Disclaimer: I don't own My Hero Academia


A palpable tension thick enough to be sliced through with a knife silenced the classroom. News of Mount Lady's unpleasant death had spread not just among the student body, but the entire school itself. I saw Izuku brainstorming ideas trying to ascertain this Smoke brudda's identity and his motivation for killing two rookie heroes, mumbling rapidly to himself in his signature style.

Momo-chan looked like she was in the same thought boat too, though she wasn't whispering to herself. She just had her head down, elbows perched on her desk and fingers drumming her forehead contemplatively.

Most of my peers weren't fussed and really, who could blame them? They didn't know gyal personally. Mount Booby's murder was tragic and I was sure condolences to her family and bredens were paid by man and gyal alike, but ultimately her death didn't affect any of us in any way.

Well, except for the mandem, but that was more so because they thirsted for her on a sexual level. Denki and Minoru were bawling and hugging each other hysterically until sensei stepped in, asking us to spare a moment for the recently deceased, her relatives and bredens alike. Then we moved on to today's training simulator, rescue practice.


'Man's got a bad feeling about this.' I scowled, sauntering through the halls equipped in my white martial Gi. I just had this instinctive premonition that something was going down in today's simulation that would reshape the canon events. I couldn't explain it, but I begged I was wrong because entering the unknown was long.

Man would rather take some B-tech Walmart version of the incredible Hulk gone incredibly wrong over whatever this new brudda could cook up.

I considered the distinct possibility that Smoke had teamed up with the mandem in the League of Pagans even if he hadn't posted anything up on the socials that would betray any allegiance or even ownership of Shigaraki's group. I could be reaching, but it seemed odd to man that Smoke would post Woodman's execution a day before the media planned to raid the school for dirt on All Might as if knowing doing so would derail their plans.

This all could be one giant coincidence and I prayed it was for my sanity. At least I knew what to expect from the Walmart Hulk; brute force and power with no finesse or skill. I couldn't say for certain what Smoke would bring to the table and that made me just a little bit queasy.

The warm glow of the cleared day ended up being impeded from my shielded gaze by the star of my eye, already in her gym clothes of all things, "Hey, Ryu-chan!" She beamed, brighter and warmer than the sun dying the wet ground I stepped on after passing through the door, right into her embrace. "Took ya long enough."

Man relished in the heated feel of our closeness, snaking an arm around her waist. Only the lord knew what I did to deserve such a peng gyal hanging off of me at every opportunity, but hey, you wouldn't hear man complaining. It felt like I had taken a dip in a cosy spa whenever she clung to me. Mina being clingy was where it was at and I sincerely hoped she never changed.

"More like you were quick," I retorted, checking her out and noting her blue shirt clinging nicely to her figure. She fluttered her eyelashes. "No costume today?"

"Oh, that old thing?" She said brightly, "I delivered a redesign right after our first training simulator, but it still hasn't arrived yet so I'm wearing our gym clothes instead!" She retracted her arms and flexed a sexy pose, elbow tucked behind her head and an arm on her curvy hip, flaunting her best assets.

"…Say less," I breathed in awe as though gyal was a witch that had just cast a spell on man. Mina giggled because obviously, she did, "Well, yeah." I laughed uneasily, sounding like I had run a marathon. "This is you we're talking about and you're peng enough to make anything work." Drop me out. I really had no game.

"Aw!~" I was just lucky Mina found my shyness cute, boiling my already heated cheeks even more when she gently embraced them. "You really find me attractive?"

My mouth opened, letting loose another peal of nervous laughter, though I managed a sputter, "…Does a bear eat in the woods?" (Eat?) And here I thought I was getting better equipped to handle this stuff. Lord have mercy. Rome wasn't built in a day, I guess.

She giggled, "You're too sweet!" My heartbeat suddenly accelerated a hundred miles as though man drove into the M6 when her face neared mine, pink nose delicately pressing against the tip of my light-skinned one reddening like Rudolph's. "And," She spoke so cheerfully, yet sweetly, nose-brushing mine, "A sweet dragon boy deserves a sweet kiss." Tender, moist lips caressed my cheek, shutting the power down in my brain. "Muah!"

She pulled away, a sassy grin glowing on her face, though when my vacant frozen stare remained unchanged, she blinked, "Um, Ryu-chan?" I melted on contact with her palm cupping my face again. "You okay?" A snicker, "That kiss didn't cause you to pass out, did it?"

"Don't mind me. I'm calm." I intoned dryly, "Man just had his head fried."

She laughed, "You're too funny!" She hooked arms, pointing to our single-decker bus, "Come on! Let's go find a good seat."

"Sounds good." I allowed myself to be pulled along, frowning when we stopped behind Tokoyami's dark cape. "Why're we stopping?" Mina turned her head to me and shrugged in clear bemusement. I shook my head and took the lead, rounding Tokoyami and ambling past a small assembly of our peers apparently lined up. I had a foot on the bus's step, ready to enter the thing until a trembling hand landed on my shoulder.

I turned a mild scowl of darkened annoyance toward the person of the offending limp, deeply inhaling through my nostrils, 'Of course.' It totally slipped my mind four-eyes pulled this shit in canon.

Man deserved his flowers for having the balls to stand up to the brudda that pammed him in front of the entire class, as much as it was frying my mind. Just let everyone get on the bus, you pretentious pagan.

"Kanizaki-kun." He said, holding my irritated expression with resolve. He gestured to the small gathered line of our fellow classmates, though they didn't really seem to care that I was cutting in line. In fact, Tokoyami looked like he was having an epiphany with his gaping expression. I didn't know why anyone even agreed to Iida's suggestion of forming an orderly line, to begin with.

No one died and made him king.

"Yeah?" I deadpanned, "Your point?"

He pushed his glasses up, eyes closing, "As you can see, we're forming an orderly line." Eyes reopened, determination sharpened, "So I would very much appreciate it if you didn't cut in."

I shook my head, "Shut up, man." I shoved his forehead, knocked him flat on his ass and climbed aboard the whip where sensei waited. I pursed my lips, shrugging, though he never replied; just gave me a look that had he wasn't angry, just disappointed graffitied all over it. 'Looks like I'm in for a lecture.' I sighed. Although, depending on how this goes, I might get away with it.

I took my place at the back with Mina following closely behind. It was like the first penguin. After Mina and I boarded, everyone neatly flooded in almost like they didn't have to line up to begin it. Shock horror, right?

I took a proverbial load off, groaning and signing and draping myself across the middle section of the back seats. Mina kept grinning sheepishly at me on her approach, and my manhood twitched with potent desire when she climbed over me, propping herself on my right. "Damn, gyal," I joked, squirming, "Go easy on man."

"Hmm." Here we go, round two of the endless merry-go-round of teasing, "Why?" She saddled herself closer, moving in a way my eyes would pin to her chest with laser focus, "You into this sorta thing?"

"Well," I folded a leg triangle-style over the other, covering the bulge threatening to show. She definitely noticed, "It ain't the worst experience."

She snickered.

I caught a pair of eyes glimpsing our flirty interaction from the left seat in front of us, "Wagwan, bro?" I greeted the Kinnikuman mini-me and if that reference flew over your head, well, I don't know what to say. You just weren't cultured. "You calm?"

The yute blinked with his round egg-like eye sockets, surprise involuntarily flashing across his face. I repressed a smirk. I couldn't fault man. I did, after all, have the habit of representing myself like an anti-social moody brudda. His reaction was perfectly warranted, really, considering this would mark the occasion of our first-ever interaction.

"Dude…" He whispered. He sounded impressed. "You put that guy in his place."

I smiled softly, "Well, yeah. Man had it coming moving like that." I swear he had a small case of main-character syndrome but it was just probably my contempt for his character shouting. I genuinely disliked him.

"Yeah." He droned, folding his muscled arms behind his head and glancing at the roof, "I don't know why we were lining up to begin with."

"People just like going with the flow of shit to uphold the natural order," I offered an explanation. My body language reeked of disgust at this sheep mentality Japan itself has had for years and years, "They think it's the only way they can cooperate." It was calm until they started looking the other way to bullying and repression. Suicide rates were still substantially high in this world because bullied yutes were expected to just tough it out and bottle up their stress instead of reporting it to the higher-ups. That was how that pussyhole Bakugo got away with bullying Izuku for most of their lives.

Japanese society was fucked.

He hummed, "Makes sense." On aunt's life, I bet he had probably glimpsed some stuff, of yutes ganging up on one while others just stand around pretending they don't see shit. This was just how Japan functioned and it needed to change since most of the country was made up of the elderly.

He blinked, big lips parting in realization, "Oh, yeah. I forgot to tell you my name."

I beat him to the punch, smirking, "No need, bro. I know." I assured, "Sato Rikido, right?"

He paused for a good few seconds, blinking owlishly, drawing a shameless shrug of ultra-satisfaction from me. "Uh, yeah." He ran a couple of his gloved fingers through his short spiky brown hair, dumbfounded, "I'm surprised you knew, actually."

A laugh laced with mirth escaped me, "It's not that deep, bro," I dismissed with a wave of my hand, "Man just remembered you from sensei's Quirk assessment ting." I was capping, of course. If I didn't clock man from canon I never would have. Bro was kinda just there in the background like the rest of them. I think my mind only clocked who he was just because his outfit made him look like a giant banana with hair, which was mad funny unintentionally.

"Oh, right."

I extended an olive branch of friendship, "I'm Kanizaki Ryuji, by the way."

His huge lips split into a wide infectious grin, "Oh, I definitely know your name, bro!" He caressed the back of his head, "I mean, I doubt I couldn't even if I wanted."

I chuckled, "I guess not, but it's always best to assume people dunno you. Keeps your feet on the ground, y'know? Just something I picked up from the mandem in the ends." He nodded, understanding my act of humility, "Go ahead and call me Ryu."

"Ryu?"

"Yeah. Man ain't big on formalities."

He snickered, "I hear you there." He stretched back and sighed, "Man, I wish I was a kid again. We didn't have to worry about all that formal crap."

"100%!" I echoed that sentiment in full, "Those were good times. Now if man calls a bro by his first name, he's looking at man sideways." I held out my arms in a gesture that screamed 'what do you expect me to do?' "It's like, 'bro, man just called you by your name, alright? It's not deep'." I shook my head, "Least it shouldn't be if you ask me."

The Ultimate Muscle cosplaying yute laughed along to the beat I played, "Oh, I totally know what you mean, dude." His smile turned sheepish, "I feel like I have to apologise."

"Yeah, it's long."

He nodded, "Oh, yeah. Since we're talking about it and all, you can call me Rikido, if you want, Ryu."

"Alright, safe; I'll call you Ricky, bro."

A blink, "Ricky?"

I tittered, "Don't deep it."

"Uh-huh!" Mina chimed in, resting her elbow on my shoulder, "Ryu-chan gives all his friends cute little nicknames like a little kid!~" She lightly pinched my cheek.

"There you have it." I smiled.

"I… think I get it," He tried to assure with a blank look on his face. He definitely didn't. Fucking Japan, bro, I swear; the land where you couldn't even abridge man's or gyal's first name without getting personal like you could in England. If someone was named Michael, for example, you could bet man was calling him 'Mike' for short even if man didn't know him all that well, because that was just the type of guy I was.

"Yeah!" The mandem pulled up into the seats beside Ricky, with Minoru taking up the window seat. "Ryu gives everyone he considers bros nicknames," Noru continued though he had to stand atop his place beside Denki to be seen and raise his little hand, presumably asking for a high five, "Right, bro?"

As cringy as it all was that they were trying to emulate me and even knowing said imitation would just be handing my girl more tease ammunition, it still felt kinda wavy that I was influencing dem mans, like I was their big brother they looked up to like a god.

I smirked, widening Minoru's smile until I clenched my hand into a fist bigger than his small arm. Hell, I was pretty sure my hand could've covered his entire body.

"Make a fist, bro," I explained when he continued to stare at mine in confusion. Denki and Ricky mirrored his expression. I watched him bring the hand he had rose to high-five me toward his face and ball it into a tiny fist the size of a pebble. (Oh my days, bro. I felt so bad for the little guy. I couldn't imagine being that tiny)

He awkwardly held up his fisted arm and looked back at me.

I nodded, "That's it." I praised, turning my arm vertically across my chest. "Now, just do what I do." I inched my fist toward his, and he clocked. I smirked. I was sure he had probably seen stuff on streams to know what a fist bump was. He might have even seen Naruto. My longer limp closed most of the distance between our fists and just seeing the size difference between us, I could truthfully say I felt like a Dad teaching his two-year-old son how to fist-bump man.

His little fist only could touch my middle and ring fingers. It was peak.

"And there you go," I coolly withdrew my arm, sitting back, "That's how man show love in the ends."

He beamed, "Awesome."

A small laugh rumbled in my throat.

"Yo, Ryu." Denki grinned, a fist offered. I avoided rolling my eyes, knocking the side of my fist against his one time in cool indifference. He brightened like exploding fireworks in the night sky and turned to his main guy. The mandem started trying to 'perfect' the fist-bumping technique - if there were such a ting – in their own charming, goofy way.

A tingle vibrated my spine initiated by soft contact landing on my shoulder. I expected to find a pair of wavy golden pupils teasing me regarding my bro moment with the boys. I didn't get any such cheeky smile from her, not with how genuinely fond and kind her whole face looked.

I smiled back at her, increasing her warmth.

Again. Whatever I did to deserve a gyal like her I would never know, but I know for sure that I was falling more and more in love with her with each passing day, maybe even minute.


From the Ends, to the Academy

C

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SEVEN

Who Are You?


It was calm chatting with the mandem as the bus pulled out of the main campus and drove all the way to the USJ like a field trip. It provided my brain with a much-needed distraction from the potential danger of the invasion being influenced by man like Smoke. 'Ricky' was alright, for what it was worth. I didn't know anything about him from the series other than he fuelled his powers on sweets. He was kinda just blended in, like he did in real life, barely given any lines.

I still barely knew he even existed and man was alive now. Bro was literally just a sideman on some man's YouTube channel. It felt that way. That wavy fight he had with Eijiro was the first time he really stood out and even then, he was upstaged by the wavier Tokoyami; it was peak for the brudda.

Still, bro was a chill yute even if he didn't stand out. I even learned he liked retro shit and owned the remade mini classic Super Nintendo. He even backed me too when Izuku's lot up front was discussing the next star hero. Eijiro grouped me, Todoroki and Blasty McAssface together as the three who had that bit of stardust about us to reach global fame and when Tsu-chan discredited Blasty, he verbally exploded, proving her right and getting cooked by Denki.

Yo! Sometimes I loved that guy, y'know?

The pagan actually tried comparing himself to me. Desperation one hundred! Bro, I legit died of laughter. I didn't even need to sit him down. Ricky and the rest of the mandem did, giving it to him straight; that I was chosen as Class Representative while the pagan didn't even get one vote besides his own. He went silent real quick and sat back down like Speedy Gonzales.

Iida tried backing him in an "enemy of my enemy was my breden" kinda ting, but I sat him down by reminding him how many points he accumulated during the classy presidency vote.

Best part of the trip, easily.

This high school, bro; said it once and I would say it again for the cheap seats at the back. It was next level. Again, we had to take a bus to traverse the map just because it was so massive, probably as big as one part of London's four divided four areas if I had to take an uneducated guess. You would think so considering it could house town-sized training facilities inside the main campus and another down the block in the size of a football stadium.

A stadium like Barcelona's Camp Nou could easily take up several city blocks worth of space.

It was no cap to say with chest that U.A. was humongous.

We stepped off the bus, admiring USJ's dome-shaped exterior. Considering the rescue environments it stored inside, I wouldn't be surprised if it came close to matching Barca's aforementioned home ground.

"Wow," Mina drawled, cuddling my arm as we took up the rear of our assembled classmates, "It's so big!"

"No lie." There was a penis joke in there that I bypassed, but I frankly didn't have the metaphorical balls to quip it at her, even though I was no literal slouch myself. One day I would overcome my shyness, but today wasn't that day.

"Greetings, everyone. I have been waiting." The calm and amicable voice of the astronaut lady greeted us, though the only thing man had to go on to gender her was her voice. I imagine manga readers had a rough time determining her gender seeing her covered from head to toe in a pudgy space suit like she was getting ready to take off to the moon, complete with a helmet and all, that was shadowed by thick darkness. The only things we could see in her helmet were two shell-like pupilless white lights.

"It's Thirteen!" Mina gushed.

"It's the Space Hero, Thirteen! The gentlemanly hero who's rescued tons of people from disasters!" It didn't help matters when Izuku referred to gyal as the gentlemanly hero, too.

"Oh, I love Thirteen!" Uraraka exclaimed, throwing her arms up in the air.

"Without further delay, let's go inside."

"Look forward to working with you!"

Mina grinned with such childlike elation at me. I chuckled, dry affection colouring my tone. I petted her head as we followed our peers inside the extensive establishment.

Extensive was just about right. The place was a little kid's dream. A long footpath comprising purple tiles and no railing or walls stretched nearly halfway to the other side of the massive structure, leading to an enormous set of stairs that eventually came into view when we ventured into the middle of the pathway. A wannabe hero's dream laid down below, awash in five different sets of natural disasters like a museum. Just another case of U.A. high school flexing its elite-status muscles like a bodybuilder's perfect physique.

"…Amazing," Mina breathed beside me.

"Truss," I muttered back.

"A shipwreck." Thirteen started, shifting our view to a pool of water and a lone boat. "A fire." Next, she pointed dramatically toward a mini burning neighbourhood block, "A storm." Then to another cast in a thick, ferocious downpour, "A landslide." Half of a buried building sat wedged atop a small cliff, "Et cetera." Lastly, a minuscule mountain range overlooked everything.

She spun back to her audience appreciating her work in awe, "It's a training ground I made with different types of accidents and disasters!" She said. Lucozade had nothing on her energy at this point, "It's called Unforeseen Simulation Joint! Or USJ for short!" She finished, thrusting her arm outward and balancing on a toe.

A short round of applause followed her spiel by a couple of my more enthusiastic peers.

Aizawa approached her, hands tucked into his pockets. He asked brusquely, "Where's All Might?"

"About that," She adjusted her feet before holding up three fingers, the meaning of which only Midoriya and Aizawa got. She stepped into his private space, speaking low enough that only they could hear, "It seems he did too much hero work on the way here and used up all of his power."

"That's the height of irrationality," He replied, glancing off to the side, "Well, we took precautions just in case. Oh well. Can't be helped. Let's just begin."

"Let's see. Before we begin, let me just say one thing. Or two, or three, or four, or five…"

I bet my life 'It's increasing' was circulating through the minds of nearly everyone present right now, their faces gave it away, I mused in amusement.

"Everyone, I am sure most of you are aware of my Quirk, Black Hole." Thirteen said, conjuring the image of a black hole in her mind's eye, "I can suck up everything and turn it to dust."

It was a wavy power, I couldn't cap, though I had my doubts it was actually a black hole. In fact, I knew it wasn't. Now, I don't claim to be the smartest brudda in the room, but I had some understanding of how a black hole worked. For one, it was inescapable and exceeded light speed, making it a guaranteed one-shot kill. If she actually had such a power, it would've made her the strongest hero in the series, even above All Might. All Might, for as powerful as he was, wasn't escaping an instant kill cheat technique.

Evidence would suggest she never had this stupid power. If she did, Kurogirl wouldn't have had the time to advise a counter that ripped her to shreds. Another example would be seen when students fought the faculty at the end of season two. Ochako-chan and Aoyama went up against Thirteen, clinging to the railing when she unleashed her "black hole." A real black hole's gravitational pull would've dragged them along, railing and all.

All this was saying that she definitely didn't have an actual black hole; more like a severely watered-down one from Walmart that just had similar properties.

"You've been able to use that Quirk to save people from all kinds of disasters, right!?" Izuku praised while Ochako-chan nodded in rapid succession at his side. Their geeky enthusiasm was precious in its own way. Man couldn't knock it. The old saying said you should never meet your heroes, but really, Thirteen was a calm role model to look up to.

"Yes, but it is a power that can just as easily kill." She even gave it to them straight knowing it would douse their fires, because it was an important lesson that yutes with power needed to learn. Think Uncle Ben's with great power, comes great responsibility speech for instance.

"Some of you have Quirks like that, right? In a superhuman society, personal Quirks have been certified and stringently regulated, so that it doesn't seem like a problem at first glance." She was basically reenacting Uncle Ben here, just in a more roundabout way. The underlying message was still the same.

"However, do not forget that there are many Quirks that can just as easily kill with one wrong step. With Aizawa's physical fitness tests, you found out about the possibility of your hidden power and with All Might's person-to-person combat training, I think you experienced the dangers of using those powers against others. This class is a fresh start. You shall learn how to use your Quirks to save people's lives. You do not have powers so you can harm others."

Wield your power sensibly, to serve and protect the innocent like a hero, and not as a means to throw your weight around and repress others. I could think of one dutty pagan who badly needed her ideals drilled into his hot head. 100%. Actually, could we just deep the fact the dickhead legit tried to kill Izuku? I didn't even clock at the time because my own head was so hot from not getting McAssface's team.

The tapped yute literally fired the equivalent of a fucking TNT in the first round of All Might's combat simulation. Alright, he said 'if I don't hit him, he won't die' in the original Japanese if memory served correctly, but bro, he still fucking blasted a mini-nuke at him and ruined his homemade hero outfit. Chances were high that he would've wound up fried.

I mighta thrown some heavy hands at Mina and Aoyama, but I knew how to hold back and redirect them appropriately to avoid injuring either of the two, even when I was angry. Why? Because I wasn't tapped like that.

Lord have mercy.

The fact that he even got away with that with nothing but a light slap on the wrist from Aizawa made my head hotter. Bro, I couldn't tell you how much I despised Horikoshi for how much he sucked that pagan off, always framing him like he was always in the 'right' when he was just being a dickhead.

"So, basically," I said, summarizing sensei's wordy speech, "With great power, comes great responsibility."

A nod, "Well said, young man."

My shameless reference to Uncle Ben's iconic quote brought a few rounds of small laughter from Ricky and the mandem.

I felt a nudge at my side, directing my attention to Mina's amused smile. Tip-toeing, she whispered in my ear, her warm breath sending chills down my spine, "You totally stole that off Spiderman, didn't you?"

"It was there, alright?" I mumbled back. She snickered.

Aizawa nonchalantly jerked a thumb over his shoulder, though he didn't even get the chance to even try and hash out today's schedule before the lights burst out as if scripted. Nearly everyone flinched from the shattering noise.

"What was that?" The tailed boy asked, mirroring everyone else's actions of turning their heads up and around.

A wiggly movement reminiscent of moving jelly goo emerged behind us. I jerked my head over my shoulder, "What?" A disquiet swirled ferociously in the pit of my stomach. "Bruv, what am I even looking at?" Some weird gooey substance flowing all over the walls and the entrance like a waterfall, 'Looks like these mans ain't taking any chances."

"It appears to be a barrier," Momo surmised, eyes attentively on the runny substance.

I glanced her way as she stepped beside us, trying to keep my eyes peeled away from her bosom. (I was a faithful nearly boyfriend, alright!) Oh my days, the outfit was jailbait. It didn't even look practical. Surely exposing her chest with some side window boob thing would restrict her movability. I wasn't an expert on a woman's anatomy, but I knew enough to clock big-breasted gyals moving about without a bra would severely impact their movement speed. Not to mention it wouldn't be comfortable.

I doubted she was comfortable like that.

I might have to press her on this, for her own good.

"You'd think so," I agreed, ignoring the obvious quip. This wasn't the time for jokes. "Someone doesn't wanna let man and gyal out and the question now is, why?" Momo's frown intensified and I felt Mina draw herself closer to me.

"What's that?" Eijiro's query drew us away from our imprisonment. A lone wispy, pitched-black flame lined with purple trim darkened the fountain it floated ominously over, as though an evil ghost Pokemon had unleashed a small burst of will-o-wisp. Eijiro slid a foot gingerly toward it.

"Stay back!" Aizawa ordered with a harsh tone man hadn't heard from him just yet. My crimson-haired breden from Junior High flinched. Sensei was showing an energy he hadn't had prior, "This is a villain attack." He slid his eyewear down his eyes.

The shirtless brudda gawked, "A villain attack!"

"But why!?" Duct tape boy chimed in. "How did they know we were here?"

"I have a few theories," I said and a statement like that practically demanded I speak my mind. Everyone's eyes were basically saying, go on then. "The obvious being they're siphoning info from the school somehow." Multiple eyeballs peeled open in astonishment.

"I think Kanizaki is on the right track," The hot-and-cold yute inputted. Been a minute since he last contributed to a conversation. Last time man heard his voice was back in Might-sensei's first combat simulation when he gave his input on Izuku and the pagan's fight. I kept forgetting he existed, too. Man just ghosted in the background like Kageyama Shigeo. (Might just start calling him Mob at this point)

That getup, y'know. Talk about overcomplication. Bro was moving like some btech terminator, encasing half of his body in ice and leaving his Mom's half in the plain white shirt and pants of his costume. Why couldn't Horikoshi have just been simple with all of these designs, bro, like he was with Denki? Denki's getup was a simple outfit and it banged.

I did glimpse bro's redesign on Twitter before I died and it was alright; a big upgrade on this shit he wore.

"To add to Kanizaki's point, they targeted an isolated area separated from the main campus, during a time a class is supposed to be here. What looks to be a barrier was specifically ejected around the building, so we can probably rule out any accomplices appearing around the school. The sensors don't appear to be responding either. This person might be reckless and unhinged, but they're no fool. This ambush was carefully planned with some sort of goal." The scarred yute spoke well, checking all the boxes of this pagan's ambush.

Speaking of his scar, though. Man had to press him on that at some point. It never sat right with me that he pinned all the blame on his dad for his mom pouring scalding hot water on his face, but that was a story for another day.

"Either they've got bare confidence or they're just bare cocky," I added, drawing a nod from Todoroki. The daunting reality of our situation dawned on everyone. I saw plenty of worried faces, Mina even pressing herself closer to me like I was her last lifeline. I couldn't fault any of them. At the end of the day, these were just 15-year-olds fresh out of Junior High.

They weren't built for beef yet.

"H-Hey someone's coming out!" Minoru remarked, terrified.

As unlikely as I knew it was given the undecidedly non-canon barrier hanging over Thirteen's backyard, part of me still prayed the pagan stepping through Kurogirl's portal would've been Shigaraki's wrinkly ass.

…Spoiler alert.

It wasn't.

The lone cloaked figure stirring up a storm on Twitter walked into our neck of the woods with chest man could only get from being a supremely powerful villain.

A rising panic erupted among my peers.

"It's him!" Minoru exclaimed, a ferocious teary-eyed storm devouring his face.

"Whoa! What's he doing here!?" Eijiro gaped, involuntarily sliding back a step.

Mina slammed her eyes shut and tightly clutched my Gi, pleading, "Make it go away!"

"Everyone, stay back and retreat to the exit!" Aizawa roared, "Kaminari, try and get in touch with the school using your Quirk! It appears the enemy has an interference Quirk!"

"Uh, right!" Kaminari snapped to attention, pressing a hand to the radio device cupping his right ear, "Shit. I can't get through either." He grimaced.

"Thirteen! Get the students to the entrance!" Aizawa instructed. He turned to face the incoming pagan ambling forward like he had all the time in the world, not a single ounce of haste in his stride. "I'm going to greet our visitor and see if I can't disable this Quirk of his." Considering Smoke's painfully relaxed approach, (Brudda wasn't even power-walking) I couldn't see Aizawa accomplishing anything.

"What about you, Aizawa-sensei?" Izuku queried, "Erasure's fighting style is suited to capturing and restraining the enemy after a surprise attack. Close combat isn't totally unfavourable, but it's still not your forte."

"Bro has a point," I added, drawing a grateful smile from Izuku. "Going back to what we were just chatting about just a minute ago, if he has been siphoning info from the school, it's highly possible he's done his homework on our abilities. That includes yours, bossman."

"You can't be a hero with-."

"No, bro, that shit's not gonna fly," I interrupted, silencing Aizawa and eliciting a sharp whine from the freckled-faced yute. If I thought I was in for a lecture after shoving Iida down, I was definitely in for one now after swearing at my sensei. I didn't care, though. He needed to know flying in Leeroy Jenkins-style would likely only result in a vicious beating.

"Language, young man!" Thirteen reprimanded.

I pressed on regardless, "Man's rolled up here on his own without backup. You really think man would do that if he could just so easily get rung up? Cool, you could say he's mad cocky, but do you wanna put money on that? Because I don't! In fact, If I were a betting G, I would put bread on the opposite." I tapped my temple rapidly, "Think about it! It only makes sense. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't considerably powerful. You're getting cooked, bro! Don't do it!"

"Kanizaki." He sighed. Exhaustion poured out from him like a huge faucet. He looked at me, "What do you suppose we do?"

"Negotiate." I answered easily, "He's obviously here for something. What that something is, we dunno, so why not stall for time until one of us can find whatever's blocking the sensors and call for backup?" I shrugged, "If all else fails, we'll rush man together. Makes a lot more sense than just blindly charging man.

The intensity of my speech drowned out any and all input; everyone held their breaths, waiting for sensei to reply, to say anything to potentially refute my argument or agree with it. All the while Smoke's boots continued audibly clicking off the ground with their calm rhythm.

Someone's gulp echoed in the devoid of thunderous silence I had summoned.

"Kanizaki," His shoulders sagged, and for a second, I thought he had agreed with me; that thoughtlessly dashing at man was a suicide move. "I'm sorry." I should've known better. "I can't do that." He leapt into the fray without a second thought among my rising anger.

"YOU FUCKING EEDIAT, MAN!" My fury erupted and Mina recoiled under the sheer volume of my enraged voice. She wasn't the only one. Quite a few of my peers did, too, staring at my belligerent rage in horror. A bloated palm camped itself on my shoulder, but Thirteen didn't even get the chance to ask me to cool my head before Aizawa arched his, my face scowling harder, "See? Man got soaked already!?" I shouted back at the space cadet.

The Btech Kakashi regen didn't even get the chance to land on the ground before Smoke flicked something into his shoulder with a speed near impossible to track.

She glimpsed at the sight before everyone, white lights expanding in what I could only assume was shock in her helmet, "Young man, I think you should get back. Now!"

I frowned, turning back around, my eyes abruptly widening, "What?!" A massive see-through dome like the kind Kishi often drew in the war arc began to eclipse everything down below, covering the natural disasters in full. And it was expanding like Tosen's Bankai, greying the stairs and slowly, but surely creeping our way.

"What is that thing?!" Ochako gaped.

"Everyone, get back!" Thirteen ordered. She didn't need to tell us twice. We booked it back to the sealed entrance like we were being chased by a rival gang.

"It's no use! We're trapped!" Kyoka said, scowling.

"Argh!" McAssface hauled himself at the barrier, a last attempt if there ever was one. Flames sparked off the slimy stuff from the pagan's Quirk before powerfully repelling himself away.

"Bakugo!" Eijiro shouted, kneeling by his breden I guess, "You okay?"

He gingerly sat up, brushing off Eijiro's assistance, "Yeah." He wiped his mouth, "That thing's not going to be easy to break through. It absorbs any attack and sends back at you with twice the force."

"No way!" Eijiro gaped. "Then how're we supposed to get out?"

"How should I know, you red-haired loser!?"

"Is there anything we can do?" Sero said, sounding like he was proposing that question to Arceus, Hylia or to any godly fictional character out there.

The dome continued its steady, daunting approach, colouring everything in a deep shade of grey we could see through. A rapidly growing apprehension gripped our hearts with all the might of a cobra's clutch. I ran the numbers inside my head, and from the expressions on Momo's and Izuku's faces, they were too. Nothing came to mind to pull us out of the fryer, that was, until I averted my gaze to the glass ceiling. A section of it was still yet to be touched by Smoke's eerie Quirk. Even the barrier couldn't reach that high, it seemed.

'I could jump and get out that way, but I can't just leave Mina and others.' Partly or mostly because of my own blossoming feelings for the pinkette. There was also the small matter of me being the class president. They, rightly or wrongly, trusted man with the mettle of leading the class. I couldn't just up and abandon them. 'Maybe we can use Sero's duct tape and Ochako-chan's power to float everyone up.'

A reasonable plan if we weren't pressed for time.

"Huh?" I frowned.

I expected something to happen. There was still a good chunk of space left between us and the domain encompassing USJ, but, for whatever reason, it seemingly halted on its own accord.

It… stopped?" Ochako hesitated, blinking.

I cautiously put a foot forward, "Seems like it." I confirmed. Ochako and most of everyone else breathed collective sighs of sheer relief, dropping to their knees and backsides at once. 'Is this man's range or what?'

"What a relief," Mina exhaled, arms sliding down to my leg.

"I can't take this," Ochako sobbed.

There was a small amount of movement within the bubbly wall, freezing everyone again. This time it moved in reverse, crawling back the way it came and restoring the colour of everything it touched. Another large exhale exploded from their lungs.

"It's going away!" Minoru celebrated, tears in his eyes, "Ha! Take that, stupid dome thing!"

"But why?" Todoroki proposed the query, cutting Minoru's celebrations short. He held his composure well despite everything. "Why rescind now when we were cornered? Did Aizawa-sensei manage to erase it with his Quirk?"

"I don't think so," I provided, watching the dome slither away from the stairs, "If that was the case it would've just popped out of existence like a balloon. The way it's moving tells me he's done using it on sensei." The grey sphere got smaller and smaller until it eventually disappeared, leaving no sound behind, "I don't hear a fight down there either. That leads me to believe sensei got violated."

Realization flooded Izuku's gaze.

"Ryu-kun, you don't think…?" He didn't want to finish.

The approaching footsteps resumed.

"We're gonna find out, bro." He bit his trembling lip, squeezing watering eyes on the verge of erupting like a broken pipe.

The tension thickened substantially with each step Smoke climbed. Accompanying his approach this time was the continuous drip of a watery fluid, as though someone had forgotten to turn the tap all the way off. I scowled and most of my other classmates did, too.

Like before, Smoke kept us waiting for a long time or at least it seemed that way given his excruciatingly casual stride. I thought about enacting the escape plan I cooked up in my mind, but after rationalizing what happened to Aizawa I really didn't wanna put anyone at risk like that. I could buy them time to flee, but I doubted Thirteen would like that. She was already standing protectively in front of us.

Over the horizon of the stairs, a hooded head emerged and bit by bit the pagan fully stepped into view.

Ochako gasped, covering her mouth, "It's him!"

"Then that means!" Sero frowned in terror.

Below on his unraised hand hung a bloodied and visibly unconscious Aizawa.

"Sensei!"

"He… He." Ricky stepped back, stepped back again and took another big step backwards, "He got beat so quickly!" The back of his heels crashed into each other's and sent him plummeting on his rear, gaping in pure fright at our masked assailant sauntering forward like the bogeyman himself, "Oh man, you guys!"

Out of the corner of my eye, Bakugo gnashed his teeth with a burning intensity in his own eyes, 'This must be his way of trying to disguise his fear.' Raging was the only way he knew how to express himself, after all. It was kinda sad when I deeped it like that.

"Everyone! It is going to be okay! I will not let him past me!" Thirteen attempted to assure even though she wasn't built like that. It did some good for Ochako and Izuku.

A trail of crimson blood trail grimly followed Smoke's every step. I hated to say it, but for a brudda who had no chat as of yet, his scare tactic was 100. Seeing our sensei callously dragged back to us with no clear sign of whether he was DOA worked as a highly effective intimidation strategy. I wouldn't be surprised if he revealed he was a pro-interrogator.

"Aizawa-sensei," Momo murmured.

Smoke's feet came to a stop within halfway range of us, flooding us in bemusement. Then the hand that clutched Aizawa's neck pushed forward, flinging his body in front of him on the tiled flooring. A pained grunt rung from Aizawa, briefly washing us in relief, until that very relief mutilated into dread. He drew a long black blade from the inside of his raincoat and held it above his hooded head, intentions obvious.

"Aizawa-sensei!" Izuku and a few others pleaded.

My eyes widened, "Bro, don't!" I wasn't even referring to Smoke either.

A ferocious gale blasted out from the assembled crowd of frightened yutes and immediately died even before it could leave the starting line, dropping Iida like a ton of bricks; a viciously sickening scream of excruciating pain ripped from his vocal cords, "Arghhhh!" He sweated, clutching the area around his damaged limb.

"Iida-kun!" His bredens Ochako and Izuku ran to his aid while Eijiro and his, Bakugo, leapt into the fray in a good-natured but otherwise reckless attempt to save Aizawa.

"What happened?!" Mina asked in distress.

"That pagan dashed that knife he had in his hand in Iida's leg so fast man didn't even see it," I explained almost before Ochako and Izuku discovered the weapon wedged deeply into Iida's knee having torn through his armour as though it was made out of paper mâché.

"Young man!" Thirteen screamed. Bakugo, quicker than he was than Eijiro, reached Smoke first and got folded first. Smoke batted aside his explosive palm easily, then twirled his leg around and drove a heeled boot on top of Bakugo's head, slamming him down. "No!"

"Bakugo!" Eijiro didn't fare any better, having his jagged wrist and throat caught in gloved grips, "Damn… Urk!" He gagged. Seriously, he actually gagged? I could even hear metal shards meshing with the sound of tightening fabric deathly implying just how much force Smoke was applying to his neck.

"He's choking him!" Toru exclaimed breathlessly, crossing her hands over her mouth I would imagine.

"But how, though!?" Ricky enquired, bewildered, "Can't Kirishima harden his skin?" And he would know, he fought man in All Might's combat simulation after all.

"…Bro," Seeing Eijiro tortured like that stirred something incomprehensible in me, painful reminders of a time my breden got rushed and I was nowhere around at the time to back him. Before I knew it, I was marching forward, walking out of Mina's grasp, "Bro." We weren't tight; in fact, we had all but stopped chilling in high school, but man still enjoyed his company in Junior High. I had to back him.

My body flew on autopilot when Smoke pulled another blade from his raincoat. (How many fucking knives did he carry in that jacket!) "Hold the fuck up!" I blitzed forward like a violent hurricane, catching sight of Smoke's blade whizzing past my gaze like a speeding bullet fired out of a submachine gun. "Shit!" I instinctively backpedalled with every ounce of acceleration I possessed, racing ahead of the sharp weapon and wrapping my arms I scaled up around Mina.

Squirt.

It plunged into my upper arm like a lethal injection, overflowing my body with immeasurable agony, "…Fuck!" I strained, keeling over and landing on top of Mina's floatation devices, groaning loudly, "Holy shit!" I had forgotten what true physical pain felt like. Shock horror, it was a horrific, agonizing feeling.

"Ryu!"

"Ryu-kun!"

"Ryu-san!"

Denki, Minoru, Ricky, Toru, Izuku, Ochako, Momo and Tsu flooded over me in worry.

"Are you okay?" Toru sounded like she was on the verge of tears.

I placed a hand beside Mina's distraught visage spinning around and pushed myself up, adjusting my sunglasses, "Been better." Ignoring the world that kept rotating like I was on an amusement ride, I was fine really, 'That completely bypassed my Quirk. I know I hardened up my arms, yet it still fucked me.' I weakly grabbed the handle of the blade wedged in my left arm.

"Don't remove it!" Momo instructed, "You might make it worse!"

"I know that, but!" I insisted and grit my teeth, slowly pulling the blackened metal out of my triceps, "This ting's zapping my strength!" They gasped. I summoned all of my remaining might and hauled the blade free like the Master Sword with a herculean roar, leaving behind a deep scar and my own leaked blood pooling around my sleeve. "…Got it." I breathed.

Momo looked at me with sympathy, palms hovering around her exposed midsection glowing a bright purply-pink, "You fool." From her portal stomach emerged a bundle of bandages she began winding, "We need to apply basic first-aid to your wound, Ryu-san." She kneeled, frowning, "It's not ideal, but I'm afraid it's all we can manage in these circumstances."

"That's fine, sis," I assured, ripping off my sleeve with my returning enhanced strength. My peers looked beside themselves gawking in petrified horror at my opened wound, warm body fluid trailing the length of my muscled, tattooed arm. I wiped away the blood with the sleeve I had pulled off the best I could, roughly pressing the strained fabric into my wound for about five seconds. Ideally, I would like to apply pressure to the wound for at least five minutes if not the full fifteen minutes, but I didn't have the luxury right now.

I held the damaged limb up, letting Momo skilfully weave the bandage she had manifested around the bloodied patch. I watched Eijiro getting wet up, frustration bubbling up inside my stomach. From the way he gutted man, two times from either shoulder blade down to his hips, it looked like he carved an X symbol on his chest.

The pagan had a flair for the dramatics, it seemed.

"…Ryu-chan." Mina's shaken voice sobbed behind me. I faced her, countenance softening. Her uniquely raven sclera, normally so sparkly and bright like the rest of her eyes, were filled with tears of apprehension and melancholy, dripping down her cheeks on either side of her quivering lips, "I'm scared."

"Mina…" I mumbled with warm sympathy. My arms enclosed around her, enveloping her in a protective embrace I hoped I conveyed well enough, "On my aunt's life, I'll protect you, Mina." I could feel the dampness of her cheek on mine, "I said I would and man don't back on his word. Even if it kills me, I won't let that fucking pagan harm a single hair on your head."

"Ryu-chan…!"

"Stay back!" Thirteen tried, "I am warning you!"

I peeked over my shoulder. Smoke had handled Eijiro and Bakugo without even breaking a sweat and left them unconscious in between Aizawa and now he was putting Thirteen in her place with his mere aura alone. He didn't utter a word to her, merely shook his head; his body language alone passed the message his mouth didn't.

"It's futile."

I couldn't disagree really. The space cadet hadn't been able to react to any of the brudda's projectile attacks. Even if she were to unleash her makeshift phoney black hole, he would dodge it and soak her with ease. She knew it. He knew it. We all knew it. That's why he had the chest to push her raised arm down with a fatherly touch.

"Just," Thirteen's voice cracked. "Don't hurt them." Her knees gave out.

Smoke nodded, turning his head directly at me.

"We'll call that my introduction, Kanizaki Ryuji-kun."

0…0

What?

Fluent English?

In Japan?

Bruv, what the fuck was I looking at?