Chapter 07 – Phase IV (Part 1)
As they waited for the rather long - boring, annoying, unexciting, irritating as hell - Third Phase to end, Accelerator talked a bit more about the different aura types and the way to find out in which category they all belonged to. He told them everything he managed to find out about this particular theme from the one poor Hunter, who decided to attack him back then on their way towards Zaban City, which ended not as good for the attacked and left Last Order and Accelerator with much interesting information after coaxing him to talk – with the help of a bit torture. He did not do much, just breaking a few bones and the elite of the elite talked nonstop.
Of course, he had not told Last Order's little group of friends everything they found out and also kept quiet about the things both he and his little sister could actually do. There was much more to know about Nen than only its different categories, but they did not know. Maybe they could talk sometimes later more about the other themes or he could use it to blackmail one of them.
They continued to spend their time either inside the tower at night or during the day outside talking about everything and nothing at all. Three days was a rather long time after all, without having anything to do. Kurapika even retold the story about his now exterminated clan, the Kurta, and about the Phantom Troupe and Leorio about his sick friend, who died simply because they did not have enough money for the treatment. Misaka told them in return about a few things of Academy City and the people she met there, etcetera. Somewhere hallway through he took a nap only to wake up and see that she had talked the whole time he slept and was still going on.
Throughout the day Gon, Killua and Misaka also often ended up running around for hours to no end, playing tag and hide and seek on the round platform like mountain, trying to do skateboard tricks and learning how to use a fishing rod and even fought against those magenta colored six-legged creatures with wings. These world seriously had some really strange animals.
The couch still belonged to Accelerator since whoever dared to sit on it - with the exception of his lovely little sister, even her new friends were not allowed - managed to get a broken arm for free from a pissed Accelerator. It was the only hallway decent and soft thing to sit and sleep on for the last three days; there was not way in hell he would give it to someone else.
Thank god, the dispute over the couch was fast handled. It was as easy as that and after the first one got the bone in his arm shattered into many little pieces and was rolling on the floor screaming in pain, they deiced to just glare at both him and Last Order but did not do anything else, so that there really were no further problems. No one dared go near his couch again.
Time passed and more and more different Hunter wannabes appeared from the doors of the circular room, seating themselves around the room and also began to wait for the remaining hours to pass. It was boring, it was annoying, there was nothing to do and nothing good to eat.
At least, Accelerator thought, he and Last Order had some chips to eat, far better than the little bit of water and some cookie like biscuits they got from the people guarding the tower. In their desperation they also tried eating those magenta creatures, they killed, but they tasted just awful. The biscuits were clearly better, but Accelerator could not wait to finally eat a decent meal and sleep in a normal bed again.
They waited and waited and waited and finally, after many hours of sitting around uselessly, the zeppelin, which brought them from Second to Third Phase, landed on the mountain right before the tower. Five minutes until the Third Phase was finally over.
The sun was shining and a comfortable wind blowing. Accelerator looked from the whole he had made in the wall at the other participants who were waiting in the room, thinking about how few managed to get down to the base, only twenty-nine. They were the normal ones; Killua, Kurapika, Gon, Leorio, the creepy magician, the mouse-eared huntsman, the bald ninja, the living pincushion, the weak-looking archer, the lancer, the saber with grey hair and hook-nose, a woman with turquoise hair and a balloon-like yellow hat, a normal looking guy with short black hair, a red-haired woman with sunglasses and gun, a boring guy with long black hair, the ape-man, the guy with the red nose, the three brothers, the snake man, the old kung-fu master, a muscular man with short blond hair and a weak looking teenager, some other equally unimportant ones and at last of course Accelerator and Last Order.
They heard a loud 'ping' throughout the room and turned their attention towards the speaker hanging on the wall. From Last Order he was informed that the person speaking through it was a Blacklist Hunter and examiner named Lippo.
"The Third Phase of the exam is over. Twenty-nine applicants have passed. Please board the airship. It will bring you to your next destination." Accelerator stood up from the couch and stretched his aching body. Not doing anything all day also was not good for his body. All participants left the tower through the hole and boarded the airship for only half an hour before they landed once again. Now they were standing before the sea, in the distance he could see a little island. A short man descended from the airship and halted right before them.
He was rather petite with a distinguishable violet Mohawk, large clear glasses and orange colored eyes, which seemed to be slited wholly and looked like the ones of a fox. He was grinning happily at them.
"Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations on having escaped the Trick Tower. Only the Fourth Phase and the Final Phase remain." Accelerator remembered the voice; it was the same they heard through the speaker. This had to be Lippo, the examiner from the Phase before.
"Two more…" he could hear the bald ninja beside him mutter and Accelerator realized what was said. Two more phases and they would finally be Hunters. Hopefully they would not take so long like the last one, it was annoying and time-consuming. Lippo pointed his thumb coolly over his shoulder towards the island in the distance. He smirked evilly.
"The Fourth Phase will take place over there on Zevil Island. Let us proceed." He snapped his finger dramatically. Someone - tall, bald, long ears, fat lips, stupid facial expression, mud green vest and pants - shoved a hip-high metal construction with a box on top of it towards Lippo. The box was dark blue colored with yellow arrows pointing from one side to the other.
"I will need you to draw lots." Everyone was confused and they started to murmur to each other. Why not, Accelerator thought.
"Lots?" said the mouse-eared hunter, whose name he did not remember and possibly never would.
"For what?" asked the weak-looking archer. Lippo grinned happily.
"To determine who will hunt and who will be hunted." Lippo pointed at the box besides him. "In here are twenty-nine numbered cards. In other words, you ID numbers are on the cards. Now I need you each to draw a card, in the order by which you exited the tower. Right, Mister Accelerator?" They all looked at him.
"Tch. You are just far to troublesome sometimes." Accelerator said as he walked casually towards the examiner.
"And you ate most of my ultra-deluxe chips I had in storage and had my helpers bring the couch down for your accommodativeness." Lippo said with a playful scowl.
"It was a trade." Accelerator shrugged his shoulder; information for food and comfort.
"You are right, but that does not mean I have to like it." Accelerator walked over to the box and drew a card. He turned it over; it was blank. Accelerator smirked creepily just for fun and went back to Last Order. He could not wait to see what would happen in the next test.
Hisoka was next, then the living pincushion, then the bald ninja, then the mouse-eared hunter, then finally his little sister and her new friends and then other unimportant side characters.
"Ne? What do you think that meant?" Gon asked.
"Probably just playing tag, answers Misaka as Misaka thinks about it." Probably right.
"Playing tag?" Gon looked more confused than before. Everyone went to the box and drew a card.
"Everyone's taken a card?" Lippo asked rhetorically. "Then remove the seal from your card." Accelerator looked at his card again, after removing the blank sticky paper. He had the number 198. He showed it to Last Order.
"Do you know who this is?" he asked.
"Yes, number 198, Imori, light brown hair, black eyes, green white cap light blue pullover, not that tall or muscular, danger level minimal, and one of the three brothers, says Misaka as Misaka remembers clearly." Thank god for Last Order's extraordinary memory. He usually did not remember unimportant things, like the faces of losers or weaklings.
"What about you?" Accelerator asked as he looked at her card.
"Misaka has drawn number 53, Pokkle, peach-orange hair, brown eyes, magenta hat, red vest, violet undershirt, yellow bandana, weapon arrows and bow, danger level minimal, reports Misaka as Misaka looks cheerfully around for Misaka's future opponent." Accelerator also looked around, everyone was either staring seriously at their cards or removing their numbers from their vest, t-shirts, etcetera. He let his be, it did not matter who his opponent was, he would never managed to even touch his plate as long as it was with him.
"The card indicates your target." Lippo continued to say. The last few people removed their plates after finally catching on. "This box has recorder which card each of you drew. This means that you are free to dispose of the cards if you wish. The objective is to steal your target's ID tag."
"Oh, so we do not need to kill each other." said Accelerator's target.
"Naturally you are free to use any method you choose to steal the ID tags. Including killing your target and taking the tag off the corpse." Lippo answered with a creepy smile, which made his target even twitchier.
"That sounds like the fasted way." stated the other of the three brothers.
"S-so that is what this is about?" stuttered his target.
"Fool, there is nothing to be scared of." answered the biggest one while ramming his arm into the youngest chest.
"Listen carefully!" Lippo yelled while holding his hand into the air. All attention turned to him once again. "Your target's ID tag is worth three points. Your own ID is also worth three points. All other ID tags are worth one point. You need six points to advance to the Final Phase. So while on Zevil Island, you must gather enough ID tags to total six points. That is the condition for clearing the Hunter Exam's Fourth Phase." Easy to understand. Either people managed to get their target's card or three others, or if they lost their own, they were still in the game and allowed to steal form others. Interesting game. Lippo turned after his explanation around and walked onto the little board just a few meters from them. They all sat down on deck and waited until it brought them to the Island and the game would start.
"I would like to commend everyone on board for their excellent work during the Hunter Exam's Third Phase! I will serve as your guide. My name is Khara!" said the annoyingly shrill voice. Bright pink shoes, bright red skirt, yellow shirt with the symbol of the Hunter Association on it, yellow eyes, spiky reddish orange hair, the whole outfit did absolutely nothing good for her figure. "I will take two hours for the boat to reach Zevil Island. All twenty-nine applicants remaining here are automatically qualified to take the next year's exam!" she stated loudly with a smile. "So if you fail this year, do not feel bad. Please try again next year…" and finally she stopped speaking. It hurt his ears. Most applicants were sitting around in tense silence. Accelerator looked at Kurapika who sat next to Leorio on the floor.
"The battle has already begun." Kurapika stated seriously.
"Yeah, everyone has removed their ID tags and hid them…" Leorio began to say.
"Everyone?" asked Accelerator from the side.
"Not you!" Leorio yelled.
"Misaka also still has her plate on her dress, states Misaka as Misaka tries not to laugh at Suit's false statement."
"Go away girl! I was speaking about the normal people here!"
"Normal and boring. It seems you also belong with them." Accelerator said to Leorio.
"Well, you are free to do as you like for the next two hours." interrupted Khara with a strained smile. "Please enjoy the boat ride." She walked inside.
"Ne, ne?! What numbers do you have, asks Misaka as Misaka looks at them curiously."
"None of your buisne-" Leorio tried to say, before he was stopped by Accelerator's killer intent.
"Tell her or I will spend my time on Zevil Island hunting and beating the living shit out of you." Accelerator said with a death-glare.
"Y-yes, Sir!" Leorio stuttered frightened. "My number is 264, but I do not know who it is…" He looked somewhat ashamed.
"Misaka?" Accelerator just asked.
"Number 246, Ponzu, one of the last two female applicants, turquoise hair, blue eyes, balloon-like yellow hat, orange pullover, informs Misaka as Misaka enjoys the shamed look on Suit's face.
"Is that true?" Leorio asked, obviously forgetting that Last Order called him by that horrible nickname. Misaka nodded and Leorio thanked her happily.
"Of course, she knows best." Accelerator just answered. "And you?" Kurapika looked up at him from his sitting position, but after two minutes of glaring, finally said,
"Number 16, Tonpa."
"Oh, you must be happy. I would really like to kick the shit out of him." Accelerator remembered he wanted to give both him and his little sister one of these spiked drinks, when they first met. Not a really good way to start a friendship with a potential dangerous person.
"Ne, ne…" Last Order said while tucking at his coat, "Let's see what Gon and Killua have, says Misaka as Misaka starts to walk into their direction." He could not say more to Kurapika as Misaka shoved him into the direction of the other two brats. Both of them sat in silence together, probably both afraid to ask each other which cards they have.
"Hello! Would you mind telling me what cards you have, asks Misaka as Misaka looks at them once again curiously." Killua shrugged his shoulders coolly.
"Number 199, its one of those three brothers."
"Number 199, Umori, brown hair, black eyes, yellow pullover, blue white cap, the biggest of the three brothers, informs Misaka as Misaka turns towards Gon." There was silence for a while, before Gon sighed heavily and said,
"Number 44, Hisoka." The silence continued. Too bad for the boy, really too bad. Number 44 was a dangerous enemy, who had nothing against killing people, but he seemed to be a little bit obsessed with the kid, but he was not sure if he read his intention correctly. Hopefully that guy was no child molester…
"You really have bad luck…" Killua began to say.
"You think so?" Gon tried to laugh about this matter.
"Do you want to come with us for now. It would be less boring that way, interrupts Misaka as Misaka thinks things through. Big brother is also searching for one of the brothers." Last Order informed them. Killua looked thoughtful for a few seconds.
"Hmm, why not? As long as you do not stand in my way once I found my target..." The brat trailed off. They looked towards Gon, who also seemed to be deep in thought. After a while the boy began to say,
"I want to do this my way. I must concentrate on getting Hisoka's plate... Wait, what about you? Is one of us your target?" Gon asked suddenly suspiciously.
"No, big brother has one of the funny-weird-strange brothers and Misaka has the archer guy who looks like a girl, says Misaka as Misaka states the obvious."
"So we are searching for the same group." says Killua seriously as he pointed at himself and Accelerator.
"Yes, and it is boring enough alone like the last three days. It was barely bearable. So boring in fact, I planned to kill the other applicants a few times just to pass time… and Last Order would be busy for some time if a friend was with her before trying to annoy the hell out of me." Accelerator said with a slight sneer. He could still see the boy blushing from time to time when he thought his little sister was not looking, but could do nothing against it. Either he would go with them and Last Order would be happy or she would annoy him until he found the other brat and then be happy. Both have the same outcome.
"You are right. The Hunter Exam really is more boring that anything else. I wanted a challenge, but have not found anything like that yet." Killua agreed.
"And you really want to try to fight against Hisoka alone, asks Misaka as Misaka looks at Gon carefully."
"Yes, I will try and do my best to succeed." Gon answered animatedly. He looked exited with the fact that he had to hunt down a monster. Accelerator sat a little bit away from them and took another nap while Last Order continued to talk animatedly with the other two brats.
Two hours later they finally reached Zevil Island and Accelerator was awoken by his little sister's shaking. Accelerator yawned and went over to where the others already stood. Khara put a little wood bridge between the boat and Island for them to comfortably walk over. She turned towards them enthusiastically.
"Thanks for your patience, everyone. We have finally arrived at Zevil Island! Now please disembark in the order by which you cleared the Third Phase." She said smilingly.
"Tsk… This again…" murmured Leorio from the side.
"After each person disembarks, we will wait two minutes before the next person's turn." Khara said as she showed them her stopwatch. "You will stay on this island for exactly one week. During that time, you must amass your six points of ID tags and return here. All right then, the first person may start!" she said cheerfully.
Accelerator walked through the group, over the little wood bridge and waited a few meters away from the boat on the island for his little sister and the silver-haired brat. The other people on board looked at him with wide eyes.
"Eh… Do you not want to go inside the woods?" asked their guide cautiously, her smile strained but still in place.
"Why should I?" Accelerator asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Eh…" She obviously tried to come up with anything.
"If I wait here for my target to pass I can follow them easily. It was an advantage passing the Third Phase this early." Accelerator said. Of course that was not really true. There would be not following part. Once his target got onto land, he would be knocked unconscious and Accelerator would take his plate. Some of the other participants looked at him smugly. They probably thought he was stupid. He could have hidden himself in the forest and then followed his target, but no, he was standing there in plain sight and whoever his target was, would then know.
"Hm, I really cannot say anything against this. So please, all other applicants, be careful! You could be his target and he could attack you immediately! Two minutes have passed, the second person may start!" Tch, the woman did not know when to keep her mouth shut. A few looked now warily at him from aboard the ship. Hisoka smirked creepily like always, got onto the Island and walked into the forest with a wave of his hand, then followed by the pincushion guy, the ninja and the huntsman. A few minutes later Killua and Misaka were finally by his side, still in plain sight from the other applicants on board.
"Ano…" said their guide.
"Nobody said anything against teamwork." Accelerator stated. It was true. All those tests had huge loopholes and if prepared right, these tests were manageable.
"…" was the answer he got. Gon passed them with a wave as he ran into the forest headfirst. Kurapika just walked calmly past them, as did Leorio. Accelerator, Misaka and Killua continued to wait right before the forest. Last Order pulled at his sleeve until his attention settled on her.
"Here, big brother. Can you please watch over it for the next seven days, asks Misaka as Misaka tries to look as cute as possible." Last Order handed him both of her cards.
"No problem." Accelerator took the round plate and stuck it to his onto his white coat while he shoved the other into the pocket of his coat.
"You know, you are making a target out of yourself with this?" Killua asked incredulously. Last Order and Accelerator looked at him funnily. The only one who was able to touch him was that damned Touma and now only Misaka. It did not matter if he made a target out of himself, they all would be never able to touch him either way.
"Seriously?" he asked sarcastically, "No, not really. They must be extremely strong to be able to touch me. Let's wait for our targets." Accelerator picked up some stones from the ground and held them in his hand, really to snip anyone who would pass. Misaka searched through her backpack for some more nails and Killua just continued standing there.
Another few minutes later the number 53,walked onto the island and Misaka shoot the nails. He was able to dodge two but the other three managed to bore themselves deep into his feet.
"Damn you!" number 53 yelled angrily.
"Do not be rude, weakling. It you want to yell at somebody, yell at the Hunter Association. It ways their idea, not mine." Accelerator said from the side as Last Order searched through 53's shoulder bag only to return with the round plate happily.
They continued to wait until the biggest of the brothers, number 199, finally left the ship. Killua pounced him, knocked him unconscious with a chop to his neck and took his plate. When the next brother sat foot onto the island, Accelerator snapped a little stone towards him, hitting his head and knocking him out cold. He searched through his pockets and found the plate. He returned to both brats. Last Oder gave him hers too.
Two minutes later the last brother entered the Island cheerfully and more than relaxed, since all three of them had now their targets' plates and obviously would not need his, but Accelerator also knocked him unconscious with another stone.
"What was that for?" asked Killua curiously.
"He was my target." Accelerator answered.
"And the one before."
"That was only fun."
"Okay…" Killua trailed off. Accelerator stuck the three cards - Last Order's, number 197 and Accelerator's target's - onto his coat, now he had five decorating his coat.
"Are… are you mocking them?" inquired Killua as he looked at his plates.
"Yes, this way it is more fun."
"..." Accelerator shrugged his shoulders, turned around and began walking into the forest, looking for some place to stay for the night. They continued to walk for two hours before pausing and finding something to eat. Accelerator and Misaka were happy with just eating berries and other fruits, since he was unable to hunt anything. He did not know what to do and Last Order was unable to even get near animals because of the electric aka magnetic currents surrounding her body. Because of that, animals seemed to avoid her like a plague. Killua helped them catch some fish, which they grilled over a little fire. They were not worried for others to find or attack them; since they were all strong enough to kill them on the spot expect maybe if the magician slash clown, the pincushion guy and the bald ninja attacked. The others were just plain weak and slightly naive.
Day turned night and they were once again sitting in front of the fire, talking about whatever they could think about.
"How are your sisters?" Killua asked a while later in between bites. He looked at his little sister curiously.
"I have many older sisters, not many as in many, but many many many. They all have brown hair and brown eyes just like me, but are bigger. In fact Misaka is the youngest one of them all. I do not remember anything other family related like the faces or voices of Misaka's mother or father. Just little Misaka and her sisters. And then there is oldest one who is in love with the only person who is able to defeat my big brother and the others... well... there is one who is also in love with the same person and sometimes they are really fighting for his love and it is really funny to watch, says Misaka as Misaka tries not to remember all of Misaka older sisters' fights." She really was neither stupid nor careless. She said enough without saying too much. Nobody should know about her being a clone, not that it was important in this world.
"Big brother is not my blood brother, but he saved Misaka a few times and nearly died himself since he was also injured. That was why one day, I decided that he should be my brother and since then he was. What about your family, asks Misaka as Misaka looks at Killua equally curious." Killua paused for a moment.
"Well... my family is a little complicated and not really a standard family since all of them are assassins. But I can clearly say, I do not really like my mother, Kikyo. She is just so overbearing with everything related to me. 'Kil here and Kil there and Kil, you cannot just do that, and Kil, you will be top assassin, and Kil, you have so much potential, and, I love you so much, Kil etc.' It is just so annoying! I just do not now how to handle her! Bloody annoying woman! I had to stab her in the face to get her to back off, so that I could go out and do what I wanted and she still screamed after me that she loved me and what she all expected me to do! Even after I freaking stabbed her and she still had not backed off. When I get home next time, she will probably try to never let me leave the house again. So annoying!" ranted Killua.
"Then there is my father, Silva. Well, he is okay. I like him far more than her on any day." Killua now looked thoughtful.
"My oldest brother is named Illumi. He trained me since I was young and also monitored my missions. He always said so that nothing happened to me, but I do not really trust him. Well, if I am honest, I am a little bit afraid of him and the things he can do. I was ecstatic when I heard that he was on a mission, so that I could escape my prison. If he had been there, he would have surely stopped me. He is still far stronger than me.
Then there is Milluki. I often call him piggy, since he is really fat, but still somewhat strong… I think. The last time he left the house was when he was ten or something like that. He likes snacks, computers and his figurines of busty woman. I stabbed him in the stomach when he decided to suck up to my mother and help her bring me inside again, but well… I am far stronger than him after all.
Alluka is younger than me and even more special, but my family sees this as a nuisance and decides to lock her up in a room in the basement. She has a special ability, which is rather dangerous to most people except me. It is called Wish Granting, and can fulfill whatever wish you have but for a prize. It is horrifying and freaking my family out.
And my last younger sibling is Kalluto. He is always hanging around my mother, which pisses me off, so I do not get to talk to him much since I always try to avoid mother.
And then there is Grandpa Zeno who is like my father, so okay." Killua looked at him interested. "Do you really not remember your parents?" He asked. Accelerator looked at him surprised shortly. He had not expected the brat to remember what he told them on board the zeppelin.
"Not really." He answered after a while. "My power manifested itself really early and they seemed to avoid me to the best of their abilities and I was an only child. Even the children in school and in the end everyone avoided me. And then one-time things went from bad to shitty as hell. I injured a child unintentionally, the teachers tried to do something and also failed and ended up injured, then the military appeared and it all ended with about hundred dead people and five hundred injured. They send me to special classes, which helped me increase my control over my power and well… I never saw them again and with time forget them pretty much. I also never had friends, until a year ago and then this brat appeared and started living with me and calling me brother." Accelerator finished explaining. They finished eating and Accelerator and Last Order leaned against a tree and tried to fall asleep.
AN: Finally managed to write this chapter. It was hard, halfway through my vacation, I lost my motivation in writing anything HxH related and now it is back… a little bit. Next chapter will be part 2 and they probably get to meet Hanzo and Hisoka… maybe even someone else. Any ideas or requests, whom they should met in those seven days?