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Archive for June, 2016

Fanfic Recommendation 46

My Fanfics :

Calling Card 2

Calling Card 3

Tiger & Might 1

Tiger & Might 2


Fanfics that I have found interesting and have recently been updated:

Cissnei’s Path 46 – 49 (Tv Tropes)

A Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic

Summary:  Cissnei wanted to save Zack that night, only to find that it was too late. Though she couldn’t bring him back to life, she could keep his legacy alive. That was why she refused to abandon Cloud on his journey, despite going against her former friends and colleagues.

Whirlpool Among the Eddies 25 – 28

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: A/U: Leaves spiral in the soft eddy as Naruto meets Karin in the Forest of Death. From that moment on, the two bearing the Clan name carried with them the fate of the Uzumaki and would be forever entwined.

Ashes of the Past 180 – 182

A Pokemon Fanfic

Summary: Time travel, based on the Anime.  So, the world ended. That’s bad news. Who best to get to fix it? Well, there is this guy with a track record in world saving…  Not entirely serious. T rating may be overdoing it.

Team 7 Ascension: Line in the Sand 8 – 10

A Naruto Fanfic

Summary: After rescuing Kakashi, Team Seven thought things would be looking up. But life’s never quite that simple, and lines in the sand don’t hold for long when a squall comes along. The world rushing over the precipice of sanity, vigorously at that, doesn’t make it any easier. [Sequel to Blood Wings]

Path of the King 32 – 33

A FSN Fanfic

Summary: “With swords that aren’t yours, with skills that aren’t yours, for dreams that aren’t yours. Your entire existence is a lie!” – “Then I’ll show you that even fake dreams can become reality.” A different choice, a different path, a different FATE. Shirou/Multi

Chaos Theory 33

A FSN Fanfic

Summary: Sometimes, the tiniest of changes can have the greatest impact on the world. One chance encounter goes in a new direction, and the course of the Holy Grail War is irrevocably changed…

Power Games Chapter Epilogue (Alternate Reading Site)

A Nanoha Fanfic

Summary: There’s no such thing as happily ever after. Life goes on – even dearly bought. All Precia’s plans may come to nought as shadowy actors take to the stage. But nothing unmasks a man like his use of power. Second of the Gamesverse series.

The Trinity – Book 7, Interlude 2

A FSN / Harry Potter Fanfic

Summary: A retelling of Harry Potter books with the titular character, alongside two other ones readers didn’t really care about, being replaced by three characters (Shirou EMIYA Archer, now known as Shirou von Einzbern; Takara Aozaki Daughter of Shiki and Ciel Aozaki from Tsukihime, with her name unchanged; Jester, with his name becoming Galen Salvatore) from one of his earlier works. With Neville Longbottom being the one of whom the prophecy speaks after an infant Harry Potter’s death at the hands of Lord Voldemort, they are trying to fix what is left of the world they knew from books and movies, to have a place to live.

A Soul of Fire 36 – Epilogue

A FSN / Sekirei Fanfic

Summary: It has been five years since the horrors of the Fifth Holy Grail War, and Shirou Kotomine, Executor of the Church, is being sent to Shin Tokyo to oversee the area. When a series of happenstances cause him to find his birth family and a secret battle royale between alien babes, he decides to do what he does best. Let’s just hope there’s a city after he’s done. An In Flight spin off.

A Change of Pace: 4.3 – 4.5

A Worm/ Dishonored Fanfiction

Summary: When Taylor went into the locker, she drew the attention of two beings. One offered an absent thought, and a broken tool that wasn’t even meant for her.  The other took a more personal approach.

Intrepid: Interlude: Elsa –  12-06

A Worm Fanfiction

Summary: In the wake of the Locker Incident, Taylor goes comatose. Wracked with guilt, Emma and Madison trigger. Things spiral from there as they quickly go different routes, both seeking redemption in a different way.

A Show of Force 2.5 (Alternative Reading Site)

A Worm Fanfiction

Summary: In a world where Eden managed to land safely, Emma Barnes seeks strength to put Taylor in her place as she triggers with Oni Lee’s power. Enter Wyrm.

Hunter: Sophia (6) – Taylor (18)

A Worm/ Bloodborne Fanfiction

Summary: Taylor becomes a Hunter and stalks the streets of Brockton Bay every full moon. Gangsters beware, and let all Fear the Old Blood.

PRIMAL (Rewrite)

A Worm x FFXIV Fanfiction

Summary: Taylor Hebert is a girl with myriad problems. Fore amongst these being that circumstances have conspired to not grant her powers during her darkest moment in a certain locker. Bereft of an escape from real life or of distraction from her pain, she begins to give up hope. But sometimes hope and power come from unlikely sources. Sources that may just have a reason for bestowing the might of Gods upon a mortal.

With the Ring: Fool’s Canon 3 – Triumph of Will  (Tv Tropes Page)

A Young Justice Fanfic

Summary: An SI with an Orange Ring ends up in the Young Justice Universe and seeks to advance humanity through advance technology and magic.

Digimon Trinity 67 – 69

A Digimon Fanfic

Summary: The War is over, or so it is thought. For the Digidestined, life goes on, but with digimon emerging once more into the real world, the world will change once more. Divided they fall, but a new generation of heroes, the Tamers, will rise to unite against the new threat.

Prytaneum

A Percy Jackson x DanMachi Fanfic

Summary: At the end of the Second Titanomachy, Percy found Hope to be in short supply. With Kronos unstopped, his friends dead or dying, and the gods falling one by one, it was hard to believe they still had a chance. But when Hestia sacrifices herself to give him ‘Hope’, there’s no reason not to take it, even if it costs him his life. But when he awakens… Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?/Percy Jackson and the Olympians crossover


Calling Card (Psyren x FSN -Nasuverse): Arc 1 – Chapter 3

Chapter 3

I rise to my feet as I breathe in the cold air that has the aftertaste of metal. It was cold, even for Autumn. Probably had something to do with the ashen sky, not a bird in sight.

Looking around, I find that I’m in a set of ruins of some kind. I want to say it’s the archery dojo, considering I see that the school is a broken pile of stone and rubble just across where I am. How many years into the future am I for all the wood to be missing, having rotted away?

I stumble out of what was left of the school grounds and head towards the road to my home. I had no idea if it is still around, but the state it’s in will at least give me some insight into how much time has passed. And it’s closer than going to the Church or the albino brat’s castle. If I have to admit it, a part of me hopes that the Tohsaka Estate has been reduced to rubble, but my priority is finding a way to get back to my own time.

The road feels softer than concrete and asphalt should be. Almost like the ground beneath it is quicksand or silt. The buildings made of stone are leaning as if exhausted, some half-broken and others toppled over. Those made of wood are missing entirely.

Looking at all of this, I can’t help but wonder if there are any people left alive in this environment. It feels too cold, the scent of metal lingers in the wind, and the only light is the silver rays that break through the clouds from above. I don’t think plants can survive in it.

The white-thing, Nemesis Q if I had to guess, had spoken before in my dream about embracing power to change the future. Assuming it plucked my soul from my body, displaced my existence through time, and then dropped me into the future, what did it expect me to do here to get back? What power did it mean that would allow me to change it?

Why is Ayako involved in this at all?

Too many question and not enough answers.

I keep walking until I spot something moving on the path ahead of me. It looks like an animal at a distance, a dog sniffing the ground with some kind of black growth on its head. I decide to walk through the rubble of another home that had been along the path to mine, leaving it to scrounge for rats or whatever it ate to survive for however long the world had been in this state.

No sooner than I walk through the rubble do I hear an inhuman screech that makes me jump. I look back to the source to see that the dog is closing in on me. What, is it hungry enough to try and eat me now?

I decide to run. I won’t be able to fight against it without some kind of weapon or rock. But I trip before I can make it three steps because I’m wearing the club uniform, and the footwear isn’t made for running through terrain like this. By the time I can climb back up to my feet, the thing I thought was a dog is close enough that I could make out the details better.

That thing can’t be called a dog anymore, even if it was once upon a time. It’s pale white, a black orb on its head in the place of where there should be eyes. There looks to be gills of some kind on the sides of its neck, with some kind of silvery build up crusting it. Its mouth opens into four parts like a peeled fruit as it faces me.

Then it screams.

The moment it does, I fall down again from what feels like being hit by something invisible that passes through me. The shriek did something to my ears and bones, leaving me hearing a ringing and feeling my insides shaking. I couldn’t get my bearings fast enough to run or even sit up straight as it trots over, grabs my hem, and starts to drag me with ridiculous ease.

It’s taking me away. It’s taking me somewhere and there’s nothing I can do. I… fuck that!

“Get off me! Let go!” I flail. I scream. I force myself to move however I could. At best I’m no different than a giant worm that’s struggling in the maw of the bird that caught it.

It still works. The dog-thing releases my pants from its grasp. Then it aims its mouth up towards my head, peeling it again into four parts. It’s going to scream again and scramble my brains more thoroughly this time, isn’t it?

I close my eyes on reflex and cover my ears in time for a muted explosion to sound out. The force of it washes over me and covers in a blanket of something like dirt or dust. There was so much, so abruptly, that I thought it had decided to bury me as I was. I cough violently, cracking open my eyes to see that the dog-thing was missing.

Instead, Ayako stands in front of me, covered in what looked like patches of ashes with her clothes ripped in certain places and damaged. On her left arm is a black-gauntlet of some kind with a wrist-mounted crossbow on it. She’s panting, her chest rising and falling quickly as she stares down at me with eyes that have rings of exhaustion around them.

Again, she looks pissed. “You called the number.”

It wasn’t a question. “I… may have memorized it.”

IDIOT!!” she yells abruptly as the crossbow gauntlet vanishes and she mounts my stomach. My body still feels out of sorts and I can’t move well-enough to stop her from grabbing me by the lapels and pulling my head up towards hers.

Why? Why would you do that?” she demands, shaking me with every word. “I warned you! Do you know what you’ve done!?

“I—” She lets my head fall down before I can even get the words out to give her an answer. The ground hurts from the impact, driving my eyes to close on reflex. Fire pools in my chest at the abuse when I came here for her sake in the first place. “What’s the big idea….”

I trail off as something wet hits my cheeks and I hear the near-silent sobs. They quench the fire as I open my eyes to the sight of Ayako struggling not to cry. Sitting on top of me, with her head angled down and her shoulders limp, her eyes glisten with tears.

Her voice shakes as she softly whispers, “I don’t want to see someone I know die again.”

…She looks pathetic like this. Really pathetic compared to how she normally looks and acts. It doesn’t bring me any joy seeing her like this.

The sound of a distant shriek brings an end to her tears as her body stiffens in alarm. She twists her head towards the source, even with the half-standing walls and buildings in the way. Then she wipes her tears and gets off of me.

“We need to leave before the hound and catcher arrive.” She lifts me up with ease, hoisting me like a bride in her arms. “They heard the previous one shrieking and are on their way here.”

“Come on, this is just embarrassing!” Her arms feel like they can give out at any time and she still looks exhausted. “You’re going to drop me!”

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Ayako tells me with an edge in her voice. Then she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Her arms find new strength and she braces me tight against her body. It feels like she’s burning up on the inside.

Then she moves.

The world becomes a blur of short-lived colors and sights as they pass us by. The wind rushes past my ears and drowns out every other sound. This speed is foreign yet familiar, almost like I’m being carried by Rider.

She carries me through a web of ruined buildings and structures, the last remaining monuments to the people of Fuyuki for all I know. It’s only when we reach a district somewhere between the Big Bridge and the school, filled with more commercial buildings, that she jumps through a second-floor window without glass in it and sets me down on the ground.

“Okay,” she sighs. “Hopefully you’re the last one. I don’t think I can make another trip right now.”

“Last one?” I look around at that and see a shadow move around a corner. A familiar bed of blonde hair comes into view. It’s Gai Gotou from class. “What are you doing here?”

“He’s another idiot who got himself a card,” Ayako says as she leans her back against the wall to the left of me. “Straight from Nemesis Q itself.”

I can’t keep the surprised look off my face. “How?”

He scratches his cheek. “Well, I heard that Kane was looking for one and I thought that I could get one for her. But the one guy I found who had it wanted to charge a ridiculous amount for it that I couldn’t afford. So I ran around looking for any that may have been left around at the payphones when I got a card this morning, in a dream. The ringing wasn’t that bad for me though when I answered it on my way to school.”

“… Seriously?” The skepticism in my voice is thick. “That’s how it happened?”

“That’s the reason that I told you not to look or think about the card at all.” She massages her temples. “Just knowing about it can put you in Nemesis Q’s sight when it starts recruiting, and in this mission alone it invited around twenty people who had an interest in the cards or Psyren this time.”

“I take it they didn’t make it?”

She shakes her head. “The Taboo, creatures like the hound that caught you, killed all of them so far. I tried to help and warn them, but they didn’t listen and the number of Taboo have swelled compared to my last trip. The people who die here have their bodies drop dead back in the past and the card disappears, so it seems like Sudden Death Syndrome struck them.”

I frown at that. It’s only been a few hours since she went missing. “Your brother said you went missing this morning in the Club. The morning session hadn’t ended before the ringing nearly split my head in half.”

“Time moves differently between the past and the future,” she claims. “Or at least it feels that way. I left home this morning, an hour before I normally do, when the ringing started to grate on my nerves. Drifters who have been awakened get a warning ahead of time compared to new recruits, to put our affairs in order, so I knew it was coming since the club meeting yesterday.”

So that’s why she ran out yesterday. She heard the call coming in and went to make arrangements. The Student President being absent this morning likely had something to do with that—all the evidence points to him being involved in this too as a Drifter.

“And how long have you been here?” Gai asks.

“It’s been over three or four days on my end. It’s hard to tell since clocks, watches, and other electronics don’t work properly. I can only go by when it’s light out and when it’s dark, and since people keep popping in I have to stay alert and kill any Taboo I find so they don’t keep killing everyone.”

Ayako lets out a long sigh and her throat muscles shift as she takes a moment to just breathe. “Shinji, you said that it felt like your head was splitting, right?”

“Yeah.” The thought alone makes me want to take a migraine pill. “I didn’t hear anything before it just hit me all at once. It got so bad that I couldn’t stand and blood came out of my nose. I had trouble thinking straight.”

“Usually, when it gets that bad, it means that the time is almost up to answer the summonings.” She opens her eyes and stares at me with her brows furrowed. “Another minute or two and you would have probably had an aneurysm.”

So I went from assured death to nearly being dragged off by the banshee dog or whatever it was. Lucky me. But Gai said he answered just after he woke up, so does that mean the summoning has a priority even among the same group?

Or was Nemesis Q punishing me for skirting the rules with Sakura and telling Emiya where to look. “So how do we get home?”

“We have to complete the mission Nemesis Q gives us,” she says. “The objectives change depending on what Nemesis Q wants, and there’s no way of knowing that ahead of time. If it’s a recruitment mission like I think, then we have to stay until all of the people with cards answer their summonings or die from trying to ignore it. Then we’ll learn the location of the gate through a vision in our heads and have to make it… there….”

She slides down the wall as she trails off, until she’s setting against the bottom. Her legs are splayed out like she’s lost all strength in them, and her breathing hasn’t settled either. It looks like she’s about to pass out.

I crouch down next to her and grab her shoulders. “Don’t fall asleep yet, we still need answers.”

“I… I just need a few minutes of rest.” She grabs my wrist, but her fingers are so slack that they barely cling to them. She’s even struggling to keep her eyelids open, and failing . “Just… stay here until then. Don’t… try… and leave…”

Her eyes close. Her hand slips from my wrist and falls to her lap. Her head leans to the side.

She’s out cold. “Tsk. Of course you fall asleep now of all times.”

I take a seat next to her. She won’t be any good to anyone if she’s tired. I’ll let her rest for a while.

Gai goes to the window and stares out of it for a moment, his brows closing in while he works his brain to think about something. “I’m having trouble believing this is the future.”

“I bet the others who came here before thought the same,” I say. It makes sense if you didn’t know things like that were possible. If I hadn’t been part of the Holy Grail War, or combed through the library at home as a child, then I probably wouldn’t believe it either.

But, while it’s been a while since I’ve read that stuff, I know for a fact that there should have been some way for this sort of thing to have been avoided. How far into the future are we so that all the safeguards failed and magi allowed this to happen? Fifty years? One hundred?

What could have caused all of this?

I look back over to Ayako and see her ash-covered body lying defenseless. If she’s been here for days, she could have been hurt. I carefully run my fingers along her skin, where the patches of ash clinging to it are. They wipe away with some effort to reveal unblemished flesh.

Good, she wasn’t hurt after all. It would have been a waste to have gotten involved only for her to die next to me because of a wound I didn’t notice.

Gai clears his throat. I look up to see he’s giving me a disapproving look with a frown. “Not cool, dude.”

“I was checking her for injuries.” I really was.

“Right, and I—WHOA!” His words turn into a surprised shout as Nemesis Q appears out of thin-air in the middle of the room.

This is its doing. This is a sick game of some kind that it’s putting me through. When I think about all the pain to this point, my body moves on its own to grab it and force it to take us back.

It ignores me as I pass through its body. There’s no physical presence at all. While I tumble onto the floor, it goes over to Ayako and gives her that same inquisitive look that it gave me, as if judging her worth.

It points towards her and the world zooms out until we’re further in the air, overlooking the ruins of what was once Fuyuki. A quick glance behind me reveals the Shinto district looks almost like a desert of silver sand. Then an image appears in my head of a payphone half-buried beneath the remains of a building and sign.

Escort the Drifter to the checkpoint to clear this round and be rewarded with the power to change this future.

Then, as abruptly as we were taken away, we were back in the same spot. Had we even left in the first place? Or was it something like remote-viewing? Nemesis Q is gone before I can even ask.

Gai shakes his head to clear it. “That…. looked not too far from the school grounds. I think I’ve seen that payphone in the Mount Miyama Shopping District.”

“That’s in the direction we came from and a little north.” If that’s the case, Ayako can get us there in a matter of minutes. I gently shake her shoulder to wake her up. “Rise and shine, we need to go.”

She doesn’t move.

A pang of worry stirs in my chest and I try again. “Mitsuzuri, wake up!”

Her only response is heavy and labored breaths.

I reach for her face and feel her cheeks burning. Her forehead is the same. It clicks and my chest tightens when I realize why it appeared now. “That son of a bitch!”

Gai comes over. “What’s wrong with her?”

“She’s burning up.” I had thought her movements before was from using Magic Circuits and figured the activation caused her body to feel so warm while she carried me and afterwards. But I was wrong. The sweat and her breathing being so labored while she’s unconscious say otherwise. “She’s got a fever and it probably won’t settle while we’re here.”

He tenses. “Seriously?”

“The words it told us were ‘Escort this Drifter’ weren’t they? If she could move on her own, Nemesis Q wouldn’t have phrased it that way because she could just run with the both of us given how easily she carried me. It was addressing us. And she said that Nemesis Q had been recruiting this round and we’re likely the last ones left.”

“So… it’s testing us?” he figures.

I nod. “With her life on the line as the wager. Either we get her back in time or she dies and we remain stuck here.”

 


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June 2016 Grim Tales Update 4

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics – See more at: http://snafu-comics.com/swmcomic/a-slight-pause-before-gluttony/#sthash.KUtU7R1w.dpuf


Begin Again 10-08

A chapter in which Jerkens are weird, Flick’s feelings are conflicted, and Sean was simply saying what she was thinking.

Heretical Edge and Summus Proelium

Previous Chapter

It was Friday evening, not long before track courses were supposed to start. I was standing on the beach with Columbus, the twins, and Sean. The five of us were staying well away from Avalon and Shiori, because, well… things were just a little bit intense between the two of them right then. Slightly.

Shiori landed hard on her back, sending sand from the beach flying in every direction from the impact. A second later, she jerked her body to the side, a bare instant before Avalon’s gauntlet-covered fist hit right where she had just been. Before my roommate could recover from the miss, the dhampyr girl shoved herself up with one arm, kicking both legs out to clip Avalon’s face before throwing herself into an expert back flip that brought her out of her prone position and into the air, landing easily on her feet.

Moving faster…

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Begin Again 10-07

Whiplash. Ouch. Though it does explain his approach. You don’t screw up that badly twice.

Heretical Edge and Summus Proelium

Previous Chapter

Approximately three hundred and forty-seven thousand showers later, I was relatively free of the stink. Even that was partly due to the special soap that Sands had provided. Apparently whatever she and Scout had made that nasty smelling stuff in the balloons out of, it reacted badly with most other normal cleaning agents. So anyone trying to scrub it off that didn’t have the special soap was in for a bad time.

Yeah, the twins and the boys had detention. They had all of the detention. A month worth, not counting the week of Thanksgiving. The headmistress had graciously agreed to a pause in their punishment for that week before it would continue. Partly because the twins had provided more of that special soap.

Gaia had to know what we were actually doing, of course, even if she wouldn’t be sure of the specifics until Avalon found a…

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June 2016 PPGD Update 2

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics – See more at: http://snafu-comics.com/swmcomic/she-almost-didnt-mind/#sthash.epM1xmj7.dpuf


Begin Again 10-06

On Romance, Videogames, Legacies, and Conspiracies, all wrapped up in a single package.

Heretical Edge and Summus Proelium

Previous Chapter

Okay. So I liked boys. And I liked girls. I understood that much. I was kindof confused as to why I’d never noticed my attraction to girls before, but maybe that sort of thing happened. It wasn’t like I was some kind of expert at maturing romance feelings. So whatever. Boys, girls, I like them both. Great.

But how exactly was I supposed to tell anyone that? Like right now. I was practically walking arm in arm with both of my female crushes. Both of the girls that I actually liked liked were right next to me and I had less than zero idea of what to do about that. I kind-of-sort-of thought that Avalon might have been purposefully teasing me, and I knew that Shiori saw me as at least a friend. But every time I tried to turn my brain toward whatever the next…

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Tiger & Might – Chapter 2

Tiger & Might – Chapter 2: Shaping Up

Izuku Midoriya felt like his muscles burning beneath his heated flesh as he slowed his pace to a crawl, after passing by Mister Kaburagi. It was the weekend and they had come out early in the morning for him to assess the boy’s physical condition. To that end, the older man had gotten himself a clipboard and stopwatch to time how long he could run, after seeing how many pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats he could do with a break between them each.

His leg muscles finally gave out and he fell to his knees on the grass. A stinging, acrid heat bubbled up in his stomach. It surged up from there into his chest, and through his throat to force itself out of his mouth.

“There, there,” the veteran hero said as he patted Izuku on the back while the boy vomited. “Take a deep breath and then take a drink of water afterwards.”

Once he finished vomiting, Izuku moved his aching body to the bench. There he took a seat and drank from the bottle. The ice-cold liquid soothed his throat while Mister Kaburagi gave him an overview of his performance.

“Overall, you aren’t in too bad a shape for a boy your age,” he said. “However, it isn’t exemplary. More than strength or speed, you lack the endurance and stamina needed to be a hero. It’s no good if you’re out of breath by the time that you arrive at the site of an incident. By working on that first, we can increase how much you can do at any given point of time.”

“So I need to run more?” he guessed.

“Among other things to improve your cardio, you need to balance out strength-building and stamina-building,” he explained. “And while that covers the physical aspect of your training, you’ll also need to work on improving the way you move as well.”

“Huh?”

“You run with your heels instead of the balls of your feet, which is detrimental and puts unnecessary stress on your body. Over time that stress will build up and then break-down your body. We’ll cover that once you’ve recovered, so simply rest for now.”

“Will that be enough to help me test into U.A.?” The school had revised the entrance conditions that stated you needed to have a Quirk to enter the Hero Course, which was what he was aiming for. And, as the national school, several of the greatest heroes got their start at those sacred grounds of learning.

“Aiming high, huh?” Izuku nodded to the question. “That’s good. Dedication to helping others, critical thinking to solve problems, having a belief in yourself, and loving what you do—these are four things you need above all else if you want to succeed in being a hero. You need to strive for it without reservation and aim as high as you can, while putting your talents towards that goal as well.”

“Talents?” Izuku’s eyes closed partway as he tried to think on that. “But I’m not really talented in anything—ow!”

“Everyone’s talented in something,” Mister Kaburagi said, after he lightly tapped his clipboard against Izuku’s head and gave him a reassuring smile. “There’s something that you’ve worked on because it was something you loved to do, right?”

“I like observing heroes and taking down notes,” he offered.

“Then simply hone and dedicate that towards being a hero as well,” the veteran hero continued. “It’s not something I can tell you how to do, but you’ll figure it out somehow. Just use everything at your disposal to save the lives of those in need of help, understand?”

“Understood,” Izuku said.

With that said, Mister Kaburagi took a look at his rather large wrist-watch. “Then keep resting up for another ten minutes. After that, we’re correcting your running on the concrete path. Leave your shoes behind.”

[-Break-]

Inko Midoriya stared in slight surprise as Izuku used the thin chopsticks to scoop up every last grain of rice in his bowl, to the point that the sound of chopsticks scraping ceramic filled the air. Her son hadn’t exactly been the most reserved when it came to eating, but it was the first time she had seen him so ravenous. He finished the bowl in record time and then asked her for another one.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you so hungry, Izuku,” she said, filling the bowl again with a smile. “Then again, you are a growing boy.”

“I’ve been working out more so that I can apply to U.A. in two years,” he said. “I had to do a lot of running in the park today, and I’m going to have to start building up my muscles. I’ll probably have to start putting my allowance towards getting weights too.”

“Is that so?” Inko’s smile fractured a bit as she handed back the bowl. It went unnoticed as he began to eat again with the same zeal as before.

She could still recall that day with the doctor and the night that came afterwards. Her son had been told that he didn’t have a Quirk, despite the fact that she and her husband had both had Quirks that had been passed down from their families.

When Izuku had been born, Inko and her husband had wondered which of their gifts he would inherit. While telekinesis over small objects and breathing fire weren’t amazing by most standards, there were a lot of risks involved for a child. Doubly so if he had somehow gotten a power from them both by chance—thermal movement could cause no shortage of problems.

It was good that he had no other medical complications, but being born without a Quirk was a rarity these days; in fact it was mostly the older generation that lacked them among the 80%. If everyone having a Quirk was “healthy” for lack of a better term… then what did it say for him not to have one?

Inko could only imagine the teasing that he would go through at his age for not having one, especially when all his friends had them. It would make him stand out from the others, but she was hopeful that as he got older it wouldn’t matter.

Not all careers were reliant on Quirks, since they were too varied for that. He could be a fireman, or a police officer, or even a salary-man. But…then he asked if he could be a hero like All Might, a figure who he admired above all else.

At that moment, her grief and guilt all came rushing out of her and tears flooded from her face. She apologized to Izuku over and over again, sorry that the gift that was supposed to be passed from parent to child was nowhere to be found.

Since then the stress hadn’t been good on her or the marriage. But Izuku seemingly bounced back. That was what mattered.

So Inko forced her smile back into place and continued eating her with child.

[-Break-]

After dinner was over, Izuku returned to his room to finish his homework. It proved a bit challenging with how his legs were throbbing. They were still sore from all the running, but he supposed there would be no gain without pain.

He recalled Mister Kaburagi’s words from earlier as he turned on the computer. If he does have a talent then it would be his observation skills when it came to heroes. He just needed to think about how to apply to heroics on his end and refine that to the utmost limit of his ability. The most obvious step would be to relate it to what he was doing at the moment—movements.

Opening the drawer of the table that his computer sat upon, he pulled out the other notebooks that he had compiled over the years. There wasn’t much order to it since he began jotting down what he noticed about the heroes whenever he could, so it took him a minute to flip through the different pages before he drafted a list of heroes to look for videos online—specifically heroes who had a focus on agility.

If he noticed a pattern between movements then he could learn to emulate them, as long as their Quirk didn’t bolster that specific power to a higher degree than what he was capable of. Even if he couldn’t emulate them, he could at least recognize them should the need arise.

Observe everything, he thought to himself. No detail is meaningless, no matter how small.

Those would become words he’d live by from that night on.

[-Break-]

Kotetsu leaned forward at the table meant for two as he basked in the subdued atmosphere and dimmed light of the bar that doubled as a Jazz club. He was awaiting an old friend, having already ordered their drinks. He closed his eyes to just listen to the soft music playing until he heard her take a seat.

“You’ll fall asleep if you close your eyes for long in a place like this, Old Man” the familiar voice said.

“I’ll have you know I’m still spry for a man of my advanced years,” Kotetsu said as he opened his eyes. Sitting opposite him was Karina Lyle, a former hero-turned-music teacher. She’d aged gracefully over the decades, with her light brown hair now white to match that of her children and grandchildren, who inherited the color from her late husband and their powers from her. Every so often they met like this, sometimes with Nathan. “I’m in peak health in fact.”

“Is that right?” She smiled just slightly enough to say that she knew something. “Then why did Kaede tell me that your doctor contacted her about how you’ve been showing signs of nutrient deficiency?”

He grimaced lightly. “I just need more Vitamin E and C. It’s nothing she needs to worry about.”

“You should take better care of yourself, Old Man,” she said with a note of kind mirth in her voice. “Kaede worries about you living alone as is. You rejected her offer to move in again, didn’t you?”

“Mmm…” She was a good girl, wanting to look after her father after all the times he couldn’t be there for her growing up. But he didn’t want to intrude in her life to that extent. “No sense in burdening her by forcing her to look after an old-timer like me. Not when I can look after myself.”

She didn’t press him further on it. “Just don’t forget about Tomoe-chan’s piano performance. Her sister and brother are all coming, as well as her nephews. It’ll be a family event and Kaede wants her grandfather to be there too.”

“I have it marked on my calendar.” It was still hard to believe his little girl had little girls of her own, one of whom had twin boys. Oh how time flew. Clearing his throat, Kotetsu’s voice lowered to a more serious tone. “How have things been going with your daughter and grandchildren? Have you had any luck?”

Karina froze for a moment. Then her lips slowly pursed into a slight frown and she gently shook her head. “She still hasn’t forgiven herself for what she did to Shouto. And he hasn’t visited her once since then, despite my efforts. As for the legal issues… no, it’s not going well.”

Her hands balled into fists on the table so tightly that they were shaking. She had been trying to gain custody of her grandchildren after her daughter’s marriage turned sour. But the lawyers were very blunt about the hurdles she would face trying to take custody away from their father.

Enji Todoroki had both his reputation and legal team as armor. Her word against the Number 2 Ranked Hero would be a losing battle and bring her daughter’s actions to light, a mistake that she made in a moment of weakness. Plus, she was trying to keep things quiet to spare the children from any more exposure than necessary—it would only make things worse to no avail, and they didn’t need that.

Kotetsu placed his hands over hers. She looked up and met his eyes. “Getting angry won’t help the situation. Just do what you can for all of them right now. An opportunity will surface in time.”

The shaking stopped as she took a deep breath and then put on a soft, if fragile smile, just for him. “Let’s drop the unpleasant topics for now and talk about something else.” She slipped her hands from beneath his and reached for her glass. “How have you been keeping yourself busy these days?”

He leaned back at the question and gave her a wry smile. “I met an interesting kid that asked me to teach him how to be a hero, despite not having a Quirk. He managed to convince me to help him shape up, so I spend most of my days doing that instead of staying cooped up in my room.”

“He must be quite the child then,” Karina said, grabbing the neck of her glass with one hand and holding it up. “If it’s something you’ve decided then I’m sure you’ve thought it out as much as you could have. Just don’t push yourself too hard. I remember Kaede mentioning you threw your back out playing with your nephews a few years ago.”

Kotetsu grumbled under his breath at that. But he didn’t dispute it. The twins had been the ones to get Kaede’s ability from their father, to copy different powers for a limited amount of time—one could copy Emitter powers and the other could use Transformations.

He quickly shifted the conversation to a different set of topics and, like that, the two former heroes spent the night catching up with one another….

[-CHAPTER 2 END-]


Series Review – RWBY Volume 1

Otaku Youth

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Roosterteeth

What exactly makes an anime? Despite the variety of genres and visual styles, anime remains an all-encompassing classification.  The next three videos will focus on a series that has created an endless debate on what is and is not an anime.  It is obviously heavily inspired by the magical girl genre as well as the powered high school genre.  One point keeps being brought up, it’s not an anime because it was not made in Japan.  To me, it is a similar argument as the difference between whiskey and scotch.  At the broadest level the difference is merely because of geography.  Of course, the differences become greater the deeper you go, but it doesn’t really mean anything in the end.  It might not be an anime on a technicality, but I will treat this show as I treat any other series.  Of course…

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Begin Again 10-05

Heretical Edge and Summus Proelium

Previous Chapter

“Tell me something. When exactly did you decide to turn traitor and destroy our entire civilization?”

Rebecca Jameson, all less than five feet of her, stared with wide eyes at the figure looming over her. Which, to be honest, was really only possible because of her own diminutive form. Wyatt’s (of course it was Wyatt) scrawny figure didn’t really tend to do much in the way of looming most of the time.

“No answer, huh?” the enthusiastic security guard that happened to be my half-brother pushed on in the face of the girl’s utterly bewildered stare. “Didn’t expect old Wyatt to catch onto you so quick, did ya?”

It was the end of dinner that evening. Columbus, Shiori, and Sean were all sitting with me on one side of the cafeteria, finishing up dessert. All of us were watching the action going on two tables away.

“Should we…

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