Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia or One Punch Man. They belong to their respective creators.
Izuku barely managed to keep his tea down as All Might broke the news. "50 minutes? That's barely enough time at all!"
The hero's head dipped as he nodded. He brought young Midoriya over to the lounge under the pretense that he wished to thank him for leaping in and saving young Asui and Mineta, but he actually needed to tell him about his current hero limit. Not that he wasn't thankful that his protégé protected his fellow students, but the current news was more important. "I gave beyond 100% of my effort to take down the League of Villain's weapon. Although I didn't defeat it, I was still severely weakened."
To prove his point, All Might lifted his arm, which was still wrapped in bandages. It seemed a little slack to Izuku, but he knew that as soon as the hero slipped into his muscle form, the fabric would nearly stretch to the point of snapping. "The flames of One for All has died down quite significantly, but as long as I stay within my limit, I should be all right."
The teen sagged as he processed this information. He gingerly set down his mug, ignoring how his hand trembled ever so slightly. All Might was nearing his end; Izuku knew that for a fact. And it didn't get any less scary. The number one hero always had the persona of being invincible. He was the type of hero that villains feared all throughout Japan. Even when he juggled through dozens of criminals with horrifying Quirks, his smile never left his face.
But now, after nearly losing his life until Mr. Saitama and Mr. Genos came, the Symbol of Peace seemed small and vulnerable. 50 minutes was not a long time when fighting, and seeing how All Might had to be present during the Sports Festival in his muscle form, that meant that he did not have time to do any hero activities whatsoever. If villains decided to attack later on in the evening, the heroes would have to deal with it without the assistance of All Might.
Izuku's horrified expression must have shown on his face, because he felt a boney hand settle on his shoulder. All Might smiled gently at the teen. "No need to worry, young Midoriya! I can tell that you're thinking about me at the Sports Festival. I'm not going to risk being in my muscle form all day, so don't think of me as completely helpless."
He was right, of course. All Might wouldn't be so reckless as to risk lowering his time limit any time soon, so it would make sense to just turn into his normal form every time he bowed out of the limelight.
It was still a stressful situation, to say the least.
"Speaking of the Sports Festival, how goes it with One for All, young Midoriya?"
Izuku started. "Oh! Actually, I wanted to talk to you about that!"
The student then recounted the events that happened at the USJ, with him, Asui, and Mineta being teleported to the middle of the lake. He explained that he broke his finger when he created a whirlpool to suck the villains in, but didn't break his entire arm when he hit that Noumu. Then proceeded to break both his legs when he tried to save All Might from certain doom. This Quirk really didn't add up, but Izuku threw in his 2 cents anyways. "Maybe my arm didn't break that time because I tried to use it on a person?"
All Might hummed as he stroked his chin thoughtfully. "That is a possibility, although I never had that problem when I received One for All."
Again, Izuku was painfully reminded that he was nowhere near the level of All Might and his predecessors when they inherited the Quirk. He knew that he did not have long to train his body for the sudden availability of a power, but it still stung nonetheless.
All Might continued, oblivious to Izuku's discomfort. "But I commend you for making progress, young Midoriya! I know it's slow at first and you wish that things would move along faster, but being patient is the only way to grow."
"But how am I going to use my Quirk in the Sports Festival if I keep breaking everything all the time," Izuku implored, "When we fight against other students, how am I going to stop myself from hurting them too badly?"
All Might gently tapped Izuku's green mop of hair. "Best advice I can give for you is to just use that overthinking brain of yours. Winning isn't just about being strong and blasting everything away. Thinking about potential game-changers is a powerful weapon. I've seen you use it many times, young Midoriya. I have absolute faith in you."
Izuku sighed. He would have to make do somehow. He could use his fingers again: he had ten, after all.
"Ah, one more thing."
He looked up.
"When you're out there, on the battlefield, I want you to shine your brightest. I want you to proclaim to the world at the top of your lungs 'I am here'! This is your debut as my successor.
All Might then stood, grinning confidently down at his protégé. "I want you to aim for the absolute top, and never let your flame sputter. Remember how you felt when you finally cleared out Dagobah beach. Remember your victory and make it your own!"
The teen choked. Stand out? Growing up, he did his absolute best not to stand out. Being Quirkless meant that staying in the shadows was the safest place to be. But now All Might was telling him to throw away all of that and make himself known?
He knew that he would have to become used to the spotlight eventually, but the thought still gave him anxiety. "But I don't think I can do that, All Might! What if I get knocked out the first round? What if I break too many things? What if I break somebody? What if—"
He felt a strong hand grip his shoulder. All Might had suddenly transformed into his muscle form, looking like the powerful and invincible hero he was. His voice boomed when he spoke. "Too many 'what ifs.' The future is something that is always changing, young Midoriya. One can get too caught up about the possible outcomes of his actions. But that sort of thinking isn't necessary. Hold your head up high and break through your doubt. Brave the unknown! Don't disregard what your actions may cause, but be mindful of them. That is a key essence in becoming a hero."
Despite his misgivings, Izuku couldn't help but be awed at All Might's speech. This sort of confident attitude came from years of saving lives and learning from his past. It was best to heed this sort of once-in-a-lifetime advice.
The hero-in-training reluctantly nodded. "Okay, All Might. I'll do my best."
All Might winked down at his student. "I know you will."
Genos imperceptibly raised an eyebrow when Izuku Midoriya walked into class several minutes after it had started.
The child fumbled around nervously for a slip of paper in his pocket, which he then handed off to Eraserhead. The hero took a look at it and threw it in the trash bin, but not without Genos quickly reading the print. It was a late pass from All Might, it seemed. What they were talking about until well after class had started was none of his business.
Eraserhead gestured over to Midoriya's open seat, to which the teen quickly shuffled over to. The blonde student sitting in front of him spat something out with a whisper, and Midoriya shook his head. Katsuki Bakugo, Genos suddenly recalled, seemed to think it as an acceptable answer and turned back to the front.
Eraserhead continued on, as if he had never been interrupted in the first place. "As I was saying, Class 1-A is responsible for the opening speech. We usually choose the student based on their grades and overall performance, but since Bakugo declined due to personal reasons. After careful consideration, I agreed to have Midoriya to give the speech at the festival. Congratulations."
While the delivery of the news was some of the driest congratulations the class had ever heard, they made up for it with cheering for the pale teen, who looked as if he was about to pass out any second.
The hero cleared his throat, silencing the crowd. "I want you all to adhere to the proper guidelines and regulations during the festival. Security is upgraded tenfold this year, so be prepared to pass through numerous checks and verifications. Your immediate family might also go through the same checks, so be sure to apply their entries on the UA website under your ID's. The festival is 2 weeks from now, so prepare accordingly.
"That concludes homeroom for the day. Get plenty of rest, problem students. You're all expected to show up to the 1-A waiting room at the stadium at 8 AM sharp. Don't be late."
And with that, he started to pack, mimicked by the rest of the class. Genos turned to his immediate left and gently shook the man sitting next to him. "Master. Class has concluded. It is time to leave."
Saitama, who had been gently snoring the duration of the entire class, slowly opened his eyes and let out a cavernous yawn. "I think I'm starting to remember why I hated school…"
A couple students still present giggled quietly, while others nodded as if what the bald man had said was a sage-worthy observation.
Eraserhead tucked the yellow sleeping bag that he always seemed to have with him under his bandaged arm. "Alright, let's go. Nezu wants to talk to you."
Genos immediately became alert. The animal wanted to see them? Were they finally being punished for doing the right thing?
Heroics in this world was not something that he fully understood yet. Of course, it was horrible to take a human life, but from the looks of things, some of these villains needed to be taken care of permanently. If they escaped then they would live to fight another day.
But apparently such behavior was labelled as vigilantism, and such acts were punishable by law. Again, something that he didn't see a problem with. Was he not a vigilante before him and his Master signed up for the Hero Association? Nobody he saved alerted his behavior to the authorities, after all.
And then there was the problem of their current citizenship. As far as Nezu and the rest of the heroes were concerned, him and Master were either spies, vigilantes, or fake heroes who forged a license about an organization that didn't exist.
Maybe it was time to leave. It would be difficult to evade authorities on this world they knew very little about, but it surely beat being sent to a prison until the government figured out exactly what to do with them. He would have to create a manner of disguises to conceal his arms and body.
He wasn't unduly concerned about Master though. He had the deepest respect for the man, but sometimes Genos figured that if all Master did was put on a wig, then his disguise was complete.
But, then again, it all depended on what the principal wanted to talk to them about. It was highly improbable, but things could work out as long as they stayed calm.
Eraserhead suddenly spoke up, jostling Genos out of his brooding thoughts. "Kaminari. What are you doing?"
The student in question had a grip on the sliding door, veins popping out from his arms as he tried to pull on the handle. "I…think it's…stuck, Mr. Eraserhead. Can't…get it to open!"
The hero sighed and walked over, gently pushing the teen out of the way. He gave the handle an experimental push with his elbow, then frowned when the door refused to budge. Putting a bit more effort in, he adjusted his stance, but to no avail. "That's strange. Midoriya just got in here a second ago."
"Don't tell me you broke the door, Deku!"
"I didn't, Kaachan, I swear!"
Saitama yawned once more and strode over to the teacher. "Here, let me give it a shot."
Before Aizawa could refuse, the bald hero yanked on the handle, pulling out the door as easily as a man ripping tape off of a wall. As for the doorframe, it instantly evaporated upon contact.
A flood of students suddenly fell into the classroom, all uttering sounds of shock and surprise as the door they had been leaning on had all of a sudden disintegrated.
As bits and pieces of plaster and dust descended onto the stunned onlookers, Saitama stared blankly at the opening. "Whoops."
Aizawa swore he felt his blood pressure rising as Saitama gingerly laid the ruined door against the wall. He was sorely tempted to just wrap up the man in his scarf and drag him to Nezu's office, but he didn't have much control of his arms at the moment.
Some members of the class didn't have such qualms. Kirishima pumped a fist in the air and whooped, with Mina, Sero, and Kaminari following suit. "Dude, that was awesome!"
Unfortunately for them, their celebrations were cut short by a warning glare from their irate teacher. "You and I are going to have a long talk about restricted Quirk usage, Mr. Saitama."
Shelving his ire away for the future talk, the pro hero then looked down upon the sudden influx of new faces he had seen only a few times before. "Care to explain what you are all doing outside my classroom?"
He was met with a myriad of clashing voices and pitches, all of which tried to supply the teacher with a suitable answer that didn't result in them getting in trouble. But one voice carried high above the rest, laced with just a hint of annoyance. "It's obvious isn't it? They're here to scope out the competition."
Bakugo stepped forward, his school bag swaying over his shoulder. "They heard about us having a mix up with the villains and now they wanna see what all the fuss is about."
One student, perhaps braver than the rest of the group, shouldered his way to the front of the ruined doors. Muted purple hair, similar to Bakugo's own except longer, greeted the inhabitants of Class 1-A. "That's right. Though I have to admit, I'm kind of underwhelmed."
"The fuck you say?" Bakugo snarled, planting himself right in front of the other student. "Who the hell do you think you are?"
The teen stared back unflinchingly, his cold gaze matching the burning eyes of the Explosion Quirk user. "Just someone from the General Studies course. But I'm also the one that's going to take your place as a student of Class 1-A."
Izuku felt confusion fill his mind. Take his place? What did he mean by that?
As if answering Izuku's unspoken question, the purple-haired teen continued. "A lot of us were put into the other courses because we couldn't get into the hero course, did you know that?"
Bakugo's eyes narrowed. "Stop dancing around and tell me what you want, shithead."
The General Studies student grinned. "Alright. The school gave us a chance to get into the Hero Course. If we outperform you all in the festival, Principal Nezu said he'll consider our transfers. Basically, we're here to give you guys a declaration of war."
Genos frowned. War? Just how competitive was the current atmosphere in this school? Students should be working together and help each other succeed, not threaten them with promises of replacing them.
And General Studies? That must mean there were other courses other than the Hero Course and the Support Department. Just how many students didn't make the cut to become heroes? And if they couldn't rise up and take places in the Hero Course, were they doomed to not become heroes forever?
Why did they not just add more Hero Courses? If all these children currently outside the door were trying to get into heroics, then it only made sense to make more classes.
He stole a glance at Eraserhead, who was completely silent, watching the altercation from the sidelines. Clearly, he did not wish to get involved until he absolutely had to. This was all a lucky learning opportunity, he supposed.
Before Bakugo could get another word in edgewise and say something that the class was going to regret, a boisterous voice emanated from the back of the audience. A muscular teen with silver hair and extremely bushy eyebrows came forth, his sharpened teeth gnashing as he spoke. "I come all this way from 1-B to see the guys that fought some villains, but from what I've been hearing, you're just a bunch of brats!"
Izuku blanched. This wasn't good. Being polite was never Kaachan's strong suit, and he could tell his childhood friend's patience was running thin. Bakugo grinned up at the new arrival, but there was no warmth in it. "Oh? Want to come up here and say that to my face, you damn extra?"
All chatter immediately ceased as students finally remembered that there was a teacher present, along with two other new arrivals who looked like pro heroes. Genos ignored the way the children, mostly the girls, whispered about him. He did realize he looked intimidating, and the metallic arms probably didn't help his overall image.
Eraserhead stepped forward, parting the crowd like he had somehow developed a magnetic field. "Your drive is admirable, but save all that energy for the Sports Festival. You all have only 2 weeks to prepare. If you want to get into the Hero Course, then focus on training rather than duking it out with other students. There will be plenty of that later.
He then turned to face Genos and Saitama, the latter dusting off bits and pieces of wood from his cape. "Let's go."
Saitama took one last guilty look at the door before following the teacher. For all intents and purposes, he felt like he was back in elementary school again where he would constantly get in trouble and got caught by the faculty.
Genos managed to make out panicked voices from classroom 1-A, where the rest of the students were apparently mortified by the hole that Bakugo Katsuki had dug them into. "Should you not make sure that the students do not engage in fights? There is a considerable amount of discord in the children."
"There wouldn't be a point," Shota answered, "Of course we don't want brawls to take place in the hallways, but they have to keep those embers hot if they want to even stand a chance in the Sports Festival."
"Isn't this too much though?" Saitama asked, "They're like what, 11? They could get hurt."
Eraserhead didn't even bother correcting him. "Being a hero is a dangerous job. Stress is an everyday thing they're going to have to deal with in every aspect of their lives. It's better to get them used to the environment now rather than later."
Genos frowned at that answer. "But they are still children. This cannot be good for them psychologically."
Shota raised an eyebrow as the trio descended down a flight of stairs. "We have plenty of resources available that students can take advantage of. We even have licensed Quirk therapists that could use their powers to ease their minds. And before you ask, no it isn't long term. But we have regular counselors and psychologists as well.
"And they chose this path. It is their road to walk. They are free to leave anytime they wish, and we would not stop them because it is their decision to make."
For some reason, Genos briefly thought about Child Emperor, who was far younger than any of the students enrolled at this academy at just 10 years old. He had seen his fair share of battles in the short time he was alive, and was resourceful enough to make it into the ranks of the S-Class.
But it was different for Child Emperor, Genos mused. Even if he was the youngest hero in the registry, he was much more mature than the children in this world. Therapy would be subject of jokes to him, as the cyborg was sure that Child Emperor was completely sane.
Maybe there was something different about humans here than back in their original world? Perhaps their brain chemistries were vastly divergent to one another. But that wouldn't make sense, as children in their world could also become traumatized from monster attacks. Was Child Emperor the outlier in this equation?
Aizawa frowned behind his bandages as the blonde teen suddenly fell completely silent. He knew that Genos disproved of the current age of the students training to be heroes. Which begged the question, how old were the two of them when they decided to pursue heroics? Because if they reacted this way, then they must have started relatively late. So many questions and mysteries surrounded them.
Well, they would get answers soon, whether the two liked it or not.
Genos immediately became on edge when the next turn they made didn't lead to Nezu's office, but instead led to the parking lot behind the school. "Where are you taking us?"
Eraserhead said nothing in return, opening the door to a car that was idling outside the exit. Snipe emerged from behind the vehicle, placatingly waving his hands as if he wished to dispel any worries they had. "We're just driving to one of the buildings on the campus to meet Principal Nezu. He told us it's better if you weren't limited to just the main building and the guest room."
The teen didn't believe that for a second. Nezu and the other heroes made it explicitly clear that they did not trust him and Master. If they were suddenly allowing them to visit other locations, then something else must be afoot. Even a blind man could see this. He was no idiot. And he was sure that Master realized this too.
Saitama stepped into the car without a second thought, leaving his self-proclaimed disciple outside.
Genos quietly reprimanded himself. His master was right. It was better to meet this problem head on. By playing along with the otherworlder's schemes, Master Saitama had lowered their guard. This possibly made it easier for them to escape if necessary.
His teacher was a genius as always.
Snipe stole a glance at Eraserhead as the teen followed his elder and shrugged. That was much easier than they had thought.
Nezu smiled as Eraserhead and Snipe brought in the brand-new puzzles for him to solve: Mr. Saitama and Mr. Genos. Though it was a little trying to maintain a smile that covered the bags under his eyes.
To be completely honest, Nezu found it difficult to get some sleep over the last few days. Most of his time was focused on pulling in every single resource and database he could find that had information on these mysterious arrivals. At first, he was fairly confident that he could find at least a little information. Everything had its secrets. And with enough digging, Nezu always found the answers to any puzzle he fancied.
Not the case with these two, however.
So far, the principal had found absolutely zero evidence of Mr. Saitama and Mr. Genos from ever existing on planet Earth. At first, he had thought that they lived somewhere in Japan, as they spoke fluent Japanese without accents, not to mention the obvious Japanese name of Saitama. But nothing showed up.
All of this led him to a few possible conclusions. First, they were probable villains. Nezu found this difficult to believe, as they did not seem to hold any ill-intent towards any of the other heroes and the children. If anything, the two (well at least Mr. Genos) seemed suspicious of them.
They also helped the heroes defeat the Nomu. If they were villains, then it wouldn't make sense for them to turn on their comrades like that at such a critical moment.
Second possibility: they were spies from another hero organization and were sent to gather intel on UA. This one was extremely unlikely. The two heroes didn't seem too secretive in their behavior. They had secrets, of course, but it was more like they were hiding something rather than actively trying to figure out UA's weaknesses or something along those lines.
Also, Mr. Saitama wasn't exactly the most…subtle person Nezu had ever met.
Which led to the third and last possibility: vigilantes. While this was possibly the conclusion that made the most sense, Nezu was also unsure about this potential answer. Most vigilantes had some level of fame and followings, even if the act itself was illegal. If they were vigilantes, it would have been incredibly difficult to keep a low profile with their level of skill and expertise.
Plus, there was also the teenager's prosthetics, which were more advanced than any Nezu had ever seen in recent memory. It was clear that they were not at all cheap, and whoever made them designed them in a way so that their sole purpose would be for fighting. From what All Might had told him, those arms were capable of blasting an unknown beam of energy with a strength that rivaled Endeavor's own hottest flames. There was no chance that any vigilante got a hold of a powerful weapon like that.
Another enigma was the hero identification card that Mr. Genos had willingly given him. "Willingly" was the important word. If they were any of the three choices, then why would they compromise themselves by giving away clearly fake identification? No, chances were that the organization they worked at was real, but it wasn't affiliated with any particular country.
But why now? And how did they end up in the USJ at such an opportune time? How come they didn't seem to know anything going on around them? If he didn't know better, he would have thought they were aliens.
Alas, he doubted he would get answers simply by speculating. He had Detective Tsukauchi here with them today to ask the harder questions, along with several of the faculty in case things got hairy.
He had his doubts that they would be able to contain the two men with the limited assistance of All Might, but they would have to make do with their surprise guest, Kamui Woods, who was here under the guise of being the detective's assistant. Rising up in the popularity polls as a hero that excelled in the capture of villains, Nezu hoped that him and Eraserhead would be enough to subdue the two men if the situation got out of hand.
If anything, he would immediately call All Might, who lay hidden in a building just a block away. If the men tried to escape, the number one hero would be on them in a split second.
For that reason, he had decided to call this meeting somewhere outside the main campus. He didn't think that the two would willingly hurt the students, but accidents could happen in the crossfire.
Ground Beta was a prime spot for this. Parts of it looked unassuming enough to seem like regular buildings, so hopefully it wouldn't have drawn too much attention. If they asked, Nezu could just say that they were office spaces that were under construction, which would explain the lack of activity.
Nezu waved kindly at the new arrivals over a temporary desk, generously supplied to him by the Support Department. Along with looking like a regular office desk, it also had several buttons hidden within the chassis, allowing control of the building and had several lines leading to other parts of the training grounds, sealing it off from the outside world if necessary. While he did own a real, normal desk back at the office, he would never bring it all the way over here. The wooden framework was shipped from Brazil, after all.
He gestured over to some seats in front of him, noticing that Mr. Genos seemed wary of this whole situation, while Mr. Saitama seemed to only have eyes for the snacks on the small table in front of him. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to put this many pro heroes in one room. Nevertheless, he quickly moved forward, calling everyone's attention to himself. "Welcome, Mr. Saitama, Mr. Genos! I hope your stay here so far has been to your liking?"
Before anyone could answer, Saitama not-so-subtly pointed at Midnight, who was busy trying to stare down the bald man with baleful eyes. "I don't want to be the one to tell you this, but you should keep this lady away from the kids. She's a total exhibitionist."
"You piece of sh—!"
Midnight barely managed to get the words out before getting physically restrained by Cementoss.
Genos stood next to an empty chair, one that Saitama promptly settled into before reaching for a biscuit. He answered Nezu's question honestly, ignoring the struggling going on behind them. "Our stay has been…satisfactory. But that is not why you have called us here."
Nezu could respect his no-nonsense attitude. "No, of course not. We just wanted to ask you some more questions. Detective Tsukauchi and his assistant, Officer Woods, came from the police department to go over our current situation. We couldn't let them access our school grounds because our security system is still undergoing maintenance, but we were able to get them clearance to some of the older office spaces here."
Kamui Woods squirmed uncomfortably underneath his disguise. These police outfits were much too restricting. There wasn't enough space for letting his Quirk run loose, and even though he mainly used his arms to capture villains, the cloth wouldn't allow him to do any specific maneuvers.
At first, he didn't understand why he had to don such a disguise. He didn't have anything against police officers, in fact, he idolized them as a child. It was just easier to do hero duties in his own hero costume.
But he knew better once everyone briefed him. He knew that these two men in front of him right now were probably unlike anything any of them had faced before. He was skeptical at first. After all, who would believe that this plain looking man staring out the window had power that rivalled that of All Might's? Or that this serious teenager carried with him a weapon capable of shooting out beams of pure heat?
But the more he looked at them, the more he believed. They radiated a certain type of energy. He didn't have a clairvoyance type Quirk, but he felt that he needed to adopt a healthy dose of caution around these men. They were dangerous.
Which was why he endured wearing this uniform. If they figured out that he was there specifically to contain them if they became violent, they would never have willingly come. But he doubted his ability to contain them both. Without the help of Eraserhead and Midnight, he would probably fail.
Detective Tsukauchi smiled, perhaps to dispel the uneasy atmosphere. "Hello again. I know it's a little too early for your liking, but there are some pressing matters that needs to be discussed."
"About the Hero Association, I assume?"
"Precisely so. We have done our best, Mr. Genos, to look for any organization with a name like that. So far, the closest match we have found was the SH Association, which is located in New York. But there are no records pertaining to both your names.
Tsukauchi lay down his notepad on the table in front of him and folded his arms, a stern expression now replacing his normally calm demeanor. "Now, I am only going to ask this once. And I wish for complete honesty. Does the Hero Association exist?"
Genos glanced around the room, noting the specific positions of each hero. The perverted woman from earlier stood next to the door, alongside the blocky, grey creature that he assumed was a teacher.
Eraserhead was situated against the opposite wall, and Snipe stood next to the tall windows. Both looked perfectly relaxed, but he knew that they were watching them closely. It was the way they stiffened slightly as he gave them each once overs.
He was fairly confident that him and Master could take them on, but he didn't know the full extent of their abilities. Doctor Kuseno always scolded him for not taking his enemies seriously. Perhaps it was time to listen.
Also, they were fellow heroes. Different ideologies and methods to be sure, but heroes nonetheless.
Tensions were already running high. Lying to them all right now was not the best possible solution. For the sake of keeping damages to a minimum, he decided to play along. But he wouldn't give them everything. Half-truths and deflections were possibly the only ways to maintain secrecy.
The detective waited for his Quirk to suddenly activate, as it always did when he detected a lie. But his head was silent. He was telling the truth then.
"Are you two vigilantes?"
Genos looked down at Saitama, as if he were processing the question. "For a time. Then we enrolled in the Hero Association approximately 2 months ago."
Nezu raised an eyebrow. "You two were vigilantes? If this Hero Association existed, why did you not join them first before performing duties as heroes?"
This time, Saitama was the one who spoke up. "It wasn't my fault," he complained, "If I knew that the Hero Association existed, I would have signed up a long time ago."
"You didn't know it existed? I thought heroics were common where you came from?"
"The Hero Association was not created up until a few years ago," Genos answered, "I knew of it at the time, but I did not feel such need to join."
"And why is that?" Tsukauchi asked. "And how did both of you manage to join so late?"
Genos instinctively clenched his fists, an action that did not go unnoticed by the heroes dotted around the room.
Silence filled the air, only punctuated occasionally by the noise of crunching biscuits.
"…I became a weapon when I lost my village to a rogue cyborg attack," the teen started, "A travelling doctor was able to salvage whatever organs I had left from the rubble and gave me an opportunity to start a new life. But I vowed to track down the cyborg and eliminate it. So, I made the doctor give me this strength. And for the next few years, fighting was all I did. I fought, but not to protect others. Until I met Master. After he saved my life, we signed up to join the Hero Association together."
Cyborgs? Traveling doctors with extremely advanced technology? Nezu felt his head throb. This was not heading the direction he had thought it would go. Prosthetics and cybernetics in this age were high tech, but if what Mr. Genos was saying was true, then the damage to his body must have been extensive enough to warrant multiple enhancements.
"As for our enrollment into heroics, there is currently no standard age limit. People can undergo tryouts to join the hero ranks whenever they wish."
Snipe cut into the conversation now, confusion evident in his voice. "Wait, back up. I thought only your arms were prosthetics. How much of you is actually machine?"
Saitama burped before answering for his disciple. "I think the better question would be how much of Genos isn't machine. This guy's like a walking computer."
Nezu suddenly slammed a palm on the table. Alarm filled his head once he realized what a grave error he had made. "Mr. Genos," he started slowly, "Do you have a Quirk?"
Eraserhead felt his eyes widen. Surely not…
Tsukauchi gulped. This was bad. His Quirk was telling him that Genos said the truth. But that would mean that whatever power he had was purely in the weapons currently on his person. But what kind of weapon had strength like that?
This whole time, him and the rest of the heroes approached this situation as if Genos had a Quirk that allowed him to generate energy within his body and expel it via the prosthetics. After all, there was no way they could have expected Genos to not have a Quirk at all. That meant that Eraserhead was instantly out of the picture. He was supposed to be their biggest advantage over them, but if they both didn't have any Quirks to be erased, then things could get much more complicated.
He quickly raised a hand to hold back the heroes in the back, all of whom were immediately on alert. Sudden movements would be dangerous, and spooking the two men would probably lead to untold amounts of damage.
He steadied his breathing. "Mr. Genos. Were you ever born with a Quirk?"
Genos blinked, clearly not expecting the reaction gathered. Were Quirk's not the equivalent of superpowers in this universe? He was being honest when he answered the question, but he supposed he did have abilities that were similar to superpowers. "If you are asking if I was born with any powers, then no. I was born as a normal human."
That was the truth. 100%. But it didn't make sense. There was no single person capable of creating a cyborg body out of scratch. In fact, recreating a human body out of machines was not possible; it was far in the realms of science fiction. Whoever rebuilt the teenager's body must have had an untold amount of resources.
Unbeknownst to him, Nezu had come to the same conclusion. Genos had said that he did not have powers and was only given them by a doctor. A doctor. There was only one man capable of doing something like this.
Tsukauchi knew this thought process was jumping the gun, but if Genos had received his power from a doctor, then the chances of him having received the power from one specific person had increased exponentially. One person working for another man who was not tied down by just one Quirk.
They had theorized this, of course. With the events and USJ and the results of the tests from the tissue samples of the destroyed Nomu, it was clear someone else was pulling strings in the background. Someone that they had all thought to be dead. Someone with multiple Quirks and huge amounts of resources at his disposal.
His pulse quickened as he switched his attention to Saitama. "Mr. Saitama, were you also not born with a Quirk?"
Saitama looked up, clearly not noticing the way his disciple suddenly became more alert, or how the heroes surrounding him had their postures ready for a possible clash. "Born with a power? Nope. I actually only got it a couple years ago."
Another truth. Things were getting more complex by the minute. Tsukauchi glanced over at Nezu, a look of understanding crossing between them. After a brief, silent conversation, Nezu nodded and placed a paw on the button underneath the desk. It was time to ask the big question. If they answered this truthfully, he was sure that they were in extreme trouble.
Tsukauchi made a motion to scratch his head, surreptitiously using only two of his fingers. This was something people normally wouldn't pay much attention to, but Kamui Woods understood immediately. It was a code prepared just in case things got dicey. Get ready.
He had no idea what the underlying issue was, other than the fact that the two men in front of them seemingly did not have Quirks, but something must have happened to warrant such actions. And in his line of work, it was always wise to strike first and ask questions later.
The detective tucked in an arm underneath his coat, quietly gripping the handle of his gun. It was now or never. "Have the two of you ever met an individual who is capable of putting multiple powers into someone?"
Saitama and Genos just stared at him with blank expressions. "What kind of a random question is that?" Saitama asked.
Tsukauchi grit his teeth. "Please answer."
"If I knew someone like that, I would have just asked him for a superpower a long time ago."
Nezu and Tsukauchi let out a breath they didn't know they were holding. Thank god. At least it was confirmed that they did not know who All for One was. That made the situation much less—
"Wait, Master, we did meet that doctor who was capable of mixing different organisms together. Remember the facility in the mountains? It was right after I became your disciple."
Nezu slammed on the button the exact second the detective pulled out his gun. Immediately, Saitama and Genos found themselves bound by some sort of living wood, coming out of the police officer's arms.
Genos struggled briefly, letting out a furious shout. "What is the meaning of this!"
"Mr. Saitama and Mr. Genos," Nezu said, standing tall on his chair. "You are both under arrest for possible ties to a notorious villain. Immediate compliance will lead to no injuries being inflicted onto your person."
"You think we are villains? We are heroes!"
"Even if you are and are telling the truth, we cannot afford to take any chances. If there is even an inkling of evidence that you are involved with this particular villain, we have no choice but to take you in. I apologize, but I beg you to comply. We'll explain it all to you down at the police station. I swear no harm will come to you if you cooperate."
Police station? Inconceivable. If they were to become detained now, then getting this situation back to normal was highly unlikely. Even once the heroes confirmed that they did not know who this villain was, there would still be that tiny shred of distrust between the two parties. Genos felt a deadly calm fill his body. He supposed he had no other choice.
His arms immediately rose to temperatures high enough to immediately carbonize the wood restraining him. Kamui Woods yelped in shock as the material suddenly turned as black as night, allowing the teen to instantly shatter it into pieces, sending bits of ash and charcoal on the floor. But it was ok, he knew he was a bad matchup for Genos at the start. The other heroes could take care of him while he focused more on restraining—
Saitama flexed his arms, splintering the timber as if it were nothing more than toothpicks. He frowned up at the stunned hero. "What's the big deal? We're not trying to pick a fight."
"Master," Genos yelled as he fired up his incineration cannons, "We need to leave!"
As if denying his request, the windows immediately became covered with cement, sealing off any exits. Cementoss grunted as he added another layer to the blockade. "You aren't going anywhere."
As if to accentuate his point, the teacher encased the duo in a globe of stone, with the only entrance to it being a tube in front of Midnight. "Now!"
The woman ripped a hole in the arm of her suit, allowing her Quirk to rapidly make its way to the prison.
A web of cracks suddenly appeared on the surface of the dome, prompting Cementoss to add layers upon layers of cement to prevent escape.
Precious seconds ticked by as the heroes looked on with bated breath, waiting for Somnambulist to incapacitate the heroes. Last time, Saitama had dispersed the spores by expelling air from his clap. There was no chance of that happening, especially within a sealed space.
A rumble threw them off balance, eliciting cries of shock from the onlookers. A red light blinked on Nezu's desk, drawing in his full attention. He quickly shot over, looking over the warnings flickering past the screen.
With a sudden panic, he jumped out from his chair and ran towards the exit. "Everyone! They escaped through the floor! Make sure they don't leave the training grounds!"
Eraserhead choked. Through the ground? They were several stories up and the floor beneath them was built out of solid titanium around a meter thick. There was no way they could have broken through that before Midnight's Quirk took effect.
But as Cementoss drew back the cage, he was treated to the sight of a jagged hole in the ground that looked like it had been blown apart as if a grenade had gotten off within it.
Another rumble threw him off his feet, and he was close enough to the window to see a plume of debris and smoke erupt from the side of the building. Streaks of yellow and orange zipped through the haze, making a beeline to the exit.
He swore under his breath. At the speed those two were going, there was no chance he would be able to catch up with them. The only hero that could possibly deal with them at that distance would be Snipe, who seemed to read his fellow hero's mind, quickly shooting out the glass with his revolvers.
Taking careful aim, Snipe unloaded round after round at the direction of the fleeing men, making use of his Quirk to bend the bullets to his will, turning them at impossible angles.
A voice crackled to life from the communicator in his ear. "Do not worry! I will not let them escape! Why…?"
Shota rolled his eyes. Always the dramatic one.
"Why'd they attack us out of nowhere?" Saitama wondered, deftly jumping across a suspiciously deserted street.
This was a weird place to be in at the current moment. A city block in a normal kind of day would be crammed with people and cars, but the surrounding area was completely empty. He couldn't see nor hear any activity other than Genos's rocket legs going off, and he couldn't even smell any of the telltale signs of cars or factory fumes.
This kind of reminded him of the cities back at home being evacuated due to monster attacks, but usually people would leave some stuff behind. But in this case, there wasn't even a single car on the road.
Something whizzed directly behind him, prompting Saitama to quickly snatch whatever the thing was out of the air. "What's this?"
Genos grunted as a stray bullet scraped against the side of his legs. "Be careful, Master! I think one of the heroes has the power to control the trajectory of whatever he fires!"
Sure enough, metal slugs sang to life from above them, twisting and turning on the dime as if they had minds of their own. Asphalt chipped and fractured as the bullets exploded against it, leading the teen to believe they were aiming to disable, not to kill. Not that it made him feel any better about it.
Saitama ran awkwardly to avoid getting shot in the legs. It really wouldn't hurt him, but these boots were probably hard to replace in a world where he was sure didn't share the same currency. "Shouldn't we just try to explain what's going on? What'd we even say to piss them off so much anyways?"
"It is my fault, Master! I believe what I said about the doctor at the House of Evolution sounded much too similar to events happening in this world!"
"But we didn't even know about that," Saitama complained, "They didn't even listen to us when we said we didn't want to fight."
Warning lights suddenly flooded Genos's vision, alerting him to a large object approaching at extremely high speeds. "Master, something is coming! Directly ahead!"
Sure enough, something resembling a small meteor crashed into the ground in front of them, throwing up a column of shattered concrete. Something blue, yellow, and red. Something with a booming laugh that sounded like thunder itself. "I am here!"
The duo skid to a halt. Genos eyed this new arrival. It was the same man from earlier, the one that fought that black beast at the USJ. Except this time, he didn't look near death and bloodied. This time, he looked healthy and ready to fight.
Genos grew wary. This hero was clearly a step-up from the ones they had encountered earlier. For one, he was clearly almost 2 feet taller than the other heroes, and had a bulk that would put most monsters to shame. His entire form radiated confidence unlike any other man he had ever met. However, he was still not as bulky as some of the other heroes he knew back in his own world. Superalloy Darkshine was nearly 8 feet in height and 3 times the width, after all.
Still, this man was dangerous, and caution needed to be exercised. He seemed fast if he managed to catch up to the both of them so quickly, and probably had increased strength and resilience if crashing down in front of them was any indication.
Saitama paused. "You look kinda familiar…"
If that was a brilliant ploy by Master to deter the new arrival, it sadly did not work, as the man simply laughed once more. "I am surprised you do not know who I am! Then again, Principal Nezu told me you two were not from around here, so I should have known better!
He placed both hands on his hips and struck a pose. "I am All Might, the Symbol of Peace! I know this is all confusing enough for you, but I will have to ask you to please cooperate with us. I do not want to fight you. In fact, I still have to thank you for protecting my students!"
Saitama grimaced. This guy seemed nice enough, but everything he said sounded like he was yelling them out. Why did he have to be so loud? "Can we just ask what's going on? You guys just started attacking us for no reason. What did we even do?"
They all suddenly heard a tinny voice coming from the communicator in All Might's ear. Of course, a normal man would not be able to hear that from nearly 10 meters away, but thanks to Genos's augmentations and Saitama's superhuman hearing, eavesdropping on the conversation was child's play.
Detective Tsukauchi's voice emanated from the machine, his tone warning and urgent. "All Might! They might have information regarding him! Don't let them out before we can question them!"
Genos swore he felt the mood shift completely. The brawny man's posture seemed to stiffen at what the detective had said, and his apologetic eyes suddenly hardened like steel. The smile, however, didn't leave his face. If anything, it grew slightly more pronounced. "I see. Then I believe I have no choice but to capture you two. But if you are willing to cooperate, then I promise that we will do everything we can to put this issue to light."
"Wait! We know what this may seem like, but we have no ties to whoever you are talking about! We are innocent!"
"If you are innocent then why are you running?" All Might questioned, taking careful notice of how the teen's arm started to glow. "If you simply come with us, then I am sure this can be resolved.
"Leaving now is not going to be good for you. I know about your situation. Principal Nezu told me that you two are completely new to this place. Even if you manage to leave the campus, how do you think you can escape the grasp of every hero in Japan once the alert goes out?"
The worst thing about All Might's statement was that Genos knew he was right. They did not have proper resources to hold out against all these heroes. They had no money, no food, and no connections. And if they did escape, he had no doubt that Nezu would label them as vigilantes to be hunted down, or worse, rogue villains.
But letting themselves become captured meant that they would have to tell the heroes the truth about everything about who they were, where they came from, and how they got to this world. And he didn't think the excuse of 'coming from a separate reality' was a good enough excuse. Best case scenario, they would put them in some sort of psychiatric ward.
But was it the best course of action? If by some miracle they did believe their stories, then they would have access too a matter of resources to help them get back home. If not, then they could possibly be locked up in a government facility to be studied over.
"…Master," Genos finally said after a long pause, "What do you think we should do? Whatever you choose, I shall follow."
Saitama had been watching this exchange with some interest. He may not be the most perceptive guy around, but even he knew that whoever this guy the heroes thought they had ties to was bad news. Some kind of supervillain maybe?
Whatever the case was, this man wearing a costume that was more colorful than his own was right. They couldn't keep running, and frankly, Saitama was getting pretty tired of being wrapped up in some kind of crazy plot every other week.
Plus, he couldn't really fight with other heroes. Of course, they attacked him first, but he wasn't one to hold a grudge. If he thought that someone had ties to some evil monster, he would have chased them too. Probably.
"I don't really know what's going on, but talking is better than fighting fellow heroes. Even if I kind of want to see how strong you are."
All Might grinned, a predatory glint shining in his eyes. "And I have to admit, I am also curious. Perhaps we can set up a small spar after all this is over?"
Saitama matched his smile. "My pleasure."
"It's settled then. I won't go through the trouble of restraining you two. There are some cars outside that will take you to a nearby police station. And don't worry, we won't be putting you in a cell or anything like that. We just want to talk, and this time, no dancing around. We are going to ask some hard-hitting questions that we would like you to answer."
Saitama shrugged nonchalantly before walking over. "As long as it doesn't take too long.
"Hey Genos, let's get out of here. It's hot."
The teen tore his eyes away from the far distance and trotted over. "Yes, Master."
"What were you looking at anyways?"
"…Nothing. Let us go, All Might. I am sure you all are anxious to hear our side of the story. But trust me when I say that you may not believe it."
All Might chuckled. "Young man, if I have learned anything from the last two decades of hero work, I know that sometimes the craziest explanations are often the right ones."
Miasma really wasn't expecting a sudden turn of events like that over the last five minutes. One second, things were completely calm, and then all hell broke loose when the two mysterious men exploded out of the building they were in.
It was difficult to tell what exactly was going on from her vantage point in the forest nearby, but she guessed that something must have happened to trigger a hero response. Maybe some disagreement or a secret that had gotten loose.
Whatever it was, it was clear that the two men were not on the best terms with the heroes, if Snipe shooting at their backs were any indication.
Tailing two people in a school filled with some of the top heroes in all of Japan was daunting enough to most people, but Miasma was far from most. It was child's play in disabling parts of the security system in the forest to mask her presence. She scoffed as she hacked into the defenses. Some top hero school this was.
She unfortunately couldn't get into the school herself, however. Normally, she would have been able to do so, albeit with some difficulty, but ever since Shig's mishap at the USJ, breaking in was nigh impossible.
So, she settled with staking out for the time being. And she was glad she didn't have to wait long to track them. Doing a hard job right after coming back from another hard job in America was tiring enough.
The woman frowned when they were taken to one of the training grounds on the school grounds. After all, for what reason other than sparring would be going on over there? Then again, these two were complete unknowns, so it made sense to demonstrate some caution by leaving the kids out of it.
Sadly, there was only a few minutes of action as a loud rumble alerted her to something going on as she witnessed two streaks fly out of a hole in the wall. She hated stakeouts like this, and anything exciting was enough to get her craving for more.
Of course, things ended with All Might crashing onto the scene. Through her binoculars, she could almost hear his voice when he screamed his signature catchphrase. Miasma snorted. American culture was truly dramatic.
She made to pack her things before pausing. Her main job was to tail the men and figure out everything she could about them, but it didn't hurt to see some old faces. Maybe she would learn a thing or two.
Picking up the binoculars once more, she focused in at the base of the ruined building, where the heroes and the detective were just now exiting. Detective Tsukauchi was looking as dopey as ever, as well as Principal Nezu. How that animal still hadn't kicked the bucket yet with the current lifespan of his species being a mere 5 years, she didn't know.
Eraserhead looked a little worse for wear with his bandaged face and broken arms. She almost felt sorry for him if she didn't hate his guts so much. Snipe and Cementoss still looked the same. Boring teachers with no personal lives of their own.
And then came out the woman of the hour. The binoculars creaked as Miasma's fingers started to crack the chassis. Midnight. How dare she look so happy and carefree after all she had done. Miasma's early life was a living hell thanks to her, and it didn't even seem to bother her.
The red-haired woman touched her mask as the lower half of her face throbbed. Thinking about that 'hero' always brought up old hurts. It wasn't even worth looking at her anymore.
Before finally deciding to leave, she turned the lens's once more to her targets. And almost dropped the tool out of shock.
For a split second, the blonde teen was staring directly at her, as if he knew she was there.
Her heart beat loudly in her chest as the teen kept staring. She believed in coincidences as much as the next guy, but there was no way this teen had turned her way by chance. Something must have ticked him off or he had some crazy trackers in those eyes of his.
Long, agonizing seconds trickled by as she held her gaze until the blonde turned and walked out of view, following All Might and his friend.
Slowly letting out a strangled breath, Miasma shoved everything she had into her pack. There was no way he knew she was there. He was too far away from her, and if he did notice her, he would have told All Might immediately.
"Just a coincidence…" she muttered as she carefully navigated through the forest. "Just a coincidence."
Despite the adrenaline pumping through her veins, Miasma couldn't help but smile. It had been a while since she had found some prey this interesting. Although that was debatable for the bald guy, the blonde kid was truly extraordinary, and not because of his enhancements.
She couldn't wait to learn more about him.
Hey guys I'm finally back. Sorry for the delay, this chapter really didn't want to come out and I had a hard time writing things up.
I would have gotten this out sooner, but because of the whole coronavirus situation I lost my job and stuff. Nothing too bad, but it was still annoying trying to get some crap together during all this craziness. Not to mention me taking summer classes.
Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed. Make sure to drop a review or something, I always read those. And thank you to those who was so patient with me this whole time. I know that you guys want to read more but please understand that I am very busy nowadays.
I'll catch you guys next time. Peace.