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Virum's approach slowly started to make its way amid the drone of voices until his broke the chorus behind them. Lanestol came back to what felt familiar and real again. He turned to the companion he just healed after they made their way downhill when he was asked if he was alright. Of anyone who could have asked, it had to be the fastest learner of the crew.

"I might just be hearing things is all. I'll be fine." He continued uphill, focusing on how Virum was handling the walk back uphill. "Probably should make sure you're still together once we get back to the ship. I hope I did a good enough job, though I also like to check up on patients when I have to do off-ship operations." He tried shifting the topic so he didn't remain in a state of terror from what he thought he just experienced. He wasn't lying. He just needed to think about anything else.
Toshinori stared intently at the girl, watching as she took notes and looked back to him to listen. He could tell she was getting at least enough to work with to start. He could take hope she would have more than just his words to cut-and-paste for an assignment - that she would take this time to take his words to heart. Hopefully, the right ones. Even as he had been in this role for a while, he feared he still had some old tendencies. He felt his words, even now, might inspire too extreme a message in one direction, even as he had shied away from the other. He sat back at attention as Mela asked him further questions.

"Absolutely," he replied, answering her first question in the lull. "You are currently at the time for marketing yourself to agencies out there, while you do not have independent experience. Your brand is what you show your teachers here at UA, your mentors in your internships, your judges at exams and the people you meet along the way in working to become a hero. More by the day, people have changed their attitude about the big, bombastic, flashy hero. And they have compelling arguments. That sort of hero, who has already endured schooling and training, will almost always have the skill to back up their bravado.

"What people have discovered is, for every All Might, there are about a hundred imitators and wannabes who want to be the All Might type of hero, even if only one, maybe two, could actually do it at their peak. The other 98 will learn a painful lesson in some form...if they live to learn it afterward. Heroes are becoming much more focused on the practical. Get the right heroes for the task at hand, get the job done and get out. There will be time to smile for the cameras when the threat is defeated. The sort of theatrics I did are rightfully dying out. Villains aren't as patient to stand around while the enemy hero makes a show of it. They will cut your throat as you speak. If you're gonna make a statement, get the job done all the way first."

He listened as she next moved to the Sports Festival, a more immediate need for her to gain from and prepare for. He nodded after she posed her question. "Of course you want to highlight your strengths. The Sports Festival is, more or less, your commercial for hero agencies to watch. You want to show them what sort of role you can fulfill and what you are best suited to tackle. At the same time, you also need so how you can adapt if whatever situation you end up in is adverse to your skills and Quirk. You may not get to work at a hero agency staffed well enough that they can send out a specialist or two to handle certain tasks. You might have to go to anything and everything or pick up anything that happens on a patrol. Wherever you go, you will end up in a situation where you're outmatched. You have to have to do your job. You will fulfill the mission. That alone makes a massive difference. It's amazing what you can do when you tell yourself you have to do it. Use your strengths when you can. Use whatever you have to when you can't."

- - -

Ryuichi once again tuned in on Nemuri as she started to give her thoughts on his self-assessment. He expected her to comb through his analysis, though she was set on teaching a greater lesson instead. He nodded along as she seemed to agree with the core of his though process regarding their hypothetical duel - he would be at a major disadvantage. She turned it back around with what she wanted him to take away from her question, however. If he was actually in against Midnight, there were ways he could accomplish his mission. He had to think more about it, depending on what else there was, though he had to figure out and do something.

"Your feelings can sway a battle. You cannot go in feeling like you've lost already." He underlined these words in his notes and seemed to look straight at them once Nemuri paused. Perhaps this was at least one of his keys to make the final knockout stage at the Sports Festival. More important, he needed this for anything he would do in the future, especially hero work. Sure, his Quirk was powerful if he could get it to work on someone. He had always been thinking about its limits. How he couldn't work it on anyone he couldn't touch. He had always adjusted and thought about the rest of his limits. How he couldn't take as much damage before yielding, and how others knew it. She hit it square as well on that matter - even if they know what he's capable of, he can still win.

"Thank you for that. I will be sure to hold onto that. I've thought of myself as a good analyst and a realist for those situations. I would guess the reality is we are called upon to achieve the improbable anyway. This does lead me to my next question. Heroes and villains alike are getting stronger as hero academies produce more graduates. You appear to be of the mindset to succeed any way possible. How does this work in the current outlook for combating ever-growing threats? How do you adapt in a world that seems to want to muscle you out of hero work?"
I'm still up for it
Open again to new partners or old partners who want to try something else!
Toshinori smiled a bit as Mela started the interview and commended him continuing on his work helping, even as his Quirk had long since snuffed out. If he could puff out his body to let out a hearty laugh as he did many times before, he would have done so at this moment. He was satisfied to beam as wide a grin as he could muster up, renewed with a bit of purpose once more to carry on. He heard praises over and over on a daily basis with Deku, and though he was proud to know he was doing all he could with his successor, every now and then, praise like this felt special.

"'ve got the heart of a hero. You're right. Being a hero isn't just about having a powerful or impressive Quirk. I know that now from many years of having and building upon my skillset and abilities with a powerful and impressive Quirk. And from being on the other side of it for a few years now. For all that time when I could stand tall as the Symbol of Peace, I brought with it a brash attitude. I felt invincible, to a degree. Like if I could jump headlong into danger, anyone could."

He sighed as he once again remembered those times. He had even continued watching old recordings from time to time on days when he felt particularly rough or weakened. Even having moved on for the most part, there were still memories and yearnings for times when he could personally stand up to those with powerful and impressive Quirks who used them for themselves and their selfish and criminal ends. Reflecting back, it almost felt wrong in a sense. Like sending children off to be the next round of soldiers. Like assigning them to charge against villains who could kill them without remorse. And yet, the alternative - survival of the fittest - was a worse outlook yet. If they were to die and suffer, better they fall standing.

"I have started to see more and more over this time focusing on my teaching that is not always the case. Typically, great heroes do start out with a great story from their days in school. We, as a society, glorify those who, in their youth, charged into a situation, even if they knew they would lose. As you may have noticed, the reality is UA doesn't view this as kindly. Security measures have only gone up. Access continues to recede. Even the Sports Festival has been on the block since UA erected on-campus dorms. You at least have to get creative to get involved. Heroics in school like from my generation at UA will get you thrown out in this generation at UA. Part of doing the right thing is knowing what that right thing is."

- - -

Ryuichi had come in expecting no less regarding Nemuri's language when she spoke and he started jotting down notes. Even if he would have to break up her quotes into more appropriate sound bites, he took care to write down her words verbatim. He took notice of the way her office was decorated and tried to hide his discomfort with how this setup was almost so suggestive, it wasn't suggesting anymore. Nevertheless, a slight nervous sweat betrayed being a bit on-edge with her demeanor. While he understood she had a reputation she embraced, he did try to steer clear of urging the act onward.

Her comments had his slight sweat grow into one more noticeable. He still was a teenage boy and such thoughts still crossed his mind the same as they did those who had also rushed in to interview Midnight for their assignment. He seemed much more conscious about them, however, and as he heard her describe the general ideas behind what she thought it took for her to get her job done, he attempted to filter the naughtier talk for the nuggets of wisdom he could take out of the conversation. He especially latched on to relying too much on a Quirk. Frustration and disappointment were familiar to him, especially in the backdrop of his last Sports Festival on the horizon. Over the past year, he felt he did a lot of what he could to make himself more versatile, more prepared to take on anyone, no matter what they knew about him. Beyond that, she was correct to implicate he had to face off even the least favorable enemies. Lives would depend on it. His first lesson from the interview itself: learn to thrive in the face of danger.

As she cut to turning the question back on him, he snapped back out of his focus and back into a cold sweat once more, becoming conscious of her undertones again.

"Well...more or less, since I don't have anything to combat you knowing I'm there, like hypermobility, an elemental power to change the terms of engagement or anything like big bursts of energy to say 'forget what you can do, I'll just blow you away,' it would stand to reason my best bet against you would be an ambush. I would have to catch you before you could roll back enough of your suit, which wouldn't take much time at all. Even if I were successful in touching you, fractions of a second make the difference in whether you take me down with you or not. And it's more likely you wake up first afterward. As soon as you know I'm there, you could protect yourself and I would have to back out if possible."

He felt it was an honest self-evaluation, even if it had a heavy pessimistic outlook. He assumed a writing position again, ready to take further notes from Nemuri on her thoughts about his answer. Would she agree? Offer something he could use in the short time left before the Festival? Or maybe even turn his thinking around?
Lanestol observed others as they placed their items among the vast piles. He did not notice one of his comrades disobeying their guide's orders as he was more intrigued with Orky noticing an item from among a fallen of his race. He sensed the artifact's remnant energy, as though a piece of its former owner's soul lingered upon the helmet. He could not pick up exactly what, though, and let the orc have his moment to lay the fallen warrior to rest.

He snapped back to reality. He hadn't been able to pick up on that before. He was strictly a medical professional, able to tell live from dead about as well as the next doctor. He seemed to hear voices calling from the treasures and trinkets strewn out and piled high before them. Voices of fallen, of those lost adrift in space and in unknown reaches of planets. They started to sound like they were talking over one another, and only grew louder as he continued to linger at the site.

Fortunately enough, Gorchek ordered them all back. Just as well, for he needed to find a place to quell these new voices he couldn't pick up on before. He filed in to board a shuttle back to the Stone-Turner, trying not to panic or let the adrenaline rush show in a cold sweat or tense sensation, though his eyes seemed betrayed his uncertain fear nonetheless. Who were these voices? How did they speak to him now? He tried to drown them out to avoid answering those questions.
He would admit the first few months without being able to make use of his Quirk were difficult, as any major change in life is. The public had to adjust to a new world without their Symbol of Peace. He had to adjust to a new world where he could not be there when physical danger arose and he had to trust another to carry on his legacy. To carry on a greater legacy. Those first few months, the remainder of that school year, he felt...powerless. And yet, a strength he did have left was his moral core. One Nana Shimura passed on to him in her time. One he used even now. Evidence of that began with his appearance. He had finally switched his suits to fit his normal form. He actually sat down to learn to teach students, through observation and through lecture as he was asked here.

And even now, he found it amazing someone would approach him for such an assignment. To sit down and speak with Toshinori Yagi in his life after All Might. Even now, the legacy he once bore had infected someone other than his successor. He was used to his former identity being that inspiration for the multitude of kids all across Japan to use their Quirks to become heroes. This would be a rare encounter, discounting Deku, with someone coming to him to talk about his life now.

"Of course I'm free to talk. We should probably go somewhere I won't be scolded for bringing in one who isn't a teacher." He proceeded out the door and walked with Mela to a more private room, one that was often used for high-security written exams. One where a teacher and a student could be one-on-one with nothing else to observe.

"So, Miss Ueda. If I remember this right, you have impeccable balance on just about anything one can stand on. And a bit of archery skill as well. What exactly brings you to interview the washed-up Symbol of Peace? Why not go for someone who can still participate in the field?"

- - -

Ryuichi tried not to let himself appear flustered as Nemuri touched him and agreed to a one-on-one talk for his assignment. He dutifully followed the pro hero back to her office. He almost felt like being a little arrogant and smirk that he snatched a coveted interview time with Midnight, the R-Rated Hero. Though, to do so would be to have the same ulterior motive as the others who wanted this talk with her as well. From what was available and what he could gather, she was one of the best in terms of technique. With his own physical abilities paling in comparison to his Festival rivals, he would have to become a technical specialist himself to stand a chance at making the final phase. The interview would be perfect for picking her mind on that first.

Once they arrived at her office and she had made a comment offering to help relieve some of his anxiety, he politely declined. "Thank you, Miss Nemuri, though I feel I work best with a bit of pressure. The honor is mine to speak with you. I would like to start with asking about your hero work. What have you had to do to make the most effective use of your Quirk? With how you've demonstrated to foes many times over, surely, they have figured to attempt to stay away from you. How do you compensate for that in a confrontation?"

He placed his notebook and pen at the ready to take notes and attempt to quote Nemuri as close to verbatim as he could keep up with. He felt eager to absorb everything he could learn, though he had some feeling he would have to edit out pieces with potential references to more mature methods. She wasn't considered the R-Rated Hero for nothing, after all. Even if it was just an act she put on for the public, this might end up being part of that as well. He would write that down, though he would have to exclude the raunchier bits should they slip. His focus was dead-set on listening to her method and what he could learn from it. Anything he could apply, whether he knew it from prior experience or not, he prepared himself to be a sponge. No pressure at all. Only preparation for his last chance to impress hero agencies and determine his life's course.
Toshinori Yagi retreated to his usual hideaway in the teachers' lounge for a cup of coffee after another class session for the day. He had been reassigned to more technical than practical coursework, such as ethics and license responsibilities for second- and third-year UA students. It was the only way he could still remain at UA for the time being as he oversaw the entire process of passing on the torch to One For All's successor, Midoriya Izuku, better known by now as "Deku." Though he missed and longed for his time as "All Might," the designated Symbol of Peace, he had known this was a possibility since the first fateful showdown against All For One which left both of them permanently scarred.

Though even now, in affairs that would not involve looking after Midoriya, he found contentment in his work teaching rising heroes the essence of being a Symbol of Peace, even if they would never rise to his fame. "Emulating what I stood for as All Might is more than just having a powerful Quirk," he would open. "It is the attitude of doing what you can when the moment arises. It is having the conviction to rescue who you can. When everyone else runs away from the danger, you run toward it. More than that, though, you also need to know what exactly to do when you get there. What should your priorities be in a crisis? Should you save the people in danger first or stop the one causing it? Do circumstances change that evaluation? As heroes, you will have to make these decisions in the moment. You will have to know what you will do ahead of time or the moment will become bigger than you. I will probably step on a lot of preconceived notions in the days to come."

It felt...different feeling powerless to do what he once did. Though, it offered a chance to strengthen and refine his own character and be a better teacher now that he couldn't just smash his way through his problems. His thoughts were sidetracked as he heard a knock at the lounge door. "Odd...who could be there? I usually meet Midoriya elsewhere and a teacher would just walk in..." He stood to answer the door, opening it up to find a rather eager student asking if he was free. It was in this moment he recalled the third-years' assignment to interview a teacher prior to the UA Sports Festival, finally getting their chance to feature as the showstoppers. This tended to be the one to watch, aside from the class that stole the show as first-years. He stood up as straight as his normal, weakened form would allow him as he addressed the student.

"Ah...y-yes, I'm free at the moment. What do you need me for?"

- - -

Estrada Ryuichi wanted to seize his opportunity to relax now before the Sports Festival. This one in particular was stressful since it was the last one, the one hero agencies tended to weigh high among other factors. In his first year, he survived the first round, though was targeted and bodied out of the second preliminary once others caught on to his Quirk's usefulness. In his second year, he narrowly survived round one again and was just shy of qualifying for the final phase when an ill-defended stomach blow in the Capture the Flag event left his base wide open for the opponent to swipe their places in the final elimination stage. Though his constitution couldn't get much better, he had worked all year long on his physical skills to compensate, and that work was about to hopefully pay off.

For now, he needed this assignment to take his mind off the pressure. He had his hero in mind when they were told to interview someone. The main issue would be getting in and getting his interview done before Midnight was too booked up talking to others. His first opportunity to get a leg up on others he would soon compete against at the Sports Festival. Even now, in something meant to unwind, he couldn't help but feel the intensity of the task. He was justified trying to reach her for this task. He felt others wanted in more because they were...teenage boys. Young men, at best. His abilities ran along her skillset: picks and nonviolent disables.

As soon as they were released, Ryuichi dashed from his seat to find Midnight. If he recalled correctly, she would be in an office in the next hall over. He did not anticipate her being so near, and it caught him off-guard as his opportunity was closer than he expected. He snapped back after a pause and looked her straight in the eye to try to catch her attention.

"Pardon me, Miss Midnight...we of class 3-A have been assigned to interview teachers on what you have discovered in your work. I would like to interview you. I would love to learn more about you as a hero whose Quirk primarily disables opponents, as mine works a similar way."
I'm fine with that. I think we're ready to go if you are.
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