“… Therefore, dust is the crystallization of nature’s energy. Fire, lightning, ice, nature’s elemental forces are contained within these crystals.”
The screen changes to an image of crystals of varying colours.
“Since long ago humanity has continued to use this natural resource, however, there is one problem.”
The screen changes again, now to an image of an exploding crystal.
“To control the raw energy of nature, one needed extreme finesse and technique. So our fore fathers though if the power cannot be easily mastered, why not refine it so that it CAN be easily used.”
Images were changed again, now to the benefits of Dust. Various shapes and sizes cut from the crystals. Ones used in cars, ones used in projects.
Ones used in weapons.
“The refinement of Dust to allow safe usage gave way to innovation, civilization and of course the burgeoning Dust industry. One could say our future…”
The screen changes once again, now to a scene of children laughing in front of a backdrop of skyscrapers.
A hotdog suddenly is thrust before his eyes.
While lounging in front of the event venue’s giant monitor and watching its recordings a startled Jaune Arc quickly moves his body. Below his blonde hair, his blue eyes are opened wide and start searching for his companion.
The food stand’s owner, an elderly man with thin eyes and a balding head that has lost hair all around the top of his head, again thrusts a hotdog at Jaune.
Jaune, remembering that he ordered a hotdog looks back and sees the people lining up behind him, and noticed they all gave him the look that spoke: “Finish up already!”
Quickly pulling out his wallet and paying for his hotdog Jaune leaves the line. And a little bit from the food stand stood his friend.
As Jaune chews through his hotdog his friend, Lie Ren, asks him with cool and calm eyes.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing let’s go.”
Now together, they turn from the food stand’s line towards the assembly hall.
“Is this really Ok Jaune? Coming along with me for this?” Asked Ren as they walked.
“But it’s so rare that you would say “I have somewhere I want to go.” And what’s more, Nora couldn’t come either.”
“I did speak with Nora, she just didn’t wake up.”
Jaune then understood why that morning was so quiet. Ren’s childhood friend Nora Valkyrie, in contrast to the cool and collected Ren, was rambunctious and talkative when awake.
“But the fact that Nora couldn’t come could be a blessing.”
Ren raises his one of his eyebrows at Jaune’s satisfied expression.
“What do you mean?”
“Ren, what season is it?”
“Do we have classes?”
“No, it’s summer vacation.”
Jaune then gives a wide grin.
“Think about it Ren, we have tons of time thanks to summer vacation, and the two of us aren’t what you call the most handsome. By ourselves, we’ll never be able to entertain girls.”
His teeth shined briefly while he said that. Honestly, it was hard to tell if he was joking or not, at the very least Ren did not laugh.
“To give girls a good time you must first plan out a date that’ll please them. Yes, what we need is a dating hotspot, that’s what we need!”
Preaching with such seriousness, casually using “we” when giving that statement. Ren just quietly responds,
“So basically you wanted to see if this event can be used for a date.”
“Basically. So, what does place have? I see a bunch of SIC logos everywhere, are they a famous brand or something? But the video earlier was more like a history lesson. Are the two related?”
“You’ll understand once you see it first hand.” Said Ren as the two of them passed the event entrance hall.
“Oh, Oh …. ?”
Taken up the entirety of Jaune’s field of view was the grand hall with its high ceiling and its wide atrium.
Within, a number of booths were lined up partitioned into sections, most of them displaying large machines with the staff explaining the product to visitors. And between the booths walked autonomous machines that mimic dogs and horses.
These “animals” with their motors and actuators working quietly led and guided and even gave rides to the attendees, diligent in their duties.
Faced with the sight before him, Jaune froze for a bit. And Ren with a serious face asked Jaune, “So will this place work as a dating spot?”
In this cruel and harsh world of Remnant, safety is found few and far between.
Of the countless towns, cities, kingdoms that have risen and fallen in the annals of history four names still remain to this day.
In these four Kingdoms, there exists an institution, the “Academy” of said Kingdom. The purpose of these academies is to gather the brave and strong youths that stand against evil, to refine and train them to be guardians of the world.
To be Hunters and Huntresses.
In Vale’s Beacon, one of these renowned Academies, under the direction of Headmaster Ozpin the necessary skills and knowledge of being a hunter are taught to the students.
Jaune Arc and Lie Ren are team members of a team that attends Beacon Academy, and right now they are visiting an event in the city of Vale during their summer vacation.
“You wanted to come to a product exhibition of industrial machinery? You do know what a summer vacation is right?”
Surprised, the astonished Jaune finishes stuffing the rest of the hotdog into his mouth while looking around the exhibition hall.
The hall also had monitors showing similar SIC promotion video that Jaune saw on the big monitor outside when he was waiting for his hotdog.
“Welcome to SIC’s corporate exhibition. The philosophy of SIC is to watch over humanity, its vast potential, and to help it grow. For today our products will be on full display so feel free to look around to your heart’s content.”
Whether it be the machines, the dividers between exhibitions or even the mats laid on the floor it seems SIC’s star shaped logo was everywhere.
SIC, Starhead Industrial Company, appears to be a company that develops and manufactures machinery related to Dust mining and refinement and its uses. The exhibits on display at their booths include manufacturing machinery as well as weapons and ammunition. Also at the exhibits are unrefined crystals of dust that came from the mines owned by SIC.
With the aroma of machine oil drifting through the air, it wasn’t exactly the most romantic setting.
“If you bring a girl to a place like this, you’ll never get a second date.”
“….. Just to clarify, who did you want to ask to come here with?”
“Weiss Schnee obviously.”
Weiss Schnee, the beautiful white haired and porcelain skinned heiress of a grand corporation, and an honour student at Beacon Academy. She tends to be quite self-conscious of who and what she’s around.
“I have yet to see her accept any of your invitations so far.”
“I … I know.”
Being his teammate and his friend Ren knew quite well Jaune’s affection for Weiss, and also how it was a one-way street.
“But Ren, I’m trying to find something, anything. She does have a serious personality, so maybe if I could explain some neat product here she may actually enjoy this place.”
“So should I investigate a little?”
Ren pulls out a small white device, a scroll, and opens it up.
On this multi purpose device, that can do stuff from call people to function as an electronic identification, Ren taps away looking up information regarding the SIC exhibition. Finding some brochures regarding the event he starts opening them up one by one.
“How about this? A new ‘Lazy man’s pet’ exhibit. It hardly moves, will require minimal charging and doesn’t need maintenance.”
“Isn’t that just a stuffed doll? Anything else?”
“An experimental ‘Bionic Arm’ exhibit? ‘For those that need help in their every day lives.'”
“Two arms is enough for me.”
“The rest …. are video files.” Ren then presses a button starting one of these video files.
Jaune’s eyes grow wide as he watched the video starts playing.
Ren’s scroll was showing a very summer-esque scene, a beach in front of a deep blue sea.
Over the picturesque image of the calming tropical island were the words “Sapang Island.”
“Sapang Island, owned by SIC is home to many facilities for our research and development. Also, along with the research done here, a resort is also being built on this island since Sapang Island is such a perfect resort location. We periodically invite the general public here to help us improve our …”
“Did it just say that there are general public invitations?”
“Seems there’s a detailed explanation written here.”
Ren stops the video and looks through the explanation regarding Sapang Island.
“It seems that the leisure facilities built for the employees were recently opened up to the public. In exchange for SIC deciding the scheduling both the travel and lodging costs will be covered.”
“A free resort?”
“That’s what it says.”
With this information, Jaune starts trembling with excitement.
A tropical island, there couldn’t be a more appropriate place to spend your time during summer vacation. Under the crimson sun and clear blue sky. Standing on a white sandy beach in front of the sky blue sea. Beautiful girls in swimsuits. Palm trees in the background and eating tropical fruits and fresh fish, it’ll be the best!
“So how does one get invited to Sapang Island?”
“That, however, is not explained.”
“Haha, no way they would leave that out.”
Moving over Jaune reads the text on Ren’s scroll again. Furthermore, he rewatched the video file from the beginning and as Ren said, none of it explained how one gets invited to the island.
“Maybe it’s only for shareholders or people that are in a business relationship with SIC.”
“Why would they do that?”
“To test the facilities and entertain important guests.”
With this hopeless news, Jaune’s expression drops like a rock.
Jaune is but a humble student, nothing like a company associate or a shareholder or even a machinery operator. The only person Jaune knows that might fit one of those criteria is Weiss Schnee. No matter how you spin it, asking the girl you’re trying to impress, “Hey can you take me to a resort using your family connections,” is just shameful beyond words.
“… Ah, darn it.” Giving up on the idea of going to an island Jaune starts walking.
“Let’s look around for something else, maybe a good idea will come up.”
“Sorry Jaune, but I got something I have to do first.”
Surprised at Ren’s words Jaune looks back at his friend.
“You aren’t here to preview the machinery?”
“No, I don’t have that kind of hobby.”
“Then to check out some new weapons?”
“Then, Dust? Some kind of new effect they put into bullets?”
Taken aback by the completely random answer Jaune could only stare dumbfounded. Ren once again takes out his scroll and starts explaining.
“I came to see a specialized pancake making machine. It is a new ground breaking machine that will overturn all the previous specialized pancake makers. In this brochure it … here Jaune … hey … Jaune. Here … It’s written here Jaune.”
“Anyway, this is why I’m here.”
Ren then with a spring in his step turns around and lightly walks away into the crowd.
Left to his own devices Jaune could only stand there and dumbly stare at the back of his friend. Just then a dog drone passes by Jaune and begins talking to him.
“If you having trouble and getting lost, how about the latest mapping app for your scroll?”
“No … I’m fine.” Said Jaune, but then a thought came to him.
“You don’t happen to know how to get invited to Sapang Island do you?”
“Apologies, that is an unrecognized question.”
With a puff, the drone turns it’s sharp metallic head and walks away.
Turning away from the drone Jaune walks around in search of an interesting looking booth hoping something is cool here.
But unfortunately, Jaune has no interest at all in the industrial machinery everywhere, as such he could never find a reason to stop his feet from moving. Rather than ever going into a booth he just watches all the monitors hung from each booth.
Walking aimlessly and carelessly like that, it was only a matter of time before Jaune would walk into someone. Feeling a light bump on his back and returning from his daze, Jaune turns around and sees the person he bumped into tumble dramatically backward.
Lying on her back was a girl younger than Jaune. For some reason, this girl was wearing an elaborately decorated overall, and on top of her chestnut coloured hair, she wore a pair of bluish goggles.
It appears that during her fall the contents of her bag were all knocked out and now documents littered this pathway. Jaune noticed that he had left footprints on a couple of them as well.
“Sor … Sorry! Are you ok?”
But the girl ignored him and dived for the laptop that fell from her bag. Sitting in front of all her documents she hacked away at the keyboard trying to confirm the state of her computer.
Jaune quietly starts picking up the documents and discreetly cleaned off his footprints.
That’s when he noticed something.
All the documents seemed to feature the SIC logo and in particular 1 sheet had an over saturated picture of a beach.
“Sapang Island….?” Said Jaune reading the words written on the paper.
All the info that made Jaune determined to go to the island earlier were written down on this piece of paper.
This sudden stroke of luck brought back memories of a Bingo session Jaune went to when he was a kid. Right from the start he instantly got first prize, it sure surprised everyone there.
Jaune extends his hands, then asks, “Are you a SIC associate?”
It appears the laptop wasn’t broken as she closed it and put it back into the bag she carried under her arms. However, she definitely wasn’t happy as she glared back at Jaune with a pout.
“Oh right, my name is Jaune Arc, a student at Beacon Academy. I actually have a quest …”
Rather than answering the girl just takes back the documents in Jaune’s other hand, and stuffs them back in her bag. Then just like the dog drone earlier, the girl turns around and just walks away.
“Wa, Wait! I have something I wanna ask you!”
The girls cuts in between two booths, into an especially busy passageway. The girl being smaller than Jaune could navigate through the crowd much better than Jaune, who now was having great difficulty keeping up.
“Excuse me, sorry coming through … OW! You’re stepping on me! You’re stepping on me!”
Bumping into people multiple times, getting kicked in the shins and having a dog drone walk on his toes Jaune finally gives up on the chase.
On the contrary, Jaune doesn’t even know where he was now. Looking at the booths around him it seems he was in the weapons area of the exhibition, all the people walking around were either big or gave off a powerful vibe just by looking at them.
Unbeknownst to Jaune who was remarking on a beast man with sharp tusks, walked four sweet and delicate girls that felt out of place here.
“LOOK, LOOK AT THAT WEAPON! AMAZING! I WONDER IF THEY’LL LET ME TEST FIRE IT!?”
“Look where you’re going! AND CAN YOU NOT PULL ON MY CLOTHES!?”
“I would rather go see bikes than weapons, see if they have new tires or seats available.”
“Nothing here interests me.”
Four familiar voices are heard. Jaune who was still in a daze from the goggles girl stopped and looked around.
“Oi, you’re in the way.”
Another beast man with ridiculous muscles and a notch between in his eyebrows nudges Jaune out of his way causing Jaune to lose his balance. Just as he was about to fall something grabs his hand and steadies him.
“You’re welcome.” A dog drone had grabbed Jaune’s cuffs, and while still in his grasp the drone continues. “By the way do you want the latest mapping app for your scroll?”
“….Uhh, I’m ok. Thanks for the help. …. You can let go now.”
While being held down by his sleeve Jaune searches his surroundings, but he, however, cannot find the four familiar figures anymore. Even so, he continues looking around until something finally catches his eye.
Unlike the booths, in what looked like the plaza, was displayed a giant industrial machine so tall you had to crank your head to see the top of it.
“What is that?”
An elephant looking machine; 4 legs, long tusks and a lengthy nose (Used to do actual work?). Jaune notices that the girl he bumped into earlier just so happened to be climbing said large machine. With her bag carried on her back, she uses a pickaxe looking instruments to climb, leaving behind scratches on the machine.
Yup, that was the girl who spilled those SIC documents, someone who was associated with SIC.
Jaune once again starts walking. While avoiding the attention of people and drones he crosses over the rope barricade and calls towards the girl who was climbing the large machine.
“Uh, you ok up there?”
The girl suddenly stops and lowers her head towards where Jaune stood. Her cautious eyes stare holes into Jaune as if condemning him for his immaturity at chasing her to here.
While feeling a bit guilty, Jaune nonetheless brings out his best smile to try to break the tension.
“Sorry to disturb you. Do you remember me? I introduced myself earlier.”
The girl’s mouth shifts slightly and she makes a sour face, then returns back to climbing the machine.
“…. Did you just click your tongue at me?”
The girl reaches the neck of the elephant looking machine and moves something. Suddenly the head opens up and the girl slips inside.
Just as Jaune realized that it was the cockpit, the mechanical elephant starts groaning to life.
Legs as thick as a pillar of buildings starts moving, each step causing a thunderous roar when it crashes into the floor. After gaining the attention of all the people in the vicinity the trunk knocks over a nearby crane.
Those who judged that this was a bit extreme for a demonstration starts fleeing. The staff members with SIC armbands have also run off, in their stead, it is the drones who are blaring their sirens and directing the crowd to safety.
However, Jaune was not running away from the scream filled hallway despite having the most warning of the disaster. He knew that it was the younger girl doing this and if that was the case Jaune thought he may be able to do something.
Jaune is a very optimistic individual.
“OII!! What are you doing! You’re … WHOA! That was close.”
In the face of the mechanical elephant that was scattering lined up chairs, breaking everything it steps on, Jaune decides to join those that were running away. As a Beacon Academy student, he did carry a weapon with him but this was too much for a simple sword and shield to handle. Bracing his body he pushes his legs against …
absolutely nothing. Looking down he sees that both his legs were dangling in mid air, in a blink of the eye the ground flys away from him. His hood having been caught in one of the tusks of the mechanical elephant, Jaune was now a rag doll being shaken up and down through the air.
All that was left to Jaune was to scream like a little girl.
The back of the mechanical elephant’s head opens up and the head of the goggles girl pops out. Looking down at the hanging form of Jaune the two pair of eyes meet, this time Jaune clearly hear the girl click her tongue, “Chi.”
“Again with the tong…HYAAAAAAAA!”
The machine’s pace speeds up to a run. With every pounding step the tusks rock, shaking Jaune’s body along with it. Suddenly the rhythmic motion stops and Jaune’s hood is finally released from the grip of the machine’s tusk. Or in other words, Jaune was thrown straight into the air by the momentum of his earlier predicament.
“OHH NONONONONO, AHHHHH!”
Fortunately or unfortunately, Jaune was thrown right above the mechanical elephant. Jaune frantically struggles in midair to grab something however, he only ends up landing on the machine’s back. Clinging to the back as the machine starts running again Jaune screams for dear life.
Clinging to the back as the machine starts running again Jaune screams for dear life.
Jaune’s cries were never heard, all he could see were the violent shakings of the beast as it scatters everything in the nearby empty booths.
“Uggghhh….I’m gonna be sick….”
In the midst of tears and nausea Jaune notices a nimble black and red dot, a dot that in a flash closes the distance to him.
Reflexively closing his eyes Jaune hears in succession the sound of a hard impact, the sound of something getting ripped open. And the voice of a high pitched voice.
Opening his eyes Jaune sees a giant scythe embedded in the back of the mechanical elephant.
Sitting on the handle as relaxed as if sitting on a park bench was a girl.
Mustering his strength Jaune calls out her name.
The Silver eyed girl smiles back at him.
Team RWBY of Beacon Academy did a questionable thing on their first day of summer vacation. At the behest of their leader Ruby Rose, they all headed to a machine maker exhibition held in the city of Vale.
At first, there was some opposition (mostly from her sister).
“It’s not dance club or a beach or any fun place that young people go to. Why do we have to go to such a drab place?”
Opposition along those lines.
But after some arguing back and forth the four team members reached a compromise. During this holiday the team members will rotate the “privilege” to choose their destination or activity for the day.
And thus the first day of their agreement was announced as “Ruby’s day.”
And Ruby used that privilege to the fullest at the exhibition, she looked at all the weapons on display, attacked the staff with multitudes of questions and generally did a bunch of unreasonable things. In spite of the outcry from her teammates, in spite of the countless times Weiss Schnee got angry at her she continued her “Ruby’s day.”
And on the day Ruby was off enjoying her holiday to the fullest, came a rampaging mechanical elephant.
Ruby was overjoyed.
Even though the machine was so large one could see it from far away, Ruby only saw it because it was moving somewhat close to where she was. But after seeing such a sight she could only think, “Lucky!”
The other three members were also delighted.
They weren’t like Ruby who had such appreciation for weapons, they were getting bored and were looking for something to alleviate that boredom.
“So when Blake said that Jaune was riding on the back of the elephant I said ‘No way.’ But after zooming in using our scrolls turns out you were on there. And since it would probably be a good thing that someone saved you I came along.” Rambled Ruby as she explained while riding on the back of a mechanical elephant.
“I … I get it, just please save me.”
“Sure, but the signal hasn’t …”
Ruby glanced down, and after Jaune followed suit he understood. The elephant had been rampaging in the same area for a while now and the reason … was because the rest of team RWBY were fighting it below, probably to stop it from heading to anywhere with people.
“….. RUBY! BEHIND YOU!”
Noticing the ‘trunk’ of the machine was approaching towards the casually sitting Ruby, Jaune calls out to her.
Ruby’s “baby” of a giant scythe is named ‘Crescent Rose’ which is actually a high caliber sniper scythe. (Cloud here, man I loved the fact the Japanese describe Crescent Rose as that lol.)
A scythe that can shoot targets from far away, a ridiculous thing that can mow down targets close to you while gunning down those that aren’t. And the 15-year-old girl in front of Jaune was using said ridiculous thing almost perfectly.
Ruby immediately dislodges her scythe and fires at the incoming appendage.
The dust infused bullet fired from the scythe rips through the approaching trunk shaped appendage.
Using the recoil from her shot Ruby flys backward. Switching the weapon to one hand Ruby then transforms the Scythe to its sniper mode then with her free hand grabs onto Jaune’s hood.
“I have a bad feeling about THIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS.”
The smiling and laughing Ruby pulls the trigger once again against the broken form of a metal trunk. Suddenly and violently Jaune’s body is blown backward.
Hunters who fight against the dangers of the world uses an ability called Aura from their body. A technique using the energy of life to form a protective shield around the body, and if that energy is honed even further a special power can be awakened.
‘Semblance’ is the special and unique power that each individual can manifest. For example, the Semblance of Ruby Rose is ‘Speed,’ the ability to, in the blink of an eye, reach velocities of immense speed.
In this instance, Ruby enhanced the recoil of her shot by using her Semblance, combining the two allowed Ruby to move faster than the eye can even follow. In an instant, the two were on the ground up from the back of the giant mechanical elephant.
Having taken two shots from Crescent Rose the mechanical trunk crumbles apart as Ruby roughly tosses Jaune onto the ground.
Speaking of which Jaune having only just recently learned about Aura has yet to awaken his Semblance.
And as he is unceremoniously thrown onto the ground he desperately fights against the nausea threatening to overtake him from his ride on the back of the machine.
“Ruby!” Came a high pitched voice from beside Jaune.
“I told you to come down with him AFTER I give the signal!”
If one looked up they would see a girl chastising Ruby. A girl with blue eyes and pure white hair worn in a ponytail, she wore a dress as white as her hair and in her hand held a cold yet shining rapier.
Weiss Schnee. Jaune whole heartedly calls out the name of the girl. Unfortunately, his efforts never reached her as he had his hand over his mouth to prevent himself from vomiting in front of her.
The mechanical elephant stops rampaging about and with the remains of its mechanical trunk faces towards the two girls, almost as if it was trying to intimidate the two, almost as if it was confused at their intrusion.
Suddenly a serious of small explosions occur on the back of the machine and causes the giant elephant to start leaning towards the group and then start falling towards them.
“Oh no oh no OH NO!”
Ruby drags the screaming Jaune from the impact whereas Weiss dodges away with light steps, and immediately lets out a harsh call.
“Yang! When you’re bringing down a target are you ever aware of what’s around it!?”
Landing beside Weiss, a tall girl with fluffy blonde hair whirling around responds, “It shouldn’t be that difficult for a student of Beacon Academy to dodge something like this. So you and Ruby and ….”
The two then both look down at Jaune who was sprawled out laying face down on the ground.
“Oh, Jaune? It’s me Yang Xiaolong, how you hanging?”
“…….Can’t you tell by looking?”
“Of course, you’re perfectly fine.”
The ground trembles as the giant elephant start moving again.
“Weiss, Yang,” calls Ruby, to which both girls nods back.
“Hmpf, way ahead of you Ruby.”
“Got it sis.”
As soon as Yang finishes, she bursts forth flying towards a leg of the giant machine with a mad dash. Punching the joint of the leg, a small explosion is caused the second her gauntlet makes contact, blowing the leg clean off.
A weapon that causes an explosion each time one’s fist makes contact, that is the weapon of Yang Xiaolong, ‘Ember Celica.’ A pair of shotgun gauntlets with built in dust bullet compartments. A weapon made perfect for Yang’s excellent hand-to-hand abilities, turning her two hands into a literal bomb machine gun.
Under the assault of constant harsh explosions, the other legs of the giant elephant could stand no more and finally break apart. With its support gone the torso falls flat onto the ground, Yang seeing it fall turns towards Weiss and raises her hand.
“You’re up Weiss!”
Hearing her name Weiss flourishes her rapier. It is a weapon where the guard contains a revolver mechanism filled with different kinds of dust, capable of adapting to any situations.
Her favourite dust type befits the cold beauty that she is.
Weiss points her multi-action dust rapier, “Myrtenaster,” downwards and stabs the ground. As soon as the tip of her sword touches the floor, a shockwave of frozen energy is released.
The wave of ice flys straight towards the downed machine and completely encloses it, keeping it in place. Having completely immobilized her prey, Weiss raises her hand towards the frozen giant elephant. Suddenly intricate patterns light up on the floor underneath the block of ice.
This was the Semblance of Weiss Schnee, Glyphs, the ability to perform magic anywhere and in any place. (The kanji for Glyph was literally ‘magic force fields’ which amused me)
(TL: The kanji for Glyph was literally ‘magic force fields’ which amused me)
“Ruby,” said Weiss curtly, “finish it.”
Ruby lowers her stance and readies her scythe to her side, in front of her a long line of glyphs line up towards the giant elephant’s head. Seeing what was about to happen Jaune calls out to Ruby.
“Ruby! Don’t destroy the head! There’s someone …”
The sound of Ruby’s flight echoes through the halls.
In an instant Ruby turns into a red and black bullet, leaving behind a flurry of rose petals, charging through the line of glyphs to her target.
When Ruby reached the neck of the giant elephant, she was traveling at speeds more than fast enough to allow Crescent Rose to cut through the thick metal plating.
Like a guillotine the head of the giant is severed from its body, the trunk and tusks obliterated from the impact and the head itself blown to a far corner of the hall.
With unsteady feet, Jaune stands up and starts running.
The head of the elephant had flown far into the central hall, its remains knocking over what booths that were still left standing before coming to a stop. Jaune rushes to the brutally and cleanly severed cockpit compartment and calls out to anyone inside it.
Jaune rushes to the brutally and cleanly severed cockpit compartment and calls out to anyone inside it.
“HEY, YOU OK!? You aren’t dead are …”
“So there was someone inside.”
The sudden voice from behind Jaune causes him to jump from shock.
The originator of the voice silently slips past Jaune to look inside the wreck. The person had wavy black hair, wore a black ribbon and amber eyes that gave off the feeling of apprehension.
“Um … Blake?”
Blake Belladona is the last member of team RWBY, the most agile of the four, she supported Yang in the previous fight, easily outmaneuvering the giant elephant.
Blake was a very quiet person, Jaune has the impression that she always has a book on hand reading. Or rather Jaune hasn’t been able to have a proper conversation with her yet.
“Blake, you knew? you knew there was someone inside?”
“Well, there is a noise coming from inside.”
After Blade said that Jaune finally noticed that there was a thumping sound coming from inside the cockpit. One had to strain their ears to hear it but the sound was definitely coming from inside. Blake steps closer to the cockpit and takes out her black blade hitting the head.
The sound of something inside breaking could be heard causing steam to jet out. The cockpit opens up and a girl wearing overalls crawls out from inside.
“Gwah, Uwooo, Ghaaa! I thought I was going to die.”
The girl’s chestnut hair was in complete disarray and she had bruises all over her body. As the girl lifts her goggles from her eyes Blake grabs the girl’s wrist and in one swift motion pulls her completely out from the cockpit.
“Ah, thank you very mu….”
Gazing upon the sight of the glaring Blake the girl swallows the rest of her sentence.
“What were you trying to do?” Interrogates Blake.
The girl’s face stiffens and her eyes freeze up. Blake expression told her that she will neither accept excuses nor deception despite the calm voice she used. Completely trapped and her wrist still being held by Blake, the girl naturally starts tearing up.
“I’m … I’m sorry, I just wanted to help Papa…”
“Papa?” Murmurs Jaune.
The girl turns her watery eyes towards Jaune begging him for help.
“Papa is an engineer at SIC but couldn’t come here today. I thought I could come and make the adjustments in his stead but instead, the thing went berserk. I tried to stop it but …”
The girl says as she starts crying, then full on bawling, her speech wracked with sobs.
Jaune starts feeling sorry for the little girl but Blake’s expression doesn’t change, she continues glaring at the girl who was covering her face with her hands.
“Did Adam tell you to say that?”
The girl stops wiping her tears and looks at Blake. A bewildered face that was clearly wondering “what is this girl with a black ribbon saying?”
“Who’s … Adam?”
Blake’s eyes continue boring into the cowering girl, strong and stern. Suddenly, however, she lets out a sigh.
“… No one, nevermind.”
Blake looked like she came to an understanding, to what, however, Jaune did not know.
“What did you mean by that?”
“A Trojan horse. But it seems it was just my imagination.”
Finally, Blake releases the girl’s hand then turns around and walks away through the fallen chairs and machine bits littered throughout the hall.
She headed towards the rest of her teammates who were surrounded by the SIC staff thanking them for their help. Jaune also wanted to be among that crowd giving thanks to Weiss and also maybe asking her out on a date.
Yes, that was his original reason for coming here. To scout out exciting places, come up with a fun schedule for a date and hopefully turn it around with Weiss. And yet he ended up riding a mechanical elephant and almost died when it tried to knock him off, how did it end up like …”
“Geez, who were those people.” Said the culprit with a sour face, the tears now nowhere to be seen.
“Even though it wasn’t made for battle, those four still took down a seriously heavy duty machine.”
“They’re Beacon Academy students.”
“Oh, so prospective hunters, no wonder.”
“I’m also a student at Beacon by the way.”
Puffing his chest while saying so, the girl looks back at him suspiciously
Giving Jaune a quick look over the girl rudely laughs at him with a brief ‘Ha.’
“It’s not a joke! I’ve defeated Grimms!”
“Oh yes, how you were screaming at the top of your lungs and yelling for help were great contributions to the battle. ….. Oh, I’m not blaming you though, you helped out by not being in those four’s way.”
That said the girl looks upon the remains of the destroyed exhibition with a satisfied look.
Jaune couldn’t help but feel uneasy at the fact that she showed no remorse what so ever.
“What you said to Blake just now, about your father and …”
“I was lying.”
Jaune jaw dropped at how easy she admitted to that.
“Then … Then you … you’re … a terrorist!?”
“Terrorist? No, I’m not a terrorist. How rude.”
“Even though you took over a giant machine and made it rampage around this exhibition?”
“……. I have something I just can’t leave be ok.”
The girl awkwardly looks down at the broken monitor by her feet.
Both Jaune and the girl jumped at the sudden loud voice.
The source of the noise was a man walking towards them with big strides, he had short cleanly cut hair and a face that seems it was beaten into shape with a hammer. From the uniform that he wore it was clear he was an employee of SIC.
“You know why I’ve come right? You ought to know!” Walking closer to the depressed disobedient girl, the man raises his voice more and more.
“What is the meaning of this? Explain! I need to understand!”
Jaune assumes this man was in charge of security for this event. His profound muscles stretched his poor uniform so much they threatened to rip.
Having an intimidating voice, with his clothes accenting his bulging muscles, Jaune knew right away that he would be a man that would be hard to deal with. Meanwhile, the girl already started the motion of wiping away tears.
“I’m … I’m sorry. I tried to bring it under control but I lost power to …”
Shamelessly saying such things while shaking from sobs the girl sneaks a look at Jaune from under her 2 hands.
‘Don’t say anything unnecessary’ were what her eyes said.
The large man raises his voice even further.
“You are responsible for the maintenance of the machines!”
“Uwuuu, I still don’t …. sniff.”
“It’s your job to figure things out and explain it to us!”
Having come even closer the girl stops pretending to cry and looks up at the man with an annoyed look.
“If you have a complaint with me then go ahead and contact the CEO and tell him.”
The man grabs the girl’s hair and pulls it back. Looking straight at her pained expression he continues on, annunciating each of his snarled words.
“I’m not as kind as the CEO, I’ll make sure you understand that if you ever forget.”
“OI, Stop! Leave it to the police!”
Jaune unable to watch any longer speaks up. Appearing as if noticing Jaune for the first time the large man rounds his eyes towards him, then looks down as if asking the girl to explain.
Never once did he let go of the girl’s hair.
“……. He’s just a normal visitor of the exhibition, I don’t know him.”
The boy who proclaims he’s from Beacon and the girl being held up by her hair glance at each other. The man looks at Jaune sizing him up. He then scoffs at Jaune clearly thinking that Jaune was no one special.
“The police? We didn’t call the police. Make sure you don’t say anything about what happened today, in fact, forget everything all together. Understand? If you say anything I don’t know what might happen. Got it?”
The man points his thick finger at Jaune using his entire body in an intimidating fashion.
Jaune finally realized why he felt a familiar vibe from the man, the atmosphere he gave off was almost the same as Cardin Winchester, a bully at Beacon Academy.
“If you didn’t call the police, what are you going to with her?”
“That’s none of your business, now excuse us.”
Pushing Jaune out of the way, Jaune couldn’t help but think how similar to Cardin the man really was and remembers all the time Cardin bullied him at school.
“….. I know.” Jaune mutters to himself.
Jaune then detaches the sword that he wears at his hip then points the scabbard at the man’s neck.
Jaune then presses a switch and the scabbard’s gimmick is activated, with the blade still inside, the scabbard transforms … into a brilliantly white shield.
Reeling from surprise the man closes his eyes and lets go of the girl’s hair.
In that gap, Jaune grabs onto the girl’s hand.
“Cmon lets go!”
Almost as if in a daze, Jaune runs away with the girl, and after running a bit Jaune looks back.
While the girl looked surprised she was still following Jaune, and thankfully the large man was not chasing.
He just stood there, unmoving, unflinching, staring at the two of them running away. It was the most ominous thing he could have done.
Pulling on the girl’s hand Jaune leads them to outside the event hall. They stop at the hotdog stand where Jaune was earlier today.
“….You’re safe now.”
As the girl vigorously gasps for breath hunched over her two knees, she looks back at Jaune.
“That wasn’t necessary … I didn’t need to run away…..”
“But wasn’t he going to like beat you?”
“In my position, he couldn’t do anything like that. Pulling my hair and threatening me, those were just an empty and childish show of violence.”
“I think that should be obvious.”
After straitening out her hair and sorting out her breathing, she looks at the sword Jaune was reattaching back to his hip.
“That’s a weird weapon.”
“This, well … it’s a hand me down from my grandfather. The scabbard can transform into a shield.”
Jaune really hoped the girl wouldn’t compare his plain sword with the weapons of the four girls that fought earlier.
“That seems convenient when it comes to carrying it around.”
“Yes! That’s what I say!”
“So other than that does it do anything else?”
“You can’t rely on either the weapon or its master.”
“Ok, I know I’m not the strongest guy around, you don’t have to rub it in.”
For sure the girl was making fun of Jaune, and yet she held a complicated expression on her face. Was it pity? Was it sympathy? Unable to keep seeing that expression Jaune says something to change the topic.
“That guy earlier called you Iona ….”
“Ya, my name is Iona Rockshow.”
“So Iona, who the hell are you?”
“I’m an official of SIC, you have just gotten yourself involved with an internal corporate quarrel. As long as there were no injuries the police won’t be contacted and everything will be swept under the rug.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“That muscle brain that was scolding me earlier didn’t chase us, right? He also couldn’t make a scene in front of someone on outside the company. As for what happened here, a small accident regarding the display equipment, the eye witnesses will be told to be quiet, and like that the incident will be over.”
Spoken as if it was a line prepared beforehand. Jaune could not understand the circumstances behind this incident, but whether or not Jaune could understand it didn’t matter, he would still not agree with it.
“An accident? That elephant tried to kill me and Ruby!”
“I was trying to save you. I was going to pick you up with the arm and put you down. But then the other three people attacked and I couldn’t do much after that.”
“You picked me up with a tusk!”
“Why would I try to do that? You just happened to get caught up on the tusk when the machine started up. If you had just ran away like everyone else you would have been fine, but you decided to follow me, what were you even trying to do?”
Saying that Jaune remembered why he worked so hard trying to contact this girl.
“I uhh followed you so that I could learn how to get invited to Sapang Island, but now ….”
“It’s not a pleasant place, please give up on that idea.”
Saying that Iona turns around and starts walking away.
For a moment Jaune thought about grabbing her, continue their conversation. But then decided against it, there was no point.
Jaune doesn’t think what she said was right, but there wasn’t much he could do if it was true. Furthermore ever since he started following her a lot has happened, it would be best not to get any more involved.
Jaune decides to first look for Ren who should still be in the assembly hall, and then quickly go back to the dormitories.
“…. Jaune Arc was it?”
Iona who was walking away suddenly stop and calls out Jaune’s name. Jaune so surprised at her call also stops.
For some reason, Iona was wearing her goggles which she had kept off up to now. It obscured her face making it hard to see the expression she was making.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why did you save me back there?”
That threw Jaune for a loop. It was an unexpected question and not one that had an easy answer.
While waiting for his answer, Iona takes out a coin and starts flipping it while still staring at Jaune. 10, 9, 8, … she counted, again, and again, and again.
“Um, can you please not do that, it feels like a countdown to something and it’s making me nervous”
“But I intended it to be a countdown.”
“……What happens when time runs out?”
“Hm? Who knows?”
This child, with just a coin, came up with such a creative torture method.
“It’s not like I need a reason to help someone! …. No that’s not it. I just … that guard reminded me of someone that also bullied people, I didn’t like it then so I did something this time. That’s why.”
Even though Jaune explained it to the best of his ability, Iona kept silently playing with her coin. Although she stopped counting there was still a pressure being exuded from her.
Suddenly Iona stops flipping the coin and holds it up, tails side facing Jaune.
“Do you recognize the design of this coin?”
“Well, there’s a white side and a red side.”
“You don’t know? They’re Queen Apple and Marshmallow Crown. It’s a cartoon that’s pretty popular among girls these days.”
“I typically don’t spend my free time following girl trends.”
On the red side was drawn a girl with a clear face and on the white side a clown with a round face. Iona once again flips the coin, catches it and flips it onto the back of her other hand.
“Which side is up? Depending on the result I’ll hand over tickets to Sapang Island.”
“REALLY!? O…ok got it, just let me think.”
Given such a chance by the younger girl, Jaune goes deep into thought.
Choosing the correct side would be very difficult and Jaune didn’t have any particular attachment to either character. If the queen had been on the white side he definitely would have chosen that.
Frustrated and hesitant, Jaune finally declares, “Red, the red queen!”
“Ooooooook!” Iona then opens her hand.
“White clown. It seems you lose.”
Jaune crumples to his knees.
Striking the floor Jaune blames himself for messing up a once in a lifetime opportunity. If he had grasped this chance he definitely would have been able to claim Weiss’ heart!
‘I’m such an idiot!’ Thought Jaune.
Looking down at the defeated Jaune, Iona removes her goggles revealing her face. Taking the overly decorated laptop from her bag, Iona starts typing on the keyboard.
“Just as promised, here are your tickets.”
Using an attachment to the laptop, several rectangular pieces of paper were printed out. Iona offered these to Jaune.
“I never said I would give it to you if you won. I said depending on the result.”
“You’re really giving those to me!? Thank …”
The ticket was quickly pulled away, Jaune’s hand was left grasping at air.
“Just some things first. You’re only to go there with close friends and only as a vacation. Also are any of your friends Faunus?”
“Faunus …? Well, I do know one ….”
Born with special traits of animals, Faunus had excellent physical abilities. Any discipline that required strong physical prowess usually had many Faunus in them.
“However I’m not on the same team. Although why does it matt…”
“Here you go.”
Abruptly given the tickets, Jaune quickly takes them before they could be pulled away again.
Jaune holds the tickets up to take a good look at them. Showing the SIC star symbol the ticket also contains a map to Vale’s port. It was a lot easier getting his hand on these than Jaune thought.
“Thank you! Thank you so much! This …?”
When Jaune tried to give his thanks, Iona’s figure was nowhere to be seen.
Part 4 coming soon