chapter Six: Panic in Beacon (Part two)
'You made the mistake of assuming that
I wouldn't go through such lengths to
take back what is rightfully mine, never undervalue one who has nothing to lose.'
Pyrrha stayed beside the wall out of their line of sight, but she was no master of stealth thus she couldn't continue to shadow them. It was either remain hidden until they would eventually walk past her back towards the school and eventually see her or take them on in combat, but even she felt the three of them together was too big a challenge.
'I can't fight them off by myself with high hopes of putting Torchwick behind bars again, even if I did hold them off long enough. How would I contact Ironwood to take action and alert his forces? So what do I do?' She thought biting her lip anxiously lost in thought, unaware of a presence near her.
"Excuse me. You look familiar, have we met?" A male voice behind her mocked.
She whipped her head around just barely avoiding getting struck by a grieve donned boot that hit the surface of the wall just behind her! What followed the impact was a buckshot sound emanating from his grieve mounted guns. Pyrrha rolled to the side and quickly brought out her weapon with shield in Xiphos mode.
"Wow you are fast, but you know, wearing eye-catching colors and having red hair probably isn't ideal for stealth." Mercury jaunted retracting his foot and casually strode around to directly face her. Walking up behind him was Emerald and Roman, both appearing mildly surprised and somewhat annoyed that they were found out.
"Tch, so much for leaving without causing a ruckus. We don't have time to deal with this." Emerald stated looking to her partner.
"Especially since miss celebrity over there can draw things out with her semblance." Mercury added without taking his eyes off Pyrrha.
Pyrrha's eyes widened in surprise at the reveal then narrowed her eyes. 'So they know about my semblance, not that I tried to keep it secret this semester, but they seemed to be quite informative of it.' She thought readying her weapon.
Then from out of the nearby school dock entrance hurried Ironwood stepping into the area in alert shock upon Torchwick. "Torchwick!? How...!?" He bellowed clenching his fists when he noticed his two evident collaborators standing beside the renowned criminal facing Pyrrha. 'They...were working for him?!'
Roman obviously noticed the loud general catching them red-handed and smirked maliciously coming up with an idea. "Oh good, a way out of this." Roman stated quickly bringing up his 'cane/hand cannon' and firing the usual blast of energy at the unsuspecting general Ironwood!
"Uoagh!" The distracted military man was hit the cannon shot head on knocking into a rolling smoldering heap.
"No!" Pyrrha immediately attempted to hurry over to the wounded general but was quickly engaged by Mercury and Emerald!
The silver haired bandit tried hitting her head with a roundhouse kick but she nimbly slide-dodged right under it just before crossing blades with Emerald! The green haired thief began exchanging blows with the spartan girl in a tandem pattern of firing her pistols at her shield and both deflecting and countering Pyrrha's swipes with her Kusari-gama!
After a few exchanges with their blades Pyrrha suddenly knocked Emerald off-balance by butting her shield into her abdomen knocking her back! In came Mercury who leaped with his legs outwardly kicking at her shield like a bicycle kick maneuver that failed to wind her, but he continued with a flurry of high-jump kicks that alternated legs each time he kicked at her.
He suddenly saw an opening and used his lower body strength to perform a double side-kick that involved his grieves firing off their shells, but Pyrrha knew where he was trying to strike and activated her semblance to magnetically toss him overhead against a wall!
"Oouhmmphf! That damn ability of hers...! I'm not done yet!" Mercury grunted both winded and very annoyed. He quickly staggered back up ready to continue the fight until Roman cleared his throat catching all of their attention.
"As much as I enjoy watching a good thrashing of these two, I'm afraid that we're on a tight schedule. So unless you wish for the good general right here to have his head blown off you'll have to stand aside and let us be on our way. Also no funny tricks with that semblance of yours, I have a very itchy trigger finger and I'll notice if you try anything." Roman warned holding his weapon barrel down over Ironwood's face. The old general wasn't afraid in the least, but knew the infamous thief had him dead to rights with that 'cane-cannon' barrel staring him in the face. The first shot earlier didn't hurt him badly, but he was winded long enough for Roman to get the drop on him.
"Tch, very well." Pyrrha very reluctantly stayed her hand and slowly moved to the side allowing the trio passage to the path behind her. She kept a careful eye on Torchwick as they carefully strafed aside across from her gradually moving away from the fallen Ironwood. After getting enough distance apart they made a sprint down the dock's walkway into the school, Pyrrha sheathed her weapons and went to check up on the general.
"Here let me help you up." She offered taking an arm around her broad shoulders and lifting him to his feet.
"We need to contact Ozpin immediately, I'll make a call to my forces and see if we can box them in." Ironwood suggested patting his left hand around his coat to find his scroll only to find that it wasn't anywhere on his body. "Dammit! Torchwick must've taken it from me when I was knocked down."
"Here use my scroll to alert your forces and bring those criminals to justice." Pyrrha offered whipping out her scroll to him, but Ironwood denied her hand much to her confusion.
"If we do that they may harm the unsuspecting students inside, we need to play this by ear. Despite that Beacon is full of trainee hunters those three are still with anonymity and may cause great damage to the entire student body if an Atlesian army appears. I doubt anyone other than us know they're in cahoots. Call Ozpin instead, so that way he could send the fully seasoned huntsmen after them discreetly." Ironwood explained.
Pyrrha nodded in understanding and input the number to call the school's headmaster. Pressing up to her left ear she waited while holding up the injured Ironwood.
"I'm afraid to ask; but why do you think they're here? What is the reason for all this?"
"...I can't say for sure, but it most certainly involves their ringleader and whatever her goals are for Beacon...or Vale." Ironwood surmised.
The personal scroll belonging to Ozpin buzzed furiously on his desktop surface, but would remain ignored for the time being.
Standing up across from the grinning woman known as 'Cinder', Ozpin gripped his cane ready for her to make her move.
"You should probably answer that, Ozpin. It could be important, or much more likely it's someone reporting that Torchwick has escaped." Cinder casually mocked keeping her right heel painfully held on the unconscious Glynda's back.
"You planned this all out quite well, but I have to wonder why a petty criminal like Torchwick would be of any use in the first place. Why are you doing this? Taking hostages and threatening the populace of Vale with your actions hardly befits one from the royal family." Ozpin questioned narrowing his eyes in focus.
It was Cinder's turn to glare. "You know damn well why, Ozpin. You had to have known after the injustice done to the royal family, my family, a lifetime ago that I would do anything to reclaim what they so cherished. Even if that meant scaring the herd of sheep you have in your so-called 'safe' kingdom."
"The royal family was supposed to protect the people of the Vale Kingdom, not threaten them using disgruntled Faunus in acts of thievery and violence. Cynthia Rella Vale, have you never considered that your parents simply cherished their daughter being alive rather than their kingdom changing rulers?" Ozpin trailed off with a somewhat more sympathetic tone.
"Huhahaha! Now hearing my birth name certainly takes me back, but the Kingdom and the castle that we're standing in has been in our family for generations. They would certainly want me to keep it that way. I'm not harming the citizens of my kingdom in this carefully orchestrated operation, Ozpin. I'm simply taking it out of the hands of its incompetent 'leaders' like the council, Ironwood, and yourself. You truly think this is a time of peace? Look at what a simple collaboration of myself, a few of my subjects, and a paramilitary group were able to accomplish." Cinder answered reminding him of the breach that happened recently. It was a testament to him and the other ones in power supposedly protecting Vale.
"You made the mistake of assuming that I wouldn't go through such lengths to take back what is rightfully mine, never undervalue one who has nothing to lose." Cinder added coolly with malice laced in her voice.
"That breach in security was coordinated by yours truly, of course we both had our followers fight off all those Grimm without risking casualties, but the point is; I made you lose control. If you or your less-than-faithful comrades such as Ironwood and the council couldn't prevent something small like that, then how can you possibly protect my kingdom and it's people from the darkness of more Elder Grimm that are sure to come? You know it as well as I do, the reappearance of those eldritch monsters after being unseen for millennia is a dark sign of what's coming."
Ozpin's face changed and he looked to the side appearing deflated. "I've been in denial that it was as the Scroll of Lore predicted so long ago, I wanted to believe that it was wrong for once, but to think that an Elder Grimm would actually appear in Remnant again... well I suppose that is another mistake added to a long list of screw ups on my part."
"Which is precisely why I need your half of it; the one you keep securely locked inside this office. Only I have the other half and I require yours...that is unless you wish for your oldest friend here to receive a searing hole in her body. Once I have yours and the Arc fellow, I'll be that much closer to having my kingdom again so I can prepare for the 'storm' that is to come." She revealed sneering and holding out her hand to receive it.
Ozpin looked back at her with a glare then looked below to the unconscious Glynda, who was partially wounded, lay underneath Cinder's heel which was pressing against her head.
Ozpin sighed and stepped his right foot twice on the ground beneath his desk. A secret compartment opened up and came a pedestal bearing his half of the sacred artifact; Scroll of Lore.
"Just answer me this; what do you have in store for the young mister Arc? I can't in good conscience let you do as you wish if it harms all of my people in this academy. I'll be willing to fight you if necessary, we both know you're still unable to match me in combat." Ozpin declared boldly.
Cinder frowned and ground her heel a bit harder into Goodwitch's back causing her to groan in pain. " That remains to be seen, old man.I'm sure you're aware by now that a true Arc aura has finally awakened, not since the forefather that fought in the great war has there ever been another. Only true Arcs such as that boy can activate the Scroll of Lore with their aura, enabling me to use it. On top of that I have other plans in mind for him, nothing harmful I assure you, but what I have in store for him and the SOL will pave way to a brighter future. One that will truly be a time of peace. Now...give it to me." She finished ending her sentence with a firm authoritative tone.
In a whirl of slashes Blake spun her attack using both her sword-blade and sharpened sheath! Adam expertly kept his sheathed sword 'Wilt-and-Blush' firmly in his left hand as he twirled it synchronously deflecting all of Blake's strikes!
She then quickly fired several times out from her sword hilt after the last deflected attack! Adam however was quick on his reflexes and dodged to the side before closing in on her.
They engaged in a fast paced exchange of blades crossing with each other while mixing in some hard hitting martial arts! Several times Adam sliced through her semblance's doppelganger before managing to land a quick punch to the face of the real Blake, but both Faunus warriors were capable in their own right and continued their furious battle.
Adam quickly broke off and whipped his sheath/shotgun around to open fire! With a blinding pair of slashes she deflected the projectiles while closing on him, but Adam was one step ahead as he appeared before her delivering a low-kick to her abdomen!
"Oomphf!" Blake stumbled back and quickly regained her stature. Getting back up she noticed the magazine in her gun/sword was loose, so she decided to pop it back in when she saw that it contained the same Dust rounds Weiss had given her before. They're only really used in sync with her semblance to deliver devastating elemental techniques, but now they'll serve as her trump card against her old partner. 'I must've forgot about them, but these will certainly give me the leg up on Adam. They did give me the edge over Torchwick after all, thanks again Weiss.' She thought keeping her poker face and popping in her magazine.
Adam's eyes narrowed in suspicion at her until Blake sped forth at him in a straight charge! He tightened his footing and gripped the hilt of his sword ready to pull it out of his sheath using speed to make an extreme slash, as was his style of fighting.
She sped ahead in a blur right as Adam whipped out his blade with blinding speed creating a fierce red slash of aura! Just before impact he noticed he Blake did 'something' leaving only an Earth element statue of herself in place of his strike, he blinked wide open in mild surprise and turned around quickly to engage an oncoming Blake attempting to ambush him! The two engaged in some quick paced hand-to-hand combat until Blake performed a vertical flip-kick on Adam, who had just dodged it and countered with another aura slash that apparently hit another doppelganger of Blake, but this one was made of-
"Fire?" Adam briefly wondered just before the copy exploded in a fiery burst knocking him back! He quickly got back up and saw that Blake held her blade with both hands and whipped it forth creating a large violet slash of energy that came right at him!
Adam inwardly grinned and brought his unsheathed blade up to intercept the attack! The energy slash collided with great force against a steadfast Adam, but the the slash quickly dissipated into the red blade of 'Wilt and Blush' apparently completely absorbed. His bright red hair and crimson pupils lit aglow with red energy, he had used his semblance to absorb the energy based attack, and now he sheathed his sword only to quickly whip out the blade creating a larger red energy slash!
Blake panicked and mentally slapped herself on the forehead for forgetting only briefly about her old partner's semblance. She quickly used her own semblance to make another dupe of herself but was too late in using it seeing as how the red slash came quickly knocking her against the wall behind her!
"Huagghh!" She grunted painfully feeling very winded by the intense energy fueled attack. Thankfully her aura barrier was strong enough not to let the slash cut her body, but so much as to prevent the force from tossing the Faunus girl against the wall creating a crater in the process. 'Stupid mistake! I got so caught up in using the Dust rounds that I overlooked Adam's ability. When did I get into something that I didn't think through? Was something else on my mind?' She thought to herself briefly flashing a mental image of Jaune grinning at her until she shook her head trying to clear her thoughts.
Her eyes quickly scanned up to see the tip of Adam's sword staring down at her along with Adam himself.
"You seemed to have forgotten what I'm capable of, old partner. Don't tell me that attending this upstart academy and frolicking among humans has made you lose your edge." Adam taunted with a look of distaste when staring at his old friend.
"No, it's made her a decent person, you jerk!" A girl's voice squeaked out making Adam look to the side at the grand staircase seeing all of team RWBY and Jaune Arc appearing as reinforcements. Ruby aimed her sniper rifle and fire two shots right after she said her line!
With long clangs Adam's sword and sheath were blasted out of his grip and sent skittering across the floor forcing him away from Blake.
He was taken by surprise and disarmed, but it wasn't something that would deter him from his goal. His eyes scanned over at the blonde male holding a mundane weapon set of sword/shield, Adam knew his objective was now in sight. He just needed his 'backup' to arrive.
"Blake are you alright?" Yang called out to her partner.
"I just have the wind knocked out of me, I'll live to be sore tomorrow." Blake answered putting on a smile and stood up nursing her arm as she walked over to her team.
Yang appeared relieved and kept her eyes on Taurus readying her gauntlets to open fire should he make any sudden moves.
"You're surrounded, there's no way out of this." Weiss stated pointing her rapier at him.
"Hmph. Is that so?" Adam quickly blurred out of sight and slide-dashed back a bit retrieving his weapon set in the process. "I'm far from beaten, amateurs."
"You're still surrounded though." Yang added popping her gauntlet's shell chambers.
After Yang had declared that, Torchwick casually strode in and took a stand beside Taurus stunning everyone in the ballroom except for Adam himself.
"You're free?! How?!" Blake growled trying to prop herself up in an attempt to ready herself for another battle.
"Ah ah ah, an escape artist never reveals their secrets, my feline friend. I'm afraid I can't let you harm dear Adam here, he needs to take over the job of running the White Fang for me since I am no longer able to anymore. I don't mind to be honest, me and Faunus subordinates just don't mix all too well." Roman stated casually swinging his cane along his hand as though he hadn't a care in the world.
"I won't let you turn more innocent Faunus into White Fang criminals! Adam how can you support this maniac after all things he's responsible for!? How many more of our kin must be sent down this path of destruction?!" Blake bellowed clearly upset. She clenched her dual weapons tightly with twitching anticipation, but a supportive hand on her left shoulder coming from Yang had calmed her down a bit.
"Calm down, Blake, they won't be getting out of here. We still have them outnumbered...and look we have two more students." Yang finished her sentence optimistically looking at the sight of Emerald and Mercury arriving in the area partially winded from running.
"Great! You two can cover our rear with Jaune, these two jerks are about to be in a world of hurt." Ruby called out to the duo grinning.
"Sounds good to us, there may be more where they came from after all." Mercury replied and went along with his green haired partner-in-crime to through the girls and right into the blind spot of their primary target;Jaune Arc.
"Well we certainly have our work cut out for us, don't we, Adam? If only a miracle could save us now." Torchwick added sarcastically readying his cane/cannon. Just then he felt his own personal scroll vibrate, he shuffled it out of his coat and took notice of the message he received with a sinister smile.
"You enjoy hearing yourself talk, don't you?" Adam replied getting to his feet and readying a fighting stance with his sword.
"No more than I enjoy smoking a good cigar and whisking the cinders and ashes away." The infamous thief stated putting emphasis on two specific words int that sentence.
Both Mercury and Emerald briefly nodded in response to Torchwick and took their positions nearby behind team RWBY and Jaune when Pyrrha had rushed in through one of the double doors carrying a wounded Ironwood. She looked upon the sight of her friends cornering facing Torchwick and Taurus and then noted with horror that the two collaborators were right behind her leader.
"Everyone! Get away from those two right now! Mercury and Emerald are in league with Torchwick!" She hollered out in alarm.
Time seemed to have slowed down as the heads of the four girls turned to look behind them! To their horror they came upon the sight of a maliciously smirking Mercury standing above an unconscious Jaune Arc along with Emerald bearing a similar expression and holding what appeared to be a syringe containing something that knocked him out.
All of team RWBY backed away from the scene of ambush while still keeping watchful eyes on Roman's side, each girl gripping their weapons tightly ready to lash out at the traitorous duo standing above an unconscious Jaune.
"Y-you're with them?!" Ruby exclaimed itching to fire her sniper rifle. Emerald had her dual guns out with one pistol pointing at them and the other bearing down at Jaune threateningly.
"Not by ideal choice actually, we're actually with...her." Mercury stated gesturing behind him to the elegant 'lady in red' calmly walking down the grand stairway towards them. In her left hand was the now complete object of her ambitions;SOL(Scroll of Lore).
Ruby's appalled face was writ with betrayal and anger at the revelation of the three enemies masquerading as sister school allies. Her silver eyes narrowed on the smirking Cinder just now recognizing her as the same woman she pursued on the night of the dance. "It's you...you're the one from before! The one who broke in that night!"
The other girls looked to Ruby in stun surprise then back at Cinder, Blake's eyes narrowed in unison with gritted teeth when realizing this woman may have been the one orchestrating the recruitment of her fellow Faunus into the White Fang.
"Indeed I am, I am called Cinder by the way. As you can plainly see these are my associates, while only some are loyal, we all have our own common interests that can only be achieved by working together." Cinder explained unfazed by the anger radiating off the girls.
"So you're the main bad guy, huh? What is it you're trying to do? Take over Beacon?" Yang asked tensely.
"So simple, you all paint me as a cardboard villain. I'm not going to waste my time explaining my goal to you all, if you really want the truth buried underneath piles of lies and secrets, go ask your headmaster." Cinder retorted coolly as she knelt down beside the unconscious form of Jaune craning his face in her right hand. "I will take this one with me, I have need of him."
"Over my dead body!" Ruby shouted bringing up her sniper rifle to fire at her. Pyrrha held the same look of vehement anger as her and let go of Ironwood to join team RWBY in opposing Cinder.
"What she said! let Jaune go!" Pyrrha shouted brandishing out her weapons threateningly.
'Wow, they're really fired up. You'd think they'd have this much courage to actually confess to the goof.' Yang thought to herself noticing her sister getting worked up over Jaune despite all obstacles before her.
'I wonder if they really do like him, or if he feels that way about them. I doubt that dolt never even considered that the two redheads have it out for him bad.' Weiss thought feeling a bit uneasy about their feelings regarding him. Focusing on the matter at hand Weiss cocked her rapier's chamber readily and intensified her piercing gaze on Cinder and her cohorts
"Tch tch tch, oh you young naive huntresses." Cinder mocked then her right eye lit up in golden flame as she waved her right arm across the air creating several glyphs beneath their feet! "You have absolutely no idea what is coming. Don't think for even a moment that challenging me will leave any of you to fairy tale happy endings."
The howling sound of flame erupted and instinctively the girls jumped out of the way of their fiery combustion blast!
They hurriedly got back up and attempted to pursue the criminal group, but they had already opened up enough distance while escaping to the docking space where an unidentified Bullhorn awaited to extract them.
Ruby sped along using her semblance but was caught off guard when a pathway of combustion glyphs materialized before her! When she got close enough the trail of orange glowing symbols lit up then exploded in front of her causing the red hooded girl to fall back to avoid getting burned!
Blake held a face of anger, which was often alien to her, as she locked glares with her old partner as he stood on the airship with his usual stoic demeanor next to Torchwick and Cinder. 'It's not over yet...Adam.'
"Nnooo! Jaune!" Pyrrha cried out feeling helpless as she witnessed her friend, leader, and object of affection was being whisked away from her.
Ruby felt the same as her; despair, heartbreak, and desperation to bring him back to her.
Yang felt torn seeing her sister wallow in despair and knelt down beside her to comfort the sibling.
Weiss kept her composure in the faces of her friends, but inside she felt like her heart was made of ice and had shattered piece by piece for each second Jaune was taken away. She looked upon to see the escaped Bullhorn long gone from the skies and soon knelt down beside her friends pulling Pyrrha and Ruby into a supportive group hug.
On board the ship, the crew settled in for the long ride back to their base of operations.
"Well I hope that trinket was worth it. We lost our element of anonymity after all, sneaking into that school a second time will probably not work out so well." Torchwick stated to the red-dressed woman as she knelt down before Jaune cradling his face affectionately much to his bewilderment.
"We had no choice but to accelerate our plans, the choice of timing for grabbing the SOL was ideal when this fellow had awakened his dormant power. Grabbing the artifact sooner would've been pointless. You of all people should certainly understand that unexpected variables can come along and try to throw a wrench into any best laid plan." Cinder explained standing up and bringing out the SOL for all to see.
"Not to mention that there is also the Elder Grimm to account for, I'd like to think that the ancient monster reappearing kinda sped up the time table." Mercury added. Cinder nodded in agreement.
The dark haired woman then looked down at the sleeping blonde with a devious smile written on her face. "I have big plans for you, Jaune Arc."
End of chapter Six
Next chapter: Two sides of the same coin
AN: Letting you guys know now that I might not update this one for a little while, gonna do some revisions for the earlier chapters seeing as how a handful of readers complained about the lack of editing. Gonna fix that, plus I gotta focus all my energies on the Jaune smut fic since high demand for a couple of ideas came to my attention. So I gotta shift focus to that for awhile, please leave any thoughts, reviews, comments, suggestions if you have any. laterz.