They were not the real Mikoto, Index, or Accelerator. Othinus created them with her magic, to be exact replicas of the ones from Touma's world. That was the might of her status as a Magic God, supplemented by the lance of Gungnir. One-hundred-percent success. Each and every time. She also recreated the rest of the level 5's, and they were currently resting three floors down in the hotel which functioned as their base of operation while the penthouse was to be the command post.
They were her familiars, for lack of a better term, and in addition to the personality, memories and abilities of the originals, they were also completely subservient to her will.
She ambled down the glass steps of the stairway in a short, silky velvet robe. With one hand holding the railguard, and glanced at her three familiars. They glanced back, but then dismissed her to focus all their attention on Touma.
Good. She gave them strict orders. They were to play a role. Act like they were in the same scenario as herself and her lover. She made her way to the fridge and took out a bowl of potato salad as she observed.
Touma was unaware of Othinus' deceit. He sat by the table, wincing whenever he saw Accelerator glare at him. Mikoto laughed. Index told him it was rude. That was five minutes ago. After he went back upstairs to retrieve a towel, handing it to Accelerator, the four of them reuniting like old friends years after they've graduated.
Which was strange. Since when did Mikoto and Accelerator get along? Well, it was better than them arguing at least.
"Do any of you remember how you got into this world?" Touma asked.
"No," Accelerator said. He didn't eat anything. Mikoto indulged herself in a slice of chocolate cake and Index ate everything else. "We don't remember how we got into this world. It's pretty weird though. People actually calling themselves heroes and villains unironically?" He chuckled and shook his head. "How childish."
So says the pot, calling out the kettle, Touma thought. He didn't voice his opinion though. This was Accelerator, the #1 level 5 esper from Academy City. Accelerator was an albino with white hair, red eyes and pale skin. He wore a white and black striped long sleeve shirt, black trousers and shoes. He tapped his collar, which was wrapped on his neck. Accelerator was originally Touma's enemy, but after some time and fighting against each other in Russia and then fighting together in Hawaii, he believed they were at least friends. That is until Touma spat coffee on his face. It might be dry now, but the brown stains on his shirt didn't look like they were disappearing anytime soon.
"How did you get here anyway?" Touma asked. "I mean, me and Othinus-"
"Othinus and I," Index corrected with a smile. Index had silver hair, green eyes and a cheerful personality. She donned a white nun's habit that hid her slender frame. Touma didn't remember how he met Index, but the love she showed for him made him regret lying to her face and not telling her that he lost his memories. He promised to take care of her, and was worried what she'd do back in Academy City without him. Now it seems the issue resolved itself, which was okay, he supposed.
"Er, Othinus and I arrived at the same and then commandeered this hotel. She did, anyway. A-anyway, how are your memories?"
"Hmm. A bit fuzzy," Mikoto said. Unlike Accelerator, who was an albino, or Index, who was caucasian, Mikoto almost passed for a completely regular Japanese student. Short brown hair, chestnut brown eyes, and a slender yet athletic body under her brown coat, blazer and skirt combined to give the image of an energetic school girl with too much time and not enough sense. She and Touma met by chance. A lot.
Goes to show even an alternate universe wasn't enough to stop the coincidence that is their odd friendship from happening once more.
"Yeah," Index chirped. "There's static replacing what I was doing back in the original world, too. What were we doing, Touma?"
"Ah. Our memories were probably affected by the trans-dimensional jump," Accelerator said. "But given your abilities you'd be immune to mind altering spells."
I wish I was, Touma wanted to complain. But he had a hunch the first time he met Index it was something supernatural that erased his memories. There wasn't any scar on his head to say it was something physical, and if it was some sort of advance x-ray technology he doubted he'd have a brain left because it would be fried by the radiation.
"We were just hanging out at Academy City." His excuse was weak, so he changed the subject. So," Touma said. "You have no idea who the blonde girl with the eyepatch is?" He jerked his thumb towards Othinus who stood by the counter, eating her salad.
All three of them flinched. Othinus widened her eyes, the spoon she was using to eat the potato salad stuck between her lips, and hastily walked away. She must be worried about their judgmental gaze, Touma thought. But she didn't have to, becauses none of them recalled who she even was.
Othinus, the leader of Gremlin, the terrorist faction that ignited the war on terror from Academy City, the United States and a whole lot of other countries.
He loved her, but he knew she was dangerous. When the three looked at him worriedly and shook their heads, he simply nodded, not bothering to remind them of who she was. Infighting was the last thing this group needed.
"I thought you'd like it if I gathered your friends," Othinus said, approaching him. She held out the bowl of potato salad. Touma took the bowl and thanked her. The spoon she used was impaled on top of the salad. He took the silver utensil, scooped a piece and ate the cold meal. It was good.
"I-indirect kiss," Mikoto said, covering her reddening face. "I'm too young to see this!"
Touma tilted his head. "You're so weird sometimes, biribiri," he said, calling her by her nickname biribiri, or bug zapper, after the sound of a hum she makes whenever she generates electricity. Electricity sparked from her bangs and she scowled.
"I told you not to use that name!" Mikoto exclaimed. Touma's instincts kicked in, he dropped the bowl on his lap and he raised his right arm protectively over his body. But to his surprise she didn't attack him.
"Hey, Touma, Touma." Index called him six more times. When he finally turned to her, the girl beamed at him and said, "Can I have some too?"
"Sure." He passed the bowl across the table. Index caught it, took a spoonful of the potato salad and made a delighted sound.
"It's so good," she moaned.
"T-triple kiss!?" Mikoto stood up, abruptly pushing her chair back and scraping the legs of her chair against the floor. "I-I'm going to take a walk!"
Touma's phone ringed. "Hold that thought, Mikoto." It was a message. He read the text. It read, 'Hey. Dekku here. I was wondering if we could hang out?' He asked if it was fine to bring friends, to which Deku replied in the positive. He'd manage to reconnect with his friends and get to know his classmate both at the same time.
"Hmm? Index blinked and tilted her head like a little kitten. Accelerator yawned.
"It's one of my future classmates," Touma said. "I got into high school again."
"So you're a repeater now?" Accelerator snorted.
"I knew you'd say that. But truth be told it was Othinus' idea."
"O-oh." Accelerator nodded and kept to himself. Touma raised a brow. No snarky comments?
"We're going to meet your friend?" Mikoto asked with a grin.
"More like acquaintance." Touma scratched his head, running his hand over the spikes of his hair, folding them against his palm. Othinus beat Deku, Kacchan and everyone else unconscious. Maybe the kid was there to rant or something. Touma didn't know.
"I'll get changed," Othinus said. "Make myself presentable."
"Me too, I guess. I've got a room downstairs and everything." Mikoto left the kitchen.
"I'd have been fine as I am, but someone had to spit their drink on me. Might as well take a bath." Accelerator grunted and left. It left Othinus, Index and Touma. Index blissfully drank iced tea from her cup, unaware of the awkward glance Touma gave her. He should've known. Now that Index was back in his life, she thought they were going to live together again. Not that he had a problem with that, but she didn't know his intimate relationship with Othinus. She found him looking at her and hummed.
"Touma? Is everything okay?"
"Index," Touma said, his voice firm and his heart resolute. "From now on you get your own bedroom, okay? There's a lot in the penthouse." Sure, he might value his own privacy, but he didn't want to distance himself from her completely.
"Sure," Index said, and to his surprise continued eating her breakfast.
"O-okay." Index was often territorial. She'd have butted heads with Othinus almost immediately. That she didn't spoke wonders about her new attitude. Just what was going on?
"Get changed too, Index," Othinus said.
"Okay," Index said. She immediately stood and left the kitchen. Touma gaped at what he saw. Half eaten hot dog, an untouched soft boiled egg, and three pieces of bacon on her plate. All untouched. She never left her food unfinished unless she was already full, like the gathering on night they fought Princess Carissa and her coup d'etat on London during England's civil war, also known as British Halloween.
"There's something weird about her," Touma said.
"E-enough about fawning over other girls, human! Now help me get dressed!" Othinus, probably jealous of the attention he gave Index. He nervously laughed, making her blush, growl and push his back out of the kitchen and up the steps to their room.
Deku was not a social person. Years of bullying from Kacchan made him nervous when meeting new people. Yet here he was, in Shiogama Park, having taken a train from Musutafu station to Shimbashi. He wore a black shirt under a white hoodie, denim pants and blue sneakers.
He looked at the time. It was one in the afternoon. Touma had replied, telling him to meet up at Siagama Park, unaware Deku didn't leave in Tokyo. But Deku didn't want to be a killjoy. After all, he was the one who asked Touma to meet up.
And now, when he saw the group Touma was with, he had second doubts. He sat by a bench, looking beyond a wooden fence to a small island by the river. A sakura tree was planted atop it. Cherry blossoms were carried by the wind. One pink leaf lazily sailed down the air towards Deku. He caught the petal and smiled.
"Hey Deku." A soft, gentle voice greeted him. Othinus made a wave. She wore a red blouse, white shorts and black stockings, leading to white shoes. She combed a lock of gold hair behind her head. A white halo made of fire floated on her head. White wings spread from behind her, once, and then curled back. There was a soft, gold glow over her was breathtakingly beautiful.
"Angelic…" Deku murmured. She held hands with Touma, who donned a long sleeved blue shirt, black trousers and boots. Accompanying them were two more girls.
One was another caucasian with silver hair, green eyes, and a cute face, wearing a white sundress under a coat, and a pair of sandals. She gave off the aura of innocence. With just a glance Deku knew she wouldn't hurt a fly.
The other one was Japanese, with shoulder-length brown hair tied into a ponytail, a black cap, a black shirt, and denim shorts revealing toned legs leading to her sneakers. She looked Deku up and down and grinned. Buzzing with energy. "I'm Mikoto. Nice to meet you." She offered a hand in greeting. Deku shook it.
"I-I'm Midoriya, Midoriya Izuku," he said. Then he saw someone fifteen feet back on the stone pathway that made his instincts flare. He was a frail looking man with white hair, red eyes and pale skin. He wore a shirt under a hoodie, pants and shoes. All white. Immaculate.
Deku clenched his fist. The albino strolled towards them.
"Hi, there!" Index said in English, and then perfectly translated it to Japanese. She made a wide smile and leaned forward, her hands behind her back in a position that reminded Deku of an inquisitive anime girl character. "I'm Index. I'm so happy Touma made another friend. It's nice to meet you, Izuku." She went straight for his first name, ignoring the Japanese custom of calling people by their last names, indicating her origin as a foreigner.
As if her looks weren't big enough of a giveaway.
"Nice to meet you," Deku said. "Um, your Japanese is pretty fluent." He felt stupid with his lame compliment. But Index giggled.
"You're cute," she chirped, making him blush with the bluntless of her words. "I'm a brit from London, but my heart's Japanese through and through!" She pounded her chest and nodded with a serious expression. It turned into a smile and she made an awkward laugh, scratching the back of her head as she did so. "Just kidding."
"Hey." The albino finally reached them. "So you're the kid Touma's been talking about."
"Y-yes, I'm Midoriya Izuku." The albino gave bad vibes. It was like he was the exact opposite of Index. Despite his frail appearance, there was power in his body. It reminded Deku of someone else. Othinus.
"Accelerator," he gruffed. "So you're some sort of superhuman?"
'Did he know!?' Deku thought, and then shook his head.
"So you're not?" Accelerator asked, looking surprised and misunderstanding Deku's internal monologue.
"I-I am!" Deku said. "I mean, aren't we all? Ha-ha-ha-ha…" He wiped sweat from his forehead and cringed.
"Quirk users," Mikoto said, looking amused. "I guess we sort of are." She raised her hand. Sparks charged from her palm, surging to her fingers in a blue web of electricity.
Index jumped excitedly. "Oh, me next, me next!" Her green eyes glowed pink and wings grew from her back. Compared to Othinus', whose wings were majestic and white feathers heavenly, Index's were smaller, and red like the color of blood. For some odd reason it compounded to Deku's head the image of a younger angel accompanying a more mature archangel.
"You can control that now?" Touma asked, surprised.
"Ah…" Index looked around her, as if searching for an excuse. Her eyes settled on Othinus. "Othinus helped me unlock my full potential." She pouted and put her hands on her hips. "And since when did you even think I had magic?" She called her quirk magic? That just made her more endearing to Deku.
"Quirk, Index, quirk." Touma shrugged. "And I just assumed, you know? I knew you said you didn't have any power, but I didn't believe you." He turned to Othinus. "Thanks for helping her." Othinus gave a thumbs up.
"Huh? Is that a shrine? I want to see it. Come on!" Index said, grabbing Deku's hand. She ran for the torii, a red gate, which led to a stone staircase, to the summit, where they were welcomed by a vermilion-lacquered Zuishinmon gate and found the Shiogami Shrine. Deku clutched his stomach, breathing heavily. Sweat soaked his clothes. They ran up two-hundred steps, yet Index wasn't even winded. He glanced at Index's feet and saw why. She was hovering inches from the ground. She used her wings to fly and he didn't even notice. Index dropped Deku's wrist and approached the shinto shrine. The kami, or spirits within, were said to answer the calls of fishermen and pregnant women.
She turned to Deku, noticed his sweat-soaked body and gasped. "Izuku, I am so sorry for dragging you up with me!"
Touma caught up, looking like he'd ran a marathon. He was taking large intakes of air, saw the two, and grimaced. He walked towards Index, made her face Deku, held the back of her head and pushed her into a bow. Touma did the same. "Forgive me for my impulsive companion," he said. Index whined. Touma let her go. She straightened her back and rubbed her head from where he touched her, glaring at him. Touma glared back.
They were like siblings.
"Touma, I'll have you know that that hurt!"
"Index, it's your fault for dragging someone who didn't even know you up two hundred steps!" Touma wore an apologetic expression when he faced Deku. "Let me make it up to you?"
Deku didn't want to impose, but he was so tired. "Sure, that seems nice."
They found a nice restaurant a block from the park. They took two booths. Accelerator, Index, Mikoto and Othinus took one booth. Touma and Deku took another. Deku wanted it to be a private discussion, and was thankful Touma humored him. A waiter came to their booth handed them the menus, and told them to call when they've chosen their order. Deku took one glance at the price tag of the food and weeped. It was beyond his budget. Luckily, it seems Touma was made of money.
Deku looked him up last night after the insane battle that took place during the entrance exam. He checked and rechecked the internet, looking for anything to reveal Touma's past. The search engine led him to various hotels, recently bought by a new company. To his surprise, the owner of the company was one Kamijou Touma.
'We're going to the same school but we couldn't be farther apart.' Touma was probably a rich child who inherited his money, kept quiet for several years and then struck countless deals that made him the owner of corporation worth millions, if not more. A rich heir and savvy businessman with an overpowered quirk. The complete opposite of Deku who came from humble beginnings and earned his quirk through hard work.
"Why'd you call me here?"
"I'm sorry?" Deku was too engrossed in his thoughts to hear Touma's words. He heard them alright, but they came out more as noise than anything that held meaning.
Touma sighed. "Deku, why did you want to meet? And I'm sorry if I brought my friends. They're a handful."
"N-no, it's fine. They're all nice." Better than Kacchan at any rate. "And I wanted to know more about the strongest quirk user in Japan."
Touma chuckled. "That's some praise."
"It's not. Just an observation. Kamijou-san," he said.
"Call me Touma."
"Touma, then. I've been wondering about who you were since the moment we've met. Someone as strong as you, not making waves in the news until today?"
"There's news about me?" Touma looked worried. Understandable. Based on data Deku compiled through observation and research, Touma was a very private man. Secretive and mysterious. It's a shame videos of him and his projection quirk Othinus were trending on Youtube.
And it amazed Deku Youtube still possessed the lead on most used video-sharing website. Some mega corporations just can't be beat, it seems.
He took out his phone, went to Youtube and showed Touma the trending video. Touma groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose. The video began from when he and Othinus were leisurely walking behind the other examinees. From the robots dissolved to the giant robot beheaded, and then to the battle against fellow examinees, it was all there. It had over one hundred million views, and every hour the number grew larger.
"Who leaked this stuff?" Touma asked.
"No one knows," Deku said. He assumed it was a teacher, probably Present Mic, or a quirk user who hacked into the schools security systems and made copies of the entrance exam.
"It's Present Mic, isn't it." Touma ran his fingers over his hair. Deku shrugged. He didn't know. He wasn't going to accuse someone in the chance he was wrong. "Him or some videotaping quirk user."
"Touma, why did you hide for so long?" Deku asked. "With power like yours, you'd be a star."
"Deku, believe me when I say I didn't want this level of publicity."
Deku nodded. He recalled Touma stating Othinus had a mind of her own. He didn't understand how Touma's power worked. Was he a battery and her the electrical device? And she needed his life force to support her own existence? Then if Touma died, that meant Othinus would cease to be. But if he just summoned her or gave her life and she was independent from then on, then that meant something else. Touma could create life, and powerful ones, if he could replicate her existence.
For a moment Deku entertained the idea that she was just a quirk user messing around and lying by pretending to be Touma's projection, but he dismissed it. They were too attached, and she was too subservient to him.
It's his past. Deku didn't know enough. What he learned was sparse and ultimately unhelpful in determining who Touma really is.
He didn't tell Touma any of this, of course. His obsession for knowledge might paint him as a stalker.
Instead, he asked, "Touma, are you dating Othinus?"
"Yeah." The answer was immediate and natural, like when you asked people if they needed to breath and they'd answer in the positive. Unless they had a quirk that makes breathing redundant.
"So you're dating your own projection?" Was Deku's follow up question. Touma stuttered for an answer, groaned and kneaded his forehead. Deku understood the sentiment. Touma was dating himself, in a way, if his split personality was that of a heavenly girl with ethereal beauty. People often imagined a perfect partner, but what if someone had the power to make that imagination real?
They would get Othinus.
How does the dynamic of their relationship even work?
He was so fascinated with the concept of a power that made imagination real. He wanted to analyze it until he figured it out completely.
"Deku, I'm sure you have a lot of questions. But before that, let's order lunch, yeah? You can order anything you want. I have unlimited funds." Touma glanced behind him, to the booth beside theirs. Othinus sat with her back to Touma's, with the backrests the only barrier between them.
"She probably understands you completely," Deku said. It made sense. If their bond made them empathetic towards each other, then their relationship was already perfect.
Touma looked in alarm, and then chuckled. "She does."
Expensive food was seriously delicious, was the conclusion Deku came to, after filling his stomach with the wonderful menu of the restaurant.
He was enjoying a mushroom soup when something intriguing happened. One of the customers, an old man probably in his sixties, and wearing a nice suit, was making his way out of the restaurant when he was devoured by fire that took the shape of a snake. His charred body was flung back to the wall across the room. When he slid down to the floor, he left a trail of blood staining the wall. The scent of burning flesh would remain in his memory for the rest of his life.
Deku gaped at the brutality of the attack. With just a glance, he knew the man was dead. He mourned for the senseless taking of a life and then glared at the source of the attack.
The fire-snake quirk-user stood by the door, blocking it. They wore a black hooded coat that covered their head, sunglasses and a black face mask to hide their identity, and black pants, shoes and gloves that gave the image of a dangerous killer with the length they took to hide their identity.
"I can create fire as hot as the surface of the sun," the fire-snake quirk-user said. Deku couldn't make heads or tails of their gender from their voice alone. "You will all stand up and give me your money. Those who remain seated will die."
Almost everyone stood up. Everyone except for Touma and his group. Touma didn't even acknowledge the fire-snake quirk-user. His eyes were focused on the burned corpse. "Othinus," Touma said. "Make them shut up. And heal the victim afterwards."
What? The victim was dead. Deku knew it. Their skin was charred. Burned flesh was visible underneath. Touma must be in denial. Deku gritted his teeth. He only took comfort in knowing this was the worst time and place for a robbery.
Othinus stood up. Unfurled her wings. Stepped out of the booth. The fire-snake quirk-user immediately created another snake. It struck Othinus, consuming her body.
And that was all it did. The flame washed over her. Under the fiery mouth of the fire snake, she remained unharmed. A soft gold glow grew stronger with every second. And then it burst into a blinding light.
Deku couldn't look away.
The fire-snake quirk-user was blown back, beyond the door, into the windshield of a Subaru across the street. They didn't get up. Deku heard a groan and was surprised from the source. The old man, the victim, gasped for breath. His wounds were gone. Even his clothes were fixed. He returned to his state before the fire snake consumed him.
"No way," Deku said. "He was dead…" He shook his head in awe. To attack and heal at the same time was incredible.
"You're a hero!" a customer said, applauding Othinus. The crowd of people erupted into cheers. Othinus didn't shift from a poker face. The gold glow receded from overwhelming brightness into a tinge.
"Come on," Touma said, leaving his booth. Deku, confused, followed him regardless. It wasn't they did anything illegal. But Touma was probably worried about the image of his company or something rich kids like him think about like his reputation or his company's shareholders. They moved as a group, Othinus to his left, Deku to his right. Accelerator, Mikoto and Index were behind them. People took pictures of their group. Others crowded around the Subaru the fire-snake quirk-user smashed into. A black van drove up from the street beside the sidewalk. They all got inside. And then it drove away. The driver was a beautiful blonde girl, with a voluptuous body, and starry eyes, wearing a blue cap, white blouse under a blue jacket, and black skirt. She glanced at Deku, white gloves covering the hands holding the gearshift and the steering wheel, and then returned her focus to the street ahead.
"Who was that guy?" Touma asked.
"Um, a robber?" Deku said. Touma shook his head.
"That guy was too powerful for petty robbery," Touma said. He sat beside Deku, with Othinus to the other side. There was a second bench-seat facing them. Accelerator, Mikoto and Index sat there.
"Why did you leave?" Deku asked.
"I don't like media attention," Touma said. How vague. He looked at each of them. "Sorry I dragged you four along." He didn't include Othinus in the list. "I just panicked. Someone attacked us."
'So you prepared a driver for your escape?' Deku wanted to ask. However, he didn't know if it was the same driver who brought them to Shiogami Park in the first place.
"It's fine," Index said, reaching a hand to hold his. Touma squeezed back.
"So now what?" Accelerator asked, bored. "There's nothing to be afraid of, you realize."
Mikoto scowled. "Stop being so insensitive."
Deku agreed. Opting to change the subject, he said, "I didn't know you could heal too, Othinus."
Othinus' lips curled into a small smile. "I can do many things."
"So, Midoriya-san," Mikoto said, flashing Deku a grin. "Not bad for a first day getting to know us, huh?"
"Yeah." It was full of surprises, that was for sure. Everyone took out their smartphones. Deku did the same. He was checking up news about the gruesome deaths of two people murdered by the same suspect. The first kill happened on a rooftop. The man was apparently cut in half from his head to his legs. Literally cut in half. The second victim lost his arm, and then his head. He was beheaded. The crimes were brutal, and the suspect, allegedly female and possessing cat ears, just walked away. There was a killer on the loose, and the authorities were unable to apprehend her.
Monsters, both of them. This 'Cat Burglar' as the authorities began calling her, and the fire-snake quirk-user. To have complete disregard for human life was appalling
"What's that you're reading?" Mikoto asked.
"Just some killer called the 'Cat Burglar'", Deku said. "I wish the heroes caught her already."
Mikoto nodded. "Makes sense. Hey, let's change phone numbers." She and Deku traded phones and typed their numbers in each other's contacts, before returning their phones to each other. "I'll message everyone else your number, Midoriya-san."
And just like that, Deku received four new messages. 'Odin here,' a message read. 'Aka Othinus.' She waved. Another one read, 'T.K.' which were initials for Touma Kamijou. He gave a thumbs up. Another one read, 'Index Librorum Prohibitorum.' A joke on her own name. Index giggled. The last one read, '#1.' Accelerator.
Deku saved all their numbers, and with the nicknames they gave themselves. The car stopped by a gas station, a candy store, and the local arcade. The gas station was simply logical. The car would run out of fuel soon. Afterwards the driver asked if it was okay to buy some sweets. She and Deku got out and bought for the entire group. She introduced herself as Misaki and made a playful smile. Then they stopped by the arcade for some relaxation.
Deku played lots of games. He scored basketballs through hoops, competing with Mikoto for points. And then he and Touma played an FPS game, shooting through zombies. He helped Index win a doll from a toy crane. He lost four coins and spent over fifteen minutes, but by the end he won her a stuffed whale. And then Misaki said she wanted one too, and so he spent another fifteen minutes winning her a stuffed bear. Othinus was raking up tickets everywhere. The tickets could be won through games or bought with arcade coins, which in turn are bought with real money. Othinus didn't need to spend more than four coins. She won them all. Accelerator was playing whack-a-mole. He was destroying all the moles. Deku played with him next. He had to a bit of his power to match Accelerator's speed, and by the end he was still a point behind.
It was fun. He enjoyed hanging out with them. By the time they left the arcade it was 3:25 p.m.
They stopped by a burger shop. The group of seven, including himself, Touma, Othinus, Index, Mikoto, Misaki and Accelerator took two white tables placed side by side.
Deku was slightly tired. He wasn't as enthused by the prospect of eating, and they sure did that a lot, as he was the potential for sleeping. Touma ordered from the counter, and he and Accelerator carried trays back into the table, dividing the food among the seven of them. Deku only ate half of a burger and ten french fries. He sipped from the straw to some Coca-Cola, and then yawned. It was getting harder to keep his eyes open. He just wanted to sleep.
Fate, it seems, had other plans.
"This is a robbery!" a gruff voice shouted.
"Oh you've got to be kidding me," Accelerator said. Deku agreed. His sleepiness vanished and he eyed the prospective criminals. There were two of them. They wore black leather jackets, denim pants, brown boots and black balaclavas covering their faces.
The robbers pointed their hands towards Touma's group. At Touma and Accelerator specifically. From one hand a blue energy ball flew forth towards Touma. From the other masked man a white bone spear shot out of his palm, sailing towards Accelerator. Touma and Accelerator swung their right hands. The blue energy ball shattered upon impact on Touma's hand. The bone white spear hit Accelerator's hand and then flew back to its owner, impaling their left knee. Deku reached for the nearest table and threw it to the other prospective robber. The table struck their head. They fell to the floor. The masked man with an impaled leg cried in anguish. Blood sprayed from his wound.
Deku shook his head. So Accelerator could return an attack to its owner? A useful quirk, that was for sure. Touma must've been protected by Othinus' forcefield. He wondered if Othinus would heal the impaled robber. Apparently not, given how she gazed at the masked man with disinterest.
"Those who enact violence should be prepared to receive violence," she said. And then took a bite of her french fry. She chewed, swallowed, and smiled.
"Are we going to drive off again?" Deku asked in a slightly whiny voice. He couldn't help it. He didn't feel like getting out again. The person behind the counter called the cops.
"No," Touma said. "Might as well get used to it. Besides." He inspected the burger shop. "There aren't that many customers." The police arrived two minutes later. They took one glance at the impaled robber and called the ambulance. A white van with a red cross on its side arrived a minute after that. Two paramedics came out with a stretcher, moved the impaled robber on the stretcher and carried him out. The police then took the other robber and pushed him to the back of the police vehicle. The media emerged like sharks getting a whiff of blood. No less than ten vans arrived. Reporters and their cameramen began interviewing the police officers and the pedestrians who 'witnessed' the scene.
"We bring you in live in what appears to be another foiled robbery for the second time in a row today, and in a stunning coincidence it was the same people who saved the day!" The reporter, a woman in her late twenties, approached Touma and the others. "How does it feel to have saved all those people?"
"It felt great," Touma said. "Glad we could be of help." Deku stared at the camera until Mikoto nudged his shoulder. Reporters shot the group question after question. Most of which were responded to with a, 'no comment.' When a reporter turned to Deku, he froze. He was very shy. Unable to answer, he could only stammer an attempt at a reply before Mikoto dragged him to the back of the group.
"Thank you. That'll be all." Touma led the group back into their van. This time it was Accelerator who took the wheel. He sat beside Deku on his right, with Mikoto on his left. Index, Misaki and Othinus faced them. They all looked at him. He squirmed under the attention of so many attractive women. "So, Deku, did you enjoy that?" Touma asked. "The media, I mean."
"Well, they were just asking questions, right? It didn't hurt to fill them in on some stuff."
"Touma has what you call an aversion to attention," Mikoto said. "The opposite of an attention whore, basically." Othinus laughed. Touma frowned. Index took out two chocolate lollipops from her coat pocket and handed one to Misaki.
"I remember back then, and did it feel like a looong time ago, Touma saved my skin from an explosion. Instead of having everyone acknowledge him as the hero who saves the day, he just gave me all the credit and left. Never felt right." Mikoto looked up the ceiling, or maybe beyond it, into the past. And then she poked Touma's shoulder. "But that's my nostalgia talking." She gazed out the window. He caught glimpses of what she was looking at. A girl with cat ears walked her golden retriever by a leash. She met up with a boy with dog ears carrying a black cat. They chatted and entered a cafe. Deku tilted his head. He wondered how the relationship dynamics between those two worked. Compared to him, Mikoto had a dreamy smile.
"Tell me more about him," Deku said. Touma didn't seem to mind when Index joined in and gave her own colorful opinions of him cooking her food in exchange for leaving her alone in his room while he goes to school, although he did get increasingly flustered when Accelerator jumped into the chat and told the tales of Touma's heroic exploits, and then Othinus sealed the deal claiming she wants to be Touma's slave as an apology for all the times she beat him up, which made Touma cry in anguish. She ignored him, telling Deku how she asked him as such, and he declined and settled for having her be his girlfriend.
What a weird group of friends, Deku thought.
It was 5:36 p.m. when they reached their final destination. It was a bar. Deku looked worried, probably assuming a scenario where the older kids would goad the younger one into drinking beer. Touma assured him they weren't going to do something that stupid because that would lead to an immediate expulsion from the school he was applying to and it would ruin his image, playing into Deku's assumption that he was some sort of bigshot.
It was when Deku went to the candy store with Misaki that Othinus explained how the young boy saw Touma as. The jumps were ridiculous. The wrong conclusions from wrong assumptions drew a funny picture that almost made him laugh. But instead he could only shake his head and sigh.
The bar was there for Touma to unwind. He explained to Deku that he just wanted to relax. And after his girlfriend a beer was the next best thing. Deku didn't understand, of course, being a little too young for the more mature topics Touma wanted to talk about. And talking to Accelerator was out of the question. So here Touma was, sitting on a barstool by the counter holding a brown bottle of beer. He took a sip of the beer. It was bitter and tasted like yeast. When he finished the bottle was sporting a slight buzz. It wasn't enough, but it was a start.
He was glad Index and the others found him, but a part of Touma assumed he and Othinus would be stuck on this world forever. They were alone, aliens from another world, with no one to rely on but each other, trust each other, and love each other. And they would consummate that love in a night of burning passion, with Touma dominating her completely.
But now that Index and the others were here, he was troubled with the idea of returning to his world. He wanted to go back and return to his life, but he also wanted to stay and live a romantic fantasy with Othinus.
It weighted at him. His selfishness. But he didn't care. Not if it meant forsaking the dreamy life he's been living with Othinus. He was preparing for the eventuality he'd have to say goodbye to Mikoto and the others. He'll ask Index to stay, of course. They needed each other. And she had no family while he didn't even remember the bonds he'd forged with his own.
Speaking of Othinus, he was a little weirded out by her request not to have media attention. He didn't really mind, but he felt a little stupid when Deku questioned him in regards to that, putting him on the spot. He made excuses on the fly and to his surprise Mikoto and the others unhelpfully played along.
He didn't understand why Othinus didn't want media attention. She could just make them go away if she tried. But for some odd reason she's not using her power to her full potential. That or she couldn't. She hasn't been the same since they've entered this world.
He looked at a t.v. mounted on the wall behind the counter. It was the news reporting about the killer 'Cat Burglar'. Two reporters, a man and a woman, were speaking about the danger this new criminal posed and how the authorities should hurry up and stop her. They criticized the heroes, pointing out a bunch of kids managed to foil two robberies. They went on about the worrying rise of crime in the past few days and hoping it wasn't a sign of something worse.
Touma doubted it. He ordered another bottle. The barkeep slid one across the countertop. "I've heard about you," the barkeep said, striking a conversation. Oh really? What wonderful exploits did Othinus construct this time? "You're that kid, right? The one with the jojo quirk?"
"Jojo what?" Touma guzzled his beer.
"It's an anime from the past. Nothing important. But the thing is." The barkeep pointed at Othinus, who held a mug of ale. She was with the rest of the crew seated by a table on the back of the bar making a racket daring Deku to take a vodka shot. Touma almost choked on his drink. Bad influence. They were all bad influence. And Deku was feeling the peer pressure if his flustered appearance was anything to go by.
"Relax," the barkeep said, just as Touma was about to stand up. When Deku took the shot, he was surprised and looked at the shot glass, before the others erupted in laughs. "It's just water."
"How distasteful," Touma said, narrowing his eyes at his 'friends'. Mikoto was a minor herself, and Index was similar. He didn't know about Misaki, and had doubts about Mikoto claiming they were classmates, but Accelerator should really know better. The only one he imagined capable of pulling a cruel prank was Othinus, and given her relationship with the others, which was basically nonexistent, none of them would've played along. But now Touma knew better and saw the other side of his companions.
"Well, can't blame them," the barkeep said. He was using a white glass drying towel to dry a washed glass cup. "To continue our conversation, your quirk is incredibly fascinating in the sense we haven't quite seen something like it. She's fully capable of thought, right? There are similar quirks that summon other creatures to fight for their summoner, but they're more like puppets and the quirk users their puppeteers. You're the first with an independent quirk capable of thinking for herself."
Somehow Touma doubted it. He read somewhere on the internet that around eighty-percent of the world's population possessed quirks. There was bound to be someone similar, just undocumented, or hiding the real potential of their abilities. He'd seen it before in Academy City. Most espers liked to boast about how much stronger their psychic powers were than it actually is, but there are others. More dangerous espers that downplayed their capabilities and then struck when the opponent was caught unaware. They're few and far between, but they exist.
And they were very dangerous.
Ironically, the level 5's Mikoto and Accelerator fit in that category. Mikoto due to being humble, and Accelerator due to being so sure of his power he never needed to boast to prove himself.
It wasn't limited to espers.
Othinus used the same schemes, after all. During the war on terror on Gremlin, Othinus threw distraction after distraction on all the world's nations, from the U.S. to Europe and then on the waters of Japan, she made her enemies focus on one thing while she worked on another. And she created such a scenario that no matter what happened she would come out the victor and smelling like roses.
Touma bore witness to the horrifying conclusion of her schemes and saw first-hand the destruction of the universe.
He shivered. Squeezed his bottle. Finished his drink. The liquid courage made him forget, at least for the moment, the codependent parts of his relationship with Othinus, and he focused on what the barkeep said.
"Sometimes I feel she's not even my quirk," Touma said, which made sense, because she wasn't. She wasn't his quirk, his projection, his 'jojo' or whatever fun nicknames people had for superpowers. He missed the clinical description of Academy City for psychic abilities. Some names for superpowers in this world were too colorful for his liking.
"I feel ya man," the barkeep said with a jovial laugh. "Sometimes I think my wife is a little wild too."
Touma's cheeks warmed. And not just from the alcohol. Okay, it was mostly from the alcohol. But it was also due to the barkeep's implication that Othinus was controlling. She was the exact opposite, actually. Incredibly submissive, especially in bed, and Touma had conflicting feelings when it came to that side of his girlfriend.
He shook his head. "Too much information," he told the barkeep. "What's your quirk, anyway?"
"Changing the subject? It's not everyday we get a celebrity in our establishment, you know?"
"Celebrity?" When did that happen?
"People assume you're going to be the next big thing since All Might. There was that one guy, Captain Celebrity or whoever, another American, but having an actual Japanese succeed All Might is plenty intriguing on its own."
Captain Celebrity was a hero who began operating in Japan a few years back after he was kicked out of the United States for being too promiscuous. Touma read about him too. He used to work with a group of vigilantes despite being a professional hero, an actual job in this world. Touma agreed. If people not of this world like Othinus and Accelerator were removed, Captain Celebrity could've been of a similar status to All Might.
"Have you seen Othinus?" Touma asked. "She's the one doing the heavy lifting, not me. And she's as nordic as they come."
"Northern Europe? Scandinavia? Finland? The Faroe Islands?" He shrugged. "What I meant is, Othinus is going to be the one in the limelight, not me. I'll just be that guy who summoned her." And it wasn't even his actual power. Touma saw the stronger villains in this world. Superhuman speed was part of their arsenal like it was normal, and he wasn't sure he was up to task battling monsters like that. In all his fights with Accelerator he always got lucky. He didn't want to risk that luck fighting more criminals.
"You may have a point," the barkeep said. "Still, it's a start."
"What about that Endeavor guy?" Touma asked. He was a pyrokinetic too. Based on Touma's experience with fire-manipulators, they were all hot-blooded and immensely impulsive. Sure, they could do an analysis of the battlefield and make the right choice if the situation called for it, but not often.
"Endeavor? He might be ranked second beneath All Might, but he pales in comparison to the sheer weight All Might's very presence brings. A shame the focus will be on your stand indeed, but she is quite a beauty I wouldn't mind watching." It seems the barkeep had a bit of national pride, hampered by what Touma assumed was a perverted side to him. But there was one thing that bothered him.
Stand? Was it related to this 'jojo' by any chance? Whatever. It was none of his business. Seemingly satisfied with the discussion, the barkeep focused on other customers.
"Shocu, please." A calm voice ordered as they took a seat beside Touma. It came from a man in a business suit, looking haggard. His long hair was tied into a ponytail. Under his spectacles his eyes were half-open, tired and flat. He glanced at Touma and sighed. "Hey. Aren't you a little too young to be drinking?"
"Mind your own business, old man," Touma shot back. He grimaced. The alcohol was getting to him. "Whoops. Sorry about that. I'm getting a buzz."
The haggard-looking businessman nodded. The barkeep took out a bottle of Shocu, a glass cup, and poured the distilled spirit into the cup, serving it to the businessman. Shocu was commonly made from short-grained Japanese-style rice, sweet potatoes and sugar cane. It was usually accompanied by oolong tea, but the businessman declined the tea. Despite being a nationwide drink, Shocu was at its height of popularity in Kyushu. Even in this world that remained the same.
The businessman tasted his drink, held his cup and looked at the t.v. The news transferred to the fire-snake quirk-user Othinus defeated and the two robbers Accelerator and Deku incapacitated. The two robbers were being housed in a hospital near the police station. Policemen and professional heroes monitored them. The fire-snake quirk-user was in a prisoner transport vehicle and was going to be transferred to Tartarus, a prison designed for villains that deserve worse than the death penalty. It turns out the fire-snake quirk-user killed a lot of people and collected their fingernails. They found the evidence after learning the serial killer's identity, investigating their house, and finding a ziploc plastic back with fingernails which were taken by the forensic analysts and found matching the identities of over forty missing people. Horrifying.
"I have to admit, you did good work," the businessman said. "You're a hard man to find, Kamijou Touma." Touma paused. This person knew who he was? He was tempted to ask him how he knew, but decided to keep quiet to prevent himself from saying something stupid. He drank his beer and decided to see where this goes. "I don't know how you evaded heroes the first two times you've intercepted criminal activities, but there isn't going to be a third."
'I didn't even do anything. It was all Othinus. Go interrogate her,' he wanted to say, but couldn't because he feared Othinus would become 'playful' again, and not the fun kind. She had aspects of every Aesir in the Norse pantheon, considering she was all of them, and being mischievous was the last thing he needed. Why was he getting dragged into this?
Aizawa Shota, professionally known as the hero Eraserhead, was sent by someone in the higher ups to investigate the mysterious man known only as Kamijou Touma. Until a day ago, he wasn't even in U.A.'s radar. Until only less than a week ago, he didn't even exist.
And he managed to evade approaching pro heroes, no matter how close they've come to reaching him. There was some sort of quirk at work, Aizawa was sure. One of his companions, either the silver-haired girl or the one with starry eyes, they were likely the ones detecting the other quirk-users.
"They're watching you," came a voice from his skin colored earpiece. He had an ally in the bar, one keeping tabs on Touma's coterie. For what else could they be but the clique of a rich man?
So they've noticed him already? That was despite Aizawa not even looking at Touma. Impressive. Eighty-percent of the population possessed quirks, which meant whatever detecting method they're using was accurate enough to detect pro heroes specifically.
And they were all under the control of this man. A ghost. No doubt they were attempting to recruit the new student Midoriya Izuku into their group to have an ally inside U.A. High School.
Aizawa was one of the observers of the exam which Touma participated in. He witnessed the bored expression and the apathetic manner of the person sitting next to him and came to the conclusion he was dangerous.
There was no interest in the fight, or the exam. He probably only gave the other students a chance to battle his quirk so he could analyze their abilities.
His quirk. The shapeshifting projection with wings and a halo reminiscent of an angel. Just the other day she had gold skin with white glowing veins and white fire coming out of her left eye. The malleable appearance was likely due to her nature as a mental projection obtaining access into the physical realm but unbound by its rules. She was a different race altogether.
Aizawa wondered what would happen if he used his quirk on this man. Would the projection just pop out of existence? Would she remain anchored to this world even with her creator being deprived of their quirk?
Aizawa's quirk was called Erasure. He could nullify his target's quirk by looking at them. It had drawbacks. One prerequisite was maintaining eye-contact, and if he blinked or if his vision was obstructed his quirk would lose its effect. But at this close a range he doubted those drawbacks would occur.
He didn't do it, of course. A lot of heroes are unusually invested in this man, which tripped the alarms in his head. Something behind the scenes was occurring and he was being kept uninformed.
"Who are you?" Touma asked, not recognizing him. Aizawa smirked. Despite being a hero, he took great lengths to be kept out of the limelight. He took it further today by changing his appearance completely. Without the obvious signs of his costume he could blend with the public and be left unnoticed.
He normally didn't need to, but something about this man told his instincts to keep his distance as much as possible. Which was a shame, because he risked compromising that by appearing in this bar. But his efforts paid off.
He tracked down Kamijou Touma by using a private investigator to follow Touma and his crew. He made a mental note to add Midoriya in that list, and to see if he could dig up a background check on the others. The private detective was lurking outside the hotel bought from a shell company that led back to Touma's name. It was the latest in a number of hotels bought in a short amount of time, researched through various articles that were very hard to find. When the detective found Touma and his crew loading into a van, he followed them. He kept his distance, observing them meet up with Midoriya, likely due to Touma desiring to recruit the boy, and then witnessing the crew display their powers. The brown haired girl was an electrokinetic. The silver haired girl possessed wings and could fly. From what he gleaned from the owner of the burger shop, the albino could redirect physical objects. And Touma blocked an energy ball with his right hand, likely due to his projection's power at work. By process of elimination that left either the projection or the star eyes to possess the detection quirk. And so far all of the projection's abilities were physical in nature, in the sense they all interacted with the physical world. She could create forcefields and energy beams, and even alter her physical shape, but none of that altered the human mind.
It had to be the star eyes girl. Aizawa felt smug knowing everything about Touma and his crew, while Touma knew nothing about him. He was in control of the situation and not the other way around.
He was a pro.
He ignored Touma's question. Said, "I'm curious as to your plans. Buying a lot of hotels and then participating in the entrance exam of U.A. just as you've made your latest acquisition? If you pay the right people, you wouldn't even need to work to become a pro. If I had to guess, you're scoping the other students." It was the only thing that made sense. If he wanted to graduate he could simply enroll in a different school less scrutinized than U.A. Or if he really wanted to remain mysterious then enroll in schools from North America or Europe. Private schools for the rich exist even for professional heroes, to his distaste. But such is life. Why did this one make their life here?
Aizawa mentioned his knowledge about the newly bought hotels to throw off Touma, surprise him. But to his slight annoyance Touma remained detached.
"I wish I could be whatever idea you're thinking in your head," Touma said, turning to Aizawa. "But I'm not, sir."
Sir? Did he know? Aizawa wasn't sure. He narrowed his eyes. Touma stood up and went to his allies. Either to regroup and strategize their response to Aizawa or leave immediately.
"Get out of there," his ally said. He left his seat immediately. Didn't even finish his drink. Just left the bar and crossed the street into his car, and then drove off.
That was too close.
Still, spywork was pretty fun. Touma didn't know it, but he was observed by powerful people that could shake this country to its core. He was in a precarious situation, and one misstep could be his downfall.
The harder they are the greater they fall. And with his stunt at the exam, his vigilante acts and his predatory attempt at being monopolistic with his buying multiple hotels meant he was running a scheme, a large one. Too bad it drew the attention of nosy neighbors.
"Touma, give me some sugar."
Touma hissed, warning her to back off. Othinus sat on their bed, using a wide pink tooth comb to brush her hair, dressed in a pink negligee. Othinus' legs were bare. The negligee was tight around her body, accentuating her slender form. Her position didn't help in lessening her beauty. She was everything he wanted rolled into one.
Touma wore blue boxer shorts and white shirt. He held his smartphone to his ear, talking to Deku. They drove him back to his house, and made him promise to call any of them if ever he needed someone to talk to. Deku's expression, barely withholding a cry as he smiled was the purest thing Touma's ever seen. Right after Index.
After he finished his talk, the phone flew from his hand and clung to the ceiling. Othinus purred and crawled towards the end of the bed, a meter from where he stood. "Let's go to bed already." Her teasing smile mixed with genuine love from her voice and eyes. Touma almost gave in. But they needed to talk about unwanted eyes. That stranger at the bar weirded him out so he decided to stay with his group. They stayed in the bar for another forty minutes, leaving after they've all had dinner.
"I love you," she said, and his resistance shattered. He lost control and grabbed her shoulders, pushing her back to the bed. He leaned for a kiss. Othinus' delighted expression, her licking her lips, her sprawled legs, and her hands eager to remove his shirt was too much for Touma. He couldn't help himself and smashed his lips to hers.
Aizawa stood across the street from the dreaded 'Cat Burglar'.
Cold dread filled his chest, spreading like a web. The vehicle the pyrokinetic villain who attacked the restaurant earlier was destroyed. Cut in half. The villain's body was also cut in half. The upper half was five meters to the Cat Burglar's left, and the lower half was nowhere to be seen.
The Cat Burglar wore a black bodysuit, a hood covering the back of her head, and cat ears poking from the hood. She held a whip that wrapped around her slender leg. A domino mask covered her face.
"Human, I have no quarrel with you," she said, sounding bored even as she spoke to him. There was another body between them. That of the policeman monitoring the villain. "He is alive, as are all the others. You need not follow their path. This man I killed was a sinner. The bowels of Tartarus are not enough to punish him, as is the one from this earth. Goodbye."
Homicidal murderer piece of shit. Aizawa was on his way to accompany the police and other heroes in transferring the villain when he found this. "You think just because people are crooks gives you the right to kill them?"
"No. Being me gives me the right to kill them." She smirked. There was no empathy. Just satisfaction at taking lives. It made his blood boil. The whip unwrapped from her leg and she struck the air with a whiplash. Stupid girl. He was going to remove her powers and beat her unconscious.
Aizawa removed his eyeglasses and cracked his knuckles. "You're going to jail," he said. He activated his power. Before the battle began the victor was already decided. His eyes glowed red.