BOKU NO HERO ACADEMIA ©︎ 2014 by Kohei Horikoshi
No copyright infringement was intended in the making of this work.
Also on Archive of Our Own under the same title and author. Anywhere else is an unofficial copy.
My Twitter at showichixff (private) has the art logs, so just follow for access.
Last edited 15 December 2021
"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster," had recited the woman who'd given up on the world. "And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
These words were the lullaby to which Sesera Miyaka fell asleep, engraved onto her memory night after night since the day she got her Quirk. Until fairly recently, they were just the ravings of a madwoman who had failed to become a hero, and she had sworn long ago that she would become nothing like her mother.
But after seeing the number one hero in action, she couldn't help but see some truth in those words.
All Might stood at the forefront with nothing but the infinite chasm of evil he faced reflected in his eyes. He teetered on the edge of the abyss, his back to the people he'd vowed to protect.
She didn't want to become something like that either, and yet here she was.
The proverbial battlefield that was U.A. High School's practical entrance exam was chaos magnified to the extreme. Millions of hopefuls from all around the country—from all around the world—had gathered for the chance to claim a spot in its famed Hero Course to further their aspirations of becoming, well, a hero.
And yet it was all too clear that they were in way over their heads. A large bulk of the applicants couldn't take down even one of the villain robots they were put up against, and the on-site proctors had a lot of work cut out for them in pulling out the injured. With a trial that focused so much on combat ability, it was obvious that they weren't looking for people who had the potential to become truly great heroes.
They just wanted to weed out the weak from the strong.
Sesera flicked her wrist. A whip of blue-white lightning stretched out from the metal baton in her hand and ripped through the air. The bunch of speedy one-point robots looking to blitz her stopped dead in their tracks, their systems fried to the point of no recovery. Dark smoke slipped out from the joints between their plate covers, erupting with sparks of light.
She'd long stopped counting her points, fully aware that she was going to pass this test whether she wanted to or not. Telling someone with a Quirk like Electromagnetic Force to take down robots was a one-sided massacre waiting to happen.
Walking through the ruined streets, Sesera noticed that a handful of applicants had opted out of fighting the robots and instead focused their efforts on rescuing the less fortunate, assisting the proctors in retrieving the wounded.
Oh. There's that, I guess.
She didn't glance back at the ponytailed redhead that received a pat on the shoulder from one of the proctors for helping them get a bunch of kids out from under a piece of rubble.
All things considered, it came as no surprise that U.A. was twisted enough to convert human lives to points as well.
"You mustn't become like that."
Sesera blinked, and before her flashed the back of a blond woman in red-and-white armor—an image that was burned onto the back of her eyelids. Invisible hands held her back, stopping her from moving forward and strangling the breath out of her.
"You… mus— bec—e l—ke th—t."
i. welcome to your hero academia
U.A. High School's facade was the same intimidating work of steel, glass, and straight lines that it had been when Sesera had last come here. It'd been the cusp of winter back then, and the trees lining the pathway had been as close to barren and dead as they could've gotten.
Those same trees were now overflowing with vibrant cherry blossoms, but spring did not make the school look any less threatening in her eyes.
Students of all colors, shapes, and sizes were loitering on the grounds as she walked into the campus. Sesera could easily pick out the first-years twittering about like sore thumbs, and they did not mix well with the tangible antihero vibes coming from some of the upperclassmen. She made her way into the main building before anyone could notice her and headed towards her new classroom.
With help from the map app that she'd gotten from the school's website, Sesera quickly found the torture chamber she'd be spending most of next year in. She stopped by the door for a few brief seconds, pulling down her face mask to settle it under her chin and steeling herself before entering.
There was a gaggle of students already inside. Her pink eyes roved over the classroom once to inspect the people to be tormented alongside her.
The first one she noticed was another electricity user like her—blond, and a straightforward power type based on the electromagnetic field around him.
Despite being one of the most common Quirk classes, rarely were electricity users able to meet the power levels demanded in hero work. This boy looked to have a decent maximum output, so she supposed his presence here was justifiable.
Another blond was also distinguishable as an electric type, as well as the invisible girl sitting at the back. Though their Quirks seemed to lean more towards the subcategory of light manipulation, their electromagnetic fields were still prominent enough that Sesera felt a sort of kinship.
One would think that four electric types in the same class seemed a bit much, but considering the wide disparity in their predilections, the school's staff seemed to have thought out the class rosters carefully.
Seeing a sheet of paper posted on the notice board, Sesera walked over to take a look. It turned out to be the seating arrangement, and since her student number was near the end of the list, her spot looked to be the second-to-the-last seat along the far wall.
She headed to her appointed place, and the black-haired girl occupying the desk behind hers doled out a pleasant smile as she approached.
"Good morning." Ponytail spoke with a refined edge in her language, and her sitting posture was perfect. "My name is Momo Yaoyorozu. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Sesera Miyaka. Same." Sesera dropped her things onto the surface of her desk and pulled out the chair. She smoothed down the back of her skirt before sitting down.
To her right was a bored-looking boy with red-and-white hair, and in the seat directly in front of her was a much smaller boy with purple balls on his head. The two desks in front of the latter were yet to be occupied.
There were ten-odd people currently in the room, and with twenty seats to fill, there was still about half the headcount to wait for. It was fairly early, and the two boys sitting around her didn't look like the type to be interested in small talk, so Sesera turned in her seat and rested her arm over the back of her chair.
She asked the girl behind her, "So, which middle school did you come from?"
Ponytail seemed a bit surprised at the sudden question, but she nevertheless smiled sincerely, closing the book she'd been occupied with.
"I'm from Horisuma University Affiliated Middle School," she replied.
If Sesera recalled correctly, Horisuma was a university as prestigious as it was notorious for having one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country.
"What about you, Miyaka?" asked Ponytail.
"Ah, it's a small school way out in the country," answered Sesera without pause, waving the matter off. "You definitely won't know it. I came from Ehime."
"You've come a long way," commented the other girl, eyes widening. "Is this the first time you've been far from home?"
"Pretty much. I'm kind of nervous about it, to be honest." Sesera looked around the classroom. "Everyone here managed to pass U.A.'s high standards. You all probably have really amazing Quirks."
"You did as well," said Ponytail with a smile. "I'm sure your Quirk is just as wonderful."
Sesera never thought of it as such. "I bet your Quirk is just great."
"It's not all that," replied Ponytail, modestly waving a hand in front of her face. "And I'm nowhere close to being able to realize its full potential."
"But," said Sesera, resting her chin in her palm, "that's why we're all here, isn't it?"
At that moment, the door to the classroom was thrown open with a resounding bang, and under the entrance stood a sloppily dressed delinquent with sharp eyes that looked down on everyone.
His arrival silenced the room, and everyone watched his prideful strut with cautious looks.
"Please be a little more considerate of your surroundings." A broad-shouldered boy with glasses came forward. "Your entrance has disturbed everyone. And there was no need to open the door like that. What if you had broken it?"
The glasses boy was much larger than him, but to his credit, the delinquent didn't back down one inch.
"The hell should I care about some two-bit extras?" The delinquent spoke roughly, and the boy with glasses looked righteously offended by his reply. "I'm going to be the number one hero, and I'll blow over you second-rate wannabes these next three years."
For someone wanting to be a hero, he certainly had a mouth on him. If nothing else, his brusqueness did remind her of the current number two.
Speaking of the number two hero… Sesera only noticed now, but from where she sat, her seat neighbor's profile reminded her of the Flame Hero Endeavor. The hair and eye colors were perfectly the same.
The boy she was observing turned to her, white strands falling over a cold, gray eye.
"What?" he asked curtly.
Asking if he was related to Endeavor was probably a bit much. Sesera was a fan, so she knew that he had several children—his youngest even being her age—but considering that painful-looking burn scar on her seat neighbor's face, asking if he could get her an autograph might not be a good idea.
She tried de-escalating the situation instead.
Putting on a pleasant smile, she introduced herself to him. "I'm Sesera Miyaka. What's your name?"
"…Shoto Todoroki." He turned away from her almost immediately after giving his name, obviously exuding an aura that screamed, Don't talk to me.
His aloof manner was unsurprising, if not a bit of a turnoff. Sesera turned back to face the girl she'd previously been speaking to. Ponytail had an amused but kind of strained smile on her face as she watched the interaction.
Scrounging for another topic, Sesera asked, "Do you have any hobbies?"
"What on earth are you doing?! Put your feet down at once!"
Ponytail was interrupted by Glasses' loud exclamation, and Sesera turned her head just in time to see the boy in question zip across the classroom. He stopped at the far end of the front row and stood beside the desk which the delinquent had very comfortably settled himself into.
He leaned back on his seat as far as it would go, both feet crossed at the ankles right on top of the desk.
The high-strung boy with glasses gestured wildly with his hands, spouting some nonsense about respecting the makers and previous occupants of the desk the delinquent had put his dirty feet on.
Glasses desperately needed to chill, but the delinquent's taunting comebacks weren't of any help. Sesera found their banter amusing to watch though, and looking at how everyone's attention was zeroed in on them, the rest of her classmates were likely thinking something along the same line.
Their squabble finally broke up when they caught sight of a newcomer at the door. The curly-haired boy with the cheery-yellow backpack stiffened as Glasses zipped toward him.
"Most everyone seems to have arrived," commented Ponytail. "Homeroom should be starting soon. I wonder what kind of person our advisor is like."
Sesera shrugged lightly. "I suppose we'll find out soon enough."
There was a fleeting wave of whispers in the classroom, and when she turned her eyes toward the entrance, Sesera's blood ran cold. She started squirming in her seat, trying to make herself as sparse as possible.
"It took you all eight seconds to quiet down." At the door, the pro hero Eraser Head wiggled out of his bright-yellow sleeping bag and came out dressed in pitch black. "Time is precious. There's no rational basis in wasting it away. My name is Shota Aizawa, and I'm your homeroom adviser. Nice to meet you."
His messy hair and dull gaze didn't make him seem like an impressive person, but Sesera couldn't help but flinch when his eyes met hers while he was surveying the class.
Anti-Quirk abilities were rare, and Eraser Head was one of the best in what he did. It didn't come as a surprise that someone like him was in charge of a class full of fledgling monsters, but she still shivered at the thought of his Quirk.
"This is a bit sudden, but go change into your gym uniforms," he told them. "Once you're done, gather at the athletic field."
With those obtuse orders, he left the room while dragging his feet and sleeping bag. No one in the class moved immediately, likely still stuck in the stupor induced by their apparent homeroom teacher's words.
The delinquent was the first one to react. He rose from his seat noisily, grabbing his bag on his way up. He walked to the door with his hands in his pockets and fixed a sharp glare at the people gathered by it. Glasses and the two others standing under the exit wordlessly moved out of his way, letting him leave the room in silence.
Following him, the others stood up to leave the room as well. Sesera rose from her seat, shouldering her gym bag.
"Shall we then, Miyaka?" asked Ponytail.
"I'm right behind you," she replied.
The two of them left the room with the rest of their classmates and headed to the locker rooms to change.
"What do you think Mr. Aizawa will be having us do?" asked Ponytail.
Sesera shrugged. "Since he's having us change into our gym uniforms, it might be some sort of physical exercise."
"I thought the same," said the other girl with a quick nod. "Though considering this is U.A., it will likely have something to do with our Quirks in particular."
She was most probably correct. This school was infamous for its "anything goes" policy, and Eraser Head didn't seem like the sort of person to beat around the bush.
Sesera wasn't especially looking forward to what their homeroom teacher was planning.
After changing into their gym uniforms, they met up with Eraser Head at the edge of the track oval. Once he was sure they were all gathered, he announced what they would be doing.
"We'll be having a Quirk appraisal test."
Back during middle school, all students went through standardized physical fitness tests. But "in the spirit of fairness," Quirk usage was expressly forbidden.
Now, their teacher was telling them to go ahead and use their Quirks in those same tests.
Essentially, this was a diagnostic to see what they were truly capable of.
Still, the activities that Eraser Head enumerated were obviously biased against antipersonnel and support-type Quirks—like his own. With all the complaining he did about MEXT's policies, Sesera figured he would've been a bit less orthodox.
If he was trying to push the point that Quirks made people different from each other, then bundling together all the people with Quirks and setting a group standard for them wasn't solving the big problem either. Then again, despite U.A.'s so-called freedom, because of the very nature of heroics, it was bound to conform to the government's lead.
For a demonstration, Eraser Head called someone up as a guinea pig.
"Bakugo, you took first place in the practical entrance exam," he said. "How far could you throw in middle school?"
The spiky-haired boy who had his feet up on the desk was the one who answered.
"Sixty-seven meters," he said.
Eraser Head pointed him towards a circle marked on the ground and tossed him a metal ball.
"Try using your Quirk this time around," said Eraser Head. "You can do anything as long as you don't step out of the circle. Don't hold back."
The delinquent took the ball and rolled his shoulder to warm it up. Within a few moments, he was winding up in the middle of the circle.
He pitched the ball forward and up.
Sesera squinted, covering her nose and mouth with one hand. The other one she waved around in a feeble attempt to blow off the dirt and dust that had formed a brown cloud around them.
The delinquent seemed to have turned himself into a human fire cannon. With the strength of that explosion, she wouldn't be surprised if he'd destroyed the ball in the process.
"Holy crap." Another spiky-haired boy near the front exclaimed his awe.
"Before anything else, all of you need to know what you're capable of," said Eraser Head. He held out a smartphone, and the screen showed 705.2 m in luminescent blue characters. "That's the rational first step in figuring out what kinds of heroes you'll be."
His words lit a flame under the rest of the class, and they burst into enthusiastic cheers, eager to show off what they could do. The air vibrated with their excitement, but upon seeing the narrowed slits Eraser Head's eyes had been reduced to, Sesera decided to stay low-key.
"It looks 'fun,' you say? So, were you planning on spending the three years you had in this school just having a good time?" he asked them, and the ones who were previously overflowing with energy froze up. The sudden mood change would've been enough to give her whiplash on a bad day. "What happened to becoming heroes?"
The aura he was exuding was terrifying, and Sesera scooted over a bit to the left to hide behind the six-armed boy, making sure to position herself outside of Eraser Head's line of sight.
"Fine then, new rule: the student who ranks last will be judged as hopeless and instantly expelled," said their teacher, and the tension that rippled through the class at his sudden decree was tangible. "The school's freedom also allows us teachers to dispense with students as we please.
"Welcome to U.A. High's Department of Heroics!"
The first event was a fifty-meter dash, and Sesera took it as a chance to examine the Quirks of her new classmates.
Overall, Endeavor Jr. and the delinquent were the obvious high rollers. Bird Boy also made her list of people to watch, with a Quirk that was both powerful and interesting enough to catch her curiosity. Glasses' Engine was not quite novel, but it was functional and reliable—as thoroughbred for hero work as they came.
The sparkly blond came equipped with a surprisingly high-tech belt despite the lame concept behind his ability. It looked to be a general Quirk-support item like her regulator instead of some sort of weapon or enhancer, so she had to wonder about the real nature of his power.
Sesera's exposure to people her age was limited, so she sort of wanted to be able to talk about it with him, but…
His… sparkliness… makes him kind of hard to approach…
The other electricity user didn't even attempt to use his Quirk. From what Sesera could tell, his maximum output was over a thousand kilovolts, so he should have had plenty of power to spare. The fact that he didn't implied that he might have some sort of control issue like her. In any case, he looked like he would be easier to talk to than Sparkles, so she figured she could try to approach him later.
Everyone else's Quirks tiptoed the line between useful depending on the situation and meh.
Still, they definitely went all out in showcasing their Quirks in this first event, and the level of flashiness was astounding. Motivation seemed high despite Eraser Head's threat of expulsion hanging in the air—or maybe it was because of it.
In truth, the moment their teacher brought out that card, Sesera already had half a mind to just take the opportunity presented and intentionally flunk out. But even though she'd never considered herself a proud person, it was hard to ignore the honest determination that came rolling off her new classmates in waves.
The feeling of wanting to prove oneself was nothing new to her, but having it envelop her so thoroughly—and with this level of intensity—was something she hadn't experienced before.
It made a shiver run down her spine, and she instinctively wanted to puke.
Sesera and Ponytail were the last two to come up. The black-haired girl had proven herself in possession of quite the interesting Quirk as well, having somehow produced a pair of blaster-equipped roller skates from virtually nothing. She crouched by the starting block with her arms around her legs to minimize her draft as much as possible.
The light on the bot by the finish line flashed red, giving them a few seconds to prepare.
"Three, two, one… Go!"
Fire and smoke sputtered out from the tailpipes at the back of Ponytail's skates, boosting her forward with the acceleration of a rocket.
"4.08 seconds!" The robot beeped as Ponytail passed it. It then beeped once more when Sesera crossed the line. "6.37 seconds!"
Her score put her in at around thirteenth or so, and Sesera figured it was good enough. She hadn't bothered to use her Quirk, and while she could've maybe put in a bit more effort, this was still only just a school thing, and she'd rather spare herself the trouble.
Before long, Eraser Head called on everyone to gather in the gym.
"Next up is the grip strength test," he told them.
The class was then divided into groups of four, and five digital dynamometers were distributed among them. Ponytail took charge of recording their group's results on the index card Eraser Head had handed them.
The small boy who sat in front of Sesera in class went first, and he delivered a surprising result of forty-eight kilograms. She didn't expect it from someone his size, but it looked like he had a pretty solid grip.
Seaweed Head concentrated very hard as he took hold of the dynamometer. Once he was done, the display showed 56 kg.
He didn't look very happy at the result despite being relatively above average. Based on what she'd seen so far, a lot of the girls and even a fair number of the boys would score lower than him, so he wasn't in that much trouble. It was only the second event, and he hadn't really gotten an opportunity to use his Quirk yet, whatever it was.
By the time he was done, Sesera was still debating whether or not to go through with her idea to take first place in this activity, so she had Ponytail take her turn before her.
The black-haired girl passed her the pen and card and began unzipping her top. Seaweed Head covered his face with his hands and let out a short shriek.
"I'm not complaining, but what is she doing?" asked the small boy casually.
Sesera blinked. "Well…"
Before long, Ponytail had pulled out an industrial-strength clamp from her stomach and recorded a whopping 1,200 kilograms.
"Is that allowed?" asked the small boy as their teacher passed by them.
"I'll allow it," answered Eraser Head lazily, hands shoved deep into his pockets. His eyes turned towards Sesera, and she held her breath at his gaze. "We don't have all day here, Miyaka. Get to it."
All things considered, there was a very effective and rather simple way for her to ace this entire sham of an appraisal test even though it kind of defeated the point of taking it. This particular event was just the easiest way to show off without being overtly unfair.
The only thing holding her back was whether or not she dared with the pro hero Eraser Head supervising. But after seeing how easily he allowed Ponytail's cheat, she figured she could go for it.
"Here you go, Miyaka." Ponytail had zipped her top back up, and she held out the device for Sesera to take.
Before she had a chance to change her mind, Sesera took the dynamometer into her hand and sent a short shock of electricity through it.
The digital display lit up. It beeped once, and Sesera held out the device screen up.
"Amazing!" exclaimed Seaweed Head. His wide eyes were fixed on the numbers on the screen. "How'd you do that?"
"Manipulation of technology through electricity, is it?" Ponytail was the first one to understand what happened. "What a versatile Quirk in today's world."
"It's not that amazing," said Sesera noncommittally. "Most electric-types go into electronics nowadays."
"That's gotta be cheating," said the small boy as he stared up at her with narrowed eyes that were directed nowhere near her face.
Unflinchingly, Eraser Head took the index card Ponytail presented him. He then started punching in their results on his smartphone.
"I'll allow it," he said leisurely.
He was a lot laxer about it than Sesera thought he'd be, and she let out a silent breath. Still, she wasn't up to pushing her luck against an opponent who could literally kill her with a single look, so she decided to lie low for the next few events.
Once all the groups had finished, Eraser Head collected their results and shooed everyone out to the field once more.
Even though she took first place in the second event by a landslide, Sesera loafed about during the next couple of tests to keep a low profile. Ponytail and her ingenuity did not drop below third in any event, and Endeavor Jr. and the delinquent consistently ranked high. Glasses and Bird Boy were also honorable mentions.
Sesera figured she'd be hovering somewhere around the upper tens.
For the fifth event, they went back to the middle of the field for the ball-throwing test. Several people were able to show off, but Gravity Girl took the cake early on with an almost unbelievable score of infinity. She wasn't able to display it much in the previous events, but looking at it now, it was a pretty interesting ability.
Most everyone got fairly good scores for the event, and the delinquent even managed to add some distance to his earlier try.
The curly-haired boy came up after him. Seaweed Head looked like he was on the verge of a panic attack as he stepped into the circle. He hadn't done anything special yet, so Sesera was beginning to wonder what kind of Quirk he had.
She heard Glasses murmuring concernedly. "Hmm, Midoriya isn't doing so well…"
"Well, duh," said the delinquent with a scoff. "He's just a Quirkless runt!"
The statement caught Sesera's attention, and she immediately turned her head. Judging by how furrowed the delinquent's eyebrows were, he wasn't lying. Still, Quirklessness was a rare case in this day and age, and she hadn't expected to hear about it again in U.A. of all places.
Not to mention that it begged the question: if that were the case, then how'd Seaweed Head get into the Hero Course in the first place?
"Quirkless? Have you not heard of his feats in the practical entrance exam?" asked Glasses as he gestured wildly with his arms. Beside him, Gravity Girl nervously twiddled with her fingers, her eyes fixed on the aforementioned curly-haired boy.
Returning her attention to the front, Sesera scrutinized the boy who was standing in the middle of the circle and mumbling rapidly to himself.
Seaweed Head took a deep breath as he stared at the ball in his hands. Raising his left foot, he twisted his body as he prepared to throw.
There was a prickle in the air. She could sense a massive power accumulating into Seaweed Head's right arm as he extended it backward and flung it forward in a wide arc.
She had no idea what the delinquent was talking about. Seaweed Head totally had a Quirk.
The mechanical voice announced the result of Seaweed Head's throw, and Sesera blinked. She turned her gaze to their teacher.
"I Erased your Quirk," said Eraser Head with a heavy sigh. He pushed back the hair that fell over his face. The scarf he wore had loosened, floating in loops around him. Slitted goggles rested around his neck, and Seaweed Head let out a gasp, recognizing the signature equipment.
"You're the Erasure Hero Eraser Head!" exclaimed the curly-haired boy. The look on his face was somewhere between awe and dismay.
"I saw how you couldn't control your Quirk during the entrance exam," said Eraser Head coldly, approaching him with wide steps. "You'd just be incapacitated again if you do the same thing. Were you thinking that someone would just step in to help afterward like what happened before?"
So, his Quirk came with a severe rebound? It wasn't unheard of, and Sesera herself was in a similar predicament.
Quirks going out of control was one of the top three dangers their current society faced, and the nine years of mandatory elementary and middle school education were, in part, dedicated to helping children learn to control their abilities through whatever means necessary.
By their age, people would've already achieved a certain modicum of control, especially those who aspired to be heroes. Seaweed Head's situation would make more sense if he rarely used it because of the backlash, but he didn't hesitate at all in trying to use it just now.
"N-No, it's not like that—!" Seaweed Head was cut short when Eraser Head's scarf wrapped around him, and he was roughly pulled forward.
"But even if it's not," said Eraser Head, looking the boy right in the eye, "it's what the people around you will be forced to do. If you're totally useless after saving just one person, then there's no way you can become a hero."
"You mustn't become like that."
Blond hair and red-and-white armor flashed before Sesera's eyes.
"You can use your Quirk again. I'll let you have one last shot," Eraser Head told the curly-haired boy dispassionately. "Let's get this over with."
Once again, Seaweed Head was left alone in the circle. He gripped the ball tightly, his head hanging as he mumbled to himself.
Now that she thought about it, he'd had a particularly pained expression on his face all this time. He was clearly trying his best, but for some reason, it looked like he was having a hard time getting his Quirk under control.
In that sense, she could sort of empathize with him.
Breathing in deeply, Seaweed Head took wide steps forward. His left foot dug into the ground at the very edge of the circle as he swung his arm down.
There was that massive amount of energy flowing through him once more, and Sesera nearly shivered at the torrential force that he was trying to fit into one small finger.
If there was any aspect of her Quirk that felt close to a blessing, it was the ability to cut herself off from her pain receptors. It was something she'd started doing out of necessity to be able to even use her Quirk, and eventually, turning off her nociceptors became practically an involuntary action for her.
She knew—a bit better than others—how to recognize pain.
That's going to hurt, and it's going to hurt a lot.
That said, the split-second finesse Seaweed Head showed was beautiful, and his timing was nothing short of perfect. His finger was on the ball until the very last second, and as it slipped away, he imparted it with as much power as he could.
The ball flew into the distance until it was nothing but a speck. Predictably, Seaweed Head's forefinger was mottled purple, and his entire body trembled as he bit down on his lip.
Even so, he threw a victorious smile at their teacher, teeth grinding as he proudly claimed that, "I… can still move!"
Not for too long, thought Sesera, impassively estimating how much pain he was biting back. He might've proven himself somewhat, but he wasn't about to leave any more good marks in the state he was in.
At this rate, he was still going to end up the bottom-feeder, and she didn't doubt that Eraser Head was the sort of person who did good on his words.
But then again, Seaweed Head had shown his grit just now, and the expression that had appeared on the pro hero's face was clearly impressed. Even if he did land in last place, their teacher would likely wave the expulsion off as a joke or something.
Well, maybe not quite a joke…
Sesera was brought out of her thoughts when the delinquent suddenly dashed forward, flames and sparks spitting from his open palms.
"What the hell? Explain yourself, Deku!" he shouted as he rushed towards Seaweed Head, who screamed bloody murder at the sight of his charge.
Before the delinquent could reach the other boy though, the flames in his hands were whittled down into trailing gray smoke, and he was caught in a net of cloth. It was somewhat admirable how he persisted in fighting against his constraints, his hands trembling as he forced his Quirk to come out despite the futility of it.
"Sheesh. Stop trying to use your Quirk already…" Eraser Head grumbled, looking very fed up as he pushed his hair out of his face. "I have dry eye, damn it!"
Once the delinquent backed down, Eraser Head pulled back his weapon and wrapped it around his neck once more.
He barked out his next words snippily. "We're wasting time. Who's next?"
"That's you," Sesera told the small boy who sat in front of her in class. He immediately ran up and into the circle, uneager to further displease their teacher.
He recorded a remarkably lackluster result, especially considering he went right after Seaweed Head's eventful turn. The curly-haired boy still seemed to be stewing in the pain from his finger, and his facial expression as he conversed with Glasses and Gravity Girl was strained.
Once the small boy was done, Sesera stepped up into the circle, catching the new ball Eraser Head had tossed her.
"Make it quick," he told her.
Sesera held the ball with both hands, trying to gauge how thick its outer shell was. Railgun mechanics probably wasn't the best choice for a distance-focused test, but she had very few attacks in her repertoire that didn't require an external medium to channel her power through. Other than the grip-strength test she essentially cheated on, her scores in most of the other activities were pretty below average.
There wasn't much of a choice if she intended on keeping herself afloat.
She wouldn't be able to get anywhere close to Gravity Girl's infinity score without outright cheating, but currently in second place was Endeavor Jr., who had passed the kilometer mark earlier. She could match up to his score easily enough.
She had her conductive-fiber undershirt and gloves on, and her gym uniform was made from the same special material developed to contain her Quirk. Since her cousin's support company had an active contract with the school, they were easily able to accommodate her clothing requirements. With her uniform custom-tailored, there shouldn't be much threat of injury as long as she dialed down on the power and controlled her output well.
Still, knowing that Ponytail would likely Create an actual, physical cannon after her turn made her want to push herself a bit more. Except that would be extremely stupid and superbly bothersome.
While it was true that a modern supergun could easily shoot something over a hundred kilometers, that was serious overkill. Ponytail was intelligent, but Sesera doubted that she was all that knowledgeable about heavy artillery.
There were still three more events, and third or fourth here was good enough to keep her out of the lower tens in the overall ranking.
Sesera cradled the ball in her open palm. She aimed it up an angle since she had to be careful about where she shot too. Even just a ball this size was pretty much an artillery shell if launched at the speed of sound.
She slid one foot back to brace herself for the recoil and made sure to support her outstretched arm with her other hand. Starting from her shoulder, two magnetic currents ran down either side of her arm, pulsating with blue-white crackles of light.
The ball shot forward with an echoing boom, quickly becoming a speck in the sky. U.A. was obscenely huge, so based on her calculations, in the direction she had launched it at, it should land in one of the numerous training grounds.
It was an anxious four-second wait before the light on the robot turned green, and its mechanical voice announced her score.
It flew a bit further than she expected it to, to be honest.
"Holy crap!" exclaimed the other spiky-haired boy. He threw her a sharp-toothed grin and a thumbs-up. "That was seriously manly, hey!"
Sesera blinked at the redhead's words, not quite sure if they were supposed to be taken as a compliment or something else.
"Thanks?" she replied.
"Whoa, whoa! Hold up!" The other electricity user came stumbling forward with bulging eyes. "Weren't you a hacking type? What's with that power?!"
"My Quirk is Electromagnetic Force." Sesera summarized her ability. "I can manipulate the interactions between electrically charged particles."
"No no no no no!" He vehemently shook his head as he held one hand out. "Hacking into stuff requires like, super delicate work! Fine control of small quantities! Plus, you need really specialized knowledge about machines and stuff! They have a completely different skillset from power types! You're either one or the other!"
"Well, she looks like she'd be smarter than you, that's for sure," commented Earlobe Girl in a casual tone, and Tape Dispenser Elbows snickered conspicuously.
The other electric type was bordering on whining. "But hacking types and power types are on total opposite ends of the spectrum! If you have the power to shoot out blasts like that, control at the smaller scale gets inversely more difficult! Only a small portion of electric types has the power generation ability to be useful in heroics. Most have very limited power outputs, and the reason they hone their fine control is that they don't have anything else going for them. Getting the best of both worlds is totally unfair!"
His impassioned—and admittedly verbose—speech silenced the group of people around them.
"It's… um, a hobby." Sesera lamely made up her excuse. "I… like computer games…?"
She could sense that there was real frustration behind his words, but the way he pulled at his hair and dramatically screamed, "I'm so jealous!" made her second guess how serious he was being. She wasn't all that sure how to take his straightforward and honest personality, especially considering she was so used to electric-types being conniving and attention-seeking.
"Even though you're both electricity users, the two of you use your abilities very differently," commented Seaweed Head. He cradled his injured hand in his other one, and his voice was just a teensy bit pressed. "It's quite interesting to see."
"No two Quirks are the same, and that is why they are called 'individualities,' " said Glasses. "Even in my family, while the natures of our abilities are mostly the same, the ways we use them are quite diverse."
Seaweed Head's face brightened up. "Ah, that's right. I remember All Might saying something similar in an interview once."
Sesera knew which one he was referring to since she'd seen that interview as well.
As physical characteristics contrived from genetic data, Quirks were, in short, hereditary traits. Dismissing mutations and anomalies, reviewing a child's family background was enough to make an educated guess on what kind of Quirk they could manifest.
Sesera's mother was the culmination of a long line of electricity users, and the sheer output of her Bioelectrogenesis was proof of what power compounded upon power could result to.
Of what generations of human greed could spiral into.
"You mustn't become like that."
Sesera walked toward the back of the group as her classmates continued their animated conversations, their voices buzzing in her ears.
"Doesn't it hurt?"
She blinked, and she turned her head up to meet Junior's flat expression. His gaze dropped down to where she was unconsciously rubbing small circles over the length of her forearm, and she suddenly noticed a patch on her sleeve that seemed to stick differently onto her skin.
The familiar kick of the scent of well-done meat hung in the air.
"No, it doesn't," she answered truthfully.
He seemed to weigh her words for a long moment before looking away.
"Is that so."
Sensing that that was the end of their short conversation, Sesera returned her gaze to the front. Inside the circle, Ponytail was assembling the different parts she had produced into a small-scale cannon.
It had a long and thin chase that was most definitely built for distance. It seemed to be a black powder model, but considering how the ball had withstood even the delinquent's firepower and her high-speed launch, it'd probably be fine.
Ponytail slipped the ball into the chamber and fired.
The fact that it had changed over to an entirely different unit of measurement cemented just how impressive Ponytail's score was. Even then, the satisfied smile on her face was neither boastful nor smug. She was just genuinely pleased with her performance.
It was a refreshing thing to see.
For the next couple of events, they were all herded back inside the gym. After telling them to partner up, Eraser Head handed each pair another index card and pen to write their results on. Everyone was told to stretch and warm up properly with these activities since they'd be starting the endurance run immediately afterward.
They finished with the sit-ups and seated toe touches fairly quickly. When the time came for the endurance run, Ponytail promptly assembled a functional motorbike with a full tank of gas, riding it all the way to first place.
Unsurprisingly, Seaweed Head was the first to drop out, not even finishing two laps before he was forced to quit due to the intense pain from his swollen finger.
In the end, Sesera made fourteenth place, and even though he was dead last, Seaweed Head was not expelled—though he did make a really funny face when Eraser Head told them that the whole expulsion thing was just a ploy to get them to do their best.
It was more likely that their teacher just changed his mind halfway through after seeing the determination the curly-haired boy with the odd Quirk showed.
Seaweed Head was given a clinic pass to go get his swollen finger looked at, and the rest of them were told to pick up a syllabus from the classroom then pack up.
Sesera walked back to the locker rooms with the other girls. The invisible girl and the pink girl were chatting up a storm, talking about inviting everyone to an outing for some sort of class bonding session. It would've been troublesome to refuse them, so instead, she changed and scrammed as fast as she could.
When Sesera arrived at the classroom, a few guys were idling around and talking amongst themselves. Nodding at those who greeted her, she headed straight for the teacher's desk, where a pile of papers lay neatly in the middle. She picked up one of the stapled stacks and began flipping through the pages.
Halfway through her perusal, the delinquent came up from behind her and grabbed a stack of his own. His eyes skimmed through the first page before carelessly shoving it into his bag and walking away.
She called out to him before he could leave the room.
He didn't seem to be in the best of moods, if the murderous look and rough "Aah?" he threw her were anything to go by.
"You said that one guy was Quirkless. What did you mean by that?" she asked him.
Sesera had gathered from the test that they knew each other even before entering U.A. The easiest explanation for the delinquent's overreaction to Seaweed Head's power showcase during the throwing activity was that the latter really had just been keeping it a secret from the former.
But even after a series of roundabout thoughts, she couldn't think of any fathomable motive for a young boy to lie about not having a Quirk, especially to someone who would use it as a way to demean him. She didn't know how far their acquaintanceship went, but in any case, Seaweed Head didn't seem like the type to lie or hide things, and neither did the delinquent.
Moreover, Quirklessness was a formal medical condition, and it was particularly rare among the latest generations, especially in an insulated island country like Japan.
Quirkless people were differentiated from normal people because they didn't have any Plus Alpha elements to make up a Quirk factor. This was an absolute physical barrier that couldn't be overcome by just someone snapping their fingers.
Quirks manifested at ages four to five at the latest, and while there were passive Quirks that weren't obvious until certain conditions in later life were met, people clinically diagnosed as Quirkless suddenly getting Quirks of their own was the stuff of urban legends.
It was the kind of conspiracy theory that Dr. Tokudome and the researchers at the institute tried their hands at.
The crease between the delinquent's brows furrowed even deeper. "The hell do you care?"
After seeing how he had to be forcefully held back by a veteran pro hero like Eraser Head, Sesera decided that this explosive boy's wrath wasn't quite worth the satisfaction of her usual paranoia.
She shrugged. "Just curious."
"Deku is a fucking pebble." The delinquent practically spat out the name. He was looking at her, but it seemed like he was saying the words to himself. "I dunno who he blew to get here, but that damned nerd doesn't fucking deserve to be."
Sesera blinked. "OK."
He scowled at her blasé answer. He then turned away with a harrumph and made a beeline for the exit.
Once he was gone, she neatly slipped the syllabus into a folder to make sure it wouldn't crease. Zipping her bag back up, she returned the farewells thrown at her before exiting the classroom.
And thus ended Sesera Miyaka's first day at U.A. High School.
showichi: This is just me pandering to myself. Enjoy the show, I guess.