This takes place after a variant ending I'm tentatively calling 'the rejection of childhood".

- X Tenya X-

"Everybody say YEAAAHH!"

Silence stretched in the wake of the yell from the presenter, the pro hero Present Mic. Iida Tenya wondered if it was because everyone was exhausted from the written portion of the test they had just completed. He hoped not, it wouldn't reflect well on the top hero school of the nation if they were tired after some simple math, Japanese, science and quirk history!

This was the school of All Might, Endeavor, Best Jeanist and, of course, Ingenium! They could only accept the absolute best, if the students weren't ready, why were they-?

Tenya's eyes landed on one boy down the row from him, head tilted back and curly green hair falling into his eyes as his chest raised in a rhythmic pattern. Was he… asleep? Was he even taking this remotely seriously?

"Tough crowd," Present Mic said, more to himself than them, before pulling up a video on the screen behind him, "Now, I'm sure you're all ready for the practical portion of the exam, yeah?"

Those words sent electricity sparking through the crowd, almost everyone sitting up in their chairs. A blond boy with messy hair grins, red eyes glimmering with excitement.

And still the green haired one next to him sleeps, the energy not affecting him in the slightest. This…

"So, if you'll check your pamphlets," Present Mic held up one as an example, shaking it, "You'll see what testing area you're assigned to! Once you get there, you'll be fighting artificial villains, which are also on them. They're worth three values, One, Two, and Three! Your goal is to defeat as many as possible in the time giv-"

"Excuse me!" Tenya thrust up his hand after glancing at the pamphlet and immediately noticing something, "Forgive me, but there are four silhouettes on this pamphlet. If there was a change, it reflects badly on UA to not show it on official documents. And furthermore, you, with the green hair! It's rude for you to sleep through such an important presentation!"

The blond snorted as green didn't respond, continuing to sleep in spite of the direct addressing. Well, if he had been capable of sleeping through Present Mic's shouts, there was no reason he should have expected to wake him up, honestly.

"A great question, thanks for calling in Listener!" Present Mic said with a nod, "The last artificial villain is worth no points! It's not impossible to destroy, but there's no real point, so it's better to just avoid it. Now, before you all go, I want to leave you with a sound bite from Napoleon Bonaparte, 'A true hero is someone who overcomes life's misfortunes.' So remember to go beyond, Plus Ultra!"

Out of the corner of his eye, Tenya watched the green haired boy's eyes flicker open as he sat up with a stretch and grabbed his pamphlet. For a second, his left eye seemed to kaleidoscope through yellow, to red before settling on a luminescent green as he used a black gloved left hand to push his hair out of his eyes, locking onto Present Mic with wide eyes, like he had only just noticed who was giving the speech.

Had he fallen asleep during the test? That… explained a lot more.

-X Izuku X-

"Farewell, Good Hunter. May you prove your worth to the waking world."

Izuku stared up at the city in front of them, feeling the ghost of beloved porcelain pressing against his face. He felt so naked in the gym clothes of Aldera Middle School, without the uniform he had come to create on the Night of the Hunt, designed with Gehrman's help and sewn by the Doll's loving hand, even if it would draw attention until he was a hero course student.

Glancing down,Izuku cracked a small smile at the Messengers staring up at it with reverence, red fabric wrapped around part of their face in quiet emulation of him. They were bundled into several groups, each one working together to hold a weapon to offer him, or supplies. Izuku took a curved sword from one group, sliding a hinged handle onto his back, and took Evelyn from another, the break-action pistol sitting ready as he also took a small supply of Quicksilver Bullets.

Maria and Gehrman, he'd honor them both today, because him and the Doll was the last legacy of the Hunter's Workshop.

"Alright!" The exuberant voice of Present Mic said as the door rumbled open, "Go!"

Izuku didn't waste any time, rushing through the crowd and into the gates. Eyes landing on the first robot as its red eye locked onto him, Izuku went low, dodging the hail of bullets crackling with electricity as he did. Siderite flashed in the sun as Izuku landed on the bot, decapitating it in one blow and leaping from it towards the next one. Evelyn fired, mercury and Izuku's blood merging together as it ripped through the red eye of the robot, shutting it down.

Slowly, against his will, an excited grin split across Izuku's face, the blood of beasts pumping through his veins. He dropped Evelyn, letting the little ones catch it as he pulled the haft of the Burial Blade off his back and connected it, transforming the curved sword into a scythe and charged towards a group of three robots in a burst of smoke as Present Mic's voice echoed across the city.

Izuku still couldn't believe he'd missed a presentation from a Pro, even if it meant he had gotten to talk with the Doll.

"He's got the right idea, Listeners! There are no countdowns in real life! The clock is ticking, go, go, go!"

Izuku swung the Burial Blade in a swirl, a low dirge coming from the blade as it took the head off two bots. The blade that had defined the Hunter's Workshop felt so comfortable in his good hand.

He did his damned best to ignore his bad one. He wasn't going to use it unless it was necessary, and right now it wasn't. Far from it.

Part of Izuku, the part that had come into existence with a transfusion he didn't remember, wished there was something to simulate blood from the robots. Oil or something.

- X Ochako X-

Ochako ran into the simulated city, watching the green haired boy rest a scythe, of all things, across his shoulder as his eyes raked the area, an ornate pistol in his other hand. And that was strange itself, because the scythe was tarnished and clearly hadn't been taken care of, the blade looking to be rusted and pitted in some places, and the haft held together with bandages.

Talk about weird, why use a scythe like that? Especially when the other weapon was clearly so well cared for?

And then the boy dropped the scythe, it seemingly sinking into the ground in a cloud of mist before he grabbed another weapon. This one more in line with the gun, being an ornate with engravings along it and a red cloth wrapped around the sheath.

He rushed by Ochako in another cloud of mist, nodding to her with a quiet smile as they passed, and bisecting another bot through the clutter of four red eyes before firing the gun at a second. Oh, shoot, the test!

Ochako ran off, looking for bots to take out. She didn't have time to be distracted by boys with strange Quirks, her parents were counting on her!

-X Itsuka X-

Itsuka wrapped her hand around the head of the robot aiming at a boy with frizzy purple hair and bags under his eyes, crushing it with ease and smiling at him, "That was close! Good thing I made it in time!"

"..." the boy just stared at her, something dark in his eyes. Finally, he gritted out a quiet, "Thank you."


Target locked! Itsuka whipped around, growing her hand to take the hail of taser shots with a slight flinch. Dang, she shouldn't have let her guard do- Sloppy, He-

Itsuka blinked as the robot suddenly stopped attacking, lowering her hand so she could see past it. Standing on it, a strange mix of European longsword and katana in his left hand was a green haired boy. He slid the blade into the sheath, the bot severing into several pieces as he did, before he smiled at Itsuka, bowing slightly, "Hello."

"Hello," Itsuka said, waving, "Thank you for the help. You didn't need to do that, I mean, you could be getting more points."

"Makes more sense to work together," the boy said, "Even if we're fighting right now, when we're heroes we need to be able to work together. I like your Quirk."

"Thanks," Itsuka said, smiling at him, "Yours must be pretty effective too. I'd ask how it works, but-"

"-We should get back to the exam," the boy said, "I'd love to after though. I'm Izuku Midoriya."

"Kendo Itsuka," she said, "Good luck with the rest of the test."

"Same," Izuku said, gripping the sword hilt tighter and heading towards a three pointer without flinching. He suddenly vanished in a burst of mist, appearing on the three pointer with the sword drawn and letting the metal drop in two. Itsuka gave one last smile at the boy she had saved before heading towards the nearest bot.

- X Shota X-

Aizawa Shota was a man of quiet logic, someone who didn't speak unless he had to, preferring to take in information and assess it in his head. And what he was assessing was causing a quiet, confused scowl to slowly spread under the cover of his capture scarf.

The boy, Izuku Midoriya, fought like a veteran. Oh, sure, there were kids in the test who had clearly ignored the Quirk Regulation Laws (and rightly so. Training could save lives. Might have saved Oboro's), or kids who had martial arts training they were mixing with their Quirk, like the redhead or the boy with the monkey tail, but none of them used the sheer pragmatism of Midoriya. The type of pragmatism that came from experience, and a lot of it.

Knives appeared in flashes of mist from his left hand, flying towards the villain bots and struck with minimal damage, despite lodging themselves into weak points in the robots. Then, as the bot turned from whoever they were harassing, Midoriya was on them in a burst of mist, often times literally, weapon carving through without a hint of hesitation.

And then there were the weapons. A curved sword that connected with a haft to turn into a scythe, the bastard offspring of a katana and a european longsword, a double bladed weapon of similar make that could split into a saber and dagger and a break action pistol with engravings. And somehow, in his gut, Shouta knew that wasn't all of them. That the boy could have drawn more weapons from the mist, but was limiting himself to those for some reason.

And each was used with more skill than a boy his age had any right to. One weapon, maybe. But three, four if you counted the curved blade and scythe as separate weapons and five if you counted the saber and rapier. The boy was dangerous, that wasn't a question. Warping Quirks often were in high demand, but rarely did you see someone use it efficiently as he did. They normally were used for bringing in reinforcements, not plunging yourself into the heart of the battle.

"Kan," Shouta spoke, eyes locked onto the screen, "Applicant 341, I want him in my class when he passes."

And there was little doubt in Shouta mind that Midoriya Izuku was going to pass. The boy was ripping through the villain bots like it was going out of style, rescuing trapped applicants as he went and racking up a steady supply of rescue points.

Kan nodded, the permanent scowl on his face not letting up as he glanced at Shouta, "Someone caught your interest, Eraser?"

"Something like that," Aizawa said, eyes narrowed as the zero pointers were released.

And that, inevitably, was when everything went to shit. But in a way Shouta certainly as hell wasn't expecting.

- X Izuku X-

Izuku turned as the ground rumbled, staring up at the massive robot walking towards them. Immediately, two thoughts crossed the young hunter's mind.

The first was 'where had they been hiding that'? It was bigger than every building in the simulated city! The second, an excited grin starting to split his face as the Old Blood sang, was 'that's probably worth a lot of points to take down…'

Izuku dropped the Chikage and Evelyn, trusting the Messengers to hold onto them as he took the offered blade of the Rakuyo. Ignoring the people running away from the robot, Izuku lifted the blades… and plunged them into his chest, pain spiking through it before he ripped them out. Blood stuck to the blades as he held the one in his right hand out, dashing past two smaller robots. A thin line of blood swung out, severing them in two as Izuku continued his path towards the giant robot.

And then, Izuku heard it.

"H-help me!"

"H-help me!" Izuku stopped, sewer water sloshing around his feet as he tightened his grip on the cane-sword. Then he took off at a run, cocking back the hammer of his pistol as he went, "Plea-!"

A sickening squelch filled the sewers as Izuku slowed to a halt, watching the body of a little girl hang loosely from the mouth of a giant pig. The beast started to turn towards him, it never got the chance before his cane snapped into whip form, ripping a jagged line through the flesh around its eyes as Izuku charged forward. A yell like the people of Yharnam rose from his mouth, the next blow ripping through the pig's side.

Izuku turned, rushing towards the side even as he scooped up a vial from the Messengers, jamming it into his side to activate his healing. Stopping in front of a girl trapped under some rubble, he lowered himself to her level, "Can you move?"

"No- You're bleeding!"

Yeah, that wasn't anything new to talk about. Izuku spent more time with blood of some sort on him than he did without, "I'm fine. Don't worry, I'm gonna get you out of there."

Izuku wrapped his left hand around the first piece of rubble, throwing it aside easily. Before he could move the next one, Kendo rushed up next to him. Their eyes met, and Izuku cracked a small smile before together they began to dig the girl out of the rubble.

Then Izuku paused.


If there was rubble…

Izuku craned his head up, meeting the red eyes of the giant robot. Well, that was an Amygdala sized failure…

Izuku was starting to think he should go out of his way to avoid multi-eyed giants. It never seemed to end well for him, either he got dragged into a Nightmare, or he lost an arm, or… yeah, it just didn't end well.

Grabbing the offered weapon from the Messengers, Izuku jumped over the rubble, sliding the Chikage into its sheath and feeling his blood begin to move towards the blade. One.

Izuku shifted his stance, preparing for the attack as the robot raised a hand. Two.



"And that's time!" Present Mic said, "If you're injured, please stand by! If you're not, you're free to go.


Well, that was a damn buzzkill.

"I-I should," Izuku said, letting go of the blade, "I should actually head out. There's s-someone waiting to hear how I did, and I completely spaced it. Maybe… Maybe we can talk about Quirks once school starts? Assuming we both get in."

"That sounds good," Kendo said, smiling at him, "And I'm sure we will! You were amazing out there."

"Thanks," Izuku said with a smile, turning and walking away from them. Time to actually visit his dear friend.

- X Itsuka X-

Itsuka watched the boy vanish with a sigh, turning to the girl still half trapped under the rubble of the building, giving her a smile and continuing to lift it off her, "Hey, don't worry, I'm gonna get you out of there. Are you hurt?"

"I might have sprained my leg," she said with a wince.

"Then don't move it more," Itsuka said, "What's your name? I'm Kendo Itsuka."

"Uraraka Ochako," the brown haired girl said, "Who was he?"

"Izuku Midoriya," Kendo said, a slight frown pulling at her face for a second, "Or maybe it's Midoriya Izuku?"

Why would he use western naming order?

-X Izuku X-

Izuku let the fog overtake him once he was a decent distance away from UA, eyes closing and fading away. When he opened his eyes, it was to a field of white flowers surrounded by gravestones, a fire damaged workshop a small distance away. Ten months hadn't been enough to repair it yet, especially with Izuku focused on getting into UA, and what he needed to do for that.

Izuku walked past the rotting body, not bothering to offer it a look as he took the long way up towards the workshop. Kneeling before twin headstones was a woman with pure white skin, grey hair held by a bonnet, "I'm home."

"Welcome home," she said, standing and turning towards him. Her voice was tinged with a salvic accent, "If I had known you would have returned so quickly, I would have started the fire. Give me a moment."

"It's fine," Izuku said, stepping into the fire damaged house and watching the Doll begin to add logs to the fireplace before walking towards the workbench and popping off Isshin with a stifled hiss. The stump of his left arm didn't particularly like the cold, but he wasn't going to let the Doll beat herself up over it.

"How was your hunt?"

"Sporting," Izuku said, "The little ones helped a lot."

"And Isshin?" The Doll asked.

"Well enough," Izuku said, "but I didn't get to try everything. There will be time. Do you want to continue the story?"

"If it is not too much trouble," the Doll said, "I would think you'd like to work on Isshin."

"You're more important," Izuku said, "the first and dearest of all my friends."

She laughed slightly, covering her mouth, "And what of Kacchan?"

"...The dearest of all my friends," Izuku amended, taking the book from her and sitting down.

- X Isshin X-

Isshin: A Hunter's Tool/Trick Weapon designed by Izuku Midoriya to replace his left arm after its loss to the Moon Presence from a combination of Bones of Old Hunters, porcelain and siderite. The first of a new generation of weapons from the forgotten Hunter's workshop, it holds a blade forged from the same siderite meteor as Old Gehrman's Burial Blade within the forearm as an emergency weapon, and is capable of deploying it both as a katar or a kama like blade.

It's true purpose, however, is to drain Izuku's blood to augment his Quickening so his attacks reach the point of the Sword Saint it was named after, if only for a moment.

- X AN X-

Thoughts, questions and opinions? Good, bad, mad or meh?