Chapter 4: Contingency
"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."―Ralph Waldo Emerson.
He couldn't look away. His presence overwhelmed his entire senses. The way he walked along the pavement, the habit of taking his fedora hat down by his hand, and his features which seemed to trigger something within his memories. He could not notice anything except him.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you. He is Sawada―"
He momentarily saw someone in his memories―a person who had the same aura, and the same feelings he received when he was seeing him right now.
The both of them stopped what they were doing, turning to him. His eyes widened at what he had said seconds ago, not able to comprehend the irrationality of it and his calm reactions towards this situation, as though he was not surprised that he knew this person despite having no single recollection of it.
"Do you know him too, Tsuna?" Knuckle asked in astonishment.
"Who are you? I do not remember telling you my name," Reborn said, peering at him coldly.
"I..." he mouthed out in a slight fluster, unable to explain. Tsuna stared at the ground blankly, not understanding what this was all about either. And the unmoving bodies lying all over the place irked him. He shut his eyes, trying to calm himself down and breathe stealthily while digesting what had exactly happened here just a few minutes ago.
"Whatever," Reborn muttered, diverting his eyes to the bodies on the ground when he did not get a reply from the other. "We have to clear these up before the authorities arrive. Alaude is using his connections to delay their progress."
"Yes, I got it," Knuckle replied, taking his cell phone from the pocket of his jeans as he started contacting someone. Tsuna tried to focus elsewhere, swallowing in nervousness as he fidgeted and shifted his feet, trying to ignore the fact that he was already involved.
He felt something hard being slammed onto his head. Tsuna let out a yelp, touching his aching head and turning around in astonishment as he faced the impatient hitman who had been calling to him for a few times.
"What is your name, brat?"
"Why did you hit me?!"
That pair of black eyes narrowed into slits as Reborn raised the gun which he used to slam it onto his head earlier.
"You are not supposed to question me."
Tsuna shrieked in fright as he raised his hands up in surrender, terrified.
"Okay, I answer! It's Sawada Tsunayoshi!"
That menacing glare in his eyes disappeared instantly as Reborn simply stared at him in silence. He noticed the slight change in his expression, and he wondered what he had said to cause the other to have such a reaction. The two of them continued to stare at each other, and just as the atmosphere was getting more tense and awkward, Knuckle returned to them.
"They have sent men over to clear these up." The roaring engines of the racing cars arrived at the scene as soon as Knuckle finished his sentence. The vehicles surrounded them, screeching to a sudden halt. Car doors opened as men rushed out, carrying the bodies over their shoulders and tossing them into the vehicles. It was quick, and before he realised it, the cars were already moving off, disappearing into the roads.
"We have to return to Italy. Our whereabouts are already known."
"Giotto has already prepared his private jet. Everyone is on board," Knuckle said as he checked a message which was just sent to his phone seconds ago.
Tsuna just stared at the both of them engaging a conversation for the past few minutes, baffled. He shot a glance at his house which was just a few metres away, deciding that he was just going to sneak away and get out of this. Making sure that they did not notice him, the brunet turned, his clenched hands hanging anxiously in the air as he made his way out quietly. Just as he was about to sprint, someone appeared in front of him all of a sudden. His eyes widened, stopping his feet into an abrupt halt as he stared at him in shock.
"Where do you think you are going?" Reborn questioned, staring at him.
"I guess it's...not my business anymore?" Tsuna replied, wondering whether this was right to talk back to him judging from his behaviour just now. But he wasn't wrong either. He just got caught up in this unknown matter which he could not comprehend.
"Are you getting away after knowing that you are already involved in this?" the hitman asked again, moving in as he gradually reduced the distance between the both of them. Tsuna looked away, stepping back.
"Reborn-san, it is just a coincidence that he is caught up in this. Giotto told me to send him back safely. It is my fault that I did not foresee this."
"Yeah, you are right. None of us could foresee this," Reborn repeated, stopping in his footsteps as their faces were only centimetres apart. His hand then grabbed the collar of his shirt as he pulled him closer, and Tsuna gasped out, not able to stop himself from shaking whenever he was staring at that intensity as his pair of eyes bore straight into him.
"You have an awful resemblance to Giotto. How are you related to him?"
"Reborn-san, the authorities are coming any moment!" Knuckle shouted out. Their gazes turned to the direction where the faint sirens came from. Reborn stared at him for a moment, before he finally released him.
"Let's go to your house."
Brown eyes widened as Tsuna turned to him, wondering what he had exactly heard.
"W-what did you―" His sentence was cut off at the gun which was pointed on his forehead.
"Reborn-san!" Knuckle exclaimed, shocked.
"If you want to survive, do as I say," Reborn warned darkly, pressing the weapon closer to his skull to tell him inwardly that he meant it.
Tsuna bit his lip, forcing the tears back as he nodded his head. They began to walk forward, and he gradually stopped in front of the gates leading to his house. He pushed them with trembling hands, stepping into the small garden as he headed to the door, praying hardly that his mum was shopping outside. Just as he opened the door, his mum was already standing there, the shopping bag slung on her arm.
"You are back, Tsu-kun! Who are they?"
Tsuna stiffened, not knowing how to answer. He couldn't say that they were suspicious people who threatened him if he wanted to stay alive, right?
"Hello, madam. I am Reborn who is a tutor, and I have come to teach your son," Reborn replied fluently with a smile on his face, instantaneously flashing out documents related to the tutoring company he was in. Tsuna could only stare at him in horror, speechless.
"Ah, a tutor~!" Nana exclaimed happily, taking the papers as she read them. "That would certainly be great! When are you starting?"
His parting mouth almost crashed onto the ground. That hitman was obviously lying, and the worse of it was, his mum actually believed him!
"If you don't mind, I would like to bring him to my place and start tutoring him immediately, considering how horrendous his results are," Reborn said with a sickeningly wide smile on his face. His mum was literally clapping her hands in agreement.
"Then I leave Tsuna in your care, Reborn-san. Tsu-kun, study hard while I'm out for shopping," she said with a smile, patting his head as she headed out. After she disappeared, Tsuna turned and glared at him.
"How the hell do you know that my results are horrendous?"
"From the way you look. And it seems that I am not wrong," Reborn peered at him, smirking. The brunet just huffed in displeasure.
"Okay, so now that I have brought you two here, can you explain what is going on? Why did you lie to my mum about the tutoring?" Tsuna demanded, turning to them.
"You are leaving with us, Tsuna," Reborn said.
He frowned, wondering if he was hearing him correctly.
"The news has been leaked. It would be a matter of time before the authorities come for you, Tsuna, since you are the only witness to the incident just now. Furthermore, you have left your handprints while fighting them. And it will not only be the authorities who would be looking for you," Knuckle explained. Tsuna stared at him, his eyes widening in shock.
"Do you finally get what we mean? You have no choice but to come with us. You do not wish anyone to be harassing your mother, do you?" Reborn added.
"But how can I just leave like that? I still have school!" he said, frustrated.
"I will write to the principal about your sudden leave. As for your mother, we will send someone to guard over her," the hitman said, taking his phone out as he started looking through the list of messages he received just now.
"And there are more questions which I want to ask you regarding your identity."
Tsuna stared at him in silence. His questions which he asked earlier echoed in his mind. It was certainly true that he resembled Giotto in most of his features, and there was a strange nostalgia settling in him whenever he was with the blond. His hand reached out to the silver ring hanging by his neck instinctively, fingering it.
"There is no time, Reborn-san. We have to go," Knuckle said. Reborn nodded his head in agreement.
"Go and pack your stuff. We will be leaving in five minutes."
The brunet walked up, standing at the entrance of his room as he tried to collect his messy thoughts and understand the exact situation he was currently in. He took several deep breaths, stepping inside as he began scanning around, deciding what to bring. He took his bag, dumping the fresh clothes inside. He brought along his school work and books just in case. After zipping it up, Tsuna stood up on his feet, realising that this was it. He was leaving, and he would not be coming back for a long while.
As he was about to walk out, something caught his eyes. He turned, noticing a strange blue container filled with pills and a pair of gloves with the number '27' knitted on each of them on the counter by his bed. Tsuna slowly walked up, his wide eyes staring at them in shock.
"What...are these? I do not remember owning them at all." And how did they just appear out of nowhere? Tsuna winced, touching his forehead which hurt all of a sudden. His hand went to the mysterious ring by his neck which was also discovered just a few days ago. He did not know what they were, but he had a strong hunch that he would need them in the future.
After packing his stuff which he needed during the journey, Tsuna headed downstairs to the ground floor, seeing a taxi in front of the gates. He locked the gates, and after glancing at the house for the last time, he entered the vehicle which drove off as soon as he closed the door.
"To Minomoto Street, please."
Tsuna peered through the windows, seeing the police cars momentarily passing them just as the taxi was gradually speeding up. He stared ahead in silence, counting the number of buildings and small houses which had passed. The brunet clenched his bag in his hands tightly, feeling the vehicle gradually slowing down as it came to a halt. The door opened, and he stared at them as Knuckle and Reborn went out first.
"Let's go, Tsuna," Knuckle said with a smile, stretching his hand out to him. Tsuna took it hesitantly, coming out of the taxi. He looked around, noticing that other than a warehouse right in front of them, there was nothing in the vicinity.
They headed into the warehouse. There was a few empty paper boxes lying around, but what caught his attention instantly was the loud roars of the jet engines which was right in front of him. He gradually stopped at the stairs as the hitman and Knuckle walked up and headed into the jet first. He grimaced at the fierce wind blowing right at his face, wondering if everything would turn out fine.
"Tsuna," Knuckle called out from the entrance of the jet. Tsuna nodded his head and proceeded upwards, entering the plane. He turned, and his breath hitched at seeing the blond and the number of familiar people who were already there, waiting for their arrival.
"You are here, Tsunayoshi. Come and take a seat here," Giotto said with a smile, patting an empty seat beside him. G was scowling as usual, while Ugetsu was waving at him, a bright grin on his face.
"Hurry up, brat! The jet is taking off!" Reborn snapped in impatience. He turned, realising that the door was already closed, and the jet was starting to move. The brunet rushed to the seat beside Giotto, buckling his seat belt quickly. The large doors of the warehouse opened as the plane headed out.
"So what do we have here?" Daemon said, staring at him with a curious gaze.
"Are you sure we should bring him along, Reborn-san? He might be a spy from the other groups," G questioned the hitman who was lying down on the couch, his fedora hat on his face.
"He looks fine to me," Ugetsu said.
"And that's the problem here, you idiot!" the redhead barked out.
"I agree with Ugetsu to the extreme!" Knuckle added, earning a glare from G as he wondered why these two big idiots were accepted in this organisation.
"Tsunayoshi is a victim here, G. And I personally agree with Reborn. Letting him stay in Namimori is too dangerous for him, and unfortunately, for us as well," Giotto said, glancing at him sadly. Tsuna remained silent, wondering if he should be disappointed at his main motive, but he did not want his family and friends to be exposed to danger because of him either.
The jet started accelerating at high speed, before it gradually took off to the sky. Tsuna leaned back on the cushion behind, staring at the television show which was currently screening in front of him.
"We are the members of a vigilante organisation called the Vongola Famiglia, and our main aim is to protect the people who need our help. There are currently some small groups which want to get rid of us before we grow strong," Giotto explained.
"You have met them just now," Knuckle said, pressing a button on the remote control as the large screen revealed the faces of the men whom he had fought earlier. "They are from the Trevi Famiglia, and they have been giving us trouble for quite a long while."
"Yeah. We were supposed to deal with them in Japan to divert the authorities' attention, but we did not expect you," Giotto said, taking a glass of volka as he took a small sip of it, putting it down on the small table in front of him.
"Let's introduce ourselves. My name is Giotto, the Sky and leader of Vongola Famiglia, and these people are my guardians."
He then pointed to Ugetsu who was smiling at him.
"This is Ugetsu Asari, the Rain Guardian who is a swordsman. Sitting beside him is G, the Storm Guardian and also my childhood friend."
The redhead literally ignored him, and he turned to the next person who had been sitting there in silence for the entire conversation.
"Sitting beside G is Alaude, the Cloud Guardian and someone whom I deeply trust and respect."
"OI, what are you talking about?! I'm supposed to be your right-hand man!" G growled, glaring at the blond who simply closed his eyes. Giotto chuckled, moving on to the next person.
"This is Lampo, the Lightning Guardian. The two of you are meeting for the first time."
The emerald-haired man shot a glance at him almost reluctantly, before he grunted and stretched his hand out to him.
"Nice to meet you."
"You are awfully polite for the first time, Lampo," G commented. Lampo just shrugged, redrawing his hand just as he was about to take it.
"This is Daemon Spade, our Mist Guardian."
Uncanny laughter escaped out of that man's mouth as he showed his hand to him, a shallow smile on his face which he found it enigmatic and exceptionally disturbing.
"Nice to meet you, Sawada Tsunayoshi." He just showed an awkward smile, taking his hand.
"Knuckle is our Sun Guardian." He almost screamed out as he was enveloped in a crushing hug with the said man.
He was snapped out of his thoughts as he felt Giotto's breaths ghosting at his neck as the blond leaned slightly to his side to hand something to Knuckle. Tsuna looked down quickly, fingering his phone in his hands absentmindedly. He wondered whether he might be too paranoid. As far as he observed, he saw none of the Guardians, including Giotto, wearing the same kind of ring which was now hanging by his neck. It was probably a coincidence that he owned a ring which bore the same name as their mafia organisation.
"Tsunayoshi?" He felt a hand settling on his shoulder. He stiffened slightly, turning to the blond who was staring at him in concern.
"Are you alright? You feel kind of uneasy."
The brunet stared into that pair of cerulean eyes, and he was drawn towards them once again, as though an invisible force was pulling him towards his strong gaze against his will. His heart was responding to the fluttering feeling at his chest, beating faster as he took hold of his entire being in front of him. He felt blood rushing to his face, and Tsuna looked away immediately, plastering a smile for the other to see.
His emotions were fluctuating unevenly, and he forced those thoughts down, preventing himself from thinking too far. He did not know why he was feeling like this only when he was with Giotto. Why was he even involved in this mess in the first place?
The announcement that the jet was landing rang through the speakers. He grimaced at the drop in air pressure as the plane was slowly descending. Tsuna shut his eyes, wincing at the high-pitch noises screeching at his ears as he felt the jet landing on a roadway, the blasting engines roaring loudly as the speed was reduced abruptly. It then moved in a gradual pace, before it stopped completely. Seeing that it was clear to head out, everyone stood up, grabbing their belongings as they walked out.
He followed them behind, stepping down as he stared at the foreign surroundings of Italy in silence. A large SUV was already waiting for them outside, and they entered, Knuckle being the last one as he closed the door and asked the driver to move off. Tsuna sat at a corner, gazing out of the windows listlessly. He usually liked to explore places out of Japan, but this time, he wasn't so sure whether he should be elated about this particular trip which meant something else.
"It seems that their leader isn't present at the warehouse just now. He might have received the news that we have returned to Italy," Giotto said, turning to Alaude who was checking his mail box from his laptop.
"This is really pissing me off. When is this going to end?" G growled, gritting his teeth in anger.
"I have already asked Dino to keep a lookout, as well as to put men at the vicinity to ensure her safety," Alaude replied in a monotone voice, his gaze still focused on the screen as his fingers were busily typing the keyboard. His eyes widened slightly at the mention of his mother, and Tsuna turned to them, wondering what they were planning to do with her.
The SUV turned, driving into a small district. There were rows of small cafes, restaurants and shops, and the streets were bustling with people. The road was getting smaller, the bustling town getting further from their reach. The brunet stared ahead, his eyes slowly widening as a mansion was in sight. The vehicle stopped by the gates, and after Ugetsu said something to the transmitter at the side of the wall, which he presumed was in Italian, the gates opened and they finally entered.
They got out when the vehicle was parked at the basement. Tsuna held the straps of his bag closely as he began to look around.
"Welcome to the headquarters of the Vongola, Tsunayoshi," Giotto said. The brunet simply stared, not able to comprehend the strange familiarity that he got when he stepped in here, as though he had been here before.
They took the lift up to the ground floor. The doors opened swiftly, and he stepped into the mansion which was the main base for most of their activities. The place was spacious, with hardly anything expensive except for some antique furniture and other stuff which were necessary.
The members of the mafia organisation went separate ways to do their individual tasks, while he was led by the butler of the mansion to an empty guest room located at the third floor. After thanking him, Tsuna slowly entered, staring at the queen-sized bed which was ten times bigger than his own bed in Japan. He placed his bag on a small couch, opening the windows as he stared at the green plains below, wondering how long he was going to stay here. Would his mother be alright in Namimori?
He narrowed his eyes sadly. After his father had gone missing when he was still in elementary school, he did not want his mother to meet any mishap.
At this time, his phone which was on the bed rang. The brunet hopped on the covers, picking it up.
"It's me, Tsuna." His eyes widened slightly as he recognised the voice of his friend.
"Yeah. I was just wondering how you are doing."
He remembered that Gokudera was currently in Italy, and he seemed to be doing well from the emails that he sent to him every week.
"Ah, I'm fine also. How have you been?"
"I was rather busy for the past few weeks. There were some problems, but everything turns out alright." He heard a sigh coming from the receiver, and judging from the lack of energy in his voice, he presumed that he hadn't been resting well.
"Take a good rest, Gokudera. You don't sound good," Tsuna said worriedly. He then heard chuckles from the other end of the connection.
"I am already fine. I thought of going to Japan to visit you and the others next week. Would it be alright for you?"
He almost wanted to tell him that he was already here, but he knew he should not reveal too much information on his whereabouts. Reborn's threat still remained fresh in his memory, and he could never forget those cold words as he questioned his current situation in Namimori after he was caught in the matters that they were settling in Japan.
"It's okay. You don't need to come if you are busy. Everyone is doing fine here."
"I see. I see you next time then."
Tsuna ended the call, letting out a sigh. It was hard to lie to his friend, but he did not have a choice. He unzipped his bag, taking out the gloves and the blue container which he found at the side of his bed earlier on. He stared at them, a frown creasing his eyebrows as he wondered what he should do with these.
Hibari twirled the pen freely with his fingers, staring at the pages of reports he had received regarding the situation of Namimori for the past few days. There were more gang fights happening rather frequently, disrupting the peace in the neighbourhood. He had tried to look into it, but he was unable to get more details relating to the recent incidents.
There was a brief knock on the door, and he did not bother looking up as it opened, revealing Kusakabe, the second-in-command of the Namimori Middle Disciplinary Committee as he walked in with a notebook in his hand. He stopped right in front of his working desk.
"Any news regarding those incidents?" Hibari asked, his eyes still focusing on reading the report.
"I have gone to the places where they occur, but it seems that everything is cleared up within a short amount of time, leaving nothing behind. It seems as though they are trying to cover up their tracks, in which I still have no idea what it was," he explained, flipping through the handwritten notes that he had messily scribbled inside. Hibari briefly looked up, considering the words he had spoken.
"In addition, I found this." Kusakabe placed a photo on the desk. Hibari took it up, seeing a man with striking red hair which stood out among the crowds of people present on the streets.
"He is a student from T University who was transferred to Japan last year, and has been present for most of the fights which occurred. I tried searching through his background, but there is none."
"Did you find him?" Hibari asked.
"Apparently, he disappeared without a trace. His group of friends whom he normally hangs out with has also resigned from the school on the same date. Their current whereabouts are unknown till now."
Hibari stared at the headlines in bold in one of the reports, stating about the coup d'etat among small groups and mafia organisations which were happening in Italy. He wasn't interested in the details, but it seemed that some of them had brought their business to Japan, and he had a strong hunch that they were somehow related.
"Wait. There is one more person who is said to be on leave from school on the same date, and he is also studying at the same university," Kusakabe muttered, looking at the notes more closely.
"What?" he said in slight irritation.
Kusakabe frowned as he stopped halfway, wondering if he should say it.
"You know him too, Kyouya. He is Sawada Tsunayoshi."
His eyes widened at that name. It belonged to a certain herbivore whom he knew in Namimori Middle, though he did not care much about him since he did not stand out, was extremely coward at everything, and was basically someone who was invisible to everyone's eyes. Well, he was someone who did not give him any trouble so he did not take notice of him.
"One of the recent gang fights happened just a few metres from his house. It isn't clear whether he is involved in it, but several minutes after the gang fight took place, he also disappeared. His friends whom I've contacted do not know where he currently is."
"This is getting unnerving. Let's go out," Hibari muttered, grabbing his black coat as he headed out of the Disciplinary Committee room. Kusakabe nodded as he followed him behind, bringing whatever things which they might need. They went into his personal car, with Kusakabe being the driver while he sat behind. As the vehicle moved out, Hibari stared out of the windows, hissing in annoyance as he clenched the tonfas in his hands.
Upon reaching where Tsuna lived, he noticed that the streets were filled with suspicious men he did not recognise loitering around. The gang fight must have aggravated the situation and they were probably here to look for the person responsible for defeating their groups.
Hibari got out of the car, shutting the door behind him as he began walking to the brunet's house. They noticed his presence immediately, their eyes all settled onto him. He ignored them completely, his only task in his mind as he was going to find out who was the bastard who even dared to set his foot in this neighbourhood. They stopped in front of the house where Tsuna lived. Kusakabe stepped forward, pressing the doorbell located at the side of the gates.
"There is no answer," Kusakube said, turning to him. Hibari did not respond, getting irritated by the number of presences which was closing in.
"Stay back, Kusakabe," he muttered lowly. The other nodded his head, stepping back as several men started showing themselves, surrounding them.
"Do you know where the person living in this house is?" One of them asked in a hostile tone, pointing to Tsuna's house. He narrowed his eyes slightly, continuing to stare at that person passively. It was plainly obvious that they were looking for that herbivore, but why would he be involved in this?
"Why aren't you responding?! Are you hiding something?" Another man―an oversized one―yelled out. Hibari hissed, his glare intensified at seeing the large crowd which was displayed in front of him. There was something suspicious regarding Tsuna's disappearance, but right now, he was going to dispose these lot of people who even dared to talk to him. His eyes flashed, and before everyone realised it, he slammed his tonfa at his chin with crushing strength, throwing his entire being upwards as the plump man crashed onto the wall across the road.
"I will bite you all to death," he muttered darkly, his eyes snapping to the next person in line.
"How dare you...!" All of them raised their weapons, preparing to fight. However, Hibari had no intention of letting this slide. Their presence here was already enough for him to sentence them to death. His tonfas reached out, sending the next one down on the ground. The fight ensued, but they were of no match for him. Within minutes, everyone was defeated, bruises and severe wounds inflicted on their bodies.
"Wow. I have never seen a teenager this strong."
Hibari turned sharply to where the voice came from. A man with blond hair was coming over, looking around with awe as he let out a short whistle. And it ticked him off instantly.
"Who are you?"
The blond stopped and blinked for a moment, before he realised that it was himself whom he was referring to.
"I am a friend of this family who is living here," he said, pointing to Tsuna's residence. His eyes narrowed, and Hibari wondered if he should just bite him to death from his irritating look.
"You know Sawada Tsunayoshi?" he asked. The blond turned, showing a brief look of astonishment from his expression.
"You know him?"
It wasn't that he knew him. He did not even want to know the likes of him.
"Why are you here? Are you involved in the gang fights happening here?" Hibari questioned, staring at him suspiciously.
"Which is why I want to check if he's safe," the other replied calmly, walking up as he pressed the doorbell. There was no answer as usual. The blond stood there, frowning slightly.
"His mother doesn't seem to be in the house at this moment," Kusakabe said, clarifying his doubts.
"Really?!" he exclaimed, cursing under his breath. "Shit. I was too late. Reborn is surely going to thrash me alive."
"What are you talking about?" Hibari asked.
"No, it's none of your business―" His eyes went wide at the tonfa which was pointing at his face within seconds.
"It is my business. I am going to find the culprits who brought this mess here and beat them to death," Hibari hissed lowly, his intimidating gaze freezing the other in place as he could only nod in silence. After putting his weapon down and stepping back to maintain a distance between them, the blond finally let out a sigh of relief.
"My, you are really scary. I'm Dino, by the way."
Hibari did not intend to say his name, and just waited for him to talk.
"Actually, it is pure coincidence that Tsuna is involved in this, and is now targeted by the groups as they are finding the person responsible for beating up their men."
"What are those groups?"
"Mafia groups, the ones involved in the recent coup d'etat in Italy. Their main aim is something else though. But there is one problem..." Dino sighed, rubbing the side of his face as he peered at the empty house.
"Kusakabe, when did the recent gang fight happen?" Hibari turned to ask the taller man.
"Five days," he replied. His eyes then widened in realisation at where this topic was leading to. "Does that mean Tsuna's mother is missing for five days?"
"It's my fault. I should have come earlier," Dino muttered warily. He stared at the bodies on the ground, getting irritated at how complicated the situation had become. He might not care about the well being of that herbivore, but he was still someone who lived in Namimori, and he would not allow anyone to disrupt the peace here.
"Let's go, Kusakabe." He turned, kicking one of the bodies out of his way as he headed out of here, ignoring the existence of the blond who was still there. There were more questions which needed to be answered, but for now, he wanted to return to his office to rest.
He was walking along a dark pavement, having no idea where he was going, and where this would lead him to. A pleading voice was calling to him, wanting him to be there.
"Tsuna! Please don't!"
He was getting closer to the source, seeing an opening just right in front of him.
"Don't! No! NO!"
He opened the door. His feet stopped instantly, seeing trails of deep red across the floor. His eyes slowly looked up, seeing someone lying limp on the arm chair. The shadow of the killer was seen clearly under the faint moonlight, and he turned, noticing his presence. He could only see the crooked smile playing by his lips, before he heard the trigger of a gun.
Brown eyes snapped open. Tsuna stared at the ceiling of the guest room, breathing large amounts of fresh air as he saw flashbacks of the nightmare through his vision for a brief moment. His eyes remained wide as he wondering just exactly what he had seen. His hands were still shaking badly, and he clenched them tightly, muttering words of comfort to tell himself inwardly that it was just a nightmare. But even so, he could still remember the scream very vividly.
The brunet slowly got out of the bed, stumbling slightly as he tried to get a grip of himself. He stared at the clock, realising that it was already late evening. He walked out of the room and peered down from the railing, seeing that the butler and the servants were preparing the table for dinner. The guardians were nowhere to be found.
Having nothing to do, he decided to walk around. He strolled across rooms, seeing different portraits hanging on the walls. Before he realised it, Tsuna found himself standing in a narrow corridor. The lights were dimmed, and it did not look like the rooms in the mansion. He did not even know how he got here.
His hand felt the wall at the side as he began to move forward.
His heart clenched hardly at the bitterness in the voice ringing behind his mind, as though he was walking through the nightmare all over again. The brunet looked up, seeing a single door at the very end of the corridor. He swallowed, making his way to the room.
"His mother is missing?"
"Yeah. It seems that she has not returned home after we left. Do they already know that brat's identity even before the fight starts?"
"Dino is currently looking into it. I have asked Lal Mirch to aid him as well."
"But there is no response from their sides yet! How could she just vanish like that?"
"Let's hope that there will be some leads tomorrow―" They stopped talking at the sound of the door opening with a small creak. Giotto was staring at him, his eyes went wide.
"What is going on here? Where is my mother?" Tsuna asked, desperate for answers. The entire situation was like a question mark to him. Something cracked within him, and he winced, clutching his head which was in pain. His legs gave out, and the blond caught him before he fell.
"I'm sorry, but her whereabouts is still unknown. She and your dad went on a vacation at the same time when this happens. We are still finding her, Tsuna."
His vision blurred, meeting Reborn's gaze as the hitman was staring at him for a while. Tsuna groaned, shutting his eyes as he tried to get himself out of those thoughts which were literally crushing him. The voices of people in his head were buzzing irritably at his ears, and he was unable to focus properly.
"I'm bringing Tsunayoshi back to his room," Giotto said, supporting him by his shoulder as he led him out. Reborn stood up and followed behind. They brought him back to his room, putting him on the couch. He breathed heavily, his mind gradually clearing up as he saw Giotto and Reborn in front of him.
"I'm sorry, Tsunayoshi. We are still finding your mother. The enemy is not making any movement yet, so she should be fine for now," Giotto said as he apologised to him. The hitman continued to stare at him in silence, and Tsuna shifted uncomfortably, feeling uneasy at the unknown glint reflected in his eyes.
"Dino will contact me when there is news regarding her. By the way, Aria asks for your presence tomorrow. I was wondering if you are free," Reborn said. Giotto turned, raising his eyebrow in slight bewilderment.
"She is looking for me? Wait, she's in Italy now?" he questioned. Reborn just shrugged in response. "
"Well, there shouldn't be any problem," the blond replied. He turned, and he saw a smile grazing his features as Giotto patted him on his head, telling him that everything would be alright. The blond then went out, and he just sat there, wondering why the hitman hadn't made his way out yet.
"How did you know my name, brat?" Reborn finally asked. He remembered at that time when he saw him for the first time, and he knew who he was instantly.
"I don't know. I just...think that I know you before," Tsuna said softly. "I heard a voice which sounded just like yours. Everything that I have been hearing from all of you sounds...extremely familiar. Like I have actually experienced this. I even got a nostalgic feeling when you said you are going to be my tutor, as if it really happened before!" he added with a short laugh.
His black eyes narrowed as he walked closer to him, leaning down until he was meeting his gaze at eye level. His chuckles gradually stopped as Tsuna stared at him.
"You don't possibly have powers to allow you to read the future, do you?"
Brown eyes widened, slightly baffled.
"No! I'm just a normal student living in Namimori."
Both of them stared at each other in silence for a long moment.
"You are probably right, because strangely, I feel the same way as well."
Tsuna stared at him in shock as Reborn gradually pulled himself away, turning around and walking out of the room.
Giotto walked out of the streets, seeing a green-haired woman wearing her usual long-sleeved red shirt with a black necktie, black skirt and black heels sitting outside the cafe. He slowly approached her, looking around for signs of her followers who might be at the vicinity. He was greatly surprised that he saw none when they would usually do almost anything to get him to stay away from their leader. The blond straightened his coat, pulling a chair out as he sat across her.
"It's nice to see you again," Aria said with a smile as he met upon that pair of sharp blue eyes.
"Same for me," Giotto replied politely. "What is it that you want to see me for?"
"No, I was thinking that sitting here and enjoy this beautiful city of Italy would be nice once in a while. Without your subordinates following of course," she said with a laugh. He smiled in response, agreeing with what she said for the latter.
"I thought you would ask for Reborn, since he is a close friend and kin to you."
"Ah, Uncle? Maybe next time," Aria replied. Giotto peered down, seeing the small orange pacifier which was hung at her chest.
"Actually, I want to show someone to you."
The blond blinked, not understanding what she meant. Minutes later, he heard footsteps coming from the alley just right behind the cafe. When he emerged, his eyes widened slightly to see her closest subordinate, Gamma, and walking with him was none other than Tsuna's mother whom he recognised instantly from the photo that Reborn sent him. Giotto turned to Aria, staring at her questioningly.
"I told her that I have an extra air ticket to Italy, and if she don't mind, she can come with me. She agreed instantly, saying that she can visit her son who is currently in Italy being tutored by Reborn."
"You knew...about this?" he asked, frowning slightly. She just smiled in response, taking up her cup of tea as she finished the remaining beverage. Gamma approached their table, bowing slightly to his boss who simply smiled and thanked him for the work. Giotto raised his eyebrow as he was met with a hateful gaze from the other. He ignored it, diverting his attention to the brunette who was thanking Aria for the holiday trip.
"This is Giotto. He will bring you to where your son is."
She turned to him and smiled, bowing down as she thanked him for taking care of her son. Giotto smiled, saying that there wasn't a need to. Seeing that it was already late, both parties decided to part ways. The blond stood up, slightly disturbed about something which he could not comprehend.
"Aria," he called out, to which she stopped and turned around. Seeing the puzzled look on his face, she smiled.
"The universe is changing as an unexpected element has arrived. This is all I can tell you." After that, she said goodbye and went off with Gamma. Giotto frowned, pondering on her words. They left as well, heading to the small alley ahead where his car was currently parked. After allowing Nana to enter the vehicle before he went in, the blond took his phone out, focusing on the messages that his guardians had sent him for the past few hours regarding the members of the Trevi Famiglia's whereabouts. Now that Tsuna's mother was found, it was time to put an end to this.
A call came in at the same time, and he answered immediately.
"How is it, G?"
"Me and Ugetsu have caught that traitor. We are tracing where the group currently is."
"I see. Any news from Reborn?" Giotto asked as the car started moving out.
"No. I couldn't get into contact with him for the entire day."
"I'm sure he has other things to do. I'm reaching the mansion in around thirty minutes, so we can―"
"Sorry, Giotto. I have an incoming call." His voice was cut off, replaced by slow, continuous beeps. The blond waited, staring at the streets which passed by.
"Bad news!" The voice of G blared at his ear, startling him. Giotto frowned, getting a bad feeling about this.
"That brat has gone missing!"
His cracked lips parted as he let out a soft groan, slowly opening his eyes. His throat felt raw and painful as he swallowed, trying to get used to the dimmed lighting in the dark surrounding. Tsuna let out a hoarse cough, closing his eyes before reopening them again, as he noticed faint figures which were standing a few metres from his position.
"Are you sure it was him who defeated our men?"
"Yes! He might be part of the Vongola. Using him as a bait would be the best to lure the boss out."
He stared at the slightly rusted ceiling, wondering why he was here. He remembered that he was helping the butler to do some errands in the city, and he met some person who claimed that he knew where the mart was, and promised him to take him there. After that, his mind went blank and the next thing he knew, he ended up here. Tsuna cursed inwardly to himself, wondering why he had to be a hassle to all the people whom he met.
"Look after him while I go out and spread the news. We will put Vongola down once and for all!"
He heard shuffles of the feet as someone left. The other pulled a chair and sat down, texting on his phone. He bit his lip, tugging at the ropes which were tied tightly around his wrists and feet. He grimaced as sharp pain shocked the nerves at his wrists, and he realised that he must have sprained it somehow. The brunet sighed, peering at the faint sunlight from the small window at the top as he prayed that Giotto would not come.
"Aww, look who's awake."
Brown eyes snapped up to the scrawny figure of a man and the others standing in front of him. He did not like the predatory look in his eyes which inspected him closely from head to toe, leaving him exposed and vulnerable. He grimaced at the revolting stench of tobacco coming out of his mouth. Tsuna shifted further to the corner, wondering how he should escape.
"If you are thinking of escaping, there is no chance. You will be here to lure the boss of the Vongola out, and we will execute him on the spot," he said, licking the corner of his lips as he started snickering.
"Do not blame us for kidnapping you. He seems to have an interest for you, after all."
Tsuna flinched at the foreign touch on his chin, his face turning away by its own. He heard laughter ringing at his ears, and dread settled within him as he realised what was soon going to happen. He did not know about the rest, but he knew that Giotto wasn't that weak.
He let out a hiss as a knife cut his skin at his arm. There was another laughter, their eyes watching him in growing excitement as though it was their favourite show reaching towards its climax. Another cut was inflicted at his face, and Tsuna bit his lip, seeing the trail of red dripping to the ground as a pool of blood was gradually formed.
"I wonder if he will surrender in exchange for your life."
His eyes widened, as though something within him was awakened. Even if he was afraid, he would not allow anyone to humiliate him.
"Even if all of you tied me here, he will not be defeated."
They stared at him in slight astonishment. One of them then growled, gripping his hair as he pulled him up forcefully.
"What did you just say? You are just a weak, powerless brat who cannot even take care of yourself!"
He hissed out in pain, wondering whether this was it. It was true that he was weak, and he was a coward who hated violence and gave up easily when the situation was not in his favour. Yet, deep in his heart, he wanted to do something―to prove to himself that he was not as useless as what the others told him. Even if he was afraid of what the outcome would be, he did not want to stay like this forever.
"Oi! Why aren't you saying anything?"
What is it that you want to do, Tsuna?
It was that voice again; that voice which sounded just like Reborn. He could not understand why he was hearing him at this moment. Tsuna groaned, his vision getting hazy as he felt himself getting unbearably warm. His emotions mixed with anger started to overflow as his hands clenched tightly, that one answer possessing his mind right now.
I want to protect everyone.
The silver ring at his neck lit up in orange flames. He could only hear the doors of the warehouse opening, before his entire consciousness was engulfed in red.
Author's Notes: I apologise for the late chapter. My schedule is tight and I do not have the time to write. I'm very thankful for the readers who still support this story despite the extremely slow updates.
Please take note that in this story, the Vongola has already been established around four-five years, which I think it's rather recent compared to its long history in the manga. In addition, because the organisation is still new and growing, there will be no other famiglias under them yet. In this case, Dino and Giotto are friends for years, and he would count on him at times for assistance if he needs help. Apparently, Hibari is still part of the Namimori Middle Disciplinary Committee despite their ages (since he loves Namimori a lot). Do note that the setting is almost similar to the life that Tsuna is having in the anime/manga.
It is assumed that rings are already used in the mafia world as a source of power around that time, but they are not really known to all yet. Reborn is already an Arcobaleno, together with the others who are not introduced yet. They will be maintaining their adult forms in this story.
The other characters will be introduced into this story gradually.
That said, please review and tell me how you feel about this chapter! I apologise for the spelling, grammar and vocabulary mistakes that you might spot on the way. Lastly, everything from you all is deeply appreciated :)