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Dead or Lie

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Where… was I?

I was supposed… What was I supposed to be doing?

Right. I was supposed to be starting at Hope’s Peak Academy, but that didn’t explain why I was waking up in a weird hallway. There was a door I had never seen before a few steps away, with an almost magnetic presence to it. Other than the door, there was nothing in the hallway, so figuring there was no other reason to stay where I was if I wanted to find out what was happening, I got up and opened it.

“Eh?” I couldn’t help the sound from escaping my lips as I saw what was awaiting me on the other side of the door. A classroom, a bit more high tech than I was used to seeing, but still fairly standard, filled with fourteen other teenagers, all staring at me, “Um… Hi there.”

“Who are you, kero?” Did that girl just ribbit? Come to think of it, she actually did look slightly like a frog. It was honestly kinda cute.

“Are you alright? Your face appears a bit pale,” First a cute frog girl, now a woman who looked like she might as well be a princess. Just who were these people?

“I’m…”

“Oh! You must have just enrolled here as well, correct?” Suddenly everything clicked together.

“Ah! Then you’re all…?”

“Yep! That’s what it looks like! We’re the new students here,” A redheaded guy sent me a thumbs up, his smile practically infectious as I felt my nerves instantly calm down.

“In any case, you should step into the room properly and close the door behind you! It is rude to just stand there in the door frame!” Based on his attitude and the energy he put off, I’d say the blue haired guy in glasses’ talent might have something to do with leadership, but the track uniform he was wearing told a different story.

“Right! Sorry about that!” Closing the door, I laughed nervously, when something occurred to me, “Hey, I have a question… Why did everyone gather here? Like, I don’t remember being told to gather here… Are we having the opening ceremony here or something?”

“I was actually just thinking of discussing that matter with everyone. It seems we’re all here, so we might as well.”

“Eh?! This is everyone? How’d you figure that?” Woah, were those girl’s eyes black? Like, completely black except the iris??? Between that, the pink hair, the piercings, and the… horns… she looked truly out of this world.

“There are fifteen desks in this classroom, and with the addition of our latest arrival, there are fifteen of us. It’s only logical,” Now that he mentioned it, there were sixteen desks for sixteen students. Guess this really was everyone.

“No shit, four eyes! Get to the fucking point already!” Yikes, tone down the edge, Mr. Angry. Between the explosive blonde hair, disheveled clothes, and sour expression, this guy was totally a punk in the worst way.

“Four eyes?!” Our, I guess, leader lost his cool for a moment before collecting himself, “Moving on, does anyone here recall actually coming to this classroom?” The silence was deafening, answering his question without anyone actually confirming it, “As soon as I entered the school, I was inexplicably struck dizzy, and then found myself outside this classroom. That was my experience. Was everyone’s the same?”

“It was like that for me too!” I confirmed, several others piping up as well.

“We’re totally skipping ahead though!” Another pink haired girl spoke up, although this one looked like she came out of a steampunk manga instead of a scifi movie. She wasn’t even looking at us, she was busy tinkering with some sort of gizmo, “The dizziness isn’t the only issue.”

“Huh? What else is there?”

“The door won’t open.”

“The door won’t open?” A guy with two toned hair questioned from next to me, making me jump in surprise. He’d been so quiet that I’d actually forgotten he was there.

“That’s what I said! Even with the full strength of my babies, it wouldn’t even budge! No way any of you can do what my baby couldn’t!”

“Is she… talking about actual babies?” A guy with electric yellow hair, complete with black lightning bolt, tilted his head to the side slightly, genuinely confused.

“Bullshit that that door won’t open!” Mr. Angry stormed over to door, pulling with all his might, but like the gadget lady said, it was acting more like a replica door than an actual one, “EH?! WHY THE HELL WON’T IT OPEN?!”

“Woah! It totes like we’re two steps to the left of reality! Way mega bonkers!”

“Uh… Yeah, what she said!” I agreed, not entirely sure what I was agreeing to, however, “I mean, when I came in here the door opened easily… It didn’t feel like it locked behind me either, so why is it basically a wall ornament now?”

“I don’t know the details, but for now, looks like we need to accept that we’re locked in,” A guy who I hadn’t even noticed before spoke up, looking like he needed sleep more than we needed to figure out what was going on. Everything down to his probably permanent bed head screamed tired and done with everything.

“Maybe this is some kind of entrance exam?”

“Shut the fuck up, Deku! Hope’s Peak doesn’t have an entrance exam!”

“Yo, bro!” Redheaded Sunshine held a hand out in a stop motion to Mr. Angry, “Let the guy speak!”

“Uh… T-thanks… I was just thinking… Maybe that’s what they publically, and there’s actually a special secret exam once the students enroll?”

“That’s not it! This isn’t an entwance exam, dechu!” A sweet voice came from somewhere in the room, but no one could seem to locate it.

“Oi! Deku! Don’t go making weird ass voices!”

“W-what?! Kacchan, I didn’t make that voice!”

“That’s because it was coming from me, dechu!” A small white rabbit in a magical girl uniform was standing on the podium at the front of the class. It was so cute, I just wanted to run over and hug it, but I decided to control myself to see what would happen, “Now that evwyone is here, we can get stawted, dechu!”

“Is that a fucking plush doll?”

“Thaaaaat’s wight! I’m a plush doll made of felt. My name is Magical Miwacle Girl ★ Usami! But you can just call me Usami, dechu! I’m your teacher, evwyone, please to meet you!”

Plain Looking Guy: “Am… am I hallucinating? Is everyone else seeing this?”

Frog Girl: “No… I can see it too… Kero.”

Alien Girl: “Yo yo! Why is that chihuahua talkin’ to us?”

Lightning Guy: “That thing is a chihuahua?!”

Usami: “Do none of you know what a bunny wabbit is? It’s a vewy wuvly animal with fwuffy fur. That’s what I am! I’m a singing, dancing, talking bunny wabbit mascot!”

“Aww, she’s so cute,” I tilted my head slightly, smiling at the plush rabbit.

“Wait, hold up!” Redhead interrupted, hand on his head, “Let me thoughts in order first!”

“Go wight ahead!”

“Um… You’re with me all, guys, right? I’ve never heard of such a thing as a singing, dancing, stuffed doll…”

“It’s probably being moved with a remote control… It’s just a noisy kid’s toy,” Tired guy, no.

“Are you a total idiot or something? That kind of movement? From a remote control? Nah, this isn’t toy level technology,” Kacchan, yes.

“The problem isn’t how it’s moving, it’s what it’s saying,” For the first time in a few minutes, blue glasses spoke, “You know, don’t you? The situation we’re in.”

“Of course I know! I’m the supervising teacher of this field twip!” I’m sorry, for this what now?

“What do you mean, ‘field trip’?”

“It means a school event where students go on a twip and perform gwoup activities under the supervision of a teacher!”

“We… weren’t asking for a definition…” A punk looking girl clarified, only to be ignored by our ‘teacher.’

“Let’s get going! Your fun field twip starts… now!” With a wave of her wand, Usami caused a wave of sparkles, and boom, the walls around us collapsed outwards.

“You… Tell me this is a dream or something…” All around us was a tropical island, with beautiful ocean as far as the eye could see. There was no way we could be here, it just didn’t make any sense!

“WHAAAA?!”

“It’s a trick, right?!”
“W-where are we?!”

“Why?! How?!” At least my classmates were in a similar state of shock and confusion, so I wasn’t the only one here seeing this.

“Evwyone! Pwease calm down!” Opinion changed on Usami, she had kidnapped us and dropped us in the perfect location for the beach arc of an anime, which while those were fun, were not the situation I wanted to be in right now, “Pwease! Pwease! There’s no need to panic! Take a good look awound! It’s a beauuuuutiful sea, isn’t it? Can’t you alweady feel your soul being cleansed? Everything bad being waaaaashed awayyyyy~”

“Wait. We want a detailed explanation! Where in the world are we?” At least the modern fairytale princess was conveying our questions properly, since the rest of us were still in shock.

“Where? Isn’t it obvious?” Another wave of sparkles, and Usami was doing a little ballet dance, “Students it’s better, out where it’s wetter, out by the sea!”

“Yeah, we’re by the sea! We get it! Doesn’t explain why we’re fucking here, fuzzball!”

“You know… if you keep shouting like that, your thwoat is going to get sore,” Not the point right now, Usami.

“But… it’s really weird that there should be an ocean here… we were at the school but a moment ago…” Plain guy raised a valid point. Magic isn’t a real, so just how did we get here?

“Pwease west assured, that was just our field twip’s beginning!”

“Um… Usami, right? Why on earth would we go on a field trip as soon as school started? This is all too sudden, we’re supposed to be starting school today,” Keeping my hand folded behind my back so as to appear more friendly and open, I smiled at her, trying to keep my cool.

“Ooooh. Hope’s Peak Academy… I see… You’re still wowwied about Hope’s Peak! In that case…” Why did I feel like the rabbit was about to say something that would just cause more panic, “Pwease forget about it! That’s what this field twip is alllll about!”

“What do you mean, forget about it, you bastard?!” Called it.

“Just what are you scheming, rodent?” Two tone had narrowed his eyes, his glare icy hot, and not one I would want to be on the receiving end of.

“Howawa? I am not scheming anything! I’m doing all of this for you! More than anything, I pway that a biiig “hope” grows inside your hearts! That’s why this island is fwee of danger! So don’t be afwaid, okay?”

“Island… Did you just say Island?” Green hair must be thinking the same thing then. Islands mean no way off without transportation, and if this bunny had gone through all of the trouble of getting us here, doubts are that she gave us any way to get off.

“Yep! This is a beauuutiful southern island. There is nothing to be afwaid of here. There aren’t even any other people. It’s an island made juuust for you!” So no people, no distractions, only 15 teenagers and a magical rabbit mascot character. I give it 48 hours before someone is either murdered or pregnant.

“Don’t tell me… you brought us all here so we could kill each other on an uninhabited island!” See? Green hair gets it.

“Howawa! K…Kiwweachother?! G…God forbid! Violence, hurting other people, and other such wild activities are forbidden on this island!” Oh, maybe not then.

“Well, in that case, what’s the point of this field trip, kero? Just what is your intention here, Usami-chan?”

“It’s time for my speech! Ahem! Evwyone. Pwease stwengthen your bonds of fwiendship as you enjoy your pweasant stay on this island! This is the rule of this ‘Heart-thumping Field Twip’!” And again I say, what the everloving hell is going here, “Pwease waise your hope as you enjoy quiet, peeeaceful days where noothing happens, no one gets hurt and no one suffers… This is what this wuvly, wuvly ‘Heart-thumping Field Twip’ is all about… That’s the assignment I’m giving you on this island! Um, and so… Let our ‘Heart-thumping Field Twip’ begin!!”

At that moment, my vision went hazy, my head killing me, and stomach churning. It was as if something snapped in me, all the stress finally catching up to me. First was starting a new school, then it was waking up and getting trapped in a room with a bunch of strangers, and now…

And so, for the second time in just a couple of hours, I, Ochako Uraraka, fell to the ground, passing out on impact.

Chapter Text

“H-hey… Can you hear me?” There was a voice, but I couldn’t quite place where it was coming from. Everything around me was warm, and soft, like I was lounging on a tropical island, “Hello?”

Wait… Like I was lounging on a tropical island…

“Ah!” Sitting bolt upright, I opened my eyes and remembered that the reason I felt like I was on a tropical island was because I was. When I sat up, a guy with messy green hair and a smattering of freckles jumped in shock, the two of us locking eyes, “Oh! S-sorry! Didn’t mean to scare you!”

“N-no! Don’t be sorry! You didn’t do anything wrong! Hehe,” Laughing nervously, he held out a hand to help me up so I could dust myself off, “Are you alright? You look exhausted. But then again, we all are, so that’s a stupid question. Of course you’re exhausted, with all these crazy things happening, I’m surprised more people didn’t pass out. Come to think of it-”

“Um…” This guy was rambling, and figuring he wouldn’t stop without outside intervention, I placed a hand on his arm, “You should probably take a moment to breathe. You’re turning a bit blue there, Deku.”

“D-Deku?!” The look of terror on the guy’s face instantly created a pit in my stomach, like I had just told him I’d murdered his pet.

“That’s not your name? That really angry guy that looks like a living explosion from before called you that, so I figured…”

“Oh, um… My name is Izuku Midoriya, Deku is just what Kacchan calls me to make fun of me…”

“Aww, I’m sorry, I had no idea! But… I actually kinda like Deku. It’s got an ‘I can do it’ sound about it!”

“DEKU IT IS THEN!” Well, that sure was a quick turn around, Deku’s face lighting up with a huge smile, “What’s your name, by the way?”

“Right! I’m Ochako Uraraka, Super High School Level Astronomer,” Smiling back at him, I saw his eyes go wide before pulling a notebook out of his backpack, “Hmm? Is everything okay?”

“Yes, sorry, I just need to write it down,” Once he’d made the note, he held up his notebook so I could see it. There was a title drawn on in sharpie reading ‘ Talent Analysis Notebook No. 13 ’, “I’m the Super High School Level Analyst, by the way. I’ve been a huge fan of Hope’s Peak and Talent my entire life, and now that I’m here, I get to conduct my analyses in person, so I’m a bit excited… Lame, right? I only got into Hope’s Peak for being such a fanboy.”

“Ohhhhh I got it! Your talent isn’t lame at all, Deku! To love something so much, and to be so dedicated to your research, it’s really admirable,” Now he was bright red, making me tilt my head, “You okay there?”

“Y-yep!” Just as fast as the blush had appeared, it was gone, and he was fishing something something else out of his backpack to hand to me, “Here! This is for you.”

“Huh?” Taking the device, I looked it over, “What is this? It looks like a smartphone or something.”

“They’re our student handbooks, apparently. You passed out right before Usami Sensei gave them to us,” As he explained, I booted it up, eyes going wide at how high tech it was. My family didn’t come from a lot of money, meaning I’d only ever had flip phones, so to be given something like this was blowing my mind, “According to her, we’re supposed to use these to gather Hope Shards.”

“Hope what now?”

“Hope Shawds!” Out of nowhere, Usami popped up, making me yelp, which in turn made her yelp, “Ah! I’m sowwy! I didn’t mean to stawtle you!”

“N-no, you’re fine, Sensei! But um… what are Hope Shards, exactly?” At my question, Usami perked back up, dancing a little as she began to explain.

“You see, when you deepen your bonds with your classmates on this island, you acquire ‘Hope Shawds.’ The more you get alone with evwyone, the more you gather. I want you to gather as many Hope Shawds as you can, and make your Hope Fwower bwoom. That’s the goal of this field twip! Wuv! Wuv!!”

“But wait… What-” Before I could finish my question though, she was gone, leaving me still very confused, “And she ran off…”

“Now that we’ve gotten that sorted, don’t you think we should go introduce you to the others? They all went to explore the island while I stayed here and made sure you were okay,” Deku put a hand to the back of his neck, smiling awkwardly.

“Y-yeah, I think that’s a good idea. If we’re gonna be staying here for a while, it’ll be better if I know who our classmates are so we can become friends,” Slipping my handbook into an inner pocket of my coat as we walked off the beach, I took a moment to really think about what what happening as Deku rambled about how beautiful the island was. Everything here was gorgeous, it was true, but I couldn’t shake a feeling that not everything was as amazing as it seemed to be.

“Don’t you think so, Uraraka?”

“Hmm?” Snapping back to attention, I saw Deku smiling at me, having moved closer as we’d been walking. The close proximity made my heart flutter a little, not used to being so close to a guy.

“I asked if you think we’ll be able to get off the island with the planes at the airport,” For a moment, I was very confused, until I spotted that we’d walked right up to an airport.

“Yes! Absolutely!” At the prospect of getting off of the island, as well as air conditioning, I rushed inside, only to immediately halt. Inside was the girl who had been tinkering on one of her ‘babies’ back in the classroom, being chased around by the guy who had taken charge of the group.

“GIVE ME BACK MY HANDBOOK! ARE YOU NOT AWARE OF THE CONCEPT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY?!”

“Relax! I just wanna try something out and I need your baby to do it!” Sure enough, the girl had two hand books in her hands, connected together using some crude form of syncing cable. At that moment, she happened to look up and notice me and Deku, who had caught up to me, “Hey! You two! If you’re lookin’ to spring one of those airplanes to get out of here, that’s not gonna happen! None of them have engines!”

“Huh?” The blue haired guy who’d been chasing her finally noticed us as well, giving up his pursuit of the girl to compose himself and walk over to us, “I see you’re finally awake! That’s good, I was worried that we were going to lose a classmate before we had even met each other.”

“Yep, I’m all good now. Just needed a little nap is all, hehe…”

“Now that you’re awake, we can introduce ourselves properly. My name is Tenya Iida, and I am the Super High School Level Track and Field Star. Let’s work together to make this the best school year we can!” He bowed as he introduced himself, and I bowed back on instinct, not wanting him to be the only one being so formal.

“Iida comes from a family of accomplished runners, including several who have been to Hope’s Peak already. He’s basically a prodigy,” Deku whispered to me, living up to his fanboy claim. Thank the gods I had someone who could fill me in on the details so I wasn’t entirely clueless, “The girl over there is-”

“HI I’M MEI HATSUME, AND ENGINEERING IS MY CLAIM TO FAME! My babies are gonna change the world someday, just you watch! But I also mess with already existing babies and make them better like this one here,” Before Deku could finish his sentence, the girl had come and jumped onto Iida’s back, holding on like a koala as she held one of the handbooks in front of them, “Here ya go, Legs! Now we can message each other!”

“THAT’S what you stole my handbook for?! And get off of me!” Poor Iida was trying to pry Hatsume off his back, but she was latched onto him pretty tight. She probably lifted heavy things all the time if she was an engineer, so it wasn’t that surprising that she was so strong.

“Hatsume is a girl genius whose ‘babies’ are already being used by the Japanese Government to give their operatives the cutting edge in technology. I heard online you don’t want to be a human guinea pig for her prototypes though, since her lab has had to be shut down and repaired four times in the last six months alone.”

“What happened?!”

“People who know her mentor, a Government Inventor codenamed ‘Power Loader,’ say he’s claimed that he’s never had a student more prone to explosions and destruction than her.”

“Woah…” Getting over my shock, I directed my attention back to our new friends, “So you two know each other?” I tiled my head, placing a hand on my cheek.

“Nope!” Hatsume responded, pleased as punch.

“I have never met this woman before today, but she seems to be under the assumption that I am a robot, so she has been following me around.”

“Aww come on! Look at him! I just wanna see what makes him tick!” With the way Iida moved, spoke, and presented himself, I didn’t actually blame Hatsume for getting the wrong idea about his species.

“What makes me ‘tick’ is a heart because I am human!” The two continued to go back and forth, seemingly forgetting about Deku and me, so shrugging to each other, we left them to it.

“They remind me of an old married couple,” My statement made Deku nod, and I noticed that he’d pulled out his notebook to take more notes. The walk to our next destination was pretty quiet as he wrote and I took in the scenery he’d been gushing about earlier, making me glad when we arrived at a store called ‘Rocketpunch Market’, “Holy! Doesn’t look like we need to worry about food and supplies for a while!”

“Hey, do you hear music?” Now that he mentioned it, I did hear music coming from across the store. So, following it to the source, we saw the punk rock girl jamming out on a guitar while the alien girl was break dancing.

“Yooo! We have an audience!” Hopping up onto her feet, the alien bounced over to us before striking a pose, “What’s up?! Name’s Mina Ashido, AKA Alien Queen, age 17, and the sickest breakdancer this side of Okinawa, because I’m from Chiba! My out of this world moves are why Hope’s Peak sent me an invite to attend school here.”

“Ashido got her start in middle school when one of her friends filmed a dance off she did against some high schooler, which went viral. Since then, she’s started her own channel on Chattube where she posts videos of her dancing, on top of tutorial videos, and collaboration videos with her best friend, who’s in our class too as the Super High School Level Strongman.”

“Yo, I’m Kyouka Jirou, Super High School Level Rock Star,” Jirou gave us a two finger salute from where she was sitting on a display couch.

“Meanwhile, Jirou is the front woman for the band Vintage Memory, and actually plays a lot of different instruments for their songs as well. They’ve only been around for a year and a half, but they’ve already had 10 songs hit number one on the charts, and sold out Tokyo Dome. She’s been nicknamed ‘Earphone Jack’ by her fans because she can listen to anything once and repeat it perfectly, as well as her ability to dissect any song and tell you the individual pieces.”

“You’re making me sound like some hotshot… It’s not that big a deal, my friends and I just wanted to start a group, we didn’t expect to make it so big,” She was totally blushing at hearing how amazing she was, poking her first fingers together in embarrassment, “I do have good hearing though, so that part isn’t an exaggeration… Anyway, it’s nice to meet you. We should jam out sometime.”

“I’d like that,” Even though my words were directed Jirou, I couldn’t break eye contact with Ashido, who after a momentary staring contest seemed to realize why I was looking a little confused.

“Ohhhhhhh! You must be wondering about my eyes, right?”

“Y-yeah, little bit, sorry…”

“No worries! No worries! I forget that most people aren’t used to my looks sometimes, oops,” She bonked herself on the head, winking at me, “I got my eyes tattooed like this ‘bout a year back. Got in maaaaajor trouble for it, but I managed to get away with it in the end. The horns are clip ons, but I’m tellin’ ya, I totally had ‘em in a past life.”

“Right… Yeah… I believe you,” She struck me as someone with a touch of chuunibyou mixed in, but I wasn’t about to say that outloud. After saying goodbye to the two music lovers, Deku and I continued on our way to our next location.

 

“Hotel Mirai?” Staring up at the fancy looking hotel grounds, I suddenly felt very out of place. I’d only seen places like this in movies, so to be staying at one was blowing my mind.

“Yeah, I guess they decided to use a Japanese word to name their hotel. I’m just glad we have a place to live.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Well, when I heard we’d be here for a while, I was a little afraid we’d be camping out or something, heh… Silly, right?”

“No, that’s a logical conclusion to jump to, don’t worry. You really shouldn’t put yourself down so much, Deku,” Putting a hand on his shoulder, I smiled, wanting to show him it was okay to just be himself, “Now c’mon, let’s go meet more people.”

“Y-yeah, okay,” So, walking into the grounds, we were almost immediately greeted by the frog girl, who was in a swimsuit, “Oh! Hey, Asui, you already take advantage of the pool?”

“I told you to call me Tsu, Izuku-chan,” She appeared annoyed for half a second, before looking to me, “Hello, my name is Tsuyu Asui, but call me Tsu, kero.”

“Nice to meet you, Tsu! I’m Ochako Uraraka, so you can call me Ochako in return!” A breath of fresh air, finally someone introducing themselves normally, “Can I just say I love your swimsuit and hair? They’re so cute! The whole froggy aesthetic you’ve got going on is adorable.”

“Thank you, Ochako-chan. Frogs are my favorite animals, which is why I’m the Super High School Level Herpetologist.”

“You remind me of a frog turned into a scientist princess,” The words slipped out before I could stop them, making me stammer and blush, “I m-mean, um…”

“Don’t worry, people say that a lot, kero. It makes me happy to hear that I remind people of frogs,” Her smile was so genuine, it wasn’t hard to tell she really meant her words, “I have to ask you though, doesn’t it seem weird?”

“I mean, we were suddenly taken to a tropical island, so it makes sense for things to be weird, Asui.”

“Call me Tsu, Izuku-chan. And I’m not talking about the situation, as weird as it is, kero. I mean here, this hotel,” Tsu was looking at her student handbook, brows furrowed.

“What’s weird about the hotel?” Looking over her shoulder, I saw she was looking at a map of the hotel grounds, specifically the cabin area.

“Look, kero,” She pointed to the girl’s side of the cabin complex, and as soon as she did, I saw what she meant, “There are fifteen of us, but sixteen cabins, meaning one of them is empty, kero.”

“Well, yeah that makes sense. What’s so odd about an empty cabin?” Deku had joined us in looking at the map, brow also furrowed.

“Why would whoever did this only bring fifteen students to an island with sixteen cabins?” She brought up a valid point, actually. To go through the trouble of planning this field trip for us, you’d think Hope’s Peak would have made it a class of sixteen to make it even.

“Maybe it’s for Usami? Including her, that makes sixteen of us,” Look at Deku, coming up with logical explanations. He really was the Ultimate Analyst.

“Hmm… That makes sense, I guess,” Tsu turned off her notebook, “Oh yeah, Izuku-chan, I saw Bakugou storm over to the center island incase you plan on staying out of his crossheirs, kero.”

“Thanks, Asu- Tsu. It’s probably best if I keep my distance from him, at least for today. Give Kacchan time to adjust to our surroundings,” As Deku chuckled nervously, a hand on the back of his neck, I wondered just why this Bakugou seemed to hate Deku so much. With a quick goodbye, we moved onto our next person, a girl meditating on a chair by the pool.

“Should we come back later?” I whispered to Deku, who shrugged, giving me a look of confusion. However, the girl must have heard, since when I looked back to her, she had stood up and walked over to us, a bright smile on her face.

“Hey, no need to come back later, I was just taking a small break from the insanity going on. I’m Kendou Itsuka, Super High School Level Aikido Master. It’s really nice to meet you.”

“Woah, you’re an Aikido master? I always imagined them to be big, rowdy guys, but you’re so… down to earth and elegant.”

“Itsuka has won multiple national titles, earning her a name in the martial arts community. She’s even been challenged by the greatest Aikido master alive and beaten him before.”

“Yeah, Grandpa really gave me a run for my money, but I managed to pull through in the end.”

“Grandpa?! Your grandfather is the greatest Aikido master alive?!” My eyes practically blew up in shock, mouth slightly agape at this information.

“Yep! He raised me by himself, taught me everything I know. He also instilled a strong joy of helping others in me, so if you’re ever having trouble and need someone, I’m always happy to help,” She gave me a thumbs up and a wink, something about her setting my nerves at ease. Maybe it was the caring big sister vibes she giving off.

“Will do, thank you!” Another quick goodbye, and leaving her to her meditation, Deku and I walked towards the hotel.

“Hey, Deku, what’s that?” But before we could get there, I noticed something out of place with the rest of the high class luxury surrounding us.

“I think it’s supposed to be an old lodge? Maybe they used to hold events in there.”

“Let’s go check it out,” Sharing a nod, we walked over to the building, but as soon as I was about to step onto the first step…

“Ah, you can’t go in there!” Usami once again popped out of nowhere, startling me enough to lose my balance and fall backwards right into Deku, sending us both to the ground, “Oh no! I’m so sowwy!!! Let me help you two up!!!”

“T-thank you!” Both our faces were flushed red again from the close proximity, so I was more than happy when Usami quickly helped me up and dusted me off, “What do you mean we can’t go in there, Usami?”

“The old lodge is scheduled for wecontwuction, so entry is forbidden! It’s just too dangewous! So stay away!” With that, she was gone again, leaving me frustrated.

“She’s dangerous, appearing out of nowhere like that,” I grumbled as we walked back towards the main hotel.

“I can’t help but agree…”

Entering the lobby of the hotel, we spotted two people, one by the bar holding some sort of tropical looking drink, staring at the other who was intensely focused on the video game he was playing. The guy by the bar seemed more likely to be ready to talk first, so heading over there, Deku and I sat down on the barstools.

“Before you ask, this is a virgin drink. I wouldn’t risk doing something as reckless drinking underage, unlike some people here who I suspect might be,” That wasn’t what I was even thinking, but that’s one way to start a conversation, I guess, “You’re the girl who passed out at the beach.”

“Ahhhh yeahhh… That’s me…” Chuckling nervously, I instantly shut up when this guy started to laugh.

“HOW PATHETIC! ONE OF THE GREAT ULTIMATES PASSING OUT BECAUSE OF A SMALL SHOCK! HAHA-” But as soon as he started, he shut up, slumping over the table.

“I knew my Monoma senses were tingling for a reason,” Itsuka was standing over him, having clearly just knocked him out with a karate chop to the back of the neck. Noticing Deku and I just sitting there in shock, she smiled gently at us, “Sorry about him, I’m pretty sure there’s a hole where his heart should be.”

“Umm… no worries… But who is he?”

“His name is Neito Monoma, and he’s the Super High School Level Copycat. He’s got a chattube channel where he does near flawless impersonations of anyone from celebrities to fictional characters. Please don’t take his comments personally, he’s like this with everyone. Being so good at copying others has left him with a slight inferiority complex about himself. I’ve been keeping him in check since high school, but he gets particularly bad in new situations.”

“Is he the chaos you mentioned getting away from earlier?” Deku questioned as Itsuka lifted Monoma over her shoulder like he weighed nothing and holding his drink in her other hand.

“Yep, but guess I gotta keep a better eye on him until everything settles down. See you two later!”

“B-bye!” Deku and I waved as she walked out, both still in a little bit of shock before snapping out of it and looking to the remaining person in the room… Who had not even looked up from his game the entire time…

“Kaminari,” Deku tried to get his attention after we’d walked across the room, but the guy either didn’t hear him, or did, and was ignoring him in favor of his game. Sighing, Deku cupped his hands around his mouth, “Kaminari!”

“EH?!” That startled the guy, who jumped, letting off what felt like an electric shock around him, which hit Deku and I, “Yikes! Sorry ‘bout that!” It was then he really noticed me, quickly shifting gears from embarrassed to flirty, “Hey there~ Name’s Denki Kaminari, Super High School Level Lightning Rod, and it might just be me, but I really feel a spark between us~”

“That’s because you just shocked me…” I stated, deadpan as I fixed my electrified hair, making him pout slightly.

“Damn, that line hasn’t worked even once today…”

“Kaminari holds the world record for most amount of times hit by lightning and lived.”

“Eleven times, cutie!” He seemed really proud of his bad luck with storms…

“As a result, he can discharge extra lightning in his body that builds up due to his increased friction collection. One of the times he got hit went viral, actually. He reenacted that scene from R*t*touille where R*my was cooking on the roof of the cottage he lived in the attic of,” Deku explained, which explained why he had managed to suddenly produce electricity when frightened.

“Yeah, yeah, that was actually a lot of fun to film! Those kabobs ended up tasting really bad, though…” That was his complaint about that situation?! “Anyways, I was totally crushing it at this video game, and I bet a guy I could beat it without using any electricity to glitch it, so talk to ya later?”

“Sure, totally,” Well, that was definitely the most shocking introduction so far, literally. Walking up the stairs with Deku to the restaurant, I suddenly realized I was pretty hungry. So when I saw two people sitting at a table filled with tea time snacks and sipping tea, I could actually feel my mouth start to water, “D-do you mind if we join you?”

“Oh! Please do!” The princess from the classroom was one of the two at the table, seemingly delighted by our presence, “What type of tea do you like? English Breakfast? Earl Grey? Oolong? Darjeeling?”

“J-just green tea for me,” I’d never really been a Tea Person™, but I did enjoy green tea, so at least I could ask for that.

“S-same here,” Wonderful, Deku was just as nervous, not that I blamed him. The two people at the tea table with us were absolutely gorgeous while I felt like a mere mortal compared to them. I couldn’t help but notice that while the woman was very warm, and inviting, her friend(?) was cool, and really giving off the feeling that he was annoyed that we’d interrupted.

“Here, please, have some food as well, we have plenty,” So, taking a sandwich, I had to stifle a yummy sound so as not to embarrass myself in front of these demigods, “Right! Introduction time! My name is Momo Yaoyorozu, and I’m the Super High School Level Scholar. I’m delighted to meet you!”

“Yaoyorozu is ranked as the top student in the country, and has also given lectures on various subjects at top universities. She’s one of the most sought after students by Universities, both in Japan, and internationally. Several Ivy League colleges from America and Oxford were trying to court her into attending, but Hope’s Peak scouted her first.”

“O-Ochako Uraraka! Super High School Level Astronomer!” Screw me, she was a genius on top of being absolutely stunning… Talk about a lethal combo!
“How wonderful! I’m fascinated with space myself, so I would love to discuss it with you sometime if you want to,” Send help, I was going to die soon. Tell my family I love them, and that dying via staring directly at an angel was totally worth it.

“That sounds like fun, I’d really enjoy that!” With her intro done, the three of us looked to the two toned guy, awaiting his intro.

“…Shouto Todoroki.”

“Is that all?” I pondered aloud, when something suddenly hit me, “Wait, Todoroki like Enji Todoroki, former Super High School Level Firebreather, and Rei Todoroki, former Super High School Level Ice Sculptor?”

“Tch…” Well that was obviously not the right thing to say, since it only made Todoroki shut off more, looking away again, a scowl on his face.

“Shouto is the Super High School Level Luck!” Yaoyorozu quickly interjected, looking nervous and clearly wanting to lighten the mood, “He was selected out of every student in the country to attend Hope’s Peak purely based on his luck.”

“Really? That’s such a cool talent,” Deku had brought out the notebook again, fervently writing down notes, “I wish I had some luck on my side, but all I have are my analytical abilities.”

“It’s not that amazing. What sort of stupid talent is luck?” Guess Todoroki was choosing to speak up again, his words making Momo frown at him, worried.

“Don’t be like that, Shouto, it’s a great talent,” It got really awkward after that, so Deku and I left, Yaoyorozu promising to invite us for tea again. Walking out of the hotel area, we saw Kendo meditating again with a tied up and gagged Monoma next to her, making me laugh quietly.

“Usami Corral?” Up next was a farm, confusion filling me. There was a farm on a tropical island… For why?

“This looks like a farm, but there aren’t many animals here,” Deku noted, which seemed to contain the magic words to once again summon Usami out of nowhere.

“Oopsie… you got me!”

Where do you keep coming from? ” My patience with this rabbit was wearing thin, even with how cute she was.

I am a vewy elusive bunny wabbit! I can appear anywhere and everywhere on this island! It’s all thanks to my Magical Stick!” So that magical girl toy she was holding. I actually had something similar at home from when I was a little girl, “Oh, but this is indeed twoubling… A farm without a moo cow is like a Japanese representative who isn’t Japanese.”

“That’s… that’s a bit of a strange comparison…” I couldn’t agree more, Deku.

“Okay! Stand back and leave it to my Magical Stick!” She picked up a chicken from nearby and placed it in front of her before waving her stick around, “Wooo-eee-ooo! Woo-woo-wee-wee-woo-wooooooo!! Chicken! Now! Become a moo cow!”

“What the…?!” The chicken had turned into a cow. The chicken had turned inTO A COW!

“Great success! Bye bye now!”

“Stop running away, coward!” I cried out, bunching up my fists in front of me.

“U-Uraraka, it’s okay! I don’t think she actually turned a chicken into a cow, it was probably just smoke and mirrors she prepared in advance,” Deku placed a hand on my arm to calm me down. Thinking about it rationally, he was probably right. There was no way a chicken could just… turn into a cow, “C’mon, let’s go introduce ourselves to that guy over there.”

“Right, okay,” Taking a deep breath, I walked over to the palm tree that a plain looking guy had climbed up, “Umm… Hey! What’cha doin’ up there?”

“Oh! Hey down there! Catch this!” Next thing I knew, I had a coconut in my arms, the guy jumping down from the tree and sticking the landing, “Thanks for that, I was wondering how I was gonna get that down without hurting it.”

“Sure? Any time?” As the guy took the coconut, I raised an eyebrow, “Anyways, I’m Ochako Uraraka.”

“Yeah, the girl who passed out back on the beach,” That was going to be my legacy, and I was never going to live it down among these people, “Name’s Hanta Sero, Super High School Level Traceur, which is just a fancy word to say I’m the best of the best at Parkour.”

“Got it,” I nodded, waiting for Deku’s explanation.

“Sero is really good at extreme stunts, and apparently is known for his Spiderman like abilities. He once scaled Tokyo Tower for charity, with people pledging money for every floor he climbed. The highest donator ended up giving over One Million Yen after Sero managed to make it all the way to the top without entering the tower itself for breaks.”

“Holy…” Now that was extreme. I just hoped he didn’t do anything too stupid on this island.

“By the way, you two run into a guy named Kaminari yet?”

“Yeah, he shocked us when we went to introduce ourselves,” I explained, causing Sero to burst out laughing.

“Oh, man… Gonna have to dock points for that. I bet him he couldn’t beat that video game in the hotel lobby without cheating. He kept flirting with everyone which almost got him punched a few times, so I figured that should keep him busy for a while,” That would explain it then, “I think I saw a guy walk ‘round back of that barn, so might wanna check that out if you’re doing introductions with everyone. In the meantime, I’m gonna go chop up this coconut and check in with Kaminari. Lates!”

“Bye?” Turning to Deku as soon as he left, I whispered, “Was it just me or did he seem um…”

“Way too mellow?”

“Yes, exactly,” I nodded, before looking towards the barn, “So to the back of the barn?”

“I don’t see why not?” With that, we walked around the barn, where we spotted the guy I’d thought looked like tiredness personified sitting against it, hood up, mouth mask on, and eyes closed. He appeared asleep, but when we got close enough, he suddenly spoke.

“Hitoshi Shinsou, Super High School Level Persuader. Now leave, I’m trying to take a nap,” True to his talent, his words instantly made me want to leave him alone, which is why I found myself walking away with Deku without having even said a word to Shinsou in the end.

“Shinsou is the adopted son and only protege of two top government operatives who go by the codenames ‘Eraserhead’ and ‘Present Mic.’ He’s got a gift for persuasion, like his talent suggests, if you didn’t already get that from the fact that we walked away with just a suggestion from him.”

“That’s a crazy amount of power for someone to have,” Placing a hand on my forehead, trying to comprehend that guy’s talent, I suddenly noticed that Deku hadn’t walked onto the bridge to the center island with me, “Hey, Deku? You okay?”

“Ahh, yeah, but I’m going to stay on this island while you go meet the last two people,” The sad look on Deku’s face, despite his smile, made my heart hurt, “Seriously, don’t worry, I just don’t think it’s a good idea for you to meet Kacchan with me there.”

“Okay, if you insist… But afterwards we’ll hang out more, yeah?”

“Yeah, totally!”

 

The center island is a lot smaller than the one I’d just been on, with only five bridges, four of which were blocked with large gates, and a park. First thing I noticed was the large statue with four animals that looked to be fighting, however the second think I noticed .23 seconds later was Mr. Grumpy shouting as he was followed around by a for some reason shirtless redhead ray of sunshine.

“C’mon, Bakubro! Just spar with me! Channeling the anger you’re feeling into working out will be good for you!”

“I said fuck off, Shitty Hair! Go take your stupid positivity and bother someone else!”

“I told you my name is Kirishima, man!” Oh, so they don’t actually know each other. At that moment though, Grumpy caught sight of me, his murderous rage directed towards me.

“Eh?! Who the fuck are you, mochi cheeks?! You come to harass me into joining in on this dumbass field trip too?!”

“What? No, why would I do that?” Placing my hands on my hips, I glared back at him, not showing any weakness, “I came to introduce myself to get these weird Hope Shards. I don’t care if you join in or not.”

“I knew I was missing someone’s introduction!” Sunshine came running over to me, a bright smile on his face, “Hey, my name’s Eijirou Kirishima, Super High School Level Strongman! Nice t’meet’cha!”

“I’m Ochako Uraraka, Super High School Level Astronomer. It’s really nice to meet you, Kirishima-kun. But, um… Why are you shirtless?” Returning his smile, I noticed a few scars littering his body.

“You met Mina? Tattooed eyes? Horns?”

“Alien Queen, yeah. You must be the best friend who does videos with her.”

“Yep! She and I go all the way back to middle school, so I was hanging out with her in the supermarket and she dared me to chug one of those huge sodas. Long story short, I’m glad we have spare clothes in our cabins,” He must have noticed my wandering eyes as he talked, “I’d recognize that look anywhere. Yeah, I’m a trans guy, I hope that doesn’t bother ya too much or make ya think any differently of me…” He was clearly nervous, but his confession just made my eyes sparkle.

“Not at all! It’s totally manly that you can proudly display your scars like this!” My words made Kirishima’s cheeks dust pink, “Actually, it makes me feel better seeing them. I was a little nervous that I was gonna be the only trans kid here…”

“You’re trans too?” Seeing me nod, Kirishima grabbed my hands, his smile somehow getting brighter, “Nice! We should totally work out together sometime!”

“I’d really like that, Kirishima-kun!”

“Tch… if you two are done being sappy,” Grumpy must have felt left out, since he was pushing his way in between Kirishima and I, towering over me and glaring. Now that he was closer, I could clearly see that he had hearing aids, and that what I thought was a tank was actually a binder, “Listen up, Mochi, because I’m only gonna say this once. Name’s Katsuki Bakugou, but I go by King Explosion Murder. I’m the Super High School Level Strategist, meaning I can think circles around any plan you’ll ever come up with before you could even realize you’d been outsmarted. Don’t fucking mess with me, or I’ll kick your damn ass.”

“…Are you serious about that name? King Explosion Murder?” This guy clearly thought he was all that and a bag of chips, which didn’t sit right with me.

“Yeah?! You got a problem with it?!”

“Not really, it’s just… edgy is all.”

“F-” At that moment, a school bell chimed, and Usami decided to show up on the screens, interrupting our little glare down.

“Congwatulations, everyone!! It looks like everyone managed to gather their vewy first set of Hope Shards! Oh oh oh oh… this makes me so vewy happy… And so, I have prepared special pwesents so that you can be happy too! I am sorry for the twouble, but please gather up back at the beach. Tee-hee! Let’s make our hope shine together!”

“At least she didn’t pop up in person this time,” I noted to myself as the screen turned off.

“Stupid fuckin’ rabbit…” Bakugou was already walking out of the park by the time Usami had finished her announcement, leaving Kirishima and I in the dust.

“Jeez, that guy needs an attitude check,” Crossing my arms, I frowned, “Or maybe a xanax.”

“Hah, yeah, he does seem a bit off putting… But I’m sure he’ll loosen up eventually,” Kirishima added in before looking at me, “You wanna walk together to the beach?”

“Sure! Let’s go see what Usami wants,” Exiting the park, I was actually looking forward to getting to know everyone now.

Chapter Text

“You two are the last to arrive!” Not even two steps onto the beach and Iida was berating Kirishima and I. From the looks of it, he had managed to get Hatsume to stop clinging to him, but she was still sitting on the ground next to him working on something, so guess she wasn’t going to entirely leave him alone, “Just because we are on a field trip does not mean we should not continue to be exemplary students and gather as quickly as possible at the teachers request!”

“Hah, sorry about that, man,” Kirishima apologized as the two of us split off from each other, me going to stand by Deku, him by Bakugou, who I’m pretty sure lowly growled at him.

“It is alright, but do better next time! In any case, this is our chance to discuss our current situation before Usami shows up,” Oh, hey, he was right. It was the first time since the classroom that it was just the fifteen of us, “I would like to hear everyone’s first impressions of this island.”

“There are a few sealed off bridges on the center island,” Itsuka was the first to speak up, “Did anyone find out why?”

“Yeah, I did,” Sero took a sip out of his coconut before continuing, “The gates are there to make sure we don’t get lost. I actually tried to figure out a way around one of them, but Usami showed up and told me to stay on this side of ‘em. She almost made me lose my grip and fall, just popping up out of nowhere.”

“See? I knew that bunny was a health hazard,” I whispered to Deku, who had to stifle a laugh as he continued taking notes.

“Is this island really large enough to get lost on?” Despite chiming in, Todoroki’s tone was one of disinterest, a look of boredom on his face.

“Well, I dunno ‘bout that, but all in all, this place is pretty cool. Between the hot babes and beautiful scenery, it totally feels like a tourist resort!” Okay, I could see how Kaminari almost got punched a few times already. Both Jirou and Sero hit him upside the head at the same time for his remark about hot babes, “Hey!”

“There’s a big farm.”

“And a large supermarket, so we shouldn’t be running out of supplies anytime soon,” Both Sero and Jirou ignored his offended look though.

“The hotel’s also quite nice. If that’s where we’re staying, then I suppose it will do,” Looked like Monoma was free from his restraints, a large smirk on his face. His words caused Itsuka to roll her eyes, though.

“The restaurant of the hotel was also satisfactory, though it had a quite… common feel about it,” Oh don’t tell me that Yaoyorozu was rich too.

“All of you are clueless morons…”

“Huh?” Everyone’s attention was diverted to Bakugou, who was currently sneering at us.

“I said you’re all clueless morons. Everyone is just talking fluff! Did any of you extras even notice the most important thing?” When everyone just looked at him confused, he huffed, “Fucking hell, I’m stuck on this damn island with a bunch of idiots.”

“Are you leading up to telling us about the most important thing, or do you just get off on trying to make others feel lesser than you?” Todoroki’s quip was bitingly cold, to which Bakugou responded with pure heat.

“LIKE I WOULD TELL YOU PATHETIC EXCUSES OF TALENT WHAT I KNOW!”

“Alright, don’t then,” Sero added in, shrugging, “You’re probably just bluffing about having info anyway.”

“FUCK YOU I HAVE INFO! THAT STATUE ON THE CENTER ISLAND AND ALL THE BRIDGES OBVIOUSLY MEAN WE’RE ON JABBERWOCK ISLAND!” Claims he could think circles around us, still falls for a bit of reverse psychology. Alright then.

“Seriously? THAT’S the big important thing?!” Dear lord, Monoma, not the time to start things, “You made such a big deal about this amazing information, only to-”

“Sorry about him…” Cue Itsuka knocking him out again.

“…Anyway, who even cares what this island’s called? We’re gonna be living on it either way, right?” I mean, Ashido raised a valid point, but Bakugou didn’t seem the type of person to share information like that just to shut up someone who said he was bluffing.

“Living together on a southern island sounds exciting! It will be my first time being able to stay somewhere like this with friends!” Yaoyorozu’s eyes were sparkling, hands pressed together in joy. So she WAS rich!

“Are y’all fucking kidding me?” Bakugou looked ready to blow a fuse again, but Kirishima put a hand on his arm to keep him grounded.

“Hey, man, it’ll be okay. Yeah, some of this is worrying, but we shouldn’t despair yet! This place isn’t that bad.”

“Eiji’s right! There’s no real danger here, and we’re totally free to do whatever we want. So loosen up a little and get in the island groove~!” Ashido bumped her hip against Bakugou’s, which really did get him to growl at her, but she just laughed.

“Still, we should try to think rationally, kero…” Tsu coming in with her levelheaded wisdom, bless her, “We were supposed to enroll at Hope’s Peak, weren’t we? And now, we all suddenly have to live on this island. This is strange however you look at it.”

“See?! Frog Girl gets it!”

“I wasn’t finished. However, it isn’t like we have anywhere to escape to, so for now, we should accept this situation until we can figure out a way to leave.”

“Nevermind I take my fucking statement about Frog Extra!”

“Yikes! You just got kicked from the status of Girl to Extra, Tsu!” Kaminari was trying to make light of the situation to ease up some of the tension.

“Tragic.”

“We could always just cut down some trees and build a raft, couldn’t we?” But as soon as I suggested it, Usami came flying in out of nowhere, giving at least six of us heart attacks.

“You can’t do that! I am vewy serious about that! Remember our rules! They’re the guide to this field twip! ‘Throwing garbage and damaging the environment is forbidden. Let’s live in harmony with nature on this beautiful island.’ See?”

“And why should we follow your rules, rodent? None of us ever agreed to that,” For the son of such notable alumni of Hope’s Peak, Todoroki sure didn’t seem happy to be here, and really had a problem with any sort of authority.

“Shouto, I understand where you’re coming from, but let’s just listen to her for now,” At least Yaoyorozu was here to help calm him down.

“Usamiiiiiiiiiii! Didn’t you mention something about ‘pwesents’ in that tv show of yours?” Now that Mina mentioned it, I did remember something along those lines.

“That’s wight, dechu! Not that I forgot but…” She pulled a bunch of keychains that looked exactly like her out and started to pass them out, “Wuv! Wuv! Here they are, dechu! Don’t rush! There’s enough for everyone, dechu!”

“The fuck is this shit?” Bakugou held his up to his face, before dropping it to the ground like garbage, “Talk about a dumbass surprise…”

“Oh come on, it’s pretty adorable,” I countered, glaring him down. The group split into those who liked and kept their chains and those who didn’t pretty quickly after that. All of the girls except Hatsume kept theirs, as well as Kaminari, Kirishima, Iida, and Deku, while the rest of the guys and Hatsume dropped theirs with various comments about how stupid they were.

“Uu… I even prepared another pwesent, dechu… But you’re all howwible children and I don’t want to give it to you anymore…” In the end, we got Usami to give us the other present, which turned out to be a bunch of swimsuits, “I’ve prepared swimsuits for each of you! Well, they’re school swimsuits, but pwease put up with them.”

“Yes! Now this is what I’m talkin’ about!” Kaminari was the first to grab a swimsuit, practically sprinting back in the direction of the cabins to go change.

“Can I just wear the swimsuit I already have on, kero?”

“Of course! Wuv wuv!” With that, most of the group, including me, grabbed suits, racing back to the cabins to quickly change and go have fun in the sun. Of course I had worries about everything going on, but for now, why not indulge in the tropics a little?

“Huh?” When I got back to the beach, while my classmates were running into the ocean and splashing around, I noticed who exactly hadn’t grabbed a suit. Off to the sidelines, Deku, Bakugou, Todoroki, and Shinsou were each doing their own thing. Shinsou was taking a nap again, Todoroki only voluntarily let Yaoyorozu near him, and Bakugou was currently glaring at those enjoying the ocean in what appeared to be jealousy, not that I thought he’d ever admit it, so I figured my best bet was to talk to Deku, “Deku! Why aren’t you in a swimsuit?”

“Oh! Um… I don’t feel like swimming right now… But you should go enjoy yourself!” He had on that same sad smile he’d had on when I’d split off to go to the center island, but this time, I wasn’t gonna leave him alone, “Uraraka?”

“If you’re going to stay over here, then so will I,” I’d taken his hands in mine, holding them between us, a determined look on my face, “You don’t have to change or go in the ocean, but I’m not you to let you miss out on having fun, you hear me?”

“U-um… O-okay, if you insist,” His face was bright red, but I was going to ignore that for the moment.

“C’mon, let’s go build a sandcastle!” Unfortunately for my plans to have a good time on the beach with my new friend, as soon as I took a step to drag him with me to have fun, the sky turned dark, “Oh come on! The sky shouldn’t go dark that quickly! What did you do, Usami?!”

“W-why… I didn’t do anything… and yet… This is impossible! This kind of thing shouldn’t happen!” Usami was definitely freaking out, and just when I thought I couldn’t get any more confused… it started.

“Ah! Ah! Mic check! Can ya hear me?” From the nearby tv, a staticy shadow figure appeared, and it’s light, easygoing voice could be heard. A chill ran down my spine at the sound of that voice. It was cute, like Usami’s, but it held a certain… something about it that made it unsettling, “I’m gonna assume ya can hear me! Upupu! Well then! This boring opening act had been going on far too long… Time to get to the main event! Everyone, get yer asses over to Jabberwock park on the double, ya bastards!”

“Whoever this bastard is that’s callin me a bastard better say their fuckin’ prayers! I’ll kill ‘em!” Of course Bakugou was the first to go storming off towards the park, followed by an equally pissed off, but silent, Todoroki.

“T-that voice! It can’t be! B-but, that’s tewwible! If I don’t do something…” Usami was running off too, “I must do something!”

“What do we do, Deku?” As much as I didn’t want to be, I was scared of whatever was happening now.

“I… I think we should go too… They said Jabberwock Park, didn’t they?” With that, Deku was off too, leaving me behind to quickly go grab my clothes from my cabin and run over to the park while getting dressed, still in my swimsuit. When I reached the park, Usami’s yells were reverberating through the air.

“W-where are you?! Where are you hiding?!”

“Yeah! Come out, you damn coward!” Bakugou’s shouting could also be heard, but no one here was in the mood to try and stop him or get him to calm down, all of us on edge too.

“Upupu! Ahahaha!” Suddenly, at the base of the animal’s on statue was a small bear, split down the middle so one half was white, the other black. On the black side, it bore an exaggerated grin, like that of a cheshire cat, and an oddly shaped eye glowing a burning red. Malice and despair the likes of which I’d never felt before radiated off of this thing, and with one look, I could tell it was bad news, “Have I kept you waiting? I am Monokuma, this school’s headmaster! Now that I’ve made my long overdue appearance, the first thing I have to say is… this is tepid! Lukewarm! Damp! Are you… damp too?”

“As I thought, it is you!” Usami seemed to know this creature, whatever it was, “But… why is Monokuma here?!”

“Quiet! I’m very angry! This tepid mood ya bastards are wallowing in is making me sick! What’s with this ‘Heart-thumping Field Trip’ anyways?! It’s boring! Despair-inducingly boring!” Yeah this was definitely about to go in the direction I thought it was going to go in, wasn’t it, “Who can get excited over something like that?! Let’s end this farce, already! We have to respond to society’s needs, ya know! No one wants to see a bunch of high school students enjoy peaceful, quiet days in paradise! No. What everyone wants is… Suffering. Hardship. Misery… Despair!”

“What the fuck?! What’s this bullshit this stuffed toy is spewing?!”

“Evwyone! Pwease stand back and let me handle it, dechu! So long as I have this magical stick…” Usami, no, you said the words that everyone says right before they lose the one thing that can save them. Sure enough, within seconds, Monokuma had attacked Usami, breaking her magic stick and transforming her into a more adorable, pink and white version of them with a diaper thing, “What’s with this tewwible outfit?! Turn me back wight now, please!”

“Oh? You’re being a bag girl, Monomi, snapping back at your big brother’s sense of style like that,” And now he was her big brother too? Wait, he changed her name as well, what the hell was going on here, “I thought the whole premise of your character was iffy, so I decided to make you my little sister Monomi. It’s a retcon, you see.”

“Why do I have to be your little sister?!”

“Do you want to be my big sister? The big sister I had no contact with for years and years?” I didn’t think that was the problem she had with being your little sister, Monokuma, “No, I just can’t see it. Little sister it is. Therefore, Monomi! You should never disobey your big brother!”

“Wait! I c-can’t just let you make all these changes-” But Monokuma had sucker punched Monomi, sending her flying across the clearing from them, “Ugyaaaaaaa!”

“Silly sister! Did you really think you can fight your big brother?!”

“It hurts! Being punched weally hurts!”

“Poor dear…” I whispered, heart hurting at watching this one sided fight.

“How about it?! Prepared to give up already?!”

“Uu… If I only had my Magical Stick… I could teach this big bad Monokuma a lesson…” Yeah but she had the stick a minute ago and chose to talk instead of act.

“Upupu… You shouldn’t have left me that opening… In war, a second of inattention may cost you your life.”

“This is a mess,” Shinsou commented, putting up his hoodie, “Wake me when they get to something important…”

“Enough rabbiting! And no napping!” Monokuma yelled, before clearing their throat and standing up right, “Your headmaster has an announcement for you bastards! Our ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing’ starts… now.”

“Our WHAT?!” A large majority of the class yelled, save those too in shock to say anything at all.

“You morons heard me! ‘Becoming friends’ is way too boring of a goal! Where’s the punch?! Where’s the impact?! No one wants that kind of game! You agree, don’t ya, ya bastards?!” Absolutely not, never in a million years, nuhuh, “Therefore, I hereby declare this a ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing!’ You bitches are the participants, of course!”

“W-what are you talking about?! I shall not allow my students to participate in such blood chilling activities-!” And there goes Monomi flying across the park again…

“Honestly… Monomi is a bit of a dim child. She just doesn’t get it no matter how many times I tell her. But, y’know, a little sister smarter than her big brother is a fantasy that only exists in manga, isn’t it?” He was right but he shouldn’t say it, “Well, then. We’ve derailed a little bit, but let’s get back to my explanation of our ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing.’”

“Wait! Wait! Hold on here!” Itsuka was holding a hand up to stop Monokuma, the other on her hip as she looked annoyed, “What do you mean by ‘Mutual Killing?’”

“It’s just what it says on the box! You know, ‘killing each other.’ I thought that was pretty obvious, was my voice muffled or something? Mic not working? Some other technical issue? Because surely I’m not dealin’ with complete idiots here,” Okay the more this bear talked, the more they reminded me of a certain explosive blonde classmate who was surprisingly staying quiet through all this.

“Dude, what’re you talkin’ about? It’s impossible anyone here would actually kill each other,” Kaminari wasn’t taking this seriously at all, laughing off the very real danger in front of us.

“Oh, but getting to the leave the island just because you made some friends is legit? It’s just so tepid and boring, don’t’cha think? Which is why I’m changing the rules! If you want to leave this island, please kill one of your friends! And then overcome the ‘Class Trial’ successfully!”

“…School Trial?”

“Right! The school trial is the cherry on top of this ‘Field Trip of Mutual killing’! In case murder occurs between you bastards… The survivors must participate in a school trial. The school trial is a face off between the “culprit” who murdered and the other, ‘innocent’, students. During the school trial, you will try to deduce who the culprit is, and then vote on who to accuse… If you figure it out, and vote correctly… The culprit will be ‘punished’, and the rest of you will continue on the field trip. But, if the culprit successfully tricks you bastards into accusing the wrong person… Then the culprit gets to leave! And the rest of you will be ‘punished’ instead! These are the rules of the school trial! In other words, anyone who kills and successfully hides their guilt will be able to leave this island. But, if they cannot overcome the school trial, they will be “punished”… Upupu, they’re the usual rules, so it’s easy to grasp, isn’t it?”

“Okay, you keep using the word ‘punishment’? What is that exactly?”

“Clearly they will be detained and sent to prison to pay for their crimes!” Iida interjected to answer Kaminari, but I had a feeling that this Despair Bear didn’t have something quite that vanilla in mind.

“That dumbass monochrome bastard obviously means execution, Discount Pikachu!”

“Ding ding ding! King Explosion Moron is correct!”

“THE HELL DID YOU CALL ME?!”

“The spectacular “Punishment Time” following a school trial will be a high point of this Field Trip of Mutual Killing. Upupu, I can’t wait to see what kind of terrifying punishments we’ll have! We’ll probably have some humorous ones as well, like skewering the culprit’s head on a spit or something!” That didn’t sound humorous at all! The way Monokuma was talking, with every word they spoke, I only felt more and more sick, “Also, I’m not fussy about the method you use to kill. There’s the classics, like beating, slashing, strangling and poisoning… But there’s also shooting striking running-over cooking tickling beheading drowning electrifying crashing cursing… You are free to choose whatever method takes your fancy. This is all-you-can-eat murder with no time limit. A buffet of murder. An amusement park of killing. This is what this “Field Trip of Mutual Killing” is all about!”

My head was spinning, heart hurting, nerves shot. It was everything I could do to simply decipher who was talking as I gripped onto my chest and closed my eyes to try and hang onto rationality.

Jirou: Don’t mess with us!

Iida: She’s right! No one is going to kill anyone!

Monokuma: I’m not ordering anyone to kill. Whether you do or not is up to you bastards to decide. But you should be careful! Youth goes away in a blink of the eye! You’ll regret it if you wait ‘til you’re in your forties before you start killing!

Monomo: Yeah, I… I won’t believe it. I’m not going to believe it!

Itsuka: What if no one kills, though? Are you saying we can’t leave this island?

Monokuma: Who knows? Anyway, I hope we’ll enjoy a fair-and-square Field Trip of Mutual Killing from now on!

“W-wait!” I was finally calm enough to ask the question that’d been on my mind since the rules were announced, “Why do we have to kill each other, anyway?!”

“Isn’t it obvious? It’s because you bastards have a reason to!”

“That’s it! I’ve let you say all the bullshit I can handle, but now’s the time when I kick your damn ass!” Bakugou punched his fist, a wicked smile on his face.

“Yeah, I’m with Bakubro! We gotta get rid of this thing!”

“I don’t like using my talent for excessive violence, but to take out someone threatening us all, I think I can make an exception,” Kendo got in position to fight as well.

“Lemme at ‘em! I wanna see what sorta tech they got in ‘em!”

“Class! Let us rally together to aid them!” Iida called out to the rest of us, getting the majority of us to cry back in support.

“Ah, is that how it is? Well, I guess this was also inevitable… If you use violence against me, I shall have to reply with some of my own.”

“Violence…? W-what do you intend to do…?!” Of all the potential answers to Monomi’s question, I would have never in a million years guessed the one Monokuma decided to go with.

“Surge! O scions of the void between light and shadow, hear me! Fulfill thy ancient contract… Monobeasts! I bid thee rise!” All was quiet for a moment, but then the ground started to rumble. The statue behind Monokuma began to crumble, breaking down it’s outer stony facade to reveal four gigantic metal monstrosities. Forget about a chicken turning into a cow, because THIS took the cake for most astonishing thing I had seen since I’d come to this island.

“W-why is the statue moving, kero?!”

“It’s not a statue! It’s the Monobeasts!” People always say a big enough shock can render anyone speechless. Based on the way none of our biggest conversation contributors were talking, I now understood that people were right.

“This… this has to be a bad dream…” Deku was the first to break the silence, speaking up for the first time since we’d gotten to the center island.

“Honestly! Are you bastards still trying to explain this away as a dream or an illusion!? You bastards are so quick to reject anything that falls outside that tiny reference frame you call ‘common sense’! Honestly! Neanderthals were more open-minded than this! Trying to separate everything into genres is just another disease of the modern era!”

“Evwyone! Pwease, stand back! I… I will pwotect you! Even at the cost of my own life… I will pwotect you all!”

“Uppu. Huh? What’s this? Uppu… uppu… Oh! I see! This is that feeling before you throw up! The nausea one gets from witnessing such a hackneyed sense of justice! Fine! I decided! If that’s what you want, I’ll just make you an example!” No one could move themselves to even try to prevent what occured in the next few seconds.

Before any of us could blink, Monokuma had hopped onto the bird like Monobeast, activated a Gatling gun that sprouted from its wing, and shot Monomi all to bits. No where around her had been safe either, shrapnel flying every which way, including a stray bullet that grazed my cheek, creating a searing cut along it. Eventually, the beast stopped, the only thing left of Monomi, her bow, gently floating to the ground.

“FUCK!” Out of everyone, it was Shinsou who reacted first, more awake than I’d seen him all day. He was shaking like a leaf, but then again, the only people who weren’t jittering in some form or another were Todoroki and Bakugou, who were too busy just staring wide eyed at the beasts. Still, even with everyone freaking out, no one dared make a move to run or attack, since both could very easily be the last thing we did.

“Upupu… Yeah, that’s more like it. Such a fulfilling sense of despair! I guess that’s the power of making someone an example! Ahahaha!” Everyone froze as the bear spoke agai. We were so still, it’d seem as if we’d forgotten how to breathe, the realization that we were ants in the middle of a flood finally sinking in, “Well then. It seems you bastards are finally gettin’ it… You can’t oppose me. If you don’t want to become seaweed in the cruel ocean, not opposing me is my absolute recommendation! I’d better warn you. I have no compassion, sympathy or pity. That’s because I’m a bear. I will not accept any excuses like ‘we got too excited since this is a tropical island!’ Furthermore, to celebrate the beginning of our ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing’, I’ve updated your Electronic Student Handbooks. You’ll now find the rules to this ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing’ there, so please read them carefully later. Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable excuse… just like in any other world or society. Now, then… Please enjoy this liberal, cruel, gruesome tropical island field trip!”

Silence encompassed us as Monokuma and the Monobeasts disappeared. I felt numb. Truly, deeply numb and exhausted. Not even the pain radiating from my cut cheeks truly hurt at that moment.

“Hey, where the hell do you think you’re goin’, Half’n’Half?!” Bakugou’s yelling suddenly snapped me out of my thought dive, and looking towards the exit of the park, I saw that Todoroki was walking out.

“I’m tired, so I’m going to my cabin.”

“How can you be tired at a time like this?!” Ashido had gotten out of her trance too, waving her arms around in frustration.

“What the Alien Lady said! Despair Bear and those beauties back there are machines, so if I can just get my hands on ‘em, we can figure out who made and is controlling them-!”

“I have no idea if there’s really someone out there trying to trap us, but even if there is, they’re not the one we should be the most worried about right now.”

“But if not them, then who, Todoroki? Kero?”

“Ourselves. The people standing right here. We were brought to this island and ordered to kill each other… A few people already know someone among us, but as a whole, we are all strangers… The atmosphere of fear and paranoia that has been created, and our wish to escape it… That is the most threatening enemy here,” As he finished his small speech, we all naturally looked to each others faces. There was no denying it, everyone knew that what Todoroki had said was spot on. We’d accepted that the possibility exists, even for ourselves. Only a student who kills may leave this island… In other words, anyone who truly wants to escape… is going to have to sacrifice others.

I didn’t want to believe that someone here could talk someone else’s life, but as much as I wanted to deny it… I couldn’t even trust myself. Faced with such a truly despair infested situation, how could I confidently say I wouldn’t kill someone to get back to the life I knew? The paranoia planted in all of our hearts… It wasn’t just for our classmates… It was for ourselves… Which was exactly what made it so painfully breathtaking.

Watching Todoroki finally walk out of the park, I could feel tears lining my eyes. That was the moment I knew… The moment I knew life as I had once lived it would never be the same ever again.

The start to our ‘Field Trip of Mutual Killing.’

 

Remaining Students: 15

Prologue Cleared

You got the present: Broken Stick