"So, I ask you. Do you want to join Tsuna's Famiglia?"
Her face was blank. "What's in it for me?" Truth to be told, something in his voice told her that saying 'no' wasn't really a choice, but she asked it anyway.
"I know you don't have any money with you," Reborn said casually, "do you think you can steal the money for so long, when Hibari is here?"
She gritted her teeth in annoyance. "Who do you think I am? I know that, thank you very much." She wasn't that stupid to ignore the fact that she couldn't hide the skylark forever. It was like avoiding the inevitable fate of Puella Magi. The chance was slim. To put it simply, it was effin' impossible.
"So what do you say?" She pondered over her choice. It was simple. She could either say no and walk away, or accept it and deal with the chaos that followed. She even had free money.
But she knew the mafia was dangerous. Family. Italian. Hitman. Boss. It would require a lot of fighting, and she wasn't going to expose the secret to the underground. Without the magic, she'd likely be dead. And she didn't think she would be ready to kill anybody. Even if she left the innocents to dead because of Grief Seed-
So she said exactly like that to the baby, minus the puella magi part. The baby, however, just smirked. "If I were you, I wouldn't worry about that anytime soon."
"How do you if I were strong enough for the underground?"
"I'll train you."
"How could a baby train me?", she paused, "On the second thought, you ain't." She realized the baby was cursed earlier. She could feel the magic on his body. It was foreign to her magic, but familiar in some way. That was one of the perks that came with being a veteran Puella Magi, to be able to feel the magic. Even though she didn't have the chance to use this ability much.
"Glad you realize, unlike my no good student." The smirk never left his face. It looked weird, when he had the body of a baby.
"I ain't blindly accept a contract that I knew nothing about its content." Never again, she mentally added. But she knew the baby caught it anyway. According to Tsuna, Reborn could read mind. Then again, in her opinion, he just good at reading people.
Because if he used mind reading, she would have known. Even when she could no longer use her illusions, she was still somewhat immune to the psychic abilities. Somewhat.
"Hm, I can approve of that. Only a fool will charge in unprepared." A small nod. "Very well then, let's me explain."
Then he launched into a lengthy explanation of flames, vongola, and guardians. Lengthy, but it only contained the basic. Of course, mafia would have lots of confidential stuffs.
By the end of his explanation, she already knew enough to learn that mafia was more related to supernatural than it seemed. The thing that bothered her most was, however, flames.
From what Reborn told her, Dying Will flames was described as high-density form of energy that is refined from one's own life-force, and the flame resonated with one's emotion.
There, the problem was right there.
Kyubey said that magic were forces created from fluctuation of emotion, unbounded by the First Law of Thermodynamic.
See the problem? Both powers were originated from emotion. In addition to that, the soul was what provided the body with life force. And it was common knowledge that the usage of magic made the Soul gem tainted.
If she put it that way, magic sounded a lot like the next stage of Dying Will flame, but more diverse and limitless.
Then if she used flames even while not being under transformation, would it affect her Soul Gem?
She couldn't jump to the conclusion just yet. It required experiments which she would need to do it as soon as possible. And until then, she couldn't risk it.
"Sorry, kid. But I'd like to put your proposal on hold." She paused, "I'd first need to sort something out first, would you mind to wait until then?"
"Would it take a long time?" He asked.
"Not too long, I supposed. Maybe a day or two." She could tell that the baby was curious. Nevertheless, he didn't press into it to her relief.
"Okay. See you later then." The baby spun around, ready to leave, but she just need to ask him for one more thing. "Wait!"
He stopped moving, waiting for her to continue.
"If I joined, I won't be a guardian. Will you make me?" She asked.
"Hn." He tilted his fedora, "Don't worry, I already filled most of the spot with the potential guardian. I haven't found a mist yet, but if you don't want to be a guardian, that's fine with me." He smirked. "As long as you make Tsuna's famiglia grow."
"I will look forward to seeing what you can do." Reborn immediately walked towards the street light and to her surprise, a small door appeared from the pole. He casually entered it, leaving her wondering just how many secret doors the baby had built.
Ah damn it, she forgot she didn't know how to use Flames. It looked like she have to visit him many times in the future. Unfortunately.
"Again. Dodge." Reborn raised the gun at her. Before she could even blink, mutiple bullets (painted balls) had been fired.
"You're sure... enjoying this... kid." Kyoko said between gasps. If she was in her magical girl mode right now, dodging these would be piece of cake. But she wasn't.
So to hell with all these bullets.
While she could avoid some of them, she wasn't came out unscathed.
"Damn.. these paints will be hard to wash..."
She suddenly felt pity towards Tsuna. To think he had been enduring these merciless training all the time.
Knowing reborn, his 'training' would be even more hellish.
"Your agility is higher than I expected," Reborn commented. "Is that because of the nature of your former job?" Ouch. That burned.
"Who knows..." Kyoko dodged a bullet on her left side. "It's for me... to know." She jumped just in time to avoid the upcoming bullet. "and for you..." She flipped gracefully. "... to decide."
"Very well." Suddenly, the assault ended. She looked at Reborn questioningly. "Next exercise, 100 push-ups for me." She stared at him. "Agility alone can not do great damage. You need power in your strike."
"You're gonna be the death of me someday, you know that?"
"It'd be my pleasure then." He reloaded his gun. "Hurry."
She sighed. It was good, she guessed. Kyubey never gave them any proper training as he felt no need to do so (Puella Magi's lifespan was short anyway). If her normal speed and strength increased with Reborn's hellish training, she could only imagined the power she'd gain with magic's boost.
"40... 41... 42..."
She wanted to be stronger. Only the strong could survive. She desired to live, even if it was painful.
"55... 56... 57..."
Her 'training' would always continue until afternoon. Today was no exception.
And like every time, by the time they finished, Kyoko could no longer move. She sit under a nearby tree, drinking juice.
And just her luck, she heard an oh-so-familiar voice.
She didn't even need to look to know who it was.
"Skylark." She greeted.
Hibari stood right in front of her. Before he could say anything, Kyoko spoke up. "If you want to get your little revenge, do it someday later."
Silence. "I'm just a dead meat right now. Are you going to get your petty revenge on a powerless girl?"
"Hn." He replied, still grumpy as ever.
"Glad you still have morals, Mister Carnivore." She smirked. Hibari wordlessly left. Kyoko chuckled. So Hibari wouldn't fight anybody who was incapable of fighting back. Must be because they wouldn't give him a challenge.
Reborn had long gone. It was just herself now.
So she mused.
She had been introduced to a new kind of power. Flame. Power of the underground. Invisible to some. Hard to use.
Luckily, she had been making progress.
After paying Reborn a couple of visits, she could use her flame to an extent. Apparently, she had Storm Flame and Mist flame. But she couldn't activate the Mist flame at the moment.
"People with multiple flames happen due to major life changing accidents and usually only occur in people with something very bad in their history." Reborn said to her, staring at her, waiting for her to comment on the fact. She remained quiet. It seemed that her wish and her past activated the Mist flame inside her. And the... accident sealed it off.
As painful as it is, she wished to have her illusion back. She couldn't deny its usefulness.
He asked her if she knew why. She chose not to say a word. And the hitman didn't asked her further. As always. But she couldn't avoid it forever.
Back to her flame training. Even though having Reborn training her with her Flame was certainly helpful, it proved difficult sometimes to hide her true power. Like when he said flames can be used with an object that she was familiar with. And she certainly couldn't just show him her spear. So she usually only learned theory from the baby and practiced at home with her spear, without the baby noticing of course.
Using flame was like magic in some ways, she was finally able to concluded. At least the 'moving the energy into your fingertip' part. After a week or so, she was able to activate her flame with ease. Her strong will to survive helped too.
She too didn't find it too difficult to connect the flame with her spear. She figured because she had been using the spear for a very long time, so the weapon held close to her heart.
That being said, the question was still there. Would using Flame tainted her soul gem?
She brought her hand forth. A bright light. The familiar spear came into her hand, along with the soul gem. Only one way to know.
The storm flame was brought to life, dancing brightly at the head of her spear. The gem still shone brightly. She tightened her grip, trying her best to push the power of the flame, to overcome the limit.
She watched closely as the flame increased in size. At the same time, the glow in the gem slowly became dull. The change wasn't too drastic like when she used magic, but it was there.
She breathed out. Along with the flame, her spear vanished into the air.
Magic could made one surpass their limits. And earlier, she was surpassing the flame's limit. So as long as she didn't bypass the limit too much, the flame did no damage to her soul gem.
She grinned. Perfect.
She didn't know what to think of the newest addition to Tsuna's group of mafia.
His hair was silver - who the heck had natural silver hair? - and he always had that scowl on his face. Not the 'annoying-me-and-i-will-bite-you-to-death' kind but rather the 'everything-except-from-tsuna-is-annoying' one.
Now that she thought about it, Homura kinda gave of that kind of feeling too. Even though the raven girl didn't as agressive as this boy. On the outside, of course.
On the inside, they were just as bad, really.
Her suspicion was confirmed when she walked up to the trio.
"'Sup guys. Who's the guy? Newest addition to your saving record?"
Needless to say, the 'newest addition' did not take it well.
"What's that woman? Are you offending The Tenth?"
She raised her eyebrow. "The Tenth?"
"Gokudera-san! I told you not to call me that!" Tsuna turned to Kyoko. "Well, I met him before meeting Yamamoto-san on the roof. But he was... sick when you met us."
"But Tsuna-sama is Tsuna-sama! It'd be disrespectful of me to call you otherwise!"
Ah, so he's that type. And probably belonged to that world too. Figured.
"Make normal friends, will you?" Kyoko chuckled. Poor kid. The brunette could only whined.
"Don't question The Tenth's choice, woman!" Okay, Kyoko growled, this was becoming annoying real quick. "What's next?", Kyoko muttered, "The skylark joined the gang?"
She hoped not. Not in the near future, at least.
"Well then, see ya later." She raised a hand in goodbye and then walked away. The chatter of Tsuna's group slowly faded away.
Tap. tap. tap.
She stopped walking.
"Reborn." She spoke. True to her word, a baby already stood behind her.
"Your detecting skill is amazing as always."
"I know." She turned her head around. "So, what do you want with me?"
"Nothing serious." Reborn replied. "Just want to invite you to my birthday tomorrow."
"Oh?" She smirked. "Need I prepare a present for you?"
"It would be appreciate." Reborn smirk, "Keep in mind, however, that it will be graded."
Kyoko looked at him questioningly. "A tradition of Vongola." Reborn lifted up his hat with the gun. "I look forward to your present, Kyoko." The baby then walked away, leaving Kyoko alone.
She looked up at the sky. A beautiful color of azure met her gaze. She sighed. "What to give Reborn..."
In the end, she gave him a cake. Nothing could go wrong with cake.
Kyoko had always enjoyed summer festival.
Who wouldn't? So much food with cheaper price, not to mention all the prizes laying out there for her to claim. It was a pity that she didn't have a yukata though.
So when she went to the festival, she had one goal in mind: Eat all the food. And won some prizes, if possible.
And of course, she met Hibari.
"Next time, dude." She waved her hand lazily. "Not today. Nothing can keep me away from food." Suprisingly, Hibari accepted the peace offer. She shrugged. "By the way, what are you doing here? You said you don't like crowding."
"I don't." He answered. "I need to collect placement fee."
"Hoh?" She smirked. "Didn't take you as a greedy type."
"It's for our activity fund." He replied nonchalantly. "Hm..." Kyoko pondered. Knowing his behavior, the store that couldn't pay placement fee would likely end up closing immediately. It could be even before she get her hand on the food. So the only solution was...
"Okay. I'm going with you." Like our ancestors said, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If she went with Hibari, she could order the food before the store got shut down.
He glared at her. Typical. "You don't."
She rolled her eyes. "How about this," she began. "You let me accompany you, and I get to order food before a store got violently shut down by you. And then tomorrow I will come to your precious school to fight with you."
A spark. "Deal." Well, that was quick. Fighting him was a pain, but if it was for food, then it's worth the effort.
Later, she decided it wasn't a bad decision after all.
Anybody who refused to pay up had their store crushed by Hibari's minions. And as promised, Hibari let her ordered before crushing a store. Her opinion of him was raised thanks to the gesture. How nice of him~
At the moment she was walking alongside him, her both hands were full with food. Seriously, it had been a long time since she went to a summer festival. And when she did, going alone had been boring.
The infamous demon prefect wasn't exactly a good company, but it was better than none.
She noticed Tsuna's stand. Yamamoto and Gokudera (she learned his name at Reborn's birthday party) were there too. It seemed they were selling chocolate banana. She quickly approached them before Hibari could. "A choco banana please~" She said cheerfully.
"Yo, Tsuna, Yamamoto, Gokudera. As lively as ever I see." She finished her takoyaki, glancing at the shouting Gokudera. It was hilarious to see Yamamoto attracted the customers while Gokudera did the opposite.
"Here you go, Kyoko-san!" The cheerful teen handed the banana to her as she took it. She glanced at her back. It seemed Hibari had catched up with her. She jumped back, directing Tsuna's attention to the prefect.
"50,000 yen" Hibari said. "Hibari-san!?" Tsuna shrieked. Pff. Tsuna's reactions were always amusing to watch.
"You!" Gokudera shouted. "What are you doing here?"
"Don't tell me.." Yamamoto sweatdropped.
"The placement fee goes to the disciplinary office!?" Tsuna ended, his face turning white. "It's for his precious activity funds." Kyoko took a bite off the banana. "His club sure has more power than I thought."
"Thanks." Hibari took the money with ease. That went faster than she thought. "We're done here, herbivore."
"Hai hai, captain!" Kyoko grinned mischeviously. She ignored Tsuna's shout of "Wait kyoko-san are you following Hibari-san!?" and skipped to his side. What can she say, she was in good mood because of food.
The rest of the trip went by peacefully and soon enough the sun began to set. Currently, she and Hibari were following Tsuna as he chased down some unknown robber. It was Hibari's objective to catch the robber gang so they followed the brunette.
By the time they catched up with him, she found the guy was being cornered by a group of tough looking guy. "Oh boy," she whistled, "A delicious crowd that made up of robbers for our dearest prefect to beat up."
"Shut up, herbivore." He growled as he swung down his weapons on the nearest target. "Are you going to punish these herbivores with me or just uselessly stand here?"
"Of course I'm joining!" She laughed. "I'm running short of money lately. And what's a better source of income than the money they stole?"
"If you can take it away from me." Hibari raised his bloody tonfas. "We, the disciplinary office, will take all the money you stole."
"Another idiot that pissed me off." the blonde man shoved Tsuna aside, "And a cute girl with him to. Perfect."
Kyoko, Tsuna and Hibari was soon surrounded.
"No need to go easy on them!" The blonde shouted, "Kill off that messy kid and capture the girl!"
"Isn't this a little too much for Hibari-san? And can Kyoko-san even fight?" She heard Tsuna said. So she was being underestimated by him. Very well. She leaped to the guy with a metal pole and punched him in the face, snatching away his weapon. It wasn't her spear but it would do just fine.
"So sad Tsuna, to see you have little faith in me." Ignoring Tsuna's shouting, she jumped off the ground and swung the pole, effectively knocked out three guys.
"Hn, you aren't bad, herbivore." Another kick in the gut. "Stop calling me herbivore!"
He only hummed in response.
She popped the rest of dango into her mouth. And performed a scorpion kick right after that.
A loud explosion at the stair. It was Takeshi and Gokudera. They must have came here because of all the noise.
"The supporters have arrived." Yamamoto said casually, baseball hat in hand.
"No way." Hibari said, "The money that was stolen will go to me."
"As if," Kyoko laughed. "I will be the one who takes it!"
Sounds of "No way!", "I won't give it to you!" echoed in the background. She shrugged and resumed fighting.
In the end, Tsuna and co. got the money. She didn't care though. Reborn got her money issue covered, so she's willing to let the money slide.
It was nighttime. She was munching some newly-bought candies apple at the moment. And Hibari sit next to her, injured.
"How come you came out of that fight unscathed?" An interrogation.
"I heal fast. You don't. End of story." She offered him one candy apple. "Want some?"
Before he could reply, (which Kyoko predicted was a refusal) Kyoko beat him to it. "Don't you dare refuse. It's festival time, loosen up! Don't let all these candies goes to waste."
"You have no problem devouring all those food you bought." Smartass.
"Sharing is caring. Can't have you eating nothing while I'm eating everything."
They glared at each other. Red met black. Mischievous met cold.
After a whole minute of silence, he finally gave in and snatched the candy from her hand.
They ate in silence. "Good?" The redhead asked. "Acceptable."
"Good then." She grinned. Like a cat. He wanted to wipe that cocky smile off her face. But he didn't.
A loud noise. A bright light in the sky. Cheering from the herbivores.
"Oh, fireworks!" Her eyes sparkled. "Haven't seen one in a while."
"Remember, herbivore." He reminded her. "Tomorrow. Eight o'clock. Rooftop."
She sent him a blank stare. "Spoilsport."
Today was the day.
The promised duel between one Sakura Kyoko and Hibari Kyoya.
Hibari Kyoya is an opponent who can't be underestimated no matter what. So while she wouldn't transform, she had brought along her spear. Normally she would met him empty hand and summon the spear right before the fight, but she was trying to go undercover here.
She wasn't a student so she couldn't exactly entered the school and headed to the rooftop like a normal person.
That's what magic was for.
Just like how she arrived at the rooftop when Yamamoto tried to suicide, she jumped. She thought she saw some widened eyes look at her, full of shock, she couldn't bring herself to care.
She landed gracefully on the floor. The first thing came to view was a cloudy sky.
And Hibari Kyoya.
"Herbivore." He greeted, eyeing her spear. "Yo." She greeted back.
"Don't question my choice of weapon." She brushed off his question casually. She spun the spear before dashing to his place. "Just fight."
Hibari raised his tonfas, attempting to deflect the upcoming attack. She decided to surprise him a bit.
She swiftly swung her spear, causing it to split into chains. She sure enjoyed the surprise look on his face before being violently thrown back by the force of the weapon and crashed into the fence.
"Stand up!" Kyoko laughed. "The fight isn't over yet!" She watched as the raven slowly stood up.
"That hurts." Hibari smiled. Finally, a worthy opponent. "I'll bite you to death."
Not waiting for her opponent to came at her, Kyoko swung her spear again, letting the chains wrapped around his body. "I'd like to see you try." She yanked her spear, successfully pulling the skylark along as well. When he got close enough, she swung back the spear again, throwing him to the other side of the fence.
She quickly ran to his side and stroke at him with the spear. Blows after blows. And it was all blocked by the tonfas. It was like a violent but graceful dance between them.
"You're strong." Hibari said between blows. "More reason to bite you to death."
"Ya know, I'd love to knock some common sense into you-" She had been analyzing him. He got accustomed to fighting a new opponent surprisingly quick. The longer she dragged out this fight, the more disadvantage she would be in. And she wasn't sure her normal stamina could be enough to keep up with this guy.
She could transform and use all her cards, but she didn't want that for a mere spar.
"-but another time. Thanks again for yesterday."
So with that in mind, she launched her spear at him, creating a crater on the floor. He would be mad at her for destroying the school. Probably demand more fights. She took advantage of the smoke and left the battleground. She sure could imagine the rage of Hibari when he found out she ran away.
It wouldn't be pretty.
Namimori. A peaceful town that was protected by the notorious prefect.
In the pitch black night, only screams could be heard.
A man fell to the ground.
"Well well well," A laugh. "The prefects aren't that scary after all!"
"Wh-What are you going to do!?"
"Don't blame me for this~ It's an order from the top."
A pulling sound. Scream. Agonizing. Blood.
Namimori was restless.
A/N: To Kokuyo Arc! New foes to fight, secrets to be spilled, and maybe something more. I'm trying to strengthen Kyoko a bit so Kyoko is on par as Hibari. Maybe weaker at times, but the ability to shut off sense of pain + inhuman rate of recovery will balance the power. Homura and Madoka might visit Kyoko, but I'm deciding the right time to put them in.
Hibari's modified tonfas in the future chapters in a sense, are similar to Kyoko spear's snake form don't you think? He'd get inspired by the flexibility of the spear instead of Dino's whip. So Dino's relationship with Hibari in this story might not be as strong as the original.
Tell me what do you think of this story so far, pretty please? With pocky on top?
See you next chapter!