Author's note: Finally I'm back and I updated! Balancing my college studies (yes! I'm college now! It seems only like last year I was a high school –oh yeah I was a high school last year!) and my writing is difficult. I mean we have a major exam every month and then in between that there are like competitions you have to participate and then the projects and the quizzes and the assignments… And just, wow… Whew, anyway thank you for those who still continue to support and read this story, once again I'm sorry. I'll update Parallel to His Heart next! Thank you for your patience!
The Ghost of a Past Love
Chapter 17 –Significance of the Rings
"Sawada-sama…" Men in black suits bowed at the young brunet as he stepped out of the car.
"Good job…" Tsuna said as he took off the sunglasses he was wearing. He was once again back in Kokuyo land to help in the investigation of Mukuro's belongings.
"This way, Sawada-sama…" One guard led Tsuna to the old theater building. Once they entered the old building, another mafia man came up to Tsuna with small object in a plastic bag. "This is it."
Tsuna looked at the small object, aware that Giotto was behind him, watching. He looked at it and his eyes widened when brown eyes met intricate but familiar patterns.
"This is…" Tsuna said as he took the ring with shaking fingers.
Giotto's eyes were wide as he also looked at the ring. The mist ring! While the ghost counterpart was too busy looking at the ring, Tsuna turned to the man who found the ring.
"Where is Rokudo Mukuro right now?" He asked with a frown.
"He is being detained at a nearby Vongola facility. We are waiting for Vindice to come pick him up." The man answered respectfully.
Tsuna's eyes narrowed as he said in a commanding tone. "Take me to him." There was silence as the guards exchanged looks.
One guard bowed at Tsuna. "Understood, Sawada-sama…" He said as he turned and Tsuna followed him.
"Let's go Giotto-san." He whispered to the still stunned ghost as he took the ring from the guards.
Giotto shook his head trying to get rid of his shock and he gave the brunet a determined look. Let's go…
Yamamoto looked up as the door to his room opened. His eyes widened when he saw his two fellow friends enter. They were wearing their hospital pajamas and were bare-footed. Gokudera had a blanket around his shoulders while Ryohei was being supported by crutches.
"Sempai! Gokudera! What are you guys doing here?" He said as he sat up but then winced at the stab wound on his stomach.
"Oi, don't push yourself." Gokudera said as he and Ryohei sat on Yamamoto's bed side. Gokudera's eyes crinkled and he frowned as he remembered that that wound was given by his boss.
"Yamamoto, that wound seems pretty deep." Ryohei commented as Yamamoto opened his shirt to view the bandages. "It seems like it'll scar."
Yamamoto's eyes softened. "Actually, I won't mind if it does… but I just hope it doesn't cause Tsuna pain when he sees it." He placed a gentle hand on his injury.
Gokudera and Ryohei exchanged looks. Gokudera looked away with a smirk while Ryohei's expression was confused.
Gokudera looked around Yamamoto's room and then his eyes landed on the many bouquets of flowers in Yamamoto's room. His emerald eyes widened. "Wha-?"
Yamamoto saw what Gokudera was looking at and laughed. "Oh right, those flowers were given by Tsuna. I'm sure you guys got some too right?"
"Wow, there's a lot." Ryohei commented. "More than what he gave us…"
"Hm?" Yamamoto said tilting his head and Gokudera began to shake while raising a fist.
Jyuudaime must've been so worried about the baseball idiot! Gokudera thought with barely suppressed rage. "Damn it! The baseball idiot is lucky to have Jyuudaime care so much about him!"
Yamamoto turned to Ryohei for an explanation. "You extremely got more flowers than us." The boxer shrugged. Yamamoto's eyes widened.
Gokudera stood up and approached the flowers. "GAH! The sight of them is irritating me!"
"Oi, Tako-head don't yell too loudly or the extreme nurses and doctors will find us!" Ryohei said as he limped towards Gokudera to stop his wrath. Neither noticed Yamamoto smiling softly as he looked at the flowers.
"He's in here Sawada-sama…" Their driver said as he bowed them stiffly into the Vongola facility. It was like normal prisons except it was more expensive, and more closely monitored than a normal one.
Tsuna walked across the hall with a serious expression on his face as he passed various doors. He could see the prisoners kept by the Vongola, waiting for the verdict of the Vendice, watching his moves and their mouth were open as though they were shouting something at him. Thankfully, the prisons were sound proof.
The mafia guard in front of Tsuna led them to a door at the end of the hallway. He took out a complicated key with intricate patterns (so that it would be too difficult to be copied by an outsider) and inserted it in the keyhole. Several locks could be heard unlocking as the guard opened the door slowly.
Suddenly, something sharp and quick came at Tsuna like a blur. Giotto, sensing the danger, immediately overtook Tsuna body and caught it with a serious expression. The guard let out a startled gasp as he looked at Mukuro who was smirking.
"Oya, and I thought that this time I could finally escape." Mukuro said as he sat down in defeat.
"Unfortunately for you Mukuro…" Tsuna said calmly as Giotto went out of his body. "I've told the guards never to open your 'room' unless I was there with them."
"Oh my, very precautious of you Sawada Tsunayoshi." Mukuro said, impressed. "Very smart decision." He said as he relaxed back into his cell. "So, care to tell me what crossed your mind to make you come and visit me?"
"The ring." Tsuna said calmly as he signaled the guard to go away. The guard bowed reluctantly as he closed the door behind the tenth heir and left.
"Pardon?" Mukuro stated and Tsuna just looked at the other.
"The ring in your possession is what interests me." Tsuna stated and Mukuro's eyes narrowed at him.
"I don't know why you'd have interest in a piece of junk such as that." Mukuro shrugged.
"If it is 'junk' as you say it is, then why did you bring with you when you came to Kokuyo?" Tsuna asked. "Do you really have no idea of its importance?"
"No, as a matter of fact I don't." Mukuro stated honestly. "It was given to me by a bunch of people I considered as Family a long time ago."
Tsuna's eyebrow rose at this strange information. "Given to you?" Tsuna leaned forward in interest. "Your old Family, are you talking about the Estraneo?"
"Was that their name? I've forgotten." Mukuro stated airily and Tsuna frowned.
"I don't have time to play games with you Mukuro. Tell me, how did the Estraneo get their hands on this ring?" Tsuna asked and beside him, Giotto studied the illusionist's face curiously.
"They said it has been passed down from boss to their successor…" Mukuro shrugged.
"If that's so, how come this fell into your hands? If I remember correctly, you were an orphan adopted by the Family right?" Tsuna stated.
Mukuro's eyes shadowed as he crossed his arms. "Hm. I wonder as well. They said something about the boss having a dream or something uninteresting as that."
"Or maybe they gave it to you because they thought of you as someone important to them." Tsuna said quietly.
"This conversation is boring me. Please leave now." Mukuro said in a drawling voice as he regained himself. "I'm not so desperate and lonely that I require the visit of a filthy mafia boss."
Tsuna stood up, recognizing the words to be dismissal. "Thank you for your time. I'll come again."
"Do as you wish. Even if I tell you not to come, you won't listen anyway. After all, the mafia likes to make their own rules." Mukuro said as he lied back down on his bed and Tsuna closed the door behind him.
What do you think Tsunayoshi? Giotto asked as he walked next to his descendant who was looking at the mist ring in his hand. The two of them had returned to the hospital to check on Hibari this time. They were at the food court, waiting for confirmation from the staff if Hibari would allow visitors. Because unlike the three other injured Namimori students, Hibari cared a lot about his health and even when he only had a cold, the prefect would go out of his way to confine himself in the hospital for health benefits.
"I'm not sure…" Tsuna stated as he let the ring roll around on his palm. "It can't be a coincidence, finding one of the seven Vongola rings after hundreds years… Do you remember what happened that caused them to be lost Giotto-san?"
"Giotto-san?" Tsuna repeated again.
The said ghost was floating next to Tsuna with a stunned expression on his face.
"Giotto-san, are you alright?" The brunet asked and the other turned to him with a confused look.
I don't remember. Giotto said in a troubled tone.
"Ah, well, it has been a long time…" Tsuna said to the other but Giotto shook his head.
I have a bad feeling. Giotto stated and his eyes narrowed. I feel like that in relation to the rings, I'm forgetting something important.
"Ha?" Tsuna said but then Giotto suddenly drifted away. "Ah wait! Giotto-san!"
I-I need some time to think. Tsunayoshi please go visit Alaude without me- Giotto froze at the mention of his first Cloud guardian before his eyes shadowed and he went through the wall. Of course, Tsuna could no longer follow the other once he did this, so the young brunet just settled by sitting down and looking at ring in his palm once more.
Was another storm brewing in the horizon?
"Herbivore, why have you come to visit me?" Hibari asked as the brunet entered his private room. Unlike the others, Hibari's medical bills were free because his father had a connection with the owner of the hospital, so Tsuna really didn't need to pay anything for the solitary skylark. Besides, Hibari hated being indebted to anyone.
"I just came to check how you're doing." Tsuna stated as he quietly closed the door behind him, he had another bouquet of flowers with him. "And your eyes…?" He asked looking at Hibari's bandaged eyes.
"My eyes are fine." Hibari stated firmly. "The pineapple herbivore just made me drink some poison that caused temporary blindness and numbness. The doctors found a cure so I'll be fine."
"That's a relief." Tsuna stated with a relieved sigh as he took Hibari's empty vase, filled it with water and arranged the flowers.
"Tell me, how did you defeat the pineapple herbivore?" Hibari asked quietly. Tsuna's expression fell.
"I didn't defeat Mukuro." Tsuna said honestly.
"Then the other herbivores…?"
"No, everyone else was knocked out." Tsuna stated and Hibari didn't bother questioning further.
"I see. You are a strange and annoying herbivore Sawada Tsunayoshi." Hibari stated and Tsuna looked up in confusion.
"That baseball herbivore, the one named Yamamoto Takeshi…" The name of the baseball idol made Tsuna's heart constrict painfully. "I've never once seen him interested in anything in particular before. I thought he was like me, aloof only in a different way."
Tsuna blinked in confusion. Yamamoto? Aloof?
"What do you mean by that Hibari-san? Yamamoto isn't aloof." Tsuna stated in confusion and Hibari smirked in a way that said 'I-know-something-you-don't'.
"How long have you known him?"
"A few months now." Tsuna said counting on his fingers. "Why?"
"I've known that herbivore for a few years. He is a carnivore hiding in a herbivore's skin. He isn't as happy as you think he is." Hibari stated. "He tried to kill himself just last year."
Tsuna was sure that if he was holding something breakable he would've dropped it and crashed it into pieces. "W-Wha-?"
"He was a strange herbivore, always hiding behind his annoying smiles. Everyone was fooled by those smiles but I wasn't." Hibari stated quietly. "I could feel the bitterness behind those smiles and I knew it wouldn't be long before he cracked."
"B-But Y-Yamamoto w-wouldn't-" Tsuna's hands shook as he thought of a world where Yamamoto wasn't around.
"I stopped him before he jumped off the roof." Hibari stated. "I challenged him to a fight. I successfully distracted him from his suicidal thoughts albeit temporarily. I made sure he was injured enough so as not to try something as reckless as that again. He was sent to the hospital after I beat him up and the worry of his father seemed to have woken him up from deliriousness."
"W-What happened after that?" Tsuna asked silently.
"He went back to school, he eased his way back into his popularity. He despised it but he had no choice. I watched him closely, I knew he had potential to be a dangerous carnivore if he trained enough." Hibari said and Tsuna had the strange feeling that the only reason Hibari stopped the other was so that he could have a proper opponent to fight with in the future. Nevertheless…
"Thank you." Tsuna said and Hibari turned his head to the side.
"For stopping Yamamoto back then, thank you." Tsuna said and he bowed stiffly. "Your intentions weren't pure but I thank you nonetheless."
"You give a high importance to this herbivore." Hibari stated in a monotonous tone. "That is a weakness."
"I admit, I like Yamamoto a lot. But feelings for a person can never be considered a weakness Hibari-san." Tsuna stated as he straightened up. "The desire to protect someone is what drives us to do our best and to surpass our limits."
Hibari didn't answer as Tsuna straightened up. "I hope you get better soon Hibari-san, I'll be seeing you then."
"Wait Sawada Tsunayoshi." Hibari said and Tsuna stopped to look at the temporarily blind prefect. "What you said before, I think I somehow understand."
Tsuna blinked his eyes in astonishment. Hibari understood? Did the skylark care about someone too?
"That baseball herbivore became a carnivore just to come and save you." Hibari stated. "I guess that is what you meant by surpassing the limits?"
Tsuna's eyes widened at what Hibari said before red accumulated in his cheeks and his eyes shadowed. "M-Maybe. I-I'll see you then Hibari-san." And with that said, Tsuna stepped out and closed the door behind him.
Hibari crossed his arms as he comfortable laid back on his pillow.
Such a weak omnivore.
"Congratulations Giotto-sama! I'm glad you finally found a woman to your liking!" A fellow mafia boss said as he patted Giotto vigorously on the back. All of the guests were clapping enthusiastically. The blonde man smiled at the other, perfectly masking his horrified feelings. Clinging to his arm, was his beautiful and blushing bride.
"I hope the two of you become happy together!" The bridesmaid said to the bride as she smiled.
"Thank you." She said in a soft tone. A few feet away, Giotto saw his guardians waiting to congratulate him.
Most of the guardians had confused looks on their faces as they watched their boss calmly stride towards them. And Giotto couldn't exactly blame them for their confusion. It was no secret from his Family that the person Giotto liked was Asari. However, for some strange reason their boss suddenly announced a few months ago that he was going to get married to a woman they've never met.
"Congratulations boss." G. stated formally as he extended a hand to the other. Giotto shook the hand firmly. G.'s eyebrow raised when he noted how cold the Vongola boss' hand was.
"Boss, I am an extreme blessed priest for being the one to have watched over your marriage!" Knuckle said as it was his turn to congratulate his old friend.
"Hey wait, I thought boss liked Asari-shi. What's going-?" But Lampo was interrupted when G. suddenly hit him on the ribs with his elbow. "Itte!"
Alaude merely extended his hand for Giotto to shake before retracting immediately.
"Thank you for coming everyone." Giotto said in a cool and soft tone of voice. A few feet away, his bride was busy talking to some girls who were whispering excitedly. "Today is indeed a blessed day." Giotto stated in a happy tone but his eyes told his true feelings. His eyes were half-lidded slightly concealing his sad golden eyes.
Of course, his guardians who had sharp eyes, were able to notice this. They stopped clapping at once and circled their boss, hiding him from view. Giotto's long bangs shadowed his eyes as he clenched his fist.
"Boss, tell us what's wrong. Did someone threaten you?" G. asked over protectively. The others were alert as they glanced around for eavesdroppers.
"It's extremely wrong to marry someone without love." Knuckles stated with a frown.
"Ore-sama doesn't like this. Ore-sama feels like something is wrong." Lampo stated in a low tone.
Giotto continued to look at the ground in a sad and dazed manner, causing the guardians' worry to heighten.
"This is getting irritating. If you don't tell us-" Alaude began but then a voice suddenly cut him off.
"Oya? Is something wrong? Why is everyone gathering around here?" Came a sadistic voice instantly making Giotto freeze.
"Daemon!" G. said in an angry tone. The right-hand man was no fool. He had noticed how tense Giotto had been lately around the mist.
"Oya Boss, what are you doing here? Other guests are waiting to congratulate you. You can talk with your guardians later, come." Daemon stated, ignoring G.
Giotto nodded numbly as he pushed past his guardians and followed Daemon.
"Wait-! Giotto!" G. called out.
"Oi! Giotto!" Knuckled said.
Giotto didn't look back as he was led away. However, one voice managed to stop him in his tracks.
"Boss." The voice made Giotto stop in his tracks. Beside him, Daemon frowned as the two of them came face to face with Asari Ugetsu. The sight of the rain guardian sent a painful tug in Giotto's heart as the blonde swallowed back his grief.
"A-Asari…" Giotto said and he gave the other a pain-filled smile that made Daemon smirk. "Came to congratulate me as well? I'm happy to see you-!"
However, Giotto's words were cut off when Asari suddenly kneeled in front of him, causing many of the guests to look towards the display in curiosity.
"Boss, I know it is disrespectful of me to do this right now but…" Asari said and he looked up, blue eyes meeting golden ones. "I would like to officially resign as your guardian."
The Vongola boss' mouth fell open as he felt the world around him come crashing down.
No… this couldn't be happening…
Golden eyes snapped open as Giotto sat up after experiencing such a horrible memory. Oh he remembered that day, his wedding day, the day Asari resigned from being his guardian. The emotions he felt at the time was too much and he was barely able to conceal the pain and grief he felt.
Thankfully, G. seemed to have done something to keep the rain guardian in check, and make him stay for a while longer… But a while was all the storm could do. Asari swore to be gone by the end of the week.
Not that it mattered. Giotto said with sad eyes. I died within that week anyway. At the thought, Giotto felt a sharp pain enter his mind. Urgh!
It can't be a coincidence, finding one of the seven Vongola rings after hundreds years… Do you remember what happened that caused them to be lost Giotto-san?
Why? Why can't I remember what happened after that? Giotto thought tiredly. What's happening? Giotto asked himself as he looked up. He was currently on the hospital roof, staring at the dark sky.
As though answering his question, it began to rain and despite the confusion and pain he felt, Giotto closed his eyes letting the rain wash away his tears.
Author's note: It's actually shorter than the chapters before but I swear I'll make it longer next time! I'm sorry if it's a bit boring but that's only for NOW. Trust me when I say that things will get more exciting after this! Thanks again and please review!