Chapter Three: Melodic Cudgel
As the years passed Roman grew into a sarcastic young teenager and finally at the age of fifteen he, his parents, and his brother went to a local shop to find Roman his weapon for Beacon. They each looked around the store at the different weapons kept in glass cases. Mr. Ozpin walked beside Roman the whole time, pointing out the larger and bulkier weapons.
“Ooh,” Henry Ozpin gasped, pointing out a weapon, “Son, how about that giant scythe?”
Roman thought to himself, “A scythe? Really? That is the most ridiculous and useless weapon I’ve ever seen.” He also raised his right eyebrow skeptically, but because of his hair it was not seen by Mr. Ozpin.
“Actually that weapon isn’t for sale, sir,” said the boy behind the counter. “It’s mine. I must have accidently left it over there while I was cleaning the shop this morning.” The boy came over to retrieve his weapon from Henry Ozpin. His hair was jet black and shoulder length. He was incredibly muscular, which explained why he could lift the scythe with ease, his voice was incredibly deep when he spoke. All of these traits made Roman glad that he hadn’t expressed his views about the weapon aloud.
“Are you planning on attending Beacon?” Mr. Ozpin asked.
“Yes sir, I start in about two years.” He replied in his deep tone. Roman almost groaned out loud.
“Well, isn’t that something; my boys are starting there the same year.” Mr. Ozpin said, putting an arm around Roman and Ambrose. “In fact, today we’re picking out a weapon for this one here.” He patted Roman on his hat, making him wince a little.
“Seems kind of small to be a huntsman.” The boy said. Roman narrowed his eyes.
Emily stepped in before things got heated, “Though sometimes it is the smaller things that might surprise you the most.”
The boy bowed his head respectfully. Emily looked at his nametag, and then spoke again, “I think that Roman should start out with a lighter weapon, something with some firepower in it perhaps for added strength. What do you recommend, Qrow?”
The boy beckoned the family to follow him and they all walked to a corner case on the far side of the store. Inside of the case was a gentleman’s walking cane; it was silver with red detailing.
“This,” Qrow said as he took the cane carefully out of the case, “is Melodic Cudgel.” He handed the cane to Roman and he examined it.
“Is it supposed to glow or something?” Roman said sarcastically.
Qrow took a deep breath and lightly clenched his fist, “The cane holds a hidden gun at the end. It is loaded with dust powder only. The curved base serves as a grappling hook should you ever need it.”
Shyly, Ambrose took the cane from Roman and examined it himself as though he were a weapons expert. “The barrel is particularly long in order to hold more ammunition and have a longer target range,” he ran his hand over the metallic surface. “Even the metal used to craft it was infused with dust, partially for a harder close range hit and partially for better aim long range.” Ambrose handed the cane back to Roman.
Qrow raised both eyebrows in surprise, “You certainly know a lot about weapon design.”
“His mother taught him well.” Emily said, putting a hand on Ambrose’s shoulder and bringing the conversation to a close before any unpleasant exchanges could be made between the impatient and slightly humiliated Roman and somewhat irritated Qrow. “Shall we head to the register then?”
Through the next two years Henry Ozpin trained Roman to skillfully wield his cane. Mr. Ozpin often tried to sway Roman into trading in the slight weapon for something heftier, but the quick witted teen refused. He constantly had to suppress his silent frustration with his adopted father as he felt that he was incredibly dull minded and failed to see how he ran a school. Roman’s favorite hour of studies though, was the time he spent with his brother and mother. She taught them history of the Faunus, the fine art of dust, and many fascinating tales of her past life as a huntress. Even at times when Roman struggled she would be there to guide him and help him whenever he fell short. Soon Roman and Ambrose’s seventeenth year arrived and that autumn they were to attend Beacon Academy. One night, Emily and Henry found themselves bidding their sons goodnight for the last time as the night before their departure quickly came. Smiles decorated their proud faces as they watched their children return to their rooms for the night from the study. As soon as the bedroom doors slammed though, their smiles faded away and the room grew tense.
“Em,” Henry began.
“I know.” She said; her back turned to him. She gently pulled the heavy oak doors and clicked the lock.
“That boy has gradually stolen all of our precious goods and it’s just getting worse the older he gets.” Mr. Ozpin exclaimed.
Emily sighed, “It’s not his fault. It’s his semblance and the only thing he knows how to do well.”
“What about being a huntsman?” Henry boomed. “He would be a great fighter if only he would choose a larger weapon!”
“You can’t push him like this,” Emily swayed. “He is gentle at heart and still just a child, Henry, if he is treated like a grown man-
“He is seventeen years old, Emily, if he doesn’t break these habits soon I’ll-
Emily put her small tender hand on his raging red face; this calmed the irate man down immediately. “Just give him a chance, maybe Beacon is exactly what he needs. It will give him a reason to do good.”
Mr. Ozpin sighed, “I hope you’re right, Em.”
Ambrose slowly blinked his eyes as the early morning sun peeked through the green satin curtains. He reached over the side of his bed and retrieved his glasses from the nightstand. He then realized that this was no ordinary morning, this was the morning that he and his brother would attend Beacon. He quickly got dressed in his best green turtleneck and black jacket then rushed across the hall to Roman’s bedroom. He politely knocked and waited for his brother’s tired groan to come in. He entered the room to find Roman still in bed, his orange hair sticking up in every direction and his Faunus ears drooping onto his shoulders.
“Roman, we have to leave in an hour!” Ambrose said.
At this, Roman jumped out of bed, put on his bowler, and started rummaging through his wardrobe of very nice attire for something to wear. Ambrose still didn’t understand why Roman always wore a hat over his ears. He remembered how he had once asked his mother this question and she simply replied “because he likes it.” He always felt that there must be some deeper, hidden meaning as to why Roman hid his ears and because as sheltered as Ambrose was he never understood the human and Faunus divide. Roman finally picked a fine white blazer that Ambrose could have sworn came from his closet, but before he had time to inquire about it he heard his father calling for them. A black van with the Beacon Academy symbol had pulled up in front of the Ozpin home and Henry was talking with the driver. Emily stood at the doorway and watched. The two boys came rushing down the grand staircase and Emily stopped them before they left. “I wanted to give you two something before you go.” Emily said softly with a sentimental smile on her face. Both hands were behind her back, each carrying something. She turned to Ambrose. “Ambrose, my eldest, you have a strong and kind soul and your wisdom will carry you to great heights, but you must never forget the people who love you most even when you are burdened with formidable responsibility.” She held out her right hand and in it was a pendant made of dust crystals. It was composed of four arrows which formed the shape of a cross. “Keep this with you and always remind yourself of what I have said.”
“Thank you mother,” Ambrose said as he carefully took the pendant and pinned it to his jacket lapel.
She then turned to Roman, “Roman, although you are not my biological son you have given me such joy over the past years with your wit and intelligence, but be warned you will face temptation in your life and must be strong against it but your bond with others will keep you strong and remember to find love wherever you go.” She held out her left hand which held a small glass red rose. Emily placed it in Roman’s hands and held them tightly. “Roman, you must try to be the best person you can be and as long as this rose stays in one piece I know you will be.” Emily pulled him close into her warm embrace ad she whispered in his ear, “I promise you that I am doing everything in my power to give you human ears and I will continue to work on it as long as it takes.” Roman was about to reply, but was interrupted by the car horn signaling their departure. Emily nodded for them to go and watched from the big front window as her two sons left her forever.