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Stark Rebirth (RWBY OC-I)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Nov 22, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: The Initiative
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 1: The Initiative

    This was the worst day in my entire life.

    To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to end up in Ms. Goodwitch’s office by the end of the first day in Beacon, but I couldn’t certainly fault only myself for this awkward situation as I was part of a team. Tired, confused and incredibly depressed, I waited for the teacher for Combat Studies to speak, the silence starting to get quite unnerving to bear through as it continued to be dragged a little too much.

    “Mr. Reyter.” Her tone was serious – no, formally stern as she started to address the reason why I was there to start with. “From my understanding and from the recounts of Professor Oobleck and Professor Port, you have been showing quite the unruly attitude in our classes, showing up late or confusing classrooms.” She concluded with a blink directed at the paper beneath her nose, recounts of the fellow teachers themselves.

    I was starting to feel quite terrified by my current predicament, having never had to face this much problems at school back home. So much terrified that I felt the unquestionable need to apologize at the situation I have caused, even through I didn’t felt truly responsible for it.

    “I am sorry-” I tried to apologize. Wrong move.

    “If you were, you wouldn’t have done all of that, to start with.” The woman interjected cooly, a flinch appearing on my posture because her sudden change of tone. Not overly-annoyed tone but also hardly showing any restraint with her genuine disappointment for my pitiful case.

    “Mr. Reyter, you have paid little to none attention to my classroom even after being called out multiple times.” The blonde finally went for the the general reason as of why I was here.

    Sweat was already rolling off my forehead as she continued with her lecture, her eyes quite piercing with calm disapproval.

    “But I will be honest with you and say that your punishment shall not be a suspension nor an expulsion, as this is the first day and mistakes of this kind and this early can be forgiven given the fact you have shown to have some preparation and capacity for the classroom, and your behavior being quite sufficient to deal with the current curriculum.” She admitted, the news bringing mixed emotions within my core as I gulped nervously and nodded, uncertain what else I could say in my defense.

    Seriously, this was supposed to be some A-grade expulsion material but I was blessed by the fact I was behaving well and good during lessons.

    “This doesn’t mean that you will be let go without some proper questioning.” She interjected at seeing my eased composure. “I wish to address the fact I find your attitude on the first day confusing, especially after the exemplary conduct during the initiation test.”

    It was a fair request, one that was expected but not one I was thrilled to comply to,.

    Yet this was a punishment and it wouldn’t be correct of me to try and wriggle myself out without dealing with some sort of deterrent to make me avoid repeating the behavior I had shown today. Still I felt the need to ask the full extent of this request as it something of importance that might determine my next few minutes here.

    “S-So I have to tell why I have been late and everything else?” I asked, quite nervous and feeling rather worried about the following answer.

    My throat was hurting, I have faced several teachers in the past and back on Earth, but dealing with so much stuff stacked against me was new. I was breaking my record, one I was mortified of having accomplished as of now because of how serious the consequences could be.

    “That would be correct, so please do start explaining why you were late for Professor Port’s lesson.” Her tone softened but she didn’t show any relenting about her interrogation.

    “Mr. Reyter, I hope you understand that honesty is required for this attempt, I don’t wish to have your potential wasted so soon and certainly without any clarification about the issues. Yes, you have something that many of your peers don’t have and no, I can’t tell you what it is.”

    I frowned at the final bits of her explanation, but decided to comply with her request, coughing a little as to ‘wake up’ my throat. Every time I was nervous and mortified, my throat seemed to die right when I needed it the most to speak out.

    “I-I was late because… I sleep in.” There was a brief moment of silence, blue eyes sternly urging me to continue and so I did. “I don’t have an alarm and…” She didn’t let me finish, the lie was already caught the moment I blurted it with that lacking tone.

    “What about your team, Mr. Reyter?” Professor Goodwitch pressed on, confusion glinting briefly. “I would have considered asking your team leader to plan something about this case if I had been in your place-”

    I did!” My eyes fell harshly on the desk, flushing at the meek outburst and nodded while reiterating my reply. Anger rushing through the terrified exterior just for a moment before simmering back within my chest. “I did ask Ruby to knock loudly at the door while passing by so we could have all discussed about our first day and-”

    I couldn’t help but stop as I felt a knot forming in my chest, my eyelids dropped a little and I just wanted to go away. I was tired of dealing with this, where was the fantastic vision RWBY had built around itself?

    I couldn’t find any of it!

    The deputy-headmistress sighed and took my silence to make a guess of how things turned out to be.

    “’She forgot’?” Her tone was odd and somehow mocking, but not in any malicious way. It was more in the redundant way than anything else.

    She blinked as I nodded and I continued to talk now. “Ruby said that Weiss wanted to be punctual and wasn’t listening to reason, ending up forgetting about me.”

    “Did she even try to apologize for failing to notify you?” The teacher asked almost curiously, frowning as I didn’t reply to her first question. “Did you have to go and ask her why for her to tell you this?”

    The pressure was building up as my resistance to tell the truth eroded at the fact I couldn’t bring anymore lies... and I really felt the need to apologize once more.

    “I’m sorry-”

    “Stop apologizing at once, Mr. Reyter.” The woman sighed loudly. “If else the one apologizing right now should be your team leader, not you.”

    A brief pause, a moment to retrieve some of the focus that I lost in that questioning, maybe because I had to look ready to hyperventilate any moment now and was granted some time to recover. Then it started again this time shifting to the second situation.

    “Then after the first class, you were supposed to go and assist to the first lesson of History of Remnant, which Professor Oobleck said you reached only after half an hour from its beginning.”

    Which technically was the whole lesson.

    The teacher was Oobleck, the man being capable of condensing two hours worth of material in half of one while keeping people interested with his… eccentric attitude. It was an outstanding feat that had to do with the coffee in his trusty mug he would drink from every once or twice in a while.

    “So can you tell me what could have gotten you ‘lost’? Maps are provided in your Scrolls for the sake of avoiding those situations.” The Deputy Headmistress pressed on, making me gulp nervously once more.

    Now wasn’t that a very funny thing? I don’t want to be here to begin with!

    “I- I was told that the maps were wrong by-” At this point I shut my mouth up, eyes widening as I realized that if I mentioned the one responsible for that one, I might as well consider myself dead and buried.

    “Mr. Reyter, don’t stop.” The additional pressure from the teacher didn’t help, thus I blurted out the first thing out of my mind.

    “I-I- Nothing!” My foolish denial was matched by the blonde’s whip slamming on the desk, causing me to jump at the sudden action. I never saw her fight with that thing and… I was scared of thinking what kind of pain that thing could cause if its owner wanted.

    “Mr. Reyter, honesty is required for this.” Her self-quoting reinforced her demand, which I ended up to surrender and comply to.

    “Y-Yang.” I admitted quickly, pausing for a moment as I realized what I just did. Finally, the dam of words withholding what had happened erupted and… I let go. “She s-said that maps weren’t working well and that the classroom was n-not the one showed in the Scroll.”

    It was a silly notion, but the genuine tone she had used looked quite trustworthy at first. Also, why should I have doubted my teammate? As much as she had been playful for a while now, I didn’t expect her to go for that kind of lie.

    “And you believed her... even through your fellow classmates were following the instructions of the map?” She sounded quite irked at the fact I had truly believed to Yang’s words.

    Which to be honest, had been blatantly clear as the blue sky that it was false, but decided to still trust for the sake of loyalty to the team.

    I was blessed by the fact I had met Velvet during my search for the right classroom, the older student telling me without hesitation that the maps actually worked well.

    “S-She said that the others were being pranked a-and that the team was going for a brief detour.”

    “Which wasn’t the case from how things turned out to be.” The deputy-headmistress stated with a quick sigh. “And please do tell, what kind of explanation you had to ask from her?”

    Not-so-surprisingly I had to ask her as she seemed to be ignoring me, like the rest of the team.

    “Yang said I was an easy target and thought it ended up being hilarious.” I finished the reply with a nod to which Goodwitch hummed.

    “And she didn’t apologize?” Her tone was eerily calm, an edge palpable from her accentuation of the last word.

    Another nod from, this time her eyes closed in contemplation.

    “I guess the reason why you weren’t able to follow my first lesson has to do somehow with your team too.” The woman guessed without thinking too much about it and…

    I was silent.

    “Of course.” She muttered to herself before sighing. “Who was this time?”

    “I-It wasn’t her fault.” I tried to forgive the least problematic of the group. “Blake had her books on the remaining free chair on the first line and didn’t want to put it in her lap. It was a large amount of books-” The teacher’s sigh got me to pause.

    “Enough, Mr. Reyter. I’ve heard enough.” Her voice sounded so heavy and… conflicting.

    I gulped nervously once again at her interjection, looking dejected at my explanation as much as I was demoralized of suffering through it all myself.

    Worst day of my entire life for sure...

    “It’s obvious that you don’t have a good relationship with your team, at least your motivation to dislike them wouldn’t be without foundation.” Ms. Goodwitch spoke once more before falling silent for the second time in the conversation.

    It was an uneasy silence, one that was briefly disturbed as the teacher went through some of her paperwork, trying to find something in that mountain of paper and ink.

    I wonder if this was only her paperwork or, just like in some fanfiction, it had some of Ozpin’s documents to sign.

    I thought about what would happen to me now that I had told her my reasons behind the first day’s disaster. Detention for a month or two? Working for a teacher for a semester? Maybe helping at the cafeteria-

    “There it is.” The blonde pulled out two files and forwarded them towards me, the large title jumping to my attention almost immediately as I found myself frowning, then staring at it with wide-eyes.

    “P-Professor, this is a-”

    “A document to formalize the ‘Transfer to a new team’, yes. I need you to understand that your choices are two and only two.”

    She sighed. “You either decide to stay in Team RWBYS and try to work out the differences between you and your team, dealing with the fact you are either being ignored or severely frowned upon by them, or… you are set in a currently undermanned team.”

    I frowned at the last information, remembering that the Headmaster had discussed about this case and-

    “I- I thought that there were no undermanned teams by the initiation.” I muttered with some confusion.

    “That was the case until one of the new team leaders decided to drop out after a… disagreement with his partner.” The woman admitted without hesitation. “In a normal situation, their team would be quickly disbanded but they made an appeal to try and work as a three-members team, which is not allowed by the school’s bylaws.”

    “And I am supposed to fill the gap?” I received a nod and returned my attention back to the document. “B-But how will this work? Isn’t the initiation test meant to decide the new teams?”

    “Cases like these have happened in the past, Mr. Reyter. There is a precedence that helps teachers to create a proper test capable of perfectly matching up the new members.”

    I was worried to ask as there were several ‘tests’ within the school’s rules about different matters and all of those either had to do with a serious spar with a teacher or something far worse than that.

    I gulped, again, this time managing to elaborate a question. “W-What kind of test, professor?”

    She nodded, accepting the simple but legitimate query. “Tomorrow morning you shall present yourself at the Bullheads’ hangar and follow the instructions given by the pilot assigned to you. You shall receive equipment for the task.”

    “Another initiation in the Emerald forest?”

    Another quick nod. “That is partly correct. You shall receive further details tomorrow, today you shall pack your things for a small trip, just like with the initiation test. Any other questions?”

    I shook my head and she smiled. “Good, then you are free to go, Mr. Reyter.”

    --------------------d-d-dd-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------------

    My walk back to the dorm-room was naturally uneventful, the current hour fairly late for anyone to be wandering around and doing anything by the hallways. I sighed as I finally reached the room, hand going for the door handle of my room and…

    I paused just a moment to fully understand what kind of scene I was looking at.

    Something with my team slowly dismantling everything around and packing my stuff. I blinked a few moments and I felt like my brain had just committed seppuku for a brief instance. I hoped that this was an hallucination for some lack of air in my lungs, or something like Dust allergy.

    Yet no, I was proved wrong by what happened next.

    My momentary stillness was interrupted as Ruby noticed me by the door and walked to me, her strange expression further confusing me as she seemed saddened by something.

    “I am sorry that you have to go, Shaun. I hope you will return back once you manage to get things together.” The leader of the team spoke, bringing more confusion rather than clarity over the matter.

    What was she talking about?

    The girl turned back to the center the room, smiling sadly as she continued working with one of the two bags being filled with stuff. “We are helping in putting your stuff in the proper place as this will be our last moment as your team.”

    Her words hit me worst than a massive truck. What in the goddamn fuck was she talking about?

    Seriously, what could have given to her the idea that I was being kicked by the Academy? I was merely called by Professor Goodwitch for simple business, nothing important. At least that is how it was publicly perceived.

    “But still, I don’t understand why you would be expelled this early from Beacon. Can you tell us?”

    I always thought of Ruby to be naive, innocent, but this level of dumb was a new low even for her. I could feel that there wasn’t any of her logic applied to this, I knew that someone had told her this thing but… who?

    “Pray tell, Ruby, who told you that I was going to be… expelled?” My tone was frail, but I managed to get out a question without faltering a moment. Anger was a good glue for composures if used in small amount.

    Her silver eyes brightly turned at the now-scoffing heiress and I didn’t even need to listen to her giggly tone at mentioning her partner. It was no secret for me to see how far she was willing to go to befriend the bitchy Schnee.

    It didn’t help that the Atlesian girl was literally ignoring me as if I was something like a sore memory to her. But if I have to be honest, I couldn’t care any less now that things were crumbling apart for me.

    I had scrapped the barrel to try and appear civil, and now had nothing to defend the shit I had to go through with this team. The time to be diplomatic had long been lost as the only thing it did was leaving me dismayed at the childish attitude of the four girls before me.

    Fury was boiling, but my tone was surprisingly calm for the situation.

    “Okay.” I stated flatly, devoid of the turmoil burning within my chest.

    I waited some more time as the four girls finished with their little ‘help’ and, after taking in the two big bags with my things, I walked out of the door and turned right as they were leaving the now empty room, ready to go for dinner.

    “By the way.” They turned to look at me and, for good reasons, I let out a small vindictive smile. “I wasn’t expelled, I was just moved to a better team.”

    I didn’t linger around to see their reaction, my feet taking me by JNPR’s dorm-room for some shelter and, as I knocked at their door, I found myself staring at a smiling girl.

    The door opened, Nora peeked from the opening and her eyes went wide as she spotted me. “Shay!”

    Nora didn’t pull me inside. She yanked me, making me land on some pillows left at the center of the room. Groaning at the soft impact, I saw Ren waving, which I returned and then I found myself helped up by Jaune and Pyrrha.

    “Shaun, didn’t expect you to visit today.” Jaune muttered surprised.

    “And not with that much luggage on you.” Pyrrha noted with more confusion.

    I chuckled nervously. “L-Let’s just say that I was… moved away from my current team. And kind of kicked out of my room.” My little resolution fading a little before the only friends I had left here.

    Perplexed looks were clear to me and I sighed as even Nora looked incredibly confused by my words. “What do you mean, Shay-Shay?”

    Part of me wanted to keep what had happened secret as it would only escalate things to an unpleasant level. Plus I wasn’t completely certain of JNPR’s acceptance of having their ‘friends’ besmirched like this.

    But, remembering the deputy-headmistress’ words about finding some support and talking about this, I decided to go all out, taking seat in the offered bed mattress that was Nora’s.

    The explanation was long as I didn’t have the nervousness I had with the teacher, but still felt unsure of giving it all as I was still nervous about telling this to others.

    And yet I did.

    As I concluded my little tale, I waited for their reactions, glancing them one at the time. I was panicking a little, expecting at least one of them to launch to the defense of the full-girl team.

    Jaune looked incredibly supportive patting my shoulder all the time as to give me the push to continue every time I stopped. I was floored by his lack of hesitation at the fact his ‘Snow Angel’ had gone that deep.

    Pyrrha looked distracted, eyes frowning at the floor as she contemplated my words. The redhead had said something about experiencing something similar-opposite back in Mistral and she was keen to show sympathy to my plight.

    Ren had his eyes closed, shaking his head at the story as he tried to digest the things I was saying and then I saw his pink eyes giving some supporting glint too. I nodded at him and we shared a smile.

    Nora was…

    How could I say?

    Nora was staring at me with a blank expression, eyes devoid of emotions and the only actions she was doing was breathing and blinking. Then something strange happened as she continued with her odd attitude.

    It was a brief moment, but she suddenly shifted towards the door, in her hands was Magnhild and she wobbled as to approach the entrance. The rest of the team noticed and Ren was the first to ask.

    “Nora?” His voice sported surprise at the behavior, the Valkyrie turning just a moment to glance back, a furious look on her face.

    “I am am going to break their legs.” The usually giddy girl said resolutely.

    While she had been saying this phrase several times, there wasn’t a time she had sounded more serious than this time. Hearing her dead-serious tone, the group tackle her down before she could execute her simplistic but murderous plan.

    “L-Let me go! The queen demands some legs to be broken!” She roared, but her demands were refused by the group.

    “N-Nora, please. T-They aren’t worth the e-effort and- and you can do something about them with Professor Goodwitch’s spars.” I pleaded, having some trouble having the girl calming down.

    Still, she began stopping with her struggling after hearing my suggestions and frowned. “Do you think I could break their legs through their Aura?” She asked quietly, almost eerily.

    I was morbidly contemplating that very question when I saw Ren’s little glare at suggesting some way to execute violence on people through spars. “I-I mean, Nora, please.” I argued much to her eagerness to the gruesome fate she wished to instill upon her targets.

    She sighed tiredly and nodded with a small pout. “Fine! BUT!” In mere instants I found her straddling tightly at me. “You need a group hug! GUYS!” I tried to free myself at her sudden order, but it was too late!

    Oh HELL NOP-OHF!

    And thus I was buried by four students with the need to comfort me.

    Goddammit, the sweetness is too high!

    After minutes spent to dislodging myself from the mass of people, I was invited to spend the dinner with JNPR. Let’s just say that the period at the cafeteria with my former team trying and failing to sit together with my friends ended up in an awkward affair.

    -------------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-

    “T-This is hilarious! You mean that Oz knows nothing of this?” Bartholomew Oobleck snorted in his mug at the words of the Deputy Headmistress.

    Glynda Goodwitch sighed as she tried to make little talk with her colleagues, failing as the two men were eager to learn more about Mr. Reyter’s situation.

    It had all come from Port asking about the ‘nice fellow’ that had been ‘lost’ in the path to his lesson, which caused her to reply curtly with the aftermath of the encounter.

    One things lead to another and… the blonde didn’t like where this was going.

    Oobleck was nodding in agreement with her resolve, while the portly man on his side was laughing loudly at the fact she had ‘defied’ the headmaster. Partly a correct assessment, but also unfounded because of her duty as deputy-headmistress… and Ozpin’s dropping more than half of his current paperwork on her.

    Seriously, why was that man even aspiring to keep the position if he didn’t want to have anything to do with the work coming with it? It was one of the questions none of those that have known the gray-haired man knew the answer of.

    It didn’t help that the coffee-addict was keen to ‘wander around’ to help ‘needing students’, which in poor terms meant going for a walk and skip work. She had seen students doing this, but not from this school.

    She thought of the kindergarten, or elementary school at least. To see the headmaster of a prestigious academy like Beacon spending his afternoon doing everything was working while she suffered through her usual workload AND his own was… irritating.

    Glynda sighed at the umpteenth chuckle and thought that the discussion was going to died down by the time Port finished with his own plate. Much to her dismay, Port and Oobleck had other plans as they frowned at the document she had the teen sign to accept the transfer.

    “You have assigned him to an interesting bunch, Glynda. By the way, are you sure he will hold his own compared to the one that left?” Peter asked eagerly, something that the blonde was quite happy to answer for the sake of not escalating the quirks of the annoying duo.

    “You both said that he was determined enough to face difficulty and, from what I could see from the discussion we had, he is willing to tackle this issue early on. That is why I mentioned it and I got an acceptable reaction out of him.” She replied, something that was met with frowns by both colleagues.

    “An acceptable reaction?” Port hummed with some interest, his mustache wiggling. “While I think I might understand your decision, I find it difficult to find what could be considered ‘acceptable’ by you, dear Professor.”

    Ignoring the annoying nickname the portly man assigned to her ever since she started to work at Beacon, the blonde nodded. “I guess it could be quite surprising but… I think Mr. Reyter knows that he risked losing his place at the Academy back when he was called in my office. He seemed very keen to moderate his tones and words to avoid… expulsion.”

    There was some silence, then Bartholomew resumed the conversation.

    “Bah, it is hardly his fault by the end of the day and that much shouldn’t warrant an expulsion-” Oobleck paused just a moment as he saw Glynda looking away at his words. “You were actually considering that?

    “It’s more of an act- I wasn’t going to genuinely expel him.” She admitted quickly, knowing that she could hardly survive if both thought she had been to harsh with the student. As much as she could have had some doubts about the effectiveness of such action, she was happy with the results gained from it.

    “Still, you have to have put the fear of the Gods in him.” Peter muttered. “I can remember facing something similar back in my days as a student.”

    “And that wouldn’t be the first case of someone dealing with this kind of problems.” Oobleck replied with a strange expression. “Do you remember when Ozpin called to his office Summer Rose during her first day?”

    Glynda remembered, how couldn’t she? She could remember a young girl wearing that unique white cape of hers as she walked with a quick pace towards the headmaster’s tower. Back then her shoulders were sagging, silver eyes staring depressingly at the floor as she was summoned by Ozpin to talk about some heavy accusations.

    The reasons behind that situation had been quite unsure as she had been doing quite well that day… it was moments after she returned back to class that she started to give fragments of an explanation with her utter sadness dripping from every word.

    It wasn’t uncommon for students to bring to the attention of teachers if rules were being broken by fellow students, but it was also relatively common to see people lie about such situations and this was the case between Raven Branwen and Summer Rose.

    An anonymous letter was received by Ozpin, containing some grave accusations about the team leader of STRQ. Heavy accusations that were easily disproved, but the revelation of such behavior was easily pinpointed back to the female Branwen.

    The girl from Mistral merely scoffed at the accusations, but never once did she try to defend herself from that. It was the first quarrel inside STRQ, the first one that saw Raven facing a surprisingly compact front made by Taiyang and Qrow.

    Her brother joining their side and not family? Glynda was certain that was what made their bond crack, or at least deteriorate to the point it was nowadays.

    “I wonder if this team will follow the same path of the first STRQ.”

    She nodded absently, finding the comment to be insignificant… until the very end.

    “Oh, what you mean with ‘first’ STRQ, Bart?” Port questioned with some interest, having noticed the strangely specific wording from his long-standing friend.

    The History teacher hummed as he started to scribble on a white paper he had on his bag, writing down the names of the possibly new team and… Glynda had her eyes go wide at the resulting combination.

    Port’s jaws dropped on the table as he found himself shocked too at what he was reading in that meek white paper.

    Shaun Reyter
    Tulia Xavier
    Ryou Bergfalk
    Qiu Bergfalk


    At first this was all about coincidences, something without proves and merely an attempt to do something without having Ozpin hounding on her and… now Glynda realized she ended up to create something new and old.

    Something that had been shattered by time and decay, was now going to be reborn and… she was unsure how to deal with this.

    “It would seem this year will be even funnier than we had expected, eh?” The portly man recovered from his silent shock, trying to relieve with some comedy the surprise they had just learned about.

    Oobleck and Port were staring at the paper quietly while the Deputy Headmistress… looked distracted.

    Her mind was going miles per hour, memories of the atrocious misadventures the school had to sustain during the stay of the first STRQ still fresh on her mind and…

    And she was supposedly going to face this now. Again.

    Her left eye twitched, annoyance building up as she sighed and decided that now was the best moment to go back to her office and prepare to face the storm she had just been responsible for it to be.

    -----------d-d-dd---------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----

    AN

    I suppose people will be angry at some of the changes and… I think I understand the reasons behind it. One of the glorious points of DoaSD was to have a single OC-I deal with those shenanigans and end up victorious by the end of the day. The issue is… I made him a Gary Stu: Too much powerful, his life is literally too easy and… I think I gave him too much importance early on.

    That is not my initial premises and… that is why I decided to prepare something a little more doable. To solve a Gary Stu issue, an author has two possible ways to take:
    1) He completely changes the OC’s personality (See what I did with Sean Graham in my FSN AU series);
    2) He
    splits the OC’s overall personality in a group and that means that: He will not represent STRQ as a single individual but as part of it.

    But fret not, this is not the ripoff from the STRQ personalities, appearances or any other details of the former group. I can set some examples that aren’t truly considered spoilers and those are:
    1) One is a Faunus, the kind and what are their traits are a secret;
    2) Tulia will not be female Taiyang, personality-wise, same with Qiu;
    3) Ryou will have a Raven-like attitude, but his motivations will be different;
    4) Their semblances are different and acceptable for a School for Huntsmen;


    Now lets move on RWBY and their new attitude as… I had to give some explanation. Will the OC hate them? Merely dislike them, a little resentment for costing that and… I worked around some of the canon personalities to make this work.

    While Yang seems like a good person, her easy-going, prankful and overall childish behavior make her fit well in a light-bully kind of mentality. She isn’t doing it for the sake of hurting someone for fun’s sake, but she will not be shy to make some situations unbearable.

    Ruby being a puppy to Weiss? The first two episodes at Beacon went differently and, while Weiss do accept Ruby as her leader, she will not be restrain herself from acting on her own to optimize the team. Such as removing a ‘clear weakling’ off their back.

    It might seem hard to accept, but we are talking about someone trying to remove Ruby from the leadership of the team without giving her a chance, only changing her mind after speaking with Port and getting reprimanded for doing that.

    Did she have that same chance with Shaun? Nope and that spelled against the boy’s stay on the team. Did she do out of malicious intents? I would say she did it out of a wrong nurturing, one that urged her to not be paired with ‘weaklings’ within a team.

    So yeah, they are not bad people but they aren’t the brightest nor the most mature as of now. They will have time and experience to grow up, to develop and understand their wrong ways but… that will mostly happen in the background.

    Unforgotten’ is already specializing in showing their growth in the series and this one will focus on the second STRQ.

    Also not trailers, stories will be told in flashbacks in particular instances and not randomly.

    Long AN, right? This is just to highlight the changes and… avoid confusions later.

    This means that I will not bother answering questions that are answered up above. If you decided to skim, it is on you and sadly, I cannot force you to read something to the fullest.

    So cheers and have a good day~!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Ready, set, GO!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 2: Ready, set, GO!

    It was quite early in the morning when I arrived at the school’s Hangar for the test.

    The night spent at the JNPR dorm-room had been surprisingly a good one compared to the previous day, having had no issues with the overly-friendly team and I was incredibly thankful that they had some set schedule for the bathroom’s turns.

    I could still remember the atrocious waits I had to endure the day before and that reprieve was just what I needed.

    Giving a quick bite to the delicious bacon and egg offered by the cafeteria for breakfast while avoiding being seen by the team I was in the process of hopefully leave, I was swift to punctually reach the place were I was supposed to be further instructed about the second initiation test.

    Blinking in surprise, I found myself staring at the greatest amount of Bullheads I have ever seen, numerous pilots and mechanics chatting around as they started to work around the large indoor room in their respective roles.

    Looking once more at my Scroll, I quickly brought up the message with the precise ID for the Bullhead I was supposed to take, my walk resuming as I started to slowly making my way through the workers paid by the Academy to keep in working conditions the airships.

    Moments passed and I finally managed to find the right vehicle, looking around if there was someone within or nearby it that could correspond to the pilot or one of the ‘new’ teammates I was supposed to meet up with.

    Nobody was there to speak to and ask for information, rather I was left alone to wait for anyone to come and greet me.

    I hummed nervously as my brain tried and failed to remind me that it was still particularly early and that maybe people were going to be there to a time closer to the established one. It was one of the major flaws that came by being this tense over the important exam.

    Having nothing to do around, I decided to look inside the carrier section of the Bullhead, sitting in one of the several seats available as I waited for something to happen. I was pretty much alone and the sounds of those working in the hangar was muffled by the strong material that made up the body of the airship.

    After giving another fast look around, I took a seat within the carrier and started to browse around my Scroll’s desktop, deciding that I could use this limited free time to finally understand the differences and similarities between a Scroll and a normal phone.

    It was an interesting and fascinating predicament that offered me the opportunity to understand by hand the option behind the Aura Bar displayed in the device and how the Scroll managed to gain such a strong estimation of the user’s aura.

    Aura was energy and, just like any other energy, can be detected and measured with proper machines, such was the case of the Scroll.

    Built within the portable instrument, a special Aura Scanner was always set to keep a precise measurement of the user’s Aura, where everyone had unique patterns compared to others.

    A 20-meters Radar was also included and could be used to create checkpoints with the most advanced system in modern topography given by a precise study from the CCT towers.

    Whatever the task was going to be, getting some map to keep track of our progress was going to help immensely, especially if it did avoid me getting lost like it happened back in the Emerald Forest.

    Thinking back to the very place where the initiation was going to happen once more, I started to muse over the different test I was supposed to face with the new team. Nothing specific, only a general insight over whom could end up becoming someone to trust and… to be trusted by.

    It was easy for me to understand that the teachers wouldn’t make it a repeat of the first test, sending an already composed team to do the task literally killing half of the meaning behind it.

    It had to be something… more complicated than that.

    Something that would balance out the advantageous fact of having an already-formed team on the task while also helping the teacher to gather material to properly grade their effort and behavior during said task.

    I was about to once more drown myself in the unique features of the small device in my hands when I saw him entering the Bullhead, pausing just a foot in as he noticed my presence.

    Donning a dark-yellow samurai-like armor, I studied the exotic details that made this individual unique compared to anyone I had seen until now at Beacon.

    His skin was lightly-tanned, a darker shade of my pale self, and his dark hair was shorter on the sides as it stretched a little more on the upper part of his head.

    And then I noticed his amber eyes…

    I had to put my entirety to keep myself from flinching at the hawk-like eyes that held such a piercing glint on them and I was sure he wasn’t even trying to pull such a strong outlook.

    “You are...” He started with a simple but emotionless tone, taking his time to sit right in front of me. “The new leader?”

    Blinking, I shrugged. “I guess?” I mean, it was the leader that left? And why me to replace him so directly. “I am sure that I am the new member of the team… but leader?” I asked perplexed.

    The answer seemed to satisfy him as he nodded quietly. “An interesting response.” He admitted curtly.

    “Oh, I almost forgot- I am Shaun Reyter.” I introduced myself.

    I stretched my open palm towards him and waited as, the boy glanced at it for some few moments. Nodding, his gloved hand grasped mine and we shook those.

    “I am Ryou Bergfalk, nice to meet you, Shaun Reyter.” He returned the favor and I nodded.

    “Please do call me ‘Shaun’. I don’t think formality will be a good thing during a fight.” I stated nervously, having trouble in deciphering the restrained individual before me as he seemed to be an impossible mystery as of yet.

    “I understand.” He muttered politely. “I would prefer the same too.” He offered back.

    I nodded and we both keep silent as we waited for the other to speak, dragging some moments of confused silence until I noticed his weapon, or at least the yellow sheath holding it within.

    “If I may ask, is that a Nodachi?” My question seemed to bring the discussion back to a livelier tone as the student nodded.

    “Custom-made, I tried to make sure it was efficient, quick and precise with the modifications available back home.” I noticed almost too quickly about the unexpected eloquence at describing the blade.

    I blinked at the sudden warmth in his voice, Ryou starting to stare with a happy glint at the weapon itself.

    Maybe it was something that helped him with home-sickness? Or maybe it was something which materials were bought by his parents?

    “Does it have a name?” I found myself musing over out-loud, the samurai boy sighing. It wasn’t unusual for students to name their own hand-made objects. Kind of like a ship, but smaller and packing lots of hell within it.

    “Kogane no Sakyū.” Perfect, it was Japanese and… I knew nothing to zero about that language. Still, it had to be a cool name for it to be pronounced with such emphasis.

    “If I may, Shaun, I wish to return the question to you.” Ryou asked out-of-the-blue, kind of surprising me at first. “What weapons do you use, partner?” He pressed me on.

    Blinking, I found myself a little nervous about revealing my little project but I ended up showing it to him nonetheless.

    A beautiful assault rifle that was made with the body of a M4A1, modified so that he could be furnished with several fire rates while also being capable of being loaded with various kind of ammunition, from sniper rounds to shotgun shells.

    Sadly, this beast of a gun was still incomplete from my initial end-goals, the modifications to add a multi-changing scope and modular radar quite expensive to buy around and I had little time before going to Beacon to get enough to get these.

    “This is ‘Fiendish Ordeal’.” I hummed happily. “And he is a pretty nasty opponent for everyone, Grimm being his favorite food.”

    He blinked several times and then frowned. “You are talking about it… as if it is some living being.”

    “I made this.” I muttered with a serious tone. “This is my baby.” I hugged it close to my chest as to prove my attachment to my little creation.

    He sighed. “I guess I can’t have a properly sane partner...”

    I huffed in annoyance at the comment. “It’s not my fault I like weapons a lot.”

    But soon the discussion shifted once more as he seemed to notice my ‘second’ weapon. “And you have a blade too?” The young man asked with renewed curiosity.

    Nodding, I slowly pulled out the gift I received back in Mantle from the old man. A pristine white Tanto that was well-refined and in the best shape possible.

    I wasn’t much of this kind of things but… it was pretty and did its work excellently as proved by the fact I did spar against it more than once back in Mantle.

    The mere sight of the clear reflection the blade offered, made Ryou… salivate.

    “M-May I see it closely?” He asked in a soft tone.

    I frowned, kind of shocked to see the previously stern-looking boy now fan-boying over ‘Silver Darkness’, but I decided to see where this was going to end into.

    Once the blade was in his hands, he started to cautiously eye the texture of the sword, the pure white hilt and then the short sheath.

    “T-This is the best result of an accurate sword-crafting!” He gave me the strangest look. “D-Did you make this too?” His tone was mystified by the craft.

    I felt a chill pass through my spine at the giddy expression, but I managed to shake my head at him. “I-It was actually given to me by an old teacher in Mantle-”

    Instantly he seemed to revert back to his serious self, this time something a little more threatening to it as he handed back ‘Silver Darkness’. “You are from Atlas.”

    I nodded at the non-question and he seemed to tilt closer to me with his somewhat menacing expression. “And what do you think of Faunus?” He inquired tentatively.

    Oh, I guess that would actually be a reason to be pissed. I mean, I wasn’t truly from Mantle, but Atlas did have the worst of reputations about Faunus.

    I blinked quietly. “They are fine.” I finally admitted.

    Three words, not a moral speech to show some passion for the grand cause of some equality or state some political ideals, but something that served to show that: I, as a person, am not a racist.

    Which seemed to half-work as my new partner had to think well of the few but deep words, then he sighed. “What if one of our teammates is a faunus?”

    “Then I will be interested to know what kind of personality they have, then I would gauge my attitude with them.” I replied with confidence, waiting to see what kind of reaction I would get back.

    A few more moments of quiet silence passed and finally Ryou conceded. “You are a very complicated individual, partner.”

    “I’ve been told quite the opposite, partner.” I chuckled as he shook his head at the remark. “But I guess I am just enjoying the fact my partner is actually not a douche.”

    He hummed. “Bad experience?”

    “More like bad day and team, but yes.” I returned with a sigh. “I guess I did end up with the worst first hand possible.”

    “Then you are in luck. This hand will be your best possible.”

    We both smiled. “Then let us make the best of it and become the greatest-”

    THUD

    We both turned to stare at the individual that had just interrupted us… in quite the curious manner.

    Rushing at high speed, the unfamiliar short-haired girl tripped on part of the small staircase that led inside the Bullhead and landed face-first on the metallic floor of the airship.

    She was wearing a short shirt with a design that reminded much of a Chinese dress, stopping right to her mid-riff, and a pair of black pants that ended in some armored boots.

    She groaned as she slowly pulled herself up, yawning as her amber eyes darted first at Ryou and then slowly at me. Soon she smiled giddily. “Hello there~.”

    Another chill went down my spine at the strange expression she adopted and before anyone could talk someone else came in rushing.

    “Qiiiiiiiiiuuuuuuuuu!” Like a mad train, in came another girl stopping right behind the recovering friend as she tried to help where she could, this one looking completely different than the rest of the team.

    Long-hair combed short, her skin a tone in between my pale one and Ryou’s own, dark-green eyes that currently held nervousness and panic for the predicament before her.

    Soon we were all sitting inside the bullhead, now waiting for the pilot as the two introduced themselves.

    “I-I’m sorry- I mean, I am Tulia X-Xavier. I’m a B-Bear Faunus from Menagerie and-”

    I nodded. “Nice to meet you, Tulia.” I interceded, seeing her little shyness making it difficult to properly introduce. “I am Shaun Retyer and I am from… Actually, before that, let me say that I am fine with Faunus and I hail from the slums of Mantle.”

    She lightened up at the quick-paced and light-hearted premise, blinking surprised. “O-Oh. T-Thank you then.”

    “Now, now, Tulia, there is no need to apologize to someone this forgiving and understanding.” The ravenette giggled as she patted the now-embarrassed faunus. The girl then turned to look at me with a confident smile. “By the way, I am Qiu Bergfalk. I see that you have already got well with my big bro so I guess there will be no problems between us~.” She concluded with a wink. She took a little step forward and pressed her index on me.

    Finger softly poking at my chest, I found myself stunned at another bout of giggle from the pretty girl in front of me.

    Yet I couldn’t truly reply, nor react at her provocative attitude as her brother was sitting relatively close to me and… I didn’t need to sour up any new friendships today.

    “Q-Qiu, aren’t you being a little b-bit-” Tulia pointed out, only to be interrupted by a happy sigh from the fellow female.

    “Annoying?” The blonde faunus blushed and nodded thankfully at the sword-wielding team-member, Ryou looking annoyed at his sibling’s eccentric behavior as he replied in her stead.

    The girl sighed and took a seat close to the fidgeting girl. “I’m not that bad.” She tried to compromise only that…

    There was a moment of silence at that statement and the short-haired girl pouted, arms crossing near her chest, huffing once or twice. “Jerks.” Qiu ‘complimented’ us and we shared a quick collective chuckle.

    The discussion, which seemed ready to be rekindled again by the arrival of the two girls, was suddenly interrupted as someone knocked harshly by the entrance of the Bullhead, a pilot waving a folder of documents on his other hand.

    I was about to move and take the papers out of his hold, but Qiu proceeded to bypass me and pick those on her own gloved palms, humming as she started to skim through the content of the documents regarding the initiation test.

    “Can I-” I tried to get those back, only for the ravenette to ignore me.

    “We are not going to the Emerald Forest.” The girl interrupted with a surprised tone and expression, causing pretty much everyone else to have their full attention renewed and attentive over this development.

    The Emerald Forest was the spot where most of the initiation tests happened, only few times those were conducted in the only other place Beacon could truly make those tests into.

    “Forever Fall?” My voice was soft, but I found Qiu’s golden eyes snapping in shock at me.

    “How do you- Wait.” She closed the folder, eyes closed as she seemed to fall in her own thoughts, before snapping her fingers softly as she guessed. “You read it somewhere?”

    I frowned at that question but nodded, which the girl sighed in relief. “At least we got someone that actually came here prepared about this kind of stuff.” She turned her sight, now a glare, to her brother, Ryou looking away in an innocent manner as the girl continued to scowl at him.

    My eyes silently turned at Tulia, the Faunus bearing a small smile at the exchange and looking away shyly as she noticed my stare on her face, blushing a little at the attention she was getting by me.

    A very curious attitude from someone that was definitively the tallest of the new team.

    Any further conversation was once more interrupted as the engines of the transport aircraft started to turn on, the pilot preparing for the lift off and to start the procedure to leave the hangar.

    We all shared a nod as Qiu finally passed the folder on my hands, giving me the chance of studying what was supposed to be our mission.

    Eyes scanning quietly and quickly, I hummed calmly as I noticed Ryou stealing some looks at the words on the paper, expecting no one to notice his interest over the content of the documents.

    Sadly Qiu’s giggles directed at him were quick to disprove such mentality. Without wasting any other time in silly acts, we prepared ourselves for our ‘Search and Destroy’ test.

    ------------d-d-dd-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------

    Staring at the screens showing the various cameras within the Bullhead where the newest Team STRQ had assembled, Ozpin sipped at his cup of coffee with a silent but minor note of annoyance playing on his face.

    While Glynda did do something acceptable and within her powers as Deputy-Headmistress by having Mr. Reyter moved to an insufficient team to fill in their newest lack of a teammate, that didn’t mean he was completely happy by having deprived Team RWBY of a further advantage for any of his future plans.

    While he was confident that the four girls were more than capable of dealing with what he was ready to throw at them, that didn’t certainly mean he was completely sure that everything was going to go smoothly for them.

    With the growing robberies in South-East Vale by Roman Torchwick, the headmaster had entertained himself with the idea that this wasn’t a simple crescendo promoted by the crime lord to expand his current fief and power, but something quite bigger than what it looked like.

    It wouldn’t be the first time the Queen had her henchmen to cause chaos within the Kingdoms and his mind was still sticking by what Glynda had told him the night she had found Ms. Rose.

    Someone was moving in the shadows, someone that had powers resembling those of a Maiden and aiding Torchwick with this new quirk of his.

    And while he did feel like he knew the culprit, the hints that would allude to the rest of the plan were eluding him even now. The Police and the Huntsmen deployed to study the situation were left clueless about the crime scenes and it was starting to grate on his patience.

    Closing his eyes for a moment, the headmaster sighed and decided to shift his attention back at the matter at hand by glancing back at the files containing the various details of the new Team STRQ.

    Blinking, he started with the new addition, Mr. Reyter.

    Born in Mantle, Shaun Reyter was mostly active since the beginning of last month as he joined the city militia with the intent of studying under former Hunstman Gelb Rostfrei. A full month of training and mission under the relic of the late period of the Great War got the youth the qualifications to enter Beacon without issue.

    Proficient with short swords and several kinds of guns, the boy was a competent student with a good potential along the way, especially with his electrokinesis still developing the more he trained within the Academy.

    Tulia Xavier originates from Menagerie, born an orphan that studied under the tiny force of the island’s military and gaining some approval for her bravery and strength while fighting several of the Grimm waves cursing the small nation.

    Awarded by the recommendation from the Chieftain of Menagerie, Ms. Xavier was given the chance of joining Beacon to further expand her knowledge and refine her current abilities.

    Their mother a lone noble in Vacuo, Ryou and Qiu Bergfalk are the most curious cases in the team. The power that came to their parent was given by the influence of their late father, August Bergfalk.

    Hailing from Atlas, the man had settled in Vacuo after encountering his future wife, deciding to create a family there, away from the powerplays in his homeland. Sadly a massive horde of Grimm took his life away when both children were young and barely capable of talking, depriving them of any paternal figure in their life.

    It was surprising and suspicious that they decided to pick Beacon and not Shade.

    Just as he mused over this choice, the door of his office opened to reveal a sighing Glynda Goodwitch walking towards him. He blinked and nodded, waiting for the woman to pick her seat and speak as she seemed to have come here to say something, possibly about the peculiarity of the day.

    “Headmaster.” She started with a polite voice. “From what I see the test has already began.”

    Another nod, he took a sip from his cup before truly replying. “That is correct, Ms. Goodwitch.” He played around with that politeness a little, garnering the blonde’s narrowed stare. “The four students look to be ready for the task at hand.”

    She relaxed a little in her seat, a smile creeping in her face which minor smug hidden in it caused the headmaster to scowl inwardly. The woman knew how to irk him with her expressions when she wanted.

    “That is good to hear.” She continued, her eyes turning to one of the screens visible. “I assume Oobleck is going to join them soon.”

    Ozpin hummed quietly. “He was sent to Forever Fall earlier.” He muttered as he remembered the request of the tea-Doctor of being given an early pass away from his lessons. “He wanted to study this curious phenomenon that he had never seen in his teaching career.”

    She nodded. “It is quite the interesting matter that someone was given the chance of re-doing the initiation test.” Her green eyes fixing on the silenced discussion between the four team visible from the soundless screen. “I wonder what kind of surprise they will bring out with the new difficulty of the exam.”

    “Possibly show some more about the skills they had hidden back in the Emerald Forest.” The headmaster nodded at the comment. “The ‘Search and Destroy’ mission is meant to have them use ingenuity and tactical thinking to destroy the ten targets placed in Forever Fall.”

    There was a brief moment of peace, the deputy looking interested more by the screens than by the fact he had just took another coffee-filled cup out of his special drawer.

    “Did you receive any message from team RWBY, Ozpin?”

    He blinked, remembering why this question was indeed important to know about.

    “Ms. Schnee and Ms. Rose came to confirm the claims of Mr. Reyter, which I replied truthfully too.”

    “Headmaster, they should still be disciplined for having-”

    “Mistakes are affordable, Glynda. They are still children and can afford this kind of situations this early on.” He blinked at the blonde’s glare at such reply.

    “Their immaturity stems from their age, Headmaster, they shouldn’t be having this kind of attitude at their age, not as studying huntresses.”

    Her tone was stern as usual, but there was a soft diluted emotion hiding from his perception. Something that he knew had to do with the previous discussion.

    “Did any of the other teachers spoke about this situation or voiced the need to have some special action promoted?”

    Surprisingly enough for the old Wizard, the woman nodded. “Oobleck mentioned having issues in keeping the Team attentive even by moderating his pacing and Port complained about their lack of interest in those parts of his lessons which he isn’t wasting by narrating his life’s stories.” She stated with a sigh. “I’ve also heard Peach early this morning saying that the team caused some disaster in her laboratory.”

    The headmaster blinked. “The extent of the damage?”

    “The laboratory will be closed for two days to clean up the toxic mess left being by the team.” She replied quickly and with a hint of annoyance. “Peach seemed ready to go on a warpath when she heard the costs of the reparation for… the material lost.”

    “Sounds like there is ground for some corrective action then.” He nodded, bringing out some papers for the teacher to sign. “I suppose you wish to be the one dealing with those.”

    “Indeed.”

    Ozpin felt like he was entrusting the team to a very vindictive teacher, prone to bring hell on their lives… but maybe this would actually work well for him. If they started to slack off this early on it would end up being counter-productive for his plans and their growth.

    Some further teaching after classes will refine their fortitude, yes.



    “Are there any news from Qrow?” The new shift of topic was actually refreshing, Ozpin feeling like continuing down the issues about Team RWBY would end up giving him a headache this early in the morning.

    He sighed tiredly. “He asked to prolong his current mission. He caught some clues of something suspicious in Mistral and… he seems to have got hold of some interesting individual.”

    Glynda let out an annoyed scowl. “A woman?”

    The headmaster smiled but shook his head at her question, knowing full well that the man would have done that. “Surprisingly enough, no.”

    There was a confused pause from the teacher, then her eyes moved at him. “What?”

    “He said he found some interesting young man to take as an apprentice, a farmer boy.”



    “Are you sure this is really Mr. Branwen we are talking about?” The confusion and surprise were endearing to see after having experienced a very miffed Glynda this early in the day.

    Ozpin cracked a smile. “He is indeed Mr. Branwen we are talking about. It was quite the shock even for me but...” He gave a brief pause. “I trust him to be good with his new student.”

    “Like you trusted him to deal with his sister?”

    He blinked and sighed at that rebuke. “Ms. Branwen is a special case, Glynda. Her current stance in Mistral render any attempt to approach her limited to her former team.”

    “Taiyang doesn’t want to do anything with her.” She stated while remembering the man refusing even going to Mistral for some secret missions, the refusal rate increasing to an impossible level when Summer died.

    “And that is why Qrow is the only key for her.” He reminded once more. “Still I am quite surprised to know that she isn’t truly gone for the full-fledged bandit life.”

    Glynda raised an eyebrow at that. “What?”

    “While reports confirm that she launches raids once in a while, the only ones that get killed by her tribe are those who fight back, those who attack first. The rest is captured to be then ransomed to the authorities.”

    “And the Council at Mistral doesn’t care about this?” The surprise was new, but Ozpin nodded at her.

    “Mistral is incredibly decentralized, local settlements are unable to muster a force capable of dealing with the tribes but they are rich enough to keep the tribes calm and less-prone to attack the villages.”

    There was a minor pause, then green eyes moved back at his face. “Don’t you think… the formation of this team is curious?”

    The headmaster blinked. “You mean the familiar composition?” At her nod he sighed. “They do bear a certain resemblance to the first STRQ, but their backgrounds and personalities differs from their predecessors. I don’t expect Mr. Bergfalk to follow Ms. Branwen’s path, nor I expect his sister to pursue a life similar to Mr. Branwen.”

    “What about Mr. Reyter?”

    There was a pause from Ozpin, one of uncertainty as he knew little about the young man.

    “He didn’t show any predicament that might indicate some similarities to Summer Rose, but I do find concerning that he does have a similar weapon-style to her.”

    Glynda nodded, but her eyes had shifted to the holographic desk, trying to keep quiet about something before…

    “You have never told any of the teachers what happened back when Ms. Rose was first called to your office. I remember seeing you incredibly furious back then when she left your office.”

    There was a pause, a minor flinch from the headmaster as he tried and failed to keep his composure from revealing any expressive signs of distress over the subject.

    “Let’s just say that I was displeased by the situation that fell on Ms. Rose back then.” He stated quietly. “But I was also confused by her decision to not pursue the slander against her.”

    The teacher nodded, feeling like she was getting closer to the truth while also getting Ozpin more and more away from continuing this topic. So, deciding to cut her losses, she nodded and stood up.

    “I am satisfied with your answers, Headmaster. I will go back and resume my duties, then.”

    He nodded, sighing in relief as the blonde started to walk by the door.

    Then he called her. “Glynda.”

    She paused and turned her head at him.

    “When you are dealing with the Team, remember to not be too harsh with them.” The old wizard stated wisely. “Not for me, nor for me. Do it for the one that was slighted, keep in mind what Mr. Reyter think of this.”

    There was a brief moment of stillness from the woman, then she nodded slowly and left the office as the headmaster decided to give one last sip from his cup before returning to his daily reports.

    Yet his eyes would spare some glances at the screens monitoring the new team, part of him now interested in seeing how they are going to deal with this new obstacle to become true students at Beacon.

    ------------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    Justice is for those who deserve it, mercy is for those who don't.” This quote from Woodrow Kroll will gain some significance in the near future.

    While they walk on similar places and hail for similar dreams, the two Starks are two different sides of the same medal. But to fall through the same mistakes? Nope.

    Little summary for STRQ 2.0 appearances:
    Shaun Reyter:
    Curly, short brown hair, dark-brown eyes. He usually wears a half-sleeved dark-gray shirt and long black pants, armored gauntlets and boots to protect his more vulnerable parts and a light armor to protect his torso. His weapon of choice are Silver Darkness, a Mistralian (Japanese) Tanto given to him by his former teacher, and Fiendish Ordeal, a long-term project to produce the absolute Assault Rifle starting from a gun resembling the M4A1;
    Tullia Xavier:
    Long, straight hair of golden with a pair of bear ears on top of her head, two dark-green eyes. She wears a knee-long dark-green robe that hides her own set of heavy armor and her favorite weapons, Trueno y Relampago (Thunder and Lightning), two Gauntlets that are enchanted with Lightning Dust.

    Ryou Bergfalk:
    Short black hair, shorter on the side, amber eyes with a default strong stare present in his face. He wears a traditional samurai armor bestowed to him by his mother and owns a Nodachi, Kogane no Sakyū (Golden Dune), with special Dust metal, a perfect conduit to integrate Dust to the blade and enchant it during battle.
    Qiu Bergfalk:
    Short, black-hair with a very unruly hairstyle, soft amber eyes with a mischievous glint predominantly. She wears a short shirt with the denotations of a Chinese dress that shows her mid-riff, and a pair of black pants that ended in some armored boots. Her favorite weapons are daggers, which is why she has an entire arsenal on her for every occasion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  3. Franz-026

    Franz-026 Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
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    Read your works on the other forums, I love this direction as well. More refreshing, and the name of Shaun’s new team is gonna provoke some interesting responses from the sisters.
     
    JBukharin likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: Spoiled Plans (1)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 3: Spoiled Plans (1)

    Forever Fall wasn’t where I had planned to take part for this second initiation.

    Differently from the Emerald Forest, this flat area was more difficult to explore without facing some high quantities of Grimm.

    The forest back in Beacon had a very small Grimm population after years and years of Students fighting their way through its treacherous terrain and the area we were supposed to be in for some hours was dense with monsters of all kind.

    Forever Fall took a large section of the entire kingdom and was deemed quite dangerous for inexperienced Huntsmen and students. This wasn’t a good place to conduct a proper exam.

    Yet we were here and the objective was actually simpler than I had originally thought it to be.

    The teachers had placed several boxes across the large area we were supposed to search through and our mission was to destroy each one of them and then return back to the planned landing zone for our Bullhead.

    Simple and quick, sadly the area was humongous and it would take time and caution to explore it all without having the entire Grimm population hunting us down.

    The bullhead finally stalled, waiting for us to launch and I decided to take the lead on that.

    “Does anyone have any particular issue with the Landing Strategy here? If so, speak now so I can help them anyway possible.”

    I looked at the three, the three looked at each other and Tulia shyly raised her hand and I nodded. “Ok. Tullia, you are with me and I guess you two can work it out.” The two siblings nodded and soon I stood right by the opening of the airship.

    “Ready?” I glanced back and the Bear-faunus nodded determinedly.

    I jumped out and let myself free-fall for a while, long enough to let Tullia catch up and wrap her arms by my neck and giving me space to move around as my hands and feet glowed a pure blue.

    I was glad that I had discovered my semblance a month ago, developing it had given me the chance to experiment and give me some edge for the dangers I will have to face during my first year at Beacon Academy.

    My Dynamic Thrusters were far faster than Cole MacGrath’s Static Thrusters, but they were much more difficult to control.

    I was still far from fully mastering the vast potential my semblance offered and even my current abilities required further training, but I was quite sure that for now I could do fine in this mission.

    The blonde attached to me yelped a little at the sudden stop to our fall, but kept herself from tightening the already uneasy hold she had over my head. The landing was soft and uneventful, we both quickly sent a ping from our respective Scrolls to the rest of the team, alerting them of our safety and we were replied with two similar pings from them.

    We were about to run towards where their position was shown by the map but we stopped right as some tree branches cracked. A quick shadow rushed for me, claw ready to tear through my aura, the Beowolves was intercepted by the Faunus.

    The girl shrieked as her gauntlet released sparks of electricity that coated the beast’s entire skull, killing it instantly. It fell on the ground, smoking a little as it disappeared.

    “Thanks for the saving.” I told her with a small smile, which she returned with a smile of her own and a nod.

    Our brief reprieve was interrupted by new growls and soon seven more Beowolves appeared. Frowning, I started to coat my legs in electricity, replacing my gun with my knife as I prepared to deal with the creatures closely and personally.

    At the first howl, I bolted from my position and nailed the first monster right in its forehead, killing it and giving me some space to react about the other beasts on each side, Silver Darkness ready to reap some more today.

    Tullia smiled as she pursued directly the other Grimm, dodging the attacks coming for her and swiftly killing her share of Beowolves.

    Her fighting style was incredibly different from any brawlers I had seen in this show as it wasn’t any of the familiar western kind of brawling but something close to some quick-paced Bajiquan.

    I had seen some people make use of that martial art back ‘home’ but this was the first time I saw a practitioner moving this rapidly through her opponents.

    It was a massacre, one that left us both untouched by the Grimm but also a little tired at the sudden appearance of so many monsters.

    “We should regroup and get the boxes destroyed quickly.” I stated quickly as I got myself back to the Scroll, noticing that both Qiu and Ryou were just mere moments from-

    “Boop!”

    I jumped at being suddenly ‘booped’ in the nose by a giggling Qiu, the girl waving comically as her brother walked slowly and with a sigh leaving his mouth. “You shouldn’t do that. He isn’t still ready for your quirkiness.” The boy was replied with a raspberry by the flamboyant girl.

    “And how do you think he will ever be ‘ready’ to face me if I don’t give him good doses of my ‘enlightenment’?” She hummed as she started to play around with… my wallet?!

    “Ohi, give it back!” She giggled and threw it at me and smiled even more.

    “Your birthday is in April 4th! That means we will have to party-hardy that day for the whole day.” The look she was giving off was intriguing as scary for some reason.

    “I don’t think you should say those things to him, you know?” The sword-wielder muttered tiredly. “This is why all of those who tried to date you would end up running.”

    “I can say for sure it is a combination of my vast personality and your ever-present need to cut down any possible

    Her rebuttal was met with a snort from her sibling while Tullia smiled a little at the interaction of the two Vacuans.

    I sighed as I took a more serious expression. Now that we were regrouped, it was time to start with our tasks and get back to get some sweet rest to celebrate our first victory.

    “As much as I find your bickering fun, I don’t think I’ve to remind you both that the faster we finish this stuff the more our chances to get back to Beacon will be.”

    They glanced at me at the same time, then they shared a look and nodded at each other.

    “Lead the way, boss!” Qiu exclaimed with a giggle and Ryou merely nodded as we all started to walk towards the deeper section of Forever Fall.

    This was going to be quite the long walk, that looked like to be the thing now.

    Completely unaware that things were happening behind the scenes…

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    Meanwhile, Atlas…

    If someone asked to Dr. Arthur Watts what task he regretted the most ever since he had joined the inner circle of Sale, Queen of Grimm, his answer would be a simple and annoyed word.

    Atlas.

    The same Kingdom that had not only forced him to seek asylum in the Grimmland, but also given a death penalty in absentia and was very keen to keep an eye for any resurfaces of him and…

    Yet he was there, mumbling to himself as he scowled at the complex terminal he was currently tinkering around with.

    Hazel huffed as he took the body of the second security guard he had to take care of to give him a chance to play around the data present in the device available there.

    He wriggled his mustache in relief as the final order from the long list he had just finished to write within the system was passed, giving their men in Vale the opportunity to know exactly where and when the Dust arriving to the Kingdom was going to be placed.

    “Are you done?” The intelligent brute asked, the former scientist nodding as he got off from his post. “Still I don’t understand something about our plan, shouldn’t the SDC be worried about the sudden disappearance of so many people?”

    “That would be the logical decision in the ideal world… but Jacques Schnee isn’t the brilliant man as he is painted all around the world. He is just a little greedy businessman that know how to hide the many failures that his company suffers and he is main cause for most of those.”

    The doctor explained calmly and rationally. “He is smart enough to think that this isn’t the work of the White Fang and yet he will still put some regulations and limitations to Faunus workers, using this little accident as proof that ‘Faunus-kind cannot be trusted’.”

    “So we are not only hindering his power but strengthening our allies?”

    Watts sighed at the taller and bulkier man’s question.

    “Hazel, we aren’t allied with the White Fang. I thought the Queen had already told you that they can’t be trusted. They will be a good spearhead, but then their usefulness will expire like most of our ‘associates’.”

    “What’s bothering me is that they still have a large influence on them.”

    The doctor hummed in agreement at this logic, but shook his head nonetheless. “Just as they gained this influence thanks to our support, they will lose it when the proper time will come.”

    They finally walked out from the small exit of the large outpost, quickly blending in with the various people while proceeding through the lower zones of the city. ‘The Slums’ were actually in the shame shape as Mantle was but the people both there and in the former grand city were nowadays deemed inferior by the ‘aristocratic’ cliques ruling over the capital of the Kingdom.

    The Council was controlled by non-elected members of various corporations and military groups, leaving little space for actual inner reform.

    Atlas was prosperity and strength, there was no reason for anyone to doubt it.

    The cracking of some rifles make sure of that.

    Watts detested this hypocrisy, condemning everyone in the administration for prolonging such cancerous system to exist undisturbed while it shattered the best minds and prospect of a better future.

    All because things were already perfect.

    The disappointment boiling within his core was endless and it was saddening to see how things turned out to be in this once-glorious place.

    Science was censored, people suffered and those with enough money could dictate laws around. It was the end of society, the beginning of a sophisticated barbaric state.

    It was a tragic pity that they couldn’t recognize the merits over the birth origin, it would have favored the best for their ever-expanding technological advance over the rest of the world.

    A pity that was going to be their downfall and there would have been nothing that they could have done to prevent it.

    Atlas will end up re-shaped under his leadership with better, stronger and more efficient rules all around that will end up restoring the old power the Kingdom once had every right to brag about.

    Just as they continued towards the closest exit, away from any security drone or guard around, Watts felt his advanced Scroll vibrate.

    He paused just a moment before resuming his walk, his right hand holding the device as he studied which alarm has been triggered and… his eyes darkened over the clear message from his remote security system, the man starting to press several keys while enabling some of the defense codex he had installed in the ‘Ghost’ security.

    “Something’s bothering you, doc?”

    His mustache wriggled again, this time with much more annoyance. “Just some pests in Vale. I will dispatch the first vanguard to deal with them quickly.”

    “If you say so, doc.” Hazel muttered, uninterested by those matters.

    The doctor was too much of an arrogant fool to believe into and the brawnier man knew that his fate had been sealed by his ambitions. Salem might be rewarding, but she would never concede an entire kingdom to someone like Arthur Watts to see him revolt against her.

    That is why Hazel’s wish was undeniable and he knew he would get it one way or another.

    And then he would be once more together with his sister.

    If you say so...

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    “And with that we got… 6.”

    I smiled at the collective elated reaction from the rest of the team, walking away from the remains of one of the boxes.

    It’s been two hours of pure searching, killing, searching again and killing once more.

    Grimm were attacking with large numbers, never holding back in their relentless assaults but it was nothing that truly worried me as we were barely winded right now and we were close to finish our task.

    The situation was still sustainable, but I was wary from declaring this to be a breeze, feeling like I was missing something important out of this section of the Kingdom.

    What was I forgetting? It is important but… what it could be?

    As if on cue the ground started to tremble and a large shadow emerged from the dust hindering our sight and-

    I blinked as I ducked to avoid the claw of a particularly large Death Stalker, larger than the ancient one I had to fight back at the first initiation test. There were some strange vine like veins spreading through the strange Grimm’s body.

    This… this was familiar. I scrunched my face in thought while I jumped away from an incoming attack of its tail.

    “Boss, this is a huge bastard.” Qiu exclaimed as she dodged the other claw. “What is the plan?”

    He was far too quick to trick it to use its tail on its head just like back in the Emerald Forest. We had to… expose its weakness.

    “Flip him.” I barked loudly. “We need to flip him. Its belly is its weakness.”

    The girl nodded and her special semblance activated. While similar to Blake, the short-haired girl’s ability was more of a strafing one than a ‘running’ one, which allowed the user to produce after-images while silencing her footsteps.

    She called it ‘Quick Feet, Quick Hands’ and it was part of her combat/stealth style which complemented her extreme but limited arsenal. Knifes, daggers and everything else that was a small blade, all coated with some special Dust that allowed to pierce through Grimm’s sturdier armors.

    The beast roared in pain as several daggers rained upon its exposed body, forcing it to push its claw together to shield its head.

    “Tullia!”

    The Bear-Faunus rushed at the distracted monster and slammed both gauntlets on the Death Stalker’s limbs and forced it to expose its upper belly, a glowing red spot.

    I held my palm open as a wave of electricity hit the Grimm and forced it to stay still as Ryou prepared the finishing blow.

    Kogane burned a fiery red as it trailed through the dirt as its user unleashed an upward swing, the energy collected in the blade released in a large pulse of red that blitzed quickly the distance between the Vacuan and the paralyzed Grimm.

    It impacted and a large explosion erupted from the monster, the creature of darkness releasing a final roar before disappearing in a flash of light.

    The cloud of smoke that reached widely the entire clearing hindered the sight over possible other Grimm entering the area. I gritted my teeth as I tried to find something, anything that could reassure me that I could finally relax my stance.

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    I blinked the sounds of several, little chattering started to noisily invade my ears.

    A gust of wind finished the remaining dark smoke and my eyes widened at the sight of seventy or so small Death Stalker rushing towards the entire team.

    If things weren’t already worse, the ground rumbled again and two more Death Stalker emerged from the floor.

    Gulping nervously, I decided it was time to admit we were getting overwhelmed. “Retreat on me!”

    The reaction from everyone was immediate and I turned around and started to rush away from open sight and deeper back in the red forest.

    I checked my Scroll and sighed in relief at the screen monitoring the entire team’s individual aura bars above 50%. My attention was completely shifted in finding a way out and contact any of the teachers for a quick evacuation.

    As much as this mission had appeared simple and possible, the arrival of this kind of Grimm was surely not something planned nor known by Professor Goodwitch. Yet as I tried to open up the communications, I found the Scroll buzzing loudly and notifying that there were several issues with the connectivity.

    Something was jamming the devices-

    “Partner, we can’t run forever. What are we supposed to do now?” Ryou butted in as she continued to follow behind me. Everyone was confused and in need of direction, but right now I could hardly think

    Then I spotted from afar a small construction, some tall ruined tower and… I nodded to myself. “Follow me.”

    A crappy plan, a stupid one but… it could still work.

    If we reached that large fortification, we could try to hole up there and deal with the Grimm every little group without overextending ourselves in the process.

    My legs burned as I led the team inside the building and my jaws dropped when I noticed the lack of the staircase that should have led upstairs.

    T-This was bad. The growing screeches of the swarm were getting closer and my plan had just failed-

    “O-Over there!”

    I snapped my eyes at the small section of the building Tullia was pointing at and froze a moment at recognizing what looked like to be an elevator.

    “Let’s go!” Qiu launched herself towards the only way out, the rest following closely as the horde of monsters finally smashing through the small open door that led inside and rushing towards us.

    “Go!” I shouted and Ryou pressed the lowest button present, the heavy doors of the elevators closing fairly quickly and holding against the attacks of the numerous Grimm on the other side.

    The construct proceeded to take us to the undergrounds and from the small openings within it we could see the humongous space covered by metallic walls and covers.

    “Scrolls are currently offline.” I finally revealed to the whole team. “Something is keeping us from communicating to the teachers.”

    “S-So we are stuck without possibility of c-contacting help?” The Bear-Faunus tensed as she relayed that statement and I patted her shoulder.

    “We will find a way out.” I stated resolutely. “I promise you all that we will get out of her and we will get to Beacon.”

    “At this point it would be better to focus on keeping alive- Ouch!” Ryou groaned as Qiu slapped the back of his head.

    “Boss is confident that we will make it through without much of issue and I trust his word about that.” The girl stated, much to my awe. “Plus I feel like we will be alright too.”

    The elevator reached the designed floor and the doors opened to reveal a…

    A large underground railway system?

    It was similar to one of the old railways back in Mantle, but it seemed to be in a better shape compared to the ones back in the north.

    There was a lone train already set on the tracks and it wasn’t a normal transport trains.

    “Is it normal for a train to have this much… weaponry?” Qiu remarked as she noticed the several MG turrets on the front and the large one sitting on the roof.

    “This is an armored train from the Great War.” I explained while we continued to approach it. “It is still fairly used back in Atlas by some of the settlements and… this one is actually in good conditions.”

    “Sounds like you know more about it.” Ryou commented and I nodded.

    “I did drive this once or twice in the last month but… I wonder why this is here-” I spread my arms wide and open to gesture at the place. “Why this whole thing exists!”

    I ended up with a sigh and boarded the train to see if there was something useful inside and I noticed some boxes filled with ammo of various caliber. My attention then turned to the driving cabin and I blinked at the available destinations.

    “Noticed something important, partner?” Ryou asked as he noticed my bitter expression and I nodded once more.

    “I know where we are going now.” I said with a dry tone. “We… are going to Mt. Glenn.”



    “What?” Qiu butted in as I slowly proceeded to sit in the driver seat.

    “An old settlement in Vale, an abandoned disaster but… there I think we could be able to get some Bullhead to evacuate us.”

    “A-Are you sure this is the best idea right now?” I turned to Tullia, the blonde girl a little doubtful. “I-I mean, I know this is our only choice b-but are you sure it will work.”

    I blinked and thought about it.

    We were going in a Grimm-infested city, get in contact with the teachers and wait for Gods-know how many hours for some evacuation?

    The chances of surviving weren’t good but…

    “I think I’ve already said we will do alright, Tullia.” I smiled widely at her. “Don’t worry, we will get out of here safe and sound.”

    The girl blinked and then nodded, a small smile in her face and thus I turned my attention back to the commands, turning on the entire small train.

    “Well, while our first mission could be technically considered a messy thing to resolve, at least we got ourselves an early school trip on our hands.” I sighed tiredly. “Buckle up, this is going to be a fun ride!”

    Qiu giggled and raised her hands up. “Yay!”

    Ryou groaned at his sibling’s enthusiasm while the Tullia merely continued to smile as the train started to ride.

    If only we knew how much deep we were going with what was merely supposed to be a simple initiation test.

    -------d-d-d------------dd-d-d---------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d----------

    AN

    The underground railway is a mix of GE’s canon and some bare inspiration from the VN Team AURM (Kudos for that game, it’s really good).

    It’s been quite a while and I think this chapter is fairly short (I’m sorry! I was busy with so much in this period that I couldn’t work on it more than just a day and a half.), still I can offer you a good promise of another chapter this Sunday!

    Also, if you wish to find the unconventional DxD fanfic which lacks the classic oppai-based logic, I suggest you check out my new story, Magical Trickster DxD! For now there is no harem for MC, but there is a Chibi Army proclaimed! Hazzah!

    And Lastly, I decided to remove an OC character from the previous character to present a Canon one to the plot. Some people will flip some swearing or call this story dumpster fire once it happens and, boy oh boy, some people will be happy for the character that is coming back.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Spoiled Plans (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 4: Spoiled Plans (2)

    If there was something Glynda Goodwitch hated the most beside dealing with Ozpin’s childish antics, it was knowing that something wrong was happening as she went along with her usual lectures.

    Contacts with the newly-formed team STRQ had ceased two hours ago and Professor Oobleck had been unable to discern the causes of the sudden jamming hitting the area of Forever Fall where they were supposed to complete their Initiation Test.

    A large horde of Grimm had been spotted lurking around, behaving more aggressive than usual and some of them sporting unknown mutations. The History Teacher had confirmed that said mutations were boosting the monsters, giving them stronger armor and a quicker reaction time. It was unheard off, but Ozpin himself seemed to known something more about the matter.

    The moment this information was relayed, he looked a little paler and proclaimed calmly that he would take a look on the matter and personally intervene about what was happening in Forever Fall. If until now with the disappearance of the four students Glynda had felt worried, now there were more than enough reasons to be fully concerned about what was going on.

    She sighed as she turned her eyes towards Yang Xiao Long, the girl had her head planted on the part of the long desk in front of her and the teacher sighed tiredly as the younger blonde was visibly sleeping during her lesson.

    It was annoying that she had to deal with the ever-present feeling that things could go wrong for the students she had put in that very dangerous situation, causing her to make this lesson a theoretic lecture rather than the planned sparring session for today, but to see someone already misbehaving this early in the morning.

    Her left brow twitched, annoyance building to an unpleasant level, causing the teacher to take a minuscule pause mid-lecture to sigh. Relief was far from being reached and thus… this proved to be one of the most tense days in her career as a professor at beacon.

    Finally… she had enough.

    Glynda slowly stopped speaking and she actually kept still for a moment with eyes narrowed on the young Xiao Long. Then she stood up and, much to the horror of the rest of Team RWBY that had been listening to the lesson and had noticed the now-approaching teacher, the woman walked right behind the sleeping student.

    Everyone was watching the scene quietly, a range of emotions going from pity to amusement at seeing the all-girls group being close to be reprimanded this early in the day because of the brawler.

    It wasn’t the first time Yang had done something like this but, differently from before, the students that would want to follow her example held from showing even a bare hint of tiredness, noticing fairly quickly in the lesson how the Professor was for some reason… distracted by something serious.

    It was in her tone, in her sterner-than-usual way of explaining the topics of the day that they knew that something was going on in the mind of the woman. It was no secret for the majority of students that the teacher was also the Deputy-Headmistress, someone that had to worry about older teams sent to difficult missions.

    Some would still say that it was something about the Teacher Staff, nothing concerning the students themselves, yet one team in particular knew that there was another possible situation that could have caused this limited sense of distress within the woman.

    Jaune didn’t say anything, but he could see his partner nodding his way with a worried expression plastered on her face. The two had received the news from Shaun himself about the second initiation test and… they had yet to see him around in the school.

    Maybe it was a more difficult test? The boy had said some of his own theories about the new test, mentioning the chance that with the team already formed, it was slightly improbable that they were going to make a redo of what had happened in the Emerald Forest.

    Nora and Ren were also showing unnatural behaviors, with the Valkyrie being surprisingly silent on the matter, none of her usual cheerful ideas sporting within her immediate appearance, instead appearing attentive and… tense after noticing Ms. Goodwitch’s minor nervousness. The fellow Mistralian decided to glance at long desk rather than address his thoughts to his companions, his pink eyes fixed on the desk as he silently thought about the matter and praying that it wasn’t a terrible situation as part of his logical self was guessing about.

    Glynda frowned upon the snoring Xiao Long, contemplating how she should ‘aptly’ solve this situation without appearing impartial. Just as her lips parted, her mouth opened to call out the disruptive behavior of the brawler, the teacher stopped at a familiar buzzing coming from her own Scroll. The device was vibrating, no sound further signaling the fact someone was trying to establish contact and, without hesitation, her hand slipped the object out of her pocket and brought it in front of her face.

    Shaun Reyter – STRQ

    The woman tensed just a moment, eyes glancing at the sleeping student and then at the phone. She blinked, her priorities already known to her as she slowly made her way by the classroom door, stopping just moments from opening it to turn and look sternly at the whole Team of girls.

    “Ms. Rose, you will make sure that your sister wakes up and learn that she will have detention with me by the end of the school-day. I hope this time you will actually remember about your duty.” The little jab was perceived with confusion.

    Of course the young girl wouldn’t know about the reasons behind her former fifth companion’s transfer. To think that… she thought it was just a tiny mistake, forgivable but…

    The mistaken one was her all along.

    “Class is suspended for today. I will instruct the other teachers to see if they can move their lessons to fill up my absence.” Glynda opened the door and walked out of the classroom. “Your Scrolls will notify you of any development about this.”

    And with that, the door closed behind her.

    The room exploded with people chatting loudly with each other with a somewhat quick-paced tone, some pointing out their theories about the curious case, while others praying quietly about being left ‘free’ until the original time for the other lessons.

    Jaune sighed, standing up from his chair and opening his mouth to address the rest of the team and ask if they wanted to go back to the dorm. His breath froze as his blue eyes turned to stare at the seats once taken by Ren and Nora.

    Pyrrha peeked from his shoulder, her green orbs widening at the unexpected disappearance of half JNPR. “Did you see them move?” She asked quickly, glancing up to the surprised blond.

    The Arc blinked, glancing to his partner. “I-I didn’t even- how did they-” There was just so much to think about, words failing him for a moment.

    The redhead took the lead and nodded. “They couldn’t have gone far. Maybe they just left for… pancakes?” The girl guessed with some uncertainty.

    A good guess, the blond would have commented but he knew that it wasn’t the case. Not this… soon at least and not without notice. Nora would have been earnest to mention her crave for the sweet treats, but she had been quiet until now. Could it be that they were missing something about this ‘mystery’?

    The two partners started to walk out of their seats and towards the door, Jaune frowning only a moment as at a certain point he felt like someone was calling for him. He shrugged, knowing that there were many people in the school that had names similar to his own. They walked outside, silently enjoying the sudden peace from the annoying chaos that was happening in the classroom and just as they were ready to proceed to their dorm to properly prepare for the following class, their attention turning to quick footsteps growing distant.

    Pyrrha rushed, looking by the corner and nodded. “It’s them.” She said before giving chase and… making Jaune go through a marathon. As much as running wasn’t as dangerous like fighting is, his body was far from being prepared to the stress caused by the lengthy chase than ensued.

    By the time the two reached the place where Ren and Nora had gone, the blond was ready to fall on the ground and call the entire day. Seriously, why they had to run that fast and that much!?

    Once his breath normalized, his stare focused on the other two members of his team, the Valkyrie sporting a sheepish look about the unplanned ‘escape’, while the well-composed teen looked only a little embarrassed, his pink eyes fixed upon the doors they were near to.

    “Why did you-” Pyrrha tried to get some answer, only to be shushed to silence by Nora. The girl’s cerulean eyes gestured at the doors and the entire team approached it

    Muffled voices could be heard from there and the orange-haired female pressed her ear onto the ‘thin’ barrier holding the words back and… Ren followed her example. Jaune was confused why the other boy in the group would actually partake in what could be considered wrong but… soon even his partner went to check and… her green eyes widened in surprise, urging him to check too.

    With the entire team going with this strange activity, the Arc couldn’t help but shrug in defeat before complying to their quiet request and see what was going on-

    What do you mean your team is going to Mt. Glenn, Mr. Reyter!?”

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    I flinched at the professor’s outburst, my attention slightly taken away by the complicated mechanism before me. The train was going at full-speed through the unused tunnels that ends up right into the abandoned ruins of what once was Vale’s most ambitious colonization attempt.

    The vehicle was slightly slower than it was in its prime, time having still taken away part of its vitality as it required the utmost care from the driver to avoid any engine’s overload or anything that would end up exploding the entire train.

    The turrets worked perfectly, springing in action the moment both Bergfalk siblings began picking out the various Grimm littering the path ahead of us. The monsters had been living underground for years now, lingering around as no human lived anywhere nearby where they were. Inactivity and lack of practice left the creatures unable to grow from their original selves and thus they were easy to pick out with precise shots.

    Qiu whined, a feeling born by the unexpected distaste the girl has in using all kinds of guns, yet her aim was incredibly sharper than her brother’s as the left side she was currently defending from was the one that was the quickest cleaned by her explosive rounds. Ryou wasn’t far behind to the count, showing perfectly his ability to operate a turret as old as the one he was currently using.

    Throwing another mortal punch to a sneaky Beowolf trying to hop in from the open backside of the vehicle, Tulia sported a confident grin as she flawlessly dealt with the Grimm trying to attack from the blind-spot of the turrets.

    Her nervousness was ill-found, the Bear-Faunus handling the task of guarding the remaining opening quite well. The girl was strong, unbelievably so, and her physical prowess made her capable of easily overcome any light- to medium-sized creatures attacking us.

    Meanwhile I was doing my best in keeping the train moving at maximum speed, even using my semblance to channel even more energy and push the engine to its limit.

    “Ms. Goodwitch, we were encircled by an abnormal wave of Grimm appearing out of nowhere, we were forced to retreat-” I tried to explain, only for the woman to interrupt me.

    Still, you could have contacted us before hijacking an abandoned train. We thought you four were killed by the Grimm-” The teacher wasn’t keen to hold her words, bringing another flinch out of me. I had expected that people would have considered our death a possibility but…

    “Professor, we tried to call immediately, but our Scrolls were being jammed.” I interjected quickly, my eyes returning back to the command post. “Whatever was keeping us to seeking help isn’t affecting the communications anymore, this is why I’m contacting right now.” My mouth stopped by now, my Aura turned in electricity for the engine to eat.

    There was a tired sigh coming from the other side of the talk, the blonde glancing with a softer expression than her usual stern one. “Are there any wounded?

    “Everyone is fine, ma’am.” I replied calmly, nodding to accentuate the answer. “I did what I could and-”

    You did a good job, Mr. Reyter.” The woman admitted without hesitation. “I suppose you are now the leader of the Team?

    I nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” I answered curtly, getting another sigh from the teacher.

    Then I will make sure that your Team’s name is confirmed.” She commented placidly, her eyes showing some temporary relief. “Alas, the Headmaster has just confirmed that a Huntsman has been dispatched to have you four evacuated from the ruins.

    I blinked, it was odd for a lone Huntsman to be sent to deal with this kind of situations, yet it wasn’t uncommon for one to go in Solo missions if their abilities allowed them to do so.

    “Understood, ma’am. I will contact again in a few minutes from now.” I stated back, getting a nod from the woman.

    We will wait for other developments. Don’t hesitate to contact us if things escalate once more.” She reprimanded without hesitation, getting a nod from me.

    “Understood and… closing now, professor.” I said, closing the call and returning my full attention to driving the train.

    “So- We getting some support soon, boss?” Qiu piped in loudly from her turret’s cabin.

    “We are. But they will be there to help us once we reach our destination, not before.” I replied distractedly.

    “But still, a real Huntsman!” The girl giggled giddily after obliterating an Ursa and a Boarbatusk. “Do you think it will be a man or a woman- or what if they are super-strong and obliterates all the Grimm in the ruins while getting us out with some amazing ability?!” She asked several questions at once, getting a tired groan from her brother.

    “Qiu, I don’t think there are individuals capable of that feat.” Ryou commented calmly, glancing my way. “And from what I understood from our leader’s explanation, the place is possibly a nightmare because of the Grimm’s presence.” He finished his words, ignoring his sister’s pout as he resumed his barrage of explosive bullets upon the murderous obstacles standing in our way.

    “Bah, you always spoil the surprise with your boring words, Ryou-” The girl glanced at the fellow female and smiled. “And what do you think of this, Tulia? Do you think we are getting some hunk for support?” She asked at the blonde, the Bear-Faunus decapitated the umpteenth Grimm before addressing the question with red-cheeks.

    “Q-Qiu! T-That’s uncalled for!” The shy girl remarked with an embarrassed tone. “A-And I think that it’s good t-to know that we are going to leave soon.”

    I nodded in agreement, partly glad that this unexpected situation was coming to a close and…

    Did the screen just flicker?

    It flickered again and soon the entire thing went static, the commands starting to malfunction without any visible reason. My eyes widened as I saw the speed-meter increasing beyond the engine’s limits and… beyond the rails’ resilience.

    We were starting to go too fast, fast enough to derail and crash onto one of those walls around us. I looked up from the monitor and through the smoke coming from the steaming engine, I tried to see any possible way to solve this dangerous predicament.

    My eyes fixed forward, the wall in front of us before the sharp-turn corner looked thinner, the color applied to it a different one than the rest. We were quite close to Mt. Glenn and… I hoped that it was what I think the wall was. It was damaged, ready to crack under heavy pressure.

    “Q-Qiu, Ryou- focus fire on the wall in front of us!” The order was quickly complied as both Vacuan siblings started to shoot at the barrier, cracking the concrete and exploding some thick wires that now sparkled electricity in a dangerous manner.

    The train rushed through the opening, derailing and… jumping across a conspicuous gap that ended in a… platform?

    In the center of the circular platform was something similar to a terminal and… the train crashed into it, shredding it off from the ground and starting to slow down on the now-damaged platform.

    There were some emergency lights activating, an alarm going off loudly as we all jumped off the burning vehicle and started to rush towards the sole exit to that unknown room. The electronic door was stuck open and we all rushed through it before the entire train caught up quickly on fire and-

    KABOOM!

    I flinched at the explosion, eyes almost blinded by the bright light that preceded the powerful blast and soon the entire platform collapsed, letting the still-burning wreckage of the armored vehicle to fall into oblivion.

    There were some instances of silence, our minds recovering from the scary situation we just had enough time to act upon to avoid a quick case of death. I blinked, Qiu being the first to realize that we weren’t technically safe yet.

    The hallway was barely-illuminated by emergency lights spread all over the walls, the normal ones were turned off and… our vision was hindered by the lack of proper indication about where we were.

    It was eerily quiet and I took a first step ahead, then another and… soon I reached for the nearest closed door. It was pristine-white, like the entirety of the place, but there were some precise colors painted upon the metal… and a familiar name.

    Merlot Industries.

    “Something’s wrong, partner?” Ryou called out.

    I scowled at the door, backing away a little while glancing back to the rest of the team.

    “We are nearby Mt. Glenn,” I replied calmly, my shoulders sagging a little as I prepared to lead the team through whatever was hiding in those laboratories. “Or better, we are underneath it.”

    “Y-You mean that we are… still underground?” Tullia asked, eyes looking all around, slightly awed by the clean place we just found out.

    I nodded. “While I was completely unaware of this place’s existence, I do recognize this name.” I pointed at the door. “We… we are in the very laboratory where things went wrong for Vale. Where the Wyvern was awaken by some scientists trying to develop new measures to fight Grimm and… where the true culprits behind Mt. Glenn’s fall worked.”

    “It was man-made?” Ryou blurted in shock. “I thought that Grimm-”

    “Were part of the reason, the outer walls and the Huntsmen dispatched more than enough to deal but… then the Wyvern was awaken by Merlot Industries’ lack of tact and things went downhill from that point on.” I explained with a sad undertone. “The defense collapsed quickly and almost the entire population was decimated in that instance.” I concluded, slowly starting to walk through the halls, followed by the rest of the team.

    “So there is a big Grimm Dragon hovering just above where we are?” Qiu piped in with some intrigue, deflating at my negative head-shake.

    “The beast was sealed back in the mountain… somehow. It’s never truly why and how it happened, but the Grimm is even-now dormant as we speak.” I concluded, trying to see if there were any active cameras and… no, everything was offline.

    Maybe we cut some important wires while shooting the wall? Or it was the terminal that was obliterated by the train?

    The only thing that I knew was that… we had some time to properly find the exit and quickly leave this dangerous place. Gods know how many Grimm are still lurking around and the last thing I needed was dealing with any unnecessary dangers-

    CLANG

    I almost jumped at the unexpected noise of something metallic slamming onto the door nearby, attention fully drawn to the barely-working device. We all stopped, guards up and ready to deal with whatever was on the other side of the door.

    Once we were all gathered around, I pressed the command on the dim keypad to open the door and…

    Thud

    I stared at the arm slamming on the ground, the white-haired man lying on the ground. He was old, a few wrinkles visible on his face and his eyes were starting to lose focus. Tullia was quick to crouch beside him and slowly help him up while I tried to understand what a human being was doing here of all places.

    The laboratories were supposed to have been evacuated during the siege and fall, yet this… scientist was here. I glanced at the prosthetic, metal arm that had caused such a noise and… he was still alive from his breathing.

    “W-Water.” His voice was feeble, but Qiu was already pulling out her canteen and placing its opening near the old man’s mouth. He started to gulp down the liquid slowly, his eyes stopping to twitch in panic as he started to calm down.

    Soon, his normal hand softly pushed away the contained, satisfied with the help. “T-Thank you.”

    The girl nodded and the man was brought up to stand, helped by the Bear-Faunus.

    He blinked, looking confused at first and then… he spoke again. “I- Wh-Who are you teens? A-And why are you here?” The elder asked, frowning at all of us and I decided to speak of the Team’s behalf.

    “I’m Shaun Reyter,” I pointed at the blonde still holding him. “That’s Tullia Xavier,” Then I aimed at the two siblings. “Ryou and Qiu Bergfalk.” I dropped the finger and nodded. “We are Team STRQ, we are from Beacon Academy.”

    The man suddenly tensed. “B-Beacon- Did-Did Ozpin send you here to k-kill me-”

    “What?!” The knife-wielder exclaimed in shock. “Killing you? Sir, are you sure you didn’t hit your head on the door?”

    He jerked in panic, the Faunus girl having some trouble keeping him from falling down again.

    “Sir, we aren’t here to kill anyone.” I pressed sternly at the scientist. “We were doing our Initiation Test in Forever Fall when we were forced to retreat in one of the abandoned tunnels that leads here.” I concluded, breathing in relief as the man’s agitation simmered down.

    “You… you are doing just the initiation test?” He parroted in disbelief. “I-I thought that STRQ- No, I mean-” He froze, eyes going wide as he seemed to realize something important.

    “I- There is someone important in the lowest level. A-An important individual that needs to be recovered or he will finally get to her and-” He went in a rant, forcing me to intercede quickly.

    “Sir, I don’t know what to say, but the team isn’t ready for any long-term commitment. Can this woman be saved on another time or-” Before I could finish that sentence, I received an elbow on my stomach, causing me to bend a little as I snapped my attention to an angry-looking Qiu.

    “Chief, you trying to left some lady in distress without proper rescuing?” She huffed and stared sternly, causing me to look away in embarrassment.

    “W-We are not prepared to do this much,” I motivated my words. “Our collective Aura bar is already less than half, we have a small window of opportunity to properly evacuate and there are Grimm around-”

    “N-Not in the last floor.” The old man interjected. “I-I managed to purge the filth with the security system there and- and I can offer you access to the main elevator. That is devoid of Grimm.”

    I sighed, feeling the burden of leadership once more weighting me down. Safety or… righteousness? I wanted to pick the former, knowing that the quicker we left, the faster another squad could come and help whoever was being still held deep in these laboratories.

    I glanced at my hands and… remembered back when I looked up at Gelb Rostfrei and his professional capacity to lead people in the Milita. My mentor was… unique but also charismatic.

    It was easy back then when I didn’t have a hefty burden threatening to crush me at the mere mistake. I closed my eyes, slowly breathing and then… I nodded.

    “We shall go and rescue this woman-” Thud “Gah! Q-Qiu!”

    She giggled, the girl having showed me on the ground and jumped on me.

    What is this? Some cheap Anime Comedy?!

    The short-haired female got off from me and we both stood up.

    “So it’s decided, we rescue the other survivor and get out of there as quickly as possible.” The group nodded all at once, the elder sighing in relief.

    “O-Once more thank you, students of Beacon Academy.” He muttered in a frail tone. “I-I will make sure that your safety is guaranteed for your help. I promise this as my name is Edward Merlot!”

    While the outburst brought no surprise to the other three members of Team STRQ, my eyes widened as I realized that the frail elder with cybernetic implants and glowing red eye was…

    Doctor Merlot?!

    -----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----

    AN

    And we are back!

    Indeed, the story is going to be entirely unique and will bring some interesting characters to the fold.

    Merlot this time isn’t a villain, he will be a good support for the main cast because of… spoiler.

    Also, who is this woman and why Merlot wants her to leave before Watts find her? Next chapter will shed some light over it!

    And now? THE FIRST OMAKE!

    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------
    Trailer 1: Stardust
    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------


    Two weeks ago, Mantle, Kingdom of Atlas…

    If someone asked me what I thought of Mantle when I started to live in there, my answer would cause some minor eye-rolls and surprise. The city reminded me of some rundown quarter in the major metropolitan cities. The place was massive, its size rivaling easily with Atlas itself, but failing to stand up to the newer capital’s high-standards.

    Automatic security was guaranteed most of the time but it was formed by low-grade, easy-to-break robotic units that wandered the more important sections of the city, or better the site of the Schnee-owned factories within Mantle.

    To avoid an overrun from Grimm or the White Fang, the Council was keen to accept a para-military force that could operate in Mantle both as a police force and an organized garrison within the city.

    The Militia has been around for decades now, but the people joining it doing so mostly to gain some important certificate that would allow them join Atlas’ Academy to become a Huntsman there. It was something close to a Cursus Honorem for the young people living in Mantle, a free ticket to get out from the squalid home gifted by the more fortunate flying up above.

    And that’s why the entire force had enough manpower to keep up with the Grimm force on a yearly basis. The headquarters weren’t something to scoff at as the funds passed by the military budget allowed for quality equipment (still obsolete compared to the regular army’s weapons) to be bought and integrated in the group’s firepower.

    My final day in the Militia began there, in the headquarters. I was standing a few meters away from the smiling elder prepared to judge me fit or not to receive a recommendation for Beacon Academy.

    In a normal situation, a certificate would take a full year in the force… but what I asked was joining the Huntsmen School in Vale, something that required less paperwork compared to the ‘clearly superior’ school in Atlas.

    Gelb’s smile was one of kindness and support, something that was strangely odd to find in someone as feared as the man was. The first and current leader of the Mantle’s Militia, the veteran had some interesting roles while dealing with Grimm and during the first violent attacks committed by the White Fang.

    What made him terrifying for me was… his favorite weapon.

    Silver Darkness was a blade that rightfully demanded respect, the pure-white Tanto having seen many battles in the hands of the powerful man I was going to face for this test.

    I had trained for a while now, preparing to deal with a short-blade fighter and studying a little how to properly use a small sword, bringing one just to make sure I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the man’s quick-pace.

    “Are you ready to be judged, young Reyter? To prove how you have grown from the meek thing you were back three weeks ago?” The man’s voice was carefully toned, showing as much sympathy as there was sternness.

    “I- I am ready, Chief-” I replied respectfully, expecting some ‘text-book fairness’ before things-

    “Good then!” My opponent exclaimed before rushing towards me, turning in a white-haired blur as I was quickly forced to ditch my gun to the common Gladio I found in the armory.

    Sparks erupted at the first impact, my hand shaking a little because the strength I was supposed to match up to. While the Chief was far weaker than in his prime, the power of his attacks was as scary as it was back then.

    Reflexes were acting up quickly as I started to deflect all attacks, my mind trying to find out any weakness to his stance.

    No opening, no means to properly breach his defense and… my cheek felt wet as a line of red streamed off from it. Eyes widening in shock at the sudden flesh wound, but my brain steeled immediately as I went to resume the exchange of sparks in utter silence.

    “You would have been defeated by now when you were but just a novice at the job.” The elder commented mirthfully. “Now you’ve turned in a careful bastard, didn’t you?”

    The swearing was all part of a subtle taunting, an attempt to unbalance his opponent and get some free hits on him.

    There was a sole case of some idiot trying to out-taunt the experienced warrior, ending up enduring the worst beating the man delivered in the last two decades. People learned quickly from the fool’s mistake, knowing better than antagonize with the usually-calm Chief and soon respect was given to the patient teacher.

    Now that I was facing the taunt on myself? I was smart enough to ignore the words, knowing that even giving it a tiny amount of attention would end up with me receiving another wound.

    Speaking of injuries, cloth was cut as part of my sleeve was pierced by the silent blade, another flesh wound forming on my skin as I backed away from the direct contact.

    “You know that this is a fight, young Reyter?” The man continued to speak quietly but without any sign of difficulty while handling my own attacks. “I think you are hardly giving it a try, especially considering your ‘wish’, the ‘why’ you want to join Beacon of all places.”

    Gelb backed away from a tentative strike towards him, deflecting once more my Gladio.

    “You are trying so hard to get something out of me but… you are far from ready to be a Huntsman.” He commented with a chuckle, ducking down and away from a kick. “You are sloppy, incredibly unprepared to deal with dangerous kinds of Grimm and… you are very young.”

    Our blades clashed again, the man sighing mirthfully. “But that’s what makes you an interesting individual.” He admitted softly. “You’ve come so far from little time given to training, to study, to grow into someone powerful.”

    His next attack shattered the Gladio, my eyes widening in shock at the clean cut of the blade-less hilt.

    “To become a protector, a realistic hero in these terrible times.” He blinked his blade being played around in his hands. “To be ready to save those that are close to demise, to get them out of harm’s way.”

    He stopped mere moments away from me, his smile softening. “Beacon Academy is possibly the best choice for you, sonny.”

    I tensed a little as he pulled me in a hug. “I want you to send a message when you arrive to Vale, when you reach Beacon and once you complete the test- Actually, do send messages on a daily basis, will you.” He chuckled again, patting my back.

    When I first… woke up in Remnant, I was but an orphan from a theft attempt gone wrong.

    My biological mother and father were killed during that situation, while I was taken to the ICU at the mere age of 10.

    Seven years spent in the same orphanage, dealing with cheap education while trying to keep myself away from being sorted out in the worst groups.

    Fast-forward to being hit by a truck and… Remnant became the ideal escape from the bleak reality that I had lived until then.

    I returned the hug to the very man that had accepted me in his family, a certificate being given to me a day after being found by the former veteran. Adoption papers that… were signed after the motivation was given.

    I’m just an old man trying to leave an impression on young people, someone that wishes to bring hope to the newer generations. Also, you just look like someone I knew years ago, someone that suffered because of tragedy by your age and that now if she was there would probably approve of this… I wish for you to become my grandson, Shaun Reyter.

    “I promise you that… gramps.”

    The man chuckled again. “Finally! You decided to drop the formalities, sonny!” He muttered happily much to my chagrin.

    This elder was just… so childish…

    But it was nice to have someone around now… and once I was done with Beacon, once the ‘story’ was completed, I will make sure to stand up and try to become what he is.

    The Stardust of a new Era.

    ----------d-d-dd------------d-d-dd----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d----

    AN

    First Trailer is up, new backstory that will be expanded when ‘wholesome talking’ will come to play between the members of team STRQ and… yep. That’s it-

    Actually, quick theory about Volume 7: Since it’s now confirmed that Atlas is a floating city above Mantle, I bet it will all come ‘crash down’ in a literal manner, especially with how dangerous Watts is in this Volume. Alas the fact that Atlas is above Mantle is already shown in Volume 6 so… no spoilers here!
     
  6. Threadmarks: Spoiled Plans (3)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 5: Spoiled Plans (3)

    The presence of Grimm within the laboratory was incredibly lesser than what I had originally thought it to be. The monsters were mostly lowly ones that were easy to pick on, the sturdier ones having been wounded by the now-destroyed security system and thus easy to kill too.

    Scrapped automated droids and shattered turrets were the sole remains of the defenses this floor had. It was so desolate and worrying.

    Not only the area had suffered the brunt of the Grimm’s assault, but the rants barked by Doctor Merlot weren’t leaving me with calm as the more he spoke, the more I realized that a possible obstacle could be a human one.

    The name of the ‘traitor’ that the scientist finally revealed mid-venting was a certain ‘Arthur Watts’. It did ring some unpleasant bells as the man was known in Atlas and Mantle in a rather disgusting manner.

    A brilliant man of science, the creator of the Mantle’s Security System back when he was in his early twenties before turning his attention right onto biology. Curiosity? Watts presented it in a childish manner, sometimes forgetting about his politeness just to engage in quick banters regarding a new topic to learn.

    Masterful, but also flawed with his morality. The Death Penalty had been quickly attached to his name the moment the Atlesian Military found out about his illegal experiments.

    Faunus, Grimm, humans and mutations that couldn’t be recognized not even by the best scientist in Atlas. Bills were passed, the Council appeasing the enraged people and giving them reassurances where it could… without hindering their own progress.

    To think that the man was… implied in this situation too was quite concerning. Scrupulous and detached from common sense, Watts was a serious threat by the fact he had access to the laboratory for a long time, enough to leave something behind to truly cause issues.

    My mind then returned at the mysterious jamming that had happened back in the Forever Fall. The forest spanned densely enough to cover numerous extents of the CCTS Tower and some could have still been connected to Mt. Glenn’s unused network.

    The ranting continued thorough the way, the old man pausing just once or twice as we dealt with the Grimm on the path, but between his rants and the pauses, either Qiu, Tulia or Ryou piping in with their question.

    The weary scientist was more than happy to speak and reply to those queries, almost giddily as he gave detailed answers for those. I didn’t bother asking, my nerves keeping me from distracting myself too much as the road was still filled with monsters.

    And while the doctor was keen to curse the name of his ‘former associate’, the man was also very secretive about the identity of the ‘woman’ we were supposed to recover from the lowest level of the place.

    An individual that was unique enough to have caught Watts’ attention and desire as ‘he had gone through hell and back to discover her secrets’, the elder stated with an irritated spat.

    We finally reached the elevator, the lights were working well in this section of the labs and Merlot was escorted to the panel set right on the platform’s middle-ground.

    His prosthetic was slower than his normal limb, making him swear quietly as he continued to enable the machine.

    The technology behind these was indeed obsolete compared to the current level of standard Atlesian robotic replacements, alluding to the fact that those were applied years if not decades ago.

    Plus, the state both arm and leg were was enough to also understand that the ‘traitor’ hadn’t even given proper maintenance to both prosthetic limbs.

    Moments passed quietly before the device confirmed his permission, the elevator entering in motion as we started our descent upon the deepest section of the abandoned laboratories.

    During this little break, the entire team checked upon their current equipment, with me having just four more mags of bullets for Fiendish Ordeal, Qiu having just thirty knives and Tulia being close to run out of Dust for her gauntlets. Hopefully, the doctor was correct in saying that there was no Grimm in the last floor.

    Just as I looked around at the spotless steel making most of the walls surrounding the circular platform, the panel blinked twice, a small hologram appearing in front of it.

    The man was tall with a slim build. His skin a slightly tanned complexion, where his black and gray hair, and his green eyes stood prominently.

    I blinked in surprise, confused as this was supposedly Watts but… how did he get that tan?

    “YOU!” Merlot yelled, causing Tulia to cover her sensitive top-ears as the elder glared deadly at the calm-looking younger man.

    Me.” Arthur replied dully, his eyes scanning the occupants of the elevator before returning to his former colleague. “And hello to you too, Edward. I thought you would have been sleeping right now-

    “Desist with this faux disinterest of yours, Watts, what do you want?!” The old scientist wasn’t giving any signs of calming down as he found the target of his hatred replying with a simple sigh.

    Of course, you would think that I was directing my attention to you but… I’m actually more interested to the children you are leading around our former creation-” He tried to look at us once more but Merlot wasn’t having none of it.

    My creation, you snot-nosed brat!” He replied, his face turning purple at the lack of interest from the now-hated associate. “I was the one that created this- before you ruined things up!

    There was an annoyed look briefly hinted in the criminal’s face before another sigh left through his… mustache.

    Always the egocentric and the romantic man, Merlot.” The man chided with a huff. “But seriously, I wish to understand how a little group from Beacon, students that have yet to end their first test, are being so troublesome to deal with by hijacking one of my trains and crashing it on the only generator of the third, fourth and fifth floor.

    “Totally planned-” Qiu piped in, smiling smugly.

    “W-We derailed and...” Tulia interjected with a minor stutter.

    “And we crashed right on it. There isn’t much of a plan behind it other than our leader’s quick-thinking.” Ryou concluded, nodding my way.

    It was somewhat good to know that I had my team’s backing over that very drastic choice as I felt like I could have easily done something else… but the time had been short and thus I went with the first idea I could find.

    Qiu deflated for a moment before giving a double thumbs-up my way, my face reddening a little at the overall praise from the rest of the group.

    Then I suppose I’m the one to fault as… I might have lazed around the hacking of the train’s commands.

    “It was you?!” The male Vacuan snarled, his eyes narrowing at the calm-looking doctor. “Why are you trying to kill us?”

    There was a brief pause and then… he replied with his smooth tone.

    It was convenient to get rid of anyone close too much to the breeding grounds of the mutated Grimm, less issues to deal in the long-term and… I wanted to test the results of my experiments.” A little grin appeared as he finished his last motivations, glares flocking from the entire team at the mad man.

    “I would say it was a failure then, since none was able to even wound any of us.” Ryou shot back, making the former Atlesian doctor sigh one last time.

    I mean, they did fail to do much damage the first time… but I guess this chance you have offered me to bring some to the elevators will be another good test before-”

    ROAR!

    An incredibly large swarm of Baby Death Stalkers, mutated and aggressive, rushed from the upper floors breaking through the doors on the sides that connected the elevator to the other floors.

    -I can actually try to understand why would you lead your entourage to the lower grounds rather than to the surface...” Watts paused, a mirthful glint suddenly appearing on his face. “Unless-

    We were already rushing to the attack, Merlot slumping over a piece of metal nearby the panel.

    “It’s too late, you pompous bastard. Once we reach her, there will be nothing that your little abominations will be able to do to us!” The elder rebuked confidently, drawing a frown from the younger scientist.

    “Truly? You expect me to believe that you are confident I will not be able to crack a supposedly twenty-years old code?-” Arthur tried to boast… except the chuckle building within the older doctor’s throat got him to a halt.

    “You weren’t able to do so for that long, do you ‘expect me to believe’ that you will really manage to do that in mere minutes?” Edward replied coldly, waving back at him before moving his robotic arm near the panel. “It’s been a long time and… I hope you burn in hell, Watts.”

    We aren’t done ye-

    The hologram flickered away as Merlot properly deactivated the communication system of the panel, the old man turning his attention back at us.

    If Baby Death Stalkers were troublesome to deal in their normal/natural selves, those little mutated bastards were far more complicated to face alone.

    We split in two small teams, Tulia and I were using combined attacks to get some damage done without wasting too much ammo on the fiends, while the two Bergfalk siblings were making use of a curious strategy.

    While Qiu busied herself by pulling a large group of violent critters all concentrated in a single spot with her quick semblance, her brother used his own ability to create slow but precise attacks that exploded on impact.

    Crescent blasts, combos and melee attacks were what truly ‘dismissed’ the rest of the horde. There was a moment of silence between the end of the fight and the return to ‘safety’, our guards relaxing just for a moment as we all knew that there could have been other ambushes along the way.

    Four more minutes passed and the elevator reached the last floor.

    A soft thud alerted us that the descent was over and now… we had just to get this woman out of this place.

    The small door opened and we all entered in a well-illuminated room that connected the elevator to the entire floor, two turrets ‘staring’ at us from the other end of the hall, making us tense for a moment before Merlot snorted.

    “The Security System is under my control. This entire floor can’t be hacked by that brat, nor will it ‘accept’ any Grimm inside. I made sure of that with the expenses deployed for the system itself.”

    His words were then coupled with the following room. A humongous area that presented twenty or more turrets ‘staring’ at us too, an impressive number of bullets’ capsules littering the ground below them.

    And with Grimm leaving nothing behind at their death, it was easy to understand from the used ammo that… the defense did work perfectly.

    I felt at ease because of the sight, but I still kept some guard up… for paranoia’s sake.

    We were quickly led away from the area and soon we were once more on another hall. Qiu huffed at the repeating scheme of rooms, but soon the doctor took us to a place that we had yet to see in this laboratory.

    We entered on one of the rooms on the right side of the hall, the man wasting no time to rush to the other end of the room, while we slowly followed him to his objective.

    My eyes wandered away just for a moment, my sight taken by the various stuff set on the tables nearby. All filled with dust and cobwebs but… I could still make out the things present there.

    A small, yet familiar dagger. It did remind me of Silver Darkness because of its overall form, but its hilt was a dark black and the edges were a soft red-pink.

    Clothes, I could see a dark-brown medium-sized skirt connected to a same-colored corset that were hiding some underwear and… then I froze when I saw the last piece of clothing. Eyes going wide, my legs suddenly shifted away from the previous path and I crouched to stare closely to the white cape that wasn’t supposed to be there.

    There was a Rose emblem too.

    Summer Rose is dead… so why was her equipment here of all places.

    “Young man, I would require some assistance to get her off the tube.” Merlot called me out of my reverie, my eyes turning towards him as I was about to ask how did he recover the clothes and-



    Her face was just like Ruby’s, just a little mature and her hair a little longer. Yet she looked just like her daughter.

    I gawked at the scene, slowly approaching as I stopped right in front of the tube.

    “Chief, is something wrong?” Qiu asked with a concerned look and I glanced her way, before looking at the rest of the team. They were all confused and worried by the way I was reacting to this- but this was massive.

    This- This shouldn’t be possible- Wait, was this even canon?!

    Why the heck did I stop at Volume 2 of all times to get a proper knowledge of the series!

    “T-This woman is- she was reported dead years ago.” I replied with a nervous gulp, getting a surprised look from everyone but the doctor.

    “What?” Ryou was the first one to recovered, followed by the bear Faunus.

    “Y-You mean that- but how do you know that?” Tulia asked with wide-eyes.

    “Her… Her daughter, Ruby- she was the leader of the team I was on.” I replied with some restraint. “One of the few things I picked up from her and her sister was that their mother, Summer, was killed in action during what was supposed to be a simple mission.” I finished with my eyes returning to the woman’s face.

    “Watts recovered her while I was still capable of accessing to the system of the laboratory and, knowing that he would have harmed this lady, I made sure to use my last moments of freedom from my prison to put her in this place, away and safe from the fool’s reach.” The doctor explained, quickly working on the panel nearby the tube. “Two of you should get the towel on the side and… catch her when she falls.”

    I opened my mouth but Qiu jumped in. “Tulia and I will do that.” The short-haired girl turned at the blonde. “Am I right, sis?”

    The Faunus nodded, a tiny smile on her face as both Ryou and I looked at the scene with the same confused look.

    “What?” I voiced my lack of understanding, getting a faux sigh from the leading female.

    “As if we would let two hot-blooded dudes handle a frail and recovering woman.” The Vacuan replied with a serious nod.

    I turned to stare at her brother. “What?” I asked again, this time the young man replying with a mere shrug.

    Tulia giggled and soon, after the liquid had drained away, a hissing sound hinted at the opening of the tube. The two girls prepared and the woman fell forward into their waiting hold.

    It was mostly the blonde that got her, Qiu almost stumbling backward at the sudden weight falling on her arms. Her face reddened in embarrassment and her lips quick to comment about it. “Not a single word.” She threatened, getting a snort from both me and her twin.

    Moments later, the woman in their arms, properly covered with the long towel, started to stir a little in her rest and… her silver eyes slowly opened to the world. Who was the first one she saw in her waking moments after so many years of slumber?



    Yep, I blinked in surprise and… she frowned silently. I glanced at Ryou, the swordsman looked back and I sighed.

    “Ms. Rose.” I felt my throat knotting nervously at such situation. How was I supposed to deal with this?!

    Her sight was once more focused on me. “Y-Yes?”

    “I-I know that… this is situation might… look weird- but I can assure you that we are here to recover you and bring you to safety.”



    She merely blinked and… then gave a slow nod.

    “We are students from Beacon Academy. We found you here thanks to the help of the Doctor here, now we will get to the exit and… maybe I should contact Ms. Goodwitch before doing anything-”

    “You should.” My partner commented. “I will take care of the… explanation.”

    I nodded. “I hope you aren’t going to explain bluntly and… I will contact her before we can go. Just to give some extra explanation over the matter.”

    The doctor nodded calmly, so I started to walk out of the room and pause by the entrance as my Scroll started to call for the professor back at Beacon.

    If only I had known that things weren’t truly peaceful back at school…

    --------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-------

    Ruby groaned quietly as she continued to press her face on the desk she was assigned to.

    When the little Rose had decided that the whole team would have her sister escorted to the classroom where Ms. Goodwitch was, she had been completely unaware of the turbulent storm beginning to form within the woman.

    The teacher was as stern and calm as she was on a usual day at school, yet even someone as young as the girl was could see that something was giving her an immense amount of stress. Not only in the manner she addressed them all, some edge present at the end of her words, but also by the way she just decided that the entire team had to face a three-hours long detention.

    There wasn’t much to do for the scythe-wielding girl, except staring at the protests rising from both Weiss and Blake. Oddly enough, this was the first time the two teammates would actually agree upon a topic, in this case the ‘blatant lack of reason’ to have the entire team punished, especially for something caused by the blonde brawler.

    Yang frowned at this situation, but kept quiet as Ms. Goodwitch was quick to respond to her lack of ‘professionalism’ advanced by the Schnee.

    “Your current detention isn’t dictated by the recent actions committed by Ms. Xiao Long. Rather it is something that has to do with something that has been happening for a while now between you and the rest of the teachers.” The deputy headmistress’ tone was cold and closed regarding any chance to push back the pressure she was exerting. “Alas, the situation has to do also with something a little more complicated but also worrying regarding the overall team structure.”

    Weiss glanced suspiciously at Ruby, the younger girl looking confused by such glance but then the Atlesian girl spoke.

    “Ms. Goodwitch, I’m trying to help my partner to get her to understand how her role as leader is meant to be done but it requires time and-” The Schnee tried to ‘explain’ only to be stopped by a quick sigh from the professor.

    “Ms. Schnee, you are part of this problem.” The woman interjected with minor annoyance. “And I hope you understand that I will not take scapegoats for this clear blame directed at the four of you.” She concluded with her eyes closing, seemingly in thought as a few moments passed quietly.

    Her eyes opened once more, this time turning at the younger blonde.

    “Ms. Xiao Long, do you know that you have been reported by the various teachers as a disruptive element during lesson?” She asked quietly, letting the lilac-eyed girl think about it before… shrugging.

    “I mean, I know that I’ve played around but-”

    “You were called out by teachers for a total of 47 times… in the span of two days.” The stern teacher flatly interjected, causing the brawler to flinch at the number. “I would have expected that, being the daughter of a teacher, you would have picked up the essential rules of politeness one has to abide while studying at school.”

    The mentioning of her father was enough to have Yang flush in embarrassment. As much as she wanted to leave the old man out of this discussion, the point raised wasn’t truly wrongly brought. Her dad did tell her that people should have some tact while in Signal, something she did do back when he was around to keep an eye on her for any bad behavior.

    But now that he wasn’t there? Of course the blonde would ease up ‘a little’ and enjoy some more freedom compared to the one she had back in Patch.

    “I will hold myself from writing an accurate letter over your attitude for the first two days, young lady, but I request that you put a true effort in keeping up some respectful mannerism while in class.” The lecture was received with a somber but serious nod.

    With the brawler ‘dealt with’, the deputy headmistress shifted her focus onto the next student.

    Blake blinked when she was graced with a stare from the woman, her eyes hardly giving a full stare back as… she knew that there were some instances where she did get some teachers angry.

    “Ms. Belladonna, I think you know very well what kind of situation brings you to this detention, care to explain?”

    The hidden Faunus nodded calmly. “I was caught reading during lesson… on multiple occasions.” She replied slowly.

    “And yet you decided to keep on with this behavior… until this very moment.” The woman pointed out with a frown. “You know that you did something wrong and yet you continued to do this.” She pressed on, causing the girl to stare at the desk rather than the person speaking to her.

    “Ms. Belladonna. I will be quite clear about this and I wish that you don’t confuse my words in any way, shape or form.” Ms. Goodwitch tilted forward. “You are not to bring books that aren’t related to the specific lesson you are listening to.” She ordered, getting a nod from Blake.

    It was Weiss’ turn.

    The heiress blinked, carefully waiting for the ‘reason’ to reach her.

    The Deputy Headmistress wasn’t as mildly-angered as she had expected. No, it was quite worse.

    “Ms. Schnee, yours is possibly the biggest of the issues I had to face for the whole first year.” The woman began with a louder tone, the Schnee’s eyes widening a little in surprise at the comment.

    “W-What?-”

    “Your attitude, young lady. It’s detrimental to your career as a student at Beacon Academy.” The blonde admitted, Weiss slouching just a little in her chair in shock.

    … “What?!”

    Ms. Goodwitch sighed and… went ahead with her lecture. “Professor Port confirmed to me that you have been having a completely indecorous behavior regarding receiving advice during a fight, something that has happened in my classroom too.” The woman paused just a moment, gauging the shock and little angry stirring within the Atlesian girl’s face. “Advice that are actually well-picked most of the time, considering how weak your current stance is.”

    “M-My stance? But my tutors assured me that it was perfect and-”

    “Ms. Schnee, forgive me if I ask you this simple question but, your resume assured that you had little to no experience with learning from a professional huntsman or Huntress, correct?”

    The girl tensed and nodded. “Y-Yes, but-”

    “And from what I understand you really didn’t have a professional tutor regarding proper training-” The woman went on, only to be interrupted by the Schnee.

    “I- I had my sister. Winter is a Specialist to Atlas-” Weiss tried to explain, hopeful that those little moments did matter and-

    “And as such, she can hardly spare but a day or two per year since of the tiresome service as a Specialist.” The blonde was quick to bring an end to her senseless hope.

    “Ms. Schnee, there is nothing wrong with the fact that you require further training. This is a school and we are preparing every student to deal with the cold world outside of here. I will not ask this again, lose this unnecessary and detrimental attitude or you will fail my class.” She concluded with a nod, the girl staring in defeat at the desk.

    Ruby fidgeted nervously as she was the only girl left to be reprimanded, her mind going back and forth about the last two days and… she did nothing wrong! Or at least, nothing worthy of warranting a detention with the scary teacher.

    Ms. Goodwitch didn’t speak as quickly as she did with the other three girls, rather she waited several moments before finally talking and… the next words were fairly unexpected.

    “Ms. Rose, do you know what it means to be a leader of a team?” The question was simple, but struck an odd chord within the red-caped girl.

    Why would the woman go for that query? Did she show some stupid things with her team like Weiss had said to her? Oh- Oh no!

    Maybe she could save it. Just maybe. Hopefully. Gah.

    “A-A leader is meant to- to lead their team with grace, nobility and humbleness.” She started, repeating word-by-word what her partner had drilled in her brain since their first day together. “A leader i-is also someone that leads by example a-and not just by words.”

    There was a pause, her explanation was completed but… it felt like it was hardly getting a reaction from the professor.

    The blonde sighed. “Ms. Rose, if Ms. Schnee was ‘bullied’ because of her status, would you go to help her?”

    Ruby blinked. Of course she would! Why would she leave a teammate behind?

    “I would-”

    “And what if, in absurd res, it is your sister or Ms. Belladonna responsible for the bullying?”

    ...What?

    “Absurd-”

    “’A situation that wouldn’t happen normally’.” The woman swiftly explained, getting an understanding look from the girl.

    Oh! So it’s like ‘hypothetically speaking’ kind of thingie. That’s… odd.

    Her mind turned back once again to the dilemma and… she nodded.

    “I think I would break the… conflict and try to diplomatically… get things fixed?”

    There was more silence, the teacher staring intensively at her and making her even more nervous. Did someone bully Weiss? Maybe Yang- but that was light-teasing! Even her partner said so!

    “Ms. Rose, I think that-”

    Bzzt!

    Just as the Deputy Headmistress looked ready to start with her lecture, her Scroll started to vibrate. She went silent, her eyes darting to the screen and… frowning. “I will be back soon. Don’t leave this classroom.”

    The Team nodded collectively and soon the woman was out of the room, leaving the four to think about the lecture they received.

    All except a very confused and slightly-irritated Ruby Rose. The girl’s face softly slammed on the desk, a groan leaving her lips as… she was left to think about whatever the teacher had been referring to before leaving for that supposedly important call.

    She sighed again, her eyes closed as she thought more about it and… nothing.

    Why is leading a team this complicated!

    -----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d--------

    AN

    Feeling a little sick after getting a round of vaccine. It does leave me in a tired state for a couple of days and…

    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------
    Trailer 2: True Justice
    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------


    The beautiful island of Menagerie was her home. And Tulia couldn’t ask for anything better.

    Having lived in the over-populated capital ever since she had been abandoned at the doors of the orphanage, the young Bear Faunus had always enjoyed the simplicity of the days spent there, maybe just a little annoyed by the numerous issues that came with living in the capital.

    Things had also been fairly rough for her… especially since her former caretaker had passed away. A man that smiled and brought a beautiful message to the very core, something that made the girl know what was her life’s ambition.

    Training, learning and becoming better. Tulia did this and more just for the sake of hailing his ‘flag’ to the world and show that there was something better than mere violence and wrongdoing, something that could represent both truth and the wrong of this world.

    She knew it. It could happen and that dream was found by someone that cared.

    Kali Belladonna had been rather intrigued by her ideal, finding ‘something’ within her drive that she wanted to see developed. This is why, after meeting his husband, Chieftain Ghira, the blonde was given a good chance to finally reach out for success.

    Beacon Academy was the best school to strive for, the one that had the least cases of racism and… the education there was incredibly good. The perfect place to learn more and… maybe find people with her same mindset. Broaden the dream, bring more to the folds of… a real change in the world.

    Yet the Bear Faunus had to still deal with a few days before being sent away for Beacon Academy and her current job at the very place she had lived for most of her life was more than a good way to employ this free time.

    The White Fang was still a lingering trouble within the city, the members being quite the odd bunch to deal on a daily basis.

    While most of them were neutral at best, merely glaring at those that ‘wronged them’, there was a minority that still caused some chaos while around in the streets.

    And much to the girl’s annoyance, today was one of those days.

    Just as she had planned to spend the day leading around a small group of children from the orphanage to see the local park, a beautiful sight within the capital and one of the most frequented place too, she ended up being rounded by a smiling thug from the Fang.

    “Hello, little lass.” The man commented with unpleasant amusement dripping from his voice. “Do you mind giving me and my friends some ‘good time’? You know, for the cause.” He added with a chuckle, the rest laughing too and… the blonde sighed, within her mind some annoyance and doubt as she thought little about leaving this in a civil way, knowing perfectly the kind of scum she had just encountered.

    She had to solve this quickly before things escalated any further. “I will ask you just this once to-”

    The children had moved to stand behind her, hiding from the sight of the men but… the gang-leader noticed them.

    “And you have brats too?” The man mused giddily. “I wonder if we can teach them a thing or two about the White Fang. I think they would do well for some new rookies, am I right guys?”

    Tulia felt irked by this. It was one thing to harass her, it was another to attempt anything bad with the kids.

    I will not ask anymore, please leave us alone.” Her steely tone was met with a scoff as the man advanced and tried to cop a feel.

    “And what are you going to do if-GAH!” “Hiya!”

    Her punch drove deep in the masked Faunus, sending him flying to crash against one of the nearby benches. The rest of the group moved to surround her, their weapon deployed and ready to give her some hard time.

    Sadly for them, she wasn’t in the mood of surrendering any moment now.

    Lacking her gauntlets, the Bear Faunus rushed to demolish the threat bare-handedly, picking the closest of the attackers and slamming her knuckle on his mask.

    It cracked, shards flying away as the man recoiled in pain and shock at the surprisingly strong hit.

    One tried to attack her from behind, but was dealt with by a quick kick right below the belt.

    He howled in pain, falling on the ground in agony as the remaining two members looked rather… unwilling to go for a direct approach.

    Thus they rushed for the weakness of their bane, the children panicking as the two adult men rushed towards them and-

    Thud

    Crack

    They both fell as a whip struck both their mask, the strength enough to make them crash painfully on the floor while rendering them unconscious.

    Tulia frowned as she saw a lone figure, the one behind the ‘rescue’, jump off from the nearby tree and landing nearby the surprised kids.

    She had her brown hair pulled in a ponytail. A White Fang mask covering her face, making Tulia advance strongly towards her, ready to defend her siblings… and then she heard her speak to them.

    “Are you all okay?” Her tone was quiet, but kind and… genuine. The children looked at each and then nodded slowly. “Good.”

    The girl turned around and faced the blonde, waiting just an instant before speaking to her.

    “You know, it’s kind of curious to see you this much… brave regarding a danger.” The masked female commented. “I remember back when Sienna wanted to recruit you, at first I didn’t see what she saw in you and… you are truly worthy.”



    “I-I’m not joining-” Tulia tried to reply but the fellow Faunus interjected with a sigh.

    “I know, I know.” She lifted her hands up in an appeasing matter. “It’s Kali’s wish to see you going to Beacon Academy… but I think you would have better chances of becoming stronger by joining the Fang.”

    Tulia’s eyes glanced away from the brunette. “I don’t wish to become stronger.” She admitted without a stutter. Her heart still beating to a quickened pace after dealing with a recent fight and… the masked figure chuckled.

    “You… don’t crave for strength?” The chuckle turned in a laugh. “Strength, Power is what truly rules in this world-

    “No.” The Bear Faunus shot back. “Power is one of the means, never the mean.” She could still remember her former caretaker’s words over the matter.

    A Lion Faunus, trying to bring justice to the world… he was disheartened when Sienna ruined what the Fang stood for. Peace, Justice, Equality.

    The trinity that made the pact among Faunus whole had been tainted. Power, Pride, Supremacy.

    The girl sighed. “Yet it works.”

    “Not always.” Tulia replied quickly, the masked Faunus taking two steps towards her and making her tense. “There is diplomacy-”

    “Truly? Yet it did work in this case.” The brunette remarked quietly and with some amusement playing in her voice. “Do you think that ‘diplomacy’ could have gotten the children out of harm’s way?”

    She kept quiet, being too tired to reply to this war of ideologies. “I will stand my ground-”

    “Good for you, not so good for the kids-” The pony-tailed female shot back.

    “Enough.” Her tone steeled, the WF member sighed.

    “Truly annoying, but understandable.” The girl admitted. “I can be quite a… brat when I want to.” She turned around and jumped back to the tree she was previously perching on.

    “Wait.” Tulia called out, making her stop. “C-Can I at least know your name… I wish to still thank you for-”

    “No.” The fellow Faunus interrupted flatly. “I don’t live with your ‘thanks’, Tulia Xavier. I’m beyond that and...” She turned around and crouched on the tree branch she was standing onto. “I’m Ilia Amitola, and I want to see you fail… like he did for his dream.”

    The blonde glared at the smug-looking girl and… sighed. “At least… I will have something to be happy about, the fact that I made something good in this horrible world.”

    Surprisingly about the comeback got no response from the masked figure. Ilia vanished quite suddenly and without notice, leaving the Bear Faunus to celebrate her… victory?

    No. It was never a victory.

    Her ideology was… a failure. Many died because of it, trying to satisfy the criteria imposed by the dream that she inherited from her caretaker.

    Tulia Xavier dreamed only one thing and that was a world that knew of True Justice.

    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-d-

    AN

    You know, I’m kind of mad.

    You shouldn’t be there to begin with-

    You mean to tell me that you decided to have a Bear ‘Faunus’ in this story of yours… and not call her Ambar-

    I will not call her with your name.

    Meanie and… what about the update for Golden Month? I can accept just the excuse for last Sunday and-

    This Sunday. Leave me alone.

    Huff, you are an annoying brat when you want.

    Same for you, Ambar and… NO MORE FOURTH-WALL BREAKING!

    ...As if-

    Ambar!

    kay, ‘kay, I’m going.

    ...What? Oh right, extending things too much. Here is the chapter and… yep. I don’t have anything else to say.

    (A message to those that are dense enough to miss the point of the bantering up above: No, I’m not going insane from over-writing. I’m bored and just poking at the fact I’ve been losing my touch over the mass-production of chapters. It’s just a period… I will get better by the time I recover from sleepy mood from the vaccination.)
     
  7. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    First two chapters have been polished and I've added the latest three chapters. Why I had three chapters saved up? I forgot to upload them here when I published them in the other forums.
    Ain't I the most forgetful? (But seriously, I did forget if I had x-posted the story here to, I'm sorry for the late updating.)
     
    Mikers99 and Storm0fcrows like this.
  8. Franz-026

    Franz-026 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Dude, threadmark the last chapter!

    Aside from that, the story’s getting good. Keep it up!
     
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  9. Calamity

    Calamity Know what you're doing yet?

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    Mhh, this is pretty good. Its a pretty unusual take on team rwby.
    Looking forward to seeing more of this.
     
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  10. Fellgar

    Fellgar Well worn.

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    So can anyone tell me what the appeal is for turning rwby into this over the top characture that you have cooked up? The out of character set up is weirding me out.
     
    Mikers99 likes this.
  11. NightmareWarden

    NightmareWarden Not too sore, are you?

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    Goodness that first chapter made it feel like my heart was being ripped out. I can certainly understand Shaun Reyter’s anxiety with Glynda; his team’s behavior (which couldn’t be called harmless, but could be called minor) hit him at the worst possible time. Atlas was not a home for him. He survived it, grew stronger and built at least one meaningful connection, but his heart was set on Beacon as a home. A place of sanity in a perilous world. Their actions drained some of his hope when he was only just surfacing from beneath very dark waters. I don’t have any criticism with how you handled team RWBY so far.

    I am outright happy with how Shaun interacted with JNPR. I wish each of them got their own kind words or advice to trade during the hours before his second initiation, but oh well. Nora spoke for them...and based on how Ruby I’d responding to Glynda’s comments, I think Jaune might end up having words with her! A fun reversal of their leader discussion in canon...or a heart to heart about mutual screwups, if Jaune has his forecast problems.

    I really like what you’re doing with the character trailers. I can imagine STRQ, JNPR, and RWBY having distinct team dynamics, regardless of attitude similarities. I strongly believe the trailers ought to have their own posts and appropriately named threadmarks though. Or you could leave them in and all four could be reposted in a shared, extra long post in a few chapters, fully up to you.

    Now for the initiation plot. Hoo boy has status quo been ripped off the train tracks (ha)! So much has been revealed in a very short time. Shaun might have to start a web of lies to handle his impossible knowledge bombs! Merlot might have research on silver eye powers (which he can bring to Beacon)! Cinder and Watts might end up working together to invade Vale and the academy! Ozpin might flip the game board on everyone soon! We might see pro huntsmen and huntresses!
    Gah, so much to speculate on. I’m really happy to have found this story.
     
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  12. Mikers99

    Mikers99 Two-Bears-High-Fiving

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    Nice! Really loving this!
     
  13. Threadmarks: Spoiled Plans (4)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 6: Spoiled Plans (4)

    Somewhere else, Unknown Location...

    Time was unforgiving, that was something that Arthur Watts was so painfully aware of after years and years of being tortured by the very limit he couldn’t yet be controller of.

    He could move fast with technology, he can manipulate people with technology and he can ‘be everywhere’ thanks to his lovely creations.

    It was a simple concept that had carried on back when he had been just a young boy, that with proper ambitions and determination everything was achievable.

    Except time.

    Time was the ultimate punishment for the former scientist, the ticking issue that would tock at the wrong moments and situations.

    Just like it was right now that he had to hurry and prepare something to finally end the menace represented by that raving doctor and the little bunch of brats playing huntsmen around him.

    The man hardly cared if the five fools managed to get out of the facility, knowing that the kind of damage they were causing with his ‘security’ could be easily recovered with proper planning and resources.

    The main problem being that they were running away with the specimen he had dreamed to capture and bring to the Queen.

    Summer Rose was easily one of the strongest huntresses in Remnant.

    Ignoring her intriguing but mysterious power behind her silver eyes, her combat prowess was something that had put Watts on the edge when he had gone to try and capture her.

    It was luck that has seen him succeed in the difficult kidnapping and it was the first time the perfect planning of his had almost failed before his eyes.

    Scratch that, it did fail and it was only Hazel’s presence that had guaranteed his victory, something that proved to be both an annoying and a self-chiding moment for his career.

    He had failed to see the unknowns and the true qualities of the dangerous woman, her skills exceeding anything reported by her files.

    It was something that had kept him awake for weeks after her capture, his mind trying to understand where things had gone wrong back then and… the answer proved to be incredibly infuriating.

    The only thing the scientist had forgotten to take into account was the extension of Ozpin’s influence over papers and certificates regarding his ‘prized team’, his technology having nothing to see within the falsified papers regarding the whole team’s overall abilities.

    Summer Rose was far stronger than anything reported, her true power was the anonymity and the element of surprise created by her logically underestimated fighting prowess.

    The woman was beyond anything he had planned to have the Grimm the Queen had given him to fight, so much that even Hazel’s intervention, which was meant to be only a precautionary step to make sure no one would have jumped to help her out, proved to be a close call too.

    While experienced in killing people with her specific weapon and style, the bulky man had returned wounded and missing several of his Dust shards, all spent from fighting someone as brutally quick and strong as the woman.

    It should have been a good sign that she had to be handed directly to Salem, to have her killed or even turned for the sake of avoiding having to deal with her once again in a more difficult situation.

    Yet Watts was a curious man, a terribly curious one. He knew that ‘Curiosity killed the cat’, but his thirst went beyond his paranoia and logical sense of preserving his ‘habitat’.

    Summer was taken to the underground facilities underneath Mt. Glenn, the ones he had ‘received’ by a captured Merlot when the old fool had decided to try and stabilize the situation about his Industries.

    The facilities all over Remnant were ‘officially’ closed to the public, having been abandoned after the ‘pitiful death’ of the previous owner, but those were actually working well as little hideouts for Watts to use at his own whims.

    High-tech devices and machines were there for him to adapt new strategies or even formulate any escape plan in case of the one he was currently using was being attacked by any of the idiots snooping around for him.

    It was kind of amusing how the man had managed to pull quite the stunt by closing him out from the very precious subject he had recovered, hindering Watts’ chances of gaining important information about the hibernated woman.

    A pity that was easily solved by jailing the old bastard and getting the chance of playing a little with his body in a fit of murderous anger.

    Good thing that he had also gained the fantastic coffee machines, much better compared to the one available to the Schnee factories.

    Truly a genuine proof of how Merlot could have gone and become the new Nicolas Schnee if given time and… peace.

    But sadly, his work had to be taken away for him for a ‘greater purpose’, the one that Watts was mostly glad to be part of for the sake of surviving the onslaught that was meant to happen in a few years.

    Salem might tolerate the presence of her little clique, but she had been keen to repeat multiple times that her ambition lied in killing once and for all Beacon’s Headmaster and to have humanity crumbling before her eyes and smile.

    A ruthless liege that hardly cared for others’ life except in the few cases where there was some ‘potential’ there for her to use and exploit.

    Like the silly girl, that Cinder Fall. The little brat was overly-ambitious and deemed herself untouchable compared to other members of the inner circle.

    A daring expectation considering that she was the only one having to deal with quite the impossible tasks to accomplish alone.

    Something that, Watts had to admit, had been carefully fixed with the employment of two hopeless orphans latching at the half-Maiden in question.

    It was clever of her to pick up those two, because their Semblances perfectly solved two difficult steps in her plan.

    Sadly, that praise was easily drown by the fact that there were so many flaws and fallacies in that ‘impossibly-easy’ mission of her.

    It was arrogance putting wool over her eyes, hiding what was surely the most-visible and glaring problem about it all.

    Atlas was going to Vale to secure the Vytal Festival at the first hint of any terrorists planning something big and… that would end up with her asking him a favor about it all.

    It was so painful to predict how flawed her plan was, something that Watts was so sure the little upstart knew about too but wouldn’t dare to even mention anything even remotely suggesting that.

    Her arrogance was going to be her final downfall, especially with her silly and childish attempt to become someone closely like… Salem.

    The very thought would spare him a mirthful grin at the thought that the girl seriously thought that she could compare to the Queen.

    No one could even dare to get close to that thing.

    An ancient being that far-exceeded what his prodigious mind could even dare to grasp without being noticed by the ever-attentive red eyes of hers.

    She was far too reserved, far too protective of her own secrets to even let someone, even a little harmless child, come close to discover it.

    It was impossible to truly tell if it was instinct from the Grimm side or some residual cautious feeling coming from her former-human self.

    They knew of her general past, of what was behind the oldest of wars, but they were also left unheard regarding what had made Salem… really become Salem.

    It had been self-preservation that had driven the man to swear fealty to his ‘kind’ ruler, something that had pushed him to reluctantly agree to the idea of having someone as dangerous and terrifying as the woman herself.

    Salem was a monster that was just too much horrible to even approach in terms of brutality and inner sadism.

    An intelligent and old fiend that knew exactly how a mind worked and was inside, using it for the sake of manipulation and coercion, something that was mostly used around her circle and… only with them.

    Her capacity to flawlessly meddle everyone’s thoughts with the way she knew how to people into complying to her desires, her smooth tone promising indefinite pain for even the little slight at her.

    The Queen was strong, far stronger than Ozpin and his allies… and that is why the headmaster of Beacon Academy had never tried to push for an offensive even when he had the chances of mounting one.

    Her Magic never faltered with the use of spells, but it was known to those working under her that the ‘Wizard’ was weakening the more he was reincarnated and forced to make use of his own magic.

    His power simmering each man he would become, each generation he would led to an endless defensive war against an enemy that was unlimited in term of strength and military size.

    Magic sounded fascinating, enough to warrant some interest about studying one of Ozpin’s former corpse for the sake of finding something that would render a normal human different from those ‘suitable replacements’.

    Still, Watts wasn’t going to risk his current safety for the sake of curiosity, because that task would surely require his directed presence on the field and… that wouldn’t be affordable.

    Not at tall.

    Returning back to the current situation, the scientist could help but feel giddy at what he had planned to unleash as he was aware that his chances of winning in that instance were going to give him the victory because of the monster he was going to unleash, having just what he needed to have to destroy the intruders that had gone and stolen his precious specimen.

    The device the man was currently working on had been used just once before that day, the first try being the trial of fire of what was still lurking within the mountain, the monster that had been frozen but never defeated.

    Injecting the green mutagen in its thick skin thanks to small crab-like machines, the boosting substance started to heat up the veins of the Grimm resting underneath the rubble of its first appearance, his objective being one that fit well with its past.

    Red eyes glowing brightly as green sparks snapped its corpse out of the white-ice coating its entire scale-made armor, the monster woke and growled furious and angry. There was a need, no- a craving for revenge against the one responsible for this sudden slumbering.

    It could be felt even from that distance, the mustached man grinning gleefully as the humongous fiend finally recollected its instincts as it started to claw mercilessly at the rocky walls right in front of it.

    Watts remembered the report he had saved about this behemoth, its nature being represented as a mix of mammal and reptilian abilities that rendered it the apex predator for what it needed to do.

    It’s either its nose or… his heat-sensitive eyes.

    Both were troublesome capacities that made it a fierce monster to contain and avoid to see running away because of some malfunction but a satisfingly-good problem-solver when presented to the pests trying to run away with the silver-eyed woman.

    While he might have gone far and out of his way to make sure that he would have been the one to learn more about the true extent of the Silver Eyes, it was also true that for the sake of avoiding Salem’s ire at the sudden resurface of a reportedly-dead Summer Rose.

    That wouldn’t go well for his health and sanity. That was a sure thing.

    Ding~!

    A hum started to build up in his throat as he walked away from the terminal, the scientist eyeing the blinking light of the coffee machine marked ‘Merlot Industries’ telling him that his mug was ready.

    Yes, victory needs to have the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness after all.

    ----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------

    Back in the Underground Laboratories underneath Mt. Glenn...

    Our walk to reach our last destination proved to be mostly uneventful, ignoring the ramblings of the irritated and possibly-senile old man that was leading us to the exit.

    I glanced multiple brief times at the woman being currently carried by Qiu and Tulia, both girls giving their best to make sure that she didn’t suffer too much in that awkward carrying position.

    Summer was still too disorientated by her sudden awakening, Merlot was speaking with a quick-paced tone regarding her conditions, what led her to the place and… I was at lost of words.

    While I had gone off from the series before Volume 3, I was still aware that Monty didn’t have plans about Ruby’s mother, having given her the sole role of being the aspiration of the main protagonist, someone to look up to and follow her footsteps.

    So, unless the plot had changed from Monty’s original vision, Summer Rose wasn’t meant to be alive and… be known to someone like Watts.

    Even though her Silver Eyes were considered powerful, that was how Ozpin described them, and it would make incredible sense for the mad scientist to go as far as to capture her to try and discern the secret behind those.

    But the secret was guarded by Ozpin himself. Unless the man failed to play safely in keeping loyal people within his unknown circle, there was no way that the information had come from him and… why.

    Why would Summer Rose become this much dangerous for the one behind all of this madness?

    It was difficult to pick up any major hints in what I could remember from the first two volumes and I was unable to get anything from what I was looking at. Even Merlot’s existence had been a major dilemma in my mind as I couldn’t truly get why this… was happening.

    Sure, RWBY did give action after action but… this seemed a little over-kill considering that it was just the second day at Beacon. Some mercy would have been appreciated.

    I was clueless, restless and terribly in need for some rest after the last few hours. I was genuinely missing some fresh time away from the underground facility and even fighting some Grimm would move my mind from the confusing and daunting mystery we were currently escorting out of the facility.

    The brunette was barely awake, her eyes showing attention but she was far too sore from what were her previous conditions to truly give an interrogation about her current whereabouts.

    She was only aware that she was safe and in route to be taken back to Beacon, that we are part of a team and… that we are student.

    That little detail did leave her a little nervous, I guess that we weren’t exactly close to what she had hoped to have as guards but… we were the only thing around to help her out of here.

    Merlot’s word proved to be true as the old scientist led us to a new platform that functioned as an elevator, the half-robot doctor going by the terminal and starting to prepare the activation codes for the device.

    A soft hiss was soon followed by the elevator entering in action and soon we were on our way to reach the ground level, where a Bullhead would be waiting for our evacuation.

    The plan was simple, yet I couldn’t help but feel like I couldn’t drop my guard just yet.

    The emotion wasn’t limited to only me as Ryou looked tense himself, something that wasn’t caused by anything specifically present in the elevator… but rather a gut feeling that something was going to happen very soon.

    Something sinister and-

    BrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRR-

    The entire structure started to shake, a crescendo that led the magnitude to increase until it was starting to get difficult to stand up from that insane shaking. The earthquake was unexpected but I remember reading that the region suffered from occasional shakes that would make it difficult for garrisons from Vale to keep the region secured.

    “I-Is this normal?!” Ryou exclaimed as one of his hands settled by the hilt of his sword, his eyes going wide as we both tried to keep our guards up and-

    CRACK!

    Everyone’s attention shot right to the side where one of the sturdy walls made of resistant metal was tore apart by a monstrous Grimm that resembled a-

    “A FUCKING DRAGON!? REALLY?” Qiu exclaimed, her jaws dropping but she was quickly taken back to reality by the fact that with her sudden tense position she had almost dropped the still-recovering woman, Summer Rose staring at the fiend with wide eyes too.

    “T-The Wyvern?” She mused in absolute shock and fear, trembling a little but not too much to fall off the two girls’ hold.

    I felt panic surging at the size and sheer monstrosity of the beast in front of me, its large paw-claws piercing through the platform and interrupting its rise up to the outside. The terminal by the middle started to screech a strident alarm while also flashing some red lights signaling that something was wrong.

    Gulping nervously, I prepared Fiendish Ordeal and aimed it at the growling Wyvern. I glanced back and nodded at Ryou as the boy had his own sword ready to strike. The teen noticed my gesture and rushed towards the Dragon, the Grimm roaring at the challenge as it opened its maws to intercept the approaching swordsman with its maws.

    The Vacuan jumped before the waiting teeth could catch him, descending swiftly upon the undefended neck as his blade slammed against it with a powered strike. A mighty roar left the creature’s mouth as it recoiled at the sudden attack which had left no damage on it.

    It was in that exact moment that I noticed the green lines spreading across the carapace of the monster, blinking once or twice to existence as we continued to fight it.

    It was one of Watts’ modified Grimm? The Wyvern had already been considered a high-tier monster to face and now it was beyond that all thanks to that fucking mutagen.

    Seriously, after this one insane day I expect at least a full week of normal school! A week!

    I quickly turned back towards the girls as Ryou landed near where I was. “Place Summer down somewhere safe and help us!” I barked at the two, getting nods from both and then I turned to Merlot. “Sir, we need the elevator to work once again!”

    The scientist frowned. “The monster is-”

    “Overwrite the system and have it push more power to exert the platform- enough to get us out of here!”

    I heard him trying to protest, but I quickly returned to glance at the snarling fiend as it unleashed a dark mist upon the small section of the platform underneath it and… unleashing a full wave of various, different Grimm.

    There was no way in hell we can deal with that for more than a few minutes.

    We were running out of ammo, our Auras had hardly recovered from the previous encounters and this wasn’t the moment for silly Anime-sque BS. We aren’t ready for that shit!

    I just had the time to jump away as one of the claws moved out of its stationary position and tried to pierce me up with a quick slam. I turned to see Ryou trying to damage the exposed claw but once again his attacks did nothing against the armor.

    I turned towards the two approaching girls, my hopes rising up a little as I saw that they had put Summer near the main terminal, where the doctor was rambling about ‘upstartish brats’ and ‘stupid mustaches’.

    “Qiu!” I exclaimed, gaining her attention. “You and I will take care of the little ones.” The dagger-wielder nodded at my order while I glanced at Tulia. “While you and Ryou try to get through the bastard’s skin.”

    The Bear Faunus nodded with more tension, but she sported renewed determination as the blonde went to assist the boy.

    While my semblance was strong enough that I could have tried myself to cut into the Dragon, I was also aware of the fact I was starting to feel fatigued of making use of it. First the forest, then the train and now the laboratories.

    I couldn’t just afford my body to exert itself beyond my limits, knowing full well that the two had more chances of doing substantial damage against the Wyvern.

    Picking up Beowolves and Ursas proved to be easy considering that both Qiu and I were going swiftly through them thanks to our semblances.

    Adrenaline and a general unwillingness to leave any opening for any of the fiends spawned by the behemoth to even try and get close to our teammates and the two civilians standing behind us were what was truly getting us to exceed beyond our usual speeds.

    The grand monster roared again as it tried to slam its head onto the platform, only for Tulia to perfectly parry the approaching hit by slamming the head away with a solid uppercut. This time it did leave some damage, some cracks appearing on the armor around its head.

    Three minutes passed quickly, with the waves of Grimm seemingly generating endlessly and giving me and Qiu some trouble in keeping up with the pace while Ryou and Tulia were having little to no success in piercing through the reinforced carapace.

    “D-Doc!”

    “Almost done, you simpleton of a brat!” Merlot snapped back as he continued to mess around the terminal, Summer shaking her head as she tried to get up and… help.

    “Ma’am, don’t get up,” I tried to address to her, but I was cut short by a sudden Beowolf jumping in front of me. “We got this under control-”

    “Kinda.” Qiu piped in with a huff as she recovered some daggers from the floor, the ones that had fallen after the elimination of the previous group of Grimm. Enough daggers to pincushion a Ursa and giving her time to process her next target.

    Yet the woman didn’t seem to have heard us at the time, still trying to reach for her weapon when-

    “It’s done!” The mad scientist cackled as the elevator returned to work once again, this time with twice the speed as before. The Grimm present here all stopped at the sudden action and the mist dissipated away, giving us the chance of finally freeing the platform.

    The Grimm Dragon roared as its claws, still stuck on the metallic floor, forced it to be dragged out of its hole and then be subjected to get seriously scratched against the wall by its back. The noise was painful to listen, both the metal screeching and sending sparks flying by entering in such a violent contact with the Wyvern’s back and the monster’s agony-filled growls and yelps as it had its entire back dusted in that horrifying display.

    Still, the elevator won the struggle up to the ground floor… which was an open field in the middle of the abandoned city. The dragon wasn’t allowed to leave as the weak corpse was then scrapped off by the platform itself as it reached its final level.

    It fell unceremoniously as we all took a little breath of relief at the pure and dumb luck we just witnessed. I fell on my knees while Qiu fell on her butt, Ryou and Tulia merely took a brief seat by the cool floor as we all calmed down from the intense crap we had to go through.

    Our little moment of peace was only interrupted by the familiar buzzing sound of a Bullhead hovering above our heads. I looked up and I saw that an airship was scouting right above the area where we were and-

    CRACK-!

    The platform started to shake again, but this time we quickly got off from it and, just as Summer was taken away from the unstable floor… it was all tore apart by the very Wyvern we had thought to have defeated with that move.

    Yet… it wasn’t the same Grimm Dragon we just faced. The mutagen lines were now spread more prominently all over its skin as large green bubbles of flesh and liquid were popping from its back.

    Its skin was regenerating and-

    ROAAAAAAAARRRRRR!

    My breathing was labored and my mind was overloaded by the panic and by the dread of facing this bastard again but… the Bullhead was hovering just above us.

    We were so close to get out of there, to not have to deal with this threat and we just needed a-

    I blinked, my eyes falling right by Summer once again as I noticed that her cape was being hold by Qiu’s free hand. I blinked again as I remembered one of things Gelb had taught me before leaving Atlas.

    Grimm are strange creatures. They can’t evolve to overcome humanity, but their mind never forgets. That is why the old ones are the worst to face, because they adapt and become better with what they already have.

    I closed my eyes and I took a quick breath before rushing to Qiu, the girl looking surprised as I went towards her and then she yelped as I took the cape off her hand. “What are you-”

    “Ryou, you are to lead everyone to a safe spot to start the evacuation,” I ignored her as I turned to her brother, the boy looking surprised at the unexpected order. “Have them taken to safety and then get someone to help-”

    “I’m staying here to help!” The Vacuan girl tried to impose but I was already putting on the cape, adjusting it as to have the hood hiding my face. “I said-”

    “It’s an order, Qiu!” I yelled back, glaring at her as to force her to back away from that stance. It partially worked, her guard easing but her eyes narrowed in silent fury at that snap.

    “I-I’m staying-”

    “Tulia, I’m the fastest here and my Semblance can go beyond twenty minutes of full activation right now,” I replied steely. “I can survive being the distraction while you all get to safety and get me some reinforcement. Right now, we can’t fight it all with what we have.”

    Hesitation meant death and that is why I didn’t spare too much words about the matter. The situation wouldn’t allow me to pull that luxury.

    There was a pause, but the monster was already advancing and, just like I had planned, its attention was fixed on me. Summer was the one that led the team that had sealed it away with her silver eyes and of course it would be coming right after the one responsible for what had happened a decade or two ago.

    It roared, challenging and ready to take me on a fight but, as I glanced back to see the team helping the doctor and the frail woman out of the battlefield as they all reluctantly retreated away, I prepared to do the only thing that could have helped me avoid an immediate death.

    “Come hither, you son of a bitch!”

    I rushed towards the Wyvern and it prepared to intercept me with a claw, ready to begin what looked to be the prelude of some epic fights…

    But I dodged the hit and rushed right below the opening between its hinder legs, running through it, then away from the fiend and right into the ruins of the city. The Grimm turned with what seemed to be partial surprise at the move but then I decided to render my intention verbally known.

    “Nigerundayo!”

    Joseph Joestar’s special technique, don’t you dare to fail me now of all times!

    ----------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-dd-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    If there isn’t a Jojo reference in any of my stories… then I wrote these before Jojo.

    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------
    Trailer 3: Refused Revenge
    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------


    It was a cold night in Vacuo, one of the few ones that accentuated the winter time in the grand region. A rarity compared to the usual torrid heat consuming the minds and the bodies of those working so hard to either get paid or survive the month.

    A terrible condition that had afflicted the kingdom for centuries now, one that had been remained unchanged because of several non-negligible issues caused by the instability of politics and administrations.

    The Kingdom of Vacuo existed in all but name, with numerous duchies and counties existing to rule the land while the search for a proper monarch continued without any results yielding after… four hundred years of relative lack of success.

    Time passes, but at least the few upstanding duchies would turn out to be prosperous compared to the majority of the desert.

    Such was the case of the highly-renowned Duchy of Repsia, ruled by the kind but strong Duchess Natiez. The lady was considered a powerful ruler over those lands, her army and her treasury more than enough to baffle most of her neighbors to which she entertained a cordial and friendly attitude.

    A lovable liege that certainly enjoyed popular support. Just as much as she loved her family.

    Her heirs, the Bergfalk Twins, were highly regarded for their interest in helping their mother along with their duties.

    Qiu being quite suited with dealing with diplomatic dignitaries as her silver-tongue and sharp-wit would always keep them on their toes.

    The young woman having taken much from her parent while also showing her fiery self by playing some trick on those that dared to give her or her mother any weird looks worth of retribution.

    And while the two ladies were attuned to each other, the remaining member of their family showed some minor differences compared to them.

    The boy still loved his family the dearest, but his passions differed much from the subjects that his sibling and mother were more adept to.

    Spending years, from childhood to the first year of his adulthood, frequenting the grand-smith’s home in search of flashy weapons and intriguing stories of warriors, the young man couldn’t help but grow enticed by the production and use of swords of various kind.

    From katanas, to Longswords, to Tantos and finally to scimitars. The youth’s passion didn’t exclude any of the dangerous blades, rather he seemed to give each of the kinds a different but positive look and appreciation.

    The old man that ruled that realm of steel and fire, a former general to his grandfather, was keen to provide Ryou the means to either attempt to produce or use any of the swords available.

    His training, the one affordable by the palace with specialized tutors, hardly compared to the harshness but visible improvements coming from the one organized by the grumbling elder.

    Many would consider extreme some of the tasks, insane even, but the young man knew better than protest as the results were there for everyone and himself to see on his body.

    He grew stronger by the day, faster and even more experienced in working with numerous weapons at once. The pride of a swordsman stems in two principal path:

    1) The pride of the lone wolf, the one that serves and is served by only a single sword;

    2) The pride of the dreamer, the one that give weight to every blade and made them the more meaningful to use and master;

    Ryou was deemed a ‘Dreamer’ by the Grand-smith, considered to be loving too much all the many blades around to actually take one with himself.

    Something that had been worrying for a time as this decision would have easily scrambled the hopes of having him study abroad.

    Shade Academy was decent… at best, but the school could hardly protect a ‘high-born’ from not getting decimated by the many students that suffered through the heat and famines.

    The headmaster was good, but it was the professors that truly detained the power in that establishment.

    And that is why Natiez herself had deemed Beacon Academy to be the best bet possible for her children.

    Ozpin had visited decades earlier and the impression he had left during his visit had left him as a positive choice to have as the headmaster for the twins and the curricula offered by Beacon was more than enticing to have them instructed to be the best huntsmen.

    Yet the obstacle that truly had yet to be solved was Ryou’s lack of a defined weapon. So many choices and so little time to pick up the proper blade that would serve him for the rest of his years in Vale.

    Time pressed on and… something curious happened.

    The boy was still unsure about what kind of blade he had to take with him, numerous having served him in the past years, but none distinguishing themselves about the others.

    A crucial dilemma that was taking a draining toll on his sanity as the more he thought about the question, the more he would fail to get the right answer.

    It felt so distant and-

    Knock Knock

    He blinked, his eyes moving away from the ceiling as he slowly stood up from his bed and went to check by the door of his room. The wood creaked as he looked at whom was standing behind and… his mom smiled at him.

    “Mom?”

    The woman was slightly-tanned, her long dark-hair kept short in an articulated comb, her dark eyes sporting kindness and happiness at seeing her son. She was wearing a long half-sleeved dress and a tiara atop her head.

    “Son, I hope you have finally gotten the blade-”

    “Not yet, mom, sorry-”

    “Don’t ‘sorry’ me, Ryou.” The woman huffed in annoyance. “It’s been three weeks now and you should have chosen something by now. What is your excuse?” The question was stern, a little rare to perceive but enough to get the boy tense for any punishment because of that.

    He wouldn’t usually be this indecisive on life-decisions, yet the picking of the proper sword had kept him thinking for almost an entire month. It was just so… difficult.

    Every blade had given him a different purpose and… he couldn’t just give any of them so easily.

    But he had to. Taking so many blades would spark confusion and distrust from people, it was hard enough to have problems with the girls at court calling him ‘unfunny’ names for his passion.

    “How about I decide to pick something myself?” Natiez suggested with a small smile. “Why, I think I will do that.”

    … “Mom-”

    “Three weeks, Ryou,” The woman chided again as she started to slowly walk away, the teen following her through the small castle. “I gave you enough time to choose and you decided to squander things up for no apparent reason. I think I know what blade you should take.”

    The way she was so convinced of this was enough to make him question whatever she was talking about. His parent had never bothered much around swords, diplomacy and other non-violent activities being her forte.

    But as soon as she entered inside the little bazaar with all the swords, axes and lances on display, Ryou felt that something was off from the usual display.

    At first sight, he couldn’t see anything strange but… soon he was drawn right by the counter where a strange object was currently veiled in a dark-brown cloak.

    “Your commission is completed, lady,” The bald grand-smith said with a sigh, nodding the teen’s way as he started to unveil the mysterious blade.

    Ryou’s eyes widened in shock as he couldn’t believe at what he was looking at. This sword was familiar, but none of the ones he had used in the past.

    He had seen it before, but he couldn’t exactly remember it.

    His mother gestured him to advance and so he did, his hands almost endeared to grasp that rare specimen of professional craftsmanship and sturdy materials.

    The sword was particularly strong and-

    “C’mon, son,” Natiez said with an encouraging voice. “This is after all the blade you will bring to Beacon.”

    ...What?

    “M-Mom, I know you mean well but-”

    “Oh, but I will be angry if you refuse it. Even furious if you dare to politely decline his legacy.”

    He blinked back at the sword, this time the words from the noblewoman bringing back the memory that had this very specific weapon under his sight.

    This wasn’t just a customized one, but rather something that was from the past. From mom’s past and… from dad.

    His hand hovered over the hilt and then… he grasped it.

    Eyes widening, Ryou felt shocked as he felt a sudden connection to the sword, his Aura aching to have it around now as the sensation was just so addicting.

    It was natural, it was meant to be like this.

    “I had the bald fool refit it so that it could help you with your semblance,” She commented, eyes brightening at the awed expression on her son’s face.

    “It’s mine.”

    There was a pause, then he looked at his mother. “Is it?”

    “Of course it is yours, sweetheart,” The lady giggled. “Why, I knew perfectly that someone as stubborn as you would have ended up picking nothing from the available arsenal. So I decided to pick things unto my hands and-”

    The boy hugged her, causing her to stop speaking. The woman tensed at the sudden affection, but soon she was returning the embrace with a bright smile.

    “Oh? Is my little warrior having a moment because his new sword?” The teasing caused the boy to blush as he retreated with a frown.

    “I-It’s not like that.” He tried to comeback, but it all left his lips frailly and giving more incentives to his mother to giggle at his little embarrassment.

    “As you say, dear,” Natiez shook her head with a mirthful smile playing on her face. “But still, I wish to tell you something and… it’s not something I wish Qiu to know.”

    At the last bit, the young man frowned. Mother would never have something important limited only to him, especially if Qiu shouldn’t be knowing nothing about.

    “S-Sure.”

    After paying for the order, the two started to wander around the grand market street, several people of various classes and works stopping momentarily to greet them along the way.

    “That sword is… was your father’s.” The Duchess admitted softly, ignoring the confused look coming from his son. “He was a very brave man, quite the attractive fellow too.” She giggled briefly before sighing and smiling at her child.

    “You look similar to him,” She continued. “He loved the adventure and desired to explore the world-”

    “And then he left us.” Ryou interjected dryly. “He preferred the world to us, is that what you are-”

    The woman bashed him on the back of his head, causing him to bend a little. “I would like to finish, insolent child of mine.”

    He flinched but nodded as his mom huffed in annoyance. “Your dad really wanted to stay, he even made plans to reform the fief of your grandfather,” She paused a moment and then nodded. “Reforms which I personally spearheaded for, much to the old council’s dismay.”

    “If he wanted to stay then-” He stopped, the glare he received from the duchess more than enough to silence him up.

    “Your dad didn’t come here alone, but with the company of a small entourage of fellow Altesians.”

    He blinked in surprise. The story his mom gave him and Qiu about their father was that he had always been alone and-

    “Your father was a kind-soul… among snakes,” Her tone sported some poison at the individuals. “Spineless fools that dreamed of conquering the duchy for their own vile desires…”

    She blinked and then sighed again. They had a coup organized, one that would have succeeded…”

    “A-A coup?”

    But she ignored him. “But your father decided to rebel against them, arming himself with only his sword and… taking on the trouble-makers.”

    … “Dad was-”

    “Dad died a hero’s death, Ryou.” Her eyes were reddening as tears started to form up. “He… he was wounded so bad- he was there to succeed, he managed to beat them and-”

    He went to hug her, she accepted it and burrowed her head onto his chest. “S-So-”

    “No ‘sorry’, mom.” The young man sighed. “Just let this happen.”

    She nodded and sighed one last time as her tears weren’t limited anymore and… the people stopped to see what was going on.

    They all gave questioning looks at the ‘prince’ but the boy merely gestured them to be quiet and return to their works. Many did after a few seconds, other took some more time but soon they were left alone to enjoy that hug.

    The young man then glanced at the sheath now containing the blade with his father’s sword and… now he could feel a good reason to pick this to go to Beacon.

    ...But why did mom ask him to not tell this to Qiu?

    “Mom,” He inquired softly. “Can you tell me why sister-”

    “She is a fierce one, our Qiu,” The woman sighed, her tears stopping momentarily. “She would take it ‘well’, but I reckon that she would hunt down the families of those responsible for her father’s death.”

    He blinked and… he could see the little dagger-loving girl do something like that. While Qiu wasn’t the violent one in most cases, her vindictive sense was a degree worse than many people he knew about. It was long-termed, but the slow-paced revenge would be so brutal and lasting that it would make things even worse than a quick-thought retaliation.

    And that wasn’t something even Ryou would dare to think about to try and give to his sister. He loved her too much to see her going for a murder-spree so eagerly.

    “I… see.”

    He did and… that made things complicated.

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    AN

    Some feedback would be nice since I went late with this 7k-long chapter.

    Alas, cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  14. Threadmarks: Spoiled Plans (5)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 7: Spoiled Plans (5)

    As I continued to rush away from the mutated Wyvern giving chase, I was starting to feel the strain on my legs.

    Lungs working at a pace beyond the usual rate, most of my senses focusing primarily on what was in front of me rather than giving me the chance of losing myself in that ‘natural immersion’ offered by the ruins of the settlement that I was going through with this hideous bastard.

    And I was repeating loudly and hopeful from the safety of my head that a warm bed and some days of rest awaited me and the team once we were out of this crappy situation.

    I really wanted to get some serious rest after this ‘Initiation Test’, my interest in partaking in action-filled scenes now drained after dealing with so many crappy situations at once. And that was if the unexpected revelations were not included.

    But while I would love to digress and muse over the past events, the massive fiend hunting me down was taking a grand majority of my attention and I certainly wasn’t willing to give it far too many advantages considering that I wasn’t in the best shape myself.

    Before it could get any closer, I sharply turned the corner to rush on the right side of the crossroad we were at, my brain praying for the Grimm Dragon to have no control over its speed and crash onto something sturdy and capable of leaving it stuck still for some time.

    At least just enough to give me the time to get away from this horrifying situation.

    I was pretty desperate at this point and things couldn’t have gone well but, much to my immense pleasure and delight, I heard the familiar screeching noise coming from the beast’s claws as it tried to steer to the direction I had taken, only for its non-negligible weight to completely push the monster right on the nearby building that was too close to avert.

    The sound of concrete falling onto its body was the last thing I heard before I focused on the path ahead of me and gave one last lap to reach a safer position, somewhere I could hide and plan out my personal evacuation out from Mt. Glenn.

    Moments of much-accepted quiet passed while I went through with my search, the fluttering of Summer’s cloak being the only noise reaching my ears as I was happy to realize that there weren’t any Grimm around to hinder my situation even more.

    Finally I ended up getting the best place I could have asked for to turn in my temporary hideout, sited right within one of the shattered buildings littering this ghost town.

    It was right atop one of this ruined building, either the second or third floor from what I could perceive from its height, but my mind was still fixed on the very details that were important right now and I couldn’t give too much attention over something so superfluous.

    With the Big Grimm still giving chase and knowing that it would still know where I currently was because of my negative emotions (being chased by a behemoth of the ugly kind can put some panic and fear to mostly everyone), I was granted just a brief pause as I had to make a tough decision that could generally expand upon my next steps.

    Either I risked it all now and tried to pull some ‘action exit’ by making another mad run to reach out one of the few Bullheads hovering above my heads, which would entail having to deal with the bad luck I had or…

    I carefully walked a longer route, mind calming down and emotions reduced to silence as I stealthily withdraw from that horrible area I was dealing with.

    The last one felt the best plan considering that I had wasted some of the Aura I had left to keep up with the early spring, my legs and arms burning a little at the strain but I was certain that I could have pulled another chase before feeling some problems.

    Problems that could end up turning difficult to go through for someone in my current predicament.

    Just before I could genuinely think of a proper resolution, I heard a wolf-like growl before numerous Beowolf jumped onto the floor where I was and prepared to give some fight.

    I merely huffed, my mind being the place where all my swear words were going right now, cursing the luck I was dealing with as I prepared Silent Darkness to continue with the attack.

    Sadly, just before they could have began attacking, the trio of Grimm were slammed by a pair of claws. The sudden assault was then glorified with a furious roar from the corrupted Wyvern, its eyes burning fiercely as it cracked the pavement… before utterly bringing the ‘house’ down.

    I moved quickly, jumping towards the door-like opening from another nearby building.

    The chase was on and this time my pursuer was incredibly angry at me, the roars growing in intensity as it started to steamroll through the concrete like it was nothing.

    I felt shivers go down my spine as I could hear the roaring getting louder and closer, forcing me to put even more effort in keeping the distance going.

    I was panicking a lot, sweat rolling off as I felt like I had to try to stunt him stuck once again, something that could give me the time I needed to get more distance and maybe get out of there.

    I could now see five Bullheads and maybe some huntsmen had been deployed already to help me out from that difficult situation I was facing alone.

    It was my decision, I was aware of that, but whining under pressure wasn’t certainly something born out of lack of courage, rather the lack of means to deal with the case at hand.

    The Grimm Dragon roared once again and I was forced to sharply turn for a left corner, my attention suddenly taken by a tall bell-tower somehow preserved from the cruelty of time and Grimm’s brutality.

    The bell was a brass one, very big and could become the best bullet to use against the fiend behind me. Gears rolled furiously in my mind as I started to plan out the way I was going to deliver this delightful bell to the mutated monster and remove it from my butt.

    We were still far away from it and that offered me the chance to try and time the fall of the old brass onto the bastard by destroying bits of the tower.

    In a normal circumstance, my current arsenal wouldn’t have been able to create damage onto the strong-looking walls of the building, but since most of the buildings were rotting in mold and other structural issues, I could do something with a special modality within my gun.

    Taking Fiendish Ordeal out from my backpack, I loaded some of the explosive bullets I had been able to buy before leaving Atlas in the magazine before taking aim and shooting at one of the edged just underneath the dome where the bell was kept.

    The concrete exploded and cracked, suddenly giving away as the brass groaned against the wooden surface it was now standing onto and then… it started to fall.

    I rushed towards the possible impact zone of the bell, preparing what was left of my semblance to further increase my speed and match perfectly with the incoming death-trap.

    The Dragon was completely unaware of what was happening, its attention mostly taken by the annoying white-caped bug rushing away from its claws.

    I jumped, the pace sending me hovering over the ground for a while and… I dodged the crashing bell just in time as the Wyvern reached eagerly out with its maws, ready to snap me with its teeth, but such hope was destroyed by the brass slamming onto its head and shattering its skull.

    Green and black liquid started to spray out like a morbid fountain and I stared at the scene in minor horror and surprise. Its body slumped down, relaxed and stilling in what looked to be unconsciousness.

    I waited some more and… it slowly started to disintegrate in dark particles, the sign that the Grimm was now dead rather than resting.

    My jaws dropped, my eyes staring in utter confusion at the bell as I hadn’t expected it would have been enough to pierce through the bell would have killed the beast… but then I slowly approached it as I noticed a barely visible tag on it.

    “‘Dust-reinforced Brass Bell commissioned by Mt. Glenn Administration from Schnee Dust Company’- Oh, so that’s what happened,” I dryly concluded with a blink.

    A surprise for sure, one that I welcomed happily as now I was freed from the greatest issue I had in that exact moment and now I could focus on leaving the settlement once and for all.

    There were still some packs of Grimm wandering around, but none was dangerously close to where I was and, without wasting further time ‘celebrating’ the end of the Grimm Dragon, I was walking towards one of the larger squares that offered grand visibility for the Bullheads hovering above while also allowing the space to pull an evacuation.

    I hummed quietly, trying to get my adrenaline to let go some of the tension still going through my body. I was tired, my Aura was worryingly low and I was seriously close to collapse on the ground.

    I just… couldn’t allow myself anymore stress. So, I did my best to find the safest path to the closest large area and I proceeded to send a message to the rest of the team and see if they could get one of the pilots to get me evacuated.

    I waited just a few moments of relative peace, my body slowly relaxing and dropping the adrenaline-induced paranoia that had led me around until now, then a positive message arrived from Ryou as one of the Bullheads began the landing procedures, slowly reaching the ground and gesturing me to approach.

    I rushed towards it, ready to get the hell out of that horrible place and back to my bed. I wanted a full day of sleep now, maybe two if I ended up more tired than I was right now.

    It was idle thinking… that broke the moment I felt air twisting near where I was. A quick footstep preceded the sudden assault, I saw something red fluttering towards me and I ducked quickly to avoid the first strike.

    The vibrant-red sword cut the air above my head, missing me by a lot and giving me just the time to lift my guard up to block its immediate redirection.

    Silver Darkness clashed against the long Japanese blade, some sparks forming as my aggressor and I put our best in the ensuing struggle.

    I blinked, my sight a little blurry from the fatigue I had developed from the recent events, my stance sloppy and easy to shatter as the masked woman started to unleash a furious set of quick hits that quickly overwhelmed me, before then slamming me on the ground with a single powerful strike.

    I groaned, my consciousness starting to slip as I couldn’t keep up with the strain, my entire body was doing the best to keep me awake but…

    I was lifted up by my neck, the chokehold being manageable if not just a little uncomfortable and I was given the full vision of-

    Raven Branwen’s mask.

    The bandit leader was silent at first, I could see her red eyes studying my face now that the white hood was down, her glance morphing in curiosity as I saw some electricity surging softly to the extended arm and… right into my body.

    I felt a warm sensation spread, I felt… a little better compared to mere moments ago and I couldn’t understand what was happening. Was it her real Semblance? Did she have the same Semblance I had?

    Questions that didn’t even reach out of my mouth, my shock being far too great and my tiredness denying myself the chance of potentially get myself pummeled by the woman before me.

    Soon her quiet stare started to give me a fair amount of nervousness, my saving grace being that she slowly glanced at the Bullhead the moment two figures jumped off from it and started to rush at her.

    She returned to glance at me, her eyes boring at my face for some time with something of resolution building up before dropping me to the ground without notice, which resulted in me groaning at the immediate pain.

    “You are important,” She commented curtly before turning around and opening a portal, leaving the general area without saying anything more and… leaving me speechless about what had just happened.

    Soon I tried to get up, only to be stopped by a strong arm reaching my shoulder.

    “Easy there, young man,” I blinked at the face to whom the familiar voice was coming from, I could recognize a smile and his sandy-blond hair. The man picked me up slowly and started to lead me at the airship, his partner taking a moment to stare at the spot where the woman had once been.

    “To think that… she would come back,” A rough tone came from the unknown man as he looked at the blond. “Could it be for Summer?”

    I blinked again, this time my brain slowly making out the situation I was currently dealing with.

    Taiyang Xiao Long looked particularly grim as he finally settled me down on the Bullhead, the pilot waiting for the strange dark-haired man to jump in before taking off and proceeding to take its leave for Beacon Academy.

    “By the way, fun thinking from you, kid,” The man continued, taking a brief sip from his… flask? “Quite graphic, but I bet you will become quite the amusing Huntsman once you are out of Beacon.”

    Yeah…

    I slowly nodded, my eyelids finally dropping down and closing, my brain finally going for some rest as…

    The worst was now over.

    -----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-dd-d----

    Watts continued to silently stare at the screen that had been displaying the current state of the Wyvern’s vitals and a small camera showing its sight.

    Both systems were now down as the monster had been killed by the combined efforts presented by the bunch of students that had ‘saved’ Merlot and his specimen.

    ‘Fools’ now hardly fitted with the overall intelligence displayed by the four First-Years at Beacon, their leader being the one that gave the killing blow in quite the brutal, gruesome and fairly-surprising manner as the bell had appeared out of nowhere.

    But ignoring the general highlights of that fight, the mustached man couldn’t help but notice something curious about the pattern expressed by the style used by this individual, Shaun Reyter.

    It was an intriguing sight and it was just so familiar, yet so difficult to properly discern at first sight as his memory over ‘combat capacity’ was fairly unable to provide quick answers to his queries.

    A thorough research of this inner curiosity ensued after the screen was shut down and his attention shifted away from the aftermath of that brawl, his neutral expression enduring three hours of continuous browsing over the list of Huntsmen Watts had personally encountered in his life.

    It was all for his studies about Aura and Semblances back when he was still studying at Atlas Military Engineering Academy, the data he had gathered back then being rather disappointing compared to the ones present to his still-active projects as his ‘reunions’ with Hunters were few and spread out in his life, never giving much of a reason to truly foster an intense analysis of the subject.

    Some difficult and irking searching later, the former Atlesian scientist paused to study two videos unfolding at once, the incriminating detail being in something beyond his youthful theories and… in a video registered just a decade ago.

    The first one portrayed the performance showcased by the young man in question, while the other was a direct surveillance video showing the intense clash between… Summer Rose and Hazel.

    It was in that instance that clarity had started to realize within his brain, gears rolling steadily as he slowly connected some of the patterns and saw the similarities between the two different individuals.

    The youngest of the two was abiding by the ‘rules’ of this style very sloppily if not incredibly radical to it, while the woman was showing a perfect adherence to it and displaying a majestic set of destructive attacks with her own weapon.

    Their weapons, they matched to until a certain point onward.

    Summer Rose was holding her short sword akin to a dagger, the handling being fairly uneasy from what Watts could see from the footage and her steps were hesitant once or twice in a while.

    Mr. Reyter displayed a decent capacity with the shorter blade, dealing some interestingly-strong blows despite the length of the dagger leaving him forced to keep close to his opponents.

    The scientist almost snorted at the fact it was possibly a reference to the saying ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. Such a brilliant play of words in actions that endeared the man even more to find more about the connection between the two.

    They didn’t share much of a physical resemblance and while the documents available detailed the woman’s lack of major familial bond except his close family, Watts wasn’t going to trust Vale-certified files after what had happened with the ‘Rose semi-fiasco’.

    He needed fresh blood, a well-preserved sample from the young man that would then be compared to the one he already had recovered from the Huntress after her capture.

    It was essential to have a certain answer about the matter, enough to provide him the reassurances he needed to confirm or not the blood relation between the two.

    The mere idea wasn’t pushed by mere ‘parallels’ displayed while the two fought individually, but rather a little connection highlighted by his research in the Atlesian Main Databank.

    It was a little information that had got him perplexed and intrigued, elated but also cautious about the matter as… the connection itself that was recovered wasn’t anything that left him particularly happy to discover.

    Geld Rosswei was related to Summer Rose, the extent of his connection not being specified by the documents recovered as many were hidden by numerous ciphered systems holding the information among the maximum-security rank of the Databank. Annoying, but it was still something worth of considering.

    Geld Rosswei, Mantle’s finest Militiaman and leader of the Militia Group, had adopted Shaun Reyter just a few months ago. It hadn’t been a casual decision, but rather a well-pondered one after two months of having the youth under his wing, training him to become something much more than a member of the Militia.

    The man had been one of the worst enemies to face in his first run from justice, being the most effective leaders to discover about his early plans about Atlas.

    Something childish, Watts conceded flatly as he too could recognized that trying to explode the flying section of the city would be the worst idea possible but… at the time he had been but a hot-blooded genius that wanted to bring some revenge upon the wrongdoings pushed upon his reputations.

    All of them unfounded accusations that were never proved with facts but that were so much influenced by the agreeing voices reaching out from the higher spheres of the Scientific Society in Atlas that facts weren’t unimportant.

    Logic failed before the egoistical hold of the soul, the sharp flaw that so easily condemned humanity to a state of perpetual conflict, either within the chambers of governmental organizations or in the battlefield.

    After all, ‘politics is the womb in which war develops’ and a conflict made by words was still a conflict, just like it was the one with guns and bombs.

    That is why Watts disdained the world as it was, the presence of callous people that were there to steal merits, shatter hopes and drags nobodies’ dreams to the dumpsters.

    It was a vicious cycle of hate, one that wasn’t born out of race differences, gender issue or even the complex state of modernity. Rather it was the inherent need to hurt each other, to manifest the animal part that made a man or a woman a ‘Political Animal’ before everyone’s eyes.

    Intelligence granted funnier means to dispose of enemies, of haters, of threats and of pests and it wasn’t a case that new technologies were first made by the military forces rather for civilian purposes.

    Such was the state of a flawed world ready to end in ruins… just like with the previous attempts.

    Salem was tight-lipped over the full-fledged story of mankind prior to the Kingdoms, but her tidbits about the matter had been enough to formulate a simple but genuinely-intriguing theory.

    There were ‘grand generations’ of humans, three to be specific:

    - The time when Salem and Ozpin weren’t there to;

    - The time when the two chess-players actively meddled with human lives;

    - The time when they were devoured by their own games and forced to abide to some rules enforced by nature itself as to counter their thirst for ‘justice’ and ‘peace’.

    Silly fools, peace would never be achieved by mankind.

    Too much brutality, they were all condemned to face the eternity of suffering and hatred dispensed by the few vultures exploiting panic and fear to their own sickening advantages.

    And every kingdom had their own kind of corruptions, with Vacuo being a law-breaker land at best, with Mistral being ruled by narcissists, with Vale being ruled by councilmen lacking the initiative to become grand, and Atlas… having that blasted military ruling over them.

    Nepotism, authoritarianism and other elements that were already issues within the army were easy to spot on within the council and other administrative organizations that determined the laws and the budgets allowed to the various initiatives presented.

    Intellectuals were praised when they presented technological breakthroughs that best-helped Atlas in ‘showing its might to the world’.

    In layman’s terms, it was more of a series of competitions organized by the Army to properly hire the brightest mind allowing some warfare-related improvements to their already-advanced security system and armed forces.

    Watts had been noticed by one of those commissions, his theory over the reinforcement of Aura through external means gathering numerous eyes and interests about the possibility of employing such a complex guess upon the military landscape.

    He was picked, offered a budget and given some time to provide something that could even so remotely resemble that theory of his.

    And thus the then-young Watts complied by creating some beverage that rendered Aura denser and more difficult to lose while receiving hits.

    The issue being that the substance itself would then create complications if mixing with the other substances used by the soldiers back then to boost their overall performances, sometimes ending in a few cases of deadly overdoses.

    A sad situation that barely seemed to cause issue from the commission and soon he was taken in as an official researcher for the Atlesian Military.

    Things were going smoothly, well even as years passed with him reaching even higher degrees of importance within the military hierarchy… but that came at the cost of losing much of the support he had back to the civilian-based societies made by simple intellectuals.

    Most were despondent at best, some were resentful and… he was hit by the latter group.

    It had been a shocker to find that an investigation has been issued and… some of his papers were even faked for the sake of bringing up unfounded concerns that truly ended up with him getting kicked and subjected to trial.

    The traitorous rats plotting at his back and…

    He sighed, he breathed calmly and then… he huffed, bringing his mustache to wriggle a little in minor annoyance.

    Those memories were as annoying as infuriating, just what Watts needed to be reminded that there was still much to do in the present rather than bemoaning the issues of the past.

    It was all done and gone, there wasn’t anything to do but to press forward to the future.

    Why? He was unsure of.

    “Truly, what could I get in the end?”

    Mind-wrecking questions that bothered him before going for a slumber, the rest delayed as he thought about those philosophical questions.

    Revenge was undeniable but… after that?

    Not much, he conceded with a tired tone.

    Maybe some quiet and silly research? Some rest from his life-long works?

    Now wouldn’t that be… atrocious?

    With those musings still going strong within his head, the scientist dealt with another restless night as he thought and contemplated about the possible reaction…

    Cinder would have at discovering the Dragon, her little Siege Ram was now gone and rendered unusable.

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    AN

    This… exist? Wry?!

    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------
    Trailer 4: Kiss your worries away (or cuddle them, it’s mostly the same.).
    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------

    It was nighttime at Beacon Academy and the situation by the hospital wing had long simmered down to peaceful after the loud moments she had to endure when they were brought back to the school.

    Ms. Goodwitch was quick in ordering them to be visited and to spend some time there to recover from their misadventures, the woman they had saved and the snarky old man were in one of the deeper sections of the wing, leaving the team to recover one close to the other.

    Ryou had been the one to stay awake until a few minutes earlier, his watch having been relinquished to Qiu as the girl endured the difficulty of finding rest after what had happened today.

    Tullia had crumbled after lunch had been served and consumed, the stress gained from the long-lasting fighting hours earlier being more than enough to send the Bear-Faunus to the dream world.

    Meanwhile their amazing leader was now sleeping after pulling one of the most infuriating act she could have ever had the chance to look happening before her eyes.

    ‘Buying them time’ and ‘being the prime target’ of the wounded Wyvern had been something that had left her stomach churning in little anger as the action itself had left her worried, perplexed and terribly worried.

    Did she mention worried?

    But if Qiu had to be honest, the issue was the selflessness latched to the endeavor, the ‘good’ motivation to go along with this insane deed of his.

    It wasn’t like the girl didn’t appreciate or understood the logical reasoning forwarded, but despite logic and reason being major factors in life she was someone that preferred to work with others rather than let a dangerous job to only an individual.

    It’s common sense, it’s the understanding that people works best when together rather than alone.

    It’s being smart and not play the hero… except in this case, much to her fair chagrin, she couldn’t truly fault Shaun’s decision to take the bullet for them.

    The monster had been big, humongous and possibly was one of the biggest Grimm she will ever see in her time here at Beacon considering that the Dragon was a rarity among the rest of beasts lurking in the dark corners of the forests they were going to visit either for lessons or for missions.

    She was sure of it, she had checked the Encyclopedia beforehand as to see what was the greatest threat ever reported and those were the Beringel living by the distant continent of Sanus, fiends that hardly reached three meters in height.

    Qiu huffed as she realized that there was truly no particle within her brain that asked for proper rest, later she had her head relaxed on her pillow and her body under some layers of warm sheets that kept ever from perceiving the cold coming by the minuscule opening in the mirror.

    The nurse was probably awake too, the Fox-Faunus being rather energetic even during the evening when she asked about their plights and tried to force them with needles.

    She was ‘like that’, Ms. Goodwitch had mentioned curtly but this comment was enough to make things clear about full-extent of insanity portrayed by the ‘law-maker’ here in the hospital wing.

    Professor Tsune was lovely when she wasn’t going to be your medic and she was a good woman when not having any needles lying for her to make use of to the unaware students resting here in her reign of ‘joy and needles’.

    A happy sigh left the girl’s lips at remembering the amusing sight of two grown men trying to fight off the aggressive ‘helpfulness’ displayed by the Fox-Faunus, having to restrain her until the Headmaster himself could come and ‘order the crazy woman to not do anything funny’.

    With two unconscious individuals early on, the attempts made by the doctor/nurse were fairly frequent and irritating sometime.

    One could say those were some interesting pain in the ass to deal with.

    ...Hehe, she still got some humor even with tiredness playing trick with her mind.

    In fact, it was odd but now that she looked at the bed owned by the unconscious leader of Team STRQ, she could see a pair of brown eyes blinking at her with a curious glint.

    ...But that couldn’t be right? He was meant to be unconscious until tomorrow morning and-

    “Qiu,” He called out from the bed, her trail of thoughts crumbling as the distinct word reached her ears, eyes widening in shock at realizing that she was indeed staring at a fully-awake Shaun Reyter, the boy giving her a concerned look. “I-Is everything alright?”

    The worry was duly-noted, but the stutter was enough to lift her own concerns over his current state.

    “I’m fine,” She replied with a faux smile. “What about ya, boss?”

    Hopefully, he didn’t see through her facade and called her out of it.

    The young man was terribly perceptive, something that had left her stomped, elated and particularly intrigued during the entire initiation test.

    And what made it even the more important? This individual was their leader, the one that would take them to victory and back home safely and soundly.

    Just like he did for this occasion.

    Albeit the Vacuan girl would point out the extreme orders applied by the end of the day, she wasn’t going to fail in describing that every choice and decision taken by the young man had been decent ones.

    He listened, but he also sternly refused proposals if those were far too dangerous with their current capacity, proving that he cared for them all.

    “Just a s-sore throat,” He answered back. “Still, I don’t know how-”

    “We are all fine, boss,” Qiu chirpily commented. “Old doctor and kind lady too.”

    There was a pause, then a smile and finally a nod came from the boy as he relaxed on his back, seemingly ready to return to sleep but… this left the girl fairly confused.

    “B-Boss,” She called him with a slightly panicked tone, careful enough to not wake the others. “W-What about you? Don’t you want to-”

    “It’s fine, Qiu,” He interrupted calmly, then he yawned before continuing. “I think it’s all fine considering that I’m awake and not bandaged. So… yeah, I can wait for tomorrow-”

    “Bo-Shaun.” The younger twin forcefully recalled. “You- Why are you like this?”

    … “What?”

    “Always thinking about us and never about yourself,” The girl replied with a determined voice. “Never once you have tried to check upon your own conditions. Heck, we learned when we were in the bullhead that you were lying about Aura-levels that… everyone was pretty much at the same levels.”

    “It was a difficult decision-”

    “We could have fought with you-”

    “And possibly get hurt because of the bastard.” He closed his eyes as he hissed that sentence at her. “I understand that you care for my wellbeing, but as a Leader-”

    “You have a duty to us,” She blinked, her voice growing sad. “I… I know you have that responsibility, but it seems like you barely give attention to how you really are during the fights.”

    “It’s the heat of-”

    “Bullshit and you know that.”

    The harsh interjection caused the boy to flinch but Qiu was far from over with her lecture.

    “You are the leader, that is true, but you are also part of the team and… we care for each other. We cover each other and… we don’t let comrades go down because they are too silly to understand their worth.”



    He didn’t reply and… that was surprising and painful to recognize. It had been a silly guess, a baseless one and… yet it was true.

    But why?

    “Why?” The question was offered, but it wasn’t Qiu that had asked about that.

    Their eyes turned to meet Tullia’s fully awaken glance. The Bear-Faunus looked a little tired but… she was giving a serious look at the boy.

    “Why don’t you care… about yourself?” The blonde pressed on, causing the young man to look nervous and panicky.

    “I...” He tried to explain, his stare meeting his hands rather than the two girls. “I think it is… because I’m not that much important in the big plans of thi-”

    “No,” The Faunus interrupted with an angry look. “You are important.”

    “But-”

    “I- Shaun,” The blonde sighed and nodded. “You are our leader, you are our friend and… we all care for you,” She continued so calmly but so steely. “And when you say that you aren’t important… I want to punch your face.”

    ...What?

    “And you don’t want a punch… do you?”

    The young man frowned at the… threat?

    “I don’t?”

    The Faunus frowned but before she could say more it was another voice that piped in.

    “You are an utter idiot,” Ryou stated as he perched up sitting on his bed. “Why are you ‘not important’? Please tell us why you think so.”

    There was a brief pause, the leader looking fairly nervous at the combined pressure and then he conceded, giving out a simple sigh before explaining.

    “I don’t… feel like I deserved the situation that led me here,” He slowly admitted. “It happened… just so casually. I was discovered without an apparent reason. I was a normal bystander that got lucky enough to be handed certain chances.” His eyes closed. “I tried to think it was just… a fleeting thought, that by working on the field it would change and… even now I don’t feel up to stand with-”

    “Shut up,” Qiu rebuked with a huff. “That is some of the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

    … “Wha-”

    “I’m not done!” She pointed out loudly, making the boy flinch. “Luck didn’t force you to train, luck didn’t push you to go through whatever you had to do everyday and luck wasn’t the one that gave you the thoughts to lead us to victory, Shaun.”

    “And you think that luck is only reserved to you in that case you brought?” Ryou mentioned with a snort. “Qiu and I are lucky to have been born to a rich woman in Vacuo, but do you think that weight us up and condemn the following actions?”

    “A-And I was lucky to be picked to be sent at Beacon,” The blonde admitted with some embarrassment, yet her determined tone was far from gone. “B-But it was my strength and my training that proved that their decision to send me was right.”

    Shaun Reyter was rendered speechless, a vision worth of a few chuckles if the situation hadn’t been a serious one.

    The girl sighed, finally catching some brief particles of sleep in her brain. The discussion had left her a little… drained.

    The bed was nice and all but… maybe it was time to prove something to their boss, something that he will never forget so easily.

    She slowly slipped away from her sheets, instantly feeling the cold breeze sending chills down her spine even though she was still dressed up with her full clothes. Just like the others.

    But… she now had a plan. A glorious one!

    Ryou was the first one to notice her sneaking towards his unsuspecting partner, but he couldn’t call her out from the act before she actually reached him.

    Shaun noticed too late as he felt the sheets being moved as the girl suddenly entered the bed and rested her head on his chest.

    “W- Qiu?!” He whispered with a furious tone, but the girl merely hummed in her mouth as she nestled close to the source of warmth that was her team leader.

    “Sister-” The fellow young man insisted, only to be silenced by his sister.

    “Shhh~” The twin replied with a dreamy look. “He’s sho warmm.”

    The older sibling was ready to chide the girl for going for something this much intimate and unrequited but, before he could tell more, Tullia approached and poked at the exposed bit of Shaun’s chest.

    “He’s warm.” The Faunus mused softly and… she slowly went to follow her partner’s example, resting her head right on the free space on his shoulder.

    The Bear-Faunus gave a happy smile as she close her eyes, a little tense because the situation was still awkward but then things took a curious turn.

    Qiu opened one of her eyes and stared up at her brother. Her smile widened.

    “Do you want to join in?”

    The young man frowned, then looked up at the defeated look on Shaun’s face and finally back at his sister.

    It turns out that ending getting found sleeping in a bed with three more people that are all wearing clothes and look to have a good time sleeping could still bring some lecturing out of Professor Goodwitch.

    Sadly, this was sure going to become an occurrence from now on.

    And of that, Qiu was going to put herself to make sure of it!

    -------------d-dd-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-

    AN

    Qiu, the mastermind of Fluff and Love… I wonder what is the next step in her devious mind.

    Hand-holding? Head-Patting?! HOW SCANDALOUS!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  15. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    FTFY. Currently a double negative.

    Need to reread this. Happy for the update :D
     
    JBukharin likes this.
  16. Mikers99

    Mikers99 Two-Bears-High-Fiving

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    OWO
     
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  17. Threadmarks: It's official (1)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 8: It’s official (1)


    The newest day at Beacon Academy began with an extremely slow and calm note, the first subject of the day being taken by the newest lesson from Professor Port.


    Once again the man’s highly-detailed tales were bringing some undeniable boredom to his classroom and my team wasn’t certainly unaffected by the state of sleepiness afflicting the students sitting for the lesson.


    Some had fallen to some heavy slumbering, others were putting some efforts in trying to catch the barest of the notes and… I was actually mustering my willpower to keep awake while transcribing everything the man was saying.


    My hand was itching in minor soreness at how much I was writing down on the copybook I had brought for the occasion, my thoughts turning mechanic as I continued dutifully with the simple but intense task at hand.


    I could barely spare a glance at the rest of the team once or twice in a while during the lesson, my brain slowly taking notice of the various different reactions to the portly teacher’s way of teaching.


    Qiu had given up early on, her head placed softly by her little section of the lengthy table and she was using her copy of the class’ textbook to cover her current state of defeat from the eyes of the professor.


    Keeping up just barely as her eyelids were trying and failing to drop more than half-way, a tired-looking Tulia was giving her best in trying to follow the general line of the discussion as it was too early for her to match up with the annoying way of exposition proposed by Port.


    It was Ryou that genuinely seemed to be giving some consideration at the ‘unfocused’ teacher, but he wasn’t actually writing any notes about the lesson; Instead he was stealing glances my way, or rather, at the current surreal deed I was pulling by trying to fiercely keep up with the teacher’s boring tone.


    It was a grand sacrifice for the Greater Good, or at least that was what I was trying to get through my brain while I continued with my efforts.


    We needed everything we could get from those lessons to pass the tests as Port had been clear about the importance of details and correct presence of truthful points from his tales in the answers of his exams.


    Something that warranted utmost attention, then some careful summarization and finally a proper reporting of the topics brought up to answer the questions from an eventual task in class.


    But maybe I should take a few steps back and explain a little more how things had gone earlier that morning, how things had gone by when we first woke up in the infirmary room only to face the music regarding our current situation here at Beacon.


    With the initiation test derailing to the abominable escalation our newly-formed team had to endure yesterday, we were granted some relief in the form of passing the exam with ‘flying colors’ and a confirmation of our current presence here at the school.


    While the original mission had been considered a failure as we hadn’t managed to complete the initial tasks, both Ozpin and Ms. Goodwitch were quick to bring up the fact that the sudden twist to our predicament had been out of our control.


    They had made it clear that they had instead preferred to decide over our overall grade by considering our attitude during such development, something that was as much praised by the two as it was lectured.


    We managed to deal with the circumstances in a smooth and acceptable way, bringing to safety two civilian-grade individuals (Summer wasn’t considered a Huntress considering her inability to fight in that very moment) and uncovering a dangerous threat boiling within the inner section of Mt. Glenn.


    But they were quick to condemn our initiative to take on some of the avoidable challenges and just wait for the arrival of some reinforcements, the threat level presented by the Wyvern far beyond anything we could have ever been able to face in a ‘fair fight’.


    The discussion then shifted over the fact that the Council of Vale had been informed of the presence of a mastermind behind such an escalation and veteran huntsmen were dispatched to further take notes of what had happened in these laboratories and where Arthur Watts with the few hints available.


    A difficult operation to accomplish considering that the man could have easily been far out of the Kingdom when driving the attack force of Grimm, his hideout probably somewhere in Mistral or Vacuo as to avoid any retaliation for what had happened several hours ago.


    Still, despite the horrible ordeal we had to deal with, we were granted some reward in the form of our formalization as Team STRQ with proper documentation and all.


    We were then registered within active group of students in Beacon Academy, my position as the leader of the team was confirmed by the headmaster and our new dorm-room was listed via official message to my Scroll by professor Goodwitch.


    The new day was meant to be the real ‘first day’ at Beacon, our schedule provided just as expected and it was pretty much the standard timetable offered to all first-years with the lone difference that we were going to deal with our newest room on a latter time of the day.


    Tsune had then pressed on the issue that our Aura hadn’t recovered to the fullest and that it was preferable to keep us all out of fighting until a day or two more.


    For this very situation, Ms. Goodwitch decided to exempt our presence from her class for that day, said free time to be used to sort out the predicament over our new dorm-room from what the woman had been keen to stress out while she had us escorted out of the hospital ward.


    I might have tried to steal a glance at the section were Summer Rose had been placed before walking out of that large room, but the area was quite distant from the entrance and the fox-eared nurse had been quick to point out that she was still recovering and resting from yesterday’s predicament.


    A pity that I couldn’t see how she was doing, the only instance that I was allowed to do for her legitimate sake being returning the folded form of her white cloak to Tsune so that the Faunus could give it to her once the woman woke up again.


    I was also aware that Taiyang and Qrow were still at Beacon Academy from some distracted comments let out by the headmaster while he led the deputy headmistress away from the infirmary, but from my basic understanding they were now spending most of their time here by Ozpin’s office until some more news about Summer’s condition were brought up.


    I had the chance of seeing the two men from afar as they waited for the silver-haired principal by the end of the close corridor, but if I had to be honest I could hardly care much about their presence there considering how this barely was important for us as a team.


    While they would care for the recovering woman, our new group was going to start its path at the school the best way possible…


    By taking presence and being as respectful and polite with the teachers.


    It was going to be tough already since we were starting later than others, but we sure were going to make a good impressions with the professors now that things were finally stabilizing enough to get some positive grades rolling early on instead of having to panic and rush some of the more important exams.


    Port’s lesson ended after the expected two hours, a small ten-minutes break ensued to allow the students to rest a little and move to the next classroom for the second subject of the day.


    Just as I started to lead the still-sleepy rest of team STRQ out of the benches, I found myself targeted by a familiar orange-haired missile, her arms suddenly wrapping around my chest and giving me a quick tight hug. “SHAY!”


    My surprise was vaporized by the familiarity of the gesture as I merely patted once Nora’s head, causing the girl to giggle as she allowed me some space to breath.


    “Good morning to you too, Nora,” I replied with a moderately chirpy tone. “I see that you have not fallen to the usual effects of Port’s lectures.”


    Another giggle, but the carrot-haired girl smiled brightly. “I was almost falling to a coma- but then Ren reminded me that you were here and-” She paused, turning around as her partner was now close to the scene.


    The pink-eyed student had just the chance of wave at me before he was yanked by Nora to get close to the discussion. “Renny, see? He’s back!”


    The young man sighed calmly. “He is back, yes,” He said before glancing back at me and nodded. “It’s good to see that you weren’t hurt that bad, Shaun, and good morning.”


    “Good morning, Ren, and thank you for the kind wo-oh?”


    I was interrupted as someone bumped onto me, slim arms wrapping around mine as Qiu keep close while smiling at the two members of Team JNPR.


    The young woman was grinning, sporting just a little tiredness over the slumber she had woken up from, a little yawn gracing from her lips before she truly began to speak.


    “Hello~!” The dark-haired girl said, squeezing a little more her hold over my aching arm. “I’m Qiu and from what I see you are Boss’ friends, right?”


    Ren was slower to nod compared to Nora’s subsonic response. “Yep, I’m Nora and this is Renny! And you are one of Shay’s newest teammates.”


    The fellow short-haired girl nodded, sharing a giggle with the hammer-wielding young woman before commencing some quick chit-chat among each other.


    Soon the other members of the two teams approached the area and the situation broadened once again as more souls joined the conversation, each bringing their own spin to the situatio.


    Jaune was giving out a little genuine smile and nodded my way with a happy look as he came to greet me, which I replied with one of my own positive response about it while the others interacted with each other.


    Pyrrha looked elated and soon she was introducing herself to the rest of STRQ with some respectful manners and tones, something that was mirrored by Tulia as both redhead and blonde ended up clashing in terms of politeness.


    Quite the odd sight considering the more soft-spoken of the two being able to push over the Mistralian girl with her kind tones; the Bear-Faunus ending up smiling and sharing some more words with the fellow polite individual.


    Ryou was curt with his introduction to the others, something that matched well with Ren’s quiet personality as the two seemed to hit something of an understanding by enjoying their mutual silent agreements.


    It was quite the confusing scene, something that Nora was quick to point out with a curious look much to her partner’s silent groan.


    Before any other major exchanges could have been made from that starting point, we were soon directed out of the classroom and right to where our next lesson was set to happen as the little pause was drawing to an end.


    Next stop was going to be Oobleck’s classroom, from what JNPR was saying the main theme of this lesson being something about the little skirmishes that ensued after the Great War, a section of history that was easily overlooked by many other teachers, especially in Atlas.


    This detail might sound odd, but it was actually evidence of the quick-paced green-haired man’s genuine interest in teaching true history to his students rather than skimming through it with a dispassionate tone.


    We shared some pleasant chatting with some random topics mid-walk, the situation distracting from the nervous-looking girl with a red cape that had been trying to slowly approach our group.


    Silver eyes were now aimed at us as we walked through the corridors of the school, blissfully unaware of the storm brewing around the corner… or specifically behind us.


    ------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----


    Oobleck’s insane pace seemed to catch the rest of my team off-guard, they had yet to experience the incredible speed that the coffee-addicted professor was renowned to have, both in terms of maneuvering and for explaining lessons.


    While the minor historical conflicts that were going to be the main topic of this lesson, the impressive quantity of skirmishes was enough to give the teacher enough material to prepare a substantial and swiftly-delivered argumentation over the various perspectives that made those seemingly-irrelevant events… somewhat relevant.


    Little introducing blows between nations that would culminate with the Faunus rebellion and the disastrous defeat of General Lagune that would see the world changing its political and social axis once again.


    The conflicts were mostly between Atlas and the combined forces from Mistral and Vale with the Kingdom in the north trying its best to sabotage the economic growth of both nations after the drain they had to make due following the Great War.


    The clashes persisting for some few decades before the real issues were brought up to world-wide attention and… the Faunus were used as means to push for some cheap labor.


    The arms race culminated with the Faunus Rights Revolution, but the events that preceded by just few days the beginning of this unexpected big war contained some fascinating details about Remnant society as a whole.


    Some rules and traditions were the same between the four kingdoms, or at least were until the FRR began and a moral fracture ensued with the public.


    Only Atlesians and Vacuans still considered the Faunus with some distaste because of the war-like/obsolete perception of their presence among mankind.


    Mistral and Vale had been the first two nations to try and sue an acceptable peace with the rebellious faction, only to fail when the diplomatic attempts were undermined by the influence exerted by the two other Kingdoms.


    Many wars in history, may it happen within Earth or Remnant, could be avoided in most cases if diplomacy was applied correctly and since Remnant had yet to experience something close to WW2, I can say that every conflict can be avoided here with talks rather with guns.


    Peaceful much? I recognized the fact that going for a war with Grimm still around was a terrible idea, something that could easily wipe out armies without much of a battle or skirmish between humans required.


    Then the negative emotions would render major cities prime targets of the never-ending horde of darkness, thus causing massive casualties among civilians too.


    Being the history-nut that I was, I was quick to get some of the little queries pushed by the professor mid-explanation answered without much hesitation.


    Some where looking at me in surprise at how fast I was being with few of the complex ones, while a little minority had decided to deign me with quite the disdainful looks.


    None of the latter group would try anything against me, or so I thought before I ended up being interceded by a certain bully.


    “-This is why, even with major protests and revolts, many industrialists managed to get Faunus as cheap labor without many rights to cover their safety within the factories. Can anyone tell me why this was possible- Oh? Mr. Winchester, please go ahead!”


    Cardin stood up with a smug look, stealing a pompous glance right at me and then at Tulia before answering the question.


    “Why, teach, I think the reason is because Faunus are animals that are easy to manipulate,” The leader of Team CRDL began, gaining some quiet chuckles from his teammates. “They didn’t have the intelligence to keep up or even resist the need to serve us as they are meant to be.”


    I blinked, tension surging from within me while I saw Qiu, sitting beside me and now attentive at the situation, ready to jump at the smiling idiot as Oobleck deigned him with a disappointed look.


    I glanced at Tulia, the girl looked uneasy as she tried to avoid to stare at anyone else while Ryou shuffled close to her as to show her some support.


    But before anything could happen about this situation, before the teacher could reprimand Cardin and before Qiu could rush at the hopeless moron, I decided to stand up and lift my hand.


    Oobleck blinked for a moment, his sight moving away from the orange-haired young man and right at me.


    “Mr. Reyter? Could you please wait as I-”


    “Professor, I wish to make a statement; A serious one to that,” I interceded as respectfully as possible, gaining some surprised look from everyone including the man himself.


    The bespectacled teacher blinked again, silently nodding and gesturing me to approach by the small area in front of his desk.


    I was quickly there, my standing form turning at the rest of the classroom as I sighed and stared around for a brief instance before starting to talk.


    “This is supposed to be a history lesson, one that is meant to give some advice so our generation about what had happened before we were alive and how those events connect to our current life,” I started with a serious edge at the tip of my tongue. “Sometime it’s to explain how some good things exist, while the rest is about the infamous crimes people have committed in the past.”


    I glanced at Oobleck, the man now sitting by his chair and nodding at me to continue.


    And so I did.


    “The world around us is an ever-changing one, everything is meaningful in the grand picture of things and sometimes our perception of everything can be influenced by our nurture, barely by our nature,” I glanced up at Cardin. “Like my classmate had suggested with his response, it is his opinion that Faunus are inferior to humans, an opinion that I can only guess stands on faith over the words of someone he trust deeply and that he can’t think they could tell him anything wrong.”


    The bully blinked in confusion, I was going in some deep circles and only a handful of people were understanding what I was talking around.


    Such is the shame of having gone through two years of philosophy, with no subject capable of giving anything close to the important metaphysical topics I was talking about.


    It was at that point that I decided to prod with a simpler tone.


    “We care more about trusting people and their feelings, so much that we forget about the importance of factual integrity. Something that your opinion, Cardin, lacks,” I paused a moment, the comment easily sounding like an insult and in fact the young man had his eyes narrowed at me. “It’s scientifically proved that there is no reason to believe in the concept of ‘Faunus inferiority to mankind’, nor there is a reason to truly push them in a separate group from humanity.”


    There was some silence and then Oobleck spoke.


    “That is an interesting perspective,” He praised with a tiny smile. “But I wish to understand something, what do you think of Faunus and the recent years of violence happening around Remnant?”


    I blinked in surprise at the sudden inquiry, but I managed a nod as I went to answer that.


    “From what I can think from scientific basis and history itself, the reason of violence could be connected to the White Fang or at least to a bit of their past that is easily neglected for the sake of calling them a ‘violent organization since its origin’, which is untrue.”


    “And pray tell, what detail are you suggesting about?” The man pressed on much to my growing surprise.


    “Since their foundation, which was peaceful and in line with the needs of the time, they failed to bring some inner change to their composition and core,” I started to say, my mind drifting to the little details I was aware of from the Fang and the bits I had learned from grandfather’s memories about his past encounters in Menagerie. “By continued to remain as a Faunus-only group, there is a major distrust over the main goal of ‘bringing faunus and mankind as a whole’ as it isn’t done within the organization to begin with.”


    “So people starts to get distrustful over the goodwill of the Fang, they grow distance and Faunus themselves are confused by this action. But then, why would the radicalization happen from such a minor instance?”


    “People love to enjoy better life conditions, better chance to bring safeties and guarantees to their well-beings,” I replied quickly.


    “That is a case open to everyone, Faunus and Humans, but with the former there is a major intricacy that is their need to bring some real change to their current standing,” I continued with a serious tone, taking just a brief break to regain some airs to my lungs. “They craved for legitimate improvements to their survival in society and the White Fang’s careful diplomacy ended up alienating everyone as reforms were rare and arriving far too late to be considered successes.”


    “Which in the end brought a large majority to trust those that promised quick changes with the use of ‘faster means’, bringing the more radical faction to control the group,” Oobleck concluded for me, smiling sadly and gracing me with a nod before gesturing me to return back to my seat.


    “What Mr. Reyter has just said is completely correct, that people tends to trust faith over logic, emotions over reason and in the end those individuals end up causing the worst developments in history,” The teacher’s tone was slower than usual, an unexpected change that caught everyone off-guard. “Mr. Winchester, you might ignore my consternation over your blatant attempt to insult and hate the students of Beacon that do have Faunus attributes, but History is the final judge for people and opinions don’t matter before it.”


    He sighed and stared at his watch. “Oh? It would seem like time had flied away today,” Oobleck hummed in genuine surprise. “I guess that this lesson is decisively concluded. Next one will be dedicated to the Faunus Rights Revolution and- Mr. Reyter, please know that your little intervention will be graded properly as I see some promises in you with this subject.”


    My eyes were wide open in surprise at the praise, the comment giving me some hope of improving even more the marks of Team STRQ.


    I felt a pair of arms reach from Qiu as the girl giggled softly and happily over my little intervention, Ryou nodded thankfully while Tulia-


    The blonde had a twitchy smile, her ears vibrating a little as I noticed some tears forming on her eyes.


    I blinked and felt panic rising at the scene, feeling like I did the worst possible by getting the bear Faunus to react like this.


    With the lesson concluded, I spent some time getting to get the blonde to cheer up properly with some compliments and all, much to the amusement of the two twins at my hopeless efforts.


    We ended up parting ways with JNPR quite quicker than planned as they had to go for Ms. Goodwitch’s lesson and we were supposed to check on our new dorm-room, something that would require some time to settle down with our own stuff without overwhelming the place.


    Just as we turned the corner to the hallway where the dorm-room were, our steps faltered the moment we noticed three individuals waiting there.


    The first two to be seen were two men, one having sandy-blond hair, dark-blue eyes and some little beard on his jawline; he was wearing light-brown cargo shorts with black shoes, a red bandana on his left arm and dark-brown vest over a tan dress shirt wit the right sleeve interrupted earlier than the left one.


    The other one had graying black, spiky hair, diluted red eyes and a little stubble along his jawline; With a red, half-ruined cloak, he was wearing a gray shirt with a long tail, black pants and dark shoes.


    The last individual was sitting in a wheelchair, her hair had a gradation black-into-red, silver eyes and a jawline that all reminded me of Ruby but a little more mature; She was wearing a white jacket over her hospital-leased PJ and she had some fluffy slippers that had some fox-like face stylized on them.


    We slowly approached and then the woman’s eyes were upon me, the little smile already plastered on her face widening.


    “Shaun Reyter,” She said with a soft voice, her throat surely still not ready to properly speak. “Leader of Team STRQ.”


    Taiyang’s sighed while Qrow snorted at the comment.


    But I smiled at that title, feeling a little flattered by the usage in this case.


    “Summer Rose,” I replied with a polite tone. “Leader of Team STRQ.”


    Her smile widened even more, now showing some mirthfulness at the return of the honorific and then she nodded.


    “Shaun, can we please spare some words? I think… we have much to talk about.”


    I blinked at her words, but I was quick to nod and open the door that led inside the dorm-room, my team following me inside and so did the two men and the wheel-chaired woman.


    The door closed moments later but…


    We were completely unaware that a certain red-caped girl had decided to skip lessons to try and get to talk with a certain individual, surprised to see her parents, Uncle and the team enter inside that room, curiosity rising and… she walked closer, mind uncertain of her following actions.


    ------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d--------


    AN


    Oh Ruby, you adorable cookie-munching stalker.


    Can’t you just keep yourself to safety just once? Maybe even for more than a few hours?


    Yes, I decided to divide the ‘Explanation chapter’ from the ‘Normal school day chapter’ because it would have resulted in a highly-unpleasant mashup.


    Like, I have the general lines for next chapter and if I had gone to put it all here it would have… made a completely horrible connection from a part to another.


    But yes, everything shall be answered next time, I just wanted to bring some peace to our MCs before some feels are brought back up once again.


    And now let’s Omake this thing up!


    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------
    Omake 1: You can’t stop the cuddling!
    --------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------


    If I’ve to be honest, I should have seen this situation happening… again.


    My eyes blinked awake early that morning and my stare found itself fixed to the ceiling of the room as I felt three noticeable weights well placed on my sides and my chest.


    I was being squeezed from all available directions and my discomfort turned in confusion, my gaze lowering to the trio responsible for this sudden predicament.


    I groaned quietly, trying my very best to not wake up the still-sleeping three students.


    Snoring softly in my chest was Qiu, the girl having decided to pick the ‘central’ spot in that curious dog-pile I found myself into while the rest of the team had decided to restrain my arms.


    I sighed softly, my eyes glancing right at Ryou as I tried to make sense of how the two girls had convinced my partner to take part in this annoying prank.


    It had to be a prank, there was no way in hell I would recognize this as an Anime trope, as something that could escalate to some confusing, awkward and weird points that not even I was sure of being able to explain with my accurate knowledge of the matter.


    Nope!


    But just as I distracted myself with my thoughts over the presence of the fellow dude in the medium-sized bed of mine, I was unaware that a certain girl was actually aware and looking at my current reaction.


    Eyes still kept close but a smile slowly growing mid-snoring, Qiu was eagerly waiting for the right moment to spring in action, the distraction becoming a platform to ‘enter in the scene’.


    Yawning cutely and stretching her body a little, just enough to press herself a little more forward and push her face closer to mine, her amber eyes opened to stare deeply into mine, mirthfulness brightly glinting in those orbs.


    She smiled, almost eager to speak up about this entire situation.


    “Good morning~,” The girl softly greeted, humming quietly as she nuzzled more on my chest while ignoring the stunned look on my face.


    I was blushing, rightfully so as the sudden close-up did seem quite intimate, but Qiu seemed to barely care about the intimacy of the situation itself.


    Actually, she looked to be enjoying herself in lying over me.


    The blissful and amused smile as she purred at the collective warmth created by this predicament.


    “D-Don’t we have lessons today?” I pointed out quietly, trying my best to hide my little embarrassment. “We should wake them-”


    “It’s Sunday and it’s a free-day… unless you planned something else, boss~,” She interjected with a smug smirk plastered on her face.


    My attempt failed as I did remember that today was the end of the week and Beacon Academy had nothing scheduled for Sundays.


    So I was stuck in bed, my team having decided to turn this is a good opportunity to pull this cuddle-box and I was entirely unaware of what time was in that precise moment.


    With no means to access to my Scroll, I knew only that it was morning from the few sun-rays entering from the lone big window in the room.


    There was some pleasant quiet and stillness within the room, almost peaceful if I tried to ignore the situation altogether.


    Quite difficult, especially with the twitchy smile now present on the short-haired girl’s face, something that was hiding something more about this cuddle-box.


    Something was missing from my current understanding, something that was important and that added more ‘amusement’ to the overall predicament from Qiu’s perspective.


    It was in that very instant that I caught a twitch coming from a certain bear Faunus, my stare snapping quickly at Tulia as the blonde seemed to tense up in her ‘slumber’.


    I blinked.


    “You are awake too, aren’t you?” I commented in a whisper. “Tulia.”


    The aforementioned girl twitched again, cracking open a green eye right onto my face.


    She was blushing too, but hers was far more adorable and shier than mine.


    To which her partner merely snorted at. “She’s been awake for some time now,” Qiu pointed out shamelessly, drawing a pout from the Faunus. “But you have to admit that you are not regretting joining up for this.”


    The blonde looked ready to reply negatively at that, but then stopped in minor surprise and backed away from the confrontation as her blush seemed to burn a little more at that jab.


    “What is… going on exactly?”


    Like really, I can understand the first time for this to happen as something emotional over my weakened but recovering state…


    But now that things were settled and stable, now that there wasn’t a meaningful reason behind such activity?


    I was quite unsure of what to think with what I knew about the situation.


    “It’s cozy,” Tulia commented nervously, shifting a little close to my side. “A-And it’s also warm- but if it’s uneasy for you we could-”


    “It’s not that,” I jumped in with a careful tone, noticing almost instantly the wavering voice from the blonde. “I don’t mind it but… really, why?”


    “Because we are a team?” Qiu started to guess with a quick-pace. “Or maybe it’s because it’s fun to spend time like this? I mean, this is the safest place in the world, I’ve my teammates around and-”


    “It’s nice,” Ryou finally spoke, three sets of eyes turning at him as he blinked with a tired look on his face. “It’s the comfiest practice ever… if you ignore the awkward of waking up like this.”


    “Yeah, that’s a thing too...” Tulia admitted nervously but nodded. “But still, if this is too much we-”


    “It’s not a problem,” I interrupted again, almost groaning inwardly at how easily I was letting this happen.


    Seriously, this isn’t something I had expected to be part of.


    And while I had my moments with JNPR before joining this team, those were rarities rather than an established frequent circumstance.


    It was awkward without any doubt, but I could also see some merits of the things the others had pointed out until now.


    It was still winter and while Aura did help in keeping up with the cold, some classic means to keep warm like multiple covers and some big pillows did make the difference.


    But now that I was ‘buried’ in that cuddle-box? I could see some legitimate advantages that were undeniably good things to have for those cold nights.


    Plus I had always wondered how it felt to sleep with someone around, having grown an only child and never having any serious relationship that could end up in this kind of closeness.


    “Wait, when did you wake up?” Qiu decided to ignore the little musing I was having over the peculiar case, her attention directed at the older twin.


    With her eyes fixed on his face, Ryou tried and failed to appear unfazed by such attention, yet a little blush seemed to appear at this comment.


    “I-It’s not important.”


    Before his sister could continue with the possible teasing, Tulia decided to speak.


    “So we are all awake now?” The Faunus asked quietly. “Does this mean that we should wake up and… do something else now?”


    I blinked at that query but I was quickly having some issues with the fact that now the entire team was looking at me for answers about this important question.


    Another blink, I sighed quietly and then stared up at the ceiling.


    How do I answer this one without getting mauled by my team?


    I hummed and… nodded.


    “What time is it?”


    It was Qiu that moved quickly at that follow-up, her hand swiftly reaching for my pants’ left pocket and pulling out my Scroll.


    I felt incredibly confused, surprised and worried when she easily unlocked the password-block and went to look at the hour listed on the menu.


    I blinked for a third time, this time my confusion born out from the fact that the Vacuan girl was capable of checking on my phone, surprisingly enough as she knew my password for it.


    “It’s 7 AM,” Qiu replied curtly, turning her stare back to me. “So, what do you think, Boss?”


    I sighed, the pressure resuming with almost twice its early intensity and I knew that there was only a way to deal with this.


    I closed my eyes and nodded. “One more hour,”


    I could already see the happiness at that decision, but I jumped in before letting myself go back for some more rest. “B-But only one hour.”


    There was no verbal response to that, the rest of the team actually snuggling closer with Qiu and Tulia hugging the sections they were closest to.


    Thankfully, Ryou didn’t follow that kind of example, the fellow dude preferring to keep just close.


    I sighed one last time, ready to face some more sleep before starting the slow day.


    Blissfully unaware of a certain giggling girl taking photos of the scene, light-blue eyes mirthfully sniping the various angles of the scene with the little pink-colored camera in her hands.


    Her partner, staring at the overall situation from a safe distance away from the half-open door, couldn’t help but sigh calmly at Nora’s little activity.


    Yep, it’s going to be one of those days...


    ---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----


    AN


    Here is the Omake, something light to prepare for something bigger once the story kick-up.


    I’ve some funnier scene to put out but with the current progress of the plot those would be far too awkward to make sense.


    So I settled for little… for now~.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  18. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Just uploaded Chapter 8's Omake! Something tame for now, nothing too crazy.
     
  19. Threadmarks: It's official (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
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    Chapter 9: It’s official (2)


    ~Ruby’s POV~


    Spying wasn’t something nice, especially if one of the people she was currently eavesdropping was someone she didn’t know how to approach.


    Ruby would never consider herself as the most rule-keeping girl despite her father’s serious commitment to give his daughters the best of moral upbringings, especially with the two influences in her life that were Uncle Qrow and his sister.


    Albeit not as strong and fierce as Yang’s rebellious personality in certain tidbits of her own life, the young Rose wasn’t certainly shy to snoop around because of some curious and important situations that she felt somehow involved about.


    It had been quite the two awkward days since the newly formed Team STRQ had successfully brought to safety two unarmed individuals out of the section they had ended up into.


    While part of her was interest over the various details that led the new team to recover these people, her mind had been quickly shifted to focus on the greatest development from that very case.


    Summer Rose, her mother which had been presumed death for almost eleven years… was alive and here at Beacon.


    She was here, the woman she knew mostly about from some pictures and fragmented memories, maybe even some few tales that were told to her by her sibling, their father and Uncle Qrow-


    It was a predicament that caught off-guard everyone, but the one that seemed to be shocked the most was… Yang.


    The usually fiery brawler had stilled at the news delivered by Ms. Goodwitch, her lilac eyes widening at the words uttered by the older blonde as she alerted both Ruby and her of this new situation.


    It was fairly late for the day when they had received to the hospital ward, the rest of the team having retreated back to the dorm room because of the intimacy of such event and… she was there.


    The friendly bantering shared by the woman, Taiyang, and Qrow ended the moment the two girls entered the large room, their attention quickly grabbed by the newcomers.


    Silver met silver, mother and daughter sparing each other a quiet stare directed at each other that seemed to last an eternity, but ended mere moments later when Yang spoke, seemingly ignoring the little exchange.


    “M-Mom?”


    Summer looked to the oldest of the two siblings, her smile slightly widening and showing just a hint of sadness on her eased expression.


    But why?


    “Yang.”


    The blonde took some steps forward while Ruby stood back as she was quick to pick up the highly-emotional state coming from her sister.


    Yang had always appeared strong before everyone, either in public or in private moments.


    She was always exceeding incredibly with her positive look of life and capacity to help those that needed her presence.


    Her bravery, her determination… it all seemed to flicker away for just a moment, a tired young woman replacing her as she slowly approached their mother.


    The older Rose’s eyes were already watering at seeing both of her children, and she seemed fairly accepting of the sudden half-hug initiated by the brawler.


    A muffled sob managed to escape the limitations imposed by the embrace, the blonde burying her head on the woman’s shoulder while her arms mindfully wrapped around her neck.


    Summer’s arms were now around the girl’s waist, and one of her hands was patting on her upper back as to comfort the distraught daughter.


    Taiyang smiled as he looked at the scene, happy to see this reunion proceed this smoothly.


    Qrow gestured Ruby to get a little more closer, at least enough for her to not be completely excluded from this.


    But what was this?


    She had heard stories about her mother, tales of heroic deeds and old team-led fights where… the leader of team STRQ was so awe-inspiring and admirable, so courageous and undefeated.


    She knew it was all true and that this individual before her, currently busy with tending Yang’s unexpected attitude, was even more than that.


    But the young girl was also hesitant to proceed and try to get a hug, to ‘meet’ once more her mother after so many years as… she was confused about her lack of general emotion.


    It was odd, yet she had trouble mustering the same reaction as Yang’s. That was certainly bothering Ruby the most considering that she was the biological daughter.


    Nothing against her sister, quite the opposite truth be told, but that lack of interest of pursuing a sudden embrace left her not only perplexed-


    But also hesitant over what to do now that she was here.


    Moments of uncertainty passed and the embrace between mother and daughter concluded with a pleasant closure as Summer spoke.


    “My little Sunny Dragon, you shouldn’t be crying now, right?”


    The question was enough to bring a twitchy smile on the blonde’s face, enough to give some reprieve from that bittersweet scene.


    And now that the oldest of the two had her time with their mother, Ruby felt tensing in visible nervousness as she took two simple steps forward.


    “Ruby,” Summer muttered with a mirthful tone, it was soft and… familiar yet so distant and difficult to connect to.


    “M-Mom.” The red-caped girl leaned forward and slowly accepted the waiting arms of her long-lost parent.


    “My little petal,” She whispered lovingly, her hand reached the back of her short hair and started to stroke some of the locks there.


    The affectionate nickname and the caring ministrations were more than enough to bring up a strange resonance to this behavior, her actions triggering something within the girl’s mind.


    Figures gaining color and distinct forms within her memories, her childhood regaining something that was once lost and forgotten.


    She could remember and… it was good.


    The tales about the cookie-making that both Yang and her father had told her about? Now those were emerging so suddenly and so strongly within her head and…


    Ruby nuzzled closer, her posture slowly ceding some of its tense guard as the warm hold was finally melting her reluctance away.


    A tear dropped down, then another and… soon some silent crying happened.


    Gone were the worries and the insecurity, both from now and from previous instances, Ruby finally let the simplicity overrule the complexity of her newest responsibilities as, for just that very moment, she felt once again like a little child.


    But not the kind of little that she was so unwilling to look back, the clumsy and friendless one that failed to keep up with important responsibilities, but the one that had one of the greatest childhood with her parents, with a loving sister and a funny uncle.


    One without issues, one without dangers and… then reality resumed its course as the woman let go of her in quite the careful but soft way as her arms shifted slowly away from her proximity.


    “You have grown up a lot since… I’ve last seen you,” The woman commented with a kind smile. “And Qrow told me that you’ve a proper scythe as a weapon?”


    At the mentioning of Crescent Rose, Ruby’s smile returned with a wider turn as she nodded happily, almost ready to take out the weapon but… it wasn’t here.


    It took her a few seconds of silent panic to remember that the hospital ward didn’t accept any sort of weapon within its area and this little scene was more than enough to warrant a mirthful chuckle from Summer.


    “A-And you were quite right too about her quirks, Tai,” She sighed with an eased nod directed at the blond. “To think that she would inherit my little clumsy self.”


    ...Her mother was clumsy?


    None of the three had mentioned her this, the discovery being quite surprising and… interesting as it lifted her curiosity over the matter.


    Soon, a little conversation was born from such a little detail.


    An entirely new world from the Team STRQ’s past was dug up for her to listen to, spanning from the new grandiose tales of good to some awkward and quite relatable issues the long-disbanded group had to face early on their formation.


    It was all positive and nice, time flying almost too quickly as the time for visiting expired for the day and they were all asked to leave by the quite strange Fox Faunus nurse stationed there.


    Her foxy tail started to waggle even faster as she mentioned needles.


    How odd.


    But just as she lead the way towards the exit, Ruby slowed down as something caught her eyes and she was forced to slow down a little.


    She had been aware that the rest of the new Team STRQ was still recovering in the infirmary but with being busy with this important family subject, she had forgotten to check and see how they were.


    While most of the individuals were unknowns to her, the only one that got her thinking for some time was currently resting on his bed, eyes closed and his breathing softly let out with a quiet snoring.


    The girl was tempted to approach the bed, to sneak a better peek at the young man.


    Shaun Reyter, the boy had left her team with so little notice.


    At first she had thought that Weiss had been correct.


    Her partner had brought up some interesting bits she had failed to notice back during their first graduation test.


    Sure, Shaun did bring up some decisive help against the Nevermore, his presence helping the plan to properly take place and he had been incredibly nice when she had fallen off the mean bird, being the one that caught her during the fall.


    But with so few means to bring firepower, his abysmal experience as a result of not coming from one of the preparation schools and… he was a guy sleeping in the same room as four girls, some doubts were genuinely easy to understand about his behavior.


    Yet while such analysis from the Schnee did make sense back when the young man had been called by Ms. Goodwitch to her office, the aftermath had been… quite confusing if not incredibly perplexing.


    It was professor Port that had been notifying the students over the presence of an ongoing mission that got some of the teachers taken off from duty for the rest of the day, in case the operation would have required more reinforcements.


    It had been surprising when her team had then discovered that it was the newly-created group led by Shaun that was dealing with such a worrying scenario and… her concerns faded the moment they returned back to school.


    Not only were they fine, but they had gone and killed a high-level Grimm while also saving both Doctor Merlot and Summer.


    The scientist had been taken to Vale’s Main Hospital, the state of his body warranting some checkups, especially with the years spent imprisoned and the ruined state of his prosthesis.


    The glance ended to be a passing one, her mind quick to reassure her that the next days would have surely given her the chance to spend a chat or two with the resting boy.


    A day passed, Ruby had planned to visit once again the hospital ward to see if that would have given her that one opportunity to catch up with the former member of her team. Maybe even see if her mom would have told her a little more about… Uncle Qrow’s misadventures with skirts.


    Yet, just as she giddily lead her own team right to the first lesson for the day, her initial plans were proven to have been unknowingly foiled the moment she entered the class and… noticed Team STRQ had been there and had taken their seats by the several desks available in Port’s classroom.


    They looked fine, just a little tired and bored by the ‘preparation speech’ the portly professor was known to give at the beginning of his lectures.


    While she quietly got the team to their usual spots, Ruby’s eyes would constantly linger at Shaun as he continued to give his maximum effort to keep track of the unimportant words and details given by the old teacher’s tale-telling.


    An interesting feat considering how dull the tone of the lesson was... and she would be lying in saying that her staring at the young man proved to drain her immensely.


    By giving attention to the boy, she was also listening to the horribly-paced lesson by proxy and… her brain felt aching at the torture she had to endure for the sake of a simple talk.


    So when the lesson ended and everyone was preparing to leave for the next subject, Ruby’s mind quickly had her try to approach the young man.


    That failed miserably for two distinct reasons.


    First, Team JNPR had moved faster than she could have hoped for, stalling her means to reach out for Shaun and… then she was subjected to some yanking from a certain grumbling white-haired heiress.


    Weiss’ impatience was legitimized by the fact they had already ‘enjoyed’ some detention the day before and that it was best to ‘not antagonize any of the teachers for any reason’ which prompted quite the rush to reach the next classroom.


    It was during this peculiar lecture that things took an interesting turn compared to their first day as… Oobleck’s lesson was turned into something far more interesting, and not as difficult to keep some attention onto.


    While not as boring as Port, the coffee-addicted teacher that was Bartholomew Oobleck had a certain ‘insanely quick-’paced speaking volume that made him a challenge to listen to.


    And that was quite the saddening thought consider how some of his words do bring out some interest in at least trying to entice his classroom to listen.


    This lesson became much more easier to keep up as it was hijacked by someone younger and less speedy with his own speech pattern.


    Shaun’s consideration to details over the specific historical context, aided by the constant questioning given by the professor- doctor, was more than enough to give a fresh new spin to the usual lesson.


    Thoughts were added to genuine facts and the sharp but sudden attack directed at Cardin’s blatant racism turned those two hours into quite the entertaining show about something that was meant to be… inherently boring.


    A testament to this shocking development was the attention Blake had given to the lecture, something that warranted even more interest considering the abysmal interest the dark-haired girl had shown over any of the subjects here at Beacon.


    The bow-wearing young woman would merely read her unique books, barely glancing up from those during lectures as she deemed them ‘not-so-important’ to give these any ‘major focus’.


    Something that had initially got Weiss quite irritated over the matter, the heiress demanding to check on the bookworm’s homework and…


    It was all correct. No mistakes, not a single issue that could have been used to rightfully condemn the ‘obsessive hobby’ the girl had, putting an end to the Schnee’s contact with the silent brunette.


    Yang was the one that initially brought up this situation, cheekily remarking how her partner’s attention hadn’t been just fixed upon the lesson, but onto Shaun himself.


    Something that, strangely enough, annoyed a confused Ruby but that was soon defused when the young woman openly admitted that the topics brought up had gained her interest, nothing else.


    Which was suspicious enough to get the blonde to pester her some more before conceding to silence and letting the lecture continue uneventfully until its final point.


    With the end of the lesson, so did the subtle attempts to try and strike any polite conversation with Shaun and…


    That called for some drastic actions that were partly-difficult to pull off.


    The first step of her ‘brilliant’ plan was to dodge the next lesson for just a couple of minutes, which was taught by Ms. Goodwitch.


    The means to attain this completion proved to be actually fairly simple to achieve.


    “I-I need to go to the bathroom!?”


    Weiss had blinked sternly but only said that she would have ‘three minutes to deal with whatever’ she had and thus the excuse was set to give her some opportunity.


    Following Team STRQ around as they made their way back to their newest room proved to be a little more difficult as, from what she could remember from Oobleck’s lessons, Faunus were capable of hearing little noises from far away and one of Shaun’s teammates was a Bear Faunus.


    The soft-spoken blonde seemingly failing to notice Ruby’s swift but soft step, enough to provide to the young girl the change to finally reach the dorms’ corridor.


    She stopped by the corner, the scene of her father, uncle Qrow and mother entertaining some discussion with the team before following them inside their dorm-room.


    The young Rose swiftly moved by the door, left ear carefully close to the wood-like texture as she tried her best to listen up to what was going on inside.


    Confusing words left through the small openings of the door, but nothing truly interesting seemed to come up much to her increasing chagrin.


    After five minutes or so of eavesdropping, something did pass through the annoying sound-proof door and… she almost tripped on herself as those words left the room clearly and distinctly.


    I want you to quit, Summer Rose!


    A yelp failed to leave her lips as she knocked her head by the door, producing a clear noise and… prompting her to bolt away from the proximity, her face burning red at the sudden and embarrassing reaction to that strong exclamation.


    Her Semblance saw her blitzing through the school’s hallways, her mind pinpointing the best path to reach Ms. Goodwitch’s classroom and-


    What was going on inside that dorm-room? And why Shaun said those things to her mom?


    -------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------------


    ~Shaun’s POV~


    Our dorm-room was just as I thought it to be.


    The beds were disposed on a linear positioning, the room looked devoid of anything but the same wallpaper present in other rooms. Our stuff had been ‘carefully’ left by the far corner on the right, nearby the lone large windows that gave to the inner courtyard of the campus.


    Still, while the work at hand looked to be as difficult as the ‘first time’, my mind was more interested on a completely different matter, something that was barely connected to the room itself but about it’s occupants.


    I had expected many things to happen from this private encounter with Summer Rose, Taiyang Xiao Long and Qrow Branwen, just not the developments and revelations born from that ‘simple conversation’.


    Some of my ideas over the soon-to-happen discussion being incredibly good, a few bad and… some seeing some neutral conversations.


    The woman looked much better compared to her bed-stuck version, her skin having regained some color and her actions-reactions being immediate compared to the slower pace it had back by the hospital ward.


    “This looks decent,” Qrow commented with his rough voice before taking a sip from his little silver flasket, gaining quite the confused look from Qiu.


    “Isn’t it a bit early to be drinking?”


    Considering it was around lunch-time, it wasn’t truly that early but… yeah, he was drinking a little too much.


    The man merely shrugged at the question.


    “Never too early to get some energy back from babysitting people,” He replied calmly, getting a snort from Summer.


    “I don’t recall being too much of a burden, birdy?” The woman huffed, giving him a faux glare and ‘urging’ the man to concede.


    “Okay, I wasn’t referring about you, Sum” He said, giving a long sigh as he glanced around the room. “Just not having much fun dealing with this ‘apprentice’ gig.”


    An apprentice? Now this was a novelty, especially if I considered that Qrow was supposedly meant to be dealing with some dangerous scouting mission against some enemy to Ozpin and his group in this current time, his presence here only temporary before having to return back to his job.


    Since when did he have an apprentice? Ruby never ever mentioned about this once, not in the series nor now that this was all real.


    And why would someone like him take some guy as an apprentice?


    More details that I discovered on the very moment that had to be either related to the volumes I hadn’t seen or a completely new element within this changing world, which would mean that… not everything I know was really 100% going to happen.


    “It’s surprising you took someone under your wing,” Taiyang cracked a smirk for some reason. “Wouldn’t have expected you to teach anyone beside your own classroom… and Ruby, that is.”


    The Branwen nodded in agreement, seemingly surprised of this development himself.


    “Neither did I, and yet I found myself dealing with quite the polite brat to teach to,” He answered with a serious tone. “His potential is here and he understands the basics too.”


    “You could have taken him to Signal,” Summer joined in with a curious expression directed at the former red-eyed teammate. “What got you to take him of all people if it’s a burden for you?”


    “Boredom?” Qrow suggested with a brief hum. “But I don’t know exactly, I guess he got me interested when he literally begged me to take him to some adventure.”


    “A young farmhand is meant to have for himself some ‘flashy tales about heroes’, in real life,” The Xiao Long mentioned with a tired tone. “But to have him join you with how many horrible places you have to visit. Are you sure you did the right thing?”


    There was some silence after the lengthy question from Taiyang, yet the discussion rekindled when Summer turned her attention back to the four of us.


    “I think we digressed a little,” She nodded to herself as she smiled again at the young team. “Let us talk with this Team STRQ now.”


    “How are you all doing?” The blond asked with a fatherly tone.


    “Mostly well,” Ryou replied calmly.


    “I-I’m fine,” Tulia followed with a slow nod, looking a little awed at Taiyang for some reason.


    “Could be better,” The short-haired brunette now leaning on my shoulder mused mirthfully. “Maybe if I was granted a month- no, two months of rest that I can spend to a millionaire villa with olympic swimming pool with all services and… my team always with me.”


    Qrow snorted at that. “Ain’t that the dream?” He asked half-jokingly. “Still, that some good-thinking for a midget.”


    “Should I consider it a compliment, Mister Birdy?” Qiu shot back without hesitation, her smile only widening from there.


    The Branwen shook his head, a small smile hidden as he took another long sip from his flasket.


    “And what about you, Shaun?” The Rose intervened quietly, her smile twitching amused after seeing this little scene with the two.


    “Mostly fine, I think by tomorrow I will be fully operational,” I answered calmly and with my own smile. “May I ask about-”


    “She will have to keep the wheels for two weeks as her body needs some time to adapt to her surroundings after the imprisonment she suffered,” Qrow interjected bluntly. “She will get walking in no time with some exercise here and there.”


    “And then maybe, I will resume with my work,” The mother concluded with a relieved sigh, getting some tensed looks from both men and… a confused look out of me.


    While I could understand some enthusiasm from returning to walk as she had been an active-duty huntress for so long, I couldn’t just understand why returning back on real missions.


    Didn’t she… learn to back away now that things were growing more dangerous for herself and her family?


    Before anyone could have said anything about this subject, the woman continued.


    “Still, I think it’s rightful for me to thank you all for bringing Doctor Merlot and me out of Mt. Glenn,” Summer bowed her head a little while nodding at us. “Your actions were proof of heroism, righteousness and… I think it would be correct in saying your leader’s capacity to think was brave.”


    “And dumb,” Ryou sighed, while shaking his head at the memory brought up.


    “A-And foolish,” Tulia glanced at me with a cute pout.


    “Add stupid and dumb-dumb,” Qiu finished by squeezing strongly at my poor arm, her glare burning momentarily at me for that very situation.


    Oh right, did I forget to mention that they are still irritated by my choice to take on the Wyvern alone?


    No? Well, what I can say is that it will take some time, hopefully just some days, to get this ‘bad memory’ to go away.


    “It would seem like your team isn’t happy about that, aren’t they?” The Rose giggled after asking this, noticing the agreeing groan coming from my lips. “It was still something that exceeded your own duties. You jumped to make sure they were all safe and sound before trying to retreat.”


    I slowly nodded at that, still unsure as to why she was taking so long with saying this.


    I could understand the need of thanking us but… why I felt like the woman was dragging the discussion for some reason?


    “By the way, can I ask about your mentor? How is he doing?”


    ...What?


    “You are talking about Gelb-”


    “Yes, how is he doing?”


    I blinked at the insistence, confused by the interruption but I still complied with her queries.


    “He is doing well. He is still leading the Milita and he looked well last time I saw him, a few weeks ago.”


    Summer smiled happily at the news and nodded. “Has he ever told you about his apprentices?”


    “He mentioned some during training but… not many,” I replied, my pace was slower than before, my mind trying to understand where she was exactly going with this kind of inquiry.


    Seriously, why was she going for this long detour?


    “Did he ever mention the student that defeated him in two strikes?”


    I blinked at that very specific question, frowning as the story had been indeed one of the ones that the man had told me during the training under him.


    The story itself was vague, only that the now-old leader had been reluctant to take the challenge of this boisterous challenger, the girl in question having lost multiple times every week, never giving up from trying and trying again.


    Then the final clash happened after a year after teaching her and it saw saw Gelb facing a swift defeat.


    The full potential of Silver Darkness having been masterfully unleashed by this powerful apprentice and the battle ending the first steps of a glorious journey for this individual…


    But the greatest twist was the identity of such student, someone that the militaman knew well and closely as… it was his daughter.


    Just as I thought about this very detail and the strange insistence proclaimed by the woman, I felt a strange theory rising up from my brain and…


    No. There was no way in Remnant that- It just couldn’t be.


    One thing is chaos, then there is father, finally there is destiny… and ultimately luck trumps it all.


    My eyes widened in shock as her face twitched in amusement at the receiving the realization and she gave a bigger smile.


    “Maybe I should introduce myself better,” The Rose commented with a playful tone, catching off-guard the young team and even her former teammates. “My name is Summer Rose, I’m the former leader of Team STRQ and I’m the daughter of Gelb Rostfrei.


    I blinked at that and I slowly spoke back. “I-I’m Shaun Reyter and Gelb Rostfrei is my grandfather.”


    She giggled. “Hello nephew.”





    “Wait, what!?” Qiu commented suddenly, pulling at my arm as if to extort some explanation over the matter… which I actually didn’t have.


    “Summer, I thought you said you didn’t have any siblings-”


    “And I don’t, Tai,” The Rose interjected curtly. “In fact I was surprised myself when Ozpin mentioned that Shaun had been adopted by my father.”


    “That sound incredibly absurd,” Qrow commented with a sigh. “But I’ve seen crazier stuff. I guess this is a ‘happy family reunion’.”


    “This is a little beyond absurd,” Ryou jumped in with an intrigued tone. “The chances of what just happened should have been slim if not non-existing-”


    “Yet it happened,” Taiyang said with a curious tone. “Something that was quite surprising as interesting, but still I’m glad to make your acquaintance… nephew.”


    I blinked at that followup, glancing at the now-smiling blond with a surprised look before nodding at him. “Uncle Tai.”


    His smile widened and, just as I glanced beside him, specifically to a certain Branwen, the man huffed.


    “Nope,” Qrow shook his head. “I’ve already enough with my nieces and-”


    “Uncle Birdy~!” Qiu jumped at the opportunity, giggling by the very moment a noticeable scowl appeared on the dark-haired man’s face.


    “Not funny.”


    “I think that’s hilarious,” Summer said before chuckling briefly at his reaction, then the woman glanced at the short-haired girl. “Your name is Qiu, right?”


    The youngest of the two twins nodded. “That is my name, ma’am.”


    “Call me Summer and...” The Rose glanced at our close predicament, the way the girl was currently latching at my tired arm. “I see that you are fairly attached to your team leader.”


    “Tightly so,” Qiu added with a quick nod. “Wouldn’t want to see him wander around and hurt himself.”


    “You say this as if I’m a clumsy child-”


    “Which you are compared to us,” Taiyang intervened with a sigh. “You shouldn’t consider fighting ‘those kind of battles’ now that she is so close to your weak-points.”


    Was he trying to make it sound like Qiu was going to stab me if I said the wrong thing? I mean, I could see her doing this but- actually there is no but, she would really do that.


    That was an interesting save, I merely nodded back at him and didn’t continue that little protest, another giggle dignifying defeat in that awkward predicament.


    Instead, I decided to shift the discussion back to something else.


    Something that got me incredibly confused and… suspicious over Summer’s behavior before this little detour.


    “Summer-”


    “Auntie.”


    I frowned at that interruption, but I was quick to catch her message and sighed.


    Auntie, can I ask what do you intend to do once you have recovered?” I asked with a sterner tone, trying my best to hold back the fact I was related, albeit by adoption, to Summer Rose.


    The woman blinked and her smile deflated a little, possibly catching on why I decided to bring up this argument of all things I could have mentioned.


    “Just as I said a few minutes ago, I plan to return to active-duty,” The Rose answered with a calm and collected tone, her silver-eyed stare directed at me as if trying to gauge a solid reaction out of me. “Any particular reason behind this interest?”


    I hummed at her defensive tone, my mind already trying to have me deterred from continuing down this path but…


    I couldn’t just let this dumb stuff unfold without saying something over the matter. I just couldn’t.


    “Considering the importance your ‘death’ has for some people, I think it would be best to take at least some less-active role-”


    “And stop with the missions?” She interrupted with some cutting edge by the end of her words. “Let people either suffer or die because of some little issue-”


    “Ozpin asked you to-” Qrow tried to speak, but was interrupted by his former leader.


    “I will not back down to become a mere teacher,” The woman said with a serious tone. “I’ve nothing against your wishes to teach at Signal, but I can’t just back away from my duty as-”


    “You know that you are talking to me, right?” I interjected with a more serious tone. “I’m the one asking you to not do this.”


    “And to what end? Why would I need to retire?”


    “Other than having someone constantly hunting you?” I suggested with an increasing voice, we were reaching quite the interesting escalation from that little turn of things. “Other than the fact that your daughters wouldn’t want to see you disappear again.”


    There was some silence, I could feel the temperature suddenly drop to a chilling cold as the wheel-chaired woman narrowed her eyes at the last bit of my intervention.


    “Do you think I didn’t consider about them, that I don’t think about my family?” She asked and I sighed.


    “I know you care for them immensely, you love them and I will not say otherwise,” I replied quickly, trying to not bring even more heat to the situation. “But you can’t just hope to continue your work and expect no deadly threats more than what a normal hunter should be facing.”


    “And I should be leaving people in need?”


    “Because of circumstances? Yes,” I shoot back, starting to get fairly irritated by this rehearsing.


    “You would let people die… because you have a family?”


    “Since I lack the arrogance to compare myself to an unreplaceable huntsman and since I believe there isn’t just a few of us, no. I would let them be saved by someone that has a better chance to help them than me when the time for me to retire finally comes.” Qiu’s hold was increasing over my arm, but instead of giving me discomfort, I could feel her trying to calm me down a little.


    As much as I was trying to bring some sense in this debate, I was already losing some of my patience over the situation as Summer continued to paint me in such a negative light to even try to bring her to those thoughts.


    “And what would you want me to do?” Some pressure started to channel and tighten up the entire room from the words of the woman. “To just give up and be selfish about-”


    I want you to quit, Summer Rose!” I finally exploded with fury, everyone tensing up at my outburst. “You are trying your damn best to try to get yourself killed, that is what I’m seeing. The only thing I can say is that this is not what a hero would do, not this vehemently and not this fanatically.”


    She looked surprised by my ire, yet she tried to push back. “T-There is nothing wrong in trying to protect those that can’t-”


    “Once again, you ignore the fact that the world has plenty of hunters that can do this job even better with their peculiar set of abilities,” I interjected fiercely. “You are not an army, don’t compare yourself to one.”


    There was once again silence but, differently than before, the escalation had died down as Summer’s front had collapsed before my unwavering and stubborn voice.


    I took a few breaths, calmly trying to relax over the matter and not let any negative emotion to influence my next words or action.


    I expected more silence, I expected a refusal but-


    “I will retire-”


    I stared up again looking at the melancholic glint on her silver eyes, yet she didn’t look too much defeated by this heated exchange.


    “But I want you to come closer just for a moment.”


    I blinked at that request, feeling suspicious over some nasty comeback that I might not like.


    Yet, considering the situation and how badly it could go if I didn’t go through with her order, I decided to stood up from the bed I’ve been sitting by and approach the wheel-chaired Rose.


    I leaned forward as a little smile appeared on her face and… the world exploded in white petals.


    My body tensed up in panic at the sudden development. However, before I could anything about the impressive display of her Semblance, I felt her wrap something around my neck and… a white hood fell on my face.


    “Uh?”


    My hands pushed up the hood and I quickly understood what had just happened as… I felt the familiar cape, the very one I had taken to distract the Wyvern away from the group.


    It was Summer’s original hood and cape, the one that Ruby based her red version and-


    “W-What?”


    A giggle left her lips as she leaned back to the chair.


    “I admit that I did use my ‘stubborn’ act to trick you to accept this,” The woman confessed with a mirthful tone. “Thankfully, I had the help of two good actors.”


    I glanced at Taiyang and Qrow, both men looking partly guilty as they nodded at the silent guess of mine.


    “B-but why?”


    “When I wake up here in Beacon, the first thing I did with a clear mind was considering how much I had lost because of my duties as a huntress, how much I missed my life as a wife and mother,” Summer explained calmly and with a hint of sadness. “I was so happy to see both Ruby and Yang… but then I remembered that I’ve been missing from their lives for a decade, ten years, and so I decided to consider quitting the Huntsmen Corps.”


    “Taking into account her current case, it wouldn’t be difficult to get this official retirement going,” Qrow added with a nod. “It would take some months for the formal acceptance of this predicament, but thanks to Tsune, Summer has a year-long leave for what has happened in her last mission. It’s the least of compensations for that.”


    “Of course I will seek some new jobs,” The Rose continued with a determined smirk. “I was thinking about something here in Vale. I’ve heard that many establishments have closed recently and… I’m a good chef so-”


    “A restaurant would be nice~!” Qiu replied in delight, squeezing again at my arm. “We could eventually come to visit if you manage to do that.”


    “And we could offer some hands by the weekends if needed,” Ryou added with a blink, while Tulia smiled and nodded.


    “I-I could help-” The blonde commented shyly. “I-I’ve learned how to cook six years ago and… I was the one that cooked food for orphans back at Menagerie-”


    “I will consider those offers… but I think first I should see if it’s possible to create a restaurant to begin with,” The Rose giggled at the enthusiasm displayed by my team. “But I will genuinely consider it all once I know if it’s possible.”


    “But what about the cape? Wouldn’t Ruby and Yang-”


    “They will be informed of this decision,” Summer interjected swiftly. “I understand the worry, but I know that these two will accept this situation… despite what you might think of them after you left their team.”


    I tensed up at that mention as I had initially thought that the mother had been blissfully unaware of the circumstance behind the creation of this new team.


    Yet she didn’t look anywhere annoyed or angry about it, actually she seemed saddened by it.


    “It’s a pity that Yang and Rubes didn’t vouch for you, but I will wait for a few days before actually chide them properly for this,” She promised with a nod. “I need some time to get accustomed to Remnant and they need to get accustomed to me. I prefer to spend some time with them before saying anything about this to-”


    “Avoid any unnecessary fallout, I understand.”


    She giggled. “That’s good to know.”


    Soon, the trio was escorted outside and, with quite the heavy discussion left behind, we started to organize our room.


    Hopefully, this time we will manage to create some bunkbeds without some chaotic ‘order’ behind its structure.


    ------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------


    AN


    Summer is a mischievous lady that will trick everyone for the sake of good. Yes, I did make her ‘appear’ as if she was stubbornly attached to her job as a huntress, but I am perfectly aware that her truest desire would have been retirement if she had managed to survive that mission.


    And yeah, 6,5k words and… there are mistakes. I can feel it! And the reason behind the grammar mistakes is that I’ve wasted 6 hours writing this and I might have messed some of the words.


    Any mentioning of the mistakes could be useful to fix those when I wake up… in 10-12 hours from now.


    I need my slep!


    P.S. Omakes? Next chapter, it will be about Summer, Taiyang, Qrow and… someone else. Be ready for some hilarious problems with Classic Stark Insanity.


    EDIT: Endless Kudos for ‘Guest2 Chptr. 14’ (You could change the name to something a little more easy to remember, just mention it in some of the next reviews) for giving me a thorough list of grammar mistakes that I fixed for this chapter!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  20. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    FTFY

    He would legally be her brother then, not nephew.

    Not sure of this, considering Ruby characterization (and some subtle hints that she is her mother's daughter). Curious if it is going to be explained as a side effect of the Silver Eyes (aka a psychological need to fight the Grimm).
     
  21. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    He was adopted as his grandson. So Summer is his Aunt.

    I think it was mentioned some years ago (with the song 'Red Like Roses') that Summer wouldn't have wanted the kind of life she died for her daughter. So while Summer was indeed as stubborn as Ruby is, I think this kind of ordeal would have been more than enough to push her to retire.
     
  22. Anthak

    Anthak Getting out there.

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    I wonder how Weiss reacted to the news that their former teammate got made team leader and had a successful mission
     
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  23. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    I would need to look into adoption laws, but as I said, LEGALLY speaking, pretty sure he would be his adoptive father. If he was the MC's primary caregiver, and not the father of one of the MCs parents, then I belive that is how it would go, unless the man's child was the adopted parent and effectively had to cosign, as proof they would ensure MC grew up well (not sure such a thing would be legal IRL, but death world, so I could see it being more lax, and something like cosigning a loan). Once the kid was adopted, what the adopter has said child call them is not a legal issue. Which now that I think about it, would make auntee fine to use...MC would just be able to legally pull the uncle card on Yang/Ruby :p

    Would that mean Summer would quit, or push Ruby (and possibly Yang) to quit, or both?
     
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  24. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Okay, now mistakes for last chapter should have been fixed. Once again Kudos for the kind guest in FF that did the exemplary list of mistakes that needed some fixing.
     
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