I'm not done, yet!

Okay, so here's the reason why I've been hiatus. I-.

The Arc Knight VS The Dark Ninja - Interlude / Chapter 4.5: Brother's Reaper

(6 Years Ago, Signal Academy…)

In a classroom, very much similar (yet minor) to Beacon Academy's arena classroom, a collection of students fill up the surrounding seats. Walking up to the center is a man in a red loose fitting outfit, a dark purple tie, and combat sandals. His eyes are yellow, his hair is long and silver, and he has a second set of ears above his head, indicating to be a dog faunus.

Mister TotoYasha: "Good afternoon, students. Thank you all for sticking around class a little longer. For today, we have a special match, here, in our classroom. In just a few moments, you all will bear witness to our top student in a battle, with his grades as well as tournament qualifications on the line. As soon as he changes over, and our preparations are made, we can begin."

(15 Minutes Later, Locker Room…)

In the locker room, the same student that Mister TotoYasha spoke of gets ready for his match. He takes off his school uniform from over his hoodie up under, and changes into his attire of blue jeans, boots, and combatant accessories. Before he could put the armor of his attire on, he hears someone walk up to him.

Catherine: "Hey, Jauney! You almost ready?"

Jaune: "Oh, hey Catty! Yeah, I'll be done soon. I just need to put on my armor."

Jaune Arc, at the age of 12, is a First-Year student at Signal Academy. He removes his hood, showing his young slightly scarred face to his youngest, yet older 13 year old sister, Catherine Arc. She is also a student, one year ahead of him, who folds down her face-concealing collar from over her uniform.

Catherine: "So, ya nervous?"

Jaune: "(nervous) What?! Pfft, nah, I'm not nervous! Why would I be nervous?! (sarcasm) It's not like if I don't win this match, I won't get the heirloom armor and weapons after this! And not to mention my education to be a Huntsman is on the line!"

Catherine: "Jaune, it's okay if you're nervous. This is a big deal for you. It's only natural that you feel this way."

Jaune: "*sigh* I just don't get why dad would arrange this much pressure on me. If he really believes that I'll get into Beacon in 5 years, why won't he just let me qualify for this year's tournament like everybody else?"

Catherine: "It's BECAUSE he has so much faith in you, that he anticipates you winning (no offense to your opponent). You know how daddy is, always so confident. It's almost like he's lived long enough to see things before they happen. Come to think of it, that'd explain how he survives mom on her bad days after all these years."

Jaune And Catherine: "*laugh*"

?: "*chuckle*" At the locker room entrance, Jaune and Catherine turn their heads, and become surprised to see someone standing there. And their heart rates increase from who it is. "He probably also wants you to adapt to whatever opponents you face. You never know who or what you might come across in the future."

From who they see, the two siblings ease off of their relaxed positions.

Jaune: "Adam?!"

Adam: "...Hello, my brother."

Just as he sees him, Jaune gets up from the bench and sprints to Adam. Adam only smirks and awaits his approach. Jaune then tackles Adam to the ground. He only embraces Jaune, and they both laugh.

Adam: "Hahaha! It's great to see you too, Jaune! It's been too long! How are you?!"

Jaune: "Haha! Yeah! I'm great! Even better, now…! And three years, actually. But no visits… no calls… We don't know what the heck you've been up to at Haven, besides training…"

Adam: "And the first thing you do after I come back is tackle me instead of asking? Heh heh."

Both Jaune and Adam stand back up and walk over towards Catherine, watching them happily. They all give a group hug for having such a reunion.

Jaune: "I missed you, bro. WE missed you!"

Adam: "...I missed you guys too." Their hugs remain, as if scared to never have this moment again. "I'm sorry I haven't been in touch with everyone. There's certain restrictions to using Scrolls and contacting the outside world at Haven Academy. Plus, the Headmaster seems to really admire my traits of 'leadership' as he puts it, as well as my Semblance and other abilities. So I've been doing missions quite frequently… I've wanted to catch up with you guys so badly. I just had my hands tide… Sometimes, literally for escape practices. Heh heh heh."

Catherine: "Hehehe. That's okay. Your parents have been in touch with us over the years. But from the looks of what they said, you seem like you're doing great. You look great, too!"

Adam: "Yes, thank you."

During this time, Adam's attire and appearance are nearly completely different than years later. His trench coat with its red insides has more of a yukata appearance, being completely folded across his body, and having no tail-like slits at his bottom ends. He does however have a long red sash across his rear and hips, with a slit on one side. He has no white or red tribal marks on his outfit, other than his red wilting rose emblem on his back. But a major overall difference to his whole appearance is both his outfit and horns, in contrast to later on, are bright white.

And of course, Adam wears no mask, showing off his Silver Eyes.

Jaune: "So what brings you here, Adam?"

Adam: "I just came over to wish you the best, and hope that you're going to 'give it' your best out there."

Jaune: "Oh, you bet…! Still, I've been feeling that this is a bit much for a First-Year like myself. Putting aside how far we've come in school, I'm the only one who's been put to this kind of test. Students don't even qualify for the tournament until halfway through the year. And yet I get this halfway through the semester…! Why?"

Adam: "I understand, brother. A lot seems to be placed on you by Papa-Jacques(Jacob), hasn't it? And you're hoping to follow through with your goals, without his expectations getting in the way, right?" From what Jaune hears from Adam, his heart becomes less tense, seeing how he understands. Even after being gone over the years, his natural born leadership picks up on what bothers Jaune. "But think of it like this: instead of trying to meet his expectations, consider the fact that you're already qualified for the tournament, if not more. And this is the way to show it. Your advanced inheritance, and our home training puts you in a league that could rival Huntsmen. That's why you and I have been training together for so long, despite me being older."

Jaune: "I… guess you got a point there."

Adam: "Also, you can't forget that you lack proper control, or even awareness of your aura system. Not that you haven't been doing well without it, but from what I've been told, it seems as though not even the Combat School here can get a grip on how you can utilize it to your full advantage. So, by showing everyone that you're destined for greater things from your skills alone, then maybe this qualification can help you promote and skip a few grades till you reach a Huntsman Academy. There, you ought to get better training and awareness of your aura by more professional Huntsmen. We all know you deserve it."

Jaune: "Yeah… Yeah, you're right, Adam! And- And maybe, if I get to promote and skip a few more grades, I can fight alongside you, in the Huntsman Academy!"

Adam: "Maybe, yeah. That'd be great, actually. I get to have a proper challenge again, and settle our score over the years. And if I remember correctly, Catherine here is on the lines of promoting herself, right? So then I might have two challenges to look forward to, like old times!"

Jaune: "Yeah, that's right! You might be a Huntress before leaving your teen years, Catty."

Adam: "Isn't that nice?! Way to go!"

Catherine: "Aw shucks, you guys!" Catherine blushes from the attention transferred to her and puts her collar back up, trying to hide it. And she excuses herself as her Scroll's notification goes off. "Oh, hehehe. Look at that! The news!"

Adam: "...*sigh* Well Jaune, that's all I came here to do. I can't do anything more, but just to wish you luck. The rest is up to you."

Jaune: "Aw, really?! B-But this is hardly even a visit! W-When can we see you again, after this?!"

Adam: "I'm not sure really. Hopefully right before the next Vytal Festival Tournament and during. But my father said he has some mission requests coming up. Something about Huntsman duties outside of Mistral's military jurisdiction. It's the whole reason why I'm in Haven Academy, instead of Beacon, like we all wanted…"

Jaune: "Yeah… I get it. I think dad said something like that for himself soon, too. Something outside of Vale's military jurisdiction, also. But as both a Huntsman and Councilman, he can still be active. He still has his seats in each Kingdom's Councils. You remember how we all ended up hopping all across continents sometimes?"

Adam: "Yup! Vacuo Bonfires, Shion Festivals, and Atlesian Balls (where we'd all wear fedoras just for my sake)."

Jaune: "I'm glad he hasn't tried getting us in those schools… But if it weren't for him being Vale's General, I'd probably end up in another Combat School. Like one in Atlas, or maybe Sanctum Academy."

Adam: "Probably. But who knows. With both of us hopping cross-continents, we just might cross paths again."

Jaune: "Yeah, I would hope so!"

To their interruption, Catherine calls out to Jaune and Adam.

Catherine: "Hey you guys, come here!" Jaune and Adam take note of concern in Catherine's tone, and stride over to her. "The News has been showing some heavy stuff."

Jaune: "What's it about?"

Catherine: "It's another report about the protests of the White Fang. Here, watch."

By the mention of the White Fang, everybody's hearts skip a beat. Especially Adam's, considering his own heritage and history. And to see what Catherine refers to, him and Jaune get closer to Catherine to watch her Scroll. With it, they see a younger Cyril Ian and Lisa Lavender being in the middle of the report for the Vale News Network (VNN).

Cyril Ian: "With Huntsmen on the scene, they've managed to apprehend the offending store owner, closing down his cafe, and turning him into custody for further questioning. Soon after, the White Fang protesters have all disbanded from the premises, with only one of the members shot at their tail and abdomen. They are being transported to the hospital right now as we speak. We now turn over to Lisa Lavender for a report on history's graph of recorded Faunus discrimination over the years. Lisa?"

Lisa Lavender: "Thanks, Cyril. As you can see from this chart, between the years of the Faunus Rights Revolution and the White Fang's first appearance 12 years ago, reports have been estimated that the records of Faunus discrimination have went through 5% annual decreases here in Vale. However, these reports mainly include Huntsmen and Huntresses, both human and Faunus, being on stand-by in certain parts of town before taking action against violent discrimination, and racial harrassments. Very much like the current incident announced by Cyril. And after making peaceful arrangements with the White Fang during their own peaceful protests, the Huntsmen have debriefed on their success of restoring balance with the group, resulting in the chart before us. And keep in mind, this also shows of how it exceeds the 1% annual decrease that consists of police reports. Evidence shows that police departments being less than strictly trained like that of Huntsmen is the reason for these lower ratings of progress. Meanwhile, others have placed blame on some police for their own acts of injustice against Faunus."

Catherine turns the screen of her Scroll off, and puts it away. From seeing the report, both her, Jaune, and Adam remain silent for a moment, wanting to process what all that had taken place and informed to them.

Catherine: "...That was terrible… what they did to that person. Like, what do you guys think about all this?"

Jaune: "I just hope that person from the protest will be okay. Getting shot without your aura present is one of the worst feelings to have… But still, I don't think it was all for nothing. Had the White Fang not been there, that store owner probably could've harmed more people if he weren't arrested."

Catherine: "Yeah, that is a plus."

By listening to Jaune and Catherine, Adam stays silent, and a little uncomfortable.

Jaune: "Overall, I think that we're making progress here in Vale, with Uncle Ghira's organization. It was a whole lot worse years ago. I hate the idea of Faunus being treated like… like garbage! I may not be in their shoes, but it kills me inside thinking about what all they go through. Some of the Balls we went to at Atlas even made me sick… But I've seen changes in different parts of town. More people are starting to accept Faunus as equals as the years go by." Almost hesitant to ask now, Jaune turns over to Adam, with his head facing the other way. "...What do you think about this, Adam?"

It takes him a while, but Adam musters back up his mentality to speak.

Adam: "*chuckle* ...I love you, bro. And I love how innocent you still are. *sigh* You never changed over the years… and I hope you never do… I get what you're saying, and bless both of your hearts… But my thoughts still stand as well. Even with Ghira's leadership, I still don't trust the White Fang… especially after my time in Mistral." Jaune and Catherine only listen to Adam and listen in on his thoughts. "Let's keep this political debate brief, since we don't have much time, and I haven't seen you guys in so long. But not all problems need to be tackled by immediate drastic solutions. The White Fang carried weapons, and they came in a big group, but they looked like they were scared to use that to their advantage. They would've gotten nowhere if it weren't for the Huntsmen that showed up at that cafe. I feel that they're the ones that set the balance, given their nobility and righteousness, and their will to take action. Especially those that come from Beacon, when seeing what they produce."

Jaune: "Eheh heh. I guess you haven't changed much yourself either, huh?" Adam only smirks, seeing that Jaune gives a subtle response. "I can't go against that logic. There may not be a whole lot of Huntsmen, and Huntresses, but they've always been the heroes that set the example for everyone."

Adam: "I agree… There aren't enough of them out there, because we've yet to grow, and give them the helping hand! Haha! You and me, brother…" Adam places his hand on Jaune's shoulder. "...And sister…" He places his hand on Catherine's shoulder as well. "...We will be the ones to spark inspiration to all of Remnant. To motivate boys and girls, human and Faunus, to fight for a better world, for everyone!" Jaune and Catherine give confident nods from hearing Adam's motivational speech. "So before I leave you all once more, let us not forget, that right here, in this moment, we stay as family! A family that'll change the world… right?"

Jaune and Catherine look at each other, and nod their heads once more. And they take one more look at Adam.

Jaune And Catherine: "Right!"

They give one more passionate group hug to each other. After a moment, Catherine steps back, feeling that Jaune and Adam share deeper bonds with each other. A hold on for a while longer, but soon, regretfully let go.

Adam: "...Take care, brother." Adam then turns around, walking out of the door. "You too, Catherine."

Two of the Arc siblings watch as their honorary brother, Adam Taurus, walks away with their last look of his face. They now only watch his back, of the Wilting Rose.

(15 More Minutes Later…)

Mister TotoYasha: "Everyone, take your seats. The match is about to begin." Everyone in the arena classroom take their seats as they wait. "I advise you all to be better than your usual best behaviors today. Just so you all know, we are all being monitored by some very powerful people." Mister TotoYasha's advice leads everyone to look over at the staff members in the front seats, and up at the VIP room above. There, two people shaded by the glass look down and wait for the fight to come. "They are here to assess Mr. Arc, and his surpassing performance, here in Signal. So if you all will, be sure to conduct yourselves properly."

Jaune, on the other side of the arena's door, prepares himself as he stretches, while still nervous. He does however find himself flexible and mostly confident enough in his squire-like armor. Over his regular attire of his hoodie, gloves, orange sleeves, jeans, and mid-calf boots, he wears white hard-leather armor over his legs, arms, torso, and hood. At his hip is his strap, holding his original weapon set, Flourish and Fair. He remains unseen by everyone, while hearing what all his teacher says, through the door.

Mister TotoYasha: "Mr. Arc, would you please step into the arena."

Jaune puts his hood up, as he steps through the door, into the arena. His hood conceals his eyes with its shade, allowing no one to identify half of his face. Nonetheless, most of the students applaud him for his approach. He stops on one side of the arena and awaits his teacher's analysis of him.

Mister TotoYasha: "Jaune Arc here has been one of the most exceptional students that I have ever had the honor of teaching, here in our school. As much as the other staff and I would like to take credit for his progress, he however first came here with the already trained mind and body that has been under the parenthood of our beloved General, Jacques Arc. Also known as, the #1 Huntsman in Remnant. Him, as well as his other sisters that have enrolled in this school. Most of which have already graduated at earlier ages. I would also like to thank them for their performances as a means of showing the school how… *sigh* durable we should keep our buildings with future battles…"

TotoYasha states this, both shamefully and annoyed, remembering how the school had to be reconstructed upon receiving more powerful students at young ages. It causes everyone to chuckle quietly.

Mister TotoYasha: "*clears throat* However, given that the academics of this school have come up short in giving Mr. Arc the proper guidance in combat and utilizing his Semblance, the faculty has made agreements with the General, and have elected to give Mr. Arc a proper exam for observation. For he has a high reliance on music that has allowed him to succeed in every combat exam, flawlessly. There is also the lack of control and understanding of his uncommon aura. Only whenever he is not listening to music, does he perform at an average level that allows for the staff to properly teach him. But not enough to bring him to the same superior level or usage of his unusual aura. And not wanting to look past these exceptional skills, Mr. Arc has been given the opportunity to qualify early for the tournament, in order to be speculated for possible promotion into his next year early. With him much closer in enrollment to a Huntsman Academy, there he will be more prone to receive further studies in how he may excel in his abilities. That is, IF he is to pass this exam… Nonetheless, the results of his grades and studies in his classes have proven either moderately acceptable or above average. So I myself bear the uttermost faith in his success."

Jaune: "(sarcasm) Gee, thanks. No pressure or anything. By all means, remind everyone of my problems… At least he believes that I'll win. So that does help." Jaune looks up to the VIP area where others seem to be observing him with interests. It makes him slightly more nervous. "Still, with all this attention, it's no wonder why girls never talk to me…"

But little to Jaune's knowledge, there were indeed other students gossiping over him in silence.

Student 1: "That First-Year is kinda cute! I wish he'd take off his hood so I can see his eyes."

Student 2: "Are you sure that's a guy? Kinda looks like a girl from here."

Student 3: "He looks so nervous."

Student 4: "This is the First-Year's top student in Signal? Doesn't look like much, even for the General's kid."

Among the audience, there is a particular younger student in red that catches Jaune's attention. Skipping her class from another school, she smiles and admires a fellow hood concealing, socially awkward youth like herself.

Jaune: "*inhale* Come on Jaune, focus. Nevermind all that." By the sight of this person, Jaune tries to mentally work up his… "*exhale* Confidence. You got this… Be… confident."

Mister TotoYasha: "And we hope that not only will his performance today put him in such high leagues, but it will push him to his limits like we've yet to see before… And to test him now is one of this school's former students. One in which I've had the pleasure of training, alongside my brother. A student that can take nearly any shot, and give it right back, much stronger than before. They do this under fierce, yet controlled and confident intensity, under the reddening of one's vision, and their eyes of intrigue! If you will, please step to the arena, and welcome back… Adam Taurus!"

(15 minutes ago…)

Jaune: "... Three years, actually. But no visits… no calls… B-But this is hardly even a visit! W-When can we see you again, after this?!"

Adam: "...Right here, in this moment, we stay as family…"

(Present…)

Jaune: "*sigh* It'll be another while before I get to see you as my brother, Adam. It's been hard doing this without you, since you went to Haven. But this, once again… is you, Adam, as my opponent…!"

Adam Taurus, after being called out, walks up to the other side, across from Jaune in the arena. He has the same look as before from the locker room, but with a few more accessories.

Over his eyes, Adam bears a pair of eye-pro sunglasses. Very much like his mask to come, it covers his eyes and nearly half of his face, from his forehead to above his cheekbones. With no tribal or Grimm markings, the lens-guard is white and red, settling on his ears and across his forehead. The lens themself are highly reflective red, and rest on the bridge of his nose.

In addition, he wears an eastern style pair of bracers. Ones in which some students wear from Haven Academy.

Adam's weapon of choice is none other than Wilt and Blush. In its original state now, the sword handle and gun system are white. The wilting rose emblem, the blade sheathed within, and even the buttstock, are a full scarlet red. And the whole set holds on a dark red strap, across and behind his torso.

Adam: "It's no wonder why pressure is so high on Jaune. The expectations, the set up, the audience… It's excessive, and absurd… even from the teacher… But I'm here with you, Jaune… Not just because Papa-Jacques gave me this mission, or because they want something out of you, but for what YOU want… Let's just get this done, so we can move on and pursue our own dreams."

Mister TotoYasha: "Adam Taurus, a graduate of Signal, and currently attending Haven Academy, is yet another one of my top students, ever since I began teaching in this school. And little wonder, since he too had been under the trained mindset of General Arc. But mostly as a substitute, beside his own father, Yamato Taurus. A retired Veteran from the Great War's hard-fought aftermath. Giving the staff and I little to critique, but much to admire, his skills have been honed by his father, with keen senses, sharp precisive attacks, and quick decisive tactics. These traits, passed from father to son, have given many of our earlier students something to study and work up to. This, along with home sparring sessions with his rivaling partner, Jaune Arc himself, pushing his very limits. Much more than Jaune's instructors have come close to in months."

Adam: "Each time we've fought in the past, one of us has prevailed over the other, striving to be stronger, as well as make the other stronger… But this time…"

Jaune: "...If I am to really succeed, Adam… you can't hold anything back… *chuckle* ...Not that any of us have, before."

Mister TotoYasha: "Now, while Mr. Taurus and Mr. Arc are well known brotherly comrades, the two have been informed that if either of their reputations and records are to remain adequate, they will not take pity on one another. Adam, for embodying Haven Academy and completing his assigned mission, and Jaune, for the current and future academics that he may enroll in. Not age, nor even kinship will be a factor during this match… Before this battle begins, on a last note, you all are to mandatorily put on your sunglasses." Most of everybody within the classroom do as such, taking out the sunglasses they were given. "The battle between the two tend to literally cause seizures when intense, as the General has warned. It's one of the reasons why they wear protective gear over their own vision."

Jaune: "Aside from both of our premature social skills. Glad he left that part out." Jaune smiles, finally seeing Adam in the same arena as him, once again, and before it being a while. "It's not too easy for some of us to pick up on making friends, when you're already at a level above others."

Adam: "...Or from what your life was like before attending schools." Both Jaune and Adam are nearly in sync from what they are in thought of. That is aside from Adam's added reason for lack of social skills. "Other than where my past has brought me…"

Jaune: "My sisters, my brother here, and I can all relate… But we use our statuses to strengthen one another. And this time…!"

Adam: "...With how the cycle's gone with our battles, it's your turn to win… But I have to fight you, by means of winning and breaking that cycle." Adam smirks as well, cherishing their last moment before separating. He sees Jaune reaching for his pouch, and takes out a full set of headphones. He puts it under his hood and over his head. "...Then again, that's always been the goal… until he comes up with his strategic surprises."

Jaune: "Some of which, I've learned from you, and made me do the same."

Mister TotoYasha: "Gentlemen, prepare yourselves. Your match will begin, once you all are in position." From Jaune's pouch again, he takes out a grey outlined, white visor, and puts it over his hood helmet. Both him and Adam unsheathe their swords in preparation. Adam holds Wilt up front with Blush at his side, while still attached to his strap on his body. Jaune on the other hand holds Flourish at the side, and Fair up front, sideways (as if ready to use like a guarding shield). "Students, are you ready?" Adam nods his head, clicking his rifle. Jaune nods his head, and puts the visor down to his eyes, looking at his opponent through the horizontal slits. "3. 2. 1… Fight!"

Right as the signal is given, Jaune and Adam charge at each other and lock swords. With their battle started, they get out of their lock, and clash swords repeatedly. From what everybody witnesses, their fighting styles hold similarities, yet different in their own respects.

While Jaune holds Fair out in defense, he uses the songs in his headphones to align with Adam's movements, and each other's rhythm. It helps Jaune to find the comfort in putting an attack on Adam with every few hits.

With Adam utilizing Wilt on the offense, he has the advantage of using his more experienced and educated skills to put a few attacks on Jaune. However, most of the attacks are on his stubborn rhythmic evasions. Blush on the other hand is yet to be utilized in their current embarked sword fight.

Everyone becomes amazed, seeing the two students in their movements. Half of their swordplay is identical when both blue and red blades clash against one another. But on the other half of their swordplay, Jaune's comes off more as dances, and Adam's show to be something more practiced and well conducted.

But almost ironically, Adam's advantage transitions into a disadvantage against Jaune's smoother movement. It shows as Jaune goes into the offense.

Adam: "*grunt* He's still good. Those dang headphones and their music have always been what backs me in a corner. I only beat him at home last time because I got faster." Just then, Flourish cut across his face. "Hahahaha… So let's fire it up and see if you can triumph."

At that point, Adam chooses to use Blush and change the momentum. Before he could shoot however, Jaune swings Flourish to push it aside. At the same time, he twirls Fair, getting ready to put in firing position. But Adam too swings Wilt and puts Fair out of Jaune's hand. With this opportunity, he swings his sword on Jaune's abdomen ten times, and shoots him.

As Jaune stumbles back, he grabs his rifle, twirling back down from the air. He grabs proper control of his steps, and then holds Fair to shoot Adam in the chest.

Jaune and Adam both start running backwards and shoot at each other with their respectable rifles.

Both Jaune and Adam, while at a distance, then run in circles around the arena trying to shoot each other. Each shot towards Jaune is either smoothly dodged or at a minimum, missed. Each shot towards Adam however is either dodged or embraced by his arms and bracers. And each time the rounds make contact, his red complexion glows. But after Jaune sees what Adam is doing, he ceases his fire, and chooses to dash back up to him.

Adam: "Joy, excitement, determination… eagerness, aggression. I can feel your hunger for battle, stronger than it's ever been…! You might not be fully aware of your usage of aura, but it still dwells through your shots like it should. Subconsciously, for you."

As his glow fades away, Adam runs back up to Jaune approaching him. He is greeted with two air kicks from Jaune before landing, two sword swings, and four danceful sword swings. They all only meet Adam's swinging defense from Wilt. After one more swing from Jaune toward Adam, he dodges it, shoots at Jaune's body, then his feet. Jaune dodges the shots, left and right, and dances backwards, skipping his feet.

While mainly utilizing his shots as a distraction, Adam quickly dashes past Jaune, after giving five quick slashes. He stands behind Jaune, and immediately shoots rapidly at Jaune's back. He then dashes back up to Jaune, and cuts at him upward, putting both of them high in the air.

Adam goes in for another swing. But after Jaune blocks with Fair, he back kicks Adam's chest, then across his face. While falling, the two rapidly clash swords. As they land, they stomp down with a swordlock.

Adam: "He's still getting better! I'm so proud…"

Jaune: "Now, it's time to woo the crowd and send this home!"

Going back to their original routine, the two combatants clash swords repeatedly again. However, Adam puts in more force to his attacks. Only briefly, does Jaune become overpowered, before putting in more speed and strength to his attacks as well. Unlike last time when their battle began with rapid clashes, the whole room flashes bright lights from their sword slashes. Both consciously and subconsciously, do their auras produce.

In addition, in between their sword clashes, they fire their rifles producing even more red and blue lights. They however are met with each other's swift blocks and dodges from the rounds. The whole room flashes red from Wilt and Blush, in between flashing blue from Flourish and Fair.

Witnessing this is the whole audience, now being grateful for the sunglasses that they utilize. But sword swing after gunshot, and gunshot after sword swing, some of the observers even with sunglasses cannot help but feel slightly nauseous from the flashing contrast and vast speed. Some students even had to be excused from either vomiting, or foaming at the mouth from the seizure procedure. One of the members from up in the VIP had shown a sign of disturbance, but by simply massaging their eyelids.

Eventually, the lights start to fade, despite the aggressive impulse of the two. However, Adam's produced red flashes begin to gradually drown out Jaune's flashing blue lights. From what everyone sees, Adam's red features stay glowing while he moves faster than Jaune, slowing down.

Adam: "Excitement, pleasure, fun… doubt, remorse, loss. Gah! You're having too much fun with this, Jaune. That's fine and all, but if you're not gonna take this seriously enough, you'll only bring yourself down if your opponent ends up getting the upper hand. At that point, you won't believe in yourself in defeating them. You'd have lost enthusiasm… I don't wanna go harder on you while you're not giving it your all. But if you can't beat me otherwise, then maybe you're not ready for even championship at the tournament… or even Beacon to be a Huntsman."

To end his barrage of attacks, Adam maneuvers behind Jaune, and uppercuts his sword at his back. Without looking, he shoots Jaune a few distances away. And this gives Jaune just enough time to think.

Jaune: "Egh! He's fast… He's faster than before. But the problem is his new techniques. Plus, I can't put more power in my attacks, unless I risk inducing aura without even knowing it in the heat of battle. He'll just embrace it and get stronger… He IS stronger… If I could just catch up with him and his form…" And then, an idea kicked in. "...Or catch ON to him and his form…! I think I got it this time. But I just need one more push for power." During Jaune's train of thought, he sees Adam dash up to him. "I might run the risk of putting in aura for him to absorb if I push it, but it's worth a shot."

With a burst of enthusiasm, Jaune defends against Adam's first attack with ease. Two strikes from Wilt, and Jaune blocks them with Fair. But from his third strike, Jaune holds it with Flourish, putting in more strength. Adam then sticks out his rifle to fire, before Jaune sticks out his own rifle to block and hold away from him. They hold against each other once more, but in arm crossed sword and rifle lock.

Adam: "That's it, Jaune. Now what'll you do?"

Slowly, Adam's glow fades, and he pushes Jaune back slightly while locked. Jaune sticks to his footing, and looks at his Scroll, reading his aura to be at half of its limit. Trying to regain his composure, he breathes in, and exhales.

And swiftly, he forcefully pulls back and steps to the side, putting Adam off balance and going forward.

Getting to his side, Jaune sweeps toward Adam's feet. But Adam jumps in midair, avoiding Jaune's attempt. As time slows down for the two, they both twirl and face each other. Wilt lunges toward Jaune, sticking out Fair. Jaune moves his head, with the blade briefly going across his cheek. But as it does, it sheaths into Fair. And with Adam having no footing, Jaune takes advantage of his brief control over Wilt.

Jaune: "I got you!"

In that moment, Jaune thrusts Fair forward, and shoots Wilt out, along with Adam and his grasp. He goes across the floor before hitting it. Immediately, he recovers to his feet, but meets Jaune's approach.

The haste that Jaune produces, however, gets the better of him. With Adam's collected mind, in addition to his power boost from Fair, he manages to disarm Flourish from Jaune, high in the air. But the boost itself bestows an aura that Adam ponders.

Adam: "What is this…? Loneliness…? Jaune, are you…? Have you been holding back?"

In the midst of their battle, Adam questions the integrity of Jaune, through the whole fight. He has this thought while believing to have the advantage. However, with Jaune's free hand from Flourish, he makes a fist.

During his few moments without a sword, Jaune punches and shoots at Adam with his fist and Fair in danceful steps. He even swings his butstock around to block at and hit Adam.

Adam: "Aah! Okay, good Jaune! I suppose you're not coming up too short. You found your opening, instead! My aura level's getting lower… But still, I have my fin-!"

Interrupting Adam's thoughts, Flourish starts to come down for Jaune to catch. But at the same time, he throws Fair up in the air, confusing Adam, and catches Flourish to spin slash across Adam's cheek. After the brief juggle maneuver that confused Adam, Jaune of course takes advantage in slashing and punching at Adam.

Jaune: "Haha! I'm winning this, bro! When this is o- …When this is over, I'll be closer to graduating, and we'll go to Beacon toge-." In his thoughts, Jaune feels eager in achieving his dream of becoming a Huntsman. That is, with the help of the tryouts at the moment. But realization has gradually been coming back, as he feels that the fight is close to being concluded. That when their fight was over, they would separate once more, and only attend mutual classes by chance. "...Together?"

The thought alone was enough to put a hint of reluctance in Jaune's moves. And with one of his own swings, Adam cuts across Jaune's chest. But going along with the cut's movement, Jaune twirls along with it to spin back, and jump up in the air. To counter, he grabs Fair, and gives a double swing beside Flourish, downward. Both blade and butstock of Flourish and Fair send Adam across the arena once more.

Adam stays on one knee, trying to recover and catch his breath. He then hears a gunshot from Jaune, which he catches with his hand. His glow fades away, as he gradually stands back up.

The two now face each other, breathing heavily. Even while the audiences have been applauding, the atmosphere becomes more tense. Both Adam and Jaune drown their surroundings aside, despite the cheers getting louder at that moment.

Adam: "*heavy breathing* Heh heh… I get it, Jaune. You're gonna miss me… You're gonna miss me when this is over. That's why you've been feeling the way you are, now." Even with his shaded eyes, Adam picks up on Jaune's expression from a few distances "…But you still kept going. Despite how you felt, you kept fighting, and you've allowed that drive to be what pushed you this far. You allowed for your emotions to work in your favor. If you can keep that up, you can bring just about anyone to their knees… like I might be in a moment. *grunt* I'm really gonna miss you, myself."

Jaune: "*heavy breathing* I don't want this to end… I wish I had more time, other than just today with him… but if I stop here, then nothing will change. He'll be gone, and I won't achieve my goal any sooner… So, whether I like it or not, I have to end this… And I can only hope to see you sooner after we move on."

The rush of the two sharpshooting swordsmen hold as a potential force being reserved. Before either one makes a move, they both reminisce and take in their past and present moments.

Adam: "...Well, here we are again, face to face, and about to give the final blow… From what I can estimate, both of our auras are close to burning out, completely. *chuckle* It still amazes me how you can be emotional, or even goof off for a few moments, but manage to take me down. You pull your strings before I can be the one closer in winning. How do you do it, Jaune Arc?"

Jaune: "This is it. The last act of power. This time, for my qualifications. Both my education, and my family legacy is still on the lines right now. I can't mess this up."

Adam: "...Your aura is bound to soon refill at its uncommon fast rate. So now, it's time…" With his hand firmly grasping Wilt, the red on Adam glows, and the room turns dark, barely noticeable to everyone else. "...For this to cut to an end!"

Jaune: "...I'm gonna be honest with myself. I have no idea how I'm gonna beat the next part of his Semblance. I normally just stall long enough till I feel my aura fill back up. But I'm not sure if I'll be replenished before he makes his move. On the other hand, Adam must've caught on to that old plan, by now. So he must know when it fills up… after he strikes, that is… Welp…" From across, Adam takes a more ready stance. "...Guess I'll make like an angel, and wing it!" Jaune then takes a stance himself, tightening his grasp and faith on… "Flourish, Fair… music… Don't fail me now!"

Both fighters look upon one another. They each await the other to make a move. But by both of them feeling an itch to strike, they give a slight twitch. And that gave each other the signal.

Right then, the two charge at one another. With both nearly at the midpoint, Adam reaches it before Jaune. The two begin to strike. But with Wilt already out, Adam conducts his Moonslice, shadowing everything in black, and overall red.

Jaune ends up behind Adam in his glowing red complexion, and with each of their swords held out.

Mister TotoYasha: "The match has been concluded!"

By feeling the pain of defeat, and the literal pain from the blade cutting across from them, the victor of the battle is concluded, as…

(30 Minutes Later, Infirmary…)

Catherine runs down the halls to check on one of the brotherly fighters from their hard fought match. She holds both Flourish and Fair, and Wilt and Blush, as well as something else that counts as crucial in her hand along the way. Making it to the 'Oh So Oftenly Visited Infirmary', she maneuvers through the nurses working, and standing around. One set of closed curtains tells her that this was where her brother lied behind.

Unannounced, Catherine just opens it, and catches the ice gel, resting on his side."

Adam: "Oh! C-Catherine!"

Catherine: "Adam!" Catherine strides up to Adam, and hugs him. He hugs her back with one arm, and the other on his side. "Are you okay?"

Adam: "Yeah. I'm- I'm feeling much better, now."

(30 Minutes Ago, Arena…)

With the world slowed down to their perception, Adam's sword goes toward Jaune's face, with the blade's fiery light. However, only its tip meets just the visor as Jaune slides under.

Still, the mere end of Wilt and Adam's Semblance causes Jaune's aura to drop.

With Jaune on the move, his burst of will brings him to cut across Adam's ribs and back. But now, as the two end up behind each other, Adam finds himself confident in all the work he's done. Jaune however can only hope that his efforts held enough light to grant his victory.

Mister TotoYasha: "The match has been concluded!" And so, by feeling the pain of defeat, and the literal pain from the blade cutting across from them, the victor of the battle is concluded, as… "Jaune Arc wins, by depletion of Adam Taurus' aura!"

The audiences cheer their loudest, as both Jaune and Adam pant and sweat heavily. Jaune looks over to the gauge of his aura. It looks as though it were right where it was before Adam's attack. But from what Jaune felt, it had completely drained him, before his body replenished to the same level.

The two were in numbing pain, on particular parts of their bodies. Jaune felt as though he was going to faint from his blurry, recovering sight. Meanwhile, Adam, who is actually drained of aura, falls to a knee, holding the pain at his side. It does not bleed from so much as a mark, but he tries regaining his mentality, bearing with it.

And interesting enough, the two were familiar with this pain, considering how they felt this way before. Mainly, from each other. Therefore, Jaune quickly runs to Adam, even while wobbly and tired himself. He immediately drops Flourish and Fair, showing concern mainly for Adam, and grabs his arm, holding it behind his hooded head. The act even causes Adam to drop the white and red Wilt and Blush, as they both limp to one side of the arena, feeling woozy.

Jaune: "(panting) I got you, Adam… I got you, bro."

Adam: "(panting) Thank… Thank you…" As he feels himself being carried by the boy that defeated him, Adam feels a massive hit in his pride. And that is pride itself, in one whom he calls 'brother'. "Jaune, you did it… You beat me! ...You made the qualifications…!"

Jaune: "Yeah… I guess I did…" Jaune can almost feel his eyes watering up. Both out of joy, and burning sweat. "I wouldn't have been able to… if it weren't for you, coming here, and pushing me… like you always do… Thank you, Adam!"

(25 Minutes Later…)

Adam: "The nurse said I should just keep this at my ribs, and I'll be fine. My aura can handle the rest."

Catherine: "Good. *sigh* That's good." Catherine this time is relieved to hear of Adam's status. "You both did great out there. You guys weren't holding back, or anything! Those moves you were doing out there were awesome! Haven must be teaching you well. They even got you to move faster than you were before!"

Adam: "Thanks. They teach me what I need to learn… Although, perhaps not enough, if Jaune can still defeat me up to this point. He would've only qualified if everyone saw that he had to really work to defeat me, while I aimed to defeat him. And it turns out he did, despite how his aura depleted empty."

Catherine: "Huh?! His aura went out? I never noticed… But…"

Adam: "(whisper) Yeah, don't mention it to anyone, but I actually depleted his aura before it could recharge. It was an instant, but I caught a glimpse of his Scroll's aura gauge at the last second."

Catherine: "(whisper) But isn't that, like, cheating? His aura recharging, I mean. Shouldn't we let the staff know?"

Adam: "(whisper) I don't see it that way. I see it as a means of him 'unconsciously stretching out the rules and restrictions, allowing his success'. He's not even fully aware of his abilities to begin with. If he's gonna be a Huntsman, he shouldn't have time to be bound by obstacles. Not unless they're to teach him proper control of his aura."

Catherine: "Good grief… He's just like you, because of things like this. His music and dancing is one thing, but this…"

Adam: "H-Hey, it's not like I let him win. I tried to beat him. *nervous laugh* But what changed in him is that his aura refilled quicker than before. I think it might've been due to his maternal trait that even I'm pure at. I can tell by the force he put in… *chuckle* Guess I'm not the only one who got faster at something."

Catherine: "I see… So are you really not that badly hurt, then? What else did the nurses tell you?"

Adam: "They didn't recognize anything vital happen to me. Just my aura's depletion, an ache in my side that'll soon pass, and that's it. Nothing serious, so I'll be fine."

Catherine: "Hmm… I guess this all would explain why Jaune wanted me to give you this."

Adam: "No, it's fine. Just put it up with the other swords at your place, for now." Adam says this, assuming that Catherine is referring to Wilt and Blush in her hand. "I already have another set back at-."

Catherine: "Oh, no. Not your weapons. Jaune actually wanted me to give you something else."

Adam: "Oh, really? Wha-?"

What Catherine presents to Adam makes him silent. He even removes his sunglasses to appreciate its meaning.

Catherine: "I didn't understand why at first, but he said he wasn't sure if his victory was fair. And he didn't have much to give you, to count today as a visit before you left… Now I know why."

Adam: "*sigh* Just as modest as usual, if not more than ever… Can't say I'm not honored."

(20 Minutes Ago…)

Jaune: "Let's get you to the infirmary."

Jaune continues to carry Adam to his side of the arena. However, Adam tries releasing himself from Jaune, but weakly, from his own exhaustion.

Adam: "Wai- Wait, Jaune… Your sword, your sheath… You're-."

Jaune: "Don't worry about that… You need to heal!" Adam can tell from the tone in Jaune's voice that he was more than just concerned for him. "...I don't know how much of my power was put in my own attack. I felt… I felt my aura show up out of nowhere, somehow!"

But to Adam, he knew why Jaune's aura did what it did. And to him, Jaune sounded sad, choking on his words, and on the verge of crying. He was not going to see him for a long time like before, so his emotions were finally coming out of its surface. It affected his aura, in more ways than one, to his eyes.

Adam: "(panting) Jaune, you… You have to let me go… The judges… the staff… They're waiting for you… I'll be-."

Jaune: "Adam, please…! Just let me stay close… Just for a little bit… (quavering) I don't know… I don't want you to go… I want you to stay…! Stay just a little longer…! Let me take you to-!"

Catherine: "Jaune! Adam!" Catherine stops and meets the two up front before going any further. She then gets ahold of Adam, disappointing Jaune. "I got him, Jaune. Get your things, and meet up with the judges for assessment."

Jaune: "But I-!"

To his interruption, Adam jumps up, and embraces Jaune. The tight hold causes Jaune to cry on his chest, and squeeze Adam as well. And Adam finds himself shedding a few tears as well.

Adam: "I know… I understand, Jaune… I'm really gonna miss you, too… But this is where we part ways… until next time."

Jaune: "(crying) ...It's not fair…! I want to be a Huntsman… I want to be the hero…! But I don't know if I can do this without you…! YOU'RE my hero, Adam! I just want you to come back home!"

Adam: "I will… And you won't be alone… I'm gonna always be with you… just like how you'll always be with me… There's a part of me inside you that will act as your guide, like how there's a part of you that motivates me to being the best I can be… And know that as we go forth in our goals to being the Huntsman that we want to be in Remnant…" Adam brings Jaune's head back to look through his lens, and see his eyes. "It is my duty… to make sure YOU become the best hero, you were destined to be… And nothing's gonna stop you from that."

Jaune then sniffs, and wipes away his tears. With Catherine at their side, she too becomes emotional. With one last look at Adam, Jaune nods his head with restored confidence.

Jaune: "...Okay! You're right! Just… You make sure you come back to us in one piece. Okay?!"

Adam: "Okay. I promise. And promise me you'll look after your sister." They both look over to Catherine and her teary eyes, and look back to each other. "Okay?"

Jaune: "*sniff* ...Okay."

(Meanwhile, VIP Room…)

?: "That was quite the match those two young men put on for the crowd."

?: "Yeah, it was. It always gets more intense every other time. Their sparring sessions at home can hardly compare. But they always go all out."

?: "Indeed. I almost thought I was going to need medication during that one light show, giving me a headache."

?: "Heh heh heh."

Looking down, the two observers in the VIP room watch Jaune and Adam disperse. As Catherine passes Adam off to the medical staff on scene, Jaune makes his way over to the other side. He can be seen as having a sad posture, yet grateful for his own accomplishment. So he makes his way over to the staff and judges, but not before looking back.

?: "Now, how do you suppose the judges will handle Jaune's reliance on music up to this point? It's proven useful over the years, compared to when he was younger. But it'll act as a weight over his qualifications, no doubt."

?: "He's been using that through some of his fighting practices at the school. So it's no stranger to anyone here. However, like his teacher said, the point of wanting him to qualify for the tournament sooner than usual, is so that he can be recognized prior to the event. And that recognition catches the eyes and attention of sponsors and Professors. Professions like those have a better time to figure out how he can utilize his aura, consciously."

?: "But what of the two Huntsmen who teach here? Mister Xiao Long and Mister Branwen?"

?: "Do you see them down there?"

?: "...Fair point."

?: "Those two are still Huntsmen outside of the classroom. Putting aside how one of them's a drunk, the other one has babies that they both look after in between their careers. So, no offense to this school in particular, but being stuck here at a regular Combat School, I feel only holds Jaune back. I'm sure everybody down there realizes that, and expect him around greater professions of Huntsman, where he'll be studied and noticed more… If given the power, I'd have him go to a Huntsman Academy, already. But ultimately, that verdict falls to a Headmaster. He may only be a good fighter with some tunes, but the unorthodox can hardly be argued with, when it brings results. You of all people have taught me that…" From below, something catches the VIP members and their attention. "Oh! Speaking of said 'babies'..."

While conversing, the two members see the majority of the audience below leaving the room. But one particular student remains, watching Jaune, still in the arena. The same student with a school uniform on, concealed by a red hooded cape.

In addition, a group of other students rush in the classroom, led by one with blonde pig-tailed hair. They surround the red caped student, causing her to remove her hood, and watch her friends show concern towards her.

And without taking notice to his admirer(s), Jaune dashes up to Catherine with that same crucial relic in hand.

?: "I suppose we should excuse ourselves and congratulate the two."

?: "Yes. I think I'll speak with Yamato, and fill him in on what I've picked up from the boys. He probably won't be shocked to hear it, either. *chuckle*…By the time those two meet up with each other again…"

(15 Minutes Later, …)

For a while now, Adam had been staring at what Catherine gave him, from Jaune. His heirloom white and grey visor that Adam cut off. To receive such an ancient relic from Jaune's great-great grandfather felt to be such an honor to Adam.

But aside from being more narrow and straight edged, the visor is similar to that of a (not yet established) Grimm Mask.

?: "...They're gonna shape up in pushing each other harder than they ever did, before."

(One Week Later, Haven Academy…)

Through the halls of Haven Academy, Adam makes his way through. He passes one dojo room, where a Street Fighter named Ryu trains, and an Iron-Fist (Tekken) named Jin jogs down the hall and out the door. He gets closer to approaching the Headmaster's office with a different weapon set on his back. He even proudly wears Jaune's given visor.

Unlike his previous sunglasses, the visor covers less of Adam's forehead and cheekbones. It does however cover his eyes (of course), and nose with a sharp peak. He mainly wears it when on a mission, or in a good mood. That is, despite the whispering slurs he can hear from some of the students he passes.

Student #1: "Tsk. Animal…"

Student #2: "Hmm… Pretty hot, for a Faunus."

Student #3: "Horny freak! Haha!"

Nonetheless, after finishing one mission before getting paid, Adam is in a rather good mood. And not that he'll mention it, but the covering of his eyes do also treat his social inferiority. That of which many of the students cause.

Seeing the Headmaster's office door ahead, a young lady storms out in an angry mood. Seeing her this way, Adam attempts to cheer her up, removing the visor.

Adam: "Hey." The girl takes one look at Adam, and shoves him aside to run. Not out of anger, but almost like she is afraid of him. He looks back, more concerned. "Are you alr-?"

Before he could tell her anything, she had already turned the corner. Adam just turns back to the office door.

Adam: "I'll just... let her be…"

Opening the door, Adam finds the Headmaster he was instructed to see. The office, while fair in space, has a wide opening with him standing in front of his desk. He looks to be bothered himself, holding one hand to his temple. And unexpectedly, another, but younger, girl is there with a practice spear and shield.

?: "P-Professor Lionheart, are you okay?"

Lionheart: "Yes, I'm fine… I'm alright. (mumble) I'll have the staff keep an eye on her, make sure she doesn't try leaving the campus without allowance…"

Professor Lionheart, much younger now, reigns as Headmaster of Haven Academy, even at this point. His mane-like hair and beard has only grey streaks, instead of all grey. And he wears a suit instead of a cloak.

Removing his hand from his temple, he starts typing a brief message, without even noticing Adam's presence.

Lionheart: "Alright, Ms. Nikos. I suppose you'll just have to spar with m-. Oh, M-Mr. Taurus!"

Only just now noticing Adam, Lionheart smiles and properly welcomes him. Adam amusingly smiles back, and walks up to his Headmaster.

Adam: "*chuckle* Hello, Professor. I hope I'm not intruding. I'm just reporting in after my mission."

Lionheart: "Oh, no. You're actually just in time for my aid. If it's not much trouble, could you help spar with Ms. Nikos, here? Just a few minutes so she can finish up for today."

Adam: "Sure. I'd be happy to."

Lionheart: "Wonderful! And, if you will, utilize the staff fighting style."

Adam: "Okay."

Adam grins even wider as he sets the visor down. He then unstraps his weapon and unloads its magazine.

Rise and Jaundice: Much like Wilt and Blush, Adam's weapon within Haven Academy is another chokuto, sheathed in a rifle. Its design is all red, outlined in yellow. He unsheaths a few inches to look at its yellow blade, before sheathing back, knowing it will not be drawn for the practice.

Adam then looks over to admire Professor Lionheart's young pupil. Pyrrha Nikos.

During this time, Pyrrha has a lesser grade form of spartan-like attire than her future wear. Such examples include a leather form of armor, and combat sandals. But otherwise, such additional accessories, like her sash and circlet, remain to show off her character essences.

And while looking at her, Adam can see her attention sticks elsewhere, as she gazes at the intriguing visor with its Knightly allure.

Adam: "So, how old are you, Ms. Nikos?"

Pyrrha: "...Huh? O-Oh, I'm uh, 12."

Adam: "Heh heh. You're about as old as my brother, back home in Vale… If you keep training under our Headmaster here, you'll surely become a champion at Sanctum. The same time he ought to be at Signal."

Pyrrha: "*nervous laughter* That's what everybody tells me… that I'll be a champion one day. I wonder if he's talking about that hooded sword fighter in Vale. Rumors have gone around-."

Adam: "But first, let's see how fast you can keep up."

Getting out of her thoughts, Pyrrha nods her head, and gets in a battle stance.

Lionheart: "Remember, Ms. Nikos: shield up, grip tight, and front foot forward." Pyrrha takes position, and reassures as instructed. "And… go!"

At the signal, Pyrrha charges at Adam. Her attacks meet his sheathed weapon that he holds with one hand. She fights with the spear as he defends with his weapons like a staff, as both were taught separately in Haven Academy.

Lionheart: "So, Mr. Taurus, how did the mission go? Successful, I presume?"

Seeing that Adam holds himself against Pyrrha with ease, Lionheart assumes his ability to casually report while sparring.

Adam: "All is well. The Grimm had been cleared of the area."

Lionheart: "And what of your 'gift'. Did you have to utilize it while in battle?"

In their spar, Adam chooses to close his eyes, thinking back to the moment, and heighten his senses for a slight challenge. Pyrrha ends up pushing Adam back with the shield. And he ends up aligning his mission report to the similarities of their sparring.

Adam: "Yes. Everything was going smoothly, at the moment… But as the extermination went on, they just kept coming." With a lot of energy, Pyrrha tries attacking all around Adam, upfront. "They gave me little room to attack. So I had to stay on defense for a while. I took down a few at first, but more came, anyway." Adam induces a few hits to Pyrrha with the ends of his weapon set. Most of his attacks were blocked by her, and one hit with the spear came to his chest. To counter, he places Rise's handle on her shield, pushing her back. "So before they could all outnumber and charge at me… " He now waits for Pyrrha, as she stays on the offense, making Adam step back. "...I knew I had to act quick." As she attacks even more, he places both hands on his weapon set, and breaks her offense. All she does is block his attacks with the shield. "And before they could get the upper hand again… with one glare…" Adam then opens his eyes, and takes advantage to attack all over Pyrrha with great speed. "...They were all wiped out."

Adam's attacks were enough to put Pyrrha to the ground. She feels pain all over her body and slightly struggles to stand up.

Lionheart: "Well done! Both of you, well done!" Seeing her down, Adam helps Pyrrha the rest of the way up from the ground. He then hands her a towel. She uses it to wipe away her sweat, and cool off her hurting body.

Adam: "You did great, Pyrrha." Pyrrha nods her head after being complimented. "But, let me give you some pointers… I-If I may, Professor…?" Lionheart nods his head, encouraging Adam to help her. "...Maybe try using your offensive weapon for defense, more. It'll keep your opponents on their toes if you can be faster and more swift with its movements." Adam then unsheaths his weapon and assesses a fighting position that Pyrrha mimics. Their knees strong, and their blade up front. "They usually expect a shield to be used for defense. But you can throw them off guard with what you might really use to block more with instead. Plus, you'll never know if your shield needs to be used as a tool, or for offense itself… or if you lose it in a fight…" He adjusts his stance slightly, and she follows. Their secondary weapon raised up and held back. "Let it be your fallback. Because it may be easier to block attacks behind a wide piece of metal and plan your attack, but it's better to parry attacks without it, and fight by muscle memory." And to conclude, he adjusts his stance again, and she follows suit. Secondary weapon held upfront for defense. "And eventually, that memory will become instinct. If you can do that, then nothing can stand in your way."

Pyrrha: "I understand. Thank you."

Lionheart: "We're done for the day, Ms. Nikos. I believe Mr. Taurus picked up enough for you after your partner left. You are dismissed.

The young student bows her head at both Adam and Lionheart.

Pyrrha: "Thank you, gentlemen, for the lesson."

Young Pyrrha walks away from in front of her superiors. She then takes one more glance at the visor, before exiting the door.

Adam: "She's adorable."

Lionheart: "Isn't she…? She's still in Combat School, but training her is rather returning a big favor towards her family."

Adam: "Oh? What for?"

Lionheart: "Well you see, it's not easy having such high powers and being a Faunus. Like running a Huntsman Academy; The Council's idea of progressing to equality. Especially in Mistral. I'm sure you can relate."

Adam: "I'd… be lying if I said I haven't been through such unease here, myself…"

Lionheart: "I'm dreadfully sorry for your troubles. I do the best I can for all of my staff and students, even while being a minority in this position… But the Nikos family had used their popularity to encourage the public's support of my leadership. And in exchange, I train their daughter to be the best in her class. And eventually, help make a warrior out of her in the future… I just hope that my work for this school, and its Kingdom has been enough for everyone. Including young Pyrrha."

Adam: "I believe you've given more than enough to us, Professor. You've done right by me and the students here. And I'm sure Ms. Nikos and her family feel just as grateful. It kind of reminds me of the Arc's generosity towards my family and I…" Hearing Adam give such words of encouragement makes Professor Lionheart smile, as he nods and sits behind his desk. "That actually reminds me, Professor. If you don't mind me asking, what happened with your student who stormed down the halls, earlier? She seemed upset before I walked in."

Lionheart: "Oh yes, the Spr- *clears throat* ...the student who stormed out. She's actually Ms. Nikos' training partner. She got a little tired and started arguing with me. *sigh* It isn't the first time one of my other pupils felt bitter towards my methods of personal training. Before her, I had one named Cinder. She thought of herself to be more capable of riskier missions, trying to prove herself. But I refused her demands, and she ended up dropping out. Now, besides Pyrrha, I have one who doesn't think herself ready for the responsibilities. That, being the one you saw earlier."

Adam: "I'm… sorry to hear about this… Will your other student be alright?"

Lionheart: "I hope so… But maybe I WAS too hard on her… On them… What if Pyrrha decides to quit on me because of my methods?"

Adam: "We all may still be young, Professor, but none of us can hope to bear Remnant's problems if we can't bear our own. And that Pyrrha girl, I don't think she's a quitter. From the way she fought, she's got a certain kind of shining spark that reminded me of my brother and how determined he is. Sometimes, you just have to put your own problems aside to handle what's bigger."

Lionheart: "*sigh* You don't understand. I was just going to send that other student on a mission after practice. I've sometimes forgotten that you all are still technically children. She might've been tired by the time she left, but even with her unique abilities, I thought she'd… *exhausted groan*."

Looking at Professor Lionheart, Adam sees him place his hands up to his forehead. He can see the stress of all that he goes through as a Headmaster. And just by not giving him the name of the student, he assumes that their business, as well as the mission, is confidential. Nonetheless, he chooses to take the initiative.

Adam: "...Professor…?" Lionheart looks up to Adam, who gives him a kind smile. "What if I took on the mission instead?"

Lionheart: "What?! T-That's absurd! You just got back from a mission! I can't just send you out after you just finished one!"

Adam: "Why not? You were gonna send that one girl out on a mission after just sparring." While still smiling, but more out of confidence, Adam attempts to persuade Lionheart. "Why not send me out after being fresh from the field already?"

Lionheart: "But that was just sparring! She-! He-Her abilities, they're-! They're more-! I-I can't just-!"

Adam: "Please, Professor. I can already tell how stressed you are from this. But I want to help. I don't know what your other student can do, but I have my own abilities in addition to my gift. Just tell me what needs to be done, and I'll complete the mission." For a moment, Lionheart thinks on Adam's offer. "It'll be much easier on you once it's done."

Lionheart: "*deep inhale, deep exhale* Are you sure about this, Adam?" Adam just smirks even wider and nods his head. "...This mission requires you to go right outside of Mistral, and in the rougher side of the villages. The people there will feel less comfortable with your image than even here in this kingdom."

Adam: "Perhaps… But if you assign me to a Huntsman, then it'll help set the standard with the villagers. They'll see one of their heroes fight their battle, with a Huntsman in training alike under their wing."

Lionheart: "*chuckle*" Typing on his desk, Lionheart's screen shows up, and he assigns Adam to the mission. "Very well, Mr. Taurus. The mission is yours. You are to eliminate every Grimm you find in sight, until you defeat the main one, reeking havoc. It is known as the Nuckelavee… But I'm signing you up with a few Huntsmen this time. Just in case… You will deploy in one hour, and meet them at the assigned location. Is that understood?"

Hearing a notification from his Scroll, Adam takes it out and looks at its mission log.

Adam: "Yes, Professor."

Lionheart: "I… can't tell you how much I appreciate this, and how willing you are. It gives me greater faith in you and the families you come from. Both the Arc, and the Taurus' influence."

Adam: "It's my pleasure, Professor. Before I go, is there anything else you wish to discuss?"

Lionheart: "No, no you've done enough for me today. Be sure you're thoroughly packed, and ready before leaving. And good luck."

Adam: "Yes, Professor." Adam takes the visor and his magazine from the desk, and bows to Professor Lionheart. "Have a good day, sir."

Just then, Adam walks off and leaves the door. But with Lionheart alone, he now ponders on his decision of Adam's allowance.

Lionheart: "I hope you really know what you're talking about, Adam. If it were any other student, I might not have allowed this… but you've proven so much of yourself, with so much potential. And you're still so young…" Just then, Professor Lionheart gets a notification from his own Scroll. "I pray all goes well in your path."

(Six Hours Later, Mistral Train Station…)

Getting off of a train, Adam once again proudly walks to his designated spot. From what Professor Lionheart told him, he would be meeting up with a few Huntsman and Huntresses to escort him to his mission. So he makes his way to the meeting point.

As he walks, Adam can not help but feel as though gazing eyes and whispering gossips are locked onto him from the side and behind. Granted, this is an aspect he finds himself familiar with, given his sharp senses, and experience as a Faunus in school and outer public. But for some reason, it seems a little more hostile today.

Still, Adam chooses to move on, and put on his eye-pro sunglasses. Both for social awkwardness, and vigilance.

Before making it to his meeting point behind the train station, Adam is confronted by a police officer.

Police Officer: "Hey there, young man."

Adam: "Uh, hello office-."

Police Officer: "I'm gonna have to take that weapon of yours."

Adam: "Huh?" Before he could finish responding, the Police Officer starts yanking the strap of Adam's weapon across his shoulder. "Hey, wai-! I'm a traine-!"

Police Officer: "Stop resisting!"

Not wanting to risk a bigger scene, Adam let's the Officer take his weapon. The crowd then becomes slightly louder in their chatter. From what Adam sees, the majority of them have their hands on their own weapons at their hips. And from behind, an individual sneaks up from behind Adam.

Civilian 1: "And take off your shades!" The civilian removes Adam's sunglasses from his face. "What, are you afraid of showing those eyes?!"

Civilian 2: "See if he's got any other weapons!"

Another one of the civilians aggressively pulls at Adam's coat, opening it. They feel across his pants, right before Adam pushes them off and backs up. He brings himself further from the train station and the people. From what he sees, the majority of the public begin inching up to him, scaring him away.

But just then, Adam feels himself bump into something heavy from behind. He then finds himself tossed backwards to the ground. Looking up, he finds six individuals, including the Police Officer, walk up beside the man that Adam bumped into and got tossed by.

This man was hefty and very muscular. He wore a ponytail, long leather gloves and boots, and a red attire fit for someone who hunts. His weapon of choice includes a bow attached to a blunderbuss, and arrows with dagger sized heads.

Looking up at him, Adam feels highly intimidated.

Adam: "(quietly) W-Where are the Huntsmen…?! Why- Why is everyone doing this?!"

?: "Heh heh heh heh heh. Good to see you made it, Taurus… Did you miss me?"

Adam: "What…?!"

?: "Alright, everybody…!" The man holds his weapon in front of Adam, and shoots him. But not before saying… "Kill the Beast!"

(50 Hours Later, Somewhere In Anima…)

Through a dark forest, much further from Mistral now, Adam Taurus runs in a scared hurry. All over his body, he can feel pain, unable to run any faster, along with his low aura. His coat flies open while torn up, especially at its lower left end. From behind, he can hear the angry mob from two days ago still chasing him.

The leader of the mob shoots their bow-blunderbuss at a tree, just missing Adam's head. The impact was enough to create ringing in his ear, disrupting his senses. But if it weren't for the visor over his eyes, he might've taken worse damage.

?: "WOOOOO! Almost got you that time!"

But with one more shot, the leader had shot through Adam's right arm. He screams, then trips and falls down an oncoming hill.

Meeting the ground, Adam can barely find himself able to get back up. And slowly approaching him is the angry mob. Seven of them, including the leader, are closer to him than the village-worth angry mob surrounding him.

?: "Heh heh heh… Got you again. Tore you up pretty good, too. But I'm not letting you go any further than here."

As Adam tries getting back up, he looks at the face of the leader. And he can't help but feel more traumatized than before.

Adam: "Who…?! Are yo-?"

Legume: "Shut it, Taurus!" The leader kicks Adam upward in his face from down below them. It removes the visor from his face, now lying on the ground. Everybody laughs, as he then lifts Adam up, but from his horn. "You better remember damn well who I am! The name's Gules-Tan…! Legume Gules-Tan. Ring a bell?!"

Adam: "You…?! No!"

Legume: "That's right! Everyday, I wondered if I'd ever catch a beast like you again. Now you're all grown up, and here in Mistral! Of all places…! Well in case you forgot how things work here in Anima, these folks here don't take too well of YOUR kind. But the seven of us: (whisper) We know about your father…! He helped me to find you by leaving his traces exposed in Atlas. We know about your family… and those other Faunus freaks in the White Fang!"

By the mention of his father and the White Fang in the same sentence, Adam's heart skips a beat. Out of denial, and concern for what might have happened to his father.

Adam: "What?! What are you-?! There has to be some kind of mistake! My family has nothing to do with that group! I-Is this some kind of set up, or-?!"

Interrupting him, Legume puts his weapon against Adam's abdomen and shoots him. Both his rounds and arrows throw Adam back to the ground, but on his back this time. Thanks to his aura that remains, the wound is not fatal, other than blood soaking and darkening his lighter red shirt.

Legume: "We know full well what happens when you animals roam our town! Everytime a Faunus shows up, negativity spreads, and the Grimm show up." This time, Legume speaks out to the public on what riles them up. "(quietly) Especially from that incident two days ago… in Atlas! There's no way that massacre wasn't from your devil of a father… Well now, it ends here!"

From all around, Adam can hear the voices of the people, saying different things.

Angry Mob Individuals: "He thought he could escape us… All Faunus… a bunch of degenerates…! Don't believe anything he tries to tell you! They're liars that'll only kill you…!"

Legume: "Those hard working soldiers… Dead because of animals, like you…!"

Adam: "Please…! *cough* I mean none of you harm…! I don't know what's going on! I have done nothing-!"

Legume: "Oh, you haven't done anything yet! But you will… It's in your nature to kill humans, just like your father! There's no way what he did was a set up! That Faunus is no ordinary Faunus! He's as deadly as you animals get! And you're his spawn of a beast who's gonna only follow through…! Here's the evidence that's left!"

Just then, Legume throws a weapon set at Adam's feet. A straight edge fire dust blade wakizashi, sheathed in a white and red pistol; a miniature version of Wilt and Blush.

Adam: "*gasp* (whisper) This…! This is… Scatter and Bleed! My father's spare weapons…" Looking at the small weapon set, Adam notes the covering of dry darker red blood, staining it. The sight mortifies him even more. "It- He can't be…!"

Legume: "Looks familiar, doesn't it? Not only is that your father's piece, but it doesn't look too different from this, does it?" Referring over to the Police Officer, he holds Adam's own weapon set, taken from at the train station. Legume snatches the weapons and his eye-pro, and tosses them next to the smaller weapon set. And this alerts the Police Officer with worry. "Go ahead, pick them up! Prove it, and take your free shot at me!"

Police Officer: "Wait, hold on, Gules-Tan. Don't do anything stupid. He just might try to kill-."

Legume: "(whisper) Hush, I know what I'm doing…! When you lodge your blade and shoot at me, everyone here will vouch for me when we beat you to death… out of self defense!"

All Adam feels that he can do at this point is reach over to pick up what these people have tossed. He brings himself to stand up straight, and does nothing, but stare at the psychotic instigator of this angry mob. Even while recognizing the stained weapon as his father's, he readies himself for his next course of action in hope's of a resolution. And by that, within his possession, he just puts on the visor that his brother gave him, instead of any weapon.

Adam: "...It's just what he wants… What they'd expect… They'll just kill me at the end of this. I'm outnumbered, and on my last bit of energy and aura… What'll I do?!"

Legume: "What's the matter, Beast? I'm giving you a free shot here! Are you scared? Too kind and gentle, to fight back?!"

Adam: "...I don't know where you got this information about my family, or how you got my father's weapon. And I understand that you all think ill of us Faunus… *grunt* But understand this: My family, all of them, have taught me to not strike blood from our fellow people, human and Faunus. We stay our blades from the innocent… from civilians, to discontinue the endless cycle of violence. And that code has always been upheld… by Huntsmen! I was raised by them, alongside my parents. And I aim to become one…! So I will not fight any of you. Let alone, kill you…!"

Interesting to Adam, he can hear the angry chatter in a more quiet tone. Most of them even seemingly remorseful. However, the same cannot be said for Legume, nor five of the closer ones. As for the Police Officer, he gives off a sense of reluctance. But he then becomes more alarmed, seeing the bloodthirsty look in Legume's eyes.

Adam: "But if nothing I say will convince you, then do what you feel that you must." Adam then lifts his arms. "I am not a threat to any of you… but I understand if you see that I am. So as a non-licensed Huntsman… who is still in training… then I don't know what else to do, then to accept your advances as self defense… I would rather die and stay true to the method of Warriors, and not shed blood to civilians."

Adam bows his head, granting permission to the angry mob to have their way with him. But from what he feels, he senses resistance and supposed regret from most of them.

Police Officer: "I… I think we went too far on this one. Come on, Gules-Tan. Let's just drop this and go ho-."

Legume: "Eheh heh heh hahahahahaha…" Legume, ignoring the Police Officer, sticks out his weapon, leading the other five closer to him to do the same with their guns. And they all point to Adam, in open arms. "You hear that? 'Civilians', he calls the seven of us…" Adam then becomes confused by Legume's words. "Well your dead wrong about that, you dumb animal!"

Police Officer: "Legume, wait!"

Legume fires his bows, leading the others to fire too, at the same time. However, after Legume's remark, Adam questions Legume's real affiliation, causing his adrenaline to kick back in, and time to slow down for him.

Adam closes his eyes, and perceives the projectiles coming his way. His life ends up flashing before his mind, and it makes him remember something important: deeming his life important.

(Over One Week Ago…)

Adam: "It is my duty… to make sure that you become the best hero, you were destined to be… And nothing's gonna stop you from that."

Jaune: "You make sure you come back to us in one piece."

(Present…)

In one movement, Adam backhand uppercuts the arrows, and sweeps his hand across to catch each bullet round.

Legume: "What the hell?!" Unable to fully process what just happened, Legume grits his teeth seeing his attacks inefficient. But both him and Adam recognize the awe in everyone else's intimidated expressions. "(whisper) The devil and his tricks, is it…? Shoot him up!"

With little hesitation, they all fire their firearms rapidly this time, and shoot at Adam. But as they shoot him, a brief glow emits from under his visor.

In numerous movements, Adam moves his body all around, placing his palm on each round. As he catches them, his red complexion begins to glow. And gradually, the atmosphere becomes darker. Everybody notices this, and begin backing away from Adam. Because with everything dark, all they see is his red lightened body, seemingly ominous to them.

Adam: "I have to live. My family… my father… my brother…! I have to live, so that I can become better…! And spark an inspiration, in making them better! Even in darkness…!" Ignorant for the sake of survival, Adam feels himself reaching his Semblance's limit. "We. Will. Ri-!"

Being filled with anger this time, Legume shoots his blunderbuss, as well as arrows at Adam. But now at his limit, Adam braces it without absorbing it. The group of five stop, now being fearful of what all transpired. His swift defenses and his current red glow are but something that none of them have seen before, even as a Semblance. Legume being the only exception.

They all take note of Adam seeming exhausted, as his glow fades away.

Adam: "*grunt* I'm hoping this will be enough to get away. I'm not too sure, but I'd hate to use this power lethally against them at this point. Ah! Only one thing left to do."

Legume: "See?! What'd I tell you all?! He's a monster! The Devil Faunus' son, himself!"

Police Officer: "Wha- What was that?! I've never seen such a… god-like power!"

Now Adam seemingly lost hope, if even the Officer no longer sounded reluctant.

Legume: "It's over, Beast! TIME TO DIE!"

Followed by Legume, the whole mob charges at Adam, about to beat him up with their weapons out of ignorant fear. This time, Adam holds still and closes his eyes once more. Gambling with humanity taking their ignorant aggression out on him, he charges up his energy, and emits a strong white glow through his closed eyelids.

But before he could open his eyes, Adam hears seven lethal movements in a mere second. He opens his eyes and nobody even manages to reach him. And like his expression now, they become appalled from what they all see.

As the entire mob runs away in a panic, the main seven are found as bloody corpses. Including Legume Gules-Tan. Adam looks around, partially relieved to be rid of the racist group, but overall scared and distraught from what happened to them. He then steps up to grab the two blade and sheath gun sets to his hip for protection.

Through the shadows of the trees, there walks what looks to be a Grimm around Adam's height. While ready to fight it, he begins to see that it is not a Grimm. Rather, a woman that looks like a Grimm.

Seeing this Grimm-like woman, Adam's hand on his sword handle eases up, unsure if she will fight or not. The Grimm-like woman however, stops, and remains still.

?: "You could've killed these people yourself. I see that you have strength, and yet, not real strength. So why be unwilling to fight them… let alone, me? Is it because I saved your life?"

Adam: "Because it wouldn't be fair, nor make me any better than them, or you. It's not the way of a Huntsman to fight or to protect. Let alone, an unlicensed one in training. I could've died sooner, engaging in them and their numbers, or risk killing them, knowing what I'm capable of. But to kill them would only justify their reasoning to hunt others, no matter how some might look at it… And you… I don't know your cause in murdering them, or what you're capable of, but I would hope to end this without any more violence." Adam then starts to sound more saddened, looking over at Legume Gules-Tan's lifeless eyes. "...Too many civilians have died today, already."

?: "You're quite the foolish one." Adam looks at the Grimm woman out of her remark. "You chose to extend their life at the risk of yours just because they're civilians?"

Adam: "Yes. They're just people. They're just scared and don't know any better… And now seven of them are gone, hoping to have lived."

?: "Oh, but these people here knew full well of what they were doing. And with years of combat under their belts, they were ready to die after taking their own oaths."

Adam: "...What do you mean?"

?: "Look." The Grimm-like woman gestures toward Legume (mainly his weapon). "Have a glance at their Scrolls, and see what they 'really' are… And feel free to retrieve yours, as well."

Hesitantly, Adam backs up to Legume's corpse. He tries keeping himself mentally together, and before taking his Scroll, closes Legume's eyes to properly rest.

And by taking Legume's Scroll next, Adam reads through its recent activities.

Adam: "Let's see… Boarding passes from Atlas, ammunition purchases, Ramen Shop purchases, call logs from Professor Lion- Professor… Lionheart?" What Adam did not expect was for someone like Legume to be in contact with the Faunus Headmaster of Haven Academy. So he continues on to look through the activities. "Recordings. Mission… Mission Logs? Huntsman-In-Training Guidance: Accepted. Trainee: Adam Taurus?!" ...Until he goes to his identification section, finalizing his surprise. "Legume Gules-Tan… No… he's… a Huntsman?!"

Almost immediately, he checks the five other corpses and their Scrolls. They all checked out to be Huntsmen and Huntresses. The only exception was the Police Officer, who was a retired Huntsman.

Dismissing his denial for a moment, Adam looks at their weapons, noticing their customized designs, over average firearms. Including Legume's, as a bow-blunderbuss with dagger-head arrows.

Adam: "All of them…! Their licenses, their weapons…! I never thought… I should've known from the start…! They're all Huntsmen and Huntresses! And yet they… they tried to kill me! Rallied up people to kill me… just because I'm a Faunus! I… I can't believe this is happening!"

?: "Believe it."

Adam: "They're afraid of me… and my father…! *gasp* My father! Is he…?!"

?: "Listen…" Adam looks over to the woman, close to crying from his denial. She looks down at him, unaffected by his sorrow. "If you follow me, I can help you put your talents to good use, enhance them, and teach you to be the warrior you've always wanted to be. Better than these scum before you. We might even fix that reluctance of yours." For a few moments, Adam ponders on what all the woman says, seeing as his faith in Huntsmen are in question. Nonetheless, he ultimately considers returning home. "Or you can try and return back to the academy, and risk running into more racist mobs. Or worse, the Grimm with your weak body… Maybe even try to go home and sort things out… but risk your loved one's lives and reputation with your notoriety, Taurus… The choice is yours."

Not giving Adam much time, let alone options to think on, the Grimm woman waits patiently for his response. He gives one last look toward the dead Huntsmen and Huntresses, who had disgraced the nobility that Adam idolized. Feeling that even discrimination can get the best of the men and women he looked up to, and endangering civilians into rallies, he starts walking away.

So with the belief that Huntsmen, Remnant's heroes are able to stray from their righteous path, he turns his back and walks through the shadow of the woods.

Adam: "...Even a 'Devil' (like me), can do right by others, to make them question their beliefs."

(One Year Later, Unknown…)

Unsure of where he is at this time, Adam's eyes remain closed. All he perceives is darkness. Both by sight, and other senses of his ominous surroundings. His body lies down facing upward, yet unable to even fully move, like being in a sleep paralysis. He feels discomfort, slowly becoming both numb, yet in pain.

And over him, he hears a womanly voice.

?: "...Justice." The very words click in Adam's head. "Solutions never come without work. You ought to know this by now. But for your passion to reach justice, it must first be pulled by a stronger, more assertive drive, than your passion. What you need, what you lack, is a sense of retaliation for what has already been done. A desire to avenge those who've been wronged. Including yourself. A gentle soul like yours needs just a small hint of ill will, malice… spite."

Adam: "I…" Enhancing his already intense sensation of painful numbness, Adam barely feels the hands belonging to the voice hold one side of his face, and his heart with the other. "I-I…" And as the numbness in Adam's body increases, he feels himself incapable of speaking. Let alone, breathe adequately. "(breathless) I… can't…"

?: "And I can give that to you."

Adam: "No…! I can't… do this any- I can't… I can't breathe…! I can't move!"

The feeling of numbness increases even more. Eventually, Adam feels completely nothing. He can't even bring himself to open his eyes, move, speak, hear or anything. Thus, it puts him in a greater state of literal darkness and nothingness. Eventually, he feels a certain feeling in his core. A feeling, almost like craving and hunger. And it gets stronger, almost painfully. And as the sense of numbness slowly goes away, his whole body aches in tortured pain. Almost like the expected 'pines and needles' to come after numbness, only like a piercing through his body.

Adam: "Aaaaagh! Aaaaagh!" Adam screams in agony and manages to move in a seizure-like struggle. He feels his body surge up, as if he were using his Semblance. All he can do is wait for the process to finish, and find slight relief as he manages to squirm small seizure-like movements. "Aaaaagh! No more! It's too much! No…! Aaaaagh!" As the feeling of numbness goes away, the more pain he feels. Feeling his Semblance activate against his will, his body strains in an unusual dark way. He brings his hands up to his head as he feels the agony increase and reach its peak. "AAAAAAAAAAGH!"

And then it stops. The hands were removed from Adam, no longer inducing his body and mind with pain. Hardly able to move still, he rolls over and falls a few feet to a lower surface. He feels, yet barely, a pair of comforting hands and voices around him. But they hardly register his own mentality.

The agony gradually subsides, but Adam feels his core burn. He can not bring himself to properly think, other than to have negative emotions. While trying to recover still, he tries to catch his breath, and finds the strength to stand back up. His eyes remain shut tight with its burning sensation.

?: "You've shown great strength and endurance in your rebirth. It's never easy for someone's first time."

Adam: "(grunting) What… did you do to me?! W-What is this?!"

?: "An awakening. You now have the potential to be more than what you were before. Cherish this new gift… just as you've cherished your own gift."

(One Year Later, Kuchinashi…)

Within one village of Kuchinashi, a less than peaceful raid is in session. This is due to the criminal actions of a group of bandits causing a panic.

Every frightened civilian runs from their path, while most armed civilians are met to their end. And the police are at a struggle with their assault.

The only ones who can stand up to these bandits with a proper fight are the village's five guards, and two Huntsman. However, that is only at the village's main local bank being protected. Aside from their vandalism and theft of owned properties elsewhere, the bandits find their main objective at a halt. This gradually gives the police the opportunity to push through and make arrests.

That is, until one individual appears at bursting speed, taking down the police in a slashing instant.

Adam: "...This is so wrong."

At the age of 20 years old, Adam Taurus had gone through a big change, since 2 years ago. Both in terms of his appearance, and fighting style. But in short, he looks the same as he would years later, when invading the home of the Arcs (his second family). From the grey complexions, to tribal marking designs, and the Grimm mask (in contrast to his brother's given slim visor).

The only difference from that time is Adam's current weapon being a grey curved-edged katana. But as far as his combat, it has improved since his school days.

Dashing up to the bank, the bandits make way for Adam to approach their opponents. The first guard swings their weapon against his block. Without their aura unlocked, Adam had cut at their legs with his silver blade, putting them down before cleanly sheathing it back.

Adam then encounters the first Huntsman. He only manages to draw and cut at their aura a few times before maneuvering to the others. And he meets two of the guards at once. With two hands on their weapons, they easily go down by Adam's one hand on his katana, stabbing their legs, and cutting at their backs. Afterwards, he sheaths his blade and continues.

The second Huntsman attacks at Adam, before he dodges. His quickdraw leads to numerous other draws to the Huntsman's aura. Afterwards, he simply kicks and tosses the Huntsman to the first one before approaching. Continuing on, he faces another guard watching. And in an interesting surprise, they drop their weapon, and throw their hands up.

While in a rush of battle, Adam responds by taking the guards own weapon before it hits the ground. With it, he twirls behind the guard, and cuts at another guard's chest, putting them down.

In the midst of the remaining guard's surrender, the two Huntsmen shove them aside, and rush to Adam. Awaiting the two of them, he draws at them with one swing. Now with two blades, he has a better advantage. So in an instant, he delivers ten slashes to the two, tiring them quickly. But in addition, the blade that Adam took had snapped from his excessive force.

However, to end the battle, Adam had knocked one of the Huntsmen with the broken weapon's hilt, dismissing their aura. And before the blade's tip could fall, he kicks the blade into the Huntsman's leg.

As the first Huntsman falls and screams, Adam simply sheaths his own sword. With enough strength, he draws and uppercuts the second Huntsman in the air, dismissing their aura.

Seeing that the fight was done, the bandits cheer for Adam's successful take down. He notes how some of them even finish off his opponents, ending their lives.

Adam: "*grunt* Disgraceful…" Adam then sees how the bandits ease into the frightened guard who had already surrendered. He responds by striding up, and removing his revolver from his belt. "That's enough." With the pistol, he holds it up against the guard's back, holding the back of their collar. "...The bank will be ready for extraction, soon. I'll go on ahead to make sure it's open and the inside is clear. The rest of you, be on standby with the carriers."

The bandits huff, and turn to continue their given tasks. As they do, Adam forcefully maneuvers the guard to the bank's front doors. Meanwhile, the last Huntsman falls back down, and hits the ground from up high.

Both the guard and Adam hear the police, Huntsman and other guards groan and fidget on the ground. Those that were not killed by the other bandits, that is. And this gives the guard an odd sense of relief.

Guard: "...T-Thank yo-!"

Adam: "Don't." With half of his face showing to be stern, Adam's eyes are set on the entrance and his objective. All while the Guard remains at gunpoint. "I only need what all is in your safe."

Guard: "Y-Yes, I'm sure. But, you could've ended all of our lives… You seem different from the other bandits… Or most bandits in Anima."

Adam: "Either one of you has to know how to open the safe. You just so happen to be one who surrendered and can still walk. Besides…" Both Adam and the Guard enter the bank. And everybody inside, who are already frightened and on the ground, scream and gasp for a moment. "...It's much more still in here when I have at least one hostage up close." Adam tosses the Guard up to the gate. He then eases his revolver down, but keeps it in hand. "Just open the safe, and we'll be on our way."

Guard: "Yes, sir." The Guard proceeds to opening the gate before reaching the safe. Adam watches, keeping a close eye on the whole process. After a few moments, the gate opens, and the Guard walks up to the safe. Continuing on, Adam follows the Guard to approach the safe. And as demanded, they open it. For a moment, Adam remains still. "Here you go."

Adam walks up to the safe, ready to open it. Within it, he sees shelves full of Lien, and cases full of Dust.

Adam: "Of all the towns I've raided, none of their inhabitants took kindly to me. Not even after sparing most of their lives…" For Adam, every raid in a village he had done over the years has helped him get by. It even helps him to brush up on his abilities, and gain experience (including now). But each time, they ironically made him feel more empty and unrewarding by the end. "Of course, attacking a village is not exactly the most kind act of being a 'guest'. But… is this all that I've worked for…? For myself, or others that really need help?"

Getting out of his thoughts for a moment, Adam takes a step in the safe, regardless of his remorse. But he then turns back around. He places his hand on his handle, about to draw his katana from what he sensed. And what Adam sensed had collided with a few inches of his blade, before curving off into the safe. A projectile slash from outside the cage.

Within the safe, a massive multi-elemental-Dust explosion was induced. Along with it was destroyed Lien, fluttering down. After dashing away, Adam can see that a lot of his main objective was destroyed. But even still, he sees that the Guard and him were safe from the attack while on the ground.

And looking up, Adam sees who had tried to attack him from outside the cage. It was another Huntsman. This time, armed with a shotgun, and an odachi.

Huntsman: "Hahaha! Nice reflex. But try dodging this!"

The Huntsman holds up their shotgun, and shoots at Adam, near the Guard. Without hesitation, Adam grabs the Guard and dodges the shot, making the Huntsman grunt in frustration. With one more shot from the Huntsman, they both had disappeared out of sight.

In a trail of flying papers outside of the cage, the Huntsman looks around and finds them. Within the bank's main entrance, Adam and the Guard are in one corner.

Guard: "That was close!"

Adam: "Stay down!"

Getting back up, Adam shoves the Guard down under a chair and out of the way. Now in another battle, he runs and dodges the Huntsman's shotgun blasts.

With only his grasp on his katana set, Adam hesitates to draw his weapon. To his attention, he notes the civilians running in a panic. Thus, restraining him from fully drawing his blade and being on offense. That is, with the exception of unsheathing halfway before sheathing, and absorbing the attacks with his blade and glowing Semblance, however.

Adam: "Rage, hatred, humiliation…" As Adam absorbs the blasts, his grey complexion darkens, slightly. And as he does, all he feels is only negative aspects of the Huntsman's resided aura, despite their expressions of thrill. "I need to have restraint. I can't get- *grunt* too much, or else."

The same cannot be said for the Huntsman. Despite his eyes set on fighting Adam, his dodged shots occasionally hurt the running civilians. It pays him no mind as he laughs and pursues Adam. To add on to Adam's guilt, the curve of his blade forces the blasts to slide over its edges. While it allows for his own absorbing defense, it goes against his familiarity with his previous straight-edged weapons. Occasionally, this hurts other surrounding people who get within range.

Adam: "Inconsiderate bastard…! Though who am I to criticize?" Now closing into Adam, the Huntsman swings his odachi. Again, Adam remains on the defense, dodging and blocking the attacks, only with his blade. Like before with the shots, the Huntsman's missed attacks inconsiderably end up hurting others who have yet to escape. "Nobody would be in this mess if I hadn't shown up." As Adam lands on the desk for a moment, he sees passed the flying papers that the Guard had escorted the rest of the civilians outside. This leaves the bank to finally be clear. "*chuckle* That idiot… Tell 'em to stay down, and they don't listen to your warning… Still…" The Huntsman swings at Adam, but right before Adam had disappeared through a rain of papers. And from behind the Huntsman, Adam reappears within the papers. "It is a guard's job to protect the people and their wellbeing. Especially from idiots like us, if not even a Huntsman like you will do as such…" Adam then dashes up to the Huntsman, now getting to offense. "...or if they're facing a Beast, like me!"

Embarking in a proper fight, Adam overpowers the Huntsman with one hand on his katana. His slashes create residues that both meet and pass the odachi, cutting the walls around the Huntsman. It forces him to drop his shotgun, and fight with both hands on his sword. In between his rapid slashes, Adam finds the patience to occasionally sheath his blade, before going in the rapid slashes again. Eventually, it leads him to swing past the Huntsman's defense, and bring him to one knee.

Adam then sheaths his blade, as he reaches for his revolver at his side.

Adam: "Surrende-."

However, the time it took Adam to quickly reach for his pistol was enough for the Huntsman to counter. He immediately drew his odachi and cut Adam's pistol barrel, clean off. The Huntsman then swings for another attack, but is hit against Adam's swinging sheathed katana.

As he does as such, Adam immediately leans in close. Right then, he activates his Semblance, draining the surrounding light, and makes his red complexion glow. The mere sight of it all frightens the Huntsman.

With just his palm, Adam induces Moonslice to the Huntsman's abdomen. The impact causes him to fly back, diminish his aura, and crash. The Huntsman slowly gets back up, but coughs up blood. He stands straight up while exhausted.

Huntsman: "You, piece of filth…!" As the Huntsman raises his odachi, Adam turns his head in shame. "You… ANIMA-!"

The Huntsman had choked on his last words. Adam knew what had happened, seeing how still the Huntsman was. Looking at him, he knew the Huntsman was already dead. His Semblance caused his blood to disintegrate, from inside and out. Before he could fall, Adam dashes up and eases the Huntsman down. He then closes the Huntsman's eyes to rest.

Adam: "(whisper) Fuck!" The Guard, while still present, had seen the whole encounter, but remains still before Adam. "*sigh*... They were all just doing their job, just like I am. Difference is, these people might not have been killed from my ignorance…" All around the bank, bloody corpses can be seen from what feels to be a useless cause. It leads Adam to clean his blade with a cloth, and sheath it away. "As corrupted as this man seems, I'm the one who is truly at fault. Their job is to be this village's guardian of resources… and it would've been much smoother before I arrived." He then looks over to the Guard, still standing before him. "This… This is all wrong…"

Guard: "It is, I know. I saw the whole thing… But you have your own reasons for doing what you did… just as I have my reasons for helping. You spared my life, and considered the lives of the townsfolk… I don't expect you to give up the life you have now so easily. I can see your dedication towards it… But… I'd be happy if you did. You are better than this." Adam cannot bring himself to say anything. "Well, I'll let you carry on with your mission. I'll stay out of sight and pretend I didn't see anything."

Despite his mission and the Guard's allowance, Adam only holds completely still. After a moment, he turns around and walks. That is, until there is a gun fire heard from behind Adam.

Adam immediately turns back around, and becomes shocked. He sees that the Guard had been killed. And the evidence shows as they lie on the front desk's edge, with a red handle-less sword blade lodged through their chest. Adam looks back at the door, knowing the culprit.

Adam: "Master Raven?!"

Raven: "HaHAAhahahaHa! That was a g-*hiccup*-good shot, wasn't it?!" Raven Branwen, leader of the Branwen Tribe, the group of bandits in which Adam instructed second-hand, walks within the bank. Her hand holds close to the handle of her multi-dust blades at her hip, after sheathing her trigger handle. And in her other hand is a bottle of rum. "Hey there, ch-champ. Nice work on sacking this town."

Striding up to Raven, Adam sounds frustrated.

Adam: "Master, you didn't have to kill this-!"

Raven: "Hey!" Immediately, even while drunk, Raven instantly draws a blade against Adam's neck, stopping him in his tracks. "(slurred) Don't- Don't get all snappy with me you… You goat-man."

Adam: "(sarcasm) I'm a bull-Faunus, thank you…" Raven then sheaths her blade, and sloppily shoves Adam aside. "*exhale*" Out of relief from her threat, he catches his breath. Also, due to her alcohol consumption. "Oum, her breath reeks…!"

Raven: "Always so…" She then tries to place her blade-less handle into the bottom end of the blade that she shot out. The one lodged in the lifeless Guard. "So…" It takes her a while, like one would to get their keys in the car door. "So… cereal-!" She succeeds, but while the Guard is now slouched on the ground, she shamefully wipes the blood on her blade clean on their face. "-'Serious', I mean."

As Raven sheaths her blade and walks up to the safe, Adam follows. But not before looking down at the Guard. It had made him feel a small hint of peace, seeing that they died with a calm smile on their face. Nonetheless, Adam wipes it clean of blood, lies them down peacefully, and closes their eyes to rest as well.

Adam: "I'm sorry… for all of this… Thank you for understanding, but none of this should've-."

Raven: "Aww, damn it all!" Hearing her from across the bank, Adam runs up to Raven. They both look into the safe, and note its destruction. He also notes how spontaneously sober she sounds. "There's only a quarter left of what we came here for! And you just let everything else get destroyed!"

Adam: "Master Raven, I didn't-."

Raven: "This is coming out of your rations." Understanding how he is responsible (despite it being the Huntsman's doing), Adam makes no complaint. "You're gonna have to shake another village in order to compensate for the rest of our whole tribe…"

Adam: "Wait, Master-!"

Raven: "...By yourself!"

After smashing the rum bottle and what's left of it in the ground, Raven angrily strides off to the front door of the bank. Adam pleadingly follows, as the bandits approach the safe with bags and crates.

Adam: "Master Raven, please! I beg you to listen." They now exit the bank, and pass the vehicle carriers being loaded. The whole village was slightly in even more damage than before entering the bank. "I understand my careless actions, but we can't raid another village so consecutively. The Grimm will be here soon from the havoc we caused. If I attack another village, that panic won't just double. It'll multiply, and eventually spread far enough to possibly reach our campsite."

Raven: "Well then you had better travel far away from Kuchinashi and cause a panic there. You'd probably make it back to the camp a little quicker if you'd stop sparing your opponents, too. Pathetic…"

Adam: "But Master, all of these villages can hardly afford the destruction we've caused already! I could just plunder somewhere nearby stealthily without getting caught. But that wouldn't be-!"

Stopping in her tracks, Raven forcefully turns back to Adam.

Raven: "I don't want to hear it! You are the second in command of this family! As a leader, you have to be willing to take the fall for all of your people's shortcomings! What they lack in abilities, you pick up on. What they lack in order to strive, you supply. And what YOU lack in abilities, YOU work harder at! No excuses! I expect you to be next in line to lead this tribe when my time is up… N-No one else…!" Unsure how or why, Adam heard a hint of hesitance in Raven's tone for a moment. "Otherwise, you're as good as a dog. A dog, who will only lead us to live like strays."

Adam: "Wha-?!"

Inching in closer, Raven grabs her handle, and grits her teeth.

Raven: "And I WILL put you down, if I feel that you've turned your back and got soft on us! We shed blood, before we shed weakness…! Is that understood, Beast?!"

Adam: "She still reeks of alcohol… but I still feel as though she is just in her… 'warning'. Afterall, she took me in and trained me… and she has a whole tribe to watch over… I have no choice, but to submit to my mentor… Yes, Master… Nevermore."

Raven: "Good… Get your shit together, boy." Raven removes her hand from her handle and walks away. "Have yourself ready by tonight, and get those resources at our home. You have three days to be back."

By all that had transpired, shame had resided into Adam's heart. From his actions, to his failed objective, and disappointing his leader/mentor.

Most of the vehicles had left in obnoxious excitement. Despite the bank's lack of quality, they had still ransacked the entire town of their rations, property, and other valuables. All that is left is its destruction, civilians who were dead inside and out, and faint distant Grimm sounds. It caused the people to take shelter, after giving unpleasant glares at Adam.

Taking a good look at it all, Adam had felt completely unjustified of anything.

But while everybody had already cleared the area, there was a brief sight of two individuals that stood out.

Adam: "Is that…?"

The two folks quickly ran. They saw that Adam noticed them and their handkerchiefs over their faces. But along with animalistic features on their bodies, the back of their shirts had an ominous looking symbol of claw marks and a vicious panther head silhouette.

(Evening…)

Within the dark depths of the woods, Adam left the Branwen tribe's campsite. As instructed, he makes his way through the woods of Anima. His designation is to a part of town away from the residences of Kuchinashi. But while carrying his entire tent and essentials, ready to camp for approximately three days, he has an irritant expression that had been building up.

While looking through his Scroll, Adam tries calming himself down by looking through it. And within it, he has about 2 years worth of voicemails. Among those is approximately 700 calls and voicemails that had caught Adam's attention the most at the moment.

(2 Years Ago…)

Jaune(Voicemail): "Hey bro! It's Jaune. Just wanted to see how you're doing. You know, after our battle. *nervous laugh* I wasn't too sure if you were still hurt from my last blow… Also, I wanted to know if you made it safely in Mistral, and Haven, so… Yeah, just give me a call back when you get the chance and let me know. Okay, bye."

All throughout the night, Adam had been listening to Jaune's voicemails. He had managed to cover a good sum of miles over a couple hundred messages. And from his path, he even left a trail of dead Grimm from a single strike, each.

(1 Year, 6 Months Ago…)

Jaune(Voicemail): "Hey Adam. Um, so I'm guessing you're on a mission. Or quite a few, I'm assuming. Either that, or things might be a bit tough for you and your parents. None of us can get ahold of them. I tried asking dad, but he says he's been trying to call them too… I think. Or he's just too busy, but-. Anyways, I've been busy too, but I have some news I forgot to tell you; I won this year's Regional Tournament in Vale! I'm the first-year Champion of Signal! Woo-Hoo! Yeah! ...Boy, I wish you were here. More sponsors and some Huntsmen have been over my head ever since. Kinda embarrassing. But you really helped me back at my qualification… So, I'll keep leaving you voicemails so you can be up to date, here in Vale. And thanks, again. Bye!"

Jaune's optimism sparks an enlightened bit of hope to Adam's heart. It even motivates him to run in his path for a moment. And doing as such, he had made it almost halfway through the messages. However, the further he gets through messages of later time, the sadder Adam begins to feel.

(1 Year Ago…)

Jaune(Voicemail): "Heeey, Adam! My Birthday's here. I'm a teenager, now. (awkward) And, you know, like, everybody else's passed too. Like yours, and… So like, is this gonna be another group of years where you don't visit or call again? Last time, I knew it would be a while for you and your parents, but I thought it would be easier this time. We still haven't been able to talk to your mom or dad… It's making me a little worried. I've been thinking about going out to Mistral myself. Especially since… I don't know if you've been watching the news, but… the White Fang here in Vale is starting to get a little more violent, now." And that is when Adam stopped in his tracks, halfway to his destination. He has heard these messages before over the years. But among them, any mention of that certain group has put him in conflict. "Huntsmen and Huntresses are starting to turn most of them in, instead of making peaceful arrangements like before. I… guess you were right all along. Now I'm concerned if either humans, OR Faunus are safe in either Vale or Mistral… A-Anyways, you know the drill. 'Call me back, let me know you're okay (I really hope you are), and I'll call you, later'. Just… please, be careful out there, wherever you may end up… Bye."

Adam: "Hmm… The White Fang…"

After a moment of pondering, Adam continues traveling. He had made it through most of his voicemails, and can see his destination from afar. The village he sees has bright lights among the dark night. Many can assume that such a town has prosperous fortune, compared to other towns run down within Anima. And before getting there, Adam tries finishing up the voicemails.

(6 Months Ago…)

Jaune(Voicemail): "Hey, bro. It's me again. Just to give you an update, um… The Tournament's coming up this year. (glum) Gonna go through qualifications again. This time, without your help… unless they assign you on a special mission for that, like last time. That'd be fun… And, you know, dad said I oughtta stop with the calls and voicemails to you. Said I should 'Let you focus on your studies.' And 'I should do the same for mine.' But, studying hasn't gotten any easier since my brother left… Catherine's still got my back, but not with all these meetings and close observations from dad, his Councilmen, and business partners across Remnant. It's been taking its toll with them treating me like some prodigy… The rest of the girls have moved out, with their perfect little careers as Huntresses. Catty might be on her way to do the same, too. I feel like I've lost all of my confidence, without you here."

Getting closer to the village this time, Adam had wrapped up the rest of the voicemails. He then chooses to approach the village, stealthily. Without being seen, he goes up to the rooftops, and looks over everything from below.

The village was having a festival. An Eastern Festival with games, food, bright lights, kimono and yukatas on most of the inhabitants. The village in which held this festival was one that Adam was greatly familiar with.

An Eastern Festival within Shion.

Looking within this village, Adam was in search of his main objective. His reason for traveling far away from the Branwen tribe. He only hoped that there was as much worth as he anticipated. And then he spotted what he had hoped to find.

His brother.

Wearing a kimono with a black and orange hoodie underneath, Adam knows that it is Jaune at the age of 14. Hood aside, he watches his awkward nature and posture. That, and a glimpse of his blonde hair. Although, it seems longer to Adam's surprise.

And from behind, Adam had seen some of his sisters come up, and invade Jaune for a moment. He tries handling them all at once, even while feeling embarrassed, and pulling his hood down, more. But eventually, he gives them some love, before they go on and about with their business.

Throughout most of the festival, Adam had kept his attention on Jaune. Despite the sadness described throughout the voicemails, he can see Jaune in his kind nature. He had played a lot of the games that were available, ate a few treats, and enjoyed himself. More times than for himself, he would win a prize or buy food for his sisters. Or even other kids, human and Faunus. Adam had felt grateful to see someone's kind nature, with no influence or action of plunder or violence after so long.

But after getting a moment alone, Adam sees as Jaune takes out his Scroll, and starts calling it. And to nearly make his heart stop, he feels that his own Scroll went off.

While on silent, he regretfully looks, and sees that it is (of course) Jaune calling. Holding himself from answering, Adam only looks at his Scroll and squeezes it in shame. The pressure of his hand even cracks the screen.

So like always, Adam does not answer. And right afterwards, Jaune leaves a voicemail. This time, to hear before being sent. For Jaune to make a voicemail in front of Adam, after years of ignoring his calls, is to make his heart break harder than before, and put him to his hands and knees. And only when Jaune takes off his hood does Adam smile at his slightly more mature face. He even admires Jaune's usually festive, now longer, Warrior's Wolf-Tail (ponytail) hairstyle.

Jaune: "Hey, Adam. It's me, Jaune… again. Heh heh. I'm at the Festival, here in Shion. Vacation, at last! I don't suppose you can make a request to leave and come this way to see us, would you? *chuckle* ...Look… Adam, it's been two years… Five years (not counting our last fight) since you left home… And… I miss you. W-We miss you, bro. We just-(crying) We just wanna hear your voice again." Seeing Jaune cry puts Adam on the verge of jumping down and embracing him. He forces himself to hold back his own tears, causing him to physically hurt. "I want to know that you're okay… and nothing happened to you, or your family…! I don't know what I'd do if you got hurt… out there in the world! *crying* But please… PLEASE… be safe…! We love you, Adam. And if you can… talk to me… if you're out there listening… Bye."

So as Jaune hangs up his Scroll while wiping away his tears, Adam receives his latest voicemail of the night.

Soon after, Jaune wipes away his tears. Before going out to meet his sisters, he forces a smile on himself. They all continue with their night, without their extended family with them.

Adam: "Worry not, brother… and sisters. With all that I've learned and endured over the years, I'll find a way to return home… But I must first find answers, here in Anima. Maybe then, I can fix myself from what all I've done, if I ever hope to return home, become better, or even stronger for you, Jaune. And when I do… I will fix this world… For you… For us… and educate you on my new found knowledge."

(Unknown In Anima…)

Lying on the ground are what look to be Faunus civilians. They appear to be exhausted and close to passing out. But by the looks of their bandanas over their faces, dropped weapons, and aggressive symbols on their clothing, they appear to be the same kind of people that stood out from Kuchinashi; newly reformed White Fang members. They show no signs of fatal wounds, other than a singular gash on each of their bodies.

They look at the door they were previously guarding with their blurry, tired vision. And the culprit in grey and red who had done this simply walks in, leaving them to sleep.

(White Fang Headquarters…)

From inside the hidden fortress, a collection of other White Fang members run out from the furthest corners of the room. And with them is their High Leader, striding in front of the throne.

?: "What's going on out here?!"

The White Fang members point their weapons forward and ease further down the room. Behind the front door, they see fallen White Fang members who were taken down, previously.

And before them is Adam, sheathing his newly obtained odachi (from Kuchinashi).

Adam: "Long time, no see, Sienna Khan."

Sienna: "(whisper) Young Taurus… Adam…" Seeing Adam, with a less than hopeful mood, Sienna clenches her fists, staring down at him. "(holler) On him, now!"

With caution, the guards act with haste and surround Adam. They all hold their weapons out, pointing toward him, ready to fire and lunge at him.

However, in a red flash, Adam already appears right at the bottom of Sienna's steps. She becomes shocked and even frightened by what she witnessed. It strikes even greater fear, seeing that as Adam sheaths his weapon, her guards had fallen, before questioning where he went.

Sienna: "Wha-?! Y-You just-!"

Adam: "I just… came to talk." Immediately, Sienna reaches for her weapon. However, before she could, with his father's (now) grey and (darker) red pistol, Bleed, Adam holds her at gunpoint. "I'm hoping that now, we can hold a conversation without anymore violence, as it is… I wouldn't have been able to make an appointment for this without hurting some of your guards, anyway."

Hearing and looking past Adam, Sienna is reminded that her guards are actually alive. They only appear to be hurt, and exhausted from a single cut on each of them. Seeing this act of mercy, she partially admires how he was able to do all of this with one swing per member, and so fast.

Sienna: "Okay then… Let's talk." With Sienna's cooperation, Adam eases his pistol down. "I'll start… Explain how you found this location."

Adam: "I've raided many villages over the years (Not that I'm proud of it). And I've caught eye and evidence of different shops that were burned down by your group… before mine could plunder it. In case you weren't aware, your forces aren't the best at covering their tracks upon retreat… let alone, defending their own fort here."

Sienna: "Hmph. Always good to know what to fix up in our organization. Thank you… Now, what is it that YOU wanted to talk about, Adam? Have you really missed your babysitter that much? *chuckle*"

Adam: "Sure, you could say that. *chuckle* But I'm more curious about my Uncle, Ghira… I've had my doubts as to how effective your organization is. Bringing attention to the Faunus kind only screams 'equality', rather than producing it in my eyes. Yet that seemed to be what Uncle Ghira and his protests say is their goal, despite their lack of combat abilities in self defense. Yet, when it comes to Huntsmen and Huntresses, they seem to have what this group lacked when I was growing up. The right initiative that brought peace, and encouraged equality. But as of the past couple of years, things have changed, from what I've heard. Not only have I felt corruption from Huntsmen within these parts of Remnant, but now that I see that you're in charge, I can only imagine why more violent methods have taken place. So I have to ask you, 'High Leader Khan'… What is it that the White Fang truly wishes to accomplish, now?"

Sienna: "You've quite the interesting perspective… Well, young Taurus, the goal of the White Fang is to preserve peace for the Faunus. Same as it always has. But also to advance in society and have the respect we deserve among the humans. And since Ghira's peaceful ways have been less than thorough, we've chosen to instill force before they try and put us down, now that I'm in charge."

Adam: "I see… But before you took charge, Huntsmen and Huntresses have still preserved equality and protection, even before the White Fang could take action. So what are your thoughts on Huntsmen and Huntresses, like the Arc family?"

Sienna: "Oh yes, I could never forget the General… It is true, that many of them have a more righteous way of protecting the world. They're actions may not be focused on Faunus' rights alone, but rather overall protection from Grimm and other criminals. But I like to think our group now picks up where they leave off. Because there are those that have strayed from their heroism, as you mentioned before. They do more damage than any thug or monster would alone. So overall, I'm rather in a supportive, yet non-investing position, with them."

Adam: "I'd say we both agree in that regard… And what of the humans, all together? How do you stand with them?"

Sienna: "...We've no concern for them. Their struggles are minor, compared to our race's oppression. While it has gotten better for us over the years from those who've fought for our rights, we choose not to stop until all humans cease from their discrimination, and we evolve. I've tried holding on to their trust. But each time, I've always been betrayed by their kind. And because of that, I've learned that violence was a necessity for the sake of our own kind, and their security."

Adam: "...I see." From everything he heard, Adam ponders on Sienna's statements. "...Thank you for your time then, Sienna. It was nice to see you, after so long. I'll be on my way now."

Adam turns the other way and walks toward the door. And this makes Sienna look puzzled.

Sienna: "...Is… that all you came here for?"

Adam: "For now, yes." Adam continues walking with his head slightly turned. "I've only misjudged your organization by a little. Just be sure not to harm the innocent, and you might not have to see me like this again. I'd hate to hear another message where my brother feels unsafe... But right now, I have some errands to fulfill."

Sienna: "*chuckle*" Hearing Sienna laugh, Adam becomes uneasy, and slightly slows down from walking. "That's it, really?! *chuckle* I was afraid that you were sent here by General Arc himself… Or maybe you were even looking for Ghira… I almost thought, perhaps, you had some questions about your father… Questions that they won't answer."

Adam then stops, but without looking back. He can tell that Sienna was playing a manipulative game. Unfortunately for his already heavy heart, it was working.

Adam: "If it's all the same to you, I would hope that you keep my family, or any of our other acquaintances from knowing where I am, or where I've been."

Sienna: "Huh…? So… you're not with them, then? If you're here in Anima, wouldn't they be, too?" Adam gives no response, refusing to give her more information than she might already know. "If not, then the Belladonnas must still be over in Menagerie, where they've been secluded." He hears her step down from her steps. "Perhaps you've been secluded too, and that's why you came to me for answers. Difference is, Ghira and Khali are living the royal life, ruling over that island where Faunus live peacefully on of its land." She then starts walking slowly up to him. "The General is perhaps all over Remnant, but also enjoying his time with his family… except you." As she gets closer to him, he feels his heart starting to ache. "And where are YOU, now? And where is YOUR family?"

Adam: "My family is in Mistral." Now giving more information, Adam feels vulnerable to Sienna's questions. "My mother and father are just fine at home."

Sienna: "You think they're-? ...Oh, Adam… You don't know." Sienna places her hand on Adam's shoulder, making himself tense up. "Your parents are long gone from Mistral. Your mother hopefully found herself another home, but your father is not home with her. That much, I'm certain of… He's been in prison this whole time." His heart had skipped a beat. "He was locked up two years ago, by Genera-."

Instantly, Adam had disappeared. But to Sienna's shock this time, she feels a blade held up to her neck. And from behind, it was Adam with his father's wakizashi, Scatter.

Adam: "Do NOT, make claims like that so lightly about my family, Khan! Explain yourself, and choose your words wisely this time. Or so help me…!"

Even while back to being afraid, Sienna musters back up her confidence. What she had planned, she continues on with.

Sienna: "...Well, clearly you've been distant from more than your loved ones, but society as well. Now haven't you?" From her remark, Adam only gives a slight push of his Semblance. It makes her aura react, and for the blade to make her neck bleed a small stream. "*sigh* If you remove this blade from my neck, I can show you."

Adam hesitates, but eases his force on Sienna's neck. Now allowing her to walk, he follows her at knife point. She turns and walks to the back corner of the hall.

As they enter a new location in the building, other White Fang members flinch and hold their weapons up to Adam from behind Sienna. They don't shoot, as he then holds Bleed up, ready to fire. They only stand down by her orders.

Sienna: "At ease, everyone! Our new guest will be on his way, after I show him something. I'll be alright."

One big and muscular member in particular drops his weapon entirely, almost shocked to see Adam specifically. He only stares at his mask, while rubbing his left arm, however.

Now reaching where Sienna had led Adam, she opens the door to an office of planning. She walks in behind the desk, while he stands at the door, now holding her at gunpoint, only. He watches as she digs in her drawers, anticipating for her to attack. However, she only takes out a collection of folders, and a Scroll tablet.

Among the folders, there were three files that Sienna presented. Each of them have codenames and who they identify as. And this surprises Adam. "Agent CODENAME: Black Cat", "Agent CODENAME: White Rabbit", and "Agent CODENAME: Red Bull". After a few minutes of reading through the three files, he saw that each of them have history and records that put Adam in greater shock from its evidence.

Adam: "Father… Not just Ghira, but… the three of them… All these years, they kept it all from me… From us(Jaune and I)! ...Do his sisters know? Does cousin Blake know?!"

For a few seconds, Sienna allows for Adam to process all that he discovered.

Sienna: "...I'm very sorry you had to find out this way, Adam. Truly, I am… But you should know, your father was even more exceptional than the files read here. So much has been given to our people, under his protection over the years." Eventually, Adam begins to cry. Both out of discovering a certain secret over his life, and the thought of his missed family. "I know you've had your faith in Huntsmen over the years. You were so ambitious as a child… But your father, Yamato, was the hero that shaped the world into better accepting our people."

Adam: "...Was he really?"

Sienna: "Yes… Here." Sienna then passes Adam the Scroll tablet. "Have a look."

Adam takes the tablet, and turns it on. The video in which it plays is a recorded news report within parts of Anima. Otherwise known as Mistral News Network (MNN).

MNN Reporter: "Police have arrived on scene in an attempt to reduce the uproar, at one of Mistral's ramen shops. But the White Fang's protests do not end there. Within other parts of Mistral, there have been other businesses that have protesting rallies less than pleased with their practices of 'No Faunus' allowed. These include local theaters, clothing stores, and duly noted especially, weapon shops. All within different parts of Central Mistral, Kuchinashi, and Wind Path. All in which, there are White Fang protesters with picket signs, crying voices, and bearing arms, in spite of restrictions. Given that most of the members were seemingly reluctant to utilize their weapons, nearly all attempts in sustaining this group have been less than subtle. Police have chosen to use brutal force to silence these peaceful protesters, and confiscate all of their present weaponry."

Adam: "I've been up in Haven Academy, during that time…"

MNN Reporter: "However, in a mere darkening flash, most officers and the discriminators have been met with instantaneous injuries of laceration. While not fatal, these injuries of an unknown source have left them immobile, and for the protesters to face no further harm from brutality."

Adam: "It's father! ...He came from the shadows, and kept a low profile while protecting them!"

MNN Reporter: "While it is unconfirmed with any given evidence, the source is more than likely connected with the White Fang, ever since their first debut here in Mistral. And ever since then, the continent of Anima has been given a 4.9% decrease in reported Faunus discrimination over the years."

Adam: "It's just like Vale and Sanus! Father's skills, it's just like how…!" Just then, after being happy to see his father's abilities, Adam becomes sad, recognizing his own resemblance. "...How I use my abilities… except for how I've used it for theft… Ever since I left… all I've ever done was cause more mayhem for others… for the sake of bandits, as well as my living. But father… he doesn't…"

Sienna: "Of course, as his son, you realize that. His actions have even inspired your cousin to join our cause…"

Adam: "Blake?!"

Sienna: "Indeed. She was moved by Yamato's vigilance and tactics. She highly encourages what all he was willing to do for our people… Unlike her own parents… Or even these humans, here…! Look."

Tapping on the tablet Scroll, Sienna brings Adam's attention to another downloaded video. Looking at it, the surrounding area seems to be a discrete room with white walls. But who the person was, sitting down in the room, had greatly affected Adam.

?: "State your name, please."

Legume: "...Legume Gules-Tan."

?: "And what is your current affiliation?"

Legume: "Huntsman… Of the Atlesian Kingdom services. I suppose you want me to state my old job, too?"

?: "Irrelevant."

Adam: "(whisper) Oh, I know what it was…!"

For a moment, Sienna had seen Adam's grey complexion turn dark, but right before it changed back.

?: "And, where were you over the past 6 hours?"

Legume: "I was at the Schnee Dust Factory, on the South side of Windpath."

Adam: "This was two years ago… I was out on a mission, fighting Grimm while attending Haven…"

?: "Okay… Hello, Mr. Gules-Tan. Thank you for your cooperation. My name is Gener-."

Legume: "I know who you are. 'General Ironwood'. My superior. The good Commander of our proud Kingdom! And also Headmaster of the proud Academy I graduated from."

Ironwood: "Yes, well… There was a different time while some of us were students, while others were out in the field… Onto the subject at hand: I have more important questions to ask you. And this is based on the events that occurred at the Schnee Dust Factory."

Legume: "You mean the 'Devil's Judgement'? That attack that's been going on around Anima?"

Adam: "He's referring to father… And his Semblance, 'Newslice'."

Ironwood: "If that is what you wish to call it, sure. I'm well aware of its impact over the years. But along those lines, what were you doing at that factory?"

As the recording shows Legume Gules-Tan explaining himself, Sienna pulls up a split screen. It shows most of the events that he explains to Ironwood.

Legume: "My job. I was standing guard, alongside the soldiers there. Taking out anybody who wanted to sneak in, as usual." From what was seen, only one bandit had been shot by Legume from their poor attempt. "But it was a rather slow day at first."

Ironwood: "Alright. Now, explain the first event that occurred with the Faunus."

Legume: "A group of those White Fang protesters marched up to our gates. Making claims that their 'Faunus brethren' were put through harsh labor, and not getting enough pay. We gave them a warning to leave, until some of them had to be shot for getting too close. Idiots…"

Ironwood: "And what had happened afterwards?"

Legume: "Their presence, their whiny little cries attracted Grimm to the factory. From every corner, they surrounded the whole complex, and even frightened the dumb animal-people that came up to us in the first place."

Ironwood: "And how do you remember the situation becoming sustained?"

Legume: "For the first few minutes, our weapons took out most of them." Adam sees that despite their aim at Grimm, their artillery ended up killing some of the protesters as well. "It was good shooting!"

Ironwood: "How long did it take for the Grimm to be disposed of?"

Legume: "We were only about 5 minutes in, destroying them all. It'd take us 10 minutes to clear everything up… But once the Devil's Judgement hit… the Grimm were gone… in a mere second!" Adam sees as such, in a black flash. "He nearly killed most of my men… in just a second, I tell ya! But my boys…! Lying on the ground! Our mechs, nowhere to be found!" Among the unconscious Atlesian military troops, Grimm smoke and metal ashes blew in the wind. "I was the only Huntsman, standing! He had it out for me, I know it!"

Ironwood: "Why would he?"

It took Legume a moment to think about his response. But he knew it was along the lines of a different, more devious subject.

Legume: "...Irrelevant…"

Legume smirks, putting Ironwood off. It causes Ironwood to leave long hard writings in his questioning, out of passive irritation.

Ironwood: "...And how did you handle the situation then?"

Legume: "I couldn't. He beat my ass thoroughly without wanting to end it quick, unlike he did for everyone else. They were all down in an instant. But as soon as my aura dropped, the White Fang invaded the factory, and berraded the staff. All we could do was watch, unable to move."

Ironwood: "Okay… Now, here's the more essential question we're looking for." Adam brings his attention slightly closer. "The man with the actions you described, his name is Yamato Taurus. Whether you know him or not is… irrelevant… However, do you remember how he was taken in at all?"

Legume: "Oh, I remember alright! If you ask me, that Devil Beast ought to have been executed in the most brutal of ways…! He's a new breed of Faunus, that'll spawn more demons in this world, if he isn't killed, immediately. But being taken to Atlesian prisons? Knowing what they do to those animals?! Oh, I think I'll settle for just that, for now!"

From what was seen and explained next, Adam's heart had broken. Among seeing his father and the White Fang members beat up and arrested, something had occurred that he did not like.

Adam was now angry. The position his father was in, after his selfless acts over the years, and those that served alongside him, had made Adam angrier the more he thought about it. To be thrown in Atlesian prisons as a Faunus was already a horrid thought. But the process that he just witnessed to get him in the cuffs in the first place made something snap inside of Adam.

There was a massive surge of change inside of Adam, that made his grey complexion grow darker again. This time, it stays dark, frightening Sienna, and making his red complexion glow.

Legume: "...Heh heh heh heh. Serves him right!"

Ironwood: "Now, is there anything else you wish to add on to this matter? Such as other witnesses, or loose evidence?"

Legume: "...Nope."

Regardless of what Legume states, Adam holds Scatter and Bleed tightly, noting how he had retrieved it in the first place.

Ironwood: "Okay. Well, as your Commanding Officer, you are to keep all that you've witnessed confidential, and utter no further word of the events. To do as such will place you under non-judicial punishment between mild, to crucial measures as I, the Commander, see fit. And as of this moment, you will be transferred over to the Kingdom of Mistral. Your Huntsman duties will mostly reside there until further notice, in agreement to both Councils' decision. Is that understood?"

Legume: "Yes, sir."

Legume salutes General Ironwood, and he returns it.

Ironwood: "You are dismissed."

Legume: "Thank you, sir." They both cut, and Legume turns around. "Have a good day, sir." Legume makes his way to the door, but stops before leaving. "...Oh, I actually do have one more thing to add, sir." Ironwood listens with intrigue. "Even as I leave my beloved Kingdom of Atlas… I'll have the Taurus family's heads for my trophies, make no mistake about that!"

Legume then leaves the room. But with a small glimpse as he leaves, Adam sees him look at his Scroll with Leonardo Lionheart's contact on it. Right then, Adam stabs the Scroll tablet with Scatter, knowing what transpired in his own life, afterwards.

Sienna gradually tries to put her hands on Adam's shoulders to calm him down. Whether she was still trying to manipulate him or not did not matter to him. What he had seen done to his family, and how they all currently stand was on his mind after what he witnessed.

Sienna: "A-Adam, honey… It's okay… Your father… we will free him, someday…! But in the meantime, before we can gain that power against those authorities, he would want his main objective to be fulfilled… And that is to preserve peace for our people… just as he's always done over the years." Gradually Adam begins to calm down, even while still angry. "Will you-?"

Adam: "All my life, I've wasted my days in believing certain paths of heroism, when my whole family have been pursuing that very thing I defied, as a Faunus…! Until that moment…!" Looking at the tablet Scroll, it disintegrates. "There really is no one, like Gules-Tan. But these humans, the rest of them… one, of potentially endless, who have taken our rights and our dignity…! Whether they be officers, bandits, soldiers, Generals, or even Huntsman and Huntresses… I only see now that they get by, from taking what they want… and protecting their own! And with no regards toward us, who they deem lesser beings!"

Sienna: "So then… what do you plan to do, now?"

Looking at Scatter, Adam reminisces for a moment, thinking of his father, before sheathing it in Bleed. He then looks at the odachi, unsheathing a few inches, and notes its blunting edges. Afterwards, he takes one good look up at the wall, behind the desk. On it is a map, as well as a flag.

On the map, Adam looks specifically at Vale. He has an urging desire to go there for many reasons. But afterwards, he looks intensely at the flag, and its new symbol of the White Fang.

(3 Years Later, Vale News Network (VNN)…)

Lisa Lavender: "The missing cars of the Schnee Dust Company's train cargo in Forever Fall had been found disconnected from the tracks, and in unrepairable destruction. Investigators have concluded that this was due to explosive charges set within the cars."

"While it is unconfirmed as to whom the suspect may be, the investigators have theorized that this was most likely another terrorist act from the once peaceful group, the White Fang. Their alibis include not only the antagonism of said group, but the train's evidence of illegal slave labor tools, and singed (yet clear enough) documents of Faunus employee restrictions. As for the crew members, they were all found tragically killed from the explosion."

"This outbreak had caused massive controversial arguments between many within the Kingdoms. From the lives and destruction caused toward the crew members and their company, to their previous conduction of Faunus labor."

"With all this in mind, researchers have shown that over the past 3 years, these harsher terrorist acts have had an enormous impact within the Kingdom of Vale. For indeed, reported Faunus discriminations have decreased 10% within each of those years in Vale. This time, out of fear, unlike in the past. And this totals Vale under a 94% decrease in Faunus discrimination to be reported. But the question that everybody, even nearly half of the Faunus community have is: Will anyone be truly safe from these revolutionary acts of terrorism? And how far will they go?"

(One Week Later, Forever Fall…)

Cardin: "I'm gonna make sure they send you back to mommy in teeny, tiny, pieces."

Jaune: "*sigh* Mom… If only she can see me now. What would she tell me in this situation? I can just imagine her seeing me… with her eyes… I don't care what you do to me, but you are not messing with my team… My friends…!"

Cardin: "What, you think talk like that makes you tough? You think you're a big strong man, now?"

Jaune: "*chuckle*"

Shine*

(Two Days Later, Unknown Warehouse…)

White Fang Member: "Sir! I have something to report from our mission at the docks, sir!"

While looking at a few quadcons of Dust and Lien, Adam Taurus turns his attention to one of his troops walking in. As a High-Ranking White Fang Member now, his attire is now the recognized red, white, and fully black outfit. And in his possession, the reunited but darkened, Wilt and Blush.

Adam: "What is it?"

White Fang Member: "It was a call from Roman Torchwick. He said that the mission was a failure. He had been interrupted by a small group of Huntresses and a Huntsman. All, in training. It led to a group of police officers to surround the area. Our troops had managed to escape, but one of them took a picture of one of the students."

The White Fang Member hands Adam their Scroll, showing them the person they identified. Adam sees it, but hardly amused."

Adam: "...Blake."

White Fang Member: "Yes, sir. One of our traitors. Should we send out a group to get her, sir?"

Adam: "...No."

(A Few Weeks Later, Town Center Breach…)

White Fang Member: "A-Are you sure this time, sir? She and her human friends are responsible for our brethren being stuck in that railroad… with those Grimm!"

On sunset, the Grimm on the surface had been destroyed, and a few White Fang members had been compromised. Watching from a distance on top of a building is Adam with a group of his troops at his side. He watches as Blake, with her team, prepare to leave in one of the bullheads.

Adam: "I'm sure. Instead, you all focus on getting our troops out of that railroad. I'll be there, after I light a fire under Cinder and her smug ass so she can help you all." The White Fang members take note of the irritants in Adam's tone against Cinder, and make haste to his order. "Besides… they're not what we should be looking out for. Nevermind my traitorous student, her partnership with Branwen's daughter, the alliance with the Schnee heiress, or even the Silver-Eyed leader of theirs. They'll be dealt with, in precisions…! But our real problem comes from what was near our campsite." Adam now looks from Blake and her team, RWBY, to another team, JNPR. He looks at both his formerly introduced, Pyrrha Nikos, and his formerly beloved, Jaune Arc. Both made targets for him. "That Light, in Forever Fall!"

(Over One Year Later, Salem's Kingdom…)

Within one of her training rooms, Adam stands, wearing nothing but his pants, gloves, mask, and armed with Wilt and Blush in his hands. The skin of his increased muscular figure glistens with sweat running down to his bare feet.

On Adam's left chest and back are what look to be faded tattoos. And they appear to be the same as his emblem and flowery tribal markings from his disassembled outfit.

But what possibly stands out more on Adam's body are not just the faded tattoos. Rather, all across his body are scars from his past and up to this point. From sword scars, to bullet scars, and shamefully on his back, whip scars.

Adam holds himself still, trying to catch his breath. And in front of him, he sees the cause of his exhaustion. Slowly walking back up to him, giggling and slithering his scorpion tail around, is Tyrian Callows.

Tyrian: "*giggle* Is that all you've got, Adam? You seem a little tired… *chuckle*."

Adam: "*panting* I'm fine. Let's start again."

Tyrian: "(sarcastic) Are you sure?! I wouldn't want to do too much damage to our Queen's 'strongest asset'! You almost had me on that last match! *snicker* We've been at it for hours, so I'm sure you'll get me another time. Just like how you'll get your brother, next ti-! Hahahahahahaha!"

Uncontrollably, Tyrian laughs at Adam from their previous sparring sessions. In addition, he brings up his defeat against Jaune, and Raven's interruption. Adam finds himself irritated, listening to his fellow Faunus of Salem's faction humiliate him.

Adam: "*grunt* Enough! I can take whatever damage you deal for days, if I have to! It's not the worst thing I've had to endure in my life… Now quit your amusement, and let's get back to it!"

Gradually, Tyrian recovers from laughing, as it dies down.

Tyrian: "*chuckle* Alright, alright. I'm through… But remember…" Tyrian bends down, engages his blades on his wrists, and looks at Adam gleefully. "...the next rounds are the REAL challenges!"

Getting himself ready, Adam brings his head up, sheaths Wilt into Blush, and bends his knees to face Tyrian, once more.

A steady silencing fills the air. Adam and Tyrian take in the presence of no one but themselves, dismissing the one observer in the shadows.

And in a flash, Tyrian ends up behind Adam.

Immediately turning to face Tyrian, Adam draws his sword. But by prediction, Tyrian mockingly laughs as he ends up behind Adam again. This gives Tyrian the advantage of cutting at Adam's body, before he unsheaths, and draws for defense.

Now with the fight in progress, Adam's sword stays out, as he swings at Tyrian. But his attacks are met with a few blocks, and mostly dodges. As he does this, Tyrian laughs and dances in his movements. This irritates Adam even more, knowing the familiar tactic from his previous sparring with Tyrian, and his previous fight with Jaune, especially.

It all leads Adam to attack faster and stronger. But they make no dent towards Tyrian, who then cuts at Adam, and knocks him away to the floor.

Lying on his back, Adam tries to get up. But giving him no time to recover, Tyrian, from up in the air, falls down to Adam with his blades up. Quickly, Adam rolls over to one knee. As Tyrian and his blades hit the ground, he kicks Adam back, making him stumble.

While Adam backs up with little balance, Tyrian dashes forward and swings at Adam's half sheathed, then unsheathed, defense. At one point, while swinging, Tyrian snakes his tail behind Adam's stumbling legs, and trips him to his back again. Inching up to Adam with each step, he lunges his stinger at Adam, who crawls backward to avoid it.

With one more thrust of Tyrian's stinger, Adam uses his sheathed weapon to block and divert it to the side. He then kicks at Tyrian, before twirling back up to his feet. With haste, Adam hits Tyrian all over his body with Wilt and Blush, sheathed. Eventually, he gets faster and stronger with his blunt attacks.

However, Tyrian starts to match Adam's speed, and endures his attacks by blocking. He does this in enjoyable rhythmic arm movements. Eventually, the arm movements become attacks with additional gun fire from his wrists. Being put back on defense, Adam blocks most of the attacks with his sheathed weapon.

Adam's defense on the blades and gunfire leave him getting more exhausted. Only during a few times, does he absorb the shots with Wilt's blade, Blush's buttstock, and his arm to brace them. But he feels the shockwaves of Tyrian's attacks get to him.

By one more attack, Tyrian cuts at Adam's ribs. It causes his aura to sputter at the very spot. Taking advantage of it, as Tyrian's eyes turn purple, he lunges his stinger into Adam's ribs, injecting him with his venom. Afterwards, he kicks Adam to the ground, now on one knee.

Tyrian: "*laugh* That's round one! But there's a twist! How will the great Adam Taurus fair in his next round… now that he's been stung?!"

Slowly, while utilizing his weapon, Adam stands straight back up. Blood drips from his wound, but his aura gathers back up and heals its flesh closed.

Adam: "*grunt*... This changes nothing… Aah-!" Just then, Adam feels the venom seep through his body, making his skin look more pale. But he ignores it. "I'm not going down so easily."

Taking another stance, Adam bends his knees, holding his sword handle.

Tyrian: "You don't have a choice, boy! We're not letting up on you." From the shadows surrounding them, and by the mention of 'we're', Grimm begin to walk up to Adam. From Beowulfs, to Ursa, and Beringel. He only holds still, taking in their presence, but focuses on Tyrian. "Now… for round two!"

As Tyrian pounces toward Adam, the Grimm follow suit. He responds by jumping to him as well, drawing his sword against his blades, and twirling past him. A group of Beowulfs from behind Tyrian, in front of Adam, had instantly died from each of their heads being cut off their jaws by Wilt. Tyrian goes back to Adam, swinging his blades. Adam defends with Wilt out, and notices four Ursa approaching from behind.

With Adam's quick defenses against Tyrian, the Ursa immediately die from his maneuver with three slashes to them, each. But it leaves him open for Tyrian to kick him in the face. Advancing to Adam, Tyrian puts more pressure on him, causing him to back up. Seeing himself get closer to the Grimm, he begins shooting and swinging at the Grimm, in between fending off Tyrian.

It becomes increasingly harder for Adam to keep up with his vicious opponents. So he decides to jump, avoiding Tyrian, and steps on top of each Grimm's head.

Adam circles around the room, jumping from one Grimm's head, to another. He sees Tyrian doing the same as him, but more playfully with feet and hands. Before he could catch up, Adam shoots at Tyrian, who dodges every shot. It bothers Adam, unsure of his next plan. But his thoughts are interrupted, as something snags his foot.

A Beringel, grabbing Adam's foot, knocks him to the ground. A group of more Beringel then surround him, and start punching him. Tyrian, standing on a Beowulf and an Ursa's head, laughs hard, before jumping over and joining them.

Adam feels all of his pain building up. The Grimm's fists, Tyrian's blades and fists, his venom from before, and his own frustration. He strains himself in anger, balling up his fists, and gritting his teeth. Gradually, the whole room turns darker than before. Tyrian sees this, and stops.

Activating a little bit of his Semblance, Adam creates a massive explosive wave, pushing Tyrian and the Grimm away. The closer Beringel die, but only after leaving a few sheds of rose petals.

With his red glow fading away, Adam now appears infuriated, holding on to Wilt's handle, and nearly disappears. All around Tyrian, getting back up, he sees the Grimm fall and die after red slashes from nowhere. He then sees Adam stop, and shoots five Grimm in the head without looking.

From behind, the remaining Beowulf, Ursa, and a Beringel jump at Adam. Again, without looking, he had instantly swung Wilt at them, before sheathing his weapon, and killing them. Noting how that was the last of the Grimm, Adam immediately charges at Tyrian, awaiting his approach.

But right as Adam inches his sword back out, his body pulsates in pain. The venom had increased its progression through his body. And it makes Adam trip in his approach.

Before Adam could fall however, Tyrian kicks his face up, and to the side. By swiftly moving, he had moved to Adam's other side, and kicks him again. Adam regains his footing, but is met with numerous attacks on his weaker body. From every kick, to blade cut, and tail whip, Adam feels as if he were going to pass out, now.

But being stubborn and getting over his weariness, Adam tries to find Tyrian, who had vanished. While only ready to draw his sword again, he looks around, unable to find him. But to one side, he faintly finds Tyrian again, with his fist back.

Tyrian: "Peekaboo!"

Tyrian punches Adam across his face. Adam twirls once in the air, and his mask falls off. He crashes to the ground on his front, chin first.

Adam's vision becomes even more blurry from both the hit, and his burning sweat. Unsure of what all is going on now, he hears Tyrian's footsteps getting closer, along with a deep, but quiet growl from behind. It makes Adam's spine tingle, questioning if he can really take anymore. But looking forward, all he sees is overall faded dark purple, and one blurry spot of white.

Tyrian: "*sigh* This has been fun and all, Adam, but I don't think you realize your weaknesses, throughout the months that we've trained under. Not since your battle with that boy we've all been fond of…" Adam's body jitters, but he slowly tries to get back up. He then hears Tyrian's steps cease. "...If you can't even handle this final round, then I don't think you can defeat him properly, next time."

Leaning on one knee, Adam looks over to Tyrian while panting. With his proper vision going in and out, he sees Tyrian pet a bigger Grimm at his side. A Feilong.

Tyrian: "That boy bested you because you couldn't keep up with his skills and unpredictable movements. And a dancer at that? *laugh* That must've been a show! I hope to meet him one day, and see such passion for myself…!"

Adam: "(whisper) Passion…"

Hearing that word, and with its connection with his fight in Vale, Adam's heart had skipped a beat. He begins to reflect off of it, from his past before then.

Raven: "Your reserved aggression takes away your enthusiasm. Your passion gets in the way of your true goals… We'll fix that."

Adam: "(whisper) My…"

Tyrian: "You've built up your strength, speed, and endurance since then, sure. But while I'm sure he's doing the same, he at least had something to fight for. More than just for himself, or even vengeance! And all you've cared about was power, to build your forces and create a better world for those you see fit. Much like our Grace…! With skills like yours, however, there must be more to your abilities. Where's YOUR rhythm, and your OWN power?! The one's in which you've chosen to ignore?! ...How disappointing…"

Adam: "(whisper) Speed, strength… Rhythm… Power…"

Raven: "Come on, Adam! Faster! Stronger!"

Adam: "(whisper) What I was taught…" Just then, Adam brings himself back to another thought. Back when things were much more innocent, 6 years ago. "Instead of trying to meet expectations, consider the fact that you're already qualified… if not more. And this is the way to show it. Your advanced inheritance, and our home training puts you in a league that could rival Huntsmen. What 'I' have taught…"

Tyrian: "Whenever 'I' face a poor soul…" Tyrian looks down at his hands, paying less attention to Adam, and becoming even more crazy. "(gleeful)...There's just so much time to put into those moments…! Every scream, every expression of agony…! I get so much joy! *giggle* I just love those moments, you know?! Whenever I don't have the rush in taking out multiple bodies in vast combat, I make up for it when I can take on one at a time! I get to savor those precious… dying moments… The thrill in being patient!"

Adam: "(whisper) Patience… Yes…!" And once again, Adam's thoughts go back to his past of innocence. "I have to live. My family… my father…! I have to live, so that I can become better…! And spark an inspiration…! Even in darkness…! We. Will…!" To fully regain his vision, he had made his Silver-Eyes glow, slightly, and clear them. He recognizes the dark purple training room as it is. But with his eyes, he sees his mask, facing him. "(whisper) ...Rise!"

From behind the mask, Adam envisions a face. And without its custom design of tribal Grimm markings, and curved bulky edges, the face makes out to be 12 year old Jaune Arc.

Jaune: "I want to be the hero…"

Just then, Adam stands straight back up, facing away from Tyrian and the Feilong. The Grimm then springs its body up, standing taller than the both of them.

Tyrian: "...So you see, Taurus, if you truly wish to continue this fight, then you must recognize what it is you are truly fighting FOR." While still lecturing, Tyrian turns to Adam's direction. "Until then, I surely wouldn't mind being 'patient' with yo-."

Coming to realization, Tyrian does not see Adam, nor his mask, in the same spot. He looks around, trying to find him and his trace.

Adam: "You're absolutely right, Callows." Hearing his voice from up above, Tyrian looks up and sees Adam standing on top of the Feilong's nose. While on it, he passionately looks at his mask in hand. "I've taken too much from my allegiances, and lost sight of what's truly important."

The Feilong growls and shakes its head to get Adam off. Hoping to bite him, he had vanished before the Grimm bit down. Gradually, Tyrian becomes worried from Adam's confident change of tone.

Adam: "They had taught me things…" Tyrian had then jumped back in surprise, hearing Adam's voice from behind. With his back turned, his sight stays planted on his mask. "Raven… She taught me the installment of fear in my enemies, which I've brought to enhance the White Fang… Both her and Sienna reinforced my vigilance and abilities… However, Branwen sought not for my ideals, when even she drew inspiration herself from those that raised me. And Khan has been accepting of my methods and reasons. Unlike those of tribal concerns, we seek worldwide revolution… much like our Queen does." He then places his mask back on his face, and turns over to Tyrian. "I must take what all I've endured up to this point, and continue to apply it in our revolution."

Tyrian: "*nervous laugh* A little too late to be going off on your own ambition, don't you think?" While uncertain of Adam's shift in tone and composure, Tyrian tries to keep his own with little vulnerability. "Your plastic soldiers are mere tools to OUR cause. And your body has been marked in so many ways, that all that's left is this monster! Far from the boy you once were."

Adam: "I'm fully aware of that. I've come this far into the shadows, I might as well be comfortable with it… But like tools and monsters, they are what shape and hold the kingdom in place, and cause their knights to reflect upon their actions. Our Queen's ideals are what will promote my army's success, as their work helps bring her visions to surface… The best of one another, to our advantage." Tyrian sees and hears the confirmation of Adam's loyalty. It causes him to be mostly relaxed, and admiring of him. That is with exception of seeing his venom pulsate and advance through Adam's veins, who expresses no pain in the matter. "Now, how about you help me in reinforcing that, and continue our match?"

Taking in Adam's posture once more, Tyrian smiles at him. This time, less out of glee, but out of legitimate expression of joy.

Tyrian: "...Yes…! With pleasure!" Almost instantly, Tyrian pounces at Adam, followed by the Feilong. Awaiting their approach, Adam draws Wilt past Tyrian's blades, and swings Blush against the Feilong's muzzle. Believing to put Adam on defense, Tyrian had felt a sharp pain on his body before landing past Adam. He even sees the Feilong crash into the wall. "...What?!"

Tyrian looks back, and sees Adam holding still. His weapons were crossed above his head, before sheathing. He looks back, smirks, and turns back over to Tyrian.

Awaiting his dashing approach, Tyrian holds his blades up. However, an invisible metallic sounding force pushes his blades aside. It leaves his arms open for Adam to start attacking. He gets two hits on Tyrian, before he starts defending himself. The two clash blades, with Blush sparingly utilized.

As they fight, the Feilong begins to get back up. It makes Tyrian chuckle with confidence. So he begins adding gunshots to his attacks. But as he presses on, he notes that the Grimm is not even attacking. He can only sense it somehow being distressed from his peripheral vision. So by risking himself for curiosity, Tyrian catches a few glimpses of what is bothering the Feilong.

Tyrian sees that the Feilong is attempting to attack Adam in front of him, but is constantly interrupted by red slashes out of nowhere.

Tyrian: "H-How-?!"

Just by that distraction, Tyrian had been hit across his face by Wilt's handle. Trying to regain focus, Tyrian shoots at Adam, while stumbling back. But Adam unsheaths half of Wilt to absorb the rounds. He then uppercuts Tyrian's chin with Blush's buttstock, putting his back to the floor.

Looking forward, Tyrian sees Adam turn his back on him, while red slashes continue to attack the Feilong. They stop, once Adam approaches the Grimm upclose. This slightly angers Tyrian, as he is uncertain of what is happening, and prefers Adam's engagement on him up close instead. But as he gets back up, he is interrupted by the same red slashes from nowhere this time.

Tyrian: "Aah! W-What is…?! How is this possi-?! Aah!"

As numerous red slashes keep Tyrian in one place, Adam fights the Feilong. They charge each other, running with his sheathed weapon and flying with its mouth open. Avoiding its bite, Adam draws Wilt up and passes the Feilong. Running past it, he delivers 10 slashes, worth 3 each, across it's long body. Before reaching past the tail, he sheaths Wilt.

The scratches all across the Feilong's body causes it to land, shakingly. Provoking it, Adam shoots one of its legs, making it bend on one side. He smirks at its distress.

Now infuriated, the Feilong flies rapidly near the ceiling. It then charges down to Adam. But as it approaches him, he disappears, causing it to crash into the ground. Quickly recovering, it sees Adam again in another spot. So it charges at him again.

Meanwhile, Tyrian continues to be attacked by red slashes. Occasionally, he gets a few glances over to Adam and his direct battle with the Feilong. Over and over, the Feilong flies around the room with great speed, trying to bite Adam. But everytime, he disappears and reappears, before it approaches him again. It all shocks Tyrian, even while in constant pain.

Eventually, Adam chooses to attack the Feilong upon its approach. With every lunge at Adam, he swings across its face and body. After doing so numerous times, the Grimm gets tired and heavily wounded. It shows as it starts to smoke.

As this happens to the Grimm, Adam feels the venom seep through his body even stronger. It makes him casually stop, and look back at his other opponent.

For Tyrian, the slashes finally end. And immediately, he sees the Feilong growl once again, and ready to pounce at Adam, facing it. But instantly, Adam appears right in front of Tyrian's space, and grins. Tyrian, out of shock, jumps back, before slamming his blades against Wilt, half unsheathed. They both hear the Grimm charging their way, during their blade lock. But again, Adam vanishes, leaving Tyrian to stumble forward toward the Grimm.

The Grimm accidentally grabs Tyrian with its mouth, and crashes to the wall. Immediately, Tyrian forces himself out. He looks forward, and sees Adam standing in the center of the room. He notes Adam giving no expressions, facing them both, even as his sweating skin grows more pale.

Tyrian: "Hehe. Hehehehehehe. So Now you've found your little nitch to put more work in, is that it?! Ha! What took you so long?! We could've been having more fun this past near year! ...But you haven't got much time left. My venom is sure to break you soon enough… before this is over…!"

Adam: "I've chosen to be more patient this time, and have fun in this fight. It's allowed me to execute my speed and seize every moment." Tyrian thinks on what Adam says, seeing him now express a smirk, and recalling the red slashes from earlier. And as Adam grasps his handle, Tyrian grows more firm. "I'm not even worried for my life, right now. I've got plenty of time… to 'kill'."

Without really thinking, Tyrian runs and shoots at Adam. From his perception, Adam's hand remains on his sheathed weapon. But red slashes surround Adam in defense, nonetheless. Now approaching him, Tyrian spins upside down in the air, twirling his blades against Adam's half unsheathed defense above his head. He fully draws his blade, just to push Tyrian back before landing.

From behind Adam, facing Tyrian, the Feilong charges at Adam. All Adam does is smoothly turn around, and swing his blade across its face as it passes him. Avoiding its colliding approach, Tyrian jumps on its head.

The Feilong then rises up, standing straight and high up above. Both it, and Tyrian look down at Adam below.

From up above, Tyrian holds his guns out, about to fire. But before he does, everything is put in stop motion, except for Adam.

Right then, Adam runs up to the Feilong's tail. There, he bends his knees, and jumps high up along its body. As he does this, he spins and slashes in a spiral, attacking it. At the top, he meets the head and Tyrian, frozen from within Adam's speed.

While in midair, he gives 5 cuts to Tyrian, and 3 cuts to the Feilong's head. Afterwards, he lands on the ground, right where he was before. Patiently, he sheaths his weapon, and puts everything back into regular motion.

In that very same mindset of shooting his guns, Tyrian is interrupted. He feels woozy and in pain. It leads him to fall off of the Feilong's head, before it too crashes down. Before hitting the ground, the Grimm's head lands on Tyrian, who gets to the ground first.

Now in agony, Tyrian looks up at Adam, smirking as he looks down at him and the Grimm.

Adam: "Your cunning wits is quite admirable. Brings the most out of a fighter, like our Fall Maiden… or the last man who scarred you."

Tyrian then gets himself from under the Grimm. He only stands weakly, holding his torso where his scar lies. The Feilong too gets back up in weariness. And immediately, upon looking at Adam again, it charges, not at him, but it charges an electric blast for him. Tyrian steps out of its way, but Adam simply keeps still.

As the Feilong blasts at Adam, he unsheaths Wilt halfway, and absorbs the attack. It stops, as he sheaths his blade back away, and the room darkens.

Not only does his red complexion glow immensely, but as the room regains its light, Adam's tattoos appear to darken. The black and red faded tribal markings, and his emblem both darken to jet black and blood red.

Adam: "Destruction… But I believe we both had enough lessons for one day. So I'll end this duel… and leave you a mark for us both to remember."

Adam's hand rests on Wilt, as he watches Tyrian muster his strength back, little as it is now. The Feilong tries to do the same alongside him. One of them screams, while the other one growls, as they both pounce at Adam.

Approaching his space, Adam once again puts both Tyrian and the Feilong in stop motion with his speed. And as he does, everything turns completely dark. This time, with the sky and atmosphere turning red.

Adam: "Fall…"

Dashing past Tyrian, Adam had lightly grazed across his abdomen. And at the Feilong's side, instead of cutting it, he tosses Blush in the air, and places his glowing palm on its body, before catching Blush again. Having his weapon set in hand, he stands with his back toward his opponents, and sheaths his weapon, dismissing Moonslice.

Going back into regular motion, Tyrian and the Feilong fall to the ground. They both are conscious, but barely. Tyrian, with blood across his abdomen, pants while lying on his back. The Feilong, again, tries to stand, but fails without even sitting up. Slowly, there appears to be rose petals withering from its body, and Tyrian's wound.

Before turning to them, Adam looks toward the shadowed corners. The unseen bystander shifts, and makes their way to the hallway door. Adam then turns to Tyrian, while his venom progressively eats at his body.

Tyrian lies on the ground, panting. Occasionally, he coughs from his own sensation of pain and exhaustion. But as he hears Adam get closer, he begins to chuckle. All Adam does is reach down and grab Tyrian's tail.

Tyrian: "*cough*-ahahahaa… Now THAT… was a fight… Second best since my last… I only hope to have a kick out of… your wandering brother in armor… and see what he can do…"

With Tyrian's tail, Adam squeezes at its stinger, over an empty vile. His venom steams from within the vile, darkening the container slightly without burning it completely.

Adam: "Don't give your hopes up. His rhythmic movements are bound by his dependence. He'll surely have the tools by now to give you a hard time, too. But if you play your cards right, should you ever face him, he might give you a show, for sure. His combat abilities also excel whenever his loved ones are in danger. So feel free to give his new family some work, too." After closing the vile, Adam walks over to one side where his clothes are, folded with his shoes on top. He picks them up and gives one more glance at Tyrian on the ground. "I thank you, Tyrian Callows, for giving us all something to work with. I just need him alive, so that I'm the one to end his suffering."

Adam takes his leave, and allows Tyrian and the Feilong to lie in their exhaustion.

Tyrian: "(weak) Ehehe… Whatever you say, boy… Ehehehehe-*cough* Hehe… Whatever you say… Hehehahahaaa…"

As he walks down the halls, Adam sees that it is dark with lit candles. Purple crystals give it its decorations, as part of the kingdom. On the other side of the walls, as well as outside the windows, many Grimm can be heard. And even in darker corners of the hall, it becomes harder to see, despite the candles and his Faunus trait of night-vision.

Overall, an ominous atmosphere to be in the presence of; Dark in more ways than one.

Now approaching a door on one side, Adam walks through. As expected, he finds himself in the castle's bathing room. He makes his way down to the other side, until he reaches the biggest and main tub, built in the ground. The candles at the edges lead up to a pair of glowing red eyes in the shadowed wall of the tub. Seeing the eyes, Adam kneels down.

Adam: "Master Salem…"

Salem: "...Young Adam Taurus… Rise, child." Gesturing for Adam to stand, he does so. "Do you have his venom?" He takes out the vile of Tyrian's venom within. "Good. Come, rest your soles."

Taking Salem up on her offer, Adam leaves himself in his boxer briefs. He sits on the edge of the tub, and soaks his legs and feet in the warm liquid. Seeing as his nerves are more calm, Salem sits up from her position. Coming into the moonlight, she wears a one-piece bathing suit version of her original attire. She has a few bottles of liquids in her hands, and approaches Adam.

Salem takes the vile from Adam's hand. She pours the venom into a small bowl, and adds some of the other liquids in it. And noticing Adam tense up, she sees as the venom advances more through his body.

Salem: "Tell me… Did you learn from your fight?"

Adam: "Yes, your Grace."

Salem: "How much did you learn?" After stirring the bowl, Salem dips her fingers in it, and runs it on Adam's internal bleeding wound. It makes his skin, where the venom was injected, look and feel better. "Not too much, I hope."

Adam: "*grunt* I've learned enough from him, your Grace. I have respect for Tyrian, seeing that he is my kind. His skills, his tactics… are all admirable also… But he lacks stability. Too much time with him, I feel would drive someone to insanity."

Salem: "That's saying a lot, seeing how you've been training with him for months. But yes, I've noticed. The Faunus are Remnant's final frontier of a proper civilization. Humans have fallen deep into greed, and while successful, have caused harm to other forms of life. Including themselves. And Tyrian's past, as well as yours, is proof of your race's torment. I merely hope to direct his ambition to a more well conducted goal… But I also fear that his own psyche seems to be potent against one of our own subordinates… Cinder."

Salem stops rubbing at Adam's abdomen, and picks up another collection of bottled liquids. She mixes them in another bowl.

Salem: "That's why I asked if you've learned not too much from Tyrian. His methods of breaking down and strengthening someone seems to have pushed Cinder to her limit. Either that, or her injury in Vale took too much out of her. Now it seems Tyrian filled her mind with more horrendous thoughts."

With the bowl, Salem takes it and backs away to her original corner in the tub. She gestures for Adam to follow.

Adam then steps all the way into the tub. It gives him a more warm sensation, easing his muscles even more. Approaching Salem, the liquid almost feels numbing.

Salem: "I will say this, Adam. You were right to do what you've done to her when Beacon fell. We were victorious in this attack, but it seems that at least one of us failed to follow through with directions to the fullest. Your troops were to have been dismissed before my Wyvern made its awakening. And it seems that Cinder intentionally left that warning out from you, just to assert aggression ever since your recruitment. And because of this, I now see where determination and integrity lies strongest, even when under turmoil. So I will continue to hold YOU, Adam Taurus, in taking responsibility for your actions, and pick up where Cinder left off."

Just then, Salem lifts the bowl up and above Adam's head. He leans his head back, and opens his mouth. She pours the liquid down his mouth, and he drinks it as it goes in. With the bowl clean, its taste for him is sour and hot. But almost instantly, his pain is gone, dismissing the venom's affect, completely.

Salem: "Do not fail me, child. Is that understood?"

Adam: "Yes, your Grace. That is understood."

(One Hour Later…)

Adjusting to his comfort, Adam had put on a new outfit. The grey and black tactical tunic with red insides and zippers, a pair of gloves, pants, shoes, a few dark red belts, and a black and red cloth with his floral allure at his hip. He adjusts himself in the outfit, feeling that it compresses his more muscular form. He then turns over for Salem to see. All she does is walk up to him, and close his collar to cover up his upper chest, and the red belt over it.

Salem: "My Feilong will see to it that your abandoned student faces consequence. It will track her down within the seas, and slow down any possible interference."

Adam: "With its damage, it'll less likely cause harm to its passengers, if it gives her something to be vigilant over. A lesson she must learn."

Salem: "In the meantime, you will assure me that your High Leader, Sienna Khan, is not against us. Either Tyrian or Hazel will accompany you… Hm… I'd say Hazel. He will be alongside you, aiding in your persuasion. This way, we can see if her reassurance with us is as good as her position with humans, or not."

Adam: "That'll make things a little harder. It shall be done. And her cooperation will be handled, non-lethally."

Salem: "Very well. Do as you please… Afterwards, should Cinder fail this time in our mission at Haven, you will detonate the school at all costs." Slightly hesitant, Adam recalls the possible Faunus' who would be present at the time. But he nods his head. "You know the consequences you'll pay, should you hesitate. Our final frontier will only be as strong as your resolve. We can NOT save them all, hard as we try. So you will not doom us in this cause. Understand?"

Adam: "...Yes."

Salem: "And lastly, once you've succeeded in all of your tasks, only then, you shall receive the rest of your reward. And with it, you will eliminate our greatest enemy, for what they've done to your family, and end their legacy!"

Adam: "Yes, your Grace."

Salem: "Good. Now, go forth. Make us proud, my dark warrior."

Adam: "I will, your grace." Adam turns and walks toward the door. As he places Wilt and Blush in his belt, he feels how tight his outfit is, restraining him. So to properly adjust to his comfort, he induces his Semblance to make his red complexion glow. And as it does, not only does his outfit become more flexible, but it grows darker, and his deadly-nightshade marking burns onto the back of his attire, accurately under his emblem. "I'll find you, Blake. We'll make you understand what real justice is. But especially you, brother. I'll make this right. This world WILL repent for what it has done. I'll put you to rest, and set you free from your misery. I promise you, Jaune Arc!"

Credit for the idea of Flourish and Fair goes to asdfguy432. Check out some of his stories, like "Adam Arc", where the weapons originally came from.

Right… So as you can see, I'm still determined in getting this story out. And here are the reasons why I've been hiatus:

Work, personal mentality/writers block, and RWBY/RoosterTeeth studying and repression.

The final chapter is coming. It's just going to take a while. But I believe I've finally found the right pattern for myself to be productive. I'll explain myself more and give further A/N, later on.

Thank you for your patience and support, and I'll see you next time.

Until then, Omake time!

Jaune: "But if it weren't for him being Vale's General, I'd probably end up in another Combat School. Like one in Atlas, or maybe Sanctum Academy."

(Meanwhile, Argus, Sanctum Academy…)

12 year old Pyrrha Nikos sits at her desk, doing her school work… until a sensation crosses within her.

Jaune: "I'd probably end up in… Sanctum Academy."

Pyrrha: "*gasp*!"

Just then, Pyrrha's heart had skipped a beat. Her shock had scared one of the students who fell asleep, and ended up falling off their desk.

Teacher: "Ms. Nikos! Are you alright?!"

Pyrrha: "I'm…! I'm fine… Sorry." Pyrrha states this, even while blushing. "What was that?"

Tired Student: "(sarcasm) I'm fine, too. Thanks for asking…"

Cute moment, I think…

Now, this Omake right here, I had to adjust and cut, because (like how I feel about characters such as Ilia Amitola) this was a steal from a role of a character that was not needed. Two, in this case. It's one of different reasons why I favor less in OC's, or even partial OC's like the main casts' barely canonically established family extensions.

But, I ended up subconsciously making one within the depths of writing auto-pilot, and later figured it was less necessary. It did, however, have a moment I felt was sweet. So, I hope you enjoy it even just a little.

With ease, Adam had fought against one Huntsman, and took down two guards. Another one of the guards notices this as Adam sheaths his blade and continues.

The second Huntsman attacks at Adam, before he handles, and tosses to the first Huntsman. Continuing on, he faces the one guard who had been watching. And in an interesting surprise, they drop their weapon, and throw their hands up.

While in a rush of battle, Adam responds by taking the guards own weapon before it hits the ground. With it, he twirls behind the guard, and cuts at another guard's chest, putting them down.

In the midst of their surrender, the two Huntsman shove the remaining guard aside, and rush to Adam.

Huntsman 1: "Move, ya coward!"

Huntsman 2: "Weakling!"

Awaiting the two of them, Adam draws at them at once. Now with two blades, he had a better advantage, and brutally defeated them.

Seeing that the fight was done, the bandits cheer for Adam's successful take down. He notes how some of them even finish off his opponents, ending their lives.

Adam: "*grunt* Disgraceful…" He then sees how the bandits ease into the frightened guard, who had surrendered. He responds by striding up, and removing his pistol from the rear of his belt. "That's enough." With the pistol, he holds it up against the guard's back, holding the back of their collar. "Notify our leader that the bank will be ready for extraction, soon. I'll go on ahead to make sure it's open and the inside is clear. The rest of you, be on standby with the carriers."

The bandits huff, and turn to continue their given tasks. As they do, Adam forcefully maneuvers the guard to the bank's front doors.

Both the guard and Adam hear the police, Huntsman and other guards groan and fidget on the ground. Those that weren't killed by the other bandits, that is. And this gives the guard an odd sense of relief and admiration.

Guard: "...T-Thank yo-!"

Adam: "Don't." With half of his face showing to be stern, Adam's eyes are set on the entrance and his objective. All while the guard remains at gunpoint. "I only need the code to your safe."

Guard: "Y-Yes, I'm sure. But, you could've ended all of our lives… You seem different then the other bandits… Or most bandits in Anima."

Adam: "Either one of you has to know how to open the safe. You just so happen to be one who surrendered and can walk. Besides…" Both Adam and the Guard enter the bank. And everybody inside, who are already frightened and on the ground, scream and gasp for a moment. "...It's much more still in here when I have at least one hostage up close."

Guard: "Very true. (Sarcasm) And I'm sure the police, who came from the other side of town, had to be spared in case they knew the code too-." Adam tosses the Guard, not taking kindly to their humoring remark. "*giggle*."

Adam: "Don't get smart with me…" Interestingly, Adam looks over to the Guard's name tag, reading ' '. "...Pots." Adam then eases his pistol down, but keeps it in hand. "Just open the safe, and we'll be on our way."

Chip: "*giggle* Yes, sir. And you can just call me Chip."

The Guard, Chip, proceeds to opening the gate before reaching the safe. Adam follows, keeping a close eye on the whole process.

Adam: "This guard is weird acting…" Taking a closer look, Adam notes Chip's features. Orangish-gold ponytail, blue eyes matching uniform, and a tone figure. Features that hit close to an older, forgotten home where the Arcs reside. "Of all the towns I've raided, none of their inhabitants took kindly to me. Not even after sparing most of their lives, unlike the tribe… Of course, attacking a village is not exactly the most kind act of being a 'guest'. That much is obvious." So based on the name and appearance, Adam sees Chip as a boy who looks like Jaune. "But this one… treats me like they actually want me to BE their guest… like my… brother… Or even like…"

But in front of those features, the gate opens, and Chip happily walks up to the safe. Putting his remorse aside, Adam follows Chip to approach the safe. And casually, Chip begins unlocking it, while insisting on having a conversation.

Chip: "Not that it's any of my business, but I think you ought to be doing something else, other than this bandit gig."

Adam: "Don't even start with that."

Chip: "Like, you don't really seem like a bandit. Just calling you one seems weird to me. Maybe, yakuza…? I don't know. " As if never hearing Adam, Chip continues talking. "If given the right job, you could be living a high-class life without having to take from villages. Your skills, along with your sense of mercy alone could warrant you to live a better life than this… But judging by your horns…"

Adam: "..."

Chip: "...Living the high life is more than just having the abilities… I'd say what suits your style more would be… the White Fang." By hearing of that group once more, Adam grips his hands tight. "Maybe even being a Huntsman."

Adam: "I wouldn't-."

Chip: "Then again, not even they're as good as they're all cracked up to be." On their last word, Chip had finally opened the safe. For a moment, Adam remains still after hearing Chip. "Here you go!"

For Adam, every raid in a village he had done over the years has helped him get by. It even helps him to brush up on his abilities, and gain experience. But each time, they ironically made him feel empty and unrewarding by the end.

Getting out of his thoughts though, Adam walks up to the safe, ready to open it regardless. Within it, he sees shelves full of Lien, and cases full of Dust.

Adam takes one step, but turns back around, about to draw his katana. From what he feels, someone was pulling him towards them. It was Chip, having a more aggressive expression. And as Chip was pulling him, what Adam sensed had collided into the safe. A projectile slash from outside the cage.

Within the safe, a massive multi-elemental explosion was induced. Along with it was destroyed Lien, fluttering down. While on the ground, Adam can see that a lot of his main objective was destroyed. But even still, he sees that Chip, the guard of the bank's resources, had risked their life to protect him before the resources.

And looking up, Adam sees who had tried to attack him from outside the cage. It was another Huntsman, this time armed with a shotgun, and an odachi.

Huntsman: "What the hell do you think you're doing, Pots? That's a bandit, and you're helping them?!"

The Huntsman holds up their shotgun, and shoots at Adam, near Chip. Without hesitation, Adam grabs Chip and dodges the shot. With one more shot from the Huntsman, Adam and Chip had disappeared out of sight.

In a trail of flying papers outside the cage, the Huntsman looks around and finds them. Within the bank's main entrance, Adam and Chip are in one corner.

Chip: "That was close! Are you alright?!"

Adam: "I didn't need your help! Stay down!" Getting back up, Adam shoves Chip down under a chair and out of the way. "...But thank you."

Now in another battle, Adam runs and dodges the Huntsman's shotgun blasts. With only his grasp on his katana set, he hesitates to draw his weapon. That is, with the exception of unsheathing halfway before sheathing, and absorbing the attacks with his blade and glowing Semblance. However, to Adam's attention, he notes the civilians running outside in panic. Thus, restraining him from fully drawing his blade, and being on offense.

The same cannot be said for the Huntsman. Despite his eyes set on fighting Adam, his dodged shots occasionally hurt the running civilians. It pays him no mind as he pursues Adam. To add on to Adam's guilt, the curved edge of his blade does allow for his own absorbing defense, but unlike his previous straight-edged weapons, forces the blasts to slide over curves and hurt other surrounding people.

Adam: "Inconsiderate bastard…! Though who am I to talk." Now closing into Adam, the Huntsman swings his longer-blade-odachi. Again, like before, Adam remains on the defense, dodging and blocking the attacks, only with the blade. And again, the missed attacks end up hurting others who have yet to escape. "Nobody would be in this mess if I hadn't shown up." As Adam lands on the desk for a moment he sees passed the flying papers that Chip had escorted the rest of the civilians outside. A whole group of them had led to the bank being clear. "*chuckle* That idiot… tell 'em to stay down, and they don't listen to your warning… Still…" The Huntsman swings at Adam, but right before Adam had disappeared through the rain of papers. And from behind the Huntsman, Adam reappears within the papers. "It is a guard's job to protect the people and their wellbeing. Especially from idiots like us…" Adam then dashes up to the Huntsman, now getting to offense. "...Like me!"

Embarking in a proper fight, Adam overpowers the Huntsman with one hand on his katana. It forces the Huntsman to drop his shotgun, and fight with both hands on his odachi. In between his rapid slashes, Adam finds the patience to occasionally sheath his blade, before going in the rapid slashes again. Eventually, it leads him to swing past the Huntsman's defense, and bring him to one knee.

Adam then sheaths his blade, as he reaches for his pistol, while saying…

Adam: "Surrende-."

However, the time it took Adam to quickly reach for his pistol was enough for the Huntsman to counter. He immediately drew his odachi and cut his pistol's extension, clean off. The Huntsman then swings for another attack, but is hit against Adam swinging his sheathed katana.

As he does as such, Adam immediately leans in close. Right then, he activates his Semblance, draining the surrounding light, and makes his red complexion glow. The mere sight of it all frightens the Huntsman, but astounds Chip.

With just his palm, Adam induces Moonslice to the Huntsman's abdomen. The impact causes him to fly back, diminish his aura, and crash in front of Chip. The Huntsman slowly gets back up, and coughs up blood. However, without a scratch on his body, he stands straight up while exhausted and stares down at Chip.

Huntsman: "You, piece of filth…!" Raising his odachi, Adam becomes worried, but for Chip who flinches out of fear. "You TRAITOROUS, ANIMA-!"

To interrupt the Huntsman, Chip opens their eyes, to see the Huntsman had been stabbed from behind. Looking back, it was Adam with his katana. He eases the Huntsman down, and removes his blade. Chip remains still, as Adam closes the Huntsman's eyes, cleans his blade, and sheaths it away.

Adam: "(whisper) Fuck!"

Chip: "You… You saved-!"

Adam: "I told you to stay down…! He might not have had to die, if you would've stayed in that corner."

Chip: "I'm… I'm sorry."

Adam: "...*sigh*... Don't be…" Chip felt disappointed from Adam's tone, until calming it down. "If it weren't for you just doing your job, these people might not have been saved from this one's ignorance… from… our ignorance." Adam's tone then sounds even more remorseful than before. Despite all that had transpired, he believes to know who is truly at fault. "From… my ignorance… above all else… Your job as this village's guardian of resources… would've been much smoother before I arrived."

Chip: "Hehe. On the contrary." By speaking against Adam's claim, Chip ends up removing their ponytail. Adam is then met with a pleasant surprise. "I only became a guard so that I'd be more secure than any other job… But there's no escaping what our race truly is."

By unbinding their medium sized hair, Chip reveals a pair of fox ears from on top of their head.

Adam: "So… you're a…"

Chip: "Yes, the same as you… This might sound crazy, but, you're the nicest that anyone has ever treated me in so long."

Adam: "It's been so long since I've actually TALKED to one of my kind (a Faunus)… I never thought it'd feel so different since I left Haven, but… I don't see how I-." Interrupting his train of thought, Chip begins unbuttoning their uniform. And it reveals that Chip is actually a girl. "Hey, what are you-?"

Aside from their cleavage, what Chip shows Adam nearly hurts him inside.

On Chip's shoulders are fresh bruises and bandages. In addition, Chip wipes from under their eye, which had makeup covering their additional bruises.

Chip: "Not one person has spared my life from being beaten, or nearly killed, in this town or any town my whole life. Not even if I acted nice, or even after surrendering to them. It wasn't until I became a guard, that the beatings were less severe. And the harsh words were kept to a minimum. People like him…" Chip points over to the Huntsman's corpse. "...Are almost as bad as they come in this town. Maybe even elsewhere in Anima or Remnant."

Adam: "...Suddenly, I don't feel as bad for what all I've done before. Maybe a lot towards Chip, and little towards these other folks… But still… This… This is all wrong…"

Chip: "It is, I know." Adam sees as Chip walks up to him. He even feels his heart skip a beat as she touches his face. "But you have your own reasons for doing what you did. And I won't shame you, for it… just as I have my reasons for helping. You've spared my life, and even saved it. And now, I think I might have the courage to leave this place…"

Adam: "You're… Where will you go?"

Chip: "Two of my friends, Lumière and Cogsworth were planning on coming here to try and convince me to join them… in their group, the White Fang… I wasn't too sure at first, but I think I just might." Once again, the mention of the group gives Adam a reaction. But this time, his heart had skipped a beat even more. Almost like finding a questionable solution to a problem. "That is… if someone like you came with me… I don't expect you to give up the life you have now so easily. I can see your dedication towards it… But…" Chip then gives a light kiss to Adam's cheek, making the both of them blush. "...I'd be happy if you did."

Adam cannot bring himself to say anything. He just allows for the unprepared moment to subside.

Chip: "Well, I'll let you carry on with your mission. I'll stay out of sight and pretend I didn't see anything. I hope that we can meet again, some day."

Despite his mission and Chip's allowance, Adam only holds completely still. He does however turn his head slightly to the side and speaks up.

Adam: "Taurus…" Chip's footsteps stop from behind Adam. "My name is Adam… Taurus."

Uncertain if the two will meet again, they only take in each other's presence from behind.

That is, until there is a gun fire heard from behind Adam.

"Noone is born evil. Step-by-step, you go through life making good decisions, as well as bad ones. It's about recognizing where you're stepping, and when you're stepping in it."

-EruptionFang