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Demand and Supply  需求和供应

Summary: 总结:

In the cut-throat world of business, the Zoldyck family is a major player. But behind the surface of their perfect visage, dark secrets simmer.


Ever since the divorce of his parents, Illumi has found his role in the family business diminished. Instead, his daily life is now monopolised by taking care of his siblings, all of whom have problems of their own.
自从父母离婚后,Illumi 发现自己在家族企业中的作用减弱了。取而代之的是,他的日常生活现在被照顾他的兄弟姐妹所垄断,他们都有自己的问题。

To make things even more complicated, the re-emergence of a certain Hisoka Morrow promises to wreak havoc on everyone who crosses his path; including, of course, Illumi.
让事情变得更加复杂的是,某个 Hisoka Morrow 的重新出现有望对遇到他道路的每个人造成严重破坏;当然,包括 Illumi。

Chapter 1: Champagne Towers
第 1 章:香槟塔

Notes: 笔记:

Hello! I’ve been taking a break from posting for the past 2 months, but I’m back with a new story!
你好!在过去的 2 个月里,我一直在休息发帖,但我带着一个新故事回来了!

This fic is essentially set in the Hunter x Hunter universe, but there is no nen. Because of that, the characters’ lives are quite different, and the main similarity between universes is geographic.
这部小说基本上以 Hunter x Hunter 宇宙为背景,但没有 nen。正因为如此,角色的生活截然不同,宇宙之间的主要相似之处是地理上的。

Since the tags are annoyingly spoilery, I won’t be referring to them in any of the author’s notes. So if you disable or don’t look at them, nothing will be spoiled for you.

Finally, as a quick reminder, ‘Jappon’ is a canon location in the Hunter x Hunter universe, and not a very silly misspelling on my part. 😊
最后,作为快速提醒,“Jappon”是 Hunter x Hunter 宇宙中的一个经典地点,对我来说并不是一个非常愚蠢的拼写错误。 😊

I hope that you all enjoy! ❤️

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text 章节正文

25 Years Ago

For generations, the Zoldycks had collected artefacts and art from the country of Jappon. They’d used it to decorate; they’d incorporated it into their architecture; and there were even influences of it in their own clothing. There was just something uniquely exotic about it that felt so very different from what could be found in their home of Padokea.
几代人以来,Zoldycks 一直从 Jappon 国家收集手工艺品和艺术品。他们用它来装饰;他们把它融入了他们的架构中;甚至在他们自己的衣服上也有它的影响。它有一些独特的异国情调,感觉与他们的家乡帕多基亚截然不同。

Because of this fascination, it was of no surprise to anyone when Silva announced his intention to marry Kikyou Chihara.

Kikyou was the daughter of a prominent Japponese businessman with whom Zeno and Silva had enjoyed a long, fruitful business relationship. Of course, negotiating with him for his eldest daughter’s hand in marriage had been far more complicated than the deals that had preceded it. For one thing, Kikyou had insisted on a period of courtship between the two, during which time she could measure Silva’s character.

Zeno had brushed off the demand as childish petulance; Kikyou was, after all, still a teenager, and no doubt her mind was filled with fanciful ideas of epic romance and other such fictions. If anything, the arrangement only sealed the deal; after all, how could her father reject Silva’s proposal when their courtship ended, knowing that doing so would imply the unworthiness of the illustrious Zoldyck family?

No, if Zeno had any objection, it was to her…lineage, and how it might manifest in the heirs she would produce. But he could also tell by the way his son’s pupils dilated at the sight of her that it would be all but impossible for him to be dissuaded from the match.

Silva had found a thing of great beauty, and just like the statues, and the tapestries, and the artwork – he had to have it.



“Killu, don’t forget to put your tie on.”

“I will, stop bugging me about it!”

“You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full.”

Killua made an angry, unintelligible sound as he continued to inhale his breakfast.

Stupid tie. Stupid Illu-nii, he silently cursed.

“Are you nearly ready to go, Millu?” Illumi asked, switching the target of his paternalistic suffocation.

Milluki gave him a silent thumbs up in response, apparently unwilling to stop eating long enough to use actual spoken words. As usual, he’d put together his own breakfast. If he didn’t, Illu-nii would make something for him; which was nice and all, but whatever he made would be some gross ‘healthy option’ that he deemed to be for Milluki’s ‘own good’.
Milluki默默地向他竖起了大拇指作为回应,显然不愿意停止进食足够长的时间来使用实际的口语。像往常一样,他会自己准备早餐。如果他不这样做,Illu-nii 会为他做点什么;这很好,但无论他做什么,他都会做出一些粗暴的“健康选择”,他认为这是为了米卢基的“自身利益”。

The only one who was finished and ready to go was Kalluto. Sat quietly and awaiting obediently for his next instruction, he alone was the calm among the fracas that was the Zoldyck children’s morning routine.

Their mornings had always been trying, but the past year had been particularly hectic. Before, Killua and Kalluto had both been attending the same school, meaning that, combined with dropping Milluki off, the school run only had two stops. But ever since Killua had aged out of his old school, the morning drop-off had expanded, and so too had the need for everyone to be ready on time even earlier than before.

Though really, the many different destinations shouldn’t have been a problem; after all, the Zoldyck family had more than enough money to hire each of them a private driver without making so much as a dent in their resources. However, even though their father –the head of the household– was happy to hire people to do their cleaning, and cooking, and accounting, he was oddly insistent that a member of the family should escort all of the adolescent Zoldycks to school personally.

Of course, this family member was never Silva Zoldyck himself, as he was far too busy running the family business – a position that often mandated he spend extended periods of time away from home. And ever since the divorce, it was no longer their mother, either.

Instead, it had fallen to Illumi, as the oldest, to take care of his younger brothers’ basic needs. And so, he made sure they were fed, and dressed, and washed, and that they got to and from school every day.

Essentially, he’d picked up right where their mother had left off.

Illumi and Kikyou’s changeover meant minimal disruption to the children’s lives (at least as far as Silva was concerned), with the only real change (again, as Silva saw it) manifesting in the need for Illumi to take a step back from the family business.
Illumi 和 Kikyou 的转变意味着对孩子们生活的干扰最小(至少就 Silva 而言),唯一真正的变化(再次,正如 Silva 所看到的那样)体现在 Illumi 需要从家族企业中退后一步。

Not a complete step back – he still went into the office and attended business meetings and the like – but certainly a reduction in the amount of time he could devote to his career.

It was a source of frustration for Illumi, but family came first.
这让 Illumi 感到沮丧,但家庭是第一位的。

Haphazardly putting on his tie, Killua asked, “when’s Dad back?”

“He’ll be back tonight,” Illumi answered, already moving to help Killua with his tie despite the inevitable objections. “There’s an event this evening he wants us all to go to. Gotoh will be coming by later to drop off your suits from the dry cleaners. Make sure they don’t get creased again.”

Milluki groaned, “do we seriously all have to go? Can’t just Killua go?”

“Shut up, Piggy!” Killua yelled at the same time as Illumi calmly chided, “yes, we do all have to go”.

Both Milluki and Killua made a face at Illumi’s words.

They were both well aware of what kind of ‘event’ it would be, having been dragged to many of them over the years. The events in question were intended to be an opportunity for high-ranking businesspeople to network with each other over expensive drinks and canapés, and so they were hardly appealing to teens or pre-teens like the three youngest Zoldyck brothers.

But whether they would be bored or not was of little consequence – their father wanted them all there, so they would be.

“Right, time to go,” Illumi finally announced, heralding a small stampede as the boys all made their way out of the kitchen and into the car.


As expected, Silva returned that evening already dressed and ready for the event, and fully expecting his sons to have done the same.

With the help of some intensive wrangling from Illumi, all four were indeed uncomfortably buttoned into their formal suits. Killua in particular had made a fuss about having to wear his, complaining that it was itchy, and tight, and un-cool… and several other colourful adjectives that Illumi had chosen to ignore.

Milluki and Kalluto also looked unhappy about their current attire, but neither argued. For Kalluto, it was a matter of politeness –he would never disobey something his big brother had told him to do– and for Milluki, he’d simply long since learned the futility of objecting.

The event itself was, as expected, a crowded, glitzy affair. There were tables with towers of champagne flutes scattered around the large conference room, and well-dressed waiters flittered about carrying platters of h'ordeuvres.

Milluki had camped out near the kitchen exit, ready to intercept any waiter carrying something of interest. At Illumi’s insistence, the rest of the brothers had been forced to follow suit so that Illumi could keep a close watch on all three of them at the same time. Intermittently within eyeshot, their father was making small talk with an unfamiliar conference attendee, no doubt sizing him up as a potential collaborator or competitor.

Following an exaggerated yawn, Killua suddenly announced, “I’m going to the bathroom”.

“Okay,” Illumi sighed, making to follow him.

Stopping immediately, Killua snapped, “by myself!

Just as the two began an intense stare-down, Kalluto mumbled, “I need to go too”.

“Fine,” Illumi reluctantly conceded. “Killua, take your brother with you, and come straight back.”

With a dramatic roll of his eyes, Killua turned and walked away.

“Don’t follow us!” he yelled over his shoulder as he left.

Illumi let out an audible exhale as he watched his youngest brothers recede into the crowd. As far as he was concerned, the end of Killua’s premature teenage rebellion couldn’t come soon enough.

“Illumi!” a familiar voice called out.

Immediately recognising his father’s deep timbre, he picked him out of the crowd and headed to his side. His father cut such an impressive figure –head and shoulders above most of the people in the room– that it was always easy to locate him.

His father gestured towards him as he came to a stop, apparently in the process of introducing him to the same unfamiliar man from before.

“And this is my eldest son: Illumi.”

The man’s gaze shifted over to him, his congenial smile faltering as he did a poorly-hidden double take.

“O-oh! Your son, eh?” the man acknowledged as he recovered, a familiar ‘knowing’ gleam suddenly twinkling in his eye.

Illumi resisted the urge to roll his eyes at what had become an annoyingly commonplace reaction.

Silva, too, was well accustomed to such responses, and swiftly clarified, “my ex-wife is from Jappon”.

“Ahh, of course!” the unknown man exclaimed, hasty to cover up his own embarrassing misunderstanding. “Quite the fascinating people.”

Silva nodded in dispassionate agreement. Ever since he’d first taken his eldest out in public, he’d received strange and curious looks from those around him, confused by the vast chasm of difference between their looks. The most common assumption was that Illumi was illegitimate. In the least charitable iteration of this interpretation, he was the bastard child of a prostitute. In others, he was the product of a tumultuous affair with an exotic mistress.

There were also those that assumed that Illumi was adopted. This was reasoned as being due to impotence on the Zoldyck patriarch’s part; or part of an attempt to appear altruistic to his business partners and financial backers; or even owing to the incorrect belief that Silva had never married, and therefore had a desperate need to acquire an heir, by any means necessary.

The worst version of these rumours (only put forth by the most detestable of individuals) was that Silva had taken in a beautiful young boy from Jappon –legally or otherwise– for something far more insidious.

The rumours were once quelled by the increasing regularity of Kikyou accompanying her husband in public, but since their divorce, that option had vanished and the assumptions had returned.

Granted, as Silva now had multiple children sharing Kikyou’s dark hair and eyes, Illumi stood out significantly less; however, as none of them bore any resemblance to Silva’s own features and colouring, their fraternal similarity only served to prove their blood relation to their mother and to each other: not to their father.

After a pregnant pause, Silva swiftly moved on.

“Let me introduce you to Killua,” he offered. “Illumi, where’s your brother?”

The phrasing –implying that Killua was the only brother of any note– likely wouldn’t have been lost on an impartial observer, but to Silva and Illumi, Killua’s importance was as natural as the marrow in their bones. Equally, it was natural to assume that Illumi would know exactly where Killua was, and what he was doing, at all times.

And he did know, of course, though he could hardly announce that Killua was in the bathroom.

“I’ll go retrieve him,” he averred, before promptly turning on his heel in pursuit of his absent brother.

His father’s quick dismissal wasn’t something Illumi put much thought into; he wasn’t the face of the company, nor was he the future of the company. Most likely, his father had only called him over because he wasn’t able to immediately summon Killua. The fact that the person Illumi had been introduced to hadn’t spoken a word to him was a little irritating, but it was just as well at a time when Illumi was taking a step back from company dealings.

Besides, if Illumi thought the man was actually worth his time, he’d have made it a point to ensure that he remembered him.

He had almost made his way across the lively conference hall when he spotted a shock of red hair in his periphery. Without stopping, he turned his head just enough to see who would adorn themselves with such a garish colour.

Hisoka Morrow?

It certainly seemed to be him, although it had been at least five years since he’d last been cursed with his presence.

At that time, Hisoka had been a senior member of the highly lucrative PT consortium – though how that had happened, Illumi couldn’t imagine. But as he’d heard it, Hisoka had waited until a crucial moment in the company’s expansion, before selling all of his shares to their biggest rivals, thereby throwing the consortium into chaos. As far as Illumi knew, Hisoka had spent his time since then drinking cocktails on a beach and laughing at the misery his newly acquired fortune had wrought.

He’d had a different hair colour the last time they’d met –a vibrant turquoise rather than his current tomato red– but it was still unmistakably him.

Seemingly sensing Illumi’s gaze, Hisoka’s fox-like eyes slid over to his location. Illumi’s eyes immediately flickered back to staring straight ahead, his determined stride increasing slightly in a belated attempt to avoid notice.

His haste was enough that he managed to get to his brothers unmolested. When the bathroom was finally within sight, he saw Killua and Kalluto approaching from the opposite direction. Killua’s expression immediately twisted into one of disdain.

“Are you seriously checking up on us going to the bathroom?”

Illumi blinked owlishly.

“No, Dad wants to introduce you to someone. I came to get you.”

Killua’s expression soured further at the news.

“Fine,” he groused, walking past Illumi in the direction of their father.

“Go with Killua, Kallu” Illumi instructed wearily.

Kalluto wordlessly nodded before hurrying after Killua, who had already managed to sulkily stomp remarkably far.

Illumi massaged his temple in irritation. This gathering was proving to be far too trying.

“My, my. Is that Illumi Zoldyck?”

He tensed at the sound of the smooth, sultry tone that he remembered so clearly. Briefly, he contemplated continuing walking; or breaking into a sprint; or attempting to launch the other man into a nearby champagne tower.

Instead, he turned to face him, his face a stark reflection of his own displeasure.

“Hisoka,” he curtly acknowledged, determined to keep their ‘reunion’ brief.

Sauntering into his orbit with his usual languid movements, Hisoka looked him up and down, making a show of slowly appraising him.

“You’re looking very well. I see you’ve grown your hair out; it suits you.”

Illumi stared stoically back at him, unmoved by compliments that he had no intention of returning.

Hisoka smiled, infuriatingly amused by Illumi’s apathy.

“You’re really going to give me the cold shoulder?” he teased. “And here I thought we parted on such good terms~”

As Hisoka spoke, he reached out to brush some of the stray hairs from Illumi’s face. Without hesitation, Illumi used his forearm to block him.

Remaining undeterred, Hisoka’s smile only widened.

“Oh, don’t be like that,” he said pleasantly. “It’s been such a long time since we’ve seen each other. It must be fate.”

Illumi did roll his eyes at that last part. If this was fate, it was an accursed one.

But still, there was no point refusing to speak to Hisoka for the sake of a grudge he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. He should at least find out what Hisoka was up to before writing him off completely.

“What are you doing here, Hisoka? I thought you’d retired to a life of indolent hedonism?”

Hisoka laughed, “surely that’s every man’s dream? But alas, even the most beautiful of dreams grow tiresome after a while”.

Ignoring the other’s characteristic depravity, Illumi raised an eyebrow.

“So you’ve decided to re-enter to business world?”

“Goodness, what an idea!” Hisoka laughed again. “But who knows? For now, I just thought it might be fun to see some old friends.”

As he spoke, he raised his glass meaningfully, his eyes focused on something over Illumi’s shoulder. Turning to look, Illumi was just in time to catch a couple of the senior partners of the PT consortium furiously conferring with each other as they shot disgusted looks Hisoka’s way. Illumi could only presume they were debating the merits of slashing his throat with a shard of broken champagne flute.

“So you’re here to antagonise your former colleagues?” Illumi asked, his lip twitching slightly.

Antagonise is still an unkind choice of words,” Hisoka sunnily rebuffed, though he didn’t deny it.

“Should I expect to see you at more of these gatherings?”

“I’m not sure how I’ll be spending my time yet… though I’d certainly like to see y–”

“Illumi!” Silva called from a short distance away.

He didn’t elaborate; he merely stared purposefully in Illumi’s direction until he saw him start to move towards him.

“I have to go,” was the only farewell Hisoka got as Illumi hurried away without so much as a glance back at him.

Chuckling to himself as he downed the rest of his drink, Hisoka murmured, “still the obedient little lapdog, I see…”

Of course, Illumi didn’t hear him. Even if the distance hadn’t been too great, his mind was already elsewhere.

Illumi weaved through the other guests until he was within arm’s length of his father’s turned back. Without turning to look at him, Silva reached out and grabbed his bicep, yanking him closer.

“What did he want?”

Illumi blinked stupidly.

“Hisoka? Nothing, really. It seems he’s just here to antagonise Chrollo and the rest of PT.”

Silva looked pensive.

“That could be useful; the more they’re distracted, the better.” He tightened his grip slightly. “But even so, I don’t want you talking to him. There are… unsavoury rumours about his personal life.”

Illumi’s eyebrow twitched as if to raise it, but he thought better of it. Presumably, his father was referring to Hisoka’s ‘diverse’ sexual proclivities, though he was a little surprised that he would care. Maybe it was more about the notoriety and abundance of his rumoured sexual encounters, rather than the content of them per se. Who knew? But one thing was for sure…

“I have no interest in talking to him. He’s a nuisance.”

“Good,” Silva sighed as he released his arm. “Get your brothers, we’re leaving.”

With a curt nod, Illumi set about assembling his siblings and loading them into the waiting car. Because their father was with them, his faithful right-hand (a man named Gotoh) was seated in the driver’s seat when they arrived.

It was standard practise for Gotoh to drive their father everywhere, and for occasions such as this one, Gotoh brought a car spacious enough to comfortably seat Silva and all of his sons.

The three youngest were sat on the back row, studiously ignoring each other. Silva and Illumi occupied the two middle seats, which, unlike the back seats, had a clearly defined gap between the two.

Despite everyone’s close proximity, there was silence for the majority of the journey. It wasn’t until they were almost home that the peace was interrupted by the shrill ringing of Silva’s phone.

He answered without hesitation, and the topic of conversation immediately turned to business. Although the content of the call was no doubt something the family’s competitors would kill to know, the brothers (with the exception of Illumi) barely paid any attention to what was being said. It was normal for their father to take business calls in front of them, and the one-sided exchanges were hardly interesting – just some boring information about deals or financiers or partners or something equally dull.

However, as the call continued, the atmosphere in the car began to shift as it became increasingly clear that their father was getting angry. It wasn’t that he was shouting (though he was known to have the occasional explosive outburst), it was the way his voice began to sound more and more dangerous – almost as if he was threatening the unfortunate caller.

As always, Illumi’s face remained impassive. He’d been listening to the call from the start, keen to pick up any intel that he could, and a change in his father’s mood was scarcely something that warranted a visible reaction from him. Similarly, Killua looked wholly unbothered – he still had his arms crossed behind his head, and he was staring out the window with disinterest: the very picture of a sullen pre-teen.

In contrast to Killua and Illumi’s apparent nonchalance, Kalluto’s posture straightened up as he began to pay closer attention to what was going on. It wasn’t that he was uncomfortable per se, but his demeanour still instinctively shifted to match his father’s seriousness.

By far the most obvious reaction was Milluki’s. He didn’t say anything, but his nervousness was so palpable that it manifested physically – sweat started to accrue on his brow, and his hands betrayed the slightest of tremors. He stared determinately down at his lap, his body language looking like he was trying to sink into the car seat.

The call ended shortly before they pulled into the front-drive of their home, and everyone abandoned the car and made their way inside. Silva hung back briefly to confer with Gotoh while his children gathered in the foyer, awaiting their customary post-event debriefing.

When Silva eventually joined them, it was clear from the tension in his jaw that the aggravation caused by the phone call hadn’t abated.

The boys stood silently, waiting for him to speak. Milluki was still attempting to look anywhere but at his father.

Abruptly, Illumi piped up, “Dad, you should rest for a while. Why don’t you come and lie down?”

As he spoke, he reached out his hand as if offering it for his father to take – beckoning him to the staircase behind him, and the peace of his bedroom beyond that.

There was a short, tense moment where Silva considered his son’s proposal. As usual, Illumi’s purposeful gaze didn’t waver for even a second.

“Fine,” Silva brusquely agreed, walking past Illumi and ascending the stairs.

Illumi immediately followed, though he briefly turned his head back towards his siblings.

“Milluki, give your brothers their night drinks. I’ll be back shortly.”

Mutely, Milluki nodded in agreement, watching as both his father and big brother disappeared from view.


Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you got something positive out of this first chapter. I’m actually halfway through writing chapter 4, so I figured I should bite the bullet and start posting.😅

I would really love to hear your thoughts on the story so far. Thanks again! ❤️