Kuruta x Spider x Origins of Revenge - a Hunter x Hunter fanfic
by Erika Riggio [Filia]
Disclaimer: None of the characters of Hunter x Hunter belong to me; they belong to Yoshihori Togashi-sama. This is a work of fanfiction. Arigato to Sosiqui-sempai [one half of Jan-Ken-Pon here at the Pit of Voles] for her sage-like help with this fic. ^^
Kurapica had never been to the outside world. He knew it existed, certainly, and he had been taught of its dangers ever since he was very young. He had no desire to visit it, however, unlike most boys his age in the Kuruta tribe. Kurapica, unlike his preteen peers, had decided that he would be perfectly content to live on the island of Akashima, among his tribe and the places he loved, for his entire life.
Young Kuruta boys were hardly ever so content with the circumstances of their lives; not at this point, at least. Around the age of twelve, the tribal elders knew, most boys would learn of the world of Hunters, and would desire to leave the simple life of the island in search of more exciting, worthwhile pursuits. They harbored these dreams for a year or two, some of them actually going so far as to pursue them for a little while, but all their childhood dreams ended the same way, as they discovered the cruelty of the outside world and invariably returned to the tranquility of Akashima.
Kurapica was not like this. He excited the curiosity of the elders in this one respect. He was a talented fighter, intelligent, and full of pride; all qualities that boys his age possessed. However, he was not in any hurry to leave Akashima, for any reason at all. The elders surmised that, perhaps, Kurapica already knew what he would find in the outside world, and had therefore decided not to bother. What they guessed was true, although Kurapica didn't know it himself; he simply had too much pride to go forth into a new world where he knew he, with his simple Kuruta beliefs, could only fail.
And so Kurapica was content to begin his day lying on the beach outside of his village of Lucoso, watching the sky. On many occasions, his friend Seikako would accompany him. Seikako had an immense amount of respect for Kurapica; many of the tribal elders predicted that the two would marry someday. Kurapica was of the age where the idea of marriage still disgusted him to a degree, but he had to admit to himself that marrying Seikako wouldn't be so bad. She was his friend, after all, and he would have to get married someday, whether he wanted to or not. So why not her? It seemed a fair idea to Kurapica, so he had accepted it in his mind.
Seikako, on the other hand, had a far more romantic idea of her assumed future marriage to Kurapica, but she would have been far too embarrassed to mention it to him. In fact, she was far too embarrassed to mention much of anything to Kurapica, even though they had been friends since childhood. As they grew older, Seikako felt Kurapica becoming more distant, and so she was often left wondering exactly what to say to him. When she did muster up the courage to say something, it was often replied to with a single word or ignored altogether. Still, Seikako persisted.
It was a day much like any other, although the sun seemed a bit brighter than usual. A great many more clouds than usual, however, underscored the brightness of the sun. As Kurapica and Seikako lay on the beach together, Seikako decided to use the unusually cloudy sky in her daily attempt to try and strike up a conversation.
"Look, Kura," she ventured, timidly, pointing at the sky. She nudged him a little, to get his attention. "That one looks like a kitsumeguma." She glanced over at him, eager for some kind of reaction.
Kurapica was silent, looking at the cloud, deep in thought for some reason. At last, he rolled over onto his side, facing away from Seikako and staring into space. Seikako was visibly annoyed by this, and countered by rolling onto her side as well, her back towards Kurapica's. She sighed and began tracing lines in the sand.
After a few moments, Kurapica rolled back onto his back. He was in a state of discomfort today, somehow brought on by the atypical brightness of the sun. He didn't like when Seikako was angry with him, however. He sat up and looked over at her, then nudged her shoulder. Seikako quickly brushed away whatever it was she had been drawing in the sand, and rolled onto her back to look at Kurapica, surprised.
Kurapica looked up at the sky, considering, before pointing and saying, "That one looks like a fish, see?"
After a moment of staggered silence, Seikako laughed. She pointed at another cloud and declared, "That one looks like a mountain!"
"It does not!" Kurapica protested. "It looks like a tree!"
"An upside-down tree," Seikako amended. She supported her theory by standing up and bending over, looking back up at the sky through her legs. "Now it looks like a tree."
Kurapica glared at her for a second before playfully tackling her, knocking her to the ground. Seikako let out a tiny scream and then squealed as Kurapica began tickling her. "Kura, stop!!" she wailed, thrashing about on the sand beneath him, giggling hysterically.
After a few minutes, Kurapica stood up and, with a teasing wink, stated, "That'll teach you, Seika-chan!" before running off into the forest towards Lucoso village. Seikako laughed and leaped up, scampering behind him in hot pursuit.
That night, Kurapica couldn't sleep. He tossed and turned in his hammock, unable to find a comfortable position in which to curl up, or even to find the desire to fall into nocturnal unconsciousness. It was that same uneasy feeling he had felt that morning on the beach with Seikako, stronger now, with an air of foreboding. At last, Kurapica rolled out of his hammock and slipped out through the window of the hut.
The Kuruta tribe lived in huts in the trees surrounding their village of Lucoso. Kurapica sprung down the limbs of the tree in which his family resided with light, soundless feet until he landed on the soft, leafy ground below. As he landed, he became aware of footsteps in the distance. At first, he thought the feet belonged to the tribal elders, having a moonlight meeting about some tribal issue or another, but as Kurapica studied the position of the moon, he realized it was too late at night for the elders to be meeting. In addition, the footsteps were not coming from the direction of the Lucoso town square, where the elders would most likely have gathered, but from the opposite direction entirely. Kurapica leaped into the branches of a nearby tree and hid himself in the shadows, listening.
He heard a female voice first. "They will resist," she said, in a quiet, reserved tone, "because we will have to wake them first. If we don't, it will all be for nothing."
A man's voice followed. "It will not matter. We will crush them, regardless. Kisokuhi will make them beg for mercy."
"Silence," interrupted a second male voice. "Stealth for now. No need to wake them sooner. It will only create unnecessary bloodshed on our part." The air grew quiet after he spoke; even the footsteps of his companions grew softer. Kurapica held his breath, listening.
After a few moments, Kurapica saw five figures come into view, three men and two women. He could not make out their features in the darkness, but he sensed that they were walking at a quickened pace. Indeed, they approached faster than a man at a normal pace would have, and passed under the tree less than a minute after Kurapica first spotted them. Kurapica shivered as they passed, then felt his face begin to heat as the blood rushed to his eyes. They are headed for Lucoso, he thought to himself, panicked.
Kurapica took a deep breath and leaped from the branch on which he had hidden to a neighboring branch on the next tree. He continued in this manner, following the five figures at a safe, but close, distance. He learned nothing more from them, as they refrained from speaking after the harsh words of the stern second man. After a few minutes, they reached the center square of Lucoso. Kurapica stopped in the branches of a tree just outside, watching intently.
The stern man, who seemed to be the leader, began speaking in whispers. "Kisokuhi, start there." He pointed at the hut of the elders. One of the women nodded, and stood upright, head bowed down, right finger pointed at the elders' hut.
Kurapica had to stop himself from jumping or screaming. He covered his mouth with his hands and watched as a steady stream of green flame burst forth from the fingertip of Kisohuki, engulfing the hut in fire. Almost immediately, the tribal elders rushed forth from the hut, their eyes a brilliant shade of red. Kurapica continued to watch as the leader of the invading group intoned, "Ubougin, Nobunaga, Pakunoda, go." The remaining men and woman rushed forward towards the enraged elders and, drawing daggers in a flash, slit all nine of their throats before Kurapica even had time to breathe.
And when Kurapica saw Ubougin, Pakunoda, and Nobunaga slice the angry scarlet eyes from the lifeless skulls of the elders, something inside his brain snapped. Time stood still for a moment. And yet, there was nothing he could force himself to do.
"Good work," the leader of the invaders said, collecting the eyes in bags, which he had kept inside of his coat. He pointed towards the north. "That way," he ordered, and the four murderers disappeared into the trees.
Kurapica gasped for breath. Seikako, he thought. Her home is that way. He wanted to move, to stop the evil that had come into his village, but he couldn't force himself. He was frozen in place; he had to force himself to breathe. He watched, almost in pain, as the five assassins stealthily passed through the forest, burning every hut they came to and killing all of its inhabitants.
What could I do? Kurapica thought, horrified. Even if I could do something, what good would it do? I'm just one boy. The girl with the flames would burn me to a crisp, and then the other three would cut out my eyes and what good would it have been? But I can't just sit here, can I? There's no way I could take on all five of them. If there were one or two, perhaps I could, but not five. Why are they doing this? Why? All of these thoughts whirled through Kurapica's mind, but he couldn't act. He was rooted to the spot, as though he had become part of the tree in which he hid.
They seemed to leave as quickly as they had come. They met in the town square before departing. The flame-girl, Kisokuhi, spoke first. "All of the buildings are destroyed, Danchou."
"Are you certain?" the leader countered.
Kisokuhi nodded emphatically. "We scoured the island. Every residence is burned." She waved her hand around, indicating the pillars of smoke rising from all around. The leader nodded once, in approval, and turned to the other three.
"We killed every person we came across," reported Nobunaga. "We've already given you all of the eyes. All scarlet, as you requested." He sheathed his dagger, almost in conclusion.
"They're all gone," Pakunoda added, almost in a whisper. "The whole tribe, dead." She sheathed her dagger as well. Ubougin did not speak, but tightened his mammoth fist, as if in agreement.
"As it should be," the leader affirmed, with a slight smile. "The Genei Ryodan will be rich." He nodded in the direction from which they had come and began walking back toward where Kurapica hid. The other four followed, Pakunoda and Nobunaga together, followed by Ubougin, then Kisokuhi.
Kurapica held his breath again. The leader, Pakunoda, Nobunaga, and Ubougin passed directly under the tree, seeming not to notice his presence. Kisokuhi, however, walked more slowly than her companions, and stopped under the tree.
"I know you're there," she murmured. "I know, and I have known. I don't know why I chose to spare you, but be grateful. The Spider is relentless; it will find you, someday, and finish the job we have begun tonight. Cherish the time you have." And with that, she disappeared into the night. The last thing Kurapica saw of the Genei Ryodan that night was the tattoo of a spider with thirteen legs on Kisokuhi's back. The moment he saw it, he could feel his eyes flaming red.
When Kurapica was certain they were gone, he dropped down out of the tree and curled up into a ball on the ground. He stayed that way until long after sunrise, unsure of what to do next. He had always felt alone, but had never been so lonely.
Late in the day, Kurapica finally finished collecting all of the bodies of his tribe and burying them. It was a slow, mechanical process; families were buried together, beneath the charred remains of their homes, and the elders were all buried in the town square. The last person he buried was Seikako; she was the one person upon whom he couldn't bear to look, throat slit, empty sockets gazing into oblivion. He finally decided to carry her out to the beach, to let her rest in the place they had loved the most.
He rested her limp body on the sand, next to where they had been happily watching clouds just over twenty-four hours earlier. As he set her down, he noticed the remains of what she had been drawing in the sand that morning, before he had interrupted her and she had smoothed most of it away.
He could just barely make out the words "Kurapica" and "Seikako," encased in a heart.
Kurapica looked up into the sky, still filled with clouds. He could almost hear Seikako's voice saying, "That one looks like a kitsumeguma!" A tear ran down his cheek and landed on Seikako's fingerprints in the sand.
"I will avenge you," Kurapica whispered, eyes redder than the setting sun. "I'll avenge them all. I will kill the Spider and bring you back your eyes, Seikako. And for that.." He stood and looked out towards the sea. He could see the main land on the horizon; it was a distance one could easily swim, if he had the determination.
"For that," Kurapica repeated, "I must become a Hunter."