“You want me to do what?” I stared in disbelief at the blonde male. Surely I had heard him wrong… right?
He stepped out onto the balcony, his bony fingers wrapping tight around the metal railing. “As you know, my time is growing shorter. I must find a successor as soon as possible, and U.A is the perfect place to find him.”
“Yeah, that’s true.” I leaned against the glass door, folding my arms across my chest. “What’s that got to do with me though?”
“While it’s true that you can’t seek out a successor for me, you can help me keep my secret and find possible candidates.” He spun around, blue eyes shining with determination as he pointed his bony index finger at me. “I need your help, Jade-chan!”
“Oi oi, I don’t have what it takes to be a teacher. I don’t know the first thing about teaching! Plus… doesn’t he work as a teacher there?”
All Might grinned as his frail body started to fill out with muscle. “That’s even more reason for you to join me, Jade-chan!”
My eye twitched and a sense of dread washed over me. “I’m not getting out of this, am I?”
He simply laughed in response as he slapped my shoulders roughly with his large palms. I was starting to get a really bad feeling about my future right now. Damn heroes and their bullshit. Why do I have to be involved?
Now feeling annoyed by the situation and his constant slapping, I lifted my foot and slammed it against his knee. The impact sent him to the ground, shocking him out of his hero form. “Stop getting blood all over my floor, you idiot!”
I felt a strong presence approaching, but I was given no time to react. As soon as my body registered it, my front door slammed open. A cloud of smoke flooded my apartment and my ears registered the sound of heavy breathing.
“Jade-chan…” The familiar voice of Toshinori greeted my ears as the smoke began to clear. The blonde super idiot stood hunched over, blood dripping from the corners of his mouth. He had overused his power again, clearly. Doesn’t he realize he’s only shortening his time?
I opened my mouth to scold him, but the words quickly died in my throat as our eyes met. Those bright blue eyes of his were shining with newfound vigor and resolve.
He grabbed my shoulders, the tips of his fingers digging into my flesh. “I did it.”
“Uh, what did you do? And should I be worried?”
“I found the boy who is going to inherit One For All.”
“Eh?” My eyes widened in shock. Was this some kind of joke? No, he may be a giant idiot, but he wouldn’t joke about something so important. But… how? U.A. classes didn’t start for about 10 months, give or take, so how the hell did he manage to find someone already?
He smiled, wiping away the blood with the back of his hand. “Get me some water, and I’ll tell you everything.”
As promised, Toshinori told me about the sludge monster and his meeting with a green-haired boy. He explained that he had been too worried about his time limit that he hadn’t realized that he had dropped the sludge monster in question (who had apparently been tightly packed within an empty drink bottle). Surprisingly, he even showed his real self to the young boy. After finding out that he is quirkless and wishes to become a hero, he told the boy that he should dream more realistically (a low blow, in my opinion). The now free sludge monster then appeared in the city, having gotten a hold of a boy with an explosion quirk. Despite being well over his limit, Toshinori managed to squeeze out the very last of his power – he described it as squeezing out the very last bit of the toothpaste from the tube.
“Midoriya shounen, with no quirk to assist him, rushed forward to try and save the boy. He showed no thought for his own safety. It was then that I knew… he’s the one to inherit my power.”
I leaned back against the couch, resting my ankle on my knee. “Are you sure about this, Toshi? Kids with quirks have spent nearly their entire lives with power – it’s a part of them, as natural as breathing. But someone without a quirk, who has never experienced power before… to suddenly gain power, especially one as great as One For All… it sounds hella risky.”
He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “Honestly, it’s extremely risky. I told him that, as well, but he still accepted my offer. Even without a quirk, he has shown me great potential, the potential to be the best hero – ” he took a deep breath, ” – the potential to take my place as the symbol of peace.”
I looked away, not knowing what to say, so we sat in a comfortable silence for a while.
This whole situation seems like it’ll end up being a pain in the ass. My eyes shifted to the resting blonde. Looking at him like this, he seems so frail and weak. It’s hard to believe that he’s the strongest pro hero. But… I’ve seen him fight up close and personal. His strength, power, determination – it’s all genuine. Toshinori is a true hero, not just in the level of his power, but also in the way that he cares about others. Although he’s constantly in the news because of his popularity, he genuinely doesn’t care about the media attention. Most of the pros these days care more about appearance than actually helping people. Like that damn Mt. Lady.
My eye twitched as she appeared in my mind. She’s not really a bad person, per say, she’s just… really friggin’ flashy. Nearly every article features pictures of her ass. Honestly, people like her make me glad that I’m not a pro hero.
“I forgot to mention,” Toshinori’s voice broke my train of thought. “He’s applying to U.A.”
“…WHAT?!” I sat up, eyes wide as I stared at him in shock. “The entrance exam is in ten months! You can’t take a quirkless kid and train him for a mere ten months and expect him to inherit One For All with no issues, you moron!”
“Don’t worry, Jade-chan! It’ll work out!”
He really is a fucking idiot…
Toshinori and I made our way to Dagoba Municipal Beach Park, a beach side that had become the dumping ground for various types of trash – mainly broken appliances. A young boy stood near a refrigerator, a rope tied around his chest connecting him to the item. He was clearly struggling to move the damn thing. Now that I see him closer, he looks about as small as Toshi does outside of his hero form. His green hair is just as unruly as he had described.
The boy took a break when he saw us approaching (not that he had made much progress). His emerald green eyes looked between us in confusion, but he made no move to speak. If I had to guess, I’d say he didn’t want to call out to All Might in case I didn’t know his true identity.
“Midoriya shounen,” Toshi pointed his thumb at me and grinned. “This is Winchester Jade, she’s a good friend of mine. Jade-chan, meet Midoriya Izuku.”
“Sup?” I nodded my head at him, stuffing my hands into my pockets.
His cheeks dusted with pink, which mingled nicely with the freckles that adorned his skin. “H-Hello, Winchester-san.”
“Jade is fine, kid.”
“She’s going to help me train you!”
“Oi oi, I never agreed to that!” I growled, slapping the back of his head and sending him face first into the sand. “You said that you wanted me to meet him, not train him!”
His body hulked up as he jumped on top of the forgotten fridge, his laughter ringing out across the deserted beach. “Time to get back to training, Midoriya shounen!”
Oi, don’t ignore me you bastard… My eye twitched.
The boy in question did as he was told and began his feeble attempt at moving the large appliance. No matter how hard he tried, it was obvious that he was wasting his time.
I just stood off to the side, deciding to watch from afar.
“Hey, hey, hey! This is a comfy fridge to sit on!”
I facepalmed. The kid probably couldn’t even move the fridge by itself, must less with that muscled idiot kneeling on top of it.
Izuku kept trying to pull but ended up slipping and hitting the ground face first.
“If you could move it even a little, it would be a little easier.” Toshi looked off to the side, that annoying grin plastered on his face.
He slowly pushed himself onto his hands and knees, looking over his shoulder at the hero. “Well yeah, I mean, you weigh 600 pounds, right?”
“No, I lost weight, so I’m only 564 pounds now. In this form.”
My eyes narrowed at the information, connecting it with him losing power. Why the hell did he not tell me that he’s losing weight?
Izuku sighed and looked around at the large circle of trash. “Anyway, why am I dragging trash at the beach park?”
Toshi laughed, bringing out his cell phone and snapping pictures of the helpless boy. “It’s because, you know, you’re not a proper vessel.”
“What you’re saying now is the opposite of what you said before!” He cried.
“I’m talking about your body. My quirk, One For All, is the fullest physical ability of many people gathered into one. An unprepared body cannot inherit it fully. The limbs will come off and the body will explode.”
“The limbs will what?!” He quickly shook his head, probably to rid himself of the mental image. “Then… I’m picking up trash in order to train my body…?”
“Yes!” Toshi gave him a thumbs up. “But that’s not all. After some research on the internet yesterday, I discovered that part of this beach park’s coast has been like this for many years.”
“Yeah. For some reason, because of the currents, objects drift here a lot and people take advantage of that to hide their illegal dumping… The local residents don’t come near here, either.”
“Heroes these days are all after the showy stuff.” Toshi slammed his palm down on top of the fridge, easily crushing it with his strength. “Originally, being a hero meant doing volunteer service. Even if people called that boring or whatever. You can’t waver from those roots.” When the dust from the impact cleared, the light of the rising sun illuminated us. “You will restore the horizon for this whole section! That is your first step toward becoming a hero!”
Izuku whirled around to look at the mountain of trash. “My first step…? Clean… this… all of it?!”
Even I have to admit, it seems like Toshi is hoping for too much. This is a lot of shit to clean, and most of it is heavy equipment and broken appliances. As weak as this kid seems to be, there’s no way he can manage this.
“Midoriya shounen, you want to go to U.A., right?” Toshi questioned.
“Yes… yes! Because it’s where you went!”
That seems like a shit reason…
The boy smiled, placing his hand over his heart. “So if I’m going to go… I thought it would definitely have to be U.A….”
“You’re a go-getter fanboy!”
“Fanboy?” I echoed with a raised brow. “Don’t tell me… you’re a hero fanboy…”
Izuku smiled shyly and nodded his head.
Did that idiot really choose a fanboy to inherit his power?!
“I’ve told you this before,” Toshi started, turning around to face the sun. “It’s not something you can do without a quirk. It’s sad, but that is what the reality is. And U.A.’s is the hardest hero course to get into. In other words…”
“In the ten months until U.A.’s entrance exam, I have to complete my vessel!” Izuku finished.
The blonde nodded me over and asked for the papers he had given me before we arrived. I handed them over and he smacked them with his index finger before speaking. “That’s where this comes in! ‘Aim to Pass: American Dream Plan’! It’s a training plan to help you finish cleaning up the beach. I’ll have you follow this in every aspect of your life!”
Izuku took the papers and started to read over them. “Even sleep time is included…”
Toshi leaned in close, covering his mouth with his hand. “Frankly, this is a super hard schedule. Can you follow it?”
“Of course…” He assurance surprised me, honestly. “I have to work many times harder than everyone else or else I can’t do it!”
Toshi nodded his head in agreement before sending me a thumbs up.
A couple days passed without a word from All Might. Of course I kept up with him easily despite that thanks to his media attention. He doesn’t seek out the media, but they flock to him like moths to a flame, it’s so annoying.
I glanced at my phone and groaned. My interview with U.A’s principal is in less than an hour and I’m torn on what to do. On one hand, I know how weak Toshinori is becoming and I do owe him. On the other hand… I really want to ruin the interview so I don’t have to worry about teaching a bunch of hero wannabes – I know it will annoy me and be more trouble than it’s worth.
Thanks to the visitors card that Toshi had given me, I was easily able to slip past the security gate at the front of the school. Just outside the front door, Toshi stood, dressed in a suit that was a few sizes too big for his normal form.
“It’s my interview, why the hell’re you wearing a suit for?”
“Encouragement, of course!”
“That’s not very encouraging.” I muttered to myself before raising my voice. “Let’s get this over with yeah?”
He nodded and lead me inside the building towards the office. He raised his fist to knock on the door only to pause and turn his sunken eyes towards me. “Ready?”
“Good, let’s go!” He knocked loudly, opening the door as soon as he got a response. “Good afternoon, Nezu-kouchou!”
“Good afternoon, Toshinori-kun!” The principal is a… erm, rat? No wait, a cat? Dog? What the fuck even is this guy. “And you must be Winchester Jade.”
“Err, yeah.” I reached down, lightly grasping his extended paw.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, I’ve heard many things from Toshinori-kun.”
I narrowed my eyes at the blonde. “Is that right.”
Toshi cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his head. “Let’s sit down.”
Of course he’s avoiding the subject.
We both took a seat in front of his desk while he prepared tea for us. I shifted uncomfortably in the small chair, wishing I was anywhere but here. This all seems so stupid to me. I glanced at Toshi, who was coughing lightly into his hand. If he wanted me here to help him, I could easily do so working security rather than teaching. Knowing me, the students I teach will probably grow up to be villains, not heroes.
Nezu handed us both a cup of tea before sitting behind his desk. Toshi sipped the tea with no problems, but I could only stare down at the steaming liquid. Maybe it’s an American thing, but I prefer my tea with ice, not steam.
“Now, then.” Nezu set his cup down and placing his paws together. “Toshinori-kun has informed me that you wish to become a teacher here at U.A. High. Is this correct?”
No, I’m being forced by this blonde idiot. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“I appreciate your interest. However, since you are not a registered hero, I can not entrust you with a class full of hero-hopefuls. I’m sure you understand.”
I bit back a sigh of relief. “Yes, of course I understand. I tried to tell him that, but – well, you know better than anyone that he just doesn’t listen.”
“But Nezu-kouchou – !”
The principal held up a paw to stop the blonde from continuing – surprisingly, he shut his mouth instantly. I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s a secret ability he has. “With this information in mind, I have decided to hire you as an assistant teacher.”
And just like that, my mood went down and Toshi’s went up. I cleared my throat and shifted in my seat. “Are you… sure about this? As you said, I’m not even a hero.”
Nezu hummed, closing his eyes for a moment. “I’ve thought this over carefully. Although you are not a registered hero, you have a lot of experience fighting villains and saving people. It is my belief that that students can benefit from your experience. On the other hand, I also believe that you can learn and grow from the teacher you assist, as well as the students themselves.”
I fell back against the chair, feeling a drop of sweat roll down my cheek. He did have a point, I guess… How could I argue with that? Still, with my bad temper and lack of people skills, I have zero confidence in myself teaching a class full of brats. Do they even know what being a hero means? Idiots.
“With that said, welcome to the U.A. High staff team!”
“And thus, my fate shifted before I could switch the rails.
I plopped onto my couch with a sigh, one hand holding a can of soda and the other clutching a manila-colored folder. The folder had been given to me by Nezu before we left his office – inside is information on all of the students in my class, as well as information on the teacher I’m going to be working with. Honestly, I don’t even want to open the damn thing, but going in unprepared could be pretty risky.
“Let’s get this over with.” I muttered, flipping over the folder. Each student got one sheet containing their picture, basic information about them, as well as details about their quirks. I didn’t read every word, mainly just skimming over all of the information provided. I noted a couple interesting-looking students, as well as a couple that I knew would be a pain in the ass. Midoriya Izuku was also on the list – the information about his quirk was vague and it was obvious that they didn’t know a thing about it. I remember how excited Toshi had been when he found out that Izuku had been accepted.
He honestly acted like a little kid on Christmas.
I was nearing the end of the stack when my eyes scanned over a familiar face. My body instantly froze up, a chill rushing up my spine like a waterfall on reverse. My hand tightened around the folder, shaking slightly from the amount of pressure being used. The sound of my heart thumped loudly within my ears – it was all I could hear.
Could it really be him? Up until this point, I had actually forgotten all about him. What are the chances that he’d show up at U.A.? Well, I suppose it’s not too unlikely. He has an amazing quirk – it makes sense that if he chose to become a hero, he would apply and, ultimately, be accepted at U.A. That I understood.
But what is the chance that he’d end up in the class that I’m going to be working with? I’ve never really been a big believer in fate or destiny, and yet… why is that the only thing that comes to mind when I think about this situation?
I groaned loudly, sliding down on the couch. If he remembers me, my life could take a wrong turn real quick. It’s been about nine years since I last saw him; he was only seven at the time… If I had to guess, I’d say the chance of me being in his memory is pretty low. So why the hell do I feel so uneasy?
A wave of regret washed over me suddenly. “This is going to suck so~ bad.”