Not much for AU Notes this time. Just a quick chapter to get the pacing flowing and the creative juices going to; the ecchi will have to wait a bit more, but it will be all the sweeter when it comes.
Blood for the Blood God.
chapter 33: [Training Camp? More like Training Hell III]
Izuku growled, annoyed as he sheathed his red odachi. He flexed the muscles of his right arm, counting himself lucky that the limb was fully wrapped by the red Full Gauntlet, else he was sure that his bones would have been dust. He still had yet to master the use of [Jetstream], the move still to taxing upon his stamina (and bones) to be truly viable outside of desperate circumstances. The vampire took a deep breath to quell his frustration; training implied that sometimes one would fail at accomplishing their tasks, it wasn't something uncommon.
He had been training mostly alone on the mountainside for about two days, trying to also perfect the usage of Ride Lightning. That wasn't all, as he finally managed to fully acclimate to the rest of the quirk factors that he had ingested. Power was brimming in his veins, the vampire trying out small combinations to avoid risking what happened with Ragdoll previously. She hadn't mentioned too much to the other teachers, merely that he needed to have some alone time to prevent accidents. He mentally thanked her for keeping most of the details of the encounter to herself and turned his gaze down the mountain.
He could see Uraraka slowly climbing up the rugged stone path while carrying her inflatable bubble, the usage of the item being to help her increase resistance to the nausea created as a byproduct of her own quirk. A few paces down his eyes captured Iida running at high speeds, the tall teen making his way towards the forest, a suggestion from the vampire to help increase his coordination and maneuverability in obstacle-filled terrains (such as the trees).
The vampire pressed a button on his wrist, the metallic ribbons that protected his limb hissing and compressing until they were just a red wrist band. I hope to see you soon, Melissa. Hope you got all better. He mused, lightly stroking the wrist band, his lips quirking up. Melancholy and longing thoughts aside, he figured that it was also high time that he had a serious conversation with the brunette [Zero Gravity]-quirk user. They seldom had time to truly talk after the school festival and Izuku figured that he could not keep his dense act for long.
The increasing lewd whisperings of the [Inner Beast] aside, he figured that it was only fair to give the girl an answer. Contrary to his dense acts, Izuku had become rather perceptive about his surroundings; he was no master of social interaction and still had much to learn, but his other senses did not lie, and a girl would only release such sweet scent when truly infatuated with someone. He dare not call it love lightly, but there was infatuation alright. He sat on the stone floor and leaned his back against a boulder, cooling his body down while doing some mental exercises.
He had to figure out his feelings. It would be unfair and unkind to let Uraraka stew in uncertainty. She was kind, honest and a bubbly person to be around, but those simple qualities didn't make one fall head over heels for another person, or so he compounded in his head. Mei appreciated and felt secure around him, that he accepted her unique mannerisms, but still pushed to improve and properly deal with her; it was much more than simple physical attraction, although there was a fair bit of that.
Nonetheless, he kept swimming inside his head, trying to figure out this puzzle. Did he view Ochako as a partner that he was willing to bring into his family? That he was ready to share not only physical, but emotional intimacy about? That he could open up to without fear of judgement and that could understand his desires and needs? Could she understand him like that? The questions kept pinging inside his head, the hum of his blood providing no answers to his dilemma.
Surprisingly enough, the [Beast Within] had deigned to remain quiet for the past few days after their last argument. It was not getting in his way, yet the prolonged silence felt strange; no pulls or pangs of [Thirst], no commentary or even mental nudges, it was only answering his will without expressing itself. He still felt the need for blood ingestion, but it was different.
He raised his right hand to eye level, clenching it into a fist.
You are oddly silent.
No answer except the light hum of the Song of Life and Death that pumped in his veins. The vampire narrowed his eyes, but relented and pulled out a notebook out of his shadow.
"Kamirari-kun, check. Tokoyami, check. Todoroki, check. Kyouka, check. Momo-san, check…" His eyes danced across the page, following until he reached the list of people whom he had yet to help today. There were few names, no new entries for now as people were still waiting on the results to see if his tips would really be worth anything.
He nodded to himself and let the notebook fall into his shadow, the blackness rippling as if it was a liquid as it swallowed the book for safekeeping. He stood up and took another deep breath, pulling on the most recently decoded quirk-factor he had acquired. He cleaned his throat while acclimating his vocal chords, being very careful to only pull on this one power instead of mixing it with anything else. Last time it happened, Aizawa had rushed his way with his quirk blazing and Tiger looked ready to take him to Suplex City. The teen had had enough of being slammed and flipped by the muscular man, thank you very much!
"*Ahem*…Come here…no, that was too rough. Let me try…I request your presence. Close, but still too strong." He muttered, his voice not truly changing for those with common hearing. For those with enhanced hearing – however – the quality of his voice had taken on a more…animalistic undertone. Still, Izuku's pitch had yet to reach the correct tone required for this to work.
He was pulling on Koda's [Ani-voice], the quirk-factor being rather unmalleable, much like its owner. It was limited – much like many of the quirk-factors he had acquired – and required perfect pitch control from the hemomancer. Unlike the original user who could manipulate any animal that heard his voice, the vampire felt immense restrictions upon his use of the power. Only animals with elevated degrees of intelligence would be capable of hearing his call, which limited his range down to just a few animals; so far Izuku had the most luck with the local birds, and more specifically with crows.
The black birds would circle around him and caw amicably. He still couldn't get the birds to obey him, but that the vampire wasn't expecting to fully grasp this power soon. Still, it will be fairly useful, especially in the city. Izuku mused. He was sure that he was close to fully understanding the use of the shy teen's quirk, but it still was just outside of his reach. Nonetheless, he kept the practice for a while.
He kept his practice up until his stomach complained. He stopped and glanced at his simplistic wrist watch, noticing that he was quite late for his lunch; which was strange, since normally a message would ring in his head – courtesy of Mandalay – to call him to the cafeteria. The teen scratched his jaw and licked his fangs, wondering if somehow they had forgotten about him. Izuku noticed someone, just as he was about to head out, observing him from the edge of the mountainous area.
The vampire filled his nostrils with air, his already superb senses further enhanced with the addition of [Beast's Embrace], which told him the identity of his mysterious watcher. He had noticed a presence around before, but he was busy himself with quirk development; now that he had some spare time, he could pop around and get acquaintance with the sour child.
A quick use of [Warp] had Izuku behind the child in moments, his sudden appearance silent. A sudden urge to tease sprung forth in the vampire's heart and he followed along. Running [Cooling Blood] through his digits, the hemomancer touched the back of Kota's neck with his chilled hand.
"GYAAAAAHHHHH!" The kid's strangled cry cracked in tone, Kota jumping in fright and immediately turning around on the spot, finding the vampire standing there, a smug smile splitting his lips as he lightly waved at the small child.
"Hello there." The vampire spoke in an easy tone, still waving his hand as if he had done nothing.
Kota rubbed his neck, leaning away from the vampire, his face scrunched up in disgust. "What did you do that for?"
Izuku tilted his head in a manner that indicated questioning doubt, but the smug quirk of his lips told Kota that the vampire fully knew what he was doing. He glared at Izuku, but it was clear that the vampire cared little for the heat he was sending him. Kota tried to keep his mean glare, but it had no effect no matter how hard he scrunched up his face.
"What brings you here, Kota-san?" The teen asked, kneeling on the spot to properly talk with the child.
Kota rolled his eyes and stuffed his hands into his short's pockets. He kicked a few times at some loose stones, withholding the information for a while. Izuku patiently waited for the answer, seeing the ploy for what it was.
"…" Kota seemed to be growing annoyed that the vampire was keeping his cool. Hero training idiots; there is only one person here who isn't dumb. He mused, still kicking rocks about. That is, until he suddenly tried to punch the vampire, aiming for a specific area that he was sure would put on the hurt.
His closed fist once more met nothing more than shadowy matter, the dark limb only blocking, not restraining the young one's limb.
Kota hurriedly pulled his fist away, watching with somewhat morbid curiosity as the inky-looking construct of black matter descended back into its shadowy home, the vampire's shadow rippling as the limb returned to its depts. The child then glared at the hemomancer, unsure what to say.
"That is such bullshit. What even is your quirk?" The child's language was crass and lacked any form of respect, but Izuku let him vent. To the unaware, [True Ancestor] might resemble either the stuff of nightmares or the grand dream of a lifetime; Izuku couldn't exactly blame people for the misconception, as his quirk (while coming with many downsides) was indeed hard to explain.
"It is called [True Ancestor]. If we are to put it in the simplest of terms, it is an advanced form of vampirism, essentially granting me control over my own blood." Izuku explained, seeing Kota look at him up and down. He extended a hand to the young child and lightly pulled on his power, blood seeping through his skin pores and concentrating on the palm of his right hand, compressed as a red marble. It still looked fluid enough to burst upon contact, but it maintained its integrity for the time being.
Kota eyed it warily, his eyes washed in a hard look (or as hard as a child could muster). "That sounds dumb. Your quirk sounds dumb."
Izuku smiled bitterly at the kid, unsure how to interact with him. Kota huffed and stuffed his hands inside his pockets once more.
"Auntie wanted me to call you to have lunch, since your dumbass wasn't listening to her calls." Kota rudely spat his spiel, covering his eyes with his two-horned hat. He then pointed to the lodge. "Hurry up, that nice, pretty sister from your class also said that she wanted to talk to you." Kota tried to deepen his voice, yet all that happened was it cracking into a high pitch.
He further hid his eyes under the brim of his hat, Izuku noticing that a blush was dusting his face.
Wait, pretty sister from my class? He wondered while standing up and slowly making his way to the lodge, making sure to glance behind him every so often to make sure the child was following him. What, did he get a crush on one of the girls? Pretty sister, huh? That means that someone older looking and with a sisterly aura. Izuku put the points together much too quickly. Yaoyorozu, for sure.
"Say, Kota-kun…" Izuku began, lightly testing the child's humor to see if he could play about with him. Call him childish or petty, but the vampire was feeling quite eager to tease the kid a bit. Nothing too harsh, but he figured it was warranted, especially after the child tried to punch him in the nards – twice in the span of a week.
The kid raised his gaze to the vampire, the blush from his face gone. "What?" The rudeness, however, came back stronger for it.
"When you say pretty sister from my class, who could you be referring to?" The vampire dully asked, managing to maintain any signs of mirth away from his voice.
Kota looked at him with a questioning frown. "Huh? What kinda question is that?"
Izuku shrugged his shoulders. "There are many girls from my class that are pretty, you'll have to be a bit more specific. Let's see here: there is a pretty gal with pink skin, Mina-san, who is quite happy-go-lucky and athletic; there is the bubbly and friendly Uraraka-san, who has the neighbor next-door vibe; there is Kyouka-san, the rocker punk girl from our class that is like a hidden treasure; there is the energetic and cheerful Tohru-san, a bit hard to properly see her, but then again she is invisible." Izuku ran through the possibilities one by one, keeping a certain full-bodied class president for last. Kota had few to none reactions to him mentioning the girls, but it was clear that he was getting impatient with the vampire. Izuku turned his head away from Kota to hide the smirk that split his lips before he returned his facial expressions to normal.
"And finally, there is Yaoyorozu Momo-san. Quite the beauty, she is. Long, raven colored hair; tall and graceful; full of charm and personality; she is quite popular in UA, and while she might not notice it, many students from other years and courses are gunning for her. No one has had the courage to approach her, but she had many candidates trying to score with her." Izuku blabbered on and on, seeing Kota now began to listen and cling to his every word. The mention of partners had the child frowning his face, clenching his tiny hands into balled-up fists.
"So, who is it?" Izuku suddenly asked, breaking Kota away from his stupor.
Kota opened his mouth a few times to try to say something, but eventually settled for silence. They kept walking for a few more minutes before the kid managed to speak up. "…the last one..." His voice was low, but Izuku heard it nonetheless.
"That so?" The vampire drawled out his words, making sure to grab the child's attention once more. "They say that if a girl waits for you specifically like that, it means that she might have feelings for you." He let the sentence bounce around inside Kota's head just long enough to add more upon it. "Do you think I might be the lucky one out, huh?" He put on a sheepish tone, scratching the back of his head while expressing a hopeful smile. Kota blinked twice before his face closed in a scowl.
"Hah, as if! Momo-san is probably much too kind. She probably is just humoring you out of pity. She is the only one here that truly wants a chance a being something more than a clown!" Kota just short of shouted at Izuku, finishing his piece and breaking into a rush to run ahead of the vampire.
Izuku felt any amusement that he had derived from the situation to dull out. That sort of emotion and statement, the young child was speaking from his heart. There was something else in there that wasn't just childish negation of heroics. The kid was truly hurting. Izuku stared at Kota's small back as he rushed inside the lodge, someone else exiting from it not too long after.
She looked around, looking relieved when she spotted him approaching. The leader of the Pussycats then came towards him, meeting him halfway through.
"Midoriya-kun, are you alright?" her voice was filled with candor, the sort that was normally reserved for when speaking apologetically to people. "You didn't arrive even after I called you thrice, so I asked Kota to see if he could fetch you, but then he came in a rush. That doesn't normally happen unless it has to deal with…you know what? Never mind, I bet that you are quite hungry, aren't you?" She forced a smile to part her lips, trying to dissuade his worries.
Izuku shook his head. "No, that most likely is my fault. I was trying to lighten to mood and joke around with him, but I guess I said something that triggered some bad memories." He lowered his head. "I apologize, Mandalay-san."
The woman seemed taken aback by him, but quickly shook her hands and head to dissuade him. "No, no! Don't worry about! It is just that…Kota-kun has lost his parents somewhat recently and has been dealing with grief. He has been staying with us for the time being, but I guess it is quite hard to be around considering what happened with his parents." Her explanations were incomplete, but the green-haired teen somewhat got the gist of it.
"I see. Well, in any case, I apologize. I'll try to avoid certain topics when talking with him in the future."
Mandalay bitterly smiled. "That's okay. I'll pass it along to Kota-kun." After that, the two remained in the spot in silence, trying to bring about any other subject that would clear away the tension left behind by the seriousness of the conversation. Mandalay wasn't one to get awkward like this, even less so when dealing with a youngster. She glanced at him, trying to find any topic that would get then talking again when she noticed his eyes; differently from what she was used to see, the green pupils were now slit orbs dyed in red.
"How are you feeling? I heard from Aiwaza that taking in new quirk-factors can be quite taxing and difficult to manage." She recalled the fact.
Izuku followed along, also pointing to the lodge. He still yet had to have lunch after all. "I have finished cracking the codes of the most recently ingested ones. Acclimating to them takes a while, and I might never really be able to use them like the original powers, but the sheer versatility that I get from them is a good thing." He began to march along, Mandalay following along and listening to him by his side.
The vampire explained a few of his projects to the woman, explaining those that he had already managed to get working and listing the possibilities that could deploy. Heroes were expected to attend to any call that they were available, but it was impossible for everyone to be able to perform excellently in every area of hero work; which was why most heroes tended to specialize in a certain field of work. Rescue, control, management, fighting, restrain, all were facets of hero work that one was expected to perform at least somewhat decently.
Media loved to bring attention to only one of those facets, that being the fighting (or villain subjugation as per the HSPC terms). The popularity of heroes in mainstream media helped prop such notions up, and UA did put a heavy emphasis on the physical side of things. They didn't neglect the study and training for other areas, but it made one wonder.
The pussycats were a rather perfect example. They were a rescue-centric hero group, but they also were quite the experts in hand-to-hand combat and were quite present in charity events and the like. No one – with the exception of All Might – could perform excellently like that and not burn out. However, Izuku was capable of gathering multiple quirks and with the proper training he could become something close to the Symbol of Peace. Not exactly in the same spotlight or veneer of the blonde, but the teen could grow to fill in a similar role in the background.
Their conversation guided the duo towards the cafeteria, which was just about empty. Only Mineta and Kaminari remained behind, the duo cleaning up (most likely after being caught doing something foolish). Mineta was about to wave at the vampire, but then he noticed that Iuzku was side by side with Mandalay, his eyes immediately bulging and becoming bloodshot.
The vampire offered them a friendly wave and proceeded into the kitchen, only to find out that there was nothing left behind by the starved teens of both class 1-A and 1-B. Mandalay then spoke up.
"I knew that I was forgetting something." She said in a wondering tone, but Izuku could detect hints of amusement from the woman. She sighed and shook her head exasperatedly. "Oh well, what can you do?"
Izuku dead-panned at the leader of the pussycats, maintaining a dull, pointed stare at the heroine; she tried to play it off, turning around and pretending to be inspecting one of the kitchen balconies. Izuku merely kept his stare going strong, making the woman squirm in place. Then, he turned around, his dead-fish-eyes stare going at full force on the lady that was trying to sneak behind him, the green-haired youngster of the group, Ragdoll.
"…you…got me?" Tomoko jokingly said.
The vampire looked less pleased with the joke, but then took a deep breath and sighed in slight frustration. It was mostly his fault after all. Soon enough he relented, but he was still hungry. He went towards the freezer, hoping that a few blood bags would do the job; hopefully next time he paid attention to Mandalay's mental calls and got here in time. He sank his fangs into one of the three bags he fished from the freezer, the tasteless blood a mere stop-gap measure for now.
By the time he finished his last blood bag, the two heroines were looking at him with some guilt. He waved them off.
"No worries, it was my fault."
Ragdoll shook her head. "I should've gone to get you anyway. We know you get pretty intense into your training after all."
Mandalay placed her hands in a prayer-like manner. "So, forgive us, pretty please?" She didn't seem all that bothered by the situation, her supposed apology making the vampire roll his eyes.
Ragdoll suddenly clapped her gloved hands once, the dull sound gathering the duo's attention. "Hey, you did finish that quirk thing right? The acclim-something…"
"Acclimation." He corrected, and nodded his head. "and yes, everything is under control."
"So then, how about you drink some blood from us?" Her question had her fellow heroine widening her eyes. Izuku cocked up one brow, licking his fangs.
"Tomoko!" Mandalay called her scout out, but the green haired woman waved her supposed concerns lightly.
"Come on, it will be fine! I'm sure that Izuku-kun will behave. Besides, it might be useful if he were to get something akin to your powers, communication might flow much more smoothly, don't you think?" Ragdoll pointed out, crossing one arm over her torso while leaning her head on the other.
Mandalay wanted to protest, but Tomoko's points were rather good. Besides, Ragdoll had been one of the people watching Izuku's previous blood ingestion and by her reports nothing bad had happened during the feeding. She closed her eyes to think further about the proposition.
Meanwhile, Ragdoll sent Izuku a hidden thumbs-up. The vampire responded with an approving nod and a slight grin.
'Don't worry, I got this' - Tomoko mouthed to the vampire.
After a few minutes of consideration, Mandalay opened her eyes and fixed the vampire teen a pointed gaze.
"I'll trust you, Izuku-kun, with this. I hope that you act responsibly; I'm putting quite a big amount of trust that you will act properly with my quirk, considering we don't exactly know what you will develop." Mandalay said, putting quite the emphasis into how much of a big deal this would be.
Izuku responded in kind, firmly nodding to the woman and trying to settle his face into the most serious expression he could make. She examined him for a few moments, trying to find any cracks into his resolve. When she found none, the brunette sighed.
"Okay, okay, you win. Geez, kid, how can you just…adult-it-up like that?" Shino Sosaki – the woman – asked in exasperation. For real, he looked way too reliable right now. If he were a few years older that might have made her heart go ~Doki Doki~
Tomoko leaned against her fellow heroine and mellowed out. "Shino-chan, I'm pretty sure that term doesn't exist."
Izuku didn't exactly have an answer to that term, so he merely licked his fangs.
Shino pushed Tomoko off her. "Yes, yes, I know~"
Tomoko lightly laughed. "Nyah, Shino-chan is mad at me. Help me, Izuku."
The vampire shrugged his shoulders, sure that Ragdoll could handle herself. She faked a hurt expression.
"Even Izuku-kun is against me. Oh, cruel fate." The girl ramped up the theatrics, putting a hand to her forehead and playing about.
The vampire and the leader of the group laughed at the silliness of the situation, but soon their noisy endeavors attracted the attention of a third party.
"What is goin– oh, hey girls." Ryuko (Pixie-bob) arrived, messing with some notes. She placed the small stack of papers on the counter and leaned against it.
Tomoko's cat-like smile told the vampire that she was about to probably pull a fast one on her fellow group member.
"Oh, nothing much. We were just about ready to have Izuku mark our necks." Ragdoll spoke as if the occurrence was a common, everyday matter. Pixie-bob nodded along, running her eyes over the length of one of the pages, seemingly unbothered.
That was, until it she truly understood the connotation of the spoken words. Suddenly the so important papers were left aside, the woman practically flying at the vampire. Izuku dodged the tackle by side stepping, quite surprised by the sudden bout of agility from the blonde woman. She had a fighting aura covering her body, her eyes lit with a fire that had the teen suddenly worried.
For a moment it was like Izuku was staring down at a tigress ready to leap at her prey. Then, Mandalay chopped her fellow heroine on the head.
"Down, girl." It was like a spell was broken, Ryuko holding the top of her head with a hurt expression.
"Ow, what was that for?" Whiny complaints left the Pixie-bob.
Mandalay looked unamused at both Ragdoll and Pixie-bob, shaking her head at the two. Then, she turned to the teen. "Don't mind that, let's just go ahead and finish it, right?"
Izuku nodded. "Right."
Pixie-bob almost leaped again, only for Mandalay to level her down with another serious glance and a raised hand ready to execute another chop.
"Seriously, what are you going to do? Is it ***** or maybe *********! I don't mind, let me watch! I don't mind! Better yet, let me join! I can ******** and ********! I'm quite tough, so I don't mind if you ******** and *******!"
"RYUKO, WHAT THE FUCK!" Mandalay shouted at her fellow heroine, blushing in embarrassment at the extremely crass language that the blonde had spoken. Even Tomoko looked to the side in shame, a blush also dusting her figure.
Izuku looked like he needed to reboot the PC of his mind for a while.
"I can't believe you said something like that, Ryuko! What the hell?!" Mandalay admonished Pixie-bob, massaging the spot on her left wrist where two tiny puncture wounds rested.
The blonde was kneeling on the corner of her room, balancing three books over her head.
Ragdoll was trying to contain her laughter, leaving the room to avoid being in the crosshairs of their leader. She was also sporting two round puncture wounds, the bite marks higher on her right forearm.
Ryuko, contrary to the other two, had a Band-Aid over a tiny cut on her palm.
It would be well past afternoon until Mandalay let the woman out from her lecture.
The following day the two classes were outside, but their training had yet to start again. The groups were talking among themselves, the classes mingling a bit, but still keeping mostly to themselves.
Eraserhead then got Tiger and the two headed to the center of the clearing they were at. The homeroom teacher glanced at Izuku, sending a questioning gaze to the vampire. After he received an affirmative nod, the man waited until silence reigned so that he could speak.
"Good morning classes. As all of you are aware, one week of training has gone by and a few of you opted to either receive or not advice from Izuku and Yaoyorozu from class 1-A; some of you might be on the fence about receiving advice from a fellow first year who is also undergoing training, but today we are going to put those doubts to rest." Aizawa spoke with confidence, motioning for Izuku to come forward.
The vampire did so, standing in front of all the students. The majority of his class seemed confident in him, while only a few from class 1-B seemed to think that he might bring forth some useful advice. Well, time to impress then.
"Hello there, good morning to all of you. If there is still anyone unaware of who I am, my name is Midoriya Izuku and my quirk is called [True Ancestor]. Due to its nature I can offer some useful advice on quirk training; I will not force anyone to train with me or listen to my advice, but I'd please ask that you at least consider my offer to help you in the following week." His introduction had lukewarm reactions at best. Well, it was time that he showed the progress that he made.
"I'll call a few students and if they are comfortable with it, we shall have a small display of the skills and the development they made with their quirk training." His statement had his classmates pumped, excited to truly test out their newly developed quirks.
"Kaminari-kun, could you please come over?"
"Yessir!" The electric blonde exclaimed, excitedly jogging until he was close to Izuku. The vampire glanced at Aizawa, the man nodding to him. Tiger also got the groups to give the two some space, surrounding them in a wide circle.
Izuku then turned to the blonde. "Now, we don't need to let loose and go all out, it is just a demonstration, okay?"
Denki did a gutsy pose. "Don't worry vice-prez, we got this!"
The two shook hands and took some distance from each other. The classes silently observed the two, wondering what the vampire had managed to cook up with the other blonde. It was no news that Kaminari wasn't exactly book-proficient, but maybe the vampire had managed to truly teach him something.
Aizawa raised a small air-horn and after another confirmation with the vampire, pressed the button that released the loud blare of the horn.
"RIDE LIGHTNING!" Denki shouted, lightning all but bursting from his frame in a rather dazzling show. The electricity sparked all around him, crackling ferociously. To the uninitiated, it was as if he was merely pushing out all the power he had and soon would be out of juice; however, much to the immediate wonder of those watching, Denki took a martial arts stance, the yellow lightning that buzzed and crackled being compressed until it only danced atop his skin, his already spiked hair further lancing in various directions.
Izuku seemed to do something similar, yet much more modest than what the blonde had accomplished. While Denki seemed to be truly encased by lightning, the vampire's version seemed to be much lesser, only sporadic crackles of emerald-green lightning dancing across his exposed skin, contrary to Kaminari who looked almost like a lit Christmas tree.
"Denki-kun's quirk allows him to produce exorbitant amounts of electrical charge. He has great internal control, but has much difficulty controlling his power externally; most of the time he used to simply release big bursts to subdue adversaries, wasting a great deal of power and stamina. Now, however…" Instead of boring his observers with words, Izuku took to actions. He rushed towards Denki, being inside his guard in an instant. His right fist was covered in a [Blood Gauntlet], the blow sure to hit the blonde in the torso and expel all the air in his lungs rather harshly.
That was the result many were expecting, yet much to their surprise that was not the outcome. Denki had caught the gauntlet-clad fist.
"No way…" Kendo exclaimed, eyes wide in disbelief.
"I couldn't see both of them." Shouji murmured, converting most of his free limbs into eyes to better follow along.
Then, Izuku was repelled by a burst of lightning. He backed off a few meters, his gauntlet-clad hand smoking.
"Increased perception and reaction-time; a cover of armor that serves as defense and offense, along with proper usage that isn't limited even with allies around; Truly, only a denizen of the dark depths would come with such fool-proof plan." Tokoyami said, nodding his head and looking proudly at the two. "Revelry in the dark!"
For the next five minutes, Izuku and Kaminari displayed the extent of the blonde's new development. To say that class 1-B's students were impressed was putting it mildly. Although it was clear that Denki was slowing down on the end, to suddenly be able to fight head to head with Izuku, the first-year hero-student that had brought down Stain, was nothing short than impressive.
Denki then stopped pulling on his power, leaning forward tiredly and panting a bit. Izuku went to check on the blonde, ensuring the group that he just needed rest. Kaminari left the center of the clearing and sat on the ground, letting the students take in what was displayed. However, Izuku wasn't done. No, he was merely beginning.
"Okay-dokey!" The girl suddenly sprang from her seat, rushing to meet the vampire.
Monoma scoffed, sure that the vampire nemesis of class 1-A would not have put much effort into training with Tokage. "As if some upstart from class 1-A would ever take the time to help us improve! Just watch, he is going to make a fool out of Setsuna-san and you will know that I was right this entire ti–…Ahh, stop please Kendo!" He was subdued by the enlarged hand of the class president, the girl not even needing to touch him to get the teen to quiet down.
His words, however, rang deep among their classmates. There was no way that the dark star of 1-A would help people from other classes, right?
"Keep it reasonable, please." Izuku asked the girl, letting his odachi spring forth from his shadows. He grabbed the weapon and quickly tied it to his waist, unsheathing the red tinted blade.
Tokage grinned at him, her hips cocked and one hand shaking a finger negatively. "Shishishi, come on now, Izu! Where is the fun in that?"
Izuku shook his head and sighed. He then let a light smirk quirk his lips up. "Okay, let's dance!" He said and took his fighting stance.
Setsuna grabbed the hem of her gym uniform's shirt and with one move pulled it off her body. The majority of the males from both classes suddenly rose a heckle of noise, many shouting words of gratitude at the vampire. Their happiness was downgraded when they noticed that Tokage was wearing a firm sports bra under it, but many still sent praise to the girl.
Tiger looked at it in good nature, unbothered by it. Aizawa lightly glared at the vampire, but seemed to be mostly uncaring. Vlad king did send a harsh stare to the girl, but didn't stop the demonstration, curious to see what they would display.
"Show me a good time, Green!"
Izuku did a [Flash-Step], suddenly very close to the girl. His blade was poised, ready to slice. And slice it did, cutting horizontally through the girl and separating her torso from her legs with one quick motion. Shock and confusion spread among many teens, dread immediately building up as they had just witnessed a murder.
Tokage, however, didn't scream. There was no shout of pain or exclamation. There was no blood, for that matter too. All that happened was that the vampire had to defend himself from a front kick and a jab from the disconnected torso. He tried another slice, this time aiming for the girl's offending arm. Only for the limb to separate into two parts and the blade to harmlessly swing by.
Then, Tokage reconnected her body parts and made a show of stretching.
"Good effort, Green! But I think that we can do better!" She smirked and grabbed at the waist band of her gym pants. Another swift move had the girl declothed, but revealing that she was wearing long spats underneath it. Not that the males seemed to care, their shouts raised higher than ever.
Izuku kept silence, but there was an amused smile painted across his lips. He charged once more, this time aiming for her legs. These swings – of course – weren't the full extent of Izuku's power, but it still wasn't exactly easy to dodge it. Yet, the girl's limbs did split and allowed her to weave in between the slices from Izuku's blade.
The two broke off and took distance from one another; Setsuna rejoined her body whole while Izuku observed the reactions of their classmates. Awe and excitement. Well, that was very nice, wasn't it?
He rushed the girl once more for the final demonstration of here development. She noticed his eagerness and also rushed to meet him, splitting cleanly and making him miss each and every following swing. He increased the pace, but so did she.
Then, finally, he slowed down and made a swing for her neck. Much like all the previous attempts, the blade met nothing but air, passing harmlessly through the inside space she created. She quickly reconnected herself and backed off, ending the show with a bit of a practical joke.
Tokage connected her head the wrong way, but still kept moving her body as if nothing was bothering her. Her classmates stared at her boggle-eyed. She was a recommendation student alright and had been consistent with her high class place, be it in physical or studies. Yet, nothing like this had ever happened in class. She had split herself before, sure, but today she had pushed her quirk to an unseen extent.
She puffed her cheeks, not gathering the attention that she wanted. She huffed, going to collect her clothes and return to her previous place.
Izuku didn't seem to want to slow down. Barely had Setsuna found her seat, the vampire was quick to call his next "project".
"Kirishima-kun! Up and ready!"
The redhead stood in but a moment. "Yosh! Let me show my manly pride!"
"Kirishima-kun's quirk is quite simple. He can harden his body; to what extend we have yet to figure it out, but so far he has proven to be quite a tank. Hardening long parts is a fine use of his quirk, a true living shield, but that also has its downsides. Prolonged hardening is hard to keep up and he loses flexibility in exchange."
"So, instead of spreading out his hardening and risk it not be fast enough to cover his whole body, why not efficiently use it to target the specific area that will be attacked? A smaller surface area for defense, sure, but a denser and less restrictive means for sure. We decided to call it Reactive Armored Defense."
"And now, to demonstrate the power of R.A.D, I'm going to be shooting Kirishima-kun with a .454 Casul rubber-round."
"Y-yeah? Wait, you told me it was the small one!"
"Better get hard precisely and quickly."
The last demonstration had just ended, all the students watching the demonstration with fervent excitement. The display had occurred between Izuku and Momo, with the taller girl starting with a brief introduction of her quirk and its possibilities. Then, after Aizawa sounded the air-horn to start their demonstration, the rich heiress did something that many doubted her sanity.
She rushed the vampire.
Being completely honest, even Izuku himself was a bit startled with the bold move. Nonetheless, his surprise lasted all of two seconds before he got ready to receive her charge. Then, he had to parry her with his blade, less he got his face slashed off by a blade. It was a poor quality thing that pretty much shattered the moment he reflected it, but it did its job and allowed Momo enough time for another move: that move being shotgun the barrel that he was staring at the wrong end off.
It was thanks to his reaction speed (which might have been further enhanced by Ride Lightning) that he slapped the barrel upwards and avoided eating a bean-bag round. He wrenched the weapon away from the girl's grasp, but it was clear that she had been expecting it, another blade emerging from her forearm and coming to slash at him. It was aimed at his torso, the hemomancer hardening the blood with pin-point precision along the area that would have been damaged.
He prevented the cut to his skin – the blade breaking off – but the action had granted the heiress enough respite that another object was soon created and left at his feet, Momo immediately trying to create some distance between the two of them. It took the vampire a split-second for him to recognize the threat to his enhanced senses.
His shadow darkened into a pitch-black thing and stretched towards the flashbang, the item being engulfed almost as if sinking into the depths of a murky swamp. The three-second timer went off and his shadow suddenly shook and lit up, Izuku growling at the immaterial, his shadows slowly returning to the previous light-engulfing tone. He ended up upping his tempo and rushing Momo with a [Blink], unwilling to give her enough time for another use of [Creation].
Yaoyorozu had been preparing another sequence of items when Izuku was suddenly atop her. The human mind was an amazing thing, its ability to adapt to certain things one of the edges that had humans at the top of the food chain. Her quirk required extreme precision for if she were to miss the placement of a simple atom, the whole construct would crumble into dust, taking along the lipids that had fueled its creation; however, Momo found out (thanks to the hemomancer) that she could speed up the creation of certain items almost instantaneously if she were to make their quality sub-standard.
One of the core principles of the Yaoyorozu was that they needed to have the best, so when the vampire suddenly suggested that she purposefully created poor items, she was somewhat upset with him. He must have a reason, for seldom did he do anything without one, but it hurt her pride nonetheless. Still, she could not deny that the creation speed of certain items could be cut short to nothing if she skipped the proper procedures and did a sloppy job at fixing the structure of her builds. She was appalled by it, but the vampire had a better expression for it:
That expression might make one think of top-of-the-line gear that could not be easily acquired or produced. That couldn't be farther from the truth. While some people did use such expressions to refer to top-notch stuff, the true meaning of such was: easily made, easily available gear that could serve its function and last just long enough that it could be cheaply reproduced by the lowest bidder.
She begrudged his line of reasoning, but the vampire made sense. Why waste time with making top-products for situations that didn't require it? Best case scenario she merely lost the tool and lipids; worse case she might provide the villains with high-tier equipment if she were to forget or lose them.
That wasn't to say that now she was only going to make poor items, but the change that Izuku had proposed to her was more of a mental thing than anything else. Understand the situation and trust your judgement.
She wondered why she was thinking all these things now. It might have to do with the slow-motion perception she was currently experiencing. Adrenaline was pumping hard in her head, but defeat was still eminent; Still, she would struggle until the end.
The vampire "crashed" against her, taking the girl to the ground and immediately moving to grapple and subdue her. They struggled on the ground a bit, Momo making use of all her learned techniques (taught by none other than Yoroimusha, the Armor Hero) to prolong the struggle for a bit longer. The two rolled around a bit, with the demonstration ended with the vampire with his back on the ground.
He didn't lose. Far from it, as he had Momo's back glued to his chest, his legs wrapped around hers to restrain her, one clawed hand gripping one of her wrists into submission while his other hand lightly touched her throat, his claws primed and ready to tear her windpipe out if this struggle were a real fight. She had one limb free, but that was only for her to tap thrice along his flank, stating her defeat.
He immediately released the girl from her restraining position, allowing her to stand up and brush the dust off her body. They had got a bit too much into the demonstration, but it was still a proper show off for the vampire and the promise of his aid. Now no one could say that he was merely boasting about his knowledge and willingness to support his classmates and whoever came along.
"That got heated up at the end, huh?" Momo happily stated, offering the vampire an aiding hand.
He displayed a small smile, grasping the offered limb. "You were excited to show off." His statement was followed by the growth of his smile, the expression now becoming a teasing and smug grin.
Momo huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. "and so what if it was?" She pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. "You played along, mister. You could have shut me down way sooner." She seemed more annoyed with herself than with the vampire.
He crossed his own hands over his chest and shook his head. "And how else would you be able to display your improvement?"
Momo – in a display that surprised the vampire – blew a raspberry at him.
Yaoyorozu Momo, the prim and proper princess of 1-A and rich heiress of the Yaoyorozu Enterprises, had just blew a raspberry at him.
/Come on, kittens! You have already shown off enough. Come over, Aizawa wants to finish this up to return to training./ Mandalay's words echoed in the duo's mind, the two teens only now noticing that they had remained talking at the same spot, under the wide eyes of their classmates. /You can flirt all you want later, after training is done./
The last sentence had Momo violently flushing and excusing herself, while Izuku leveled a dead-pan stare at the Mandalay, the woman whistling innocently while looking at a particularly interesting cloud. It might have been a bout of childish pettiness, but the vampire felt like paying back on the same coin. Or telepathic messages, but you got the point.
Pulling on his quirk, he grabbed the most recent decoded quirk-factor and coaxed it into bloom. He began to approach the groups, and most specifically his previous seat, but once he felt the connection settle, Izuku pushed all that could be transmitted into this one mental message.
An image of him doing upside-down pushups, his worked body covered with sweat. To finish up, the slight scent memory of his musk.
Mandalay choked with air in her throat, her sudden coughing bout attracting the attention of Tiger and Ragdoll. She blushed and turned her back on the two, her face dusted in a mild flush.
The image and scent lasted for but a second, the connection breaking up not long after, but it did two things for the vampire. It proved one of his theories about [Blood Whispers], the power he got from [Telepathy]; and it got him some teasing payback, which was always appreciated.
Aizawa began another explanation, but at this point Izuku was too pleased with himself to truly pay attention to his homeroom teacher's spiel. He half-listened to it, feeling the warmth of his blood bring about a pleasing sensation.
Nighttime had arrived and all the students were tuckered in their beds, their aching bodies longing for the brief respite and rest they would get. That is, most of the students. Izuku lay in his bedroll, fully awake. It wasn't exactly a new or uncommon occurrence, considering his vampiric nature and general biology; he got along well during the day, but the night was when he was most active and powerful.
The teen tried closing his eyelids to see if slumber would arrive, but after fifteen minutes it was clear to him that he would not be getting embraced by Mr. Sandman. He left his room with quiet steps, closing the sliding door to avoid disturbing his roommates and headed outside.
Once he left the lodge, Izuku took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the crisp and cool air of the forest. It energized him, and for a moment the vampire teen wished to be in the city, to go out for a nightly stroll; a mere walk. Alas, he could not teleport the various miles that separated him from the concrete jungle, thus he relented with observing the sky above him. There was nothing like observing the starry blanket of the sky, the light hum of his blood pumping through his veins a calm song that he took pleasure in listening too.
He felt the presence behind him more than heard, [Hunter Instincts] giving a small reaction, much different from the usual blares that warned him about danger. A smooth movement had him turning around to face his visitor, the woman stilling mid-step in her "stealth walk" to most likely try to spook him.
The Pussycats seemed to enjoy teasing each other almost relentlessly, Mandalay and Ragdoll two of the most notorious cases among the foursome. The leader of the group mostly used the oblivious tactic of speaking outrageous things and then pretending to be innocent while the scout Ragdoll was more cunning, planting bombs and sticking around just long enough to get her jollies before she would leave to avoid being pinned down with any sort of blame.
He would never admit to it, but the method was sticking to him. He had been teasing his friends a bit more these days, unable to fully maintain the cold grip on his emotions that he perfected in his younger days at Aldera. Smirks and smug smiles had been splitting his lips more and more, and the vampire was at a loss as per the reason. He didn't regret any of his acts, but he was still somewhat puzzled as to their development. Nonetheless, he had caught a curious cat snooping around, and you know what they say about curious cats.
"Hello there." He greeted, turning his head up to stare once more at the stars. "Good evening."
Ragdoll (the woman was still in her hero uniform after all) dropped her lowered stance and approached him. "Good evening to you too, Midori-kitten."
He lowered to one knee and touched one hand to the earth under him, letting a small spark of emerald lightning pulse from his hand to the ground. The earth began to slowly shift, raising and being molded almost as if clay, its final shape that of a blocky couch with enough space for the duo to sit. He took his own seat on the improvised furniture and continued staring at the sky, sensing the heroine slowly take a seat by his side.
"That is a neat trick, Midori-kitten. That's Ryu-chan's [Earth Manipulation], right?" There was more than a hint of respect in Tomoko's voice, the heroine also craning her head back to watch the sky. Maybe she would understand him a little bit better if she did what he was doing.
Izuku hummed his acknowledgement. "Indeed." His answer to her question was a bit dry, the vampire's focus still being the night sky. "What brings you out here, Ragdoll-san?" He lowered his head and turned his focus to the woman.
She did the same, shifting a bit in her seat to get more comfortable. "My quirk was picking out an adventurous kitten separating from the litter, so I had to investigate a bit. Make sure you weren't trying to sneak some conversation with the outside." She explained almost as if matter of fact. Then, her tone turned up in amusement. "Or see if you were trying to do something dirty behind our backs. Can't be having that, you know?" Tomoko's cat-gloved finger danced sideways in a metronome rhythm, the woman jokingly reprehending the vampire.
He rolled his eyes in amusement, patting their constructed sitting arrangement. "I take that this one doesn't count?" His reply got a giggling chuckle out of the woman.
She crossed her arms over her chest and faked a thinking expression. Cocking her head to the side, the heroine mused. "Hmmm, I don't know for sure…"
The vampire snorted and rested his head back, returning his gaze back to the sky. Ragdoll kept her gaze on him for a few more moments before asking. "What is it that you find so interesting in the sky? To have you sneaking around like this, it must be quite the find."
Izuku kept his eyes up. He did run his tongue offer his fangs, feeling a dull and muted call of the [Thirst]. "How can I explain it?" Raising a hand up, Izuku opened and clenched it shut, almost as if attempting to grasp one of the twinkling stars. "It is sort of like watching the ocean; the massive expansiveness of it all calms me down. The world is vast, and my problems – while still relevant to me – are but a drop in the bucket. Makes you reflect a bit about life…" He spoke in a solemn tone, slowly turning his head to see the heroine's reaction, only to see her staring at him with a…he found it difficult to describe it more than just a look.
"That was quite deep, Midori-kitten. Kind'a of hard to see anyone your age thinking like that." Her statement wasn't hurtful, but it did get him into another spiral of thoughts. Was it weird for him to be this thoughtful?
"That so?" His question was sort of rhetorical, considering he returned his gaze to the stars.
The woman hummed in affirmation. "Normally teens' priorities are more…scattered. I'd know, my teenager years were sort of a mess. You sure you are…what, sixteen?"
Izuku let a chuckle escape him. "Plenty of time to reflect by myself."
Ragdoll seemed quite pensive about his last sentence. "You had a bad time during your childhood?"
The vampire didn't answer with words. A bit of awkward silence stood between the two, Tomoko thinking that her question might have triggered some bad memories for the teen. She was about to offer an apology to him, but the vampire beat her to the punch.
"It is quite a sob story." He stated, making her shake her head negatively.
"You shouldn't make light of what you went through, Midori-kitten. I take that your files don't tell the whole story?" Seeing him lightly dip his head in acknowledgement, the heroine nodded her head with vigor. Then, she patted somewhere, the vampire hearing the soft clap of skin over skin. He lowered his head to look at the woman. "Care to tell me about it?"
He considered refusing it. There was no need to over share his past hardships, he was past it. Yet, Ragdoll's soft invite was so appealing. No judgement or pity, she merely seemed interested in hearing his account of his past. He opened his mouth to refuse, but before he could protest, she moved her arms to embrace his head and with a light pull, the woman had the vampire laying his head on her lap.
"Our couch maybe a bit tough, so I figured this would make up for it."
Izuku took a deep breath, filling his nostrils with Tomoko's scent. It was a soft and pleasing thing, the scent somehow reminding Izuku of a field of daisies. He tried to resist it, but it was a mock attempt at most. Especially once she began to stroke his head, patting his hair down. He managed to at least get something out of the ordeal, if only to avoid looking like he would just crumble under an attentive touch.
"Could we exchange stories, then? I'll tell you mine, and you share yours?"
Ragdoll smiled. "Trying to get to know this cat? Too bad, you're too young for my taste." She joked, lightly tapping at his temple with one cat-gloved finger. "But I guess it is only fair. Sure, I'll share what I can; but let me tell you, you're losing out in this transaction, my life story is quite common, you know?!"
Izuku echoed an agreeing hum from his throat.
"You look every bit a Pussycat now, you know?"
The vampire chuckled. "Too bad I don't see myself in a frilly skirt this soon in my career."
Ragdoll flicked his ear. "Don't knock it until you try it. Tiger fits very well into it."
Izuku decided to not answer to that. Instead, he took another deep breath, inhaling more of Tomoko's scent, before he began.
"Well, it started when…"
The last week of the arduous training camp was upon the teens, and to say that Aizawa and Vlad King had pumped up the intensity of the training was downplaying it. All over the camp the members of class 1-A and 1-B were wrung out to their very limit, their quirk development being pushed much farther now that the doubts about both Izuku's and Yaoyorozu's skills were gone.
Many people still preferred to opt for the counsels of the heiress, but many also used her as a broker to get a few of the vampire's opinions on the direction of their development. Few were the ones that disregarded the advantage, but as the vampire had previously said, he was not going to force anyone to work with him.
The remaining week went by at an extremely fast pace, the groups timetable planned out for maximum development. Izuku still took the time during the night for himself, sometimes having the pleasure of Ragdoll's company, the two managing to strike something of a bond. Mandalay seemed to take notice of it, as did Pixie-bob, but the duo's friendship was not questioned.
Today was the last day of training for the classes. They would have two days of rest before they returned to UA's campus, so the last day was wound down. All the training gear was cleaned and stored away and now the teens were awarded with the chance to wind down and get a refreshing bath on the available hot spring of lodge. It was man-made, thus instead of the distinctly sharp smell of Sulphur, the baths were suffused with a heavy scent of mint and eucalyptus.
Needless to say, the baths were separated by genders, although the two heroics classes did intermingle. Over the course of the second week the groups did grow a bit more used to each other, thus shortening a bit of the distance among them. The rivalry between them was set aside for the moment, considering everyone needed a bit of relaxation after such taxing training. That got the males either changing clothes or already washing up to enter the hot spring.
Izuku was one of the first to finish cleaning up and soon he was lowering himself into the heated water, the vampire exhaling a deeply satisfied sigh once he sat on the smooth stone of the spring. The misty air felt refreshing and the mint cleared his nostrils of the smell of sweat from the day. All around him were naked males, marring the sight a bit, but nothing in life was perfect after all.
The chatter of the males was incessant, but the vampire felt it to be a comfortable white noise. There were talks about asking the teachers' permission for a test of courage either today or tomorrow, some already excited with the prospect of scaring their classmates and pranking them.
"Oi, Tokoyami! Your quirk is perfect for it! We get the girls to walk deep into the forest, building up tension all the while, and then boom! You scare them from the bushes with [Dark Shadow]." Kaminari raised a racket with his plan, splashing water around as he slapped the surface of it.
At his side sat Hanta, who raised his hands to protect himself from the splash. "If you keep shouting like that you might as well write all your spook ideas and give the girls. I bet they would come up with something to make you piss your pants."
Izuku snorted, amused at the idea. Tokoyami shook his head, but didn't seem all that contrary to using his quirk in a light way.
Bakugou was on a corner, trying to both stare a hole into the vampire as well as avoid being coupled together with the folly of the group.
Kirishima and Tetsutetsu seemed to be ready for a swimming competition inside the spring, which resulted in Shishida showing his displeasure of the idea by grabbing the duo by their heads and locking them in place.
Kamakiri smirked from his little edge, arms resting over the border of the smooth stone. He cracked his eyes open and leveled a stare at Izuku too. His tusks seemed to glint under the outdoors light that illuminated the area, but soon enough they lost their edge. It wouldn't satisfy him to try to win a cheap fight in the bath.
Hitoshi remained by his seat on one of the washing stations, grumbling as he stared at his own biceps, then glanced over everyone else in the hero courses. Much to his displeasure, even Mineta seemed to be packing on more muscles than he did.
Speaking about the diminutive teen, he had been staring at the divisor bamboo wall with incredibly blood-shot eyes, his breathing pattern a mess as he huffed and puffed in a rather disturbing manner. Then, all of a sudden he pointed at Izuku and shouted:
"How do you do it, Midoriya?!"
Izuku snapped his relaxed lids open, his green orbs instantaneously settling on the purple-headed teen's frame.
"You are talking about?"
Mineta clenched his tiny fists and sucked his teeth. "You were getting all buddy-buddy with the girls! Every time one came for your special advice, and I can't believe how you haven't asked for a favor! You know, you are a man too, right? Unless you are into guys?" The rambunctious teen managed to gather the attention of most of the males in the bath, all gazes burning into the vampire's frame to gather something.
Izuku cocked a brow up. "And by favor, you mean what exactly?"
Mineta seethed. "Don't you dare play coy with me!"
Izuku sighed, shaking his head exasperatedly. "If you are asking me about my preferences, I do enjoy girls." The vampire drawled his words slowly, his final statement somehow bringing a wave of relief to some individuals.
Iida seemed to have enough of the situation. "Mineta-kun, this is not a topic to be discussed here! For that matter, it is an entirely private matter that Midoriya-kun is entitled to keep to himself."
Then Mineta ignored the stiff teen, returned to his questions with a vengeance. "All the more reason then! I haven't seen you ask for one lewd favor! How!? With all the clout you have with the teachers I'm pretty sure you could get away with something good, right?!"
The vampire choked an amused response. "Come on now, that would be abuse of power, you know? That with me being vice-class president."
The purple headed teen didn't seem convinced. "Nonsense! All the more reason! Or maybe is it that you already do plenty in school? You got a girlfriend or something back home? Where is your drive, man!"
The questioning was a bit relentless and Izuku wondered how would the teen react to if he were to tell him about Mei. Nah, he might explode; better not. The vampire shrugged.
The tiny teen threw a small tantrum, literal bloody tears running from the corner of his eyes. Then, he returned his gaze to the bamboo wall.
"You know, gentlemen," He began. "sometimes a man must resolve to sacrifice himself for a greater good." His words got the attention of the group, many staring at him with wide and questioning eyes.
He wouldn't, would he?
"To reach an important truth, sometimes one must risk knowing madness. A man must have the resolve to face the impossible, and even knowing he might lose and fall to the abyss, he must trudge on the path that others dare not walk!" As Mineta spoke, he slowly left the heated waters of the spring.
To say that all the males in the spring were watching him was an understatement. Their eyes were almost glued to the teen's small back, many emotions displayed in the eyes of the males. From doubt to dread, from amusement to disgust and then sardonic joyful expectation, all the males from 1-A and 1-B watched as the small boy approached the wall.
He touched the bamboo construct. "This wall divides hell and heaven! The one who climbs it shall be enlightened with Nirvana! Gentlemen, it was good knowing you! But I must depart! To seek the knowledge that lays beyond it!" Then, with speedy hands, Mineta began to pluck the purple orbs that made his hair, using them almost like sucking cups to rapidly climb the wall.
There was a joint raised cacophony from the boys as they shouted at the smaller teen, Iida even going so far as to rush to try and stop Mineta from his ascension.
Izuku shook his head to the sides, amused. He could sense a great deal of movement from behind the wall, his ears capturing both the sloshing of water and the rustling of wet cloth over wet skin. Also, a rather familiar scent was close to that wall, her enhanced hearing also no doubt capturing the nonsense that the males were all spouting, uncaring of their volume.
Mineta finished his rapid climb, almost cackling mad with glee once he was about to reach the top of the wall. Then, Izuku noticed another presence atop the partition. The vampire narrowed his eyes, seeing a familiar boy waiting atop the wall, a bucket firmly grasped in his hands.
"How about you jump up your own ass and die!" The child shouted, mercilessly splashing Mineta with ice-cold water that had the other teen screaming and reeling away from the wall. His fall was rather comic, seeing as he was about to fall over Iida, the towel that was to cover Mineta's privates flying away from its loose grasp around his waist.
Izuku took pity on the youngest son of the Iida family and decided that the teen was yet too young to learn about ass-to-mouth in this manner. One [Blink] had the vampire beside the taller teen, gripping his extended hand and pulling him a few inches away from the spot that would have guaranteed a rather unpleasant experience to his friend.
Unwilling to also let Mineta crack his skull on the stone floor, Izuku's free hand shot forward in the air and captured the smaller teen by one of his short legs, the vampire holding the small teen in the air almost like a hunter does with prey.
"ACK!" That didn't save the smaller teen from the metal bucket that clonked on genitals, but then again Izuku figured that that was the lesser of two evils. He carefully set the smaller (and passed out) teen on the floor, the bucket covering the necessary bits of the purple-head. The vampire glanced to the top of the wall, seeing a seething Kota staring at them, almost challenging anyone else to dare the same stunt.
"Was that Mineta trying to peek? Thank you for your work, Kota-san!" Yaoyorozu's voice rang from the other side of the wall, making the small child turn his head to acknowledge her.
The child's face flushed to a crimson tone so strong that Izuku was almost impressed that he didn't pop like a balloon. Then, he heard the child release a small exclamation and suddenly lean and bank forward, seemingly falling towards the female's side.
The vampire [Blinked] before he was truly aware of it, standing atop the wall and letting a tendril of dark matter exit from his shadow to capture the child mid-air. Much like Mineta, Kota was held up his feet, the shadowy line holding him upside down like a prize won at a carnival. There were a few surprised yelps from the females, but Izuku was grateful to have fastened his towel rather tightly around himself.
Exposed vampiric genitals (which didn't look different form normal ones, mind you) weren't the reason for the many yells, but his very presence atop the wall. One wooden basin was thrown towards his head, Izuku merely tilting to avoid the projectile. He turned towards the launcher, regretting immediately once his eyes settled over Shiozaki Ibara's naked back, the girl previously washing her body, which explained the wooden basin thrown his way.
Izuku [warp]'ed away to the changing room, less he find himself staring at a sea of very prickly looking torn vines.
But hey, his memory was very good, and outside of the vine-haired teen, he had been gifted with the sight of a towel clad Momo and Kyouka. And all the other girls too.
I'll offer a prayer for the health of your family jewels, Mineta-kun. Izuku mused in his mind, bringing the shadow-bond Kota to his arms to properly hold the child. Guess I have to thank you too, little one.
"I got him before he could hurt himself, but I guess all the blood rushing to his head did pass him out." Izuku stated, handing over the asleep Kota to Mandalay.
The woman had a grateful look on her face, but she also seemed to be embarrassed over something.
"I'm thankful for your help and attention, Midoriya-kun." She said, her eyes avoiding settling over his frame. Couldn't you have covered up a little more? She thought in panic, eyes going everywhere that wasn't his direction. He had gone straight to find her, his only clothing being the towel tied to his waist. It was rather awkward to try and thank the teen when she couldn't even look him in the eyes. That he also seemed to be unbothered by his state did not help the leader of the pussycats at all.
"You're welcome." He said, turning to leave. However, before she could sigh in relief, he turned around again. "Mandalay-san, during our stay here I couldn't help but realize that Kota-kun has something of a distance about heroes. He is quite clear that we are wasting time with our training and I couldn't help but be curious about his reasons; I might be pushing my boundaries a bit, but talking about my own problems has helped me deal with them. Perhaps that could help him?"
She smiled, holding the child further into her shoulders. "I guess there is no problem…" Then, she turned her head to the side. "But if we are to talk, could you please put some clothes on?" She asked, the teen slowly lowering his head to his body.
"Right…" Izuku stated, turning around to return to the changing room. "Be back in a minute." He left.
Shino finally sighed in relief, then looked down at the child with warm eyes. Then, she glanced at the ceiling, the mental image of the vampire with naught but a towel around him resurging in her mind. Shino groaned at herself. "Damn Ryuko…speaking all that nonsense."
[To be continued]
AU END NOTES
Cope, seethe and mald, this is a cliffhanger!
This one was a quick one to just get the timing going already. The next one will be bigger, considering I'll have a lot to write about. And while this one was a bit alike the anime/manga, the next shall be rather intense. So buckle in your britches, bitches; the next one will be pimpin'
I wanted it to be a bit longer, but I also wanted to pump this one out already so it is smaller than the usual. It is not a dick joke. But it could be!
Ryujin Maou out!
Ps: You can already infer and speculate by yourselves as to what the next chapter of Blood God will be by this title: [Chapter 34: Pyrrhic Victory].