They were in a different world, Touma concluded, and sighed for the fifth time that day. 'They' referred to himself and his companion, a certain magical magic god. Okay, that felt a little redundant. Still, his companion didn't seem to care.
His companion was called Othinus. She had gold-like blonde hair, almost shining with the light of the sun, moonlight white skin, a beautiful face and an attractive body. She wore a witch hat, and something resembling straps that left little to the imagination. She looked at him with her left catlike green eye, her right covered by an eye-patch, from where she sat on her lance, Gungnir.
Yes, he didn't manage to break Gungnir. Surprise, surprise, when he thought she used it as a weapon flying towards him, he was actually seeing an illusion constructed by her magic and was torn apart by another arrow. He got bisected in half, his midriff down separated from the rest of his body, and felt the cold hands of death reaching him.
Or was it Othinus? She apparently brought him back to life. She was known as a god of death in her other identity as Odin, a mighty Aesir and the ruler of Asgard. And he's witnessed the miracle that is her overwhelming power head on.
Level 5's don't stand a chance against this god, he lamented.
"Human," Othinus said. "Why are you limiting yourself to your eyes?" She blushed and looked away. "I don't mind if you get a little frisky."
They were in the streets of Akihabara. A maid cafe was behind them, girls in animal theme serving as maids, and the electronic town was before them, with robots in the sidewalk giving papers and advertising what their stores were selling. Don Quijote was available just a block away. He was tempted to go Gundam cafe, but the place apparently closed down a few years ago. Much to his disappointment.
"Still," Touma said, noting how the maids in the cafe had actual cat ears and fox tails, or how the robot was a genuine machine. "I wonder if this world is the future of Academy City?"
No one made a big deal about how Othinus was using her magic to sit on a flying stick like a stereotypical witch.
"Ma'am," a humanoid cat in a blue police uniform approached them. "We recommend not using your quirk when in public."
Othinus pointed at Touma. "I'm his quirk. He can summon me."
Touma covered his face with his right palm and groaned. No way was anyone in their sane mind was going to believe a thing she said.
As if reading his mind and conspiring against him, Othinus clapped her hands and torched herself and Touma in gold flames. It shattered a moment later, of course, due to his Imagine Breaker nullifying the weaker magic spell. He couldn't have done that to her stronger ones, like altering an entire world.
The humanoid feline officer nodded and twirled his whiskers with his right index and middle finger. "I see," he said, turning to Touma. "Young man, it is your responsibility as the next generation of this world to abide by its rules. See to it to get a license if you want to use your quirk in public."
That was another thing that got Touma's attention. Quirks were the substitute for psychic abilities in this world. Consequently, espers were instead replaced by quirk users. There wasn't much of a difference, in his opinion. Just names and style. Whereas in his world espers were produced by Academy City, here the quirk users were natural phenomena appearing world wide.
At least, a cursory glance at the internet gave him this information. He and Othinus were staying at a hotel in Park Hotel in Higashi-Shinbashi district in Minato and ate breakfast in Tateru Yoshino Bis, a french restaurant. These were small oddities he took note of, because they existed in his world as well. There were other areas and places he was unfamiliar with. But this was not one of them.
"But what about them?" Touma complained, pointing at the maid cafe and the robot across the street. The feline officer shrugged and told him their quirks were biological in nature. He gaped at the robot and asked if that was their actual body, to which the officer confirmed in the positive.
When the officer left, Touma wiped sweat from his forehead and quirked his brow. That was annoying. He scowled at Othinus, who didn't care, unfortunately, about his plight.
"There," Othinus said, covering herself in a soft, gold glow. A halo floated over her head. It was made of white fire, and it created phantasms and afterimages if he stared at it too long. Fluffy white wings sprouted from her back. White mist condensed underneath her, shifting into white clouds. "From now on," Othinus continued. "I'm your guardian angel." Touma looked at the pedestrians worriedly. "Don't worry," she said. "I've made them ignore me." Her mental powers at work again. He wasn't surprised by the scale of her abilities. He'd seen her shift the paradigm of an entire world's population, after all.
"So now what?" Othinus asked. "I wish this was still our world, but it truly is an alternate universe. I cannot find the pathway back to our world. It is like we're lost in a forest, with the road back to our hometown shrouded in mist. If we were to carelessly attempt a way back, we might be thrown into a universe even farther away."
Touma nodded. They've been here a few days. They used Othinus' power to supply them with the local currency, which was still yen. Going strong, Japan. Touma was bored. He missed Index, and all the others. Eventually, he and Othinus went to the Akihabara train station, stared at the railway and took the next train out to Shimbashi station. He didn't really feel like eating. He'd seen all there was to see about the normal areas in this country. There wasn't an Academy City, but there was a lot of heroes and villains. As strange as that sounds. The street was packed with cars. The traffic was incredible. The body of pedestrians immense. Tokyo even back in his original world always was the heart of Japan. There were costumed people here and there, and others with animal limbs, robotic parts or completely alien physiology altogether, but other than that everything was the same.
People were people.
"Let's go to the museum," Othinus said. Touma shrugged. So they went. The advertising museum was near the train station, so that was convenient. Comics, posters, magazine pages showcased the athletes, successful CEO's and even costumed heroes in the museum. One that caught Touma's attention was a gold statue of a man. Written underneath the statue was his name.
"All Might," Touma read. He extracted his phone from his pocket. One of the many things Othinus bought him. It came with a data-only SIM card. He typed All Might's name in the search engine. It revealed a muscular man, caucasian, with blond hair and blue eyes. He wore a blue bodysuit, which lead to yellow spikes on his forearms, red coloration on his abdomen, white colors on either side of his hips, and yellow booths. "Pretty weird, don't you think?" Touma asked. "Japan having an American hero."
Othinus raised a fine brow. "And what makes you think he's American?"
Touma checked some of All Might's wiki made by some fans compiling all his feats. "Texas Smash, Detroit Smash, Missouri Smash, Carolina Smash. Need I go on? Again, it's pretty weird. Last I recall, the country of my birth wasn't welcoming to foreigners." Academy City was better in that regard. Touma always considered himself a citizen of Academy City first and foremost.
"This world is different," Othinus said. "With the sheer variety in forms people have taken due to their abilities, mere race and nationality should not be a hurdle, yes?"
"You have a point…" Touma rubbed his chin. Still, it made him curious why All Might chose to do hero work in Japan instead of the States. Wonders never cease. "He's a living legend, isn't he?"
"And I'm a god," Othinus said, obviously bristled. "Whatever silly moves he can do, I can do better." Touma rolled his eyes. She was so jealous. All Might was apparently sighted in Musutafu, a district near Tokyo.
"Huh, funny. I don't think I've heard of Musutafu before," Touma said. "Another quirk of the new world, eh? Get it?" He laughed at his own joke and nudged Othinus' shoulder with his elbow. She scoffed from where she sat on her flying cloud. White wisps from the cloud turned into a small mist on the surrounding area.
"Excuse me," a janitor said, holding a mop as he approached them. "But do you have a license to use your quirk out in public, young lady?"
Othinus flew behind Touma and created gold light from the ceiling, which illuminated Touma, the floor and the nearby surroundings. Touma grimaced. If he didn't play along Othinus was going to increase the stakes to a ridiculous degree.
"She's my…" He scratched the back of his head. "Uh…" He forced a smile. "Quirk." He grimaced and lowered his head. "I can't turn her off. She's like my imaginary friend, sir."
"I am," Othinus whispered mockingly, the light receding as she flew beside Touma and nodded her head, lying on her cloud.
The janitor nodded. Looked at Othinus in fascination. "I've never heard of this kind of quirk before." He shrugged. "Well, guess if you live long enough you'll see everything."
Touma looked at the area around the janitor. "Where's your bucket, old man?"
The janitor snapped his fingers. Pointed at his mop. It was damp. "My quirk might not be as fancy as yours," he said. "But I can always make things moist."
"Oh can you now?" Othinus flashed the janitor a coy smile. The janitor's face went red. He covered his mouth and coughed, scowling at Touma.
"Young man, I suggest not to make fun of your elders."
"My quirk has a mind of its own," Touma said lazily. "Sometimes I wonder if she even realizes how much of an exhibitionist she is sometimes. Shameless, absolutely shameless." A tendril of cloud formed from under Othinus' cloud and swatted his back. He didn't feel a thing. The cloud dispensed and regrouped with the greater whole.
"I understand," the old man janitor said. "I've had fantasies too when I was younger."
"And that's my cue to leave," Touma said, not wanting to familiarize himself with the janitor's naughty secrets. "Come on, Othinus. Let's go." He walked ahead. Othinus flew over the janitor and followed Touma outside the museum.
Another cop appeared, emerging from his police car parked on the sidewalk. This one didn't have any unique features like the humanoid feline officer they spoke to earlier. He was just in uniform.
"Excuse me, miss," the cop said. "Unless you're a hero you can't use your powers in public." Othinus and Touma shared a conspiring look. He explained to the cop that she was his power and he couldn't turn her off. Othinus purred with the double-entendre, agreeing with him, and making Touma's face flush with embarrassment. Surprisingly the cop bought hid excuse, like all the others. Touma, perplexed, asked the officer if powers like his were common. "No," the officer said, looking at Othinus in something akin to awe. "But quirks are unpredictable. And eventually there's going to be a quirk for everything."
He tipped his cap at them. "Well, I'm off then. If she truly is your quirk and you can't control her there's nothing we can do about it. Although maybe you should register your ability to the nearest police station?"
"No," Othinus said, shaking her head. The cop, instead of insisting the point, stepped back and bowed. He returned to his car, closed the door and drove off.
Othinus must've used her magic. She could achieve virtually any effect she wished. In theory, she's practically omnipotent. In practice, it was not so. Her sole limit is knowledge. She couldn't obtain information out of thin air. With the right tools, people could bargain with her in exchange for knowledge. She was a god, after all.
They walked back to the hotel. Othinus having removed her cloud, wings and halo for the time being. A girl behind the receptionists counter greeted them, even remembering their names. Reasonable, considering Othinus bought three entire floors in addition to the penthouse. She paid for every room every night. The ridiculously expensive price wasn't even pocket change for a being who could create anything at will.
They passed through the lobby, to an elevator door. A bellboy standing beside the door made a bow. Entering it, Touma pressed the button to the top floor. It wasn't a number. Just the letter 'P'. The hotel had many features, but neither Touma nor Othinus were interested in any of them. The two were content merely with each other.
When they reached the top floor the elevator door opened. Othinus left the elevator first and made her way through the hallway towards the small building that housed their room. There was a pool by the side of the marble pathway, and a garden of roses by the other. Neither of which were there before Othinus and Touma lodged into the hotel, of course. He followed her into the building. The living room was filled with exquisite furniture. A flat screen television was mounted on the wall. Chandelier hanged from the ceiling. There was a jacuzzi at the center of the room, covered by a circular glass floor that would split in half at the press of a button from a remote designed to control it. Othinus plopped onto a red sofa and sighed, looking tired. Touma kneeled beside her, reached his hands to her bare back and began kneading her. For a while, there was only them.
The next day, Touma woke with a smile. His back pressed against the mattress. A white blanket covered his shin up to his stomach. He stared at the ceiling of their bedroom. It was white, like everything else. Beside him lied his sleeping girlfriend. Othinus made a beautiful expression in her sleep. He ran his fingers down her gold hair, nails touching her scalp. Her lips curled into a small smile.
He got out of bed, picked up his clothes from the floor, left the bedroom and took the glass stairway down to the first floor of the penthouse. He made his way to the kitchen, eyed the black fridge, the stove, and the cabinet holding all their cooking utensils. He began to work.
When Othinus came down, she rubbed her eyes and yawned. She looked good wearing his white polo shirt. Even though it was more than she usually wore, it somehow made her sexier. She looked Touma up and down and leered at him. He understood why. He wore only his shorts. He shook his head and used his spatula to push some hash brown from a pan to a plate on a counter. He cooked hot dogs, eggs, and made some orange juice as well. Othinus took the pitcher and poured their two glass cups with the drink. Touma took two stools from another room and lowered both beside the counter, and then they took their seats.
"So how are we going to explain to the authority where we're getting the money when they begin investigating the paper trail?" Touma asked. He poked his fork into a yolk. It burst and coated the white pieces of an egg yellow.
"I made a company under your name," Othinus said, stabbing her fork into a hash brown and a hot dog, taking a bite off both. She chewed her food, swallowed and reached for her glass. She finished the entire cup of orange juice in one gulp. "They'll think you're the heir of a chain of hotels I've bought through a shell company. By midnight last night I've acquired this one too."
Touma shook his head and tried to hide his amazement. He shouldn't be surprised. But he is. He kept forgetting that with Othinus, the sky is the limit. And maybe not even that.
"Speaking of, I also have a hotel in Musutafu, the superhero central of Japan. It's almost like this one. But the chances of encountering other quirk users that are prone to violence will increase." Touma sighed. Why did Othinus think he was some violent adrenaline junkie? Okay, maybe it sounded tempting, and maybe the idea of exercising his body was slightly appealing, but he was not a blood knight darn it!
Othinus watched his internal struggle with an amused smile. Curse her and her unique perspective on humanity! With how many wars she witnessed and all the nations that rose and fell during her time answering prayers she had a good idea how most humans reacted to what stimula. Touma understood this, of course. He had a unique perspective on her. He could read her like a book, and her towards him the same. It was almost telepathic, their silent conversation that made him surrender to her whims. The staring contest didn't even last two minutes before he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. She laughed and poked his chin with her fork, covering his skin with oil. He smirked, stood up and wrapped his arms around her hips. Othinus yelped, kicked a stool clattering against the floor and then giggled as he carried her back to the bedroom.
Musutafu wasn't that unique, Touma thought, later that day. It was just another place in Japan. And with all the bizarre stuff he'd seen in Akihabara and Higashi-Shinbashi, and Minato in general, Musutafu wasn't really anything special. That was of course discounting the costumed individuals walking down the street. There was a lot more of them, which surprised him.
He stood in front of the school he believed would cure the unbearable boredom he felt for this world. Large walls enclosed the area around U.A. He passed the frontgate, the entrance towards the school. The letters 'U' and 'A' were printed above the entrance, with the 'A' inside the 'U'. Beyond that were two buildings connected by a skyway.
He was surprised when Othinus revealed to him that she signed his name for the entrance exam. He wasn't happy with the idea of her brainwashing other people to do it, but she calmed him down by stating she simply forged documents of his past that were so impressive it made him a candidate anyway. He wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, but didn't want to anger her by thinking her ideas were funny. Instead, he simply went with the flow.
"The place where dreams come true, huh?" Touma asked. He wore civilian clothing. A blue shirt under a black jacket, black trousers and sneakers. He didn't really stand out compared to his companion. Today Othinus forgoed her guardian angel style. What she chose to present herself as was far more ominous.
She floated behind him. Her skin glowed gold. White flame burned from her eye. White cracks formed on random areas around her body, which was barely covered by the straps she called clothes. Her cape billowed behind her ominously. She was the symbol of power.
Her form was so nerve wracking it distracted not only Touma, but the other students joining for the entrance exam.
"Hey," a kid approached him. Or rather, his companion. The kid had curly green hair, freckles on his cheeks, and wore a black uniform. He held the straps of his backpack and shivered as he gazed upon Othinus' godliness. He was the image of youth. He turned to Othinus, gulped and raised a finger. "You shouldn't be using your powers in public like that."
"Isn't this school property?" Touma asked. "I mean, it's my power and all."
"Yes, but that's not the point!" The kid said. He raised a brow. "Wait, did you say it's your power?" He turned to Othinus, and then back to Touma. Wonder shined from his eyes.
"Yeah." Touma shrugged. "My quirk summons her." He jerked a thumb to Othinus, who hovered behind him ominously. "She's basically my best friend, power and companion all rolled into one."
"Whoa…" The kid said. He then took out a small notepad from his pocket and a ballpoint pen. "I need to write this down! I think it's unprecedented! Truly wonders never cease. So how does your power work? Do you need to command her? Does she have a mind of her own? Is it like an A.I.? And I'm guessing by how she's out you can't control when she shows up?" He shot Touma question after question which disturbed the teenager.
Touma coughed. "Um…"
"Quit disturbing him, Deku." Another kid stopped beside him. The kid had blond hair, spiked upwards like Touma's, and a nasty glare. He wore a white scarf wrapped around his neck in addition to his black uniform, and instead of holding the straps of his backpack he buried his hands under his pocket. He looked at Othinus, then at Touma, and whistled. "Not bad." He grinned, took out his right hand and snapped his fingers. A small red fire blew from his fingertips. "So that's your power, huh? I'm guessing that you relied on her so much you can't fight on your own though."
"Kacchan!" The green haired boy, Deku, looked panicked, turning to the blond. Touma sighed. Kids these days.
"Listen," Touma said, holding himself back from calling either of the two 'kid', "It's nice to chit-chat and all but aren't we late or something?"
"And aren't you a little too old to be here?" 'Kacchan' said. Touma shrugged.
"I grow faster than others," he said lamely. He was seventeen. Chronologically over a thousand if the time he spent with Othinus counted. These two were probably fourteen or fifteen. He didn't know. He didn't care. He was getting a little annoyed by how they took up his time. They were like Mikoto, and even though he was fond of her sometimes he wished she was a little more mature.
And he was going to surround himself with an entire class full of fifteen year olds. Oh joy.
"What kind of lame excuse is that?" 'Kacchan' said. But Touma dismissed him, already passing through the steps towards the great hallways of U.A. High School. If only his teachers could see him now. They'd shake their heads in disappointment. 'Repeating first year, Kamijou-san? I knew you were a failure but not to this extent.'
Othinus covered her mouth. Despite the white fire burning from her left eye, it narrowed into a slit and she giggled. He ignored her. She always found the smallest of things entertaining. He followed the rest of the newcomers. Some pointed and whispered about Othinus. The line led into another door. Inside was a large auditorium. On the stage a man stood behind a podium with the U.A. insignia. The man looked strange. Blond hair spiked upward in a huge tuft behind his head. He sported a small mustache. Orange-tinted sunglasses covered his eyes. Headphones covered his ears. He donned a black jacket, fingerless gloves and leather pants leading to booths. But what stood out the most about him was the speaker attached to his neck. Touma read about this man. Present Mic, he called himself. His quirk enabled him to increase his voice to earth-shattering volumes. Or something like that.
Touma didn't really know. He observed all the other students fill up the seats of the auditorium, and only then did the professor speak.
"Welcome to today's live performance!" Present Mic said.
"Sir," an aspiring hero called out, pointing at Othinus who floated behind Touma. "She's using her powers!"
"It's okay!" Present Mic dismissed the complaint with a wave of his hand. "She's actually a projection created by examinee nine-nine-nine." The chinese number associated with dragons. Of course. Othinus just couldn't help herself. The (false) revelation of Othinus being Touma's quirk got the examinees around Touma murmuring.
"Now, with that out of the way," Present Mic said. "Everybody say 'hey'!" If he was expecting a reply from the audience, then it was for naught, because he received none. He went on anyway. He explained he was here to present the guidelines for their practical exams. Touma and the other examinees were going to experience a ten-minute-long mock cityscape maneuver, whatever that meant. They were allowed to bring whatever they wanted. After the presentation they were supposed to head to an assigned testing location.
Each site was filled with three faux villains. Examinees were awarded with points for defeating the villains based on their respective difficulty levels. They were to use their quirks to defeat these villains and earn points. That was the goal of the exam. Attacking other examinees was prohibited.
A student stood up, holding a handout. He was tall, muscular, and gave an imposing image. He wore eyeglasses that failed to hide his sharp eyes. "May I ask a question?" he said, pointing to the handout. "There appears to be no fewer than four varieties of faux villain on this handout!" He went on to complain about how it was unbecoming for Japan's premier superhero high school. He also called out 'Deku', as the blond man called him, and essentially told him to shut up.
Quite the rude fellow, Touma thought.
Present Mic addressed the imposing student, who he referred to as examinee seven-one-one-one. The fourth villain was apparently pointless, in the sense the villain would give no points for being defeated and served more as an obstacle to be crushed along the way.
Present Mic then went on about the school motto. He quoted Napoleon Bonaparte, who once said, 'true heroism consists of being superior to the ills of life. Plus ultra.'
"Break a leg, everyone!"
And then they were off.
Touma didn't really need anything. In fact, he wasn't even going to use his 'quirk' because he had none. His only ability, Imagine Breaker, allowed his right hand to dispel supernatural powers. But he doubted robots were supernatural in nature. Luckily, he was pulling a long-con with his girlfriend, Othinus, who pretended to be his quirk.
Refuge in audacity, he thought the term was called, when something was so audacious it couldn't be anything other than the truth. That was what Othinus was doing. He stood before a large iron gate, with two towers between it, which led to an artificial city. It was impressive. This was somewhere in U.A.'s backyard, which mean the size of their land was immense.
He stood next to Deku. Othinus floated behind him. As silent as ever. Deku was a sweating nervous wreck in his green running jacket, pants and shoes. "Are you alright?" Touma asked. "If you're sick, you shouldn't force yourself to participate. Just get a remedial exam or something."
Deku shook his head. "N-no. It's just…" He rubbed his shoulder. "Why's everyone so confident?" He eyed the other students, who changed from their uniforms into costumes or clothing made for physical activities. Some even carried expensive looking weaponry. "But I guess I know why you're so relaxed," he said, once more mesmerized by Othinus. He was like a moth drawn to candlelight. If he flew closer he would get burned.
"Ahem, my name's Touma." Touma introduced himself. Deku nodded, offered a hand, and smiled. He gave his name. Midoriya Izuku. He was so formal too. Touma chuckled and patted Deku's back. He was nervous, was all. Deku eyed a girl and was going to approach her. Touma stopped him. "Not a good idea flirting with people on your first day out," Touma said like a sage, giving Deku words of wisdom. Deku blushed, obviously in awe of Touma's genius intellect when it came to romance.
Othinus snorted behind him.
"And begin!" Present Mic spoke from a large building in the distance overlooking all the examinees. His power was at work for him to address them from such a long distance. Despite his words, no one moved. "What's wrong? The test's started. Run! Run! The die is cast!" And just like that, there was a great roar and the sound of a stampede as multiple examinees ran towards the artificial city.
Touma walked calmly behind them, Othinus floating beside him to his left. He turned to his right and behind him to glance at Deku. "Come on," he said. "Can't be nervous all day."
While Touma was calmly walking with his girlfriend, unworried for the possibility of losing points, Deku was a different story. The young aspiring hero and wielder of One for All eyed Touma's back, and then his quirk, the golden girl. It was such a unique ability. And he knew, just from a glance, she was powerful.
He wanted to rush on ahead, but the calmness of both Touma and his quirk companion made Deku hesitate. Why were they so calm? Was it because they knew something about the test? Deku referred to them as a group, a partnership, because they were essentially two people sharing one goal. He saw the projection laugh, snort and make faces at her companion, Touma, which mean the projection had a personality of her own. Such a unique power was unheard of.
They walked down the street and turned a corner. Touma said something to his projection. Deku didn't hear it. But the projection clapped her hands. White energy burst from her palms, crackling with power. A robot fell from the rooftop. The street cratered from where it fell. Its body was covered in steel armor. A long, silver neck stretched up to a head, shaped like a pentagon. One red eye analyzed them with cold efficiency. Its limbs, covered in metallic shields, pulled up to reveal a machine gun in its right limb and a large hand in its left. The robot was incredible, standing seven feet tall and looming over them. It raised its gun. Pointed.
"Huh?" Deku rewound the last two seconds in his head. A white beam of light struck the robot and the street it stood on. When its metallic body made contact with the white light, it ceased to exist. There was a hole replacing the area it stood on moments ago. Deku gulped, turned to the projection, and saw the white fire from her left eye burning with intensity.
The street led to an open space. Fellow examinees were duking it out with various robots. Deku felt his heart racing, focusing on the projection. He glanced at Touma, who stared, bored, like this wasn't even a challenge. He had a feeling he knew how the outcome of today's examination was going to go. He was going to fail.
And so was everyone else.
The projection aimed her palm to the open area. White energy glowed from her palm, burst into a lance and split into multiple projectiles. She struck home. All the other robots were dissolved, just like that. The examinees stopped, their fighting positions turning to the source of the overwhelming power. Found Touma and his projection. Gaped.
"Hey!" Kacchan emerged from the crowd of students. "Who the hell do you think you are taking our points, huh!?"
"T-technically, Kacchan, it's not illegal to steal someone else's kill," Deku said. Kacchan's glare silenced him. When Kacchan turned his eyes to Touma however, Touma only responded by raising his brow.
"Believe me," Touma said, sounding exasperated. "I'm as bored as you are. I didn't even want to come here." The dismissive tone he took when referring to U.A. as if it wasn't worth his time was enough to turn Kacchan into a raging animal.
The observers watched the ongoing battle with curiosity. They sat on a black room and watched multiple screens form from the wall before them. The battle was typical in the sense that it was a yearly occurrence that revealed the skillset of the majority of its participants. Some were able to assess the situation immediately. Some were capable of moving so fast they they always partook in the main event. Some who can cope with any situation, retaining their cool. And some that are simply natural born warriors.
And then there was him. The bored teenager, looking older than the others, with disinterest in his eyes as his projection, his quirk did all the work.
"I've recalled someone in Africa possessed a similar ability," one of the observers said.
"Oh? Do tell," another, more inquisitive observer attempted to coax the information out of them.
"Unfortunately they didn't live to explore their quirk. They were killed by a terrorist group."
"A shame, then."
"Is this even acceptable?" A third observer inquired, watching the projection destroy all the other robots fighting the examinees, stealing their points and depriving them of any.
"They're not hurting their fellow students now are they?" The second observer said with an amused tone in their voice. "But to possess such power, could this be this generation's All Might?"
"Possibly," the third observer said. The one known as Bakugo Katsuki was full of rage as he confronted Touma and his projection. A bad idea, the observers collectively thought. With the sheer scale of power displayed on the battleground, any hope of emerging victorious was thin at best.
The fourth observer chuckled. "Well, let's see how strong they are when we spit out the obstacle course." They reached for a console and pressed a red button.
It was a giant robot. Thirty feet tall. Twenty feet wide. Its head was rectangular. Eight red dots served as its eyes from its flat face. The four upper eyes formed an x, with another eye at its center. It led to two more eyes in a straight line, with an extra eye between them. One large, mechanical hand gripped a building and crushed it in its metal palm. The ground shook with each step it took. It was so large, its shadow blocked out the sun. Its eyes glowed red, observing the examinees with the cold analysis of a machine.
It raised a hand.
A white beam lanced through its neck. Its head slid off its neck and fell on two buildings beside it. Its beheaded body took a mighty step back, and then fell on its back, creating a miniature earthquake.
In the aftermath of the exam, there was only silence.
One examinee fell to his knees and held his head. "Fuck! I didn't get enough points!"
Another examinee glared at him. "At least you had some! I didn't get any at all!"
Deku laughed nervously. "Oh my God. I thought I was the only one."
Kacchan was clenching his fists and biting his lip so deep blood seeped out. He was holding himself back, glaring at Touma.
Touma didn't want any of the negative attention at all. Thankfully most of the other students didn't get angry, but instead fell to despair. He was worried. There had to be another way. Othinus was merely doing this for her own amusement, which was reasonable given her nature as a god. But these people depended on the test for their livelihood, for their future, for their dreams.
To have it all taken from them by a girl bored out of her mind was the epitome of cruelty. Deku was still laughing, also it turned into one of despair when he muttered, "There goes my chance at being a hero."
"Wonderful. Just wonderful." A squeaky voice spoke, giving a light clap. It came from an anthropomorphic mouse wearing a suit. There was a scar on its right eye. Its tail wagged behind it excitedly. It had emerged from one of the many buildings and approached Touma, and Othinus who flew back behind him. It ignored all the other examinees, who either glanced at it in despair or refused to meet its eyes. Kacchan remained silent, glaring solely at Touma.
"I am Nezu, also known as Mr. Principal. As my name obviously states, I am the principal of U.A. Academy. And I had to see for myself the greatness of the abilities you've displayed. Hmm." Nezu held its chin, deep in thought, before snapping its fingers. "I know. How about you skip straight from first year and jump into second year? I doubt the classes offered on the first year level would be up to the challenge on someone with your immense capabilities."
"What about them?" Touma asked, looking at all his fellow examinees.
"What about them?" Nezu repeated, as if unaware why failing the exam would matter at all. "You passed. They failed. Remember, there's a bunch of other test sites being conducted at the moment. You can be rest assured that there will be first years regardless." It smiled, misunderstanding the worry in Touma's voice, and straightened its tie. "Come along now. You are a winner. With someone of your capabilities, the future is limitless. Bound solely by your imagination."
"You have no idea how accurate you are," Touma said, glancing at Othinus. She crossed her arms under her chest and tilted her head. With her gold skin, white cracks forming on random intervals and glowing with power, and the white flame burning from her left eye, it made for a horrifying image.
Nezu merely smiled and put its hands behind its back. It turned one-hundred and eighty degrees and said, "Come along now. The future waits for no one!"
"Give them a chance," Touma said, clenching his right fist.
"Oh?" Nezu asked. This time, all the other examinees made hopeful looks towards Touma. "I will not simply pass those who failed on the pity of the ones who succeed."
"I've got a suggestion." Touma licked his lips. "Two minutes. If someone remains standing in two minutes, they all pass. If none of them do, then they all fail."
Something akin to amusement glimmered from Nezu's eyes. It laughed. "Of course. You can take the role of the incredibly powerful villain, and they the desperate heroes trying to make a last stand." It turned to all the other examinees. "It appears your betters have given you a once in a lifetime chance to enter this school despite your inability to complete such a simple task. Let it be known this is a special circumstance which will happen solely because the sole victor has taken pity upon you lot. Do not embarrass yourselves further." Nezu whistled and left the area.
"T-take him down!" An examinee said. "His quirk's strong, but he's just a normal guy!" All the other examinees raised their arms in unison and made a roar. Touma looked behind him, to Deku, who did the same. Deku shrugged and looked apologetic. Touma waved his worries off.
"Go easy on them," he said.
"Obviously," Othinus said.
"Touma, you have already passed the examination! Let it be known this new event is being broadcasted amongst the other examination sites! A never before seen event taking place before us all! Feast your eyes on history in the making!" Present Mic said, excitement seeping through his voice. A loud cheer was heard from all around them, from all the other examinees who became the audience to this one.
"Sorry," Deku said from two meters behind him.
"Piece of shit," Kacchan said from ten meters before him.
"Geez," Touma said, scratching his ear. "It's not like I'm the one who did all that, you know?"
"Let the mock battle begin!" Present Mic shouted.
Red flames coalesced into sphered under Kacchan's shoes, exploding him forward at an accelerated speed. He reached a hand, which exploded with power. At the same time Deku grinned, clenched his fist and threw a right hook, aiming for the back of Touma's head. Othinus snapped her fingers. A transparent shield shimmered around Touma, coating him in a sphere of protection. Deku's fist struck the back of the shield. At the same time Kacchan's palm released an explosion in front of it. Neither made so much as a dent.
"Tsk." Kacchan jumped three meters back. Deku grimaced and did the same, rubbing his knuckle.
"Are you alright, Deku?" Touma asked.
"I-I'm fine," Deku said.
"Stop being worried for your enemies, you point thief!" Kacchan said. He covered his eyes and scowled. Blinding gold light lit up the entire area. Othinus floated ten meters above the ground.
"She's going to make an aerial bombardment!" Another student said.
"I've got her!" One examinee leapt from the ground. Their fists turned into blades. They launched an uppercut towards Othinus. She caught the tip of the blade with her two fingers. The student grinned and launched the other one from the side. Othinus' fingers created white light that washed over the blade-wielding student. She released her hold on the blade and watched the examinee fall to the ground, unconscious.
"Get her!" Multiple examinees raised their hands. Energy lights, the nearby debris, water, fire, even electricity, and a red dynamite were all launched simultaneously, creating a rainbow of superpowers and a cacophony of noises as they struck Othinus. She was shrouded in smoke. For a moment, the examinees hoped. Then the smoke slowly receded, revealing her silhouette.
"Screw this I'm out of here!" one examinee said, turning to the city and making a run down the street towards the beheaded robot. A gold disk burst from the smoke, flying through the air, aimed towards the running examinee. It struck his back. He fell on his front without so much as a cry of pain. The smoke was gone, revealing Othinus in all her glory.
Gold disks coalesced between her fingers. She began throwing them at random. Examinees fell where they stood the moment they were struck. Her disks ignored all defenses and removed them from the battle the moment it made contact with their clothing or skin. It was raining gold all around him. Touma watched the examinees, found number seven-one-one-one carrying another examinee away. And then the disk made contact with his back. Seven-one-one-one fell on top of the other examinee, knocking them both unconscious.
Out of all the examinees, it was Deku and Kacchan who resisted the most. Deku was moving at superhuman speed, pushing himself to the limit just to dodge all of Othinus' disks. Kacchan supplemented his steps with fiery explosions that let him leap away from the danger. He ran through the window of a building and shattered the glass from the other side, making an escape through the streets of the artificial city. Othinus held her hands together. White energy beamed into a line, cutting through the building and down towards the street. It was silent. There was no explosions, crackling or quakes. The building simply ceased to be. Kacchan was most likely unconscious.
Othinus turned to the sole remaining examinee. Deku.
"Tell you what," Othinus said. "We're willing to surrender the match and let you all pass in exchange for one favor in the future. Sounds good? You'll be saving all these unconscious students too."
"Tempting," Deku said, sighing. "But it just wouldn't feel right."
"Be smart, Deku," Touma said. He had a feeling Othinus was doing this for for her own amusement, but wanted to take advantage of the offer. "When I ask you a favor it'll probably be to clean a room or something. Nothing dangerous or stupid at all. Just take the deal. I literally have no hold over her." At least at the moment.
"No! If I'm going to win this, I'll win it fair and square!" Deku said. He vanished from the street and reappeared behind Othinus. He leaped ten feet in the air behind her? Such power, Touma thought. He threw his fist towards Othinus' face. "Detroit smash!"
There was a crack.
"Ah, shit…" Deku looked at his broken arm, and then at Othinus, who remained on her spot, hovering on the air, with the clear blue sky behind her. Deku fell between the sidewalk and the remnants of a broken building. He was unconscious. His speed was impressive, for sure, but in the end he used the same tactic as the blade-wielding examinee, and paid the price for it.
"And the two minutes are up!" Present Mic shouted. "It appears that all the examinees failed! Better luck next year, young hopefuls!" Othinus smiled in satisfaction. Touma rubbed his forehead, feeling a migraine kick in. "And our promising student, Touma, and his unique quirk, the projection called Othinus, are both officially accepted by U.A.!"
"W-wait!" Someone said. Touma's eyes widened and he looked from the gap between his fingers. Othinus looked in surprise at the source of the voice. It was the examinee number seven-one-one-one was carrying earlier. It was also the girl Deku wanted to approach before the start of the exam. She had a shoulder-length bob-cut brown hair and large, brown eyes. She kicked and crawled from under the body of the unconscious seven-one-one-one. She managed to escape, take in a deep breath, and smiled like she just won the lottery. "I'm conscious, so that means I'm in, right?" She glanced at all her fellow examinees and her smile grew wider. "That means we're all in!"
Othinus gaped, speechless, covered her mouth, and laughed.
This was the limit of her power. Despite the illusion of omnipotence, she couldn't pull information from thin air. She had no way of knowing truly if all the other examinees were beaten. She shook her head. Her gold hair swayed behind her. She lowered to the ground and gently landed in front of the brown haired girl. "What is your name, child?" Othinus asked, raising her slender arms to lower her hands on the girl's shoulders.
"Urakara Ochako!" she said, her voice proud and her head held high.
"A wonderful name," Othinus said, lowered her hand to Ochako's wrist, and raised her arm. "To the one who carried all the other students!"
Ochako scratched her cheek and blushed. "I couldn't have done it without Iida-kun."
"All the examinees who fought against Touma and Othinus have passed into the U.A.!" Present Mic said. An overwhelmingly large applause followed.
Touma leaned back on his bed and frowned. It felt like he ran a marathon. That was despite doing nothing. It was late into the evening after the stressful event at U.A. High School. Those kids were really something. Somehow he didn't see himself as brave as them when he was their age. Not that it mattered because he didn't remember.
"What's wrong, human?" Othinus asked. She emerged from the bathroom, followed by steam. She wore a short white robe and held a towel to dry her damp her. "Did you not enjoy today's outing?"
"Nah," Touma said. "I couldn't really do anything against any of them. Put me in a room with Deku and you can bet ten-thousand yen I'd get my ass kicked. That goes the same for all of them. They were all so amazing."
And so young, too. What did he accomplish when he was their age? He didn't know, again, because he lost his memories, but he doubted it was anything as significant as what these kids were up to. He raised his arm and clenched his hand into a fist, as if he was trying to grab the ceiling. He couldn't, of course. But someone else could. Othinus. If there was a reward at the end of a long and fulfilling life, she is the result of that reward. A magician who practiced her spells until she achieved godhood. There was no one that could compete with her. Not even him. He lowered his arm back into the mattress and let out a breath.
"I'm sorry," Othinus said, looking at the floor. "I didn't mean to force you into that place, Touma."
"It's fine," he said. "I don't really mind." She raised her head and returned her gaze to him. "You seem pretty happy picking on other people. I knew it. Othinus is a big bully."
She smiled in amusement. "And you know it." She dropped the towel, sashayed towards the bed, and crawled towards him. Her hands landed on either side of his head. Her damp gold hair curtained his eyes from the walls, her face blocking his view of the ceiling. She was his entire world, and they both knew it. She made a saucy grin and licked her lips. "Why don't I reward my boyfriend for being such a gentleman for accompanying me?"
He held her hips. "That sounds lovely." She closed her eye and leaned in for a kiss.
Othinus was soaked with sweat, and still awake, when Touma went to sleep beside her. The blanket draped over her body. She clutched it to her chest. Her cheeks were flushed. Her hair clung to her skin. Her green catlike eye was dilated. She looked out the window of their penthouse. The moon was full tonight.
Moonlight passed through the window, illuminating her skin. It was almost the same. She was ethereal like that. Othinus raised one slender arm, pointed at the rooftop of a building on the distance, and released a pulse of magic. She wanted to apologize to Touma, but she couldn't. Her schemes were simply too addicting.
But then again, so was he.
His hand, bigger and rougher than hers, wrapped around her waist and held her stomach, pulling her lithe body towards him. Her back pressed against his chest as he spooned her. Othinus sighed. Even when he was asleep, his body wanted her.
"You're so insatiable," she purred. He kissed her head.
In the distance, at a building from the edge of Musutafu district, the pulse of magic enveloped the rooftop in darkness. From the darkness, a staircase formed, as if it led to the underworld, and a silhouette took the steps up, emerging from the darkness into the rooftop. She was Othinus, in her second body. The cold wind did nothing against her skin. The darkness receded from the rooftop and jumped to her, like webs, wrapping around her body and covering her completely. It functioned more like a bodysuit that clung to her skin than actual clothing, but it would do. It left her neck up bare. A hood formed at the back from her neckline. She pulled it up to cover her head, putting a layer on top of her hair. Two cat ears sprouted from the hood.
Othinus opened her hand. The darkness webbed together, small tendrils stitching into a shape, a greater whole that would serve her. It sewed into shape, taking the form of a whip. The handle fit snugly into her palm. The end of the lash pulsed with magic. She struck the air, creating a whip-crack as the ripple reached the tip, creating a sonic boom. She nodded in satisfaction.
Tonight, she would go hunting.
Othinus could read the minds of mortal men. And women. She knew with just a glance the sins humans have committed. The rooftop she stood on was a budget hotel. Someone climbed up the fire escape. It was a fat man, wearing a tank top, his stomach bulging and his shirt unable to completely cover his skin. He had receding hair, a stubble, and had a tobacco cigarette between his lips. Othinus read his mind. The man was called Hiroaki Kurita. He formerly lived in a small village with his wife and two kids. The marriage took a toll on his sanity. He eventually resorted to drinking to forget his misery. Sometimes when his kids tried to stop him from drinking he would beat them. Then one night while he was chopping some vegetables after wasting himself on a dozen bottles his wife told him she was going to leave, and she was going to take the kids. Enraged, he stabbed her in the chest and set the house on fire. He left, hearing his kids cry for help. He never looked back.
"How did you escape the authorities?" Othinus asked, amazed. With how oversaturated this world was with heroes, she assumed it functioned like a comic book and all the bad guys went to jail. She was proven, to her delight, incorrect in her assumption.
"Are you a hero?" The murderer checked her out, admiring her slender body that despite being fully clothed, left little to the imagination. He smiled.
So did she.
She held the handle, whipped her lash, and struck the man's head. The tip of her whip cut through his forehead, splitting his skull all the way to his legs. Two pieces of his body fell on the rooftop. Guts, gore and more stenched the air.
Othinus pulled her whip back and held it with both hands, pulling the ends from behind her neck. She decided she too would play hero and indulge herself in the ridiculousness of this world. She would put a permanent stop to the bad guys who escaped the eyes of justice, and leave their rotting corpse for the world to judge.
She would be the punisher of the evil who lurk in the shadows. All for her own amusement. She perched on the ledge of the rooftop and observed the street. She found three pedestrians. One crossed the pedestrian lane. Another hid in the alleyway. A third had their back to the wall of the building she was on, holding a cigar and talking to someone in their phone. She inspected all three. Found only one of them guilty. The one hiding in the alleyway was a mugger who killed three people over the course of the week. Two of them were married.
Othinus took a step off the ledge and fell. There was no sound when her feet touched the alley. She observed the mugger from behind. They wore a denim jacket, pants, and white shoes. There was something like dirt staining their shoes. Othinus recognized it from all the wars she bore witness to and participated in. Dried blood. The pedestrian crossed the street, walked up the curb and made their way through the sidewalk. The mugger reached for a silver revolver hidden under their pocket.
Othinus whipped their right shoulder. It flew. Blood from the stump sprayed the wall red. The mugger screamed, drawing the attention of the pedestrian walking and the one talking to the phone. Othinus whipped a second time. This time the head flew off. The body fell on its knees, and then on the floor.
Othinus emerged from the alley, ignoring the two pedestrians who looked at her curiously. They peeked into the alley. It was dark. They couldn't see in the dark light her. The one with the cigar used the light from his phone to illuminate the alleyway. He found fingers, which led to an arm, and then to a headless stump soaking the alleyway.
The other pedestrian screamed and made a run for it. The one with the phone dropped their cigar. "Murderer!" They said, pointing at her and then began furiously tapping into their phone, most likely to call the police. Othinus dismissed them and left.
She remembered what it was like when she was praised by her worshippers, the Germanic Peoples of Scandinavia, and how good it felt back then to have her acts of kindness acknowledged. Soon, she would once more gather worshippers. Not vikings who kneeled before the Norse pantheon, but this time people who idolized costumed crime-fighters.
She would be the greatest of them all.
Jon Doe inspected the body of Hiroaki Kurita. His corpse had been bisected in half. His brain was partly mushed from the intensity of the impact, burying into a gouge on the floor of the rooftop. His eyeballs popped from the sockets. His nose was torn off during the attack, leaving bone where there should be flesh. His teeth to his jaw were split cleanly and evenly. His intestines spilled from the opening between his stomach. Blood and flesh created a nauseating stench.
Jon Doe left quickly. He went down the fire escape, from the door to Hiroaki's room, pass the living room, leading to the hallway outside the door, and down the steps to the lobby. The clerk ignored him. It was night shift duty and he doubted all the clerks working from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. recognized the people who lodged from the day shift. He hastily walked out of the sidewalk, across the street, into his car. He took out his key from his pocket, opened the door, sat in the driver's seat, held the steering wheel, the gearshift, and stepped on the ignition. Only when he left Musutafu district did he feel safe. He called his boss.
"Yes?" came the answer from the other line.
"Hiroaki, sir, he's been killed."
The reason why Hiroaki Kurita escaped the authorities was due to the new passport, credit card and driver's licence provided by Jon Doe's employer. Jon Doe personally saw to extracting Hiroaki from his village and hid him under one of their many warehouses until the heat died down.
Hiroaki had been a valuable co-worker for Jon Doe and reliable employee under his boss. He became their hit man, and despite his looks he was effective at what he did.
"Where there any witnesses?" His employer asked.
"Two people claimed they saw a killer emerge from an alleyway, after beheading another person and cutting off their right arm. It was an alleyway beside the budget hotel Hiroaki was staying at."
"So it's a vigilante," his boss said.
"It appears so, sir. They'll probably resurface soon. Based on what I saw, they were just getting started. Do you want me to take care of it?"
"No. Hiroaki possessed nothing that could lead it back to us. Form a contract. Hire the blade brothers, and if they fail, the British assassin. Do not give them a trail, understood? If they fail and the authorities catch them we cannot be connected to the crime."
"Yes, sir." His employer hang up. Jon Doe remembered the description of the vigilante. She resembled a cat. Well this poor kitten was in for a rude awakening.
Police detective Tsukauchi Naomasa looked down the scene of the crime. Forensic photographers took pictures both of the beheaded corpse in the alleyway and the bisected man on the rooftop. The murders were violent and brutal.
A yellow police tape condoned the alleyway and the fire escape. Police cruisers surrounded the street and the building.
Tsukauchi looked away from the corpse. A plain white van parked across the street. Medical examiners left the vehicle, ducked under the police tape and approached the detective. He pointed them to the body, in no mood to talk, and left the alley.
Witness testimony correlated with a cat quirk user. She wore a black bodysuit, hood, her cat ears poking above it, and held a whip as her weapon. She must be capable of increasing the kinetic energy of her attacks.
Luckily, he already knew the perfect person to counter her.
What she did was monstrous. She was a serial killer, no doubt about it. And he was going to put her to jail if it's the last thing he'll do. News Reporters emerged from vans, holding mics and accompanied by cameramen. The police chief was getting busy answering questions, and the other officers stood beside him to keep out the crowd.
"Just you wait, kitty cat. We'll be taking you to the pound."
White beam of light lanced from her hand and struck down the building, tearing it into shreds.
He rewound the video. It started at the beginning, when Touma calmly walked behind the crowd, his projection hovering behind him.
Neku paused the video from the white tablet, interlaced his fingers and leaned on his knuckles. "Fascinating," he said. His mousy face smiled.
He traced a thumb on Touma's face. He knew the credentials were fake. He planned to expose the fraudster and teach the other examinees the lesson of honesty.
But it turned out kernels of truth were spread amongst the fake credentials. Was he a spy? A hero that had been watching from behind the scenes? The literal chosen one destined to inherit the weight of the world on his shoulders and lift it from All Might?
And his quirk was so unique. One of a kind...
"Who are you, Touma Kamijou?"
He called a private detective under his payroll. It was time to unearth the truth behind the large lies the promising student hid behind.
And he reminded himself to tell the private eye to do it discreetly.
Touma woke up, yawned, picked up his clothes and left the bedroom. On the kitchen Index, Mikoto and Accelerator surrounded the counter.
"Morning Index. Morning Mikoto. Morning Accelerator."
"Hey there Touma!" Index, the slender silver haired girl said.
"G-good morning." Mikoto, the athletic brown haired girl stammered in greeting.
"Hey, hero." The frail albino nodded to him. Accelerator took a glass cup and poured him a cup of coffee. Touma thanked him, drank the coffee, and closed his eyes.
Being with friends was the best.
And then he remembered he was in a different universe, caught Accelerator's wrist with his right hand, disabling Accelerator's power, and spat his coffee on the albino's face, drenching him with a mixture of coffee and Touma's spit.
Accelerator glared at him from under his dosed white bangs. "Classy," he said.