\What does that mean?/ Cassandra signed.
"Do you have something against Izuku just because he likes games?" Mo-chan was a moment behind.

Torino-sensei looked at both of them. Ultimately, he ignored them both, and his attention locked onto me.

"You have a lot of tells," he told me, "Though I did almost write off the first one."

I tried my best not to react. Cassandra had a much better poker face. And Mordred bristled at being ignored.

"You kept glancing off to the side," he said, holding his right hand up horizontally, out and away from his face, "I just thought you were looking at someone in the crowd. Maybe at your mother, or at Berri. But after I saw the second two tells, I realized it didn't matter which way you were facing. You were always glancing just off to your left or right. You couldn't be looking at a specific person, or even two or three people. You were looking at a screen that was just off center from your vision."

Mo-chan's expression faltered. And I pursed my lips

"The second tell was the biggest," he continued, "When you lifted the iceberg that Endeavour's boy created, your body was wrapped in purple lines and golden sparks. The sign of psychic energy and ki, respectively. Quirks are either one or the other, so outside of certain special situations, you couldn't have both. And even then, they aren't visible when you use your Quirk. Some other Quirks can see the energy, but only natural users of ki or psionics show it off when straining."

That worried me, and it must have shown on my face.

"It's not much of a problem," he said, "I'm one of the few people outside the Abyss who would know to look for that. Most people would just think it is a quirk of your Quirk."

I relaxed. But also wondered what the Abyss was.

"Then there was when Todoroki-kun started using his fire," he continued, "At first you looked nervous, but then you glanced to the side and looked confident. Like you suddenly unlocked a new power."

"After all that, I was pretty sure," Torino smirked at me, "So I got your school to send me the footage they had of you. Of the entrance exam, and the USJ before and after that Villain started blocking the feed."

He began to wave his hands around his front of him. Against their will, both Cassandra and Mo-chan grinned. And I blushed.

"It's a good trick," he told me earnestly, "And it fits your personality. It might have been something you did naturally. But if someone knows to look, they can see the tightening in your eyes and deliberate hand motions of hitting buttons on a screen that most people can't see. Plus, you suddenly knew Japanese Sign Language."

I let my head drop.

"Like I said, most people wouldn't catch any of that, or know what it means," he told me sternly, "But it is something we will be working on this week. Fortunately for you, you aren't the first Gamer I've met. Or even the second."

"I'm not?" I asked, not seeing any point in continuing to deny it.

"You are the fourth Gamer that I know of," he said, "Though one of them I never met, and another I wish I hadn't. And even in The Abyss, it's a rare power. I'd be surprised if there had been more than one or two others, beyond the four of you."

\What is The Abyss?/ Cassandra asked, \I recognize the English word, but it seems like you are saying it as a proper name./

"The Abyss is what supernatural beings use to refer to themselves as a group," Torino told us, "What most people refer to as Irregulars. At least the 'most people' who even know there are people with powers that aren't from Quirks. That said, I was also told that not everyone in the Abyss likes or accepts the name. And I didn't try to find out too much; the Abyss and its members aggressively value their privacy and protect their secrets."

I considered that for a moment, but kept coming back to one thing. So I asked, "You knew other Gamers?"

"I knew one," he said, "Met another and heard of a third. But yes."

He paused, and sighed. There was a hint of pain in his eyes.

"Did Toshi or Nezu tell you about my past?" he prompted, but didn't wait for an answer, "After I graduated high school, and expressed an interest in becoming a Hero, the government sent me on a world tour. First I went to the US and apprenticed with the Rhode Island Seven, since they were the most established Heroes and the US had the laws in place the longest... Well, rather then waste time rambling about unrelated ancient history, I eventually went to France..."

He looked wistful, and there may have been a mist of tears around his eyes.

"Her Hero name was Danseuse du Vent'et'Terre," he began, "Officially her Quirk was the ability to control air and stone. Though I would later learn she actually had used her power as The Gamer to buy aeromancy and terramancy..."

"Air magic and earth magic," I offered to the confused Spoiler and Mo-chan.

Torino gave me a nod and continued, "...Plus some telekinetic powers to supplement her spells, and some ki powers to augment her physical abilities. She was one of France's first Heroes, and she was loved for her power and beauty. I trained with her and fought with her. And I noticed oddities about her. Discrepancies. But I trusted in her, so I didn't press and kept her secret. And well... long story short she came to trust me, and invited me into her confidence, and her party. I must admitt, I was annoyed at first, because I could have improved much faster in those first five months..."

"But with access to my character sheet and character points, I was able to control my stats and skills, add some more advantages and buy down some flaws."

I frowned at that.

"What stats?" I asked.

"Strength, Dexterity, Health, and Intellect," he answered, his mouth also turning down, "Why?"

"Party invite, Gran Torino."

"Character," he said. The window appeared. And his eyes narrowed.

"Nine? And separate attribute, skill, and talent points? Are talents like advantages?" he mused out loud.

"I think so," I said, "It sounds like her Gamer may have been based on a different system."

\Burps versus Dungeons and Dragons?/ Cassandra prompted, remembering Ami's statement a month and change back.

"GURPS," I corrected, "And yes. It sounds like close to literally. Her version sounds close to GURPS, while mine is closer to D&D, if not exactly the same."

"Hmmm..." Torino grumbled as a he poked around the menu, "Well, I didn't know they were different. I didn't see that guy's system or anything."

"Why not?" Mordred asked.

"Like I said, the Abyss keeps their powers close to their vest. But I didn't ask either. He's a jerk and troll."

"Then why tell me... us about Danseuse du Vent'et'Terre-san?" I said.

"She wasn't connected to the rest of the Abyss. She knew there were other irregulars, but never mentioned the Abyss or the idea of any organization. I actually learned about them later, and like I said, don't poke much," he explained, "And besides, Danse is gone. Has been for a long time."

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said quickly.

"Bah, nothing for you kids to worry about. It was a good time in France, but I had my journey and responsibilities, so I left and returned to Japan. Well, returned after traveling around the rest of Europe, north Africa, and Asia."

"But you also gave Izuku's secret away in front of us," Mo-chan chided him sharply.

"Bah," he said again, "If he hadn't already told you, I would have made him, so you could benefit from it too."

He pointed to the screen in front of him, showing that my two classmates had been in the party already.

"If that's why you offered me an internship, why did you ask them?" I queried, both curious and not wanting this all to be about me.

"Connections," Torino answered. We all waited.

"The short versions," he told us, "Ten years ago, Cain David came to Japan and killed a candidate for Prime Minister..."

"Huh?" Mo-chan and I both said at the same time. Cassandra's eyes narrowed as she remembered.

"Fine, a slightly longer version," Torino conceded, "The politician was scum, and almost certainly deserved it. But he was also popular and his death caused all sorts of problems. And since I failed to protect him, I was 'gently encouraged' to retire. I partially retired, instead. That enough?"

We nodded.

"Since I was semi-retired, I still did some patrolling. And seven years ago, Emiya Shirou saved me from an ambush. I worked with him a few times after that. Until he passed. And finally, Cain David's mentor, the one who taught him most of his skills and most of his philosophy was Emiya Kiritsugu, the 'Magus Killer'. Emiya Shirou's father. Which makes you two ladies spiritual cousins."

Mordred and Cassandra looked at each other in shock.

"I didn't expect you would know that. And no, I don't know much more beyond that. Though there is a rumor in the underworld that Orphan did help Magus Killer avenge the murder of Emiya's wife and daughter."

He shook his head.

"Enough of that. We can talk more later, if you really feel the need. We need to get started on this internship. Now, the three of you, attack me."

The phone rang in the bar. Harley was there with Mindy, Stheno, and Himiko. Harley had taken to calling the new girl Oh So Positive. Unlike Mindy, the blonde teen seemed to enjoy the nickname.

The gaijin danced over, and extravagantly spun the receiver up to her ear.

"End of the Line Grill and Tavern," she sang, "you got Harley."

"Was that the name of this place?" Stheno whispered to the other two ladies. Both shrugged.

"I'm killing that American fake on Wednesday, with or without your monsters," Stain growled at her. And then ended the call without waiting for a response.

"Rude," Harley mock pouted at the old style handset. Then she dismissed it, and almost seriously mumbled, "I better let Puddin' and Sensei know."

"Know what?" Oh So asked innocently.

"I'm guessin' Stain-kun saw Ingenium's press conference," the red and blue-ette told them, "Because he's pissed, and goin' after Native on Wednesday, with or without us."

"Welcome, Creati, to Carbon Analytics. I am Miyozaki Adam, formerly known as the hero Cyclotron. I will be your direct supervisor during your internship here."

He was taller than Momo, thickly built, and a bit plump around the waist. His hair was kept short, and was mostly black, except for a smattering of random splotches of blue, green, and purple.

"To be honest," he continued, "We were surprised when you accepted our offer."

"Why is that?" Yaoyorozu asked.

"Well, we've never had a Hero course student accept, since we are a manufacturing company and while we do employ a handful of retired pro Heroes, I'm the one who worked as a pro most recently, and even I've been out of the game or about three years."

"Did you retire after Fuyuki?" she asked carefully, recalling him from the crowd watching Mo-chan's dad's sacrifice.

"Yes," he said simply, hiding a grimace. Then he returned to the original topic, "Also, we didn't expect the daughter of Yaoyorozu Heavy Industries would intern with a rival. Though I suppose from your point of view we might not qualify, given the difference in size and scope between YHI and Carbon Analytics."

"Is that going to an issue?" Momo asked cautiously.

"Not for us," he said casually, "We won't be sharing any trade secrets with you, but that goes for the others as well."

He gestured over to where two other employees were talking to members of the UA Support class.

"But we will treat you the same as the others and teach you the best we can," Adam continued, "It wouldn't do to have it get out that we snubbed the YHI heiress. Your parents might come after us. Or even worse, UA might stop accepting our internship and work study offers. Being at odds with YHI would be bad, but not being able to recruit from UA would be a death sentence for the company."

Momo nodded, "Well it is no issue for me, either."

"Good," he sighed in relief, "Then I will take you to your room in the corporate dorm, so you can drop your things off. Then I'll take you to the cafeteria, so we can grab an early dinner and discuss the basic outline for the next five days."

Even though I felt Gamer's Mind starting it kick in, I hesitated. Cassandra also looked at Torino-san uncertainly.

Not Mordred. She adopted a feral grin and swung her arm down. Clarent appeared, already slashing at our new teacher's right ear.

Gran Torino flipped, without moving his legs. He extended one foot, meeting Clarent's edge. There was a blast of air out of the bottom of his boot, and the broadsword was sent flying. It spun through the air and embedded itself in the far wall. About six meters from Mo-chan, and thus out of her range.

"Not bad," he told her, "You followed directions, and were quick to act. But you are too aggressive, and didn't consider what your opponent might be able to do."

"Are you sure?" Mo-chan shot back, as suddenly her katana and kukri appeared, on either side of him. He hopped up, extended each leg towards one sword. And then all three weapons were out of her range.


Torino Sorahiko
Hero Name: Gran Torino
Quirk: Jet
Torino can shoot powerful jets of air out of holes in the soles of his feet. While he can't technically fly, he can jet around in mid air and give incredibly powerful kicks. As one of Japan's first Heroes, he has a wealth of experience to draw on.

"Come on," he told us all, "Why are you hesitating? You are in The Gamer's party, so no matter what happens, a good rest will fix you up."

"Torino-san," I said nervously, "That only works if they sleep in close proximity to me. Like, within a few meters. And it can't fix everything."

He stopped for a moment, as if considering something. And a slight bit of red lit his cheeks. Then he shook it off.

"First, you should be calling me sensei."

As he said that, he shot straight up, bounced off the ceiling, and dove foot first into my stomach. Thanks to high-speed vision I was able to get my arms up to block. I was only pushed back halfway across the room, instead of losing my lunch.

"Second, that won't be an issue, since I only have one guest room. Now, stop stalling."

I knew he trying to distract us from that statement. But I still reached out telekinetically, freed Clarent from the wall, and tossed it back into range for Mordred. And then the three of us moved to surround him.

Cassandra and Mordred were both out of the fight. And I wasn't doing that well. Torino-sensei was panting slightly, but we hadn't managed to land more than a handful of glancing blows on hm. I was sure I couldn't win. Not without bringing the building down on us. But I wanted to land one good hit.

And though I was very careful not to say it, I definitely understood Flash's nickname for Gran Torino. And was using it silently.

"Drive 4," I muttered under my breath, as he bounced around the room like a nuclear powered superball, "Ki Enhancement: Quickness."

I thought I had his pattern. Front wall... Northwest corner ceiling... stairwell doorway... He was going to attack me... NOW!


My entire body crackling purple and gold, I threw my best punch. I focused on speed rather than power, more concerned about hitting him before he could jet to the side. Every joint burned in agony. My right arm felt like it would break again as my fist shot for his shoulder.

He blasted to the side. My fist would miss. Like I expected.

"COMBO!" I added. I hopped up, launching a light roundhouse kick with my left foot. Right were his dodge was taking him.

Foot hit ribs. My toes, already fragile from the energy I was pouring into them, snapped like dry sticks. But in return, Gran Torino grunted in pain. He flew into the wall with a dull crash. Then slid to the floor, not moving.

"Sensei?" Mo-chan surged to her feet, then nearly fell from the pain and lack of stamina.

"Analyze," I said flatly.

[Name: Sorahiko Torino (Gran Torino)
Race: Human (Quirk metagene positive)
Age: Over 70 and that's all you get
Level: 114
Active Title: Japan's First Pro Hero
Health: ?/? (77%)

Stamina: ?/? (44%)
Ki: ?/? (28%)
No Spring Chicken]

"He's fine," I told them, "Better than we are."

I looked down at my left foot, which I hadn't lowered yet. I also checked and my two friends; both were at about a quarter for everything.

Torino-sensei jetted back to his feet.

"See?" he told them in annoyance. Then he looked at me, "And that was a decent kick, all things considered."

"Now," he picked up his bonking stick and leaned on to it, "I have a better idea what we need to work on. Mordred..."

She blinked in surprise.

"...you need to try to increase your range, and your psychic grip when your swords take a sudden hit. And working on your actual fighting with your real body, too."

"Cassandra, your body can't quite keep up with your Quirk. And when that happens, you are thrown off balance. We will be working on making you faster, but also on your mental control so when they don't match up, you aren't hampered."

"Izuku... there is so much you need to work on. Learning to use your skills without saying the name. Accessing The Gamer system purely mentally. And being able to use Ki and Psionics together without feedback."

"You know how to do all of that?" I asked excitedly.

"Not really," Torino shot me down immediately, "But Danse was able to. She did tell me that those things, among other, were all difficult for her to master. But she did. Only she never told me how she figured it out, because it wouldn't really matter if I knew."

"Okay," he addressed us all more naturally, "Grab your stuff, and I'll show you the guest room and bathroom. Fair warning, the walls in here are pretty thin. So keep your hanky-panky down."

We all blushed.

\What do you think?/ I asked the two of them. They were together on a fold out couch, while I was on a camping cot shoved into the space on the opposite side of the couch from the door.

All of us had a light dinner, still hurting. Then, after he had us clean up, he gave us a quick but rambling lecture about Heroes' responsibilities.

Then at about 9:30 he sent us off to bed. I gave Eri a quick call while Cassandra and Mordred shared a bath.

Now we were actually in bed. But more thinking than tired.

\I get why All Might reacts that way when Torino-sense is mentioned,/ Mo-chan answered, her signing still a bit rough.

\He was holding back,/ Cassandra said, \I could feel it./

\I agree,/ I said, \I still can't get a full read on him, his level is too high. But from what I can see... If All Might was healthy, he'd be stronger. But right now Torino is the strongest person I've ever seen. Well, that I know of./

It wasn't like I Analyzed everyone. And Bookkeeper was still a mystery.

\I'm curious about that third Game,/ Mo-chan told us, \I wonder if he still around, and if he could help Izuku./

\Maybe,/ I nodded as I signed, \But I don't think Torino-sensei will be willing to tell me who he is or where he is./

\Presumably he is in 'the rest of Europe, north Africa, and Asia' somewhere,/ Cass quoted.

\So, like a third of the world,/ Mo-chan managed to sign sarcastically.

\If he's still around./

Status Changes for Midoriya Izuku:

Active Title: The Gamer → The 4th(?) Gamer

Health: 978 → 1002
Energy: 1699 → 1723

(E)ndurance: 64 → 65
(I)ntuition: 62 → 63

Japanese Language (W/C) LB: 26 → 27
Oral Hygiene (C): 26 → 27
Analyze (W) – Battle Scan: 64 → 65
Dodge (A/Q) LB – Catch: 51 → 53
Telekinesis (I/D): 47 → 48
Strength Training (S): 23 → 24
Basic Karate (A): 50 → 51
Parkour (A/Q): 47 → 49
Physical Resistance (E/D): 82 → 83
Acrobatics (A): 25 → 26
Ki Detection (D/I): 46 → 47
Ki Healing (D/E) LB: 36 → 37
Ki Reinforcement (D): 46 → 47
Japanese History (W): 8 → 9
Telekinetic Armor (I/E): 49 → 50
Telekinetic Aura (I) LB: 50 → 51
Kung Fu Fundamentals (Q/E): 30 → 31
Tai Chi Quan (A/S): 22 → 23
JSL (W/A) LB: 18 → 19
Ki Diagnosis (D/W): 31 → 32
Jump (Q/S) LB: 18 → 19
High Speed Vision (W/Q) 26 → 28
Heroics General Knowledge (I/W): 66 → 67
Krav Maga (A/S): 11 → 12
Martial Arts Etiquette (W/C): 3 → 4
Trap Detection (W/I): 2 → 3

Author's Note: I decided to spilt this chapter in half to try to get something out faster, since this is, I feel, a major point in this story. Hopefully the second half will be in a week or two.
Also, I really wanted to have Torino say "We don't talk about Ji-Han". But I just couldn't make it fit in naturally.