RWBY-The Journeys of Lan

Chapter 21

Ch 21

Over the next two weeks, word of Lan and Byakko’s kindness quickly spread throughout the Faunus workforce causing many of them to come and seek assistance from the new guards. Because of this, Lan and Byakko were even busier than before, with Lan helping to repair broken equipment and Byakko having to make frequent trips out of the town to gather ingredients, with Lan advising him on where to gather to avoid causing ecosystemal problems. Also, with Lan’s help with the mining, mostly involving the boy punching the walls, which resulted in his knuckles becoming quite callused, and some of the workers gathering what dropped, the production of the mine slowly increased. This was of course, done in complete secrecy. Lan always did his punching in areas where the cameras couldn’t see him, and he quickly disengaged whenever a guard approached, usually being warned by Ignis or George who acted as lookouts. As a result of their efforts, the wages of the workers also began to increase, but not as quickly as they had fallen of course.

Lan and Byakko also became the ones that were assigned to handling the White Fang, often talking with the protestors and clearing paths here and there. For example, when White Fang protestors had laid down next to the Schnee company run town store and prevented any workers from shopping there, since it was the only place in town that the workers could get supplies with their meager wages, Byakko tore out a large chunk of road and stuck it into one of the building’s windows so that the workers could go in and buy supplies.

“So the money ends up back in their pockets anyway” sighed Lan after the deed was done.

“Suck it up boy” said Byakko at the time, “we’re under contract right now.”

Because of incidences like these, the White Fang members went out of their way to avoid the areas that were usually patrolled by the two of them. Lan also grew increasingly suspicious of corruption in the Schnee company office due to constant flow of high quality ingredients, expensive alcohol, entertainment devices, and overly…friendly women that were constantly heading to the top of the office building as well as the many gifts that Mr. Siemans was sending to them for their ‘excellence in work’ which included new entertainment devices, books that Lan was interested in, and the occasional bottle of expensive alcohol for Byakko.

With work, helping out the Faunus laborers, and his academia and training, Lan quickly passed the first two weeks of living in the town, during which he became more…cultured due to the manga sold in some of the stores and the HD television channel that Mr. Siemans had given to them. Luckily, Lan knew how to prioritize and was able to finish his work, training, and studies before turning towards these sources for entertainment, Byakko being ready to rip Lan away when necessary also added to the boy’s diligence.

Starting his third week on duty, Lan thought he knew what to expect, but this day would be much different than all the others.

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“Hmmm, what would be good today?”

Lan was currently in the kitchen and was looking through one of the refrigerators. As he went through the contents he gave rueful.

“Deer meat” said Lan, looking at each ingredient in turn “Boar meet, rabbit meat, squirrel meat, butte--, oh wait that’s fat.”

Whenever Byakko was left in charge of getting ingredients he would never bring back anything except meat because the old man had very little knowledge of local edible wild plants and fungi. On the few occasions that Lan had asked Byakko to bring back some greens and mushrooms, the old man had succeeded in bringing back only poisonous varieties. Lan would have gone himself to gather the vegetation and fungi, but the boy was unable to sneak out of the city like his grandfather could. Not only would it he have to expend a good deal of his energy and time to scale the walls, he would also have to make it past the turrets on the mountains surrounding the town. So, Lan had been forced to buy the vegetables from the local markets initially. He had put forth his best agricultural effort though, assisted by many Faunus workers that also wished to become self-sufficient, by starting a community garden in the center of the Faunus living quarters. The seeds they had planted however, had only been planted a week ago and had yet to sprout.

“So there’s going to be meatvalanch for quite a while.” Thought Lan, “I hope those workers’ arteries can handle this.”

Lan began to pull out a large slab meat, he had decided on making kebabs today, but at that moment the doorbell rang.

“Meat!” snorted Byakko from upstairs, still fast asleep in his room.

The sound of thumping also filled the house as Ignis and George raced to the front door, each determined to be the first to meet the new company. Wiping his hands on a towel, Lan headed to the front door, reached up to the handle and opened, making sure to keep Ignis and George back. Standing there was Mr. Kenichi, looking even more tired than usual.

“Hello Mr. Kenichi” said Lan, giving a wave “What brings you here this fine morning?”

“New orders from Mr. Siemans” said Mr. Kenichi, who handed Lan a paper folder with a gentle smile on his face “Instead of your usual duties, you and your grandfather will be attending a, uh, special meeting today. Please arrive at the destination specified in the folder by 8:00. Details on the meeting are in the folder.” Mr. Kenichi then looked at his watch sighed and then looked back at Lan. “Well, I need to be heading to another meeting soon, good luck with your task. It’s an important one.”

Mr. Kenichi looked down at Ignis and George who were staring at him through the gap between Lan’s legs.

“Hello little ones” he said. “Have a nice day. He then turned to leave but Lan quickly stopped him.

“Um, are you okay Mr. Kenichi?” said Lan “You’re looking really tired.”

“Oh, uh. Yes! I’m fine” he said, stumbling slightly as he turned back to address Lan. “It’s just that Mr. Siemans has had me working late last night organizing for—“

He stopped as he noticed Lan’s wide-eyed expression staring at the ground to his right. He followed the boy’s gaze and his vision came to rest on a black mess that looked like a wig upon closer inspection. Mr. Kenichi reached his hand to the top of his head and sighed.

“You’re bald!” said Lan.

Ignis and George thrashed violently behind Lan’s guard, each hoping to claim the item.

“Yes” said Mr. Kenichi, picking up the wig and dusting it off “Yes I am.”

“Stressful work?” asked Lan.

“Mmmm.” Confirmed Mr. Kenichi as he placed the wig back on his head. He turned to leave again.

“You know Mr. Kenichi” said Lan, “If there’s anything you’d like to talk about, anything at all, I’d be more than happy to listen, we can talk over some juice and some of grandpa’s vintage.”

Mr. Kenichi paused for a moment and then smiled.

“I’d like that” he said as he walked away “I’d like that a lot.”

Mr. Kenichi then walked down the street, Lan watching the man as he went.

“Look out!” someone shouted.

A second later, a cart filled with brown packages burst from a side ally and crashed into Mr. Kenichi, knocking him to the ground and spilling its contents all over the street. A moment later, a young Faunus boy ran out of the alleyway, his face extremely panicked.

“Gah, I’m sorry!” he said, as he dashed over and helped Mr. Kenichi to his feet. “I-I lost control of the cart and—“

“It’s alright.” Said Mr. Kenichi, dusting himself up. He then looked down at the packages. “White Fang food packages” he said.

The Faunus boy suddenly looked nervous.

“I-I know we’ve not been instructed not to take anything from them but—“

He stopped as he watched Mr. Kenichi bend down and help pile them back into the cart.

“I understand” he said while doing this. “You guys have enough food problems as it is, and don’t worry, I’ll keep this a secret from the higher ups.”

A look of relief spread across the boy’s face and he began to pick up the food packages as well. After they finished, the boy bowed and said some more words of thanks to Mr. Kenichi before pushing the cart away, heading in the direction of the worker living quarters. Mr. Kenichi then picked up his briefcase and headed back towards the office building.

“What the heck are those Schnee people thinking?” thought Lan “That guy should be the one in charge here.”

As If understanding his thought, Ignis and George both gave a grunt of approval.

Lan then closed the door and went back inside. He placed the folder on the living room table, and then went back into the kitchen to prepare breakfast while Ignis and George returned back to their bed in Lan’s room to continue sleeping. As always, Lan heard the crashing banging sound of Byakko’s awakening the moment the scent of the cooking meat traveled upstairs. A few minutes later the old man came down and sat down at the seat in front of a plate stacked to the ceiling with roasted meats. Lan sat on the opposite side of the table with a plate of bacon, eggs, sausage, and toast while the kebabs roasted in the oven. After finishing the meal Lan informed Byakko of their new orders. As always, Lan took care of the paper work and read through the folder while Byakko snuck upstairs to violently wake up Ignis and George.

Lan read through the report first and discovered that the two of them were to meet with the local White Fang leaders to discuss the behavior of their subordinates. The meeting place was marked on a map, one of the White Fang airships docked at the landing area at the edge of town. The folder also came with a list of instructions as well as the names and pictures of the two leaders, Jirall Remus and Daylen Remus, twin brothers who had risen through the ranks together. The instructions explicitly instructed Lan and Byakko to not give into any of the demands made by them and contained a list of responses to the questions that could possibly be asked. Lan also found another handwritten line on the back of the instructions page that brought a frown to his face. It was Mr. Siemans’s curly handwriting and said:

If the White Fang become a little too violent, please use the recording device in the folder and bring it a little later, I’ll be more than happy to reward you for your services.

P.S. You can rile them up yourselves if you’d like. My friends in the editing room will personally make sure that you two won’t be blamed for anything.

Lan blinked, read the letter again, and sighed.

“Typical” he thought, ignoring the sounds of Lan and Ignis screeching and whimpering as they ran down the stairs.

A moment later Byakko appeared by the boy’s side and sat down next to him.

“So, what’s out objective hmmm?”

“Meeting the local White Fang leaders for Mr. Siemans” said Lan.

“Oooh finally going to meet the youngun’s?” said Byakko “Ahhh that brings me back, you know I was a founding member of the organization.”

“What!?” said Lan, his head shooting up “You never told me that!”

“Yeah well, I was kinda keepin a low profile at the time. Was just a regular grunt worker, and made my mark on the organization from the shadows... ninja style. Nobody there ever knew about the things I did. ”

“Tell me about it some other time.” Said Lan, sighing “We got a job to do now.”

The instructions said to wear casual, so Lan donned a t-shirt, shorts, and his traveler’s cloak. Byakko donned a large Hawaiian shirt a pair of black shorts and sunglasses.

“Isn’t that a too casual?” said Lan.

Before the two of them left, Lan called one of the Faunus workers, a cheerful old man named Oswald, to help distribute the kebabs that Lan had made as well as look after the little guys, he didn’t want the two of them screwing up the negotiations pissing off the wrong people.

After Oswald came and took over, Lan and Byakko headed towards the airfield. As they walked, Lan went over possible conversation topics in his head. This would be quite a delicate opposition, and from what he could tell, the White Fang leaders in this division were much more aggressive than normal. He checked his watch and found that they still had around an hour until the 10 o’clock meeting, so Lan thought he would get some snacks to share with them. He quickly popped by the bank where he withdrew some lien for the snacks while Byakko deposited a whole jar of free lollipops into his mouth.

Lan then bought two baker’s dozen of good quality doughnuts from a nearby bakery shop that was frequented by the Schnee company employees, making sure to keep them as far away as possible from Byakko’s gaping maw, as well as two chocolate caramel lattes for the Faunus leaders, a black tea for himself (he preferred tea unless the coffee was a high quality brew made with excellent hand-picked beans), and a XXXX large coffee bucket for Byakko. The goods there were far too expensive for any of the workers to buy, which made Lan a little bit ashamed as he carried the doughnuts out of the shop.

Lan arrived at the air field with 10 minutes to spare, over encumbered as he was with the drinks and pastries. Lan quickly found the airship due to the large White Fang symbol painted on its side. As he and Byakko neared it he noticed a large group of White Fang members wearing suits standing in front of the sloped pathway leading into the ship. One of them stepped forward and ordered Lan and Byakko to stop. She was a woman with long fuchsia hair, a pair of kitty ears, and a long fuchsia feline tail.

“Sorry, no civilians allowed” she said.

“We were sent by Mr. Siemans” said Lan, his face blocked by the food he was carrying. “We’re security guards!”

The woman narrowed her eyes and then spat on the ground.

“That slimy man was supposed to come here himself!” She said angrily “And he sends an old man and a little kid? This is also supposed to be a formal meeting. Couldn’t he have even bothered to have his grunts dress nicely before he sends him to insult us?”

“Oh, sorry” said Lan, peering through a crack in the snacks “The instructions he sent us said to dress casually.”

“Why I oughta—“started the woman. A man next to her stopped her and whispered into her ear. She nodded and turned back to Lan and Byakko.

“So you two are the ones who have been given our members so much trouble.” Said the woman.

“We’ve never hurt them.” Said Lan.

“Yeah, but you’ve been making our work a lot more difficult. Tell me, how does it feel to get paid big bucks by your ball of a boss while you prevent us from helping innocent Faunus?”

“Quite crappy to be honest!” said Byakko “He’s a corrupt *************” Byakko covered Lan’s ears as he said the word so Lan wouldn’t be able to hear “that could do well to have an iron spike shoved up his ass!”

This statement caught many of the protestors off guard and caused a good number of them to give snort of laughter. The side of the woman’s mouth twitched and some of the resentment disappeared from her eyes.

“Well if that’s the case why are you working for him?” Said the woman.

“To get my boy here some job experience” said Byakko “But it’s been kinda depressing with all the corruption we’ve seen. I really don’t like the guy. Hate his guts and that but-kissing business smile of his. I plan to give his as a good kickin after our contract expires, isn’t that right boy?”

Lan gave a nod from behind the pastries.

“In fact” said Byakko, pulling out a large rubber ball made from multiple rubber bands “First thing I’m gonna do is castrate him with these rubber bands using a method I learned from a cattle rancher!”

A round of laughter came from the group and the woman chuckled.

“Well, that’s good to know.” She said, walking forward. “Dirtbag would finally get what he deserves….You two are alright, every other guard is two worried about their paychecks to badmouth the guy, but we still gotta check you two for bugs and weaponry before you go in.”

“Oh here you go” said Lan, tossing the device that Siemans had given them to the woman “Mr. Siemans wanted us to use this.”

“Make sure to give it back though” said Byakko “I’m gonna turn it on while I’m on the toilet tonight and give it to him the next morning!”

Another round of laughter came from the group, which quickly turned to screams terror as Byakko dropped his pants to, uh, aid in the searching process. After pulling his pants back on after being told many times by disgusted guards, Byakko was quickly patted down. Lan’s food was checked while he was patted down using chemical analyzers and after they were found to be clean they were returned to him. Lan also gave one of the guards the stun batons, explosives, and sling that he was carrying.

The woman then pulled out a communications device and talked with some people for a few minutes before nodding, switching it off, and turning back to Lan and Byakko.

“Your clear to go” she said “Just hope you’ll be able to get something productive done.”

“Me too” said Lan.

“The name’s Megan” said the woman, extending a hand to Byakko “Good to meetcha.”

“Likewise” said Byakko, returning the gesture.

“The meeting room is at the end of the hall on the right” said Megan. “Don’t go into any other doors.”

“Not even the bathroom?” asked Byakko, stressing the last word.

“Not even the bathroom.” Said Megan, calmly.

Chuckling Byakko walked into the ship, followed closely by Lan. The hallway they walked through was dimly lit by glowing strips that lined both sides of the floor. They arrived at the designated door after a few minutes.

“Kinda rusty” said Byakko as he grabbed the handle “Don’t they got enough money to keep this place in shape?”

He pushed the door open and the two of them entered into a dimly lit room, its furnishings almost completely hidden in the shadows. At the other end of the room was a sturdy looking wooden table and sitting on the other side under the light were two Faunus that Lan recognized as the leaders Jirall and Daylen. Daylen was sitting with has arms politely folded on top of each other on the tabletop, while Jirall was leaning forward with his elbows on the table and the tips of his fingers pressed together in front of his face.

“Gooday!” shouted Byakko, raising his hand in greeting.

“Hello.” Said Daylen, a pleasant smile on his face. Jirall simply narrowed his eyes.

Lan walked forward and set the pastries and drinks on the table.

“A little snack while we talk” he said.

Lan and Byakko then sat down on wooden chairs at the opposite side of the table and stared across the table, large smiles on their faces. Daylen timidly gave a smile of his own. Lan opened the box of donuts and removed a chocolate covered cream donut and bit into it, taking a large suck from his tea as he did. Byakko pulled out a chocolate glaze and took a long chug from his giant coffee.

“So” started Byakko “about all them protests.”

“They won’t be stopping” interjected Jirall “and they will continue until our demands are met.”

“It’s not likely with that pig-headed Siemans sitting at the top” said Byakko. “He’s got a good idea on how to get the most out of his workers while giving them as little as possible, plus he’s good at making the workers hate your intervention as much as they hate his policies.”

“Yes” said Daylen “But there have been signs of progress. From the rumors I’ve gathered throughout town, Siemans’s superiors have been contacting him frequently. They aren’t pleased about all the attention this place is getting.”

“Yep” said Lan “I checked through the database and found that Dust Hole has some of the worst Faunus working conditions out of all Schnee company owned mines because it’s so far out of the way. All you need to do is get a good newsperson here and the company’s approval rating could take another dive.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be saying things that would help your boss?” said Jirall.

“We are” said Byakko, “but he won’t know what we say unless someone tells him otherwise…unless of course this room is bugged…is it bugged?”

“No” said Daylen.

Jirall stared at them for a few seconds and then snorted in disgust.

“So, trying to earn our trust huh?” he said, getting up and walking to the back of the room where a water dispenser was placed, ignoring the coffee on the table. He pulled a plastic cup, filled it, and returned to the table, taking a sip. “You really think it’s going to be that easy you lien hungry human dogs?”

“Uh, Jirall” said Daylen “Don’t you think that’s a little—“

“No, it’s fine” said Lan, as he watched his grandpa pick up finish the first box of doughnuts by shoving his face into it. “It’s understandable that you’d be suspicious of us. You have to be careful of what you say in your line of business after all.”

“You are quite precocious for your age” said Daylen.

“I get that a lot” said Lan with a smile. “Someone’s gotta be the mature one in my family.”

“And that’s the way uh huh uh huh I like it!” boomed Byakko, giving two thumbs up and a huge toothy grin.

“If you understand” said Jirall, “Then unless you plan to improve their conditions like we asked, we have nothing else to talk about.”

“Come on” said Lan “you won’t help anyone if you prevent them from earning their living.”

“Living?” said Jirall, venom in his voice “You call that living?” he stood up and glowered at Lan “They work in the dirt all day in squalid conditions and barely get paid squat! They go home to their decrepit living areas each day with barely enough to keep their families from starving and afterward collapse onto their beds from exhaustion only to start the process over the next morning! What’s more, they don’t have the means to fight back against this! They have to take every insult, every abuse, while you humans just watch from the sidelines. It’s this way for thousands and thousands of Faunus all over Remnant!”

“Mr. Remus” started Lan “I understand where you’re coming from but—“

“Understand?” shouted Jirall, “Understand!? How could you humans ever understand how we live our lives?”

“But we know life’s hard for them” said Lan “That’s why we bring them lunch every day and—“

“Oh!” said Daylen with a smile “So you two are the guards that have been providing meals, you know that’s really nice of—“

Jirall slammed his palm down on the table, cutting Daylen off.

“They don’t need their charity” spat Jirall “What they need is a change.”

Daylen puckered his lips and sat meekly back into his chair.

“And it will come” said Lan “just give things some time and sure that—“

“Shut up kid!” shouted Jirall, startling Lan, “A little kid who has no idea how the world works has not right to lecture me!”

“Hey!” shouted Byakko, narrowing his eyes “Don’t take out your frustrations on my boy!”

“Frustrations?” laughed Jirall “I’m just telling this kid the truth. As things are now humans will never respect Faunus enough to treat them as equals, that’s why we have to take a stand and try to make a difference. People like you will never have known what we went through, what it was like to have all those condescending gazes looking down on you as if they were looking at animals!” Jirall fixed Lan and Byakko with an intense stare and then sat back down in his chair.

“We all know that we won’t get anything done here” he said with a sigh as he placed his right hand over his eyes “Just leave.”

Lan looked back and forth, not knowing what to do when he heard his grandfather start chuckling.

“Actually boy.” Said Byakko “I know quite well what our kind has gone through.”

Lan then noticed a white light begin to emanate from Byakko’s body.

“Did you not use spirit copy today?” asked Lan.

“Forgot to this morning.” Said Byakko as the ears on his head popped out.

In a matter of seconds, Byakko took on his normal bestial appearance with his long tiger tail, tiger ears, and feline eyes.

The two men across the table stared at him, wide-eyed. Daylen’s mouth was hanging open and his right eye was twitching slightly. Jirall’s eyes were wide with surprise and the hostility within them had been replaced with shock. Daylen was the first to speak.

“H-how” he started.

“You know those racist business people wouldn’t be comfortable hiring a Faunus” said Byakko “so I hid my heritage using one of my secret aura techniques!”

“You’re a Faunus.” Said Jirall.

“And one that’s been around the block many more time than you kids!”

Daylen smiled and was about to say something when Jirall raised a hand and stopped him.

“If you are a Faunus.” Said Jirall, “Then why are you working for them.

“Job experience for the little guy” said Byakko, “plus, after learning more about the guy, we plan on taking out the Siemans fella.”

“You’re gonna kill him!?” said Daylen, alarmed.

“No!” shouted Lan.

“But we are going to get him fired” said Byakko, “I know that corrupt uncaring guys like that usually have a lot of dirt to be dug up, so me and Lan just gotta be the shovels that do so.”

“But he’s paying you—“ started Jirall.

“To guard the mines and make sure the operation runs smoothly.” Said Byakko, “contract didn’t say anything about us having to support his dirty little ass, isn’t that right boy?”

Lan nodded.

“So…we’re allies?” said Daylen.

“Yes.” Said Lan.

“How can we trust you?” asked Jirall.

“You can’t” said Byakko “But as long as you keep your guard up around me you won’t lose anything.”

“Sounds fair enough” said Daylen “Brother, we can give them the benefit of the doubt can’t we?”

Jirall stared at Byakko for a full minute and then slowly nodded. Lan let out a loud sigh and then pushed the coffee and doughnuts towards Daylen and Jirall.

“Seal the deal with a meal” said Lan with a smile.

Each of them, including Lan and Byakko, reached into a box, removed a doughnut and picked up their drink.

“To change!” shouted Byakko.

They all tapped their doughnuts together and then took a bite.

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For the next few hours that were scheduled for the meeting, the four of them chatted about how they would work together, as well as many random things. But when I say four, I really mean three because Jirall simply sat there and brooded while Byakko constantly attempted to strike up conversations with him. It was quickly established that Lan and Byakko would deliver any information they found to Jirall and Daylen so that the two of them could quickly disseminate it where it was needed.

During one of the casual conversations, Daylen was quite surprised to discover that Lan was a close friend of Momonga Cranndarach, who was a veteran leader of a division of the White Fang.

Also, a friendship was quickly established between the cheerful young boy and the mellow young man as they got to know each other, especially after their brief conversation on Faunus rights. The friendship between jovial old man and broody young man never even started, since Jirall replied to all of Byakko’s conversational topics with a low grunt.

It wasn’t long before their scheduled meeting time was over and they had to say their goodbyes. They all shook hands and agreed that they would all tell everyone that the meeting went just as they everyone expected it too, peacefully with no progress whatsoever. Lan also promised that they wouldn’t mention anything that they talked about in the report that he would write.

“See you later Daylen” said Lan “Come over and play sometime!”

“Sure” said Daylen “If I have the time.”

Lan and Byakko then exited the room, smiles on their face. Bur as they walked down the hall towards the exit, Byakko’s ears perked up for a few minute and then he gave small sigh.

“What’s wrong grandpa?” asked Lan.

“Oh, nothing” said Byakko, ruffling Lan’s hair. “Come on, I need to do spirit copy before we leave the ship.”

After doing so, Byakko and Lan walked outside into the afternoon sun and headed back towards the mines to finish up the work day after reclaiming their articles from the White Fang members that waited outside.

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1 week later

‘glug glug glug’

Byakko downed another giant flagon of ale, slammed it down on the table and let out an enormous sigh.”

“Ahhhhhhh!”

Lan sat beside him, sipping a cherry cola.

The two of them were in a small dingy bar in the depths of the Faunus living quarters. Byakko often went there to drink instead of the high class bar in the office building.

“Company’s much better here” he had said.

Due to their excellent reputation among the Faunus workers, they weren’t given any trouble, in fact the first time they had come to the bar, the customers had given them a happy welcome and had given them two of the best seats at the bar. The bartender was especially happy since Byakko bought more drinks then the rest of the customers combined. The alcohol there was of course cheap swill, especially since it was funded only by workers’ meager wages, but Byakko was able to appreciate it as much as the high quality alcohol he usually drank. Lan of course only ordered sodas and juices since he was underage, but he was still able to make his time there more enjoyable by jamming out an upbeat jazz tune on the piano once in a while, cooking something tasty with the available ingredients, or chatting it up with the workers.

Tonight however, he sat alone with his grandpa at the bar while Ignis went around begging for food scraps and George practiced his throwing skills by throwing darts at the dart board with some other patrons. Between the two of them was a green cardstock invitation. After the two of them had arrived home one evening, they had found Mr. Kenichi waiting there for them. The man had given them a piece of cardstock. Apparently, Mr. Siemans’s birthday was coming up that weekend and a party was being thrown in the ballroom in the basement of the office building. Lan and Byakko had been invited because of how well they were doing their jobs. It honestly made Lan sick to think of the money that man would pump into this event instead of into the hands of the more needy, but then again this provided them with an opportunity.

A few days ago, Lan had removed Mr. Siemans’s special logbook from his desk while the man was busy conversing Byakko. Lan had discovered that the book contained many codes, as well as information on additional keys and items, that were used to access the building’s security system and network. The boy had quickly copied them all down and replaced the book back on the desk before Siemans had noticed.

The party gave Lan and Byakko the perfect opportunity to find the incriminating information that they needed to bring the man down and get him replaced with a more sympathetic director. They knew where the most likely place for such information to be was, a special safe hidden in the bookcase in Siemans’s office that the man had shown off to them one day. Byakko and Lan also had access to information on the many active security systems since they were members of the guard as well as a detailed map of every floor of the office building and to get into the areas that they didn’t already have clearance for, they had already devised a way to sneak the master security card from the guard captain, a portly man by the name of Aurelius. After they had gotten past everything and had gotten the documents in their hands, they planned to pass them on to Jirall and Daylen who had already been alerted about the plan.

“So, I’m the retriever?” said Lan quietly as Byakko pounded down another giant mug.

“Yep” said Byakko after letting out another sigh “I’ll be the distractor.”

“You’ll also need to turn off the security system from the main security room” said Lan “after I get the key from Aurelius, I’ll find a place to hand it to you before I head towards Siemans’s office.”

“This’ll be the first time you run espionage boy, are you sure you can handle this?”

“I’m sure” said Lan, as he thought back to all those times that he had to sneak past/away from Byakko to avoid certain unpleasant situations. He was always caught of course, but then again Byakko’s instincts were more sensitive than the most advanced security systems in Remnant.

“We’ve got three days until the party” said Byakko “Anything you need to prepare for?”

“No” said Lan, “I’ve already finished researching the targets.”

There were quite a few men and women that had the key cards that Lan needed to get passed certain doors that would be locked at the time of the event and could only be opened with those specific key cards. He had begun learning about their personalities, so that he could give Byakko better advice on how to distract them at the party so that he would be able to steal them more easily and return them afterwards without the third parties noticing.

“And I’ve finished making my preparations as well.” said Byakko, another mug in hand “All that’s left is to wait for the day.”

“Hey Lan!” shouted someone from the crowd. Lan turned his head and stared at the group of amicable people. “Think we can get a tune?”

Lan smiled and then hopped from his chair.

“Coming right up” he said. The boy then walked to the piano at the corner of the room and began to play a piece that he had recently learned, it was written by Edgar, and was ironically named ‘Calm before the Storm.”

Well, that’s ch 21 done… You know guys, I feel like my writing hasn’t been as good as before lately. Have I been pacing the story okay? Do I move the plot to slowly? Are the topics of each arc too boring? Are Byakko’s cruel and stupid antics still making you laugh?

I really would appreciate some feedback, at least to know that I’m not doing badly. The last thing I want to do is trip and fall down into the spiral of mediocrity…so yeah, reviews would be nice. Also, do any of you guys have any good ideas on how I can get this to a larger RWBY audience? That would make my goal more realistic.

P.S. A like and follow by those who haven’t would also be appreciated.

P.S.S This story continues until Lan is 18 or 19 years old to give you all a heads up on the length it will be.


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