Hello, RWBY fans! This is Sixsamchaos!
This is probably my most developed RWBY fanfic, since my first one is on a hiatus. Now, this story was spawned from reading reaction stories and various reading stories. Primarily, this story is inspired by Juubi no Shinju's "Into the Edge of the Naruto-verse". (Fan of his work, you should check him out.) Also, I haven't found that many RWBY reading/reaction stories on the site.
For this story, I'm have two primary goals for this story:
1. Entertain the readers with a reaction story, and showcase various popular stories.
2. Create an original story that works in conjunction with the reaction mechanic.
Warning: OCs and slight crossovers with different characters will be used.
As this is my first reaction-type story, I still feel a little uncertain about the character reactions, so any constructive criticisms will be appreciated. Flames will of course be ignored and deleted.
Please note my first few reaction stories will be about Masseffect-TxS's stories, as I am a fan of his work and I have already received permission to use his stories. I am hoping to contact other authors soon and hopefully be able to react to their stories as well.
Disclaimer: Sixsamchaos does not own RWBY or any crossover material that is presented. Sixsamchaos only owns his own OCs and his own spin on the reaction genre. RWBY is owned by Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth. All other crossover material belongs to their respective owners. The characters of Roland and Diana Arc are OCs created by Masseffect-TxS.
Please note that this story takes place during the Vytal Festival in Volume 3, but before the events of the Fall of Beacon.
Beacon Tower: Headmaster Ozpin's Office
Several days have passed since the first few rounds of the Vytal Festival's Academy tournament and the near completion of the reconstruction efforts following the Grimm Breach. Civilian casualties were minimized due to the fast reactions of the huntsmen-in-training and the quick deployment of Atlas forces. Despite realistically acceptable results, it was obvious to everyone present for the secret meeting that the resident Headmaster of Vale was not in a good mood. A sentiment shared by his fellow headmaster and general of the Atlas army, James Ironwood.
"So, are we gonna address the Goliath in the room, or are we just gonna stand here like a bunch of brooding teens?" questioned Qrow after taking a healthy dose from his trusty flask.
"Now is not the time for your poor humor, Qrow. The incident with the Breach has caused a large amount of backlash towards both Beacon and my forces," admonished Ironwood.
Winter nodded alongside her superior. "General Ironwood is correct. Although tensions down in Vale have decreased with the Vytal festival in full swing, there is still a level of uncertainty amongst the populace and the council."
"Fortunately, the hunters and Atlas troops patrolling the outskirts of Vale have reported no sightings of any Grimm activity. It was very fortunate that Teams RWBY and JNPR were able to respond quickly before reinforcements could arrive," added Glynda.
"Yup, my nieces are badass," grinned Qrow, while Winter sighed at the drunk man's behavior.
Ozpin smiled at the mention of one of his most promising first-year teams. Before the headmaster could move to the next topic of importance, a large portal of swirling green energy manifested in the middle of the large office, shocking the group as the hunters and huntresses immediately shifted into defensive forms.
"What is that?!" shouted Qrow as he readied his sword, only to drive it into the floor as the portal's vacuum forces began sucking the warriors in.
Before anyone could respond, the portal's diameter suddenly enlarged and engulfed the entire group before collapsing in itself, leaving the grand office empty of its inhabitants.
With their confidence running high from their victory in the first two rounds against Teams ABRN and FNKI, the members of Team RWBY were happily enjoying some time off from their classes, independent investigations, and the anxious excitement of the upcoming single's rounds. Booting up their favorite game, Highway Combatants, Ruby and Yang were having an intense match with their favorite characters. Blake was settled on her bunk reading one of her newly bought novels, while Weiss entertained herself with Zwei.
"I've got you now, Yang! It's time I finally get a win," cried Ruby as she dished out combo moves left and right.
"Keep dreaming sis," smirked Yang as she countered her sister's attacks.
Weiss sighed. "Must you two be so loud? I'm surprised you both can play that game for hours."
"Because it's fun, Weiss! You enjoy beating your enemies. You can still give it a try," offered Yang as she delivered the finishing blow to opponent and basked in Ruby's cries.
Whatever the resident Ice Queen was going to say devolved into a scream as a swirling green portal suddenly formed in the middle of the dorm room, unleashing a powerful vacuum that sucked up all members of Team RWBY and Zwei before anyone could make a move. As the four teens and their little mascot fell into the portal, the swirling form of energy dispersed, leaving the room quiet once more.
"What exactly am I looking at again?" asked an uncertain and slightly disgusted Jaune Arc.
"My new pancake masterpiece of course, Fearless Leader!" Nora giggled as she drooled over her latest creations.
Like Team RWBY, the members of Team JNPR were taking some time off from the excitement of the tournament inside their dorm. Nora, with her beloved Ren's help, managed to convince both her fellow teammates to try out her newest recipe for her precious pancakes. What lied in front of both Pyrrha and Jaune were two fluffy stacks that contained nearly every candy and sweet treat that the energetic girl could get her hands on. Just looking at the sugary abomination gave the Arc heir a toothache.
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Nora? It doesn't really seem healthy," grimaced Jaune as he poked a Grimm gummy sticking out of its fluffy prison.
"Of course, it's a good idea, Jaune! With all this energy, we'll run through the rest of the tournament in no time," grinned Nora as she cut into her own stack.
Turning to his partner for some support, Jaune saw Pyrrha staring into space, absentmindedly shifting her stack's chocolate toppings. Jaune frowned in thought as he noticed his partner had become distant recently. She appeared to have a lot on her mind, but whenever the Arc heir broached the topic she always made an excuse. Torn between wanting to respect her space and helping his precious friend, Jaune had no choice but to concede to her decision to keep things to herself. Pyrrha could be just as stubborn as he was and an argument would only make things more stressful.
"You alright there, Pyrrha? Did something happen during the doubles match?" asked Jaune as Pyrrha jolted a bit.
"Oh! Um, no-no! Everything's fine. I-I just seem to be a little tired from all the excitement that's all," replied Pyrrha with a nervous smile.
"Well, I know what'll give you a good start-up. Something delicious candied pancakes!" cheered Nora.
"How did you even get Ren to make these anyway?" questioned Pyrrha.
"I have my ways," answered Nora while her beloved partner simply gave a solemn nod.
"Now! No more talking, more tasting!" cheered Nora as she lifted her fork up to her mouth for a bite, only to drop it in shock as a mass of swirling green energy erupted from the wall.
"What the-?!" Jaune couldn't say another word as Team JNPR were immediately sucked into the dimensional vortex, leaving the four plates of pancakes cooling on the small table.
Likewise, several more portals formed throughout Remnant before vanishing with their precious cargo. Each disappearance inconspicuous and silent.
With perfect synchronization, the swirling dimensional gateways reformed before ejecting their unwilling 'victims' out. Crying out from the fall, the groups of teens and adults, and one corgi, all groaned as they landed in several small piles of tangled bodies.
"Hey! Watch the hair!"
"Qrow! Get that sword out of my face!"
"Only when Ironwood gets his metal ass off of my back!"
"Ren! My pancakes!"
After taking several minutes to reorient themselves and apologizing for any painful entanglements, everyone stood up to inspect each other, surprised to find some familiar faces whom were also kidnapped alongside them.
"Dad? Uncle Qrow?"
"Okay, what the hell is going on here? Where in Oum's name are we anyway?" questioned Qrow as he and the rest of the group looked around their surroundings.
The area was large, very large as its size was like that of the amphitheater that was used for Beacon's school gatherings and combat classes. The floor was made of smooth white marble, while the glass ceiling was held by huge obsidian columns. In front of each column stood wooden stands that each showcased a different type of armor with a multitude of uniquely designed weapons propped next to them. Several large doors were also seen behind the large columns on both sides, while the only furniture nearby was a comfortable looking leather chair placed at the end of the room like some sort of throne. Opposite of the chair was a set of large doors with gold ornate decorations.
"You are here for a very special purpose, young bird," echoed a male voice, as a hooded figure walked out from behind one of the obsidian pillars close to the leather throne.
"Are you the one who brought us to this place," asked Ironwood as he gripped his hidden revolver. Likewise, everyone also brought their weapons to bear upon the mysterious stranger.
The robed figure raised his arms in a nonthreatening manner as he dropped back his hood to reveal snow white hair and sharp amethyst eyes. A large vertical scar marred the otherwise youthful face while a jagged horizontal one crossed just under the man's Adams apple.
"You are correct, General James Ironwood. I am indeed the one who brought you all to my realm. As for your questions, Qrow Branwen. You are in the Void realm, my home and base of operations. You may call me Void."
"…Looks like there's someone else who shares your tendency in naming things, Oz," smirked Qrow although he didn't take his eyes off the potential hostile.
"It would seem so," smiled Ozpin before stepping forward with his cane lowered. "And am I correct to assume that there is a purpose behind our kidnappings?"
Void nodded and calmly approached the group casually waving his hands, causing everyone's weapons to suddenly vanish much to the group's shock and horror.
Raising his hand again in a calming manner, Void now stood in front of the large group with an amused smile. "Relax. I have merely sent your weapons and armor to another part of my home. I didn't want any fighting to come about from any misunderstandings of my intentions."
"Well, you're certainly doing a poor job of it, buddy," frowned Taiyang as he stood in front of his children protectively, Zwei poised beside him.
"Apologies, but know that I mean you no harm. I have brought you all here because the gods wish it so."
Tensing at the man's words, Ozpin's expression became stoic as he eyed Void intensely, sensing no lie from his countenance. Sighing, the headmaster glanced to the other members of his inner circle before he faced Void.
"To make a long story short, I am a herald of the primordial beings of creation and have been tasked by the gods of your world to allow you all to view a portion of the RWBY-verse."
"RWBY-verse?" asked Ruby as she and her team perked up at the word, curiosity quickly replacing their caution.
Void nodded at the young Rose. "Within the vast plane of creation, there exists many different universes for each specific realm, all nearly identical to one another with alterations that range from minor to major. Many of these realms follow either a singular individual or a specific group of people. As the name suggests, the RWBY-verse focuses on Remnant and the lives of Team RWBY."
"So, we're going to see different versions of us?" asked Weiss with a raised brow.
"Yes and no. We are actually going to be focusing on one individual rather than Team RWBY, as he appears to be a person of interest for the gods of your realm," explained Void, making many of the group to glance at each other with confusion.
"And that person is," inquired Ozpin.
"Him," replied Void as he pointed at Jaune, startling the young man.
"Jaune?!" shouted both team RWBY and the remainder of JNPR.
Void nodded. "Although it would be more prudent for me to show you the adventures of Team RWBY's alternate counterparts, I have been tasked with showing you the alternate counterparts of one Jaune Arc. I believe this is because of Jaune's unique status among the inhabitants of the RWBY-verse."
"Unique status," repeated Pyrrha with concern while the others glanced at Jaune with varying expressions of disbelief.
"Yes. Curiously, Jaune appears to be a person of focus in many of the realms that make up the RWBY-verse. Many of them center around him being the 'main character' if you will or a source of changes to certain events that have occurred in your world. For example, there are worlds where Jaune comes from royalty or where he follows a different path away from becoming a huntsman. Others have Jaune forming a different team or suffering a tragic fate. Some worlds focus on Jaune and his interactions and various relationships with others, prominently featuring his connections with both his team and Team RWBY."
"No way…" muttered a dizzy Jaune.
"And just what do you mean by 'relationships'?" growled Taiyang as the other parents raised brows.
Void snickered but quickly composed himself. "They would be akin to what you might find in romantic comedies or anime that feature harems for the protagonist. In those cases, Jaune ends up forming quite a few romantic relationships."
"The hell he's going near my girls/nieces!" raged Taiyang and Qrow as they immediately glared at the blushing young man, missing the reddening hues of Team RWBY and Pyrrha.
Ghira Belladonna was also glaring down at the frightened Arc scion, while some of the other adults were either amused or intrigued.
Clearing his throat to gather everyone's attention, Ozpin turned back to the mysterious kidnapper. "And how do we know that you are speaking the truth to us? The disappearance of our weapons and our arrival here would most likely be the work of your semblance. Is there some kind of proof that you may give us?"
Void regarded the headmaster for a moment before smiling mysteriously. "Tell me, Headmaster Ozpin? What is your favorite fairy tale?"
Stiffening at the specific wording, the Headmaster of Vale kept a passive look while the rest of his inner circle sent nervous glances to each other. The Beacon students were more confused but Jaune noticed Pyrrha let out a small gasp.
"I am quite partial to the 'Four Seasons', Mr. Void. Are you familiar with it, Mr. Void?"
Void chuckled. "Of course, Headmaster. I am quite familiar to the tale of the four maidens and the lonely wizard. Although I hold more interest in 'The Star Protectors' and the 'Moon Knight'."
"The guardian watchers of the heavens and the noble warrior. A bit more obscure but no less wonderful stories."
Void nodded and snapped his fingers as hundreds of dimensional gateways opened throughout the large chamber. Each portal was playing images of various Jaune Arcs, each in different clothing and performing various acts.
"Do you believe me now, Headmaster of Vale?"
Glancing at the different viewing portals for a moment, Ozpin turned to his inner circle and saw their expressions of awe and concern. He faced his students and the other adults before he sighed and nodded in acceptance.
"Yes. But why were we all specifically chosen to be brought here? I doubt it is simply to watch Mr. Arc's counterparts no matter how interesting it would be."
Void nodded, a grave frown taking over his countenance. "A great evil is descending upon Remnant and it is my hope to prepare you for when she comes. You know of whom I speak of, Ozpin."
"Salem," answered the headmaster, making his inner circle gasp while the others grew even more confused.
Having enough of the cryptic words, Yang pushed past her father with her hands raised, "Now hold up a minute! Some of us are seriously confused here. What are you guys all talking about?"
Looking uncertainly to her superior, Glynda turned to the group of students and parents after receiving an acquiescing nod. Clearing her throat, she gathered everyone's attention. "There are certain things in Remnant that the public, and even the Councils, are not aware of. The Grimm aren't simply mindless creatures, but are being controlled by another force. Her name is Salem, a long-time adversary of ours," explained the combat professor as she gestured to her colleagues.
"What?!" cried the shocked teens and adults.
"You can't be serious," Kali asked in concern, growing increasingly worried for her daughter.
"I'm afraid she is deathly serious, Mrs. Belladonna," stepped in Void, getting everyone's attention.
"As a divine and cosmic rule, Gods are not allowed to directly interfere with the mortal realm even though they may have caused such problems in the first place. They can partially provide aid, mostly in the form of luck or miracles as most would call them. However, independent spiritual entities such as myself have a little more leeway. Not only can we directly manifest in the mortal plane, but we can also intervene under a different set of rules. My actions are a part of preparing you for the coming war against Salem and her underlings."
"This is a lot to take in, Mr. Void," spoke Willow Schnee, having sobered up a bit, "but why are we here when it seems that the children and Ozpin's group are more involved," as she gestured to the other parents.
Void regarded the mature woman for a moment before smiling. "Isn't it obvious? I wish to mitigate the damage as much as possible. It is only right that the parents of these young warriors should be involved. Speaking of which," trailed the cloak man he snapped his fingers and one of the doors on the group's left creaked open.
Several sets of footsteps echoed throughout the chamber as everyone watched several very familiar individuals make their appearance.
"Mom?! Dad?!" cried Jaune as he saw his parents enter the room.
Likewise, Ren stood in silent shock with a concerned Nora as he saw his own mother and father stop before him, looking as healthy as before the tragic events that split them apart.
"Mom!" shouted Yang and Ruby with teary eyes as they rushed towards the long-dead Summer Rose.
"My goals are more than just simply aiding you in your endeavors against Salem," smiled Void as he saw the family reunions, while Ozpin and the others looked on with a torrent of emotions.
Silent and tense, both Taiyang and Qrow stepped forward as Yang and Ruby quietly pulled away to give them some space. Raising a shaky hand, Taiyang took in every feature of his lost love, fear and uncertainty clear for everyone to see.
"Aren't you going to give me a hug, Taiyang?" asked Summer as she opened her arms, tears threatening to spill.
That did it. Taiyang tightly wrapped his arms around his beloved, unwilling to let go and letting out quivering breaths. Overflowing with tears, Taiyang gave Summer a passionate kiss. Her own tears flowing, Summer returned the kiss.
"Hey, what about me?" complained an amused but emotional Qrow.
Breaking the kiss, Summer laughed and opened an arm, allowing Qrow to join in on a group hug as the three members of Team STRQ basked their reunion.
Meanwhile, Ren quietly introduced a nervous Nora to Li and An Ren. Jaune also spoke to his mother and father, Diana and Roland Arc, introducing his own teammate to the couple.
After giving his guests a few more moments of happiness and settling down their emotions, the cloaks man clapped his hands to gather everyone's attention. "As you can see, I have also gathered Jaune's parents for the viewing. Summer Rose and Mr. Ren's parents are also here to join us."
"But why? Summer Rose and Mr. Ren's parents are," trailed Glynda, as she waved her arm towards the deceased adults.
"Dead," finished Void bluntly.
"It's quite simple really. In addition to learning what you can from the viewings and training within my realm, I plan to bring back several deceased individuals and heal others to further increase your chances of success."
"Bring them back to life," repeated Ironwood in disbelief, as the others looked at Void with shock.
"I am a spiritual being of great power, General Ironwood. Although I am bound by divine rules like the Gods, I can still operate on a much more direct level. Returning life is trivial compared to what I and those like me can do."
Qrow softly whistled and regarded the man. "Then why don't you just come down to Remnant, kick Salem's ass, and let us clean up the Grimm?"
"Salem is ultimately Ozpin's, and Team RWBY and JNPR's by extension, enemy. I am also bound to remain in the Void. My colleagues and agents are the ones that can join you in your fight. As it stands, I am more of a strategist and informant helping from the rear lines."
Ozpin pondered on the explanation before he sighed and turned to the assembled teens and adults. "I believe it would be best to accept Mr. Void's offer. We could learn much from our own counterparts as we watch Jaune's."
"The added training wouldn't be bad either," included Ironwood with a stroke of his chin.
"Getting to see Fearless Leader and ourselves from different worlds? Count me in," grinned Nora, as the two teams nodded.
Spotting the worried looks Diana, Roland, and the other parents held, Void approached them with a solemn air. "I know that as parents none of you want any of your children to get hurt, but they chose the warrior's path. They will be involved one way or another. By allowing me to show you these worlds and providing extra training, I will can increase everyone's chances of survival."
Each of the adults still held worried looks, but they were soon replaced with determination. They may not like the idea of sending their children off to war, but that didn't mean they couldn't do their part to support them. Stepping forward, Roland nodded to Void.
"Alright. We'll join you in watching these worlds."
"And take part in the training," asserted Kali.
"Kali," began Ghira but stopped at the glare his wife sent him.
"I am not going to just stand back and let Blake fight in a war, Ghira. I'll be fighting as well."
"Mom," started Blake, but she too was cut off by Kali's determined glare.
"…Then I better dust off my claws," smiled Ghira as he stood by his wife.
"Count us in too," smiled Diana as she grasped her husband's hand.
Seeing the determined, if uncertain, looks gathered on everyone's faces, Void smiled and clapped his hands, closing all the portals surrounding the group. Waving his hands, Void summoned several couches and loveseats set in the middle of the room as a large semicircle. Another wave and a well of light formed in the floor, forming a large projection in front of the sitting area not unlike the holograms used back in Remnant. "Let's get started, shall we?"
Everyone nodded and moved to sit. Teams RWBY and JNPR ended up taking the outermost couches on both sides. RWBY on the left and JNPR on the right. Li and An took a loveseat next to their son, while Taiyang and Summer took over the opposite loveseat next to Team RWBY, Zwei happily snuggling between the couple. The Arcs and Belladonnas took the remaining loveseats, while Ozpin and his inner circle took the final and largest couch in the middle of the semicircle. Void stood behind the large couch to act as the viewing portal's operator.
"Now, the first set of dimensions we are seeing are a cluster of worlds that is overseen by another protector, Masseffect-TxS."
"That sounds like someone's gamer profile," smirked Yang.
Void shrugged. "Most watchers like to use different codenames or personas to help keep our identities a secret. Usually, this applies to the populace of the worlds we are watching over."
"Does that include you," idly asked Qrow with a swig of his flask.
"Perhaps," smiled Void, as his eyes glowed for a moment to activate the projection.
"Now, just as a reminder. The viewing portal not only shows what is happening in the other worlds but also the inner thoughts and feelings of the people we are seeing. Think of it as seeing the exposition in a novel in addition to the dialogue and actions," explained the cloaked man, as everyone nodded in understanding.
"Here we go," whispered Jaune as the portal began relaying its first images.
"For this first world, we'll be looking at a Jaune who descends from royalty and is on his journey to become both a great huntsman and a great king for his people."
"You mean this Jaune-Jaune's a prince! Oh, I hope we get to go to the castle," squealed Nora.
"Prince Jaune Arc, I can't wrap my mind around such a notion," mumbled Weiss, much to her team's amusement.
Jaune Arc happily hummed to himself walking the hall of Beacon Academy towards team RWBY's dorm room with a bouquet of blue roses in one hand and skip in his step as he held his head high. Why was this young man so happy this day? Well you see my friends he was on his way to ask out the resident ice queen of Beacon, Weiss Schnee on a date.
"So far, things don't seem much different than how it is here," spoke Ren, while everyone else watched with amusement.
However, Winter and Willow perked up at the mention of the Arc heir's apparent affection for their younger sister and daughter, interested in how things would play out. Roland and Diana were also quite invested in their son's dating life.
This was the tenth time in the past week that the boy had attempted to ask out the heiress, even though he had bee shut down nine times before, but due to the fact that he had a huge crush on the girl, he was not going to give up so easily.
"Oh, come on," cried Jaune, embarrassed that even the projection said had no chance with his former crush.
"There, there, Jaune," giggled Pyrrha as she patted her partner on the back, but was inwardly frowning at the reminder of Jaune's old crush.
Weiss merely huffed at the reminder of Jaune's past attempts, while the rest of Team RWBY giggled.
Interestingly unlike other boy's who asked her out, he did not fancy her for the wealth she possessed but rather had fallen in love with her beauty and her singing voice. He wanted to ask her out on a date in the hopes to better-become friends and maybe a step further into a true relationship.
But every time he asked her out he was rejected and left feeling miserable and alone. Which of course it didn't help that Yang would find a mild humour in his misery and used the nickname 'Ladykiller' as a small insult, not that she was mean or anything, she just found it amusing. But despite the fact Weiss had rejected him for the ninth time in a row, Jaune believed that if he asked her enough she might just give him a chance.
Both Weiss and Yang flinched a bit as they regarded Jaune. Yang never sought to insult her friend, even if it was unintentional, as she hoped to break Jaune out of his funk whenever he got rejected. Weiss, on the other hand, felt a bit ashamed as she remembered her harsh rejections, but was surprised at the reasons Jaune had for wanting to ask her out.
"Really?" asked Weiss.
Jaune smiled with a shrug. "Your last name didn't really hit me until a little after initiation. I didn't really pay attention to the SDC back home."
Meanwhile, Diana was glaring at the white-themed girl for daring to hurt her son's feelings, while Roland tried to calm her down.
Winter merely hummed at the young man's actions, as she was reminded of her own would-be suitors, while Willow scoffed, remembering how things had turned out for her with Jacques.
Not a very sound logic mind you, but hey love hurts right?
After all, his father always told him that an Arc never gives up, so that's what he was going to do, not give up until she was his.
"I thought I told you stop giving our children terrible dating advice," glared Diana.
"But confidence is key to growing up. Besides, I was mostly referring to fighting and general life, not romance," defended a sweating Roland.
So living up to his family's mantra, he walked his way towards the dorm ready to ask her out for the tenth time this week. Luckily he had chosen to speak to her when her teammates were not around, so as to avoid any ridicule from Yang. The rest of her team had gone out to Vale today with his team to do some shopping and buy more ammunition while Weiss opted stayed behind to catch up on some study.
He soon stood nervously in front of the door to team RWBY as he breathed in and knocked on the door and waited for the door to open, readying the cheesy one-liner he would say to her. The door soon opened to reveal the girl's infamous snow-white hair and ice cold blue eyes as they were soon set upon his grin. Weiss instantly had a look of annoyance on her face as she saw the blond knight.
The members of Team RWBY and JNPR all flinched at the heiress' counterpart.
"This won't end well," muttered Ruby with Yang and Blake nodding in agreement.
"What is it now Arc?" she asked with clear annoyance in her voice clearly already knowing the intention that the boy had if the roses in his hand were anything to go on and the fact the for the past week she was constantly asked for a date with the boy, never relenting when she ignored him and brushed him to the side.
But after an entire week of his constant advances the ice queen which was starting to lose her nerves and had enough of it. Most of her teenage life had to deal with many young men asking her out because of her wealthy position and the opportunity to say they dated a Schnee heiress. So of course, automatically she expected that the boy before her was no exception. Today, however, she would have no more of it and set the record straight with the resident knight once and for all.
"Hey Snow Angel, I got you these blue roses. My dad always said to give pretty flowers for a pretty girl before he asks her out" he said as he handed her the flowers. "I hope you like them?" he said with a somewhat nervous smile. Only for the girl not to take them as she just glared at the boy in front of her. But undeterred by this fact, he continued on as he smiled at the young heiress.
Many of the assembled group were wincing at how badly things were going for Jaune's counterpart. Weiss herself was mortified at the coming rejection, as a dark feeling formed in the pit of her stomach. While she had never taken a romantic interest in Jaune, she still found his attempts somewhat flattering. Like her counterpart, Weiss, alongside Winter, had to wade through many propositions that held ulterior motives, especially as she grew older. Although there were a few genuine attempts to get to know them, the young heiress found it difficult to differentiate them from the shallow moneygrubbers since many were able to play off on appearances.
For Winter and Willow, both understood Weiss' reaction to Jaune's slightly overbearing attempts for a date. Winter felt slightly disappointed as she had previously taught Weiss how to better deal with most would-be suitors, but reassured herself that this would be a learning experience for her sister. Meanwhile, Willow frowned as guilt took over her thoughts. The Schnee matriarch had never been really close with either of her daughters, preferring to wallow in her own self-pity, but seeing her daughter's actions with the Arc boy showed just how much she failed as a mother. Thus, both Schnee women decided to speak to Weiss as soon as the viewing was over.
Spotting the emotions that were going through the Schnee family, Void smiled as one of his goals was already being set into motion. Looking over at the Jaune's parents, the cloaked man had to stifle a laugh as Diana alternated between glaring holes into Weiss' counterpart and scolding her husband.
"Ok Never mind about the flowers...So anyway Weiss, I was wondering if you wanted to go out to a movie with me this weekend? You know hang out together with just the two of us? What do you say?" he asked with a hopeful look on his face. It was at this point where most would say was the beginning of something that would rock the foundations of Remnant.
"Jaune, how many times have you asked me out this week?" she asked with a slight cold edge in her voice. He felt a cold chill run down his spine but slowly answered the girl.
"A-about ten times now I reckon?" he said meekly as the girl glared at him.
"You have to admit that Jaune was persistent," whispered Nora, as Ren nodded.
"I just hope nothing bad happens," muttered Pyrrha as she sent a concerned glance to her own Jaune.
"And how many of those requests have I accepted?" she said again as her voice grew even colder. Jaune had to swallow the slight nervousness in his throat as her ice blue eyes glared into his soul.
"U-um...none of them?" he once again replied meekly as the girl nodded her head.
"So answer me this Arc, if I didn't accept your stupid request the first time...What would make you possibly think I would accept it this time!" she spat out the last part out with venom laced in her words, as Jaune stumbled back in surprise.
"When are you going to get the hint that I don't like you! I've never liked you in any way! I mean seriously! There's persistence and then there is just downright creepy! Your contestant advances are so irritating! That if I had a choice between being on a deserted island and going on a date with you, I would take the deserted island just to get away from you!" Jaune backed off slightly as his heart beat faster and harder in his chest. Her harsh words cutting deeply into him with each insult she threw his way.
Qrow whistled as he glanced at Winter. "That's pretty harsh. I guess you aren't the only Ice Queen in Vale."
"Shut it, Qrow," scowled Winter, her eyes not leaving the projection.
"This is getting a bit much," frowned Ruby, not wanting her best friend to hurt her first friend.
"Yeah, laying it a bit thick there, Weiss," said Yang, while said heiress winced at every insult her counterpart spat out.
"And why would someone of my stature ever want to date someone like you? You're such a sorry excuse for a hunter that the fact you haven't impaled yourself on your own sword still surprises me to this day?" Small tears began to build in the corners of his eyes as the girl continued to berate him. Every word she spoke felt as if her own blade stabbed him, each one causing his heart to ache and quicken in pain.
"Not to mention the fact that a bumbling excuse of a hunter like you was a leader of his own team rather than your own partner, who lets face it is ten times the hunter you will ever be! It makes me wonder if the headmaster took pity on you or made a serious mistake!? In my opinion, this school and your team would be better off without you! You're not a leader...you're just an annoying anchor holding them back" a sharp pain stabbed his heart as the girl glared one more time.
"So let me make it perfectly clear for the last time and hopefully it will get trough that thick skull that houses the meagre little brain in your head, I Weiss Schnee of the illustrious Schnee family will never ever in my life, consider you anything more than an annoyance!" she then gripped door tight as she swung it with all her might.
"So stop asking me out and buzz off!" And with that final yell, she slammed the door straight in the face, leaving the boy with a broken expression and a shattered heart. She turned around and huffed as she sat down on her bed, never knowing the pain and hurt she had just caused to the boy outside.
Everyone stayed silent throughout the entire exchange as the uncomfortable tension settled into the audience. Most of the adults were either sending disappointed looks to Weiss or pity-filled ones to Jaune, of which neither individual liked.
Weiss sunk further into her seat, unable to meet anyone else's gaze, berating both herself and her counterpart for being so malicious. Looking up, she saw Jaune slumped over as if it was him that received the verbal lashing instead of his counterpart. The rest of Team JNPR were trying their best to comfort their friend and leader, but the young man remained unresponsive.
Ozpin and Glynda were regarding their students, but remained silent like the rest of the adults. Although they wanted to help both Weiss and Jaune, they knew that this was something that they needed to deal with on their own. Neither of them agreed with alternate-Weiss' statement, as they had both seen the potential within Jaune throughout his time in Beacon, despite his lack of initial training.
"Jaune," started Weiss.
"It's okay, Weiss," interrupted Jaune as he met her gaze with a weak smile. "I should have been more observant earlier. What that Weiss said hurt, but she isn't you, so don't beat yourself up about it."
"…She is still me, Jaune. Saying such things was wholly inappropriate and uncalled for. I'm sorry for hurting you in such a way."
"She's right, Jaune. You've been a wonderful leader, and more importantly, a great friend to us," reassured Pyrrha as Ren and Nora agreed.
"Thanks, guys," replied Jaune, still a little teary-eyed.
Jaune just stared at the door as his heart beat loudly in his chest, so much that it hurt to the point where he had to get away. He sprinted down the hallway while avoiding bypassing students and hiding his face in the darkness of his hood.
The tears now freely streaking down his face as he continued to run far from the hurt, far away from the harsh words that echoed in his mind and far away from the pain that followed him. But the furthest he got was the cliffs of Beacon as he looked upon the large green forest of initiation, the place where he was launched into the woods so many months ago. The place where he was chosen as leader instead of Pyrrha or Ren.
The place where he made his first true mistake and entered a place that he never belonged...
"But you do belong, Mr. Arc," whispered Ozpin, as he looked on in sympathy.
He stopped as he attempted to reign in the tears that continued to flow, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't stop crying. His heart and his mind were in a constant vortex of emotion and despair that it threatened to spill into his sanity. But it was nothing compared to the pain that ached at his heart. His heart broken and his mind shattered as the beautiful image he had painted in his head of the white-clad girl began to distort and blur within his mind.
Twisting and turning into a vicious image of self-doubt and hatred, burning blue eye forever burned into his soul. He kneeled on the grass as he looked out at the setting sun in the emerald forest. Thinking about the words she had said to him and the truth that was laced with each word she spoke and realised how much of a burden he was to his team, and how he was truly holding each and every one of them back.
Tears in her eyes, Diana wanted nothing more than to embrace her son's counterpart and comfort him, especially since her own Jaune was no doubt affected by alternate-Weiss' words. However, seeing her son's teammates try and comfort her precious little boy, Diana held herself back. Likewise, Roland wanted to take his son to the side and help comfort him, but he knew that now was not the time to do so. Still, it hurt to see their child feeling so much pain.
Her words had broken something within him, as the dam of inadequacy and doubt that had once gnawed at the edges of his brain, clawed their way back into place as he felt small and weak once again.
The image of Weiss with a look of disgust taunted him as she repeated the words over and over again. One last tear fell down his face as he screamed and held his head in his hands. The tears freely flowing down his face as he cried into his hands, his heart broken and his soul forever damaged by the White haired Heiress.
After what seemed an eternity for the boy, he finally stopped as he looked up and watched the setting sun with a heavy heart, the sun just beginning to set on the horizon and basking the sky in a beautiful colour orange hue. Watching with blank eyes and a heavy heart he felt the cool breeze wash over his form and asked the very question that had plagued him since day one
"What the hell am I even doing here?" he asked himself as he sat on the edge of the cliff.
'I still wonder the same thing at times,' questioned Jaune as he stared at his broken counterpart.
Not where he was right now, but why he was at Beacon? He began to wonder what it was that drove him to use fake transcripts to sneak his way into Beacon, one of the best academies in the whole of Remnant. What had driven him to pack his bag, hop on the earliest bulkhead to Vale and lie his way into Beacon? Why did he go through all through the trouble of sneaking into Beacon if all he was going to be was a failure? What was the point of coming here if he was just going to end up failing from the start?
What was it all worth?
With a heavy heart, he looked down as he unclipped the sword on his hip as he looked at the ancient blade. The blade before him held a history of greatness to its name with many warriors carving their names into history and winning the love and devotion of the people around them. But to Jaune, it was a constant reminder of what he could never see himself as...
A hero and protector of the innocent.
"Oh, Jaune," whispered Roland, as he cursed himself for telling so many stories about his family's exploits and adventures to Jaune when he was younger. He knew his son could be a great hero, but he feared what such a path would cost.
Pyrrha herself was breaking at seeing her crush losing all hope. She wanted nothing more than to take Jaune into her arms and whisper comforting words. Oh, if only she wasn't such a coward when it came to her feelings for the boy!
Jaune sighed as he rested the blade to his side and looked out at the sea of green leaves. He thought of his team and how weak by comparison he was to them and he realised that he was holding them back. Compared to them, he was nothing to the strengths and skill they all possessed.
Ren was patient and so skilled in his aura he could kill a King Taiju by making its head explode. He was usually the one that kept their team together by speaking calmly and patiently with all of them as a leader would do.
Nora was already insanely strong with the way she swung her hammer and smashed a Deathstalker's armour plate to pieces. Her attitude and her energy kept the team alive and smiling as she radiated with boundless energy.
And finally his partner, Pyrrha Nikos, the four-time champion of the Mistral Tournament and a prodigy as a hunter. She was a goddess compared to him as a hunter. She was always the one protecting him in a fight, always the one to keep him safe, to lend a hand in battle and even now she still offered to help him. She trained him every night on the rooftops, instead of resting from a long day's work. And all he was to the team was an anchor, dragging them down with him.
They sacrificed time they could have used to better themselves, just to make sure he didn't lag behind them.
"Maybe it would best if I left Beacon? I don't deserve to be here...I never deserved to be here," he said solemnly as the dark thoughts in his mind and words of Weiss whispered in his ear.
"When has anyone ever deserved anything Mister Arc?"
'Finally,' sighed the Headmaster.
"Nice timing there, Oz," smirked Qrow, as the others looked on with surprise.
"I don't know what you mean, Qrow."
He opened his eyes, as an aged and wiser voice spoke to him. He turned around, as he was meet with the appearance of Ozpin, the headmaster of Beacon Academy. The man stood before him with his cane in one hand and coffee mug in the other hand.
"Headmaster?" realising that he still ad tears in his eyes, he brushed the tears away from his eyes as looked at the man. "Sorry, I must look pretty pathetic right now?" The man shook his head as he walked up to the boy.
"Not at all Mister Arc, we all have our moments of weakness even the most veteran of huntsmen cannot hide their moments of sorrow," he said sagely as he stood next Jaune.
"Very true words, Ozpin," murmured Ironwood as he rubbed his prosthetic limbs.
"It is as Ozpin said, Mr. Arc. We are not invincible," said Glynda.
He then turned to the boy as he sat next to him. "Now what is it that's troubling you Mister Arc?" he asked as Jaune looked down at this.
"It's nothing sir, it doesn't have to concern you," he said as the man only shook his head.
"When it comes to the well-being of my students it becomes my concern. So tell me what is the matter Mister Arc?" Jaune sighed at this as he told the man what had happened earlier. The man listened as he nodded as he told him of Weiss's rather harsh rejection and the words she said. The man did not show any emotion, nor did he show any anger at the young heiress' behaviour. He just sat next to the boy and listened, as a mentor should.
"I see...that is a lot to digest Mister Arc, I have known of Miss Schnee's rather harsh attitude and inability to think outside her own needs since she arrived at this academy. Its part of the reason she was not chosen to be the leader of her team, but that was uncalled fo,r" Jaune looked away as he thought about the word leader. A strange thought had accord as Jaune turned to the man
Weiss flinched once again at the truth of the Headmaster's words, but looked up when Ruby placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. Remembering their own argument back in the beginning of the year, Weiss gave Ruby a thankful nod before returning to the projection.
Ozpin nodded at his counterpart, as he had similar reasons for not choosing his own world's Weiss as leader of RWBY.
"Headmaster if I might ask something?" the man nodded as he gestured for him to continue. "Headmaster if I might ask something?" the man nodded as he gestured for him to continue. "Why did you choose me to be a leader? You've seen how I fight? You know how pathetic I am, so why am I a leader, when clearly it should have been Ren or Pyrrha?" The man looked to ponder the thought but instantly turned back as he faced the boy.
"Well yes, any one of those two would have made a better choice to be the leader of team JNPR?" Jaune instantly felt the jab at that. "But I didn't because of what I witnessed on the day of initiation" Jaune looked back up as the man nodded,
"Not all leaders are made through combat prowess alone, kid. Somethings can't be written down on a simple transcript," said Taiyang with an arm around his wife's shoulders.
Summer elbowed her husband in the stomach, but smiled in agreement. Many of the adults nodded in agreement as there were many qualities that were needed for someone to be a good leader.
Meanwhile, Void smiled as he mentally jotted down what he wanted to work on with the young huntsmen-in-training, especially for Jaune.
"Mister Arc anyone can swing a sword or shoot a gun. Anyone could win fame, glory or riches. Yet you mister Arc, not your partner nor Ren nor Nora was able or even willing to try to analyse your enemy, find its weakness and exploited it with the help of your team, that showed you had the mind of a brilliant tactician." he praised as he stood next to the boy.
"Not only that but you were able to successfully coordinate with three other students you barely knew. You had achieved victory against an opponent far larger than you and showed that you had the ability to trust those around you, that is the true aspects of being a leader Mister Arc," he said as Jaune just continued to stare at him as he thought about what the man had said, but still doubted himself as Weiss's words gnawed the inside of his brain.
"But I'm nowhere near as strong as practically everyone at Beacon? How can I be expected to lead a team, if I can't even protect myself?" he asked the man as he stood up. Ozpin looked down at the boy as he decided on an answer that would change the boy's destiny forever.
"You really need to work on that self-esteem, kid," frowned Qrow, as he stowed away his now empty flask.
"I'm sure my counterpart will clear things up for Mr. Arc," assured Ozpin, as he nodded his thanks to Void for the offered mug of coffee.
"You confuse the meaning of strength and ability Mr Arc. As you may know, we at Beacon keep a close eye on our students to best help them on their way to becoming hunters. That includes your training sessions with your partner to help with your apparent lack of experience due to forged papers," Jaune's eyes widened as the man waved his hand.
Jaune shot up in shock as he immediately turned to the Headmaster. Ozpin merely smiled and gave a nod, while some of the other adults stared at Jaune with disbelief, along with a hint of disappointment and anger for such fraudulent actions.
"Sneaking into Beacon. Kid's got balls," whispered Qrow to his teammates who nodded in agreement.
"Yes, I am well aware of your false transcripts, but those do not matter. Do you know why?" he asked as Jaune shook his head.
"When you were forced into the forest, facing ceartin death with little to no training. When you were forced to face the Grimm of the forest and the Deathstalker what did you do?" he smiled as he pointed to the cliff with the ruins of their battle.
"You applied yourself with what you knew, learned about your surroundings and used the resources you had to your advantage. You used your own strength to beat your enemy. There is more to power than simply beating something or some one up. If that were the case then Miss Valkyrie would have been chosen as the leader of your team and you can image what she would do, wouldn't you?" Jaune thought for a moment, then shivered at the thought.
...So much destruction, so many grenades...
Nora scoffed. "It wouldn't have been that bad!"
Unaware to Nora, the rest of her team and Team RWBY all shuddered at the thought of their friend's tendency to make things go boom, while Ren shook his head towards his parents when he spotted their questioning gaze.
"Thank goodness for small mercies," whispered Glynda as she would have been responsible for repairing all the damage that would have been made.
"I know the argument you had with your partner on the roof that night Mister Arc, and I also agree with you. Miss Nikos made a mistake in her approach to help you. There is a fine line between fighting WITH someone and fighting FOR someone. The way she stated her wish to help you made all your past efforts seem to go to waste, thus hurting your pride that you needed to gain strength."
Pyrrha wanted to smack herself as she listened to Ozpin's words, feeling guilty for not wording her offer better, but smiled when she felt Jaune give her hand a comforting squeeze. Their temporary falling out was a painful one, but both felt they had grown closer by the end of it.
"But like I said, you are confusing the real meaning behind the word strength. Do you know why I would never let yang be leader? She destroyed a night club, hurting its owner and staff sending many to the hospital because of her own selfishness." he turned to the boy as he raised an eyebrow.
"Something that we still need to talk about, young lady," assured Taiyang, as he gave his daughter a stern look.
Something that Yang diligently ignored for the moment.
"Does that sound like a leader of a huntress? Of someone, you can trust? For you Mister Arc there is a difference. You are a man who doesn't see just the individual, but rather the whole and the many. Yet in your prusit for more strength, you have forgotten where your true strength lies. In a lot of ways you remind me of a old friend who i should listen to more often." he said as he drifted off for a moment.
"For you Mister Arc I would say look towards not just your team or team RWBY, but to all of them. All hunters in and outside of school, the people in Vale and the common folk, talk to them and work with them. For that is where your best strength lay. Who would or could these people follow or belive in?"
"But how do I become stronger?" he asked as the man only pointed back to the school.
"You have a plentiful amount of friends that are willing and able to help you. It is not a weakness to ask for help from those who care for you. Even if you're from such a prestige family, Votre Altesse Royale." Jaune's eyes widened greatly as he looked at the man.
"I still can't believe that world's Jaune is from royalty," muttered Blake, shaking her head.
"Which is still awesome! I really hope our other selves get to visit Jaune's castle. I can finally sing 'Queen of the Castle' in an actual castle," gushed Nora, nearly vibrating in her excitement.
"I wonder if it'll be like the stories that we used to read? What do you think, Yang?"
"Maybe. Still, this just shows why Prof. Ozpin is the head honcho of Beacon. I'm sure he'll get Vomit Boy to finally get some training done with us," smiled Yang.
"I don't think I'd survive training with both Nora and Yang," muttered Jaune, making Pyrrha stifle a laugh.
"Y-you know?" he said as the man only placed a finger on his own lips to indicate silence and secrecy.
"I know everything about you Mister Arc, everything, even the things you hide from the rest of the world. And while I have no idea why it is you decided to come to my Academy, I will not turn my doors away from a promising student." He then began to walk away as he waved back to the boy.
"Remember what we talked about Mister Arc, it's not a weakness to ask for help, but rather an experience that must never be wasted" he called out and left the boy to his own devices. Jaune stared at the man as unconsciously grabbed at his chest, just under his heart. He shook off his surprise, as he looked back at the large institution as he felt a new fire burning within him.
"He's right, I can't just give up now, that would be an insult to everything I did to get here." he stood up as he thought about his friends. "And it would be an insult to them if I quit on them now. I am strong, but I need to get stronger, not just for me, but for my friends as well and everything they did to get here," he said as he faced the cliff and to the setting sun.
"So I am going to get better! I am going to get stronger! I am going to make my team the best team in Beacon! And I'm not going to rest until I reach my goal! That is an Arc Promise!" he yelled as the cliff was basked in pure silence.
Roland and Diana looked on with pride and joy as they saw their son reinvigorate himself. For the past few years, they had seen Jaune struggle with his confidence and resolve, especially when it seemed that the world was against him. Many times, they wanted to help Jaune with his struggles, but they both knew that he needed to learn and develop such fortitude on his own, doubly-so since Jaune ended up inheriting the same stubbornness that made both parents extraordinary hunters.
As for the Beacon students, Jaune blushed at watching his counterpart do something so embarrassing as his friends either cheered or laughed from the anime-styled speech and pose. Still, from his counterpart's words, Jaune felt his own feelings strengthen, silently vowing to grow for both himself and his friends.
"I'm glad Peter isn't here to witness such a…bombastic statement, but it is good to see Mr. Arc finally get his act together," mused Glynda as she and her colleagues took in the cheering teens.
"Perhaps we can convince our host to bring Peter and Barty here for the viewing. I've been indulging in the thought of informing them of our more clandestine responsibilities," offered Ozpin.
"We're already dealing with crazy stuff, Oz. No need to make things even crazier by adding those two into the mix," smirked Qrow, while Ironwood nodded although he did see the benefits of having the two professors join.
Meanwhile, Void smiled at Jaune and idly examined his guests, already feeling the changes stirring within them that he had been hoping to implement. Dealing with Salem and her agents, not to mention other factors, would require great resolve and personal strength. Sharpening their skills would be pointless without helping them secure their feelings.
"Man, it is a good thing no one was around to hear me say that?" he said as he chuckled to himself. "I mean I've learned to live without shame, but even I would find that embarrassing," he said as he turned around and started heading towards his dorm room, all the while thinking of how he could change himself. And to do this, he needed to reevaluate himself as both a person and a hunter. He soon made it back to his room as he pulled out his scroll.
'Ok let us have a look at my grades and see where I need to improve on...' he thought to himself as he opened up the grades icon. Instantly he fell to his hands and knees, as a cloud of despair hung heavily over his head. 'Good lord these are bad! How the hell have I not been kicked out yet?' he thought as he shook his head.
"Nope! Nope! No more despair! I have a promise that I need to keep and I'm not going to lets this stop me, despite how bad...my...grades...are..." he said as his shoulders sagged with each word. He curled up into a ball as the cloud continued to hang over his head.
Wincing at the reminder of his poor performance in classes when compared to the other students of his year, Jaune nervously rubbed the back of his head as he could feel the glare radiating from Prof. Goodwitch. Seeing his counterpart's grades, the others also grimaced at the abysmal marks. They wondered about whether they should be worried about Jaune's mental stability as they see his counterpart bounce back and forth between determination and despair.
On the other hand, Ozpin admittedly enjoyed the shocked looks he saw grace Ironwood and Winter's faces. While he did believe Jaune needed to get his grades up, he wasn't as concerned about test scores compared to the stricter Atlas headmaster and special operative.
"Maybe that offer to leave is still open?"
He then shook his head and slapped his cheeks as he glared at his grades "Argh! Pull yourself together man! What would dad say at a time like this?" he said to himself as an image of his father appeared before him. The man grinned as he posed his thumb up to the boy.
Roland leaned forward, a bit eager to hear what wisdom his counterpart would give.
"Remember son! Girls love a man with confidence-!"
Only to slap himself, as the others laughed at the poor advice, while Diana whacked her husband on the head. It was the exact same line that he gave to their own Jaune before he left for Beacon.
"THAT DOES'NT HELP RIGHT NOW! DAD!" he yelled as he threw a pillow at the cloud and swept it away. "Ok what would mum say?" he thought as an image of his mother appeared before him.
"Listen to your mother Jaune and everything will be all right," she said as she then disappeared leaving Jaune to just stare at the cloud bubble that popped out of existence.
This time Diana sheepishly sunk in her seat, as the other adults sent her amused or deadpanned looks. Once again, Jaune had his face covered at the useless advice.
"...Well, that was no help at all...hmm~" he pondered as he thought to himself. "Ok let's think about this logically, my grades a terrible, I don't have a lot of fighting skills and the love of my life has just harshly rejected me...geez I got a lot to work with huh?" he said to himself as he got up and paced the room.
"Well it's clear what I have to do, I need to get stronger which means I have to completely change who I am if I want to be the hunter they need me to be...I need...I need a list!" He walked over to his desk as he pulled out a small black book, with the Arc Crests on the front.
"Ok need to write down my plan so I know that I'm committed to this," He then pulled out a pencil as he began to write down on the paper. On the paper, he wrote down everything he needed to change. He put down his pencil as he looked at the list of the things he needed to change.
1. Train harder with Pyrrha, and train when she is not around.
2. Study harder; don't slack off as usual, which means no more X-ray and Vav for a while...
3. Get a gun, I'm the only person on the team that does not have a firearm
4. New clothes for the new me, if I'm going to change so does my wardrobe.
5. Ask friends for pointers or don't, except for Weiss need to stay clear of her for a while. Probably wouldn't hurt to ask mum, dad and sisters for help.
6. And finally the most important part of the plan...get over Weiss
"An acceptable reflection of his current state, but still challenging to fully get over," hummed Winter, as everyone read the list that Jaune's counterpart had written up.
"Finding a new wardrobe and a firearm alongside the extra training would be the easiest things to do. However, Jaune will need to master his new weapon and commit to the more rigorous schedule," agreed Ironwood.
"I'm sure the kid can handle it. I'm more concerned about Ruby. She tends to go a little overboard when it comes to weapons," remarked Qrow.
Sure enough, Ruby was bouncing in her seat and suggesting nearly every kind of firearm that might be suited for her best friend, as her team tried to calm her down. Jaune only leaned further into the loveseat, overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at him, while his teammates were trying to imagine their leader using a firearm.
It wasn't a comforting thought for them.
He stopped as he stared at the name Weiss for what seemed like forever. Every second that passed, Jaune felt a small ache in his heart as he stared at the name that tore his heart out. He remembered the day they had met, as she had pointed to him from across the auditorium and thought she was checking him out. The moment he saw her, he was smitten by her beauty and wanted to be closer to her. But the recent events of today had opened his eyes to the girl he fell for.
She was not as kind as he thought she was. She did not care about him as a person or saw him as a fellow hunter in training. But the most important thing he learnt was that her heart was nothing but an icy shell, unattainable and cold to him and forever out of his reach.
He shook his head when he realized that he was still fixated on her, something he had to get rid of. Looking up at the clock, he realised that it was time for his training session with Pyrrha. So placing the book in his breastplate and strapping his sword to his waist. He stood up proudly as he marched towards the roof.
'Starting today the old Jaune is gone...from tomorrow onwards, there's going to be a new Jaune Arc walking these halls!' he thought as looked towards the new tomorrow.
Guilt once again filled Weiss as she heard Jaune's thoughts and couldn't deny the truth that was in those words. Still, she smiled along with the others at Jaune's newfound determination. Mentally taking note of bettering her own faults, Weiss resolved to have a talk with Jaune to make sure that things were okay between them.
Pyrrha felt her heart flutter as she saw Jaune carry himself in a new light and idly wondered what reaction her counterpart would have to her crush's new change. Sending a subtle glance at her own Jaune, the young champion hoped that she would finally be able to convey her feelings to the young knight before they were sent back to Remnant.
Pyrrha waited patiently on the rooftop for her partner, and of course secret crush. While most would probably wonder, mostly Weiss in general, why it was that the girl had a crush on the boy. Most would argue that he had no skill, no talent for combat and no charm whatsoever. So why was it that a girl such as the Pyrrha Nikos, had one of the hugest crushes on the resident knight of Beacon?
So why was it that a girl such as the Pyrrha Nikos, had one of the hugest crushes on the resident dense knight of Beacon?
"W-What?!" blushed Jaune, steam threatening to shoot out of his ears.
Pyrrha blushed heavily at her carefully guarded, to her at least, secret coming out by the projection. Panicking and extremely embarrassed about her feelings being revealed in front of a large group of people, the beautiful champion desperately tried to say something, but nothing came to mind. Unable to even look towards her partner, Pyrrha just hid in her hands, praying that the scene would be over quick.
Meanwhile, Nora let out an excited squeal. Hopefully this will finally get her two friends together-together and not have them dance around each other anymore.
It was because Jaune had done something that no one had done since she was a child before her fame and popularity had placed her on a pedestal so high up, something that she deeply cherished in the blond haired boy that had brought a great happiness in her very soul. He saw her not as a champion of the gladiatorial ring, an idol to all aspiring hunters and huntress in training or even the mascot to a rather unhealthy cereal brand...
He saw her as Pyrrha Nikos the person, not the idol...
"Pyrrha," whispered Jaune, awed by her declarations.
Ever since she saw him in the auditorium that day she knew there was something special about the boy. From his somewhat clumsy movements to the bunny shaped pyjamas he wore, a personal screensaver on her scroll.
There was just something about him that drew her like a moth to an open flame. A brilliant light that made her feel a sense of joy and happiness and how desperately she wanted that light for her own, to cherish it for all of her time. But unfortunately, she believed that his heart yearned for another and that person was Weiss Schnee.
'That might change with this viewing,' snickered Void as he eyed the two blushing teens.
At this point, Pyrrha returned to watching the projection, but was still unable to look at Jaune.
Now she didn't hate Weiss per say, she had grown to respect her as a fellow huntress. She didn't, however, like her as a woman who had successfully managed to capture the heart of her crush. And Weiss didn't try to win his heart, nor did she seem to care about it either And that made her somewhat...disdain the Heiress because she was throwing away a perfectly good person.
Someone who showed loyalty, kindness and always greeted anyone he met with a smile. She just couldn't understand why the girl couldn't notice that about him? All they ever judge him on was the way he fights and the grades he received. She thought she was just foolish to pass up someone like him and really wished that she could just tell him how she felt. But alas she could never bring herself to do it, as she believed that she should just let Jaune follow his heart...
Even if it went further from hers.
Many of the adults and teens smiled as they could practically feel the love and adoration that were in alternate-Pyrrha's thoughts. Thoughts that were undoubtedly held by their own cereal girl. Diana was also eyeing the beautiful redhead, interested in the young lady who was somehow charmed by Jaune's good nature.
Team RWBY and Nora all 'aww'-ed at the tragic romance that was being displayed.
She sighed as she looked up at the night sky "It what's best for him Pyrrha..." she muttered to herself as she closed her eyes, the sound of the door opening bright her back, as she turned and smiled at the door.
"Glad to see you've made it Jaune..." she stopped as she noticed something different about the boy. He held himself differently than usual, not slouched and unsure of himself. But rather he held himself taller, more determined and his eyes seemed to burn brighter than any time she had ever seen him before.
"Jaune?" she spoke as the boy walked towards her right until he was up close to her. A healthy blush formed on her face as stared into her green eyes. Many fantasies began to play in her mind, as her blush grew deeper.
"Oh, ho, ho! What do we have here," grinned Yang as she and the others giddily watched the romantic scene develop.
Both Blake and Kali's ears twitched as they were reminded of a particularly steamy scene from some of their favorite romance novels. Several of the older members of the audience blushed at the Arc heir's sudden boldness, while Pyrrha held her breath.
"J-Jaune!" she said as he leant in closer, she could hear her heart beating faster in her chest, so much she was afraid he could hear it.
"Pyrrha, I never noticed how beautiful you looked under the pale moonlight" he whispered into her ears as she could hear a seductive tone in his voice that sent shivers up her spine. He brought his hand to her chin and lifted it gently up to him. His eyes seemed to gaze into her soul as her legs began to wobble and her breath became short.
"J-Jaune" she muttered softly as their lips drew closer and closer as her heart beat faster in her chest.
"Pyrrha~, Pyrrha~..." she closed her eyes as she could almost feel his breath upon her lips as she prepared to share her first kiss.
"Pyrrha!" Instantly she was snapped out of her fantasy as she realised Jaune was looking at her with a confused expression on his face, as he stood at the door to the roof. Which meant that all that had just occurred then was nothing more than her fantasy running wild.
"You ok Pyrrha? Your face looks kind of red?" the girl blushed a bright shade of red as she waved her hands in front of her.
'And there it is,' silently laughed Void as he quickly took a snapshot of everyone's disappointed faces.
"Oh, come on! Seriously! What a cop out," complained Nora as the other teens groaned at being tricked.
Although she too was disappointed, Pyrrha sighed a bit in relief as she didn't feel like she could handle the amount of emotion swirling within her had she seen that world's Jaune and Pyrrha kiss.
"No! My future grandbabies!" cried Diana, causing Jaune to choke and Pyrrha to hold her red cheeks, steam hissing out of both their heads.
"Diana, please," chided Glynda, a slight blush dusting her cheeks.
"I-I'm fine! Really! I was just got lost in a train of thought! Nothing to worry about!" The girl said as she desperately hoped and prayed that she didn't accidentally slip the fact that she liked him. She felt so embarrassed in getting caught up in her own fantasy world that she had for a moment neglected the real one. Luckily she didn't so her secret was safe for now.
"Oh, ok?" he said not knowing what to say in this kind of situation. Pyrrha sighed a breath of relief as she placed her hand on her beating heart thanking her lucky stars for not making her face an embarrassing situation.
"Anyway I'm ready to begin training," he said as he grabbed the hilt of his sword. She smiled as she went to grab her Xiphos from the ledge.
"That's good to hear Jaune, tonight we'll work on-"
"Wait," he stopped her as she halted her action as Jaune held a handout. "Before we start I just want to say something," the girl paused as the boy took a deep breath and said, "I'm sorry".
This confused her as she tilted her head slightly, "Pardon?" she asked as the boy spoke again.
"I said I'm sorry, sorry I'm not the partner I should be for you or the leader you, Ren and Nora need me to be...I'm sorry I've done nothing but holding you back and dragging you down...I'm sorry" Pyrrha instantly shook her head as she grasped his arm.
"Jaune! You're not holding us back, we don't feel that way about you-"
"But that's how I feel about you...I feel like I'm nothing but some anchor that's holding you, Ren and Nora back from being the great warriors you're born to be...I'm dragging you all down" he said as Pyrrha had a small tear in her eyes.
"Jaune...we could never feel that way about-" she whispered slightly as she fought the urge to stroke his face with her hand, but was stopped as Jaune grabbed a hold of her hand and held it in his own.
"But that is all about to change..." he said as he looked back up and stared into her eyes. "Starting from now I'm going to be the partner you deserve and the leader that you need me to be," he let go as he raised his fist high above his head. "I'm not going be the anchor that holds you down, but the wind that pushes you all to greatness!" he thumped his hand on his chest and looked back at her with a new fire burning in his eyes.
"From now on! I Jaune Arc will get better grades! Become a better hunter and graduate this academy with my head held high and my friends by my side as we take the world by storm!" Pyrrha could only look on in slight awe, as she saw the new determination that burned in her leader. A kind of fire that she was desperately searching inside of him to burst out and become the person she knows he can be. She did not know where it came from, or how it came to be. But she was happy that she was the first to see it before the world would soon know, the fire of Jaune Arc.
"I've gotta admit, the kid certainly knows how to make a scene," whistled Qrow, as the Huntsmen and Huntresses were impressed at the young warrior's small but powerful speech.
"Powerful words that leave others in awe. Young Jaune certainly inherited the Arc bloodline," mused Ironwood, recognizing the famed presence within the Arc scion.
Void merely hummed as he saw Jaune sit a little straighter throughout the entire speech. As the young man also apologized to his team, despite them insisting that it wasn't necessary, Void could see Jaune becoming invigorated and a fire begin burning in his eyes. Glancing over, the cloaked man noticed Roland also eyeing his son with both pride and fear.
"And starting from right now! My crush on Weiss Schnee-" her heart tightened slightly as she was afraid of the next words to come out as devotions of love. "Is officially and permanently over!"
"...Eh?" she definitely was not expecting that. The rooftop was silent as the red haired girl stared blankly at the boy, her brain still trying to process what he had just said.
"Whoa...did not mean to scream all that out loud, man that was slightly embarrassing huh Pyrrha? Pyrrha?" The girl stared blankly as the words 'Crush', 'Weiss' and 'Over' swarmed around her mind. Words she thought he would never, ever, say out loud.
"Pyrrha?" he asked slightly concerned at her expression. "Are you ok?" he waved his hand in front of her face as she slowly nodded.
"I'm fine really...just turn around...for a moment please, I need to do something real quick ok?" she said rather emotionlessly as the boy looked slightly confused. But complied no the less as turned around.
"...Ok?" he said, as he was now facing the wall, having no idea why she asked him to do this. 'I don't understand, but might as well go with it' he thought as he stared at the wall. Meanwhile Pyrrha, after making sure that her partner could not see her at all, turned around and placed her hands on her mouth to stop her from screaming.
'YES! YES! YES! THANK YOU MONTY ABOVE! I HAVE A CHANCE!' she screamed internally as small fireworks and banners appeared in her mind. Small little versions of herself were dancing and cheering, as some of them waved small banners saying operation 'Arkos ago' while doing a small dance in her mind. Jaune, on the other hand, was completely oblivious as to what his partner was doing behind his back.
Nearly everyone laughed at the celebrating miniature versions of Pyrrha, while said girl was once again mortified.
"That's adorable!" squealed Ruby.
"You better move quick, P-money. You don't want to let Jaune slip through your grasp," grinned Yang, as Weiss and Blake still watched the dancing minis in amusement.
'I still don't get it' he thought to himself as she was now dancing silently behind him. Seriously how did he not notice that? Well, the answer was simple because he was Jaune Arc, King of both Harem stories and Obliviousness. He felt a tap on his shoulder as he turned to see a very happy looking Pyrrha as she smiled widely at him.
"Sorry about that Jaune, I just need to prepare the lessons for tonight," she said as Jaune raised an eyebrow at this. But accepted like the gullible fool that he was. "Now let's get back to training," she said as Jaune only nodded at the girl.
"Ok and Pyrrha, thanks...for everything," he said as the girl turned back to him as she smiled at the blond haired boy.
"No problem Jaune..." she said as the two took their stance as the pair lunged at each other. Their swords clashing together as the night soon rained with sparks and the fire of determination in both their hearts.
"Thus, a new relationship and legend begins to form," spoke Void.
"Indeed," agreed Ozpin, as he thought back to his conversation with Pyrrha before shifting his focus to the young man sitting beside her.
'Perhaps my chosen guardian will not stand alone.'
Ozpin smirked slightly as he watched the two from his scroll, the new determination that burned in the boy, was just what he had expected to happen in the boy. Albeit he did not expect the little performance that Miss Nikos displayed, but recorded it nonetheless.
"About time the boy started to get his act together," a feminine voice spoke beside him, as he turned to see Glynda Goodwitch standing beside him, and watching the same thing he did.
"Indeed Glynda, though I must argue that Mister Always had talent before he came to Beacon, he just needed a little time to realize it himself," he casually sipped his drink as the woman stared at the screen.
"I know that what he represents is a major significance to his home, but why did you wait until now to start motivating him?" she questioned as the man set his mug down, and laced his fingers together.
"For change to happen Glynda it cannot be forced onto someone, it has to happen of their own free will. And while I did not expect Miss Schnee's involvement to be quite as harsh, it was the necessary trigger to start this change." He picked up his coffee and sipped from it as he looked at her. "As I said Glynda you can never force change, only guide it as it happens and watches as it blooms," he said as Glynda could only nod and looked back at the monitor.
"Oz has a point there, Glynda. You can give people all the advice you want, but it's still their choice on whether or not to take it in the end," said Qrow with a swig of his flask.
"But, with Mr. Arc being a prince in that world, perhaps our counterparts will have more allies in fighting their world's Salem," muttered Ironwood, thinking about the possibility of recruiting more allies.
"Considering what our host said earlier, I believe Mr. Arc and his friends will be involved one way or another," Winter grimly said.
"All the more to prepare you all for the events to come, Miss Schnee," reassured Void, as the projection continued.
"Should we alert his parents? Let them know that their son has finally begun to take his training seriously?" the man pondered this as he nodded.
"We might as well, can't have those two completely in the dark, not with the amount of influence they possess" he then sent a copy of Jaune's determination video to the boy's parents.
"Besides, I'm pretty sure they are already aware of it right now..."
"I guess this is where we come in," said an intrigued Roland.
Diana nodded. "I wonder what our counterparts would look like. I never imagined ourselves as royalty, even when we played pretend with the kids when they were younger."
Meanwhile far away from Beacon
A tall man with blond hair smiled as he watched the video sent to him by his old friend, and smiled at the determination and spirit that burned brightly in his son's eyes. "He looks so grown up now huh?" a voice spoke next to him, as he turned to see a woman with light brown hair and emerald green eyes as she smiled at her son.
The man chuckled slightly as he wrapped an arm around the woman. "He sure has dear...our little Jaune is growing up," he said with pride as he and his wife held each other close. The sight of their son training and pushing himself harder only made the parents proud of their only son. He felt a tight grip on his shirt as he looked down to see his wife, grasping at his shirt and tears swelling from her eyes.
"He really is, isn't he, Roland?"
"Yes. Despite my reservations, I'm still proud how our son has matured."
"Diane?" he asked the woman only shook her head and wiped her tears away.
"I know I should be happy for him Roland, I really am, but I'm just so worried for him. He is going to have so much on his plate soon, I'm just afraid that we'll lose our baby boy," she cried slightly as the man held her close.
"I know how you feel," he said as he wiped away more tears, "But you and I both agreed that this was best for him. We had tried to keep him away from his dream for so long that it only made him peruse it harder..." he looked up at the large fireplace, as he stared at the portrait above it. "Maybe it was my fault for telling him those stories he loved so much, or maybe it was the weight of the responsibilities that he will one day possess..." he turned back as he smiled at her.
"It seems we had the same thoughts about Jaune becoming a warrior," muttered Roland as he thought back to his foolish arguments with his son and his own fear of losing Jaune and his sisters to the Grimm.
Meanwhile, Jaune was having his own thoughts about his parents' disapproval in him becoming a huntsman. Their parting words to him before his departure still pained him. The young knight felt his heart twist a bit as he also needed to deal with the sudden revelation of his precious partner's apparent crush.
"But what's happened has happened, and we just need to support as best as we can" the woman only looked down for a moment, before looking back up and nodding. "Besides..." he said as the two walked through a large archway onto a beautiful balcony.
"He will need all the help he can get before he becomes the next King of Arcadia"
The two looked out at the large city before them, surrounded by a large forest and tall mountains stretching as far as the eye could see. Bullheads and ships soaring in the sky as the banner of the kingdom waved high in the sky.
A symbol of the two crescent arc's with a triangle at the bottom and a sword impaled in the middle of the symbol fluttered in the wind as it stood tall and proud over the kingdom.
"So beautiful," whispered Glynda as everyone were awed by the prosperous kingdom.
"Quite a view indeed," agreed Void as he remembered visiting the great kingdom as a simple merchant years ago during a short vacation from his duties.
"Impressive, but it's still nothing compared to Atlas," remarked Ironwood, as the other Atlesians nodded.
"Yeah, the people living in Arcadia are way better than the ones in Atlas," smirked Qrow.
"What was that?!" growled Winter, glaring at the older huntsman.
Ozpin and Glynda merely sighed at the two.
As the man and his wife looked out upon the Kingdom that would one day be their son's, they stopped and dreamed of the future that their son would lead them into...and the trials that he would face.
"Trials that your counterpart won't be facing alone," reassured Void, as the projection faded away and returned to the pool of light.
"So, what do you think of your first experience watching another world," asked Void, moving to stand before the assembled group.
"It was a very interesting and informative experience," replied Ozpin with many agreeing.
"And we finally get to see Pyrrha confessing to Jaune," grinned Nora, causing the two teens to blush and look away from each other.
"It wasn't really a confession, Nora," corrected Ren, but Nora shook her head.
"We're essentially watching ourselves on the screen, even with the changes. Other Pyrrha pretty much confessed for our own Pyrrha!"
"It would seem like it," nodded Blake.
"Yup!" smiled Ruby as everyone pretty much knew about Pyrrha's not-so-secret secret even before the projection revealed it.
"Unfortunately, we weren't given anything that would be useful in our world. The Arc family are not royalty and leaders of a kingdom back home," frowned Winter.
"But we did receive a small insight in Mr. Arc's strategic abilities and his current faults. We could apply such examinations upon ourselves when we have the time," offered Ironwood.
"Correct, General Ironwood," smiled Void. "As this is merely the beginning of the events going on in that world, there currently isn't much useful information to use against Salem, but watching young Jaune reflect upon himself allowed him to work on what he still needs to improve on. Of course, I'll be helping you in developing more rigorous training regimens once we take a break from the viewings."
"How much more of this world should we watch before our break?" asked Ruby, making Void hum in thought.
"We'll watch a total of three 'chapters' before we break for training, meals, and sleep. How does that sound?" suggested Void with a snap of his fingers.
"That sounds acceptable," agreed Ozpin, as the others were also eager to learn more about the other world, with idle thoughts about their own counterparts.
"Very well, then." Nodded Void as he willed the projection to come back to life before taking his place again behind Ozpin and his inner circle.
And that is the first chapter of Paths of the Arc. I hope you all enjoyed it.
Please leave a comment or review to let me know what you think and any constructive criticism is appreciated.