The look on his face dared me to ask him to continue.
“Whelp,” I mumble, the pain dealt by his “convincing arguments” was just too great on my poor heart and too small pride, “Guilt tripping me while breaking the fourth wall is too effective.”
Reborn’s smile widens, “Let’s get going, shall we?”
Before I begin, I figured I’d stick this here:
Disclaimer: Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn (along with its characters/ideas featured in this post) is the work of Amano Akira.
Strolling alongside Tsuna, I glance over at him, noticing Reborn sitting casually upon his left shoulder and the fact that I towered over both of them by more than a few inches. It made sense seeing that I was an adult keeping a high schooler and a baby company.
A thought popped up in my mind as we continued to walk forward.
I say it outloud, “You know, I’m surprised you didn’t drag Gokudera with you and force him to make amends with Lambo.”
“True, we would have normally gone with that, but then you’d have nothing to write for this post now, would you?” Reborn points out.
I find myself stopping in my tracks and grimacing. Man, I asked for that, didn’t I?
The baby nods, “You did.”
With a lowered voice, Tsuna scolded his tutor, “Reborn, you didn’t have to say it like that.”
Tsuna apologizes, scratching the side of his right cheek.
“We asked for your help not only because you live in the area, but you have experience dealing with kids.” Tsuna explained.
We continued walking along, slowing down to let a pair of old women pass by us.
“Yeah, that’s true.” I hummed. I did work as a summer counselor for a couple years, but I wouldn’t say I was an expert on how to deal with kids.
“So, where are we headed?”
“The last we checked, we knew that he was in the neighborhood. The question now is trying to figure out where he could’ve gone.” Tsuna looked over at me, “We were hoping you’d know where he’d be.”
I love how Tsuna seems to think that I’d know where Lambo could be.
I brush away the snarky thought to focus.
If I were a kid, where would I go…?
He wouldn’t have money and there’s no stores he’d be interested in close by.
“Our best bet is a park,” I say, taking note of the street we were currently on, “There’s two of them around here and they’re not exactly small either… Tsuna, do you know anyone else who would be available to help us out?”
It took about five seconds for Tsuna to come up with his answer, “Sure, we can try asking Yamamoto-kun.”
I could feel a giant smile tugging at my lips. Yes, Tsuna, please summon one of my favourite boys from the series…!
Taking out his cell-phone out of his pants pocket, Tsuna scrolls through his list of contacts for Yamamoto’s number. Tapping on his screen, a green receiver appears upon it.
C’mon, Yamamoto, say yes!
It immediately disappears after the first ring and Tsuna presses the phone to his ear.
“Yamamoto-kun, sorry to bother you, but are you free to help us out?” Tsuna’s eyebrows slowly begin to furrow.
Not a good sign.
Tsuna sighs, “It’s Lambo, he went missing. He wound up going to Canada. No, I’m with Reborn and Emiko-san.”
C’mon Tsuna, work that protagonist’s convincing “Friendship is magic” schtick! Let’s go! I stare at Tsuna, willing that Yamamoto could join us with all my might.
Tsuna hums in response to whatever Yamamoto tells him on the other side of the line.
If this is my dream, please let it happen!
“Okay,” Tsuna nods, “Thanks Yamamoto-kun, see you at school.”
Damn it! This was just as bad as me trying to roll for Alter!Okita Souji in Fate Grand Order and getting nothing but CEs! Curse my level E luck!!
Tsuna turns back to me and I try not to look too disappointed, “Yamamoto-kun is busy with helping out his dad at the restaurant, but he said he’ll send someone else in his place to help us out though.”
I exhale a heavy sigh.
“I guess we can just start looking then.” I lead Tsuna and Reborn to the park closest to my house. It was about three blocks away on foot.
I really hoped that Lambo would be there.
Crossing onto the grassy lawn, we passed the empty outdoor swimming pool with a small kiddie pool and colourful play fountains surrounded on all sides by a tall dark green fence.
It was pretty quiet at the park with hardly anyone taking a leisurely stroll or relaxing on a green bench. The basketball and tennis courts were pretty much dead too.
We approach the larger playground and I catch sight of the familiar red and yellow jungle gym in the middle of the sandbox. It was a mass of plastic, bolts and metal abstract shapes connecting slides, monkey bars, stairs, platforms, rope and other things to climb up or swing down. I was never a fan of the jungle gym to be honest and no, I didn’t dislike it because I could never swing on the monkey bars properly.
A familiar obnoxious high pitched laugh breaks me away from my childhood memories of avoiding the jungle gym to fight for a spot on the swings and be recognized as “a big kid.”
A toddler with a massive black afro, wearing a pair of yellow horns on either side of his head and a cowhide print suit, was dancing around in the jungle gym, claiming it as his kingdom. He jumped on top of its slide and shook his little behind and I couldn’t help but imagine how he could easily fall off and break his neck. That wouldn’t be pretty.
“LAMBO!” Tsuna cried out, sprinting toward the jungle gym, “BE CAREFUL!”
I rush over to see Lambo laugh maniacally, his head thrown back and his hands on his hips, “Bwahaha! Stupid Tsuna! The Great Lambo-san will not abandon his kingdom for the likes of you! I’m staying here… FOREVER!”
Man, was Lambo always this aggravating?
Tsuna scrambles over to one of the red platforms and quickly climbs up to the top of the jungle gym.
“Please Lambo, it’s too dangerous to play on the slides like that!” Tsuna inches bit by bit toward the toddler on top of the slide, “Come down, you’re going to get hurt!”
Tugging down on his left cheek, Lambo sticks his tongue out at Tsuna, “Come down, you’re going to get hurt.”
Rolling his eyes, Lambo scoffs at Tsuna.
“Stupid Tsuna! Stop underestimating the GREATNESS of the ALL-POWERFUL LAMBO-SAN!” Skipping back a step, Lambo’s right foot slides unexpectedly backward. Time seemed to slow down as his large green eyes grew to the size of dinner plates and he slips off balance, arms flailing.
“LAMBO!” Tsuna runs forward, his fingers outstretched to grab onto the youngest of his guardians.
I don’t hesitate. My feet kick off the sand, charging straight for the slide and I stretch out my arms to catch the brat before he could land head first to the ground. Just as my arms encircle around his tiny body, Lambo immediately fades away into nothingness.
I stare at my arms in pure confusion.
What the hell?
I immediately hit the ground and close my eyes instinctively at the sound of a loud cracking sound resounding in the air.
Was that a gunshot?
I felt a cold chill race down the back of my neck and my heart beat a little faster.
I quickly look up and I don’t see any sign of Lambo or Tsuna. Picking myself up from the ground and not bothering to dust off the grains of sand on my clothes and scraped knees, I carefully surveyed the playground for anyone.
There wasn’t anyone around, even Reborn was missing. No one was on the swings or the slanted cherry red merry-go-round.
Out from the corner of my eye on my right, an indigo flash sails across the air toward me.
A mist user?
A hand grabs onto my left bicep and pulls me back into someone’s chest. The light dissipates and I struggle against the mysterious person behind me.
Turning my head around, my eyes widen, “No way, are you serious? He asked you to come?”
Glaring down at me with his light grey eyes, Superbi Squalo, the long silver haired swordsman clicked his tongue, “Yes, that carefree brat sent me. Where’s the spineless trash?”
“No idea, we got separated.” I felt a bit embarrassed and guilty for not being helpful. He releases his hold and wordlessly pushes me behind him. I spotted his lips curving into a smirk, “Doesn’t matter, that carefree brat promised me a fight after I got rid of all the scum.”
“VOIIIIIIIIII! Show yourselves scum!” Squalo roars, summoning a small group of men dressed in dark green suits from out of nowhere.
Swinging his blade, Squalo charged forward, eager for violence and blood, “You scum better give me a decent fight!”
He was a quick silver blur across the expanse of green grass. It was difficult to count the number of blows Squalo dealt against his opponents who helplessly fell by his hand.
Streams of flashing red and lime green were flung at the swordsman, but he never faltered. Squalo’s steps were fluid and calculated. Each slash of his blade, glowing a vibrant electric blue, was heavy and brutal, reducing his opponents’ defenses to nothing.
There was a stream of loud cracks erupting in succession, vibrating in the air. I wince at the sound, blocking my ears with my hands.
Glancing up, I see a streak of orange swirled around bursts of indigo bleeding across the blue sky. I breathed a sigh of relief, it was a good sign because it meant that Tsuna was still alive and fighting whoever was up there with him.
Squalo rose his left arm and firmly swung it downward, splattering flecks of blood across the grass. He turned around, walking back toward the jungle gym where I stood. Stopping beside me, Squalo tipped his head toward the sky, silently catching sight Tsuna’s fight against his mysterious enemy.
“Ciaossu Squalo,” I tilt my head down to see Reborn with his hands casually in his pockets, “It’s been a while.”
Squalo huffed in annoyance, “Enough of the pleasantries, I just need to find that cow brat, right?”
“Emiko,” Reborn tilted toward Squalo’s direction, “Go with Squalo to get Lambo.”
I was a little confused as to why Reborn wanted me to go with Squalo when he was perfectly capable of rescuing the toddler on his own. I then realized that no one wanted to deal with a crying, whiny kid like Lambo, especially Squalo who became irritated easily.
“Oh yeah, Squalo,” I began, following behind the silver haired swordsman as we climbed up the steep hill in the middle of the park, “Thanks for helping me out before.”
He didn’t respond and kept walking.
It didn’t take too long to find Lambo. I was kinda surprised that I hadn’t spotted him earlier by the huge tree toward the back of the park. Since Tsuna was up against a mist user, it would be easy to overlook things if Lambo was covered up by whatever illusion they cast. If we’re able to see Lambo now, then Tsuna won the fight.
Attached to a tree branch by rope and gagged, Lambo helplessly dangled in the air. I took it as a blessing for us that Lambo was unconscious because we didn’t have to deal with an overly emotional blubbering troublemaker.
Squalo’s blade flew and cleanly sliced the rope off the branch. Catching Lambo with his right hand, he turns to me and shoves the toddler into my arms.
“Lambo!” Tsuna comes running with Reborn perched on his shoulder as usual, “Emiko-san!”
Relief washed over Tsuna’s tense anxious facial expression,“I’m happy you’re both safe.”
“Same,” I give him a small smile, transferring Lambo carefully into Tsuna’s arms, “Better keep a leash on that troublemaker.”
Tsuna hummed in agreement.