I rested my chin on my knees, eyes glued to the screen while Danny shifted himself on my shoulders. The little girl on the screen dashing away from the shadowy monster through a lavish bath house drew me in and for a while made me forget. This was the second viewing that night, morning? Blinking my eyes confirmed that it was sunlight rather than lamp light that lit the small rooftop apartment.
Oh well, maybe I’ll sleep later, maybe I won’t. Who cares if I can’t stay up, what’s the point of new years without…
Forcing myself down I locked back onto the screen as the little girl boarded the train full of shadows, and there it was, following her, sitting next to her on the seat. A somber piano tract played as it mixed with the light background noises, joined by a light bell like noise, then a violin as the time passed in the video. Always such beautiful music, my fingers moved absently as I try to match the movements, but I couldn’t quite get it right.
I supposed I could buy one here. Or download, it was all public domain now, that much time had passed, yet the world seemed much the same, technology- wise.
When the piano stopped I focused on the screen again and just tried to enjoy the rest of the story. I never knew why I loved this story so much when I was a well, littler girl. But I understood it now, why this spoke to me, when other fantasy stories didn’t. Places like Narnia, or tv shows, adventures with kids, it never encapsulated what someone would really be feeling in that situation.
The anxiety, denial, hesitation, and fear, the deep unabiding real fear of facing some place so new and alien. Trying to steer people away from their bad decisions only for them to put you in harm’s way, being forced to go alone after someone has offered to help, having something taken from you without it ever being noticed. Nothing is ever fully explained because there isn’t time for actual questions, instead it’s just a desperate struggle to survive and to help those who helped you. It felt more real than anything so convenient and structured as the confident protagonists in a save the world adventure.
Though still, it was a kids’ movie, so now it was just a comfort to watch as the little girl rode away on a dragon to go save her family.
Leaning back my stomach made its protests on lack of input loud and clear. Right, it was probably around that time for, no, it was just a little past noon wasn’t it. Stretching into a standing position, the blanket Koichi had draped over my shoulders fell to the floor. Absently, I picked it up with my false hand. The metal bits that passed as fingers needed two tries to properly grab it before I could pull it back onto my shoulder.
The pins and needles from having gotten up faded with a little chakra, as did a headache that I only now was paying real attention to. The effort made my stomach growl even more as I opened the rice cooker. It was still mostly full and I made myself a bowl and grabbed some pickled radish from the fridge. Mostly for texture, this wasn’t going to be a tasty meal as I sat down and pulled a ration out from storage.
Despite eating much more than I did back home, I wasn’t getting enough proper nourishment to refill my chakra stores at a normal rate. There were several reasons I could speculate on this, but what seemed most likely is that the food from my world did have some sort of ambient chakra since supposedly there was chakra in all living things. Even with superpowers, this world was so far completely devoid of chakra. I’d yet to be able to properly test what other limitations this put on me, if any, but for the most part to keep nourished as it was, I’d have to eat some food from home every once in a while.
Thankfully, as bland as the rations were, they were also incredibly nutrient dense, so I didn’t have to eat much more than a handful that I could crumble up and put in my rice. I had on my person at least a month’s worth of supplies to support a full squad food wise, which supplemented with local food I could stretch out assuming I didn’t exert myself so badly that I was always running at a chakra deficit.
Pouring in some soy sauce I stirred the rice up before loading up some radish for texture and sitting down at the table before just sort of slumping down, my head hitting the wood.
What the fuck was I even doing here?
Lazing around and being fucking useless basically. The internet had brought up basically no actual useful information, maybe if quirks hadn’t happened in this world they’d be at a point where they could be useful or something but technology was only just now recovering. Also what did they even think was happening right now? Did they know I was alive? I tried a summoning a while ago, and got fuck all results. Now I was just being moved about like a doll on a shelf because they wanted to help me or some bullshit.
I’ll admit, I’m pretty messed up, but I am probably not the kind of person who needs all that much help. At this point, I could probably be dropped in a field full of demons or some shit and fight my way out just fine. Seriously, this whole situation read like a shitty reverse isekei plotline, mixed with a heavy dose of functional House of M. Except, there was nothing for me to do about anything. I had been reduced to something I hadn’t been since before the Kiri Civil War.
A statistic, I just didn’t matter anymore.
Raising my head I scooped up a bit of my odd food mix of rice, ration and soy, and stuck it into my mouth. The familiar grainy texture of the ration was drowned out by a bite of radish as I mulled over my options, which did exist. Looking for a way home was a goal, but it wasn’t something I could reasonably do on my own. That meant I had to ingratiate myself with some sort of power, while also trying to keep my head down. Anonymity was a benefit of being a statistic, and while I didn’t think I’d be in much risk of being assassinated if anyone got wind of what I was capable of, it could lead to me being put into tasks that took too much of my time to pursue my real goal.
As I finished my food Danny jumped onto the table and rubbed into my shoulder. His fuzzy face rubbed into mine and I scratched his head absently. I needed more resources without risking too much exposure on what I could do. I’d already created some oddity in showing that officer my ability to mimic sounds. An odd skill, to be sure, but not one that was entirely outside the human spectrum of abilities. Then there was me doing healing as my quirk. Honestly if I’d known people only got one real specific ability I might have chosen something with a little more utility.
Well, it depended entirely on if I’d met anyone else who was hurt.
Okay, there were worse things than me being able to heal people if they needed me to, especially since I was pretty damn nosy by nature. Rubbing my eyes my ears perked up as the door opened and I saw Koichi heading in from the cold.
“Hey, you’re up.”
“Never slept.” I said absently before I leaned up.
“Well did you, ah, okay, you’re eating that’s good.” He held up a bag, “I brought home some Christmas Cake.”
“I didn’t know Makoto was here.”
“What does that have to do with, wait, isn’t that.” He sat down at the table and set down the bag. “She’s not that old, and how do you even know that term?”
“Anime,” I said as I opened up the bag. The moment I did Danny’s fuzzy face dug right in. I managed to grab him a second later. He’d managed to snatch a strawberry and his nose was covered in cream. “Silly cat.” I mumbled before setting him on the ground.
“Can cats eat strawberries?” Koichi opened up the cake a little more to check on it.
“It’s not toxic, he’ll be fine.” Straightening up fully, I saw the package set behind Koichi besides the cake bag. It was a large paper bag with an odd logo, “Is that your bounty from your morning expedition?”
“My morning… oh yes.” He turned and reached into the bag. Wrapped in plastic he extracted a pressed and folded hoodie in blue, white, and red with a pattern I couldn’t discern. As he pulled it out it unfolded, revealing the hood matched the hair style of that huge muscular hero. “This year’s exclusive All Might hoodie, this year they did a throw back to his early career.”
“I see, how long did you wait in line for this?” I reached out and felt the fabric. It was good quality, I gave it a pull and it held pretty well.
“A few hours. I got there before it opened up but lots of people had camped out so obviously they got the first spots in line. Thankfully they still had my size in stock when I came up. Oh and here.” He reached into the bag and pulled out a smaller package.
“Huh?” I looked at it for a few seconds before it registered to be identical to the other one, just smaller.
“Kid sizes tend to sell out pretty fast, but I managed to grab one for you. I know you don’t have a lot of clothing, plus these are considered collectors items. So if you don’t like it, you can sell it if you need to.”
“Oh.” I reached out to take the small package and opened it slowly. It unfolded as I pulled it, it was a bit big, but as I pulled it over the top of my pajamas I could feel the warmth of the thick fabric. Pulling my head through the hole I peered out at Koichi, who gave me a small smile. Wiggling my arms into the sleeves I gave a light smile back. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He also grabbed something from the bottom of the bag. “Also, I picked this up on the way back. They finally got done with the categorization, now all that’s left is for you to name it.”
“Name what?” I said as he pulled out a sheet of paper from the bag.
“Your quirk, since it’s unique to everyone, you get to name it.” He pointed at the line.
“I get to name it, anything?”
“Well, nothing profane if that’s what your thinking. Generally they’ll send it back if it’s considered inappropriate. Otherwise, yes, it’s your quirk.” He patted his pockets for a moment before finding a pen, an All Might Pen as it happened. This one looked new, he probably just bought it as well. I clicked it with my pen and thought for a few moments before I let out a breath.
I supposed no matter what I had planned it all started with small steps. Step one to getting resources was being part of a system. Being part of a system meant following its rules, names were part of that. If I needed to explain myself I’d need something appropriate. Tapping the pen I closed my eyes and wrote down the words.
The writing on the tablet lit up the display as I stared outwards trying not to grimace at my audience. They stared at the letters on the board before looking back at me. One boy in the front spoke up, “What does that mean?”
“Well Togikaro-san, if you would let Fuma-san explain, I’m sure we’ll know.” The woman at the desk gestured for me to speak.
“It’s exactly how it says, my quirk, is Minor Regeneration. If I get hurt, I can heal myself.” This made the classroom full of students burst into noise before the teacher held up a hand. They quickly settled down.
The room full of students in dark blue uniforms and blazers was pretty well disciplined, all things considered. This Yoko Academy was considered high class. One of them raised their hand and I pointed to them.
“So, how much can you heal? Is it fast?” This was another boy, he had long lilac hair that was tied back neatly.
“Sometimes. Mostly little things heal quickly, a papercut will take less than a minute, but bigger cuts, bruises, those take longer. If I do something like break a bone it can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour depending on how bad it is.” I replied.
A girl with white hair that stuck up like a pair of horns raised her hand and I pointed. “Doesn’t it hurt though? Wouldn’t healing make you tired?”
“Yes, it hurts, it always hurts but I have built up a pretty big pain tolerance. As for being tired, yes, it does make me tired, and hungry. In general I have to eat much more than a normal person. So if you see me snacking during break, you know why.”
One hand from the back, a shorter girl whose bright orange hair was cut short, revealing a pair of black sclera with neon green irises that were zeroed in on me. I pointed and she stood on her seat to be seen. “But why is it Minor Regeneration? Isn’t healing that quickly like a big deal? It should be just Regeneration.”
I let out a sigh and grabbed the shoulders of my blazer. Dark blue like the rest of them. It wasn’t a terrible uniform, but it was more constricting than I liked. At least I could wear a layer of wraps under it. Pulling it off I then rolled up the sleeve on the light blue undershirt to show my prosthetic. “It’s minor because it cannot heal everything.”
The reveal of the false arm caused everyone to burst into sound even more this time and it took more time for the teacher to calm them down. After it all settled the teacher held up a hand, “I think that’s enough questions. Though of course, if Fuma-san would like to answer the question you’re all asking.”
“My arm was turned into coral by a villain. There was no way to reverse it so they had to cut it off. No, I don’t want to talk more about it.” I said simply.
“And we wouldn’t wish to pry into something that was clearly traumatic.” The teacher, Miss Goyati clapped her hands, “Now class, with that out of the way, let’s get your books out so we can go over this semester’s schedule. Fuma-san, you can take the empty seat by Taroda-san.”
She gestured to a boy with what looked like donkey ears. I sat in the second to last row all the way on the end from the door. Right in front of the girl with orange hair.
Suppressing a deep sigh, I discreetly took out my phone and checked the time. I clicked off the first step on my list. Integrate to the system, by going to school. Well, no matter how much it sucked, it was only something I was doing for now. If I was careful I could make a clone and slip away to check out the city.
As I moved up I felt something slip into my collar. Reaching back I picked out a paper triangle from the back of my blazer and unfolded it. It was a phone number. Curious, I sent it a quick text and was immediately added to a mass group chat in which I was bombarded with even more questions.
A quick glance around showed that several students were expertly texting on their phones under their desks, and behind books. Considering the rates some of the thumbs hit bottom of the screen it was clear the introduction was not as short as the teacher thought. Well, I guess that was one way for them to do an interrogation.
Glancing at the screen I saw the last few messages. What in the world was the Jinka Cafe?