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 IX: Uneasy Alliance

The market was a bustle with life and wonder as people sold their wares and goods. The smell of spices, metal, and sizzling meat drifted as another day passed for the small town. Amongst the crowd was Sienna Khan, as she pulled her hood further over her head. A bag of supplies in her hand as she discreetly purchased the necessary supplies she needed. Her eye scanning the marketplace for any familiar face, while her ears twitched for even the slightest sound.

It had been a few days since she was almost killed by that traitor, Adam Taurus and since then she teamed up with a man that wasn't human. Jaune Arc, known by Atlas as The Black Death, the Demon of Vale, and the Crimson Devourer by the survivors of Shion. Had it not been for his timely intervention she would be dead right about now, rotting somewhere, and Adam would've used her body as a rallying cry to all the loyal White Fang members.

"I guess this is God's way of punishing me, this world is sick with that kind of humour." She bitterly thought to herself as she purchased the supplies. 'How did I let this happen? How did lose control of the White Fang so easily?' she asked herself as she spotted some people looking at her curiously, to which she pulled her hood more over her head and walked away.

'After Ghira stepped down, I vowed to not succumb to the same weakness that he did. I used the strength of my people to show the Human's that we would not be pushed around, that when backed into a corner we would show our fangs. Especially when we were subjected more cruelly in those mines when that pompous little shit bag Jacques took over the SDC. We finally managed to gain some ground with humans after five long years. But even I knew that a full-scale conflict would lead us to destruction.' She thought as she went over her time as the leader of the White Fang…

Well, former leader. Which then made her thoughts turn bitterly to the current High Leader.

'Adam…honestly, I should've seen it coming. That little shit has been eyeing my spot the moment I took it from Ghira.' She thought back to years ago when she found him in the SDC internment camp. And she saw the anger he held for the SDC that scarred his face. 'When I found him all those years ago, I thought I could use his hatred to rally our people, to make him into a positive symbol for our kind…but I guess his anger ran deeper than I thought. Maybe I should've been tempering it more than letting it blaze?' she asked herself as she looked up the sky.

'Still doesn't change what happened. He betrayed me, stole my throne, and now plans to lead our people into ruin to satisfy his rage and ego…' she held a palm over her stomach where his blade had pierced her. 'But as I am, I'm no match for him and his psycho followers…but him,' she thought back to Jaune as he slaughtered those men like nothing.

'As painful as it is to admit it, I will need his strength if I want to take back the White Fang. I have doubts if he speaks the truth about his claim to help my people, but as of now I am alone and without allies…I guess I should count myself lucky he isn't exactly human.' She thought as walked the streets.

'Speaking of which…' she looked around for any sign of the black-haired teen. "Where did he bugger off to?"

Meanwhile – In a Shadier part of town

Anima was a continent known for both its beauty and its shady activates, where criminal syndicates operated outside of the Kingdom of Mistral. One of the largest Criminal Organizations was the 'Spiders Web' a large underground network that supplied anything a criminal could want. Weapons, Information, Secrets, Illegal Goods, you name it they can acquire it. Their influence didn't just stop at Anima, they're network stretched to the Four Kingdoms as well.

Much like a Spider's Web

It was here that we find the home of the Mistral Sects of the Spiders, led by Lil' Miss Malachite. One of the world's best sources of information. A rather large woman, she mostly spent her days in the bar near the outskirts of the Mistral Border. Far out of reach of the Kingdom's authorities, but close enough to be protected by their huntsman's. That they generously paid off.

The bar, however, was busy today, as there was much to do. The world had been thrown into chaos six months ago when Beacon academy was attacked by a large force of Grimm and White Fang. Only to be pushed back by a mysterious entity known as the Demon of Vale. A stranger that held unnatural powers, then only a few weeks ago, the Branwen Tribe was completely wiped out from the face of the earth by some known as the Crimson Devourer.

Every underground information network was tasked with locating and identifying this strange individual, only to come up with the name of some blond kid out in the boonies. Some were quick to dismiss this as there was no way a kid from the Boonies could be this creature of devastating destruction.

Yet the Kingdom of Atlas was quite certain of it.

Still, Lil' Malachite always knew to take a grain of salt with any intel she got her hands on. For who knows if, or when, this individual could cross paths with her organization? The last thing she wanted was to end up like the Branwen Tribe.

Her musing was cut short as the doors to the bar opened and a strange woman walked in.

The woman was tall, maybe 7 feet in height, with long wavy pale blonde hair parted down the middle loosely. She had violet eyes and pale skin that almost seemed to glow in the light. She wore a dull grey set of armour, amongst black clothing and a dark gold cloak that looked to be made of feathers. With what appeared to be a simple broad sword on her hip. She was a beauty to be sure, but there was something about her that felt…off

'Keep your eyes on her," Malachite whispered to her subordinates. As they nodded and kept a close eye on her.

The woman strolled forward before standing before the woman. "Are you, Lil' Miss Malachite?" she asked as the woman normally would have added a snarky remark, but all her instincts were telling her to be extremely cautious around this woman.

"That I am, and you?"

"My name isn't important. What I need is information. Can you provide it for me?" she asked as Malachite nodded and gestured her to sit down.

"That all depends on the kind of information you're after?" she asked as she kept her eye on the strange woman, while her men kept their fingers on the triggers of their weapons.

"I need to locate a certain…person I'm looking for."

"Person? Well, that depends on the type of person you're looking for. A politician, a merchant, a Huntsman?"

"I'm looking for Adam Taurus, the new leader of the White Fang." She told them as Malachite raised an eyebrow at this.

"New Leader? Hmm…I did hear there was a sudden power shift within the White Fang, but if he's taken over the White Fang…" she asked herself before looking at the woman. "Why are you so interested in Adam, was he a former lover of yours-!" she flinched back at the glare and aura that surrounded her.

"Make a joke like that…and I will not hesitate to spill your fat guts all over this table." She threatened as Malachite shook a little.

However, her bodyguards reacted to this threat and took a swing at the woman. Only to suddenly find himself being sent into the rafters headfirst. His body dangling from the ceiling as all eyes stared wide. They then charged as they prepared to strike the woman down, only for a flash of steel to swipe across them as every one of their weapons fell to pieces, neatly cut in half. Followed by sharp feather-like objects, as they pined the others to the wall.

Everyone stared in silent awe as the woman with full eagle-like wings spread out dangerously, pointing a feather at everyone in the bar, as they almost appeared to sharpen with white Aura.

'She's a Faunus! An Eagle Faunus! I thought they were only a myth!' Malachite thought as the woman returned her sword into her sheath and her wings wrapped around her like a cloak.

"Do I need to ask again?" she asked, as Malachite shook her head.

"Good, now. I want you to find out what exactly Adam Taurus is up to, what he's planning, what his next move is going to be. And I expect the information to be 100% accurate" she told her as Malachite swallowed her fear. Then raised her eyebrows in curiosity as a large bag of lien was dropped on the table. "This is half of what I expect the information costs, you get half now and half when the job is done."

"W-Well it will take some time to gather the intel-!"

"You have two days." She told her. "If I'm back and you give me nothing, let's just say…you won't live to regret it," With that, she closed the door and left the bar in silence.

Malachite watching with increasing anger as she snapped the fan she had in half.

Meanwhile, the strange woman sighed as she let out a calming breath. "That was close," a familiar voice said as she turned to see Vlad manifested beside her. "I could've sworn for a moment you were going to kill them; I'm surprised by your restraint. Jaune." He smirked as the woman, now identified as Jaune, scowled at him.

"I've killed too many idiots since I became this thing, I need to restrain myself otherwise I'll just end up leaving a trail of corpses right to me." she said as she cracked the kinks in her neck. 'not to mention we've got to be careful not to alert Salem to our activates. I'm not ready to take her on yet."

"Smart move, as you know you can easily kill her, there's no doubt about that. But that damnable curse of hers makes it impossible to keep her dead. But once we retrieve the other Dark Relics, we may have more of a chance to end her curse. So long as my plan works." He said as Jaune raised her eyebrow.

"And are you ever going to tell me what that plan is?"

"Not yet, I need more confirmation that it will work on her. Don't want to get you killed on a hunch, besides, it's more than likely she'll come to us. So, we need to stick to the shadows." He advised as Jaune nodded.

"Agreed, we've already got Atlas looking for me, and who knows how many Huntsman wanting to collect the bounty on me." She said as she rubbed her neck and cracked the kinks out of it. Vlad smirked as he leaned over.

"So, I guess this means that 'Teresa' will be your go-to form for a while?" he asked as he gestured down to Jaune's new physique as Jaune glared at him

"Don't get too comfortable with this. It's the only way I can move around town undetected. The fact that they're looking for my true forms means I have to wear this disguise while I'm in town. After that, it's back to my original form." She said as his real voice broke through before shifting back to his disguised voice. "Now let's get a move on, Sienna will have collected the supplies by now. And I need to grab more weapons, this sword I have will give me away if I use it too much" She said as she gestured to the sword on her hip,

"Luckily there's enough of Cinder's memories intact that I know the location of some Arm's Dealers here in the Village. They should have some untraceable weapons I can use for the time being." She said before walking down the streets.

"…Whatever you say, Princess" he chuckled to himself as Vlad disappeared.

In a short while, Jaune or Teresa found a small Black-Market weapons shop that had the necessary weapons he needed for this mission. The first of which was a large battle axe that had gravity and wind dust injectors, giving it more power and cutting potential. A retractable chain sword that could be coated in fine flame dust, which he could substitute with the Gauntlets fire. And a large Kite styled shield that was made of pure steel.

He also acquired a new set of firearms, to make up for his only two pistols that he inherited from the former King.

Two heavy machineguns with more than enough ammunition to take down a pack of Beewolves. Not that he needed ammo thanks to his dark powers, an Atlas standard-issued rocket launcher stolen from a supply train several months, a grenade launcher, a high caliber sniper rifle with enough firepower to blow the head off an Ursa. An Anti-Personal Rifle, once used in the Great War years ago against heavily armored personal, and scout rifle to use with one of his many new disguises.

"Geez, young lady. You'd think with all these weapons you'd be heading off to war or something?" the dealer joked as 'Teresa' smirked at this while inspecting the scout rifles sights. The rifle itself was made of dark metal with a gold inlay and dark wood frame. Popularly amongst the Huntsman community, it was known as 'The Dead Man's Tale'.

"Something like that…" she said as she nodded and produced a large stack of Lien. "Will this be enough?" she asked as the man nodded and took the lien. She then held out her hand as black smoke erupted from her palm and engulfed all the weapons before storing them inside herself.

"Oh, that's an interesting semblance you got there." The Dealer said as Teresa looked to her palm. "You must be one of them Huntsmen, right? Didn't think there would be any more of you around here?" he said as Teresa raised a brow.

"What do you mean?" she asked with piqued curiosity.

"Well, it's just that recently there haven't been as many Huntsmen around these parts. Not since the Beacon invasion a few months back. After I heard they were sent out on multiple missions, but none of them has come back yet, which is strange. I honestly don't know what is going on at Mistral anymore, not ever since that Headmaster heard about the Invasion," He said as Teresa pondered this bit of information.

"Ah, I see. I think I know what's going on…" Vlad said as he manifested. "This must be Salem's work. If this Lionheart fellow is connected to her, she must've ordered him to send out Huntsmen to be ambushed. Lowering the Academies defenses so she can stroll right in and take the Relic for herself. Problem is, she still needs that Spring Maiden to open it. And you pretty much scared her off to who knows where?" he pointed out as Jaune/Teresa hummed.

"I see…thanks for the info, I should be going." She said as she left the dealer, waking through the streets as the Former King's 'Phantom' floated around her.

'So, Salem's definitely connected to him. Which explains why Cinder had him in her memory. If she's ordered him to send out the Huntsmen, then there's not many left to protect the Relic. But she still needs Raven to open the Vault, and I don't know where she is.' He spoke into his mind as he wandered the streets shifting into his true form with his hood drawn over his head.

"Well, you have some of Raven's memories from her blood, you must have some idea where she's run off to?" Vlad smirked as he floated around Jaune.

'Some, but I doubt she'd ever return to her old family. From her memories, it seemed like she viewed that life as weak and not her true calling. Plus, we pretty much butchered her whole clan. I doubt she'd think she'd be safe with her former husband.' He pondered to himself as he walked down the streets.

"Well, 'Desperate time calls for desperate measures', as the old Human saying goes." Vlad grinned. "But so far you and I are the only ones who know her true status so, for now, she's relativity safe. And with her teleporting Semblance, she's no doubt teleported herself to who knows where in the world? …Unless of course, you use her Semblance to track her down." He grinned as Jaune raised a brow.

'What are you on about?' he asked as the former King grinned.

"Well, you know that black smoke you're using to hold all those nice toys you brought? Well, after my ascension to the King of Darkness, I encountered a Huntsman with the unique ability to store items inside himself. After I killed him and drained his blood, I too gained his ability to store objects inside a pocket dimension within my body. Although his smoke was White, while mine turned to Black, but that's beside the point." He said as he waved off the trivial fact.

"The point is, when we drain people's blood, we also gain access to their Semblance. After all, Blood is the currency of the Soul, the vehicle of life. When we take in their blood, we take in the essence of their soul. And a Huntsmen's power comes from their souls, right?" he asked as Jaune for a moment looked horrified before glaring at him.

"…So, what you're saying is…I can attain more power by devouring more blood?" he asked as Vlad grinned at this.

"Oh, what's this? Not so opposed to the idea of dirking mortal blood. I must say…you're becoming more like a Grimm with each passing day, it's kind of amusing." He grinned before Jaune glared and flexed a little of his power.

"That's not it!" he shouted, only for him to silence himself as the crowd looked at him, or more accurately her, as he walked away. "Let me set the record straight, I don't like the idea of devouring human blood, but with this body, it seems I have no choice if I want to stay alive. I already knew that this power comes with some heavy burdens, but I accept them, in order to stop Salem. If it means I will have to kill more to get power, then so be it. But only those that try to harm me or my friends. I'm not a monster…not yet anyway." He said as Vlad stared before sighing.

"Still holding on to that shred of humanity you have left I see. Oh well, it's your life. But one of these days you're going to have to accept the fact, you can't go back to what you once were and embrace what you will become." He grinned before fading away.

Jaune glared at the after image before shifting his form into his Teresa disguise and blended into the crowd. His mind still lingering on the ever-fading embers of his humanity and feared what he could become in the years to come. But for now, Salem was his goal. That's all that mattered to him.

Salem's Fortress

Salem stared into the eyes of her seers as they scouted the world for any sighting of the New King. He had completely dropped off the map months ago after the fall of Beacon, and she had received only vague sightings of a man with 'strange' abilities that had wiped out the Branwen Tribe.

But after that, his trail had gone cold. The only thing she could gather was that he was in Anima and more than likely heading to Haven.

It made sense. That was her next target, Cinder had been registered as a student of Haven. The New King must've put the pieces together and decided to head in that direction. Not to mention that was also the location of the Relic of Knowledge. A relic that she desired the most if she was going to achieve her ultimate goal. The trouble was the reports of the Spring Maidens' current whereabouts were unknown, and the Fall Maiden's powers had not resurfaced yet.

She gripped her fist. "Centuries later and that fool of a King is still vexing me to this day…" she cursed before she sighed.

"Patience Salem, you've waited centuries for this moment, you can wait a little longer. Time is always on your side," she reassured herself as she returned her focus to the Seer. "Besides, just like his predecessor, he has no way of permanently killing me. In this war of Attrition, the outcome will always favour the unkillable." She then focused her magic on the Seer as Hazel, Tyrian and Watts appeared.

"Report," she ordered as the men nodded.

"I am currently tracking some acquaintances of this false King my Goddess. They should be useful in locating this Arc boy and could also be used as bait to lure him out of hiding."

Tyrian said with a Grin as he bowed lovingly to his goddess. "Keep me posted on your development, Watts, what is your situation."

"I am on route to Haven to as we speak. The Headmaster has done as ordered and sent the Huntsmen into the traps as expected. Which means that Adam's little White Fang will have no resistance when we invade the school."

He informed her as she nodded. "And what is the status of the Spring Maiden's location?" she asked as he shook his head.

"Currently unknown. My last report indicated she had fled to the Forest of Anima, but that last update was years ago. It will be like finding a needle in a haystack,"

"Keep searching, we need her to open the Vault in Haven. I will continue my research into breaking the lock myself, but it would be easier if we possessed both the Spring and Fall Maiden. For no, continue to Haven and make sure that nothing will interfere in our plans. Then return to the Fortress, I need your assistance in our latest experiment," she said as she looked over to a Grimm in some form of incubation cacoon as a humanoid figure squirmed inside.

"Of course, Mistress"

"Hazel, how goes Emerald Sustrai? Has she developed any sign of the Maiden's power?" she asked as he shook his head.

"So far Mistress, there has still been no sign of a new Fall Maiden. Cinder was confirmed dead, but the fact that Emerald still hasn't manifested her power is…troubling."

Hazel reported as he looked over to Emerald, still in her fetal-position in the back of a cart.

"I believe the death of her…mentor…was a serious blow to her psyche, especially when she witnessed her death on the Dust Net. Mercury however has left our services, I believe we should-!"

"I care not for the boy. He served his purpose and has become obsolete. I will deal with him if he becomes a problem, but for now, continue monitoring the young girl and organize with Adam's forces. We need them to be prepared for our assault on Haven." She ordered as he nodded.

"I understand my Queen…there is something else I would like to report,"

She raised an eyebrow at him as he bowed.

"I overheard one of Adam's scouts searching for 'Someone', I believe it may be the former leader Adam disposed of. I saw him kill her with my own eyes, but I suspect she did not succumb to her wound and is still alive out there."

He informed as Salem stroked her chin. "Interesting, have they found her?" she asked as he shook his head.

"Not yet, do you believe she will be a problem?"

"Hmmm…Adam will hold a tight grip on the White Fang, and no doubt spread lies amongst his people to secure his claim on the throne. She will be alone, with little support and no allies to call upon…unless…" she thought as Hazel looked concerned.

"Unless what?"

She shook her head. "It doesn't matter. Continue with your mission, I will contact you when we are ready to proceed." She instructed as he nodded, and the Seer stopped broadcasting and floated away. Salem slumped down into her throne as she pondered the many possibilities of how this new King would interfere with her plan.

"What are you planning boy, what's going on inside your head?" she asked herself as she stared at her version of Remnants map.

At Jaune and Sienna's Camp

"We'll swim through lakes and climb up trees; Catch fish, bugs, bears, and honeybees! There's endless possibilities, and no that's not hyperbole! Our motto's "CAMPE DIEM" And that means I'm telling you~"

"Shut up! Just shut up! I swear to the Gods, I'm going to kill you!" Jaune growled as Vlad floated inside his head, singing an annoying tune.

"I'm already dead, so you can't do much about that."

"Would you at least quit singing that song already!?" he yelled as Vlad grinned and sung even louder.

"Nah, this is more fun. Plus, it's too boring inside that head of yours. The only fun thing I found was this little song from your boy scout days. Catchy, but annoying…would make a great torture method," he grinned as Jaune sighed.

"Now I know how my sisters felt when I sang that stupid song…to be fair, it was my only defense. But do you have to keep singing it!?"

"I'm just passing the time until you finally decided to get a move on." He said as Jaune growled.

"I can't go yet, not until I get the information! I gave them two days! So, we're stuck here for two days!" he yelled as the Small Blood Fox, which he classified as Albtraum (Nightmare) just stared at his master before falling back to sleep. "Besides, we also have to wait for Sienna to get back with the supplies. You might have forgotten, but she doesn't live off perpetual darkness and blood as I do. She needs food and supplies."

"Another reason why I say we dump the broad and get back onto the road. She's practically useless to us anyway. She's got no army, no throne, and not even a weapon to defend herself. She's a liability."

"She's a potential ally, something we need if we want to beat Salem. Maybe if you had some real allies, instead of your Grimm brethren, you would've never lost your throne in the first place?" he said as Vlad grinned.

"Oh~ harsh, you're getting feisty. Oh well, not like I can force you to dump her." He said as Jaune sighed but was grateful for the moment when he stopped singing that stupid song. "Speaking of, isn't she taking too long?" Vlad asked as Jaune looked up to the fading sun. "Pretty sure you told her to be back by sundown."

"Yeah…she's taking longer than expected,"

"Think she decided to ditch you instead?" Vlad asked as Jaune shook his head.

"No, I've seen her memories. She wouldn't be stupid enough to try that. She could be trying to get in contact with some allies of hers, get a message out to them," Jaune pondered. "But the only ones that could do that in this town are the Spiders, and we only gave her enough Lien to get supplies. Unless she's calling in a favour?"

"that's stupid. For all she knows, most of her allies and contacts have been silenced by Adam's goons. She'd be walking into a trap." Vlad said as Jaune hummed in thought, before lifting his arm and summoned another Blood Raven from his flesh.

"Locate Sienna Khan" he ordered as the Raven cawed and flew towards town.

Jaune then sat down as he closed his eyes and sighed.

What was he going to do with her? Yes, he needed her to find Adam, but with the clear lack of trust she had in him, it would make this little alliance they had very hard and very stressful. Which also made him wonder how was he going to deal with Salem? For the past thousands of years, she had roamed the planet unchallenged. She grew in power while Ozma weakened over the ages. Eventually, it would either end in her victory or complete and utter annihilation of everything and everyone.

Which he feared was her ultimate goal.

'Let's think, she's been around for far longer than anyone else on the planet. She has manipulated, instigated, and desecrated just about everything and everyone she has ever gotten her hands on. If this keeps up, there won't be a planet left for her…' he thought back to Beacon and how her agents manipulated his friends, lied to the public, and turned ally against ally…

His mind paused as he looked up. "Maybe…maybe that's what I need to do? Fight fire with fire…" he stood up as Vlad appeared before him, with an inquisitive look.

"What are you getting at?" he asked as Jaune smirked.

"I've just been thinking. All this time Salem has had the upper hand on everyone. She's manipulated nations, torn families apart, and plunged this world into chaos since the Dawn of the Second Mankind. A full-frontal War with her is pointless and will lead to nothing but utter destruction." He surmised as Vlad nodded. "The key reason is she is certain of her victory. She is one hundred percent convinced that she can't be beaten…." He then turned and smirked.

"But…what if we make her uncertain of victory?"

Vlad raised a curious eyebrow as he leaned in. "Go on,"

"Think about it, for the past thousands of years she thinks nothing can stop her, that she can manipulate anyone and everyone she pleases…but what if we started manipulating her side? What if we started turning her allies against her? What if, we find a way to make her suffer worse than being immortal? What if we find a way of containing her, just until we find a way to end permanently?" he asked as Vlad pondered that.

"Maybe…but don't you think Oz would've found a way if he could contain her? I mean, he's had the Relic of Knowledge in his Inner Circle for the last hundred years or so. Don't you think he would've asked how to contain her?"

"Maybe he just hasn't asked the right Question yet? I think if we got our hands on the Relic, we could ask it to find a way to stop Salem, just until we find a way to end her curse." He suggested, "But not only that, we need to start taking power away from her. We need to do what she's been doing to mankind for a thousand years…" he grinned as his powers flared and his eyes glowed red.

"What if, we turned her own allies against her?"

Vlad looked at him curiously before he saw portions of Jaune's plan forming inside his head. He almost grinned sadistically before a dark chuckle escaped his throat. "Boy, and I thought I was terrifying, but you…" he grinned as he stared at his grinning successor.

"You're a Monster"

Jaune grinned as he looked out to the setting sun. "Well then," he said as he shifted into his Teresa disguise, "Let's get to it." He said as he wandered back into town. Ready to flip the table on this intricate game of Chess that had been going on for thousands of years.

Earlier – Sienna Khan

Sienna looked around the dank ally way as she pulled her hood further over her head a determined look on her face as she kept her ears open for even the slightest sound. "I have to do this," she said to herself as she went further into the abandoned alley. Sienna instantly knew this town, as it was one of the main bases for the Spider, one of the largest information groups outside her own. In the past, her organization had done business with them from time to time, when they raided the SDC.

But after the 'Cease-Fire' she had cut off ties with the group, feeling that she had gotten what she needed from them and had to secure her position.

Now that she had been dethroned by that backstabber, Adam, she was desperate for allies. While she did not doubt that this Jaune person was powerful, she still didn't trust him. He was a human, his kind had subjected hers to slavery and debauchery for far too long to ever be fully trusted. Just because he had saved her life, didn't mean she was going to ever let her guard down around him.

Not after Adam's betrayal.

So, she decided that while she was in town, she might as well call on any allies she had left. Organize a Rebellion Force to Combat Adam's Forces. It was a long shot and a gamble, but what choice did she have? Adam was going to no doubt do something foolish and brand all Faunus as traitors to the Four Kingdoms. He would lead his people to the point of extinction, just to get revenge on humans for the sins of the past.

'If I can at least get a message to Ghira, maybe I can stop Adam before it's too late.' She said to herself as she spotted her contact, a man in a dark cloak.

"Did you come alone?" he asked as she nodded.

"Of course, I know how these things work. I just want to know if you can handle this task?"

"And what is the task you want to be done?" he asked, as she handed him a note.

"I need you to get a message to my allies in the White Fang, as well as a message to Ghira Belladonna on Menagerie. He's…" she paused as he hesitated to call him a friend, not after what she did to him. "He's someone I need to speak to. Just deliver him this message and tell him, 'the Bull has gone mad, and the Tiger needs new Claws,' he should understand," she said as the man nodded.

"Payment first," he said as he gestured her to hand over the cash. She held up a bag of lien as she presented it to the man. She had managed to acquire more cash thanks to her youth as a pickpocket. It was just enough to get a message to Ghira.

"This is half the payment; you get the other half when I have confirmation you've done the task." She said as the man nodded and she threw him the bag.

"Yeah, this is the standard fee…" he said as he pocketed the money. "We should be able to get the messages to in about…three days, assuming you don't want this to go through official channels?" he asked as she nodded.

"Yes, the fewer people know the better. I'll have the other payment by then," she said as she turned to leave. "But, just to let you know, I have an ally with me that is…dangerous," she shivered at the memory of Jaune's carnage. "If you betray me or send Assassins after me…I guarantee they won't make it back," she said as the man chuckled.

"Lady, I am but a simple informant. I just deliver messages; I don't do that dirty work. I am a man of honour after all." He reassured her as she looked skeptical but nodded and left the alleyway, hoping that there were still those in the White Fang that would support her. If worst came to worse, she'd have to swallow her pride and ask Ghira for help…

Gods she was not looking forward to the lecture he'd no doubt give.

The man smirked as he looked at the envelope in his hands before pocketing it in his jacket, bringing out his scroll, and dialing a few numbers. "Hey, it's me…Yeah I got a message I need to be delivered…Usual fee, need it done by the end of the week." He spoke into the scroll as he nodded. "I got half the payment, the other half when it's done. Thanks, appreciate it…" he spoke into the scroll.

"Also, I thought I should mention I just met an interesting woman. Yeah, it's the strangest thing but…" he turned back to grin at Siena's retreating form. "I could've sworn she was dead already…and I just know you have a client that's just dying to find her." He paused before he nodded.

"Uh, uh, you know the drill. My fee or no info out of me," he said as there was a pregnant pause, before a small ping went off, as he noticed his account got a little heftier and he smirked. "Thank you, I'll send the details in two days. Get my job done first, you know the Code. Pleasure doing business with you." He said before hung up his scroll.

"Hey, I never said I'd send assassins after her, I am a man of my word after all." He said to himself as he walked away. "Never said I'd stop anyone else from sending theirs." He said as he walked away.

"Pleasure doing business with you…Miss Khan."

Meanwhile – with Ruby's Group

The group arrived at the small village of Takefu as they looked around at the refugee shelters that had been set up since Shion's destruction. According to their sources, this was the last location where a man matching Jaune's new descriptions was last seen. From here it was said he was headed further East, more than likely to Mistral. They decided to stop here and ask for more information.

But for the moment, the group was just looking around at the many people whose homes had been destroyed and left them with almost nothing. A sight that Ren and Nora were more than familiar with.

"This is…so sad…" Ruby said as she looked at the people in the refugee camps. Huddled together with what little they had, while the villagers tried their best to extend their housing for the homeless. "I didn't think it would be this bad?"

"Those that survive the Grimm are lucky, it's what comes after is the real test," Ren said as he looked around at the familiar sight of those displaced by the Grimm.

"I wish there was more we could do to help them, but we have more pressing matters to attend to," Pyrrha said, even though she too wanted to do something for these people. "We need to start asking around for any information about Jaune. It may take a couple of days, but we need to find out where-!"

"Hey, I know you!" they suddenly heard as they looked down to see a small girl with light blond-haired and sharp blue eyes, as she stared at them curiously.

"Excuse me?" Pyrrha asked as the small girl looked at them with a look of concentration.

"I said I know you; I think? I know I've seen you before, but where?" she suddenly said as she scrunched her face in concentration as the others stared at her. "Oh! Sorry, forgot to introduce myself! I'm Integra, and welcome to Takefu!" she said cheerfully, despite the number of refugees around here. "Sorry for the sour mood around here, but people are still trying to adjust to the attack a few weeks ago." She said as she looked around.

"A lot of us lost our homes to the Grimm, so we're still trying to adjust." She said as Ren walked over and kneeled before her.

"Hello, Integra…Are you from Shion?" he asked as she nodded. "I're being very brave," he said as he could see the brave act she was putting up. Something he was used to for a long time.

"…Thanks…" she said as she too could see the past pain in his eyes. "A lot of us are still trying to get over the fact we made it out alive if it wasn't for Big Brother, we all would've been dead," she said as Ren, Nora, Ruby, and Pyrrha widened their eyes at this.

"Big Brother?" Ren asked as the child nodded.

"Mhmm! He came in at the last minute and saved us! He was so~ cool! He sent all those bad men and Grimm packing! Makes me want to be a Huntsman just like him!" she said with childlike innocence's as the others looked to themselves.

"That's…a very noble goal…this big brother, do you know where he went?" Ren asked as Integra looked concerned as she looked away. "Integra?" he asked as the girl shook her head.

"Big Brother said, if anyone asks, he wasn't here. Oh, shoot! I just said he was here! Please don't tell him!" she begged as Ren chuckled.

"It's okay, we promise we won't. but your big brother, do you think you can help us find him?" he asked as Integra felt conflicted.

"I don't know…he said he didn't want people to know where he went. The only reason I said anything was cause for some reason, you guys look familiar," she said as she tried to remember where she had seen them before.

Pyrrha then knelt as she produced a photo of Jaune's former image. "Please, your big brother…we think he might be our friend and we just want to find him." She asked as Integra looked at the blond-haired boy and then at the red-haired girl as she looked between the two before something in her brain clicked.

"Ah! Now I know! You were in that drawing big brother was making!" she claimed as their eyes widened at this.

"R-Really? Are you sure!?" Pyrrha asked as she nodded. "Please, you have to tell us which way he went. Please, we just want to find him." She begged as Integra looked into her eyes and saw nothing but the truth in them.

"…You care about him, don't you?" she asked as Pyrrha and the others nodded. "Okay…I'll tell you which way he went." She said as Pyrrha felt hope that they were one step closer to finding Jaune. Unbeknownst to them of the Scorpion that lay within the tall grass, ready to strike at them at a moment's notice. A mad grin on his face as he felt a moment of joy that he would be blessed with his Goddesses grace.

If only any of them had noticed the red Raven perched on the branch.

And Scene. Well, here is the long-awaited IX Chapter of The New King of Darkness. Sorry for the long wait, but with Covid, my Job, and other factors it took a while. But now I am back if you hadn't already seen the update to Spi-Deku. This chapter is short, but necessary for Jaune to formulate an actual plan to defeat Salem. Something myself and my buddy Loneonyxwolf has been discussing for a while. Really appreciate his help.

Because let's face it, a full-on assault won't work on Salem. To defeat her, Jaune will need to think and plan things carefully. Maybe even do things others would consider…unethical. But that's the path he has chosen, and there is no going back.

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the new King of Darkness in…

Chapter X: Moving the Pieces