Disclaimer: I do not own RWBY. I am writing this purely to see reader reaction and for fun. I make no financial profit doing this.
Chapter 8 – White Knight Rises
"I don't understand, where'd they all come from!?" Weiss spun in a circle, Myrtenaster and her poignard slicing through the necks of three Beowolves around her. An Ursa reared up behind her, ready to crush the heiress, but was interrupted by Adelric jumping onto it, taking it to the ground as he bit the bear-like creatures throat out.
"I don't know, but this can't be normal!" Ren answered her, flipping over his own Ursa while hooking one of his blades around its neck, leaving only a thin flap of flesh holding the head to the body. Landing in a crouch he fired his Storm Flowers, mowing down a pack of Beowolves attempting to converge on him.
Nora appeared at his side, smashing Magnhild down on a lunging Beowolf's skull, turning it into a puddle of boney pulp. Transforming her hammer into its grenade launcher form, Nora fired off a volley into the unending tide of black fur and white masks. "Well if we just keep killing them, then eventually they'll stop!" Nora shouted with a slightly smaller grin than usual. She loved fighting. She was good at it, great even, but she had no illusions that they were in a bad situation. They were surrounded on all sides by Grimm behaving even more hostile and enraged than usual and with no idea if or when help would arrive, and to top it off one of their number had been crippled before the fight even started. Spinning Magnhild back into its war hammer form, Nora smashed it into an Ursa's chest while triggering a grenade, caving in its ribcage and sending it flying into a pair of Beowolves and pin them to the ground where Blake quickly ended their lives with a few quick stabs before having to leap back to avoid a charging Boarbatusk.
Jaune stood shakily, shoulders heaving with wheeze filled gasps. His vision was blurry, he could hardly breathe, his sword and shield were heavy in his hands, and he was just barely keeping his balance, but he couldn't afford to be dead weight at a time like this. Clumsily spinning to the side, Jaune drew back his arm before swinging with all the strength he could muster, sending the blade cleaving into the roaring mouth of an Ursa, and with a twist of the wrist managed to send the top half of its skull flying. Catching a dark blur out of the corner of his eye, Jaune reflexively managed to hook his left hands fingers behind a Beowolf's head as it tried to bite his face off and pull it down into a bowing position, claws scratching at his shield and breastplate, quickly followed by plunging his sword into the base of its neck piercing straight to the heart. Yanking the blade from the corpse, Jaune stumbled back, falling to a knee, left hand clawing at his neck, blood and sweat dripping from his chin. "I-I can't breathe…" He was in the center of the clearing, surrounded by his friends as they tried to protect him, but with the number of Grimm they were facing, their hastily made perimeter was faltering wildly.
Jaune had never felt so useless in his whole life. He was supposed to be on the front lines, the shield, the wall, the protector for his friends and those incapable of protecting themselves, but here he was, a liability they were forced to take care of, splitting their attention between their own fights and him. Gritting his teeth, he desperately pulled at his aura, hoping the power would help stabilize his symptoms.
"Jaune!" A red and gold javelin skewered a Boarbatusk mid charge, straight through one of its eyes, sending it sliding to a stop in the dirt and leaves only a few inches from the vulnerable knight.
Jaune squinted at where he heard Pyrrha's voice, his sight drifting in and out of focus, seeing the red head throw her shield into an Ursa's throat with enough force to crush its wind pipe and send it ricocheting at a Beowolf, taking its legs out from under it on its return to Pyrrha. At the same time the girl summoned her spear back to her, quickly shifting it to its rifle form and blasting the brains out of the next line of Grimm on her section of the perimeter. "You have to hang in there Jaune!"
A few meters away from her Ruby was a veritable blender the Grimm were more than happy to throw themselves into. The weight of Crescent Rose and the momentum that Ruby had built meant that each swing cleaved straight through anything that came near her, not even the armored Boarbatusk were able to get past her as she swung her scythe in wide arcs, never ceasing her motion. By herself, she was managing to hold nearly three times the territory any of her friends were due to the reach and weight of her weapon. "Yang!" Another swing slashed another pair of Beowolves out of the air. "Signal flares! Right now!" They were doing fine so far, but they wouldn't be able to keep it up for long. Her arms were already getting tired, and eventually she'd miss one and she'd lose all of her momentum; momentum that she wouldn't have a chance to get back judging by the horde surrounding them. They'd been at this for at least half an hour now and there were no signs of it stopping.
Yang caught a Beowolf's claw on her left gauntlet and lashed out with a one-two combination to the stomach, followed by a tiger's claw palm to the side of its snout, sending it stumbling away. Jumping into a corkscrew flip, Yang grabbed onto a Boarbatusk's tusks as it ran under her, twisting fast and hard enough that the head was torn clean off. Coming out of the flip, her left heel smashed into another Beowolf's neck, shattering the vertebrae. Glancing down at the head clutched in her hands, Yang took aim and chucked it into another Boarbatusk, knocking it over. "Right! Flares comin' right up!"
Just as Yang was cocking an arm back, an Ursa barreled into her back, sending her stumbling forwards to maintain balance, right before another Ursa smashed into her front, sandwiching her between the beasts as they clawed and bit at her.
"Yang!" Blake vanished as a Beowolf lunged at her from behind, reappearing several feet back as the Grimm split in two at the midsection. She had to be extra careful about how she used Gambol Shroud here. She had friendly's mixed with hostiles all around her and using the ribbon scythe form could easily get her weapon stuck in a Boarbatusk's armor plating or the bulk of an Ursa. But she wasn't accepted into Beacon for nothing.
Shifting Gambol Shroud into its scythe form, she gripped the ribbon higher up than she usually did, holding it closer to her body for more control while extending her range to a little bit beyond Crescent Rose's reach while staying well out of range of her allies. Utilizing all the muscles in her torso and arms to build power and momentum, Blake cut down every enemy that approached, while moving closer to Yang's position.
"Stay where you are Blake!" Ruby shouted at her, silver eye's glaring. "Yang can handle herself! If you leave your position we're all dead!" She pulled Crescent Rose's trigger, blasting the head off an Ursa while the recoil sent the scythe cleaving through a Boarbatusk.
Blake gaped at her leader, opening her mouth to protest, but was interrupted by a golden yellow flash erupting between the two ursa pinning Yang. The Grimm at her front was steadily pushed back by Yang's left hand at its throat as it gave off strangled growls and whines, revealing her now red eyes and a fierce grin. The beasts claws scraped at her gauntlet, trying to loosen the strangle hold, but were unable to get through the tempered steel. Her hand was far too small to wrap around its neck, but it was the perfect size to grab and crush the creature's trachea, strong fingers digging through fur, fat and muscle. A quick jerk and final squeeze resulted in the bear-like beasts wind pipe being torn out, bits of gore spraying all over Yang's hand and gauntlet.
Turning her attention to the Ursa still on her back, it was still biting into her shoulder and neck, but was only able to get the tips of its fangs through her burning aura, ignoring its now flaming fur and the melting of its teeth and gums. Thrusting her left hand over her shoulder, Yang stabbed her fingers minus the thumb into its left eye and hooked them on the inside of its skull while it shrieked in agony, finally attempting to pull away. While she pulled it over her shoulder by its eye socket, her right arm rolled up to flip it on its back in front of her, quickly following by a unleashing a shotgun shell down its wide open maw.
Standing back up straight, Yang shook her gore covered hand rapidly, trying to shake it off even as it evaporated into black smoke. "Ew ew ew ew ew! Gross!"
"Yang! Flares!" Ruby yelled at her, still locked in her whirlwind of death.
"Oh right!" Punching straight above them, Yang unleashed a salvo of fireballs that carried up into the sky before exploding loudly. The roars of the Grimm took her attention back to the battle as a cloak of fire erupted around her while she punched her fists together, the leaves and grass around her turning to ash. "Now, who's next!?"
Her charge resembled a comet, smashing into an Ursa Major, fists burrowing deep into its chest and stomach over and over, shotgun pellets and fire erupting with each blow, ending with an uppercut that sent the Grimm arcing backwards to land on another ursa, the boney spines on its back skewering it.
Nora, who saw Yang's onslaught was inspired. "Oh, oh! Me too me too!" Nora's eyes became brighter, actually glowing lightly and the tips of her hair curled up into jagged spikes, as she slammed Magnhild down on a Boarbatusk. "Know me and despair devil creatures!" Nora shouted, sweeping her hammer low and shattering the legs of two different Beowolves, and quickly ended their misery with a grenade while hopping away. "For I am Nora Valkyrie! Goddess of thunder and lightning!" She held her war hammer above her head and, similar to Yang's, Nora's own pink aura exploded around her, with arcs of electricity crackling around her.
"See Jaune!? Ya see!? I do so have my semblance!" Nora exclaimed, pointing gloatingly at the blonde as he squinted at her. "Revel in its glory!"
Jaune blinked, trying to focus his vision, but all he could see was a huge, bright pink blob in front of him. "N-not really." He wheezed out before falling forward with a strained gag, barely catching himself as he dropped his sword to press a hand to his stomach as his shoulders began heaving. While he struggled to breath, his aura began flaring erratically around him, white bursts of light erupting from his body. It felt like his body was burning from the inside out while his innards wanted to implode and his joints became stiffer and achier.
Nora quickly lost her triumphant grin, a look of extreme concern flitting over her face. "Jaune! We have to get him out of here; I don't think he's gonna last much longer!" Then the pink dynamo was darting around, nearly as fast as Ruby, lightning racing through her body. Every swing of Magnhild sent those unfortunate enough to be hit by her now electrified war hammer soaring through the air, crashing through trees and into each other in broken, spasming heaps. Sliding up to an Alpha Beowolf, Nora swung her hammer, colliding with its chest in a thunderous crack, sending it flying backwards to skewer any Grimm that happened to be in its path on the spines on its arms and back before breaking through a thick tree that fell on top of them. A Beowolf managed to latch onto her, but was quickly electrocuted by the lightning cloak crackling around her, before being kicked away into another Beowolf.
Yang tricked an Ursa onto a Boarbatusk's tusks, killing both creatures, then ducked under a leaping Beowolf, countering with an uppercut that incinerated the head while sending another exploding fireball into the sky. "I know! At this rate he'll drown in his own vomit!" Judging from the shaking shoulders, his body would soon be attempting to expel the contents of his stomach. Ordinarily, not too big a deal, as it would get rid of the remnants of whatever was wrong with what he'd consumed. Unfortunately, with the swelling in his neck, his throat was way too small for it to be effective and the pressure would drive the vomit straight into his lungs and he'd suffocate.
Weiss scowled fiercely, holding herself back from gritting her teeth. If help didn't arrive soon they'd all be overwhelmed and slaughtered. Something had to change, and Weiss had an idea. As she spun her ice dust into position, she parried a Beowolf to the side where Adelric bit its throat out while fire spewed from his cannon. Calling upon her waning aura reserves, Weiss stabbed Myrtenaster in the ground, directing the dust into a massive wall of ice, several meters thick and extending to cover an entire side of the clearing they were in. Weiss smirked lightly at the wall in front of her, the bodies of several Beowolves, Ursa and Boarbatusk frozen in mid rampage within the wall. It may have taken the entirety of her ice dust cartridge and the majority of her remaining aura, but it also limited the directions they could be attacked from.
Pulling her sword from the ground, Weiss went to reinforce Ren, casting a worried look at Jaune, who had a white mist wafting around his struggling form. Weiss felt another surge of determination wash over her. Everyone here had quickly become her friend, and right now they needed her, Jaune more so than ever before, and she'd be damned if she let them down! She was Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company and student to Elmont Scorpius! These monsters didn't know who they were messing with!
Glynda fought the urge to shout in frustration as she slaughtered another wave of Grimm, purple lasers lancing through everything in front of her before exploding in the middle of the enemy waves, vaporizing some and knocking dozens of others over in the shockwave. Instead, she settled for a cold glare, promising death to everything that impeded her. Ever since she'd heard the first howls of the Grimm she'd been fighting against a seemingly endless black tide to reach her students.
"I don't have time for this!" Jumping up into the trees, Glynda dodged a trio of Beowolves and an Ursa as they dog piled the ground she'd just been standing on. A quick snap of her fingers and the Grimm were obliterated by the aura bomb she'd left behind.
Before the bomb had even exploded, Glynda was already jumping along the tree branches, using her glyphs to move easily and quickly between them and make sure the thinner limbs didn't snap under her weight. The only signs that her students were still alive were the sounds of explosions and claws clashing with metal. She was also heartened to see the fireballs occasionally roaring into the sky with loud explosions, making her smile lightly in approval. Those were her students alright.
The sound of a fight drew her attention to her left. A few branches later, she found team Cardinal fighting desperately against the onslaught. She was just in time to witness Cardin smash his mace down on top of a Beowolf before releasing a fan of fire from its red dust crystal, igniting the fur on several more Grimm. The boys were all beat up, and clearly terrified, but they were still alive.
A quick slash of her riding crop had another burst of purple lasers slaughtering the Grimm as she jumped down next to them, giving them a quick once over to check for any serious injuries. A horizontal slash had a purple arc of energy cutting down everything in front of Goodwitch, toppling the trees into a quick barricade alongside the many bisected and crushed Grimm.
"Professor, thank god! I thought we were gonna die out here!" Cardin cried out, sagging in relief as blood and sweat dripped down his face. "We have to get out of here!"
"Never mind that, we still have to get teams Luna and Burn. Stay close!" She'd already sent for emergency extraction so the Bullheads would be on their way to hers and Professor Clayton's Scroll signatures, so all that was left was collecting her students. Not giving the boys a chance to respond, Glynda was already making her way to where the fireballs still occasionally shot into the sky. Team Cardinal gaped after her for a moment before the roars of still nearby Grimm prompted them to hastily chase after the woman.
Things were not looking good for the hunters in training, as the unending horde of Grimm steadily pushed their line back. They were in a tight half circle based on the ice wall Weiss had created and all of them were faltering in their exhaustion. Everyone had suffered multiple wounds and were extremely low on aura, even the fire and lightning juggernauts of Yang and Nora, and they were just barely keeping a large enough perimeter that they didn't get in each other's way.
Ren ejected the clips in his guns, quickly replacing them with a fresh set as he kicked away a Beowolf. Pounding the clips in place on his knees and flicking the chambering mechanism, he resumed his peppering of the monsters in front of him. "Running low!" Once these clips ran out he'd have nothing left to fight with except his blades and his martial arts. Rolling between an Ursa's legs, he slashed the hamstrings in each leg, forcing it to collapse to its belly just before Ren stomped on the back of its head, breaking the neck. His clothes were torn and he was bleeding from multiple gashes on his arms and legs, but he was in no way ready to just give up as he gunned down another pair of Beowolves attempting to flank him.
Nora shot off four grenades into the crowd of Grimm, sending severed limbs and gore flying, before shifting Magnhild back into a hammer and smacking an Ursa away with a spinning back slash. "I'm out!" Raising the hammer over her head, Nora swung it down onto a charging Ursa Major as hard as she could, crushing its skull with a thunderous crack. Before she could even pull the hammer from the newly created crater, a Boarbatusk rammed into her stomach, sending her sliding back. Lifting her right hand from Magnhild's shaft, Nora gathered a lightning bolt in her palm and blasted it at the pig-like creature, electrocuting it and several Grimm around it into shaking masses on the ground. The electricity arcing around her had diminished into a shadow of its former self, mere sparks and flashes of static making appearances. Typically she didn't use her semblance like this, due to how much it taxed aura to do so, but they wouldn't be holding as well as they were if she and Yang weren't demolishing any Grimm they got their hands on so quickly.
Weiss jumped over a lunging Beowolf, landing with one foot on the shoulder of an Ursa, the other on its chest and Myrtenaster stabbed down its throat, and rode it to the ground as Adelric bisected the Beowolf behind her on his blades. Weiss was in arguably the best condition of them all, having the ferocious and determined Adelric by her side at all times and being relegated as much to a support role as was possible in such a situation, but she was nearly completely out of dust, even her reload supply was gone, from her efforts at keeping everyone alive and going with her speed boosts, shields and elemental volleys.
Her dagger caught a Beowolf's snapping jaws, and with a jerky sawing motion, Weiss managed to cut off the top of its head. Weiss kneeled, panting atop the Ursa, mind racing wildly. These Grimm were behaving strangely. They weren't normally so reckless; they usually had more of a sense of self preservation than these were displaying. They paid little heed to injuries sustained or the threat of death. The Beowolves in particular were supposed to be smarter than this, using rudimentary tactics to surround and wear down their target before moving in for the kill, but every Grimm here was just throwing themselves wildly at them like rabid dogs.
Weiss was forced to flip away as a massive Boarbatusk, a bit over half the size of the Ursa, rammed into the carcass and plowed into the ice wall, creating a massive web of cracks and sending small boulders of ice crashing down. Before the beast managed to free itself and perhaps tear down the whole wall, Weiss slid up next to its flank, Myrtenaster already rising in a stab, burying itself between its ribs and through the heart. In its death throes it tossed its head in her direction, one of its tusks catching her across the face and knocking her to the ground where she quickly flipped back to her feet with a new bruise on her cheek.
Jaune grit his teeth, hearing his friends fighting for their lives all around him. His vision blurred in and out of focus, his chest burned and his stomach rolled with nausea, and all he could do was sit there helplessly. He had never felt so useless before in his entire life! Not even when he'd nearly been killed in his attempt to rescue Weiss from her kidnappers when they were twelve.
Jaune punched the ground under him. No! This was completely unacceptable! He would fight, and he would protect his friends, even if it killed him to do so! With a strangled cry, Jaune forced himself to his feet, grabbing the hilt of his sword on the way, momentarily stumbling as his vision spun.
"Jaune, what're you doing! Stay back!" Weiss ducked under a Beowolf's claw, maneuvering herself to its backside and stabbed it through the heart. Fear gripped her heart seeing him send himself into the fray. He was in no condition to fight! He'd just get himself killed doing his hero thing. Jaune really was too selfless for his own good sometimes.
Jaune ignored her shouts, a thick white mist shimmering about him that looked to be compressing and expanding erratically as each step he made became stronger and surer, eye's locked on the heaviest concentration of Grimm where Pyrrha and Blake were fighting.
An Ursa Major, nearly twice the size of anything they'd been fighting, forced its way past the two as they were occupied by the endless amounts of other Grimm and charged straight for Jaune, its berserker roar ripping through the air.
Jaune narrowed his eyes at it, taking his stance and preparing to meet it head on. If Jaune didn't kill it, then it would kill him and all of his friends. That couldn't be allowed! Jaune wouldn't let it!
Bracing himself behind his shield, Jaune felt a surge of aura stronger than anything he'd ever managed before, the power flooding through his veins and purging the sap from his system and strengthening his body.
A claw as big as Jaune was tall descended on his shield just as a bright white flash erupted from the young knight, blinding Weiss and everyone else watching. When the spots cleared from her vision, Weiss gaped at what she was seeing. In Jaune's place stood a knight, an actual knight, in white, shining full plate armor holding the Ursa Major's claw over his head with just his shield, and showing no real signs of strain for his troubles. "…Jaune?" She whispered in awe. The armor was glorious, comprised of white plating over silver chainmail, the twin yellow crescents of the Arc family symbol proudly emblazoned on the chest, and a closed helm covered his head with a narrow slit at his eyes, topped with a very soft looking white ponytail plume. In his hands, Jaune's sword and shield had taken on a new look as well, growing several inches larger and covered in white runes, and to top it all off, the gentle white glow of his aura hovered around him.
Quickly shoving upwards with his shield, Jaune sent the Ursa Major reeling back as the knight brought his sword down in a mighty chop, the glowing blade carving straight through the beast like a hot knife through butter. The Ursa stood still for a moment, before a wet sucking noise preceded the two halves falling to either side, wafting black smoke.
Jaune straightened up from his strike, looking down at his own arms in shock, marveling at the armor and newly changed weaponry. He clenched his hands, reveling in the strength he felt flowing in his body. The pain and nausea that had wracked him minutes before was gone, purged by whatever power this was. "Whoa…" He said quietly. It didn't even feel like he was wearing any armor.
Jaune was quickly torn from his awe as the sounds of battle reasserted themselves. Head darting around, Jaune found his friends all struggling fiercely against the Grimm. His eyes widened as his eyes came to Weiss who was staring at him in shock. Behind her was another Ursa, both claws descending on the heiress while she was distracted, and Adelric was busy fighting off a trio of Beowolves. He saw Weiss's eyes widen as she twisted to face the Grimm, but Jaune knew she wouldn't be fast enough. Weiss was about to be crushed, and he was too far away to get to her!
"No!" Instinctively, Jaune threw his arms out, sweeping them to either side and sent his aura exploding outwards in a shockwave that washed over his friends and slammed into the Grimm sending them flying back into the woods, beyond their crumbling line. There were a few seconds of stunned silence as all of the hunters in training watched the Grimm battering uselessly on a white, transparent barrier.
"What happened?" Pyrrha questioned quietly, around heavy breaths, as if afraid speaking too loud would send the dome they found themselves in crashing down.
The hunters all looked around at each other in confused exhaustion, and quickly noticed Jaune and his new look.
"Jaune? Is that you?" Weiss approached him, hand held out cautiously, fingertips brushing his armor. It was warm to the touch, comforting even.
Jaune looked down at himself then back at Weiss. "Yea, it's me. I don't know what happened though."
"Ho-ly shit." Yang breathed out. "I know I called you 'knight in shining armor' earlier, but I didn't think you'd take it so seriously." She grinned widely, eyes fading to their normal lilac.
Jaune laughed nervously. "Well, what can I say? It seemed like a good idea?"
"How long do you think this barrier will last?" Ren asked, watching the Grimm still clawing at the dome.
"I'm feeling a drain on my aura, but I think it'll hold for another ten maybe fifteen minutes. I'm still pretty much full since I haven't been fighting for the last hour straight, and I'm feeling pretty good right now. Never felt better!" Jaune informed them happily.
"Good, it'll give us some time to catch our breath then." Pyrrha said, sitting down on the grass to begin working on Miló. The transforming mechanism had jammed a while ago and she'd been stuck using the sword form. Pyrrha smiled over at the knight. "Looks like you awakened your semblance though, congratulations."
Ren mimicked Pyrrha, collapsing into a sitting position with a soft groan. "I hope one of the Professors saw those flares, because I don't think we'll last much longer, even with this reprieve. I'm nearly empty on both ammo and aura reserves."
"Oh don't be such a party pooper Ren!" Nora plopped down next to him. "I'm sure Professor Goodwitch will be along soon. And she'll probably bring cake and juice for us! Like our teachers in Vacuo used to do for celebrations! Mmmm," Nora licked her lips. "I can already taste it!"
"We're not in kindergarten anymore Nora. I'd be highly surprised if Professor Goodwitch did anything of the sort."
Blake blinked at her hands and arms, watching the scrapes and cuts close themselves far quicker than they should. "Umm, is anyone else feeling surprisingly…good? Or refreshed?" She asked. "Or is it just me?"
Weiss frowned lightly in confusion. "Now that you mention it, I am." Weiss felt her strength returning far quicker than it usually did, and the aches and pains of the fight were rapidly fading away and her aura reserves were refilling just slightly quicker than they should.
"No way!" Yang exclaimed in bemusement, watching the gashes on her arms seal up and vanish. "I think we know what Jaune's semblance is!" She announced in a sing song voice. "Some sort of healing barrier! That armor he's got is probably why Jaune is up and about at all, rather than still on the ground about to spit his stomach up. He's probably healthier than ever!" Yang said, rolling her shoulders.
"Wait." Yang suddenly stopped mid stretch, the smile dropping from her face and eyes narrowed in thought. She stood still for a moment before she growled, and turned to stalk up to Jaune, who began sweating under his helmet, with a glare. "It was troublesome enough fighting you before, but now you've got some freaking uber shield slash armor that heals you!? Bull shit!"
"W-well," Jaune stuttered, as Yang loomed over him, despite her only coming up to his nose. "Uh, it's not perfect. I mean, my aura is draining pretty damn quickly." Even now he could feel his reserves shrink; every claw and bite from the numerous Grimm still surrounding them taking another slice of his aura away. "And I don't think it works for me the same way it does someone else. You're all recharging your aura's faster than normal right?" He got a few nods. "Well, I'm not. So it's not something that I can maintain indefinitely…I think." Jaune shrugged helplessly. It's not like he'd had a whole lot of time to learn about it.
In the back of Weiss's mind, she was wailing in just as much annoyance as Yang, but right now her relief was overwhelming it. "Back off Yang!" Weiss pushed the taller girl away, standing in front of Jaune with her hands on her hips and a scowl on her face. "Jaune almost died and he doesn't need you hounding him right now!"
"D'aww, Weiss, you care!" Jaune opened his arms for a hug just as she spun around and jabbed a finger onto his faceplate.
"And you!" She poked the plate, advancing as he retreated. "Just what did you think you were doing going into the fight like that?! You were in no condition to defend yourself! What if your semblance hadn't made its appearance!? You'd have been killed, that's what!" She shouted, voice cracking slightly at the end, poking him with each sentence as he cowered back, hands held up in surrender.
"Weiss, please. I couldn't just sit there and be a burden on everyone. I want to become a Hunter so I can protect people, especially my friends." Jaune pleaded with the irate girl, who just huffed and crossed her arms, tilting her nose up in the air in dissatisfaction. "Don't be like that, you know how much I hate it!" He whimpered out. There wasn't much that could induce as much guilt in Jaune as upsetting Weiss like this did.
Weiss struggled to stay mad, a light blush dusting across her cheeks, and doing her best not to look at her best friend, knowing it would be her undoing, even through what should be an emotionless faceplate. It was difficult to stay upset with him when he sounded like that and it gave her the most annoying urge to hug him and tell him that she forgives him.
"Maybe you could cut him some slack?" Ruby hesitantly suggested. "I mean, things were looking pretty, well, horribad. I don't think we'd have been able to hold out for much longer, and now we have some breathing room."
Weiss let out a breath, sagging slightly in surrender. "I know. Just be more careful alright?" She said, looking at Jaune. "I don't want you blocking anymore jars with your face okay?"
"I can try to be more careful, but you'll never convince me that it was a bad idea to save you from that jar." Jaune declared resolutely, dragging a half hearted scoff and another reluctant smile from Weiss.
A roar like pig squeal was quickly followed by a loud thud and a flicker in the barrier, prompting everyone to readopt their stances and prepare for battle. Outside the barrier, an Alpha Boarbatusk was backing up for another charge.
"I thought you said ten minutes?!" Weiss yelled, taking up a position on Jaune's shield side, and slightly back.
"It was a guess, I don't know! This is the first time this has happened!"
"If you hit anything hard enough it will break, I imagine Jaune's barrier is no different." Ren said on Jaune's other side.
Another loud thud emphasized another flickering in the shield and a slight flinch from Jaune as he felt a chunk of his reserves vanish.
"Jaune, take down the barrier."
The knights head darted around to stare incredulously at Weiss. "What? I don't think I heard you right. Did you just say, 'take down the barrier'?
"That's right I did." Weiss nodded, not taking her eyes off the Grimm before them. "Holding this thing up is draining your aura right? Well if you don't take it down than we're in the same position as before. Surrounded and with you out of commission. If those things break though by force then there's a chance you'll have no energy to fight with. It's been up long enough that our wounds have healed, and we'll be much better off if we have another sword in the fight rather than another minute of rest."
Looking around, Jaune didn't find any signs of objection. "Alright then. On three I'll drop it." Jaune loosened his shoulders in preparation. "One." The Alpha Boarbatusk backed up, digging its hooves into the dirt. "Two." Everyone tensed and the Boarbatusk began its charge, soulless eyes burning into Jaune's own. "Three!" The barrier fell, an instant before the beast rammed into it, setting it on a course straight for Jaune.
Jaune took a few steps forward for momentum and let loose a tremendous shield bash, catching the Alpha Boarbatusk under the chin, shattering its left tusk and stopping its charge dead, while the armor plating on its face cracked. The strength of the blow picked it up off its front legs, opening up its throat for a quick slash that sent blood gushing out.
Pivoting to avoid the waterfall of gore, Jaune placed a foot on the falling Grimm and leapt forward, decapitating an Ursa. Landing deep in the lines, Jaune roared his own battle cry, drawing as much attention to himself as he could. Twisting around, Jaune's sword carved out the stomachs of three Beowolves and the head of another, any limb that got in the way was severed ruthlessly.
Jaune stabbed his sword deep into another Beowolf, shield deftly head overhead to block a descending claw. Twisting the blade and yanking it free, Jaune spun, avoiding another claw, and cut the throat of yet another Beowolf. Jaune was untouchable, every step taking him away from another claw or bite, while putting him in position to slay another Grimm. With the monsters behaving so wildly, it was almost too easy for him to steadily whittle away their number.
Adelric bit into the arm of an Ursa, as it attacked Weiss, and with a furious toss of his head sent the monster rolling across the ground, chased by a barrage of dagger sized icicles, shot from his cannon, that perforated its body. Watching just long enough to confirm his kill, Adelric extended his blades and began circling his master, severing the legs of anything that got too close on one pass, and finishing them off on the next, protecting Weiss as she rationed her remaining dust.
Weiss was taking a very careful approach to this fight, conserving her dust and glyphs purely to keep her friends alive. Sweeping her dagger to the right, she parried a Beowolf to the side, and slit its throat in the return swing while blasting a lightning bolt from Myrtenaster into an Ursa bearing down on Blake.
Blake flinched as the lightning cooked the monster, taking a quick look at the charred, smoking body, before flipping in the air and spinning to slaughter any nearby Grimm with her scythe. If she'd had the time, she'd be yelling at Weiss for the close call, but as it were, she'd rather save her breath. That bolt had been so close her hair was a little frizzy.
Unfortunately for her, Yang had no problems whatsoever engaging in witty banter in the middle of a fight. "Whoa, bad hair day Blake?" Yang punched away a Beowolf, grinning at her partner, and catching one of its pack mates as it lunged at her. "Hey! I'm trying to have a conversation here!" Swinging it over her head, Yang spun and smacked it into some of its friends before tossing it away to bend around a tree with a distinctive snap from its spine. "How rude." Blake could only shake her head in disbelief.
Ruby spun into a rising backslash, cutting a Boarbatusk's face in two. Crescent Rose's point, came down behind her to nail a Beowolf to the ground. Twisting herself onto its shaft, Ruby drop kicked another Beowolf, and fired her gun, freeing the blade. The recoil sent her flying towards an Ursa that she cleaved from shoulder to hip.
Next to her, Pyrrha hurled her javelin through two Beowolves and into a third, which slumped over, propped up by the weapon. Pulling it back to her with her semblance, the Grimm was dragged along, until the Spartan kicked it off and whipped the javelin around to smack the spearhead into an Ursa's face, sending it stumbling. The return swing knocked the Ursa onto its back where she stomped on its throat and stabbed it through the eye. Instinctively, Pyrrha maneuvered her shield behind her back, blocking a Beowolf's slash, and turned while swinging Miló out, smacking into the monster as it ran past her, clothes lining it and sending it flipping backwards to land on the top of its head.
Nora was back to her bubbly self now that Jaune was back in action, and was gleefully smashing Magnhild into any and every Grimm within reach, the wide sweeping arcs of her weapon devastating everything in its path. Ren was nearby, quickly and efficiently dispatching his own enemies. He'd run out of bullets by now and was using a combination of his martial arts, aura, and the blades on his Storm Flowers to fight.
Magnhild shattered the jaw of a Beowolf, and Nora hopped backwards while swinging her hammer down. She'd managed to time it just right that she crushed a Boarbatusk as it charged under. As another Beowolf leapt at her from the side, Nora grinned and punched it in the face, sending it rolling backwards until Nora repeated her performance and crushed it with her hammer. "There was a girl who had a hammer, E-I-E-I-O! And with this hammer she killed some Grimm, E-I-E-I-O! With a smash smash here, and a smash smash there, here a smash, there a smash, everywhere a SMASH SMASH, there was a girl who had hammer!" Nora sang, somehow managing to crush a Grimm each time the word 'smash' came up.
Ren groaned, hearing Nora's antics, but let it go as he blocked a Beowolf's claws and kicked it in the chest, while tilting the blades on his guns to slice off the monster's hands as it was knocked back. Dodging backwards, Ren managed to push the claws of one Ursa into slashing a second on his other side, which quickly descended into the two monsters fighting each other rather than him. One bit the others arm off, while having its own stomach clawed out by its opponent as Ren prepared to finish off whichever won.
Suddenly four bright purple discs raced in from the side slaughtering many of the Grimm attacking. The monsters were quickly and indiscriminately cut down as the discs flew around like buzz saws. The discs raced around the two teams several times, turning everything they touched into piles of smoking gore before they dissipated, vanishing as quickly as they came. They didn't have long to wonder at what had just happened before Professor Goodwitch appeared, landing in their midst and looking no worse for wear and pushing her glasses back into place.
She glanced around the clearing they were in, noting the number of Grimm corpses and the condition of her students. "Is everyone alright?" There was a few moments of silence as the students gaped at their teacher before all of them, minus Ren and Blake, were bombarding her with questions. Where was she? What took so long? What was that attack? Did she bring them any cake? It didn't take long for her to get annoyed with them. "Quiet!" The students all quickly shut up. "Pick up will be in thirty seconds. Until then, keep an eye out for more Grimm."
Team Cardinal staggered out of the forest, panting in exhaustion and immediately drawing the ire of teams Luna and Burn.
"You!" Weiss shouted at them, stalking menacingly up to them. "You almost got us killed! What the hell did you think you were doing!?"
"Miss Schnee!" Goodwitch's voice rang out as Weiss began raising Myrtenaster, Adelric snarling at her side. "What is the meaning of this?" Her eyes narrowed at the white haired girl.
Weiss stabbed her dagger towards Cardin. "They attacked us! Maybe a minute before this whole thing started Cardin threw a jar of sap at my head and hit Jaune instead! He had an allergic reaction to it and nearly died! Probably would've if his semblance hadn't woken up when it did! Jaune nearly died because of this useless! Waste! Of space!" Weiss shouted, emphasizing her words with more jabs and glaring murder at Cardin who was clearly at a loss as to what to do. "The broken jar is still over there, with Jaune's blood on it." Weiss hissed, jerking her head towards the middle of the clearing, where their battered supply crates still lay.
Goodwitch examined a piece of the broken glass before dropping it back on the ground. "Mr. Winchester, is this true?" Her eyes bore into the orange haired boy.
"Uh, well, you know-I mean, uh, maybe." He stammered out, mind racing for an excuse. "We were just sort of messing around, and the jar got away from us."
Weiss scoffed. "There are eight people here who will all say differently. We won't have to suffer your presence much longer."
Cardin scowled at her as Weiss looked on, completely un-intimidated. Jaune stepped up next to her, glaring straight back at him. Finally seeing Jaune there, Cardin took a step back in shock before his scowl returned stronger than ever, looking like nothing would please him more than to bring out his mace and attack the knight.
Professor Goodwitch said nothing, just pulled out her scroll and made a few notes before they all heard the engines of a Bullhead approaching. She quickly ushered everyone on the VTOL and directed the pilot to take them back to Beacon.
"Really Weiss? You grabbed the sap crates?" Yang leaned forward in her seat to look over at her.
"Of course I did." Weiss tilted her nose up. "That was the mission wasn't it? Well, mission complete. Clearly something Cardinal can't claim." Weiss said, getting one last shot in at the boys.
As soon as Jaune sat down, his armor dispersed in a white cloud. Before the aura had even cleared away, he was unconscious, the light snores being the only thing letting his peers know he was still alive.
Glynda briefly checked him over. "He'll be fine. It's just exhaustion. A common thing for first time semblance users." Glynda stood before them all. "You all did very well today, and you should be proud. Once we have returned to Beacon I want all of you to report to the infirmary to be looked over. Until then, get some rest."
Rest sounded like a great idea. Weiss shifted into a more comfortable position in her seat, leaning against Jaune and closed her eyes, quickly joining him in dreamland.
Well, that was a doozy to write! I'm not sure how I feel about this one. An entire chapter of fighting! Over 7k words! Jeez! I don't think we'll be seeing many of these, cause that was a bitch! Though that may just be because there were so many characters I had to cover at the same time.
So! Jaune has awakened his semblance! Yay for him! Huzzah! I hope I did an alright job with it.
Like always, please review and let me know how I did! All comments, constructive criticism, and questions welcome and appreciated!