably beyond the author.
So we left the cemetery
Since when were they in a cemetery?! Author, you desperately need to describe more; your lack of description pains me.
Anyway, as Kakashi and his team go to report about the mission, Kasumi and her bodyguards wait right outside for some reason. Haku pulls out the picture of Kasumi in Shikamaruís arms, causing the former to blush heavily since she knows what heís gonna do with it. I assume this is supposed to be in the same vein as Haruhi going from not caring if Kyon is in the same room when she changes clothes to becoming flustered if heís in the room when she does so.
The problem, however, is that these two have had no real development in that time. Before, Kasumi didnít care about the picture. Now, it suddenly flusters her immensely, when the two have hardly shared any scenes that would cause her to suddenly change her perspective. Well, maybe Iím giving the story too much credit with the Haruhi comparison; itís probably just bad writing.
Tenten steps in to break up the inevitable verbal argument between Haku and Shikamaru, telling them that she and Kasumi have had enough. This really has no effect on the reader, considering that the author never describes them arguing; itís just ďthey argue.Ē Speaking of which, that phrase appears again immediately after, but Tenten manages to get them to shut up again by saying theyíll never win their tag duel at this rate.
Um, okay? Is it that important that they win? Itís a ceremony to commence the Chunin Exams; itís just for sport. Will the Leaf Village really be so shamed that it must fade into obscurity if non-ninja defeat their ninja at a card game almost nobody in the village knows how to play? The characters apparently think so, since this argument convinces the two to form a temporary truce. However, the incriminating photo ends up getting to Naruto, anyway, due to an improbably strong gust of wind. The characters, minus Naruto of course
, react mildly to the picture, causing the intended comedy to fall flat on its face.
Kakashi agrees to be Kasumiís final bodyguard out of nowhere, and more understated hijinks with the photo ensue, at least until Naruto teases Kasumi about it. Then she sends him careening into the side of a mountain.
After Naruto manages to pry himself off of the mountain and rejoin the group, Kakashi explains to his team that the Chunin exams are beginning soon, so they should train intently so they can pass. With that, they disperse, and Kakashi and Kasumi fill each other in on what happened while the other was away. She tells him of the look the first bandit she killed had on his face when he died, and he agrees that itís always difficult to murder someone, but It Gets Easier
. Kasumi agrees, and moves on to talk about Shikamaruís crush on her.
No! You cannot do that, author! Kasumi is not a well-adjusted human being. Kakashi is more excusable, because heís a ninja, glamorized as it may be, and itís part of his job
to murder those that interfere with his mission! Kasumi is a ten-year-old girl, you cannot have her shrug off murdering someone, especially doing so quickly enough to murder forty-four other people in the same goddamn night
! I canít believe this. This author does not realize what is wrong with this. How does the author not realize what is wrong with this
Ugh, I really need to stop sounding like a Broken Record
and just move on. Kasumi laments that Naruto will never let her and Shikamaru hear the end of it, and Kakashi complements her on the fact that she possibly gravely injured him and defaced the monument that she blasted him into. Iím not even kidding when I say every thing she does merits praise; she always gets praised in any context, no matter what.
Kasumi elaborates that Shikamaru invited her to dinner with his family the next night, and Kakashi decides now is the time to give her The Talk
. Honestly, I want to know how somebody like him would give the talk; sadly, itís only described that he gives it. Kasumi takes the discussion of sexuality and intercourse surprisingly well, her only comment being that she is too young to have a child. She also mentions that she is falling for Shikamaru, and is just playing around with it for now.
"Naughty girl" Kakashi laughed out rubbing my hair playfully "Playing with a man's heart."
Given that they just had the talk, the use of the word naughty there gives... certain implications.
The two then have an extended discussion about love because they were on that vague topic, and Kakashi recalls the girl on his own team when he was a Genin, Rin. It serves no real purpose, since the discussion sort of peters out there, and they go to bed immediately after, but okay.
The next day, more dueling strategies, but nobody cares about those, so they are described in maybe a sentence before it is evening, and Kasumi is visiting Shikamaruís house. For whatever reason, Shikamaru and Shikaku, his father, feel compelled to show Kasumi their clanís signature jutsu: the Shadow Possession Jutsu. So she can steal it and use it for her own gain, maybe? After the unnecessary demonstration, itís dinner time, and Shikaku, starts speaking with Kasumi.
"So you're a Duelist" he stated to me "I'm actually pleased you taught him a game that has strategy in it."
Strategy? In Duel Monsters? Nawwww.
Kasumi attempts to brush it off, but Shikamaru starts talking about what an amazing teacher she is and how sheís so perfect and yadda yadda yadda, Shikamaru needs to get some of his 12-year-old lust out. Besides this, the dinner is surprisingly uninteresting, since all else that happens is they mock Rock Lee some because the author hates hard work and all it stands for.
After this, time skip to the day of the Chunin Exams.
The Third Hokage, to kick off the ceremonies, introduces Kasumi to the audience of ninja, and among the crowd, Kasumi sees ninja from the Leaf, Sand, and Sound villages. I guess the author doesnít care about the other villages because there are no major characters from them in this arc (because every single thing the author does moves the story forward so much
The Hokage then explains the game of Duel Monsters for the convenience of those ninja not from the Leaf VillageĖ Oh, no, he just says Kasumi plays it and theyíll be seeing two games of it today. I pray that those who donít know the game donít go insane from trying to figure out its rules.
The Hokage asks if Kasumi would do the honors of acting as the MC, but she refuses for she recognizes among the crowd... the announcer from her first duel
? Cool, I guess? I canít say that this is particularly awesome, because that announcer never even got a name; he was only ever referred to as the announcer.
If it was the MC from 5Dís,
that might be a different story, because that dude was amazing.
The unimportant announcer introduces the two teams in the first tag duel, Haku and Shikamaru against Asuka and Rei. Of note of their outfits: Asuka is wearing her Obelisk Blue uniform from GX,
instead of the doctor outfit she normally wears nowadays. God knows how it still fits her; it barely fit her in the series itself.
And Blair well was still dressed as a Cheerleader. Big surprise there...
Shikamaru whines about his opponents both being women, which causes Haku to bring up the picture issue again for some unfathomable reason. ďThey are women, and I have pictures of Shikamaru with a younger woman, so I must flaunt them!Ē
Since this duel does not involve Kasumi, there is no point in setting it up further, so the duel starts afterwards, with Asuka going first. She summons Etoile Cyber, sets a card face down, and ends her turn. Honestly, Asuka? Youíre still playing that excuse for a card? Itís been more than ten years for you, find something different for once!
Haku summons Blizzard Warrior and sets three cards for his turn. Kasumi exposits again about nobody being able to attack the first turn when some sound ninja protest to his not attacking. Rei summons Shining Angel and sets a card for her turn. So much for using her maiden deck. When Shikamaru starts his turn, he announces that Rei and Asuka are in for a treat, before activating Wave-Motion Cannon, causing some strong reactions from those watching.
They stood with their jaws completely open and they announced "That's huge!"
The temptation to make a sexual joke hurts me on the inside.
Itís so blatant, one canít help but notice it. I canít even really be sure it was accidental. It sounds immature of me, but I canít think of anything else whenever I read this passage.
Rei attempts to destroy Wave-Motion Cannon by revealing her face down Mystical Space Typhoon, but Shikamaru activates Magic Jammer in response, negating the card to spare his cannon. Yes, the randomly thrown in burn card is vital to their strategy as a whole. Asuka commends Shikamaru for being able to perform such a complex process as... activating a card his partner set, and Shikamaru summons Tuned Magician and sets two cards to end his turn.
Asuka starts her next turn by wasting her normal summon by summoning Blade Skater, then fusing it with Etoile Cyber by Polymerization. Polymerization can use monsters from the hand; she could have just activated Polymerization first, then summoned a different monster. Shikamaru is in shock and awe that she can do this, since he has never heard of fusion monsters before. Evidently, Kasumiís not as great a teacher as he boasted before. Now if only anyone ever brought this up.
The result of this fusion is Cyber Blader, which gets its attack doubled due to Shikamaru and Haku controlling two monsters, and which Asuka uses to attack Blizzard Warrior. In response, Shikamaru uses, and I quote ďCounter Trap Card Negate Attack.Ē Because the readers needed to know exactly what type of trap it was, author! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Asuka gets angry, because Jaden apparently always used that card to get the better of her, and she still hasnít beaten him. For being married to the guy, she certainly doesnít seem very fond of him.
A man near Kasumi tells her to calm down, and Kasumi realizes that itís Jaden because of the Slifer Red jacket heís wearing.
She also takes notice of a blue-haired man who otherwise looks nearly identical to Jaden, whom she identifies as Johan, Jadenís friend and himself a professional duelist.
Johan and Jaden banter for a bit as the authorís desperate attempt at comedy, but it falls flat, and the duel picks up again immediately, with Haku summoning Mistral the Silver Shield to tune to Blizzard Warrior. Asuka is confused at first, since she has apparently never heard of Synchro Summoning. Also, chalk up another count for the ďwhy summon such a weak monster?Ē ďI activate its effect!Ē exchange, though with the slight variation of the effect being synchro summoning in this case.
Haku summons Catastor, and only now does he decide to activate Fatal Abacus and Ominous Fortunetelling. Fatal Abacus, I can kind of get, since he would want to wait until he had the monster out that required sending other monsters to the graveyard, but why Ominous Fortunetelling? What benefit could he possibly gain from just keeping it there to rot?
Haku attacks Cyber Blader with Catastor, causing another
of the aforementioned exchanges, and Catastor destroys Cyber Blader with its effect. He then attacks and destroys Shining Angel with Tuned Magician, before activating Double Summon to gemini summon Tuned Magician, so it can be used as a Tuner, to end his turn. Why he couldnít activate this card earlier, I have no idea.
Rei starts her turn by activating Monster Reborn to revive Shining Angel, then tributes it to summon Mystic Swordsman LV6, which she proceeds to... do nothing with. Okay, if thatís what you really want. Also, Shining Angel being sent to the graveyard for the tribute does not dent her life points. I think the author threw consistency out the window a long while ago.
When Shikamaru starts his turn, he uses Ominous Fortunetellingís effect, correctly guessing that one of Reiís cards is a monster because this card is blessed by the gods or something. He proceeds to destroy Wave-Motion Cannon, dealing 4000 damage to Rei and Asuka even though only two of the four turns that have passed were his teamís. Apparently, the author prefers hir own wrong effect over the actual effect.
Shikamaru then attacks with Tuned Magician and Catastor, draining the rest of their life points while he and Haku still have all 8000. This duel really does feel tacked on just so these two had something to do in this time; there was never any real doubt they would win, and there wasnít even much of the annoying bantering and explanations that are typical of duels in this story.
Shikamaru and Haku congratulate each other, Shikamaru saying the duel would have been different if Haku hadnít summoned Catastor,
and Haku saying that they had excellent teamwork.
The announcer declares that the duel did not take as long as expected, so they would have a few hours until the main event of Kasumi and Tenten started. What kind of duel takes a few hours? If the announcer expected this duel to take a few hours, does he expect Kasumiís to take a day or so?
Kasumi meets up with Asuka and Jaden among all the hubbub, introductions occur, and Kasumi apologizes that the duel turned out badly for her.
Alexis nodded "I think I'm okay, it's Blair that is the problem."
Can the author just not keep any bias against characters out of hir stories? Must there always be mention of how incompetent or annoying or whatever certain characters are? Why canít the author just tell compelling stories about these characters, regardless of personal opinion of them? To exacerbate this, Shikamaru and Haku run by, fleeing from Rei, who is throwing a hissy fit because she lost. Yep.
Johan approaches, and he declares that Kasumi is the girl he and Jaden are going to duel. Kasumi begins to feel faint from this, which Asuka rationalizes as Jaden being one of the best duelists out there, despite losing to Jack and Yusei previously. I donít think Yusei loses any of the duels the author makes up that involve him, probably because he is not allowed to lose, being the father of Kasumi and all. Jaden pouts about losing by default to Yusei since it was a turbo duel, and the chapter ends on that supposedly comical note.
Oodles of fun. Regardless, join me next time, everyone, to see the duel that is actually slightly relevant! In all of its stupidity!