A Very Branwen Drunken Marriage Chapter 6
A New 2nd hand?!
10 hours later… Beacon Academy top floor, Ozpin's office.
Jaune awakens to find himself in a bed not his own, surrounded by clocks. He groans as he gets up, his chest throbbing with pain. He coughs violently in response. Most of his chest is wrapped tightly in bandages.
"Well back to the land of the living Mr. Arc! Are you feeling any better?" Ozpin asks as he sits in a nearby chair.
"Not really" Jaune replies hoarsely.
"Pity" Ozpin replies as he sips his coffee, that cup of his seemingly almost never leaving his hands.
Jaune, barely able to stand, sits in a chair nearby. "I have some questions for you professor" he says to the grey-haired professor opposite in the chair ahead of him.
"Then ask" is his reply.
"Did you know that my great grandfather was the king of Vale? Do my parents know?" Jaune asks. Ozpin sighs in response.
"Raven told you didn't she? Yes I know. I've been privy to that information since before I was the headmaster here. And of course your parents know! Why wouldn't they? It's their heritage" Ozpin replies.
"Then why did no one tell me?" Jaune asks, clearly annoyed.
"I do not know the answer to that Mr Arc. Perhaps your parents didn't feel you were ready for such a revelation. Despite this I do see you are taking it well" Ozpin says.
"Eh. It's just my ancestors, yeah they're a part of me and I'm more proud than ever to carry the Arc name, but I make my own way. It doesn't define me. I define me" he replies.
"I couldn't have said it better myself Arc" Raven says as she loiters in the doorway.
"Raven!" Jaune exclaims standing straight up, almost immediately starting to sweat and feeling nauseous from the effort. "Arc, you have your mask?"
"Uh…" Jaune looks around the room in a panic and sees it on a headboard. He grabs it immediately. "Yeah!"
"Mr. Arc, are you sure you want to go out this evening? Your injuries are quite severe" Ozpin says with concern.
"Tch, oh please Oz he's an Arc they don't bend or break at any challenge, do they, Jaune?" Raven says with her brow raised, crimson eyes challenging him and sizing him up with that intense stare of hers. She is seemingly staring into his soul, probing for any give, fear or doubt in his mind.
Jaune blinks once then says "professor, I'm going. And before you ask I'll be fine. Afterall I have this gorgeous old bird watching my back" Jaune says with a strained, but still confident smile as he struggles to get his shirt on.
"I Don't have my chestplate or my gauntlets here…" Jaune says.
"I took them, that plate didn't protect enough anyways, and the gauntlets are second-rate as well, ill-suited for one of your status. I'm having them being worked on at camp" Raven replies.
Now Jaune is actually concerned, but he says nothing as he puts on the mask and takes his weapon from Ravens' hands.
As Raven opens her portal and Jaune walks through Ozpin says "Raven take care of him, he may mean even more than you know".
"Noted old man" is her reply before she walks through closing her portal behind her, leaving Ozpin alone with his thoughts once again.
Jaune enters the camp first, Raven following close behind. For the most part the camp is unoccupied, everyone accept for a tanned longhaired red headed man with a Grimm King taiju mask without eyeholes or slots. He's wearing no shirt, instead replaced with a bronze chest-plate, arms bare with bronze greaves around his wrists and wearing black track pants and steel-toed boots. On his belt is holstered two bronze-plated pistols with bronze blades at the ends. "Raven, where is everyone?"
"Various assignments. Raids. Watching Beacon. Watching and guarding Yang and her team from afar, working on your armour" Raven says nonchalantly.
"But enough about everyone else, I'd like to introduce you to your partner for the job of the evening. Meet the former Pride of Haven himself, Patralkos Nikos" Raven says, hand extended at the young man.
"Wait… Nikos? You mean to tell me?-" Jaune is trying to say.
"Yes Jaune, your partner for the evening is the older brother of your partner and the former Titan of Haven in the flesh" Raven states.
"Oh-oh! Nice to meet you man!" Jaune says enthusiastically, grabbing Patralkos' hand. "Guess that explains the Nikos family Emblem on his belt buckle as well"
"Hmmm… jury's still out for me. I'm still reserving my judgement because Raven and my sister see something I don't currently" Patralkos replies in a rough, but neutral tone.
"Oh, that's cool. I get it. You're her big brother, gotta have standards right?" Jaune says to him. Silence is his only response as Patralkos walks away.
Jaune runs ahead of him following Raven doing his best to give off an aura of confidence and authority. He seethes in annoyance at this latest sudden bomb drop by his new spouse. "Just how long am I going am I going to be your jester Raven?" Jaune thinks to himself.
They all walk into a tent together, where a map and a handgun on a table lit by headlamps is waiting. Raven walks to the back, and Patralkos takes the left side of the table. Jaune leans in forward facing directly in front of Raven.
He looks downward at the map. "So what am I looking for?" Jaune asks. Raven moves her left hand and points to a rail line on the map. "There. In an hour an train carrying ammunition, food and dust for the huge "security force" Jimmy Ironwood has gathered for the Vytal Festival will come near here. We are going to raid it and take everything within by force" Raven says.
"And by "we" I mean you and Patralkos. I will be nearby watching and waiting. I will however intervene on your behalf if I feel either of you have gotten into a situation you can no longer handle by yourselves" Raven states matter-of-factly. "But why? Are we prepping for a war or something?" Jaune asks.
"Yes Arc, we in fact are in fact arming ourselves for a war. I believe it's time you know the whole truth" Raven says in a very serious tone. Jaune listens intently.
"Have you wondered why the Grimm attack Humanity with such ferocity when there's far easier prey in the world? Have you ever considered the idea that something, SOMEONE is controlling them and leading them down their path?" Raven says as she takes off her helmet so she can look Jaune eye to eye as she continues.
"Y-you mean?" Jaune tries to say, but is cut off by Raven. "Yes Jaune, the Grimm have a leader. Her name is Salem. She is the true enemy of every Huntsman and Huntress, and of humanity" Raven says with finality.
"Ozpin knows" Jaune says, blurting it out as things start to click together in his head. "Of course he knows! Who the hell do you think I learned this from?" Raven replies. Jaune's fists clench in Anger. "Who else? Who else knows? And how much do you know about this "Salem"?"
Raven smiles as she puts on the mask. "You have a lot of questions, good. Who else? Too my Knowledge Only Ozpin, myself, Qrow, Tai, Glynda Goodwitch, James Ironwood, Lionheart, formerly Summer Rose, the Maidens and my hands Shara and Dusty know of Salem's existence. As for the Grimm witch herself, I don't know much. Only that she has a lot of connections everywhere. She takes advantage of the downtrodden, desperate, depraved, ambitious and power-hungry, promising them quick solutions to whatever problems they may have in exchange for life long service and loyalty".
Jaune isn't the only one in the room who looks shocked. Patralkos is absolutely stunned at this information and trying his best to look composed. "Now you and Mr. Nikos are among the privileged few who know the truth about the real fight in remnant" Raven says.
"As such, Patralkos I'm promoting you to be Jaune's right hand, effective immediately" Raven orders. "What?" Patralkos asks dumb struck. "You heard me, as of right now you are Jaune's bodyguard, second in command, spymaster, general, training partner, assassin… whatever Jaune needs you will be it. He should've been anyway the minute we were married, but semantics and whatnot" Raven says.
Patralkos glares at Jaune, then Raven, and snarls as he leaves as he leaves the tent. "Raven I appreciate the offer, but it's obvious Patralkos is not happy with this, and honestly it's kinda sudden for me too. Besides I have a right, left, and an extra left back at beacon. Their names are Pyrrha Nikos, Li Ren, and Nora Valkyrie, in case you forgot my team existed" Jaune says, practically spitting in her face at the end.
"Oh I haven't forgotten, but they don't know How will they react when you tell them?" Raven asks. She has him at that. He doesn't know how his team will react. Will they believe him? Will they stay loyal? Does he even know which side HE'S on right now? All these questions and doubts are pissing him off when they just used to depress him.
He's about to leave the tent when Raven tosses him the pistol and a belt with a few ammo clips in it. "Mistral special forces 9.5mm magnum it packs some decent punch, easy to fire and reload. Patralkos has experience with such a firearm, he'll show you exactly how to use it" Raven says.
Jaune sees the safety almost immediately however and clicks it off. He actually considers turning around and shooting in her in the head with it, but ultimately decides that's futile. She can turn into a crow afterall, and can likely kill him several times over.
He goes out to meet his hostile new Second instead. He's just standing there, seething. Jaune doesn't blame him. "Hey, Patralkos… before we head out, could you show me how to reload this?" Jaune asks him.
Patralkos turns around and says "Sure chief, might as well get used to taking your orders anyway, hand me the gun".
Jaune complies with his request. "Mistral spec ops Magnum… yea man I can see why Raven choose this gun for you. Okay, safety is just above the trigger-"
"Already discovered that" Jaune says.
"Okay, well slide's obviously on top, point and shoot" Patralkos states as he does so twice at a pair of nearby torches, blowing them both out, which is all the more impressive since his mask has no eye holes or slots. "He could give Ruby a run for her money" Jaune thinks to himself in awe.
He hands the gun back to Jaune, who puts it back in his holster. "Hey Patralkos?" Jaune says to the mysterious former champion of Haven Academy.
"Anything you wanna ask chief?" he says in reply. "Yeah, it's been bugging me ever since I first noticed. Why are you wearing a mask with no eye holes or slots? It must be hard to walk around if you can't see"
"Oh, that… well let's just say it has to do with my semblance. And what about my semblance you ask? Well, you'll find out soon, very soon" Patralkos replies in a sinister tone with a vicious grin on his face that is all teeth and no happy.
It sends chills down his spine. Jaune immediately calls out to his wife. Raven walks out of the tent and opens a portal. Jaune and Patralkos follow without a word to each other, and Jaune being a little closer to Raven than usual.
To be continued…
I apologize. This took way too long. I have been sick pretty much all summer. I have had severe muscle aches, pain and tension in my wrists and hands that have prevented me from writing on and off, but I finally got this done.
Next chapter we'll finally see Jaune's trial by Fire in Ravens' eyes.
Until then, GunMaster Out!