Mirio found himself slightly dazed by the beautiful expanse of stars he could witness inside the portal but slapped himself back to reality almost immediately.
Dangers were oftentimes the most horrific things you would witness as a hero, but every so often, you had the chance of witnessing the beauty unlike any other.
Still, Mirio was not fooled by the beauty of the portal above.
His mind worked overtime as he examined his surroundings.
It was typical hero knowledge to examine your environment when uncertain about a threat… only, Mirio was examining his surroundings to figure out an escape route for himself, Jessica, Brian, and Alisa.
At this time, he could care less about anyone else.
The Bridge Street had grown saturated with people using their cell phones to video the portal above.
Everyone had either exited or was in the process of exiting their vehicles, which was not a wise choice during times of uncertain dangers.
There were a few smarter amongst the crowd who had already started to head for shelter in fear, but sadly, a shelter was almost non-existent unless someone ducked inside a car.
Mirio tilted his head to see Brian enamored with the portal above, his eyes glistening with unshed tears at witnessing such a scientific marvel.
Jessica, like any normal teenage girl, was recording whatever she could on her phone. Mirio wasn’t sure about social media in this Universe but he was sure that Jessica had them all.
Surprisingly, the only one that seemed to recognize the danger amongst the family members was Alisa, who tugged at Brian’s and Jessica’s arms desperately.
Alisa glanced back and shared a look with Mirio causing him to jump into action the next moment.
Mirio grabbed Jessica and Brian by their arms, utilizing his entire strength to pull them towards the taxi.
Alisa swiftly followed behind him, also intent on jumping into the taxi in hopes of weathering whatever the fuck was happening.
Mirio wasn’t sure about the situation but immediate shelter was not a bad option.
There were sounds of explosions from behind that caused Mirio to glance backward, witnessing Iron Man soaring to the skies to fight against whatever was exiting the portal.
Everyone could see the blaze of fire as Iron Man fought against an unknown foe but instead of being scared, everyone just craned their necks higher to record the event more thoroughly.
Mirio even felt Jessica and Brian fighting against his strength to view the events once more but he held them firmly in place.
It was at that moment, holding the three most important people in this world that Mirio recalled a memory…
He and Midoriya stood in front of a terrified Eri and just watched as Overhaul whisked her away. Unlike Midoriya who wanted to fight for Eri then and there…. He was a coward who wanted the perfect plan before he acted…
Recalling Eri’s hopeless face at that moment, Mirio glanced around and noticed several people on the bridge who had similar faces: Taxi Cab Drivers, Mothers, Children, Businessmen, and women…
For the first time since arriving in this Universe, Mirio felt a minor need to help someone aside from himself.
“Wait here!” He commanded, squeezing Brian’s and Jessica’s hands as he directed a solemn look in their eyes, causing them to nod instinctually.
Mirio darted forward at a family of three who were just about to exit their car to see what was happening outside.
Without any decorum, Mirio slammed the door shut the moment the husband pushed it open “Put on your seat belts and remain inside!” he yelled in a threatening manner, hoping it frightened the family into remaining inside the safety of their cab.
He slammed two more doors shut but his actions made little difference against the insatiable human curiosity.
Many people directly ignored his warning shouts and ventured outside anyway.
Amidst his running around like a madman, Mirio caught sight of a small girl who sunk to the ground on her knees, obviously having lost sight of her parents amid the small chaos.
Mirio dashed forward, scooping the small child into his arms without hesitation. Knowing he couldn’t do much to help in his Quirkless state, Mirio decided to settle for the little miracle in his arms.
He spun around and went back to Jessica and her family who had thankfully remained exactly where he left them earlier.
Just as he was about to reach Jessica, Brian, and Alisa, Mirio’s breathing turned heavy and he could somewhat sense a strange intangible change in the atmosphere.
Focusing his senses, Mirio could vaguely hear the several objects cutting through the wind, moving at speeds faster than he could discern, which was concerning because he could determine a car’s speed from sound alone.
Mirio heard several loud gasps from behind and noticed the terrified looks on Jessica’s, Brian’s, and Alisa’s faces in front of him.
Before he even had a chance to think, Mirio felt his body leap forward at superhuman speeds, placing his free hand on Jessica’s chest and adding a bit of pressure to push her behind a nearby Taxi Cab.
Sadly, he could not repeat the process for Brian and Alisa due to the child in his arms.
A silent tear slid from his eye as a multitude of explosions bombarded the bridge Street, forcing Mirio to cradle the child more securely as he was tossed away like a ragdoll.
As his body was tossed through the air due to the explosions from behind, the world around Mirio slowed and his thought processes sped up, allowing him to see strange creatures shooting at everyone from the skies above.
Those creatures were obviously not human… or of any origin, he had witnessed before. They were grey-skinned with golden armor covering certain parts of their body.
Each looked like royalty due to the golden crown around their heads, but any beauty they had was lessened by the strange shape of their mouths-skull appearance.
Mirio could also see the majority of the people on the Bridge Street being reduced to ash.
Some even managed to jump from the sides in desperation, though judging by the height, they would likely die from the fall alone.
Maneuvering his eyes a bit to the right and he could see the exact moment a pulse of blue energy struck Alisa and Brian, reducing them to ash in an instant.
The last thing he saw was a gentle smile from Brian and Alisa staring at Jessica’s location behind a nearby Taxi Cab.
From what he could tell, they only had selfless thoughts at the moment of their passing.
The case in Brian’s arms, containing all his research, was tossed away.
Feeling that world moving faster once more, Mirio used the accumulated knowledge of his combat training to rotate his body in the air as he shielded the child in his arms from any harm that might come her way.
Mirio felt a strong collision with the side of a car that knocked the wind from his lungs, sending his mind into unconsciousness for a couple of seconds.
When the pain resided and his eyes reopened, Mirio was greeted by the sight of utter destruction – smoke and debris everywhere.
The slight shaking of the Bridge Street told him that the foundations had been compromised, and from what he could tell, this type of destruction had occurred all over Manhattan, New York.
A silent tear slid from the corner of Mirio’s eyes when he glanced down at his arms, where a lifeless child lay.
While his body could withstand the impact of an explosion and the subsequent collision with a car, the child could not withstand the forces at play even if the damage was dampened by Mirio’s body.
A massive surge of guilt overwhelmed Mirio’s mind as he placed the child on the ground, and with that guilt came the voices of self-doubt he thought had disappeared.
[You’re a failure!]
[You can’t save anyone!]
“Shut up!” Mirio yelled, clutching his head in pain.
[Everyone will die around you… Nejire, Tamaki, Christine, Jessica…]
“I will save them… I am a hero – I am Lemillion…”
[Do you really believe that?... You are nothing… Just look!]
Mirio raised his head to see Jessica stumbling onto the center of a destroyed Bridge Street that was on the verge of collapse.
Still, it seemed that Jessica’s death would come sooner because Mirio watched as a huge slab of concrete fall through the air from the skyscraper directly above Jessica’s position.
Mirio’s body started moving before his mind could even command it…
It was like an illusion shattered right before my eyes. There were no more noises inside my mind, no more doubt inside my heart, no more indulgence in the gloom… there was only the sight of destruction that lay before my eyes.
My name is Mirio Togata and I don’t know how or when I forgot that. That name used to mean something to a lot of people… and it should mean something even if this world was not my own.
Actually, I am not even sure if I am really remembering who I am or if this was one of those brief moments of clarity before death.
Either way, I was thankful to finally break free from the shackles of my gloomy mind.
I guess I never really forgot who I was, only the feelings and emotions that always drove me forward.
A scientist would say that humans are our memories and experiences but I think humans are the hope that burns in the deepest depths of our souls… and right now, my flame of hope was creating sparks once more.
What quelled the flames of my hope? I don’t exactly know but all that mattered right now was the small child in front of me.
I was dead inside and to be honest, some part of me was comfortable with that – the feeling of having no connections and hence nothing to lose.
For a while, I so desperately wanted to believe that but a hero always breaks through the doubt, fear, and hardships. I felt ashamed that it took this long for me to remember.
As I watched that enormous slab of concrete slowly falling through the air, I had no doubt it would crush her – would crush us since I was not about to let her die alone.
She is the daughter of my benefactor and she looks so much like Eri…
Some part of the current me broke through the shroud of gloominess that blocked my mind and using that opportunity, I ripped away my shackles to become Lemillion once more.