Self, meet schedule. This will help you immensely in not sucking at keeping to self-appointed due dates.
Now that thatís out of the way, itís that special time again! The author writes, I criticize, you (hopefully) read!
Chapter 14: Crimson Dragon Defense!
The chapter begins a week after the filler duel of the previous chapter, with Kasumi expositing what happened in the interval of time. That is, nothing that we didnít know already.
She then ponders her stitched leg, and how it was good Asuka was there. If not, the ninja probably would have just amputated her leg.
Thatís funny, I thought they had ninjutsu specifically for healing injuries! How silly of me, those only exist in works of fiction. Everyone knows Naruto
is a documentary.
When it comes time for the next part of the Chunin Exams to begin, Kasumi is sitting in the bleachers with her bodyguards and the Hyuugas. Yes, in this case, her bodyguards include Shikamaru, whoís supposed to be participating in this round and should be in a separate waiting area. God forbid she be deprived of even one of her countless mind slaves for the shortest amount of time.
Kasumi blandly exposits to Hiashi about her fight with Orochimaru which lead to her injury and the nine-week strain
from excessive use of her powers, before the subject is dropped completely in favor of more light-hearted fare. Itís not even as if it was an awkward transition in-universe; they just randomly decide to stop talking about it and move onto a completely different subject. Itís more than a bit jarring.
Speaking of jarring, suddenly fight scene! The conversation abruptly ends to give way to an equally abrupt fight scene between Naruto and Neji, to kick off the exams. As usual with canon fights,
everything goes as it did originally, until Naruto starts to gather red chakra, which causes Kasumiís Signer mark to start pulsing. In between everyone showing concern for Kasumi (of course), she overhears a bit of conversation between Naruto and Neji.
Naruto declared over to Neji "You're not the only one that wishes to protect Lady Kasumi, Neji, I want to protect her too!"
...Wait, seriously? Theyíre not even involved in the scene, what was the point of this? This is so bizarre, especially considering their original hatred for each other. The author has changed an engaging ideological conflict into ďNo, I
love her more!Ē Iím sure Lover Tug of War
is to ensue.
Naruto defeats Neji due to his bullshit heroic speech, and Hiashi exposits that the red chakra is due to the nine-tailed demon fox housed inside Naruto, which he does with surprising nonchalance, considering that itís a mum subject in canon. Enough so that Naruto himself
doesnít know until someone tells him at the beginning of the series. I really need to stop trying to inject canon facts into this fic; itís a futile effort.
Since the Signer mark acts up in response to the demon foxís power, Kasumi wonders if it could be connected to the Crimson Dragon in any way. The question lingers for a bit, but who cares, next fight!
Shikamaru and Temari square off in a very quick description, with the latter ultimately prevailing due to the forfeit of the former. I could point out a difference between this fic and canon at this point, but the author seems determined to contradict the manga at every possible point. Therefore, itís a waste of time to point out a drop of water amongst an ocean.
The next fight is Sasuke vs. Gaara! The author doesnít care, so Kasumi doesnít either, and she decides to go off to do more interesting things like... banter idly.
On the bright side, Hugh makes a reappearance during said banter. She and Shikamaru do so for a bit, before explosion! Shikamaru releases Kasumi from a genjutsu which is not actually mentioned here, making the whole ordeal pretty random. The two return to find all the other important characters in the story and Sakura
, who tell them that the Sound and Sand villages are attacking.
Well, okay, the author does mention the genjutsu, but itís never really explained. The characters just mention genjutsu, and people randomly fall asleep. Thatís about it. After Kasumiís mark starts glowing for no real reason, the inordinately large group of seven decides to pursue the Sand Siblings, since Sasuke had already left to do so. This is despite Kakashi advising against groups larger than four. Iím honestly trying not to point all of this out, but itís all just so stupid.
The group takes off, and Kasumi is quick to murder some enemy ninja in their way. This would be less jarring if a bigger deal was made of it, or even if other characters started killing enemies; Kasumi is the only one mentioned to do any such thing. The narration is essentially ďOh, she killed them, okay moving on.Ē
As they move, Kasumi notices the Third Hokage and Orochimaru trapped in the Hokage Tower by a barrier. Kasumi somehow sees Orochimaru mouth something to her from that distance. Add super sight to Kasumiís list of bullshit psychic powers.
More moving, followed by a group of Sound and Sand ninja ambushing the group. Kasumi and her bodyguards easily dispatch the ninja, since nobody else is allowed to do anything, beforeĖ
I ducked before slicing a Sand Ninja's head off
Whoa, what?! ...What
I... I have no words at this point. I honestly donít. I could rant about how impossible this is, and how cold it is for a supposed
protagonist to do, but I canít even stream my thoughts about this coherently. It would probably just result in a long series of cursing. Iím trying to get back onto the matter of the story at hand, but this author just keeps finding new ways to suck, in increasingly difficult ways to describe.
Asuma appears for the sake of appearing, before Tenten tells Kasumi to go find the Sand Siblings with Naruto and Sakura. They comply, and their trek is relatively event-free until they encounter Kankuro, who is under orders from the plot to capture Kasumi. He and Kasumi exchange generic good vs evil dialogue, before a swarm of beetles suddenly appears.
I looked over and saw Shino.
ďOh, hi, person Iíve talked to once before and has barely appeared in my story! How convenient of you to stop by
Shino tells Kasumi that he will deal with Kankuro and vows to protect her with her life because the sociopath is just that goddamn important. She, Naruto, and Sakura show approximately zero concern for him as they flee, for Naruto instead decides to tease Kasumi about her fear of bugs. This does not come off as ďwarriors trying to lighten the mood in times of crisis,Ē which I have seen done well, multiple times. Instead, this is the author having no fucking clue how to keep a consistent tone. This is the author not being able to write consistent, memorable, relatable, likable, or entertaining characters. This is THE AUTHOR BEING A HACK WHO DECIDED IT WAS THE GREATEST FUCKING IDEA TO WRITE SHITTY SELF-INSERT FAN FICTION, MAKE A 500,000 WORD STORY OUT OF IT, AND POST IT ON THE INTERNET FOR ALL TO SEE. AND THE FUCKING REVIEWERS AGREE.
ASITHOIWEHTOITLAKGNT. LAIUWENTIAURWHT. AEWUTHWOIERTUH. DRIPYTHERIY.
...Sorry, I really needed to get that out. All this shitís been building up; itís only chapter 15 out of 64, so itís only going to get worse from here.
The group finally meets up with Sasuke, who has been rendered immobile by the Curse Mark Orochimaru had given to him. Sakura moves in to help him, only for Gaara to pin her to a tree. Female empowerment, whoo.
Gaara, who is supposed to be a raving lunatic at this point, then offers that Kasumi join Orochimaru. I think a raving lunatic would instead actually warn against that; Kasumi and Orochimaru are so like-minded, them joining forces makes too much sense.
Kasumi gives her usual response, only for her to suddenly become aware of the presence of a Dark Signer. Oh, okay, apparently they can just pop up whenever they want. Silly canon, thinking theyíre an exclusive group of powerful counterparts to the Signers! Clearly, they are only meant as fodder, no better than any of Kasumi's other opponents!
The Dark Signer reveals himself to be Roman Goodwin, the leader of the Dark Signers in 5Dís
who kind of caught a bad case of Killed Off for Real
there. I guess that bad foreshadowing had to pay off in an equally stupid way eventually. When asked how he survived, his reply sounds suspiciously like God resurrected him or something. I am going to assume Roman is Jesus until proven otherwise.
Roman also reveals that he was the one who told Orochimaru of the Signers, and that his plan went well. What a twist, a character weíve never seen before was behind it all along! Naruto calls him a jerk
, but Roman ignores him and offers to Kasumi the cliched We Can Rule Together
that every villain thus far has offered. Of note is his offer that they can revive her parents shortly after revealing that he was the one to get them killed in the first place. Clearly an exemplar of trustworthiness.
Kasumi refuses for the n
th time, and an insignia of a spider appears around her and Roman, the latter revealing that itís a shadow duel. When Naruto asks what all of this means, Gaara is kind enough to elaborate.
"She dies" Gaara said grinning.
I love that the final opponent in this arc in canon has been reduced to a toady of the true Big Bad
here. Thatís surely not going to piss anyone off ever. Upon being told this, Naruto demands that he duel Roman in her place, but she refuses.
ĒBeing a Dark Signer only a Signer can defeat him.Ē
I dunno, Crow certainly did just fine for himself against a Dark Signer. This is especially funny considering that Crow was apparently one of her most apparent influences as she was growing up; youíd think that heíd shove this fact down her throat every waking moment.
Sasuke, who hasnít said a word before this point, tells Naruto that he needs to deal with
Gaara since Kasumi is busy with Roman. He reluctantly agrees, and the two duelists activate their duel disks to commence the duel, with Kasumi going first.
Her first move is to, of course, summon Cleric Mist. Has she ever started a duel off any other way? I canít even remember. Regardless, same old Life Point restoration occurs, when Kasumi suddenly hears her bodyguards come into view. Thatís exactly how itís worded in the story itself; donít blame me.
Thereís an extended dialogue sequence between Kasumi and her bodyguards that boils down to her telling them to not interfere. Pithiness is a virtue that this author sorely lacks. So is the ability to make good transitions, apparently, since thereís an abrupt switch back to the actual duel, where Kasumi ends her turn by setting a card.
Roman proceeds to start his own turn by activating the field spell Spider Web, before activating the effect of Dark Tuner Spider Cocoon to special summon it. Of course, thereís the obligatory comment from Kasumi about hating insects despite spiders not actually being insects. Her fear would bug me less if it was elaborated upon; even have her react to it through her actions. Instead, she just talks about how much she hates insects/spiders
in the narration every time they come up. It gets repetitive far too quickly, considering how often it comes up.
Roman then normal summons a monster, and tunes the two monsters together to summon a Dark Synchro monster. In the context of Kasumi,
what these are really doesnít matter, since they very rarely appear. All you need to know is that they're Exactly What They Say On The Tin
. The monster in question is Underground Arachnid, and Roman uses its effect to bring Mist to his side of the field. Since Kasumi no longer has any monsters, he attacks directly. For some reason, the physical damage characteristic of shadow duels does not hurt her, but instead a random flurry of kunai.
Sasuke is the only one who seems to take notice of this, but nobody cares about him, so nobody says anything when he points it out. Instead, Roman sets a card to end his turn, and Kasumi then starts hers by activating Magical Mallet. She uses the card to shuffle her hand back into the deck, then draw an equal number of cards to her old hand. This being a Yu-Gi-Oh story
, she draws exactly the cards that she needs.
She summons Mia and Hyper Synchron in quick succession due to using Double Summon, then tunes them to summon Red Dragon Archfiend. Roman has a remarkably understated reaction that amounts to ďOh, you have all of the Signer Dragons. Cool.Ē
Hyper Synchronís boost to RDAís attack makes it more than able to destroy Underground Arachnid, which it proceeds to try and do. When the dust settles, however, Underground Arachnidís effect let it use Mist as a shield! Yeah, I really donít care at this point. If anything, Iím glad someoneís been able to dispose of Mist quickly; the author has an unhealthy attachment to her.
However, Kasumi reveals RDAís effect to destroy all of an opponentís defense mode monsters when it attacks a defense mode monster, which somehow leads to the attack mode Underground Arachnid being destroyed. My god, even the laws of the game are bowing to her now!
Spider Web then activates, forcing RDA into defense position since it attacked. It is true that Spider Web should have done the same to Underground Arachnid, so RDAís effect would have actually worked, but then Roman wouldíve lost no Life Points. In short, the game still conforms to the authorís whims.
Kasumi sets another card to end her turn, just in time for Roman to activate his own set card, Altar of the Bound Deity. Roman begins to exposit its effect, but before that:
"Hugh?" Ten-Ten and I asked in union as an alter appeared
Hugh appears twice in one chapter! Christmas came early!
Anyway, Altar of the Bound Deity gains a counter for each defense position monster on the field during your standby phase. As a result, it gains a counter from RDA, and Roman just summons a defense position monster and sets a card before ending his turn.
Kasumi evades crossfire between Naruto and Gaaraís very nondescript fight before starting her turn. As she does so, she notices Haku freaking out, which in turn unnerves her. I can only assume this is an attempt at Not So Stoic
for the sake of drama, but it doesnít really work because Haku was never that stoic to begin with. He might have been in Naruto,
but that characterization has definitely not survived his transition to this story.
Kasumi activates Mirage of Nightmare to draw four cards, the first of which is Empress Sanaki. Since Sanaki is now on the field, she can activate Song of Rebirth, giving her the very broken effect of returning all of her monsters to her hand. All of them. Every single one. The only reason it doesnít snap the duels in the story right in two is because they move at a snailís pace, and itís rarely used.
Sanaki then attacks the monster Roman summoned, but he uses its effect to force Sanaki into defense position. Kasumi apparently knew it would do exactly this, since she starts boasting of how she wanted him to do that. Now, she can... waste another Sanaki-exclusive spell card in order to get another chance to attack. Just as planned?
Sanaki destroys the monster, but Roman negates RDAís direct attack to survive another turn. As a result, Kasumi ends her turn. Romanís own starts with another counter on the Altar, since Sanaki is now in defense position, but then he bypasses the whole process entirely by using a trap card to add the last two requisite counters to the altar. I might be wrong on this, but I think he used the exact same method against Yusei in canon. Lazy, lazy author.
With all four counters now acquired, Roman destroys the card to summon Earthbound Immortal Uru. In the process, he has to sacrifice humans for its summon. Surrounding kids from the Sound village that are just... there, I guess, are used as the sacrifice, causing Kasumi to cry out about how horrible it all is. I guess everyone in the Sound village only becomes inherently evil once they become legal. Morality is weird. All things considered, a disproportionately long time is spent for the characters to talk about how horrible mass murder is
(unless the protagonist is performing it, I assume.
Uru goes in for a direct attack because Earthbound Immortals can do that, when Kasumi suddenly summons the Crimson Dragon all by herself, of her own will.
"What the?" Roman shouted "The Crimson Dragon by one Signer?"
Roman is pretty much summing up my feelings here. In the series, the Crimson Dragon could only be summoned when all the Signers were together, and very rarely could they do so intentionally. Mary Sue here, though? Eh, summoning a god is no big deal. I would make a much bigger deal of this, but Iíve had my requisite freak out for this chapter, and I fear becoming as repetitive as this story.
Oh, and the Crimson Dragon kills some random Mooks
and defeats Gaara. Yay for those inconsequential things, I guess. Theyíre especially inconsequential given how little purpose the Crimson Dragon ultimately serves; Kasumi just activates Negate Attack to stop Uruís attack. This is really just here to establish that she can perform this kind of bullshit.
And then the Crimson Dragon goes through Roman, killing him, ending the duel, and revealing him to be a harmless Sound ninja! Itís later revealed that this was done through a Dangerous Forbidden Technique
that allows resurrection. Since this is the case, though, I canít help but wonder how the Sound ninja did all that he did. Especially plotting the murder of Kasumiís family; did Orochimaru fear her so much that he set up a goon to take the fall?
Kasumi starts to collapse due to the injuries she sustained from the duel, and Shikamaru tells her to never accept another Shadow Duel, despite that not being a Shadow Duel. Iíd also like to point out that she regularly subjects her opponents to the same, but god forbid I speak out against the almighty Lady Signer.
They discuss the Crimson Dragon briefly, and Haku theorizes that itís like the demon fox inside Naruto, but without a host, so it is waiting for Kasumi to command it. That explanation is more than a bit bullshit, because the Crimson Dragon is more a deity than a demon, and why would it subjugate itself to one Signer, but not six?
I then collapsed letting Shikamaru hold me in his arms, I hate to say it bridal style
How the fuck do you collapse bridal stye? I know the why: so that there can be more forced hijinks involving Naruto and Haku. But how? Did she just hover into Shikamaruís arms because she can now use her powers while unconscious? No matter what this fic does, it boggles the mind.
The group returns to the village to observe the damage. ANBU members appear to Kasumi, carrying the dying Third Hokage. He states that Kasumi kept her promise to save the village from destruction, and she replies that Roman was the cause despite Roman not actually being the cause.
The Third Hokage also realizes this, given that he explains that the supposed Dark Signer powers were just powerful genjutsu. Poor nameless Sound ninja, powerful enough to recreate such a duel but not even given a name. I shall honor your memory.
The Hokage congratulates Kasumi for saving the village alongside Naruto, which I find funny because the hero of the source material is now reduced to an extra. He pleads to her to use her power for good and to protect the village, before finally dying. He survived a remarkably long time, given that his cause of death was his soul being ripped out by a god of death. Iím not an expert in the field, but from my observation, such deaths are usually instant. What do I know, though?
Kasumiís rage at Orochimaru for killing the Third Hokage causes her to reopen her wounds, and Asuka appears out of nowhere to examine them. The gravity of her injuries means that she will need surgery, so Asuka puts her to sleep, and the last thing she sees is darkness.
AND THEN SHE DIES YAAAAAAAAY THE END.
Oh, if only. I wouldíve assumed that, at least, if I didnít know there were still so many chapters. Alas, 15 chapters down, 49 to go. I keep wanting to quit, but Iím in it for the long haul.
And next time, that long haul involves another fan favorite character for the author to butcher! Until then, all.