The tomb was somewhere in the mountainous wasteland, within the miles of desolate mountains, deep within hostile Grimm territory.
It was within the center of the largest Ravager swarm ever recorded.
The land was too hazardous and dry for anyone to settle, too dangerous for anyone to explore to find anything of value.
Which was why no one knew that there was a vast underground cave system.
The obstacles could not be moved easily unless someone was strong with the Force, someone with the skills to hide themselves from the eyes and ears of the Grimm.
Jaune had practice in using the force to hide his presence, his Aura from the Grimm. For some reason, when Jaune hid his Aura signature completely from the Grimm, he found that he could walk amongst them.
For most of them, all he had to do was to hide his face with his mask and cover himself with a cloak.
For the older Grimm, the ones with more bone covering their bodies and of greater size, Jaune had to hide among the lesser variants.
He could sense their thoughts, or at least abstract notions of thoughts, the faintest notion of complex intent.
Those things Jaune could kill with his current weapons, Stella Mors, or his unique golden, dark-yellow lightsaber.
However, Jaune preferred not to waste energy.
He traveled through the cave, dark and cool.
He did not need night vision or sight, for he could see through the Force like Rahm Kota could when he was blind.
Navigating through the cave was not easy as Grimm also swarmed the tunnels, King Taijitu, Creeper, and the rare Sulfur Fish.
The Sulfur Fish, the silverfish Grimm, black body with spikes, six legs, and an armored abdomen leading into three fiery tails.
Its head was like a fusion of a jackal and feline skull, with horns or tentacles rising out of its eye sockets, its singular eye where the skull's nose would be, and a spider-like marking on its forehead.
Huntsmen avoid these things when they gather in large numbers.
In large swarms, the creatures would attach to each other and form into amalgamations.
They could form into a humanoid golem with incredible strength and durability.
The other was a large, dragon-like serpent with 'fangs,' the inside of the mouth fiery orange, comprised of the tails.
Blunt force damage was useless as it would only knock the creatures into returning to their combat form, the damage gone.
Jaune preferred to exterminate these things with Force Lightning when traveling in caves.
It was impossible to bypass a Sulfur Fish herd. Stepping on one apparently triggered the swarm into a frenzy.
In his travel, he encountered an underground river to his surprise. He wondered where the channel leads, but decided to explore after he encountered the tomb.
Within the cave systems, there were rich Dust veins untapped, raw metal ores and gems abound along with the underground Grimm.
He encountered even mole-like Grimm underground, white-skulled creatures with sharp fangs and vicious claws that looked like it could tear the metal hull of an AT-walker if given the chance.
He could use this place to gather resources for crafting. He learned much about the smelting of ores, the processing of metal, and the refining of Dust in Atlas.
The Force guiding his hand, Jaune followed the flow of water until he ended up at an underground pond.
Glowing crystals banished the darkness to Jaune's surprise as he looked around, seeing an oasis within the heart of dangerous territory.
There was something here, the presence of the Light Side strong in the air, a light within the darkness. Jaune suspected that the light side presence was repelling the Grimm from invading this place, a good choice of location.
And there it was, the tomb of Avrin. It was just a large stone door at the other side of the pond.
Jaune wondered if there was a mythical beast guarding the place like in the fairy tales his mother read to him… one way to find out. He slowly traveled around the calm, sparkling waters. He saw some fish there, a source of food.
This must be how Revan could sustain himself in the Underground for days.
Once he approached the door, Jaune noticed something.
He had some knowledge of history before the Republic era. This was the old republic insignia carved into the wall.
It was nostalgic seeing something from his galaxy ending up here.
The stone door did not have a handle.
Jaune hummed as he pressed his hand to the door and closed his eyes, sensing the structure through the force.
He could just blow it open, honestly.
But it lacked finesse, and he needed the door to keep unwanted things out.
He slowly reached out with the Force and experimented with the door.
He marveled that the door was reinforced with the Force and Dust. He could sense the internal structure to be similar to the bone swords of Felucia but more refined, force-rich crystals inside the stone. Jaune wondered if he could augment the weapons using this method, though he didn't know how to make these crystals without grinding a Khyber crystal to fine powder.
As for how to open the door…
"...Really?" Jaune couldn't believe it.
There was no intricate mechanism or fancy lock or secret button.
To move it, one just had to lift the indestructible slab of stone with either incredible strength or great power in the Force.
Crude, but effective, he guessed.
Jaune sighed as he recalled Kota's remark, 'Size means nothing to a Jedi.'
He didn't consider himself a Jedi since he never formally trained to be one, though he did defeat several Jedi masters.
His palm aimed at the stone obstruction, Jaune lifted the door, stone grating against stone as he walked under it.
As he dropped the thing behind him, the stone slammed down heavily, he walked forward through the hidden passageway.
The deeper he went, the greater the light side presence, the passageway lit by glowing crystals.
He arrived at a massive clearing…
He did not expect to see a corpse on an altar of stone, a shriveled, gray, skeleton holding something to his chest.
There was another holocron lying on the corpse's stomach.
Around the altar was a medieval workshop, items Jaune could not describe made from Dust scattered around, though one item bore the striking resemblance to a circuit board and engine, another one was the design for fuel refinery.
There were stone passages leading to other rooms, but Jaune was more focused on the corpse lying on the altar.
"To think he died like this…" Jaune muttered.
Seeing this made him wonder how he should die when he reached a certain age.
Jaune approached the corpse on the altar, his senses on high alert. He prayed that this Revan didn't leave booby traps on his corpse.
There was a strong Force presence on the corpse, however. It reminded him of the time he encountered the spirit of his original father on Kashyyyk and the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
Jaune… no, Galen braced himself for the force visions as his hand gingerly touched the Holocron.
His mind blanked for a moment, a period of vertigo washing over him.
His surroundings were different.
He was standing on a metal platform, futuristic like the world of Coruscant.
He was alone as he looked around. Above him was cosmic light while a strange radiance shone around the edges of the platform.
Out of curiosity, Jaune walked to the edge of the platform and looked down.
He saw the beautiful radiance of the planet… the landmass reminded him of Remnant based on the map.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
Jaune immediately drew his black eclipse blade, Stella Mors, from the sheathe on his back as he turned to the voice behind him.
It was a man in Jedi robes, wearing a similar mask, mandalorian make.
It was a gray mask with a visor, nothing more, a black lens drawn from left to right, around where his eyes should be.
"Remnant. There is no other planet in our galaxy like it, yet it has become my home moreso than any world."
Jaune immediately assumed his stance. He had been practicing in Makashi, Shii-Cho, Nimaan, Djem So, and Ataru. Soresu was still a work in progress since he didn't need to defend against blaster fire that much due to most of his time fighting against hordes of dark side creatures.
"I hope you know what comes next. I wouldn't just pass on everything I left behind to just anyone from my galaxy," the man said as he ignited his purple lightsaber.
The lightsaber had a black core inside, not purple coating the white.
Jaune assumed this man to be Revan giving the pictures depicting his past.
"If you wish to learn and inherit everything I left behind, prove yourself to me."
Jaune knew that this was a test.
A clever test to make sure that whoever entered the tomb was worthy of his legacy.
Jaune twirled Stella Mors.
Revan ran towards him with his lightsaber and Jaune ran towards him as they blades engaged.
Metal and light clashed as the two showed their sequences, their experiences reflected in their exchange as they danced around the metal platform.
Jaune noted that this one was more experienced than him in lightsaber combat, but he knew how to fight against experienced masters.
His strength in Force Augmentation was strong enough to rival even Vader's might with the acrobatics of his former self.
Ataru and Makashi mixed, Revan probed his form for any weaknesses he could exploit, purple clashing with his eclipse-gold blade as Jaune returned with his own hybrid form.
"Your application of Shii-Cho is remarkable." Revan complimented as he switched to Djem So, a form Jaune was familiar with very well.
Jaune switched to Makashi and Shii-Cho, aiming at Revan's lightsaber hand with precision as they orbited each other in pirouettes, both maintaining their sword-length distance.
Lightspeed ricochets blanketed the space around them like intermittent, scintillating lights that flash on and off in a nauseous rhythm that could tire sight.
"Only Sith that rely on warblades focus on Shii-Cho and Juuyo. I had to refine Form I to rely on the weapons here."
Jaune knew as he implemented Nimaan and Ataru.
He surprised Revan when he jumped forward with a swift, heavy strike before he transitioned into a sequence of sword strikes, twirling his blade as he aimed at his shoulder, side, and neck.
There was no weakness Revan could exploit, Jaune's offense fluid and strong as he pushed Revan back.
"You have been through much." Revan said. "I can feel it in your weapon, your struggles. But."
Force Lightning crackled from Revan's free hand, tendrils of plasma connecting to Stella Mors.
Revan noticed that the weapon attracted the lightning to it and grounded it into the wielder's body before Jaune fired the lightning back at Revan, forcing him to block it with his black-purple lightsaber.
"You made your sword to counter Force Lightning?" Revan asked.
"I was killed by the most powerful Force Lightning practitioner I knew. Also, it is not meant to channel other Force Lightning." Jaune said as his Force Lightning crackled between his fingers.
"...You were trained in the Dark Side." Revan sensed as he raised his guard.
"...I was raised by the Sith." Jaune admitted.
"But I sense the Light Side is strong within you."
"I turned away from the Dark Side."
"Yet you wield the ways of the Dark Side… without giving yourself into it? Incredible. Only a small number of Jedi would wield Force lightning sparingly."
Revan fired his Force Lightning at Jaune while Jaune returned fire in response, two respective chains of lightning colliding and pushing each other for dominance.
"Your proficiency in Force Lightning is astounding. You have mastered it so much you no longer need the Dark Side to use it."
Jaune struggled to push back against Revan's power but he was slowly being dominated. Jaune recalled the lightning of the Emperor, the raw power from him, like a star exploding within. He wanted to surpass that kind of power, but on his own terms.
He would not rely on the Dark Side like before to do what must be done as he recalled his last moment, the moment he embraced the Force in its entirety as he slowly pushed back, his plasma gaining ground against Revan's lightning.
Then the clash of energy between the two exploded, nullifying the conflicting lightning.
"Your skills in the lightsaber exceeded expectations. Now, let's see how you do in the Force."
Revan raised up his hand.
Galen sensed something from the sky as he looked up.
"Oh, are you serious?"
From the night of the cosmos, he saw stone clusters of asteroids coming down on him from above.
He did not know it was possible to pull down meteors from space, yet this Revan brought down the fiery rocks from above.
Meteors hammered the metal platform, Jaune avoiding the impact zone and burning shockwaves in his sprint. With both hands during the assault, Jaune fired Force Lightning at Revan.
The predecessor blocked his lightning with Tutaminus, absorbing it and firing it back while still calling more meteors upon him.
Jaune could only evade and defend, avoiding the shrapnels of space rocks that fell with difficulty while blocking the Force lightning with Stella Mors.
If this was a test of Force prowess, Jaune shall show his experience as he stabbed Stella Mors into the platform as he used the Force
Their arena trembled as the air shuddered, prompting Revan to cease his assault.
Revan expected Jaune to use the Force on the meteors.
He did not expect him to use it on the platform and… tipped it down towards the planet below.
Revan tumbled and fell down the tilting slope that was the arena as he stabbed his purple blade lightsaber into the metal hull.
However, unlike Jaune, Revan was losing ground as the blade was melting the metal extremely well, melting Revan's anchor as he slid down moderately toward Remnant.
He looked at his opponent, seeing him comfortably holding on with his hand stretched into the sky.
Revan aimed his fingers at Jaune, ready to zap him with Force Lightning, but stopped to track Jaune's line of sight.
He caught one of the meteors falling from the stars and hurling toward him. The boy redirected one of the meteors toward him while he was busy trying not to fall.
Revan could only block the meteor with a Force Barrier, the impact launching him towards the skies of Remnant as Jaune leaped off the platform, following the older Force User as they gained atmospheric entry.
This reminded him of the time he first fought Rahm Kota in his ship, the vessel falling into atmospheric entry while they dueled to the death.
Both Force users were like fiery comets from the sky, falling like meteors.
As they fell, Jaune was above Revan, both hands forward, one holding Stella Mors, as he fired arcs of plasma at the stunned Revan.
Revan was caught off guard.
To survive a landing from great heights, only one must use the Force to disperse the kinetic impact of the landing to the surroundings, from which great concentration is required.
They had already nullified the burning friction of the atmosphere with the Force upon entering the stratosphere.
However, the boy was a mad daredevil in Revan's eyes, risking his life just to defeat him, even when they were falling toward a planet.
Jaune noticed that they were falling towards Menagerie. He was not sure if he would survive a landing from this height, but he would have a better chance of landing in the waters.
He needed to make sure Revan flew toward solid land for maximum damage.
And Jaune had something that Revan most likely didn't have.
Huntsman gear and training.
Jaune whipped his hand at Revan, a hardlight rope elongating and grabbing Revan's lightsaber hand to his surprise as Jaune, augmented with the Force, corkscrew spun and pulled Revan in his centrifuge, twirling in the full rotation before he threw Revan towards the landmass of Menagerie while he landed into the ocean.
As the ocean blue headed towards him in a face-to-face collision, Jaune thrust his palm forward and blasted the water with a mighty Force Push as he splashed into the depths while Revan crashed into the sandy shores of Menagerie in a spectacular landing that uprooted a mushroom cloud of sand and dust.
Jaune's breath held in his cheeks and lungs, he looked around.
The damage was minimal. He swam towards Revan's presence.
Somehow, the ancient Force User was still alive, alive being vague, since he was still in this Force-induced simulation.
Through the salty waters, Jaune's feet eventually stood on the moist, damp sand as he walked out of the now-shallow waters, water dripping from his clothes and weapon as he approached the landing site.
Picking himself out of the crater of sand, Revan coughed as he looked at Jaune with his mandalorian visor.
"It seems… I have failed to take into account your Huntsman training. I must admit, it has been a while for me." Revan complimented, staggering off balance a little.
Jaune did some damage to Revan, though he could sense that Revan wasn't using his full power.
"Yeah. Technology has progressed since your time. Did you know many Huntsman like to incorporate firearms in their swords and stuff?" Jaune asked, flicking the salt water off Stella Mors to the sand as he took off his robes, throwing them to the side, leaving him half naked.
Revan did not do the same since he landed on dry land.
"I can see that your generation is overflowing with imagination." Revan coughed as reignited his black-purple lightsaber.
"What is your name?"
"Galen Marek. My Remnant name is Jaune Arc."
"Galen Marek. Your final test. Show me how well you can use both."
Jaune immediately entered the reverse Shien stance when Revan threw out two lightsabers.
A blue and a red lightsaber hovered beside Revan as if held by a warrior.
Jaune grimaced as he switched to Nimaan. He could see that Revan wouldn't be holding back this time.
He hoped Revan couldn't call upon meteors from here.
Jaune sheathed Stella Mors as he took out his lightsabers, one in each hand.
Each of the cylindrical hilts ignited a thin, golden blade, not flat.
It was one of the functions of Jaune's lightsabers using Remnant technology. The flat blade form was to help him cut through materials and Grimm better and to help him practice incorporating Form I into his current style.
Revan twirled his lightsaber with fluid grace.
Jaune's eyes could barely trace his sequences, switching to reverse grip and fro.
He suspected Revan to be a practitioner of Nimaan, though the Force User could have mastered all seven lightsaber forms given his age.
Even so, he had defeated those with greater experience before and he would do it again.
Jaune ran across the sand, his boots kicking up the dry grains as he twirled his golden blades of light as he engaged Revan once last time.
Golden blades of light clashed against red, blue, and black-purple, though the initial exchange overwhelmed Jaune this time.
It was like fighting against three different master lightsaber duelists at the same time, and he couldn't kill the other two.
He made the right choice resorting to Jar'kai dual wielding.
He would be overwhelmed if he resorted to a single blade.
The floating red and blue lightsabers attacked him as if they were held by lightsaber duelists because when he tried to knock one away, it held firm.
Jaune was already losing ground against Revan, retreating step by step as he fell into Soresu.
Jaune blocked Revan's powerful single strikes while the other two swiped at his openings.
This man was definitely stronger than Vader in skill and experience.
Then Revan unleashed his force lightning, the tendrils taking a purple hue at Jaune as he barely blocked it with his lightsabers.
The intensity of the lightning felt similar to the Emperor's, no, it might be even stronger as he was pushed back.
He was open to the two lightsabers ready to strike at his sides..
Jaune had no other choice as he inhaled and crossed his arms, his golden blades blocking the red and blue while Revan's lightning dug into his skin.
The pain was even similar to the Emperor's Force Lightning, or was it stronger?
Jaune inhaled as he embraced the Force like in his final moments as he channeled the Force into him, swirled around him condensed while enduring Revan's Force Lightning.
Revan intensified the output twofold, the pain magnifying.
Feeling the agony of a star exploding in his chest and his nerves seared by the very same star, Jaune swallowed the scream trying to tear out his throat as he unleashed his power.
Sensing the surge of power, Revan ceased his lightning assault as Jaune exploded with force energy, Force Repulse.
The two lightsaber hilts were destroyed, disintegrated while the explosion of raw, destructive Force energy launched Revan back into the trees adjacent to the shores, crashing through the trunk of a coconut tree and caromed against the second one behind.
It was one of his most favored skills, mostly because he used it most against the numberless hordes of Grimm. He still remembered Qrow's face when he disintegrated a pack of Grimm with this technique.
With momentum tipping into his favor, Jaune sprinted towards Revan, his lightsabers held in reverse grip, force lightning crackling around the golden blades.
However, without warning, his Force Wall shattered, his defense against force attacks such as telekinesis.
He was suddenly lifted into the air, Revan in the distance reaching out as if holding him.
Jaune struggled to break free from the telekinesis, but it was too strong.
"Enough." Revan said as he released Jaune from his hold, letting him land back into the sand.
Then the world went blank as Jaune found himself back into the tomb with the holocron in his hands.
He looked around and checked his body. His clothes were still on, dry.
He exhaled with relief that it was all just a vision.
[You have exceeded expectations.]
Jaune jumped when he heard Revan's voice again.
On the other side of the altar, Jaune did not expect to see a spectral apparition phasing into existence.
It was like a hologram, but without the digital flickers and lines making up the image.
"...Are you an AI hologram?" Jaune asked as he looked around, wondering if there was a hologram projector.
[Hahahahaha. No, no. I am not a hologram. Nor am I an artificial intelligence. We do not have the tools to construct one in my time. Allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Revan. I was once the King of Vacuo, the last King, known as Avrin.]
Revan greeted Jaune with a friendly smile.
[To answer your curiosity as to how I am here, those that achieved enlightenment in the Light Side of the Force can maintain their individuality when they become one with the Force itself. I am what is called a Force Ghost. Although, I admit, I might have resorted to some Dark Side techniques to bind a piece of myself into the Holocron you are now holding. To summon me when someone tries to activate it.]
That answered most of his questions.
"...What now? Why did you leave a tomb here as if expecting me?" Jaune asked.
[You have many questions. I know the one question you want answered above all else, but sadly, not even I can answer the question as to why the Force brought us here.]
Jaune sighed with disappointment.
[However, it is refreshing to live a second life away from the Sith. Away from war and concerns of the wider Galaxy… in a way, I wonder if this is the afterlife the Force gifted to us. Even though I still chose the path of a protector and ruler like before.]
"...It seems I'm not the only one with similar sentiments."
[Indeed. Come, we have much to talk about. I need to show you what I've left behind.]
Jaune Arc: 16 Years Old
Jaune had learned and received much from the hidden Tomb of Revan.
Revan had been busy in his final years.
The holocron Revan gifted to him was his knowledge, knowledge of the Force and abilities, philosophy on the nature of the Force in both Light Side and Dark, and the balance in between.
The Sith philosophy of passion and nature of the dark side, to give in to the nature and flaws of the Dark Side for the maximum power one could withdraw.
But such immersion in the dark side was self-destructive, and Dark Side force users would suffer in their later years as Dark Side degradation saps them of their physical strength.
The degradation reminded Jaune of Palpatine and Vader, white skin and deformed features, a lesson he would abide.
The Light Side of the Force was the opposite, more focused on restraint and the absence of emotion while adhering to the concepts of compassion, peace, and understanding.
But the Light Side could be stagnant, and too much adherence in the light side did not mean balance in the force.
In Revan's time, he and a large number of Jedi defected from the Jedi Order at the time because the Jedi refused to take action when the Mandalorians waged war against the galaxy, slaughtering millions.
There was a rightness to this that Jaune could agree with, but it also left Revan vulnerable, arrogant in his power and intelligence to take on any foe.
And then Revan encountered the Sith Lord of his time, the Emperor. It reminded Jaune so much of Palpatine when Revan described Darth Vitiate.
The Darth invaded their minds and corrupted them. Even though Revan and his friend, Malak, broke free from the Emperor's mind control, it left a darkness that Revan could not break out.
A darkness Galen knew too well when he was under Vader.
Revan became a Darth of his own and achieved so much as a Sith, even creating his own Philosophy on how the Sith should operate, the Rule of Two, a master and an apprentice, a way to groom the Sith in its purest, strongest form, without fear of instability from infighting while taking advantage of the Dark Side.
Jaune was familiar with this rule too well, to think he would meet the one that inspired the Rule of Two.
As the Balance in between, Revan warned Jaune that it was a precarious path.
However, there were other lessons.
Positive emotions could empower the light side, allowing the user to draw upon it without relying on the more impulsive passions like anger, pride, and hate.
It is a good thing to embrace emotions like love, and happiness, but one must learn when to let go, as all good things must end.
Something Jaune learned as Galen when he sacrificed himself to save his friends.
Revan believes that to become a true Jedi, one must embrace the lessons of both light and the dark, an individual that could face their own flaws and overcome them and in turn, turn away from the calling of the Dark Side while becoming stronger in the Force more than any pure Jedi.
Revan even tested Jaune while in that secret base in the underground cave. There was a river that led to the underground water channel that Revan frequently used to bypass the Grimm, to enter his base by boat, something Jaune would use.
The test involved using Jaune's worst fear against him.
There was a Grimm in Remnant specifically made for that, mostly to kill those it infested.
It showed him his greatest fear… and how he came to terms with it.
Jaune was meditating in his room, back in his home in Vacuo.
He was busy disassembling and reassembling his lightsaber in his meditation, away from his sisters.
His return to home was to spend time with his family to take a break from his training under Qrow.
One of his sisters got married somewhere in Mistral.
Jaune was happy for her, maybe he should visit her in Atlas when he had the time.
His thoughts were disturbed when he heard something tapping his window.
Jaune inhaled as his peace was interrupted. He slowly pieced together his lightsaber, covering the Khyber crystal that bore an intense black core in a golden corona.
There was another step to imbuing the crystal with the Force to make it even stronger.
The black core was a sign of it, one must do more than imprint the crystal with the Force; they must imbue a piece of themselves, their philosophy, their desires, their hope, everything they are, and nourish the entity that was the Khyber crystal into maturity.
It was like a parent raising their child, Revan described, another part of the wielder.
The Force Weapon imbuement, however, was new to Revan, pleasantly surprised that Jaune imbued not only the crystal but the entire lightsaber with the Force.
"What do you want, Qrow?" Jaune sighed as he looked at the window, seeing a small gray crow outside.
With a flick of his finger, the window opened on its own.
"I'm on break. I'm pretty sure that Vacuo, Vale, or Mistal have Huntsman to spare."
The bird perched on the carpet of his room as it transformed in a flash of light.
Qrow stood over the meditating Jaune with a face of worry.
"...What happened?" Jaune asked.
"...I messed up." Qrow looked away.
"What do you mean?" Jaune asked as he looked into Qrow's mind with the force.
The lessons of Revan allowed him to see into the minds of others with greater clarity if he wished.
He saw guilt, worry, and desperation.
"...You failed to save someone… You want me to save him? Her?" Jaune summarized. The context still eluded him, however. He did not know why he could never read the finer details like names and such. Revan explained that it happened to every force user as his reach in Psychometry only worked on objects with a personal history tied only to himself back in the Galaxy.
"...Yeah… I need your help."
"Wouldn't James be of better help with his resources?" Jaune asked.
"No, this isn't something Atlesian tech can cure." Qrow shook his head.
"I can't just leave my home and family like this. We're planning to visit Mistral for-"
"Please." Qrow begged.
Jaune stared at Qrow.
He could sense that the matter was complicated, and it was the first time Qrow was actually begging him.
While sober. It must be serious.
"...Damn it, Qrow." Jaune shook his head as he grabbed his lightsaber and placed it in his belt.
"How soon can we leave?"
"You don't need your gear if that's what you're wondering." Qrow answered.
"I'm going to bring it just in case considering your Semblance." Jaune rolled his eyes.
"You're going to tell my family, though." Jaune added.
"...Really?" Qrow asked.
"It's the least you should do. Getting wrecked by the women of the house in my stead." Jaune smiled as he walked towards his closet.
Qrow clenched his gut and braced himself, praying that Joana and John wouldn't destroy him too much as he hesitantly walked out of the door.
Jaune took out his sword, Stella Mors, his mandalorian-inspired mask, and his robes. He took out another lightsaber, the same one Revan used in his vision..
It was a thing made from metal and Dust.
In this world, Revan discovered a way to draw power from Remnant to perform feats of power akin to magic. The complex mixture fused and reformed in a manner similar to complex circuitry and more using some lighter Dark Side techniques.
It was a simple, round steel-gray sword hilt covered in special leather of a large turtle creature for maximum grip with the insignia of Vacuo imprinted at the bottom.
The only way to ignite it was with either Aura or the Force as there was no button.
Inside was Revan's Kyber Crystal surrounded in a complicated lattice of primal Dust circuitry and Force imbued techniques.
Once he finished changing, he heard a fierce shriek from outside the room followed by loud noises, something crashing through the house.
[You alcoholic bastard!]]
There was some yelling from his mother followed by more loud noises.
After a while, Qrow returned to his room.
He sported a black eye and some bruises.
"Pfff." Jaune broke into a snicker at Qrow's sorry state.
"...Come on. I promised that it would be quick and get you to Mistral by the time we're done."
"Really? Where are we going again?"
There was an aircraft waiting for him by the airport, Atlesian design. The VTOL was parked in the landing zone where Jaune and Qrow walked towards and saw a familiar face.
"It's good to see you again."
Winter Schnee smiled at Jaune.
She was still in her white military uniform despite the fierce heat of Vacuo.
"I heard you made waves in Atlas. Something about the warrior maiden of Atlas or something." Jaune smiled back at Atlas.
"Um, well, I…"
"How are the swords? Did you enjoy them?" Jaune asked, gesturing to the saber sheathed at Winter's hip.
"...Yes." She sheepishly answered.
"Pfffff. You know if you want to date him, just ask or something." Qrow teased, eliciting a glare from the specialist.
"Before I give in to the temptation to let Qrow get torn to pieces and feed his remains to the Beowolves, let's move on. What is the situation this time?" Jaune asked as he got into the aircraft, walking up the stairs to the hangar.
Winter maintained her glare at Qrow for a brief moment before she sighed.
"We'll tell you on the way." Winter followed Jaune up the stairs. Qrow followed behind her as they entered the vehicle.
Jaune took his seat as the vehicle took to the skies and soared through the Vacuo skies. The pilot was another specialist, someone he never saw before the last time he was there.
"Alright, I'll be honest." Qrow took his seat across from Jaune. Winter took a seat beside Jaune.
"I'm actually not sure if you can pull this off, but we're out of options."
Jaune curled a brow as he dug deep into Qrow's mind. It was complex, but it involved the death of the patient if he failed.
"...To explain things first, have you heard of the Story of the Seasons?" Qrow asked.
Jaune nodded, knowing the story about four sisters and a wizard.
Each of the sisters helped change the wizard in their unique ways, one encouraging him to meditate and reflect, the second by bringing him fruit and flowers and revitalizing his garden, the third convincing him to step outside and embrace the world, and the fourth by encouraging him to be thankful for what he has.
In return, the wizard granted the four great powers, each reflecting one of the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
"The one with the four sisters teaching a magical wizard kindness? Mother hammered all of the tales into my head when I got back from my first playdate." Jaune smiled.
Then his smile fell as he read Qrow's expression.
"...It involves that story. The story is true, but not in the way you think." Qrow rubbed his hair.
"General Ironwood requested your assistance against Qrow's protests." Winter added with a stern face.
Qrow inhaled as he ran his hand through his hair.
"The power of the four maidens can be transferred." Qrow explained. "Each of the four powers does represent one of the seasons. Control over fire, mastery over ice, dominance over the storms, wind, and lightning, and… well, you get the point. I am not sure if you can do the same other than the lightning trick with your fingers."
"Can they use it however they please?" Jaune asked.
"Yeah, but the maidens require training."
"Then it is different." Jaune concluded.
"Alright, if you say so. Anyways, like I said, the powers of the maidens can be… transferred."
The ship rumbled as they entered the skies, sinking past the white clouds within the blue.
"We call those who inherit powers maidens. Spring Maiden, Winter Maiden, Fall Maiden, Summer. When a maiden dies, the power will transfer to the last person she remembered. But there is also a loophole in that rule. If the last woman that kills the current maiden would most likely inherit the power since… well, she would be the last person the maiden sees before she dies."
Jaune widened his eyes at the knowledge.
"However, this is not the case this time. Something is wrong and I cannot explain it well… the assailant did something to the current Fall Maiden. She is wounded in a way that would require… supernatural expertise."
"Just so you know, I've never seen someone recover with the Force, and I am pretty sure that you don't have the recipe for Bacta."
"What's Bacta?" Winter asked.
"A very potent medicinal substance. It promotes regeneration of tissue, it can heal burn scars, broken bones. The only thing it can't fix is death," Jaune humored, which Winter giggled.
"As miraculous as the substance may be, it won't help… because her Aura is wounded."
Jaune gave Qrow his full attention.
"Whatever the assailant did, her objective was to forcefully tear out her Maiden powers using… an unknown method. Using a Grimm creature I've never seen before."
In all of his life, Jaune had never heard of someone's Aura being damaged, not once.
"...They ambushed the Fall Maiden while she was still in training. The assailant managed to get a hold on her with the Grimm I mentioned, a small, centipede thing. I came in just in time and cut down the Grimm connection but… the assailant absconded with half of her powers."
"...What happens if I can't save her?" Jaune asked.
"We will have to find another vessel to contain her half of the Fall Maiden's powers. One of the promising female students at an academy."
"Does it have to be female?"
"Yeah. I don't make the rules, kid. I would like to give the wizard a piece of my mind if I could, but anyways. We have been keeping the existence of the four maidens a top priority secret. If the world knows about them, dangerous people with… selfish motives will come looking for them. I don't need to tell you what will happen."
Another world war between the countries.
Jaune nodded in understanding.
"...Is it possible to heal others through the Force?" Qrow asked.
"I heard that it is a Jedi technique, a pure Light Side skill, and I was not raised as a protector of the Galaxy, I was raised to use the force to destroy and kill," Jaune reminded.
"But can you try? At least?" Qrow asked.
"Hah, the mess you drag me into. One way to find out. Where is she at?"
Jaune hoped he could pull it off.
"Beacon. We had James pull some strings to bring Ozpin out of there. We didn't have time or an excuse to transport him to Atlas."
Jaune had considered Beacon as one of the Academies to attend.
After all, he needed a Huntsman license after everything he had done. It was a miracle that the governments didn't decide to place a bounty on his head or something for killing Grimm without a license.
He didn't expect there to be an underground vault hidden beneath Beacon.
The corridors were illuminated in a pale green light.
Torches carried in braziers light the room, at the end of the black metal posts hanging perpendicularly from the wall.
The center of the white-tiled floor bore the mark of Beacon, a large symbol engraved in black around the white tiles.
"I am glad that you came." James Ironwood smiled at Jaune.
"I'm surprised that you didn't call me sooner." Jaune remarked. "Unlike before, I have places to be this time."
"I understand. I would've called upon you soon if someone didn't vehemently object." James glanced at Qrow.
"Before we start bickering and pointing fingers, let's move on and see if he can't perform a miracle." Qrow suggested.
The four entered the elevator door at the end of the corridor.
As they descended, Jaune continued ruminating on how to pull this off.
He wished he could summon Revan's ghost for advice as this was not something he had experience in.
To heal others instead of destroying them… it was something he had never tried as a killer.
Once the elevator reached the destination at the lowest level, they stepped out.
The room was dimmer, still lit in pale green.
Jaune did not expect to see a life support system and a woman contained what looked like a stasis pod.
"...Who am I looking at?" Jaune asked.
The woman inside had light-brown skin, most likely from either Mistral or Vacuo. Her straight brown hair was shoulder-length, and she had a beauty mark below her left eye.
There was an extensive facial scar.
Within the life support pod, she wore a white tube top and a white skirt.
"Her name is Amber." Qrow answered sadly.
James walked up to the machine and started typing on the console.
Once the stasis pod opened, the glass shell lifting to expose Amber to the room air and temperature, James looked at Jaune.
Jaune needed no further words as he walked towards the stasis pod.
He placed a hand on Amber's hand and closed his eyes.
"...What happened to her?" Jaune asked as his eyes rolled under his eyelids.
"It's like something took a bite out of her soul… And… what is this power that melded with her Aura? It's… foreign yet familiar for some reason. It's almost alive in its own way," Jaune asked as he continued looking within Amber.
"...Well?" Qrow asked.
Jaune reached out with the Force.
He formed a connection with the woman's spirit, his Aura mingling with hers as he tried to analyze what he could do.
He placed a hand on Amber's stomach and called upon the Light Side of the Force to the best of his ability.
His hand glowed as his mind reached out to the damage.
Jaune could sense it.
He hissed, opening his eyes.
"By Oum and the Force, this… I've been through much, but this is a new kind of pain I've never experienced." Jaune admitted.
Even during his time as Galen Marek, when he tortured himself to inherit the powers of the Dark Side, this pain, the pain of the soul, it was new to him.
"Can you do it?" Qrow asked.
"I'm trying. This will require some time." Jaune inhaled and calmed himself.
He needed to push aside the impatience and calm himself.
Recalling his time under Revan, he touched the Force through the pain, through the sorrow, and connected with Amber's butchered spirit.
Jaune paused as he sensed… a tear - wound in her soul. It was a unique pain, something that could not mend into a scar.
But there was something else Jaune did not expect.
"...Interesting." Jaune noted.
"What? What is it?" Qrow asked.
"I can… feel a connection elsewhere. Somewhere around… I don't know the location. It is far but…"
Jaune continued scrying, trying to make sense of this connection. He couldn't see or hear in that direction, but he could feel it through the force.
"I think…I can sense Amber's other half somewhere." Jaune explained.
"Wait, what? Really? You can do that?!" Qrow asked, bewildered.
James uncrossed his arms with serendipity.
"Where?! I will send my forces to apprehend her at once!" James shouted, excited to see some progress.
"I don't know. I can't see the location, just pinpoint it with my sense of distance and direction. I'm not connected to the other woman's Aura, just the stolen magic and life force," Jaune shook his head.
"...But I think I can reach out to it." Jaune said.
"...You're telling me that you can… how far is Amber's half of her Aura?" Qrow asked.
"Far," Jaune answered. "Most likely far outside of Vale."
"So you're saying that you can somehow reach out with the Force, and touch someone's Aura with it miles away?"
"Yeah, but there are conditions. My first master can Force Choke an officer from light years away by watching through a live video screen. He just needed to see him, nothing else."
"No way. You're screwing with me," Qrow did not believe him..
"I can try to do the same, only try to rip out some of the stolen power instead of choking the person to death because of the unique connection. The divided energy I sense is attracted to each other like two compasses."
"Is it possible you can… assassinate the assailant?" James asked with curiosity.
"It's not something I can pull off without…" Jaune paused. "No, no I cannot. I can only touch the other half, not the container it is currently in," Jaune shook his head.
"Ah. Shame we can't kill two birds with one stone." James shook his head with disappointment. "You may start the process. I wish you luck."
Jaune nodded as he focused and touched the other half.
One of the lessons Revan taught him was that while the Dark Side can take, sometimes there was a blood price for such power.
One power being Force Drain.
It was an ability that fed on the severing of the Force and the feeding on the Death of life itself. There was a chance that if overreliance on the technique could nurture a void-like hunger that could never be filled, that could consume the user if one was too dependent on it.
It was not something Jaune could use without risk, much, much more than Force Lightning, a pure dark side technique. But here, Jaune could use it to save someone.
However, here, someone's Aura was already severed. Jaune decided to feed on that instead, to take back what was once Amber's.
In the safe walls of Haven Academy, Cinder Fall, alone in her dorm, clenched her chest as she fell to her knees.
"AGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Cinder shrieked as indescribable pain wormed inside her. "W-What's happening to me?!"
The Grimm buried deep within her squirmed under her skin, thrashing against her innards.
The insectoid, centipede Grimm she housed within her body was moving as if trying to eat its way out of her.
Worse, there was something else trying to escape, something she worked hard to take.
Her half of the Fall Maiden's powers was trying to peel itself off of her. She could feel it trying to escape through the channel it entered.
"N-No! What is this?! This isn't… what she promised!" The assailant screeched loud enough for someone to enter the dorm room.
"C-Cinder? Cinder!" Emerald Sustrai, the jasmine-haired dark-skinned girl called out, hearing her distress.
However, Cinder couldn't hold it in anymore.
Something was tearing through her as she screamed to the ceiling of the dorm.
Cinder lurched, nearly falling over once, over twice, then she arched her head as an orange light of magical power, the essence of the Fall Maiden, burst out of her chest and flew through the open window of her dorm as Cinder fell to her knees.
"I got it!" Jaune shouted.
He could feel something ripped through the Force, and the energy he tore out was flying towards them, following the connection the two halves of the power shared.
Entering the hidden underground chamber, the orange wisp of magic flowed through the air with serpentine grace, diving from above into Amber.
Jaune opened his eyes.
He wondered if it worked. Honestly, it could've entered him through Amber, but the foreign rejected him like a repelling magnet.
And it was the power only selected females.
The power might have returned, but Jaune wasn't sure if that was enough to restore her.
"...Did it work?" Qrow asked Jaune.
"How should I know? I've never done this before." Jaune retorted.
James walked up to the machine and typed into the console adjacent to the life support, analyzing the readings on the graph.
"...Her Aura waves are stable." James said to his pleasant surprise. "Heart rate has increased, brain waves… They're active. But…"
Jaune closed his eyes as he laid his hand on Amber's forehead.
"...She is still… reeling from the shock. The pain she felt in her spirit has left strong echoes."
"So she's in a coma." Qrow summarized. "Can you wake her up?"
"Waking someone from a coma does not sound like my expertise. The damage is now mental. I cannot heal minds." Jaune shook his head.
"Then… you've done us a great service." James sighed with relief.
"Yeah. This raises questions. But I'm not going to ask."
Like what in the world were they fighting against?
Something other than the unending tide of Grimm?
"Are you sure? You earned the right to know." James asked.
"Yeah, but Qrow owes me a ride to Mistral, and he can text me later. I need to see the annual Mistral tournament for soon-to-be huntresses by… the next two yours or my mom will chew me up." Jaune groused.
James and Winter smiled at Jaune's priorities, putting his family before his work.
"Winter. Escort him to Mistral. I need to have a word with Qrow."
Mistral was a large city built on two mountains, buildings covering it from the base to the summit, a culture that derives mutual respect with the nature around it.
Spanning the peaks of both mountains sat Haven Academy, though there was a massive platform in the city's center acting as the elevator.
Stone stairs connected the various levels of the city, though the higher one ascends, the nicer the city became.
The lowest levels housed the criminal elements, shops trading merchandise both legal and illegal.
Most of the criminal elements lived in a city south of Mistral's capital called Kuchinashi, the home of all forms of thieves, pirates, assassins, everything.
Jaune had been in the undercity once with Qrow to understand the criminal elements, see the dark side of Huntsman and Huntresses, like the Sith to the Jedi. Though they did have some fun with Jaune's Jedi Mind Trick, swindling informants and certain shopkeepers in secret.
Winter already dropped him into Mistral at the higher levels.
The colors were vibrant, bright green flora decorating the upper areas, the roofs of many houses colored terracotta under the sun when looked down from a higher level, by the handrails over the cliff slope.
Running towards his family, Jaune waved at his family.
His sister, Saffron, had moved away.
Only his six other sisters were with his parents, all waiting for him by the entrance of Academy where the fourth Mistral Regional Tournament would take place.
It was their family vacation, a way for Jaune to spend time together with his family.
"And where have you been?! The matches are about to start!" Joana placed her knuckles at her hips with disapproval.
"Vent your wrath at Qrow. Hell, I'll help you smack some sense into him."
"Next time I see him entering uninvited, I'm going to drown him in booze until his liver gives out." Joana swore while John smiled awkwardly, the rest of the sisters giggling.
They immediately entered the school, presenting their tickets to the guards.
After the guards of Mistral nodded with approval, they entered the halls of Haven.
The academy had a quadrangle, a large rectangular open space partially enclosed by buildings, black encaustic tiles made for the slope roofs. Jaune believed they were called hip roofs.
The entire campus was surrounded by natural forestry.
A fountain laid at the center of the quad, with some shrubbery, wooden benches and lamp posts lined along the perimeter.
Two Cross Continental Transmit towers flanked the Quad while the Grand Hall was ahead.
When Jaune and his family entered the Grand Hall, greens and browns were the dominant colors in his periphery.
There was a marble statue of a lady flanked by two stairways that joined together at the top. The statue's arms were raised as if praising something higher than her. Golden chains shackled her wrists and a golden metal representation of light 'shone' behind her.
Paintings and blue banners bearing Mistral's symbol decorated the walls, reminding the visitors that this was a place of culture and learning.
The family walked up to the higher floor, to the large interior balcony called a loft of a mezzanine with the wooden balustrade, to watch the fight unfold, having VIP up close seats to inspect the battle.
His family chattered as they waited for the match to begin.
The headmaster of Haven Academy stepped forth onto the stairs atop of the golden statue.
A tanned, middle-aged man with a mane of and beard of gray hair. His dark-brown eyes looked gentle and filled with compassion.
A brown greatcoat with a matching mantle, cross emblems born on each side, was his choice of attire. A white dress shirt was under his coat, a western necktie and carried a pocket watch with a lion head on it as an emblem.
"Greetings, visitors from Mistral and beyond. Many of you may know me, but just in case, my name is Leonardo Lionheart, Headmaster of this wondrous Academy. Before we start, I would like to say my piece. It is an honor for my academy to host Mistral's fourth annual regional tournament and-"
Droning out the speech, Jaune wondered whether he should enlist in an Huntsman Academy.
He had trained in two combat schools to learn from the best, each at Qrow's recommendation.
There was one combat instructor with a special… yo-yo weapon. There was another who was great with a sword, that fought well with an odachi. He managed to attach a rocket thruster in the hilt of the odachi.
One of his sisters, Kiiro Arc, the one of the very energetic twins, called out, each of their hair tied in a wide ponytail.
"Hey, Jaune. Jauny."
And she found her favorite nickname to call him.
"Do you think it would be fun if you… like crash the tournament and challenge everyone?" She winked at him.
"Kii, I don't like to stand out."
"But you're the you-know-what! Wait, did you bring your weapons?" Saula Arc asked, one of the tomboy sisters. They all share the same blue eyes, though her appearance and demeanor reflected athleticism and spirit.
"I left my sword with Winter. I still have the light sword."
"Come onnnnn!" Apollo, the other tomboy, wearing a yellow tank top. "It'll be fuuuun~ we never see you interact with others your age. Just Grimm, Grimm, some Huntsman, and more Grimm." Helias arc, the older tomboy wearing an orange crop top and short blonde hair pointed out.
"Uh huh. And since when do my sisters like me to interact with kids 'my age'?"
Jaune sighed as he let his sisters nudge him from all sides.
"Since always?" The blonde one with the glasses giggled.
Lionheart's speech finally finished.
"Now, let us begin the tournament!"
Yeah, I know.
I am a bit depressed during November as I learned that I have an annoying eczema problem and my skin doctor told me that I couldn't rely on detergent based soaps anymore for anything. So I decided to rely on Dr. Squatch soaps... they work reaaallllly well.
Too well though. It messed with the feng shui I've had going on in my writing spree. I am sorry :(
Anyways, the dry fall air is a nuisance as well. Working on regaining my mojo while taking care of other things while not burning myself out pumping out chapters. Hope you like the fight scene. Will try to work on my Hunter Amongst Villains chapter as best I can.
Leave your constructive criticisms on how I should take the direction of this chapter and tell me what you think so far.