Jaune was enveloped in flames and he was sent spiraling back into a tree. He slumped to the ground hissing as his clothing rubbed against his burns uncomfortably. He pushed himself to his feet and ran his aura through the burns, sighing as they healed over.
"Damn it all, why can't I use the fire dust?" he grumbled, brushing off his clothes.
He had been trying to expand on using dust spells as Glynda had recommended, but he had a knack for certain elemental powers and the other ones would usually blow up in his face. Fire was too volatile for him to handle, and more often than naught – even with the crystals rather than fine dust – it would send him flying back. Earth was hard to control and sometimes he would still feel the tingles of pain racing up his arm after using too much of it. Wind was surprisingly easy for him to grasp along with lightning and water.
Weiss strolled down from the platform she was watching from, "You already have plenty under your belt, some elements just don't come naturally to people, you're lucky that you have three that you have a knack for."
Jaune looked at her, "You're able to fire off spells from all the elements without any trouble."
"I channel them through my sword, which allows me to have more control and overall power without sacrificing either of the two, plus, I have been school in dust usage since I was a child."
Jaune sighed, "When you put it like that I can't argue with how unfair it seems…"
Weiss grinned smugly, "Exactly why you don't argue with me."
Jaune sighed again.
Jaune was reading through a textbook and making notes in the margin when something thudded down on the table in front of him. He looked up and saw Davin from Team MRDR sitting down with a pile of notebooks and textbooks. Jaune raised an eyebrow but didn't comment, he was in the library and most of the other tables were chatty and mostly full. Jaune looked back at his notebook and heard a small chuckle.
Jaune glanced at him, he seemed to be leaning back and glancing at some of the students.
"You know I couldn't help but notice, they are all so chatty." Davin said.
Jaune grunted an acknowledgement.
"You seem to be the only one studying, isn't that packet you're working on not due till next week?"
Jaune sighed, "Yes."
Davin hummed an acknowledgement. Jaune was hoping he would drop the subject, but instead Davin leaned forward and gazed at Jaune's face.
"Sooo…. What do you think of the situation in Vytal right now?" Davin asked bluntly.
Jaune sighed – he just wanted to study for god's sakes – but responded, "What situation?"
"You know with Torchwick and him stealing all the dust?"
Jaune blinked, "What is there to say? He is a criminal. He should be caught and locked away, preferably somewhere where he can't hurt anyone else."
Davin's voice changed imperceptibly, "I see…"
Jaune noted that Davin's attention turned to his papers and they worked in silence for a few minutes.
Jaune barely glanced up as the boy left, but his gut told him that he should watch out.
Matchitehew walked through the halls and glanced around. His scroll buzzed and he flipped it to his ear.
"How are things?" Simultus asked.
"Taking a while," Match said as he shrugged, "Your nephew hasn't shown me anything new, but he can fight pretty well. What exactly am I waiting for?"
He could almost hear Simultus smirking through the other end of the line, "He is stronger than you think, and he doesn't like to show his full potential until he has to. If you're not careful Match, he will kill you."
Match grinned, "I look forward to it then, Jaune Arc will either fall to me, or I die by his hand. If he does managed to kill me in combat then I should be able to die happy."
Simultus chuckled and responded, "You really are made for battle, anyway it wouldn't be good to be caught talking to you, I'll talk to you later."
Match nodded, "Later."
Match stored his scroll and brushed his fingers over the vials stored at his belt, "And these will assure that if I can't kill him… he'd rather be dead."
As Match chuckled and walked off, he didn't notice the lizard faunus glance out from behind a corner with wide eyes.
Lorenzo gritted his teeth, "I knew those bastards were up to no good."
He turned and bolted down the hall, he needed to tell someone, Jaune's friends at the very least.
Davin stepped out of the shadows, smirking as he made notes on his scroll, "I wonder what was in those vials, dear leader… this Arc guy seems to be quite the piece… perhaps Roman should hear about this."
Davin whistled as he began to type a profile up to Roman, including a picture and observed stats.
Jaune stretched out and yawned, he was tired. He had almost exhausted his entire aura by blasting aura spells under the supervision of Glynda Goodwitch for the past hour and a half. While she said he had been doing well in using the spells, Jaune felt it wasn't enough. He had never really liked using dust before and getting used to using it now was difficult. Both Weiss and Glynda warned Jaune about overdoing it with his spell casting regime. Jaune wiped his forehead with a towel and paced it on the bench next to him.
Something was coming, he wasn't sure what. But he knew it would be big. Glynda walked out of the room after she had said enough and left Jaune all alone.
He stared absentmindedly at the smoking target posts that had been hit by a bolt of lightning. Right then Regs walked in with a heavy broadsword perched on his shoulder. He glanced at Jaune before a smirk came on his face.
"You're Jaune Arc, right?" Regs asked.
Jaune shrugged, "Yeah, do you want something?"
Regs chuckled, "I was wondering if you wanted to have a quick spar. I thought I was going to be alone but seeing as you are here…"
Jaune smiled, "Sorry, but I was just practicing I am pretty bushed, maybe some other time?"
Regs inwardly scowled, "You sure?"
Jaune nodded and got up, "Definitely, I have to go anyway."
Jaune picked up his canteen and made his way out
Lorenzo knocked rapidly on JNPR's door and was answered by Pyrrha. Lorenzo panted for a moment and straightened when he had caught his breath.
"Is Jaune here?" he asked.
"Um… no…Are you okay Lorenzo?" Pyrrha asked worriedly, Lorenzo was not one to look so disheveled despite his excitable nature.
"Fine, thanks!" he growled, hissing under his breath, "Find out one of my friends Jaune is about to be attacked by some psychopath who is in contact with Jaune's uncle…"
"What?" Pyrrha shrieked.
Lorenzo glanced up, he probably should have said that quieter, "Uh nothing. If you see Jaune tell him that I need to talk to him."
Pyrrha was about to demand an explanation when Jaune walked up the hallway, looking puzzled.
"Um…Hey Lorenzo? Pyrrha, what's going on?" Jaune asked.
Lorenzo looped around Jaune's shoulders, "Jaune, great! I need to speak to you about something it's really urgent."
Jaune looked around bewildered and found himself being steered down the hallway from Pyrrha. Lorenzo glanced around and led Jaune a fair bit away and stopped him around a corner. Then, Lorenzo spun Jaune around and stared at him.
"Um…what is this about Lorenzo?"
"Jaune you know that Matchitehew dude?"
"Yeah, the bastard attacked my in the middle of the school, you know that hallway that was damaged? It him trying to show me the harder side of his mace, thank Monty that I started carrying around my data blade." Jaune growled.
"Have you told anyone else?" Lorenzo asked.
"I was going to get around to it…?" Jaune replied, looking down.
Lorenzo gave him a frustrated glare, "Dammit Jaune! You are supposed to let your friends help you when stuff like this happens! What's the point of having close friends if you don't confide in them?"
"Look, I know something is up! I just want to piece it all together before I say anything!" Jaune replied.
Lorenzo sighed, "You know they'll trust you more if you share with them first."
"I know that, but we are getting off topic, what's up?"
Lorenzo huffed but responded, "That Match guy is from your uncle's school, I wasn't sure even with the documentation, and I only just ran across him. He was talking to your uncle over his scroll. He is talking like he wants to kill you!"
Jaune's eyes seemed to harden, but his face remained impassive, "Bastard, I knew it, I should have guessed. It fits with what Simultus would do."
"What do you mean?"
"Simultus never only has one plan. He has several, since I won't to his school, he try to bring some of his school to me." Jaune heaved an aggravated sigh.
While they discussed this, they failed to notice a certain red-head step out from the corner that she had been hiding behind and move to confront them. Lorenzo began to pester Jaune about confiding in his friends when Jaune interrupted.
"Look, Lorenzo, I appreciate the fact that you want me to tell my team, but they are already carrying enough stress without my problems stacking onto them. I'll tell them when I feel like they have the time to worry."
"Bullshit!" Lorenzo growled, "I can buy that you don't want to worry them, but you don't have any real reason not to tell them, you're just trying to keep it all in and shoulder it alone!"
"I have to agree with Lorenzo." Pyrrha interjected.
Jaune and Lorenzo jolted and whirled to face her.
"Pyrrha! Hey!" Jaune began, plastering a large (yet weak) smile on his face "How much of that did you hear?"
"All of it."
Jaune paled as his smile vanished. Lorenzo rolled his eyes as if to say 'finally!'
'Crap.' Jaune thought.
Pyrrha walked up and glared at him, "Lorenzo is right, Jaune. Your problems and troubes affects us too you know, and you are going to explain to us."
"Us?" Jaune echoed.
"Us." Ren affirmed as he and Nora stepped out from behind the same corner Pyrrha was just hiding behind.
Jaune rubbed a hand over his face, and turned to face Lorenzo, "This is your fault."
Jaune sat on his bed and looked at his teammates, "You guys weren't told my history right?"
They shook their heads and Jaune nodded, "I guess it begins when I was still really little…"
With that opening, Jaune launched into an explanation and story. His uncle and his hunting trips, his mother summarily kicking his uncle's ass that day, his childhood of being made fun of, his likes, his dislikes. Jaune found it easier and easier to talk about as it went on, his friends were half appalled and half horrified by the end of it. Jaune brushed some lingering wetness from his eyes and smiled weakly.
Ren eyes narrowed as he deduced why team MRDR was hanging around, "So your uncle apparently refuses to accept the fact that you want nothing to do with him."
"He knows and accepts that," Jaune said, waving a hand in dismissive manner, "He just out to change me and spite me. Hopefully he won't succed."
"Hopefully?" Pyrrha echoed.
"Pyrrha, let's say I am about to die, a man is poised over me with a weapon in hand and I have no way to defend myself. You are there, and can protect me, but you have to kill the man in order to save my life. What would you do?" Jaune asked, staring at Pyrrha with a blank sort of intensity.
Pyrrha gulped, "I would find a way to disarm him."
Jaune continued, "You disarm him but we both are at that point where if even one more hit is taken we die. What? Do? You? Do?"
Pyrrha didn't respond.
"Exactly my point." Jaune sighed, "I have no doubt you'd try to not kill another human, but there will be a time when the chips are down and your hand is bad, and your only ace is a card that you never want to play. Simultus wants me to be in that position."
Jaune got up and began to walk out the door,
"Where are you going?" Pyrrha asked.
Jaune smiled, "Cafeteria, I'm pretty hungry. Wanna join me?"