The Green Knight, Part Eleven (2017-08-07)

She gets a package in the mail, simultaneously surprising and not.

Of course her Family would send her stuff, even if the things are more practical than their appearance–the headband does not have cat ears, thankfully, but it does have a rather large bow tilted at a jaunty angle, and the gleaming silver dress is made of the same material as her armor. How strange.

What’s surprising is that Kingsman would let her receive mail at all. She’d chalk it up to special Vongola ally privileges, but the other candidates that remain are also eagerly opening boxes of their own. She thought the trials would mean zero communication, but she supposes not everyone can just vanish off the face of the earth for a few months without people getting worried.

Being a Vongola Guardian has really skewed her sense of normal behavior.

“How cute! I wish my sister had sent me something like that,” Vanessa says, spotting the contents of her box from one bed over. As the number of candidates decrease, the sleeping arrangements change. Those who have been swayed towards Tetsuki’s side have migrated towards the door, closer to her choice of bed, while those who still have issue with her very existence stay away.

She’s pleased to see that other side dwindle, though her own has suffered a few losses as well. She expects that number to drop even further today: they’re jumping out of an airplane.

As the door opens, wind blustering, blue sky revealed to the candidates, Tetsuki takes a moment to ponder.

With enough Lightning Flames hardening her armor and her body, could she survive a fall from this height?

Surely there must be some limit to Dying Will Flames, and yet, the fact that she can even consider it makes it almost feasible. Perhaps she herself does not have powerful enough Lightning Flames, but someone else–such as Lambo–very well might.

Actually, maybe that explains how he’s able to withstand so much abuse.

“Scared?” some white boy sneers at her, she can’t really tell them apart. Nathaniel is the only one she knows by name and that’s because he keeps hovering. How he’s gotten this far without knowing how to swim is, frankly, a mystery.

“No,” she says simply, before tuning him out. Sure there’s a possibility that she’s snubbing a future Kingsman knight, but he and his friends have been harassing a current Vongola Guardian so ignoring him is really the best outcome Kingsman could hope for. And she very well hopes Merlin and Arthur have better taste in knights than that.

Jamal, on her other side, nudges her with an elbow. “Race you?” he asks, smile curving his cheek.

“Okay,” she says with an agreeable shrug; she and Ryohei did always do better when they made a competition out of things.

Then she jumps.

Having jumped first and in a more aerodynamic stance means that, when Merlin breaks news that someone is missing a parachute, she’s far closer to the ground than everyone else.

Oh, well.

Babbling and panicking ensue. It’s all in English though, so it’s easy enough to ignore.

Some candidates, forgetting the objective of the test, pull open their parachutes far above the mark. Sadly, that includes two of her own–Nathaniel and Abjit–but she’s not terribly surprised. If being a knight is anything like being a Guardian, they weren’t suited for it. But Vongola has other roles, surely Kingsman is the same.

It’s at this point where the chatter on the line has gone repetitive, Azuma, Azuma, which is kind of annoying until Tetsuki remembers that’s her.

“What?” she responds, just to make them stop.

“You have to slow down!” Vanessa says, which is less galling, at least if anyone else had said it. The only men she takes orders from are all men she remembers as embarrassing, gangly teenagers. And even then it’s more like agreeing with their suggestions than following orders. “We’ve all paired up so if one of us is missing our chute the other has one, but you’re going too fast for Jamal and I to reach you!”

She can see the target, now, a small circle in the grass with the letter K. She kind of likes it, it could stand for either Kaiza or Kusakabe; maybe when the trials are over she’ll ask for a pair of cufflinks to give as a present to Tetsuya.

“I’m fine,” she says, instead, and waits until she’s a little bit closer to pull open her parachute. She’s never gone skydiving before, she’s not sure how accurate she’ll be in landing within the target–better to wait until the last second, surely?

She judders to a halt in the circle, knees aching somewhat even though she’s reinforcing herself with Lightning Flames. Which answers part of her question, at least.

Merlin and what looks like a team of medics come running out of the mansion.

Tetsuki glances upward, she doesn’t think anyone got hurt up there, but she wasn’t really paying attention. She walks out of the circle, dragging her parachute with her, leaving the target empty. No sense in ruining the actual candidates’ chances.

By the time Vanessa and Jamal land–both of them with parachutes–Tetsuki is indulging the medic team by sitting on stretcher and letting them look at her; they’re not Kyoko, but she knows better than to mess with medics.

Vanessa, a wind blown, tear streaked mess, marches shakily towards them and punches her in the face.

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