Chapter 17: The Dark Matter Thieves (Part 2)


Groribas raised an arm and acid mist spewed out to meet the cyborg's fiery attack. Both flame and acid cloud blended in a bizarre concoction that canceled each other out, extinguishing the flames and dissipating the acid fumes.

Before the flame and acid were completely gone, Groribas appeared in front of the cyborg and swiped an arm at him, intending to bite him in half. However, a block of concrete came in between the two, and Groribas bit onto it instead of the young blonde.

"Don't you forget about me!" Tatsumaki yelled as she continued to hurl debris at the alien.

The alien dodged the projectiles but was caught off-guard when the cyborg quickly appeared in front of him and placed a palm on his chest. Bright flame blazed right out of the cyborg's palm, tearing through Groribas' acid armor and blasting him away in the process.

"You fool!" Groribas taunted, getting his bearings. "Getting close to me like that is asking for death!" The black smoke subsided and it showed the cyborg looked unfazed by the acid, to Groribas' surprise.

"Doctor Kuseno's new type of metal has a certain resistance to acid. This new upgrade has been timely." The cyborg stated.

Groribas grunted. "Even so, I still have a few moves to –"

Two boulders smashed at his sides.

"I SAID don't you forget about me!" Tatsumaki exclaimed. The cyborg added to the assault by firing a concentrated fiery beam that annihilated both boulders and scorched the ground below.

The ground underneath the cyborg burst forth a fanged appendage that swallowed him whole. But then it spewed out black smoke between its fangs before exploding violently. Smoke might have blurred Tatsumaki's vision, but she couldn't mistake the glint of a marble-like object when the arm exploded. The alien's arm was simply cooked to charcoal whereas that marble still glistened.

"That's why I don't like doing the same move twice in a battle," Groribas said, digging himself out of the ground, his missing right arm evident. His arm regenerated when the marble that Tatsumaki was eyeing went back to him.

The cyborg landed back on the ground and, without warning, boosters from his back opened and electricity sparked all around him.

He can fight in close range if he's immune to acid, Tatsumaki thought.

The cyborg dashed towards Groribas. In turn, the alien enveloped himself with toxic mist to reduce visibility and give him a chance to hide; but they were promptly blown away by a wind current. He knew who had generated it but unable to hide, Groribas began to run away when he noticed rubble had been arranged in a way that blocked his escape and the only way to get out was to jump since he had no time to dig.

He did just that and was met by the cyborg in midair, both fists cocked.

"Machine Gun Blows." The blonde unleashed a flurry of explosive punches. Desperate, Groribas raised a hand and opened it wide to absorb the punishment. He would always heal regardless, but regenerating the whole body instead of an arm would cost more energy and time.

Either way, Groribas' arm was shredded and when the attack finally subsided, he quickly dashed away to recuperate. Now having distance between his foes, he began to plan a succession of moves to finally bring those two down.

But first, he needed to recover his arm.

A few seconds passed and his arm didn't regenerate.

"What the?" Groribas said in surprise. "Where –"

"Looking for this?" Groribas turned his head and saw the green-haired creature holding up something that made him go pale green. "So, this is how you regenerate," Tatsumaki remarked, eyeing the red marble in her hand.

"HEY! Give that back!" Groribas demanded.

"All the more reason to smash it open." Tatsumaki flung the marble into the air and two rocks smashed it from both sides, breaking it to pieces. Groribas took a step backward as if he'd been struck.

"Not only that, this seems to be your energy source," Tatsumaki added. "I can feel your energy fluctuate. Hmph. Getting tired now?" The cyborg didn't say anything but his golden eye scanning the creature's biology was starting to report that a sudden change was on its way.

"You… FOOLISH CREATURES! PREPARE TO DIE THIS TIME!" Groribas exclaimed. His remaining arm was absorbed back into his torso whilst the fangs on his head grew more pronounced. His body began to divide into two from top to bottom. Meanwhile, he continued to grow longer and longer until he didn't look humanoid anymore but a bizarre wormlike creature, falling over forwards onto the ground. When he'd finished splitting, legs grew out of his sides and green tendrils appeared all around his body.

"Secret Move Number 1: ACID DRAGONS!" The two creatures roared loudly and they began to clamber their way towards the two.

"Oh boy." Tatsumaki flew away. She raised debris behind her and threw them towards the aliens. It was no use, however, as the aliens simply devoured them whole. She knew the cyborg had his hands full too. Fire blazed away in her peripheral vision and it was more like he was running away too.

Because of the chaos, the two separated ways. Tatsumaki didn't know what the cyborg was capable of except for shooting out fire and being resistant to acid. It turned out his abilities very useful against the alien whereas she was not that good a match against it. It didn't help that Groribas had split himself into two against them.

Tatsumaki flew away while the alien dragon chased her. The dragon roared and unleashed spikes from its frills. The esper zigzagged through the toppled skyscrapers for cover and would try to deflect the projectiles back, but they were simply melted by the acid fumes emitting from the alien. To counter, the dragon began to spit acid globes in quick succession. Returning it back would be futile since the alien itself was immune to acid, unlike the Sea King. Tatsumaki used debris to shield herself but then saw when an acid globe exploded, it would release yellow spores. And the way he shot them, he was deliberately spreading the spores around as much as possible. They were more like acid bubbles. Just like last time, Tatsumaki created a dome to repel the poisonous fog away. Then vines suddenly erupted from the ground to grab her. Generating twin blades from her hands, Tatsumaki began to hack away at the vines.

He can use all of his moves while in this form.

The ground gave way and the dragon appeared to swallow her whole. The dragon gave a semblance of a smirk but then saw the esper flying away.

It's getting old you know, Tatsumaki thought. She was still aware she was getting nowhere towards defeating the alien. It was more efficient bringing the two dragons down together in one fell swoop. That cyborg's abilities would be very useful if they could somehow trap the two in an enclosed space.

Tatsumaki caught sight of fire blazing out in a street. It was heading towards a certain building. When she put two and two together, she realized the cyborg was luring his enemy to an enclosed stadium with an empty field. It wasn't massive but big enough to contain the two aliens inside. Of course, it had been damaged by the ship's attack but its roof was miraculously intact. Perhaps a bullet hadn't hit it directly and the tremors didn't manage to bring it down. The Association had alerted her earlier that there were no more remaining pockets of survivors in the city, so the building was empty.

The dragon began its chase once more. Tatsumaki now knew where to go. The dragon didn't relent in its attacks, spitting acid globes and shooting spikes at her. Tatsumaki dodged or used debris as a shield while still going towards the stadium.

Finally, she arrived and opened the topside of the stadium with her telekinesis and entered. As expected, the alien went inside too.

"You think…" the dragon said telepathically. "You think you can hide from me again!?"

Groribas looked around the stadium and saw the entrance smash open, his other self tumbling forward inside. The two dragons got their bearings and began looking for their prey. They saw one when they looked up.

The esper was floating above the stadium, her arms crossed. Behind them, in the destroyed entrance, a glint of light shone, growing brighter by each passing second. It was the cyborg with his hands clenched tightly together, pointing at the two dragons with multiple cannons ready to burst fire.

"INCINERATE!" The cyborg exclaimed and a big torrent of fire engulfed the whole stadium. The two dragons screamed and tried to get away, but flammable debris poured down from above, hindering them and adding fuel to the fire.

Above, Tatsumaki erected a barrier around the stadium so that the heat wouldn't escape. The monster could nullify her psychic powers directed at himself, but she could still amplify the fire indirectly.

"ASTRAL TORNADO!" The monster screamed as the blaze turned into a raging inferno inside the stadium-turned-oven. She may not admit it, but it had been much better working together to bring the alien down. Irony would have to be the word of the day given her flat-out refusal to cooperate with the heroes earlier.

Well, she had been irritated about their lack of quick action so she couldn't blame herself.

The combined attack took a while to die down. Inside was now smoldering charcoal with the ground a bright crimson brimstone.

Tatsumaki went down and saw the cyborg crushing a red marble in his metallic hand.

Groribas burst out of the burnt carcass. He seemed sluggish and weak. He had reverted back to his humanoid form but now armless and green goo bleeding out.

"You… pathetic creatures." He spat out.

"You're the only one left," Tatsumaki said. "This won't take too long. Any more moves you care to show?"

Groribas chuckled. "I don't need to. It's over." The cyborg was startled as his readings picked up the ship's energy rapidly rising. The ground began to rumble and purple light shone from the underside of the ship as it gathered energy.

The spaceship was about to fire again.

"I'm afraid I'm simply buying time for our ship to attack again," Groribas said. "Too bad you can't regenerate like me. I'll enjoy your bodies being obliterated to bits!"

Despite the impending doom, Tatsumaki was thinking of what to do. If it came to it, she needed to stop every single projectile coming down at them. It was a citywide attack and there would undoubtedly be shells numbering in the hundreds. She couldn't repel a single massive meteor from space but this? Tracking and manipulating a colossal volley fired from point-blank range?

It was bordering on impossible.

Tatsumaki tried to control the whole ship and rip it apart to stop it from firing, but some… thing was resisting her powers. She couldn't take any hold of it. There must be an energy core inside capable of resisting psychic powers on its own. The massive energy it built up might also be the culprit.

In short, she had to do the impossible.

"I have no choice but to use this prototype." The cyborg blonde said. "Forgive me Doctor Kuseno. I know it was reserved for a specific cyborg, but the situation calls for it."

This one talks a lot.

The cyborg took a glowing blue sphere from his chest and then attached it next to his arm before taking aim at the ship. He took a few seconds to charge the necessary energy and then braced himself.

And fired.

"You can't possibly bring down the ship with your puny weapons." Groribas boasted. Tatsumaki was perfectly aware of that but the beam fired wasn't fiery orange as before. It was an electrical beam that had struck the ship with no explosion accompanying it. The purple light along the underside was growing dimmer and the ship's compartments weren't fully opening to accommodate the large bullets. The attack hadn't been to damage the structure, but rather disable the energy source as it spread out.

An EMP blast.

Effective or not, the ship was as big as a city so that lone blast couldn't cover everything. There would still be parts of the ship capable of shooting down.

"What the? What the hell's happening?! Why won't you fire!" Groribas complained. He didn't get any response from the ship's crew. It may be his telepathy weakening that caused him to lose contact. As a last burst transmission, he said, "Just use the remaining functional cannons and aim it here! THAT'S AN ORDER!"

One by one, a few purple lights shone again, and bullets did launch from the ship. However, suddenly all of them halted and hung suspended in the air.

"What?!" Groribas cried out. "That's impossible!" The projectiles were covered in a green glow and he knew where that glow came from.

Tatsumaki was strained from the effort of stopping the bullets so quickly but her training was paying off. The inane endurance training she'd done with that baldy made sense now.

The large projectiles faced upwards and flew back to the ship with added rotation. The ship's underside exploded all around, threatening to be brought down with its own bullets.

Groribas turned his gaze away from the ship's destruction to the esper. She was busy and that metal creature looked exhausted from his attack. This was his chance to strike back.

Turning himself into a worm and stopping himself from saying out loud it was Move Number 4: Body Morph for stealth purposes, he slithered towards the esper to bite her little head off. A large bullet was suddenly plunged into him from above before he was even halfway.

"Oh, I haven't forgotten about you," Tatsumaki panted. "Here's a taste of your own medicine." More large bullets were thrust on top of the alien. Tatsumaki flew away and the cyborg jumped out of the stadium. The latter repeatedly bombarded the stadium, completely destroying it, whilst the esper tried to regain some of her strength.

Tatsumaki looked over the crater, searching for the red marble that would finally end the persistent alien. A red glint of light floated upwards and stayed still.

"It still isn't over, earthlings." A voice said in Tatsumaki's head. "I may have been defeated but I might as well bring you two down with me!" the red marble started trembling, and from its center, shone brighter and brighter.


Tatsumaki, using what psychic energy remained in her, telekinetically flung the red marble upwards towards the ship. The alien's resistance to her psychic power had weakened now that he only had one energy source left. The red marble went straight to the ship and, in a flash of green light, exploded so violently that it managed to tilt the massive ship. The explosion quickly corroded a fifth of the massive ship and its spread threatened to reach the ground. As a last-ditch effort, Tatsumaki created a barrier to contain the explosion within a specific radius, thus damaging only the ship. The effort alone nearly made her pass out instantly and if hadn't been for the training, she would have already died earlier.

Exhausted, Tatsumaki knelt down. It was over, she was sure. Not only because that annoying alien was dead once and for all, but the ship had also sustained damage too. For something called "Planetary Destruction", it hadn't felt powerful enough to live up to its name, fortunately for her. Otherwise, it would have been utterly out of her league to even deflect that. Good thing it was just a bluff or else they would've been wiped off the face of the planet at least.

Nevertheless, she took a moment for some much-needed rest. The cyborg may be recovering as well. Making introductions wasn't her forte but she needed to acknowledge the blonde's involvement in the fight. He had simply sprung out of nowhere and without his intervention, she might not have beaten the enemy.

Tatsumaki stood up now that she had recovered a little of her energy.

Dammit. I'm bad at both introductions and giving thanks.

Before Tatsumaki even said a word, a massive deafening explosion happened on the top side of the ship. She hadn't been prepared for that and found herself kneeling again on the ground.

What the hell?! There was a delayed explosion?!

When she looked up, two massive beams of yellow and blue erupted from the ship in the shape of a V - its searing heat could be felt from the ground as it tore through the sky above their heads. From the opposite end, all the clouds, stretching beyond the horizon, had been instantly obliterated by a focused shockwave. She had seen this kind of attack before, albeit on a smaller scale, but this clash felt like it could tear the very planet apart, not to mention the ship and everything below it.

Eventually, everything fell still and Tatsumaki was able to stand up.

What the hell happened?

The cyborg was already on his feet staring up towards the ship. Miraculously, the ship was still floating despite all the damage it had received from above and below. That was some durability if Tatsumaki was concerned.

The ship in question then began to fall out of the sky as if to prove otherwise. Tatsumaki wasted no time in flying away and so did the cyborg. He jumped all the way out without much hassle with the added boost from his thrusters.

Well, at least she wouldn't have to burden herself in carrying him around.

The ship crashed to the ground, sending a massive shockwave rippling everywhere. Tatsumaki nearly lost her balance when it caught her. And she'd lost sight of the cyborg during the crash. Perhaps he had been blown away by the shockwave, but surely he wouldn't die from that.

When the ground had stopped shaking and the dust settled, Tatsumaki went up to the alien ship. It was much bigger up close than she thought it would be. It easily covered a city and was taller than any skyscraper in City A. With enough time and rest, she could lift it off the ground but now wasn't the time for that.

Tatsumaki saw a door blast open. She approached it and saw many aliens of different types and colors scampering outside. Using her powers, she quickly bundled them together to foil their escape.

"We surrender!" a termite-like alien begged. "We won't fight!"

"Yeah, yeah! Just what he said!" a slug alien followed. "Just don't kill us!"

"We can't escape even if we wanted to! We can't fight like the others!"

These aliens are way different from the others, Tatsumaki thought. She stood on a toppled building and tied the aliens together with iron chains. Restraining them with just her powers was tiring, after all she had gone through.

"Miss Tatsumaki!" Tatsumaki turned around and saw a black muscular man not that far away.

Darkshine, she recalled. He was hollering to the other Class S heroes too. They were fine after all. One man particularly stood out given his blue hair.

Sweet Mask decided to visit, huh?

"You're an esper, am I correct?" Tatsumaki was startled by the voice.

Tsk. Flashy Flash. He got here quick.

"Do you have a habit of spooking people?" Tatsumaki complained. "For your question, yes. I already said that earlier if you forgot already."

"I wasn't aware we had an esper in our ranks until today," Flash said. "This is unrelated to the present crisis, but I've been meaning to talk to you since I learned you were one. I've been trailing a lot of monsters recently and got some vague intel from them. They are still just rumors, but I believe they point to something credible."

For someone who always seems in a hurry, he sure talks a lot.

"What are you getting at?" Tatsumaki asked, already impatient.

"Some monsters have been conducting some sort of activity from some unknown place. They are gathering to form a group, it seems. For some reason, they have been targeting espers just like you." The word 'esper' piqued Tatsumaki's interest.

"I don't know anything else except for a name so listen well." Flashy Flash suddenly appeared beside Tatsumaki. "Your enemy is Psykos," he continued. "Be careful."

Psykos? What -?

Before Tatsumaki could reply, Flashy Flash was gone.

He's just gonna leave like that? Anyway, Psykos? Who's that? And why espers? Are they the ones who took Fubuki?

"You captured the aliens, Miss Tatsumaki." Child Emperor said, robotic spider legs on his back as support. The other S Class heroes arrived as well. They didn't look too worse for wear, except for Bang who was shirtless, exposing his well-toned muscles that didn't match his age at all.

"Professor Bofoi's robot is over there inspecting the ship." The boy genius continued. "From the looks of it, he might salvage what he can from it. I guess he wouldn't come here in person like Blast. Of all the adults, they're the only ones absent."

A humanoid robot was walking towards the wrecked ship.

Metal Knight had no interest whatsoever in the Association meetings, but this ship's sudden appearance from out of nowhere intrigued him. No blip from any radar, nor any warning signs that he could have picked up. Though, its ballistic technology might be a little crude for a spacefaring civilization.

It was only logical that the ship had used teleportation to get so close and evade all forms of detection. Its structure might be damaged beyond repair, but if he could reverse engineer its technology, it would serve very useful indeed. He wouldn't be able to apply the teleportation ability to anything on a large scale, such as a bomber jet, though since it would undoubtedly require a ton of energy. On a smaller object, perhaps his own body, he could manage that.

A body that could teleport long distances out of nowhere.

The prospect was so tantalizing that his fingers were slightly shaking from anticipation. He might need to calm himself or else his control of robots all across the world would slip. People in G-City might notice that robots were twitching all of a sudden.

Metal Knight controlled himself in a split second. He couldn't care less that a city and almost all its people had just been destroyed. No one would miss them. Such filthy bureaucrats, fat businessmen and spotty politicians who'd placed their expensive houses near the Headquarters in the belief that they would be safest there. It was an added burden on the Association's responsibilities, so it was for the best that they got wiped out. The Association's coffers would be lessened without their "donations," but the destruction of a city would gain worldwide sympathy and attract monetary aid. They might even gain more support now that an attack could happen anywhere, and other cities would rely on the Association even more for their security.

As for the Hero Association itself, they would probably go to him to improve or build their new headquarters to strengthen security. It was such a coincidence that City B had also just been destroyed beforehand by a giant mutant popping out of nowhere too. He could annex the two cities and build the headquarters in the middle using the materials from both the wrecked cities and the invading ship, without any leeches squatting beside his creation.

Everything was falling into his lap.

Tatsumaki eyed the robot with suspicion. In the hands of a person like him, I don't think the danger of alien technology would be any lessened.

"I thought Lord Boros would never lose." One of the captured aliens said.

"Are you sure? No one really saw what happened." Another alien replied. "But if so, then we're good as dead."

"Are we going to be killed? We just followed orders, right?"

"We're just the ship's crew. Maybe we can talk our way out of this."

"Quiet, fools! Now's not the time to talk – wait, someone's approaching –"

"Incinerate." A burst of flame burned the bound aliens to ashes, to the heroes' surprise.

"What the!" Darkshine exclaimed. "Who are you and why did you do that!" Tatsumaki too looked surprised at how the cyborg had casually gone up to the aliens and killed them without batting an eye.

"I simply ended their lives for the atrocities they have committed. They do not deserve to live." The cyborg said in a monotone. "There are no more alien survivors according to my readings. I am no longer needed here. I must be off." He turned around and briskly walked away.

"At least someone here is not a disappointment." Sweet Mask finally said.

Tatsumaki narrowed her eyes.

"I've been terribly disappointed with the performances of these so-called heroes." Sweet Mask continued. "It makes me want to vomit. But that man. This disaster today may not have been all bad news. Perhaps he will be more promising, unlike some amateur hero."

Sweet Mask walked away in the same direction as the cyborg was going.

"Best leave it, Miss Tatsumaki," Bang said.

"Don't worry, gramps," Tatsumaki answered. "I don't give a damn about what he says."

But that cyborg. Despite working together, he fights with unrelenting rage and unfeeling coldness. Doing things just because it must be done. Makes me remember how I was before that baldy –

That baldy…



After the fight that had him literally going to the moon and back, Saitama had found himself in the belly of the beast. He had been too busy dwelling on something, and before he knew what was up, the ship had crashed down, burying him in the process. The ship was practically destroyed so he didn't need to find a formal exit anymore.

If there's a will, there's a way out, or so the saying went if he remembered it correctly.

And so, he punched his way out. Whether lost or stuck, it was by far the easiest and quickest solution he'd found.

While literally smashing through everything in his path with his fists, a particular thought lingered in his mind. It made him feel rather… sad.

Sad? That wasn't the right word. More like disappointed. No, that was not it either. If he was to use a complicated word, it would be melancholic. Or blue.

He was… blue.

Why was he associating himself with a color? He wasn't wearing anything blue at the moment.

It didn't make sense.

After a few minutes of impromptu tunneling, he was finally able to see daylight once again. His patience had surprised him – he could've unleashed a single strong punch to blow up half the ship and escaped that way. After all, he certainly had the strength to spare after that battle.


It wasn't even a battle.

Blue. Maybe it was just after-images of those energy beams he fought earlier.

"Oh, I'm out," Saitama said with his usual nonchalance. He walked a few steps out of the dark and then felt something tackle him. It nearly bowled him over.

"Why would you leave me alone like that!"

It was the color green.

"Oh, Tatsumaki," Saitama answered calmly. "Well, we're done here. Let's go."

Tatsumaki let go of him, realizing she'd instinctively been hugging him again. "You haven't answered my question!"

"I got too excited, I guess," Saitama replied and shrugged. "I got in a fight with the ship's boss and I got to say, maybe he's the strongest foe I've faced so far." Tatsumaki was surprised that he said that given how insanely powerful he was.

"The strongest you've faced so far? So, the prophecy was about this alien invasion?" Now that she thought about it, Saitama's glaring costume had been damaged and his white cape was torn in half.

"I don't know about that but it turns out prophecies are a whole load of rubbish to begin with. You can't even trust the weather forecast so why turn to prophecies?"

I don't think those two are related, Tatsumaki thought, her incredulity of the man coming back full force.

"How about you? Did you do anything?"

"Of course I did!" Tatsumaki answered. "I saved some survivors and got into a fight against this weird plant alien thing. I even damaged the ship by chucking its bullets back so I did plenty."

"That's good then." Saitama patted her head a few times. It took a few seconds before Tatsumaki registered what was happening.

"Hey! What are you doing!" she protested. Saitama retracted his hand back.

"Huh? Well, I felt like doing it. Something wrong?"

"You don't pat someone's head all of a sudden!"

"Oh, I didn't know. Sorry. My bad." There was that smile from him again. Tatsumaki couldn't tell if it was his natural carefree smile or the one with genuine amusement. She quickly looked away before she got any ideas.

"Well, I – I didn't say it was… a bad thing. It actually felt… a little –"

"HEY! You two love birds!" Tatsumaki nearly exploded in embarrassment. She slowly turned towards the voice and saw Metal Bat looking very smug with his bat slung over his shoulder. Some S Class heroes were also staring at them as if they were actors in a play.

Oh… god…

"Why don't you two go back there where it's dark, if you get my drift," Metal Bat said, an annoying smirk on his face.


"What did ya jus' call me!? How 'bout I bust your head with this bat here?!" his bat floated out of his reach.

"How did this man board the ship? He's just a B Class, right?" Child Emperor asked but was completely ignored.

"Oh, you mean this bat?" Tatsumaki telekinetically threw the bat as far as she could. "Now fetch, you dog-faced good-for-nothing!"

Aghast for his weapon to be thrown away from him, Metal Bat cracked his knuckles. "That does it! I will show you I can totally smash someone up without using my bat!" Puri Puri Prisoner's imagination once again took the words totally out of context.

"Then go ahead and try, pillbug head!"

"Cut it out, you two." Bang intervened. "You are both S Class heroes of the Association. Can we just call it a day after all that has happened? There is still so much to do other than fight with each other."

Metal Bat spat on the ground. "Tsk. I still have unfinished business with that Smug Face. You got lucky this time." Tatsumaki glared at him.

"Hmph!" Tatsumaki grabbed Saitama's hand and dragged him away. "Let's get away from these weirdos! I'm hungry. I want some takoyaki."

"Are there still takoyaki stands left in this city?" Saitama asked like a boy being dragged along by a parent.

"I don't care! Besides, I know someone who will give us some for free."

"Really?! For free? What are we waiting for? Let's go!" Saitama quickened his pace and Tatsumaki never did notice how their hands were still tightly clasped together as they both left.

Silver Fang sighed in relief after averting another disaster. He couldn't help but smile at the two.

Troublemakers and their youth.

"That was… weird." Metal Bat finally said. "Oh! I need to find my bat first!" He was about to go search for it when Watchdog Man appeared, the bat in his mouth.

"Here you go, Metal Bat." The costumed hero said after putting the bat down.

"Um, thanks?"

"You're welcome." Watchdog Man said and simply ran away on all fours.

"…What just happened?"

Bang walked away after all the mess he had been through for today. His back hurt, Charanko might be panicking in the dojo about his master's welfare, and Saitama once again saved the day. He had seen how Saitama destroyed the meteor. With no one else on the ship, even a monkey could figure out that he'd been the one responsible for countering that monstrous attack earlier. But nobody else knew of his capabilities, and he himself hadn't said much about his role in defeating the aliens. If this was what Saitama wanted, then he had no right to intrude; just like when people began to dislike him after the meteor incident.

Still, Bang got the feeling there was more to this. It seemed too convenient and he had lived a long enough life to expect that the worst had yet to come. There were still loose ends on his part and far be it for the whole world to end before he corrected it himself. He just hoped that the prophecy didn't concern that one particular prodigal student. He was his burden to carry, not anyone else's. If it came to it, perhaps that would be the day to call it quits for his age.

His future may be limited, but it was very much an open road for those two, very different, individuals who'd piqued his interest. One was a very fierce, prideful and stubborn girl while the other was a bald man way too dull and too strong for his own good. A change was looming on the horizon and maybe those two would have a part in it as well. The strongest esper and the strongest hero.

The bald and the esper.

Has a nice ring to it?

The old man chuckled to himself.

I'm too old for this.

Author's Corner: Here's the long-awaited ending of season 1 of this story! I'm terribly sorry if I posted this very, very, very late! Things got rough on my side which made me unable to focus on this one. Given the chapter's length, it should have been posted a long time ago so I'm very sorry about that.

This is the first story with multiple chapters that I actually finished! It's been fun tinkering with canon and imagining how things would have gone with Tatsumaki entering the picture instead of Genos. She's more fleshed out here than Genos in the actual series. Her knowing Saitama little by little in contrast to Genos who practically worships Saitama at first sight. I think that Tatsumaki has changed in the course of the story so there would be some OOC moments.

Anyway, I do thank everyone who left a review and followed/favorited this story. I NEVER thought this story would balloon all of a sudden. It still gives me joy knowing that people are reading this. It was just a pet project of what-if and I believe it started as a what-if but then I changed it as a rehash/retelling since it's more close to that.

Again, thank you for reaching this far! Season 1 is over so better to wait until whenever season 2 finally comes. I know that feeling too. Season 2 of the anime can't get here soon enough and perhaps this story here will continue too.

This has been a long-ass author's note so any reviews or feedback are greatly appreciated! See you when I see you! Ciao!

































































"It has been ten days since the alien invasion and destruction of City A."


"As per our reports, Metal Knight used the mothership and the remaining rubble to build the Association's new HQ. He made it even more secure than before and his design has also made it more accessible for heroes, so they can quickly take action all around the globe. It only took him 7 days to build a fully operational base - as expected of the Association's trump card."


"They already had plans for building a new base before, but they didn't know where. It is possible they let the meteor go unchecked so they could build in City Z instead. If that was the case, it would have been interesting, to say the least."

"…Interesting indeed."

"In other news, the Hero Hunter has begun his move. Should we intercept him before he causes too much trouble? He is a self-proclaimed monster after all so maybe we should –"

"Not yet. He hasn't proven anything other than being a thorn in the heroes' side. The Association has many heroes at their disposal so he's a good distraction. Let him have some fun in the meantime."

"Of course. Speaking of heroes, there was a mysterious cyborg that showed up during the invasion. He not only assisted in fending off the aliens, but he also killed all the remaining alien survivors. It's likely the Association would seek him out to acquire his services."

"It wouldn't matter who they recruit. It makes no difference."

"For our part, we did retrieve an alien corpse atop the ship before Metal Knight had salvaged it all. No one saw us. It seemed he was the cause of the explosion that brought the ship down. He may have been an extremely powerful being before sustaining such damage."


"He is doing well I see. The others are still doubtful of taking him in. From the looks of it, he might have been defeated by Blast or King."

"It isn't Blast. If so, there wouldn't even be a corpse left. The "strongest man." He may pose a problem, but we will deal with him eventually."

"Although this is stating quite the obvious, the other members are waiting. They are quite an impatient lot and not used to –"

The authoritative figure waved a hand as if to dismiss. "I'll be there in a minute. It's not like they can escape when I called them here."

"Of course," the girl nodded and left, the dead flower on her head swaying stiffly.

The procedure took some time before she could finally regain some control. She clenched and unclenched her hands to make sure there were no complications. Her research had never failed her.

She slowly stood up, making sure the white fur coat draped over her wouldn't fall off. Amusing that she still kept it after all this time. Old habits really die-hard, she supposed. She took careful steps towards a tank housing a desiccated, limbless man hooked up with a lot of wires to monitor his status. The only change so far was that his long, white hair now had a tint of pink in it. Overall, it would take some time before he could be useful. She could still sense some power from him even in his poor condition.

A thought of vengeance, and a bit of… dismay.

"A war is coming…"

A heartbeat resounded from the tank.

"It is time for a new order to rise…"

The woman took off her glasses, the glass tank reflecting her peculiar heterochromatic eyes: the left eye was emerald green, and the right was sky blue.

She smiled.