“Are you sure? He’s still just a child… I’m not sure if-”
“No, I’m sure. He will be the successor.”
“But, All Might he’s… He is so young? And you know what the society thinks of male omegas… They will never-”
“They will learn. Times are changing. He was chosen.”
“I don’t, I don’t agree to this. He’s my little boy! This responsibility, it is much too great for just one child to take on alone!”
“He won’t be alone. He has been promised, yes? To protect him later in life?”
“Y-yes, to a dear friend of mine, but she’s in the kingdom three days travel from here. Her son, he’s an alpha, and they are friends, but we-”
“It will do well, to have that marriage when the time comes. The two boys are compatible, they have met?”
“Y-yes, All Might.”
“Very good. It will make due for an alliance later on when he is announced as my successor. The people will come to love him, Inko.”
Inko had promised her only child when he was at the age of four. Her son, Izuku, a rare male omega would grab a lot of attention as he grew older, and his cycles would hit. The smell of an omega could be overwhelming, and few new of the scent from a male omegan, but from what she had heard, there might be much to fear if she couldn’t protect her young boy when his heats hit.
She had gifted his hand to her dear friend’s son, a loud, angry blonde who was everything his mother was and more. Inko and Mitsuki had become fast friends, even through the miles and kingdoms that separated them. They had met at a festival in the grand capitol, the two becoming stuck to each other’s sides, and their mates had an understanding that this wouldn’t be just a passing friendship for the week long celebration.
Bakugou Mitsuki was a loud, compulsive, and rather extravagant alpha women, married and mated to her beta husband who complimented and completed her. Where she took charge in power and strength, Masaru stood as a solid force behind her, words of wisdom from his days a warrior within his own tribes to the west. The two had been arranged at a modest age when Mitsuki was named the heir to her own throne. The Kingdom to the south having multiple female alpha rulers, and Mitsuki would no doubt stand above the rest. It was an odd pairing, since a female alpha could both impregnant and give birth, but normally only through another alpha’s seed. Masaru and Mitsuki had a hard time conceiving, but eventually had been able to conceive and give birth to their only son - an alpha named Katsuki.
Inko had first been hesitant, when Mitsuki approached her with the idea to have their boys betrothed. The first time had been just after they both had found out they were pregnant. Mitsuki, having a few miscarriages before she took, was a few months ahead of Inko in her pregnancy. She never gave her body any rest, even when the kingdom was in good hands with Masaru being in charge. Inko had come to visit, having just found out a few weeks before that she was to give birth to her first child as well. Mitsuki had laughed, her body glowing with a healthy pregnancy as she breathlessly told Inko her plan.
“It would be something if they were to be promised, no?”
Inko had been startled at first, her hand resting over her slight bump as she hummed in thought. “It would be, yes.”
“Then should we?”
“Mitsuki! We are both hardly along! There is no sense in promising something that may never be.”
Mitsuki had only laughed at Inko, her cheeks rosy as she glanced down at her larger stomach. “I have a feeling my son will become a great alpha leader. I just know it.” Inko remembered how Mitsuki’s eyes had rested on her own bump, her hands pausing in their caress as she nodded towards Inko. “They will be known across the nations as the greatest pair.”
The next time she had expressed her interest in promising the two was when they were barely two. Katsuki had just begun to walk, a few months older than her dear Izuku, who was still only crawling. Katsuki had been babbling towards Izuku, who looked on with interest and gave his own insight here and there. Inko was invested in watching the two and missed when Mitsuki had said something.
“Inko? Did you not hear me?”
Inko looked up from her son, missing the small movement as Izuku crawled behind Katsuki towards the couch where the other had patted the cushions with aggressive swipes.
“Ah, I apologize. I was invested in what they boys were talking about. They seemed very interested in something.”
Mitsuki grinned as she turned her eyes to watch the two boys once more. “Yes, I agree. They seem to be conversing in their own language. What do you think they are saying?”
Inko could only hum in reply and she glanced back down to where her son was previously. Her eyes growing nervous before she spotted him standing, using the couch as support beside Katsuki against the far wall. Her young boy talking tiny steps with the guidance of the other two year old who babbled away. Katsuki’s hand seemed to be ready and tense at his side, guiding Izuku who was taking tiny steps, his one hand holding onto the couch cushions while the other gripped Katsuki’s one outstretched arm. Izuku had the biggest smile on his face. His eyes seemed to shine like tiny emeralds all the way over towards the mothers.
“You see what I mean? The greatest pair Inko. I can just see it.”
“Mitsuki, please, they are only two…”
“But look at them Inko. It was meant to be. Katsuki, my brash alpha son, so much like me in every sense a son could be. And your son, dear Izuku, a rarity in everything that an omegan stands for. I wish for it so badly Inko, can’t you see?”
“I do see, truly I do, but… I have my fears Mitsuki. Hisashi has just left us, and Izuku, he is all I have. You must see why I am so hesitant?”
Mitsuki’s face had grown hard at the mention of Hisashi, her distaste evident in her scowl. “Don’t speak of his name here. I still have search hounds out for him.”
“Mitsuki, please call them back! It has been months, and I grow tired of the hope that he would one day return. It was too much for him to bare when Izuku was born. You know how hard it can be…”
Mitsuki still shook her head at Inko’s words, her mouth set in a hard line as she glanced at the now slowly walking Izuku. “He still should not have abandoned you. That is why I wish this so dearly, for then you and Izuku, the dear one, would be well protected.”
Inko could only smile at her friend’s words, her head nodding in agreement before she smiled down at the two boys who were making their way over towards them. “Oh my! Izuku my dear boy! Just look at you taking big steps! And Katsuki! Ever such the strong leader and teacher!”
The two boys’ smiles that she was given had lifted her heart from the cold clutches it was slowly seeping into.
The third time the betrothal was given word was when they boys had met again at the age of four. Izuku had hidden behind her leg, his head poking out behind her as Inko bowed politely towards Mitsuki, Masaru and Katsuki. Katsuki stood proud at his mother’s side, his red eyes glancing over Izuku with thought before a toothy grin was given his way. Izuku had made a strange noise behind her, before Inko let out a soft huff of content and turned towards her son.
“Izuku, my dear one, these are the Bakugou’s. You have met them numerous times before. Do not be afraid.” Izuku’s large green eyes settled on her before he nodded and stepped forward, his hand not leaving his mother’s grasp.
“Oh Inko! His freckles look marvelous! They have filled out his face so well!” Mitsuki moved forward, kneeling down to Izuku’s height as she studied him. She ruffled his hair fondly, to which she was granted a large smile from Izuku. “My, my. The ever cute one aren’t you, dear one?”
A snort from behind her caused her ears to turn red as she glanced at her son. “Katsuki. Step forward.”
The young alpha seemed to freeze in fear before his father bumped him forward. Katsuki came to stand next to his mother, his height a slight inch taller than Izuku who looked up towards Katsuki with a great curiosity. It seemed Katsuki had the same interest, but greatly tried to hide it to no prevail.
Inko’s eyes settled over the two, her nervousness evident in the way she wrung her hands in her long skirt. The three conversed, and it seemed as if the boys suddenly realized that they were once great friends, and the two took off running for the nearby courtyard. Inko glanced at Mitsuki, who had a knowing smile on her face as she looked back up at Inko.
“Come Inko. Let us discuss this over tea.”
Mitsuki was determined to give Katsuki the chance she never had - to grow up being able to come to love the one he was meant to rule alongside. Not to say she didn’t love Masaru, not the case at all. But they had been promised later, a time after a normal betrothal was given. It was rash, and happened quickly for an alliance between the west and the south. Masaru had been a great commander in their small scuffles to the west, and the Bakugou royals had extended their hands to help aide with the raids in exchange for the leadership and wisdom Masaru could bring to the throne. Mitsuki had been reluctant at first, but come the time, she had gifted her wrist to Masaru who flashed his neck to her.
A compatible pack was made that day, and Mitsuki learned to come and cherish her husband and his more quiet mannerisms. She, like most mothers, just wanted the best for her child, but she also knew she could not pass up the chance to gift her kingdom the rarity that was a male omega.
Inko’s son had been a gift unto this world that her blasted husband Hisashi could not see. Mitsuki wanted to cherish the young boy for all he was worth, and give him the rightful place as her son’s right hand she knew he could be. Inko’s life had been left to struggle after her husband left them. It had not gotten out yet that a male omega existed within the fair lands of the center, but Mitsuki had no doubt that once Izuku started schooling, and even worse, began his cycles, that word would get out to all the lands.
She had to strike, not only for the chance at her son’s happiness, but for the protection that she could provide young Izuku and her dear friend. It was obvious in the way the boys interacted that they were compatible, even at a young age. Katsuki’s alpha already showed interest in leading, guiding and teaching the younger omega. His bouts of rage also were calmed when around Izuku. Izuku himself seemed to be of a gentler nature. His eyes saw much more, and he was quick thinking and seemed to analyze more even at his young age. Mitsuki saw a great tactile leader in him, and wanted to put his mind to work.
“Have you thought over what I sent in the letter?”
Inko looked up towards Mitsuki, her hands once more gripping her loose skirt in nerves. “I have.”
“I think I could agree to the terms. Izuku, he needs the protection, I fear that word is beginning to spread in the center of what he is. The private teachings would be wonderful, to avoid interest while in school.”
Mitsuki grinned as she looked towards her husband, his own smile smaller but he reached out for her hand nonetheless to show his support. “Then it shall be! Iida, please grab the two boys, we need to discuss with them something important.”
“Right away my Lady.”
Quickly a scuffling was heard, followed by laughter of the brightest kind as the two boys fell into the room. Inko held back a giggle, seeing their disheveled forms, and a look of exasperated fondness filled Mitsuki’s features. The three adults brought the two boys into a small washroom, and cleaned up the little they could before walking into the memorial hall where many pictures filled both sides of the room. Some were of single people, others of full families and Mitsuki stopped before her own portrait, the portrait of Masaru hung across from her and a single family photo sat to the right of him.
“Katsuki, my son. Look upon these three pictures, what do you see?”
Katsuki looked between the three photos, and then glanced at the ones further down the hall. “I see you, old hag, and the old man too. And there I am! Look Deku! You see me there? Don’t I look magnificent!?” Mitsuki had to hold back a scowl as Inko’s laughter filled the hallway space and Izuku’s large ‘wow’ was heard by all.
“Amazing Kacchan! You look like you belong up there like the rest of your family!” Mitsuki paused, and kneeled down besides the two boys, but her eyes settled over Izuku.
“Dear one, what would you say if I told you you were to be up there someday as well?”
Izuku’s eyes widened as he glanced from Mitsuki to his mother to Katsuki, his eyes slowly gaining a look of realization. “I am… I am to become a royal? But my blood - I am not-”
“Shh, shh, my dear one. You are very smart for your age, are you not?”
Izuku nodded, his eyes looking over towards his mother who gave him a gentle smile. “I am. Yes.”
“So, can you guess as to how you will be up there someday?”
“Am I to be promised?”
Mitsuki’s smile gave him a slight bit of courage as he glanced to Katsuki, who was looking at him with wide eyes. His look gave Izuku pause as a sudden thought crossed his mind. “I’m to be promised to Kacchan…?”
A small snort left the small alpha as he looked away from Izuku, Izuku’s spark seemed to fade from his eyes as he watched the other young boy point at his ancestors that hung on the wall.
“You see these leaders Deku? They all lead this great kingdom with strength and courage, something I have within my small hands already, but you lack.” He paused at his mother’s sharp look but continued, ignoring the tears gathering in his friend’s eyes. “I already belong up here, and to be my promised you must have to work extra hard to be at my side when the time comes. Not just anyone deserves to be a royal Deku. You understand?” Katsuki turned back around, standing underneath the blank space to his mother’s left that he would one day fill when he takes the throne.
A sniffle was heard before Izuku’s voice filled the hallway. “I promise you Kacchan… I’ll become one of the best leaders this kingdom has ever seen. I’ll make you, my mother, and everyone else proud to know who I am. The rarity, I will be!”
The promising continued down the hall, where the two boys were taught to produce liquid scent from their wrists, and pressed the inside of their wrists to other’s neck. The first scent marking was made to be a sort of first connection, where the scent of the other would last, and their secondaries would hold onto that scent as a marking of ‘mate’. This was established to form a small bond, where if ever separated, the other would be able to know who the other mate was within a large crowd, even after years apart. The smell would fade, but the secondaries would always know in the end.
Katsuki grinned down at Izuku, who his alpha now screamed out at him as ‘mate’. His alpha seemed to already think that Izuku was worthy, and that they should shield him away from the rest of the world, but he did not give much thought to what he was saying. He instead took in Izuku’s features at the omega did the same.
Izuku smiled up at his dear friend, his omega purring in delight at the union. His alpha was already strong, and he knew he would grow to one day rule this fair kingdom alongside his alpha. The alpha to his omega.
Izuku was gifted a small pendant which held within it the scent of Katsuki. The pendant was made of blazing ruby within the shape of the Bakugou crest. Anywho spotted the pendant would know that Izuku was under the south kingdom’s royal protection, and was to not be harmed. Inko was also given something similar.
A few days later, Inko and Izuku set off back home, Izuku waving towards Katsuki as they set out from the castle with a larger caravan than they had arrived with. A few of Mitsuki’s most trusted guards and teachers with their families, were sent with the Midoriya’s with the hope that they would protect and teach the young future ruler under her order.
It was a good thing that she had sent extra protection as well, as a large scale war set out over the kingdoms just days after they left. The central caught in the mix as the north and east fell into dispute nearby. Mitsuki soon lost contact with Inko, the letters far and few between, but promised of safety and to respond soon.
She could only hope that Inko would keep the promise.
The little comments that the first chapter got had me thrilled! Thank you all for enjoying the story so far! Here is another chapter for this little royal/omegaverse KatsuDeku story!
Goes into detail about their lives apart, and also introduces more of the war/other characters you will see throughout the story!
“Mama, how come I can’t go see Deku?”
Mitsuki looked down at her blonde son, her face a slight grimace as she thought carefully over her answer. It had been two years since the last time Katsuki and Izuku had met, and normally it was around this time of season when Inko would bring Izuku along to visit the south kingdom. Mitsuki kneeled down in front of Katsuki, her eyes softened as she placed her hand on his shoulder.
“My son, what do you know of war?”
Katsuki’s face fell, and his eyes seemed to focus on the ground before him. His foot dug into the fur rug, his sandaled feet showing his frustration over the question. “I know war is not good. Old man has taught me that it can tear countries apart… Is that why I can’t see Deku?” His red eyes glared up at his mother, his fists coming to rest at his sides.
“I’m afraid it is.”
“Well that’s just-! That’s! Argh!” Katsuki threw his hands forward, and a spark of flames erupted from his palms. The young prince didn’t seem to notice what he had just done, and Mitsuki quickly called upon her own flames to control the ones that erupted in the room. “Deku is my mate! My omega! It’s! It’s preposterous to think we can be kept apart by something as mundane as a war!” Katsuki’s eyes settled on his mother, the hard rubies glaring with enough hate to make even Mitsuki flinch. “I want it to end!”
“Katsuki, my son, you need to calm yourself. Your alpha will erupt in rage if you continue to allow yourself to talk this way. What if I told you there was a way to communicate with him?” Mitsuki watched as her son’s look slowly calmed, his breathing exercises doing well to control the rage within him. “I know it is not the same as seeing the dear one, but it would be better than nothing. Yes?”
At Katsuki’s slow nod, Mitsuki moved forward towards her desk and opened the drawers, looking for parchment and ink. “Come here Katsuki.” Hearing the soft footsteps she pulled the chair out for her son and sat him down, giving him the red phoenix feather dipped in ink. “You can write to him. I can’t promise there will be swift response, but in the end, you will be able to talk directly with him.”
At his nod, Mitsuki walked away, going towards the large windows she had been staring out before her son had entered the room. At her sigh, she felt a warm arm wrap around her waist, and the steady presence of her husband filled her with calm. “It’s getting worse Masaru…”
She heard his deep hum before her eyes settled on the rising smoke from the distance. It was coming from the direction of the east kingdom, the areas in which the royal family Todoroki ruled over. Endeavor was a fierce man, and had tried in many ways to take over the surrounding lands for his own gain. From what Mitsuki knew, he too had a son around Katsuki’s age, who was the youngest of five and yet was named the next heir.
She could only puzzle over why that must be, since he had siblings nearly in their late teens if she had heard from her advisory correctly. She leaned back into Masaru, and drew her voice into a whisper.
“Masaru, Katsuki seems to have unlocked his power before. I think it’s time we place him in combat training.” She glanced over her shoulder at her husband’s calculating look, before he nodded and moved from his place at her side. “Do you think Kirishima would be willing to work with him?”
“I don’t see why not. He has just started training his own son. It would be good for Katsuki and Eijirou to meet. Did you happen to see what his strength was?”
Mitsuki looked away with a snarky laugh as she placed her arms across her chest. “Anger. What else would it be? He’s more like me by each day.” She glanced back at the desk, seeing Katsuki on his second page of writing, the ink getting all over his hands from the aggression he wrote with. “His next birthday, I want to grant him his first egg.”
“Did you have one in mind?
“Either a drake or a wyvern, green shelled if possible. Either would be a good first companion for him. Ideally one with a calming personality, since him and Izuku cannot…” She paused, her eyes glancing over at their son. “Since they cannot meet for the time being. Masaru… have you heard-?”
“No, nothing has been sent yet that the war has progressed towards the central fairlands. The fighting has only progressed in the way of our paths, hence the lack of travel and letters we have been receiving. It is taking a full moon cycle travel to arrive there alone instead of the three day’s trip.” Masaru glanced away from his wife, hearing his son coming forward with a large grin on his face.
“Old man! Mama! I wrote four pages for Deku! Who shall I send this with?”
Mitsuki glanced up at her husband, a small smile on her lips at the excitement emitting from her dear son. “I think Iida is our fastest traveler yes? Maybe his son Tensei is now ready?”
Masaru nodded as he took Katsuki’s hand. “Come Katsuki, let me introduce you to our runners.”
“Yes, they are our fastest travelers we have. The Iida’s have been serving your mother’s family for years, and they will continue to serve under you as well.”
“Under Deku and I?”
Masaru let a small smile grace his lips as he looked down at his son. “Yes, under you and Izuku.”
Katsuki glared at the small bispectical boy in front of him. His letter to Deku hung in his hand, trying to make sure not to crumple it under his tight grip as the boy proceeded to talk even after the fifth time Katsuki had asked him to shut up.
“And my training has just begun with my father - but I am nowhere near my brother who is currently our fastest runner at this time and-”
“Oh my god, please shut up!” Katsuki let out a loud roar towards the end of his words. His voice had quivered with the untamed power held within it, and the young prince did not notice the looks of pride and curiosity he gained. He only saw the look of shock on the young beta’s face in front of him.
“I-I am sorry my prince! I did not mean to-!”
“It’s fine! Just tell me where your brother is. My father is waiting for me at the barracks and I cannot stall for anymore time!”
“Tensei is this way… yes, uh, follow me.” The young male led Katsuki through the small walled village that sat around the castle. The houses settled around here were for the families of those who served under the royal family. The towering spirals and two to three stories were set up for multiple generations to live and thrive in these homes. They also provided a high look out in case of attacks, and ways to get into the castle through hidden underground passage and high ropes that led towards the castle’s own spirals.
Katsuki looked around at the families who either bowed or said hello to him. His alpha preening in the attention he was given. He grinned as the boy in front of him seemed to notice the attention and grew quiet before stopping in front of a large home with a stable nearby.
“Tensei should be at the stable house around the bend. I ask for your forgiveness once more, my prince. I did not mean to take away your time.” At the sharp bow, Katsuki’s eyes widened at the near ninety degree angle the other had bent himself into.
“It’s fine. Honestly, just… just don’t let it happen again! And call me Katsuki! The whole prince thing is… Is not befitting of my tastes.”
The young lad looked up, but nodded at his words. “Of course my princ- I mean young Bakugou! You may call me Iida Tenya! Or Tenya!”
“Yeah okay, four-eyes.” Katsuki sneered before pushing past Tenya who looked on with confusion. Katsuki entered the stable house and glanced around, spotting a much older male towards the corner of the shop who looked eerily similar to the young four-eyed male who led him here. “Excuse me, could you…?”
The other male glanced up, his mouth in a large smile before his eyes settled on Katsuki. His eyes then held a look of surprise before he got up from his place on his stool and made his way over towards the prince. “Ah, my young prince. To what do I owe the pleasure of this meeting?”
“I need you to deliver a letter to my Deku.” Katsuki held out his letter with both hands, grinning as he took in the still pristine look the paper held. “He is from the central fairlands.”
Tensei’s eyes widened before he took the letter from Katsuki’s hands. He noticed the letter made out to one Midoriya Deku, and his eyes softened as he set the letter into a letterbag on the table next to him. “I promise I will be swift and just in delivering this letter to your promised.”
“Thank you. Have uh… Safe travels.” Katsuki let a wave of his hand as he stepped back, the bow Tensei gave almost a near identical to the one his brother gave earlier. He stepped out of the stable, and made his way towards the gates of the wall that led to the training grounds. He was supposedly about to meet his next teacher who would be instructing him in his combat and magic prowess. A large grin formed on his lips as he cracked his knuckles. He couldn’t wait.
The first time Izuku had received a letter was just after his sixth birthday, when Tensei came running into the central plaza to ask for directions to the Midoriya’s. Izuku had just been leaving Toshinori’s alchemy shop when he heard Tensei from next door. He had run up to him, recognizing his family crest as one that laid loyal to the Bakugou crown and smiled up at him, letting him know he could take him to the Midoriya Household.
Tensei seemed reluctant at first to believe the young male, before Izuku flashed the small ruby pendant that had Tensei easing his nerves. He had followed Izuku out of the town, wondering why his mother allowed such a young child to travel to the central plaza all on his own when they lived out in the wooded area. It wasn’t until he arrived at the Midoriya household that he understood that Izuku was not alone.
He spotted the crow head within the trees easily, knowing and growing up with some of the Tokoyami family and finding it easy to spot them. He had forgotten that the family had been sent with the Midoriya’s when they left nearly two years ago. He wondered where the family had settled, since they liked to stick to lesser crowds and the shadows that the night brought.
Stepping into the Midoriya house, he was struck with the stark feeling of home. It seemed that this family, rather small, was one of great happiness and it brought an easy smile to Tensei’s lips. He bowed towards Inko, and held out the letter towards her with the intention of her passing it onto Katsuki’s promised. She smiled at the lettering, before calling over the same boy from before and handing him the letter.
Tensei’s smile fell as he looked on as the young boy took the letter with him towards the stairwell. He glanced back at the mother, before finally speaking his mind. “I may be overstepping my limits, my lady, but why did you gift the young boy the letter when it is clearly marked to the prince’s promised?”
Inko seemed to pause at his words, her smile slowly forming, although tense. She suggested to the chair in front of him, and Tensei sat gratefully as his tired legs finally had a rest. “It seems that not even your kingdom has been truly informed of just who Katsuki’s betrothed is. You must know that it is an omega, yes?”
Tensei nodded, his body slowly relaxing as he was given tea and small morsel of dried fruits and crackers. Inko took a deep breath before she continued. “I suppose I could tell you, since you must be the new carrier we will use to exchange letters.” Inko looked away, her eyes resting on the stairwell once more before a smile settled over her lips. “You were probably expecting a female omega, well, my dear one, my Izuku, is Katsuki’s omega. He likes to refer to him as his ‘Deku’ however.”
Tensei’s eyes widened as he registered the words. “A male… omega? The last I had heard of them was many, many years ago…” Inko nodded at his near whisper, her smile growing as Tensei looked startled. “That is why the Tokoyami’s, Asui’s, and Uraraka’s were sent. It makes much more sense that the protection needed to be sound when the dear one… My, my. I would have never guessed that it would be because young Midoriya was indeed a rarity.”
Inko smiled at his words, before a loud thumping was heard and Izuku entered from the stairwell. “Mama! Do you have any paints left? I want to draw Kacchan something!” Inko giggled at her son before getting up and grabbing something from a nearby cabinet.
“Here Izuku, my dear one. Will yellow and red be fine?” At his nod, she gave him the colors before he was off towards the stairs once more. Tensei watched with rapt attention before looking towards Inko once more.
“He is quite the lively one. A stark contrast to the prince.”
“It is what makes them a good pair.” Inko smiled at Tensei before nodding at the empty tea cup. “Is there anything else you may need? I am afraid I do not have space for you to stay here, but the Uraraka’s should have an extra cot for you… If that is okay?”
Tensei quickly nodded before getting up, holding back a groan as his tired muscles were put to use once more. “Of course my lady, it is no trouble. Could you point me in the direction that their cottage lays?” Inko took him to the front, before pointing towards a pathway that led a little deeper into the woods.
“You will find them at the end of the fence. Their home just past the pond that the Asui’s use. Please rest well, and make sure to come by again soon. I am sure Izuku will have many questions.” Inko smiled as Tensei waved off, heading down the pathway towards the next clearing within the woods.
Inko stepped back into her home, sighing before settling on her small couch as she glanced around room. It had changed greatly since Hisashi left. Filled with drawings and paintings, little crafts that Izuku had created. She glanced at the small duel winged creature that Izuku had crafted from metal, with the help of his mentor Toshinori. She knew what it was, had glimpsed one before on one of her many trips to the south kingdom, but she knew Izuku had not seen one. The fact her son was able to mend and create a dragon from his own mind was startling, but it showed the promise that Toshinori had talked about when taking him as his successor.
The connection between him and Katsuki was startling, but was not unheard of. Their bond would only grow, and now since they were exchanging letters their trust in one another would only expand. Inko had faith in Mitsuki’s choice that this was the right decision. She knew it was better to keep Izuku away from the kingdom to live a normal life before he matured and would have to fulfill duties to his sworn kingdom. The time in which they would move to the kingdom rest with when the war would end, and when Izuku had his third heat.
The third heat marked the time in which the body settled and grew into its own. The scent glands would be fully developed, the scent secure and profound, and his body would finally have a cycle that he would follow until his alpha’s ruts and his own heats would match up. Inko grew red at the thoughts, shaking her head to rid the ideas of their future bonding from her mind. It would not do well to think over things that were far into the future.
She slowly made her way up the stairs and peered into the small upper level that was Izuku’s bedroom. She glanced at his desk, covered in papers and books. She spotted her young son hunched over a piece of paper, his hand moving in swift motions over the page. She paused in her walk when next to him, Izuku’s face full of concentration as he drew of the town and his new friends. Inko was first startled by Izuku’s natural talent at drawing and painting. Neither her nor her absent husband had any talent in art, but here was her dear one, doing full page illustrations at six.
“Izuku, dear, are you almost finished? It is about time for supper.”
At his small nod, he pushed away from the desk and held up the parchment that showed the full image of paints and writing. It showed him, his home and Inko. It showed of Uraraka’s daughter, the Asui’s oldest, and even the middle child of the Tokoyami’s. She spotted Toshinori in the bottom corner, his full filled out form instead of his hidden skeleton one. Inko nodded in approval and Izuku giggled as set it down and made his way with his mother towards the stairs.
“What shall we be having mama?”
“I was thinking of your favorite… Katsudon perhaps?”
“Oh please mama! That would make this day even more!” Izuku jumped off the second step from the floor and turned around to give her a large grin. Inko couldn’t deny her dear one of this simple pleasure.
Chapter 2 End
WARNING: This chapter holds A LOT OF INFORMATION. Especially on the Geography of the lands and all that is included within them. I hope it makes sense. I will be posting a side thing that will go into a series for this story about everything that is said and talked about in this chapter for easy access.
Enjoy Izuku learning a lot and Katsuki being confused about dynamics!~
At age ten Izuku had learned quite a bit about himself. He had a knack for analyzing situations and coming up with a new alternative. His mother and teacher, Toshinori, had both brought this to attention on multiple occasions over his short ten years. He wasn’t very outspoken, unless prompted upon, but he did have a strong talent for reading people and finding out their true intentions.
Toshinori, or All Might, as he prefered to be called when out of the safety of his alchemy shop, had said something along the lines of his being quite in tune with his omega. Izuku hadn’t thought much over that when first spoken, but as time grew on, Izuku saw little signs of what his teacher could have meant.
His omega spoke to him in a very different matter than a human would, and when he pressed his mother about this, she had only shook her head and said that betas were very different from alphas and omegas. He learned a lot through his omega almost as if through another sense, and when brought up to Katsuki in a recent letter, Katsuki admitted to a similar feeling he had with his alpha. His omega seemed to preen under the indication, and when questioned, the omega just claimed with a simple word, ‘mate.’
Izuku was still a novice in the subject. Being Katsuki’s mate had many different meanings that he was beginning to learn from his private tutor. She belonged to the Uraraka household and taught not only him but the other kids around his age that came from the South Kingdom to guard and support him and his mother.
He had both private and group lessons. The group lessons being dubbed a normal ‘schooling’ that he would have had to gone through with other kids his age in the grand school the central plaza held. Due to his royally tied name and who he would become someday, he was never enrolled into the grand school and thus, didn’t know many kids his age besides the ones that came from the South Kingdom.
His best friend, as he would call her, that held the same schooling year as himself was a beta named Ochako, from the Uraraka family and the niece of their teacher. She was from a direct line of female mages that had traveled to live in the South Kingdom many years ago. Her father was the main contractor one would go to to build within the South Kingdom. After moving to the Central Fairlands, he gave the title of contractor to his brother so he could stay with his wife and daughter. His wife, mother to Ochako, held the title of high doctorate and overlooked the main health bay the South Kingdom used. She was sent to the Central Fairlands as to teach and help Izuku once his heats set in and maturing of his scent glands began.
There was another beta girl, a Frogling by the name of Tsuyu from the Asui Household. The Frogling was the first of her kind that Izuku had ever met, and was fascinated by their features that their family held. Tsuyu was very respectable, and allowed many questions that Izuku had to be answered or dubbed ‘not appropriate enough’ to which Izuku would back off. Her mother and father were known to being able to control the swamps, both land and water magic held within Tsuyu’s family.
The third of his age, and another male was Fumikage of the Tokoyami family. They were another strange breed, and were called Crowlings. Fumikage was rather quiet, but quite intelligent during their schooling, and kept his distance from Izuku much to Izuku’s disappointment. He’d come to realize later that it was due to the fact that Fumikage was indeed an alpha, and had kept his distance due to their dynamics, and the royal title that Izuku held. The Tokoyami family held within them a few abilities, but their most formidable talent was the art of using the shadows to their advantage. Whether this be through travel, night watching, spying or even dare he say it, attempts at taking life, their family was a very dear one to the royal Bakugou line and Izuku was glad to have them on his side.
The normal schoolings had them listening to the history of the kingdoms. The surrounding areas had once been inhabited by the clans and tribes of distant past, and soon many formed together to create the kingdoms that they knew today. The Central Fairlands, Izuku’s ancestors’ home for many, many familia had once been known as just the celebratory fairgrounds. It was where many tribes came together in celebration of their young reaching rightful age and a huge festival was resurrected in their name. Many clans would form bonds and the celebrated found their mates during this time.
The name of Central Fairland became after it was established as the main place of fairs and festivals. Since it was in the center of all connecting kingdoms, it made sense to establish it as the central plaza for all - a neutral ground in which anyone was welcome. The neutrality also stems from the notion that it has no rightful ruler. The land in which its inhabitants lived on has long since been unclaimed by any rightful owner, so it’s people and land had all neutral and close ties to all surrounding clans. All Might, the legendary alchemist who resided in the center, was dubbed the chief of this area and held all the meetings needed with the other nations whenever they so chose. Though its within the center of all other nations, it is closest to the South Kingdom.
Izuku had learned much about not only his own home, but also the other’s as well, and his future home of the South Kingdom. Though it is called that by many, it’s true name was Sholeh, which stood for flame, a befitting name for this land with its location and weather. Sholeh had been ruled by the Bakugou family line for many, many generations. It was a wonder that Izuku would one day contribute to this rule, and provide for it with the next few generations in which the kingdom will depend on. He knew much about this land, especially the topics talked about in his schooling and his fellow students seemed to know it as well.
The East Kingdom, or as Emperor Todoroki preferred the Eastern Empire, was known as the land of Exhalo, or steam in their ancient language. The Todoroki line had ruled for many generations, almost as long as the Bakugou’s with their current leader being Emperor Enji ‘Endeavor’ Todoroki. When this was brought up in discussion, Izuku asked curiously why he had a third name, Emperor Endeavor. It was brought to his attention that many, when hitting the rightful age of puberty, are given a third name in which they could be known for in their work line. Much like Toshinori was known as All Might for his alchemy, many other’s held a name for their profession. This stemmed from the old traditional festivals once held in the fairgrounds long ago.
Supposedly, most in the Southern Kingdom do this as well, and Izuku wondered if he would also be gifted a name when he came of age. Listening to Fumikage talk, there was also a possibility of gaining a ‘new skin’ where you were to be inked with a certain marking that established your place within the kingdom and society. Izuku had never heard of such a thing, and the process sounded almost painful when Fumikage explained how his brother was gifted one when named as the next head of their family.
The traditions of each kingdom brought many questions and curiosities to Izuku, and he learned many of the Southern Kingdom’s traditions were also kept within the Eastern Kingdom. However, one such tradition was recently tossed away when the Eastern Kingdom had chosen their next successor, and it was startling to many that Endeavor had chosen his fifth child to take over the throne. Many speculated that it was favoritism, or even that Endeavor wanted more time to the crown, but alas nothing had been said yet by the royal family as to why this decision was made.
He had chosen his fifth child, Shouto Todoroki, an alpha with features resembling both parents fairly. His father came from a long line of fire users from the lava plains that was shared between the East and South, while his mother was once the crown Princess of the Northern Kingdom. She, like many others from her family, had been ice users and could wield the cold with a flick of the wrist. Izuku was captivated by the queen, her beauty unlike any he had seen around these parts.
The East and the North had once been a very tight alliance, until the fall of the old Northern King, Queen Todoroki’s father. Their relations had fallen after this time, and the new ruler gave no notion to continue communications to any of the other kingdoms. Not much is known about the current monarch, just that their power came to be with overthrowing the crown. The Northern Kingdom, or known as Albedo as it’s rightful name, had begun a war of surge towards the East, determined to claim farming lands to help their very cold climate. They had been fine for many years with their claim to land, so Izuku pondering largely over why the sudden need for more land and goods.
The last kingdom he had learned about brought many surprising truths to the surface. The Western Kingdom was known as Yerialla by the clans or Ingling, the land of shifting shapes, by the tribes. It had no true ruler, no line of kings or queens who had a line of family to follow in. Instead, their shift of powers jumped from clan to clan, tribe to tribe, every few years. This helped to keep the clans and tribes happy within these areas, and also provided to keep neutrality between the kingdoms as the new faces brought to light new ideas and trade options. This land was most known as the shapeshifter’s dwelling, where many Inglings lived for generations on end. This is where both Tsuyu’s Frogling and Fumikage’s Crowling family lines had originally stemmed from. These Inglings came from numerous tribes that lived in peace as animal shapeshifters who had attributes of the animal in which they were named.
Upon learning this from his teacher, he was also briefly told of another family from Tsuyu that once inhabited the Western Kingdom before leaving the land. The Kirishima family, a long line of generations that has now served under the Bakugou’s as a right hand aid, was the last of the three that stemmed from the west. Izuku remembered hearing about a Kirishima in one of Katsuki’s many letters to him. Something about a black-haired, red-eyed ‘doofus’ who grew on his nerves quite easily but was a hell of a fighter.
The main reason why these families fled from their old home towards the South was because of a racial war that broke out between the tribes and clans. The Ingling tribes were being attacked by the clans due to their looks and abilities. This war had begun shortly after Queen Bakugou had been matured, and the negotiations between the South and the tribes began to form a war alliance. This was how Queen Mitsuki was betrothed to her beloved King Masaru Bakugou. Masaru’s clan, as they had no Ingling connections, were actually against the slaughter of the Inglings, and fought to help defend them in the war. He was a young beta general who took command, and in favor of his bravery, he was gifted Mitsuki’s hand and the title of King to the South. With the South’s aid, the war was soon finished, clan leaders removed and replaced, and the Inglings were able to live freely once more. The Southern and Western Kingdoms were known to have the best relationship out of the four kingdoms that surrounded the central plaza.
Even though learning about the history of their land was interesting in its own right, he had other lessons as well. From math, to writing, to even science- which to be honest was his favorite if he had to pick one. He learned even more through All Might when given the chance to go to his shop and study under him.
His private lessons with his teacher happened three times a week. The others in his schooling year would leave, and she would stay to teach him further about what to expect in his next upcoming years. Not only as an omega, but as a consort to the hailing prince. Izuku was stunned by all that he was to know, and studied hard to make sure he was the perfect vessel for everything his title expected. The most time consuming of the lessons included etiquette training, in which Izuku was taught how to hold and use correctly utensils that looked the same. He was taught to sit straighter, speak clearer, and how to hold a conversation with others properly. He would never admit it, but Izuku didn’t very much like these lessons, and found himself often drifting away within his thoughts of Katsuki and a far away land…
Katsuki’s wyvern was named Eldrid, and what a fine wyvern she was. The green scaled ones were calmer by nature, preferred the earth and the shallower skies to the high above ones that the other breeds took to. Eldrid was a beauty in every sense a wyvern could be, and Katsuki took pride in how well his bond had formed with her.
Her aura often reminded him of how he felt when reading a letter from Izuku, and he cherished that warmth she brought him always. She was constantly at his side, never truly left the castle grounds like most of her kind did, almost as if she preferred his presence over the others. Katsuki was also happy to note that she and he could communicate. Since a young age, his mother mentioned that sometimes dragons and other breeds would be able to communicate with him - a trait that many in her family held. She too, was able to speak with some of the breeds, and often established connections with them in that way. Katsuki was fascinated with it all, but grew frustrated over the note that he could only communicate with Eldrid for now.
His powers and traits would only grow over time. “Be patient,” his mother always told him. And he tried, truly he did, but it was hard to focus on anything else besides the communication and the abilities he did not yet possess. He often expressed this anger in his letters to Izuku, who would comment on ways he could try to center himself. Things he had learned from both All Might, his alchemist teacher, and Uraraka the Doctorate Mage. Katsuki would never admit it to anyone, but he often was jealous of Izuku’s life outside the castle grounds. He had many rules and regulations he had to follow as the prince, things that didn’t quite yet apply to Izuku. Not to mention that he had begun training under the guidance of Master Kirishima to train his body and magical prowess, something Izuku admitted to not feeling within himself.
His mother, Mitsuki, claimed that some were born without the magical abilities, and didn’t seem to show any concern over the notion that Izuku may not wield one. Katsuki felt almost bad for his mate, as Izuku expressed seeing others all around him using their prowess, and yet, he had nothing to obtain throughout his days. Katsuki couldn’t imagine his days without the abilities his hands gave him with his magic. He felt powerful with it, and often could feel it coursing through his veins.
He shook his head from his thoughts, something that shouldn’t be dwelled on for long, and pushed himself away from the desk he now held within his room. He wrapped the letter tightly, marking it for his Deku and setting off down the long hallway that held the royal family quarters. Towards the end, he heard voices coming from his mother’s study, and placed himself in front of the door. He paused, hearing a voice he wasn’t familiar with discussing something with his mother and father. He peered into the crack of the door, settling his eyes on a large man sitting across from his parents, his expression showing anger yet his parents looked aloof.
“What do you mean he has a promised already? Is he not only ten seasons old!?”
Katsuki bit his lip to hold back the growl threatening in his throat. Was he talking about him…?
“Yes, he is, but he has had a promised since he was four. They have scent marked and done the proper procedure. You are six years too late I’m afraid.” His mother’s voice rang out in the room, her body relaxed besides his father.
“I thought we had previously discussed a possible courtship between him and one of my daughters. Did you forget?”
“We had this discussion back when I first took the throne, many, many years ago. Did you truly expect me to remember such a thing? Especially before I was even able to conceive and hold a child?”
“Yes! As queen I expected-”
“Watch your tone around my mate… She is still the queen of this land and deserves the tone of respect you will give her.”
“I… Yes, Masaru, I understand. I apologize Queen Bakugou.”
“It is no bother to me, but I do understand your frustration, but my decision on this matter is closed. Katsuki is betrothed to an omega who will one day-”
“A… An omega you say? An omegan as a queen?”
Katsuki’s brows furrowed in confusion and anger. The man’s tone held both his own emotions, and the look on his face showed his curiosity and anger at his mother’s words.
“Is there a problem?”
“But yes! An omega!? As acting queen!? You must know that for generations on end that there has never been an omegan queen to rule over the kingdoms! A beta yes, but most have been alphas - purebred royalties that served these kingdoms for ages! Surely you must have some doubts as to what this omegan can do?”
His mother seemed to ponder over the man’s words, and Katsuki grew nervous over what she might say. Had she changed her mind? Would his Deku be casted off as nothing more than an omega and he’d be wed to some other? What was the difference between an omega to a beta or alpha anyway? This man spoke of such that he must believe omegas were the lowliest of the genders…
Before he could contemplate on it more, his hand shook at his side, and the door swung slightly open, gaining the attention of the adults. Katsuki looked on in slight fright as his mother glanced him over before smiling. “Ah, Katsuki, my son, come here.”
The older gentleman sat up straighter, and he seemed to take in Katsuki’s height and body mass with a critical eye. Katsuki came over to his mother and held out his written letter. “I have another one for Deku.”
“Ah yes, you have been writing quite a lot lately.” His mother took the letter with a fond smile before motioning with her head to the other gentleman. “Let me introduce you. Katsuki, this is one of the chiefs of a clan held within the Western Kingdom, where your father is from. His name is Chief Crimson. He comes from a clan tightly tied with the Kirishima line who serves under us.”
The man bowed his head and held out his hand. Katsuki stood up tall and walked over, taking his much larger hand in his own and shaking it with as much strength as he could muster. “Pleasure.”
“The pleasure is all mine, Prince Bakugou.” Chief Crimson nodded his head as he released Katsuki’s hand. “A strong grip is always a good sign for an alpha as young as you.” His eyes looked him over once more and Katsuki backed up to stand between his parents. “Has he begun to smell yet?”
“It seems that his alpha allows it from time to time, but he has not gained the ability quite yet. We expect a few more years for his glands and scent to grow before he may begin his cycles.” His father spoke this time, and Katsuki glanced at him over his shoulder before nodding at the letter still in his mother’s hands.
“May I go?” Katsuki wanted to leave this room. The older gentleman held over him an air of curiosity and it was all directed towards him. It left him flustered and he didn’t like the tense feeling within his shoulders. “I want to make sure my letter reaches Iida before they leave.”
Mitsuki nodded and handed back the letter, her hand coming to cup his cheek before she smiled softly at him. “Go then. You’re dismissed.”
Katsuki walked away from the adults, but he paused in the doorway to glance at the man once more. “Also, Chief…”
His parents and Chief Crimson watched him closely. He could sense his parent’s tensing in their seats. He held back a smirk as he knew they were expecting an outburst. He was quite known for them nowadays.
“Y-yes, Prince Bakugou?”
“Don’t ever talk of my mate that way again, or I’ll be forced to take great action.” Katsuki lifted up his nose and let out a stream of steam from his prowess. “My omega will become the greatest ruler along my side. One you all will be forced to acknowledge as the greatest pairing in the five kingdoms.”
With that, Katsuki turned and strode down the hallway. His head still held high.
Izuku learns a lot more about himself and meets a new face, and Katsuki goes through an important ceremony.
Sorry that Katsuki's part is a lot shorter than Izuku's - but it'll make sense soon!~ <3
At thirteen years, Izuku began to notice the looks he was given. He had aged well, from what his mother stated to him, and Doctorate Uraraka commented on his beauty every time he went in for his monthly check in. He thought it odd, how his aging would gain attraction from others within the fairlands. He had been told numerous times by Ochako that he was beautiful, a rarity in every sense, but he didn’t quite understand what that meant for him.
Others hadn’t been told of his consort status, though words had traveled of the pendant that was found around his neck when he hadn’t thought to hide it. His mother had to remind him, tucking the pendant away within his shirt to conceal it from prying eyes. Izuku didn’t understand the importance, but it made him feel almost as if he had to hide his relationship towards Katsuki.
It concerned him. The thought of hiding Katsuki from the others. He expressed this towards his mother, and Inko only shook her head saying others wouldn’t understand now. He had to be patient.
“Time will tell, my dear one.” Inko placed her hand on his cheek, their heights equal now with his growth spurt over the last few months. She ruffled his hair and her eyes crinkled at the ends with her large smile. “You have grown so much over these passing seasons… To think that soon you might be…” Inko paused in her words, and she shook her head, walking back a few steps to gain some distance between them.
“Mom…?” Izuku raised an eyebrow towards her, trying to press on before a knock at their door was heard.
“Ah! That must be your escort to Uraraka’s. Are you ready?” Inko looked at Izuku, her face seldom before his nod gave her approval of opening the door.
“Hello Lady Inko! I am here to grab Izuku!” Ochako stood there alongside Tsuyu who both gave him large smiles. Izuku grinned back, grabbing his bag and slinging it over his shoulder. “Ready?”
“Yes. I will be back mother. I have studies with Toshinori-san before my return, so I will be a bit later than usual.” Izuku looked at his mother, her smile soft as she looked him over. She reached forward, the pendant around his neck shining in her touch.
“Yes, be careful my dear one. I will see you soon.” She took the pendant and placed it under his shirt, patting the spot twice before Izuku turned to leave.
Once outside, Ochako took his arm alongside Tsuyu’s as they set off down the worn path. He didn’t understand why he needed an escort, since no one came over to their side of the wooded pathways and homes, but he could see the fear in his mother’s eyes whenever he left without one. He supposed maybe it had to do with his consort status, but he was never given an outright answer than she was just nervous for his safety.
Izuku peered around them, the pathways littered with different shapes of sunlight as the trees moved in the gentle breeze. The forming shadows seemed to fight against the sunlight for the most ground cover, reminding Izuku of the current ongoing war just to the northeast to them. It struck him as ironic for which way his thoughts were heading, and before he knew it, he was facing Doctorate Uraraka.
She was a lovely woman, and his main health overseer. Today marked his half birth towards his fourteenth year, an important year as his maturing was reaching a stabilizing level. The doctorate had specified that this appointment maybe longer than normal, and quite different from the check ups he had each month. Izuku gulped in nerves, his eyes looking around seeing Ochako and Tsuyu had already gone.
“Don’t be nervous dear one, it shall be painless.”
“You have told me so. I am just curious to what this appointment holds.”
“I’m afraid you might grow embarrassed with what I need to inspect, but atlas, with your age it is important to your health and status. So, shall we start?”
Izuku could only nod as he sat upon the low bench provided. She did her normal process of overseeing his eyes, mouth, teeth, ears and muscle reflexes. She then insisted on him lying back, something new to him, and he raised his shirt up over his stomach where she placed her hands upon his taunt flesh.
“You will feel a slight tingle, but do not worry, this normal. I will be using my mage abilities to view within you.”
Before Izuku could respond he felt a warmth spread across his abdomen and a tingle just as she said. A low humming noise came from the doctorate, and he could only look upon her face to see any signs of what she maybe seeing. Her warm eyes were closed, clearly in focus and Izuku could only just hold his breath before her hands were removed.
“You are in good health, and it seems that your womb is beginning to take shape. Have you bled yet, do you know?”
Izuku could only look on in horror at her words. Womb? Had he bled? What did-?
Suddenly his mind reeled back to the appointment that took place on his thirteenth celebration. A notion sent from the Bakugou’s that claimed they wished to have Izuku back within the castle after his third heat cycle. He knew what a heat endured, and how his body had begun to change over the past few months to accommodate the possibility of children in the future.
A quick shake of his head had Doctorate Uraraka laughing. “It is nothing to fear dear one, it is common in all females and male omegans.”
Izuku pondered before looking up. “Even female alphas?”
At her smile and nod, Izuku relaxed as she explained. “You see, male omegans and female alphas have both sets of genders within their bodies. Each are able to both conceive and impregnate if needed. However, female alphas have it much harder to conceive than to impregnate, and the opposite applies to you male omegas. I hope that makes some sense to this importance of my questions.”
Izuku nodded and looked down at his lap. “So the bleeding…?”
“A common occurrence in everyone who is able to birth children. Nothing to fear. My dear Ochako has already begun them. I have for many, many seasons, and I am sure your own mother has as well, dear one.” Her smile lightened up the dark hold on Izuku’s stomach and he nodded his understanding.
“Now there is just one more thing to discuss. Your heat cycles will begin soon. I can tell from the scan within your body and the production of your scent glands as they have started to puff.” Izuku glanced at his wrists, taking note in the slightly raised skin. It was hardly noticeable, especially when he wore his gloves while out of his home. He was about to question this before she raised a slim hand to pause his words. “No fear, normal once more. Your scent glands are located on both wrists, both of the gunktures between your neck and shoulder, and finally the inside of your thighs. You have noticed these?”
Izuku’s mouth ran dry and he nodded, his words halting in his throat with the embarrassment of her spoken ones.
“Dear one, this is nothing to fret over. But I must say I have one more examination to do before you are free from me.” Izuku looked up from his lap to peer at his doctorate. She held up a loose gown, the material thin and nearly translucent as if it was made of thin canvas. “I need you to wear this and I will have to inspect your body.”
Izuku’s face flamed in realization.
Izuku muttered to himself as he left Doctorate Uraraka’s household. His embarrassment had dwindled down to near existent as she explained through the whole process that this would only have to happen again after his first heat. It was a simple procedure everyone went through when reaching maturity. Nothing to be nervous over, especially with the same words coming from Ochako and Tsuyu. Everyone was very reassuring to him. He was very thankful for them all.
He had just entered the plaza when he felt the eyes on him once more. He glanced over his shoulder to see a couple boys, a few seasons older than himself, watching him closely as they tried to be discreet. Izuku huffed out in annoyance as he quickened his pace towards All Might’s workshop. He had just reached the door when he felt his omega preen under a new attention and his mind was warped in her perspective. Izuku glanced in the direction she was motioning towards, and his eyes traveled to meet dual-colored ones within the shop’s windows. Izuku raised a brow in question, his question going unanswered as his omega grew quiet.
Izuku could only shrug, opening the door and stepping within the familiar air and aura of his teacher’s workshop. Izuku glanced at the dual-eyed and haired male in the corner cautiously before he nodded at All Might who had paused his own muttering to smile towards Izuku.
“Ah! My young Midoriya! How has your day been so far?” All Might’s booming voice seemed to draw the dual-haired male’s eyes away from him to focus on the other much larger male.
“It has been well! Thank you! Is there anything for me to do?” All Might grinned at Izuku’s answer before his hand swept over a large, dull sword that was placed onto the workbench within the main area. This was uncommon, normally this bench was used for meer easy fixes that took barely any time. This seemed to be a commission piece. Izuku pondered over it before his eyes once more settled over the male in the corner.
“Ah yes! My apologies! I forgot to introduce you. Midoriya my boy, this is Prince Shouto Todoroki from the Eastern Empire! He is the one who we shall be carving the sword for.
Izuku’s eyes widened as he glanced from the sword to the now known Prince. His attire should have told him right away he was royalty, and the get-up was very much in the eastern style of clothing. He felt his face flush in humiliation.
“My-my apologies Prince Todoroki! I did not recognize you!” Izuku began to dip his body in a bow before All Might’s paused him. His grip was tight on his shoulder and Izuku looked up in confusion just as the Prince did. “All Might why-?”
The grip tightened, not enough to pain him, but enough to keep him quiet before All Might leaned down to whisper within his ear. “It is never right for a future consort to bow to another alpha, especially one of other royalty. Remember this Izuku, it is very important to not insult your own promised.”
Izuku’s face flamed as he glanced at the ground. He had forgotten. Had almost shamed his betrothed in such a way. He shook his head before facing back at the boy who looked on with interest at the two of them.
“Anyway my boy, his commission piece is to engrave the sword with the etching needed for the future ruler of the empire. Not only that, but we will be transforming the sword into something desirable, especially for a prince.” All Might’s large grin had Izuku nodding and placing his hands over the sword to feel out the metal and unblemished handle.
“Do we have ideas?”
Another voice spoke, breaking Izuku out of his interest in the sword. “Yes. I have the diagrams here, if you will.” Izuku glanced at the prince, his voice fairly low but calm within the shop. It carried to where it was needed. Izuku stepped forward to meet the Prince at the shop counter, the diagrams laid out before him. It showed an intricate design, all needing an alchemist touch to turn the runes to life and to withhold the powers it will need to emulate. Izuku turned the pages, whistling as he caught both sides of the swords to be different.
“Fire and Ice? You can wield both?”
The Prince seemed to pause, his eyes held scrutiny, tracing over Izuku before a small sigh left his lips. “Hai. It is important to have both. The design within the handle as well.” Izuku nodded as he moved his hand over the papers and smiled.
“It can be done.”
“Oh-ho! And who is this All Might? You did not provide that you had a successor within your ranks!” Another loud voice filled the shop just as a large figure blocked the doorway light. Izuku looked up from the plans, seeing the prince tense at the voice before turning to acknowledge the other within the room.
“Ah, Emperor Endeavor. The prince here had told me you would also be in attendance.” All Might placed himself behind Izuku, his hand coming to rest over the back of his neck. A normal occurrence, but Izuku couldn’t help but feel as All Might ran his wrist over his scent glands that had him slightly gasping in shock. That isn’t…. It wasn’t appropriate! Izuku turned to glare at All Might but the face of his mentor had him stopping his words.
That face… It was too serious.
There was no real smile, a strained one, but one that did not belong on his mentor’s face. Clearly the Emperor brought a sense of dread to his mentor.
Izuku turned to face the Emperor, his cold eyes glancing down at Izuku now as he let out a startled gasp a the look he was given. “H-hello there. My name is Izuku Midoriya. I am-”
“He is my successor to my alchemy knowledge and the one who will be taking care of young Prince Todoroki’s sword runes.”
“I see! He looks to be rather young, but he must be around Shouto’s age here.” The emperor peered all over Izuku, his eyes taking in his form before stepping closer. “You must have some talent if All Might thinks you are proper enough to form my son’s sacred sword.” His eyes grew sharp, looking from All Might to Izuku before puffing out his chest and crossing his arms over it.
“He has much to still learn, but he is very bright for his age. You have no fear for the final production of the sword. It is in good hands.” All Might spoke out, before turning to the prince. “We shall have it done in a year’s time.” All Might gave him his traditional smile, and the prince seemed to relax before looking at Izuku once more.
“Thank you for your help, young alchemist. I shall see you again.” Shouto nodded his head before facing his father and the two of them walked out. They both paused at the door, glancing once more over the forms of Izuku and All Might, their eyes taking a similar interest in the young boy before stepping out and being immediately flanked by guards who Izuku hadn’t seen before.
Izuku stepped away from All Might immediately, his hand reaching for his hidden pendant and scrubbing at his neck to get All Might’s scent away from him. “Why would you do that!? You know it is most improper to mark someone without their permission!”
“I am sorry my boy… But it had to be done.” All Might sat down at a chair, his head falling into his hands as he loudly sighed. “He would have known immediately what you were. Your scent is growing. It was strong today. I feared for the interest that Emperor Endeavor would have given you finding out what you are.”
“Am I really so special that my omegan scent would be so desired?” Izuku looked up from his pendant, forcing his eyes on All Might. “I don’t understand how they were here in the first place. Is there not a war?”
“I see you aren’t informed about the rarity that you are, but atlas, yes, you have reason to draw that question.” All Might stood up from his chair, making his way over towards the windows and closing the shop. He drew the blinds before his cloak shifted and his lanky form was revealed. Izuku was never used to seeing him transform right in front of him, his aura shifting from the large, strong form to his emancipated, lanky form he was more comfortable in. Izuku didn’t fully understand it, but it had to do with his mysteries within the alchemy he performed.
Izuku was drawn out of his thoughts as All Might motioned towards the back. “Come here, young lad. We have much to talk about.” He settled on the stools around the workbench and motioned to the seat across from him. Izuku sat and gave his attention to his mentor.
“The war has been going on for many, many years now. While it has decreased in size, the negotiations are still being held to try and gain a compromise to the reason behind the war. Emperor Endeavor is able to freely roam from the nations, having a better neutrality with the others than the north does. However, it has only been recent that he has been able to leave the war torn area to his top general with knowing the war fronts will hold without his oversee. He has to prepare his own son, Prince Shouto, for when he comes of age and is coronated as the Crown Prince of the East.”
Izuku nodded. It made sense, knowing that the war hadn’t been as intense the recent years. There was even travel allowed towards the east once again. The pathways leading towards them now open, but war tore them apart and the trip to the southern and eastern areas still took much longer than it had before.
“Now that you understand how they got here, it is important to tell you about why I feared for them to find you as an omegan.” Izuku glanced up from his lap, All Might’s face very serious as they locked eyes.
“You… feared for me?”
His nod had Izuku’s spine tingling as he sat up straighter.
“Izuku, my boy, a male omega is the highest of all rarities. The fact that you are now secreting your scent will only attract more attention. That pendant around your neck can only do so much. An unbonded omega is a very delectable scent, and you have to be more careful than most with your rarity status.”
“But, why am I a rarity? Why is no one else?”
“My boy, a male omegan only appears every once in a generation. You are the first one I have met in all my life. You are desired for not only as my successor to the alchemy I have taught you, but also with being a male who is more easily able to conceive and bear a child long term over a female alpha and beta. You, my dear boy, have to protect yourself so you aren’t taken for your status as a rarity.”
“How… How can I protect myself All Might? I still have a lot to learn and I…” Izuku stopped stammering as All Might placed a hand on his shoulder and gave him his large, knowing smile.
“Shh my boy, for that is why I am here!”
Katsuki grinned from his kneeling position up at his mother. Her right hand was placed upon his left shoulder, still red from the fresh black ink that now showed his worth. He stood up at her insistence, and he bowed towards her before stepping off to her side besides his father. His smirk didn’t diminish as he glanced around the small room at his comrades, those who will be his leading chiefs when he comes of age to take over the throne.
Eijirou Kirishima, hardening shapeshifter, mouth full of sharp teeth, and fellow alpha with a heart of gold. He had been through the maturity ceremony already. His black hair dyed a brilliant red and ink placed across his body. Denki Kaminari, lightning user, great negotiator and yellow-haired beta. His hair had been done with a black lightning symbol, common within his family line. Mina Ashido, beta acid user, pink flesh with a lighter pink hair color, and horns to adorn her head. Her body was able to morph, and often her flesh would show scales in the style of a leopards print. The last being Hanta Sero, beta strap user, master of multiple forms of weapons and crafter. The previous two had not yet gone through the ceremony, but will be in months time.
His mother patted his shoulder, symbolizing he was free to go and walked off with the others behind him. He laughed out loud, his eyes glancing at the black ink along his shoulder in pride. His eyes followed along the walls of all those who were present. Many leaders, with their families all placed around them. He had been told by his mother about the numerous amount of times families had come forward to propose a betrothal to him. Considering he was already promised, his mother had turned them all down, but it didn’t lesson the pride and fulfillment that Katsuki felt from hearing he was so dearly wanted.
He continued down the hallway towards his own room. His comrades nodding off their support and heading in opposite directions towards their own homes within the grounds. Katsuki walked passed Tenya Iida, the other boy shooting up in height recently and made Katsuki upset that he had not grown as much just yet. Tenya bowed towards him in respect before holding out a letter towards Katsuki.
He took the letter within his hand, nodding at Tenya and brush past into his own room. He tossed the letter onto his desk before making his way towards his bed, making a mental note to write back to his betrothed later.
He missed the other two letters stacked on his desk - unopened and never responded to.
The Queen takes charge, Katsuki is in denial and Izuku has a deep scare.
Took a little break from writing. Been having tough times this past few weeks but luckily getting through it !
“Katsuki… Have you received any letters from the Midoriya’s recently?”
Katsuki’s breath stuttered as he batted away the large dummy he was pounding on. His mother hovered over the edge of the training field, her eyes following him as he went over to a water trench to drink and wipe his face.
“I haven’t checked the last letter he sent me. It came about…” Katsuki paused, his face scrunching in thought as he glanced over his shoulder towards the queen.
“About a month…” His mother finished for him, her eyes hard as she glanced down at the letter in her hand. A scowl formed on her face and she glared at her son. “You’ve been unresponsive. Not that it is any business of mine to what you send or say to your betrothed, but leaving him unanswered is not… ideal for the future.” She paused in her walk down the short stairs towards the field and shook her head at the letter in her hand.
Katsuki glared at his mother, his eyes hard as his hands gripped the edge of the water trench. “Why does it matter? It was a childish indulgence of mine. I’ve grown, the letters became boring.” Katsuki stood up and crossed his arms over his well developed chest. “Besides, after the last three unanswered letters he has stopped writing himself.”
“It matters because he is to be the other half of you someday, Katsuki. Izuku matters! You must understand that-”
“Understand what!? That my life was chosen for me since my birth? Mother you are dictating how I live my life, whether I write to Deku or not is my decision. It won’t affect that we will be married or not.”
His mother sighed and rubbed her temples. “But it will affect how well the two of you will live and thrive with one another. Don’t you see that? You are already fifteen seasons old Katsuki. Soon Izuku will be within the castle walls and you two will live by one another. Your communication is important.”
Katsuki just shook his head and glared over towards his mother. He glanced her up and down before scoffing and heading towards the stairwell leading to his chambers. “We will be fine. We got along well as children, I doubt either of us have changed much.” He walked off, him disappearing from his mother’s view as she stayed in place.
“Oh Katsuki… If only you knew my dear child.” She placed a hand over her cheek and re-read the letter from Inko.”
My apologies for writing out of term, but Izuku has made it known to me that Katsuki and he have stopped sending letters. After the third unanswered, it seems Izuku, my dear one, has given up continuing to write.
There are many things I need to address towards you for your knowledge. Izuku has had his first heat, and his scent has stabilized to the point that he is now able to cover it with the blockers that the Doctorate has provided.
His first heat was… intense, to say the least. Will it always be like that? I feel horrible for my child to hear him in such pain, and there is no way for me to help him. Doctorate has stated that it won’t be as bad in the future heats, but I still worry for him dearly.
I also need to tell you about the looks and… interest he has been receiving. Toshinori has come to me and expressed his own concern for the many admirers he has gained. I worry for his safety when he travels alone. He has already come home with scrapes and bruises, which I know are not just from the excuses he claims of falling or losing his way.
The thing that troubles me the most is the interest the Emperor has put forth onto him. Seems as if Izuku is working diligently on something for the prince of the east and they have spent many hours putting the runes onto the sword of the next heir. Toshinori fears that the Emperor has his sites to bring Izuku to the east, what for… We are not entirely sure. Toshinori believes it maybe for the simple fact that he is a strong alchemist at just fifteen seasons, but I fear that his son and maybe even himself have somehow gained the knowledge that my dear son is not just some simple beta we portray him to be…
I know it is ill wise to wish it, but I do hope his next heat appears soon. I fear for his safety, and wish him to be within the safe castle walls. I hope to see your lovely family soon, my dear queen Mitsuki.
“I fear for him as well, dearest Inko.” Mitsuki placed the letter against her chest and sighed. She headed off down the staircase to the left of her, towards the barracks and opening to the small village that houses the Queen’s chairmen. She paced herself quickly, giving way to the small path laid out before her before she paused in front of the Iida household.
She briskly knocked, waited for the door to open before the youngest Iida was shown. His eyes grew comically wide as he realized who she was and he bowed away, swinging the door open with a force and yelling for his parents.
“My queen! To what do we owe the pleasure of this visit?” The household lead of the Iida house stood up from his position, his eyes wide in curiosity as his wife stood by his side.
“I’m afraid I am in need of your assistance. There has been an issue brought to my attention from my son’s betrothed, and I ask to lend yourselves once more to this journey.” Mitsuki bowed her head, her hands tight at her sides. “Can I count on you?”
“What is it my queen? You may ask anything of us, we will gladly help.” Tensei Iida stepped forth, his attention on the queen. Tenya stood back from them, his eyes watching each of them closely. He had never been this close to the queen before, and the aura radiating from her was aflame! He had never felt such raw power before, minus in the face of her own son when they had met previously.
“I ask if you would be willing to head to the Central Fairlands, and help to guide the Midoriya’s and fellow families back here towards the south. I’m afraid however, that Katsuki’s promised cannot yet return to the kingdom until his third heat cycle, so it maybe a long journey for you all.” Mitsuki knew she was asking too much of this family, but they were the ones who she trusted the most. All the men were betas and had large skills in their reputar. All five of their sons had the same speed and strength to carry out her will, and the father was no different. Their mother, a beautiful omegan female stood as a beacon for their homes, and she knew it would be much to take her from her own home.
But she didn’t know where else to turn.
She watched, nerves running amuck as the father turned to glance at his oldest. Tensei seemed to have already made up his mind, and the other three middle children had stood at the ready since she first proposed this. The father turned back towards her then, a steely look to his eyes and Mitsuki lost the hold on the breath she was gathering in her chest.
“We will gladly do as you ask of us, my queen. When shall we prepare to leave?”
“I know it is nearing evening now, so please, rest for tonight. Tomorrow, please come to the castle and we will discuss where you shall all stay during the remainder of the dear one’s heat cycles. There is a little port town to the southeastern area, just where the lava fields end and meet the ocean’s beginning.” Mitsuki then bowed her head deeply, her chest tight as she fought to control her own emotions. “Iida family… I cannot thank you enough for your loyalty to my crown. I am indebted to you.”
It was Tensei who spoke up, stepping forward and offering his own bow. “Nonsense my queen. The dear one has become a treasured one to myself, and I would have offered to go alone if my father would have prohibited the travel for us all. Deku will be left in great hands.”
She smiled, her head high once more as she glanced to each of them within the room. “I know they will be. Thank you again.” She bowed once more, leaving after shaking hands with the Iida lead and Tensei.
She took several steps away from the household before she slumped her shoulders. This was taxing on her, but she knew it would be worth it. She had to provide the protection she had promised to Inko in keeping her son safe.
And until he was solely safe within the palace walls, she would do anything for them both.
Izuku worked tirelessly on the sword in front of him. The runes were coming along nicely, and Toshinori had given him high praises for the intricate work he was inscribing onto both sides. Even Prince Shouto gave him silent acknowledgment, that brought pride to Izuku’s hard work.
The praises were well received, and Izuku enjoyed the prince’s company whenever he made the trip to see how the sword was coming along. But that did not give Izuku comfort, as the stares he received from the prince were just as concerning as the ones he got from his fellow fairlanders. Not to mention when his father, Emperor Endeavor also came along…
It was nerve wracking to work just under his mentor’s eyes, but to work under an emperor’s? Now that gave him unsteady hands. He often received retorts, or even small grunts of approval from the emperor, and whenever their questions became too noisy, even for Izuku’s tastes, Toshinori would send him off into the back room, granting him reprieve from the constant onslaught.
He was nearly finished, his tasks on the sword nearly complete as the long process was in its final stages. He placed his hands over the sword, focusing his attention to the intricate details and saying a few words under his breath. The large circle drawn in ink under the sword began to glow, its own runes drawing light to itself as it transferred the power into the sword. Izuku sucked in a deep breath, his arms aching as they held still to push the power within the runes into a new recipient.
He nearly collapsed as the ink from the pages faded away, and the sword now glowed with the same light that was once on the paper. He wiped his brow, his arms aching from the strain as he placed the sword onto the holder he had created for this very reason. The sword’s length would be too hot to touch for a few days, and the constructed holder was made to just hold the girth from the handle. He was proud of his work, and he slipped off his gloves to approach the main room when he heard voices.
He paused, his ear pressing against the door as he glanced through a small crack within the wall. His eyes locked onto All Might, his body large and imposing as Emperor Endeavor looked up at him. They both had their arms crossed over their broad chests, and the prince looked sourly out of place as he glanced from his father to Izuku’s mentor.
“What do you mean by that? It would be an honor for him to come to the Eastern Empire to work as the sole alchemist. Plus, he would be bound to one of my son’s. He would be well respected there.” The emperor looked hard at All Might, his teeth gritting from the pressure he was providing.
“And I am telling you that that is not my decision to decide. He maybe my apprentice, but it is not my right to give him away to another kingdom. He has a mother, and many people who care about him elsewhere. I cannot grant it.” All Might seemed to have sighed too many times, his smile straining at the conversation. Izuku could only guess they were talking about him.
“He would be provided with it all. His mother can come as well. He would want for nothing! He may not ever become ruler of my realm, but being bound to the royal family will have its perks! I can promise you!”
“Emperor Endeavor, I have said it many times before, I cannot give permission. Izuku is not mine to give.” All Might’s smile faded completely, and Izuku realized with a start this was not the first time this conversation had been said. He bit his thumb nail in nerves, his mind reeling from the information.
Why did Emperor Endeavor want him? He knew he was desirable, being the sole accessor to All Might’s alchemy works was indeed a just cause, but he was also talking about bounding him to another… To another Todoroki? To become a royalty?
Izuku’s eyes hardened as he grabbed at his shirt’s collar, lifting the pendant from its resting place on his neck. His hand tightened on the pendant, his thoughts turning towards the one he was promised to.
Katsuki had given him no attention since they were thirteen. That had been two full seasons ago, and they were nearing their sixteenth year. He understood becoming busy, he was indeed a prince, and they had duties that outranked even Izuku’s own, but to not respond to any letters he had sent in the past two years?
Izuku had grown tired of it. Tired of chasing after one that for some reason no longer had interest in him. Tired of being left behind and undesired by the one who should be desiring him. Tired of the constant strain placed on him to hide himself away and to protect himself.
He gripped the pendant tightly, grabbing his bag from the selves and pushing open the door, interrupting whatever it was the emperor was going to say next.
“All Might, the sword’s runes have been transferred successfully. I will be heading home now.” Izuku grabbed his coat from the nearby stand, his hands letting go of the pendant and glancing at the prince and his father. “Emperor Endeavor. Prince Shouto.” His nodded his head once and placed his bag over his shoulder. “The sword should be ready for show in two day’s time. I promise it will be to your liking.” Izuku glanced up at his mentor, Toshinori’s face pale as he seemed to be glancing at Izuku’s pendant out on show.
Yes, he realized this was a gamble, to place the pendant on display. To showcase him having ties to the southern kingdom much deeper than a normal civilian would. He smiled at his mentor, his head nodding in thanks as he stepped towards the door. “I will see you tomorrow All Might.”
Just as his hands reached for the door he felt a sharp spike in the temperature around him. Izuku’s eyes widened as he felt the growl rumbling from the Emperor’s chest more than heard it. Izuku held his ground, his spine tingling with the want to show off his neck in submission, but he knew he couldn’t. No.
They couldn’t know he was a rarity. That would spell even more trouble for him.
“You… Is this why you have not granted him to me All Might? Because he is already loyal to another kingdom!?” The emperor’s voice boomed in the small workshop, and Izuku flinched away from the door, his back pressing against it as he held back a whimper.
“Now Emperor I can explain-”
“No! This is preposterous! How dare you not say anything!? And if he’s from the southern kingdom why in the world is he within the Central Fairlands!? How could you allow one who has loyalty to another kingdom work on my son’s sword! What if he has staged some kind of accident to occur within the sword!? What if he is here solely to ruin the-”
“I would never harm another human being if that is what you are accusing me of, Emperor Endeavor.” Izuku’s eyes were hard, his knuckles white as he held his best glare towards the imposing figure. “The prince has become a good friend in these recent visits, I could never imagine ruining his chances of life for some idea to bid your kingdom against the south’s. My pendant maybe from the south, but my loyalties lie with my mentor until my duty is called upon me to return to the southern kingdom.”
“You are… promised to another then?” It was the prince this time, who spoke up. Izuku turned his attention to Shouto, who was looking him over with curiosity in his gaze. “If I may ask… To whom?”
Izuku couldn’t help but shiver at his look. A prince like him, handsome and dashing as a prince should be, had given Izuku the attention he wanted over the last few years. The attention his own alpha should have casted his way but had not. The prince of the Eastern Empire was someone anyone would be lucky to have as their alpha, and there was moments were Izuku wished to tell him that he was a rarity, that if Prince Shouto should wish he could be his…
But Izuku’s heart always wavered. He knew his heart belonged to Katsuki, that his omega craved the alpha’s attention. His heart would never truly belong to Shouto, his attention nice but never enough for what his omega craved.
The blonde had ruined him.
Izuku shook his head from his daze, and looked once more into Shouto’s dual-colored eyes. “I am not at liberty to say.”
Shouto nodded, his eyes leaving Izuku’s for a second before returning. “Then, it must be someone from the Queen’s court. It could not be her son, as he is an alpha, and you a beta. No heir would come from it.” Shouto walked from his father’s side and near Izuku, his eyes glancing down at the pendant before lightly touching it with his fingertip. “Unless of course, you are hiding the fact that you may be a rarity.”
He had whispered the last line, only for Izuku’s ears and it made his face heat up at being caught. Izuku held his breath as Shouto’s eyes looked into his. His sharp eyes taking in his shaking form. Shouto gave him a small smile, glancing away and then stepping back.
“Father, I think we shall return in a few days time yes? Until then, Master All Might.” Shouto gave a slight bow then nodded towards Izuku. “Apprentice Midoriya. It’s been a pleasure.”
Emperor Endeavor seemed to gasp in a deep breath, his face still red before following Shouto out of the shop. His glare never left Izuku’s face, but he huffed out a prompt goodbye as he stepped from the shop.
Izuku grasped his pendant, sliding down the doorway and grabbing his unruly hair in attempt to calm himself. He barely heard Toshinori’s retorts or words, his mind muddled over what had just occurred between him and the prince.
Prince Shouto knew. He must know. But how? Izuku had been so careful! He had worn the pendant everyday! He had rubbed it against his glands at every moment he could! Was he that obvious?
Was he doomed to a life on the run until his return to the castle…? Would Prince Shouto appear with his father in two days time to take him away, to be bound to another alpha and never to see his alchemy works again? He wasn’t blind to know that a rarity was seen as something to be kept away, treasured and only visible when the time came to be shown. He knew his best bet to have a normal life where he could use his alchemy and abilities to his liking was through the Bakugou’s…
Was Prince Shouto the type to take that away from him…?
Izuku groaned as he held his head tightly, his body shaking with a silent sob as Toshinori closed the shop around him.