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Chapter 12: Meeting Orochimaru! ...And Jiraiya Too, I Guess
"They are like Sharks!" I shouted causing the adults to laugh at my dismay "No wonder Uncle Jack Atlas liked this type of thing."So, apparently, Jack likes sharks now. I think the author got Jack and Ryoga mixed up. Jaden compounds the legions when he says she can expect even more raving fans when sheís a pro duelist, causing her to yell at him in BOLD FONT, in turn making all else present laugh at her pain. Dunno, it might just be me; Iíve never been a fan of using bold or italics as emphasis in narration or dialogue. Kasumi talks about knowing that this would happen once she gave Konohamaru an autograph, and she can never possibly be wrong, as we know. Apparently, due to loudly declaring nonsensical card names and effects, everyone in the Leaf Village knows her and was rooting for her during the duel. I still donít get why the ninja are interested in dueling in the slightest; those who know how are few, those who actually duel are even fewer. To the rest, a duel would just be like watching a nonsensical movie filled with pretty visuals. Jaden points out that the Hokage offered Kasumi the position of the Villageís Duel Monsters Champion, because that position exists now shut up. However, Jaden refused for her, since she was too young, both for the position and to turbo duel. Leo and Luna turbo dueled; they just did it on skateboard-styled Duel Runners instead of motorcycled-style ones. Really, this is just an excuse for the author to not have to write turbo duels. The swarms of children start to fade, because the author had no other pointless dialogue to get out of the way, and by this point the first part of the Chunin exams has commenced. Jaden complains about them, because he still has traits from god knows how long ago, and Haku concurs, saying he preferred exams that involved actual dueling. I guess itís good heís not participating then, because he surely wouldíve gone mad with the revelation that the Chunin exams feature no duels at all. Jaden brings up how during a duel exam, he dueled Chazz, and the rest of the unnecessarily long discussion boils down to ďLOL CHAZZ SUCKS.Ē After the pointlessness of character bashing, Kasumi asks Kakashi about what will happen next, and he explains that the next stage will be the Forest of Death. I like how he doesnít even explain what they have to do in there, and most everyone reacts based mostly on the name. Jaden, of course, finds the idea of going in enthralling, but Kakashi advises against it, since he would surely die. Death is a risk in the Forest of Death in Naruto; itís not really guaranteed. Even if death was supposed to be so probable, the series itself doesnít really show it. Kakashiís scare tactics work on Kasumi, but Guy and Asuma assure her that their respective students wonít die in there. As a result, she decides to do nothing but stand still until the written portion ends, at which point she goes to see how everyone did. When she sees Anko, she immediately has a dislike toward her, because the author needs to shove in hir dislike towards Anko somehow. The author compounds this by having Anko try to strong-arm Kasumi into being a shinobi, only to have Kasumi refuse because dueling is better than being a ninja. After this other bit of pointlessness, there is an incredibly awkward time skip over the Forest of Death. It gets less than a sentence of description, and nothing in it is actually described; itís just like ďOh, this happened, now more important things!Ē The first group to get out of the forest is Tentenís team, because Kasumi canít have pointless interaction with Gaaraís or Hinataís team. At some indistinguishable point later, Shikamaruís team exits the Forest of Death, and Kasumi embraces him because the whole chapter has been leading to this emotional climax! There was one whole sentence of build-up! Shikamaru acts embarrassed, Ino laughs, and Choji acts like a fatso. Essentially, nothing new. At this point, all of Kasumiís bodyguards are together again, so she starts explaining to them about her position as the head of security at the duel academy. Because they didnít already know. Totally. Her bodyguards agree to protect her, as if there was ever any doubt, and everyone starts talking about the possibility of the duel academy rivaling the ninja academy. I honestly donít get this; from the way the author talks about a large amount of the characters and of the premise of the series, you would think the author isnít very fond of the series. If so, then why write a 64-chapter fanfic crossing it over with something else? Iíd get if it was a single chapter fic, where 5Dís characters humiliate Naruto characters in some way. Itíd be petty and stupid, but understandable. However, why write this fic that ends up being over 500,000 words? Donít ask me; Iíll never understand this authorís thought process. Regardless, in the middle of the discussion, Narutoís team meets up with them, having survived this portion of the Chunin exam. As they discuss what happened, Sakura is surprisingly casual about bringing up a mark on the back of Sasukeís neck. For reference, in canon, Orochimaru marked him with this by biting him after utterly defeating the team. Asuka compares the mark to Kasumiís Signer mark, which is always on her arm for some reason, and is able to deduce that itís not a Dark Signer mark. Asuka is relieved by this, since it means Kasumi wonít have to kill him; Kasumi affirms that she would. Sheís so cute, thinking she can stand up to Sasuke at this point. Asuka helps with treating everyone after the Forest of Death, so that they can start the next stage of the exam immediately. Kasumi notes that very few Sound ninja passed, which is important because the author still needs to establish that she dislikes the people that killed her family. However, she does notice Orochimaru among the crowds, his appearance greatly discomforting her, and he approaches her.
"And you must be Orochimaru" I hissedHissing at a snake will do so much. Haku joins Kasumi in confronting him, declaring that he killed his dueling instructor, causing Orochimaru to go into detail about how he killed her and Yusei. Yíknow, in case his status as a Complete Monster wasnít a given. Haku yells at him that he had no right to do this, and Orochimaru only just now realizes what Haku said about Aki being his dueling instructor. Suddenly, Orochimaru starts to strangle Kasumi with one hand, until Haku throws some needles at him, distracting him. Orochimaru retaliates by regurgitating his sword, Kusanagi (this happens in the series too, yes), causing Haku to yell at Kasumi to run away. However, she canít, and is stabbed in the leg. Before Orochimaru can make a finishing blow, however, Haku manages to punch him, knocking him back. Now, this is just stupid. There is no possible way Haku could match Orochimaru at this point; itís not as if him training since the Land of Waves has been shown or even implied. To draw another comparison to Team 8, Haku does fight Orochimaru there, too, but he doesnít do it by himself, much less have to protect someone else while doing so. There, he acts more as support to the freaking Third Hokage, who is on much more equal footing to Orochimaru. Here, thereís just no excuse. Despite this lucky shot, however, Haku is ultimately no match for Orochimaru, even after Kasumi summons Mia to act as backup. Orochimaru ultimately smashes the Crystal Ice Mirrors and badly burns Haku with a Fire Ball Jutsu. He then moves to decapitate Kasumi, andĖ Oh, wait, never mind. Haku manages a Heroic Second Wind to save Kasumi from death again, then is able to beat on Orochimaru enough to force him to start a Summoning Jutsu. Whatever you say, author. Whatever you say. Kasumi considers her options, wondering whether she should summon Stardust Dragon or Red Dragon Archfiend to combat what Orochimaru is about to summon, but Haku warns against it, considering sheís already so injured.
"If I have to strain my body to do it" I began "I will!"Oh no! Not strain! Anything but that! Seriously, I donít get all of the emphasis on Kasumi straining herself; if it was to the point of grave injury, maybe. However, strain is never treated as a consequence beyond strain itself, and she always recovers within a few days. Orochimaru finally summons the creature, a giant snake creature known as Manda. That makes me wonder; where the hell is this all happening? Nothing in the narration has indicated that the locale has changed from when Kasumi was speaking to her bodyguards, so it should still be in that very same tower. If thatís the case, why has nobody taken notice of this, especially now that Orochimaruís summoned a giant snake? Itís not as if that thing would fit into a single room. Hell, Manda is probably almost as tall as the building, if not as tall! Manda is easily able to take down Haku, but Kasumi summons Hyper Synchron, tuning it to Mia in order to summon Stardust Dragon. Okay, this is just getting silly; thereís no way Stardust Dragon would fit in the building by itself, much less with enough maneuverability to combat a giant snake in the same location. However, at this moment, someone finally takes notice, and Kakashi rushes to her aid. His aid apparently consists of making sure Haku is not dead, and cursing Orochimaru. Wonderful. Due to Hyper Synchron being used to summon Stardust, it gains a power boost, enough so in order to destroy Manda. Kasumi orders it to attack, despite being in the snakeís clutches, and the attack tears a hole in Manda, dispelling it and causing Orochimaru to back away.
"So you win" Orochimaru said as Kakashi-Papa grabbed onto me before I hit the ground....Iím sorry, what? Orochimaru is just giving up like that? He doesnít even sound winded; he was so dead set on killing her, and now heís just running away, tail tucked in between legs. Not to mention OROCHIMARU IS A LEGENDARY NINJA THERE IS NO WAY KASUMI OR HAKU SHOULD HAVE EVEN COMPARED TO HIM IN THE SLIGHTEST WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS. Author, itís okay to have your main character lose sometimes! For fuckís sake! If she doesnít lose, thereís no tension; thereís no way or time to set any tension up, because any victory the main character has will just decrease the tension further! She hasnít even suffered a Pyrrhic Victory yet; sheís unambiguously accomplished everything she's undertaken! How does this author fail to comprehend such basic storytelling? Orochimaru attempts to get Kasumi with one last attack, but Haku takes the attack. Again. Despite being badly burned and stabbed through the chest, and showing no signs of being able to move after the latter injury. Sure, why not. With this, Orochimaru escapes, and inexplicably, it seems as if Haku, Kasumi, and Kakashi were the only ones to notice that he was there at all. Kakashi apologizes for having failed to done much of anything, and immediately takes the other two to the infirmary. Once they arrive there, Asuka inquires what happened.
"Orochimaru snuck in" Kakashi saidOn one hand, in no way are attacking someone in plain sight and summoning a giant snake stealthy. On the other, however, Iím trying to resist the temptation to make a crack towards a certain orange jumpsuit... Asuka treats Haku from the poison that was apparently injected into him at some point with some sort of miracle universal anti-venom, before examining Kasumi. She figures that the stab wound will require stitches, and as she gets to work on the stitches (without any prior preparation or treatment, mind you), Shikamaru and Tenten burst in, worried for Kasumi. Now, Iím not a doctor myself, but I donít think this is how these types of things are supposed to go. I know if I was a doctor treating someone, I wouldnít want someone loudly bursting in to potentially break my concentration and cause me to make a disastrous mistake. The two feel guilty, since they didnít do anything to help, but Kakashi asks them what they really could have done. Yes, Kakashi, you did so much to save Kasumi. However, Shikamaru fails to come up with a suitable answer, and he instead asks how long Kasumiís strain will last.
"Nine days" I said "Synchro Summoned a level eight monster which equals eight days then needed two more monsters for it to be Synchro Summoned."Huh, who knew stress could be so easily calculated? And that itís a consistent amount of it until it wears off, at which point it all does at once? Kasumiís a regular genius, let me tell you. Shikamaru and Tenten learn that Haku was the one to ultimately save Kasumi, and they wonder if heís okay. He gives a reply that Iím not sure is supposed to be comical or not; itís worded very comically, but nobody really reacts to it in the slightest. Itís probably more of the authorís badly thought out dialogue in action. Shikamaru starts to say something to Kasumi, only to be interrupted by Kasumi yelling in pain because of the stitches.
Alexis sighed "Maybe I should've put you to sleep before putting that in."No shit! Apparently, even trained doctors forget such basic processes at the drop of a hat. Disregarding Asukaís incompetence and after making sure Naruto wasnít around (because he cares so much about this type of thing), Shikamaru confesses to Kasumi, and he vows to never let anything like this happen to her again. Aw, how cute. I give it 5 chapters until this happens again. Kasumi admits that she reciprocates, Haku teases Shikamaru, and Asuka tells Tenten that Kasumi will need crutches for a while. After everything that the author thinks is relevant has been said, Kasumi blacks out, waking up after the stitching is said and done. Conveniently, this is about the time the third stage of the Chunin exam is starting, so she goes to see. What follows is a short summary of every single fight in this stage of the Chunin exam, devoid of any emotional investment or tension, and each fight getting maybe two sentences of description. The closest it gets to actually changing anything is a slight variation in Shikamaruís fight, in which he fights a Sound kunoichi. He claims to be avenging Kasumiís family in this fight, because every Sound ninja to ever exist was completely and utterly integral to and involved in that plan. Kasumi also claims to be particularly interested in the fight between Sakura and Ino, but she doesnít really show it, and she devotes perhaps the least explanation to it, out of any of the fights. Aftermath then ensues, in which Kakashi takes Sasuke off to train, Asuka lectures Hinataís father for letting her get injured so badly against Neji, and she finds that Rock Leeís injuries from fighting Gaara are too severe for proper treatment. Of course, this is all just glazed over; people only care about Kasumi, not any of those other characters! Suddenly, Tenten and Kasumi are in some random bathhouse, despite Tenten apparently almost having her back broken in her fight. I blame ninja magic. Tenten asks Kasumi how her leg is; I would say it healed unnaturally quickly, considering she can bathe so casually, and she doesnít have the excuse of a demon living inside her, unlike Naruto. Though maybe she is the demons. You never know, really. Despite their intent to relax, however, Kasumi cannot get the visage of Orochimaruís face out of her mind, and Kasumi feels weak because she, as a ten-year-old, could not utterly destroy a legendary ninja. I guess itís good to dream big. However, Tenten assures her that everyone wants to see her happy, which is pretty irrelevant, and every other woman shoots up their hand in agreement. This might have been funny, if not for the fact that itís just to hammer home how loved Kasumi is. I find myself saying that a lot. ďThis fic might have been good, if not for Kasumi.Ē As the two leave the bathhouse, they encounter Naruto, who was apparently just standing right outside the entrance. He tries to convince them that he wasnít peeking; I would believe him. Front entrance would be too obvious of a risk, and you wouldnít even get to see much, if anything. Naruto tries to show that he had another person with him upon whom to pin the blame, but that person has since disappeared. This automatically makes Kasumi and Tenten believe that he was, in fact, peeping, before Kasumi notices an old man in the distance, who is spying on the women still in the bathhouse. She knocks him out of the tree in which heís hiding with a burst of psychic energy and reveals to Tenten that heís the real pervert. In turn, Tenten reveals to Kasumi that the old man is Jiraiya, one of the three legendary ninja known as the Sannin, along with Orochimaru. Jiraiya recognizes Kasumi as a Signer through... some method, and Kasumi accuses Jiraiya of peeping on her. Kasumi, youíre ten years old. I think he would be more interested in peeping on women that wouldnít get him branded as a pedophile. However, Tenten repeats that heís a Sannin, as is Orochimaru, but when Kasumi appears apprehensive, Jiraiya states that heís not allied with Orochimaru, despite sharing a rank with him. Instead, heís training Naruto for the next stage of the Chunin exam, further throwing the canon timeline for a loop. Iíd been assuming that the bathhouse event was occurring the day of the Chunin exam third stage, since no real passage of time had been indicated; Naruto didnít meet Jiraiya until a few days after. Naruto reveals, though, that Jiraiya will only train him under one condition: to demonstrate, he uses the
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