Author's note*

I am so sorry. I Have no excuse. Let me explain what happened. I wrote the first 1 1/2 scenes months ago. But then I got stuck and told myself to take a break, and well... I completely forgot to come back. You can totally tell too, the difference in writing fro the first scenes to the next. I got too lazy to fix/touch up the first scenes. Special thanks to my friend SuperSaiyanHollow for editing this. You're a lovely dove that deserves so much love. Also, special thanks to my two other friends. I should have gave you both shout outs in the beginning tbh XD but anyway, thank you for the ideas and helping me make this fanfic possible. Thank you all my friends.

Nowwww, enjoy the show~


Time came to a halt between the two; the world keeping still for the moment. Gon stares into near fully black orbs, and Gittarackur stares into beaming browns. Gon is taking slow breaths as Gittarackur took normal ones. Both beings are in their own thoughts, thinking differently about the other. While one is in awe the other is baffled. Neither know what to do or say, so they continue their staring contest.

Gon traces the other's features as best as he can in the dark. Gittarackur's long hair cascading around him only made it that much more difficult. Gittarackur was so exaggeratedly different and so beautiful. Taking advantage of their close proximity, Gon takes a whiff of the other. Aside from the soily scent, there's a vague smell there, almost nonexistent. If he gets close enough, he can smell a faint hint of charcoal or burning wood; the scent of a male.

Gittarackur pushes his hair back with his free hand, the moonlight twinkling across the boy's face. He was being studied by Gon, eyes darting from Gittarackur's own pupils to his hair, his nose, and his skin. This new transformation must be confusing and quite alarming, having witnessed something so extreme, but the thing about Gon is he's anything but shocked. There is this knowing gleam in those brown orbs staring at him so. It made Gittarackur shudder strangely. Although at a disadvantage, Gon being underneath Gittarackur with a pinned arm above his head, Gon expresses no fear nor did he beg to be released. He's a stubborn one, glaring up at Gittarackur with this flame. Gittarackur's eyes widen the slightest bit. The look is interesting; those eyes had something alluring to them. Is this what Killua and Hisoka see when they interact with the boy? Is this what they mean when they say Gon has his own charm? Is the fire in those eyes the reason why Gittarackur is captivated?

"I knew…"

Gittarackur is pulled out of his thoughts once the boy spoke. He gave Gon his undivided attention with a small tilt of his head. Gon is glaring at him, but he also had a smile. It wasn't a smirk either, but instead an earnest grin.

Gon caught himself staring at Gittarackur's porcelain skin. There were no more pins and needles for him to count; Gittarackur's skin no longer being strained. "I knew those needles held something back," Gon said, smiling cheekily at the other. It wasn't a conversation, Gittarackur hasn't said anything but Gon's name in the past minute, yet Gon couldn't help but smile at the other, finally acknowledging him even under these circumstances.

Gittarackur was so taken aback by the other's words, he jerks lightly. Who the hell is this boy, Gon Freecss?

Gittarackur's hand loosens around Gon's wrist, giving Gon an opportunity to act. With his free hand, Gon forms it into a fist and launches it towards Gittarackur's face. He struck Gittarackur successfully making said man wobble to his other side. The force of the attack was enough to make Gittarackur completely lose his grip on Gon's wrist. Said boy tears his arm back and kicks Gittarackur off. Grabbing his fishing rod, Gon rips himself out of Gittarackurs grasp.

Gittarackur caught himself from collapsing to his side as Gon leapt away from him. A gush of wind blew against him, causing his already jumbled up hair to billow. Gittarackur palms his cheek, touching the forming bruise as he slowly turns his gaze from the grass towards Gon. The boy was at a far distance away, glaring at him with his fishing rod in hand. He no longer held that cheeky grin.

Gittarackur is truly confused. Gon was the one who approached him, and now he's backing off? What's with this boy?

"That surprised me," Gittarackur says, rubbing at his swollen cheek. "You took advantage of my distraction and struck me full force. Well done." Gittarackur moves his jaw around, making sure Gon didn't break it or dislocate it. "I have a high pain tolerance, so I barely felt the hit, kudos for trying though."

Gon relaxes a little, listening to what the other had to say. He purses his lips, keeping himself from smiling. Gittarackur is actually talking to him, he even praised Gon! Gon didn't know how to respond though, so he nods in answer. His heart's still pounding excitedly against his ribcage.

Gittarackur's eyes then fall from Gon's eyes to his ID tag. He hums, an idea coming to mind. "I see you still have your tag. No one was successful enough to take it?" Gittarackur pulls the rest of himself out of his grave and stood to his feet. He looks away to dust off the dirt from his clothing, nonchalantly readjusting the pins in his body. "I only have five points and am in need of one more," he announces. He looks back towards Gon and fixes his hair some. Smiling a simple grin at Gon, he says, "Mind if I take yours?"

Gon's stomach drops and shivers run all throughout his body. He completely forgot the point of being on Zevil Island. His pupils shrink fearfully as he remembers what Gittarackur did to Goz for his tag. Gon swallows thickly. He definitely doesn't want dozens of needles piercing his skin.

As Gittarackur takes one step towards him, Gon was off, dashing around the trunks of the trees and even burying himself in the leaves for disguise.

"I won't lose to you!" Gon shouts, running far in hopes of losing the other, but at the same time, hoping Gittarackur catches up. He held a confident smile on his face as he flees.

Gittarackur's own grin never ceases. He gave Gon his opportunity to escape before following the younger hunter applicant. Gittarackur strolls at a steady pace, his hair swinging side to side flawlessly.

Such an interesting turn of events; Gittarackur is actually enjoying himself. He sees now why Killua and Hisoka are so enchanted by the boy, this simple island hic. There's more than meets the eye and Gittarackur is set on seeing everything Gon had to offer. Never judge a book by their cover, is what he's been taught since he was a boy. Even the most plain looking people can turn out to be the most unique individuals. Gittarackur will note not to critique someone based by their background as well, their summary; Gon is everything he's never expected him to be.

"Shotacon~," Hisoka's voice echoes in the back of his head.

"I'm merely observing," Gittarackur says, trying to convince himself and the Hisoka in his head.

He'll judge, examine, Gon and determine if he's a good enough companion for Killua. If not, Gittarackur will just have to kill the boy, after all, they are still hunting for each other's tags. Death is no exception. Hisoka will understand and so will Killua, hopefully. All for the sake of keeping Killua from befriending troubling individuals.

Will Gon pass Gittarackur's judgement?


"Hisoka!" Leorio snarls loudly.

"Hello to you too, Leorio~," Hisoka greets. He smiles widely at the man scrambling to get to his feet. "How's the exam going?"

"What's it to ya?!" Leorio spat. He held Kurapika tightly in hand, arms wrapped tightly around his torso and scooping his arm under the smaller's knees. Leorio slowly stood to his feet and lifted Kurapika up in his arms, bridal style. "I bet this match has been nothing but a walk in the park to you."

"Why, Leorio, I'm flattered," Hisoka hums in awe as his arms go around to hug himself. He bashfully aims his head away from Leorio, eyes shyly darting to and away from Leorio continuously. He bites his bottom lip to keep from smiling too widely. "I never knew you thought so highly of me. My heart... it's racing~," Hisoka says, the last part coming out hesitant and gentle.

Leorio clicks his tongue. "As if… So, you're here for my tag, am I right?" Leorio cut to the chase, not at all buying into Hisoka's bullshit. He's only known the jester for as little as ten or so days, and Leorio's learned from the very beginning not to trust the fickle man.

"Bingo!" Hisoka chimes with a pointed finger at Leorio. He cocks his head back towards Leorio and angles his hips to one side, resting his hands on them. "But, what gave me away~?"

"I saw the way you eyed me down back at the ship. You'd think the hunter would be more discreet when hunting his prey." Leorio side-steps, trying to somehow inch closer to his pocket knife or to find an opportunity to flee, but his and Kurapika's weapons are out of reach and Hisoka's eyes followed Leorio's every movement. If that stretched grin wasn't enough to creep him out then the way Hisoka's eyes ogle him sure do. Leorio's more pissed off then scared though, angry at the fact that his friend has been harmed.

"Oh, but you see I wasn't trying to be discreet. No, just the opposite." Hisoka stretches his arms out on display. He makes one step forward as Leorio strides back. "Keeping my eye on you, scanning your build while reading your every movement, and planning exactly when and where to attack. Why, I was just coming up with a strategic way to have my six points." Hisoka licks his lips, chuckling darkly as Leorio's glare deepens. His eyes look ready to burst out of his face. Hisoka can help with that~.

"Did my staring perhaps inflict paranoia upon you? My deepest apologies, really. How careless of me~."

Leorio's jaw clenches harder; his teeth are sure to break from the pressure. Hisoka is playing with him. He knew Leorio would be looking over his shoulder occasionally for the magician, he knew Leorio's thoughts would cloud and only think of Hisoka killing him, the jester knew and planned it all as part of his mind game, and Leorio feels so stupid for playing along.

"As sorry as I am," Hisoka continues, taking another step forward, "I'm still taking my six points~."

Leorio swallows thickly; he can feel his blood pumping in his veins and his heart is beating loudly in his ears. Hisoka grew closer and Leorio could only step back, but what good would that do? He's as good as dead! His trembling hands tighten their hold on Kurapika, instantly reminded of his friend in his grasp. Leorio glances down at Kurapika's sleeping form. His jaw locks once again, veins now popping on his forehead. No, he can't back down now, not after what Hisoka did to Kurapika. He'll fight to protect his friends. He won't let another tragedy happen on his watch!

Leorio snaps his eyes back towards Hisoka with a tenacious glare and gawks in shock. The magician has disappeared. "Where is he?" Leorio mutters as he spun around in search of Hisoka.

"Oh dear, the bug on the wall has disappeared~." Hisoka's voice echoes around him, mocking him left and right.

Leorio gulps and calms himself for the moment. He stills, closing his eyes to focus on where that shrill voice is coming from.

"Where could this insect have vanished to~?" Hisoka chimes in a hushed voice. "Vermin."

Leorio's eyes crinkle, not sure why or for what reason he's doing so, but this was the only thing he could think of. A droplet of sweat rolls down the side of his face, clinging onto Leorio's chin. He takes slow breaths through his dry lips and out his nostrils, waiting patiently for Hisoka to make a move. There's a long, pregnant pause, Hisoka's voice no longer mocking him. Leorio doesn't falter though; he will remain still until something happens.

Then, something around him broke through his concentration in waves. Speaking in better words, it was almost as if something broke through a barrier of some kind and that barrier sent off an alarm. Whatever it was, Leorio must act!

In that instance, Leorio surges forward barely missing the hand slicing down from above and plummeting down into the very same spot he stood. As Leorio dove he lost his footing and hastily turns Kurapika and himself in time. He skid on his back, bouncing against the earth before coming to a stop.

"Ahg, d-dammit," he grumbles, groaning as he shakily sat himself up. Kurapika is heavier than he looks, practically knocking the wind out of Leorio with each bounce. Not only was his crushing weight painful, Leorio scraped his back across a few sharp rocks. He thought the grass would have served as a cushion to his fall, but he's hurt either way.

"Did you teach yourself that?" Hisoka asks. The magician happily shakes the dirt from his hand and picks at the muck under his nails. He straightens his back and steps over the small crater he made. He made his way towards Leorio until he stood before him. Hisoka grins down at him, not at all surprised but still incredibly excited. Attacking Leorio was a risky move, but Leorio did not fail his expectations. "I doubt you even know what you did."

"What are you going on about?" Leorio hisses between his teeth. He stood to his feet shakily with Kurapika still in hand. Although hurt, Leorio took a battle stance, ready to protect Kurapika. He isn't sure how he was lucky enough to avoid that strike, but he shouldn't question it; the gods are clearly on his side tonight.

Hisoka giggles. "C'mon, you definitely felt that didn't you?" Hisoka cups his own chin with one hand and the other goes to cup his elbow. He slowly circles Leorio, sharp eyes never leaving Leorio's round ones. His smile only grows wider as he explains, "The way you focused intensely on your surroundings. Listening, sensing the littlest change around you. Why, I bet you felt the wind change direction before it passed through your spiked hair. It felt like a pulse didn't it? A ripple when I broke through your wall?"

Hisoka hums, finally coming to a stop in front of Leorio. Said man pulls a face, features screwed into a confused, tense, look. Hisoka's hit the bullseye on that. The poor man is wondering what, why, and how. What was that bizarre feeling? Why was he able to feel that mild sensation? How did Hisoka know exactly what that feeling was? Well, fortunately for Leorio, he isn't going insane. That phenomenon is an ancient form of self defense that only a handful of people hold in their grasp. A possession only a handful of people can use.

Nen.

"Your En was impressive, though, there's always room for improvement. Still, you did fairly well for a first timer," Hisoka praises.

Leorio raises a brow. "What are you talking about? You aren't making any sense!" Leorio growls, baring his teeth at Hisoka. What is this nonsense Hisoka is spewing, knowing what Leorio felt and what not? And, what the hell is En? Leorio shook the thought from mind. Never mind that, this is probably another one of Hisoka's mind games. "Are you just going to talk or are you gonna fight me?!"

"So eager to die~." Hisoka chuckles. He folds his arms. "You'll understand in due time. No need to rush, after all, Nen takes years to master. Though, I haven't a doubt you and your friends will learn it within a year or so. Maybe less."

"What..?!"

"Well, I've had my fun, it's time for me to make my leave~," Hisoka announces.

Leorio gawks, mouth agape in shock. "T-That's it?" he croaks. All this pumping adrenaline, the cuts on his back, and knocking Kurapika out just for this? "What- I- huh?!" he splutters, "What are-Weren't you here for my tag?!" Leorio makes an odd, angry sound once Hisoka starts to walk away. He stomps his foot and shouts at the magician's back, "Hey, don't ignore me!"

"Geez, it's like you want to die," Hisoka hums. He turns to his side, acknowledging the flustered man. "I won't kill you or your friend, that would be a waste. You see, you both have the potential to become great in the future, as do Gon and Killua. So until then, I'll spare your lives. It's for my own personal amusement, really~."

Leorio's angry face fell and his tense form relaxes. His hands were gripping Kurapika roughly until now; there's probably bruises on his arm. So that's it? Leorio isn't sure if he should thank Hisoka for sparing their lives or to question his antics further. Everything the magician has been saying until now had been nothing but gibberish to Leorio's ears. As confused and annoyed as he is, Leorio should just let things be. Hisoka is allowing him to pass the fourth phase, what's the harm in that?

Hisoka offers Leorio a wide smile as a farewell before turning to leave. Leorio just softly glares at the other as he waits for Hisoka to take off. One step, two steps, Hisoka pauses on his third.

"Oh, and about your ID tag," Hisoka starts. He turns towards Leorio with the same smile. Said man sighs exasperatedly; of course Hisoka wasn't going to let him go easily. Hisoka went to grab his own tag from his crop top and unfastens it. He turns the tag's face towards himself, giving it a look over. "Unfortunately for you, I already took my six points," Hisoka states, sharp eyes pointed back towards Leorio.

"What? No, you didn't!" Leorio gasps in a panic, searching for his suitcase. When he finally spots it the case remained sealed just as Leorio had left it, so there's no way Hisoka could have stolen his tag!

"See for yourself~," Hisoka says before showing Leorio the tag that supposedly belonged to Hisoka. He stretches his hand out towards Leorio and displays the tag he had in hand. Leorio gasps again, eyes widening at Hisoka as he near drops Kurapika from the shock. There in Hisoka's hand was tag 403: Leorio's tag!

"How the hell?!" Leorio shouts, looking back between his suitcase and the tag in Hisoka's hold. "This has got to be a trick. There's no way!" Leorio subconsciously steps back, wanting to run towards his suitcase to verify.

"A trick? That's probably the case, but how could you be so sure?" Hisoka shrugs his shoulders with his hands out in gesture. He giggles, laughing at Leorio's distress. Leorio really is an open book, even his aura flapped in anguish. He places the tag back on his shirt. "Well, if you don't mind me, I'll be on my way. Toodles~." Hisoka waves his hand and fingers goodbye as he turns briskly, walking off again.

"Wait, no! Hisoka…?!" Leorio growls agitated. Taking one last look at Hisoka, Leorio sprints towards his suitcase. He squats down, using his knees as a base to rest Kurapika on. With one arm wrapped around Kurapika's torso, Leorio's free hand grabs the suitcase and brings it closer before fiddling with its latch. Leorio can hear his own heart pounding in his ears as a bead of sweat runs down his face. Come one, come on! Not a moment later, Leorio's case snaps open. The moment of truth. Leorio flings the case all the way open, impatient as he digs into the inner pockets.

"Please, please… Here it is!" Leorio cries, pulling his ID tag out of the pocket and holding it up, as if displaying it to the gods themselves. Leorio's eyes were glossy, beaming at the tag that seemingly sparkled in his hand. "I knew Hisoka was pulling my leg!" Leorio is grinning from ear to ear, happy to see tag 403 safe in his hand. He brings it close to face, eyeing it all over and making sure it's the real deal. He sighs heavily, feeling like the luckiest man alive. Then, his tag jerks in his hold, twice. Leorio's brows raise in surprise, blaming the wind for his tag twitching about. The only problem was, Leorio didn't feel a breeze.

His tag jerks in his hold again, and before Leorio could tighten his fingers, his tag rips away from his grasp. Leorio gasps, quickly reaching his hand out to catch the runaway tag. Had it not been for Kurapika, Leorio would have lunged at his tag.

"Thanks for the six points," Hisoka says. Leorio's brows furrow, eyes widening as he watches Hisoka reel in his ID tag in hand, like magic. "Now I can pass on to the fifth phase~!"

Leorio slumps, a dejected look on his features. He curses under his breath, glaring at the ground. He knew it was a trick; he really should have listened to his gut feeling, but he just had to check. Leorio grits his teeth as he clenches his eyes shut. The back of his eyes burned with frustrated tears as his figure quakes with anger. He feels like he just lost the whole exam. Of course, Leorio's got five days remaining to recover his ID, get his target's three points, or aim for other one pointers, but who is he kidding? He's not skilled like Killua, agile like Gon, or keen like Kurapika. Without them, Leorio wouldn't even had made it this far. Leorio tried to keep his tag safe to make the exam easier for him, but even that he couldn't do.

"Dammit…!" Leorio growls, hands itching to punch something.

Hisoka's brows raise, observing Leorio. The man is so pitiful, so angered by losing his own tag. His aura flows sorrowfully, expressing grim colors such as black and blue; his frame trembles in anguish, trying to keep Kurapika in his shaky grip, and his face is downcast, shadowing his eyes. Leorio looks as though he lost the most important thing in his life. Supposed that's what it is, becoming a hunter benefits a person more than they could ever ask for. While Hisoka could use his license to get out of trouble, Leorio was actually going to use it to help mankind.

Hisoka lightly frowns, actually feeling sorry for Leorio. He always liked being the cause of people's misery and woe, but this time Hisoka felt like a horrible person. He liked the expressive, happy, irate Leorio he saw on the ship, not this depressive shell of a man. Leorio actually made his chest swell in guilt. Hisoka hasn't felt this feeling in years; he was sure he got rid of these emotions a long time ago. Suppose he really is just a human.

"Don't look so glum~!" Hisoka encourages. He strolls over to Leorio, his frown replaced with his signature grin. "You've got five days left, plenty of time to hunt me down and get your ID back~! Hey, you may even succeed in killing me. Isn't that exciting?" Hisoka stood before Leorio, looking down on him. Leorio didn't twitch nor grew alarmed with the deadly magician in front of him. He still hopelessly kept his gaze fixated on the ground. Hisoka's grin falls, eyes narrowing at the broken man. Leorio's aura didn't make him feel any better, touching him and turning his mood foul, and here Hisoka came to have a good time.

With a heavy sigh, Hisoka speaks, "Fine, I'll return your ID back." Leorio twitches reacting to his words. Hisoka's smile returns to face. "I don't like that gloomy look on your face, so I'm going to cut you some slack."

Leorio slowly looks up at Hisoka, glossy eyes glaring at him. Hisoka's smile widens, happy that the mood has changed a bit. Though Leorio's aura still expressed black and blue, there's a bit of interest to it.

"What's the catch...?" Leorio asks in a low-pitched voice. Hisoka's smile grew wider. Was he that easy to read? Of course he wasn't going to make this that easy for Leorio.

"I already deemed you worthy of becoming a hunter, but that simply won't do with me taking your three points, right? So, we'll play a game; of course one you've set up. A game of wits, agility, strength, whatever you prefer; it doesn't matter to me. Now, doesn't that sound like fun?" Hisoka asks, cutely tilting his head, but Leorio didn't seem to think it was cute. "This way I can further confirm if you truly pass. If you win, I'll leave you two alone and you can keep your tag, but if I win~," Hisoka chuckles lowly, lips pulling back to show his pearly whites, "Not only do I keep your tag, but I also get to kill you~."


Gon pants, chest rising and falling with each breath as he presses himself against the trunk of the tree. He's frozen, listening intently to the sounds around him. He swallows, trying to keep himself hidden again, like he did earlier with Hisoka. Be quiet; be steady; be still.

He's hidden in one of the tall trees, buried in the leaves. He stood on one of the many branches, thankful that the one he chose is sturdy. Gon swallows thickly, a bead of sweat running down his face. Calm down, he can sense your heartbeat. Gon takes a short moment to calm his frantically beating heart before deciding to go on the move. With his fishing rod close at hand, Gon leapt out of the frond. He leaps from tree to tree, swiftly swinging through the branches. His years camping out in the forest have trained him well. His eyes adapted to the darkness easily.

Once Gon came to a stop, landing in another full tree, he palms the trunk, keeping stable as he looks around. The leaves conceal him from the moonlight perfectly; Gon is sure to have the perfect hiding spot, but who could hide from an assassin?

Gon makes his way towards the end of the branch, side stepping slowly towards the tip with his arms out to maintain balance. He stops when deciding the branch couldn't further support his weight. He makes one step back and brings his hands back to his side, making sure his fishing rod is out of eyesight.

After a moment of surveying his surroundings, Gon sighs. Pouting, he loosely folds his arms with his fishing rod. I guess I lost him. Did he really escape Gittarackur that easily? The man is an assassin; Gon was sure he was going to have a tougher time fleeing from the other's clutches. Killua would have found him by now.

Gon frowns, looking down at his shoes. "Maybe I should have been slower," Gon mutters, gently digging his heel into the wood, moodily. And, I thought I was going to have fun. Gon sighs heavily once more before dropping his arms. I guess I should go find Hisoka. The sheer mention of the magician's name made Gon's eyes widen and his lips part.

"I forgot about Leorio!" Gon curses under his breath. How could he have let himself get caught up in this game of cat and mouse when his friend is in danger?! Hisoka mentioned before that Leorio is his target. He's probably tormenting Leorio by now! Gon narrows his eyes, bending down to apply weight onto his legs for his leap out of the leaves, but the branch he's on was hit with a heavy weight.

"Whoa!" Gon gasps, wobbling along with the disturbed tree. He hurriedly grabs onto the shaking branch, trying to maintain balance whilst the wing came to a slow stop. As the branch vibrates from the blow, Gon finally notices the presence that's joined him. Gon's eyes were wide, fixated on the branch he still held onto.

"Are you done hiding?" Gittarackur questions, perched up on the same branch Gon was on. Gittarackur's hand held onto a nearby branch for security while the other went to push his long, raven hair behind his ear. "We may have five days left, but I don't plan on chasing you throughout the whole fourth phase."

Gon gulps, trembling as he slowly turns his gaze towards the other. Gon's heart skips a beat; Gittarackur's lifeless eyes sent chills down his spine. Gon slowly rose, grip on his fishing rod tense and ready to defend.

"So," Gittarackur continues, reaching his free hand out towards Gon with a smile, "Hand over your tag."

Gon leaps back, springing out of the leaves with his glare fixated on Gittarackur. A flock of birds breaks out of the tree, crying out in alert, frightened by Gon breaching and disrupting their gentle night. As Gon plunges to the earth, he saw as Gittarackur rose to his feet, still grinning. The scattering birds caused feathers to fall and spread, leaves too fell from the tree they once lived in. Frame by frame, Gon's vision is transfixed on Gittarackur, but a fleeing feather was in the way of his vision; as the feather left his view, Gittarackur was no longer perched up on the branch.

Coming to a landing, Gon hastily squats down before pushing forward with all his weight, giving himself a running start as he works around the trees. He can hear it, the way Gittarackur chases after him, no longer trying to be discreet. Gon's adrenaline is pumping; he's trembling fearfully, but despite his fear, Gon is smiling widely. He's scared, but he's thrilled. He wants to live, but a brush with death is exciting. He doesn't want to be pierced with dozens of needles, but he wants to be closer to Gittarackur. Gittarackur is so much fun.

"Where are you running off to?" Gittarackur calls out, voice sounding closer then Gon would like it to be. Gon leaps, surging up towards the trees. Grabbing a feeble branch, Gon swung himself into the next tree, snapping the branch whilst doing so. Landing on another, this time stout, branch, Gon speeds off through the trees, hopping and swinging from branch to branch.

Gittarackur's eyes widen, smile growing. Gon is using the trees to conceal himself again, blending with the shadowing of the bushy trees in hopes to lose Gittarackur. Such a silly tactic won't work on him. If it didn't work the first time, what made Gon think it would work this time?

"You're strange, Gon. With all your staring, I thought you wanted me?" Gittarackur affirms, thinking back to all the peering Gon has been making up to this point. "Well, here I am! C'mon, I'm too old to play hide and seek!" Gittarackur laughs as he darts out of the way of the trees. This is the most entertaining thing he's done in the exam, in a while. This game they're playing has got Gittarackur's adrenaline pumping. He can feel the way his blood ran excitedly through his flaring veins. He wonders how fast Gon really is? The boy is obviously holding back.

Gittarackur's nails enlarge as he spreads his fingers. He slows down some, allowing his prey to run through the trees at a farther distance. Gittarackur then hunches down before springing towards Gon with such speed and force, cratering the earth beneath him. The second Gon turns his head to look at his predator, Gittarackur's lips pull to show his pearly whites. His arms advance before him, sharp claws pointed towards Gon.

Gittarackur observes in slow motion as Gon's eyes widen and his pupils shrink fearfully. As Gittarackur's nails were about an inch apart from Gon's spine, almost ripping the boys outfit, Gon takes off, fleeing at such a speed that Gittarackur lost sight of him. Gittarackur pulls back, expanding a shroud of his aura, En, to engulf the area around him. With it, Gittarackur can extend his En up to 50 meters, or far longer, sensing the dozens of trees and hundreds of birds residing in them.

As Gittarackur lands on a branch, he sensed Gon running towards another direction of the forest, escaping faster than before. Gittarackur hums, impressed by Gon's agility. He wastes no time in sprinting towards Gon, heart set on his target. Gittarackur commends Gon for his abilities. He's proven his worth. Being able to dodge his attack with ease, of course with Gittarackur holding back some; being able to hide himself, that while being unaware of using Zetsu to do so; running through the forest with such agility, and in the darkest of nights; Gittarackur is amazed by this kid's capability.

What kind of training did Gon endure to be at this level of skill? Remembering Gon's background, Gittarackur knows he grew up in an island covered in trees. No doubt Gon spent most of his young life camping out in the woods and learning about the rules of the wild. Gon has earned Gittarackur's respect. He is truly a worthy companion for Killua.

"Impressive. I didn't think you could dodge that. I almost lost sight of you for a second!" Gittarackur exclaims, letting the other know he's still hot on his trail. Gittarackur is still smiling, reminiscing back to the times he would play with his beloved brothers. His favorite game he would play with them was hide and seek. It always stirred Gittarackur on. His siblings never really liked to play that game with him though. Gittarackur still wonders to this day why that is.

Still leaping through the wings of the trees, Gon looks back for a second before looking forward immediately, jittery. Gittarackur had this eerie smile on his face. Eyes wide enough to see the whites around Gittarackur's large irises, pupils expanded like those of an alert cat, malevolent smile stretched like a madman's, and his face darkened like bangs shadowing his face, but Gittarackur didn't have anything to cause such an obscurity. Everything about Gittarackur is terrifying, sure to haunt the dreams of anyone who witnesses it, and Gon has never been so happy to see it.

Gon is panting, face dripping with sweat from all his running and climbing. He's normally used to racing more than this, but his adrenaline pumping has caused Gon to tire quickly. He can feel his legs screaming for a break. Just a bit more!

Gon looks back once more, smiling his own smug grin before pushing forward again with all his weight. Driving through the leaves, Gon was surging in the air. His smile then falls, eyes widening as he was met with the end of a cliff. Gon spins himself with all his might, looking back towards the trees. He was so focused on their game of chase that he didn't notice they were at the edge of a bluff. Gittarackur soon came to a skidding stop, and by the look on his face, he didn't notice the cliff either.

Gon has jumped a large distant, a few meters away from land. With one last resort, Gon draws his rod back before casting the fishing line towards the trees. Once the line hooks onto one of the branches, Gon grips the handle of his rod and tugs at the wing, wanting to pull himself close enough to land. With this, Gon could come to a hard landing against the wall of the cliff, he could then proceed to climb up the face and hop onto land. But, Gon didn't have time to focus on which branch to hook to.

With his hurried tug, Gon has caused the wing of the tree to easily snap off. Gon's narrowed eyes widen in shock, watching in slow motion as he dove down the cliff.

Am I… going to die? Gon's pupils shrink, irises trembling in realization. But I can't die now, I can't. My friends, my Aunt Mito and Grandma Abe, Ging… Gon's life flashes before his eyes: remembering the small adventure he had with Ging before being given up to Aunt Mito, remembering all the tedious tasks Aunt Mito would put him through and bedtime stories Grandma Abe would tell him about Ging, remembering all the friends he's met and made in the forest like Kon and Kite. He has no regrets, other than dying. He wishes he could see his friends, Leorio, Kurapika, and Killua, one more time to thank them for putting up with him, for being his first friends around his age, for making the hunter exam loads of fun, for everything.

Gon had almost forgotten about Gittarackur. He no longer had a crazed smile on his face, instead replaced with a shocked one. His hair flew gracefully to the left, billowing with the wind. He's hunched, panting slowly, or maybe it seemed that way since Gon is viewing everything at a snail's pace.

No regrets? Well, maybe just one.

Gon wishes he could have spent a little more time with Gittarackur, still having so many questions to ask. He's grateful to have spent some time with the assassin. Gon's had so much fun up until now, he's thankful. So, he offers Gittarackur a sincere toothy grin, smiling so wide he had to close his eyes. I had fun.

Opening his eyes again, Gon's eyelids widen as Gittarackur ran towards him. Gittarackur's brows were slightly furrowed, eyes barely narrowing in a determined glare as he jogs towards Gon.

Gon is going to die. The boy, despite being skilled, agile, and strong, is just that; a boy. There's no way he could survive the fall of the cliff without Nen to aid him. The height of the cliff is grave; an unavoidable death. Had Gon learned how to manipulate his aura, he could use his Nen to avoid a harsher blow with minimal bruising. How didn't Gittarackur notice the damn bluff? He would have lead Gon away from it. Now the damn island hic is going to meet an early death, and with that damn smile on his face. Dammit!

With one foot firmly placed on the edge of the cliff, Gittarackur grabs onto the fishing line before it was out of arm's reach. He glares at Gon in that instant, making sure the boy held on tight. Once he saw Gon's grip tighten on the handle, Gittarackur yanks hard on the line, the pressure he placed onto his leg causing the edge of the buff to break and crumble beneath him. Gittarackur clenches his jaw and swings Gon back onto land before he dove in Gon's stead.

Gittarackur watched as Gon came to a harsh landing, skidding and bouncing against the earth before coming to a heavy stop against a tree. Gon groans, lifting himself off of the ground with his arms holding him up. The last thing Gittarackur witnesses is the terrorized face of Gon, the face Gon should have made when he was about to die. He falls the great height, watching the way Gon ran towards the edge and drawing his fishing line back.

Does he plan on fishing me to safety? Gittarackur brows raise as Gon casts his fishing line towards him, but Gon's efforts are in vain; Gittarackur has dove a long distance, his fishing line can't reach him now.

"Gittarackur!" Gon shouts, echoing into the nothing of night.

Why did I save him? Gittarackur wonders why he risked his own life to rescue a boy he just met. It's ridiculous how things ended up. Gittarackur could have easily saved Gon and avoided being in this situation, falling to his death, but Gittarackur was panicked, acting in the heat of the moment. Perhaps, being the same age as his brother, Killua, Gittarackur did what any older brother would have done: save his kin in an act of love. Gon's lucky to have stumbled upon such a noble big brother like himself. He can still picture the distraught face Gon pulled while watching him fall. It sent flutters into his meek chest.

"Shotacon~," Hisoka's annoying voice echoes in his head; even now does the magician pester him so.

"I was just observing…!" Gittarackur exclaims as he falls to the earth like it isn't something to worry about.


"Gittarackur!" Gon screams, falling to his hands and knees on the edge as he watches Gittarackur fall to his end. He saved me, he saved me...! Gittarackur, the man who at first didn't glance his way, the man who ended up hunting him down with a grin on his face, just saved Gon's life.

"Dammit!" Gon shouts, punching the soil beneath him. He fists the grass, gritting his teeth as he clenches his eyes shut. I should have minded my own business, kept to myself! Gon curses, wishing to turn back time. He should have stuck to hunting Hisoka instead of approaching Gittarackur. Had he left the man alone, none of this would have happened: Gittarackur hunting him, talking to him, smiling at him; Gon would give it all back in favor of Gittarackur living.

"Gittarackur…!" Gon growls lowly. His trembling arms could no longer support his torso; Gon shakely drop his head to the ground with a hard bump. He didn't at all mind the achiging pain on his forehead, nor did he care about the stinging pain of his bandaged hands. He deserves this, deserves the pain he's receiving, afterall, this is all his fault. He can't, won't ever forgive himself. Gon's blood boils with anger, his chest swells with guilt, and his stomach knots in grief. He feels so helpless, so weak.

Pathetic.

Then, there's a faint splashing sound. Gon's glossy orbs snap open in that instant, quickly lifting himself up to look back down over the edge. He jolts, eyes beaming at the river flowing right below the bluff. Gon is soon back on his feet, hurriedly taking hold of his fishing rod once again before bolting into the woods.

He's running around the trees, leaping over boulders and sprouting tree roots, and charging through shrubs and bushes. Gon needs to find a way around this cliff; Gittarackur may still have a fighting chance. The bluff is right above a flowing stream, and Gittarackur fell directly into it. The river would have provided a softer blow, though, there's no way of telling if the water is deep enough. He needs to get to Gittarackur. He may have severely fractured his body, or hopefully, is just suffering with minor bruising. Nevertheless, Gon is going to save him this time. Alive or not, Gon still owes Gittarackur for saving his life. He'll show his thanks by aiding his, or giving Gittarackur the proper burial he deserves.

Stop it! He's still alive! Gon tries to convince himself as he lept over a large bush. He latches onto a branch and swung to the next, landing shakily on his feet. Gon takes a small pause, wiping the sweat from his chin as he takes a breather. He needs to calm down; his adrenaline is high and his heart is running a mile a minute. If he lets his excitement get the best of him, he'll pass out, or worse. Closing his eyes, Gon takes a sharp breath and slowly lets it slip out through his nose. Calm down.

Gon repeats this action three more times before opening his eyes. He swallows thickly, a bit more relaxed than previously. Now that his mind isn't in a jumbled panic, Gon can continue. Gon pinches his nose, giving it a slight twist before releasing it and taking a mighty whiff of the air. Since they're surrounded by a large body of water, it'll be tricky to locate the river; it doesn't mean Gon won't give it a try. Gon sniffs the air once more, concentrating for a moment before dashing forward in the trees. He's found the faint scent, now Gon's next goal is to find the stream.

Gon darts from tree to tree, this time not tiring out quicker than before, but something in the air made Gon shudder. Gon skims his surroundings as he continues through the forest. Someone is following him; not only can he feel a glare fixated on his back, he can hear the woods around him being disturbed by something distant and fast. Why now? Gon clenches his jaw as he made zigzags, rapidly leaping and climbing through different trees in hopes of losing his pursuer.

Gon then jolts back once something darts past his eyes. He lands to the ground and takes another look at the object that near pierced him. His pupils shrink once he recognized a sleeping dart lodged into the trunk of the tree. Gon instantly spins, skimming the forest intently. He forgot he was also being targeted by another hunter applicant. He didn't sense their presence at all. Could it be he's been stalked since the beginning, since his game with Gittarackur? Were they waiting for Gittarackur to disappear before getting to Gon?

"Damn it," Gon murmurs, shifting his eyes. Gon's eyes then fall on a high was nothing particular about the tree, but Gon can feel the peering eyes looking at him from the full frod. Once his assailant discovered Gon had noticed them, they fire another sleeping dart his way. Gon skids back, dodging the attack. He then sprints towards another direction of the woods; Gon can hear his aggressor ruffling out of the leaves and following after him.

Gon growls, cursing loudly as he picked up speed. He can't go to Gittarackur now, not with someone targeting him. He has no choice but to flee. Gon's eyes fill with frustrated tears. He has neglected his priorities in favor of having fun. He forgot about his target, Hisoka; forgot about saving Leorio from said magician; forgot about the point of the fourth phase; forgot the reasoning behind becoming a hunter. It all started with Ging and wanting to find him. Even if he made great friends along the way, Gon was only suppose to get his licence and go on his journey for Ging. Now he's cost the life of his new friend, Gittarackur. He never wanted to bring harm to his friends. He's so pathetic, so weak; he's such a failure. He's..

A killer.

After a while of fleeing, Gon had taken refuge in a shrub. He's been hiding in the bush for about ten minutes now, not moving an inch or making a sound. The boy isn't sure if he's successfully lost his pursuer; he may be waiting for Gon to make a move. This is different, scarier then when Gittarackur chased me. Gon frowns, mournful of his fallen friend for a moment before shaking the thought from mind. There's nothing he can do now; Gon has to lose the predator before going to search for his new friend, still making Gittarackur his top priority.

Gon takes another minute in the leaves before deeming it safe to carry on. Gon moves slowly out of the shrub, gripping the handle of his fishing rod tightly for the sake of defending himself. He listens intently to his surroundings, eyes darting back and forth between the trees as he finally stepped completely out of the bushes. Gon straightens his back and sighs in relief. He lost his assailant, for now. He should proceed to find Gittarackur, this time with caution.

Gon scampers forward quietly through through the woods. Gon is sure to hide himself through the darker parts of the forest, not wanting to become discovered again. As he continues down the forest, Gon pinches his nose again and sniffs the air. While running away from his aggressor, Gon had made many turns in his direction. Gon has lost the route to the river, but he's picked up another familiar scent.

Leorio! Gon skids to a stop and hides inside a still standing tree trunk with a hollow center. He ogles the ground sternly. Leorio could still be in need of his help, Gon picked up the magician's sweet aroma as well, but Gon really wants to save Gittarackur first. Although, if Gon chooses to go find Gittarackur in favor of helping Leorio, Gon may be risking Leorio's life. Gon doesn't plan on losing another friend this time, so he'll go to Leorio; he won't allow another tragedy to happen by his hands again.


"So, do we have a deal~?" Hisoka questions with a tilt of his head.

Leorio's eyes shift from the magician's orbs to the tag he's flipping in his hand. Hisoka has proposed him a deal: Leorio has to construct one game for Hisoka and himself. Should Leorio win, he gets to keep his tag, but should he lose, Hisoka gets to take his life. To fail the exam and walk away alive or to risk dying in order to pass the 4th phase.

"Fine," Leorio grumbles, eyes returning to Hisoka. The magician's grin stretches, amused as Leorio rose from his squatting position. With Kurapika in hand, Leorio carries his still unconscious friend towards a leaning tree. Leorio knew he was risking his life when he signed up for the hunter exam; the situation he's in is no different than what he expected. He's got one chance to regain his stolen ID and to get Hisoka off his back for good. Of course, Leorio could always retake the exam next year, but there's no guarantee he'll make it as far as he did now.

Leorio gently leans Kurapika against the leaning base of the tree and assures his friend, "I'll get us out of this," before standing up right. His glare returns to Hisoka as he walks back towards the grinning magician. "So, I have to make up the game?" Leorio reconfirms as he stood a meter away from Hisoka, fists tightly pressed to his sides.

"Yes sir~," Hisoka answers with a nod of his head. Leorio's tag now spun on the tip of his index finger.

"Any rules?" Leorio questions, eyes remaining glued to Hisoka's own orbs to avoid the taunt of his tag.

"Just the ones you've set up~."

"Alright then… Give me a second." Leorio crosses his arms and ogles the grass, thinking long and hard on a game that's to his advantage. Leorio knows the other would most likely lie and take his tag anyway, or could easily win the game he sets up, but Leorio has no other choice but to oblige. Now the question is: What game would be in Leorio's favor?

Hisoka has said so before, the game could be of anything Leorio thinks of. So maybe something simple, like tic tac toe or rock paper scissors. Leorio certainly can't win against a game of speed or strength against Hisoka. The memories of Hisoka killing participants and challenging Leorio and Kurapika in the fog still lingered in mind. Hisoka is far stronger than Leorio could ever hope to be, and his agility is far beyond comparison. So, a simple game will do… though, now that Leorio remembers, he isn't good at those. With his experience with the prisoners a few days ago, Leorio doesn't feel so confident anymore. That female guard really took a toll on his self esteem when he lost a simple game of rock paper scissors. Even his friends tried warning him to use scissors instead of rock.

"Leorio…! How about whether or not you're still in your teens?!" Leorio's crossed arms tighten as he glares at the ground, remembering Gon's suggestion when he was wagering with the female prisoner. I don't look that old. Leorio then clicks his tongue as he recollects Kurapika joking about his age whilst on the ship. Leorio's face turns sour, scowling hard as he silently huffs. Is this really something he's going to bet on? It's more than obvious he's a teenager… right? Everyone, especially his friends, gave him the same shocked expression when Leorio revealed his age.

"You know," Hisoka interrupts, making Leorio look back up at him, "The night may be young, but I don't intend on waiting for you forever~. Could you maybe speed it up~?"

"Fine… Fine, alright! I got a game for ya," Leorio huffs, not believing what he's about to do. He uncrosses his arms and stuffs his hands into his pockets, scowling hard but not at Hisoka, but for the bet he's about to set.

Hisoka flips Leorio's tag once more in hand before holding it firmly between the knuckle of his forefinger and his thumb. His grin couldn't stretch any bigger as he awaits in excitement for the game Leorio will set up. He can feel his own aura buzz and seep from his control in sinister excitement.

"So, what game will we be playing~?" Hisoka near chimes, biting his lip in anticipation. He's more than confident he'll win Leorio's game. Whether it's one of agility, strength, or intellect, Hisoka is positive he'll triumph. Oh, that's right. He mustn't forget the reason for this game. Hisoka wants Leorio to advance to the next phase. Still, it doesn't mean he can't have a little fun.

"A wager. One bet with one winner. How does that sound?" Leorio proposes, still grimacing at himself.

"Really? One bet? Confident now, aren't we? I like that~," Hisoka appeals, chuckling cutely. Hisoka's on his toes, eager to know what kind of wager Leorio has set up. Are they going to bet on who can climb the highest mountain or who can lift the biggest boulder; will they play a game of wits, like solving a complicating riddle in less than a minute; or will they race down the river and back? The possibilities are endless! Hisoka can feel his hands tingling, hungry to draw blood. Goodness, if Hisoka doesn't calm himself down now, there's no telling what he'll do. He feels like he's going to schwing with the way his bloodlust is rising. It's making him tingle, and oh does he want Leorio~.

Leorio gulps as a droplet of sweat clung to his chin. Hisoka's smile has grown eerily and his eyes have become sharp. Hisoka is more than eager for this game, and it made Leorio second guess his choices. There is no way he can pull this off, Hisoka isn't dumb; he'll guess the answer right. Unlike his friends, Hisoka is keen. I might as well throw in the towel. Although Leorio doubts Hisoka will guess incorrectly, there's a voice in the back of his head nagging him to push on; probably Kurapika's voice.

With an exasperated look on his face, Leorio sighs dramatically before finally speaking, "You have one minute, okay?" Hisoka nods, too busy biting his own lip to speak. The hairs on the back of Leorio's neck stand; Hisoka is itching to play. With one last hesitant sigh, Leorio points his thumb towards himself, and asks, "Am I in my teens or not?"

Hisoka's grin falls, lips parting as he affirms, "If you're in your teens?" Hisoka's single brow raises, bewildered by the odd challenge. Leorio nods, frowning as if he couldn't believe his own wager. Of all the things Leorio could have come up with, a riddle, a simple algebraic equation, strip poker, and he comes up with this? Why, even the glare on Leorio's face shows that he isn't too ecstatic about his own wager.

"Okay, I guess I'll play along." Hisoka lightly frowns himself. He got excited over nothing. "But, how will I know you won't lie about your age?"

"I have my driver's license to verify," Leorio confirms, gesturing a finger down towards his open suitcase. "It's in there. You can confirm for yourself after your guess."

"Alright then, I'll play your little game." Hisoka nods before cupping his chin with his free hand. He hums in wonder, crossing his leg over the other and digging his heel into the soil. Leorio is tall, way too tall to be under fourteen; he's a bit taller than Hisoka if said magician didn't wear his heels. He examines Leorio's frame from head to toe. Leorio's stubble and sideburns give the impression that he's in his mid-thirties or early forties. It's so clearly obvious Leorio is older, so Hisoka parts his lips and points his index finger up to speak, but then Hisoka wasn't so sure anymore. Leorio wouldn't have challenged him with such a question if it were this easy. So Hisoka purses his lips, grabbing his chin once again as he scans Leorio closely.

Perhaps Leorio is a teen after all, or is he much older than he appears? The chairman of the Hunter Association, Isaac Netero, is more than a century old, and the elder looks to be in his seventies. Maybe Hisoka would have an easier time reading Leorio's aura?

Hisoka takes a moment to watch the way Leorio's aura flows together, recollecting the way it oozed throughout the exam. It expresses so much emotion like a short tempered teen, but there's no way. Come to think of it, Leorio can't be older than forty without greying hairs or wrinkles. Of course, there's the possibility of Leorio dying his hair, and a bit of makeup can help cover any imperfections. Another alternative could be that Leorio would be able to slow the aging process by controlling his aura, but it's been established that Leorio doesn't know how to use Nen, so the man should have crows-feet at least. Looking closely, Leorio's skin is smooth with a few bumps here and there; fresh acne scars adorn his face as well. This is a tough challenge after all…

Leorio's eye twitches, frowning deeply as his lips press tightly together. The longer Hisoka takes to answer, the angrier Leorio gets. The man has been ogling him closely, making faces and humming in deep thought. Does Hisoka really not see it? Leorio grumbles, rubbing at his face irritatingly with his hands. I can't believe he can't tell! Leorio felt like shouting, visibly upset and not maintaining a proper poker face like he should, but Hisoka is too deep in his thoughts to notice.

It's been more than a minute now, but Leorio spares Hisoka the extra seconds in hopes that the other could guess right, completely forgetting that his life is on the line. This is completely unbelievable to Leorio; he's clearly in his teens…!

"No, there's no way… You tire out way too easily and become agitated over the littlest things, qualities of an older man," Hisoka concludes, talking to himself. Leorio then glares at him, nostrils flaring angrily as his face scrunches up furiously.

"Time's up! Tell me your answer," Leorio fumes.

Hisoka jolts out of his thoughts once Leorio barked at him. He sulks, bothered that the challenge question was trickier than he thought. Hisoka then shrugs, letting his hands fall to his side.

"Well, with all the evidence, I'd say you're obviously in your…," Hisoka drifts off, brows raising at the way Leorio's features lit up. Hisoka felt his cheeks heat up, liking the way the other looked hopeful at him. It made his chest flutter. "You're obviously in your…forties- no, thirties…?" Leorio's buoyant face then falls, dramatically, mouth hanging agape with his brows furrowed sadly. So much for that pleasing feeling in Hisoka's chest, now it's swelling in discontent from that somber look Leorio is making.

Leorio slumps, letting his head hang low as his hands turn into fists. Not only do his friends not see him as a teenager, but Hisoka doesn't see him for his age either? Leorio's frame shook with anger as his shoulders raise, his jaw clenches, lips pulling back to show his teeth. He's so angry, so beyond sick of everyone thinking he's an old man.

Leorio then looks back at Hisoka with this piercing glare and points his thumb towards himself before shouting, "I'm in my teens, you clown!"

Hisoka's eyes then widen, jaw dropping in surprise, and before he could even respond, Hisoka's head is sent flying to the side, struck by a flying object. Through the magician's peripheral vision, he can see the all too familiar object that swung at him. It was a red sphere with a hook attached to it. Caught off guard by Leorio revealing his age, Hisoka didn't even see the attack coming.

Leorio's taken aback, recognizing the flying weapon that struck Hisoka. Frame by frame, Leorio watches the way Hisoka's head roughly tosses to the side as his body fought to stay afoot. The sudden attack caused Leorio's tag to slip from Hisoka's grasp, dropping to the ground instantly.

This is my chance! Leorio wastes no time in grabbing his ID tag as the fishing hook reels back. With his tag now in hand, Leorio darts away from Hisoka and towards Kurapika. Thank you, Gon! Leorio praises his savior as he kneels down to scoop Kurapika in his arms again. Once he's on his feet, Leorio is running off, leaving his and Kurapika's belongings behind.

Meanwhile, Hisoka is still in his stumbled position. What just happened? He slowly pulls his head back, only to watch the way Leorio flees with his unconscious friend. Hisoka's hand goes up to gently finger his throbbing cheek. He was struck by the ball of a fishing rod. Now who does he know that carries such a weapon? Hisoka turns towards the direction the fishing line had reeled back towards, and he isn't at all surprised at what he sees.

There was Gon, standing a distance away with a fixated, hard, stare on Hisoka. Said man's lips curve into a big smile once he saw his own ID tag in Gon's raised hand. The little sucker must have ripped it off of my person when I was hit. The sneaky hunter used the opportunity of Hisoka being off guard to attack him dead center. During the strike, Gon watched keenly as his hook dove, and when it was at a certain height, he reeled the fishing line back, successfully attaching it to Hisoka's tag before yanking it off.

Hisoka chuckles lowly, pressing his finger roughly onto his swollen cheek. This brings him back to the first phase; Gon saved Leorio the same way during their confrontation in the fog. The boy is such a daring one, so unique, so ripe for the picking that Hisoka couldn't contain his bloodlust any longer. His sinister aura skyrockets, engulfing the whole perimeter and quacking the very trees themselves. Although excited, Hisoka's a bit peeved; Gon interrupted his moment with Leorio.

"What a naughty boy, interrupting a conversation between adults. You should be punished~," Hisoka warns in a chime. He turns to face his body fully towards Gon. The boy didn't seem at all phased by his threat, instead, Gon looked as though he was anticipating this. The young applicant drops his arm and turns to his side, determined eyes stare right into Hisoka's before running off into the woods.

"So, you want me to play? Fine, let's play~."


All I've been doing is running tonight. Gon feigns a breathless laugh as he scurries through the forest. He held Hisoka's tag firmly in one hand while the other held his fishing rod tightly. Hisoka's bloodlust had shaken Gon right to the very core, but he did not let any fear show through his features. He has to put on a brave face; Gon knows that's what Hisoka likes and would likely lead said magician to chase him. Even if he's shaking, even if he's frightened, Gon would rather Hisoka come after him. He was able to save Leorio, and Gon is grateful for doing so. Gon even stole Hisoka's tag to ensure the magician had a reason to chase him. So now the boy is running for his friend's life, saving Leorio like he wished he could have done for Gittarackur.

Gon's lips purse, upset over Gittarackur's downfall. He tries hard to shake the man from his thoughts, focusing on not being captured by Hisoka instead. He'll lose trail of the magician and go in search of Gittarackur; Gon's goal is still set.

Then, Gon's heart jolts painfully. Gon emits a choked groan as his body stiffens, becoming heavy. Gon's pupils shrink in panic as his limbs become numb. What's happening?! He makes one step, two as he drops his rod and Hisoka's tag to the dirt. On his third step, Gon's legs give out as said boy falls to his face. My body- I can't…? Gon attempts to move, but only manages to twitch a finger.

Gon's swallows thickly, panting lightly as his eyes dart towards a figure walking towards him. Hisoka?! Gon dreads, turning his head as best as he can towards the being.

"Next time, remember to watch your own back," says hunter applicant 384, Geretta.


Leorio skids to a stop, struggling for breath as he looks over his shoulder. He gulps, sweat dripping from his face. He's somehow miraculously escaped from Hisoka's clutches. Leorio can no longer feel the scorching bloodlust in the air. When the sinister atmosphere enveloped him, Leorio felt so overwhelmed, so frightful, so small. Leorio's glad he was able to escape it, though, he isn't in the clear yet. Hisoka may still come after him, and Leorio can't defend himself or Kurapika with said friend in his comatose, so Leorio decides to make Kurapika's safety his top priority.

Leorio strolls through the trees, constantly looking over his shoulder for the magician before finally finding what he was looking for. A tall, girthy, tree surrounded by full bushes. Leorio beams to himself as he steps through the bushes, hissing every so often by the thorns cutting away at his legs. He pushes through the leaves, digging until finally reaching the base of the tree. Squatting, Leorio gently lies Kurapika down on the dirt floor, careful not to scratch him with the bushes' spikes.

"Leorio…?" Kurapika mumbles as his eyelids screw. Leorio sighs, thankful his friend is finally coming too.

"Hey, you're finally waking up," Leorio affirms, smiling down at his friend.

"What…happened?" Kurapika inquires groggily.

"Hisoka happened," Leorio briefly explained as he grabs Kurapika's hand. He applies pressure to Kurapika's index finger, giving it a tight pinch. "Can you feel this?" Kurapika's face twists in discomfort, to which Leorio sighs thankfully. "Tell me where you are and your full name."

Kurapika swallows his spit before answering, "I'm.. Kurapika of the Kur-ta clan... I'm in the hunter exam, competing in the fourth phase."

Leorio nods before placing Kurapika's hand back down. His hand reaches out behind him, searching for something before jolting in realization. Leorio curses, just remembering that he's left his suitcase behind. Well, there's no way he's coming back for his case now. Hisoka may still be waiting for him. Crap, Hisoka! Leorio looks around, and over his shoulder once again for the magician before looking back towards his friend.

"Do you feel any pain, perhaps a headache, nausea?" Leorio asks. Leorio may not hold the title of being a doctor, but he's done his research. Leorio had to make sure Kurapika wasn't experiencing signs of trauma, such as numbness, slurred speech, persistent vomiting, and dilating pupils. Due to the darkness and shadowing of the leaves, Leorio can't check for the last symptom, having left his flashlight in his suitcase.

"I just feel sick is all...a… mild headache." Kurapika gently flutters his eyes open, his vision jumping out at him like a children's pop up book. Kurapika closes his eyes instantly, feeling bile rise in the back of his throat. Kurapika swallows it down, taking deep breaths of fresh air.

"You're not showing any major signs of trauma, from what I see anyway. Rest easy and let it pass; don't force yourself," Leorio advises. He stands from his perched position and pushes the leaves to loom over Kurapika's body.

"Leorio…?" Kurapika calls out once he heard the ruffling noises.

"I'm going to leave you hidden for a while. Hisoka is after me, and I'll be damned if I let him hurt you again." As soon as Kurapika is out of view, Leorio is bustling out the shrubs. "I'll be back, just stay put and focus on your breathing!" Leorio instructs once he's out of the frond. He stands still, looking down at his ripped pants before his eyes shift towards the direction of the forest he escaped from Hisoka. Leorio bristles as Gon came to mind. Gon has more talent than Leorio could muster, so he know's the younger can hold his own against Hisoka; but be that as it may, Leorio can't help but fear for his friend's life. His chest swells, not wanting to leave Kurapika in his condition, but he has to save Gon somehow. Besides, the clown is after him, not anyone else. Leorio will remind Hisoka of that.

"I'm sorry…!" Leorio mutters to Kurapika before running off to his inevitable death.

Kurapika takes one long drag of air through his nose before letting it out through his mouth. He repeats this again, trying to focus on all his senses. The Kurta replays everything that's happened up to this point. He and Leorio were traveling; the air soon became deadly and sinister, and the next thing he knew, everything went black. Kurapika's headache worsened as he tried to search his memory. Kurapika takes this moment to recuperate instead, not wanting to hurt himself with all this thinking. He focuses on some of his senses. He can slightly hear the way the leaves ruffle together, he can feel the grass tickle at his fingertips, and he can smell the earth's scent. Kurapika debated if he was good for now, but there's no way for him to tell alone.

Kurapika flutters his eyes open again, only to close them. His vision is still dancing but not as bad as before. He decides to give himself a moment's rest. Hopefully nothing will disturb him or try to attack him.

The air is still for the moment, as if not wanting to disturb Kurapika any further. The area became silent, aside from a few crickets. Looking past all the deadly intent that's happening in the island, the night was serene and beautiful. Kurapika took slow breaths, focusing on himself, but then, the Kurta failed to hear the faint ruffling of the tree he's residing on. The ruffling became louder and it wasn't until now did Kurapika notice. The noise is coming from right in front of him.

"Leorio?" Kurapika mutters hopefully. His heart is picking up speed in a small panic. Not now. I can't… Kurapika grits his teeth, body tensing once he felt someone loom over him. It wasn't Leorio.


Author's note*

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WRITERS: When ya knock someone unconscious, they're suppose to wake up soon after. I did my research right after writing this scene and oops :^) I need Kurapika unconscious for a bit longer though. Knocking someone unconscious is never realistic in fiction anyway, so I'm good. AND ALSO THIS IS HXH, WHERE YA RUN FOR HOURS AND STILL REMAIN IN TIP TOP SHAPE. Note to always do your research before writing though! ;v; Don't make this mistake! DON'T PULL AN AMARIE...

Anyway
I'm trying hard not to make this too OOC as possible.
Did I perhaps make gon too angsty? Blaming himself way too hard? I tried to add the same conflicting emotions he went through for (spoiler) when Kite was captured by the ants. Though, i will admit, him accepting death is a bit unrealistic. Maybe I over did it, or maybe I did just right? Let me know, or nah~. AND I TOTALLY REALIZED THAT HISOKA PROBABLY HEARD LEORIO REVEAL HIS AGE TO HIS FRIENDS WHEN THEY WERE RUNNING THE FIRST PHASE. Let's pretend he didn't hear that part~!
AND YEAH SORRY FOR THE DRAG.
I got busy with drawing and art commissions and life… btw, my commissions are open, just send me a message if ya interested :^) … *shameless self promo*
BUT YEAH TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHAPTER!

REMINDER: I'm not a frequent updater... and who knows when will be the next time i update. I won't make promise that it will be soon, but i will promise it wont take a month. I haven't started the next chapter yet, but i'm currently writing ideas for it. So please be patient with me!