The Reincarnator's Tavern

Many of the best Adventures start at a Tavern. This Tavern is a bit more special. Star Wars, Hunter X Hunter, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Naruto, and Marvel Cinematic Universe Crossover. Gaming without the levels, training according the Power System of the World. Contains elements of Jumpchains and DnD. Try three Chapters, and don't ask what I was smoking when I thought of this.

GnomeBob · Movies
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Chapter 68 The Third Hatsu

Chapter 68 The Third Hatsu

Rayleigh entered the Player's Arena located in the back of the Reincarnator's Tavern with both excitement and trepidation. This was something he had been looking forward to for years, but held back due to the need to save his Mission Points for a Ticket to train under Mihawk.

It had been three weeks since Rayleigh arrived in the Pirate world and with Goddess of Ice's and Justice's assistance, he was granted the authorization as a volunteer to protect a certain cargo ship that every Player knew Wonder Woman would been targeting.

Generally, Players did not get in each other's way, but Goddess of Ice and Wonder Woman had something of a history, and when the former learned that Rayleigh intended to screw the latter over, she emphatically agreed to assist in getting him where he needed to be along with a reporter and a skilled cameraman.

During these three weeks, Rayleigh had been attempting high-value Tavern Missions in order to accumulate the required points to challenge a certain someone. Rayleigh approached the Arena console and typed in the person's name to see their challenge price.

[Netero: 2200 Mission Points.]

Rayleigh clenched his fist in excitement. The price of a fight had a lot of variables. It used to be 3500, but that was when the late President of the Hunter Association was alive and Rayleigh only knew a few things about him. After the man's death, finding out more details was a lot easier, and this allowed his price to drop.

After choosing the cheapest battlefield, he selected it and entered the combat zone.

Chairman Netero materialized and looked around. He knew he was here for a fight and a moment later, recognized the sixteen-year-old in front of him.

Netero exclaimed, "Oh ho! You've grown quite a bit."

Rayleigh nodded and said, "Yep. But I need your help with something. I want to know how you made your Hatsu."

One of the most interesting pieces of information Rayleigh discovered about Netero was that his Hatsu was not a pure enhancer type, but a combination of emission, enhancement, and manipulation. It was considered by all who had seen it to be the strongest Hatsu ever created, and Rayleigh wanted to take inspiration from it before he made his third and final Hatsu.

Netero considered it for a moment before answering, "It's a rather boring story, but I'll share it if you can last a few rounds with me. My last fight ended rather unsatisfactorily." This was Netero after his death, so from his perspective, he had just blown himself up to deal with the Ant King. The fight leading to that point was good and seeing the fear in the Ant King's face when he realized what Netero's trump card was had been satisfying, but he was still sore that he had to end the fight using such a cheap trick rather than his own skill.

Not many Players other than Ki Warriors used the Player's Arena as much as Rayleigh did and he had discovered a few of its hidden features through trial and error. Netero was not the type to make the first move against someone who might be weaker than he was and he didn't mind giving pointers if the recipient entertained him enough. That allowed Rayleigh to create a situation where he could obtain information from a dead guy, something most Players would never think to use the Arena to try.

Rayleigh drew his Nensaber, enabled Overdrive, and activated Babylon. Under the boosting effects of his Divine-Script inscribed Nensaber handle, his En could cover the entire battlefield and every Force Skill used within this En Field was heavily enhanced.

It was only thanks to this enhancement that Rayleigh's Danger Sense and Battle Precognition barely had the time to warn him to get out of the way. Using his own version of the Six Powers skill, Shave, Rayleigh dashed to the side as a massive golden arm chopped its palm into the location he had just been standing, crushing the stone beneath it and sending a shockwave of air pressure from the strike.

"Hoh? You dodged it? Alright, I'll begin my story. How much you hear is up to you." Netero gave a fake expression of surprise and revealed that he would be explaining his Hatsu's origin as he tried to kill Rayleigh.

Since Rayleigh's En covered Netero as well, the pair of Wills focusing their attention on him were able to notice that prior to the appearance of the giant golden hundred-arms Bodhisattva behind him and its subsequent attack, Netero placed his hands together in what could only have been a prayer motion. He then gathered his aura into his hand a made a chopping motion. His aura was then emitted from his body and formed the giant Bodhisattva which then moved one of its arms in a copy of Netero's movement. Considering the degree of impact, the emitted aura had been enhanced to a ridiculous degree to grant the attack its power. This Hatsu combined Enhancement, Emission, and Manipulation into one.

Another massive golden arm tried to crush Rayleigh, followed by another and another. Prior to each attack, Netero made that same prayer motion and subsequent motion that the Bodhisattva would mimic to attack with. It would have been nice if Rayleigh could use that motion to predict the attacks, but Rayleigh only noticed the motion while using En since En recorded all motion, no matter how small or fast. This motion was so incredibly fast, that Rayleigh had to use Gyō and Force Enhance: Senses just to barely perceive the motion with his eyes. By the time Rayleigh's brain registered that the motion had started, the prayer motion and subsequent motion had already finished and the Bodhisattva-form enhanced emission attack was on the way.

Thankfully, Rayleigh's Overdrive granted him speed that wasn't slower than the giant hundred-armed Bodhisattva's attack speed and his Babylon Enhanced Force Skills granted him the breathing room needed to move out of the way before the attack fully launched.

While playing with Rayleigh like a cat would a mouse, Netero calmly spoke, "You learned Nen of Flame under Wing, so you might be able to understand the key points if I tell you what happened. You see, a long time ago, I reached the limit of what can be called strength and skill."

Netero used multiple chops Rayleigh had to dodge, claps he had to get out from between, palm strikes he had to avoid, and swiping motions he had to use various ariel maneuvers to survive.

Netero continued nonchalantly, "I thought hard about why such a limit had been reached and how I could break it, and after a while, I realized that I had been selfish. Martial Arts had granted me such an outstanding body and skills, yet I still wanted more?"

Seemingly ignoring Rayleigh's plight while he continued to attack him two or three times a second, Netero stated, "I decided then that I had to pay back the debt I owed to the Martial Arts. So how did I do it? Gratitude! I immersed myself in the gratitude I felt toward Martial Arts, gave a prayer of thanks to the Martial Arts, and then used my strongest punch. I decided that in order to pay back the debt I owed Martial Arts, I would throw ten thousand punches of gratitude every day. Each punch was thrown with absolute sincerity at the pinnacle of my strength and skill, and each punch was accompanied by a prayer filled with the immense gratitude I had toward the Martial Arts."

The speed of the attacks increased, depriving Rayleigh of the time needed to dodge. Thankfully, he was going the Atomic Samurai of One Punch Man route and was able to slash the incoming arms four times before they reached him, chopping each to pieces up to the Bodhisattva's shoulder. Not that it made much of a difference. Netero's Hundred-type Guanyin Bodhisattva vanished after each use and reformed, new and whole, for every new attack.

"At first, even for a man of my skill, the act of filling myself with gratitude, praying, and sincerely throwing out my strongest punch would take five or six seconds. The first day was almost over by the time I reached my ten thousandth punch and I promptly collapsed and fell into a deep sleep. When I woke up, I started the next day's set of ten thousand punches."

The attack speed increased again, granting Rayleigh only enough time to slash each attack twice before it reached him. A fingerless palm could still attack so he had to chop the hand completely off the arm to prevent the incoming attack.

"You might think it's crazy, but I continued this routine of ten thousand punches every day, completely immersing myself in the act, strengthening my gratitude toward Martial Arts. After many months I entered an indescribable state somewhere between sincerity and madness. I lost myself completely and only after two years had passed did I regain my sense of self after noticing something so shocking, it must have rebooted my brain."

Again, the attack speed increased. Six Bodhisattvas formed and attacked every second. If every attack came from the same direction, he could handle this with ease, but chops from above, palm strikes from the front, swipes from the left or right, and that clapping attack he had to either destroy both incoming hands or jump out of the way to survive made it far more difficult.

"I noticed that even though I had just completed my ten thousand gratitude-filled punches, the sun was still up. Every punch was still made with absolute sincerity, accompanied by a prayer filled with gratitude, and thrown at the highest level I could maintain, but all ten thousand punches had been completed in half the time it took when I started. However, I still did not believe I had paid back the debt I owed to Martial Arts. I continued my routine, using the extra time after I finished to pray further in gratitude."

Eight attacks per second. Rayleigh had three different Wills use Battle Precognition at the same time. Netero was observing the changes in Rayleigh's stance to predict Rayleigh's prediction and attack from a different direction. Rayleigh tried countering this by having multiple Wills predict Netero's next attack and use the average as a base to guess all the most likely attack futures.

"Another two years passed, and I realized that I had completely broken through the limit of strength and skill. My routine of ten thousand gratitude-filled punches could be completed in less than an hour. I could release my strongest punch faster than the sound of the punch itself."

The attacks were coming in almost as fast as Rayleigh was capable of slashing. He had another set of multiple Wills use Shatterpoint to try and guess where the best location to slash was. When Rayleigh slashed through one of the Bodhisattva's shatterpoints, the entire thing broke so it only took a single attack to defend against instead of multiple slashes.

"I continued praying until I reached a state of understanding and returned to civilization, later becoming the grandmaster of Shingen-ryu kung fu. I summarized what I learned in those years into the Nen of Flame and standardized the poor foundation of Nen of Force. Now, after hearing my story, can you figure out how I created my Hundred-type Guanyin Bodhisattva?"

Netero cut back the attacks to twice a second giving Rayleigh a chance to respond.

Rayleigh answered, "Your Hatsu has a lot of crazy restrictions. You can only use it after making that prayer gesture. But that's not all, the prayer must be filled with gratitude. It won't work if the prayer is lacking in gratitude, which means that while fighting, even if you are injured, exhausted, or near death, you must always be filled with gratitude. That and you need to make another gesture after the prayer that indicates how the Hatsu will attack."

At five times the speed of the previous attack, a golden palm formed and slammed into Rayleigh's body like a battering ram shot from a tank's cannon.

"You're close. What you said was the restriction for Enhancing my Hatsu's power and Manipulating my Hatsu's movement. But you're still missing the last piece. Since you survived that attack just now, I'll give you a clue on the final part. Why did I choose to emit my aura in the form of the Guanyin Bodhisattva?"

Rayleigh could mitigate damage using various Force Skills and Ren and his body was not weak to begin with, so although that attack turned him into a giant bruise, it did not kill him or greatly affect his combat abilities. Still, it really hurt.

His knowledge of Buddhism came from the Light Novels he read in his past life, but he had read a lot of them, so there were guesses he could make. Rayleigh got up from the rubble of the wall he had been slammed into and answered, "Because you see yourself as the Guanyin Bodhisattva. In your mind, you are the Bodhisattva, so the aura you emit naturally takes the form of the Bodhisattva. Since you are the Bodhisattva, then your movements will naturally move your emitted Bodhisattva as well, since it is you." From what he recalled, the apex of Buddhism was becoming the Buddha, so the same logic could be applicable here.

Netero smiled widely, "Excellent. You've figured it out. Now let me give you your prize."

Rayleigh's Danger Sense practically exploded at that point. This wasn't something he could dodge, so he packed all of his aura into his Nensaber, increasing the number of Sharpened Sword Aura lines to the thousands, and started slashing wildly at Netero to send what looked like a net of sword lines.

The panic seemed to cause time to compress in Rayleigh's senses, but that was only because you often remembered something traumatic happening in more detail than you felt during the moment it happened. Netero made his prayer motion and then made the fingers of both of his hands look like the number nine before setting them next to each other on his leg, forming the number 99.

Every single one of the Bodhisattva's arms started attacking at a speed of sixteen strikes per second. Rayleigh continued slashing and many of the arms were cut through. Since the Bodhisattva did not vanish and reform, he could survive if he cut down all the arms, but the rest hid behind the first and pierced through the net of sword lines using the holes formed by the arms that had already been cut. Rayleigh only managed to cut nine more before the rest reached him.

Palm after palm struck and stacked on top of each other over Rayleigh, squashing his body with each impact until he popped.

Two flashes of light signaled the end of the match. Rayleigh was back to normal and Netero was gone. He sat down and began digesting his gains while lamenting his weakness. There were many things he could say, but his weaknesses boiled down to two factors. He was not fast enough and the sword lines he sent as flying slashes were not sharp enough to cut completely through a single finger before breaking. If each line was strong enough and sharp enough, they would have diced that Bodhisattva completely through and chopped Netero into pieces.

Thankfully, there were many gains. He was able to cut those hands with his sword and he noticed that when his flying slashes struck a shatterpoint, it cut that through completely. He didn't know his flying slashes worked on shatterpoints since there had never been a chance to test that out.

Rayleigh crossed his legs and started meditating. Even without paying for an opponent, Players could use the Arena to practice as long as their daily allotment of two hours was not up, and that fight only lasted about four minutes.

Netero mentioned Nen of Flame, so it likely held the key to understanding the origin of the Hatsu's power. Nen of Flame was something only taught in Shingen-ryu kung fu and Wing asked Rayleigh, Gon, and Killua not to teach it to others, so Rayleigh left it out during his explanation of Nen while teaching the Players.

Netero was sometimes credited with the creation of the Nen of Force system, but this was a misunderstanding since it existed before Netero did, he just gave labels and systemized it.

The core aspect of Nen of Flame was to create a Hatsu that was linked to the heart of the Hunter that used it. However, it was more than that. Rayleigh hypothesized that as long as you went through the entire process of Nen of Flame, your Hatsu would actually create itself.

This might have been what Netero was trying to say without saying it. Netero did not create the Hundred-type Guanyin Bodhisattva, it formed naturally as a result of his prayer and understanding of himself.

With that, Rayleigh had a blueprint for what he needed to do. First, Netero's Hatsu was enhanced using his gratitude, something he practiced ten thousand times a day, every day, for years. A normal person would have nothing to compare that to, but Rayleigh was far from normal. Rayleigh did not pray ten thousand times a day, but there was something he did do every day. And not just ten thousand times. All day every day since he was twelve and had split off his first Will, Rayleigh meditated on the Force.

Next, Netero's Hatsu form came from his belief that he was the Guanyin Bodhisattva. Rayleigh did not intend to make a Guanyin Bodhisattva out of Emitted aura, but a sword from conjured aura. Thankfully, Rayleigh's focus on the sword should not lose out when compared to Netero's identity as the Guanyin Bodhisattva. So that was covered.

And last, Netero's Manipulation of his Hatsu came from the fact that he was the Guanyin Bodhisattva, so when he moved, his Guanyin Bodhisattva would also naturally move. Rayleigh knew how to move a sword, so this was not lacking either.

Since the ingredients were present and the map was available, Rayleigh just needed to follow the path set down by his seniors and let his Hatsu form naturally.

After an hour of meditating, Rayleigh started speaking aloud.

"There is no strength, only the strongest and everyone else.

There is no power, only continuous self-improvement.

There is no balance, only the in-motion and the motionless.

There is no beginning or end, only a previous and a next."

Rayleigh's aura softly gathered into his hand as he spoke each line and continued.

"There is no strength, only the strongest and everyone else.

There is no power, only continuous self-improvement.

There is no balance, only the in-motion and the motionless.

There is no beginning or end, only a previous and a next."

Rayleigh's connection to the Force was represented by his Code. His code was how he connected to the Force. It was a manifestation of his link to the Force.

"There is no strength, only the strongest and everyone else.

There is no power, only continuous self-improvement.

There is no balance, only the in-motion and the motionless.

There is no beginning or end, only a previous and a next."

The aura completely materialized into a European Longsword, similar to that of the Cavalier's Sword that Rayleigh often practiced with.

The first thing that Rayleigh noticed was that he had been forced into his Second-Stage Zetsu. It seemed to be a requirement of this sword, but as long as he maintained Second-Stage Zetsu, the sword possessed an indestructibility condition.

Second-Stage Zetsu was specifically used to enhance training, and Rayleigh felt that training with this sword would greatly magnify the effect. In other words, it was a sword that enhanced sword training speed.

The sword was also empty. This Empty Sword gave off a feeling of needing to be filled. Rayleigh smiled at this. The Tarot Card known as the Fool was the most powerful card because it was empty. Being empty meant that it had infinite potential, very much like this sword.

Although it appeared like a normal long sword, Rayleigh did find a single strand of transformed sword aura on the blade's edge, so it was still supernaturally sharp. The problem was that Rayleigh got the feeling that if this sword drew blood, the condition of its indestructibility would end, making it quite fragile.

Obviously this training sword could not be used in real combat. Thankfully, he already had an inkling of how to fill this Empty Sword.

In Second Stage Zetsu, Rayleigh had no access to his aura or the Force, so he had to manually disassemble his Nensaber handle to open it up. Once he had access to the Kyber Crystal within, Rayleigh removed it from the Nensaber's casing and pressed it against the Empty Sword's crossguard, just below the blade's edge.

Nothing happened.

Rayleigh felt it out for a bit and shuddered in sheer cringe. Was that really necessary?

Having no other choice, Rayleigh pressed the Kyber Crystal to the Empty Sword again and said aloud, "Split the Heavens, Sword of Babylon."

The sword accepted the Kyber Crystal and Rayleigh felt himself exit his Second Stage Zetsu state and enabled his first and second Hatsus, Babylon and Overdrive. The sword's form did not change, but its edge did start to glow blue above the Kyber Crystal, and Rayleigh was suddenly able to pour more aura into it to generate more than a single circulating line of sword aura that could be sent as flying slashes, just like his Nensaber could do.

Then the sword exploded.

After flinching from the flash of destruction, Rayleigh understood what happened. The Sword of Babylon could be used in battle, but it had the restriction of only being usable while using Babylon and Overdrive. The problem was that Babylon required the Divine Script engraved into the Nensaber's handle which had been discarded.

Thankfully this was an easy fix. As Rayleigh's proficiency in Enhancing his aura increased, so did his ability to apply Enhancement attribute Divine Script. It would take a few hours of work, but Rayleigh could use his Lightsaber Customization Kit to safely inscribe all the required Divine Script directly into the Kyber Crystal. If he did so, he could turn his blue Kyber Crystal into a pendant or bracelet. The Kyber Crystal was twice the length of a fingernail and just as wide. It was quite small and could easily fit onto most pieces of jewelry, so Rayleigh could have it on himself at all times.

Liking the idea, Rayleigh left the Tavern and got to work. Using some leather scraps he purchased from a merchant, Rayleigh made a simple leather bracelet with the Kyber Crystal tied into a hole on it, making it look decorative. Rayleigh saved the design in his Lightsaber Customization Kit, so anytime he took his Lightsaber from his Inventory, this would appear.

The bracelet had two benefits. It had no metal at all, so he could even take it through metal detectors. The next was that it pressed the Kyber crystal against his skin. This allowed him greater access to the Force at all times, just like a Jedi holding his Lightsaber, and would boost the effect of Force Skills and meditation.

Rayleigh tried to test out the Empty Sword and Sword of Babylon, but quickly stopped once he discovered a problem with the sword. The Empty Sword's indestructibility and its enhancement to training could both be increased by adding more restrictions to its usage. The problem was that once he added a restriction to the Empty Sword, it would also be added to the Sword of Babylon as well since the Empty Sword was the base.

He tried to add the restriction that he had to use the Empty Sword while in the Heart of the Sword State. The Empty Sword shattered when he exited that state for longer than 3 seconds and the Sword of Babylon inherited the same restriction.

This meant that, in a sense, the sword could continually evolve by adding more restrictions.

Moreover, the Sword of Babylon was not the final state. Just like the Empty Sword could become the Sword of Babylon, the Sword of Babylon could also advance further.

After numerous tests and meditating with it for a while, Rayleigh found out that his second Hatsu, Babylon, also had a new feature that caused a red mist to materialize anytime Rayleigh was injured while maintaining Babylon. Rayleigh felt that once the saturation of this mist reached the right level, the Sword of Babylon would absorb it, changing the blue glow to a red glow.

Rayleigh already knew that the Empty Sword would lose its indestructibility if it drew blood and that the Sword of Babylon would directly explode if it killed someone, but when the blade glowed red, the restriction against the Sword of Babylon killing anyone was completely lifted.

The red mist that materialized from Rayleigh's injuries did not even have to come from injuries inflicted by his opponents. If he was willing to make a blood sacrifice, he could harm himself with the Sword of Babylon, directly coating it in blood and changing it to its Red form, granting it the ability to kill without restriction.

The only problem with the sword was that it could never be materialized in a moment. He either needed to materialize it during battle or before the battle. In order to Materialize either the Empty Sword or the Sword of Babylon, Rayleigh needed to remain motionless, not use any Force Skills, and sincerely recite his Force Code aloud three times without being interrupted. If he did that while holding his Kyber Crystal, the aura would materialize directly into the Sword of Babylon as long as he said aloud, "Split the Heavens, Sword of Babylon." If he was not holding the Kyber Crystal, he would form the Empty Sword which could still be changed into the Sword of Babylon by inserting the Kyber Crystal and saying the cringy phrase.

Of course, there was a second method to do it. Even without forming the Sword of Babylon, blood-colored mist would materialize from Rayleigh's aura if he was injured while using Babylon. If he was injured enough, he could say the cringy phrase and directly use the saturation of blood-colored aura to materialize the Red Sword of Babylon around the Kyber Crystal in his hand without needing to recite his code aloud three times and form the previous swords.

If Rayleigh wanted to be sneaky about it, he could even hide the blood-colored mist using In, so no one would notice the slowly thickening blood-red cloud.

Even though he did not consciously form this Hatsu, Rayleigh could already tell his subconscious took inspiration from Yumichika Ayasegawa of Bleach. That was the guy in Zaraki's Division who hid the form of his Magic Type Zanpakutō as a Melee type by calling it the wrong name. It opened up the idea of a single sword having multiple forms, each stronger than the last, but each locked by a different number of requirements.

In the future, the Sword of Babylon may even gain new forms as more restrictions were added, but he had to be careful and make sure that the restrictions he wanted were only applied to the forms he wanted them on and not the previous forms.

Some restrictions were easy. The Sword of Babylon already had a limit of only being usable while using Babylon, so adding more restrictions to Babylon would also strengthen the Sword of Babylon.

As for the actual effect, the Sword of Babylon was an all-around upgraded version of the Nensaber. Pouring aura into the sword would cause the Kyber Crystal to transform the aura into silk-like threads of sharpened sword aura, far thinner and stronger than what his Nensaber could have generated.

The silk-like threads of sharpened sword aura then circulated from the Kyber Crystal, around the tip of the edge of the blade, and back to the Kyber Crystal in the same chainsaw-like motion, though since the silk-like threads were only flowing over the very edge of the sword's blade, the effect was even sharper. The lines of sword aura made by the Nensaber were somewhere between a paper's thickness and a hair's thickness, so the silk-like thickness of the transformed lines in the Sword of Babylon concentrated on the edge was a massive improvement.

Pouring more aura into the Kyber Crystal generated more circulating threads and since each one reinforced the speed of the others, the more threads along the edge of the blade, the faster the silk-like lines circulated.

If Rayleigh poured in a tiny amount of aura, enough to generate a dozen circulating threads, then dropped the sword's edge into a stone block, it would likely slice through it cleanly without resistance. That was how sharp it had become.

And just like before, a swing of the sword could send the circulating threads flying. Although the threads were much thinner, they were not weaker. In fact, they were denser, meaning they would have a far stronger cut when sent flying than the Nensaber had been capable of.

Other than an upgraded version of the Nensaber, the Sword of Babylon didn't have much else, but that was because it was still waiting for more restrictions to be added.

For example, when he added the restriction that it could not be used unless he maintained the Heart of the Sword state, Rayleigh felt that just holding the Sword of Babylon greatly enhanced his physique, granting his body more strength, durability, and speed.

Although he was tempted to go crazy on the restrictions, he wanted to wait until he learned Swordsmanship and Haki from Mihawk. Rayleigh could use the Empty Sword to seal his Nen and Force abilities and allow him to focus solely on his Sword Skills and Haki. The training enhancement effect would shine perfectly during this period. As long as the Empty Sword maintained its indestructibility condition, he should be able to use it while fighting Mihawk without it breaking, since the sword's indestructibility condition was a continuous one. If it still broke, he could just add more restrictions.

But even though he would not be going crazy on it right now, he did want to test his new sword out. Luckily for him, the ship he was currently on would be attacked by the Wonder Pirates tomorrow. He hoped they would not mind him testing a few things out.