It starts with a story.
As most adventures do, the hero is given a quest, they amass a loyal following who dedicate themselves to heading to the ends of the earth for the hero. A villain is found and fought and the hero’s are claimed to be victorious.
This has of course, has already happened time and time again.
But it all starts with a story that the people of the world all knew. It was a of the soldier, the poet, the king and the successor. Every child, woman and man had grown with the story that felt more legend than truth with the lingering passage of time.
It all started as truth and ends as a wise tale that flows from the lips of parents to children. It turns to the legend on wine soaked lips and whispers in forest from nymphs to fae to dragons to men once again.
Before all that was the adventure.
And it starts with a hero larger than life and a boy with a kind heart.
A witch stands at the entrance to an Inn. The inn, she reminds herself. It is worn down in a well lived fashion, but nonetheless well kept and immaculate in its growth of land around it. The town that bleeds full of life. She can feel the hearts of many surrounding her, the ones longing to leave to those happy to have a place in their tiny town. The ill and the healthy. It flows into one big bubble weighing on her shoulders as she pushes her way into the quiet inn. The feeling on her shoulders narrows to a tiny bubble as she lets her focus shift to the few people inside the main foyer. A women in pretty robes is sat at a small bar table by the far end of the room away from the door, a young man most likely a few years her senior stood by her side, a helmet sat on the stool next to her as they both talked quietly to one another.
There seemed to be no one else in the room with the three of them but she could feel the other hearts that seemed to radiate from the building. It seemed that a family lived here, ran this place even. They all seemed to share a spirit of determination and strength that flowed in one happy linear line. It was beautiful how peaceful the room felt and that's how she knew the moment the mother and son in the room had turned their attention to her. The sudden spike in surprise and then happiness was enough to let herself turn to look at them again.
“Hello dearie, are you here to stay the night?”
The witch smiles and shakes her head.
“Ah no, I’m actually looking for someone and was told I could find information and help here.”
The mother gave her a puzzled look.
“Oh? Who would that be? Perhaps one of my sons?”
She smiled again and nodded.
“Your youngest, I was told he could help me.”
“My Tenya? What is it your looking for my dear?”
She smiled and began to speak of her long journey to find Tenya Iida and why she needed such a boy to help her.
A knight is perched at a post on the balcony of a castle watching as the sun before him sets in the distance. He had been waiting for the right moment to head on his way and now that night was approaching in rapid fashion it was his cue to leave for home finally. He had a family to head back to and help. It only took him a few minutes to leave his post and head down to the main changing quarters for knights. It was there he shed his armor and pulled on a light cotton shirt and shorts and strapped his own leather bag to his shoulder and marched his way out of the castle.
He made it home by the time the sun had disappeared into the sky and stars had come to rule the sky in sporadic aray that had always reminded him of freckles ever since his brother had told him so when they had learned of the sky as children. The thought dissipated as the inn, his family's home, came into view.
It brought a warm feeling to his chest as he quickened his pace, eager to be inside the warmth and help prepare dinner for any patrons that night. He reached the door and swung it open under his soft hands as he stepped inside the warm hall.
“I’m home Mother.”
The door swung shut behind him as he looked for the dark haired woman he loved more than anything. Next to her stood his brother and in front of him was a woman not much older than himself. A pretty pink cloak was pulled around her shoulders and a lighter pink dress that flowed down to her knees shifted and moved when she turned. He caught sight of her brown eyes lighting up as she sat stood straighter, her hair bobbing as she seemed to lean in his direction.
“Tenya dear, you have a visitor.”
He stepped forward at the same time as her and they met at the center of the hall. There she moved the staff she held in her hand to the side and bowed to him. He followed suit and then the two were left looking at one another.
“Hello Iida-san , my name is Ochako Uraraka and I come with a proposition for you”
Her eyes burned in determination and he was suddenly stuck with the thought that he wanted nothing more than to help this girl who had seeked him out specially.
“What can I do for you Uraraka-san?”
“I need your help to find the successor.”
A prince sits quietly on the top of a hill watching as his only friend of many years, Momo Yaoyorozu, sets ablaze a fire they had cultivated in the middle of a hilly clearing. Next to her stood her longtime partner and formerly servant, Kyoka Jiro. The two women speak in mirthful tones as they prepare a camp for the night.
It’s a sight he’s not sure he’ll ever tire from.
He rolls his eyes at Kyoka’s unsavory nickname for him and raises an eyebrow.
“What do I owe the pleasure of my presence being acknowledged.”
She rolls her eyes and beckons him over to herself and Momo.
“Come help us get the camp set up, we need a place to sleep and I need to go with Momo to find something to hunt for tonight. It won’t take long, I know I saw a few deer on our way over here, but we can’t just leave the camp alone while we’re gone. Just set up the barrier spell we always use and we’ll be back before you can find Orion in the sky.” She grinned and tugged on Momo’s hand who smiled back at her and then to todoroki.
“Stay safe, we’ll be back soon.”
The princess donned her gear of a sword and the silver chainmail covering her chest and stomach that she had replaced for her old open chest armor. Her easy open slit skirt around her legs swayed as she pulled her boots on and laced the rope they had set down around her belt. Next to her Jiro slung her bow over her shoulder and tucked her throwing knives into her boots. The quiver of arrows followed and the two women started off down the hill.
It went quiet after that. Only the sound of crickets in the night could be heard along with the rustling of the breeze was what he had to keep him company as he pushed himself up off the ground and inhaled deeply. Even months after leaving his father's kingdom he never felt truly at peace till these moments. He inhaled the smell of the earth and almost floral air before he raised his hands to eye level and outstretched them to the sky.
The touch of cold that flew through his veins as he drew a near invisible shell of cold around the camp. It was almost the same as before but now, frost covered the ground everywhere but next to him and the fire. He breathed out softly and dropped his hands. The puff of cold air that blew from his lips left him feeling just as peaceful as before.
The silence is shattered in the next moment when he hears a yell from the forest and his head snaps to the direction his friends, family, his mind supplies, headed to. It only takes a moment for him to grab his own sword and skid down the hill sliding on a wave of freezing ice that frosts over the hill in his wake. He doesn’t even make it to the clearings edge when he sees the two, scrambling back out of the forest and dead sprinting to him. Behind them he hears a crash of sound and tenses and prepares himself for the incoming attack, whatever it may be.
The girls don’t even stop when they reach him, Momo grasping his arm and hurriedly pulling him with her as they continue the mad scramble back up the hill.
“What’s going on?!”
“It’s one of the monsters your dad sent after us-It’s going to burn the forest, we need the barrier and-”
He grit his teeth as he pulled her to a stop and Kyoka anxiously watched the forest.
“Go up to the hill, I’ll handle it. If you think I'm going to die, then you can step in.”
“ Are you fucking insane? Like hell we’re gonna abandon you! That thing is hotter than even your flames!”
It’s at this moment the furious monster explodes from the woods, burning green and hellish. The figure is built like his father and in this moment he wants nothing more than to push his friends, family, dammit, they are your family and you know it, behind him and make them leave so he can deal with his own problems himself. He never wants them to hurt in his place. He can take it.
He can take it.
That’s why when he sees a spark of blinding pink light and the yell of a battle cry is he so surprised he doesn’t move at first. At the base of the hill where the monster had stalked up to a girl no older than them was running around the beast yelling spells that picked the thing up and left it floating in the air before dropping it and letting man dressed head to toe in armor take stabs at the creature.
It happens in a span of a second as their own group rushes forward hot on one another's heels and Shouto yells as he flings his sword at the creature and lets a frustrated wave of ice from his palms as Kyoka shoots her own arrows at the fiery figure. Momo is alongside the knight slashing where they can in between the flames of explosive rage that only seem to weaken the more they attack the thing. And it strikes him in that moment, they are winning.
Every time he’s faced one of his fathers creatures he’d beaten them by a slight chance, his first time ending up having to see a healer his injuries so harsh. But this time, it felt almost effortless to let the ice flow from his fingertips and jump around throwing his sword time and time again at the creature until finally, it stuck. He’d stuck the physical body.
That was all he needed.
The reaction was instant and he noticed how the knight had run to the witch’s side and pulled her farther away. She looked almost ill. He couldn’t think about that for the moment as he charged the creature and shoved his hand into the flames and into the creatures chest letting his ice free the things heart and in the same instant it was over. In his hands was the remains of what was the classic drawn heart and he sighed as he pushed the thing into a pouch in his belt. His hand tingles in slight agony but he’d have to deal with it for now as he turns to face the two foreigners who seem to be leaning on one another but slowly picking their way back to him along with Momo and Kyoka.
They all seem to stare at one another for a moment before the space between them is filled with a simultaneous chorus of,
“Who are you?”