Chapter 12: Can I…
[A/N: Early chapter because I felt I should answer some of the comments real quick. Check out the Author's Note at the end of the chapter for it.]
In the drawing-room of the Hado Mansion, Neji was sitting on a couch while Gara's head was between his legs, sitting on the floor.
"Mhm... you're good…" Gara mumbled as she felt a pair of small hands rubbing her shoulders.
"You seriously learned this from Mister Shifu…?" She asked, slight awe in her voice.
The person behind her, Neji, who was massaging her shoulders with his small hands nodded. "Yup." He said. "Or maybe I have natural talent? Who knows, haha."
"Huh, Kid, now you're hiding things from Mama?" Gara turned her face around and narrowed her eyes at Neji.
Neji stuck out his tongue and chuckled. "No, really. I asked Master Shifu to teach me some lethal techniques. He taught me something called Chinese Acupuncture." He rubbed his finger on a precise point of her neck. "This is one of your Pressure Points. Like, if I apply some force here, you'd lose your consciousness immediately."
Gara's body stiffened hearing him but she soon relaxed as Neji again massaged her shoulders. Gara asked, "So, how does that connect with you learning how to massage?"
Neji tilted his head. "Oh, Pressure Points aren't only used to do lethal attacks. If you are good enough, you can cause pleasure instead of pain. I am just mixing in some Acupuncture techniques while massaging you, so you feel as if a professional is doing the job."
Gara smiled and brought Neji down from the couch and laid him on her thighs. She ran her hands through his stomach, tickling Neji. "So my boy is talented in everything? Let me tell you, I have experienced what professional massages feel like before. Although you're lacking in some aspects, it's not far-fetched to say you're close to the real deal."
She leaned down and smudged her face on his stomach, tickling him further, getting a giggle from his end.
As she stopped, Neji gasped for breath. After taking some breaths in, he looked at her. "Anyway, Mom, is your shoulder still stiff? I can keep going."
Gara smiled reassuringly. "It's fine, your hands did their job." Gara has had a long day at work today. When she returned home, her little boy somehow noticed her swollen back and decided to massage her.
Of course, she was only mildly amused. She felt nice just hearing him wanting to help. She let him try his hand at massaging her to not hurt his feelings, but to think he was this good… She was relieved from her shoulder pain in less than 10 minutes, but even if she wasn't – she can't possibly ask her little strawberry to keep massaging her until he tires himself out. What type of mother would do that?
She hugged Neji and placed his head on her chest. "It's noon, time for your nap. Rest for a little."
She heard a muffled 'Un' and kept patting his hair.
I woke up in my bed and looked outside the window. It was evening, the sky was red. I was kind of tired, so this small nap fully energized me.
As for why a normal massage session was so tiring, it's because of this—
[Lvl 2; <Acupuncture Massage> (Active): Your hands are skilled in making people feel relaxed.
Effect: Can cause "DEX + ATK" percent more (pain or pleasure) than normal. The higher the level is, the lower the stamina consumption.]
While massaging Mom, I had gained this skill… It's an active skill, but I can use it.
Yes, I didn't stutter. I can use it!! I can use an active skill! Yay.
"But, how?" No idea.
I do have some theories though.
Up until now, the skills I learned were 'new'. Like <Strong Punch>. It's a technique that lets me punch at a strength that I don't have – that's the reason it needs Magical Power (mana) for the skill to work. But with massage, it's different.
Mana is needed when I want to "Punch (level) percent harder" because the lack of power needs to be filled with something, in this case – mana. But the Massage Skill just mixes two of my existing stats and uses them to operate, there is no 'gap' to be filled, so there is a need for something like Mana.
As for why this Skill's requirements are different from the other skills? I have no idea- actually, I might have an idea.
Am I a genius who learned how to massage like a professional? I can use the excuse of my Skill, but it's only level 2. If that's enough to reach a professional level, then this is a broken game.
The reason I am good at massaging is again a tale from my past life. When my (previous) mother used to come back from her 'work', I had to massage her tired and abused body. Sometimes do the same with her boyfriends. Ugh, I wanted to bash their heads so many times…. Anyway, Massaging was something I could do without Mana before, there is no reason the same skill would need me to use mana now.
I mean Master Shifu doesn't have any mana (I think), but he can use this skill perfectly. If he can do it, why can't I?
[Ding! +1 INT for reaching the conclusion of a medium-difficulty mystery.]
Ah… so that answers it. I guess that makes sense. I have never walked "(level) percent faster", but I have given my everything into massaging before… so, if I could do it without Mana before, there is no reason I couldn't do it again.
Also, I wonder how mixing my Quirk with my massage would feel like? Like if I cause small shockwaves on the skin of my target, would the pleasure increase? I didn't use it on Mom since I didn't want to accidentally kill her… but I think I should be able to do something like that after I gain more control over my Quirk.
"Yawn…" Anyway, I am hungry.
I got up from my bed and walked outside the door.
While eating dinner with my family, I decided to bring my 'proposal' out in the light.
"Mom, Dad," I called as they turned to me from their seats. "Can I go out?"
Dad sighed but Mom frowned. "Go out…? Are you out of your mind!? Did you forget what happened a few months ago? I don't want that to happen again! What would-"
I interrupted her, "Yeah, but, you can't just lock me in here." I rarely talk back, so Mom was caught off guard.
Mom winced, "W- we aren't locking you in here! Do you think we want to do this-" Dad placed a hand on her shoulder as she froze and took a deep breath. Her eyes went soft as a conflicting look appeared on her face. "We… We are keeping you safe, Neji."
"I know that, but ask yourself if this is not confiscating my freedom."
After another few seconds of silence, she sighed. "Fine, I will take you to another park tomorrow. Alright…?" She looked at me carefully. I can see how hard she is trying to keep me pleased. Damn, this woman is really nice.
But I guess it's time to crack the nut. "Mom, I don't mean going to parks when I say 'Can I go out?'," I said as a confused look appeared on her face. "I want to travel the whole of Japan. That day when we went to the beach, I was really captivated by the scenery. If a single beach is so beautiful… How gorgeous are the other places in Japan? Or even, the whole world?"
All three of them stopped eating, I just took a deep breath. "So… I want to travel the country. Can I?" I examined their faces and I immediately sighed internally.
After their initial shock subsided, my Mom's face went cold as she ate her food without looking at me. "You can't." That's the only words she said.
"You're too young."
Well… perfect. I didn't want to travel yet anyway, I was waiting for her to say this.
"Then can I travel when I grow up?"
"..." Gara froze and looked at me. Her eyes shined with conflict while Aiko shook his head. She took a breath in and blurted out, "...Yes."
I smiled. "Alright, then it's decided! I love you, mom!"
She flinched briefly before sighing.
This isn't really good development, but it's not bad either. I plan to start travelling before I turn 10 years old, I am 7.5 right now. I can guarantee Mom won't agree even then, she would say I should wait for a few years – but I can't possibly start my journey after becoming a teenager – that would be a huge waste.
I quickly ate my food as more time passed by slowly.
At night, I was studying some books based on Old Stories. The subtle mentions of All For One were present everywhere – though I am sure normal people won't realise it.
Firstly, the world calendar had reset after the appearance of Quirks. The day the luminescent baby was born is considered the first day of Year 1. This is Year 193… close to 200 years have passed since the appearance of Quirks.
Two World Wars have happened since the appearance of Quirks, both dealing mankind a heavy blow. Japan is relatively a neutral country with no enemies – something I wasn't surprised to hear since the author of MHA is Japanese.
Other than that, I was answered a question of mine. I always wondered – in what sense is All Might the number 1 Hero? Is he the No.1 of Japan? Or the whole World?
It seems the former is the case. There is an International Hero Ranking though, but it doesn't follow the "Number Ranking", it follows "Class Ranking". Like Endeavour is an S-Class Hero, while All Might is SSS-Class. Kind of strange, considering Endeavour solved more cases than All Might – I think something like this was explained once…? I forgot.
Coming forward, have you ever wondered why All For One didn't just leave Japan and take over other countries? It seems there are some people stronger than him in this world. In the past, there was a Villain who could control fucking Atoms. Theoretically, he could have blown the whole earth up on a whim…
All For One must have made some enemies of that calibre, so he never went out of Japan.
Still, All For One is the boogieman of Japan… Sayings such as-- "Go to sleep, or 'The One' would come." --is quite common for parents to say to their children. I myself have heard this quite a lot from Mom.
But truth be told? All For One is the last guy I should worry about.
Currently, in India, there is a "Nawab" who is ruling almost all of Southern Asia… Heck, he even declared he would take over the world. I don't know much about him since he is pretty mysterious. Though I did hear a rumour about him – when India was nuked once, he had grabbed the nuke and threw it into the sun… The authenticity of this? I have no idea.
But if that's really the truth, can even Prime All Might defeat him? Probably not.
...Fuck. My Hero Academia power scaling wasn't supposed to be this much bullshit.
I shook my head and stretched my body a little. "Yawn…" I guess enough reading for now. I would have liked to read some more, but sleep is important.
"Hm?" The door cracked open as I looked behind and saw a pair of blue eyes looking inside the room.
I waved my hand. "Yo, Nejire-nee. Anything you need?" I spoke as Nejire walked inside the room and crawled up onto the bed.
"Oi, Neji." She crawled on top of my stomach and pinned me down. "You want to travel the world?"
Oh, is this what it's about? "Yup."
"You can't always explain people's dreams and wishes with normal logic," I said. "Like how you like to chew on your toys even though Mom tells you not to."
Nejire frowned and pouted. I thought pouting in real life would look unpleasant, but I guess Japanese girls are cute enough for that? "Mom's not gonna agree."
"I know." I smiled.
"What are you gonna do then? Are you gonna keep asking? Maybe ask for Daddy's help too?" She blinked as if she had just had an epiphany. "Oh, oh, I know! Maybe you can run away from home?! Yeah, that sounds like a good idea!" She kept blurting out with curiosity filling her eyes. "Aren't you afraid of running away from home though? Can I come with you? Oh, I wanna come with you!"
...Did she just assume I would run away from home? ...That's right, she has always been like this even canon too.
"Sigh," I don't want to waste my time talking to her this late at night. I parted my lips, "I am sleepy. Can you not disturb me, please?"
"..." Nejire puffed her cheeks and glared at me. "Wow, woooow! Now you're shooing away your Nee-chan!? I was surprised you talked back to Mom, and now me too?"
I stuck my tongue out. "Whatchu gonna do? Bite me?" Damn, acting like a kid feels nice, no need to worry about dignity and shame.
Unlike how I believed her to react, she just smirked. "What will I do? I will tell Mom that you've been sleeping late recently. Reading those history books of yours. I wonder how she would react if she finds out that her 'little strawberry' sleeps at 3 A.M."
I furrowed my brows. "Wow, now you're blackmailing me?"
She showed me her tongue with a mocking smile on her face. "Whatchu gonna do? Bite me?"
"..." When she said this, I couldn't stop myself from chuckling. 'Hah… she is cute.'
It didn't take long for another two years to pass by.
I was doing my morning Quirk exercise when… something big happened.
[Ding! Your Quirk, "Surge" has levelled up!]
["Surge" has reached level 5! New abilities have been unlocked!]
Hah, I wonder how this will turn out.
[IMPORTANT] Author's Note:
I believe I need to mention this after reading some of your comments.
No, Neji can't "sneak out". It's quite obvious such an overprotective mother like Gara would surround Neji with guards and keep him in watch - Neji, knowing this, let's say goes out 'sneakily', the exact moment he returns, he would lose the chance to do so ever again - and might even lose his chance to travel after 2 years.
Now… other than that, some of you are saying, "Why doesn't he just run away from home?" - Well, he doesn't wanna. If I was in his place, who had an abusive mom in his past life and now has a loving family in the new life - if I was in his place, I wouldn't leave them. (Of course, Neji isn't a self-insert - but that only makes it worse.)
Finally, I don't like talking about a story point like this in Author's Note since this destroys a bit of immersion - but I had no choice since I did forget about adding this piece of information in the chapters. My bad.
(Added after seeing all the chapter 11 comments)
On the other hand – no, Kimi doesn't have any feelings for Mc's father 🙄, I am not gonna do anything even relatively close to NTR. (The actual reason is explained in chapter 16)
And for the people asking why I even wrote the previous chapter. The chapter was, as I intended, supposed to be "funny" since I thought people would be able to relate to it. Waking up at night as a kid and hearing weird noises coming from your parents' room would be relatable, I assumed. Guess I was wrong.