Chapter 5: Dangerous Gears
In honesty, finding Ruby and Weiss was nothing but pure luck. He had been wandering around aimlessly when he heard the familiar growling of Beowolves and discovered the heiress in the thick of it, readying herself for battle.
Initially, he had no intention of getting involved. Messing around with history at this point was unwise. He also didn't want to risk team placements being ruined.
Plans, however, changed.
Oscar had heard about the original exploits of Team RWBY. It started with Ruby and Weiss accidentially setting fire to the Emerald Forest. They managed to escape from the Grimm when the flames began to get out of control. The Grimm were also more focused on escaping the flames as well, so neither side actually fought.
What happened said otherwise. Ruby was pinned down and keeping a Beowolf from chomping down on her with her scythe. The rest of the pack kept Weiss away, not about to let her interfere. The Grimm were targeting the biggest threat: the Silver-Eyes. If they got rid of her first, taking out the heiress would be easy.
The scene brought out horrible memories. Lifeless, dull eyes and a limp hand held in his, rotting petals scattered around them.
Before Oscar realized it, his feet were moving and cane swinging.
"GET AWAY FROM HER!"
His Aura was flaring, bursting with energy and corresponding to his desparation and rage. He struck the Beowolf on Ruby three times, the first two stunning it and the third sending it flying. With his presence made, the surrounding Grimm grew angry. They obviously recognized the presence he carried. The presence of their most hated enemy. Since they lacked any real mind, he was more or less Ozpin to them.
Weiss was shocked to find him here, but he ignored her. Instead, he turned and faced the Grimm, eyes smoldering. The grip on his cane tightened. His Aura burned like fire, becoming visible.
He was angry. Understandably so. He didn't want Ruby to get hurt, which was a contradiction. She was a Huntress. Being hurt was part of her job. But he didn't want to see her get hurt. After what happened, he swore that he wouldn't let her get hurt anymore. It was a weak promise, but he wanted to fulfill it to the best of his abilities.
And he was not about to let these bastards break it!
"You guys...are in some dire need of education." he stressed that last word, twirling his cane before holding it with both hands, falling into his combat stance. "Let's start the lesson, shall we?"
[Play: Bayonetta 2 Soundtrack – "Tomorrow is Mine" (start at 0:003)]
The Beowolves were none too happy with his declaration. In response and in a throng of snarling fangs and sharpened claws, they rushed at him. Two reached him first, each coming from the side.
In that split second, as the fangs came so dangerously close to him, Oscar's eyes began to glow and his Aura flux. Cogs began to spin within his prepheral vision, everything coming into sharper focus. His muscles tensed, sensing the increase of strength and began to adapt accordingly. Swiftly, Oscar ducked underneath the swings and retaliated with a series of strikes, each aimed at the limbs before spinning clockwise and delivering a swing straight into the left Beowolf's side.
Time sped back up and the Grimm were knocked aside. They fell into a tumbling mess, landing far away from Ruby. The silver-eyed girl was coming back to her senses and looked at him strangely, a mixture of surprise awe.
He didn't dwell on it. Right now, he needed to thin out the rabble.
Oscar sped at the Alpha. Obviously, if you were to eliminate the strongest member, moral would lessen and the Grimm were creatures of instinct. Even if they hadn't lived long, they would realize how outclassed they were. The only problem was countering the other Beowolves and finishing the battle quickly. If it progressed too long, the smoke would start to hamper them.
Talking a swift yet calm breathe, the young boy came in close for an attack. The Alpha roared and swung a claw down. Cogs spun and Oscar evaded with ease, swinging his worn cane at it's side. They stopped and he was forced to evade, side-stepping around it and slamming the end of the stick straight into it's ribs.
The blow staggered it, stumbling back before howling. One Beowolf lept to its defense, pouncing at Oscar. He narrowed his eyes as the cogs spun again, letting him jump up and spin his body at an angle. The cane struck the side of its face first before the heel came at its jaw, sending it flying straight into a burning tree. Hilariously, its fur caught fire, causing it to tussle around as it tried to extinguish it.
Weiss' shout warned him of the Alpha coming at him again, claw reared back. He gritted his teeth as he held up his cane, Aura at the ready. It struck and he was sent off his feet.
'Agh! Damn, this hurts!' Oscar thought as he came back to his feet. 'Don't tell me...my body hasn't adjusted to Oz's Aura yet?'
He felt like slapping himself and cursing his stupidity. He had been so focused on reaching Oz that he didn't even try and see how his body had adjusted to the massive Aura he got! He knew it had unlocked when he woke up and found himself back in Anima, evident by how woozy he felt not long after, but he never stopped to consider if his body had appropriately learned how to handle the Aura. It had taken him months just to become more finely tuned to the massive amounts of Aura he now possessed. Now in a slightly younger body that had no experience, he was completely out of sync.
He still had access to his "chronologic," but he still couldn't handle the full pressure.
"Chronologic," which is what he referred to as Ozpin's ability since he never actually gave it a name, let him slow time to a degree, allowing him to fight more appropriately and retaliate in earnest. Oscar was still an amateur and very used to it. He could only handle about three seconds before a migraine the size of Vacuo decided to come and greet him. Ozpin, meanwhile, could handle it for hours.
It was slow progress, but it was all the power Oscar needed. He bit his lip as he dusted himself off, twirling the cane while the Alpha slowly approached, regarding him as a dangerous threat.
'Okay, so I can't rely on Aura control.' he thought with some dismay. 'So, finish this fight quickly without getting hit too much. Should be easy, right?' He paused. Then his face scrunched into a frown. 'Oh, who am I kidding? This reminds me way too much of how Qrow decided to teach me!'
Shaking off the doubts, Oscar readied himself for round 2.
The Alpha stood on its hind legs and released a howl. At its command, four more Beowolves joined it, making the farm boy groan. 'Great. More work.' He supposed he didn't have much room to complain. Right now, he needed to focus.
Even though he was so going to get Ozpin back for this, he focused on surviving...and protecting Ruby.
As soon as Oscar's muscles began to quiver, feeling his Aura washing away the uncomfortable aches in his body, the Alpha charged. Oscar knew he couldn't fight it and the four Beowolves at once, so he had to get creative. Taking a breath, he met the creature's charge and jumped, feet landing squarely upon its snout, sending it to the ground and skidding, shredding some of its fur on its chin in the process. However, he hadn't intended to bring it down. Instead, he used it as a springboard, throwing himself up into the air and spinning his body before landing safely behind the pack.
Breathing a small sigh, he twirled his cane and then focused his sights on the Beowolves, looking at them critically.
'Four Beowolves. One Alpha. One of me. I can handle this in three different ways.'
The pack snarled, red eyes burning like coal as they began to approach.
'First is the suicidal approach: take them all on while relying on my chronologic. I can hold it for about three seconds, and can use it consexecutively after a five-second cooldown. It might be hard, but it is doable...if I was more accustomed to my Aura like before.'
Sweat dripped from his face as he tensed, keeping his eyes trained on the Grimm. In the back, the Alpha came back up to its feet, shakin off the sluggishness in its form and turned, bearing its fangs at him in indignation.
'The second approach is divide and conquer. Separate a small part of the pack and lead it away. Weiss and Ruby can deal with the remaining Grimm, but the Alpha is a bit tougher. If Yang were here, this would definitely be a cinch. She isn't. At least, right now. So, right now, the best choice...'
Just as the Grimm moved in for the kill, a series of gunshots rung loudly behind him. At first, it was painful to hear. But soon the sound become music to his ears. A flash of white danced in front of him as a thin, silver rapier defended its owner and him from the Grimm. Rose petals danced in the air as a red blur intercepted, blocking their advance.
Oscar grinned as he dashed past them, smiling back at the two of them before swinging his cane and blocking the Alpha's intended strike to his head.
'So let's go with Option 3! Team up and Beat 'em Up!'
If there had been any doubts about Oscar Pine's claims, they were most assuredly erased. His movements were hardly refined, but the intents and unwavering motions behind each blow against the Creatures of Grimm were near flawless in execution. There was no hesitation. Yes, the technique was that of an amateur, but at the same time it was the capability of an experienced yet worn-out soldier.
It also had not helped matters with the fact that his fighting style, however lacking, was nearly identical to that of Ozpin's own.
"He's a Meister." Glynda breathed. For a moment, she thought she had forgotten how.
The term "Meister" meant many things. Typically, it is reserved for practitioners of fighting styles that exemplified both grace and death.
One example was Qrow Branwen. A drunken slosh he may be, but even Glynda could not help but give him the recognition he rightfully deserved. In this day and age, there were only a few that could ever hope to match his prowess. Ruby Rose was young, but if what Glynda had seen so far was any indication, she was certainly a diamond in the rough. Then again, that could easily be attributed to her Silver-Eyes. Such was the path of Warriors.
Back to the main point, Ozpin was a practitioner of the old, traditional style of the Meister name. Particularly, fighting with a dull blade. As dull and primitive the cane was as a weapon, the power behind it was most assuredly real. The wood was not cheap. Some days, she doubted it could be called wood. Or even metal for that matter. To both her own knowledge and what Ozpin himself knew, very few actually used this style of fighting, namely because barely anyone, if any at all, could bring out the potential of fighting with a "sword that has no edge."
And yet, Oscar Pine, a boy that wasn't even in the midst of his teenage years – just barely starting puberty for that matter – had shown his use of the art.
The technique was sloppy, but there was no mistaking these movements. For a moment, the young farm hand's image was replaced with that of a dark-haired youth with sharpened brown eyes and a green ascot, sleak black cane in hand.
"He's so young, and yet...he's a Meister?"
Ozpin smiled. "While it is true that him as an Assistant was spur of the moment..." he confessed without any shame whatsoever as he took a swig from his mug, relishing the delightful taste of his hot cocoa. "The real reason I wanted him to undergo Initiation was to see where he stood in terms of combat prowess. His Aura is impressive, especially since it's clearly visible due to his emotional state, but it hasn't fully become intuned with him yet. That, and his 'abilities' are quite weak."
"But, they're your powers, Ozpin." Glynda said, eyes sharp. "Is it possible that you're-"
"That boy knew my name, Glynda. My real name." Ozpin cut her off sharply, much to her own surprise. "A name that, some days, even I forget I knew I had. There is only reason why he would know that, and why he has the same powers I wield."
She knew the answer to that. In fact, it should have been clear as day. After all, Oscar had claimed to have heard the Headmaster's voice in his head. When that full sunk in her head, Glynda felt her heart ache as she looked back at the feed of him, Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee battling the horde of Beowolves.
"...he's too young." she said mournfully. "If he truly did come from such a horrible future...then what sort of future will he carve now?"
"Who can say?" the old man replied wistfully. "In the end, only the gods know that."
"Ruuuuuuby? Helloooooo?" Yang called out as she trekked through the woods. It had already been five minutes since she landed, and still no sign of her sisters.
The blonde brawler wasn't worried about her, knowing full well that she was perfectly capable of protecting herself...but at the same time, she couldn't help but try to find her, in spite of her insistence that Ruby try to find other people to fight alongside with. Perhaps it was her sisterly nature acting up, but she still couldn't help but feel anxious.
After all, her adorable baby sister entered Beacon two years early. She was worried that she may not even fit in with her fellow students. After all, the poor girl was more interested in weapons than she was with other people. In retrospect, she really should have tried more to help her grow out of her shell.
"Rubes?" she called out. "Hey! Ruby! You here?! Hello!" she bellowed out, only to receive her own echo as a response. A shake of the head followed, and a sigh came after. "Why am I not surprised?"
She scratched the back of her head as she observed her surroundings. The forest was oddly quiet, but she could hear fighting off in the distance. Most likely, teams were being formed as they speak.
Now, don't get her wrong, she was looking for a team herself, but she was looking for Ruby because she was worried about her. She came to Beacon two years ahead of everyone else, so she was easily nervous, despite her confidence in her skills.
She wanted to form a team with Ruby, there was little doubt about that, but she wanted her sister to strike out on her own. After all, she wouldn't be there to cuddle her forever.
Suddenly, movement was seen out of the corner of her eye. "Ruby?" Yang asked, peeking through the brushel. "Is that you?"
The black shadow growled. It stood on all fours before it rose up and stood on its hind legs. It was a massive, bear-like creature with fur as black as midnight. It's back was covered with ivory spikes while a white mask with red markings was present on its face.
Yang's smile dropped. "...nope."
She quickly jumped back, avoiding being thrashed when the Ursa swung it's paw at her, as if to rip off her head. "Hey, big guy." Yang waved at the Creature of Grimm, known as the Ursai Major. "You seen a little girl with a red hood or a kid with different pair of eyes, would ya?"
In response, the Ursa roared and swung it's paw down. Yang leaped back, performing a backflip to achieve some distance. She flipped her hair back as she she grinned. "You could have just said no instead of 'rawr.'"
The Ursa roared again before charging. Yang grinned and cocked her wrists, activating her yellow shotgun gauntlets from their bracelet form: Ember Celica. The beast roared up, running toward her at top speed. Yang slammed her fists into the ground, creating a loud 'bang' as she was propelled into the air, a result of Ember Celica's kickback. She vaulted over the Ursa, shooting off another blast. The beast staggered a bit, swaying through it's charge before it slammed into the trunk of a tree.
"Oof," she giggled. "That had to hurt."
The Grimm pulled itself away, shaking it's head before turning to Yang, fangs bared in anger. She was about to brace herself for another charge when a loud, bellowing cry emerged from her side. Acting quickly, she brought up her arms, and was thrown back by the sheer amount of force that was put into the strike. Her body tumbled through the ground before she came to a stop.
Looking up, she found another Ursa. This one was glaring at her as well, snapping a loud roar.
"Two for the price of one, huh?" she said as she dusted herself off. "Okay then!"
She jumped up, curling her legs up into a ball, leaving the third Ursa to charge in, and run into the second, causing them both to tumble into the ground. As she hit the ground, Yang pounded her fists together.
"Sweet~" she said cheekily, excited. She was going to get to fight three Ursa, all at once! This was going to be a lot of fun!
...wait, she was supposed to find Ruby, wasn't she? Eh, oh well. It could wait. Her sister was tough, so she wasn't too worried about her. After all, their uncle taught her how to use that scythe of hers, so she'll be kicking ass and taking names.
That meant... she could kick the shit out of these suckers~!
"Alright boys," Yang smirked. "Who wants a taste of the Yang-meister?"
The one on the right growled before charging in first. It stopped just short of her, and swung it's paw. She ducked underneath it, and delivered an uppercut to it's jaw, knocking it upward. With a follow up, she swiveled around on her feet, cocked her fist back, and threw a right hook, hitting it's underbelly. Almost like a boartusk, it's body flipped about into a ball for a few short seconds before hitting the ground, left in a daze. One of the two Grimm from earlier, got back up, and charged at her again. This time, it was ready to bite off her head. Not wanting to get her hair damaged, she instead chose for the direct approach, and rammed her fist in it's jaw, causing it to stagger back. The third Ursa came up from behind the second, ready to slam it's weight on her. She avoided it by flipping backwards on her hands, launching herself into the air to make some distance. Once she did, she unloaded two shots. One hit the first one in the face, causing it to recoil, while the other hit it's shoulder, causing to it cramp down on it's leg.
Meanwhile, the first Ursa charged in, now seething with anger. Yang cracked a cocky grin as she charged in to meet it's advance. Without stopping, she ducked underneath the swipe of it's paw, and swiveled around on her foot. Now behind the Ursa, she jumped up on it's back, and reared back both of her fists. With a swift succession, she began to unload Ember Celica as her fists pounded away at it's armor on it's back. Each struggle caused it to strain to stay on it's legs. Unfortunately it could no longer bear the weight, as she reared both arms back, and swung them both down. A resounding BOOM echoed in the air as Yang was blown off, flying through the air before landing back on the ground. The Ursa cried weakly as it fell on it's stomach, the armor on it's back completely shattered, and it's fur singed.
"One down!" she cheered before turning her attention back to the other two.
A massive black paw swung, hitting her on the side.
"Oof!" She grunted as she was thrown into the air. She hit the ground. Hard. But she tumbled and pulled herself up on her feet. "Not bad. So what else can...you..." Her words died in her throat as she saw it. It floated slowly to the ground before her.
A strand of blonde hair.
HER blonde hair.
The Grimm suddenly felt tense when they saw her body trembling.
Creatures of Grimm held only instincts within them. They knew where to find prey by the feeling of aura, a power that belonged only to humans, those with a soul. It was within their instincts to destroy and maim and kill whatever possessed a soul, yet it was also within their instincts to recognize a potential threat.
And now, a threat stood before them. Yang's head snapped up, her hair suddenly glowing like fire, and her lilac eyes turning bright crimson.
She flung her fists behind her, allowing the recoil of her gauntlets to propel her foreward to the closest Ursa. Once she was right in the enemy's face she swung her right arm in a jaw-shattering right hook followed with a left handed uppercut. This time, it's body was thrown back, thrashing to the ground before hitting a tree.
Before it even had a chance to recover, the Ursa was suddenly bombarded with strike after strike after strike. The tree threatened to break was the Grimm was pressed further into it, it's belly being torn apart with each shot. The Ursa howled in agony. Yang delivered once final blow right in the throat.
The tree gave way.
The bark snapped apart like brittle glass, and the Ursa plowed through it, neck crushed and broken. The tree fell over, hitting the ground with a thud. The earth shuddered below their feet. A bellow from behind her reminded that Yang there was another Ursa behind her. She was still seething from the damaging of her hair. She wouldn't be happy until she bashed it apart.
"You want some too, Yogi Bear?!"
The Ursa roared. But before it could even move, a sharp blade stabbed itself into the back of its skull. The blade was then torn free and sliced through the Grimm's neck and upper back. The bear-like creature swayed a bit before toppling over. Yang raised a brow at the sudden action, then saw who stood behind the Ursa.
It was the black-haired girl from last night. Blake, she thinks her name was.
The two stared at each other, with the latter pulling out her black blade from the dead beast, slipping it into it's holster.
After a minute, Yang's anger faded and she grinned. "...I could have taken it."
Her partner smiled back.
"Left, right! Left, right! Left, left, left right!"
Oscar continued to repeat himself as he dodged and evaded each attack the Alpha threw at him. While the girls were busy, occupying the Beowolves and possible reinforcements, he was busy dealing with this overgrown mutt.
The ash flooding his nostrils was not helping matters. At all.
'I need to finish this, fast!'
If this prolonged, ash would fill his lungs. That would make it difficult to breathe.
Oscar needed to focus. He envisioned his Aura being sharpened, like a knife's edge. The green fluctuations around his body grew less intense, but still remained just as powerful. The Alpha Beowolf swung its claw down, leaving him to side-step. His power kicked in as the gears began to spin. Swiftly, Oscar delivered as many strikes as he could before the cogs stopped and the Alpha returned with a reverse roundhouse strike, claws poised to tear through flesh.
He lowered his body to an angle, avoiding the claws and losing a few strands of hair before ramming the cane into its throat. The blow served to disoriente the Grimm, even choking as it grasped at its throat. Flipping his cane into his other hand, Oscar began to let loose with a blitz of strikes, each faster and stronger than the last.
By now, he must have seemed like a blur of green, dancing and forcing the strong black wolf at impossible speeds. The Grimm was being forced back, trying to weakly retaliate with half-hearted swings. Each time, Oscar would evade and let his Chronologic slow time and deliver an even harsher beatdown.
Five seconds went by before the Alpha stood on its last legs. Mustering what little strength it had, it tried to pounce on Oscar, hoping to pin him and bite off his head. Oscar sucked in a breath, closing his eyes.
Cogs and gears began to spin and click together. The world was slowing down for him. His head ached, his muscles told him to stop and take a breather. His hands were trembling. His legs were quivering, as if struggling to support his weight. He bit the inside of his mouth, drawing blood though his Aura quickly healed the self inflicted damage.
He concentrated on a single point. His Aura began to flow and eb, slithering around the cane, primarily around its sides. Opening them, a golden hue burned as he slammed a foot forward and swung with all his might.
Time sped back up...and the Beowolf was cleaved horizontally in half.
The two halves rolled through the ground. The creature let out a pitiful whine, growling weakly before the red glow in its eyes faded and went limp. Moments later, it began to dissipate into black wisps.
Breathing a heavy sigh of relief, Oscar pulled the trigger on his cane and let the stick slide back into its hold, placing it back in its makeshift holster. He turned and found Ruby and Weiss, both of whom had already finished with their opponents. He inwardly cringed when the heiress looked at him with a sharp, scrutinizing gaze.
'Even here at Beacon, that gaze is as cold as ice.' he thought with slight amusement. 'I guess she was already an Ice Queen by now.'
Somehow, he wondered if he had said that out loud, for it felt as if Weiss' glare had grown even more harsh.
Ruby, on the other hand...
"That. Was. AWESOME!"
To Be Continued
A/N: Got an update in time for the New Year. Sorry if I rehashed Yang's fight in canon, or if I poorly executed Oscar's fighting prowess debut.
As for his "Chronologic" ability...I initially intended to make it his Semblance, but I decided against it and made it one of the abilities he inherited from Ozpin. In case you haven't figured it out, it's based off of "Witch Time" from Bayonetta.
Anyway...I have some good news. As of today, I am working on a new story. One that is related to RWBY. Well, scratch that. Two RWBY-related stories. One is "STRQ," which, as you can probably guess by the title, is my headcanon of the prequel of RWBY. The other, "JRNY," is a RWBY AU. It isn't a dark one, like "Outsiders," but I think you will like it.
That's about it. Happy New Years, ladies and gents.
Also, quick note, and slight spoilers to anyone that hasn't seen the latest Episode of RWBY: Volume 5.
Weiss Lives, or We Riot. Adam killing off a potential wife is one thing, especially since said wife didn't get much screen time, barely five minutes, but I am drawing the fucking line with our beloved resident Tsundere Ice Queen goddammit!