AN: Hello readers. This is my first time writing RWBY fanfiction, and I want to put a different spin on things by showing what would happen if Jaune unlocked his semblance at a young age due to ... circumstances. Cover image by NickSheppard117.
Jaune gazed out the viewing window of the airship down at Beacon below, thinking about how he came to be here.
Flashback – Seven Years Ago
The Arc family was out camping when the world began to shake. Nicolas Arc got up from the campfire he and his family were huddled around for warmth when a cold wind sliced through the night and extinguished the flame.
Jaune and his seven sisters, along with his mother Elaine Arc got to their feet as well. The whole campsite was stirring now. Many families from Jaune's village were camped out for the weekend, taking a break from their town's various duties. There was a long moment of silence as they waited for the world to stop shaking.
Suddenly, a loud scream pierced the night air and struck the Arc father out of his daze. Nicolas's expression turned dark. He unsheathed his blade and brought it to his chest. For one heartbeat, there was absolutely nothing except the wind. And the cold.
Jaune could feel the dread in the air. The others started to feel it too. It rippled through the camp…
"Gather the fighters!" Nicholas bellowed suddenly. "All huntsmen, now! Gather the fighters and protect the children!" He stared up at the surrounding valleys. "And light those fires! I want as many fires lit as soon as possible!"
Other huntsmen and huntresses took up the roar. "You heard the man, you lazy shits!" One roared. "Get moving and prepare yourselves!" "What the hell are you doing standing around?! MOVE!"
And just like that pandemonium ensued as others took up the cry and everyone started scurrying around and arming themselves.
Jaune's heartbeat increased. He could feel the panic spreading around him, the whole camp rippling around him. More people were shouting, screaming, or running.
He saw the fires being lit, but somehow it couldn't stop the cold.
Around him, every huntsman and huntress were riled into a frenzy. The whole camp became an orchestra of clanging and shouting.
And then, the air was split by the screams. The bloodcurdling screams of dying men and women.
Nicolas spun towards his family, huddled together against the oncoming gloom, and shouted, "Run away; get out of here as fast as possible while I hold them off!"
He then handed the Arc family blade to Jaune, who cradled it to his chest in awe and dawning realization. His father clutched his secondary blade in one hand, while saying, "Take it to protect your sisters and mother. I won't allow the Arc sword to be taken by these beasts."
Jaune could only nod his head before his father shoved him away, and at that moment the first Grimm appeared through the trees, followed a second later by a hundred more.
They were cradled in a mountain range that should have been defensible against any normal army. The Grimm were no normal army, however; they were a horde of bloodthirsty creatures that would stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path. It was hard to defend such a large, sprawling camp, but the defenders had done their best.
Beowolves howled in the night as they shredded through families and fighters alike, while Boarbatusks charged down those unprepared, stampeding through human and faunus.
These foes weren't slowing down as they mowed down living men and women. The Grimm weren't funneled into the valley; instead they could simply clamber over the mountains themselves. They attacked from all sides.
Jaune felt his breath freeze as he watched the dark shapes lumber over the black hills in the night. At that moment he broke out of his stupor and yelled, "RUN!"
He rushed after his family while Nicolas stayed behind as the oncoming horde surged towards him, his blade held ready for battle. Then a beowolf lunged towards him, claws extended. Nicolas dodged the beast while plunging his blade through its gut, slicing it to a fine black mist that evaporated just as three others pounced. He kicked one in the face and decapitated another beowolf with a swift swing, before ducking under the claws of the third beast on which he performed a back thrust, expelling the creature to thin air. He turned around to plunge his blade through the Grimm's face he had kicked, piercing down through the beast's gullet.
Nicolas took a deep breath, gathering his strength before a dozen Grimm swarmed around him, and Jaune had to look away as a Lancer stabbed him in the face and two Boarbatusks trampled him to the ground.
His father was dead.
Jaune fought through the tears as he sped up, grabbing Lavender, his slowest sibling, and tugging her after the rest of his surviving family.
They were everywhere, from all sides. For a moment, Jaune thought that they would be overwhelmed when there came a booming roar. He turned his head to find a bulking huntsman rush past, followed by dozens of other fighters as they pushed back the Grimm.
The sound of hacking blades filled the air, along with glyphs and lightning as the defenders unleashed their full power.
Jaune and his family took advantage of the distraction, running past burning tents and children screaming, women wailing, and the grunts of the dying.
Can't focus on them, have to save my family, have to find safety, need to get away!
Jaune's thoughts were running rampant when there was a loud, haunting screech. It came from ahead of them, past the burning trees and dying men. Then a large shape burst through the flaming foliage, swooping down towards Jaune and his family.
"Down!" Jaune screamed as he dove to the ground, tackling three of his sisters in the process. There was so much panic from all sides that Jaune could barely even hear the screams as the dragon shredded through the rest of his family.
The world burned as Jaune stumbled to his feet, followed by Lavender, Hazel, and Violet. They stared in horror at the ashes that remained of their family, before turning around to glare at the dragon flying down the valley behind them, burning everything in its path.
"They're gone," Hazel whispered in a low breath, tears streaming down her ashen face. Jaune pulled his sword out and said through a shaking voice, "We have to keep moving."
His sisters nodded reluctantly, and they ran away from the fighting. Yet the fighting was everywhere, Jaune didn't even know where to go.
He saw burning arrows lighting up the air, raining down among the thrashing black mass that was the Grimm. They were a sea of death, washing over everything and everyone in their path and rending life for every foot they covered. He saw shadows of raging beasts as scrambling huntsmen threw themselves in mindless rages. He saw the hulking huntsman from before at the center of the camp, desperately trying to set up barricades while tents caught fire.
It's too late, everybody in this valley is going to die.
Jaune knew that he shouldn't voice his thoughts aloud, as he needed to instill hope into his remaining sisters to keep moving, that they could survive this no matter the odds. That idea was brushed aside immediately as a black shape hurtled out of the trees and arced towards Violet. Jaune leaped in front of his sister without a second thought, all the while thrusting his sword up through the Ursa's jaw. The bear-like beast lurched back roaring in agony but a berserk madness overwhelmed Jaune as he pulled the blade out and swung forward with all his might. His strike cut clean through the beast's neck, dissolving the Grimm into nothingness as Jaune collapsed to the ground, gasping for breath.
Lavender rushed to his side shouting but Jaune couldn't focus, his vision blurred as he slowly clambered to his feet and charged towards a King Taijitu slithering its way towards them. His sisters rushed past him, seeking an exit to this forest of death as he leaped into the air and slammed his blade down through the snake Grimm's head, killing it on impact. He ran after them, but was stopped in his tracks when a Griffon swooped down from the burning sky and grabbed him in its talons, flying him out into open air.
"NO!" he screamed as a wave of Grimm swept over his last remaining family and he writhed within the giant Grimm's grip, trying to dislodge himself so that he could save them, even though he knew it was pointless. They were gone.
Suddenly, a bright yellow light burst from his body and his sword alighted in a fiery gold. His strength intensified, and he pried the talons off his body while leaping off the Griffon's head, landing on the winged creature's back and bringing his blade up under its neck, threatening to kill it unless it flew him away from this hell. Jaune had no idea if this would work, but considering how he had somehow unlocked his aura he considered anything was possible. To his surprise the beast seemed to get the message and swept away from the ashen valley and out of the mountain range, thrashing all the while.
He pressed the blade up as hard as he could without killing the Griffon, but once they neared a populated settlement and were close to the ground he pulled back, slicing through its neck. He tumbled to the ground as his ride dissipated, and he looked up at a group of huntsmen and huntresses gathering outside of a village.
"They're all dead," he whispered before getting to his knees, and then collapsing back to the grass, his world turning black.
Jaune continued to reminisce as he remembered his years long journey traveling the world of Remnant, honing and gaining new skills along the way. His quest to put an end to the Grimm was a long one, but he knew that he was making great strides by coming to Beacon and becoming a full-fledged huntsman.
Soon I will be able to strike out with a skilled team at my back, and we will go to the source and end those fucking beasts once and for all.
He was brought out of his thoughts when a short shape bumped into him. He looked down and to his surprise he saw a girl who seemed younger than him with silver eyes.
Well that's a first.
The girl's face was turning red as he continued looking at her eyes, and she quickly said, "I'm so sorry I don't know what I was thinking I'm just so excited and I can't control myself and we're almost there and…" She was interrupted from her cute rambling when a girl with blonde hair grabbed her by the hood and pulled her away.
"Sorry about Ruby, my sister just can't control herself from embracing cute guys. She does it all the time." If it was possible Ruby's face turned even more red as she cried, "Yang!" Jaune just smiled at the younger girl before moving his gaze up to the one who had tugged her to her side, and his mind promptly froze. His gaze immediately fixated on her long flowing hair and then drifted across her whole figure before looking up at her face.
She had a single eyebrow raised and she asked, "Like what you see?"
He shook his head out of his daze and laughed. "It's not often I see someone as beautiful as you," he said in a casual tone and Yang's face gained a light pink tint.
She looked down and said, "You're certainly not bashful." He walked up to her and said, "Just stating the obvious." He held out a hand. "The name's Jaune."
Yang seemed to get over her embarrassment as she took his hand and shook, smiling as she said, "I'm Yang, and you've met Ruby." The smaller girl still had her gaze on the floor, but Jaune walked up to her and shook her hand as well. He tilted her head up and said, "No need to be embarrassed, it happens all the time. Besides, I'm glad I ran into you, or you ran into me… semantics don't matter. All I know is that I don't know anyone at this school, and I need some friends."
Ruby smiled at that and said, "Of course we'll be friends, I don't really know anyone from here anyway, other than Yang."
The airship doors opened and Jaune spun around to see that they had arrived. Jaune backed up and looked at Yang again. "Well, shall we?" he gestured towards the ramp and Yang just shook her head, laughing as he followed the two sisters out into Beacon.
This should be fun.
AN: Well, what did you think?