Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Delta44
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While she was happy Kuuki agreed with her about her plan, she wished the gas girl had more to say. Azuki didn't know much about her companions quirks, so the more they could share the faster a half-decent plan could be made. She took more of a problem with Hiroki's response, though. "My worries aren't yours to concern yourself with. I know my own limitations, I don't need them told to me by-"
The gunshots were an unexpected interruption, causing the girl's heart to beat just that little bit faster, if only for a minute or two. With Turbines rushing off to go find out what caused it, that left Kuuki and Azukina alone to deal with the Lizard. Neither of them were really the people for the job, both for different reasons.
Fun.
"Why does he even bother talking about a break if he's going to run off like that...?" Quizzed Black-n'-White to herself, though easily loud enough to be interpreted by Umeru as a question directed at her. There was too much to focus on; the bus, the Lizard, the fire and music in the distance, her arm, it was just... overwhelming. Being the sporty girl she was, Azuki wasn't shy from stimulation, but something about the scale of what was happening made it hard to think clearly. If that awful screeching by the fires was Kaito then she would happily volunteer for another shot of audio adrenaline. But it would waste too much time getting there and back...

Speaking of the fires, with the adrenaline wearing off, the cold on her arm was becoming increasingly apparent. She was right in saying she could still use her power, but if it reached beyond her arm there would be some serious problems. But... they needed that cold to create some kind of slippery surface. Anything really to make moving the big lug of muscle a little easier.
She would have to use as little power as possible, yet minimise as much traction as she could for the journey.
And that's when it hit her.

It all came at once, a stream of ideas and thoughts collecting like she was some kind of mastermind. She wasn't, far from it, but she felt smart whenever this happened - whenever a plan came together. It got the giddy, excitable 15-year-old inside of her going. "I got it!" No doubt it'd still be a struggle. But her plan had to help somewhat. The road was in a comfortable enough condition, given your definition of 'comfortable'. She just hoped the villain -- that is, the man behind the villain -- would mind so much. "I can't use my quirk to a great degree without heating my arm back up. You could probably do that, but it will take too much time to do so and then freeze the road over. Plus, we won't get any traction on the ground if it's frozen, making it impossible to move him. So instead we do the opposite."

She did her best to gauge whether his front or back would be best, though ultimately she decided on the back, since damaging the area uncovered by scales was an injury she'd rather avoid. "I'll freeze his back enough to reduce the friction between him and the road. That way he should be able to slide easily, making him easier to drag. The bus is closer, so it might just be enough to work and keep it efficient. If you can, I'll need you to make some kind of gas to heat up my arm while I freeze his back. I think we'll need my arm in a mostly working condition because, well, I know I'm not exactly built for strength."
That wasn't to say Yomodachi wasn't fit, far from it! However, her build certainly favoured athletics to raw strength, something which could be useful if she could get a strong enough grip. "If you can't make that kind of gas, it's OK, I can still manage. I'll just have to hope nothing freezes too much. In that case, you might be doing more of the heavy lifting."
She made a pose with her arm to show off her 'muscles', a clear imitation of the great Symbol of Peace. "Lets show these villains that 'We Are Here!', and that we exert the strength of Kings, Umeru!"

And thus, the fangirl was revealed.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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Haruishi Mari
Getting out of Hiroki's way to reassess the situation, Zone 2

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After the villain bus driver hurled Shun at Mari, she toppled back and out of the bus. She wasn't prepared for Shun's next action as he teleported, first directly at the Overlord, and secondly, out of the bus, taking the gun with him. "Amazing, Datari-san!" Mari called out without thinking. Still sitting on the ground, and before she could think of a good way to take on this villain, the blue boy with the turbine arms showed up and began creating a suction force directed at the villain. The force of the wind was intense, and in an effort not to get in Hiroki's way, Mari, curled up and rolled to the side, before standing up. Her foot injury was starting to take its toll on her in the form of exhaustion. She couldn't believe how tired she already was, and the exam had just started, or so she thought, having lost track of time. Her mind raced as she tried to come up with a way to assist Hiroki, but her tired mind drew a blank.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by AdmrlStalfos19
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Continuing to monitor the field, the proctor gave a huge sigh. She had a feeling that The Dragon wouldn't want to have this conversation, but it needed to be done. She continued to observe from a distance when suddenly...

"Perhaps it'd be better if we put the examination on hold; at least for the moment if nothing else," The Shadow's voice called from behind the child proctor, which was enough to catch her by surprise.

"Uranishi?! I could've sworn you were...!" she exclaimed as she scrambled to backtrack to where The Shadow was supposed to be stationed, only to find that he wasn't anywhere to be found... much to her lack of amusement, "You knew where all the cameras were, didn't you?"

"Of course; I know this whole area like the back of my hand," The Shadow replied.

"Yeah, I bet," with that, the proctor looked at her stopwatch. There was about a minute left to go, which it would be a shame to let go to waste. After all, everyone else seemed to be having so much fun. Well... assuming the word "fun" would be the correct word to apply.

"In any case, you might be right," the proctor said, "Those injuries that Tanifuji inflicted are worth looking into as soon as possible, and I'm sure that the medical team would appreciate not being slowed down by the act of having to maneuver through all this chaos. Although this'll mean you won't be able to test Yomodachi's abilities like you wanted..."

"Yes, that would be a shame," The Shadow mused to himself, "Still, there's always another time,"

Nodding in acknowledgment, the proctor proceeded in making the necessary announcement.



Interactions: Dogorasu Goro (@Lugubrious)



In a last ditch effort to free herself from the manhole, Umi fired a blast of the murky water that she absorbed straight at the dummy she and the light-headed student saw entangled in the power lines. With that final shot, her body had shrunken just enough to allow for her freedom from the entrapment, painful scraping of her hip bones aside. Cockroaches had been rummaging around her legs while she was stuck, but they all scurried away again the second that light broke upon them. Her whole body wanted to collapse on the spot, but as much of a nervous wreck she looked to be on the surface, she forced herself on her feet.

"L-let's just get g-going," said Umi, as she collected the pieces of her costume, as well as one of the child-sized dummies, "I d-don't want to sl-slow you down, uh... N-not any more th-than I already h-h-have..."

She left her partner to take the other child-sized dummy and the adult-sized one that she'd pulled out from the sewer, since she couldn't carry any more. But before either one of them could get the one that was previously entangled in the power lines...

"Everyone, please stop what you're doing and return to Zone 2; we're calling the examination off early," that announcement had to be from the proctor, "Any dummies that you bring back with you may still be counted towards your score, unless you've deviated in order to retrieve them. Also, one of our participants is being treated by our medical team as we speak. If any of you have sustained injuries or the like during the course of the exam, now would be the time to see them."

...

Umi's thoughts immediately went to the dark-skinned girl that she saw earlier, on her way to deliver the first dummy that she had in hand. She could only imagine the suffering that the girl would've had to endure.
Hidden 29 days ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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"Everyone, please stop what you're doing and return to Zone 2; we're calling the examination off early. Any dummies that you bring back with you may still be counted towards your score, unless you've deviated in order to retrieve them. Also, one of our participants is being treated by our medical team as we speak. If any of you have sustained injuries or the like during the course of the exam, now would be the time to see them."

Shun stumbled away from the bus as the announcement was made. He felt sick, and not just because his body was rapidly tearing itself apart and putting itself back together again around the edges in an attempt to return to normalcy. It was over? But he was just about to win! He put himself through this for what? Nothing? Would he have to do this again? No, if they were doing a retest, the proctor wouldn't have said to bring any remaining dummies. He failed.

The adrenaline was wearing off. He was cold, battered, his quirk was overused, and he hadn't even rescued a single dummy. Worse, he'd left the one he could've rescued back by the starting zone - it could even be counted against him for leaving a civilian in a potentially dangerous situation. And he was so close to taking out this villain - the one that kept him from scoring. Shun clutched the gun tighter in his grasp. He failed.

He lethargically made his way around the bus back to Mari, eyelids drooped and body flickering sporadically like an image on a faulty TV set. Airplane Arms was there too. That explains the yelling and the breeze. Shun had barely even noticed. What a horrible day this was turning out to be. Hopefully he'd at least get pity points for putting up a fight.

"So, with the bus, uh, out of commission," he murmured, barely managing on a cheery front for the other two while pointedly avoiding looking in the Mastermind's general direction, "how are we getting home?" He still had the gun in his grip, hanging loosely at his side almost tauntingly. Petty as it sounds, he wanted this pretend-villain to see that he'd lost at the very least.


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Hidden 28 days ago Post by Delta44
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Before her teammate could say anything else, a loud announcement blared out over the area, warning everyone that the exam would be cut early. No doubt somebody had been injured, but to such an extent as to close an exam early? It had her worried for her fellow examinee, even if it happened to be one of the more difficult personalities from before. The exam still technically went on, but only as far as it took to get all examinees and their dummies back to base camp.

Which made Azukina think: did the order to take back dummies and leave the rest also apply to villains?

The Lizard hadn't moved yet. She had to speak her mind before he ended up making his own. "Right, we need to get this guy to the starting point." She made pace to The Lizard's body to flip him on his back, in case he was laying on it, so she could freeze it over. Though he was a heavy one, pivoting one's body low and using their legs meant anyone could roll over a human beyond their weight. The Lizard would be no exception; Azukina lifted his shoulder so it was off the ground, before pushing against it with her body, using her legs as her primary driving force. If she was lucky, The Lizard would make it easy for her. If not, Umeru doing the same thing to his legs would be enough, anyway.

"This is our only chance to score points now, unless a dummy lies directly between here and Zone 2." Began Black-n'-White in a more serious tone, though not entirely discarding her happiness from before. A few steps back meant she would be in a good position to cover The Lizard's back in an icy layer, thankful for the way her quirk had a cone-like functionality. "If we come across any dummies we should probably pick them up and take them with us. Getting as many legitimate points as possible now outweighs our need to score individually. I don't doubt that bagging this guy alone will put us ahead of our classmates, but any extras will be welcome. Not that the exam has much bearing anymore, being cancelled so suddenly..."

A hint of disappointment in that last statement contrasted the seriousness of her person, sounding almost withdrawn, in a way. However, it seemed Azuki shook said disappointment away, so to refocus on the task at hand. With a simple warning of "OK, I'm starting now," the monochrome girl lit up her palm once more, the cool air coming out in a more gentle yet concentrated breeze. Again, the fog made it easier to freeze his scales, and with The Lizard unmoving, her icy wind was quick to create frost. She hoped that, due to her acting quickly, frostbite wouldn't become an issue, especially with how he shrugged off her more intense suppressive blasts from before. If it was, surely he would let them know, right?

After a minute of freezing, the teen let her quirk fall idle, and moved towards the villain once more. He was still on the ground, and still breathing, though was probably a tad uncomfortable. But if she could show to him just how hard she would work for this, maybe he'd see their efforts as worth it? Maybe he would bear through it for their sake?

She really hoped so.

In any case, the two would roll him back onto his back. Yomodachi motioned for Umeru to join her by his legs, which were the best place to drag him from. His larger feet were easy to grip if one wrapped their arm around his ankle, and it would likely be the safest place to carry him by in the event he woke up, even if his tail put them in danger. "The legs are best to drag him by, his arms would only put us in danger. If we do it like this we can shift the strain to our legs, too, which makes dragging him easier. And if Turbines joins us, he can try for the tail, maybe even put those arms to good use for once!"
Considering how depressing it was to both not actually take down the villain and have the exam cancelled, the teen felt it appropriate to add a little humour in. Once they started dragging it would be even more painful, but hopefully, getting The Lizard to the finish line would prove as an accomplishment. At this point, she wasn't really doing it for the points. Now she wanted to prove to those that ignored her before that yes, she COULD effectively handle a villain, and so could Kuuki and Hiroki. They just had to omit the facts a little.

"Lets make the other students' jaws drop, shall we? No matter how much it hurts, we'll drag this guy back to Zone 2! And when the points are counted, we'll be the ones at the top, because Turbines doesn't count if he doesn't come help. You ready, Umeru?"
Despite her halfway-frosted arm, Azukina was ready to go, seemingly unflinching in the face of adversity. Even if it would likely make her legs hurt like Hell, she believed in their ability to make it, even if it would take longer than the others. It simply had to work.

When Kuuki gave the OK, Azuki would begin dragging with all her strength, hoping that the ice, scale and tar would be enough to offset the weight of the Lizard. She was confident it did. It was the same principle as ice skates on a frozen lake. And ice skating was something Azukina knew well.
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Hidden 28 days ago 28 days ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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The announcement to stop felt like a punch in the gut for Mari. She stood there for a few moments, stunned, staring at her hands. She had failed the exam. She secured no dummies, she couldn't take a down a single villain, she even let the villain drive away with all the civilians, jeopardizing everyone's efforts. She even sent a mass text telling everyone she'd handle it! As if noticing Hiroki for the first time, she looked in the direction from which he'd flown, and saw off in the distance, Azuki and Umeru dragging what had to be a downed villain. They had succeeded. She remembered her hubris at the beginning of the exam; telling the others to treat the dummies with care despite what the proctor had said, arguing with Hiroki that working together was better, and arguing with Azukina that that saving civilians was more important than taking down villains. She realized now Hiroki's misgivings, he didn't want anyone to hold him back, and she saw clearly that her efforts had been detrimental to the others. She understood now, Azukina's pragmatism, villains were a much greater threat to rescue efforts than she had anticipated, seeing them all kidnapped in one fell swoop. She thought they only cared about winning points, but she saw now the difference between 'heroism' and 'hero work'. On the one hand, she hated their obvious pedigree, that they were raised by heroes and learned the fundamentals from a young age, but she reminded herself of her conviction that no matter one's background, anyone could be a hero, after all, one did not choose one's parents.

She thought back to the scoring system. Did anyone meet or exceed the requirements to pass? A thought crossed her mind, the optimistic idea that the school had to let them pass since they couldn't not admit a certain number of students this year. The thought immediately sickened her, making her hate herself for even thinking it in her desperation. To ride on the coattails of others, to squeeze through on a technicality, to succeed, but not through effort alone, these were acts she stood against as a principle.

Suddenly, she heard Shun's voice. Looking up, she realized that she had destroyed school property. Now she was for sure not getting admitted. The school seemed underfunded enough, how much was a bus even worth? "I...I don't know," she replied to Shun, emptily, "I might walk..." But that last statement reminded her of the condition of her foot, and that she was walking in a borrowed shoe. "We should...convene." Mari started heading towards the starting area, limping like a zombie. As she walked, Mari's mind ran through what she was going to do now with her life. Attending Jigokuraku was her last option. Jigokuraku was the only school that had allowed her to apply without parental consent. Without schooling, she was effectively a runaway, and homeless. She could try supporting herself, but how long would that last? Did she dare go back? No, not after unlocking Thunder Road and halfway blowing her ears out. She finally got away. She just had to keep running.
Hidden 27 days ago 27 days ago Post by ShwiggityShwah
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Hiroki Sakimoto


Mari failed, Mari didn't seize the moment leaving Hiroki to act. Shun bought the moment and Mari was the distraction, so Hiroki had to act.

"MOVE YOU STUPID-!" There was no time. He got the guy down, he got him down with his wind and he ran forward, he was going to slam hand down. He had the moves, he had a way to lock this guy up. This was it! This was going to be his victory! And he didn't need anyone else to do it. The villain would no doubt be recovering in that moment, to see his blue form and fist raised.




An announcement stopped him.




It was like a flick switched off.

Again. Again. He was stopped again. The time by the bell. Not a single dummy. Fighting two villains, but he couldnt even get either of them. He clenched his teeth as he kept his fist above his head. He squeezed his hand so hard it shoke. As he considered everything. How he broke ahead, got trapped by a stupid trick, fought a villain that he had no way of beating, getting a pity party of a victory, then going to help secure the bus back and stopping just at that point of finally doing something, the world stopped.

It was a F***ing sick joke on him. He failed again and this time, he did everything he could.

Blood fell from his fist, he squeezed his hand so hard nails dug into skin. He screamed. "FFFFFFffff*****!!!" He screamed every profanity he could think of as he flew off in abject anger. He punched rocks, the bus, he stomped his feet and roared. "This is so bull!" He didn't know how to take failure, not like this. Not after everything that happened. He shot everyone who bothered a look of complete and total-

Hate.

There was no other word for it. It was hate. Mari was the first to feel his ire for not acting when she did, and Shun merely because she was nearby. Then came Azukina and Kuuki. They came with the villain that HE fought. That he bled for. They think they can take his victory. The battle was called before he had a chance to get the gun guy, but lizard man was still down. He saw the only way to get some points. The only way to pass this exam. He walked towards them, his hand flexing and his engines blasting. He knew he could take them.

"Give him to me." He demanded standing in their way. "That's my points."
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Hidden 26 days ago Post by KoL
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“I guess that’s it then,” Minami said to herself as she came back to the waiting area, carrying three more child-sized dummies to add to the pile that belonged to Houki and herself, which thankfully weren’t placed inside the bus just to be lost by the others who had nothing to do with their efforts. “Now it’s four for each one. I think we are in the lead, after everything,” she sent a message to Houki before slumping over her pile of dummies and coughing.

“Mom’s gonna kill me for this, nyah,” Minami said to herself, noticing how the fire and smoke had basically ruined her hair. She tried, however, to ignore the drama going around the other few students who were already waiting for whatever the school had to say about this very badly executed test. That said, Minami couldn’t help but flash a cat-like grin towards the other group, especially Jet Boy who seemed all too lost in his temper tantrum.


Hidden 24 days ago 24 days ago Post by TheWindel
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Well this was anti-climatic. With the test called out so rapidly, Houki had been left shooting her beams straight at the Hag. Whether or not the pseudo-villain would react to that was beyond her caring right now. Houki then stood up to dust herself off and readjust her glasses. No doubt the others would be heading back to Zone 2 right about now, so she didn’t concern herself with finding Kaito or Hikari. Instead, she let her feet carry her back to the bus area.

Or, what should have been the bus area. Upon entering Zone 2, Houki looked around. Why did the bus look run-down? Why were people just standing around and…arguing? She almost asked someone if she was in the right place before noticing a deflated Minami nearby. The ghost of a smile creased upon her lips and she closed the distance between herself and the cat girl. As she did so, she noticed the grown pile of dummies shared between them.

“Four dummies each. That’s not bad,” she commented to Minami, standing beside the collapsed cat girl and their dummy pile. “Were you just rescuing for the entire test? That sounds lackluster.” Whether it was or not didn’t matter, not when it had possibly given them both the advantage in points. She ignored the commotion going on nearby, hearing a student angry enough to bully his way to passing the test. If he wanted to try his hand on their pile…well, Houki was still itching to blast a hole into someone.


Hidden 17 days ago 17 days ago Post by AdmrlStalfos19
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While all the future students were convening on how they did as individuals, everyone that was playing the part of the villain had their own discussion with each other. Understandably, The Dragon was a little late to the party and, contrary to her usual self, showed a great deal of sadness in her face. She curled up into a ball on her seat and kept her eyes low to the ground.

“So what’s the story?” asked The Shadow, being the first to express concern.

“Well… Tetsumi-kun seemed to be OK from what I could see, but the medics insisted that we give him more time to recover,” The Dragon rose her head to make eye contact with The Shadow, but lowered it back again when she was finished with her explanation, “Guess a face-to-face apology is out of the question for today...”

Everyone had a moment of silence. The Beast admittedly had the head start in that department, not having actually said anything since The Dragon arrived. The Mastermind’s smile vanished, a rare sight as that was of him, as he took in the gravity of the situation. The Shadow simply nodded in acknowledgement, having been all too familiar with these types of scenarios. Even The Ruler felt obligated to pay her respects to her comrade of the fairer sex. Suddenly, however…

“Cheer up, Tanifuji; we all make mistakes from time to time,” The Mastermind’s annoyingly sparkling smile returned in the most unexpected of fashions as he said this, “In fact, we were still discussing how exactly we were meant to get the students home again considering the bus is now officially totalled. ”

“We did agree that the repairs were to come out of Goudo’s pocket, though,” The Ruler snarkily added.

“Correction; only for the panelbeating; it’d be highly unrealistic to assume a teacher’s salary would be enough to pay for a new engine,” The Shadow felt obligated to mention, to which The Ruler rolled her eyes in dismissal, “In any case, that’s beside the point. We should be focusing on how the students had performed as a whole...”

The Beast continued to remain silent for much of the meeting, as did The Dragon. As he looked slightly over to his left, he noticed that the proctor was visible on the outskirts of his peripheral vision, compiling all sorts of data on her laptop which had kept her preoccupied from participating too heavily in the meeting. It was at this point that The Beast finally broke his own silence.

“That reminds me,” he stated, turning to face the child-like proctor, “Go ahead and give those three the points they’d have gotten from me, if you don’t mind.”

“Are you sure about that, Itagaki?” the proctor asked for clarification.

“If it’ll stop a certain one of them from bitching at us later down the road...” The Beast grumbled through gritted teeth.

Nodding in acknowledgment, the proctor simply got back to what she was doing, while most everyone else were still going over a few things of their own.

“Alright, I have enough here to work with,” she said, “I’ll let the students know what will happen.”







Three days had passed since the exam had been held, and still there was no word on whether Umi had passed. The thought of her failing despite her best efforts… it was enough to prevent her from getting a decent night’s sleep. She got out of bed and washed herself up, and was just about to sit down to eat breakfast when she noticed her mother, Suguro Mako, with a handful of envelopes. Mako was reading one in particular that was meant for Umi, which had detailed the results on the examination at Jigokuraku Academy… and seemingly with high regards.

“Oh wow, this makes it look as though you aced the exam,” Mako said as she noted Umi’s arrival, before, no longer able to contain her excitement, rushing to wrap herself around the poor girl and squeezing her tightly in her chest, “I’m so proud of you, UmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIIII!!”

“M-mom!” Umi tried desperately to pry her head away from Mako’s breasts as she exclaimed, her face red in embarrassment as they made contact with the side of it, but the way her mother held her wouldn’t allow such a thing to be possible.

“C’mon now, don’t be such a prude,” Mako ruffled Umi’s hair with her free hand as she said this, only just now realizing the time after the slightest of glances on her watch, “Let’s get you ready. Don’t want you to be late on the first day, now, do we?”

With that, Mako let go and moved to fix Umi’s lunch for the day, whereas Umi herself finally got to sit down and pour her bowl of cereal. She glazed over the letter that was addressed to her specifically.

‘Suguro Umi

The bravery and fortitude that you showed during the examination are exactly what we’re looking for in an aspiring hero. We’ve had to make a myriad of difficult choices during our selection process over the years, but the decision to accept you was arguably the easiest decision that we’ve ever had the fortune of being presented. You should take great pride in your accomplishments.

Please make your way to the school hall at precisely 8:00am. Your fellow students and teachers will be awaiting your arrival.’


'How could they say that about me?' Umi worried over, unsure whether to be grateful or dismayed.

She also had to wonder how the proctor was able to gather enough information to make the executive decisions necessary, despite the fact that the exam was called off early. In any case, it wasn’t worth thinking about now that Umi had no-one to go over the facts with. She’d have to wait for the inevitable rendezvous with all the other participants of the exam...


Hidden 16 days ago 16 days ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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Haruishi Mari
It was another cold morning in Kirisama as Mari walked from the commune under the bridge towards the post office, dressed in a dirty hoodie, and with all her belongings packed in a duffel bag slung across her shoulder. When she had made her intention to apply to Jigokuraku and 'move' to Kirisama, she had set up a post office box at the nearest post office in town just so she could receive mail. She had enough money saved over, and had made some from recycling litter, that she could continue to pay for the P.O. box for the time being. She wasn't sure if she should put in the effort of finding more permanent lodging, and an actual job, or if she should just skip town, and look for warmer climates.

Mari had expected judgment at the end of the exam, but they didn't even call out the points they had earned (or not earned). The faculty instead had asked the students to wait a few days for a letter. They did at least, tend to her wounded foot. So Mari stuck around, just trying to make ends meet in the chilling fog of Kirisama, among the forgotten. She didn't know why she stayed. Having disappointed herself at the exam, she knew what her result was going to be, yet a shameless corner of her mind still held out hope that she would be accepted. When she left the commune, she had wrapped up everything that was hers and said her final farewells to the others who lived under the bridge, whatever the result, she wasn't likely coming back. Arriving at the post office, she walked up to her box and unlocked it with the key the office had given her, pulling out the letter and tearing it open.

‘Haruishi Mari

The sacrifices you’ve made for yourself are admirable, as is your level of perseverance. We would’ve completely understood if you felt unable to continue due to the injuries you’ve sustained to your leg, and yet you’ve decided to press forward. That said, try not to be so reckless in the future; it’d be unfortunate to lose a good student over something we are more than capable of preventing.

Please make your way to the school hall at precisely 8:00am. Your fellow students and teachers will be awaiting your arrival.’

Mari's knees went weak as, leaning against the wall of P.O. boxes, she slowly slid down into a crouching position, one hand against the wall, the other hand gripping the letter like her life depended on it, her arm covering her eyes as she bawled.



Mari arrived at Jigokuraku at 7:45AM, after making a detour to her gym to shower. Though she wore a stern look on her face, neither that nor her shower could hide the redness and puffiness around her eyes. She looked around to see if anyone else from the exam had arrived. If they accepted her, then surely most of the others had made it in as well.
Hidden 16 days ago Post by Delta44
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The morning alarm went off at 5:30 on the dot, and Azukina was immediately awoken. Like some of her other classmates, anxiety had eaten away at her for the past few days, causing her to doubt her placement. Returning to Aomori was a no-go, she simply didn't want to go back, and while she was sure she could get into another school, Azuki hated wasted effort. She'd stayed up late the previous night reading, enjoying more of her favourite philosophical text, as well as a few simpler hero fiction and non-fiction works. One day, she was going to be a hero, at least that's what she told herself. If her mother and little brother believed it, then maybe, just maybe, it would come true. Maybe, just maybe, she'd get her chance at Jigokuraku.

Surviving on what little money she had was tough, but the teen could make do. Breakfast was simple and small for today, no lunch, maybe a little something for dinner if she was lucky. But there wasn't really a whole lot of money to go around and keep herself supported. She was lucky that the landowner of the place she was currently renting was so kind, otherwise she'd be on the streets by now. There was gas, water, a little bit of food, and a warm bed. Surely, the teenager would have to find a way to repay the old lady later down the line, but for the moment her stay was coming to an end.
And the letter from Jigokuraku couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Fresh from the shower, it took her that little while to realise that there was a note on the floor in the front doorway. Careful to dry her fingers before reading it, the hero-to-be analysed the text with, at first, diligent attentiveness. However, this soon gave way to surprised glee, when she read the final part of the letter:
Please make your way to the school hall at precisely 8:00am. Your fellow students and teachers will be awaiting your arrival.’

Damn if they were, it was almost six in the morning! But she had to get ready, and quickly, if she wanted to make it to the school. Thankfully she was blessed by the gods with relatively straight hair, so she only needed to worry about getting dressed and packing her things, more or less. But with the added excitement of knowing she was accepted, Black-n'-White was out the door and on her way early, stopping outside the balcony to briefly catch a stray snowflake in the palm of her hand. She squeezed it tight, effectively killing the poor snowflake, before attaching her own letter to the door of her now former residency, informing the landowner of her departure. She was sure to add what loose change she could spare with the letter, with the promise to repay her kindness when she next could.

And with that, Azukina Yomodachi ran.



Before her lay the steps leading up to Jigokuraku. The long walk was a daunting journey, albeit an exciting one. But, like with all things that could be overcome with speed, Azuki would run it. She'd known running all her life, it was one of those things she was pretty good at, and had the stamina to keep going and going, like a hero! Beginning at the base at the end of a long road, Azukina Yomodachi was the first to reach the steps (as far as she knew) leading up to Jigokuraku High, and started the ascent with a sprint.

Trees and bushes acted as progress bars to the finish, the environment a deep forest all around. Not that there were any real landmarks, at least for a majority of the journey. At about halfway up a clearing presented itself in the trees, providing a beautiful view of Kimisama, the rising sun, the ocean, and the hills beyond. It was breathtaking in and of itself, but as she'd been running all this way, the teenager was plenty out of breath already. Still, with her height now well above sea level, she was confident there wasn't much left to her journey. Her brief rest gave her the strength she needed to carry on.

'I wonder if All-Might ever climbed stairs like these?' She found herself wondering as she neared the top, unsure of her progress until a sudden right turn gave rise to the tip of a building just up ahead. With renewed determination she sprinted, foolishly stumbling into a tree and also tripping on a step once or twice, but without losing any momentum. Her eyes were set on the top of the buildings - the rooftops, then the windows, the balconies! She came closer and closer to her distination, until finally, after what had to have been at least a half-hour of running, Azukina Yomodachi found the top.

She'd made it.

Finally.

Wind began to pick up around her as the realisation hit like a semi. Her dreams of becoming a hero were now right before her eyes, embodied by the school buildings before her. This was it. This was hero school.
For the past however long she'd been journeying Azukina had to stop herself from crying out in utter joy. But now she couldn't help it. Clutching her letter in her right hand, she raised her left up towards the sky, lighting a beacon for any and all who could see.

"YEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!"


It was a cry of victory. Tears were rolling down her eyes as her quirk shot off seemingly on its own, cooling the sky above, causing it to snow. But that just made her more happy. Eventually she calmed down, letting her left arm fall to her side, so she could wipe the tears away. Maybe she had been a bit too excited about it, but she couldn't help herself! So long as she didn't do that in front of anyone it was fine, right...?

Either way, she knew the way forward. The school hall was probably the biggest thing next to the gym, but was likely locked for the time being. Without much else to do unless she wanted to get out her things, Azukina placed her stuff by a bench outside, and began to stretch. No point in wasting a perfectly good morning for training, right?
(Arrived 6:50AM)



It wouldn't be hard for Mari to locate Azukina, doing push-ups in a gym uniform she'd borrowed from Mayuri's, looking like she'd been working out for most of the morning, even if others had arrived beforehand. She finished her set quickly, before rising to get a drink of water and noticing her fellow examinee, now both students. Seeing as the time was getting late, Cookies and Cream put the rest of her workout on hold for now, deciding to take a break and make good on herself to be... less of an ass to others. They already disagreed more than enough in the exams to warrant a negative relationship, and as she was in a good mood today, she didn't want to have things remain that way. Even if she was the most likely to ruin another friendship...

A light jog brought her over to Mari, as Azuki suddenly took the girl's arm and raised it, only to grab her hand firmly. She was the kind to believe in a firm handshake, even though she struggled with actually giving one. Still, she did her best, offering a smile to mask her inability to shake hands well. "Aha, so we've got another from the exams who made it! You're Legs, right? My name's Azukina. Yomodachi Azukina. Glad to see you made it too!" It was a simple introduction to be sure, but she didn't quite know how to handle a lot of social situations yet. Keeping things simple was probably for the best.
Hidden 14 days ago Post by ShwiggityShwah
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Hiroki Sakimoto


The academy just had a way to piss Hiroki off. He read maybe the first two sentences of his letter before tearing it up and throwing it in the trash. Another failure, he first thought, despite all that wasted effort. Giving it everything. He didn't leave a dummy, civilian behind even though it was a trap. He fought a villain that was essentially immune to his power, but he still fought. He forged a team, saving at least one of them. He investigated the bus, tripping up another villain whom was essentially taking hostages, and was maybe two feet away from apprehending him, only to have the buzzer call it. Every time he thought about it, he burned with rage.

He sat back at his desk. He was staying in a hotel for the night, his parents paid for it. They'd have take care of him a bit longer. He set his head down, looking at his hand, how scrapped skin was healing over after the efforts he put into it. He'd have to tell his parents. He'd have to find another school. The application, the drive, the preparation, just to have it stolen away from him again.

Was he a failure? Was he meant to just be? What? He remembered all the good times. How he wow'd his friends, announced he was going to be a hero, how his family rewarded him for every school medal, every physical trophy. How could he screw up so bad. He didn't, it was obviously that damned school. Screw Jigokuraku.

He got up, looking at the trash bin. He hesitated, going back the torn letter.




Winter was coming in early considering how cold it was. He was happy for his leathery furred flight jacket this time. No uniform yet. He guessed thats what the first day would be a bout. He hated that he had to do this. If they had such a rubbish first test, what was the rest of the year going to be like. He tightened up his backpack and took a deep breath.

Deep calming breath. Deep calming breath.

Having taken the last step and passing the gates, seeing a typical school building that he wasn't impressed with. It was his first step to being a hero, and to be completely honest, it just didn't feel like it. Getting off on the wrong foot. There were other students here, all hanging out before having to go inside, they had the uniforms, which made Checkers and Loud- Mouth stand out. They had their own school uniforms on which differed. In essence though, under his jacket was the striped green blue tie, blue blazer, and kacki's of another school. So everyone was atleast unified by the fact that they thought a school uniform, any school uniform was appropriate.

@Delta44@Stern Algorithm

"You two again?" Hiroki approached them beside himself. He didn't know anyone else and wasn't in the mood to be blustering nor trying to make friends. He just seemed annoyed, just like on the bus to the exam. He took the blue tooth piece out of his ear. He stared at both of them, hands in his pockets, a quiet moment between all of them. "Same class I guess. If you're here, then I guess Gas Girl's in it. And that disappearing nerd." he shrugged. "Picked the guys that had guts to take on villains. Not the worst criteria." He even smirked smugly. Was that a compliment.
Hidden 13 days ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Shun stared at the sealed envelope sitting on his desk like a predatory cat. He was crouched, keeping the unassuming postage at eye level as if he was waiting for it to invariably leap up and attack him. What could the Academy possibly have sent him? A conciliatory letter about how his efforts were commendable but ultimately futile? A scathing critique of his performance and how he let both a dummy and a villain slip through his fingers? An invitation to be retested due to the first exam having to be abruptly cut short?

He couldn't take it anymore. Shun grabbed the letter and ripped it open. He was pretty sure he stopped breathing halfway through reading it. He had to look over it again. His name was at the top, no mistaking that. This was, in fact, his letter. And... Yep, it still said the same thing the second time he read it. He did good on the exam? And was commended by a teacher, no less! Well, if you ignore the "almost".

He bounced up and down in the center of his room, clutching the letter like it was his lost baby or something, all the while squealing "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" repeatedly.

"Shun, stop yelling!" His mother chided loudly from the other room, seemingly not noticing the irony.

"S-sorry! But I got in! I passed!"

"That's great, honey, but keep it down!"

Shun hummed dejectedly as he deflated a bit, still pressing the letter against himself like his life depended on it. He guessed that was supportive. Although Jigokuraku wasn't exactly prestigious, so maybe that was the response he deserved. The academy had dorms, right? He'd have to start packing. He needed to be ready by... uh... there was no date, just a time. Did that mean tomorrow? He let out a yelp, for lack of a dignified response to the scenario.

"Shun!"

"Sorry!"

What was he supposed to bring? What was he supposed to wear? Were they going to give him a uniform? Hero schools had uniforms, right? Or did the students just walk around in their costumes all day? No, that would be silly. Would his middle school gakuran work? Or could he just slip a jacket over himself and hope no one questioned what was underneath?

He groaned as paced around the room, fidgeting with his hands anxiously. This letter left too many unknowns and not enough time to ask. No wonder Jigokuraku had such a bad reputation, it was an administrative trainwreck! Or... buswreck, in their case.

In the end, Shun barely managed to get himself ready before he left. He put a few essentials in his bag just in case, under the assumption he could come back and pack the rest when he wasn't on a time crunch and had a better idea of what would be happening. In terms of attire, he decided on his old uniform pants with a thick jacket covering the fact that his upper body wasn't quite up to formal standards. If everyone else was underdressed, he could just take the jacket off. Problem solved.

It was still early when Shun arrived in Kirisama, but he didn't really feel like he had time to linger before he made the climb up to the Academy. What was the point of it being so isolated? Wasn't like there was a lack of space here, half the city was rubble. As he made his way ever-closer to the mountain that Jigokuraku Academy sat upon, he peeked in the nearest store he could for a can of coffee - he woke up far too early for his tastes in order to even get to the city on time - before starting up the stairs. If getting there alone was a workout, Shun couldn't imagine what they'd be doing once classes started. The anticipation would've been exciting enough to get him to start running up the stairs, if not for the fact that he still had a drink in his hand. He settled for warping up a few steps periodically, taking care not to use his quirk at a tiring frequency. It wouldn't do to exhaust himself before he even got to school.

Shun craned his head around as he crossed the threshold of the gate, a stupid grin plastered on his face from ear to ear. He was actually standing in a hero school. As a student. Take that, muscle quirk guy from that one kickboxing tournament who said he couldn't one time. Wow, he really needed better rivals. He passed by the two-toned girl he recognized from the exam on the way in, but quickly kept walking. She looked like she was in the middle of a workout, and from her behavior at the exam, Shun doubted she wanted to be disturbed from that. He meandered around the grounds a bit, poking around for anything that gave clues as to the curriculum. Naturally, given the plainness of the school, he found nothing he could interpret.

When he passed the main building again, he noticed Inkblot had started conversing, and luckily to people he knew. Shun crept up behind Airplane Arms at the tail end of what he was saying, announcing his arrival by finishing the last of his coffee with a audibly grating slurping noise.

"Disappearing nerd? Somebody has an invisibility quirk?! That's so cool!" He interjected off the bits of the conversation he had gathered on the walk up. The devil may appear when you speak of him, but there's no guarantee he won't be too dense to notice you did.


@Delta44@ShwiggityShwah@Stern Algorithm
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Hidden 10 days ago Post by Lugubrious
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@Delta44 @ShwiggityShwah @Stern Algorithm @Scribe of Thoth



Seconds spent waiting, particularly for something important, felt like hours. Everyone knew it, and if standing around for a minute or thirty seconds watching something slowly spin in a microwave prickled one's patience, waiting for the most significant letter of one's life was positively enervating. After a while, Goro left his family's tiny apartment and found refuge in his happy place, the spot of tranquility—his rooftop garden. There, among the sweet potatoes, radishes, turnips, carrots, taro, and cabbage, he whiled away those heavy seconds.

After who knew how long, the stairwell door burst open, drawing Goro's glow like an escaping convict did a spotlight. There, partially silhouetted against the flickering yellow stair light, stood Goro's father. Lean, bedraggled, and prematurely balding, Dogorasu Seiha nevertheless gave off an air of optimism, of hurt but unbroken spirit, and it shone brightly now. Without a word, Goro rushed over, his feet pounding the concrete of the roof. He took the unopened letter from his dad's hand, washing it in his light, and slid a finger through the seam to tear it open all the faster. Holding it so that Seiha could see, the young man absorbed every word, drinking it in as a true believer might a prophecy. Its words, after all, would define his future; either his dream to brighten the world of heroes ended here, or Dogorasu Goro had taken his first step on the glorious path.

The message did not mince words, and in short order the two men were overcome with elation. In the silence that followed, only one noise made itself known: a heart release of bated breath. No words were necessary; Goro and his dad came together in the hardest, most visceral hug they'd ever exchanged. Eyes screwed shut, he beamed at the murky sky, a stream of joyous illumination lighting up the heavens for any who cared to see. Most likely, neither noticed the solitary tears wandering down Goro's cheeks. For the moment, neither minded if this moment lasted forever.

Still, time waited for no man, and before long Goro leaped into action. He prepared a bag of everything he needed, had a few bites of cereal, then rushed off to his new school. A lengthy stroll through cold air brought him back down to earth in a hurry, but nothing could dissuade the lightness of his heart. On and on he went, then up and up, the scenery and time passing in a euphoric blur. Then, before he knew it, he stood there. Jigokuraku Academy stood before him in all its glory—for it was glory, not just to someone well acquainted with rock bottom, but to a believer in heroes who knew what this place stood for. This was it!

He sought out fellow students, taking in those faces new to him, but looking in particular for those he knew. How many made it? Did Umi? Surely she had; nobody could have put more of him- or herself into that test than she did. After a time, Goro found his quarry. Four people from the entry examination had converged, likely thinking along the same lines as him. They stood on a great threshold, surrounded on all sides by big shoes to fill. In such a situation, solidarity was a must. Goro certainly aimed to give them as much of it as he could. Azukina...Mari...Hiroki...Shun, he listed off mentally, recalling each name from their various introductions before. Remembering one's name was a sure way to make someone feel as though he or she mattered, Goro knew, so he made it a point to commit each one to memory. “Good morning,” he said, waving as he approached. “I'm so glad to see you all here! I just knew our group had the right stuff.”
Hidden 8 days ago 8 days ago Post by Delta44
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Delta44 i'Ll TaKe YoUr EnTiRe StOcK

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Just as Azukina had thought she might get to speak with a fellow student one-to-one, fellow examinees began to approach the two, which she supposed made sense considering they stood out so much. Mari was by far the tallest female student, perhaps even the tallest student overall, and Azuki herself was a head above the rest, which was saying nothing of her hair. In a world full of oddities and oddballs, the real weird looking ones came from the eccentric or slightly unnatural. Surely enough, everyone who had gathered fit the bill.

First and foremost was Sakimoto. His acceptance was no surprise in Azukina's eyes - in spite of how she felt, she was certain the school would have seen his incredible potential, even if he ultimately did little more than she did. She judged him with caution at first, wary due to their last encounter during the exams, however quickly relaxed as he didn't seem to hold a grudge. His compliment didn't go unnoticed either, and it had her smirk at the prospect of the exam criteria. Taking down a villain practically guaranteed entry, so she felt confident she would see Umeru at some point, too.

While they hadn't really spoken much before, the emitter had managed to pick out the names of the next two entrants: Datari and Dogorasu. After the exams, everyone had a chance to mingle in the starting zone together, though most stayed with their cliques. Introductions went by here and there, some talking about how the exam went for them, others curious about the abrupt ending. Naturally the staff didn't want to say much, supposing they might be more willing to talk about it today. Datari was one of the examinees hit hard by the exam being cut short from memory, though pulled through with a smile on his face at the time, no matter how illegitimate that smile was. To see him here likely meant others who didn't get so many points could show up as well. Meanwhile, Dogorasu was ever helpful post-exam, using his light to rejuvenate those he could, even Azuki herself. His light was refreshing, keeping her freezing arm from cooling down to dangerous temperatures while adequate heat sources could be applied. To say she was incredibly thankful was understatement.

It had her wondering about who would show up next!

"It's certainly a lot more complicated than 'who fought the bad guys', Sakimoto..." There was a sigh of disapproval, but she seemed content to keep it to that, rather than pursue the issue further. "But if you made it then yeah, Umeru likely made it, too. I wonder what is keeping everyone?"
Monochrome quickly turned her attention to the newcomers, not wanting to exclude them from the conversation as well. Shun's reference to a 'disappearing quirk' stole a short giggle from the emitter, followed up with a quick nod. "Datari and Dogorasu, correct? It's good to see you both. It seems our group was rather able, though I'm afraid I can't recall any invisible allies off the top of my head." It may have been a little difficult to tell if she was serious or not in that final statement, as her voice was about as monotonous as her hair colour. Yet even that couldn't hide the clear excitement expressed through her body language, bubbly excitement a clear telltale to her energy earlier. While it was impossible to return to her school outfit with all of these people around, Yomodachi managed to slip on her blazer as she spoke, attempting to make herself a little more presentable before everyone would head on inside.

"Sorry for not being in uniform, I was working out earlier; I got a little bit excited and couldn't help myself. I arrived rather early so I don't know how long it has been..." The bench with her things was the perfect place for Azuki to rest her legs. Gentle sips of her water bottle helped refresh herself, staving off the exhaustion as her adrenaline high began to wear down. "But, I can't wait to see what they'll throw at us today. Introduction days are simple, but I hope we still get to show off our quirks like in middle school. I want to show my class that I've got the strength to become the Symbol of Peace! Sitting here makes the exam feel like forever ago, though..."
Hidden 7 days ago Post by Stern Algorithm
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Haruishi Mari

Mari notices Azukina approaching and offering to shake Mari's hand. Mari returns the hand shake but says nothing, her face is screwed up in a pained expression. The words catch in her throat and she is unable to express herself before Hiroki arrives. Did she deserve to be here among these two? Mari bit her lip, when Hiroki mentioned 'having the guts to take on a villain'. After all, she hadn't succeeded in taking the villain down. What was effort without results? How many times had she plotted to run from home and failed? Only the last time mattered. Though Shun and Goro had arrived soon after, Mari was unable to contain herself anymore. Facing Hiroki and Azukina, Mari straightened up, her arms at her sides, and bowed deeply.


"Yomodachi-san, Sakimoto-san, I apologize for the altercation before the exam! I was ignorant! I just want to save people, but I know nothing at all about what it means to be a hero! I misread you, made assumptions, and said unkind things! I hope you can forgive my hubris and accept me as a fellow classmate, despite my inadequacies!" Mari declared, and stayed bowed, waiting for a response from Azukina and Hiroki, despite being in full view of Shun and Goro.
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