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Like Those Tragic Tales ( (ほう) () (つら) いヤツ Hōga no Tsurai Yatsu?) is the two hundred and ninety-ninth chapter of Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia.

Summary

Keigo's abusive home life.

In the past, Keigo's father accuses his son of sneaking into town and angrily demands he tell him who he sold him out to. Keigo claims his wings were tingling and he just went to town to see what the commotion was about, and returned home after the feeling went away. His father refuses to believe him and demands he stay in the house. His wife tries telling him that the TV was out but he yells that he doesn't care, demanding she find him his next job while she begs him not to leave.

Keigo explains that years ago, his father killed someone over pocket change, and his mother, Tomie, harbored him, eventually resulting in his conception. He abused Keigo physically and mentally, claiming that if he hadn't relied on his mother's Quirk, he would be a free man and not waste time around some punk child. Keigo understood how broken his parents were, yet he endured all of his emotions to avoid their fate. One day, Keigo learns from his mother that his father had been arrested trying to steal a car, and the one who caught him was Endeavor, someone who he thought was merely a fantasy like the rest of the heroes, re-invigorating his feelings of hope. His mother grew fearful that she would get arrested for harboring her husband, so they fled from their house, but she didn't have the strength to support the both of them. Keigo suggests going to the police to help, with his mother telling him to do whatever he can to make money, and make use of his wings for once. After the high-speed incident which catches the Hero Public Safety Commission's attention, they offer comprehensive support for him and his mother, and in exchange they will erase any connection to the Takami name so they can start over.

Keigo starts to believe in heroes.

In the present, Best Jeanist, while driving, nestles Hawks awake and tells him they will reach their destination shortly. Due to his injured vocal cords, Hawks is forced to communicate with Best Jeanist by phone, apologizing for being allowed to sleep while he can't. Best Jeanist admits if it wasn't for Central Hospital's medical achievements, he would be lingering on the line between life and death. He also reveals that Central Hospital had created a procedure that would allow his body to enter a death-like state, inspired by the Nomu, which is something he still is upset at receiving. Hawks apologizes for it saying that he knew he couldn’t trick the Paranormal Liberation Front with a cheaper trick, especially with the one responsible for the Nomu behind the scenes. Nevertheless, it was a success, and he brought his supposedly dead body to Dabi, and even after identifying his corpse, he bought the whole deception. Hawks then reveals that Dabi suggested they hang on to his body until it was the perfect time, which led to him being preserved in one of their facilities until Hawks revived him at the right time.

Suddenly, Best Jeanist steers his car to a stop, revealing to Hawks that he has spotted a group of Villains causing trouble at a marketplace. The Glutton God Gang, as they call themselves, is quickly apprehended by Best Jeanist. He asks one of the bystanders where the police and local heroes are, but he tells him that the police are dealing with escaped prisoners, while most of the Pro Heroes have shut down their agencies after all the criticism being lobbed at them. He decides to have some sidekicks dispatched to the neighborhood while taking note of the mixed response from both the happy and unconvinced civilians.

The kind of hero Hawks wants to be.

Afterwards, Hawks brings Best Jeanist to his house, wanting to confirm something before showing his face to the public again. He calls his mother who doesn’t respond. He finds a letter from her revealing that some men forced her to tell them about their family, and she has chosen to leave to not be a burden to him. She wishes him well and that she is proud of him. After reading the letter, Hawks admits he figured the leak came from his mother. Best Jeanist tries to console him but he tells him that when he abandoned the name ‘Takami’, he essentially abandoned her too. He admits he feels relieved all of this has come back to him, and now that the Safety Commission has shut down, there is no one else around to give him orders. That now he is free of his shackles as he takes off his neck brace, while also thinking of the day his mother bought him the Endeavor plushie he held on to for so long, as she tells him to grow up strong like him.

He says to Best Jeanist that when people get backed into a corner or are truly free, that is when they show their true nature, and it is because of that he considered Twice to be such a good person due to his desire to help others, and how he wants to be just like that. He comments that even if what Dabi said about the Todoroki Family is true, he deeply believes things are different now. When Best Jeanist asks what he plans on doing next, Hawks answers that he is going to address his origins to help Endeavor, who he definitely knows is in trouble.

Chapter Notes

  • The details of Hawks' backstory were revealed:
    • Keigo's family has previously lived a life of extreme poverty. Out of desperation, his father killed someone in a mugging attempt. His wife harbored him when he became a fugitive, and during that time Keigo was born unintentionally.
    • Due to the stress of the situation, Keigo's mother completely shutdown mentally. His father turned to heavy drinking, and would frequently verbally and physically abuse both his son and wife out of fear and anger. To distract himself, Keigo would turn to the idea of heroes, and grew particularly fond of Endeavor due to a doll of him he owned as a gift from his mother.
    • During an escape attempt, Keigo's father was caught by Endeavor. Fearing being charged for harboring a fugitive, the two remaining family members decided to flee their house. With no source of income and a sound mental state, the two were stuck.
    • Keigo eventually caught the attention of the Hero Public Safety Commission when he saved a group of people from a car wreck. They offered support for Keigo and his mother in exchange for Keigo's eventual training to become a Pro Hero. They would also completely erase their connection to their family name.
  • In the present-day, Best Jeanist is driving Hawks to his home, with the latter being just released from the hospital.
    • Hawks' assassination attempt on Best Jeanist is revealed to have been staged. Hawks put Best Jeanist in a coma-like state similar to a Nomu, in order to further gain trust with the League of Villains. During the war, Hawks revived Best Jeanist at the right moment to further aid the heroes' efforts.
    • During their drive, Best Jeanist apprehends the Glutton God Gang. During that time, it's stated that the police force were occupied with the escaped convicts and most local Pro Heroes stopped working due to the heavy public backlash. Best Jeanist decides to station some of his sidekicks in the town to compensate.
  • Hawks and Best Jeanist arrive at the former's manor to find the place ransacked. A note left by Hawks' mother reveals that the house was broken into by men sent by Dabi, and the men threatened her into telling them about her family history. She left shortly after to not cause trouble for her son, and apologized.
  • With the events of the war taking place, the disappearance of his last family member, and the Hero Public Safety Commission being shut down, Hawks states he finally feels free.
  • Best Jeanist asks Hawks about his next move. The latter decides to come clean about his background, hoping it will help Endeavor who he knows is in trouble.

Characters In Order of Appearance

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