Remnant Chronicles

Chapter 9: First Few Weeks


Jaune woke up for the first day of classes. He looked around the room and saw that some of them were already up and prepared. Ren and Nora were in a corner. It looked like Ren was trying to properly fix his nightclothes while Nora was just yammering away. He yawned and sat up from his bed, but bumped his head on something. Right. Ruby's bed is suspended over mine. This is going to kill me one day I can feel it.

It looked like the bathrooms were occupied. He weaved his way through the other beds and knocked on one door. "Anyone there?"

"Occupied!" shouted Yang. Jaune knocked on the other bathroom door.

"Occupied!" Pyrrha called out. "I'm sorry!"

He had a feeling he'd have to go to the dorm showers their scroll mentioned if their team's bathrooms were full. He went over to Ren. "How'd you get to shower so early?"

Ren shrugged. "I was up the earliest."

Of course. "Guess I'm going to the dorm showers."

Jaune packed his fuzzy slippers and bathing supplies and exited their room. They were on the second floor, right where the dorm showers were, so at least he had that convenience. As he walked down the hallway, Weiss turned a corner with her towel and supplies in hand. She probably just finished showering. He decided to chat her up a bit. Maybe she's alright with talking now.

"Didn't get to our showers quick enough huh?" he asked. She narrowed her eyes at him. What did I do now?

"No. Unfortunately the rabble-rousers were all much earlier than I had expected," she said disdainfully. Her air of condescendence was so thick you could cut it with Ruby's scythe.

"You know, we're going to be a team now, you should warm up to the others," he suggested. She was always so cold and aloof.

"Yes, well, it wasn't by choice. I'm sure once the instructors see how exceptional I am they'll reconsider and let me join a much more deserving team," she said plainly. That was pretty harsh.

"Yeah well, for now you're stuck with us 'rabble-rousers', so you'd better lighten up so people don't avoid you like when we were kids," he snapped. His eyes widened. Her expression didn't change, but he saw her mouth twitch just a bit. "Sorry, I didn't…"

She marched off without another word. Good job Jaune, good job.

He walked to the men's side of the showers and turned the water on full blast. His comment was still in his head.

Stupid, stupid. It wasn't something he wanted to bring up. If it wasn't already apparent, he had a feeling Weiss' only 'friends' when they were younger was himself and Cardin because of that attitude of hers. They got used to it, which was probably a bad thing. She could have afforded to tone it down a little, but Jaune didn't have the backbone to say anything and Cardin was fine competing with her.

Why do I even have to feel bad? She's the one acting like a complete ass all the time. Yeah. Yeah that's right.

He changed into his uniform and waltzed back to his dorm room. He saw a familiar face walking down the hallway. It was Velvet. He could never mistake that long brown hair and two fuzzy bunny ears. It looked like she was reading something on her scroll as she walked. After a few seconds she looked up and she recognized him immediately. She waved and almost skipped over to him. "Jaune! You passed the test?"

He gave her a prize-winning smile. "Well, I am in uniform aren't I?"

She smiled. "Indeed you are. I had a feeling you could do it."

He could listen to her accent all day. "I'm sure you say that to all the first year initiates you meet."

"Of course not hon, I promise." She assured him. She looked at her wristwatch. "Don't be late fer class now, it's yer first day."

"Right, classes," he said, trying to act cool. "I'm sure they don't start for a while, so we can just chat here if you like."

She raised an eyebrow. "It's 8:55. Classes start at 9 hon."

A cog halted in his head for a moment, before it finally registered to him. He looked frantically down the hallway and to his team dorm's room. "Well alright then nice seeing you Velvet gotta go!" his persona broke and he dashed down the hall.

"Be safe!" he heard her shout from behind.

Jaune practically ripped the door open when he arrived. No one was left inside the room. He must've taken too long. He tossed his belongings on his bed and dashed outside of the dorm building. He took his scroll out to find where his first class was going to be. The class of one Peter Port, Grimm Studies Hall, main lecture building. Wonderful. He felt his scroll vibrate. It was a message from Ruby.

Wr r u?

He texted back while running. On my way I got a bit sidetracked.

He zipped into the large, stark white building which his scroll labeled as the lecture building. He skidded around two corners before storming into the classroom. Fortunately the professor didn't seem to be there yet. It was a large, spacious room, with the desks arranged in a stair-like fashion so that the students in the back could see the board properly. There was a large, box-like thing right after he stepped through the door. It was covered, and it jittered every now and then. He could have sworn he heard growling, or squealing underneath. The board, for some reason, was covered with those pull-down drape things that were meant for projectors, but Jaune could see something written behind. He slipped in to sit beside Ruby. Unfortunately, this had him sit down next to Weiss as well. Oh this'll be fun.

A large, stocky man entered the classroom no sooner after he sat down. He had white hair parted in the middle of his face, and a fabulous moustache to go with it. He set his materials on his desk before he turned to the class. "Alright, you young'uns! Welcome to your first class of the semester, and what a mighty fine class this is, I'll tell you right now," he started.

Wow, he just praised himself.

"My name, is Peter Port, but you can all call me Professor Port. And welcome," he paused, before, pressing a button on his desk. "to Grimm Studies!"

Ah. Well Grimm studies doesn't sound so bad.

That was Jaune's initial thought. The lecture started off pretty normally. Professor Port seemed to really be into it. Jaune wasn't one to take notes, and his mode of studying was always 'listen in class, you'll totally remember it later'. It's worked out fifty percent of the time since he was a kid. Good enough for him.

"Then I took the Grimm by its jowls and suplexed it into the Endless Canyon -"

Then he started getting sidetracked.

"- And as I oiled up for one last fight against The Nightstalker Beowolf -"

Really sidetracked.

"- Peter, my grandfather told me, when life gives you cabbages -"

So he and Ruby found something fun to do while he rambled on. Ruby drew a parody of their professor. She showed it discreetly to him and Yang, who was on the other side of Weiss. They stifled their laughter. Port looked at them for a moment, before continuing on. The 'lecture' was going on for more than thirty minutes now. Wow this guy could talk. Jaune was already dozing off. Ruby was practically snoring beside him. How long was this going to take?

Oh god and it was only the first day.

"-and so I returned to my village, with the Beowolf in captivity and my head held high, and I was lauded as a hero!" Port guffawed, his massive belly bouncing with him. "The moral of the story? A true Hunter must be honorable-"

Ruby snored loudly.

"- a true Hunter must be dependable -"

Jaune's head hit the desk. Out like a light.

"- a true Hunter must be strategic, well educated, and wise -"

Jaune snapped back up from his sleep, acting like nothing happened. He looked to his side. Weiss looked like she was about to break the pencil she was using to jot down notes with.

"Weiss?" he asked. It overlapped with Port's words.

"So who" "You okay?" "among you think" "Weiss? Hello?" "you are the embodiment" "Yooohooo" "Of these traits?"

The pencil snapped in her hand and she raised her hand abruptly. Jaune staggered back and bumped into Ruby. She yelped quietly and looked around, spooked. "Wh-wha happen…?"

Weiss practically shouted. "I do sir!"

Port nodded solemnly. "Well then Ms…" he took a look at the class list in his hands. "Schnee. Yes. Let's find out then, shall we?" he motioned to the box near the door. "Face your opponent!"

Weiss looked to the box. Jaune looked at it too. From the front, it actually looked like a cage. He nudged Ruby and whispered. "Hey, how is she going to fight without a weapon? Aren't they in the arena locker room?" Ruby shrugged.

"Did you all read about the PDS? It was supposed to be on your beds yesterday." Port stated. Weiss waved a hand.

"Read all about it sir." Weiss walked to the front and flipped something open near the professor's desk. It was a keypad. She input a code. There was some rumbling, and right near the desk, a port opened. A pod came up with a loud metallic hiss. It was her locker from the arena. It opened, and she grabbed Myrtenaster from the rack. She glared at Jaune and Ruby.

"If you two dunces read the syllabus you'd know about the school's Pod Delivery System."

Ruby raised an eyebrow. "Sheesh what's with her?"

Jaune shrugged. He slightly remembered reading something about the lockers before going to bed last night.

"Well then, if you are ready Ms. Schnee," Port took a Blunderbuss-axe that was mounted to his desk and stood near the box-cage. He lifted the dark sheet that was covering it and revealed a lock. "It's time to face your opponent!"

Port broke the lock with his axe and something smashed against the entrance. With more smash something burst out with amazing speed and slammed into Weiss. She managed to parry it and stepped to the side while her opponent steadied itself, looking manic and crazed. Jaune instantly knew it was the boar-like Grimm, the Boarbatusk. How? There was a diagram of it on the board. It was probably stuck in that box for a while. Was it safe for students to fight Grimm inside the school grounds?

"Wasn't expecting that, were you!" Port sounded oddly jolly. He probably did this to all the first years.

"You can do it Weiss!" Ruby shouted.

"You're cheering her?" Jaune asked. "I thought you didn't like her."

"Yeah well we're teammates now, so we have to get along!" she smiled. Such a kind girl, this Ruby.

"Would you stay quiet over there?! I'm trying to focus!" Weiss snapped. She charged forward. Jaune decided he could cheer on his friend too. Well. They're apparently not friends anymore but anyway.

"You got this Snow Angel!"

Weiss slammed into the Boarbatusk, but it caught Weiss' weapon in its tusks. It struggled, and her rapier was wrenched right out of her hands. Port was just as distracting as he and Ruby was, Jaune thought. He was making side-comments practically every five seconds. The Boarbatusk charged at Weiss again, but she managed to roll out of the way just in time. It slammed into a wall and got disoriented. Man those walls must be reinforced. Weiss made a break for her rapier and picked it up deftly, turning back to her opponent. Ruby was waving her hands wildly.

"Weiss! Go for its belly! There's no a-"

Weiss looked at Ruby. "I said be quiet!"There was a fire in her eyes. "I don't help from you, of all people!"

Ruby's expression sank.

That was harsh… Jaune thought. He looked at Ruby. She looked like a child that got scolded by her mother. He didn't know what to say.

The Boarbatusk curled up and started rolling at high speed right at Weiss. A glyph appeared right in front of her. The Grimm slammed right into it and was thrown back. Another glyph appeared where it landed. It was stuck on its back, flailing for its life. Weiss calmly walked up to it, before sinking her blade right into it, straight at the heart. Dark blood flowed to the classroom floor. The Grimm squealed and flailed pitifully, before it stopped entirely. Weiss retracted her blade from its carcass. A glyph appeared beside her and ran the length of her blade. In a moment, it was clean of blood. The remains of the Grimm smoked and started to melt into nothingness.

Professor Port started clapping. "Bravo! Indeed a splendid display of skill!" he sniffed. Jaune didn't know if it was mockingly or if he was actually touched by that display. Possibly the latter. Port looked at the wall clock. "That seems to be all the time we have for today. I hope you all enjoyed the first day of Grimm Studies, students!" He raised a hand. "Class dismissed. And remember," he paused for dramatic effect. "Stay vigilant."

Weiss promptly returned her weapon into her locker pod and punched in a command. The pod hissed shut and was probably sent back to the arena locker rooms. Ruby was about to get up and run to Weiss, but he stopped her. "I don't think that's a good idea."

She looked concerned. "B-but…"

"You're just going to add cold to the freezer."

Weiss stomped right out of the classroom. Ruby sighed. "I guess."

"She'll warm up eventually. Probably? I don't know," Jaune admitted. Ruby punched him lightly on the arm.

"Thanks Jaune, you really know what to say."

He grinned. "I try."

Jaune accompanied Ruby and Yang towards the halls of the lecture building. Their next class was from one Bartholomew Oobleck, in a classroom not too far away from Professor Port's, with basically almost the same setup, from the board, to the tables. Weiss sat far away from their group. He rolled his eyes.

Ugh. He noticed Pyrrha and Nora behind him as he sat down with Ruby and Yang. They smiled and waved, and he waved back. For a moment he saw Velvet and what was probably some of the older batches walking outside in the halls. He had to wonder just how many professors and students there were at Beacon. There were around sixty Freshman, but what about the Sophomores to the Seniors? He set the thought aside when he saw their professor come in. Or at least, he guessed it was the professor. He looked… disheveled. Half his polo shirt was untucked and his yellow tie was a mess. The green hair splayed everywhere didn't exactly help him look professional either. The glasses sort of helped, but not really. He slammed his notes on his teacher's desk and took a cup next to him and sipped from it ever so slightly. He jittered every now and then too. He began to speak.

"Hello good morning class my name Bartholomew Oobleck and I will be your professor," he took a sip. Then he literally zipped to the other side of his table. He seemed to be as fast as Ruby. How'd he do that? "for your class, History of Remnant. It is with great honor that I share with you," another sip, another zip. "The great wonders of our world and what has shaped it to become what it is today. Now," Whoosh. "Where shall we begin you ask? While you will all probably think it arbitrary, I think it would be important to start at the very beginning," Now he was right in front of Jaune's table. The latter didn't know if the professor was looking right at him or not. It was oddly unnerving. "While you have all taken History up during your younger years I assure you the insight and information that I will be able to provide you all will include the minutest and most important details your younger brains could not possibly have understood all those years ago," Oobleck breathed in. That was the first time he ever to took a breath in between all the speaking. "Now then I am excited to start. Everyone take out your textbooks and turn to chapter one."

To say that it was hard to keep track of the professor would be a large understatement. He was a green blur most of the time as he showed them charts and graphs of things time immemorial. Compared to Port's class though, it was a lot… calmer. Mostly because no one had an emotional outburst.

Their next class was in the Arena with Professor Goodwitch. Nothing much happened. Just a few reminders and introductions before she sent them all on their way. After that, their classes for Monday have ended. Ruby tapped Jaune on the shoulder as he headed out of the arena with them.

"Apparently they only let us off early today because it's the first day of classes. Every class is like, three or four hours long normally," she groaned. Jaune face turned sour.

"Oh man I can just imagine myself dying already."

Ruby nodded sagely. "You want to go get some late lunch?"

Jaune was about to reply until he saw Weiss walk up to their instructor for Grimm studies, Professor Port. She looked like she was asking him something.

"I'll catch up to you. I think I ate a bad sandwich in between classes."

Ruby cringed. "Yeesh. Alright then. Hope you don't explode in the bathroom."

Jaune waved Ruby and the others off before walking up, ever so sneakily, behind a pillar to eavesdrop on Weiss' conversation. They were right outside the Arena and the students were walking around the halls so he didn't look overtly suspicious. Port noticed Weiss.

"Ah, Ms. Schnee, to what do I owe the honor?"

"Professor, I'll be blunt," she started. Oh this should be good. "I believe my team doesn't deserve a person of my caliber. Is there a way I can convince you or Professor Ozpin to, I don't know, get myself reassigned to a more," she paused. "competent team?"

Professor Port stood and regarded her for a moment. Then his eyebrows twitched. "That's preposterous."

Weiss' eyes widened. "Wh-what do you mean?"

"There is no way I or especially Ozpin will reassign you to another team, Ms. Schnee."

"But have you seen my team Professor?" she said. Her voice was rising. "Aside from Pyrrha Nikos and perhaps Cardin Winchester they're a bunch of… a bunch of…"

"A bunch of what," Jaune noticed the professor's tone getting sharper. Oh no. "Ms. Schnee?"

"A bunch of… children! I-imbeciles! Incompetents! Surely this morning you've seen how exceptional I was-"

The professor stood silent. There was a glare in the way he looked at her. It was a look of disappointment. "That's quite enough," he said sharply. "Obviously I had misjudged you, Ms. Schnee."

"Excuse me?"

"Did you not take The Hunter's Creed to heart? Did you not listen or see what had happened during the initiations?" He said in a hushed but harsh tone to keep from being too loud. Some students were staring, before getting the better idea to mind their own business. " 'A Hunter is Never Alone'. Being a Hunter is more than being a good fighter, an intelligent strategist. I think you need a reality check, Ms. Schnee. You are by far an exceptional combatant, and perhaps you are as intelligent as you say, but you are not the first, nor will you be the last. Quite frankly, whatever skills you have are inversely proportional to your attitude. You are not special, Ms. Schnee."

"How dare you!" Weiss' ears lit up. She was clenching her fist so hard her knuckles turned white.

Port raised an eyebrow. "My point exactly. What I see before me is no longer a Huntress. What I see before me is a child who is used to getting her way."

"Th-that's not…"

Professor Port placed a hand on her shoulder. "My dear girl. The year has only just begun. If you truly, truly, want to become a Hunter worthy of the respect and admiration you so think you deserve, then treat others as you would treat yourself. Help them improve and perhaps even you will find yourself improving," he looked over Jaune's way. Jaune shrank behind the pillar. Did he know? "I was in your shoes once. I thought myself quite the untamable wolf, hampered down by my own team. But I came to realize I would have died a hundred times over if they were not there for me. You're young, Ms. Schnee," he removed his hand. "You'll learn eventually. Take this to heart."

The professor left without another word. Jaune was about to leave too but he felt a hand on his arm. "Eavesdropping is a revolting pastime."

"W-Weiss!" he stammered. "F-fancy meeting you here."

"Uh huh," She said, unimpressed.

Jaune gulped. "I guess Port kind of grilled you, eh?"

Her eyes narrowed. Ugh I never say anything right. Weiss dragged him down the hallway. "We're free for the rest of the day right? Walk with me."

Exqueeze me? "Excuse me?"

Weiss swallowed like there was a block in her throat. "I went ahead and assumed you'd appreciate my company."

"Well it's not that I don't," he said. "But what happened to the entire 'rabble-rousers' thing?"

Weiss exhaled loudly. This was new. "Perhaps," she started slowly, like it pained her to say what she was about to say. "I was too quick to judge. I judge, but maybe I can judge… lighter."

Jaune smiled a bit. He was kind of sad he couldn't give her the reality check she needed, but it happened. So time would tell if it would actually mean anything. He felt her hand grip his arm tighter. "You know you're supposed to not know me right?" Jaune said. "Holding my arm like that would damage your reputation you know."

She immediately let go. As expected.

"I… I know I pretended not to know you but-"

Jaune held up a hand. "Ah tut tut, save it. I'm over it. Well no, I'm not, but you had… reasons," he paused. And shrugged. He raised an eyebrow too. Basically he was passive-aggressively being sarcastic. "I guess."

Weiss looked annoyed. Which did wonders for Jaune's mood. "How about," she thought long and hard. Oh this should be good. "an… apology?"

"Oh perish the thought Snow Angel, I'm not worthy," he chuckled.

She let out an annoyed growl. "Fine, be that way," she huffed. It was then Jaune heard Weiss' stomach growl. Her face went red. He remembered Ruby's offer to eat.

"You know, if you want to eat lunch with the others, we could. They're in the cafeteria," he said passively. "Then maybe you can make friends."

"I-" before another word came out, her stomach growled again. "… fine," she relented.

The two of them headed off to the cafeteria. Jaune thought about how long it would take for Weiss to warm up to everyone.

Well, she's got a few years to work on it.


Ruby sat on the bleachers of the dueling arena. It was the second week of classes since initiation day. She was feeling good about today. This was the only subject she found that she did not fall asleep five minutes into. After finding out their weekly schedule and going to other classes, she could safely say it was going to be her favorite class of the year. Combat Practice let them fight drones and practice their maneuvering in the large arena facility Beacon had. The class was held three times a week, thankfully. When she found that out it was something that she really looked forward to. Their instructor was Glynda Goodwitch, the one who saved her some time ago when she chased down some White Fang members back at Patch. She was as strict as her vibe gave off with those glasses and that riding crop of hers.

She remembered the first day of Combat Practice when she made everyone watch their own team's videos from initiation. It was meant to criticize and try to find what they could have improved on. When it was her turn to be criticized for her actions during the initiation she was grilled on how unrefined and reckless her style was even if it got the job done. She praised her a bit sure, because, well, she was alive, but the point was that she needed more refinement. She could respect that opinion coming from a professional Huntress, but thinking that you did so well and suddenly having someone tell you 'Oh you did horribly actually' was kind of heartbreaking, especially from someone she wanted to impress. Better off alive than dead, she thought.

Oh okay that was a really bad thought to have. She was thankful she was alive. When she saw the recordings on the afternoon of the day initiations were held her stomach churned. It was very, very graphic. She's had gashes and scars on her body from fighting Grimm before, but seeing someone with a look of horror on their faces as they were being eviscerated would probably scar her mentally for life. She didn't look away from the screen that time, but she squeezed Yang's hand so hard her sister had to tap her to make her stop. That could've been her, up on the screen. She had her teammates to thank for being alive right now.

Speaking of her teammates, everyone has been getting along swimmingly. Except that Cardin guy. He didn't seem to like people much. And Weiss too, though the princess seemed like her underwear wasn't always in a knot at least. Probably not used to working with 'commoners' or something. She's kind of warming up, but not entirely. Aside from them, the rest of the team had great chemistry. They still had to think of a name for their team. It wasn't required, but Ozpin gave them the choice to do so. It wasn't supposed to be this hard, she thought. Maybe if there were fewer of them they could use the first letters of their names or something, but so much for that. Squad 2 didn't really have that much of a ring to it. They didn't have a formal leader yet either, if they were even supposed to have one. She thought a team needed a leader, and if it was a voluntary position she'd scoop it up immediately.

And speaking of being a team, their dorm was pretty fancy. She thought it would've been one of those icky military types with the bland colors and the really stiff bunk beds. To her pleasant surprise, it was a large, spacious, homey room that she could totally get used to staying in. Her bed felt divine. She also rigged her bed on top of Jaune's so she could have that double decker bunk bed her uncle never let her have. Jaune was always complaining about how he might be squashed in the middle of the night, but Ruby proved her engineering skills by jumping up and down on her bed, and every time she did she'd watch Jaune look like he'd have a heart attack. It was fun.

They all settled in wherever they wanted, and without much of a fuss. If they had any complaints everyone kept it to themselves. The mornings were hectic though, with only two bathrooms, so if a guy had to go heed the call of nature while both of the showers were occupied by the womenfolk, well, sucks to be them. They'd have to settle for the public dorm showers outside their rooms, which didn't smell as nice.

She was getting off track again, as was per usual recently, and she totally didn't listen to Glynda's opening speech. Today they'd finally start partnering up and sparring. The arena was a large facility, with the options to pump out drones and have floating islands roam around for situational combat practice. For now they'd have one on one duels that lasted a minute and a half each. Their schedule was that one week was dedicated to Field Combat, and the other week dedicated to Duels, then it would continually alternate for the rest of the semester. She was rearing to go by the time they got out of the locker room. They always had to change into their battle attire so that their uniforms wouldn't get dirty. Or torn apart.

The first match, luckily belonged to her. Three teams were gathered in the arena right now, Ruby's own Squad 2, and the other two, 4 and 6. For now, they'd be sparring with members of their own team, but Ms. Goodwitch said that eventually there will be a sparring tournament for the first years to see who would be participating in an inter-school event some time later. They paired her up with Weiss

Just great.

She had it in for Ruby since day one. Weiss just clashed too much with her personality. Cold shoulder indeed. The two girls got up from their seats and bowed to each other as they stood in front of Ms. Goodwitch.

"Let's have some fun then, Weiss!" Ruby grinned. Weiss looked at her like she was a spoiled glass of milk. UGH WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU TO EASE UP ON ME? Are you still not over that Boarbatusk thing? Or that time in the cafeteria, or that other time-

"Just try not to hurt yourself," she replied.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH.

"Two minutes, keep your aura up at all times, do try not to kill each other," Glynda said while she tapped a few buttons on her scroll. The overhead screen that was situated on a far wall lit up and showed their statuses for the entire arena to see. It was kind of like those giant neon signs that sports had to show off scores and junk. Ruby didn't know what they called it, she wasn't that in to sports. She was more into things like wrestling and arena combat. Okay so they're both sort of a sport? Maybe?

"You'll step in if she tries to kill me right, Ms. Goodwitch?" Ruby asked. The silence and that slightly mischievous smile that lasted a second on their instructor's face didn't really help her dread.

The round started and Ruby gained the upper hand immediately as she rushed Weiss down. The dust cartridges from Myrtenaster were something she had to watch out for tho—

And she was frozen. Somehow Weiss managed to put a Glyph behind her laced with Ice Dust. It caught her cape and she almost choked.

I swear she wants to kill me!

She broke the ice with her scythe before turning around and seeing a barrage of… something, like little light shards, heading towards her. She remembered it from the time they fought the Nevermore. She wanted to ask her what it was, but never got the chance to. Speaking of which how did Weiss fight in that poofy dress of hers. It was kind of amazing. Ruby had a skirt sure but she had shorts underneath. Did Weiss have shorts? What if people saw her underpants? That would be embarrassing.

Oh right. Fighting.

Nothing amazing happened for the next minute and thirty seconds, really. They were both evenly matched, and while Weiss could manage to put Ruby in some zoning traps that she'd thought of, Ruby could break free of them with brute force, which more than annoyed Weiss. Still, they both finished the fight with more than half their Aura remaining.

"Time's up!" Glynda shouted. "That was a stellar performance you two. Keep at it."

Ruby flushed a bit at the praise. Getting praised for doing something she loved was something she just didn't get tired of. Some people applauded as they went back to their seats. Have these people not seen a fight before? Or maybe they were just being nice. Or being sarcastic. She could never tell. She ran up all bubbly-like to Weiss and tapped her shoulder. Weiss spun a one eighty like a spider had pounced on her. "Good fight?" Ruby asked, a hand outstretched.

Weiss regarded her hand for a second. "Your style's too brash for my tastes, but if you can break out of my snares that easily it either means I'm lacking, or your pigheadedness just allows you to force your way through everything."

Yeesh, tone it down Grumpy McFrumpy.

Ruby kept her smile going and her hand steady. Weiss scoffed.

"Good job then, teammate," she said. You could cut the sarcasm in the air with a butter knife.

OH LET ME AT HER-

Ruby felt a hand clasp her left shoulder. She looked to see who it was.

"Not worth it, Rubes," he said. Jaune gave Weiss one of his signature smiles. "Maybe Snow Angel over here's just having a rough day," he paused. "Like always."

Here he goes, defending her again. Whenever Weiss got tiffy he'd butt in.

Ruby hmphed. He probably liked her. She guessed that he liked her. She couldn't imagine who'd go to these sorts of lengths to defend someone that they only just met.

"You don't want to get angry, do you Snow Angel?" he paused. "It would break my heart to see your beautiful face looking so aggravated."

Weiss' eye twitched before she stomped off without another word.

"You're such a smooth operator," Ruby slugged Jaune in the arm.

"It is a gift," he exaggerated saying it. "And a curse," he waved a clenched fist to the ceiling.

Ruby put a hand on her hip. "Why her Jaune? Why not my sister? Okay ew, no, but what about Pyrrha? She's definitely into you!" she flailed her arms. "I dunno! She practically hates on you all the time!" she jokingly looked around and leaned in to whisper. "Are you one of those m-machokists?"

"Wrong word, and it's kind of complicated Stammer-mouth," he grinned. "You'll get it when you're older."

"I'M LIKE TWO YEARS YOUNGER THAN YOU!" she hissed, trying to keep quiet before Glynda reprimanded them.

He poked her on the forehead. "And that's two years of life experience I have over you."

She groaned. "Oh whatever."

She sat next to Jaune on the bleachers and waited for the next name to be called. Pyrrha was on Jaune's other side and they were making some small talk. She noticed the way Pyrrha looked at him sometimes when they went to class together. She'd always laugh at his lame jokes and sometimes, if she looked hard enough, she swore she caught Pyrrha eyeing Jaune's backside. Ruby was pretty good at catching on to things like this. Maybe I can play matchmaker or something. Oh that'll be fun. The next set of names were about to be called.

"Elwyn Albion," Professor Goodwitch started, adjusting her glasses.

Oh, cadet-boy. Wonder if Blake'll be his partner.

Ruby had seen Elwyn spar with Blake sometimes during the last two weeks. Something they agreed on because of their military training or something? She forgot the exact reason.

"Yang Xiao Long," the Professor finished.

Oh what? Ruby thought. The two of them went up to the front and touched gloves. Or gauntlets. Whatever they called their punchy punch stuff. Then they were off.

To his credit, Elwyn fought okay. But Yang's semblance was her trump card in a one on one fight. If anyone of the first years was going to be picked for that Vital Festival Cup, Ruby had her money on Yang. She went for his jaw with a hook.

Pow. Right in the kisser. Man, those arena cameras are insane, watching the footage on the screen above the arena was like watching it on TV with all those action angles. Elwyn got launched into the far wall. He bounced right back. He turned his weapon into its spear mode and threw it hard. Yang went to block it but at the moment of impact she got showered in explosions. When the Dust and the dust cleared she was smirking while holding his spear by the tip.

Oh gosh she's just showing off now.

Yang threw the spear back and Elwyn caught it before transforming them back into those tonfa gauntlets. He lunged for her and vice versa.

He was trying to match Yang in hand-to-hand combat. One minute left on the clock. Somehow he managed a body-shot.

Oh man that's a feint though!

Yang let him get close. He whiffed a downward strike. And there goes a fiery uppercut. He was floored. Their auras were being displayed on the big virtual screen above the arena. Elwyn was about to go into the red, while Yang had only gotten to yellow. Elwyn just lied there looking at the ceiling, breathing heavily.

"Mr. Albion?" Glynda called out. The clock was still ticking.

"Still here," he groaned.

Yang suddenly jumped into the air. "Don't get distracted now, army-boy!"

Yang came crashing down on Elwyn. There was a lot of dust that flew when she made impact. When it cleared, she was on top of him and had punched just a few inches to the right of his head. She scowled. "Oh come on are you giving up?"

He looked Yang right in the eye and grimaced. "No point," he shrugged and grinned. "Your semblance is annoying."

Did he figure out how it worked already?

Yang stuck her tongue out at him. "Spoilsport."

Glynda adjusted her glasses and stopped the clock. "That's that then. Ms. Xiao Long, exceptional performance, as always. I must say Mr. Albion, I was expecting your performance in a duel to match your performance against drones, but perhaps I was wrong. You may return to your seats now."

Elwyn motioned for Yang to get off of him before they both stood up. Yang slapped his back as they went up the stairs.

"You've got a long way before you can catch up to me, Ellie."

Elwyn scoffed. "I'm a lot more used to fighting in a group."

Yang's expression soured. "What, that all you gotta say? I just whooped you!"

Elwyn sat back down next to Blake. "Maybe next time."

"You got sloppy again. You always throw your spear when you don't know what to do anymore," Blake calmly said as she kept reading her book, her eyes not leaving the pages. "Then you just give up. You always get frustrated when you assume you're going to lose."

Elwyn shrugged. "Maybe I'll just win by hitting her once before time out."

Yang raised an eyebrow. "What, not man enough to face me one-on-one, Ellie?"

He leaned forward and rested his chin on his palm as he rested his elbows on his legs, waiting for the next names to be called. "Well I'm not suicidal…" he said quietly.

Ruby noted that Elwyn was oddly… cautious? Was that the term? Shy, maybe? When he wasn't in a fight. Yang sat down and continued to bug him while Blake read a book to the side. Behind them Nora was bugging Ren about the actual noise that sloths made, which they found out not too long ago using the school's video search engine network, while he sat smiling and nodding.

The rest of Squad 2 went ahead and fought each other until all of them were done. Ren fought Blake to a draw. Ren was fast, and it looked like he was used to fighting multiple people at once, but he couldn't quite pin Blake down when he got close. Pyrrha won against Nora. The Mistral Star and The Valkyrie fought on somewhat even ground, but Ruby could kind of tell the former was holding back. Cardin floored Jaune in just over thirty seconds. It was kind of painful to watch. Cardin helped Jaune up at least. They seemed to know each other from when they were kids. Cardin didn't seem to like hanging out with Squad 2 though. Goodwitch gave them the go ahead to be dismissed early, seeing as all of them had finished their sparring sessions. The partners would be mixed and matched later on, she noted, so they'd best practice.

As she walked with her teammates back to the dorm, she made a mental checklist. She's been taking note of things for the past two weeks. Maybe it was odd to some people, but she liked to jot down her teammates' quirks and personalities. She didn't know how that picking-a-leader thing was going to go for the new system, if they were even going to pick one, but she had a feeling a good leader would know her teammates inside and out. She'd been taking the time lately to talk to each and every one of them, warming them up like cinnamon churros in a baker's oven. Now she was hungry, because she liked doing food analogy. So far, she'd got:

Weiss she still couldn't get anything out of yet. She liked to dance, probably? She took the White Bishop piece during the initiation.

Blake loved books. Kind of quiet and closed off to everyone, even Elwyn. She was a new recruit for Elwyn's military research cell. At least that's what Ruby remembered. She had trouble with titles and stuff. Blake picked the Black Knight (Yang liked to call it a pony) during the initiation.

Yang, her sister, she's had the chance to observe since she was a kid. Anyone messed with her hair, they'd be dead. She loved to fight, but she loved a good old-fashioned one on one brawl the most. Quite a bit of a flirt. She took the White Knight.

Jaune. Flirty to heck and back. Kind of knows when to stop, but he'll slip into it again subconsciously, unless you're fifteen apparently. Dense as a neutron star. Likes fairy-tales. Obsessed with becoming a hero. He took the White King.

Nora was really hyperactive. She also really likes Ren. Whether it was romantic or platonic she wasn't entirely sure yet. Loves pancakes. And sloths. She took the White Rook.

Pyrrha… well, she was the star athlete. Nothing really got by her. Sweet, beautiful, amiable. It was like she was too good to be real. For some reason she's also crushing hard on Jaune. Maybe because he treats her like he would treat everyone else. Normally, and not like some celebrity. Man it's only been two weeks. Maybe she'll get over it? Maybe. She took the Black Queen.

Ren seemed like a kind individual. Like. That's all she could get. He was mysterious like Blake. Much friendlier though. Always hangs out with Nora. He took the Black Bishop.

Elwyn's a military type. He's quiet and not that outspoken, but he lightens up during a fight. He took the White Pawn.

Cardin came from a family of well-known Hunters and he liked to flaunt it. He's kind of a jerk, but he's got skills, she had to admit. He took the Black Rook.

Ruby personally took the Black Pawn piece. Pawns had potential to be something great, she always thought. They could be anything! Their team wasted away the afternoon eating and quietly hanging out at various places, watching funny videos on DustTube and the like, eventually it got dark, and they had to turn in for the night.

Her nightlight was on as she bit the eraser part of her pencil while she was still jotting down notes from classes and for her own teammates. It was pretty late in the evening already. She peeked over her bed. Jaune was snoring underneath, splayed out like a little baby, tossing and turning every now and then. Some of the others were just getting into bed. Blake just set a book she was reading down. Ren yawned and hopped onto his bed next to Nora's. Pyrrha sleepily said good night to everyone as she got onto her bed right next to Jaune's and Ruby's bunk. Ruby smiled.

So far so good, she wrote down in one entry of her journal. Before she could turn off her own nightlight, she heard a loud ring from her Scroll. In fact, everyone's scrolls started to ring and go crazy. Ruby checked scrambled to hush it down until she saw that it was a message from Professor Ozpin.

[Squad 2, prepare immediately. You will be deployed to Atlas territory in One Hour.

Mission: Grimm Extermination.]



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