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Reminder, I have a pat reon, look up azndrgn making fanfic. Donators get to read my chapters earlier!
"Oooh, that's nice!" yelped a deer Faunus with horns on his forehead.
Jaunce chuckled as he worked out some knots on the back, "You and your friend have some deep knots in your backs."
"We've been carrying a lot of stuff lately," said a bull Faunus with a bull tail from the side, "Haven't had a chance to relax until lately. A friend of ours recommended your place."
"Well, I'm glad I could help," smiled Jaune as he jabbed his thumb beneath the shoulder blade.
After the two were done and paid their bills, they began their walk towards a seedier part of Vale before arriving at an abandoned warehouse. Donning their White Fang masks, the two jumped into the transport that would take them to their secret hideout.
Jaune yawned as he woke up from his sleep before quickly jumping out of bed. It had been two days since the dance, and coincidentally it was the clinic's day off. What he was excited for was his new armor and gun that had been completed. James Ironwood would be sending a soldier around 1 PM to escort him to a building where he would be tutored on how to use a gun and the perks of the new armor.
So Jaune began to quickly make breakfast and prepared lunch. A simple omelet for breakfast, and some dumplings he had bought from a supermarket. Putting the dumplings out on the countertop to let them defrost, Jaune enjoyed his simple omelet with sliced sausages, bacon, chives, and cheese.
Time felt slow for Jaune as he waited for the hours to roll by. At 11:30 AM sharp, Jaune was already pouring the premade dumplings into hot water, slowly stirring them to make sure they didn't stick to the pot or to each other. After cooking them until they all floated, he scooped them all out onto a plate, pouring some soy sauce on the side as a dip.
Jaune took a bite, chewing the dumpling in his mouth before he began to slowly stop chewing.
"This was a mistake," declared Jaune as he spat out the dumpling. It tasted horrible to him, which made him curious. The label had clearly stated Argus-styled dumplings, which he had before, and they were delicious. Upon taking a closer look, Jaune growled as he noticed the product was actually produced in Mantle, and had merely 'borrowed' the name. Though the ingredients might be the same, the ratio and creation of them were not.
Feeling disgusted, Jauned poured the rest of the dumplings into the trash.
"Guess, I'm getting something else to eat," groaned Jaune as he looked through his cupboard before deciding to be lazy and grab a pack of instant ramen.
"Mr. Jaune Arc?" asked a soldier as he appeared in front of Jaune's clinic at exactly 1300 hours.
"That's me," grinned Jaune, as he had been sitting on the front stairs to his clinic, excited about his new 'toys'.
"Follow me," stated the soldier as he turned around, not even making sure Jaune was following.
Jaune quickly did so, getting into an Atlesian vehicle with tinted windows. The car drove towards a guarded warehouse, where it parked inside.
"Out," stated the soldier as he and Jaune hopped out of the vehicle. Standing in the middle of the warehouse was a technician looking over some equipment on a table.
"Oh good, you're here," smiled the technician as she waived Jaune over while the soldier remained standing guard, "Come, come. We'll get through the basics of your armor and gun."
Jaune eagerly walked over, looking at what was on the table. Though he saw the customized gun, he slightly frowned when his armor seemed to be merely two thick silver hoops, two black hoops and two shoulder pads.
"I can see it in your face, trust me, the armors not what you're thinking," laughed the technician, "Don't think the general would skimp out on a favor like this. This was built to the specification of Aureville. Let's put these on, and you'll soon learn to like these."
Curious, Jaune put the armor pieces on first, following the technician's instructions. He noted that he couldn't just slap the hoops on, but rather they were constructed to only fit in a certain way based the indents inside the hoops, though the technician told Jaune it could be worn upside down and still work as intended. The hoops went around his wrists and ankles, and though a little thick, barely hindered him, nor weighed him down too much.
"Alright, see the black spots there?" pointed the technician, causing Jaune to look at where she was pointing to see a black square that he hadn't noticed, "There's two of them, but you only need to press one of them to work. The other is just another switch if you do wear it the other way. Go ahead and press it. Put some Aura into it though."
Jaune did so, pressing the black spot with his index finger with Aura visibily gleaming on his finger. Almost immediately, there was a reaction. The hoops began to shift in front of his eyes, plates moving up his forearms forming vambraces. At the same time, the hoops around his ankle began to shift, forming greaves. And finally, his shoulder pads shifted, changing their form to cover his chest and back, though never completely leaving his shoulders while also covering his upper arm.
Overall, Jaune now had armor on his arms, legs, chest, and back, and the kicker was the Arc symbol right over the middle.
"You like it?" grinned the technician, to which Jaune eagerly nodded, "Good. Now for the fun stuff. Your gun. I'm going to go over all the safety procedures, and then I'm going to quiz you on it. So pay attention, and if you get one single question wrong, you're not leaving with this gun."
Jaune eagerly nodded his head as he obediently listened to every word. When it came to the quiz, Jaune passed with flying colors.
"You know, it's refreshing when people listen," smiled the technician as she had Jaune go through the process of loading the gun, "Most soldiers fresh from training always think they don't need to go through gun orientation, just point and shoot is all they can think about."
After Jaune managed to reload the gun properly as well as safely disengage it when not in use, the technician finally came to the part Jaune had been waiting for.
"Alright, I got some targets set up over there," said the technician, pointing over to a thick wall with targets plastered on it, "I have some magazines with rubber bullets in them for you to shoot at. Go wild with it all. I also have a suitcase with some non-lethal bullets and dust cartridges for your gun. Though if you want to get them refilled, you'll have to go to a dust store for the dust cartridges, and an armory for the non-lethal stuff. Luckily both are standard stock, so it shouldn't be too hard to get them refilled."
Jaune nodded as he took his first shot, getting slightly shocked by the recoil when he fired. He completely missed the shot, getting a cackle of laughter from the soldier.
"Quiet, you," hissed the technician.
"Can I try again?" asked Jaune sheepishly.
"Yea, like I said, feel free to shoot all the bullets here," nodded the technician.
Jaune shot a few more times, getting used to the recoil but still missing the targets, getting a snicker from the soldier once more.
"Don't mind the peanut gallery, go at your own pace," advised the technician.
"I think I've got the hang of it now," hummed Jaune as he smoothly unloaded the clip, grabbing another magazine and slamming it into his gun.
The technician and soldier raised an eyebrow at such a smooth transition, but merely only noted so. Having a fast reload time wasn't going to improve his accuracy.
However, Jaune wasn't doing the same thing anymore. Instead, he began to stream Aura throughout his whole body, stabilizing himself. Exhaling, Jaune took the shot.
The bullet slammed into the target. Though not a perfect bullseye, it was pretty close to the center target.
"Not bad, guess you had to get used to the recoil and weight," commented the technician.
"Tch, beginner's luck," scoffed the soldier, "Let's see if-"
Bang Bang Bang Bang
Jaune interrupted the soldier's snide remarks as he began rapid firing, his Aura helping him neutralize the recoil. Each shot slammed into a target. As Jaune shot the last bullet, he swiftly dropped the mag and slammed a fresh one, continuing to fire without hesitation. Jaune did this for two more clips before he was fresh out of bullets.
The technician whistled as Jaune's last few shots slammed into the bullseye of the targets he had aimed for.
"Nice shooting," complimented the technician, "Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"
Jaune spun his new gun in his hand before holstering it and replied, "Arcade and festival games, shooting types."
"That's one way to practice your marksmanship," laughed the technician as she handed Jaune the case, "If you ever feel like you need some more practice, just down to the shooting gallery in town. They'll sell you some reusable ammunition that you can use with your gun to practice."
"Thanks," smiled Jaune as he eagerly took the case, "So how do I get back? I was brought here in a tinted vehicle."
"Soldier boy here will take you back once he's done putting his jaw back up," said the technician as she walked over to the soldier, daintily lifting her finger to shut the soldier's jaw up.
Back at Beacon, the first-year students were getting ready to head to the amphitheater. Today would be the day they began taking missions for the first time. The first semester had been training them for this.
"I'm so excited for this!" grinned Nora, "What mission should we take? Maybe we get to be deputies!"
"Easy there Nora," said Pyrrha, "We're technically a 3-man team. Most missions were made with four in mind."
"Still, we should be able to find a suitable mission for us," said Ren, "I'm sure Beacon will have found suitable accommodations. Sky and Dove are stuck with only two, after all."
"Hey guys, ready to save the world," grinned Ruby as her team arrived.
"What? What mission are you guys going on to do that?" gasped Nora, "Maybe you guys will need backup! Can we come!?"
"What Ruby meant to say," said Weiss meaningfully as she elbowed Ruby, "is that if your team is ready to take these missions."
Before they could talk anymore, Ozpin had come on stage, clearing his throat while grabbing everyone's attention.
When Ozpin's speech was done, everyone was already heading to the mission boards to choose an assignment. Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren had been ready to head over when someone intercepted them.
"Hold on there, you three are coming with me," grinned Aureville, "I'll be taking you with me for your mission. Hope you lot don't mind search and destroy."
"We would love to join you," said Pyrrha after giving a glance at Ren and Nora to see if they approved.
"Aww, does that mean we don't get to be deputies?" asked Nora, though not minding the chance to cut loose and go wild with her explosions.
"Well, if it helps, you can be my deputies of destruction against Grimm," chuckled Aureville.
"That works!" chirped Nora, her mood swinging like her hammer as she giggled.
"I hope you don't mind, but I'll be bringing these two with us," stated Aureville as he pulled Dove and Sky from somewhere.
"The more the merrier," smiled Pyrrha, not minding these two. Though they had joined Cardin in teasing and taunting her team, the two had apologized for their actions, and even tried to stop Cardin from throwing sap at her. Though not friends, they were close enough to be called acquaintances, especially since they had been helping protect Jaune.
"Alright, meet me in the training grounds later," said Aureville, "I want to get a good grasp on your capabilities, so you'll be sparring against me."
The group looked scared and excited to be fighting an actual Huntsman, even if he was semi-retired.
"For now, dismissed. Meet me there in an hour," ordered Aureville, "I'll decide whether we'll go today or tomorrow.
They all nodded in acknowledgment before leaving to prepare.
Outside, they met up with team RWBY and CFVY, the latter who had just come back from their mission. They had been delayed due to the amount of Grimm that had exceeded the mission parameters. Even when Coco ran out of bullets for Gianduja, her minigun, she ended up transforming it to her handbag mode and wailing at the Grimm with it. Not that it wasn't ineffective, based on the numbers of skulls she caved in, but it was still tiring.
"There was…. just so much," said Velvet in a slight daze.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting a massage asap," declared Coco, "I'd get an Aura massage, but at this point, I'm willing to take any early available appointment."
"Agreed," nodded Yatsuhashi, already on his Scroll to book an appointment, "Velvet, I booked an Aura massage for you that was available this Friday. It's an after-hours one."
"Aww, thanks Yatsu," smiled Velvet.
"Dangit big guy, you should've made one for me, your leader," bemoaned Coco as she gave Yatsuhashi a light slap on his arm, "Where's the love?"
"There's a special sale on Friday at your favorite clothing store, so I figured you'd be busy all day on that day of," replied Yatsuhashi stoically, with Fox nodding in agreement.
"Oh, right, that is true," hummed Coco, "Nice of you to remember."
The two boys sighed, as the only reason they remembered was because of how much Coco kept telling them that they were going to be her baggage carriers for that day. An inevitable fate with a team leader such as Coco.
"So what about you all? You should be getting onto your first missions, shadowing a Huntsman or Huntress," said Velvet, changing the subject.
"We're heading to the southeast quadrant 5 to clear Grimm," chimed Ruby.
"Not sure where we're going, but our mission is also to search and destroy," nodded Pyrrha, "Jaune's grandfather, Aureville, offered to take us despite our lack of a team member. Dove and Sky are joining us though too."
"You get to shadow him!?" said Velvet in amazement, "That's awesome! He probably knows some cool stuff!"
"Whoa there, bunny, what's got you in such a mood?" chuckled Coco, "You've never been that excited before when meeting other Huntsman and Huntresses? Does he happen to hit the check marks on your list?"
"Coco!" blushed Velvet before coughing, not admitting that it was slightly true, "He helped save me from Cardin's attempt to sabotage my interview. The jerk threw a tomato at me while I was all dressed up. Before I could do anything, he caught the tomato before hurling it back at Cardin. However, instead of it splatting on his forehead, something else happened. It was as if the tomato had been replaced by a steel ball, and so when it hit Cardin on the forehead, it actually collided with such force that Cardin flipped three times in the air before landing on his face while the tomato continued flying."
"Ah yes, that incident," chuckled Dove as he entered the conversation with Sky, "I don't think I ever apologized for not being able to stop Cardin. Still, it was scary to see Cardin flipping in the air from a tomato that he had thrown. At first, we thought it was a steel ball disguised as a tomato, but when Russel found it, it had splatted into the ground. It was just pure produce."
Team RWBY and PLN couldn't help but laugh at that scenario flashing through their minds.
"I am excited and scared to see what Aureville is going to do," shivered Sky a little, "We're supposed to meet up at the training grounds later so he can analyze our movements. If we end up having to fight him….. well Dove and I have already attacked Headmaster Ironwood before, and we got our asses kicked."
"You guys did what!?" screeched Weiss.
"Hehehe, there was a bit of confusion with the situation, but we're not allowed to say much," chuckled Dove sheepishly, "Let's just say there were ….. 'unusual' circumstances and leave it at that. Needless to say, it was Headmaster Ironwood's fault."
'Is that why General Ironwood was talking to Jaune back at the dance?' pondered Weiss before shelving those thoughts away for now.
After Jaune was shortly escorted home, he couldn't resist but have fun posing and mock shooting with his new gun and armor. Since he was closed, and nobody was there to judge him, he was having fun making sound effects.
"Enjoying yourself?" drawled a voice, causing Jaune to freeze before sheepishly looking over to see Roman grinning like a troll.
"... Maybe," admitted Jaune as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
"Mind if I see the gun?" asked Roman, raising his hand towards Jaune.
Jaune obliged, trusting Roman as he made sure the safety was on first, even if there was no magazine in the gun.
"Not bad," murmured Roman as he snapped it up to eye level, "Not like those shitty mass production guns. Customized stuff is always better if you're planning to stand out than becoming a regular old peon. The magazines are able to take the standard ones, but there is room for modifications if you want it."
"Didn't realize you knew so much about weapons," hummed Jaune as he pressed a button on his armor, allowing it to retract back into its mobile forms.
"You pick it up as a Dust inspector," said Roman as he returned Jaune's gun before whistling, "And that armor. Looks nice and snazzy, and it mechashifts? Usually see that on guns, not much on armor. Then again, most Huntsmen and Huntresses don't really go for solid armor plating. Rather, they have dust and metal-lined weaves inside their clothes that react with Aura to help protect them. Saves them on buying polish for metal armor, and you can chuck it into the washing machine to wash without hassle."
"Is that why they don't seem to wear armor?" asked Jaune in surprise.
"Most," hummed Roman, "Though you can't deny the benefits of solid armor if you run out of Aura. However, many like their mobility, so they don't go for plated armor, though if they had something like yours, it might change minds. How'd you get this stuff anyways?"
"A settlement from Ironwood," blushed Jaune, scratching his cheeks, "I don't expose him for breaking in, and he got me some armor and a gun. Vice-headmistress Goodwitch was able to wrestle those conditions out of him instead of trying to supply me with Atlesian massage spices."
Both men wrinkled their noses at the thought of Atlesian massage spices before laughing a little.
"Hey Jaune," said Roman, his face turning serious, "You should take a vacation."
"Hm? But I only opened for about six months, going to seven," blinked Jaune.
"Exactly, it's time for a vacation!" declared Roman, "You can't always keep working!"
"But my employees," started Jaune, only for Roman to chuckle.
"You have a contract with Mii Amo, right? One of the clauses state you can have a replacement masseur work your shift while you take vacation days," said Roman, "I should know, since I helped right that clause in."
"I do?" blinked Jaune,"That's nice to know. Maybe I'll use it to watch the Vytal Festival Tournament, but for now, I'm good."
"You should take it now," said Roman, "The contract is going to expire soon, so might as well use it before they find out and delete that clause. Maybe go check the seas! Always good seafood at Patch, from what I've heard."
"I'll think about it," chuckled Jaune.
Roman nodded as he turned to leave, though stopping at the door for a second.
"Jaune, remember the shelter I've told you about?" asked Roman, confusing Jaune for a second before nodding. For some reason, Neo had drilled it into his head how to get there from his shop.
"If there's a situation, just head there directly. You'll be safe there," said Roman firmly, "Whatever happens, just drop it and run towards it."
"What about the public shelters?" asked Jaune curiously.
"Bleh, too crowded, not enough blankets, supplies, etc," scoffed Roman, "Out our private shelter, you'll have all the amenities you need. Plus, you'll be leaving room for some of those who need it more."
"... Okay?" said Jaune slowly, "But it's not like I'll need it soon, right?"
"... Better safe than sorry Jaune," said Roman, "Been hearing some rumors around now. Nothing to be concerned about, but Neo would like it better if her favorite masseur was safe."
With that Roman left a puzzled Jaune.
Coming up soon, the breach!