[A/N: "My apologies if I may or may not change my writing style, cause if I do— then it's because I read too many Korean-Translated light-novel. Teehee!"]

"My what?" Licht curiously asked in the state of confusion. His face distorted, the wary expression wiped away into oblivion. It wasn't surprising his brother has displayed such expression as Tsuna did as well. It seems that Max not only lacks in being secretive— but also in lying, which put Tsuna in both advantage and disadvantage.

(Tsuna wouldn't have to worry if Max's hiding something due to his blunt habit on wearing hid heart at his sleeve, but then again, that wouldn't be good in the face of enemies)

'Max won't go anywhere with that reason.' Tsuna thought earnestly; he might have to step in to wiggle this misunderstanding out. Licht seems to think of him as a highly suspicious foreigner rather than a passerby; Tsuna doesn't like that. He still has to keep a low-profile as promised.

The latter panicked, a pale face appeared, white as if his blood got sucked out. His lips puckered, Max finally realized his mistake. What on earth even is a brick-picker? A construction worker would make much more sense than a picker. It's as if he described a beggar.

Their conversation was low and kept in a whisper so others will see it only merely as two costumers ordering what they desire for to the employee.

"I'm a tourist," Tsuna said, ignoring the title Max had given him earlier, "I heard there was someone who sells bricks with high quality here. My escort might have accidentally mistaken the reason and amused me with a short title." He finished his sentence by side-glaring the knight who kept his mouth shut with a horrified expression.

Licht didn't seem to accept the answer, "If that is your reason, how is it that you know of me? Did your escort tell you?" Licht was also glaring at Max, making the boy quivered more under the two intense gazes.

Max was pressured and cornered; he fits the title of his (The king's loyal dog) more.

"No comment." he cooed.

Licht's mouth twitches, he seems to realize he has no rights to question deeper or forced an answer out of Tsuna as long as he stayed disguised as a commoner. Tsuna could feel his radiating invisible question just by staring into Licht's eyes, but he didn't utter a word about it.

"Why would Maximillian Rosenberg escort you?" Licht added again, confused and dishevelled at the thought of one one of his father's respected guards accompanying a tourist that wants to buy bricks. Surely there must be something else behind it; he wasn't born yesterday to not known that both of them are lying.

"It's normal for a tourist to have a guard by his side," Tsuna said firmly, shooting a competing look at the other.

"He's a Rosenberg. Are you someone important for father to task one of his guards for you?" He needn't hear the answer; it was quite clear despite other possibilities that could be the reason. Unless, maybe, he's a relative? That doesn't seem like so, his brunette hair and sharp orange eyes took down Licht's suspicion of him being a part of the Granzreich Royal family.

'Oh me? No one, I'm only your so-so brother.'

Tsuna somehow regretted coming into this cafe if it wasn't for the delicious food and appearance of Mukuro. Ah, Mukuro, he almost forgot about the main point why he entered the cafe.

Tsuna was about to answer, but the sight of a familiar light crimson hair distracted him, his eyes focused on the blurred figure he had seen earlier. 'Was that...?' His pupils dilated, why would the tutor be here?

Was he the reason why Tsuna's intuition kept ringing like a possessed human being earlier? If so, Tsuna needs to get out as soon as possible. Tsuna's jaw slacks as the familiar height enter his vision, the tutor has noticed him slightly, their eyes locked unto each other. The man stood proud with the same leather suitcase he carried every day, his hair strand perks up at the sight of Tsuna.

Did he notice Tsuna?

Tsuna hasn't forgotten that his appearance has change one hundred eighty degrees different under the influence of the mist flames. His skin had gotten a bit tanner, which suits the commoner title for him. One who recognizes him must be an old acquaintance who had known every inch of his features, one who is from another universe.

He calmed himself down; maybe it was a first interest impression. His eyes looked unique after all; he couldn't change it to other colours due to his sky flames dominating his mist.

Tsuna averted his eyes, focusing back to the person he has talked to earlier, he sunk himself more on his seat, tugging his hood down.

"Excuse me?"

'Damn it; he must've come because of Licht.' Tsuna didn't need to look, the voice alone made his blood tingle, he didn't want his trip to be bombarded by questions again. Licht alone was enough.

The figure entered the discussion, gently patting Licht's forearm like a child. Tsuna's shoulder carefully relaxed as he saw Heine seems to seek out Licht's attention more than his. It was clear that the tutor had the same feeling he had when encountering this man name Richard, familiarity.

Licht turns around at the touch, looking down at the tutor with a bewildered look. However, the look soon disappeared as he realized, who the figure is.

"Prince Licht...?" There was a slightly uncomfortable pause before Heine finally opens his mouth to question his uncertainty. The question came out blunt, almost matching Max's discovery.

"Uh... No?"

'Who's questioning who now?'

Maybe it was due to earlier that his facade has shattered, thus explained why his response was unsure and cautious. Tsuna doubt he would get away with that kind of answer, perhaps this was his cue to leave before the drama starts. He doesn't have the popcorn to watch it.

There was no trace of Mukuro here, not even a slight print. It was either he had gotten in the wrong cafe or Mukuro was being wicked and sly as he is usually. Tsuna couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed, like a maiden who got betrayed.

Tsuna's thoughts got interrupted as Licht suddenly faked his brightness and smile towards Tsuna politely, grasping his pen tightly. "Alright sirs, I have taken your orders! Please do wait until it's ready."

Licht's voice was shaking in nervousness, he manoeuvred himself immediately and walked off towards the staff room; escaping the three figures' sights. The youngest prince was flustered, running to avoid the tutor.

Tsuna glanced at the tutor who stared at Licht's back until he enters the staff room, mimicking the picture of a robot scanning its target.

Besides the tutor, Maximillian has covered his whole face with the hood, looking at the window to avoid the tutor. Both of them has known each other.

"Pardon my impolite manners earlier; I thought I saw someone I know. I might have interrupted your breakfast, would you mind if I pay for the meals? It's a well-thought favour I can do for disturbing you all."

Seeing the tutor bowed, a sweatdropped. Tsuna shook his head mentally, 'I'd rather you to get out, please.' But it's rude to say his thoughts.

"There's no need," he said tenderly, waving his hand. ", we don't want to trouble you." Besides, he has enough money to pay for his own; and it sounds rather ludicrous, a prince treated by a royal tutor. No; a prince had his meal paid by someone under him.

The tutor stared at him with an odd look, his eyes following the movement of Tsuna's hand. The brunette caught on with the slight disturbance in the other's eyes, what did he do now? Was he not allowed to do anything without standing out?

"You..." Heine trailed off, shaking his head as Tsuna stopped moving. "That crest." He stated, pointing at the knot on his cuffs.

; he checked it and sat in silence. It was just the Vongola's crest. He hadn't shown it to the tutor yet, was it weird-looking to catch Heine's whole attention? It looked normal even if he squints. "Yes...?" He asked.

Heine's brow scrunched together, he examines Tsuna up and down, shaking his head once again. He coughed, "Are you... perhaps related to Duke Arthur from the kingdom of Romano?"

'Who? The Kingdom of Romano?' Was it just similar or someone had re-created the Vongola's crest? That's not possible; it wouldn't be Primo, he's ina different universe and time-line. 'Then maybe,' Tsuna's eyes brightened.

"Would you share the details?"

Heine stared at him strangely, as if Tsuna didn't know about the simplest thing there is in this world. 'Where thou had been?'

"Duke Arthur Aleksandrovich. He's infamous for being a masked tyrant. Duke as his title, but a tyrant. He was also notorious on beating the kingdom's rebels with metal sticks."

'Metal sticks?' Did he mean, a baton? A duke? Notorious? Beating up the rebels; This all sounds familiar. Just a bit change of scenery, it's too similar to someone else's personality.

[A/N: "19th century. The baton began to gain in popularity between 1820 and 1840. The first batons were narrow and conical wooden wands that had an engraving of three rings near the bottom that indicated the handle. At this time, no one knew about it"]

"His silver bluish hair made him never go unnoticeable, which is why every victim of his never forgot his face. Although, some claimed they had seen him with a pitch-black hair for a split-second. Despite his cold and distant aura, the ladies never stopped craving for him in infinite lust, even men." Heine coughed at the inconvenient, stiff sentence, "That aside, he is undoubtedly a great commander, the kingdom's military had been increased by 25% from his work."

Tsuna frowned, silver hair? Black hair? Which one was true?

"You're giving the information rather carelessly, what if I were an assassin targeting him?" It was a joke, but it's a reason that cannot be overruled; especially judging from the heavy dark robes that made both him and Max look like ritual buddies.

"Whether you are one or not, this is a responsibility I must do for the mistake I did earlier. And take this secret as a bonus; the duke has highly requested all the employees in his house to call him 'Hibari'. Which is, despite it meaning 'Lark', it doesn't suit him at all."

Tsuna went silent again, holding his breath unconsciously as he straightened his back. Had he heard right? Hibari, THE Hibari or was it just a nickname? He took long to process it; the tutor had long gone, walking to his table after seeing Tsuna's blank stare. Heine assumed he must've been shocked on him discovering he's related to Duke Arthur. Conceivably a disguised butler.

Though, he certainly doesn't feel like a foreigner to Heine.

Max watches the conversation go smoothly by peeking from his hood. Max tried to snap the prince out of his thoughts, but he failed to do so, he even shook Tsuna's body to make sure he's not freezing. The knight exhaled, the second prince was one hell of a frustrating person. He had witnessed many things he never thought would be real before, not even when fighting alongside the king.

(You're saying that? - A/N)

The meals arrived, this time brought by another employee. Max didn't mind, as long as he gets to eat the mouth-watering food that he had been craving. He dived right in.

It took him just a couple of minutes for him to finish both his meal and his drink, eating and gulping them down like a person that has starved for days. It's not that he's greedy, it's just that he's hungry. You're not yourself when you're hungry.

He caught a glimpse of the prince, so he hadn't eaten his food yet. Max sighs once more, he feels like he's the prince's babysitter, not that he minds getting another little brother. He didn't need to ask about the prince's matters; he trusts him enough to hold none suspicion against him.

Max ordered the employee to pack the food tightly, making sure it will not freeze quickly from the breeze outside. He stopped before touching the prince, seeing his reaction; there was nothing, so Max decides it would be okay.

Max dragged the prince out of the cafe with everyone looking, but he couldn't care less; as the prince would be madder if he had wasted more time by doing nothing. The knight paid for both of them; he didn't want to trouble the frozen prince.

'what is it that made him this shock?' Max thought, rubbing his chin as he made prince Edmund sat on the bench with the same blank stare.

"Tsuna?" He asked, calling him out with the requested name out in the open. However, there were no replies, no matter how many times he had uttered the same name, the answer remains the same. Three dots in a script. How had he been so calm?

Maybe because his little sister had done the same thing countless times.

Max sat down next to him, deciding to wait until the prince snaps out of his confusion. The people passing by stared at them curiously, like looking at some oddity. Though, people should mind their own business. Maybe The prince was right, he should've left his sword. But it's better to be prepared.

"—bari"

Max snapped his head towards the sound immediately; his eyes lighten as he heard a word from the prince's lips. His heart leap, "Your Highness?" His voice was high-pitched yet whispered.

"Hibari."

'The duke the royal tutor had mentioned?' Was there something special about him? Was it true that Prince Edmund might know him/a relative of his? The whole existence of Prince Edmund himself made Max questions everything, even if he had known him merely at the span of one and a half days. He was a sphinx.

"He... has silver hair?"

The knight tilts his head, isn't that a bit normal? The hair is the main thing in the kingdom of Romano that symbolises him as royalty. It's as if the prince saw a white cockroach.

"Yes?" Max didn't know how to answer him.

clink

Max turns around immediately, he gazes around. There was no one, however, he wasn't sure. He wasn't stupid either, he wasn't the king's loyal dog for nothing. That was a clear sound of an amateur aiming a heavy sword at them carelessly.

Is it an assassin? But who? Why would they target him and Prince Edmund who wasn't known anywhere?

Though it's not impossible, there could be a spy in the castle. How careless of the maids and butlers to miss such a thing! What about the guards His Majesty has assigned in the prince's palace? Max would need to scold them.

Max peeked a glance at Prince Edmund, the prince sat in a calm demeanour, staring blankly. Max sulks, he thought he had snapped awake.

The knight clicked his tongue at the rusty metallic smell, they were planning to take the prince's head. Their footsteps are heavy, it's loud and clear; even through the ramblings of the crowd. Targeting the palace's knight with that kind of way is suicide.

They're asking to be caught.

There was a split-flash, the keen blades clanking with each other; and in a matter of seconds, all the attention directed on the sudden raucous noise. Thugs are surrounding them, causing a ruckus. They weren't even good in the slightest bit, they tremble while only seeing their comrade getting knocked down easily.

"D-die!" Even their voice is shaking. Maybe they were blackmailed?

A hand stopped Max from attacking further, it's features were tan and slender, he recognizes whose hand it was instantly.

The prince had stopped him, Max didn't go against it, he put his sword down.

"Don't start a useless commotion in front of the cafe." He whispered to Max, eyes glinting dangerously behind the hood. He was saying they are not worth it.

'Had he been watching me this whole time?'

The masses, of course, didn't just stay silent and watch, their whispers and gossips spread in seconds to each other.

"What's going on?"

"Poor tourists, getting robbed here."

"What a waste of the kingdom's name..."

"Should we help them?"

"Don't! What if they drag us too?"

The prince ignored the disclosures, he turns towards the thugs, walking closer to them to utter his words in a throaty; threatening drawl, "An attempt of murder towards the royal family would result in hanging on the main gate as an example."

They screamed in unison, the prince covered both of his ears in annoyance.

"Who sent you?" Max added behind, tapping his sword with a grin in an attempt to intimidate.

"HiiK! He's Here!" They pointed hurriedly towards the gang they had just left from, the dark corner between two houses of commoners, people buying and selling fruits stand there as if it's a usual thing to be next to. Tsuna and Max scrunch their eyebrows, What a cliche thing to come out from.

Where the smell of blood coming from there?

The spot was narrow and dark, it's suffocating to look at.

"Do we leave them here?" 'Are you sure they're telling the truth?' His eyes screamed out.

"Let them be, they were admonished to do this."

'They're not brave enough to do so'

"Wait for Your H- Tsuna, let them solve the misunderstanding." It was the littlest bit they could do for trying to touch the prince, this should be right. Max felt the rush of annoyance at the thought of them getting away with it just like that.

The prince nodded, without glancing at the crowd you can tell the judging heavy gazes were directed at them.

If he were to deal with that plus all this, it would give him a major headache. He'd rather not, he had enough dealing with problems as the boss of Vongola. The stack of papers and fees...

"Now go on your tipsy toes." Max retorted, letting out a chuckle as they hurried their way to explain with a troubled face.

Both of them slipped past the crowd; It doesn't matter how they managed it, they made it, somehow. They left the unwanted characters as they are no need for them anymore. Thankfully, the thugs succeeded in distracting the audience's attention from them. They are so obedience under thin threat, what use of that gangster appearance?

Max glanced at the dark alleyway in-front of them, 'Should we enter that?' One of his eyebrows raised. Their outfit fits the dark theme though. Gotta point that out.

However, before he can think any further the prince had entered it without hesitation, smoothly adapting to the reeking undesirable smell. Max followed as well, following behind as he has to protect him.

Does he need his protection?

Upon entering it Max almost stepped out promptly, that f*cking stench, it stinks worse than sh*t does! It's the smell of animals' bodies that have rotted after months not being thrown away or even taken care off. What kind of demented madman would collect decaying dead animals?

As he sees the prince who is still calmly walking despite the smell, he shrugged it off as best as he could, trying to ignore the cursed odour filling the tight place.

They needn't walk far, the bright red neon-like light burst through the wooden door at the side of the end of the place all of a sudden, transmitting a growling air. Red?

Max couldn't react as he had to surpass a sudden shiver down his spine from the blood-lust shot towards their way. "Your High-

swoosh!

'That was!'

The prince had run off! The flash of his coverage thrown at mask's face suddenly shook him awake, he has to run after him! Max didn't waste any time, he ran with Prince Edmund's cloak wrapped around his neck like a scarf. How can he be so reckless- they didn't even know what was inside there!

Cough cough, There was faint smoke around the room, he couldn't see that clearly because of the red light taking over. The smoke entered his nostrils, choking him with it. Hence, is why he coughed.

"You..."

Though he could see the two figures, one seems to be the prince. He wasn't that dazed, after a few seconds that was enough to clear the thin smoke completely.

The prince was standing while painting from the speedrun, he stared at the other with wide eyes, mouth agape in pure genuine shock. Max never thought he could make such a face. He changed his focus onto the other mysterious person, curious of the cause of the reaction.

Purple hair tied in a freakish hairstyle, bright blood-like crimson eyes, his lips curled up into a thin curved smirk. The tall built; with his right proudly holding a trident? On land?

"Tsunayoshi..." The smirk was stretched wider, a twisted, sick grin. A slight lean revealed both of his eyes, they have different colours.

"..."

"Speechless?"

"..."

"Hah, we meet again," His eyes darted down, sharpening as he stares at the other, "How... Unexpected."

The knight felt the urge to drew his sword out, but he somehow stayed. He was driven to watch this. Did Prince Edmund know this guy? That purple hair... it's as if he has heard of his description somewhere.

'Is that even an important thing to think of right now?' He ridiculed himself.

"Mukuro." The prince spoke, breaking the silence he had released. His voice was shaky and tender, trailed softly and carefully.

Max's breath hitched as he saw the expression, is he allowed to see that? Will Tsuna kill him for it? He felt disoriented, like in a dream that wasn't meant to be his.

"You finally spoke. How about we start a simple introduction? A formal way to start this all over again." The man's voice was cold and distant, his face turns wary at the tone the prince had used. The knight's face twisted, another mystery popped out uninvited. Had this whole journey been a puzzle game for him?

'Again?'

Strangely enough, Max didn't think it was threatening.

"Mukuro," He repeated the same gentle tone.

"I heard you, you didn't add honorifics. How impolite. But well, it doesn't matter now, does it? Introduction won't matter as well in that case." 'Mukuro' chuckled darkly, fitting to his penetrating voice. It was clear he had taken this lightly.

"Mukuro."

"Ah, how about a shake of hand?" The man trusted his hand towards Tsuna, waiting for the other's response. A sign of creating a deal, a false bond; one will betray the other at the end. There's no perfect deal.

Max's eyes enlarged as The prince willingly stretch out his hand without no single hesitation. It usually meant he was no doubting his ability, but now, it was more of a trust, such a rare one.

Yet, instead of taking the other's hand to shake, the prince all so suddenly pulled it towards him, releasing the other's hand and wrapped his around the man. Mukuro leaned forward instinctively, restrainning himself from falling down.

"Why are you doing this?" Despite Mukuro's disgusted and irked tone, his eyes showed tenderness that rivalled Tsuna, it wasn't as cloudy as it is before. The man didn't hug back, he stayed stagnant like a play doll. Max wasn't sure that Mukuro wants to resist it, but who is he to know what the other's thinking?

His voice was a bit hoarse, probably due to the shock. If that's the case, could the pain behind it be lessened? Max bit his lips as a memory flood inside of him.

Max couldn't bear to disturb what it seems to be a reunion scene of a play, meeting after being separated by death.

The prince pats his back softly, his strength bears no means to harm, it was quite the opposite.

"You deserve it."

[A/N:

(It's just close bond, no romance/yaoi! There's something called family, and for them to be so close, it's amazing; like a soul connection. That's what Vongola's family has been about. Ex: ASL brothers. MUKURO JUST NEED A HUG! HE'S NOT A CHARACTER THAT JUST KUFUFUFU ALL THE TIME!")

- Play "theatrical performance"

- You're not yourself when you're hungry. "Snickers's Ad Reference"

- Tyrant "A cruel and ruthless ruler"

- Kingdom of Romano "The nation of the Aleksandrovich family - from the Royal Tutor movie"

- Three dots in a script "Silence. (No sound)"

Bonus (Not canon)*

Tsuna: "I LEFT THEM FOR NINETEEN YEARS! WHAT DA FUC IS THIS?! HIBARI WITH SILVER HAIR? MUKURO'S A REBEL?— that makes sense, BUT STILL FUCCCC?! WHAT ELSE?! DON'T TELL ME YAMAMOTO IS GOING TO BE MULAN'S HUSBAND!"

Author: "Nineteen years is equivalent to causing world disaster."]