With my excitement having faded several days ago, I found myself facing an annoyingly potent problem: how was I supposed to 'show off'?
My mother had given no answer. Currently I was in a store, looking through magazines for ideas. Or at least, I would have been had I not gotten sidetracked with a weapons magazine.
I have always been fascinated with weapons, and often times found myself evaluating how difficult it would be to fight to user, assuming they were skilled with their weapon.
Yet the training ingrained into me never allowed me to drop my guard, and I heard the door to the store slam open.
Taking this as my cue to move, I silently set the magazine down, moving like a wraith using the shelves as cover, peeking out to see what was happening.
I snickered, remembering our previous encounter. I had made a fool of Roman previously, but intended to not allow him to escape this time.
I was in no mood for Glynda's judgement.
I had the perfect opportunity, and took it, although I knew I wouldn't get away unscathed, it was a small sacrifice to pay to imprison a criminal mastermind. However, Glynda Goodwitch had jumped in, mistaking my sacrificial plan as recklessness, and Roman had gotten away.
Roman had gotten away.
Needless to say, I was furious. In a small rebellion, I had hid my face from her, covering it with my mask, and pulling the hood of my cloak up.
My cloak was supposedly on me as a baby, made by Summer, and Raven had enlarged it as I grew. It warmed my heart to think that mother would learn to sew just for me.
The 'Goodwitch' was pacing back and forth behind me, while I grumpily considered fleeing, but I knew there was no point.
"Do you know how much danger you put yourself in?" She suddenly said, sternly.
"I would've had Roman Torchwick behind bars, had you not interfered. A few injuries mean nothing in the face of that." I muttered, unwilling to hide the bitterness in my voice.
Glynda glared at her, "Recklessness will get you killed."
"I was fully aware that I would sustain injuries, but I found it necessary and disregarded it." I said in reply, fully aware that I was arguing, and was cherishing the frustration Glynda showed.
But Glynda Goodwitch was one of Ozpin's most trusted professors. If she was here, there was a chance that Ozpin was too.
As if reading my thoughts, Ozpin materialized from the shadows of the doorway before me.
I regarded him with respect, for mother has told me many stories of him, and Raven tells no false truths.
"Hello." Was all he said, before taking a sip from a coffee mug.
"Hello." I echoed.
He set a plate of cookies before me, commenting, "You...have silver eyes."
"Yes, and you have silver hair, is it a necessary comment?" I found myself retorting, still annoyed at Glynda. I didn't even glance at the cookies, staring at Ozpin through my mask.
"I suppose not. May I have your name?" He asked kindly, but with the room we were in, it felt like I was being interrogated.
And I was trained to not give any information to them.
"Scarlet Cardinal." I answered, mentally berating myself for using my beloved nickname as a false identity.
"Really?" Ozpin said, an ever-so-slight undertone of amusement in his voice. "I recall your application saying 'Ruby Rose'."
I narrowed my eyes. "I wasn't expecting you to actually read those. I thought you'd leave the paperwork to her or someone." I said, indicating Glynda.
"No, I take my students very seriously, something you may come to learn." Ozpin replied. "Now, you want to come to my school?"
"Yes?" I said hesitantly, not believing that this was going exactly how I had planned it when I was forced into the room. Nothing ever goes as planned.
"Very well then."
The next day, after saying farewell to my mother, I found myself on a Bullhead to Beacon.
I was still not quite sure what had happened yesterday, but I found myself examining the other occupants of the Bullhead through the eyeholes in my mask, before taking a seat on a built-in bench. There were many unfamiliars, and only three familiars: the heiress, Weiss Schnee; the Invincible Girl, Pyrrha Nikos; and a cat faunus, who I ran into on a mission. Ignoring the fact that she used to be in the White Fang, in favor of why she was here, I made a mental note to find her and talk to her, first chance I got.
Weiss Schnee, if the rumours about her were true, was not someone I should mess with, but I was never, and don't ever plan to ever be, the type to judge people based of off gossip. Another mental note, another person to talk to.
Pyrrha Nikos was perhaps the broadest of my concerns. I refuse to judge her, or treat her any less than a normal person until she proves the gossip to be correct. Maybe she'd make a good rival? One more person to meet.
The ride to Beacon was a short one, and soon enough, the Bullhead had let the students off.
Most of the students headed straight for the auditorium, but I stayed back, watching.
A shockingly familiar face came into view, yet the colors were all wrong.
Purple eyes, instead of scathing red, blonde hair, instead of pitch black. Suddenly there was no doubt in my mind.
My mother had told me of her actual daughter, the one she had birthed, Yang. I had always wanted to meet her, and yet, here she was, in the most unlikely place that I would find her in.
She glanced around nervously, following the crowd, not noticing me. Her clothes consisted of a brown leather jacket with a black shirt, and baggy gray pants. The only notable piece of metal on her were the bracelets, which were likely her weapon.
There was an ache in my heart as I realized that there had been a hint of fear in her eyes. Never had I expected to discover her under these conditions, but I would have to accept it. I found it highly unlikely that Yang remembered me, as I was taken when she was three. Rather than a sister, like I had always found myself silently wanting, she could be a friend.
We followed the crowd of students, heading straight for the auditorium.
There were no seats, so we stood and waited. I noted the presence of the four I wish to talk to, and approached the one closest to me, Weiss Schnee.
"Hello," I prodded, hoping for a conversation.
"What do you want?" She replied with annoyance clear in her voice.
"I just wanted conversation." I answered honestly.
"Why?" She asked obnoxiously.
I was starting to realize that, on the surface at least, the rumours about her were true. There was no telling whether the 'Ice Queen' she pulled of was her true arrogant nature, or if it was simply a facade made for a bigger purpose.
"Well...why not?" I said, not quite sure what else to say. My mother had never been a talkative person, and naturally that trait passed on to me.
The heiress huffed in annoyance, but didn't protest.
Silence reigned for a few minutes, before Weiss hugged once more.
"Well?" She said expectantly.
"What do you want to talk about?"
Dumbfounded that she actually accepted my invitation to converse, I found myself stuttering while blabbering the most random, and weirdest topics I knew of. Eventually I settled for something I could actually work with. "Umm… What type of weapon do you use?"
Weiss sighed in what I could only think of as exasperation, before bringing emphasis to the rapier at her side, sheathed.
"Right…" Was all that came out of my mouth, before I made out the more interesting points of the weapon.
"A revolving chamber with Dust?" I blurted. I was far past the point of feeling embarrassment for my actions, to the point where I simply didn't care.
"Yes." Was Weiss's simple reply.
"Well that's nice, I use-" But before I could say anymore, a body barreled into me, and I stumbled forward. Catching myself before I fell, I whirled around, immediately spotting my assailant, a blundering blonde boy, who immediately started apologizing to me.
Behind him, was Yang, who had apparently pushed the boy into her. She looked angry and her eyes were a blazing red.
'Just like Mother's…'
Turning my attention back to the boy, "It's okay, I'm fine. What were you talking to her about?" I said, having reached my conclusion, pointing to Yang.
The boy looked to the direction my finger was pointing, gulping audibly when he saw Yang, "I was talking about my family…"
I blinked, and could almost feel the blood draining from my face beneath my mask.
"Oh…" Was all I could muster. There was no point in feeling regret, as I was barely A year old when I was taken, but even so I felt the dreadful emotion.
Weiss looked at me curiously, while the boy introduced himself as Jaune Arc and made a miserable attempt at flirting.
The speech that Ozpin gave, followed by orders from Glynda to go to the ballroom to sleep, seemed to last for eternity.
We stopped at the locker room, leaving our equipment in our assigned lockers before heading to the ballroom.
I got changed quickly, coming out in a bright red sleeping gown that reached to my knees, without my mask.
I found a free space near the cat faunus, and claimed it, sitting down with my back against the wall.
I glanced over at the girl, not sure how to start conversation.
"So… Umm… What book is that?" I suddenly blurted.
The girl looked up at me, the ever-so-slight hint of annoyance in her eyes, but when she studied my face, she suddenly was at loss for words.
"Wha… You're…" She stuttered, unable to form a sentence.
"Yeah… Long time no see, eh?" I mumbled, smiling nervously.
She relaxed and went back to her book, but it was obvious that she wasn't reading it, "Yeah…"
"So… Why are you here?" I asked hesitantly.
"I could ask you the same thing." She replied, "But if you must know, I defected."
I nodded, a sense of happiness coming over me as I realized that she wasn't a spy of sorts or anything. Of course, there was always that possibility that she was lying, but I felt that she had told the truth.
"My mother sent me here to graduate." I said, she deserved at least that much after informing me of her position.
She nodded, having met Raven before. We sat in companionable silence for a few minutes, before I remembered about Yang. I searched for her with my eyes, spotting her fairly quickly.
She was dressed in the same outfit she had worn during the day, and was already asleep. With any thought of talking to her destroyed, I sighed.
Crossing my legs and closing my eyes, I accepted the day's events, and started falling asleep almost immediately.
But as if on cue, another voice spoke up.
"Is anyone sleeping here..?"
I opened my eyes and looked up, recognizing Weiss, slightly surprised.
"Umm...no…" I replied. She set herself beside me, readying herself for the night.
I once more attempted to fall asleep, and was once more interrupted. "Pardon me, but can I ask why you where that mask? You don't appear to have any facial scars or anything of the like."
"It was a gift from my mother, and she has taught me to avoid letting enemies see my face." I replied once more, forcing the annoyance to not show in my voice.
"Oh…" And the failed attempt at conversation dwindled into nothingness.
With peace of mind restored, and no more apparent interruptions, I quickly found myself asleep.
The morning came slowly, with dreams of my beloved mother barring my path to consciousness. Eventually, my path was broken, destroyed by an annoyingly loud voice of "It's morning, it's morning, it's morning, it's~ morning~!"
My eyes squinted open, willing the voice to stop. It came from an orange haired girl with blue eyes, who was harassing a magenta eyed boy, who apparently was used to it all.
'Poor guy…' I couldn't stop the thought from coming, but I ignored the chatterbox and her victim, in favor of getting ready for initiation.
I got up, noticing the absence of the faunus and Weiss, they must already be up. I got changed into my combat gear, a long sleeve, short cut, dark red dress, with black stockings, along with knee high black boots with red laces, a pair of red fingerless gloves, and, of course my mask.
Breakfast was quick, consisting of a variety of omelets and pancakes.
Directly after I finished, I headed to the locker room, ignoring the groans of the students who wished for sleep, but didn't want to miss initiation.
Apparently seeing my escape from the sea of sleepy first years, Jaune Arc raced up to me, once more attempting conversation.
"So, umm, I never caught your name." He started.
"Ruby. Ruby Branwen Rose." I stated, not looking at him, and neither did my pace slow, forcing him to walk fast to keep up with me.
"That's a nice name. So, uhh…" And as quickly as the conversation started, it faded.
We walked in slightly awkward silence, quickly entering the locker room, and going our separate ways. I found my locker quickly, and retrieved my weapons, placing them in their correct positions.
I spotted Weiss conversing with Pyrrha, or at least trying to. She didn't appear to be getting any leeway. I walked up to the two, jumping straight into the conversation.
"Hey, guys, what are you two talking about?" I asked, even though I already knew, having heard it from where my locker was.
"I was thinking that me and Pyrrha here could be on a team together." Weiss said. "I don't think I would mind being on a team with you though, you don't seem as idiotic as some of the others."
"I will take that as a compliment." I said, even though I knew she meant no harm, "So, Pyrrha, huh? I've heard many rumors about you, but I've come to tell you that you don't just 'get' my respect, you have to earn it. So, try your best today." I said, giving a polite bow and immediately exiting the conversation.
I didn't miss the small smile Pyrrha had on her face.
Almost as soon as I left, Jaune jumped in, and the conversation took a turn that Weiss clearly didn't want it to take.
The chatterbox and her victim were apparently making some 'sloth plan' of sorts, something which I wanted no part in, so I left them alone.
The only other one in the vicinity was Yang. I hesitantly walked up to her, trying to shake off my nervousness.
"Hello." I said.
She merely glared at me, and made no attempt to reply.
Not wanting to push the girl, apparently with anger and/or trust issues, I fled.
The walk up the cliff wasn't a long one, and many had already gathered atop what appeared to be mechanical springboards. I took my place at one near the middle, crossing my arms and waiting for instruction.
The remaining students trickled out over the course of the next twenty minutes.
Jaune had claimed the springboard to my right, and was attempting to ask me if I wanted to be his partner. I said nothing, and eventually the courage he had worked up to talk to me faded.
Ozpin and Glynda gave out the instructions: find the relics and return to the cliff. We would be launched into the air, something I had anticipated judging by the launchpads, and would have to use a landing strategy to touch down safety. Hearing that I felt sorry for Jaune, who I was certain had never experienced actual combat. The one that caught my attention was perhaps the most ridiculous method of obtaining a partner: first person you make eye contact with is your partner for the next four years.
I went through the people I knew in this school.
The cat faunus, Blake if I remember correctly, was my first priority in terms of a partner. We know of each other's background to a small extent, one of which could grow greatly.
Yang would be a decent partner too. I'd finally be able to converse with her, as she would be forced to team up with me, and she would have to talk to her teammates.
Weiss is an option I wouldn't mind, but not my first choice, but then again, not my last. She doesn't seem quite as obnoxious as I first thought, confirming my suspicions that her 'Ice Queen' is a facade.
Pyrrha was another good option. The 'Invincible Girl' isn't a title you can get from money or tricks. A champion, a warrior, and one that will surely earn my respect very quickly.
Out of those I knew, including the chatterbox and her friend, Jaune was my last choice. I believe he has potential, yes, but I am not ready to train someone, and he could probably not survive against a simple Beowolf without help.
As if on cue with my finishing thoughts, Ozpin finished his explanation, and the first launchpads sent their students flying. Weiss was the first one, and I idly note the direction she flew in.
More likely than not, my sense of direction would be jarred once I'm in the air, but a mental note never hurt anybody.
My turn quickly came, and I was suddenly free.
Jaune's panicked screaming broke me from my reverie, and I glanced behind myself. He was spinning with no sense of balance, turning green. Shaking my head to clear the rather disgusting image from my mind, I readied my scythe, shooting some of my regular rounds to slow my descent. When in range with the trees, I hooked my scythe around one with a large trunk, spinning slightly, before it gave way. I landed with a roll, bouncing out of the way of the trunk as it came down upon the ground. I had cut straight through it.
I sent a silent apology to the innocent tree, before moving onwards.
I broke into a dead on sprint, whizzing through the trees like a soft breeze. A breeze that could break every bone in her body with a misstep.
However, my training left no room for mistake.
But, of course, it would be odd if my first choice actually ended up becoming my partner, wouldn't it?
I slowed down quickly, digging my feet into the ground and coming to a skidding halt.
I had almost barreled into Weiss Schnee. We locked gazes, and at that moment our fate was sealed. She was my partner.
She blinked, as if not sure of what had just happened, before she started walking off
"Come on, let's go." She said irritably.
I scratched my head, not quite sure how to break the news to her.
"Umm… North is that way." I said, pointing to my right.
She blinked multiple times, her face getting redder each time.
"I-I knew that!" She blurted, stomping in the direction I had pointed.
I couldn't help a quiet chuckle, and followed her.
I do recall mentioning that I've been thinking about this idea for the majority of a year… You probably shouldn't get used to quick updates, but it'll happen for maybe the next chapter and if you're lucky, the one after that, and then it'll slow…
But yeah, review pleaseeee