So sorry for the wait, some stuff came into the picture suddenly and progress was extremely slow. I'm not sure if we'll be able to resume the one chapter per week schedule, but hopefully it won't take quite this long next time.
So. Glynda herself was the one who was teaching Aura theory? The thought honestly made me nervous. I knew next to nothing about aura. My only hope was to try and not be called upon to answer anything and try to learn from this class. As we filtered in, I Found myself sitting beside Silvia and Ruby, both of whom had already been seated by the time I entered, and looked rather tired. "The two of you look like you didn't get much sleep. What happened?"
"You see… we were supposed to be sleeping… and I jumped out the window." Silvia said tiredly, with several pauses.
"Wait. whaaaaaaaat?!" I blurted out. "Silvia, if you need someone to talk to… I'm here." I blurted out, now very worried for Silvia's wellbeing.
"Wha… what are you talking about? It didn't work anyway… Nora brought me back..." Silvia tonelessly drawled out.
"Ummmm… I'm starting to feel like I'm missing some context here." I asked, now very confused. It sounded more like she was trying to escape instead of harm herself.
"What context? Just be glad she didn't torture you… like she did with us." That last statement was punctuated by a yawn. I winced a little as she grabbed my still bandaged arm, and looked me dead in the eye.
"What did she do that would drive you to jump out a window?" What kind of sick horrors did Nora unleash on them.
"Who, Nora? She kept us… awake, with some… really bad cartoons, that she forced us to binge watch… and Neo helped her. All because of… because of some dumb painting…" Oh no… Neo helped?
Before I had a chance to respond, the classroom door opened and everybody went silent as Glynda stepped into the room. Even Silvia and Ruby seemed a little more awake. "Greetings, class. As all of you should already know, my name is Glynda Goodwitch, and I'll be your professor for Aura theory. The purpose of this class is to bring your knowledge on the topic of Aura at least to the Academy standard. It might seem like a waste of time to you now, but you wouldn't believe the amount of misconceptions and plain lack of information that is corrected here." Oh thank goodness. I think I might just stand a chance after all! "Let's start with one of the most important, and also the most glossed over phenomenon that is commonly present Huntsman and other Aura trained warriors. Can any of you tell me about 'Semblance Acclimation'?"
Weiss raised her hand. "It is an ongoing process, during which one undergoes physical changes. Changes that are either beneficial for use of one's Semblance, or as a consequence of it." Weiss stated matter of factly.
"That is correct, Miss Schnee. Our Auras and Semblances alter our bodies to allow us the maximum benefit from using them. Have any of you noticed some of these changes? Note that the process tends to be slow going in most cases, so it's entirely possible for you to simply not have noticed them." Glynda elaborated, scanning across the lot of us.
"Oh! I have one!" Nora blurted out, hopping and waving her arms. "I haven't actually noticed it myself, but Ren told me that my eyes started glowing a bit. It's not that visible now, since there already is light everywhere, but you could totally see it if it was dark. He also said something about becoming more hyperactive or something, but who would actually believe that!?" Was this girl for real? How could glowy eyes be related to any sort of semblance? Does she have like laser vision or something?
"And what about you miss Xiao Long? Have you noticed any differences since acquiring your semblance?" Glynda inquired, abruptly facing Yang with an interrogative stare.
"Well… my already awesome hair got even shinier and healthier… and now that I think about it, I don't remember ever getting burned from anything, does that count?" Yang stated, now looking rather proud.
"Very good, I believe all of you should have a good idea of what this phenomenon is about by now. Since this is only the first class of many, all you have to do for the rest of today's class is to think back and write down any and all instances of this phenomenon happening to you. If you can't think of any, there is no need for concern, most of the changes that happen are internal in nature and not visible at first glance. If you have any questions, you can ask at any time before the end of the class. Now get to work everyone." Oh… crap. How am I supposed to answer something like this if I don't have a semblance? I don't know how long I spent panicking, but the bell rang for lunch break.
"Fooooooood" Ruby quite literally stood up and shuffled in the direction of the cafeteria. While Silvia…
"Uh, Silvia, did you fall asleep?" She wasn't moving and was slouched over her desk. I will not hesitate to admit I panicked a bit until I checked her pulse.
"Seriously? Again?" Nora was walking towards the two of use. "I thought you learned the first time I did it." I swear her grin went from mischievous to downright malicious for a split second before she extended two fingers and honest to dust electricity started arcing between them. She jabbed them towards Silvia and I totally didn't jump away in fright.
"Wha hu ha buha!" Silvia made some strange noises while spazzing out a bit, followed up by her falling out of her seat and ending up on the floor, her hair now a huge ball of fluff. "Nora! Why..."
"You fell asleep sleepy head!" I'm starting to think I would prefer Neo over her at this point. I don't like the idea of being electrocuted just to wake me up!
"And why is that I wonder… do you know how long it will take me to make my hair presentable again?" Silvia groaned out, now wide awake.
"Well I thought you would be even crankier if you missed lunch." Nora replied, smiling like this was a perfectly normal thing.
"...I'm tempted to use the list, but food sounds good right about now… and coffee, lot of coffee… not a drop for you though." Silvia, thoroughly displeased, stood up and dusted herself off. Huh. She's wearing pants instead of the typical skirt, and she has her belt on. Does she have something against skirts?
"Uh, silvia, you need a hand? I saw you in a wheelchair the other day?" I asked, only now realizing the one she was in the other day was nowhere to be seen
"No. I only had to use it yesterday, something about taking it easy or something… waste of time if you ask me." She grumbled and started searching her pockets for something, eventually pulling out a silvery and somewhat ornate hair comb. Her hair must have been really messed up, because she spent the entire walk to the cafeteria fixing it and she still wasn't done. As we walked to the cafeteria, I noticed Weiss in the corner of my eye, looking at Silvia with a raised eyebrow. When we approached the tables, the first thing I saw was Ruby downing a whole thermos of coffee in one go, with Yang egging her on.
"Chug, chug, chug, chu- Oh hey Silvia!" Yang stopped and froze, making a small snort.
"Hey, Yang. Is there more?" Silvia said, still very much tired and pointing at the thermos of coffee. Yang pointed towards the coffee machine in the corner, where Silvia began a slow walk towards, the students clearing out of her way, comb hanging forgotten in her hair.
"Jaune? You got any clue why my sister was acting like a zombie before she got all that coffee in her system?" Yang asked in concern.
"Something about Nora forcing her and Silvia to watch awful cartoons all night." I stated, before seeing Ruby's eyes narrow, the caffeine having finally kicked in enough for her to function properly.
"It was so awful! We just wanted to rest and sleep, but Nora would shock us awake if we got close! She said we needed to appreciate the classics! Well if she tries again, then I'll do a classic and duct tape her to a wall!"
"I'm right here you know?" Nora chimed in. "Oh, can I have some?"
"NO!" A loud shout sounded through the cafeteria, followed by a sound of coughing. Turning around, I saw Silvia recovering from a coughing fit, holding a cup of coffee in her good hand. "No coffee for Nora, she's forbidden from having coffee. She has more than enough energy as is."
"Awwwww, Silvia, you no fun." Nora whined and pouted as Silvia walked over to us.
"You didn't let me sleep the whole night. Talk to me about fun after I get enough sleep." Silvia growled out, slightly less cranky than before. "They give out food over there, I'm going to get myself some food. No coffee for Nora!" Nora followed her muttering something about pancakes. Meanwhile I was just waiting for the line to thin before I got myself anything. Lineups were never fun to be in.
Yang still seemed to be holding in laughter. It wasn't that long before Silvia came back with a plate of seafood, and finally noticed what Yang was doing.
"Huh? What's so funny?" She asked while looking around.
"Y-your… you left your comb in your hair… and left your hair half combed." Yang couldn't handle herself anymore and started laughing. Silvia stopped and reached up into the mess on her head, finding the comb and pulling it out.
"Stop laughing. It's not my fault my hair is like this, Nora and her antics are responsible." She grumbled and looked away as she continued to fix her hair.
Noticing the line had thinned out, I went to try some of their samosas, from what I heard they were really good. As I walked there, I saw Blake walking to a table with a plate full of assorted seafoods, must be popular if Silvia got some too. Nora… Judging by the angry shouting, I think she took all the pancakes. I eventually returned with a couple on my plate, to hear Silvia voicing her displeasure.
"How did you manage to deal with her?" Silvia half groaned, half asked Ren in a very resigned tone.
"Silvia, isn't that why he gave you that list?" Ruby pointed out. "And you and Neo seem kinda close, yet you can handle her antics."
"Neo never forced me to watch something for the whole night before, and the list says that when it comes to old cartoons, resistance is futile." Silvia replied in a defeated tone.
"Does it say anything about getting shocked?" Ruby asked hopefully.
"Yeah, confiscate her fork. Not sure why, but I couldn't even find it to take it away from her." Silvia complained, but at least her hair was already in it's usual ponytail.
"It takes a lot of patience, understanding and a stern hand every once in awhile." Ren stated, having walked over to our table
"Easier said than done..." Silvia groaned.
"Just don't let her think she has defeated you, she won't stop if she thinks she can get away with it." Ren tried to comfort her.
"Yeah, I know… it's just… my shoulder isn't making it any easier, and it won't be for a while." Silvia stated, holding a hand to her wound.
"Well, look on the bright side."Yang said through a mouthful of food. "You'll have an awesome scar, and from what I've seen, dudes love scars."
"Me, scar? As if." Silvia scoffed. "I don't get scars, if I did, my face would look very different today." She said with a combination of relief and annoyance.
"Oh crap… how bad was it?" Yang said, now slightly concerned.
"Bad batch of Fire Dust blew up in my face, they said that I almost lost an eye from how bad it was. I don't remember it though, got knocked out by the blast and woke up in a hospital all bandaged up. But you would never be able to tell it happened if I didn't tell you right now." I felt my own eyes widen. How did she heal from something like that?
"Damn. that is awsome!" Yang blurted out, amazed at how Silvia could heal perfectly from injuries.
"Maybe, but it still takes time, and it hurts way more as it's healing than what I was told is normal." Silvia lamented.
"How much more?" I inquired.
"I'm not sure. I just know that the doctors measured pain signals being sent at times there should be nothing to cause it. Something to do with the fact that the way my body heals got influenced by my Semblance." She elaborated. Was that a part of the whole 'Semblance acclimation' thing? If so, I'm slightly afraid of what it will do to me.
"Freaky." Ruby quipped.
"Yeah… man this is good." Silvia stated between mouthfuls, enraptured by the taste of the salmon she was eating. I noticed Nora staring intently at how Silvia was eating, which confused me, she wasn't doing anything weird like eating the fish with a spoon, was she?
Soon we had all finished eating, and where just merely chatting at this point. A some point Nora brought up how depriving the whole school of coffee would be the closest thing to simulating a zombie apocalypse without some kind of super virus of magic.
"All I'm saying is, that if we keep them up long enough and don't give them coffee, then they'll totally move like a horde. I mean, it worked with Ruby." Nora pointed out
"But they wouldn't attack anyone, they would just shuffle around." Yang was quick to shut the whole idea down, possibly fearing Nora actually performing such an experiment.
"Not if you were the one keeping them up in the first place." Ruby added… rather ominously.
"Or you could just have coffee with you, they'd go after coffee like normal zombies after a brain." Silvia supplied. Why are you supporting the crazy girl who kept electrocuting you last night!
"Or like Ruby when she smells cookies." Yang interjected, snickering at the look on Ruby's face as she said that.
"Now that's an idea. What do you think, Ren?" Nora asked, deep in thought.
"I think we should get to our next class, others are already leaving." Oh crud, he's right! We're going to be late for class!
Thanks to Ren, we got to the class with time to spare. I was looking forward to this one, Grimm Studies with Professor Port. After that fun discussion I had with him a few days ago, I couldn't wait to see what his class is like. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I was expecting.
"...backed into a corner, I had no choice but to fight that wretched monster. So I took the broken blade of my weapon like a dagger and lunged at the Deathstalker with every intention to sever its tail!" Professor Port decided to highlight the importance of never giving up, kinda like we didn't give up during the 'Initiation incident', thinking about it now, that could be why he's doing it… ugh! Focus! Oh, why did I have to drink that much coffee? Professor Port's story about fighting a Deathstalker, alone and with a broken weapon seemed interesting, but I just couldn't focus after all that coffee! I tried to pay attention, I really did! But I just couldn't resist doodling on a piece of paper, even if it wasn't any good.
"Now, what do we have here?" Professor Port said from right in front of me… wait what?! "Miss Rose, while I do find your desire to better yourself artistically admirable, I do not condone doing so during my class. If you do not find the story important enough to listen to, perhaps demonstrating your combat prowess is more aligned with your interests." Oh no… And he took my drawing too! Perhaps sitting in the front row wasn't such a good idea.
Resigned that this just isn't my day, I made my way to the neighboring changing room to get ready. If I could just explain myself after the class is over, maybe he won't hold it against me? Feeling very nervous on my way back, I took a quick look at what the other were doing. Yang and Nora were waving little flags that had my face on it. Blake, Russel and Sky seemed disinterested and didn't pay much attention. Jaune and Pyrrha had sympathetic expressions on their faces, but didn't cheer like Yang was doing. Ren was his usual almost expressionless self, Neo seemed excited and Weiss was looking at Silvia, who seemed to be drawing something? Did she seriously start drawing right after I got in trouble for it!? Uh, the nerve of that traitor. I walked to the front of the class where Professor Port was doing last checks on a cage that had some type of Grimm in it. That wasn't there before, he must have brought it over when I was out of the room.
"Miss Rose, are you ready?" Well, here goes nothing. I nodded and prepared myself for the fight. Professor Port used a his scroll to unlock the cage and backed away far enough to not immediately be spotted by whatever was in that cage. What came out was, well… strange. At first I thought it was a Beowolf, due to its head, but it didn't have any fur, scales covering its body instead. Its front claws were too big, its legs were wrong too, it was way heavier armored and it had sharp spines coming from its back. The most striking difference was probably the tail, instead of the classic furry tail, it had a long lizard tail. All in all, it looked like some lizard Beowolf.
I was broken out of my observations by the Grimm charging at me. Waiting for it to come closer so I could take its head of during a dodge, I was surprised that it suddenly jumped for me at higher speeds then what I have seen from Beowolves before. Barely managing to get out of the way by using recoil of my baby, I wen't in for a slash against its side as it passed me. But its armor just deflected my strike! Not willing to be outdone by this thing, I boosted over it in an attempt to rake it across its back as I passed. Once again however, Crescent Rose's blade just bounced off! The fact that I got almost hit by that Grimm's tail as I stopped didn't improve my mood in the slightest. Seeing as my attacks were ineffective so far, I instead went on the defensive, dodging its lunges and deflecting swipes, observing its movements for weakspots. I noticed something during the last series of slashes it tried to hit me with, it can balance on only its hind legs, probably because of the tail, but it stays crouched down, unlike normal Beowolves who rise up when standing on two legs. Dodging another lunge, I was suddenly forced to block against its tail, which I only barely managed to do. To my horror though, the tail wrapped around my precious and started trashing. I was holding on for my life as I was being waved around like some sort of flag, until a quick jerk to one side and then the other made me loose grip, flinging me across the room, Crescent Rose sailing in the opposite direction. Luckily, I rolled to a stop before I could impact the wall.
Shaking off my disorientation from the sudden move thanks to my Semblance, I saw the Grimm tuck into a ball and roll at me at high speed, just like a Boarbatusk would do… wait, Boarbatusk? Narrowly rolling out of the way of the rolling ball of death, I got an idea. Sprinting for my weapon, I looked behind at the Grimm, the impact caused a huge dent in the wall, that would hurt to get hit by, even with Aura. I was almost there when the Grimm burst out of the wall and straight at me, just as I was reaching for Crescent Rose, the Grimm used its tail as a spring and launched at me faster than ever before. It was only because of my Semblance that I could react in time, grabbing my scythe and using my Semblance to quickly sidestep out of the way, I held Crescent Rose in its path. My quick reaction was rewarded with satisfying shriek of pain from the Grimm that I couldn't help but smirk at, as Crescent Rose's blade sunk into its unprotected belly, just like with a Boarbatusk. My moment of victory lasted only for a second, because the beast's momentum made me once again lose hold of my weapon. The Grimm crashed into the ground, Crescent Rose still stuck in its stomach, and was trying to stand up from its sprawled position. I saw that my scythe, while firmly embedded in the Grimm, was slowly being pushed more into the monster, as its weight pushed Crescent Rose against the ground. Getting an idea from an action movie Yang told me not to watch, I used my Semblance to accelerate myself and jumped against the wall, high above the Grimm, and pushed off of the wall, launching myself at its back. I flipped myself around in the air and came down on it feet first, fully impaling it on Crescent Rose and finally killing it.
Calming my breathing and heart, I noticed a sound of cheering and applause faded into existence and I noticed I was still in the classroom. I must have been so focused I blocked out everything around me again, helps against distractions, but I now realised that I also could have missed any helpful advice or warning from my team, I'll need to work on that.
"Bravo, what a truly inspiring display of combat prowess!" Professor Port congratulated as I was suddenly hit with a wave of exhaustion. I stumbled down from the already dissolving Grimm and fell on my knees, as I was too exhausted to stand. "Whoa! Are you alright, miss Rose?"
"She's just exhausted, nothing to worry about." I heard Yang say as she and Silvia came to my side, Yang helping me to my feet while I saw that Silvia pulled Crescent Rose free of the dissolving Grimms body with her good arm, examining it for something. She looked at Yang confused.
"Opposite side of the bolt." Yang pointed out, before Silvia found and activated the transformation mechanism, causing Crescent Rose to switch into its compact form. I would normally be upset that someone is touching her without permission, but Silvia is my friend and teammate, that and I'm not exactly in a position to do it myself. As Yang was helping me back to my seat, I saw Silvia stumble from the corner of my eye.
"Miss Shade, you know you shouldn't strain yourself too much, you'll aggravate your injury." Professor Port admonished Silvia as he checked on her. She took a deep breath and steadied herself by holding the nearest desk.
"I know, I'm not sure why I even did it… instinct I guess? I'll be more careful." Silvia conceded and properly found her footing. I could swear I saw her flick the fingers of her free hand as she was steadying herself, but I more than likely imagined it.
"What was that about, Silvia?" Yang quietly asked after we were all back in our seats. The rest of our group was either sending me congratulatory smiles, eying me in concern, or just not really paying attention.
"Nothing much..." Silvia said a bit groggily, before smirking. "Just a bit of acting to get an opportunity."
"What kind of opportunity?" I couldn't help but ask.
"Just to get something back..." Silvia said mysteriously and gave me a folded piece of paper, which just confused me. Seriously, like… what? Carefully unfolding it while Professor Port was busy venting Grimm smoke out of the room, I was met with… my picture? But Professor Port put it in his pocket! How does that… Did Silvia just pickpocket the Professor?! How? She didn't even touch him! I quickly hid it, just so it wouldn't get me in trouble again. Catching movement in the corner of my eyes I looked and noticed that Neo had a strange expression, a weird mix of pride and disapproval is my best guess. On the other side, Weiss was really glaring at Silvia for some reason, I just hope she won't end up hating my entire team.
"Well, now that this is taken care of, I'm sure many of you are curious about the Grimm you saw a few minutes ago." Professor's voice once again gained everyone's attention, as he was clearly done with removing the smoke from the room. "For those of you who don't know, that was Desert Wolf from deserts of Menagerie. A bizarre reptilian Grimm that shares some of its features with a common Beowolf, Boarbatusk and strangely enough, even with the elusive Clawlet. Thankfully, it's only capable of burrowing through loose sand. Vast majority of you won't ever see one during your entire Huntsman carrier, which is something you should be glad for. They are vicious pack hunters that ambush their prey from below, rolling after those who try to flee down a dune. The one you saw in class today was a very young specimen, thankfully not yet smart enough to be a true danger to any of you."
Wow, a Grimm from Menagerie? This one was tough to beat as is, and it was weak and out of its environment?! I heard that they have it bad there, but after an experience like this? The people living there must be some of the best Hunters in existance!
"And with this we come to the end of today's lesson, don't forget to check your scrolls for your assignments and when they are due. And Miss Rose, it appears I was mistaken. You were in fact taking detailed note on how to most effectively deal with a Deathstalker." Wait, not only did Silvia pickpocket my drawing from him, she swapped it with her own? "This is the level of dedication you all should strive for. Knowledge can be your greatest weapon, after all-"
I suddenly felt really tired. "Yang, I think the caffi-"
Oh wow, Ruby crashed hard. She literally fell asleep mid sentence! That's even worse then me after I do that one awesome trick. She is so going to be groggy when she wakes up, and she can't use that one trick like I can... I hope they don't start hiding the forks or replacing them with plastic ones like Ren did.
We all slowly trickled out of the room, with Yang carrying Ruby, and were about to set our separate ways, but two things brought some much needed distraction. Weiss was stomping over to Silvia, looking angry and clearly wanting something, which was fortunately halted by Silvia's Scroll ringing.
"Huh, why is he calling now?" I heard Silvia mutter. She accepted the call and started walking away, probably to have at least somewhat private conversation. "Hello, Father… Yes, of course…" Huh, that's weird, when she started talking, her walk and posture changed. In fact, it looks almost like…
"Oh my gosh, she's like Weiss. She's totally part of an important family!" I realized, thoroughly shocked by this revelation.
"What!? No, she's not! We are nothing alike!" Weiss shouted, offended.
"Yeah… no. I have to agree with Ice Queen on this one, Silvia is not nearly as stuck up." Yang pointed out, with an even more offended 'hey!' from Wiess
"Guys! Just look at her, see how she's pacing? She walks just like Weiss does." I pointed out.
"No, she's not walking like Weiss, she's just… wow, she actually is walking like Weiss." Jaune overheard and noticed it too.
"And that's not all! She was eating like her earlier, and she brought that really old looking painting. Old paintings are expensive." And it was an awesome painting, too!
"You can't seriously believe that! She's a criminal, she has to be! She just got away with pickpocketing a Professor for Dust's sake." Weiss exclaimed angrily.
"I don't know about any paintings, but she was eating normally yesterday… well, as normally as she could with how she's hurt." Yang recalled.
"I actually noticed that too, but I didn't want to comment on it. Still, why would she act like someone from important family one moment, and act nothing like it the next?" Pyrrha questioned.
"She's tired." Ren announced, having sneaked up on us like his usual stealthy self. "Think about it, Nora kept her up the whole night and she is tired. If she is acting to appear less formal, being this tired could cause her to 'slip up' as it were."
"But, why would she do that?" Yang said, now very confused.
"That's what I want to know. And once I find out, you'll all see that she isn't who you think she is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do." Weiss declared and went in the direction of the library. Not long after, Silvia was done with her call, walking back to us while being slightly tense, meaning that whatever her call was about, it wasn't exactly pleasant one.
"Uh, Silvia, is everything alright?" I asked as she approached.
"Huh? Oh yeah, it's fine. Just something came faster than expected. It's… not a problem." She seemed to be somewhat distracted as she said that.
"Are you suuuure?" I asked, It was obvious something had her distressed.
"Yes, I am sure. There is nothing that even can be done in the first place, I'll deal with it as it happens. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm getting some more coffee, I'm not comfortable with going to rest now, even if I should." Silvia responded, her fatigue becoming more noticeable in her voice. She showed Ruby's weapon in my arms and walked away without even waiting for any kind of reply, even the way she walked screamed tired, but it also said proper. After she walked off, I took it upon myself to lead Yang to our dorm so we could get Ruby in bed.
"Uh, hey Yang?" I asked.
"Yes?" she replied, curious as to what I was going to ask.
"Does she normally crash this hard?" I knew I was the reason she needed that much caffeine, but to crash so hard she was off like a light? I was interested to see if there was a history of this.
"She did it once before. She was left alone in the kitchen for too long and overdosed on sugar somehow. Me and Dad found out because she blurred through the house, looking for drawing supplies. We next saw her about two hours later, splayed on the ground under a window she fell out of as she crashed. And in one hand she had a drawing of the most ridiculous, over the top weapon design ever. Twice the size of Crescent Rose, one side had a giant scythe with a built in chainsaw and artillery class Dust Canon. The other side had axe blades mixed with saw blades and a sniper rifle. And apparently like, ninety percent of it was supposed to be on fire. The whole thing even had a name, Rosemageddon. She actually based her scythe on that abomination after Dad said it was safe to give her the drawing back." Yang stated, snickering.
"Oh wooow." I whistled as we approached our dorm, where Neo was watching a cartoon on the television I had provided. Nice to see someone who respects the classics!
I couldn't help but keep grinning. Everything that coyote tried to do ended horribly for him, and I found satisfaction in seeing it happen.
"Hi Neo!" I grinned even more as I turned to wave at her. Nora was here, and when Nora was here, fun happens.
"Oh wow. That's a nice painting. You gota TV in here too, and is that a miniature fridge?! ...hold on a minute... That's the same model Sky said went missing!" Oh, you silly silly girl. I came prepared. I got up and looked around in my suitcase, before pulling out and shoving the receipt for it I snagged from Sky in her face.
"Oh. Okay then. It's just coincidence you have the same model then." She said as she put Ruby down on the bed. I put on my best horrified face, before grabbing Iron Rain, and poking her face with it.
"You do realize that isn't going to do anything? Even the smell of fresh baked cookies can't wake her up when she's zonked out like this." I frowned. That's no fun… I poked her once more for good measure.
"Alright, I've had my caffeine, and I'm a functioning member of society once again. Neo? What are you… Oh." Hooray, Silvia's here!
'Just poking the dead body with a stick.' I signed out.
"Ok, you do that, just make sure she is still breathing after you get bored of it." She replied, giving me the go ahead while simultaneously making our guest go wide eyed.
"Umm, what exactly is she planning to do to my sister!?" Oh yeah, she was panicking. Well played Silvia!
"What? She's just going to poke her with a parasol." She said as she pulled out her 'suitcase of evil' out from under her bed.
"Um, Silvia, what is that?" Yang asked, somewhat unsettled by the designs on the suitcase.
"Just something to hold a certain special book of mine." I could tell my friend was holding back a grin as she set it down on her lap and waited a few moments, acting like she was steeling herself. She undid the first latch and through some expertly done sleight of hand made it look like the whole suitcase trembled when she did so. I love seeing her put those tricks I showed her to use!
"Oh sweet Dust what kind of book do you have in there!?" (Yang)
"An old one, I don't really understand it most of the time." Silvia replied, before going silent as she tilted her head, as if listening to something.
"Is that… Is that why the suitcase looks that way? To hold some kind of cursed book?" I was struggling to hold it together, she actually had Yang sounding scared!
"What? No." Silvia said, acting like she was confused. "I got bored one day and painted it with evil looking scribbles just because I felt like it." She promptly opened the case, revealing a large old looking tome, and several smaller blank books, before holding up the tome for Yang to see. "It's just a book, not some soul eating demon."
"Oh, she got you goooood." Nora, who had been staying quite the whole time, finally spoke.
Yang started laughing. "Okay, I'll admit, that was a brilliantly played prank. Expect retribution though." Oh yes, another fun one! Someone whos not all 'stop having fun'!
"I just couldn't resist when I saw how you reacted to seeing the suitcase." Silvia chuckled and put the books on her desk.
"What exactly is in that book?" Yang asked.
"I'd rather not say. I know for a fact that there are people who would want to get it, if they even knew that it exists that is." Silvia replied in a hushed tone.
"So what, it's your diary that someone is trying to get to smear you and steal your boyfriend?" Yang joked, causing Silvia to go wide eyed.
"What!? No! What makes you think that!? It's not my diary anyway." Silvia replied, emphasizing the 'my' part of it.
"Okayyyy, i think I just made thing awkward... BYE!" Aww, she ran off… that's no fun at all.
'What's it really about?' I signed.
I groaned in frustration. The more I looked, the more things seemed to point towards her being part of a family with quite a high status. The numerous photos from formal events and high class parties that have a younger Silvia, or at least someone resembling her, in them is too big of a proof to ignore. That doesn't mean it makes any sense though, why is she nothing like what I see in here!? That's not even counting the newest batch of nonsense from TinFoilHatsInc, claiming that the Shade family are literally a bunch of ghosts that only show up in photos of important social events. I know for a fact that that's not true, since I found a few pictures of normal city life with Silvia on them, most of them had Neo on them too. And that's excluding the fact that i've physically met Silvia.
I can't go on like this, no matter what I find, nothing will be enough of a proof with how contradictory she is. I'll need to either ask her directly, or ask someone else. The civilian servers of Atlas don't have anything worthwhile, but the military ones might. A few short seconds later and I had a call connected.
"Weiss? What could have you calling home so soon?" My sister's slightly shocked face appeared on the screen.
"Hello, Winter. There is something I wanted to ask." I asked, keeping my voice professional.
"You are calling me just to ask a question? This seems very unlike you." My sister sounded slightly confused and interested in what I had to say.
"I know, but… this is kind of important." I emphasised.
"Hmm… well then. What do you wish to know?" She replied, fingers already running across the keyboard in preparation of a deep search.
"What can you tell me about the Shade family?" I said, deciding to not beat around the bush.
"..." I swear Winter went pale, and her eyes widened in shock.
"I looked where I could, but there is nothing on the public servers? I thought you might know something you could tell me." Keep pushing, don't give her a chance to try and turn me away.
"..." Winter was taking deep breaths, clearly picking her words carefully.
"Winter? Is something wrong?" I asked, now concerned by her behaviour.
"Weiss, where did you hear that name?" Her voice was a bit strained, and clearly worried.
"There… there was an argument and the name came up. I got curious, but I couldn't find anything. Why… why is that important?" I asked, now getting somewhat nervous myself.
"Weiss… we don't exactly talk about the Shades." The revelation floored me, a family that us, the Schnee, were hesitant to talk about!?
"What? So… you won't tell me anything?" I asked.
"I didn't say that. But don't expect much." My sister replied, now nervously rubbing her wrists.
"Alright, can you tell me what is so unusual about them?" I asked, before Winter sighed in defeat.
"They're an old family, secretive too. They don't do much publicly and put on a front of appearing just enough to stay in the loop on the dealing in Atlas, but that couldn't be farther from the truth." My sister explained.
"What are you saying? You make it sound like they are a band of criminals hiding in plain sight. What kind of power could they have to get a reputation like this?" I questioned.
"They aren't criminals, not exactly. I said that they put on a front of appearing just enough to stay in the loop, the truth is that they just… know things, if you understand what I'm saying. Damaging things. Their power comes from information." Winter elaborated, looking back and forth for something.
"So… they are-" I begun asking, before Winter cut me off.
"I'm sorry, but this is all I can tell you. Take care, sister." She said, before abruptly ending the call. She was… awfully paranoid
I don't even know how long I was sitting there and thinking about what I learned, but it was one of the windows I left open on the terminal that brought me out of it. Quickly checking what it was, I saw that TinFoilHatsInc made a new post. Slightly curious what senseless babble it was this time, I opened it to take a look. There was a picture of Silvia, being compared to… me? What? The title said 'Schnee and Shade, cousins or coincidence?'... what? Just… what is this?! How does that even…? No! I refuse to be left in the dark and be taunted like this! I'm getting to the bottom of this, even if I have to go and ask her directly! Now there is an idea. Only… I don't know where her dorm is! They just vanished during the post initiation ceremony. Groaning, I logged out and took a moment to stretch. Maybe Yang would know, her sister is part of Silvia's team. And Yang's dorm was rather easy to find yesterday, just had to listen for the sound of everyone groaning at her horrible sense of humor. Turns out she was right next door to me, right across the hall actually.
It didn't take long to get to right room, unfortunately, no one was there. Faced with the choice of either waiting for them and go crazy over not doing anything, or keep myself busy by looking for them, I chose the second option and spent a good half hour roaming the halls of Beacon before finally spotting who I was looking for.
"Yang." I growled out between grit teeth. Thoroughly angry from being denied answers because of her absence.
"Err… Hey, Weiss… do you need something?" Yang answered, somewhat concerned.
"Actually, yes. I do need something. Where is your sister's room?" I asked, for once not trying to be diplomatic.
"Is everything ok? Ruby didn't do anything bad, did she?" My answer made her even more concerned.
"No, she didn't. I need to talk to Silvia, but I don't know where their room is." I muttered.
"Again about Silvia? Is this about if she is or isn't from some high up family?" Yang inquired.
"She is dangerous, her whole family is! I need to find out if she is the real deal or not." I snapped, shouting at her. She didn't see the danger I was told about, I had to know.
"Ok, ok! Yeesh… and they say I'm hot tempered." Yang leaned back, startled.
Yang, seriously, this is not the time for puns. I was gritting my teeth in frustration.
"Fine. It's the room right next to ours." Yang said, trying to appease me. It didn't achieve much.
"You know, just look out of your door, and it's the one immediately to the right from ours." Yang continued, completely obvious to my shock of SIlvia basically hiding right under my nose.
"..." This whole time… she was that close?
"Weiss? Is everyth-" I tuned her out after that. I got what I wanted, if she want's to follow me to Silvia, that's her choice now.
I quickly covered the distance back to the dorms, not sparing a single glance at anyone I passed on the way. I knew Yang was indeed following me, but that wasn't my problem now. Stopping in front of the right door, which indeed was right next to ours, I took a deep breath, trying to at least somewhat control the anger that has been building up for the last half hour. It wouldn't be very productive if I couldn't even listen to her. After standing there for a few more seconds, I knocked on the door and opened it. I looked over the room and it's occupants, letting out a silent breath of relief that this is indeed the right room. Ruby was sleeping in one of the beds, Neo and Nora seemed to be watching some cartoons on a TV and… wait… TV? Where did they get a TV? And is that a mini-fridge too? No! Focus Weiss! Silvia was sitting behind a desk, surrounded by several books and looked to be writing in one, at least she takes studying seriously then. I took a step inside the room and went to speak when-
"I've been waiting for you, Miss Schnee." What?! How could she- "Did you get tired of searching on the web already?"
"How did…?" I was speechless. Did she have bugs in the school? Spies? "How did you know? Is this some kind of Shade thing? Are you trying to scare me?" My thoughts were accelerating out of control as I tried to figure out how she would have known.
"No, you just told me." What? I told her? But how does that… oh she just didn't!
"Ha, ha. Very funny." I deadpanned, glaring at her for messing with me like that.
"It sure is, you were right Nora, it is fun to do this!" Silvia said, turning around and smiling as she spoke. I was glaring at her for still messing around, I need answers. "Ok, serious talk, got it. I noticed that you were eyeing me earlier and decided to hazard a guess."
"That's it? You just guessed?" I asked, skeptical that that was really what happened.
"No, I bugged your Scroll and have at least three ninjas tailing you at all times… Of course I guessed! I'm not some nut job control freak with an information fetish." Silvia huffed, offended.
"O-oh." Oh wow now that I actually thought about it, that does make me seem extremely paranoid.
"Now, what do you want, Weiss?" She asked, as I took a moment to compose myself.
"I want to know what your deal is. " I asked, causing Silvia to sigh. Great, she was going to play the avoidance game, wasn't she.
"My deal?" And now she's playing dumb. I felt the anger rapidly returning.
"You are sending mixed signals! What I found about you says one thing, but what I see from you is another. It's like you can't decide if you really are a Shade from Atlas or a fraud from the streets, just like your combat clothes! They just look so plain and simple, but you had them made from military-grade, reinforced, lightweight fabric! Just… who are you?" I was really running my mouth, before a groan from Ruby managed to derail my train of thought long enough for me to keep quiet as she groggily sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
"Alright, not telling would do more harm than good at this point, and our teams are more than likely to hang out together anyway, so you'd find out eventually. My name is Silvia Shade, 17 years old, current heiress to the Shade family trade. Not that I know how it works yet. Satisfied?" Silvia explained. I wasn't really buying it though.
"If what you are saying is true, why don't you act like it? Why don't you act more like-" I begun a tirade.
"Like you?" Silvia retorted, leaving me speechless.
"Ohhhhhh, you're gonna need ointment for that one!" I glared at Nora.
"There is a reason for that you know. The SDC is known worldwide, this kind of attitude is almost expected from you. But the Shade family? Only a few people outside of Atlas know about us, I would attract attention, people would get curious and ask questions, like what you are doing right now. That's just something I don't need or want to happen." She had a point, but why was she being so open about it? I was expecting to have to drago it out of her.
"Why are you telling me all of this?" I asked, now thoroughly confused.
"Because you asked?" Silvia bluntly answered.
"That's it? Just because I asked? It's that easy?" It can't be that easy, she's just telling me what i want to hear!
"Oh, WHAT!?" Silvia screeched. "You came here and didn't even expect me to talk? Fine. If you are oh so curious, it's because you wouldn't stop looking. You came here to ask, that shows just how desperate you are for answers! If I didn't give them to you, you'd just keep looking your own way, and eventually draw attention to me that way. So there. You asked, and it's easier if I answer than if I don't."
"Sheesh, Silvia, when did you get so snappy? That was kinda harsh, don't you think?" Nora chastised Silvia, to my slight amusement.
"Oh, don't you start. I'm tired, frustrated and if I take anymore coffee I'll start twitching. And who's fau-" Silvia's scroll started beeping to the tune of some song I didn't recognize, interrupting her.
"Seriously Silvia? The Grimm Files?" Nora chuckled.
"Ah, what now?" She growled out, I'm now kinda happy the spazz is here to catch the fallout. Silvia soon took a deep breath, probably to calm down a bit. I was at this point just waiting on what will come from this.
"I have to go." Silvia sighed in frustration "Nora, Weiss, sorry for snapping at you, but I really didn't have a good day today. And now I got called up to Headmaster Ozpin for some reason. So just… please don't tell anyone about what we talked about?"
"Why would the Headmaster want to see you?" I asked, thoroughly stumped on why Ozpin would want her.
"I have an idea, not that I like it. Can I trust you to keep quiet?" She pleaded, picking up two of the books she had laid out. She also took her coat for some reason, the same one she had on during initiation, and put the books in some inner pockets.
"Well… alright, but you better answer some more questions later." I demanded, because I was getting some answers or so dust help me...
"Sure, sure, just not today. You can spend that time discussing with the others." What does she mean by 'others'? She just asked to not tell anyone! Just as I was about to ask what was she talking about, she opened the door, causing someone to tumble into the room after clearly listening in on what was being said. Looking at who it was, I saw Yang and Jaune laying on the ground, the rest of our teammates were in the hallway and surrounding the door.
"Hey there! Hope you don't mind us dropping in, your highness." Yang said, grinning before a pillow smacked her square in the face.
"How did you..." I began, before Silvia finished my sentence for me.
"Know they were there? Shadows under the door. You pick up on these thing after a while." Silvia said, seemingly disinterested as she stepped over Yang and out the door.
Once again, sorry for the delay.
Me and Gman will try to get the next one out faster. Though we are both curious what do you think about the story so far. Next chapter might answer some questions some of you might have.