I ate lunch alone, in the corner of the cafeteria, with every single individual in the hall bugged. I did not like eating lunch here, not since Emma made it clear I wasn't welcome. And ambushes were far too easy in a place like this, the openness and noise.
I scanned the hall with my human eyes too, taking note of my classmates. None of them sent me any looks so hopefully I just squicked them out with my powers, that was fine. It meant they would not come close to me, isolation is better than bullying.
The rest of the day felt surreal, I don't know what was weirder; that we were taught classes by active heroes, or the fact that they were so good at it.
Maybe my teachers at Winslow really were just that bad but I think I learnt more in Ectoplasms math class than Mr Quinlan managed in a week. Also I wasn't spending the time dodging spitballs so maybe the comparison was a bit unfair.
Present Mic, our English teacher was incredibly weird though. He kept sending me glances and nervous laughs throughout the lesson. He did know his stuff but I did not understand what his issue with me was.
And the less said about Midnight the better, some women just get to hog all the good genes.
Once we were all finally free I dropped my stuff in the dorm and went straight into my section of the forest. Without needing to care about stealth or low impact I went all out, large mounds dotted the area, termite mounds but with larger openings and cavities.
The spiders in my bag crept out into the writhing mass that was being freed from their little boltholes by dutiful termites. A cloud of flies and pest bugs descended down to get devoured. More termites crawled in, fixing the mounds and building new ones ready for some of my more specialised bugs. I needed to sort out some kind of heating system if I wanted foreign bugs or those out of season.
I started on the homework we'd already been given.
It was peaceful for me, working like this. Calming. I hummed a tune, trying to match the sounds with the skittering horde. It was not very close but maybe in the future…It bore thought.
I felt him barrel down the hallway, a gigantic blob of man-meat.
"HERE I AM, COMING THROUGH THE DOOR LIKE A HERO."
The reactions were somewhat predictable, I'd do the same if Alexandria burst through the door of world studies and turned Mr Gladly into paste. I frowned, I should not be fantasizing about the gruesome murders of my former teachers. Even if they were useless suck ups that cared more about the approval of teenagers to do their fucking jobs and…
I pushed my bugs back before they exploded into the classroom. Jirou was looking at me from her seat, I turned my head away. Why did she keep looking at me? I didn't like it.
I refocused on All might who…
He was, my brain returned, resigned.
"Lets get into it!"
He was flexing. And nobody found it weird, at all.
"Today's lesson will be hands on. Fight training!"
Because of course our first hero class would be full contact fighting with powers most had literally never used against another person.
God forbid somebody's power was deadlier than they expect. Did nobody in this universe understand the concept of child endangerment?
I set my mouth in a grim line. They did not, this was normal, I'm the weird one here.
He gestured to the side, to where our costumes sat. Less gestured than shifted his mass in its general direction, there was a point at which somebody could have too many muscles and he had long exceeded it.
I knew which one was my costume, I'd placed a few insects inside to hibernate when I – very reluctantly – handed it off last week.
There was a scramble to grab the costume briefcases, I waited until everybody had theirs before grabbing mine. From the edge of my range bugs begun gathering, walking to the 'battle arena' gave my plenty of opportunity to gather bugs. It was still quite brisque but bugs were still everywhere in the forest between the main campus and the arenas and training grounds.
Unlike the one from the exam the entrance was a long unlit tube, the only discernible thing was the glowing signs for the male and female toilets. Plural, there were multiple single-person toilets lining the walls.
I took one at random and started changing.
Putting on my costume was like pulling on a sock where my body is just a large foot, although socks were not as awkward and didn't get stuck on too-bony limbs.
But with it on I just felt right.
I wasn't Taylor Hebert the awkward, bullied, ugly girl. The too wide mouth and big eyes were invisible behind my mandibles and yellowed lenses.
I was the unnamed bug cape, the cape that stood up to lung, robbed a bank, fought Bakuda.
It was a shame mucho cred wasn't transferrable, I'd just have to make more.
Spiders crawled out of the school bag in my hand across my arm and into their pouches, some stuck around on my body. I dumped the briefcase and bag into a slot for them on the wall. While everybody was in their stalls I started sneaking bugs in through the tunnel, some of the fliers bumped into the light fixtures on top.
Why were the lights in the tunnel off?
Wait, was it so that we could all walk out dramatically, that would be the first time our classmates would see our costumes. Sometimes this school was just weird, whatever lets just get this over with.
I walked out of the tunnel not as Taylor, no I was…whatever I was in this costume, whoever.
I was the first out, presumably the other students had never worn their costumes before so it made sense they would take a moment to get in them.
"You're a bit early young lady, but it makes sense, you made that with your bugs correct?"
His voice had this exuberant booming quality, I wondered if that was just how he talked or if he was manipulating it with his power somehow.
I put my back to our teacher and observed the students as they exited, intending to gleam what I could from their costumes. How they walked, everything.
Right as the other students exited, almost as one bloc he gave a pep talk. Voice carrying easily across if the vibration my bugs were feeling was accurate.
"You all look so cool!"
Well, some of them did. Half of the costumes were plainclothes, the other half was spandex.
Very few had any form of protection.
Mostly I was learning which of my male classmates were well built. The answer made me very thankful for the full face mask.
And the less said about the female costumes the better, it took Herculean will to tear my jealous eyes from Yaoyorozu's bust.
Actually, I returned my eyes, appraising this time. She didn't seem the sort to show herself off, her power was touch based, when she made things yesterday they flowed out of her skin not the surface she touched. So the lack of coverage was to give he greatest flexibility in use. Ok maybe she didn't win every lottery, I think I would actually die if effective use of my power required getting half-naked.
Honestly, in my unbiased opinion I thought their outfits kind of sucked, I was blaming the sheer volume of heroes in this world taking up all the good designs.
"Isn't it great? Lets get started newbies. Now I'm sure that you've seen a tonne of fights between heroes and villains on TV, usually its out in the open. But, statistically most fights are actually indoors, that's where the most dastardly villains conduct their business. So for this challenge I will be splitting you into groups of two, group A will be heroes and group B villains."
"Uh aren't there an odd number of students?"
"Will the groups be split alphabetically or by skill?"
"How much force can we use." I gave Bakugo the stink eye for that comment
"Hold on!" All might called exasperated, "I'll get there in due time." He coughed int his hand. "The teams will be random and yes one will be a team of three, its not fair but this is not a fair job. Got it?"
The class called their assent, he began drawing lots.
I was worried about the first pick, there was history between Bakugo and Midoriya, that fight was going to be ugly.
"Next team A is Shoto Todoroki, Mashirao Ojiro, and Mezou Shouji, their team B is Toru Hagakure and Taylor Hebert."
I considered our opponents, Shouji a changer/brute, can grow extra limbs. He'd used both extra arms and legs for some of the challenges yesterday, and based off the grip strength test he was a few times stronger than the average person per limb. In the ball throw he grew arms on grown arms, limitations? Not sure, he grew only two extra on top of his actual arm for the throw. That could be the limit of growth or the limit of his original arm to move the extra weight at speed. Worst case scenario he could fractal indefinitely and fill the building with attacking limbs, limbs strong enough to do damage too.
I also did not know if it was only arms and legs, best to assume not. If not it presents extra means for his to observe the world, extra eyes and ears, but also extra weak points for my bugs. I'd had an idea recently to use capsaicin laden bugs instead of stingers, like an airborne can of pepper spray. I didn't want to actually sting my classmates here so it would have to do.
Second opponent: Ojiro, mover/brute, he'd got one of the highest scores in the long jump and dash, can use tail to boost movement in that fashion. One hit with that thing and I was out, no questions asked. Costume and bearing implies martial arts knowledge, he carried himself the same way Brian did, balanced stance, easy movement. Highballing, I'd guess that he's strong enough to break the walls of the building. My best strategy for him would be to disable his sight, again capsaicin bugs will be handy. Bugs in the ears, nose and mouth would disorient as well, not to sting just make noise and irritate. No help from his power to remove those, I'd do the same for Shoji minus the mouth.
I was reasonably confident even highballing their abilities that I could disable them ably from a distance, it was their third teammate I was stuck on.
Todoroki, shaker/striker and mover. He could generate ice wherever he touched, with at least his hands and feet, creating a pillar to thrust himself in the long jump and skating across generated ice faster than he could run. Another, much larger pillar launched the ball in the throw. No noticeable fatigue or recharge time when he used it for the side jumps, and the generated ice was strong enough to crush the grip strength completely.
Quite frankly his power was incredible and I was jealous.
It was likely also much stronger than what he showed yesterday, I was not sure what the range was on surface frost he could generate, it could be anything from a few metres to the entire building. I just did not know. If he froze the whole building…my silk would probably keep me warm but any bugs on the walls would die, the drop in temperature would hamper my fliers too. Bugs had limited ability to survive the cold and got slower and unresponsive as they froze.
Positives? We would be fighting indoors and he had both partners to protect and a bomb he was not allowed to destroy. So without the ability to sense what he could not see he was limited in destructiveness. Of course I didn't know for sure that he could not sense beyond what his normal senses provided but honestly I might throw in the towel if he had thinker powers too.
My teammate… I didn't want to be mean, even internally, but she was less than useless here. It was just a bad matchup for her. Invisibility but not for clothes meant that against Todoroki she could either pick between being completely invisible or having any form of protection against the cold. She was also not strong enough to subdue the other teammates and unable to use a weapon without giving her position away.
I hated to abandon anybody but she would have to be the part of temporary distraction, there was literally nothing else I could think of to do with her.
What did I have? The battle training area was relatively insect free, lack of human habitation limits their food sources so most of my bugs I'd gathered on the walk here. But that was through a forest, I had literally . Most were flak, on stinging flies, midges, and dragonflies. The important ones were the bee colony I'd brought, too deadly for a friendly match but good for intimidation. Wasps, of the non-deadly variety were abundant too, I could prevent them form injecting venom when they stung so they could be of use here. Most of the deadlier spiders were out as far as biting but were still useful creatures so they hitched rides on dragonflies. I brought a platoon of orb weavers from various species, giving me options for maybe spinning webs mid-flight. I'd never tried it before in a fight but I did think it would work, if not particularly well against Todoroki.
Really, no matter how I put it there was no way in hell I was able to beat him in a fight.
Which meant I was going to have to employ alternative methods.
It was a good thing I was getting to play the Villain here, I could employ the best alternative methods. Though first I needed to watch this match. Midoriya and Bakugo, something about them felt familiar, how Midoriya held himself around Bakugo, back hunched, eyes darting. Expecting an attack. But then he straightened up and glared him straight down, challenging.
I looked towards All Might, this was going to get ugly. Could I trust him to stop the fight when that happened?
It started well enough, the building they were fighting in was just within my range so with a few well-placed bugs I knew the location of all combatants. Watching them on a screen and feeling their locations was less incongruous for me than I was expecting.
Bakugo immediately left his partner and Midoriya and Ochako nodded to each other, confirmation of a plan.
Soon, Bakugo found Midoriya, his first attack killed the bug I had stationed on his mask. Thankfully it burnt away completely, his face looked fine in the viewscreen, but still.
All Might was staring grim-faced at his monitor, good. He knows he's made a mistake here. But I also did not know what I could do about it.
They were talking now, heated, I deeply wanted to know what they were saying but I couldn't. I noticed a colony of bees enter my range, it was expanding?
Bakugo led with a punch, Midoriya caught it, immediately transferring it into a ground throw. Bakugo landed hard enough that I almost felt it myself.
They were talking again, as he stood back up, Iida called him through the earpiece radio. While distracted Ochako runs towards the stairs.
It was a good ploy, neither Ochako nor Midoriya had good odds of beating Bakugo, but with one touch she could disable Iida.
It was not a good plan in terms of Midoriya's immediate health, against the guy who has a grudge with him, but neither was my plan to fight Lung.
Both were equally pointless.
Midoriya blocked a literal flying kick, flicking the tape out and very nearly catching the leg. He's forced to dodge another explosion before running away, using the smoke from the attack to obscure his location.
I relaxed slightly; he knew what he was doing. He wasn't just some powerless idiot out to get themselves killed.
While he crept around, Midoriya and Ochako kept up constant radio chatter, most likely reformulating their plan.
Right then, as he got excited explaining something to Ochako, Bakugo entered the corridor he was in, gesturing to the grenade-looking gauntlets on his arms.
"Bakugo no! You cannot use that in a friendly match."
I could not tell what he said in response, going to pull the pin on the gauntlet.
A wave of fire and death swept across the hallway, a massive explosion tore chunks off the building.
"Call the match." I sounded weird to myself, an odd warble to my speech.
"…Never be a hero….always weak, always Deku."
He was standing back up, he'd dodged. Small mercy.
"He wasn't aiming it at him. Do not worry, I will step in if it goes further."
"…see?...move, come cry at me maybe…offer me a hand up ."
"I can't fucking go any further, call it!"
"I'm serious here Bakugo, use that attack again, and your team will lose automatically."
That mollified the class, but not me.
"…Show you what you really are then."
He propelled himself forward for an attack, feinting a strike as he jump-blasted above Midoriya, using the smoke to cover blasting back towards Midoriya and blasting him right in the back. He stumbled forward, barely recovering as Bakugo landed a harsh attack on his back, grabbing his arm and propelling himself in an arc. Building up the momentum to throw him into the ground, a mirror of Midoriya's opening attack.
"A weakling, a quirkless loser. Quit now while you're still alive."
My classmates were naturally gushing at how cool and skilled Bakugo was because of fucking course they were. The teacher wasn't calling the match because of fucking course he wasn't.
Midoriya scrabbled away, why wasn't he surrendering?
"I've got a plan, where is the bomb now, exactly?"
"Right above where we first met Bakugo, I think, you have a plan?"
"Yes, yes, no time, just grab onto a pillar when I say, ok. Ok?"
He dropped his hand from the communicator, barely dodging an attack form Bakugo. Muttering to himself.
"…Got this Deku…Plus Ultra…"
At the spot he stopped, facing Bakugo again. Catching another right hook.
"Every time I looked at you, I looked up to you, I'm going to be a hero, and-and not even you can stop me."
He grabbed the gauntlet, the one Bakugo hadn't fired, pushed it towards the ceiling, towards the bomb. And pulled the pin.
The beam of fire tore through every floor, ballooning as it went, losing heat but still propelling enough shrapnel that by the time it hit the final floor a crater spanning the room opened up, Ochako pitched debris at Iida with her now dislocated pillar. She cancelled her power on the beam, kicking off it to sail directly into the bomb.
"Hero team wins."
I listened numbly as they returned to the staging area and All Might started a class discussion on their fight, nominating an MVP. Engaging everybody in a talk on the pros and cons of their strategy. As if this was some group project they presented and not a pitched battle between a kid and their caped bully.
No, this was fine, it was normal here. I looked around the room, everybody was going along with the discussion, I was the odd one out. Fine, copacetic I'll just adjust its ok, everything is ok.
Besides it was time for my own fight.
With supreme confidence Todoroki opened the door.
The fastest recorded species of insect was the Hybomitra hinei, a species of horse fly native to North America and Canada. One had been recorded as flying at 90 miles per hour while pursuing a female.
They weren't native to Japan but with international travel so present in this world I'd managed to find a few half-dead individuals and nurse them back to sort of healthy. Their eggs had been fertilised and laid in my room leaving the few I brought with me today entirely disposable.
As soon as the door opened, six capsaicin laden flies rode the pressure wave of the outwardly opening door to divebomb eyelids faster than anybody could react, could blink.
The reactions were telling.
Ojiro spun madly, swatting at his eyes and only just barely missing hitting his teammates, Shoji flinched backwards but steeled himself. I quickly sent a swarm of midges at him, finding multiple extra eyes forming on his forehead, arms and back. I directed a squadron of native dragonflies to divebomb them. They weren't as fast but would work fine.
Todoroki's reaction was similarly subdued, his left eye protected by the red lens of his costume. I directed some flies to land on it and block his sight.
He lunged forward, striking the wall with his left arm, frost overtook the entire surface of the building. My partner shrieked and jumped up.
"Bad luck," I tossed her the silk blanket, "Keep yourself warm, hopefully the frost melts in time for you to sneak around." Not that I was holding my breath for that.
While I was talking with her I kept up the assault on him and his teammates, sending the loudest bugs I could into their ears that did not have the radios inside.
Ojiro dropped to the ground and began rolling, then striking around himself erratically, I let up on the assault but kept the bugs there. He kept moving around but hopefully would get the message eventually.
Shoji was doing a touch better, forming a cocoon of arm around himself, creating a complete seal that prevented further bugs from getting to him. Inside another arm formed and was swatting at any bug that landed, he wisely didn't try growing eyes or ears in his cocoon so his attacks were blind.
Todoroki had managed to use some sort of wider area attack to kill off the bugs by himself, wiping those that were on his lens off with a hand.
I sent a collection of bugs around the corner, all fliers but concentrated to look like a human form. I didn't have any bugs that could survive on his frosted left arm, just having a cloud of fruit flies around it. I was determining the location of it by the absence of alive insects.
By this method I saw him lift his left arm and suddenly all those fruit flies, the body shaped bug cloud as well as every bug in the corridor in that direction died. Testing some bugs back in that direction I found only a block of ice spanning the attack zone.
By the vibrations in the air he said something to his teammates, I didn't feel like sparing the nausea and splitting headache to attempt to discern what.
However, I was too late to respond to the radar like growth of arms and ear on Shoji, I filled them with bugs only after he pointed an arm directly at me, smart.
Thankfully Todoroki left along the non-iced hallway without his teammates, good, that was good. Less good was that he definitely knew where we were, negating plan C. My own teammate had begun shivering already, I flew in another silk sheet, she was out, I knew it. She knew it. Whatever, it was a bad match for her. It happens.
"I'm heading down, If you hear him coming close yell for me."
"g-g-got it-it. Brrrrr, how are you not frozen."
I kept up a small stream of attacks as I crept downstairs, I pulled out a length of capture tape, handing it off to a squadron of bees, they flew down the corridor and out of the building. They divebombed Shoji, wrapping the length around his leg while he was still distracted by the bugs in his meat cocoon.
"Mezo Shoji, captured!"
Good, I was worried they would not count that.
I kept sending waves of insects at him, divebombing wasps, carried spiders trailing thread, enough flies and flak insects to completely obscure vision.
They all died near immediately, the ones that didn't that had better resistance to the cold frost rolling off of him showed to my senses that he had formed plates of ice on the side of his head and nose. His mouth was too cold for any stingers to survive so I just kamikaze bombed it with the last of my capsaicin bugs.
Either they missed or he ate too much spicy food but they barely made him flinch.
The waves of bugs did little to actually harm him, but they did fill the hallway with piles of ice and slush that he had to melt.
I felt the air vibrate, he was speaking. I stumbled into the frosted walls trying to listen to what he said. It did not work, though I think he said something with an s?
He'd barely waded into the next corner when I dumped about a million flies on him, through the window, and the far hall.
I was still a floor up, moving towards his position.
Predictably, that hall turned into a giant ice wall, it was slower now though, taking a few moments to freeze through the horde. And once again he used specifically his right hand to melt it.
He'd used specifically only his left hand and leg to generate the ice, and his right to melt it.
"Fuck." He had two powers.
Ice on the left, heat and probably fire on the right, he was heterochromatic. Powers here often fit to a theme.
Why didn't he use the fire though? It would be an even worse matchup for me than the ice and would free him from wading through the torrential ice melts.
Fire washing by me, barely dodged. The smell of my precious hair burning.
I pushed back the bugs that were killing themselves to come to me, having them buzz and eat, it took the edge off somewhat. I lost myself in the depth of the swarm, one pinprick among many. Its fine, It was probably his trump card, and he won't kill me in a schoolyard death match.
He started up the final set of steps, I sent out one of the murder hornets to Ojiro, landing it away from him in the view of a camera and having a mundane wasp land on his neck. He'd finally gained enough lucidity to read my message on the wall and only tensed up when it landed. A backup hornet and wasp waited out of his sight.
Standing in the hallway I prepared the mis-en-scene drawing a curtain of my deadliest insects to my costume, moving over the armoured sections, fireflies among them. Moths lined the walls, wings spread across, A lone spider had spun a thread in just the right spot on the stairwell a minute before, when I'd figured out Todoroki's route. Groups of my curls were being lifted by teams of dragonflies, my spiders still hidden in amongst them but angled so that only their eyes should be visible, I was hoping they caught the light.
I could not see myself right now, there were no mirrors and seeing through bugs brought only suffering. But I hoped it was at least a sort of intimidating sight.
He took his step, eyes too focused on the moth wall that was visible. Stumbling forward he managed two more steps up before catching himself on the floor, at the perfect angle to se me above him.
I looked down at him.
He didn't move, beyond his visible widened. Definitely intimidating them.
"stop" I was still trying to speak though the bugs, work in progress, but I didn't need to do it perfectly for this, just mimicking the feeling of vibration as I talked, amplifying my voice, adding an insectile buzz. I fluttered the moths too, but stilled the bugs on my costume.
The insects by Ojiro shifted again, he brought a shaky hand to his head.
"If you're thinking about being a hero, don't." The words, a reflection of mine at the bank almost caught my breath in my throat, but I continued. "Vespa Mamdarinia." I had one land on my finger for dramatic effect, it was a bright yellow and black hornet, bigger than my thumb; hard to miss. "Typically a single sting of their venom is non-lethal, but I give the word and a lethal dose of venom will be delivered."
"Don't believe me?"
A tiny flash of blue light in his right ear, just barely visible to me. It flashed oddly on specks of frost forming on his face.
They began talking, I left them to it. I could hear only Todoroki's side of the conversation, so they could be planning but I was confident I could handle anything they threw.
He dropped his hand from his ear and glared hotly at me.
I shifted the hand my hornet sat on, until I was pointing upwards with my index, hornet perched.
"Option one, you surrender here, walk away. I win."
I brought up the next finger, landing another hornet on it.
"Option two, you attack me now and I inject your friend with lethal doses of venom. Every bug in the block attacks you, you will probably survive. But safely melting yourself out will take time, time you don't have, because as soon as you pull the trigger a new countdown starts. From now, to when its too late to save your friend. My compatriot finishes the job, we win."
He was tensing up, I needed more. His breath came out in angry pants, small flecks of ice in it.
"I know what you are thinking, you're fast, you can take me out, my partner out, save your friend, save the day. You're not, you've been slowing down, maybe when you were fresh you could do it, but now." I scoffed. "You can barely breathe."
I lowered my arm, not taking a ready stance, nothing to betray the fact that I was bluffing. He'd slowed down sure, but not by that much. But he was taking time to consider, and time was my friend here. I consulted the flies on the arms of an analogue clock in the bomb room, two minutes left.
I added to the pressure, my remaining swarm, all 3 million bugs, began buzzing as loud as they could. Anything they were capable of for sound, they did. I modulated it, moving the source of sound around us. They weren't visible, being in different rooms or outside. The effect was disorienting, feeling like the world should be moving.
I had the moths on the walls follow, moving in a circle along with the sound. I almost had to close my eyes from this, truly feeling nauseous. I dropped a few of the absurdly sturdy bugs onto him from the ceiling, they were ones that could survive ridiculously cold temps. They also could not fly but that was okay now.
It let me close my eyes and still track him, or more specifically his muscles.
I've heard stories about martial artists that could predict their opponents moves my watching the tensing of their muscles. I hoped that one day I could replicate the feat with my bugs, for now I just felt for any tensing, holding my position, keeping the disorienting display going. Mentally preparing myself for plan Z.
Sudden tensing, I shot forward, A cone of ice speared through the floor, encapsulating his teammate moments after the wasp began stinging, only a third of its venom being released.
Non-fatal, if I'd used the real thing, but he would still have to beat me here to thaw him out.
I swept my batons out, he looked in shock, raising his arm to blast me.
I just barely slid under the attack, losing some bugs that were too slow. Making use of the slipperiness of the iced floor to crash into him leg first.
He was cold, incredibly so. Unlike his initial attack I actually felt that. A painful chill that bit at my body where I touched him.
I swung my leg up, remembered this was a class activity and not a life and death scenario in time to bend my leg and knee him in the gut rather than the groin.
The baton slapped into his left arm, enough to bruise and disable, not break, I hoped.
The second hit his head, dazing him.
I dropped the batons, holding my hand out expectantly right as he covered the lower half of my body in ice.
Fighting though the pain I grabbed the capture tape with both hands from some bees and brought them towards myself, headbutting the unprotected section of his head with my armoured helmet. My head still jolted painfully, but I could barely feel it, one among many just another bug getting hit.
I crossed my arms in front of his neck, enclosing it with capture tape.
The tape snapped, fragments of synthetic material falling away.
I grasped desperately, grabbing a silk rope. When did I make that? Did it matter?
He was still too dazed to respond, I pulled the silk cord around his neck.
There was a pause, longer than for my capture of Shoji.
"Shoto Todoroki, out!" I sagged in relief, absently directing the bees to capture Ojiro.
"Mashirao Ojiro, out! Villain Team wins."
Hoo boy, this chapter (and its consequences) are like 90% of the reason I wanted to write this fic hopefully I did it justice.
Also I pinky promise it will get better for Taylor, despite her (v biased) dialogue the MHA world IS way more positive/hopeful that Earth Bet, there is just no good way to frame the Deku v Bakugo fight here, especially to Taylor.