Izuku Midoriya was destined for greatness, or so the royal advisors told him.
He was the only child of the living legend of a king, King Toshinori, also known as King All Might. Toshinori was the symbol of peace for not just his own kingdom, but the rest of the realm as well. And as his only son, crowned prince and heir to the throne, Izuku was destined to follow in his father's footsteps.
But right now, at sixteen years old and with his father in perfect health, Izuku was just a bored teenager at a fancy party. His only saving grace was his best friend, Shouto Todoroki, the youngest son of the most powerful family in the kingdom (after the royal family, of course). The two sat at a table by themselves and people watched, commenting on certain observations.
"Ah, Fuyumi is being asked to dance by another man," Izuku pointed out, giving a subtle nod towards Shouto's older sister trying to turn down the advances of yet another pushy man.
"How pitiable; the man is nearly twice her age. Do they know that she's only twenty two?" Shouto scoffed.
"I'd say three times her age, and that's probably why they pursue her," Izuku commented. "A pretty young thing that also happens to be the only daughter of the Todoroki family?"
"Politically, she is a desirable candidate for a wife. She's also my sister, though, and if I don't strangle the next suitor who harasses her, then Natsuo certainly will," Shouto added, gesturing to where his older brother was glaring daggers at the current suitor from where he was dancing with his girlfriend. Izuku put a hand to his mouth to hide his giggles.
"Don't worry, Shouto. If it comes to it, I've got your back in a fight," Izuku grinned.
Suddenly, a familiar voice spoke up behind them. "Young Shouto, I kindly request that you do not start any fights at my party."
Both boys started, whipping around in their seats to see King All Might behind them. "I assure you, I would never actually do such a thing," Shouto responded, voice calm but heterochromic eyes betraying his slight panic.
Izuku put his hands up in surrender, adding in quickly, "yeah, Dad, we were just playing around! No actual fights will be happening, we swear!" The king looked them both over with a stern, critical eye before bursting into laughter, patting both of their shoulders a bit harder than was comfortable.
"I heard you would be joining the head of the Todoroki family to our meeting tomorrow, Young Shouto," he mentioned, changing the subject while the boys recovered from their mini heart attacks.
"Ah, yes, I will be. Father's insights and opinions are valuable to the kingdom, and he hopes I will be able to be just as valuable to the future king one day," Shouto explained. Izuku shot him a small grin.
"Is that all he hopes you'll be to the future king?" King All Might smirked, knowing Enji Todoroki well enough to know he is much more ambitious than he lets on. Both boys blushed.
"Dad, please, you're embarrassing me," Izuku muttered, hiding his flushed face in his hands. The king just laughed again and moved on, ruffling Izuku's green curls lightly as he passed by. "Sorry about him, that was an... odd question to ask," he added.
Shouto stood from his chair, shaking his head. "No, he was correct. My father is a snake, Izuku. Remember that, and do not ever trust him. His ambitions only benefit himself, no matter the cost to anyone else," he warned, teeth clenching. Izuku blinked curiously up at his friend. He knew Shouto's relationship with his father was unpleasant, to say the least, but the words the dual-haired boy spoke made a chill run down his spine.
Izuku watched as Shouto made his way over to where Natsuo was arguing with another older man, while Fuyumi attempted to lead him away before things got physical. He sighed softly to himself and shook his head to clear his mind. How would he be able to look Enji in the face and not remember Shouto's words?? Though... he supposed that was the point, after all.
The party wound down and the royal family bid their guests a goodnight, as the king and the prince had to be rested for tomorrow's meeting. Izuku smiled idly at the guests as he waited to be dismissed, then made a hasty retreat for his bedroom.
The maids intercepted him before he could just fall into bed, insisting he bathe and offering to wash him themselves if he was feeling weary after the party. Izuku waved them off; his maids hadn't bathed him since he was four years old, and he refused to make them go through the trouble when he was perfectly capable of washing himself.
When he returned from the washroom, his night clothes had been set out neatly on his bed. Izuku rolled emerald eyes at his maids setting his clothes out for him, but at least they respected his wishes to clothe (and unclothe) himself. Some royal families would have their maids do everything for them, but Izuku's father had always been an independent man who was kind and easy on his staff. He had taught Izuku the same independence, and the young prince felt that he would make a better king because of it.
Nevertheless, he appreciated the gesture. He changed out of the scratchy formal clothes and into his comfortable pajamas, setting his dirty laundry in the hamper and crawling into bed. Even though his bed was huge and luxurious and would be able to easily allow him to spread out his limbs, Izuku curled up practically in the middle of the bed, snuggling under the warm blankets and drifting off.
Shouto's warning about his father rang around in Izuku's head as he dozed off, the angry way he hissed his mistrust towards the head Todoroki twisting his stomach in knots. 'Do not ever trust him.' Izuku frowned in his half-asleep unease, but how far could Enji Todoroki possibly go to secure his ambitions? Shouto was probably worried over the prince's safety for nothing. After all, would the eldest Todoroki even dare to harm the heir to the throne and become an enemy to King All Might? It would be stupid to try.
Prince Izuku had nothing to worry about.
The meeting had gone on for much longer than anyone had anticipated. The heads of the Iida, Uraraka, and Todoroki families had been bickering nonstop about every topic the king had to address, but what really got them heated was the news of the barbarians in the west.
"The barbarians to the west of the kingdom have been stirring up trouble, and if we sit back and do nothing, it could escalate into an all-out war," King All Might had announced.
"Do you think the barbarians stand a chance against our army?" Okiji Uraraka inquired, giving his teenaged daughter Ochaco a skeptical look before continuing. "They may be fierce warriors, but they've tried to fight our kingdom before and they were vastly outnumbered."
"And we have since bolstered our army's numbers, so they won't have much luck this time, either," Tensei Iida agreed, with his younger brother Tenya nodding beside him.
"Their previous war chief had a very different way of going about things, so you are correct; on their own, they would not stand a chance against us," King All Might granted, lacing his fingers together before continuing with a foreboding, "However, we are not dealing with the previous war chief any longer; we are dealing with a young man known only to us as Bakugou."
"This Bakugou individual can certainly bring us new challenges by handling things in a different way, but he is still outnumbered, is he not?" Tensei questioned.
"On his own, yes, he would be outnumbered. Unfortunately for us, he is not on his own," the king sighed. Izuku tilted his head. 'Not on his own?' Who could the barbarians have joined up with? "Bakugou has forged an alliance with the dragons."
"Dragons??" Ochaco blurted out in shock, before covering her mouth with both hands and blushing at her outburst.
"The dragons in these parts are deeply mistrustful of humans, and prefer to associate with their own kind. Never before have they even considered allying with humans, so why now? Why the barbarians?" Izuku demanded. His father smiled wryly at his enthusiasm.
"You are asking the right questions, my son. This new war chief, Bakugou, managed to form an alliance simply by asking for the dragon king's son's hand in marriage," King All Might explained.
"Would the dragon king truly consider marrying his only child off? To a human- a human barbarian, no less?" Tenya inquired.
"Whether the dragon king was keen on the idea or not is unknown to me, but the prince agreed. While they have not targeted our kingdom yet, they have challenged groups outside the kingdom, and there have been some skirmishes at the border regarding land disputes. So far, they have not lost a single battle they have involved themselves in." The king shook his head and took a deep breath before letting it out in a weary sigh. "To make matters worse, the dragon prince is a powerful magic user, and has been teaching some truly destructive magic to the war chief," he added.
"We should send troops to subdue them before they become a problem," Okiji suggested.
"With the dragon prince alone, we would be taking an immense risk picking a fight with the barbarians. Not to mention possibly making enemies of the rest of the dragons, as well," Shouto pointed out.
"Assassinating this new war chief would be a better idea. Without leadership, the rest of them will scatter like the savages they are," Enji proposed.
"And if his dragon husband decides to retaliate? What then, Todoroki?" King All Might challenged.
"They have not become a problem yet, so as of now there is no need to meet them with force. However, to not meet them at all would pose it's own set of problems. The barbarians value courage, and to ignore them might seem cowardly and spur them into escalating to provoke us," Ochaco mused.
"I will take a group and travel to the barbarians to discuss an alliance of our own, as well as starting to negotiate a resolution to the land disputes," Izuku announced. All eyes turned to him. "Talking to them is the best course of action. They may not be known for their rational thinking, but reasoning with them is important," he added.
"Son... this could potentially be extremely dangerous. Do you really think it's wise to send the crown prince out to negotiate with a group of people who are known more for their volatile nature than their negotiation skills?" King All Might questioned, furrowing his brow in concern.
"They may not be a reasonable people, but they are honorable and I believe they would not harm me," Izuku stated firmly.
"You are right, Izuku. We must at least attempt to pursue peace before resorting to violence and murder," Shouto spoke up in support of his plan, sending a glare his father's way before adding in a firm, "And I will go with you." Izuku smiled brightly at his friend.
The king paused, thinking hard about the proposed plan and the pros and cons of sending his only child out into possible danger, before meeting said child's hopeful eyes and sighing hard. "I will allow it, Izuku. But you must speak with your mother before you depart," he conceded, adding in under his breath, "Inko is not going to like this..." Izuku barely resisted pumping his fist and cheering childishly about his victory, immediately beginning to plan.