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The Selection

by pseudonym08

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Chapter Two | At the Sky Capital, Sora

"Kyudaime," a man spoke, bowing a perfect ninety degrees at another man standing outside the balcony. The latter referred to as Kyuudaime was about his mid-seventies, though he looked only about his sixties, with ashen grey hair and a sceptre on one hand. He stood with poise, shoulders squared on both sides. He was appreciating the tranquility of the gardens, admiring the beauty bathe by the moon and the stars. As much as he hated to tear himself away from such a view, he must still do his job and with haste.

He turned to the former.

The man waited for his superior to acknowledge his presence. When he finally did, he stood up straight and presented what was reported by the research team. "We've analysed the flame inputs of the selected. Twenty-two of them could use varying degrees of one of the six guardian flames, with one being able to use three simultaneously. Four are non-flame users."

Timoteo, the Vongola IX, furrowed his brows. "No sky-users?" The man shook his head. Nono sighed heavily. Well, it was expected. After all, sky-flame users were the rarest of the rare, only about 1 in a million people can have the affinity for sky. And even among them, a 1 in a thousand can wield it. But…

For a moment there, the younger man swore he had seen a look of confusion flashed on the Nono's face. But before he could even blink, any sign of doubt was gone. Vongola IX nodded to the man and let him go. "You've done a good job," he praised. A bit weirded out, the man bowed nonetheless before leaving. Left alone, Timoteo sighed as he faced the gardens of his estate once more.

In the last two selections, they were lucky enough to get a handful of sky-users. And during the elimination process, said sky-users were very talented to go past until the succession. Daniela, Vongola Ottavo and Nono's mother, was one classic example — the second heiress from the selection. Timoteo looked at the ring on his hand. Well, he just hoped in some way, by some miracle, it would accept someone even though the class type is different, though the chances of that is next to zero.

If everything goes down to worse however, not all is lost yet, Nono mused. There's always the escape of marriage and birth. Whoever becomes queen and is rejected by the ring, she can always marry any of the nobles and give birth to an heir worthy of the Vongola Sky Ring. Timoteo knew it was a wicked plan, imposing even, but they were left with no choice, not when they are tied down by the strict traditional process of succession. And Vongola must never not have an heir.

Though, Nono thought it strange. He knew the identities of the selected. And for one particular lass, he was very intimate with her family. That said, Nono had hoped at least she would be a sky-user. To think the reports would show none… very peculiar indeed, he breathed.

"Timoteo," another voice spoke behind, a voice deeper and exude more power than Nono could ever imagine. Timoteo pushed whatever that he was thinking at the back of his mind. He tightened his grip on his sceptre and then turned around and faced down.

Behind him, though behaving and thinking like a man, had an appearance far from one. A baby. Wearing a black suite and a chameleon perched on his orange-striped black fedora hat. The only man who can call Timoteo by his name.

"Reborn," Nono addressed.

- 0 2 -

Tsuna was awed by the sight that greeted her the moment she stepped out of the airport. Skyscrapers reaching the sky. Magnificent buildings and tall statues. And… wait, where those people flying? Tsuna had to rub her eyes to believe it was real. Some men and women were flying, flames of different colours emitted from the shoes they wore. So flying shoes really do exist! Tsuna became embarrassed. All this time, she thought the advertisements were exaggerated.

"Close your mouth or a fly might get in," she heard someone said. Tsuna promptly closed her mouth and turned to see a woman with shoulder-length pink hair, who flipped said hair as if in disgust being stared at by Tsuna. Tsuna ignored the action, but she was in awe nonetheless. The woman was clearly rich, if her flowery dress and smooth skin were any indication.

While most girls in Sora went for dresses and skirts, Tsuna only wore her favourite black-orange jacket and jeans, the most presentable clothes she had so far. Her skin was a bit tanned and not at all flawless, being bathe under the sun for work and school most of the time. And her brunette hair, though silky once because of her mom, became unkempt from time to time. She paid no particular importance in maintaining it, opting to carelessly tie it instead to keep it from interfering with work.

Seeing the woman before her just gave her all the more reason to return home as soon as possible. She exude femininity, something Tsuna can never have. This was not her place. She doesn't belong here, Tsuna convinced herself.

"Please ignore her uh…"

"Tsuna," Tsuna automatically replied. She spun around and beamed at another girl approaching her, one with dark brown hair tied into a small ponytail. "Please call me Tsuna."

"Nice meeting you, Tsuna-san," the girl smiled. "I'm Haru. Miura Haru."

They bowed to each other.

"That girl over there was Hinamori Sakura. She'd been dissing anyone who came so don't feel bad about it. It's odd though since her best friend, Shizuka, the one with the blond curls was really kind," Haru filled in. "I assume you're one of the selected as well?"

Tsuna nodded.

"Hahi, so you must be the last one," Haru added, clapped her hands and smiled. Tsuna looked around and began counting. Haru was right, the rest of the twenty-five were there. Tsuna spotted a woman with blond curls and mentally noted her name, figuring she must be this Shizuka. And as if on cue, after her brief scrutiny, three of the agents appeared before them, with one holding a strange violet staff.

The agents did not bother introduce themselves. But they did tell the girls they were there to pick them up. The instant they said so, four black limousines rounded a corner before coming to a stop a few steps front. Tsuna's eyes widened. It was the first time she'd seen a limousine, much less ride it. It made her very excited; but at the same time, she tried to bottle said excitement, sensing how out of place it would be judging from the bored looks the others had, not that she really cared what they think.

"Ladies," the agents bowed.

Taking it as their signal, all 26 walked towards their ride. Tsuna didn't know anyone yet, maybe except Haru, so she figured she was gonna go to where the latter would be. Tsuna smiled, still giddy of finally riding the limo. She can't wait to tell Kyoto about this-

"Mama~"

A whiff of air blew past Tsuna as a man came speeding before her, almost bumping. And the next thing Tsuna knew, the once gleeful call of a child she heard had become frantic cries.

"Let go!"

Gunshots.

"Mama! Mama!"

Tsuna turned at the same time the others did. A distance before them was a woman falling down, blood coming out of her stomach and a child of about seven crying next to her.

"Electric shock!" Sakura commanded. Cold air surrounded the 26. Tsuna resisted the urge to wrap herself with her arms. Then instantly, a crackle of lightning formed on Sakura's fingertips, before it was released and bolted towards a running man with the lady's bag.

It missed.

The man turned left on an intersection. Tsuna cursed. She snapped herself out of trance and, before anyone could react, sprinted after the robber. "Please look after the woman," she yelled back.

"Matte! Baka!" Sakura tried to stop. But it was too late. The moment Tsuna stepped out of range, a thin violet paper-like boundary faded into nothingness.

- 0 2 -

It was thirty past eleven in the evening when the bar door opened and a man, an infant came waltzing in.

For some, it may come off abnormal, to have a child walk in inside a pub, unguarded, at so late an hour. But as the men turned to face the newcomer, the sight of the signature fedora hat that he had was enough to silence them and be on edge.

"Reborn," a man by the counter spoke, breaking the silence. He took a sip off his drink and leaned back on his chair. "Called out by the old man again?"

"The popular ones sure have it tough," his companion added, puffing out a smoke. He smiled. "So which is it this time? Arashi? Ame?"

The baby stopped. He obscurely scanned the crowd. By this time, everyone had turned their attention to him, curious as to his next assignment. And after a few antagonising minutes, "Sora," he finally replied. "I'll be staying here for a while."

The men's sweat dropped.

"So... the selection?"

"Oya, so the old man finally decided?"

Reborn did not reply, merely tilted his hat. But the smirk that came off next was an enough answer.

To Be Continued


AN: So, yeaah, this will still follow canon. Sort of. :) Let me know what you think. Thank you very much for reading!