What began as an empty bargain, a cruel joke, had become tradition. Defeat my son in combat , Enji proclaimed to his captured enemies, and I’ll let you live .
Were his words sincere? Of course they weren’t. Not that it mattered, no one who faced Shouto lived long enough to meet their inevitable ends at the Red Scourge’s fire. No, they died at the hands of a twelve year old boy.
He’d taken to impaling them on a large spike of ice as his final move. Freiripa was the title his father’s followers gave him, who played witness to these bouts. A cold death was what it meant. Spoken in the Nether tongue, a language created by Shouto’s grandfather, the founder of the compound built deep in the woods that served as his father’s base of operations.
His grandfather believed the compound would be the physical embodiment of the gates of hell. Growing up inside it’s walls, Shouto would be hard pressed to disagree with him.
This was the lion’s den and violence the rule of the land. According to the law of the wild, you were either dominant or submissive. Predator or prey.
Shouto had two brothers and one sister who were little more than strangers to him. He was sure they’d interacted prior to his quirk manifesting, but afterwards they lived on separate ends of the Commander’s Hall. The only member of the family apart from his father that Shouto was permitted regular access with was his mother. All of that changed after she burned him. From then on his family life revolved around his father with his siblings only occasionally manifesting in his life as if they were ghosts.
Of the three of them, Touya was the most vengeful. Father’s former heir, eclipsed and replaced by his youngest son. Touya wore the years of being groomed as the successor to the Red Scourge permanently on his body in the form of vast portions of discolored scar tissue littering his skin, held together by sutures. A visible display of his weakness. Of his failure.
From his oldest brother, Shouto received bitter taunts, shoves and kicks aimed at him. Especially when he was already battered from training. He wondered if his brother had ever felt love for him. At times he would look upon Shouto and it was there, faint but present, an echo of what could have once been a bond between the two of them. Now a memory he couldn’t even recall.
His brother haunted him, taunted him. Shouto had long accepted that they would never be close, no matter how much he might long for it. And perhaps it was those moments of longing that his father picked up on which led him to where they were today. In the compound arena, with their father as their witness, Shouto faced his eldest brother in combat.
Shouto kept himself mostly on the defensive, which he could tell was irritating both his father and Touya. Blue flames shot at him from every which direction. He would slip and dodge, and erect pillars of ice into its path.
A hiss fell from his lips as he ducked down a little too slow, his arm getting burnt by blue flame.
“Stop fucking around!” Touya shouted.
They both aimed their flames at one another, but Shouto did not apply his full force, and he was overpowered by his brother’s firepower. His body collided with the walls of the arena. He barely managed to move out of the way when another surge of heat was sen this way. But it wasn’t as strong as it had been before.
When he fought his father’s enemies, he was never so hesitant. And as the fight went on, he realized that would not serve him in this fight with Touya either.
The air started to smell like charred flesh. When his brother had exhausted the use of his flames, he rushed Shouto. His brother’s fist hit him in the mouth, sending him down onto the ground.
“That’s all you’ve got? And you’re supposed to be the successor?” Touya sneered, kicking Shouto in the ribs. “You’re pathetic .”
Shouto rolled out of the way when Touya tried to stomp his foot down on him. He hit his brother with a blast of ice, but it only sent him back a little.
“I should put a new scar on the other side of your pretty face, you weak little bitch.”
That taunt hit Shouto unexpectedly. As he looked up at his brother, he focused on his eyes. The eyes of his father. Full of the same malice, the same contempt.
The eyes of his father.
With a shout Shouto swept his brother’s feet out from under him. The moment Touya was on the ground he leapt onto him. He covered his right hand with ice and pounded at his brother’s face and chest. Every blow was payback, every spurt of blood that hit his skin catharsis. Every sound of pain music to his ears. Fuck you , he thought, fuck you, fuck you Father, I fucking hate you-
“Enough.” His father’s bellowing voice snapped him out of his haze. Enji had stood from his seat overlooking the arena.
Shouto looked down at the battered state his brother was in, face caked in blood and patches of black and purple littering the unscarred skin of his chest. With trembling legs, he rose to his feet and stepped away. Touya let out a long groan, turning onto his stomach. It looked like he was trying to crawl away.
“You won Shouto, though your victory should not have taken so long to achieve.” Enji’s brow arched. “Now assert your dominance boy.” He said, and Shouto felt his stomach drop because he knew where his father was going with this. “Claim your rights.”
Shouto shut his eyes tight, feeling pained. “ No .” He said, with a plea that took out the force in his answer. “No, I won’t…” How many times had he been in the exact same position Touya was in? How many times had his father claimed his rights to Shouto’s body? Too many. No matter what his brother might feel for him, he couldn’t put him through that. He couldn’t put himself through that.
“You disappoint me boy,” His father’s voice was dripping with disdain as he descended the stairs, until he stood in the arena with them. “Fine, if you won’t do it, I will. And you’ll watch.”
Shouto looked down at his brother, who was shaking violently. He’d never seen Touya look as terrified as he did when Enji took a step towards him. It wouldn’t be the first time for him , he realized and wanted to scream at that knowledge.
Which would be worse for his brother? Who would he rather have rape him? That was the choice he was presented with.
If he did this, Touya would never forgive him. If he let his father do it, Shouto would never forgive himself.
That was what it came down to then. Which burden would he rather bear: his brother’s hatred or his own?
Shouto took a deep breath, and made his choice. “Stop.” He told his father. “I’ll do it, okay?”
The look of absolute victory in his father’s eyes took him to the edge of tears.
Touya had stopped moving and was laid out on his belly still. At first Shouto thought, hoped, he’d passed out but this did not turn out to be the case. When he started to push his brother’s pants down with shaky hands, he heard him make a quiet little noise. A whimper. Was he crying already?
At a loss of what to do, Shouto tried to subtly rub Touya’s back as he finished taking his pants off, only for his brother to tense up dramatically. Touya turned his head, looking at him from over his shoulder. “ Don’t fucking touch me like we’re lovers,” He spat, “Just get the fuck on with it.” He turned his face away then.
I’m sorry , Shouto wanted to say but he doubted Touya would have any use for apologies. So he grit his teeth and tossed his brother’s pants aside, spreading his legs out further.
Touya’s muscles felt hard as a rock. How was he ever going to get in him? Shouto spat on his fingers a couple times, but when he brought his hand down between Touya’s legs his father made a noise that caused him to pause. “What are you doing?” the Scourge questioned.
Shouto made a frustrated noise. “I’m getting him ready. He’s too tense.”
“His comfort is not your concern.”
“Haven’t I hurt him enough?” Shouto asked angrily, glaring over at Enji.
His father’s eyes narrowed. “Do I have to show you how it's done boy?”
Swallowing hard, Shouto shook his head and began unzipping his own pants. Freeing himself enough to get his cock out. It was half hard. From the fight, he told himself, it wouldn’t be the first time he got hard from fighting. He decided not to give it any further thought.
With his wet hand, he tried to slick himself up as best he could. But his father made another impatient noise and he knew time was a luxury he was not going to be afforded. Shouto crawled over Touya’s body, getting himself into position. He pressed the head of his cock against his brother’s entrance and began to push inside.
There was almost no give. Touya was impossibly tight, which meant Shouto had to grip his brother’s hip and use more force to get himself inside of him. His brother groaned, voice laced with pain. Shouto’s cock hardened further. He shut his eyes tightly, stopping for a moment. This was too much. He couldn’t do this, he just couldn’t-
Two large hands settled on his hips, making him jolt. When he did Shouto found his back pressed flush up against his father’s towering heat. His breath quickened. What was he doing?
“Harder,” His father instructed, using his hands to apply more force to Shouto’s thrust in. “There you go.” Enji went on once Shouto was all the way inside. “Good boy.”
Shouto flinched, hating the way his body responded to that light amount of praise, his cock now fully hard. Beneath him Touya’s breathing was a ragged mess, and he hadn’t even started to actually fuck him. I’m sorry , Shouto thought again as he allowed his father to guide his hips back then shove them forward roughly, drawing a cry from his older brother.
They did this several times, before Enji’s hands left his hips and Shouto began rutting into Touya without his guidance. His brother’s body looked so fragile underneath him, gangly and bruised. Weak, helpless-
Enji brushed a strand of Shouto’s hair behind his ear, “It feels good, doesn’t it?” He asked in a low tone, “Being the one in command. Being powerful.” His hand gave Touya’s ass a harsh smack and both Shouto and his brother gasped. “And your brother is such a good whore for you. Just laying there and taking it.”
Shouto’s teeth dug into his bottom lip, breaking the skin to keep his moan from coming out. Why was his father right about this? Why did it feel good?
His pace quickened, and he told himself it was so he could end this as quickly as possible. The slight change in the angle of his hips must have made a difference because now Touya was letting out little wet sobs that didn’t sound pained at all. And he was clenching around Shouto’s cock, squeezing him tighter and tighter. Good, it was good, nothing had ever felt this good before-
Shouto rocked forward, cumming with a sharp gasp into his brother. Underneath him he felt Touya shudder, a weak whine leaving his mouth and he must have cum too.
Their father moved away, standing back up.
Shouto pulled himself out of Touya as carefully but quickly as he could. Then he took two steps to the left and promptly threw up.
Enji’s lips curled in disgust. “Pathetic.” He said.
Trembling, Shouto wrapped his arms around himself. But the self-embrace was a hollow comfort.
Afterwards Touya had been taken to his room and Shouto felt like his skin was shrinking. Bile still sat heavily on his tongue, his mind a raging storm. He’d really gotten off to raping his oldest brother. Staring at himself in his own bathroom mirror, he felt lost. He felt like he was drowning. On the left side of his face, his father’s eye stared back at him.
He slammed his fist into the mirror, shattering the glass. Now he saw himself in fragments, in fractures. That was how he truly felt, divided into jagged, uneven pieces. Shouto wanted to scream. He wanted to cry. He wanted stop feeling entirely.
He wanted mercy. He wanted relief.
When he left his bedroom, it was with a dagger in his hand. Shouto walked down to the end of the Command Hall. To Touya’s room. He pressed the input code and stepped inside when the doors parted.
Touya was sitting up on his bed, head in his hands. He looked awful and his eyes were full of rage when they met Shouto’s. “Get the fuck away from me!” He seethed.
“You hate me.” Shouto stated, each word a wound to himself.
Touya stared at him. “You’re goddamned right I hate you-”
His brother recoiled when he rushed over to him. Shouto put the knife in Touya’s palm, maneuvering his hand so that it was in striking position. His oldest brother gripped the weapon tightly, but his eyes were suddenly full of conflict as he looked at him.
“You want revenge? Take it.” Shouto pressed, struggling to keep his expression from collapsing into anguish. Cracks forming over cracks. When Touya didn’t move he did instead, stepping forward until the tip of the blade was pressed against his chest. “Do it.” He urged, and now his tone was plaintive. Pleading, so weak. Pathetic. Touya still wouldn’t move. “Do it!”
They stared at each other. Shouto didn’t understand. His brother had no love for him, none of his siblings did. And after what he’d done to him...this ought to be easy.
Minutes passed, each one more unbearable than the last. Make it stop. Just make it stop. Finally Shouto fell to his knees, hands fisting his own hair, dry-sobbing. “Please!...please…”
Traitorous wetness formed in his eyes, yet no tears fell. Not until his brother at last moved towards him and the tears Shouto cried were ones of relief. Mercy was something seldom given in this compound, Touya likely didn’t even believe what he was about to do was a merciful act. Yet for Shouto, dying would be the ultimate absolution. A lifetime of crushing expectations and constant pain, of losing more and more of himself day after day, would at last be taken away. As his brother stood before him, he nearly thanked him.
“If I killed you…” Touya said, “Father would punish me. He’d kill Natsuo, he’d kill Fuyumi.” His gaze became colder as he looked down on Shouto. “You’re not worth it.” He tossed the blade and walked away.
When the knife clattered onto the ground Shouto flinched, recoiling almost in shock. A crushing heaviness fell over his whole body, and, as the door shut behind Touya, leaving him alone, the cracks fractured further. Shards of his battered emotions collapsing into himself, piercing through every defense he’d built up in himself.
Shouto covered his face with his hands and screamed.
Shouto barely slept for days afterwards, haunted by what had happened. The memory beat him down constantly, making him distracted and more sullen than usual. This resulted in him making costly mistakes while training with his father. Now he sported a dark ring of a bruise around his throat in the image of his father’s hand.
On the fourth day, he’d had enough. There were very few people Shouto confided in at the compound. Truthfully, there was only one. His instructor Aizawa Shouta, who had been Shouto’s educational overseer since he was a boy and so much more. Because this entire organization was more cult than entirely criminal, the man was something of a priest in the ranks.
“I can’t get it out of my head,” Shouto confessed to him. “I can’t stop thinking about how it felt good . It feels like it's eating away at me.” He looked to Aizawa in desperation. “What do I do?”
His instructor put a hand on his shoulder. “First, accept that it happened and that you did what you needed to do. Own it. Then you take that memory by the throat,” Aizawa said. “Rip out its fangs and devour it, until you have swallowed all of its power. Until you are a greater beast than what is haunting you.”
Aizawa had asked him if he understood what he’d meant. And Shouto had nodded.
Now he stood in his bathroom’s shower, eyes closed, luring that vicious memory to the forefront of his mind. Was what he was about to do worth the price? Worth what he would lose in order to never feel this way again?
Accept it. Own it.
It had to be.
Mottled shades of purple and black along the expanse of Touya’s unmarked skin. The way his breath had hitched and how Shouto had felt him quiver inside.
Shouto breathed in and out deeply, stroking his cock with a tight grip.
Father’s voice in his ear, his hands on his hips. Hot enough to burn, hot enough to brand.
A shudder ran through his body and he started to pump his fist faster. Squeezing his sensitive skin as fiercely as his father had squeezed his throat when he choked him. The sounds Shouto had made were breathy and high. Like the sounds Touya made when he fucked him.
(I am a demon)
Touya’s stifled cries, the moans pushed out forcefully from his teeth-torn lips. Feeling the wet run of blood gathering around his cock-
Shouto tilted his head back, mouth falling open and he came with a piercing scream. Flashes of white burst behind his eyelids as he shut them tightly, a twisted compilation of memories running through his head as he worked himself through his climax. The arch of Touya’s spine, his father’s teeth sinking into Shouto’s shoulder, his hands tearing the silk sheets. Sobs, gut wrenching sobs. His sobs, Touya’s sobs of anguish and pleasure.
“ Fuck !” Shouto cursed, panting as he fell back against the shower wall. Scalding water washed his cum away. When he took his hand off his cock, it was shaking. He felt as if he’d died in some way, and then rose again. Harder of heart, a mouth full of fangs.
The nausea he’d felt earlier was gone. Darkness filled his belly instead.
(I am the devil)
As he gathered a hold of himself, he felt his despair being washed away as well. Replaced by an emotion that was darker, colder.
He almost wanted to laugh at himself. What an idiot he had been, to ever wish for death. What a coward.
Forget dying. Shouto had endured too much to die, he realized that now. Death would be final, death would be the end of his story. He was not going to allow his life to end in subjugation and misery. In utter defeat. There were pounds of flesh he’d yet to collect. Years of cold wrath he’d yet to unleash.
He was going to live, though the rest of the world would likely wish he hadn’t.
To hell with them all.
Shouto had not seen his mother once since the night she burned him. She was kept under house arrest at the very last room on the right of the Commander’s Hall. Their rooms were in the same area, yet it felt like whole oceans separated them. Part of him had mourned her absence. Yet at the same time another thought was always attached to her memory.
She was the first person to mark him out as a monster.
When he stepped inside her room, the air smelled like lilacs. That was her favorite flower.
She was seated on her bed, staring off at nothing as she brushed her hair.
She was as beautiful and melancholy as the day she’d left him.
“Mother,” Shouto said, only taking a few steps further.
When she looked at him, her eyes widened, but not with terror. It was like a lifetime of emotions ran through her at once. Her gaze was that of a sinner desperate for penance. Slowly she stood up, taking careful steps towards him. Shouto hung on bated breath as she came to stand before him.
Her hands were cold as she held his face. “My boy,” She whispered. “My beautiful boy...it’s really you?”
Shouto’s lips twitched and he nodded. All at once he was pulled into a desperate embrace. A mother’s embrace.
“Oh Shouto,” She said, weeping, “Baby I’m so sorry. For all the pain I caused you. I should have been stronger for you…” And she held him even tighter, her tears falling onto him.
Her words, so heartfelt, made him sigh. “You have no idea how much it means to me that you said that,” A rare, wistful smile touched Shouto’s face. He nuzzled into his mother’s hair, lips right against her ear. Strange how serene he felt in this moment. “And I wish it were enough, I really do.” His eyes were dry. They should be wet instead. Nevermind that. In his right hand a long shard of ice was formed. “But it’s not.”
Shouto jerked his arm forward, driving the makeshift dagger into his mother’s stomach. She didn’t scream so much as take a loud, sharp inhalation of breath, her body jerking away from the source of violence instinctively. From her youngest son. He followed her as she fell down onto her back, the dagger ripped out, crystalline with red veins.
“S-Shouto?!” Her eyes were wide as the full moon, but she wasn’t looking at him like she had the night she burned him. No this was different. She wasn’t seeing him in the skin of his father. She was seeing him as he truly was.
The monster she had marked him out as.
He dropped down on top of her, driving his knee into her wound and that drew a scream from her. “You hurt me,” Shouto said quietly, “You abandoned me. You left me with him .” His right arm was raised up and his mother’s arms came up protectively. Down the shard went, slicing through delicate skin, through the feeble defenses of his mother. Over and over, Shouto plunged the dagger down, until he finally knocked his mother’s arm out of the way and drove it deeply through her chest, piercing her heart.
“It’s okay.” Shouto said with softness as his mother stared up at him in muted horror, tears rolling down her cheeks. He brushed one away, smearing a line of red over her pale skin. “I saved you. Now you are truly free Okaasan.”
The light began to flee from his mother’s eyes. Her hand came up and cupped his cheek, her lips moving to form words. Shouto would never know what they were. He held her hand as it went limp. She breathed in and out once, and then she was gone.
And with her, what remained of his heart. Consumed by the demon he’d now become.
Shouto dropped the dagger and put both his hands in the pool of his mother’s blood. Holding up his bloody palms, he brought them to his face, running them downwards. Painting his skin with her red essence. “Mother…” He whispered, “Peace be with you…”
Shouto did not hear the door to her room open. But when Touya screamed, “Mom!” he heard that. And when his eldest brother rushed towards him, he was ready for him.
Emotions made you do foolish things. Like trying to kill your little brother when you still had only a fraction of your strength after being bested by him. Touya went down easily. This time Shouto did not hesitate.
“Sorry brother,” Shouto said calmly as he circled him, “but you had your chance and were too weak to take it. I’ve had a change of heart.” Or more aptly, a death of the heart. His heart was gone alongside his mother’s life.
He grabbed Touya by the hair and dragged him out of the room, down the Commanders Hall to where Natsuo and Fuyumi usually spent their daytime.
“Touya!” Natsuo gasped when they were inside and Shouto let his brother’s limp body fall to the ground. Touya was still conscious but not in any condition to move, let alone fight. “What did you do to him?” Natsuo said, but there was more fear than rage in his voice.
“Nothing he won’t survive. Assuming he gets proper medical attention,” Shouto said. “I’m exiling all of you. You’ll be teleported to a hospital. You don’t belong here, and I don’t ever want to see you again.”
Natsuo looked at him in confusion, Fuyumi with trepidation. “Shouto,” She said. “What about Mom?”
He did not respond. Touya tried to speak but the words cut off with a groan.
“ Shouto ,” Fuyumi tried again, “What about Mom?”
“She’s not coming,” Shouto finally said. “I killed her. This is her blood I’m wearing.”
They stared at him. Disbelief and shock giving way to horror and in Natsuo’s case anger when he remained stoic, making it clear he was being serious. “I should have killed you in your crib.” Natsuo said, body shaking. “You should have never been born -”
Shouto rolled his eyes. “But I was. I’m short on patience for all of you. I’m offering you life, you’d be wise to take it.”
He wasn’t surprised when Natsuo let out a sound close to a roar, charging at him. Shouto allowed himself to be tackled.
“S-shouto,” Touya pled, knowing there was no way Natsuo was coming out of this fight victorious. “Don’t-”
They fell to the floor, Natsuo on top of him. But his lack of fighting experience was clear, his punches sloppy and easily blocked by Shouto. He drove his fist into his older brother’s throat and when he recoiled, thrust the the ice forwards. The shard sunk deep into Natsuo’s neck. “Bad choice.” Shouto said, as red began to pour out from the wound, painting his face further. Natsuo looked down at him with wide eyes. With a snarl he ripped the makeshift dagger out, shoving his brother off of him. He spat at his dying body.
Touya made noise like he’d been struck. Fuyumi screamed.
Shouto rose to his feet, flipping his soaked hair out of his face. He turned towards his sister, who flinched and shrunk back. “Oh please, he’ll be back.” He said with a scowl, walking over to the communications panel. “Izumiko and Jikan, report to the Commander’s Hall at once.”
While they waited, Shouto walked over to Natsuo’s corpse. With his right index finger he made a long, razor sharp claw of ice. This was going to be more than a little messy, but given that he killed his father’s enemies in the arena on a daily basis, the gore was nothing he hadn’t seen before.
Fuyumi was sobbing in horror as he cut open Natsuo’s skull, pushing the severed part away to expose his brain.
A ping on the communications panel. “Enter.” Shouto commanded. The doors slid open and Izumiko and Jikan stepped inside, their heads bowed and eyes downcast. “Sir, you summoned us?” Izumiko asked.
Shouto stood up and walked over to them. “Yes. Both of you have fallen out of my father’s favor, but now you have a chance to put yourselves in my favor. I am exiling my siblings. One was quite difficult so Izumiko I will need you to clone him. I’ve already exposed the brain. Once that is done Jikan, you will teleport them to the nearest hospital.” He turned towards Touya and Fuyumi. “If either of you ever breathes a word about the location of this compound, I will find you and kill you. Slowly. Make sure you convey that message to Natsuo as well.”
Izumiko’s quirk allowed her to create a permanent clone of another individual, but only if she had access to their brain in order to transfer it into the clone. Once conscious, their memories and behaviors would be intact, as if they’d always existed in their new form.
The whole process was pretty gross, watching a body be formed around a brain. But it wasn’t the worst thing Shouto had seen by far.
Fuyumi rushed over to Natsuo, she made a soft noise, “What about Mom?”
“No.” Shouto replied, firm and final.
But his sister was not deterred,“If you did this to Natsuo, you could do it to Mom.” Fuyumi went on, her voice shaking. She took a tentative step towards him, her hands raised and held together. Entreating. “Please Otouto, I know she hurt you...but she didn’t deserve to die-”
Shouto rounded on her, “She stays dead,” He snarled. “And if you want your brother’s to stay alive I suggest you shut your mouth about it.”
Part of him was taken aback that his sister was not looking at him with hate in her eyes. They were full of tears, of fear, but not hate. Sorrow instead. He wondered if any of it was for him. In any case, he was not moved by it. Softness did not serve a demon such as himself.
Outside the compound, Shouto had a pyre constructed and burned the body of his mother and brother on it. He was still covered in their blood. It felt like a second skin. It felt like armor.
Heavy footfalls approached him, crunching leaves underneath.
A shadow fell over him. Father . The Red Scourge. “You killed your mother. You killed your brother.”
“Yes.” Shouto confirmed, voice devoid of emotion.
His father’s voice was equally empty. “And Touya? Fuyumi?”
“Taken care of as well.”
Silence. Only the crackle of embers and fire filling the void. His father moved closer to him. “You think you can just execute members of our family with impunity?”
“If they have no value. You don’t need them,” Shouto asserted, watching the fire rage on “You said it yourself, they’re useless. Failures. I am the only child you need. The only family you need.”
For once, his words reduced his father to silence. With one last look at the burning corpses, Shouto turned on his heel, heading back into the compound. As he walked it’s halls, whispers from his father’s flock followed his every step.
Valheda , they uttered in the Nether tongue, voices low and fearful. Valheda .
It meant “Annihilator”.