“WHAT?!” Present Mic all but screamed after reading the documents in his hands.
“This is crazy," Eraserhead said through gritted teeth as he turned to the principal sitting at the end of the meeting table. “I won’t allow it.”
“I agree.” Cementoss joined in as he flipped through the papers. “Many Pro Heroes and Villains have entered Yokohama only to never be heard of again.”
“And might I add, that place ruled by criminals.” Midnight stressed. It was clear she was against the idea as well.
“I understand your concerns.” Principal Nezu said calmly. "But I believe this will be a very valuable opportunity for the students. Justice and crime are two sides of a coin. Our students value justice over anything. As their principal, I am very proud of that. However, we cannot continue to teach them that the world only consists of black and white. Often times there will be a gray zone and they will be the ones to decide whether that gray is good or bad."
The white mouse jumped off his seat, strolling over to the window with his paws behind his back as he watched students doing tracks around the field.
"The appearance of the Hero Killer caused people's hearts to sway. Some of those hearts also belonged to the students. While they understood what the Hero Killer did was wrong, they were able to relate to his reasoning, which is incredibly dangerous. That's why I want them to experience Yokohama."
Principal Nezu turned back to the teachers. With a jump, he hopped onto Aizawa’s chair, then onto the long table. He turned to the projection screen projecting the image of Yokohama.
By the beautiful ocean, a giant dome could be seen, completely encasing over the land and separating the inside world from the outside. The dome reflected the bright blue sky like a mirror. It was impossible to see anything inside.
“Villain activities within Yokohama have been at zero since the history of Quirks began.” The principal looked around the teachers. None of them were surprised by this information. It was only natural. Even if none of them has been taught of Yokohama in school, they eventually learn this truth in their field of work.
After all, an entire city run by criminals…no Heroes could overlook something that big.
“I want them to witness the crime syndicate in Yokohama and let them decide. Are they justice, or are they evil? If they can hold strong to their beliefs, then nothing will be able to sway them in the future.”
“So this is a test?” Aizawa narrowed his eyes, obviously not keen on the idea. However, he can understand where the principal is coming from.
If not for the Hero Killer and his ideals, the League of Villains wouldn't be able to gain attention from around the world. People's hearts were swaying and criticism began to fall upon the Heroes. The League of Villains knew that. That was why they kidnapped Bakugo. They believed that with Bakugo’s personality he can become a powerful ally to the Villains. And by turning Bakugo into a villain, U.A will be under heavy attack by the public and society's view on Heroes will drop even further.
They were only fortunate that Bakugo has a strong sense of justice; otherwise, the League of Villain's plan would have worked. They cannot afford to raise future Heroes that may one day become villains.
“…All Might-san, you’ve been quiet from the beginning.” Ectoplasm said, looking across the table where All Might sat. All the other teachers turned to the former No.1 Hero, wanting to hear his input on this ludicrous idea.
All Might was frowning as he stared at the documents in his hand.
After a long time, he heaved out a small sigh.
“I have been to Yokohama.” He finally spoke, earning surprised looks from all the other teachers. “It fourteen years ago when I learned the truth behind Yokohama. I snuck into that city, aiming to bring down this organization. But what I saw wasn’t anything like I had expected.”
All Might folded his hand on the table, clenching his hands tightly together.
"Instead of being terrorized, the citizens there lived in peace without the fear of Villains. No, to be more precise, the concept of Villains does not exist in their minds. I thought I had gone unnoticed, but it turned out the second I stepped foot within that city, they already had eyes on me. The Port Mafia—that's what the crime syndicate is called—they are formidable opponents. I fought them head-on, but in the end, I was captured."
That caused some of the teachers to suck in a sharp breath. The No.1 hero—especially during his prime—was captured?
“You couldn’t win? Even against Quirkless people?” Present Mic gapped, unable to believe his ears.
It was no secret in the governments and Hero community that not only does Yokohama not have Villains, but the entire population within the city were also Quirkless. It was as if the city itself was absent when Quirks started appearing all over the world. The humans within that city retained the same body structure as their ancestors, having not undergone any form of evolution.
That was why the people of Yokohama were also referred to as Old Humans.
"It is Ability," Nezu answered for All Might. "This knowledge isn't known to many because words were to spread out, it will cause unease. Before the appearance of Quirks, the ability to change into animals, breathe underwater, control fire, telepathy…humans at the time labeled these as supernatural powers—something that exists only in imagination. Nevertheless, there is always a source of where imaginations come from, and that is Ability. Long before the appearance of Quirks, there were already humans possessing extraordinary powers. These people are called Ability users, and Yokohama is home to these people."
The teachers looked among themselves. Clearly, none of them knew of this.
“Principal Nezu.” Midnight said seriously. “What is the difference between Quirks and Ability?”
"Quirks are the evolutional stages of living beings." The white mouse replied. "Through time and generations, these powers grew to become part of us. Likewise, our bodies were born to support our Quirks. However, Abilities are different. These powers were not created through genes. Even I don't know what makes or causes a human to attain these powers. Abilities are simply weapons wield by their users. It's like being born with your arms as a knife compared to holding onto a knife. The former being Quirk and the latter being Ability.”
“Is there a difference between the two?” No.13 inquired.
“Using the knife as example,” Nezu pressed a button and the screen behind him changed, showing a drawing of a human male with his right forearm being a knife. “This would be Quirk. The size of the knife must depend on the structure of the rest of the body in order for the male to maintain balance. The bicep of his knife arm is much more muscular than his regular arm. In his overall body proportion, his right side is a bit wider than the left. This is to support the heavier weight of the metal. And this…”
The image switched again and everyone’s eyes widened at the drawing on the projector. The drawing was the same male drawing. Instead of his arm being a knife, it was a normal human arm. His body structure was perfectly even out compared to the first picture. What shocked them was the knife he was holding. In fact, that can’t be called a knife anymore. The size of the blade was at least four times bigger than the man’s body.
“This is Ability,” Nezu explained. “As you can see, Ability isn’t limited by the user’s physique, as that power is not part of them genetically. That’s why Abilities have far greater potentials compared to Quirks. But that power can also become deadly to the users themselves, as they too can be harmed by their own Abilities if not careful.”
“So if we take President Mic for example,” Snipe gestured to the blond who perked up at being named. “If his Quirk becomes an Ability, does that mean he can be harmed by his own voice?”
“Precisely!” The principal nodded.
Silence filled the meeting rooms as the teachers processed this information. From the principal’s explanation, these Abilities are powerful but come with a heavy cost. The stronger the Ability, the more dangerous for the users. If so, then compared to Quirks that are far more stable, Ability wouldn’t pose too much of a threat.
“However, you mustn’t underestimate them because of that. If anything, that is what makes Ability users even more dangerous.”
“How so?” Present Mic questioned.
"Because they do not fully rely on their Abilities in battle," Nezu replied seriously. "To be precise, it is because their Abilities are double-edged swords that they learn not to completely rely on it. Ability users are all masters in their own crafts. Because their bodies are not born to support their power, they must develop and train themselves to control their powers and what role they play in battle. While Yokohama has zero Villain activity, it does not mean that their world is safe. Contrary, their world is much more dangerous than ours. Just from experiences alone, Ability users that are the same age as our students have already by far surpassed them."
“When I went into Yokohama, I have seen many strange Abilities.” All Might took back hold of the conversation. “Some are similar to the Quirks we have, but there are also some I didn’t even know could exist. One of those Ability users that left quite an impression on me was a young lady. She was very young…around twelve or thirteen. She could summon a creature wielding a sword. She herself was quite skilled in swordsmanship."
“That sounds like it’s similar to Tokoyami’s Quirk.” Present Mic pointed out.
“Yes, but although Dark Shadow have a mind of its own, its actions are still required to be controlled by young Tokoyami. That didn’t seem like the case with the Ability user I fought. Rather than calling them one, they acted more like two separate individuals. The young lady did not seem like she needed to command how that creature should attack. It was as if that creature can act on its own and decide how it should proceed with its attacks. That young lady also did not rely on that creature to aid her in battle. It was like fighting two separate opponents.”
“Was she the reason you were captured?” Midnight asked, extremely curious just how the No.1 Hero got himself caught.
All Might's hands clenched together tightly as he remembered his counter with the Port Mafia. "They have weapons that suppress Quirks." He said after a while. "They infuse it within their weapons, once you get hit or breath in the gas, you won't be able to use your quirks anymore."
“WHAT?!” That scream came from President Mic who momentarily forgot to control his voice.
After the rest of the teachers got over with the ringing in their ears, they immediately started a heated discussion.
“How’s that possible?”
“I’ve never heard of something like that!”
“How do you go against something like that?”
The teachers immediately began to discuss this new piece of information.
"If this information gets leaked, I can't begin to imagine the chaos it will cause," Cementoss said.
"Worst, if these weapons fall into the hands of Villains, it will be the end of Heroes." Snipe added.
“Indeed.” Nezu nodded. “If not for the appearance of Quirks, mankind could have evolved further than where we are now. That stands true for Yokohama. While the society crumbled after the appearance of Quirks, Yokohama continued to develop. They are fully prepared for any outside attacks, hence why no countries or governments were able to control them.”
“Principal Nezu.” Midnight called as the white mouse turned to her. “May I ask how you are able to know all of this?”
“Simple! The same reason why I can plan this field trip!" Nezu beamed. "I had an old friend that got some connection with the boss of Port Mafia. They agreed to allow us into the city, under the condition that we do agree to their terms!"
“I’m against this!” Vlad, who had been quiet for most of the meeting finally spoke up as he slapped the papers against the table. "And to begin with, this field trip only involves Class 1-A! What of Class 1-B?!”
That’s your problem? That was most of the teachers’ thought as they stared at the Blood Hero.
"It is not my intention to play favorites.” Nezu sighed. “Unfortunately, that is one of the conditions from the Port Mafia. Only Class 1-A and two teachers are allowed to enter Yokohama."
“Then all the more reason I can’t let my students go!” Aizawa was even more adamant than before now that he knew his class was specifically targeted.
“The Port Mafia isn’t like the Villains we are used to.” All Might clarified, hoping to calm his colleague. “If we follow their rules, they won’t harm the students.”
“We don’t know that for sure though.” Aizawa gritted out, obviously not convinced. “You said it yourself; they have weapons that can suppress Quirks. We are going into the enemy’s base without any protection or powers to fight back.”
“When I became a Hero, my greatest dream was to put an end to Villains.” All Might said as blue eyes locked onto Aizawa. "I worked all my life to achieve that, but Villains continue to exist and run free from the eyes of the law. It's ironic and shameful how it is those against the laws that were able to achieve it. I must admit, after my visit to Yokohama, my heart was swayed."
"Leave our city, watchdog. There is nothing for you to protect here."
The words of that day echoed in his head even today.
"Port Mafia can maintain their peace because they love their city. It's their territory, so they protect everything within from outside threats. They are not above using underhanded tactics or even murder those that oppose them. Even now I do not know how to judge them. However, I do know one thing. After I've witness Yokohama, I firmed my goal into becoming the Symbol of Peace. I do not approve of Port Mafia, but what I saw in that city—the faces of people smiling without any fear of being attacked by villains—that was my ideal. That is the world I wanted to bring into ours."
The teachers were silent as they stared at All Might. Despite All Might having lost his power, they all felt pressure falling over them just from listening to his speech. The teachers looked among themselves and saw the hesitation in each other's eyes.
Aizawa held All Might’s gaze for a long time before he heaved out a sigh of annoyance. Tired and dry eyes turned to the principal. “This friend of yours, can he vouch for the students’ safety?”
"Yes," Nezu assured him.
The students screamed, some of them even jumping up from their seats as they stared at their homeroom teacher, All Might and the principal.
“I thought no one can go in there?!”
“Quiet down!” Aizawa ordered with his signature glare as the students all shut their mouths.
“As I was saying…” Principal Nezu continued from where he perched on Eraserhead’s shoulder. "In two weeks, we will be having a week's field trip to Yokohama!"
“Sensei!” Hagakure waved her arm (or uniform sleeve) frantically for attention.
“Yes?” Principal Nezu said.
“Why are we going to Yokohama?”
“Good question, but first, let’s start with what you know about Yokohama!” Nezu pointed a paw at the green-haired student. “Midoriya-kun!”
“Yes!” Midoriya shot out of his seat, standing as straight as a pole upon being called. "After the appearance of Quirks, Yokohama announced independence from Japan. Due to the chaos and panic brought by Quirks, the Japanese government wasn't able to send out enough people to control Yokohama. After they became independent, they used one year to create a barrier around the entire city to isolate them from the rest of the world."
“Correct!” Nezu clapped. Black beady eyes scan over the classroom. “Does anyone know any more things about Yokohama that they would like to add?”
That brought silence among the students because there were no more. What Midoriya gave was the textbook answer. In their history, that was as much as they can get out of Yokohama. Even now, there was never any news about that mysterious, isolated city.
“What we are about to tell you will be strictly confidential," Aizawa said as he held out a stack of paper. “These are agreement forms stating that you will not tell anyone of what you are going to hear. This can affect your future as Heroes. You have the right to choose not to sign, there are no consequences. Those who don't want to sign are required to leave the room. Naturally, that also means you will forfeit the trip to Yokohama."
No one left the room.
Despite not understanding anything, all the students signed the agreement form. Once Aizawa gathered the forms and checked through the signatures, he closed the light, locking the door in the process as Principal Nezu turned on the screen projector. On the wall, the image of a giant dome by the ocean was shown.
“This is the city of Yokohama.” Nezu introduced. "As Midoriya-kun had said, this city is encased in a barrier. It has been ever since the appearance of Quirks. No one knows what is within the city of Yokohama—that is what the public is made to believe."
Nezu closed the projector as Aizawa opened back the light.
“Sensei, are you saying…” Yaoyorozu gasped in disbelieve, catching on to what that last part meant.
“Indeed.” Nezu nodded. “This is knowledge only Heroes and government officials know about. In truth, Yokohama is a city where Quirks does not exist. Which means their society is made up of Quirkless human beings.”
There was a moment of stunned silence before the class reacted. Aizawa already had his hands over his ears as deafening screams of disbelieve shook the entire classroom.
“H-how’s that possible?!” Midoriya gasped, unable to believe there was an entire city of ordinary people.
"Yokohama isolated themselves after the appearance of Quirks," Aizawa explained. “No one knows what happened within the city that made it Quirkless. Scientists speculated that they were able to make a cure that prevented and even reverted the evolution of Quirks. No one knows how Quirks came to be. Some scientists speculated that it may be that air we breathe contains containing some sort of virus that altered our bodies, which may be why Yokohama created that barrier.”
“Right now, in Yokohama, human lives the life of how it was before the appearances of Quirks. With their bodies having never undergone through any form of evolutions, they are called Old Humans. And within that city of Old Humans, there are no Heroes or Villains.”
The students stared at their teachers, finding a bit hard to take in. After all, they’ve lived their life in a world where Villains always posed a threat to society. Every single day there would be Villain attacks being reported somewhere nearby. That was why they wanted to become Heroes.
To suddenly hear of a place without any Villains was just mind-blowing.
"Instead, they have something much more dangerous," Nezu said seriously. "Throughout history, the governments have sent many agents to investigate Yokohama, including Heroes. Villains that heard rumours of how there were no Heroes within Yokohama also ventured there. In all of our histories, a total of forty-eight agents went into that city. Only two agents stepped out of that city to bring out the information.”
The students paled at that frightening drop of number.
"Of twenty-five Heroes that snuck in, only a handful made it back out," Nezu said solemnly. “And all the Villains that entered that city were never to be heard of again.”
“W-why?” Mineta spluttered, shivering in his seat. “Is that place haunted?”
“It is because Yokohama, since even before the appearance of Quirk, has left the government’s control. That city is currently being governed by the world’s largest criminal syndicate known as the Port Mafia.”
The students were all completely stupefied by the news, not sure how to react. So all along, there was an entire city of criminals in Japan and they knew nothing of it?! Why didn’t the government do anything? Why didn’t the Heroes do anything?
The students were quick to voice out their worries.
"Everyone, I understand your concerns," Nezu said, trying to calm the students down. “As for why the pro Heroes and governments hadn’t done anything…it wasn’t because they haven’t. It’s that they can’t. As I have explained before, Quirks does not exist within Yokohama. But they have something more dangerous than Quirk.”
From there, the principal gave a thorough education on Abilities to the children. The more they hear, the paler their faces became. All childhood fantasies they used to have on the mysterious city shattered and replaced by the dark reality.
By the end of the principal's explanation, the entire class was drowned in deathly silence. The students were all lost in their thoughts as Nezu jumped onto the floor.
“The trip will not be mandatory. Your teacher will provide you with a form later for you and your parents to sign should you wish to attend.”
"Principal," Yaoyorozu raised her hand. "You still haven't answered, why are we going to Yokohama?"
After all, why venture into the enemies' territory?
"You all grew up in a world where Villains are the norm." Principal Nezu said patiently. “Villain activity occurs on a daily bases. The Villains you grew up knowing are not Port Mafia. I want you to see for yourself, the different evils and justices there are in this world, and find the correct path. Think about what kind of world you want to create. That will be all from me!”
With that, the tiny mouse left the classroom, leaving the rest to the two teachers.
“B-but sensei, the principal just said it!” Mineta said frantically. “Only so little people can get out! What if we—”
“I do not know the situation behind those agents’ and Heroes’ deaths.” All Might finally replied. He didn’t sugarcoat or hide the fact that those people were inevitably dead. The Port Mafia wouldn’t keep outsiders within their city. If they are unable to leave, then there was only one fate waiting for them. “I’ve been into Yokohama in the past. We are only able to organize this trip because Principal Nezu knows someone with high status within Yokohama. The Port Mafia boss himself has agreed to allow you inside, as long as you agree to their terms.”
The students looked at him as if he had gone mad. Making a deal with Villains? That is absurd! But then again, this was All Might. Despite how nothing of that made any sense, no one was able to doubt All Might's word.
If All Might said it’s alright, then it’ll be alright.
The discussion ended just like that. All Might left and Aizawa resumed class as usual. But none of the students were able to focus. They were all thinking about that city. They will venture into the Villains’ lairs after all, how could any of them focus on their lessons?
The day felt longer than usual. After class ended, Midoriya was about to leave when Aizawa called him over, telling him that All Might wanted to see him.
He hurried down the hallway, arriving at the staff’s meeting room where All Might was waiting for him. The skeletal blond sat on the couch, in the middle of sipping a cup of tea when his successor entered.
“Young Midoriya.” He greeted as Midoriya gently closed the door behind him.
“All Might.” Midoriya greeted back as he took a seat opposite of All Might.
“The discussion this morning must be shocking.”
“Hm? Well…yeah.” Midoriya admitted, clenching his hands together.
“Young Midoriya. I won't force you, but I do hope you will attend this field trip."
“Why?” Midoriya couldn’t understand All Might or any of the teachers’ reasoning. They are going right into the enemy’s headquarter, not to battle, but to observe? And the only safety guarantees are ground rules laid by said enemies! It was all crazy!
“I know this is hard to accept, young Midoriya." All Might could relate to the boy's inner conflict. He had been there as well. Or rather, to a certain degree, he still found everything hard to accept. If there was one thing he learned in Yokohama, it was that their society consisted of only black and white. But Yokohama is different. Yokohama was a gray zone. The line between justice and crime doesn't exist within that city. That was why it was so important for these students to see and come to a decision with their own eyes.
“All Might, you said you’ve been to Yokohama. What’s it like?”
“…I’m afraid you’ll have to find out for yourself.” All Might replied. “If I tell you, then my opinions may affect yours. I want you to see that place with your own eyes and decide how you feel.”
“How I feel?” Midoriya’s brows furrowed as he tried to understand the meaning behind his Hero’s word.
“You’ll see.” That was the only thing All Might could say as he patted the young lad’s shoulder.
After Midoriya left, All Might lay back against the couch and slowly closed his eyes. Memories of that time were still fresh in his mind. The details were so unbelievable clear despite how many years had passed.
He wondered how that boy was doing now…