Izuku was dejected. His last hope was broken. His dream completely shattered. The reason was simple. His idol answered the question he always feared.
"Pros are always risking their lives. I cannot simply say, You can become a hero even without power." All Might said bitterly as he looked at Izuku, the Symbol of Peace was not at all happy to say this to his admirer, but one had to be realistic, a person without Quirk trying to do the work of a hero was madness. Maybe he could sound hypocritical because he was formerly Quirkless, but he couldn't just give anyone the One For All just like that, And he was not willing to pass the torch to a child, much less burden him with the responsibility of defeating All For One, the responsibility that had already killed the 7 previous torchbearers, All For One's younger brother Yoichi Shigaraki, Hikage Shinomori, Daigoro Banjo, En and his teacher Nana Shimura. All of them had faced AFO and failed, death was the consequence. And they all perished before they reached the age of 40 except for Shinomori, so giving the responsibility to someone so young, someone who had a future and dreams was very unfair.
Izuku's jaw now was hanging as his eyes became like plates. "I see..." he under his head at the news he was so afraid to hear. That his Idol told him that he could not be a hero without a Quirk. What he was so afraid to hear had come true, what everyone told him, the harsh words. You can't be a hero. Kacchan was right. It didn't matter how hard he tried to see it or studied. Without Quirk, he couldn't be a hero. His dream of wanting to help others had been completely ruined.
All Might rose from the ground unhappy, but then he came up with something to try to make the boy feel better and giving him another way to fulfill his dream.
"If you want to help others, then you could also become a police officer. They're often teased because they get villains delivered to their doorstep, but that is also a fine occupation." All Might said trying to comfort him, after all, being a policeman was not such a bad idea. That or being a detective like Naomasa.
All Might went to the door and opened it. "It's not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what's realistic, young man." The Number One hero expressed as he closed the door leaving young Izuku alone with his dream shattered.
Inko was on the street going to do chores. Years had passed, and although she did not want to admit it, she knew that her son Izuku's dream could not come true. He had to change careers, he had to move on. Inko looked at the list without realizing that she was going to bump into a man. She inadvertently and just as she was about to fall backward she was grabbed by the stranger.
"Oh, I'm so sorry sir I didn't mean to!"
"Don't worry. It's not your fault..."
This man has short brown hair and teal-green eyes. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with a pair of jeans and black tennis shoes.
"Inko, is that you? How are you?" the stranger asked the green-haired woman.
Inko raised an eyebrow a little puzzled "How do you know my name? Do I know you from somewhere?"
"Don't you remember me? I'm Clover, Clover Ebi, you and I were neighbors, you were in your teens and I in was starting." Inko suddenly opened her eyes, she remembered.
"Clover, it's that you?" Inko asked with eyes wide open. The man nodded his head And Inko remembered, Clover Ebi was a teen's friend, When Clover was 13 years old, his family moved to Japan for work. 3 years later the Ebi's moved back to Atlas.
Clover smiled. "Absolutely in the flesh." Inko looked up with a growing smile and launched herself directly at the man. Both gave each other a tight and warm hug.
"Clover-San, how long has it been! It's so good to see you!" Inko gushed with a huge smile.
"Excellent, here in Japan taking a little vacation, hey would you like to go to a coffee shop so we chat and talk." Clover smiled, this was a nice meeting, after all this was going to be a mini-vacation here in Japan before returning to Atlas.
Izuku looked at his Hero Analysis for the Future notebook. Damaged and with its pages somewhat wet and torn by the explosion that Kacchan had given it. Izuku turned the pages trying to contain his anguish, he wanted to cry but tried not to. He had to be strong, he had to stand up and carry on with his head held high. Who was he fooling... He couldn't take it anymore, he was sick of being treated as inferior because he didn't have a Quirk, he wondered why? why someone with good intentions couldn't be a hero? Ever since he had seen All Might at the age of 4 he wanted to be a hero to help others, as a child, he only admired the cool figure that was the Symbol of Peace. But as he grew up he began to want to be a hero to protect the innocent and the weak. To give hope to those who had none. Seeing how the world was plagued by evil. He wanted to contribute his grain of sand. He remembered once how he and his mom were almost mugged by a couple of punks, then a hero appeared and saved him and his mother and put the criminals behind bars. That marked him for life, despite being in some ways a job, being a hero for Izuku meant wanting to help others. Maybe what Kacchan was right. Maybe he should follow his advice.
"Just pray that you'll be born with a quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the roof of the building." What should he do? Should he do that? Should he jump from a high place?
Inko was in a cafeteria with Clover the two of them having coffee while chatting.
"So what do you do for a living, Inko?" Clover asked, then took a sip of coffee and continued. "Engineer? Social worker? Architect?"
Inko giggled, "Actually, I'm a housewife, my husband Hisashi works abroad and I have a son who goes to junior high school."
"So you have a son in junior high school?" Clover asked with a raised eyebrow.
Inko nodded. "Yes, his name is Izuku, and is 14 years old."
"What is he like?"
"He's shy, very shy, but when we talk about heroes he goes crazy," Inko commented.
"He likes heroes, doesn't he?" Clover asked with a playful grin.
"He adores them. His ultimate idol is All Might, you should see his room, it's full of posters, figures, and toys of him." Inko said with a cute little giggle remembering how as a little boy Izuku would watch that video of All Might's debut over and over again. Or the times when he wore a costume of All Might and played with her.
"I bet he wants to be a pro hero in the future." Clover showed some surprise at Inko's sudden change of mood, from looking cheerful to looking somewhat distressed. "Inko is there something wrong?" Clover asked with a bit of concern, although he could probably imagine why the distressed face, the boy probably couldn't get into a hero academy.
"No, it's okay, I will answer you. it's just that..." Inko took a breath and exhaled. "Izuku can't be a hero."
"Don't worry. You don't have to answer." Clover said trying not to make her more uncomfortable or distressed.
"No, it's okay, the reason is that he is Quirkless," Inko said gravely, the woman sighed, remembering that dark day. "When he was 4 years old. We went to the doctor. To diagnose the Quirk he possessed. But the Doctor gave a different diagnosis, he said Izuku did not possess one."
"Oh, I'm sorry about that," Clover said ruefully, living without Quirk in a world where people like that were the target of ridicule must have been difficult.
"No, it's okay, for years Izuku has been trying to prepare himself to go to a hero academy but it's more than certain that he won't be able to get into one. And I will try to support him in this. " Inko murmured and then changed her tone "But changing the subject, what do you do for a living Clover?"
"I am an Atlesian Huntsman."
Inko's eyes widened slightly "You're a Huntsman? A soldier in the service of Atlas?"
Clover nodded "Indeed, I am a Special Operative. For my hard work and effort, my superior gave me a vacation for 2 weeks and taking advantage of winning a ticket to Japan. Other than that, I think your son's dream can be fulfilled in a way. I'm more than sure he can have an alternative." Mentally Clover wondered if this was a good idea, endangering a kid without Quirk was insane, but he would be trained in a place where the technology was on par with Quirks, plus the Quirks rule had been scrapped long ago, actually 20 years after the Atlas Revolution.
Moreover, as far as he knew, General Ironwood did not possess an apparent one. But still, with the necessary training and tools, he could become a hero in his way.
"Tell me Inko, have you ever thought of enrolling your son to the military college or Atlas Academy?"
Inko's eyes opened instantly. "My son in a stranger military academy?"
"Yes, the Academy is open to people with or without Quirk and open to people from all over the world. With good training, transcripts, and passing the entrance exam, I believe your son could get into the Atlas Academy. However, this would mean one of two things, either you, your husband, and your son would have to move to Atlas or your son would have to travel to Atlas, by recommendation or using a scholarship." Clover explained as he picked up his cell phone looking for something "I assure you that your son will at least be able to fulfill his dream that way, the Huntsmans have to protect the Citizens of Atlas. It is a viable option. I know it may sound like I'm looking for your son to join an army. But it is a viable option."
"Look, Clover, I know you're trying to help, don't take this the wrong way, it's an interesting proposition but ... it is too risky, my son has no training and we are talking about a move to a foreign country. One that I don't even know if it is safe for him, and I am anxious to know if my son would be able to become strong, strong enough to protect himself. Would he become strong?"
"Absolutely, enough to protect himself and others. The training and teachings are complete."
"So he can fulfill his dream? My son can be a hero?" Inko began to look distraught trying to hold back tears "Ever since he was little my son has wanted to be a hero like All Might, to protect others and give them hope. But not having a Quirk has marred his dreams, so... I think I'm willing, I'm willing to let my son go to Atlas, but first I'll find out about the Academy and the nation. If I see fit then Izuku will have my permission to go to Atlas. "
"Well, with that covered, now it is up to Izuku alone to decide whether it is his wish to go or not."
Izuku was frustrated, he really couldn't take it anymore. Why, why...
"Jeez, there's a limit to how rash you can be!" Death Arms said scolding Izuku "There was absolutely no reason for you to put yourself in danger!"
Izuku could understand if he and Kacchan were reproached. But what he could see on the other side hurt him more.
"That was amazing toughness! And that Quirk! Once you're a pro, please come to my agency! You'll definitely be an excellent sidekick!" A pro hero was praising Kacchan while being filmed by the news cameras.
Why someone who risked his life for another person was reproached in this way. And instead, a guy like Kacchan who was cruel just because he had a super-powerful Quirk was praised by everyone for it, by the kindergarten children, by the kindergarten teachers, by teachers of the junior school, and even right now by a pro hero and the press. Then he remembered the words Kacchan had said to him. They were true.
"Listen up, Deku. You're even worse than these damn rejects, you quirkless wannabe. Do you really think they'll let someone like you in when they can have me?! Most first-string heroes show potential early on. People look at them and just know they are destined for greatness I want the shine of being able to be called the only student to make it into the U.A. from this mediocre city junior high school. People will start talking about me like that. They'll realize I'm legit, I am the next big thing." They were true words
And he could not forget the last words Kacchan had said to him regarding the only way he could have a Quirk. His advice. "Just pray that you'll be born with a quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the roof of the building." he was going to do it. He would go to a high place and jump, or maybe he shouldn't.
No, maybe not. What did recognition matter? Heroes are not measured by fame, so if Kacchan wanted to pose for the cameras all badass, let him do it. But let him at least know that the person he despised so much for not having superpowers had saved him but weren't that a bad thought? Wasn't it having bad feelings? He didn't know, what he did know was that he had at least tried to save someone. Maybe what he had to do was to go forward with his head held high and become a policeman or a doctor. That way he could at least help those in need. Maybe not having Quirk didn't mean the end of the world.
On the way back Izuku looked at the floor a little anguished, his dream was broken. But at least he could look for a new way to fulfill his dream, maybe he could become a police officer, he should wait until his mother gave him that surprise she was talking about.
"So you took on that mud thug all by yourself?" Clover asked smiling trying to cheer the young boy up, it took guts to take on a dangerous criminal, something Atlas was looking for, something Ironwood was looking for in future Atlas academy students.
Izuku just mumbled a little flushed. "EHHH... it wasn't that big of a deal, All Might was the one who ended up defeating him."
"Boy, don't discredit yourself so much, if you hadn't tried to stop him then that blond boy would have died, and probably the criminal would cause more chaos." Clover said, "Anyway, I'm Clover Ebi, I was your mom's neighbor when she was a teenager."
Upon arrival home with her mother and the man who accompanied her named Clover, Izuku could notice that instead of seeing a worried face showed a face that seemed to contain joy. When they arrived inside the house Inko prepared a cup of coffee for her and Clover and a latte for Izuku. They sat down at the table with Izuku looking confused and somewhat uncomfortable in front of the man sitting across from them.
"Izuku, I know you must be wondering why Clover is with us," Inko said with a sigh, trying to contain her joy. Her son had a chance to be a hero in his way. It only depended on Izuku's response. "Clover is part of the Atlas huntsmen and is also part of the Atlas army."
Izuku raised an eyebrow at this information. "And... what's in that?"
"Look Izuku, I heard that you want to become a hero. " Clover informed, Izuku looked up a little quizzical, "There is a way to do it, you see Izuku, the Atlas Academy is open to anyone. It trains Huntsmen and soldiers to protect civilians."
"What is or more exactly what is a Huntsman?"
"A huntsman is a very powerful soldier. They are elite warriors of the Atlesian army dedicated to maintaining the order of Atlas, they are like pro heroes but work directly for the military and Quirkless individuals can join too. I am a Huntsman for example." Clover explained, Izuku heard this with some surprise.
"So I can be a hero?" Izuku asked with obvious joy with tears threatening to come out.
"Yes, you can be a hero for Atlas."
Izuku slowly lowered his head and began to cry silently, Inko stood up and quickly approached him, hugging him tightly to contain him. After a few minutes of silence, Izuku looked up to reveal a huge, tearful smile.
"Thank you!" the young boy thanked "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Clover smiled, "Well then we'll do the following, tomorrow on the way back I'll come here, and we'll start training to prepare you, there are two ways to enter the academy, by turning 16 or 17 and with transcripts. Or the one we will probably try, train you to attempt the special entrance exam. But first, you have to start with the first step. Find your combat style, we have to see what kind of weapon you will use, hand-to-hand or long-range, sword or gun. So get ready, tomorrow starts a new day."