The Indomitable Duo @skyrimosity
Dinner Discussion

Chapter 3

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or My Hero Academia

"Welcome to our little piece of paradise Bakkun! We call it Konohagakure no Sato!"

Konohagakure, Hokage's 'lair,' as Mask-Man had called it, turned out be a traditional styled house in a small clearing among a dense patch of forest that was indeed quite near where their fight had taken place. It seemed very small to Bakugo and, given how far away it was from anything, he had to wonder if it were actually where Hokage spent most of his time; it had to be difficult to reach major cities from there in time to respond to a villain fight. Then again, he was willing to bet there was some easier method of access than the indirect route he'd been forced to take.

"Konohagakure no Sato, huh? That seems a bit dramatic. It's just one old house, not a village."

"The first Hokage had a bit of a sense of humor when it came to naming things, hehe." Naruto chuckled lightly. "Well I guess it was actually his friend who named it but it wasn't like he disagreed much on the topic. Just call it Konoha for short."

Hokage had already disappeared into the kitchen, and after his little introduction of the house, Naruto thankfully disappeared somewhere else, leaving Bakugo alone in what he would call the living room but that seemed to also serve as the dining room. He sat down at the square table by the wall and looked around impatiently. The table was small, with only four chairs around it, and a few feet away, there was a couch and a nightstand; these few pieces of furniture made up the entire room.

After a time period best described as too damn long, the other two joined him, Hokage carrying the food. Thankfully, Naruto was too caught up staring at the meal to bother talking about anything else. "Itadakimasu!" he said, digging rather aggressively into his fish, rice, and other sides. Briefly he noted that Hokage still had his mask on, despite the fact that he was holding utensils and was clearly intent on eating. Bakugo looked down and took a sizable bite, and when he looked up again, he saw that there was slightly less food on Hokage's plate than there had been only seconds before. A bit confused, he looked down at his plate and speared another bite, and just like before, when he looked up he saw less food on the hero's plate with no obvious indication the guy had moved in any way or adjusted his mask. How the hell?

But if Hokage noticed Bakugo's stare, he ignored it. "I am quite grateful you decided to choose me for this training, Bakugo-san. I think we will find it a pleasant arrangement for all of us."

"Oh come on, there's no way he wouldn't choose you Boss!"

"Someone of Bakugo-san's caliber undoubtedly had many other offers; it would be wrong to take his acceptance for granted." One thing Bakugo was quickly finding out about Hokage was that he was a difficult person to read. Normally, he could tell easily from a person's eyes, mouth, or even the way their face contorted whether they were telling the truth. With this guy, though, it was impossible due to the mask and the way he was able to maintain such a constant tone of voice.

"Yeah yeah, what's the big deal about it anyway? It's just a week." Honestly, Bakugo did not understand why people like Deku, Aizawa, and now Hokage treated it like it was actually important. It was nothing but a week of learning about hero work directly from a pro hero; at the end of the day, it's not like it was gonna be something important that changed anyone's life. The upcoming week was just another seven days of his life.

"There is much that can be done in a week, especially with sufficient motivation. Typically, this period is used as a way for students such as yourself to get a brief introduction to hero work, to see what a real hero is like and to prepare you for the profession. Do some patrols, learn some paperwork, introduce you to the business. All those things."

"You said typically." Bakugo glanced around again. It was hard to imagine they would be getting much in the way of normal business done in such a rural, secluded location.

"Indeed. I'm much more interested in helping you learn and grow than anything else. You'll be taught those things eventually in your school anyway, and if you never want to handle the business and paperwork, someone of your abilities will be able to hire people to manage it soon after starting. Besides, if you learn nothing else about me, it will be that I do not exactly do much normal hero work."

"Hah, and you think you can help me with my training?" Except for the times the school curriculum or coursework forced him to train with one of his loser classmates, Bakugo did all of his training alone. He was not about to show them any of the techniques he was working on or how he got to be so good. If they wanted to improve, they needed to learn to do it on their own like he did. It'd be a waste of his time to hold himself back enough not to kill the idiots. While everyone else at the school went to their rooms to complain about how tough their training had been, he spent the time training more. When everyone else stressed over an exam, he prepared to destroy it.

"Of course; even at your current level, you could compete with a surprising number of professional heroes. However, you cannot let that get to your head; you have a lot of room to improve still and I think the sparring I have planned will help with that. Tell me, do you know anything of my quirk?"

"Yeah; Deku said it was energy manipulation but that there might be more to it. You're known to have a wide variety of techniques, so it has to be something general, something that has a simple effect but can be used in complex ways. Not like that dumbass with the stomach laser; something that, by itself, has little use but is trained to be useful."

"That is generally correct, I suppose. You are very bright to have figured out so much already. You see, my body has an increased yield from cellular respiration, resulting in surplus energy being created from the process. This surplus energy, then, flows freely throughout my body and my quirk allows me to control it to perform many techniques. The Hokage have called it chakra though I've heard it called Aura or Ki by others. So far, it seems like there is no limit to the feats it can perform." The man then held his fingers in a cross sign in front of himself for a second and, a moment later, Bakugo was surprised to see a second Hokage appear beside the first.

"Wh-what the hell? How can energy manipulation do something like that?"

"I call it a 'Shadow Clone;' basically, chakra leaves my body in a controlled way then amalgamates into a seemingly physical form. There's no true physical nature to the clone, however; it can use the chakra given to it to use some of my techniques, and to allow it to hit others, but it cannot actually take a hit itself." Hokage then casually lifted his hand and hit the clone with a fair bit of force, which caused it to vanish into a puff of smoke.

Whatever Bakugo had been expecting the guy to be able to do with his quirk, that was definitely not it. It didn't take a genius to see how being able to create a partner that could handle a bit of the fight would be advantageous, even if it was a bit cowardly. By itself it would be a decent enough quirk but it would always be limited by the physical abilities of the person possessing it; someone with just that quirk could never be a top five hero. However, having such an ability be just a side-effect of a quirk was completely different; it would have almost limitless utility. Not the first time he'd heard of a more general quirk that was superior to a specific quirk. After all, whatever All Might's quirk was it was definitely better than just high strength or high speed.

One thing immediately stood out to him about it, though. "How can it give a hit but not take a hit?"

"By concentrating the chakra to the arms and legs it can deliver an attack that is physical in nature but it does not do this in defense. Well, I suppose it would be possible for it to work in defense, but I am not a defensive fighter and it would take extremely quick reaction times and chakra control to pull off. I doubt it would really be worth the time."

Interesting; another hero who liked to be on the attack like All Might. And apparently he lived by it so much that he was not even sure if his so-called 'clones' were even actually capable of survival on defense. But something else Hokage had said stood out to him. "You said 'The Hokage' called it chakra. That confirms there's been at least a few, and that they've all also used this chakra. But only the first one has been seen making trees grow. That means there's gotta be more to it." Normally he really would not care too much at all about any quirk that was not his; however, there was a part of him that could not just sit there without trying to piece together a bit of the puzzle.

"The uses for chakra are affected somewhat by the personality of the user. While that's all I will say about it for now, I will add one thing: there are many more people who are known to have used chakra than there have been Hokage. Many people will never know they have the ability; they may live their lives thinking they have no quirk or a very minor quirk. Some exceptional people, however, will learn to use the power themselves in very specific ways that they will register as something else. They can, of course, be either heroes or villains."

"So how is any of this going to be useful for my training?" His curiosity was sated about the subject of the strange quirk, at least for now. It was very interesting that it popped up in various places with some frequency and was not exactly the same for everyone but a part of him wondered if that was even the truth of the matter. After all, how could Hokage possibly know whether some guy with the ability to grow trees was actually using chakra or not? It seemed like something that couldn't be confirmed, meaning it was a guess, meaning it was not worth his time.

"I can control the strength of one individual shadow clone based on the amount of chakra involved in creating it. To start your training you will begin by facing a clone at about ten percent strength. If you can beat it, then I will increase it to twenty percent. And so on."

"You actually think you can beat me at ten percent? Yeah fuckin' right!" There was no way that even a top level hero working at ten percent strength could be a match for him in a fight, he was sure about that. Hell, he KNEW at his current level he could take down a large number of the lesser heroes so it was insane to think anybody at one-tenth of their strength could handle him. It didn't matter one damn bit that his body was sore from the fight today; anyone who thought they could take him likely didn't stand a chance.

"Please, you wouldn't stand a chance against the Boss going all out; you'll be lucky to even take down one clone!" Naruto said, to which Bakugo growled.

"So how about you then? You feelin' up to it?" He'd put the stupid blond to the test any time and drive him into the dirt. Nothing wrong with a little 'sparring incident' to get rid of an annoying bastard. Besides, it would be interesting to know how that idiot fought; he already knew the guy had very good stamina and was extremely fast. He had no way of knowing whether that speed was quirk-related or not though. Meanwhile, Naruto was grinning at him, and the mischievous look in his eyes was way too confident; Bakugo was gonna absolutely wipe the floor with him.

"Naruto shall not do any fighting. He has other responsibilities."

"Come on Boss, just one round?"

"This is not open for discussion." Hokage's voice was a bit more stern than it had been at any other point so far. "And as to your earlier question, no, I do not expect to beat you at ten percent."

Bakugo just scoffed at not being able to fight the annoying blond. "Who the hell is this moron? And why's he even here?"

"Bakugo-san, how many people do you think know the location of this hideout? I can assure you it is very few. That Naruto stays here with me should assure you of his importance." Not exactly what he was asking, but whatever, he knew how to tell when people didn't want to give an answer. He couldn't help but wonder, though; if only a few trusted people knew where Hokage lived/operated from, then why the hell had be been invited? "The two of you shall not engage in any sort of combat, for any reason. This rule will not be broken, do you understand me Naruto?" Bakugo was about ready to just roll his eyes but was somewhat surprised that Naruto was the one getting called out. Even if he would wipe the floor with the idiot, it made him grin a bit to see him get in trouble.

"Bakkun, your smile is really something else. You look like you're about to launch into a monologue with a hero chained to a table."

"Did you just call me a villain!?"

"Oh, uh, no, well, you might have some villainous qualities…like that look on your face right now!"

"Bakugo-san, do you know the major flaw I saw with your performance at the Sports Festival?" Bakugo shifted his attention away from the idiot's imminent death when Hokage started talking. "The one thing above all else that bothered me? Oh sure, I could repeat what I've heard from other heroes. That you have non-heroic qualities, you are brash and overly aggressive. Prone to being overly emotional. But, I'm not one to repeat slander about a person's character. It was apparent to me that despite your aggressive nature, you were operating with a keen sense of how to use your abilities to achieve victory. No, the one glaring weakness was your lack of combat experience. Though, to be fair, it was noticeable in all of you."

At hearing he had been called non-heroic and overly aggressive, he had almost exploded. Whoever had called him that were worthless scum trash unworthy of the profession and too scared to ever say anything like that to his face. Bunch of bastards didn't know a damn thing and that's why they'd never be on top!

But there was a certain calmness in Hokage's voice that made him decide to let the hero speak. As the man kept talking, Bakugo found himself returning to his usual calm self. "I must confess, I know little about the training at UA. But, even if you get to spar against your fellow classmates, I doubt it is real enough combat to truly push yourself to improve. And, for someone such as yourself, at the top of your class, it would probably still not be enough. Society wants to hold you back, to try to protect you and your classmates because you are children. But, unless something changes it is a simple fact that you will not have time to fully develop before you face villains again. You're going to need fights that you have a low chance of winning against opponents with moves that you don't know if you are going to be ready to take on villainy anytime soon. I can provide that."

"Hah, you really think those silly clones will be able to take me on? I'm ready to fight you full strength, right here and now!"

"Very well; I suppose we can since my dinner has been finished."

Bakugo looked down at the man's plate, hardly believing he had somehow managed to eat all of it with a mask on. He had not even seen the guy take a single bite; seriously, how the hell was he doing that? "We can begin immediately."

"Damn straight! Immediately after I finish my food!" While he knew he could push himself to go on without eating, because his body would obey anything he told it to do or else, the meal was already served and he had already taken a few bites so it was best to finish it now.

"Man Bakkun, you eat like you were raised by a family of wolves." Hah, if only he were raised by a family of wolves. They'd have much more of a nurturing spirit than his hag of a mother. He wished she were around so he could tell that to her face.

"Because my meal earlier got interrupted!" Seriously, this guy was getting on his nerves. It was starting to feel like his face was going to stay in a constant scowl so long as Naruto was around.

"We had to hurry, Bakkun! We were running late!"

"We were late because you weren't at the station!"

"Now now, it is not the time to play the blame game Bakkun!"

"SCREW YOU!" Wow, he was so angry that he didn't even curse properly. Had that ever even happened before? After a few seconds of glaring at Naruto, he noticed that Hokage was just patiently sitting there. He found this kinda interesting because, earlier, Naruto had mentioned they should not bring it up so that he wouldn't get in trouble. In his mind, this behavior from the hero pretty much confirmed one thing to him: Naruto was enough of a screw-up that Hokage was not even surprised by it. But then why was the guy around in the first place? There had to be some kind of reason but clearly from their earlier conversation nobody was going to say. Thankfully the idiot was quiet while he finished his meal.

"Please change into your outfit; Naruto shall guide you to me when you're ready."

Hokage stood and walked outside without saying another word. Bakugo looked at Naruto and only saw that same stupid, eyes-closed grin the guy seemed to have quite often but he couldn't even guess the reason why. Did that guy really think a ten percent knockoff would ever have a chance against him? It wasn't even going to be a fight. He grabbed his stuff and walked into another room to change; moments later he came out and started walking toward where Hokage had disappeared to. Naruto jumped up and ran to take the lead.

They walked for a few minutes in silence, surprising given how much the moron seemed to talk, but it was definitely welcome. Bakugo did not know much at all about Hokage's capabilities as a fighter but it was more than obvious that the guy knew about him from the Festival. He should expect some kind of trick in the fight but Hokage himself said earlier that he did not expect the clone to win. So what, exactly, was the catch? Or maybe the hero had some kind of unknowable reason for going with this style?

Damn, he was thinking too much; that was so unlike him when it came to fighting. It felt like something that damn nerd Deku would do. There was nothing to think about really, especially with so many things unaccounted for. The fight would start, he would see Hokage's abilities, and he would adapt to them. Then he would win. It was a simple process, nothing more to it. As soon as he knew what his opponent could do he couldn't lose.

At this point he noticed Hokage ahead of him. They had reached a large clearing among the trees. Unceremoniously an exact copy of the hero appeared before the real one jumped away into the trees; interestingly, that gave him a look into another ability of the hero. No normal person could have ever made that jump; that meant Hokage's 'chakra' had to have some sort of impact on his movement capability. He noted earlier that Hokage must have been ridiculously fast in getting to the area where Bakugo had fought the villain so seeing this was not surprising but was instead an important confirmation.

"Alright, here are the rules. These shall apply not only this fight but all your future fights under our supervision." Again, implying that he was going to defeat the ten percent clone. He never doubted himself in a fight but it seemed that Hokage was either very realistic about the odds or setting up some kind of trap. Still, with a fight about to start, he couldn't help but start to feel that pre-fight focus that put all his senses on edge. It felt good, really good. "The goal of the fight is simple: you will win if I am dispelled and I will win if you are incapable of continuing. You can call for a one-minute pause at anytime. We are both allowed to leave the clearing and go anywhere; however, hiding will not accomplish our goals. If, after one-hour, the goal has not been reached, the fight shall end in a draw. If you are knocked-down, I will not continue my attack, but if you stay down for ten seconds, you lose. Is everything clear?"

It didn't really make any sense that there was even a victory condition for the Hokage clone; after all, he was here for training so why would the clone care about winning? Maybe it was just there to encourage the clone to attack, or to make himself fight more defensively. Yeah, that was probably the reason why; at least it made the most sense.

"Begin!" The clone simply stood there in the field, opposite himself. Bakugo watched for a second, trying to discern if there was any more information he could get.

"Alright, let's do this!" He took a quick step forward, ready to close the distance. In that instant, Hokage also made the motion for a step forward. And in the next, somehow, Bakugo had already lost sight of the guy. And then he heard a voice beside him.

"Fair warning, Bakugo-san. I enjoy winning."

"You know, I suppose I knew going into the little adventure that Hokage was going to ruin the fun but I wasn't expecting Bakugo-kun to manage it so easily too. That kid is such a troublemaker." The playful voice echoed in the dark room.

"Hmmm, why do you sound so surprised? He's not surprised; I would say he's almost glad."

"Glad? No no, not quite right. It really does frustrate me so that even the modern version of our little project cannot win in a fight on equal footing. Oooh, but! But but but! In hand-to-hand combat it was clear that we held the upper hand in terms of speed so clearly that much has been working as planned."

"But Bakugo still killed it. Easily too, you just said."

"Yeah yeah, that kid has his super awesome explosive quirk that obviously gives him an advantage but I'd say his little fireworks display at the end of the fight hurt him more than his combatant did."

"Sounds reckless. More like stupid."

"Oh, it was; it definitely was. But, that's what I like most about a hero. How much they'll endanger themselves to win!" The man let out a loud, dreamy sigh. "You just don't see that in the villain community. It's all 'oh, I must live to fight another day' and 'die for me, my henchmen!' But I suppose that's why they call it a heroic last stand and not a villainous last stand."

"I can't help but feel this conversation is ironic because it's coming from the biggest coward we've ever seen."

"Hmph, how rude. I am not a coward; I just enjoy the art of a tactical withdrawal!" There was a long moment of silence in the room, before he resumed talking. And this time, his voice had dropped all hints of playfulness. "Inform the others of the outcome; progress has been temporarily set back."

A/N: Hello everyone. First let me explain a few things: Chakra is a quirk that pops up randomly; Kekkai Genkai are generally planned to just be quirks. Some people may learn to use chakra on their own but wouldn't know to call it that. The history of it will be explained more later on but it doesn't really all belong in this chapter. My goal is to make everything fit as seamlessly as possible into the MHA world so the more explanation I would need to include something the less likely it will be included. Obviously the scientific explanation of the quirk is just pseudoscience to fit the MHA theme.

I do enjoy writing this story quite a bit but do not promise much regarding updates Side note: I have zero plans for pairing and will likely only consider pairing Bakugo with someone if his situation changes in canon. And to answer a reviewer's question: Yes, there will be other Konoha 12 members but not all of them will be included.

Thank you all for reading; the overwhelming positive feedback has been great. Please feel free to follow, favorite, and/or review!

Beta read by: the road I know

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