When Takakutou Shakou was five, she was told by her parents that not all men were equal. That some are just better than others. That some, like her, have powers, and some unlucky souls don't, and need protection. When Shakou was five, she learned about heroes. When Shakou was ten, she knew that she wanted to be a hero, and with the way her school supported her, she knew she had made the right decision. And when Shakou was fifteen? That was when she was going to finally start her path on being a hero.
Shakou blearily opened her eyes. She sat up, rubbed her eyes, and stretched. Ugh, what time was it? She grabbed her phone off the bedside table. 7:03 am, and it was a Saturday. She blinked a few times. Wasn't there something important going on today?
As she glanced around her room, looking at her various hero posters, she almost shot out of bed when she remembered. That was right! The entrance exams for Taiyuu were today! She'd already done the written portion earlier this week, but now she'd be able to actually show off the skills she'd been training for a few years!
Quickly getting dressed in a tank-top, and some shorts, Shakou ran out of her room, and into the kitchen, and to her surprise, her mom was there, cooking breakfast.
"Hey Mom!" she said, grabbing a cup, and opening the fridge to get herself some orange juice. "Are you not going to work today?"
Her mom just laughed. "And miss the day of your entrance exam, Shakou? No way!"
Shakou smiled. "So is Dad going to work instead, or are you both staying home?"
Shakou's mother put some seasoning on the meal, and dished some out on a plate, before handing it to Shakou. "Oh, your father is staying home too! He's just sleeping in, as he does when he gets the chance." Shakou nodded, and started eating. She smiled.
"Your cooking is as good as ever Mom! Thanks!"
"Wouldn't want you to go hungry on such an important day!"
Soon enough, Shakou had cleaned off her plate, and put it in the sink. "Alright Mom, I'm gonna be in my room planning out this thing. Don't interrupt me!"
Her mom just smiled. "Okay Shakou, I'll be sure not to."
Once she had gotten back to her room, Shakou sat down. She'd want to bring some paper, and a pencil at the bare minimum - There was a good chance she'd need it. Maybe some gloves would be good? But then they could impair her drawing…
Before she even knew it, it was 11, and she was ready to set out for the train to the Taiyuu Island.
Shakou sat in the waiting room for the exam, bouncing her leg. The exam would be in a half hour from now, and every second that ticked by felt like hours. There were a lot of people in the room chatting - maybe she could try joining in?
There was a group of 3 applicants chatting near her, one a boy with green hair, and odd looking freckles, one a girl with bunny clips, and hair pulled to the side, and the other a scared purple-haired boy, clearly not prepared for the exam.
“-my quirk, ghost… side effect from when I got it, I guess.” The scaredy-cat was talking, saying something about his quirk.
“So, does that mean you’re like Danny Phantom?” Freckles started to hum, and even sing some american theme song.
Bunny girl chimed in. “Eh? That’s a really useful quirk.”
“So the scaredy-cat’s a death boy, huh? Didn’t expect that.” Shakou said, with barely even a second thought.
The 3 stopped talking, and turned to her. None of them looked that strong, so they probably hadn’t done as much training, Shakou noted. She’d probably have the exam in the bag if the rest of the examinees trained as well as these 3 seemed to have.
Oh, bunny girl was saying something. Shakou just shrugged in response. “I mean, his quirk sounds pretty cool, but he’s not gonna get anywhere in the hero world if he’s gonna be a coward like that.” Bunny girl and Freckles looked outraged, but Scaredy-cat just looked desolate. Just proving her point. But then, he stood up.
“I’m sick of people, people like you doubting me! Saying I’m nothing, when I’m not! I will be a hero… You’ll see.”
Shakou smiled. So maybe the death boy did have some heroic potential after all.
“Hello, hello? Is this thing on?” a voice came through the speakers, interrupting the conversation before the tension could get any higher. The voice continued. "I'm just going to assume it is. Hi everyone! I'm Lackadaisy, the maker of this island that we're standing on, and the principal of this school you're trying to get into! Nice to meet you all, even though I can't hear you. So, you're all here to take the entrance exam. Or you're incredibly lost, but I won't judge. If you're one of the former, then I have great news for you! The exam will be starting right after I finish my spiel. If you're one of the latter, I believe the exit door should be…" There was a pause, as the sound of rustling papers came through the speaker "On the north wall?" A few students snorted in response to that. "Anyways! The entrance exam's gonna be a race through an obstacle course. It's divided into three sections, each separated by a pathway in-between. Some of you curious souls might be asking. 'Well, Lackadaisy, the greatest principal to ever exist, what are those obstacles?' The answer is, I don't know either! Or, more accurately, you guys are gonna find out. You guys can fight each-other, if you want, but try to avoid spilling blood? It's a pain to clean this whole place. Uhh, I think that's about it. You guys can go now!"
There's a pause, as everyone takes in Lackadaisy's words. The speaker starts up again "Uhh, m'dudes, the doors are unlocked. I said you could go. Your exam's started."
One more moment of silence
Then chaos, as everyone started running for the doors, opening to reveal a long stretch of path, and at the end, a gateway made of metal. Shakou ended up being one of the last to get onto the track thanks to the buildup of people.
A girl with green hair suddenly jumped up in the crowd, and yelled "LUCK OF THE DRAW!" Before throwing something, in the direction of the crowd ahead? It was hard for Shakou to tell. Then, suddenly, one by one, examinees started lagging behind the crowd. A lot of them had tripped, and a few even looked like they might have gotten themselves injured.
The green-haired girl was laughing as she rushed ahead, only to trip up after being grabbed by another girl, with short silver hair, and multicolored eyes, who looked like she just came out of a circus. Judging by the way her quirk seemed to completely mess up the green-haired girl's movements, Shakou thought it would probably be smart to avoid her. A gray skinned girl grabbed onto Circus girl, and they both vanished, before appearing again, further ahead along the path.
Ahead of the path they were on, a large metal gateway stood, and judging by the way it was set up, that was the real start of the obstacle course.
"OBSTACLE ONE, QUICKSAND TRAPS!" A pre-recorded message blared from speakers on the gate as students ran in.
The path widened to a giant field. “The objective is to make it through without getting stuck in one of the traps all around the field. Keep a keen eye, and don’t fall in!”, the recording continued. Shakou cursed as she almost fell into one of the traps. Her quirk wouldn't be any use here, so she'd just have to try and be careful and fast. She didn't want to fall behind more than she ready was
As she was walking dodging around a second section of quicksand that she could barely see, she heard a loud cry
Shakou looked back to see the group of examinees she met in the entrance exam. Freckles was stuck up to his waist in the quicksand, and occasionally even coughing some out, while the two other examinees in the group, Bunny girl and Death boy, were trying to help him out.
Shakou rolled her eyes, and continued rushing ahead. If the Freckles wasn't smart enough to pay attention to the recording, or use his quirk, to avoid the traps, she wasn't going to take the fall for that. She had a race that she needed to win.
As Shakou carefully made her way through the sandy area, she saw a few more interesting cases. There was a (rather plain looking, in her opinion) girl, stuck in a pit, who seemed to be… was she singing? It was hard to tell, as 2 other examinees helped her, with dazed expressions on their faces.
Then there was the applicant ahead of Shakou, a girl with gray skin that faded to black around her hands, and long blonde hair with red tips. She just melted the sand she was running on into glass, and seemed to be dripping… was that lava? But, as Shakou realized, when she was reaching the end, the lava girl was rather slow.
Shakou passed through the gate, and in the stretch between obstacles, she pulled ahead of lava girl. Ahead of the path, she could see something. It seemed to be… fake skyscrapers? She made it to the gate, and skidded through as the announcement played, "OBSTACLE NUMBER TWO! RESCUE RELAY!"
Seems this school had a love for showing off, as ahead of her was a false city.
The announcement continued, "Make it through the city and out the other gate- But don't forget to try and rescue 'helpless citizens'! You need to bring at least 3 to the safety zone besides the gate to go through!"
At a second glance now, the city area seemed to be wrecked, like as if villain attacked. Fitting theme, for a hero school. Shakou ran down the streets, trying to find one of these so called "helpless citizens".
Soon enough, she did see one. It was a metal dummy, approximately human shaped, and with a red label on it's back reading "Rescue me!" It was gonna be annoying, and heavy, but she had no choice other than to pick it up, and carry it around.
Off to the side, she saw a girl with white hair in a ponytail, happily walking along, with 3 dummies, who were also walking . Must be her quirk then, since, from what Shakou could tell, there was no way to make them walk like that.
Shakou walked inside one of the false skyscrapers to try and look for a second dummy, and she found one, hiding behind a desk. There was a trio of examinees in here as well, one a guy with blond hair, and large indigo eyes, one a person with floating white hair, most of it tied into a large braid, and the other a pink-haired boy. They all seemed to be working together to get a dummy out of the rubble.
She rolled her eyes as she walked out of the building. Shakou really didn't see the point in teamwork on the exam, since it was a race to win after all. She ran down the streets, trying to find a third dummy, but she was starting to tire out. From the looks of it, a fair amount of the robots were taken already.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one. Right by an applicant, with a mask-like face, who was currently kneeling by another one, a girl with yellow, half-shaved hair. Was he... setting her on fire? Whatever it was, he clearly didn't care about the dummy by him, so…
"Finders keepers, losers weepers!" Shakou shouted as she ran by, grabbing the dummy. She could hear a distant shout from Mask boy, but she didn't care. She was sprinting towards the gate. Once she had made it, she shrugged off the bots into the designated area, where a scruffy looking examinee in a purple hoodie was dropping off a bot of their own.
Shakou charged through the end gates, with no time to waste.
The last obstacle became apparent rather quickly, before she even reached the gates signifying the start. A giant wall, that seems to stretch as far as the eye could see. Or, at least until the end of the island.
"OBSTACLE NUMBER 3!" the overhead voice called out as Shakou ran through the gates. "THE GREAT WALL! Behind this wall is the final stretch to the end of the race! Now all you have to do is get there.
They weren't exaggerating when they said great wall. As she was running towards the wall, Shakou could see a few other applicants, getting over the wall in different ways. There was one, dressed in black colors, using some kind of glowing rope to scale the wall, while a pair of applicants, one with black hair, the other with white, & orange, seemed to be using floating fruit? Meanwhile a girl with dark blue hair seemed to be focused on burning handholds into the wall.
Shakou grinned as she made it to the wall. Now was her time to shine. She grabbed one of her papers, and held held on the wall with her right hand. She took the pencil from behind her ear, and with a swoop of her arm, quickly drew a circle. Tucking her pencil back behind her ear, she took a deep breath, pulled back her arm, and…
"BANG!" she shouted, right as she punched through her circle outline, and the 10 feet of steel behind it. Her hand hurt like hell, but thanks to the training she'd done, and the additional boost provided by her quirk, she managed it.
With no time to waste, Shakou crawled through the hole she made, and started sprinting. Since she had basically just made a passage for every examinee behind her , she needed to run for the final stretch, as fast as she could. And run Shakou did. She ran as fast as she could, she ran until she saw the gates signifying the end of the exam, and then she ran more, when she came through another gate - the last one?
"Aaaand in first place for our first year and our first Taiyuu entrance exam , we have TAKAKUTOU SHAKOU! "
Shakou smiled, before dropping to the floor, out of breath. Another announcement played, not that she was paying attention to it, and an examinee with colorful wings dropped down next to her, saying something about only getting second place.
Shakou didn't care about anything else
She would get into Taiyuu.