The Amazing Juniper
Three fighters going up against one was never good odds for anyone.
Strong ones like Pyrrha were the exception, so how could Jaune, her student,
dream of achieving the same victory that she did?
“Go low, arms up, keep that shield moving!”
Jaune muted out Lou’s commands as he focused on meeting Dove’s sword strikes. Backing out of reach, he spun to kick away the rushing Sky. Mind on his shield, Jaune used what Lou called Lumen Burst to create a blast of energy that threw away Russell, who tried to hit him from behind.
So far, Jaune was holding his own in this three-way battle, partially thanks to his two-handed sword style and shield placed on his back. Although several hits came through to cause damage, the boy wonder wasn’t falling like most would have expected. In fact, the faces on his enemies were implying that the boy held some kind of advantage over them.
“So got used to it? Another thing about Luminessence is using your Aura to feel their energy and bodies coming in. This ability can alone make a nice alarm during your ‘alone time’ with your Scroll.”
“What alone time?!” Jaune’s distraction allowed Sky’s lance to hit his side. He still managed to keep his feet on ground and slash away the blue-haired fighter. “Wait, are you going through my head again?!”
“I was until I found this fanwiki page. Why do you have bookmarks on that Dust heiress being kinky with the reader?”
Jaune’s cough from this surprising reveal distracted him enough to have his body be hit by a stream of water. Pushing through the cold liquid, he eventually made it to Russel and slashed him away with a blast of light from Crocea Mors. With the daggers gone, the water stream stopped, leaving Jaune’s body soaking wet. He didn’t have a chance to rest as bullets riddled his body from behind. Shield clanking from blocking the projectiles, Jaune glanced over his shoulder to see Dove firing his gun-sword at him.
Having enough, Jaune grabbed his shield with one hand and spun his body around. With this momentum, he threw the triangular metal like a boomerang. Running after his shield that hit Dove, he jumped and grabbed his metallic protection while his sword in other hand came down. The flat end of the blade slammed on top of Dove’s head, leaving the brunette in a daze.
After kicking away the dazed member of Cardinal, Jaune felt dizzy again on a greater scale. Hand on his mouth, he felt an inner, searing pain that made him think he was going to puke.
“Hey, relax! You’re almost there, just hold out until you’re finished!”
Jaune couldn’t reply as Sky rammed a spear into his front. Forced backwards, his body was washed in wind and fire sent from Russell’s Dust daggers. Stabbing sword into the ground to support himself, Jaune ended up falling to his knee. He looked up to see Dove rushing at him with sword raised at ready for a head strike.
“Get up! I know it’s my fault for pushing you, but you can’t lose now or everyone won’t think better of you!”
Strangely, Jaune felt at peace even if he was about to lose. He won against Cardin and held his own against the three members of Cardinal. Losing after his success showed that Jaune really was getting stronger, even if some of that was thanks to Lou.
Yet, Jaune was never downed by the coup de grace as pink energy slammed into Dove to send him flying. The kneeling blonde saw that this was done by Nora, who pulled back her hammer. He also saw Ren use an Aura kick to send Sky flying while Pyrrha unleashed furious strikes against Russell with her sword.
All members of Team Juniper came to rescue their leader. With Goodwitch gone and Team Cardinal exacting revenge, they didn’t see a need to hold back when the going was getting tough for Jaune.
“Sorry for the last-minute help.” Nora presented a helping hand to her leader. “We thought you had it. I did, but I guess you’re just not used to being this strong yet.”
Jaune put away his shield on back before taking his friend’s hand. “Yeah, I’ll definitely remember that lesson.” Getting up, he glanced at the boys of Cardinal and their seething gazes. “Can we end this fight right now? I don’t think any more violence than this is necessary.”
“Uh, yeah it is. With all of you together, you can pound them into Dust and get rid of them the second time after they go through the planet’s life cycle.”
Before Jaune could wonder the deeper meaning behind Lou’s phrase, the entire floor suddenly shook with great force. Realizing they were in danger, Jaune yelled, “Run!” right as one part of the arena crumbled into pieces. This revealed a hole used by a black blur to come out and land on the rest of the intact ground.
“Is that a Grimm?!”
“Someone call a teacher!”
“Every man for himself!”
The remaining first-year students ran as the Grimm growled, its furry, cylindrical body settling down. Sniffing with a mask that lacked eye holes, the furry monster used its huge, clawed paws to swipe the air with caution. This mole-like Grimm’s black nose eventually aimed at Team Cardinal carrying their unconscious leader out of the area.
Jaune noticed this and didn’t hesitate to run forward with sword raised. After striking the Grimm, he retreated to dodge the clawed paws that tried to swat him away. As he gained the attention of the mole monster, he also noticed that his teammates gave him befuddled looks.
“Dustamnit, doing that cause you have a hard-on for them would make more sense than thinking it’s the right thing to do. Some master you’re turning out to be.”
“Sorry, it didn’t seem right to leave them like that.” Saying this more for his teammates, Jaune couldn’t catch a break as Lou’s mental tirade involved the most unpleasant words.
“We’ll talk about this later. Taking care of this one comes first.” Despite sounding sour, Pyrrha took her place near her leader while Ren stood at the other side. Getting ready to lead, Jaune shouted, “Alright, then let’s start with Nora’s Arc and Red Lotus, go!”
Smiling from Jaune’s order for their combo, Nora ran with Magnhild’s hammer form to slam it into the mole’s head. When she rolled away to dodge a swipe from a claw, Ren and Pyrrha opened fire with their guns. Jaune charged with shield held at his front that slammed straight into the mole. He held his ground so the monster couldn’t easily advance to take out the ones peppering its head with gunfire.
When the mole tried to take a bite out of Jaune’s head, Nora shouldered her teammate away. The one pushed grabbed the pusher’s hand so they both fell and avoided chomping teeth. Before the mole could crush the two with its feet, Pyrrha and Ren charged their guns with Aura before firing. The exploding projectiles forced the Grimm to take one step backwards and away from the fallen humans.
Jaune noticed that Nora was lying right on top of his armored chest. “You okay?”
“Yeah, so let’s get up and finish this.” Rising, Nora switched to her grenade launcher and shot out rounds to join the intense barrage. Jaune followed and tried to use the same sensation Lou gave him in his fight against Cardin. Feeling power in his sword arm, he swung down to make a wave of light shoot out from the stricken ground and straight into the mole’s chest.
Screeching, the Grimm began to swing and kick in a wild rampage. Jaune raised his shield and shouted, “Arkos and Renora, let’s finish this!”
After Pyrrha came to his side with her own shield, she and Jaune held their ground as the mole wildly struck their protections. At the right moment, both teenagers pushed to slam the clawed paws into the air.
In the Grimm’s helpless state, Jaune and Pyrrha used fast swordplay to slash and cut the monster’s body with fury. Using shields to block the incoming claws, the two worked well together in their dance of blades that came from their times of practice as partners. Soon, they parted to make way for Nora to shoot her grenades that met their mark.
Switching to hammer, Nora jumped in and pulled the trigger of her weapon. Her hammer exploded, making one end make a crushing impact into the mole’s head. At the same time, Ren came in and slammed his Aura hand into the hammer’s back to add more force into Nora’s strike.
The simultaneous assault created a loud explosion right as the Grimm’s head burst into many, black pieces. Headless, the remaining body felt to the ground and twitched several times before becoming still. Seeing his team victorious, Jaune gave his allies a thumbs-up as his way of saying ‘good job.’
“Wow, didn’t see memories about your training with your team. Why aren’t you showing something like this off to the rest of the school?!”
“Because we don’t practice to be famous.” Jaune glances at his teammates as they all turned to greet their incoming friends. “We made them so we could protect each other, make it out alive as a team.”
Expecting criticism, Jaune wasn’t prepared to hear Lou say, “True, you and your team have some good synergy going on. Can’t deny that your folks also had something like that. Hey, is that Summer and Taiyang’s kids? Where’s Qrow, I have a score to settle with that emo punk.”
Jaune decided to focus on his friends as they all gathered around to talk about what happened. As he walked over, he noticed Sun and Neptune look his way.
“Hey loser, looks like you had a good fight.” With his usual good nature, Sun patted Jaune on the shoulder while Neptune patted the other side to create a symmetrical image. “Got to say, you did good work against Cardin. And that correction thing? I guess you haven’t heard of the news, did you?”
Jaune felt bashful, but worried that what Cardin said was indeed a thing. Before he could ask about it, he noticed Ruby walk over to the remains of the smoking, mole Grimm. Feeling cautious about the Grimm that infiltrated the school, he gently placed his hand up to have the boys let go before leaving to make sure his hooded friend had some kind of back up. On the way he heard Lou note, “I don’t think you noticed, but you’re pretty tired, so don’t do anything stupid.”
“We knew you guys could handle this, but it’s still crazy how this happened.” Ruby poked the black body that slowly disappeared. “Shouldn’t we be worried that more would pop out of the ground like it did? And where are the teachers?”
On cue, the ground shook more violently than it did the last time. Trying to maintain his balance like everyone else, Jaune saw the area under Ruby crumble at an alarming rate.
“Ruby!” Yang tried to go after her sister, but was too far to make it in time. This left Jaune as the closest one to help his falling friend. He did just that by calling Lumen Burst that created a great burst of energy from the shield on his back. Launching fast like a rocket, he pushed Ruby away right as the hole fully formed to reveal another mole Grimm inside.
“Jaune, I said don’t do anything stupid!”
The endangered boy tried to use another blast to get out, but his body suddenly became limp without life. Sight instantly darkening, he couldn’t even move as he fell towards the Grimm’s open mouth.
“Get out of there kid! Jaune? Jaune!”
Lou’s cry was added by all of the others calling out his name. Still unable to stop his doom, Jaune felt his vision blur from exhaustion. The last thing he saw was a brown-haired person fall after him. Lacking energy to warn the person away, the doomed boy saw his world grow dark, leaving him scared of his incoming fate.
A/N: zgor anybody interested, Red Lotus was for the Pyrrha and Ren pairing while Nora’s Arc was for Nora and Jaune. Not to say this will be a future plot…well, we’ll see about that ;