Seeing my Golemcrafting skill finally hit max level, I grin widely. The grind for this skill suddenly got way, way harder when I hit level 90, but thankfully I learned that creating Golems I haven't made before gives much more than the usual amount of experience I'd get. So I abused the fuck out of that detail, using my imagination as best I could. First, I had the idea to make Golems that would take care of my garden for me, so I used some plants in the ritual and it… kinda worked? They're just plant Golems, not exactly gardeners.

Then I thought that adding gardening tools would help, and it did. That created a gardener variant of worker Golems, and they're managing wonders with my crops. I only made a few, but then again, I don't really have a lot of plants that need to be taken super good care of. The only downside is that they need stuff like fertilizers and watering cans to work properly, but that's no biggie.

So after I got them working, I decided to make armor Golems. When The Game said there were practically limitless bases for Golems, it was not kidding, because I can make weapons and armor using them. Weapons I really don't need, but I desperately needed armor. Leather isn't cutting it at all.

So what I did was surf the Remnant's internet and the Game Store for any strong, light material I could use, and found out about this Vindium stuff. Apparently, it's steel infused with Wind Dust to make it lighter while still maintaining its durability. Unfortunately, they didn't really perfect the process, so Vindium is slightly weaker than regular steel, but is far, far lighter. Basically this world's knock-off version of Mithril. Still, I was interested in it and ordered a sample, and it was delivered in less than a few hours.

Man, I love being a Hero~

In any case, I first tried to see if I could make Combat Golems and had the idea of making speedsters with this metal. Steel Golems are fairly balanced or the "warriors", Dust Golems are the long-ranged "mages", and these Vindium Golems would be the "rogues". I added Lightning Dust for some extra dexterity, and the highest they've reached is 120 DEX, which is incredible.

After creating a few of them, I then tried to make some armor, and it worked. I created a breastplate and leggings and that's it, but not any normal breastplates and leggings because I sprinkled Powder-Dust on them. Then I have my Knightly Gauntlets, Quicksilver Boots, and Nahkriin, so I didn't need much else really. Though, what I learned after making the armor, is that I will never be able to make stuff on-par with actual blacksmiths through Golemcrafting. At most, a level 100 Golemcrafting with the final ritual circle will only be able to create weapons and armor worthy of a level 50 Blacksmith. The only advantage I have is the lack of requirements when using certain materials. For example, I can use Cryolite for weapons and armor without the required special skill it says in the description.

Honestly, I'm not really that mad. It's fair from a "balancing" standpoint I suppose, and it gives the Blacksmith skill actual value instead of it being flat-out inferior to Golemcrafting. Golemcrafting is like a Jack of All Trades and Master of None of skill.

So this is the armor I made.

Ice-Enhanced Vindium Golem Breastplate

A golem breastplate made of Vindium, the feather-light metal, then empowered by high-quality Ice Dust

Adds 150 Defense and increases Ice Resistance by 5%

Fire-Enhanced Vindium Golem Leggings

Golem leggings made of Vindium, the feather-light metal, then empowered by high-quality Fire Dust

Adds 120 Defense and increases Fire Resistance by 5%

Decent and nice looking. Basically, imagine rudimentary steel armor with glowing, blue, and orange markings denoting the infused Ice and Fire dust respectively. The description wasn't lying either, they're extremely light.

So after getting my armor, I thought about new stuff I could make, and decided why not a vehicle? Maybe, a motorcycle? I always wanted one, and a badass magical variant of that? Sign me the fuck up.

Surprisingly, it took quite a lot to actually make work since it's a lot more complicated when compared to normal Combat Golems or Potion Golems. For example, I need to create some sort of an engine or a generator, then wheels, etcetera etcetera.

Anyway, after more hours of experimenting, I made one hell of a bike. High-quality Fire Dust for a core to give it more power, high-quality Gravity Dust-sprinkled wheels for a higher max speed, more mobility and to give them an all-terrain capability so mountains and shit don't get too dangerous or annoying. Then, high-quality Lightning Dust in each thrust for better acceleration, I also added extra mana to make it glow blue just because that shit looks cool. The frame itself is made out of a black metal called Blacksteel, a stronger variant of steel I found on the Game Store, and the Fire Dust engine itself is encased in Manasteel – which was surprisingly cheap – for the sake of stability.

Then, I used some more magic and even a scroll to infuse them in it. So now it has a working scroll like most high-tech vehicles on Remnant while also adding my own twist. A magic radar that catches Grimm, Dust, and whatever other magical shit might be nearby. It could likely pick up Maidens as well.

In theory, of course.

Wind Dust was sprinkled all around the bike itself to make it lighter for even better acceleration, and I designed it to keep the runes on the inside as to not ruin the black and blue color scheme.

I gaze at the bike, a grin stretched across my face. Oh, I can't wait to ride this baby around Vale, especially with its insane speed.

Name: Roc

Base: Vehicle Golem

Type: Blacksteel, Manasteel, Magical Motorcycle

Proficiency: High-Mobility, High-Durability, High-Speed (930 KM/H MAX)

Weakness: Weak Brakes

930. 930 Kilometers per fucking hour. Do you have any idea how good this is? Sound is roughly 1200 KM/H, and this bike is 930. I'm nowhere near as fast as that, even with all my buffs. For traveling, Roc is insanely fucking useful, especially when used as Reid Astera. Nahkriin can start using Gwyn instead so people won't make that connection.

Speaking of Gwyn; he does not like Roc at all. Poor boy feels a little insecure and barks at it. I reassured him that he won't be replaced and that he's also my best friend, so that calmed him down a bit, thankfully.

Still, though, I really want to test it out soon. Maybe once I'm done with this quest, I'll take a nice ride through Sanus or even go to Vacuo to see what's up there for a few days.

Oh, I can't wait~!

In the meantime, I need to take the new reward perk for maxing out Golemcrafting.

Let's see…

[Golemcrafting: Armory]

All Weapon/Armor-Based Golems are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

[Golemcrafting: Factory]

All Production-Based Golems are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

[Golemcrafting: Barracks]

All Combat-Based Golems are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

[Golemcrafting: Garage]

All Vehicle-Based Golems are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

[Golemcrafting: Hideout]

All Spy-Based Golems are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

[Golemcrafting: Backroom]

All Worker-Based Golem are 50% more effective and gain the enhanced variant. Gives you one chance of making one Supreme Golem.

Honestly, all of these look useful, but after giving it some more thought, I think I'm gonna benefit most from the Barracks perk. Armory is great, but I already have an amazing weapon and the perk will eventually become obsolete once I start learning the Blacksmith skill. Factory is useless since I can easily just make more and more Potion Golems, and even then, their production rate is already insane, so, eh.

Garage is great, but I don't think I'll be using it a lot. Yes, I'm planning on mass producing vehicles and stuff, but not everyone needs OP bikes like Roc, right? Only I and whoever I deem trustworthy deserve the best after all.

Hideout… meh. Useful, but not so much when I eventually get actual spies and have connections and loyalty built up throughout the entire world anyway, so it's also likely to become redundant in the future.

Backroom is great, but I'm content with my current workers. They're fast and competent enough already.

So Barracks should be the best possible option, especially when I have Cryolite laying around and just begging to be used. Enhanced, Stardust Cryolite Golems. My very own Elite Squad…

Fuck, that sounds amazing.

I really need to get my hands on some Stardust soon, but to do that, I need money and influence. Lots and lots of both. I don't think just being a Titan Slayer is enough to get a real supply of that stuff, and even then, more fame is always fun, and more money is always welcome. Really, who would say no to millions of Lien? Who wouldn't want to be adored by the public?

Also, I don't know what a Supreme Golem is, but when I get the chance, I'm using all of my strongest ingredients on it. I'm not wasting anything on the best.

Now that I maxed out Golemcrafting, it's time to get a new skill. Surprisingly, I'm thinking of another Production Skill, and while I unlocked a very interesting skill, there's a certain one I want.

Though, there's something… It's weird, but I won't say no to it, which is...

[Melee]

Sword Mastery

Dagger Mastery

Martial Art Mastery

Axe Mastery

Spear Mastery

Scythe Mastery

Mace Mastery

Wrist-Blade Mastery

[Magic]

Fire Mastery

Wind Mastery

Water Mastery

Earth Mastery

Light Mastery

[Ranged]

Bow Mastery

Crossbow Mastery

Gun Mastery

[Armor]

Light-Armor Mastery

Medium-Armor Mastery

Heavy-Armor Mastery

Shield Mastery

[Production]

Engineer

Alchemist

Golemcrafter

Homunculicrafter

Enchanter

Blacksmith

Runesmith

It's Water Mastery. Why is it marked? Marked stuff means I already have it, so this would mean I have Water Magic, right? Turns out, when I reached that conclusion, I instantaneously unlocked the Mastery Skill, and it was already at a slightly higher level through the new racial trait I have, and the very interesting level cap it has.

Water Magic Affinity: You have a natural affinity for water magic

[Water Magic Mastery] (LV 20/175]

Your skill in Water Magic is that of an apprentice.

Increase Water Damage by 20%

Why is the max level for this more than a hundred? What's so special about Water Magic? I'm convinced that it's tied to my heritage, but how is Water Magic so… strong? Why is its potential so fucking high compared to my other skills?

This brings me to the other question.

Can I increase the cap for other skills? To 200? To 300? If so, then how? My maxed Alchemy says "Your skill in Alchemy is in the realm of legends" at level 100, and that got me thinking. While it's a stretch, I think there are two more levels, and they're Mythical and Divine. I got to this conclusion because of the dungeon levels since the last two were Mythical and Divine levels too.

But hey, that's just a baseless theory. I don't have anything that really supports it, not yet anyway.

Honestly, I wouldn't say no to a new Mastery Skill, especially when it was already one of the ones I had my eye on. I want that Nature Magic, and with one element down already? Hell yeah.

I'm making that fucking army of Russian Golden Carrots, and nobody will stop me.

Anyway, new Magic Mastery aside, I raised a brow at the Homunculi Creation skill when I first saw it. I'm definitely interested in making Homunculi, way too interested actually. They're basically the magical variant of androids, and I could probably make entire armies out of them. Imagine an army of the Full Metal Alchemist Homunculi? Specifically, Wrath/King Bradley?

Who in their right mind would say no to a loyal army of that guy?

Hell, if I somehow get soul magic or the ability to make souls, I can unlock their Aura. Bradley with his Aura unlocked sounds like a fucking nightmare.

...But this is an advanced skill, even more so than Golemcrafting, which would mean it's going to take me a long fucking time maxing it out, and while I love experimenting and learning new stuff about magic, there's still another skill I think should go for before Homunculi Creation.

Enchanting.

Aside from it likely being far easier to level up, I think enchanting would benefit me more as an individual at the moment. I need to get stronger quickly since I'm planning on visiting that Epic Dungeon, and while I'm bringing Golems with me to see how they handle themselves in a proper fight, I think small boosts through enchanting would be better than weak and low-leveled Homunculi.

For example, I can still enchant the armor I made and even my Knightly Gauntlets for a little extra oomph. Let's say life steal since striking with my gauntlets would be faster than with swords. I'd be healing and dealing damaging incredibly quickly against more powerful foes, like the eventual boss of that dungeon.

Or an increase to my MP regen on my armor, maybe some extra DEX on my boots – there are a lot of possible enchantments I can imbue weapons and armor with. Hell, who said I can only imbue weapons and armor? Maybe like Golems, I can enchant buildings or vehicles.

It honestly has a lot of potential, and if I'm going full Wizard Grandmaster, then I'll definitely need enchanting to do that.

So you know what? Fuck it. I'm gonna be the best damn enchanter in the multiverse.

Mastery Skill gained

[Enchanting] (LV 1/100]

Your skill in enchanting is that of a novice

Increases Enchanting effectiveness by 1%

Alright, now that I have this, I think I can start on my other experiment, which is making a giant Golem instead of the usual five footers I make. Like, I want to make a burly Golem that you usually see in media and games. You know, the really big ones and stuff.

Though, I should probably redraw some of the circle. The chalk is starting to fade.

I did make good progress for the quest, but it's so fucking boring to do the same thing over and over. Experimenting is like a fun break, so it's fine to do it every once in a while, right?

I'm making a rock one imbued with Fire Dust to see if I can somehow make volcanic Golems. There's not much evidence supporting my theory that it's even possible, but hey, it might be, right? But then again, I don't think Fire Dust of any quality would be enough, so what should I do…

...I remember getting some Blaze Powder out of those Alchemy bags I had, and Blazes are technically hell creatures, so it might be possible? It should give it some extra firepower – pun intended – at a minimum and from what I sensed before, they have more… I don't know. Like, a splash of Blaze Powder is a lot stronger than a high-quality Fire Dust crystal the size of my head, but the energy is more "chaotic" I guess.

Still, even if it winds up being a failed experiment, I think if I'm able to somehow use Blaze Powder without repercussions, then it's a huge step forward for my Golems and even myself as a Wizard Grandmaster.

...You're getting real obsessed with the whole "Wizard Grandmaster" shtick.

Because magic is cool.

Anyone who says otherwise is a moron.

...Hmm…

Quest added

[Mystic Mage]

Objective A: Reach level 100 in all first, second, and third stages of Elemental Magic [0/10]

Objective B: Reach level 100 in at least five production skills of the magical variety [2/5]

Objective C: Reach level 50 in one Legendary Magic [0/1]

Rewards A: 100K Credits, 1 Gacha Token, Increase magic masteries maximum level by 75, 1 Mastery Skill Slot, [Master Elementalist] Title, [Magic Prodigy] Perk

Rewards B: 35K Credits, Increase production masteries max level by 75, [Magister of the Arcane] Title

Rewards C: 150K Credits, 2 Gacha Tokens, [S? ? ?v?] Legendary Perk, [Grandmaster Wizard] Title

...Have I ever told you that I really appreciate you?

Suddenly, the System sends a notification about a message in my scroll, prompting me to take it out to see who it was. I grimace slightly as I see Ruby's name. Fuck, I thought I'd still have time for a few more experiments and now she's at my front door. Ah, damn it. I should've declined and said I was busy…

…Wait a minute, I can still experiment, I'll just have an audience this time. I trust Ruby enough to not tell anyone, not that I care if she does or not because Golems will be common knowledge soon enough anyway, and even if she did, who the hell would believe her? Hell, this is a chance for me to increase or maybe even max out her affection through "telling her the secret of…"

Actually, that's somewhat manipulative and scummy, isn't it? Yeah, that kinda doesn't sit right with me, especially with someone as nice and sweet as her. Maybe to someone else that I don't like as much, but Ruby? I like her enough to not do something like that.

Still, increasing her affection through actually showing her Golems and magic is fine as long as I'm not really lying. Besides, she always has cute reactions to cool stuff, so why not?

I send her a message to wait for me then head up to the ground floor, smiling slightly as I see Velvet slumped over the counter in exhaustion. She immediately straightens her back and takes out her Faunus-specialized earphones as she sees me, making me chuckle slightly.

"The mob is gone for the day?"

She blinks then sighs deeply. "After ransacking the place, yes."

"Nobody took up the offer of the job in Beacon?" I raise a brow. "That's a surprise."

Velvet's eyes widen as she freezes, then turns her gaze down in guilt.

"You forgot?" I ask in bemusement, making her wince. "What's with people forgetting the shit I say…"

"Oh god sir, I am so sorry." She apologizes quickly. "I was just so, so busy with my studies and team training and I didn't have the time…"

"It's fine." I sigh. "It's mostly for getting another person to help you out. Just be sure to take enough rest, yeah? I don't want you collapsing on me."

"But sir…"

"I said it's fine." I pat her fluffy ears. "And I said it's fine to call me by name when there are no customers around."

5 Reputation with Velvet Scarlatina [90/100]

"Anyway, I'm having a friend over," I say. "Once you're done with your shift, shoot me a text and I'll shut the place after you. Or, if you want, you could hang out with us."

"Oh," She blinks, a light blush emerges on her cheeks as she smiles at me. "Sure, that sounds fun."

I nod then head to the front door, opening it and waving for Ruby who was crowd watching. She notices me and I gesture for her to come inside.

As she comes closer, I pause and frown at the negative emotions hidden behind her smile. Anger, sadness, doubt, even some real hate, thankfully not directed at me. What the hell happened to her? She was about fine the last time I saw her.

Of course, I can sense positive emotions as well, like happiness and adoration, and while they overshadow the negative ones, I'm still concerned.

But I'm not dumb enough to just ask what's wrong. I have enough social skills to know that that's a bad idea.

"So, you have a plan for what we're doing today?" I ask, making her freeze. "Because I do."

"O-oh, yeah, I'm sure you have something fun planned, hehe…" She scratches her cheek nervously, then crosses her arms 'confidently'. "Better than anything I came up with. Though, I definitely didn't come here without any plans. I'm not that dumb."

She didn't come up with anything.

Observation Haki is useful as fuck.

"Well then, come in," I say. "I'm gonna show you stuff that will blow your mind."

I'm going to try and get at whatever's bothering her and see what I can do to help. I honestly don't like seeing her – or feeling her to be exact – sad.

To do that, I need to cheer her up.

And I have the greatest idea.


(Ruby)

When Reid had told her he had plans for today, Ruby was glad that he didn't ask about her own. She felt a little embarrassed but was thankful that he already had something planned. She felt a little guilty as he was always the one really making their hangouts work, but they'd only hung out a few times! She'll manage things one day!

One day.

Nonetheless, Ruby was surprised when he told her they were hanging out at his place, then very embarrassed when she realized that she's never been to a boy's place before, and definitely not a hero's. And on top of all of that, she discovered what those weird feelings she had when interacting with him, which made it a lot harder. She liked- no, liked Reid, but how could someone so stupid and weak like her get together with him? No way it would happen.

Not like he'd want to be with someone who couldn't even defend herself…

She shook those feelings out of her head and reminded herself that they don't need to be too close. She's really happy as his friend anyway, so why ruin their friendship for something so selfish?

Of course, it also made her excited that she's so close to him physically, and happier still that she's close to him emotionally. He wouldn't let anyone into his home, especially where he makes his potions, right? So if he let Ruby in, then that means he trusts her a lot, right?

Obviously that's the case.

Probably.

Ruby followed him down into the basement, and when he opened a door in front of them, her eyes widened.

There were many shelves filled with many colorful vials and a few garden beds in a large room, larger than her own home even! Many strange flowers, fungi, and all kinds of plants were growing on them. They were so many colorful and beautiful things growing it took her breath away, but what caught her attention were the light brown humanoids watering and taking care of the plants. They had no faces and looked as if they were purely made out of... clay?

"Woah..."

When Reid took a step inside, all the humanoids stopped their work and knelt to him in respect. He turned to her and smirked.

"I present to you, The Garden." He said with confidence. "Where I grow all of the potion ingredients I need."

Ruby stepped inside after him, looking around the room in awe, then glanced at a berry bush and got closer to it. She pointed at it and Reid answered before she could ask.

"They're not poisonous." He said. "Go ahead, try a few."

Ruby grinned and did as much, savoring their sweet taste before looking around some more.

She'd never even heard of half of these plants before, and what was that noise? It seemed like it was coming out of that bluish-white plant…

Reid noticed her staring at it and commented. "That is Nirnroot, a very… rare plant I've come across. It's so rare, you probably won't even find anything about it on the CCT."

"Really?" She asked. "It's that rare?"

"Honestly, if people knew about it and its uses, they'd be paying in blocks of gold to buy it." He shook his head. "So I kept it here and decided that it should be used for potions instead of being fought over."

"...Huh."

"Who knows, maybe once I get my factory finally working, I'll reveal it to the world," Reid said. "But enough of that. I'm sure you're dying to know how I make potions, right?"

"Y-you're really gonna tell me?" Ruby questioned with wide eyes, her excitement showing.

He pointed at a strange and admittedly looking creepy table. When they got closer to it, she saw that it was made of brown wood, an alembic on top of it as the center of the table itself was filled with strange, transparent liquid. The liquid let out a weird and sweet smell, like strawberries, and that at least made it a little more pleasant to be around.

"This here is my alchemy table." He said. "It's where I experiment and try to make new and special potions. Looks creepy, but it does the job."

"How do you make your potions?" She asked. "Do you put stuff in there?"

"Eh, well, it just needs a bit of ingredient and then you grind them together." He shrugged.

"T-that's it?!"

"Yup." He nodded. "Come on now, I haven't shown you everything yet."

"Wait, what about those…" She looked at the humanoids who turned back to their work. "Um…"

"They're Golems." He answered.

"You mean, like the ones in Video Games?" She tilted her head. "But Golems are big and… rocky?"

"Those are special Golems." He said as one of them got closer. "Don't worry about them, they're completely under my command. Ain't that right, Gardener Three?"

'Gardener Three' saluted and bowed, then turned around and went back to its work.

"See? They're nice." Reid then grabbed her hand, holding it as he lead her away. "Come on, we're still only scratching the surface of this place."

Ruby blushed as his big and strangely cold hand held hers. His grip was tight but gentle, so it wasn't uncomfortable at all. Instead, Ruby wanted to keep holding his hand more, tightening her own hold as a small smile grew on her face.

They went down another floor, the next room looking quite… it looked like a giant library from the looks of it. There were large empty shelves surrounding a huge table with many papers, pens, Dust Crystals – she didn't know what this was for, but it had to be important, right? Though, the empty shelves were telling another story.

"This here is my research room." He said, then sighed. "Boring, yeah, but the exciting stuff is right under us."

"It's not boring." She quickly said. "I mean, I can tell this place is important."

Reid blinked at her then grinned. "It is important, but you know, you don't have to say that just to cheer me up."

"I-I'm not!" Ruby pouted at him. "I'm just telling the truth."

"Sure you are~" He said, ruffling her hair. Ruby mock growled as he treated her like a kid, but didn't try to stop him. "Thanks though, I appreciate the sentiment."

"Ah, sure…"

And so, the two went down another level, but this one was different. First, at the end of the room, there was a complex-looking circle drawn in chalk with one line extending away from it, surrounded by one four meters pillar of silver. To her right, there was a giant glass window that overlooked many different Golems. Some were made of steel from the looks of it, others were made of colorful crystals. Some were as tall as her while others were about a foot and a half shorter.

Ruby gazed over the many different Golems all in standby in awe. From the moment she set foot in this place, all Reid did was blow her mind just as he said he would. Everything she's seen here was so bizarre, so out of this world. How did Reid make all of this? How did he learn to make all of this?

"Woah…"

"Yeah, it took a while to make all of them." He said. "Around a hundred and fifty, but damn if I'm not proud."

"How did you even get them to work?" Ruby asked, turning her gaze to him as her eyes sparkled. "Do they have some mechanism inside? Are they powered by Dust? If so, then what kind?"

"Actu-"

Ruby then gasped as she saw one of the most beautiful looking vehicles she's seen in her life behind the hero. A blue and black motorcycle with a slight resemblance to a bird, a hawk specifically. Without even waiting for an answer, she unconsciously used her semblance and appeared next to it in less than a second, asking seven questions per second.

"What is this? How did you make it? What's it even made of How do you make it glow like this?! And is that Gravity Dust laced in the wheels?!"

"Uh-"

"That's genius!" Ruby said excitedly. "If it floats a little, then it'll most likely help with mobility and rocky terrains, not to mention that it would help generate the downforce needed to reach higher speeds! This is a work of art, even better than Yang's Bumblebee! Wait, does it have a name?"

Reid looked at her strangely before answering. "I call it Roc."

"Isn't that the name of the Titan Sturn killed?!"

"Wait, wha-"

"That's such a fitting name!" She praised. "How fast can it go?! They said that Roc was able to reach Mach 5 at its peak. Can this bike do the same?"

"You're asking a lot of questions." He said blandly.

"A-ah…" She stiffened before letting out a nervous laugh as she rubbed the back of her head. "S-sorry…"

"Honestly, I'm surprised that you noticed the Gravity Dust." He shrugged. "And Impressed that you knew its job just by looking."

"W-well, a lot of mechanics have tried to make a bike like that. They only really succeeded recently in Atlas, though it's still a prototype since they're trying to remove the wheels altogether and make it float instead."

"Really? Then mine isn't exactly special, is it?" He raised a brow.

"Are you kidding?!" Ruby looked at him in surprise. "You're one person while Atlas has some of the best scientists and engineers in the world! Of course Roc is special! Besides, yours has a sleeker design while the Atlas bikes are bulkier. Yours is obviously way better, I could tell that much by a glance."

"Huh…" He blinked and looked at his bike. "I don't know, I think I can still upgrade it."

"Of course you can." Ruby nodded. "Everything can be improved upon if you put your mind to it."

"...Yeah, I guess you're right."

"But how did you even make this in the first place?" She inquired. "I-I mean, you don't have to tell me of course, but I was just wondering…"

Reid glanced at her and smirked.

"Magic."

Ruby had to take a few seconds to process what he said, blinking as she does so, then pouted at him.

"Stop treating me like a kid." She said. "Magic isn't real."

"Oh yeah?" His smirk widened. "Then how do you explain my Golems working? How do you explain that I have more than one "semblance"?"

Ruby blinked. "W-well, you never said that Fire was your semblance. You probably used Fire Dust to do what you did in the forest. The Golems… they probably have some mechanism inside them… right?"

Reid threw his arms, two spears of fire and water appearing in each hand. Ruby's eyes widened as she tried to look for any Dust Crystal he could be using, but then again, there's the fact that Dust could never reach such control as to make perfect spears like this without a focus. If there was no dust, then…

He's telling the truth.

The spears in his hands dispersed as he glanced at her shocked look, then chuckled slightly.

"M-magic is real?" Ruby whispered in astonishment.

"I've never seen someone change their mind so fast before." He laughed. "But yes, magic is real. Though, only a few people can really use it, less than ten people in fact."

"Wow…"

"But, that's a story for another day. I'll tell you all about it once we're done with everything." He continued as he walked towards the circle, standing next to the chalk line. "This is where I make my Golems. How about we make one right now?"

"We can?"

"Sure, just drop this stuff-" Ruby yelped and jumped back as a small block of clay appeared next to his feet. "at the center of the circle there, then we can begin the process."

He either didn't notice her yelp, which she doubted, or he ignored it. Ruby took the clay and dropped it at the center, then quickly left the place and stood next to him. Reid crouched and put his hand in it, then she saw a light-blue glow leave his hand and go through the line. She gasped as the circle then glowed as the clay block began to float, quivering and spasming. Slowly, it began to form into a humanoid, and Ruby couldn't believe her eyes when it landed, kneeling to Reid as he put an arm around her shoulder.

"And this, my friend, is how Golems are made." He said. "Of course, this is the most basic Golems you could create. Not that impressive compared to the other ones I made."

"That was so cool…" She breathed, her eyes sparkling in admiration.

"Oh, this is nothing compared to what I'm about to make now." He shook his head with a chuckle.

"We're gonna make another one?!"

"Even better." He said. "We're gonna make an entirely new Golem, one even I've never seen before."

"Wow, really?!"

Honestly, Ruby felt honored to be one of the first to witness the creation of a new Golem, but she still didn't really understand why Reid was making them. It didn't need much thought, though. They're probably gonna be used to protect people and maybe- maybe they're gonna be used to fight and kill Titans? Is that what Reid meant by killing all the Grimm?

"Anyway, the Golem we're gonna be making is the very first Volcanic Golem." He said. "I already have the stuff for it, so stay back a little."

Ruby obeyed and took a few steps away from him and the circle. Reid crouched, then a huge pitch-black rocks appeared on the circle. Reid put a few Fire Dust Crystals around it, then sprinkled everything with a strange, orange fiery glowing powder. He nodded to himself and backed away to the chalk line.

He did the same thing he did before, the rocks and crystals beginning to float. Unlike the clay, they did not quiver and spasm, but then the circle lost its glow and everything fell down. Ruby doesn't know what this means, but the sound of confusion Reid uttered made her think that this wasn't supposed to happen.

"Is everything okay?"

"I'm… not sure?" He replied. "This never happened before. Get back, I'll go and put the stuff back in the center."

"Okay."

Reid got up and walked to the circle, taking the rocks that were near the edge of the circle and-

The circle suddenly glowed a bright crimson, and before Ruby could realize what's happening, Reid gasped in fear-

A large explosion engulfed them both. She couldn't see what's happening, but she was thankfully not harmed too badly. She blinked away whatever dust had gotten into her eyes and looked around the room. To the opposite side of her was the body of an unconscious and bloodied Reid, blood seeping from a wound to his head.

Ruby quickly ran towards him, her heart hammering in her chest. She tried to calm herself, and when she felt that he still had his pulse, she let out a long sigh of relief. His Aura, while broken from the looks of it, will save his life once regenerated, but she needs to call an ambulance soon-!

Ruby stopped as red mist permeated the large room. She looked behind her and saw the rocks had formed into a… portal of some kind. It was glowing red and looked like a wormhole, and Ruby felt dread the more she looked at it. She didn't like it, didn't like it one bit. And when whispers suddenly filled her head, Ruby, for the first time in years, felt terror.

She knew whatever that was isn't good, so she took out Crescent Rose and aimed at it, wanting to hopefully destroy it.

But then, something walked out of it, freezing her in fear and shock.

This thing was very thin, slim built with a grotesque looking body. It has a light blue body that covered its fleshy red skin. Something that looked like a large, round bone-like structure covered the back of its head. Two large, fleshy wing-like appendages hung off its back.

"W-w-what is that thing?!"

Ruby has no fucking idea what it was, but from the way it screeched at her, she realized that it wasn't nice.

The thing then teleported away, appearing at another end of the room. Ruby collected her thoughts and aimed her rifle at it, using an Ice Dust Cartridge. The thing raised its arms high and each of its hands started glowing a reddish-orange, and before Ruby's eyes, smaller, nearly as grotesque-looking monsters appeared near it.

Ruby quickly shot one of its hands as one of the smaller ones charged her with a fireball. Before it could get near, however, Ruby dodged the fireball heading her way, shooting her attacker in the head. Half of its skull was gone, blood splattering everywhere, but it still ran after Ruby.

Ruby gasped in fear and disgust as she saw some of its frozen and exposed brain, but quickly switched her weapon to its scythe form and sliced it in half. She almost gagged as its intestines and other innards spilled out from its body, but when she saw the big one, whom she'd dubbed The Queen, aiming at Reid, she forced her lunch back down as she charged at it with her semblance.

Ruby swung her scythe at it, but it teleported away in a flash, making her growl in annoyance. Ruby slowly backed away and got in front of Reid, slamming her scythe down as the smaller monsters ran around the room, two of them forming fireballs.

Thinking quickly, Ruby sniped one in the head, then in the stomach to force it to stay dead, then used her semblance and cut the thrown fireball in half. The thing wasn't fast enough to react as her scythe easily cleaved through its neck.

However, just as Ruby grew more confident, something hit her in the back, searing away her Aura significantly as she felt a painful, burning sensation pass through her. She cried out, then turned to see The Queen raising its arms again, most likely trying to summon more of the little ones.

Ruby growled and quickly shot one of its hands again, freezing it and causing it to screech in agony. She saw her chance and quickly rushed towards it, but once again, the Queen teleported away, which frustrated her more. She tried to hit the thing over and over, but it kept teleporting all over the place.

Ruby gulped and shot Reid a glance. She didn't know how long it had been, but he was still unconscious.

She got next to Reid, then changed the cartridge to Wind Dust. Let's see if you can dodge this...

She bit down on her lower lip and calmed her shaking arms, holding her breath as The Queen shot a ball of energy towards them. Pulling the trigger, the Wind Dust Bullet soared and hit the thing right in the head, causing Ruby to grin widely. She grabbed Reid by his collar and used her semblance to quickly move away from another incoming attack.

Ruby laid him down gently, but then something slammed into her side, sending her flying away. Ruby winced at the pain, and her eyes widened in fear as three, large and broad fleshy monsters with half of their skulls exposed were growling and roaring at her.

One of them turned to Reid, cocking its arm back in a move to finish him off.

"NO!" Ruby yelled, quickly switching over to Gravity Dust Rounds. She propelled herself and at the same time used her Semblance for extra acceleration and speed.

The big ones were not able to react to her speed as her scythe managed to dig into one of them, reaching its chest from the shoulder. Blood exploded out all over them, painting part of Ruby's face crimson. One of the three – now two – tried to throw a fist at her, but Ruby quickly let go of Crescent Rose and dashed to grab Reid, getting him away from the monsters.

She used most of her strength to throw him away, but one of them kicked her right in the stomach. Ruby gasped, then screamed as another pulled her high to its eye-level by her hair. Her survival instincts flaring, Ruby kicked it in the chin, then used her Semblance to grab her weapon from the dead creature next to it. She dashed away from the other two and got next to Reid, her breathing getting slightly heavier and more ragged.

Just when she thought she could've gotten a chance to breathe, her Aura flickering slightly, something hit her. She screamed out in pain, falling on one knee as she saw The Queen was still alive, albeit missing half of its head. It screeched in rage as the other larger fleshy monsters walked towards her menacingly. Her grip over her scythe tightened as they growled and roared at her.

"I won't let you hurt him." She growled back.

One of them roared and lunged forward, and as Ruby got ready to grab Reid and run, a silvery blur stopped her. A giant, silver wolf pounced at the incoming monster, slamming his(?) paw at its head as he ripped it apart with his teeth.

The monster hadn't been ready for the surprise attack and was almost immediately killed. Ruby looked in apprehension and awe at the majestic wolf as it growled at the other large monster. He turned to look at her and barked, then gestured at The Queen with his head.

Ruby took a second, but she understood what he meant and turned her attention to the quivering monster.

She knew she couldn't keep up with it because as fast she is, this monster can teleport. No matter how fast she could go, she won't be able to hit it if she was slower than the monster's reflexes. Then again, half of its head is gone, so that's gotta give her some advantage, right?

Though, she could feel her Aura. It was low, less than a third maybe. She mightn't have gotten hit much, but their blows were powerful. If she didn't have her speed Semblance, she would've been killed thrice over.

She had so many questions about what these things were, but she knew now was not the time for it. One wrong move and she might die, and in turn, her only friend would also die. She could not allow that to happen, no matter what.

The Queen teleported away, still quivering, then held its remaining hand up. Ruby recognized what it was trying to do and quickly dashed towards it, using a gravity bullet to quickly get in front of it. Turned out, Ruby's assessment was right as it did not react, causing the Huntress-in-training to cleave the monster into two.

Internal organs spilled out from the body of The Queen, and Ruby turned away from the sight in disgust quickly, just in time to see the wolf ripping the other monster's head off.

Ruby sighed, but then she remembered that she had to destroy the portal before anything else could come out of it. She took off the Gravity Dust Cartridge and replaced it with Earth Dust. She shot one of the corners, only to hit a large, red arm that stopped the bullet, blood gushing out of it.

She heard a roar, then through the red portal came out a gigantic monster with a red torso and brown legs. It was twice as large as the other creatures, with gigantic bulging, fleshy muscles, it had hooves for feet and two menacing horns on each side of its head. Its teeth were razor-sharp, and a glare from it caused her freeze in fear.

The wolf growled threateningly as both circled around the other. This- this demon let out a monstrous roar as glowing, green flames engulfed one of its hands. The wolf howled in return, then charged at the demon, blurring and pouncing at it.

The demon, however, welcomed the pounce and grabbed the wolf before it neared too close, and with a roar, slammed him into the ground, shattering the surface of it. That prompted Ruby to move, aiming Crescent Rose for its head. Her arms were shaking horribly, but as she held her breath, she managed to shoot the demon's face.

Unlike the other monsters, however, this didn't blow its head up. While it did significant damage, it was as though the demon was more annoyed than hurt as it turned to her with an angry growl. It grabbed the struggling wolf by the head and threw him away at the wall before swinging its fire-engulfed hand at Ruby.

A screaming green fireball was flung at her, but Ruby was just fast enough to get out of the way. Unfortunately, it seems that the monster anticipated her reaction and slammed her with its fist right to the face. It was painful, far more so than anything she'd felt before. Her nose was likely even broken from the strike, her Aura barely stopping the blow from becoming life-threatening at the cost of shattering.

She gasped as her back hit the wall, slumping down on the ground as she nursed her nose. Her eyes widened in fear, her body frozen as the demon loomed over her, its hand glowing green. The wolf got in back to the fight as he bit the demon's leg, sharp fangs digging into the flesh stopping the hulking monster from hurting her.

But then, the demon grabbed the wolf and kept slamming him into the ground over and over. The beautiful silver fur was singed as the demon used its fire to burn them. Ruby watched on, mutely, in horror, then slowly lifted up her weapon, shooting at the demon in the back until Crescent Rose was out of ammo.

Thankfully, the demon stopped hurting the wolf just as the Aura was broken, but instead turned to glare- no, sneer at her in rage. It let go of the canine, stomping towards her.

Ruby felt tears roll down her cheeks, hating how everything turned out. First, she was left alone at home as both her father and sister were busy, then she was bullied, and now she was about to get herself and her hero killed.

She hated Yang and her dad for leaving her, she hated her school for being a place where she gets constantly hurt, she hated her bullies for tormenting her for no reason, she hated herself for being so weak and worthless, and she hated this demon as it's about to kill her.

"Why…" She whispered. "What d-did I do to d-deserve this…"

She felt the heat of the demon's fire closing on her. This is it. This is probably how she dies, to some kind of a monstrous demon that probably came out of hell.

"Dad… Yang… Mom..." She sobbed. "Reid… please help me…"

With her eyes closed, Ruby waited for her inevitable demise, but to her surprise and shock, the heat dispersed. She wondered if she was dead for a second, but her… well, everything still hurt. She slowly opened her eyes and saw a spear of light impaling the monster's throat.

Before she could comprehend what had happened, the Hero of Vale launched himself up and kicked the monster right in the head. Ruby froze as she saw the enraged snarl on Reid's face, specifically his slit eyes that promised torment to the demon. In his hand was a beautifully crafted golden katana. If she wasn't in pain everywhere, she might've drooled at the sight of it.

"You fucking shitstain." He growled. "You think you can hurt my friend, my fuckin' dog, and get away with it?!"

The demon got up and roared at Reid, who gave a roar of his own.

"THINK. AGAIN. ASSHOLE!"

He blurred forth faster than she could see, and in an instant, the demon had lost one of its legs. It fell down as flames burned at the wound and immediately cauterized it, and the demon screamed in agony. Reid was already behind it, and Ruby saw how the blade sliced through one of the demon's arms like a hot knife through butter.

Reid kicked it in the head, then stabbed the monster right in the face. He didn't stop there, however, as he deliberately took the blade out and impaled it, again and again, brutalizing the demon before simply slicing its head off.

Reid was breathing heavily, but it felt like it was out of anger more than exhaustion as he glared at the corpse, before aiming his hand at the portal. A powerful stream of fire erupted and completely destroyed it, the red wormhole screaming as it disappeared into nothing.

As he was done, he almost immediately ran over to her, taking out a red potion. He positioned it over her mouth and she knew what to do and drank the surprisingly sweet restorative. She felt her wounds and the pain disappear, her broken nose fixing itself quickly.

Reid smiled in relief at her.

"Are you okay?"

Ruby stared at him for what felt like an hour, her emotions a jumbled mess as the only thing she could do was embrace him, burying her head in his shoulder as she sobbed quietly. Reid was surprised, but he patted her head as he returned the hug.

"Shh, it's okay. You're safe now." He soothed.

Ruby suddenly felt something fluffy around her, and while still sobbing, she felt herself calm down a bit.

"Everything is gonna be alright…"


Omake - The Only One They Fear...

She felt the heat of the demon's fire closing on her. This was it. This is probably how she dies, to some kind of a monstrous demon that had probably crawled straight out of hell.

"Dad… Yang… Mom..." She sobbed. "Reid… please help me…"

With her eyes closed, Ruby waited for her inevitable demise, but then, she heard something in the distance, chains she thought, and when the heat refused to get any closer, she slowly opened her eyes. The demon who was looking at her in rage, now had the expression of absolute terror. She was baffled when she saw literal tears streaming down its cheeks, and when she turned to look behind it, she saw a hook stuck in the monster's back from the looks of it, connected with metal chains.

The chains came from the portal, then whatever holding the chains pulled. The demon stumbled and fell on its back as it was slowly being pulled. She heard something from the portal, and whatever got that demon scared, it got Ruby absolutely fucking terrified.

First, a few small monsters scrambled out of it, all of them looking as though they were running away from whatever shot that chain-hook thing.

What kind of monster managed to get demons scared? Oh, she's dead. She's definitely dead!

But what came out, left her more confused than scared.

It was a man, wearing a white and violet power suit with a unicorn at the top of the helmet and small purple wings on the back, holding a double-barreled shotgun, which the chains seem to be connected to. Her fear was replaced by confusion, but the fear quickly took over when the man held the demon by the head…

And crushed it in his grip.

Ruby yelped in fear as he glared at her, then he turned his glares to other demons. Faster than she could ever hope to react, the unicorn-man-person-thing grabbed one of the demons by the throat, forcefully opened its mouth, stuck the shotgun in, and pulled the trigger.

Blood and brain matter flew everywhere, but he was already rushing the other demon, sticking his firearm in its chest before the shot ripped it apart. The third and last demon screamed in fear as its back was against the wall.

W-what kind of…. She felt sick to her stomach when he brutalized the demon. Why all of this? Just kill them quickly...

The man took out something hanging out from his belt, and when he pressed something, a large, red blade-like plasma shot out. The small demon looked as if it was begging, and Ruby almost felt sympathy for it as the man simply cut its head off.

The man looked around the room, barely giving her any mind as he walked towards the portal again. Ruby slowly got up on her feet as she tried to call out to him.

"W-wait!" He stopped. "C-can you tell me who you are?"

Honestly, she had no idea why she even stopped him from leaving when she's obviously scared of him, and now she regrets whatever she did to do so.

The man paused for a few seconds then ignored her. Before he went through the portal, he shot the frame of the portal with his shotgun's chain, and after he went in, he pulled. The portal collapsed behind him, leaving her alone with the unconscious hero and the apparently still conscious wolf.

She and the wolf gazed at each other, and even when they didn't even a single sound, they both agreed on one thing.

Whoever that person was…

She never wanted to see him again.


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