“Are you ready Lan?”
It was late evening and Byakko was currently standing on the edge of a steep cliff leading down to a narrow gorge, Ignis and George worn out at his feet from their training. At the bottom, trembling with fear and determination was Lan, wearing his training gi. Byakko was holding a couple of steel ropes in his right hand that led to a giant bolder standing directly behind Lan.
“Honestly…no” said Lan.
“Good!” shouted Byakko “let the deathstalker run begin!”
The boulder behind Lan flew into the air and landed with a loud thump behind Byakko. Now free from what previously held it, a large deathstalker got up and hissed as it noticed Lan in front of it.
“And remember” said Byakko, smiling “This is a running exercise, every attack you make will be penalized” Byakko reached down “with a nice big boulder!” he then picked up said projectile.
Before he had finished his sentence Lan had already started running, the large deathstalker hot on his heels. Lan wouldn’t have thought to battle the deathstalker on his own anyways. This class of Grimm was far too powerful for him to deal with. Luckily, Lan was able to make use of the many stone obstacles along the path he ran in order to stall the death stalker, running in a way that the deathstalker crashed into the many stone obstructions and slowed as it tried to catch the boy. Lan knew there was only one way out of this, reach the goal point. The goal, however, was 10 miles away from his starting position and with his body worn out from all the training he already did that day, it would take him around an hour of running to reach that point. During that time he would have to be careful not to make any mistakes and be caught by the deathstalker because although he knew his grandpa would save him if things became dangerous, he was also aware that Byakko would probably allow him to be beaten rather badly before coming to his rescue. Looking up, Lan saw Byakko leisurely keeping pace with the boy, George and Ignis resting on his shoulders and a giant basket of boulders was held in one of his hands.
“Must survive.” Thought Lan for the 20th time that day. And with that thought buried in his mind, he pushed forward.
He did well during the first 40 minutes, but afterwards he felt exhaustion slowly encompassing him. His lungs screamed in pain, his muscles felt as if they were pierced by needles, and his gi was completely soaked with sweat. It was then, when his eyes were fogging from exhaustion that the first trip happened. He rammed his big toe into a rock and fell forward, tumbling along until he crashed into a large rock ahead. Quickly regaining his senses, Lan saw from between his legs that the upside down from of the deathstalker was almost upon him.
“Oh…no choice” thought Lan, quickly getting to his feet. He reached inside his gi, pulled out an explosive, activated it, and chucked it at the deathstalker. The moment it left his hand, Lan leapt out of the way to avoid the giant boulder that crashed onto the area where he had been standing half-a second before. The explosion happened a second later and the deathstalker screeched as it was halted by the blast. Taking advantage of its momentary pause, Lan took out his staff and rammed the end of it into the boulder, smashing it into small pieces that struck the deathstalker’s legs and caused it to fall down, which subsequently earned him another boulder. Lan then turned on his heels and began running again. Many similar instances like this occurred in the last twenty minutes until finally, his mind flooded with relief, Lan saw the goal come into view. Tears pouring from his eyes, Lan put on an extra burst of speed and blasted through the goal at 20 mph, which I would like to point out is surprisingly the top speed of a hippo. After passing through the goal Lan, tripped once again and crashed onto the ground. This time he wasn’t worried as the deathstalker approached him, and his calm demeaned was justified as the Grimm was bombarded to death with boulders right before it could seize Lan in one of its claws.
“Good job boy!” said Byakko, landing on the giant pile of boulders.
“Yeah” said Lan, plopping into his back and breathing hard. “So, what now?”
Byakko smiled, raised his arm, and pointed at the nearby mountains.
“Our next destination!” he said, smiling. “It’s just over that mountain. I checked while you were doing your 1000 squats of doom a little while ago.”
“Oh, finally!” said Lan, stretching. “What are we going to do there?”
“We are going to get you some job experience!” said Byakko “As well as let you learn about one of the most powerful organizations in the world!”
This took Lan completely by surprise. This large, rebellious, and uncivilized man was pushing him to get a job?
“Uh grandpa” said Lan “you feeling okay?”
“As fit as a fiddle as I’ve always been!” said Byakko with a smile. “Now come on, it should take us a day or two to reach that mountain, and once we get there you’d better get your fingers ready cause we’ll be climbing it to get there!”
“Alright.” said Lan, getting up “then I guess I’ll make dinner now. Tonight it’s stew.”
An hour later Lan had prepared the massive vat of the bubbling dish, a large dome of rice, some cooked meat for Ignis, and assorted fruits for George. With their stomachs full, everyone went to their respective sleeping areas (with Ignis and George’s sleeping areas being in Lan’s room) and fell asleep.
That same day at the very same time, in a large and lavishly decorated office.
“What!?” shouted an old Faunus man with white hair “What do you mean you’re lowering our pay!”
A man with neatly combed black hair, a pair of glasses, and a neat white suit looked up from his desk and up at the old man.
“It is just as I said Milton” said the man calmly, a businesslike smile on his face “The overall production of the workers has fallen, so wages will fall accordingly.”
“That’s because all of our machinery broke!” shouted Milton “how are we supposed to mine as quickly as before with broken drills and stalled conveyor belts!”
“Well you all should have taken better care of the equipment that was given to you all, right?” said the man at the desk.
“Shut up Siemans!” shouted Milton “We both know that the majority of the equipment was over 20 years old!”
“And how is that my problem?” said Siemans “If new equipment is sent from the head office, that’s fine, if not then you’ll just have to make do.”
“We won’t be able to make do with these wages!” shouted Milton “We’ll barely be able to survive!”
“Well then you’d better increase production” said Siemans, who had gone back to his paperwork.
“You—, how are we going to do that when we’re growing weaker every day?” shouted Milton “Our families are starving out there, you think we’ll be able to work with that happening?!”
“You are more than free to leave” said Siemans. “Just walk out the gates after turning in your forms.”
“Leave?” shouted Milton “How can we leave when there’s no way we can walk out of this damned place?! And even if we could we’d be torn apart by the Grimm in the surrounding area! The only way we’d be able to leave is if you provided us all with aircraft transportation!”
“Which we sadly do not have the resources for.” Said Siemans.
“Then at the very least give us more to eat and make it safer for us to work!” shouted Milton “We’ve dealt with the squalid living conditions you’ve given us for years!” Milton took a deep breathe, and then continued with gritted teeth. “If you want us to do better at least give us that.”
Siemans paused for a moment and then began to laugh.
“Good working conditions? For you animals?” he chuckled “do horses and pigs need clean places to sleep?”
“Why you—! “started Milton.
“You Faunus are a dime a dozen and can easily be replaced.” spat Siemans “Why would we care if we lost a couple of you beasts of burden? We provide you with food and wages that are much too good for your pathetic race. So stop bitching like a little girl and get yourself and your lazy friends back to work!”
Milton roared, and rounded on the man.
“Ah, Ah, Ah” said Siemans, wagging his finger.
The guards dressed in the standard issues Schnee company uniforms on either side of Siemans’s desk stepped forward and pointed their pistols at Milton, forcing the old man to stop in his tracks.
“I believe we are done here” said Siemans, dryly “boys, please escort the Union leader out of the administrative building.”
The two guards holstered their guns, grabbed the old man by the arms, and dragged him towards the pair of double doors at the back of the room. As he was dragged away kicking and struggling, Milton yelled insults at Siemans that could still be heard even as the heavy steel doors slammed closed. Once he was completely alone, Siemans’s calm smile turned into a scowl and the man stood up and walked over to the window on the left side of the room where he could overlook the entire mining operation. Siemans was the director of a Schnee company mining operation deep within the wilds and far away from any of the kingdoms. A small town had sprung up around the operation where the workers, employees, and guards lived and got their supplies. The town was called Dust Hole, due to being at the bottom of a giant hole in a mountain range.
Siemans had recently been promoted to this position after weaseling his way up through the ranks through blackmail and bribery. He had felt satisfied and proud as he continued to leave his associates behind, but now he found himself in a jam.
“These stupid Faunus” he muttered under his breathe “don’t they understand the situation I’m in? If I don’t do well managing this mine out in the middle of nowhere, I’ll never be promoted to a better position!”
The reason Siemans had reduced wages and hadn’t sent for new equipment was because he didn’t want to look bad to his superiors, so he had started to funnel a large portion of the Faunus worker’s wages into purchasing new equipment to increase production. However, with the meager wages that they were paid, it would take months for him to gather enough to purchase the new equipment and make the necessary repairs.
“And until then I’m stuck in his rat hole” thought Siemans “in the position of an unimportant mining director in the middle of nowhere. ‘sigh’ and now it looks like I’ll need to hire more guards to deal with those whiny animals and their little problems.”
He placed his right on his face and sighed. He was getting a headache again. He then turned back to his desk and pressed a button that would connect him to his secretary.
“Yes Mr. Siemans?” came a women’s voice from a speaker on the desk.
“Donna, have you already sent out those postings for new guards?” he said.
“Yes sir” replied the woman.
“Excellent,” said Siemans “and I’m also going to need the usual. You won’t believe the day I’ve been having.”
“Yes sir” said the women “I’ll contact the chefs and the girls right away, everything will be ready in your room before you arrive.”
With that, the connection clicked off and Siemans sat back down in his desk.
“Feeling agitated won’t help speed things up any more.” He thought “might as well just enjoy myself as I wait.”
He then stared out the window and smiled as he watched hordes of Faunus workers, wearing torn and ragged mining clothes, push cart after cart dust out of the mines.
Outside the building Milton met up with the rest of the union members.
“What did he say” said a yellow-haired Faunus boy.
“Just as we expected” spat Milton.
“So I guess we got not choice now” sighed a blue haired Faunus woman.
“Yes” said Milton “I don’t like having to rely on those pacifist protestors, but they’re the best bet we got right now. Quincy!” called Milton.
“Yes sir?” said a young black haired Faunus boy.
“Call the White Fang.”
Two days later
“Come on boy!” shouted Byakko to the small shape dozens of feet below him. “Hurry up!”
“Hurry upping!” shouted Lan, who was dozens of meters below him.
I was later afternoon and the two of them were currently scaling the side of the mountain, Byakko with the house on his back and Lan with his oversized backpack. Ignis and George were staying inside the house. Byakko and Lan had been climbing the cliff for half the day already, with Byakko stopping here and there to allow Lan to catch up. To help himself climb, Lan had equipped himself with his spiked metal gauntlets; Byakko of course had climbed with his bare hands. The group had just about reached the top at this time. Good thing too, because Lan had just about ran out of strength.
“Umph, Ugh” grunted Lan as he grabbed the stones above him. Suddenly, he felt danger approaching him and jumped to the side just in time to avoid a small piece of smelly brown matter.
“George!” shouted Lan, “how could you?”
The little monkey chattered at Lan, saying that he wasn’t the one that threw it.
Lan looked up and wasn’t surprised to see Byakko holding the sceptic tank in his arms.
“Dodge!” shouted Byakko.
So for last 500 ft. of the cliff, Lan climbed upwards while avoiding the brown projectiles that rained down on him. He soon arrived at the top safely however, and while he was bent over wheezing, Byakko returned the sceptic tank to its previous position under the house (which could be easily attached and removed thanks to the way it had been installed by Rowan).
“Look down below boy” said Byakko as Lan rose to his feet.
Lan did so. Spreading out below him was a town surrounding what appeared to be a giant furnace built into the side of the mountain. The town was constructed largely of steel, stone, and concrete, likely due to the lack of natural wood supply in the immediate area. Opposite the mine on the other side of town was what appeared to be a large landing area for aircrafts and near it was a pair of giant metal gates that appeared to lead outside.
“Welcome to your new home for the next little while” said Byakko happily.
“It looks like things will be quite inter—“started Lan. He stopped as he noticed large structures on the stone cliffs that surrounded the entire town in a circle. Giant turrets each with dust energy lines flowing through them. They were most likely there to prevent any Grimm from entering the town. And sadly for Lan and co. the ones near them were all turning in their direction. They hadn’t fired before because Lan and Byakko didn’t look anything like Grimm, but from the looks of it they seemed like they were programmed to also fire at any unauthorized humanoids that came too close to them, most likely in case any unscrupulous individuals attempted to sabotage them.
“Oooh I wonder what kind things they’ll fire” said Byakko, raising his hand above his eyes while Lan’s jaw dropped and his face grew pale from fear. “Will it be missiles, laser beams, or some other dangerous thing?”
“Grandpa” whimpered Lan “can we run…Please?!”
“Ummmm” Byakko raised his finger to his chin and assumed a thinking pose. At that very moment the 3 turrets near them fired, shooting off a red, blue, and yellow orb.
“Ahhhh!” screamed Lan. He then dashed onto the porch, grabbed Ignis and George and attempted to run out of what he estimated to be the blast zone. He needn’t have worried. With a lightning fast movement Byakko shot out his tail, grabbed some stones, and flicked them at the orbs, causing them to explode before they reached the group.
“Okay, we can run now” said Byakko as the turrets prepared to fire once more. With a laugh, Byakko grabbed the house, Lan, Ignis, and George and jumped off the side of the cliff. “We’ll be out of range of the turrets and free from danger as soon as we reach the ground!”
“Gahhhhhh!” screamed Lan as they began to accelerate towards the ground below “We’re in even more danger now!”
“We’ll be fine boy” said Byakko, as he shoved the boy, his backpack, and the two little animals into the house “As long as we have this, everything will be fine.”
Byakko reached into his gi and pulled out a small unremarkable rock. Byakko tossed it above himself, spun around until his face was staring off the ground and struck out with one of his feet at the little rock. Byakko vanished and reappeared at ground level a moment later, the little rock was completely pulverized. Byakko looked upwards at the descending house and lowered his stance. He then waited until the house was around a quarter of the way to the ground. Byakko then raised his palm upwards and tightened the muscles across his body while making sure to not accidently use too much strength.
“Byakko tiger style” he said, exhaling a small cloud of mist “Airforce palm!”
He thrust his palm upwards, which launched a wall of air upwards that crashed into the bottom of the house, significantly slowing its descent until it finally stopped 10 ft. above the old man’s head. Byakko then leapt upwards, grabbed the house, and landed on the ground with a heavy thump. He then set the house down and walked to the front door.
“Hello~~” he cooed “Is everybody okay?”
A few seconds later Lan crawled face down and on his stomach to the door.
“I’m fine, although a bit tired” said Lan “but, it looks like Ignis vomited and…well let’s just say I’m glad I convinced George to wear a diaper.”
“Good!” said Byakko smiling, “Because it looks like some guards are coming from the town to check up on this place. You do the talking. Grandpa’s gotta go inside and make himself look pretty.”
Walking past Lan’s limp form, Byakko marched up the stair to his room. The front door slammed shut as he did so, but a few moments later there was a sharp knock. Shakily getting to his feet, Lan grabbed the door handle and opened the door. Standing in the entryway was a group of security officers wearing the white Schnee security guard regulation uniforms, complete with a visored helmet.
“Hello” said Lan weakly “Ugh, what can I help you with?”
The officer looked down at him, at the house, and then at the Cliffside.
“You jumped down from a cliff?” said the man after an awkward silence.
“Oh no, not me” said Lan, waiving his hands. “That was my grandpa.”
“There are a lot of better ways for you to come in here than to jump off the cliff.” Said the guard. “You could have talked to the men positioned at the gates.”
“Yeah” said Lan, “But grandpa’s crazy like that. Sorry about wasting the ammo in the turrets.”
“That’s uh, quite alright son” said then man, scratching his chin “But might I ask what’s you’re purpose for coming here?”
“Oh,” said Lan, “Well that’s—“
“I’ll tell ya!” shouted Byakko who appeared behind Lan and put the poor child in a headlock.
Lan looked up at his grandfather and noticed many changes. Byakko’s hair had grown longer and had completely hidden his tiger ears and his tail was nowhere in sight, most likely tucked into his pants. Now he looked just like, albeit much larger; harrier; and more savage looking, a normal human.
“So this’s how he pretty upped.” Thought Lan. The boy understood that many humans held a strong dislike of Faunus. “He must have done some research on this town and prepared accordingly.”
Byakko reached into his gi and whipped out small poster, placing it in front of the man’s face.
“We heard that this place’s guard is a little understaffed” said Byakko, smiling “and we thought we’d offer you fellas of two powerful new recruits!”
“Well, this is quite unexpected” said the guard, who was leading Lan and Byakko through the town. “I never thought more personnel would fall right out of the sky so to speak. And to bring your home with you? You’re just full of surprises.”
“Yes I am.” Said Byakko, grabbing a handful of croquettes out of a bag that he had bought and shoving them into his mouth. “And this is also good for you! Cause now you’ve got one of the strongest men in Remnant in your guard.”
“Sure thing” said the guard, chuckling “But how did you get the house down? Does it have a propulsion system or something?”
“Something like that” said Byakko.
Lan, Byakko, Ignis, and George were following the guard who they had learned was security guard captain Malcolm Kozlowski. After explaining to the guards their reasons for arrival, Lan and Byakko had been told to standby while Kozlowski phoned his superiors. After getting instructions from them, he told the group that he was to take them to the main office and would lead them through town.
Lan looked left and right as they walked through the streets. The area looked a lot more industrialized compared to the small, humble towns that he had been used to and the large and looming visage of the giant mine building only added to Lan’s nervousness. He was currently holding a leash in both of his hands. One was tied to a collar around Ignis’s neck, and the other was tied around George’s waist.
“Um, sir?” said Malcolm, turning to Byakko “Aren’t you going to change that soon.”
Malcolm was referring to the soiled diaper that was currently being worn by George.
“As soon as we find a bathroom. Right Lan?” said Byakko.
“Yep” said Lan absentmindedly as he took in the image of all the pipes that were winding around the many many houses.
“There’s one near the entrance of the main office building” said Malcolm “We’re almost there so—“
He stopped mid-sentence as he noticed something.
“Crap, they’re back” he muttered under his breath.
Lan strained his ears and picked up what sounded like shouts of protests and chanting. The group rounded the corner of the street they were walking on and were greeted by a slightly perturbing sight.
Surrounding the yard that led into the towering mine building that was built into the side of the mountain was a large 20 ft. tall wall made of concrete, and amassed at the front of the gate wall was a giant crowd of people that were waving signs that read “Faunus are people too” and “Not gonna fairly pay? You’ll be crazy if you think we’ll stay!” among other things. Many of them were wearing blue shirts that had what looked a white circle surrounding a white animal’s head.
“Sorry about this” said Malcolm “The White Fang arrived yesterday and immediately began protesting.”
“Hey!” said Lan recognizing the symbol “I’ve got some friends in the—“
Before he could finish his sentence, Lan felt his mouth get covered up by a large smelly hand.
“Yep, the boy’s got some Faunus friends back where we come from” said Byakko, giving a smile in response to Malcolm’s confused stare.
“Well then I guess he’ll like it here” said Malcolm, “This town’s full of Faunus. Come on” Malcolm walked towards a small side street “I’ll take you to the side entrance, that way we can avoid all those protesters.”
“Okie dokie” said Byakko, walking after the guard.
Lan was about to follow, when suddenly he felt something like electricity run through his body. Turning his head, Lan stared into the crowd of White Fang protestors, his breath becoming increasingly heavy. His eyes fixed on a young feline Faunus girl at the back of the crowd. She had medium-length black hair, with a pair of black kitty ears poking out of her head. She was wearing a sleeveless light purple shirt, a black scarf, and a pair of black pants. She also had a white piece of cloth tied around upper arm. As she turned to the side and shouted along with her comrades, Lan also saw that she had amber eyes.
Lan was suddenly filled with a deep nostalgia. His foggy and unfocused mind drifted back to two years ago, back to the village of Cunctantem Cinere. It was as if he were dreaming, the world around him flowing and changing like a vat of multicolored mist. Why did that girl feel so familiar? Why did she fill his breast with this powerful attraction? It was then that he remembered a dream that he had long forgotten. The very same dream that he had seen after his aura had been unlocked. This vision of four bright lights, Red; White; Black; and Yellow, that shone far above him in the endless sky.
The world around him fell away, and all of a sudden the two of them were the only things left there in a void of darkness. He took a step forward, his gaze fixated on the girl. He felt that he had to meet her, had to talk with her.
But at that moment he felt a strong hand grabbed his wrist and pull him back into reality.
“The heck you doin boy?” said Byakko “Come on, we’re gonna get left behind.”
Feeling as though he were half asleep, Lan wasn’t able to voice any opposition and was quickly dragged away by Byakko. But his vision remained fixed on the young girl until he was pulled into the side street and she disappeared from his sight.
“Greetings, so sorry you had to see that embarrassing spectacle down there. Would you like some refreshments before we begin our discussions?”
The man speaking was a young man wearing a white suit, a pair of spectacles, and had neatly combed black hair.
“I’d love some!” said Byakko.
He and Lan were currently sitting in the large and luxurious director’s office in the large office building next to the mines. Sitting across from them was the director of the mining operation, Tybalt Siemans. Ignis and George were currently sleeping on one of the couches in the room, George hugging Ignis in his sleep.
Mr. Siemans pressed a button under his table and a few moments later, a man and a woman wearing waiter outfits stepped in. The man was carrying a plate full of cookies, and the woman was holding a platter with a large pitcher of juice and two glasses. After setting them down on the desk in front of the three, the waiter quickly exited the room.
“Now” said Siemans “I heard that you two were interested in becoming guards here?”
“Yep!” said Byakko through a mouthful of cookies, which resulted in some food particles splattering onto the desk causing Siemans to flinch in disgust.
“Uh huh” said Siemans “Now I’m sure you know by now that we’re really short staffed. But please tell me why I should hire two ruffians such as yourselves who have no identification or work history.”
“One simple reason” said Byakko “Cause me and my boy can kick more ass then all of the guards in this place combined! Ain’t that right boy?”
Lan who was still coming out of his dreamlike state slowly nodded his head.
“Hmmm, is that so?” said Siemans. “Well, I guess it was impressive that you two were able to scale the mountains surrounding this town, not many people strong enough to do that, so I’m sure I can give you two some employment…for half the usual wage.”
“Oh no no no” said Byakko waiving his finger “If you want to hire premium warriors like us, you’ll have to pay us way more than you pay a normal guard.”
“Oh is that so?” said Siemans, smiling. “In that case.”
Siemans pressed a button under his table. A few seconds later a very large and muscular dark-skinned man walked into the room. He was wearing an armored version of the regulation Schnee security uniform, and a visored helmet. On his back was a giant cudgel.
“This is Marcus” said Siemans.
“Good to meet ya Marcus!” said Byakko, sticking out his hand in greetings. Marcus simply grunted and folded his arms.
“Marcus is an ex-hunter and a lieutenant in the guard.” Continued Siemans, his expression smug “He is by far our most skilled fighter, climbing up the side of the cliff would be a piece of cake for him, and he’d easily be able to get back down without assistance, unlike your use of your home’s propulsion system.” At these words Byakko chuckled slightly. “Now, If you really think you’re as valuable as you think you are, you should at least be able to put up a good a fight against—“
With a lightning fast movement; a smile on his face; and without turning his head, Byakko launched a fist upwards that crashed into Marcus’s chin. The force of the blow launched the man upwards and sent him crashing half-way through the ceiling. A woman upstairs screamed as rubble rained down into the room. Siemans stared upwards, his mouth open and his eyes wide in surprise, at the pairs of legs hanging dangling from the ceiling.
“Did someone say fight?” said Byakko, his fist still in the air.
Siemans quickly turned to his computer to check Marcus’s vitals using the electronic systems built into the man’s guard uniform, and gave sigh as he discovered that the man was only unconscious.
“W-well, sir, that, that was…well above my expectations” stammered Siemans.
“So our pay?” said Byakko, placing his chin in his hand, his arm on the armrest of his chair.
“Oh yes of course!” said Siemans, who quickly pulled out two contracts from one of the drawers of his desk. “How does 3 times the usual rate for you and ¾ the usual rate for your boy sound?”
“Hmmm, I think that’s a little low don’t you think?” said Byakko.
After a few more minutes of negotiating, it was decided that Byakko would receive 5 times the usual pay rate, Lan would receive 1.5 times the usual rate, and the both of them would receive an upfront signing bonus.
“Now” said Siemans, scribbling in the details on two forms “I’ll take care of all the other bothersome portions of these contracts, you know weight; height; etc., but I will need to know both of your first and last names and how long you plan to work with us.”
“Byakko Muteki” said Byakko with a punch.
“And you my young friend?” said Siemans, with a charming smile.
“Oh I’m Lan…Uh.” Lan suddenly realized that he hadn’t been given a last name yet, so he decided he would just use his grandfather’s. But before he could answer, Byakko shouted.
“Lan Zhihui” said Siemans, writing it down “I see he is the son of your daughter then?”
“You know it!” lied Byakko.
Feeling slightly disturbed that his last name had just been made up on the spot; Lan sat back into his chair and scratched his head.
“We’ll be working with you for around six months” said Byakko.
“Very well” said Siemans warmly. “Now I’ll just need both of your signatures at the bottom of these forms.”
After Lan and Byakko signed, showing Siemans that Lan had the better handwriting of the two, Siemans entered the information into the computer and stamped each of the contracts.
“Welcome to the force you two” said Siemans, getting up and shaking both of their hands. “As of right now, you two are employees of the prominent Schnee dust company.” Lan felt slightly put off by the man’s smile, feeling dark motives behind it, but shook the man’s hand anyway. “Now” continued Siemans “as official guardsmen you two will be provided free housing and utilities.”
“Can we just hook our house up to them utilities?” interrupted Byakko.
“Yes” said Siemans, smiling and nodding his head after a short pause. “Just pick out an empty plot of land in the residential area and I’ll send some men to make the connections. You’ll also be needing your uniforms.”
Siemans pressed a button under his desk and this time two attractive young maids walked into the room along with a man that looked like a tailor.
“They will be taking your measurements” said Siemans with a smile. “Please don’t move around too much.”
The two maids began to take Lan and Byakko’s measurements while the tailor instructed them. Before they began, after taking note of their customers, the two had played a quick game of rock paper scissors. The loser of the match took Byakko’s measurements, her face contorting in disgust here and there whenever she caught a whiff of Byakko’s foul body odors. The maid in charge of Lan, however, did her job happily. Petting Lan on the head and pinching his cheeks while he stared at the ground, his face a deep shade of crimson.
After they finished they gave the information to the tailor, bowed, and left the room.
“We’ll be getting your uniforms to you tomorrow” said Siemans “And before you leave for the night, please take these.”
Siemans reached into a drawer and pulled out a guardsman manual, two schedules, and two long black metal batons with yellow dust veins running through them.
Byakko frowned and grunted as he received the papers, tossing them to Lan a moment later. He then fixed his gaze on the two batons.
“What’re these?” asked Byakko
“They are your standard issue shock batons” answered Siemans “One for each of you.”
“I don’t really use weapons these days” said Byakko, scratching his head.
“Can I have yours then” said Lan.
“Sure!” said Byakko.
Lan then took the two batons and placed each of them into one of his pockets. Lan and Byakko then got up, exchanged some closing pleasantries with Siemans and left the room as Siemans yelled after them that they needed to report to the guardhouse at 8:00 the next morning.
As soon as they exited a large smile broke out across Siemans’s face.
“What a stroke of fortune!” he thought “To get such a powerful warrior just as those damn White Fang arrived and started hurting my profits and image. He’ll be able to crush any opposition those stupid Faunus protestors can put up and get those lazy laborers back to work. And, as an added bonus, with his abilities I can fire at least twenty of the current guardsmen to cut costs while he’s here.”
Siemans chuckled to himself and pressed the button connecting him with his secretary.
“Yes Mr. Siemans?” said the voice through the intercom.
“I feel like celebrating tonight.” Said Siemans.
“The usual sir?”
The connection cut off and Siemans walked over to the window.
“The heavens must truly be on my side.” He said under his breath.
Six months were more than enough time for him to bring the mine’s production back up again, after which he was sure to promoted to a more lucrative position. He then pulled out his phone and made the arrangements to give his ‘saviors’ a pleasant stay. After all, tools worked best when well oiled.
“I don’t like that guy” said Lan as he and Byakko walked through the streets.
The two of them were currently moving their belongings to an empty patch of land in the residential district. As a result they were attracting a lot of attention from the people around them thanks to the house that Byakko had strapped to his back. The two of them were having a quick snack that they had bought from a roadside stand while they walked and were enjoying the crisp night air.
“Yeah I know,” said Byakko, biting into a large piece of roast fish “The guy smelled like a mixture of corruption, self-importance, and shit covered in a thin sheet of gold. But for now he’s our employer, so we got a job to do.”
Lan grunted, popped some popcorn chicken into his mouth, and then threw some at Ignis and George who were on the porch of the house. As he walked Lan felt his mind wandering again to that girl he had seen earlier that day. Who was she and why did she make him feel so drawn to her? It wasn’t love though, the way he had felt about Alayna felt completely different than what he felt towards that Faunus girl. But it was just as, if not more powerful. Something within his very soul felt drawn to her and he had to find out why.
“White Fang huh?” thought Lan, “I’d better pay them a little visit.”
“Hey Lan, what you thinkin about huh?” said Byakko “Is it that little girl you saw earlier today?”
Lan’s whole body twitched and he turned to stare at his grandfather.
“Don’t think I didn’t notice boy” said grandpa, a perverted look on his face “But don’t you think it’s a little early to be looking for a new girlfriend, especially after what happened last time?”
“N-no!” shouted Lan, who felt his face grow hot “That’s not it I-I—“
“Oh look!” interrupted Byakko “There’s the lot for our house and…who the heck is that guy?”
Standing in front of the house was a plump middle age man wearing a black suit. He had a rather rounded face, a small thick mustache, and a pair of round spectacles. However the physical feature that most drew Byakko and Lan’s attention was the large bald spot that the man had on the top of his head.
“H-hello” he said bowing “My name is Katou Kenichi; I was assigned to be your personal assistant by Mr. Siemans.”
“A personal assistant huh?” said Byakko, setting down the house in the vacant lot. “These guys really pull out all the stops.”
“It’s obvious that we would” said Katou, with a weak smile “It wouldn’t be right not to give a man of your skills special treatment.”
Katou then pulled out a card from the inside of his suit and handed it over to Byakko.
“Please call me if there is anything you need” he said with a smile. “But just not too late if you don’t mind. My wife gets angry if I’m called away from home at irregular hours.”
He then bowed, picked up the briefcase by his feet, and hurried away.
“What did he smell like to you?” asked Lan after a few minutes.
“Like an overworked salary man who’s trying to keep his family afloat” said Byakko, “in other words, a good guy with a weak spirit.”
The two of them then went into their home, where they discovered a few workers already busy at work connecting the power and water.
“How did they get in so fast?” thought Lan.
After they had finished Lan invited them to have dinner with them, and didn’t allow them to say no. Although they were reluctant at first, their reservations soon disappeared after they had their first bites of the sukiyaki that Lan had prepared that night. After saying goodbye to the workers, Lan read through the manuals and schedules, read through some books on some miscellaneous topics, and then settled down with Byakko to play some video games they had bought in the town.
“Wow, you’re kickin my ass” said Byakko, as the muscular wrestler character he was playing as was thrown into a wall by the old man character Lan was playing as.
“I just memorized the move list” said Lan as he executed a complicated combo and KO’ed Byakko’s character.
“You ready for work tomorrow?” asked Byakko
“Already set my alarm” answered Lan.
After another half hour of gaming, the two of them turned off the console and headed upstairs. Lan went to the bathroom to shower and brush his teeth while Byakko simply gargled with his custom mouthwash (which was strong enough to melt through a normal person’s mouth) and quickly went to bed. As Lan headed to his room he heard his grandpa snoring through the walls and smiled.
He then headed to his room where Ignis and George were already sleeping on their respective bedding area, Ignis whimpering in his sleep while George hugged him.
Lan then got into bed and turned off the lights. But even after the exhausting day, he still found himself unable to sleep. His mind kept returning to that girl and that dream that he had had all those years ago. What was the significance behind them? Why did they fill his heart with such longing? These thought flew through his mind late into the night until finally, his eyes could no longer stay open and he fell fast asleep.
Surprise, I got my computer back faster than I had thought. Well, that there’s the end of the first chapter of the new arc. I bet you all loved it when Lan saw Blake, but as I’m trying to keep this story as canon as possible in hopes that it can be absorbed into the real story, I’m afraid that Lan will never talk with her. Instead he shall only see brief glimpses of her here and there, like a wonderful dream that is just out of reach. Anyway, sorry about the late releases, hopefully I can start speeding up soon. Lastly, thank you once again to all my readers, if you guys weren’t here I’d be crying tears of blood as I wrote this, give me any comments and reviews you may have, because I’m always trying to find ways to improve.
P.S tell your friends about this tale if you like it.