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Alaryn: refuge from humans, accessible only by hidden means humans cannot see or sense. Though it doesn't mean they can't stumble upon a way in, for different reasons, no human who entered has ever left. These ways are left open due to the regular need to venture out for supplies, as there is not room enough for the 11,000 souls to subsist off the land in their island nation.

Here, creatures of all sorts the humans call "mythical" or "supernatural" live in peace and cooperative community. Peoples who would have every reason to divide or attempt to wrest control instead help one another, using their skills and talents to make up where others lack. This was how it was established hundreds of years ago, when the humans expanded their settlements across the world and forced the residing beings to flee. Alaryn was founded as a last refuge when there was nowhere left to run. Even with great power, they were far outnumbered.

In the present, a young human woman stumbles into this kingdom at a time almost fated for her. Whether lost in the wilderness or fleeing someone or something, or chasing something odd she saw, she has crossed over at a time when the king has decided to take a bride that pleases him as queen. He longs for someone different, someone with fresh eyes to see their problems. Soneone like the new arrival.

I would play the role of the king and seek someone to play the human woman. This will be in PMs as an 18+ RP. Please also PM me if interested.
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"A hero who can figure a way out is a better hero than even one with a stronger innate ability. A hero who can find a way doing what they can is a better hero than even one with gifts that make them appear as though they stand with gods. On the contrary, heroes who have bigger, flashier and, quote-unquote, 'better' Quirks have an even bigger burden to shoulder. A higher standard to meet. And rightfully so. In this world, it's not what you get, but what you do with it. To exceed expectation is the mark of greatness. The tools you have chosen and refined are part of that. The layman hypes up the showmanship. Professional heroes know better and see your true substance."

Her question on his place in battle twinged a bit, though not as painful as it used to. "I don't join the battle anymore. Quite the opposite. If anything breaks out, I'm the one looked after and shepherded away. Anything from a stray rock shard breaking off from someone training to a Villain drill. It was difficult to adjust. I considered quitting a few times because it made me realize what little else I contributed. Instead, similar to what you have done, I expanded my skillset. I picked up new tools and learned to use them. Once thing that can separate a hero as great from a hero as good is what they can do when they cannot use their gifts. When your go-to toolbox is inaccessible. When someone defies all expectations in the terms of engagement.

"So, no. Whether it's two students in a hall brawl or a legitimate Villain threat...I don't get involved anymore. As much as my old self would love to, I have to be smarter than I was then. Know how you can save people. The answer isn't always to jump into the heat of action when the moment arises. In my case, I win the battle before there is one. I win the battle by avoiding one. Part of knowing that now is knowing why I do what I do. Because I still want to help students. You don't have to constantly question yourself, for too much creates doubt. Every now and then, though, you need to know why. Reflect on why. Why did you come to UA? Why do you stay here?"

- - -

Ryuichi reflected in Midnight's words as he transcribed them. That self-defeating attitude had cost him dearly at the Festivals. In getting his dream internships. In getting into the work-study programs he pursued, especially with another hero whose Quirk had a similar activation condition, Nighteye. If only that part of him was refined enough from the start...though, sitting on that, in itself, was falling back into old ways as Nemuri said. As long as he tried to rise to the next challenge, his improvement would show. Even this late in his schooling, there was still a chance. Great heroes showed their greatness in their school days. His were not yet over, even as past doors had closed. Letting himself drown in that was the door to death. Maybe his. Maybe someone else's. If not in body, in spirit or heart.

"So part of our reality is we're going to jump straight into the wolves' den on a regular basis. Rather than concern ourselves now with how much better they will be, we will have to become better ourselves. Know that we can, and that someone must to keep them from reshaping things as they selfishly see fit." When she asked why he fought and why he was at UA, he paused. That was something he hadn't visited since he was a bright-eyed first-year, when he was just happy to be at UA. That it was possible with their entry requirements changing to reflect the strengths of Quirks like his, that fighting robots couldn't test. He had not yet matured to a point to rise above the jaded bitterness as he accepted the common lie - raw ability would trump all.

"I haven't answered that question since before the Entrance Exam. For some time, I fought the notion this Quirk set me on a villain's path. That didn't go away. I fought to show I could still be part of a team, even if I couldn't get the right setup for the finisher. I fought because I had something to prove. Because I thought I had not proved it yet. Now...I'm here and I fight...because this world is becoming a darker place. Left to its own, the strong survive, and I don't see myself as strong or oozing with raw power or ability. I fight to keep that order in place so others who see themselves in the shadows of the star heroes can still see the light. To help them know where to look when they can't see the sun."
Weekly bump
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
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