Hey all, another brain fart I've been working on, and my first RWBY crossover!
In any case, as we all know by know I own two things in relation to these two series: Jack and Shit. RWBY is the property of Rooster Teeth & the brainchild of the Late Great Monty Oum and Bloodborne is the Elder-Spawn of FromSoftware and whatever dark gods power their imagination.
Seriously people, why are there not more crossovers between these two series? I've seen a few but most of them involve the Hunter ending up in Beacon for some reason, with only one, to my knowledge, of team Ruby running around Yharnam. Get on it writers!
Also, I'm just throwing this out there, but would anyone else pay good money to convince Fromsoft to release DLC weapons based on the ones from RWBY?
Either way, let's get down to brass tacks:
Epilogue: Best Laid Plans
If you were to ask Cinder Fall when precisely her plans had been shot to hell, she'd have been hard pressed to answer. Everything had been planned out perfectly with no margin for error, every string had been pulled tight, every loose end tied up, her enemies had no idea she'd been stringing them along, or even what she looked like until she'd sprung her trap.
While it had been something of a disappointment to lose the services of the skilled Assassin Marcus Black, the fact the man had apparently become an alcoholic, and that his skills had declined to the point his crippled son had been able to kill him, had been more than enough reason for her to extend her offer to the younger Black, which in turn led to her recruiting Roman Torchwick as well.
It had admittedly irked her when Adam Taurus and the White Fang rejected her offer for co-operation outright without listening to her terms. After all, since when did a bunch of animals get to choose who their masters were? But she'd kept her cool, all things considered, and simply gone ahead with the next stage of her plan, confident that it would be more than enough to make them reconsider.
Looking back, it was possible that her trapping of the Fall Maiden had been a little too easy, Emerald's Illusions coupled with Mercury's combat skills & enhanced cybernetic limbs allowing them to overpower her, forcing her to draw out her power, allowing Cinder to catch her off guard, wounding her enough that she was helpless to resist as she took her power for herself.
It had been intoxicating, the feeling of her Aura, her very life force flowing into her body, bringing with it a power that was so inherently different from anything a mere human could understand, a power that only three other women could lay claim to at any time, and it was all Cinder's for the taking.
Or at least it would have been, if a meddling old Qrow hadn't crashed the party.
In retrospect it was foolish of her to assume that simply because Amber had been alone she wouldn't have bodyguards waiting in the wings, and she certainly wasn't expecting the infamous black sheep of the legendary Team STRQ, but in her defense she'd been high on the rush of the siphoning process and hadn't noticed his presence until he damn near cut off her hand.
Thankfully he'd missed, instead severing the connection between her and Amber, preventing her from stealing all of the Fall Maiden's power, forcing her to use what little she had managed to take to drive him off long enough to escape with her wounded pawns, as even with her newfound power she didn't value her chances against the likes of Qrow Branwen.
After all, while they managed to overpower the Fall Maiden, it had been on their terms, relying on subterfuge, preying on her kind nature before moving in for the kill. A drunken letch he might be, but a sober Qrow was by no means naïve, and unlike Amber Cinder hadn't had years to master the Power of Fall, so as much as it burned her to admit defeat, she'd cut her loses & fled into the night.
Rather than lose her temper, she turned her anger to better uses, namely mastering how to manipulate her share of the Power of Fall. It didn't take long after that for her to convince Taurus & his pack of animals to change their tune, her newfound powers serving as the stick while the enticing offer of Dust & Lien serving as an oh-so-tempting carrot to the desperately outgunned terrorist cell.
In one fell swoop, she had swept a powerful piece from the board, stolen power few could only dream of and garnered an army that continued to grow by the day due to the inherent stupidity of man. Truly, the only downside to the whole ordeal was that failing to claim the entirety of Amber's power had left her feeling 'empty', consumed by a burning hunger that could never be sated no matter what she tried.
Food, Sex, nothing seemed to grant her any respite, and any use of her power only made the feeling grow within her. Despite this, it didn't appear to affect her mental faculties, save that she was more willing to use said power, be it to intimidate her pawns when they made the mistake of thinking for themselves or removing unwanted pieces from the board the moment they outlived their usefulness.
Another downside of the Hunger, if it could be considered such, was that she'd begun to take a more 'hands-on' approach to management than she'd have preferred in the past. Normally she'd have been quite content to remain in the shadows, biding her time, keeping under the radar whilst overseeing the actions of her pawns like the proverbial Red Queen she'd become.
Now however, whenever the Hunger grew particularly hard to ignore, she found herself accompanying Roman or Taurus on their missions under the pretext of ensuring they didn't screw things up, when in actuality she was relying on the ensuing thrills to alleviate some of the emptiness inside, like a pressure gauge for her soul.
Her old self would have been disgusted with such actions. She was no common thief who got off on the thrill of a good heist; that was Roman's shtick no matter how hard he tried to masquerade as a High-Class Criminal Mastermind. As she was now, however, these occasional jaunts served as pressure valves, allowing her to 'scratch her itch', so to speak, in a far more productive manner.
Indeed, their last caper together had been particularly satisfying, given how it had finally allowed her to evaluate where she stood against the prestigious Glynda Goodwitch, Ozpin's right hand and one of the deadliest Huntresses Beacon had to offer. Needless to say, the White Witch of Beacon hadn't disappointed, to the point Cinder was actually disappointed to have to cut the battle short to flee.
Cinder was well aware that there would be plenty of time to settle the score later, but that did little to alleviate the frustration she felt at being forced to retreat from another of Ozpin's pieces. Roman had joking likened it to her falling short just on the bridge of an orgasm, a comparison Cinder had begrudgingly admitted as apt after an, ironically disappointing, 'punishment' session.
His lacklustre bedroom skills and flair for the dramatic aside, Roman proved a valuable asset thanks in no small part to his numerous ties to the criminal underworld in Vale, allowing Cinder's new 'allies' in the White Fang to stockpile an almost ridiculous amount of Dust, even if she did need to resort to threats to keep the man in line from time to time.
Not that the man didn't have reason to complain mind you, given the overall quality, or lack thereof, of the help he was forced to rely on. Finding willing pawns on Emerald and Mercury's level of skill had been no small task even for Cinder, but in a Kingdom like Vale, under Ozpin's watchful eye, it was next to impossible to find anyone with the perquisite skills who didn't aspire to attend Beacon.
It wasn't that the White Fang were incompetent mind you, even an idiot can follow orders after all, but the Organization had not been designed as a Terrorist Cell, as was clearly evident by just how inexperienced most of the field members were, though a rare few, like Adam Taurus, shone like rough diamonds among the chaff.
Unfortunately, the price for their above-average skillset meant they weren't as easy to manipulate as the rest of the pack. While Taurus had consented to an allegiance, he made it clear that he didn't trust her any further than he could throw her, and that any acts of aggression or betrayal on her part would be dealt with personally.
As amusing as Cinder found his threats, while not all members of the White Fang shared Taurus' pragmatic attitude, most of them respected him enough to keep her from humiliating him for his insolence. She had no such mercy for the 'Strays', likely remnants from the days of peaceful protest, that tried to run away, ruthlessly ordering their execution to remind Taurus just who held his leash.
Still, all work and no-play often led to Cabin Fever and grisly murder. While unaffected by her Hunger, Emerald and Mercury were never the type to sit still for extended periods of time. This, coupled with how highly she valued their skills, somehow got it into their heads that they could go over hers and steal missions from Roman in a juvenile show of one-upmanship.
She'd soon put an end to that line of thought. After all, it wasn't necessary for her pawns to think for themselves unless it benefitted her plans in some way, and she could hardly blame Roman for prioritizing the Dust Stockpile over eliminating a filthy stray, especially one whose idea of 'lying low' meant operating a Bookstore in broad daylight under his real name.
Still, with the issues resolved, she'd ordered the self-proclaimed gentleman thief to oversee the White Fang as they relocated the Dust to the Mountain Glenn hideout for the 2nd Phase of the plan while Emerald, Mercury and herself infiltrated Beacon Academy right under Ozpin's nose in order to ascertain any potential threats to the aforementioned plan.
Needless to say Ozpin was the biggest threat. While the rest of the faculty where by no means pushovers, it was safe to say that Beacon would not have become the premiere Hunter Academy of the Four Kingdoms were it not for the 'Great & Powerful' Ozpin and his eye for talent, as evidenced by the bumper crop of fledgling Hunters that had enrolled this year alone.
Among the new blood, the most prominent threat was arguably Pyrrha Nikos. Not only had the redheaded Amazon graduated top of her class at Sanctum, Mistral's premiere Combat School, she'd done so while also defending her title as Champion of their Regional Tournament for four years in a row without ever seeming to employ her semblance, seemingly relying entirely on pure combat skill.
Even after the illusion had been shattered following her match against Mercury, revealing that Miss Nikos was simply very subtle in the use of her Polarity Semblance to a degree even Cinder couldn't help but applaud, her combat prowess combined with her professional yet approachable manner made it all too apparent how she'd passed Beacon's, ironically Spartan, 'Qualification Test'.
It was only upon gaining access to Beacon's database, more accurately the student & team registries that Cinder hit upon the first stumbling block in her plans. For despite all her expectations to the contrary, not only was Pyrrha Nikos not the leader of her own team, but the position had apparently been given to one Jaune Arc.
A family of heroes from even before the Great War, the surname 'Arc' carried as much weight in both the Huntsmen community & Criminal Underworld as that of Ozpin or Ironwood, if not more so. As such, Cinder had made it a point to personally keep a careful track of all Huntsmen, active or retired, who bore the Arc name within all four kingdoms.
Prior to infiltrating Beacon it had pleased her immensely to learn that none of the scions of that prestigious lineage were currently residing in Vale or attending the other Academies, and that none of those in active service were affiliated with, for obvious reasons, the Atlas Military Forces, meaning the odds of them turning up to upset her plans for the upcoming Vytal Festival were negligible at best.
It had therefore come as something of a shock for the Red Queen to discover that not only had an Arc managed to slip under her radar, but that he possessed skills equal to, possibly even surpassing, those of Pyrrha Nikos, enough so that Ozpin had apparently deemed him worthy of assuming the role of the Amazon's Team Leader.
An intelligence failure of such epic proportions was unacceptable to Cinder. That she had no-one to blame but herself made it all the more crucial that she correct the oversight by determining just how much of a threat this 'Jaune Arc' posed to her plans, so that she may devise the perfect counter-strategy to have him…removed from play.
Unfortunately she'd been unable to reliably determine his skill level or arrange an 'accident' during sparring matches, as Goodwitch's presence and preference for personally selecting the match-ups prevented her from setting him up to fight Emerald or Mercury, so the few times she had seen him spar had been wholly uninformative, as he'd focused mainly on defense until the timer ran out.
What little she had managed to ascertain during his rare matches was that his aura reserves were, quite frankly, insane for his age, even by the lofty standards the Arcs tended to set, and that unlike the rest of his peers, whose weapons had been modified to incorporate some form of firearm, he seemed to eschew firearms altogether, wielding a traditional sword and shield that doubled as a sheath.
Normally Cinder would have laughed at such naivete. Even the most skilled Huntsmen knew better than to rely entirely on wholly close or long range weaponry against the creatures of Grimm. It was the versatility of so-called 'Trick Weapons', the ability to shift modes to best accommodate the needs of the battlefield, that allowed Huntsmen to combat the Grimm even without relying on Dust.
Had it been any other sword and shield combo, Cinder might have written the boy off as a hopeless romantic, a 'White Knight' enthusiast clinging to the image of an age long past. Indeed, Cinder would have written him off entirely had his weapon been anything other than the Crocea Mors, a weapon almost as famous as its wielder, who stood immortalized in stone in the courtyard of Beacon.
This, more than anything, confirmed that not only was the boy a member of the main Arc line, but that his continued presence within the halls of Beacon, no, within the territory of the Kingdom of Vale itself, posed a serious threat to her plans, a threat that would have to be handled with decidedly more delicacy than she had come to expect from her compatriots thus far.
She couldn't just have him 'removed' because then the rest of the Arc clan would swoop in to investigate the murder or disappearance of the heir apparent and then everything would be shot to hell. Say what you like about the Arcs, no matter what their differences, they did not take kindly to threats to those they deemed 'family', something the Kingdom of Atlas had to learn the hard way.
Having him 'indisposed' was also out of the question, as he was rarely apart from his team or Miss Nikos for long, much to the latter's apparent pleasure. Normally Cinder would have used this to her advantage, but as cathartic as it would be to take out two birds with one stone, history had proven time and again that the only thing more dangerous than a cornered Grimm was an Arc with an axe to grind.
No, if she wanted to rid herself of the blonde pest without bringing the proverbial Sword of Damocles down on her head, she'd need to be more subtle about it, ensure that nothing could be traced back to her, or indeed incite anything in the Arc clan and their numerous allies but grief at the loss of their wayward son.
Thankfully, if ironically, her opportunity would present itself thanks to none other than Ozpin himself, or rather, the selection of Missions the man's reputation had managed to secure from the Council for the purpose of letting his fledgling Huntsmen & Huntresses whet their eye teeth in real-life scenarios, ranging from patrolling the Kingdom's borders to eliminating large numbers of Grimm.
It went without saying that not all missions were available to everyone. While senior students were more than capable of taking on solo or even Team Missions unsupervised all first-years, regardless of their individual skill levels or the type of mission they were assigned to, were only permitted out in a full team, and even then only whilst under the supervision of a professional Huntsman.
It had been simplicity itself to hack into the Hunter Quest Database and lower the danger level of some of the more, interesting, Quests. She didn't dare alter too much, and Ozpin would certainly catch on if she selected quests that no student would be allowed to go on, but some of the quests reserved for Solo Seniors could be handled just as easily by a supervised team of skilled first years.
That being said, the quest team JNPR had opted to go for had been one of the tamer ones, guard duty for a simple excavation team that had apparently discovered an abandoned settlement in the mountain regions North of Vale. Normally such a task would have garnered a full-team roster anyway, but apparently the Grimm levels had been deemed low enough to only rate a Solo Mission.
It went without saying that the ranking system didn't take into account the various natural hazards that the area had in store for the inexperienced, but Cinder knew better than to place all her eggs in one basket, especially with blonde's team there to watch his back, and so she'd given the order for some of the more…expendable, White Fang members to set up a 'fall-back' position there.
To avoid alienating Taurus, she chose her 'sacrifices' from among those recruits even he had trouble keeping in check, the kind as apt to fight their own comrades as the authorities. The fact they had all, at one point or another, displayed visible displeasure and refusal to follow her orders, even with Taurus to act as a buffer, made it all the easier for her to write them off.
Naturally, the entire premise of their mission was fake. While the location was just as secluded as Mountain Glenn, the Grimm levels were nowhere near high-enough to ward off prying eyes in the long run. Indeed, the real benefit of sending them to such a remote location, aside from improved productivity, was so their amassed negative emotions would inspire a spike in Grimm Activity.
The rest pretty much wrote itself, a band of admittedly capable first-years on a low-risk mission just so happened to stumble across a White Fang Hideout filled with particularly violent Faunus. Between the ensuing fireworks and the resulting increased Grimm activity, no-one would think to suspect foul-play if one of the students happened to have an…unfortunate accident.
Needless to say, the plan had gone off without a hitch. Team JNPR had set out as scheduled that morning to meet up with their clients. Around noon, Ozpin responded to an S.O.S from the Huntsman supervising the expedition, sending in a team to rescue the group, who were trapped between the trigger-happy White Fang troublemakers & the swarm of Grimm that had been drawn by the battle.
As expected of Ozpin's finest, the rescue team soon put an end to the Grimm and White Fang, mowing them down with lethal efficiency. Unfortunately, they arrived too late to help the young Arc, who had bravely shoved his partner out of the path of a charging Creep, only for it to carry him over the edge of a cliff to their mutual doom.
Naturally the blonde's team fought tooth and nail to convince the rescue team to search for him, but by that point the Grimm were overrunning the ruins and regulations stated they had to prioritise the evacuation of survivors and civilians, thankfully none of which included members of the White Fang, who were left to fend for themselves against the oncoming swarm.
A tragedy to be certain, but without any evidence to the contrary, and with Phase 2 of the plan punching a hole into the centre of Vale, allowing a horde of Grimm into the heart of the city, there was little Ozpin could do but wait until things settled down before sending a team to search for the body, if only to give the boy's teammates, friends and family some closure.
In short, another perfectly executed plan…or at least it would have been if Torchwick hadn't somehow managed to get himself captured by Team RWBY, a feat Cinder attributed entirely to the unexpected interference of Raven Branwen than Mercury and Emerald's mockery of Torchwick's skill or Taurus claims of her underestimating Blake Belladonna.
Fortunately, while it troubled her to know the wild-card of team STRQ was in Vale, for the time being it didn't appear as if Raven was working with Ozpin. Indeed, despite her best efforts, Cinder hadn't been able to find a trace of the woman in Vale after she effectively put the fear of Oum into Neo on the train, though this did little to comfort her.
In the end, when the Grimm were routed and the number of people killed, injured and left homeless as a result of 'The Breach' were tallied, Jaune Arc was simply another casualty, just another person whose life was ruined by the White Fang, no matter how hard Ozpin tried to soften the blow to the boy's parents by awarding the Blonde a Post-Mortem Medal of Honor for saving his partner's life.
And that, as they say, was that. Time moved on, and with it her plans for the upcoming 40th Vytal Festival. Thanks to her little act of sabotage with the CCT tower, she now had almost complete access to every database in Beacon with the exception of Ozpin's own, allowing her to manipulate events from behind the scenes, as well as gather information on all the pieces involved.
Needless to say, even with team JNPR out of the running, there were still plenty of skilled teams to contend with, most notably Teams RWBY & CFVY of Beacon and team SSSN from Vacuo. Indeed, the only really problem was finding a suitable replacement for taking down Ironwood's precious little 'Toy Soldier' now that Nikos was eliminated from the game.
That being said, as admittedly skilled and formidable as the brats were, there was a vast difference between 'talent' and actual battle experience, and when it came to taking people down Cinder's team had cut their eyeteeth long ago. Hell, say what you like about Marcus Black, he didn't just teach his son how to kill people, he also taught him how to assassinate their very character.
It was almost embarrassing how easily Ms. Xiao-Long had fallen for their deception, her hair trigger temper coupled with Mercury's directed bloodlust and Emerald's illusion effectively turning the entire world against her, and Ozpin by extension. The sheer weight of the amassed negative emotions was so palpable it was no wonder her agents had reported seeing Goliath's on the move.
With Neo already en-route to bust Torchwick out of prison, all they had to do was sit back and stoke the flames, waiting for the right moment to tip the whole pot over, catching the witless fools between the dual fronts of the invading Grimm and the White Fang. And while that was going on, she'd slip casually into Ozpin's precious 'Vault', and finish what she started that night so long ago.
Unfortunately, much like Torchwick, she'd apparently underestimated Team RWBY's penchant for putting their noses where it didn't belong, for despite her sources confirming they'd been confined to Beacon following Xiao-long's disqualification, who should Emerald see wandering the stands but the blonde's sister, and Qrow's disciple, Ruby Rose.
It was clear from a glance that the redhead had spotted her as well, and even more so that despite her naïve appearance she'd clearly inherited her uncle's nose for trouble, for no sooner had the two broken eye contact did the redhead make a run for the service hallways, no doubt intending to alert Port & Oobleck to their presence, only to find Mercury, on his feet and blocking her path.
Normally this fight could have gone either way, as despite her youth Ruby was a fair hand with a scythe and her speed semblance made keeping up with her tricky. Fortunately either Ironwood had confiscated her weapon during her sister's arrest or she'd simply forgotten it, leaving her unarmed against an assassin with no need to hold back now that he didn't have to put on a show for the camera.
And that, as they say, should have been that. Thanks to Xiao-Long, Ozpin's reputation was in shambles and the Grimm were marching on Beacon. All potential threats to her plans had been swept from the table and the only one who could possibly shed light on the situation was currently being beaten to death in a darkened hallway, out of sight, out of mind, and out of luck.
And then, with the haunting yet strangely beckoning chime of a bell, it had all gone to hell.
Before Cinder could ascertain the source of the noise, tearing herself away from the fight between Penny Polendina and Sun Wukong, who had been selected as the sacrificial lamb for Phase 3 in place of Pyrrha Nikos, the sound of the crowd crying out in shock and confusion drew her attention back to the arena.
However, instead of the bloody corpse of team SSSN's leader displayed across international television, Cinder found herself gaping down at the bloody form of Mercury Black as the Assassin slowly staggered to his feet, in plain sight of the audience and the aforementioned broadcast despite reports of him being shipped home with a broken leg.
While the state of her pawn was concerning, it was nowhere near as detrimental to the plan than his being exposed, but before she could cut the broadcast and order Emerald to hide the idiot from view, the sound of a bell chime heralded the arrival of a new figure, standing on the lip of the Arena, in plain sight of the audience.
He was tall, clad in a dark leather frock-coat, bronze-clad gloves and boots and a dark hood that hid his features from view. He was almost reminiscent of a stereotypical highwayman from the dark ages were it not for the off-white chest plate that could be seen beneath the duster, and the zweihander wrapped in bandages in a harness across his back, no doubt the source of Mercury's injuries.
However, what drew the crowd's attention, and by extension, that of the world of Remnant, were not this stranger's apparel or weapon, nor was it the presence of Mercury, the Assassin glaring murderously at his assailant as he staggered to his feet, one hand gripping the bleeding diagonal cut across his torso.
No, what drew the world's attention was the battered form of Ruby Rose, the young reaper cradled protectively in the crook of the stranger's arms like the child she was, her head of scarlet hair resting against the lapel of his leather frock-coat, displaying her pale features, marred with bruises from a clearly physical assault, for all to see.
In an instant, Ironwood's puppet had retracted her swords and raced to the reaper's aide alongside her opponent, their concern for their mutual friend apparent in their faces as they called out her name. Sensing opportunity, Cinder to advantage of ensuing outcry to give the order to act, instructing Emerald to provoke the stranger into cutting them down while Mercury made his escape.
She didn't know who this new player was, but it was clear from Port and Oobleck's surprise and Ironwoods orders for the Security team to apprehend him that that he wasn't part of Ozpin's faction. Indeed, this could work out just as well, for as damning as it would be to frame a potential Huntsman for a massacre, it'd be just as damning to show they were incapable of preventing one.
Sadly, despite her string of successes she should have remembered that no plan survives contact with the enemy, especially when the enemy is a veritable unknown. One second the figure had been standing, Ruby Rose in hand, at the other end of the arena. Then Cinder blinked and the red reaper was in the arms of a startled Sun Wukong and the figure was standing in Mercury's way.
While initially caught off guard by the man seemingly teleporting behind him, Mercury had recovered quickly, as per usual, and promptly lashed out with a flurry of kicks, intent on fighting his way out before Ironwoods goons could apprehend him for questioning. At first, his assault seemed to be working, the figure backtracking to put distance between them, reaching for the sword on his back.
For a second, all was bathed in moonlight. When the fireflies finally left her eyes, Cinder couldn't help but gape at the sight of the figure standing over Mecury, the Assassin gaping at the bleeding stumps where his legs used to be in horror, the figure having cut them off well-above the knees, and thus, well above the point they gave way to prosthetics.
As the crowd looked on in shock and horror, the figure reached down to pick up one of the severed limbs, staring at the prosthetic with interest as the pant leg covering it fell off to reveal the truth for all to see. While Oobleck proceeded to state the obvious over the speakers, the figure turned his attention back to the Assassin, who was attempting to back away from him using his elbows.
"Calm down!" she hissed over the wireless receiver all her agents kept in their ears, her eyes catching Mercury's as he gaped at her in shock from the arena "Just keep calm. Ironwood's goons are on their way to intercept, so it's highly unlikely he'll be able to do anything else at this point." She smirked coyly "The crowd have already begun to figure it out, just keep pouring gas on the flame."
Mercury grimaced, clearly not liking the idea, but in the end all it took was a sharp glare for him to play along "Heh, yeah, alright, you got me." He called out, sitting up and raising his hands in mock-surrender "I set blondie up to take the fall, roughed red up too when she came snooping around..." he smirked in the face of the crowd's cries of shock "I confess, so lock me up and throw away the-!"
The hooded figures boot lashed out, catching the assassin in the sternum and driving him back onto the arena floor. Stunned by the blow, Mercury could only gaze dazedly up at his assailant as the hooded man drew an archaic, yet elaborately decorated flintlock pistol from a holster on his left hip, cocking the hammer back with his thumb before pressing the barrel to his forehead
The echo from the gunshot was like thunder in the suddenly silent arena. Even Oobleck, who hadn't shut his damn mouth since the start of the match, had been rendered silent by the callous manner in which the cloaked figure had dispatched his opponent.
In that instant, Cinder knew she wasn't dealing with one of Ozpin's pawns, but a someone like her, with no qualms killing to get his way.
And he was looking right at her.
"…Emerald, pull out." She ordered, her tone brooking no argument as she slowly slipped out the back door, having no desire to be caught in the broadcast room after Mercury all but admitted to purposefully inciting the crowd against Beacon's Students "Neo, have you gotten Roman out of his cell yet?"
"I'm afraid your little assassin isn't available at the moment." a familiar voice mused, Cinder's eyes widening, a chill racing down her spine even at the sound of the woman's mocking chuckle "Poor thing, she was having so much fun too…she really should have known better than to let her guard down so close to the finish line."
"Raven…" Cinder hissed, hatred in every syllable as she clenched her teeth, her left eye visibly smoldering as she punched the hallway wall, leaving a sizable dent "I didn't take you for one of Ozpin's lapdogs…Qrow maybe, but I was under the impression you didn't care much for his manipulations."
"I'm not, and I don't." the black-sheep of Team STRQ admitted, her tone as cocksure as her daughter's and just as aggravating "Oz may have the best intentions, but I'll be damned if I become another piece on the board." Cinder visibly shivered at the sudden shift in temperature "Until you made the mistake of hurting my family."
"Fine time to start acting like a mother after all these years, Branwen." Cinder sniped back, though internally she was cursing Mercury for hamming it up so much as she continued to make her way through the halls to the rendezvous point "The way I understand, it you left the brats to fend for themselves."
"I'm not here to defend my choices to you." Raven countered coldly, earning a small smile from Cinder, only for it to be replaced by a frown as the swordswoman scoffed, "Besides" she continued, some of her original mockery back into her tone "I highly think you're one to talk, considering you just got both of your little underlings killed."
"What?" Cinder demanded, narrowing her eyes in confusion as she stepped through the doors to the docks only to blink as she apparently stepped into a war zone, the entire bay littered with debris and spent dust rounds, the transport itself nothing more than a smoldering wreck, Cinder's eyes narrowing as she espied movement in the smoke "Who's there? Come out now!"
"C-Cinder…" Emerald called out, Cinder's eyes widening as the thief staggered towards her through the smoke, her form littered with cuts, one hand hanging limply due to an impressive looking hole in her shoulder, the other coming away from her bleeding stomach to reach for the older woman, her one good eye filled with tears, Cinder's eyes widening as a now ominous chime filled the air.
As if beckoned by the bell, the Hooded Stranger from the arena stepped out of the smoke and burning wreckage behind the pleading Emerald like something out of a nightmare, his hooded gaze seemingly locked on Cinder's own as he lunged forwards, one gloved hand lancing out of Emerald's chest through her back in a burst of blood, clutching her beating heart in his gloved hands.
"N-No…" Emerald choked, tears streaming down her face as she reached desperately for Cinder, as if pleading with the older woman to do something, anything to save her, her crimson eyes, usually filled with mocking innocence, finally displaying an honest emotion: Pure Fear of her impending death "N-Not like this…it wasn't supposed to be like this-!"
He voice cut off as the hooded figure ripped his arm, and Emerald's heart, out of her back in one savage motion, the sheer force of the move sending twin visceral spouts of blood from both the entry and exit wounds, causing not only her killer, but an understandably alarmed Cinder, to be covered in the dying thief's lifeblood even as her corpse fell to the floor.
They stood there for a time, the Red Queen and the Black Hood. Not a sound passed between them, save for the haunting echoes of the bell chimes and the regular sound of blood dropping from the organ clutched in the hooded man's hand to the growing puddle on the floor in which Emerald's form lay, crimson eyes gazing up at her in death.
"I have to hand it to you." She mused, reaching up to brush an ebony lock out of her face, her golden eyes smouldering with more than just emotion as she smiled coyly at the figure "No-one's ever manage to corner me like this for some time now…nor have they dared incite such anger in me…I'd almost forgotten how good it felt."
Without so much as a blink, Cinder lashed out with her right hand, a pillar of magically enhanced fire erupting from her palm, engulfing the hooded figure and everything behind him, the ruins of the medical transport erupting in an inferno catching the bastard between two powerful explosions simultaneously.
"Still, I suppose I've only myself to blame." she mused, waving a hand in front of her face to ward off the smoke, the other hand readying a fireball as she watched the dim shadow in the flames rise to its feet "If you want's something done right," she noted, rearing her arm back "You have to do it yourself-!"
Several throwing knives hurled themselves at her from the flames, Cinder casually deflecting them with bursts of fire, almost bored by the monotony, only for her eyes to widen as a glass bottle filled with amber liquid, a Molotov cocktail, launched itself between the last knife just as she launched her fireball, the resulting explosion blinding her even as she felt the burning liquid coat her clothes.
"Damn!" she swore, patting down the flames hurriedly, glaring heatedly at her assailant as he rolled out of the flames towards her, her black sword appearing in her hand as she brought it down on his back, intending to finish the fight here, only to gape as he lashed out with his left arm, deflecting her strike away with a shield he hadn't possessed before.
A white Heater Shield with gold trim, emblazoned with two familiar golden arcs.
Time seemed to slow as Cinder found herself unable to tear her gaze away from those golden arcs, her eyes widening in sheer disbelief at the impossibility before her, only for time to resume with a jolt as her opponent lunged forward and buried his sword in her stomach up to the hilt, the force of the blow so great that she didn't even feel the impact as she slammed into the wall pinned up like a butterfly.
'This can't be happening…' she stammered, her mind racing a mile a minute as she reached desperately for the blade in her guts only to grunt as it was savagely yanked out only to be replaced with a savage boot, the Red Queen dropping to her knees, arms wrapped around her abused midriff as she fought down the urge to vomit blood and bile all over the floor.
'Have to heal…' she gasped, fighting back tears with anger, refusing to give her opponent the satisfaction as she pumped as much of her stolen power as she dared to supplement her aura, only to curse as the wound refused to close no matter how much power she directed towards it 'Damn it, I won't let it end like this-!'
"You've lost, Cinder Fall." Her assailant spoke for the first time, Cinder glaring up at him in as he stood over her, his features still hidden by the shadow of his hood "Your deceptions unveiled, your pawns dead of scattered. Even as we speak, Ironwood's fleet should be done picking off the Grimm well outside Vale's borders."
"You-!" Cinder swore, attempting to rise to her feet only to choke as the man's boot caught her right in the stomach lifting her off the ground before slamming her against the wall again, sending a fresh wave of agony through her body as she found herself unable to fight back the urge to wretch, a wave of bloody vile spilling across the floor before a boot slammed her face into it.
"Was it worth it, Red Queen?" he demanded, the mocking use of her 'title' a stark contrast to the cold indifference in his tone "You were prepared to end hundreds of thousands of lives, people that had never done anything to you, just to watch the world burn." he grabbed her by the hair as he pulled back his hood "Now look at you; a queen without subjects, without a dominion, without a prayer."
Cinder said nothing, merely looked up into those hooded features, into the face of the boy she'd deemed necessary to remove, his admittedly handsome features no longer exuding childish innocence, his blue eyes, once so full of life now brimming with the cold resolve of a killer, his once tousled golden hair hanging limply to the sides of his face as if all the life had drained out of them,
"...You tell me." She replied coyly, some of her old smugness returning as she watched the coldness in his eyes give way to hot anger, a thrill racing through her body as she watched him raise his bloodstained sword above his head, bracing herself for her inevitable death, knowing that in the end she would deny Ozpin the pleasure of discerning the truth behind her actions.
'And besides', she mused as she stared into the cold, focussed eyes of her executioner 'There are worse ways to die than at the hands of a man with eyes like that…' she closed her own with a longing sigh as the blade came down 'I only wish I could have been there to see the suffering that could have forged such eyes…'
And I'll leave off there for now.
As you may have guessed, the basic Premise of this fic is everyone's favourite Dork-Knight, Jaune Arc, running around Yharnam, and the trials and tribulations he faces during said clusterfuck that turned him from the loveable goof we all know and mock to the badass killing machine above.
Bit of a warning, while it will follow the main plot from the Game, there will be certain differences due to Jaune's presence not being a 'scripted' event. Whether this means things will be better or worse, who can say?
Well, I technically can but I don't wanna, spoilers amiright?
Also, for those of you who keep asking. YES, some of my earlier fics are being put up for adoption. If there's a specific fic you feel like taking a swing at, feel free to send me a PM first, do not simply ask for it in a review, unsigned or otherwise.