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What do you think about at night? Dreams, hopes, despair

Chapter Text

Izuku was 4 when his world tumbled down: Izuku was quirkless.

Quirks. They are what the world in which Izuku lived in revolves around. If you have a strong quirk, people value you more than if you have a weak one. If you have a quirk that is generally considered creepy or villainous, you will most likely be ostracized. But if you are quirkless? You will be the outcast of the outcasts. Quirkless people are considered a thing of the past. Ever since the birth of the glowing baby in China, quirked people have been appearing more and more. They are considered the next step in evolution and soon enough, only 20% of the population was quirkless. As a side note, with the rise of super powers also came the rise of heroes and villains.

Now, you could imagine how bad poor little Izuku must have had it right? Wrong. Because most of that 20% belong to the older generations, where there were less quirk. In Izuku's generation, it is estimated that only 1% remains quirkless. So, take that miserable life you just imagined and increase the misery by 20.

Constant abuse, bullying, negligence, and so much more. That was the state of this poor boy's life ever since he was declared quirkless.

But Izuku was an optimistic kid. He held on to his dreams of becoming a hero, saving people with a bright smile.

Izuku was 5 when he got a quirk.

How can this be, you ask. If quirks really was the next step in evolution, wouldn't it mean that it is related to genetics? And genetics don't work like that. You can't just gain a new body part/special ability overnight. It takes millions and millions of years. And you would be correct.

Unfortunately, the rules of nature does not apply to one weird cat-fox creature with gravity defying rings.

...

"Stop it, Kacchan!" Izuku told his childhood friend turned bully. "You are hurting it."

Kacchan, real name: Bakugou Katsuki, sneered.

"And what are you going to do, you useless Deku?"

"I... I will fight you", said Izuku as he took a stance, protecting the cat-fox creature with gravity defying rings behind him.

"Is that so?" Bakugou said, his ruby eyes glinting.

Then, he proceeded beat the absolute crap out of little Midoriya. It was to be expected. Midoriya Izuku had always been a small child, and a quirkless one after all. He stood no chance against Bakugou, a prideful, hotheaded, volatile child who was not only physically strong but also had the ability to create explosions with his sweat.

Ah, I should probably also explain the Deku thing. 'Kacchan' is very obviously just a cutesy nickname but what about 'Deku'? Well, it is the other way to read Izuku's name. 'Deku' comes from the word 'dekunobou' meaning wooden doll or blockhead, good-for-nothing. Needless to say, the bully chose to use the second meaning.

Now, back to Izuku, who was nursing his wounds after Bakugou had left. Ever the compasionate child, he turned and asked if the fox-cat thing if it was alright.

"I think you should worry more about you", a voice said. It seemed like it came from the creature.

"You can talk!?" Izuku asked incredulously.

"Yes", the creature answered. "My name is Kyubey. Nice to meet you."

"Hello", the boy said. "I'm Izuku. So, is this a quirk you have? I've never seen an animal with a quirk before. Other than, of course, Nedzu, the principal of UA..."

"What about you?" Kyubey interrupted. "Don't you have a power you could fight back with? Everyone here has one."

Izuku felt his chest tighten. Kyubey's words were like knives, twisting into his heart. Yet they sound so innocent, like that of a child who didn't know any better.

"I... I'm quirkless..." Izuku choked out. "I don't have a quirk..."

His eyes were prickling. He felt like crying.

"Would you like one?" Kyubey asked.

"What?" Izuku stared at the creature. Did it just...?

"A quirk", the cat-fox being replied. "Or any wish you want really. I can grant it."

"You can?" The boy asked, hope rising in his chest.

"Of course", the being said. "In exchange, you will become a Magical Boy and fight Witches. I can see you have a lot of potential at being a Magical Boy."

"Really!?" The boy exclaimed before calming himself. "Wait, hold on. What are Witches?" The small boy questioned.

"Witches are creatures that feed off of misery and spread curses", Kyubey explained. "They will affect humans near them through the use of a Witch's Kiss while hiding within their labyrinths."

"Why don't the Heroes do something about it?" Izuku interrupted, genuinely puzzled. Heroes protect everyone after all. Why couldn't they do something about this Witches?

"Because most humans cannot see them", Kyubey continued. "Only those with magic, usually Magical Boys and Girls, can see them. Unless they have magic, Heroes won't know about them."

"I see..." Izuku mused.

This was his chance, the boy thought. He could finally have a quirk. He could finally be a Hero. Not to mention, he would be saving people from an unknown threat.

"I accept!" Izuku exclaimed.

"Well then, Izuku", Kyubey said, his red eyes glowing. "Make your wish."

...

Jumping through the city, Izuku couldn't help but grin to himself. He was currently returning home after defeating a Witch, still in his Magical Boy costume. His costume was a black sleeveless body suit with teal highlights. Four long pieces of black fabric held together by a green sash covers his lower body. He was also wearing a pair of metalic boots with intricate details, golden cuff bracelets and neckless. On his head lied a black veil with a navy underside held by a golden cirlet. On the circlet is a dark green gem, his Soul Gem, where his powers are stored.

As he jumped from building to building, the Magical Boy reminisced about the past year...

Kyubey had kept his word and granted him with a quirk. When he showed it to his mom, Midoroya Inko, she drove him to a big hospital instead of the small clinic in his neighbourhood. Since the clinic declared him quirkless when he supposedly had one, she decided that it was not completely reliable and it was better if she took him to a more modern hospital. After a lot of tests there, the doctors said he had the ability to concentrate the energy created by the rotation of the Earth into blast of energy. Not only was it powerful but it also seemed to have no drawbacks. Truly a quirk fit for heroics. Just like Izuku had asked: a quirk so he could become a hero and protect everyone's smile.

Furthermore, while Kacchan still hadn't reconciled with him, everyone else was treating him better! No longer was he mocked or teased. He was so happy, though also slightly sad at the thought that they judged a person's worth based on that person's quirk.

During that time, he had also encountered quite a few Witches. Through his encounters, he had learned to fight, with and without his quirk, and to use his spear effectively. He had also learned that some Witches drop Grief Seeds which he could use to remove the taint from his Soul Gem. Apparently, the more negative emotions he felt, the more magic he used, the more tainted his Soul Gem would become. But he could not use a Grief Seed too much lest he want the Witch to hatch again. Izuku had to be very careful about this but, thankfully, Kyubey is there to help him.

His mother had been a bit shock when she first saw Kyubey but quickly warmed up to him. She had agreed to "let him keep Kyubey as his pet".

Of course, Izuku never told his mom about the contract or the fact that he was regularly fighting Witches. His mom had a lot on her plate after his father's death after all and, being the good child that he was, Izuku didn't want to burden his mom with unnecessary things. He was doing fine.

His life was finally turning around and he could not wait to see what the future held for him.

 

 

(Drawing of Magical Boy Izuku. I tried to draw him at 6 years old but it didn't come out right so I made him a bit older. His outfit was inspired by the picture in Kun-Kun's cover of Cepheid's song "Gaia")

Chapter Text

Izuku walked home from the park.

Summer had just rolled around for a couple of weeks. School is out, the cicadas are buzzing, and Izuku was returning home after spending the afternoon at the park with his classmates. Well, ex-classmates to be exact.

It was nice to hang out with them in the beginning, when he had just got his quirk, but now? Not so much. He was feeling like all they care about was his quirk, not him. They never attempted to get to know him better. They just followed him once they knew about his very powerful quirk.

Meanwhile, Kacchan was still angry at Izuku. He didn't know why but the blond refused to hang out with him! Izuku wished they could hang out again like they used to.

Looking at his Soul Gem, now disguised as a ring on his finger, Izuku sighed. Hopefully he would be able to make friends in elementary school.

The boy walked alone.

Kyubey had ran home first. Apparently, the cat-fox wanted to eat the cake his mom had bought yesterday as soon as possible. Seeing how much the creature liked cake, the boy did not stop it.

His mom, meanwhile, was busy. She had to work a lot since his dad passed away, making a single mother. Being the good kid he was, Izuku tried to help his mom as much as possible. Albeit still childish, Izuku was a responsible kid. So responsible that his mom trusted him to go back home alone. The park was not too far from their apartment and they lived in a very safe neighbourhood with almost no criminal activity at all.

Inko thought her son would be fine.

She was wrong. Oh so wrong.

 

The boy walked under a pass.

There was a van parked there, in the underpass, but he paid it no mind.

That was one of his biggest mistakes.

 

The van's backdoors burst open and two man jumped out. They grabbed the boy and covered his nose and mouth with a cloth.

It was all so sudden that Izuku didn't even have time to react. The smell from the cloth was making him dizzy and tired. He couldn't even concentrate enough to use his quirk or transform. Soon enough, the boy was unconcious.

...

When he woke up, Izuku realized he was locked in an unfamiliar room. He was wearing a simple white ceremonial robe with strange cuffs around his neck, wrists and ankles. His belongings are nowhere to be seen, including his Soul Gem.

He needed to get out of here.

Steeling his nerves, Izuku tried to use his quirk to blast the dooe open.

Nothing happened.

The boy could still feel his quirk thrumming beneath his skin. He didn't go back to being quirkless. And yet, no matter how hard he tried, he could not use his quirk.

"It's useless", said a raspy voice behind him.

Turning around, Izuku saw another boy, slightly older than him, with wispy teal hair, so light it was almost white, and bloody crimson eyes. Just like Izuku, he was wearing the white robes and the weird cuffs. The other boy was sitting in the corner of the room with his knees close to his chest, making him seem smaller.

"These are quirk-supressing cuffs", the older boy explained. "You won't be able to use your quirk as long as you have these on."

"I see..." Izuku said. "Do you know what they want to do with us?"

"Who knows", the red-eyed boy answered.

"Is that so..." Izuku drifted off. They stayed there in silence for a couple seconds before the younger boy spoke again. "Since we are stuck here, we might as well get to know each other. I'm Midoriya Izuku. What's your name?"

"Shimura Tenko", the other boy replied.

...

The green-eyed boy named Izuku is annoying. He was constantly mumbling about thing, always cheerfully smiling, always calling him by that stupid nickname, "Tenten", and always optimistic that the heroes would find them soon. And yet, Tenko couldn't bring himself to hate the kid.

Tenko did not expect the heroes to come. After all, no one came when he was out on the streets for an entire year, seeking for help. No one except the people that put him inside this cage with Izuku. And yet, Izuku, with his endless optimism, brought back the hope that heroes would come and save them, despite the fact that he was not the first child in here, despite the fact that he had seen the other kids being taken out of the room by strange men only to never return.

Tenko never had anyone telling him that his quirk wasn't ebil, monstruos, villainous. They told him that his quirk was strong, yes, all the children those strange men caught had strong quirks, that was why the cuffs were necessary, but no one ever told him that his quirk was cool. No one until the green-haired boy known as Izuku.

Though they only spent two weeks together, Tenko couldn't help but get attached to Izuku. He hadn't wanted to nor expected to but, in hindsight, him getting attached to the little boy is a completely understandable thing. None of the previous children had made an attempt to get to know him, saying he was creepy. They especially hadn't wanted anything to do with him once they had known what his quirk was. None of the previous children had complimented his quirk, they all had said his quirk was that of a villain. None of the other kids had been Izuku.

Tenko sincerily hopes that nothing bad would happen to Izuku.

...

Izuku was afraid. He had been kidnapped after all. He had been trapped here for two weeks while the other boy, Tenko, had been here even longer. Although there were no windows and he couldn't see the outside world, there was a clock on the wall for them to use to tell the time. Two weeks had passed. His mom and Kyubey must be really worried. He absently wondered if he would have been saved sooner if Kyubey didn't ran home first.

He didn't know who his kidnappers were and what they wanted with him and Tenko either. Everyday, around meal times, a strange but oh so familiar smell, the one from the cloth they used to knock him out, would be realeased into the room. When they woke up, food and water was already placed neatly by the door. Not much, but enough to make them not go hungry. Izuku knew better than to take food from a stranger because there might be weird stuff in them but Tenko, who had been here longer than Izuku had, said it was alright so it must be fine.

But even though he was afraid Izuku hung on to hope. The heroes saved everyone so, sooner or later, they would come, right? Yes. They have to.

It was scary but Izuku had Tenko by his side. At first, the older boy was a bit shy but, eventually, he opened up to Izuku. The green-haired boy hoped they could see each other again once they were saved. He didn't have a quirk now, neither of them did, but that just made their friendship more valuable. They were friends because the genuinely enjoyed each other's presence, not because of their quirk. Their friendship was different from that with his ex-classmates. It more closely resembled that of Kacchan and him when they were young, before they got their quirk.

...

The doors slammed open and various men in burnt umber robes with their hoods up came spilling in. They grabbed the two boys and dragged them out. The boys resisted, of course, but they were nowhere near as strong as these men and were dragged into a hallway.

Decorated with Greco-Roman pillars and intricate symbols and images, the hallway seemed to last forever. After a while, they arrived at what looked like a warehouse refurbished into what appeared to be a temple or some similar place of worship. A weird temple thing that was an amalgamation of Japanese, Aztec, Greco-Roman and Christian architecture unlike anything the two boys had ever seen before.

Izuku was getting more and more afraid by the second. Where were the heroes? They always saved everyone, right? So why weren't they here? Was Tenko and him not deserving to be saved? If the heroes didn't hurry up, it would be too late.

The two boys were taken to a very high altar and strapped down into what seemed to be some sort of ritualistic stone tables. Izuku was tied to the biggest table in the middle the altar while Tenko was in a slightly lower table.

The green-eyed boy watched and struggled helplessly as a man with slightly differeny robes, who seemed to be the leader, stood beside him. In his hand, the man held an enormous knife with carvings of some sort of rune or ancient language on the blade. It was obvious what he was gonna do with the knife. For the first time ever, Izuku was truly terrified. He didn' want to die. He didn't want to die!

"Oh, Great Mappo no Ryujin, Harbinger of Doom", the man chanted. "We bring you this sacrifice to release you from your seal beneath the islands. With his quirk, he shall provide you with the power necessary to break free from your chains and bring forth darkness, chaos and destruction. Annihilate this world tainted with quirks so a new one may reborn from its ashes."

As he chanted, the man raised the knife high in the air.

"No, please, don't..." Izuku sobbed as he begged, scared out of his mind. "Please... Don't do this... I don't wanna die. Please, don't... No..."

"Oh, Great Ryujin, I summon thee!" The man roared as he plunged the knife down as Izuku screamed in fear.

"NoooOOOỌ̖ͦ̔ͫͭ͐̇̓Oͧ͠O͆͏̦Ö̭̯͉̭͔̹̳̈̀ͦ̚͡Ȏ̙̠̓͌͗ͧ͊O͙̲̟͚̦̮̩͂̀͐̈ͯͯ̾̚͘O̵̡̭͇̠̲̤̘̻͈͙͙͎̩̲̤̤͖̊ͧͯ̽̽ͤ̈͑ͭ͝͠ͅͅͅO̷̷̹͖̰̗̖̩͙̍͒̌͐͐̓ͯ͘ͅǪ̦͍̤̹̬̙͚ͯ̅̌̈́̔̐̒̄̍̊̌͒̉̂͘̕!̶̫̮̝̟̱͖̣̟̫̼͈͈̻̫͖̃̌͆ͫ̓ͤ͋ͭ̿̊̊ͥ͗͋̌̃̓͟" Izuku screamed as despair filled his heart. He was going to die.

Suddenly, strong gust of win coming from the boy blew everyone away, inclusing his dear Tenten.

In another room, a Soul Gem turned black and transformed into a Grief Seed. The Seed hatched.

...

When Tenko opened his eyes, he was no longer in the bizarre temple.

Well, he could still see remnants of the temple but it seemed as though it had been destroyed, nature completely reclaiming it.

He was outside, underneath a dreamy violet sky, surrounded by fairy tale pink mist. He was also in a forest. One that by no means should exist. Various species of flora entertwined each other despite the fact that, naturally  they lived in completely different environments. From the cherry blossoms of Japan to the baobabs of Africa, to the giant sequoia of America. From the orchids and rafflesia from the rainforests to the tulips and edelweisses from the  mountains, to the coastal hummingbird fuchsias and jasmines. So many different species together, creating a picturesque earthly paradise, creating Shangri-la.

In the mist, up on the altar, Tenko saw the outline of a towering figure. One that looked vaguely humanoid, with an elongated head similar to the mythical baku, a pair of translucent butterfly wings, and a pair of long arms, seemingly capable of reaching up to the ninth heaven. Whatever it was, that was not a human. And yet, why did Tenko find its presence so familiar? Like... like it was...

"I... Izuku?"

Chapter Text

Shinsou Hitoshi was excited. He was currently on a bus going to the USJ. No, not Universal Studios Japan. He was on a field trip to the Unforeseen Simulation Joint with his class, hero class 1-A.

Shinsou had had a rough life when he was younger, not only because he was an orphan but also because of his quirk: Brainwashing. Everyone around him was scared of it. They said that he could only ever be a villain with a quirk like that. They used that as an excuse to bully him, saying they were just stopping a would-be-villain. Needless to say, his life was miserable.

But everything changed when he met Kyubey, a strange wish-granting cat-fox creature. He made a deal with it. He would become a magical boy and fight against an enemy invisible to most humans - the Witches, in exchange for a wish. And so, he wished to be adopted by someone who would love him, and support and help him achieve his dreams of heroics. A day after he made the wish, he was adopted by pro heroes Eraserhead, his idol, and Present Mic. Over the past year, he had been training with them and had made great progress. Fighting Witches also helped him a lot in preparing for the entrance exam to UA, the most prestigious hero school in the country, his dream school, and the place where his fathers teach.

But it hadn’t been just training. His fathers had also showered him with love and care. They never judged him based on his quirk alone and they had always been there when he needed it. Even though Present Mic, whose real name was Yamada Hizashi, was much more vocal about his love than Eraserhead, Aizawa Shouta, Hitoshi knows that they both deeply care about him.

Back to the present, Bakugou was snarling and ready to pounce on Kaminari for calling his personality worse than sewage water. They are making a big ruckus at the back of the bus. Bakugou Katsuki was rude, arrogant, aggressive and volatile with a flashy quirk called Explosion to match his explosive personality. However, Hitoshi recognized that the other boy was mostly driven by regret. He deeply regretted something and was hiding that regret behind an explosive exterior. To be honest, Shinsou wouldn’t have noticed that if it wasn’t for the boy eyes or how the boy acted, silently looking far into the horizon, when he thought no one was looking. Still, Hitoshi didn’t like him but he did not hate him either. Kaminari Denki, on the other hand, was much more simple of a character. He had an electric quirk that would fry his brain if he used it too much, and he was generally considered the class clown. Perhaps Kaminari’s character had more depth than just that but Shinsou did not get to know the other boy that well in the short time they were classmates.

Another interesting character in the class was Yukimura Shouto, previously known as Todoroki Shouto. His mismatched eyes, white hair and giant burnt made him stand out like a sore thumb. In addition, he was the son of the former number 2 hero, Endeavor, had a powerful dual-quirk (the ability to create fire and ice), and had a cold, distant and aloof personality. Shinsou hated those who had been born with everything given to them on a silver platter and acted as if they were better than everyone else so, by all means, Shinsou should have hated Shouto, and he would have if it wasn’t for the huge scandal two years ago, the one that costed Endeavor his career. The former number 2 hero was not just an asshole but an abusive one. It was revealed that, since the moment the boy got his quirk, he had put Shouto through a hellish training not suitable for most people, let alone a child, that he had abused his wife to the point she went crazy and poured scalding hot water onto her son’s face, that he had only married her to produce a heir with a powerful quirk, a practice known as Quirk Marriage, one that had long been banned. Needless to say, it caused a major uproar followed by what can only be described as a glorious shit show. Yukimura Shouto had had nothing given to him on a silver platter, he had had everything taken from him. After that, it was only natural that he kept everyone at arm’s length.

He felt Yukimura watching him. The boy looked away when he looked back. Shinsou wondered why Yukimura did that before remembering about Kyubey, who was sleeping on his lap. Of course, people would be curious about Kyubey. He was bringing what was technically a pet to school, after all. It wasn’t like he wanted to bring the creature along. It had sneaked into his bag and by the time Shinsou realized it was there, it was already too late.

...

At the USJ, they were greeted by Thirteen, a space theme rescue hero. They apparently were also the favorite hero of Uraraka, his brunette classmate with a gravity-negating quirk. After Thirteen greeted them, they began to talk about their quirk, Black Hole, and how destructive it could be. They told the class that all quirk could be dangerous and his class was here to learn how to control their quirks and use them for rescue.

As the pro hero explained, Hitoshi, thanks to his experience with Witches, felt a disturbance in space and time. It was different than that created by a Witch’s labyrinth but it was there.

"Dad..." the brainwasher said as he tugged Aizawa’s sleeve. "Something is coming..."

"Is it...?" Aizawa asked.

"No, it’s not a Witch", Hitoshi said. "But it is causing disturbances in space and time."

Aizawa nodded. He trusted his son on this. The boy was the only one who knew about these unseen dangers, after all. Sometime after adopting the imsoniac boy, he had seen the boy sneak out at night and had followed him into a weird place where he saw his son battle invisible monsters. The man had immediately interrogated the boy and was granted the knowledge of magical children and Witches. While he would rather his son not have to risk his life so young, he understood that was something that needed to be done and supported his kid as much as he could.

"Thirteen", he said. "Get the kids out of here."

Before they could do anything, however, purple portals opened in the middle of the room and villains came pouring out. So these warps were what Hitoshi felt.

"Get the kids out, now!", he ordered. "Those are villains."

Not wasting a moment, he jumped into the fray, taking out villains left and right. All of them seemed to simply be small fries, with the exception of the three that came out last: a young man with pale teal hair and hands all over his body, the warper with a misty body, and the giant bird-faced villain with his brain exposed. He lost concentration for half an instance and the warper vanished.

Hitoshi and his classmates were being evacuated when the man with the body made of mist appeared in front of them.

"Greetings", he said. "I am Kurogiri and we are the Coven. Now, according to the schedule, All Might should be here as well as you two, Thirteen and Eraserhead. Was the schedule wrong? Nevertheless, I still have a job to do."

"Stand back!" Thirteen shouted, preparing quirk.

"DIE!" Bakugou yelled as he and Kirishima, a redhead with a hardening quirk, jumped forward and tried to hit the villain with their quirks.

Dammit, Shinsou thought. With them in the way, Thirteen won’t be able to use their quirk and dispose of the villain.

True enough, Thirteen didn’t use their quirk and the villain evaded the attacks thanks to his warping ability.

"My, that was close", Kurogiri said. "You may be students but you are still the best of the best. However, this is as far as you'll get. Begone!"

With that said, Bakugou and Kirishima were warped away.

"Now, just like those two", the mist villain said as he turned towards the rest of the class, "you shall be scattered to be tortured and killed. Goodbye."

The villain’s body expanded, creating a giant portal, and Hitoshi felt himself falling.

...

He landed in water. As he swam up to the surface, he saw a shark like villain swam towards him, jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth wide open, ready to bite. The villain was met with a powerful kick. Hitoshi felt something wrapped around him and threw him on a boat. That something turned out to be the tongue of Tsuyu, his classmate with a frog mutation quirk. On the boat was also Mineta, his cartoonishly small classmate with some sort of sticky ball for hair.

"It seems like we are surrounded", the frog girl pointed out.

"Yes, it appears so", Shinsou said, purposefully ignoring the crying Mineta in favor of further observing the villains. They didn't appear to do anything other than swimming around them. He knew they must have been behind the press break-in earlier that week. There was no other chance for them to get the schedule. But if they had broken in and got all the info, why didn't they attack? Unless...

"They don't know our quirks", Hitoshi said before turning towards his classmates. "We can use that to our advantage."

"I see..." Tsuyu said. "If they knee my quirk, they wouldn't put me anywhere near water."

"Exactly", Shinsou said. Turning towards the other boy, he asked: "Mineta, how sticky are your balls?"

The other boy was still crying. Shinsou hit him in the back to draw his attention then he repeated his question.

"Really sticky", the small boy answered between sobs. "I am immune to them but if they stick to something else, the don't come off."

"Is that so..." Hitoshi muttered as he thought of a plan.

Opening his palm, his Soul Gem changed from a ring back to its original form. In a flash of purple light, he transformed.

Hitoshi was now dressed in a purple suit with a violet gem and black pants. He looked like someone straight out of a history book. And in his hand was a limac flag.

The boy waved his flag in the air as his gem shone.

"「Rally up」!" Shinsou cheered.

Suddenly, Tsuyu and Mineta felt a rush of energy of energy course through them. The two felt as if they were stronger, faster and more powerful than they had ever felt before.

"I have a plan", Hitoshi said as he grinned at his two classmates.

...

Aizawa was getting tired. As good as he is at fighting, there were simply too many enemies, even if they were just some thugs. They just keep coming, hordes after hordes. And two out of the three villains who seemed to actually pose a threat, the leaders of this attack, still hadn't lifted a finger. Aizawa wasn't sure he had enough stamina to take them on if they attack.

On the bright side, the warper had returned to the hand-covered villain side, informing him that one of the students had escaped and was probably looking for help.

The teal-haired villain sighed in annoyance.

"At least, All Might will now come", Aizawa heard the villain said. "Knowing All Might, we probably have a bit of time before the others arrive. Hopefully, Noumu will be able to kill him by then." He turned towads Aizawa: "I'm sorry Eraserhead. You're one of the genuinely good heroes out there but you're becoming too much of a nuisance. Noumu, don't go too hard on him."

The villain with the exposed brain screeched before moving to attack the pro hero. He was so fast that the hero barely dodged his punch. But, even then, the force of the attack was still enough to send him flying back.

He barely recovered when another fist came flying in, and the attack continued. As the villain was attacking and Aizawa was deperately trying to survive, the hand-covered villain started singing. It sounded like he was singing in some Germanic language.

"In den Abendhimmel steigen
Heute Nacht die Zauberweisen
Wildes Volk und Liliths Art
Lauernd Winde heimlich fahrt

Lasst uns zu den Feuern streifen
Raunend nach den Sternen greifen
Gutes und auch böses Wort
Tragen wir heut' fort und fort

In den Weiden werden unsere Träume klingen
Und die Winde werden unsere Lieder singen
Lasst uns mit den Funken übers Feuer springen
In der Walpurgisnacht!"

Chapter Text

“My quirk is Brainwashing”, Hitoshi explained. “Aside from controlling people, I can also motivate them. It is kinda like a placebo effect. You feel stronger in every way even though you really are not. It’s a really strong placebo though, so you still feel stronger even after you understand that it is not really real.”

That was a lie. Due to the nature of his wish, having parents that would support him, Hitoshi’s magical ability was to support, to boost his allies. He was basically the buffer in a video game. Of course, having two distinct, unrelated “quirks” would raise some eyebrows so he lied and said it simply was a small part of Brainwash. His parents do know the truth though.

The villains, not knowing what the students quirks were, are still waiting for them to make the first move, which provided precious time for the magical boy to tell his plan with his two classmates.

...

Aizawa was down. The Noumu proved too powerful for him to handle on his own. It wasn’t surprising considering that this villain was supposed to be the All-Might-killing weapon. The hand villain had stopped singing. He was looking directly at him. The young man had moved from his spot and was currently crouched down in front of the teacher, making eye contact. The villain, Aizawa could see now, had crimson eyes, gleaming with something unspoken. Something more than just the hate most villains had.

“Sorry for this”, he said. “If only you were a little bit older, you would have surely rescued us and we wouldn’t be on opposite sides. But alas, it could not be.” The red-eyed man stood up, turned towards the Noumu and said: “Noumu, knock him out.”

The pro hero felt a giant hand grab his head and bashed it into the floor. Eraserhead went out like a light.

...

Hitoshi was waiting for the villains to make first move. All he needed to do was to find at least one villain possessing a hydrokinesis quirk. It would be easier to have a water-manipulator, but if the worst came to the worst, he could still use his weapon to create the same effect.

Suddenly, the boat he was standing on was splitted in half by a giant blade of water. It seemed like the villains were getting impatient.

The boat started sinking but that was not a problem for the students.They had identified the water manipulator and the plan was set into motion.

"Is that the best you can do, loser!?" Shinsou yelled.

"What the fuck did you say to me, you little-", the villain shouted before shutting himself up as Shinsou's quirk was activated.

Gotcha, the boy thought before buffing the mind-controled villain.

"Create a giant vortex of water to in the middle of the lake!" The magical boy ordered. "And don't let anyone touch you!"

The brainwashed villain did as he was commanded to and a voetex was created, sucking all the villains in. Hitoshi held on to Kyubey tightly as Tsuyu wrapped him with her tongue and carried Mineta in her arms. Thanks to the boost of power, the girl was able to made the jump from the sinking vessel to the safety of the shore. As they students soared over the villains, Mineta did his part of the plan. He threw in sticky ball after sticky ball into the water vortex, completely neutralizing all the villains in the Flood Zone.

...

All Might, real name: Yagi Toshinori, was running as fast as he could to the USJ. He didn't know what was happening there but it could not be anything good. All cameras connected to the place had all been disabled and, no matter what they did, they could not get in touch with Thirteen or Eraserhead. In addition, earlier that month, there had been a break in. The press had broken in but the UA staff suspected that it was just a front. A possibility that was becoming more and more realistic by the second. It appeared that something is going wrong in the USJ.

On his way to the facility, the hero ran into Iida Tenya, the class president of 1-A and the boy gave him a brief retelling of what was happening at the USJ. Apparently villains had broken in with the intention of killing him, All Might, the Number 1 hero and Symbol of Peace.

After that, the two parted ways. Iida pushed his engine quirk to the limit, running as fast as he could back to the main campus to get more teachers. Meanwhile, All Might was running to the USJ hoping he wasn't to late. All Might could not help but feel guilty. After a fight five years ago, he had been badly damaged so now he could only be in his hero form for around 3 hours. And he had almost used up his 3 hours doing hero work earlier that day. He only had a few minutes left.

All Might would never regret saving the people he did but he felt guilty for not being there for his students. If he hadn't used up his time, he would have been in the USJ and he would have stopped these villains already.

All Might ran even faster.

...

The doors to the USJ slammed open.

"Never fear, for I AM HERE!" All Might loudly proclaimed as he stood in the middle of the entrance. The hero wasn't wearing his signature smile. He was angry.

"There's the boss", a young villain covered in hands said. "Let's see if our party is strong enough to beat it in the required time."

Ignoring the villain's words, the Symbol of Peace jumped in to get Eraserhead away from the battlefield. The Erasure hero had sustained various injuries and was currently unconscious. He needed help as soon as possible. The Number 1 hero left the Eraserhead near the entrance with an incapacitated Thirteen and some students before jumping back into the fray.

He wasn't the number one hero for nothing. Despite the villains swarming him, he was able to knock them all out. There might be many but they were just thugs. The cannon fodder.

Then, the Hand villain ordered the villain with the exposed brain, Noumu, to attack him. The hero did not hesitate to fight back.

But this villain was strong. All Might could not help but feel a sinking feeling in his stomach. This villain, no, biological weapon according to the hand villain, had multiple quirks: Regeneration, Shock Absorption, and various enhancements. Was this someone else's doing or did this mean that he was still alive? The Symbol of Peace shuddered as he countered the thing's onslaught.

All of a sudden, All Might felt himself falling. He found himself half way through a purple portal. The Mist villain!

The hero berated himself for being so careless. He was focusing too much on the Noumu that he completely forgot about the other two.

"Whilst I do not particularly enjoy dirtying my warps with guts, I shall make an exception for you", said the Mist villain. All Might's eyes widen when he realised exactly what the warper was going to do. That villain was going to close the portal and cut him in half.

Out of nowhere, young Bakugou came flying in and pinned the villain by the metal collars around his neck. This consequently stopped the portal from closing.

"You said that my earlier attack was close", Bakugou told the villain with a feral smirk, "meaning that you do have a physical body underneath everything or you have something vital to you that is very physical. Is these collars, right? You are mostly just mist so you need these to keep you from getting blown away."

"「Starlight dance」!" A voice called out and a purple flag came flying through, chopping off the Noumu's arms, halting the thing's attack before flying back to the hands of a student of his. One Shinsou Hitoshi.

Using that brief monent of distraction, All Might pushed his powers and jumped out of the warp.

"A hero must always be ready to give their all", the Number 1 hero said as he punched the Noumu as fast as he could. The Noumu had Shock Absorption, not Shock Nullification, which means that there was a limit. He just needed...

"To go beyond, PLUS ULTRA!!!" All Might roared as he sent the Noumu through the USJ's glass ceiling.

"So cool...", the Hand villain said, strangely calm. "As expected from the Symbol of Peace. Even when you are weakened, you are still Number 1..." The villain's eyes drifted to where Shinsou was standing protectively in front of Tsuyu and Mineta, Kyubey perching on his shoulder. "But this is a surprise. Never would I have expected to see you here, Incubator. And with a new Victim, no less!"

"Give it up!" Someone from above said. "We've got you surrounded!"

All Might sighed in relief. The rest of the teachers are here.

"And our warp is disabled too", the hand-covered man said as he looked at Kurogiri. "We are really in a pickle, aren't we?"

The man took something out of his pocket. The magical boy's eyes widened. While he could not see what it was, he could feel it. A Grief Seed. A very full one.

"I'm sorry for disturbing your rest, dear", the man with pale hair lovingly said to the Seed. "But it seems we are in need of your assistance. Help us, please, Izu-kun~."

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO DEKU, YOU BASTARD!" Bakugou suddenly exploded with rage. The villain ignored him as he kissed the Grief Seed then dropped it on the ground. The Seed hatched.

A powerful gust of wind blew, forcing everyone to raise their hands and shield their eyes. When they opened their eyes, Kurogiri had already warped back to the other villain side, standing on some sort of altar, and they were no longer in the USJ.

This is really bad, All Might thought. He was already pushing his limits. He was going to turn back...

...

A Witch! The villains had a Witch!

Shinsou could not believe it. But his eyes and his feelings did not lie. They were in a labyrinth, a breathtaking Sangri-la covered in fairy tale pink mist. And standing behind the two villains, completely shrouded in the mist, is the Witch.

...

Saying Kurogiri was surprise was somewhat of an understatement. They were in a place unlike any seen on Earth and he was not the one who broght them here. It was that metallic object Shigaraki was always carrying.

Years ago, when Sensei had given Tomura to him, the boy already had it. The older villain had never seen the younger one go anywhere without it. The boy was completely attached. He called the thing Izuku and had been seen talking to it despite its seemingly lack of response. To think it was something this powerful...

"Don't stray away from me, Kurogiri", Shigaraki said. "Izu-kun and the Nachahmers won't attack me but everyone else?" The young villain chuckled.

Kurogiri could see the heroes, even the students, were being attacked by invisible creatures and were stuggling to keep up. Although the boy Tomira had called Victim, a boy dressed in an 18th century attire with a giant flag, could see the creatures.

"The Nachahmers, like all Witches' minions, are invisible to most humans", Shigaraki explained to the Mist villain. "Except the Incubator, the Victims, and me, and apparently Present Mic, Midnight and gravity girl over there", the hand-covered villain pointed to a brunette in the corner, protecting Thirteen, Eraserhead and her classmates. "In addition, Nachahmers have the power to copy the abilities of anyone they could get sufficiently close to. The Incubator's little Victim can use range attacks but that would leave him unarmed and vulnerable. Having to protect everyone doesn't help either. Not to mention Izu-kun's illusions. This boss battle sure seems hard for them, isn't it?"

...

Shinsou was getting desperate.

He had never fought in a labyrinth like this before. These minions were strong. The Nachahmers were plain human-sized wooden puppets with mirrors for faces. If they got close enough to anyone, they can copy their abilities, their quirks. Fortunately, each of then could only copy one person at a time and once copied, it seemed they could not use that mimicking ability anymore. Small mercies.

But still, not only did he have to fight against such strong minions, he also had to protect everyone. At the very least, his dad, Present Mic, his aunt, Midnight, and Uraraka could see the minions and were helping them. But still, they had to deal with illusions, most likely the Witches magic. Even when the four of them could see the Witch's minions, they did not know which ones were real and which ones were not. And soon enough, they were conered. There was blood dripping from All Might's mouth. The pro hero seemed to be in pain.

This is really bad.

"「Butterflies of Mag-Mell」!" Someone yelled.

Suddenly, dozens upon dozens of butterflies made out of golden light attacked and destroyed the Nachahmer. The butterflies were enormous, for butterflies anyway, with each of them being as big as a fan.

"Are you guys OK?"

Shinsou sighed as the rest of his class ran towards them. Then, he saw how Yukimura looked.

"「Flowers of Nirvana」", Yukimura said as he stompped the ground and red spider lilies sprung out of the ground they were standing on. They were in a small field of flowers.

"Do not get out of this flower field", Yukimura told them. "In fact, do not even get close to the edges."

"And why should we listen to you?" Bakugou aggressively questioned.

"You will listen to me if you value your lives", Yukimura coldly replied. "The Nachahmer will not be able to get to you as long as you stay on the flower field."

Almost as to prove the boy's point, one of the Witch's minions stepped on the flower field. The flowers beneath its feet exploded, completely annihilating the wooden doll.

Yukimura were walking out of the field before he stopped and added, almost like an after thought.

"Oh, and whatever you do, do not make a deal with Kyubey."

With that said, Yukimura Shouto walked out of the field. Yukimura Shouto, who was wearing a sleeveless blue shirt, navy umanori hakama, and black shoes. Yukimura who had a light teal haori with yellow markings put on half way, white metal fans in his hand, golden claws, and a garment the color of copper sulfate with a red gem - probably his Soul Gem - on his head. Yukimura Shouto, who was a magical boy.

Chapter Text

Yukimura Shouto was extremely graceful.

As soon as the white-haired magical boy stepped out of the flower field, his movements changed immediately. He moved as if he was dancing, destroying the Nachahmers without even breaking a sweat. Every step he took, every attack he made, every time he dodged, Yukimura looked as if he was dancing, without a care in the world.

He also didn’t seem to be affected by the Witch’s illusions. He knew exactly which minion, tree, or rock to dodge, and which ones wouldn’t harm him.

Yukimura Shouto was also extremely powerful.

Each magical boy or girl had a corresponding magical weapon. Hitoshi had his flag, and Shouto had his fan. But, unlike Hitoshi, who could only summon two weapons if he strained himself, the boy with heterochromia did not seem to have a limit to the number of weapons he could summon. He used his fans as projectiles. He threw them, summoned more, threw the newly summoned ones, caught the ones that came back and threw them again. Most of the Nachahmers could not even get close to him and the rare ones that managed to bypass the flurry of flying fans were quickly dispatched with his claws or newly summoned fans.

Each magical boy and girl also had a predetermined set of attacks. Yukimura’s set was exponentially more powerful than Shinsou’s. Shinsou’s attacks were mostly single target while Yukimura’s were all massive-damage-dealing AOEs. That was not even mentioning how grandiose the fan-wielding boy’s moves sounded. Hitoshi’s set was all based on stars and constellations. Shouto’s set was based on the Heavens, the Afterlife, and other Mythical Places.

"「Waves from Nirai Kanai」!" Shouto shouted. With a wave of his fan, raging waves appeared, engulfing and sweeping away all the Witch’s minions in front of him.

"「Wild Arcadia」!" Shouto yelled as he jumped up. As soon as his feet touched the ground again, multiple plants erupted from where he stood, their branches piercing through the new wave of Nachahmers.

Not wasting a second, the boy ran up the plants before propelling himself and throwing the two fans in his hand into the air.

"It ends here", the boy coldly said as he raised his hand. Behind him, the fans combined into a giant wheel of energy. "「Samsara」", the boy said and, with a throwing motion, the wheel went straight for the Witch. Victory was in his hands.

Suddenly, a purple warp opened up and swallowed the attack.

"Too bad you don’t have Null Warp, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!" The light-haired villain said in a singsong.

Another warp opened up above the flower field Shinsou and the others were in.

"「Light of Sirius」!" Shinsou immediately shouted. In an instant, his flag was covered by blinding lights, and grew in size. The boy in purple then used his flag to hit the wheel in a manner not too dissimilar from a baseball player hitting the ball with his bat.

However, Yukimura’s attack proved to be too strong. In a matter of seconds, Hitoshi’s counter attack was pushed back. The boy fell a couple meters away and was caught by Midnight. The 「Samsara」 was getting very close. His dad, President Mic, and his classmates, Jirou and Yaoyorozu, had tried to stopped it by using their quirks to either blast sound waves at the wheel in hopes of pushing it back, in the case of his dad and Jirou, or create missiles to destroy it, in Yaoyorozu’s case. And yet, they were all mostly ineffective. They just managed to slow it down.

"「Eden's Judgement」", Shouto, who had run back to them, said as he raised his fan. A blinding pillar of light blasted straight down from the heavens and completely engulfed the 「Samsara」 wheel.

Once that was over, the class and the pro heroes realized they were no longer in the labyrinth anymore. They were back in the USJ. The Witch had turned back to a Grief Seed and was in the hands of the hand-covered villain.

"Congratulations, heroes", the villain said. "You win this time! But we shall be back!"

Before anyone could stopped them, a portal swallowed him and the Mist villain and the two disappeared.

...

The class was abuzz. It was only natural. Not only were they attacked by villains, there were also those invisible creatures.

"Everyone", Yukimura called out to the rest. "Please keep the part where we fight the invisible creatures a secret."

"And why should we listen to you, Snowflake!?" Bakugou angrily retorted.

"We will explain everything later", Shinsou answered for his fellow magical boy. "And besides..."

"If we let out to the public that there exist invisible monsters, it would cause mass histeria", Present Mic finished.

After a bit of convincing, class 1-A and the teachers finally decided to listen to Yukimura and keep the last part a secret.

...

They were back at the bar.

The TV on the wall suddenly turned on. A static voice came from it:

"So, how did it go, Tomura?"

"We failed, Sensei", the young man covered in hands replied nonchalantly. "We underestimated them so we got our asses kicked. Oh, and the Noumu was lost, too."

"Is that so?" Sensei said. "I thought you had Izuku with you?"

Tomura's entire attitude did a completely 180, much to Kurogiri's surprise. One moment he was calmly stating the facts, the next he was snarling and scratching his neck raw.

"Aaah", Tomura angrily said. "That fucking Wolf in Sheep's Clothing was there! The Incubator and the Victim were nothing but that Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!? It's like that fucking bitch's power set was created to opposed Izu-kun! Argh!" Tomura yelled frustration, hands slamming into a table nearby, desintegrating it. "If only that bitch would just die already!"

"Shigaraki Tomura!" Sensei said, snapping the young man back to reality. "You must calm down. It is inevitable that there will be set backs and failures in the way to success. Learn from them, overcome them, and you will succeed."

"Yes, you're right", Tomura said. "They have only won the battle. We shall win the war."

...

"Start explaining, Snowflake, Eye Bags!" Bakugou snarled.

Currently, class 1-A and the teachers were inside the classroom. As requested, they had kept the last part of the USJ incident from the police, and now, after being treated by the paramedics and Recovery Girl, the school nurse, they were all waiting for Yukimura and Shinsou to explain themselves, with the exception of All Might, who excused himself saying he had sudden business, Earserhead, and Thirteen, who were gravely injured and had to stay at the hospital.

"We were all trapped in a Witch's labyrinth", Yukimura explained, "more specifically, that of Filbert, the Witch of Dreams."

The room was quiet, waiting for the white-haired boy to continue. Seeing that Shouto had no intention of explaining any further, Shinsou took over.

"Witches are creatures that feed off of misery and spread curses", he explained. "They will affect humans near them using what is known as a Witch's Kiss whilst hiding within their labyrinths.

"The Witches and their minions are invisible to most humans. Only a select few can see them. They are the ones who can sign a contract with Kyubey to become magical boys and girls."

"What do you mean with 'signing a contract with Kyubey'?" Uraraka asked.

"That's simple", the fox-cat creature said as it jumped on the teacher's desk, startling the manjority of people in the class. "I grant you a wish and, in return you become a magical boy or girl."

"You can talk!?" Ashido Mina, a girl with pink skin and the ability to create acids, exclaimed.

"Yes, I can", Kyubey replied.

"Wait... Kyubey..." Bakugou mumbled. "Hey, weren't you Deku's pet!?"

"Who is this Deku you talk about, Bakugou?" Present Mic asked.

After glaring at everyone for a bit, Bakugou signed then explained: "Midoriya Izuku. He was my neighbor. Because our moms knew each other, we were together since we were still babies. He disappeared just before primary started."

"But why did that villain call Filbert 'Izu-kun'?" Shinsou asked himself. Suddenly, a Grief Seed was shoved into his face.

"I'm lending you this", Shouto said as the brainwasher took the Grief Seed. "Steel yourself, and prepare to cleanse your Soul Gem because what I'm about to say may be upsetting enough to completely taint your Gem."

"OK...?" Hitoshi said uncertainly.

"What's a Soul Gem?" Someone asked.

"This is a Soul Gem", Shinsou said as he turned his ring back to its original form. "It is the source of power for each magical boy or girl."

"Do you know why it is called a Soul Gem?" Yukimura interrupted. "It's because that's our soul and magical boy and girls are basically just glorified zombies in cosplay."

"WHAT!?" Everyone else in the room exclaimed.

"Kyubey", Shouto asked, "why don't you explain? The truth about Soul Gems?"

"Well", the creature said, "creating Soul Gems is part of my job when I form a contract. Once the contract is formed, I remove your souls and put them into Soul Gems. I couldn't ask you to fight Witches in those fragile human bodies of yours. A magical boy or girl's old body is just a piece of external hardware, an empty shell. Your actual selves are put into your Soul Gems, much safer, and more compacts forms capable of controlling magic more efficiently."

The room's temperature seemed to drop by several degrees. The creature just admitted to removing souls and turning people into glorified zombies. The thought on its own is chilling.

"Shinsou", Yukimura's voice cut through the tension. "Your Soul Gem."

The entire class directed their attention to the boy's Soul Gem. Its color was getting darker.

The boy took deep breaths, calming himself down. Hitoshi held the Grief Seed Shouto gave him in his hand and used it to cleanse his Soul Gem. The Gem's color returned to its original shade.

"Why didn't you tell me this before, Kyubey?" Shinsou asked the creature. Its red eyes seemed to shine, making it look extremely ominous.

"You never asked", it answered emotionlessly. "Besides, you humans always react this way when I told you. Why do you care so much about which container your soul is housed in?"

The entire room was speechless as they felt chills running down their spines.

"How did you know about this, Yukimura?" Midnight asked after a couple of seconds of silence.

"Due to the nature of my wish", the boy with heterochomatic eyes explained, "I have the ability to see the truth. I just have to look at the Gems and the Witches, or anything really, to see everything I need to know about them." The boy turned toward Shinsou. "Brace yourself. The next bit of information will be way more upsetting than the Soul Gems thing. If you think you can't handle it and your Gem will be completely tainted, leave."

The other magical boy nodded and took a deep breath. After some time preparing himself, he told Yukimura to continue.

"Bakugou", Yukimura said. "You wanted to know why the villain keep calling the Witch 'Izuku', right?"

"Obviously!" Bakugou replied.

"Well, that's because that Witch is Midoriya Izuku", Shouto explained.

"WHAT!?" Everyone exclaimed, shocked.

"Considering the way the villain acted, as well as his knowledge about magical boys and girls, Kyubey, and Witches", the white-haired boy continued, "the two were probably close before Izuku fell into despair and turned into a Witch."

"W-Witches were once humans?" Shinsou weakly asked.

"Some of them", the boy with mismatched eyes responded. "Witches are born when a Witch's minion consume enough humans or when a magical boy or girl's Soul Gem turn completely dark."

Shinsou's leg gave up under him. He would have fallen down if it hadn't been for his dad rushing in to hold him. A heavy silence fell upon the room.

"S-so we will someday t-turn into W-Witches?... Th-there m-must be something we can do to stop it, right? Right?" Shinsou stammered.

"To fight Witches and then become one ourselves is the destiny of a magical boy or girl", Shouto said. "And, just as the blossoms that bloom only to whither and scatter in the wind, destiny... cannot be changed."

"B-but, as long as I continue to cleanse my Soul Gem..." Hitoshi said, barely above a whisper, desperation palpable, just for Shouto to interrupt him.

"For you, for me, destiny is inescapable."

Chapter Text

"Is that so..." Aizawa said as he lied in his hospital bed, having heard everything from his husband. "So, how’s Hitoshi holding up?"

"He’s... holding up..." Hizashi answered. "The revelation that he will eventually become one of the monsters he had been fighting is really getting to him. He just locked himself in his room all day, only coming out during meals. And even then, he wouldn’t say anything. I’m really worried... I know he needs some time alone but..."

"Don’t worry", the Erasure Hero reassured. "I’ll talk to him."

"Worry about yourself first", the Voice Hero countered. "You know how worried I was when I saw your limp body at the USJ?"

"It’s OK", Aizawa said. "I’m a lot sturdier than you think."

"Yeah..." Present Mic sighed. "I suppose you are..."

...

Bakugou Katsuki laid awake on his bed. He couldn’t sleep knowing what had happened to his old friend: Engulfed by despair and turned into a mindless monster hellbent on spreading that same despair.The ash-blond released a tired sigh. The boy could not help but wonder if this was all his fault.

It was pretty obvious what Izuku had wished for: A quirk to fulfill his dream of becoming a hero. A quirk to fit in. A quirk to not be useless, to not be worthless.

But Izuku was neither useless or worthless.

Izuku was smart, terrifyingly so. He could come up with the most ingenious solutions to problems no other child that age could solve. He could give scarily accurate analysis of each and every quirk he saw and come up with the most creative ways to utilize them (the analyses was by no means perfect but, for a child that age, it was still very impressive). He was also kind, compassionate, and optimistic, always looking on the bright side, always doing his best for others.

Despite his lack of a quirk, Izuku was never useless nor worthless.

But a younger Katsuki hadn't seen that. He had equated one's usefulness with his/her quirk. And in his eyes, he, possessing a strong quirk, was the best while Izuku, having no quirk at all, was useless. So, the younger Katsuki had pushed Izuku away, had pushed Izuku down into the dirt, had pushed Izuku so far that the quirkless boy was willing to trade his soul for a quirk. And even then, stupid young Katsuki only continued to push the other boy away, afraid that the green-haired boy  would take away his spot as number 1...

Bakugou Katsuki regretted his choice. He regretted it more than anything. So, he tried to change. He tried to be a hero because Izuku no longer could. Especially now, when Izuku no longer was himself.

And god! What would he say to Izuku's mother now that he knew his childhood friend wasn't dead? She deserved to know that her child still lived. But would it be crueler to tell her the truth rather than keeping silence? Would it be crueler to tell her that her only child, although alive, was a monster barely capable of thoughts?

Perhaps. The woman had already come to terms with her grief. She had already accepted that both her husband and son had gone to the Yellow Springs and would never return. To give her hope that her son was still alive only to immediately take it away by revealing her son was now a monster of despair would undoubtedly be horribly cruel. But the son she loved so much was still alive. Would keeping that a secret from her be less cruel? Especially when there's a chance she would eventually find out about him by herself?

Katsuki felt powerless. He could do nothing to save his childhood friend. He never saw Filbert or the Nachahmers, which means didn't have to potential to become a magical boy. He couldn't even bring back Filbert's Grief Seed - Izuku's soul.

Bakugou Katsuki did not know what he should do. No matter how long he twisted and turned on his bed, he still did not know. Perhaps he will have to ask a teacher... Perhaps they will know what to do...

...

Horuda was just a normal 12-year-old girl.

Currently, she sat alone on a park bench in the middle of the night, thinking about her future. It honestly seemed kind of bleak at the moment.

Her parents were getting a divorce and she had to choose to follow one of the two. But she did not want to choose for she loved them both just as both of them loved her. The girl missed the time when her parents weren't constantly fighting, when the house was filled with laughter and not yelling, when they were still a happy family. Oh, how she longed to have those days back!

"Would you make a wish for it?" A voice broke the silence.

Horuda turned towards the source of the voice to find not a person but a strange white cat-like creature.

"You seemed troubled", it said. "If you want, I can fulfill your wish and solve the problem. Just make a wish and I will make it a reality. In exchange, you will only have to become a magical girl and fight Witches."

"Witches?" Horuda questioned.

"They are creatures that spread despair", the creature explained. "Do not worry too much. Once you become a magical girl, you will have the the magic to stop them."

"Is that so..." Horuda mused. "Can you really fulfill my wish? Can you make mom and dad stop fighting?"

"If that's your wish" was the creature's reply.

"Then I wish..." Horuda started. She was interrupted by the sound of flesh being pierced. Kyubey's flesh to be exact.

Multiple icicles pierced through the creature. Kyubey fell down, riddled with holes. Crimson blood pooled down beneath it.

"Step away from the Incubator", a boy said.

Turning towards the voice, Horuda saw a white-haired boy with cold eyes in cosplay.

"Do not be fooled by its cute appearance", he told her. "You are making a Faustian deal, girl. Step away from Kyubey."

"My, my", Kyubey voice spoke up. A second Kyubey had appeared beside her and was gruesomely eating the remains of the first one. "Do you really need to get so violent, Shouto?" It emotionlessly asked, blood still dripping from its mouth.

Horuda couldn't take it anymore. She screamed and ran away, back to her house with her parents. She was scared.

Not taking his eyes of Kyubey, Shouto coldly answered: "Yes. Yes, I do."

...

"Hitoshi, I'm coming in", his dad said as the man opened the door.

"Dad?" Hitoshi asked, sitting up right on his bed. "Aren't you supposed to be in the hospital?"

"I was released", the man answered as if he wasn't bandaged up like a mummy.

Shouta sat besides his son on the bed.

"So, how are you feeling?" He asked.

"I-I'm fine, dad", Hitoshi replied.

"You are not", Aizawa rebutted. "Your entire world was just turn upside down. You are not fine."

"I-I'm fine", the brainwasher insisted. "R-really."

"You're not", his father firmly insisted. "You are just bottling your emotions up. Trust me when I say that bottling your emotions won't do you any good. Sooner or later, you will be consumed by those feelings and self destruct. So, I will ask again. How are you really feeling?"

"I... I... I'm scared, dad", the boy finally admitted, tears leaking out. "How can I not be? Yukimura said it. Someday, I will become a Witch. A mindless beast whose only purpose is to spread pain and despair. Something even worse than a villain... You know, people said that I would eventually become a villain because of my quirk..." The boy laughed bitterly. "I guess they weren't that far off, after all."

"So what if you will eventually become a Witch?" Shouta interrupted his son. "You are a hero at heart. You know that. And nothing's gonna take that away. Besides, you only become a Witch once your Soul Gem is completely tainted. If that's the case, just don't let it taint. Just be optimistic, always looking on the bright side. Think before you do anything so you can make your choices without regret. Be direct about your feelings. Love yourself for who you are. Live!"

"But Yukimura said destiny..." Hitoshi weakly said.

"Screw what Yukimura said", the Erasure Hero interrupted. "Who cares what he thinks! What matters is what you think and do! Will you accept this fate given to you and succumb to it? Or will you fight it and carve out your own destiny?"

"I... I want to weave my own fate", the boy finally said. "But... I don't know if I can..."

"You are not alone", the boy's father said, holding his son's hand. "You have me, you have your other dad - Hizashi -, you have your aunt Nemuri, you have the teachers and heroes at UA, and you even have your classmates. You are not alone."

"Th-thanks, dad", Hitoshi wiped his tears and hugged his father.

"Of course..." Shouta softly said, returning the hug. "Now then", the man said as they separated. "Let's not have Hizashi wait any longer and get out of this room."

"Yeah..." Hitoshi softly replied.

...

Sitting alone in the mystical fog was a girl only five years of age. With white hair, ruby eyes, and a little horn, the girl cries to herself. Her caretaker, a man by the name of Kai, just wouldn't stop hurting her. He hurted her because she was, as he claimed, a monster. She was the monster who killed her own father, turning him back to nothingness. The only reason why Kai hadn't killed her yet is because her blood was still of use, because he could use her blood to create a cure for quirks.

"Why is it that you are crying, my dear?" Someone asked from behind her.

Turning around, she saw a boy dressed in a strange black outfit with a veil and a crown (?) on his head, and a spear. The boy smiled, a smile so beautiful, so benevolent, it was no different from the fairy godmothers in the old fairytales her grandfather used to tell her. Well, she supposed he would be a fairy godfather.

"I will ask again", the boy said. "Why is it that you are crying?"

...

Shigaraki Tomura stood in the enchantic mist. He was dreaming again. And Izu-kun was right beside him.

Tomura always found Izuku to be a strange Witch. According to Izuku's stories, Witches did not have deeper thoughts. They were simply mindless beast. And yet, Izuku still had some intelligence. And when the night comes and he dreamed, Izuku was almost his previous human self. Izuku could visit people in their dreams, and in that moment, he was the most conscious.

"Hey, Tenten", Izuku tentatively said.

"What is it, Izu-kun?" Tomura asked.

"There's someone I want to save", the magical boy said, eyes full of conviction. "Her name is Eri..."

Chapter Text

「Butterflies of Mag-Mell」: In Irish mythology, Mag Mell was a mythical realm achievable through death and/or glory. Unlike the underworld in some mythologies, Mag Mell was a pleasurable paradise located an island far to the west of Ireland. In Irish mythology, it is also believed that butterflies are related to the human soul, and that they have the ability to travel between this world and the next.

「Flowers of Nirvana」: In Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, Nirvana is state of perfect quietude, freedom, highest happiness as well as the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, returning to nothingness, becoming one with the universe. The red spider lilies, as many of you probably already know, represent death. (Reminder: when Shouto uses this attack, he spawns in a field of red spider lilies)

「Waves from Nirai Kanai」: In Ryukyuan religion, Nirai Kanai is the land of gods and the place from which all life originates. It is believed to be somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

「Wild Arcadia」: Arcadia is the name of a region in modern-day Greece, but it was also a place in ancient Greek mythology. It was located in the Peloponnese, and was considered to be a wilderness in which the god Pan resided, along with dryads, nymphs and other spirits. It was believed that it was a utopia, where inhuman creatures dwelled. This was also the birth place of the god Hermes. The hero Atlanta was said to be the daughter of the king of Arcadia.

「Samsara」: According to most Indian religions, Samsara is the karmic cycle, the cycle of death and rebirth.

「Eden's Judgement」: The Garden of Eden, or Paradise, is the biblical garden of God. According to Christianity and similar religions, Adam and Eve, the ancestors of humanity, used to reside there but were casted out for eating an apple, the fruit of knowledge, because Eve was tempted by (sexy) Satan disguised as a snake. The attack 「Eden's Judgement」 is a pillar of light descending from the Heavens to represent the moment the heavenly judgement was made, the Heavens opened up, and Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden (Heaven is, unsurprisingly, very bright).

Chapter Text

School was in session once more.

Saying goodbye to his family, Shouto left for the station.

As the boy sat on the train, he wondered how his classmates were doing. He had experience with this kind of stuff, Witches and villains, but his classmates did not. They would undoubtedly be somewhat shaken by the events.

And Shinsou... The other magical boy did not seem to take the reveal well. Was he perhaps too blunt, the white-haired boy silently asked himself. It was best that the purple-haired find out the truth sooner rather than later. It was best that Shouto told him instead of him finding out Shouto hid the truth from him. But, should Shouto have uncover the truth in a different manner? Shinsou did not take the truth well at all. Maybe Shouto would have to go hunt down the Witch that the insomniac became...

Shouto knew he was being cold and aloof, and maybe even cruel, but it was for the best. He couldn't afford to get close to others. Because dreams can turn into nightmares, because love can turn into hate, and because hope can turn into despair. As a magical boy, he could not afford that. All those emotions... they were detrimental. Unnecessary. Useless.

His mind wandered back to Filbert, the strange, strange Witch.

That day at the USJ was the first time Filbert had ever attacked him, though not the first day they had ever encountered each other. The first time they encountered one another, Filbert simply evicted him from the labyrinth immediately. Threw him out without a second thought. And it continued to do so every single time they met after that. Until the USJ. Where it attacked him. Just like it had attacked Aneko before.

"Filbert, the Witch of Dreams, his nature is Determination. With his long arms, he reaches in vain for a faraway dream. Unable to reach it, he traps himself in a false world of smoke and mirrors, never to see the light of day ever again. And yet, his heart still bleeds for the children’s broken and forgotten dreams."

That was what his 「All Seeing Eye」 had said about Filbert. He had never really understood the last sentence before though he could now guess what it alluded to: Filbert did not attack children. Back then, he hadn't gone through puberty yet, so he was still considered a child. But Aneko did. She had gone through puberty and was a child no more. So it attacked her. So it killed her.

Aneko, who taught him everything about his magic, who taught him the ins and outs of magical boys and girls, who fiercely fought against Witches to protect the innocent, who was more of a hero than his sperm donor ever was despite her never having studied in any hero school, who tried to defy destiny, whom he deeply respected, she was killed just like that and, except for him, no one even remembered her... A girl so remarkable like that was just another face in the crowd. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, it was her death that reminded him of how dangerous and deadly the world of magical boys and girls, as well as the world of heroics, really were. They were not some characters from some children's anime. Every time they fight, they were putting their lives on the line.

It reminded him of his mortality, that, like all things, he will die. It reminded him of how insignificant humans were compared to the grand scale of the universe. Humans could die and return to ashes and dust in the most glorious way possible, but they will still eventually be forgotten.

It taught him that it was better to stay away from others. Getting close to them meant that he would eventually get hurt, that he would be more susceptible to the feelings that would taint his Soul Gem. It was best to keep distance and stay aloof.

It taught him how untrustworthy the Incubator really is, it reminded him of how harsh the world beyond the rose-colored glasses the Incubator put on him really is. Nothing was without a price. This world is full of lies. A wish and a curse were nothing but two sides of the same coin.

It taught him that destiny was inescapable. The destiny of magical boys and girls is to fight Witches and either die in the process or become Witches themselves. If even a person as strong, as powerful, as fierce, as intelligent, as caring, as compasionate, as determined, as unyielding as Aneko could not defy fate, then who could?

No one, Shouto thought. For fate is inevitable.

...

Shouto was one of the firsts ones to arrive at the class like usual. As per usual, Iida and Yaoyorozu were already there. Just like how it had happened every day until now, they did not really interact with each other.

The classroom door opened and Shinsou entered. He looked better than he had looked right after the Incubator's secrets were unveiled. It seemed like Shouto wouldn't have to kill him after all.

The purple-haired walked towards Shouto desk, standing face to face with the white-haired boy.

"Yukimura", the Brainwasher said, eyes lit up with flames of determination. He must have given a lot of thought to whatever he wanted to say, so, Shouto listened. "I've decided to not listen to you. I will fight the fate given to me."

The white-haired boy found that idea to be stupid and naive. He thought it was almost laughable. To fight fate? It seemed like the other magical boy still hadn't learned that it was pointless. But if that was what the other magical boy wanted to do...

"Do whatever you want", Shouto said, turning away. Shoto might disagree all he wanted, but it was still Shinsou's life after all. The brainwasher could do whatever he wanted with it.

...

Homeroom was about to start. The class was somewhat anxious about the period, wondering which teacher would be Aizawa's (temporary) replacement. With the amount of injuries he sustained, there was no way their homeroom teacher would be discharged from the hospital yet and someone would have to take care of the class in his stead for the time being.

The door opened.

Most of the class curious to certain extends. Who would the substitute teacher be? Would they be as strict as Mr Aizawa or would they be more lenient? Would they be friendly or unapproachable? Would they be likeable or would they rule the class with fear? What would the substitute be like?

Then, the teacher walked in.

To the surprise of most of the class, it was still Aizawa, just completely wrapped up in bandages, looking like a mummy.

"Should you really be here in your condition, sir?" Yaoyorozu, the class vice president, asked.

"Don't worry about me", their teacher said dismissively. "My wellfare is not important. However, your fight is far from over..."

"What?..." Denki said, confused.

"Don't tell me..." Mineta whispered frightenly.

"More villains!?" Ashido exclaimed.

"No", their teacher said, dismissing that idea. "It's the UA Sports Festival."

"Is it really OK to have the Sport Festival when we just got attacked?" Jirou respectfully asked.

"They said it was prove that UA's crisis management control are still sound and what-not", the teacher said, his tone showing clear and obvious disapproval of the decision. "Do not worry. During the event, there will be 5 times the amount of police presence compared to previous years, security will be amped up to the max, not to mention the various pro heroes present. No villain would be stupid enough to attack."

Despite some still hesitant, most of the class were excited for the event. It was no surprise. The UA Sports Festival was one of the biggest events in Japan. So big, in fact, that it could be comparable to the Olympics. In addition, it was also a scouting event. Students get to show off their skills and heroes all across the country will send in their recommendations for the work-study internship students will embark on right after. Additionally, the event would show UA's many sponsors that the school was still worth investing in. It also provided a chance for students in other courses to move up to the Hero Course should they wish and do well enough in the event. So, all in all, the Sports Festival is a really big deal.

And Shinsou was ready for it.

...

As the bells rang signalling it was lunch time, the students of class 1-A opened the doors to find them completely blocked with students from other classes.

"Why are they here?" Kirishima, an outgoing redhead with a Hardening quirk asked.

"Isn't it obvious?" Bakugou said as he walked out. "They are here to scope out the competition." The explosive blond then turned towards the students outside the classroom. "Out of my way!" He aggressively said.

"My, my", a short-haired blond boy with a smug look said. "To think this was how class 1-A act. Just because you fought off some villains, doesn't mean you can act like you guys are better than us. Just, you wait. Class 1-B is going to annihilate you. Consider this a declaration of war."

"Monoma!" A girl with orange hair exclaimed.

"What?" The blond, now identified as Monoma, turned toward the girl, away from Bakugou.

It was at this moment that Bakugou grabbed the other blond by the collar and slammed him against a wall.

"Do you think that we wanted to get attacked by villains?" Bakugou asked, eyes burning with cold anger. "Do you think that having villains attacking you is a good thing? We had to fight for our lives. Do you really think that almost dying, that seeing others get hurt in the attack is a good thing? That seeing monster they created from your childhood friend go on a rampage while you cannot do a single thing is great? What do you think being a hero means? Do you consider heroism just a joke? Just a popualarity contest? If all the other classes are full of naive, arrogant, blind dimwits like you, then yes. We are, in fact, better than every. Single. One. Of you."

With that, Bakugou threw Monoma into the now silent crowd.

"If war is what you want then that is what you'll get", Bakugou furiously said. "I will what war truly look like. I will show you hell on Earth."

With that said, Bakugou walk away in the opposite direction from the one he threw Monoma.

"Out of my way, extras", he said, small explosion crackling in his hand.

The silent crowd parted, making a way for him, like how the Black River was parted for Tang Sanzang and his disciples.

Everyone watched in silence as Bakugou Katsuki walked away.

...

"Ah~", Shigaraki said, looking at something on his computer. "There you are... To think a relic of the past like your organization still survives to this day... Well", he chuckled. "Not for long. Soon enough, the yakuza will be a thing of the past."

Tomura laughed, a laugh full of hatred and resentment. Capturing an innocent child and killing her over and over again so as to go against the natural order and bring back something that should remain in the past... This Eight Precepts of Death reminded Tomura of the cult of Mappo no Ryujin. Of what had happened to him and his dear Izu-kun.

He hated it. He hated them. And, well, it was only natural that he were to dispose of them.

In this imperfect, shitty, fucked up, wonderful world that they lived in, if one wanted something, they have to just take it themselves. And if somebody were to get in the way? Get rid of them.

This was perfectly natural, was it not?

...

"This industry full of fakes..." said a man standing in an alley, each hand holding a sword dyed red with the blood of dead man lying slumped next to him. "I must purge them all..."

The word "Heroism" had lost it true meaning. There were barely any real heroes left in the world. Just a bunch of phonies with oversized egos.

So he had decided to pick up his swords. He would dirty his hands. He would get rid off all those fakes. He would kill them all.

The moment he killed his first phony, he knew there was no going back. His hands were bloody. They were the hands of a killer.

At that moment, he knew that many would consider him a villain. And he was fine with that. Let the people think what they want. Sometimes to do some good, you have to be the bad guy.

The moment the first worm parading as a hero died by his hands, he was no longer the vigilante Stendhal.

He was the Hero Killer Stain.

And he will cleanse this world of heroics from all these fakes.

All for a better society.

Chapter Text

Today was the day. The long awaited UA Sport Festival was here.

Like the rest of the class, Shinsou was excited though still very much nervous. The UA Sport Festival was a really big event. One that was broadcasted live all across the country. Any mistakes and fuck-ups they made would be seen by the entirety of Japan. Well, not everyone would have the time to see them live but there were reruns and the Internet was still a thing. So, the majority of the population of Japan would still see those screw-ups and those stupid screw-ups would be forever immortalized on the Internet, and probably be featured in multiple compilation and reaction videos.

In short, if you fuck up, you fuck up.

Shinsou was in the waiting room with his classmates, waiting for their class to be called out. Soon enough, a man told them to start walking out. As they were walking, Shinsou could hear his dad's loud voice announcing them.

"First up... You know who I'm talking about", Present Mic loudly announced. "The rising stars that managed to brush off a villain attack with their sheer willpower, the first-years of the Hero Course: CLASS 1-A!!!"

The purple-haired insomniac walked with his class to their position. He could not help but be nervous. Like Shouta, Hitoshi was not really a "people person". And to see the stadium this packed... That was not even mentioning that most, if not all spectators here were pro heroes! Furthermore, unlike previous years, this year, all eyes were on the first-years' stage instead of the third-years' because of his class' fight against the villains at the USJ.

"Next up is class 1-B from the Hero Course", the Voice Hero continued, "followed by class C, D, and E of General Studies! And here comes the Support Course with classes F, G, and H! And classes I, J, and K from the Business Course!"

Standing with his class, the purple magical boy cringed at the blatant favouritism. Hizashi had always been very vocal about who and what he liked or disliked, unlike his husband. And well, it was rather obvious that he would favour his son's class instead of... literally every single other class.

With a crack of her whip, aunt Nemuri, R-Rated Hero Midnight, caught everyone's attention. Apparently, she was the announcer for the first-years stage.

"And now, for the athlete's oath!" Midnight cheerfully said, pretending that the random hero in the crowd who had questioned whether her teaching at a high school was appropriate did not exist. "Please come on stage, this year's student representative: from class 1-A, Yukimura Shouto!"

As the crowd applauded, Yukimura gracefully stepped onto the podium to deliver his athlete's oath. The student with the highest in the entrance exam would become the student representative and would have to give a speech at the Sports Festival. Like Midnight annouced, that student this year was Yukimura, and Shinsou was really worried.

"We have all fought tooth and nail to be here", the white-haired boy said. "And now, we will fight once more in hopes of getting first place at this Sports Festival. Well then, let us see who the blind Lady Fortuna will choose. Let us see in whose favour the odds will be. Let us see who is Fate's Favoured Childe."

And with that, Yukimura returned the mic and walked back to their class. Just as Hitoshi expected, while there were a few claps here and there, most people did not know how to react. There were also some students who were angry. Shinsou had saw this coming. Sports was all about trying one's best and go beyond the limits in order to win but Shouto's speech was about how the results were already predetermined so most did not know how to react. In addition, that line about Lady Fortuna and his stone-cold face made it seemed like he was an arrogant jerk who thoght the only reason others were to beat him was thanks to pure dumb luck instead of their hard work and efforts which made some students righteously angry.

The thing was: Yukimura was not a jerk. He was just an 'everything has already been predetermined by fate' kind of guy. He would still try his best, sure, but he did not really care about his placement, unlike the others, because he believed that was the way things were supposed to go. In other words, his beliefs went against everyone else's.

With another crack of her whip, aunt Nemuri brought the attention back to her.

"And now, for the first event", she said as she pointed towards the giant screen. The screen flickered a bit, creating a sense of anticipation, before the name of the event was shown. "An obsticle race!" Midnight announced. "You will partake in a four-kilometer race around the stadium", she explained. "Along the way, there will be three obstacles that you will have to overcome. Only a predetermined amount of students will move on to the next round so try your best to stay on top."

The gates opened and the competitors got in position.

The lights above the gates turned yellow. Everyone was ready to make a dash.

The lights turned green. And everyone was off.

The gates and the tunnel that followed them was really narrow but also really high. So, instead of rushing into the crowd, the purple haired magical boy decided to get through by jumping on the walls. Using on another student as leverage, the boy jumped on the right wall of the tunnel then jumping on the left one then back to the right and so on. If it wasn't for his time training and fighting Witches, as well as the physical boost that comes with being a magical boy, he was pretty sure that this maneuver of his would not be possible.

Sure enough, travelling on the walls had been a good idea as Yukimura, who made it out of the tunnel first, tried to freeze everyone behind him to the ground. The majority of students was indeed frozen to the ground though there were still many who escaped, including his entire class.

After running for a bit after getting out of the tunnel, they encountered the next obstacle: A huge field full of the giant Zero Pointers from the entrance exam, an obstacle that Present Mic had creatively called "Robot Inferno" despite the lack of fire. Being more agile, Hitoshi was planning on the strategy "Instead of getting hit, don't" as he ran under the gigantic robots.

That plan was quicķly defenestrated as the other magical boy froze all the robots. Being in an unstable position, the robots fell down. Yukimura also shot balls of fire towards the robots still standing. The sudden increase in temperature caused the air to expand abruptly, creating explosions which knocked the remaing robots down and completely blocked the path.

The robots also fell on Kirishima and a student from class 1-B, both of whom had not realised how unstable the Zero Pointers were. Fortunately, both had a kind of body hardening quirk so they were fine. The two of them dug out of the robots then yelled something about "manliness" and "bro".

As the remaining students worked together to get the enormous robots out of the way, Bakugou basically flew over everyone and everything with his explosions. Tokoyami, a boy in Hitoshi's class with a sentient shadow for a quirk, and Sero, another classmate of his with elbows capable of shooting out tape, followed his example and used their quirks to propell themselves and go above the downed robots.

With neither the ability to quickly scale up the robots before someone destroyed them nor the power to carve through the mechanical mountain, Shinsou decided to enlist a couple other students to act as his bodyguards and make a way for him. Of course, by "enlist", he meant "brainwash". It was about time he used his own quirk in this race.

After the Robot Inferno is a giant pitfall. There were enormous rock pillars in the pit, all of them connected by ropes. The pillars were too far apart for anyone to get to the other side by jumping from pillar to pillar. Not even Tsuyu, the girl with the frog mutation. She could jump across some of them but not all. However, she still had an amazing sense of balance and was able to walk across the ropes rather easily.

In spite of that, Yukimura was still in the lead. The distance between the boy with mismatched eyes and the rest of the competitors after the first obstacle was too great. Add that with his impressive balance and Shouto continues to keep his first place secured.

However, the distance between him and the others had been greatly reduced. In fact, Bakugou, who flew over the whole pitfall, was very close to catching up with him. Some other notable contestants in this round were Iida, Sero, and a pink-haired girl from the Support Course. Iida had used his engines to skate across the ropes at a high enough speed that he was able to reach the next platform before he could lose his balance and fall down. Sero simply swung from pillar to pillar. The Support Course girl, meanwhile, got through the pitfall with the help of a grappling hook belt and jetpack boots.

And finally, the contestants reached the last obstacle: a mine field. The mines were not particularly dangerous, in fact, they could hardly do any damage. However, the explosions were enough to blow the competitors back. And if an unlucky competitor were to land on more mines? It could create a chain reaction the could send them back to the beginning of the mine field.

Right before stepping onto the mine field, Yukimura stopped. Taking advantage of that, the other students ran pass him. Bakugou was now in the lead, resorting back to his strategy of propelling himself over the entire obstacle. It was then that Shinsou saw why the other magical boy had stopped. He had covered his feet and part of his legs in a thick layer of ice.

Then, Shouto ran onto the field and immediately stepped on a mine. The mine exploded and Yukimura... was shot forwards! He landed on another mine and was short fowards once more. Yukimura continued to go from mine to mine, travelling great distances at a time. That was the reason he had stopped. Not only had he covered his feet in a thick layer of ice to mitigate any damage by the continous explosions, he had also seen the power of the mines with his magic, calculated the trajectory, and found a path that would explode him straight to victory.

Yukimura quickly closed the distance between Bakugou and him before passing the explosive boy.

"And the winner for the first round is YUKIMURA SHOUTO!!!" President Mic loudly announced as Shouto crossed the finish line with Bakugou merely inches behind. The audience gave a roaring applause.

"Don't get cocky!" Bakugou said as he wiped his sweat. "I'll crush you next round, Snowflake!" He told Yukimura with a smirk. The other boy simply looked at him for a few seconds before lightly shrugging and walking away.

Once a decent amount of students had crossed the finish line, Midnight revealed that only forty four students would be moving to the second round. The screen behind her flickered and showed the forty foir students that would move on to the next round. Looking at the screen, Hitoshi saw that he managed to place 13th in the race. It wasn't the best but it wasn't bad either. He was in the upper half of the passing competitors.

...

In a dingy bar, Kurogiri was watching the Sports Festival with Tomura, the latter was taking notes about the students' quirk that he managed to see. The metallic object, which Tomura called Izuku and said was a Witch's Grief Seed, was pinned on the teal-haired villain shirt.

"That Wolf in Sheep's Clothing truly is powerful, isn't he, Kurogiri", Tomura remarked, not taking his eyes off the TV screen. "Though Kacchan wasn't too bad, either. But really, the other courses never stood a chance, did they? Forty four students and forty of them are from the Hero Course, three from the Support group with only the pink-haired girl truly standing out, one lonely boy from Gen Ed, and no one from the Business Course. But I do suppose that the Business Course wouldn't care much about winning and moving to the Hero Course. Well then, you hero fetuses, show me your power. Your weaknesses. Your everything..."

Chapter Text

"Now, for the next round", Midnight loudly declared with a crack of her whip, the screens behind her displaying the words "Cavalry Battle" in bold. "This year’s team event: The Cavalry Battle!

Now, the rules are simple. You will first need to group yourselves in groups of four and get into a rider-and-horse formation. The rules are essentially the same as normal cavalry battles: snatching your opponents' headbands and guarding your own. However, instead of determining the winning team through the amount of headbands in possession, it will be through points. Each and everyone of you is going to be given a certain amount of points depending on your placement in the Obstacle Course. Each team will be given only one headband with the total amount of points your team has, which will be worn on your neck or higher.

The point system is pretty simple. It starts at 5 at the bottom and it will go up by 5. So, the 44th student will have 5 points, the 43rd: 10 points, and so on. That being said... The one in first place, instead of having 220 points, they will have 1 million points instead! You did a good job getting first place but can you keep it, Yukimura Shouto?

Anyhow, there’s no need to panic if your headband is stolen or if your formation is broken. As long as the rider does not touch the ground, you won’t be eliminated. The 4 teams with the highest amount of point once the timer hits 0 will move on to the next round. Good luck!"

...

The teams were gathering. The students seemed to grouped up with their friends and classmates. All of them except Yukimura. This was no surprise after all. Having 1 million points meant having a giant target painted on one's back, it meant that everyone else would be ganging up on them.

"Hey, mister 1-million-points", a pink-haired girl suddenly called him. "I am Hatsume Mei from the Support Course! If you don’t mind, please let me join your team! Joining you means the spotlight will inevitably be on me and my babies and so, all the big shots will notice my beautiful babies!"

"Can your "babies", which I'm guessing are your support items, withstand sudden changes in temperature?" Shouto asked.

"Of course!" The girl excitedly said.

" Then sure", the magical boy said, as monotonous as ever. Now, to find two more...

...

Shinsou had grouped with with his classmates Tokoyami Fumikage, a boy with the head of a raven and a sentient shadow for a quirk, and Shouji Mezou, a huge boy with multiple arms; and Kuroiro Shihai, a boy with skin black as ink and hair white as snow from class 1-B. They had decided to have Kuroiro as their rider since he can use his quirk to hide inside Tokoyami's Black Shadow if necessary. Overall, Shinsou thought his team was quite balanced. They had Shouji with his big stature and multiple arms can act as a close-range attacker and a decently powerful defense. Tokoyami with Black Shadow act as a medium-long range attacker and an escape for Kuroiro. Finally, there's him, the brainwasher, who will control the enemies to get his team out of tight spots and make gaining points easier.

"So", Kuroiro said. "Should we target mister first-place?"

"No", the brainwasher immediately objected. "Yukimura is crazy strong, and with his fire, we wouldn’t be able to get close enough. Not to mention, most, if not all, other groups will be targeting him. It’s better to use that chaos to snatch the head bands of those groups. Our objective should not be to place first but simply to get to the next round."

"That seems reasonable", the boy with the bird head agreed.

"Time's up!" Midnight exclaimed. "Teams, get in formation! And the round begins in 3!" The heroine said as the screens counted down with her. "2! 1! Begin!"

Just as Hitoshi predicted, as soon as the round started, all teams ran straight to Yukimura.

...

Shouto's team consisted of Hatsume, the girl from the Support Course, Yaoyorozu, his classmate with the creation quirk, Jirou, another classmate of his with an Earphone Jack quirk, and himself. They had barely gotten into position when seemingly all other teams tried to attack them.

"Flying Dragon, Dancing Phoenix", Yukimura calmly said and, with a sharp movement of his left hand, a gargantuan dragon and an equally behemothic phoenix made out of fire appeared and circled around his team, preventing anyone from getting close.

"Don't get so cocky!" Someone, probably from another class since he didn’t recognize their voice, said. Moments later, the ground beneath them suddenly softened dramatically. They were sinking into the ground as if they were standing on quick sand!

"Hatsume", Shouto said as he activated the jetpack she gave him.

"On it", the pink-haired girl said as she activated the hover boots the rest of the team was wearing. The team went flying.

"Get back here!" Bakugou yelled as he flew after them with his explosions. He seemed to have abandoned his team behind.

Unfortunately for the blond, the fiery phoenix intercepted his attack. Losing his momentum, Bakugou fell down but was saved by his teammates. Meanwhile, the dragon and phoenix had gone back to flying around Yukimura's team, this time in a spherical orbit instead of circular.

...

As expected of Yukimura, the white-haired boy was able to fend off all nine other teams with a show of his immense power and refined technique. Not every pyromancer can create something as complex as a dragon and phoenix in such a short amount of time, after all.

However, true to Hitoshi's prediction, Yukimura also proved to be a great distraction as the brainwasher's team was able to snatch a couple headbands during the chaos.

"You are betraying us, Kuroiro?" A boy with seemingly no lips from the other class joked as his team approached.

"Eh", Kuroiro responded. "No hard feelings but I already knew Purple Man over here since before UA", he said, gesturing at Shinsou.

"No hard feelings, then", the boy with long eyelashes sitting on top said as No Lips touched the floor, and it immediately softened. Behind him, a girl suddenly used the vines that made up her hair to attack and try to steal their headbands.

"Tokoyami!" Hitoshi said.

"Understood", the raven-head said as Dark Shadow completely engulfed Kuroiro. Seconds later, the sentient quirk withdrew himself as Shihai completely vanished.

"Just give us the points", a boy with black hair and a white and blue bandanna, and the last member of No Lips' team, said. "It’s not like you can get out of there and you will just completely sink into the ground. Just give us the points and we’ll let you go."

"Is that so?" Shinsou said. "And how can we trust that you won’t just leave us here after you get the points."

"We would never do something as unmanly as that!" The rider denied vehemently.

"We will keep our promise, in the name of the Lord", Vine Hair said.

"Come on", No Lips said. "Just trust us."

"It’s not like you have any other choice", Bandanna said. "You will soon sink anyway and your rider will touch the ground.

The magical boy could be happier with all this replies.

"Gotcha", he said with a smirk as the opposing team’s eyes dulled and they fell under his control. "Vine Hair, get us out of here!" Shinsou ordered. The girl silently complied. "Now, give us your points and go bother someone else", the insomniac commanded. Long Eyelashes gave him their headband and the team walked away.

Kuroiro climbed out of Dark Shadow and returned to his position on top. He took the headband from Hitoshi and put it on his neck, making sure that the numbers were facing inward and no one could see them, just like what he did with the other headbands their team possessed.

"Let’s go", Shihai said as their team took off.

...

Shouto's team was back on firm land. It seemed that Bakugou's team was currently focused on utterly annihilating a team from the other Hero class, and all the others seemed to have realized that it was pointless to try to get pass the two mythical animals made out of fire. They were safe for now, but not for long. His team was not going to withstand the heat generated by the dragon and phoenix for much longer.

"Yaoyorozu", Yukimura called. "Can you make flash bombs or smoke bombs?"

"Yes", the girl answered. "I can create both."

"If so then create a lot flash bombs and sunglasses for the team", the white-haired boy told her. "I will drop Flying Dragon, Dancing Phoenix soon. Everyone, put on the sunglasses and prepare to throw the flash bombs."

"Roger!" Mei said as Jirou silently nodded. Meanwhile, Yaoyorozu made the things Shouto asked her to.

Putting on their sunglasses, Yukimura and his team steeled themselves.

"I’m dropping it!" Yukimura said and the two fiery creatures disappeared. There was a second of silence before most other teams ran towards them. Wasting no time, Shouto's team threw the flash bombs. The huge explosion of light momentarily stunned and blinded the other teams. Creating an icicle as a conductor for his power, the magical boy touched the ground with it, uttering a single word:

"Niflheim", the boy said as ice spread across the, freezing everyone in their track.

"And the time is almost up!" Present Mic loudly announced. "Only 30 seconds remaining!"

"You won't win this time, Snowflake!" Suddenly came Bakugou's yelling accompanied by his explosions as he blasted through the air.

With a flick of the icicle in his hand, Shouto made a giant ice wall appeared, cutting the blond's path.

"That should stop him", Jirou sighed in relief.

"Not for long", the magical boy remarked.

The words had barely left his mouth when cracks began appearing in the upper portion of the wall. With an loud bang, a chunk of the wall exploded. And Bakugou blasted through.

"3!" The Voice Hero counted as Bakugou flew closer.

"2!"

Bakugou was right in front of them. Momo tried to stop him with a piece of metal she created to  out 

"1!"

The ash-blond reached out to grab Shouto's headband as the white-haired magical boy leant back and tried to kick the other boy off.

"Time's up!" Present Mic loudly announed. Bakugou stopped in his tract, hands touching the headband.

"And the winner for the second round is.... Yukimura's team!" The pro hero announced. "In second place is team Bakugou!" Present Mic continued, much to Bakugou's annoyance. "Standing in third place: team Kuroiro! And finally, in fourth place, with the same amount of points, team Asui and team Tetsutetsu!"

"Since two teams are in the fourth place", Midnight said. "Each of the two teams will pick out two members to move on to the next round. You have until the afternoon. Please take a break, everyone. The Sports Festival will continue in the afternoon."

Shouto breathed out. Two down. One more to go.

He can do this.

Briefly, he wondered if Aneko could see him right now.

...

Shouto was on patrol with Aneko. She was dressed in her green outfit inspired by 18th century court dresses, chakrams in hands, orange hair flowing in the air, she couldn't look more alive.

The two of them weren't looking for villains like the pro heroes, they were looking for Witches. As magical boys and girls, it was their duty to stop Witches from further spreading their despair. 

Suddenly, there was a distortion. Buildings disappeared and were replace with wild flora. A beautiful forest of wonders covered by fairy tale pink mist underneath a dreamy purple sky.

A Witch's labyrinth.

Very quickly, they were greeted by that Witch's minions, wooden dolls with mirrors for faces. They did not seem particularly strong, not until they got close.

One of them nanaged to get close to Aneko before backing away. It transformed before their eyes. Bodies changing to look similar her, mirrors disappearing to show the faceless wood beneath.

It then summoned the same Chakram that the magical girl used. They had the power to copy their opponents as long as they get close.

Luckily, that minion was quickly dispatched and with both magical boy and girl even more cautious than before, no other minion was able to get close. It also helped that both of them used ranged weapons. Shouto did not fail to notice, however, that the minions seemed to avoid him.

All of the sudden, there was a giany figure in the mist.

The Witch.

Just as they were prepared to attack, the magical boy found himself back in the real world.

After a few seconds of confusion, the boy immediately returned to the labyrinth.

Returned to Aneko being ripped in half by the Witch.

Her torso was ripped in half, intestines falling out in a pink, fleshy, bloody mess. The girl detransformed. She was no longer a powerful fate-defying magical girl. She was just a girl. She was just Aneko.

The girl's lifeless body fell to the ground with a 'thud'. Her glassy eyes stared straight into Shouto's soul.

The boy heard someone screaming. Someone crying out for the dead girl.

Oh, right.

That was him.

Before he could do anything, however, the labyrinth disappeared. Along with the Witch and its minions.

Along with Aneko's body...

 

 

 

Aneko's design

Chapter Text

The final round had started and Hitoshi was nervous. A lot of his class made it in, which meant that they already knew what his quirk was and would know not to answer him to trigger the conditions for his mind control. Well, maybe except Bakugou since Shinsou could easily rile him up, but Bakugou is also smart so he isn't 100% sure that the blond would respond to his taunts. This meant that he would essentially be fighting quirkless which put him in a huge disadvantage considering that everyone else knew how to fight and could use their quirk.

The first battle of the round certainly did nothing to soothe his worries. It was a match between Kuroiro Shihai from class 1-B and his class' Yukimura Shouto. Just as the match started, the other magical boy created a huge glacier that both trapped Kuroiro and pushed him out of boundaries. The match lasted a total of 3.14 seconds. Needless to say, Shinsou was freaking the fuck out on the inside.

If the first match was extremely quick, the second match was extremely long. They paired up Kirishima with Tetsutestu, a boy in class B with practically the same quirk and personality. At least, that fight amswered the question of what would happen should one fight their clone/doppelgänger. The answer? An extremely drawn out fight that ended with a draw because both sides collapsed from exhaustion.

And now, it was time for Shinsou's match. Walking to the stage, he could hear his dad's loud announcement.

"AND FOR OUR NEXT MATCH", Present Mic loudly said. "CLASS 1-A'S RESIDENT INSOMNIAC - SHINSOU HITOSHI VERSUS THE ANTLION OF CLASS 1-B - HONENUKI JUUZOU!!!"

Standing on the oposite side of the field from Shinsou was No Lips, Honenuki, Shinsou supposed, looking as determined as ever, and is that a bit of anger he saw? Well, maybe this match wouldn't be as bad as he previously thought.

As soon as the start of the match was announced, Honekuni soften the a huge patch of ground, hoping to trap Shinsou. Fortunately for the insomniac, the softened ground had a slightly darker color. A normal person probably wouldn't notice but, when one's a magical boy who had to pay attention to the slightest changes in the Witches, and its minions and labyrinth, seeing and avoiding that patch is very simple.

"My, my, how aggressive", Shinsou taunted. " What got your panties in such a twist?"

However, Juuzou remained silent and continued attacking. It seemed he might have learnt his lesson from the other round. Or perhaps not.

"Is it because Kuroiro teamed with us the other round instead of you?" Shinsou continued. Juuzou twitched. "Because Kuroiro decided to hang out with me during the lunch break instead? Are you perhaps... jealous?"

Honekuni gritted his teeth. Bingo!

"It is, isn't it?" Shinsou said with a smirk, imitating the blond from 1-B who declared war on his class the other day, from the tone to the facial expressions. "You're jealous that Kuroiro wanted to hang out with me instead! What, are you afraid I would steal your boyfriend? Don't worry, I'll treat him nice. Way better than you do."

"Shut up!" Honenuki snapped before realizing his mistake.

Gotcha, Hitoshi thought as he took control of the other boy. He finally had a chance to breathe. Dear god, did he want to punch himself. He didn't realized how irritating the blond from 1-B was and how good of an actor he (Hitoshi) was. But punching himself would have to wait.

"Walk out of bounds", the brainwasher commanded and, like an obedient puppet, Juuzou walk out of bounds.

Just as the 1-B boy stepped out of the field, Shinsou relinquished his control and Present Mic roared:

"AND HONENUKI JUUZOU IS OUT OF BOUNDS! THE WINNER IS SHINSOU HITOSHIII!!!"

Shinsou sighed in relief as he let go of his control on Juuzou. Hitoshi was going to apologize for what he said but his opponent had already ran away. Hopefully Kuroiro would calm No Lips down.

...

The following matches went without much fanfare. Yaoyorozu lost to Tokoyami the moment she decided to go defensive instead of offensive right away. Jirou fought valiently against Shouji but she was no match for the boy's power.

Ashido and Sero were paired against each other and are pretty evenly matched. While Mina slided around with her acid, trying to get in a solid hit, Sero was trying to bind her with his tape and throw her out of bounds. They did this dance for a couple minutes before the boy slipped on a puddle of acid and fell out of bounds.

Iida was paired with the support girl, Hatsume. After taking advantage of his personality and made him showcase her items, she bowed and stepped out of bounds.

It was the final match of the round that got people talking: Bakugou vs Uraraka. A lot of people were booing the boy, telling him to go easy on Uraraka because she's a girl. That said, Shouji and Tokoyami also fought and won against girls, yet they were not booed during their match by the same crowd that was booing Bakugou right now. Shinsou reasoned it's because of Bakugou's fighting style. The boy was brutal, viciuos, relentless, and some might even say somewhat cruel. It was very different from Tokoyami's quick and precise, and Shouji's calmer style.

"Shut it!" The ash blond told the audience. "She's going to be a hero. Villains are not going to go easy on her because she's a girl. Besides, do you really think I'm just toying with her?"

"Bakugou is going all out because he acknowledges her strength", Aizawa explained as the battle rages on. "He wants to move on to the next round. He cannot affort to go easy on her."

Shinsou agreed. Uraraka is strong and determined. And she had a good strategy. There was a reason why she stayed so close to the ground after all. Bakugou must not have realized it because of the smoke but the pro heroes in the stands really should have seen it.

"Release!" Uraraka cried out as she stopped her quirk. The reason why she stayed so close to the ground was so Bakugou would destroy the field as much as possible, creating as much debris as possible. The debris who she levitated using her quirk. The debris that was coming down like a meteor shower.

Unfortunately for Uraraka, it was all for naught against Bakugou's overwhelming fire power. The explosive teen used all the sweat on his body after that long fight to create an explosion of unprecedented degree, completely anihilating the meteor shower.

And that was where the brunette stopped. Uraraka had no strength to continue and collapsed, making Bakugou the match's winner.

...

"As expected from Kacchan", Shigaraki said after the match. "Despite being put in such a situation, he still came out on top. Gravity girl stood no chance against him, isn't that right, Izu-kun?"

On the TV screen, Bakugou crouched down and helped gravity girl get on the stretcher.

...

After Kirishima and Tetsutetsu settle their match with an arm-wrestling contest, which Kirishima barely won, they had a short break an then it was the second round of matches.

The first match of the second round was Shouji versus Yukimura. Yukimura's strategy was still exactly the same: Freezing the entire field. Shouji's strength meant jackshit to the white-haired boy's glacier and Yukimura moved on to the semi-finals.

The second match was between Shinsou and Kirishima. Being the enthusiastic sunshine boy that he is, Kirishima immediately responded to Shinsou wishing him luck and was promptly brainwashed. Needless to say, Shinsou won that match.

Continuing the trend of the second round matches being super short, Iida defeated Ashido by pushing her out of bounds with his incredible speed. Bakugou, meanwhile, defeated Tokoyami with an array of explosions. This was to be expected as the bird boy's Dark Shadow was weak to light, something Bakugou's explosions created.

The semi-finals were not much more interesting. Yukimura won by, once again, wordlessly pushing his opponent out of bounds as soon as the match started. The purple-haired magical boy did not even get the chance to utter a single word before he was eliminated. Bakugou won his match right away due to Iida not even showing up. Apparently, he was called away due to a family emergency. Hitoshi hoped that Iida was OK.

And finally, it was time for the last match of the day. The grand finale. The battle between 1-A's two powerhouses. Bakugou Katsuki versus Yukimura Shouto.

"LET THE MATCH BEGIN!!!" Present Mic excitedly announced.

As soon as those words left the hero's mouth, Yukimura freezed the field again. There was no need to change tactics if the old one still worked after all. But that strategy would not work against the explosive Bakugou.

"Don't you dare think that's shitty tactic will work against me, Snowflake!" Bakugou yelled as he quickly approached the glacier instead of running away and avoid it. With a large explosion, the ash blond shattered the glacier into a million fragments.

Bakugou ran at the heterochromatic boy, small explosions crackling in his palms.

"DIE!" He yelled as he directed a big explosion towards the other boy. Smoke covered part of the field but it seemed Yukimura successfully evaded the attack.

Holding out his hand, the white-haired boy activated his quirk. However, instead of ice, a snow storm was created.

Not letting himself be detered by this, Bakugou let out a series of smaller explosions to keep warmth and partially protect himself from the snow. When the blizzard subdued, Yukimura was no longer in sight.

Suddenly, Yukimura was behind him. It was only thanks to his great battle instincts and reflexes that allowed him to barely dodge the white-haired's waved of ice. A chunk of ice was thrown at him though Bakugou managed to dodge it by propelling himself up with explosions. And the battle of explosions, and ice and snow continued.

"Are you looking down on me, you bastard!?" Bakugou angrily asked as he directed an explosion at Yukimura. "Do you think I am so weak that you only need half your power to defeat me?"

"It is precisely because you are strong that I can only use half of my power", Yukimura calmly said as he used an ice shield to protect himself, noting that the explosion was much weaker than previous ones. "If I use my fire and raise the temperature, that would make you sweat, thus giving you more fuel for your attacks. Aside from lowering the temperature and reducing your sweating, using ice and snow also has another benefit", the magical boy explained as he shielded himself from another explosion. "You must have realized by now, don't you? Your explosions no longer are as powerful as they were. The water from the melted ice and snow is diluting your sweat."

Bakugou gritted his teeth. He knew this. The longer the battle, the more disadvantageous his position would be. That was why he intended to end the fight quickly but the magical boy proved to be stronger than he had anticipated.

"It's over",  Yukimura said when the ash blond could no longer explode. He proceeded to bash Bakugou with the ice shield. Next thing the explosive boy knew, he was frozen from the neck down. He was unable to move.

"Bakugou Katsuki can no longer fight, the winner is YUKIMURA SHOUTO!!!" Present Mic announced as the stadium errupted into cheers.

Chapter Text

The day after the Sports Festival ended, Hitoshi and his classmates got a day off to relax and the purple-haired boy spent that time hanging out and relaxing with his family. Once that day was over, they had to return to class to prepare for the internships. One of the main aspects of the Sports Festival was to help hero agencies scout out potential interns and recruits, after all. Unsurprisingly, Yukimura, who won all rounds of the Festival in the most spectacular manner, received the most offers out of all of them, almost twice the amount Bakugou, who got the second largest amount of offers. Needless to say, this kinda pissed Bakugou off.

As his dad and homeroom teacher announced, they were also going to pick their hero names today. It was then that the door opened and aunt Nemuri walked in. Dad announced that she was going to help them with choosing their hero names before retreating to sleep in a corner.

A lot of Shinsou's classmates came up with some pretty nice and decent hero names. For example, Tsuyu called herself Froppy, Uraraka went by Uravity, and Tokoyami named himself after the Shinto god of moon, Tsukuyomi. However, there were some not so great ones such as Aoyama's "Can't Stop Twinkling".

"What about you, Yukimura?" Yaoyorozu, hero name: Creati, asked the boy sitting next to her. "Have you came up with a hero name yet?"

"Yes", Yukimura said somewhat emotionlessly. "I suppose I will go next."

Walking to the board, the boy showed everyone his hero name.

"I will be Shiranui", he said. "The Mystic Hero."

"An interesting name", Midnight commented. "Showing not only your quirk but also a nod to you being a magical boy."

The next one up was Bakugou, who surprised everyone with his hero name.

"I'll be the Explosion Hero: Kacchan", he said in soft voice.

"It's a nice name", Midnight said. "Definitely on the more kid-friendly side, not that it is a bad thing. Any reason why you decided to go with this name?"

"Yeah", Kaminari interjected. "This is a really cutesy name. We were expecting you to go with something more, I don't know, savage?"

"Right!?" Mina loudly said. "I was expecting King Explosion Murder or something!"

"Shut it or I'll silence you myself!" Bakugou barked before taking a big beath, calming himself down to explain. "Well... A childhood friend use to call me that before he was... gone."

There was no need to tell who this childhood friend is. Everyone could guess who they are based on the ash-blond's tone. They were definitely Midoriya Izuku, who had gone on to become Filbert, the Dream Witch.

After Bakugou went back to his seat in front of Shinsou, it was the purple-haired boy's turn to present his hero name, being the only one left.

"Might as well get this over with", the boy said, showing the name he wrote on his board. "Midnight Hero: Getsurei"

...

It was late at night. The moon was high up in the sky and the stars were shining brightly. And Yukimura Shouto was looking for Witches. The Grief Seed he had been using was getting full so it was time he got a new one.

A sudden distortion in space and time. A Labyrinth had just spawned and it was close by. Following the source of the distortion, he came to a bridge. And then he wasn't at the bridge anymore.

He was standing in a large field of grass. The river under the bridge was still there though it was now full of lotuses. There was a large group following the river with a giant coffin. This entourage was undoubtedly the Witch and its minions.

"「All-Seeing Eye」", Yukimura said, activating his power. He first used it on the enormous coffin that is most likely the witch.

Libitina, the Coffin Witch whose nature is thanatophobia. She fears death more than anything in this world. Desperately, she tries to escape her fate, banging her coffin from the inside, crying out for help. (First form)

The Coffin Witch had two types of minions. One takes form of a man, completely black from head to toe, wearing a sort of white tunic. It also wore a circlet made from some kind of wood like material which secure a white cloth that covered its face. In its hand was a long wooden stick around two thirds its height. The other minion looked like a woman, also completely black and wearing the same tunic. On his head, however, was a cloth cap instead. Aiming his powers at the male minions, it said:

Sohn, minions of the Coffin Witch. Their duty is to grieve. As they lead the Witch to her final resting place, they grieve for the one they had lost.

For the female minions, his power stated:

Tochter, the Coffin Witch's minions. Their duty is to morn. As they lead the Witch to her final resting place, they morn their dead loved one and pray she could find peace in the afterlife.

This Witch, Libitina, was a self dooming Witch. Now that was something you don't see everyday. Slef dooming Witches are extremely rare but still very dangerous nonetheless. They usually cause mass destruction, whether intentionally or not, on their way to be killed by its Labyrinth so it was better to just end them right away. Though this one didn't seem like it was causing much trouble but there was still something Shouto was concerned with. 「All-Seeing Eye」 implied that it has at least another form.

For the time being, the magical boy decided to stay back an watch the melancholic scene unfold. The entourage had already reached its destination, which was an elevated platform of sorts, anyway.

As they reached the platform, the minions gently laid the witch in the middle of it, on top a hatch. Then, they walk around her coffin, sadly looking at the Witch before stopping to say something, most likely prayers. Once that was done, the hatch opened and the Witch was slowly lowered down. Shouto could see wisps of flames escaping the hatch. So, they were going to cremate the body. Burn the Witch, then. How fitting.

When the Witch was completely underground, the hatch closed and the Labyrinth was engulfed in silence...

The silence lasted barely a few seconds before loud banging could be heard and the hatch's doors went flying. Climbing out of the fiery pits of the incinerator with an agonizing screech was the Witch. It was now that the boy with mismatch eyes could see what was hidden inside the coffin. The Witch had a humanoid figure with bony arms and long black hair. It wore a white blouse, red undershirt, a cream skirt which was secured with a red string around the upper waist, and it had a yellow talisman with red symbols on her face. Only its upper body was visible, from the waist down, it was still inside the incinerator. Additionally, the were dozens of human hands, all charred black, coming out of the incinerator, seemingly trying to pull her back in.

"「All-Seeing Eye」!" Yukimura activated his magic.

Libitina, the Witch of Coffins with the nature of thanatophobia. She fears death more than anything in this world. Though her coffin is finally broken, she still has yet to escape death. Unable to completely avoid her fate, she wildly lashes out in desperation at anything and anyone within her vicinity. (Second form)

So this is how it works, the magical boy thought to himself. The coffin act as a strong protective barrier against attacks. Once the coffin is destroyed, it goes in to a frenzy attack mode.

"How annoying", he said as he jumped into the fray.

"「Waves from Nirai Kanai」", Shouto said as he swept away all the minions in his way.

The screeched loudly as she brought a hand down to strike where Shouto was standing, cracking the ground. The white-haired boy jumped out of the way as he made his next move.

"「Butterflies of Mag-Mell」", he calmly said. Dozens of butterflies flew out of his fans and struck the Witch in its face, slightly knocking it back. Using a Sohn's face as leverage, the magical boy jumped high into the air.

"「Samsara」", he said as he threw the wheel of energy straight at the Witch's face. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the Witch was able to catch it and threw it to the side.

That being said, its hands were still severely damaged. It shouldn't be able to use them anymore. And that was when the Witch revealed that aside from slamming and clawing, it can also shoot lazers.

The red symbols on its talisman shone as a ball of energy appeared in front of its face, right in front of the talisman's center to be exact, and from that ball, a lazer beam was shot, cutting through the scenery. Yukimura barely managed to avoid the unexpected attack, his haori got cut in half, the edges were still on fire.

Throwing his burning haori away, the boy dodged another lazer beam which destroyed a lot of minions behind him. At the very least, the minions in this Labyrinth are relatively peaceful so he did not have to worry about them attacking. Small mercies.

Jumping out of the way of another lazer, Shouto attacked again with 「Butterflies of Mag-Mell」 as this seem to be the most effective attack so far. And so, the boy decided to use it repeatedly, or as his brother Natsuo would say, spam the living shit out of it.

As expected, the Coffin Witch was knocked back, almost falling down. From the fire below, more charred hands shot out, grabbing the Witch by the hair and shirt, trying to pull her back into the fiery pits below. The Witch, however, grabbed on to the sides of the platform, refusing to be dragged down.

"Fate is inexcapable", the white-haired magical boy said. "And your fate was to die.「Judgement of Eden」."

A pillar of light engulfed the Witch as it let out a blood-curling screech.

And then silence.

The Witch had been defeated, the Labyrinth destroyed. The only evidence left behind was a Grief Seed innocently lying on the ground.

Picking it up, Yukimura Shouto resumed his patrol.

...

Another fake down, this one a so called heroine by the name Hihi'irokane. With the ability to pull out swords from her body, she had put up a decent fight. But that wasn't enough for her to escape.

"Goodbye, vermin", the black-haired man said as he plunged his sword down. The sword went through her heart. There was no way she was living through this. They would find her body inside this alley soon enough.

"You are a quite hard individual to track, but I have finally found you", a voice said from behind the man. Turning around, he saw a misty figure standing underneath a street light.

"It is a pleasure to meet you", the figure said to the man. "Hero Killer Stain..."

Chapter Text

"Welcome, Hero Killer!" Sitting at a bar, young man with red eyes said as soon as he walked through the portal. "Shigaraki Tomura, a pleasure."

Stain eyed the man warily. So this was the one behind the attack at UA. He looked younger than Stain expected but then again, you would have to be on the younger side to do something so impulsive as attacking All Might's alma mater.

"What do you want?" The Hero Killer asked. When the Mist man, who was now standing behind the bar, approached him about joining the Coven, his first thought was to flat out refuse him. However, the man held himself. Admittedly, he was curious about this group. Even if they ultimately failed in the end, being able to cause as much damage as they did was no small feat. Stain wanted to see why they did what they did, he wanted to test their conviction.

"To join us, of course", Shigaraki said before turning towards the Mist man, frowning. "Kurogiri, I thought you were supposed to tell him this already."

"He did", Stain said before the Mist man, now identified as Kurogiri, could respond. "What I want to ask is what you want from this alliance, what you are trying to do, and why you would think I would join you."

"Well, I want us to cooperate to achieve our common goal", Shigaraki responded. "We both want to change this society, to tear down this hero-worshipping society and create a new order. Of course, to do that we first need to take down All Might. I think your paralysis quirk-"

Before the Coven's leader could even finish the sentence, Stain was already on him, stabbing his shoulder and pinning the man to the ground.

"Kurogiri?" The red-eyed man asked, somewhat nonchalantly.

"I'm sorry", the man behind the counter said. "I can't seem to move. It appears his quirk was paralysis like you guessed."

"To do anything, you need a head and you need conviction", Stain cut them off. "The weaklings lacking both like you will die.

"Nowadays, the word 'hero' has lost it intended meaning. The industry is riddled with frauds abusing the hero name. It's like a plague infecting our society. Yet, you dare suggest killing who is perhaps the only true hero out there? Don't make me laugh. You're nothing more than egotistical villains... and I shall end you here."

Suddenly, a strong wind blew, carrying with it countless of petals and making the Hero Killer raise his hands to shield his eyes. The wind was there for but a second, and then it was gone, vanishing as quickly and mysteriously as it appeared.

As Stain lower his arms, he and the two villains were no longer in the bar. They were on a pedestal in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by plants of all kinds. The forest was seemingly endless, extending all the way to the horizon and meeting the purple sky. While the Coven having two people with warp quirks would be the most logical explaination of their change of location, albeit an extremely unlikely one, Stain could not help but feel that whatever was going was not normal, especially with the presence he felt was on the altar with them.

He could not see it. His eyes told him there was nothing there but every fiber of his body is telling him there was something there. Something unnatural, eldritch, otherworldly. Something that made his fight or flight instincts go haywire. And whatever it was, it was slowly descending upon them. Doom was inevitable...

"It's okay, Izu-kun", Shigaraki said in his raspy voice. "I can deal with him. No need for you to open your Labyrinth."

As soon as the words left the villain's mouth, the world started to distort as if it was a mirage. And soon enough, they were back in the bar. The terrifying presence disappeared completely, almost as if it was never there.

"You know", the Coven's leader said as he grab the sword pinning him with his bare hands and disintegrated it. "I was expecting you to be smarter but you're just a blind All Might fan, aren't you?"

Wary, and perhaps still a bit shaken up from whatever had just happened, Stain jumped back as Shigaraki stood up, dusting his hands. The younger man continued:

"You're right", he said. "All Might is a great hero, an almost perfect hero, in fact. However, unbeknownst to the himbo, he created the horrible society we are living in. Why do you think heroes get away with all the shit they do? Because, thanks to All Might, heroes are seen as gods, as perfect paragons of justice that could do no wrong. That said, this also has a negative impact on the heroes themselves. They are held to an impossibly high standard that no one can actually achieve, putting inmense pressure on them. Furthermore, it was partially due to these standards that the hero industry into a popularity contest.

"Not only that, All Might with his flashy quirk also possibly led to a rise in quirk discrimination, especially against the quirkless. Of course, it is only a possibility and this could simply be a case of correlation, not causation, but it's still a possibility, nonetheless. If you look up graphs about quirk discrimination in recent years, you will see that there is an upwards trend which coincidentally matches with All Might's rise to fame. Perhaps because of how popular the himbo has become with his incredibly powerful and flashy quirk, society now values the same kind of quirks: Strong, flashy, and 'heroic'.

"Furthermore, All Might being as powerful as he is, makes heroics seem like a Saturday morning cartoon, he makes things seem more fun and easier than they actually are, especially with how televised his battles usually are. This led to an overall increase in interest in the field of heroics. Surveys show that the number of teens aspiring to be heroes skyrocketted with the himbo's rise in fame, with the majority of them citing All Might as their inspiration. With this came the government special interest and investments in the field. Look up any financial report and you will see the absurd amount of money and resources poured into heroics, money and resorces that could be used to end poverty.

"And most dangerously, All Might became the Symbol of Peace. As long as All Might exists, there is peace. That way of thinking, along with the mentality that heroes are perfect paragons has led to the public becoming complacent, and the Bystander effect exarcebating greatly. Most people nowadays ignore those in need simply because they think a hero would come to help. But heroes are not all-knowing gods, and many are prejudiced against certain kind of people, so those people never get saved, fall into the cracks of society, and either die or become us villains.

"As you can see, your beloved himbo being a pillar holding this society is not only because of the good he has done but also the prejudices he inadvertedly created with his presence alone. So, if we want to take down this society..."

"The easiest way is to first take down its pillar, All Might", the Hero Killer finished.

"Bingo", Shigaraki said. "Now do you understand?"

"Yes", Stain replied. "I can see where you're coming from, and you certainly have conviction... However, I do not agree with your methods. I will not allow you to kill All Might! Just because it may be the easiest way does not mean it's the best-"

"I suppose you won't be joining the Coven, then?" Shigaraki interrupted.

"No", Stain curtly replied. "However, I am willing to establish a temporary alliance with you."

"That's great, Mr Hero Killer", Shigaraki said with a creepy smile. "Pleasure doing business with you."

"Whatever", Stain said. "Now take me to back Hosu. I still have unfinished business there."

"Of course", a newly unparalyzed Kurogiri complied, opening a portal.

"Seeing as we are allies now", Shigaraki said. "Care to tell us how long you're going to be in that city?"

"A week or two more", the Hero Killer replied as he turned around and walk towards Kurogiri's portal.

Halfway into the portal, the Hero Killer stopped.

"By the way, Shigaraki", he asked. "What was that with the Labyrinth and 'Izu-kun'?"

"You're not a member so you don't need to know the specific", the Coven's young leader replied. "All you need to know is that Izu-kun is my OP SP summon with maxed out fondness."

...

"Shigaraki?" Kurogiri asked, knocking on the door of the younger man's room. "I bring dinner."

"Door's open", came the replied.

Opening the door, the warper was met with the familiar scene of the red-eyed man glued to the computer. The mist man put the bowl of teriyaki chicken and rice on the desk next to the other man.

"I think the meeting with Stain went relatively well, no?" Kurogiri said.

"It honestly went better than expected", Shigaraki sighed. "Izu-kun didn't think he would want anything to do with us. He is a huge fanboy of the himbo, after all."

"Then why did you ask him to join us if you were so sure he would reject the offer?" Kurogiri asked.

"To find out where he's gonna be, of course", Tomura replied. "Can't have him getting in the way of the yakuza elimination. Besides, now that we know he's in Hosu and not where the yakuza bases are, we can just send 2 or 3 Noumus there to 'help him'. With that, all eyes will be on Hosu and no one will notice that a yakuza has mysteriously vanished."

"Oh", the older man said. "You know where they are?"

"Kinda", came the younger villain's reply. "They have 4 bases in Japan and I still need to figure out which one Eri and Overhaul are in so we can attack it first." With a click of a mouse, 4 video surveillance recordings of 4 different buildings/set of buildings came up. "There is this one in Yamagata", Shigaraki pointed at the recording taking up the upper left corner of the screen. "This one in Ibaraki", he pointed at the recording next to the one in Yamagata. "This one is the one in Shizuoka", he pointed at the lower left video. "And the last one is in Saitama."

"Does it matter which base we attack first?" Kurogiri asked.

"Yes", Shigaraki replied. "The Shie Hassakai is tryng to create a drug to permanently erase one's quirk using Eri, who is in the same compound as the group's leader, Chisaki Kai. Without Eri, they wouldn't be able to create or profit from that drug anymore, putting them at a big disadvantage. And without its leader? Well..."

"Seeing as you're communicating with the girl through... 'Izu-kun'... couldn't you ask her to look out a window and describe her surroundings?" The warper asked.

"He already did that", Tomura responded. "The problem is that they're underground. Well, no worries. We already asked her to try and get out of the building tomorrow, even if it's only a couple seconds, when her caretaker takes her to the surface. As soon as she's out, she will be caught on these cameras and then, we'll know where to drop Izu-kun."

...

Iida had been acting strange the last couple of days. Well, Yukimura wouldn't call it strange, just different from how Iida would normally act. Considering his brother was just critically injured by Stain, it was normal to feel angry and a bit murderous towards the Hero Killer, at least that was what Yukimura thought.

That being said, he should probably keep an eye on his class president. Regardless of how he feels, going after the Hero Killer at his current level is basically a death wish. The villain had already killed dozens heroes at this point, a first year hero student like Iida has absolutely no chance. Perhaps one (or more) of the bespectacled boy's friend also went to Hosu and they could keep him out of trouble.

Sighing, Shouto zoned back in to listen to the last words of Aizawa-sensei's speech about safety during the internship. After that, the hechromatic boy climbed on the train headed for the hero agency he was going to intern at.

Chapter Text

Noumus were attacking and Hosu was on fire.

If Shinsou was being honest, that was not how he expected things to go today.

He had been interning with Edgeshot, the Ninja Hero and the number 5 Hero according to the official rankings. The hero is known for working both in the limelight and underground so he was sure to offer an unique perspective on underground heroics. Shinsou was also hoping to learn more about stealth as Edgeshot was mainly known for intel gathering and quick and effective ambush attacks. It was supposed to be a relatively chill internship.

But here he was, running through Hosu helping with evacuation while the heroes are fighting the Noumus.

Suddenly, he felt it, the tell tale distortion of space-time. As if Noumus attacking the city wasn't enough, there was a fricking Witch here! Though, strangely, it wasn't Filbert as the magical signature didn't match. The boy hoped this was simply a coincidence and not the Coven somehow taming another Witch, one was bad enough.

Running into a dark alley, Shinsou transformed and entered the Labyrinth.

He landed on top of a giant bookself. It seemed the entire Labyrinth was a gigantic half submerged library. The entire place was lit by a deep blue light with some spots brighter than others, making it seem as though he was underwater. In the actual waters below, swamp some kind of brown prehistoric fish with glowing yellow eyes. They seemed to whisper something. Shinsou is unable to make out what they are saying but their combined whispers reverberate throughout the Labyrinth

A shrill scream echoed through the place. The Witch was there. Floating through the air, the Witch made their way through the library.

They had the main body of an hourglass with and umbrella-like thing at the top, and instead of sand, there was some sort of viscous liquid inside the sand timer. Additionally, the Witch had many long and twisted white arms protruding from the upper half of the hourglass. There was also another pair of arms, shackled and blue in color, that framed the body. Their face was at the bottom of their body, forever looking down at the waters below.

The Witch floated closer to Shinsou their white hands suddenly extended. Quickly jumping to another bookself, the boy watch as the self he was standing on seconds ago was obliterated, the broken debris falling into the water. It seemed that if he failed to kill them fast enough, he would have no place to stand on.

"「Starlight dance」!" Shinsou cried out as he threw the flag in his hand. The flag rotated, flying straight at the Witch, not unlike a giant saw blade.

With their long and twisty arms, the Witch caught the flag in their arms, though not without sustaining serious damage. Crying out in pain, the Witch blindly attacked were the magical boy was standing but he had already moved to a different self.

"Let's do an encore, shall we?" Shinsou said, summoning two flags, one in each hand. "「Starlight dance: Twinstar」!"

The magical boy threw both of the flags, performing the previous attack. Both flags hit their mark as they chop off the Witch's white hands. The Witch let out a deafening scream, forcing Shinsou to cover his ears. However, after that, the Witch was strangely docile, silently floating in place.

"I hope you can find happiness in your next life", the boy clad in purple said. He summoned another flag, which glowed and twisted around its pole, looking very similar to a lance. "「Piercing Sagitta」", he said as the flag-lance pierced through the sky, aiming straight at the Witch's face.

"「Jubjub Bird」", someone (probably a magical girl, judging by the sound of the voice) said as a bird made out of shadows collided with his flag-lance, destroying each other. Turning around, Hitoshi saw that he was right. There was a magical girl there.

The easiest way to describe her would be late Elizabethan aristocrat Alice with a few anachronistic elements. The magical girl was older than him and she had long blond hair that reached below her torso. She was wearing a blue and white dress reminiscent of the late Elizabethan period in England. However, the arms of the dress as well as part of the bodice from around the shoulders up were made of some sort of blue semi-transparent fabric, sheer perhaps. She also wore a more modern-looking headband with two pieces of fabric that looked like rabbit ears, and a corset on top of the dress instead of a pair of bodies under the dress. Her Soul Gem was shining on her dress and in her hand was a golden scepter with three eye-like gems.

"What do you think you're doing?" She coldly asked.

"Defeating the Witch?" Shinsou answered, unsure of what she meant.

"Don't you know this is my territory?" She said. "That Witch is mine."

"Well, sorry, I didn't know", the boy replied. "I was just here by chance and considering the state Hosu is in right now, I just thought that for everyone's sake I should kill the Witch. I mean, things are already bad enough without the Witch on top of it."

The magical girl glared. She looked him up and down, assessing him.

"I'll choose to believe you this time", she said, her voice cold as ice. "But there won't be a next time. Hosu is my hunting ground, do you understand? Any Witches here are my prey. If you get in the way, I will destroy you, am I understood?"

"Yes, ma'am", the boy replied.

"Good", the Hosu magical girl said, as she turned to the Witch. "Attacking its face won't do anything. Its weakness is on top."

As she said this, the blond jumped into the air as the three gems on her scepter glowed.

"「Vorpal Blade」", she said. With a slashing motion, her scepter sent out multiple slashes of energy, cutting the umbrella thing into pieces. The Witch fell into the water, shaking the Labyrinth, before transforming back into a Grief Seed.

The world around them distorted and once again, the magical boy and girl were out of the Labyrinth. Without saying another word, the girl in blue and white picked up the Grief Seed and jumped away.

"Goodbye then, I guess", Shinsou said as she left.

The boy detransformed and took out his phone to see how the containment of the Noumus and the evacuation of the people are going, and to see where he was needed. It was then that he saw Uraraka's text messege. It seemed she had texted him her location.

This is probably not good, the boy thought as he ran to his friend's location.

...

Eléa, the Hourglass Witch with the regretful nature. Despite being able to see the future, she failed to save the ones she loved. Now, she only has her eyes for the past. Blind to both the present and the future, she is forever stuck, unable to move on.

Nostalacanth, minions of the Hourglass Witch. Their duty is to remind. They idly swim through the Labyrinth, whispering to the Witch stories of better times, of the ones she lost, and of the places she left.

...

Uraraka was running through the streets of Hosu, using her quirk to lift the rubble and get the people stuck in buildings or underneath them out. Hosu was a mess. Buildings were destroyed, people were injured and it seemed as though everything was on fire. For whatever reason, the Coven had decided to launch a surprise attack on the city. Uraraka could not understand what they were thinking.

"Has anyone seen Ingenium's brother?" She heard someone ask. As it turned out, it was Manual, the pro hero whom Iida was interning with. It seemed that the hero has lost sight of Iida in the confusion.

A chill ran down the girl's spine. Iida had been acting strange since his brother was incapacitated by the Hero Killer. She had tried to talk to him to get him to open up but her class president simply smiled and told her not to worry about it and just overall avoided the topic. And now, he was missing, running around somewhere in this city on flames. The same city that the Hero Killer was last seen at. It did not take a genius to put two and two together and figure out that the bespectacled boy was most likely going to confront the villain, which would only end in his death.

She had to find him. Fast.

Uraraka continued running. This time, she was extra careful to check the city's many dark alleys. According to the reports, Stain attacks usually happened in dark alleys away from the crowd. So, it was not a stretch to say Iida was probably headed for there. Ochako hoped she could make it in time.

...

When he heard that his brother, Tensei, was injured by Stain, Iida Tenya had been angry. When he saw the full extend of the injuries, when he heard that his brother was forever crippled, forced to quit doing the hero work he loved, Tenya was devastated. Then he was furious. Stain said he targetted the fake heroes, those who carry the title yet do not meet the standards. If so, then why was his brother targetted? His brother who saved so many people, who was friendly and kind to everyone, who would always help those in need. His brother was one of the best heroes out there, he had a bright future. Yet Stain decided to take it away for no reason? How dare he!?

Tenya wanted revenge. He wanted to capture the Hero Killer, to put him behind bars, to make him suffer the same way his brother did. He wanted to kill Stain.

So he chose to go to Hosu and work under Manual for his internship. Hosu was the last place anyone has seen Stain, so Hosu was where he went, hoping to find and confront the Hero Killer.

And confront him he did.

Iida found the Hero Killer in a dark alleyway, hovering over an incapacitated hero, Native, his mind supplied, during an attack on the city by the Coven. And Iida let his presence be known. He confronted the Hero Killer about his brother and about his intentions. Yet the man sneered at him and called him a fake hero like his brother. And Iida saw r e d. Honestly, he didn't mind being called a fake hero. Iida knew he still had a lot to improve upon. But to called his brother a fake hero!?

The hero in training wasted to time closing the distance between Stain and himself using his quirk. He delivered what would have been a devastating kick had the villain not evaded it. Not detered by it, the boy attacked again and again yet none of his hits landed. The Hero was able to dodge them all thanks to his insane speed and reaction time. Additionally, Tenya was still an inexperienced student. As such, he was telegraphing his movements way too much, which made it easier for the Hero Killer to predict where his hits were going to land.

The boy felt a cut on his cheek before a powerful hit from the Hero Killer sent him sprawling into the ground. And suddenly, he felt his entire body paralize. No matter how hard he tried, Iida could not move. Stain was monologuing something while standing on top of him but Iida was not paying attention. His mind was on other things.

He was going to die. His recklessness had brought him here, how could he be so foolish and think he could take on the sword-wielding Hero Killer alone.And now he was going to die and so was the Ingenium line.

"Goodbye, fake hero", Stain said as he brought his sword down.

But it never came.

...

Ochako finally found him. Lying in one of Hosu's alleys was her class president. And the Hero Killer was on top of him.

Uraraka quickly texted her location to all of her classmates as well as her temporary mentor Gunhead. She then picked up a piece of rubble with her quirk and threw it at the villain. Just as it was about to make contact, the girl released her quirk, returning the debris to its full weight. Unfortunately, Stain jumped back just in the nick of time, evading her attack.

"Iida, are you OK?" Uraraka ask as she runs to his side.

"Uraraka, please leave", he said. "This is not your fight."

"The boy is right", Stain said. "Leave and I will let you live."

"N-No", the brunette firmly said, standing protectively between the villain and her friend despite feeling absolutely terrified. "You will just kill him if I leave. I am not letting you kill my friend. I thought you don't kill kids like us, anyway."

"He's already a fake", the villain coldly replied. "Just a fake blinded by rage."

"And he is just a student", Uraraka argued. "He can change. Besides, you almost killed his brother whom he greatly loved and admired. A lot of people, should they be in his position, would be furious as well. And how can you know if someone is a 'fake hero' like you said."

"Heroes are those who help others without expecting any reward", the Hero Killer explained. "These parasites are sullying the Hero title with their greed and lust for power, fame, and glory. They become Heroes not out of the goodness of the heart but for their shelfish desires. They need to be removed."

"B-But people can change", Ochako said. She was slightly trembling in fear. She knew she could not take on the Hero Killer alone, she has to buy as much time as she could. "And we are still students, we are still learning to be better every single day."

"That boy is too far gone", Stain argued. "His eyes are filled with nothing but hatred. Now step aside, girl, and I will spare your life."

"I want to be a hero to save people", the girl admitted, making the villain pause. "But I also want to be a hero to make money. Money to repay my parents, to make sure they have a comfortable life and no longer have to live in poverty. People can have multiple reasons why they want to be heroes. Just because they have more selfish reasons doesn't mean they don't also want to do good and save people!"

"I see", the Hero Killer said. "I thought you have some promise but you're still a fake after all." The villain took out his swords, ready to strike.

Uraraka braced herself. She knew that she could not defeat the villain in front of her in a fight and she did not plan to. All she planned on was distracting him and hoped that reinforcements arrived in time, if at all.

"Hey asshole!" Someone shouted as they through a pebble at Stain.

"Who's there!?" The man growled. As soon as those words left his mouth, the Hero Killer frozed as his eyes glaced over.

Ochako collapsed to her knees. She sighed in relief. Help was here.

"Uraraka", Shinsou said as he knelt down beside her. "Are you okay?"

"Y-Yeah", she said. "J-Just a bit shaken."

Behind her she could hear Iida getting up.

"I'm sorry", the bespectacled boy apologized. "I let my anger get the better of me and put you in danger."

"It's okay", Ochako said as he helped her stand up. "Just.. Just don't disregard your well-being like that next time, alright? I'm sure your brother wouldn't want you to..."

"You're right", Iida quietly said.

"Hey", Shinsou called out, standing next to a pile of swords and blades, as well as a brainwashed Stain. "Do any of you have any rope?"

"I... have some", Native weakly said from where he was lying. Nodding, Shinsou took the rope from Native and restrained Stain.

"Help should be here any second now", the boy with purple hair said. "I called Edgeshot on the way here."

True enough, Edgeshot arrived minutes later with back up and they escorted Stain away as Shinsou released him from his control. Unfortunately, Stain was able to make one last rousing speech, which got caught on camera by the TV crew, before being put in a van headed straight for Tartarus, the most secured prison in all of Japan.

And Uraraka? She was just glad everything was over.

...

And just as he predicted, as all eyes focused on Hosu, not one single person noticed the complete elimination of a yakuza base just a city over.

Chapter Text

Eri was locked in her room again. They said that she was being grounded because she tried to run away and that she will be punished later. Eri was scared. But she wasn't as scared as she had been all the previous times.

Because that nice boy from her dreams, Izuku, told her that she would be saved, that he and his friend Tenko would get her out of there. She had done her part. She had run out the place's door. All she needed to do now was sit tight and wait for them to come get her.

Sometimes, Eri wondered if Izuku ever existed. He only ever visited her in her dreams. She had yet to see him in real life. So Eri sometimes suspected that perhaps Izuku was just a figment of her imagination, a friend she conjured up so she wouldn't be lonely anymore.

But for the moment, all she could do was hope.

...

As Hosu burned and all eyes were directed there, a portal opened above the Saitama base of the Shie Hassaikai. A pale arm emerged through the portal holding a Grief Seed with two fingers. And the Grief Seed was dropped. It fell to the ground, piercing the pavement with its pointy bottom.

Then

It

Hatched

...

Daichi was walking towards Eri's room. He had been chosen to be the girl's newest caretaker after the previous one was disposed of. Apparently, he had let the girl escape. Though they had eventually caught her and brought her back, the caretaker had still been severely punished. She was too important to Chisaki's plans for any mistakes at all to be made.

Daichi did not understand why he had been chosen. He was objectively horrible with kids. He did not understand what they, did not know how to make them happy, nor did he know to make them obedient. He simply did not know how to deal with children nor did he have the patience to.

Maybe that was the reason he was chosen? They expected him to instill fear into her so she would listen? Daichi did not know. But it was not like he had a choice. If Chisaki said so then it was so. All they had to do was obey his words.

As he was walking through the hallway to Eri's room, he felt himself step on something. Looking down, it was some sort of plant he did not recognize. It should not have been here. The floor was made out of concrete and these dark underground tunnels were no place for plants, other than maybe moss, to grow. Yet it was not the only one. Countless plants of all shapes and sizes were growing out of the walls, breaking through the concrete. What was going on here? Was this some sort of quirk? How was this happening!?

As he was looking around confusedly, he felt a hand cover his mouth and another one wrapped around his neck. And suddenly, unimaginable pain.

All he felt was a pain like no other. He felt his skin, his flesh, his bones quickly disintegrating. His mouth was entirely gone. He screamed yet no one could hear a sound, not only because he was alone, isolated in an underground tunnel but also because his vocal chords had already turned to ashes.

Pain overwhelmed him.

And all he could see was black.

...

Eri was in her room when the plants started growing. Out of the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and some were breaking through the heavy steel doors.

She watched in fear and wonder as the doors turned to ash. A young man walked in. He was younger than all her previous caretakers but older than Izuku. He also looked extremely similar to her. His hair was pale, almost white, and his eyes were blood red.

"You must be Eri, right?" He said with a smile.

"Y-Yes", she hesitantly replied.

"I'm Tenko", the man introduced himself. "I'm sure Izuku must have talked about me. I'm here to get you out."

Izuku did mention a Tenko. Izuku said that they were going to rescue her.

"A-Are you s-sure you want to get me out?" Eri stuttered despite herself. "I'm c-cursed."

"You're not cursed", the man firmly said. "Chisaki Kai is a petty petty man. What you have is no curse. It's a blessing. You just need to learn to control it."

"S-so, I'm not cursed?" Eri asked hopefully.

"Of course not", Tenko said. "The only ones that are getting cursed are the men that kept you here."

Seeing her confused face, he elaborated.

"Did Izuku ever tell you he was a Witch?" Tenko asked. She nodded. Izuku had told her that was how he could visit her in her dreams. "Well", Tenko said, "spreading curses is what a Witch does. Let us go now."

The man held her hand with four fingers and lead the way. Eri followed him without resistance. It was then that she realized they were no longer in her room deep underground. They were outside, in some sort of forest filled with plants under a purple sky and surrounded by a hazy pink mist.

...

Chisaki Kai was the head of the Shie Hassaikai, one of the few remaining yakuza clans in Japan. Ever since the rise of quirks, and superheroes, the yakuza had been fading from relevance, slowly but surely losing their power and influence. Nowadays, they were nothing more than remnants of the past, destined to disappear, to be buried under the sands of time.

Chisaki Kai would not let it happen. He refused to let the yakuza be forgotten. No matter the cost. No matter what attrocities he had to commit. And the first step to bring the yakuza back to glory is by getting rid of those impure, unnatural quirks.

He had had no idea how to do that. Not until Eri was born. She was the previous leader's granddaughter, a girl with a quirk that could turn back time. According to the clan, she had accidentally reversed her father's time until he disappeared. Her mother, terrified, had left her with the clan and ran away.

Eri was like a gift from the gods above. With her quirk as a basis, it was possible to realize his dream. He could create something that could destroy quirk factors, return them to the stage before their existence. That girl was the key to bring the yakuza back to their former glory!

The previous leader had vehemently disagreed with experimenting on the girl. So, Chisaki had no other option but to get him out of the way. Chisaki respected and looked up to the man. He truly did. After all, the man had raised him from childhood and was a fair but feared leader. But he had too strict morals to do what was necessary for the clan, to rid the world of the filth that was quirks and return the yakuza to their glory. He was getting in the way. Chisaki had no other choice. So he put his leader in a coma and presumed his place. It was the necessary course of action.

After that, everything had gone according to plan. Well, almost everything. He did not account for the incompetence of the people around him. If he had not admired his predecessor before, he would surely do now. The fact that man could tolerate and turn these incompetent buffoons into semi-respectable members of this yakuza clan...

Chisaki, however, did not have time to admire the clan's previous leader. There was still work to be done.

Opening the doors, he walked into the lab and ordered the scientist to bring him the reports on the latest batch of Quirk Erasing Bullets. As he was doing so, he noticed there was a plant growing out of the walls. And another one. And another. And another. Countless plants of all types, both natives and never seen in Japan quickly grew out of the walls, the floor, and the ceiling.

"What is going on here!?" Chisaki barked.

"W-we don't know, s-sir", the scientist stuttered, scrambling around. "Th-this has never happened before."

"Useless!" Chisaki yelled at them.

They were no longer in the lab. Instead, they were in some sort of forest filled with all kinds of plants, even the ones that could not survive in the same environment as each other. The sky was lilac all around and a hazy pink fog enveloped them. In all honesty, Chisaki found the place quite picturesque, it was like Eden, like Heaven on Earth. But no matter how beautiful this place was, it was of little to no importance to the young yakuza boss. What mattered was finding whoever had teleported them here, dealing with them, and returning to the base.

There was a rustle in one of the bushes nearby and stepped out a life size wooden doll with a mirror for its face. Chisaki Kai readied himself. He did not know what the deal with the doll was so he was cautious. He stood in silence as he warily eyed the doll, assessing it.

"What was that?" One of his underlings asked, a little fearful.

Suddenly, the doll moved. It stood face to face with the underling who just spoke. The mirror on its face shone and now the doll had the man's face. Then, it struck. The doll's hands turned into giant claws and it ripped the man's heart out, killing him instantly. Chisaki heard his underlings scream. The doll then turned towards them and attacked.

Chisaki recognized the power the doll was using, it had been the dead man's quirk after all. That doll had the ability to copy quirks but it could only do it when it was close to the target.

Touching the ground with his hands, Chisaki activated his quirk. Spikes ruptured from the ground and the doll was pushed back. Chisaki noted that it took much more energy out of him to do so than usual. Additionally, instead of staying how it was with all the spikes, the ground returned to normal just a second later.

"What are you imbeciles doing!?" He yelled. "Attack it!"

"S-Sir", one of his remaining underlings asked as the doll attacked another one. "What are we suppose to attack?"

"That life size wooden doll that's attacking us!" Chisaki yelled as he launched another attack, throwing the doll into a tree.

"We don't see any doll, s-sir", his minions fearfully said.

What the hell were the going on about? The doll was right there! How could they not see it!?

But then again, none of his underlings really fought back when the doll attacked. And when they did, it looked like they were doing so randomly, hoping it would hit something. Were they really not able to see it?

There were more rustling in the bushes. More of these wooden dolls came out. With his minions unable to see them and he could hardly do any strong attacks, not to mention how much energy it cost him to do them, they had no chance of winning this fight.

"Everyone", Kai loudly ordered. "Retreat!"

And so they ran.

The dolls chased after them in hot pursuit. His underlings were all killed one by one until Chisaki was the only one left.

"What the hell is going on here?" He asked no one, frustrated, one he thought he had lost them.

"You're stuck in a Witch's Labyrinth", someone answered.

Turning around, he was met with some sort of cat-like creature with mostly white fur and two golden rings floating around the two very long tufts of fur coming from its ear.

"What you just encounter was the Witch's minions", it continued somewhat monotonously. "Just like the Witch, they cannot be seen by anyone except those with potential to become a magical boy or girl."

"What are you?" Chisaki asked the creature.

"I am Kyubey", it answered. "Make a contract with me and I will grant you any wish you want. In return, you will become a magical boy or girl and defeat the Witches."

"Anything?" Chisaki asked.

"Yes, anything", it said. "I suggest you quickly think of something you want and make the contract. Those minions are coming and you can only really damage them with a magic from a magical boy or girl."

"Magic?" Kai asked incredulously.

"Yes, magic", Kyubey said. "Using the Labyrinth against the minions were quite a clever trick but Labyrinths are the Witch's domain. Your spikes attacks would never a sustainable in the long run. You would run out of energy and collapse way too fast."

"So you have been watching us", Chisaki accused.

"I only caught the end, just a bit before the horde showed up", Kyubey replied. "I would have just been killed if I jumped out then."

There were noises coming from the overgrown plants around them. The Witch's minions were here.

"Fine", Chisaki said. "Let's just make this contract. I wish all the quirks would disppear."

"Contract established", the creature said, its pink eyes glowing. Its two long tufts of hair reached into him as if they were arms and pulled something out. It only lasted for a moment but Chisaki felt as if it was an eternity.

Floating between the ear tufts now was some sort of white gem in the shape of an egg with a golden base encasing it. Kyubey gave it to him.

"This is your Soul Gem", it explained. "You can use this to transform into your magical form."

"What about my wish?" The young yakuza boss asked.

"Here", Kyubey said as a piece of paper appeared. On it were some sort of formula.

"This isn't what I wished for", Chisaki said.

"Your potential could only do so much", Kyubey retorted. "Maybe if you were younger, you could have gotten more but at this stage, this is all your potential could get you. The perfect formula to making an anti-quirk drug."

The yakuza gritted his teeth. Of fucking course. He wanted to argue more but the dolls were already there and he did not have any more time.

"Let's get this over with", he said as he was engulfed by a white light. When the light subsided, he was in a white suit with unnecessary belts on his right arm and left leg. His suit jacket had some black lining, black fur lapels a a long train. His gloves were mismatching, one black and the other white. On the back of the black glove was an oval white jade. He also noted that his mask was slightly different.

It seemed he could summon scalpels to use as weapons. At least he had some range against the Witch's minions.

The minions attacked.

And Chisaki fought back.

Chapter Text

Overhaul grunted as he made his way through another wave of enemies.

Apparently, since he had less potential, his attacks were also weaker compared to most of the other magical boys and girls. Whereas most can kill the minions in one hit with their weapons, according to that Kyubey creature, he needed to throw multiple scalpels in order to kill them. Fortunately, his weapons barely cost anything to summon so he did not need to worry about conserving them. Furthermore, his magical ability was also a great help in fighting the Witch's minions and traversing this maze-like forest full of illusions.

His personal magic was called「Eliminator」. It had the ability to completely erase others' powers whether they be magic or quirk, albeit only temporarily. A perfect reflection of his wish and his potential, or lack thereof, to be a magical boy (? Magical man? Magic user? Whatever he would be called).

Still, to think that magic existed all along. To think that, since the beginning of humanity, or perhaps even further back, magic had always existed, at least, according to the wish-granting creature. And that human advancements had depended on this magic!? It was preposterous! Absurd! Ridiculous! And yet, at the same time, it made so much sense.

Evolution is the change in the characteristics of a species over several generations and relies on the process of natural selection. These changes happen in order for the species to better adapt with the environment they live in. So, why had that glowing Chinese baby been born those two centuries ago? More specifically, why had that baby had the ability to glow? While yes, random mutations do happen during the process of evolution, why did that mutation happen so suddenly? In order for bioluminescent animals to glow, they had to evolve certain special cells over a long time to do that. They don't suddenly glow out of nowhere and their light actually has a purpose seeing as they live in dark environments.

But for the first human with a quirk? That glowing baby in China? There was no reason why bioluminescence was needed nor was there evidence that humans had been developing the needed cells for generations.

Furthermore, members of the same species living in the same environment wouldn't evolve into various new species unless there was niches to be filled. And there had been no new niches to be filled for a long time. There was no explaination why humans would develop so many quirks. If the glowing baby, the first quirked human, was indeed biologically possible and the next step in evolution then, by now, most, if not all, humans should have had developed the same ability.

But they hadn't. New and different quirks were still popping up left and right with barely any rhyme or reason. Random humans developed cells, organs, and even systems entirely unique to themselves almost instantly in the grand scheme of things. It frankly did not really make any sense.

Unless, it had been due to the wish of some kids, made possible with the power of Kyubey. Kids are dumb, short-sighted and naive. They probably just thought it would be cool for humanity to have powers and made the wish without thinking about, and perhaps not even being able to understand, the consequences.

No matter. He was here to clean up after that mistake of theirs. Once he was done with this Witch, he would go back to the headquarters, gather scientists and finally make the quirk-erasing drug.

Speaking of the Witch, he was finally there, at the center of the Labyrinth. Ominously sitting on a giant stone altar and completely enveloped in the thick pink mist was the towering Witch, the Ruler of this here Labyrinth.

Chisaki could barely make out its shape but it seemed somewhat humanoid with a pointy, tapir-like head, and long arms reaching out to the sky above, lightly swaying. Additionally, it also seemed to sport a pair of semi-translucent butterfly wings.

More minions came out from the undergrowth, itching for a fight. If he wanted to get out of here, he would have to get through them, reach the altar and kill the Witch.

"「Eliminator」", the man cried out, blasting a beam of light in front of him, dispelling the illusions and temporarily stopping the minions from using their copy ability.

Chisaki summoned four scalpels and threw them at the nearest enemy. All four scalpels hit their mark, scracking the minion's mirror face, killing it. The man then summoned more scalpels and proceeded to throw them at the approaching wooden dolls as he ran towards the altar.

A minion managed to get close. He ducked under its swipe and jammed his weapon into the back of its neck. He quickly picked up the scalpel pierced into a fallen minion and threw them at an approaching one.

The man continued this song and dance with the minions for a while, summoning knives and throwing them, occasionally picking some up from the corpses, kicking and stabbing anything that got close, and using his powers to dispel the illusions until he finally reached the altar.

"「Eliminator」", the man growled, activating his power. The mist around the Witch instantly dispersed.

It was only then that he could see the Witch in all its glory. Almost nothing of the Witch was what he thought. Sure, it still had long arms reaching for the stars but it didn't have a tapir head. It was just a green mask shaped like a tapir with intricate patterns carved into it. And it wings were not wings either. They were skin. The entire front of its torso had been cut open, the flayed semi-translucent skin pushed back to form a mockery of butterfly wings. Since the torso was cut open, all its organs were in full grotesque display, its big heart burning red, beating rhythmically.

The Witch brought its fist down, slamming into the altar again, trying to crush Chisaki. The altar cracked, dust and debris flying everywhere. Fortunately for the young yakuza boss, he managed to jump away every time, avoiding being flattened like a pancake.

"「Avīci」", Chisaki said as dozens of burning scalpels rained down on the Witch. It cried out in pain as the flames consumed it.

Letting out a haunting cry, the Witch brought its hand high up and summoned what seemed to be a meteor shower. Giant pillars fell down from the sky, destroying the landscapes and threatening to crush the young man.

"「Eliminator」", Chisaki called out to his magic causing the pillars falling down on him to be eliminated.

Suddenly, Chisaki was flying. While he was distracted by the meteor shower, the Witch had swung its hands and hit him so hard he was sent flying. He crashed and broke the trunks of many trees before harshly landing on a rock. He could definitely feel several bones had broken. He also sustained severe burning due to the Witch being on fire when it hit him. It still was though the flames had subsided.

But in spite of his injuries, Chisaki forced himself to stand up. He could not die here. He refused to die before his ambitions were realized, before he cleansed this world of the filth that was quirks. He had to end this fight right here, right or his body might not make it. He needed to kill the Witch in one hit.

The man summoned more flaming scalpel, maneuvering them to fly and circle around each other, forming what seemed like a giant blazing spearhead. Sweat dripped down from his forehead as he took shallow breaths. He was putting his all into this.

"「Tapana」!" Chisaki growled as he sent the burning spear straight at the Witch.

Then, the Witch did something unexpected. It got up from the pedestal it had always sat on and flew in Chisaki's direction. In the spear's direction

The spear of hellish flames met its target. It tore through the Witch's flesh and bones, obliterating the entire right half of the Witch. Yet the Witch was still moving. While the yakuza boss had managed to hit the Witch of Dreams with「Tapana」, the Witch had moved just enough to avoid sustaining so much damage that it would die immediately. The spear had barely missed its heart.

With its remaining hand, the Witch caught Overhaul and crushed him in his palm. Then, it flung the broken body away...

And the Witch collapsed.

...

"IZUKUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!" Tenko yelled at the top of his lungs as the enormous blazing spearhead ripped through his beloved.

Picking up Eri and holding her tight against his chest, the young man ran as fast as his legs could take him towards Izuku. There was a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing here or perhaps the Incubator was here, interfering. It was never good when that son of a bitch was around.

Suddenly, the broken body of Chisaki Kai landed right in front of them.

"Don't look", he told Eri as he stepped on the body and continued running.

Finally, he reached the clearing at the center of the Labyrinth and was met with the sight of destruction.

The trees surrounding were decimated, some were burnt, some were uprooted.The ground and altar was littered with cracks. And in the middle of the clearing laid Izuku. There were puncture wounds all over his body as well as burn marks. His right side was missing. Izuku may not be dead yet but he was barely holding on. It was only a matter of time before he turned into an empty Grief Seed.

If that were to happen, Izuku would not be able to reform until the Seed was full. But to recharge the Seed, the Victims are needed, which was a problem because no magical boy or girl would help them. Once Izuku's Seed was full, they would just give it to the Incubator instead.

Izuku let out a whine.

"It's okay", Tenko said. Was he trying to reassure Izuku or himself? "Eri is safe now. We are safe now. Come on, Izu-kun. We did it. Let's go home."

Izuku whimpered.

"Come on, now", the young man continued, increasingly desperate as his eyes began to water. "Stay with me Izu-kun. We did it. Come on. Stay with me. C'mon. Please. Please. Stay with me. Don't go. Don't leave me. Please. Please. Please. Izu-kun..."

"T-Tenko?" Eri slowly asked, uncertain of what was going on.

Suddenly, the red-eyed young man snapped up and locked eyes with her.

"Eri...", he said, his voice barely above a whisper. "Of course..."

He quickly grabbed the young girl.

"Eri", he said. "I need you to use your quirk on Izu-kun."

"I..." the girl stammered. "I can't!"

"Yes, you can", Tenko desperately insisted. "Please! He is dying, Eri! You're our only hope!... Please... Use your quirk on him. Reverse his time until he's healthy again..."

"I'll... I'll try", the young girl finally agreed.

Nervously, she walked to the fallen Witch's side and activated her quirk.

...

Sir Nighteye was scared. After the attack on Hosu, there had been no activities from the Shie Hassaikai. The yakuza had been strangely quiet. Considering that he had been investigating them for a while now and knew they were planning something big, he could not help but think that this lack of activity was extremely suspicious. Dread pulled in the pit of his stomach. Were they finally done with that project of theirs?

The reports finally came in.

According to them, all the bases were strangely empty. There was no one there. Yet the lights, then fans, the water, the expensive lab equipments,... everything was still running. There was even half-eaten food in the break rooms and cafeterias. From what he gathered from the reports, it seemed like for whatever reason, they had to quickly vacate the area and had to leave everything behind. Or perhaps, they all suddenly vanished/was taken in the middle of their usual activities.

The man didn't know which was worse.

...

"Kurogiri is going to get groceries for dinner", Tenko said. "Is there anything specific that you want to eat, Eri?"

"I-I'm fine with anything, really", Eri replied.

"What about you, 「...」?" Tenko asked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

As expected, Stain's popularity shot through the roof after his speech was aired on TV. Everywhere he went, Ochako could hear people talking about him, his ideals, and the flaws of the current hero system. Even her classmates were talking about him, with Kaminari even agreeing with those ideals. Uraraka was tired of it. She didn't want to be constantly reminded of that night, especially since the nightmares had already done a good job of that.

"Stain is just a murderer trying to justify his actions with some fancy words", Shinsou argued. "I can't believe you are agreeing with him. So you think all those heroes he attacked deserved to die?"

"W-Well, no, obviously", Kaminari stammered. "But like, you know, without the murders and stuff, his ideals are-"

"Awfully flawed", Yukimura interrupted. "He views this world of grays in black and white, and he sees people as one dimentional cartoon characters. He's simply a delusional murderer who shies away from the truth because he's too much of a simpleton to understand it."

That completely shut Kaminari down. The electric user looked embarrassed of himself.

"W-Well, anyway", Mina spoke, breaking the awkward silence. "I was thinking we could maybe go to the mall and hang out this weekend, the whole class? You know, to take our minds off this whole dreadful Stain business. Anyone in?"

"Sure", Ochako replied amongst many others. Maybe this will get her mind off the events of that night.

"I may be able to go", Shinsou replied. "It depends on whether something comes up or not."

"What about you, Yukimura?" Mina asked the white-haired boy.

"I have business this weekend so no", Yukimura replied.

"Alright then", Mina said. "So that's everyone except Yukimura and maybe Shinsou, yeah?"

Various "yeah"s rang throughout the room.

"It is decided, then", Mina cheerfully exclaimed. 

...

Shouto stepped onto the train station and stretched himself. The ride from his house to Mitakihara City had been a long one and he wasn't looking foward to the ride back. Then again, it wasn't that much longer in comparison to the one he took to school.

Stepping into an alleyway outside the station, the boy transformed. Then, using his magic, he created a fox mask not unlike those worn by kabuki theater actors. Once his mask was firmly in place, the magical boy made his way towards the abandoned clock tower in the edges of the city.

Entering the tower through a secret door high up, Shouto began climbing to the top of the tower. There, he was face to face with a singular door. Pass the door was the Magical Council, where the strongest magical boy or girl of each region (or in other words, the ones in charge of each region) would meet to discuss various matters. Additionally, each Council member also used a code name to protect their identities. Shouto himself was in charge of the Chubu region, bearing the code name Inari.

Inside the room, a blond magical girl was already waiting. She was wearing a blue and white armor with accents of gray. Her hair was up in an Edwardian pompadour with a bun tied neatly at the back. She was the one in charge of the Tohoku region and her code name was Pucelle.

"Hello", she said with a smile. "You're early today, Inari."

"And you're early as always", Shouto replied as he took his seat.

"Well, I do try", Pucelle smiled. "Besides, I was the one who called this meeting. It would be a shame if I didn't turn up first."

"Well, I suppose that is true", Shouto replied.

Suddenly, the door slammed opened and two magical boys walked in. As always, the Chugoku and Kansai representatives were attached to the hips.

"'Hayo!" The Chugoku magical boy, Harlequin, cheerfully greeted. He was a short brunet with messy hair and a giant curly ahoge. He wore a colorful outfit and a red mask with a long and pointy nose.

In contrast to his loud partner, Onikiri, the Kansai leader, simply greeted them with a quiet nod. Onikiri was one of the tallest members in the Council with a slimer build and a more angular face than Harlequin. His hair was white with orange tips and he wore a black suit with crimson underside. On his face was a red mask, matching Harlequin's, with little horns protruding out.

"So, Pucelle", Harlequin asked as soon as he sat down. "Why did you call this meeting?"

"Patience, dear", Pucelle replied. "I will answer everything once everyone else shows up."

"Wake me up the they arrive, then", Onikiri said as he put his arms on the table and buried his face in them.

"Will do!" Harlequin loudly said.

A minute or two later, the door opened and a girl with pink hair, wolf ears, sharp nails and sharp teeth walked in. Her outfit was comprised of a black mask, white shirt, mustard corset, black organza skirt, white knee-high socks, black Mary Jane shoes and a bright red hooded jacket. She was Deale, the magical girl in charge of the Shikoku region.

"Deale has arrived!" She announced. Shouto nodded in response while Onikiri continued napping.

"Hallo", Harlequin replied.

"Nice to see you again, Deale", Pucelle said. "Take a seat."

"Sure!" Deale cheerfully said as she jumped on her seat before sitting down.

"Where are Hansel and Gretel?" The Shikoku magical girl asked. "Normally they would be here by now."

Shouto saw Pucelle slightly cringe. Could something have happened to Hokkaido's twin leaders? Perhaps this was why the armored magical girl summoned them today.

A knock on the door saved Pucelle from answering that question.

The door opened and a dark-skinned girl walk in. She was wearing a black jumpsuit with golden chains. A black hat with a wide brim and a veil covered her face. She was Despoina, the magical girl in charge of the Kyushu region.

"Hello, everyone", she said. "It's nice to see you all again."

"Likewise", the Tohoku girl replied.

"Despoina!" The wolf girl exclaimed. "Hello!

"Sup", Harlequin greeted.

Taking her seat next to Deale, Despoina asked: "So, who are we missing?"

"Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Kanto", Shouto replied.

"So only 4 more, huh?" The girl in black said.

Suddenly, the doors slammed open and burst in a blunette in a seafoam green bikini. Even though her face was covered by a white cloth with the kanji for water on it, Shouto could tell she was nervous.

"I... I'm no... I'm not late... am I?" She asked in between breaths.

"You're fine", Pucelle answered. "Alice has yet to show up."

Shouto noticed the blond didn't mention that the Hokkaido twins weren't present either. And it seemed he wasn't the only one, judging by how Despoina suddenly sat upright and her muscles slightly tensed.

"Oh, thank god", the blunette said as she slumped in her seat. She her code name was Dana and she was the one in charge of the Okinawa region.

"Hey", Harlequin spoke up. "Isn't Alice the closest one to Mitakihara out of us all? Like, isn't Mitakihara part of the Kanto region?"

"It is", Despoina confirmed.

"And she still manages to come last every time!" The colorful boy exclaimed. "She's later than Dana who's all the way in Okinawa! How does she do it?"

"Ooh, maybe she actually can't read clocks", Deale suggested with a giggle.

"That would be hilarious", Harlequin laughed. "Could you imagine? That high and mighty Alice actually can't read clocks!"

The doors slammed open once more and a girl with long blond hair wearing a blue dress, white corset and rabbit mask walked in looking very pissed.

"I heard that, Harlequin, you bitch", the new girl, Alice, said.

"Heard what?" Harlequin asked with faux innocence while Pucelle was waking Onikiri up.

Alice growled and summoned her staff.

"Oh?" Harlequin smirked as he summoned his smoking pipe. "You wanna go, bunny?"

A purple knife flew between them and hit the wall.

"Stop it, you two", Despoina, the one who threw the knife, said. "The meeting is starting."

"Thank you, Despoina", Pucelle said as Alice went to her seat with a huff. "So, the reason I've called you all here today-"

"Wait, hold on", Harlequin interrupted. "The Hokkaido duo still haven't arrived yet."

"Yeah, yeah", Deale nodded. "Hansel and Gretel are missing!"

"Yes, I am aware", Pucelle responded. "This meeting is about their disappearances."

"What!?" Dana, Deale, and Harlequin exclaimed.

So Shouto had been right after all. Still, it was surprising to hear that they are gone considering how strong they had been. After all, each of them had been strong enough to make it to the Council on their own, without even needing each other and their perfect teamwork.

"So those brats finally bit the dust, huh?" Alice snorted. "Figured. They had it coming. Children like them had no place leading an entire region."

"What did you say?" Deale growled.

"You wanna say that again!?" Harlequin said as the same time.

"Didn't you hear me?", Alice smirked. "I said that children like them had no place leading an entire region and that those two had it coming. Or are you two hard of hearing and I need to repeat it a third time?"

"That's enough, Alice", Despoina said as the dragged the blond down by her ear. Meanwhile, Onikiri and Dana were trying to calm Harlequin and Deale down.

"Could you tell us what happened, Pucelle?" Shouto asked.

"Yes", Harlequin said. "What happened?"

Pucelle took a big breath before she started talking.

"Around two weeks ago, Hansel and Gretel contacted me about the recent strange behaviour of the Witches in Hokkaido", Pucelle retold. "As you know, normally, a Witch's Kiss will make people commit crimes or suicide, or lure them into a Labyrinth to be consumed by the Witch inside. However, according to Hasel and Gretel, in the last month or so in Hokkaido, those affected by the Kiss simply drop down on their knees, seemingly praying to something. Additionally, there was a decrease of Witches there, according to the twins. What's weirder still is that none of the Witches or Familiars those two encountered acted hostile. Instead, they would all stay still and turn their gaze towards something far away. Hansel was pretty sure they were all looking west. Then, around the time Hosu was attacked, I lost contact with the two of them. Just complete radio silence. They have gone AWOL."

"West of Hokkaido..." Despoina said. "The Pacific Ocean?"

"But what does the Witches' strange behaviour have to do with Hansel and Gretel?" Deale asked.

"The Witches' behaviour indicates that there is something out there in the ocean", Dana explained. "Something powerful enough to make them completely change how they act. Something that may very well be approaching Japan..."

"And that something may be behind the disappearance of the Hokkaido duo", Onikiri grimly concluded.

"I once heard older magical girls talk about something known as the Mother of Witches", Despoina mused. "According to legends, It was supposedly sealed somewhere near Japan. Could It actually be real?"

"The Mother of Witches?" Deale asked.

"That doesn't sound good", Harlequin said. "Do you know anything else about It?"

"I believe they called It Tenryu or something..." Despoina replied.

"Oh, please", Alice scoffed. "Those two probably just got in over their heads, chose an opponent that was a bad match up for them and got killed. Happens all the time in this line of work. If that's all you called us for then I'm leaving."

True to her words, Alice then stood up and walked to the door.

"Alice, wait", Pucelle called out as the other blonde opened the door.

"What!?" Alice harshly said. "What else do you have to add? Unlike you people, I have stuff to do other than entertaining stupid fairytales. Mother of Witches? Really? Why would anyone seal a Witch instead of killing her? And Tenryu? All the Witches have German names, why would this one suddenly have a Japanese one. The Hokkaido brats probably died in line of duty like so many others, that's it. Get over it. A new leader for that region will pop up soon enough. Now, if you excuse me, I have places to be."

With that, the Kanto magical girl walked out and slammed the door shut with a loud bang.

"Well", Onikiri commented. "I supposed she is right about one thing: Speculation will get us nowhere."

"Right", Dana agreed. "For now, all we can do is keep an eye out and be careful. Especially you, Pucelle, since you're the closest one to Hokkaido."

"I understand", Pucelle nodded. "Does anyone else have something to say?"

A round of "No"s echoed through the room.

"If so, then meeting's adjourn, everyone", Pucelle concluded.