Though the era was different, and the society varied heavily, some things never change.
As Alex watched the kids go through the 'tests' he couldn't help but reminisce about his own past. The sprinting, the strength tests and other miscellaneous tasks that corresponded to an average Japanese gym class. He could remember the days in his youth as he practiced in a similar manner to develop his own body and techniques.
It seemed pretty obvious from his looks that Alex's fellow teacher wasn't paying as much attention to the scores but to the means in which they were acquired.
He wanted to see if they could figure out any ways to use their quirks to an advantage even if its outside of their specific strengths.
There was one particular boy who had engines in his legs that allowed him to run faster, Eraser Head didn't even spare him a glance when he performed the speed based test.
He was far more impressed by a kid who could fire a laser out of his navel. As weird as it was to look at...the kid would jump up and fire the laser to fly backwards.
The only student who seemed to be having issues was Midoriya.
The kid couldn't seem to catch a break. He still wasn't able to be applicable with his new found quirk, it was a one and done thing right now. It actually reminded him a lot of reinforcement. The boy was pumping too much power into the corresponding areas and essentially overloading them.
The physical condition his body was in allowed him to do above par than what normally be expected if quirks were not involved, that was not enough in this situation.
No, the look on the teacher's face said it all, the boy was infinitely close to being kicked out.
Even the other students began to look at him in contempt, some whispers questioning his placement in the class.
The final 'test' was coming up. It rounded back to the soft ball throw.
Everyone else did well enough given each of their specific limitations. Midoriya was the last to go.
Everyone was looking at him as he took a stance.
Alex could feel his aura welling up, possibly pumping his quirk into the desired area, but that wouldn't be enough.
Just as he was about to throw, his aura suddenly cut off and the ball was only lobbed a few dozen meters.
"...waaaa?" the boy couldn't help but sputter out at the situation.
Suddenly several pieces of cloth wrapped around him and dragged him towards the teacher.
"I erased your quirk." Eraser Head stated. "It defies reason how you were let into this school to begin with. You can't rein in your quirks full power, if you become dead weight every time you throw a single punch then you have no place being a hero."
"You get one more chance, if you can't give an adequate result without crippling yourself..." He didn't finish the sentence as he gave the boy some room.
Alex didn't move as he looked at the boy who was about to have a panic attack.
"First, calm yourself." Alex suddenly said as Midoriya turned to look at him. "Panic invites more problems than it solves. I've seen the way you've been looking at everyone else as they've been performing, and it's made you worried. It's understandable, but you have to remember that they've had their quirks for many years and even if they haven't fully practiced their powers fully, they are acclimated to them."
"Stop worrying about what you can't do, focus on what you can do right now." As he finished, he turned around to also give the boy some space.
Midoriya seemed to have calmed down a bit as he stopped shaking. He took a few deep breaths as he took a stance again with the ball.
"Awfully nice of you to give advice like that." Eraser Head said quietly.
"Am I not supposed to be a teacher?" Alex asked in confusion.
"I'm just surprised you are taking this seriously, you seemed to look down on heroes as soon as you came here."
Alex was about to rebuttal until he thought about it, he did act very arrogantly when he first arrived. He looked down on them and let his disdain show....that was something to think about later.
They both watched in silence as the boy started to move.
Alex focused on his aura that surged up, it was radiating from his arm that held the ball and it seemed as though his fellow teacher could also tell what was going on as his neutral expression turned into a frown.
Just as the ball was about to leave his hand in mid throw, he let it roll up to his index finger and then shifted all the power he had accumulated into that single finger as he propelled the ball into the air, easily soaring past 700 meters.
Midoriya held back the tears as he clenched his hand into a fist, broken finger and all.
"…I…..i did it, I'm not a burden now." He said meekly.
Neither Alex nor his associate could hold back the smiles that came over them.
Before either of them could speak, one of the students came flying towards the injured Midoriya, one Katsuki Bakugo, he was yelled something unintelligible as he was flaring his quirk up and heading towards the boy, it wasn't hard to guess that something set him off and he became hostile
The mini explosions were flaring up as he propelled himself forward, Eraser Head was about to move until suddenly an odd-looking blade shot itself towards the boy, missing him but impaling his shadow. Right as it did, the boy became frozen him place, unable to move a muscle.
Right as the blade had made it connection, Alex noticed something only barely out of the corner of his eye. The boy with the quirk that had a sentient shadow, the one who looked like a bird. As the blade flung out, his shadow...stirred, was the best way to describe it. It had a strange feeling to it and it only lasted for the briefest of seconds.
He shifted his attention back to the student who had apparently just lost his temper moments ago.
"That is quite enough." Alex stated, flaring his aura a bit.
"Another outburst like that and you will have detention."
It seemed as though he calmed down after a moment though.
Alex knew there was some history between Midoriya and this brat, but he didn't really know the story only some small bits and pieces he heard him talk about when training.
After everyone settled down a bit, Eraser Head finally began to speak.
"Now, its time to calculate your scores." He said with an odd smile.
He let them panic for a few moments before he spoke again.
"Just kidding, it was just a ruse to get you lot to try your hardest."
He began to laugh maniacally as the kids had exasperated looks on their faces.
After a few minutes they began to clear out as the class was finished and they needed to get changed back into their normal clothes.
Once the coast was clear, a familiar figure walked out from the side of the building where he had been spying on the lesson the entire time.
"Aizawa you liar." All might spoke, referring to Eraser Head by his real name. "You expelled an entire class last year because they didn't hit your required 'marks'."
"You saw it, did you? Midoriya's potential."
"His chances are above the 'zero' mark that's all." Eraser Head replied. "And I can kick out anyone who's chances drop below that mark at any time. It's not cruel to end half-assed dreams."
As he finished, he walked away from the duo.
All might sighed as his fellow teacher left. "I don't think we'll ever get along."
"He cares about them in his own way." Alex replied. From the limited interactions so far, the man did take his job seriously and was training the kids so they would be safe as they pursued their path.
All might nodded in response, he could not deny that.
"Thank you for the advice you gave young Midoriya." The hero said.
Alex smiled, silently taking the thanks. A thought crossed his mind though, something from earlier. "I was an ass when we first met wasn't I?"
Though the hero didn't speak, he expression changed slightly, telling him all he needed to know.
As far as he could figure, Alex thought that maybe he was jealous of them? To be so confidant into referring to oneself as a Hero. He couldn't call himself that in good consciousness.
No, he felt like he had lost the right to call himself a Hero.
What even was a hero?
Someone who performs great deeds?
Someone who wields legendary weapons?
"Why do you call yourself a Hero?" Alex suddenly asked All might.
The hero's expression changed again, gone was the familiar wide smile and he now adopted a serious expression.
"What is troubling you?" He asked.
"I feel conflicted and wish for your opinion." Alex replied.
"I can answer your question, but I don't know if it will be an answer to the dilemma you are facing." All might stated. "I call myself a Hero because it brings hope to those who need help, I call myself a hero so that people have an ideal to grasp onto even in the most dire of circumstances."
It made him think, what was it that he valued? What was the Ideal he strived towards? Hell, what was the reason he even fought in the first place?
He'd been flopping around with his own actions. He had been very arrogant when he first arrived and now on the turn of a switch, he was basically teaching the kids without a second thought. Alex needed a direction, something to focus on.
Obviously, he wanted to be reunited with those he cared about, but that wasn't really what he was looking for in this particular circumstance, that was a cop-out. Everyone cared for their loved ones, what he was looking for was something different.
He wanted to be that ideal Knight that people pictured when they thought of his legend. The Knight in shining armor that would protect them in the darkest hour. He wanted to live up to their expectations. Some part of him felt that he lost that after his first death.
When it really came down to it…..he wanted to be that Hero that people knew.
It was almost laughable that the ideal he wanted to chase after was himself, but it was something. It was a goal, a direction he could focus himself towards. He wanted to earn back his right to the title that was lost when he stained his own legend.
"Thank you, you've helped me more than you think." Alex said.
"I'm happy I could be of help." All might replied with a smile. "Thought I have a question if you don't mind, have you got any leads on this 'enemy' you are searching for?"
"I think I may have discovered something....though it's a bit troubling and I could use your assistance." Alex stated.
"I would be more than happy to assist you in dealing with this creature."
Alright, finished the chapter for the day (this counts as friday for my schedule). Should be able to atleast get a couple chapters done this weekend. On a random note, thought of a story idea i stored away for later, Fate/RWBY crossover.
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