Pre-story Author's Notes: Hello everyone and welcome to Spectrum.
While this story is without a doubt a RWBY fanfiction, the anime Katanagatari was a heavy influence in creating it. Not enough to be a cross-over but there are still some glaring similarities. Other principle inspirations are To Aru Majutsu no Index, Fullmetal Alchemist and The Dresden Files. There are many other things I borrow from throughout the story, I just felt those ones deserved the biggest callout. Some of them aren't even immediately obvious until later in the story. If you're familiar with any of them, I'm sure you'll notice it when I get to it.
Before we go any further, I would also like to apologize because this chapter is not only pretty short but is also from an OC perspective. That's something I usually try to avoid doing but this story will be introducing seven OCs as fairly important characters so it is going to happen occasionally throughout. The next chapter will be from Jaune's PoV and should be considerably longer than this one but that doesn't do this prologue much good, haha.
Jefardi has helped me extensively with this story, from the very early planning phase to looking over every chapter before I post, so I would like to give him a big thanks. The cover art was drawn by Natzo and a link to it and other Spectrum fanart is on my profile page.
Anyways, let's get this show on the road, starting with a scene from the perspective of Jaune's eldest sister.
"Violet! Where do you think you're going?" The eldest Arc sister ignored her mother's calls as she fled from the dining room, purple ponytail whipping when she turned the corner. Her fiery orange eyes alight with fury.
Most of their family had just sat down for dinner. However, there had been three notable people absent from the table this evening. The moment she realized which three and her heart nearly stopped.
Her father being missing wasn't unusual. He was often away with Huntsman business, despite the fact that he had already retired from the life of hunting Grimm. When he had passed Crocea Mors onto Joan he had stepped down from active duty, yet still remained a very important figure in both the Huntsmen Community and village militia.
It was the fact that her youngest sister, Rouge, and her only brother, Jaune, that were missing in tandem with him that made her worried. If it had been any other combination of siblings it wouldn't have been a cause for concern. The fact that it was them left a terrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. She needed to confirm it with her own eyes and just hope that she was wrong.
"Rouge!" She rushed into the family's dojo, just hoping that it wasn't already too late.
"Big sister!" The redheaded girl spun on her heels and grinned brightly, but Violet didn't even notice. She didn't see the pride in her youngest sister's yellow eyes. There was only one thing she could look at.
The rapier in her hand.
One of Seven Sacred Swords passed down the Arc lineage and the only one that still didn't have an owner.
At least, until now it didn't.
"It turns out I'm compatible with the sword! Now I'm just like the rest of you!" Rouge held it above her head and Violet saw a small spark of light flick from the tip of the blade. That sword held unimaginable power in the right hands and was virtually indestructible. Now that Rouge was proven compatible she would begin training to harness that power. It would be the first time in over a thousand years that all seven had been wielded at once. Yet such things weren't important right now. Not to Violet.
"Where's father?" She asked. It hadn't been intentional, but the hard edge in her voice immediately caused her youngest sister to frown and lower lip to tremble.
"D-did I do something wrong?" Rouge lowered the weapon and tried to make herself look small under her eldest sister's gaze. Violet had to fight the urge to let out a sigh and instead crossed the room while trying to look as unimposing as possible. She leaned down and affectionately tousled her sister's red hair.
"You didn't do anything Rouge." She spoke in a whisper. It was the only way to hide the nerves she was feeling. "Congratulations on getting your own sword. However, you're still only five years old. Father shouldn't have left you alone in the room unsupervised with it, do you understand?" Slowly the girl nodded and a small smile returned to her face.
"I cannot wait until I'm grown up like you, big sister. Then I can use my sword un-su-pra-vised." Despite her best efforts, she couldn't properly say that last word.
"I'm only fourteen, Rouge." Violet stood back up, eyes scanning the room for any sign of where her brother and father might have gone. "I have a lot of growing up to do myself. Now where is Father?"
Rouge turned and pointed out the back door.
"He took big brother back to the shed. He said there was something important they had to do. He was going to teach him a special family tradition."
Oh, no, no, no.
"Rouge." Violet attempted not to let her haste and worry leak into her voice but it was feeble at best. It was only a small condolence that Rouge appeared too young to truly pick up on such cues. "Put away your sword and go tell everyone the good news. I bet mother will even give you extra helpings."
"Okay!" Rouge had to call as Violet was already running towards the back and outside into the crisp evening air. The last rays of sunlight were fading over the horizon and in the distance she could see the shed distinctly illuminated by lamplight.
She didn't bother to put on shoes and bolted across the yard with just her socks. Her ponytail whipped wildly behind her as she ran and she didn't slow down until she reached the shed. Taking control of her erratic breathing, she leaned an ear against the closed door, hoping again that it wasn't too late.
Inside she could hear their father mumbling words of encouragement... and then a small sob.
Before she was even aware of what she was doing she swung the door open. "Jaune!"
"Violet!" Her father leapt to his feet in a mix of spun to the door. He was a tall man, towering over Violet's petite teenage form. With the deep scowl on his face and rigid stance lit only by the candlelight, he should have been an imposing figure. She couldn't be bothered to care about such things. Just behind him sat her younger brother. He was younger and smaller than them both, his tiny frame curling in on himself. Scraggly blond hair almost indistinguishable with the flickering orange light. His hands were wrapped in white bandages…
...bandages that were already quickly staining red with his blood.
"What did you do to him!?" Instinctively she reached for Ostrum Tempus, her beloved katana, only to remember she hadn't brought it with her to the dining room in the first place.
"Violet. Lower your voice." Her father's stance relaxed as the initial surprise from her entrance wore off and his own tone softened. She didn't want to listen to him. Not after what he had done to her little brother. How could he do such a thing to his own son? She wanted to grab Jaune and run away from here. At the very least punch the man that hurt him right in the face. "You knew this was going to have to happen... he wasn't compatible." She did know. Despite this being an eventuality she had never wanted to put her brother through this. She had known it after his twin had proven compatible with Crocea Mors and he hadn't shown an affiliation for either of the remaining two swords.
Now that there was for sure no chance that he could ever use one of the blades the time had come... and their father had certainly wasted none.
Jaune gave a small whimper from behind him and Violet couldn't stand away anymore. As calmly as possible, she strolled up to him while trying not to notice the bloodstains illuminated on the wooden floor. She passed by her father without a word and he stepped to the side to give her room. Once next to her brother, she crouched down so her eyes were level with his.
"Jaune... are you okay?" She didn't know why she asked such a stupid question. He was anything but okay. He was only seven years old. He shouldn't have to be put through something like this.
Despite all this he gave a small nod and a huge smile spread across his tear-stained face.
"I'm fine... Violet." His voice cracked and she had to fight the urge to embrace him. "I couldn't... become like you or the rest of our sisters. The swords didn't respond to me, no matter how hard I tried. At least this way... maybe one day I'll be useful to all of you." She shook her head, eyes glued only to the red stains on his hands. Blood was slowly leaking past the white bandages now and dripping to the floor with an almost rhythmic timing.
"You... understand what has happened to you, right?" The markings their father had literally just carved onto the bones of his hands weren't something to be used lightly. They forcefully unlocked your Aura and then destroyed your Semblance before overriding it with a new ability. He only had one power that he could use now. His life only had one purpose.
"If someone ever steals the swords from you... I can destroy them. I can make them pay for you." That was it. The markings on his hands allowed him to destroy the Seven Sacred Arc Swords just by coming into contact with them. Nothing else could break them. That was their only ability. His whole life now would be dedicated to that purpose and it was possible there would never come a day where he would be called upon to fulfill it. The swords had been in use for over a thousand years after all. Since their ancestor forged them. Not once had they fallen into evil hands capable of unleashing their power.
"Jaune… I promise you." Violet reached to grab his hands and faltered. She couldn't bear to hurt him more than he already was. "You will never have to use that ability. I'll make absolute sure of it. So long as I'm in control, you'll always be safe."
His smile faltered. "But... what value am I to you if I can't even use these hands?"
This time she didn't resist the urge to hug him and pulled his face forward into her chest as she caressed the back of his head.
"You're our brother... that's all the value we need." She whispered this soothingly into his ear before placing a small kiss on top of his head.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw their father shift uncomfortably. He didn't say anything to her and she had nothing further to say to him. There was no undoing what was already done and it was true that someone was going to need the glyphs inscribed on their hands eventually. It only made sense to give them to Jaune. Only an Arc was compatible with them and he had no chance of ever wielding one of the swords now. She just wished they could have at least waited until he was older... this was too much for someone so young.
Again he gave another small sob and she could see him fighting to keep more tears from falling. Despite the tough act he was trying to put on, there was no way he wasn't in excruciating pain right at this very moment.
Pain that was never necessary for him to have gone through if she had her way.