SRB: I'm glad that you like this story already, and I hope that you would love this chapter too! Enjoy~
Tsuna ran through an alleyway, in hopes of getting rid of his pursuers. He hid behind the dumpster that was randomly placed there for no apparent reason. The distant thought of kids running in here for protection went through his head, but he paid no attention to it. Instead, he concentrated on steadying his rapidly beating heart, staying quiet as much as possible. A bunch of footsteps ran past the alley, their yells growing distant. "Where the hell is that Dame-Tsuna!"
"He couldn't have gone far!"
"Maybe he hid in one of the shops along his way home!"
"Then let's search every place inside out!"
When he could no longer hear the bullies, he let out a sigh of relief. Picking up his bag, he took the shortcut from there to his house. He had spent the previous months on memorizing the alleyways to reach for his house when he entered school again. It came as a surprise when he found out the many ways he could shake off the bullies from his trail, and wasted no time in putting it in action. Quite effective in many ways more than one. He made sure to memorize the map of Namimori, in order to aid him with the shortest route to his destination. He smiled at the sight of his house down the row of houses, breaking out into a jog he entered his home. "Tadaima!"
"Oh, Tsu-kun you're home! Happy Birthday!" Nana came out of the kitchen, embracing her son, a smile on her face.
Tsuna blinked. "My birthday?"
"Oh, silly Tsu-kun! It's October 14th! How can you forget it!" She giggled, pressing a kiss on his forehead. He smiled warmly at his mother. "And today my son is turning eleven! This is a very big deal!"
Tsuna chuckled. "Thanks for everything, kaa-san. I really appreciate it."
Nana hummed in approval, a semi-serious expression on her face. "Of course you should, I am your Mama after all!" Her smile returned at the flushed face of her beloved son. "And you are my one and only son, let your Mama care for you at least this much, since you are doing so well in school!" The teasing tone returned as she headed into the kitchen again, leaving her ruffled son to recompose himself.
"I-I'll be upstairs then." He smiled wryly as he headed upstairs and into his room, dropping down on the cleanly made bed of his. He let his eyes wander around his plain room, walls a light blue, and his bed sheets orange, in the center of the room stood a small table on where he could work on his homework, and finally on the orange laptop that laid on top of the small square table. He stood up when he noticed the small blinking red light in the right hand corner of the surface. Another job. Heaving himself onto the floor he turned it on. "Who could it be this time?"
The laptop was one of the reasons that became a step towards his change, a birthday present for his seventh birthday. What kind of parents would give their child a laptop for their seventh birthday beat him; he came home that day to see a box on the counter wrapped in those shiny wrappers and a stringy bow of ribbons tied on top. It was addressed to him, from his mom or dad he wouldn't know, and looked at his mother for confirmation to open it. Nana urged him, and he did, taken aback with the orange laptop that lay within it. He had questioned his mom about it, he was smart enough to know that a laptop was not an ordinary present for a child of his age, his mother just smiled and explained vaguely on how his grades and spurt of knowledge deserved such a present. He had then taken advantage on learning how to use such a laptop, this tedious action consisted of him going to the library and reading nearly all the books in the technology aisle. He had further developed his knowledge in programming, and eventually putting up various kinds of protection on it, with the help of a friend he had met when he was eight.
A soft beep sounded, bringing the brunette back to the present situation. He put himself to work to unlock the screen, typing in various passwords that he had randomly come up with. A smile flitted across his face in remembrance of the memory. Those were the fun times. He also learned how to make small prank comebacks for people who requested it, and the money he was given was a bliss. Of course he had to open up an account where his parents would not suspect him of the things he did, though he had his suspicions that his mother knew all knowingly. What he created as pranks were small letters of false corruption within their small companies, and how he could help them if they paid an amount. He wouldn't make it too big, only to cause enough disturbance in their ranks so that the other, the one who requested the prank, could confront them. Though the small advice he had given them were witty enough to fail the word advice. Once again he had a feeling that they didn't consider this a prank, but he was getting paid so what was the harm? Not that he could do much about it if they abused its purpose. He didn't really care for either of them anyway. Tsuna scanned his desktop, a black screen with various icons spread across it with no words to indicate what they were. A normal person would glance at the screen and probably comment on why there were so many word documents littered on it. It was merely to serve as a purpose of showing a busy middle schooler's amount of hard work in school. When in reality, they hid content that was not to be shown to the bright sunny day of Namimori. He didn't pause to look at the icons, instead he pushed a button for a window to open, his specific email for this pranking job he had.
Scrolling through the various requests, some accomplished others yet to be accepted, Tsuna looked at the new message that came in some time ago. He opened it, curious as to what it contained. To his surprise, the message was written in Italian, he needn't worry since he had at least three languages fully under his belt, a language that rarely came up when requesting his services. Somehow, everyone that had contacted him figured out that he was Japanese and had preferred to type in such a language. It had its amusing moments, to see the weird spelling and random letters that were not even supposed to be there, but soon he grew tired of it and often than not had to exert his brain on trying to figure out the message they were trying to convey. He shook his head and began to read the email, his suspicions rising by the minute.
I have heard so much about you, the small 'pranks' that you are often known for. Your existence has even reached the Mafia, after a product of your work had shown all its glory –
Tsuna had to stare at it stupefied, he couldn't help it. Really, this person, whoever he was, claimed that his job had gone through the Mafia and destroyed one of those colonies for a mobster. He continued to read.
– I have decided to recruit you for a bunch of jobs that I'd like you to do. I'd love to meet you, and see you at work, but we will have to leave that for another time. Which will be in the near future if you do agree. I promise you that you would be paid a princely reward with your efforts on the line. However, if you should decline I worry for your reputation as the 'prankster on the net' –
Here he blinked. Did he ever have such a reputation? He couldn't remember anything that led to that, so he made a note to make sure to look into it as he continued to read the message.
– but if you do accept, I will send you your first mission. I am obligated to tell you that you will be working with six other people of their own statuses. Now I leave the choice to you.
He leaned back against his bedframe as he looked at the message with a thoughtful look on his face. To him, it sounded like a challenge, calling him to come and face the adventures that were laid out in front of him. He smirked. "Tempting…" He played with his bangs as he thought further. He could enjoy the outdoors and work, it didn't sound half bad. His smirk widened a tad bit. "Very tempting…" His mother came into his thoughts, and the smirk instantly dissolved. How would his mother fare? Would she accept such a thing? He had noticed her change in behavior after the incident when he was six, and over-protectiveness had appeared like it was always there. He unconsciously shivered, the product of such a… trait was something he didn't want to cross on the other end. He huffed. "Well, I still have time to accept this, I could figure something by the end of the day."
He closed his laptop, the piece of machinery instantly going to sleep. He stretched and looked at the calendar situated on the ceiling above where his head would be on the pillow. The idea for such a thing was one of the mere entertainment that had long passed being humorous. A red circle indicated that his childhood friend was to return from his trip in Italy. Apparently he had been promoted to become a scientist, in the top facilities there in the previously mentioned country. He made fun of him from time to time about how he was such a smart ass, and he continuously denied it. The red flush begged to differ. Tsuna snorted. "I wonder how he is now, it has been quite a while since I last saw him."
"Tsu-kun? Dinner is ready~" Nana's voice floated through the floorboards, her voice cheery as ever.
Getting up, the said brunette headed downstairs, answering her call. "Coming, kaa-san."
Upon reaching the kitchen, he was surprised with the amount of food that were placed on the table. His mother beaming, her hands clasped in front of her like a lady. When he didn't move from his spot she took the opportunity to push him towards the chair as she sat beside him. "Come and sit, Tsu-kun, otherwise the food would get cold! And cold food isn't worth it to be in my son's stomach!"
Sometimes he had to wonder, when did his mother begin to obsess with his health? He shook his head, a smile on his face. "Alright, thanks for the food, kaa-san."
Both mother and son began eating, chatting idly to pass their time. Entertaining the idea of the sales that were quite evident in the next few weeks, and the deals that could be gotten in the supermarket if you bribed the cashier. It then grew quiet, a comforting silence for the both of them. Tsuna figured he might talk with his mother about the job proposal he had gotten earlier today. "Kaa-san, I was wondering if I could go out of the country."
"Why's that Tsu-kun?" She questioned, her smile present.
"Um, well you see I got a job proposal, and they seem to be out of the country and are looking for people to recruit." He continued, carefully picking out his words.
"Why can't they recruit their own people? I'm pretty sure a country is to have many people in order to be one." She continued, the slight suspicions rising in her, frowning.
"That's because they want to recruit the best of the best to get the project done." He replied.
Nana thought things over, she was fully aware that her son was hiding more than he seemed to reveal, the flutter of worry started to work in her gut as she considered the possibilities. "And when would they need you're assistance?"
"I don't know yet, thought I'd go over this with you before I accepted the offer." He answered. She smiled at his concern for her. Maybe it would be for the better of him to go out and coming back like a new person, the world wasn't forgiving in many ways after all. A bit of training could do her son good. Besides, if it kept him out of his room for more than a day, it should be fine.
Coming to her conclusion, Nana hummed. "Well, why not give it a try?"
Tsuna could hardly believe his ears, had his mother, his sweet, loving, mother, really say such a thing? "You're okay with it?"
"And you aren't?" She giggled at the slight blush dusting her son's cheeks.
"B-but, w-what if it was a scam?" He pointed out. A scenario like that would be terrible, not to mention hard to get out of.
"Then if it comes to that, we'll just have to change our names and run away." The semi-serious look returned.
The brunette sputtered. When had his mother been like this? "K-Kaa-san!"
"Yes, Tsu-kun?" The warm smile took over Nana giggled. Her son's reactions were one to die for, so honest, yet innocent. In a way, the reality in her mind chided.
Tsuna sighed, he would probably not get his mother's thought process anytime soon. "Alright, I'll contact the employer right after dinner."
"Make that right after the cake and presents, Tsu-kun! You can't have a birthday without those!" Nana sang happily as she got up and brought over a cake with the words 'Happy Birthday, Tsu-kun!' written in red cream. The cake itself was a white frosted cake with cream as its filling. The candles representing his eleventh birthday. Tsuna found that he enjoyed the cake very much, causing his mother to smile non-stop at her satisfaction, and received his gift from her. Looking at the contents Tsuna briefly wondered if his surprises would ever come to an end, deciding that it would end when hedgehogs fly and kangaroos learn how to box, he looked at his mother, holding up an orange toque and scarf. A small number 27 etched in their corner, with the same orange color. He wouldn't get why, but he didn't think on it too much. "Thanks, kaa-san, though you didn't have to buy such things, I still have the ones from last year."
"Call it mother's intuition, I decided to get you another pair that's all." Nana giggled.
After another hour of talking about many random things, the two cleaned up the dishes, putting the uneaten food in containers to be placed in the fridge. They would be surviving on leftovers for the next couple of weeks, which didn't seem such a bad thing for Tsuna, as it did for Nana. The brunette woman loved to cook, sometimes trying new recipes and personalizing it as her own. This love seemed to have imprinted itself on her son, who had the same passion in cooking as her, though he didn't really cook much. Tsuna headed upstairs into his room, opening up his laptop. Getting past the securities easily, he returned to re-reading the email, going over it a couple of times before choosing to reply to it in Italian.
After a bout of considering your offer, I have decided to accept it. However, I wish to know a bit more information on such a recruitment, like how long I will be on the job, and the means of my transportation, and I state this because I know that you know that I am in Japan. Before you do ask on such things, call it intuition. Getting back to my questions, do I need to bring anything for this particular job? I hope to hear from you soon.
Clicking the send button, the mail slipped off into the world of the internet verse. A second hadn't even passed when another email came. Tsuna blinked, an image of a man sitting at the computer staring at the screen entered his imagination, surely this employer wasn't doing this behind a screen? He wasn't any different, so who was he to judge. Clicking on the email, he read through it.
I am glad that you have decided to accept the job, ecstatic even! You don't need to worry about your transportation since I have you covered on that, but you will just need to bring your necessity of whatever you are comfortable within a span of three days. Now for your first assignment, tomorrow head to the airport, my man Wonomichi will hold a sign with your name on it, follow him to your ride, and it will take you straight to the area with your task. The information will be given by my trusted man, hope you two would get along. Until the next time I contact you, ciao~
Tsuna laid back against his bedframe, a hand running through his hair. "A private jet or something… he must be some rich guy…" Muttering some incoherent thoughts, he glanced at the message again. "He didn't even state at what time I should head for the airport… His trusted man is also Japanese." He let out a breath through his nose, he got up and got ready for bed, shutting his computer down. "What have I gotten myself into?"
Tsuna looked around the bustling airport and unconsciously shivered. He was glad that he wore the toque and scarf he had gotten for his birthday on his disguise. A white cap, with an orange underside, which could be worn both ways, was brought over his face to hide his features from anyone unwanted, the toque on top of it. His scarf brought up to hide his mouth, wrapped around his neck to keep the appendage warm. Tsuna had worn his favorite orange and white sweater, the number 27 decorating the pocket on the bottom right hand corner. His jeans hugged his legs, showing off lean legs, he wore orange converse with white tips, laces and soles. Orange was indeed his favorite color, and it suited his name for the job. Heading further into the airport, he spotted a very peculiar man with a top hat, checkered tie and gloves holding a sign. Written on it was obviously his username used online, the only thing of notice was that it was being held upside down. "So much for being normal…"
Making his way to the peculiarly dressed man he nodded, unsure if he should speak to him. The man blinked, looked as if he was analyzing him, and smiled. "You must be, ho ho ho."
"And you are Wonomichi, I presume." He spoke up, discarding the idea of staying silent. It wouldn't help him much in this situation.
"You really are orange like your name, ho ho ho." Wonomichi laughed cheerily. "And to think I have considered you would be a normal teenage boy, he he he!"
Tsuna grimaced, this guy was way too cheery for a person to keep him as a trusted man. He almost felt sorry for his faceless employer… He shook his head, he had a feeling that this person would talk on for ages if he wasn't stopped. "I trust that you have the information on my task that CheckerFace has given you, I don't have all day to sit around and wait for you to finish your daily chit chat."
"Oh! You're right! Silly me, how can I forget such a thing! Now hold on, I think I've got it here somewhere." The man put the sign down as he took off his gloves and rolled up his sleeves revealing scribbles on the contrasted pale skin of his. His mutters increased as he looked at each one. "Remember to feed Mr. Cuddles… nope that's not it… Have a bath every Friday… nope… Duct tape the apple tree… no… Ah! Here it is!" His smile grew at the corresponding note. Tsuna deadpanned, it seemed that his guide was a real forgetter, and shook his head. Wonomichi continued. "First, let us head for your ride, and then we'll talk on the way there."
He picked up the sign and glanced at it. "My, why didn't you tell me it was upside down."
Tsuna felt like he would slip and fall face first.
They were currently over the country, high in the air. The sight of fluffy white clouds were fun to see as they went through them. The private jet was luxurious, and it wasn't short of it either. Wonomichi led them to the seats facing each other, and what Tsuna noted as real leather and velvet. He sat down as his guide began to explain the instructions of the task that was set before him. Something about entering through the security and grabbing top secret information that they have kept hidden for an insane amount of time. He had asked what kind of information they were hiding but received a vague answer, and he quotes, 'Dirty little secrets, ho ho ho!'. He really hoped that his cheery attitude wasn't contagious… His thoughts didn't stay the same when his attention was taken with the other six colleagues he was supposed to work with. "Just who are these people, Wonomichi?"
"Oho, you would know when you see them, ho ho ho~" He brushed it off, laughing merrily again. "For now concentrate and work together! Ho ho ho!"
Unsatisfied, Tsuna kept his mouth shut and let the private jet descend on a runway on top of a mountain. Since when were the mountains used as places for jets to land on? That was, in many ways, weird beyond any sane explanation. They headed out, the brunette dragging along an orange luggage with him, and it was a small one enough for his necessities, and followed Wonomichi down the mountain to a mansion, a level lower than the summit. Who expected that? He sure as well didn't. Entering the estate, Wonomichi led him straight to what he supposed were his quarters. "Do whatever you like, dinner is in an hour, make sure to be there on time, ho ho ho~"
He left closing the door behind him, leaving Tsuna standing in the room. He hummed, rummaging through his pockets, taking out an orange flip phone, the customization for it was a fortune, and it was also tinkered with to be more customizable, and he scrolled through the list of his contacts, after fixing the time zone, pausing over one. "Mm… maybe it's a good idea to ask for her to collect my homework for the days that I miss." Without a second thought, he pressed the call button. The receiver picked it up, and he answered cheerily. "And how was your day, Hana?"
"I don't see why you are asking, Tsuna, you sound well for not attending school." She retorted. Ever since the day she decided to evaluate the gravity defying haired brunette, they had become quite close, along with Tsuna's friend. She enjoyed their company, and when she was asked why she would simply answer that they weren't like the other monkeys' that took over the majority of the population of humankind, sometimes relieved that they were smart enough to think sensibly rather than letting their emotions come through. Though it was a bit tweaked with the third member of their party. "You better have a good enough reason for missing school."
"I do, some sort of job recruitment, in fact I won't be there three days time." He replied making himself comfortable on the king sized bed that happened to be in the room. He fiddled with the end of his scarf. "I want you to do me a favor."
"Favor? What on Earth could that possibly be?" She paused thinking over the piece of information. "And what kind of job recruits you for three days? That doesn't even make any sense!"
"It so happens to be the kind of job that would require me to be out of the country when I work for the employer, so I'll have to be excused with my school duties while I head for work." Tsuna shrugged, stretching. "So will you do me some favors?"
A sigh was heard through the speaker. "Alright, state your favors, Tsuna. I'm listening."
"Wonderful! First things first, could you take care of my mother while I'm away, I don't want her to be lonely, and I'm sure she'd love your company. Secondly, don't forget to greet Shoichi at the airport, if I remember correctly he'll arrive when it's my last day here. Thirdly, could you pick up the homework that I miss? Send the projects that need immediate attention, that's all." He paused thinking over with what he had said, he added guiltily. "Hopefully that isn't too much for you."
"It isn't, I'll be there for both Shoichi and your mom." Hana gave in, there just wasn't any way around in refusing the brunette. His good point, in Hana's eyes, was that he was honest and made sure that the people he cared for were well, even if he was two cities away from home. "Anything else, the bell is going to ring and the perfect is violent as ever."
"No, that's all, thanks for complying, Hana." He smiled brightly, he was sure that Hana would feel it. "I really appreciate it, later, I've got dinner dates with Fate."
Before Hana could question on what he said, Tsuna shut his phone, ending the call. He got up and made sure that he was suitable in his disguise before he headed for the dining room, his hands in his pockets. It wasn't until he turned at the third turn did he realize that he was completely and utterly lost. He growled. "Just great, lost on the first day." He checked his phone for the time, revealing that he had around 15 minutes to get to the designated room or go without dinner. "I wonder if I can get to the front door, dining rooms are on the first floor, right?"
"That would be correct."
Startled, Tsuna had nearly jumped a foot into the air. He hadn't expected anyone to answer him, and had somehow, to his surprise, again, forgotten that there were other inhabitants in this near-to-deserted estate. Again, who, in their most sane mind, would live on a mountain? He quickly pushed the question out of his head to turn around, rather stiffly, to face the person. He was met with an Asian man, who wasn't all too bad looking, in red robes and white pants, flats on his feet. Tsuna made a quick reference that the man's face eerily resembled the violent perfect back in school. He pulled his hat lower. "You can speak Japanese?"
Wow, what a way to start a conversation.
The man smiled, his expression clearly amused. "Yes, I can speak Japanese."
The awkward silence that followed was broken by chatter, as a white monkey appeared on the man's shoulder. Tsuna stared at the creature, were pets even allowed here? As if reading his mind, the man smiled as he introduced his companion. "This here is Lichi, a beloved companion of mine back home, I couldn't afford to leave her behind, so I brought her here too. My name is Fon, if that helps you any."
"Ah, you can call me Camellia." Tsuna nodded, it'd be rude if he didn't give his name. But he wouldn't take any chances of saying his birth name. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he berated himself over such an option, couldn't he think of something else? However he did make a note to check the meaning of the flower later.
Fon raised a brow. "A flower's name?"
"Just being cautious." He shrugged. He checked the clock again, and scowled. "Looks like we have only ten minutes to reach the dining room." He looked back up at Fon. "Do you have any idea on where that room is by any chance?"
Fon smiled. "It just so happens that I do."