Grazhir :: Crossover :: Hisui :: 17

17: 2016: Path A

“W-what did you want to talk about?” Tsuna asked, perched as he was on the edge of the sofa.

Renato looked at Hisui and said, “Is he finally getting more perceptive, or is this a one-off?”

He shrugged. “Nono has sent word regarding the Vongola Inheritance Ceremony.”

“Inheritance ceremony? Whose? Of what?” Tsuna asked.

Renato sighed. “It was a one-off. Mafiosi from around the world will be there.”

Tsuna freaked out, but he did so quietly for once.

“Nono knows everything about your fight with Byakuran,” he said. “He’s the one who decided you were ready.”

“Hey, wait a second,” Takeshi said, “I’m confused.”

He refrained from any overt signs of frustration. He would have preferred to broach the subject without any of the guardians, but it had not worked out that way.

“Inheritance ceremony?” Hayato said. “What does this mean?”

Renato made a slight sound of annoyance. “It will take place in seven days. You will be officially confirmed as the Vongola Decimo.”

“Whoa! The time has finally come!” Hayato crowed. “I’m moved beyond words!”

“But didn’t Sawada-kun inherit the title of Jūdaime when he defeated Xanxus-san?” Ryohei said. “He was the other candidate at the time. Will having a ceremony change anything?”

“Being a candidate and being confirmed is as different as officially taking over,” Renato replied. “To become the boss of the Vongola means to obtain control over Vongola families around the world. In other words, it means he’ll dominate the underworld society—once he officially takes over, that is. It’s a ceremony where great powers are passed on, and the entire mafia world is focusing on this event.

“Not only will prominent leaders of Vongola come to see the face of the next boss, powerful mafia famiglie from around the world will be arriving in Japan for the ceremony. It’s already well known that the fast rising Trad 6 will be coming, as well as the ferocious Leilei Brothers of Asia, and the Grave Diggers of Russia, the Giegue Famiglia.”

Hayato’s jaw dropped slightly. “That … legendary assassin group. The Giegue Famiglia is coming!?”

Needless to say it went downhill from there. Takeshi still wasn’t getting it, or pretending not to. Ryohei was, sadly, a bit too brainless to really understand, and Hayato was having raptures. Tsuna was just quietly panicking.

The first complication came when Tsuna was walking home from school with a transfer student and an assassin showed up. Or, as Renato told Hisui, “Some idiot from the Pesca Famiglia. Tsuna took him out easily enough.”

The second complication was when someone managed to take out the three Giegue Famiglia members who showed up. Considering how good they were (though not Varia Quality, he could almost hear someone saying) that was a “bad thing”.

The third complication was when they arrived at Nono’s suite at the hotel and Tsuna stuttered his way into refusing to become Decimo. Nono just smiled, though Hisui could see a multitude of emotions running through the man’s eyes, and told him it was fine, that the ceremony would be canceled, and Tsuna was sent to wait outside the door for a minute.

“Please return once the child is home safely,” Nono said.

They nodded and left, and returned a short time later.

“I know how hard you tried,” Nono said, “and how much this must vex you two after giving so much time to the boy. I honestly thought for a moment there that he would hold his resolve steady. I must wonder if part of this is my own failure.”

Renato’s chin started to jut out.

“When I sealed his flames,” Nono elaborated. “I am going to have to put every available person on research, again, to try to find some hope. Lal thought she had a lead on someone in America; we shall have to press that much harder. Otherwise, we shall have to break precedent and Iemitsu will have to give up his beloved position to serve the family more directly. In the meantime, well… Please see to it that all Vongola property is retrieved, from all parties involved. The sooner we have that back, the sooner we can move forward.”

“Understood,” Renato said.

Nono gave them a tired smile and nodded, which was as good as a dismissal.

That night they made the rounds, visiting every guardian. Vongola rings, box weapon rings, Tsuna’s gloves, headphones, contacts—all of it was reclaimed. Hisui was the one to go out to Kokuyo to handle Chrome’s gear, simply because of the distance involved.

All of it was chucked into a case and delivered to the hotel in the morning. Tsuna was probably confused as to why one of them wasn’t following him around, but that explanation could come later. “I never thought I’d see the day where one of us failed a job,” Renato said, shaking his head.

Nono gave them another tired smile. “Neither did I, but I suppose there’s always a first, no? As it is, Iemitsu will have to come to a few decisions himself, and not just about potentially stepping into the role.”

Hisui’s brow went up.

“He is certain Nana is expecting again, after all these years. People have known for some time that Tsuna is here. Will Iemitsu choose to bring both of them to Italy? Just his wife, to ensure the safety of his unborn child? Neither? And what will you two do?”

“What we’ve always done,” he said. “Take assassination jobs.”

“Even if it means leaving the country?”

“It’s our job,” Renato said. “I’m a tiny bit fond of the kid and I’ve had a lot of fun with him, but Tsuna made his choice. He can’t have it both ways.”

“I will do what I can to ensure his safety as much as I can within Namimori,” he replied, “but I can’t always be here. I, too, hold some fondness for the boy, mostly because he’s the son of my best friend, but he’s now rejected everything we’ve tried to teach him. I truly thought he had accepted the reality of his situation. What will you do if he changes his mind?”

Nono looked down and sighed. “If he made that choice I would insist he be immediately removed to Italy. But, I’m afraid, more strident measures might simply break his spirit.”

“It is … upsetting,” he said slowly, “that even with people looking up to him and showing their pride in him, or telling him…”

Nono gave him a nod. “He is family. Please do what you can for his safety, even if you can’t be here.”

“I will,” he promised, “but even that might not be enough in the end.”

He spent the next few days planning out a series of wards for the town, though powering them up initially was going to be exhausting and would have to be done in stages. For Tsuna would be a pendant he could charge with flames, intended to emit a kind of aversion field, similar to intent-based wards. In theory, once everything was set up, the town should show a marked drop in hostile activity. It was not something he had ever attempted before on that scale, so he could not guarantee the results he wanted, hence the necklace.

When the weekend rolled around they showed up for breakfast at the Sawada home as they usually did. It was interesting that Tsuna had not once showed up on their doorstep. Even so, Nana was a friend, and the change in situation would not alter their visits to her. Tsuna didn’t wander down until they were finishing up the last of their meal, and at that, the second he noticed them he stopped dead half way down the staircase, then scurried back up.

He exchanged a look with Renato; the kitten was definitely avoiding them. Why? Who knew. The kid was probably ashamed in some way, or perhaps hoping to avoid a serious verbal altercation. Life went on for the next two months, with weekly breakfast visits to Nana, which Tsuna always avoided. Hisui spent most of his time working on warding the town when he wasn’t teaching Lambo and trying to get him to understand that throwing a grenade is not the proper way to greet strangers, while Renato took occasional jobs.

Then he was able to send off a message to Nono, saying, “I have done all I can to protect this town in the event that both Renato and I are absent. I have one thing to give to Tsuna-kun, but it will be up to him to make it work.” And he would latch the chain around the boy’s neck and seal the damn thing, along with providing a letter of explanation. “I don’t even know that it will work the way I mean it to. But aside from having a team follow Tsuna-kun for the rest of his life, foiling further assassination attempts…”

*

Iemitsu took Nana on a trip. Hisui and Renato were called away to Italy for a series of connected jobs—from a trusted contact, of course—and took Lambo, I-Pin, and Fūta with them, to stay at the Rozzano house. With two of them working the series they could complete things in a timely fashion and still be able to keep an eye on the children, though Dino was happy to host them when necessary.

Funnily enough, during one segment, as Hisui was doing some surveillance, he ran into Nana. She was convinced that her little Tsu-kun had died years ago, having been run over by a car when he had attempted to save a kitten. “Such a hero’s death,” she had said wistfully, hand on the growing evidence of her pregnancy. When he got home that night he was thrilled that the kids were with Dino, as he exploded quietly. A tree in the back yard burned down in no time flat as a result.

When the reports finally came in, the only clue was some video taken by one of Hibari’s canaries. Someone with hair similar to Mukuro, but it was clearly not him. Tsuna, alone at night, walking the streets aimlessly. Tsuna, who obviously had not kept the pendant charged—or maybe it just didn’t work the way Hisui had hoped it would.