Magnus: I apologize for the long delay, but I got into an accident and couldn't really sit and write. In fact, I will have to take a long break in order to attend medical checkups and regain strength, sorry for making you wait.

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Disclaimer: Tae and Present Mic sharing the family name, in this story, is just a coincidence. Don't think too hard about it… for now.


Cursed Blood

Chapter 36

A sinister restoration.

Doctor Meido Gaeshi, the man better known as the Heaven Canceller, was an individual who had traveled the world in an effort to expand his knowledge and skills in the art of medicine in order to better safeguard the health of his patients. And he'd been largely successful over his lifetime. Currently, the aging medic could honestly say there probably wasn't any other healthcare professional with his capabilities out there.

It was the reason why no hospital he ever found himself in would ever fire him, even if he caused more than a few headaches with his 'methods.'

"Are you absolutely sure about this?" Doctor Gaeshi asked, frowning in deep concern at the paralyzed form of Tensei Iida. "Regardless of the waiver you've signed, you know you can still back out of this at any time."

Even as the words left his mouth, the Heaven Canceller knew they were wastes of air. The infamous Monster of UA was coming, and nothing would dissuade the young man lying on the hospital bed before him from meeting with the boy. Regardless of his dubious thoughts on the obscure quirk in question, they were going to see it in action soon enough.

"I'm… I'm sure," Tensei replied, weak in body though his steely determination still reflected strongly through his tired eyes. "E-even if my life as a hero is over, I cannot bear to remain a burden upon my family!"

Nodding along with the foolishness of youth, the Heaven Canceller solemnly accepted that his patient had made his choice.

It was done.

Throughout his travels, Doctor Gaeshi had witnessed all sorts of medical marvels and mysteries. He'd been granted access to the closely guarded cutting edge technologies of the Germans. He'd participated in the magic rituals and spiritualism of Africa. He'd learned at the hands of Mexican herbalists and Chinese masters. And along the way he'd picked up kernels of understanding from everyone in between.

But.

This was the first time he'd ever see a mutant quirk that acted in every way like an emitter.

Knock, knock…

The soft rapping on the door signaled the awaited family members of his patient. Soon, the hospital room filled with people with vested interest in what was about to happen.

First, of course, came the young man's mother.

The teary woman was followed almost immediately after by a young lady the Heaven Canceller could only guess, by her differing looks yet equally teary eyes, was his patient's significant other of some capacity. Paying only half an ear to the ensuing conversation between the two women and the awkwardness of what was clearly a first meeting in less than ideal circumstances, the elderly doctor's mind turned to pondering the events about to unfold.

While the old man despised the Quirk Hierarchy, the cataloging of such a widespread and seemingly chaotic force as quirks had been necessitated by humanity's nature and desire for understandable patterns. The artificial structure made Quirkology even possible at all, and provided a known foundation for guidance.

However, quirks seemed to intrinsically rebel against such order and restraints, and while the first recorded instance of mutant-slash-emitter qualities, Izuku Midoriya's ability wouldn't be the first reported case of the lines between general types being blurred.

The young lady with thorny vines for hair that had participated in the latest UA Sports Festival, at the First Year level, would be a fine example. Officially, the girl had been recorded as an emitter; but the story was in no way so simple. A look at her medical files had given Doctor Gaeshi the impression that Ms. Ibara's quirk factor was largely concentrated in her hair follicles, to the point that the vines couldn't be removed to allow regular hair to grow.

In fact, it would be easier to say the vines WERE her hair, and that her abilities to grow and morph the vegetative appendages was more in line with her quirk being mutant at its roots—no pun intended—than an emitter with transformer tendencies. However, the old doctor hadn't lived as long as he had without being able to see when records said certain things because certain people wanted it that way, and he'd pulled his nose out of Ms. Ibara's business before someone had come looking to cut it off.

Now looking at Midoriya's file though, and the progression of the boy's quirk factor over time, it was far too easy to imagine how that first doctor that had checked him over had at first dismissed his quirk's potential, Quirkist bigotry aside. Even he would've been hard-pressed to have seen anything special about 'Cursed Blood' when it had first manifested, so microscopic—again, no pun intended—were its readings.

But now?

Officially, 'Cursed Blood' still kept its original mutant designation. It was a simple quirk that manifested as single-celled microorganisms that actively sought out and repaired any and all damages accrued by their host's, e.g. Midoriya's, body regardless of whether that meant a trauma as simple as a cold infection or as drastic as a missing limb. It was a variant of the long documented Regenerator type by all accounts.

That official file wasn't worth the paper it had been printed on. Sure, it could feasibly justify the boy's regeneration prowess, but it failed miserably to explain everything else Midoriya had been rumored to be capable of.

Reanimating the dead? That was so far above and beyond regeneration it was a joke. The ability to then direct these reanimated bodies with commands they are required to follow? What about the fact that the undead were reported to be able to fully interact with the living with facsimiles of free will?

Doctor Gaeshi knew a number of Voodoo masters that would kill, literally, for even a slight clue as to how Midoriya's quirk had achieved such a feat.

Personally, the Heaven Canceller would've loved to be able to strangle the idiot that had so egregiously misdiagnosed Midoriya when he'd been four. So much was now in such a precarious position after the boy had spent so many years under society's uncaring heel. Unfortunately, said doctor who'd gained his ire could no longer be contacted for some reason in any fashion.

It was as if he'd been plucked out of the air one day. Poof!

Knock-knock…

A second coming of soft rapping interrupted the famous doctor's wandering thoughts. This time, four individuals entered the room; the youngest Iida boy, the young Midoriya, and two adult women of differing ages the doctor didn't know the identities of.

"Brother! I finally brought him! You'll be just fine now!" Tenya Iida barely managed to restrain his voice to under shouting levels as he chopped the air vigorously.

Behind the excited teen, his verdant classmate let out a heavy sigh.

"Uhhh…" Suddenly, the youngest Iida's mood shifted to one of confusion as he finally noticed there was someone else in his brother's room besides his doctor and their mother. He'd never seen this young woman with silvery hair ending in red tips before in his life. Why was she holding his brother's hand so gently? "Excuse me miss, but who exactly are you?!"

"Hush Tenya!" Tanako Iida cut in immediately, reprimanding him without a second glance. She gave a conspiratory smile. "This is Shiroyuki-chan. She's Tensei's fiancé! Your brother was going to introduce her to the family before… before the attack."

For a moment, the Iida Matriarch's smile dropped. Just remembering the atrocity visited upon her firstborn was enough to visibly stress her. Then, the weary mother pulled herself together. She and her family were putting a lot of faith in her youngest's classmate's quirk.

"I'm Weiss. Weiss Shiroyuki," the young woman introduced herself, bowing shyly. "I'm sorry for this sudden surprise…"

"You should drop that name already," Tanako chided kindly, choosing to ignore the look of betrayal that was most likely from the fact his older brother hadn't told him of something as important as the fact he'd been seeing a woman. She could relate, but it wasn't important at the moment. "As soon as Tensei is up and moving again, we're going straight to the manor to update the family registry. Once you two are married, if he needs any more time to recover, you'll be staying with us."

Meanwhile, as this conversation was happening, Izuku sighed again.

It appeared that no matter what he involved himself in, others managed to add more pressure to the situation even when he made it clear he offered no guarantees. Just because 'Cursed Blood' had only failed once so far didn't mean something couldn't go wrong this time.

And why was Iida's older brother's fiancé trying to be sneaky about giving him the side-eye treatment? The verdanette was pretty sure he'd never met the young woman before in his life.

"Mrs. Asui, it's been a while," Doctor Gaeshi said, greeting the frog-woman who'd been both a longtime ally against the greed of corporations seeking to wrest his knowledge from him for their own profits, as well as a tangential foe whenever her clients were patients suing a hospital he happened to be working in at the time. "May I assume you're presence here is an indication that you will be protecting the interests of young Midoriya?"

Nodding lightly, Beru Asui took in the presence of the Heaven Canceller, a man she held conflicting emotions about. On one hand, she did respect the man. He stood for his vision and ideals and had never wavered from them. On the other, she absolutely hated his methodology. He might've always meant well, truly, but there had never been an instance where if conventional methods failed, or proved insufficient to his expectations, the old coot wouldn't immediately unleash a legal nightmare of biblical proportions with his 'natural and unnatural' methods.

If he wasn't dedicated to keeping his patients alive, Beru was sure Doctor Gaeshi would've been labeled a super-villain decades ago.

"Always a pleasure doctor," the frog-woman said, keeping her tone professional, "I'll be making sure my soon-to-be son-in-law won't be blindsided by any questionable practices during the procedure, yes. As well as limiting any… unrealistic expectations."

That last was thrown out with an unsubtle glare at the Iida group.

In an ideal world, the procedure would work exactly as intended without complications or repercussions. In an ideal world, even if today ended in failure, and Tensei Iida somehow remained paralyzed, there would've been no negative blowback on the individual offering his assistance voluntarily.

Unfortunately, the world was not ideal. As much as Beru trusted Izuku with her eldest daughter's life, and as much as she wanted to believe the Iida were a righteous and honorable family, the frog-woman knew that 'Cursed Blood' was notorious for throwing a wild card into any situation.

The quirk could be counted on to aid Tsuyu, and that support likely extended to her entire family… but strangers? At best, she had to be prepared for the unexpected, as impossible as that truly was.

"Perfectly reasonable," Doctor Gaeshi replied, his good spirits standing very out of place in the somber atmosphere of the hospital room. "Does that mean that this younger miss beside you then is young Midoriya's mother?"

Inko, blushing at the innocuous reference to her rejuvenated appearance, was absolutely out of her element.

Her new friend Beru had been incredibly welcoming since the incident that had brought their two families together. However, thanks to the woman's help, she'd quickly began to see the world her son was positioning himself to move in, and frankly, she'd felt self-conscious of her social standing. As a middle-class widow and single mother… should she really be mingling with such ridiculously influential people?

And now she could add 'world-renowned doctor' to that list as well?

"Ah… uhm… yes, that's right," Inko replied, barely managing to string two words together. It was only her dire need to safeguard her son's life that gave her the strength to push past her own crushing anxiety.

Now smiling, the infamous doctor moved to shake hands, but Beru gave the elderly man a look. The frog-woman hadn't needed a clairvoyance quirk to know that the Heaven Canceller no doubt wanted to poke and prod at Inko for answers. Answers that, to be fair, they had, just weren't prepared to share.

"Doctor Gaeshi," Beru said gravely, "I shouldn't have to say this, but what will happen here today is NOT to be revealed to the public, understood?"

"Of course not," the Heaven Canceller replied, waving off the concern. He knew very well how practices that were seen as less than the arbitrary 'good' that society set for itself could negatively affect the life of a Good Samaritan who just wanted to help. "The breadth and scope of young Midoriya's quirk is not for me to publicize. You know I know how devastating such infamy can be to one's personal life."

At that reassurance, Beru couldn't help the involuntary sigh of relief. With Doctors Shuzenji and Go being kept on a tight leash thanks to Nezu and his policies, and now even the Heaven Canceller promising to keep quiet, they might actually have a chance at keeping the extent of Izuku's capabilities under wraps.

Of course, there were the rumors spread by students, which had started to make their way to the masses, but those were all unsubstantiated and could be waved away as childishness.

As long as professionals, those who would be listened to by the public at large, could be kept in line… Beru shivered as she imagined what would happen if 'Cursed Blood's currently known limits were fully released. Just imagining the line of people who'd swarm the poor boy demanding all sorts of healing services caused her stomach to clench.

And that concern didn't even touch on the fear of all of the monsters that would reach out from the shadows to take advantage of such power for their own gain.

"That being said," Doctor Gaeshi said suddenly, interrupting the frog-woman's thoughts, "I will still insist upon being present to monitor the procedure. Tensei Iida is still my patient after all, and as such, I am still responsible for his well-being."

Izuku struggled not to groan.

This five-minute visit to his classmate's brother was becoming a trip to hell for the verdanette. He could understand all of the assurances and such though; he really didn't want to give those hypocritical vultures that had been demonizing him and his quirk any more fuel to throw on the dumpster fire that was his public image than he had to. He wondered though, just how bad it would be for him to go from the Monster of UA to the Panacea of the World if his healing capabilities were made public without context…

Yeah, no.

He'd gladly heal the sick, the injured, and the suffering. Make no mistake, he wasn't unwilling to help. But there were limits to what he could do, limits to what people would be willing to accept when it came to 'Cursed Blood,' both when the quirk worked and when it didn't.

"Excuse me!" Tenya interrupted, visibly holding his impatience back. "Can we please get started now?"

The adults in the room turned to glance at the vibrating youth. He refused to flinch at the sudden attention.

"I suppose so," the Heaven Canceller said, shrugging. He turned back to Beru and Inko. "That is, if young Midoriya is ready. Does the man of the hour have everything he needs?"

"Before that," Beru said, interrupting again with a raised hand, "The agreement?"

"Actually…" Izuku said, raising his voice. The verdanette had had enough. "Tensei Iida is the only one from who I need permission from. He's the only one I need to tell me he's ready for this."

There was a moment of silence.

Assurances aside, Izuku was adamant on hearing the words for himself. He wanted Tensei Iida to declare his acceptance of the procedure himself. He didn't trust that the elder speedster fully understood what would happen. There was always a chance learning about the drawbacks of 'Cursed Blood' from "the horse's mouth" so to speak would impact his decision.

"Iida-san," Izuku said, drawing the hospitalized speedster's attention, "I need to know that you truly understand what will happen if we do this, and what could happen. Most importantly, I need to know you accept what will not happen."

Now everyone was paying attention.

Silently, Izuku requested Tensei Iida's file. Once Doctor Gaeshi handed it over, the verdanette studied the extent of the crippled pro hero's injuries. What he found gave him pause.

"It's true that my quirk can heal any damage that is organic in nature, but… your quirk replaces parts of your musculature and skeletal structures with what is understood as bio-machinery," Izuku said after a moment, stating the obvious to begin. He received nods of from his audience. "While a part of your body, grown from your tissue and all that, they are essentially inorganic apparatuses once formed. Now that the manifestations of your 'Engine' have been damaged, there's a possibility that 'Cursed Blood' won't recognize them as something that needs to be fixed. My quirk might ignore yours."

"B-but…" Shiroyuki blurted, blushing hotly when all eyes turned to her. She shrank into herself, as if instinctually afraid of such attention. "E-even if he can't use his q-quirk anymore… he'll be able to lead a normal life? Right?"

Attempting to ease the young woman's sudden bout of nerves, Izuku gave her a small smile, which she hesitantly returned.

"Theoretically," the verdanette said, putting his own hope into his words, "Yes. Even if 'Engine' is ignored, the damaged organic tissue will still be recognized and healed."

The small assurance went a long way in allowing the members of the Iida Family to relax. Even if the worst came to pass and Ingenium couldn't be brought back, Tensei Iida would live on.

"That being said…" Izuku continued, regaining the room's attention. "I don't call it 'Cursed Blood' for nothing. Its healing isn't something that should be taken lightly. It'll heal all damage it finds, sure, but it does nothing to neutralize pain as it does so."

The blank looks he received almost caused Izuku to curse out loud.

He'd suffered the drawback of 'Cursed Blood' for his entire life, feeling every injury twice over. This facet of his quirk had been such a constant that he'd grown to accept it, developing a far higher pain tolerance than most would ever conceive of. At this point, he must make it appear to the outside observer as if he felt nothing as his healing kicked in.

And so far, the people he'd healed with his quirk—those still alive anyway—had all been caught at the moment of their injury, still in the throes of that initial pain. Tsu-chan had still been impaled and suffering blood loss; she hadn't been capable of noticing more pain when she'd been healed. Aizawa-sensei had just been mauled almost to death; his body also in shock and unable to differentiate or recognize the pain of healing as separate from the Nomu's attack.

Only his mother's heart attack had been different in a way. His absolute fear in losing his oldest and most assured support had kicked 'Cursed Blood' into overdrive, the quirk going so far above and beyond healing it had literally 'healed' away the wear and tear of time. In the moment, however, his mother had been unconscious, so who could say what turning back the clock had felt like for her? That being said, she did complain at random times that her chest would feel oddly constricted.

In any case, this would be the first time Izuku would be healing a wound that had already, if however minutely, begun to heal on its own. Tensei Iida had not only suffered massive injuries, and unimaginable agony, but said trauma had also happened days ago. Relatively speaking, he'd never attempted to treat such an old injury before.

"It's alright," Tensei replied, steeling his tired visage as much as he could. "I can handle the pain."

Izuku grit his own teeth at such a foolhardy response. He knew for a fact the elder speedster had no idea what awaited him.

"Can we take that as your official, verbal agreement?" Beru asked, stepping forward.

The Iida Family might have been known, and well respected, for its honor, but they were still human. The frog-woman wasn't about to allow anyone a loophole that would give them the means to take advantage of her soon-to-be son-in-law. She wouldn't stand for anyone pressuring him into becoming their own private doctor.

"Yes," Tensei replied again with as much conviction as he could muster. "I understand the risks, the side-effects, and consent."

No one would ever be able to say the elder Iida son had no dignity even in his injured state.

"Then… let's begin," Izuku said, relenting. It was time for business then. "We don't have—"

BAM!

The doors to Tensei's room were slammed open hard enough to crack the glass in them, courtesy of the visible zombie-girl who couldn't care less about locks or privacy arrangements.

"GHAAA!" Tae groaned out in protest, clearly taking offense at the idea of being separated from her master.

"S-Sorry Boss!" Saki apologized a moment later, arms clearly straining to hold back her undead sister and failing spectacularly.

"Tae-chan is just too strong!" Lily lamented, pouting as she was seen hugging onto one of the legs of the incensed ravenette.

As the members of the Iida family paled at the sight of the undead intruder, the Heaven Canceller only stood idly by, taking mental notes. Barring the rather simplistic behavior of the tall ravenette, he could see no sign of deteriorating intelligence or physicality in the undead trio. Nor could he see any lack of humanity in their eyes or behavior.

Izuku sighed yet again. This was why he didn't want to spend too much time on this endeavor. None of his partners exactly took being away from him very well… especially Tae-chan.

One de-escalation later…

The legendary Heaven Canceller had expected many things to come from today's developments, but even his wealth of experience hadn't prepared him for this.

The young Midoriya had requested only a few mundane items and space to work. Additionally, he and the pair of fierce mothers at his back had demanded no recordings to be made of the procedure.

It had been a perfectly understandable demand, of course, but he'd still made it clear that he would be present to observe and take notes. Tensei Iida was still his patient after all and his health was his responsibility. Once that had been settled, all non-essential persons had been ordered to leave the room.

The blonde zombie, Saki if he'd heard right, had been ordered to guard the door. The young Midoriya had warned there would probably be 'noise' during the procedure and it was imperative that no one interrupt the process under any circumstances. The littlest zombie had accompanied the pair of mothers out, offering moral support of all things to the women.

The tall ravenette, however… that one had remained by the verdanette's side.

The elderly doctor now stood, in childlike wonder, as the young necromancer began working his magic with only a single ten-milliliter syringe.

"The blood is life," Izuku intoned, jabbing the empty syringe into his arm. Slowly but surely he filled the instrument with his blood. "It is energy and power. By accepting my blood, my gift, my curse… you entrust your flesh to me."

Doctor Gaeshi had seen many an obscure procedure meant to heal over the years, but this had to be the closest he'd ever been to an actual ritual. The goosebumps he felt prickling along his skin made the elderly man feel as if he were closer to the unholy rather than a potential miracle in the making.

"Now, let my gift flow through you…" Izuku continued, taking the now full syringe and plunging it into Tensei's back, close to the worst of his spinal damage. "Let the blood repair what is broken."

Watching wordlessly as the young necromancer pulled the now empty syringe out of his patient only to jab his own arm with it again, Doctor Gaeshi had to honestly work to suppress a shiver. He knew, intellectually, that this would help Tensei, he really did. But he was discovering that the sight of watching the verdanette work just gave him the creeps. Not to mention seeing the blatant reuse of a syringe made every medical instinct he had cringe; it was only his trust in 'Cursed Blood's' nature that kept his concerns regarding contamination at bay.

"Now," Izuku intoned, plunging the syringe back into Tensei's back for a second dose, "Let my curse be your blessing. Let its hunger devour your ills."

Twice more the verdanette applied doses of his blood to the injuried Iida, and while observing, the Heaven Canceller pondered.

Using his quirk in such a way… it made it difficult to classify Midoriya as a simple mutant type. By and large, mutants weren't in the same conscious control of their quirks as emitter and transformation types were per say; people with animal mutations like the Asui, for example, couldn't NOT look like frogs, although they could control how they used their bodies' abnormalities.

And yet…

Doctor Gaeshi could very easily see how the boy's chanting could be taken as him giving specific orders to his quirk, guiding it to do his bidding outside of his own body.

It made sense, however, when one considered the three undead Midoriya had already raised. The trio could act independently from what he'd witnessed, yet were also obedient to the verdanette. Although, yet again, the manipulation aspect—or was it control?—didn't fit with most recorded mutant types.

Actually, thinking further, Doctor Gaeshi realized that most aspects of Midoriya's quirk didn't fit…

"Now, Tensei Iida, steel yourself for the trials to come. And never forget…" Izuku said, tone growing harsher as he spoke, pushing against his own deep-seated desire to not exert control over others. "You are reborn by the Blood, made Whole by the Blood, and will be undone by the Blood. Fear the Cursed Blood."

The Heaven Canceller blinked at that last bit. There had been some bite behind those words.

Unfortunately, there was no time for further pondering because—

"GGHHHAAAAAAAAA!"

It was at that moment that Tensei Iida screamed with all that he had.

Such a sudden and violent reaction from his patient had the Heaven Canceller jolting into action, but before he could even make it a step closer to the two younger men in the room, Tensei began to thrash around.

"W-What? How?" Doctor Gaeshi sputtered, shocked. He'd known Midoriya's quirk could heal, but this? Tensei's spine had been so damaged he shouldn't have been able to move at all this soon after his attack. "This can't—"

"GGGUUUUUAAAAAAA! NNNOOOOOOOOO! AAAAGGGGHHHHH!"

Tensei began to flail his arms about, and the dents his elbows were causing in the hospital bed he'd been stuck in since his admittance didn't go unnoticed by the elderly doctor. The elder Iida son was suddenly far stronger than he had been, even before the Hero Killer's attack. And he was in clear pain.

No. Tensei Iida wasn't just in pain. He was experiencing the agony of his wounds all over again. He felt his spine breaking as the severed nerves and shattered bones seared back into their original places. He felt the icy sharp burns of Stain's blade plunging into his flesh over and over again, the roiling wounds almost twitching as if they were covered in salt. He felt the boot that had stomped on him once more, its sole now made of jagged, hot iron.

All the painkillers he'd been given were reduced to null in an instant, their chemical composition targeted, deconstructed, and repurposed for repairs. As nerves were healed, they were kept activated, lighting up the internal pathways like a macabre Christmas tree.

"Midoriya!" Doctor Gaeshi cried, his instinctual drive to protect his patient, to do his duty as a medical professional, pushing him into action. "My patient is suffering! What is happening? Can't you do something?"

"This is the exact same thing I go through every time I use my quirk," Izuku replied, trembling smile giving away just how much the verdanette wished he could actually do something about Tensei's suffering. "He'll have to endure it, just like I do. He said he was ready."

The Heaven Canceller grimaced, stepping back but keeping an eye on Tensei's writhing form. He didn't think the young necromancer was lying, and to demand anything else would've been not only folly but ignorant. He well remembered the First Year's Sports Festival; the verdanette had experienced his fair share of this sort of pain and suffering.

"GGGAAAAAHHHHHH!"

With a final scream of pure tortured anguish, Tensei did the unthinkable.

Crunching inward, the writhing man kicked out and threw himself into a standing position; off the table and away from the place his mind had subconsciously connected with his unending pain.

Instantly, Tae moved to shield Izuku from this unexpected development. The undead ravenette was more than ready to send the still screaming man back to bed if necessary with a well-placed punch.

Doctor Gaeshi could only stare in slack-jawed awe.

That regeneration! It had happened too fast!

Even the most explosive of healing quirks known to science took weeks, at the very least, to fully recover wounds of such a delicate nature. The spine was one of the few parts of the human body that could be detrimentally affected by even the smallest of distractions when being restored. But…

This quirk…!

Soon, even Tensei himself noticed that he was standing again. The man's screams of agony were soon mixed with hysterical laughter more fit for a manic, though he could've cared less. He'd overcome the impossible; no amount of pain would ever make him feel less joyful about his recovery. He was standing! He could still feel his spine being severed, the flaring, searing pain that bit into his very soul, but at the same time, it felt like he was being reborn. The longer he stood there, the longer it seemed as if every sense was being heightened.

"This is…" Doctor Gaeshi murmured, too stunned to continue. He couldn't believe his eyes. Had he really stumbled across the medical world's Philosopher's Stone? Had he found a true, living Panacea?

Instantly, the elderly doctor sobered from his dazed thinking. This wasn't a newly discovered compound, or a non-sentient organism. Izuku Midoriya was an individual dammit. Even ignoring for a moment the incredibly unethical methods that would be needed to harness the boy's quirk against his will, he was only that, one boy. The world was vast, full of people in need. There was no future in even considering young Midoriya as a cure-all.

It was young Midoriya's decision if he wanted to use his power for the good of the world, just as it was his right to be free of demands for his blood, whether they be for science or healing.

"Quite impressive…" The Heaven Canceller finished lamely, restraining his tongue from slipping. The quirk might not have been a true Panacea, but he wouldn't lie to himself and say he wasn't curious to study Cursed Blood for himself anyway.

He could only hope that the hero Ingenium would be responsible and restrain himself in the same way.

Thirty minutes later…

Tensei Iida had finally calmed down. After enduring both overwhelmingly mind-breaking pain and the heartfelt euphoria of feeling his feet and being able to walk again, the firstborn of the Iida Family had understandably been far beyond the ability to focus or reason with. It hadn't bothered Izuku overly much, however. He'd never had to fear becoming crippled before, so he gave the elder brother of his classmate all the time he needed.

With the situation now calm, the rest of the Iida family were allowed to re-enter the room. Unfortunately for the young necromancer, this meant his ordeal would be far from over.

"Midoriya-san," Tenya said, absent any of his normal volume or antics, "Was it really necessary to make my brother suffer so much? We could hear him from down the hall."

While there had been no actual bite to the words, the young speedster's eyes were enough to denote his true emotions regarding the ordeal.

Izuku, once more, could only sigh.

"I never hid the fact that my quirk doesn't nullify pain during healing," the verdette said in response. He crossed his arms, far past done with this whole afternoon now. "If you chose to ignore that fact, well, that's not my problem now is it?"

"I—"

"What, did you think the Boss never felt all the times you and the others hit him with everything you puny wimps had?" Saki spat, cutting off Tenya before he could even try and respond. The blond was visibly pissed.

To her, it was simple. If you chose to cause pain, no matter the reason, you had no right to complain when on the receiving end. She'd messed up plenty of her opponents over the years whenever she got in a fight, but she'd never given any lip about her own injuries in return.

And this softie, weak as he was, was training to be a hero!

"Let it go, Tenya," Tensei said, intervening before any blow-up could happen. The elder speedster shook slightly, random bouts of ghostly pain still remembered by his raw nerves. "I accepted the risks, all of them. I'm the one responsible here for whatever my screaming did to you all."

As he spoke, the man held his soon-to-be wife tighter, the Shiroyuki woman squeezing back just as tightly. The two had hardly separated since she'd been allowed back in the room.

"Speaking of risks…"

The room fell silent as Izuku stepped forward, staring solemnly at the man he'd just healed.

His original plan had been to attempt to emulate what he'd done with his mother, leaving no trace of Control within Tensei to ensure his freedom. Saki had quickly, if unintentionally, slapped him soon after with a second thought.

'You know what I'd do after getting back on my feet from shit like this? I'd go find the motherfucker who thought they could put me in the ground and beat their ass to a pulp!'

There were no grounds to compare Ingenium's attitude to Saki's, but he couldn't take the risk Tenya's brother was less honorable than his classmate had always proclaimed. For a time, his blood would be enhancing the elder speedster, and it would be far too easy for Tensei to decide a second chance at Stain was too good to pass up.

So, as disgusting as it made him feel, he'd come to his decision. For the good of Ingenium and the Iida family, he'd exert his Control on the downed hero.

"Tensei Iida," Izuku spoke, the name carrying a weight even those not imbued with the verdette's quirk could feel. "You are not to seek out the villain known as the Hero Killer Stain, for any reason. Nor are you to allow your brother any opportunity to find him either."

The quiet lasted only a moment longer, a single second of confusion.

Tensei Iida's red eyes seemed to glow behind his sharp, athlete's glasses.

"Understood," the elder speedster said plainly, nodding once. "I'll distance myself, and my family, from the case completely."

Tenya shot to his feet, a look of utter betrayal on his face.

"Midoriya!"

A gaze of burning scarlet met the younger speedster's glare, utterly overwhelming his inept anger and silencing him.

"Can you tell us, to our faces, with the honor of your family on the line, that you weren't plotting on getting revenge?" Beru asked suddenly, putting the younger Iida in the spotlight. She then turned toward the elder. "Can you?"

Both sons of the Iida Family reacted differently to the biting question.

"I cannot," Tensei said, looking down, a look of guilty shame drawing a deep frown across his face. "I had already been contemplating new strategies, even before Midoriya agreed to heal me, for Idaten to utilize that would've allowed my agency a better chance at catching the Hero Killer."

Meanwhile, Tenya only looked back stone-faced, unwilling to express just what he'd been planning to do in regards to the Hero Killer.

The everyday citizen wouldn't have blamed either brother for their thoughts, it was human nature after all. Feelings of vengeance, of needing to complete a job left undone, they were commonly felt the world over.

"Please understand," Izuku said, begging for those present to recognize why he felt he had to impose his will in this situation. He felt horrible for doing it, but knew it was for the best in this circumstance. "It's for your own safety. He defeated Ingenium once, but left him alive. We can't give him a reason to make sure he 'finishes the job' if there were a next time."

Tenya swallowed thickly through the emotions roiling behind his blank mask, but succeeded in not pushing the issue further. He had entertained the idea of hunting Stain down himself, but now that cooler heads had prevailed, common sense was returning. His idol, Ingenium, his older brother, had fallen victim to the villain. What had he possibly thought he'd do against such a monster?

"Young Midoriya," Doctor Gaeshi called out, feeling the room's turmoil was dying down, "Could you answer a few of my questions please?"

As a consummate medical professional, someone who always put the health of his patients first above all else, the Heaven Canceller had more than a few questions. From what 'Cursed Blood could really do, to what kind of complications could arise from the verdenette imposing some sort of remote influence on Tensei Iida, he wanted to ask it all.

"No," Izuku replied bluntly, not even sparing the elderly man a second look before moving to exit the room. In the brief moment it took him to return to the hallway, the young necromancer found himself pleasantly surprised that the renowned doctor didn't move an inch after his refusal. The famous doctor allowed him to leave without saying another word, didn't try to stop him, nothing.

It was a nice change.

Closely flanked by Tae and Saki, Izuku stepped into the hall, prepared for whoever else might've heard the screaming of Tensei Iida and wondered who was being murdered inside to come looking. Initially seeing no one, the verdenette leaned back against the wall, listening in to the room he'd just left.

He could hear the adults resume talking, mostly Beru going through a veritable tidal wave of legalities. He sighed at the necessity of such a thing. He'd done a good deed dammit, why was the chance of potentially painful backlash so high?

Would Tensei respect the agreement beyond what Control forced him to? Would he spill the beans to the media under enough pressure?

What about Tenya? His classmate had at first looked incensed over how he'd Controlled his brother, and then he'd gone stony afterward.

And that didn't even consider the reactions of the women involved.

"Izu-nii…" Lily murmured, coming up to Izuku from… wait, where had Lily gone? Shaking his head from the shot of that was realizing he'd lost track of one of his partners for a moment, he flinched as he gazed into big, watery crimson orbs. "There's… there's a kid next door… he's hurting bad…"

Saying 'no' had come easier to Izuku in recent weeks. He'd found he'd needed to pull his heart off his sleeve and keep it close as the world grew ever more judgmental and castigating against him. To protect himself and those he cared for, he couldn't be the idealistic… oh who was he kidding, how could he say no to that weaponized cuteness?

"Alright Lily, let's see this kid."

Even tired and mentally exhausted as he was, Izuku Midoriya couldn't fool himself. He'd always push that little bit further, go that little bit Plus Ultra, to help someone in need.

"Here," Lily said, opening the nearby door quickly. No longer was she her normal, loud self. Now, the bluenette was more self-contained than Izuku had ever seen her.

Inside the room next to Tensei Iida's, there was indeed a small child. The boy, appearing to be about Lily's age in appearance, laid on his bed looking absolutely awful, drawing ragged breathes that could be seen to visibly rattle his tiny frame and drench his face in cold sweat for the effort. Suffering was too light a word to describe what the youngster was forced to endure, and it was made all the worse for the fact that not only was the boy awake, but entirely lucid as well.

It was as if something, or someone, had made it so he would be conscious for the entirety of his torment.

"What happened to you little one?" Izuku asked tenderly, gingerly approaching the bed with hands opened and raised. He knew the chances of the kid talking to a stranger were small, or should be if he'd been taught right by his family, but it was too late now. He couldn't do nothing in the face of such agony.

Sure enough, the boy only stared back at Izuku in silence, too tired to glare but clearly unwilling to speak to a strange person who'd just walked into his room.

"Oi, oi!" Saki hissed, eyes blazing through the files on a clipboard at the end of the boy's bed. "Says here some asshole villain poisoned him. What a fucking bastard-AGH!"

Instantly, Tae elbowed Saki in the ribs. Instantly, Saki went flying into the wall, embedding into the drywall.

Izuku, however, had heard exactly what he'd needed to understand the situation.

There'd been a villain attack yesterday. The criminal in question had been a mutant-type, born with a scorpion-like tail and various chitinous plates along his body. While quickly stopped, a few local heroes and civilians had been stung. The news report hadn't said anything about a minor being one of the victims, though, much less that the venom's effects were so drastic.

"Do you want to stop hurting?" Izuku asked, voice calm and smile constrained to a gentle upturn of his lips. He was already digging around in his pockets for another empty syringe. Beside him, Lily gave a fairly cute smile herself, looking back and forth between potential patient and her big brother.

The child nodded weakly, all he could manage. His tired mind could only dimly focus through the constant pain that had become his entire reality since that shitty villain had stung him. Just then, he faintly remembered the words of his aunt.

She'd always told him that one day he'd meet someone who'd become his hero, who would change his view on the garbage profession that had taken his parents from him. If this strange guy surrounded by weird-looking girls could keep his word and take away his pain, truly beat the villain that none of the doctors or heroes out there had been able to, then… then maybe he'd be able to do it. Maybe he'd be able to recognize him as a real hero.

His hero.

"Well then, you only have to promise me one thing," Izuku said, merely making conversation as he found what he'd been looking for and pulled a syringe from his bottomless pockets. Without even flinching, he stabbed into the thick vein in the crook of his arm. "You gotta be a good kid until the next time we meet okay?"

As the emerald necromancer pulled the syringe out and effortlessly injected its crimson treasure into the unknown kid, a mischievous thought rose to the surface of his mind. He was only barely able to hold back the grin that threatened to peak out.

He wondered what the looks on everyone's faces would be if they realized all his chanting wasn't necessary…?

Outside the rooms of Tensei Iida and the unknown child, a woman with a cherubic face and long green hair stepped out of the elevator at the end of the hallway, her slumped form radiating waves of desperation and sorrow. A not at all silent curse left the woman as she hissed at the traffic that had delayed her arrival.

Her nephew, adoption be-damned, had been suffering in unimaginable agony due to the inadequacy of the so-called heroes who'd been present at the moment of the villain attack yesterday, and there was nothing she or her family could do to help him. Even worse, he'd been left all alone in this unfamiliar hospital for ages now.

A transference into the care of the infamous Heaven Canceller was a double-edged sword, she very well knew. It meant the patient wouldn't die, thankfully, but in the same vein such a drastic measure meant that very same patient would've perished under any other care. It was a Hail Mary if she'd ever seen one.

And, thanks to all the goddamn governmental bureaucracy with the HPSC, she and the others hadn't been informed of their nephew's transfer until long after the fact, not before. She'd been the one closest to the Heaven Canceller's current hospital, so she'd canceled everything she'd had to and booked it here to support her family.

Walking out of the elevator, the greenette's teeth grit as she felt her blood boil the longer she thought of her family's tragic situation. The damn villain, even now, was being a heartless bastard, prolonging their suffering. He swore up and down he could deactivate the venom coursing through her nephew's veins, and the veins of all those others he'd stung. Of course, such magnanimity would come at a price.

With her nephew and a dozen other peoples' lives as his bargaining chips, the scorpion villain was demanding not only his freedom, but a full pardon. The bastard claimed that it was only fair, seeing as how he'd been wrongfully discriminated against by a bigoted pro hero while minding his own business at the farmer's market the attack had occurred at.

Whether that story was true or not, Tomoko Shiretoko, better known to the world at large as the heroine Ragdoll, could've cared less at the moment.

"Why?" The greenette sniffed, wiping away a stray tear as she glanced at the signs hanging from the ceiling to orient herself on the new floor. She'd never been to this hospital before and it was kind of a maze. "Why'd it have to be Kota?"

Truth be told, a large part of her own misery was an unhealthy level of guilt. Kota hadn't even wanted to go out yesterday. It had been herself and the rest of the Wild Wild Pussycats who'd all had differing plans that would've left the brooding orphan alone. Since that was always a no-go, she and Tiger, who'd had a demonstration at the plaza around which the farmer's market was held, had been tasked with taking their shared nephew along with them.

He'd been meant to stay at the playground nearby, within eyesight, hopefully find some kids his age to play with. He'd been meant to be safe.

And then it'd turned into a gigantic disaster.

She felt so bad. It physically hurt to consider Kota might die because she'd taken him with her and she hadn't been able to keep him safe. But no matter how badly Tomoko felt, she knew her partner Mandalay, Shino Sosaki, had it so much worse. Kota was her actual nephew, the last blood family she had left.

"Okay… it should be around here…" Tomoko murmured, checking off incorrect rooms as she wandered down the hall. She steeled herself. She might've mentally known how bad Kota's state was, but she knew from experience that actually seeing him hurting would break her heart.

"That was a quick one Boss," a harsh voice snarked as a small group exited one of the rooms a few doors down from Tomoko's location. The strange unit consisted of a blonde with multicolored highlights, a tall ravenette, and a cute little bluenette, all being led by a gently smiling verdanette.

"I wasn't going to prolong his suffering," the boy replied, clearly satisfied with whatever he'd done in the room. A low… groan?... followed.

"Lily agrees!" The bluenette child quickly added.

It was only after she'd passed the group that Tomoko realized where the quartet had just exited and years of training instantly kicked in.

They'd just left Kota's room.

Instincts going haywire, the pro heroine activated her quirk, throwing a wide mental net over the whole floor before meticulously working backward to the four she was focused. Their words… the fear throbbing through her heart… it all painted a horrible picture in her panicking mind. And…

And she wasn't in any way battle ready.

Her quirk, 'Search,' was incredibly useful and potent, that had never been in doubt. The ability to not only keep track of multiple targets within her range but also discern their weaknesses and or injuries was incredible for hero work. However, what few people knew, was that she needed a certain amount of baseline information before her powers could work to their fullest.

If she didn't have a point of reference for a condition or state of being, for example if she'd never seen a burn victim before or read about frostbite, then 'Search,' as many mental quirks were known to do, would use symbolic approximations for her mind to understand the unknown information she was picking up. In the case of that hypothetical burn victim, she might've seen a person surrounded by fire sprites, or with frostbite the affected limbs being gripped by phantasmal yuki-onna.

Right now…

'What?!' Ragdoll squawked through her mindscape as she used 'Search' to 'look' at the group behind her, 'I can't… I can't read those three!'

Coming up blank when reading other people was nearly an impossibility when it came to 'Search.' Over the years, Tomoko had found that her quirk could even pick up the lifesigns of the Quirkless, faint as they'd be. In fact, the only cases she could recall of not being able to read people were those with mentally defensive quirks… and those who were dead.

Then, she focused on the single male of the group, the one lifesign she could see.

Instantly, 'Search' bucked in her head, Tomoko blinking her mental eyes as behind the boy, a floating, winged figure arose, clinging to his neck. The figure's wings were pure white, only their tips appearing to be dripping a crimson liquid that never quite seemed to completely fall. Likewise, the figure's robe was splattered with crimson, though the impression the greenette got was that the figure had bled the liquid that stained it.

She couldn't understand, and that frightened her. It'd been years since she couldn't at some level recognize what 'Search' showed her. Though she didn't turn around, Tomoko realized the quartet must've reached the elevator, because the group stopped, still chatting amongst themselves and not paying her any mind.

Except for the figure clinging over the boy.

Ever so slowly, the winged figure turned around to stare directly at her.

Tomoko felt her blood freeze. The creature had no face! Its featureless head only sported two things—a pair of glowing crimson eyes.

As a pro heroine, Tomoko knew it was her duty to follow the boy with the monster over his shoulder. She knew it was her job to learn what he really was, if he was a threat. But…

"Kota!"

Tomoko's shout would've been deafening had anyone been in the hall to hear it.

Faster than she'd ever run before, the greenette dashed to her nephew's room, mind racing at what nightmarish sights she could be about to see. She threw the door open—

And found something that would forever change her way of thinking.

"Kota?"

Tomoko couldn't believe her eyes.

Her nephew, who she'd seen yesterday as too weak to even stand under his own power, was now standing, looking out his room's window without a care, or pain, in the world. It was a miracle.

But… it hadn't been the work of the Heaven Canceller. According to the briefing Shino had given the rest of the team, the legendary doctor hadn't been scheduled to visit the boy until later that day. That meant…

"Auntie Tomoko?" Kota questioned, turning around to look at his normally hyperactive aunt, who now sounded slightly out of breath and terrified for some reason.

Tomoko didn't even gasp at the sight of the unnaturally red eyes that stared back at her. Their existence didn't change the fact that her nephew had seemingly been saved. Rushing forward, the emotional greenette embraced the boy who meant so much to her and her family, incoherently mumbling blessings and apologies.

As she squeezed the ever-loving life out of her nephew, Tomoko made a silent promise; just because she couldn't understand something 'Search' showed her, and the interpretation was frightening in appearance, she would never again judge it as evil or menacing without first making an effort to understand what she was being shown.

"A-Auntie!" Kota sputtered, nearly choking as he lightly returned the enthusiastic embrace. For the first time since his parents had been taken from him, he actually felt happy to be with his family. "I think… I think I found my hero."

Two days later, UA Main Campus, 1-A's Homeroom Classroom…

Izuku found himself to be experiencing an odd occurrence, that being he was feeling conflicting emotions.

The Iida Family had honored their promises in full. From paying his meal at a rather humble restaurant to not revealing his involvement in Ingenium's recovery, no term had been too large or too little to be ignored. As far as the media at large knew, the Turbo Hero had been treated by the infamous Heaven Canceller, owing his miraculous recovery largely to the elderly doctor being allowed to treat him from the comfort of his own home. The last official word from the Iida press associate had been that Tensei's status was 'out of danger,' but no details had been given.

While Tensei was still under the compulsion of Control, the rest of the family was not. They could've easily betrayed him if they'd felt the inclination. And judging by the occasional glare Tenya would send him at random times…

But that wasn't all that was on his mind of course.

There was his fame amongst the other UA students.

The newest addition to 1-A, Hitoshi Shinso, had quickly fallen in with his group and become a good friend. The insomniac violette even shared the occasional lunch with him alongside the now much more cheerful Kinoko Komori from Class 1-B. The mushroom-themed girl had bothered Tsuyu at first, Izuku knew, but within a single day, the brunette had proven she meant no harm to anyone, or the frog-girl's relationship with him.

Unfortunately, there were many more students who were just as likely to give him fearful looks mixed with the occasional glare. Itsuka Kendo, also of Class 1-B, was a prime example of this development. Though she remained cordial at all times, it wasn't hard for even the most oblivious to see the friction between the redhead and the verdanette.

On the flip side, the staff at UA thankfully maintained their strict neutrality.

All in all, it was a jumble for him. There was a sort-of-good deed with a dash of guilt, continued anonymity, potential aggression from a classmate, new friends, definite future aggression from a member of his sister class, and life as usual at school. He wasn't quite sure how to feel about everything.

"Sit," Aizawa ordered out flatly as he slouched into Class 1-A's classroom. Without looking at his students instantly complying, he began to fiddle with a small device in his hands. "And be quiet. Today there's something important for us to discuss."

There were many times, for all their usefulness in keeping him alive, Shouta hated his instincts. Just as he'd felt the day leading up to the USJ attack, today too he'd felt like skipping class and boycotting the curriculum. Something terrible was going to happen, he just knew it. No matter his warnings, Nezu and the rest of the First Year teachers had pressed on though.

The Hero Internship program was still going to happen.

After the attack, he'd planned on pushing to cancel the program this year. Really, he didn't feel comfortable letting his students, who'd already experienced a life and death situation before even half of their first year in school, out into the world at the moment. Keeping them on campus and bringing pro heroes to them would've been much more logical… and safe.

"Your participation in the Sports Festival is, was, and always will be first and foremost a way for you all to gain an amount of controlled exposure," Aizawa said, purposefully avoiding the word 'safe'… along with a certain ravenette zombie-girl glaring at the back of his head. "This exposure, in turn, allows agencies to gather the data they need to make requests for these. Hero Internships."

Finally getting the device to work, Aizawa pressed a button and the screen at the front of the room lit up.

Izuku, meanwhile, blinked in confusion. Internships?

Of course, he knew the program existed, that wasn't the problem. As the classroom around him began to devolve into a din of noise, the verdanette couldn't help but question the wisdom behind this seemingly flippant decision. After the near disaster at the USJ, after the absolute circus that had been the First Years' tournament, wouldn't it have been smarter to cancel internships and keep the students on campus?

"While all participating agencies have stated that your safety will be guaranteed, I will remind you that the logical option with the current societal climate would be to stay on campus and receive more one-on-one lessons from a teacher of your choice," Aizawa continued, uncaring of the reprimand he knew he'd probably face for his words later. "Don't be fooled by how 'generous' these agencies appear to be on paper. Remember, the choice is still yours."

The inflection of clear distain in the underground hero's tone clued Izuku in on the real reason the Internship program was still happening.

It was about the money.

Plus Ultra genius or not, Nezu couldn't print the school funds from thin air—legally—and after the 'show' at the end of the tournament, quite a few sponsors had withdrawn their support for UA. It wasn't quite at the level of dire straits, but Izuku knew very well he shoulders some of the responsibility for UA's current financial woes.

He didn't feel at fault, of course, just responsible.

"Normally, the requests are rather spread out," Aizawa explained, clicking another button to switch the screen from blank to a display of a graphic with a few familiar faces on it with solid bars growing next to them from left to right. Numbers popped up at the end of the bars, counting. "But this year they are much more directly related to how much you impressed certain individuals."

At this, murmurs broke out amongst the students of 1-A, many noticing a clear discrepancy between success in the festival and the number of requests on the screen. For one, Midoriya, the champion himself, was at the near bottom of the list with only six requests to his name. The young ladies of the class, to a one, all had gained an average of twenty offers each. The young men, meanwhile, were much more spread out, with some like Tenya obtaining over fifty while Kaminari only received two.

"Think carefully about where you want to spend your internships. You have until the end of the week to submit your choice," Aizawa finished, pulling packets of offers from… somewhere. "And don't forget, remaining on campus is a valid choice."

As the gruff teacher began to hand out their offers, Izuku quickly noticed something.

He'd been skipped.

If Hitoshi hadn't been skipped as well, he might've worried more fuckery was going on, but the violette's included exclusion only made him curious.

"Wanna bet on the reason for the skip Boss?" Saki asked with a smirk. "My money's on all the options were either horrible or obviously traps."

"Gruggllaaghh…" Tae groaned in response, making Izuku snort as he scratched his head at the rather… colorful… suggestion the ravenette had made.

"Lily has a bad feeling…" the bluenette whispered, hoping the twisting feeling in her gut was wrong.

It only took a few minutes for all of the hardcopies of 1-A's offers to be passed out, Izuku and Hitoshi still without a single application. Once all the packets had appeared to be handed out, and the class saw Aizawa head to his desk and shuffle through some paperwork, the murmurs really began.

"How did Shinso not get a single offer?"

"Shinso? How did Midoriya not get anything? He won the whole festival!"

"Do you think they're not allowed to be interns?"

"I mean, their quirks…"

"Shut your mouth. You sound like a Quirkist."

"No, no, think about it. What agency would risk their popularity on—"

"Midorya. Shinso."

Aizawa's flat tone cut through the whispers completely, leaving the classroom in total silence. The two offer-less students stood and walked to the gruff teacher's desk. Unseen by the two but noted by their gruff teacher were the looks being sent their way behind their backs.

Concern.

Confusion.

Distrust.

"While the two of you did receive requests along with everyone else, you also caught the attention of an international agency," Aizawa revealed, causing the classroom to instantly erupt into an entirely new kind of silence. "It was decided that it would be in your best interest if, until you can meet with the agency's official liaison tomorrow, your local offers be held back. This is a rare honor, and we, your teachers, wanted you to have every chance to consider all your options on a level playing field."

Rare indeed. In the history of UA, Izuku could only think of one past hero course student who'd ever managed to be selected for an internship outside of the country's borders—All Might. The top hero had been impressive enough even before his debut that he'd caught the attention of an American agency. Before him, it was unheard of for agencies to basically almost try to poach up-and-coming hero hopefuls from other countries.

Message delivered, Aizawa gestured for the two boys to return to their seats. As they did so, both nearly froze at the looks they were now receiving from their classmates. Not ones to be overly dramatic, they totally didn't see the other students of 1-A as black silhouettes with only hungry, glowing eyes staring at them under interrogative spotlights.

Nope. Not at all.

"This isn't going to be a bad thing… is it?" Lily asked, worry furrowing the bluenette's brow.

"Don't jinx us Shrimpy!" Saki warned, serious for once on the heels of this new revelation.

Beside her sisters, Tae only considered the motes of dust in the air in silence, content with whatever it would be that Izuku wanted.


Omake – The Impact.

UA's Sports Festival was an event broadcast and viewed by millions every year as a means of entertainment. For some, however, it was a window in the future, a way for those with a discerning eye to discover just who would be shaping the next generation, who would be charged with protecting their hard fought peace in a decade or so.

Each year of students offered their own merits to be observed, but this particular year, the First Year Festival took the cake. It had taken a direction that few could've ever imagined.

A mutant was leading. Leading!

Not only was the student a mutant type, but rumors were already spreading like wildfire that he was a degenerative 'dark' mutant as well. But that hardly changed the fact that he was essentially winning the First Year festival at the moment!

"Heavens above!" A man with avian features mixed in with his otherwise human head exclaimed as he watched the festival from his beaten up television, "He's amazing! That's the determination of a real hero right there for you!"

The world watched on as the somewhat plain boy with green hair broke out of some sort of mind control set upon him by his exhausted-looking opponent. It wasn't exactly that mutants didn't stand a chance in events like this, nor was it that a mutant-type had never reached so far into one of UA's festivals before either. But it was rare.

Especially when the competition included rising stars like the Todoroki scion.

"Nothing like those fake pros that bail at the first sign of bullets flying," a young man with a reptilian build grumbled to himself in his locked bedroom as he watched the same green-haired boy take a hard punch to the face but continue to fight on. "He doesn't quit, no matter what. Like a real hero. Hmmm… I wonder why we don't see this kind of determination from our brothers and sisters more often… and why isn't he using all his undead beasts?"

The truth was that many simply found it more profitable and less troublesome to only showcase emitters instead of transformation or mutant-types. That Quirkist ideal was deeply ingrained, even in bastions such as UA.

"Is that… is that…" A girl with the head of a snake stammered as she watched on in shock as the same green-haired boy who'd carried through victorious despite the odds against him mercilessly pummeled a vine-haired girl with the help of one of his undead companions. "...Tsu-chan's boyfriend?!"

Habuko Mongoose hadn't been able to visit her dear friend since they'd finished middle school, but the two had managed to keep in touch through a mix of emails and texting sessions. The snake-headed girl hadn't been able to keep from voicing her jealously when her froggy friend had bluntly revealed, as was her nature, that she'd managed to nail down a great boyfriend seemingly out of nowhere.

But now…

Now she struggled on what exactly she wanted to text her longtime friend.

"Maybe he's actually really nice and caring outside of combat situations?" Habuko reasoned to no one as she looked pleadingly at her phone for answers, eyes flicking through message after message from Tsuyu praising her Izu-kun before landing back on the ominous image of a red-eyed demon absolutely obliterating his opponent. "That's got to be it, right? She wouldn't lie about something like that… right?"

A mutant-type surviving a UA festival's competition until the tournament was nothing new. It happened every year. Seeing those same mutant-types make it through to the second round of matches was rare, though not unheard of. The Monster of UA, however, had not only survived the traditionally first fight of the 'underdogs,' but he was now destroying the remaining competition.

His mettle against the man of steel had been a sight to see, catching the attention of not only the Japanese public, but people the world over. Once they'd tuned in, his recounting of the unfair conditions he'd been forced to accept in order to participate, his conviction… it incited them.

And seeing him dominate what should've been a much more physically powerful opponent?

A pair of bunny ears perked straight up. The words… those actions… For one muscular bunny woman, it was a moment she'd waited for most of her life.

"Oh HELL FUCKING YEAH!" Rumi Usagiyama, better known as the battle-mad pro heroine Mirko, roared in delight. "Him! I want to fight him! Finally, a brat outta that shithole worth a damn!"

Mirko had a reputation, one unlike most other heroes. She was combat focused to the extreme, strong-willed, and superhumanly powerful for someone with the ostensibly simple mutant quirk of 'Rabbit.' Hand in hand with all of that, the pro heroine was incredibly independent, eschewing any sort of aid during missions or patrols, requiring the support of neither man nor woman to carry out her duties.

She kept no agency, no sidekick or support company. If she needed her gear fixed, it was rumored she handled the work herself. She'd officially never lost a fight, and her rising star was set to eclipse all but the likes Endeavor and All Might's rise to the top.

What only those few truly close to the woman knew, however, is that she was still human. Afraid of being seen as weak, a cute bunny girl better suited as a trophy wife for some strong or wealthy man to show off, Mirko had closed herself off. In refusing to even suffer the chance of becoming the mascot of a hero agency, she'd struck out on her own right out of hero school.

Mirko, in truth, had become strong to shut down the naysayers. She'd become independent to keep anyone from ever turning her into an object. She'd made it her goal to reach the top because the Hierarchy would otherwise never accept their precious emitters being saved by, let alone take orders from, a mutant.

But now, this random boy, Izuku Midoriya, was proving to be exactly like her. And for all of her walls and reasons to keep her distance, Usagiyama found herself intrigued. Here was a kid fighting an uphill battle, everyone against him trying to keep him from growing to his full potential.

And yet, he still pushed forward, like the inevitability of an avalanche.

"Now where the hell did that application form go?!" Usagiyama shouted, tearing through her home slash agency. The bunny woman overturned furniture, flipped paperwork, and ripped open boxes that had been sealed ever since she'd moved in years ago. "Come the fuck on! I wouldn't have tossed the stupid things! Glowing baby, they had UA's stamp for crying out loud!"

As the Quirkist Hierarchy saw the rise of an emerald symbol of their deepest nightmares, the world over, mutants young and old found something else that they'd nearly forgotten.

Hope for equality.


Magnus: I apologize, but until the doctors say otherwise, my stories are going into hiatus.