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RWBY-The Journeys of Lan

By Daniel Zhu

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 29

Ch 29

Jirall gritted his teeth and gave his brother a look filled with pure rage. “So you would go this far?!” is what his eyes seemed to say. But he quickly returned his focus to the battle at hand after Marcus’s mace almost struck him in the face. With reinforcements from the mine workers and Daylen’s troops, who were once again wearing the symbol of the White Fang, the battle began to turn in the favor of Lan and friends. The biggest contributing factor was the assistance of Daylen’s vines. Although they couldn’t grow as large as they normally could had they been in soil, they still tore through the ranks of the Black Claw troops, while at the same time protecting allies from enemy fire. Lan and his little friends also helped here and there, darting through the melee and gunfire and providing support where it was needed.

Noticing the effect of his brother’s assistance, Jirall used a complex foot technique to bypass Marcus and strike at him. Noticing this in advance, Daylen caused a huge dome of vines to sprout around him which intercepted Jirall’s claws. Growling in anger, Jirall opened his palm, revealing the barrel of a firearm embedded into the palm of his metal glove. With a few ear-splitting cracks, Jirall attempted to shoot Daylen through the gaps in the vines. However, Daylen was able to deflect the shots with twirls of his cane.

“You traitor” said Jirall, his voice seething with rage “If I had known you’d turn this far from the cause, I would have killed you in your sleep!”

“…I know” said Daylen, tears visible in the corner of his eyes.

Jirall slashed at the wall of vines, but predator was unable to locate a weakness he could take advantage of. But he had to quickly abandon his action and leap away as Marcus’s heavy mace smashed down on where he had just been standing. With a roar, Marcus charged towards Jirall like a truck and began the melee anew.

Thanks to Daylen’s vines covering his weak points, Marcus slowly began to gain the upper hand against Jirall, and to add insult to injury the Black Claw forces were slowly forced into a corner by the other forces.

“Bomb’s away!” shouted Lan who leapt from behind a guardsman and threw some black ball shaped explosives at Jirall. Jirall gritted his teeth and leapt out of the blast radius as the bombs detonated. A moment later he saw a blur shoot out from the smoke and debris thrown up by the blasts, and found that Marcus had quickly closed in on him using a combination of the shockwaves from the bombs and his own semblance, and was swinging his mace at him.

Unable to dodge in midair, Jirall crossed his claws in front of him to protect himself, but was still sent flying by the force of Marcus’s mace, which could easily crush the skulls of ancient Grimm. Jirall crashed into the far wall creating a large dent, he then crumpled to the ground below. Gasping, he slowly rose to his feet only to find that he had been surrounded by Marcus, Daylen, and Lan. His men had fared no better and were currently on the brink of defeat.

“Give up brother.” Said Daylen, “Stop this madness before any more people are hurt” Seeing his brother’s eyes full of resistance, Daylen sighed “Jirall, this mistake that we’ve made has almost crossed the line. If not for that crazy old man out there keeping the Grimm out, our actions could have harmed countless innocents and devastatingly harmed the image of the entire Faunus society, which could give many people even more excuses to mistreat us. Please, just end this here. After the two of us have paid our dues we can return to the White Fang and continue just as we had before.”

Jirall was silent for a moment, then slowly began to laugh “ha…ha…HaHaHaHa!” Jirall looked around at his situation then sighed, he knew that with his current injuries there would be no way out for him. “You pacifist bastards…the lot of ya.” Jirall shook his head “Already forgotten how mom, old man Klauss, Jimmy, and the rest of them died?” Daylen’s heart clenched as he remembered those old friends back in the place of their birth, many of whom had died due to mistreatment. Jirall chuckled softly, then reached into his pocket “At the very least I can be a martyr” he said, pulling out the detonator. Everyone’s eyes widened in alarm. Jirall turned a key in it, turning it on, then placed his thumb over a glowing red button. “See you in the afterlife” he said.

Lan, Marcus, and Daylen darted forward to try and wrest the switch from him, but were two late.

‘Beep’

Everybody cringed, awaiting the imminent explosion. … … It didn’t come.

Confused, they all turned their attention towards Jirall whose was just as exasperated as they all were.

He pressed the button a few more time, but nothing happened.

“What the—“ he started.

“Hmmmm, it seems the jamming device worked.”

A voice boomed through the room, carrying the slight fuzzy noise of being projected through some kind of sound system. A moment later four huge spikes pierced through the four corners of one of the walls, and tore the metal frame away. A large gust of wind blew in from the outside as the city of Dust Hole came into view. But nobody in the room paid attention to that, but instead stared at the enormous object that filled their vision. Hanging onto the side of the cliff was an enormous android that looked like a humanoid upper body mounted onto a spider’s frame, only the torso had what appeared to me crab claws where the hands were supposed to be. It was larger than the room everyone was in now, which was as wide as the entire mountainside building, and was made from some kind of reddish brown metal. Currently four of its legs were pierced into the side of the cliff while the other four legs were holding that sheet of wall it had just ripped off.

With a tearing noise, the 4 legs spread apart, breaking the metal wall it was holding apart, which then fell below as debris. The human torso portion of the android then pushed itself inside, taking up almost half the space in the room. Its head was a large half-circle with a blaring red visual sensor where the eyes would be on a human.

“Well, well, well. Just look at this mess we’ve all gotten into.” Came the voice from its speakers.

Everyone in the room recognized that arrogant, condescending tone. It was Siemanns.

“Hmph, it looks like it’s up to this hero to save the day.” As he said that, many openings appeared in the robot’s armor, revealing row upon row of destructive armaments. “Luckily I’ve got all those videos and recordings, including what that little green wolf said just now” said Siemanns, motioning to Jirall “It should give the bosses back at Schnee headquarters plenty of material to deal with those Faunus-loving hippies from now on.” Siemanns laughed dryly “So I guess all that’s left, is to take out the trash.”

With that said, many of the armaments opened fire, and surprisingly (or unsurprisingly given his personality) everyone single person in the room became a target. Guardsmen, Black Claw, White Fang, and Faunus workers alike were cut down by the gunfire that rained down upon them, sparing only those skilled enough to dodge, or lucky enough to be outside the fire range. Screams filled the room as the floors began to run red.

“Siemanns you bastard!” shouted Marcus, the gunfire bouncing off of him “Your shooting your own men and the workers!”

“Yes, I’m aware” he said, his voice filled with arrogance “I’ve already worked out how it will go ‘Siemanns sped to stop the Faunus terrorist attack as fast as he could, but was too late to save the countless workers and guardsmen that lost their lives at the hands of those vicious beasts’, quite good wouldn’t you say? It should drum up support for more stringent Faunus laws, and all those ‘poor innocent people’ will be remembered fondly during my Schnee victory parade.”

“Siemmans!!!!” shouted Marcus, pointing his mace cannon at the android “you ************--“

“Ah ah ah” said Siemanns “Now Marcus, as the only survivor of those ‘brutal Faunus’, you wouldn’t want those file I have stored on my computer to spread to the authorities, now would you?”

Marcus ground his teeth in anger, and with a trembling hand, lowered his mace. He hated himself more and more every second.

More and more people were dying as the gunfire rained down, nobody having any ability to counterattack and were forced to dodge for their lives or run for the exit and try to escape, all except for Marcus and three others. Lan, Daylen, Jirall were dodging the gunfire, all of them trying to figure a way out of this situation. It was then that their eyes met. They didn’t get along, but could all tell that none of them wanted to let Siemanns get his way. Their eyes only met for brief moments, but a second later they all nodded. For now they had a common enemy, they could address their grievances with each other later. Grabbing Ignis and George, Lan threw them out of the room towards some cover, and then prepared to attack with Daylen and Jirall.

Vines sprouted out of the ground and wrapped around all of their wastes. They then charged forward towards Siemanns’s robot, dodging all the projectiles that came their way. Controlling his vines, Daylen launched Lan and Jirall towards the machine’s face. With his deft hands, Lan threw all the homemade explosives he could at the robots face, the resulting explosion rocked its face and temporarily destabilized Siemanns’s main visual monitor.

“Gah, damn this little—“he yelled, but as his screen re-stabilized, he saw Jirall slashing at the reinforced synthetic resin that protected the robot’s visual sensor. Although he wasn’t able to pierce through, Jirall’s claws left long scratch’s that made it increasingly difficult to see through the visor.

“Gah, this—“ Siemann’s operated a few controls and had many mounted armaments simultaneously fire at Jirall, who leapt out of the way, causing the gunfire to pelt the mechanical head. “Augh” exclaimed Siemanns, as his screen shook “Grrrr…Marcus!” he yelled, “stop standing there like a lump and take care of those three!”

Marcus gave the machine Siemanns was in a hate-filled glance.

“Hurry up ‘Mr. Deliveryman’” shouted Siemanns.

Marcus, gritted his teeth, then after filling his mind with the visage of his wife and son, he charged towards Lan and Jirall, who had just landed near Daylen. Seeing this, Jirall dashed forwards and attempted to slip to Marcus’s back to attack him, however a barrage of weapon fire from the giant android forced him to dodge out of the way.

Seeing that he could only rely on himself now, Lan threw that last of his remaining explosives at Marcus. The resulting explosion managed to stop him for a brief moment, but rebound quickly counteracted the blast and allowed him to charge forward, luckily no one had been near him when he activated his semblance or they would have taken a huge amount of damage.

However, using the time bought by Marcus’s brief pause, Daylen erected a huge wall of roots to impede Marcus’s charge. In response to this, Marcus slammed his shield in front, setting up his cannon formation. His hand on the trigger, he hesitated for a brief moment.

“Marcus!” shouted Siemanns from the robot’s intercom.

Marcus gritted his teeth in anger, and then pressed the trigger. The shot blew apart the vine wall, and as Lan and Daylen’s vision was impeded by smoke, he charged through and swung his mace at the nearby Lan. Lan leapt out of the way, throwing a bag of powder at the same time. The powder exploded in Marcus’s face, obscuring his vision, and in that instant Lan ran forward and slid between the large man’s legs. Finally behind him, Lan whipped out his shock batons and struck him in the back. Sparks traveled along the length of the man’s back, and Lan thought he finally did a bit of damage.

‘Wham’, with a lightning fast movement Marcus turned his body 180 degrees and struck Lan with his mace. Luckily Lan had noticed in time and defended himself with the shock batons. The batons shattered into pieces and the boy was sent flying into one of the walls, his backpack was torn to pieces by the blow and many weapons and tools spilled all over the place as he fell down. The boy didn’t have any chance to pick them up; he had to quickly scamper away before Marcus was able to grab him. The battle soon became one sided.

Marcus was able to blow apart any vine walls that Daylen made and was too strong to be restricted by the roots, while Jirall couldn’t attack Marcus’s weak spots due to the cover fire from Siemanns. Lan was able to provide small assistances here and there, but lacked the combat skill to make a significant difference.

“Gah!” cried Jirall, as Marcus’s mace crashed into the side of his ribs. The man flew 30 feet into the air, then crashed down onto the hard metal floor. A beeping sound came from a small device on Jirall’s wrist, indicating that he had less than 15% of his aura remaining. Marcus prepared to charge forwards and finish him.

“Stop right there big guy” said Siemanns “I’ll be the one to finish him.”

The full array of the android’s armaments focused on Jirall.

“Hahhahhahhah” laughed Siemmans, Jirall stared at him with hate-filled eyes “It seems that I win aga—“

‘Sccccreeeeechhhhhh’ ‘BOOOOOOM’

At that moment a large dark shadow collided into the android’s side. The impact crushed the majority of its armaments and smashed through four of its 8 legs. To everyone surprise, they discovered that what had crashed into the android was the rapidly deteriorating corpse of a Giant Nevermore.

“Grandpa!” said Lan, with a joyous smile as hearty laughter echoed throughout the town.

“AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” came a shrill and high-pitched scream from the android’s speakers. The android had lost its balance and leverage and was on the brink of falling off the cliff. Multiple cables shot out of the android, and pierced into the side of the cliff, many engines turned on in an attempt to stabilize it. In his cockpit Siemanns desperately hit a number of buttons around him as a flipped through the robot’s operating manual (which he didn’t bother to read earlier). Because of this, he obviously didn’t pay any mind to the situation below. Emboldened by the new turn of events: Lan, Jirall, Daylen quickly formed up and began to assault Marcus once more.

Now that there was no supportive fire, Marcus found himself slowly being forced back as combination Jirall’s precise strikes, Lan’s assault with a variety of different weapons, and Daylen’s sprouting roots bombarded him. But still, he wasn’t a former hunter for nothing. While slowly being worn down, he found places where he was able to counterattack. Having taken blows from Marcus, Jirall was still shaky on his feet and was grazed here and there, while Lan had to defend against many strikes with his remaining tools and weapons. Daylen was also quickly growing tired from the continuous use of his semblance to sprout and control the many vines and roots.

“Marcus, you useless ****!” shouted Siemanns, his voice tinged with madness and panic “What the **** are you doing? Beat those stupid Faunus back and come help me! If you take a minute longer I’ll send those files to the nearest police server, then what will your ***** of a wife and your ******* son do?!”

Marcus turned and gave the robot a burning glare, at the same something in him snapped.

“Now!” shouted Daylen.

Two vines wrapped around Jirall and Lan’s waists, then threw them at Marcus’s exposed back.

Marcus, connected his mace to his shield to form the cannon apparatus, and then began to turn to meet them, but Lan noticed that his turning speed was much slower than what he had exhibited before. The two warriors crashed into the large man’s back and Marcus let out an exclamation of pain.

Lan was surprised to fell very little aura protecting Marcus’s body. Confused, he looked up into the large man’s face and, for a brief instance, saw the man grin and wink at him.

Thrown off balance by the blow’, Marcus’s arm holding the cannon flew out behind him and ‘accidently’ clicked the trigger. The cannon shot erupted forward and crashed into the androids frame. The force of the shot destabilized the android once again, causing many of the cables it shot into the cliff and one of its legs to rip free as well as opening a sizable hole in the android’s armor.

Siemanns screamed once again as he frantically bashed a number of different buttons in his cockpit. He looked at his monitor and saw Marcus ‘passed out’ on the ground and cursed under his breath.

Lan and Jirall made their way back to Daylen’s side, and then looked at the flailing android that was slowly stabilizing itself. Jirall stared at the hole in the android’s armor, and for a brief instance his eyes flashed with a green light.

“There” he said pointing at the hole. “It leads straight to the android’s central power core.”

The three of them knew that they wouldn’t stand a chance once the android stabilized itself, so they acted immediately. Lan and Jirall charged forwards while Daylen slammed the butt of his staff into the ground. Vines and roots erupted from the ground, protecting the two from the fire from the remaining armaments. A few moments later, the two of them arrived at the cliff in front of the still flailing robot. At this time, Daylen’s vines once more wrapped around Lan and Jirall’s waists, and them flung them towards the opening in the armor. The two of them whistle through the air and with a loud crunch, the two of them landed onto pieces of broken scrap and debris that covered the floor of the interior of the machine. The inside of the robot was a complex maze of dark machinery and red lines light. Had Lan gone in here himself, he would have never been able to find the power core before the android corrected himself.

“There.” Said Jirall, pointing into the darkness. “It’s that cylinder like object.”

Lan narrowed his eyes and was able to pick out such a shape a couple dozen meters away.

The two of them then dashed forwards, leaping from metal surface to metal surface towards the heart of the giant machine. Siemanns, still flipping through the manual, never noticed this, but the machine’s automatic defense system did.

The moment Lan and Jirall had traversed a few meters, red warning lights began to blare around them and large iron ropes shot out of holes in the surrounding walls, flying towards them like wriggling snakes. Clicking their tongues, the two of them dodged and weaved best they could while continuing to charge forward, however as more and more iron cables appeared, they found their progress being hindered more and more. The two of them were exhausted from the fight just now and were finding it more and more difficult to avoid the ropes. After they had covered half the distance, Jirall finally ran out of luck.

A metal rope burst out from beneath a pile of scrap metal, taking Jirall by surprise. He tried to dodge out of the way, but due to his injuries, he was a hair too slow and the rope managed to bind his right ankle. His movements restrained, he was no longer able to dodge the forest of metal ropes that were surging towards him. Seeing Jirall’s predicament, Lan hesitated for a moment then leapt to his side, trying to help him get his ankle free.

“You little idiot!” he yelled, as a metal rope wrapped around his left wrist, “Go!”

With his free hand, Jirall grabbed Lan by the scruff of his neck, and threw the boy towards the power core.

As Lan landed on a metal surface, he turned to look back and Jirall who was now completely wrapped in the metal ropes.

Gritting his teeth, Lan charged towards the core. The metal ropes grew denser and denser as he got closer and closer to the core. With his skills he managed to dodge and weave through the metal foliage, sometimes even using the ropes as footholds, but as he came 2 meters away for the core he made his first mistake.

Impatient now that he was so close to the core, he charged forwards while paying less attention to his surroundings.

A metal rope burst from the ground right in front of him. Alarmed, he tried to dodge out of the way, but the appendage had already wrapped itself around his waist. Feeling it pull back on him, he gritted his teeth and continued to forge ahead. However, now that he was slowed, more and more ropes were able to entrap him, wrapping around his chest and shoulders. At this time, he began reaching into his pockets for any tools that could help him; however all of them had either been used or broken during his bout with Marcus.

When he was one meter away, two ropes caught his ankles, causing him to fall onto the ground and get dragged back a bit before he was able to start crawling and pull himself forwards again. Now he was using his hands to heave himself towards his goal, but as more and more iron ropes wrapped around him, it became increasingly difficult for him to move forwards. Soon he found the pulling force of the ropes to be greater than his crawling force and began to feel himself being dragged back. As he saw his goal into slowly receding before his eyes, he cursed with the worst swear word his grandfather had taught him.

‘clunk’

At that moment something fell out of one of his large pockets near his chest. He looked down and saw a broken pickaxe that he hadn’t gotten around to fixing yet. Gritting his teeth, Lan grabbed the tool and used it as leverage to pull himself forwards, piercing into the ground like a mountain climber ascending a cliff, until he couldn’t move forwards even with its help. As close as he could possibly be to the core, he swung the pickaxe with all his might!

The strike fell short of the core by 1 inch. Slowly being dragged away, Lan felt his eyes grow hot as his vision became crowded with tears of frustration, cursing in his heart over and over again.

“If only if it were longer!” he thought, his soul trembling with indignation “If only this stupid pickaxe were longer!”

At that moment he felt a glow in the depths of his soul, energy was flooding outwards and filling his body with a strange sensation.

It felt quite similar to that time back in Tiger Valley when he had defeated Kong, using that burst of instantaneous strength. But this instance felt different. At that time, although the strength had come from within him, it felt as though that power wasn’t truly his, almost as if something had been lending him its strength. But now, this power felt like it was his own, a power that was derived from the very core of his being.

Two blue tendrils of bluish light emerged from his hand, and began traveling up the length of the pickaxe handle in the shape of a double-helix.

Lan could only think of one word to describe this: Semblance.

Suddenly filled with hope once again, Lan began to focus on the feeling that was filling his body, willing it to continue unabated. The two tendrils of energy finally met at the head to the pickaxe. The area where they met glowed with a bright azure light, and small sparkling objects that resembled crushed glass suddenly appeared in the air and began to coalesce towards that glowing area until suddenly:

‘Shing’

A long blue crystal spike grew out of the pickaxe head, shooting forwards like and javelin, and pierced right through the power core.

Lan held his breath, hoping that he had been successful.

‘Beep’ ‘Beep’ ‘Beep’ ‘Beep’

Suddenly an earsplitting alarm blared throughout the entirety of the machine, causing Siemmans who was in the cockpit to squeal like a little girl and drop the manual he was reading.

“Warning, Power core critically damaged” said a mechanical female voice “Self-destruction imminent.”

“What!?” shrieked Siemmans

“Please prepare for cockpit ejection.” Said the female voice.

“Wait” shouted Siemanns “Stop right—“

Before he could finish, seatbelts launched from his chair and wrapped him up like a cocoon.

“MMph!?”

Outside the robot, Daylen saw lines of crackling energy traveling all around the machine as its many lights flickered on and off. Suddenly, various areas all over its body began to explode. The blasts shook the many hooks attached to the cliff free, and the machine began to fall backwards. As the many explosions continued, the machines damaged head suddenly opened, revealing a cylindrical object hich detached itself from the main body and rocketed itself into the sky. A moment later a huge explosion erupted from the hole in the robot’s armor sending various objects, including Lan and Jirall, hurtling into the reactor room. Daylen’s vines erupted from the ground, protecting everyone who was still in the room from the debris.

Then, with the sound of creaking metal, the robot finally detached from the cliff and fell down, down towards the mine courtyard below. It landed with a thundering crash and a few seconds later it exploded into pieces, tearing apart the land that surrounded it and shattering all the windows of the office building.

Silence filled the whole area, with only the distant cries of Grimm piercing the air. Many didn’t believe that things had ended so quickly. At that moment, as if signaling that it truly was the end, the cliffs surrounding the town suddenly lit up. The turrets on the cliffs hummed to life and began to fire at the Grimm that were surrounding the town. The power lines had been restored, and with that realization the guardsmen, Faunus workers, and White Fang erupted with cheers as the Black Claw slowly collapsed to their knees.

Lan groaned as he lay on the ground. His aura had been exhausted and many of his bones had been broken during the blast, so he was barely able to move. Slowly opening his eyes, he looked at the brightening atmosphere and smiled. He inhaled deeply and winced as a twinge of pain ran through his body, glad that things were finally calming down. He then began to look around the room and take in the merry atmosphere.

Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something moving. Focusing on it, Lan realized that it was Jirall, forcing his weary body to crawl forwards. Confused, Lan looked in the direction he was crawling in and felt his blood run cold. A few meters away from Jirall, was the bomb’s detonation device. Lan then remembered that the robot had been jamming the device’s signal so that it was unable to activate, and now that that signal had been removed Jirall was going to continue with his initial plan.

Wait” said Lan, but his voice was too quiet for anyone to hear. He could do nothing but watch as Jirall arrived in front of the device and reached out with his right hand.

All of a sudden, with a loud whooshing sound, the device disappeared and with a flash of white, Lan suddenly realized that a large, hairy, and somewhat…okay extremely smelly form had appeared right next to him.

“Good job boy” said Byakko, holding the detonator in his hand “you really did good for someone your age.”

Jirall slammed his fist onto the ground, cursed, then collapsed onto the ground, completely powerless.

“Grandpa” murmured Lan.

Byakko picked up Lan’s limp body and cradled it in his arms.

“It’s finally over.” Said Lan, letting out a sigh of relief.

“No” said Byakko, his voice suddenly solemn “not quite.”

“Huh?” said Lan, confused.

Byakko turned and looked at Daylen who was on his knees and leaning on his staff, exhausted from the exertion of growing all the vines.

“I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I heard everything that happened here.” Byakko said, his usual frivolous nature nowhere to be seen. “That oily bastard Siemmans has already sent tons of videos and recordings to Schnee headquarters, and you can bet your ass that they’ll modify them to suit their needs…after that I think you’ll all know what will happen.”

Everyone there could imagine. Using this incident, Faunus equality rights could be pushed back drastically as the public would gain an even harsher view on them. Faunus would be persecuted like never before and many years of diligent effort would all go down the drain. As a wise man once said: ‘The normal man will remember the darkness far more than the light’.

Daylen turned his head to gaze at Byakko, bit his lip, and nodded.

Byakko sighed, and then tossed the bomb’s switch to Daylen who caught it and pressed the deactivation switch.

‘System Disarmed’ came a feminine robotic voice from the bomb on top of the reactor.

“In the eyes of the public this mess was started by the White Fang” said Daylen after a pause. Slowly, he struggled to his feet.

“And so it must be ended by the White Fang” said Byakko “The cameras in this room are still functioning…I think you know what you have to do.”

Daylen paused for a moment, gritted his teeth, then slowly began to move towards Jirall’s collapsed form bit by bit, leaning on his staff the whole way. Halfway there he stumbled and almost fell, but was caught by Megan who helped him the rest of the way. A few moments later he arrived in front of Jirall’s collapsed form.

Daylen pressed a switch on his staff and the butt of his staff fell away, revealing a sharp blade similar to a spear head.

Realizing what was about to happen, Lan tried shout for him to stop and he attempted to force himself upwards. However, his body was too weak to move and his voice to soft to be heard.

“This is something that has to be done boy” said Byakko, patting him on the head “It’s hard to look at, but it’s something us warriors got to get used to.”

Jirall on the ground, opened his eyes and stared at the blade that was inches from his head and chuckled.

“So, this is how it ends huh?” he said “Didn’t even get to finish half of what I wanted to get done.”

“It didn’t have to be this way.” Said Daylen, his voice hoarse with pain “We could have continued with the White Fang in their mission.”

“No” said Jirall “No we couldn’t” he let out a soft sigh “All these countless years of effort, blood, sweat, and tears and what has it gotten us? Tell me Daylen, are we any closer to reclaiming our lives than when this effort started all these years ago? How much progress have me made in recent years? Tell me!”

Daylen stared at him with sorrowful eyes and said “More than you were able to notice.”

Jirall chuckled then, with a slow trembling motion, raised his hand and stared into his palm. “These pretty words and peaceful protests aren’t getting us anywhere. There are countless numbers of our brothers who already know that.” A drop of blood fell down from Jirall’s palm and landed on his right cheek. “I am already certain, that a day will inevitably come when our brothers and sisters will realize that the only way to reclaim our lives is through blood!” Jirall clenched is fists and a few more drops landed on his face. His arm then collapsed to his side, the last of his energy spent.

“That’s all I wanted to say” said Jirall, “end it.”

Nodding slowly, Daylen dropped to his knees, then lifted the staff into the air, its sharp blade hovering above Jirall’s throat.

“You don’t have to do this!” murmured Lan through Byakko’s hand, tears trailing down his face.

Jirall let out a sigh, and closed his eyes. “Well, I guess I have one thing to be thankful to you for.” He said “thank you for not letting a human finish me off.”

Daylen gritted his teeth as his eyes filled with tears and his mind with memories. He remembered the day their mother died from overwork at the mines, how they had roamed the streets of their hometown looking for food and shelter, how they had formed a small group of friends and eventually entered the White Fang, and countless other events the two brothers had gone through. But most of all, he remembered how Jirall had always been there for him, protecting him and nurturing him.

His heart filled with agony, Daylen brought his arms down.

“I’ll say hi to mother for you.” Said Jirall and with a squelching sound, the blade pierced his throat.

Ironically, the sun rose at that moment, filling the room with a soft glow, illuminating the teardrops that were ceaselessly falling from Daylen’s eyes onto Jirall’s face, washing away the fresh blood that speckled it.

This hallowed scene of sorrow was the last that Lan could remember before finally passing out from exhaustion.

Finally got this done, I know I haven’t been able to do much, but hey, that’s summer college classes for ya. Well, the next chapter will be the last in the Dust Hole ark. And hey! You finally got to see what Lan’s semblance is like!

I really hope to be able to write more, especially to honor the memory of the late great Monty. Lan’s adventures will continue far into the future, and I hope you all will continue reading and recommend this story to your friends.

Once again, please give any advice you might have on improving this story. Hope roosterteeth’s RWBY development team will one day read this, after all I originally started this story thinking that I could be a part of it (when RWBY first aired, I didn’t know that roosterteeth was a large production company).


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