I got sassed today by my father for buying a box of expensive tea bags. £100 for 100 bags. He was absolutely gobsmacked at the fact I'd spent £1 on a bag of tea, calling me a millennial and useless with money. I asked him how much the costa coffee he had in his hand cost.
"About five quid. Why?"
He still didn't get it. Said something stupid about how it's different because he needs a coffee in the morning to actually get any work done. Oh sorry, I didn't realise I'm supposed to rely on photosynthesis. I suppose it's ironic that despite writing this story I totally don't understand how or why coffee culture is such a big thing.
Cover Art: Jack Wayne
The Vytal Festival had begun.
Jaune ran a cloth around the inside of a mug, eyes glued on the television he'd set up in the corner with Russel's help. It was playing a live feed from the stadium as Team RWBY fought their first match. He was on tenterhooks, almost dropping the mug whenever Ruby took a hit and whispering under his breath for her to get up. He'd never been into competitive sports or understood people who obsessively followed one team. It always sounded stupid.
Now, he could have strangled someone if they cheered for Ruby's opponents.
"Come on," he whispered. "Come on, Ruby. You can do this."
Blake used her weapon to knock hoverboard girl off. Reese, he recalled. He'd met her, but as nice as she'd been, she wasn't a regular and he cheered when she hit the ground. The ten or twelve people in the diner cheered too. Homefield advantage. Mugs rattled on tables and Jaune found his foot stamping along, making a running noise that ended in a roar of approval as Reese was knocked out of the fight.
With one down, the battle turned against the plucky team, who did their best but couldn't quite hold up to Team RWBY's teamwork. The moment they took control was a weight off his shoulders and the relief he felt was crushing. Tonight wouldn't be spent comforting a distraught Ruby. If anything, they'd be celebrating.
The match came to an end and the customers roared and clapped. He turned away, not because he didn't want to see it but because it was his job to serve, not stand glued to a TV. And with Russel and Velvet having their own fights, he was once again working on his own. Luckily, at least for his legs and not his bank account, there weren't many people here. Most were at the stadium to see the fights in person, so Jaune's was in a nostalgic look back on how things had been at the start, with few customers and more one-to-one service. His balance couldn't survive on that forever, but the two weeks of the Festival would be fine.
In the end, he'd decided not to try and do anything at the stadium. Ozpin offered him a stall – even the chance to be the barista in the VIP boxes. The latter had been less offered and more begged for when the alternative was instant coffee. Glynda dragged the man away before he could get down on his knees.
Would have been good profit to have a stand there, he thought, putting the overly clean mug away. A lot of thirsty people.
It wouldn't have been him, though. Jaune's was a brand that made its name on careful blends, excellent service and unique coffee. If he'd worked from a stall, he'd have had to have fewer options, and things would be too hectic to do any service. The money would have been there but not the allure, and he'd have had to close the diner down while he did. It just wasn't worth all the disruption. Café Prime could have it. He wasn't some soulless husk hungering for as much lien as possible.
"Tch." A gruff looking man with greying hair by the bar put his mug down with a clink. "That was a mess."
"Not you," he said, looking up with tired eyes. "Talkin' about the fight. Kids playing at being huntresses." He pulled out a hip flask and poured some clear alcohol into his drink. "They've got no idea what the real world is like."
"That's not exactly fair," Jaune said, coming to their defence. "They're in school. They're learning."
"But they're not ready." The man downed his now very alcoholic drink and let out a gasp after. "Not fast enough, anyway. You fight like that out there, you'll lose a teammate. That," he said, pointing to the screen, "was a mess."
"Well this isn't the outside world. Is it? It's a tournament in a school, which is meant for them to learn how to fight. Sure, there might be mistakes but that's normal. They're going to learn from them now so they don't lose anyone later."
The man was laughing. It was a rough and grating sound. "Someone's defensive. Got a crush on one of 'em?"
"I have a girlfriend. And no."
"Then why so angry at an old man's comments?"
"Because they're my friends and you're being rude." He'd never barred someone from the diner before, and it didn't feel right to do so over a little criticism, but he'd missed Team RWBY's victory analysis by the casters thanks to this. "Would you like another drink, sir?"
"Sure. Got any vodka?"
"No alcohol, sir."
"None?" He looked around, almost like he'd only just realised where he was. "Why not?"
"I don't have an alcohol license."
"Then give me something with a kick and I'll add my own."
I can give you my boot. Does that count? Jaune smiled past the thoughts and went to mix him something thick and murderously strong. It wouldn't kill but the man's taste buds would be tingling for the rest of the day. And hey, he was just fulfilling the order. This would have a whole lot of kick.
The TV was showing the roulette for a new fight now. It wasn't Pyrrha or Nora and Ren's teams, so he tuned out and focused on the task at hand, mixing some beans and grinding them up, then boiling the water. By the time he came back the cup was full of liquid that looked smooth and thick but had an undeniable something to it that drew the eye.
"It's glowing," the man said.
"It has a little dust in it. It's safe."
"You don't have a license for booze, but you do for dust cuisine? You realise that's harder to get."
"I didn't skip the alcohol license out of laziness, sir. We're not that kind of establishment."
"Heh." He poured some of his own drink in. "Suppose that's alright. Wouldn't want my nieces coming to a place like this if it served booze anyway."
"In Beacon," he said, grinning impishly and taking a sip. He coughed and put the drink down. "Shit, kid. What did you put in this? A grenade?"
"You asked for kick, sir."
"I did. Shit. This thing isn't going to grow legs and become a Beowolf, is it?" He hit his chest a few times and let out a whistle. "It tastes good, but it burns. My mouth is on fire. Is this torture? Hmm." He drank a little more, eyes watering. "Ah! Shit, shit, shit!"
His hands gripped the bar edge as he leaned back and scrunched up his entire face. A little sweat beaded across his skin, which was turning red. He shook violently, stool rattling under him. Finally, he lurched forward, gasping loudly and slumping onto the bar.
"Are you okay?" Jaune asked
The cup was pushed forward. "Another."
"Um. Are you sure that's a good idea?"
A wad of lien was slapped down. "Another please."
Well, he couldn't argue with politeness. He brewed another and pushed it forward, and this time the man drank it a little more slowly. He still had to stop to take some breaths, like a swimmer pausing to recover. The reaction was less violent, however. He'd have to remember that blend for later.
"So," Jaune said. "About your nieces. Are they competing in the tournament?"
"Going to support them?"
"Nah. They'll do well if they trained hard enough, or they won't if they didn't. And I'll not be there to support them in the field. Best they learn to look after themselves. Not like that, though." He nodded to the screen again. "This half-assed mess isn't what being a huntsman is really like. When are you going to fight in an arena half ice and half fire? You find a place like that and I think you've got bigger problems than Grimm. The apocalypse, for one."
Jaune snorted despite his efforts not to. Yeah, that arena had been a bit crazy. He was surprised it didn't benefit Weiss more, what with her using ice and all. Maybe they hadn't wanted to give away any of their tricks in the first round. Other teams would be watching, and you only had the one Semblance. Once it was known, you had to be at the disadvantage. Not like Ruby can really hide hers, but Blake and Yang kept theirs hidden.
"That doesn't mean you can't enjoy this," he said. "Even if it's not what it's really like out there."
"Oh, I get that this is entertainment. It's sport for the masses, the bloodthirsty crowds who see these kids as nothing more than animals. For a huntsman, it's a little harder to get behind it. There's a certain stigma on those who spend their time fighting tournaments."
"Really? What of…?"
"That they're not fighting Grimm. You train and you train to save lives and protect the Kingdoms, then you use your skills for wealth and fame." He sneered. "Not so much a problem at their age or younger, but you stay on the tournament scene after you graduate and you're not gonna have many friends among those out in the field."
That didn't count for Team RWBY then, or even Pyrrha. Their competitions were training for real fights. "Still not sure what you're bothered about then. This is just some casual fun."
"I suppose you wouldn't understand, kid. The world out beyond these walls. It's not as simple as life inside."
"I was nearly mauled to death by a Beowolf a few weeks ago. It almost tore my legs off."
The man stilled and looked at him again, properly. His eyes roamed up and down. Jaune had no idea what the man was looking for, but he appeared satisfied with what he found. He nodded once. "Guess so. And you're still alive. Not bad, kid. Not bad."
"I was saved by my girlfriend."
His smile became bitter. "Heh. Sounds like a keeper." He finished his drink. "Another."
"Would you like any lozenges to go with it?"
"What?" The man, for once, looked lost. "Why?"
"For your throat," Jaune said.
"There's nothing wrong with it."
"But your voice. It sounds like you're gargling marbles."
The huntsman's eye twitched. "That's my normal voice…"
"Oh." Jaune cringed. "Um… Sorry…?"
"Just fetch me another one of those drinks."
"We did it!"
"You did it!"
"We did it!"
"You did it!"
"Okay, enough of that." Yang, smiling herself, pried Ruby and Jaune apart. "Yeah, we did it. What did you expect? We're awesome. But I'm not listening to you two hash out the same line over and over."
"Yaaang. But we did it!"
"No." Weiss swatted Ruby's head. "Bad Ruby. Bad."
"You were awesome," Jaune said. "All of you. I watched it from here."
Ruby cheered and rattled off a few "did you see when" to him, which he answered in the positive each time. The other girls were just as pleased with the praise but far more reserved about it. It honestly felt strange for him to be more excited than Blake or Weiss were when they were the ones fighting, but he was just that excited.
They weren't the only ones. Pyrrha and Russel's team won, as did Velvet's and Cinder's. Sooner or later, he'd end up watching them fight one another and he had no idea which way he'd support it, but at least that hadn't happened in the first rounds. They wouldn't feel so bad if they lost later but no one wanted to be first team out. Russel and Velvet were busy celebrating in Beacon and hadn't come down, but Pyrrha was with the Malachite twins again, who were hyping her up and drawing out a few smiles and giggles from the normally reserved Pyrrha Nikos.
"Not bad," a gravelly voice like a bag of marbles said. "Not bad at all."
Ruby pushed herself off Jaune's chest so hard he almost flipped back over the counter. Yang caught him before he could. "Uncle Qrow!?"
"Hey squirt." The man from before – Qrow? – tipped his head.
"UNCLE QROW!" Ruby hit him like a missile. "Did you see my fight? Did you? Did you? Did you?"
Wait, Ruby and Yang were his nieces? What!? He'd done nothing but talk smack about them. They didn't even look anything alike. Definitely didn't sound similar. He must have been one of those distant uncles.
"Course," he said, lying through his teeth. Jaune glowered at him. He'd barely been paying attention at all. "I was watching from here. Few mistakes I saw here and there-"
"We were saving strategies," Yang said.
"Sure. And getting knocked on your ass was saving the strategy on how you'll stay on two feet for the next fight?"
"Ha. Sure." He drove a fist into the top of Ruby's head and rubbed it around. "Make sure you don't save them so long you get knocked out the tournament or I'll be holding that over your head for the next forty years."
"As if. We're going all the way to the top."
"Yeah? I'll believe that when I see it."
"Ugh. Ah!" Ruby dragged her head free and staggered back. "You will see," she said, echoing Yang's confidence. "We're going to kick butt. You can just sit back, watch and cheer for us."
Qrow snorted. "I don't cheer for anyone."
Jaune saw his chance.
"Really? But you were cheering really loudly before."
Qrow's mouth fell open, while Yang and Ruby turned to look at Jaune with wide eyes and huge smiles. "Really!?" Yang asked.
"Oh yeah." The lies flowed easily. "He was up on his feet shouting and cheering and slamming his mug around. You should have heard him. I think he even shouted `those are my nieces` at the top of his voice." Over the heads of the sisters he saw Qrow's absolutely disbelieving expression. Jaune grinned back. "He must really love you both. I've never seen someone so excited."
"Awww! Uncle Qrow!" Yang slid up and elbowed him in the side. "That's so sweet."
"Lies!" the man choked. "All lies!"
"He's shy!" Ruby giggled. "Oh wow, I never thought you'd be like that, Uncle Qrow."
"How adorable," Weiss remarked, hiding her smile.
"Cute," Blake agreed, her smirk saying she knew full well Jaune was lying out his ass.
Qrow grumbled and shot Jaune a quick glare before making some excuses for his nieces. He couldn't back down now without sounding like an idiot. That was what he got for saying insulting things about them. They were his favourite team. Russel and Pyrrha came in close second, and only because he didn't know their teammates.
"Are you going to come to the stadium tomorrow?" Weiss asked him.
Jaune shook his head. "I don't have tickets. And I wouldn't even if I did," he said before she could use her connections to push him in a VIP box. "Someone has to keep Jaune's open and I'm not great with crowds. Besides, I get a closer view of the action from the cameras. I really don't see the appeal of being crammed in with tens of thousands of screaming people barely able to see the fights taking place, either because they're so far away or because the person in front of my is six foot seven."
"You must be a hoot at cinemas," Yang drawled. "But yeah, I get it. Most people say it's for the atmosphere."
"Pretty good atmosphere here. Cheering and shouting. Feet drumming. Besides, I want to watch you guys win, not see a red, white, black and yellow speck bounce around an arena like colourful flies."
"There's the main screen," Ruby pointed out.
"What's the point of paying through the nose and dealing with all the crowds to watch a big TV?"
"Same reasons here," Qrow said, seeing his chance to avoid being asked the same and taking it with both hands. "We can watch well enough from here, squirt one and two."
"Stop calling is squirt," Yang said. "We're not little anymore."
"Who said squirt meant height? I was referring to how Taiyang got your mothers preg-"
"Ahhh!" Ruby clamped her hands down over her ears. "Too much information! TMI! TMI!"
"No! No! No!" Yang punched his arm so hard aura flared. Her face was bright red. "That's even less acceptable. Ugh. You know what, do stay here. Stay away from Beacon and anyone who might overhear you."
Qrow's grin said he'd gotten everything he wanted and more.
"Oi, boyfriend!" Miltia yelled across the diner. "Bring out the cake we ordered for Pyrrha. It's time to celebrate."
"Cake?" Pyrrha looked mortified. "You didn't have to…"
"We sure did," Melanie said, winking at her. "Wanted to take you out drinking again but a hangover probably isn't a good idea for the tournament. We'll save that for after. Got to celebrate your win, though."
"You don't have to. I've won plenty of tournaments already."
"Sure, but this is the first time our friend Pyrrha has won it," Miltia prodded. "No excuses. It's not just you celebrating; it's us as well. You should have heard Mel, earlier. She nearly ripped her hair out when your teammates got knocked out that early. I thought she was going to storm Amity and kill them herself."
Pyrrha laughed. "Russel didn't get knocked out."
"No, and he earns a slice of cake taken away for him. But the other two were useless!"
"Not everyone can be a championship fighter, Melanie."
"Yeah? Then not everyone gets cake." She raised her voice. "Boyfriend!"
"You realise I'm not your boyfriend," Jaune said, arriving with the large chocolate cake. It wasn't one of his, rather something the twins had made up in advance for Pyrrha. They'd discovered her love for caramel cake in a moment of weakness and Pyrrha's eyes were sparkling now.
"You're a boyfriend," Melanie said. "It counts."
Miltia raised her hand. "I'll allow it. But only because Melanie has a sexy face."
"You're twins," he pointed out.
"Egads! You're right. Then that must mean I'm sexy as well."
He rolled his eyes as Pyrrha laughed at their little display. He set the cake down with three plates, a knife and some forks. "Good job on the fight, Pyrrha. You were awesome. Russel too. Tell him that for me, will you? I don't think coming here counts as celebration for him or Velvet. Not when they work here already."
"I will! And he did do well." She looked proud of that fact, or maybe just happy she hadn't stood out by winning the whole thing on her own.
Russel was a surprisingly good fighter, it turned out, weaving in and out combat with his knives while Pyrrha kept them busy. They'd accounted for two each, and though Pyrrha had technically done most of the heavy lifting, the praise was aimed at both, sparing her too much attention. He knew she'd like that.
"Next round is doubles," Melanie said. "Tell me it's you and him or I'm making your teammates disappear. Don't doubt I won't; I have contacts."
The worst thing was that she did and was fully capable of that.
"It's the two of us," Pyrrha said, balancing some cake on her fork. "Hm. This is so good!"
"We had it specially made."
"Ah! You didn't have to…"
"Didn't have to; wanted to." Miltia stole a forkful off Pyrrha's plate. "Don't argue with us, babe. Just enjoy it. Wanted to get a cake big enough for Jaune to pop out of but he wouldn't agree."
Pyrrha choked. "T – That – um – That's not funny! Stop laughing! Jaune, not you too!" Pyrrha threw her head back with a sigh, pulling her plate in close and fighting off Melanie's fork with a surprising flourish and parry of her own. "You're all horrible."
"Hey. We bought you cake."
"Still horrible." Pyrrha's pout was ruined somewhat by the caramel sauce. "Just horrible with cake."
"Interesting place," Qrow said, taking a seat with his girls and the monochrome duo. He knew their names. Technically. In the same way he technically knew how to work out the long side of a right-angled triangle. It was knowledge stored somewhere in his head but that he wasn't going to be able to access without a refresher course. "Didn't take you as ones for coffee."
"It's more than just the coffee," Yang said.
"That's what I keep telling you about the bars I go to."
"Uncle Qrow, it is just about the booze with you."
Cheeky bugger. "That's not what I wanted to talk about. Ozpin told me I'd be able to find you girls here after the tournament."
"As opposed to our rooms?"
"Apparently, he knows better than to say you'd go there. Looks like he was right." He lowered his voice, not that he really had to. The place was loud. And packed full of so many people it was fit to burst. At any other time he'd have suggested they find somewhere else, but he had a feeling that wouldn't work out. "Ozpin tells you girls got involved with some interesting characters. Found out about the Mountain Glenn business before it happened."
"Yeah, but we didn't manage to stop it in time."
Yang sounded frustrated about that; he could well understand. Nothing sucked more than failing to make a difference. He knew that intimately. "You did your best. That's all anyone can ask. Still, I probably don't need to tell you there are things afoot, do I?"
All four shook their heads. Good. They were smart enough to look past the glory of the festival.
"It's not like I want to involve you girls, but as Ozpin puts it you've involved yourselves already. We've had the White Fang, the Paladin, the attack on the CCT you girls found and now what they're calling the Breach. That's all leading up to something."
"Uncle Qrow. That's… kind of obvious."
"I'm setting the scene, Ruby. Relax. I'll get there." Impatient kids with no appreciation for the proper flow of things. "Point is, I want to put myself forward as a point of call for anything you hear. People don't just stumble on the kind of information you've passed over. Ironwood and Ozpin may have let you go, but they're not stupid. Someone told you those things."
Yang and the other two were better at hiding it, but Ruby couldn't lie if she was given a lawyer, an alibi and ten crooked witnesses testifying on her behalf. He didn't pounce on it. The signs of her getting ready to pull the old `deny everything` were showing.
"I'm not going to get on your backs about that and neither is Ozpin. We'd rather you feel confident enough to tell us – and we don't want to come down hard on any sources you do have. Not much use if we get them ratted out, is it? Just remember." He tapped his nose. "You can come to me. I know how to be subtle and I'll get work done."
Ruby wanted to say something. The way she dithered made it clear, but as the seconds ticked by, she stayed silent. Again, he let it be. No need to push and drive her away when she'd do a good enough job convincing herself to speak on her own. There was something in the black-haired one's eyes as well, but it was far more guarded. She didn't trust him. Or maybe she didn't trust anyone. Hard to tell without knowing her.
"Just keep it in mind. You don't have to act alone." He pushed away the heavy atmosphere with a smile. "Now, any embarrassing stories you want to share about my nieces in Beacon?"
The Schnee smiled. "Well, there was that one time Yang-"
"Ruby kissed a boy!" Yang yelped, desperate to deflect blame. "TWICE!"
It worked. Damn, but it worked. His eyes swivelled to Ruby, wide, disbelieving and dripping with the need to know more. This… This was teasing that could last a lifetime.
Ruby stared red-faced at her sister. "You… You traitor!"
Alone in her bed, Ruby stared up at the ceiling. The night should have ended on a high note after the festival and then an afterparty at Jaune's. It did for most people, even with Uncle Qrow's dire warnings. It was only once they returned and the lights went out did she let her mind dwell on the question at hand.
Did she rat out Mercury and Cinder?
Obvious answer; yeah. Of course. They were up to something bad and Cinder was responsible for the CCT being attacked, even if they'd prevented that from getting too bad by bringing Ironwood and Ozpin in on it. If their team was arrested, things would be better.
Did she not like the idea of telling on him after how he acted around her? That wasn't it. They'd kissed twice. Big whoop. It wasn't like they were dating, and she wasn't sure he even knew what that was. More than that, she didn't know if she liked him that way. That was what dating was for, at least according to Yang. If he was bad, he could go to jail with Cinder and the others.
So, why am I hesitating…? Because of Jaune?
He was neutral ground for criminals. Miltia and Melanie were gangsters according to Yang, and they'd never denied it. They were nice, but still bad. She didn't think they were involved with Cinder though, so it wasn't as though they'd be in trouble.
Would Jaune be, though?
Some people might say he'd aided Cinder, even if that was just by letting them rent his place to plan out their evil schemes. Qrow wouldn't; she was sure he'd not care at all about Jaune. Ozpin might not either since he liked the place. But the police? The public? A lot of people died in the Breach and some could argue that was Jaune's fault. Those people were wrong – obviously! - but it wouldn't stop it happening.
More than that, what if Qrow didn't stop Cinder or she found out? What if she escaped? Jaune would be dead before the day was out.
It's still better to tell Qrow, though. He'd be able to keep Jaune safe.
In a way, she'd already made that decision. She wanted to tell him. It was just figuring out a way to do so that wouldn't put Jaune in the crosshairs. It couldn't involve Mercury either, since he knew about Jaune filtering information through to her. He'd let her get away with it the first time. Was that a sign he wanted out? Maybe he could help Qrow. No, that was risky. She could tell Qrow about how Mercury helped and hope it got him a reduced sentence, but actually going to him for help was bad. He might flip and tell Cinder and then everything went down the toilet. Whatever his allegiance, if he was threatened, he'd probably run to Cinder for help – telling her how Jaune passed the info on to the huntsmen and getting him killed.
That wasn't an option. It had to be some way of telling him that he couldn't track back to Jaune, that no one could track back to him. Qrow wasn't the problem; it was the people he had to pass the info onto that were the problem. It had to be anonymous.
Wait. That was it. Ruby sat up and pushed off the bunkbed, falling to the floor and landing with silent grace.
Weiss, Blake and Yang sat up immediately. Zwei's sleepy head poked out from under Weiss' blanket. "Ruby, what are you doing?"
Okay, maybe not quite so silent.
"Um… I need some fresh air. Go back to sleep."
Weiss glared at her suspiciously but was too tired to argue. Or care. She fell back and rolled over, while Yang was already snoring, and Blake bundled a pillow over her ears to block it out. Pushing her feet into her slippers, Ruby grabbed her scroll and ducked outside.
Qrow looked down at his scroll. It was ringing, but the display showed that the number was withheld. Telemarketers at this time of night? I'd hope not. He knew better than to hang up and instead pressed accept. The display was a tiled wall with a shadow on it. The person holding the scroll was behind the camera and unseen.
"Mr Branwen," a heavily modulated voice spoke. It was tinny and indistinct, though slightly feminine. "I understand you are looking for information on the activities surrounding the Vytal Festival."
Formal speech pattern but clunky. Slow. Not the kind of slow of someone drawling out their words, but the slow of someone thinking carefully of each word before they said it. Someone not used to talking like that.
"I am," he said carefully. "Who is this?"
A sharp intake of breath came through the speakers. A squeak, and then a cough.
"That, Mr Branwen, is not important."
"It's Ruby, isn't it?"
"… No …"
"I know not of this `Ruby` you speak of. My name is Silver."
"Like your eyes?"
"No. Who has silver eyes? Pft. That sounds ridiculous."
"You're falling into a different speech pattern there, Ruby."
"I am falling into nothing that I do not wish to fall into. Perhaps it is but a ruse to protect my true identity from prying eyes."
"How's that going, by the way? Is that the second floor girl's restroom? You realise I also went to school in Beacon. I recognise that graffiti. If you scroll down a little there's a penis scribbled below and a `call me` number." He laughed. "It's Tai's old number. I dared Raven to write it. He got calls for weeks, then one from Ozpin to explain why he did it. Should have seen his face."
The scroll did angle down a little and spot the offending penis before it snapped back up.
"I am not a student of Beacon. Nor a professor."
"Sure. You just piss in Beacon."
"Look." Ruby – sorry, Silver – huffed. "Do you want this information or not!?"
Qrow wiped the smile from his face. If she felt the need to do this, it was for a reason. There weren't many reasons he could think of for why she didn't feel she could tell him in person, but those he could imagine spelled bad news. And possibly her being in danger. His disbelief was pushed away. Humour faded as a serious expression overcame him and he stared into the camera.
Just because some people might have seen it as criticism on my part, I'll say that I like Qrow's voice. I like the gruff and gravelly nature of it, so Jaune mentioning the marbles wasn't my way of having a go at it. Just Jaune commenting how rough it is in a funny way. I also like Qrow as a character, enjoying someone who wasn't always happy-go-lucky and instead had a more jaded outlook. He's one of my favourites.
Also, yes, the `silver` is an old reference to NTF, where Jaune acted in the same manner but did so more convincingly since Qrow hadn't grown up with him and could recognise his voice.
Next Chapter: 22nd October
P a treon . com (slash) Coeur