“Did they already receive a request?” Ozpin asked, eyeing the departing four girl team as they left the hall. Goodwitch had a look at her tablet, tapping through a few screens before pulling up the roster list.
“Yes it does indeed seem so”
“Who is it from?” He asked, caution evident in his voice.
“From an anonymous client, which is not unusual.” Ozpin hummed at the statement, still watching the team leave, eyeing them suspiciously. “What is it?” She asked, noticing her long-time friend’s distress.
“It’s nothing” he replied, drinking form his cup, “I hope”
Request sent by: Anonymous
Requesting: Team RWBY
Location: Vale-Industrial District
Details: Possible Grim nest in abandon factory complex located in the south eastern area of the Industrial district. Requesting scouting parting and possible dispatch of grimm. Specification of grimm is unknown, come prepared for anything.
“Sounds easy enough” Blake stated after their leader read out the mission alert as they made their way to the location via airship.
“Oh I hope it’s a pack of death stalkers, or a bunch of boarbatusks. Oo! Or even a flock of nevermores, of course they won’t be as big as the ones we fought in the Emerald Forest but it would still be cool!” Ruby ranted, jumping in her seat, she still hadn’t calmed down from when they left.
“Ruby I don’t thin-“
“Or maybe a bunch of king taijitu, I’ve never seen one! I know Ren got to fight one” Another thing Ruby had continued to do since they left was cut Weiss off. The heiress resorted to rolling her eyes and looking out the window, dispatching herself from the conversation, no point in trying if she wasn’t going to get anywhere.
“I’m interested in how the grim would have gotten in to the industrial district in the first place, let alone make a nest.” Blake wondered aloud. Her teammates turned to face her, they hadn’t thought about that. Maybe Weiss did, but couldn’t bother stating it.
“Good point” Yang stated, arms folded across her chest, looking between her partner and her sister.
“Well I’m sure it will be fine, I mean what it could be. Besides Goodwitch said they monitor all the mission requests.” Ruby assured her team.
“Yeah the requests, not the mission itself” Blake pointed out.
“C’mon Blake, why the doom and gloom, we are team RWBY we can handle anything” Yang called, nudging her partner gently, receiving a plain look from the faunas.
“Yeah except your snoring” Blake replied flatly. Yang recoiled at the statement.
“It’s not that bad!”
“Oh please! I’m sure JNPR can hear you over Nora’s snoring” Weiss interjected without removing her gaze from the window.
“Ruby tell them it’s not true” Yang pleaded, resorting to her sister for support. There’s no way she would go against her own sister.
“Sorry Yang, I kinda agree with them, and I now my snoring can be bad.” Yang brought a hand to her chest to feign hurt.
“Ruby your snoring is cute compared to Yang’s” Weiss stated, moving her gaze from the window to her partner, looking all very, unimpressed.
“Aww thanks Weiss” Ruby called, jumping playfully onto her partner and wrapping her into a hug.
“Ruby! Get off me!” Weiss yelled, pushing against the red headed girl who was happily laughing and giggling.
Blake leaned toward her partner, “We better not end up like that”
“Oh please you’re a cat you love being loved” Yang said coyly, Blake had nothing to say to that.
“Ruby Rose release me at once!”
“We have arrived at our destination, please forward out once the ramp has descended, thankyou” The pilot’s voice rang out through the ships speakers.
“HUH! Where here!” Ruby yelled, stating the obvious. She ceased her pestering of the ice princess, who was still in the act of removing the silver eyed girl off her. But before she tried once more, the red head had dashed away and out the airship, ignoring the pilot’s instruction to wait for the ramp to descend completely. The heiress was left with a clump of roses peacefully floating into her lap.
“Honestly!” she called after Ruby, dusting the roses off her skirt. Blake and Yang were next to walk out, with Yang stopping next to Weiss before leaving.
“You should keep those, they actually smell really nice” She said, referring to the roses before walking down the ramp. Weiss blinked and looked down at the roses in her lap, she carefully picked one up and brought her up to her nose. She was about to take a sniff before she realised what she was doing and quickly flicked the rose away.
“Please, me, keep rose pedals, from that dunce. Psht” she got up and walked toward the ramp and for some reason found herself stopping at the top of the ramp and looking back at the light pile of petals. The heiress’ stern expression faltered as the petals began to disintegrate peacefully.
“Yang! Yang, why would you say something like that?” Weiss called, catching up to the brawler. The blonde hummed as she turned to face her sister’s partner.
“Something like what snow angel?” She teased. Weiss winced at the nick name.
“Please don’t call me that. I was referring to the roses, how could you even expect me to ‘keep one’ if they just fade away like that?”
“Oh. Well I guess I forgot about that” Yang stated, “Well the ones she always gives me last a while. Maybe it depends on the way Ruby makes them.” She said finger on her chin in thought. “I mean if you really want one you could just ask” She suggested with a grin.
“Oh don’t be ridiculous, I was just curious is all” Weiss replied, folding her arms across her chest sharply.
“Relax Weiss, don’t read too much into it” Yang laughed, before quickening her pace to catch up with the others, leaving a slightly confused heiress behind.
“What was that supposed to mean?” she mumbled to herself before realising she had stopped walking and had to jog to catch up.
“So here we are, according to these coordinates, we gotta check all of these buildings” Ruby stated, nudging her head toward the factory complex which was boarded by a steel fence and was comprised of three different buildings. They weren’t too sure exactly what the factory was for but they could make out the different buildings.
One was definitely a warehouse, which sat at the back of the perimeter and stretched the length of it. The one to the right had to be the actual factory, with all its pipes sprouting from the roof and large machinery parked around it. The final building on the left side looked like a regular building, low to the ground and void of any pipes, machines, or huge truck bay doors like the warehouse. Maybe it was a common area for all the workers, they would find out eventually.
But all the buildings had one thing in common, they were all old and degraded. They had to be at least a hundred years old, it was a wonder that they were still around. The metal roofing of the warehouse was rusted and cracking, some parts of it had already gave and caved in. the big double bay doors could hardly be described as sturdy, hanging lopsided and looking as if a slight nudge would cause them to collapse. All the windows were dirty and no doubt had stopped allowing light through years ago.
The factory building was no better. The spires and columns extruding from the roof were cracked and some of them had even broken in half. Parts of the roof where the columns mast have landed were broken as well, leaving holes in the ceiling, at least some light would be getting through.
The building to the left was holding up a little better. It didn’t have any pipes and columns to collapse on itself, or any metal roofing to rust and crack. But it was still old and looked extremely fragile. If the team were going to fight in there, they would have to be extremely careful so as to not bring the whole place down, literally.
“How about we split up?” Ruby suggested, “Me and Weiss will take a look in the factory, Blake and Yang take a look in that ordinary looking building to the left. Then I guess we’ll meet up in that warehouse at the back”
“Good idea Ruby! Let’s go Blake!” Yang saluted, quickly grabbing Blake’s arm and pulling her toward the building. “See you in a bit!” She called back, waving her hand with a slightly surprised slightly annoyed Blake trying not to fall over as the brawler practically dragged her away.
“Yang! Stop! What the hell!” Ruby and Weiss heard the faunas yell before they were out of earshot. Ruby turned to her partner and offered her a smile, “C’mon partner let’s get going!” Weiss rolled her eyes and breathed an all too common, “Honestly” as the caped scythe yielder ran ahead. At least this time there was no roses, Weiss thought as she began to walk toward the factory, not bothering to quicken her pace, Ruby would wait for her, she knew she would.
Weiss would have caught up to Ruby, if something didn’t catch her eye before she did. Or someone. Weiss almost missed the person, he was standing atop the warehouse watching her as she went, he had his rifle trained on her. She didn’t know whether he was planning on shooting her or not, but when she stopped and looked at him, he slowly got up and jumped off the building, disappearing behind it.
Weiss stood still for a moment, she knew who it was. Even from this distance it wasn’t hard to make out the mask and the white and blue attire, he was her supposed ‘body guard’. Weiss didn’t know what it was but she felt strange, as if something was, different. She looked back toward the factory where Ruby was no doubt waiting for her then took another look toward the warehouse. The nagging feeling she felt grew stronger, it was urging her to give chase but the red head was causing her to hesitate.
“She’ll be fine” She assured herself before jumping onto a glyph she had just summoned and shot off after the man. She reached the apex of her jump before summoning another glyph to launcher her over the warehouse where she landed on the ground, sliding to a halt.
Surprisingly the man in question was standing there, as if he was waiting for her. Weiss drew her rapier and held it loosely, a little suspicious of the man’s behaviour but not wanted to express hostility.
“Miss Schnee, how can I help you today?” His voice rumbled through his mask, his tone dark and low didn’t help to ease Weiss’ suspicions.
“I’ve found out my father has hired you, and I’ve come to tell you that you really don’t need to follow me around. So I suppose what I’m saying is your services are no longer required.” Weiss said, adopting her most business like tone.
“Ah. That’s nice Miss Schnee, but I’m no longer working for your father” He said, removing his pistol and unsheathing his sword. “I’ve been approached by…. Other employers who have offered me a much more exciting job.”
Weiss’ suspicion had now formed into caution and she tightened her grip on Myrtenaster. The pistol he called Azure, broke apart and changed into its sword form, which he skilfully flipped into a reverse hold. “A job that involves removing a certain Miss Schnee along with her fellow teammates”
Weiss’ eye’s widened at the mention of her teammates. Not only was this man confessing that he had been paid out by someone else and is now meant to ‘remove’ her, but he was going for her teammates as well.
That won’t do. Besides, he had to get through her first.
Weiss expression changed from frightened to determined. She knew what she had to do, knew that she had to stop this man and she also realised when she did, she would be killing two birds with one stone. Not only will she save Ruby and her teammates, but she would be finally able to show her father that she could protect herself and maybe even show herself that too.
The two eyed each other momentarily before they moved.
Weiss attacked first, using her glyphs to close the distance between them in an instant. Holding Myrtenaster at her chest, the blade pointing forward, she thrust her arm out before contact, aiming to skewer the man where he stood. But, not expecting anything less of the man, he swiftly parried the strike, leaving Weiss to continue on behind the man, spinning on her heel to face him.
Without missing a beat, Weiss moved once again, her glyphs pushing her faster than any person. She sped toward the back of the man, bringing Myrtenaster around in a downward slash. The mercenary was fast too and he spun around with enough time to block the attack. Although he couldn’t block the blast of fire that followed. Weiss wasn’t only fast in movement, she could switch and draw out dust in the blink of an eye. Two years at beacon tends to do that to students.
The mercenary yelled out as he was thrown to the floor, quickly flipping over his back and landing in a crouch. Azure collapsed back into a pistol and he fired off a couple of rounds toward the heiress. She blocked each round easily with her blade, sparks flying as the rounds bounced off the sharpened edge of Myrtenaster. The dual swordsman, took the opportunity to advance toward the heiress.
Weiss waved her right arm in front of her, summoning a glyph, shaded blue, which fired a volley of ice shards toward her opponent. But he didn’t slow down, Azure changed back into a sword smoothly and quickly, and he swiftly reversed in his grip and began to deflect the icy projectiles. They exploded as the blade ripped through them rendering them nothing more than harmless shards that bounced off his mask and cloak.
He reached Weiss, and swung the sword in his right hand, which he named Kezuru, in an overhead arc bringing it down on top of Weiss. Weiss used her dust to strengthen her defence, illuminating Myrtenaster a dull red and she blocked the swing easily. The mercenary quickly brought Azure around in a horizontal slash right after, which Weiss quickly parried, the still strengthened blade causing the man’s arm to rebound back around.
He spun into the motion, using the momentum to put more force behind his next attack. Kezuru trailing behind him, it clashed loudly against Myrtenaster sending a loud ringing noise through the complex. Weiss quickly spun her dust canister and stopped it at the chamber housing the spark dust, released some of it and ran her fingers up her blade, the dust trailing behind them. The blade was painted with a few purple coloured glyphs and Weiss thrusted her rapier toward her enemy. The point touched him and arcs of electricity burst from the blade and conjoined at the point.
The mercenary yelled as electricity coursed through his body, sending his muscles into spasms. He was held there for a moment before the point of the blade exploded violently and launched him backwards. Weiss flicked Myrtenaster around expertly as she watched the man land on the ground roughly. “Having second thoughts?” she asked smugly.
Ruby had been waiting for Weiss for far too long. Surely it wouldn’t take her partner longer than five minutes to catch up. With a huff Ruby made her way back to the entrance of the factory to look for her partner. “Weiss! Weiss!” She called as exited and found the heiress to be out of sight. “Where did you go?” Ruby swung her head round, looking for any sign of her partner. She snapped her head toward the warehouse as she held a muffled explosion followed by a yell. “What the…” she breathed, pulling Crescent Rose out from behind her back, she waited for it to expand completely before spinning it around and slamming the blade into the ground behind her. She narrowed her eyes as she could now make out slight clangs and dings coming from somewhere beyond the warehouse. She squeezed the trigger and she was soaring through the air. Something was going on, she just hoped Weiss wasn’t too involved.
“Second thought?” The hooded man repeated, “Hardly.” He got back up and dashed toward the heiress, but this time when he moved he moved with unimaginable speed. Weiss was lucky to bring Myrtenaster up in time, but the force of the blow caused her to stagger backwards. The attacks kept coming and the tide of the battle was quickly shifting, Weiss was losing ground and she had to do something.
There was a small break in the volley and Weiss took her chance. Before he could land another blow, she summoned a glyph in front of her while jumping back at the same time. The mercenary’s arm passed through the glyph before it turned black and froze the appendage in mid-air.
Weiss smiled as he tried to yank his arm free, but to no avail, he wasn’t going anywhere. “Weiss?!” a small voice called off to the side. Weiss looked to the source and found none other than Ruby Rose. “Weiss what are you doing?” She asked, worry evident in her voice as she jumped down from the roof of the warehouse.
“Ruby! Go away I have this under control” She had to do this alone, on her own, otherwise it wouldn’t count to anything.
“Isn’t he supposed to be protecting you?” She continued, moving closer to the heiress.
“Tsk! If you must know, it seems he’s been paid out and is now trying to ‘remove’ me.” Weiss stated plainly, the gravity of her words affecting her far less than it did her leader.
“HE WHAT!? Weiss get back!” Ruby yelled, jumping in front of her partner and holding Crescent Rose at an angle to better protect the heiress.
“Ruby stop! Get out of the way I have to do this on my own!” Weiss argued, pushing Ruby out of the way.
“But Weiss he’s trying to-“
“Exactly, trying. Don’t worry I can handle this myself” Weiss sated, taking up her fighting stance once again, “Now get out of my way”. Ruby’s eyes dropped at that final statement, not this again, she thought. She took one final look at the man she had praised just the other day before giving in and stepping aside.
Weiss is strong, she’s too strong for just one man to get in her way and even if he did, Ruby would be there to stop him.
The mercenary had ignored the red head’s entry and was still focusing on breaking free of this blasted glyph. He grumbled as it didn’t even falter, “Damn this girl” he snarled annoyed that he had to resort to this.
He ceased his yanking and paused as if in concentration. His arm pulsed blue and then he roughly pulled his arm out of the glyph. There was a loud shattering noise, as if a large glass vase had just been smashed, and the two girls snapped their heads toward the man. Weiss was stunned, he didn’t only get free of her glyph, he broke it. “What the hell” Ruby breathed, witnessing something she thought was impossible.
He flexed his shoulders, still pulsing blue and Weiss and Ruby could have sworn he was smiling. Then he moved, faster than anything. This time Weiss didn’t have enough time to block the attack and she knew it. He was merely holding back this whole time, and now she was going to get it.
The man’s sword never reached Weiss, even with that speed. He wasn’t the only one who was fast, Ruby liked to think she was pretty fast too. Lucky for Weiss, Ruby was there and she realised how fast he was moving and that Weiss was nowhere near fast enough. The red head had jumped in between her partner and the mercenary, blocking the strike with her scythe. It was a powerful blow and if Ruby hadn’t planted Crescent Rose into the ground for added support, she had no doubt she would have been thrown off her feet.
She made eye contact with the man before he jumped away, leaving Ruby with Weiss. “Ruby!”
“Weiss let me help, he’s too fast you’ll never move fast enough!” Ruby pleaded, hoping beyond hope Weiss wouldn’t say what she thought she would.
“No Ruby I need to do this!”
“Weiss you nearly died, if I wasn’t there he would have cut you in half!” Ruby yelled back, her eyes filled with worry and her voice thick with care. Weiss looked at her partner, the look in those silver orbs struck something within her, something she couldn’t put her finger on in that moment. She pushed the feeling aside, as well as Ruby’s warning.
“No! I can do this, how weak do you think I am!”
“You’re not weak Weiss, I know you’re not. Neither are you stupid so stop being stubborn and let me help!” There was a small sound from behind them and Ruby spun around a little too late. The mercenary did watch the little exchange for a little while before he grew bored and decided to get on with it. The one in the cape was in his way so naturally he removed her. But she spun around in time to block most of the force of the attack, she was thrown to the side but she would be getting up later, unfortunately.
“Ruby!” Weiss yelled, her voice now thick with concern. But she redirected her attention to the danger at hand. She knew Ruby was right, there was a part of her that believed that she was too weak, but she couldn’t accept it, she had a point to prove. She has changed and she can protect herself and those around her!
Ruby’s silent form pained her to see, she didn’t know if she was still ok but she just had to trust she was. She couldn’t afford to be distracted right now.
Weiss decided to attack first, there was a series of clashes as rapiers and swords danced off each other, ringing and singing a tune that could only end one way. Weiss was no longer looking so confident as she did before, right now there was much more at stake. She knew this man planned to go after her teammates, but the appearance of Ruby and her saving her life and then getting hit made it much more real.
Weiss wasn’t fighting for herself she was fighting for Ruby and her teammates, her friends. That thought didn’t help at all to stop what happened next.
As Weiss took another stab at the mercenary, he parried it easily and not only that he was bringing his other blade around to slash at Weiss’ abdomen. She would have blocked the attack, if her left hand wasn’t seemingly frozen in place. Everything was in slow motion and her world pulsed blue, she felt the blade hit her stomach and it launched her into the air, her aura taking the full force of the blow. But she felt different, she felt slow as if she was moving but much slower then she should be.
In fact she was, she had been placed under the effect of the man’s semblance, she was in some sort of stasis, where she just floated in the air and everything was slowed down. Everything except the mercenary himself. As Weiss began to float away from him, he crouched low and held his sword in his right hand to the left of him, as if he was charging an attack, and he was. His arm and his sword pulsed that signature blue and then his arm moved, faster than anything Weiss and Ruby has ever seen. “Weiss!” Weiss heard Ruby’s call just before the blade hit her. She wasn’t sure what hurt more, the sword hitting her or the pain in Ruby’s voice.
As soon as the sword hit her she was free from that strange stasis and she was sent soaring through the air, coming to a painful halt as her back slammed against a tree, causing it to shudder and drop a few leaves. Pain shot through her spine as it slammed into the rough bark, she fell limp to the ground, not unconscious, unfortunately. She would have gladly slipped away than have to deal with the pain that ran through her abdomen and back. But as fate would have it, she would soon be thank full that she had indeed stayed conscious.
Ruby watched as her partner flew through the air and slammed into the tree. She called out before she was hit but it was futile. She should have listened. Ruby made to move toward the heiress, but when she did pain shot through her ribs and she fell to the floor. When she landed she must have broken one, that was one hell of a swing. The silver eyed leader tried to crawl toward her partner, not really thinking about what she would do even if she did reach her.
When she saw the man who had just knocked her friend out, move toward said friend, she only attempted to double her efforts. But the man in question had second thoughts about finishing off the heiress just yet. He paused halfway way between the Schnee girl and the red headed child, deciding that the heiress could wait for something for once in her life, whatever it may be, he changed course and made his way toward Ruby.
Weiss groaned as she regained a little more mental ability, her vision was blurred and every time she moved pain shot through her and threatened to pull her into unconsciousness. She was about to accept the invitation when she lifted her head and noticed the man stalking towards Ruby, who was crawling toward her. She tried to call out to warn her partner, but only succeeded in releasing a garbled moan. For some reason though, where her voice failed her, her arms and legs didn’t. Using the tree to help her get to her feet, even though the pain increased tenfold as she stood up, she pushed through the pain and took one step toward her partner.
Her foot touched the ground and she immediately regretting her decision. Her legs failed and she collapsed to the floor. A moan escaped her lips as she hit the ground with a thud. Weiss had no idea whether she could get back up after that, her head was pounding from the pain and her vision was just as bad. Her legs felt like jello and the only parts of her arms that were responding were her fingertips.
It was a wonder how she got back to her feet. When she did, the mercenary was right on top of Ruby and Weiss’ heart sank.
‘No! No not again! NO!’ she yelled at herself. She would not go through this again! She would not watch as another person in her life was taken from her! Someone as special as Ruby didn’t deserve to die because Weiss Schnee watched and did nothing.
She saw the man point his pistol at the back of Ruby’s head, and she knew there was no way she could make it in time. But at that moment Ozpin’s words echoed through her mind. She didn’t know if she even felt that way, but she believed his words, and she moved.
She had never moved faster in her life, her glyphs had never moved her that fast before, but she didn’t question it. She had her blade pointed toward her enemy and her dust expelled and planted across the rapier. The blade went through the man’s chest before he even touched the trigger.
Weiss slammed into the now limp body of the mercenary, collapsing to the floor in heap on top of him. Myrtenaster coming free and sliding away from its owner.
“Weiss! Oh my gosh Weiss!” Ruby yelled, moving toward her partner, who’s aura was softly glowing around her form. She was alive, thankfully.
Weiss heard her partners call and tried to answer, but the pain she was feeling hindered any action to do so. As she peacefully drifted into unconsciousness, she felt Ruby’s hands gently shake her, and Ozpin’s words continued to echo in her mind.
“As I said earlier, love is a powerful thing, and it can cause people to do things unexpected”