World of Secrets
Summary: In the World of Secrets, everyone has to have a secret, given to them at birth, which they must guard with their life. When Tsuna, a commoner, accidentally runs into Prince Hibari, he thinks he's doomed for death, but what he doesn't realize is that their fates are intertwined into a destiny that had been decided for them long ago.
Warning: T for some slightly gory scenes and swearing. OOC Characters. Mature! Tsuna.
I don't own Katekyo Hitman Reborn! If I did, gyahahaha…
A huge thanks to my editor (Escente on deviantart) for helping me pull through this chapter
Chapter 3. Repercussions and Retributions
The boy who fibbed looked around desperately. There was nobody. He had never been more alone in his life. And a bad time to be alone it was. He would die here…
The wolves came ever closer. He knew they could smell his few. Black, feral, blending against the nightscape, they were a kind of ghastly beauty. And they would descend on him soon enough. They would tear the flesh of his face, rip his chest open, devour his heart.
If only the villagers would come with a pitchfork like the last few times…he would be saved. But no, he was alone. It was his night of retribution, and also perhaps of redemption. If they tore his tongue out, he wouldn't lie anymore, right?
The nearest wolf lunged. He couldn't move, couldn't do anything. His stiff legs kept him propped up. As the fangs tore into the soft flesh of his cheek, he couldn't feel pain. Just an overwhelming sense of terror and maybe a hint of relief.
It would end soon.
The boy sank into thankful unconsciousness as his legs gave way. His body was soon lost under a snarling mess of fangs, fur and blood.
Yes…this was retribution.
Tsuna made a vicious right turn, skidding across the corner. Right, right, left, left, right…The dark alleys behind the glamour of a city were a confusing place. A person could easily get lost here. It was also this place that displayed the scenes that were often swept under a carpet. This was the place where rats made nests and ran free. This was the place where mounds and mounds of rubbish were piled dangerously upon each other. This was the place where beggars crawled and shadows lurked. And this was the place where Tsuna felt truly at home.
Away from the eyes of the people and the guards. A place where no one would judge him. Tsuna knew the alleys like they were the back of his hand. Takeshi and he had often played here when they were younger. Weaving his way through the dingy streets, he was rather confident that no one would follow him here.
In his mind, he ran through what had happened previously. He had broken his promise, the one that he had sworn upon the Seer.
If I just make a few more turns, I would end up at the other side of the square. I can just blend in with the crowd and make my escape. Tsuna breathed a sign of relief. He would be safe after all. The uproar from the Execution was getting louder. Just two more turns…
Tsuna was about to turn onto the main street when something hard and cold smashed into the back of his head. He managed to glance briefly at the familiar-looking metal weapon that clattered to the ground before his world made a 360 degrees turn and everything turned black.
He woke up face down on cold stone floor. His head was aching, like his skull was being pounded with a jackhammer. He tried to peel open his gritty eyelids. Oh god, quadruple vision. Head spinning, he quickly shut his eyes and moaned softly. The cold from the floor was seeping through his body, chilling his bones. He felt numb. He wanted to move but his body was too numb to respond.
Without movement to preoccupy his mind, his thoughts inevitably shifted to the last events he could remember. He didn't really want to think about it. Maybe if he wished hard enough, the Seer would take pity on him and it would all go away. He muttered a silent oath and opened his eyes. His vision was better but it only helped him to fully appreciate the cold stone wall in front of him. It was all the proof that Tsuna needed.
He was going to die.
With visible effort, he pushed himself up. There were pops all over his body as his bones accommodated the sudden motion. He noted the heavy steel chains encircling his ankles and the metal ring around his waist. It was a little excessive in his opinion. He may have whipped up a few escape-from-class strategies before, but he was no Houdini. He also noted with bitter amusement that they had forgotten to secure the place most crucial. His mouth. Tsuna dragged himself with stiff arms to a corner of the room. Sitting with his back against the wall, he hung his head.
How had he even gotten himself into this horrible mess?
That prince…Tsuna scowled as his image flashed across his mind. Of all the ways to die, it had to be at the hands of one of the people he hated most. How was he to know that that bastard wouldn't be affected by his persu—wait.
Tsuna's eyes widened as he realized the implications of this. He hadn't been affected? Was this a trait that all members of the royal family had? Or perhaps it was only Prince Hibari who was immune? Or…was it possible? Maybe he had lost the power that had haunted him since his birth? It was a thought that brought both apprehension and relief. It would be impossible for him to get himself out of this situation without his ability.
…I'll try it on the next person who comes in, I guess…
As soon as that crossed his mind, Tsuna felt disgusted with himself. Hadn't he made a promise to himself that he wouldn't ever use it again? And here he was, throwing it so casually about…like that promise years ago was worth nothing, like Takeshi's life was worth nothing. He distinctly remembered his mother spinning a fable for him when he was younger, about a fibber who got devoured by wolves. The Seer would condemn him to a fate worse than that, he was sure, if he broke this particular promise he made to himself.
But what could be a worse fate than waiting like a sitting duck to be killed by the person he found most despicable? The more Tsuna thought about it, the bitterer he became. He had a mother waiting for him. He had done nothing that would yield him such punishment. No, I won't give those bastards the privilege of ending my life.
With that, Tsuna decided. He would escape from this hell. He stared at the heavy metal door, waiting for someone to grant him freedom. His eyes were deadly cold.
The first person to come in was a wet-behind-the-ears guard who looked young and inexperienced. He was carrying a bowl, probably with food in it. The moment he saw Tsuna he looked slightly surprised. Probably wondering what a young boy would be doing here. Well, welcome to reality.
Tsuna didn't move from his spot in the corner of the room as he peered at the guard under his bangs, assessing him. He would do. Tsuna licked his dry lips slightly nervously. If this didn't work, he would be in a much deeper pot of shit. The guard placed the bowl on the floor through the bars of the cell. He beckoned to Tsuna that food was here. Painting on the best desperate expression Tsuna could muster, which was unsurprisingly easy, he crawled forward on all fours. He stared at the warden with what he hoped were big, watery, convincing puppy eyes.
"Guard-san, p-please, let me out..." His voice shook. Perfect.
The young guard looked at him with a mixture of sadness and pity. Yes, the emotions would make his job easier.
"Please! I don't e-even know w-what I'm here f-for! It's so dark and I-I can hear these s-scary n-noises...please, guard-san..." Even Tsuna himself could hear the utter despair in his voice. He inwardly smirked as the guard visibly softened and melted like a block of cheese.
"I'm sorry, boy. I really can't do that. I don't ones what you're here for, but whatever it is, I'm sure you'll be out soon."
Tsuna stiffened. He wanted to laugh. Did that idiot really think that? Clearly, he was a complete newbie. Prisoners would never be let out, even if they'd been wronged. The King's reputation had to be preserved after all.
"Here, eat something and I'll talk to the head about you. Maybe you'll get a better cell."
Tsuna decided. This was it. This was his chance. Pushing himself forward, he latched on to the guard's arm. The guard flinched as his other hand reached for his revolver. Tilting his head up, Tsuna glared intensely as he made eye contact. Layering his voice, he spoke coldly.
"I don't think you understand. I haven't done anything to deserve this. You will let me out. Now."
There was a terrifying moment in which the guard didn't seem to respond. Tsuna's heart sank as the consequences of his failed plan struck him. Would he be here forever? But then, he felt the arm in his grip slacken. The young man's eyes seemed to lose focus, as he hesitantly nodded.
Tsuna heaved a sigh of relief as he let go of the man's arm. The guard fumbled for his keys. Retrieving the correct one, he shakily unlocked the cell.
It had worked! He hadn't lost his powers at all. All he had to do was to avoid the royals and he could probably escape. He turned to the guard who was still staring at him blankly. "I don't suppose you have a map?"
He smiled as the guard handed over a slightly crumpled piece of paper. Unrolling the map, he studied it. Yes, this could work. Looking back at his helper, he sighed.
"Nobody was ever here in this cell, alright? You were on your rounds and you somehow entered the wrong room. You dropped your map somewhere along the way." He waited for the guard to nod before leaving hastily.
Five minutes later, a young guard stared confusedly at his surroundings. Where exactly was he? He reached into his pocket for his map. Eh? He frowned and groaned at his own carelessness. He had probably lost his map and wandered into the wrong room. He cursed and stepped out of the cell, heading in the opposite direction.
Tsuna walked briskly down the fifth corridor. This place was a labyrinth. He thanked the god that he had had the sense to ask for a map. Apart from that one idiot earlier, he hadn't really seen anyone around either. For a supposedly unescapable fortress, the place was strangely unguarded. It left Tsuna with a sense of unease. Even if the tunnels were a maze, shouldn't there at least have been some successful escapades before?
But there had been none. Only tales of men who had died trying. The King took great pleasure in announcing the names of those dead during the Execution.
He wondered what terrifying trap awaited him. An army of guards, armed with automatic machine guns. Or perhaps a fire-breathing dragon.
He passed another set of identical metal doors. A high-pitched wail was emitted from one of them. Whatever it was that lay behind the metal plate…Tsuna really didn't want to know. Chimeras, maybe. It certainly wasn't beyond to the people here to do something as inhumane as that.
Tsuna peered at his rumpled map, and almost smiled to himself. At the end of the corridor lay one final room, and then, it would be sunlight and freedom. He hadn't really thought about what would follow after that. But that could come later. He needed to get out first.
He stopped in front of the final set of doors. Unlike the monotonous steel ones he had passed on his way here. This one was made of mahogany. Deep rich red wood, a symbol of prosperity and wealth.
Tsuna hesitated. It was like one of those video games. Dear Player, you've reached the final level of the dungeon. Before initiating the boss battle, would you like to save your game? Except here, he couldn't exactly save game.
Taking a deep breath, he tested the doors. It was unlocked. He would have picked the lock otherwise anyway. He pushed the heavy wooden doors open and was nearly blinded by the brightness of the room.
A chandelier hung from the ceiling of the room, its intricate glass bulbs casting light and shadow on the walls. The room itself was huge. It was easily thirty times the size of his own living room. Tsuna looked around in awe. He certainly could not complain about the ability of the King to design his palace. The room was tastefully decorated, with an archaic feel but nothing too stuffy. There was a couch in the middle of the room, sewn with exquisitely patterned silk and an ivory table in front of it and…
Tsuna's breath caught.
There was someone sitting on that couch.
A blue haired man with a mask was sprawled on the plush cushion, seemingly not caring about the cost of the material. His booted legs were propped on the ivory table. His hair was weirdly styled. It was spiky on top, like a…pineapple, and tied loosely at the bottom. There was something lazy about him, like he didn't really care about whatever was going on. The man turned his head to face Tsuna.
This was it. This was the boss battle wasn't it? Just who was this person? He should probably convince the man not to do anything funny right? Tsuna opened his mouth but the blue haired man beat him to it.
"Hello, Sawada Tsunayoshi-kun." A wide smile. "Perhaps you haven't realized that you're standing on a large pool of dried blood?"
Tsuna blanched. How did he know his name? …Dried blood? He looked down. The floor beneath him was covered in a large pool of a dark brown substance with a faint metallic smell. Dried blood indeed. He flinched and stepped away from the liquid.
…How the hell—
"—did the dried blood end up here?" The blue-haired man smirked briefly as he finished Tsuna's sentence. "It's what I usually do to the poor souls who try to escape. I'm under orders to guard this place after all." He inclined his head.
Tsuna gawked at him, at a total loss. He had a feeling that the eyes beneath the beautifully decorated mask were studying him intensely.
"Well, like I said, it's what I usually do. But it won't happen to you. It's too early to kill you, Tsunayoshi-kun."
Tsuna found his tongue. "H-how do you know my name?"
The blue-haired man waved his hand dismissively. "I know everything and anything. Sawada Tsunayoshi. Son of Sawada Iemitsu and Nana. Known as Dame-Tsuna in school because he doesn't try hard enough. Is somewhat gifted but refuses to acknowledge it after you destroyed your…friend. And…a descendent of a certain someone." The man smiled widely at him.
Tsuna scowled. Mourning about Takeshi's absence by himself was alright, but listening to someone else speak so casually about it angered him. He knew he wasn't in the position to argue with anybody but he couldn't help it. "I didn't—"
"Didn't what? Don't lie to yourself, Tsunayoshi-kun." The man stretched like a cat and stood up. "I know every one of those things you try to hide. I haven't lived this long for nothing, you know?" He laughed strangely, stood up and ripped off his mask.
Mismatched eyes met chocolate brown as a wave of terror washed over Tsuna. That eye…He felt like a rabbit cornered by a pack of wolves. The room around him dimmed as fear obscured the sides of his vision. Every one of his muscles seemed to turn into liquid fire as his knees shook. Runrunrunrun his instincts screamed at him but he couldn't move. Beads of sweat trailed down his cheeks, or were they tears? He was going to be devoured. All his effort to escape was for naught. Another bloodstain on the floor…
The strange blue-haired man with the heterochromatic eyes tossed the mask into a corner and strode towards him, stopping about a foot away from the shaking boy. Tsuna wanted to break eye contact but he couldn't. That single red eye…it was riveting.
The man stared down at him with something akin to disdain. "My, my, you look just like him, don't you?" He sneered. There was a maniacal gleam in his eyes. …Who?...
He bent his knees slowly until his eyes were level with Tsuna's. The twisted smile still in place, he whispered. "My name is Rokudo Mukuro. We will meet again."
He raised a hand. "Now, sleep. Ouji-sama wants to see you." And poked Tsuna on the forehead.
For the second time in a day, Tsuna succumbed to the blackness.
Sawada Nana has always been a very simple woman. She had a loving son and a nice house, both of whom she could fuss over happily to her heart's content. The only thing that she occasionally signed or got misty-eyed about would be the fact that her husband seldom returned home. But that didn't mean that he didn't love her, for she knew that he did.
She had met Iemitsu while away on vacation on a sunny beautiful island with white sands and blue seas. They had unraveled a love story that developed into marriage. He was a supervisor of a company that refined oil. She was a simple housewife who wanted nothing more than a family. Oh yes, Nana loved her husband. But the only thing in the world that she loved more than her husband would be her only son.
Tsuna had been with her for the past fifteen years, making up for every moment that Iemitsu was not home. In her mind, she thought she knew Tsuna like the back of her hand. She knew he once had been a popular boy, having lots of friends and maybe even some admirers. She had giggled at the pile of chocolates her son had received every Valentine's Day. But ever since Yamamoto Takeshi had moved out of town, Tsuna hadn't quite been the same. He didn't smile quite so often anymore. He seemed to have become older, more mature that the sunny boy who used to look forward to the days when she made cookies.
It was a pity that Takeshi had left. She had liked the cheerful optimistic boy who always stuck around Tsuna. She wasn't too sure why he had left though. Tsuna had mumbled something about an illness and a need for a change in atmosphere. Her son looked like he was about to burst into tears as he said that and she knew better than to press the matter.
And then Tsuna'a grades had plummeted and the pile of chocolates on Valentine's Day diminished to just one or two, then zero. She had been worried for her son but had not questioned him about it. She didn't need popular son or a smart one. All she needed was a person who would reciprocate her love. And she knew Tsuna loved her.
Her son may not be the most charismatic, nor the most intelligent, nor the most athletic of people. But she loved him all the same. Her life would not be complete without Tsuna.
But as much as she might have lived Tsuna to stay with her forever, she knew that he would move on eventually. Get a job, get somebody to love, get a family. Yes, Tsuna might move on, he might leave her, but whatever her son did, she would support him wholeheartedly.
That was the thought that occurred to her when two guards in royal uniform knocked on her door on a gray windy morning.
Hibari Kyouya stood in front of the cell where the brown-haired boy lay unconscious, arms crossed. He was surprised at the twinge of guilt he felt looking at the vulnerable boy, whose face was innocent and peaceful in sleep. Even so, he didn't seem to be having a very good dream. His occasional bursts of anxiety rolled over Hibari. My conscience decides to return the moment I begin my plan, he thought wryly. But guilty or not, he would enlist the boy's help.
He had already sent guards to tell the boy's mother that the boy had been chosen to work in the palace and wouldn't be home for some time. Looking at the boy again, the guilt returned along with a strange sense of possessiveness. He couldn't let his brother or his father know anything about his captive. If his charismatic brother managed to sway the boy into working for him, then Hibari might as well throw himself over a cliff.
He bit back a snarl of anger as he remembered the way the Seer had tossed the boy to him like a sack of potatoes, and given him that irritating know-it-all smile of his. That creep. If he had damaged the boy in any way, his plans would be ruined. He hadn't really wanted his trump card to meet the Seer so quickly. The blue-haired man had told him that he would be quiet about this matter but he couldn't quite shake off the uncertainty. Even if he actually kept his word, he still worked for the King. What if his father asked about any erratic behavior from his sons? Wouldn't he been obliged to tell him? He tried not to imagine what would happen to him should his father find out about his treachery.
How would he carry out his plan anyway? He had a few ideas but none of them were concrete. And how would he get past the Seer who already knew what he was thinking? He may be special but he wouldn't stand a chance if his father ordered the god to kill him. Annoyance bubbled within him as his hand itched for something to throw into a wall.
Heaving a sigh, he stared at the sleeping boy. First things first, he had to ensure the boy would help him. But he needed to confirm the boy's abilities with his own eyes first. And afterwards he could perhaps worry about the progression of his plan. Perhaps make the boy work here since he had ruined his clothes? That ridiculous outfit made for the special occasion with all its frills and silk had cost a small fortune. It would be reasonable to make the boy work off his debt, and during the time of the boy's stay, maybe they could work out an agreement. It was incredibly irritating that he needed the boy's agreement in order for his plan to proceed. He wasn't used to asking for things. He ordered and threatened but he had never actually asked someone to work with him.
Glancing at his watch, he tapped his foot impatiently. When was the pretty boy going to wake up? Wait. In a panic, Hibari backtracked his thoughts. Pretty? Where had that come from? He wanted to strangle himself. Capturing little boys, imprisoning them and marveling over their porcelain skin. He was shaping up to be a first-class pervert. Oh god, no. He shook his head, ridding himself of all such thoughts. He hadn't slept well the previous night, that was all.
The captive boy stirred and mumbled something in his sleep. Hibari schooled his features into a mask of impassivity as caramel eyes opened to stare at him, searching and judging.
"Hibari Kyouya." The lyrical whisper left the boy's lips.
What was he going to do now? To proceed was sheer craziness. To retreat was not an option.
Hibari took a deep breath.
A/N: Sigh, for a short chapter, this took a while. Sorry! I had tons of school exams, and my grades are dropping so I had to worry about that first. I'll try to update as soon as possible, but my schoolwork isn't leaving me with much time to do anything else. It's a pity though, I kind of like this story.