CHAPTER 093(Public Opinion)
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CHAPTER START---

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

"Ugh..." Law groans as he rolls over in bed, immediately grabbing his phone and pulling it under the covers to shut off his alarm.

Forcing his eyes open he sits up in bed and looks to his left, seeing the sun rising over the horizon.

Stretching his arms out he yawns, still feeling exhausted from the Nomu attack yesterday, "ok, gotta take it easy on the hero crap today..." he mutters while getting out of bed.

Almost an hour later, after a quick shower Law is sitting in his living room with his laptop on the coffee table, eating a meal bar and scrolling through his phone.

In this high-end and modern penthouse located in the middle of Minato Tokyo, almost everything was grey, white, or black, simple with sharp angles, and completely spotless.

Sitting on the white coffee table was his laptop, and connected to it was his visor, currently transferring all the footage from the last 24 hours into the laptop.

Beside it was the metal box he'd gotten from Mei a while ago, currently open to reveal a set of visors, 5 in total, and an empty slot for the currently active one. All are folded down to be easily transported.

Across from him was a massive tv built into the wall currently playing the morning news, HNN, the Hero News Network, was covering last night's attack and giving people a rundown of exactly what happened and the death toll.

They were still pulling bodies out of the rubble or declaring people as lost and missing, likely taken back to the league by Kurogiri.

Law takes a sip of water and finishes his meal bar as the video transfer is complete, and immediately begins cutting the video to upload it.

Isolating all the footage from the beginning to the end of each incident is all the editing he does, simply finding where it began and where it ended. Any more cuts than that would cause people to potentially become suspicious of what he's hiding.

And people being skeptical or not trusting him would defeat the entire purpose of him making these video uploads.

"Finally," Law uploads the video and just sits back, waiting for all the views and comments to flood in from his 95 million followers.

After defeating stain he'd gotten a small boost, with some people even calling him 'true hero' so much that it began trending online, much to his annoyance.

But he certainly wouldn't stop them from spreading his name and praising it.

After a few minutes, as expected, his phone begins ringing. Law just puts it on speaker atop the table and lays down flat on the couch to take a small nap.

"Yeah, you saw the video?" he asks without even looking at the caller ID.

"Not exactly what I expected," Nezu's voice responds through the phone.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, the news drones only got close enough to see bits and pieces of the chaos, since Nomu would attack them. But on the screen, it looked as if the building got stuck somehow...the Pro Heroes reported that you caught it.

But, as any reasonable person would, I didn't fully understand what they meant by 'Horizon caught the building...' I didn't know you could do that."

"What do you mean? You know I have Takt."

"Yes, but moving some rocks and moving 215 thousand tons is an entirely different story."

"It's just a bigger rock," Law says casually, then yawns.

"Honestly none of you people that can be rank #1 Pro Heroes are normal...are you still tired?"

"Woke up too damn early."

"Understandable after the night you had, so did you need any special circumstances to hold a skyscraper in mid-air?"

"Nope."

"So you really can just, do that, whenever you want, really?"

"Yup."

Nezu sighs, "can you at least see why this makes some people nervous..."

"Villains yeah, figured the general public would be elated to see it. Don't they worship king meathead because of how hard he punches, it's basically the same thing."

"Normally yes, but it's very clear to them that you have a mean streak in you, and it seems aimed at other heroes more often than not. Your public approval rating plummeted after your interview, paired with this video proving the reports to be accurate, people are going to be nervous."

Law gets slightly annoyed by that, "seriously? After all the people I saved last night, they're still unhappy? What did I even say in the interview that got them mad?"

"You mentioned All Might's retirement," Nezu says bluntly.

"So? Do they really expect him to fight forever? I at least told them 10 years, but we both know he'll be lucky to live 4 more years."

"A single person can understand that, but collectively as a society, people are scared to hear things like that and will react poorly. Many of them have never known a world without him and don't want to imagine that.

Your projected approval rating rose up to #11 after the sports festival from #37 because you defeated Stain and posted that video. Plus he called you a 'true hero' so some people take that seriously.

But now it sank from #11 all the way down to #53 because you mentioned All Might retiring. Not to mention a lot of Pro Heroes hate you because you essentially called them useless and demanded the Hero Public Safety Commission fire them."

"Because they are useless and should be fired."

Nezu sighs, "if you must know, the few Pro Heroes you mentioned have been constantly harassed online for the past few hours and even had people arrive at their homes last night demanding they retire. Your words have actions."

"And so do their bad choices, heroes are basically celebrities and cops rolled into one, they signed up for this."

"Nobody wants to have their life ruined by a few words from an interview," Nezu says.

"If it can be ruined that easy then it wasn't much of a life anyway. Besides, there will be growing pains...assuming you people even want to prepare for a world without All Might.

So the public is a bunch of pussies that can't handle the real world...no surprise there. How'd you even get these stats anyway? I thought only fully licensed Pro Heroes have an approval metric..."

"I made a system to predict at what rank a Pro would debut at for the commission a few decades ago, this way they notice talent early so other countries aren't the first to make offers."

"I guess that makes sense, so I've gotta get to #1 on it and I'll be that much closer to my end goal, seems simple enough."

"Much easier said than done."

"Well of 115 thousand people I'm in the top 100, so what's the top spot compared to that."

"Ahh, speaking of our hero-saturated society, Pantu asked me to come up with a more intense numeric system to give out Provisional Licenses."

"Taking my advice on going for quality instead of quantity?"

"It at least appears that way. Your classmates have only done one week of training thus far, I hope over the next seven they can reach a point where the License Exams won't be impossible."

"How tough is the commission gonna make them?"

"A one percent pass rate."

"That would mean...for the average exam around fifty people pass."

"Extremely difficult," Nezu says.

"Yeah but if you start taking the exams in the first year that gives you six tries, if you can't pass in that many chances then it's time to pack your shit and leave. And that's assuming you don't get held back in the Hero Course so you have even more tries."

"Yes but some people also get in trouble after getting the Provisional License. If you've been found violating any law it can be renounced or suspended, or in extreme cases, you'd simply be expelled and blacklisted.

If it's renounced you'd have to retake the exam to get a new one which would restart the entire 3-year trial period.

But usually, people get into trouble because they begin selling merchandise and marketing themselves as a Pro, which is illegal without a full license. We've almost had a few cases of that in the past here at UA, it's usually treated as a minor mistake and only given a 3-month suspension."

"Yeah, but I work around that particular issue since I'm not marketing myself as a Hero, just as myself. Since 'Horizon' is on my ID and birth certificate it's more like I'm just a regular celebrity that branded myself to be my own product... an easy workaround for me.

And this way I don't have to wait three years before I get to start building my career. I mean the new rookie heroes climbing the ranks are Mt. Lady and Kamui Woods, they're in their mid and late twenties.

I'm more popular than them already because I don't have to get a Provisional License, then wait 3 years to be a full Pro Hero, then start marketing myself properly, then make my own agency to get out of someone else's shadow.

I just kinda skipped the big time-wasting parts of the process..."

"And used the Sports Festival as a large fancy advertisement," Nezu says.

"Isn't that what it's for?"

"Yes, but most people can't actually capitalize on that use. It's normal for Pro Heroes to just get a look at potential sidekicks."

"Yeah well, one more thing I'm better at than the current Pros, add it to the pile of reasons they don't like me," Horizon says with a shrug.

"It's not all bad press for you at least," Nezu says.

"What do you mean, people liked what I had to say?"

"People all around the world overall think much more highly of you, it's only Japan that felt slighted because of your views on All Might's longevity.

Across the world and especially in more rural areas that are much more conservative with views and traditions many people loved what you had to say. Especially regarding the hero-villain labels put on people for things they cannot control.

Many Quirk acceptance movements are seeing you as their own savior, and people have already been protesting the 'Heroes who look like they should be villains' official listing.

I suppose most Pro Heroes are just so busy or self-absorbed that they never really stop to think about the ugly side of society, although at large people try to ignore the discrimination and hate certain Quirks can inspire in others."

"Can't hate people for things they can't control, it should really be common sense, but people are just too dumb for that..."

"Very true."

"Hey! I can say that because I'm human, but yeah..." he shares a small laugh with Nezu.

They fall into a comfortable silence for a moment as the video he just uploaded begins playing on the news, he glances at his phone to see it's already at a few million views.

And the news anchor begins narrating everything that happens, causing Law to mute the tv.

"Do you think we'll be ready for it?" Nezu asks, his voice quieter and more concerned.

Law sits up, looking at the phone slightly confused, "ready for what?"

"A future without All Might, without our Symbol Of Peace...his presence alone suppresses crime in any country he's in. I can't imagine what will happen when he announces his sudden retirement."

Law falls silent for a moment, understanding exactly how important this was for Nezu.

He's spent his entire life, ever since heroes rescued him from that lab, supporting and nurturing Hero Society.

All he'd been working toward was a world at peace, and the closest he's ever come was Toshinori Yagi, All Might, and now that dream was slipping back into impossibility.

Law sighs, "don't worry Nezu, we'll be alright, in a few years All Might can retire knowing everything will be taken care of, so long as I am here..."

END CHAPTER---

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