Then he heard footsteps and voices coming closer and closer... to his hiding spot.
Oh no... Tsuna held his breath and hugged the owl tightly. Please don't come!
The footsteps halted just before the crates, and a voice echoed through the alleyway "Okay so this is where the Millefiore store some of their firearms. You see that crate over there? That contains some of our best equipments."
Another man replied. "So that is what the commander ordered us to carry all the way to the training room? A freakin crate? Oh man, I can just imagine how heavy it'll be"
Tsuna's eyes dilated with apprehension when he realized that the crate which he was leaning on might be the one that the Millefiore men wanted to move.
"Man, how do you keep track of all these crates? They all look freakin identical." The man's voice dripped with complaints. "Why is my job such a pain in the ass..."
"Ray, will you stop complaining?" The other man sighed, "At least I'm here to help you."
The footsteps were drawing closer.
There are two men... there's no way I can outrun them if I try to escape now. Tsuna knew he was in no condition to do any physical activities, yet he knew that if he were to stay hidden behind the crate, the men were bound to spot him. He tried to think of a reasonable plan, but then he realized that it was impossible since his mind was fogging up due to the build-up of dehydration and fatigue in his body for the past few days. The crates around him seemed to be swirling and swirling as he tried to search for a way to escape from here without having to deal with those two men...
The echos of the footsteps grew louder and louder.
Tsuna held his breath as he watched the pearl white shoes move with ease across the alleyway. They had walked right passed the crate where Tsuna was hiding, totally oblivious of his existence. It was all good until one of the men turned around, and almost immediately, found himself gazing at the apprehensive, caramel eyes of the Vongola.
The man froze, as if he was unable to comprehend what he was seeing right now.
"Hey you, Ray! This is suppose to be your job so you should help me out here." The other man called out. "Don't stand there like you've never seen crates before, you look as if you've just seen a-" Then he realized what his partner was staring at, and his eyes opened wide in shock, "... seen... the... what the hell?" He dropped the clipboard which he was holding.
Oh shit. Tsuna swore under his breath as he stared at them with unwavering eyes. He was totally cornered by two Millefiore men, and right now he was gloveless, weaponless, and powerless, and all he could do right now was to wait for the right timing... and attempt to escape.
"Who are you?" The man instinctively flashed out a pocketknife from his pocket. "What are you doing here?"
"Hey Kon! Calm down and put that knife down, can't u see that he is pretty helpless right now? I think if he was capable of hurting us, he would've done so the moment we had walked into this alley." Ray explained with annoyance.
"But an intruder is an intruder regardless of appearance! That was what our commander had taught us!"
Tsuna watched as Ray smirked at the comment. Their eyes met and when the corner of his mouth shifted up slightly, Tsuna immediately loathed the man's patronizing stare.
"Dear Kon I think you better check your vision if you honestly believe that he is simply an infiltrator."
The other man's eyebrow shifted up, obviously perplexed. "You mean... perhaps a Millefiore's prostitute?"
Ray bursted out laughing, the raspy sound was comparable to a family of croaking crows. After his howling subsided, he remarked. "Oh Kon you really are fucking foolish. Look carefully at his pretty features."
"His?" Kon's eyebrow twitched as he scrutinized the figure. Suddenly, a look of horrific realization emerged. "Aren't you the Vongola?" The man exclaimed incredulously, his voice screeched as he took a sudden step back. "Aren't you suppose to be dead? W-why are you here?"
"Seems like we have just discovered a scandal." Ray shifted his eyes to the cornered figure and chuckled cockily. "Am I right, Vongola?"
Tsuna answered him with a glare.
"Well well it is nice meeting you, though I would have never expected to see you like this." He snickered as he eyed the Vongola's scanty attire.
Tsuna shifted uneasily under the greedy gaze.
"How scandalous... appearing in your enemy's territory with nothing but a coat, perhaps the rumours I've heard are true?" In the corner of his eyes, he noticed Kon fumbling for his phone in the pockets of his white uniform. Ray immediately grabbed his arm. "Wait what the hell are you doing?"
"We have to report this to our commanders! B-byakuran-sama would definitely reward us for this big discovery! We could be promoted to a much higher rank with this!" He was about to press the numbers on his phone when Ray slapped it away, and the phone slid onto the ground and glided to a stop near Tsuna.
"Don't report yet!" Ray growled.
"What the hell! Y-you didn't have to wreck my phone like that! And why do you want to miss your chance of being promoted?" The man sighed.
"No, you can report later, but just not now." Ray snickered. "Think about it Kon, how rare is it for us to be able see the 'Almightly Vongola' in a helpless state like this?"
"Very rare..." Kon's eyes scanned Tsuna from head to toe, and he realized that he couldn't look away from the slender body.
Perverted bastards...Tsuna gritted his teeth in disgust.
Ray laughed. "So Vongola, mind explaining to us what happened? We would like to know." He approached, and he felt the immense superiority growing within him as he towered over the helpless figure.
When the Vongola did not reply, he tried again. "Let me ask you again, did Byakuran-sama really kidnapped you and locked you away in his secret chamber like what various rumours had suggested?"
Rumours about me were circulating Millefiore? Tsuna stared at him blankly, still trying to process the situation right now. A dull throbbing headache began to crescendo.
"Hey, did you become dumb and deaf? Answer me!" Ray scowled impatiently.
Kon sighed. "I think there's no use asking him questions if he doesn't answer."
"Then why don't we just find out ourselves." The man was crouching down in front of Tsuna now. "Man, you are in such a disheveled state... It reminds me of how I look like after rounds of delicious sex..." He licked his own lips as he leaned closer. Then, something caught his eyes. "Eh? Are those kiss marks that I see?"
Kon exclaimed incredulously, "Kiss marks?"
"Yup… Look like you are no ordinary prisoner... Maybe I should mark you too like what Byakuran-sama did!" Ray moved closer, preparing to savage his vulnerable prey.
Suddenly, with one quick, calculated movement, Tsuna snatched the cellphone beside him and thrusted it right onto the man's face, jabbing his right eye precisely with as much force as he could muster. The corner of the device sunk into the vulnerable flesh, which instantaneously elicited frantic shrieks from the man.
"Ah fuck!" Ray staggered back at the unexpected attack. The cellphone dropped onto the ground, decorated with new spots of blood. His hands covered the wounded eye as he tried desperately to ease the excruciating pain. "You fucking...!" Then he gasped. Even with one eye, he could see that the Vongola had somehow obtained a gun from the crate behind him, and the weapon was aimed mercilessly at him. "Hey wait! Don't-!"
Tsuna's finger latched onto the trigger. "Don't move!" He commanded with voice that dripped with the absolute authority of an Italian boss.
The man stuttered frantically. "Wow okay calm down... I'm not gonna move."
Shit there is still one more man.. With his peripheral vision, Tsuna tried to scan around, but a wave of nausea hit him, and he could feel the acidic taste in his throat and the burning sensation in his head. Everything seemed blurry and distorted. Tsuna leaned back slightly against the crate for support.
"You are sweating and trembling you know..."
Tsuna swirled around at the close proximity of the voice. The sudden movement caused him to feel unbearably light-headed.
"It's useless Vongola." The other man appeared before him and tightly gripped onto the tip of the gun. "The gun is not loaded. All the bullets are in another crate."
Before he could attempt to prove that the barrel was indeed empty, Kon shoved him onto the crates and slapped the gun away.
"Tch..!" Tsuna winced painfully as the harsh wooden surface grazed against his lower back and hit the back of his head. He immediately scrambled to escape from the man's clutch, but powerful arms had already pinned him down. He stifled a hiss when the wounds on his wrist from his previous abuse opened up. The hands tightened around the raw skin, and sickening memories of the violation of his body flooded his mind.
"Yeah Kon, excellent job for cornering him! But ya should've told me earlier that the guns were unloaded! Sheesh scared the shit out of me!" The injured man staggered over and examined the captive body with a combination of enmity and lust. "You motherfucker... how dare you attack me and threaten me with a gun when I was being so nice to you! Maybe doing you once or twice will teach you not to fuck with me!"
"Let me go." The Vongola's voice trembled.
"Ray," Kon said anxiously upon observing the Vongola's sickly state, "he doesn't seem very well right now..." He stared at the stained cuffs of Vongola's oversized coat. With one hand still firmly gripping his two wrists, Kon decided to pull up the sleeves of Tsuna's coat, which revealed cuts and scratches on his wrists, covered with dried patches of blood. And a glimpse further down the sleeve showed more signs of bruises…With a horrified gasp, he immediately let go of the thin wrists. The obvious signs of abuse underneath the coat left him feeling overwhelmed with guilt. He had heard rumours of how Byakuran was infatuated with the Vongola, yet he didn't think it would be like this.
"Ray... this is not right!" Kon stuttered as he stared at his own hands, now dyed with faint speckles of blood that did not belong to him.
"You shut up. " Ray retaliated. "You see my bloody eye? My freakin bloody eye? I can't let him go unless I get my revenge. I don't pity people unlike you!"
"Ray, I really don't think you should-"
The bickering became a blur of noise to Tsuna. His eyes could no longer focus, as if an opaque glass had covered his vision.
There was a yelp of surprise, and Kon's voice was no longer heard.
"That punch shall teach you a lesson. I will not let you ruin this rare opportunity. Just stand there and watch me."
Though his mind no longer processed the words, Tsuna knew what was coming. He shut his eyes and tried to tuck his emotions away. Like what I did in order to endure what Byakuran did to me...
But it was easier this time, since he was drowsy and on the brim of unconsciousness.
He could feel the clumsy hands trying to unbutton his coat when a rhythmical stomping echoed through the alleyway. A low humming accompanied each firm step, and Tsuna wondered if it was merely the sound produced from his throbbing headache. But it was not, for the hands froze, and breaths were held.
The bastards heard it too...
Tsuna instinctively tried to analyze the sound, but exhaustion overcame him. He couldn't tell the difference between the pounding in his head and the clutter of noises in reality. His mind was on the verge of exploding.
"Shit, what is that sound?"
"I don't know, but I think we better leave..."
The sound grew louder exponentially. And the men's panic became apparent.
"Fuck! What is that-"
Tsuna did not see, for the last thing he heard was deafening explosions and the blood-curling scream of the two men, and amidst the chaos, a surprised voice...
The atmosphere of the central computer room was tense. The remains of the door were scattered over the floor, accompanied with an unpleasant smell of burnt wood. Standing near the doorway, Byakuran poised elegantly with his right arms extended out. It was as if he wanted to ensure that the crimson blood, which ran along his arms, would not drip onto his white attire. He smiled mockingly. "What's wrong, Leo-kun? Why the surprised face?"
On the chair across from Byakuran was Leonardo with his hands covering his right eye. Blood was oozing out uncontrollably from a deep gash just below his right eye, gushing down and staining his white uniform. His pupils were dilated as he stuttered bewilderingly. "Byakuran-sama! What's the meaning of this? Why'd you suddenly attack me?"
"Oh that's a great question." Byakuran took a step closer. "How bout you answer my question first, Leo-kun. What were you doing in a room that clearly said 'no entry'?"
The man didn't reply.
"Or an even better question… What were you doing that engrossed you to the point where you were totally oblivious of my presence?"
A perplexed look surfaced. "I wasn't doing anything-"
"Oops, perhaps I should rephrase my sentence. Let's try again."Byakuran paused and continued. "What are you doing here, Mukuro Rokudo?"
The dilated eyes of the man on the chair narrowed, and the fear on his face was gone. "Ku fufu…" The man smirked as the colors of his eyes changed and his body slowly dissipated to reveal his true self. "I shall applaud you for being able to catch me off guard. As for your question, you should very well know why I am here." With one hand pressing against his right eye to stop the flow of blood, his other hand grasped onto his trident.
Byakuran smirked. "Well, I shall applaud you for being able to sneak into this room. Unfortunately, if you want to find Tsuna-kun, you are clearly in the wrong room."
The mention of Tsuna immediately reminded Mukuro of the obvious signs of abuse on the Vongola's body. The annoy voice of Glo Xinia echoed in his mind. He's already dirtied, raped, touched by Byakuran-sama over and over- He pushed the unnecessary thoughts away. I've finished my job here… I need to get back to Tsunayoshi as soon as possible since he is not in a safe place yet.
Mukuro stood up and dark aura of hatred surrounded him. He smiled, but his eyes were cold. "Oya oya… I really don't have time to be chatting here with you. I shall take a leave now…" He closed his eyes. As his conscience slowly slipped away from Leonardo's body, his body began to dissipate. Then, he felt an intense electric shock, and he was back in the body that he had wanted to escape from. Mukuro's eyes widened with slight disbelief
"Oh? What's wrong? Did you just realize that you have dug your own grave by simply walking into this room?" Byakuran smirked. "This room is very important to me, therefore it has the most protective wards in the entire Millefiore fortress. Haven't you realized that you are unable to spread your conscious to your other bodies?"
I have realized that… Mukuro thought. "Well then I guess I have no choice but to physical leave this place."
"Why are you in such a rush? There's no point in getting back a corpse." Byakuran smiled.
"You know…" Mukuro murmured, "you have no idea how much Tsunayoshi had trusted you, and yet you broke that trust so easily."
The statement came out of the blue. Byakuran hesitated as the word 'trust' resonated inside him like a guilty conscience. He regained his composure swiftly. "What do you mean broke his trust? Clearly the Millefiore were devastated by his death as well. I even ensured that the gunman was properly executed." Byakuran feigned a sigh. "You are clearly just angry that I stole your beloved boss' corpse aren't you?" The edge of his lips twitched up into a mocking grin. "When did you become such a tamed devil?"
Without a word, Mukuro dashed towards Byakuran with his trident. The two clashed as the trident was stopped just an inch away from piercing into Byakuran's heart. The numbers in the illusionist's eyes spun as he was about to release his diabolical power. And once again, he felt an electric shock through his body. It was as if an intangible barrier had blocked off access to his power.
"What's wrong?" The man whispered as he grasped the tip of the trident tightly to prevent the threatening tips from moving closer to him. "Did you just realize that you also cannot use your power here?" With his free arm, he punched the unguarded illusionist in the stomach. The illusionist fell back a few steps from the impact and immediately gained back his balance. His gloved hand was still covering his injured eye.
Mukuro swore under his breath.
"It is always so amusing to see an injured man pretending to be invincible." Byakuran laughed. "This place is basically inescapable." He swung Mukuro's trident around playfully. "Without your power, you cannot do anything, am I right?"
Mukuro chuckled bitterly. "Oya oya... I've underestimated you. However, there is no point in fighting me since this is not my real body, so it doesn't concern me."
"Yes, this is not your real body. But in this closed realm, you cannot escape from this body, therefore you cannot escape from the pain of getting hurt." Byakuran whispered. "You know… I've always wanted to annihilate the Vongola guardians. You guys are like the despicable swarm of bees that constantly surround the delicate, precious flower. You must be punished anyways for sneaking in here with the intention of stealing him away from me...
He pointed the sharp edges of the trident towards the cornered illusionist with a fanatical gleam in his eyes.
"Let's see how I shall torture you."
A Millefiore guard stood idly in front of a massive wall of surveillance screens. He half-heartedly observed each screen while indulging in his favourite music from his booming headphone.
Bam. Bam. Bam.
The guard flinched at the odd sounds. He fished out his music player from his pocket and examined it. It was still working perfectly fine, so surely the sound wasn't from it...
He heard another sound. This time it sounded like nails scraping against metals. Probably from the construction upstairs... Luckily, his blaring music allowed him to easily ignore the unpleasant noise.
He was about to change a song when the floor began to tremble. Walls creaked and after one awkward pause of silence, something exploded. He whirled around and his mouth gaped wide open as he watched a part of the ceiling crashing onto the white, marble floors. Debris rained down like hail and dust surged into the room. It all happened so quickly that the guard was still unable to comprehend the situation. He froze as he prayed that it was all just a dream... perhaps he was just becoming delusional due to his long hours of exhausting, mundane job, or perhaps it was just his co-workers pulling a prank on him for slacking off... Oh please let this be an illusion or Byakuran-sama would definitely decapitate my head for not watching the surveillance screens carefully!. His train of thoughts shattered when he heard an unfamiliar voice exclaiming with delight.
"Bingo! We got the right spot to the extreme!"
As the air slowly cleared up, the guard could discern the shape of the figures in the midst of the debris. Shit! It really is an invasion. He was about to run away when he remembered that his job was not only to stare at screens, but also to report for any suspicious activity spotted.
Well suspicious activity would definitely be an understatement for this...
He grabbed the intercom and screamed frantically into it. "Emergency! There are intruders-"
A hand forcefully covered his mouth and an arm locked tightly around his neck. Another snatched away the intercom and crushed it with ease, as if breaking an eggshell.
"Mmmf!" The guard tried to scream. When the hand was removed, he opened his eyes and saw lit dynamites held threateningly close to his face. "Wait please don't kill me! I'm innocent!" The guard pleaded tearfully. "I'm just a guard doing my job!"
"Okay Gokudera I think that's enough. The man looks like he's about to faint." Someone said with a light chuckle.
"Fuck you! If it wasn't for him, we could've snuck in unnoticed! Maybe I should just blow up his head "
The thought of his own head bursting apart terrified him; the guard cried out, "Wait, please don't! I'll do anything!"
"Oh really? What can you do?" The man spat his cigarettes out and stomped on it angrily. "If you say something fucking useless, then you can say goodbye to this world." His hands waved across his pocket and produced another lit dynamite.
"Oh please anything but that!" The guard was shaking uncontrollably. "I-I am familiar with Millefiore! I can direct you to wherever you want!"
"Oh you might be more useful than I thought…" The dynamites moved away slightly. "Well then, tell us how we can get to Byakuran's place or I will blow up your head."
Byakuran-sama's place? The guard swallowed nervously, as he tried to decide on whether to betray Byakuran-sama or to lose his own life in order to protect him… Finally, he made up his mind.
"Okay, I will lead you guys there…" The guard whispered anxiously. As the man grunted and extinguished the brightly-lit dynamite, the guard sighed with relief. "I know a secret passage that'll take you to the heart of Millefiore..." While he explained the overall route, he realized that his own face was perspiring heavily.
Calm down, calm down. The guard tried to breathe normally as he talked.
His heart was pounding furiously.
I hope they can't see through my lies....
After a long hiatus from , I am back! Thanks for all the reviews! I know I am notoriously unpredictable in terms of my updates, so thank you to those people who continue to follow this story :)