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MHA: Izuku Legacy MHA: Izuku Legacy original

MHA: Izuku Legacy

Author: XaviValentine

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Ashes to Embers

My life is a counterfeit coin, glinting with false promises, but hollow inside like their idea of honor. I'm Ryu Kenji, a seventeen-year-old ghost in a city that never sleeps.. Six years ago, my world went up in flames. Dad, the gambler, the dreamer... they say he made a deal with a devil in a thousand-dollar suit. And the price of that deal? Me. Since I was eleven, I've breathed the stale cigarette smoke and cheap cologne they pump into their backrooms - they transformed me from a boy into currency.

The harsh fluorescent lights overhead buzzed with the same tired energy as the crowd. Sweat slicked my back, a cold sheen against the clammy air thick with cigarette smoke and stale beer. Tonight's opponent, Goro looked like an easy mark - slow, sloppy, wide open. I could've taken him apart in seconds. But Oyabun, the Yakuza boss, had already decided the outcome. So I played my part, letting Goro's telegraphed punches find their mark. The crowd roared as I hit the mat, a staged knockout. To them, it was entertainment. To me, just another night selling my soul, one rigged fight at a time.

A few hours later, the adrenaline had faded, replaced by a dull ache in my bones and a hollowness in my chest. The summons to Oyabun's office was a rare occurrence, and a tremor of nervous anticipation snaked through me. Straightening the rumpled collar of my shirt, a flimsy attempt at normalcy, I made my way down the smoke-choked hallway, the echo of my footsteps the only sound in the oppressive silence.

The summons to Oyabun's office came as no surprise. In this world, every victory and defeat was orchestrated by the man behind the curtain. I made my way down the smoke-choked hallway, each step a reminder of the strings that controlled my life.

"Kenji," his voice was a silken purr, the kind a snake might use to lull its prey. "You have served your purpose admirably." That same smile, the one that promised both fortune and ruin, stretched across his face.

My breath hitched. "So, does this mean..." I couldn't bring myself to utter the word, freedom. 

He leaned forward, steepling his fingers. "It means our debt is settled. Every yen and then some. We are even." 

A wave of something too bright to be simply relief washed over me. I'd begun to doubt this day would ever come. The taste of copper in my mouth wasn't from a recent fight but the rise of an unfamiliar emotion - elation. I managed a stiff bow, a formality suddenly infused with genuine respect instead of forced obedience.

"Thank you, Oyabun," I said, my voice thick. I turned to leave, fighting the giddy urge to actually run.

His voice, smooth and chilling, stopped me at the door. "Remember Kenji, true freedom cannot be granted, only taken." 

His words fell like stones on my newfound lightness. A reminder that the world beyond those gilded doors was no fairy tale. But for now, the future stretched out before me like an unwritten fight. And for the first time in years, I was the one calling the shots.

Two years passed and victories began to pile up, an unbroken streak that began to buzz through the MMA world like an electric current. There were no more rigged choreographies, just the raw thrill of legitimate combat. This wasn't about earning some Yakuza boss's blood money, it was about etching my own name into legend.

Rumors circulated of an upcoming title match, a shot at the championship belt - a culmination of this meteoric rise. Sleep became a fleeting luxury, replaced by a relentless need to train, to push myself harder. 

Oyabun was a distant shadow now, a cautionary tale whispered in locker rooms. My focus was on the future, a future blazing with the promise of an arena filled with fans who screamed my name not because they were paid to, but because I earned it. For the first time in far too long, the future wasn't some abstract concept, some flickering hope. It was a target locked in my sights, and I was ready to take my shot.

The rhythmic sway of the train was a metronome, keeping rough time with the thudding of my own heart. Instead of fighting strategy, my focus drifted unexpectedly.

Across the aisle, a kid who couldn't have been older than ten, sat transfixed. He gripped his phone like it held the secrets of the universe, his eyes glued to a riot of colors flashing on the tiny screen. Laughter, warm and contagious, filtered through cheap headphones. I caught a glimpse of what had him so enraptured - a figure in white, a blinding grin stretched across his face. Something about it pricked my curiosity.

"Hey, whatcha watching?"

The kid startled, then shot me an incredulous look. "You don't watch My Hero?!" He practically screeched the words. "This is All Might!"

"Haven't seen it," I admitted. The train ride was a good hour, and my mood was lighter than it had been in years. "Tell me, what's so special about All Might?"

The kid's words tumbled out in an excited rush, painting visions of a world where superpowers were common and heroes battled villains in explosive clashes that left cities in ruins.

By the time the train jolted to a stop, leaving the boy still mid-sentence about some crazy technology island in the sky, a shift had occurred. The world outside didn't look just like a fight, a victory to be snatched. It was alive with a million possibilities, just like the boy's stories had been. Maybe later, after the roar of my own crowd had faded, I'd watch this My Hero. It felt like time I owed myself.

Going from the train to the stadium was like diving headfirst into a surging tide. The roar of the crowd outside the arena was an all-consuming wave of sound, punctuated by shouts of my name. Yet, every raised fist and excited face felt strangely distant as if witnessed through a pane of glass. 

The pre-fight prep room was an oasis of focus in the heart of the storm. The familiar rhythm of warm-ups, the sting of the trainer's gloves as they hit my hands - these were anchors in the chaos. Each repetition brought a sense of grounding. The fighter in me was locked in, honed to a razor's edge.

Then, the door swung open and it wasn't the opposing trainer who walked in. Oyabun's immaculate shoes clicked against the linoleum, his tailored suit a mocking caricature of success amidst the sweat and adrenaline. The air thickened, pressing against my chest. 

"Why the hell are you here?"

Oyabun paused, that familiar predatory smile playing on his lips. "Kenji, a big night for us both."

He didn't need to elaborate. The memory of our last conversation, the weight of the words "we are even" hadn't faded. That's what bothered me - looks like "even" was a polite lie, a prelude to another kind of bargain.

"Tonight, there will be... substantial returns on our past investment." His fingers drummed against his briefcase. It wasn't hard to imagine the stacks of yen nestled inside. "A championship brings a different class of betting, shall we say."

My fists clenched, nails digging into my palms. A spark of anger, hot and desperate, flickered alongside the fear. Every victory, every drop of sweat, had been a climb out of his debt. Had it all been a setup for this final, sickening trap?

"The choice," he continued, the smile gone from his face, "is whether you become a legend, or a footnote."

He turned to leave as they called for me to enter, pausing at the threshold. "There are debts, Kenji, and then there are consequences."

Now, my hands trembled slightly as I wrapped them. Each loop of the tape felt less like preparation, more like binding myself to a fate I'd fought tooth and nail to escape. They'd taken my childhood. Would my future be theirs too?

Stepping into the octagon was like crossing a threshold. The world narrowed down to the canvas beneath my feet, the cage walls boxing out the past and future, leaving only the present. 

Across the ring, my opponent, a muscle-bound brute, twitched with nervous energy. His eyes darted past me towards Oyabun's box, and the two exchanged a curt nod, one final confirmation of some unspoken agreement. The sight ignited a cold fury within me. Even my hard-won championship match, the culmination of blood and sweat, was just another pawn in their game.

The opening bell shattered the tension like a hammer through glass. I exploded forward, a lifetime of pent-up rage and desperation fueling each strike. My fist connected with flesh and bone, the impact reverberating up my arm. Once, twice, three times. Each blow was a declaration: 'No more. Never again.' There was a flicker in my opponent's eyes, surprise turning to dull incomprehension. 

Every strike was a hammer blow against the invisible bars Oyabun had constructed. Another punch, a kick, a precise knee - I saw my opponent falter, a puppet with its strings abruptly severed. Nine seconds. That's how long it took for his massive body to crumple to the canvas, unconscious. 

The referee's declaration of victory barely registered. Silence fell like a shroud, and then erupted into pandemonium. Pandemonium that wasn't just for the knockout, but for the sheer improbability of what they'd just witnessed.

My gaze found Oyabun's, locking onto him. His usual composure had cracked. His mouth hung open in shock, the beginnings of rage flushing across his face like a stain.

The championship belt gleamed, a symbol of everything Oyabun thought he could control. My heart thundered, not with the exertion of the fight, but with a heady mix of triumph and defiance. The future stretched out before me, uncertain but unquestionably my own. I'd broken the bargain, and there was an intoxicating power in knowing they couldn't take that away.

The roar of the crowd, the blinding lights of victory - it all faded, replaced by a silence that hung heavy with menace. And then... footsteps. Not my own, but a synchronized thrum, growing louder with each passing second. It was the sound of inevitability, of a fate I couldn't outrun.

"Oyabun," I spat the word, "Guess you're not a fan of fair play."

He stepped forward, his face a mask of cold fury. "You know fair play is for children, Kenji. This is business."

The first man lunged, a clumsy telegraphed haymaker. I sidestepped, my counterpunch connected with a satisfying crack, snapping his head back, blood spraying from a broken nose. Two more came at me, this time with rudimentary skill. A feint, a jab, and then one crumpled, clutching a broken elbow. The next fell to a vicious kick to the knee, a shriek slicing through the air. The crowd, sensing something was wrong, roared in a wave of confused terror.

A blade flashed, a sudden sting like a hornet in my side. I staggered, a surge of hot, wet pain radiating from my side. Oyabun's best enforcer smirked, his knife dripping crimson. Through the haze of pain, a primal fury took command. I lashed out, fingers finding the man's throat, squeezing. His eyes bulged, and with a wet gurgle, he went limp. The knife clattered to the ground.

Each breath was a rasping agony now, but I couldn't stop. Ignoring the burning in my side, I charged. Two more fell, their panicked blows glancing off me. The circle was broken, but it felt like I was moving through tar.

Then it was just me and Oyabun, the rest a pile of whimpering, bloody bodies. The boss drew a pistol from his jacket, a gleaming instrument of death. 

"You were always a fighter, weren't you, Kenji? A pity you were dealt such a worthless hand." His voice had an odd wistfulness, like he was reminiscing about an old friend.

The hammer of the gun clicked. I braced for the inevitable, the final act of defiance a single, guttural snarl: "Fuck you, you fat piece of shit."

Time seemed to slow, each heartbeat an eternity. I stared down the barrel of the gun, Oyabun's finger tightening on the trigger with agonizing slowness. This was it, the end of the line. No more tricks, no more escapes. Just the cold, hard reality of a life cut short. I closed my eyes, a final prayer on my lips...

And then - blackness.

The darkness should have been absolute, the final curtain on a life stolen too soon. Instead, there was a warmth against my skin, not the fiery sting of a bullet, but the gentle caress of a blanket. The air hung heavy with a sterile smell, and the rhythmic beep of a heart monitor eased my weariness. 

I shouldn't be alive. Yet, as my heavy eyelids fluttered, a flicker of color pierced the lingering darkness.

My blurry vision coalesced into a strange sight. A shimmering blue box floated in the air before me, an impossibility in the otherwise natural scene. Words glowed within it, stark and unavoidable:

"Please open your beginner gift pack"

What kind of fever dream was this? I blinked, hoping to chase away the hallucination. The box remained, the message unwavering. My fingers twitched, an urge to reach out, to touch, to unravel this bizarre riddle. If death had rejected me, then I'd meet this new, inexplicable world head-on.

With a trembling hand, I reached out and touched the words "Open your beginner gift pack."

The screen pulsed with light, dissolving into three new options:

. Memories of Izuku Midoriya

. Limit breaker

. Modified Quirk

"Let's start with the memories," I gritted out. "At least I'll know who I'm supposed to be now."

I pressed my finger to the first option, 'Memories of Izuku Midoriya'. The world imploded into itself.

My head throbbed, a drumbeat of agony as if my skull was being forced open. Foreign knowledge slammed into me with the force of a tidal wave. Izuku Midoriya - the name burned against my consciousness, a brand claiming me. 

Through the searing pain, a scene blurred into clarity. In the sterile light of the doctor's office, I saw Izuku sitting numb, his mother's hand a limp weight on his shoulder. The words echoed in my head, a death knell for his dreams: "I'm sorry kid, but it's not gonna happen." Hot tears pricked at his eyes, but he blinked them back. He couldn't cry, not here. Not when he needed to be strong.

The memory shifted, like a film reel skipping to the next scene. The glow of the computer screen was the only light in the room. Izuku huddled close, his eyes fixed on the figure of All Might in his red, white, and blue. "I AM HERE!" the hero proclaimed, his grin blinding. Hot tears streamed down Izuku's face. He turned to his mother, his voice small and broken: "Mom... do you think I can be a hero too? Even without a quirk?"

Time jumped forward, the memories coming faster now. The sun beat down on Izuku's neck as he trudged home, his backpack heavy with the weight of his failure. The air shimmered with heat, the cicadas' cries a mocking refrain. "Quirkless, quirkless," they seemed to sing. He wanted to cover his ears, to drown out the voice in his head that whispered the same cruel truth: "You'll never be a hero."

In the classroom, Bakugo's taunts rang out, each word a barbed arrow finding its mark. "If you really want to be a hero there actually might be a way. Just pray for a quirk in your next life, and take a swan dive off the roof of the building." The laughter of his classmates was a discordant chorus, underscoring the futility of Izuku's dreams.

But still, he persisted. In the quiet of his room, Izuku pored over his hero analysis notebooks, meticulously studying the quirks and strategies of various pro heroes. His pencil flew across the pages, sketching out ideas, plans, possibilities. He wouldn't give up. He couldn't.

And then, the fateful encounter. The sludge villain loomed before Izuku, a nightmare made flesh. The sludge was everywhere, filling his nose, his mouth, his lungs. He couldn't breathe, couldn't think. His vision swam, darkening at the edges. At that moment, I felt his cold certainty that he was going to die. And with that realization came a desperate, clawing need to live. To breathe. To be a hero, even if only for a moment.

Darkness fell, a curtain slamming down on the scene. Silence, heavy and absolute. And then, a flicker of light. A shimmering blue box, floating in the void. "Please open your beginner gift pack."

My eyes snapped open, my breath coming in ragged gasps. The hospital room swam into focus around me, but the afterimage of that box burned in my vision. It was impossible, absurd... and yet, somehow, undeniable.

I closed my eyes again, trying to make sense of the jumble of memories and sensations. Izuku's life, his struggles, his desperate final moments... they played out behind my eyelids like a fevered dream. And with each passing second, the line between us blurred a little more.

My hand clenched on the bed sheet, my knuckles whitening. I didn't know what this meant, or what strange twist of fate had brought me here. But one thing was crystal clear in my mind.

I was Ryu Kenji, and I was Izuku Midoriya. Two lives, two worlds, two fates... now inextricably intertwined.

And somewhere out there, a new future was waiting to be written.

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