I don't own KHR!
Quick Note: Oh my goodness! This is going to be written and published this morning! Yikes! Why? Well, cooling issues at my house. It was 78 on the thermostat at home, but felt like 86! Bad news, my poor pup has to have 4 fans going the whole time, and I have to give him a swift shower to keep him cool until the HVAC guy gets to my house this afternoon. Also, not sure how awake I will be by then, but I was up at 5:30am and didn't sleep well last night. But some good news, HVAC guy is coming today! Yay! Also, I saw Solo last night, and it was awesome! So much better than any of the other Star Wars movies, except the original 3! I promise I won't say more about it, for those of you that haven't seen it yet. I still can't believe we've reached the hundred chapters marks!
D C JoKeR H S: Yes, this will be fun, and we are only just getting started! The Vendice are working on it, but remember they need Talbot to help them out... Hm, I better not give anymore away, as I just had a "EUREKA!" moment. ;)
Chapter 101: O.R.C. (Operation: Remove the Curse)
"I still think it's a bad idea to have an alliance with Byakuran," Hayato grumbled after the little pow-wow at Takesushi.
"Hayato, there are benefits. We can't hold someone else at fault for that actions of a similar person in another place," Tsuna pointed out to his Storm.
"I still don't like it or him," Hayato bit out harshly.
"You don't have to," Nana replied gently. "However, you do have to get along with him as best you can. Now, you had all best be getting off to school. Also, be on the lookout for the realtor you met via Haru in the other timeline. If you see him, call that number I told you all about."
"Got it!" the kids all agreed, before they took off for school, and Nana for work.
Before Reborn could follow the kids, Nana stopped him, "I know that Aria is very ill, but hopefully we can save her from dying."
"Hopefully," Reborn nodded and hurried after the kids.
Once Nana made it to work, she found the figure that she had been waiting for, "Talbot."
"Ah Sawada... Nanashi Nana," Talbot corrected himself. "It is good to see you again. What can I do for you?"
"We require your assistance, with a seven-step problem, caused by a Chess player," Nana vaguely stated. "Tsuyoshi, I'm taking my break!"
"Okay!" Tsuyoshi yelled back.
"Could you please follow me, sir?" Nana asked as she showed him the way to Tsuyoshi's apartment above his shop.
"Lead away," Talbot smiled genuinely. "So, this is about that meddler?"
"Yes. Please don't be alarmed, but I need to call a few friends for this conversation..." Nana began.
"Very well," Talbot smiled indulgently.
"Lord Bermuda! Jager! Talbot is here and waiting!" Nana called out cheerfully.
"About time," Jager snorted as they appeared using their Night Flames.
When Tsuna met up with the rest of the gang at school, they acted normally, and that made Kyoya pleased. However, Tsuna was stunned when the wrist watches issued a battle and Sawada Iemitsu attacked the school, looking for Tsuna.
"The hell! Isn't he supposed to be locked away in Vendicare?!" Hayato gaped in shock.
"Agreed, but who's team is he on?" Mukuro scowled, as he noticed the watch on Iemitsu's wrist.
"Mine," Verde smirked as he appeared next to Mukuro.
"Then I quit," Mukuro announced, ripping off his watch.
"As do we," Chrome stated flatly, as Fran, Ken, and Chikusa all nodded their agreement. Thank goodness that their were only 2 watches. Verde was unofficially out of the Battle, but still Iemitsu began to fight Tsuna.
"What is your problem?!" Tsuna glared at the man before him.
"Quite simply, because of your existence, I was forced to marry that idiot woman who trapped me inside matrimonial bonds, and then she had me put in jail! That was never what I wanted! I just wanted a quick roll in the sheets!" Iemitsu went off at Tsuna, in a flurry of angry kicks, punches, and upper cuts.
Tsuna deftly evaded it with his training, "That doesn't explain why you tried to kill us."
"IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MEEEEEEEEE!" Iemitsu barreled towards him, only to get knocked out by a pressure point, that Tsuna had swiftly pressed.
Tsuna removed the boss watch from Iemitsu, threw it to the ground, and smashed it, just as Mukuro smirked and stomped on his. Of course, that was when Wonomichi announced a winner, "Winner! Team Reborn! Team Verde is out of the game!"
"Shit," Verde growled angrily. "Can't believe I went to all that trouble to get that asshole out of Vendicare..."
"Don't curse in front of the kids, Verde," Reborn smirked, before calling out. "Jager! We've got an escaped prisoner from Vendicare here!"
Jager appeared, and he wasn't happy when he saw who it was, "Sawada Iemitsu, you have earned yourself a full-time stay in the deepest hold of Vendicare."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Iemitsu mentally cried, as he had heard everything, but was still motionless and therefore, helpless to save himself as he was dragged back to Vendicare.
It wasn't what Nana had planned, but it was needed. The Vindice provided an appropriate distraction, with the battles, while she went around, spreading the word of how they were going to save the Arcobaleno and defeat Checkerface, of course, since Skull lost his watches to Lord Bermuda, Nana was easily overlooked, and not noticed by Checkerface or Wonomichi, who Nana believed to be the same man, but couldn't prove. Then there was the fact that not long after the Vindice agreed to play their part, that Talbot had disappeared... Nana could only hope that he could finish the jars in time. Then, Checkerface was due for a rude awakening!
Now that informing everyone of the plan, she was left with nothing to do, and no where to go. So, she went back to Takesushi and waited.
Meanwhile, Tsuna was struggling with fighting so many others, only to be laid out by Bermuda, who told him and Reborn to join their side. Reborn refused, and was sent to Vendicare, but Tsuna tagged along.
Together, they found out the truth of the Arcobaleno. What happens to the survivors? Death or become a Vendice. Tsuna was prepared for this much, as Nana had warned him. The Vendice tried to sway him and Reborn again, but together, they declined. Both knowing that the ruse had to work, or they would never see the end to their curse.
Checkerface waited until there were only two teams left, Reborn's and the Vendice, "So, I see that you have nearly won..."
"Actually, I have a question," Tsuna stopped the hated man.
"Oh?" Checkerface blinked curiously.
"Why didn't you try to find another way to contain the pacifiers? One that wouldn't take lives?" Tsuna pushed, "Why did you lie to them about removing their curse? Why didn't you tell them what this fight was really about?"
"I didn't lie, I just omitted a few key facts. The stones must be kept or the Earth will die..." Checkerface began.
"You didn't answer my first question," Tsuna interrupted him.
"You do realize that I can't save them. No one can. You're also scheduled to be the next Arcobaleno..." Checkerface began.
"Don't count on it," Tsuna glared at the man. "Seriously, did you never try to come up with another way?!"
"My people did it until we were only ten, then it became down to two. There is NO OTHER WAY!" Checkerface roared angrily, "There is only one left and Sepira left me to mingle with your kind! She started the Giglio Nero line. I am the last one left! There isn't...!"
"Oh ye of little faith," Talbot chuckled as he appeared before them with seven jars. "Nana and Tsunayoshi figured this out, together. All that must be done, is to fill the jars with Flames. They will run for half of an eternity, replenishing as needed. But the jars will only work if they are fed continuous Night Flames. Once the Flames of those chosen are inside the jars, it will spare many lives. If you choose to accept this burden, Vendice Lord."
"I do!" Lord Bermuda was pleased to finally be getting one over on Checkerface, but Checkerface almost didn't accept, until he saw the undying will in Tsuna's gaze. The gaze of a man that would protect his friends with all he had. It was when Tsuna and the other participants in the Arcobaleno Battle began to fill the jars with their Flames (except the Vindice), that he gave up. He had lost his power. He didn't have to protect the world alone, anymore. He... Was this what freedom felt like? Why was he being helped by this pitiful race? Had he lost or won? Checkerface was at a loss as to what he should feel or do. All he could do, was watch as the curse was broken on the Arcobaleno.
Lal transformed back to as she was before the curse, but the others... they remained the same size, it didn't take her long to notice, "What the hell?!"
"We had the curse removed, but since you were only partially cursed, it completely reversed for you. It will most likely take a while before we are able to return to our normal sizes," Verde sighed tiredly. "I will see if I can create an accelerated method."
"That would be a start, in the reparations that you owe my friends and family, Verde," Tsuna crossed his arms at the scientist.
"Yes, yes. I made a mistake. I shouldn't have let the crazy man out of his cell. Only thought it might be an advantage over you, but I was wrong," Verde grumbled as he waddled off to go tinker on a way to make them grown faster. Before he left, he threw a test-tube at Checkerface, "That was for cursing us."
Reborn smirked, and shot at Checkerface, backing him up to the point that he tripped over Mammon's illusions. Then he fell into Fon's Storm-created hole, when as Lal and Colonello punched him. Reborn sneered, "That was for Aria and Luce!"
Of course, Bermuda cackled as he threw a cage over the top of the hole, "Enjoy your stay in your own personal Vendicare, Checkerface!"