Disclaimer: I own neither the series nor the characters.
It was night when Jaune had arrived at the shrine once more.
Tonight would be when he'd start his training or whatever Darkness had mentioned. Sure, he still felt a bit tired but the excitement was enough to tide him over. He waited at the center of the shrine. The only illumination was the moonlight coming from the hole in the roof. He didn't have any armor, just his usual sweater jeans combo. The sword Crocea Mors was in his hand, silent.
He had been waiting for a while now as Darkness had told him that she was preparing something. Finally, after what felt like forever, she reappeared.
"Now, Son of Man. It is time I reveal why I've been reserving my powers for the past few days."
Jaune actually never noticed. Still, he nodded and went along with it. The God's face took on a smug expression as she raised one arm to the side, as if presenting something to him.
"Behold, human! The Grimm that started it all! The Premidorial that all Grimm stemmed from!"
On reflex, Jaune raised the sword in front of him. Such was the power the word Grimm had over mankind. He held the sword up awkwardly over his face horizontally. He waited, his body tense knowing that such a strong enemy was close. However, no attacks came. Instead, all he heard was the sound of a low growl.
He looked down to the source of the sound.
There, by Darkness' feet, was a shiny ball of black. It looked like those slime from his games only this one was pitch black and had glowing red eyes. It continued to growl at him even though it didn't have a mouth, it's body just slightly vibrating. With how those two red orbs were scrunched up to look like a V, it must have been glaring at him
It was also barely larger than a soccer ball.
Jaune could only lower his sword in disbelief. This was the first Grimm even created?
"It's...adorable?" Seriously. Even his sister's teddy bear was creepier. God damn blank beady eyes.
"This is the first Grimm I created, dubbed the Goo." Darkness didn't seem to mind his lack of awe from her creation. Instead she bent down and patted it. If Jaune had any doubts it was liquid come to life, they left him as the Grimm practically melted under it's master's touch. "They used to be the most common Grimm out there."
It purred as Darkness rubbed the top of it's slimy looking body. It's eyes even turned up to become curved lines. Now he didn't even know of he wanted to fight it.
"I believe those are the only two sounds it could make which is why you humans dubbed my creation as the Goo-Riim, or the Grimm. I always called them my Harbingers of Destruction but it was much easier that way." She glanced at Jaune who was giving her a befuddled look. "Don't look at me like that, human. I still don't understand why you call the Avians of Atrocity Nevermores."
"Sure." Naming aside... "So you want me to fight that? It doesn't look so tough." Thankfully.
"It's less of fighting and more of surviving." Darkness turned back to Jaune. Deep purples eyes glared back, lips curled menacingly. "As the first Grimm I created, these Goo are special."
It was then Darkness lifted her foot, winded it back, and punted the Grimm across the room. Jaune wasn't sure who was more surprised, himself, or the Grimm as it cried out in pain from it's creator's actions.
It sailed across the room before dropping on the ground with a thud. Then, as if it was from an RPG, it made a point of making one last breath before collapsing into a literal puddle of black goo.
"So did you notice something human?"
"Uh...we're going to start off with learning kicks?"
"Fool. Look at it's remains."
And Jaune did. All that was left was a miserable pile of dark liquid...but didn't Grimm leave no remains? It was then the surface of the puddle rippled. Once, twice, then, something looked as if it was emerging from under it. The puddle beneath grew smaller as if it was being absorbed by the being below.
Finally, another Goo rose from its remains, the puddle underneath gone.
Seeing Jaune's horror, the God of Darkness smiled. "That's right. These are less actual creates than containers of pure essences of darkness. Once they pop, they spill it over the ground where the true Grimm crawl out of."
It purred victorious. Its blobby body even leaning toward as if raising its head in victory. It then noticed the two off. The body hopped to them until it made its way back to Darkness' side. There it stood at the ready, as if the goddess hadn't just trashed it's brethren.
"So that's where the Grimm came from?"
"To be more accurate, this is the original Grimm." Darkness nodded to herself. "The forms you now see them as? Wolves, Birds, Mammoths. The reason why most Grimm look like my brother's creations was because these Goo had absorbed enough of them to replicate their shape."
"But not all Grimm are animals." Jaune remembered reading about Grimm that could posses or even those that took the shape of creatures straight out of fairy tales and myths.
"Not all of my brother's creations exist anymore. Creatures have existed far before you humans were created. Don't you remember our first visit to this shrine?"
Jaune nodded. That's right. The large guardian beast that had guarded the shrine wasn't a Grimm yet was clearly not a common animal.
"These were normally the size of your average human dwelling." Darkness petted the Grimm, and this time it's purrs were more frightening then cute. "It is only because of my limited power that it has come out this size but that makes this perfect for training you."
The Grimm turned it's red orbs to Jaune and started lightly bouncing in place.
"While I may grow stronger by absorbing Grimm, right now, you are too weak to fight even the weakest Canine of Carnage."
"I believe you humans call them Beowolves." Darkness shook her head as another sigh of resignation left her lips. "So for now you shall face this Goo and attempt to survive it."
"This one is weak enough not to kill you after your aura is broken but has only enough Darkness within to summon another similar Goo on the off chance you kill it."
"Aren't you underestimating me?" Right as Jaune said that, a blurry blob bulleted towards his chest much like his younger sisters knowing he came back with candy in hand.
He simply swatted it to the side.
Sure it was fast but it was nothing compared to someone who got the highest scores on the DDR machine of the local arcade. He was just too-
From behind him!? Jaune turned back to see to see the Goo he thought he swatted aside somehow behind him.
'F-Fast!' Could it be that body he felt wasn't swatting aside the Goo but the Grimm using his arm to jump over his body?
Getting serious, Jaune held Crocea More in both hands, his feet spread apart in a pose he'd only seen in movies. He literally had no idea how to use a sword against anything, especially such a small target.
Before he could even think about if a vertical swing of his sword could reach it, the Grimm moved. It shot forward this time keeping low on the ground.
Jaune swung down, even having to bend lightly for the short sword to reach the floor. However it was in vain as the Grimm slipped past it's edge and in between the gap in his legs.
Jaune tried to recover and turn once more but a heavy thing smashed down on his back. With him already bending his upper body down, it made it easy for the Goo to send him face first to the floor.
That same hit caused his body to flash white, his minimal amount of aura already broken. As if to add insult to injury, the Goo continued to hop on top of him in victory.
A victory cry.
Darkness approached Jaune's front, his face flat on the ground. She bent her knees, lowering her butt close to the floor. If he looked up now, he'd be able to see up her short dress, but his face was kept flat on the ground groaning
Even then, in such a position and lowing her tiny body, she was looked down on him.
"Perhaps you are right, Son of Man. I may have underestimated just how weak you were."
Jaune could only groan.
"So how was your training with Darkness? I apologize for resting but she had been using quite an amount."
"Honestly? It was a huge blow to my pride." Jaune could still fell the sore spots all over his body. He wasn't even sure how he was able to wake up today. "Well, it's only hard in the beginning, right?"
"I suppose." Light did notice, eyes looking over him in concern. "Are you well enough to continue with our goal today? If you need rest, then we can postpone for now."
"No, don't worry about it." Jaune shook it off. Sure it was discomforting but he did not want to stall this any further. "At least, we're finally done with fixing up the shrine for now. At least, what we can."
Most of the shrine was now mostly renovated. It really needed a coat of paint plus a new roof. Materials were both too many for Light to produce on her own I'm her current state so they decided to headstart the task of gathering power.
"I have already prepared what we needed." Before the goddess, was a wooden tower made up of stacked blocks, the same kind of block the Beast had given to them. Each one also had a paper pasted on the front and topped with a loop of string. "With these, the people of Ansel can now ask requests. Then we shall fulfill them within reason."
These wooden plaques were to become the bridges of Humanity and the Gods. By hanging them on by the board of the shrine, it was meant to symbolize the faith that the Gods would reach their prayers.
Of course, here, it would become a literal mission board as the Gods were able to physically help now.
Jaune placed each one in a backpack he slung over his shoulder before turning to the goddess beside him. Hopefully, this will go better than when he had gone out and simply handed out flyers.
"Hey, Light. Have you ever been given any unreasonable ones.
"...a few." Light tapped the bottom of her lip in thought. "Bringing back the dead for one thing. Or to lay waste to an opposing kingdom. Or simply create a person in their image."
"But you CAN do stuff like that right?"
"It is not about what we can do, but what we must." Light responded sagely. "We are also very much limited right now, as you may know."
"Then what are we allowed to take then?"
"We can take whatever they want. Hopes and wishes left for us are also signs of Fath." It was then that the small girl handed one plaque out to Jaune. "Now, here."
"You too are allowed to write, as well." The God beamed up at him yet her words were oddly withheld. "I would also like your request to be the one I will first grant."
Jaune stared at the wooden block. If he were to write it before he met the gods, he'd put it down wanting to become a Hunter. And if it was even before that, it would to go becoming strong enough to be a hero.
"I'll hold onto it for now. You've already done plenty. Both of you." Idly, Jaune turned away while he pocketed the plaque "i still have to fulfill your own request after all."
"Very well." Light politely nodded, knowing eyes turning back to the pile of wood before them. "Then let us begin our gathering of faith."
"Hey Darkness, not that I'm complaining, but will you ever teach me how to fight?"
It'd been about a week since they had begun this training and all Jaune had learned was to hate that Gooey monstrosity as he was turned into it's punching bag. He hadn't been able to touch it once, and even then, his weak strike would bounce off the thing.
Sure, it felt like he was getting better at reacting and dodging but he still has no idea how to swing or even hold his sword properly. While he'd watched enough movies to know how the trial by fire training style worked, it'd still be nice to learn some actual forms.
Of course, he could just have signed up for a training school or even found some intructional videos online but he was already busy enough in the morning as is. Also, there was barely any reception here. Something he really needed to fix.
"Hmm? Since when did I say I would train you to fight, Son of Man?"
"Since...well...Isn't this training for any big bads that would arrive?" Surprisingly, none on that front yet. The closest was his call at the dentist and Jaune still swore that man was a devil. "I can't just be dodging all the time, right?"
"Huh? Aren't I supposed to fight back eventually?"
"I see..." Darkness' face stared at him befuddled. "You seem to have misunderstood. I am only here to train you so you would survive, not fight."
Darkness nodded. "In truth, I do not have any idea on how to fight or use your human weapons. You are better off asking Light about that if it Knowledge you seek."
"Huh." Plopping down to take a seat, Jaune hadn't expected that answer. That was disappointing but he'd lie if he said these sessions had been worthless. He'd admit that facing a Beowolf still sounded intimidating. "I thought you'd teach me some moves and stuff."
"Child, you have to understand that a God does not fight." Darkness' reply was absolutely serious. "To fight means to be on equal grounds of some kind. Even the smallest of insects can get in a fight with the largest of Grimm, no matter how ineffective it is. To fight a God would be like fighting the Sun itself."
Not just an impossible battle to win but one that couldn't be made in the first place.
"Such things are trivial to a god. Even if all of humanity went against us, one attack from myself would wipe out all of humanity in a moment. Even so that would be less of an "attack" and more of a reaction."
"You're exaggerating." Even for them, it sounded too much for a single snap to have wiped out all of humanity...
"Believe what you wish." Darkness crossed her arms and leaned back as if to sit down and, amazingly, floated in the air. "Either way, I have nothing to teach you of battle. That I give you opponents should be enough."
"But what if bad guys show up? I'd need to know how to fight them, right?"
"Just run away."
"What about Grimm? Don't I need to beat some up to get you stronger?"
"Admittedly, that is true. We'll save that until my sibling gets stronger." Darkness huffed. "Light disappeared from overuse without a battery. We first need to make sure this shrine is up and running by then."
"I guess." Jaune rubbed the back of his head, visibly downput. Sure it had only been a week of this but the montages in movies felt like it should be done much faster. The expression caused a single twitch on the watching goddess' brow.
"Are you questioning me, Son of Man?"
"N-no. It's just that only doing this is sort of...repetitive?" said Jaune, his last word more of a guess than an answer.
"It has only been a week and you still have yourself constantly losing to the Goo."
Who knew training would require doing the same thing over and over again? Jaune surely hadn't expected such a commitment but he did need to save face.
"I didn't say boring! Just..." Jaune looked for the word under the questioning gaze of the girl before him. Something then came to him. "If...As your prophet, shouldn't I be more impressive? You know! Represent how amazing you two are!"
Jaune knew it started to work when her stare turned from harsh to pensive. It seemed all little siblings were weak to flattery. He started to lay it thicker.
"As the prophet of the creator of the Grimm, it wouldn't reflect well on you if even your weakest creation sends me running."
"Hmm...you do have a point there." Thinking over a moment, Darkness finally nodded. "Very well. There is something else we can do in between these nightly sessions."
Yes! Hook, line, and sinker.
Before Jaune could even celebrate, the world around Darkness started to spin. Dark winds blew beneath her in a circle. Her dark raven hair flowed out from behind her and from within Jaune swore he saw the image of stars and heavenly bodies within the curtain of darkness.
"Rejoice, Son of Man. For you will be the first in your race I shall return that once I had taken back: the power of Magic will once again flow within your species once more."
Jaune's eyes widened at the proclamation. Did she just say magic?! Was he really going to learn how to do actual magic!?
He could only imagine all thing things he'd be able to do.
Launch fireballs, createe glaciers, Drum up whirlwinds, Raise plants, throw lightning bolts...wait, weren't these things he could do with dust anyways?
W-well, it was still magic! The bullshit excuse of any writer. Finally! The benefits to this prophet gig were starting to show!
"Th-that's awesome! You're the best Darkness!" Jaune hollered, previous exhaustion gone hearing the news.
Darkness blinked in surprise once before her head titled a little higher, an extremely pleased look on her face. Clearly, she hadn't expected such compliments...or was used to hearing them.
"W-well, you can praise me more, I suppose."
"Hooray! Amazing! Best god ever! Would worship! We should make you a statue!"
"Th-that's enough." An oddly red-faced Darkness covered his mouth with her hand, only possible with the way she was floating. Though the small palm could barely hide the large excited grin on the boy's face. She moved back and that stupid smile remained unchanged.
"However! This does not need to mean you shall slack off on your survival training. I expect you to destroy at least five goo successively before we even begin."
That did put a damper on Jaune's mood. He could barely kill one let alone three at once. However, at least here, he had a goal. His delusions of finally being the hero he's always dreamed about were too close to becoming a reality for him to pass up.
"I'll do it!" He met her gaze with his own, full of resolve. This was his best bet to get stronger. He wouldn't back out now. "I won't let you down."
"S-see that you don't then." With those last words, Darkness retreated to be replaced with another Goo. It growled menacingly, as much as a dark piece of jelly could.
Jaune just readied his sword, magic at his fingertips.
"Yeah, Darkness offered to teach it to me if I did better at training."
Today had promised to be a slow day for the two. A grocer needed someone to look after her stall for the day which led to the two of them looking after it.
Much like Jaune's expectations, most of the things they'd been doing to help the town had been mundane jobs. Small towns like Ansel were used to the occasional hunter passing by in need of free room at the cost of some help so such a thing wasn't too out of the norm.
Still, it had been a better reception than just simply handing out flyers. People turned out to be more receptivr to take it and visit the shrine if you gave them free labor.
And now that it looked like they had some time to themselves, Jaune decided to ask Light about his last training session.
"Hey, Light. Can't you teach me magic too?"
Light shook her head. "Unfortunately, it is not something I can help with. Magic has always been Darkness' gift to mankind. One which she took away in the past."
"But don't you do magic all the time?"
Instead of giving a straightforward answer, Light went with a different approach. "What do you believe Magic to be, Jaune?"
"Well," Jaune scratched the back of his head. "Fiireballs and stuff, I guess. Also, what you do where you summon things out of the air. Basically, you can do what you want and just call it a single word."
"You're on the right track. My own powers actually stem from Creation and Knowledge. To create even a rock, I need to know things such as it's composition, the chemicals that make it up, each molecule's placement in the universe, the.displacement of the matter where it had existed, the exact dimensions that I want and more. And that's for a non-living being."
Next, she gestured to the food before them they were meant to sell. Ansel's classic Potato Cream Puffs. They were like a hash brown but filled with cream.
"Much like the food before us. By following the rules, one can create such treats." She pointed to potato used for decoration followed by to what it turn into, the puff itself. "With the Knowledge of the workings of existence, a rock can be formed from pure Faith much like these Puffs can be formed from potatoes."
"So basically, you just have the best cookbook in the world?
"If you want to put it that way." Light nodded, satisfied Jaune somewhat got it. She also didn't look at all offput by the very mundane metaphor of her powers. "Now, my sibling's own power stems over Destruction and Choice.
"All things can disappear. If that's the end point of all then what you do in between is Choice. As my sibling is the gatekeeper to the end, it can be said she has control of the routes to the destination."
Jaune nodded along but it didn't answer his main question. "So how is that magic?"
"What the humans called Magic at the time was simply Darkness giving them more potential to choose. Magic lets you do more, not with yourself, but with the world around you." She nodded back to the potato. "To go back to our metaphor, right now the only thing people can do is purchase the Puffs. But with Magic you can purchase the potato."
"So...it's eactly what I said. Basically, do anything you want."
"I suppose." Light giggled. "However, even with more choices in life, you still need to find how to reach them or create ways to get them. Just because you can now order the potato doesn't mean you know you can or that you know how to."
"Okay, I get all that.' Jaune nodded in understanding but there was still sometbing bothering him. He could understand if if there was no magic these days, as it could have been lost to time but..."But why did she give Magic before anyways?"
"That...I can not say myself."
The two then continued their shift in comfortable silence
The impossible had occurred. Such an occasion even had both man and god synchronize in surprise. Both even had matching expressions although Jaune's was the more slackjawed of the two while Darkness' had a lack of belief.
Ignorant of the shock between mortal and eternal, the Goo gave one last moan before it dissolved into a black puddle. It hadn't even been a fluke. Just a well timed slice had gotten the Grimm as it was mid-jump.
"I...I did it."
"...so you did."
Contrary to what the God of Darkness was suspecting, Jaune Arc did not whoop or holler. He did not make any large celebrations. Instead he simply stared at his sword, his expression more intense. It was more mature than the God has expected but, then again, there was nothing mature about the goofy smile he had on his face.
She ignored the twitching of her own mouth.
"Do not celebrate too much. You will now need to do the same four more times in a row if one deems themselves worthy of being blessed with my gift once more."
Yeah, but, wow. I can't believe I was able to kill my first Grimm." He seemed so overwhelmed by this first step that Darkness wondered if the boy even remembered their deal. Jaune paused before turning to her, apologetic. "Uh, no offense. I mean..."
"It matters not." Darkness waved a hand. "As creatures formed of Destruction, it is only fitting they too can be destroyed. Besides..."
Then, like a fat gelatinous Phoenix, another Goo rose from the puddle.
"...Destruction only begets Destruction."
The newly formed Goo hopped its way to Darkness' side where she once again allowed herself to pat it. It glowed under its masters' attention. Anyone else would have found the sight charming if one didn't know that such a thing was a Grimm.
"I still find it hard to believe that's a Grimm. Sorry, THE Grimm." Even Jaune found himself smiling at the cute creature's actions even if it did best him up for the past hours. "If only all Grimm were like that."
"From my past experiences as a shield, there is something different about the Grimm since my brother and I had left back then." A complicated expression entered Darkness' face, a combination of frustration from not knowing something and annoyance that she didn't know about it. "They are much more...tame."
Tame was not the word Jaune thought described the blight that was trying to make Humanity extinct. "You consider them right now tame?"
"Of course. I created them after all." Darkness nodded serious. "From what I can tell from previous experience, the Grimm right now only come after humans who are experiencing negative emotions."
"That's...right." Or from what Jaune heard at least.
"When they are really supposed to be going after all of my sibling's creations. Nature, animals, and really anything that can be considered living," added Darkness which made Jaune's face slightly pale at the thought. "I'm not sure if this is just a natural evolution or someone had reconditioned them to do so. Either way, once my power has returned, I'll make sure they are back the way they were."
Jaune had no idea if that was better or worse than what he had now. Frankly, he didn't want to find out.
"Do you really dislike Light's stuff that much?"
The only response he got was a sidelong glance before the goddess continued, completely ignoring him.
"My preferences aside, the Grimm have always meant to keep on check my sibling's more eccentric creations from overrunning the planet." Jaune didn't even point out that she didn't deny his question. "You humans weren't the first dominant species, after all. At least, I had my hand in creating you all. The Grimm today, however, have just become too plentiful. Perhaps a good culling would do."
The Arc wasn't surprised with how the goddess practically announced genocide to her own creation. After all, she had told him she could get stronger by absorbing defeated Grimm. Did all this just come with being a being of Destruction? But then that begged the question...
"Hey Darkness. Do you actually have anything you like about this place."
Her immediate response was a raised eyebrow partnered with a tight frown. Jaune immediately got to explaining himself.
"I mean, there has to be something you actually like that-"
Jaune's babbling stopped at the sudden reply. Instead of expounding immediately, Darkness looked up to the night sky, through the hole where the fractured moon above shone.
"Tell me, human. Have you ever wondered what a full moon would look like? If that wreckage of a memory up in the sky wasn't broken apart?"
"To be honest, no." He had seen images, of course. The idea of single moon had been thrown around in science fiction novels. So it wasn't something that's ever interest Jaune who was too into comics and games.
"I see." When she turned back to him, an incredibly bitter smile was on her face. It would have been heartbreaking if it didn't hold a trace amount of pity directed at him. "It was a truly beautiful sight."
The God of Darkness then went back to staring to the celestial body, ignoring the sounds of the footsteps that told of the boy moving on from this discussion.
It truly was a shame what happened to the moon. The sight of it's ever evolving phases was the only thing that kept her company in the long distant past.
Back when the siblings still feuded, the silver light of the moon was the only thing she could enjoy of this plane. At the time, all she could do was bring about disasters and calamities, diseases and outbreaks.
Of course, no living being would dare approach her.
It was still the time when the very concept of death and mortality was still young. Creatures were naturally immortal. Only her Destruction was what brought an end to things. Then when the planet became even too much for only her, she spawned the Grimm to do her duties.
But before them, moonlight was her only companion, her first one. Perhaps why she had unconsciously made them weak to silver light. (There was also that she didn't ever want them to be able to harm her brother.)
Of course, this had all been forgotten. When Man was created with both Creation and Destruction, so too did other beings after naturally expire. This made the Grimm redundant but they were never meant to leave the Grimmlands.
When the time came when the Brothers left, Darkness made sure to destroy the one thing she loved the most. As a punishment to the future inhabitants that they may never see such a sight and, simply, because that was what the God of Darkness was: Destruction.
And to think this was all because of that vile Witch...and Darkness' own weakness. Then again, was it so wrong to be wanted? All she had wanted was a follower who went to her, not her brother or a replacement.
To not be a satellite that people only saw the use for reflecting a faraway star's light.
Even now, it was the same. Light was the one out there, gathering the followers while Darkness' was secluded to the shrine. She doubted she'd be able to get followers this time around, as well.
Maybe, not a million but...
Suddenly, an odd rumbling sound broke Darkness' melancholy and, embarrassingly enough, it came from her. The reason being that the foodbag the humans used was reacting to the oddly attractive scent nearby.
She turned to see Jaune holding up something golden brown with a flakey texture
"What is this meant to be?"
"Uh, potato?" Jaune waved it a bit in front of her, making the food look even more enticing. "Specifically Potato Cream Puffs. An Ansel classic. You won't have us beat at spuds...or so my dad tells me. "We've been working there for quite a while now and the owner usually gives us extra. Sorry, I only remembered to get for you now."
Darkness continued to stare, no, glare, at the temptation. "I do not need sustenance."
"Yeahs, you're not getting much of that here but it tastes good. Think of it as thanks."
"Thanks...?" Finally, the Goddess accepted the treat in her hands, even if that was more out of the pure confusion upon hearing such a word said to her.
"For the training. I mean, I just killed my first Grimm! I can still feel the rush.. Not that I've turned into a bloodlusting maniac but...I do feel stronger now." Jaune bore a genuine smile down on her. " And it was thanks to you. Huh, what's wrong?"
"No...I..." For once the goddess found it oddly hard to formulate words as she looked down at the gift given to her. It was her first time to get an offering, after all. An odd heat seared through her and she had to wonder if this pastry much hotter than she had realized. "Are you really thanking me for having you get beaten up?"
Jaune grunted. "That'll turn around soon enough. You'll see."
"Perhaps." Daring, Darkness took a small bite out of the fried foods given to her. Immediately, she took another and another.
She hadn't even realized Jaune was staring at her until she turned to him with a cheeky grin on his face.
Feeling accursed heat rise to her pale cheeks, Darkness hid her mouth behind the rest of the Potato puff.
Before Jaune could say anymore, he was blindsided by the return of the Goo.
It was a good thing that it did as there was no way she'd be able to tell him to get back to training with crumbs scattered around a tiny smile.
"Hey Jaune, have you...grown taller?"
"What do you mean, Saph?"
"I mean, you feel so different now. You wake up early and stay out till dusk. You're still on this weird cult thing-"
"Not a cult."
"And what's this I hear about you helping the town?"
"Just spreading my doctrine."
"Well, it's working. Just came back and everyone is talking about you these days and how responsible you've gotten."
"Do I even want to know what they used to think of me?"
"Nothing good but nothing bad. I don't think anyone here thought of you at all. But now everyone is talking about how my brother helped them out and how you were opening up the old shrine. We haven't had this much buzz over something since ol' Bessy gave birth to twins calfs. Mom's been real proud, though I don't know if it's just because it's too late for her to disprove. Anyways, congrats bro."
"Aw geez. Thanks Sis. I did have doubts but I've really grown into my role."
"Also, I think I know why. There's also been talk of you doing this cult stuff with a strange girl not from here. No one knows who she is but that she wears off clothes and will grow up to be a beauty."
"Jaune. As your sister, I will tell you now. If you're starting a cult just to get with a girl, it's best to give her up now. Some girls just ain't worth it."
"You know it's not like that."
"I really hope it isn't. Trust me I'm just thankful I got Terra to give up Goth."
"...weren't you the one who went Goth for a while?"
"And that's why it was great she gave that up. Couldn't stand doing that for another week."
Jaune fell to the ground. His last attack had cost him. He had over extended his swing allowing the Goo to finally get past his guard and smash into his side.
As the fourth goo he had faced, it was also much larger than the ones before it. Jaune had only realized that now that he had finally gotten to the third some summoned from the pool after two previous Goos had been defeated.
Perhaps it was just his impatience showing after finally getting this far that he his overreached. Already the Goo had vanished in replace with Darkness, herself.
"You came close, human."
"Yeah." Jaune's reply betrayed a lack of disappointment in his recent failure. He had just gotten too used to losing by now. Whether it was from tire or focus, there were fewer complaints from the boy. "Just give me a moment to catch my breath before we begin again."
It really was a shame that he had lost his aura by the second slime. It had been a week since their agreement and Jaune had already gotten used to the speeds and tricky movements of the Goo. As he expected, the whole "throw you to the wolves" training was starting to bear fruit.
It was still slow. He celebrated taking on three Goos back to back yet when he had looked it up, students from Pharos were taking on packs of Beowolves at this point.
But considering this had all begun about almost two month ago? It was still more than he had ever expected when he picked up his family heirloom in the basement.
Well, he'd like to think that even if there weren't gods sealed in his weapons he'd have still trained and gotten into Beacon without much fuss.
However, it'd be a lie say this wasn't taking its toll on him. He had to wake up early in the morning to help fix up the shrine then spend the rest of the day doing odd jobs around time. This was them followed by his training which usually lasted until midnight or so.
He had never really had a "full day of work" until this last week.
Thankfully, the shrine was actually almost finished up. The grounds had been cleaned up and de-weeded. The building was now made up of mostly new polished wood accompanied by a new pair job. The steps were all remade. They even had a donation box now (not that they needed it)
It was really that hole that was the roof itself that needed to be finished. Jaune had even considered just expanding it and making it open air but, of course, one can never predict the weather.
Then once that was done, he knew he could double down on his training...although he also had to open up and maintain the shrine too now...Bah! He'd cross that road when he'd get there.
For now, he just needed to catch his breath for a moment or two. Just a quick nap then he'd get back to training.
After disposing of some more dead wood that was of the old shrine building, Darkness came back to find a sleeping Jaune laid across the floor.
The God of Darkness could only sigh. Really what was she going to do with this human?
Darkness, isn't this enough?
She turned to the sound of the voice, a lightly glowing sword that Jaune had been using to defeat her creatures.
"Whatever do you mean, Light?"
I mean this fooldhardy training.
"Do you not wish the boy to be able to defend himself?"
I'd rather he be able to not fall asleep from exhaustion. Rest is something important both for God's and mortals alike.
"So what are you suggesting?"
Perhaps, you can lighten the training? Or even have some of it done during the day while more repair is done at night.
W- What? But why?
"This is just like you, Brother. You speak of honest deals yet you do not see how they immensely benefit you more than I."
It was just like when they had created humanity. The God of Light had spoke as if Humanity would be their greatest creation yet it felt it was only hers. Whether intended or not, living would always choose life and creation over death. Her always surrounding herself with the Grimm also did not help matters.
It always felt like she had been cheated from the beginning.
When Darkness had given them Choice, it was less about giving them autonimity and more that she wanted to make it known that if, when, they chose her over her sister, it was truly their own action, not from the Authority or influence of either God.
The current situation was much the same.
Of course, humans would operate more during the day while they would rest at night, Jaune Arc included. This, of course, meant Darkness had less opportunity to be in human form while her sibling had the whole , true, Light hadn't decided on such rules, Darkness still found herself cheated.
Besides, the boy wants this. I am not forcing him into anything. I'm sure if he could go all night, he would. Besides, I have doubts that he'll be okay with killing any of your creations.
She felt a smile of satisfaction grow on her as the sword did not reply to her words. That was one thing Darkness knew she had over her sibling.
The things Jaune Arc did in the day, it was out of duty and responsibility as their prophet. The training he did at night was something he, himself, truly wanted and desired.
While he was surely growing into enjoying his duties, nothing would truly replace his dream of proving himself through getting stronger.
While Light got the outside to believe in him, only Darkness' training had him learn to believe in himself through his own growth as a fighter.
"Why don't you just let him sleep in more?"
To waste daylight? Never!
"He sleeps through a portion of my time! You just want to hog him!"
"Hmph! This is just like the time with the Unicorns!"
This is different! My prophet needs rest.
"Our prophet, you mean."
...that's what I meant.
Just as Darkness was about to retort, an idea popped into her mind. She vaguely remembered where such words came from
"Fine then, dear brother, I concede. Just for tonight, I shall give the boy rest. It is fortunate I had been told of a way that made resting more effective."
Darkness then went over to Jaune and got down on folded knees beside his head. With a surprising amount of care to not wake him, she lifted his head and placed it on her lap. Her dress barely reached the lower half of her thighs so she had to hike or up a little more to let the full head rest on her short upper legs.
His blonde hair was much softer than she thought it'd be as it tickled her bare thighs.
"Oh, it's not as heavy as I thought."
Darkness! What are you doing?!
"Can you not sense it? I am giving him what he had given you those weeks back"
The sword continued to flash dangerously but that's as much as it did. The God of Darkness ignored it, instead looking down at the surprisingly gentle face of the boy as he slept.
Feeling an odd urge within her, she poked his cheek which got a few mumbles from him. How annoying.
He may have been the reason he and Light had fought but he was also the reason they had been able to fight at all. It had been too long since their last squabble.
Plus, he didn't even hold anything against her for her deception.
Were all humans like this? She doubted it. Her brief stints with humanity involved getting tricked by one then destroying the remaining. The rest was being used as a weapon followed by as an heirloom.
It was the first time she had been able to really interact with one. If more were like him back then, perhaps she'd have not been so trigger happy in wiping out all of humanity.
Or maybe she would have still gone through with it because of how infuriating he could get. With these odd human emotions he brought forth from her body. she didn't think she could take more than one of them.
Perhaps, a million followers was too much for now.
Jaune mumbled once more.
Yes, one was more than enough for now.
For the first time, the God Of Darkness felt satisfied where she was. Of course, it'd be nice to have all their power back but that would eventually come back. These days, Destruction came if one waited enough. There was no need to hurry things up.
Purple eyes gazed up to the cratered moon as a pale hand rubbed away blonde forelocks from skin. Next to her was a another offering her follower had given her, something called fries.
It wasn't as beautiful but it would do for now.
Later, a confused Jaune woke up, a shield beneath his head and a pouting goddess kneeling next to him.
AN: I still wasn't sure how to portray Darkness. In the show, he just seemed like a dude who got easily jelly but still seemed to care. Darkness here is then unused to the attention, belief, and trust Jaune puts on her. It's kinda sad in away but much like Light needed someone to rely on Darkness needed someone to rely on her.
And, yeah, Jaune's meant to be super nerfed (not that he was OP in canon). He can only take a single hit before his aura breaks. This Jaune will still be (technically) stronger than pre-aura V1 Jaune as he started training at 15. There's still room for growth from him and the Gods but that will still be in a bit.
Next, we're finally wrapping up this preclude arc up with Jaune's chapter. Though dunnow if it'll be two parts or not.