Within Manhattan, New York, in a Starbucks diner, Koichi Haimawari, the Skycrawler, sat on a cushioned booth with Makoto Tsukauchi. The sweet aroma of coffee was thick on this bustling afternoon when many workers were on break.
The plain-faced, slim young man rubbed his black hair as he looked at his guests.
"How can I help you, Mister… uh…"
The fashionable young woman beside Koichi with long black hair was not showing her bright charismatic smile at the three across them.
"Ranga. Chatu Ranga." The man in the middle answered.
He had a checkered skin pattern, not unlike the color scheme of a chessboard.
"Mr. Ranga." Makoto Tsukauchi followed in english. "What business does your…"
"We call him either the Master or Grandmaster." Ranga smiled at them, answering her in japanese.
"Hmph. Isn't he a bit too young to be called Grandmaster?" Makoto coyly commented back in japanese.
"That is a bit biased. What matters most is skill and wisdom, not age. But back to the matter. I thank you for deciding to take time with us. Oh, but first. Waitress, caramel latte, please." Chatu called out in English.
"Give us three chocolate doughnuts." A truckhead mutant ordered in English.
"Blueberry cheesecake and chocolate twist." The other one ordered.
The waitress trembled when she saw the iconic demon masks of Garou's Silver Fang worn on the side of their faces. Them speaking Japanese to a known hero worsened her fear..
She nodded as she walked away as fast as she could.
"...There is a chance that they might call the police," Makoto warned in Japanese.
"There is a chance that they'll do nothing," Chatu answered with a smirk.
Makoto remained stalwart, yet she grimaced inside. She was aware that Star and Stripes was missing. Did Garou send his men here to exploit that opening? If so, she completely underestimated his intelligence network. His reach must be much wider and more dangerous than expected.
"Let's see… Koichi Haimawari. You have caught the eye of our leader as the prime example of a man that rose from the bottom and reached the skies, a bit literally considering your hero name, Skycrawler."
Koichi and Makoto stared at them for a moment.
"However, our leader warned us about your lack of intelligence, so I hope you can answer our questions about your Quirk as lucidly as possible."
"...My Quirk?" Koichi asked.
"Yes. Your Quirk. Our Master wants to know how you awakened your Quirk."
All the tension between them immediately deflated.
"...Awaken?" Koichi asked. He did not expect them to confront them in the open just for his Quirk.
"The Quirk Awakening phenomena," Makoto answered. "He is asking about something tertiary. In rare instances, Quirks can evolve under circumstantial duress. They believe that you awakened your Quirk… which is not implausible."
"Oh… Did it? I thought I just found new ways to use my Quirk and winged it somehow."
The three looked as if their opinion of Haimawari degraded.
"Your master… Why is he interested in this?" Makoto asked as the waitress arrived with the coffee that Chatu ordered.
Chatu handed the waitress a twenty-dollar tip. She gulped as she accepted the money and left.
"Our leader is planning behind the walls." Chatu slowly sipped his latte. "You are all scared of a world where every Hero is hunted to the last man, every villain culled, broken… a world of broken dreams and spirit. Our leader chose the mark of the demon to test this world, every single ideal of both sides of the coin."
Makoto and Koichi listened with undivided attention.
"...Is your leader planning to move to America?"
"I don't think so." He shook his head. "But we plan to spread our roots here. Every corner of the globe isn't safe from the Silver Fang."
Makoto thought as much.
"But back to the subject. We dream of a world where the evils of this world won't shackle us. I am not talking about the evil called 'modern justice' but the system in place, a cruel, callous system that creates the villains it is made to suppress… where those like us must either be a villain by choice or suffer in the dark. Garou gave us another choice, a choice to be something else, something more."
Chatu continued as the waitress hesitantly placed the other orders down.
"...And how does this lead to you wanting to learn the secrets of Quirk evolution?" Makoto asked while Koichi listened droopily.
"Our leader hates Quirks for a reason," Chatu answered. "What are Quirks, exactly?"
"Uhhh… awesome superpowers?" Koichi answered.
"No. Power unearned." Chatu answered.
His answer stunned Koichi and Makoto.
"It is power unearned, given to us by God's whimsical lottery ticket. Honestly… thinking about it, we never even know what All Might's quirk is. Being under the master made us think a lot about the world, like what makes All Might's Quirk so special when there's nothing like it. We will soon learn the master's secret arts and rise above the false heroes infesting this society."
Makoto grimaced as she leaked out cold sweat. She had heard many speculations about Garou in Japan, but to hear one confirmation from a member did not bring comfort.
"However, our master has evolved. He wants the best for us, no matter the Quirks we have. He wants us to develop what we have, powers included and cares about our future. So he wants to delve into this, The Quirk Awakening. We would be honored if you would join us to study you thoroughly. We have someone that is capable of healing you from any malicious procedure, any injury whatsoever."
"...Any injury?" Koichi asked.
"Yes. Any. Even get rid of all forms of cancer and terminal illnesses." He nodded.
Koichi wondered… his mind wandered to Pop✰Step back in Japan.
"...Are you planning any human experiments?" Makoto asked warily.
"It isn't inhumane if we can restore the patient to normal. Imagine - any illness or biological inconvenience, even cancer and chronic symptoms, all gone in a blink of an eye."
"...Hmmmm. It sounds too good to be true, but I'll take your word for it…" Makoto was skeptical. She wanted to use her Quirk, Polygraph, on them, but it would be rude, and doing so would incite retaliation.
"I can already imagine what your leader would do if he unlocks the secret of Quirk evolution."
"And what would he do?" Chatu asked.
"Empowering his army to the point of conquering Japan. The world." She said.
It was the standard motivation behind an army like Garou's, although she admitted that he was the first man to attempt this route.
"That is a good dream. However, Garou alone can already conquer Japan by himself. But one day… he will share the secrets of breaking the Quirk shackles with the rest of the World for the greater good."
"I don't believe it." Makoto grimaced.
"Our motto is to always keep our word. I heard about you, Ms. Tsukauchi, sister of the famous detective Tsukauchi. You can use your Quirk on me to confirm the truth if you wish." He offered her his hand willingly, to her surprise.
She was conflicted. His offer and willingness now made it look more like a trap to lure her into a false sense of security than a gesture of goodwill, enough for her to question the effectiveness of her Quirk in the face of a grander scheme.
"...Well, I don't know." Koichi pursed his lips. "I mean, I don't know what to say about how I awakened my Quirk. I mean… I just trained a lot and stuff. I just go with the flow like my friends always say."
"As the master suspected, you are unaware. Thus, the alternative option. Would you offer yourself to be studied under our facility? You will be compensated thoroughly. Name your price. Money? Favors? Women?" Chatu offered.
Makoto grimaced at the mention of women.
"...I have a couple of friends back home. They're not in good shape, and I'm worried about them, to be honest."
"Victims of Queen Bee. They were parasitic hosts of a mutant insect that can puppeteer human bodies. Knuckleduster. His leg is broken, and not even the finest government-operated facilities can fix it," Chatu answered.
"...Yeah." Koichi answered.
"But I can't go back to Japan due to…"
"We can smuggle you back if you wish. You can have one of your hero associates accompany you for security, like Captain Celebrity." Chatu answered.
"That's… though I want to know if you can really fix my friends first. I mean, this is still a bit sketchy."
"Shady, yes, but legit. We can restore them first, but you must follow us to Japan afterward."
They were adamant about unlocking the secrets of Quirk evolution, Makoto thought, something no one attempted in decades.
"Koichi… are you sure about this? This is not something a hero would do," Makoto asked.
"Well, it's a bit scary, but I kinda want to see where this is going. I mean, I don't want to start a scene. And these are the guys under the man that kicked All Might in the crotch and got away with it…" Koichi answered in japanese.
"We are not here to start trouble," Chatu assured.
His truthfulness irked Makoto.
"If we repair your designated persons, will you follow us to Hosu?" Chatu asked in Japanese.
Koichi looked at the ceiling absent-mindedly.
"It might be a good time to see how the others are doing back home…" Koichi said. "What do you think, Makoto?"
Makoto hummed as she tapped on the table in thought while the other two, alongside Chatu, started to eat their orders with their plastic forks.
"I don't have the right to choose for you, but this is dangerous territory. This is like giving the villains-"
"We are not villains," Chatu warned in an aggressive tone.
Makoto paused, taking note of Chatu's sensitivity.
"...Alright. However, if you want a chance for us to consider this option, there will be conditions."
"...Name them." He sipped his latte as he eyed Makoto.
"One. I want to have an interview with your Master."
The other two stopped eating, Chatu no longer sipping his latte.
"...Excuse me?" Chatu asked.
"If you want Koichi to become one of your… test subjects, you will have to negotiate terms with me." Makoto crossed her arms with a daring smile.
"...Hahaha." Chatu's lips grew into a widening smile. "Aren't you a brave woman? Are you sure you are ready to face the dragon in his lair? Do you want to drag America into Japan's problems?"
"You did say that you're planning to spread your roots around the world, so America is already dragged into Japan's problem. Or Japan dragging everyone into its problem in this case."
Chatu did not argue back against her clever wordplay.
"Perhaps. But it is not good to be too preemptive."
"We are all curious." Makoto smiled confidently at the man. "We all want to know what kind of man lies behind that mask. I am curious about what kind of man dominated Japan so thoroughly with his presence that it grabbed the world's attention. It would be an honor if America is the first country to sneak a peek behind that mask and expose at least a trickle of truth behind him."
The three squinted at her.
"...Chisaki warned us about you." Chatu grimaced. "That is not within our power."
"Then ask your boss." She smirked.
She could feel them scowling behind their outer expressions.
She would not just let the Hero Hunter get what he wants without consequences.
"...and your other conditions?"
"Hmmm. All data you receive from your experiments will be shared with the government if we do decide to agree with your request. Especially I-island."
Their scowls were leaking out of their expressions.
"Koichi isn't the only candidate we can turn to."
"Hmmm. True, but I know enough that finding someone with an evolving Quirk like Koichi is like a golden needle in an ocean. Your resources are already surprisingly vast in these hectic weeks, but I can imagine you won't get another person that would let themselves be used as a guinea pig for the sake of power. I mean, how many of those on your list are willing to let themselves be studied like a lab rat? Don't you want to impress Garou on your first job?"
They narrowed their eyes at Makoto's taking advantage of their need to acquire a suitable subject.
She was a devious one. She knew of the fanatical devotion of Garou's followers and saw the video of his speech. They wouldn't want to fail the man that was changing the world so thoroughly and effortlessly.
However, even someone as great as Garou would face challenges sooner or later. He could only stave off the media for so long with the threat of death and violence.
"...I did not take you for a gambler," Chatu noted with a bit of respect.
Koichi wordlessly stammered, unsure how to defuse the tension from escalating into a brawl. He didn't want to trouble Captain Celebrity with the bill for the damages.
"Oh, how do you think I brought Captain Celebrity's image back into the spotlight when he was in Japan?" Makoto giggled.
The three shared and exchanged glances, their eyes asking each other what they should do. There was an obstinate woman in their way, and their list of candidates and Quirks was lackluster compared to the one in front of them.
So far, Koichi's growth was the most infamous compared to the other examples.
The world was big, but the number of people able to achieve Quirk Awakening was in the tens, minus those unaccounted for.
The list couldn't reach the number nine.
"...We'll update you on our decision, Ms. Tsukauchi."
Chatu solemnly ended the conversation.
"Thank you for your time. Be sure to give him my regards." She winked.
Makoto grabbed Koichi's arm and dragged him out of the seat, the man blinking, confused, as the woman dragged him out the door with a victorious giggle.
"...Ummm… Is it really okay for you to antagonize them like that?" Koichi asked.
"Don't tell me you're chickening out after considering being the Silver Fang's guinea pig?" Makoto pouted at him in Japanese.
"Yeah, it's because I don't think I can beat someone that can beat All Might. And I've seen the trouble he caused in Japan." Koichi argued. "I mean, it's brave and all, but… I don't think the usual hero stuff works on that guy."
Koichi would usually stand up against villains and stuff, but Garou was a different monster. All of the heroes he knew in Japan tried to stop him and failed when he was just one man.
Now that one man had a massive growing following behind him, and that following had reached America. He wasn't sure if he should say 'no' to their faces when they reached out to him.
"Okay, that is a fair reason. But why did you entertain their offer? Are you actually considering it, or are you hoodwinking them?" Makoto playfully asked.
"A bit of both," Koichi admitted. "They got me curious, though. When I think about it, I always wondered how my Quirk became like this. Makes me want to go to I-Island and have the scientists check me out. I mean…"
"You want to share the gift with the people needing it more?" Makoto asked.
"Yeah. I don't know if they really mean it when they say they want to spread the gift. I mean, it's the first time I heard someone call Quirks something like 'power unearned.' I… kind of get it. I mean, not everyone is lucky with their Quirks. My Quirk wasn't something special, yet… Well, it explains a lot of stuff now that I think about it. So I thought it would be nice if people could turn their Quirks into something better with the right amount of effort and stuff."
Makoto was surprised by Koichi's development after chatting with Chatu. She didn't think he would take heed of a random Villain's rant.
"And… I am not sure if I can turn myself to I-Island at this point. What if Garou gets offended if I go there after promising to consider his offer?"
"Ah." Makoto didn't put that into consideration.
It would definitely be bad if Garou decided to terrorize America because of this.
"...Yeah, it might be better if we discuss this with Captain Celebrity." Makoto admitted.
The school was in chaos, students divided by increasing friction, those that still follow All Might, and those that gave up on the Number One Hero.
The classrooms lost their usual cheer, a somber air hanging over every head, school staff and students alike. The volatile spark of tension gnawed at every classroom as debates and arguments slowly escalated between the loyal fanbase and those that turned to nihilism.
However, the escalation swiftly reached the boiling point.
The sun shone through the windows on the left side of the classroom, three wide green chalkboards on the other sides, front, back, and right, with the sliding door on the right side beside the chalkboard on the wall.
There were thirty students there, and the students were there early before the start of class.
"Say that again in my face, you little shit!" Bakugo shouted at Mehaji Tomiru, one of his classmates.
His Quirk was nothing special, he could extend his eyes out on eyestalks, a useless Quirk.
Normally, he was one of the people that got along with the ordinary atmosphere.
He was one of the students who usually praised Bakugo for his talents and got along with everyone without a second thought. The only noticeable feature other than his Quirk was his bald head.
"All Might is over. Plain and simple." Mehaji said it right in his face without a second thought.
"H-Hey, Mehaji." Gorem Atsumarishi, a student with rock-grey hair styled as a cluster of rocks, called out. "I know it looks bad seeing All Might like that on TV, but…"
"That's why All Might is over." Mehaji spat back. "Believe it or not, I think I see why Garou is doing this now. Everything is about All Might, we all love All Might, but what about when he is gone? Did anyone ever consider that every other hero sucks other than him?"
Izuku was holding Bakugo's collar, trying to stop him from doing something stupidly reckless and socially suicidal.
"What are you trying to say, you asshole!" Bakugo stomped towards his classmate and grabbed his collar, dragging Izuku with him as Bakugo grabbed Mehaji's collar and yanked him until they were face to face.
"So what if All Might is about to retire, huh?! It doesn't matter if he retires or not! You're looking at the next Number One Hero right here!" He grabbed Mehaji's left eyestalk and yanked it. "But if you think you can get away with dissing All Might, I'm gonna split your skull open, you eyeball freak?!"
Mehaji stared right into Bakugo's eyes with defiance with his remaining eyestalk retracted.
"...Does everyone know how much of a terrible person you are, Bakugo?" Mehaji unknowingly stepped onto a taboo landmine - Bakugo's ego.
"...what was that?"
His question caught Bakugo off guard, enough that he couldn't react with anger.
"The others…" He gestured to the other classmates looking at them in worry. "They want to get along with you because you're cool. You have a great Quirk and a good head on your shoulders. Me?"
Mehaji let out a condescending laugh.
"Did you know how the other people treated me back in Middle School? They would just call me the useless eyeball freak. I mean, look at me, I'm almost no different from Izuku."
Mehaji scoffed at Bakugo as he continued to rant.
"I got along with the sheep showering you praises just so you won't treat me like shit. So what if you're great with a good Quirk? You think you can be a hero just like that? You just want to be worshiped like All Might, you don't give a damn about being a hero."
"And you think you know more about heroes than I do, huh!?"
"HEROES DON'T TELL PEOPLE TO KILL THEMSELVES!" Mehaji shouted at Bakugo so loud that he stunned even Bakugo into silence.
The teacher just got into the room to hear the commotion, his hand on the opened door and staring at the confrontation.
"HEROES DON'T TREAT OTHERS LIKE SHIT! Villains are an exception, but you keep treating the only Quirkless here like your punching bag! You think YOU know what it means to be a hero?! Heroes don't step over people that don't deserve it! I know that much! But you!"
Mehaji grabbed Bakugo's collar and pulled Bakugo towards him with a glare that choked any retort the most talented person in the classroom had in his throat.
"I went along with the others because you have the makings of a Villain! You're the worst kind of person that should ever have the Number One spot! And you want to know what else?! I support Garou! You know why?! Because I know what it's like to be treated like shit by people for unfair reasons! You think you can get whatever you want because everyone keeps pampering you like you're some sort of God?! Huh?!"
Mehaji shouted at Bakugo with such emotion unheard of.
"...Mehaji…" A female student with a fire Quirk uttered.
Everyone didn't know that Mehaji thought like this.
"...I kept quiet because I don't want to force everyone to fight against each other. But you… The school year is about to end in about a month. I at least want to say this to you before we part ways. You want to go to UA High and follow in All Might's footsteps? Go ahead. The amount of heroes are dropping by the day, you know? Unless All Might makes some kind of comeback, they're gonna send you to the front lines early. Garou might not kill, but he won't hesitate to break you like an egg."
"...And what makes you think he will break me?" Bakugo asked with a threatening scowl as he released the eyeball, letting it sling back into his socket.
"You grew up thinking you're the best because you're the best in one school." Mehaji talked back. "If you really wanted to be the best, you should've looked out for the best in other schools. But no, you stayed here. You just want to get drunk off the feeling of superiority over us. We're to blame for that, I admit… but there's no way I can tell everyone that and expect them to listen, now can I? In short, you may be strong with your Quirk and smarts, but you're still weak up here."
Mehaji pointed at his head.
"And in here." He pointed at his heart.
"That's why you can't be a hero. You're too fragile like the nitroglycerin in your palms. You can't handle anyone being better than you. You can't even talk back against me, someone who can only extend out his eyeballs."
Bakugo glared at the only classmate in the room that defeated Bakugo in a verbal debate.
Bakugo can only clench his fists as he grimaced, his teeth ground against each other so tightly that they threatened to break.
"...Don't count me out just yet." Bakugo seethed as he stomped towards his seat. "And don't you dare count All Might out just yet! When we show you how wrong you are, I will see the day that you eat your words with interest!"
Mehaji stared at Bakugo in silence.
"...Whatever." Mehaji walked towards his table and took his seat.
Izuku sighed with relief, though he couldn't help but take Mehaji's words into account as he took his seat.
"Well… Class… please, take your seats and get started." The teacher sighed as he went to the chalkboard at the front side.
Izuku took out his notebook as his thoughts were elsewhere.
All Might would need a major comeback soon as possible. Everyone was breaking down, the bleakness of nihilism was starting to take hold.
Garou might have foresaw this and decided to play along to stabilize the spirit of the world for his goals…
To save those that were not saved and build a future for them when no one else would… while criticizing the world with his actions and words.
At least, that was what Izuku understood so far. Still, he should resume his studies for the UA exams while training under Ghin since Garou was too busy.
He needed to further his training even more. Iida was more attentive lately after Garou announced himself as Lord of Hosu.
"Traitors are inevitable."
Within a large room where the mayor would give public speeches, or used to, rows of foldable chairs lined up into a square cluster, many of Garou's followers sat, listening to Chisaki at the podium.
Garou sat on a dais behind Chisaki, overseeing this trial for Himiko Toga, the vampire schoolgirl.
Even the short, mustached mayor and his secretary were there. They stayed in the building to help manage Hosu and to keep an eye on the Demon Lord. Garou promised to turn Hosu into a haven and prepare Hosu for the inevitable armageddon. The reason Garou convinced the Mayor to hand Hosu over to him was to turn Hosu into a fortress city within his plans in case 'all hell' decided to break loose.
'All hell' being when someone with enough intelligence and resources decided to destroy the prisons and unleash every single Villain from their cages, and the number of villains outnumbers the dwindling heroes.
He told the mayor about the aging All Might and his scar at the time to convince the Mayor to hand the city over and told him all about the weaknesses of Hero society, the flaw of depending on one man to solve all of the world's problems.
The mayor conceded when Garou told him he defeated All Might, especially when Garou threatened to hunt All Might and bring him to this office. The mayor had terms, such as remaining in Hosu to keep an eye on the citizens and incentives, like keeping the police and the Hero offices intact, which Garou agreed.
"They are… heretical. A blight on every society and every organization. However, we have never expected to have one this early. We don't even plan to hold a trial for someone as… feral. But due to growing dissent from our key members, Twice." Chisaki looked at Twice's way amongst the seated crowd.
Everyone turned to Twice.
"Ahahaha, please don't look my way!"
"Look at me! Yeah, I'm defending the traitor! You want a piece of me?!"
Twice, a man in a full-body spandex suit, covered from head to toe in black, the white eyes of his mask expressing emotions from two chaotic personalities within the man's head.
Several faces turned into angry scowls, many louring at the man that stood out.
"Please do not instigate a brawl lest there will be punishments. In this organization, you all have an obligation to be civil, as much as we can be." Chisaki gently warned, his amplified voice carried by the speakers.
"For now, we shall grant the girl a chance to testify herself. Bring the traitor in." Chisaki ordered.
The double doors leading into the room flung open.
Bringing her in was Spinner, Himiko Toga chained and shackled to a wheelchair.
Himiko was a young girl in high school age.
She was a fair-skinned girl with inward-tilting bright yellow eyes with thin slits.
She was almost feline in appearance thematically, especially regarding her eyes and eerily joyful smile in the face of her impending judgment.
Her upper and lower canines are sharper, longer.
Her dirty, pale, ashe blonde hair was untied, her once-bunned hair falling down her neck.
She was wearing a white shirt and pants, her usual schoolgirl clothes changed to ensure that she didn't have any hidden weapons hidden underneath.
"Hello, Garou! I hope you won't kill me for my, um, stunt!" Himiko called out with a blush and giggle.
"To shorten her history, she is a literal vampire in function. Her Quirk allows her to turn into others if she drinks their blood. She has a history of impulsive murders, her targets usually something she… fancies. She has a twisted notion of love, one that she has to murder and drink their blood for some reason, and has been on a killing spree while the media avoided featuring her on the news. She is quite dangerous and somewhat insane, the unmanageable kind. We all have sinned once, but here, we can start anew, away from the trend of biased good and hypocritical evil. However, despite that, she committed a crime. She attempted physical assault on our leader."
Voices of protest sparked.
"Then what are we waiting for?! Let's get this over with and punish her!" Lurker shouted.
"Treason must be met with death!"
"Death to the traitor!"
There were voices calling out to Himiko's termination.
However, everyone quieted when Garou raised his hand. They gulped, daring not to speak out of turn.
"...Himiko Toga." Garou called out to the girl. "Despite being a maniac, I have looked at your file. At least what we can scrounge with our resources. Your Quirk isn't that unique, though it arouses questions when I look at your family history. Your parents are normal, yet you dropped out of… middle school when you assaulted a boy and drank his blood. Your parents disavowed you. I had sent an envoy to question them immediately, but they were a bit difficult, so I had to borrow Nemoto to interrogate them. And the things he told me about you… You are quite a twisted girl, aren't you?"
Garou said with genuine amazement at the girl's mindset - her motivations, what she thought on love.
"What's wrong with trying to be one with the person you love? Doesn't anyone want to be like you because they love you?" Himiko argued.
"'Adore and idolize' is more accurate. I am not that kind of person, considering the dominating gender ratio." Garou rolled his eyes. "Don't just throw the word 'love' on everything, or that kind of love on anything positive. As for you, you kill because of a twisted notion of love. I heard enough from my associates, but I would hear it from your lips. What do you think 'love' is?"
Everyone remained silent as Himiko giggled.
Twice was nervous, fidgeting with his fingers rapping each other. She was with him during the social gatherings between the Hero Hunter fanclubs and she was decent, and he admitted that he was attached to her as well despite their age gap.
"Well, I think it is important to be with the one you love. I mean, we all do it, so why not be as close to others as possible?"
"And you think attempting to kill and drink all of my blood lets you be 'one with me'? Isn't the duration temporary?"
"True, but it all matters in the heart! I mean, the way I can become someone, feel what they feel, and… It is magical!" Himiko smiled.
"This girl is literally insane…"
"Some of us are kind of like that."
"But this is the Villain level of crazy that should be put in prison."
There were hushed mutters amongst the followers, comments on the girl.
"...And you think that is enough to remove the person you love from the world forever? To disregard what they feel, what they want, for… a blood high?" Garou asked, "What I heard is no different than a serial killer's delusional fantasy. Whatever you're feeling, that is not love." Garou shook his head at her.
"Then what do you know about love, Mr. Garou? You don't look like a person that's been in love!" Himiko pouted.
Garou sighed as he tapped on the handle.
"...I will admit that I once had a secret crush on an actress."
Everyone leaned forward, learning something unexpectedly… human from Garou. Even Chisaki was surprised.
"But what you're doing is too selfish. Your idea of love is nothing more than carnivorous bloodlust, mistaking love for hunger for the one you want to 'consume'. What you think is love is nothing more than your desire to eat the person due to your Quirk. Tell me, what does blood taste like to you?" Garou asked.
"Oh! Oh! Um, it's not easy! I mean, people have many different flavors! Some are sweet, some are sour, but when I taste their blood, I can taste everything they are! I mean, it's not something I can put into words! But it's amazing!"
"...And there lies the crux of the problem… Hah." Garou shook his head. "I feel sorry for your parents, though I must admonish them for trying to ignore the root of the problem. You are nothing more than a victim of your own Quirk. When we taste blood, we only receive bitter iron… Your parents didn't bother to differentiate common sense with your unique attributes due to your Quirk." Garou shook his head.
"Like your parents tried to say, love without mutual acceptance is not love."
Himiko's smile suddenly twitched at the mention of her parents.
"Any love that ends in a murder… is nothing more than obsession. Where is the consent? What you consider as love is nothing more than your instinct to consume the person, hunger for their blood. You don't actually love me… you're too self-centered to even consider what the other person wants. But you don't want to acknowledge that, do you?"
Himiko remained silent.
"I don't like to deal with bullshit. I have things to do, and you want to end it all because you want to drink me dry. Have you ever considered what the other people around you think? Or do you reject them because they don't know how you feel?"
Himiko didn't answer.
"...What do you know about how I feel?"
"I don't know. I can guess though. You're so used to taking from others, you're not used to having things taken from you. At least acknowledge that part of you."
Himiko's eyes squinted at Garou. Her gaze was almost… psychotically vindictive.
"You cannot hold the squirming feeling inside you. You want to let it out. No one understands you, so you lash out at them."
Himiko blinked. He struck the marks so accurately that it shocked her.
"You want someone to at least understand you or help you through it, but everyone just tells you to hold it in. That is a mistake. If you want blood… don't just take it from someone. Have you ever bothered to ask someone to donate it to you?" Garou asked Himiko.
"...Donate?" Himiko blinked at the word.
She sounded as if she heard the word for the first time.
"Yes. Donate. If you want blood, just ask."
Himiko stared at Garou as if she was looking at a brand new creature. The word, 'ask,' didn't seem to click inside her…
Asking for blood… why did she not ask? She was to take blood, but to have someone offer it willingly was… would they give her all of their blood? She blinked as she tried to come up with an answer but…
"...I can ask?" She asked as if she didn't know that the option existed in the first place.
"This isn't the world where you have to be your worst. In the Silver Fang, we strive to be better as humans. Not as animals or outcasts. That is a part of being human, not the sole definition. The desire for blood doesn't make you not human. It shows that you have a special need. The act of carelessly taking without a second thought is another matter. Honestly, your parents should've considered the option of blood donation to avoid something like this. Anyways, as for my verdict, ponder on this and give me an answer. You will be confined to your room for a week. We might summon you to work off your penance. Do you want blood with your meals?"
Toga stated at Garou.
A mutter erupted amongst the spectators.
"Wait, that's it? Aren't court hearings supposed to be longer?"
"Too much bureaucratic bullshit. This is better, honestly."
"But she's getting away scot free."
"That's up to Garou. He has more say since she attacked him. He has the right as the victim and judge."
The spectators muttered as they talked themselves into accepting Garou's judgment.
"...May I have your blood with my meals, please?" She asked sweetly.
"No. Because you attacked me. But if you behave and make up for your mistake, I will consider it."
Toga pouted at Garou. The others were surprised that Garou even could bleed in the first place.
"It's not nice to play hard to get! Especially to a girl that loves you!" Toga shouted.
"Uh huh." Garou smirked. "Take her away, and see if you can get some volunteers to curb her blood cravings. Ensure that she keeps a strict blood diet to practice restraint as extra punishment."
"That's not fair! Booooooooooo!" Toga comically jeered as Spinner snickered and rolled her out of the makeshift courtroom.
Chisaki coughed in the microphone to catch everyone's attention as the muttering stopped.
"Thank you for your attendance. Our leader has the capacity for mercy and to handle any difficulties. However, depending on the severity, that mercy might be absent. What you experienced was a taste to prepare us all for the future to come, for every organization, there would be malcontents and otherwise. It is our duty to adapt to the ways of the ordinary, as the ones who deal with troubles instead of exacerbating them."
The listeners remained silent, taking in the wisdom of their position.
"You may return to your duties. And be sure to watch out for any more malcontents."
Twice shouted with his arms straightened up. "Yes! Victory for us! No! Toga, stay strong!"
Everyone ignored Twice as they decided to get up from their seats and walk out of the door.
Garou rose and turned to Chisaki.
"That was an interesting experience. First time I heard so much crazy in my life." He left with his right-hand man.
"Indeed. She was crazier than I thought." Chisaki agreed as they walked towards the Tori gate behind them, the structure activating as a portal appeared.
The shrine maiden bowed before them as they entered the portal, appearing in another room.
They would sometimes use the Tori gates to travel between floors instantly once a day. The experience and ease of it was pleasant as they arrived in a hidden room within the underground maze that the Eight Precepts of Death use to elude the pursuers.
The room was a rectangular, flat on all sides.
It was a room refurbished for Garou's personal training.
"We might need to address how to approach addiction. I do not know how to cure junkies, just beat them to half-death if they cause too much trouble." Garou noted.
"I can detox junkies, but blood is not an artificial chemical I can simply filter out. I will put my men on the task. How should we approach this one?" Chisaki asked.
"Try and reduce her blood rations little by little to gradually curb her addiction. It has to be unnoticeable."
"What about her talents and potential as a spy? She can turn into anyone with her Quirk." Chisaki noted.
"Shapeshifters are rare... she will need extra care if you have plans for her. Make sure that she could master herself first before that."
"Moving on. Do it." Garou said as he sat in a lotus position.
Chisaki nodded as he pulled off his glove and placed his hand on Garou's shoulder.
And poured all of his efforts into disintegrating him.
Chisaki was used to having his Quirk being able to disintegrate all matter he touched. However, Garou was an exception.
He could feel his Quirk worming into Garou's skin, yet he could not manipulate his matter as Garou meditated.
It was one of his training rituals to strengthen his resistance to Quirks to the point of Godhood. Chisaki studied Garou's blood at his request to see if he could grant the same resistance to his followers, something Chisaki could support.
After all, if everyone was resistant to Quirks, it would make Quirks obsolete, minus the empowerment-type Quirks.
Garou's other training rituals was simply pushing his body to his limits with the resources possible. There were training type equipment made for heroes with power-type Quirks he could use.
He was also mastering his martial arts, especially the one his master sealed inside a safe and scrolls.
"Are you finally ready to begin the training?" Chisaki asked.
"Did you set everything up?" Garou asked.
"Yes. Every protocol is prepared in case of emergencies." Chisaki added.
"We begin in an hour."
Their forces were numerous enough for them to spare some for Garou's training. Training every follower at once would leave them vulnerable to outside attacks.
"...I know it is wrong to doubt you after reaching this point, but is it possible to learn your techniques?"
Garou chuckled, unfazed by Chisaki's Quirk as he repelled the power.
"My first apprentice showed considerable growth after months of training. I will make sure that they will follow the code of discipline and self-improvement to the point of vomiting blood. So yes, I promise to elevate them higher than their Quirks allow."
Chisaki felt relieved by his assurance, his promise.
Silence returned as Chisaki continued to pour all of his efforts into overcoming Garou's Quirk resistance. It was a great exercise for his Quirk, Chisaki admitted. He could feel his Quirk improving after each session.
"...Do you want to know why I wanted to find the man with a powerful Warp Quirk?" Garou asked.
Chisaki remained silent.
"...I admit that curiosity gnaws at me."
"It is one of my greatest secrets," Garou admitted. "No, definitely the greatest. I wanted to surprise All Might and the world with it when the time comes. Only my first apprentice knows of this."
Chisaki felt stunned, honored that he would be the second.
"I need you to do whatever it takes to find that person, if that person won't come to me. There are two reasons why I want to deal with him."
"...You do not want his Quirk?" Chisaki asked.
"Well, I wish I had the power to take away his Quirk. It might be within your power to do so given enough time and practice, honestly."
It was another project Garou had in mind - the reverse engineering of Quirks, isolating the Quirk factor of others and extracting them for study. Chisaki and the others supported this project, and with Chisaki's Quirk and experience, they would soon be able to artificially extract and implant Quirks like the infamous All For One. It should be possible given Overhaul's versatility.
"But in the end, he must be dealt with. I realized something while I was busy building my knowledge."
"What epiphany dawned on you?"
"...I am not from this world."
Chisaki stopped using his Quirk.
In the pause, his mind slowed, trying to digest this revelation, yet it was hard to swallow.
Yet, at the same time, very… logical, given the powers of Quirks in general.
"...I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I got here. It took me a while to narrow the odds of a Quirk user, which is obvious. The problem is, I have no idea who brought me here. I am a stranger in a stranger land, Chisaki."
Garou turned to face his stunned comrade.
"Do you know what it's like to stumble in a world where almost everyone has superpowers, yet so filled with so many problems that it is comical? Where I'm from, we have to earn the powers however we can. I wasn't born with a Quirk, and my strength is not from it."
Chisaki retracted his hand as he stared at Garou in a new light.
"I was a Hero Hunter before I came here. The first few months I spent feeling out this world. I hunted Heroes to strengthen myself, to push myself past my limits… I found out how different things are here the hard way."
Chisaki stared at his greatest idol confiding his greatest secret to him.
"...What… Forgive me. It is… my first time being so overwhelmed like this in a conversation." Chisaki inhaled, trying to gather his thoughts behind his stoic composure.
Garou let Chisaki take his time to collect and process the questions he wished to ask.
"...Why do you want to find this man? Do you… plan to return home?" Chisaki asked an important question.
"I am not sure," Garou admitted. "In every way, I do not belong here, yet ironically, I feel as if this world needs someone like me to set it straight. I have learned much from being here, and my time here has changed me. But that is not the main reason."
Garou shook his head.
"My world is dangerous," Garou admitted. "The chances may be slim, but there is still a chance that person might pull something dangerous. The Disaster Level system is used by the Hero Association where I'm from, to vaguely estimate the strengths of monsters that threaten my country, my world. Two large cities were wiped out from the appearance of one Dragon-Level monster, and the second city was destroyed because his large body crushed it after he was defeated by the strongest hero."
Garou could see how hard Chisaki was processing this information.
"My world is above yours in terms of strength, and dangers. Anything Demon and above here would destroy the balance of this world. So I implore you. In case you can't find any, make sure that you find any traces of monsters that might spill into this world."
"...What are these monsters you speak of?" Chisaki asked.
"Humans or otherwise mutated into monstrosities. They are like mutant-type Quirk users, only their hearts reflect their appearance, genuine malice against humanity. A Disaster Level Dragon monster can level this entire city to rubble in moments, with thousands killed without a chance to fight back. Thus, this world cannot handle a monster that cares not for it. It is my second reason why I wanted to restore All Might, just in case there's something out there brought here to destroy everything."
Chisaki was amazed that Garou thought this far ahead. The amount of trust Garou had into Chisaki moved him to reveal his ultimate secret - his origins.
"...I will do my best. I will need all the information you have on how to deal with a monster of that caliber." Chisaki said.
"You will ultimately need All Might or me to take out Disaster-level Dragon monsters. Tigers and Wolves can be handled by our subordinates. Demons are tricky, but we should test if they are as resistant to Quirks as I am."
Chisaki paused for a moment as he remembered something.
"...You said you wanted to become a Symbol of Fear." Chisaki mentioned. "Were you planning to become a monster yourself?"
Garou remained silent.
"...I am halfway there." Garou turned to Chisaki, showing his crimson eye. "After spending time here, I decided to become a monster of my own design, not like those walking mindless disasters. Gather those you can trust with this matter. And do your best to arm us with the tools necessary to slay those that can rival a weakened All Might."
"...And what about those that can rival a Prime All Might?" Chisaki asked."
"Hope that never happens. Japan might not last a single day if it's allowed to rampage. If you wonder what's it like to see so many bodies dropping every week in every city and town in Japan, you'll find out when one comes."
On an abandoned playground where there was almost nobody outside in Dagoba, two boys exchanged fists.
The taller one with glasses then started using kicks, feinting his high kick into a low kick, an execution of the Brazilian kick.
The taller ones struck the moss head's side, snaking his attack under his guard with success.
"You fool! Just because the Water Stream is strong doesn't mean you're invincible!" Ghin shouted from the sidelines as he watched his juniors spar.
"What did you call me?!"
"Yes, Senior!" Izuku shouted louder as he sported a rare, fierce grin, Iida showing the same expression as they stepped back, both breathing heavily, chests up and down as the cold air colored their exhales.
They were almost at the end of their training.
Izuku and Iida had learned to converse and respect each other, talked about their lives and how Garou's rise to power affected them. Izuku learned about Iida's family, his brother being the Hero ingenium and his reason for wanting to be a hero.
Iida gradually warmed up to Garou's presence until Garou decided to become Lord of Hosu. His family was shocked, Ingenium included, to hear that Garou decided to take over their city without warning.
At first, they were frightened for the worst… until Garou destroyed everyone's expectations. Tenya's family were allowed to keep their residence and Garou's men were rarely seen in the open.
Izuku heard from Ghin that Garou's men were patrolling from the shadows, navigating the places where villains tend to flock to defend their domain from invading elements.
Ghin also happily told him that there are also snipers camped atop the roofs of the skyscrapers to Izuku's horror. They were meant to keep an eye on the streets, to look out for those out of place, eyes where the police could not see.
They were using their experience as villains to better manage public safety.
Izuku and Tenya finished their brief respite and resumed their bout, trading fists and kicks as they struggled to overpower one another in a contest of skill.
Iida specialized in kicks, mostly out of habit due to his Quirk.
Izuku was more balanced, and he could read Iida more easily due to his reliance in his legs as he ducked and weaved under Iida's sidekick and grabbed his leg, kicked Iida standing leg, and threw Iida over his shoulder with a heroic warcry and slammed Iida face-first into the ground.
"Winner! Moss-Head Izuku!"
Izuku panted as he wiped the sweat off his brows. He felt an exhilarating sense of… self-confidence. Or was it the adrenaline in his system? Either way, he felt joy and a sense of accomplishment over this victory, knowing that he was progressing far without One For All.
Tenya groaned as he pushed himself to his knee, rubbing his head.
"Engine legs. Your weakness is that you are too reliant on kicks. It makes you way too predictable. If you want to rely on kicks, try and be creative if you want to specialize in that area. Moss head, you should've beat his ass sooner. Your problem is that you always keep holding yourself back like it's second nature."
Izuku felt embarrassed about that.
"B-But I don't want to hurt Iida by-"
"You're supposed to!" The boy shouted at him. "You don't know how to harness the instinct! Heck, you should've harnessed it sooner, yet you're still a crybaby wimp!"
Izuku felt his ego receiving a beating.
"Pardon me!" Iida raised his hand. "I am sorry if I speak out of line, but it is not custom for heroes to use excessive force!"
"You fool! The lesson here is to learn how to use everything you have while living by your rules!" Ghin shouted, pointing a finger at Iida to the juniors' shock.
"Eh?" Izuku and Iida blinked, the latter pushing up his glasses.
"The problem with All Might is that he never goes all out. He has absolutely no control over his own power. Aniki can fight with his all while not worrying about damage control. The lesson is to fight with your all under your terms! For that, you need to know your limits and tame it before you strive to surpass it!"
Izuku and Iida turned to each other, baffled by this… surprisingly wise lesson.
"I… I see your point!" Iida accepted it with diligence.
"And you!" Ghin pointed at Izuku, making him gulp and stand at attention on reflex.
"...Where is your anger?" Ghin asked.
"U-Um… W-What do you mean?" Izuku asked meekly.
"...You're Quirkless like me, right? Where's your anger? Weren't you bullied?" Ghin asked again.
"I…" Izuku did talk with Ghin on the matter of his school life… and he did mention his childhood friend.
"...But it isn't that bad-"
"Is it? You should be angry. It is natural for you to be angry! You can't just keep holding it in! You need to let it out and then figure out how to deal with it! Harness it like a lightsaber!"
Izuku remained silent.
Knowing Bakugo, he never treated him well for his Quirklessness. He did not have a good answer for that… He kind of looked up to Bakugo now that he thought about it but…
Knowing Ghin, the boy would probably punch him between the legs for that.
"...It is either you're a hopeless wimp or something else. It is natural to hate, yet I don't see it in you… I suggest you look after yourself." Ghin suggested.
Izuku looked up from his shoes at Ghin for his thoughtful suggestion.
"Don't let anyone beat you down. I don't know how you live your life, but you must always stand up for yourself and fight for your place. You want to get into that super special Quirk Supremacist High School? You'll need to reach your limits and then go beyond. Not go beyond off the bat."
"Ahem! Excuse me!" Iida raised his hand. "Why did you add 'reach your limits' before All Might's catchphrase?!"
"It is better to know everything about yourself first and come to terms with it before you strive to achieve the impossible. Aniki… told me this himself… he learned about himself too late when crossed too many lines."
"...Lines such as?" Izuku asked.
"You will know." Ghin said. "To end the session, I will review what you need to know about the Water Stream Rock Smashing fist." Ghin inhaled.
"The key is to read the flow of energy and become one with the flow. Absorb the outside energy with your hands, take it into you bones, your muscles, your skin, and redirect it while knowing how to handle the flow of energy within yourself. Continue the stances aniki showed you two. Engine Legs, you have a Quirk, so figure out how to use the boosters on your legs to your advantage and catch your enemies off guard. But don't focus on too many tricks. Like Bruce Lee said, it is better to practice one punch a thousand times than to practice a thousand punches. The latter is reserved for super geniuses."
Iida and Izuku sweat-dropped at Ghin's impish smile.
"Don't let the world tell you what you are. You need to determine that yourself…. And good luck. Izuku."
Izuku flinched when Ghin used his name without the added nickname.
"You can do it! Break the shitty system with your fists and show them the true power as one of Aniki's disciples!" Ghin flashed Izuku a thumbs-up and a toothy grin.
Izuku's smile grew. It was the first time someone other than All Might… said something positive to him.
He felt a surge of heart-warming confidence in him.
He could do it. One day… he hoped that when everything was over, he could tell Ghin everything.
Because like Ghin said, they were friends.
The first friend Izuku could rely on, and he was Ghin's first friend in a long time.
The Dark Scavenger project was made accidentally when experimenting on Quirks with Trigger.
Quirks in the realm of heroes augmented even further to find a way to permanently maintain their evolved state.
Kurogiri's Warp Quirk, when empowered, forced the Warp user to pull random objects from somewhere beyond their ken.
The first time was when he collected a corpse of unknown origins, a specimen that wasn't born human, with not a single Quirk factor in its genes.
This prompted All For One to see what else Kurogiri could pull out after 'winning the lottery on the first try.'
When a groundbreaking discovery was found so easily, it was natural to 'continue fishing' for more.
However, Kurogiri only brought two.
The second great catch was a still-beating heart of an unknown creature they could not identify.
The heart was not within a body, yet it was still active. There were faint traces of human DNA within the heart, showing evidence of the human undergoing extreme mutations for an unknown amount of time, plus signs of gene splicing.
There was another corpse, but it had a massive hole through its platinum body.
Among the 'junk' they 'fished': a cybernetic arm of unknown origins, a random eyeball, some weird whip, a metal bat that was surprisingly durable but useless, a robotic head with three eyes, rocks, items of dubious origins, and unknown value.
The Doctor, Yujiko, was more focused on his Nomu than this.
The most recent one was another bust. They had one too many busts, where Kurogiri failed to bring something.
Wherever Kurogiri was pulling from, it was so far that Kurogiri had to endure the flaw of inaccuracy. Trying to pull something from that far only to have it slip out of his fingers midway.
Kurogiri wasn't sure what he used to guide his hand since he was picking up objects blind, but he would reach out for what felt like a presence at least... when the presence spikes he would reach for it. Though there was one case that something from the other side closed his portal by force, like someone closing a window.
At this rate, All For One might abandon this project to avoid crippling Kurogiri. Or send something on the other side, a robot or Nomu to scout and record what was there and see if they could retrieve it somehow.
Little did he know that he abducted more than just corpses and objects.
Somewhere in Tokyo, a womanly scream fell from the sky, an actual woman falling and flailing her arms as she crashed into an open dumpster in an alleyway.
Emerging from the trash, grime, lettuce, an uneaten burger falling from her hair, she spat out the sudden filth that entered her mouth.
She looked around, groaning with a 'bleh' at the sudden unwanted taste.
"Did I just fall off a roof?"
Her skin was brown, her face tomboyish as her round, crystal-like eyes scanned her surroundings. She wondered if she was drunk again, but she couldn't remember the last time she fell from the roof like this.
She slowly picked herself out of the trash. Now she needed to find a way back to the dojo or a public bath.
Omake: Le Brava and Gentle
Gentle wasn't a man that supported excessive violence.
His crusade was more… personal, trying to show the world the flaws of the current society through the convenience of a lens.
Although he was miffed when Garou took the spotlight.
It was all the trend these days, the Hero Hunter destroying the Hero Society at a level Gentle couldn't hope to reach.
Nor did he want to. He wanted to expose the flaws of the current society to encourage them to change for the better, not see it fall to chaos and mistrust.
When he heard that Garou started recruiting for his army, he had to check it out to see for himself.
It was simultaneously the most terrifying and awe-inspiring night.
He heard many terrible things about Garou, all of them true, but the man he saw that night was not a violent beast, but a visionary with a bottomless well of charisma and potential.
The terror came from how Hawks was treated.
Gentle and Le Brava were scared after seeing how much power Garou had over the Public Safety Bureau. They were ahead with a massive head start already.
Thus, they decided to hack into the systems and spy on them to deliver information to the Hero Society.
They do not know what Garou would do with that much power.
Garou was powerful enough as he was.
And it led them to be bound and gagged inside a cubical room with only one light shining a cone from above, both of them tied to a chair with the right hand of Garou sitting across the table.
Gentle had never been so terrified in his life.
He didn't think that they would be caught so quickly. Did they mark him the moment they stepped in like Hawks?
Their escape using the iconic air-trampoline tactic worked for the first few minutes.
Until Garou himself decided to hunt them down personally without mercy.
The Demon of Hosu was far more terrifying than rumors and videos showed.
Only a few seconds after learning that he could not shut off his Quirk that Garou followed them using their own air-trampolines. It was like being chased by a living horror from a scary movie.
Their eyes were already breaking into tears as Chisaki snapped his fingers.
A couple of men entered the cone of light from behind and started ungagging the two.
Gentle and Le Brava were too scared to speak out of turn. They already knew what this man could do, and the possibilities of the unending torments awaited them. Gentle wasn't afraid of Heroes or Villains, but here, they were in a new domain where the worst nightmares could become reality.
It was their first taste of terror.
Then another man eerily emerged from the darkness, a tall slim man in a plague mask.
"Tell us everything." He spoke.
His voice felt… hypnotic.
Then the two started speaking as they lost control of their minds and body, spilling everything, their names, their occupation, where they live, why they did this…
When it ended, Gentle and Le Brava were terrified even more as they milked all of their secrets to them.
"Oh, interesting. I am impressed that you managed to hack into the security cameras so easily to cover your entry. Not bad for a couple of attention seekers. I am quite surprised you tried to risk your skins to get back at Garou for something so petty, but we have worse fools challenging him in the arena."
Chisaki nodded to himself while Gentle clenched his teeth.
"W-Whatever you plan to do, take me! Do not harm Le Brava because of my mindless impulse!"
"G-Gentle!" The small lady with large sharp eyes and in dark-violet twintails shouted with a plea.
"You know lying is futile." Chisaki chuckled. "Honestly, I find this more entertaining. In the end, the damage was averted. You are lucky that we are in a very good mood. Little girl. How capable are you at hacking?" Chisaki asked the girl.
Le Brava gulped.
"...What do you want?" She asked, knowing that she was at checkmate.
"I know what it is like to make an offer. We can hire capable hackers, but I want those with loyalty. I must say, your skills in bypassing security systems got my attention. Shin, fetch the copy of the harddrive." Chisaki ordered.
The tall slim man nodded as he disappeared into the darkness.
They couldn't see anything outside of circle of light.
The new Silver Fang had captured the essence of inciting terror so frighteningly well.
"Let's see… I am willing to make you an offer. You can work for us as your punishment or face the alternative."
"That's an ultimatum." Gentle corrected.
"Yes, but it is a devil's ultimatum. You see…"
The slim man returned, emerging from the darkness with a laptop with a hard drive stuck in the port.
"We managed to capture several one-percenters of this country as well as broke into their office building. We have secured a tremendous amount of data with the help of our newest workers. Blackmail material, evidence of actual rot within our current society."
Gentle blinked as the men untied their bonds, freeing their hands from their chairs as Chisaki opened the laptop and slid it towards La Brava.
"See if you can decrypt this." Chisaki asked.
Le Brava blinked in confusion before she stared at the open laptop. It was a program window open with files labeled top-secret information.
Uneased, she turned to Gentle. The mustached man slowly nodded at her to do as he said as La Brava gulped and opened the files.
She blinked at the amount of encryption. In summary, it was a rare kind of advanced that only those with time and money could afford.
She started typing on the keyboard, already opening the decryption software that was there and started to unravel the secrets.
"...No way." Le Brava stopped upon unlocking the secrets of the file.
"Hm? You already decrypted it?" Chisaki perked his head with mild surprise.
"W-Who did you take this from?" She asked as she continued typing. Gentle, now curious, started peeking at the screen.
"...Le Brava. May I ask what I am seeing?" Gentle politely inquired.
"Evidence of tax evasion, smuggling of illegal items, even… confided dealings with the Union. Blackmail material on certain politicians, contact and billing information of high-level villains overseas… Oh my god."
Le Brava looked up at Chisaki.
"One of our associates was a assassin hired by someone high up on the political chain. They are at a level where they can feed off the status Quo, control it from the shadows. They were growing in power due to All Might's sudden decrease in activity years ago. Did you know that he was severely injured with risk of organ failure?"
Le Brava and Gentle couldn't believe what they were hearing. This was a level of organized crime on a national level, it had the potential to destroy this country. No, it could give Garou even more power than before.
"W-What do you plan to do with this information?" Le Brava asked, genuinely at the peak of terror at the possibility in her hands.
"Use it to control the country from the shadows." Chisaki said to her horror.
"...Heh." Chisaki chuckled. "I'm joking."
The two blinked.
"We could use it to gain power. But power isn't the theme of Silver Fang. No. If you decide to help us, we can divulge the greatest scandal Japan had ever seen in recent times to the public. After all… you wish to change society as a hero in your own making, do you not, Gentle?"
Gentle and Le Brava stared at Chisaki with genuine disbelief.
"Y-You want to… you have me caught off guard. Why would Garou want this? I have kept track of his activities, and this…" Gentle stammered, unable to find the words.
"We know. However, we have to prepare a set of instructions for them first. Our goal is to change society… differently. Too many Villains have attempted conquest for change that it has been proven that it will never work. So, what do you say? Do you want to join our organization for real?"
Le Brava and Gentle looked at Chisaki with shock.
They gazed at each other's eyes for a moment.
Change… something that Gentle wanted, yet couldn't make any everlasting impact.
"...May… Is it possible for me to have a talk with your leader?" Gentle asked.
He wanted to know more about Garou first before making a decision. They didn't know if Chisaki was telling the truth.
"If you agree, then yes. Trust me, talking with him once can change your world forever."
Hope you didn't wait too long for this. Been busy with stoof and trying to climb out of a slump. Also trying to juggle the other fics.
Also did an oopsie with someone that said something very rude in the One-Punch DxD: Neo fic review section. I won't call him out but I gotta say my piece first.
When someone said something so asinine, so recklessly thoughtless dumb and inconsiderate, so ignorant to the world of DxD, there were so many things that you just want to say but couldn't, you could only explode with rage.
To the guy, if you're still reading my fic, one, I am sorry for my outburst in the PMs, as it is inappropriate but a part of me still feels that it is justified.
You sound like the NEET in One Punch Man, the guy at the end of the Deep Sea King Arc, that tried to undermine Saitama's success and diss on the institution that is supposedly made to protect humanity from the threat of Monsters if you want a comparison.
Only in this case you tout the institution called the Vatican for their duty to protect the world, yet you so horribly ignore how terrible they manage themselves. Hell, in Canon, they let… fifteen holy maidens fall in the hands of a genuine rapist called Diodora and did nothing about it, then abandoned Asia to Diodora's hands. Not only that, in canon, they let Irina and Xenovia go investigate the Kokabiel incident without help from the major players like Vasco, Dulio, or Griselda.
Honestly, it was like they were sending them to die.
So to say that it is the protagonist's fault for what was clearly a hate crime and saying that the Church is free of guilt and sin is so ridiculous I could only rage in response to how one could look away from such blasphemy and pin the fault on the victims of unprovoked aggression.
No one is free from the responsibility of their actions no matter what they are. Just because someone touts themself as protector of humanity doesn't mean that they won't be led astray, set aside their duties for selfish purposes, or infect their sense of duty with grudges and racism.
Racism is the most hypocritical thing for a religious holy order.
And the protagonist defended the 'monsters' because they were family, and yes, they have a checkered past. But it is also a crime to prevent a genuine attempt to redeem oneself from their past lives and give them a chance to start anew.
Only terrible people would write others off without taking these things into consideration. That is my belief.
Anyways, rant over, need to get that out of my chest.
I am planning something wild but am not sure how to go about it just yet. Gonna feel it out at least and see where it goes.
Shoutout to Bones N Sweets for his OC, Chatu Ranga. Yeah, I used one of yours. Hope you guys happy XD