Cafeteria, U.A High School, 3:07 PM
April 6th, 2149.
Eventually, they were returned to the classroom, but heroics had been canceled for the day in the wake of the infiltration. Instead, they were greeted once more by Shota slumped on his desk tiredly, and he waved them back to the seats. Izuku remained at the front of the room, speaking quietly to the teacher for a moment.
Shota just nodded, and Izuku turned to face the class nervously.
“I am resigning from the position of class president,” Izuku said quickly, bowing at the waist. “I believe that Ida is better suited to that role!”
There was a wave of mutters, and Tenya stood straight up at his desk in surprise.
“You all saw how well he led everyone during the evacuation,” Izuku continued, “He is the better candidate.”
“Oh!” Kirishima shouted, impressed, “Midoriya, that’s so manly!”
Izuku looked embarrassed at the sudden attention, and Tenya clenched his fist tightly in front of him.
“Midoriya… I will accept the position,” Tenya said solemnly, “Thank you.”
I was only paying a basic level of attention to the events in the classroom instead, I watched as Nezu, Midnight, Recovery Girl, and Thirteen approached the destroyed gate. I couldn’t hear anything they were saying without manifesting more of myself, which would only get me caught.
Instead, I focused on their faces, doing my best to try and read their lips—to absolutely no avail.
Eventually, they left, and I returned my focus to the classroom—the first thing I was going to do when I returned home would be contacting Sajin and asking for help in learning how to read lips.
“Hisoka!” Momo called, and I stopped in the hallway.
If she was approaching me now, it was most likely related to one of two things, the statues or the election we’d had in class.
“Momo,” I smiled in greeting, putting more effort into the action than I normally would. “Congratulations on becoming vice-president.”
“Thank you,” Momo said, pleased, “I wasn’t sure my appointment was secure for a while there, especially after both you and Midoriya resigned.”
“You and Tenya are the best choices,” I said simply before glancing over her shoulder pointedly. “I will have to walk and talk. My train leaves in five minutes.”
“Of course!” Momo said quickly, moving to follow.
I wasn’t truly worried about missing the train, but the time limit would put a bit of pressure on her, which should make the discussion easier for me.
“Did Eijiro speak to you about the Tokyo trip he is organizing for the weekend?” I said simply.
“Ah, no, he hasn’t.” Momo blinked, “This is the first I’ve heard of it.”
“Would you like to come with us?” I said, smiling. “So far, I know that Eijiro, Mina, Tsuyu, and myself are going, but there could be more.”
Momo looked a bit flustered at the sudden invitation, but she was smiling.
“A trip to Tokyo? That sounds like it could be fun,” Momo said, intrigued, “Which day?”
“Saturday, I’ll ask about the time later tonight,” I said, nodding, “May I have your phone number?”
“Of course,” Momo said quickly, listing it off as they approached the gate.
I inputted it into my phone and locked it once more.
“Hisoka, I spoke to my mother about the statues, she was happy to hear I’d met you both—She has extended an invitation to both Ms. Higawara and yourself to attend a dinner at our home on Saturday night, 6:00 PM.”
My focus sharpened at the words, and I fought to keep the smile off my face as everything came together much earlier than I had anticipated. Access to her home and her mother in a single day—if the father was also in attendance, it would be the absolute best outcome.
I let the smile bloom.
“Thank you for the invitation, Momo.” I said pleased, “I will make sure to repay you for your generosity. Hayami will be very happy, I’m sure.”
“Don’t be silly. It’s just a dinner; you have nothing to repay,” Momo said, bemused, before blinking. “Oh—I hope that wasn’t your train.”
It was, but I just nodded and focused on the orb I’d snuck onto the train before it left the station.
“I will make sure to confirm our attendance once I’ve spoken to Hayami,” I said easily as I began reconstructing myself on the train. “See you tomorrow, Momo.”
I started to dissolve, particles drifting away.
“Goodbye, Hisoka—” Momo said quickly.
I watched as the world passed by the window, content to wait until I was noticed—That was much, much easier than I had originally assumed it would have been. Momo was much friendlier and very good-natured for someone from such an esteemed family.
It could have been an act, and Momo could have been an incredible actress, concealing a monstrous visage beneath her innocent exterior. I wondered if I would be able to tell, sitting across from the girl’s mother and father.
Would there be a sudden spark of understanding in that moment, where I would know without a shadow of a doubt that they had brutally killed my friend’s family?
I was bringing Hayami into a potential lion’s den as well, which wasn’t something I was at ease with, but it was a necessary evil—I needed to confirm whether or not they had been responsible. I needed to know where Nanami had been taken.
I needed answers.
“Hisoka!” Eijiro called when he finally spotted me standing behind him. “You should have said, something dude. You scared the crap outta me.”
“My apologies,” I said simply, “Momo is interested in joining us on the weekend. Would you like her number?”
He did, so I spun the phone around and flashed him the number. He took it down quickly.
“Hell yeah!” Ejiro cheered before he started laughing. “Hey—I asked Bakugou if he wanted to come, and he said no—well, his exact words were much more colorful, but you get the point—I’ll work on it; he might change his mind.”
I could imagine the conversation vividly.
“What time are we leaving?” I asked simply, more of a test to see if he’d gotten that far yet.
“Shizuoka station, 7:14 AM. The trip should take about an hour,” Eijiro smiled, “Does that work for you?”
I wondered what drove Eijiro’s upbeat energy, I’d only known the other boy for a couple of days at best, but I had yet to see him as anything but cheerful.
“That works,” I agreed. “Eijiro, what is it that makes you happy?”
Eijiro tilted his head at the nonsequitur, looking a bit bemused.
“A lot of things, I guess,” Eijiro said sheepishly, “If I had to choose? The thing that makes me happiest…”
I wondered what type of answer he would give, material value of some sort? Connections with others? Philosophy? Favorite food or a popular band? A person—
“I like moving towards things, like—completing goals, you know?” Eijiro stumbled a bit, trying to explain. “It makes me feel like I’m achieving something, working towards something bigger, becoming better—that sort of thing. As long as I’m pushing forward, I’ll have a smile on my face.”
The taller boy nodded firmly at his declaration as if to force his reality onto the world. Eijiro had mentioned that he’d tried to change himself, and now he was working towards being a hero just like the man who had apparently inspired him.
I had a very good grasp of what drove him—because it’s what drove me as well, but we differed in that it didn’t make me happy. Progression in your life, in your goals, mastering skills, and pushing further. Working towards a larger purpose, and after you’d done everything in your power, you were rewarded by the manifestation of your will and the tangible results that came from it.
Progression fuels motivation, and motivation fuels progression, an endless loop of improvement.
“Silly, huh?” Eijiro laughed awkwardly, ruffling his bright red hair.
“No, it’s not.” I said quietly, “I understand completely.”
“What makes you happy, Hisoka?” Eijiro asked, grinning.
The thought that one day I’d find Nanami and bring her back unharmed. The idea that I would deal with the ones responsible. That I would one day have answers to why.
“I really like cinnamon,” I said seriously.
“We’ve been invited to a social dinner with one of my classmate’s parents,” I said evenly, sitting on the edge of my bed. “On Saturday, 6:00 PM.”
“Really?” Hayami said, astonished.
I couldn’t blame her for the surprise—the last time I’d been invited to someone’s house was before Nanami had vanished.
“Yes,” I said easily, “I must admit, I’ve been conspiring against you, Hayami.”
Hayami gave a surprised laugh at the confession.
“Oh, have you now?” Hayami’s smile was almost audible, even through the phone. “Go on then, explain your conspiracy.”
I smiled flatly.
“I met a girl whose name sounded familiar, and I realized it was one of your client’s daughters.” I said pleasantly, “I asked her for some photographs of the work you did for them—to surprise you with as it was one of the ones missing from your book.”
Hayami breathed in quickly at the admittance.
“Really? Hisoka, that’s so thoughtful!” Hayami said, pleased, “Which client was it? There are still a bunch of missing ones that I haven’t got around to yet.”
“Ume Yaoyorozu,” I said easily, “and her husband Minato Yaoyorozu.”
“Oh!” Hayami said happily, “I remember Ume—the twin statues and the bust. What was their daughter’s name again—I can’t seem to recall.”
“Little Momo,” I said ironically.
I heard the snap of her fingers as it came back to her and the laugh that followed.
“I remember telling you about that—Hisoka, that was years ago,” Hayami said, amused. “How do you even remember these things?”
The question was rhetorical, so I moved past it.
“Would you like me to tell her that we will be attending?” I prompted.
“Yes, yes,” Hayami said happily before humming. “Hmm, that’s quite a distance away if I recall—they lived in Nagoya back then.”
Nagoya was two hours away by train, and I doubted that Momo would have wanted to commute that every single day. I’d have to ask, but I thought it was likely that they had moved closer to school.
“They might have moved,” I pointed out, “I’ll ask her later about the address.”
“That would be lovely,” Hayami said, pleased. “I’ll have to find something nice to wear!”
Now was probably the best time to accomplish some of my own goals as well. It would be easier to convince her while she was in such a bright mood.
“Hayami, I was also invited to a trip with some classmates to Tokyo, early Saturday morning,” I said easily, “Momo, Eijiro, Mina, Tsuyu, and myself, but more may have been included by now. Do you think I can go with them?”
Leading with ‘Little Momo’ would help to bridge the connection.
“You’re making so many friends, Hisoka,” Hayami said brightly, “I’m so happy for you; it’s been so long! Of course, you can go.”
“Thank you, Hayami,” I said genuinely, “I’ll make sure to behave myself.”
This was a proof of concept in a way. I could engineer situations where I left the city unaccompanied by an adult, and provided I kept the requests in line with the ‘goal’ of making friendships or memories with those friends; she was likely going to be on board. In a few weeks, I would have to convince one of the others that we should take another trip.
It looked like I was going to Tokyo.
The front gate of the U.A was still a mess when I arrived the next day, twice as many guards were standing at the entrance checking everyone on their way inside. I hadn’t seen any of my classmates in my carriage this morning, but I hadn’t gone out of my way to look for them either.
The first thing I noticed when I entered the classroom was Katsuki leaning threatening over the desk belonging to Shoto as the rest of the class watched. I walked towards them calmly, heading for my own seat right next to the boy.
“What was that, you half-and-half bastard?” Katsuki demanded.
Shoto watched the other boy without expression, not at all intimidated by his aggression.
“I have no interest in fighting you,” Shoto said evenly. “It would be a waste of time.”
I took my seat beside the two, taking note that Izuku had his hands threaded into his hair and was staring at them with a worried look on his face.
“Bastard!” Katsuki said darkly, hand cracking warningly. “Are you looking down on me!?”
Shoto didn’t bother replying. Instead, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes.
“Everyone sit down,” Shota said boredly as he entered the room.
Katsuki scoffed in annoyance and turned away from the boy before stomping back to his own desk without another word.
“Teacher?” Ochako said curiously, waving her hand high. “Did the school find out who broke the gate?”
I nodded fractionally at the question. I’d been planning on asking it as well.
“No,” Shota sighed, “Too many people right up against the gate to see who did it. The reporters were all checked for quirks that could have done it, but none had one that matched. There were four individuals in the crowd who couldn’t be identified, and their faces were concealed. The suspect was likely one of them.”
“Will the reporters get in trouble for trespassing in the school afterward?” I asked quietly after he finished.
The man’s eyes locked onto my own, and he nodded.
“There will be repercussions, but not from the school.” Shota confirmed stoically, “They are civilians and had non-hostile intentions, so it has become a police matter now. We are only interested in discovering the culprit who broke through the gate, and that is where our focus shall remain.”
I nodded in understanding and sat back in my chair.
“Any more questions?” Shota said dryly, “Or can I start now?”
“Sorry!” Ochako said sheepishly.
He waited a moment before continuing.
“You will be undergoing a training exercise later today,” Shota said, studying them. “We will be leaving here after lunch. Make sure you bring your equipment with you. It’s quite a distance away, so we will be taking a bus to arrive there.”
Shota sketched out a quick ’1 PM’ on the board, and the word ‘bus’ next to it, before dropping his chalk in the tray with a clatter.
“This time, All Might, myself, and one other instructor will be organizing and supervising the training,” Shota said evenly before sighing again. “Yes?”
Momo’s hand was held up silently.
“What type of training is it, teacher?” Momo said curiously.
“Yeah, what are we doing?” Hanta said, grinning. “Sounds fun.”
“This training will be preparing you for disaster relief,” Shota answered, “It’s essentially rescue training for environments that are dangerous or unusual—could be anything from fires to floods, you’ll have to wait and find out.”
“This sounds like a rough day,” Denki snickered, “Think Bakugou will blow up another building?”
“Huh?!” Katsuki snarled.
“Hah!” Mina cackled, “Wasn’t it Midoriya who did most of the damage?”
Midoriya buried his face in his arms, hiding with his face against the desk as Katsuki turned towards him in anger.
“I would be pretty effective during a flood, I think.” Tsuyu said thoughtfully. “I’d most likely avoid any fires, however.”
“Hey,” Shota said darkly. “I wasn’t done yet.”
The man’s long black hair was floating upwards as he glared at them all with glowing red eyes.
“A Yurei has appeared!” Mina gasped, holding her notepad up between her and the man.
“Don’t call him that,” Momo chastised, flustered. “How rude.”
Shota’s hair fell flat again as his power receeded, and he sighed again.
“If your costume impedes your ability to function in an exercise like this, leave it behind.” Shota directed, “That’s all the prep you’re getting. Make sure you’re ready to leave after lunch.”
“That’s great,” Momo said pleasantly, “Was Ms. Higawara surprised?”
I swallowed the bite of my apple before speaking.
“Yes, she was ecstatic,” I said honestly, “She did, however, show some concern over the travel time to Nagoya.”
“Oh!” Momo said quickly, “We no longer live there—it’s been seven years since we moved—we are in Hamamatsu now.”
“Hey, that’s where I live,” Eijiro said, grinning. “I’m in the Naka-ku ward.”
“Oh, you’re right in the middle of the city!” Momo said, smiling, “Our home is in the Hamakita ward.”
“Isn’t Naka-ku where the Hamamatsu Castle is located?” I said idly, thinking about the area.
It was one of the locations I’d brainstormed as plausible to want to visit as part of my long-term plan. Eijiro living there would make that much easier to push as an unsupervised visit. I might even be able to trick Hayami once I’d given a decent amount of time towards establishing this friendship.
“Yeah,” Eijiro laughed, “It looks pretty cool, not going to lie.”
“I’d like to see it eventually,” I said simply.
“Yeah?” Eijiro said before he was cut off.
“I have arrived!” Mina declared, clapping her tray down on the table and bringing her hands up to her forehead, and mimicking the twin hair spikes the man had. “Huah, Huah, Huah.”
I blinked at what was most likely the worst impression of All Might I’d even seen.
“Those celery sticks really pull it all together!” Momo giggled.
“Wow!” Eijiro started laughing, impressed. “That was terrible.”
Tsuyu popped out from behind her and waved before taking a seat next to Momo. Mina huffed at the reaction to her entrance before biting the end off one of her sticks and slipping into the seat beside him.
“Now that the council is assembled,” Mina snapped off another piece of celery, “What are we going to do in Tokyo?”
I watched as the others made several suggestions, and Eijiro brought up his booked appointment at the hairdresser. Momo seemed surprised by almost every suggestion the others were making—which was interesting, the difference in upbringings and class at work.
“Hisoka?” Tsuyu spoke up, “Is there somewhere you would like to go?”
There wasn’t anything in Tokyo that I wanted. The leverage a successful unsupervised trip would give me was what I was after. I noted the others were looking at me now and decided on a simple answer.
I waited until Momo finished unscrewing the lid on her water bottle and tipped it back to drink.
“Kabukichō,” I said straight-faced.
Tsuyu croaked in alarm while Momo actually choked on her water, spilling it on the table and her lap.
“Yaoyorozu!” Mina cried, leaning over the table. “Don’t die! You have so much to live for!”
Momo tried to fend off the pink girl’s concern while getting her breath back.
“Dude!” Eijiro said, laughing. “You’ve killed her.”
“Sorry, Momo, it was just a joke.” I said easily, “I’d like to see the view of the city from the Sky Tree. I’ve heard it’s quite beautiful.”
“Oh!” Eijiro nodded, “I’ve been up there twice, the top floor is awesome.
“Momo, are you alright?” Tsuyu said curiously.
I noted that she had used her given name; perhaps she was attempting to speedrun the friendship stage like I was.
“I’m fine!” Momo said, flustered, sending a wary glance at me. “I just didn’t expect it.”
I took another bite of my apple, ignoring the suspicion.
“You did that on purpose,” Tsuyu noted. “An assassination attempt in broad daylight, U.A is more dangerous than I had first assumed.”
I cracked a genuine smile at the comment but kept my silence.
“Alright,” Eijiro said thoughtfully, “So, we have Akihabara, the Sky Tree, a cat café, and a maid café on the list. Oh, and my appointment as well. That’s a couple of hours, how does that sound for our master list?”
There was a round of quick agreements.
“That sounds fine,” Momo said, pleased, “I’ve never been to a cat café before.”
“Momo!” Mina said excitedly, “They’re so friendly. They just cuddle up to you and everything.”
For a very brief moment, I was tempted to ask if the same thing happened at the Maid café, just to see what Momo’s reaction would be, but the moment passed, and the comment remained unspoken.
I followed the rest of 1-A to the interior road system that existed within the U.A grounds. There was a short bus waiting for us when we arrived, with an older man smiling in the driver’s seat. Tenya immediately took charge of the situation, waiting by the doors and blowing a whistle he had procured.
“I will ask you all to line up according to your I.D numbers!” Tenya instructed, “Let’s fill the seats in an orderly fashion!”
None of the class presidents I’d had at other schools had ever shown such interest in these sorts of things. There was no tangible downside to not listening to the boy, other than perhaps dealing with his ire. However, if we followed his instructions and we would look more responsible as a group—perhaps even showcase the ability to follow a loose chain of command while unsupervised.
There weren’t any instructors here at present, Instead they intended to meet us on-site, but that didn’t mean we weren’t being assessed by unseen means—the bus driver may have even been tasked with reporting our behavior.
It ended up being rather unfortunate that the bus had a non-standard layout, and the system quickly devolved into just finding a seat as quickly as possible. It could have been a lesson in adapting to a changing plan—but it was probably just bad luck. I took a seat four rows from the back of the bus, in the last seat before the non-standard layout begun, facing the others.
“Darn, it was this type of bus after all,” Tenya said, mortified, head in his hands.
Mina apparently found it hilarious and slapped him on the back several times in some bizarre attempt at comfort.
“All that for nothing, huh?” Mina giggled, “It’s alright, how could you have known?”
Jiro took the last available seat, looking distinctly uncomfortable as she sat down next to Katsuki. She turned towards the aisle and noticed that I was sitting on the other side—she quickly put her earphones in and turned back to face the front, ignoring us both.
Tenya groaned, and the bus rumbled to a start, slowly swerving out onto the road.
“What do you think this rescue training is going to be like?” Rikido said curiously, sitting near the front of the bus.
“Hmm,” Mina said at length, “Maybe it’s like the last exercise, except instead of fighting the other team, we have to save them from something?”
“Oh!” Rikido said enthusiastically, “That sounds fun. Koji, we’ll have to team up again!”
He’d had to yell the words because the other boy was all the way at the back of the bus in the corner seat. The quiet boy looked up at the volume, a bit surprised to have been called out so suddenly.
“Yes, we should,” Koji said quickly, looking embarrassed. “That sounds fun.”
“Hmph,” Mina noised, glaring at the tall boy. “Don’t think it will go the same as last time, Sato—right Aoyama?”
“Of course!” Yuga said brightly.
“Uh, I thought we were rescuing the other team?” Rikido said nervously, “I’m pretty sure you aren’t allowed to fight them, right?”
Mina just grinned, cracking her knuckles.
“Izuku,” Tsuyu said suddenly, causing the other boy to jump. “I generally say what’s on my mind, so I apologize if this is abrupt.”
“Um, what is it, Asui?” Izuku said curiously.
“Call me Tsuyu,” Tsuyu said calmly, watching him. “I wanted to tell you that your quirk greatly resembles All Mights.”
Izuku looked genuinely horrified for a few seconds before he managed to pull his features back into a weak façade of sheepishness. The reaction drew my full attention, as it was completely out of character for both the boy and the remark that she had made.
It was far too extreme.
From the conversations, I’d overheard and the doodles in his notepad I’d seen, Izuku greatly admired All Might—even to the point that his costume was clearly inspired by the man.
The proper response would have been happiness, or pride, or something like either of them. Why, then, would Izuku be terrified when someone made a basic connection between his quirk and his apparent idols?
“I-I don’t think they are very alike at all,” Izuku said, swallowing.
Tsuyu frowned, staring at the boy in confusion, no doubt noting the same oddness about the reaction, and then Eijiro joined the conversation.
“I mean, they are both strength quirks right, it’s not exactly uncommon?” Eijiro said, shrugging, “All Might doesn’t injure himself when he uses it, though, so they’re different in that aspect at least.”
Izuku had turned to look at the other boy in relief as if he had just saved him from some sort of mistake—something was going on here, between Izuku and All Might. I ran the last words that Eijiro had spoke through my mind a few times before I realized what had caught my attention there.
All Might doesn’t injure himself when he uses it. Except right now, All Might was in a state of physical decay—was it possible that the reason he was declining was because of he did injure himself with his quirk?
What if it was some kind of internal damage that couldn’t be seen as Midoriya’s could? If Izuku knew about All Might’s condition, then it was possible that his reaction was caused by the knowledge that he might one day end up in the same position as his idol—decaying and weakened.
“That sort of simple strength-enhancing quirk is awesome, though,” Eijiro continued, “You can do a lot of stuff with it.”
Rikido grinned and flexed his bicep at the red-haired boy, drawing a laugh from him.
“Yeah, I’m jealous,” Eijiro admitted easily, lifting his arm and hardening it with his quirk. “Not like my hardening, I mean, I’m good in a fight, sure—but it’s such a boring quirk, you know?”
The self-deprecation seemed to draw Izuku out of his panic.
“I don’t agree,” Izuku said intently. “I think your quirk is amazing, Kirishima, and it’s more than enough if you want to become a hero.”
“That isn’t all you need to become a professional hero,” Yuga said dramatically, “You also have to worry about your popularity and how you appeal to the public—certainly if you wish to advance the rankings.”
That brought back several distinct memories—Nanami had wanted to be a famous hero, and we would have needed to learn how to do exactly what the sparkling boy was suggesting.
“My navel-laser is both strong and cool,” Yuga declared brightly, easy confidence about him. “It’s the perfect quirk for someone who desires a career as a popular hero.”
“As long as you don’t blow your own stomach up first,” Mina interjected, smirking.
Yuga gave her a deadpanned look.
“You wanna talk about strong and cool?” Eijiro grinned, “That would be Bakugo and Todoroki.”
Katsuki scoffed at his sudden inclusion in the conversation and turned to look out the window—Shoto didn’t even react to his name.
“I find it hard to believe that Bakugo would be popular,” Tsuyu said thoughtfully, “He seems very unhinged.”
Izuku choked on his saliva at the words as Katsuki leaped to his feet and leaned over the divider towards the girl.
“What the hell did you just say, frog-face!?” Katsuki raged, “You’re going to have trouble rescuing anyone after I blast you to pieces!”
“See?” Tsuyu said pointedly.
“Aw, come on guys, we’ve only just started socializing,” Denki joined in, grinning, “Let’s not drag the guy with the shitty personality into it—I’d like to make it through the day, you know?”
“You want to die too, dumbass!?” Katsuki snarled.
“What a vulgar conversation,” Momo said weakly, “Please stop trying to infuriate each other.”
“Yaoyorozu is right!” Tenya declared, rising from the ashes of his defeat like a Phoenix. “We must conduct ourselves with dignity befitting our status as students of the premier—”
“We’re here, you lot,” The bus driver’s voice washed over them. “Look sharp now. You’re in for a long day!”
“Thank you, sir!” Tenya cried, bowing at the waist.
The building in front of them was a towering monstrosity of metal and concrete, all expertly crafted into a dome of truly epic proportions. Eraserhead and Thirteen, a famous hero, met them at the massive door in full costume.
The doors swung inwards, revealing a series of biomes ranging from a city on fire, a city half-buried in what appeared to be a landslide, a lake, and half a dozen others stretching out of sight.
“Good morning, students,” Thirteen said pleasantly, “Welcome. With the help of many members of U.A and those outside of it, we have built this facility to simulate as many disaster scenarios as possible.”
There was a desert area to the northeast, I could feel the sand there, and I pushed some of my focus in that direction. It bloomed into focus, and I searched the area, locating a multitude of mannequins in various states of ‘dehydration,’ according to the text printed on the chest.
“This facility has been named the Unforeseen Simulation Joint, or USJ for short,” Thirteen continued.
“Thirteen,” Eraserhead said quietly, “Where is All Might? He said he was meeting us here.”
Thirteen held up three fingers before responding.
“It seems he just about reached his limit and tired himself out. He kept getting distracted by criminals during his morning commute.” Thirteen said lightly, “He will join us towards the end of the exercise.”
I stared at the two teachers intently—were they really speaking about this so openly? Izuku likewise looked nervous and was watching them closely. It was vague enough that nobody without context would be able to understand what his limit was, but it was still so brazen.
“How annoying,” Eraserhead said dryly, “Fine, there’s no point in waiting—let’s get this started.”
Thirteen nodded ponderously before turning back to them.
“Before we begin, I have something I want to discuss with you all—about your quirks,” Thirteen said seriously, studying them. “Some of you will most likely be thinking this, ‘How am I supposed to rescue anybody, with a quirk like mine?’”
There was some muttering in the group, and it turned to shock as a spiraling black hole appeared above Thirteen’s hand, sucking in the surrounding air with violent force. I watched her warily, suddenly aware of the danger the hero presented.
I tugged on the desert connection, ready to reform elsewhere.
“My quirk is called ‘Black Hole,’ for obvious reasons,” Thirteen said seriously, “It can suck in and tear apart anything. It is a power that is easily capable of killing; some might even say that is its primary purpose, and yet if you were to search for information about me, do you know what you would find?”
Izuku raised his hand, and Thirteen nodded.
“You are world-famous for saving people and performing disaster recovery operations,” Izuku said excitedly.
Thirteen nodded again.
“Quirks are heavily restricted for a reason, students,” Thirteen declared, “But it is not a perfect system. Some argue that the restrictions are too great, while others argue it is too little—regardless of which side of the issue you fall on, one thing is certain. It takes only a single miscalculation with an uncontrollable quirk for people to die—careful instruction is important.”
Thirteen let the black hole wither and die in her hand.
“My quirks purpose is destruction, but with training, care and determination, I have bent it to a new purpose, to save people.” Thirteen said firmly, “We will help you all do the same.”
Tenya started clapping as the hero took a short bow, and the others joined soon after.
“She’s so awesome!” Ochako said excitedly.
Izuku was nodding along furiously in agreement.
“Perfect,” Eraserhead said impressed, “Now—”
Eraserhead spun on his heel with blistering speed, drawing everyone’s attention to him. A swirling black hole appeared in the middle of the courtyard, and for a moment, I thought it was Thirteen’s quirk again before a flood of purple mist joined it.
A hand appeared on the inside of the circle, gripping the edge gently.
I’m a fantasy author from Australia, and if I were to describe my work in a single sentence it would be; Realism contained within an unrealistic backdrop. I aim to put out high-quality, original, long-form written content that will entertain, and engage you. Expect dark themes, characters making costly mistakes, and unreliable narrators.
My standard process starts by releasing draft chapters to my Patreon, and then to everybody else online. Once the story is completed, I convert it into a more conventional eBook. I also routinely go back and revise, edit and enhance my older work as I improve as a writer.
I now have a website that has links to all of my original works to date.