One day in the last September,
Cold rain was constantly pouring from the deep gray sky.
The War between the league of villains and heroes ended that day.
There were so many casualties in the battlefield including civilians, heroes, also villains.
I——Midoriya Izuku was badly injured during the battle as well as other people.
Most of my bones and organs seriously messed up, and didn't function without help.
Uraraka told me "The doctor said to me, you may not possibly wake up this time.", when I woke up in bed at the hospital.
She was crying so hard.
Too many things happened around me, so I can't believe that I got my normal life back even now after almost one year the day.
At the same time, we can not forget that there are so many people who can't be back to normal life even now.
the reconstruction of the city which has turned into a mountain of rubble is still on the long endless road.
It's not necessary to say but the trauma that people in the city got is also a huge problem.
That's why we——heroes go to the city every day, to help them.
Heroes helped build some temporary homes as soon as they heard people say "there's not enough place to stay".
Heroes took the initiative to help clean the debris in the wake of the war.
Heroes listened to their suffering, and considerate of their feelings.
U.A. students are also joining the volunteer everyday as a part of class.
Recently I saw many people in the city were laughing during the volunteer work,
so it must be due to their efforts.
Meanwhile,speaking about Shigaraki who is a crucial person of this story, a searching party found him falling down under the rubble.
His body was exposed to the rainwater flowing down through the gaps in the rubble.
About half of his body was crushed because of the impact he got during the battle and the weight of the rubble.
He was bleeding badly and losing his body temperature.
Every member of the search party thought “He doesn't breathe.” but it was not ture.
He was still shallowly breathing for better or worse even though he's under the condition like that!
Of course he was immediately taken to the Medical Prison nearby.
Because he had to survive.
Because he had to atone for his sin.
Most people didn't know what happened to him after that because of media restrictions.
But they know 'Shigaraki is still alive in the cage'.
However I've asked Tsukauchi Chief Inspector once when he visit me in the hospital "how is Shigaraki doing in the prison"
Mr.Tsukauchi told me just “you have the right to know about him”, then he started talking to me.
Mr.Tsukauchi said, Shigaraki slowly but surely regenerated his crushed body to its original state, with help of his recovering quirk.
After a few days of coma, he woke up and muttered in the first word, "I lost."
Mr.Tsukauchi also said he has seen him just once when he joined with the surveillance work.
Shigaraki looks like he's not right here.
There was no "king" there anymore, it was just a man.
The fact of his survival made people badly agitated as a matter of course.
Some people were delighted at his survival and the opportunity for conviction they had.
Other people hated his survival and screamed, "He deserves to death."
When I was in the hospital, I would often watch TV shows blankly.
I remember every TV station was having a heated debate about Shigaraki himself or the penalty for him.
The painful voices of the surviving bereaved families and the images of the disaster area that turned into the horizon, which were inserted between the intense discussions, made the discussion even more enthusiastic.
I was also spending time thinking about him while I was watching those TV shows, because there were no other things I could do.
And I got my own answer with plenty of time and a head that didn't work well with sedatives.
No matter what he did, he cannot make up for it.
It's true that many people agree that Shigaraki has an obligation to atone for his sins in some way but I have a misgivings that I can't ignore.
For example, if he was put to death with the will of the people, for example, if he was put in prison until his death.
I wonder if that will be a solution.
No matter how he compensates, the lost people never come back, and their broken hearts never are restored to what they were after all.
So what will it be for?
Perhaps the reason I feel this way is because I'm a hero.
Maybe it is because I think of people who couldn't be saved or who were left behind every time I finish my mission.
I cannot stop doing it even though I know it’s not good for me.
So if there is any compensation for the sin Shigaraki made, I think it's about knowing how serious his sin is.
Knowing the feelings of those who have lost something important……
He may have lost that heart a long time ago, though.
It was in the midst of such turmoil that his Tartarus transport operation was carried out.
Aside from many speculations about him, police and psychiatrists who saw him as Inspector Tsukauchi said his mind tentatively was broken.
And They decided to transfer him to Tartarus as soon as they were fully prepared.
He was in a well-equipped medical prison already.
But we needed to make assurance doubly sure before it's too late and something happens.
The reason why the start of the operation was delayed a little was that many of the heroes with sufficient ability had not healed their wounds completely at this time, and in addition to the lack of human resources associated with the transfer. Besides, It took a while to fully consider the possibility that Shigaraki was pretending to be in a state of mental loss.
And I was also involved in this Tartarus transfer operation.
All the other heroes were worried about me.
people thought I might still feel a bit under the weather.
But I didn't have any other way but to participate in the operation from the beginning.
I felt it. I heard my heart said.
Or maybe I just heard the memories live in OfA whispered to me.
“I have to watch him to the end”
Needless to say, the transfer of Shigaraki was originally planned to be done confidentially.
But worst of all, the date was leaked from somewhere, so the transfer operation was getting more tense.
Despite various regulations on the day, a lot of media rushed along the roadside on the transfer route to relay the state of his transfer.
Media-related helicopters are flying with military helicopters,
The roar of the spinning blade was pouring down from the sky.
But it wasn't just the media that was paying attention to him.
The roadsides on both sides of the transport vehicle were filled with many onlookers and victims of battle.
They were throwing stones and drinks around them at Shigaraki in the transport vehicle.
but we’re heroes, so there is no way to point our quirks to citizens.
We were silently carrying out our operation so as not to see them.
I was right next to the transfer car with Shigaraki.
I heard their overflowing grudges echoing all over the area.
…...but it is not the only thing I heard.
The sobbing voice that is sometimes heard in the hustle and bustle, and the voice that loses everything and is at a loss and asks for help.
People's various thoughts, voices, and curses were layered on top of each other, and the heroes in the operation were overwhelmed.
Nevertheless, we managed to get the transfer vehicle safely to the underground entrance inside the Tartarus facility.
The transfer vehicle stopped at a predetermined position in front of the carry-in entrance.
While being held on both sides by two of the most large members of the operation, Shigaraki Tomura got off the transfer vehicle.
Shigaraki, who was tied to a wheelchair, wore a white straitjacket with lots of belts, and a blindfold on his face.
His hands and quirk are sealed with a box-like shackle.
A scar on his slightly visible face that would not have healed with his super-recovery, as if covering the original scar on his mouth —— was strongly left.
He hung his white head without force and sometimes staggered.
From the appearance, the effect of the sedative prescribed for transfer was clearly seen.
At the same time, I felt like “He’s no longer the one I know” just like Mr.Tsukauchi said.
And it made me have mixed feelings.
While thinking about that alone, I was observing Shigaraki in a wheelchair passing by on a white concrete background, from a distance.
Then, guess what?
It is unbelievable but he looked back at me for a moment!
In fact, I don't know if he was blindfolded and was looking at me.
It was just a momentary event.
But at that moment I was staring back at his bright red eyes that would be under the blindfold,
I certainly felt that way.
After that, Shigaraki turned to the direction of travel as if nothing had happened, and disappeared into the depths of Tartarus with professional heroes such as Endeavor.
A few hours later, the operation was successfully completed with a general communication saying "mission completed".
Despite the relief of the participating heroes completing the operation and chatting, I couldn't feel like joining them...Because of him.
Even now, a few days after the transfer operation was completed, I keep thinking about Shigaraki in agony.
I sat down on the bed in my room which was filled with All Might merch.
leaning against the wall, and holding a pillow instead of a cushion, which made me feel a little calm.
In the lonely room, only the sound of the continuous rain hitting the ground echoes.
It reminds me the day our war ended, not to forget him.
The air in the whole room is cooled by the cold air from the outside that leads through the window, and it helps to cool my thermal runaway head.
Why did he look at me back at the time?
In the first place, I don't know why he cares so much.
I don’t even know this is just curiosity or fear.
When I was troubled by his red eyes that didn't disappear from my head, I got a phone call.
I hurriedly picked up the cell phone that was lying on my bedside.
Confirm that the name of Inspector Tsukauchi is displayed on the incoming call screen,
I slid one finger on the screen in the direction of the response.
"Yes, this is Midoriya."
"Hello, Midoriya-kun. This is Tsukauchi. How's it going?"
"I'm fine. How about Mr. Tsukauchi? Um, that is...what happened at this time?"
I’m uncomfortable when people pay mind to me, so I asked frankly.
"You are quite perceptive, Midoriya-kun! That makes this much easier...OK, actually, I called you today because of him…...Shigaraki Tomura."
I felt the blood drain from my face when I heard his name.
"What happened to Shigaraki? Did he run rampage? Who was injured?"
I asked him a lot rapidly and one-sidedly because I am upset.
"No no no! He's so calm unimaginably. Just hearing isn't going well. He doesn’t talk about anything or he doesn't even make eye contact."
"... So, did he make any request?"
"yes, yes indeed... and that's the problem."
I’m feeling the voice of Mr.Tsukauchi is a little hesitant.
Mr.Tsukauchi sighed a little and said as if he had decided.
"He wants “you”, Midoriya-kun."
My heart pounded when I heard the words.
And the doubts I felt that day turned into conviction.
That day when there was a transfer operation, that day when I saw him with my own eyes for the first time after the battle.
Shigaraki Tomura did not just look back for no reason.
Despite being blindfolded, He was certainly looking back at me.
My unlucky heart, which has gained incredible conviction, pulsates unpleasantly quickly,
My right hand holding my cell phone was trembling from tension.
Sweat oozes slowly and unpleasantly on the cold palm.
"He said, he just want to talk to you."
I was trying not to face my curious mass of anxiety inside my heart, and I was just trying to pretend to be calm.
The inspector keeps talking, knowing or not knowing the tension that ran to me.
"Given the history of you and him, I know it's not a good idea to obediently grant his request. I'm also worried about your mental burden of confronting Shigaraki. you know just———— ”
"... There is no other way."
The best solution is oftenly the easiest one.
Shigaraki knows or not, or is it our fate.
I am forced to decide to confront Shigaraki Tomura again.
Inspector Tsukauchi went on to explain how his hearing—which could be called an interview—goes on.
There is only one subject I have to ask him is “his mind”...like motivation for this large-scale criminal terrorist act, including his past career.
In the explanation, the inspector suggested to me that he would probably offer some sort of deal...also the police have no idea what the deal is like.
The inspector continued:
"In my experience, when a person who has done such a big thing instinctively feels the end of himself, there are roughly two types."
"what are those?"
"Yeah, the first one is a guy who rampages up to the end of their own life, trying to reach a spectacular and big end! And the other is to realize his end and suddenly want to pour their heart to somebody.so they begin to confess. Shigaraki Tomura was undoubtedly the former one at first, but I think it's different now. "
Certainly, as the inspector said, he showed no sign of resignation even though they became inferior, or rather, he was rampaging at the final battle.
"Now, He has known he was defeated. It means he has truly known his "end",so he might want to look back on his whole life. and I think it’s good. Maybe he’s trying to be human once again. "
I ruminated to bite the words of Inspector Tsukauchi inside my mind.
"Well, it's just my opinion," said Inspector Tsukauchi, but he is reminded that he is an elusive person who suddenly becomes convinced at such times.
Inspector Tsukauchi said he wanted to start hearing as soon as possible, so the first visit will be carried out this Saturday.
This Saturday, I have 3 days left, including today.
I will spend time left for me thinking about "what Shigaraki wants from me".
By the time I finished the conversation with Inspector Tsukauchi, the gray scenery that was dim due to rain clouds was completely covered in darkness.
The mobile phone shows that the time was around 7:30 pm.
"I have to have dinner ..."
Somehow I want to eat katsudon on such a day.
I get a bright sky blue hoodie casually hung on my bed head.
The chilled room air also cools the fabric on the surface of the hoodie.
The coldness makes me goosebumps a little, but it's still better than nothing.
At the foot of the bed, I pulled out my wallet from my yellow school backpack, which was casually placed on the wooden floor, and I left my room to head to the cafeteria.
While thinking about hot katsudon.
When I headed to the cafeteria, other classmates were already in the middle of eating.
If you take a deep breath, the warm air created by the cheerful voice and the delicious smell of rice will accumulate in my lungs, where the cold and heavy gray air has accumulated. .. I picked up my favorite katsudon and looked around looking for a seat.
"Deku-kun !! over here!"
Uraraka-san, who found me holding a tray with a bowl of katsudon on it with both hands, stood up and waved toward me.
hurry, but I walked there carefully so as not to turn over my favorite katsudon.
As usual, Iida was having dinner with her at the same table.
Today's dinner seems to be a stewed hamburger set meal for Uraraka and a grilled saury set meal for Iida.
"Midoriya-kun, what happened? It was quite late."
Iida-kun, who had been unraveling the white fish, stopped his hand and
look at me through his glasses anxiously.
"Are you sick? Oh, but katsudon...looks like you have an appetite at least. that’s good!"
Uraraka-san also was trying to read my face.
She’s worried about me and looking into my face with her eyebrows go down.
These two people immediately notice my change and worry about me from the bottom of my heart.
I'm really happy about it, but now it has become a source of problem.
The matter of his listening is big to hold alone, but it was too heavy a problem to talk to someone.
"Actually ... I fell asleep when I was reviewing my homework in my room!"
Is there any sleep mark? ——I didn't want them to worry about me, so I laughed.
"No! I think it’s OK. but hmm, then you have to go to bed earlier today, Midoriya-kun!"
"That's right, but I have to work on my homework before I go to bed..."
The topic shifts from me to something else.
whew I got through it.
I don't want to be pulled back to the heavy atmosphere, so I tried to pay attention to their conversation more.
it went like this…
Uraraka-san talked about the experience when she went to the disaster area after school to help remove the rubble.
She also said she was happy because an old woman gave her a Dorayaki at that time.
and It wasn't just a dorayaki, it was chestnut dorayaki! she said to me with delight.
Iida also tells us that he went to the disaster area and played with the children in the temporary housing.
He thought that kids these days only play video games, but it seems that he was relieved that kids loved the good old play such as tag you're it or hide and seek.
While listening to the story, I tried to eat the bowl with one bite, and another bite.
Katsudon, my favorite food, which I usually think katsudon is the food that the concept of happiness has become food, is somewhat oily and sticks to my stomach today.
It seems that they are planning to go to the disaster area to support activities after school tomorrow.
Uraraka-san is enthusiastic that "Tomorrow will be the time to clean up that area!"
"That's the spirit, Uraraka-kun !!", Iida says.
I still feel a burning discomfort in my stomach.
Even so, I continued to eat and finish my katsudon one bit by one bit, and the inside of the bowl finally became empty.
"Sorry I've got to go. Maybe I'm feeling so sleepy... "
I said like that, but actually I was feeling sick.
Also, I needed some time alone, so I tried to leave the table.
what happened to me today might be more shocking than I thought.
My body reveals discomfort as if to warn me that I keep pretending to be calm.
The unstoppable sound of rain reminds me of that day of the decisive battle.
"It can't help being sleepy. but laying down right after eating is not good for your stomach, so you should go to bed after you take a break."
"yeah, and don't forget to brush your teeth!"
Iida-kun showed his white bright teeth and laughed. Uraraka said to him "you’re like a mother!" and laugh.
Iida-kun who received it also returns "You too".
Looking sideways at the two people laughing happily, they greeted with a smile, "OK! Good night."
And headed to the tray return with the tableware that I had finished eating.
The tray return is a moving lane, and I placed the trays as straight as possible so that they wouldn't get caught in the middle.
"Thank you for the meal.", I called out to the cafeteria staff on the other side of the lane and looked back toward the exit trying to return to my room.
However, a person interrupted me trying to take a step toward the exit.
“Yo, Deku. we need to talk.”
my childhood friend with an unprecedentedly moody look stood there, in front of me.
and he is the one who I don't want to meet most right now.
because this childhood friend is such a person who could see through everything I’m thinking.
I have to do something about it...
while I’ve posed in thinking, he has finished putting his rugged arm around me in a twinkling.
He’s trying to bring me somewhere else.
The strength of his hand which is holding my shoulder tells me the fact he’s not gonna let me go at all.
“I know you have some time for me, right?”
“OK,OK! but where are you taking me, Kacchan? ”
He answered my question shortly. He’s still restricting me with his arm.
“What-, now?! it is too sudden!! Did I do something wrong to you?”
“...yes, you did.”
“What is it?”
Even while doing so, the eyes around us were so painfully gathered toward us.
Oh, is there a quarrel?
Should we call a teacher now?
Finally, I was impatient with the curiosity and worries of the people around me, and I had to do something quickly.
However, the ruthless and pitiless childhood friend Kacchan made the fatal strike on me.
"...from me." He said with a smile on his face of a bully who had recently disappeared.
My heart made an unpleasant huge noise with pain.
Today is my worst day ever. I think I'm out of luck,today of all days.
I don’t think Kacchan found out about Shigaraki’s interview of course.
but I feel his words sound like confidence for some reason.
I squeezed the hem of my clothes because of the tension caused by the unexpected event.
And Kacchan didn't miss the gesture.
Oh no! --it's already too late when I think so.
"Huh, That’s it! That habit, you haven't made any progress since you were a kid. Thanks to that,I can know everything about you!"
I cannot match this childhood friend after all.
"If you don't like it, you can come to my room, I'll let you choose."
"In my room ... please."
I’m doing what Kacchan told me, I’m following on the heels of Kacchan.
but he is still holding my shoulder with his arm.
“Kacchan, I,I’m not gonna run away from you...so, can you move your hand now?”
please, I ask for him to unleash me.
“Don't even think about it” Kacchan said like that, and he put his hand away from my shoulder.
I felt my steps in the dormitory corridor were heavy as if I were walking to the execution table step by step.
If I'm a sinner climbing the execution table, I wonder if Kacchan is the executor.
The actual destination was my room, though...
Because I know what's going to happen after this.
What did Kacchan say to me first when he heard about the situation around me?
“Are you that stupid?”
Of course,it must be like this.I knew it.
"Don't you know? Then I'll tell you the situation, Shigaraki Tomura went to Tartarus by us, forever. Happy ever after! so,do we need to do anything more now? Definitely,NO. It’s over,Deku.”
Kacchan, who sits on my chair with his legs and arms crossed, leans against the backrest of the chair without looking away from me, who sits on the edge of the bed.
The chair makes a squeak every time he leans against the backrest.
“There is no "but"!! What you're trying to do is completely complacent and totally unnecessary. And what happens when you go to see Shigaraki? No matter what he does, he’s just gonna be preyed on you. "
...Kacchan is totally right,It's so much that I cannot even make a noise.
Katchan didn't give me any way of escape.
And in fact, I don't even think there is such a thing for me.
"That's right, but I feel like I have to go see him-- !!"
The next moment I was saying back.
Kacchan looked a little surprised at me, who unusually shouted, but immediately he told back to what I said.
"Is that your intuition, or is the memory in your power making it so?"
"I, I don’t know. but I feel like I need to know more as a hero, about him."
I managed to answer back to his question. and Kacchan listens to me.
"And if there's a sign that Shigaraki is still plotting something, I want to pull that out of the conversation. Because I don't want to cause such a terrible event again. so, Kacchan. It's not such a bad thing."
I persuaded him while squeezing his right hand, which was distorted by his wounds, with his left hand.
"Why are you always like that?"
Kacchan leaned forward while he’s sitting and said to me with a face that "he has had enough of".
He brought the chair and him close to me and kept talking.
"I think you know, but this is for sure. You'll definitely feel like shit by going along with his farce."
Katchan leaned back on the chair with momentum to return to the previous pose and said so.
"Yeah, I know."
"Really, you don't need to go."
"Still I need to go, Kacchan."
I looked back at his red eyes with determined eyes.
Silence flows between Ka-chan and I staring at each other.
"...Deku, Don't talk to him in vain from you. you know,
tantalize him up and let him talk."
"And don't lie. You're seriously bad at lying."
"Finally, if something happens, tell me."
"Thank you, Kacchan!"
I was so happy to have such a friend-like conversation with Kacchan.
But after a few seconds Kacchan said, “I’ll listen only in my spare time.”, though.
Even so,I felt his rustic kindness saved me as always.
When I realized it, the heavy feeling in my stomach had gone.
Satisfied with listening to the story for a while, Kacchan stood up and muttered "I'm going to go to bed" and left my room.
The unpleasant rain noise that bothers me has turned into something strangely calm.
Katsuki who left the room stopped for a moment in front of the door of Izuku and muttered.
"Deku, you're always like that. You’re not satisfied until you have saved everyone...
...Are you really going to save even him ?"
Katsuki's question disappeared into the cold air of the corridor without an answer.