Chapter 3: Popular Confession
“You’re a dustard, from the shard to the full crystal. Why do you have to be a good little boy and set boundaries? Why do you do that!?”
In his normal clothes of white armor and plain wear, Jaune frowned at Lou’s mental comment. “Because it’s the right thing to do. Is that really an issue?”
“Not if you want to have the best of everything, especially when it can involve more than one girl. I’m trying to teach you how to enjoy life, not restrict it with these rules and morals of peaceful times. And can someone please tell me when I’m going to see or sense a real Hunter in this damn school?”
Jaune gently sighed as he sat on the bench of Beacon’s amphitheater, near his team and friends as he usually did. He opened his eyes to stare at Goodwitch standing at the middle of the area used for combat practice. Her sharpened eyes told him that she called almost everyone, even the upperclassmen, to this room based on events relating to him.
“Now, several of you may wonder why we required everyone to attend this impromptu meeting. For those who were near the site of incident, you would already have an answer to this question.”
Goodwitch’s announcement was followed by a screen blinking into existence above her head. Its surface showed a picture of a wrecked site that Jaune recognized as the building he destroyed after his meeting with Lou.
“Damn it, we could do a lot better than that scratch. Once we get you trained, you could probably destroy a building on whim. Scratch that, we’ll get a Grimm kill count of over 9000 within a year.”
Jaune didn’t feel comfortable about this info. Feeling lost, he maintained his rapt attention on Goodwitch as her riding crop in hand tapped against her palm.
“The damage from this image had traces of Aura. Atlas has been kind enough to share a prototype invention that may help us recognize the culprit. Would any of you like to admit in doing this crime or is it safe to assume that none of our students would ever consider vandalism on these hallowed grounds? Hm?Anyone?”
Goodwitch’s ultimatum made the other students look around and whisper, signs of wondering if one of their own really did it. Only Jaune’s eyes remained wide in fear as he didn’t want to reveal anything to anyone, even those close to him.
“Lookie here, that old beauty did a favor for us. See, my next lesson is me telling you that becoming famous involves attention. And what better way than to raise your hand and show the power in your disposal? I did say I’m an amplifier for your potential, right?”
Jaune felt one arm rise as it was under Lou’s control. In distress, he struggled to pull down his uncontrollable limb. “Stop it, I do not want to get expelled. I happen to like my life here, especially before you came!”
“Wuss, at this rate, you’re never going to be the hero that everyone needs. Or was the info on those fake transcripts the only accomplishments you want to have in your life?”
Lou’s reveal of this sensitive information made Jaune lose his focus, thus his control. Arm high up, he sighed as Goodwitch aimed her eyes that may as well fry him upon sight.
“Mr. Arc…if you’re raising your hand to go to the restroom, such action isn’t required. A quiet entrance is enough for this meeting to continue undisturbed.”
While Jaune felt glad for his teacher’s misunderstanding, Lou’s reaction was more on the angry side. “Oh, so this old hag thinks you’re that lacking huh? Well, prepared to be surprised. Jaune, keep your hand in the air for me.”
The blonde teenager didn’t have a choice, especially when a ball of white light appeared at the palm of his hand before it flew up and around its owner’s head. This newfound ability didn’t shock only Jaune; it made everyone gawk at him as none knew that he was able to do something like this with his Aura.
“What? Don’t tell me none of you can do this at your age. Exactly who is teaching…oh, it’s that broad. Is her stick too far up that fine ass for her to consider giving a proper lesson?”
Jaune was incredibly glad that nobody was able to hear Lou’s language. This also brought up confusion as he wasn’t sure of whether or not he deserved the curious eyes of his fellow classmates.
“Is he using his Semblance?”
“Doesn’t look like it. It’s too raw in form.”
“So it’s Aura control? But we don’t learn something that advanced until later.”
Conversations of praise and wonder radiated from the seats. Several scrolls were raised to take pictures for later shares with the Scrollgram, an online exchange involving pictures.
Jaune was in a limbo of bashful and panic as his arm was still up and wouldn’t budge. He glanced down to see that his friends and teammates had their own expressions, most related to surprise. Only Sun and Yang had their Scrolls out to take pictures. They were smiling from having the best spot that anyone could ask for in this moment of hype.
“Are all of you too stupid to see that’s a parlor trick?”
Everyone turned to the voice that belonged to Cardin Winchester, a.k.a the school bully and half-baked beefcake. In his gray armor, the taller boy stood up from his seat and pointed a finger with a malevolent grin. “Exactly how is this alright? We just found our crook who admitted his crime. Let’s slap a bill on him and be done with this assembly rather than waste time looking at Jauney Arse.”
Jaune quietly groaned as his former ‘buddy’ was right. He was the reason why everyone was here; the peacekeeper known as Goodwitch had the right to present a suitable punishment to carry out justice.
“Mr. Arc, if this is true, am I to believe that you recently discovered this ability? You’ve never shown any evidence of your current capabilities.”
“N-not really,” Jaune said to answer the blonde teacher. “From time to time, sure, but not like last night. It was more of an accident.” To the boy’s fortune, he didn’t feel any guilt since he told the truth. In a general sense, coincidence was all any witness would have called Lou’s bold actions that involved its victim’s body.
Even better was how Goodwitch was nodding with eyes that held none of her former malice. “Then so be it. Accidents tend to happen in these cases. The only punishment is a stern warning for you to be more careful. Perhaps a later visit to Professor Ozpin would be best as he may examine you for any irregularities.”
Jaune sighed in relief at this news. He noticed his friends and others nearby had the same expression for various reasons. The only ones different were Cardin, his gang, and the students who didn’t seem to approve the attention Jaune was getting.
“Ah, they’ll live with it,” Lou assured. “By the way, Glynda there has this lonely vibe coming from her strict attitude. Would older woman be of some interest to you, angel boy?”
While Jaune was sitting with hand still raised to hold onto his Aura ball, he noticed that Cardin also sat down with a dramatic. A second later, the bully had the nerve to raise his hand and flip out the forbidden bird, a middle finger of displeasure in a way only Jaune could see it.
Lou was also strange with its unusual pause until it calmly said, “Yeah, he’s dead. We accept his duel, right Jaune?”
“What duel?!”The blonde boy never had a chance to reply as his arm automatically flung forward. This made his Aura ball fly forth until it made contact with Cardin’s head and blew up like a grenade.
Being the only one harmed, Cardin fell like a chopped tree and rolled into the next row right into the laps of Dove and Sky. Arms flailing, he fell onto the ground in such a comical way that had everyone laughing at the poor boy.
“Enough!” Goodwitch’s voice boomed out loud, immediately overtaking her merciful behavior she showed to Jaune. “Mr. Arc, you have somehow broken two rules in the same amount of days. Is this the one where punishment for you actions needs to be severe?”
“But….I lost control again. I didn’t really mean it.” Jaune’s excuse was accepted by one half of the audience. The other, including a cackling Lou, knew it as absolute bullshit.
Once Cardin was up, he went over to his seat where his mace was at. After grabbing the weapon, he began to make the climb up the stairs as his shame and pain commanded him to his act of blind revenge. Before the bully could come closer, he stopped once Team Juniper, especially Pyrrha, stood up with their bodies blocking the sight of their leader.
“What? Are you three stupid?! Your leader just physically attacked me!” Cardin aimed his mace at Jaune, who was truly sorry for causing this amount of tension in the first place.
“Hit the road,” Nora yelled as she made a shooing motion with both hands. “You always start the fights and really, most of us here think you deserve getting a gentle tap from our man here. Wouldn’t you think so Ren?”
Ren firmly nodded, although Jaune knew that the silent boy was feeling strange about Nora’s slang that she recently started using with others. This still didn’t calm Cardin down, creating hostility to where Team Cardinal was on the rise in the case they were needed.
“Team Juniper and Cardinal, stand down.” With a sigh, Goodwitch swung her wand in a wide arc. Purple energy forced both teams sit down and Cardin take forceful step backwards. Ensured she was in control, the teacher waved her weapon up at the two floating screens hovering near her.
“While I condemn unsanctioned matches, today may be appropriate for several of you to settle any unspoken matters. Upper classmen, you are all free to leave as the session involving the first-year students has begun.”
After several bodies got up and walked out, Jaune noticed that Velvet and her team didn’t move from their spot. Unsure why, he couldn’t think further as Lou yelled at him to look forward. His face paled once he saw his face and Cardin’s appear on the screens.
“Today is when we will see another match between Mr. Arc and Winchester.” Walking to the arena’s outside boundary, the teacher motioned for the mentioned teenagers to come down with her head. “Remember that this is a practice match. As long as the conditions for victory are met, any methods you use in this fight will be acceptable.”