It had been three weeks since his duel with the Ursa in Forever Fall and finally setting things right with his partner, Pyrrha. Three weeks of hell. Nearly every day she had him up just before dawn to practice grappling, and immediately after classes for sparring. Weekends were more of a relief to the young hunter in training, as he spent those working to better understand and utilize his aura in battle. However, the weeks had taken their toll on poor Jaune, and Pyrrha didn't seem to have any intent on letting up in the near future.
This morning in particular, Pyrrha had wanted to test Jaune's skill with his weapon of choice, Crocea Mors. While not the greatest weapon around, it still did the trick… if used properly. The duo stood opposite each other in the training room, several yards of open ground separating the two.
"Pyrrha, do I really have to go through with this, I mean, what if someone get's hurt? What if I get hurt?!" His face gave way to nervousness, and a touch of sleep deprivation.
"Jaune, if you don't learn to master your weapon, then what good are you in battle?" She took her stance and readied Miló and Akoúo. "Besides, it's time we put these past few weeks of training to good use." She wasn't going to let this go easily. He had asked her to help him train and she showed no sign of breaking that promise. "Are you ready, Jaune?"
"Yeah, just give me a second…" Just as Jaune raised his sword and shield, he found himself ducking just in time for Pyrrha's javelin to soar just inches above his head. "Holy crap, I said give me a second!" But his plea was cut short as Pyrrha quickly charged into him full force, sending him back several feet.
"I'm disappointed Jaune, you should've seen that one coming," She retrieved her weapon and stood ready, "Now let's put your training to the test."
Oh crap, this is gonna hurt. Thought poor Jaune at the sight of his relentless partner.
Pyrrha quickly closed the gap in between them and quickly blocked a strike from Jaune's shield with her own, simultaneously thrusting her javelin toward the tiring hunter. Jaune suddenly found himself parrying the attack with his own sword, just narrowly avoiding a quick end to his training.
Oh my god, I actually did that! Maybe I actually have gotten better at this. Lost in his surprise at his quick reaction, he missed the shield that was fast approaching his exposed face. "Oh sh-", BAM! Everything became blinding and he felt around to try and get his bearings. He knew he had just made a fool of himself, he knew he was down, but where was Pyrrha? Dammit, way to look like an idiot, Arc. How'd you leave yourself open to that? As his vision came back to him he saw his partner towering before him, her weapon intent on ending their duel. Angry and injured, he swung his sword out at her in an attempt to disarm her. Instead, he found his sword caught in between Pyrrha's shield and javelin, unable to retaliate.
"Jaune, focus, don't strike so blindly. Controlled and precise attacks are what you need for close range combat." Before she could speak any further, she was shoved back as Jaune tried desperately to free his sword. His shield met her square in the chest and, although armored, knocked the wind out of her.
With his sword free, Jaune swung again, this time missing altogether. He could handle hand-to-hand combat, but with his sword he only felt weighed down and off balance. Other than the Death Stalker from the abandoned temple and the Ursa in Forever Fall, Jaune hadn't really trained on his swordsmanship. His lessons with Pyrrha always consisted of releasing his aura and weaponless sparring.
You can't even use your own weapon properly, some hunter you'll turn out to be. His thoughts only served to fuel his self-directed temper.
After only just a few minutes of combat, Pyrrha decided to call it quits. Not for her sake, but because she felt Jaune clearly needed more work with his combat training. She had managed to easily block nearly all of his attacks that hadn't carelessly missed entirely. The young hunter, though, sat on a nearby bench, hiding his face in his lap.
"Jaune, is everything alright?" She asked with a tone of concern in her voice. She stared down at the exhausted and distraught young hunter.
"How can I become a great warrior like you, when I can't even master my own weapon?" He stood up and turned away from his partner. "Weeks of training gone to waste. I've failed you as a student."
"Jaune, look at me." The young man turned to face her. "You're not a failure. Yes, we've trained for weeks, but it may not have been the right criteria for you. Have you ever had professional training with your weapon?" The young hunter pondered this briefly before answering.
"Well, other than brief lessons with my father back at the village, not really." He replied.
A smile formed across Pyrrha's face. "Well, there lies the issue, Jaune. You're amazing in unarmed combat and your aura has gotten stronger. You just need to now turn your focus toward handling your sword effectively in battle. With a little more work, you'll be ready to take on the creatures of Grimm in no time!"
"Well, if you think so. Great… More training. So when will we fit those lessons into the day?" Jaune let out a sigh of both relief and frustration.
"Not 'we', Jaune," Pyrrha explained, "You see, I don't think I'm the best instructor for your weapon of choice." Jaune frowned at this. "Our loadout is far from similar, besides, what you need is discipline and precision. I can only help you with your aura and unarmed fighting skills. The problem will be finding someone suitable for your need."
"So you're telling me, I still need more training on top of what I'm currently doing… and then you have no idea where to begin on that?" He plopped to the ground in disappointment. This training will be the death of me.
"Well, we can ease up on the sparring in the afternoons. Your weapon training takes precedence over that. As a future hunter, your weapon will be an essential asset in protecting the innocent. It must not be a tool, but an extension of yourself, of your will and strength." She held her hand out toward Jaune and helped him to his feet. "Now, we just need to work on finding a teacher." She said with a smile.
"Alright, Pyrrha," he replied as he straightened himself up, "If it'll help me to reach my full potential and to become the hero I'm expected to be, then I'm ready."
"Glad to hear it, Jaune. Now, we best be getting to the cafeteria before they stop serving breakfast." She turned to head out the door.
"You go ahead, I'll meet you just before Professor Port's class. I'm gonna head back to the room and shower real quick." He started for the exit, but paused just before the door. "Oh, and Pyrrha…"
"Thank you. Thank you for everything. You've been a lot of help and I really appreciate what you've done for me." He gave her a quick hug and hurriedly left for their room.
Pyrrha was met with a chime of greetings from her friends as she approached the table that the rest of her team, as well as team RWBY were sitting at.
"Morning, Pyrrha, how was training with Jaune today?" Asked Ruby as she quickly ate from her pile of chocolate chip pancakes.
"Yeah, how was it, did Vomit Boy lose his lunch again?" Butted in Yang. "Speaking of which, where is your little boy-toy anyway?"
Frustrated at Yang's comment, Pyrrha chose to ignore it.
"Good morning Ruby, our training session went well today." She pondered telling her friends about Jaune's trouble before continuing. "I'm concerned about his skills with Crocea Mors. He knows how to handle himself in hand-to-hand combat, but I feel he lacks proper etiquette when handling his sword." She looked at each of her companions, judging their reactions. Yang was the first to respond.
"Well, if 'proper etiquette' and fancy-sword handling is what Vomit Boy needs, then our own local Ice Queen herself is who you need." All heads turned toward the young heiress, who was sitting at the far end of the table.
"Why is everyone looking at me like that?" Asked Weiss as she looked up from her meal.
"What do you say Weiss, will you help Jaune master his skills with a sword?" Implored Pyrrha.
Weiss was rather taken aback by the odd request. How could she even bear to help that fool, Jaune Arc? That awkward oaf had done nothing but hit on her since their first encounter, albeit, he had improved since then.
"Never, not ever in a thousand years would I help that blubbering imbecile!" Hissed Weiss. This drew questioning stares from her teammates.
"Weis, you've had years of proper training and are the most skilled with a sword of all of us. Jaune needs someone to teach him proper swordsmanship and how to keep his wits about him in combat. Please, do it for a friend." Begged Pyrrha. Everyone stared intently at Weiss, eager for her response. She could feel their curious glares searing through her.
"Very well then, I'll do it." She finally answered.
Pyrrha breathed a sigh of relief.
"Thank you, Weiss." Pyrrha replied.
"But if he so much as looks at me funny or even thinks about trying to flirt with me, I can assure you of his swift and well-deserved early demise! Are we clear?" Exclaimed Weiss.
"As you wish, Weiss. We'll discuss this further after class today." Replied a thankful Pyrrha.
Just as the conversation came to an end, poor Jaune Arc made his arrival to the cafeteria.
"Hey, guys. What'd I miss?" He asked with an eager smile.
Pyrrha stood up from her seat to address Jaune. A smile spread out across her face.
"Jaune, meet your new instructor. Miss Schnee." She gestured toward Weiss.
Jaune's smile quickly faded, replaced by a petrified expression.
"Oh god why…"