A/N: This fic (which is a pilot chapter for now) is dedicated to three people who started the unstoppable force of a killer prompt going. Blame CocoaNerd, Cottonmouth25 and Tikur Sew for starting this chaotic prompt in Incident Zero's Discord channel (PM me for the link) and making sure I couldn't drop it.
If you haven't read Incident Zero, it's my baby of a fic and my favourite, and I really would love it if you did. If you have, and you're one of my reviewers, rest assured I will reply in the next few days. Feel free to try something new, while you're here.
Anyway, My Hero villains get Isekai'ed into Konosuba? How could I resist?
There was a sudden flash of bright white light, a sound like a piano falling from a great height, and a terrible feeling of pain, as if every bone in his body had just been snapped in two and reformed in an instant. It was no wonder Spinner's eyes slammed open and he shot upright, screaming the most high-pitched scream he had ever managed.
He didn't have a clue where he was. A very small area around him was lit up in an unearthly light, and was otherwise surrounded by darkness so thick and smokey that he almost thought to call out Kurogiri's name, before he remembered that the warper was locked up in Tartarus and nowhere around his friends. All he could see was the pedestal in front of him and the chair, like a throne from the depths of the past, and the chalk circle that seemed to have been drawn on the floor around him with... were those runes?
Blinking twice, he lifted a hand to his head out of instinct, in case he had just nodded off in their little temporary hideout with Tomura's VR headset on (again), but it wasn't to be. He could see his scaly fingers and their little claws, just as they always were. Feeling around, everything was the same as it should have been: the soft cloth of his black mask currently resting on his forehead, the familiar fabric of the scarf he wore as an homage to the greatest influence on his life so far, the hardened scales of his skin, and the serrated edge of the blade strapped uncomfortably to his back. He was his usual self, Shuichi Iguchi, Spinner of the League of Villains, armed as if ready to go out and kick ass.
So where the hell was he?
"Shuichi Iguchi, welcome to the afterlife."
Spinner was cold-blooded by design. A Quirk like Gecko didn't really give him many other options, really; between that, his scales and the ability to climb vertical walls without batting an eyelid, that was about the limits of his Quirk. Even so, on hearing those words, he couldn't help but panic. "A-Afterlife?! Sorry, what now?!"
The sound of heeled boots on concrete drew his attention, and somehow as he spun around another person wandered out of the murk, the source of the noise. "A few moments ago, you passed on. My condolences."
Spinner couldn't help but stare. How could he not? There was just... something about the woman. Colourful hair wasn't an unusual thing in the world around him- his own pinky-purple hair never caused comment among any of his peers- so he wasn't drawn to her light blue hair like it was anything unusual, or the stunning beauty of her face. It wasn't even her attire that drew his eyes, even though (with a gulp) he frantically tried not to panic as the woman's blue skirt rode up and apparently revealed that she liked going commando. No, it was the whole air around her that was what caught his attention. She walked like she commanded attention, like she was used to being idolised, and yet she was... bored, somehow. Like she didn't want to be here.
Then reality hit, and he caught up with the words she was saying. "Wha-"
The woman took a seat opposite him, and to his great horror her mouth seemed to twitch with a slight smile. "Your life was quite short, really. Even for a villain in a world like yours. Now, you are quite dead."
Part of him just couldn't believe it. "Okay, this is stupid. Compress, is this one of your stupid tricks? Is this someone's Quirk? Tomura, did you-"
"Oh, I'm not a Quirk, Spinner. I'm not one of your buddies in the League of Villains, not the magician or your psycho gaming buddy Tomura with the creepy hands. And this isn't that grimy warehouse you all seemed to love hiding in." The woman shrugged, with a little smirk, as Spinner felt his mouth fall open at how casually this unknown person described their hideout and his friends. "I'm just the holy goddess who gets to break the news to ya, honestly. Oopsie."
Spinner felt his mouth open and close, struggling to find the words as he stared around. He didn't want to accept it, given what she told him, but in the face of everything around him... how could he not? "I... died." It was a statement of realisation, and not a question. "I really died."
"Yup." The self-proclaimed goddess stretched out her arms in front of her, as if she'd only just woken up. "Welcome to Limbo, Spinner."
"Hold on..." Fragments of memories came back to Spinner, although under his breath he swore at how slowly and how faded they appeared to be. He could see the sand, and the truck, and Tomura laughing at a man lying on the ground without arms. What happened after that... was a mystery. "If I'm dead... then how? We just got to Overhaul, so Tomura took his arms. Did Overhaul do something back or-"
"Pffft." The snort from the blue-haired beauty was loud and obnoxious, and took him by surprise. "Honestly? You really wanna know?"
"Well, yeah, I-"
"Trust me, it was pathetic." She laughed, and he realised how hideous it sounded. "I've been doing this for a long time and your death? One of the most ridiculous I've seen."
Her complete disrespect for his untimely death was a lot to take, and he had been dealing with Tomura's complete disrespect for everyone except himself and his master for quite some time. "Now hold on-"
"You remember driving that truck for Tomura and your friends right? What were their names? That Todoroki boy, and the magician Mister Compress. Oh! I remember! Dabi!"
"... Dabi's a Todoroki?" Okay, Spinner had even more questions now, and none of them were getting answers.
"Details shmetails. Anyway, you did the thing, you drove, despite somehow only knowing what to do from one of your crappy games you seem to love." Aqua waved a hand, dismissively. "Dabi sets a guy on fire, Tomura and the magician take some other guy's arms off for some reason, you all have a laugh and you drive them home. Easy."
"Right..." Spinner was confused where this was going.
"Only it wasn't, was it? Because then you got back to the base, parked up the truck as your friends jumped out, and then you went to join them to celebrate!" Aqua snorted again, deliriously. "Would have helped if you put the handbrake on, genius!"
As the goddess fell apart laughing, Spinner felt himself choke on whatever words he was forming, and spluttered. "H-Handbrake?! You're telling me-"
"That you lived the life of some copycat villain, dressing up like your idol and being average at everything you do, and died to a handbrake? Yep! All those Heroes you could have died in battle against, all those horrible things your League wanted to do, all those Quirks that could have taken your life, and you died because the vehicle you stole rolled backwards and crushed you! Hahahaha-"
"... I literally got Truck-Kun'ed," Spinner said, flatly, staring straight ahead and right through the blue-haired asshole he had apparently landed with. Suddenly now it felt real. Everything he had been building up to in his life, everything that had happened since joining the League, everything since he saw Stain's defiant last stand and took his words to heart, snuffed out. By a damn truck he didn't even know how to drive.
He was never going to see his friends in the League again. He'd never complain at one of Compress' awful jokes, or get to guess at whichever version of Bubaigawara he would end up speaking to. He'd never get to dissect the worst heroes in society with Dabi (now the Endeavor fixation made sense), or laugh his ass off with Himiko, or play games with his old buddy Tomura like the good old days before he realised his online NEET friend was a literal supervillain. All of that was gone.
"You weren't even the only one to die! You should have seen the look on their faces when they pulled Tomura out from under the wheels too-"
That was the hardest thing Spinner had heard. Let alone that he had just died, but Tomura... Tomura had a vision, goals, a plan. Tomura could have been the greatest villain Japan had ever seen, the levelling force that destroyed their wretched society and let them all start again. And he'd died to Spinner's mistake with the handbrake? Even if he ever made it back... they'd all kill him again for killing Tomura. The creepy old master was in Tartarus, and even so there was no corner of the world in which Spinner would be safe from him for killing his prized student.
"So wait..." The small part of Spinner's brain still trying to process and form rational questions to ask hadn't given up. "Why isn't Tomura here too?"
"Eh, someone like him? He's going straight to Hell with a mind like that!"
"But... I was a villain too-"
"I know, tell me about it! You were one of his squad. And yet... someone higher up thought they saw something in you worth giving a second chance to, so here you are! With me! Aren't you lucky!"
Spinner had to avert his eyes as she adjusted herself in the seat in a completely indelicate manner, and inadvertently confirmed that she didn't seem to be wearing any panties. He wouldn't have minded but... she seemed horrendous. Even with his usually low standards, he vowed that he wouldn't have touched her except with his righteous sword (the one strapped to his back, not... the other one). "I don't even know who you are, lady!"
"Who, me? You Japanese really don't pay me much attention, do ya? Fine, let's do the basics." She smirked at him. "I'm the goddess Aqua. Welcome to Limbo. It's my job to guide the poor lost souls who get to come here. Now normally, you can either reincarnate, or go to Heaven..."
"... I'm guessing," Spinner asked, picking up on the way she left that particular thread dangling with all the subtlety of a brick, "I don't get that other option."
"Ding ding! You were a villain, after all. No Heaven for you!" Aqua looked around conspiratorially, and leaned towards him with a hushed tone now in her voice. "Between you and me, it's not all that dreamy anyway up there, so you're not missing out. They're all incorporeal spirits, and there's no TV or manga or games-"
"Yeah, I'm sold, I'm not going." Being dead was one thing, but being unable to load up a few rounds of Hero Smash for the rest of eternity? That really was purgatory.
"I thought you'd say that!" Aqua leaned back, smug smile so bright on her that he wanted to punch her right in her stupid, pretty jaw. "So you get Hell, where there's no TV or manga or games-"
"Then what's the difference?!"
"Or, since you love your games so much..." Aqua trailed off. "You get to reincarnate. And despite the fact you seemed like an asshole in your old life, despite kidnapping a school kid and trying to stab a bunch of them... someone still wants to give you that chance because they see enough in you."
"Reincarnate..." Spinner frowned, the weight of what she was suggesting not lost on him. "So I could... go back to my world?"
"Normally." Aqua picked at her nails, deliberately not looking at him. "But not this time. Villain, right? The higher ups don't want you going back to your old life of hurting people, when you could actually do some good elsewhere."
"Such bullshit..." Spinner groaned, running a hand through his hair. "This feels like one of those cutscenes where it doesn't matter what you pick for dialogue, the end result is just the same."
"Good analogy! And on this occasion you're kinda right!" Aqua looked at him greedily, and he gulped. "You like games, huh? Well, you're just in luck for reincarnating, because I have another option you'll love!"
Suddenly the black void around him sprung to colourful life, making him yell at the sudden change in ambience. Aqua, entirely oblivious to the pain in his eyes, carried on gesturing like she was presenting, as castles and taverns, forests and forts, flickered behind her like an old-world slideshow. "In a faraway land, peace and prosperity are being threatened by the Devil King! The innocent are being trampled by monsters-
"Oh it's a fantasy AU?" Spinner perked up, memories of hours of his childhood spent in dungeon crawlers and the brief moments of hilarity watching Tomura rage on the rare occasion he lost to a final boss. It could have been so much worse, as far as new world options went. If he couldn't go home... this would have to do. "Neat. I'm in."
"Dude!" Aqua put her hands on her hips and pouted at him. "You interrupted my whole thing! I practiced! All the gory stuff like rape and pillage and slaughter-"
"You want me to try and do some good and you're gonna run with stuff like that?" Spinner perked up. "Wait... you want me to be a hero in that world?"
"W-Well yeah! Save the world from the Devil King, beat his Generals, and you'll get to go back home to Japan. What about it?"
"Huh..." From the moment that his great sensei had appeared in front of the nation and screamed his convictions to the heavens, from the moment that he vowed to carry on the legacy of Stain and purge the fakes as per his tenets, he never thought that such a course would ever be available to him. He saw what he had to do as a necessary evil to cleanse the corrupt out of their broken society, and would have martyred himself to that cause a hundred times over. Now, some goddess with unknown powers was calling on himto be the hero, to save people, to make things right.
Maybe he could be the true hero so few of them could ever manage.
"... I'll do it."
"Awesome! Good job, Geico Boy!"
"Hey! Really, that reference? You know that's actually kinda Quirkist to say that-"
"Whatever! Tell you what, I was ready for the hard sell, but since you've decided so willingly to go-" Spinner tutted, realising how little choice he had in the whole thing, "I'll let you choose one thing to go with you, one special weapon or awesome bit of magic or hidden ability to back you up."
"Oh yeah?" Spinner flexed a clawed hand, and grinned at her. "But I can keep my Quirk?"
"Oh, that?" Aqua scratched her head, looking puzzled. "Yeah, we couldn't work out how to get rid of that. You can keep the scales, sure."
"And I've still got my sword..." Spinner's hand caressed the hilt, and he looked over at her. "I don't have to hand her in?"
"Her? Of course you gave it a gender, you shut-in." Aqua started at him, mockingly. "You know there's enchanted swords you could have in some of the options I got for you, right? All sorts of swords with cool names and broken powers-"
"But they're not... my sword." His hand tightened on the hilt of the weapon he had made himself, all serrated notches and ungainly sharp blades in tribute to the greatest man who had ever walked the streets of Japan. "She stays with me."
"... Weirdo. Just pick one, come on!" Aqua pulled a load of cards out from... somewhere. Spinner's rational mind thought for a second about the horrifying suggestion of where they had come from, before it gave up in an attempt to preserve his sanity. "Ta da! Most of it's OP anyway, so don't sweat it!"
"Right..." Spinner felt a sweat drop on his eyebrow at her antics, as she threw herself onto the throne with the grace of a baby elephant and began munching from a packet of nacho chips which had emerged from somewhere (again, best not to ask) with the delicate nature of a baby elephant. "There's a lot..."
There really was. Spinner was surprised that he could immediately understand the runes, first and foremost, since they weren't Japanese, but by now he just accepted that this strange goddess stuffing her face with tortillas had probably changed things so he could speak their language somehow. It was better to roll with it, and consider what was in front of him.
There were a number of swords on the list, and axes, and all manner of enchanted weapons which appeared to have ridiculous special effects; a katana that looked just like Stain's, a zweihander that could produce ice, throwing knives which could freeze any person they hit in time and an enchanted bow with unfailing homing arrows were just some of what was on offer. There was armour, gilded with gold and impenetrable by magic attacks, or forged in a strange black metal that would rebound projectiles back to their shooter. Knowledge of sacred spells that could tame any animal with a finger click, could create food out of any matter, could control shadows or light or make him invisible to all. All of it was powerful, but... none of it jumped out as special. Back home, he had seen Quirks do all of this and so much more. Faced with a choice like this... he was struggling to pick.
"Something magic would be the most advantage to me, because it would basically be like a second Quirk," he muttered aloud, pouring over the cards and occasionally lifting two to compare against each other. "But then, that's not my style. I fight with a sword, so I should probably get a weapon to compliment that-"
"Yeah, you're gonna want to hurry it up a little, big guy," Aqua said, with a mouthful of chips. "I've got loads more dead people to guide besides you. You're not the only one who gets this sorta treatment, you know."
"Jeez, why do you give a guy so many options if you're just gonna complain that I take my time over it all?" Spinner groused, putting down a card with super-speed boots. "It's hard to pick something on your own. I've got to think about what would make me the best Hero-"
"So determined to be a goodie two-shoes all of a sudden." Aqua had apparently swallowed, because the next noise from her was a filthy belch. "And so indecisive."
"Can you blame me for being a little overwhelmed?" Spinner felt a pang at that point at how alien this all was, and how much better things would have been if he was back with his friends in the League. They argued sometimes, for sure, and things didn't always go right, and certainly sometimes there were clashes between the outcasts but... they were outcasts together. There was safety and comfort in their company. "Is there an option to phone a friend?"
He had been slightly joking as he asked that aloud, and he didn't notice Aqua perk up and sit upright in the throne. "Phone a friend? That's what you want?"
"Yeah! They would have made all of this so much easier!"
"I mean, if that's what you really want..."
"Absolutely I do!" Spinner was too preoccupied reading the small print of a 'Lust' card guaranteeing him a harem of his choice to notice Aqua start glowing blue. "God, I wish one of my friends was here!"
"Sure, sure!" Aqua giggled, pointing a finger at the floor around him. "Any preference as to who? Tomura's dead and gone, but we can manage one more for you-"
"Wow, uh, okay." Spinner wasn't expecting such enthusiasm, but he wasn't going to waste it. If Tomura was out, that prevented him from relying on his best gaming friend's professional judgment on how busted some of this shit was. Compress wouldn't have a clue about anything gaming related, but would have been good for the magic (although he would have tried taking it for himself). Kurogiri was wise, but in a cell somewhere, and as long as he and the Master didn't find out about Tomura then Spinner was happy. That left Dabi, who hated video games and would have refused to be a part of this madness, Twice, who would never have reached a decision in a million years, and... her.
Huh. She would be good. She was close enough in age to him that she got what he and Tomura had been talking about, and even if she wasn't the absolute best at playing (she had absolutely zero experience before joining the League), she could hold her own relatively enough and know which buttons to press. She could be intense and a special kind of crazy, and nobody got too near when she hadn't had enough blood, but she was one of the easiest for him to talk to and get along with. Maybe seeing her one more time to ask for a hand wouldn't hurt.
"Okay..." He nodded, seriously, mind made up. "Lady Aqua, I would like to ask for help from my friend, Himiko Toga!"
Aqua stared to the heavens above (probably literally, Spinner realised), and when she looked back at him and clicked her fingers, the grin on her face was the most smug he had ever seen. "Bingo."
"Wait, what?" All of the cards vanished from in front of him, burning into dust before his eyes, and Spinner suddenly became aware that the chalk circle under his feet was moving a second before it erupted into a blaze of heavily white light. "But I didn't pick my item!"
"Oh, silly boy, pick your words carefully." Aqua sat back and popped a chip between her teeth, with her next words coming from a mouthful of food. "You already did."
Spinner took a second, before his eyes nearly bulged out of his head in shock, and before he realised that a second chalk circle had formed beside him and started to glow. "Wait! No! I didn't mean-"
With a noise like a heavenly chorus of angels being kicked in the nads mid-serenade, layered with the sound of someone dragging their fingers across a blackboard, a pulse of white light the shape of a human formed in the centre of the chalk, before unceremoniously dropping its contents into the magic circle. Landing with a thump, the girl groaned, the impact dislodging one of her blonde buns from its ties and shaking it loose, before she rubbed her eyes and seemed to come to her senses. "Huh... What was that?"
"Himiko Toga!" Aqua's face was still covered in chip crumbs, but it didn't stop her yelling triumphantly, majestically. "Bow before your goddess Aqua, for you have been chosen!"
"Goddess? Whu..." Himiko Toga bit her lip in confusion, brilliant white fangs showing as she did so. "Did I not drink enough blood last night?"
"You... You actually killed her?! To bring her here?!" Spinner was outraged, reaching for his sword. "How dare you-"
"Shuichi?! But you died!" Himiko gasped on seeing him, her eyes lighting up in happiness at the sight of her friend- despite everything, he felt relieved at her reaction. "Are you... Did you come back-"
"No, he's still very much dead, he's just... waiting for the chance to move to another world." Aqua seemed to be enjoying this, as the glow from the magic circles illuminated her face. "Reincarnation, you know? Tricky stuff."
"Wait... then why am I here? Did this bitch claiming to be a goddess just kill me?!" Himiko whirled on the goddess, yellow eyes narrowed, and Spinner took a step back at the killing intent coming off of her in waves. Stain would have been inspired, meeting her; she took everything he could manage and gave it back in spades. "Shuichi, do you think she bleeds just like everyone else, if I cut her?"
"Hey, hey, don't blame me!" The goddess might have been powerful, and Himiko may have bounced off the invisible barrier surrounding the magic circle, but just for a second Aqua the coward took a step back before pointing at Spinner. "He's the one who asked to summon you here-"
"Hey, I asked to phone a friend! I wanted help picking a cheat item!"
"How did you ask for it?"
"'I would like to ask for help from my friend, Himiko'-"
"Shuichi you dumbass!" Himiko's outcry preceded another yelp as she thumped against the barrier, this time trying to get at him. "All those movies we used to watch when we were bored waiting for Tomura, and you didn't learn? Be careful what you wish for, idiot!"
"That's from kid's cartoons with genies and witches and shit! I didn't think goddesses like this lazy bitch existed, so forgive me I'm sure for not thinking I needed to make my words any clearer-"
"You said 'God I wish one of my friends was here'! I even gave you a choice of which one." Aqua chuckled, as Spinner could physically hear Himiko growling now, before making a strange noise; it took Spinner a second to realise that she was trying and failing to whistle innocently, somehow unable to whistle. "I can't help it if I get bored waiting for you to make your mind up, and wanna speed things up can I?"
"I told you!" Spinner banged on his own barrier, furious at the laughing goddess. "All I wanted to do was pick between magic powers, and get a hand from someone, and say goodbye, and now-"
"... She's doomed me to another world as your cheat item." Himiko's eyes were so narrow by this point she could probably have cut someone with them. "What even is this world, anyway? Magic? Swords?"
"Oh! Right!" Himiko's questions seemed to remind Aqua of her job, and suddenly both Spinner and Himiko yelped as they were wrenched off the floor and begun to levitate, floating up higher towards a bright white light that opened in the sky. "Shuichi Iguchi, Spinner, and Himiko Toga, this is your mission. The world of Axel needs you! Travel the world, slay monsters, save people, and become the Hero that takes down the Devil King! Die in Axel, and you die forever, but... slay the Devil King and his Generals, and I'll let you go back to Japan to live your life the same as before. Your gods commend you for your sacrifice and in return, we granted you one cheat item to help you on your quest! You're welcome!"
"You didn't give me shit!" Spinner howled, clawing at the air to no avail as he continued to rise like a balloon, Himiko frantically tumbling in the air beside him.
"Sure you've got a cheat! This bony chick, right here!"
"That's right!" Aqua looked Himiko up and down, in her tattered cardigan and skirt, and scoffed. "No accounting for taste, but hey, you're a lizard, so whatever floats your boat right?"
"... Okay, Himiko, I'm gonna cut her too." Spinner glared at her, rapidly approaching the ceiling and the blinding white light. "When we're done with this world, and come back here to reincarnate, find a hole to hide in and pray to your higher ups that we don't find you. Got it?"
Aqua's smirk, illuminated in the heavenly light, was filthy. "Get through the world and beat the Devil King first, C-Rank Villain. Prove you can actually be a Hero, then worry about finding me. I give you two days, personally." She looked down at her wrist, annoyingly (Spinner could see she wasn't even wearing a watch) and gasped. "Oh, look at the time! More mortals to take pity on, more places to be! You two will do great I'm sure!"
"I'm gonna make you bleed..." Himiko settled for waving a knife in the goddess' general direction. "And I won't even drink it."
"Ooh, kinky. Sorry, I'm a goddess. You can't touch." Aqua blew them a kiss, and then waved, a heavenly chorus rising to meet her final words. "Sayonara, suckers!"
Spinner looked up, swore, and began to scream as the white light surrounded him, his screams even higher-pitched than Himiko's yelling...
Before the sudden sensation of falling forty thousand feet in a second smacked the wind out of his lungs, and the world around him became tragically in focus as he fell smack bang into the middle of a field. If landing on his back in the mud and wheat hadn't taken the wind out of his lungs already, the force of Himiko landing on top of him like an angry cannonball made sure of it. He was lucky that the knife in her hand, the knife she had been pointing at Aqua, splatted into the mud beside him, and that neither of them ended up impaling the other on any of their hidden blades (they had both shared a mutual respect for just how much they could each carry hidden on their person).
Spinner took a second, staring dazedly up at the blue sky and the clouds serenely drifting over his head. "... Ow."
"Ow," Himiko echoed, her head coming into his field of vision now looking down at him. She was clearly grateful he was alive again, at least, from the look her eyes, and her next words confirmed it. "I guess you're alive again, huh?"
"Yeah... reincarnation." He chewed on the word as he said it. "The world of Axel."
She looked down at him. "You know, this morning we just kicked some serious Yakuza butt. Stole Overhaul's bullets, got to watch Deku bleed, hurt a few Heroes."
"This afternoon you and the boys took Overhaul's arms, made him pay for what he did to Big Sis Mag and Compress. Tomura literally made him Quirkless without even touching his Quirk."
"And now..." Himiko frowned at him, so many emotions passing over her normally carefree face. "You died, got reincarnated, and I got dragged into some weird fantasy world with you where we now have to be Heroes, fight a Devil King, and try not to die if we ever wanna go back to Japan."
"I didn't mean to-"
"Right, sure, wanted some advice on a cheat item." She frowned. "Shuichi?"
"... what the fuck."
That was about the best summary he could offer too. "Yeah. What the fuck."
This wasn't going to be fun at all.
A/N: Hell yeah, I had a hoot fleshing this out. This was awesome.
As an announcement, my Shigaraki SI called Decay will update in the next couple of weeks- I finally have my map for the road ahead sorted, and I can't WAIT- and Incident Zero updates next Saturday (12th). Feel free to check either out, or my other work.
And most importantly, if you liked this please consider a favourite and a follow, and leaving a review. I love them all, and I would love to see whether this gets people interested because it was so much fun to write.
Ya boy, out.