What is this? A new chapter? So soon?
Yeah even I can't believe it so don't get used to it. but here is the next chapter.
I was surprised by the support the previous chapter got, hopefully I can keep this up. As promised, Mizore appears in the picture with another plot/story from the rosario manga also happening at the same time, so Tsuna and company will have their hands full. I don't plan this part to be as long as the previous, but who knows? Gokudera's sidestory is also progressing at its own place, hope you guys enjoy it as well.
Please tell your thoughts on the chapter, I alway enjoy reading them.
On to the chapter, enjoy.
Chapter 19 An ordinary day for a perfectly not ordinary high school.
Cover: A stage was shown with a cutout of a medieval castle on one side. Moka in a beautiful dress was standing on the balcony, dressed as Juliet. Under the balcony, dressed as Romeo, Tsuna stood with an irritated look on his face as he fended off Gin and Tsukune who were trying to pry the clothes off of him. Kurumu stood in the background as a tree with a frustrated look on her face. And behind her, a feminine hand was reaching out from the shadows, intent on dragging the girl away
"Summer is getting closer." a young brown-haired teen murmured sleepily as he was sitting in the shade of a large tree, lazily stretching his arms before picking up the book he read a moment before."Wonder if it will get any warmer in this separate dimension of ours."
He looked up towards the sky that was currently a reddish-purple hue, not something you would find anywhere in the human world. The school was separated from the world at large, in a separate dimension, that was what he learned from questioning the upper years, though nothing more concrete than that. A part of him was undoubtedly curious about how it worked, and that same part of him immediately tried to think of how to use it to his advantage.
Sawada Tsunayoshi, a human hiding in plain sight in a high school for monsters. Formerly the heir of the largest mafia family, the Vongola, before the original heir appeared and he was kicked out and forgotten within moments. He tried to go back to simply live a normal life but it was impossible after the life of a mafioso altered his view of reality forever. His mind was forever attuned to the shady face of humanity.
"An entirely separate pocket dimension Hibari would surely like it," he murmured with the barest upturn of his lips.
Not that long ago, even the thought of his former guardians was able to bring down his mood but lately, he had been getting over it. There was still a bitter feeling in his chest, regardless but it had been getting easier. And even then, his cloud guardian was never one he really was mad at, for leaving the way he did. The elusive skylark was always one who hated crowds and did everything at his own pace.
His actions were far too much in character for him for Tsuna to blame him. Regardless if they ever encountered each other again, he would be punching him just to be fair.
He was broken out of his reminiscing by a large explosion that kicked up enough dust to momentarily block the sun. The large sound also disturbed whatever wildlife this forest had, though Tsuna honestly didn't want to know what lived in the haunted forest next to the student dormitory. He already heard enough rumors about zombies climbing out of the graveyard behind the school, he decided that ignorance was blissful in this case.
With a forlorn sigh, he closed his book and got up, cracking his neck as he did so.
"Guess I should go and make sure those idiots didn't die. Otherwise, I get to enjoy a pouting Moka for weeks, something while cute in moderation, would be a real chore for more than a day," he mumbled to himself, yawning as he began to walk into the forest, toward the direction of the explosion, while a few other, smaller ones also gone off, further disturbing the peace of the until now silent forest.
Inside he mourned for the interruption of his naptime, not even thinking that he was responsible for it in a sense, since it was him who armed the very traps that were now causing such a ruckus. Unfortunately for Tsukune and Kurumu who would love nothing else than to point out his hypocrisy, the former mafioso was immune to their words. Truly, Reborn taught him well, even how to be a sadistic trainer from hell.
"I don't want to die!" a girly shriek caught his eyes as he neared the clearing designated for the training of the members of the newspaper club and Haiji, with the obvious exception of the trainer himself.
When he was accused of not owning up to his words, the teen only needed to point at his face to let all objections case. His recent clash with freelance hitmen was more tasking on his body than he first realized, thanks to the use of some of his special moves.
If it was possible he got even paler, his body's temperature was much warmer than normal for it to be healthy but not yet a true fever, his eyes were sunken and he felt tired all the time. It didn't help that once or sometimes twice a day Moka would drain a bit of blood from him, both to sate her own hunger and because allegedly it helped against the drawbacks of the poison inside him.
He started wearing the watch Dino sent him, full of the mafia boss's sky flames, hoping that its slight sun property would help him. Though it had worked somewhat, it simply wasn't enough, so he took to simply doing his best not to stand out and try not to attract trouble. Thankfully he had Tsukune for that, a readily available sacrificial lamb, to throw out to the vultures while he simply walked away.
It was a viable strategy and a learning experience for his student, despite the latter's valiant protests for this method.
"So who's dying this time?" he asked loudly as he stepped into the clearing, a bored look on his face as he stifled a yawn. Another night spent with confusing, feverish dreams that managed to confuse and tire him out even further somehow.
The picture that met him when he finally arrived was best described as utter and unmanageable chaos. Because everyone had different strengths and weaknesses as well as different areas they wanted or needed to work on, Tsuna was forced to come up with individual training for all the participants.
Moka was mock-sparring with Haiji in a rather untouched corner, mostly the karate club captain instructing her on how to punch and kick properly as well proper stances to use her above-average strength to her full potential. The girl, thanks to her already rather inhumane abilities and the seal placed on her, was a really tough one to try and train. Most physical training would be either useless or offer little in terms of improving her.
That was what led to the decision to simply train her ability to fight, to be able to protect herself if she ended up in trouble and Tsuna was not around to take off her rosary. But since Tsuna's style was no style at all and utilized both his flames and Hyper Intuition to a ridiculous degree, he was not the best teacher for her. That left Haiji, who was very much enthusiastic about spreading the ways of Karate, even if said vampire was a little frightened by the prospect but still did her best. It was slow going but better than nothing.
Of course, it wouldn't mean anything if the karate enthusiast wasn't training himself and it was where Tsuna's expertise in physical conditioning came in.
Thanks to vigorous training, Haiji had little room for improvement, his physical abilities were already impressive but it didn't mean training was worthless for someone like him. The large teen had various weights placed on his body, his wrist, his shoulder blades, ankles, all of them ridiculously heavy.
Still, even this was barely a workout for the karate captain, so the weights were connected by springs, forming a restraint around his body that made even the smallest movement at least fifty times harder. Yet even with that, he barely showed down while he showed Moka the basics of karate.
The only evidence that he had to work for it was the sweat pouring out of his body.
The two were training normally, not even bothered by the screams of pain and panic that rang around, either getting too used to this, which was a real possibility, or simply too absorbed in their current task.
His head slowly turned, looking at how the other female members of the group were handling the training.
Yukari, who would also receive a little hand-to-hand training later, since she was basically defenseless if someone got hold of her wand, was currently doing some physical conditioning, though it was still lighter than what he started Tsukune on. It's because she was still a youkai so even untrained and unused to this as she was, her base abilities already surpassed the average high schooler.
That meant she was on the rather light regiment of running around the outer ring of the clearing, a fridge tied to her waist and Gyudon, surrounded by lightning flames chasing her. She was struggling, her almost customary witch cap nowhere to be found, and from the dirt and bull footprints covering her, the large bull was winning their contest.
"I hate you!" a female voice raged at him, causing Tsuna to almost smirk in a way eerily familiar to his former tutor as he looked up and met Kurumu's furious eyes. "I hate you from the bottom of my heart! If I ever get down I will castrate you and then force you to do it." she yelled at him, rather uncharacteristically angry before with a pained grunt she was forced to move her body.
The succubus's feet were tied into a large branch and she was left hanging down, a large pyre under her. The fire was just large enough to reach the end of her hair if she stayed down long enough, but for a girl that loved her looks just as much as her, it could have been a death sentence either way. Thus she was forced to lean back and forth as long as she could to keep the fire away from her.
She was already doing this for at least half an hour and she was understandably exhausted and judging by her tone of voice, not a little cranky. Her whole body was covered by sweat, both because of the heat and the exercise itself. The end of her hair was slightly burned, probably by staying low for too long but it looked salvageable.
Though what does he know? Outside of Reborn forcing him to clean up for any official meetings, he didn't tend to care a ridiculous amount on his or other's looks most of the time.
"You are doing great Kurumu. Keep it up, you will improve in no time," he told her, ignoring her threat entirely, too used to things like that. It was still tame in comparison to the worst he heard. Who knew air-headed Yamamoto could out curse a sailor?
He turned around but was stopped when Kurumu called out to him.
"Don't you dare turn your back on me." she yelled but the effect was ruined by being upside down and panting as she tried to lean forward as much as she could."What's the point of doing this idiotic training? I asked you to help me master my illusions, not ruin my hair."
Letting out a sigh, he turned back to her, stifling another yawn. His teacher never was one for straightforwardly explaining why he was doing various exercises and courtesy of that, he tended to skip over the details himself but he supposed the girl deserved to know this at least.
"Tell me something Kurumu. If you were to use an illusion of your enemy being surrounded by fire, what would you focus on?"
"What would I focus on?" she asked as let herself down, even her arms as she started thinking about the question, forgetting about the fire beneath her. "I suppose I would concentrate on the heat and-" she let out a yelp as the fire suddenly increased and slightly burned the tip of her finger before she pulled her arms and herself up as much as she could.
"Exactly that. The sensation of burning." he told her with a small smirk, enjoying the widening of the succubus' eyes."When you cast an illusion you deceive the senses of the other, to experience a sensation that isn't there. If it's strong enough, you can even make their body believe it and act accordingly. But for that, you need to have a strong sense of the effects, down to the littlest detail. It's not enough to remember that fire is hot and supposed to burn, you have to know intimately what it would cause and how it would feel." he lectured her, crossing his arms unconsciously.
At first, he didn't understand how powerful illusions could be and at the same time how hard pulling them off was. Part of it was his own intuition that helped him look past it but another part was simply because most people he knew were head and above shoulders above most mist and illusion users.
Mukuro was in a class of his own and while Chrome couldn't rate on the same stage, it wasn't lack of ability on her part but lack of confidence. Mammon, Fran, they were all among the one percent of mist users who were truly a force to be reckoned with.
Even Genkishi, the so-called Phantom Knight, was a little above average in terms of his illusion powers, since he mainly used them to support his sword style.
Though after being exposed to more variety of their kind, he could tell the difference between a passable illusionist and a real one. And it might be the Reborn in him, but he absolutely refused to have anyone training under him be less than perfect.
Sure Kurumu might already beat most human mists by a mile but by the time he was done with her, she would easily be able to go toe to toe with the likes of Mukuro.
"As for the physical training," he continued, giving a smirk and a shrug. "With the exception of Yukari, you are the weakest physically and it would serve you well to be a bit more fit, in case your illusions fall and forced into close-range combat." he blinked suddenly, tilting his head at her before adding."And it would do wonders for your figure too."
Predictably, her response to that wasn't the kindest one.
"What do you mean by that, you bastard? There is nothing wrong with my figure, everything is perfectly proportioned for Tsukune's liking. I will show you, this idiotic training, I will get it done with a breeze and I will use it to torment you for eternity." she raged on but Tsuna already turned away and walked toward the boys' section of the clearing where Tsukune and Gin were training.
As he arrived he couldn't help but smirk victoriously as he stared down at Gin, who was shooting him murderous looks but couldn't do anything else at the moment.
The werewolf didn't want to participate in the training, saying that it's not like he could teach him anything important and he was mainly there to ogle the girls. Point to him, he was able to say that with a straight face to Kurumu's and Moka's face.
After the divine retribution he rightfully earned, Tsuna used the chance and carried him away before he could properly focus and put him to work. Gin of course put up a fight but it was more like he did it for his image because he rather quickly gave up and started the regiment Tsuna dreamed up for him. It didn't take long for him to start regretting it, though.
Gin's main strength was his speed, something that Tsuna had to admit was a pain to deal with and really useful but at the moment Gin was too reliant on the boost given by the full moon. His endurance was rather poor, so if anyone caught him, he could be taken out of the fight easily.
With that in mind, the training given to him by Tsuna had two main objectives. Raise his basic speed as much as he could, so he could bring out more even without the full moon and work on his endurance so he would be able to last longer.
Honestly, the club president was already head and shoulders above compared to the rest of the club, truly the difference between a first and second year was vast. But Tsuna never missed the chance to tortu-, cough, train his friends, especially someone like Gin.
The werewolf was strapped down with heavyweights, especially focusing on his legs, and was thrown into a rather large pond. It wasn't deep enough for him to drown but he was still mostly underwater, to increase the difficulty of moving. And to top it all, he put a couple of his recently acquired piranha into the mix to provide Gin with a little incentive to start moving like crazy.
The pond was created by one of the unused mines that were left behind by the previous batch. It was a patchwork at best but it was good for its intended purpose. The piranhas, the youkai-influenced kind, which he learned were five times more vicious and went after just about anything with ferocity, were obtained through the use of the school's smuggling ring.
It might have been the mafia boss inside him but he was carefully expanding the number of smugglers he was working with, creating connections, and getting his name out of there. While the school's student-managed enforcers were making things harder, he would have to deal with them sooner or later or abandon this idea altogether.
"Still alive?" he asked with a small smirk as he met the glare of the rather wet werewolf as he was forced to continue running around, trying to keep the piranhas away any way he could think of.
Of course, the first thing Gin tried was getting out of the pond but unfortunately to him, Tsuna already thought of it. A fence surrounded the pond, tall enough that he couldn't just jump over from it, at least not with the weights and being in the water. Worse, a large dose of electricity was running through the fence which combined with water, was not something that was heavily encouraged even to a youkai.
The fence was powered by Lambo who was standing nearby, hooked up on cables and forced to constantly draw out his lightning flames, his face frowning in intense concentration.
"If I ever get out of this pond, I will make you regret this. Mark my words Sawada." he snarled out that might have been more intimidating if he didn't add a yelp afterward, jumping into the air in shock. Apparently one of the piranhas decided to take a taste of the werewolf behind.
"You will thank me for it later. Probably, maybe." he shrugged in response, giving a jaunty wave as he walked off, toward the last of his torture, I mean training participants.
As he walked, Tsuna couldn't help but contemplate the way things ended up. Honestly, when he first shot Tsukune with a dying will bullet, he had no idea why he did or what he planned to do afterward.
Sure they were both humans, in a school where this very fact would ensure their death, so he somewhat sympathized with him. And with apparently how much of a trouble magnet he was, it was almost a full-time job to keep him alive. But even then, he didn't have to go to the lengths he did, training him and subtly introducing him to the world of mafia.
He could have stopped his training after the skull disease fiasco. His mastery of dying will was at an adequate level to survive in here if he didn't look for fights, yet Tsuna didn't stop and continued, even going as far as to ask Lal for help with his fighting style.
Tsuna arrived at Tsukune's part of the clearing, watching with impassive eyes as he continued to struggle.
The poor guy was standing in the horse-riding stance of karate, holding up two large buckets filled with water that was swaying a little dangerously. Tsukune had small bands on his arms, near the shoulder, that had small curved blades pointing towards his body, to further encourage ideas of lowering his arms. To finish the assembly, two large rocks were put on his knees that, like the buckets, were swaying a little and looked close to falling off.
His trembling form was also surrounded by small craters, caused by the low-powered mines he planted, that would react even to a drop of water from the buckets, exploding and making him lose his balance, causing a chain reaction that would make him end up in a world of hurt.
The various burns attributed to that, yet surprisingly the teen was still standing. Swaying dangerously, a moment away from falling over and at the end of his strength but still standing. Probably the only reason he came so far is his slowly awakening flames passively helping him.
That didn't stop him from looking at Tsuna as if he was the devil himself, already anticipating whatever insane order was being added to his regiment.
"Alright, Tsukune, good work. Take a little rest, you deserved it." or the world might be ending and he was just allowed to stop training for once. Naturally, he was suspicious.
"Wait, really?" he asked with wonder and instinctively his arms started to lower themselves before he suddenly pulled them back up, looking at Tsuna as if trying to spot something."You never just let me finish training. What's the catch?"
"No catch." he shrugged, not even looking a bit apologetic by the natural suspicion aimed at him."The others are also mostly done so I thought we could finish earlier today."
"Wow. I can't even imagine that is true," he admitted without shame, about to let go of the buckets when a thought occurred to him."Wait, what about the mines?"
Tsuna looked around, his eyes carefully examining every place he planted mines, seeing all of them nothing more than craters.
"Don't worry, there are no mines around," he told him with a shrug much to the incredulous stare of Tsukune.
"Seriously? Then why was I standing here like an idiot for all this time?" he could help but ask before deciding not to care about it. He promptly dropped both rocks and buckets, letting his aching body get a moment of rest.
Too bad that as soon as his back reached the ground, a mine under him blew up, sending him flying a few feet away...straight into another mine. Another series of explosions ran through the clearing, along with Tsukune's fading cries, leaving Tsuna sheepishly scratching the side of his face.
"WHY?" Tsukune cried once the explosion stopped, landing him into Gin's pond and the piranhas easily took to the slower prey.
"There, there, Tsukune-kun. Good as new." Kurumu said with a glowing smile, despite the tears in her clothes and haggard appearance as she finished bandaging Tsukune's arm, the teen looking almost black from all the grime he got caught in.
They were sitting around on a large picnic blanket, the delicious breakfast made by the girls filling most of it as they eagerly dug into it, exhausted from the brutal training. Tsukune, full of wounds and bandages, was split between bliss and pain as Kurumu who sat next to him tried to feed him, which would have been much more enjoyable without his wounds. Tsuna was slowly eating across him, a dead tired Yukari leaning on his side and Moka sitting at the other, the vampire acting strangely distracted.
"Why senpai? Why did you tell me there were no more mines?" he asked, tear-filled eyes accusing the former mafia boss who showed no hint of regret as he shrugged.
"It was an honest mistake. I can't remember each and every trap I ever planted. I can admit I am a tad paranoid." he said, before biting into his sandwich, savoring the rich taste.
"More like a sadistic bastard." Gin grumbled under his breath, staring at the fish in front of him with distaste.
"Careful, or I might consider adding electric eels to the pond next time I throw you in," Tsuna said off-handedly, not even looking in his direction.
"You are proving my point." the werewolf shot back but quickly retreated when a glare was directed at him, much to Haiji's amusement who looked the least winded out of them.
The others laughed at the byplay, while Tsukune sulked at his point. The human felt, especially after the last fight, that he just isn't going anywhere. Sure, he was taking Tsuna's insane training regiments with more vigor than ever but against youkai, it didn't seem to account for anything. Even with the dying will, he was simply no match for their opponents and had to be rescued.
He knew he was being unreasonable. As a human, he was at a natural disadvantage and even Tsuna's dying will pills would take him only so far with no way to direct or control it. Didn't mean he wasn't feeling frustrated, especially since Tsuna faced them down, even with his apparent health conditions, and made it look so easy.
The group descended into silence, enjoying the food when Moka suddenly let out a quiet sound, standing up in a hurry. Tsuna noted the rather odd behavior and raised an eyebrow toward her but made no other move himself.
Noticing his expression the pink vampire let out an apologetic smile as she sent a small bow toward him.
"Sorry, Tsuna, I gotta run. I have promised a friend to meet them this morning and I want to have a chance for a quick shower first," she stated apologetically before quickly gathering her things and leaving in a hurry.
Tsuna didn't say anything but he would lie if he said his interest wasn't piqued. Despite her apparent popularity in the school she had relatively few people she would call friends. It was because of her earnest and straightforward nature, either you were her friend all the way or were simply acquaintances. Because of that, as her designated best friend he tended to know of any friend she made, which still consisted mostly of the newspaper club members.
Still, there was no reason to worry. Despite her naive attitude, she had a good head on her shoulders, and worst comes to worst there was still Ura. Just because he didn't know who this new friend of hers was, what they wanted or anything at all, he wasn't suddenly preparing several contingencies to act upon in the case, as was usual in this school, anything happened.
It was a little sad that he couldn't even convince himself of that. He might have blamed the recent incident for becoming more paranoid than usual but he knew he wasn't fooling anybody, least of all himself.
Yet, despite this, he didn't even say a word as he gave her a wave and turned back to his sandwich as if nothing happened.
"Wait, who is Moka meeting?" Tsukune asked, looking confused and a little bit alarmed and Tsuna had to smother a smile. His student was really dependable if it came to asking questions that he didn't want to ask but needed the answers all the same.
"You didn't know?" Kurumu asked with surprise, tilting her head when the teen shook his head."Yesterday a pretty boy named Inui Junya showed up out of nowhere and started chatting her up. Apparently, he is also a vampire and he had been meaning to talk with her for a while. She immediately began talking to him all day, even forgetting about me." she grumbled. under her breath, frowning into her food."It seems even now she is meeting him before school, instead of hanging out with us."
Tsuna let out a frown at the information. Another vampire showing up sounded more bad news than anything, from what he gathered from his other sources, vampires were prideful and vain, and by all accounts compared to most, Ura was easy to deal with. The sudden appearance of a new vampire and his apparent fixation on Moka didn't sound good at all.
Inui Junya. Guess he should talk to his contacts among the student populace, find out as much about him as he could before he could turn out to be an enemy, and catch them off-guard.
Still, he had to admit part of him was surprised how quickly Moka and Kurumu became friends, despite the succubus's initial one-sided rivalry against her for the affections of Tsukune. Though considering that Kurumu was awakening her own dying will flames, and wasn't that a surprise that he still couldn't figure out the reasons for and the vampire's outer personality's sky attribute flame, he shouldn't have been so surprised.
It was clear that as unconsciously as she was doing it, she was drawing guardians around her. Tsuna had to admit it was a bit surreal and an interesting experience watching it happen to someone else.
"Inui Junya, huh?" Gin asked with a pensive frown on his face, instantly gathering the others' attention.
"Do you know him, senpai?" Tsukune asked in a rare show of respect toward the club president who simply waved him away.
"Not personally but I have heard of him. From what I hear he is a womanizer, chatting up every beautiful girl and mercilessly playing with their hearts. A real scumbag, that one. " he explained, righteous anger in his eyes as he stood up, ready to chase after Moka and save her innocence.
"You know that awful sounds a lot like you. Aren't you talking about yourself by accident?" Haiji asked with a smirk, causing the werewolf to lose his balance and fall to his face in a most comical manner, much to the others' amusement.
"Why you-? You wanna take it outside?" Gin growled, getting into Haiji's face, both of them forgetting whatever exhaustion they were feeling a moment ago.
"I'm ready whenever you are." the karate club leader returned the challenge, standing up with a vicious grin on his face.
Tsukune sweatdropped at their antics that were turning into something completely usual to their daily routine, like Moka sucking Tsuna's blood, but he couldn't help but feel alarmed by Gin's earlier words.
"Wait, you said he is a womanizer? Does that mean he is trying to seduce Moka...san?" he trailed off as all of them grasped for their breath as a sudden suffocating feeling enveloping a whole clearing.
Kurumu dropped her food in her shock, Lambo let out a yelp, jumping into the air and landing in Yukari's lap, the two younger kids clutching each other for safety. Even Gin and Haiji stopped their impromptu fight, alarmed and ready to attack. All of them felt as if they were about to die any moment, the strange feeling was simply a polite way to warm them in advance.
Then the feeling vanished, leaving behind no trance and allowed them to breathe a little easier. As one, all of them turned toward the one member of the group who didn't react to the sudden presence. Indeed Tsuna was calmly eating, oblivious to what went down a moment ago, and looked up, an eyebrow raised in question when he found everyone looking at him.
"What is it?" he asked, acting clueless as he took another bite of his food.
The others looked at each other and decided without words that they would rather do everything in their power to forget about that strange feeling and never experience it again. It simply wasn't worth it.
"Shouldn't we do something about that guy though?" Yukari hesitantly spoke up, looking at Tsuna as if awaiting his approval."To make sure that he isn't playing with Moka-nee's heart?"
Her idea was immediately shot down by Tsuna who simply looked bored.
"She is not a little child, she can look after herself," he stated, letting out a hearty yawn as he finished his food, looking ready for a nap.
Disheartened Yukari looked down and the group descended into a short silence. Of course, such a state couldn't hold for long and eventually, Tsuna stood up, stretching his body, giving it a satisfying pop.
"Alright, the break is over. Tsukune, get back to training, we still have a little time before school," he stated but was interrupted by said student who looked a little embarrassed, yet still resolute as he looked Tsuna in the eye.
"Actually senpai, I want to learn more about using the dying will flame. Like that ice trick you used," he said with a hopeful look that was immediately shot down.
"No chance. Go back to physical training."
"But senpai-" he started to object but with a glare, Tsuna shut him up.
"It's not a game, Tsukune. If you tried anything more than you were able to handle, you would die." Tsuna said, his glare unrelenting and stopping all possible objections in his throat."Unless you can show a resolve that I can believe would see you through, it's better if you stick to the basics."
The others were watching with intrigue, not used to the two flame-users talking about things in front of them. It was mostly because Tsukune, by his own words, was a complete newbie at it and barely knew what he was doing and Tsuna simply didn't air his secrets.
"But how would I know if I can do it if you only have me do idiotic things like walking through a minefield?" Tsukune objected, in a rare show of standing up to his self-proclaimed senpai.
Tsuna sighed at that, raising his head before calling out to Lambo.
"Lambo, spar with Tsukune," he ordered, the young boy not hesitating for a moment stood up and started to walk a little to the side. "Use your horns, flames and even Gyudon to your heart's content, just don't kill him." he said before he addressed Tsukune with a hard glare that instantly made the teen tense up. Lambo's rather loud cheer didn't help either."If you can maintain your dying will for five minutes while sparring with Lambo, without getting knocked out of it even once, we can talk. Until then, get to it." he ordered with a finality in his tone.
Seeing there was no point in arguing with him at this point, the human teenager lowered his head and obediently stood up, joining Lambo.
"Wasn't that a bit much?" Kurumu asked after the two walked away and started sparring, Tsukune yelling his customary 'Do it with my dying will' battle cry. She was much more hesitant about asking for it, seeing the tired look in Tsuna's eyes.
"Who knows? It is hard training Tsukune, with his eagerness to jump into danger," he admitted, laying on the ground and closing his eyes, apparently ready to nap.
"Why? Were you that much different from him?" Gin asked with a smirk, secretly trying to fish a little about the still rather mysterious mafioso's past.
"Yeah." to the surprise of all, Tsuna admitted it rather easily. "When I was standing at that same threshold as him, I was reluctant to go forward." he opened his eyes, watching Tsukune pushed back by Gyudon's charge."That idiot simply doesn't understand I'm trying to keep him safe. Once he makes that step, there will be no going back for him."
"Though it is good to keep a student away from danger, one could say it is their choice alone whether to risk their life on the line or not." a voice answered him from above, the others flinched in surprise, with the obvious exception of Tsuna and Gin who sensed the unannounced arrival and Haiji who simply didn't care as he gave the fight his full attention.
Standing just behind Tsuna, a teen their age was standing, a large box on his back and the post office uniform in him. He had a rather large scar on his forehead and a large, innocent smile as he stared at the scene in front of him.
"Good morning Itadaki-san." the former mafioso greeted him with an honest smile, nodding in greeting."Can I assume you got something for me?" he asked with obvious mirth that was returned by the first-year Post Office Club member as he pulled the box down from his back and placed it next to Tsuna.
It was a long, unremarkable box, a little shorter than his arm and about thrice as wide. It didn't have any obvious locking mechanism on it but Tsuna's trained eyes already caught the hidden switches favored by the mafia and his smile turned a bit vicious. If it was what he thought it was, he would have to thank Lal Mirch in some way when he gets the time.
"Yep. You sure keep us busy Sawada-san, you have more stuff for us to do than the rest of the students combined." he laughed cheerily as he also produced a paper and a pen for Tsuna to sign off.
"What can I say, I have my needs." he answered, smiling mysteriously as he handed the paper back to Itadaki."I assume you still have errands to run?" he asked, not wanting to hold the teen up. He was a useful contact and he would rather keep a good relationship with the first-year post office worker who was much stronger than he looked.
"Thankfully, that was my last stop before classes starts so I can take it a little easy." he said, though he was interrupted as a rather loud growl left his stomach, Itadaki blushing in embarrassment at the sound."Guess I forgot to eat breakfast again." he admitted scratching the back of his head.
Tsuna only snorted before gesturing to him to take a seat, raising one of the sandwiches toward him.
"You are welcome to join. Not like we could eat all of that by ourselves," he told them, Itadaki gratefully accepting and taking a seat at the open spot next to Tsuna.
"Itadakimasu," he said before biting into the offered food, letting out a delightful sound as he tasted it. Then a moment later he started wolfing it down like a man who hasn't eaten in days, if not weeks.
Gin eyed the teen with distrust before finally snorting silently, meeting Tsuna's eyes. A very quick and silent conversation went down between them before the werewolf simply went back to eating his own food.
"But that was supposed to be Tsukune's portion." Kurumu softly objected, sending Tsukune a concerned look just as he let out a cry, falling on his back, his concentration broken.
"So?" he asked with a shrug, completely uncaring about his student's situation. "Let it be a lesson for him. IF he feels like he can just go over his limits just like that, let him reap the consequences of it." he told her, going back to his food. He also distinctly remembered all the food he lost to Reborn, the rather vicious fights at the table for survival. It would be a fitting lesson for Tsukune.
"What package did you get Tsuna-nii?" Yukari asked with a curious tilt of her head, trying to change the subject.
"Hm? Don't worry about it, it's for a project I am working on to amuse myself," he replied easily, his face not even twitching at the lie he told her but it was necessary
He couldn't tell just that he contacted one of his more reliable mafia contacts, a former teacher for the Italian military who could boast training the current rain arcobaleno as well as some other notorious feats. Lal might not have been as well-known as Reborn or even her pupil Colonello to most people but despite her general impatience, she was a top-notch combat instructor.
With his current available contacts, she was the best to advise him on what sort of fighting style would fit Tsukune the best as well as help acquiring the needed components. Not to mention filling her in with the recent happenings resulted in fewer tears and crying than if he talked to Dino, so that was definitely a plus in contacting her.
"Itadaki-san." a thought occurred to him, he called out to the post office runner who stopped stuffing his face for a moment and looked up attentively. "We are looking forward to working with you handing out this semester's school newspaper." he said with a smile, catching Gin's eye and giving him a subtle nod.
He wasn't kidding when he mentioned wanting to work with the post office to hand out the newspaper and he did talk with Gin about it. The upper-year was strangely apprehensive about the idea but eventually conceded that it would lighten the load on the club's shoulders with a great deal and he went off to meet the mysterious president of the Post Office club and brokered out a deal.
He didn't have a clue to what was agreed specifically, the werewolf keeping a tight lid on his mouth for once but it didn't matter. What mattered to the paranoid mafioso was that it would offer him more chances to interact with Itadaki, get a gauge of his character and strength and decide if he would be a worthwhile ally or an eventual enemy.
"I'll be in your care." Itadaki bowed with an honest smile, so pure that Tsuna, so used to people lying or being less than honest, found himself a little caught off-guard and could only return the bow with his head.
"What is this about?" Kurumu asked, feeling a little lost. Yukari nodded in agreement, her eyes jumping between the two teens and a small voice in the back of his head told Tsuna he was better off not knowing what she was thinking about.
"Don't worry about it." Tsuna simply dismissed the question before he stood up, stretching his back a little."Well I will be on my way, I have a few things to do before classes so see you guys later." he said, nodding toward the two second-years and Itadaki, sending a wave to Yukari and Kurumu.
"Wait, what about Tsukune?" Kurumu spoke up, feeling like she had to question him for the umpteenth time that day which prompted a sigh from him.
"He will get tired eventually. But there is no way he can complete the task I gave him today. Honestly, I would be surprised he would finish it in a week." he told her, not even looking back as he walked away. He had a few things to do and an unknown vampire to investigate to be on the safe side.
Just as he was about to leave he caught a hint of something purple from the corner of his eyes, which caused him to snort softly before ignoring it. Looks like another fellow showed up, probably with their own heap of troubles. And if he knew anything about Tsukune, his student will end up involved one way or another which would mean he would have to be helped or outright rescued at some point.
What would he do for a day where really nothing happened sometimes.
Shirayuki Mizore always felt alone and detached from the world around her, viewing it with indifference as she sucked her lollipop, unnoticed by most people. She should have been used to it by now, yet there was still a part of her, a young, naive little girl who was hurt by it nonetheless.
Her demeanor and personality tended to freak people out, yet despite being burned in the past repeatedly she couldn't help but reach out again and again. In bright contrast to her nature as a youkai, she was a very passionate individual who couldn't help but put all her energy into whatever course she decided to take.
Such as like now, peeking out from behind a lonely tree, her body all but completely hidden watching the person whose mere presence rekindled the fires of her passion and she couldn't help but blush like the maiden she was as she was observing him, his slightly toned boy on display for her to gaze upon.
He was unassuming at a first glance but once she started to look at him seriously she couldn't help but be intrigued.
A person who for some reason always ended up in his underwear, a bright flame on his forehead and shouting ridiculous things as he ran forward, uncaring of anything in his path. She noticed him before, they were in the same class after all but dismissed him, but that changed one day.
She was simply walking through a corridor when he passed her, his powers blazing despite them not being supposed to reveal their true forms, swearing on his dying will of all things, so close they almost touched. And then she felt it. A fire, so warm and blinding, burning and inviting at the same time, the very opposite of her own nature. Yet she found herself caught in its warmth, the earnest, honest feeling it gave to her and suddenly all she could see was him, a purpose in his every step, that fire filling her every sense.
After that, her interest was piqued. she started to pay more and more attention to him. She found out he was a member of the newspaper club and she even found a previous, small, emergency newspaper made by them earlier in the semester and she instantly found a small article written by him.
It was short and to the point but to her, who was always much more observant than most people, it told her so much about who he was as a person and she felt captivated by his words, by his soul. She started watching him whenever she could from afar, trying to find the perfect moment to approach him, to tell him what she thought of his work but it was not easy, he was almost never alone.
There were two girls constantly around him, Akashiya Moka and Kurono Kurumu, allegedly the two most beautiful girls in their year, maybe even the whole school, if the rumor mill could be believed. She didn't see what was so great about them, draping themselves around him like they did, much to her annoyance. She wanted to do something about that so badly, they clearly didn't understand him, not like her but she had to bide her time.
Yet they were not the biggest obstacle in approaching her person of interest but the one called Sawada Tsunayoshi. He was a rather plain and unassuming first year who for some reason was almost always around her beloved, making him do more and more ridiculous training, while he was sitting back, relaxing. He was nothing special at first glance but she knew better, people watching was a hobby of hers that she liked to say she perfected.
Almost every move of his was false, calculated. From the way he slightly hunched, appearing not threatening at all, to the way he smiled to charm people, they weren't real. His eyes were always watching the others as if expecting to be attacked constantly, from the unlikeliest sources, and always made sure to be in the best position to react to anything. He was a person used to commanding or at least using other people for his whims and he simply humored everyone around him by acting somewhat normal.
She wouldn't exactly call him someone bad, she didn't get that sense from him but he wasn't exactly trustworthy in her eyes. Sawada probably wasn't training him, guiding her beloved from the kindness of his heart and that made her wary but still, she stayed her hand, not wanting to act prematurely and make a bad impression.
Mizore finally resolved to approach her beloved, Tsukune after recent events. She caught him once again running across the school in full glory but this time she felt a sense of anger accompanying him. Intrigued, she went after him, a little slower and she witnessed the newspaper club fighting a couple of other youkai.
At first, they seemed to lose against their single opponent and she considered interrupting just for his sake but the tables turned with the appearance of a few others and finally Sawada Tsunayoshi. Still, for some reason she decided to intervene, sending a single dagger made of her power to give Sawada an opening.
In the end, they turned out to be victorious and she was treated to something she never thought possible, fire turning into ice, by its volition. Sawada encasing his opponent in a large ice prison, similar to her own technique. It intrigued and awed her, almost completely revealing herself in shock but managed to remain hidden from them, or at least except for Sawada.
She mused if Sawada can do something like this, Tsukune who seemed to share his brand of power if only at a different intensity, surely he could do something like this. That meant he was similar to her once again and she finally mustered up the courage to approach him.
And as luck would have it she got her perfect chance. After Sawada and the vampire left early, the others also left slowly with Tsukune going back toward the dorms, saying he wanted to shower after the beating he received from the small child.
She waited patiently for him to come out of the dorms, keeping a careful watch on him but for once refraining to peek at him during the shower. Ending up flustered before her introduction wouldn't help with making a good first impression.
As he stepped out of the dorms, making his way on the currently empty path toward the school she hurried after him, giving a single glance to herself in a nearby window.
While she wouldn't call herself a classical beauty like Akashiya or Kurono, she was confident in her charms. She had long light purple, blue eyes that had a bit of purple at the top. Her skin was pale because of her nature but it only seemed to highlight her face, even if her default expression was rather passive. She wasn't wearing the uniform, instead, she wore an assemble of a light brown pleated checkered skirt, a white sweatshirt with long dark blue sleeves with a black singlet underneath, a yellow pendant, long dark & light purple striped stockings with white shoes, and a belt tied to her left leg,
She let out a small smile, playing with the lollipop in her mouth before following Tsukune, carefully guarding the distance from the main building, to tell the best place to intercept him.
She felt a giddy expression come over her face at the thought of finally introducing herself, finding somebody who could understand her and not reject or use her but she quickly forced her face into a bit more passive expression. She was eager, there was no question of it but it wouldn't do to scare him by getting too forward.
Seeing they arrived at the perfect spot she carefully stepped out of the tree that she was behind, stepping into the open road, ignoring the small discomfort she felt. Ever since she was little she didn't feel like staying in open spaces by herself, with nothing around her, that's why she tended to hide behind objects, trees, doors, or even furniture. Even a single object to lean on helped fight down the uncomfortable feeling.
She hastened her steps, approaching him. She made sure to keep her steps audible, to alert him that someone was walking behind him. She was almost behind him when he finally noticed her presence, looking back, his expression indicating surprise.
"Aono Tsukune," she called out, in her usual aloof manner, not stopping until she was directly in front of him, so close that their noses almost touched.
"Can I help you with something?" he asked with a hint of nervousness, an expression that made her inside oddly giddy for evoking it, as he leaned back but didn't step back.
She had to admit, he was looking even better from up close than from afar. He wasn't a classically handsome guy, more ordinary than anything but he had a presence around him that seemed to turn eyes toward him nonetheless. And thanks to the slightly more confident stance that he was using, compared to a few weeks before, made him look all the more appealing.
"You are cuter than I thought," she said what was at the forefront of her mind with a small smile, instead of bothering with what she painfully thought up, to lead the conversation in the right direction. She blushed slightly as his attention remained on her unwavering."I'm a fan." she said, pulling out a newspaper, to bring the attention away from her embarrassment.
It was the special edition newspaper made by the newspaper club to expose the previous art teacher, Sini-something, not that she really cared. What was more important, it also had a rather small but intriguing article about general school life, made by the very boy in front of her.
"Thank you?" he said with uncertainty, his eyes falling to the paper in her hand back to her face, seemingly a bit unnerved by her stare.
Mizore didn't let it bother her though. She knew very well she could get very intense, which tends to make people uncomfortable but she knew as the one who can understand her so much, Tsukune will be getting used to it more than easy enough.
"I've read it. The newspaper you passed out a little while ago." she said in her usual monotone voice, though if one was careful enough they could hear the subtle signs of her excitement."I liked your articles, they really resonated with me." she admitted, pulling out her lollipop and smiling at him serenely."My name is Shiroyaki Mizore, nice to meet you."
"Ah, nice to meet you." Tsukune answered, a little flustered as a small blush appeared on his face."I'm Aono Tsukune."
"I know," she replied, once again sucking on her lollipop.
Silence descended between them, Tsukune not able to find what to say to such a simple declaration, while Mizore was content to look into his skittish eyes, enjoying getting close to him without hiding.
Ironically enough neither of them noticed a new stalker appearing, peeking out from behind a nearby tree. purple eyes narrowed at the intimate looking scene, with Mizore almost draping herself over the embarrassed human.
"Just what do you think you are doing with my Destined One?" she whispered angrily, her grip on the tree tightening. Just under her, a witch's hat was peeking out too, looking at the scene with more amusement in anger.
Extra Story: Battle of the Storms
"Tch." Coyote narrowed his eyes as he watched the smokescreen, ignoring his water eyes or the urge to cough."I told you, your little tricks won't save you." he declared, before tightening his fist, a large amount of storm flames gathering in it.
He punched forward, intending to blow away the little irritation and with the storm flames added it, kill the brat in one strike, so he could turn his attention toward Xanxus' little, irritating puppy.
He was getting too old for this, already his bones were creaking in protest but the boss' orders were absolute.
His punch blew away the smoke with no problem but he stopped in shock as some kind of wall met his fist that refused to yield even with the generous amount of flames generated by the Vongola ring.
He let out a quiet sound of surprise as his vision cleared and he saw what got in his way. It was a strange circle made of black bones, with rather potent storm flames surrounding it and created a solid shield entirely made out of flames.
Even more incredible, it was easily able to block a punch from him. Granted he was no longer in his prime nor he put all his power into the attack but he was not the strongest guardian of the ninth generation for nothing. Equipped with the Vongola ring, there should have been very few individuals currently alive who could stand up to him.
"Sistema C.A.I., activation complete." he heard the young storm brat mutter as his form was slowly revealed. He was surrounded by those strange bone circles, at least three more lazily circling him, two small and one large one, the large one facing in the direction of the Varia assassin.
Coyote had to admit, it was smart thinking, not leaving his back open to his second opponent, but that slight appreciation was quickly squashed as he continued to observe the brat. His belt, which had nothing attached to it a moment ago, had a lot of little boxes hanging from it now. They were red, with small marks on them, though he couldn't decipher what they might have meant.
But the most eye-catching difference was on the brat's left arm. A strange metallic tube was attached to his arms, a large skull on the end, just above his wrist, and a smaller opposite to it. On the right hand of the brat, he had five skull-shaped rings, all of them lit up with the flame of the dying will.
To make matters both interesting and worrying, each of the rings was lit up with different flames, lightning, storm, sun, rain, and cloud, starting from his thumb to his pinkie.
"What the-?" he asked in shock. The equipment seemed familiar, he might have read something similar of the many reports that got through him but Gokudera Hayato's current arsenal didn't contain anything like that. At least according to the CEDEF's report on him.
"I didn't want to reveal it so soon, my trump card but I guess I have no other choice." the brat scoffed, before he opened one of the strange boxes, a small tube coming off of it, that he quickly put into the smaller skull's port, the other end pointed straight at him."Have a taste of my Sistema C.A.I. Cloud tube!" he cried before the tube opened and the attack was launched.
He might have been confused by the strange weapons but Coyote didn't survive for this long on luck alone. The strange shield suddenly disappeared and he instinctively jumped back, arms raised, ready to block the attack as he carefully watched the path it was making.
Only, it seemed Gokudera anticipated him trying to block it, because the dark red beam of flame that he launched suddenly split into two, then two more, before turning into a large tree-like attack that launched almost uncountable small attacks at the same time.
Cursing to himself, all the Storm Guardian could do was summon as many storm flames as he could as the attack landed. Several landed on the two buildings next to it, some fell in front of him into the ground, while some struck the pavement behind him but even then, a few of them managed to land a hit on him, his body protesting at the abuse.
Angrily he made to step forward, to teach the brat some lesson but had to grunt in pain as one of the attacks landed rather cleanly on his left thigh, the sudden pain almost sending him to his knees. With a smoke screen once again hindering his vision thanks to the dust disturbed by the missed attack, all he could do was seethe in his place and prepare for any other attack the brat might send his way.
"Old farts should really learn their limits," Gokudera muttered as he pulled out the cloud tube from his flame arrow, replacing it with the sun-type machine gun part of the Sistema Cai.
It was not an easy thing to reassemble the weapon system his future self had devised and he used extensively during their trip to the future ruled by Byakuran. Since the box technology didn't exist at their time, he had to leave it behind but he didn't forget about the weapons that were made especially to make use of his multiple flame types.
He kept careful notes on them, even thought up ways of how to improve the system that existed in the future but he never had time to pursue it further. Even now, years later the box technology was barely more than an idea. Thanks to the ten-year bazooka, the mafia at large were aware that it would be possible but so far no working prototype was made, and if you consider that recently two of the three people who were accredited of making the large majority of boxes in the future, disappeared it wasn't looking so good
If nothing else, his return to Italy, running from the CEDEF and trying to reach potential contacts allowed him to track down Innocenti and after a whole lot of threatening and begging, the old man decided to recreate his Sistema cai, with two new boxes added to it, to make him even more dangerous and effective.
He watched the storm + cloud combo land a couple of hits on the old man, even landing a clean hit on his leg, slowing him down, the futuristic contact lenses in his eyes, enchanting his vision and supplemented a lot of data, to form and adjust his battle plans.
"Ushishishi. It's not wise to ignore a prince, peasant." Belphegor giggled as he jumped forward, throwing six of his blades at the bomber, the tips ignited with storm flames.
"As if." Gokudera scoffed as he willed one of the bone loops to form a shield over him, blocking the knives.
Controlling the bone loops was tricky. Since they were connected to him through his storm flames, which were not the calmest flame type to begin with, it required a control of his flames that very few managed. Even then, when he first started using them, it was hard to properly control one, let alone more at the same time, to differentiate which loops to send where and how large of a shield he needed, while also keeping an eye on his reserves.
After all, the largest drawback of Sistema cai was that it drained him quickly, using multiple flames times on multiple objects, so a drawn-out battle was not in his favor. It suited him fine since he knew himself well enough he wasn't patient, to begin with.
His eyes widened when the knives effortlessly went around the shield as if directed by the wind or something else. He quickly jumped to the side, sending a couple of accelerating rounds that knocked the knives away but he knew he was far from safe.
He cursed himself for forgetting about Belphegor's fighting style, especially after he was well aware of how much pain it was to deal with it. He used strings in combination with the knives, using them to trap his opponents as well guiding his knives toward his opponent, making him look like he could control the trajectory of his weapons and making his attacks almost impossible to dodge unless you were aware of the trick. Even then it was not as easy as it sounded.
He could feel a string wrap around his right hand, drawing blood as he grunted in pain. He reached up as best he could, dislodged the sun cartridge, and sent out a blast of pure storm flames that devoured the string instantly, freeing up his hand completely.
He forgot about the first attack, the one that barely missed him. He must have launched the first of his strings then. Truly, Prince the Ripper was not an opponent to underestimate even at the best of times and definitely not when he was trapped between two opponents.
Speaking of his second opponent, Coyote seemed to regain his second wind, using Belphegor's attack to charge silently at him. He was too quick to once again block him with a shield, so the bomber was forced to duck around his punch, feeling his clothes and skin burn even at the grazing blow, back away toward the clinic where the Chrome was.
The Ninth's Storm guardian made to attack once again, only to frown as he found himself blocked by some of the Prince strings, burning them away with a carelessly flashy wave of storm flames that seemed overkill. Not at all how a seasoned veteran, who should know better than waste his energy frivolously should act, Gokudera noted with a frown.
"Don't get into the way of the Prince, peasant." Bel hissed, not unlike a cat, his usual grin nowhere on his face as he looked as close to hate at Coyote as Gokudera ever saw.
He didn't even know the Varia assassin was capable of emotions like this. So far it seemed he was either vindictive, gleeful, or simply maniacal. but hate wasn't one he would associate with him.
"I'm not about to entertain a baby like you, get lost." Coyote snarled back, momentarily taking his focus off of Gokudera who used the chance to gather his breath and try to think of a solution.
It was not looking good. Though he was no longer trapped between the two, his options were severely limited. He could hardly leave the alley, especially with Chrome unaccounted for at the moment, but if he continued fighting he would lose after a while, the battlefield simply didn't suit him.
He was too restricted here. He either preferred open spaces where he had space to maneuver. Even during the storm ring battle, he had breathing room thanks to the various halls and rooms, able to set up various traps to his heart's content.
Much to his frustration, he was not someone like Sasagawa or Hibari who was a head-on fighter. Though he had a few tricks in case he was forced to close range, he was a mid-range fighter through and through. He was at a disadvantage and as much as it hurt to admit, in terms of experience he was just a little too much behind compared to both of his opponents.
Of course, that didn't mean that he was giving up, nor that he was not about to make use of their current distraction to his best use.
He quickly pulled out the lightning tube from one of the boxes on his waist, loading it into the flame arrow before he took aim at Coyote. He knew very well how much difference the Vongola ring can make so it made sense to prioritize incapacitating him. Even kill if it came down to it.
He let out a single beam of storm flames, surrounded by lightning flames to shatter whatever defense the old man could bring up.
As expected the two veterans noticed the attack well before it hit, Coyote cursing as he made to jump to the side but he wasn't able to completely avoid it, the powerful attack grazing him on the side, leaving a large bloody wound with remnants of storm flames further eating it for a moment before the older man simply blow it up with a single wave of his hand.
He growled before he started to charge forward, ignoring his wound completely but Gokudera wasn't idle either. Quickly pulling out the lightning tube, he once again replaced it with the Cloud one. While it wasn't a straightforward attack, it was useful for crowd control, especially in this narrow space where they couldn't even dodge properly to the side.
As expected Coyote was forced back but Belphegor simply grinned, using the old man's back as a springboard and launching his knives at the bomber who was forced to back away, step by step.
"Come on peasant, you can do better than that." the prince strangely encouraged with a wide grin on his face. Coyote joined him, reluctantly deciding to team up with the Varia member though his face told him how much he disliked it.
Even then, Gokudera continued to send concentrated storm beams through the flame arrow even as he was forced to retreat further back until he knew there were only a few feet between him and the back of the building that led to Chrome.
Frowning, he reached down to one of the newer boxes, one that he requested Innocenti add to the Sistema cai. It galled him to reveal his weapon system but it looked like he had to use his hidden trump card too if he wanted to get out of this situation alive.
He gripped the tube that came off the newly opened box, a little different from the others. It was larger and slightly longer too, with four small fang-like extensions on the end where it would be inserted into the port of his flame arrow.
"I didn't want to use it but consider yourself honored. Storm plus-" he started to say, inserting the tube, when suddenly blood came out of his mouth, surprise and shock coloring his features. Looking down he saw a large knife coming out of the middle of his chest.
"I was done with my objectives and decided to see if you needed help senpai." a bored, almost lifeless voice came from behind him, Gokudera realizing in shock that someone sneaked upon him while he was otherwise occupied."Can I get an apple for being a good boy?"
Stopping, the infamous prince only clicked his mouth, an unpleasant expression taking over.
"Idiot Fran, I told you to stay away from my prey." he scolded the rather young sounding teen that stood nonchalantly behind Gokudera who was choking on his blood.
"Ah, sorry Senpai," he replied with a little bit of pause, not sounding apologetic at all.
Coyote ignored the byplay entirely as he walked forward, watching Gokudera slump forward, his legs losing strength. The man himself was holding his side, feeling his years and the recent very much but let out a small smirk to appear on his face, giving an approving nod.
"Well at least you brats made yourself useful." he conceded reluctantly, before lighting up the storm ring once again and prepared to finish off Gokudera."It's the end of the line brat."
Unnoticed by him, Belphegor smiled evilly, another set of his knives falling into his hands.
"The performance is only just starting, old-timer."