A.N: Hello again. First off, i would like to apologize for being so late with this update. I would have Updated sooner,but i was absolutely swamped with assignments and homework and other stuff, so i didn't have much time to write. But that's all behind me now, and I should have more free time to write, so don't be too disappointed.
I should probably mention that this chapter is rather short, but again, i have been rather busy. So for now, enjoy.
Edit: this chapter has been edited as of 2/10/2016
Chapter 7: Patience is not easy
He felt it. A stirring in the great expanse of nothingness. Instantly, he was aware. He sent out a probing feeler of consciousness. A way out! He approached, pulling forth a thousand tiny particles, pieces of creation itself. He grasped at something immaterial, and pulled with hands that, technically, didn't exist.
He would have frowned if he had a mouth. He had to remedy that. He willed it, and it happened. The piece of creation in front of him flashed, and suddenly he could feel again. Truly feel. A body!
The newly remade being clutched at his prize, tangible for first time in centuries. He looked at it. And he smiled. The item he held was knowledge, and knowledge… was power. He absorbed this knowledge, this power, felt it fill his entire being, and then he knew, exactly, what he had to do.
He opened his mouth, took in his first breath in centuries, and shouted! His voice boomed, echoing through the infinite void around him, and struck something, there was a flash, and the fabric of the universe was violently torn asunder, rent in to by the force of his voice.
He approached the tear, feeling its pull, and laughed. No more would he be stuck here, doomed to spend eternity thinking. He stepped forward. His freedom awaited, as did his vengeance.
"They were here... Ozpin, they were here!" the furious voice of James Ironwood broke the silence that otherwise would have filled the air. He and Ozpin, as well as Glynda Goodwitch were all standing in Ozpin's office, the ticking of large gears playing a quiet backdrop to their argument as Ironwood angrily slammed his fist against Ozpin's desk.
"We're very much aware of that!" Goodwitch said. "Thank you, James."
"Fantastic! You're aware!" Ironwoods voice was basically dripping sarcasm. "Now are we going to do something about it or should we just stay the course and continue to ignore what's right in front of us?!"
An alert sound played, interrupting the argument and signifying that someone has arrived on the elevator.
"Come in." Ozpin called out.
The elevator doors opened, revealing Ruby Rose and Finn Redbreath. Redbreath stepped out first, followed by Ruby.
"Sorry it took so long. Someone accidentally hit all the buttons on the elevator on the way up here." Ruby paused before quickly pointing a finger at the Teacher beside her. "It was him."
Redbreath, for his part, simply shrugged. "It wouldn't be the first time," Ozpin muttered to himself. Talking normally, he said, "Thank you for coming, Ruby. How are you feeling?"
"Okay, I guess." The red-hooded girl said. "I'd feel better if my bad-guy-catching record wasn't O-for-three." Everyone stared at her silently, "Okay, so that's the tone we're going for, got it."
Ironwood stepped forward. "Ruby, I feel it's appropriate to let you know that I think what you did last night is exactly what being a Huntress is all about. You recognized a threat. You took action. And you did the very best you could."
"Thank you, sir."
Ozpin took a sip from his coffee mug, and Redbreath silently wondered if the Headmaster ran on Caffeine alone. "Now, the general here has already informed us of the events that... transpired last night, but now that you've rested, we were wondering if you had anything to add."
"Was anyone else with her?" Glynda asked. "Did she look familiar to you at all?"
"I... I don't know," Ruby stammered. "She was wearing a mask, and she never said anything to me. But I know she fought with glass. I don't think that was her Semblance, though. Her clothing lit up whenever she attacked."
"If I might butt in here," Redbreath said, temporarily putting aside the Coffee-Lifestyle Choices dilemma. "She seemed incredibly powerful. Not only was she able to survive my… err… my semblance, but she was able to stand up and attack the General, at speeds that even I would have trouble topping. On top of that, she survived a jump out of a 30 story building. Even I would think twice about that."
Glynda fiddled with her riding crop. "Save for the glass and window jumping, that sounds like the woman I fought the night we met Ruby.
Ironwood waved it off. "Embedding Dust into clothing is an age-old technique. It could have been anyone."
"Wait." Ruby was coming to her own conclusions. "You think this girl is connected to Torchwick and the White Fang?
"It's possible." Ozpin conceded. "But we still lack the required evidence to link the two together."
The look on Ruby's face was downright crafty now. "Actually, I think I remember her saying something about a hideout, or something, in the southeast. Just outside the Kingdom."
Redbreath made a strange, confused noise. Ozpin, on the other hand, just raised an eyebrow slightly. "Interesting."
Glynda looked skeptical. "I thought you said the intruder never—"
But Ozpin interrupted her. "Thank you for your cooperation, Ruby. Why don't you go and spend some time with your team? You have a big day ahead of you."
Ruby turned to leave. "Any time."
"And Miss Rose, please try and be ... discreet about this matter."
Redbreath started to turn as well, but Ozpin stopped him. "Finn… a word, if you will."
Finn straightened. "Of course."
They waited until Ruby had stepped into the elevator and the door had closed behind her before starting. The moment she was gone, Finn walked forward and placed his hands on the desk, staring resolutely into Ozpin's eyes. "All right Ozpin, What's going on? I've been here for three years now, and this has never happened before now. Who was she, and what was she doing?"
Ozpin sighed again. "Finn… what fairytales do they have where you come from?"
"Huh?" That seemingly random question threw off the Breton's focus. "W-what do you mean?"
"Fairytales. Folk stories. Legends about the world. Surely there must be some?"
Redbreath thought for a moment. "Well… there are heaps. There's… the story of Miraak the Traitor, the Tale of the Tongues, Alduin the world- devourer." He paused for a moment and then added beneath his breath, "The Last Dragonborn." He looked up again. "Why do you ask? What have legends got to do with anything?"
Ozpin took another sip from his cup, and then placed the mug down, with a quiet clink. "Many things in this world are not as they seem, and sometimes, those things that we believe to be false, are actually true. Think on that for a while. I will explain properly after the first years have completed their missions. I believe that you volunteered to lead one personally, correct?"
"Yes, of course. I will wait. But I expect an explanation Ozpin, one way or another." With that said, he turned and marched off to the elevator, the doors closing with a soft ding behind him.
"That man is going to be the death of me someday," Glynda remarked. "Are you sure that telling him is a good idea?"
"I have nothing but faith in him. If we are to involve him, we must start to trust each other, no matter our differences."
Ironwood entered the conversation again. "If you're willing to trust him, then so am I. But we already have another problem."
"And just what do you suggest we do about it then James?"
Ironwood's response was upfront. "We send as many troops as we can to the southeast, find out exactly what's going on, and eradicate any forces that stand in our way."
Glynda growled in frustration. "Why must your answer to everything involve a triumphant display of military bravado!? You treat every situation like a contest of measuring di—!"
"Glynda!" Ozpin interrupted his friend before she could finish swearing.
Glynda crossed her arms. "Well, he does."
"She's right." Ozpin said. "As much as I too would love to end this situation once and for all, we must remember that this may go beyond Vale. Beyond Beacon." The grey-haired headmaster paused. "And if this truly is part of some master plan for which we know not the final move, we mustn't be so bold. Nor can we risk the spread of panic."
"I have served you faithfully for years..." Ironwood began. "But if you mean to tell me that your plan is to hold the defenses, and wait—!"
Ozpin rose out of his chair. "It is not! You're a general, James. So tell me, when you prepare to go to war, which do you send in first? The flag bearers, or the scouts?"
Redbreath walked down the hall to his office, grumbling as he did so. He was not a patient man, and waiting did not suit him. That was one of the reasons why he was such an avid explorer, roaming the wilds of Skyrim, and before that, High Rock.
After the threats posed by Alduin, Harkon and Miraak were taken care of, he had left Skyrim and gone south, where there were new places to see. He visited the Imperial City in Cyrodiil, before wandering south to Elsweyr. He even braved the swamps of Black Marsh, the homeland of the Argonians, spending several weeks slogging through waste high water and battling the giant monsters that called the province home, before he gave up and returned to Cyrodiil.
Still grumbling, he opened the door to his room and walked in. The staff quarters were slightly larger than the student dormitories, which suited him fine. The room was decorated in Nordic style, inspired by his travels in Skyrim. Several bookshelves were propped up against the wall on the left-hand side of the room, next to a large wooden desk that overflowed with large reams of paper and other writing materials. There were also some display cases, where he kept several valuable and dangerous items.
As he walked over to them, he could see items held within. The one on the right contained one of his three elder scrolls, the scroll of blood. The middle case stored a Black Book, a mysterious book that, when read, transports the reader to Hermaeus Mora's realm of oblivion, Apocrypha. The final case contained possibly the most dangerous item on Remnant: The Wabbajack. The staff had been given to him by none other than Sheogorath, the deadric prince of madness, and he didn't trust himself to touch it. Who knows what would happen if he were to take it out of its case, especially after last time…
The back wall had several weapons racks attached, with an armour mannequin beside it. The mannequin had the Armour of Ahzidal strapped to it. The Dragonborn took a moment to gaze at the ancient armour. He didn't wear it nearly enough, often choosing to wear his Arch mage robes whenever he was teaching.
Then his gaze turned to the right side of the room. A straw bed sat in the corner, next to a wardrobe. At the foot was a wooden chest filled with various mementos, small weapons and other assorted items. A door in the wall led out to a small balcony, with a small table and two chairs, should he ever have company.
He walked over to the chest and started to take out what he would need. Ozpin had been correct, he had volunteered to lead a group of First-years on their first mission, and he had a sneaking suspicion which team he would end up leading.
With that in mind, he began to pack, taking everything he would need. He packed a large bear pelt to sleep in, correctly assuming that there would not be beds in the wild. He packed several other essentials, including Azura's Star, the magic soul gem he had been given by the deadric prince. As he was pulling his hand out, his fingers brushed something made of fabric. He felt around, ignoring the several pointy things that poked him, then grabbed whatever it was and pulled it out. It was the Shadow Cloak of Nocturnal, the mystical cloth he had been given by Nocturnal when he became one of her Nightingales. That could be useful.
He raised his head when he heard an announcement over the loudspeaker. "Would all first-year students please report to the amphitheater?" That was his cue to leave. Turning to go, his eyes roved over the Armour of Ahzidal once again, and he had an idea. "Hmmm… well, it was been a while…"
Team RWBY stood in the schools amphitheater, watching as Ozpin stepped away from the microphone, having given his customary Pre-mission speech.
"This is perfect!" Ruby said. "All we have to do is shadow a Huntsman working in the southeast!"
"Yeah!" Yang pumped her fist. "We'll follow them around by day and give them the slip by night!"
Weiss had an idea. "Let's check 'search and destroy'!"
Team RWBY approached the wall of screens and looked at the options before seeing one.
"Here we go! Quadrant 5 needs Grimm cleared out!"
"Well, it's in the southeast." Blake said.
"Sounds perfect!" Yang agreed.
Ruby selected it and typed in the team's name. However, they quickly ran into their first problem. A message flashed onto the screen. 'Mission Unavailable to first year students.'
"Wonderful!" Weiss said with no amount of sarcasm.
"Any other ideas?"
Ruby thought for a moment. "We mail ourselves there!"
"Well, that's one option." Team RWBY looked to the right, startled. Where a few seconds ago there was no one there, the space was suddenly occupied by none other than Ozpin himself. "Unfortunately, we determined that the concentration of Grimm was too extreme for first-year students. It seems that particular region is rather popular. In fact, I have the sneaking suspicion that you four will make your way there no matter which job you choose."
Weiss, Blake, and Yang turned to glare at Ruby, who nervously rubbed her head. "Whatever makes you say that?"
Ozpin continued his tirade. "I'm still curious how you all found yourself at the docks last semester. I'm interested to know how you really learned about a hideout in the southeast. And I certainly wonder why witnesses reported seeing robots and rose petals in a dance club some time ago."
The scarlet-clad huntress had no answer for this. "Um... well..."
"I doubt I'll ever find the exact answers I'm looking for. So how about this: instead of waiting for you all to break the rules, why don't we just bend them?"
Ozpin pressed some buttons on his scroll, and the hologram screen made a noise.
Team RWBY looked at each other, excited, then Ruby faced Ozpin again. "We won't let you down. Thank you, professor."
Ozpin shook his head. "Do not thank me for this. Teamwork and persistence have carried you far. But you must understand, the things that await you beyond the protection of the Kingdom will not care. Because this mission is so dangerous, we will be assigning two Huntsmen to you, instead of one. Stay close to them at all times, and do exactly as they say. They will be leading you on this mission, and they can have you sent back to Beacon, if they find your skills to be unsatisfactory. Good luck." With this he walked away.
Team RWBY left the auditorium somewhat disheartened. Yang was the first one to speak. "That wasn't exactly uplifting."
"But it's the truth." Blake pointed out.
"It's gonna to be tough, but I know we can do it!"
A second year student ran past the team, interrupting there conversation. "Hey! Team CFVY is back!"
Beacon students started to gather around to witness the return of Team CFVY. Blake walked up to the rabbit-eared Velvet Scarlatina, obviously worried for her fellow faunus. "Velvet? Are you okay?"
The faunus nodded. "I'm fine. I had Yatsuhashi to look out for me."
"Your mission was supposed to end a week ago!" Weiss exclaimed. "What happened?"
Velvet shook her head. "Nothing happened. It was just ... there were just so many..."she looked up and noticed Team RWBY's worried expressions. "Oh, but don't worry. You first-years are just shadowing Huntsmen, so you should be fine." She assured.
Velvet looked back at her team. "I should go. Be safe, okay?"
"We can do this." Ruby said, her voice regaining her confidence. "We've never backed down before, and we're not going to start now."
"Besides, it won't only be us out there!" Ruby continued excitedly. "We'll be fighting alongside not one but two genuine Huntsmen!
As they walked over to the landing pads, Ruby could hardly contain her excitement. "Ohhh…! This is gonna be sooo awesome!"
It sooo wasn't.
"Why, hello girls!" Doctor Oobleck said. "Who's ready to fight for their lives?"
A.N: This is the part where i would normally answer reviews... except this time, i didn't get any. If I can't get input on what i'm writing, i won't be able to know what you want. Send me anything, praise, criticism, scathing insults (especially that last one, i need a good laugh.) anything is welcome.
Thanks for bearing with me on this long wait, and as usual, if you see any mistakes, let me know. I am but a mortal man, and I can't always be perfect.
'Til next time.