Disclaimer: I do not own KHR. If I did Tsuna would be a true super uke and smarter, sorry as much as I love and will write about the lovable idiot, Goku and Naruto have made it so too many main characters are idiots.
Summary: Nono, his parents, and the Arcobaleno are all dead. Trapped in a future that's falling apart, Tsuna must fight with both himself and the dreaded Millefiore famiglia. Sequel to Hacker.
Chapter 13: X-Burner
Tsuna's fists clenched and he took a deep breath as he heard a mechanical engine approaching from in front. As it got closer Tsuna knew he'd done the right thing by taking Lal's place as the decoy, there was no way she would be able to stand against a Mosca in her condition. Even if it hadn't been a Mosca, Tsuna still wouldn't let his injured team mate take on a task so dangerous. Tsuna halted his progress and braced himself as four Mosca's closed in, one of them the new King model Lal had told them about.
Tsuna had the advantage with organic beings, as his intuition allowed him to effortlessly predict his enemies' moves from the slightest muscle twitch, but a machine was completely different. While robots such as the Mosca did fall into a semi-limited range of movement patters, they did not have many tell-tale signs indicating how the Mosca would attack. This was made even more difficult as Tsuna's experience fighting non-organics was slim to none. Tsuna shook his head and adjusted his body as the four Mosca's charged, now was not the time to distract himself with his nerves.
The Mosca's were fast but Tsuna was able to dodge nimbly as two sped past him. So as not to be surrounded, Tsuna increased the output on his hard flamed and flew towards one of the remaining Mosca's that had slowed down in front of him. Tsuna quickly dodged and did a midair summersault, slamming his leg onto the Mosca's head and knocking it into the water below. As he tried to give the King Mosca the same treatment, however, Tsuna was unprepared for its unusually high level of dexterity.
"Damn!" Tsuna cursed once more as he was forced closer to the water by the other two Mosca's attacking from behind. "This would be so much easier if these damn things were organic."
Normally three opponents wouldn't be much of a problem, but Tsuna's inability to predict the Mosca's movements was starting to throw his concentration. Not only could he not completely follow their movements, but Tsuna also couldn't sense their presence as they attacked from behind and was forced to rely on the sound of the Mosca's thruster to keep track of their position. Tsuna shook his head again and reminded himself once more that he couldn't afford to get flustered.
Just then, Tsuna's ankle was grabbed from below, as the Mosca he'd knocked in the water previously half-way emerged. Tsuna started as he realized that all but crushing the Mosca's head had not disabled it as he'd been led to believe it should. He flared his hard flamed and attempted to bash in the Mosca's hand, but then the King Mosca rammed into Tsuna's back, knocking the wind out of him as he was dragged under water.
Tsuna barely had any oxygen in his lungs and his vision was already spinning from the previous impact. Tsuna was barely able to concentrate as he saw the other three Mosca's descending alongside him, silently watching as he struggled against the Mosca's hand. While he could heat his hands, the water prevented the dying will flames on his gloves from flaring up and was even causing the one on his forehead to slowly shrink; soon he would be forced out of dying will mode, leaving him completely vulnerable. Tsuna glared at the mechanical menace and reached into his pocket for a familiar shape.
This is gonna hurt. Tsuna cringed, but did not hesitate to pull the rectangular shape of his taser from his pocket. Oh fuck me.
Tsuna braced himself as he slammed the taser into the Mosca's hand. The charge was short lived but powerful as the taser exploded almost immediately after being activated, but it was enough to briefly stun both the Mosca's and Tsuna himself. Tsuna gritted his teeth as he fought against the agony slowly spreading threw his veins and the black spots clouding his vision. Both forms of dying will mode greatly increased his pain thresh-hold and made it easier to endure what would otherwise be life threatening impacts or injuries, but this was far more than Tsuna believed his body was meant to take. If he'd been a normal person Tsuna would be dead right now.
Tsuna forced his body forward and managed to build enough strength in his arms and legs to make it to the surface, where he wasted no time sticking his hands up and thrusting himself into the air with a quick burst of flame powered propulsion. Tsuna quickly inverted himself and aimed his arms at the water, turning as much of it as he could into ice. Tsuna only stopped once he was certain all four Mosca's were trapped in the ice.
His body shook, but Tsuna kept himself in the air as he gasped, desperately trying to refill his abused lungs. Although it appeared the Mosca's had been neutralized, Tsuna was not foolish enough to believe that this was over. No, Tsuna knew this wasn't over as he tried to shake off the numbness that had settled in his body.
Tsuna was proven right when a bright red laser shot through the thick ice. Tsuna dodged to the side to avoid the beam and could only watch as the Mosca's emerged from the frozen water way. The ice was thick enough that, while the Mosca's did considerable damage, several large platforms remained. Tsuna looked down to see the partially melted ice and couldn't help but smirk lightly.
Now that I can work with.
As the Mosca's charged another attack Tsuna was prepared. Tsuna waited until just before the Mosca's released their attack and brought his hands up so that his thumbs and forefingers came together shaped as "L's" and formed a diamond shaped hole. The flame on top of Tsuna's head flared in and out as he concentrated on the incoming beam. The blast never made contact; instead it bent and shifted around Tsuna as it was drawn into the gap between his fingers before disappearing. Tsuna closed his eyes as his flames size increased and the ache in his body slowly faded, while it didn't heal the injuries, the boost would help mask them so long as Tsuna was in dying will mode.
'That was the Zero Point Breakthrough: Reversed, right?'
A deep voice drifted into the tunnel as the Mosca's seemed content to wait. Tsuna narrowed his eyes as he realized just how familiar that voice was. If he didn't know any better, Tsuna would swear that was the Adult Lambo's voice.
Tsuna confirmed, the monotone carried from the dying will mode revealing nothing else.
'How did you know the Mosca's laser was made of dying will flames?'
"Only dying will flames can melt the ice of the Zero Point Breakthrough: First Edition."
'I see.' The voice seemed almost bored but Tsuna could hear intrigue. 'That technique allows you to absorb your enemies' flames and turn them into your own, so I wonder how much of a difference it makes.'
One of the Mosca's, the Tsuna damaged the head to earlier, charged forward, with no finesse or special maneuvering. Tsuna's eyes narrowed at the straightforward attack, but flared the flames on his fists none the less. The punch he landed in the middle of the Mosca's chest melted through multiple layers of the Mosca's armor, but didn't go straight through. To ensure that the Mosca wouldn't get up again Tsuna did a midair summersault and drove the back of his leg onto the Mosca's head, this time crushing it completely. The Mosca crashed into the narrow slab of concrete on the side of the canal, preventing it from hitting the water, but Tsuna was sure this time it was down for the count.
'When you absorb your enemies flames, your own flame output increases approximately 1.7 times.' There was a small pause and Tsuna had to strain his ears to hear the familiar tapping noise of a keyboard. 'That's quite impressive, for a human anyway.'
"What are you implying?"
'My Mosca's are stronger.'
"What?" Tsuna narrowed his eyes, but paused as he saw the two remaining Mosca's charging their lasers. "Haven't you learned? It's useless…" Tsuna trailed off and his eyes widened slightly as the two Mosca's turned and aimed their attack not at him, but at the King Mosca. "What in the world?"
As the lasers died down the two Mosca's fell onto the ice covered canal, completely drained of power. Instead of being damaged or destroyed, the King Mosca appeared to be coated in dying will flames that were being absorbed into its armor. Tsuna suddenly understood what the man had meant when he said the Mosca was stronger; he was referring to its own ability to absorb flames.
"Way to go, Sempai!"
"Yeah, not bad, Turf Top."
Hayato and Takeshi congratulated as Ryohei righted his suit. Behind him, the prone figures of Baishanna and his enormous box weapon were testament to his victory. The fight had been short, but decisive, demonstrating that the boxer had not lost his touch over the last ten years.
"Yeah." Ryohei offered a grin as he straightened his tie. "But don't let your guard down; this base still has some EXTREME opponents waiting for us."
"Haha, I guess so." Takashi laughed lightly, even as Hayato shot him a look of irritation. "Ma ma, I guess either Gokudera or I will have to take the next one then, it's our turn after all."
"That's right!" Hayato exclaimed, forgetting himself for a moment as he actually agreed with Takashi. "Lal Mirch and Turf Top each already took someone out and Juudaime is taking care of someone else, it's time I stepped up."
"Alright." Ryohei couldn't help but grin at Takeshi and Hayato's enthusiasm. "The next opponent will EXTREMELY be one of yours."
"No, he'll be mine." Hayato declared. "It's about time I had an actual combat test for my System C.A.I."
"System C.A.I.?" Takeshi blinked in confusion. "What's that?"
"You'll just have to wait and see, Yakyubaka."
A barrage of thumps and crashes sounded throughout the dungeon like section of the base Kyoya and Mukuro were using to corral and defeat the invading Millefiore members. Bodies, both unconscious and dead, littered the floor as the two Guardians beat back the seemingly endless horde of weaklings. The sheer numbers the invading force held would have overwhelmed a lesser defense squad long ago, Mukuro and Kyoya, however, were having no trouble as they demonstrated why Vongola had remained the strongest for so long.
"Kufufu." Mukuro chucked lightly as yet another group fell victim to his realistic and deadly illusions. "One would think the Millefiore would send someone of substance, so as to pose at least a small challenge."
"Weak herbivores crowd together and need to be bitten to death." Was Kyoya's reply as he too dispatched another three with a single swipe of his tonfas. As the invaders formed a ring around the two, but hesitated to attack, Kyoya turned his attention to Mukuro. "Do you have what you need?"
"Kufufu, but of course." Mukuro knelt down and nicked several of the unconscious bodies littering the ground with his trident. The invaders noticed the distraction and tried to use it to their advantage, but were stopped by Kyoya as Mukuro used his powers to lightly probe the memories of the unconscious men. "These three should be plenty."
"Oya? So eager to be rid of me, Kyoya?"
"You shouldn't keep the Omnivore waiting, Herbivore."
"Kufufu. I suppose." Mukuro agreed with a slight smirk on his face. "But be sure to follow your own advice, Kyoya. You best not keep Tsunayoshi-kun waiting too long."
"Worry about your own mission, Herbivore."
Mukuro's smirk only grew as he heard the growl in Kyoya's voice. Had anyone else, save Tsuna, said something comparable or attempted to assist Kyoya in a fight that person would have immediately been bitten to death. It pleased Mukuro to note that this older Kyoya seemed almost fond of him and did not react to his presence with aggression; rather, he seemed to welcome it. Mukuro was very curious as to how this change had come to be.
"Kufufu. Then I'll see you soon, Kyoya."
Mukuro quickly concealed himself in his illusions; one so strong that none of the Millefiore mist users could detect his presence, let alone pinpoint his location. Using this, Mukuro silently took out another dozen of the invaders as he made his way back to the base. All that was left for him now was to find Kusakabe and Lambo and make their way into the Melone base.
"We'll be there soon, Tsunayoshi-kun."
With his body still feeling the effects of his own attack, Tsuna couldn't help but feel frustrated as he kept barely dodging the King Mosca's deadly strikes. Just as absorbing flames gave Tsuna a boost in speed and power, so did they boost the Mosca. At the moment the King Mosca was faster than Tsuna, but not as agile. Tsuna's flexibility and small size worked in his favor as he weaved around the water way, avoiding both the Mosca's ranged and direct attacks. They were evenly matched, but where Tsuna was flesh the Mosca was metal, that combined with Tsuna's injuries cause fatigue to creep up and slow his body. Tsuna needed a plan.
Maybe that would be strong enough. Tsuna thought as a plan formulated in his mind. It's still not perfect but desperate times call for desperate measures. A quick glance down showed that the ice platform was still intact. While not perfectly level it would do for at least getting his footing. Tsuna felt a light pull on his lips. It's a good thing Kyoya never takes it easy on me.
'You should give up.' The Lambo like voice sounded again. 'There is no way you'll ever defeat my Mosca.'
"Are you sure of that?"
"You shouldn't underestimate me."
When the Mosca charged once more Tsuna was barely able to dodge down and left, but that was what he needed. With a flick of his wrist four Sky flame coated senbon were imbedded in the King Mosca's left thrusters. With half of its propulsion suddenly cut off the Mosca tipped, struggling to remain steady in the air.
Using the momentary distraction darted down and landed on the ice platform. As the Mosca regained some balance Tsuna got into position, feet planted, right hand facing the Mosca, and the other facing behind Tsuna. Tsuna gathered soft flames in his left hand, but before he could gather any in his right the Mosca launched a volley of flame coated missiles.
"Damn!" Tsuna winced as the ice platform was destroyed. "There goes my footing."
'Why do you need footing?' Tsuna started, almost getting hit by the Mosca's next volley, as Reborn's voice sounded in his head set. 'Just fire it.'
"But without proper footing I can't control it." Tsuna hissed quietly in reply. "I can't afford any mistakes now."
'Haven't I told you,' Tsuna could practically picture the sardonic smile on Reborn's face, 'you think too much.' There was a slight pause as Tsuna tried to get behind the Mosca once more, but, as if sensing his intentions, the Mosca swung its powerless left leg and caught him in the chin. 'You should take a page out of Ryohei's book, don't think just act.'
"People shouldn't give advice they never follow themselves." Tsuna grumbled. "Fine."
Tsuna used a quick burst of hard flames to put 50 feet between himself and the Mosca. With only its right thrusters the Mosca was slowed down just enough for Tsuna to invert his body and prepare the soft flames in his left hand. As the Mosca drew closer Tsuna gathered all the hard flames he could in his right hand, this would be an all or nothing attack.
'Whatever you're trying, it won't work.'
Tsuna ignored the voice, took a deep breath, and waited. 30 feet. His right hand trembled with the contained energy, but still, he waited. 25 feet. The flames danced, but did not leave Tsuna's palm. 20 feet. Tsuna's muscles ached, the adrenaline beginning to where off. 15 feet. Fresh pain blossomed in Tsuna's abdomen, it was getting harder to ignore the strain he'd put on his body. 10 feet. Tsuna was ready.
Tsuna shouted as a powerful blast of hard flames erupted from his palm. The entire waterway glowed orange as Tsuna's attack destroyed everything in its path. The King Mosca crumbled. But so did Tsuna.
Unable to maintain a stable balance between the hard and soft flames Tsuna was thrown back by his own attack. Tsuna's back slammed into the unforgiving concrete wall, all breath abandoned his body. There was nothing Tsuna could do as he limply fell to narrow walkway. A man emerging from one of the wrecked Mosca's was the last thing Tsuna saw before darkness claimed him.