Howdy folks, how's it going?

So, the site's been fucking up when it comes to alerts again. Not sure if it's general or just a me thing, but still, I hope it doesn't take people too long to realize this chapter's out.

Anyway, as always, shout out to Chaos Productions for his help and input.

And as ever, I own neither BNHA nor WH 40K.

Now, without further ado, enjoy.

/

"Hey, Yaomomo, you good?" Kyoka asked, being the first to notice the returning, rather nonplussed class president.

"Oh, I'm perfectly fine, yes, one of Ectoplasm-sensei's clones directed me back to the stands." Momo replied, looking around, to notice a few conspicuous absences. "Why was the match called off, did something happen with Iida?"

"No idea, really." Tooru replied, the shrugging on her sports uniform the only visible sign of the girl's own confusion, although her tone also sounded concerned. "He excused himself to take a phone call from his family, and next thing we knew Mic-sensei was making that announcement. Maybe something happened to a family member…?"

"I see…" The pony-tailed girl replied as she sat down, not really reassured by the answer. Even before having to work with him in their capacity as class president and vice-president, it had been quite evident that Iida was something of a stickler for rules and proper protocol, perhaps too much so at times, even to her own, similar sensibilities. Anything that could've forced him to walk out from the tournament without so much as a notice had to be serious… He wasn't the only one missing either. Todoroki and Tokoyami were a given, but there was someone else missing too. "What about Bakugou? He didn't come back from his match?"

"Eh, knowin' him, Ol'Katsu's already halfway home by now." Midoriya commented with a sage nod, sounding for all the world like he understood the other boy completely. "He'z not gun have any interest on anyfink dat goes on here now he dun got dah chance tah fite an' show he'z da "best". He prolly gun be sulking at bein' cheated like dat fer a while."

"I get the feeling he'd attack you for saying that last bit, and that you'd say it to his face for just that purpose, ribbit." Tsuyu commented blandly, to which Midoriya did not reply, but the look on his face made it clear he would do that and didn't understand why anyone would think differently.

"Anyway, don't think too hard about it right now, Yaomomo." Mina brought the conversation back on track, throwing the class president a big grin. "I'm sure Iida will tell us what happened later if it's truly important, and Bakugou's a jerk anyway. Focus on the tournament, girl, and hey, look on the bright side, you got a free pass to the next round!"

"I… I suppose…" The pony-tailed girl replied hesitantly, not really convinced. Yes, objectively, it was a good thing to advance in the tournament, but doing it this way, for reasons outside her control and with no effort on her part? It felt… cheap, undeserved even. Honestly, thinking on it, Midoriya might have been coming from the opposite end of the issue, but he did have a point about a victory not being earned if there was no effort made…

"Alright the, ladies and gentlemen!" The bombastic voice of Mic-sensei interrupted Momo's musing, signifying that the scramble to accommodate for the skipped match was done with and turning everyone's attention back to the arena. "We are prepared to move on to the last match of the first round, and boy howdy, ladies and gentlemen, we are in for a show! Bring in the contestants!"

With crowd roaring their hype at the proclamation, two stoic figures stepped out into the arena, both seemingly uncaring of all the noise around them.

"In this corner, a two in one combo of man and quirk. Together, they are the night! It's Fumikage Tokoyami and Dark Shadow!"

"Well, it's nice to be acknowledged as part of this outfit, at least." The shadowy quirk commented, preening like the bird it resembled.

"And in this corner, one of the recommended students of 1-A. The stone-cold ace, the master of temperature, let's hear it for Shouto Todoroki."

And once again the crowds roared, this time followed by a surge of whispers and conversations. The scarred boy paid it no heed, already guessing what was going through the minds of the masses. 'Hey, isn't that Endeavour's kid?' this and 'Endeavour must be proud' that. It sickened him…

"Ok, boys, we all know the drill by now." Midnight called out as they both took their places on each end of the platform. "Keep things nice and clean. Are the both of you ready?"

"Indeed." Tokoyami replied, piercing red eyes locked on to his opponent, Dark Shadow crowing out an eager "Aye, aye!" in agreement.

"Yes." Todoroki replied dispassionately, the very air around him growing colder.

"Alright then, without further ado, begin!" The teacher called the start of the fight.

The words had barely had the time to leave her lips before cries of shock and panic filled the stadium as an iceberg burst into existence smack dab in the middle of it.

/

"Holy shit, kid, that was not quite what I meant…" Kaina muttered quietly, staring wide-eyed at the gigantic mass of ice that suddenly popped up in front of the booth's window, blocking their view of the stage. "Isn't this kinda dangerous? If that thing topples, one unlucky side of the stadium's gonna be in deep shit…"

"The sad part is, this was an expected enough possibility that Nezu has contingencies in place in case something goes wrong…" All Might replied with a long suffering sigh, earned him a flabbergasted look from the off-duty heroine.

"The principal foresaw the possibility that someone was gonna get an iceberg thrown at them?"

"Fortunately he did, so no one's in any danger. Unfortunately, those measures might turn out to be necessary in the end…" The emaciated hero confirmed, sound quite put off by it. "Young Todoroki's been favoring the ice side of his quirk ever since his enrollment, and he has that typical rookie mentality of ending any fight with overwhelming force. Aizawa and I have been trying to get him off that mindset but… it's been something of a work in progress, especially since it worked so well for him during the USJ incident. Aizawa's gonna be unamused by this…"

"I see…" Kaina replied, her mind swiftly connecting the dots between what she had just heard, the tons of ice currently in the stadium, and what she had witnessed earlier. "Damn, kid, this isn't the way to do it…"

/

"Foolish, boy…" From his seat in the hero section of the stage, Endeavour grunted displeased, arms folded in a clearly unimpressed posture.

/

"Holy shit!" Kaminari squawked out, scrambling backwards over his seat in sheer shock at the sudden mass of ice out in the field. "How is that legal?! Or fair!?"

"Ribbit…" Tsuyu croaked miserably, shivering from the ambient temperature drop. It wasn't quite bad enough to be debilitating, but it was still rather uncomfortable… "Suddenly I don't feel so bad for my loss…"

Amidst all the surprised and intimidated reactions from her classmates, something quickly drew Momo's attention. Prior precedent would have led her to presume that Midoriya would've reacted to this display of power with awe, not to mention an immediate, eager desire to pit himself against it.

But instead, the green-haired boy was the one person in her close proximity who didn't say a word. In fact, he barely even reacted at all, besides looking on with an expression that seemed grudgingly impressed and yet… disappointed?

Just what in the world had happened between the two boys, she could not help but wonder…

/

"W-well, ladies and gentlemen, it seems like Todoroki decided to start strong by throwing a literal ice age at his opponent! Is it over already for Tokoyami?!"

Shouto let out a breath, the air steaming in the cold, as he looked up at his handiwork. Privately, the scarred boy could admit that he had, perhaps, gone a bit overboard, due to letting his frustrations at the world apparently ganging up to dump on his desires get to him.

"Shouto." A shivering voice earned his attention, making the boy turn towards Midnight, the woman, having been unable to get out of the way in time, rooted in place from the ice covering her legs. "We are going to have some words about this after the tournament."

…He supposed that was fair. He should probably take responsibility by getting rid of all the ice once the fight was done. Speaking of which…

"You can call the match, Sensei. I wi-"

Thooom…

His words died in his mouth as a loud, banging noise suddenly echoed across the stadium, silencing the still-reeling crowd.

Thooooooom.

All eyes fell towards the glacier in the field, realizing it the source of the noise.

Impossible, Shouto could help but think disbelievingly, there was no way that-

THOOOOOOOMMMMM!

With a deafening crash, the wall of ice the scarred boy was facing suddenly burst, followed by a horrible shriek as a shadowy, beaked figured, roughly the size of a bull elephant, broke through the icy prison, obscured by smoke and mist, carrying its host body in one of its large claws with surprising gentleness.

"SO YOU WANNA PLAY ROUGH, DO YA?!" Dark Shadow roared angrily as it set a winded Tokoyami down, glowing yellow eyes glaring towards their opponent. "THEN EAT THIS!"

Stretching itself, the living shadow surged forward, charging towards the boy, swinging a claw straight at him. It was so fast, it Shouto barely noticed that it was growing smaller as it moved out into the sun to approach him, but that swipe was still gonna pack a considerable punch by the time it reached him, and his own body was so addled by the cold of his own power that he had little chance to dodge in time.

So surprised was the boy at this unexpected turn, so caught out was he by his overwhelming show of strength being powered through, and how much of a mistake he had just made, that he lost is usual, frosty composure, frantically bringing up his left arm in a desperate attempt to block the blow.

And in his desperation, with that black claw moments away from making contact, instinct took over, and his arm ignited.

"GAH!" Dark Shadow shrieked, recoiling back from the sudden brilliance, now a bit smaller than its usual size due to the flames "Bad touch! Bad touch!"

At this point, Shouto's conscious mind finally caught up, and he immediately clamped down on his flames, forcing his power off as hard as he could. He almost missed Tokoyami taking advantage of his lapse to charge at him, clearly intent on pushing him off the field. Almost.

Immediately, he slapped his right hand against the ground, sending a wave of frost blitzing towards his foe. Tokoyami had no time to get out of the way, and Dark Shadow was still too weakened by the blaze to help him. The ice surged up, trapping the avian boy in a cocoon with only his head free, and then it went further and spread around Dark Shadow too, turning the being into an ice statue, though this time Shouto made sure the icy prison was still clear enough for the sunlight to shine through.

The bird-headed boy struggled briefly to break free, to no avail, glanced towards his fully trapped quirk, then sighed.

"This is our loss." He declared solemnly, a muffled, barely audible 'Aye aye…' rattling from Dark Shadow.

"Tokoyami's concedes! Todoroki wins the match!" Midnight called with an arm raised, the only part of her body she could really move at the moment. "Now get us out of this, Todoroki. I am not in my proper outfit for cold climates!"

"And there you have, ladies and gentlemen! It was a short fight, but boy howdy, it was the most intense one we've had by far!" Mic cried out, and the crowd roared, some awed by what Todoroki's power, others screaming support for Tokoyami's nearly snapping victory off the jaws of defeat.

"Todoroki was lucky in the end." Aizawa followed up sternly, his tone cold and clearly done with everything. "In resorting to brute force, he almost ensured his own defeat. This win was a matter of chance."

Todoroki grit his teeth at his teacher's harsh words, feeling all the more displeased for knowing that the man was right. He had been overconfident and nearly paid the price for it, if not for…

A promise had been broken, and needless to say, the scarred boy was not happy.

"Even so, it was still a win! And that marks the end of the round! We will now be having a short intermission to give the contestants some time to breathe. And a good thing too, cause there is A LOT of clean up to do here…"

"Get to it, Todoroki. It's your mess, you clean it up." Aizawa ordered, with an air of finality. "Preferably before Midnight and Tokoyami start getting frostbite."

Without a word, the son of the number two hero prepared to do just that. As he did, his eyes turned towards the crowd, and chanced upon a familiar, blood red glare.

Not enough, it seemed to say, not nearly enough.

/

I know this is a setting where super powers are common everyday stuff, so a lot of fantastical shit is normal, but you'd think that someone getting a few metric shit-tons of ice thrown at them in what is supposed to be a high school competition between teenagers would've raised some alarms. Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, the tournament unfolds, and our favorite green boi's turn is looming again.

But before that, in two weeks is the next update to Through the Eternities, so look forward to that.

Cya all on the next one, stay safe and take care.