Well whatever it was, it was big. The strange thing was, none of them have seen that type of Grimm before, at least not in real life. Ruby was betting that either Ren or Blake had known at least a little about the giant creature glaring at them. The beast in question was five times as big as an ursa, it had a face like a Beowolf and had long forearms that ended in extremely sharp looking claws. It walked on all fours, its hind legs a bit beefier than the front legs, but the worst part about it was that its whole body was covered in armour. White bone shrouded the beast almost from head to toe. The only places not covered by the tough material were its eyes, nose, ears and, Yang had her bets on its rear end, but she didn’t voice the thought.
It had two rows of bony spikes running down its back and the bone around its elbows extended upwards, into a rather sharp structure. There were patches of black fur around its joints and irregular gaps in the armour on its underside, not like they could ever get to it. It had a strange appearance, covered in white, and the sun didn’t help to provide a blinding glare off its surface.
“Uhm guys.” Jaune gulped, “any ideas?” He asked nervously shuffling backwards, only to feel Pyrrah hold him in position.
“How about hack n slash until something breaks!” Ruby suggested, crouching low and bringing Crescent Rose around.
“Ruby don’t!” Yang, Weiss and Blake all shouted in unison, reaching out to grab their ‘shoot first, think later’ leader. But none of them needed to be worried. Just before Ruby was about to dash to her doom, there was a loud boom directly from in front of the beast.
A figure stood there, shrouded by the cloud of dust formed from his rather brisk entry. “Woah” Ruby breathed, relaxing Crescent Rose a little. “Who’s that?” she asked no one in particular, which was good because no one offered an answer. The dust cleared and they could make out the figure more clearly.
He too, ironically, was covered in white from head to toe, albeit there were streaks of light blue running through his suit. He had a rather large pistol holster attached to his left leg, mid-way down his thigh, which was a mix of light grey and the same light blue streaking through his pants and around the sleeves of the jacket. He had a white hood pulled over his head and across his back rested a scabbard, white and blue of course, the sword in his right hand. It looked like an expertly crafted blade, with the edges pulsing a sharp blue that ran through the rest of blade down to the grip. The hilt was non-existent, except for a piece that extended from the blade down over his fingers, where a small trigger rested.
Ruby took notice of that and instantly had an appreciation for this man’s taste in weaponry. She also liked the slightly smaller sword, held in reverse, in his left hand. With more blue than the longer sword, it was still just as expertly designed, if this man himself made these weapons Ruby would have to talk to him. The two teams were so mesmerised by the persons appearance they hadn’t realised the giant beast swinging its arm around to remove the man from the face of the earth.
“Hey watch out!” Ruby called and just before the huge palm made contact with the figure, he slashed at the open palm with his long sword. The blade slammed into the claw with a thrum, and then the strangest thing happened. The enormous appendage began to move backward, which was an exceptional feat in itself as it couldn’t be light, but the strangest part was that it was moving in slow motion.
They didn’t notice the sword pulse blue before contact, but they did notice the man himself pulse blue and then the whole beast pulse the same. Then the most amazing, coolest, awesome thing Ruby has ever seen happened.
The hooded figure moved faster than anything or anyone she has ever seen, except maybe herself of course. A series of cuts, slashes and jabs were performed, each accompanied by a blue flash, much like when Blake uses Gamboul Shroud and there are purple highlights around each attack. But these attacks, they were on a whole another level. They were so fast and strong and soon they realised that the beast was moving backward but it was in slow motion. The attacks rang out through the forest and in less than five seconds, Ruby counted at least fifty attacks, the man ended with a double thrust from both blades, a beam of blue light bursting from the tips and blowing through the beast. Without a sound the man straightened up, spun his sword and re sheathed it. The second sword collapsed into a large pistol and he placed it in the holster on his thigh.
The giant Grimm creature was still rearing backward, as if it was slowed in zero-gravity, but when the man slammed the pistol and the sword home simultaneously, the beast pulsed blue and instantly collapsed to the floor. Dead.
“Did he just-“Yang tried to ask but was lost for words.
“Whatever it was he did, yes he did” Blake stated, blinking.
“So much energy” Pyrrah murmured.
“Aaaw so we don’t get to fight the big monster?” Nora complained, disappointed.
The man crouched low and made to leap away but Ruby stopped him, “Hey wait!” He paused and turned towards her, revealing a masked face, his eyes glowing a sharp blue, like his aura.
“Wh- who are you? Where did you come from? You’re so fast I’ve never seen someone that fast. That was like fifty attacks in less than five seconds! How did you do that?” She spluttered out, moving closer toward him, waving her hands around in amazement.
“You counted?” he asked, straightening up and turning completely to face the red head.
“Well yeah, I’m kinda pretty fast myself too, so gotta have super quick reflexes don’t I. I mean boy would you know about that, your brain must be like three times faster than mine. Oh do things go in slow motion for you? Oh that reminds me what did you do to that thing? Is that like your semblance? What are your weapons called? Did you build them yourself?” Ruby rambled, really fast.
Weiss exhaled at her partner’s ridiculous behaviour at the sight of anything ‘cool’ even if it was unknown. Like this strange man that had just appeared to save them, out of nowhere. Weiss found herself glaring at the man as he watched Ruby dance around him, shooting off question after question.
“Azure Kezuru” He said suddenly.
Ruby stopped and blinked, “Huh?”
“My weapons. Azure and Kezuru” He said tapping the pistol and then the sword respectively.
“Oh that’s such a cool name. What does kezuru mean?” Ruby continued, eyeing the weapons with new found respect.
“Ruby I think we should head back” Weiss stated approaching the pair. The man looked to the heiress and held her gaze, noticing her glare and smiling to himself.
“What do you mean? This guy just killed a giant… thing” she stated waving at the now smouldering black cloud that was the giant beast. “We can’t just leave now!”
“Yes we can” she deadpanned, “Thankyou for your… assistance” she said looking for the appropriate word, still eyeing the man suspiciously. She grabbed Ruby by the hood and pulled her away from the man against protest.
“See you around, Miss Schnee.”
Ruby went quiet and Weiss’ eyes went wide, she spun around, “Who are you- Where did he go? Ruby where did he go?” she asked hurriedly.
“I don’t know” Ruby replied, her voice becoming more serious. The man had indeed disappeared, the only sign of his exist a small cloud of dust. “Weiss do you know him?” Ruby asked, scanning her partners face for any sign of emotion. All she saw was sharp blue eyes frantically searching the tree line, worrying the red head a little.
Weiss was silent for a moment before she recovered, “No, no I don’t. But next time we see him I’ll find out who he is.”
“Next time?” Ruby asked, slightly confused
“I’m sure we’ll be seeing him again” Weiss stated, walking off back toward beacon as the two teams watched her, all very confused. Ruby watched her go, wondering what in the world just happened and whether or not her hurried conversation with the strange man could have ended up in a much worse situation.
“Anyone still want cake!?” Nora chirped.
It wasn’t until they had cleaned up their mess and walked past the cafeteria back at the academy that they realised they hadn’t really eaten anything and were all still hungry.
“So uh guys? Wanna grab something to eat?” Yang asked sheepishly, rubbing her stomach and grinning.
JNPR looked amongst each other before simultaneously saying, “Sure”. They headed off toward the lunch line, Yang in the lead followed by team JNPR. Ruby, however, was trying to figure where Weiss was going, as she walked off away from the cafeteria.
“Weiss where are you-“ Ruby tried to call out but she was already too far out of ear shot. Grumbling to herself she made to give chase, but a soft hand at her shoulder stopped her.
“I think you should give her some space” Blake said softly. Ruby’s questioning eyes beckoned her to continue. “She obviously has something on her mind and doesn’t want to share it with us.” Blake quickly added, “Just yet”
“But Blake that’s exactly the problem. She always has things on her mind, and they always stay there. She never lets us in, never lets me in” Ruby argued.
“Well hey, remember what happened with me? Eventually I opened up, just give her some time” Blake tried to reason.
“Blake you only opened up because we found out, Weiss is different.” Ruby replied in a small voice. Blake placed her arm over Ruby’s shoulder and gently pulled her into the cafeteria.
“Ruby, in any case she obviously isn’t ready, and prying might just push her away so just give her some time ok? It might not even be anything worth worrying about, so until we know we need to start worrying, then we can start thinking of other ways to get the ice queen to crack”
“Don’t word it like that. It sounds painful”
“Where is he? Is he home?”
“I need to speak to him about something”
“No it’s got nothing to do with that, just please put him on”
“I understand that I don’t generally like speaking with him but I need to make an exception this time”
“Weiss what is it, don’t you know I’m busy?”
“Yes father I’m well aware that you’re ‘busy’ but there is something I need to ask you.” Weiss paused to take a deep breath before continuing, “Who is that man that you’ve sent to follow me?” she asked firmly, getting straight to the point. Her father was silent for a moment, taking in her words and reading her stern expression. Then he answered simply.
“That’s none of your business”
“Excuse me!” Weiss replied, taken aback by the response but not entirely surprised by it either. “None of my business? Of course it is the man is following me!”
“Weiss don’t talk to me like that!” He replied, his voice growing louder, “You are not in a position to question my actions!”
“I’ll question what I deem fit to be questioned father! Now tell me who he is and what is his interest in me” Weiss retorted standing her ground. There was a lull in the conversation as her father seemed to consider what to say next. His expression softened a little and then he continued.
“His protecting you”. Simple answer, yet very confusing.
“Protecting me? Protecting me from what? Has there been a hit placed on me? Was it the White Fang? It doesn’t matter. I believe I can protect myself anyway. Tell him his services are no longer needed” Weiss replied, going through multiple expressions of confusion, anger and finally confidence.
“No” her father replied firmly, his blue eyes as sharp as ever, Ruby thought her eyes were cold. Weiss was taken aback, but recovered quickly.
“What do you mean ‘no’? I don’t need some guard dog watching over my shoulder where ever I go, and quite frankly the thought of it is a little creepy. Call him off or I’ll tell him myself” She said simply, folding her arms in an attempt to seem more forceful.
“You will do no such thing! Neither will he, he is there for your own protection, you should be happy I’m looking after you!” Her father replied waving a hand at the vid screen.
“Father why can’t you just trust me when I say I can look after myself, can’t you see I’m doing well?” Weiss pleaded.
“That’s just it Weiss, I haven’t seen you change since you left this house two years ago. How can I be assured of your safety when you haven’t been improving?” Weiss recoiled at the accusation but she soon recovered eyes narrowed as she spoke.
“That’s because nothing I do is ever worth anything in your eyes. You don’t accept anything other than perfect! I’m sorry to say father but in these past two years I have changed and I now realise that ‘perfect’ is unachievable!” she stated, raising her voice and waving her hands at the screen accusingly.
“You don’t get to where I am without perfection!” He yelled back.
“Clearly you can because there’s a whole bunch of masked faunas who disagree with your ‘perfection’!” she snapped, immediately regretting her words. Her father was silent for a moment and she could feel his anger boiling through the comm link.
“So you agree with those monsters do you!” he said, getting out of his seat and leaning closer to the screen.
“No father that’s not-“
“Those, those degenerates! Have ruined this world! They know nothing of ‘perfection’ they are the exact opposite of it! I can’t believe you would side with them!”
“Father you know that’s not true after what they’ve done how could I?”
“It’s that faunas girl isn’t it!?” He shot back.
“Wha- who Blake? No she’s got nothing-“
“See what I mean Weiss! How can I trust you will be safe when you’ve let a faunas sleep right next to you?! You think she’s your friend?! HA! Don’t be ridiculous what would you know about friends! We Schnee are too clod hearted to have ‘friends’”
“You’re being extremely unreasonable right now” Weiss said, hurt by his last statement, but wise enough not to argue.
“I’m being unreasonable? You’re the one who wants me to leave you unprotected!”
“I CAN PROTECT MYSELF!”
“JUST LIKE YOU PROTECTED YOU AND YOUR SISTER ALL THOSE YEARS AGO?!” He yelled at her, slamming his hands onto the desk he was sitting at. Weiss went silent, taking in his words, as he gathered himself and sat back down.
“We promised never to bring that up again” she said softly, seemingly staring off into the distant, almost as if she had become lost in another place.
“Weiss believe me when I say you haven’t changed. You don’t even know how to pick correct allies, that child her sister and that, faunas, will not do you any good” he sounded distant know, as if he was talking about something completely different, “Emotions cloud your judgment and hinder your work, don’t let them interfere with yo-“
“Dad who are you talking too?” A small voice asked off camera. Weiss, who hadn’t been paying attention since that little outburst, snapped her attention back toward the screen. Her dad was looking at someone off camera, a short person judging by the angle of his head and his expression had changed to something more, warming.
“No one” he said softly.
“Why were you yelling? Is something wrong?” Weiss’ hands began to tremble and she felt tears welling up behind her eyes. She knew that girl.
“Winter?” She whispered softly, grabbing her hands in an attempt to stop the shaking.
“No nothing’s wrong, I’m actually talking to W-“ Weiss quickly slammed the vid screen off, staring off into space, trying to fight back the tears and stop her hands form trembling. Not the reaction one would usually get from their sister, but to Weiss, it was completely justified. Her response was due to one major event in her life that had scarred her just as the scar across her eye.It’s been two years since she last spoke to her, she must have forgotten about all those emotions she felt and they were rushing back to her at once. She thought time would heal her scars, she thought her heart was stone, just like her father said, but six years ago Weiss nearly let Winter be killed, six years and she still can’t look her sister in the eye. Six years and she’s still afraid that somehow, she will relive that moment and her sister will really be taken from her.