Midoriya knew he didn’t look great. Nightmare after nightmare had plagued his mind. One had been about what would have happened if he hadn’t been strong enough to affect Nomu. One had been about if All Might had never shown up.
But one nightmare kept recurring, reappearing amongst the rest. Midoriya shook his head, he didn’t want to focus on it. Despite it all, he had come to school and gone straight to the teachers’ lounge.
He had bags under his eyes, he still felt tired really and he was suppressing the urge to yawn but villains didn’t wait for a tired hero and so he wouldn’t treat school any differently!
He knocked on the door to the teacher’s lounge and waited to see if anyone would answer. After a moment the door slid open and All Might, in his skinny form, leaned out to see who was there.
When his eyes landed upon him he smiled wide and opened the door fully. “Ah, Midoriya my boy! What brings you here before class?”
“Hi, All- uh, I mean mister Toshinori.” The greenette quickly corrected himself and the blonde merely rolled his eyes. “Is Ectoplasm here? I need to talk to him about a new power.”
“Oh, another one has developed has it?” The blonde questioned as his eyes widened slightly, but he still retained a smile and motioned for the boy to follow him in. “Ectoplasm, Midoriya is here to see you.”
As the marked boy wandered in he saw a few of the other teachers were about, typing on computers or preparing to leave. Midnight nodded at him with a teasing smile. “Ah Midoriya, well now I know you’re here, I won’t have to write you up as late.”
"He wasn't required to attend today at all if he wasn’t up to it, per Recovery Girls instructions so you wouldn’t of anyways.” A new voice spoke up and Midoriya turned to see Ectoplasm walking towards him, the usual creepy grin upon his face. “So if you’re here then I’m assuming you need to set up a power training session? And speaking of Recovery girls insturctions you sure you want to be back? You still look pretty beat.”
“Don’t worry, I’m fine. Just bouncing back from it all. And Yeah I am here about a new power. It actually showed up during the USJ but I got so distracted with everything else that happened that it completely slipped my mind.” Midoriya explained as he walked with the teacher to his desk and watched as the man pulled out a notepad. “Sorry I didn’t come here sooner.”
“It’s no trouble, so long as you’re here now. It can hardly be held against you in that situation.” Ectoplasm assured him as the pro started writing something on the notepad in pencil. “So, first off, what can you tell me about this new power? How did it develop? If I remember correctly it takes a desire for something to happen for a new power to develop?”
“Yes sir. Like I said, it was during the USJ. My friends and I had just escaped the shipwreck zone and we ended up surrounded by a couple of villains. I was trying to figure out some way for us to escape but no matter what combination of our powers or strategies nothing seemed like it would work, at least not without major consequences. Every good strategy I came up with I couldn’t keep every villain held back long enough for us to escape.” Midoriya recounted the experience as he leaned slightly against the desk with his arms crossed. “I end up frustrated and just wishing they would all go down at the same time, I knew I needed a way were hitting one would knock them all over…”
“And you’re new power came into being?” Ectoplasm asked as the boy trailed off. The greenette nodded. “And what did the power do?”
“Well, it manifested and made my hand hurt like hell. It caught me off guard and I ended up shouting out in pain. That was a mistake, the thugs reacted thinking I was about to attack so we just had to react, Asui jumped out the way and I fought back for a moment. I was just looking for an opening to run but….”
“But?” It wasn’t ectoplasm who question but All Might, who had been listening the whole time, presumably as his mentor wanted to know everything he could about the boy’s powers for future reference.
“When I dodged an attack, and finally got a look at the villains properly again after my hand flared up, there was a kind of yellow smoke around their heads. I don’t think they could see it and to me it was really dim. When I yanked one villain through the air with Far Reach, the rest also all went flying despite not being touched. Once I knocked one of the linked villains out, the rest all followed suit on the spot, and as far as I can tell their strength, stamina, etcetera didn’t matter so….After that, I didn’t try to use the power again at all.”
“Thank you, Midoriya. This is useful and I’m glad you did understand that this new power could be dangerous and that you didn’t ignore my telling you to avoid using any new powers straight away.” The cloning hero thanked him and set his pencil down but picked up a pen and started writing on a smaller bit of yellow paper, an ‘out of class’ slip Midoriya realized. “You’re free to return to class now, give this to your teacher in your class before lunch and come see me at Gym beta.”
1-A was just as ecstatic as they were yesterday when he showed up for class, most welcoming him back. Bakugou ignored him thankfully and he could feel Hagakure staring at him for some reason he didn’t understand. He’d have to ask when he had some free time.
For now though, he had to blast through this maths test faster than One for All blasted through his bones. A part of him registered at least half the class would be glaring at him if they knew he had that thought.
Whether they’d be glaring because of the joke or because he wasn’t struggling with the math, well that just depended on the student.
As he finished the tenth question, his mind wandered. The group chat idea had taken off wonderfully, it was a beautiful mess of bad jokes, everyone getting annoyed at each other and just being friends. It had helped distract him whenever he woke up from another bad dream and didn’t want to return to sleep straight away.
His thoughts continued, he wondered what training Ectoplasm would devise later in the day. He was curious how it would be, having Jirou at lunch without her being upset.
Endless black eyes, full of fear and shock.
An explosion of smoke.
It wasn’t an escape, it wasn’t an escape, it wasn’t an escape!
Midoriya was jolted out of his thoughts as the pencil in his hand was broken in half from his grip. He saw a few of his classmates looking at him with quirked eyebrows.
He just shook his head and pulled out another pencil. The nightmares had been enough, but his brain seemed to want to attack him with one image over and over. He kept trying to ignore and focus on his work.
But every time his brain wandered, he’d see that ball of smoke hitting the demon.
As Midoriya scratched out an answer that was incorrect, he came to a realization.
He didn’t even know the villains name.
Fifteen, Midoriya counted fifteen different clones of Ectoplasm in the gym and presumably the sixteenth ectoplasm waiting by the door for him, overseeing them all was the real Ectoplasm. For some reason, beside him was a table with a knife and what Midoriya recognized as his sword. ‘What’s that doing here?’
“Good, you’re here.” His teacher spoke up, confirming his suspicion. The man walked up to him and gestured to the clones who were in three rows of five. “Training will be simple. I didn’t think there would be a need to get others as we already knows it works on different people so it will just be my clones today. Better that way, now we don’t have to hold back.”
“Wait is that what those are for?” The greenette inquired as he pointed towards the blades. Ectoplasm nodded and all of sudden Midoriya felt unsettled.
“Before that, first let’s just focus on basic application.” Ectoplasm said as he gestured to the first row. “I want you to try to just link two of them for now.”
Midoriya nodded, taking a steadying breath and he walked up towards the row of clones. He held his left hand out towards the first clone, palm facing the ceiling, and he merely raised his hand as tired to focus on the desire that brought out his power the first time.
‘I want another to go down when this one goes down.’
Energy flared through his hand, though nowhere near as painful as it had been at the USJ. Midoriya looked and saw the yellow smoke from before circling the first clones head. He repeated the gesture once more on another clone behind him and nodded towards the real Ectoplasm.
“Great. Now I just want you to punch one as hard as you can. Without breaking your arm of course.” Midoriya narrowed his eyes at the jab at him in the instruction but followed it. He threw his strongest punch, and it connected with the clone’s stomach.
To his surprise, his punch had more strength in it than he knew he could produce without One for All as the clone was actually briefly lifted off its feet and thrown backwards. A small bang behind him attracted the boy’s attention he saw the other clone was also sprawled across the floor and just starting to stand up.
“Impressive. Is the link still formed?” Midoriya nodded. “Now the two clones will fight back. I obviously won’t go all out on you, just enough to simulate a real fight so we can see how this power would translate in such a scenario. Feel free to use you’re other powers.”
Midoriya nodded and his feet switched into a fighting stance. Both clones rushed him and he followed his gut reaction as both went to punch him, dodging out the way by jumping back. Both clones stopped before their hits collided with one another, however this meant they had left an opening when they stopped moving that the greenette pounced on.
He summoned his Far Reach, grabbing one clone by leg and tripping it up. The other clone followed suit, and both were falling through the air. Before they hit the ground though the tentacle wrapped around one of the clones once more and pulled hard, launching both through the air.
He let the first clone sail over him however as the second clone neared him he used his Far Reach one last time, wrapping it around the clones stomach and slamming it into the ground.
He heard the other clone collide with the floor however he didn’t turn to deal with that clone, instead dropping on top of the clone he had slammed into the ground, pinning it down.
“Well done.” Ectoplasm congratulated him and the clone beneath him turned into grey smoke. Midoriya knew it was just his teacher’s quirk. He knew the clone was still there, just returned to Ectoplasm. He knew nothing had happened.
But that wasn’t what he saw, as the clone evaporated all he saw, was the villain he killed at the USJ exploding into smoke.
Midoriya scrambled backwards and looked at the smoke with fearful eyes. It was gone a second later and the boy vaguely registered his teacher’s voice saying….something…but he couldn’t tell what.
His breathing has slowed, his eyes refused to close as he stared at the spot.
Eyes of surprise and fear
Smoke, smoke everywhere.
“Midoriya!” Ectoplasms voice finally rang through and he looked up to see his teacher was kneeling beside him. “You ok? Something wrong, is it the power?”
He slowly shook his head.
“Do you need to stop for now?” The teacher asked and again Midoriya shook his head.
“No, it’s….it’s stupid.” Midoriya dismissed it but Ectoplasm gave him a disbelieving look. It looked weird and creepy with the permanent smile stuck on the hero’s face.
“You froze up the second my clone disappeared. That doesn’t just happen for no reason, and in an actual fight you would have been dead if you froze up like that. I won’t push you but I’d rather I know if it’s going to affect your training.”
Midoriya sighed as he stood up. So Ectoplasm didn’t know then.
“In the USJ, I……I saw a villain die.” It had hurt when he had said he’d killed the demon to All Might, he didn’t want to deal with it again right now. “It was…he…..When he died, he exploded into a lot of smoke. A lot darker than yours but…”
There was a beat of silence as Ectoplasm digested this information.
“Ah….Yes, I can see how the smoke would bring back unpleasant memories.” The pro started. “You’re certain you want to continue?”
“Ok. Just let me know if you change your mind.” Ectoplasm didn’t press the issue, returning to his original position. “Are you ready to continue or do you still need a moment?”
“No, I’m good.” He wasn’t, not really, but he wanted to get through the training.
The rest of the training was relatively simple. First they found out his limit, he could only link five people together at most. Then they had done a bizarre exercise were Ectoplasm had had him yell his best insults at the clone. Nothing happened.
Apparently the man had been testing if emotions and feelings were also linked and was trying to get Midoriya to make him angry, and according to the hero they weren’t. Perhaps “you ghastly rip-off of a ghostbuster villain” wasn’t the best insult for inciting anger.
Finally, there was just one thing left to test.
Midoriya’s hand hovered over the table, with a knife and his word upon it. His arm was shaking and the more he looked at the weapons the more the horrible feeling in his stomach seemed to intensify.
He knew it was something they really needed to know, if there was any limit to what the physical link could do. The clones were expendable, they would simply turn to smoke and return to ectoplasm and they needed to know if a killing blow would be carried by the power.
But he couldn’t. His arm fell to his side and he looked at the floor. “I’m sorry…I can’t.”
“It’s ok, you’ve done well enough. If this is too difficult we can stop.” Ectoplasm reassures him and the boy leans against the wall. Something stands out to him.
“Why did you bring my sword?” He asked and the pro turned to look at him as he picked up the knife. “Hatsume said it can’t kill, and her teacher said that they had to run tests on it first. Are the tests over?”
“No. This was supposed to be one, combined with a training session. After all my clones are the closest thing to human and safest as well. It’s passed all its other tests so far, this would have tested against actual humanoids. I thought it would be good to get you used to using it as it seems it’s going work as intended. That isn’t happening now though.”
Ectoplasm just shook his head as he walked up to one of the linked clones. “Close your eyes.”
He complied. He heard a foot stop into the ground, then silence. After a moment the cloning pro gave him the instruction to open his eyes again. The linked clones were all gone.
“These kinds of blows do carry.” Was all the pro said as he turned back to face Midoriya. Only two clones were left beside the original. “I think that’s everything. You have twenty minutes of class left. Do you want to return now or is there anything?”
Midoriya’s eyes lit up as he remembered his thought process during lunch on the day of the USJ incident. “Actually sir, I do have something I’d like to test about my Far Reach if you’d let me.”
“I see no reason why not. What do you want to test?” The teacher inquired and Midoriya explained how Far Reach first manifested, how it wasn’t a massive tentacle but instead many small tendrils and that he had never had the power manifest that way again since. “So you want to see if you can re-create that particular version of the power?”
“Yes sir.” Midoriya nodded and the pro walked into the middle of the room, beckoning for the teen to follow him. When they were stood in the middle of the gym his teacher turned to face him, holding one arm out to the side.
“Alright then. If it was a weaker version of the power then try to focus on not putting as much energy into the power.” Ectoplasm instructed. “All I want you to do is try to manifest those tendrils and wrap them around my arm. Go.”
And so Midoriya shot his hand forth, trying to reduce the amount of magic he channeled into his attack. The tentacle Far Reach always manifest as shot forth, wrapping around the pro’s arm. Midoriya immediately got rid of it and grumbled slightly. Ectoplasm was unfazed.
“Again, take more energy away.” He instructed. The greenette prepared again, limiting the energy much more this time. He hadn’t removed that much from the first attempt, only a little. Unfortunately this new amount also turned out ineffective as the power outright didn’t activate beyond a sputter of what looked like the tentacle trying to explode out his hand but being surprised. “Don’t worry, no one expects you to be able to use your powers perfectly with less than a year of experience. You’ve already made massive progress on using your Far Reach power, just keep trying.”
And so they did. And very time they’d get the same two results.
The tentacle would appear at its normal strength, some of the tendrils wrapped around the main appendage occasionally twitching but never acting alone or it would barely form.
After a fifth attempt where once more the power didn’t even form, Midoriya wanted to scream. This was so frustrating! Why couldn’t it just work?! He threw his hand forward again, before Ectoplasm had even finished his order of “Again.” He was starting to feel like this wasn’t going to work at all…
And that’s when they final made some progress, his normal tentacle shot out and before Midoriya could shout in frustration it suddenly exploded, the main appendage completely gone and only the tendrils that wrapped around it left.
Midoriya laughed as he finally got it to work, and watched the tendrils twitch and move at his command. He focused on Ectoplasms arm and tried to instruct the tendrils to wrap around it. It seemed they were about to follow his command….and then they returned to his hand.
“OH COME ON!”
“Look on the bright side, now we know you can access those tendrils. Just keep practicing to reach that state and then you can focus on keeping them there and manipulating them.” Ectoplasm told him as the man walked to the gym entrance. “That’s not for now though, time is up. Go enjoy lunch, we can continue this another time. Well done.”
“Thank you sir.”
Midoriya was only five minutes late to lunch, so he didn’t miss much. He was in for a surprise though when he went to his friends. Jirou had joined them like she had said she would but to Midoriya’s surprise Asui and Hagakure had joined as well.
“Oh, h-hey guys!” He greeted as he took a seat beside Uraraka and Iida, the rest of the girls across from them. He was getting better with interacting with girls outsider of high stress situations finally. He could still feel some heat in his face and his stutter had returned but it was nowhere as bad as it had been just two weeks ago. It was insane to think so much had happened in less than a month of school. “I-I knew Jirou was c-coming but this is a surprise. A good one I mean!”
Alright he was still pretty bad at it. Fortunately no one seemed to hold it over him. Asui, as blunt as ever, just told him her reason for being there. “Since we ended up stuck together at the USJ and you’ve only just got back, it felt right. Ribbit.”
“Ah.” Was all Midoriya let out as tried his best not stare at Hagakure eating. He hadn’t realized how weird it would be to see, the food just suddenly disappearing whenever she took a bite. He had a feeling the invisible girls reasoning for coming to their table would also be related to the USJ but he saw no reason to press the issue.
“So…” Midoriya began as he picked up his chopsticks and picked up a bit of food. “H-how is everyone then? I’m glad you are able to be here so soon Hagakure!”
“Yeah, doctors nowadays really are amazing, with quirks helping them and everything!” Hagakure exclaimed happily, somehow being really animated and expressive despite the fact her actual body couldn’t be seen. “I got out easy really, compared to what I heard you, Thirteen and mister Aizawa all got hit with.”
“A few broken bones? What else is new for me?” Midoriya asked with a slight grin. Even the normally blank-faced Asui glared at him for that. He laughed nervously as he scratched the back of his head. “Too soon?”
“Yes! You really must break this pattern of getting injured every time you use your power Midoriya!” Iida told him, with a stern look and a tone that implied there would be no arguing against him, not that Midoriya disagreed.
“Speaking of Aizawa though….I hope he’ll be ok. Ribbit.” Asui spoke up with a concerned tone of voice. “They told us thirteen will come out fine but Aizawa….he apparently had his eyes damaged. Ribbit.”
Midoriya cringed slightly as the image of his teacher being smashed into the ground played through his mind. It was one of the many events of the USJ he’d never be able to forget. “Oh yeah, his quirk is tied to his eyes so if he can’t use them then….”
“He might have to resign.” Asui finished sadly. Uraraka though, ever optimistic cut in.
“Maybe, but its mister Aizawa, I wouldn’t put it past him to return by tomorrow just to spite the villains.” She said and Midoriya had to laugh a little despite himself. It did sound like their homeroom teacher.
“That would be an incredibly bad idea!” Iida immediately interjected. “He needs to recover, he likely shouldn’t be back until after the sports festival next week at least!”
“Oh yeah, the sports festival, I entirely forget about that.” Jirou spoke up as she started twirling one of her ear jacks. “With everything else that’s happened it completely slipped my mind.”
“Yeah, I get that.” Uraraka nodded with a mouthful of food, ignoring Iida’s scolding about ‘not speaking with your mouth full!’ “I only remembered this morning, I was going to go to the gym later today. You guys could totally join me if you want, they’re let anyone in to train!”
“Yeah, that seems like a good idea!” Hagakure spoke up. “I’d love to join, what about the rest of you guys?! It would be like a small hang out!”
“I’ll join, to ensure you actually train as is the intended purpose for the schools training facilities!” Iida stated dramatically. He was doing his best to keep his stern class principal act up. Midoriya decided to speak up.
“Don’t let Iida scare you, he won’t actually be that bad, he just wants to make sure everyone does their best. You can distract him pretty easily by coming up with something he can do as the class rep.” Iida immediately whipped around at that, a look of betrayal on his face as Uraraka laughed and Hagakure thanked him for the advice. Jirou smirked as she and Asui just watched.
“Midoriya! I am shocked! Do you use this weakness often on me?!”
“No, but I do agree you need to tone it down a little. Its admirable you’re so serious about school but remember what our initial meeting in the entrance exam was like?” Midoriya asked and Iida’s eyes seemed to darken in realization.
“That….yes, I suppose that is something to consider. Again, I apologize for how I acted that day.”
“It’s in the past, and I already forgave you.” Midoriya reassured him. “Just making sure it doesn’t repeat is all.”
“Me and Tsu will join as well.” Jirou spoke up, attracting the others attention. “No reason not to.”
“Great!” Hagakure cheered. “I’m glad I won’t have to go home immediately.”
“Ribbit? Is something the matter at home?” Asui asked, finger to her chin.
“Well, not at my home but near it. These weirdo’s set up shop recently calling it their ‘overseer outpost’, they wear these masks and practically scream at anyone walking by about ‘heretics’ and ‘magic’, nonsense like that.” The second the word magic left her mouth, Midoriya’s attention had become completely focused on her. ‘What?!’ “Call themselves the ‘Abbey’ or something.”
“’The Abbey of the Everyman?’” Midoriya questioned and the girl seemed to jolt in surprise.
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
“They were in the newspaper my mom gets delivered. I just ignored it so I don’t know anything about them though.” Midoriya explained and watched as the girl, upon hearing this, pulled her phone out of one of her pockets and started typing something.
“Hang on a second, just getting it up…” The girl then stopped typing and handed her phone over. It was the article he had ignored. “One of them actually had to be restrained by a pro yesterday when he wouldn’t stop harassing people.”
“That is appalling behavior!” Iida disapproved. Jirou said something next, then Asui. Midoriya stopped listening though, the world seemed to fade away around him.
The article was normal to a point, explaining the Abbey seemed to hate the idea of god to the point they were a religious construct designed around worshipping the lack of one. There was some accounts of their harassment of innocent citizens and the article demanded an explanation for why the Abbey wasn’t being stopped from doing this or even why.
It also listed their weird “Seven Strictures” which was the closest thing to their version of a bible apparently.
The Abbey clearly wasn’t particularly sane from what Midoriya read but none of that could match up to the subheading near the bottom of the article.
THE OUTSIDER! EVIL DEITY THE ABBEY WARNS?
“They’re just a bunch of lunatic making it harder for people to get about in my area.” He heard Hagakure complain as he came back to awareness. “I’ve never been more glad I’m invisible than when I have to avoid those lunatics.”
“I don’t blame you. I’d probably snap if they started doing that in my area.” Jirou said and for once Iida didn’t scold them for the insinuation they might be violent against the group.
“Anyways, moving on from that…” Hagakure started, taking her phone back when Midoriya held it out. “You coming to the gym to Midori?”
“I….” He was going to say yes before. He could just text his mother he’d be at school training and he knew she wouldn’t object. But after reading the article….. “I’ve got something I need to do when school finishes actually. Sorry.”
“Awww.” Hagakure whined lightly. “We almost had full house.”
“Sorry, next time, I promise.”
“I’m holding you to that.”
When school had finally ended, Midoriya had apologized to his friends and rushed home. He needed to know as soon as possible. He stopped only to hug his mother when he got him and reassure her he was alright before going to his room.
He almost tripped over one of his weights as he rushed towards his computer. He pulled up his search engine and immediately typed in to the search bar ‘Abbey of the everyman.’
Not much came up, mostly just variations of the same article. The only new information he found was who the group was currently run by, someone who apparently went by the name ‘High Overseer Naozumi’
He continued to search the internet but in the end, he learned very little more. He groaned as he stared at a webpage that had ended broken and disjointed due to some lazy programmer and set his head against the desk in frustration. Then it hit him, there was another way he could learn more.
A way he should have considered immediately. He leaned out his bedroom door to address him mom first. “Hey, I’m just going to have a nap for a little while ok?!”
“Ok Izuku! Just don’t sleep to long, I just started making dinner, something new, I hope you’ll like it!” He heard her holler back and he smiled lightly. Whatever it was he was sure it would be great if his mother made it.
He returned to his bed and laid down, eyes shut and he waited. It didn’t take long for him to fall asleep.
“As that mentor of yours likes to proclaim so much, I am here.”
Midoriya didn’t freak out like last time as he sat up slowly, after all he had actually expected to end up in the void this time. “Not gonna lie, it loses a lot of its impact when it’s said with no emotion.”
“I suppose. So you saw it, what I wished to wait for….well part of it.” The outsider confirmed Midoriya’s suspicion as he seemed create a whole another island on the void. Upon it were multiple statues. Midoriya recognized one as himself, another as the demon he fought at the USJ and the third was a man he didn’t know, wearing a horrifying mask. There was also another two statues Midoriya couldn’t make out the features of as they were too far away. “Actions have consequences, all actions. I have seen this many times, and as I told you yesterday, I have also experienced it recently. I won’t force you to do this, but I highly suggest investigating this Outpost your friend has told you about yourself personally.”
Midoriya, before he could ask anything about it, was cut off as the world suddenly crumbled beneath him and he fell. Despite the ever increasing distance between him and the Outsider, he could hear the gods departing words quite clearly.
“Make sure to cover your hands. You’ll regret it if you don’t and walk in there.”
Midoriya gasped loudly as he shot up in bed all of a sudden.
“Izuku! Dinner’s ready sweetie!”
That settled it. Time must move differently in the void.
Also, he was definitely getting to the bottom of this “Abbey”