The Crushing of UA –
Although the test is always different every year, one tradition remains the same: the immediate hazing of UA students.
It's a rather underhanded tactic running prevalent on the participants of the Provisional Exams. A way to get rid of the biggest threat: different schools ganging up on one specific target. This time as well, that method would be followed by most – if not all groups – participating. No bad feelings involved, if you want to pass it's common sense to get rid of the leading candidate and shake that hierarchy. None of the administrators had been doing anything to stop the issue as well and it has been happening for years.
“I'm sorry but we look a little further ahead than others,”
Aizawa says with an unbothered expression from the sidelines.
Point is, hero quirks are always public and in an actual fight against villains, their cards would've already been exposed. It gets worse and worse as one gains rank and popularity. This, in a way, is a method for his students to train. Deal with it – or so he’d say rather bluntly. Professionals should be able to overcome anything and everything. In hindsight, this situation is in their favor. They would be able to test out their newly developed quirks and techniques – adapt, and improvise.
Or so that's what everyone in Class 1A thought.
There's a gust of wind – ice, and fire easily negated. Two people pass by him and all of a sudden he could hear one, two, three of his buzzers go off. Three minutes and twenty-two seconds in, there are still no passers but many had been removed. Unexpectedly enough, Todoroki Shouto – a recommendation student from UA – is also the first one to get eliminated.
A few teachers from the stands narrow their eyes at the screen, baffled that Endeavor's son would go out as the opening. True, separating from the group was a bad call on his behalf but was he that weak to go down that easily? Gale Force’s grin is wide as he trails after Maboromicamie and the masked Kingpin. They all have one point each, confidently walking down the frozen alleys that defrost under their feet.
One down, eighteen to go.
Yaoyorozu Momo – Creati – with her Creation quirk is a versatile hero and a difficult opponent. Grouped with Jiro, Shouji, and Tsuyu; they make an efficient data gathering set. Too bad no one knew hand to hand combat aside from Tentacole. Against Seijin High School and Seiai Academy in an enclosed space, being able to devise a plan for victory is nearly impossible. Saiko Intelli owes Shiketsu information on this one and as planned –
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Five down, fourteen to go.
Watching their classmate Uraraka slowly pick herself up from the dirt is one of the most difficult things Sero and Iida have ever experienced.
Ketsubutsu Academy was it? They've successfully divided the class into two parts. That vibration quirk is quite a menace and the three of them are compactly surrounded, their enemies waiting for them to move. Iida presses his lips into a thin line, searching for an escape route. Unfortunately for them, there are none and as the other school's shadow loom over their figures, they could only struggle before reclining in defeat. Their devices make three beeps, three more individuals passing the exam.
Eight down, eleven to go.
No one speaks in the waiting area, eyes focused on the massive screen that plays out what's happening in the arena. Eight students wearily take their seats, shattered and hopeless but determined to see it through the end. Their classmates are still in the game. They should support them at least. It isn't the same for everyone nevertheless – Todoroki and Momo looking the most devastated. The spectators sit and watch in utter silence, unable to grumble or complain at what was happening on the field.
This was a test. This was supposed to be a test.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Aoyama, Mina, Mashirao, Koda, Sato, Tokoyami, Hagakure, and Mineta are eliminated in a sudden raid.
There are a few schools that joined in on the chaos but those that stood out the most were Mora Nagamasa and Shishikura Seiji with their crowd control quirks.
There are hundreds and hundreds of individuals from other schools that hadn’t passed yet. In an area where UA is the second to the least in numbers, predators would openly flock on their prey. Iida could see the faces of the other teams – smug and satisfied – all the different teams with different geniuses and he could only see one thing in all of them – assured. It is almost as if they already knew that this was going to happen. With how Seijin and Seiai retreated from each other with a compromise, it most definitely seemed like an act had been planned prior.
Sixteen down, three to go.
“Do you think Kirishima, Kaminari, and Bakugo are going to pass, Momo?”
Jiro turns to their Vice President who knew the most in tactics out of all of them.
She opens her mouth to speak before promptly closing it again, shrugging her shoulders in dismay. Everyone knew that the Provisional Exams would be difficult but they didn’t expect this. At the very least they’d be happy if one of them manages to get a license – assuming that someone would pass both the first and second round. If it was already like this in the initial stage, they could only imagine how worse the next one would be.
Did they not train well? Were they weak? No, they simply went up against the wrong opponents with contradicting quirks and lost in numbers. That’s what happened.
“Thirty minutes remaining,”
The speaker announces and on the field, the lines form again – Shiketsu against UA, three vs three.
“STUDENTS FROM UA IT IS A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU!”
Inasa greets with a loud voice, bowing so low his head reaches the ground. From beside him Kingpin slightly bends as well, Camie sighing and shaking her head at the first-year pair. Dressed in military hero garb are the students of the west, color-coded with matching hats, the boys with badges on their chest.
“YOU SHIKETSU BASTARDS!”
Bakugo is the first one to snap, extending his hands out to activate his quirk. On cue Kaminari readies his stance as well, charging electricity while Kirishima stands in front more than ready to take hits. Camie owlishly blinks – looking unfazed – while Inasa widely grins at the challenge.
( “They’re going to lose,” Todoroki says, mismatched eyes focused on the screen. “Bakugo is no match for those three.”
“Shiketsu only needs two," Iida adds, noticing how one of each in team UA's target points are red.
The rest of Class 1A on the other hand look anxious, Momo mumbling anti-static shoes and gloves under her breath.
A few seconds later she then reluctantly adds, "They're well prepared for this." )
Beep. Beep. 127th passer.
“There we go,”
Camie smiles at Kaminari, waving a red ball at the blonde, electricity discharging from her clothes.
Beep. Beep. 128th passer.
“PLEASE FORGIVE ME!”
Kirishima grits his teeth when he's hit by a gust of wind, eyes automatically closing in reflex, the remaining two of his targets taken in a flash. He turns around to look at his classmates only to notice the devastated expression on Kaminari’s face, eyes widening when he sees Kingpin go head-to-head with Bakugo in combat. It's an unusual sight to see, someone going on par with their explosive fellow student that is.
( “Who's that?” Aizawa asks before sitting upright when he sees what was happening. )
If Shiketsu’s Kingpin could feel the pressure of the hundred eyes focused on him, he is surely doing a good job of not showing it. His white mask reflects a bit of light, expertly avoiding the hits that Bakugo sends his way in an almost nonchalant and relaxed manner, the casual grace of a well-trained individual in hand-to-hand warfare. There's absolute silence in the waiting room and with how things are progressing, it felt like this guy was toying with Bakugo, dodging and dodging and dodging and making a show out of this.
Mina sounds a bit breathless, one of their best classmates, on par with Todoroki being treated like an insignificant fighter. Was this even possible? It was very, very frustrating. The mere sight of Inasa and Camie smiling at the back makes her frown even more. Is that it? Is this what they were worth? Sandbags? Moving targets?
"Hey... Isn't this cheating?"
There's no strategy for this. UA had already received the worst; they didn’t need this humiliation any further. The first few eliminations in their class they still had hope, the second they were frustrated, the third they were utterly defeated. This one on the other hand… This was just salt. It's as if Kingpin knew which direction Bakugo was going to move. It was as if he had a lot of counters and he hasn’t even used his quirk yet.
There's a dull, strained silence in the room, and a few of Class 1A had their heads hanging low at this point, Todoroki refusing to look since he lost in a much quicker manner.
Iida doesn’t bother paying attention when a light goes off, feeling the other schools send them looks of pity. A few people from Seijin and Seiai are giggling, the sound making Jiro sink on her seat and cover her ears.
Beep. 129th passer.
Twenty-six minutes on the clock and the entirety of UA had already been eliminated.
When the time ticked down to 0:00, Aizawa had already arrived in the waiting room. At the same time he came in, Bakugo, Kaminari, and Kirishima have also started to settle down on their seats. Iida tries to open his mouth to say something but nothing comes out – he's speechless. Even Aizawa looks like he's struggling to speak. Something like this has never happened before. The Crushing of UA – that never worked before.
Katsuki curses under his breath, palm gripped so hard veins were starting to show.
It wasn’t even a good fight, not even close. Beside him, Kaminari awkwardly laughs while Kirishima looks like stone – unmoving and dumbstruck. Did that really just happen?
All eyes are on Shiketsu High when they enter the room, black and red glinting under the light.
Tokoyami starts off sounding a bit too dazed, broken even.
“Is this… Is this the superiority of the West?”
But no one aside from his teacher and classmates are listening. Shiketsu doesn’t even seem to be paying attention. They're smiling and grinning, following Camie and Inasa around, the only two friendly enough to have friends in other teams. Around them, the other schools look just as confused and nervous. All with the same question in their eyes, the same look of despair because if UA didn’t stand a chance against that then what of them?
It's Mina who stands up and calls out to the other group all teary-eyed and frustrated. No one wants her to sit down because deep inside they also want to do the same. It's anger that drives them to act this way. With sharp looks on their faces, it's obvious that UA resents Shiketsu. How could they not after that?
"Did you guys have to do that!?"
Camie tilts her head to the side while Inasa blinks, the two of them turning around and ignoring her right after. Next to her, Todoroki is glaring at those backs that took him out today. Oddly enough, only one Shiketsuki player pauses.
“Don’t worry about it. You can still try again a few months later,”
The Provincial License Hero Exams are held twice a year – a chance for those who failed in the early stages to redeem themselves. No one in Class 1A looks that enthusiastic about it though. They are still too bitter about today’s loss. Nothing he could say could calm the flames inside them right now.
“There wasn’t anything you could do about it. Their quirks were too strong. Most of them aren't first years,”
“T-That’s right everyone! It couldn’t be helped!”
It was Uraraka who snapped out of the stupor first and tried to liven up the others.
“Their quirks were just too strong. We just have to train more!”
A voice calls out, the masked Shiketsu hero standing a few meters away.
Next to Aizawa, the male is undeniably small. He doesn't even come up to his shoulder and even a few girls in Class 1A look much taller. Then again, this is also the same guy who took out Bakugo and Todoroki, the same one who had the geniuses of other schools looking at him in awe – they could see how Shiketsu seemed to adore this guy. Uraraka wipes an arm across her eyes, a determined expression crossing her face.
Their teacher then opens his mouth to speak,
“Don’t think that you’re so talented now,”
Aizawa just had to say, voice oddly cold towards the student.
“A quirk like that could only get you so far,”
Kingpin remains silent for a good minute, the teacher looking down at him with condemning eyes. He's mad about the stunt the other schools pulled, at Shiketsu most especially and to this guy. He heard that Kingpin was the one who spread the word about Class 1A's weaknesses. He didn't particularly give out the plan but he was the one who pointed out their flaws. A big deciding factor when it came to battle on the field. An analysis quirk – it was probably one of those, or so Aizawa assumed.
The Shiketsu student looks down at his feet, hands gripping at his pants before he slowly reached to remove his mask, gloved fingers tugging at it before taking it off its place.
In the hush that filled the room, Bakugo's eyes widened. Aizawa, Uraraka, and Iida looking just as shocked because they could recognize that face – it was the guy from the entrance exam. He was the one who saved Uraraka when she was about to get buried under that zero-pointer, pulling her out of the rubble just in time. As far as she could remember, they told her that she couldn’t share her points with him since he wasn’t going to pass anyway. They said that it was a good try for a quirkless person nonetheless, that the guy rejected going into the General class.
The case was then ended at that. They said that it was inevitable.
The Shiketsu student speaks with a rather formal tone, mask nervously tucked against his chest. He didn’t look that threatening. It's almost as if the person Bakugo fought on the field earlier was a completely different person. He looks meek and docile, submissive even. Compared to the other members of his group, he didn’t look that charismatic or compelling either.
“Everyone from UA. Please forgive me for not introducing myself earlier. My name is Midoriya Izuku,”
He then gives a polite bow, Katsuki feeling his breath hitch in response.
When he raises his head again, green eyes glint under the light.
“I just wanted to say that there’s no such thing…”
Midoriya Izuku had a determined look on his face, ready to prove Aizawa wrong.
“There’s no such thing such as a strong quirk.”
“You’re a psychopath, Izukkun,”
Camie says, shaking her head as they walk back to their school bus.
“Please don’t say that, Utsushimi-senpai…”
He awkwardly laughs, Inasa grinning from beside him. Shiketsu Academy isn’t as big or prestigious as UA, it barely has enough students for one hero class section per year but he was sure that they were going to make it – that they were going to become number one in this year’s exams that is. Today was a good start and he gathered more information than he had expected. The looks on their rivals’ faces were quite delectable as well. Maybe he should do this more often…
“See, you’re making that expression again…”
“HAHAHAHA – Izuku prefers being called creative. Am I right?”
The shorter male blinks, looking up at his partner.
“If that’s the case then please be more creative until we pass the second round and get our licenses,”
Shishikura advises, affectionately ruffling his underclassman’s hair. Mora looks quite fond of their youngest as well, today’s events fulfilling and gratifying. Everything had been moving quite smoothly ever since this guy arrived actually. Things had never been this easy before. They’ve also managed to improve their quirks in such a short amount of time.
“The exam wasn’t that hard, right, Izuku? Just the way we planned!”
Izuku’s lips curl up into a smile before he nods at his partner.
“Nn! Just the way we planned!”
( From afar, Aizawa clicks his tongue and mumbles, “Arrogant Problem Child.” )