Chapter 23 – Battle of New York VII
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Steve and Clint examined Mirio for a couple of seconds, but a small nod from Natasha told both men that Mirio was friendly…

After all, during a battle as large as this, it was not unexpected to find allies in strange places, but inexperienced help could do more damage than anything…

“Steve Rodgers…” Steve introduced…

Clint followed “Clint Barton…”

“Mirio Togata…” Mirio responded, using both his hands for an awkward handshake…

Mirio was not nervous, but he found it a bit startling to realize that both Clint and Steve were probably this Universe’s versions of All Might…

“It’s best to leave the name for when everyone survives...” Natasha shouted, adjusting the gauntlets/stingers on her wrists…

Mirio had been observing Natasha since they met, and he noted that she always subconsciously ensured that her stingers were always just below the lethality level…

Just like Natasha could read Mirio with a glance, he could somewhat see a bit of her story from the way she carried herself…

Natasha moved a bit like Stain – A trained Killer, but unlike Stain, Natasha seemed hesitant to kill…

With her level of skill, Mirio judged that sometimes she could take down a Chitauri Soldier in one move, but for some reason, she used three moves instead…

However, not one to pry into others' business, Mirio instead focused on the incoming battalion of Chitauri Soldiers…

Steve fastened his shield to his arm…

Natasha lowered into a combat stance…

Clint flicked on the spotter on his arrow…

Steve was the first to dash into battle, moving at speeds that rivaled a cheetah, bashing Chitauri Soldiers away like flies…

Still, as fast as Steve was, he was not faster than one of Clint’s arrows…

Clint’s arrow struck one Chitauri Soldier after another, creating explosions that carved a major chunk out of the Chitauri Battalion but nowhere near enough to make a true difference…

Just as Mirio was about to charge into battle as well, Natasha’s legs wrapped around his waist as she applied pinpoint pressure to several areas on Mirio’s neck using her fingers…

Before Mirio could even think about a way to respond, he subconsciously utilized his permeation quirk for an instant, sinking both himself and Natasha into the sewers beneath the streets of New York…

Not letting precious time go to waste, Natasha departed Mirio’s back and began planting timed bombs at strategic locations in the sewers…

“Nerve cluster near the neck… need to borrow your ability…” Natasha explained as she planted one bomb after the next…

“You could have asked…” Mirio argued weakly, rubbing the irritated location on his neck…

“Clear the area above…” Natasha whispered into the coms, and then walked back towards Mirio with a small smirk gracing her lips “I’m asking now…”

Mirio heard the final beep of the bombs, and he grabbed Natasha…

---BOOOOOOOOOOM---

They both entered a world of nothingness, falling eternally like a never-ending abyss, and to Mirio’s surprise, Natasha remained calm through it all…

 A couple of seconds later, both Mirio and Natasha rose out of the ground like phantoms, rolling into combat-ready positions…

The smoke and flames of the earlier explosion clouded their vision, and a couple straggling Chitauri Soldiers used that to their advantage…

Natasha dodged two beams of energy, flipping directly around a Chitauri’s neck, performing a leg throw that sent the creature into a sharp pole jotting out of the rubble…

Dodging another beam of energy with a backflip, Natasha’s stinger penetrated through the cloud of smoke to claim another Chitauri Soldier…

The moment she was back on the ground, Natasha grabbed a Chitauri Blaster and sent her own beam of energy to reap the life of several Chitauri Soldiers in hiding…

However, compared to Natasha, Mirio was having a much harder time…

A Chitauri Soldier struck from a blind spot, and Mirio was barely able to block the attack using the hand that held Brian’s gifted watch…

Mirio smashed the Chitauri into the ground with a scissor kick, but the damage to the watch was already done, causing the tingle in Mirio’s spine to return…

The tingle in Mirio’s spine was not a death sentence, but it did delay the time of his quirk’s activation, so there was no way for Mirio to dodge the Chitauri that rammed into him…

The Chitauri attempted to smash Mirio into nearby rubble, but Mirio leveraged the Chitauri’s momentum to spin, tossing the Chitauri into the rubble instead of himself…

---BANG---

Mirio was not able to celebrate the minor victory as a blow to the head by a Chitauri Soldier laid him flat on the ground…

The Chitauri Soldier was quick to follow up with a couple more blows, leaving Mirio with a broken visor and a bloodied face…

A throwing knife bounced on the ground once the sliced through the tendons of The Chitauri Soldier, sending the creature falling to the ground and into Mirio’s embrace…

Mirio caught the Chitauri Soldier in a reverse chokehold, squeezing with all his might until the creature stopped moving altogether…

Mirio pushed the Chitauri Soldier off his body, and was greeted with a helping hand from Clint…

“You okay, kid?”

Mirio took Clint’s offered hand “It could have been worse…”

Clint nodded “I’ve seen plenty worse so just rub some dirt on it and you’ll be fine…”

“Bad advice for a fourteen-year-old, kid…” Natasha interrupted, steadily walking to Clint and Mirio as she fired her stingers nonstop…

“Sixteen…” Mirio corrected, rising to his feet and tossing the broken visor off his face, revealing his features for the first time…

“See…” Clint patted Mirio on the back and shrugged at Natasha “His face is still as smooth as a baby’s bottom…”

Seeing that Mirio was back on his feet even after taking a beating, Natasha and Clint secretly nodded at each other and directed their full attention to the battle ahead…

Knowing the tingle in his spine would limit his ability to permeate, Mirio gave himself a running start and dashed towards a Chitauri Soldier…

The Chitauri Soldier pierced at Mirio, but at the last second, the tingle stopped and Mirio permeated the central part of his body, passing through the strike of the Chitauri Soldier…

Still, Mirio’s fist remained tangible, blasting the head of the Chitauri Soldier away…

Five minutes passed with constant battle… Natasha and Clint stayed a couple meters away from Mirio, ensuring the kid would not die from an unexpected attack…

As Avengers, Natasha and Clint signed up to die in battle but in their eyes, that was not the case for Mirio…

With Stark and Thor clearing the skies of all Chitauri Chariots, and Natasha, Clint, Mirio, and Steve clearing the ground of Chitauri Soldiers, it seemed like they were finally making a dent in the number of invaders…

But… the hidden Loki presented The Avengers with a new challenge the moment they thought that they were making progress…

---DUUUUM---

---DUUUUM---

Two Chitauri Whales emerged from the blue portal above New York City…

The whales were massive, about ninety feet in length, and probably weighed even more given the armor that made their bodies nearly impenetrable by anything but the world’s finest needles.

Still, The Chitauri Whales floated out of the portal with weightlessness that defied the Laws of Physics, but nobody had time to marvel at a scientific leap for mankind…

“Maybe it’s time to leave the rest to us…” Natasha suggested to Mirio, but the latter just shook his head in disagreement…

“I ran from battle once and it led to the continued suffering of a little girl…” Mirio replied, gritting his teeth as he eyed the massive creatures above “I promised myself that I would never again turn my back to anyone in need…”

There was no need for further conversation…

Everyone watched as Chitauri Soldiers were ejected by the dozens from hidden locations in the Chitauri Whale’s armor…

“These are different…” Clint murmured, his keen eyesight noting the changes with the new Chitauri Soldiers “They are even more cybernetically enhanced than the previous ones…”

The new Chitauri Soldier could be considered Chitauri Elites because they were larger than the average Chitauri, their nails were sharper, and of course, they were much uglier…

The Chitauri Elite clung to walls like spiders, slicing through concrete like it was butter…

The unlucky people in the way of the Chitauri Elites were similarly sliced apart…

Regardless of the lack of time to observe the new threat, Steve was not someone capable of watching anyone die even if it was tactically unwise to engage…

Adding a bit of spin to his shield, Steve tossed the shield, utilizing all his super-soldier enhanced muscles…

The shield cut through the air, spinning faster and faster as it traveled, cutting through the first Chitauri Elite’s head, then the second and third before returning to Steve’s hands…

Miro wondered why Steve never added a bit of rotation to his shield and now he had the answer, Captain America throwing a spinning shield was far too lethal, and that was not very America-like…

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