The villagers are getting anxious. Yamamoto can tell because their mouths are pinched and every time he tugs at someone’s leg to ask what’s wrong their eyes go to the sky, leaden with the weight of water.
Four days of falling rain with no visible end had trampled the earth into a muddy pit, the crisp yellow grass of their roofs to a dull and musty tan. Brown and gray splattered everywhere, and everywhere the boy went whispers of discontent were spoken softly, though never to his face. When the villagers were hidden inside their houses, trying to be dry and warm, Yamamoto ran in wild abandon outside, laughing and jumping, sliding in mud and going off into the river bank, even after it swelled dangerously high. He bathes himself with the fresh water that pours from the heavens and even though he’s soaked he never feels the cold. When he invites the other children out to play they refuse, the watchful look in their eyes as they scan the sky totally different from the unguarded joy in Yamamoto’s face.
The rain, they say, is tempestuous; it fickly decides when to come and go and always, always tries to flood the village.
At the dawn of the fifth day it was pouring like the gods themselves wanted to drown the world, the banks raging with water that threatened to spill out and crush their homes like a pile of insects. Sheets of water pelted from the sky, and Yamamoto was tugged straight out of the school building where he slept.
All around the people gathered at the river’s edge, a mass of brown and black cloaks splotching the bright white rocks of the bank. Cowled heads dripping and soaked to the bone flinched aside as the noise and crash of water deafened them and blinded their sight.
“He’s angry. It’s gotta be you, boy. Sorry, but you’re the only orphan here.”
Yamamoto’s eyes go wide as he tries to stare up into the eyes of the man who clenched his shirt so tightly, but water is running into his eyes and everything is blurred around him. He feels himself suspended in a huddle of people who do not chant or pray, instead throwing him without ceremony into the angry river so quickly he cannot even scream.
White and black and formations of bubbles bloom across his crazed vision as everywhere around him he’s pressed by water. The hard shots of rain scramble the surface of the river haphazardly as he tries to breathe, but liquid fills his mouth as he gulps and his lungs drink all they can hold.
Yamamoto’s vision starts to wander and fade as each limb slowly stops working. Trembling and exhausted, he’s swept away.
It’s the quiet prickling feeling in his side that wakes him. Squalo yawns, mouth gaping impossibly as his limbs try and stretch out in the cramped little niche. Downriver, he has little to worry about from the storm so far away, but the tiny drips from the leaves of the tree sheltering him warn him it’s almost time to stop the torrent that he’d created this week.
As he gets up he gathers up his sword and fur ruffed coat, wondering what gift the people from the village upriver had gotten him this time. The long blue trail of his robe scrapes across the freshly dewed grass as barefooted, he crushes their fragrance into the air.
Xanxus, that stupid bastard, had thrown a fit when after the succession Tsuna had been chosen for the king of the gods. A good portion of the other side of the world had experienced volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as he made every one of his subordinates miserable in his rage. Squalo had to fucking take six decanters to the head each day since, and no it didn’t matter that it was the nectar of the gods, he was getting pissed off.
So as per order from the irritating man he showered a mother-fucking storm down on hapless villagers and in the meanwhile worked off the extra frustration. Tsuna already found out about what had been going on so after this there were to be no more natural disasters but hey, it was a good run while it lasted and maybe this new sacrifice would be something nice enough to take the edge off of Xanxus’ asshole behavior.
A few more steps bring him to the small inlet in the forest, the smoothly rippling waters showing no sign of the death tide that had almost killed an entire village. Squalo, severely disappointed when he sees nothing of import, the usual spot where all his gifts migrated peculiarly empty, almost works himself up into a fit of rage before his eye catches something hidden beneath the blanket of leaves and branches.
A yellow sleeve of a tunic, brightly colored under the grime of marshy trash calls to him. Squalo overhauls the branch and foliage, exposing the small, curled back of a pitiful child.
“VOIIIIIIIIIIIIII WHAT DO THOSE FUCKING IDIOTS THINK THEY’RE DOING? DO I SEEM LIKE THE KIND OF GOD THAT ENJOYS BRATS?! IF THEY WANTED TO KILL HIM THEY SHOULD HAVE STABBED HIM WITH A SWORD NOT SHOVED HIM IN THE RIVER FOR ME. I’LL FUCKING SLAUGHTER THOSE BASTARDS!”
An enraged foot lashes out and kicks the kid in the stomach, flinging him up in the air before landing down on the soft grass, the sharp impact thrusting the clogged water out of Yamamoto’s mouth in a blinding stab of pain.
“Eheh, uglk.” More coughing sounds out as Squalo cannot believe he just accidentally revived a dead kid, was there a way to re-drown him without Squalo actually having to hold him down?
When Yamamoto opens his eyes finally, sucking in as much air as he could, he’s paralyzed by the sight. Above him long, white and silver hair still bedewed with droplets of water from the rain blinds his eyes in the sunlight of a clearing sky, a jewel blue robe drapes across the man easily and regally, thick silk still amazingly dry. Barefoot, with a gleaming silver blade at his side and a strange ethereal glow, Yamamoto can only think that he must have died and passed on to the underworld.
“Did I die?”
Squalo scowls as he looks down distastefully at the clueless brat. “No, you didn’t die you worthless thing. How can you be so useless you can’t even drown?”
The boy scratches at the back of his head, eyes closed in happy crescents while smiling.
“Haha but I’m really good at swimming. I don’t think it helped though, the villagers threw me in pretty far.”
“Can’t even sacrifice a brat right- next time I’m sending in a fucking typhoon.”
“Y-you sent in the storm?"
Is the brat blind? He’s a fucking god, mortals are supposed to know this shit on sight! If they didn’t they ended up dead, not saved by a stupid foot that apparently can revive drowning victims!
“I’m the fucking god of rain. Bask in my glory, blah blah blah. Whatever, this is the most disappointing year, I’ll have to wait another one and next time it better not be another brat.” And definitely not one as stupid as this one.
“Haha, sorry I disappointed you. I can be a useful sacrifice. I know how to make a kazoo with a piece of grass!”
Squalo whirls around, face incredulous at the spectacular revelation. “What?! How is that useful?! I could have Lussuria play me music with his lyre anytime I like even though all he does are operas and sleazy European techno…never mind.”
A pair of golden eyes shine warmly at the irritated outburst, Yamamoto suddenly filled with a strange affinity. “You’re funny, I like you. The stories aren’t anything like you for real.”
“Who cares?! I’m leaving. You go do whatever it is brats do after gods save them. Oh, and remember to worship me and if you become rich send me some goddamn wine or something, NOT a dead goat what the hell gave people that idea?”
Quickly, Yamamoto scrambles up and tries to tag along the retreating man, the bright blue trail quickly fading away through the foliage. “Wait! Can’t I like…worship you better if I’m with you?”
Squalo tries to hurry up but the stupid kid is following him like it’s some sort of corn maze where getting lost means dying in the stupid thing. He whirls around to hammer in the point. “Oh no, I don’t take charity cases, go suck up to that idiot Tsuna he’s a bleeding heart and Superbi Squalo is not a bleeding heart.”
A small hand reaches out and grabs the draping sleeve and only at that corner, clinging tighter than it ever had before, knuckles white, even though Yamamoto’s face is cheerful and calm as he’d ever seen any brat.
“Ok. How about this, either go back to the village or I fucking gut you.”
A hiss of steel brushes past the boy’s ear, the silver shine so smooth and bright it seemed as if it had been carved out of the moon. It was distasteful to do something so mundane as killing someone with his sword when he’d called up hurricanes and tsunamis with it in his sword dance, but he wasn’t about to tastelessly strangle the kid.
Yamamoto’s eyes go wide as the blade is pressed against his skin, ready to slice open his all too mortal throat.
“W-wow, is that really the Shigure Kintoki? I-I can’t believe it.”
Squalo, beyond being stunned that the brat wasn’t pissing in fear, can’t believe this random kid was reaching out a shaky, reverent hand to touch the blade about to cut him open.
“VOIIIIIII BRAT. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THIS SWORD’S NAME?!”
Yamamoto quickly drops his hand, not looking very chastised as he scratches the back of his head again, eyes still being magnetized back to the silver blade. “I guess I’ve been raised on you Squalo, haha. My dad told me a lot of stories about you after he made that sword.”
“I really loved hearing about the rain legends and dad used to tell me sea stories and how you kept order in the sky with a chariot pulled by flying sharks.”
Well, that much was right, he wasn’t going to be pulled around by fucking pansies like turtles or fish. Inadvertently, Squalo lowers his arm, the Shigure Kintoki back at his side as he considers the kid in front of him.
“Please, don’t kill me. I know how to maintenance a heavenly blade, my dad taught me how to polish and fix nicks. I know how to do the rain dance too, all seven forms! I can be useful, I don’t care if I die but don’t make me go back to the village after this.”
Slowly, a small smile starts to spread on Squalo’s mouth. So the boy knew how to up-keep the sword, eh? It means less time dealing with Levi and his stupid ass trying to get him to fix the thing when they hated each other’s guts. If the way the brat hadn’t even flinched when he rushed him full speed was any indication of fearless potential, maybe the villagers really did give him a good sacrifice.
Squalo turns sharply around walking off again into the woods, no time to waste now that he’s decided what to do with Tsuyoshi’s kid.
“You’re going to do whatever I say, kid, whenever I say it.”
The sound of feet clambering after him tells Squalo Yamamoto is eager to please. “Yeah, sure! Anything…can I see you use your sword?”
He stops. Well, the edict didn’t say to stop the disasters till tomorrow. A vicious smirk blows across his face as he laughs out into the wind.
“Ha! Sure kid, why not?”