This is my first fan fiction. Make sure to leave reviews and stuff.
Ominous screams could be heard throughout the foggy wasteland. The wispy-looking white substance making up air was incredibly thick; Ayumi, one of the many examinees, was unable to make out the shape of her hand in front of her face much less the dangerous beasts lurking around. Despite being lost in the middle of nowhere, unable to see more than a few centimeters away from herself, she knew to appreciate the lack of monsters violently chasing her down at the moment. Part of this comparatively fortunate circumstance was a result of careful movements and patience. One would argue that the other reason was pure luck, but Ayumi attributed it to the reckless behavior of the other examinees.
The first phase of the exam had barely begun, yet the number of examinees had already been cut down by quite a bit. This frightening fact merely emphasized the importance of keeping a level head when thrown into the unknown. Patience and good strategy were especially important during this phase. Not to mention the need to constantly stay alert to any change, no matter how seemingly insignificant, was the biggest key to survival.
Ayumi sensed movement deep in the forest. It felt much closer than the examinees dealing with the monsters and it was definitely more precise than any wild animal. It was still too far away for her to make out any sounds; she could just barely even feel the movements. The girl froze while she tried to read the movement, careful not to alert the cause if she hadn't already. Eventually it came close enough for her to distinguish the sound from the pleading cries.
Gradually the faint sound of crunching grass replaced the distant screams. She quickly concealed her presence in the nearest nest of bushes she could find as the sound approached her. The cause of the sound stopped where Ayumi had just been before hiding.
"Damn...we lost her again!" a voice called out. Ayumi recognized it as one of the other examinees. Although she was very confident that she would be able to kill him easily, she did not want to take any chances. She wouldn't want to risk underestimating him. After all, the man was skilled enough to tail her for quite a while without her noticing.
She carefully examined his aura before deciding to strike, however, another figure appeared next to the first just as she prepared to leap out. Ayumi stopped in her tracks.
"Wasn't she just here?" the second voice questioned with an irritated tone.
"She can't be far, I'm sure I sensed her just a second ag—" the man was cut off mid-sentence. The fog was too thick for Ayumi to properly see what had happened, but she felt a shiver rush down her spine. The first man's aura suddenly disappeared leaving her able to sense only a single person left.
"That's the last time you will disappoint me. I just need to take your tag, then I can finish the rest of this phase myself."
Ayumi immediately realized that the first man had been attacked. She soon realized that the biggest threat in the Hunter Exam was not the exam itself nor was it the examiners, but in fact the other examinees. Although she had feared this from the beginning, she initially refused to believe it to be true.
Suddenly the second man's presence also disappeared. Ayumi was almost immediately snapped out of her thoughts. He hadn't left, at least she didn't feel him leave nor had she heard him. His presence had disappeared as subtly as the first man's.
The girl felt unsure about whether to stay and remove the badges from the examinees or to leave and avoid confrontation with more competitors whom she was incapable of locating. This was essentially a choice of one out of two bad options. Staying to loot the bodies for their badges could result in being ambushed by a pair of examinees who had already teamed up for the first phase, which could mark the end to her exam and her life. Leaving the bodies would probably lead to an unfortunate end with an attack from one of the beasts since she had no way of knowing exactly where the monsters were. Reluctantly she decided to go with the former, figuring she would rather die facing other people than against violent animals.
After waiting for what she felt to be long enough, she decided to leave her hiding spot to investigate the scene. She felt a pair of eyes on her figure as she inched closer to the previous spot of the two men. She completely stopped moving the moment she felt someone watching. By now, it was guaranteed that only a single person was watching from nearby; this time she had paid closer attention to her surroundings. Knowing that only one person was watching, she began to feel slightly more confident in herself. The problem was: confidence wouldn't be able to help her see in the fog, yet somehow they were able to see through the thick soup. Ayumi wished that she could see them as well, but also hoped for the remote possibility that the gaze she felt was a simple coincidence. It was obvious that until they were within her line of sight it would be impossible for her to see as well. Knowing this, she closed her eyes so that she could focus on her other senses. The only noises she could hear were the everlasting ring of silence and her own shallow breathes. The presence quickly disappeared making Ayumi believe that she had just imagined it. Ever since the first phase was revealed to take place in the fog, she couldn't help but feel panicked and jumpy. After concluding that she had imagined the presence Ayumi wasted no time in arriving at the bodies to examine them.
Ayumi gasped when arriving at the corpses. Though they were both clearly dead, the bodies seemed as if they were still full of life. It was too late now, but both men had died without even realizing they had been targeted. Closer inspection revealed a single playing card protruding from the skull of the second man. The unsettling image did not faze Ayumi in the slightest. She was expecting them both to be deceased when she arrived; the only surprise to her was the unusual choice of weapon.
Just to be clear this begins in the exam that happened the year before Gon, Killua, and friends took their exam.