"Sent to Serve"
The Loremaster beckoned Lucius and his brother over. As they stood before him, the Loremaster beckoned toward another pair of acolytes, one a girl with brown skin and red hair and the other a boy with light skin and purple hair. "Lucius Rook, Corbin Rook, it is with reluctance that we give you into the world. We have decided to send you to join the Huntsmen. To fight the darkness, one must be more than one, so you will also be joined by two of your fellow acolytes, Sanguine Dirge and Eminence Orchid. Teach the Huntsmen of our ways, and always stand against the darkness". Lucius and Corbin looked at each other, than back toward the Loremaster. "When do we leave?" asked Corbin. "In the morning. There will be an airship that will land to pick you up. Until then, I would like you all to get to know each other". Nodding, the four left the room and headed for the cafeteria.
"So," Corbin started with a grin, "I'm Corbin and this is my twin brother Lucius. Which one of you is which?". "I'm Sanguine, this guy here is Emi" she said while pointing her thumb at the purple haired boy. "Hey, aren't you two supposed to be really good fighters or something?" the newly named Emi asked. Corbin grinned at him before throwing his arm over his twins shoulder. "Yep. Two of the best fighters in this place. Boss man himself said that we were the most skilled acolytes he has seen in years. How about you two? The old man wouldn't have sent a pair of nobodies to represent our order. How good are you two?". Emi and Sanguine smiled at the twins. "We were considered for early placement into the order of Ash Rangers" replied Emi. "Wow" Lucius said, awestruck. The Ash Rangers were warriors of the faith sent out to gather information on grimm movements and suspicious activity. They were considered some of the finest specialists the order had to offer. It was a great honor to be accepted among their ranks, an honor that Lucius himself desired. "Thats pretty impressive. All we're known for is being very good at killing grimm. A good thing, but there is more to the world than fighting". The newly formed group walked into the cafeteria and gathered the food laid out for them. "Ash bread with gravy and seared fish served with water... you guys really don't have anything else?" asked Sanguine "not that there is anything wrong with that!" she was quick to say after seeing the look of confusion on Lucius's face. "In the southern enclave we have a larger selection of food because of the traders that come into our harbor" explained Emi. "Ah, we don't have that here. Most aren't willing to dare the ashstorms, and those that do, don't do it without good reason. Food variety is considered second to new followers and shipments of metal." said Corbin. "Not much food selection and not much of what is there, but hey, we are being sent to join a Huntsmen school. They have good food right?" Emi nodded his head in agreement. "Yep" he stood, holding out his cup. "To good food and new people". The others joined him in the toast.
"So, what weapon do you guys use?" asked Sanguine on their way to retrieve their one, true possessions that they would be taking with them to the Huntsmen school, Beacon. "I use a staff with two bells that transforms into a bomb catapualt. It also doubles as a three string bass guitar. I call her Knock Knock". Emi laughed at the starry eyed gaze his partner gave her weapon. "I use dust infused gauntlets. They help with my semblance. I call them Manos amigas". The team entered their locker room and started getting their weapons out. "That's pretty cool. Mine is a hand scythe/silenced pistol. It's called Luce Spei" replied Corbin. Lucius looks slightly embarrassed as everyone else hefts their weapons and looks at him. "I got a few decks of tarot cards" he replies, holding up said cards. Emi and Sanguine look at each other than back to Lucius. "Neat" they say in tandem. Corbin laughs at the down cast look on Lucius's face. "Cheer up brother, after all, no one expects a deck of cards to be dangerous". Lucius sighs and shrugs. "At least I'll get the jump on any opponents". The team laughed at him good naturedly as they walk toward the landing pad. Lucius placed his final possession, a battered and worn grey fedora, upon his head before following the rest of his team. Upon exiting the building, they spotted an aircraft waiting for them with an older cat faunus woman with tawny hair and a blue uniform standing next to it. "You the four I have to fly to Beacon?" queried the woman. "That would be us" replied Corbin. The woman nodded her head to them. "Anything else you bringing or is it just you?". Looking at each other, they shrugged. "If there is anything else going we were not told about it" answered Sanguine. "If that is all than get on board. My name is Moira Agincourt. I will be your pilot. You will sit in the back. If you fall off I will not return for you. If you do not listen to what I tell you, I will throw you off and not return for you. If you harass my other passengers, THEY will throw you off, and I will not return for you". The four of them looked askance at her. "Harsh" mumbled Emi under his breath. "Get on the ship, now" growled Moira. The team is quick to comply, jumping onboard and sitting in their seats. Sanguine and Lucius sat together while a large man sat between them and Corbin and a skinny man and an old walrus faunus with cybernetics sat across from them with Emi. The engines began getting louder as the ship took off, leaving the northern enclave of the Cleansing Flame, and all they had known, behind.
"So" began Emi over the whine of the engines, "You guys hear any good music?" The skinny man scoffs. "As if you would know what is good music". Sanguine frowns at him. "He's just trying to start a conversation". The skinny man sneered at her. "Well he did a poor job of it. At the very least he could be civilized enough to explain his name first" retorts the skinny man, quite snobbishly. "You didn't speak your name either" Sanguine shot back. "You both shut up. It's a long damn flight back to Atlas and if you don't shut your gobs I'll toss you both out the hatch" growled the old walrus. The old man sitting next to Lucius laughed at him. "That would be entertaining. You getting up and getting the old bat to open the hatch. Want her hold them down for you to?" The old walrus glared at him. "I'll toss you out on your head if I thought you wouldn't enjoy being fed to grimm". The intercom crackled. "Girls, girls, your both pretty. Now shut your mouths and act civil or I'll dump you all out and claim it was an electrical malfunction. No one will question it, no one will look for your bodies". The hold went silent at the threat before Corbin whispered to the old man. "Would she actually do that?" The old man, the skinny man, and the walrus faunus shared glances. "No doubt at all lad" spoke the walrus. The skinny man nodded agreement. "Moira would. Half a chance to dump Brick (points at the old man) and I and she would probably take it. To drop him (points at the walrus faunus) she might take a minute, but would probably do it anyway". The team looks at each other and without a word decide to be as polite as possible. "So" starts the newly named Brick "Who are you lot?". Lucius holds up his hand "Lucius Rook, (points at the only girl in the hold) Sanguine Dirge." Corbin holds his hand up "I'm Lucius's twin Corbin, and this is Eminence Orchid. We're on our way to Beacon to join the Huntsmen". The old faunus scoffed. "I'm Pyrite. That (points at the old human) is Brick. He's an asshole. The other is Tybalt. So, Huntsmen huh? You're in for a ride, that's for sure". Emi tilted his head. "Why do you say that?" Brick chuckled as he pulled a fat cigar out of his breast pocket. "Boy, we're mercenaries. We get paid to do a job. We are paid well. Sometimes it gets a bit messy, or someone doesn't want to pay up. We get paid what we're owed or Pyrite and I start crushing bones. Huntsmen get paid to do the same jobs, with less support, for less money, and if the client doesn't pay, the most you can do is take your time getting to them the next time they call for help". Brick leaned back as he chewed on his cigar. "Shit pay for a shit job, generally with a glorified 'atta-boy' at the end of the day. I make more per job than you will per year when you graduate kid. You can be a Huntsman, I'll be a well paid mercenary any day over that". The Four teenagers looked at each other and shrugged. It was Sanguine who broke the ensuing silence. "We fight to hold back the darkness, not for profit or glory. You can have your money. The Huntsmen can have their glory. We have our purpose, and our faith that what we do is right. Everything we need is either provided for us or is easily accessible with our skill sets. We go to teach our faith, and to provide our skills to keep up our end of the agreement the Seven Rings signed with the four kingdoms".
Tybalt mumbled under his breath about zealots before falling into a light sleep. Brick grinned at them as Pyrite rubbed his hand down his face. "Faith healers and preachers huh? Never thought I would see the day that holy folk would actually try to fight. So, little pilgrims, care to tell me about the faith of Oum? Or about how if I'm a good little boy I will go to heaven?" The four laughed at Brick as his smug expression turned to confusion. "If you had any idea about our faith you would laugh to" said Lucius. "Our faith is the Faith in the Flame. For me, I follow the aspect of the Cleansing Flame". Brick looked more confused than before as Pyrite leaned forward in interest. "Corbin follows the aspect of the Flame of Life. Sanguine, the Fire of Inspiration. Emi, the Guiding Light. As there are many different aspects of life, so to are there aspects and teachings to follow". Brick was silent for a moment when Pyrite spoke. "What's the difference between the aspects?" Lucius looked at him, feeling mildly surprised at his interest. He cleared his throat before diving into his explanation. "The Cleansing Flame is the aspect that burns away all impurities. The Flame of Life" nods toward Corbin "burn with vitality and vigor. The Fire of Inspiration brings out creativity and wonder. The Guiding Light is the light of knowledge and of passing it on". He paused, and Emi took over. "Each aspect has a mantra, something to keep you focused. The mantra of life is 'Every breath is a sweetness, every taste a joy, every touch a statement'. The mantra of inspiration is 'To make something better you must know how. To know how you must experience. To experience you must interact. By interacting, you change everything. Make it better'". Brick nodded his head and Pyrite stroked his chin. "The mantra of the Guiding Light is 'What was lost will be found. What was once unknown will be brought to light. Where the darkness of ignorance blinds, the light of knowledge will shine'". He smiled at the end, apparently taking pleasure on teaching others of his faith. "What of the Cleansing Flame?" growled Pyrite. "I want to hear the mantra for that one". Emi looked down in embarrassment. "I'm afraid I don't know that one. Lucius, can you tell him?" Lucius looked at his teammate and shrugged. "'Salvation through service. Service through sacrifice'". Brick smirked at him. "Sounds pretty grim boy. So ready to run off and die?" Lucius shook his head. "The first prayer I was taught for the Cleansing Flame was 'Everything burns, everything dies. It is from the ashes that life is born anew'. Followers of the Cleansing Flame are not a hopeful lot, we know that life is precious and finite, so we try to make the most of it while we have the chance". Having said his piece, Lucius leaned back and rested his head against the side of the ship in an attempt to sleep. Brick smiled. "Everything burns, everything dies, huh? More wisdom than you usually find in scripture. Alright. I'll leave you to it then". Brick rested his head back and slept as well. Corbin shrugged and followed suite, leaving Pyrite to go to the cockpit and keep Moira company.