RWBY: The New King of Darkness

Salem betrayed the Old King long ago for power. But before he was banished from her side, he swore vengeance that someone will take his place and cast her from the world of the living. But to do so, he would need a successor, someone willing to embrace the Darkness and forever forsake the Light. But who would be so willing to embrace the Darkness and for what reason would he do so?

Chapter VII: On the Kings Trail

Red eyes glared down at silken sheets as Raven finished regaling the youths gathered of her clan's destruction. How they were overthrown, devoured and destroyed by one man with powers, unlike anything they had ever seen before. How he effortless and mercifully destroyed her whole life in the blink of an eye.

To say that her audience was horrified…was putting it mildly.

Some had recoiled in disgust at what she had described. Others were in denial of what their friend had done. Some feared him more for the monster he had become.

Not only because of what they could only assume was the work of the new Jaune, but at what Raven had done to aggravate him. Initially, she tried to play herself off as the victim, but Qrow instantly shot that down when he revealed that his darling sister and himself were once part of a bandit tribe. How in the past they had raided small towns to supply their own people, how they put men and women alike to the sword for no reason other than survival.

This was enough to keep them from being fully sympathetic to her clan's destruction. But it did not stop them from feeling the fear of how powerful, and ruthless, their friend had become.

"I don't believe it, Jaune wiped out an entire bandit tribe? That…that doesn't seem possible." Ruby denied as Raven scoffed.

"Just as naive as your mother…" she muttered under her breath as she gripped the sheets. "You've seen what he is capable of, are you truly surprised what that monster can do?"

Pyrrha glared as she stood up. "No, no I won't believe this. Jaune is not a monster, something changed him and made him do this!" Raven snorted at this.

"Well hate to burst your bubble, princess, but it's the truth. Your 'friend' willingly attacked me and my clan, and practically wiped us off the face of the map...even took my arm in the process…" She gripped the stump that was once her arm. "Whoever you believe that…thing was, he is no longer the man he claimed to be. He is a monster that shows neither pity nor remorse."

The room was silent as Pyrrha hung her head until Qrow suddenly chuckled.

"…You know I can say the same about you, sis." Qrow snarked back as she turned her glare. "How many innocent people did you kill trying to 'survive'? Honestly, I think you've had this coming for a while now."

"How can you joke at a time like this! Do you not even care that our clan is gone!? Our family! Our entire way life up in smoke!?"

"No, your way of life is gone!" Qrow snapped back as she recoiled. "You had a chance for a better life with us, but you chose to go back to a bunch of murderers and thieves! What did you expect was going to happen!?"

"It was better than fighting a war we can't win! Salem is too powerful for anyone and she will not rest until everything is hers! It's futile to fight her!" She growled with as much fury.

"Oh, I see, so you decided to abandon everyone who cared for you, and I mean truly cared for you because you were afraid!? Hide in the woods and hope she'd never find you!? I never realised how much of a coward the great Raven Branwen had become!"

"I am not a coward; I am a realist! I saw the truth that you cannot accept! It's an unwinnable war!" she growled as she stood up, despite her injuries. "Think for once in your life, foolish brother! If Ozpin truly had a plan to defeat her, why hasn't he done so!? The Answer: he can't, she can't be stopped, it's pointless!"

"Pointless!? What about all our friends we've lost! All the sacrifices we've made to keep the peace!? I'm supposed to believe that they died for nothing!?" he argued.

"Yes! Because it's foolish notions like that, that get people killed! If you honestly think we have a chance a winning, then you're a bigger fool then Summer was, and are likely going to die the same way!"

Eyes widened as a dark look overcame Qrow's face and he grabbed her shirt and glared into her eyes.

"You have no right to say that! Not after everything that happened! Not when you walked out on us! You left us! For all your talk of family and loyalty, you were the one that betrayed us the most! In fact, if you hadn't walked away Summer might still be here!"

"That's enough!" Ruby broke in the middle of them as she kept them at bay.

"Look, I don't know what other personal matters you two have to deal with, especially about mum, and I really don't want to face it right now!" Ruby argued as she stood between them. "But right now, we just need to know where Jaune is, and where he's going." Raven glared as she sat back down in her bed.

"Miss Branwen, please. We just want to find our friend and help him. Please, it's what friends do…"

Raven stared as for a moment the young girl before her, was replaced with a similar woman that was just as naive…But also, just as brave as she felt a twinge in her heart.

"You really are just like your mother…." She sighed as she looked away. "…I don't know where he's heading. But our base was in Anima, just half a day from Shion. We were planning to move further inland after the raid, but you see how that turned out. Your best bet is going there."

Ruby nodded as she patted the woman on her hand. "Thank you, we'll leave you alone." She turned back to the rest as they left the room. But not before Yang sent one last glare to her mother before shutting the door. Leaving the mother and former bandit alone with her thoughts.

Meanwhile, everyone gathered in the living room as Ruby began to talk. "Okay, so we know where he is, now we just have to-"

"Leave it for the military to sort out." Yang cut in as she crossed her, arm.

"What?" Ruby asked before her sister glared.

"I know what you're planning sis, and I'm not going to allow it. That…thing…is not the same Jaune we know. He's something else and I don't want you risking your own life just to try and prove otherwise." She lectured as Taiyang nodded.

"I agree with your sister, Ruby. Whatever that boy is, he's too dangerous to go after. I'm forbidding you from going out there." Ruby shook her head.

"How can you say that? He's our friend and he needs our help! We have to go after him!" Yang shook her head.

"No, you don't. I'm not trying to be mean, but you saw what he did, what he tried to do to our uncle. He's dangerous and out of control. Our best option is just to leave him alone and let someone else take care of him." She explained as Ruby looked appalled.

"Take care of him? …you mean you want someone to kill him!?"

"No! But we are clearly not capable of facing something like that!" Yang shuddered remembering the footage she saw. Their bodies carved up like turkeys on Solstice Eve.

"Ruby was able to do something to him." Ren reasoned as he broke in between the conversation. "We all saw it, she has some kind of power that can affect Jaune, maybe even turn him back to normal?" Pyrrha and Nora nodded at this.

"That's right! Ruby might be able to help us! We need her!" Pyrrha begged.

"Uncle Qrow said it was something Mum had sis, something called 'Silver Eyes'. It made her a strong warrior, maybe we can use it to help him." Ruby mentioned as Tai gave a glare to Qrow at the mention of Ruby's Silver Eye's ability.

"We don't even know if you can control it!" Yang yelled into her sister's face. "From what I understand you passed out after you used it! What if after overextending it kills you!? And there's no one else that can help you to control it," she shook her head.

"I'm not going to lose you on this insane trip."

"But you're going to let them go!" Ruby pointed to Ren, Nora and Pyrrha. "Why won't you let me!?"

"They're different," Tai said as he walked over to her.

"We can't tell them what to do, but you are a different matter." He placed a hand on her shoulder. "You're going to stay here, and that's final," Tai ordered as Ruby hung her head, before shrugging off his hand and stomping her way out of the living room.

An awkward silence drifted as Tai sighed.

"We're sorry," Pyrrha said as she and the others got up. "We didn't mean to cause you any trouble, after all the hospitality you've given us." Tai shook his head.

"It's okay, Ruby is so much like her mother. Always wanting to help people…even when they don't want to be saved..."

He spied Raven peeking from the doorway before it closed quietly. "You're more than welcome to stay for as long as you need. But the matter of Ruby coming along is off the table, understand?" he asked as they nodded.

They nodded as they left for their guest rooms, to plan their next course of action. Yang decided she needed some fresh air as she walked out the front door and Tai collapsed onto the couch with his hands over his face and a breath of exhaustion left his lips.

"This isn't going to stop her, you that know that?" he looked over to Qrow as he undid his flask. "As you said, she's too much like Summer. Once she has her mindset, there's nothing that will stop her. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised she's planning to run away with them the moment we turn our back on her."

"I know…I doubt I'd be able to stop her even if I could. But I just want her to be safe. We've already lost a lot to this War of Ozpin's. First Raven abandoned us, then we lose Summer, then I gave being a huntsman because it was too much for me and we hardly see you anymore. We never know if you're drunk in some bar, or waist-deep in some swamp out in Anima for Ozpin or worse…" he sighed.

"…I've lost a lot of friends, the last thing I want is to lose my daughters." Tai lamented as Qrow placed a hand on his brother-in-law.

"I know…I can't promise that I can stop her, but I can promise to keep her safe. You have my word." Tai stared before he nodded and got up to do some of the chores around the house.

Qrow stayed back in silence as he sat down on the couch and pulled out his flask. Small comfort to ease the ever-growing headache that he had to deal with.

He still hadn't heard from Ozpin, or at the lease his newest reincarnation. There was still no sighting of the any New Maidens, the White Fang was spouting about their 'Victory over the Humans' and Mistral had gone quiet. Not to mention Raven's untimely arrival on their doorsteps after being attacked by the Arc boy that had become something horrifying.

It was a lot for the spymaster to handle.

"Welcome home Sis…" he held up his flask as he downed the liquid. "What a mess."

Three Days Later – Temple of Raging Fire

Deep within the red-stained stones of the Temple of Rage, the New King of Darkness stood alone in the centre of the main chamber. His form still, his breath calm and his voice silent. Slowly he lifted his arms as he focused on the mental image of rage and fire. He memory calling on the image of a burning village, the screams of innocents and the cries of children as evil men laughed with wicked intent.

From that rage sprung forth the power of the Temple, as the Gauntlets of Raging Fire moulded themselves onto his flesh. His clawed fingers flexing with experimentation as he slowly opened his eyes and breathed a cold breath.

Then faster than anyone could react, he started to perform martial art like stances. Fists thrusting, palms chopping and claws striking as he practised a form of martial arts that was unfamiliar to him. Yet at the same time came naturally to him. Every punch and jab from his arms created a surge of crimson flame that trailed behind his fist. He dashed forward as he rocketed across the floor and released a large pulse of flames that scorched the earth around him.

He held his stance as he pulled his arm back then thrust his fist forward as a ball of crimson fire surged from his palm and struck the furthest wall. The crimson energy burning a hole of slag into the stone masonry.

He pulled both His arms back until they suddenly were ablaze with crimson fire as he thrust his arms forward and a ball of red fire surged and slammed into the wall. The stone wall melting from the intense heat and flames until molten slag was left.

He breathed a calming breath as he relaxed his anger.

"You're getting better."

He looked to his left as Vlad smirked from his astral plane. "In only three days you've mastered the basic forms, something that takes normal humans' months to master. Either you're an untapped prodigy, or the blood memories are finally starting to kick in."

"Could be both, could be neither, I don't care. So long as it gets me one step closer to ending this." Jaune gripped his clawed hands as the gauntlets red flesh-like metal gleamed with an unnatural glow.

"Otherwise what would be the point of all this?" Vlad smirked at this.

"Are you starting to regret your decision? May I remind you that, that you chose to abandon your humanity? To abandon your place in the light to fight in the Darkness. I may have given you the option, but it was still your choice to walk the path of the blood consumer. The role of King." He smirked as Jaune glared.

"I know…I made my choice; I just want to know that we can actually succeed? I mean after you told me everything that happened, how she became immortal, how she led mankind to its extinction, that she was cursed by the Gods to walk this earth for all eternity. It's a little daunting to comprehend. How am I supposed to kill someone unable to die by any means?"

Vlad stared before he grinned. "Because the last thing the Gods or Salem will expect, is you."

"But what makes me different? Ozpin can't kill her, you couldn't. What do you think will make me any different?" Vlad smirked as he drifted around the room.

"Let's just say I've had the last thousand years to plan this out. A few new factors have come to light that will accelerate that plan, but rest assured I know we can beat her." Jaune seemed sceptical as he was still unsure of the true motives of the Former King.

"Why did you choose me? I know I asked this before, but there has to be another reason other than I impressed you."

"…In truth? There were others I deemed worthy of inheriting my powers. Others I believe would help me achieve my vengeance…However, no matter how worthy they were they couldn't survive the process. Most of them died from the taint of my darkness corrupting their souls. Others were driven insane and reduced to powerless vegetables. But you…the day we met I sensed the power that is inside you. And after my powers were transferred, I sensed something else, another reason why you would succeed."

"What?" he asked as Vlad paused and he furrowed his brows.

"I…can't remember. The Silver Eyes Energy distorted my final moments and the discovery I found is blurred. I know it's there, but until the last fragments of that energy are purged, that discovery will have to remain a secret. All I can remember is that it had something to do with your bloodline."

"My bloodline?" he asked, eyebrow raised. "What does my bloodline have to do with anything?"

Vlad eyed the new King before shrugging. "I'm sure it will come to me, time. On another note, I sense there is more distracting you." Jaune's mouth clenched shut as he avoided his gaze.

"I am apart of you, I sense what troubles you…your thoughts drift to your family and friends, yes?"

Jaune sighed as he nodded. "Yes…I know that I should be focused on stopping Salem, but I can't help but worry about them. If what fragments of Cinder's memories are true, then she was actively targeting my friends and if she works for Salem. What if she goes after them to get to me?"

"Possible. Salem would use any advantage to get what she wanted. Your friends may be able to handle themselves, your family…" Jaune didn't like that train of thought as the Gauntlets sparked with rage.

"If any of them go after my family I will rip them to shreds!" his voice became angrier and his dark aura surged out of him as Vlad grinned at this.

"Good! Good! Keep that anger, it will serve you well!" he grinned as Jaune glared as the flames illuminated the chambers.

Vlad noticed his glare as he sighed.

"Look, if you're worried about your friends and family, I may be able to offer a solution." Jaune paused as the flames slowly died down. "Do you remember that Wyvern you killed at Beacon?" he nodded.

"Wait, that was a Wyvern? I thought it was a Dragon."

"No, most people get Wyverns and Dragons mixed up, being of similar species. Dragons walk on Four legs, Wyverns only on two. But that is beside the point. Do you remember what the Wyvern could do?" Vlad asked as Jaune shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't know, all it did was fly around, try to eat me and spawned Grimm from its body. But what does that have to do with anything?" Vlad chuckled as he held up a finger.

"Ah, but that is the key. You see there are many different breeds of Grimm. Each one has unique abilities that make them formidable foes. Some Grimm can shoot lightning, others can merge with other Grimm. But the Wyvern you killed could create lesser Grimm from its flesh. When you killed the Wyvern, you gained its ability to create Grimm from your own body. Spending the last week here helped to unlock that ability…to a degree."

"I can…create Grimm?" he looked down at his body. "But…I'm not made of…whatever it is that Grimm are made of? How can I create more Grimm?"

"To be accurate you're not exactly human anymore, nor are you Grimm, so these wouldn't technically be Grimm, per se. They would be…a new type of creature. One that is made from your own Blood as a substitute. A new breed that is made of neither Light and Dark…they would be under your direct command and share all your senses. In a sense, they would be a part of you."

"So, how does this help my friends?"

"You will be able to create a sentry to watch over your family. A little bird to alert you if something is about to happen to your family and friends. They can also be useful to gather intelligence on our enemies if we send one to Haven Academy." Jaune nodded at this.

"Good point…with Cinders memories scattered, I have no idea how this Lionheart will react. He may try and skip out before we have a chance to confront him, or Salem could try and silence him." He nodded. "Okay, how do I do this?"

"Hold out your arm and roll up your sleeve. Then focus on something simple. You won't be able to create complicated Grimm like Beowolves or Ursa just yet. But a few small Nevermore's and Creepers would be of use." Jaune nodded as he held his arm out.

"Now imagine a pool of Darkness, a pit of never-ending death and consumption. Now imagine creating a shape inside the Darkness. Imagine it waking up from a deep slumber." He focused as arm began to squirm, and he grunted.

"Now, imagine clawing your way into a world of life and light. Freeing yourself from Death and Destruction."

His right arms bulged before blood began to seep from his skin and a red orb of blood began to take shape.

"Now give that Shape Life."

The Red orb began to squirm before it began to take shape. Before popping and excess blood spilt onto the floor. Now perched on his arm was a blood Red Raven, with small Black Eyes and the Symbol of the New King of Darkness on its forehead. The Small red raven blinked open its pitch-black eyes before it looked upon the man that created him curiously.

"Huh…looks different from a Nevermore." He observed the blood-red feathers of the Raven.

"As I said, your blood is a substitute for the Black Tar that births us regular Grimm, so instead of having Normal Grimm, you would have red Grimm." The Raven looked between them.

"Now, give it a role, abilities and a purpose. After that, it will follow your every command without question." Jaune nodded as he looked at the Raven.

"You will be my eyes and ears. You and your brothers will watch over this world and report back anything of value. If enemies attack my loved ones, you will alert me. If my enemies move against me, you will warn me. If the world is against me, you will be one step ahead of them. You are my eyes, my watchers, my shadows…my Blood Ravens"

The Raven perked up before cawing and bowing its head to its King. Jaune nodded as released the Raven and it flew off down the hall, but not before separating into four other Ravens and flying off in a different direction once outside.

"You gave it the ability to split apart…clever." Vlad grinned as Jaune looked back to the Former King.

"So, what now?"

"Now we let them gather intel on Mistral. Observe your friends and family, and then we move. We have stayed here long enough, and Salem will not dally in her pursuit. For now, let's continue practising your new weapons and see if we can get the shapeshifting powers under control." Jaune nodded as he summoned his gauntlets and ran through his fighting style.

He had to be ready for whatever would happen. He had been away from the world for too long, there was no telling what he would be walking into. Who knew what would be waiting there for him?

Meanwhile at The Gilded Arc

Ironwood stared awkwardly at the two parents in front of him as he stared into the annoyed faces of Roland Arc and Diana Arc. Beside him were Three of Atlas' Ace Operatives. Clover Ebi, Elm Ederne and Harriet Bree. The Ace's looking nervous as they had heard stories of the infamous Arc Couple before retirement.

After all, it wasn't every day, they met Diana the Goddess of War and Roland the Paladin of Death.

This was the fourteenth time he had been ordered by the Atlas Kingdom to interrogate the Arc family on the whereabouts of their wayward son, who has now potentially the most dangerous man on Remnant. Under normal circumstances, he would have to drag the family to an Atlas facility and interrogate them properly.

But the Arcs, despite their reclined years, were still a significant and noble name. To drag them away would result in serious ramifications from those that still supported the Arc family. As a compromise, they were only allowed to be interrogated at their homes and as you can guess the constant questioning was starting to grate the parent's nerves.

"…Roland, Diana…once again I have to ask-"

"And once again: We haven't seen our son since Beacon fell. These constant questionings are starting to thin my patience, James." Roland stressed as he glared, while his knuckles turned white.

"I'm sorry, I'm truly sorry but I have to ask; the Council is breathing down my neck to find your son. He killed loyal troops of Atlas, and they demand justice for their deaths."

"Justice? Or the chance for their scientists to experiment on my baby boy?" Diana glared as her aura began to flare and the soldier's station near Ironwood tensed and reach for their weapons, had he not signalled them to stop.

"Look, I'm sorry for the…distress this is causing you. But you must agree that whatever that…thing is, it's no longer your son. He killed soldiers, good men, and then fled from the ramifications. He has to be brought in."

"And what then? Would you even give us the chance to talk to him, try to reason with him? Or would he be shipped off to one of your black-ops facilities to be dissected? Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about." Roland glared. "I may have retired, but I still have contacts in Atlas. I know the things your scientists would do if they got their hands on him, especially that Major Cobalt."

Ironwood's brow furrowed at the mention of the Major. A man with a very...scandalous reputation.

"We also know that if it wasn't for our son, Beacon would be under Grimm control right about now," Diana said as Ironwood looked to the mother. "We've spoken to his friends. Whatever happened that day, it seems that our son paid a heavy price to ensure victory…one that your group seems to have forgotten."

Ironwood understood what she meant, as Ozpin had once told him how he went to the Arc's long ago for assistance but was turned down. It was scary how informed the Arcs were.

But sadly not as much as they were.

"I understand. But he is still wanted and has a price on his head. If he surrenders to either the huntsman or my troops then it would be up to the courts, if he doesn't resist capture…"

"And what guarantee do you have that your men or those bounty hunters won't just kill him?" Ironwood was silent as Roland nodded. "I thought so…now please get out of my house." He asked, nay ordered, as the General sighed.

"I see that this is a waste of my time. Look, if your son contacts you, please notify us as soon as you can. Maybe even convince him to hand himself over, the court may be lenient if he cooperates." He asked as he stood up.

"If…our son contacts us, we'll deal with it ourselves...Good day, General." Diana said as the man sighed and signalled his men to leave with him.

"For what it's worth…what your son did that day, did save Beacon…I'm just sorry that he had to become a monster to do it." He just managed to avoid a table to his head as Diana was held back by Roland. That was clear enough for him to leave before he said anything else to upset the Arcs. Ironwood and his men continued to walk towards their airship.

"Clover, I don't understand. Why don't we just take the family into custody? I mean he is a wanted criminal, taking his parents into custody would draw him out of hiding, right?" Elm asked as she walked beside her leader.

"It's not that simple, Operative Elm. First: We can't just take civilians from their home. Especially since they are citizens of Anima, and it is out of our jurisdiction. The only reason Mistral hasn't responded is due to the influence the Arc family still holds. Even though the Arc's originally lived in Sanus before moving here thirty years ago. If we took them, we would incur serious political repercussions, and Atlas is still recovering from the backlash our Knights created by turning on us." Clover explained

"Not to mention, as powerful as Atlas is, we cannot afford to draw that…thing, to Atlas." The two looked back to Ironwood as he continued to walk towards the airship.

"We are currently ill-equipped to handle something of that magnitude…I saw him kill a Titan Class Grimm with little effort and shrug off fatal injuries like they were nothing. Whatever he is, he is beyond our current capabilities. When we do manage to confront him, we must be prepared." He explained.

"Sir, what about asking for Major Cobalt's Section 13 for assistance? I heard their soldiers are one par with that of Atlas' best. Maybe we could requisition some assist-" Harriet began before Ironwood shook his head.

"No! I refuse to associate myself with Section 13. Cobalt's unit is already being investigated for human experimentations, illegal biological enhancements and unauthorised black book operations. Atlas is under enough scrutiny as it is. The last thing we need is bringing his dirty work into the Light." He and the others boarded the airship.

"When we deal with the Arc, it will be because of Pure Atlas ingenuity, not his unholy creations. We must be better than that." He said as they nodded.

"For Atlas!" they saluted as he nodded.

"For Atlas."

Meanwhile, the couple continued to stare at the door before the sound of an airship flying away drifted off into the distances and Roland let go of his wife, if only to embrace her from behind. They held each other for what seemed like forever, as they did their best to comfort each other.

"…What has our son gotten himself into?" Diana asked as she held his forearm.

"I knew we shouldn't have let him go to Beacon, but I never imagined that anything like this would happen…Hunted by the Kingdoms, wanted for murder and seen as a monster by the rest of the world…we made a mistake letting him go." Roland held her close.

"I know. But you and I both agreed that we couldn't control Jaune's life forever. One day he would have to make his own decisions, regardless of what we said…maybe if we had done things differently, trained him or explained the dangers he would've reconsidered…unfortunately he inherited both our stubbornness. And there is nothing more dangerous in this world then Stubborn Arc." She laughed a little at that.

"…Roland?" he looked to her. "You still love our son, don't you?" she asked as he nodded.

"Of course, I do. Just as I know you still love him…I don't care what they say, he is still our boy." he gripped her tight. "And if he ever decides to come home…we'll be there for him, no matter what he's become." She smiled softly as she held his arm.

"But what is he? What has Jaune become?" she asked as Roland pondered.

"I don't know…but we'll find out. Somehow." They both turned to a photograph of their children and their son in the centre of the photograph.

Patch Island – One Day Later

Pyrrha stared at the photograph of her partner longingly as she gently stroked the last image they shared together. It was after their first round in the Vytal Festival and Nora suggested they get a commemorative photo together.

Ren was his usual self, so he didn't object and Jaune was more than happy to do something as a team.

It was one of the happiest memories she possessed of her friends. Which made her even more determined to find her partner and bring him back him.

"Pyrrha?" she heard a knock as Nora called out from behind the door.

Pyrrha nodded as she stood up and grabbed her upgraded gear. Her new armour was more armoured, with added protection to her chest, legs and arms. Her skirt was replaced with skin-tight pants and a belt with her symbol on the buckle. Her shield was polished to a shine with a few new upgrades. Her Xiphos/Rifle Miló had been upgraded to be sharper, lighter and more compatible with her shield.

She started to make her way to pick up her circlet, before pausing and looking at herself in the mirror. Her long red hair flowing down her back as she brushed her fingers along its length. She stared before a determined look appeared in her eyes before she deployed her sword and swiftly cut the length.

Strands of red hair falling around her as she stared at her now shoulder-length hair. A promise to herself that she was done with her former life until she brought Jaune back to her.

She shoved the circlet into her back, and then exited the room as Nora and Ren, decked in new gear, blinked at the new haircut. But ultimately nodded as they grabbed their gear. She nodded as they made their way to Raven's room. Where to their surprise Ruby was waiting for them, new clothes and a bag by her side.

"Ruby," Pyrrha started before she raised her hand.

"Don't even think of arguing with me." She started. "Jaune is my friend too, and I'm not going to let you go off without me. I don't care what dad and Yang say, I'm coming too and that's final." She picked up her bag.

Ren, Pyrrha and Nora nodded as they walked into the room. Raven sitting in one of the chairs as she turned her gaze to them. "What do you want?" she asked, already knowing the answer.

"We want you to send us to Jaune," Pyrrha asked as the woman shook her head while scoffing. "Look, we know you can open portals. We all saw you crash into the table. We know you can do it."

"It's not as simple as you think, mascot." She said as she turned her gaze to them. "My Semblance does allow me to make portals, but only to those, I have a bond with. Before this, I had bonded with everyone in my clan, as well as my brother, former husband and my daughter. Now I'm down to four."

"Four?" Ruby asked.

"I sense when my connections are cut. It's how I knew when your mother died. Each time it's a painful experience." She continued to gaze out of the window while Ruby hung her head.

"And thanks to your friend I no longer have my network. I can sense one left in Anima, but why should I help you? Your friend destroyed everything I cared about. I worked my whole life, sacrificed so much to get what I wanted, and now it's all gone...For all I care, your friend can get himself killed and the world would be better off without him…" she turned away.

"Besides…if Tai found out I helped you sneak his precious daughter out he'd never forgive me, I'm not going to be responsible for another Rose's death…leave." Ruby stared before she shook her head.

"…No," she said as she marched her way to her.

"Ruby," Ren started but she ignored him.

"No, you are going to help us get to Anima. Sure, Jaune destroyed your life, but from what I understand, you deserved it." Raven turned back as she glared at the teen. "Killing innocent people, pillaging villages and homes. By all accounts, we should hand you into the authorities and let them decide your fate...But we won't because you are our only chance of getting to Jaune. So, you are going to help us, and we promise not to tell anyone you're here." Raven turned back to her as she glared into her eyes.

"And why are you desperate to get to him? Why do you want to save that monster?" she asked as Ruby looked back with a determined gaze

"Because Jaune is our friend. He may be a monster to you and Yang and everyone else, but to me and the others, he's still our friend. I was never good at making friends, even the one I had at Signal were few and when I came to Beacon, I was afraid of being alone…" she looked up as she smiled softly. "But Jaune helped me, he made me feel like I could make it. I never forgot that moment and I'll always be grateful for that."

Pyrrha walked over as she placed a comforting hand on her sister in arms along with Ren and Nora.

"Jaune helped me, and right now we need to help him. It's what friends would do, it's what a Huntsman would do…it's what Mum would've done."

Raven stared at the young woman that reminded her of Summer, as she felt a twinge of emotion in her chest. Back in the day Summer was her partner, an annoying optimistic partner. But a woman she could respect. When she found out that she died, she often wondered if she could've prevented her death, if she had stayed with them instead of running off? Wondered what would've changed had she not turned her back on her team.

But the past was the past, and there was nothing she could do about it.

"…You are so much like your mother; I'm going to regret this. But it's your life, do what you want." She stood up and grabbed her blade.

"I didn't see Shay amongst the dead so he's the best chance you have of getting to Anima." She walked to the far end of the room. She channelled her Semblance into her blade as she slashed the air in front of her. A swirling red portal appeared as she gestured to the teens.

"Getting going, Tai and Yang will be back soon, so you need to go now."

Ruby nodded as she and the other walked through the portal. But Ruby stopped as she turned back and smiled at the one-armed woman. "Thank you, Raven…for what it's worth…I think Mum would be proud of you."

Raven blinked as an image of Summer briefly overlapped Ruby before fading away as the young Huntress stepped into the portal and disappeared.

Raven stared at the empty room before she sighed and shook her head. "Yeah…she would." She placed her sword down, got back on the and looked out the window.

"…That was awfully nice of you." She turned and glared at the smirking face of her brother leaning on the doorframe. "Could it be that the cold heart of the infamous Raven is finally beginning to melt?" she scoffed as she turned away.

"Don't kid yourself, I just wanted some peace and quiet. If I didn't, they would've bugged me for weeks on end. This was the only way to get rid of them." He chuckled at that.

"Yeah, whatever you say…" he got off the doorframe and walked to her. "Look, I need a favour."

"Let me guess, you want me to send you after them, right? Make sure Summer's little girl is not horribly eaten by a Grimm?" he nodded.

"Pretty much." She sighed as she turned back to him.

"And what do you plan to get out of this? To help find their lost friend, or to hunt down that monster and put an end to him?" she asked as her brother stared at her.

"Actually, I was thinking that maybe he'd be the key to ending this war." She looked back at him with a scandalous look.

"You cannot be serious?"

"Oh, I'm very serious. You saw what he did, he took out a Wyvern the size of a mountain, killed one of Salem's agents and prevented them from getting a hold of the Relic. Heck, he even managed to beat you the strongest member of our team. We've never seen anything like this before, and I bet Salem hasn't either. If we can get him to join us, to turn his attention on the true enemy, then we might have a chance at ending this." He reasoned as she scoffed.

"And what makes you think he'll join you?"

"I don't know, common interest? See if I can convince James to give him immunity from his crimes? All really depends if he doesn't kill me on sight first. But from what I saw, he is no friend of Salem's…" He sighed as he sat down near her.

"We've lost a lot of good people fighting this war. Good friends, I want to believe their sacrifice amounted to something. But the thing is we're human, we die so easily, and we never know if what we did is enough…but that kid? He's not human anymore…and I think right now, that's exactly what we need."

"So…you want to send a monster, to destroy another monster?"

He rubbed his hand as the memory of red eyes glaring into him and the fear of Death lingering in his mind. "Something like that…"

Meanwhile in a small Bar Far West of Shion

Shay D Mann weakly held his mug as he stared depressingly at the liquid, before shifting his gaze to the stump that was now his arm. He had been running for a week now, trying to get as far away from the Branwen Massacre as possible. The screams of his clansmen echoed in his ears as they were cut down one by one, and their terrified faces haunted his dreams. he would occasionally shift his gaze to the shadows, almost expecting to see red eyes glow from the darkness.

Only to sigh as nothing appeared, but always cautious of what lurked beneath.

"Hey, pal?" he looked over to the Bartender. "You doing, okay? You don't look so good."

The man almost began to speak until a red portal suddenly martialized beside him and he screamed in fright. His remaining hand rapidly reaching for his revolver only for it to drop out of his hand and onto the floor. He was about to pick it up when he recognised the portal and he felt a small bit of hope that Raven had survived.

But instead of Raven, four figures stepped out of the portal and he was face to face with four teens, as they looked around at the shabby bar they just appeared in.

"Whoa! Where are we?" Nora asked as she looked around at the stunned patrons. "Did we make it? Excuse me!" Nora turned to the stunned barkeep. "Can you tell us where we are?"


"Can. You. Tell. Us. Where. We. Are?" She sounded out slowly before Ren placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Apologises, we just had an associate of our teleport us from Sanus," Ren explained, doing best to avoid naming Ruby's home. "Can you tell us exactly where we are?" the bartender blinked before he began to speak.

"Uh…you're in Roku Village."

"Roku Village…I know that name, we are in Anima," Ren said as he was familiar with the name.

Pyrrha nodded as looked at the one-armed man. "You, you were with Raven's crew, yes?" she asked as the man flinched back but nodded. "Can you tell me which way Shion is?" she asked as slowly nodded and pointed East. "Thank you," she said as she and the others began to move out.

The bar was silent as the door closed and the barkeep looked down at the man. "…Another round?"

He nodded, "Y-Yeah".

Outside Pyrrha looked to the others, "You ready?" she asked as they nodded. With a determined glared and a strong first step, they began the long trek towards Shion. The long trek towards their friend and the much-needed confrontation between the King of Darkness and the ones that wanted to save him from himself.

Pyrrha gripped her fist as she glared at the rising sun.

'Hold on Jaune…We're coming.'

And Scene. Well, here is the long-awaited Chapter VII of New King of Darkness. Sorry for the long wait, a lot of things have been happening, as you are all aware. And this is proof that I am alive. Thank God I live in Australia.

So, I am working on my other stories, as well as Assignments. Schools may be closed, but not online courses. So, I will be a bit busy till Break. But I want everyone to stay safe, wash your hands, cover your faces and for god's sake STAY IN YOUR HOMES! Unless you must go to the stores or work. So, now that Ruby and the remainder of Team JNPR are in Anima, how will they find Jaune? Will they follow his trail of death and carnage, or will other hands be at play? Find out in the next time in…

Chapter VIII: The Hands of Fate