It was perhaps the most ingenious yet deadly move made by the two largest powers in the underground world. While the Arcobaleno family and Black Order Association usually kept a distance from one another and hardly ever came in contact, the two leagues of assassins decided on striking fear into the lives of their enemies as well as the world.
Of course, all was made possible by the merging of their academies.
The Black Order Academy, hailing from the shady streets of London, was renowned for its pupils who were skilled in all forms of killing and fighting. They would often send their top students and instructors to the Arcobaleno Institute in Italy. The large, spacious Victorian-styled castle that the Black Order Academy had previously occupied would then provide headquarters for the future alumnus of the most elite group of young, powerful, and dangerous Mafiosi.
While there was bound to be tension between the students on both parts, the leaders of both groups were confident in their students, confident that together, a league of assassins far more superior than the world had yet seen would emerge. Even if their students chose to alienate themselves from each other, so be it. A little rivalry here and there wouldn’t hurt.
Then again, in an academy full of potential Mafia bosses, assassins, mercenaries, and more, a little rivalry could kill.
“Have you seen the flyers?”
“Yeah, they’re selecting the students for the new school today!”
Flyers promoting the new merge between the Black Order Academy and the Arcobaleno Institute were scattered throughout the castle. Only the best of the best were going to be selected, so those that did not meet the school’s standards would have to return home as failures. With the student body at unease, chatter filled the entire building, including the classroom you currently were in. A heavy sigh passed from your lips. Refusing to lift your head from the cool surface of your desk, you settled on rubbing your temples. As the PA system began to buzz with life, the noise doubled. Thoroughly irritated by your growing headache and talkative peers, you scowled and hissed, “It’s so damn loud.”
A cheery laugh met your ears and your arm shot out with speed and accuracy to hit the source of the laughter. When your fist met lean abs, you heard a pained grunt. Tilting the side of your head so that your victim was visible, you smirked with satisfaction and cooed a greeting to the bent over figure, “Hey, Lavi~”
Lavi cradled his aching gut with an arm and his piercing green eye twitched with a slight wince before shooting a wink at you. Taking a seat next to you, the genius replied, “Glad to see that you aren’t plastered to the extent that you would punch like a wuss. Damn, that hurt.”
You pulled your body straight and groaned at the smooth stretch of your stiff shoulders. Curling your legs to your chest and ignoring the fact that you were currently flashing your undergarment for the world to see, you swatted a hand at the redhead you were talking to and murmured, “I’m not plastered or anything.”
Lavi snorted in disbelief. As his eye began to stray to your legs, you scowled and crossed them. He pouted at the coverage and leaned over his desk to poke your arm. With a teasing lilt, he replied, “Really? I could’ve sworn that I saw you and Kanda last night, wobbling around and singing songs about booze.”
You shook your head. Even if you tended to get reckless and irresponsible, it would have to be the day the world ended if you went drinking with your unsociable comrade. Leaning to your right you gave the said swordsman a nudge. He shot you a glare, which you ignored, already accustomed to his sharp behavior. “Oi, Kanda, did we drink last night?”
His dark eyes briefly met yours and he curtly shook his head, sending his long locks flying. Sending you another glare, this time a milder one, he answered with a hint of sarcasm laced in his deep, smooth voice, “I don’t drink with your type.”
You ignored the implication that you were a ‘type’ and jabbed at Lavi, “Told you.”
A sweet female voice chirped in before Lavi could retort, “I didn’t know that you drank, Kanda.”
Looking over at the new arrivals, you waved at Lenalee who had her arm linked with her boyfriend’s. Allen took a seat next to his girlfriend and greeted your group, which was actually more like his group, which was more like his family. Allen Walker, the fourteenth head of the Rose family, was the heart of your little unit. While he constantly got into bickers with Kanda and was teased by the rest of you (mainly you and Lavi), his power was definitely not to be underestimated. Then again, none of you were to be underestimated; after all, being part of the Rose family already demonstrated your power by namesake. The Black Order Association chose every generation of the Rose family, so there was no direct lineage to any specific Mafia family. The method of selecting its successors allowed the family to compose the strongest members of different backgrounds, and in result, despite your youth, your family had already risen as a major power in the Mafia world.
Allen looked over the bustling room, his head tilted with curiosity. “Did I miss something?”
Kanda muttered something about Allen’s idiocy, and before a fight broke out, Lavi explained, “They’re announcing the students for that new merge with Arcobaleno.”
The white haired teen nodded slowly, the gears starting to turn in his head. A confident smile swept over his face and with a small laugh, he proclaimed, “Then in that case, that’ll be us, right?”
As if on cue, a masculine voice filled the room as the speakers finally crackled to life. Silence fell upon the room and the compact amplifier received the entire class’s attention.
“Testing, one two, one two… Ah, it’s working! I told you I could fix it, Reever~”
You tried to hold back your laughter as Lenalee heavily sighed. Apparently Komui, her brother and the headmaster, was being an idiot like usual. A throaty sound was heard as another voice cut in. “Thank you, Komui.”
The room stiffened, it was the leader of the association. While his identity was shadowed in mystery, you could all fairly recognize the deep, scratchy voice.
“Children, many of you shall be disappointed, but I must say, I am quite disappointed with you myself. I was expecting so much of you all.”
An awkward tension filled the room, but all remained silent out of respect.
The head of the Black Order continued, “However as you know, we must keep our namesake over at the Arcobaleno Institute, so the only ones attending will be the ones who will bring pride to our name. So without further ado, may the Rose family rise.”
In a clean, swift motion, Allen rose and your group followed.
“May you carry our academy’s honor and bring forth a new age of Mafiosi.”
Out of custom, the class bowed their heads and chanted a few blessings. Allen thanked them and gestured for your group to follow him. Walking coolly out of the room, your group seemed to be the epitome of elegant danger. Once away from the other students Lenalee sighed, “Looks like we’re going to Arcobaleno then.” Obviously, the girl was thinking about having to leave her brother’s side.
In an attempt to cheer her up, you hugged the girl from behind and smiled. “Cheer up, Len, think about all the different people we’ll meet. You’ll be able to do your espionage thing a whole lot better considering how jerkface Rouvelier won’t be your teacher anymore.”
She exhaled a breath of relief. “You have a point. That man is just so disgusting!”
Lavi threw his arms around the both of you and laughed. “I’m sure there’ll be tons of guys for you to prey on too, (Name).”
You batted your lashes flirtatiously at your family’s strategist. “But don’t I have you, Lavi-kins?”
His usually cheerful voice became serious and lowered by a pitch, his unconcealed eye darkening with a heated stare. “I suppose you do.”
The tone of his voice and comment sent tremors down your spine, but you shook it off. As the femme fatale of your family, a relationship was the last thing you needed. You lured in men and rendered them weak; it couldn’t happen the other way around. Turning to face Kanda, you asked, “Anything you’re looking forward to?”
He paused and eventually grunted, “A rival.”
Allen turned to shoot Kanda a glare. A competitive flame began to burn between the two. “Are you implying that I’m not good enough to be your rival?”
Kanda smirked and pushed his bangs back. “Tch, that’s exactly what I’m saying, Moyashi.”
Before Allen could retaliate, the heavy wooden door before you opened with a slow, dramatic creak. Pulling it open all the way, Lavi held the door as Allen took his position as the head and walked in. Following him in respective order, a shadowed figure sitting by the desk greeted you with a chuckle.
“Doing well, I hope?”
Your eyes widened when you recognized the voice. The notorious leader of the Black Order was no more than five feet away from you. A wrinkled hand rapped the antique desk, effectively calling you out of your daze, and an arm was raised to the ceiling. It swayed around leisurely until the old man finally murmured, “Do you know what Arcobaleno means?”
Lavi was the first to respond. “It’s rainbow in Italian.”
The Armani-clad arm lowered and a finger pointed at the redhead. “Ah, Lavi, with no last name, is it? If I remember correctly, you are the prodigy that known for having a record for everything from the time you were old enough to write.”
Lavi nodded and patted the messenger bag by his side. “Yes sir.”
“Your depth perception and memory exceeds by far the levels of many leaders. I must say, I myself am getting rusty.” A wheezy laugh followed the comment and the figure slumped. Downing a glass of red wine, a contented sigh followed. The man paused and clicked his tongue. “Where was I? Of course… Lavi, as the strategist of the Rose family, I want you to be Allen’s backbone. I want you to bring your family success with your intellect. Will you?”
Lavi bowed and murmured, “Yes, sir.”
“Good, good.” The finger darted from the shadow and pointed to the person next to Lavi.
Kanda stiffened at the use of his first name, but remained silent.
“You are an expert swordsman, a young man of much skill, are you not?” Before Kanda could reply, the old man laughed again. “Of course you are. You wield your sword with the precision and accuracy as if it were your own limbs. Mugen, I believe you called it.”
“I remember the day I had you recruited to the family. You were not pleased with the arrangements, seeing how I placed your rival as the head. However, Kanda, I want you to know that I believe you have all the skills to head a family of your own, but that your strength will truly shine as the powerhouse of the Rose’s. So with that, will you lend this family your power and loyalty?”
Kanda bowed and replied, “I would never do otherwise.”
Shifting his gaze over to Lenalee, he laughed, “Ms. Lee! It was just yesterday Komui introduced you to me. Who would have thought that you would have become one of the top spies I have seen in my age? Not to mention you pack quite a punch with that kickboxing of yours. What a pun, a punch with a kick!”
Lenalee smiled shyly and crossed her legs.
“So I hear that you’re in a relationship with Mr. Walker.”
The Chinese girl flushed red. Apparently, she still wasn’t used to being addressed as Allen’s girlfriend even after over a year of dating. As if reading her mind, the head began to laugh. He gently coaxed the girl to relax as he noted, “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Lenalee. You both make a wonderful couple. For you, may I request that you become Allen’s pillar of support? Besides aiding the family with your espionage work, help Allen hold his burden by holding him in his times of weakness. At the end of a hard day, you would be surprised at how effective a woman’s touch is!”
You giggled, the old man was nothing like you had imagined. You were expecting a strict, evil figure, not this grandfather like man.
“And what is so funny, Ms. (Name)?”
You beamed. “Nothing, Mr. Head of the Black Order~”
Allen nudged your arm to remind you to respect the man, but you ignored him. The old gent laughed. “What a spirit you have! I remember the time I myself was wooed by a lady much like you; it showed me how important a femme fatale was to any family.”
Placing a hand on your hip, you questioned, “Really?”
The hand stroked the hidden chin and mused aloud, “Really. I remember she made me feel all hot and giddy and when I least expected it, knocked me out with a taser. She really was something, though. For you, a touch of character and beauty does you well, but a clever mind like yours is what shall bring men of all sorts to their knees. With that you will become the secret weapon of your family, not to mention I heard that you were quite the sharpshooter as well.”
You saluted your leader. “Thank you, sir.”
Finally, all eyes landed on Allen. His head was held high and his hands were folded neatly behind his back.
“Allen Walker, fourteenth head of the Rose family. I have never seen a young man like you before. They call you cursed, but I call you blessed. Only God can grant a power as mighty as yours. Use it well and bring your family to justice, will you not?”
Allen dropped his head. “I will.”
“Good. I expect much to come from you and your family. Use your own judgments to find the path that will dictate your orders, because even with a family as well-chosen as yours, they too will fall like any other without the guidance of a fit leader. I speak these words truthfully, Allen, so make me proud.”
Allen swallowed heavily, obviously feeling overwhelmed by the burden and compliments. “Thank you.” Lenalee patted his back gently and he laced his fingers with hers.
“I have a gift for you all before you leave. Wear these uniforms with pride and carry the cross with your heart. Now I must take my leave, so do carry on our legacy.” Then under the cover of smokescreen, the old man disappeared with a flourish.
You whistled at the now empty chair. “The man’s pretty sly.”
Komui cleared his throat. “I have new uniforms for you guys. Let me tell you, these were made to protect as they were for fashion. Trust me; I made the design so that they’re wear resistant, waterproof, and flame resistant… at least to a certain extent.”
You and Lenalee squealed in delight, the sleek, black leather jackets were lined with silk, embellished with your academy’s name by the lapel. Silver buttons adorned the cuffs while straps interlaced on the sides. While they resembled your current ones, they seemed more chic and definitely custom made, seeing how they perfectly fit your forms. The guys wore fitted slacks while you and Lenalee wore mid-thigh length skirts with matching knee socks. Overall as a group, the new garb gave an impressive appearance. Not to mention the trademark Rose family cross was pinned to your chests. That alone made your presences official.
“When will we be leaving?” Lavi asked after you had all changed.
Komui looked up from his paperwork. “Ah, today.”
Fixing the laces on his boots, Allen frowned. “That soon? When’s the flight?”
Komui adjusted the frames of his glasses. A comical-looking diabolical smile was on his face, and for some reason it made you squeamish. Leaning his tall, thin frame against a concealed piece of machinery, he suggested, “Dimension travel?” The black cloth was dramatically discarded and you came face to face with an odd-looking contraption with foreign symbols carved on the metal’s smooth surface. You paled suddenly, and for a moment a plane ride seemed perfectly fine with you.
“Komui, are you sure that’s working? Or legal?” you stammered, eager to find an excuse.
Kanda scoffed. “You’re in the Mafia, how legal can things be?”
Before you could justify your contempt for using unknown devices to travel beyond time and space, Komui roughly shoved Kanda into the metal ring’s gaping portal, which led to a domino effect of your entire family tumbling into the bright light of the activated machine. Grabbing on to the closest thing to you, you screamed at the top of your lungs. You were falling, but at the same time, you weren’t. When you realized that it was more like floating and that you and your family was drifting safely to the ground, you eventually released the arm that you were clinging onto.
“You know, if you wanted to, you could’ve held on longer.”
You ignored Lavi’s comment before following Allen’s lead through the picturesque looking town. For some reason the place sent shivers down your spine. Everything looked too clean, too perfect.
“Moyashi, where the hell are we?” Kanda gruffly asked. Something was unsettling to the swordsman; perhaps it was the shadow he caught from the corner of his eye. To be on the safe side, he kept his gloved hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to brandish it against anybody who dared to ambush your group. Allen abruptly stopped before a small white house with a chrome door.
“It’s the Ark that the Earl used to use. The Order bought it from him when his family deserted him. There still might be a few Noahs using it, but they aren’t allowed to harm us since the Ark follows our commands. Anyway, Arcobaleno Institute is on the other side of this door.” He rested his hand on the doorknob and paused. His felt nauseous after hearing all that the Order expected of him. What if he failed?
“Don’t worry Allen, you’ll do fine,” Lenalee encouraged.
“What she said. Just calm down, Boss, we’ve got your back,” Lavi added.
Noticing the awkward tension in your family, you suggested, “Why don’t we give those Arcobaleno kids something to gawk over?”
Allen grinned at all of your words and opened the door, and light engulfed your surroundings again. Once on the other side, the room you found yourselves in fell silent. The instructor paused and set down his chalk. Adjusting his fedora, he looked at your group and questioned coolly, “And you are?”
Allen replied smoothly, “The Rose family of the Black Order Academy.”
Whispers began to leak into the silence. A cocky grin found its way onto your lips. Apparently, even the Arcobaleno students knew of your family. You eyed the class; the majority seemed fit and sharp. As you began subtly analyzing the cluster of students closest to you, obviously from the same family according to their ring-adorned hands, a teen belonging to the said family with pallid locks and a smoldering murky green gaze jumped from his seat. His eyes latched onto Allen’s boldly, and his thin, pale, ring clad fingers clenched tightly on the rim of the desk.
His raspy voice sent shivers down your spine. “What the hell! They just came out of the friggin’ chalkboard!”
“Gokudera, sit down.”
The frustrated boy grumbled under his breath and made a big scene of settling back into his chair. His heated glare locked on your form, and leaned against his desk to whisper in the ear of the brown haired teen sitting next to him. After years of reading lips, you read his thin ones with ease. You repeated his words in your head with amusement, “Be careful, Juudaime.” The teen had stiffened at the warning and his chocolate eyes widened in question. For some reason, he looked painfully familiar, but you couldn’t recall where you’ve seen his boyish, yet charming, face before.
Now that you thought about it, the suit-clad teacher was rather familiar and young, probably in his twenties, you guessed. As if sensing your thoughts, he looked over at your group once more and introduced himself.
“I am Reborn, the instructor of the advanced hitman class and the homeroom teacher of this class. Would you like to introduce yourselves to your classmates? Feel free to demonstrate any skills you would like to share.”
Taking his place as the leader, Allen gave a brief introduction. The white haired mafia boss tipped his head in greeting and good-naturedly spoke, “My name is Allen Walker, fourteenth boss of the Rose family. As for my skills, I would prefer to keep that information private.”
Lavi stepped forward and took his turn. “Name’s Lavi. I’m– ”
Suddenly a voice from the back of the room called out, “You’re ‘Bookman’ Lavi, the strategic genius of the Rose family.”
Lavi chuckled; looked like he had a fan. Taking in the appearance of the person who interrupted him, he cocked his head in interest. A thin, delicate looking teen toting a large leather bound book was grinning with excitement. From what he saw, it looked more like a rival.
“Ranking Fuuta, eh? I’d like to challenge you one day,” Lavi stated.
Lenalee shook her head. “Easy, Lavi.”
Facing the class with a cute grin that sent a few guys swooning (and Allen ticked), she piped, “My name’s Lenalee Lee, and I’m majoring in espionage.” The latter part of her introduction grabbed Reborn’s attention.
“Espionage? We have quite the extensive courses here.”
Lenalee beamed. “I can’t wait.”
Before any other guy could comment offhandedly to the other about the new girl’s availability, Kanda coldly spat. “Yu Kanda. Don’t call me by my first name.” While the males froze in fear of irritating the newcomer, the girls began to whisper and squeal. Kanda’s gaze narrowed in anger, but he ignored their heated looks.
“I see you’re a swordsman, would you like to demonstrate?” Reborn asked while taking a sip of tea.
“Tch, if the Fourteenth allows.”
Allen gave a small nod and Kanda smirked. With a quick flick of his wrist, he unsheathed Mugen and began to slice the air with sharp, clean strokes. His sword skimmed the desk of a shorthaired fellow sitting next to the “Juudaime” person. The blade was caught with expertise and Kanda shot a knowingly glare at the person.
“You’re a swordsman,” Kanda accused.
The boy beamed. “I am. It’s nice to meet you, Kanda.”
Kanda snorted at the friendly gesture and pulled his sword roughly from his newfound rival’s grasp. The quick gesture cut through the calloused flesh of his rival’s palm and the adolescent winced. Blood began to pool and “Juudaime” flinched and quickly pulled the swordsman up.
“Reborn, Yamamoto needs to go to infirmary.”
Reborn glanced at the wound and nodded. Yamamoto shrugged and exited the class, briefly brushing Kanda’s shoulder with his on the way out. Averting his attention to Kanda, Reborn casually reprimanded, “There will be no fights taking place unless approval from the board is given. If you break this policy, you’ll have to take it up with one of our prefects, like Hibari.”
A grunt was heard from the back of the room. Only a few dared to face the prefect and those who did were sent an icy glare their way. A lethal looking male with his legs propped up on a desk sharply waved a tonfa at Kanda. A scoff reverberated through the silent classroom and the prefect spat, “Watch it, herbivore.”
Kanda raised his eyebrow in amusement. Another rival had made an appearance. Smoothly sheathing Mugen, he shot a look just as fierce back to Hibari and taunted, “Make me.”
The prefect tested his grip on his weapon and chuckled darkly. “I’ll see you after class, then.”
Reborn sighed, but judging by Hibari and Kanda’s characters, such a face-off would be inevitable. He shook his head and stated without much concern. “Just clean up after yourselves when you’re done, we don’t need any bloodstains in the hall.”
While you found it odd that fighting seemed rather legitimate in your new school, you still found it unfair that you still haven’t introduced yourself to your new peers. Clearing your throat loudly, you managed to capture the room’s interest. Twirling a lock of hair between your fingers, you giggled and sang, “The name’s (Name). Call me the seductress of the family, or ‘slut’ if you’re jealous.”
Lavi held back a laugh from your outspoken words. With a teasing tone in his words, he warned the class, “Watch out for her, she’s the real dangerous one.”
Before Reborn asked if you would demonstrate your skills, you strutted up to the shy brunette that had caught your eye earlier. Smoothly taking a seat on his desk, you watched in amusement as a vibrant red blush tainted his complexion. Ignoring the growl of anger from your side, you lowered your face to his and, threading a hand gently through his soft coffee colored hair, you slowly traced his jaw line and tapped his chin. Bringing your sultry lips closer to his ear so that your warm breath would hit the shell, you murmured, “Hello, Juu…dai…me~”
Tsuna squirmed in his seat. You were much too close to him than he would have preferred. He struggled to keep his eyes away from your thighs and the skin revealed by your skirt as you continued to move closer to him. Rummaging for the right words while trying to escape the seductive lisp in your words, he felt warm and dizzy. He looked up and instead of meeting your eyes; he came to see your chest, though concealed by your uniform, still present. He began to stutter and stammer like he used to as “no good Tsuna.” Under the heavy stare of your bright and teasing eyes, all the charisma and experience he gained with Reborn’s aid went flying out of his disoriented head. He bashfully looked away as you giggled in success and began to play with his tie, ignoring the whispers surrounding you that grew in volume like wildfire. After what seemed like a lifetime of awkwardness, Tsuna managed to croak out a “help” to Gokudera, who seemed just as awestruck as he was.
Taking his soft plea for help as a cue to finish your act, you gave your victim a quick peck on the cheek and a small pat on the head as you slid off his desk. Finding your place by your family’s side, a devious smirk was exchanged between your family members. It was definitely time for the Rose family to rise in the world of Mafiosi. You licked your lips as you watched the flustered Vongola boss avoid your playful watch; how sweet and delicious a glory this would be.