Disclaimer: See first chapter.
"You're coming with me," was the first thing Weiss said, no DEMANDED of Naruto two days after the last training exercise. Naruto, with a small carton of milk (thankfully not spoiled for once) halfway to his lips, blinked owlishly before lowering his arm and looked down at the girl from his spot on the tree's low-hanging branch. Even at a glance she seemed unnaturally skittish and on edge...things that were definitely were not known to happen to Weiss Schnee.
"I need to get home. Now."
Gulping down the liquid he hopped off the branch and landed with only a soft sound, barely feeling the impact as he landed in front of Weiss. "To Atlas? Then why am I needed?"
"Because!" Wincing heavily, Weiss bit her lip before forcibly causing herself to calm down before his very eyes. "I need that speed you possess, you idiot!"
"Insulting me's not really gonna get you any favors," Naruto said flatly. The heiress' whole body twitched before she looked around, making sure no one was neither nearby nor paying attention to their conversation from afar, before grabbing him by the jacket and jerking him around the width of the tree. "What are you-?" Then the Uzumaki stopped as his back scraped up against the bark, eyes wide at the sight before him. Up close, the girl looked terrible. And she was positively saturated with grief. Her skin was splotchy and eyes rimmed with red. His annoyance immediately turned to concern in the blink of an eye. "What's wrong?" he asked as his entire countenance turned serious.
Just like out in the forest. Weiss couldn't understand how someone could go from being a total fool into someone that reminded her of that Atlesian officer James Ironwood. She'd seen the older but fetching man many times over the years, usually during the obligatory parties her company threw on certain days. He was tall and broad, with the air of an experienced and worldly professional. If only the boys around here could act more like him...
But the weirdest part was just by looking at Naruto's change in stance, it was almost like Weiss was once again in the presence of Ironwood. That, and his eyes. They were so focused. Gently shaking her head the heiress took a deep breath and exhaled it at an even pace. "My sister was attacked. They said it was another assassination attempt, and at the time of the transmission the doctors were unsure whether or not Winter would recover. Taking an airship will take too long and...while I still don't believe you can fly as you claim...I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt this one time. I want to at least see her in person if..."
Naruto stared at her for a few moments as the young silvernette drew in upon herself and folded her arms across her chest, looking away. The blond sighed and rubbed a hand over his mouth before he took a chance again like he did once before and reached over to set his hand on her shoulder. The Schnee did not flinch or react angrily but her chin had jerked in his direction.
"Look...I'd love to help you but I don't know how to get there. Yeah, we could fly there in less than half the time it took when I stowed away on your ship but that doesn't mean anything if I don't know the way."
"Then it's a good thing I can navigate," she eventually replied, pulling out her Scroll. "Despite its major technological advances, Atlas creates an abundance of energy pollution as a side effect. I can lock onto that and use it as a compass."
"...you've already thought this out, haven't you?"
"I started the moment I learned Winter was in the hospital," Weiss said softly.
"I'll have to cancel class today...but I think the others will understand."
"No. I'd rather none of them find out. They'll just bug me about it and I don't have the patience to deal with that right now. Just say you can't do anything today because of personal business."
Naruto held up his hands. "Alright, alright. We have to let Ozpin know though."
The girl sighed but nodded her head. "I understand that." She would allow that at least since, after all, he was the leader of the school she was enrolled within.
Without further ado Weiss then turned on her high heel and trotted off now that she had gotten her way. But with the fate of her sibling hanging in the balance, the ninja couldn't blame her. Crushing the empty container in his hand Naruto tossed it into in the nearest garbage can as he headed for the top of the tower that served as the headmaster's quarters. Going back to Atlas, huh? This was going to be an interesting trip.
As secretive as Weiss tried to be, there was no getting over the fact that she was part of an entire team, one of which she literally lived with here every day at Beacon. Super student Weiss Schnee had skipped Oobleck's class and it had caught the rest of Team RWBY (as well as JNPR) completely off guard. That girl had outright played hooky? Holy hell!
The moment the twitchy professor had released them for the day Ruby, Yang, and Blake split up to find their comrade. Ultimately discovering her in the lobby of the teacher's building was a surprise; no matter how hard she tried as the others approached, a woman that literally and figuratively glowed in white was not very good at remaining hidden.
"Weiss! There you are! What are you doing? You missed Professor Oobleck's lecture!" Ruby exclaimed as she rushed over to her frowning partner.
"And out of uniform too," Yang scolded playfully. The smile on her face slowly slid away when the pretty heiress failed to rise at the barb. Blake raised an eyebrow over the way the Schnee seemed antsy.
"Weiss?...what's going on?" Ruby tried again. But the fencer was saved as Naruto suddenly appeared from within the arriving elevator, poking at the screen of his own Scroll in mild confusion.
"Uh, I think I need some help sending out the message before we go- oh!" Blue eyes widened in surprise as they took in the sight of the remaining members of RWBY. Naruto had not expected to see them at all, especially since Weiss wanted to keep this all hush-hush.
Naturally, the others took what Naruto said and jumped on it.
"Going somewhere? Wait...did Naruto corrupt 'Ms. Perfect Grades' into finally breaking some rules?...and when did you two start hanging out outside of class?" Yang added skeptically while she looked between the two. Didn't Weiss, like, hate the blond boy or something? Especially since he was somewhat like Jaune and everyone could see how the lame knight knew how to spectacularly get on the gal's nerves? Or was the buxom warrior reading every single one of their interactions completely wrong?
Blake's bow twitched suspiciously and the ravenette leaned in a little, hoping she didn't suddenly appear too curious over learning about the secretive meeting and subsequent discovery. Yang's tone almost sounded accusatory and the Faunus had read one too many romance novels to not immediately start drawing conclusions over why this was happening. Thankfully everyone was too preoccupied to notice the accessory on her head was not supposed to move.
Weiss just sighed explosively as Naruto pocketed his communication device. "We, uh, we were going to take care of some business. It's all been approved of by Ozpin. So since you're all here, would one of you mind letting the others know that there's no training until we get back?"
"Suuuuuuure, but you still didn't answer the question."
"I'll explain once we return," the white-haired Huntress said shortly. Then she remembered she was trying to become more open with others and work on her camaraderie, still somewhat difficult when nearly everyone could set her off. "It's important family business back home. There's a strict time limit and the longer we stay, the worse it becomes."
Ruby blinked uncertainly, silver eyes wide and innocent as the group proceeded to walk outside. "I don't understand why Naruto is going then?"
Blake's conclusions became worse, as did the tic causing her bow to flutter.
"I can get her there super quick." Then, turning to the girl, he held out his arms. "Okay, hop on."
That had everyone staring. "Excuse me?"
"Well what did you expect? I need to carry you and this is the safest way."
"Yes, but...ugh! Fine!"
Naruto quickly scooped the smaller girl up and held her in a princess carry. It earned a few odd looks from those students who happened to be in the area and Yang might have quickly snapped a picture or two for posterity. Ruby seemed excited though now that she was now more interested in what the orange-loving male was going to do. Was he going to turn all gold again? Because that had been super awesome and she was quick to make that known. "So are you going to move all super quick again? Will that even work across the ocean?"
"Don't worry, it will." And then the blond inhaled. For a split second the four of them felt a rush of...something, before Naruto changed.
Gold appeared like Ruby (and Weiss) expected, but there was much less of it this time around. Naruto looked as though he was now wearing a black bodysuit with a golden ring at his stomach and a necklace of bright magatama. His sandals, jacket (still regular size), headband, and even hair were illuminated this time around, and his eyes were orange again, but his skin was still its normal shade. The whiskers on his cheeks had become black bars, and fingerless gloves now covered his forearms. The strangest part of it though? The nine pitch black spheres hovering off his back in a circular pattern.
Those immediately rose into the air where no one could touch them. The young Rose pulled back her hand as she had just been in the middle of doing so, entranced yet again by the captivating sight and seemingly hypnotized by his new, yet still somewhat recognizable, transformation.
Yang whistled, something she had been doing a lot around her fellow blond, having been the only one not privy to such a view. Blake had at least seen the other version back during the tail end of the test, but her eyes were still drawn towards the Truth-seeking Balls floating just out of reach. While she hadn't been around him as much as the rest, Naruto hadn't looked like this during the test when she last saw him looking like a lightbulb. The others were just as speechless though so it looked like the Belladonna wasn't missing anything...though something was nagging at her mind.
"Don't touch those, Ruby. Trust me on that. They're very dangerous." The sage then looked down at his passenger. "Ready to fly?"
"What?" Weiss responded meekly until her brain finally caught up with the moment and she nodded, "oh, um, yes."
"Which direction am I going?"
Quickly consulting her Scroll the girl pointed somewhere off of Yang's shoulder. Nodding his head, Naruto ignored everyone's cry of shock as he lifted a few feet off the ground like a balloon. "Hold on to your butt." And then they were gone in a bright streak that looked as if a shooting star had suddenly shot off into the sky.
Ruby reaffixed her cloak as the remaining trio was left behind. Her eyes, as well as Yang's and Blake's, were still stuck on the sky though. The fiery fist fighter's jaw was hanging wide open. The quiet book-lover merely brushed some stray hair behind her ear reflexively. None of them knew what to do.
Half a minute passed before anyone said anything. "He didn't do that during the test," Ruby whispered. It seemed to break the others out of their frozen states, as the B and Y both shook their heads rapidly. Yang slapped her cheeks before growling, followed by a deep sigh, following by a quick rolling of the eyes as she scratched her scalp.
"We need to stop expecting Naruto to do things normally. He can fly. He can take on an army of Grimm singlehandedly. He can teleport in a flash. This is just..."
The blonde never finished her thought as she wandered off still mumbling to herself and occasionally gesturing with her arms. "My brain hurts," her sister complained before following suit. But Blake, she wasn't exactly sure what to think. People couldn't just do what Uzumaki Naruto was capable of. Aura was powerful...but nothing like this. If it was his Semblance then sure, perhaps one of his talents was possible. But he could do almost anything and without significant trouble.
And...perhaps it was because Blake had been a fighter since she was rather young, but her awareness was much sharper than the rest of Team RWBY. Naruto's power was normally immense and that was just his regular form. The split second of when she was near him in his golden transformation with the long cloak back in the forest had stopped her in her tracks; his aura was like an ocean compared to the normal levels that she was used to. It had been faint though, despite its apparent size and the fighter being so close at the time.
But this...she couldn't sense anything. Not even the weak chill that the power radiated, like Blake was just barely outside the reach of a fan's breeze. So how was that possible? A complete lack of a presence meant someone...well, had no more aura to expend. They were dead. She'd been around enough loss in the White Fang to recognize the feeling. But Naruto was most certainly alive.
Where did his aura presence go?
As she followed after her teammates, it was a question the Faunus wasn't sure she actually wanted an answer to.
Flying was much different than falling. Weiss had done plenty of the latter in her short life to be able to give such an opinion about the distinction. Whenever she jumped, it was inevitably that the silvernette eventually fall. Whenever airships lifted off, the gradual vertigo and pull in her stomach was evidence that she was returning to the earth. It was just a law of the world.
Yet her she was in the middle of nowhere. Nothing but blue skies, white clouds, and the expanse of the ocean between Vale and Atlas as far as the eye could see. She just dangled there, weightless, held within the arms of another person who, miraculously, was flying without any sort of support structure...it boggled her mind.
And the view was beautiful. Able to feel the wind on her face, the heady scent of the water in the air so far away from land, and all without impact-resistant glass and layers of steel to block it all out.
Weiss was supposed to be checking that they were on the right course but she was merrily photographing the scenery to her Scroll's memory instead. It was truly an amazing view and she wanted to keep this faint happiness going for as long as possible before they arrived in Atlas, not that she said it aloud, but considering Naruto was right there able to see everything she was doing...she had the feeling if she turned her head ever so slightly there would be a damnable smirk on his face.
The biggest positive of the trip so far had been the fact she had yet to once chastise him on his hand placement, something the heiress had worried about since the moment he expected her to hop into his arms. He was...actually being quite the gentleman, never straying his hands from under the back of her thighs near the knees and around the back of her torso. The Schnee didn't know how to feel exactly; on one point it was a major surprise to her that Naruto had yet to try and feel up the pretty girl, which was a good thing...but on the other hand was she not good enough for the blond to make a move on? Out here, isolated from literally everyone? She'd still reject him but-
Weiss mentally slapped herself for a moment. Having people fawn over her all the time had royally messed with her sense of self. Not once had she witnessed the ninja hit on anyone and, this was high praise coming from the heiress, but Beacon was filled with unusually attractive teenagers. She really didn't want to think much on it though.
"So," she began after minimizing the camera app and rebooting the search function she had tweaked, "how are you doing this exactly?"
"Inherited power," Naruto responded simply. The disbelieving stare he got in turn made the corners of his mouth twitch. "What? It's true! Would you rather hear me say I'm the chakra reincarnation of the Sage of Sixth Paths' second son, one of the most powerful men to ever live, and because of that I was also given access to the power of the Sage himself which, combined with natural energy drawn from the world, essentially makes me the strongest person to exist in Remnant?"
Weiss stared. She stared hard. Her blue irises flickered ever so slightly as she finally turned to face him and searched his altered face methodically. They were literally face to face as the Uzumaki eventually wiggled his eyebrows in the silence, causing the pretty girl to do something Naruto was quite used to seeing by now:
She scowled and turned away with a huff.
"You don't have to be a jerk about it. I simply asked a question."
The ninja sighed over her moodiness and with a bit of mental prodding, caused one of the black balls hovering behind him to move forward into view. He should have realized any joking would fall flat with this person. "You see this? It's called a Gudodama (Truth-seeking Ball) and it's proof that I have the power of the Sage. I've never been good at explaining things but these are the physical results of my mastery over every chakra nature to exist, I guess. And it's that control which gives me the ability to fly." He let the orb move back into formation. "Out of everything I can do, it's probably one of the coolest. And I can do a lot of cool things."
"You're a menace," the Huntress hopeful snarked, but it lacked any of the usual bite. Her mind was torn between believing his confidence over the matter and outright rejecting the claim because...well, it was absurd. He and the things he could do were absurd. Staring at the screen of her Scroll she eventually pointed off towards what was assumed to be north. "Atlas is in that direction," she said before pocketing the object.
Nodding once, Weiss felt the arms keeping her in the princess carry tighten slightly. The last time it happened she was shrieking up a storm at the sudden acceleration. To the blond boy's surprise, her own arms snaked out and took hold around his neck so as not to flinch in surprise. "Don't read into it," she stated seriously, before Naruto could say anything at all. Instead he just nodded and a second later they were off.
The wind pressure, which should have dangerously buffeted the petite woman due to the speeds they were traveling, was merely enough to cause her hair and clothes to flap about. Apparently it was Naruto's aura or chakra or whatever the hell he wanted to call it acting as a shield against the elements. The rest of the trip was uneventful and before Weiss knew it, the pair were fast approaching the edge of her hometown. If the security personnel that scanned the sky for incoming Grimm were able to pick up on them, they had already entered the city limits and touched down near a sprawling mansion the blond had been instructed towards.
As Naruto set the girl down and sighed as he released the powerful energy overtaking his body Weiss was already speaking into her Scroll. He looked around in slight wonder; the place was big like the clan grounds in Konoha but, while the ninja land was wide but kept about one level tall, the Schnee home had a three-story manor with the same amount of property. Naruto didn't really understand the point of having such a huge house if it was only Weiss, her sister, and her father, but rich people always did seem pretentious in showing off their wealth in unnecessary ways.
The Uzumaki then hissed as Weiss blinded him with a flash of light. "Gah, what the hell?!"
"Oh be quiet. I'm sending a picture to security so they have a solid idea of your appearance and not assume you're a trespasser." The snowy girl then slipped her Scroll away and placed her hands against her hips. "My father is all on his way home. Considering that we've been asked to wait for his arrival, I'm happy to assume Winter is at least going to survive and therefore there's not a great need for urgency."
"We?" Naruto said, essentially parroting their interactions earlier in the day.
Weiss just scoffed. "Do you seriously think I'm just going to let you wander about, especially after the trouble you caused your first time in Atlas? Besides," she looked off towards the opulent house and her face softened, before suddenly scowling, "did you really think someone like my father would not question how I returned so quickly?" She did not elaborate any further, merely jerking her head in the direction of the mansion. "Let's go."
Naruto sighed but...he guessed she was making sense. He couldn't exactly return without the pale-haired girl and she would now surely be kept in sight at all times because, you know, her family had just been attacked again. He had to stick around whether he wanted to or not. And really...where would he go? Everyone he knew was back at Vale.
So he trudged after the girl, wondering what was in store for his stay.
Hopefully it would be...you know...less stressful this time.
This is really just a filler upload before the bigger stuff begins. Sorry about that. I started this chapter awhile ago and got stuck with the story but I think I've gotten it back on track.
As for my rate of chapters I've just been focusing a lot on finding a job, as well as putting forth the effort into creating better quality videos. I feel like I have so much time to work on things at the moment and yet, I also feel like I'm being pulled in all kinds of directions with no time to spare, mostly in ways I really don't want to go while others continue to drag me along regardless of what I try. But that's just an excuse I suppose. Instead, try focusing on this:
For those who may have checked out my Youtube channel, I don't have very much up as of yet. At most I had two Minecraft videos where myself and my friend just screwed around and made an attempt at Let's Play conversation. Not much editing, and not truly entertaining.
Well guess what? I finally settled on a niche, and the first video of many was posted a few days ago. I take a look at monsters in video games and give a brief explanation surrounding their encounters in-game. I scripted and voiced it, and my buddy edited while I gave my own input. Compared to the Minecraft ones, this one came out oh so much better. We're both still honing our skill though, and this video was left short so as to test how the finished product would be received by viewers. It's not the most professional but we work with what we have.
I started with SCP-Containment Breach. I've exposed four so far in the first video...but there's still twenty three to go, as well as the other games I've decided to use for this...first season I suppose. Check it out if you wish. The link to my channel is on my profile page and I fixed the link for my twitter, not realizing when I changed my Twitter handle it wouldn't keep the link updated. And thanks to you all in advance, in regards to my writing or videos. I know my updates have lagged as of late but I still appreciate you all following my work anyways.