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In a Mirror, Evil

Chapter Text

***a long time ago***

He had taken pity on his Quirkless brother.
His Quirk: Redistribute, allowed him to take the Quirks from villains he defeated and give them to aspiring heroes. He could have gone down the path of evil, it would have been so easy. But he had taken the high road. Because people needed heroes and he would be one for them. He had been one of, if not the, first hero. So he based his hero name on that. He was Genesis. During the time he was a hero, crime rates in Japan plummeted, and Japan was the safest nation in the world.
But then he gave a Quirk to his Quirkless brother.
Because of course there could be no happy endings.
It had been only a simple one, as he had noticed resentment in his eyes, but how could he not, with his gift, give his brother the gift of a Quirk.
So on his birthday, instead of giving his brother the car he wanted, he would give him the gift of a Quirk. Well, he would give him the car anyway, because his brother’s old junker cost him so much money in terms of gas, and nobody really respected him.

His brother was elated when he saw the car, and even happier when he received the Quirk. The Quirk was a storage Quirk, meaning that the user built up power over the course of their lifetime. A simple Quirk, as his brother never really wanted to follow the hero’s life. Fine, that was his choice.
Only when his brother attacked him forty years later did he learn a sickening truth.
His brother had become a villain, known as Destroyer.
When he finally arrested his brother, he only laughed.
“You thought I was Quirkless, but I really wasn’t. I possessed a useless Quirk, allowing me to pass my Quirk along to another. But then I received your power-storage Quirk. The two fused, creating the Quirk that I call “One”. I have chosen a successor, and then they will choose one, and so on, until one of them is strong enough to bring you down!”
“I… I gave you a Quirk. Why are you doing this?”
“You always looked down upon me for being Quirkless. And hey, why did you wait until I was thirty to give me a Quirk?Don’t give me any bullshit excuses either.”
“Fine. No bullshit then.” He took a breath, and then began to explain.
“Ever since I got my Quirk, I had been spending all of my time defeating villains. I hadn’t visited for years, I felt bad, so I gave you a Quirk in addition to a new car. But my question is this: I know you don’t really care about being a hero, but why do you become a villain?”
He saw his brother pause, but then he continued. “Because heroes, especially you, are vain, fake and downright evil. Your Quirk itself takes Quirks that people were born with them, and just because they are villains, you ripped their Quirks form them. Quirks are a vital part of an individual. It’s like tearing memories or personality traits out of someone.”
He had never thought about that. But it didn’t matter, because they were villains, they had done crimes.
As part of a sentence for many villains accused of major crimes, such as assault, rape, or murder, or other similar crimes, their Quirk was removed by Genesis and given to someone more deserving of it.
If it was a minor crime, such as shoplifting or the like, the Quirk wasn’t removed.
Only one in every 650,000 people currently have a Quirk, so the times that he needed to be called in were rare.
His brother would be one of those people.

***Forty Years Later***

“For the listed crimes of thirty-seven charges of assault with a Quirk, fifteen charges of aggravated assault with a Quirk, and three charges of first degree murder with a Quirk, XXXX XXXX, also known as the villain Destroyer, you have been sentanced to a cumulative time of 1037 years with no chance of patrol.
“Genesis, if you could, please take his Quirk.”
He reluctantly walked up to his brother.
“I’m sorry brother.” He whispered into his brother’s ear. “I wish this had turned out differently. We should've talked more about it. You should've brought it up, and I should have seen how I was affecting you. This is the last thing I wanted, but this is the only thing I can do.
“I’m sorry brother.” He repeated again. Then he reached out, and touched his brother on the shoulder, wishing he could do anything but steal the Quirk he had given him.
But there was almost nothing there, save for a few tiny wisps of smoke.
No matter how hard he reached for these wisps, he couldn’t grab them. They were too small, too thin, too insubstantial, and too far away for him to grab any of them.
His brother then whispered back. “I already passed on One. My successor had been chosen. Good luck, brother. You’ll need it.”
His brother’s voice was cold. What had happened to his brother in the forty years since they had last met? Whatever it was, he couldn’t lie now.
He then stood up and announced, “[His brother] has a transferable Quirk, and he already transferred it. He had been using the dregs of the Quirk, which is called One. He is currently Quirkless.”
The reaction from the assembled people was immediate. The judge then asked, “Genesis, can you hunt down the person [brother] transferred his Quirk to?”
He responded immediately. “Of course, your honor. The Quirk will get stronger with time, meaning that I need to find the successor as soon as possible.”
He had to find this successor, it was the only way to stop HIS mistake.
This would probably mean he would have to become an underground hero.
Thankfully someone asked for him to take his own Quirk, one that stopped his aging. When the hero asked why, the man responded with words that would resonate in his mind for the rest of his (very long) life.
“I don’t want to live forever. The thought of infinity horrifies me. I don’t really want to die, but I don’t want to live forever. Outliving all my friends and family, my wife, my kids... “ He paused, tears running down his face.
“If you don’t want to continue, take your time. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable.”
“T-Thank you, Gene… Genesis-san, I feel better now.” He said between reducing sobs. “Are you sure you really want this Curse?”
“There exists a Quirk out there that can be passed on from user to user, potentially making it last centuries. I needed a Quirk good for that task.” He then took out a document. “If you could just sign these forms so I have some legal backing if you decide to go after me later.”
“I understand, Genesis-san. This has probably happened before, I take it.”
“Yeah, it’s happened before.”
“I know what you’re talking about, I work in the government, so we need paperwork for everything, and I mean everything.”
“Is there anything else you need?”
The man who possessed the eternal life Quirk signed the last bits of paperwork.
“Nothing else.”
“Are you ready?” he asked.
The man sighs. “Okay, here goes nothing.”
He reached out and touched the shoulder of the man. He felt his Quirk, it was a pool, with a faucet at the bottom, dripping out constantly.
But there was an elegant golden chalice, encrusted with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and all covers of diamonds. The chalice then turned into a simple pottery cup, that was even chipped it the rim.
The simple pottery cup was pouring water from it, refilling the pool at the same rate it was dripping out.
All of this he got in the span of a few seconds. Then he pulled the Quirk from the man.
“T-Thank you Genesis-san for giving me a normal life.”
He was taken aback at his reaction. “No no, thank you, kind sir, for allowing me to use your Quirk.”
They exchanged increasingly awkward “Thank you”s and “No no, thank you”s, he eventually met, happy to have saved another life.
That was why his Quirk was for good. He could save people who’s Quirks were out of their control, and they were happy.
That’s why he had became a hero, because there was so much sadness in the world.
Maybe he could save the world from One. At least he hoped.

***Fourteen years ago***

He was walking through the town, Disguise, Quirk Mask, and Concealment wreathed around him, making sure that One couldn’t recognize him. Anybody else, he was confident in his victory, but he couldn’t take One, and from what he had seen on television, he really didn’t want to engage the villain until the time and place of his choosing. He still had his tracker that Kurogiri insisted he wear, so that he could be extracted at a moment’s notice.
Sure it might seem paranoid, but you could never be too careful. In addition, it made Kurogiri happier, and he tried to indulge the man. Despite his demeanor, he’s quite a skilled combatant, and was useful for connections with the other heroes. All he had to do was have Kurogiri create a few gates, or promise to move supplies or something, and then they had a new ally. Of course he was paid well, and was also allowed to run his bar. It had been an odd request, but he allowed the bar to be opened. He could justify it as Quirk practice because in fulfilling his role as a bartender, Kurogiri often used his Quirk to kick out particularly drunk or rowdy customers. He also had staff, and both his staff and himself had ears, so they heard useful information.
He had been pleasantly surprised about how useful the bar had been. He still kept secret rooms above the bar as apartments.
So why was he walking through a city when he had access to teleportation?
Well he had a destination in mind, but he didn’t know the coordinates, so Kurgiri’s Warp Gate Quirk was useless. He was to meet with someone called Kradljivac, a Croation deep hero that supposedly had a “Quirk vampirism” Quirk of some sort. They had many resources, including their own teleporter. As a gesture of respect Kradljivac had traveled from Croatia to Japan, but insisted on choosing a new location.
Give and receive, a balance between the two of them.
So that’s why he’s walking through a city he doesn’t recognize.
It was like any sort of normal city, hordes of dejected people going around to do whatever, people not caring. Shoddily built structures stretching far too high in the air. He was honestly surprised that he could see the sky.
That’s when he saw the boy.
He was walking through the city, nobody noticing him.
It was obvious that the boy needed help. So he reached out his hand, activating Regeneration and Quirk Resistance, just in case.
The child grabbed his hand with four fingers, his pinky sticking in the air like how the British Royals drink their tea, acting like they’re so high class.
So this kid’s Quirk is dangerous, and he can’t control it...
Well he would make sure this kid knew how to use his Quirk to the best.
Kradljivac could wait for thirty minutes.

***Seven years later***

“Kurogiri, take Tenko out of here.” He yelled.
“What about you, Exodus?”
“Don’t worry about me, I can take on this latest user of One. Please, save yourself and Tenko first. Worry about me later. Yes, I am wearing my toe rings”
Kurogiri seemed suspicious of him, but the mist-man trusted him enough to obey his instructions, as his advice was almost always good, it had saved them for the past several years of their heroics.
“Miyazaki Smash!” a booming voice ran throughout their secret hideout, destroying the entire front of the building.
He readied himself for the upcoming fight. He knew that this fight would be happening as soon as he captured the previous user of One, Nana Shimura, twenty-one years ago. The fights were getting increasingly difficult, as One was strengthening, thanks to the Quirk he regretfully gave.
One wasn’t the only villain present, and Exodus wasn’t the only ‘hero’. One hundred years ago, he had changed his hero name from Genesis to Exodus, due to the proliferation of villains, culminating at the Heroics Prevention Act, which banned heroes.So he had turned to ‘vigilantism’ then, working in the background to defeat as many villains as possible.
After defeating the seventh wielder of One, he had faded back into the shadows, hoping to hide from the eighth wielder, which he hadn’t known about. It apparently hadn’t worked.
He looked over the assembled heroes. One was standing in the forefront, his dyed-black hair in a simple style, his costume was intensely Japanese, even having a red circle in the chest with rays extended from it, in the style of the Japanese Imperial flag. The rest of the costume was decorated in various other patterns of red and white, and the cape he wore was the Japanese Imperial Flag.
“Fear for your lives, because I am here.” One said as he leapt in.
There were only three other villains.
The first was Lucifire, standing there nearly as tall as the current user of One, hell-red flames wreathing there way around his costume, red and black complete with two fake horns as part of his mask, an eternal scowl on his face.
The second was Assassin, standing there in entirely back, with a serene half-mask hiding his face, his silver-white hair covering the other half.
The third was Defabricator, clad in layers of black denim, with more tendrils behind him, and threads spanning out from those.
This fight wouldn’t be easy.
But he could still win, and even if he couldn’t, he could cross his big toe and his other toe over on either foot, which would send a message to Kurogiri, which would warp him away in an instant.
Taking out Assassin and Defabricator would be the first goal, obviously. He had prepared for Defabricator in advance, the costume he wore was a false ‘fabric’ made of metal and other synthetic polymers that wouldn’t be affected by Defabricator’s Quirk.
His plan for dealing with Assassin and Defabricator the same way, with a golden fire quirk he had retrieved from a villain a long time ago.
His two allies with him were known as Crusher and Dauntless, and they each had two Quirks.
So this would be an even fight then.

***Six Years ago***

It hadn’t gone well.
Sure he had defeated Assassin and Defabricator, stealing their Quirks, but something had happened for the first time.
He had tied with One.
Sure he was now tied up to a machine, half his face covered in scars, and One was still standing, but according to the knowledge he had, One could only do villain work for nine hours a day now. Good. But he still lost Crusher. He regretted having the two of them there at his side, but he needed them there. At least Tenko and Kurogiri were safe. He had risen the both of them since they were children.
He could still operate from the shadows then. So he considered changing his name to something new. Why not go down the line, calling himself Leviticus. It fit with the major themes of the book, such as sacrifice and atonement. He had spent the past years redeeming villains, gathering wealth, and recruiting heroes.
But there was still the problem of the eighth wielder of One.
He would just have to find the perfect combination of Quirks to defeat the Symbol of Evil.
It would just take time. He would also have to contact Dr. Tsubasa, hoping that either the doctor would find a healing Quirk, or he could find a regeneration Quirk.
Yes, it would just take time.
But how much time does he really have?

Chapter Text

He was running through the dark and narrow streets that were littered with trash, rain falling down from the sky in large drops, running into his curly hair matted with dirt and grime, sending a thin drip of brown water to fall in front of his face. Spending the second or so that it would take to move his hair so it didn’t drip in front of his face would be a good idea, so he took the time to brush his hair to the side, meaning that the dirty water went to the side, clearing the front of his face, the water dripping to the side.

Well at least he was getting a shower, and his clothes were being cleaned. He knew it was a poor mockery of the two, but it was the best he could manage in his current situation. Well that’s a lie, but he had other things to worry about than cleanliness.

Why is that the case? There was a rather large man pursuing him right now, running full tilt. The man wore mostly black, with red shoes and tentacles for hair. The tentacles lashed out, attempting to grab his limbs. He fended them off with his hands, smacking the tentacles away with surprising strength. Small red marks already covered the very edges of the tentacles. What the man wanted, he didn’t know. Possibilities ran through his head. It was likely a murderer or mugger, because almost a decade of malnourishment, homelessness and near constant running had made his body thin and small, meaning that all but the most perverted of rapists would pursue him. But in this world, who knows what sort of perverts would seek him out. Perhaps his small size was what this guy wanted. He quickly cleared his mind of such thoughts, no need to think about why this man does what he wants.

So he ran, because he didn’t really have another option available to him. But he didn’t run crazily, not paying attention to wherever his feet landed, because he would most likely slice his heel open on an open can lid, or a broken bottle. You learned how to handle such things when you ran through the streets in wet and ragged shoes that barely covered your feet.

His foot landed in a puddle, soaking his already wet shoes. He had intended to avoid a pile of trash ahead of him, but the puddle was right next to it. Thankfully he didn’t trip on his own feet. He was far too skilled for it, but he would probably get a cold from this, it had happened before, but that’s not really his concern right now. It was better than risking whatever was in that trash bag. There were probably needles in there. He would have to abandon those shoes and steal some more. His life was at stake, so that was his first priority. Life first, sickness later.

Why was this happening? Why was he running down this dirty, wet street, being chased by either a murderer or rapist or mugger, or any combination of the two; when he should be sleeping in a warm bed, pretending that he was loved by his family, that they weren’t using him to further their own goals? Why wasn’t he just suffering physical and verbal abuse like a normal child? There’s a single word that describes him, and it’s a word that has cursed his life since he was four. So basically his entire life, as he really didn’t remember his life before he was in the streets. He had blocked those off. According to his memories, he’s been living on the streets his entire life. He didn’t want to remember what it was like before then. He knew he would get homesick. Sure it sounds illogical, but logic doesn’t matter in this fucking world. His life had been a fucking mess all because of a single word.

Quirkless.

In this society, if you don’t have a Quirk, you’re as good as dead. He should be dead. No Quirkless should have lived to the age of fourteen. None had in the past two decades or so. Except him, for some reason. He had lived. He couldn’t remember much about his first years, about how he had managed to live on the streets at age four. All he remembered was a teen with scars all over his body. The scarred teen had said some things about ‘fixing society’ and some ramblings about his siblings. He had no idea what the teen was talking about,but he had lived thanks to him.

Remembering the things he had been taught, applying them to the present day. He had learned to look for anything as an advantage. He shifts his very being, changing his personality to that of a killer, from his original form. New sights burst into being as the new person looks around, scanning for anything that he could use to his advantage, even everything on his own body. He felt his knives, concealed by the cloak he wore, but the attacker would notice the drawn knives.

He initially doesn’t see anything, but then he saw a corner ahead. He sped up even faster, pushing his energy to its limit, and cut around the corner. He had misjudged the angle for a bit, clipping his right shoulder on the brickwork. Sure it hurt quite a lot, but he had suffered so many bruises, cuts, burns and other wounds during the years that he simply ignored the pain. It was easy. Pain was just a feeling, so he pushed it away, pushed passed it and focused on his task and drew two knives, spinning around in the same moment. The villain came a second later, stopping himself. The villain clearly wasn’t expecting the blades, a moment of indecision crossing their face, so he took the opportunity and threw the twin blades with practiced hands. The two blades, covered with a poison he had made himself, sliced into the man. One blade had slipped between the ribs and stabbed the villain’s heart. The second blade lodged itself into the villain’s throat.

The combination of the poison and the mortal wounds caused the man to be dead before he hit the ground, the body making a splash as he lands into a puddle.

The survivor of the two wiped the blades on the man’s clothes. He then took all the money the villain’s money and then the shoes on the villain’s feet.. He was thankful that Lady Luck was on his side, as the villains shoes fit him perfectly. A small but of luck, but it was still luck nevertheless. The rain will wash away this sin. That’s why he loved the rain so much. It cleaned up everything dirty, cleaning his body, if only a little bit, but it also cleaned his soul, it washed away the guilt he felt. At least for a time.

He shifts back to his usual self, making sure to avoid looking at the corpse, focusing on more material matters. He would need to put another coat of poison on these two blades, knowing that he would have to do this again and again and again. Until the day he dies, this would be his life. An endless series of running, of killing, of stealing, never stopping never slowing never having the opportunity to take a break.

Some days he wonders why he wants to live. But the only thing that keeps him from trying to kill himself is spite. He would spite those who rejected him for being Quirkless. That spite was the only thing that kept him going. It was his food when he was hungry, his water when he was thirsty, and his sleep when he was tired. But more importantly, it was his anchor. He couldn’t remember who had taught him about the anchor, perhaps it was that scarred teen, or other people he had met. It didn’t matter how small or seemingly meaningless the anchor was, having an anchor was the most important thing. It made you want to live. So he only lived because of spite.

This had been Izuku’s life ever since he determined that he was Quirkless at age four, when he had been thrown out of the house by his own mother. Before that, he lived a normal life. His mother paying protection money to some villain or other. Or providing other services. She protected him from that fate, wishing that he would get a Quirk, and a strong one, so he could protect her. But everything changed when he was diagnosed as Quirkless. But he still had nightmares of his mother. His mother…

At the memory of his mother, he felt an itchiness. His fingers twitched, his heart beating too fast, adrenaline running through his system. Izuku knew this feeling. It was the feeling he had in the arena’s he was recently barred from competing in, the feeling he had gained there. Or maybe it had happened before that point. Izuku really didn't know. Time doesn't really matter at this point, he just lived his life day after day. All he knew was that he was fourteen, and it was spring. Maybe? He wasn't sure. But he does know why get's the itch.

It was the desire to kill. And Izuku needed to fulfill it, otherwise it would get worse. Despite already having a corpse fall today, he desired a second one. So he relaxed himself and let Deku take over. Deku will make a second kill today, it seems. Well, it could be worse.

He had tried to suppress the feelings before, as Izuku. None of the mental tricks he had learned had worked. He had tried all sorts of things to relieve the itching sensation. Drinking until he was blackout drunk, injecting, smoking, snorting or whatever to whatever drugs he could get his hands on, other things he really didn’t want to think about. None of that had worked, so prepared to do the one thing that would sate his desire. The thrill of the hunt causing adrenaline to course through his veins, the ruby color staining his shining silver knives, corrupting the pure blades with the physical evidence of Deku’s sin. Then the sin would get washed away, clearing the sin, at least for a time.

Deku looked for a target. It would have to be a home invasion, because a murder on the streets wouldn’t fulfill his desire enough. It needed to be a thrilling kill. Either way, the police wouldn’t get involved. The ‘police’ were just enforcers for the villains anyway, so as long as he didn’t attack any villain families, the enforcers wouldn’t get involved. Nobody cared.

After a few minutes of searching, he finds a nondescript apartment block. The rain continued to fall. Smiling, Deku begins to climb up the building, then hopping across a few buildings and then returned to the original building as he reached the seventh floor. There’s a window there. He tests the window before breaking it. To his surprise, it was unlocked. Seriously, are those people idiots or something? What sort of people don’t lock their windows in this era? Well Deku decided that he would make sure that he would be the one to kill them and to make it quick, rather than someone who might do far worse things to this family. There are people out there for whom nothing is off the table.

As he opened the window, looking into the plain bedroom and beyond to the living room, he saw a family. Izuku nearly left, not wanting to disturb a family, especially one with a young child. But then he hears a whispered conversation. The words the two parents speak about their only children made Izuku’s blood boil, made repressed memories return to the forefront. Sure they speak in sweeter tones than his own parents, but they are essentially the same words, and the sweetness is false, like poisoned honey.

“Honey, shouldn’t our child have gotten his Quirk by now?” The father began, clearly smothering his anger by asking an innocent question.

Inko! Our little brat should have his Quirk now. Where is he?” His father yelled, fire dripping from his mouth in anger.

“I haven’t seen it yet.” The mother responded, her words dripping with a mix of disgust and anger, with a layer of false sweetness over top.

“N-no Hisashi… he h-hasn’t gotten it y-yet…” His mother responded, she tried to clear her speech of fear. I didn’t work.

“Well then, I think I know what we need to do.”

“Bring the brat to me, Inko! I know what to do with the Quirkless little shit.”

The two parents drew knives, looking at their child, still eating like nothing was suspicious.

Hisashi drew a knife, pushing aside his wife. He looked at his child, eating as if everything was right.

Izuku took that moment to intervene, doing the thing that nobody had done for him, quickly opening the window and run into the bedroom, gunning for the dining/living room the two parents- No, Izuku shouldn’t call them parents. No real parents treat their children that way. Well, he supposes, in this world, real parents don’t exist… the two people responsible for this little boy’s (he could see now that the tiny child is a boy) birth charge forward. The woman’s wrists spin rapidly, turning the knife into a drill bit. The man’s knife swelled in his grasp, making it twice as large. ‘Weak Quirks’ Izuku thinks. ‘This should be easy.’ Izuku then shifts himself. He’s Deku now, the unknown serial killer with a pile of bodies behind him many pro villains would be envious of.

Deku ducks low, avoiding the woman’s spinning blade. It was obvious they were inexperienced. He quickly stabbed up, cutting muscles in her right arm, the one carrying the blade. He then stabbed forward, landing the blade into her throat. He then slashed the blade, cutting her throat completely. He then stabbed the knife into her side, then threw the body of the woman at her husband, removing the blade as the corpse landed on him. He charges forward a half-second later, not giving the man time to react. Deku wouldn’t waste a moment, because of a lesson he had been taught, that even an inexperienced opponent could cause him injury that could hamper his future efforts. He draws out a second blade, and slashes the man’s throat and face. Izuku turns to see the little boy on the verge of tears. He initially didn’t know what to say, but he eventually figured out something that he could say. Deku grins at his work, then shifts back into Izuku, the pure runaway, living on the streets, barely staying alive.

“Your parents were bad people, they wanted to kill you.”

“I… I k-know. T-thank you, uh…” The tiny kid said.

“What’s your name little one?” Izuku asked, seeping sweetness into his tone. It made Izuku uncomfortable to speak like that. Sure it was closer to his normal Izuku voice, but it wasn’t his Deku voice. He spent most of his life as Deku anyways. But he made sure to call himself Izuku in his mind, a clear separation between the two was the only thing that kept Izuku from being alive. Izuku was the one that kept them alive, and Deku was the one that killed.

“I’m Shirahiro! It’s a cool name, isn’t it?” He asked, more confidence in his voice now that he was in the presence of someone he trusted, even more than his parents.

“Yes it is.” Izuku said. “And you can call me Deku.”

Izuku never would say his real name. That was for his mind and his mind alone. An anchor for his own mind. Sometimes he had to use his first name as a civilian disguise. But he would attempt to apply to VA under the name of “Deku”. This wasn’t unusual, as many people applied to the school using a pseudonym. There was one thing that Izuku would never acknowledge. That was his last name. No matter what, he refused to remember it. It reminded him of his father, fire spitting from his mouth. It reminded him of his mother… He shut down that thought again. Nope, he didn’t want that itch again. If pressured, he would respond with Nanimonai, or nothing. Either that, or he evaded the question. There were a precious few who knew his true, full name. Perhaps one or two people. Hisashi was one of them. None of these people he knew now.

“Yay! Deku saved me!” The kid, Shirahiro, cried out happily.

“I sure did.”

What the fuck was he doing? Izuku had no clue. He had just stole a child after killing his parents. What is he doing with a child? Who would trust him with a child? The answer is nobody, but that's what happened. Well he would be a better parent than the people responsible for his birth. After strapping the child do his back, Izuku leapt out the window. The first thing that he did was remove the child from the situation. He relied upon vague memories of the scarred teen from the earliest portion of his life. He had been thankful that Hisashi had convinced that woman to throw him out rather than kill him. Sure he had burns all over his body, but at least he hadn’t been knifed by both of his parents. Izuku accesses Deku’s memories, of the two parent’s Quirks, he knew that the stabbing wouldn’t be fun.

He ran home with practiced steps, doubling back and looping around to avoid persecution, the kid holding on to his back tightly.Until he reached where he currently lived. He didn’t call it home. Izuku had forgotten what that word means. The place where he currently lives, he doesn’t call his home, because home is where you could feel safe, where Shirahiro could be safe. Being Quirkless, there could never be any place that he- they- could feel safe.

To his credit, Shirahiro had been quiet during the entire journey. That’s a skill that everybody learned at an early age, when to keep quiet. Where he lived and slept was in a small room, connected to the outside only by a hole in the wall. You wouldn’t notice it unless you specifically searched for it, and even then it wouldn’t be an easy task. After crawling through the hole, than gesturing for the child to follow suit, the two of them arrive them arrive at the room.

Discovering this room had been the best thing he had ever found. He had found it when he was seven, helping out some kid with an ice Quirk and sky blue hair. Sure it was tiny, less than a hundred square feet, the thick concrete walls were covered in disgusting-looking spots and layers of graffiti, the floor was covered in garbage, and the roof was unfinished. But by some small miracle the dull incandescent light hanging from a short chain had worked, when he flicked the lights. Also the sink in the corner had running water. These two simple luxuries put him above quite a few people.

“Hey Shirahiro, what would you like to eat?” Izuku asked gently. He really didn’t know the best way to take care of a child, but he would certainly be a better parent- no, don’t use that word, stupid Izuku. What should he say instead? Maybe he could be an older brother. After all, there’s only a ten year age gap between the two of them. While such an age gap is very rare, but not unheard of, especially to the particularly nasty perverts that roam the area, the ones that would be interested in him, despite the fact he looked like he was ten or eleven at the oldest. They might even have been interested in Shirahiro. Izuku shuddered at the thought. No way people would do such a despicable act. But this world was all sorts of fucked up, so anything’s possible. He needs to protect the child. Shirahiro was in contemplation, thinking for quite a long time.

“Whatever you want Deku-san! As long as it’s food, I’m happy!” Izuku couldn’t help a half-second expression of shock covered his face. Such a response from someone so young… It stirred up some uncomfortable memories. Izuku pushed those memories out of his head, clearing his mind of the memories and replacing it with a desire to give the kid a good meal. He fished out an unopened, prepackaged MRE left over from the American Invasion a few years ago. The meals were still good to eat for a few years beyond this, and he could stretch it out that long with stealing other meals and stealing money, which is what he was already doing. Today’s MRE is some sort of noodle dish with a tomato sauce. Iuzku knew there was a word for it, but he didn’t know what it was. He wasn’t stupid, but there were some things that he didn’t care enough about to name. Not everything was worth his time to name.

He took it out of the package and dumped it into a metal pot. Izuku then lit a small fire with a lighter, lighting some newspaper and a piece of wood on fire. Sure it would only burn for a little bit, but it would be a little bit warmer. It would make both of them warm in the stomach for a little bit at the very least. Izuku watched the fire heat up the contents of the pan, before burning out. He grabbed two forks from a pile, splashed water on them from the sink, and dried them off with a dirty towel that lay by the sink. He then grabbed two bowls (Clean, thankfully) and placed one of them along with the fork in front of Shirahiro. Sure it’s not perfect, but neither Izuku nor Shirahiro could afford to be a germaphobe at this stage.

“Is this good?” Izuku asked.

“Yay!” called out Shirahiro. “Real food!”

This tiny ball of sunshine was going to be the death of Izuku, he decided. Well, he would have to do the very best he could to temper that sunshine, as this hellhole of a world would snuff out this little cinnamon roll. It would get crushed like a bug. So he would have to teach this kid about the real world at the age of four. Sure it was a tough lesson, but it was something that Shirahiro needed to learn. It was something he had to learn.

“Well make sure to eat your noodles, and if you clean your plate, you can have some garlic bread.” Izuku than shifted to his ‘serious’ voice. “But you need to make sure to not be so excited, because people don’t like it, and they will try to do to you what your former parents tried to do.”

“Oh.” Shirahiro said, sounding dejected. “Ok. But, let’s eat.” He said the final two words a bit more positively, but his sunshine was still tempered. Good kid, he learned fast.

The two of them ate in relative silence, both of them talking about their past a little bit. Izuku held off on some of the major details, but still talked enough to make himself relatable to Shirahiro. Although he suspected that Shirahiro was also hiding something. He would push it later, now is not the time, but he would gradually get into his story later. The kid deserved to keep his secrets. Everyone has their secrets, after all.

There were other things in the MRE that isn’t the main course or the garlic bread (Which he did share with Shirahiro, much to the delight of the little child) but he saved that for breakfast for two later, along with a can of peach slices. Then he would steal them lunch. Izuku made a mental note to teach Shirahiro how to pickpocket in the morning, or at least have him act as a secondary accomplice. Pickpocketing is a useful skill. It would get much easier with two people, especially because one of them was so young.

After he finished the noodles, he pulled out a book on villain analysis. Izuku was thankful that nobody knew this location, because he didn’t have to pay protection money to the local villains, and the villains would also find his analysis. That would be bad. The place he lived was on the very edge of a well-off district, so there were quite a few villains in the area, and many people had to pay protection money to two or more villains.

He pulled out a dirty notebook from underneath plastic bags and empty food containers. “Villain Analysis Number 37.” Izuku filled his hours with analyzing as many villains as possible. He would analyze heroes, but they’re so underground that he couldn’t dig up anything other than rumors. He had been doing that even before he was diagnosed as Quirkless, starting at age three. It was his way of keeping himself alive. That’s what he learned from somebody. Who they were exactly, Izuku couldn’t remember anymore, but he learned that keeping himself busy was the best thing to do with spare time, as having nothing to do is one of the worst things Izuku could do, as that would leave him alone with his thoughts. And if he was alone with his thoughts, his wall of spite might crumble into nothingness.

“Hey Deku-san?” asked Shirahiro, “What is that?”

“Oh this, this is just my Villain analysis. I write down stuff about all the villains that I see.” Izuku responded. “Do you want to watch me write down information about new villains?”

“Of course!” He called out.

Izuku wrote about villains while Shirahiro watched. He wrote about the new villain that he heard was in the area, a villain who was made of feathers, scales, and hair. Shirahiro asked a few questions, and Izuku responded in kind. He wrote about how the new villain used the materials that made up his body to kill opponents and do other villainous tasks. He then put down the notebook about villains, and drew out a second notebook.

“Do you mind if I wrote about something else?”

“No. S’fine”

So Izuku opened up his second notebook. This one was “Theories Number 13.” He used these notebooks for writing down information that he learned. Izuku had a cell phone somehow. (He got it two years ago at the start of his arena work) and useful contacts. He used this to learn what life was like outside of Japan, writing all of this down in notebooks. The thing that most confused Izuku was how the system sustained itself, but he supposed that the villains who didn’t just destroy everything lasted longer, and thus we get the system of organized districts and layered systems of protection money. Sure there’s an official government, but it’s really a formality. After writing down everything he learned, Izuku was very tired, but Shirahiro had already fallen asleep in a pile of garbage. So Izuku moved the kid onto the mattress. Dirty as it was, it was still better than the trash piles. Izuku took the comforter from the bed and slapped it on the trash-covered floor. It wouldn’t be comfortable, sure, but he would rather Shirahiro sleep comfortably.

Izuku’s nights were filled with nightmares and he woke up at least twice a night because of nightmares. Even shoving all of his murders into the “Deku” personality didn’t stop them from leaking through. Thankfully tonight’s nightmares were quiet. Izuku suspected he subconsciously kept his nightmares quiet, for Shirahiro’s sake. Izuku didn’t know why he had a connection to the kid, but he would make sure to make him useful. Izuku woke up before Shirahiro did, so he set himself to preparing toast for the child. The bread that he used for toast was a special type of bread that had extra nutrients (LifeBread, invented by Keniji Akira. An invaluable foodstuff. Izuku had quite a stock of the stuff. By stock, he met ten loaves.) Whatever, with Shirahiro he could be able to set up pickpocket scenarios involving two people. It helps that Shirahiro was young and innocent looking.

As Izuku finished the preparations for the toast, Shirahiro woke up.

“Hey little guy,” Izuku said, bringing him the toast. “We have a big day ahead of us.”

As Shirahiro ate his toast, Izuku explained what they were doing today. “Since neither of us are old enough to work, I have to tell you how to pickpocket.”

Shirahiro seemed cheerful at this. Izuku reflected on pickpocketing. People should be on guard from this, from worse, but they weren’t. People wanted to believe that everything was fine, that they wouldn’t come to harm, despite villain warlords controlling the nation. Also the Sino-Japanese war was probably sapping away people’s will. Izuku knew that the war was a distraction. He was surprised that the country, which was less of an actual country and more of a collection of warlords, could maintain a war effort. Anyway, Izuku had a child to take care of.

After Shirahiro finished his toast, the two of them left for the outside, and Izuku began to set up scenarios for pickpocketing. In one scenario, Shirahiro would ask the mark a question, primarily about their Quirk. He was looking every bit the curious child. (If the mark had a mutation Quirk, Shirahiro would ask about how weird it might be to have it.) Izuku would exploit the distraction of the mark to steal their wallet. Shirahiro absorbed the knowledge very quickly. Good kid, he’ll go far. Izuku looked around with trained eyes, looking for a perfect mark. He decided to start off with something easy. He still managed to snag a five hundred yen note form somebody’s pocket. A second mark was relieved of their wallet, and a third lost a thousand yen note.

After three hours of not finding another worthwhile mark, he then went to a market to buy two sandwiches. The sandwich stand that he sought out was trusted one. After all, he wasn’t important enough to be the target of assassination. Perhaps if people linked him to his personality as Savage. But maybe not even then. He had gained only moderate fame from his time in the arena, and his costume as Savage was one that hid his hair, which was unfortunately a very recognizable green color. However, he still felt that he might have forgotten about some feature that he should have hidden.

After the sandwiches, he decided to head back. There wasn’t really wasn’t anything important for the two of them to do. Well he did need to pick up something, so he left Shirahiro at The Hideout and went out to pick up a package. Hopefully it would help him in the future, it was a small package that had two knives within it, as well as a mask. The specific mask was a simple grey and dark blue half-mask that covered the area around his eyes and his nose, as well as tinted lenses that covered his eyes, washing away the emerald color of his eyes.

As he was walking from the post office after repacking his things, he heard noises from behind and underneath him, so he readied some knives and a poison needle.

And sure enough, a second later, sludge flowed around him. Of course. So what he did then was stab this living sludge in the eye that he could barely see in his peripheral vision. The needle struck true, and he felt the sludge retreat off of him. Then there was a red and white blur, and suddenly One was standing there, resplendent in his Imperial Golden Age costume.

“Fear, oh innocent, because I am here!” He fired off his traditional saying. Izuku's inner, deep-rooted villain fanboy went off. But he quickly suppressed the instinct, because that could be very bad. He had met villain fanboys before, and they inevitably died rather quickly. Plus, he had Shirahiro to protect.

“Thank you, whoever you are. This vigilante of sludge has taken out many of our esteemed peacekeepers. Could I get your name for our records?”

“I’m known as Deku.” It had been the name his mother had called him, before she kicked him out of the house. But he took the name and made it his own. Spite. He used the name out of spite, and during the years made it his own. He finalized his transformation by killing his mother- no, the woman responsible for his birth. She didn’t deserve the title of mother. Deku was the name he used when he made his first kill when he was only six, and he even almost used it in the arena, but there were people out there who could connect that name to his face. He couldn’t remember some of them, but he knew enough to know that was a bad idea. Deku was the name he used when he did anything important, when what he did mattered. So he had told One that he was known as Deku, because nobody knew him as Izuku. Izuku was what he was when he was normal doing normal things.

“Well, young Deku, There’s something I would like to do for you.”

“What is it, One?”

“I want you to receive my Quirk. Before you ask any questions, you have the perfect killer instinct, and with One, it will make your Quirk even better!”

“But, I’m Quirkless.” Izuku said that almost hesitantly, waiting for the inevitable dismissal and refusal.

“That only makes what you have done even more impressive. Come, my boy, it’s time for you to get on training.”

One gave him no chance to refuse. He didn't insult or attack Izuku for his Quirklessness. In fact, One seemed to think better of him because of his combined age and Quirklessness. Izuku thought about what One had said about his Quirk being transferable. Perhaps maybe One, the greatest villain of all time, had been Quirkless too. It was an interesting thought.

One’s training was harsh. He almost killed him several times, but Izuku didn’t mind that. Why? Because this was nothing compared to the streets he lived in everyday, to what Shirahiro had lived through in his short life. Part of his training was moving trash from various parts of the city to Dagobah Beach, polluting the entire area. He had asked why One wanted him to do this, and he pointed out that people would move in. Since the area was unclaimed, they wouldn’t have to pay protection money, at least for a little bit. That means that fewer people will pay protection money to other villains. One explained how something like this can affect the area for years. Izuku wasn’t just being trained in body, he was being trained in the mind. He absorbed strategy and tactics like a sponge absorbs water.

 

After nine months of harsh training, he finally received the quirk known as One. He had to eat one of his hairs. Sure it was gross, but because One said that the quirk transfers through DNA, in addition to willing the power to be transferred, Izuku knew there were worse methods to transfer. Sure the first time he used One he broke his right arm and leg, but some doctor healed it for him. He broke his limbs several times after that. Because of this, One than sent him out to his mentor, known as Mach 5, in order to improve the functionality of One. In all of this, he had never told Shirahiro about One. He just said that he spontaneously manifested a Quirk. Shirahiro also had gotten a Quirk rather late, which makes the old statement “You must have a quirk by age 4.” pretty useless, as evidence that he gathered said that 50% of people who didn’t have a Quirk got one by the age of 6. Sure it was just a weak telekinesis Quirk, his upper weight limit being less than fifty kilograms and he could only move things at slow speeds, but it was invaluable for pickpocketing. They didn’t even have to lift a finger now to pickpocket things. Izuku trained the young child’s Quirk as much as possible without hurting him. His limit and speed had been slowly growing. It was still rather weak, but he did have a long time to train with it.

But then there was his own training.

He thought that One’s training was harsh. Boy, he didn’t understand the meaning of the word harsh until he met Mach 5. His Quirk, Jet, makes them go very fast. Fast enough that even Izuku couldn’t dodge the first attack that Mach 5 sent out. Izuku was slammed into the ground, breath leaving his body. He still quickly got up, readying for another attack. Blood was seeping from a wound on his chest from a stone on the ground that had dug into his body.

“Where is that ‘killer instinct’ that One said you had? Power up One and come after me.” Mach 5 said.

“But sir, I can’t use the Quirk without hurting myself.”

Mach 5 whacked him on the head. “You’re an idiot. Figure out a way to reduce the amount you use.”

That’s when it hit him. He had a revelation. He didn’t need to use the full power of One. Hell, it would be better that he didn’t, because he wouldn’t be exceptional or special. He felt the full force, the full 100%. He then absorbed the extra power, ratcheting it down. Ninety, eighty, sixty, forty, twenty. Still too much. Ten, nine, seven, five. Finally, five percent. He could handle five percent.

He used five percent of One to fight Mach 5. It was enough that he didn’t break his bones. Izuku knew that the VA entrance exam was difficult, but he wasn’t worried. He had spent eleven years mostly out in the streets, and two years in the death arenas, and finally ten months of training under One and Mach 5, so surely he could pass whatever exam they threw at him in order to get into VA. And he would do so, in order to become a villain, in order to protect Shirahiro.

Walking up to the doors of VA, after passing through the Quirk identifier, he noticed a familiar face. Izuku had no idea why he recognized the face, he couldn’t connect the face to a name, although it felt on the tip of his tongue, but at the same time so far away. Thankfully whoever they were didn’t turn towards him, didn’t recognize him, so Izuku just gave him a wide berth. A nice-looking girl was also nearby, Izuku’s mind was racing from the encounter, so in order to distract himself, he looked around trying to identify Quirks, something to calm himself down. The mutation Quirks were the easiest to see. Someone had a bird head, someone else had a tail, a third person had three curved horns and red skin and hair. There were horns, feathers, tails, additional limbs, skin of all colors, and all sorts of wings. That was something Izuku noticed. Ever since the debut of Black Eagle, every two-bit villain fanboy and girl with a pair of wings thinks that they can become a villain just because of their wings. All the other types of Quirks he would have to identify later.

Even before the practical exam, there was a written exam. Because of the teachings he received from One and Mach 5, he knew all sorts of information that he wouldn’t have bothered with learning. Theoretical math, science, formal Japanese and all sorts of other subjects. Like any other knowledge, he absorbed it like a sponge. So he was reasonably confident in the written exam. He saw the face again, connected to ashen blond hair. Despite that additional tidbit of information, he couldn’t connect the face and body to a name, it was probably lost in the misty haze that was his memories of his life before the age of four, before he was thrown out of the house.

He couldn’t focus on that now, he had to focus on the exam, so that he could do well.

A half-hour later, he finished the exam and wandered around until it was time to enter the room where Screamer, the Ear-bleeding villain, would introduce them to to whatever task would be going on. Izuku took his seat. But because lady luck loved hurting him, the person sitting next to him was the same ashen blond that looked vaguely familiar. Izuku just had to look away and hope that he wouldn’t look in his direction. But he did. There was a moment of confusion, then a look of recognition. Izuku was wondering what he would say, and what he would respond.

“...Deku?” He asked, as if he saw a ghost. Well, it made sense, because his mother had gotten rid of him when he was four, and when he was thirteen he got rid of her.

Then he burned the apartment, not wanting anybody to get more value from this cursed place. It didn’t matter that there were people still in there, the raging fire burning their skin, flesh and bones. He had ignored their screams, suppressing them. Despite his best efforts, the screams joined the ever-increasing list of things in his nightmares. Even though he had been Deku when he had killed all of those people, their dying screams still haunts his nightmares. It was at the point that he was now numb to them. Mostly. He still felt them sometimes.

That simple word brought in a rush of memories. Including a name.

“Hi Kacchan!” He said, not knowing another name to call him.

“Are you a fucking ghost?”

“No Kacchan, I am very much alive.” It had taken some time for Izuku to regain his shell, but he had recovered it. He would need his shell for the future. But he couldn’t summon his spite, as there was no memories of him to induce spite.

“How the fuck are you alive?” It seemed like Kacchan was determined to know about his past. Well, he would just lie. Lying always worked. But Izuku didn’t feel like lying. Deflection then. That should be fine.

“Basically luck. There’s more to say, but I don’t want to discuss it here.” He said. Kacchan didn’t seem satisfied, but Izuku gave him a look that plainly said he didn’t want to speak anymore. Thankfully Screamer seemed ready to do his signature yelling.

“Heya listers!” Yelled out Screamer, pulling them from their conversation. “Today we are doing a craaaaaazy battle royale competition. There are three different areas where you will be competing, and the top twelve of you that are still alive in each area end up getting entry into VA! Yeah!” At the final “Yeah!” He activated his Quirk, Scream, making the noise reverberate around Izuku’s skull, bouncing around for quite some time.

Thankfully He and Kacchan were in different testing areas, otherwise they would have gone after each other almost immediately.

This type of competition wasn’t new to Izuku, he had done two of them before in the arenas, and won both of them. Well that was obvious, otherwise he wouldn’t be here today. And he had done that without his Quirk. Having access to Full Boost would make this competition even easier and would allow him to certainly score a top spot. It didn’t really look like it, but he had a half-dozen knives on him, all of which were covered with the special poison he had made himself. He headed off to testing site C.

They would have thirteen minutes and thirty-eight seconds to find a spot to start off with. During the Hiding Phase, they weren’t allowed to kill anyone. After the time was up, they would begin the Hunting Phase, where the real competition would begin. He spent the time looking for a place, but noticing where everyone else went. He crawled in an abandoned building at the edge of testing site C, also known as Training Ground Dalet, and then waited for the Hunting Phase to begin.

Then the gong sounded, beginning the competition. Deku smiled, his sadistic side would be quite sated in this competition, the deaths satisfying an itch he had barely noticed, too devoted to his training to notice it. But now that training was over, and Deku was back, he felt the itch, and moved to satisfy the itch.

Chapter Text

Deku knew how to handle a battle royale exercise, thanks to his years in the arena, but this one has a different goal.
Instead of only a sole winner, there were twelve. Also there were probably rankings based on the amount of people killed, so he needed to make an impression. Not enough of an impression to be a top scorer, as Izuku didn’t want to stand out. He knew that standing out was bad.
But when the opening gong sounded the beginning of the Hunting Phase, he leapt out of the room using Full Boost, looking for his first target. Sure it wouldn’t look good to stand out, but it wouldn’t look good to hesitate. Deku ran the ‘numbers’ and determined that hesitating would look much worse than standing out. He just had to carefully select his targets.
During the early stages of the game, there would be only two types of people out on the streets of the fake city, rather than hiding in the buildings.
Those confident in their abilities as a killer, and those too stupid to know better. Because you didn’t need to kill at all, you just needed to survive.
The latter half most likely have lived sheltered lives, enamored by the villain warlords such as One, Lucifire and Black Eagle, not knowing the harsh reality of the true world.
Others are hero fanboys and fangirls, far worse than the sheltered villain fans. They’ve been raptured by the ideology of Bleach or Kabhra or some other hero that shows up, raises hell, kills a few villains, and then is killed by more powerful villains. There would be many targeting these people, and he would join all the hardened killers in slaying these hero fanboys.
As the gong sounded, Deku immediately ran out of the room and onto the rooftops, scanning for targets.
He saw someone approaching.
His first target was dressed like the vigilante Shaman, wearing primarily browns and greens, even with a mask and cloak to cover her skin. The only reason he knew her gender was because the costume she wore emphasized… certain features. And she did have a significant amount of those features... Nope. Deku cut off that line of thought, and focused in on her Quirk. Her Quirk appeared to be similar to Shaman’s, manifesting different elements in thin air, and then either combining them, or using them individually. The elements she manifests seems fairly weak, but the sheer flexibility of the Quirk would make combat difficult. He should take her down quickly before she accumulates more elements as the elements that the Shaman fangirl manifests seem to linger around for a bit, and she can summon them faster than they disappear.
Her fighting style appeared to be similar to Shaman’s as well. Good. Because he had done analysis on heroes as well as villains. So he had analysed their combat style, studying strengths and weaknesses. So he just copy-pasted that information into the forefront of his brain, and loaded it up. He hoped that she didn’t have any new tactics or additional tricks. Sure he could most likely handle her if she did, but this would make things more difficult.
The first step was powering up One with Full Boost. He would use his advantage in strength, speed and agility to defend against the elemental attacks.
He didn’t speak, because he had nothing to say, and also because if he spoke, the Shaman fangirl might learn information, or her Quirk has a voice activated side effect. You couldn’t be too careful.
He had dealt with far to many attackers with quirks relying upon his voice to risk speaking.
Pulling out knives with both hands and activating Full Boost, he charged forward at the elemental girl. She made some gestures with his hands, and the ground began to shift. Deku then began to jump from place to place, rather than simply running. Large slabs of a mixture of earth, stone, and concrete shot up from the ground to where he had been just a moment ago.
“Dual element attack: Magma Storm!”
Deku mentally shook his head. She also called out her attacks. Like in some shitty anime? Well, he would reward her efforts by stabbing her with his knives. That way her stupidity wouldn’t spread to others. The first step he did was throw a knife in a high arc, then a second one followed a half-second later, it’s path arcing like a frisbee. Deku removes two more knives from hidden sheaths, and charged again. He then glanced up at the arcing knife, which caused her attention to go up to the knife, which then had the arcing knife stab itself in her side. This was a special strategy that he had learned, and adapted, from watching the vigilante Bleach fight several villains at a time. As much as he hated and despised Bleach, he couldn’t deny how effective his strategies were. Only a fool rejects strategies just because their used by enemies.
He grabbed the air knife as it landed on the ground. He then activated Full Boost to leap away. His first kill in the arena was a hero fangirl, perhaps he should go after someone more of a challenge, to show that he has serious skills. So he did his rooftop jumps, avoiding those who didn’t have that hardened look on their faces signalling how much of a killer they were. Some attacks had been sent his way, but he was far enough away that he could easily evade the pitiful attempts that these fanboys and fangirls called “attacks.”
Pitiful. He didn’t even need his Quirk to shut these people down. They weren’t worth his time.
He needed threatening people...
Like that one midget who’s sticking purple orbs to people and then slitting their throats. He moves surprisingly fast, which compliments his small size. The grape midget was nearly as fast as he had been before he had gotten his Quirk.
But only nearly, and he had Full Boost to make him even faster. The sticky grape ball fucker didn’t stand a chance, but even so, Deku had to be careful because even those who didn’t stand a chance could injure or incapacitate him, making him a weaker target for future attackers. And he didn’t want even one of those sticky grapes to touch them, as they looked like a bitch to pull off. Hell, these balls could even restrain people with mutations that made them seven fucking feet tall, and others were very obvious stength enhancement Quirks. So yeah, these fucking balls look like shit, but they’re powerful as fuck.
Deku was running on rooftops above the sticky ball user, above his notice.
That was the one weakness of almost everybody, even experienced and trained villains, possess.
They all fail to look up. Fucking idiots. Even when he was jumping on the rooftops he was looking up, because people with flying Quirks exist. Black Eagle is a good example.
Why he called himself Black Eagle, Deku has no idea, considering his wings are crimson.
So he was fifty feet above the sticky ball kid, running slightly behind and above him, the perfect spot to avoid notice. He activated Full Boost and landed directly on him, no need to do anything fancy, as that would waste time. The spikes on his boots dug into his neck, stabbing at the spinal cord through the vertebrae, that’s how sharp the boot spikes were. The strike was carefully delivered, and now the grape menace wasn’t able to move anything below the neck. But Deku wasn’t done yet.
Now he wanted to make an impression for the judges that were obviously watching this match, so he used Full Boost to quickly move over to a piece of rubble. He then picked it up and threw it at the grape’s head, crushing it almost instantly.
With that gruesome display, he hopped up onto the rooftops again, searching for a target to hunt, a target to kill. But nobody was out on the streets anymore. The idiots were already dead now, so it was now time to enter buildings, searching for those too smart to walk around in the streets, but not strong enough to actively hunt. Now that doesn’t mean that they’re stronger than those hunting, like him, it could mean that they had Quirks much better suited for defense. With a defensive Quirk, it would almost make sense to hunker down and wait for whatever comes, because for such a competition like this, there are precious few who can theoretically pick their battles.
That’s another common mistake, especially for those who are defending.
They try too hard to pick their battles, and it results in their defeat.

The first building he entered was a mockery of an apartment building. People tend to hide where they are comfortable, so there’s bound to be more people in an apartment building then in a warehouse.
Plus he saw somebody enter the building beforehand, so this was more than an educated guess.
He started from the top floor, because people don’t think of the roof as an entry option, a massive oversight on their part. There were any number of Quirks out there, but the appearance of Quirks hadn’t caught up to human nature yet, so people still thought about situations as if Quirk’s weren’t a thing.
Well, most people didn’t.
Those who honestly and actually took Quirks into consideration, thinking that anything is possible, were among the deadliest among the overground of Japan.
He was included in that group, he would like to think. But he didn’t want to be so arrogant.
Putting his muses aside, he was now on the top floor, the 7th.
There were only four doors on this floor, so he put his ear to the door of each to listen.
At the third floor, he heard light breathing and shifting around. People were in there, trying to hide.
And doing a shitty job of it.
“Bingo.” Deku thought, smiling.
Opening the door would be a bad idea, as that would probably trigger all sorts of traps, so he did the next best thing.
Powering up One to the full 5% he was allotted, he thought “Osaka Smash” (Never saying it aloud) and impacted the door with hands outstretched.
The door flew off the hinges, activating all sorts of traps, many of which were lethal. He then drew his trademark knives, ready for anything.
What he wasn’t ready for was there being two people. He was only expecting one.
One of them had silver-white wings and hair, and wore all black. The second person had four long arms that were almost skeletal, and covered in a red exoskeleton, complete with five long clawed fingers on each hand. So he was to fight two people with Mutation Quirks. The advantage of fighting an opponent with a mutation Quirk was that it was obvious what their Quirk was. But he should still be cautious, as there could be a secondary effect or ability that the Quirk grants it’s user, making the mutation Quirk stronger or bigger or whatever. Once again, Black Eagle is a good example of a mutation Quirk with a secondary effect.
The only question Deku had was why there was somebody with wings indoors. Perhaps he was aiding his ally, but birds need space to spread their wings and fly. His question was answered when the winged figure’s wings turned from the silver-white to become metallic and generally in appearance to steel. They possibly also weighed more, which is why he was grounded. Deku quickly gave them nicknames, iron wings and Crabman. That way he could easily keep track of them.
Crabman swung his exoskeleton arms. Deku easily blocked the claws with both of his knives, and then landed a punch powered up by One onto the arm of the person, shattering his exoskeleton and revealing the flesh beneath. He then threw his knife, landing in the ruined flesh of Crabman’s arm, and Deku waited for the poison to take effect.
Now that Crabman was taken care of, writhing on the ground in pain, he turned his attention to iron wings. Iron wings wasn’t stupid, nor was he slow, as he was able to deflect all the blades that Deku threw at him. Iron wings was also able to counterattack, which he had to dodge by leaping around the room, landing punches and kicks whenever he could, but no matter what, his kicks and punches were always blocked by the large iron wings.
It looked like the battle was going the wing-man’s favor, but Deku could see that Iron wings couldn’t maintain them forever, as the metal was already beginning to show signs of going away, as he could already see spots where the soft feathers were returning.
Iron Wings responded by crashing the edge of his wing into a nearby window. He tried to make it look like an accident, but Deku knew better.
So he in turn prepared Full Boost in his legs, ready to jump. Iron wings deactivated his Quirk, and then flew outside.
But he was ready.
Three knives came after Iron Wings, followed by Deku himself. Two went wide, but the third landed in between where his wings joined his back. Deku landed on Iron Wings, and then jumped off of him again, pushing him down to the ground.
He managed to land back in the apartment he had found the duo in, and retrieved his lost knives.
He still had lost three knives, so he made a mental note to steal some more.
Deku was confident that the two of them wouldn’t have allowed anyone else in the apartment.
Then the announcement came on. “Twelve people are now remaining. The competition is over. Congratulations to those surviving, you are now officially students of VA. Yeah!” Screamer’s enthusiastic voice came over the loudspeakers. Or maybe it didn’t, and he just used his Quirk. He was definitely loud enough. He shifted back to Izuku now that there was no killing needed.
Izuku and eleven others left the area, proud in their victory.
“Victors of the VA competition, please head to your respective classrooms.”
A small piece of paper appeared in Izuku’s hand, saying “Class 1-A”
In terms of the VA forms that had been provided, they would be heading directly to class. Unlike many other schools, VA permitted, nay expected, students wear their villain outfits, but committing crimes on VA grounds outside of permitted tasks was explicitly forbidden, and would be punished very harshly. Thirty lashes at the very least.
Izuku wondered who would be in his class, there were very few people that he knew were taking the VA entrance exam. He knew that Kacchan had taken it, and there was no way he hadn’t passed. He just hoped that Kacchan wasn’t in the class, but if he was, it wouldn’t matter to Izuku.
So he opened the (very large) door into class 1-A to see who was there.
Kacchan was there, but he seemed to be focused on something in front of him. There were a bunch of people Izuku didn’t know. Some of them he recognized from his testing site, such as the larger one with what looked like engines in his legs and the girl that lifted people into the air. She looked sweet, but Izuku was half sure that she had taken martial arts classes and was a black belt. She had some serious talent, combined with a Quirk that sounds weak, but if she touches you, it’s close to game over. Izuku ran through a list of counters to her Quirk.
But then there were two other students in the class that Izuku recognized immediately.
The reason why he recognized them was because of the fact that they were children of famous people.
The first was Momo Yaoyorozu, daughter of the famous Yaoyorozus that ran Yaoyorozu Industries. He didn’t know her Quirk, but if it was anything like her parents, She could create objects in some capacity.
The second was Shouto Todoroki. Izuku had taken a glance his way, and regretted it.
There had been rumors surrounding the famous villain Lucifire, about how horrific he treated his children. It’s not like Izuku cared. The powerful, like One and Lucifire, could do whatever they wanted, consequences be damned. For fucks sake, Lucifire has had six total children, and only three are confirmed alive right now. Nobody could really do anything, due to his position. Perhaps One could, but his appearances have diminished lately. Izuku didn’t know why, but it meant that nobody could intervene in Lucifire’s affairs.
The appearance of his last son shows how Lucifire really treats his children.
Sure there was what looked like a scar caused from hot water over his left eye, and there were pieces of burned skin stapled to the left side of his face. It looked similar to the teen he met ten years ago. Even the color is similar. Weird. But that wasn’t the worst part. That honor went to the right side of his face and his right arm.
The skin- if Izuku could really call it skin- was charred black, strung tight over his face, held by even more crude staples. Dark red burns cover the rest, save for the single grey eye, like a diamond in the coal. The burns and blackened skin continued from his face to cover the top of his head, preventing hair from growing. Well, most hair. A few strands of white hair stubbornly grow, like bushes and grass in a barren desert. There was also a small amount of white hair at the edge of the red. Izuku also noticed the burn scars went along to his arm, ending at the wrist. Izuku then noticed the eyes of Shouto Todoroki.
They were eyes that he recognized. He had seen them before, but only on people lying in the street, in a far worse condition than Izuku was in before he had met One. The people that were lying in the streets, not bothering to eat or even bothering that they were pissing or shitting themselves.
They were the eyes of a person who had lost all hope, the eyes of a person who didn’t have a purpose in life, an anchor. He probably just went through life like a robot, processing inputs, not even thinking independently.
Izuku shook himself free from those thoughts. He had seen worse scars before. Fuck, he even caused worse injuries, but never on somebody living. But everyone here had scars. Even he did, scars along his arms and legs from breaking them with One, countless other scars from the injuries he had gotten on the streets. But the two of them weren’t alone. Scars covered everybody here. Izuku was surprised at how many he could see, despite being able to only see the face and hands of most peopleThere was a pink girl with horns whose face, arms, stomach and legs were covered in acid burns. Her costume covered less skin than most, so he could see her marred skin. Izuku guessed she had an acid Quirk, because many people got injuries from overusing their Quirk. There was a blond boy that had glasses over his eyes, and had unusual burns on his body. A boy with a scarred tail was also in front.
Most of the other people had normal cut scars and nonsense. But there was a person in the front that had a mask covering most of his face. If it was bad enough for him to hide it, Izuku really didn’t want to want to know what was under there. Even Todoroki, with scars and staples covering his entire face, didn’t wear a mask. But Izuku knows that Todoroki doesn’t care at all.
Izuku took his spot in the classroom, right behind Kacchan. The spot even had his name on it.
He turned to the student beside him. His spiky black hair drooped around his head. Other than that, there were several scars across his face, but everyone here had those. What was odd was that what looked like tape had been fused onto his skin. So his Quirk has something to do with tape, huh?
Iuzku had seen the wide variety of physical scars, but he knew that everyone here had scars in their mind, mental breaks. The scars people carried in their memories might even be worse than the scars people carried on their bodies. Everyone was fucked up, even himself. Why is that the case? Because he could kill without hesitation, and that isn’t something a normal person could do. He didn’t even see them as a human when he killed them. He didn’t even see himself as human when he killed. It was two animals attacking each other.
Everybody was too tense to talk to each other, so they sat in silence. Except when a blond with a single black lightning bolt in his hair approached him, electrical scarring all across his face.
"Hey, are you Savage from the gladiator pits, you look pretty similar.”
Shit. Someone had brought up that part of his past. Izuku needed to take care of this situation quickly, as other people pricked up their ears. So he found a solution. “I’ve been told that I look similar to him, but unfortunately, I’m not him.”
There, that should be a believable lie, because it made him sound less than good.
“Oh, sorry!” He said, and quickly sat down, everybody else then relaxed. Good. Izuku didn’t really want to bring up his past as Savage, Champion of the Arena.
Then their teacher walked in after a few minutes.

“I am your teacher, Shota Aizawa, also known as the villain Erase. I’m here to teach you how to not die. Because all of you are still here after fifteen years of life and passed the entrance exam, you are relatively decent.
“Before we do any exercise or training, I’m sending you to Director Nezu, you all sorely need it.:
Oh, so that’s what they were doing, then.
There were only 73 first years this year. 40 in the villain course and 33 in the equipment course.
They were all present at this orientation thing, which Erase had said was something they sorely needed.
Well, let’s find out what sort of “orientation” Director Nezu has planned.

Chapter Text

“Hello everyone, I’m Director Nezu,” Some sort of mouse/bear hybrid thing. Well Izuku wouldn’t judge, as he had seen crazier shit before. “and I run VA school. Thank you all for coming to the School orientation. Well it’s not like you have a choice.”
“As you should be aware, at VA we have dorms, in order to protect against the increased threat of Leviticus. That is also why One is currently teaching at VA.”
There was silence. People wanted to talk about it, but everybody was on edge due to almost everybody being strangers to each other. A few people from Class 1-B, and from the equipment classes attempted to ask him about being Savage. Izuku repelled all attempts at conversation, basically saying that he had been mistaken for him before.
That seemed good enough to repel everybody, but he could tell people were still suspicious. He would only talk about being Savage to a close friend, which he didn’t have. So he wouldn’t talk about it with anyone. Well, he had mentioned it in passing to Shirahiro. (He had called it “so cool.” Seriously, Izuku needs to temper his sunshine. It had been ten months and he was still so bright.)
“Calm down, children. I just need to outline a few dorm rules.
“There are cameras in the hallways, as well as emotion detectors. Murder, robbery and other violent activity will not be tolerated and will result in at least twenty lashes and a day in the stocks, but punishment goes up to and including Expulsion.”
There were a few expressions of shock. Izuku merely sighed. What were they thinking? Of course the school had stocks and lashing posts. One or both were probably being used at this very moment. And Expulsion most likely means you were killed. It was fairly obvious.
“You will have one day to move your possessions from your homes or other place of residency to your dorm rooms. You are allowed to decorate your dorms however you like, but all food must be made in the common room kitchen, and any poisoning attempt or any food not made in the common room will result in twenty-five lashes and potentially Suspension.
“Every dorm room contains a closet and a half bath. There are gender separated showers and baths on the first floor, in addition to a shared common room and kitchen. The actual dorms start on the second floor.
“The dorm rooms are already furnished, although you can request changes and in addition you could change it yourself.”
Izuku then thought about how he was going to move his things from his apartment. Sure he didn’t have much, and what he had could probably fit in two boxes. But what about Shirahiro? Well maybe he could fit in an additional box. There are things that he could leave behind, after all. But Shirahiro was something that he couldn’t leave behind he would have to be very careful with how he handles the situation.
“The cabinets and refrigerators will be kept fully stocked with an array of food. If you require anything special, make sure you request that immediately.
“I think I covered everything, any questions?”
Everybody was silent.
“Ok then, I will send you off to your first period class now.”
They then dispersed.
Izuku’s- and class 1-A’s- first class was with Lilith, the Japanese History teacher.
So basically she taught them propaganda.
Teachers, in addition to the students, also wear their villain costumes.
Lilith’s costume was… well it was certainly something.
It wasn’t the first time Izuku had seen someone wearing something so revealing, so he was unimpressed by her borderline indecent costume. But he was one of the few. The other was Todoroki. Probably because he had other things to care about, or, more likely, he just didn’t care whatsoever.
But most of the boys (and girls) were staring at her. Either from arousal or jealousy or something else Izuku really couldn’t tell. He wasn’t really good with examining people outside of combat.
Her costume, if he could really call it a costume, was primarily made of black leather and… She wore handcuffs? Seriously? How far was she taking this dominatrix theme? Whatever, Izuku had seen weirder.
“Today,” she began in a sickly sweet voice that was probably to seduce everyone who heard it, but Izuku wasn’t into it. He just wanted to get through this class, get through all the other classes, and then move his stuff and Shirahiro from his room to the dorms, get through whatever shit goes on in the dorms, hide Shirahiro as much as possible, and then move on to the next day.
“We will talk about early Japanese history today.”
Izuku translated that in his head to “I will tell you about the various myths of the first few Emperors.”
What was most likely to happen is that the first half of the class would be myths, and the next half would probably be state-issued propaganda about the ‘successful’ wars in China.
Supposedly the Japanese army and Japanese villains had been winning victory after victory in China.
But that’s what they had been saying for over thirty years, as Izuku had back read past reports.
If the Japanese government’s official statements were true, the war would be won thirteen years ago.
“And that’s how Emperor Jimmu assumed the throne.”
And now that it was about halfway through the class, it would be time for their daily dose of propaganda.
Sure enough, her phone went off ‘accidentally’, and she booted up something on the projector.
“We have some special news from the front lines in our glorious combat with the despicable Chinese Empire.” She said in her voice, the voice that Izuku knew by now, the seductively sweet voice. Or at least it was supposed to be so. Izuku had no need for romance. Sure he had done all sorts of things with all sorts of people, but it was never because he had felt romance. Attraction sure, but never romance.
“Special reporter Malphas is on the scene, reporting about our glorious battle!”
She then turned on the report and then sat down at her desk.
Despite the reporter claiming to be on scene, Izuku could see misplaced edits from bad green screen edits. Seriously, that should be something that you would definitely make sure is as good as possible.
Or, does that mean that the situation is that bad? Could the Warlord’s Council not even afford good editors?
The news report was on a successful battle in Shanghai where the villains Lucifire, Draka and Black Eagle destroyed the Chinese defenses, which were manned by the Chinese hero duo known as Harmonious Crane.
Izuku knew for a fact that this was wrong, because his contacts reported that Lucifire and Killer Whale were fighting chineses heroes in Tianjin, and according to his reports, they weren’t doing so well.
Izuku was thankful for his contacts in China, otherwise he wouldn’t know the truth.
Nobody else needed to know the truth, let them absorb the lies.
The only other person that seemed unimpressed by the propaganda piece on the screen was Todoroki. Well it makes sense, he probably gets special information from his father. Or maybe he was just so done with life that he doesn’t care about victories. Izuku had been there, and it wasn’t a good feeling.
Izuku ignored the movie and thought about other things, such as who here had killed the most people. He was confident he topped the list, but Kacchan could be up there, and he had no idea about Yaoyorozu or Todoroki. But someone that could be a dark horse was Tokoyami.
He would recognize that bird head anywhere. It was Nightmare. Nightmare was the name given to the perpetrator of a string of mass murders. Izuku had tallied it up, it was around 79. So still not as much, but there could be more that haven’t been linked to him. Tokoyami then glanced in his direction. From the look he gave, it was obvious that he had figured out that he was Savage. But he was the type of person not to bring it up. Probably because of his Nightmare persona.

After the propaganda news was finished, the Director announced that it was time to head to our houses to pick up our things for our dorms.
Well he didn’t live in a house, but he understood what the… whatever he was.
So he headed to his place, making sure that nobody was following him. He was one of the only people in VA who didn’t have a villain costume. Well not really, his “villain costume” was just what he wore everyday. So at least he didn’t draw attention by wearing a crazy costume.
He took the opportunity to sneak some bills out of people’s pockets. Nobody had a clue.
“Hey Shirahiro, I’m home!” I greeted quietly as I entered the place where we live. Shirahiro already calls it “home,” but Izuku held out on calling it that. Especially now that he was to live in the VA dorms.
“Hey Deku-san, how was your first day at VA?” Shirahiro asked, eyes sparkling with happiness.
“It went pretty well, but there’s something important. Can you fit into that box?” he asked, pointing at one of two reinforced cardboard boxes.
“Yeah, I should be able to do that.” He said while fitting himself into the box. He was small enough that he didn’t even half-fill the box. Izuku cut a few holes into the box, so Shirahiro could breathe. Izuku threw in the comforter, both to fill the box and to protect him. The second box Izuku filled with a bunch of knives, clothes, the rest of his MRE’s, some utensils, his analysis notebooks, pens, pencils and other assorted things for both himself and Shirahiro.
He took care to make sure that Shirahiro wasn’t jostled too much.

After arriving at the dorms and dropping off his stuff, Izuku headed back to the common room. A taller student with dark blue hair and a few small slash scars on his face called out in a commanding voice, “Erase advised us to create a class group chat. I have no idea why, but he insisted on it, so give me your phone number so I can add you to the chat.”
One by one, each of them gave their numbers to who they later learned was Iida. If it was just him, they wouldn’t have given a shit, but because Aizawa ‘advised’ it, everyone went along with it.
Before giving his number to Iida, Izuku made sure to change his username from “TheSavage” to “CrazyBroccoli.” but in doing so, he ended up being the last person in the group chat.
Izuku mentally signed. This was a horrible idea, but Aizawa had insisted on it, so whatever. But there was one use for the group chat, and Izuku intended upon using it just for business, and not really for any fun. Why? Well he already had a group chat he was invited into due to him being Savage, and it was filled with quite an interesting group, including a famous gaming streamer and a high-ranked villain. Izuku had no idea who, but they were in the Top 25.
Well Izuku had other things to take care of, such as unpacking.

When he entered his dorm room, Izuku knew that it would take some getting used to, as he wasn’t used to living in such a building. Still, that wouldn’t stop him.
The first thing he did was unpack Shirahiro. Thankfully, the kid knew to use his telekinesis as protection.
“Okay Shirahiro.” Izuku whispered, to set the tone of voice. “I want you to stay in this room, because the others can’t know you’re here.”
Shirahiro only nodded, not speaking, knowing enough to be silent. Izuku tossed him a phone that he had stolen and cleared, replaced the memory card, and downloaded some offline semi-educational games. Izuku also tossed the charger beside Shirahiro. The kid knew how to charge the phone so that it wouldn’t die. Izuku then focused on the other things he had brought with him.
The clothes were the simplest, he just threw them into their respective drawers. Shirahiro’s clothes were hidden underneath Izuku’s. The lidded tray of poison went into the cabinet under the half-bathroom, behind the cleaning supplies.
His knives would be something different. He selected three which he liked most, and hung them up on the wall. The others went into various drawers, under his pillow, and in other nooks and crannies. He threw the comforter on the floor, along with a pillow and a blanket. That’s where he would be sleeping, Shirahiro would be taking the bed.
Izuku separated one of the dinners into four pieces and gave one to Shirahiro. The other three went into a small space that was colder than the rest of the room. Then he left for the common room, so that he could make a quick meal, but it would also make him look less suspicious.
He hunted around for a prepackaged meal that looked good.
‘Ah, this looks appealing.’ Izuku thought as he looked at some pork dish. All the labels were written in some foreign language. He thought it was one of the European languages, but he wasn’t sure which one it was. Whatever, he doesn’t care,the picture of it looks good. Japan has accumulated quite a large amount of foreign food due to the fact it is the only country that doesn’t have a central leader. Instead the “nation” has warlords that carved up the nation into dozens of small to medium fiefdoms.
He threw the meal into a microwave and punched in the time it said on the box, the only thing on the entire box he could read.
Three minutes later, it finished cooking.
Izuku ate whatever it was.
It tasted okay, he guesses.
After finishing the meal he went back to his dorm room to enjoy some time with Shirahiro.
He’s pretty much the best thing in this place.

Chapter Text

In the morning, there was the daily dose of propaganda and useless drivel.
Spending eleven years in the streets and not in the indoctrination centers that are called schools gave Izuku a more accurate perspective on what was really going on in Japan.
Basically, Japan wasn’t doing as well as the media had said.
He had contacts outside of Japan, but each of their governments also had their own version of the story, so Izuku spent an hour and a half each day sorting through all the disparate lies to find the kernels of truth.
Izuku learned during the second day that the teachers really didn’t care what he was doing, as long as he wasn’t doing anything that distracted other students.
So instead of using his dorm time to filter the truth, he needed only half of the time everyone else did to finish the work.
It’s all repetitive anyway, simple tasks that didn’t even need to think about, just go through the motions.
The rest of the time he would sift through everything that he had been given, picked out specific bits of information that felt true to him. He had a good instinct for this sort of thing, as he had honed his bullshit detector for eleven years.
The information that he had determined to be true was written in a notebook, in code, written inversely.
The title of the notebook:
“The true history of the world No.7”
Izuku had seven of these notebooks, going back three years. Each page detailed a day’s history, starting from notebook 2. Notebook 1 was filled with information from the past 200 or so years.
He had some more history also weaved into his Quirk analysis notebooks, everything written in code, no pictures.
There were copies of pages on villains such as Lucifire, or One, not written in code, that he had sold for money after his arena work dried up.
The afternoon classes, however, should be interesting, as Nezu had promised a variety of villain training.
But what Izuku didn’t expect was that One would just leap through the door, commenting on how he was walking through the door like a normal person, although if someone walked through a door like that, a significant amount of people would call them crazy.
But it’s One, so everything he did was quite outrageous.
So he simply said that it was time for Infiltration Training.
One led them all out to Combat Ground.
“Infiltration Training is simple. You will be separated into groups of two. The first group will be hiding in a building protecting a gemstone. The second team will try to steal the gem. Your goal is to steal the diamond only. You don’t win if you defeat the other team. This is a way to use your Quirks in ways you may haven’t done before.”
Infiltration Training was a good idea. You never knew where you would find a nest of heroes. So it was best to always scout ahead.
He was teamed up with Shoji against Shinso and Mina. His team was the one going to infiltrate, so they needed to enter the building quietly. Izuku had learned of Shinso’s Quirk, so he made sure to tell Shoji about it.
“Hey Shoji, I should tell you Shinso’s Quirk. It’s called Command. After answering a question that he asks, or possibly even striking a conversation with him, or responding to one of his actions, he can give commands to you, and you follow them.”
One of Shoji’s arms sprouted a mouth to respond “Seems powerful.”
“It is. Once we have identified their location, we should try to avoid him. Still, I've been thinking about a counter to his Quirk.”
Shoji responded with six thumbs up. Ridiculous.
Izuku had picked up sign language along the way. Where? He honestly didn’t know. So he waited for Shoji to finish his scouting before they entered the building. He would stay as Izuku for this. Deku would probably kill one or both of them. Huh. He would probably be Izuku for quite a bit longer than he had originally expected, but this was training, and not real life. He went back to Shoji and signed to him. “Can you understand me?”
“Yes.”
“Good. But Shinso’s Quirk might even work through sign language, so we should be careful.”
“I agree.”
Izuku likes Shoji, he speaks no more words than necessary.
“I found them. West side of third floor. They’re grouped up.”
“Then let’s go to the west side of the fourth floor.”
“Good idea.”
So Izuku decided that the best way to do this is to do the classic ‘approach from above’ strategy. Sure none of them had Quirks suitable to cutting through a floor that he knows of, but that only means that the above approach would work even better.
“Do you have knives?”
“Of course.”
Shoji pulled out six knives, one for each of his hands.
“Put two knives away. That way you can use two limbs for eyes or ears or signing.”
“Okay.”
At that Shoji put two knives away, turning one of his hands into an eye and another into an ear.
Izuku then lead the two of them up through the building, his sharp eyes and ears reacting to every slight noise.
Izuku was surprised at how quiet Shoji could be, despite his large size.
He could still hear his six-armed classmate, but it was difficult, despite him being a scant few feet away.
He would need to keep tabs on him, as Class Assassinations were probably going to be introduced somewhere around the second year, but that didn’t mean Izuku couldn’t gather information beforehand.
At times like these he was thankful he had learned to keep his muttering completely silent.

They got in position without incident. Neither Shinso nor Mina had Quirks suitable for scouting or enhancements to hearing.
What a shame they didn’t have Mina as an ally for this.
Whatever, they would to this the hard way.
Izuku took out his thinnest knife and worked it beneath the floor tiles. They came up easily. In no time at all he had pried up four, revealing the floorboards below. He then grabbed a second knife, that resembled a wedge, and powered One into it. Barely 1%, but it was enough to make quick work of the floorboards.
Beneath the floorboards were some pipes. 2.7% of One was enough to bend them and reveal a circle big enough for him to fit through.
Izuku looked around, not seeing Shoji. Where had he gone? He returned a few seconds later, carrying a rope. Good, so Shoji was smart as well.
Shoji tied the rope around Izuku’s waist as he began to remove the ceiling tile. The first thing he did was stab the tile. He had to do the next step carefully, cutting the tile so that the blade was facing towards the center, so that there was an outer ring of support so that the circle of ceiling tile won’t fall.
He then pulled out the circle, waiting to see what was below him.
To his luck, he was right above the diamond.
He had a fair bit of skill. Scratch that, a lot of skill. But he also had a fair bit of luck on his side. So he motioned for Shoji to lower him down a bit, so he could see what was going on.
Shinso and Mina were both idiots.
None of them were looking at the gemstone. It was simple enough to take, so that’s what he did.
The gem was quite heavy, but powering up One to 2% made the gem weigh practically nothing. Two tugs on the rope meant that he was to be pulled up. So that’s what happened.
During that entire exchange, not a sound was made. After retrieving the gemstone, Izuku was back safely on the fourth floor.
Izuku replaced the ceiling and floor tiles, and then the two of them sneaked out.
The entire time they walked back down, not a single word was spoken.
“Izuku and Mezo Shoji have won!” announced the deep, booming voice of One.
It probably came as a surprise to the two of them.

“The MVP of the Infiltration Exercise was Izuku. He formulated a plan to win and executed it with ruthless efficiency.” One said.
No surprise there.
“Young Shinso and Young Mina, you need to be more observant. If you don’t you will get killed. It would've been easy work for Young Deku to slip a knife in each of your backs.”
The two of them grimaced at that. ‘Good’ Izuku thought. ‘It’s honestly surprising that they lived this long. Perhaps they had normal lives. Especially Shinso, his Quirk is perfect for villainy, so he’s probably been praised for his Quirk ever since he had gotten it. Good for them.’ He thought sarcastically.
They probably would’ve died if they had to live the life he had. Even if they had their Quirks.
“Young Shoji, you did quite well. You should still work on your Quirk better. You have the potential to become a great villain.”
“I understand.”
“Now, let’s move on to the next fight. Bakugou and Kirishima versus Todoroki and Ojiro.”
Todoroki and Ojiro went into another building, because of the passage Izuku created.
Izuku and everybody else was in the observation room, and when he was in there that’s when he noticed something.
There was an overabundance of Black, white and red in the decorations.
It was almost like the decorations in villain’s lairs in the old movies he watched.
Whatever. Director Nezu probably chose that aesthetic on purpose. His Quirk, Mastermind, made him smarter than most humans, despite the fact he was an animal. He probably still had some hidden grudges, based on the things the villainous creature had said.
Counters to the Director’s Quirk came to Izuku’s mind. Ways to remove his fighting capacity, destroy his contacts, eliminate minions that he undoubtedly had.
He stopped those thoughts. He had something to do now.
Izuku had to begrudgingly admit that the school looked cool, but perhaps he should mention it to Nezu.
He turned his attention to the upcoming battle. Todoroki was the son of Lucifire and Bakugou was also pretty strong.
Todoroki covered quite a bit of the interior building in pieces of ice, and also created delicate traps using ice.
While Bakugou and Kirishima just destroyed them.
In the end, the two ran out of time due to Todoroki just creating ice everywhere.
Everybody else didn’t really leave an impression on Izuku.
After that class, One had an announcement.
“Erase had been watching your training. He has recommendations for helping you train.”
At that point, One jumped away, and Erase came up.
“All right you fools, I’m going to train you so you don’t die. Out of everybody, only Deku, Shoji, Hagakure, Tsuyu, Uraraka and Jiro were quiet enough in my opinion. Everybody else was loud enough to be heard, and in this industry, if you’re loud, you will get captured by a hero, and your Quirk will be stolen by Leviticus.”
Izuku had heard of the name Leviticus. It was the name of a hero that One supposedly killed six or seven years ago, but since One hadn’t paraded the body, it was assumed that Leviticus was still alive. Leviticus was the boogeyman of the hero community. One had told him during training about the dual Quirks Redistribute and One.
According to One, Leviticus used to be called Genesis, then Exodus. Apparently he’s been working his way through the bible chapters.
The Quirk Redistribute allows its user to steal and transfer Quirks. Many villains had gone up against Genesis/Exodus/Leviticus, but they all lost and got their Quirks stolen. Apparently One was the only Quirk that he couldn’t steal.
Erase began to train them ruthlessly, instructing them on the best way to sneak around, methods of keeping quiet, and ways of being out of sight as well. Even Izuku learned new techniques, despite learning for eleven years, far longer than anyone here, save for their teacher.

After three hours of brutal stealth training, the entirety of them went back to their dorms exhausted. Still, they needed to eat dinner, and Izuku didn’t want to eat another of his prepared meals.
Anyway it was determined that Sato and Bakugou would be cooking today. Izuku could cook, so he was going to make dinner tomorrow with Kirishima, Tokoyami and Koda. He still had no idea how this had been determined but as long as it worked.

His days had been the same.
Indoctrination classes in the morning, grueling training in the afternoon.
It was exhausting.
At least Shirahiro brightened up his day to some degree. And nobody was the wiser that the child existed. Good. There might be some very awkward questions.
There was one day where they voted on a class rep. Iida won and Yaoyorozu came in second, so she became the vice rep.
There had been rumors of a break-in, but there hadn’t been a security breach, so it was only rumors at this point.
Then Aizawa told them they would be going on a field trip. He wouldn’t say were.
Whatever, it would be a break from the monotony of the villain course.

Chapter Text

Aizawa led them onto a bus, and they were quickly shuttled off to some place.
Nobody conversed, as they were still too distant, despite living together. Asui, or Tsuyu as she preferred to be called, looked like she wanted to tell him something, but she held her (long) tongue, and the oppressive silence continues until they arrived. A shame really, he had wanted to know what she was going to say.

The place they were at was Massive. There were domes within domes, and it was called USJ. The entire facility was built by Vortex, and that’s when they informed us that we were doing Hunting training.
However, Izuku saw Vortex whisper something to Aizawa before speaking.
“I’m sure you have heard lies from foolish heroes about how your powers are used for saving people.” Vortex began. They wore a costume that altered their voice and it concealed their gender.
“But that’s stupid and idiotic.
“Your powers are meant for combat, their meant to crush, main, stab, slice, extort, blackmail, or otherwise gain influence over others.
“Take my Quirk, Black Hole. I imagine it could be used to remove debris for rescue missions or something like that. But it’s true power is disintegration. I can disintegrate almost everything, including heroes. I’d imagine that I would be nowhere near thirteenth in rank by using my Quirk in such a limiting matter.”
Izuku nodded at all of this. Yup, makes sense.
Vortex continued to explain the various areas, which included cities, forests, and downpours. Everything was expertly crafted.
But… something felt wrong. He couldn’t really describe what felt wrong, but it was a feeling of uneasiness that he got when…
He got this same feeling during the battle royale competitions in the Death Arenas and the VA entrance exam.
“Hey Era-” I started, but was cut off by a mass of black mist appearing in the central plaza.
From the mist came a thin-looking man with silver-white hair. He wore a simple white and black mask that covered the entirety of his face. In terms of the rest of his costume, it followed a similar aesthetic, although it resembled a camo pattern for some reason. He also had a belt with a wide assortment of tools and pockets. Beside him was a figure shrouded in layers of really gaudy patterned cloth. In addition there was a large man covered in armor, who immediately charged at them. Izuku saw Aizawa’s Erase Quirk activate, and then he drew a gun and fired bullets into the armor-clad man. Finding them ineffective, he then drew a katana from somewhere and charged at the large man, engaging him in combat.
Then the mist suddenly moved from its position beside the two and appeared right in front of them. Vortex was quickly restrained by… vaguely flesh- and fabric-colored tendrils. They vaguely creeped Izuku out for some reason.
“Greetings, I am Kurogiri of the League of Heroes. Apparently One isn’t here, but that doesn’t matter. Taking out Vortex and Erase should be good enough. However, we can’t have you helping him, so for your own sake, I’m afrai-”
Izuku felt a spike of danger during the hero’s monologue, so he activated Full Boost to jump away, taking the half-second he had to switch to Deku. Deku was eager to come out after being suppressed for a week or so. His instincts had proven right, as there was a small portal that had appeared beside him, and a dart had been fired from it. The dart landed in somebody else, and Izuku had to dodge a second one. This Kurogiri was good with their portal Quirk. “-d that we will have to remove you from the battle.” A second wave of darts followed the end of the mist man’s speech. Everyone else except Deku were currently on the ground.
____________________________

Ribbons had been a special creation from Sensei. Their original Quirk, Ribbons, allowed them to turn parts of their body into horrifying tentacles made from the various parts of their body. They had been one of Sensei’s best spies, and their prowess was increased when they received two Quirks from Sensei, each belonging to a former top villain. They received Foldabody from Assassin, and Fiber Lord from Defabricator. According to Sensei, Foldabody and Ribbons were so alike that they fused together, making a single Quirk, Ribbon Body. Shigaraki still called them Ribbons, because he really didn’t seem to care either way.
Guardian was similar to Ribbons, but less important. He was still strong enough without his Quirk to deal with Erase,
Shigaraki watched Ribbons’ shroud separate into fibers as her? His? Shigaraki wasn’t really sure as Sensei had never mentioned Ribbons’ gender. It doesn’t really matter anyway. They separated into dozens of thin ribbons thankfully not looking as disturbing as before. Sure facing Erase and Vortex was a bad matchup for Ribbons, but they were powerful enough to face the two villains, even with a bad matchup. Plus Kurogiri could use strategic portals as assistance. After all, they had the Quirks of the former No.4 and No.5 villains within their body, as well as their own Quirk being a perfect fit as a base.
Sensei had all the best ideas, but he made sure that Shigaraki was competent. After all, he wanted to give off the appearance that he was in charge.
No matter how much he originally asked Sensei for an additional Quirk, but he insisted that neither he nor Kurogiri would receive an additional Quirk, because their cognitive abilities were too valuable. Sensei finally relented, after he had found a Quirk that was weak enough that it wouldn’t affect his intelligence.
Sure it was only a minor deflection Quirk, but he had trained years with it. It definitely would be a surprise.
Sensei also had his hands in Equipment companies, supplying them with all sorts of equipment that they made full use of.
One of the Support items he had been given was a set of powerful binoculars. He used these to find the green-haired villain-in-training. There he was. He would just have to rely on Ribbons, Guardian and Kurogiri to do their jobs. He would intervene if necessary.
That’s another lesson Sensei had told him, that micromanaging everything never went well. He would have to trust his subordinates to do their jobs.
He would just have to focus on one thing: incapacitating the green-haired… wait, Ribbons had retrieved a paper with their names… Ah! Deku!
That name sounded familiar… He would ask Sensei about it later. But now he needed to take care of this troublesome kid. The only student to escape Kurogiri’s Dart Web attack. Ribbons can handle Vortex, and help Guardian to handle Erase. Kurogiri would run support.

******

Someone noticed Deku
His plan had been to sneak out and try to get to the school for additional teachers, but one of the heroes noticed him. It looked like he was the mastermind.
He felt his heart pounding in his chest. This mastermind was dangerous, very dangerous. He hadn’t done anything yet, but if his minions had those Quirks… then he really didn’t want to know
Deku charged towards the hero mastermind. He looked at the hero, gathering everything about his appearance.
His costume really doesn’t give away anything about his Quirk, it was just like the uniforms that Japanese soldiers wore in combat in China, except colored in black and white. There were half-gloves fallen on the ground several steps away, which means that he didn’t want Deku to see them. That probably means his Quirk activates with all five fingers, and he can’t control his Quirk. That also met it was a dangerous Quirk.
He was confident, it seemed, despite most likely knowing that he escaped the dart trap.
The hero had a surprising amount of support gear, so maybe his Quirk had a major drawback. Deku would have to engage him to find out his Quirk. Preferably at range, but he really didn’t have a ranged ability, so he would just have to rely on thrown knives to determine the skill of the quickly closing hero.
Powering up 5% of One into his working arm, he released several knives in quick succession.
They all missed. The hero didn’t even dodge.
That brought Izuku back sharply.
His skill was exceptional, he had made all the precise calculations and used his instinct to use the knives to deadly effect. The knives should have landed true, and he would’ve been dead within seconds.
But he wasn’t dead, and all the knives had missed.
Then the hero slammed his palm into the ground.
Spiderweb cracks appeared in the ground, and large sections of the ground just turned into dust, including the ground beneath him, causing him to stumble.
The hero then pulled out a special-looking handgun with two barrels, then pulled the trigger.
Izuku knew that that wasn’t a normal gun, but it, combined with the shifting ground, caused him to falter.
Instead of a bullet, out came a thin, almost invisible red beam that Izuku barely managed to dodge. He really didn’t want to know what sort of effect the beam would cause. He activated 5% of One, and quickly jumped from place to place, barely avoiding various shops
******

Sensei really knew what he was doing.
Apparently he personally knew the heads of several support companies, including the one that gave them all their equipment, Deternet Co., headed by someone called “Re-Destro.” Sure they didn’t sell it publicly, but Sensei had his ways. This Re-Destro wanted to destroy the society that favors some Quirks above others.
So since they had similar goals, as Re-Destro wanted to restore heroes, they worked together.
Such matters of power and politics didn’t concern him right now.
Because he had to fulfill his role as leader of the League of Heroes, and that meant fulfilling their purpose.
Which was to disable the Quirks of Erase and Vortex.
Why? Because the two of them had (very obvious) outlets for their Quirks.
Erase used his eyes, and Vortex his fingers.
So Ribbons would blind Erase and then fiddle around in Vortex’s hands. So some creepy shit.
What was he to do? Well he would support Ribbons by using his deflection Quirk.
Sadly he wouldn’t be able to use it for much longer because he could already feel twinges of pain in his joints. Shigaraki had no idea why that was the downside of the Quirk, but it doesn’t really matter, because It was a non-flashy Quirk (it was actually an invisible Quirk, with no visual output) that really messes with people’s heads, and he loves doing that. Sure it wasn’t really heroic of him, but it was his secret pleasure.
He’s thankful that Sensei had permitted Ribbons and Guardian to tag along, as the heroes were extremely capable at taking apart villains.
Despite that, Ribbons couldn’t get close enough to Erase for him to use Fiber Lord, despite Guardian already engaging the villain.
So he would be a distraction then.
But not only a distraction.
Because he had a plan.
He leaped out into the center, sending Decay towards Erase. But he also had turned up the deflection to maximum power, hoping to veer of Erase’s Erasure onto Vortex, giving time for Ribbons to work his magic.
Ribbons would only really need a second at most, but it’s better to have too much time than not enough time.
So jumped out. And he had been mistaken.
Ribbons hadn’t needed a second, he only needed half of one. Sure Erasure erased both of his Quirks, but that meant he wasn’t focused on Ribbons.
Watching Ribbons incapacitate villains is very creepy, because they barely look human.

“Kurogiri, we are leaving. Erase and Vortex have been neutralized, and VA is humiliated.”
“Of course, Sir. Anything else we need to do.”
“Nope.”
That’s when the four of them left.

**One Hour later***

One by one the remainder of the students woke up. Izuku was waiting there for them to wake up. Tokoyami woke up first, apparently helped by his Quirk. Although it looked smaller and weaker. As people woke up, it was determined that the content of the darts was a mixture of a sedative and a temporary Quirk suppressant. Already people’s Quirks were returning. Iida ran in the direction of the school to get additional teachers.
Izuku then explained his actions during the incident. Some people gave him a bit of a hard time, but he had made the right decision. After all, Erase and Vortex, their teachers had lost to these heroes.
Hell, even he, wielding the power of One, had lost.
This was a disaster.

***Two hours later****

“The self-proclaimed League of Heroes managed to attack the VA facility known as USJ two hours ago. Despite their being only three heroes, they managed to easily incapacitate 20 VA students, and disable the Quirks of two teachers; Erase and Vortex, and after all that, escape unharmed.”
“This is certainly a big development, but will it be-”

He turned off the TV.
Report now, talk later.
So he headed out to the computer (Not to actually use it, he just wanted to contact Sensei. He would never make that mistake again. Let’s just say that Kurogiri should really either learn to use incognito mode or how to clear browsing history…)

“Hey Sensei, our mission was a success. Erase and Vortex should be unable to use their Quirks.”
“Excellent. I trust nobody else was harmed that much?”
“There was one student that had a shattered arm, but it looks like that was from Quirk overuse. Tell our good friend Re-Destro that the knockout darts were perfect, and the temporary Quirk suppressant from Overhaul mixed in there also worked well.”
“Good. I think confidence in the villains has been depleted. We will wait for a while to let the USJ success disperse through the media. Also, Kurogiri, Dauntless will be heading your way, because the villains will most likely move against you.”
“Of course. I will draw up a plan to crash this year’s Combat Festival.”
“NO!” the reaction from Sensei was surprising. He usually wasn’t that emotional. “I want you to watch the Combat Festival to see everyone’s Quirks. I know you got the file on Class 1-A, but this will be a chance to see them apply their Quirks in a safe environment. I know that it is closed observation, but I secured a ticket for you. But please wear a disguise.”
“Of course, Sensei.”
In terms of disguise, pretty much the only thing he would need was hair dye. Thankfully his light blue hair was easy to dye, and he had done it before.
He had a simple suit, complete with a dark blue tie. Pretty much the only people attending the Combat Festival were rich people and important villains. (The ticket prices started at five hundred thousand yen, and only went up. Unless you received an invitation.)
So he had to pretend to be rich. It felt sickening, but it was a mission after all.

Chapter Text

Despite the disaster at USJ, Aizawa insisted that the Combat Festival was still going on. His eyesight had been repaired by some civilian with a regeneration Quirk. (They were probably forced to) But whatever that hero had done to his eyes messed up his Quirk, and he could only maintain it for a few seconds, if that. He was still good enough to teach, apparently.
Apparently vortex had been slightly better off, being able to use his Quirk again after his fingers were regenerated.
Izuku had written down everything he knew about the mysterious “League of Heroes” as “Kurogiri” had put it. It wasn’t much about their organization. (other than that they were small, but powerful.) so he wrote down observations.
One of the more important ones was that their leader had access to equipment from one of the Materials Companies that existed out there. It had to be one of the major ones, because those darts were ridiculously good. They were quite small, to the point of almost being invisible, but they contained a powerful sedative, as well as a Quirk suppressant that was far more powerful than anything that exists on the market. And he should know, having bought them before. Even the best ones only lasted a few minutes.
He made a note to ask one of his teachers (Or maybe the Director) about this.
But let’s move on to analysis, something Izuku was really good at.
Kurogiri was made entirely of black mist, and could use that mist for teleportation. For a group of underground heroes, this is a very useful ability. He had a polite and kind demeanor, something quite unusual, as he had never met anybody kind before. He was still ruthlessly effective and precise with his portals though, which would be something to watch out for. Attacks could come from anywhere.
Next was the leader. He had never been named by the other three. Kurogiri referred to him as “sir” and the other two didn’t talk. His Quirk was obvious, the large patches of broken ground evidence of his disintegration Quirk. However, he seemed to carry a large amount of support items, probably to capture villains without using his deadly Quirk.
Izuku thought for a moment about how the hero activativated their Quirk. Then he remembered the discarded half-gloves. There would be only one reason to wear these, If his Quirk required all five fingers to work, and he couldn’t control it. So he wrote that down.
But there was also the matter of the knives. Izuku had thrown them perfectly, they should have been exactly on mark, killing the hero. But they all missed. The hero hadn’t even dodged. It probably was some secondary aspect of his Quirk. Although Izuku couldn’t figure out how a disintegration Quirk could be used to deflect projectiles. He made a note to think about that later. But he wrote it down as “Secondary Quirk?”
Then came the one referred to as “Ribbons”
Out of all of them, Ribbons had the creepiest Quirk.
His (hers? Their? Izuku decided to stick with the gender neutral, as he had no idea. Ribbons was similar to Vortex in that regard.)
Their Quirk was a transformative type that basically made them into a writhing mass of red-tinted flesh colored tentacles or ribbons, capable of rapidly assembling and reassembling parts of their body extremely Quickly. They also seemed to be able to telekinetically control the tentacles. The same effect applied to their clothes, as well as the clothes of others in a certain radius.
Wait.
Fiber manipulation?
Body disassembling and reassembling?
This “Ribbons” had both Defabricator and Assassin’s Quirks.
He made a mental note to tell One about this. It sounded important.
The final one, Guardian was the one he had the least information on, because Erase had been trained on him for the vast majority of the battle. All Izuku knew was that Guardian had immense physical strength.

“One!” called out Izuku. “I have some information about the League of Heroes.”
“What is it, my boy?” One replied in the gentle voice he reserved only for Izuku, and definitely not for the pile of heroes and the even larger pile of civilians dead at his hands. It dwarfed even Izuku’s kill count.
He had nightmares nearly every night, his sleeping moments filled with the faces of those who had died at his hands. Last night was the worst, as Iron Wings filled his vision, seeing the bird that could no longer fly, wings clipped.
He ended his life on the ground, unbefitting for a bird.
One lead Izuku to a private room at Izuku’s request, then he deflated. Izuku was the only one who knew about this form of his and who knew about the Quirk One, save for Mach 5. If other villains, especially Lucifire figured out his reduced state, it would be a major advantage, and One would be killed.
“What is it, my boy?” One repeated.
“You remember the hero that had been referred to as Ribbons.”
“Of course.”
“Well his Quirk was scarily identical to Defabricator’s and Assassin’s Quirks. If I didn’t know better, I would say that Ribbons had somehow acquired their Quirks.”
That simple statement was like a gut punch to One, causing him to stagger and be weak. “So Leviticus is still alive then. I don’t know what to say. And he appears to have more followers.”
Izuku then handed One copied pages of his analysis of the four heroes.
One seemed surprised at all of this.
“Young Deku, you really have a great talent with this analysis.” He paged through the papers. “It’s entirely possible that Leviticus gave this ‘leader’ a second Quirk.” One said. “From what I know, when Leviticus grants a Quirk to someone already with a Quirk, unless the Quirks fuse, it decreases cognitive ability. It could be that he received a relatively weak one, or there’s another explanation. I want you to do as much research as possible. Reach out to any contacts you have. I’ll do the same.”
“Understood, One-san.”
Izuku left at that point, returning to his dorm room and opening up one of his Japanese contacts. He had never met the person personally, or at least he thinks, but his voice sounds familiar in some way.
“Hey Savage.”
“Hey BlueFire. I have a task that requires your particular talents.”
“What is it?”
“I want you to infiltrate the League of Heroes.”
“Why? There must be a real reason?”
“I want information, and I’ll pay the usual price.”
“I’ll call you as soon as I get information.” He then hung up.
One of the benefits of all the secrets that villains held is that phone companies keep no records.
Although there were probably individuals out there that stored data for their personal goals. But whatever. There were thousands of secretive calls every minute, so sorting through them would take quite a bit of time.

The next day, Screamer came in to be a substitute teacher as Aizawa was still out due to injuries. Lilith was also with him for some reason.
“Hey listeners, today we will be doing something craaaaaaazy! Lilith and I will be helping you decide on your villain names. Yeeeaaaaah!”
“This is the most important decision you can make. These names are going to be used for the Combat Festival, and could potentially be the names you use as villains for the rest of your lives.”
She then handed out twenty whiteboards and markers. “Pick quickly, or else.”
It took Aoyama, a blond guy with a dazzling personality that also had a weird habit of looking in the distance, as if he was looking at a camera, only fifteen seconds to write down his name. “Dazzling!”
Mina, the girl with horns and pink hair and skin went next. She was still pretty, despite the acid burns marring her face and arms. She presented the name “Alien Queen.” This name was also accepted.
Shoot. Izuku really had to think of a villain name. He wouldn’t use the name of his Quirk, because he wanted to distance himself from One as much as he could. He also couldn’t base it on Savage, because people already made connections. He had designed his villain costume to be separate from Savage, so of course he wouldn’t pick a name similar to savage.
“Candyman.” said one of the larger students. The only thing Izuku knew about him was that his Quirk was a weaker version of his own. And it relied upon sugar as a fuel source.
Shit, he had zoned out. Half of his classmates have already picked a name, and he wasn’t even close to selecting a villain name.
But inspiration came to him.
He had an idea, an inspiration. It would perfectly fit his powers and place in the world, but it was still very simple.
“Assault.” He announced to the class, as well as Screamer and Lilith.
They both approved it.
One by one, every one picked their names. Bakugou picked Bomber. Of course he did.
Until there were only two students left. Todoroki and Iida. The two students that were part of villain families. It made sense that their decisions would have more weight than normal. Iida eventually went with Getaway, and Todoroki went with Niflheim. In norse mythology, it was hell. But it wasn’t hot and burning like in many mythologies, it was desolate and frozen. So in a way it fit.
After that Screamer and Lilith moved them into a room for training. Thankfully none of them had physical Quirks, so Izuku was confident that he wouldn’t get hurt too bad.
That was until Screamer activated his Quirk for the first time, causing intense vibrations in Izuku’s head. So he covered his ears the best he could, but it barely protected him from the next scream.
Apparently the air vibrations from Screamer’s Quirk also blocked Todoroki’s Ice. Which was weird.
Well they were villains, so they had had so much time to improve the flexibility of their Quirks.
They did manage to “defeat” the two of them eventually, but they didn’t escape intact.
He currently had bleeding ears and couldn’t hear well. There were also cuts all along his arms from the whip that Lilith carried. The very sharp whip that had glass and pieces of metal embedded into it.
Despite his injuries, he was one of the ones who wasn’t injured that bad. Most of Iida’s mufflers were broken, Kaminari had overused his electricity as well as being knocked into a rock. Even Todoroki had a broken arm.
And everyone had ear damage.
Situations like this were why they had a full staff of people with healing Quirks, as it was in everybody’s best interests to heal them. Why that was Izuku had no idea.
Well the Combat Festival as soon, and Izuku was invested in victory.

Chapter Text

The first exercise of the Combat Festival was different than before. Izuku hadn’t really watched the Combat festival before. Well he really hadn’t had the opportunity to do so.
But when he had gotten into VA, he had decided to some digging. He knew that information was was a powerful tool. It had, after all, kept him from starving on numerous occasions. It had even given him a network of informants and money. He had learned exactly how valuable his villain analysis was, and he was sure that some of it had lead to the downfall of the villains Drowner and Lethal Arms.
He was paid handsomely for it, of course.
So he went over to the desk that was in his dorm room, opened up his personal laptop and began to do some research into the Combat Festival.
The Festival apparently was usually separated into two parts, the first part was some sort of team competition (Izuku at first had no idea why they thought it was a good idea, but then he remembered that no villain does their best work on their own. Even Lucifire had subordinates. was 1v1 competitions. No killing allowed So Deku wouldn’t be making an appearance, then.
A shame, because Deku was the better fighter out of the two of them. Izuku was no slouch in a fight, plus he had One to support him, but Deku was much more skilled.
And could apparently wield 2% more of One than Izuku could. Why that was he had no idea, but he was determined to win this competition. Sure he only had access to 8% of One as Izuku, but he could make it work.
There were 72 entrants into the first year’s Combat Festival, an event only personally attended by high-ranking pro heroes and the very wealthy. Proceeds went to maintaining VA’s massive facilities, (There was someone called Gyakujikan who was paid ten million yen a year, although for what Izuku had no idea, but he must be important.) and probably for lining the pockets of whoever’s skimming from the budget, because there are people skimming from the budget. It was an institution, after all, he would be surprised if it wasn’t the case.
Izuku was stirred from his reverie by his second alarm, which served as both his secondary alarm and the first alarm for Shirahiro. The little guy murmured something as he woke from his sleep.
“Hey little guy, I’m going downstairs real quick. I’m eating breakfast and then bringing up some food for you.”
Izuku only got vague noises in response. Shirahiro’s mind was sharp as soon as he woke up, but it took him a few minutes to be able to speak. So he understood what Izuku had said.
‘He probably wants to watch the Combat Festival too.’ Izuku thinks.
He goes over to his computer and types some things into it. He locked out the primary settings and slaved it to cover today’s festival exclusively. Already there was a pre-program that was showing off previous Combat Festivals as well as some short blurbs about students to look out for.
Izuku waited a few seconds before leaving, to hear the names of those that were apparently names to look out for. He didn’t spend that time waiting around, however, he used the time to find and put on his large black hoodie. He had used it for sleeping in before he found the room. He would use this to smuggle food.
As he left he caught all the names: Assault, Bomber, Shadow Terror, Hijack, Niflheim, Quicksand, Splitter and Phantom were all of who was listed. Quite a few names, and according to his research, about twice the amount of names of last year’s Combat Festival.
As he was walking downstairs to get some food (despite being on the fifth floor, he kept using the stairs, not trusting the elevator) he thought about the names listed.
Five of them were from his class, three were from the other class.
The first was himself. Obviously. He had the same power as One, although nobody knew that and he could only wield less than a tenth of it’s full capacity.
The second was Kacchan. Well it was obvious why that was the case, he had toppled three buildings with explosions during the Battle Royale, killing five people. One more than he had killed, but they were all cowards.
Everyone Izuku killed had been competent fighters. He would give them that honor, at the very least.
Also apparently he had been lost in his own thoughts, because he was already in the kitchen.
Fuck, when had he done that. Whatever, it was time to work.
He made a show of making a more complicated breakfast. The only other person that was awake at this point was Kacchan, but he was out of the dorms doing whatever. Iida was also probably awake, but was probably doing his morning run.
Izuku was thinking about exercise routines as he was preparing some food he couldn’t remember the name of, but he knew it was good breakfast food, while simultaneously grabbing food for Shirahiro. He had never formally exercised or stuck to a diet, because his main thing had been the, you know, not dying in the streets thing.
Ten years of malnourishment meant he was the shortest guy in the class. Whatever, he was strong anyways. Maybe he could do better with a reliable food source.
This was something he would research later, because now it was time to eat whatever he had made.
He wasn’t a bad cook, far from it, but he often just threw things together. It didn’t matter to Izuku if it didn’t have a formal name, as long as it prevented him from dying, because food poisoning is not something you want to have.
One of his classmates came into the kitchen when he was leaving. It was one of the plain-looking ones that he couldn’t place… Ah! Ojiro! (The large tail was a major help to jog his memory)
“Hey Midoriya! Fancy seeing you awake at this hour!”
“It’s seven in the morning, people should be awake.”
“You'd be surprised. I think many people don’t want to face the day.”
“That makes sense.”
Izuku cut off the conversation at that point. He had food to bring to his room, and then take notes on who was apparently his “greatest challenges.” Although in his opinion they messed up, and didn’t list two or three additional people that he had put on his personal list: Yaoyorozu, also known as Manufactura. Her creation Quirk makes her a wild card in almost any competition; and Shiozaki, the religious fanatic of class 1-B. Her vine Quirk makes her a major threat at almost any range, giving her options at close, medium and long range. The last person was either Mina or Uraraka. They both could be a potential upset in the rankings.
Just to be safe, he needed to write down information on his seven fellow “threats” plus the three potential upsets.
He already had information on himself. While self-reflection was good, he had done enough analysis of One to know how to use it to its full potential.
So he opened up the notebook to a new page, and began writing down information about Tokoyami, also known as Shadow Terror, and his Quirk, which had the same name.
The Quirk was sentient, he knew that much. During their battle training with Lilith and Screamer, the Quirk had continued to attack the two despite it’s.. master? User? Izuku couldn’t make up his mind. How about just Tokoyami. Sure, that works. Despite Tokoyami being knocked out by Lilith’s purple gas, Shadow Terror continued to attack the two.
So that could be a problem.
Another problem which he didn’t know exactly how to counter was how Shadow Terror (the Quirk) got its strength. Izuku initially thought that it was based on the time of day, but after seeing the Quirk get larger during the middle of the day, he had no idea.
The next person down the list was Shinsou Hitoshi, villain name Hijack. A few conversations with him made Izuku’s blood boil. He was rude, arrogant and brash. Izuku would like nothing more than to take him down.
His Quirk, Command, allowed him to give commands to people after getting a response. Izuku wasn’t sure what type of response was needed, but it was definitely more than a verbal response. Taking him down quickly and silently would be his best course of action.
Todoroki Shouto, villain name Niflheim. Very powerful ice attacks. Interesting. Izuku suspected the potential for emotional manipulation to reduce his combat skill, but he wasn’t sure if he could risk it. There were several ways it could go, if Izuku decided to bring Todoroki’s father, Lucifire, into the equation, anything from a complete shutdown to a blood curdling rage.
He was fast and strong enough to dodge the ice anyways.
Honenuki Juzo, villain name Quicksand. His softening Quirk makes him a major threat in close-quarters combat or places where footing is important. He collapsed buildings during the battle royale competition, evidence of his skill in demolition. He can reverse this hardness as well, trapping opponents. One of the people with strong area attack potential. A bad matchup for himself.
Tokage Setsuna, villain name Splitter. Her Quirk makes her a difficult opponent to pin in one place, and her attacks consist of fingers and whatnot, which she can control. The creep factor aides her here. Very dangerous to those without aoe attacks.
Monoma Neito, villain name Phantom. His copying Quirk allows him to have a diverse powerset, but it necessitates having allies, or at least henchman. Still, from what Izuku saw during the battle royale competition, he’s scarily fast. Monoma’s probably faster than he is without One to help. But that’s probably because he didn’t spend a decade on the streets.
When it came to the remaining four, he had already done analysis about them.
After finishing his analysis, he told Shirahiro where the food was that he had gotten him, showed him the screen playing the Combat Festival, and then left his room for the pre-battle speech that Aizawa had prepared for them.

“One of the equipment students died already, he built something he shouldn’t have, and paid the price for it.” Aizawa sensei said during their pre-battle speech/mission briefing. Ah, so that’s why there were only 72 participants. Nobody would dare skip the festival, it was way too important for that. Primarily because that was where you got noticed by equipment companies and top villains, depending on the class you are in. “But it works out in the end because we can now have an even eighteen teams of four.”
Izuku was suspicious about the explanation that Aizawa gave, but he did know that the equipment course was as dangerous as the villain course, if not more so. In fact, Izuku would be surprised if half the class made it to their third year.
That was not including the intervention of the league of heroes. Who knows what their plan is, especially with Leviticus at their head, if what One said is to be believed.
“Now it’s time for your mission briefing.” Aizawa continued, in his usual monotone voice.
“You will be randomly divided into teams of four for the first exercise. Each team member will be given two ‘flags’ of the same color or type.” Their teacher then lifted up a small fabric square that only vaguely resembled a flag. “These things will attach to you, but they come off with a sharp pull. Make sure to place them on a visible part of your body.
“Your goal is to capture as many ‘flags’ as you can for your team. The top four teams will advance to the second set, one-on-one battles.”
Team-based capture the flag? Really? Who thought that the best way to prove to the top villains of Japan that they had the best skills to become their henchman was through FUCKING CAPTURE THE DAMN FLAG!!!!
Thankfully Izuku had the sense to keep his rant entirely in his head. Fine then, he would prove himself during the 1v1 battles.
They should have done something cooler.
Wait, shit, Aizawa is still talking.
“Midoriya, you will be paired with Tokoyami, Uraraka and Hatsume.”
Oh, so that’s his team. Cool. He found Tokoyami and Uraraka. Hatsume was part of the equipment course, so they could meet up after this to discuss plans. Having a member of the equipment course would be invaluable for the type of competition they would be taking part in.
“Now that you know who your teammates are.” Ah, he was done with the team divisions. “You have from now until eleven am to devise a strategy. The actual competition will last twenty-three minutes.”
At that, people poured out to either discuss strategy or find their teammates from other classes.
Izuku and co. (He would call them that until they made a better team name.) set off to find Hatsume. They managed to find their last team member after asking for ‘Hatsume’ in the equipment wing of the school.
A girl with pink hair that resided in these thick curls came out. She wore baggy black pants and a grey tank top. She had a belt and something on her eyes, as well as a metal backpack.
“Hey, you guys must be my teammates! Come on in.” She pushed the three of them into a large room filled with all sorts of machines and spare parts, partially completed projects lying on banged up tables, other equipment course students hunched over various projects, or running around to grab something or other. Izuku only got a few seconds to look at the scene before Hatsume pushed them into another room off to the side. There was a label by the door that read “Hatsume Mei’s private lab.” How did she get a private lab?
“My parents are quite wealthy, so they bribed the school into getting me my own private lab.” She explained, as if she had read his mind.
The private lab was just as chaotic as the main work area, all sorts of machinery, spare parts, and half-finished projects lay along the tables in this room, which were just as damaged as the tables outside.
She called Uraraka over, to get her measurements and show her some support items, leaving Izuku to talk to Tokoyami.
“I need to know information about Shadow Terror, so that we can be more effective together as a team.”
“We can talk about this later.” Tokoyami replies. “When everyone is set up with equipment from Hatsume.”
Ok, that makes sense. But it was sort of a rude way to put it.
‘Fine then, let’s sit in silence.’ Izuku thinks. ‘I have some notes about Quirks that I want to review anyway.’ These were people that weren’t listed as major threats. But he would be facing off against them, so any information would be better than none.
He pulls up information on Tetsutetsu Tetsu… Tetsu…
Seriously? That’s his name? His parents must have thought it was a hilarious practical joke.
Anyway, his Quirk is Steel, which makes his skin and hair metallic. Pretty powerful, and really a decent Quirk for both defense and offense. His villain name, Ironclad, expressed exactly what his Quirk does.
Izuku then thinks about strategies. Tetsutetsu didn’t rely on speed, so Izuku should be able to slip by his defenses and capture any flags the steel villain-in-training might have picked up. Full boost gives him enhanced durability, which he hopes is enough to tank a metal fist or two.
He then pulls up notes on Kirishima Eijirou.
In many ways, Kirishima’s Quirk, Hardening, is similar to Tetsutetsu’s steel, and Izuku should be able to deploy similar tactics. But Hardening makes Kirishima’s skin rough and jagged in places, meaning that cuts were very likely. That’s ok. Izuku could withstand cuts, especially with the durability boost that applying 8% of One gives him.
“Tokoyami, time for your equipment!” calls out Hatsume, pushing Uraraka forward, with some new additions to her villain costume, such as a collapsible staff, protective armor plates, and other things on her wrists, legs, neck and ears.
Uraraka was more friendly than Tokoyami, Izuku thought, so maybe there could be some conversation between the two.
One look at her face, however, changed Izuku’s mind. She was in her “Game Face” which meant that she would only talk about official things. Quite a pain.
Nevermind her, he had information to look up.
This time it was Kaminari, and his electricity Quirk. Apparently if he uses too much of it in one go, it can fry his brain and render him an idiot for a while. A glaring weakness indeed, but he was still strong in his own right. His electricity would be hard to counter. Izuku would need to use speed to take him out quickly and effectively. And maybe rely on Hatsume to incorporate an insulator into her design. But that may not be enough.
The second person he picked was Awase Yosetsu. His Fuse Quirk doesn’t look too powerful at first, but it reminded Izuku of that grape-headed fucker Deku had killed during the entrance exam, but slightly different. His Quirk was touch based, and couldn’t work at range like Grape Head, but it was a near perfect fusion.
He could definitely protect his flags by using his Quirk on them and the shirt of his costume, which was a very strong material. So he was to avoided then. Since engaging him would result in no gained flags at best, why engage. He must be competent at fighting without using his Quirk as well.
So he’s to be avoided.
“Midoriya, time for your upgrades!” Hatsume calls out again, shoving Uraraka back towards Tokoyami, and pulling Izuku further into her ‘lair’
“I already know about your Quirk, Super Strength, although I do have a question. Is it possible for you to output more raw power?”
“It is.” He responds. “Although I’ll hurt myself if I do so.”
“Well, that’s unfortunate.” She says. “But I can work with that.”
She shoves Izuku into a device that will measure him, and she sets to work on some raw designs on her CAD software. She could edit the measurements of the equipment once she receives the necessary measurements. A *ding* comes from the machine, meaning it was done.

Izuku watches as Hatsume runs around, typing on two computers. 3-D printers turn on, and start spitting out metal and plastic components. She’s also fusing things together, and gathering other things. He stays in the tube he’s currently in, afraid to walk out.
He can confidently take down opponents twice his size, but he’s terrified of Hatsume Mei? He would lie and say he wasn’t, but the speed at which she worked was scary. In no time at all, she had a pair of black gauntlets that had lines in them that glowed a faint red, a belt, glasses with small attachments on them, a collapsible staff, and a new mask that covered the lower half of his face.
“Well Midoriya, what do you think of my babies!” She confidently says at the assorted pile.
“T-they’re amazing!” Izuku half-stutters out. Putting on all the pieces one by one makes him feel stronger.
“The gauntlets absorb the aftershock of your punches.” She begins her explanation, taking a big breath. Izuku knows he’s in for a long explanation. “They use kinetic batteries. The glow will turn from red to yellow to green to blue. When it reaches blue, you should expel the batteries. You do this by indicating your desire with your glasses. It will then enhance your next punch. Try not to overuse these, as I’m not entirely confident in their design. Maybe save them for emergencies only?”
So they weren’t the best, but he couldn’t complain. Obviously she already had upgrades prepared for them in advance. She then gestured to the belt, which had a few small pouches. “Sand, caltrops, first aid kit, empty, empty.” pointing at each pouch in turn. She then demonstrated how to collapse and uncollapse the staff, and then the mask was normal. The glasses were what was used to release the energy of his gauntlets and also could store his analysis. He would upgrade it to do that later, for now their one use was enough.
“T-thanks for a-all of this.” He stammered out. He only really acted like this when he was surprised, which he clearly was.
Izuku then gathered everybody together. “Now that we’re all suited up, let’s talk strategy. Anyone got any ideas?”
Nobody said anything. Well that sucks.
“Uraraka!” He exclaimed, having an idea for her. She looked shocked for a brief moment, but then composed herself.
“Can you use your Quirk on our costumes and equipment?”
“As long as it isn’t too heavy, I should be fine.” She replied. She then moved around to everybody, touching equipment and costumes alike, including all of the stuff Hatsume has access too.
“Why did you do that?” asked Hatsume.
“Making our equipment weightless will allow us to move faster, right?”
“Ok, that makes sense.”
“I think we should go on the aggressive from the very beginning, that way we can stand out to villains and equipment companies.”
It looked like Hatsume was about to protest, but she shut up at the mention of equipment companies.
“Other than the basic stuff, I don’t want a complex plan, because it won’t work. Let’s just get out there and kick ass!” Izuku called out.
“Hell yeah let’s kick some ass!” from Uraraka.
“Let’s win this dark competition.” from Tokoyami.
“Let’s do good so companies notice my babies!” from Hatsume.
Not the chants he had wanted, but they were good enough.
“Yes, let’s win.” Izuku said with a malicious grin on his face.

Chapter Text

Izuku was standing on a platform in a dark room, three green and black ‘flags’ attached to his body. He placed two flags on his chest, and one on the top of his shoe. He had checked with the rules and it was allowed.
Their plan wasn’t too complicated, they were to gather as many flags as possible. Izuku trusted his allies to know what to do when the fighting got real. Hatsume is incredibly skilled at using the variety of equipment that she has access to; Uraraka is surprisingly skilled when it comes to martial arts, as Izuku had seen her walking into a dojo with a black belt on.
Tokoyami was on another level compared to the other two, he was at about the same level as himself. He knew he had heard the name Fumikage Tokoyami before.
That’s when Izuku remembered about the arena champion Terror Shadow, who had competed in only a single competition, yet made the same amount of money that Izuku had made in a week of competitions. He had wanted to take on Terror Shadow back when he was Savage, but he never got the chance. Terror Shadow wasn’t as well known as he had been, but the distinctive Quirk was more than enough for Izuku to recognize him.
Maybe Kaminari also recognized Tokoyami. He seemed to like watching the arena competitions.
Anyway with Hatsume’s support equipment and with his own Quirk analysis, victory was within their grasp.
“30… 29… 28…”
Oh right, there’s a countdown.
They were going to be released into the arena.
Once the countdown was done and the platform was raised into the main arena, they would have five seconds to look at their surroundings before the competition began.
The idea had come from some old-timey book series, but the concept was changed a bit.
There was a three-hour time limit.
“23… 22… 21…”
Izuku hated countdowns.
He was trying to think about everything except strategies.
Because the moment he does that, there’s one of two ways that it could go.
Either he breaks down into a nervous wreck, or Deku pops out.
He does not want Deku to come out, because it would probably result in several people dying and him being kicked out of VA.
“16… 15… 14…”
First plan, assess surroundings.
VA tends to go “plus ultra” when it comes to their creations, so it could be anything from a desert to a tundra, from a dense city to a forest. Or anything in between.
Last game was a forest.
“10… 9… 8…”
Game time. Izuku powers up One to Seven percent… seven and a half percent…. Eight percent.
He didn’t trust going any higher than 8% for now. He probably could go higher, but it would risk injury.
“3… 2… 1… Rise!”
At “rise” the platform Izuku was on rose into the air.
Fuck, another forest, but this one was cold. Pine trees laden with snow covered the terrain. He had started on top of a hill. To one side of him was a steep drop-off. It couldn’t be described as a cliff, it wasn’t steep enough. But it was steep enough that you couldn’t just walk up it, you had to climb. The other sides were much gentler slopes downward. From his position on top of the hill he felt a chilling breeze that he felt despite his costume. The sun shone brightly in the dry air. It was bright, but it provided no warmth.
He stepped off of the platform after the five seconds had elapsed, boots stepping onto the snow-covered ground, sinking down only a few inches. ‘So the snow isn’t that deep.’ Izuku thinks. ‘That’s good, because otherwise my boots might not be enough.’ He also mentally thanked the designer of his villain costume, that it was good enough that it successfully fought against the elements. Still, he was far from happy. He made a mental note to contact the equipment designer of his costume to potentially have a more major redesign of the costume.
He walked over to the edge of the incline almost-cliff, managing to get a better look at what it was. During his way there, he used 2% of One to break off a branch from one of the trees and swipe it over his tracks. He had learned this particular trick from when he had lived in the woods for six months when he was ten. An experience he didn’t want to repeat, but it was one he couldn’t ever forget. He then looked out over the edge, having covered his tracks.
There was still snow covering the surface, and there was still snow-laden pine trees covering the incline. Sharp crystals jutted out of its surface as well. They were all sorts of sizes and orientations, but they were all the same general shape and color. The crystals were all white. Beyond the steep drop-off there was more forest, but Izuku managed to just barely make out a small field, where two specks were moving around. Izuku quickly figured out that two people were fighting.
So he would gate-crash their party.
But he would sneak up on them first, otherwise the fun would be ruined. So Izuku looked for a point to begin his descent. He walked along the path for a good while, continuing to sweep behind him, until he found a wide, flat crystal that was at a slight upward angle, and it was only about ten feet down, and there weren’t any trees in the way.
Izuku powered up 3% of One and leapt down onto the crystal. As he landed on the surface he heard a definite crack. He looked down to see that he had caused spider webbing cracks in the crystal.
‘Alright’ he thought. ‘Maybe let’s use less of One. Like 1%’
So he looked to either side of the crystal for another path down. On the right side there was another horizontal crystal about fifteen feet down. He could have slid down, but that would leave a very obvious trail. So he walked out about three or four feet down the cracked crystal and then leapt down to the next crystal. Despite being a further distance than the first one, he landed with less force, and he rolled down the length of the crystal to diffuse the impact, like he had done before he got the durability boost from One.
Using around 1% of One he made his way down to the bottom of the “cliff.” It had taken him less time than he had thought it would.
Anyway, now he had to move in the direction of the field. Thankfully, from what he had seen, the field was rather large and it was in the opposite direction of the “cliff” Izuku knew that quite a few of his classmates would be lost in this cold forest. Thankfully costumes should have been designed to resist all sorts of climates.
He made his way through the forest. It only took him thirty seconds of trekking through the forest, covering his path behind him.
It occurred to him that perhaps this arena wasn’t too big. From what he knew the arena was a dome with a diameter of about 2 miles. So it wasn’t too big.
He hid behind one of the larger pine trees at the edge of the field, hidden from the two specks. From his new closer vantage point, he could see the two combatants. One of them was Kirishima, aka Black Riot. He had gotten inspiration from one of the older villains out there, Obsidian Riot. His opponent was one of the equipment course students, who had quite a few of what looked like air cannons strapped to his shoulders, and he had a weird short spear/sword combination weapon in each of his hands. Unfortunately for the equipment course student, neither the air cannons nor the sword spears seemed to be doing much to counter Kirishima’s hardening Quirk. But Kirishima didn’t seem to be gaining an advantage, he was still forced to be on a defensive footing. The snow had been partially cleared away by the air cannons.
Izuku powered up around seven or so percent of One and leapt forward, newly familiar dark green lightning dancing along his body. Both Kirishima and the equipment course student turned around to notice his approach. Izuku landed about ten feet away from the two of them, and poured additional power (around 1%) specifically into his legs, to make him even faster.
The equipment course student blasted Kirishima and Izuku with his air cannons, splitting the effect. Izuku only needed a small amount of One to resist the blasts. Maybe he didn’t even need that. Kirishima had resisted the full force of all the air cannons, after all.
Izuku leapt forward after the air cannons relented. The equipment course student swung the sword spears at Izuku, but the villain-in-training was faster, far faster. Izuku grabbed the two weapons, putting his feet on the equipment student’s chest and pushed hard. Izuku then jumped away again.
Now twenty feet away, Izuku took a glance at the two spears. He then noticed that there were two orange flags, each with three blue dots on them. Seriously, this guy really put two of his flags on his sword spears? The hubris of this guy. Still, it was an advantage. He tore the flags of and put them in one of the empty compartments in his belt.
But Izuku wasn’t done yet. He took the two sword spears and threw them at the equipment course student, powered up by One.
The two weapons stabbed themselves into each of the student's shoulders, pinning him to the ground. The weapons had been buried so far in his shoulders that the silver parts of them were buried completely. Izuku looked around quickly for the third flag on his victim’s body. He found the third flag on the equipment student’s left side. So he took the flag and put it in the belt pocket where the other flags were.
He then jumped back again, distancing himself from Kirishima.
After thinking about it for a few seconds, he decided to just simply grab a flag that was stuck to one of Kirishima’s pant legs. Powering about thirteen percent of One into his legs, he dashed forward at a speed that surprised even him, and it definitely surprised Kirishima. Izuku managed to grab one of the flags at a higher angle. The flag was an iridescent, very shiny, black. He then powered down One to about eight percent in his legs and jumped away. Kirishima couldn’t hope to follow him, as he was too fast.
Izuku dashed into the forest on the other side of the plains. He had lost his branch during the battle, so he simply tore himself a new one, to brush off the path behind him.

Izuku had been trekking through the forest for ten minutes. He had heard noises in the distance, but he hadn’t seen anyone. Until he saw a silver-white suit of armor running through the forest. Iida, also known as Getaway. Izuku decided to head in the other direction and hope that Iida didn’t notice him. He didn’t want to deal with any of the stronger people of the class. Well, not yet. There was still well over two hours in the competition, and Izuku needed to pace himself.
He somehow managed to evade Iida. He probably had another target in mind. Well that’s cool, that means that he’s not being targeted.
He continues walking down the way he had been going beforehand, carefully concealing his path, until he came upon a fire.
It was another equipment course student, and they were fighting a team of two. He recognized them from the records of class 1-B he got his hands on. Kamikiri and Rin. The former could sprout blades from their body, the other had scales.
The equipment course student had a flamethrower and a set of long, thin mechanical arms. They were pretty fast also.
Izuku climbed up into a tree, making sure that his form was hidden. The three seemed too engrossed in their battle to notice him. Izuku wasn’t about to make the same mistake, so he made sure to be observant and look around for other people. He noticed yet another equipment course student that was knocking down trees with an almost comically large chainsaw-axe combination. A very lethal looking weapon.
Izuku was ready to engage this very dangerous person when out of nowhere someone darted out fast. They were almost unrecognizable, but Izuku noticed a very familiar-looking headband. That was all it took to find the identity of the mystery student; Awase. His Quirk was very powerful at melee range, so it looked like he was at a major disadvantage.
But he was fast and agile, able to weld the flat part of the weapon to one of the crystals.
With his weapon pinned, the equipment course student couldn’t help but have themselves pinned to the ground soon after.
Izuku saw Awase run off, and he pursued him through the trees and crystals. He had powered up One to 8% at this point, not caring if he left tracks. Awase was a key target, a target that would be his.
Izuku saw Awase run into a field. Obviously he didn’t know that he was being followed. The fool was pursuing targets at this point. He saw himself as a hunter.
He took his own advice and took a brief look for any pursuers. Nothing yet. Lady luck had been kind to him. Or maybe she was just repaying for the utter shitshow that ten years of his life had been.
Focus Izuku, Focus. You have something to do, after all.
He yanked a branch off of a tree, and temporarity pushing 15% of One into his arm, he threw the branch like a spear at his quarry. The backlash was immediate, as he felt stinging run down his arm. It wasn’t too bad, but he wouldn’t be doing anything like that anytime soon.
Awase didn’t notice the hurled projectile until it whipped past him, landing on the ground. The welding Quirk user immediately turned around, and the look on his face showed that he noticed him.
Shoot, this wasn’t the best.
Izuku still ran after him, but Awase was calling out a name. Izuku didn’t know exactly what it was, because the wind picked up at that point. That’s when Izuku saw a large furred beast crashing through the forest towards his position. Fine, if Awase wants to bring a bigger gun, Izuku will beat them down.
Izuku wastes no time to pounce on Beastman with a leap, knocking him back into a tree. Izuku took this time to secure one of the beasts flags, a shiny grey thing. He puts the flag in the second empty pouch.
That would be good enough for now, he knows when to press the advantage and when to cut his losses and quit. He sees another of what is presumably one of their teammates because they look like they’re working together.
Izuku takes one look at who it is. It is an equipment course student, equipped with glowing gauntlets. Immediately wraps come along to attempt to bind him up. He takes a look at his own glowing gauntlets, they’re colored yellowish green, that means they should be released. So Izuku releases them at the capture wraps, while at the same time pushing forward in his legs to counteract the force of the gauntlets.
The wraps managed to get themselves tangled up in the trees, but Izuku knew that right now, escape wasn’t an option. He would most likely get caught by the tendrils.
He had to stand and fight and hope that somewhere along the line he would manage to break free.
He was outnumbered three to one, and if that crashing noise coming towards him yelling out “Awase, Hakatana, Shishida!” was any indication, it would be four on one.
That’s fine, he can handle this.
He hopes.

Chapter Text

Izuku powered up 10% of One to avoid the tendrils coming from the equipment course student that apparently was called Hakatana. He punched the ground a few seconds later, kicking up snow in Awase’s face to prevent him from running at full tilt. Sure it would only last a few seconds at most, but that gave him the opportunity to power up another jump to land on the beast’s chest. He then grabbed the beast Quirk user and shoved his face into the snow.
A powerful gust of air caused his snow barrier to disperse itself. Apparently the new arrival was also an equipment course student, and they had created an air cannon.
Of course, that would be his luck.
Izuku used the position he was in to quickly grab a second one of the beastman’s original flags, as well as a teal one that came from another group.
Izuku’s senses were tingling, so he abandoned his position to jump to the right, further away from Awase, that way he could plan his next move, while simultaneously pushing the beastman further away from himself, so that it would take him longer to recover.
A golden spear flew past where his shoulder had been barely a second earlier. Izuku saw that the spear came from the equipment course student that wasn’t called Hakatana. She had loaded the spear into her air gun, and fired it out like a harpoon, except there was no rope attached to the end of the spear. Because of that, he could use the spear to its full effect.
Izuku had used weapons before as Savage, augmenting his physical skill and making up for being Quirkless. Spears hadn’t been his go-to pick, he preferred using knives, and if necessary swords, but he sometimes had to make do with whatever they provided him with. So he could wield almost any weapon pretty decently, spears included. It helped that this was an actual full-size spear, rather than a shorter version.
He picked up the spear and immediately jumped to the right, sensing danger again. A second spear landed right beside him. Izuku did a quick turn and threw the spear he was holding at the student. Izuku’s aim was true, and the spear went about half a meter through the spear woman's right arm.
Crimson blood poured from the wound, and she screamed out loudly and threw out three spears at once.
The first one soared about a foot over his head, the second just barely missed his side, scoring against his costume. The third spear sliced his arm, not digging in, but it did create a large cut.
Izuku threw up snow again. His opponents would think it was another strategy for concealment. Well that’s what it was, but it wasn’t to conceal himself. It was to conceal his enemies wound. Izuku wasn’t too squeamish, but the wound he had delivered was too close to what Deku would do. Had Deku slipped out in the heat of the moment? He had been fighting while harnessing the skill of Savage, so had Deku managed to slip out? Deku had a closer connection to Savage than he did so...
No, Izuku had firm control over Deku. If Deku had been in control, the spear would have dug into her heart, not her arm. Still, he had to be more careful, he could be disqualified. Sure this was a villain school, but warlords wanted henchman and equipment makers from this school, and a dead henchman(or woman) is of no use whatsoever to anybody.
Izuku grabbed one of the spears and charged forward at Hakatana, the person responsible for firing the tendrils. Their armor covered their entire body, and looked fairly thick, as it hid their gender. That’s fine, he doesn’t need to take out the person, he only needs to take out the tendril gun. The spear he holds is the one that does the job, slicing into the weapon, which sparked as the spear head travelled through the weapon.
He makes his way out of there with several rapid jumps just as snow begins to start falling. As much as he wants to fight Awase and beastman to take more flags, he’s not in the best state. Let the fallen snow hide his movements. It’s not a light snow, but it’s not a blizzard either. He wanted to seek safety in the forest, not wanting to really do any large-scale fighting. As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, he’s beginning to feel the effects of Quirk exhaustion.
However, Izuku’s no stranger to fighting past when it should be reasonably expected for him to fight, so the downsides of One can be forgotten about for now.
Well this arena is large enough, he hopes that he could hide for long enough to at least partially recover, or at least not be in combat. Long periods of constant combat wore people down.
‘Focus Izuku. Remember you’re doing this so Shirahiro would be proud of you.’
Now focused, Izuku pulls himself out of his mind (mentally thanking his past self for learning to not mutter anymore. It had been a habit of his past self, but it had gotten lost in time.) and he begins to travel forward, going through the cold forest.
When he plunges back under the treeline, he dashes for the direction of the incline, not caring about leaving a trail. The falling snow will take care of them soon enough. Plus, he’s bleeding right now, and he’s not sure how to cover up a blood trail.
Oh, right! He got hurt, he might want to take care of that!
He pulls some medical wrap from his villain costume and wraps it around the wound. That should take care of it enough for it to not bleed out. Izuku’s not stupid, taking care of your wounds is almost always a good idea.
After taking care of the cut on his arm, he decides to look for some sort of shelter. He thought he saw a cave or something back the way he had came. He wasn’t sure what direction it was, as there really wasn’t a true sun, it was just a constant light. And Izuku’s 90% sure that they’re spinning at a low speed right now. Then he hears a strange noise. Looking up, he sees it, even with the treeline in the way.
A massive glacier, the work of Todoroki.
Izuku has seen Todoroki throw out glaciers before, as Lucifire was seemingly ecstatic to show him off (probably to distract from half of his children up and running away, leaving him with only three left), but they weren’t ever this big before. But that could be because of the current environment. Izuku decided to head off in a different direction. Let other people deal with Endeavor’s son. Maybe Kacchan will go after him. If Izuku knows Kacchan (and he does. Despite being separated for almost eleven years, just spending a month with his old friend makes him sure that he still wants to be the best villain.)
A second glacier came afterwards, from what looked like the same place. Large amounts of fire followed suit, melting massive sections of the glaciers and throwing off tons of hot steam.
From this, Izuku deduces that Monoma, who has a copying Quirk, has copied Todoroki’s Quirk, and they are currently fighting.
Izuku’s forest jaunt was stopped by yet another equipment course student, this one with all sorts of mechanical tentacles. ‘Seriously’ Izuku thinks. ‘How many of these nobodies are there.’
Whatever, he can deal with this. They’re just like an obstacle at this point, not worth his time at all.
Izuku grabs one of the tentacles and pulls it with about 8% of One, causing them to fall face forward into the snow. Izuku didn’t waste a moment, dashing forward with Full Boost and snatching a dark gold flag before making his exit. That was good enough. He didn’t want to tire himself out too much.
He lost count of how many flags he had gathered, but it was a good amount.
Anyway, it was time for him to find a place to bunker down for an hour or so. He might have to fight someone like Todoroki or Kacchan soon, and that would not be a good time.
Like that cave dug into the ground, tall crystals surrounding it and a faint glow coming from the interior.
As he approaches the cave, he sees a familiar face.
Tokoyami is here, and they can team up together.
He seems to faring well, based on the fact that he still has all of his original flags and looks unhurt, although his head feathers look a bit ruffled, and snow is sticking to them.
“Hey Tokoyami, how many flags have you gotten?” Izuku asks quietly, not wanting to speak louder than necessary.
“I have gotten nine additonal flags, how about you?” Tokoyami asks in return.
“I honestly lost count, although nine seems about right for me as well.”
He should really count how many, but it looks like he has enough.
“Then we’re doing pretty well, we may even be the top team right now.” Tokoyami comments solemnly.
“I don’t know, maybe Todoroki or Monoma have more, you saw the glaciers in the distance.”
“Perhaps, but I suspect that they’ve spent most of this time fighting each other, and haven’t had the opportunity to get other flags.” Tokoyami countered.
“Maybe the two of them are fighting each other, and their other teammates are getting other teams’ flags as insurance. Shiozaki on Monoma’s team is definitely doing that, at least?”
Tokoyami startled when he had said “Shiozaki” for some reason.
“Shiozaki? As in the Shiozaki’s that are top members of the World Crusade Front?” Tokoyami asked, surprise tinging his usually deep-voiced delivery.
Izuku nodded. “Shiozaki Ibara, the daughter of Shiozaki Jean d’Paule, ranked #4 in the WCF.”
Shiozaki Jean d’Paule was one of the most well-known fanatics in Japan, responsible for killing the No. 11 villain, Tornado, who had been an open satanist. His Quirk, adamantine hair, allowed him to grow and manipulate his own hair. Added boost, his hair was tougher than the strongest steel, meaning that it was like controlling tens of thousands of razor-thin wires.
“His daughter inherited her mother’s vine hair, but she has her father’s growth and control. Her hair is significantly stronger than normal vines, and it does have thorns, but it’s nowhere near the toughness of her father’s. Still, keeping a distance is a good idea, as she can grow her thorny vines at least seven times faster than her dad can.”
“She sounds like a fearsome opponent.”
Izuku liked that Tokoyami could bring him back to reality, he sometimes got lost in his thoughts.
“So Tokoyami, what should our next plan be?”
“I was thinking that we could stay in this cave for a while, and then come out when there’s an hour left in the competition.”
“I was just thinking the same thing, let’s go!”
Izuku went first into the cave, Tokoyami going second, as Shadow Terror could work at longer ranges than he can with One. He still picks up a smooth stone lying on the ground. If all else fails, he can use the stone as a thrown weapon. Add on the shockwave from the gauntlets, (Which are currently glowing orange-yellow) that gives him options for ranged attacks.

The hour passed without much fanfare, other than the sounds of glaciers still appearing, and a few people running there wasn’t really anything. Izuku had powered up One to around 30% and punched the wall to charge his gauntlets, which now glowed yellow-green, almost ready for release. According to Hatsume, these gauntlets would only charge and release a few times before they would not work. Still, they were effective.
“ONE HOUR REMAINING!!!!!!!” Called out Screamer’s voice, the loud noise spreading throughout the arena.
“I think that’s the call for us to move out.” Said Tokoyami.
“Yes, let’s get more flags, there’s a group of four I would like to hunt down.” Izuku replied. “Now that there’s two of us, I think we should pay them a visit.”
Tokoyami looked surprised at this, “Why are you looking for a particular group?”
“I had to fight four-on-one, one of the equipment course students nicked me with a spear.”
Tokoyami smiled? His beak changed shape a bit, it looks like a smile at least a little bit.
“Well then, let’s hunt them down then.”

Chapter Text

Izuku underestimated exactly how strong Shadow Terror was. Tokoyami apparently had such a deep connection with the sentient quirk that he had a special ability: “Darkness reserve,” which allowed him to counter one of his major weaknesses: quirks that produce light.
Izuku is sure that Tokoyami likes the fact that it’s not too bright in this land of snow. Sure there’s sunlight, but it’s not that bright.
“So let’s get a total elimination on their group then?” Tokoyami asked him.
“Of course, what else would we be doing? Anything else would be not worth our time.”
Then they fell into silence. Izuku appreciated that Tokoyami appreciates silence.
“By the way, you’re Savage, right?” He asks out of the blue.
Izuku is stunned. How does he respond to that? It was known that Savage had been Quirkless. Hell, if he had a quirk he probably would’ve kept competing until he attended VA most likely. Thankfully this conversation is most likely not being recorded, especially because he hears explosions in the distance. That means Kacchan is fighting, and he’s probably stealing the views of everyone.
So he’s safe in responding with the truth. Tokoyami isn’t one to spill people’s secrets. Plus, he respects him as a fellow arena champion.
“Yeah I was, what of it?”
“I really wanted to fight him, although he was gone before I got the chance to do so.”
“A shame. Maybe we could get the chance and fight each other in the second round.”
“Maybe, but let’s get as many flags as people so that our victory is assured.”
Izuku mentally thanks Tokoyami for grounding him in the present. They have targets to go after.
“So what direction did you run from to escape from them?”
Izuku points in the direction he had ran from. “I ran in this direction.”
“Well then, let’s go in that direction, let’s hope they didn’t go far.”
They headed back to where his fight had been.
A few people tried to intercept them, but Shadow Terror made quick work of the people in their way. Izuku hadn’t been able to see exactly how powerful the sentient quirk was, especially when Tokoyami used Darknight Ankh, a technique that allowed him to channel his life force or something into the quirk. Izuku wasn’t sure what it was. This along with Darkness Reserve, which allowed him to store some of Shadow Terror at night and harness it during the day, means that Tokoyami has all sorts of techniques to remove his weaknesses.
“Midoriya.” Tokoyami said. “How high can you jump?” Ok, pretty random. But Tokoyami wouldn’t say this unless he had a plan. So Izuku decided to go along with what he’s saying.
“If I use enough power, I should be able to jump about sixty feet or so, why do you ask?”
“Because I have an additional special move called ‘fallen angel’ that allows me to fly.”
“Ah, so you can scout ahead, I’ll follow you as best as I can. I’ll catch up to you eventually.”
With that, Tokoyami activated Shadow Terror, allowing it’s dark form to surround him and propel him into the air. Izuku watched him go, slightly envious. Tokoyami could fly, so he was free, in a sense. Izuku meanwhile was grounded, and had suffered because of it.
How differently his life would have been if he had had wings.
Izuku shook himself out of that train of thought. Down that way was wishful thinking and broken dreams. There was nothing to be gained from thinking up “what-if” scenarios in his head.
He had a goal in mind, after all.
Find Uraraka and Hatsume, then meet up with Tokoyami and take on Todoroki and his team to show they were a threat to be reckoned with.
It wasn’t the best plan, but it was what they had, so that’s what they were doing.
So he trekked through the pine forest with crystals in it for some reason to search for them.
He found Hatsume first, and she was eagerly fighting two equipment course students and a student from class 1-B. Izuku’s mind supplies the identity of the student as Tokage Sestuna, as she’s currently in a dozen pieces and it’s slightly disturbing. From how the battle is playing out, it looks like everyone is on separate teams. Well, it’s time for Izuku to tilt the balance of the fight and support Hatsume.
So he activates 8% of one and dives in.
“Hey all of you!” He shouts, hopefully diverting attention to himself and away from Hatsume, giving her a chance to select a new array of her “babies” and put them to use. Namely her hydraulic attachment bars. Those take a few seconds to prepare, but if he can serve as a brief distraction, it will give her the time she needs.
“I’m gonna steal all of your flags!”
Tokage flings both of her hands at him, but he dodges them easily. He swerves in to engage the equipment course students that aren’t Hatsume, easily landing punches and taking flags, busting their armor beyond repair as well. Or maybe it wasn’t. The equipment course could repair almost everything.
He feels a weight land on his back, something that isn’t supposed to be there. He grabs it and immediately flings it into the other equipment course student, who was wearing rust red armor and dual-wielding short swords.
It was a hand that belonged to Tokage. She could have used the hand to get into the pockets where he had been storing flags. He definitely didn’t want her going there.
Izuku continued to batter down the person in front of him, making sure to take as many flags as he could see. After Izuku couldn’t find any more flags (and after rejecting several attempts by Tokage to get a hand on to him.) He rushed over to the equipment course student in the rust red armor, quickly dodging several ranged projectiles directed his way and dancing around the trees to get into melee distance.
After getting into melee distance, Izuku saw the rust red armor fall off of the equipment course student, revealing a black jumpsuit with electric blue lines running across it. They glowed, and then the equipment course student released electricity. Izuku managed to dodge the attack, and at the same time getting behind the student and punching him with 5% of One, which was enough to knock him out. Izuku was thankful that he could handle his power so seamlessly and effectively, quickly sliding through all sorts of percentages like it was nothing. “Hatsume, let’s go!” Izuku called out.Thankfully she followed him pretty quickly.
After they had gone a fair distance, Hatsume finally asked the million-yen question. “I thought we agreed to split up and get points individually, so why are we apparently meeting up?”
“It was my idea, and Tokoyami is already in support. What we really need right now is some major publicity. The best way to do that would be to go after someone like Todoroki.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? Because that doesn’t sound like a good idea.” Hatsume sounded nervous as she spoke, so Izuku decided to assuage her conflicted feelings.
“We don’t have to really take any of their flags, we just have to engage them in combat for a brief while.”
“Ah that sounds good! I’ll have a chance to show off my babies!” Well now that she had a chance to show off her babies, she was really interested in it now. Well whatever got her moving.
At that point Tokoyami came landing down, Shadow Terror holding Uraraka.
“I found Uraraka slinking through the forest. Apparently she only got a few flags.” Tokoyami explained.
“I’m sorry for getting so few flags!” Uraraka almost cried out. “I really am a disappointment to this group.”
“No.” Izuku said, cutting her self-deprecating rant off. “You did the best that you could. This competition just isn’t the best place for you to show off your true skills.”
He needed to nip this bud as soon as he could, otherwise it would fester, and Uraraka wouldn’t be much of a useful ally if she didn’t believe in herself. He may be a villain in training, but he really wanted Uraraka to succeed.
He didn’t plan on being a Warlord, he planned on being a Hero Hunter, just like All Might currently was.
Hero Hunters relied upon there being a stable base of Warlords to hold down territory while they hunt down heroes in Japan or fight in China alongside Warlords.
His inspirational speech seemed to perk her up, and she unleashed her determined side. “Let’s beat up Todoroki until he can’t move.” She growled out, her face entirely serious.
Holy shit Uraraka can go from zero to 100% really quick. This makes Izuku wonder which one is the real her and which is the mask. Or maybe both the carefree and the determined are both masks. Now that’s a scary thought to think about.
He has no time to think about masks, both his and other peoples.
The four of them have to find and hunt down Todoroki. It shouldn’t be too difficult, they just have to follow the glaciers being created.
As if Todoroki wanted to announce his presence, a glacier appeared not too far away from their position, signifying that either Todoroki or Monoma was nearby.
Monoma’s quirk was creepy, it allowed him to copy the quirks of anyone he consumes the blood of for up to three hours. Or he could just touch them and copy their quirk for a few minutes. He obviously prefers the former option.
Todoroki’s quirk is a valuable enough one for Monoma to use his blood-based copying.
Well hopefully Monoma won’t be in the area and they can deal with just Todoroki and whoever is his ally.
A second glacier appeared right on top of them, splitting them up. Izuku saw the extremely scarred and expressionless face of Todoroki, throwing out ice trying to defeat someone from class 1-B. Izuku can’t get a good look at who it is at first, but then they make blades to slice through the ice, and then Izuku recognizes it as Kamakiri. A dangerous opponent in short-range combat indeed. Good thing that Kamakiri isn’t their target, Todoroki is.
Izuku uses 15% of One to quickly leap over to Todoroki’s position, dodging ice floes directed at him. He winces upon feeling the strain in his muscles.
Ok, 15% is too much for now, but at least he can use the gauntlets one last time before he doesn’t trust them anymore.
Now that he’s in melee range, Izuku narrows his focus down to only him and Todoroki. He trusts his teammates to fend of any of the others that may try to assault his position.
He swings a quick left hook, which Todoroki manages to dodge, and then he responds with a kick.
Izuku, green lightning surrounding him as he’s powered with Full Boost at 8%, simply slaps aside the kick with an open hand. Ever since getting One, he’s been practicing unorthodox combat moves that rely on full boost being activated.
Izuku lunges forward again, trying to land a few more hits, but Todoroki sends ice spikes at Izuku. Izuku’s first instinct is to dodge the attack, but he instead does his last use of the gauntlets, creating a shockwave destroying the ice and allowing Izuku to remain in close combat with Todoroki.
When Todoroki throws out even more ice, Izuku notices that the ice doesn’t come from Todoroki’s left side.
So that’s the side he charges full force at, avoiding an ice shield that had been thrown up as defense. As he leaps back in preparation for another assault, he makes sure to swipe a few of the flags and quickly pocket them.
How many he has, Izuku has no idea, but there’s a lot.
He charges in again, evading yet more ice and landing another hit on Todoroki’s left side, stealing two more flags.
As he goes in a third time, Izuku sees the burning of orange fire.
Izuku didn’t know that Todoroki could use fire. It never appeared anywhere on his file. Weird. He scrambles back from the fire and jumps a full twenty feet over Todoroki’s head, thinking all the way.
Todoroki’s fire was more dangerous than his ice at this point, so he would engage on the ice side.
“TIME’S UP COMPETITORS, CEASE ATTACKING OR YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED!!!! STAND DOWN AND WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS!!!!” Came the booming voice of Screamer from… somewhere.
Ah, maybe not. Izuku immediately depowered and stopped himself. He would have no stock if he disobeyed orders. Villains were here looking for new potential minions in their territory or overterritory, and disobedience wouldn’t be seen as a good attribute at this point.
A gate opened in front of him. It was similar to that warp villain’s quirk, but Izuku could see the other side. It led into a waiting room, alongside fifteen other portals.
“EVERYONE STEP THROUGH THE PORTAL IN FRONT OF THEM!!!”
So that’s what he does.
After he and everyone else stepped through, the portals closed up.
“Congratulations on getting to round 2.” A computerized female voice said from out of nowhere.
“Now it’s time for the one on one battles.”

Chapter Text

Izuku heard Screamer talking about the results of the first round of the combat festival in the far distance. Honestly, he doesn’t really care about the results of the first match that much. All he needed to know was that he had gotten to the last round, which was good enough. He definitely didn’t get first nor last, so middle of the pack. Standing out and being exceptional during the first round was bad, as he would be on screen and his strategy could be analyzed. He wasn’t worried about working under a villain. One had already promised he would have a spot in the One Heroics army fighting in China, but it was always good to get connections. He had a good set of connections by himself, but he really didn’t have a set goal. Only transferring information from one source to another, sometimes collecting money from his sources or paying people for more information.

What could he do anyways? Decades of decline and wars have ravaged the nation. What could one person do?

He pushed all thoughts of informants and secret things out of his mind. It was time for him to eat the lunch VA provided, and maybe even look out for someone that looked like they knew things. It didn’t have to be much, just a tidbit.

“Well there goes not thinking about informants.” he thinks as he eats… something. It was primarily rice, with what was probably fish and some genetically modified vegetables. Some were red and that had the consistency of a carrot, others were softer and green, still others were thin and white.

Maybe there was also small pieces of egg in there? Izuku wasn’t exactly sure.

At least the red sauce had a nice sweet heat to it, distracting from whatever the fuck was mixed into the rice.

As much as he didn’t want to think about business while eating, thinking about whatever he was eating would definitely be worse. This is definitely something manufactured in the food factories of Manchukuo.

But it seemed like everyone here was stupid enough to not already have a set of informants. Sure the one’s he had weren’t HIS informants, but they did give him information. It was more like he was a small part of a big information web. He was SURE at least someone he was in contact with was a fellow classmate, because they mentioned things about a hero that potentially had multiple quirks, as well as a hero with a decay quirk about a week or so ago. Since VA covered up the incident, there were very few people in the know about their quirks.

He had made several distinct inquiries about One’s quirk, seeing if anybody had heard about things like the quirk One, the connection between One and Leviticus, or anything about Leviticus at all.

He had found nothing.

Not even a small rumor.

Which was good, it meant that the secrecy was absolute. That’s not to say that every rumor that exists passes through his ears, but quite a bit does. Something as big as One and Leviticus would most certainly be heard in his circles. Well he did here rumors about someone that could steal quirks but that was only for a reason why Defabricator and Assassin were no longer in the field, the name Leviticus wasn’t mentioned. Even from his connections he got as Savage didn’t help, although there were more examples of people losing quirks.

Once again he mentally thanks Toridachi for concealing the real reason why Savage left the arenas. That way he could still gather information, as nobody wanted to associate with a quirkless person.

He had probably been the last quirkless person alive at this point. One had been quirkless before receiving his namesake quirk.

When One loses his quirk (probably fighting Leviticus) he’ll most likely be killed, possibly by Lucifire, so he could claim the top spot and become the greatest villain of Japan. He’s already the greatest warlord, controlling about a fifth of the nation.

“Midoriya, I need to talk to you.” A quiet, scratchy voice dragged him out of his reverie.

He turned around to see Todoroki standing there, a surprisingly unscarred hand extended towards him.

Izuku had seen Todoroki in the changing rooms, burn scars littered the entirety of his right side, the ice side.

So he did the only reasonable thing, and followed Todoroki to wherever he was going. The scarred teen led him down corridor after corridor until they were in a long-forgotten room that led to a broom closet (and possibly a secret tunnel)

“What is it Todoroki?” He asked, after they were stopped.

“Are you One’s secret love child?”

What.

Of all the questions to ask, it had to be THAT. Oh god, he assumed that whenever Todoroki was spaced out looking in the distance, it was that he was thinking about advanced subjects, or maybe not thinking at all.

Based on this question, he probably wonders things like “Do crabs think fish are flying?”

“Why do you think that?” He ends up asking. What sort of reasoning goes through Todoroki’s head?

“Your quirks are very similar, as well as how you apply them. You have similar structures in your cheekbones, as well as personality.”

Okaaay. That’s a lot of information to unpack.

Fuck it, go for broke. Or more accurately, the sarcastic response.

“I got the short end of the stick if I was, I lived on the streets for ten years.”

That seemed to get the taller teen thinking.

“You know about quirk marriages, right?”

Well, Todoroki, that came out of the blue. Might as well answer your question.

“Of course I do, they’re an easy way for a villain to ensure their children are powerful and strong. From what I’ve gathered, your father had one.” He rattled off. There wasn’t anything to miss.

“Yes he did.”

Oh boy, this is gonna be a long story. Izuku made sure to pay attention. He could sell this information and potentially use it to take down Lucifire. Izuku urged him to continue talking.

“My father decided the best way to secure a successor was with a quirk marriage. It was what most people did at the time. He chose my mother because she had a strong ice quirk. This isn’t the usual choice for a quirk marriage, usually it’s a similar quirk. But because it’s so different, there’s a high chance of failure, which my three older siblings, Touya, Fuyumi, Natsuo were. Then I was born, the perfect combination. Touya and Natsuo both ran away. Where to, I have no idea.’

“Can I ask a question?” He jumped in. Todoroki looked annoyed but murmured assent. “What did Touya and Natsuo look like and what were their quirks, I may have met them.”

Todoroki’s face remained as neutral as ever, but there was a glint of something in his eyes, and Izuku knew exactly what that was. It was hope.

“Touya was very thin, almost sickly so, probably because his blue fire quirk ate up his own body. Fuyumi and Natsuo both had ice quirks of similar strength. Neither were what my father wanted. So have you seen them?”

“I’m pretty sure I met Touya, I’m not so sure about Natsuo.” He replied after Todoroki had finished. “Wait, didn’t you have other siblings.”

Todoroki continues his explanation, talking about his mother’s suicide, Lucifire remarrying, and the twins Yuki and Kaen.

Now he had gathered quite the amount of information about the Todoroki family. After all, they were going to be his biggest challenge as a new warlord.

But if what Todoroki had told them was true, he may have some allies to help take down Lucifire.

But the most important thing that he needed to secure was Todoroki’s assistance. That meant getting him to use his fire. As much as he wanted to win, this was more important in the long run.

“So Todoroki,” He replied, handing the teen a slip of paper with a burner phone number “If you ever need my help for anything, just text or call me.”

Hopefully Todoroki would ask for his help. Maybe he could gather enough people for a hit on the fiery villain. Todoroki grabbed his number and put it in his pocket.

The two of them went in separate directions, Izuku taking a longer route to avoid awkward conversations.

And he ran straight into Lucifire, the flame villain dressed in his full costume, complete with his voice modulator, fire dancing across his entire form and demon horns atop his head.

Oh shit.

Izuku mentally thanked Todoroki’s hatred of the fiery villain, otherwise he would be in deep shit. He would probably be killed, maybe by Scorch, Lucifire’s assassin.

“Midoriya, I need to have a conversation with you.” Lucifire began in a deep, demonic voice, most likely ran through the modulator.

Still, he had faced more terrifying people in his career as Savage, so he stood his ground.

“What is it, Lucifire?”

“Your quirk is strong. Super strength, seemingly similar to One.”

Hm. As much as he hated comparing Todoroki to his father, they’re thoughts were similar. Maybe he should talk to One about having a different fighting style, something that wasn’t SMASH.

“I have heard that before. It’s nothing new. What did you want to add?”

“And your fighting style, it’s similar to how Savage fought years ago.”

Wait, what? Lucifire watched his competitions? He knew his matches were watched by thousands of people at least, but the second strongest villain in Japan and the most powerful villain warlord? Not exactly what he was expecting.

“I’m a fan of his, his fighting style is effective.”

This was a practiced excuse of his, he said it too many times for him to count, the lie rolling off his tongue effortlessly. “Now there’s a reason why you’re talking to me I assume?”

Maybe he shouldn’t have said that, an indirect insult to a top villain would make him pay dearly. But Lucifire seemed pleased with his response for some reason.

“There is a reason, in fact. You might be able to break his childish rebellion to not use my side of his quirk. Because then I’ll have two successors and they’ll be able to rule all of Japan.”

Yeah, sure that’s gonna happen. I’ll turn him over to my side, shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll steal Japan out from your flaming mittens.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“Now excuse me, I’m going to talk to my son.”

He continued walking back to the lunchroom. Hopefully he doesn’t run into any more distractions. It’s time for the second and final task, the one-on-one battles.


BONUS:

Map of Japan currently (may include map of China in the future idk):

https://imgur.com/gallery/zNQmMy

I tried to add images but it didn't work help.

This took me like an hour to make so appreciate it.

Chapter Text

Izuku stumbled into the waiting room, still processing the information that had been told to him. Especially that Lucifire, the greatest warlord in Japan, took a personal interest in him. That and the combined information of what he had known before and what Todoroki had told him…

It was a lot of information to process. So he spent the rest of the lunchtime just stumbling around the arena.

The list of the matchups was showing on a random screen. Why was this there? This hallway wasn’t a place where people would normally see it, but whatever. It’s useful.

“Match lineup:

Mind Flayer vs Assault

Niflheim vs Binderman

Dazzler vs Steel Hammer

Mirror vs Slicer
Getaway vs Machine Heart

Shadow Terror vs Manufactura

King Explosion Murder vs Space Sender”

Ok, so he had seen some honestly ridiculous names from villains, but some of these definitely should be changed or the people who the names belong to would never be respected.

That’s the reason why he had chosen the name Assault, it was short and to the point, but it was intimidating. The same couldn’t be said for names like “Space Sender”, which just sounded stupid, or “King Explosion Murder.” Seriously! You have explosion powers and that is the first name you go with? Having “Murder” in your name is just idiotic. Someone had taught him to not make criticism without suggesting improvements, but it’s not his place to suggest how they have their names.

Let them find out how much of an idiot they are. Let them find out how much they fucked up. 

Anyways, he has to plan for his match to fight Shinsou, also known as Mind Flayer.

He had done discrete observations of Shinsou’s quirk in action, as well as his general personality. His quirk, Brainwash, would originally allow the user to take control of somebody when they responded to a question. But Shinsou trained his quirk extensively, to the point where there’s a diverse range of ways for him to take control.

So moving on from Shinsou’s quirk, Izuku looks over his notes that describes Shinsou’s personality. 

Well a decade of being told he has the “perfect quirk” combined with the ability to control people he didn’t like, hes smug to the point of being cocky and overconfident. 

Smug overconfident types are the perfect type of people that he loves to crush.

Well he can’t just run into a battle willy-nilly, especially against an opponent with such a… technical quirk that has vague descriptors.

Browsing through his notebook on Shinsou’s quirk, he found two lines that may be essential to giving him victory.

“Even a small amount of physical pain (pinch, stubbed toe) will release the victim from Brainwash.”

“Immediately when the victim is placed under the influence of brainwash, they lock up.”

Hm. This, this he can use. 

 

“Heeyyyy everybody! Welcome to the first battle of the second round of the VA combat festival!” Screamer yelled out. He had to put on a show for the rich, after all. “The first competition got second place in the first round, relentlessly pursuing victory fighting multiple opponents at once! He’s super strong and super fast, it’s Assault!”

Huh? He got second place in the first round? Well there goes not making a splash. Oh well, he can at least make an impression.

“And his competitor, placing twelvth in the first round, he hasn’t done anything notable. But that’s probably because he’s hiding some fierce power! It’s Mind Flayer!”

Izuku couldn’t see him because of the twenty-foot-tall walls of the maze they were in, but he knew that Shinsou was on the other side. VA once again goes plus fucking ultra. People would love to watch a normal 1v1 battle, but we can’t have that now? No, there has to be a maze, which was most likely trapped as well.

Full Boost at 8.5% would be more than enough to leap the walls and run along the top of the maze.

Mazes were much easier to go through when you could run along the top of it.

But of course it wasn’t just a maze, because that would be simple. 

Sensing something dangerous was going to happen, he lept backwards quickly.

Where he had been standing just a second earlier had transformed from stone to a mess of thick webs and other capture devices. Obviously it was nothing lethal (yet), but the things in that stone section would be a bitch to get off, and it would most likely broadcast his location.

Despite all of these traps, staying on the top of the maze walls was better than the alternative, walking on the maze floor. 

On the maze floor, there’s three sides for traps to come for you. On the top of the maze walls there’s only a single side for traps to be triggered.

Looking around, he sees a small purple-black speck running along the tops of the maze walls.

So that means Shins-His Opp-Enemy managed to scale the walls, probably thinking along the same lines that he had been.

Never underestimate your enemy. His enemy was running towards him. Izuku didn’t give him a chance to head his way directly, using Full Boost to leap the thirty-foot gap between walls. 

He watched his enemy, looking for any signs of him using his quirk. Nothing visible, his enemy just seemed to be running along the top of the walls dodging traps.

Well now it’s time for him to move on his enemy. Hunt, trap, win. Not kill. This was a tournament, after all.

They wouldn’t try to kill each other until their third year.

“So you think you can win?” His enemy asked him as they closed on each other. Izuku didn’t respond. Accessing some of Savage’s memories yielded a quirk that caused immense pain to those that answered his questions with lies.

Don’t answer the enemy, take them out.

Izuku responds to his opponent's question with an enhanced punch, which the purple-haired teen dodged.

“All you villains with your flashy quirks, and then there’s me.” The purple-haired enemy continued to say, even while barely dodging his punches. Damn is this guy scary fast.

Izuku depowered Full Boost down to 3%, because 8.5% was causing him to overcompensate.

He was rewarded for his change of strategy with a punch to his enemy’s stomach. “What the hell how did you finally hit me?”

Izuku ignored his opponents question and landed a second punch, again on the stomach.

Then he glanced up and the two of their eyes met.

His mental block broke, and he stared into Shinsou’s eyes.

A half-second later, a fog entered his mind. 

“Leave the maze, avoid any traps to your fullest capacity, and exit the arena.” Nope. I will not do any of that. No. 

Despite his mind screaming out to refuse the order, his body refused to answer to his brain’s speech, and instead answered to the speech of Shinsou, his body becoming a puppet, dangling on the strings that Shinsou held.

Meter by meter, trap by trap. He went towards the boundary of the arena. Every trap he perfectly disarmed, he wished that he would fuck up once, something would hit him and he would be freed. 

But Shisou didn’t take direct control of his body, letting the instincts Izuku had built up take control and disarm the traps. Dammit, his own training and instincts were betraying him.

Shinsou was following him, continuing the connection.

Meter by meter, trap by trap, he slowly made his way to the edge. Every second his body betrayed his mind he yelled out, pushing away the fog at the edge of his brain.

At the very edge, just a dozen centimeters from the edge, he stopped.

New fog came to him, not the lazy grey of Shinsou’s mind control, but a harsh black, something completely new.

The black fog coalesced into eight figures. The only thing he could see of them were their eyes.

“One of the sets of eyes looked like One”… was his final thought before all the mist, both the black and grey, went away.

He felt his arm twitch.

He slapped his chest.

He was free.

Now that he was free, he could gain victory.

He jumped up from where he was currently, pouring 10% of one into Full Boost, grabbing the brainwasher, and throwing him out of bounds, all in the time of a second. Not giving the brainwash quirk user enough time to force a connection.

“Mind Flayer is out of bounds, Assault moves on to the next round!” Screamer yelled out, seemingly ecstatic for some reason. Of course that was his personality, so it was expected.

Izuku left from where he started, and Shinsou left on the other side.

The maze slipped down into the ground. Cementoss probably was redesigning the maze for the next competition.

In all of this, Izuku was still questioning one thing.

“How did I get out of Shinsou’s control?”

To date, he was the only one he knew that had broken out of control of his quirk voluntarily. Who knows how that affects him.

Thankfully finding Shinsou wasn’t too difficult, the villain-in-training was walking around the arena dejectedly. Fuck his desire to save people, it hurts.

“Hey Shinsou? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t need your help, fuck off with your self-sacrificing bullshit.”

“Hey Shinsou, what-”

“I SAID FUCK OFF! BE LUCKY YOU WON!”

And then the purple-haired villain-in-training stormed off. Well there goes his attempt at helping someone. Hopefully Todoroki would turn out better, because otherwise his whole plan to take down Lucifire would fail. From what he had found out, he was already in contact with three of Todoroki’s five siblings.

He would have to handle such matters carefully.

Out of all of them, Ice Blitz would probably be the easiest to reach out to, being the youngest. According to what Todoroki had told him, his real name was Todoroki Kaen, he was thirteen and his quirk was Dry Ice.

Well he knew about the quirk already, but all the other information was useful too.

As Izuku sat down in a random observation room to see what was going on on TV.

The current competition was Todoroki vs Sero, although it wasn’t announced as such, it was announced as “Niflheim vs. Binderman”

The maze was more to Sero’s advantage then Todoroki, the winding walls of the maze lending better to Sero’s great speed and agility, while simultaneously limiting Todoroki from doing his largest attacks. 

Well that was until Todoroki got to the top of the maze walls and froze the entire thing.

Even from here, Izuku could see how angry Todoroki was, one of the few times he actually expressed emotion.

Apparently Todoroki’s quirk is affected by his emotions, outpouring itself in his anger and making his powerful attacks even more strong.

But also from here, Izuku could see the ice that covered Todoroki’s left side, he could see the half-haired teen shivering from the side effects of overusing his ice side.

Still, even on the brink of death and permanent disfigurement (Although at this point Todoroki might not even care, considering how many scars he had already) he refused to use his fire side.

Well when he fights, he’ll make sure to beat it out of him by all means necessary, competition be damned.

How else would he kill Lucifire?

 

After Todoroki demolished most of the arena, he went off somewhere within the facility. There was only one person that could make Todoroki act like that. His father, the second strongest villain and strongest warlord. (Albeit at One’s pleasure. If the Hero Hunter desired to become a Warlord, the following he would accumulate would overwhelm the flame demon.)

Clearly Todoroki hated his father, that was obvious.

Now all the villain-in-training needed was a little push .

And he would be the one to give it.

The next match would be pretty boring, Aoyama vs. Testutetsu. From the matchup it was obvious that Tetsutetsu would win, the defensive boost of his steel body was enough to overcome the power of Aoyama’s naval laser, which could apparently be redirected with his costume to his hands and feet.

Aoyama was faster than Testutetsu, and the steel villain could take the relatively weak laser beams, meaning the battle would be long, drawn out and boring. Tetsutetsu would win eventually, the weakness to the blonde’s quirk was too much for him to overcome.

Oh, and they also had to find each other first. That would certainly take quite some time as neither of them really used their quirk to “fly” (Tet- Steely couldn’t, and Aoyama refused to see that his quirk could be used like that.)

He didn’t mind, it would give him plenty of time to find Todoroki and plant a seed.

A seed that would grow and hopefully germinate during their fight.

But in order to plant a seed, he would need to find the fertile ground first. Lucifire had unwittingly irrigated the soil, making it rich for new plant life.

So Izuku left the room as the beginning of the match was announced. 

The facility that the Combat festival was in was very big, probably parts of it were underground, and there were random rooms and labyrinthine corridors scattered like ramen on the ground.

Who designed this shit? Lead him this way so he can die.

After an indeterminate amount of minutes, he finally finds Todoroki.

“H-hey Midoriya, what are you d-doing out here?” Todoroki asks, somehow still making mostly coherent sentences while probably in hypothermia.

Izuku calmed himself down and rushed over to his… classmate? Friend? Something else? Right now the only word that seems to fit is “ally”.

Yeah, he would care if his ally was weakened.

“Todoroki, if you activate your left side you can warm yourself up.” He says, making sure to sound concerned.

“Y-you know why I c-can’t.” The half-haired teen replied weakly, barely managing to continue to walk, then collapsing on the ground.

Dammit Todoroki, why are you so fucking stubborn? Well, it sorta fits with the three other Todorokis he knows. They’re all so damn stubborn.

There was one thing he had said to them that worked, Izuku mentally filled in the information.

It had made Touya take himself from the brink, preventing him from burning himself alive.

It had given Natsuo his purpose, giving the wandering teen a path out from Lucifire’s thumb.

It had focused Kaen, giving the kid what he needed to survive.

Maybe it will be the what Todoroki needs to finally accept his true potential.

What was up with him and freeing Todorokis from their chains?

Izuku got on his knees and whispered in Todoroki’s ear: “C’mon, live. Live so you can see the end of Lucifire.”

Maybe they wouldn’t work on the youngest Todoroki, Yuki.From what he heard she’s been fully indoctrinated by the flame villain and is eager to become his successor.

But it would certainly work on this Todoroki. A simple two sentences. He could see the cogs firing in Todoroki’s mind, weighing the importance of what had been said.

Then his eyes, always so dull and lifeless, finally lit up with a spark. Some facet of Izuku would most certainly find something like that adorable, but he had to be all business.

A second after, Izuku saw steam coming off of Todoroki’s body. Another second later, the teen stood up.

“I will use his quirk to keep me alive if I’m on the brink of death. But aside from that, a single spark will not come from my left side.”

Todoroki then ran off, leaving Izuku alone.

Sure Todoroki had said he would never use his fire, but he had already used its heat.

The seed was planted.

 

There are some benefits to spending your life on the streets, it seems. One that he hadn’t considered that much was that he could pretty much trace his route back from where it had once came, so in no time at all, he returned back to the remote observation room he had found.

And that damn fight between Aoyama and Metal Kirishima was still going on.

At least they found each other, and it looked like the fight was finally concluding, as Aoyama looked sick to the stomach, while that Tetsu guy looked like he was still going strong. Looked like his steel was strong.

Stronger than Iron Wings something in his brain provides.

After a few dozen seconds, Tetsutetsu finally got the knockout punch he had wanted.

 

The Next match: Monoma fighting that one mantis-looking guy that could grow blades out from his body. Thankfully, (to sate his boredom) Monoma had copied Kacchan’s quirk somehow, and used the explosions to propel himself (sure it was an advanced use of the quirk, but Monoma was at the same level of quirk analysis that he was. And hey, maybe he got some understanding of the quirk from his own quirk. He got enough secondary shit to not kill himself whenever he loosed an explosion.

Monoma knocked out his opponent three minutes later, running out of Explosion around two minutes in. In the final minute he used the bug-like guy’s own knife quirk against him, pulling some moves the bug-guy had never used in his eleven years with the quirk.

Well Monoma, at least, didn’t have the disadvantage of having to train the quirk.

 

The fight between Iida and Hatsume was expectedly short. Hatsume had wanted to use Iida as a billboard, extending the fight to advertise all of her “babies”, but Izuku had recommended against it.

“Seeing how well your equipment can be used to build an advantage against what would ordinarily be a stronger opponent would be far better than any advertisement.”

She took the advice he had provided to great effect, demolishing Iida by outmaneuvering him and eventually leading him to the edge, pushing him with some sort of air gun.

 

By the time it was for Yaoyorozu to fight Tokoyami, they announced that due to time constraints they were going to not have the maze. (Although Izuku suspects it has something to due with some combination of the rich people watching complaining about how it was boring and they can’t see, and Cementoss suffering from quirk exhaustion.) Because of that, the field was now open, and the fight lasted only seconds.
Yaoyorozu made the mistake of popping up a shield instead of making a light source. Although that wouldn’t have helped, due to how powerful Shadow Terror was even during the day, and how deep the connection between Shadow Terror and Tokoyami.

 

Finally the fight between Uraraka and Kacchan. Uraraka had gotten up time and time again, but there was nothing that she could do. Even her final move, a meteor shower, was blown away with one massive explosion.

 

Well that was the end of the first round. Now he had to fight Todoroki.

Chapter Text

He had ran through several rounds of what fighting Todoroki would be like. He still had planned something for if Sero had won (for example, if the words he had said struck a different chord in Todoroki’s mind, making him throw the match), but it had been more likely that Todoroki would win. 

So after running through all sorts of ideas of how a fight would go, everything from the beginning of the fight, the first few seconds, and then the time beyond. Because this was going to be a long, drawn out fight. From his own experiences, he could keep using One until he dropped from exhaustion. Sure there were drastic downsides to using too much, but unlike many of his classmates, he could draw on the flame of One, filling his body with Full Boost at 9% full power continuously. He didn’t have a fuel source or suffer downsides. Todoroki was somewhat similar. Overuse of his ice made him hypothermic, overuse of his fire gave him the inverse. Balancing the ice and fire would theoretically make him able to use it forever.

So yeah, this would be a drawn-out fight. 

Well, if the support he had given the half-haired villain-in-training, the two conversations that they had had, would be enough to convince him to make him use his fire, overcome his refusal.

Fuck, these corridors are confusing. Who fucking designed this? 

At least Todoroki hadn’t said that Lucifire had strongarmed him into finding a way to draw out the fire from the half-haired teen. Although he wouldn’t put it past the bastard to try some sneaky shit like that. The conversation they had already had was bad enough, the bile rising in his throat and barely restraining himself from 100% smashing the villain. He would have succeeded, the attack wasn’t what the villain warlord was expecting, and out of the two of them, Izuku had more experience dealing with split-second situations.

But then what would be next? Power abhors a vacuum, and that’s exactly what would happen. He didn’t trust the Meta Freedom Army with control over the country. (They would take over, being the second strongest. Fuck, they were pretty close to taking over already, barely being held back by Lucifire’s subordinates, and Drowner, the only other warlord of any note. All it would take was one defeat.) If even half of the rumors that came from Hokkaido are to be believed…

So as much as he wanted to kill Lucifire, he needed to be in a position to take control.

As he rounded a corner that was just a few turns, Lucifire himself showed his face again. Ah, speak of the devil and he shall appear. Although why was he here at the combat festival when he should be currying favors with the great and the good in some ballroom somewhere in someone’s mansion.

Wait! The Combat Festival was attended by some of the strongest Warlords and Hero Hunters, as well as rich people from all over Japan. He’s probably been shucking it up over the party, with a heaping serving of molding the next generation (Him and Todoroki.)

“Now.” The flame villain begins. “You are well aware of the rivalry between me and One, right?”

He only nodded. The fiery bastard many call a warlord actually has a point. He’s still ranked as the second best villain, despite spending hours each day doing political shit. Lucifire is a bad guy to have as an enemy.

“But what you may not be aware of is the rivalry between my father Blazlebub and the Hero Hunter Adamantine. Now usually I wouldn’t bring this up, especially because Adamantine suffered an unknown fate before he could properly complete his rivalry.

“However, Adamantine, she did have a strength enhancement quirk, although many people saw it as a side effect of her density manipulation quirk. However, I did some investigating, and found a line of strength enhancers of increasing power, all linked together.”

Shit. Of all the things he had expected at the start of the conversation, this was not it. Dammit, he’s number two for a reason. He can’t afford to be dumb or inobservant.

“So what exactly is your connection to One?” The fiery villain asked.

“A few weeks before UA, he noticed my quirk and helped me strengthen it.” A barebones explanation, but it was the best he could come up with in the time he had where it wouldn’t be suspicious.

The flame villain grumbled and walked away. “Make sure to give a good fight to my Shouto. Just because he’s damaged and defective doesn’t mean I can’t make use of him.” was just barely heard.

‘The only purpose you see in your son right now is as a trainer for Yuki.’ Izuku thought as he walked the rest of the way to the arena, thinking about the ever-expressionless face of Todoroki. ‘You don’t see him as a real person. You don’t see ANY of your children as real people. In fact, it’s a good guess that he doesn’t see anyone as real people, just as tools or enemies or whatever.’

“Match 1 of the quarter finals, the only person able to break out of Mind Flayer’s mind control, wielding super strength, it’s Assault.” Screamer yelled out as Izuku walked to where he belonged. Unlike the first time where there had been a maze, it had been replaced with a flat expanse. Lilith was on standby, probbaly to knock the two of them out if they got too far. 

Cement Master was somewhere, probably hidden.

“And his competition, the only person who placed above him during the first round, it’s Niflheim. Niflheim won his first match in seconds, let’s see how long this battle will take.” Screamer’s voice eagerly yelled out as Todoroki walked out. His face concealed buy the mask he wore, but Izuku could see the emotion beneath the mask.

“Fight… Start!” Screamer yelled out.

The opening seconds of the match would be more important. Izuku immediately pushed 10% full power of One into his body and lept to the side. A half-second later there was a mini-glacier where he had been just standing. 

Another jump, another glacier. “Hey Nifl. I can dodge whatever ice I send your way.” Izuku called out. To prove his point he did dodge the next blast sent his way, despite the fact it was almost the size of a glacier.

A second glacier followed by a third soon after forced him to be on alert dodging. But what Todoroki probably hadn’t noticed was the fact that with every glacier he sent out, and every evasion he performed, Izuku was closing distance.

Glacier. Dodge. Move closer. This time he closed ten meters.

Glacier. Dodge. Move Closer. Six more meters. Closing in to short-range. Leap.

Before Todoroki could send out another glacier, he swung around for a punch. Todoroki had noticed, and blocked the fist with his right arm, which Izuku could see was covered in ice and frost.

Izuku grabbed Todoroki’s arm with his other hand, twising around to perform the task, and poured 12% of One and threw Todoroki as far as he could go, jumping after the masked teen ready to pounce.

The purpose of the grab was twofold. It’s first purpose was to move the half-haired teen closer to the out-of-bounds.  The second was to get a gauge on the temperature of the arm.

It was cold .

Todoroki had already nearly given himself hypothermia creating that collossal glacier that trapped Sero. He had learned, and had sent out smaller ice floes during their battle, but he still had a limit.

A limit that had already almost been reached.

Todoroki had created an ice barrier to stop himself, but when Izuku slammed into him, the ice barrier broke and pushed him almost too the edge.

“You can’t win Niflheim, not like this.” Izuku yelled out upon seeing Todoroki send out yet more ice. The ice was weaker, it sent put slower, it was smaller. Izuku simply broke it with 15% of One. The punch he had sent out sent twinges up his arm, but he ignored that. Todoroki was in more pain. “I can dodge or break your ice forever! You, on the other hand, can’t keep making ice forever.”

After sending out so many taunts, he finally got a response. “I will not use my father’s fire. Because if I did, that would mean that he would win.”

More ice was sent out. Weak, Small, slow. A backhand at 10% was enough to get rid of it all and forced Todoroki to make a barrier of ice to block himself. Izuku could see how close he was to collapse, how soon it would be.

He couldn’t win like this. He needed to help. There was nothing else that he could do. He needed to help out Todoroki.

Wait!

“You’re fire! It’s not your father’s! Lucifire doesn’t direct your flames, or call them up. They don’t belong to anyone but you.”

More ice came, weak and impotent, it couldn’t even hold itself up, collapsing before it reached Izuku. Shit, it didn’t work. But what would?

“It’s your power.”

He saw the next wave of ice stop halfway, briefly standing before collapsing like the wave before.

Izuku froze, not knowing what to expect. Thank goodness his costume was insulated or he would be freezing his ass off in this arena pretty much covered in spiked ice.

Then the brilliance of flickering red-orange flames appeared in his eyes. Looking over he saw Todoroki standing there, his left side covered in fire.

“Why did you do that Mi-Assault?” Todoroki asked him.

“Because you needed it.” He responded. And it really was the only reason he could give.

The ice Todoroki had had on his right side melted away, his body restoring itself. But such a dramatic temperature change wouldn’t be good on his body.

The fire grew in size, forming a maelstrom of fire and heat behind Todoroki.

Fuck it, go for broke.

100% of One.

He swung his fist at the quickly approaching inferno.

Barriers from Cement Master formed quickly, but they were destroyed in fractions of a second, the two forces were too much.

Izuku felt the pressure pushing him back, from the sudden expansion of the air, the force of the fire, the force of his own punch.

Ignoring the pain in his broken limb, he used his Full Boost to dig into the concrete and stay there despite the storm.

Small bits of concrete did land on him, causing blossoms of pain on his back, but when he felt the pressure relent, he stood up.

The arena was gone.

Pieces of concrete littered the ground, pockmarks in the arena wall signified areas where there was broken wreckage. Thank goodness the arena was outside, because if it wasn’t, the ceiling may have collapsed.

Izuku looked around for where Todoroki was.

After looking for the teen, he noticed him picking his way out of wreckage, clearly having suffered greatly.

But he was still conscious, and in bounds, so the fight continued.

Absolute silence.

10% of One.

Fast approaching Todoroki. 

As he got closer, Izuku realized that Todoroki didn’t know that he was approaching. He used this to his advantage and grabbed and threw a second time.

This time, Todoroki didn’t react, just let himself be flung out of bounds.

“Niflheim is out of bounds! Assault continues to the next round.”

 

Izuku felt nothing but the throb of pain throughout his body.