The two of them sat in silence on the ruined street, well, near silence at least. There were some clicks here or there, the sound of wind, the occasional buzz on his radio, but nothing that really brought him out of his intent. They were both perched on a metal bench, he was sitting straight up scanning the area in a non committal trance, it was a way to perceive things so as not to be caught by surprise but still let his mind wander. His ward for the day was sitting next to him reading some article on Haimawari’s phone. He glanced at her for a second, she had the phone balanced on her unusual prosthetic as her pale tiny finger scrolled through the text on the screen. On her lap, her black and white tom had curled itself into a ball to take a nap. For the moment it was all quiet and silent.
Then the girl named Ume looked at Sansa Tamakawa and asked.
“Do you know if anyone died here?”
Morbid question, but not totally unexpected.
“Did the article not have a section on that?”
He had seen the title, she was researching the incident that had caused the mess of the scene they were right now. Though now, so long after the fact, it was no longer a scene. The criminals had been captured, the case closed, making it once again just a public street. Though one no longer used for any public operation as far as he could see.
“It said there were injuries, doesn’t specify if they led to death.” She said.
“I see, you’re concerned about the people who were here. Did quirk fights not happen where you were from?” He asked, looking at her a little curiously.
She was from somewhere, though where was not specified when he was filled in. Apparently she wouldn’t tell anyone, maybe out of some strange thought she might be forced to return there. If that place caused her those injuries he wouldn’t have blamed her.
Still, she shook her head, her eyes glancing back at the screen, the white reflecting on her large grey eyes before going dark when she clicked it off.
“They did. But it wasn’t like this.” She gestured out with her false hand. “It was a more rural area, most fights happened in forests, or wider areas, away from where people actually lived. Even if it did happen in a city, it wasn’t so densely populated. The people here, they just, live on top of each other.” She pointed up at the building Haimawari had disappeared into. “How many people could live there? Three, or four hundred? That was the population of a small city where I’m from.”
“Well, no one would live there, at least not full time, as that was formally an office building.” Tamakawa said. “But I see your point. You’re concerned that with so many people here, when a battle happens it’s more likely someone would die or get hurt.”
She nodded at him, her frown showing in her eyes.
“And that a hero caused this much mess, look at this place. It’s ruined.” She gestured to the convenience store.
“Well, probably, but that’s likely why the people who owned the building sold it in the first place.” Tamakawa took in a deep breath. “This isn’t… uncommon when certain heroes get involved. The department calls it the destruction threshold, when a situation escalates to a certain point, sometimes more destructive heroes are called in to end the threat.” Looking at the surrounding area. “Though from the looks of things, not all of this was done by Endeavor. They were likely fighting for some time before they decided to call him in.”
Ume glanced around at the cracked pavement and the different parts.
“He has a flame quirk, so I get that but, that…” She pointed at the convenience store.
“Yeah, he probably did that, but again, he wasn’t called in arbitrarily. If the police and local heroes had been able to deal with it without causing unnecessary loss of life, they wouldn’t have brought him in at all. And despite the property damage he has a very low kill rating.” Tamakawa closed his eyes for a moment. “He wouldn’t be the number two hero if he was careless, you can’t get that high in ratings with a high body count. The courts and the public would crucify anyone who did that.”
Opening his eyes he glanced at Ume again, who was still frowning but nodded.
“What about their livelihood though?” She looked at the street. “That was a store once, people worked there, people had a job, made a living, and it’s gone.”
“And whoever worked there is likely giving a nice severance package and was moved to another location since that was a chain.” Tamakawa smiled. “Companies are required to give workers, all workers, trauma compensation if they are involved in a villain incident. If they are dismissed from their job because it no longer exists they are also given compensation and helped to get a new job elsewhere. It’s the same if they’re injured, it’s the same if they lose a home, a pet, or a loved one. There is a large fund for casualties of these events that keeps everyone moving and out of poverty for something so largely out of their control.”
“Where does the money come from?” Ume asked.
“From hero agencies.” Tamakawa replied again. “All hero agencies have to pay a cut of profits from merchandising into that fund and any hero who causes damage in excess to their duty has to pay fines in that regard. Endeavor likely paid such a fine for the damage here, though with his position as number two hero he probably didn’t even notice.”
“That doesn’t compensate for time, or rebuilding efforts though.” She looked at the area. “Not that anyone seemed to bother here.”
“If this was a higher end area or more profitable district, they likely would have. The construction industry is pretty strong because of all of this and with the use of new technology and limited quirk use it can happen pretty quickly.” Tamakawa said. “In all likelihood, this neighborhood was probably heading downward for the last couple of years and the fight was probably just the last push for the people here to sell. Again, there is a large fund for this, they probably got a good amount of compensation for their buildings and decided that it wasn’t worth their while to rebuild here. Which is why the building Haimawari-san is looking at is up for grabs.”
Ume nodded at this and went silent for a few seconds as she processed.
“So I guess it’s a cycle to these sorts of things. There’s a large attack, heroes respond, end the threat, look like heroes, sell goods, the money from the sales goes into reconstruction and compensation, the compensation allows people to rebuild, then it starts all over again. A bit like a human body, the cells regenerate as the old ones die.”
“That’s a decent enough analogy.” Tamakawa said.
“But what happens when the regeneration isn’t fast enough, do parts of the city just… die?” She looked up at him, the question looming in the air.
“It depends.” He said. “I won’t say it hasn’t happened before, some areas just don’t fully recover from attacks like this. There has been a renewed interest in the last decade or so in revitalizing these areas of course, and some push back, some of it’s been successful, some of it not so much. For the most part though, the cycle works for most of Japan.”
“Must be pretty efficient if this sort of thing happens every day.” She replied.
“While fights between heroes and villains happen every day, destruction of this level doesn’t. I won’t say it’s rare, but it’s not so common that we can’t keep a handle on things. The incident the previous day was actually one of the more destructive incidents in the last few months, if only because of the larger area it covered.” He said.
“Black holes are pretty destructive, what was the quirk of the guy who got caught?” Ume asked this time.
“Well, it was black hole, or at least that’s what he called it, but it wasn’t the ability to make one that big.” Tamakawa said. “In fact, the file said he could make one about the size of his palm, and that the most it could pull in was a full can of soda. The only reason he was able to do any of that was because he was majorly overdosing on a quirk enhancing drug. He’s actually still in the hospital for it.”
“I’m not sure what depresses me more, that there are quirk enhancing drugs or the fact that their existence and abuse doesn’t surprise me at all.” Ume let out a deep sigh at that but surprisingly enough didn’t ask about trigger. Though that was likely because she was lighting up the phone and typing questions about quirk enhancing drugs into the search bar. “Still, this place is very… organized, I suppose. Destruction and reconstruction in equal efficiency. I’d forgotten how much of a difference resources and infrastructure makes in that regard. Fixing this sort of damage would take months, if not years back home.” She said before she started in on her own research. No surprise she could probably find it online, trigger wasn’t a secret.
She was quite a curious little girl, but it was part of his duty to answer her questions as best he could. Knowledge was the comfort of someone like her, someone who had lost at some point the context of safety and the veil of protection a child should have. Honestly, even if Tsukauchi hadn’t told him directly that the girl with him had been abused, he would have known soon enough. It wasn’t just the scars, the way she scanned a room for threats whenever she entered it, or even the fact that she was missing her left arm from the shoulder down. No, anyone who knew anything about abuse would have known the minute they looked into that little girl’s eyes.
They lacked something, a certain light that was present in most children her age. It was an innocence that allowed them to look at the world with wonder and glee. A normal child her age might have been amazed looking at the site of a superhero fight, might have been in awe of the power used here in what might have seemed to be an epic duel of good and evil.
All Ume saw was the damage and the potential horror and aftermath of whoever happened to be there to witness it. That wasn’t the mindset of a child, of someone who was sheltered and loved in safety. It was the mindset of someone who had seen destruction and struggle, if not first then second hand. It was a bit sad, that she didn’t keep that innocence for as long as she should have, but it wasn’t anything he could change. You couldn’t put the curtain back down once it was up. It was something he was told when he first became a police officer, when he started to be exposed to some of the worst the world could offer, but even if she thought to look for the horrors he could at least protect her when they came.
Not that he was completely sure it was entirely necessary.
His thoughts wandered back to the doctor. After her physical the doctor had talked to him personally while Ume was with the nurse about the remaining paperwork. Had shown him the MRI and the x rays, as well as some inconsistencies he noticed. Looking at the picture he noticed very quickly that Ume was very muscular for a girl, not something he noticed with her baggy clothing, but the MRI showed the outline very clearly. It was pretty tight packed muscle, the type not gotten for show but for work of some kind, either martial arts or hard labor. The second thing the doctor talked about was something Tamakawa didn’t know to look for. Despite having numerous scars and physical injuries, Ume had none of the usual markers for past instances of internal damage. He didn’t believe the doctor at first until he brought up xrays and MRI of a young boy’s broken arm.
Apparently even if an organ or a bone broke and healed there would be scar tissue that would build up over time and cause some degradation in them. It’s why people in dangerous professions like pro heroes would eventually break down from multiple minor injuries over time even if they were healed by professional healers. Ume’s insides looked like they’d never had such trauma, which was odd because someone as visibly scarred as her would have suffered internal damage at some point, especially with the amount of muscle she had. The simple act of working them would cause strain which she didn’t have.
The doctor hypothesised that was her real quirk, some sort of regeneration caused by the energy that flowed through her entire body. He thought so because the description she gave for how she healed people suggested it wasn’t instinctual, at least when she used it on other people, which was strange since most people could use their quirks easily with no training. So he instead suggested the healing was a learned skill with her quirk rather than the inherent effect. It made Tamakawa frown because of the scars she did have, if she had a regeneration quirk it meant that the damage that was done to her must have overwhelmed whatever natural upper limit her quirk did have. Especially the scars on her back, which were very clearly and obviously something done with a lash.
For now Dr. Tsubasa agreed just to list her quirk as healing as it was the only visible evidence of her quirk that they could test. Well, ethically tested, Tsubasa agreed it would be cruel to ask for such testing methods and they decided not to breach the subject for fear of scaring the girl.
Still, the fact that she had learned to extend her regeneration to other people to heal them was both amazing and terrifying. What was she subjected to that made her learn how to actively use her own regeneration on others? It said a lot about at the very least her natural empathy and kindness that she learned such a skill if it wasn’t inherent to her abilities and how quickly and easily she used it for others. At least she did so easily for Haimawari-san since he had apparently broken his arm in saving her and she healed without much hesitation. It was one of the few things she seemed to not show anxiety about. She even asked if Tamakawa had been injured the previous day when they met that morning.
Everything else though, she was equal parts jumpy and interested in the world around her. She did say she was from a rural area, so the city was probably a bit of a shock. She’d been surprised when she’d seen him too. It was likely he was the first fully animalistic mutation she’d seen. Animalistic quirks were relatively common, that were quirks that made certain parts of a human being have a similar trait to an animal, but it was less common to have a fully animalistic transformation. At least it was less common in his generation. People with animalistic quirks of similar species sometimes had family and their combined traits made for a higher chance that the offspring would have a full mutation like himself. He’d imagine if he married someone with a cat like quirk their children might follow the same trait if there wasn’t a mutation in the line.
Still, she wasn’t off put by it, given they had more or less assigned him to her because she herself owned a cat and they thought his presence would put her at ease. It wouldn’t be the first or last time he was paired with a civilian, particularly female ones, for the fact that they tended to find his features cute. Thankfully she had enough tact to not try and scratch his ears, he had enough of that when he visited children’s wards or old folks homes.
It wasn’t enough to coax her into accepting placement into foster care, but something like that would take time. She’d only been here for one day, she was for the most part compliant, so the fact that she did fight back on something was a good sign. People who go through trauma often go through shock and become too passive for their own good, the fact that she was pushing back even if she was being cooperative meant that wasn’t the case. Even if it was a bit intimidating when it had happened. Seriously, someone might have mistaken her for the daughter of some sort of important figure like a politician if she held herself and used that tone she used to reject foster care all the time. He didn’t deal with children like that often but they usually, to varying degrees of success, imitated the adults around them. Ume’s imitation was very effective in that it felt like even though she was very much a minor in the situation, that she held all the power and that fighting her on it was useless.
She had to have picked that up from wherever she was from, though it was hard to tell who. She said her parents were dead, so maybe some other parental figure or teacher in her life. Or maybe someone who was responsible for her scars. He took a deep breath and let out, his thoughts looping back around to that. Tsukauchi had been obviously livid when he told Tamakawa about it, but honestly Tamakawa was just sad. It was just a fact of reality that these things happened and continued to happen every day. That somewhere in the world, someone was hurting children, inflicting the sort of trauma that caused little girls to flinch and shy away from contact. That caused them not to trust a system designed to help them.
Well, all they could do was try to rebui…
The static broke out from his radio and he heard a familiar voice.
“Here.” He clicked the radio to Koichi’s voice, but it crackled.
“In-bzzzzzzzz-ser-buzzzzz-off the -bz-eet!”
There was interference, but Tamakawa was already moving as he stood and reached out to grab Ume. The girl pulled back out of his reach, looking at him, there was the sound of windows breaking and she stood instantly, the cat on her lap jumping up to her shoulders. Tamakawa didn’t grab her this time but pushed her lightly on the back and the two of them ran off from the bench towards a side alley next to the convenience store. As they did a thunk impacted the building next to them. As he did he heard the very familiar sound of…
“-alm down I’m sure you can be directed to a nearby shel-”
There was another much heavier crash that visibly shook the building. Yep, Haimawari was trying to talk down a villain while running away. Only with his quirk could he manage that.
Tamakawa visibly flinched as he turned back and scanned the alleyway. Looking into the gloom, his mutation gave him excellent dark vision as he looked for possible hazards. There were no overhangs, though there were some windows, but it looked like they were already broken. He looked back towards Ume, holding out a hand.
“Stay near the wall and don’t do anything to draw attention to yourself.”
She was looking at him and the other end of the alleyway, surprisingly though she didn’t look scared. In fact, she looked more calm than she had at the doctor’s office. Still, she inclined her head as her eyes flickered around and she pushed her back up to the wall.
Tamakawa nodded and, crouching down, started to head to the alley entrance as he pulled out his radio.
“Officer Tamakawa, requesting back up in Eastern Meenan, near the incident of the flame wars. We have a Q834 with low civilian presence and a NAH1 on scene. Requesting back up for evac.”
He got some static on the other line still, must be interference from something.
He then leaned out to actually see what was happening and had to pull his head back in as Koichi buzzed past him. He was gliding on the side of the building and actually flew over the gap of the alleyway. More crashing as a much larger, much darker form jumped over the alleyway, its hands cracking into the side building and tearing into the pavement, dust sputtering down and making Tamakawa retreat a step back. Still, as he looked out he could hear Haimawari speaking, though not what, and with the view from the alley when he looked at it he saw that the man who had entered the building with him was currently hanging onto Haimawari’s back, arms wrapped around his neck and legs locked around his midsection in a deadlock, eyes going wild from fear.
Haimawari made a sharp turn off the vertical building onto the street with his passenger still having him in a deathgrip and off the building to the ground. He saw the telltale glow of Haimawari’s quirk slowing him as he spun to get a look at his pursuer while still moving backwards. It was also when Tamakawa got a good look at him. They were about twice as large as Haimawari, covered in fur in various parts, with elongated arms, a notable tail, and bared teeth.
“Q834 identified, APT quirk, primate.”
“Looks like a chimpanzee.” He heard a voice.
“Either that or an oranga… what are you doing here?” Tamakawa said looking down at Ume, who was peering out beside him, her cat still on her shoulders looking out with her. She must have moved quietly enough that he didn’t hear her come out from further down the alley.
“I stayed next to the wall. And aren’t I safer by a police officer?” She said quietly, her shoulder to the alleyway wall. Her eyes were locked onto the scene as she spoke in a whisper. “He’s pretty fast.”
Tamakawa turned back to see Haimawari moving again, the APT jumping to try and catch up with him, but Haimawari dodged the attempts. It looked like whoever it was had been enraged somehow, whether that was a side effect of his quirk or if it was some sort of external stimulus he couldn’t tell. What he could tell was that even though Haimawari was getting away, the margin for him doing so was getting smaller.
“It’s going to catch him.” Ume said finally as she looked at the street then the two of them. “Can you do something?”
“I am.” He said, leaning down. “Look, I need to keep you safe. Haimawari-san isn’t bad at this sort of thing. He’ll figure something out.”
“With a panicking civilian on his back?” Ume said, looking at the scene.
“Another civilian on the scene would just distract him.” Tamakawa said quickly.
Ume didn’t respond or turn to him. Still, Tamakawa looked to watch the scene, pulling his radio back to his mouth and he was interrupted when Ume spoke again.
“Do you have sensitive ears, Tamakawa-san?”
“What?” He asked.
“Please answer the question.” She said it again quietly.
“Yes, I have a higher hearing range than most people. Why?” He said in a whisper, not knowing where this was going.
She seemed to be tensing her shoulders as her back came up. Her voice came out in a bit of an awkward croak when she spoke the next time.
“Cover your ears.”
She was up to her shoulder and placing a hand on Danny’s head, flattening his ears down. Tamakawa saw her opening her mouth and he almost managed to shut what he thought was a shout.
He jumped back in shock when the blare of a police siren erupted from somewhere. Instantly his hands were on his head and he was turning his head around, looking for the police car that wasn’t there. It took him only a second to realize what had happened as he stared down at the girl bellowing out the sound. He apparently wasn’t the only one. Looking up he caught sight of the APT who was looking up and down the street for the source from what was a side perch. At least it was until Haimawari, who was up the building again, dropped down onto its shoulders and slapped it with both hands on the side of his large ears before jumping off. The dazed APT stumbled at the sudden hit and stumbled again when Haimawari shot off his minor burst shots into the back of his legs, sending the guy sprawling. That seemed to do it as the guy seemed to lie on the ground. Tamakawa was watching long enough to notice the sound of the siren stop.
He turned to face Ume, who was standing now and rubbing her throat with a pained expression.
“What in the world were you…”
“Dis-” She said with a hoarse scratch before coughing. “Distraction. He needed a distraction.”
Her voice cracked a bit at the end before she gave up on talking again and just pointed at the street, gesturing with her head.
“No, no, you’re staying here.”
Tamakawa said as he looked at Haimawari, who was still looking around the street, a bit confused even as he started to tie up the dazed attacker on the sidewalk. Ume didn’t argue this point, or maybe she couldn’t. Instead she just sat down and attempted to pet her cat. Said cat wasn’t on her shoulders anymore, maybe it jumped when the sound went off too. It certainly looked offended as it sulked away from her and jumped instead into Tamakawa’s arms.
The feline faced officer just looked at the cat, the girl then the scene that just happened and took a deep breath as he focused on less than the slight ringing in his own ears. New thing to think about and talk about and report when they get back to the station. Probably won’t be the most interesting report he ever wrote, but it would easily make the top ten.
I couldn’t talk after straining my vocal cords doing such a loud and varied pitch sound. So I sat through the lecture on the way back to the police station in silence. They didn’t take Koichi’s phone away from me, so I continued researching in the corner while they registered the APT (as it turns out, that stands for Animal Possible Transformation quirk). Transformation quirks were less common than just standard animal trait quirks, but still happened. They were stronger, faster and generally more powerful forms, but generally the forms came at the cost of lower overall intelligence and cognitive thinking ability. The type of animal they changed into also determined how they acted and someone without training in managing their animal form tended to be prey to their baser instincts there.
Which was unfortunate that the guy we fought had a monkey form, because despite what the media would tell you, monkeys can be aggressive little assholes.
It wasn’t a terribly complicated situation, Koichi had just startled a squatter with a violent quirk. I didn’t get his name, but this wasn’t the first mark on that person’s record. Though regardless Koichi spent a bit of time playing down the violent manner he had been pursued with because no one got hurt in his opinion. Which was technically wrong, the man had gotten hurt when Koichi rang his bell and Koichi got hurt because his client had been hugging his midsection so hard it left physical bruises through his clothing.
Said client was currently in the same waiting room with me with a blanket around his neck and Danny on his lap. Danny still hadn’t forgiven me for making such a loud noise and was cuddling with other people out of spite. Still, he was good at comforting people and I think the poor man needed it. He wasn’t hurt much otherwise, just a bit of bruising from being jostled. I knew that because I checked everyone when it was over but before the rest of the cops arrived.
I was mostly left to my own devices while everyone else was doing paperwork. They didn’t give me any, not because they didn’t think I could read, they knew I could, but legally I wasn’t allowed to sign anything without a guardian present. An annoyance of being a minor, everything official I wanted to do would have to be done by proxy. Thankfully they would let me put in an appointment with the police chief to discuss my situation at a later date. Or that was what they told me. It was entirely possible they were just going to brush me off. Regardless, if I wanted to not make a stir I’d play along. So far everything they were doing was more or less out of concern for my well being rather than out of a need or ends to use or abuse me. It was refreshingly different and I honestly didn’t want to trade this for whatever shady back end deals I’d have to make trying to live off the grid.
Koichi picked me up from the waiting room about an hour later. He’d finished up the paperwork and the three of us took the train to escort his client back to where his office was located. It was a courtesy more than anything to help with the man’s nerves before we took another train to another city and dropped by the office Koichi worked at. It was a pretty standard building and he left me in the lobby for about a half hour as he was only dropping off some paperwork.
By the time all this was done the sun was already setting as we started to head back onto the train to Naruhata. As we stepped off the platform Koichi flipped out his work phone to check the time.
“It’s getting pretty late and I don’t have many groceries at home, want to stop for some food?”
“Not fast food.” I replied. My stomach ache had subsided from earlier, but it probably wasn’t a great idea for me to stomach something that greasy again.
“Probably a good idea.” He tapped his finger on his chin. “I know a few good places around here, but I’m up for about anything. Is there any particular food you’d like to eat?”
There was in fact a crap ton of things I wanted to try. But most of them probably wouldn’t make a good meal or likely wouldn’t be available locally. I’d already gorged myself on beef earlier that day, so something local wouldn’t hurt.
“Oh, good choice. I know a great spot not far. Come on.”
We turned down a street corner towards a row of restaurants that lined a more narrow side street. It wasn’t like the straight concrete hallway of Maneen where we’d just been, it was closer than that, more intimate. You couldn’t fit a car down here and people just walked around each other as the lights from the restaurants that lined the street set it into a golden glow in the night air that reflected off everything, casting it into warm shades of color. The smell of cooking food overwhelmed the city smell of diesel and smoke and the true sound of laughter permeated the air.
It was closer, it was smaller, it felt a bit more like some of the streets back home during the night of a festival. Except it was probably every night here. People coming home from work, walking in for a meal, seeing friends and coworkers. People just live their lives, even as every day there was a fight in the streets.
This world startled me sometimes, really truly unnerved me because of how bad I could see things getting out of hand very very quickly. Heck, that had already happened to this world before, but looking at this here and now, made me think for the first time that people were happy here. This was a modern world, where people didn’t spend all their time slaving away to scrape out a living or fearing a stray shinobi appearing on their doorstep and murdering everyone. People had time here, time to eat, time to socialize, time to play, time to think and create.
Time to be concerned about broken children.
“That’s a nice expression.” Koichi said as he looked down at me. “Smell something good?”
“It all smells good.” I replied. “But where are we going?”
“Ah, over here.”
Koichi walked a little further down and ducked into an open doorway, a wooden room full of wooden chairs with people sitting in front of large white steaming bowls. The smell filled my nostrils as I followed and the two of us sat at the bar seating. My legs dangled as Koichi brought out the menu and went over it with me to order.
As we sat there, my eyes glanced to a television set up in the corner. Apparently it was some sort of colorful variety show. As we sat looking at the menu I sort of watched in my peripheral vision, but it didn’t catch my eye until a commercial came on immediately afterwards. I saw a head go into the screen that made me look up.
Bright and colorful in a suit I saw the same figure from the wall poster booming something out of the television.
“Hey, it’s that cartoon character.” I said absently.
Koichi actually turned and looked at the screen for a few seconds before looking at me with his mouth hanging open. I blinked and looked at the screen.
“You don’t know who All Might is?” He seemed stunned at that.
I looked at him, then the screen with the big muscular man with too dark shadows showing off some sort of event happening in the city then back at him. I think I saw the words All Might in the articles I skimmed, but not any pictures. So that was actually his name?
“Um, a comic book character?”
“What? No, he isn’t, well he is, there are numerous comic books, but he is…” Koichi trailed off as he put a hand on his face. “Do, does your home country not have, anything?”
“Define anything.” I said, looking at him then the screen. “I mean, he looks pretty popular, I saw a picture of him at the doctor’s office, is he part of some sort of show?”
“Show… He’s, he’s a hero, a pro hero, the number one pro hero and you just, what?” He said. Koichi just seemed at a loss for how to explain this. “How can you not know, he’s based in Japan but he’s done work all over the world?”
“That’s nice.” I replied. “But I’ve only been in this country for a day and a half, he’s probably never come to my country and honestly communication between towns isn’t great.”
I looked at Koichi, but actually had to pause as I felt more eyes on me. Looking around the restaurant I saw people actively staring at this point. Was it really that big a deal? Peering at the counter I think the chef had stopped cooking to look.
“Why is everyone staring? Not everyone has the same life experience, if you guys think I should know about All Might-san, you can fill me in if you…”
The crowd seemed to break at this as some people seemed to actively get up from their tables. Some of them had their phones out bringing up photos and websites, some of the people had merchandise ranging from key chains to little napkins with his picture, to t-shirts and belt buckles. Every single one of them had a story, either first hand or heard from secondary sources.
All Might got a cat from a tree, All Might defeated a giant robot and used his body to stabilize a cracked bridge, All Might diverted a train running wild, he helped an old lady get to her friend’s funeral on time, he stopped a slime beast and changed the weather with a single punch. Natural disasters, rogue villains, burning orphanages, minor inconveniences which would all be outrageous to think this person did this if it wasn’t all VERY well documented. Apparently this person was so good at their job people lost their survival instinct for the chance to video tape it. Hell, there was a video of someone standing stock still with his camera while a car was flying at him only for it to be punched out of the way by the muscular man who still somehow had darker shadows than everyone.
It was a bit overwhelming, the sheer amount of people pulling into all this. But at the same time I still felt that warmth that this area still gave me from the stories. The people here, their eyes glowed when they heard and talked about it, especially Koichi. He was just as enthralled with the videos as everyone else.
I think I recognized the glow, it was something I saw second hand, something I hadn’t really considered about this world. I’d been looking for the holes in this world, in this hero system, but I couldn’t deny the results. The people here didn’t just have time, they had hope. They were excited for the next day because they believed as long as heroes were here, as long as All Might was there, they’d be okay.
I didn’t think to question them about it, they just seemed so excited to just talk about it, like they were waiting all day to do so. It actually made me think of home a bit, given, it was just a bit more awkward when it was people talking because of the subject matter. Still even as we did, the food arrived and I started to eat.