The next few weeks are somehow boring considering she’s participating in the recruitment of a secret vigilante spy agency. Well, perhaps boring isn’t the right term, more like… lackluster. She admits that most of it’s her own fault–she’s been tuning out during the verbal parts of the various lessons–part of it because, again, language barrier, but if she’s going to be honest it’s also just because she doesn’t care.
She’s not actually in the running to become a Kingsman knight, so a lot of the lectures just… don’t apply. And anyway, especially with both contacts in, Vongola can record whatever they want of her transmission and analyze it for later. There’s no audio aspect–though apparently Shouichi-kun is working on modifying Haru’s rather embarrassing cat-ear headbands into something more… discrete–but they probably have a lip-reader in Vongola… maybe. They could probably add it to Lambo’s near-infinite list of linguistic talents.
But, yeah, the talking. She let’s it fly over her head. The physical aspects are easy enough to mimic from the other candidates around her–especially with Nathaniel’s well-meaning hovering–and even if her specialties are archery and kusari-fundo, Vongola’s not going to have an assassin that doesn’t know how to use guns. Or knives. Or explosives.
The point is, it’s all stuff she doesn’t need to know or already knows, so it’s boring.
Even the sparring is kind of dull; most of the recruits are from the British military and trained in the same combat styles maybe some private training mixed in like university-level fencing or wrestling. The only exceptions being herself and Jamal, who fights better in enclosed spaces, using walls and fences like the ground just happened to be vertical, pulling in close to his opponents so they have less space to maneuver.
In contrast, she prefers distance. Which, well, made sense considering she was a mid to long range fighter. But even with hand-to-hand combat, she’s better with distance. It may sound strange considering her short reach and the fact that hand-to-hand combat implies closeness, but maybe that’s why. For her, it was either a last resort, or it was intimate.
Either an enemy had somehow made it past her other defenses and needed to be taken out immediately… or it was her and Ryohei as children, eagerly showing off what they had learned from their separate martial arts clubs, or it was her teaching Kyoko and Haru how to defend themselves, or it was her playing around with Kyoko’s trainees, helping to mould the new Vongola into one that wouldn’t need an assassin for a Guardian.
Which, probably explained why she did what she did.
“Morto,” she murmurs, just as the side of her hand touches her opponent’s neck. Then she pulls it back and darts away before his punch comes anywhere near her.
Then she goes back in, deflecting his arm with a punch to the elbow, before resting her other fist against his chest lightly. “Morto,” she says again, then retreats once more.
She continues to do this for another three taps, enraging her opponent further, until Merlin decides to put him out of his misery.
“Disengage,” he says, unnecessarily, since there’s already several yards between the two fighters.
Her opponent, near nonvocal with fury, kind of… growls in her direction. Which, considering the people she works with on a daily basis, is so nonthreatening that she can’t help the smirk.
“Peter, if you would control your temper,” Merlin admonishes before turning to her, “Azuma-san, I expected you’d have the courtesy to be serious,” he says, so stoically that she can’t help but let the smirk drop.
Then, she gets angry.
Her Dying Will Flame, much like her fellow Guardians’, was triggered by a Dying Will Bullet from Reborn’s gun. Her regret had been that she had allowed him to shoot her. Her Flames do not appear to protect, or from enthusiasm, or from confidence. They appear when she’s angry. Specifically, when she’s angry at men patronizing her.
Merlin does not get to be disappointed in her. She was holding back but she wasn’t mocking. She holds back because–“This is what happens when I’m serious,” she says, striding next to the rows of punching bags hanging in the gym. Kingsman has a very well-stocked facility, beyond top of the line equipment, made to withstand the peak human strength of their very fit knights and recruits. The heavy bags are made of the same bullet resistant fabric as their very dapper suits.
But Lightning sharpens, hardens. She is not like Lambo who has enough Flames to harden the very air into a shield. She cannot spark a series of explosions to ignite an entire room, or create entire fantastical and physical worlds in seconds. But what she can do is enough.
With Flame enhanced fingertips, she jabs in. No extra force from her hips or abdomen, just shoulder and arm and mystical internal energy. She makes it all the way through, beyond her elbow even. When she tugs her arm out, sand trickles from the gaping hole.
When the haze of angry green falls away from her vision, she sees the shocked faces of her fellow candidates. The wondering gleam in Merlin’s eyes.
“Morto,” she repeats, and smiles.
A/N: Back again!