"This is the oath of a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table and should be for all of us to take to heart. I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth, I will never boast, but cherish humility instead, I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word, I will defend those who cannot defend themselves, I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises, I will uphold justice by being fair to all, I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship, I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them, I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help, I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven, I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward."
RWBY: The Excalibur Chronicles
Book 1: Hunters of the Realm
Beacon Academy Records… Access Granted…
SEARCH: Team JNPR
Team J.N.P.R. code name: "Juniper"
Semblance unknown… shown great Aura control…
Semblance: Electrical channeling through muscle tissue
Semblance: Protective Shielding
"Very interesting …" a man rubbed his beard as he studied the screen, watching video footage of Team JNPR's missions and training. After a moment, he turned to another monitor and began reading reports from his two infiltrators. "Very interesting indeed…"
Notation by Professor Ozpin: Team JNPR, while unorthodox, has proven to be one of the greatest first-year teams in generations. Mr. Arc has proven a great choice in leadership, and while initially lacking in combat skills, he has shown himself a strategic genius, and with tutoring by Ms. Nikos and Mr. Lie, as well as Ms. Valkyrie's… highly chaotic style of combat, they have become a viable group of Huntsmen and Huntresses, making them particularly notable to represent Beacon at the Tournament. An additional note, they have shown incredible teamwork and synergy with the top team of the year, Team RWBY. I look forward to seeing these two groups grow together and individually…
SEARCH: Team RWBY
Team: R.W.B.Y. Codenamed: "Ruby"
Yang Xiao Long
Semblance: Kinetic Energy Absorption and Redistribution
Semblance: Shadow Clone
Semblance: Glyphs Mysticism and Summoning
Semblance: Enhanced Speed
"Rose… Xiao Long… Schnee…" the man ran his hand over his beard. "What are you up to, Ozpin…"
He pressed a few keys to pull up the team notation and narrowed his eyes.
Notation by Professor Ozpin… Access Denied…
"Ozpin…" He pressed a few more keys, and the security blocks fell away.
Notation by Professor Ozpin: "Red like roses fills my dreams and brings me to the place you rest. White is cold and always yearning, burdened by a royal test. Black the Beast descends from shadows. Yellow Beauty burns gold…"
"Summer's last words… but what do they mean…" The man's eyes narrowed, "What have you learned, Ozpin? What are you keeping from us?"
Jaune Arc smiled brightly with his dress swaying around his hips as he spun the beautiful redhead before him. Her laughter was very contagious, and as they danced across the empty floor, they really didn't care that almost everyone had left.
Music continued the blare, though the sound of Yang's snoring was slightly louder.
They came back together, bodies almost fully touching as they swayed to the music. Pyrrha Nikos glanced up at him, and green eyes locked with blue. Faces slowly grew closer before the music suddenly stopped.
"While I'm utterly thrilled that you two have had such a good time," Weiss Schnee interrupted, standing by the stereo, "it's Two in the Freaking Morning! And WE still have to clean this up, right, Yang, Blake?" she glanced to where Yang Xiao Long sat with her head lolled back snoring loudly. Blake Belladonna sat beside her, head resting on the blonde's shoulder purring slightly in her sleep. "WAKE UP!"
Blake jerked away from Yang and fell to the floor as the blonde shot to her feet with her fists held before her, looking around for any attackers.
"Alright! You two, start tearing down the decorations!" Weiss pointed to Blake and Yang then turned to Jaune and Pyrrha, "And you two, get out of here, and for God's sake, Jaune, lose the dress! It clashes with your hair and you look like an absolute DINGUS!" She said, causing Jaune to flush.
"You're just jealous because he has better legs!" Pyrrha playfully replied as she took his hand and moved quickly for the exit of the ballroom, ignoring the eye-roll she got from her silver-haired friend.
"Have fun, you two! But not TOO MUCH fun!" Yang called after them as the two left the room.
The two made their way to the dorms giggling like kids. As they rounded the corner, Jaune saw a familiar face he hadn't seen in over a year standing at the end of the hall. The man gave Jaune a wink before walking around the corner.
"Jaune?" Pyrrha asked, noticing his distraction.
"Yeah?" Jaune smiled at the redhead at his side.
"So… we're at the dorm… Nora and Ren are probably asleep…" Pyrrha said, glancing shyly toward the door.
"Yeah, so probably be quiet when we go in…" Jaune nodded.
"Jaune…" Pyrrha spoke up again in an unusually quiet voice.
"Pyrrha…" Jaune gulped when he looked into her eyes and noticed they were a bit darker and deeper than what he was used to. "I…" he gulped audibly, "I better go back and get my suit… you go on to bed, and um… breakfast comes early and all that… uh…"
"Right…" She gave a disappointed look but still moved in, wrapping her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his cheek. "Thank you, Jaune…"
"For what?" Jaune asked, dazed from the sudden kiss.
Pyrrha just gave him an odd smile he had never seen before; then, she reached up and touched his forehead with her fore and middle fingers, and only responded with "Boop."
Pyrrha turned and made her way to their dorm room door, adding a little more sway to her hips than normal. She slowly opened the door part way, giving Jaune one last longing smile before sliding inside. Jaune released the breath he didn't even know he was holding before turning and approaching where he had seen his old friend disappear.
Pyrrha sighed in disappointment as she entered the room but blinked when the lights came on brightly.
"Nora!" Ren yelled from his bed.
"REN, HEADPHONES ON!" Nora snapped, then turned to Pyrrha, "Girl talk time…"
"Nora?" Pyrrha blinked.
"Number one: Boop is my thing. You do not boop unless you ask my permission before booping," Nora said, seriously as she sat against the wall on her bed, staring at her muc- taller teammate, "And number two: you and Jaune, tell me EVERYTHING!"
While Nora grilled Pyrrah, Jaune rounded the corner of the hallway. "Lance?" He yelped when a hand slapped him in the back of the head, "Ouch! What was that for?" Jaune asked, rubbing the back of his head.
"For not having sex right now, Brat!" the tall man known as 'Lance' crossed his arms and looked disapprovingly
"What are you talking about?" Jaune shook his head.
"If a guy can get a girl to look at him like she was looking at you," Lance pointed out, "while wearing a cheap, ugly dress and sneakers…" He shook his head, "Kid, she was practically begging you to come and get it!"
"Pyrrha isn't like that…" Jaune shook his head again, only to earn another smack up the side of it. "Stop it!"
"I'll stop it when you stop being a dummy," Lance shook his head, then ran his hand through his slightly long, jet black hair. "I can't believe I'm having to explain this… wait, yes, I can; you are your father's son…" Lance placed his hands on his shoulders, "That girl has fallen hard. It wouldn't be the first time two hunter partners of opposite sex have fallen in love." Jaune blushed and glanced away, "Or at least knocked boots. More often than not it's just knocking boots, but Kid, she wanted in that pretty little skirt of yours."
"I really doubt you came all the way from home to critique my love life…" Jaune grumbled, "What do you want?"
"Your dad knows you're here," Lance stated, and Jaune's eyes widened, "He's seen that Team JNPR is going to be entered in the Vytal Festival Tournament… and he's also seen that you suck."
Jaune frowned, but Lance continued, "Well, he's seen that your strategic ability outweighs your lack of combat skill, yet your teammates - particularly that redheaded amazon who wants your babies, the ninja, and the crazy little girl with the big-ass hammer - make up for it, but I saw the video. You suck.
"So, I decided to take some time off to come and help you out a little," Lance smirked, "Nikos has helped you a lot, but you're still needing refinement. I want to see you and your friends kick ass and win, so grab your gear and meet me on the roof in fifteen. Don't expect much sleep tonight, Kid." Lance then winked at the annoyed look on Jaune's face, "Hey, next time, don't be bleeding oblivious around women. Guarantee you'll catch more z's with her than you will after I'm done."
- EC -
The following morning, Pyrrha woke up with the sun. She stretched her arms over her head and blinked in surprised when she found Jaune face down on his still-made bed, still in his armor, jeans and hoody. She frowned as she slid out of bed and moved to his side. With a gentle hand, she lifted his legs off the ground and rolled him onto his back. With practiced ease, she removed his shoes and his sword belt, placing Crocea Mors on his sword rack. She reset his alarm clock, giving him a little bit longer to sleep and then went about getting ready for her morning jog before breakfast.
After her two-mile run, she returned to find her teammates already gone, and after a quick shower, found them at a table in the cafeteria. She frowned as she watched Jaune stiffly move as he ate his breakfast. "What's wrong, Jaune?"
"He ain't talking, done tried asking," Nora stated, stuffing pancakes into her mouth before flicking a tater tot at the back of Yang's head at the next table.
"Nor is he explaining the new bruises on his back and arms," Ren stated, gaining a glare from Jaune.
"Bruises?" Pyrrha gave him a hard stare.
"It's nothing…" Jaune said, stiffly rubbing the back of his head.
"Jaune, we've talked about you keeping secrets like this. The last time something like this..." She paused as she instantly remembered their first year, and her eyes darkened as she turned to glare at Cardin Winchester across the cafeteria. She wordlessly stood to her feet and walked toward their classmate as her teammates watched in confusion.
"Pyrrha?" Nora asked.
"One second, I need to break someone's legs." Pyrrha growled, and Jaune struggled to get up to follow.
Before Jaune could catch up to the redhead, she jerked Cardin around and lifted him off the ground by the neck. "NIKOS!?" Cardin coughed as Jaune touched her shoulder.
"Pyrrha! Pyrrha! He didn't do anything!" Jaune cried in the bully's defense, "He didn't do anything… this time…"
"Then how …" Pyrrha turned her eyes on her partner without losing her grip on the struggling Cardin.
"I had to burn off some steam last night, so I went for some training and took a few hits," Jaune explained. "It wasn't what you're thinking, and it definitely wasn't Cardin!"
"I'm sorry," Pyrrha said, unconvincingly as she dropped the knight to the ground. "But why are you so secretive about this…" she asked as she turned her back on Cardin to question Jaune.
Cardin in anger reached up and tried to throw a punch toward Pyrrha's back, but to his surprise, a hand easily caught it. "Well, now, isn't this an interesting thing," said a young voice. A smirk crossed the owner's face as he spoke, an Irish lilt decorating his words. He was dressed in a black and gold trimmed waistcoat with a dark tank top and white slacks under, a black and gold bandanna over his dark red hair. "Ye look like a knight, ye dress like a knight, but ye certainly don't act like a knight. Or am I mistaken? Are ye a knight, throwin' punches at people with their backs turned?"
"Can't you see this armor?" Cardin growled, throwing a punch at the young man, who effortlessly ducked it. "My family is a long line of Knights!"
"Oh yeah? Who's ye kin?" The young man smiled dodging each attack with his hands folded behind his waistcoat.
"There are no more mighty knights than the Winchesters, and I am the next in line for the greatness of my family name!" Cardin said proudly but frowned when the young man started laughing loudly and then slapped him hard across the face when he came at him for laughing. "Did you just slap me?!"
"I did. Weird, right? And the WINCHESTERS?" The young man asked, "Yeah, I know the name; me pop and his friends used them for cannon fodder. Best they could be. Never could uphold the Code, those Winchesters…" he then looked thoughtful, "Well, Sir Samuel and Sir Dean come close, but they're still kinda jerks."
"But do ye stand for the Code?" the youth said, before moving to slap Cardin hard across the face. "Do ye dedicate ye life to the greater good?" He began to punch Cardin in every weak place in his armor. "Do ye place character above riches? Do ye put others before yourself? Do ye cherish humility over boastfulness? Do ye always keep ye word forever? Do ye defend those who cannot defend themselves? Do ye honor and respect women, refuting all sexism in any and all its faces? Do ye uphold justice by being fair to all, forever faithful in love and loyal in friendship?" Cardin fell back on the table and the boy pinned him by the shoulders, "Do ye avoid all scandals and gossip? Always being generous to the poor, and always forgive when asked of it? Do ye live a life of honor and courtesy?" he then flipped him sending him tumbling to the floor, "Ah, I kinda doubt it."
"And there went my subtle entrance, didn't it?" He smiled before he turned toward Jaune and Pyrrha, who had been joined by Ren and Nora as well as Team RWBY. "You…"
"Why are you here?" Jaune asked as the two stared hard into each other's eyes.
"I hear Vale is nice this time of year," the young man shrugged and rose up to the same height as Jaune. "Great food, beautiful women, and a best friend who has been slacking on his writing."
"Well, that best friend may have been busy with school and training," Jaune growled as his friends and the rest of the students all stood awkwardly around the two.
"Well, that's a piss poor excuse, innit?" the boy snorted.
"Not as piss poor as your fashion sense," Jaune replied.
"Jaune!" Pyrrha hissed.
"Says the guy in a Pumpkin Pete hoodie," the boy replied. And the two dropped into silence before embracing and laughing heartedly.
"Ah, ye big goof, I've missed ye!" The youth said, as the two hugged.
"I've missed you, too, but would you please drop that stupid accent," Jaune replied.
"What accent? Ye making fun of the way me mam talks?" the teen replied.
"I'd never do that, but I would make fun of the way you fake it horribly," Jaune crossed his arms as they stepped away from each other.
"Yeah, ok, it might have been over the top, but it helps me beat up idiots if I channel mom," He said, his accent dropping instantly.
"Guys, this is my best friend since I was a kid, Galahad," Jaune introduced.
"Some best friend," Galahad replied, "You left me alone with those seven psychotic sisters…" He said before turning to Ruby, kneeling slightly and taking her hand. "My friends call me Gal, and you must be the lovely lady Pyrrha," He said, kissing her knuckle and earning a glare from Weiss and Yang.
"Actually, Gal, that's Ruby." Jaune said, motioning toward his partner. "This is Pyrrah."
"Ah, I see," He nodded, doing the same to Pyrrha. "She's tall… you are quite tall, Lady Pyrrha; Jaune never mentioned it, but I can say he very accurately described your incredible beauty. As are all your friends… Ruby was it?" He said, giving Ruby a wink, causing a flush to cross her cheeks, and the glare from Yang and Weiss to intensify.
"Not that I'm complaining, but why are you here?" Jaune asked.
"Come to see you before and get arrangements to see you compete in the Vytal Tournament," Gal replied, then added warningly, "Just like the rest of your family."
"The rest of my what?" Jaune paled, just as the doors burst open and Velvet ran into the cafeteria.
"THE ROYAL FAMILY AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE ARE HERE!" Velvet screamed, "COCO, MAKE ME BEAUTIFUL FAST!" She said, grabbing her team leader frantically.
"Oh… oh, no…" Jaune breathed, as the horns of the royal guard sounded just outside the cafeteria.
"Question, bud," Gal asked in a whisper, "You HAVE told your friends your royal, yes?"
Just then Winter Schnee burst in and made a beeline for her sister. "Oh, my God, why are you in a SCHOOL UNIFORM?!" Winter exclaimed, "You are a SCHNEE! And if the Royal Family is here, the Crown Prince has to be here too, and he's single! C'MON!" she said, making adjustments to the still-shocked Weiss's hair. "It'll have to do… hurry! KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT!" she said as the students spilled out of the cafeteria, except Jaune with Gal slowly moving himself.
Jaune looked up to see the banners and shield bearers of the Knights approach on horseback in their full battle armor. And in the rear, in a massive, horse-drawn throne were the King and Queen sitting high above, looking very regal with his greyish-blond hair and gold regal armor, and her armored white gold dress with flowing cherry-red hair, both beaming radiant smiles. And just below them were eight thrones, seven of which occupied by girls, and one in the center vacant. "All HAIL KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON OF CAMELOT, FIRST OF HIS NAME, RULER OF THE FOUR KINGDOMS, DEFENDER OF THE REALM, LEADER OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, AND HIGH HUNTER OF GRIMM! ALL HAIL QUEEN GUINEVERE THE GRACEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL, IRON PROTECTRESS OF THE REALM! ALL HAIL THE ROYAL PRINCESSES!" the crier exclaimed before the group, "ALL HAIL THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE! ALL HAIL THE KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE! THE HUNTSMEN OF HUNTSMEN!"
Jaune looked up and locked eyes with the queen. He paled instantly. "Oh… oh, no…"
"There…" the Queen smiled brightly, "THERE HE IS!" she jumped from the throne, cleared her daughters and hit the ground in a dead run, holding up her dress. "MY BABY BOY!"
The Queen quickly embraced Jaune, making him squeak as she pulled his face to her chest, "My little baby boy! I've missed you so much! I can't believe you've done so well, and with antique weapons no less; why didn't you take my warhammer? Mjolnir would have served you much better than your grandfather's Crocea Mors! And this armor is so outdated… what were you thinking, young man? You worried your mother sick!" She finished, giving him a round thwack across the back of the head.
"Jaune's mom is the Queen?" Ruby asked standing between Pyrrha and Weiss. "Doesn't that make him a prince?" Ruby asked, "Prince Jaune does sound pretty cool… Right, Weiss? ... Weiss?"
Weiss' eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she collapsed on the ground at Ruby's feet.
To Be Continued…