– Qrow Branwen –

There were a lot of things going through his head right now from the sense of awe of what he had seen earlier this night. He never forgot what Reid was capable of, what kind of monster he is. He's fought with him multiple times for goodness' sake, he's seen firsthand what he can do when going all out.

But Qrow wasn't delusional enough to think the kid was invincible. As much as he's seen him kick ass, he's also been beaten to the ground more than once, by Fenrir and that Forest Titan alike. Hell, Salem's agents gave him a hard time as well.

So it was hard for him to comprehend how he was able to do what he did. The kid made a suicidal move by going after that aquatic Titan, who is far worse compared to land Titans on the danger scale. Stronger? Not necessarily. More dangerous? A hundred times.

It's not as easy to fight underwater– It's significantly harder to even maintain your consciousness throughout the fight. Actually swinging and damaging the Titan is another story entirely. You'd need so much equipment to just stand a chance against lower-class Grimm.

But then this kid came out, not a single scratch on him, with the head of the Titan in tow, as if it's another boring Monday to him. Even Ozpin was shocked at the scene– jaw dropped and all. He came here himself hoping to assist Reid and get him out of the Titan's territory, but it looked like they weren't needed.

Exactly how Ruby predicted. Unlike everyone else, she was fully confident in Reid's ability to deal with that Titan, so much so that she tried to stop them from going after him. At first, Qrow thought she was just overconfident, but it was clear now that she knew something none of them did.

"As I said, Mr. Astera, your record in dealing with Titan-class has been unbelievable," Ozpin said, making Qrow turn away from the window of his boss' office, seeing the bright smile on his face. "Not one, not two, but three in a single year. Had I been told this was possible a month ago, I would not have found it amusing in the slightest."

Having been just done with another announcement, this time unable to hide it due to the audience Reid had when he threw the known Titan's head, they left to Beacon to discuss what happened a little more in-depth.

Qrow voiced his concerns and annoyance quietly to Oz, seeing how stressed the kid was even if he tried to hide it, but this one wasn't as easily hidden. Rumors were gonna spread anyway if they did, and it'd be better to be heard from an official source.

Reid basked in the spotlight, like always, loving the attention and love he's been getting from the masses, but Qrow knew that this was short-term. Eventually, the weight of the world will bog him down, it'll ruin him mentally.

It worried the older huntsman. Suspicious activities or not, he still liked Reid. He didn't want the kid to go through this, but what can he do?

"You think Salem's scared of me yet?" Reid responded with a smirk. "I mean, that must've gotten her at least a bit spooked, right?"

"I would not be surprised, quite honestly. You've done things no other person came close to doing in the history of Remnant," Ozpin nodded. "For a Grimm to reach Titan-class, they'd have to be alive for five hundred years at least. You've practically undone over a millennium of work in such a short amount of time."

"She doesn't really make the Titans though, does she?"

"No, and while they don't work for her directly, their goals usually align," Ozpin answered the kid's question. "So it's still an immense blow to her and her allies."

"Probably means she's gonna tweak her plans, though," Reid said before pausing in thought. "...But that might actually be a good thing."

"What do you mean?" Glynda quirked a brow.

"Seeing what I did, Salem will probably start focusing on me, rather than you, Oz," He explained. "In her perspective, I'm probably a wildcard."

"She'd be correct in that regard," Ozpin agreed.

"Meaning I'll be able to drag her attention away from you and everyone else in the circle for a long fucking time," He grinned, vulgarity completely ignored by the rest of the circle. "This way, it'll be a lot safer and easier for everyone else to do their jobs in peace."

"That is true," Glynda nodded. "But how will you handle it? Defeating an underwater Titan is more than impressive, that much is true, but this is Salem herself we are talking about."

"Oh don't worry, I have a couple of ideas," He said. "I'll spend a few days fortifying my estate, enough that even she wouldn't able to get close. I have the supplies to make sure of it."

"I see," Ozpin adjusts his glasses. "You've done nothing but surpass my expectations time and time again, so I trust you'll be able to handle yourself. However, keep in mind that we'll always be available if you need assistance. So please don't hesitate to ask us for anything."

"Sure," Reid paused for a second. "Actually, I have a favor to ask of you."

Qrow, who was silent throughout the whole conversation, raised a brow as Ozpin leaned forward in interest.

"Find me some free spots in Menagerie, yeah?" He said. "I think I'm expanding there first."

Right, his business. It slipped his mind that the kid is also the owner of the fastest-growing company in the world.

"Ah, a fine choice," Ozpin nodded in approval. "Of course. Consider it done. Anything else?"

"Nah, that's all," He shook his head before waving. "I'll be heading home now. I have some work to do."

As Reid headed towards the elevator, so did Qrow. He followed the kid, not having the chance to talk about what happened himself. The kid noticed him of course, being as sharp as ever, and waited until the doors closed off before he spoke.

"He doesn't put cameras or anything in here, does he?"

"Nah," Qrow shook his head, understanding his question. "Oz is not that paranoid. Not anymore at least."

"Right, well… Thanks." He said suddenly, surprising the older man.

"For what?" Qrow asked.

"For not immediately telling Ozpin about Ruby." He clarified. "I don't want him figuring it out yet."

"Right…" He muttered. "So you mind telling me what the hell you're thinking, then?"

"Bit of a long story–"

"Reid, I couldn't care less how you did it." Qrow cut him off. "I want to know why you think it's a good idea."

"She can handle herself." He said.

"She's fifteen."

"And tough enough to match me in strength," Reid said, making him pause. "She's not the same girl you know, Qrow. It hasn't been long, but she's grown."

"Putting a bigger target on her back isn't exactly the best way to prove that," Qrow argued, getting a little annoyed. "I know what you think of her, what's your relationship with her–"

"Then you know for damn sure I won't let anything harm her."

"Just like how you didn't let that Titan hurt her, right?"

Qrow immediately regretted saying that as he saw Reid flinch, inwardly cursing at himself for saying something extremely insensitive and rubbing salt on old wounds. He knew Reid's insecurities– his fear of failing his friends and family. Something Qrow fully understood and shared.

Reid kept calm, though, and didn't blow up at him. If anything, the look of guilt that crossed his face made Qrow wish he actually got mad instead.

"I'm sorry, that's not what I meant," Qrow quickly said with a deep sigh. "I know you can protect her, Reid. I've never doubted that. But what if you're not there? If you're busy somewhere else? You can't be everywhere at the same time."

"...But that's the point," Reid said. "If I can't be near her at all times, then shouldn't they be strong enough to handle herself?"

Qrow couldn't argue with that.

"That's why I'm teaching you and Kiryu how to use Haki, why I'm bothering to train her and Yang." He continued. "I can't keep them safe by myself forever, so they have to learn how to defend themselves."

Qrow remained silent.

"Eventually, Ruby and Yang will be part of this war against Salem. We all know it'll happen, even if I personally don't want them to be involved." Reid said, making Qrow's frown deepen. "So I want to make them ready. Make them strong enough that even Salem would have to think twice before trying to attack them."

"Wait, Yang too?"

"Yes." He answered without hesitation. "Magic is a powerful weapon– it's a massive advantage over whatever she throws at us. By the time Salem figures out that the sisters have magic, not even her strongest troops would be able to land a finger on them."

"How can you be so sure?" Qrow glanced at the kid. "What makes you think that?"

"It's barely been a month since I gave them magic, and they already have more mana than I do." He replied, making the older huntsman widen his eyes. "Do you have any idea what that means? The sheer potential within them is way beyond anything I've ever seen in my life, and I'm sure it'll stay that way for a while. A few months of training is more than enough to make them Titan Slayers themselves."

Qrow did not respond, taking his time to think about the kid's words. There was truth in his arguments, and viewing things from his perspective made him understand why he did what he did. So he did realize the risks but came to the conclusion that giving Ruby magic is the better option after all.

But was magic really necessary? As far as he knew, Reid was aware of Ruby's silver eyes. Couldn't he help her control that first? Or the Haki power? Did he really have to give Ruby what Salem can easily detect? There were so many options for many different powers.

Though, what does Qrow know? He's nowhere near as knowledgeable about any of these powers as Reid or Ozpin. Perhaps the kid knew best– maybe he thought about it too and decided that magic would be better for Ruby than any of those things. He was willing to trust Reid.

And maybe he was being too overprotective over his nieces. Ruby is fifteen, yes, but she's also one of the brightest in her generation. Training under Reid is only accelerating her growth exponentially. She can handle herself– she proved that much when she woke up very calm after the attack.

Kids really do grow up fast.

"Right…" Qrow sighed. "Right, I guess you do know what you're doing. I'm… sorry for doubting you."

"It's fine, man." Reid waved it off, patting the older man's shoulder with a smile. "I get why you reacted that way. No hard feelings."

Qrow smiled back, grateful that the kid was pretty understanding, even considering the older huntsman's outburst. Reid really did mature compared to the first time Qrow met him. Back then, the kid was obviously looking so eager to impress, and while that didn't change much, he still became far more responsible. Less likely to act so recklessly.

And this thought brought a different question to mind.

"How'd you do it, by the way?" Qrow asked.


"How'd you beat that Titan so easily?" He clarified. "I mean, compared to the fight with Fenrir and that Forest Grimm, you barely looked hurt."

"Ah, right. You'd notice that, wouldn't you? You did fight with me against them after all." Reid said vaguely with a grin. "Well, I would've preferred I kept this to myself for now, but I guess I can trust you. To put it simply, I'm not human. Not fully anyway."

"A Faunus?"

"Nope. Something different entirely." He responded, making Qrow look at him in surprise and confusion. "I'm part sea monster."

"...I may believe most insane bullshit you spew out of your mouth, but this crosses the line." Qrow deadpanned. "If you wanted to lie, you could've just said a new potion you were working on."

"I'm serious," Reid smirked. "Want proof?"

Qrow's glance lingered before he nodded.


Reid snickered a bit, stretching one arm, and right before Qrow's own eyes, it began to change. Silver scales grew on them rapidly– the hand twisted in unnatural ways, turning into a claw sharper than his blade. It was disgusting, but he couldn't look away. With jaw dropped in awe and shock, Qrow stammered as he finally gazed at Reid's smug grin.

"Told you." Reid waved his scaled arm. "That's why I was able to handle it in its own territory because it's my territory. You never fuck with a Leviathan underwater."

"Hah…" Qrow didn't know how to respond, looking down at his feet. "T-that's a lot to take in."

The kid wasn't a human nor a Faunus. Of course, he wasn't– no regular hunter could ever massacre three goddamn Titans in less than a year. Why the fuck is this surprising him anyway? He always thought the kid was a monster anyway.

…He didn't expect him to be a literal monster, though.

"I've technically been at a disadvantage when I fought the other Titans. Being underwater makes me way stronger. I literally turned the sea against it, it couldn't do shit against me." Reid stated modestly, then a weird grin took over his face. "It's actually why Ruby and Yang have magic."

"What?" Qrow turned to look at him. "What do you mean?"

"Well, I mean, Leviathans have this special… 'power' you see." He explained. "The magic transfer requires a man and a woman who loves each other very much."

Qrow froze.

"Thankfully, Ruby, Yang, and I fit that criterion, so the transfer was a success."

"You…" He glared daggers at the kid, who had the biggest shit-eating grin. "You did not–"

"But I did~"

Qrow had to physically stop himself from strangling the smug asshole, knowing Reid would fight back and promptly kick the older huntsman's ass. To make matters worse, the kid looked him right in the eye with his ever-widening smirk.

"Why do you think they have so much magic?"

Qrow knew he'd be sporting a black eye once they exit the elevator, but he honestly could not care at this point as he lunged at the laughing Reid.

– Ruby Rose –

A few days have passed since the announcement of the third Titan being killed spread, and everything returned to normal. There was still the media buzz about Reid being the almighty huntsman that did what was thought to be impossible. Again.

Especially on social media– People are going absolutely crazy over there, and in a good way thankfully. There were some that tried to prove that Reid was a fraud and that the guild and Beacon were lying, but those were drowned out by the overwhelming majority. After all, why would trusted individuals like Headmaster Ozpin and Azura Scarlett lie about something as big as that? Besides, there was actual footage this time, showing Reid clearly throwing the Titan's head out of the water before walking out. Denying it at this point is delusional.

Ruby found it silly, and so waited for Reid's official statement only to soon realize that he didn't have a Scribe account, the most popular social media platform for the past five years.

When she told him to make one, he declined and said "No thanks, I hate Twitter." as if she knew what 'Twitter' was. Ruby didn't really understand why he'd refuse to make an account, but once she mentioned that some people stole his name, he reluctantly made one to stop idiots from dragging his name through the mud with scummy scam posts and whatnot.

Ruby has never seen someone get a verified so fast before. It was in a matter of minutes.

His first post wasn't even anything that interesting– it had absolutely nothing to do with the third Titan he killed. What it was? A crappy selfie that only showed his eyes and hair with the caption that said 'A'. That's it. This post was enough to get over a million likes, with people going crazy over it, replying with the same selfie and letter or finishing the alphabet.

It was pretty funny now that she thought about it. To other people, this is such a monumental moment– to be alive at the same time as the most powerful man in history that is, but to Ruby, it kinda feels… normal?

She's gotten so used to his shenanigans that him killing a third Titan paled in comparison to the actual otherworldly things he pulled off. Potions, giving her magic, enchanting, the fact that he's part sea monster and from a whole different universe that she visited.

But maybe the biggest thing was living with him and realizing he's a normal guy in the end. Sure, he has his weird quirks, sometimes he'd mutter about very incomprehensible things for example, like that 'Twitter' thing, though, it's not that big of a deal.

Still, going to school and seeing her classmates talk about nothing else but him was amusing. Ruby always had a faint presence in class, especially after she dealt with her bullies. She was easily missable and nobody would notice that she was there sometimes. Likely because of how quiet she is anyway. She never was a fan of people she didn't know, and never wanted to interact with them.

That still remained true, even if she got a lot better at talking with strangers. She doesn't stutter anymore, and Ruby is very proud of that fact.

Ruby glanced at her classmates from her desk, which was at the back end of the classroom. A group of girls chatted about the news excitedly, the tidbit about Reid beating his third Titan being the most talked about thing since it happened.

"You see how he walked out with barely any scratch on him?"

"It's like he didn't even need to try."

"How strong is he really?"

"I mean, he's way above professional hunters, that much is obvious."

The typical questions and discussions. Ruby knew the answers to all of their questions, but she was not about to randomly insert herself into groups she knows no one in. Knowing them through Yang doesn't count.

There were the other discussions, though, the ones that made her feel smug.

"Do you think he's single?"

"I heard he's dating someone, but I don't know if it's true."

"His girlfriend must be pretty high up there. Maybe a well-known huntress?"

Ruby was partially glad that the clip that surfaced cut her out, but at the same time, she really wanted to flex her relationship with him. Imagine what people would say about that? They'd all think she's awesome, especially seeing that she climbed the ranks of Signal and casually became the most powerful student in the school.

Then again, ew, people.

"He's so much bigger than I thought he is."

Ruby blinked at that last statement, looking at the group of girls with a raised brow.

"Yeah, I don't think even Mr. Xiao Long is that muscular."

Oh, they meant muscles. Of course, how would they even know how big he is down there?

It was at that moment that Ruby realized she has a dirty mind, but it wasn't her fault. It's Reid's. He's the one that made her think that way. Clearly. If he'd stopped doing lewd things to her every time they were alone together, maybe she wouldn't be thinking that way. And no, Ruby wasn't the one who'd initiate it every time. That is a lie. It never happened.

Ruby felt her face heat up at the thought of him taking her from behind again, crossing her legs and lowering her head until her forehead touched the desk. How does she still have a low tolerance for these thoughts? Horrible timing to be thinking of such things.

To make matters worse, it's lunch break. She still has four more classes before she can go home. She won't be able to go through all of this in this state without being caught looking weird. She needs a distraction–

"Now that I think about it–" One of the girls said, turning to look at Ruby. "You know him personally, right? Rose?"

"Uwah?!" Ruby flinched as she was suddenly addressed. "Ah, y-yeah."

"Wow, really?!" Another said, either not noticing or ignoring her surprise. "How long have you known him for?!"

Ruby blinked a few times, then smiled. Perfect!

"Heh, you won't believe it, but I was his friend before he killed his first Titan." Ruby said, puffing her chest in pride as the lewd thoughts began to disappear.

"No way, you're lying."

"I have proof!" Ruby said, going through her scroll for some old pictures, and finding one selfie with him when they hung out for the first time. "Look at the date. See?"

"You're right, this is days before he became a Titan Slayer." One of them said, looking at Ruby with newfound respect. "I didn't know that. I thought maybe you knew him through connections."

"What is he like?" Another one asked as more and more girls surrounded Ruby, all of them equally interested. "I-I mean, is he as good-looking in person?"

"Is he actually that young?"

"How close are you two?"

"How'd he make the potions?"

Ruby, surprised to see so many students surround her, remained quiet for a bit as she thought to herself. What the hell is going on here? Why is everyone looking at her so intently? Heck, where did they all come from anyway?

No, don't panic. Please, you've had way worse than a couple of curious classmates. This is nothing. Ruby almost scoffed. If Reid knew I got nervous here, he'd make fun of me.

Preventing that smug jerk from teasing her gave Ruby the motivation she needed to not make a fool of herself. Reid would say something rude like 'you dumbass' or 'imagine being scared of people' with that annoying smirk of his. It's not 'scared', it's 'nervous'! How does he not know the difference?!

So with that in mind, Ruby easily answered the questions of her classmates, not letting her nervousness and awkwardness stop her from socializing any longer. He'll see that she's not scared of people and can talk to them with no problem.

And then he'll finally stop teasing her about it.

– Roman Torchwick –

If there was one thing Roman lucked out on recently, it'd be refraining from testing his current "employer". Sure, Titan Slayer is a big deal, but in the end, he's still a kid, and kids can be easily controlled with a few words. Tell them what they want to hear, and they'd be eating from the palm of your hands.

It's manipulation 101. Teens are so easy to take advantage of.

Roman feels a nervous sweat running down his cheek as he reads the newspaper, leaning back on his chair with his legs over his desk. He takes out the cigar from his mouth, reading the headline a few more times before chuckling mirthlessly.

"This kid isn't real." He whispered to himself. "What kind of fucking monster is he?"

But when said employer goes on to kill two more Titans in the span of three months, that's when Roman realized that he's not dealing with the average teen here. The kid wasn't possibly a normal person– maybe some sort of human experiment from Atlas or a drugged warrior or something.

He searched for the kid's records, and the only strange thing is the lack of date and location of birth. Where the hell did he come from? Who is he really? Roman met him, and the kid didn't act weird. He was as normal as a teenager could get– Confident and arrogant that he dared to break one of the most powerful criminals on Remnant out of jail. Ignorant and childish with his goal of controlling the underworld.

Hell, Roman laughed to his face when he said what he wanted to do. Killing a Titan? Sure, that's a great deal, even if it's the weakest one to date, but becoming one of the five crimelords wasn't as easy as killing a big dumb brute. You need to be smart– cunning. A good judge of character, knowing who to trust and who to betray. It's just not possible for an inexperienced kid like him, even if Roman was willing to humor him for now.

But now… now he wasn't sure anymore. The kid might not need to be smart to control the underworld– with this overwhelming power, he can just do it with sheer force, bulldozing through every single crimelord with his bare fucking hands.

Roman pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, putting the newspaper on the desk. What the hell did he get himself into now? Staying in jail sounds a hell of a lot nicer than working under that kid.

…No, wait, maybe this was a blessing in disguise.

The kid is too strong that he could probably wipe out or subjugate the entire underworld if he wanted to, via influence or actually physically. Of course, that's only the case if the other crimelords are actually dumb enough to try to fight him, and after seeing the news, they probably will never try their luck against him directly.

However, Roman has his backing, and if the kid is actually willing to break him out of jail, then he's probably willing to do equally crazy shit. If Roman can convince him, then he'll get an unstoppable weapon in his hand, and none of the crimelords would be a problem anymore.

Then again, Reid seemed pretty stubborn, so Roman must stay on his good side if he wants the kid to return the favor. They already had a deal, and for all intent and purposes, Reid was somewhat of the honorable sort. He won't back down and will pay Roman for a job well done. Assuming they hold a cordial relationship, he might be gaining an overwhelmingly powerful ally, physically and politically.

Backing from the Titan Slayer is a lot of power, but it might be far, far more than he expected the first time, especially one that just defeated three already. Give it a year or two, and Reid might make Roman the king of the underworld. Who knows what other insane bullshit the kid is planning to do.

Roman was beginning to think that promise of destroying the Grimm was one Reid might actually pull off.

So he's gonna have to give what the kid wants right now, and that's all the info on Piggy. After that trap failed spectacularly, Pig Emperor completely disappeared. His whole faction is off the radar. No matter how hard Roman searched for the past month, nothing came up. That Nahkriin fellow must've made him scared shitless.

The door to his office opened, and in walked his partner. Neo closed the door behind her, the annoyed look on her face having Roman raise a brow.

"I'm guessing you found nothing," Roman said, making her pout.

'It's like he never existed.' She signed with a huff. 'None of his goons pulled up either. I already went through most of the city looking for a trace.'

"And you turned up with nothing." Roman chuckled. "Don't bother looking anymore. It's obvious that Piggy is on high alert. All we gotta do now is wait for him to strike again. Then we can slip by and plant a few bugs so mister high and mighty gets what he wants."

Neo rolled her eyes and sat on the desk in front of him, taking her scroll out. Roman leaned to the side, curious to see what she was doing, and frowned when he saw her looking up the Titan Slayer. Neo noticed him frowning, smirking smugly.

'Jealous, old man?' She signed.

"Neo, please." He scoffed. "I just don't understand why you're so hyper-fixated on him, a hero of all things. For crying out loud, he had us arrested and thrown in jail.."

'He still broke us out anyway, so I don't really care.' Neo shrugged. 'I just think he's pretty cute. Plus, I like how he thinks.'

"How he thinks?" Roman looked at her strangely.

'He's all goody-goody, but he's not scared of getting his hand dirty, and I like that.' She explained. 'Seemed pretty into it last I saw him.'

"And that's all he needed to get you so obsessed?"

Neo rolled her eyes again before getting back to her scroll, her way of telling him "You'll never understand, old man." which annoyed him a lot more than he was willing to admit. Roman isn't old, he's barely 39!

Damned kids these days.

– Azura Scarlett –

"There are the reports for the recent few weeks, miss." A young huntsman in his mid-twenties said, giving her the reports. "After the potions were distributed, the success rate for missions skyrocketed. We suffered far fewer casualties and injuries, too. It honestly feels unreal."

Azura frowned as she saw the numbers on the papers. 136% increase in success rate, 81% decrease in casualties, and 94% decrease in lifelong injuries. These numbers were absolutely insane– these potions were nothing short of miraculous. It's as if there were hundreds of her going on a mission with every single hunter.

She's been a huntress for many decades now– she's seen the guild at its lowest and highest, almost certain that she witnessed her guild at its peak, only for these tiny little vials to come and crush her reality as if it's the skull of a Beowulf.

"That much?" She whispered, almost not believing what she was seeing. "Are you absolutely sure that these reports are accurate?"

"I am, miss." The huntsman responded with a huge grin. "I know how it feels– even I didn't believe it when I saw it the first time. It's– It's insane!"

"'Insane' doesn't come close to describing what we're seeing." She muttered, leaning back on her chair.

"You know, it kinda feels like… we're finally pushing back, y'know?" The huntsman said, prompting Azura to glance at him. "I just… I don't know how to explain it, but it's like we're making actual progress."

Azura was never as hopeful– this always felt like an uphill battle to her, protecting and trying to keep people alive was a top priority almost every time. They can and have killed hundreds and thousands of Grimm, which always amounted to nothing in the end, because a single death was always devastating. D or S Rank, it did not matter.

It always meant that a wife will never see her husband again, or a father crying in despair at his daughter's passing– a tight bond between siblings broken due to the death of one of their own. It never got easy.

But now things were different.

The potions themselves didn't just save so many lives, but the sheer explosion of morale after the Titan Slayer's constant achievements made so many of her hunters capable of hoping again. Most of the guild hunters regained their long-dead optimism– as if they just joined today.

And she was no different. Even she felt the sparks of hope within her reignite. It was scary in a way, as tiny dark thoughts whispered that this pushback was merely temporary, and that despair will take over once again.

It was a sight to see, though. The Titan Slayer was such an inspiration to everyone, so much so that the hunters downstairs threw party after party in his name, praising him to high heaven. Songs about him were already made for god's sake.

This wasn't a bad thing of course, far from it. Azura was only shocked at the sheer force of nature that is Titan Slayer Reid Astera. He's done something people could only dream of happening.

Perhaps the days of them being on the backfoot were over. With the Titan Slayer still shattering the boundaries of what was once thought impossible, hunters all around the world will follow his example and exterminate the Grimm everywhere.

This unending age of fear and depression was over.

"And it's all thanks to the Blue King." The huntsman continued, prompting her to snap out of her thoughts. "Gods, I really hope I get to meet him someday."

"The 'Blue King'?" She raised a brow. "You mean Sir Astera?"

"Uh, yeah." He blinked. "Oh right, it only happened last night so you probably don't know, but people started calling him that. It's his own unique title, like what the previous Titan Slayers had."

"Ah, I see. Took them long enough." She snorted in amusement. "Why Blue King, though?"

"Well, he always wears that blue hoodie everywhere. People assumed blue was his favorite color, so they went with it." He explained. "As for King, well, people want him to be the new king of Vale."

"Are you serious?" Her expression turned into one of surprise.

"Yup. There's literally an account in Scribe called 'Cult of the Blue King', and it already has over two hundred thousand followers." He said, pulling her scroll to show her. "I mean, I get it, but it's still pretty crazy."

"You 'get it'?" She looked at him in bemusement.

"Look, if the Vale Council suddenly announced that they're making Sir Astera king, I'd be cool with it." He shrugged. "He'll be a powerful leader."

"Powerful or not, you'd trust a teenager to lead an entire kingdom?"

"Can't be worse than the fossils up there." He chuckled, then froze as he realized who he was talking to. "Ah…"

Her intense stare made him break into a cold sweat. He cleared his throat and grabbed the doorknob.

"I-I'm just gonna… leave now." He said quietly, opening the door. "Excuse me…"

The huntsman left the room in a hurry, making Azura chuckle quietly. He didn't know that she agreed with him on that 'fossil' comment. Though, she wasn't sure about the 'Blue King' leading Vale right now. Strength does not mean the ability to lead.

And leading a team or two of hunters isn't the same as becoming the king of a whole kingdom. But who knows, he might surprise her. He certainly kept doing just that the past few months.

Though he will need to become a councilman first, with three seats to himself, and a majority of the vote agreeing that he should be king. It's a long, tedious process for sure. But again, who knows. If he already has the support of the people, then it's possible in the foreseeable future.

They'll just have to wait and see.

– James Ironwood –

For all his frankly insane achievements, James had to always remind himself that they were dealing with a teenager. One who clearly didn't quite care how people viewed him, even if he obviously loved the positive attention from so many fans.

James only met the man once after he defeated Fenrir, and while brief, he got the general idea of how Reid functions. If anything, the General thought he won out of pure luck, but then his second kill proved that it wasn't the case.

Then the underwater Titan perished by his hands, with him looking completely unharmed. Not a drop of blood on him– his Aura levels were high when scanned, too. And it's not like they can just ignore what he did. He showed proof– the decapitated head of the monster disintegrating on his beach.

James almost forgot that this was only a 17-year-old boy. Not a seasoned warrior with decades of experience under his belt, not even a run-of-the-mill middle-aged huntsman. Only a boy with so much power in his hands.

After the news about his third kill spread like wildfire, James wanted to know more about the boy once he learned that he made a Scribe account, opting to settle for a more direct approach rather than asking Ozpin for anything. He was admittedly curious to see for himself.

The first post he saw was… less than impressive.

[ TitanSlyrAstera | Wtf is a Blue King? Why are people calling me that?]

4.4M Likes – 2.3M Rescripts – 231k Replies

How did this post get so much attention? Yes, he knew his popularity is through the damn stratosphere at the moment, but it's been ten minutes, and it's already been seen by so many people. Do they just sit there and look at their screens waiting for him to say something?

It was at that moment that James realized that Reid shouldn't be just feared over his physical might or political power. While those are important to consider, they are utterly dwarfed by his social standing with the rest of Remnant. The people don't just love him, they absolutely adore him beyond anything else. For god's sake, he already has people worshipping him!

James studied this phenomenon more, realizing that while yes, him killing three Titans and making miracle drugs helped immensely, his charismatic nature and down-to-remnant personality earned him more than just fans.

[ SlayersNO1Fan | TitanSlyrAstera So what happened out there? We didn't see the whole fight, but what was that Titan doing near your mansion?]

[ TitanSlyrAstera replied to this script Idk, but it tried to eat my fucking girlfriend, so I beat the shit out of it. Was kinda wimpy. Fenrir was a lot scarier tbh]

He was no corporate voice, no preacher trying to look good– he was just a regular teenager acting like himself, replying to what he thought was interesting at the time. His honesty was a weapon, one so strong that no possible rival or enemy could even try to ruin his image.

James wasn't sure if Reid knew what he was doing or not, but he had to commend him. His presence on social media was growing rapidly, and a presence of a worldwide hero being anywhere is always a good thing.

He just hoped he understood what this entailed, but if anything, Reid can handle himself.

The door to his office suddenly opened, his best specialist walking in with a disciplined form. Winter saluted, making James sigh and wave it off. She's too stiff even when not in missions. James wasn't sure if she knew what relaxing meant.

"At ease, Ms. Schnee." He said, giving her a small smile. "How have you been?"

"Adequate, sir." She nodded curtly. "Any orders?"

"Winter, I said at ease." He sighed in exasperation. "You don't have to act this way everywhere, you know?"

She shuffled awkwardly, not knowing how to react. "You're my superior. Anything less would be disrespectful."

Jacques, what the actual hell did you do to her? He grimaced.

She was always like this, from the moment she became his subordinate. Always giving her superiors so much respect and listens to all their orders, while somewhat looking down on her peers who don't show the same obedience. James had no hand in this– he was never bothered by familiarity or anything, and even tried to make Winter more casual around him and her comrades.

Nothing ever worked, of course. However, the only time where Winter would drop that act is around her siblings, Weiss and Whitley, so maybe it's not impossible after all. Clearly, James himself is not up for the job, of course.

He glanced at the Titan Slayer's posts and thought for a moment. Someone like him, however, might be able to crack that shell around her.

"Right, well, I called you here for a reason. I suppose small talk was never your forte, so I'll make it short." He said. "This is a top-secret mission, Specialist, however, it's completely optional, so if you think you're not up to it, then you can refuse. I won't hold it against you at all."

Winter nodded seriously.

"You'll be temporarily relieved of your duties to study under the Titan Slayer for the foreseeable future." He said, making her flinch a little at the surprise mission. "I already have his and Headmaster Ozpin's permissions, so you'll be living in his estate until you're finished with your education."

"B-but I–" Winter stammered, still in shock. "I still have responsibilities here, sir."

"We'll find a temporary replacement for you. They'll take over your position until you come back to Atlas." James responded. "In the meantime, you'll do what you can to learn and grow under his tutelage."

"How long will I be off-duty?" She asked.

"Until Sir Astera deems you good enough." He answered. "Unfortunately, I don't know how long that'll be."

"I-I see…" Winter paused. "...I'd like more time to think about it, sir."

"Of course." James smiled. "Take as much time as you need."

"Thank you, sir." She nodded. "...Anything else?"

"No, that's all." He shook his head. "You're dismissed."

Winter saluted, this time with a more conflicted look on her face then left the office. James leaned back and glanced at the hologram showing the post he read earlier, a thoughtful frown settling on his face.

There wasn't much he can do with Winter at the moment. She was the brightest subordinate in the military– hell, she can likely take on the Ace Ops individually and come out victorious. With her large Aura pool, skills, and powerful Semblance, she's likely the most powerful in Atlas.

And she was only 24. Climbing the ranks at such a young age was rare.

It's why she was a prime candidate to inherit the Winter Maiden's magic, but at the same time, her young age and inexperience are why she needs to grow before they can comfortably transfer the power to her. He's not naive enough to think that Salem wouldn't expect him to choose Winter as the new maiden. She's the best choice.

However, having her by the Titan Slayer's side means it's guaranteed that she's safe from Salem. Ozpin did warn him that Reid might get targeted for a while, and of course, he knew this, but he doubted Salem would, as Reid put it once, 'go full throttle' like this.

From what he knew, the witch was patient. She'll bide her time and wait for a perfect opportunity to strike back and hit them when they least expect it, and with how Reid has been ruining her plans over and over again, James doubted she'd be making a move any time soon.

And when the time comes, Winter would've grown more powerful and ready to inherit the Maiden's magic.

At the same time, hopefully, Reid can get her to stop being so serious all the time.

– Reid Astera –

"Christ, I really fucked this whole forest up, didn't I?" I mutter, looking around the former Hanged Forest.

I mean, I kinda had to, but I also feel really bad about it. I'm the "preserve nature" kind of dude, so this is fucked up. I think I might just regrow this place once I have enough free time on my hand. I don't want mother nature kicking my ass.

As for why I'm here, well, I kinda need to get the Stardust made by Skov'les before anyone else does. I doubt anyone would even come close, though, because even with how fucked this place looked, I can feel the sheer heaviness of the magic coming from the place of death.

I killed the third one, so now I can collect the second one's remains. Seeing I didn't have anything to do for a few hours, I thought I'd stop by and take what I was waiting for. Honestly, I'm so glad these things are this fucking powerful, because no living or magical being can get close without disintegrating into dust.

I love Haki so much. The fight with that eel did wonders to my Haki and even power in general. First, I leveled up ten times, evolved my Sharingan, and unlocked some pretty nifty things, like a transformation power.

Name: Reid Astera

Title: Titan Slayer

Age: 17

Race: Human/Leviathan Hybrid

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Level: 221 (2%)

Professions: Gardener, Chef, Teacher

Mentors: Kazuma Kiryu

Students: 5

HP: 32,500 [Regens 3250 per minute]

MP: 20,500 [Regens 2050 per minute]

AP: 55,250 [Regens 5525 per minute]

STR: 670

VIT: 520

DEX: 560

INT: 410

WIS: 410

CHA: 410

LUK: 250

Points: 124

First, I asked the Game to not show both of my names, because it got kinda annoying to look at, and apparently it agreed. Plus, after more than three students, the names disappear and numbers take place. I think the same is gonna happen to the mentors window.

Other than that, not much of a change really. Ten levels for a Titan that was pretty close to my level is great. I think I got more EXP due to the fact that it's more of a 'Raid Boss' than a random enemy. Thanks, Game.

Now, for my Mangekyo powers, well, I only got one weirdly enough, aside from my incomplete Susanoo. I think I unlock the second one after I get the eternal Mangekyo? But I don't think it was like this in the narutoverse. Maybe it's just how the system works here.

[Mangekyo: Incomplete Susanoo] (LV 1/10)

Summon a large spectral avatar to act as armor. You're only capable of summoning the ribcage and skeletal arms.

Costs 1000 MP per second

[Mangekyo: Pressure of the Abyss] (LV 1/10)

Making eye contact with any being will cause them to feel intense and crushing pressure as if they're in the deep sea. It's illusionary, however, prolonged exposure to eye contact can trick the body of the victim, causing it to crush its own organs. Effects are enhanced when underwater

Costs 5,000 MP initially, and 300 MP per second to maintain

The Susanoo is insanely hard to maintain, but I think this is more of a 'me' problem. I don't have any magic bonuses at all, so my MP remains at a measly 20k, and the regen isn't anything impressive to make up for it. I'm gonna need to increase in a way that doesn't involve only increasing my INT with my precious points.

As for the second power, well, my first reaction to it was 'HOLY FUCK' because of how broken it sounded, only to realize that my Genjutsu doesn't work on regular humans here because they have no magic, which cuts down its uses massively.

It's still incredibly strong, though, because I can still use illusions on Grimm and Dungeon monsters, so maybe it's not all that bad. I mean, ultimately, it's pretty damn lethal, and I don't plan on killing every single human enemy I come across unless they give me a reason to.

Now for the last surprise…

Partial Transformation: You can transform parts of your body into that of your Halfborn form.

That honestly took some time to get used to. Even I felt weird when I transformed my arm in front of Qrow that one time. It doesn't really hurt, just feels weird. Imagine someone twisting your arm so much, breaking it even, but you feel no pain at all. It's hard to explain well.

Though, what does hurt whenever I transform one part, is my neck. That weird, lingering pain comes back every time I do it, so I'm pretty sure it's related. That explains why it stays there for a minute or two unlike all the times I got my arms sliced off or some shit, where the pain only lasted an instant.

And yes, I can transform my dick. I checked. It's weird, but I had to.

It's an obligation.

…Something tells me that Ruby and Yang are gonna be into it, and I don't know how I should be feeling when I eventually tell them about it.

As I head towards the remains of the second Titan I killed, I get a message on my scroll. I quickly stop to check it out, almost sighing in exasperation as I see what Yang sent. A selfie of her completely naked in her dorm's bathroom, the focus being her bare breasts, her winking and tongue out with the caption "Cum claim your reward, Hero~"

I shake my head, mentally making plans to have her regret testing me like this, and get back to the matter at hand.

I stop right before the pit where the fight ended, looking down at the cluster of crystals down below. I take a step back and encase my skin in Armament Haki, then leap down into the giant pit. I look at the Stardust with a grin, gently breaking them off each other and putting them in my inventory. Three crystals in total.

All of them have more magic than Fenrir's crystal, perhaps 20% or 25% difference. The things I can do with so much supply are making me feel all giddy. I already created the barrier around my estate, which by my estimate, can tank a fucking nuke. And assuming nothing as strong hits it, it'll last for… three hundred years?

I planned on making that crystal a battery too, but now I have more, so it can focus on being a barrier. God, I have so many ideas, I don't even know what I'm gonna make! Weapons? More defense? Golems?

Though, I'm gonna have to get these things away from my mansion for a while. I don't have enough supplies to build more cases as I did for the first one, so I guess I'm gonna have to make a new base to tinker with these in.

I pause and look around the giant pit, noticing multiple holes leading to probably a cave system underground.

A secret base. One that nobody, not even Ruby or Yang, knows about. One where I can go absolutely ham with experiments. No more worrying whether it's safe to carry out explosive rituals or not.

I grin.

And I think I already found the perfect place to-

30 Reputation with Salem [20/100]


– Salem –

She's underestimated him.

So much so that she felt utterly idiotic for it.

The boy was strong. Very strong. That much was obvious. She never claimed he was weak, nor did she think he'd die young. She knew of his exponential growth in power, only an idiot would not notice. It worried her a little at first, seeing someone defeat two now three Titans, but that wasn't it.

It wasn't his strength that surprised her, as great as it is, but his sheer genius in weaving his magic to create such marvelous tools. She never quite saw these potions as something incredible, but after more research, tests, and even her own attempts to create them, she realized that the kid wasn't to be feared for his power, but for his talent and creativity in the magical arts.

And that was not all. When her spy slipped into his estate, he sent her pictures and videos of these entities patrolling around the mansion. Salem didn't need to sense them to know what they were made of. That was not made of metal and Dust, this was the boy's doing.

He somehow animated rocks– mere rocks to be guards. This was akin to how Grimm were formed. Entities of magic.

And this was not enough. The blood samples she had of him revealed to her many things about him. The boy didn't just have magic, his body was partly made of magic. His own blood and flesh had traces of this otherworldly pure mana. It wasn't only spiritual to him like it was for her.

But that didn't matter as much. To see someone so young, an infant compared to her, be capable of masterful work such as making those magical potions sparked the love for knowledge within her again. Her hate for mankind almost burned away from the raging inferno of wanting to know more about his work.

To think she chalked it off as something so uninteresting before, something insignificant to her vast power. She was so old, she lived for thousands of years, spent most of them studying and learning more magic. Salem should've known better than to ignore something like this and write it off as nothing noteworthy.

Salem mentally debated whether she should just kidnap him or not, but perhaps that wasn't wise. She could force him to show her how these things can be made, but waiting for him to make and invent new magical contraptions sounded more logical to her.

The boy wasn't only growing in strength, but in smarts and skill as well. Letting him grow means possible new inventions created by him with his unique magic and biology. She will not dare to slow down or stop his growth when mere months were enough for him to create not just one, but two tools never seen in this world before.

With her being an ever-looming threat to him, she could… perhaps pressure him into making and inventing more. That was it, a perfect plan to see what his brilliance was truly capable of. So she'll continue playing the villain for now. Pulling back and simply waiting for him without motivating him will also slow down his growth as he becomes more complacent. She must keep him on his toes.

She could wait a few more years and see what this clever young mage can come up with next. Perhaps one day, once given enough time, he'll come up with a device that can get rid of that curse.

…Better yet, an instrument that can be used against the very gods.

"You know, you weren't yourself when you started hoarding these… potions." The parasitic bastard snarked. "Is that a new obsession I'm sensing?"

Salem ignored the words of the strongest Titan, focusing on trying to mimic the boy's crafts. She narrowed her eyes as she used her own magic to taint the potion in her hand, little by little. A sudden surge of her dark magic will make the vial explode and the liquid inside turn into vapor. She has learned that the hard way.

"Are they that fascinating to you?" He said in a condescending tone. "To think I'd live long enough to see you with a new hobby again."

"If you're done running that quippy mouth of yours, then leave," Salem said offhandedly. "I'm busy here, as you can see."

"...Three fell in the span of a few months," Morningstar said, his tone betraying the sheer rage he was feeling. "Three of my brethren died against that bastard Titan Slayer, and you're here playing with his toys?"

Salem paused, glancing at him with a raised brow.

"And you cared about your 'brethren' since when?" She questioned. "Didn't you laugh and clap when Fenrir perished? What happened then?"

"Are you delusional? You old hag, have you gone senile already?" He scowled, avoiding her question. "Three of the most powerful Grimm were killed, and you react as if it's a non-issue?"

"Because it is. I could not care less if those animals went and got themselves killed. They never listened to my commands or cared about my plans." Salem said, going back to her work. "I'm half-convinced I should go and knock on the Titan Slayer's door and thank him for tearing them apart."

"They were your most powerful weapons."

"Brought me a headache is all they did."

That wasn't very truthful, of course. The Titans dying is a powerful blow against her and her army. Even if they never listened to her words, they were still instrumental in making mankind never go beyond anything substantial. If they were to get technologically advanced, Salem would simply wake up one of the nearest Titans and set humanity back a few decades back.

But at the same time, the Titan Slayer's achievements gave her hope that maybe she can finally get what she always wished for. And she wanted to annoy that parasite.

"Your immortality won't save you when he decides to pay you a visit."

Salem chuckled at that.

"And that is what it all amounted to, hm?" She smirked, looking at the confused Grimm in human body. "My precious immortality."


"You're afraid." She said simply, making him flinch. "Scared of him. His ever-growing strength makes you nervous because there's a real chance of you dying."

He growled, which just confirmed what she said.

"I, however, have no such thing to worry about." She continued. "Every atom of me can be vaporized into absolute nothingness, and I'll simply come back in the next second as if nothing happened."

"And if he found a way to bypass it?" He argued. "What then?"

Salem turned around and threw her arms. "Then I'll simply welcome my long-awaited demise. He'd be doing me nothing but a service."

The parasite couldn't respond to that, which only made Salem's smirk widen.

"Unlike you, dear Morningstar, I have nothing to lose." Her chuckle echoed through the lab. "So if there's nothing else to say, then leave me be. I'm sure you don't want to hear this 'old hag' talking for much longer."

He kept his gaze on her for a solid minute before he scoffed, turning to the door. Salem felt very satisfied with herself– that look of hate on his face was oh so delicious.

"Oh, and a word of warning." She said, making him stop in place for a moment. "Do something to the boy, and I promise you, I'll show you why I view immortality as a curse. Understood?"

The burst of her magic made the parasite flinch slightly before he left the lab, meaning he got the message. Salem merely returned to her testing, in a much better mood than before. Nothing better than putting that nuisance in his place.

Now, where was she?

There was supposed to be one more scene in Sienna's PoV, but I'm gonna save that for a future chapter. This was a tough chapter to write honestly, but unlike the fucking party chapter, I didn't want to unalive myself.

There was minimal editing for the chapter, because most of the betas are busy, so sorry if you see anything that looks wrong.

Also, I have made a new fic titled "Draconic Impact" currently only exclusive to my discord server. You can check it out there. It'll be posted here eventually though. Probably. Maybe.

Discord Server link: (Discord . gg / Rjjzt8erYK) no spaces.

If you want to support me, here's my pat reon link: (Pat reon dot com / Mirlnir)

Edit: And of course, FFN, the shit site that it is, fucks with the formatting of the script/tweet thing. Honestly, you're better off reading this fic in QQ.