Okay first off, due to several reviews lamenting the fact that this story was planned for scrapping- including several very consistent and loyal readers of it- I have decided NOT to abandon the story. It will, however, be a backburner for the foreseeable future so please still go vote on the poll on my profile.
Seriously only 20 people have, a good chunk of those didn't use all three votes they could have, and four- yes 4- different ideas are tied in first place. So please go vote on that.
"Crap Cardin we are so freaking screwed!" Sky yelped as he and his team ran from where they had released the rapier wasps the four of them booking it when they saw Rose go down. Cardin had come up with the idea, he said it was an easy way to get back at Xiao Long for making them look like idiots. Sky, Russel, and Dove had wanted to do something else, maybe spike his food with something or switch out all his clothes but their leader insisted that capturing and releasing the wasps was the best option.
They thought that RWBY, JNPR, and Xiao Long would just end up with a bunch of welts and stuff, prove they weren't as strong as a lot of the other first years and even a lot of the upper ones claimed. They didn't think anyone could have actually died from it! Things had gotten way out of hand. Rose might be dead, Xiao Long was almost definitely going to hunt them down like low level beowolves, there was almost a guarantee that they would be expelled if the teachers ever got evidence that they were involved, hell they might end up going to prison for murder because of what they just did!
"Shut up!" Cardin snarled. The large orange haired mace user was freaking out almost as much as his teammates, but unlike them his fear was overshadowed by his arrogance and anger. Once again the pink haired bastard had bested them, maybe not directly or publically this time, but it was his victory nonetheless. "Look we were too far away for any of them to have seen us. All we have to do is go to another clearing, fill up some of the other jars we brought along, and act like we saw and did nothing. It'll be their word against ours." He told his team firmly.
"What makes you think I'll let you do any of that?" A dark voice cut through the air. All around them the forest burst into flame, surrounding them in a ring of hauntingly quite fire.
"Xiao Long." Cardin growled, "Show yourself you fucking coward!" He yelled.
"No need to yell, I'm right here." the fire user mockingly chastised stepping dramatically through his conjured fire, his shadowed form taking on an image of a demon straight out of Hell.
Dove, the most superstitious of the four, was more than convinced that the image was genuine. "Wh-what the hell are you?" The teen stuttered.
"Me?" Natsu asked, "I'm the one you were stupid enough to target, the one whose family you almost killed, the one who is about to bathe you in flames hot enough to have come from hell itself." Natsu told them, slowly walking closer to the four of them. He wasn't kidding about the fire; he had learned that there were two types of cursed flames he could call upon and had made magic variants of them to use without unleashing E.N.D.. He called them the Fires of Armageddon, and the Flames of Hell.
The first one, the Fires of Armageddon, burned almost as hot as his Dragon Fire but tended to bypassed all but powerful Magical Defenses and even those did little to protect the target of the garnet flames.
The other, the Flames of Hell, also bypass many forms of defense but they were incapable of doing any physical harm. The Flames of Hell were purely spiritual in nature, those who were consumed by them would feel their skin melting and their blood boiling, suffering through constant agony, but they would never die from it. In Earthland the fire would consume the victim's magic while they were tortured, but on Remnant One's Aura was the target. The fire would slowly burn their energy out of their bodies so that fighting them would only be harder, and even when the last drop of the victim's power had been burned away, the fires will continue to cling to their flesh like a parasite until Natsu himself chose to show them mercy else they would be doomed to live out the rest of their lives in agony, their nerves never numbing their minds never resting there would be no escape from the wine colored flames, save death. Suicide or starvation to be precise as the fire itself didn't actually damage them and prevented death via pain overload.
It was these flames that he would be using- though slightly modified, after all killing the four of them would just cause more trouble than they were worth.
"You think I'm afraid of you, freak!?" Cardin demanded, "Come on you bastard, I'm going to enjoy breaking your skull!"
Natsu only smirked at the threat, "So eager to start the fun, aren't you Cardin? But do you really think your puny little club can hurt me?" He taunted.
"How about I show you Pinky!" Cardin snarled charging forward with his mace held high. Bringing his weapon down with both hands Cardin aimed for the other boy's skull a look of pure rage painted on his face. He knew that thanks to the other teen's Aura it wouldn't actually break his skull, but with the amount of power he put into the blow it would no doubt feel like getting hit by a bus and should put him out for a while.
Fool, Natsu thought easily catching the descending weapon, the ease with which he did so shocking the orange haired teen.
"Didn't I tell you that your club couldn't hurt me?" Natsu mocked Cardin. "Now it's my turn." he lit his hand up with the Flames of Hell, "Burn." He said slamming his fist into Cardin's chest plate shattering the tempered steel like glass and covering his torso in the unworldly flames.
As soon as the cursed fire touched his skin Cardin's world was overcome by pure agony, it felt as if his very soul was being submerged into liquid steel. The pain was all consuming, he couldn't move, he couldn't see, think, or breath. He could only scream.
"Miss Goodwitch!" Yang called out to the blond woman, "Miss Goodwitch, help!" she yelled running up to the teacher, carrying her unconscious sister in her arms and her friends trailing behind her.
"Miss Xiao Long, what is the meaning of this?!" The deputy headmistress demanded after seeing the state of the red themed girl.
"She got stung by a Rapier Wasp and had an allergic reaction." Blake told the strict woman.
"How is that possible? I brought another class here just last week and there were no Rapier Wasp nests anywhere in the area."
"It was team CRDL." Yang growled, "They let a bunch loose near where we were collecting our sap. Brand saw them running away after he helped Ruby and is chasing after them now." Yang explained.
Hearing this did not sit well with the green eyed woman, Brand Xiao Long and Cardin Winchester had a history of violence against each other that only seemed to have gotten worse after their shared detentions with her.
The two were complete opposites, Cardin believed in human superiority and Faunus suppression while Brand was a supporter of equality. Cardin thought political power and fear would let him rule all of Remnant while Brand couldn't seem to care less- though if Ozpin was right about him that was just a ruse. 'If Winchester really was almost responsible for Miss Rose's death, there is a good chance her brother will cause the boy great harm,' Glynda thought.
Her thoughts, along with anything else the two teams might have said, were cut off by a head-splitting scream that resonated with great pain.
"Oh no," Goodwitch whispered she remembered the sound of that scream from earlier in the year when Cardin Winchester had broken a rib in a sparring match against Yang.
As soon as she heard the scream Blake palled, she had heard a scream like that before. Just before her last mission for the White Fang, she had witnessed one of the most horrific things that she thought she would ever see. Adam Taurus, her friend, and mentor had just handed over a Schnee company executive who had been known in the past to abuse many Faunus under his control. The man hadn't gone so far as to strike or to kill anyone but he had verbally and emotionally attacked many young Faunus when they didn't perform up to the standards he expected from them. He had been a terrible boss and an ass to everyone he came across but he hadn't deserved to die like he did.
Adam had decided to make an example out of him. In front of several dozen of his followers, he had covered the man in a thin layer of Fire Dust and set him alight. It took the small amount of Dust nearly an hour to kill the man, slowly burning away his skin, muscle, and fat until his body finally gave out.
And Adam… Adam had just watched as the man burned, his expression blank.
She wouldn't let something like that happen again. Not to anyone, even someone like Cardin, even if it meant once again acting against someone she called a friend.
No sooner had the thought entered her mind that Blake was running through the forest in the direction of the tortured screams of Cardin Winchester the others quickly falling behind due to her superior speed. She hated the man, she really did, but if Natsu ended up killing him in his rage he would be thrown in prison faster than Ruby could eat a plate of cookies. She couldn't lose another friend to hatred, she just couldn't.
Blake ran for what felt like hours, Cardin's screams of pain unending and ringing in her ears. What could Natsu possibly be doing to him that could cause him so much pain?
Blake finally burst into the clearing where the noise was originating from only to have her way blocked by a solid wall of dark red fire that every one of her senses were screaming at her not to get near.
"Natsu!" She cried, "Natsu, please stop!" she begged, "Don't do this Natsu!" She continued to yell into the fire, unable to see anything through the thick flames despite the odd absence of any form of smoke.
Finally, as if in response to her calls the barrier of fire began to thin allowing her to see the scene that it had been hiding. There in the middle of the clearing created by the violent yet controlled fire stood Brand Xiao Long, Natsu Dragneel, over the smoldering thrashing body of Cardin Winchester.
"No." Blake whispered in horror. She was too late, Cardin was dying, he had killed him.
"Calm down Blake." Natsu told her without looking away from his victim, "He'll be fine. I'm just making sure that he learns his lesson."
"You're killing him."
Natsu shook his head, "No, I'm making him feel pain. Look, even his hair is undamaged." He pointed out. Sure enough, Cardin's slicked back orange hair looked the same as it always did despite it being seemingly being on fire.
Blake's heat slowed slightly. Her friend wasn't a murderer then. "I don't know how you're doing this Natsu but you need to stop."
"If your worries about his wellbeing don't be, I designed these flames to only leave a slight mental imprint when I choose to remove them. He will remember having been beaten, powerless, and in pain, but he won't be able to remember how much nor will there be any lasting damage to his nerves or his brain." He assured her, "I based the idea around how I usually deal with enemies. Beat them, hard, make them consider their choices, and leave them. I could have used my fists, but this was faster and has less probability of killing or crippling him." He explained.
Blake licked her lips worriedly, her eyes still fixed on the spasming form of Cardin Winchester. "You make it sound like you have a lot of practice doing that." She said trying to stall for time while Goodwitch and whoever followed her caught up.
"You've heard my story, you even call me Natsu, you know at least some of what I've done. You shouldn't be so surprised." He said calmly.
Blake winced. She had heard the legend of Natsu Dragneel, she never tried to hide that even when they had first met, but she had always thought it had mostly been exaggeration until the day of initiation, and even then she hadn't believed all of it. Seeing this though, seeing the burning yet not form of someone who had acted against him, Blake realized that the stories of dozens of men and women being beaten, broken, or even killed as they all tried to take down the Dragon had been real. Natsu was a killer, just like Adam.
But Cardin was still alive, and a quick glance around the rest of the newly formed clearing showed that his team was as well, even if they were all unconscious. "What do you plan on doing with him?" She finally asked.
"Personally? Nothing." He admitted and with a wave of his hand, he extinguished the fire that had engulfed the orange haired teen. "I'm not judge and jury, I'll kill when its prudent but as much as I wish I could turn Cardin into a pile of ashes this is not such a case. We are within the boundaries of the kingdom, close by and getting closer is a fully licensed Huntress and we are technically under the jurisdiction of the Huntsmen organization as trainees. There is no reason to kill him, so now that I've done my part to instill a lesson into his thick skull I'll turn him over to Glynda and let the headmaster deal with him." Natsu told her bitterly.
Blake nodded finally looking away from Cardin's now still body to look her red-eyed friend in the face. "This was extreme." She told him.
"No." He denied, "It was necessary."
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