Disclaimer: Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is owned by Akira Amano. The Gamer belongs to Sangyoung Seong and Sang-a.
"Yamamoto Takeshi?" Tsuna called out. He had always thought that Takeshi seemed like a really friendly guy, but Takeshi was constantly surrounded by a large group of friends. It was weird that he was all alone here. "Are you okay?"
Takeshi whipped around to look at him. "Ah! Sawada-san… right? Hate to be a bother, but have you seen a pretty lady with a group of boys?" He gave Tsuna a slightly strained looking smile, and scratched the back of his head.
"Um, no?" Tsuna looked at Takeshi, who was ruffled and panting. "Why don't you tell us what's going on?" he asked as his friends gathered behind him to see what was happening.
Takeshi hesitated. "Haha, it's not really that important…"
Tsuna gave Takeshi a concerned look. "Please? I'd like to help, if something is wrong."
Takeshi paused and frowned. "I guess…" he said, and walked into the clearing.
"So, I was playing baseball with my friends, like normal, when I had to use the restroom," Takeshi started, sitting down with a bottle of water in his hands.
"I was coming back from the restroom when I saw my friends at the far corner of the field talking to this woman in a nice kimono. I called out to them, but they ignored me. Then, the woman started walking away, and my friends followed her. I ran after them, but they turned a corner, and I lost sight. When I turned the corner, they were nowhere to be seen. I've been looking for ages and I can't find them!"
Takeshi shut his mouth, clearly having said more than he planned. However, Tsuna was distracted by an orange pop-up. "Special Event Occuring: A Yuki-onna Birthday. A Yuki-onna has kidnapped a group of boys so that her daughter can meet males for the first time as a birthday present. Find the boys and get them back home safely or risk them getting lost and coming down with frostbite. Reward: A Winter's Blessing, [?], possibility of [?]"
The others caught the look in Tsuna's eyes. "Is it an event?" Hana asked Tsuna.
"What?" Takeshi seemed confused.
Hana stood, looking at Takeshi. "Take us to where you last saw them. We'll explain on the way."
"Okay, this is cool," said Takeshi, waving a hand at the screen in front of his face, before facing Tsuna with a serious look on his face. "And you're saying that my friends were kidnapped? That they didn't just take off without me?" They were standing in a corner of the baseball diamond. Tsuna had been told to stay behind to explain everything as he was the one with control while the others searched for a sign.
"I'm sorry, but yes," Tsuna said. He felt really, really bad for Takeshi, Tsuna knew he would be terrified if his friends went missing. Takeshi had barely even noticed the spiders.
Takeshi's shoulders relaxed a centimeter, before he looked forward and said, "I want to come with you then."
"Okay," said Tsuna.
Takeshi blinked and glanced at him. "Really?" he asked, surprised.
"Of course. You want to find your friends, right?" Normally Tsuna would hate to have another person involved, but he knew that if one of his friends was in danger, he'd want to help too. Also, they had a lot of fighters now, and even the spiders, so Takeshi probably wouldn't get hurt.
Takeshi beamed at Tsuna. "Right!"
"Hey! Haru's found something!" one of the girls yelled from near one of the walls.
Everyone gathered to see what it was.
"Look!" said Haru. "Footprints!"
They weren't just plain footprints either, these footprints were made of frost, and in the shape of geta.
"Yuki-onna are creatures of frost and snow," Hana said. "So these are probably our kidnapper's." She looked at Tsuna, his signal to take over.
Tsuna swallowed. "Okay. Does everybody have everything?" he asked. Seeing everyone nod, he continued. "Alright. We'll follow the tracks. Weapons out, and be careful. Takeshi, do you have something to defend yourself with?"
Takeshi nodded again, then jogged over to a group of bags. He pulled out a bat and held it up.
Hana touched Tsuna's arm. "We need to take the bags with us. They could be useful."
It only took a few seconds for Tsuna to toss the bags in his inventory, and then they set out.
They were lucky that the footprints didn't melt easy. Most of them were still there, but there were a few moments, in the sunny areas, where they were gone. Luckily they found them quickly, but it still freaked Tsuna out.
Eventually the trail led the group to a heavily wooded area. It was kinda scary.
"These are Extremely big trees!" Ryohei noted, quieter than he normally was.
Tsuna and the others nodded. "I didn't know we had an area like this in the park," Hana commented.
"We are nearing the edges of Namimori town," said Hibari. He was stalking ahead of the group. Tsuna surpressed a shiver. Hibari took any threat to students of the elementary school seriously. A kidnapping of a group? He wanted blood.
They continued on for a few minutes. Then Kyoko started to shiver. "Is it just me, or is it starting to get cold?" she asked.
As soon as Kyoko mentioned it, Tsuna became aware that it was very chilly. There was a bite to the air that hadn't been there before.
"We might be getting close," said Hana.
"Be ready," said Tsuna.
They continued on for a few minutes, then the forest unexpected ended.
The group stared out at the snow-dotted and frosty hills before them.
"Congratulations! You have discovered [The Frozen Hills]!"
For a moment, the group alternated between staring at the box and staring at the surroundings. Then Hana muttered, "I don't think we're in Namimori anymore." She turned to Tsuna. "Check your map, please."
Tsuna pulled up his map. Instead of the familiar Namimori map, he was treated to a blank gray slate, dotted with question marks, and only a small section filled in with color at the very bottom.
"…We're in a whole new area, aren't we," said Hana.
Tsuna nodded, slightly terrified. Unfortunately, it seemed like he and Hana were the only ones to have such sane reactions.
"EXTREME!" Ryohei roared to the sky. "A whole new land to explore and conquer to the EXTREME!"
Kyoko and Haru were nodding along. "Right! We will prove ourselves as true battle sisters by rescuing Yamamoto-san's friends!" Kyoko said as Haru cheered next to her.
"So this is where my friends are," murmured Takeshi.
Hibari just examined the area, before clicking his tongue and striding forward, following the still visible footprints.
"Ah! Hibari, wait up!" Tsuna said as he stumbled forward. The rest of the group followed him, ranging from cheerfully determined to the grimly determined.
After a few steps, Hana caught up to Tsuna. "Hey," she hissed to him. "Keep your map up in case we get lost!" As soon as he nodded to her, she fell away slightly, muttering about the absurd things they got into. Tsuna winced, feeling a touch guilty. He mentally shook himself. Thinking about it wouldn't help him now.
The snow was getting higher now, and covering more of the ground. It was getting harder to see the Yuki-onna's footprints, but luckily now that there was snow on the ground they could see the boys' footprints.
Unluckily, the further they got the colder it got. After about half an hour, a slight wind started blowing. At that point, Hana made them stop and put on anything they could, including Tsuna's, Haru's and Kyoko's failed knitting projects. Tsuna also insisted that the spiders get on everyone's backs. That helped, but not a lot, especially once the wind picked up. By then, almost everyone's shoes had gotten slightly wet, and Tsuna was starting to get worried about frostbite.
He glanced at his map. They were barely a quarter of the way into the map, and they had been jogging most of the way to keep warm. Tsuna didn't want to stop them with people at risk, particularly in this cold, but… he had a good feeling about this question mark.
Tsuna suddenly blinked and rubbed his eyes. Had his vision been orange for a second? Tsuna shook his head. He must have been seeing things. Still, it didn't change the fact that they should stop and check how everyone was doing.
"H-hey," Tsuna started. Nobody stopped but they did look back.
"W-we're getting really cold, a-and we're right next to a question mark. Maybe we should check it out. It might be a way to warm up, or it could give us an idea of what we might find at the end of the trail."
The Sasagawas and Haru seemed to accept that pretty easily, but Hana and Takeshi both seemed to resist the idea. It was Hibari that decided it, simply walking in the direction Tsuna pointed out to him. The rest simply scrambled after him.
They entered as slightly forested area, full of scraggly evergreens and rocks jutting up from the snow.
It only took a few minutes before Tsuna's screen lit up orange, a single quotation mark appearing right in front of him.
"Hey-!" he started as everyone tensed. Almost immediately a brownish-white blur shot out at Hibari, who batted at it with a tonfa.
The tonfa smacked the blur to the ground, where it sat up-no stood up on four legs.
"A Japanese snow monkey?" Hana asked in confusion.
"Er, a young Japanese snow monkey," Tsuna corrected as he looked at the monkey's title.
"It's so cute," Haru whisper-squealed to Kyoko who nodded.
Hibari and the monkey warily eyed each other, both tense and in battle positions. The various spiders got off of their respective owners backs and formed a circle around the two combatants, something that made the monkey visibly nervous.
The monkey was the first to break, shooting at Hibari with a determined cry. This time, instead of simply being batted out of the air, when Hibari swatted at it the monkey clung to Hibari's tonfas like they were tree branches. When Hibari made to fling the monkey off it jumped to his other tonfa, where it leapt at Hibari's face. Hibari dodged and moved to swat the monkey again.
Tsuna thought it looked amazing. The monkey was an incredible acrobat, and Hibari was, as always, an excellent fighter. However, he could already see how this fight was going to end. The monkey was using too much energy, having to move its entire body, while Hibari only moved a little.
The monkey knew it too, and its movements started to get more and more desperate. And with that desperation, it started getting sloppy. Now, instead of bounding gracefully from one tonfa to Hibari, the monkey was barely hanging on, catching perches by the tips of its fingers. Finally, it tried one last desperate ploy, simply aiming at Hibari's chest.
Hibari swatted it out of the air like it was an annoying fly.
The monkey trembled as it got to its feet, still determined to fight. Hibari looked down at it. "I will not tolerate any that try to harm the students of Namimori," he said.
There was a beat. Then Hibari's brow furrowed. "What is a better name for a monkey than Lichi?" Hibari asked.
Everybody looked at Hibari for a moment. Then Hana and Tsuna fell over while Ryohei and the other girls congratulated Hibari.
It was cold, so they quickly decided on "Mite" probably because the monkey was small and mites fed off of lychee trees. Tsuna didn't know why that was a factor, and decided not to ask. The explanation would probably mess with his head more than the name would.
The monkey, suddenly friendly for whatever reason Tsuna didn't want to know, gestured the group along a hidden path. They walked along it for a short while, before Hana paused and ask, "Hey, is it just me or is it getting warmer?"
"Yeah, the ground doesn't seem to have as much snow," Kyoko said. They were now it a much rockier area, taking a winding, sloping path downwards. Up ahead several large rocks jutted up into the sky, more like small cliffs than boulders.
Mite squeaked, pointing towards a slight clef in the rocks ahead, before jumping up onto Hibari's shoulder.
Hibari went first, as it was a small split only one person could fit through at once. Then Hana went. "Nice!" she shouted back. "It's a hot spring!"
"Wowww," said Kyoko and Haru together. Tsuna silently agreed as Ryohei boomed out his approval. A series of small, steaming pools littered the winding passage. The whole place felt damp and warm, and everywhere, everywhere, there were monkeys. Older, larger monkeys relaxed by the edge while smaller, younger monkeys spashed about. A few of the monkeys glanced at the human intruders, but relaxed once Mite squeaked at them.
Tsuna had to grab at Kuro to stop him from just jumping into the water.
"It's too bad I didn't bring a bathing suit," Haru said.
"I know! I have such a cute one too," agreed Kyoko.
"It's too bad we didn't bring towels," Hana stressed. "In this weather, it might feel good to take a dip now, but if we don't dry off, it will be even worse when we go back out. We still haven't found Yamamoto's friends, remember-Hey you Blockhead!" she yelled suddenly as Ryohei made to jump in the pool as well.
Tsuna started, having temporarily forgotten their mission. His eyes swung over to where Takeshi was looking at the water, his characteristic smile nowhere to be found and a slight crease between his eyes.
"Hey," Tsuna started, wanting to cheer him up. "We can swing back around once we find them, maybe warm them up here before the final stretch, right?"
Takeshi smiled. "Yeah."
"But Hana, I'm cold, and the water looks EXTREMELY hot," Ryohei whined.
"Were you not listening when I said you'll frostbite!?" Hana snarled.
"Oi, what's all the fuss about? Sum ah us 're tryin' to relax here!" a deep voice growled from within a steamy part of the springs.
A dark shaped loomed up, walking closer. As it got clearer, Tsuna could make out horns. Then red skin, stretched across a hefty belly and thick, muscular limbs.
"Eeeeek! It's a namahage! The scariest demon!" Haru yelled as she hid behind Tsuna.
"Supposedly, they take naughty children," said Hana as she edged backwards.
Hibari and Ryohei readied themselves for a fight.
"Oh, what'er a couple ah human kids doin' round here? Peelin' yer blisters yet?" said the Namahage.
Tsuna looked around. Everyone seemed ready to fight, but he didn't like the look of this.
"E-excuse me?" he tried.
"Oh, an' one ah them's polite too!" the demon said with a laugh.
Tsuna took a deep breath. That was a positive response. No fighting yet.
"Excuse me," he said again, voice steadier. "Do you know where the Yuki-onna makes her home? We think she's taken some of our friends." He gestured at Takeshi, who had a baseball bat out like he was ready to start swinging.
"Eh?" said the namahage.
"Dang, that ain't right," said the namahage, whose name was Daikon as they found out, said after they'd finished explaining.
"Yuki-onna ain't supposed ta take kids, and it ain't even New Years," he complained, leaning back and cleaning out an ear with his pinky. Then Daikon growled and got to his feet.
"Humph. Fine. I'll help ya, kids. But first we're gonna stop by the village first, gonna need sum more help ta bring ya friends back."
Tsuna's noisier friends cheered. Tsuna just sighed in relief. Then he looked at Takeshi, who was finally smiling again.
It was a bit of a walk to the Namahage Village, but once they were there it was quite nice. Daikon's sister Mochi served them tea while Daikon rounded up some support.
"This tea is lovely," said Kyoko.
"Aw, thank ya kindly," said Mochi. Unlike Daikon, she had a softer voice, although it was still deeper than what Tsuna was used to. She also had a sweet, motherly feel and Tsuna liked her immediately.
Haru sipped her tea quietly. Tsuna had gotten out of her that she'd always been afraid of namahage during the trip over. Tsuna, understanding deeply what it was like to be forced to be around something that scared you, instantly offered whatever support he could. Haru told him he was fine, she just wanted to get used to it.
There came the sound of a commotion from out front. "Oh, let me go see what that is," said Mochi said, getting up. As she neared the door, it burst open and a green namahage fell into the room.
"Mochi," he yelled. "Have breakfast wi' me!"
"Idiot Mitsuba!" Daikon yelled. "Stay away from mah sister!"
Mochi just laughed.
"It looks like yah group's here," she said to Tsuna and his friends. "Go on, naw, get yer friends back."
"Thanks!" said Takeshi and Ryohei as they ran to the door.
"Thank you very much," said Tsuna, Hana and Kyoko.
Hibari and Haru just bowed.
Outside were a group of namahage and what looked like hairy horses. There were far more horse-things than people, but they all had what looked like woven blankets on their backs.
"Cool," Tsuna whispered to himself.
"Yep! Yah like them?" said Daikon to his left.
"Gah!" startled Tsuna as he tripped into the snow.
"Heh. Sorry 'bout that," Daikon said as he helped Tsuna up. "These are Kebukai Uma*. If there's as many kids as yah say there 're, we'll need them ta bring the kids back."
"A-ah. I've never ridden anything before," Tsuna said shyly. "B-but I'd like to."
Daikon boomed out a laugh and ruffled Tsuna's hair.
"Well, yah'll be ridin' today. And, Ah'd bet that yer spiders get big 'nough ta ride."
"Really?" Because on one hand that sounded awesome, but on the other hand the thought of spiders that big was kinda terrifying.
"Sure. Yah friends and yah can come on by aftah this is done and we'll show yah what it takes."
"Mentorship Offer," said the pop-up. "Acquire Daikon (Namahage) as a mentor. Daikon can teach riding skills, straw weaving, winter outdoors and large animal handling skills. By acquiring Daikon as a mentor, experience in these skills is doubled."
"That sounds great," said Tsuna.
It was only a short while until the caravan reached a place deep in the heart of the map. The center was a large mountainous region, covered by snow and with a fierce wind. Daikon and the others had lent Tsuna and his friends thick straw coats, but that didn't stop the biting chill.
"Up ahead," one of the namahage yelled. Tsuna stared into the whiteness that surrounded them, trying to make out whatever it was that they had seen. As the caravan trudged closer, he realized he could make out a faint light in front of them.
Slowly, the light became a lamp, and the dark spot behind the lamp became a house.
"We're almost there!" someone yelled. In a few minutes they reached the house.
The Kebukai Uma were guided into a half-circle around the entrance. Then the namahage helped Tsuna and his friends down from the saddle.
One of the namahage volunteered to knock at the door, while the others gathered around. They waited a moment, but there was no response.
They knocked again. Tsuna and several of the namahage shifted uneasily, and glanced at each other. Finally, a young voice yelled, "I'm coming," and someone opened the door.
When the door opened, Tsuna blinked at the person behind it. It was just a young girl, maybe a few years older than he was. She was very pretty, in a classical Japanese, and her title said "Young Yuki-onna".
"Yes?" she asked, looking slightly confused at all the people at her door.
"Excuse me," Tsuna said when it seemed like no one would talk. "Would you mind returning Yamamoto's friends?"
Daikon seemed to rally himself at that, and said, "Yes, your mother shouldn't spirit away children like that, it's bad for everyone."
The young snow maiden blinked at that before her face twisted in rage. Tsuna got into a fighting position but she turned around and screamed "Mother! You told me they were here of their own free will!"
"What!?" came the answering screech.
The younger Yuki-onna ran back into the house, screaming about how her mother had lied.
"Er, excuse me," Tsuna said as stepped into the house. He paused at the step, not wanting to be rude, but also wanting to keep his shoes on.
Daikon clapped him on the back and pulled him up. "Don't ya worry 'bout that. They're rude first," he said. Then he started walking inside.
Tsuna nodded, even though Daikon couldn't see him and followed him into the house.
The hallways would have been pretty if it wasn't so cold inside. Nice artwork covered the walls and it was clearly a well-tended home.
That didn't change the fact that there was currently what sounded like a loud screaming match going on in the back of the house. Maybe more than a screaming match, Tsuna though as he heard something shatter.
Eventually, Tsuna, Daikon and the others following behind them came across a central room. It looked like a small blizzard had happened inside. Snow blanketed the floor and there were large icicles everywhere. In the center of the room were the young girl and what seemed to be her mother, both screaming at each other. There were also claw marks going through the wall panels, and Takeshi's friends strewn about, eyes glazed over and looking nowhere in particular.
"Guys!" Takeshi yelled as saw them, running forward past Tsuna to grab one of his friend's shoulders and shake him. Unfortunately, this movement drew the attention of the two Yuki-onna. The older one pointed at them and screamed "You! This is all your fault! You ruined my daughter's birthday party!"
The younger screamed, "SHUT. UP. MOM! They didn't ruin anything! Nothing except the illusion that you'd follow your words! I told you I wanted them to come of their own free will!"
"They'd have hurt you! You can't trust men!" the mother screamed back. "It's my job to protect you!"
"By lying to me!?"
"By keeping them from hurting you!"
The daughter screamed again. "SHUT! UP! I. just. wanted," and here she gasped, with tears in her eyes, "I just wanted to see, FOR MYSELF, what it was I've only heard stories about. I'm thirteen. I'm not a child anymore, it's time for me to start growing up. Why couldn't you let me have this one little thing?"
The mother looked sad. "Daughter…"
The daughter shook her head. "Go," she said. "Just go."
Tsuna felt like he was intruding on an extremely private moment. He looked at the ground as the mother left. The daughter smiled sadly at the group.
"I'm sorry you had to see that," she said. Then she looked at the door her mother had left through. "Honestly, I love her, but sometimes it feels like I'm the parent and she's the child."
"I'm sorry," said Tsuna, helpless to say anything else.
She shook her head. "It's fine, it's not your fault. She had a bad experience with a man, once, and she's never been the same since."
Then she turned and walked towards where Takeshi was still crouched over his friend. She looked at his friend for a few moments, and it seemed like her eyes were glowing. She shook her head.
"Mother placed a sort of stasis spell on them. It dampens their will, but it also protects them against the cold. I can remove it now, but I recommend just bringing them back into the mortal world. It'll break then, and you won't have to worry about the cold until then."
"Oh," Takeshi said, in a small voice. "Okay."
"I'm sorry," she said again. "If I knew she was going to do this, I would have never asked her if I could have boys over."
Takeshi swallowed. "It's fine," he said. "It's fine, just, let me take them home."
The packed the caravan, the baseball boys tied onto the backs of the hairy horses and covered with blankets.
As they got ready, the younger girl appeared outside again.
She approached Tsuna and his friends, who paused to look at her. "Let me do something to make this up to you," she said. Then she leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to Tsuna's head. It felt like a tiny piece of ice attached itself to Tsuna from that spot, and then it traveled down into his heart, where it dispersed. Suddenly, the chill didn't seem so bad.
"You have received A Winter's Blessing! You gain 20% resistance to cold and 20% XP gain to all snow and ice related skills from now on!"
"This will protect and help you in the cold," she said as she kissed each one of them on the forehead.
They said their thanks.
When they left, Tsuna gazed up at the lonely looking snow girl from his spot on the horse. He looked until he couldn't see anything anymore. Then he turned around and looked towards home.
It was much faster on the horses than walking, and in about an hour they were back at the edge of the forest.
"Thank you," Tsuna said as he helped the namahage get the last kid get off of his horse.
"Of course," said the namahage. "It was a pleasure meeting such nice young kids. Normally we only deal with the naughty ones.
Tsuna laughed and rubbed the back of his head. Then he looked bashfully at the ground. "U-um, if you don't mind…" he trailed off, but the namahage kept looking at him expectedly. "…would you mind if we visited sometimes?" he asked.
"Of course not, we'd love to have you!" The namahage boomed with a laugh.
Tsuna smiled. "Thank you," he said.
"Not a problem."
It took a few minutes of walking through the forest for the spell to wear off.
"Hey, wait a minute," one of the kids said as he came to himself. "Where are we? And why," here he groaned and rubbed his head. "Why does my head hurt so much?"
That seemed to be key needed for all the baseball players to rub their heads and groan too.
"You guys!" said Takeshi, all happy, "You're back!"
"Eh, Takeshi?" one of the kids said. "What happened?"
"You guys started wandering off all of a sudden," Takeshi said, starting the tale they'd all agreed on before they got here.
"It took me forever to find you!" And here Takeshi gave that patented laugh and smile of his. "Don't worry me like that, I thought you guys were gone!"
"Sorry," said most of the kids.
"Hey," said one of the kids, looking around. "What are they doing here?" He raised his hand and gestured at where Tsuna and his friends were scattered around.
"I asked them for help, so they helped me find you guys," Takeshi said.
The kid frowned. "Okay, I can see Kurokawa and Sasagawa being helpful, but why'd you ask Dame-Tsuna?"
"Tsuna isn't dame," said about five people at once, Takeshi with a startled edge, Kurokawa with a biting edge, and the two Sasagawas and Haru with a disapproving edge.
The kid sneered. "Yeah, right. You shouldn't be around him, Takeshi. You'll catch his dame-ness."
"Ohh?" said a dark voice above the kid. He looked up and paled. Hibari was perched above him, tonfa's out. He smiled. "I'll bite you to death."
The kid screamed something but a loud beep cut him off. Then Hibari and Mite leapt out of the tree and onto the kid.
The baseball kids scattered, heading towards the playground and the safety of their own homes.
"Ah, guys!" Takeshi said as they ran, one arm outstretched to his friends. Then he turned around and looked at Tsuna and his friends.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sure Yamashita didn't mean it-"
"Yeah, he did," Hana cut him off.
Takeshi flinched and looked at the ground. "Sorry," he repeated.
"It's fine," Tsuna said. "I'm used to it."
That just made Takeshi flinch even harder. He started toeing with a rock with his foot.
"I just wanted to say thank you," he said finally. "And, if you don't mind, could I hang out with you guys sometimes? You're actually pretty cool."
Even though that made him worried for what Takeshi would get up to, and what dangers he could be exposed to, all Tsuna could say was "Sure."
Takeshi smiled at Tsuna as a pop-up said, "Yamamoto Takeshi is now a Friend".
Then Takeshi was laughing as he said goodbye, and was turning and running towards home.
Tsuna smiled as he watched him leave. Then Hana leaned down and asked, "So how long has the game been censoring any profanity you hear?"
Takeshi started hanging with them periodically after that. He didn't really do as many dungeons as the others did, preferring to spend most of his time with his baseball buddies. It was nice though, having him around.
He and his friends go back to the Frozen Hills and the Namahage Village several times, including an "interesting" camping trip by Daikon. Haru got over her fear of namahage after a few weeks and then fiercely threw herself into becoming everyone's friend. She succeeded, admirably. They also learned a lot about riding animals of all kinds. Shiso, the main Kebukai Uma tamer and village chief, thought that Kuro and the others would quickly reach riding size, so he helped them design appropriate saddles. This lead Hana to start calling their herd of spiders the nightmare riders.
Tsuna also spent some time with the Yuki-onna, whose name was Tsuki. For all her inner strength and pragmatism, she was quite naïve about the outside world. Tsuna enjoyed being able to explain things for once, and she enjoyed time with someone who understood the kind of lonely she had been.
Everyone cried when spring rolled around and the gate to the Frozen Hills closed until the next winter. Tsuna also cried when it came time for Hibari to graduate, leaving Tsuna to his bullies. This was very unhelpful, as something had pissed Hibari off that week and he'd been fiercer than normal. Once Tsuna's tears were added, something in Hibari seemed to snap and he took out a good chunk of the student population. Tsuna regretted crying.
Tsuna regretted crying even more, when it became apparent on the first day of the new school year that somehow, somehow, Hibari had decided that he needed his own army.
Incidentally, that's how Tsuna met the Namimori Middle Disciplinary Committee.
*I couldn't find a good horse/ox/cow yokai for them to ride, so I just translated hairy horse into Japanese via Google translate.
You know, despite the fact that this was supposed to be his introductory chapter, it didn't really feel like there was much Takeshi in here.
Also, the Committee is Hibari's army, not Tsuna's.
And all the namahage are named after food on purpose.
Fon, when he does his check-up with Hibari and finds that Hibari has a monkey too now, thinks it is the most adorable thing ever. Even the name is adorable, and Lichi agrees. Mite ends up emulating his master in regards to the smaller than normal monkey invader: you respect the skills, but damn do you want to beat him.
Again, on Takeshi, my take on him at this age is that he's a very social person, and his main buddies mean a lot to him. In canon, he only became Tsuna's friend after being abandoned by his old friends, but that didn't happen here, so Takeshi is split between his baseball friends and Tsuna, and he will be for quite some time.
Thank you so much for everyone that sent me ideas! As you can see, I've added a few of them here. There will be seasonal areas, but not in the same places as the others, so it might take a while for Tsuna and co. to find them all. Also sorry if I haven't responded to any of the reviews, you guys really overwhelmed me with your response.
The omake stories will hopefully go up in a few days. I'm not promising anything though, I wrote most of this during a day break we had.
LVs: Tsuna is LV 13 at end of story. The girls are all at LV 15, Ryohei is LV 18 and Hibari is LV 25. Takeshi is LV 10, because he spends most of his time playing baseball. He'll catch up, don't worry.