Chapter One: Initiation
High in the sky, away from dangerous avian Grimm, was a dust plane of considerable size. The dust plane itself is unimportant but for the cargo inside that is a different story. Inside the large dust plane was a collection of young aspiring Huntsmen and Huntresses from across the four kingdoms. Each of these young warriors all shared one goal: Beacon Academy. The legendary school was something all aspiring Huntsmen and Huntresses aimed for. It had the greatest facilities, all designed to train and challenge even seasoned Huntsmen.
The professors were actual Huntsmen who were willing to share their knowledge with the younger generation. There were also research facilities that were developing more advanced technology for hunting Grimm and it was the Beacon Academy students that got early access to such tech. But even with all of this to look forward to, even with all the ecstatic faces on the plane, there was one who was currently in his own living hell.
In the darkest corner of the dust plane sat a young man named Jaune Arc. He was a tallish one, standing at exactly six feet. He had bright blond hair with shining blue eyes. His body was like a swimmer, built for speed and precision. His attire was unlike most of the other aspiring students in the plane. Most would wear something akin to armour or were clothed in some personal style. Jaune however wore an old black hoodie with some ripped jeans. Even if the clothes were standard with the black hoodie and the dark jeans Jaune was practically invisible in the dark corner of the plane. The only way to notice him was the almost blinding white sword that was situated in between his legs. If one looked closely enough they could see Jaune's head laying on the bottom of the hilt. Jaune was in agony; his head was swirling, his vision was shaking, he felt like throwing up. Hell, he was even tempted to jump out of the damn plane, anything was better than this hell. Jaune felt his stomach lurch and bile rise in his throat.
"Out of all the vehicles in the world, I get stuck on a God forsaken Dust plane!" Jaune thought. As the nauseas feeling got worse Jaune thought back to what his uncle John told him to do.
"Believe it or not Jaune getting sick on a vehicle is a common ailment in our family. There's a couple of ways of dealing with this sickness. The best way to do so is to avoid using vehicles altogether. However if you find yourself stuck on hell spawn thingamajigs, then the best thing to do is think on the greatest thing God has ever given mankind, woman. It works I tell you, IT WORKS."
Jaune felt his eye twitch. He remembered his uncle both with fondness and annoyance. His uncle, to Jaune, was a great man. He always believed that Jaune was capable of great things and always knew the right thing to say when Jaune was depressed. But even so the man was more perverted then anything. Jaune's stomach began to lurch again and the young blond found himself at the limit of his willpower in regards to keeping his lunch.
As Jaune's head rose to let his barf fly a streak of white caught his eye. Jaune turned to see what it was and was surprised by what it was. The white color belonged to the flowing hair of a rather beautiful young woman. She seemed to have a cold aura around her and the scar over her eye gave her an even more intimidating air.
"Wow," he thought.
The young man would have continued to pine over the beautiful woman if the dust plane didn't hit turbulence. As the plane shook Jaune found himself closing his eyes in an attempt to focus and not hurl his bile across the occupants of the plane. After the plane settled down Jaune opened his eyes and was surprised to find a very different woman. The young woman in front of Jaune had vibrant crimson hair. Her eyes were a jade green and her armor was practical and left little to the imagination. Jaune was captivated by her, but not just for her beauty. He felt that he recognized her from somewhere. But that thought was currently taking the back seat to a much different thought.
"…wow she's beautiful!" he thought as well. As he continued to stare at her Jaune found himself pleasantly surprised to find that he wasn't as sick as before. "I am not telling Uncle John that his advice works."
If it wasn't for the impossibility of such a thing, Jaune could have sworn he heard his Uncle laughing. After another minute of trying to figure out where Jaune saw the red-haired beauty, he decided to leave the poor woman alone and look out the window. As he looked down the sky Jaune saw the vast forest that surrounded Beacon called the Emerald Forest. It was there, in the back of his mind. The urge. Jaune put his hands on the window of the ship. He was so close to it. He wanted to run, he wanted to be free, and he wanted to feel the wind against his body as he hunted his prey like his ancestors before him. Jaune felt the necklace he kept hidden under his shirt begin to heat up. Jaune swore under his breath as he realized that the dust in the necklace was running low.
"I'm going to have to find Uncle John at some point because there is no way in hell I'm going back to Mom or Dad for help with this," he thought.
Jaune grabbed his necklace from under his hoodie. As he held in his palm, Jaune was still fascinated by the color. It was a small dust crystal about the size of his palm. Unlike other dust crystals, this particular crystal was constantly changing its color and shade. Jaune sighed as he put the necklace back on the inside of his hoodie. Normally the dust crystal was pitch black in color. When it began to shift into different colors, that meant the dust spell was wearing off. Jaune tapped his pocket and breathed a sigh of relief when he felt another small crystal in his pocket.
"Now for the…hard part," he groaned as he slowly got up. Even though his nausea was back with a vengeance, Jaune managed to make his way to the bathroom. He almost hurled on some poor student's shoes but luckily he managed to hold it in. Finally Jaune managed to get to the bathroom and lock the door behind him. Jaune steadied himself at the sink and looked in the mirror. As his nausea settled down a notch, Jaune took the necklace off. The second the black dust crystal was removed from his person his entire body shimmered like a mirage. As the mirage cleared up Jaune was greeted to a very familiar but unwelcoming sight.
Jaune's once blue eyes were now a brilliant gold. His hair thicker, resembling fur. Even though they weren't out Jaune could feel his claws under the skin in his fingers. His once human ears had taken a sharper shape, resembling that of an animal. To finish off his transformation Jaune opened his mouth to reveal his teeth had become canine, sharp and ready to bite, but still slightly human looking.
Jaune was a Wolf Faunus. Unlike most Faunus, Jaune was adamant on hiding his true form, for during the times of the Human-Faunus warm there were some Faunus species that were considered dangerous, and thus were forced to either go into hiding or face execution from terrified Humans or be forced into prisons from them.
The Wolf Faunus was one of them. For most Faunus, the war was remembered as a time of subjugation, a time filled with evil humans and their racism. For the Arc family, it was considered a time of war and extinction. The short version of the story was rather simple. During the war the wolf Faunus were one of the species hunted to extinction by the humans…well near extinction in the case of the Arc's. However the Arcs and the other wolf Faunus lived in the old Emerald forest and hated the dispute and fighting that was occurring between the Humans and their brethren, so they stayed out of it. The Faunus didn't like that. So when the humans began to 'wolf' hunt, the Faunus did nothing.
The Arc's remember what the humans did and what the Faunus didn't and that memory has led to the family to developing a way to hide their Faunus features when they had to interact with humans OR Faunus. That method was the black dust. The secret to creating the dust was unknown to Jaune but he knew its functions. Each crystal was designed for the individual and had the ability to shroud the wearer in a small but very stable illusion that let them resemble humans perfectly. Sadly, the power of the black dust could not last forever and Jaune's current crystal was running low at that moment. Jaune grimaced from another nausea attack and gripped his last black dust crystal. As he exchanged the color shifted crystal with the new black one Jaune's appearance became human once more.
But this wasn't a time to celebrate. Jaune knew he was on his last dust crystal and that it would only last a week or two at most so he needed his uncle Jonathan. Jaune knew it would have been simpler to contact his parents and ask for his other stash of crystals from back home but he had issues with them, so to speak.
There was also the fact that Jaune's Uncle Jonathan was the family's blacksmith. He knew the secret to forging the black dust and perhaps could teach Jaune how to create the crystals on his own.
"Not like Dad would do it anyway," he thought. Yeah, like I said, he had issues.
When Jaune exited the bathroom he was mentally singing "hallelujah" as the pilot's voice came over the plane's P.A.
"We are now nearing Beacon Academy. Please may all passengers find their assigned seats and remain seated until we have landed. Thank you for your cooperation."
Jaune managed to make his way to his seat before he barfed and was praising whichever deity was listening that the ride from hell was finally over. As the dust plane slowed down and land on the ground, Jaune managed to get one last look towards the Emerald Forest.
"I am definitely going there," he thought.
Suddenly Jaune felt himself lurch forward as the plane came to a full stop. The cargo doors opened to let the students leave. Jaune took a deep breath as his nausea finally disappeared and all was right with the world once more. Jaune stretched, allowing his muscles to pop, which made him winch with every pop. After securing his sword around his waist, Jaune made his way off the dust plane and was awed by the sight of Beacon Academy. Everywhere Jaune looked he saw buildings he never thought were possible, machinery he had never seen before, and weapons from students that he thought belonged solely to science fiction.
"I know Dad said the outside world was different, but this is ridiculous!" he muttered under his breath.
Now it wasn't to say that Jaune was completely unaware of the advancements of the world. His family was well off and always kept their manor in top shape. They had the newest technology, and of course had television and internet. There was just one mishap.
The Arc estate, as some would call it, was located in the middle of nowhere in the lone end area of some random mountain range. Because of that, Jaune had no experience with the architecture he was witnessing now. If it wasn't for the fact that Jaune witnessed such architecture in the media, the young blonde would have been shell shocked instead of awed by what he saw. Luckily for Jaune there was a town near the mountains where the Arc's reside though it was ten days away. It was that very town that Jaune saw his first taste of modern life and also where he got onto the dust plane to get to Beacon, though he still regretted every second of that ride.
Jaune was taken out of his thoughts when he heard a loud bang go off. Jaune turned around to see a girl dressed like…little red riding hood? Jaune noticed that the girl seemed to be arguing with the beauty in the white dress that he saw on the plane.
"Is it me or does everyone have a color scheme or something?" he thought.
Jaune sighed. He was tempted to rub his now sore ears from the snow white's constant screaming. Deciding that he was wasting time just standing there and listening to a woman scream, Jaune began to run. As he ran Jaune knew he wasn't going where he was supposed to. He couldn't see a map nor was there anyone near him at the moment. Jaune slowed down as he found himself at a statue in some front courtyard. Jaune knew he was running out of time for the orientation, so he decided to do something he didn't have much practice with. He decided to use his nose.
Although his features were hidden, that did not mean they were gone. Jaune closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose. Suddenly his sense of smell was bombarded with hundreds upon hundreds of scents, and poor Jaune did not have much experience using his nose. Much too contrary belief a Faunus didn't always have their enhanced senses active at all times so to speak. Think of it like this. All Faunus have the ability of night vision. If such an ability was active during the day the Faunus would be blind. It was the same principal with Jaune's nose. Jaune could switch between his human senses and his Faunus senses but because of that he like all Faunus were susceptible to sensory overload.
In short, Jaune was able to find his way to the orientation right on time….but was given a large headache for his troubles. Jaune sighed and rubbed his head as he listen to headmaster Ozpin preform his speech. Ozpin was a man that looked ageless. His hair was grey giving him the illusion that he could be anywhere between his early thirties to even his early eighties.
"I'll...keep this brief. You have traveled here today in search of knowledge-to hone your craft and acquire new skills-and when you have finished, you plan to dedicate your life to the protection of the people. But I look amongst you, and all I see is wasted energy, in need of purpose-direction. You assume knowledge will free you of this, but your time at this school will prove that knowledge can only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step."
With that Ozpin took his leave from the stage. Jaune rapidly blinked his eyes when Ozpin finished. He was rather…surprised by the man's speech but oddly enough was also humbled by it. Jaune knew he still had a lot to learn about being a Huntsman, but Ozpin's speech really drove that point deep into his skull. Jaune smiled widely as the thought of training and battle filled his head. For most of his life he heard the tales of how great his ancestors were, and about how they were great warriors. It was John that explained why they were great.
"Our ancestors, Jaune, had one thing that put them above everyone else. They had the drive to fight for what they believed in, they had the drive to push themselves above their limits, to reach what they wanted, and the drive to protect what was theirs. It was that drive, that obsession for improvement that made them so great. Remember Jaune, every Arc has a lust for battle, a blood lust. It is up to you how to use that blood lust…well, enough of that inspirational bullshit, I want me some brownies!"
Jaune chuckled as he remembered his Uncle's obsession with brownies. For Jaune, his Uncle's words struck deep because today he finally understood what he meant. Jaune was excited! He looked around and saw nothing but strong warriors surrounding him at every turn. His instincts screamed to do battle, to see who was stronger. But his instincts also told him to hunt and destroy. Unlike in most novels it wasn't this impossible struggle of controlling his instincts. For Jaune it was like a thought that lingered in the back of his head. He would forget about it and not be bothered by it for a while but it would always resurface. Jaune didn't mind though, it was a part of who he was. He was a wolf, an animal who according to his Dad sole purpose was to hunt, survive, and live. Hunt the Grimm, survive your battles, and live joyously and happily. It was the standard all Arc's held themselves to and Jaune was no different.
Jaune smirked as he followed the now moving group to their living area. Apparently Jaune was mistaken about that little speech being the orientation. As his hopefully future teacher Mrs. Goodwitch explained, the orientation was to start tomorrow. Those who pass stay, those who fail leave. Until then, everyone was to stay in this area for the time being. Jaune shrugged for he did not mind. Using a quick excuse, Jaune was able to escape the notice of everyone else and climb his way to the room's rafters. To Jaune it was perfect. He had a clear view of everything below him and also his own space for sleeping uninterrupted. Jaune sighed in relief as he finally closed his eyes, easing his still ongoing headache and his still sore ears.
"Finally some damn sleep!" he thought.
As Jaune felt his body began to relax and fall asleep, he could not help but expose a feral smile upon his lips.
"Oh, tomorrow is going to be good!"
–THE NEXT MORNING–
Jaune's eyes snapped open. He turned to look under the rafters to find some people beginning to get up. Most were still sleeping, whereas a few were up and ready for the day. Deciding that now would be a good time to go to the bathroom, he jumped down from the rafters. From such a height, the fall would have broken the banes of a normal human and Faunus. However for Jaune, he had training that strengthen both muscles and bones of his body. Add that to the fact that Jaune's muscle and bones were stronger than most Faunus then a fall from the rafters, which was a good forty feet, was nothing. He landed with a loud thump, waking everyone else up. After stretching his body, Jaune took a quick look around. He raised an eyebrow from the surprised looks from some of the people, but shrugged it off. It didn't matter what they thought. Instead, Jaune chose to focus in on the locker rooms. Unlike everyone else, Jaune didn't put his weapon in the locker, choosing to keep it strapped to his hip. What Jaune wanted from the locker room was to simply meet people.
Jaune knew he was antisocial. He didn't mean to be, but the training that Jaune did with his uncle made him hesitant to trust anybody. Unlike his parents or his siblings, Jaune's uncle Jonathan didn't censor anything. He told Jaune of the horrors that Faunus suffered from humans and the horrors that humans suffered from Faunus. For a lack of better meaning, John treated Jaune like an equal. He didn't coddle him and he let Jaune make his own mistakes. It was something that Jaune was forever thankful for. Jaune's parents were different. They coddled him and kept him safe and as much as he had a problem with that, Jaune loved his parents to death. But they wanted him to stay away from Beacon, to stay away from being a Huntsman. Jaune couldn't do that, and the fight that happened that day caused a rift between Jaune and his parents that just wouldn't heal. He wanted to prove them wrong, he wanted to show them that he could be strong, that he could be just as good as any of his older sisters and that he was the master of his own destiny.
Jaune clutched his fist as he opened the door to the locker room. He wasn't going to fail, not a chance in hell. When Jaune finally looked ahead of him, he was shocked to see the two woman he saw on the plane talking to each other. Jaune smirked as he walked up to them.
"Time to lay on the Arc charm," he thought, taking a quick intake of air to ease himself.
"Ladies how are you today?" Jaune greeted.
The Red haired beauty just smiled and waved hello to Jaune whereas the snow white wannabe gave Jaune the coldest glare he had ever received. That didn't stop Jaune though.
"So, which one of you two would like to be on the team of Jaune Arc huh?" he boosted.
Jaune's bravado took a deep hit when the white haired girl snorted and gave Jaune a look of disgust.
"Do you even know who you are talking to?" seethed the woman.
Jaune just shrugged. "No idea to be honest," he remarked.
"I am Weiss Schnee, daughter of the CEO of the Schnee dust company! This is Pyrrha Nikos, four time champion of the Minstral tournament."
Jaune just squinted. "Uh….is that supposed to mean something?"
Weiss's Jaw dropped while Phyrra smiled even further.
"You….you! Do you live under a rock!?" she practically screamed.
Jaune chuckled and slapped Weiss on the shoulder causing the poor woman to stiffen at the contact.
"That was pretty damn close! To be honest I live in the ass end of nowhere inside a mountain range in god knows where….at least that's what my dad tells me anyway."
Weiss fumed as her face began to turn scarlet from her rage. Pyrrha on the other hand just giggled lightly.
"So….any takers for my team?" asked Jaune
"HELL NO" Weiss yelled. That hurt hard, making Jaune deflate at Weiss's response.
"You didn't have to yell," muttered Jaune.
Unexpectedly, it was Pyrrha that came to Jaune's rescue.
"I think you'd make a great leader, Jaune."
Jaune's bravado and ego resurged at that moment and he turned the Arc charm at Pyrrha this time.
"So, you interested in joining my team?" he asked again.
Weiss, finally having enough, barked out a single word: "Pyrrha!"
Suddenly, Jaune found himself hurled into a locker by a spear. The spear itself was buried deep into his hoodie. Without thinking, Jaune gripped the spear and attempted to pull it out. Weiss smirked at his attempts, but that smirk slowly fell off as little by little the spear began to exit Jaune's hoodie. After a few more seconds, Jaune ripped it out, leaving minimal damage to his hoodie.
Jaune held out the spear to Pyrrha with a smirk on his face. "I believe this was yours?" he shot at her. Pyrrha smiled gratefully and took back her spear. Still smirking, Jaune watched as the two woman left. But when the two left his vision, Jaune's feral smile came out. He was excited. Jaune couldn't wait to test himself against Pyrrha, who from what he could tell, was quite strong.
Jaune let a chuckle escape him as he made his way to the hill that was supposed to be their orientation area. Jaune walked to the window in the locker room and took a quick look out. It would seem he was on the second floor of the building. It was easily almost a hundred feet up. It was a fall Jaune would definitely survive….barely. Jaune took a deep breath and jumped.
With quick reflexes Jaune spun himself around and gripped the closest ledge he could find. As soon as his feet hit the building, Jaune began to run along the side of the building by using his feet to move and his hands to keep himself from falling to the ground. As he ran, Jaune noticed that he was quickly losing ledges to keep his hands on. Jaune let go and, with previously practiced ease, Jaune landed or maneuvered around the bumps and ledges that protruded from the academy building. Finally, Jaune reached the corner of the building. Across from the building was the forested area where the hill for orientation was located. Jaune smirked as he left his legs tense.
When John explained to his nephew on how to preform parkour, he explained that it was two parts fun and two parts risk. He went further to state that it was practice. Only by doing would Jaune ever improve in skill. So Jaune decided to risk it now. With a powerful leap, Jaune launched himself from the corner of the building. By combining the momentum of his run and the power from his jump, Jaune was able to propel himself an incredible distance. As he fell through the sky, Jaune locked his eyes onto an incoming tree branch. With instinct and a small amount of skill, Jaune was able to grab the tree branch and land on the ground. However, when Jaune hit the ground, he felt his legs and arms sting from the impact with the ground. As he rose from the ground, Jaune jumped up and down in excitement.
"THAT. WAS. AWESOME!" he yelled.
Jaune smiled as he turned into the direction of the hill. Without missing a beat, Jaune let himself go and finally ran. Jaune loved every second of it. He ran against the wind, feeling it caress his face as he ran against its power. Jaune lifted his hood to cover his head as he ran through the forest. Without meaning to, Jaune let himself get on all fours and began to move far faster than humanly possible. To most, running on all fours was physically impossible, even for feline or canine Faunus. But Jaune's Wolf Faunus body was different and made it more than possible as it also made the act natural. The trees zoomed by as Jaune ran as an animal. Faster and faster Jaune went his nose picking up the scent of Grimm.
As Jaune closed in on the hill, he could see Ozpin and Glynda. Jaune's eyes widened in shock as he noticed that they were both looking in his direction.
"Oh shit!" he thought.
Quickly, Jaune switched to running with his two legs, hoping to avoid any talk about why he was running on all fours.
With a flourish he didn't mean to use, Jaune appeared from the forest looking like an intimidating figure with his hood up and his sword strapped to his waist. Jaune took a quick glance to see that his sword had a lot of dirt on the sheath.
"Damn," he thought. "For future reference, strap sword to back instead of waist."
"Welcome, Mr Arc. Please take your place on one of the pads if you will," Ozpin instructed.
With a nervous gulp, Jaune took his place on an open pad. Apparently he had lost himself in the forest for longer then he would have liked since it seemed he was late. Jaune took a sneaky glance at Ozpin in hopes that he didn't garner to much attention. Jaune's hopes were crushed as he noticed Ozpin gave Jaune a knowing smirk. Jaune look to Glynda to see something more like a glare. It wasn't unusual if it wasn't for the fact that it was pointed at him.
Jaune was so preoccupied with finding a way out of his now sticky situation that he didn't notice that half the students were gone.
"Wait, what?" he thought, confused.
Jaune turned and began to pale as he noticed the student right beside him got launched by the pad he was standing under. Jaune's eyes widened to the size of plates as he was launched unprepared, causing him to spin out of control as he flew through the air.
"HOLY SHIT!" he screamed as he flew through the air.
As the young blonde Faunus flew through the air, Glynda turned her attention to her pad, turning on the cameras that were spread across the Emerald Forest.
"Did I see what I thought I saw?" she asked.
Ozpin took a sip from his famous mug as he nodded.
"It would appear so, Ms Goodwitch."
Glynda used her scroll to quickly access Jaune's transcript record.
"I understand that Jaune has the capability to be here Ozpin, but why would he hide the fact that he's a Faunus?"
Ozpin sighed as a mournful expression formed on his face. Ozpin seemed to look beyond what was in front of him as memories played through his mind over and over again.
"No need to kid ourselves, Miss Goodwitch. We should know why Mr. Arc wishes to hide his features as many of our other students do."
Glynda sighed as she nodded in agreement.
Ozpin looked to the sky with a small smile.
"Hopefully the future generation does better than ours did, Mss Goodwitch".
With that final statement Ozpin and Glynda began to make their way back to the Academy.
–Meanwhile with Jaune–
Jaune was currently finding himself being catapulted through the Emerald Forest with no parachute or landing strategy whatsoever.
"What is wrong with this school?!" he thought as he plummeted towards the ground.
As the young Faunus fell through the sky, the only thing he could think of was that he was going to die. Jaune sighed and closed his eyes in acceptance. No matter how good he was at parkour, he wouldn't survive a fall from several hundred feet. Suddenly Jaune felt himself lurch forward. In what felt like a second, Jaune opened his eyes and noticed he was now pinned to a tree by his hood. He looked up and saw an all too familiar spear. He sighed in relief and shouted into the distance.
Jaune jerked in surprise when he heard someone apologizing in response.
"Well…I guess I wait now," he muttered under his breath.
As he dangled from the tree, Jaune made sure to check the black Dust and check that it was working at 100%. Jaune just managed to stuff the black Dust crystal back under his hoodie when the bushes rustled. Jaune attempted to draw his sword, but every time he shifted, his sword would just dangle out of his reach.
"Um excuse me?" said a familiar voice.
Jaune stopped and looked down to see Pyrrha smiling up at him.
"Oh…I guess you'd like your spear back?" Jaune asked.
Pyrrha smiled and nodded. "Indeed. Jaune… you wouldn't happen to have an opening on that team of yours, would you?"
Jaune just pouted. "Shut up," he mumbled.
Pyrrha just laughed at Jaune's pouting and managed to rip out her spear by just lifting her hand. As Jaune fell from the tree, he began to control his descent down, never losing momentum, but making sure he wouldn't fall as well. Jaune landed on the ground on all fours. Realizing his mistake, Jaune was quick to make a show of making it seem as if being on all fours was uncomfortable.
"So," he said as he rose to his feet. "Now what?"
Pyrrha stood tall as she held out her hand to Jaune.
"My name is Pyrrha Nikos, and you are my partner at Beacon Academy."
Jaune smiled and shook her hand. "Name's Jaune Arc….wait, did you say partner?"
Pyrrha smiled and nodded. Jaune paled and began to sweat. Partners? PARTNERS? No one said anything about partners! How was he supposed to hide what he was if he was stuck with someone for the entire time he was in beacon?
"I am so screwed!" he thought.
Jaune schooled his features. As uncomfortable as he was with the idea of a partner, Jaune wasn't rude. He would find a way to hide what he was more effectively then the crystal later. For now, Jaune smirked as he drew his sword.
"So where to, partner?"
Pyrrha used her spear to point north.
"According to the Headmaster, we have to find a relic deep in this forest. When we find it, we take one and bring it back to Beacon. If we are successful, we are then official students of Beacon."
Jaune nodded and motioned for Pyrrha to follow him as he began to move.
"So we just need a relic and we're home free. Sweet," he recited.
Before Pyrrha could say a word, Jaune was already in a tree getting ready to run. As he started to move across the branches he stopped. Jaune felt a pressure pulling against the scabbard at his waist. Jaune turned around and only found Pyrrha with a confused look on her face.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
Jaune just rose an eyebrow.
"Well, I was just going to find the relics?"
Pyrrha crossed her arms and gave Jaune a flat look.
"And leave me here? We are partners Jaune, we must work together, not apart" she shot.
Jaune sighed. She was right. However when Jaune went to get down, he noticed that Pyrrha was starting to climb the tree he was on, albeit not as quickly. Pyrrha noticed Jaune's eyes on her and gave him a smirk.
'What? You didn't think I'd just fall behind, did you? Besides, I'm curious as to how climbing a tree is better than running on the ground."
Pyrrha's smile grew as she watched Jaune smile at her with a knowing grin.
"I see," Jaune mentioned. "Then would you like a demonstration?"
Pyrrha just nodded, curious as to what Jaune was going to do. She watched and found herself enthralled. Pyrrha knew about parkour, and there are a number of Huntsmen and Huntresses that practice such a skill, but there was one thing they weren't able to do; trees. Natural landscapes were difficult to traverse using parkour because it was difficult knowing if a branch, or stone in some cases, would hold your weight before you actually set foot on it. But Jaune seemed to know his way. He was fluid in his movements, jumping from branch to branch, never losing momentum and not stopping for anything. Jaune used the trees to quickly circle back to Pyrrha. When he reached her, the red-haired amazon clapped in appreciation.
"That was impressive, Jaune. How are you able to do something like that?"
Jaune smiled. "I was taught by my uncle. If you'd like I could…uh, you know, teach you if you want."
Pyrrha's face brightened and she shot Jaune a smile that caused him to blush. Pyrrha did not seem to notice the blush that had come on Jaune's face as she thanked him for the offer. Jaune took a deep breath to slow his beating heart. Pyrrha jumped down to ground level and took off running. Jaune soon followed suit, easily keeping pace with Pyrrha. However, Jaune found himself getting slower than Pyrrha when the woman began to glow black. Her speed almost doubled and Jaune found himself alone. Jaune began to freak out. He knew he could probably keep up with her if he "truly" ran, but doing so would reveal what he was and that was something to be avoided at all cost. Luckily, Jaune didn't have to worry about it much when Pyrrha suddenly came into view again.
"Are you alright, Jaune?" she asked.
"Yea I'm fine, Pyrrha, it's just…how did you run so fast?"
The red-haired amazon gave Jaune the most surprised look he had ever seen in his life.
"Jaune I just used my Aura…please tell me you know what Aura is!"
Jaune shrugged, causing Pyrrha to be speechless. The champion managed to find her words as she placed her hands on Jaune's shoulder and head.
"Jaune…do you trust me?"
Jaune gave Pyrrha a lopsided grin as he nodded.
"Definitely. How couldn't I trust my badass partner?"
Pyrrha smiled, causing Jaune to blush. However, the blush escaped Pyrrha's notice due to her concentration in unlocking Jaune's Aura.
Jaune stiffened as he felt a surge of energy the likes he's never known. It felt warm and comforting. To Jaune, it felt as if a part of himself had finally been freed that he didn't even know was locked. But amidst all of the positives of his Aura, there came a negative: Jaune's instincts became stronger. It was different now with his instincts, almost as if it wanted freedom, but from what, he could not answer. Jaune didn't know what was happening until he felt the Dust crystal in his hoodie heat up with an all too familiar warning.
"What's happening?!" he thought, panicking.
As his Aura went rampant, Jaune noticed that the Dust crystal was slowly losing power. Instead of being able to hide him for months at a time, it was losing its strength and effectiveness making it only hide him for weeks at most. Jaune closed his eyes and concentrated on the energy. As soon as he consciously touched it, it went away, far from his mental reach. When Jaune opened his eyes, he noticed that Pyrrha was looking at him expectedly.
"How do you feel?" she asked.
"I feel….amazing" he answered.
And it was the truth. Aside from his instincts going nuts and his Aura trying to destroy the black Dust, Jaune felt incredible. He felt a bit stronger and faster than he was before.
"Good," Pyrrha remarked. "For now, your Aura is only able to protect you from damage until you learn to harness it. Although, now we should get moving before all the relics are taken."
Jaune nodded, ready to move. Pyrrha motioned for Jaune to follow her as they began to jog through the forest, making their way north. As they ran through the forest, Jaune couldn't help but feel thankful to have a partner like Pyrrha. She was helpful and accommodating. Whatever this Aura thing was, it is obviously important, and he was happy that Pyrrha didn't react negatively to Jaune not having it. Regardless of how good she was to him, Jaune knew she was only this way because she assumed he was human. If she knew what he was…the beast that he was…she would either avoid him like the plague, or skewer him like a boar tusk.
Jaune smiled sadly as he followed her from the rear. It was sad really how Jaune was so distrustful, he knew that. Jaune also knew that his Uncle John's history lessons colored his perceptions on how Faunus and Human alike would treat him. But even so, Jaune knew that if he trusted Pyrrha with his true nature…he was also trusting her with his life in a sense. Jaune was practical, he liked to avoid bullying and verbal torture when he could, so even if Pyrrha accepted him, the rest of humanity wouldn't. As they ran through the forest, Jaune noticed a cave coming into view.
"Hey, Pyrrha, to your right. Do you think that's the ruins for the relics?" he questioned, pointing to the entrance.
Pyrrha looked to the cave. "I don't know. It could be, but I have a feeling that it won't be."
"Oh, come on," said Jaune "It wouldn't hurt to check."
Before Pyrrha could say anything to argue Jaune was already walking to the entrance of the cave. As he entered the dark caves, Jaune activated the night vision all Faunus were gifted with, causing his eyes to glow gold. As he walked further through the cave, Pyrrha grabbed his arm, causing him to turn to her, golden eyes and all. "Jaune, you can't just walk through a cave without…light?"
Jaune quickly turned around, shutting his night vision off and making his eyes go back to their original blue. Jaune began to sweat bullets. Jaune realized that the damage done to the black Dust was far more then he thought. Jaune decided to play it off, hoping for the best.
"I know that!" he snapped, tearing his arm out of Pyrrha's grasp. "I was looking for a torch!"
Pyrrha gave Jaune a small glare and disbelieving eyes.
"A torch?" she said.
Jaune smirked as he lifted a piece of wood that had what looked like black fabric around it. With a flourish, Jaune lit the torch, giving Pyrrha and himself a light source.
"Oh…" said Pyrrha "Well, lead on then."
Jaune smirked as he managed to avoid explaining his natural eye color. As they travelled through the caves, Jaune saw a large glowing object in the middle of the cave.
"Ah ha! Told you there was a relic in here!" he yelled.
As Jaune grabbed the relic, Pyrrha reached out to him.
Jaune turned his head and gave Pyrrha a confused look. That look disappeared as the relic lifted Jaune off the ground. Jaune turned back to the relic only to come face to face a Deathstalker, a creature of Grimm that resembled a giant scorpion.
"Well shit" he said.
–Outside of the Cave–
To anyone else, the outside of the cave was the epitome of peace. However, the ground began to shake and suddenly a beautiful red haired woman came out screaming. Following soon after was a Deathstalker with a blond boy hanging off its stinger.
"Jaune, let go!" Pyrrha yelled.
"Let go!? LET GO! I prefer to live, thank you very much!"
Pyrrha did a quick spin around and with an accuracy that only came with relentless practice, transformed her spear into a rifle. Jaune watched in surprise at the weapon Pyrrha wielded and soon found himself on top of the Grimm's head after a loud BANG shot out.
"That thing's a gun!" he shouted.
Pyrrha, looked to Jaune with wide eyes.
"You, Grimm, off, NOW!"
Jaune looked down and was face to face with the Deathstalker. "Shit!" he yelled, scrambling in place. By luck, Jaune managed to jump off the Deathstalker before it's stinger could pierce him. Jaune sprinted to catch up to Pyrrha and the two were running, strides in sync.
"How do we lose it?" Pyrrha questioned.
Jaune turned his head to look at the Grimm. He could feel his blood boiling at the Grimm. Jaune's eyes, unnoticed to him, glowed with a fierce gold as he growled out. "We kill it!" he answered.
Pyrrha turned to Jaune, surprised by the blood thirst she was feeling from the blond goofball. Pyrrha noticed his eyes were glowing gold again. "Perhaps it's his Semblance," she thought.
As improbable as Jaune's gold eyes being a Semblance was, it was the only explanation that Pyrrha had that made sense so she rolled with it for now. Before she could stop him, Jaune turned around and growled. With a sudden fury, Jaune ripped his sword free from its scabbard and jumped forward, meeting the Grimm in battle. Jaune knew he would lose, regardless of what he said to Pyrrha. However, that was not the young man's goal. As the Grimm charged Jaune, ready for a frontal assault, Jaune dodged with surprising flexibility. Before the Grimm could do anything, Jaune slid under its belly and used his sword to cut two of its legs with a sturdy, but unskilled cut. As unskilled as the swordplay was, Jaune's strikes were accurate and caused the Grimm to crash to its side.
Emerging quickly, Jaune began to run back to Pyrrha who had her rifle at the ready. With a few quick shots, Pyrrha had Jaune's back, deflecting the stinger several times from harming Jaune.
"Run?" Jaune asked.
"Run," Pyrrha replied back.
Jaune turned back to his prey, which was weakened and they could take on, but Jaune knew that was not why they were here. Once again, Jaune came behind Pyrrha, covering the rear. As the two ran away, they came across a clearing that had a ruin of some sort and a group of teenagers surrounding what looked like chess pieces.
"Are those the relics?" Jaune requested of Pyrrha.
"No time to ask politely is there?" she said.
The duo ran pass their fellow students and grabbed the white rook piece. Jaune smiled at Pyrrha as he handled their relic.
"Guess we're students of Beacon now, right?"
Pyrrha smiled and shook her head. "Not yet. We need to deliver this to the headmaster first before we can be considered students," she explained.
Jaune nodded in understanding. After getting their chess piece, Jaune and Pyrrha joined the group of their hope to be classmates.
"So what's up?" Jaune smirked.
Before anyone could utter a word, the group turned to the west of the forest where they heard thumping noises. Within a second, the group witnessed a young orange haired girl riding a Ursa major towards them.
"HELLO!" she called. The poor Grimm let loose a pitiful whimper as it fell forward, dead. "Aw, it broke."
"Nora…please don't ever do that again". Jaune looked behind the dead Grimm to see a young man stumbling to meet his partner.
"Aw, sorry, Ren, but look, THE RELICS!" she exclaimed.
Faster than a chipmunk on Red Bull and sugar, Nora went and grabbed a black rook piece. Holding up the piece to her partner, Nora gave him a beaming smile and a pose. Suddenly, a loud squeak ripped through the air, causing everyone to look up in the sky. What they found was none other than a small Nevermore, a C rank Grimm. Everyone prepared for battle, but a young voluptuous blonde had a different reaction.
"Okay that's it! I've had enough! Everyone calm down!"
Jaune blinked at the young woman as she exploded in a fiery red Aura.
"I take it she's not happy?" Jaune whispered.
Pyrrha who heard Jaune, lightly smiled.
"I guess not," she whispered back.
As the Grimm came closer, Jaune noticed that there seemed to be a person on top of the Grimm. It was none other than Weiss, the woman who was as beautiful as snow and cold as ice with a dash of scorn to boot. Weiss held onto the Nevermore for dear life, but even with her strong grip, she still fell off the Grimm.
"Should we?" Jaune asked.
Pyrrha just shrugged, not knowing what to do. If Weiss was able to handle being launched from a launch pad then falling from a Grimm shouldn't be too difficult. Jaune began to sweat when he noticed that Weiss was falling too quickly.
"SHIT!" Jaune yelled. Before anyone could react, Jaune ran towards the nearest tree and launched himself from it to catch Weiss. When he caught her, Jaune twisted his body around to land on his feet. Weiss blinked in surprise at finding herself in Jaune's arms and gave the Faunus a scowl.
"Let go of me!" she snapped.
Jaune let go of Weiss with an annoyed look in his eye and just let her dropped her on her bottom. The shock on her face was more than worth the bitching that was about to ensue.
"Payback is sweet," he thought.
Jaune walked to Pyrrha with a casual look and smirked as he saw Pyrrha attempting to look stern while hiding a small chuckle.
"That was incredibly rude, Jaune!" she fumed, though she thought it was rather slick of him.
Jaune just shrugged and turned to face Weiss. However to his surprise, the snow woman's wrath was focused on a young red hooded girl instead. Jaune blinked in surprise at seeing Ruby and scratched the back of his head wondering when the hell she had gotten here.
"YOU! YOU LEFT ME!" Weiss bellowed at the young teen. "We're supposed to be partners!"
"Yeah, I'm gonna stay away from that one," Jaune thought.
Jaune turned to Pyrrha and addressed her. "I say we get a move on. As much as I'd like to hear bitching and the complaining, we got a school to get to."
Pyrrha rolled her eyes at Jaune's crass language and bopped him on the head for good measure. As the two began to move, a familiar squawk rang through the air. The Nevermore had returned. "Oh come on!" Jaune yelled.
Everyone began to run in the opposite direction, desperate to get away from the flying killing machine, all but one. Ruby Rose had taken it upon herself to take down the beast with her ever handy and powerful weapon, Crescent Rose. Sadly, her only problem is that she can be quite foolish, thinking she can shoot down a giant nevermore with a rifle.
"Don't worry guys I got this!" Ruby called.
The group turned and began to run back at Ruby before it was too late. Ruby let bullets loose at the Nevermore, but they didn't even put a dent. Ruby Rose was useless for the moment; this had never happened before. Ruby always managed to take down all the other Grimm that came her way. It was this sudden failure that caused her to freeze up when the Nevermore attacked. The Nevermore flapped it's mighty wings and let loose feathers that were sharper than any normal blade and were firing just as fast as any bullet. Ruby was taken out of her shock, but she was not quick enough to avoid the feathers skewering her cloak to the ground.
"I'm stuck!" she yelled.
The Nevermore banked down, ready for the kill. Yang ran faster than ever before to save her sister, but she knew that she could not make it. Instead it was Weiss that saved Ruby with an expert use of blue Dust, or as Jaune's uncle affectionately referred to it as "Balls Freezer Dust."
With a shower of Aura-powered Dust turning into Ice, Weiss was able to divert the Nevermore and save Ruby. Jaune chuckled as he watched Weiss berate and compliment Ruby at the same time.
Jaune sighed. He took a quick look around to see if any Grimm were around. With none visible, Jaune decided to be extra cautious. Jaune closed his eyes and concentrated on his sense of smell once more. The familiar sudden rush of information flooded Jaune's brain as he categorized each scent. Jaune noticed that a stench that was familiar to bones and decay was closing in on their location. "I'd suggest we get a move on," he warned.
Everyone turned to Jaune and looked to each other. Without another word, everyone began to move in their own groups. Yang and Blake were with Ruby and Weiss whereas Nora and Ren stuck with Jaune and Pyrrha. As the two groups moved out, Pyrrha made sure to keep a close eye on Jaune. The blond knight was beginning to become a trusted ally, but the gold eyes that Pyrrha witnessed were incredibly odd. She thought that they appeared like the eyes of a Faunus, but she knew that whatever animal features a Faunus has cannot be shut off or made invisible. But the eyes were…beautiful in a sense to Pyrrha, they were unique, just like their owner. At one time, a shining blue, another a brilliant gold. Pyrrha let a small smile grace her features when she remembered how Jaune truly didn't care what her achievements were. It was a breath of fresh air, one that Pyrrha desperately needed. As the two groups ran, they finally came across a bridge of some kind. It seemed to be their ticket out of here if not for the return of the Nevermore again.
Yang flipped the Nevermore the bird causing her group to chuckle and Jaune to hold in his laughter. "Should we help them out?" he asked his team.
Pyrrha would have said yes if an old friend didn't greet them. Coming up from behind them was none other than the Deathstalker that Jaune amputated, and worse, it had somehow regenerated its legs.
"That thing really lives up to its name," Jaune remarked.
Pyrrha gave Jaune a blank look and drew her favored spear. As the four prepared to fight, Jaune felt his instincts react and his eyes shine a brilliant gold. It took all of Jaune's will to not let a growl escape his lips. Jaune looked to Pyrrha, not caring at the moment what color his eyes were. Pyrrha stared at Jaune's eyes, now having a much clearer look at them. They weren't human, that was for sure but they couldn't have been Faunus either.
"What's the game plan?" Jaune demanded of his team.
Pyrrha pointed to the Deathstalker's eyes. "We take out it's sight and we'll wear it down," she responded. "Blinding it may send it into an unfocused frenxy, giving us a chance to take it down for good."
Suddenly, Nora Valkyrie brought forth her weapon, a massive war hammer, and brought it down on the Grimm's head with a thunderous smash, resulting in two of its eyes being destroyed by the kinetic force alone. Sadly, the bone did not break. "I got two of them!" she whooped.
Ren, having run up to Pyrrha and Jaune, sighed at his friend's exuberant nature. "So I take it you have a plan?" he asked the redhead. Pyrrha nodded and looked to Jaune.
"Jaune?" she said.
Jaune looked at Pyrrha.
"Give it hell," she said.
Jaune let a wolfish grin carve into his face as he looked at the Grimm with a smirk that oozed bloodlust. With a battle cry, Jaune jumped forward with such force that he landed on the Grimm's head. Without missing a beat, Jaune stabbed his sword into the Deathstalker's head. It only went in about half a foot, but the fact that Jaune pierced its bone armor spoke of the blade's lethality. The Grimm shook it's front body up and down, forcing Jaune to rip out his sword and jump off of the Grimm before he suffered.
Pyrrha smirked as she turned to Ren. "What can you do?" she asked the raven-and-magenta-haired teen. Ren's facial expression never changed from it's tranquil state but two SMG's flew out from his sleeves. "You take the right and I'll take the left," Pyrrha said with a grin.
Pyrrha let her spear transform into a rifle as she aimed at the Deathstalker's eyes on the left. Ren took aim for the eyes on the right. As the two charged forward, the Grimm found itself losing its sense of sight. When Pyrrha and Ren closed in the Deathstalker, Pyrrha let her rifle shift into its blade form and sink hilt deep into the Deathstalker's skull. But even such a grievous wound was not enough to bring the great Grimm down, evident by the stinger stabbing widely around. Quickly, all four warriors retreated to a safe distance. The Grimm let loose a loud screeching sound that reverberated death and rage. Jaune roared (humanly) back causing his eyes to glow gold.
"JAUNE, ENOUGH!" Pyrrha yelled.
But the damage was done. The Deathstalker turned to Jaune, it's stinger aimed well and true. Jaune smirked as he let the stinger fly by him as he dodged. With a heavy swing, Jaune managed to cut off its stinger in one blow. Pyrrha sighed a breath of relief and focused at the weakened Grimm. "I believe I can end this" Ren commented. Pyrrha smiled as she relaxed and gestured to the Grimm.
"Then by all means, do it," she urged.
Ren let a small smirk form as he turned to Nora, who was grinning and standing on her tippy toes. "Nora," was all he said. Without a further word or hand motion, Nora ran behind Ren and swung her hammer. Ren jumped up and timed his feet to hit the flat end of Nora's hammer and used her momentum and his leg strength to launch himself high in the air.
"A little theatric," Jaune commented. Pyrrha turned to her partner with an incredulous look on her face.
"This coming from the man who roared just a minute ago," she sneered. Yes Pyrrha was still not impressed with being ignored by Jaune.
Jaune had the decency to blush as Ren landed on the Grimm's head. It was subtle, really. Ren landed on the Grimm with nary a sound, just a soft PLUMP and a wave of pink aura to signify his landing. Before the Grimm could react, Ren lightly jumped off and walked away. Jaune rolled his eyes, but stopped when he noticed Nora become giddy. Jaune looked to the Grimm and noticed it bulging. Not even a second later, the great Grimm exploded in a shower of black material and blood. Jaune let his jaw drop at the display of Aura usage and wondered if he could ever get Ren to teach him that move.
Pyrrha clasped Ren on the shoulder. "Nicely done," she complimented, prompting a small smile from the raven-haired boy. Ren making his way across the bridge where he and the rest of the group witnessed Ruby decapitating the Nevermore from a cliff.
"Is it a requirement for everyone in Beacon to be a badass?" Jaune asked sarcastically.
No one answered Jaune as they were just too tired and wanted to get the day over with. Slowly but surely, the two groups made their way back to the academy, excited at the prospect of being Beacon students for the next four years.
–Assembly Hall 6:30 pm–
"For gathering the two knight pieces, I name you team RWBY. You will be led by Ruby Rose," Ozpin declared. Ruby looked ecstatic along with her sister, who was beaming. Blake gave a small smile and Weiss was her usual self.
Ozpin then brought his attention to the next team. "For gathering the two Rook pieces I name you team JNPR. You will be led by…Pyrrha Nikos."
Pyrrha seemed surprise at her new station. Jaune smiled and lightly punched her shoulder. Pyrrha smiled at Jaune and took a calming breath. This would be a new experience for her, she was usually just a warrior not a leader. Jaune, on the other hand, sighed in relief. He thanked the Gods that he wasn't given such publicly intense position like Pyrrha.
"The less eyes on me, the better," he thought, looking down at the ground.
What Jaune didn't realize was just how many eyes were watching him, both on his team and off.