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Their Legacy

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Near the end of his days, Yagi Toshinori revealed to Izuku Midoriya that he was All Might. The great and invincible warrior from the infamously bloodthirsty kingdom of Ganbatthar. As most great warriors of legend he came from humble origins. He was a commoner who made a lot of bad decisions and when he found himself at the very bottom someone gave him a chance. All it took was one person seeing the good in him, seeing his potential, for the greatest warrior of all time to be born.

Toshinori believes this is also Midoriya’s destiny which is why he passed on part of his legacy and half of his sword to him. When informing his protégé on his destiny, should he choose to take it on, the young man questioned him regarding inheriting only half of his sword and part of his legacy. Not that Midoriya was complaining, this was already way more than he thought he deserved, but he wondered why his mentor was passing on only part of it. The man explained the other half of the sword and his legacy was meant for another person, and Midoriya wondered how that would work.

With a breathless chuckle, the haggard looking older man smiled fondly and explained, “there is another man that shares your destiny.” Green eyes widened and his mind filled with thoughts of who this other man might be, Toshinori did not miss the glint in those eyes, his thirst for knowledge and burning curiosity are two of his best and worst traits.

“I realized later that he alone would not carry my legacy, this caused a rift in our relationship. He rejected his share of my legacy and I had no choice but to accept his decision.”

“How could he reject it? Is he insane?!”

“I do not blame him and you shouldn’t either young Midoriya, it was within his rights to reject it. I’ll never forget his last words before I departed, ‘I don’t need your shitty legacy, I’ll make my own.’ As his mentor I was saddened by his rejection, but overall I was - still am - proud.”

“If he rejected your legacy, why are you still handing it down to him? Shouldn’t you find someone else?”

Pale, dry skin stretched into a solemn smile. Formerly stony eyes now shone brightly, and with a soft voice he declared, "there is no one else."

The retired warrior told him that he should find the other man, because even if he rejected his legacy their destinies were still entwined.

"How do I find him?"

"That's not the problem," he looked tired again and rubbed a hand against his face, "the problem will be getting to him in the first place, you see..."

The young man's eyes became impossibly wide and for a second the older man thought he saw his soul begin to ascend. Thankfully that was just a vision, how would he explain to young Midoriya's mother that her son died of shock?

"Th-Th-The KING?! KING KATSUKI BAKUGO?! Th-th-that's a joke, right?" Toshinori looks away while rubbing the back of his neck, "I can't – no this is – this can't – first you tell me you're All Might, a-and that I'm supposed to inherit part of your legacy, which apparently I'm supposed to be sharing with THE KING OF GANBATTHAR?!" As Toshinori has come to expect, the young man starts ranting to no one in particular trying to make sense of the situation.

No one could blame him, if Toshinori hadn't lived as All Might for the last couple of decades he would've thought all of this was ridiculous. Once upon a time he was a common young man just like Midoriya, although he was in a worse position than the young man beside him. The late Great Knight of the Kagutsuchi Kingdom Nana Shimura saw something in him and to this day he doesn't know what she saw, but he will continue to repay the debt forever. Both of his students had a better start than he had, he's completely certain that they will be greater than him individually and even greater together.

Notwithstanding his highness rejection of his legacy all their destinies are entwined. As young Midoriya continues to make sense of where his destiny will take him, Toshinori feels at peace.

"It's been a great honor," Toshinori's words interrupt Midoriya's rant, and the young man looks to his side eyebrows raised in question and expectation, "to live this great life I believed I did not deserve the honor of knowing the people I've met along the way, the opportunity to train two remarkable young men. I will continue to repay this debt for the rest of my lives."

Young Midoriya felt a candlelight flicker inside him, the invisible connecting thread dimmed in intensity and he knew what it meant. He'd been feeling the thread gradually dull over the last three years, ever since Toshinori passed on his power unto him. At the time he did not know this was the magical source known as One For All, but even then he understood there was a great responsibility being passed on to him. It established a magical connection between the mentor and student, he understands that soon the older man will no longer sit by his side.

In the coming weeks Toshinori would sit under the shade next to young Midoriya's mother and watch as her son trained. No longer having the strength to guide him personally he took to shouting pointers and advice from a distance, not that he had much to worry about. Although the young man was not a fast learner he had enough willpower and cunning to overcome many challenges on his own.

One morning the two person family and the mentor discussed young Midoriya's travel plans. They spent the last two weeks planning his journey to the kingdom of Ganbatthar, and the small family was so grateful they had the security of All Might's connections to get him into the kingdom. However, it was up to young Midoriya to get an audience with the king and somehow not get kicked out before he even gets to smell pleasant smoky atmosphere of the capital city Tariat.

The next morning he was on his way, of course it was not an easy departure. Their calm village experienced a minor mudslide from the torrential river that appeared out of nowhere. In reality it emerged from the abnormal rain of tears shed by the two person Midoriya family. If Toshinori contributed a few tears then no one could say anything about it. He knew, and young Midoriya knew as well, this would be the last time they would see each other in the flesh.

Young Midoriya never traveled so far from his village, he'd never traveled outside of the Kagutsuchi Kingdom at all. Leaving home was hard, leaving his mother was harder, but the uncertainty of his future was exciting and very scary.

Heart beating out of his throat, after half a week of travelling, his eyes attempted to take in the entirety of the majestic architecture of the city gates.

If this is just the entrance, an awestruck Midoriya thought, how amazing will everything past those gates be?

The walls were so high that Midoriya felt he would fall back just attempting to take it all in. The stone was so polished it looked almost white, the gates were steel but with a gold trim, the young man wondered if it was real gold. The flags hung high, the flag of the city, the flag of the country, and the crest of the royal Bakugo family.

The city of Tariat had a deep maroon flag that looked almost like dried blood, it was triangular in shape with black edges. It depicted a proud black dragon in the center surrounded by laurels. This flag was relatively new in Ganbatthar's history, it was created to represent the first city to fully integrate dragons into human society. Dragons and humans have a long, tumultuous history which often involved the enslavement or destruction of either species. Within the last century after the royal Bakugo family usurped the throne they claimed to see to the end of this bloody history with Dragon-kind, an end that did not involve more bloodshed and suffering. The last three generations of the royal Bakugo family have worked towards this goal and within the last decade solidified their relationship and integrated their new allies into human society within their capital city. Dragon-kind did a similar thing with their main village Sihai up in the Well and Spring mountain range around 100 miles northwest of the capital of Tariat. Sihai has become a merchant hotspot within this last decade, facilitating the goods exchange between the western and eastern kingdoms, where the Well and Spring mountain range lies in between.

The other flag of note was the flag of Ganbatthar, a mahogany red flag with short silver fringe surrounding its rectangular shape. The flag was great in size, easily dwarfing the other two flags as it flies in the center. It depicts a black bear standing tall on its hind legs, arms wide and intimidating with a high silver shield to its right and a silver greatsword to its left.

In comparison, the flag depicting the royal Bakugo family crest was less to look at. Simple and to the point. A light-absorbing black squared flag, with two burnt orange cutlass crossing in the very center. Straightforward and clear. Midoriya gulped when he saw it, recalling the rumors he's heard of the young king, his family, and the country he has already stepped foot into.

The three flags and the high walls with fully decked out guards sent the message across pretty clearly. Midoriya would be a fool to not feel slightly intimidated, but he was not scared, not in the slightest. If this was his destiny he would ride on it and chase it to the end of his life, no king on earth or in heaven could stand as an obstacle in his way for too long.

When his cart tentatively approached the gate, the driver handed over their papers and clearance to travel within Ganbatthian territory. The guard looked over the papers in disinterest until she came upon a sealed letter with a recognizable imprint. Her eyes widened and she gaped at the seal, peering quickly into the cart and deflating slightly when she saw only a bright-eyed young man.

"Move ahead, remember to stop by the stall with the tall purple flag to have your cart checked over and you should be cleared to enter Tariat. Welcome to our capital. Have a pleasant day."

As the cart moved away the guard turned to one of her companions and asked for clarification on the seal she saw. The other guard gasped and told her that if what she described is accurate then she was correct in her observation.

A midnight blue wax seal with the stamp of what appears to be a pair of bunny ears, there was no mistaking it, it was the official seal of the great warrior All Might.

The guards talked amongst themselves, a few civilians overheard and gossiped about the news. Some tried to find the cart with the passenger holding All Might's seal but the cart was so plain and inconspicuous that no one thought to check. News made it back to the castle fast, especially when a young simple bard with a love of gossip happened to overhear the news. With a speed reminiscent of the black bolt in his bright yellow hair, he made it into the castle and let himself into the study of a frustrated royal.

"I swear to Erlik, if you ask me about the 'purple-haired hottie' one more time," a pair of fierce red eyes glared at the intruder, "I will shove horseshit down your throat."

"Aw, don't be like that you know you love me."

"Don't test me dumbass, now what do you want?"

"Actually, you will want to hear this," at the change of tone the royal cocked an eyebrow at his subject and reluctant friend. The red-eyed man leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms waiting for the news, the bard started to sweat a little but spoke in a steady voice.

"Someone just entered the city, and they brought a letter with All Might's seal."

 

The young bright eyed man hauled a massive wrapped up package strapped to his back into the inn. The inn did not look like much, it was not the fanciest inn in the city, but Toshinori had recommended it. All he had to do was ask for "Old Man Torino" and hand him the sealed letter addressed to him.

A short but rough looking old man approached the odd looking boy, obviously a tourist, and asked if he needed help with anything.

"Uh, yeah sir, I'm looking for 'Old Man Torino'? I have a letter for him."

The old man looked up curiously, there's only been a handful of people that referred to him as such. He told him that it was he and he was promptly handed a letter, and when his eyes landed on the seal they widened and quickly ushered the young man into his office behind the check-in table.

Inside his office he closed the door behind the young man who was now carrying far more than just the wrapped up package on his back, but he paid it no mind when he quickly opened the letter and read its contents.

With a grin and a humorless laugh he slams the letter on his desk startling the young man, "so that's how it is Toshinori."

"Uh, you okay, sir?"

"Yeah, kid I'm fine. Let me take you to your room."

On the second floor at the very end of the western hall of the inn, Midoriya put down his luggage and breathed a sigh of relief. He still held on to the package strapped to his back.

A young boy knocked on his door and informed him that if he desired his lunch could be brought up to his room and he thanked him profusely. Blushing and grinning saying it was no big deal the young boy skipped away to bring him his meal as soon as he got it. Midoriya smiled softly as he closed the door.

 

"So, the old man's back, huh?" The red eyed royal huffed and ran a hand through his spiky hair, closing his eyes briefly while the bard shook his head.

"It doesn't seem like it. The guard that let them in said she only saw a young man in the cart, no sign of anyone else, much less All Might."

"Hmm," he hummed as he considered what this meant, it didn't take him too long before he came to a conclusion and he smirked deviously, "let's invite him in, I have a feeling he wants to see me too."

 

Finishing his lunch, he moaned at the taste of Ganbatthian cuisine. It was hot and flavorful, this country was known for its spices, but with the recent integration of Dragon culture the food evolved to include more avian meat into its meals. The soaring pigeon meat, a species of pigeon only found on the tallest mountains, coated in probably six different types of spices was heavenly. Nothing was bland, even the roasted vegetables seemed to have marinated in some sort of godly hot mixture that caused his eyes to water but his tongue relished the burn and flavor too much to complain.

Red faced and bleary eyed he finished his meal, and right then there was another knock on his door. Wiping his face with his sleeves and downing the rest of his water he opened the door and was shocked to see a couple of guards and a tall lanky man with a wide grin.

"Good afternoon! We hope we're not interrupting your meal," the grinning man greeted politely and Midoriya shook his head.

"I just finished my meal, what can I do for you?"

"Nice! I'm here to inform you that his highness King Katsuki Bakugo welcomes you to our country and the great city of Tariat. He would also like to extend a formal invitation to meet with him in an hour, and to bring everything you need with you."

The man's grin turned into a calm smile as the young man's eyes widened and he stuttered, "Oh! Uh, ye-yes of course! I'll definitely be there! Thank his highness for his welcome and invitation." Bowing deeply and almost comically the young man tried to calm his racing heart as he thought this was definitely much easier than he had expected.

After the tall man and guards departed with a courtesy bow of their own, Midoriya closed the door and thought about the words carefully.

Bring everything you need with you.

Midoriya realized that his highness was not playing around, he probably had an idea of what he was doing in the city and what he was carrying. He needed to be careful with him, he's heard the king was short-tempered and violent, but he was also strategic. A cunning rival is the most difficult to overcome, but Midoriya hoped it wouldn't come to that. He believed in his mentor, and if he had chosen his highness that means there was something about him that made him worthy. If their destinies were truly entwined then this was the first step into their futures, he hoped he wouldn't have to fight for his life against his highness.

 

Back in his study the young king discussed the imminent arrival of their guest. The king was not worried for his safety, but the same could not be said about his head of security.

“We have no idea who this man is or what his intentions are for coming here,” stressed the royal head guard Shouta Aizawa, although he did not look like much of a leader at first glance, the man has single handedly trained some of the fiercest and strongest warriors within the castle.

The king furrowed his brow and said, “I know what he’s here for and I doubt he’s a threat,” the young king offered a cocky grin, “either way even if he came with the intention of hurting me he wouldn’t get too far, or are you suggesting you and your students are not equipped to handle one lone man?”

Rolling his eyes Aizawa sighed, “remind me why I agreed to be your babysitter.” King Bakugo growled, “eh?! Who the fuck are you babysitting? Just take care of your side of things and I’ll take care of myself.” The older man shrugged and waved a hand over his shoulder as he stepped out of the study, the young king sitting behind the desk huffed and flipped off the closing door. His friend and foreign emissary chuckled as he glanced at the human king sitting all too casually and unlike royalty on his plush chair.

“You’re not invincible, you know,” the sharp-toothed redhead commented and the king grunted in response.

“I know shitty-hair,” he grumbled reluctantly, “but I’m not stupid or weak either. I can take care of one man, even if he was trained by All Might.”

“How are you so sure he was trained by All Might?”

“I know why he’s here, it’s the whole ‘destiny’ bullshit All Might spouted all the time. Apparently our ‘destinies’ are entwined, and I’m interested in meeting who I was supposed to share his legacy with.”

“Okay bro, whatever you say.” The redhead raised two fingers to his forehead in a mock salute as he departed.

“What have you figured out, raccoon-eyes?” out of the shadows a young demihuman woman materialized with a wide smile, she bowed respectfully and then easily approached the king. She half sat on his desk and he looked up at her with narrowed eyes.

“Well first thing’s first he’s adorable,” King Bakugo rolled his eyes and waved his hand as a command to continue, “he’s barely an adult, he appears to be naïve but don’t let it fool you, my eyes perceived an unfathomable depth within him and a nine-colored flame. He’s not simple, and I agree that we should be careful with how we handle him, even though I perceived no malice or ill-will towards you or the kingdom. But I trust you, blasty- sorry, your highness.”

Nodding in understanding the king pondered over her words, some in particular jumped out at him.

Nine-colored flame, King Bakugo thought, seems things will finally get interesting around here.

 

Midoriya walked over to the castle in awe of the activity and diversity of Tariat’s merchant square. Seeing all kinds of creatures, from humans to camouflaged dragons, demihumans and so much more. He was aware that Tariat was more than just a human and dragon city, but he did not expect this level of variety.

This was no time to get distracted, he’s on his way to see the king! He shook his head and power walked straight towards the sun-kissed towers that marked the entrance of the Ganbatthian castle, the home of the royal Bakugo family. As he approached he felt his heart beating harder and harder inside him, the significance of this event was not lost on him and he was starting to really feel the pressure. Somehow, the king quickly learned of his arrival and what it meant, instead of kicking him out he was invited into the castle. Midoriya tried to figure out what the king wanted from him, he wasn’t given a robust character profile from Toshinori so the only other things he had to go by was the rumors and his understanding of his mentor.

Taking all these things into consideration, Midoriya had come up with some potential reasons.

King Bakugo wanted to accept the legacy now. Midoriya was not super confident about this one, but he considered it anyway.
King Bakugo wanted to meet him before he killed him. He also doubted this one simply because he trusts Toshinori’s judgment, but he would be too naïve to not keep that possibility in mind.
King Bakugo simply wanted to meet him and figure out if he was friend or foe. This was very likely, only because this would be the most obvious assumption if one had at least half a brain.
King Bakugo wanted to meet him and then throw him out. This was also likely, why would he want to entertain the person that by all intents and purposes he could consider a rival?

There were other thoughts for sure, but these were the main ones Midoriya entertained on his way. Now, in front of the gates he met with the same grinning man that delivered the message an hour ago. As polite as earlier he was greeted and escorted inside the castle.

It was incredibly hard to not marvel, slack jawed and wide-eyed at the beauty of the castle. The castle’s stone was not nearly as polished as the stone of the outer walls, however it did not detract in the slightest from the majesty. Five spires that seemed to touch the sky, Midoriya could see a couple of enormous shadows gliding amongst the clouds, un-camouflaged dragons. The stone was dark, light seemed to bounce off it giving the castle an ethereal glow. There were four shorter spires and one great one ascending from the center. From where Midoriya approached it was an optical illusion, the spire gave the impression that it was still growing reaching far beyond the soft blue sky.

The landscaping was impeccable, well-cared for grass, trees and some flowers that Midoriya was not knowledgeable enough to identify. They were beautiful, five petal orange sizable flowers with dark brown pistils emerging from the center and pitch black pollen. One flower was probably bigger than his face, he wondered if these flowers were native or brought over from some distant land.

When they reached the main castle doors his mind and body were assaulted by many different sensations.

The most shocking was the smell, the doors opened and his nose inhaled a sweet smoky scent, it was pleasant and strange. Next was temperature, his body sagged from the soothing heat emanating from the main hall. His eyes identified the sources of the heat, the hall was lined with tame orange-hued flames, they seem to barely flicker against the wind tunneling in from the open doors. Those very flames seemed to hum as he stepped into the hall and cautiously walked forward beside his escort. Although his heart drummed up his throat his back was straight and his shoulders were pushed back, green eyes facing forward and toward the still empty throne at the very end of the hall. Behind the throne on a tall wall was the royal Bakugo family crest. Colossal as it stared down the young man with a ferocity he'd only encountered among wild beasts.

"First we kneel in wait," the formerly grinning - now simply smiling, raven-haired guard spoke reverently, "then his highness should arrive."

Following the guard's movements he let his right knee touch the ground and kept the other up, his right arm parallel to the ground with his wrist touching his left knee, fist closed, forehead pressed against his raised arm.

Barely a minute passed when the calm was interrupted, a man announced, "His Highness King Katsuki Bakugo, Lord of Destruction and Ally of Dragon-kind, Leader of the Free and the Fiercest Warrior of Ganbatthar." Midoriya wasn't sure if he was hearing things, but he could've sworn he heard the guard next to him snort. It was brief and when he glanced at the guard he sported had a stony expression, he did not miss the awkward twitch of his pursed lips.

His thoughts were interrupted by the thundering steps that came closer, he saw the swish of a blood red cape and the thuds of heavy black boots. The steps got closer and then turned to move farther away, he knew those steps were heading up to sit upon the throne.

"All rise!"

Cautiously and respectfully Midoriya lowered his right arm, still keeping his eyes on the ground he slowly started to rise up to his full height and as he did his vision scanned the area in front of him.

Long legs clad in dark fitting slacks were spread wide open, taking up so much space Midoriya wondered if it was appropriate for a ruler. The cape was long and draped over the throne like waves of blood. On one of the armrests laid a hand adorned with lavish jewels, he also peeked some dark red ink decorating the skin of the back of his hand. Torso covered by a simple white tunic loosely tucked into the trousers, as if an afterthought. The tunic was not tied and revealed more decorated skin, although the long neck was bare of any art. The other decorated hand was tucked under a strong chin, finally Midoriya saw his face.

It was no wonder people feared and admired this young king, if not for the obvious youthfulness of his appearance Midoriya would have presumed he stood in the presence of a veteran warrior. The sharp red eyes were the most striking feature, priding himself on being someone who can read others easily, Midoriya was overwhelmed by the amount of information he acquired from those eyes. There was intrigue, pride, disdain, ferocity, challenge, and intelligence. Too many things were jumping out to him at once that he couldn't get a true read on the king. The shock of pale blond hair was both a marvel of nature and a thing of beauty, and this young warrior in training felt that when paired with those eyes it was the most accurate read he would get on the man.

Untamable, fierce, bold.

The king waved a hand and Midoriya's eyebrows quirked, the guard next to him whispered to him, "introduce yourself." Swallowing, he calmed his nerves and urged his voice to not crack under the pressure of the king's gaze.

"Your Highness, introducing himself is Izuku Midoriya, from the village of Tsurara in the Kagutsuchi Kingdom. Warrior in training, mentored by the mighty warrior from your great Ganbatthar Kingdom, All Might."

A faint gasp was briefly heard from the eastern corner where the royal announcer stood, quickly stifling the sound he clasped a hand over his mouth and bowed deeply in repentance toward the monarch. The king did not react, he simply let his eyes trail over the young man in search of something, and Midoriya waited patiently for whatever the king decided to do or say in response.

Whatever the king was searching for it appeared he had found, his lips spread into a wide grin reminiscent of a beast baring its teeth. Standing up from his throne he approaches Midoriya in long, easy strides that seemed to thunder and echo in Midoriya's head.

The king was barely half a head taller than Midoriya, slightly shorter than the guard beside him, but it felt like he towered over them all. With the grin still in place he stared straight into Midoriya's eyes and those green eyes stared back unflinching, bearing the full weight of the king's presence.

"Come." It was a simple command, hearing the king's voice for the first time as he was led by the monarch to leave the main hall, he did not have time to linger over the vibrating bass of the voice. A simple word was the crashing of waves and an eruption. Following closely behind the trail of blood the cape resembled he noted how the beating of his heart no longer echoed in his ears, it was replaced by the sound of solid footfalls.

Everything within the castle was too quiet, every sound was heightened to the point his soft breaths sounded like desperate puffs of air. The high ceilings and open walls felt claustrophobic, Midoriya started to wonder if it was all his head or if his senses were truly being monopolized by the castle and his highness.

From a window high up the head guard observed the guest with a critical eye, and he was not the only one. Midoriya felt like he was under intense scrutiny, even though he was simply trailing behind the king.

"Warrior in training," the king's words broke through Midorirya's thoughts, "will you demonstrate exactly how much All Might managed to teach you?" Before Midoriya knew it they stood in the middle of a vast training ground, presumably military considering the space, the variety of weapons, and the number of training dummies scattered. Led into an open field farther ahead, as the king walked he fiddled with the collar of his cape until it dropped heavily to the ground. Next, to Midoriya's shock, the tunic came off and his eyes took in the twisting red flames that adorned the scarred and muscular back. When they approached a weapon's rack the king twisted off the jewels on his fingers and placed them on the side table.

"I appreciate your consideration," the king spoke again, "not bringing a weapon into my home. However, even holding All Might's greatsword you would not stand a chance." Voice dripped with confidence and Midoriya caught a glimpse of white teeth as his mouth stretched into a wide grin.

Turning around his eyes took note of the feral smile, wide red eyes, and the fire that spread from his shoulder blades to his collar bones and down toward his hands. Covering the entirety of his strong arms and stretching over the back of his hands.

This was everything and nothing of the man Toshinori described and Midoriya imagined. He did not cower in his presence, no matter how overbearing it became Midoriya endured it with a straightforward gaze. Eyes bright but hard-set. If a fight is what the king wanted, it was a fight he was going to get.

"I don't really feel comfortable dueling against the ruler of a kingdom," Midoriya's voice sounded easy, inside he was burdened with uncertainty, "but I will hope his highness will go easy on me, I'm just a commoner after all."

The king's grin did not falter as he picked up twin cutlass from the weapon's rack beside him. Midoriya's eyes turn towards the weapons and picked up a straight, double-edged sword, then a small circular shield that he strapped it to his left arm.

"Does your highness wish to add any conditions to this duel?" Red eyes pierced through him and Midoriya would be a fool to not acknowledge how small he felt under the harsh gaze.

Huffing the king approached Midoriya and in a low voice said, "I'll try not to kill you."

A man with long, shaggy black hair and tired eyes stepped into the field and announced, "His Highness King Katsuki Bakugo challenges warrior in training Izuku Midoriya to an official Ganbatthian duel. Warriors, ready!"

The king walked backwards over ten feet never taking his eyes off his opponent, Midoriya widened his stance slightly and held the sword vertically, green eyes narrowing and lips parted to take in deep, calming breaths. The king held a sword in each hand and extended his arms to the side, he bent his knees and slouched forward, but his head was still raised, red eyes calm.

"Duel!"

Swiftly the king's feet pounded the ground and sped towards Midoriya, the latter's eyes widened a fraction but brought his shielded arm upwards to block if the king struck him with one of the swords, he tilted his own sword to parry the other one. He moved fast and would have succeeded if he had not misread his opponent. Still grinning the king crossed his arms over his chest and jumped up, kicking against the shield and flipped over Midoriya. Turning his body around midair he landed behind his opponent with one knee on the ground, Midoriya barely dodged the king's cutlass as he uncrossed his arms and sliced through the air. Midoriya leapt forward and rolled on the ground. His execution was not so graceful since he panicked, the king was very fast and he couldn't get an accurate read on him yet.

Turning around the king was hot on his trail and Midoriya decided he needed to go on the offensive if he was going to stand a chance. Keeping his shielded arm lowered was a risk but one he was going to have to take. He observed as the king swung his right arm wide picking up considerable momentum so he turned to the king's right to avoid the downward diagonal slash, keeping his sword horizontal now to slice through his abdomen. The king did not miss this and used his other cutlass to halt the movement and push it back.

This is what Midoriya wanted, just one block and the king would have to go on the defense if he could manage to keep up with his highness speed and agility. With their backs towards each other, Midoriya turned first, when his sword was pushed back he adjusted his grip to facilitate a twisting horizontal hack headed for the king's legs. The king had no choice but to jump away to avoid the hit which gave Midoriya the chance to spin around to move toward the king.

The king did not waste a second even in the air, he changed his grip on the cutlass to deliver devastating stabs to Midoriya's shoulders, and he realized that as he stepped into the king's range he was going to have to take a hit just to get the chance to land anything on his highness.

Feet touched the ground and the cutlass were mere inches away from making contact, the king's eyes widened and quickly flipped his wrists so instead the hilt of his swords made heavy impact. Midoriya took the entire hit with a visible cringe, but he gritted his teeth and used both hands to lift his sword, which now felt way heavier, to slice the king.

With clear shock coloring his features, the king fell back but the tip of the sword still sliced open his skin. A long diagonal cut through from his left ribs up his chest and right under his right shoulder. It was not deep enough to incapacitate him, it definitely looked worse than it felt, but the true reason the king was struck speechless was because of the reckless decisions this young warrior made just to cut him once.

Midoriya was on his knees attempting to steady his breathing, the blows to his shoulders wrecked his arms and he thinks he might have dislocated something when pulling his sword up after taking those hits. The king stepped forward and took note of the man on his knees, arms hanging limply, the sword on the ground off to the side, the pained but still determined look in the young man's eyes.

With one of his swords he points the tip towards Midoriya's face with an expectant look, the younger man squinted his eyes as he looked up, the sun was shining from behind the king and it hurt his eyes.

"Surrender," was all the king said and Midoriya couldn't hold his head up any longer, the cool metal of the sword touched his forehead and in a clear but ragged voice he repeated the word.

Seemingly satisfied with this the king let his weapons fall out of his hands and he started to walk away. A small group of men and women approached him with the intention of taking care of his wounds, he waved at them dismissively and said, "Take care of him, I'll go to old lady Chiyo."

The small group of healers coaxed the young man into standing up and gently guiding him back into the castle, the head guard and the young raven-haired guard shared a look.

"That's a nasty cut you got there, young man, who did you piss off this time?" The older woman tutted in disappointment and the king scowled.

"I didn't piss anyone off, it was an official duel," he gritted his teeth as she cleaned him, due to his rising irritation rather than the pain, "he's All Might's new pet project, whatever the hell his name was... Soku, Iku, Deku? I don't give a shit but he did piss me off."

"Did he beat you?"

"Ha! Of-fucking-course he didn't, but that's why I'm pissed!" She asked him if he wanted it to scar and he nodded, she's a brilliant healer but every so often the king likes to leave some scars on his body.

"All Might expected me to share his legacy with this bitch? Yeah he knows his way around a sword, but what the fuck was that in the end? He let me hit him! For what? So he could get ONE hit on me! In the battlefield he would be long-dead, fuck I should've killed him and gotten it over with."

The old woman hummed and now the king had a long scar across his torso - another reminder, another lesson.

 

“His highness used sparring swords, didn’t he?” Midoriya asked the healers and they nodded.

“When dueling, his highness rarely uses his real cutlass.”

“But he let me use a real sword?”

“Indeed his highness did, that’s also common.”

Midoriya wasn’t sure if he felt insulted or grateful. Coming into the Ganbatthar kingdom he was aware he didn’t stand a chance against the king, his meager three years of training cannot compared to a man who was trained to kill since birth. A man with experience in war, fighting for his life and leading armies, even if the king was young he had already accomplished so much.

When he thought back to their short fight he recalled his fear at seeing those twin blades coming down to tear at his shoulders. He was more than relieved when the king flipped his wrists last minute to strike him with the hilts, if he hadn’t he’d have more to worry about than just dislocated shoulders.

One thing he understood now after dueling with the king is that he’s definitely more man than beast. His fighting style and his appearance gave a beastial impression, but he was not a merciless, bloodthirsty killer. Even if taking on the dull blades full force wouldn’t have killed him it would’ve thoroughly wrecked his arms, probably made him incapable of ever raising a sword again if he didn’t have One For All. Midoriya couldn’t blame him even if he had struck him with sharpened blades, Midoriya was the one who took the risk under the assumption the king was wielding real swords, but his highness still decided to switch and cause less damage.

Groaning he closed his eyes and laid down on the bed. The healers were all done setting him back in place and treating the bruises, they said he could rest there until he felt fit to leave. Midoriya felt like he wouldn’t be standing back up ever again, but that was probably because this bed was surprisingly comfortable even for an infirmary mattress.

The exhaustion got to him, he had just arrived into the city and almost immediately after stepping into the capital he was invited to meet the king. To duel his highness no less, now he was left to heal from his injuries on a comfortable bed, his mind relaxed and he fell into a dreamless sleep.

"He's sleeping, your highness, let's cut him some slack - his shoulders are fucked," the raven-haired guard blocked the doors, not letting the snarling royal even peek inside, said royal fumed and glared up at the snarky guard.

"You really got a fucking death wish, soy-sauce face."

"Eh, I like to live but it can get pretty boring around here," grinning mischievously he continued, "a little danger here and there wouldn't hurt."

"Fine, fuckface, I'll leave the dork alone!" Huffing the king stomps off towards his study, "Let me know when he wakes up."

Mock saluting the departing monarch the guard leans back casually against the wall beside the doors, just then a demihuman woman walked up to the guard and waved.

"Hey Hanta, he in there?" The pink-skin woman smiled and he pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Mina, please not him too," he pleads with the smiling woman who shrugs innocently, "you saw him, right? He's probably a virgin don't corrupt him yet."

"He is a virgin."

"How would you know?!"

"My eyes see all," she fiddled with one of her long curls and the guard groaned. "Don't you have a girlfriend anyway?" Shaking her head, the smile never fading, she stated, "Not really, we just hook up every once in a while," she shrugged.

With a pained look in his eye, the guard looked up pleadingly toward the high ceilings, "oh gods I envy you, Mina... Well, at least one of us is out there having fun." With a fond glint in his eyes he smiled at his friend.

"I'm still not letting you in though."

"Aw, Hanta!"

 

The king was not surprised to find the head guard Aizawa already waiting for him in his study. Rolling his eyes he walks right past him and slumps on his chair.

“What?” the head guard shrugs his arms still crossed, the young king glares at him as he let his head fall back.

“Well, I told you he wasn’t a threat to me,” the king grumbled and the head guard sighed.

“Yeah, I got that,” he looked like he aged ten years after watching the duel, he wondered if All Might had a talent for finding the most troublesome kids and then making them worse.

“What the fuck was that shit he pulled out there?” the king’s jaw clenched and he brought his eyes back to Aizawa who stared at him with no discernible emotion.

“I swear, All Might is still a shitty teacher ain’t he.”

“He was never particularly good at teaching, he was more of the lead by example type.”

“No kidding…” his mind couldn’t help but think back to his teenage years, training with the great warrior All Might. He was mystified by the man, even if he tried his best to hide it, he was so excited to have this opportunity. Especially because the great warrior appeared to see something special in him, something he wanted to cultivate.

When he learned he was meant to share the legacy his rose-tinted glasses shattered.

At the time, the prince thought he must have been lacking something for All Might to believe he needed to have a partner just to be enough to inherit the legacy. Later the great warrior sat him down and explained the nature of his legacy, how it wasn’t simply his decision but something determined by destiny. His power was inherited and cultivated, and it is a power - a legacy - meant to be passed on.

All Might was never the best at explaining things, but even in his teens the soon-to-be king was clever. This legacy was now too great to be handled alone by one individual, so Bakugo could not carry it alone.

This was not enough for him, even though he understood, he was not the type of person to share greatness with anyone. If this power was supposedly too great to be carried alone, then he didn’t want it. On his own he will surpass even the great warrior All Might, his own accomplishments will be enough to overtake whoever ends up with All Might’s legacy - the so-called One For All.

The king does not regret his decision to reject All Might’s legacy, but he does feel a little insulted that he was meant to wait for this dweeb. A lack of experience is just that, that can be remedied easily. However that level of reckless abandon, this self-destructive path is not something anyone can just fix. He wondered if All Might was aware of the true extent of this young man’s drive. Passion is one thing. But that, that was a whole other thing that neither of them are truly prepared to deal with.

“What are you planning on doing with him, your highness?”

Grunting, the king rolled his head and cracked his neck, “I’ll figure it out, first I have to see what All Might had him deliver to me.”

“I’m sorry, deliver what?”

“That man did not come here empty handed, I’m sure All Might left him something to give me,” he waved his hand dismissively and the head guard sighed, thinking that of course this kid would be so self-centered to believe that.

Somehow, Aizawa did not doubt that the young king was correct in his assumption. As the head guard stepped out of the study he wondered if All Might’s talk of destiny was onto something.

It had been awhile since someone riled up the king in such a way, and the head guard hoped that this would be for the best.