It is a calm, warm morning as the sun rises over the horizon. A small village lay in the wake of the beams of light cascading between the hillsides. The name of the village is Patch, and a farm lying on the outskirts of town was nothing more than a patch amongst the stretching lands of Remnant.
Inside, lying in bed is a middle aged man, Taiyang. His short blonde hair is a mess as he digs his face further into his pillow wishing he could rest a bit longer. He knows he needs to rise, however, as the sun warms his cheeks. He rolls out of bed and yawns, running his hands through his bright mane in an attempt to tame the mess.
Oh I cannot wait for those two to get home. He thinks to himself, looking through the window at the horizon. I love having this small farm to myself but getting up this early just to tend to the animals is preposterous. The blonde slides to his feet and makes his way out of his room.
Once he arrives at the kitchen, he gathers what he needs to make some tea, starting with a pot of water to place on the stove. He bends to look inside the furnace and groans. Of course... Yang usually fills the stove with wood for the next day. He lets out another sigh as the wood stockpile is just behind the house. He walks around the back of the home and past the workshop to get to it. For a moment he stops to notice the sun still is not completely over the horizon; the sun rise reminded him of who he was waiting for…
Gathering a few of the chopped pieces of wood he re-enters his home. There we go. Stove is full and I've got some extra. At least this way I do not have to venture too far in case I am in need of more heat tonight.
Carefully lighting the logs underneath the stove, he leaves the pot to heat up. He gathers his usual breakfast, slicing two slivers off the cheese block in the cabinet and grabs a small morsel of bread from the counter. As the water begins to boil, he removes it from the hot stove and places it on a flat stone on the table used to keep him from permanently burning the table... Again... Pouring himself some of the hot water into his cup and adding the loose leaf brew, he takes a sip and sighs, "Ahh," Nothing beats a warm cup of tea in the morning.
Something stops him as he hears a whine coming from his youngest daughter's room. The man goes to open the door and out scurries a small black and white corgi.
"There you are, Zwei. I was wondering where you went last night." Looking in the room, Taiyang sees clothes strewn in a pile on the floor like a nest. He knows that if he goes into his other daughter's room, he'll see a similar pile and perhaps a few new holes his eldest daughter has haphazardly put in the wall. Huh, wonder if Zwei misses them too.
Walking back to the kitchen, Tai yawns and places some scraps from the night before into a bowl for the dog. "Eat up, Zwei. I have a good feeling about today." Once the two finish their breakfast, the blonde goes about feeding and milking the cows on the farm and does a quick check of the modestly sized vegetable garden and fruit trees. With only a few ripe edibles found today, Tai knew he would have to go into the market at some point, especially if his daughters returned soon. There was enough to feed him with his meager gathering but hardly enough to feed himself and his two growing daughters. Now noticing the sun was higher in the sky, Taiyang decides now is the time to start the day's other chores.
Stretching, he walks towards his personal blacksmith shop, and Zwei follows close behind him. His shop in town is closed for the day due to the workload which has come in over the last few weeks. Within the last month, Taiyang has gotten multiple requests for full sets of knight armor, many of them to be customized with complex powder coat colors and insignias. There are also requests for very specific dust inlays, a form of modern protection becoming quite popular amongst knights.
Wonder if there is a war coming, He thinks to himself looking at the last few sets that he had finished. Not to complain about the coin but I cannot fathom why so many people would need complete sets of armor. His eyes wander about his shop before settling out the window and he sighs.
"Those two are just fine, right Zwei?" Tai says to the corgi sitting on a blanket placed their just for him.. Zwei cocks his head to the side and says, "Woof," as if he understood the man's worry. "Thanks Zwei. You always know what to say," he says as he pets the corgi.
Well guess I should send a pigeon to some of these folks since they have not stopped by to pick up their armor. I wonder if it would be ok to sign these letters as Tai, Taiyang Legendary Blacksmith of Patch just seems so long... The blonde laughs at the thought. As Tai begins to write various scrolls requesting a final check and pick up of all the armor he had finished, he hears footsteps crunching on the gravel outside..
Without looking up, as the door creaks open, he calls out, "Sorry Sir, my shop is closed today. Unless you're here to pick up an order, I simply am not taking any more jobs today."
"I think you should see to whom you are speaking," says the newcomer with a thunderous voice. Taiyang looks up to see a man bearing the Royal Crest of the Staub Kingdom, a runic seal resembling the shape of an ornate snowflake, across his chest. Oh great "My apologies Sir…." Tai starts waiting for him to introduce himself.
"Sir Winchester. I am the current Commander of the Royal Guard assigned to His Royal Highness."
The blacksmith nods acknowledging the man's rank. Taking a quick breath he asks, "What may I do for you, Commander? As I've said, due to my work load I wasn't planning on taking on anymore work today…" He pauses for a moment, looking into the disgruntled eyes of the man before him, "But seeing as though you've traveled such a great distance, what did you have in mind?"
The commander smirks. "You are just as humble as the men have said and as I remember Tai..." Slowly, he hands over a scroll and says, "I would like you to construct this armor for my son. He will be in need of it very soon as he will follow in my footsteps and become a part of the Royal Guard."
Tai takes the scroll in both hands and slowly opens it. After a moment he mumbles to himself, "Ah yes … perhaps … this … over … here …"
The commander gently taps the blacksmith on the shoulder "I will be back in a month and a fortnight. Will that be enough time for you to complete this?"
Taiyang nods and cautiously asks, "My lord, if I may ask, why do you need such an elaborate set for your son? Has your son yet come of age to join the Royal Guard?" Tai gestures to the specifications on the scroll. "This armor looks as though it could fit my youngest daughter." The blacksmith watches as the Commander shifts his eyes to see if there is any one nearby. Once the hulking man deems the location safe, he looks Tai directly in the eye.
"In truth, he will not become a part of the King's Royal Guard." He leans in to whisper, "I have it under good authority that the Princess will be holding a tournament in two months' time. She, against her father's wishes, is making it an open tournament for anyone who wishes to compete. However, they must meet certain requirements, including the armor.." The commander grinds his teeth for a moment as if contemplating his words. "But this is more than I am at liberty to divulge."
Tai's eyes widen as he hears this news. "I see… That explains the explosion of work".
The Commander looks outside. "Well, I shall be on my way. Oh, and I hope this will cover the costs," he says and throws a small pouch of coins on the table. The blonde graciously takes the pouch and places it on the other side of the table.
"I am sure it will and more. Thank you, Commander," Taiyang bows.
On that same morning dawn breaks in a neighboring village:
As the glow of the morning sun crests over the hillside, a young girl, whose dark hair was tipped with crimson red, slowly opens her silver eyes. She did her best to wrap her red, hooded cloak tighter around her body. She groaned in discomfort. Owww, I simply cannot wait to sleep in my own bed. Reluctantly, the girl sits up and stretches before looking across the now dead fire of their makeshift camp. A golden mass of hair lays across from her snoring like an ursa after having it's final meal before hibernation.
"Come on Yang, it's time to go home." The smaller girl says to her sister as she gets up and stretches again, her arms weary and legs slightly numb. "Yang…YANG… it's time to get up. The sun has risen." The small girl shakes her older sister violently with no reaction. The blonde simply snores and shoves the younger girl in her sleep.
"Five more minutes, Rubes…" Yang protests. Ruby groans again and thinks to herself Why did I think she would get up this early? Not even going home to a comfy bed and Zwei would make her get up any faster… Ruby stops for a moment then suddenly has the perfect idea. Oh wait. I know what might work. The crimson clad girl carefully walks over towards the blonde. Glancing around she picks up a thin, long twig. Gently, she moves it towards the blonde's face just below her forehead and slowly pushes it into her hair before wiggling it around.
"YANG…YANG GET UP! THERE ARE SPIDERS IN YOUR HAIR!" the younger girl shouts while circling the blonde with her arms flailing. Lilac eyes shoot open as the blonde screams and frantically shakes her tresses, running her fingers through her hair trying to find the invisible intruders.
"OH NO NO NO NOT MY HAIR…WHERE ARE THEY RUBY?! I HAVE NOT... seen... a single one…" The younger sister stops running and simply sighs.
"Why does that always seem to work on you, Yang?..." Ruby chuckles.
The older girl's demeanor suddenly changes. "I am GOING TO KILL YOU" the blonde growls as she rushes the younger girl.
Oh Gods why did I do that? I am in for a world of hurt now. "Only if you can catch me Yang! We both know I am the faster sister!" Ruby squeals as she just barely gets out of the way causing Yang to stumble forward.
"Yeah, well... I got the good looks, Rubes." Yang boasts, striking a pose that would make most men weak at the knees. In Ruby's flustered state, Yang takes advantage of her and pushes her to the ground, tickling her relentlessly.
Ruby laughs hysterically, "Ya-ahahah! Ya-hahaha-!Yang we haaaa-haave to go home now!" Yang lets up, realizing that today is indeed the day they are supposed to head home.
"Oh you're right, dear sister. Why are you wasting time? Let's gather our belongings and be on our way."
Catching her breath, Ruby wheezes, "I am wasting our time? You nearly killed me with that tickle attack…"
Yang finishes throwing her bedding into her knapsack. "Father will be waiting for us; I cannot wait to tell him how these new gauntlets performed," she proclaims, punching her knuckles together. "They worked out better than I thought! No dents or cracks no matter how hard I hit those mangey creatures." Yang pushes off the ground with the tips of her feet, propelling her into a nearby boulder. The moment her gauntlet-clad fist makes contact with the stone, it is obliterated into pieces. Smoothly, she lands back on her feet as if she had simply swatted a fly.
"Yeah father put a lot of red dust into those gauntlets for you, Yang." Ruby says, as she puts her knapsack on her back. "Ok, sis I'm all set. Let's go home." Ruby chuckles, pointing down the road and smiling back at her sister as Yang casually walks towards the road.
As the day wears on, Yang rambles on about how she had taken out dozens of beowolves during their latest hunt. "…so then I did a backflip and punched the beowolf, launching it into the one behind it…" As the girls near a village, which lay as a waypoint between their hunting grounds and home, Ruby reflects on the fight, her brow furrowing. "…They were so scared…" she mumbles. She fiddles with the straps of her knapsack.
Yang barely listening to her sister and continues with her insane story "…I was surrounded so….then…..their jaws…punched through…" But Ruby isn't listening. She looks past the village in the distance, her silver eyes glazed over.
Seeing those little girls… scared that they would lose their families to the Grimm… It brings back those memories… Unknowingly, tears start to trail down the young girl's cheeks, her breath lightly hitching in her throat..
"...Ruby…?" Yang stops and watches Ruby listlessly meander forward "What's wrong…?" Yang's concern grows as Ruby's stops and turns to her, her eyes enveloped in tears. Quickly, Ruby tries to hide her tears, embarrassed and forlorn. She wipes at them fervently, though they continue to fall. She falls to her knees and sobs.
"It's…just…t...th…their…f…f…fa…faces," she tries to speak through hitched breathing. Come on Ruby get it together… You cannot just fall apart like this every time the Grimm attack a village.
"Ruby, it's ok... We saved them." Yang kneels and embraces the young girl, holding her sister close. "The Grimm will not be attacking that village anytime soon." Yang reflects inwardly on how, since the death of Ruby's mother, the only thing that could calm her and dry her tears was being held close.
After a few minutes, Ruby calms down enough for the tears to stop flowing. "Sorry, Yang..." she sighs, wiping the rest of the tears from her cheeks. "I'm ready to go home now..." Yang helps her sister to her feet and crushes her in a massive Ursa sized hug.
"Of course, Rubes! What are sisters for?" Dusting themselves off, they continue their journey back to Patch.
After few hours of walking
"Rubes, it feels like we have been walking for AGES." Yang whines dragging her feet in the sand. How is she still so energetic? Well, I mean it is Ruby after all... At least there's never a dull moment with her.
"Yeah we ha- Aahh!" Ruby stumbles on her words as she turns to answer her sister. It is as though she tripped on nothing and she falls forward, landing on her hands and knees. "Mmnn… I think it might be time to grab something to eat…" She groans and pushes herself off the ground.
Yang suddenly jumps with glee. "Yes! Perfect! I know there is an inn just a few minutes from here. They have some of the best stew in town." She was practically beaming.
How does Yang know so much about this town? Ruby nods and pulls herself to her feet. As they reach the edge of the village, they make their way toward the inn.
The village is quaint and simple.. The structures are made out of cobblestone infused with dust, a specialty only granted due to the villages proximity to the royal kingdom. The people feel safe and their positive energy permeates the entire town.
Yang confidently walks into the inn and makes her way to an empty table that seems to have multiple fist shaped dents in it.
Yang smiles at her sister. "Come on, Rubes, take a load off. This is my usual table," she says patting the seat next to her. Ruby is apprehensive. She looks around as sees that a lot of people are staring at them. She shifts in place for a moment before looking back at her sister..
"Uh... Yang, how many times have you been here exactly?" Ruby quietly asks as she pulls her chair towards the table. Ruby is only more nervous as they are approached by a petite waitress.
"Oh no... Yang… You know you really should not be here," says the young server.
Yang scoffs, "Why? Because Junior will be mad?" She points forcefully at the table, emitting a thud. "We just want two bowls of the usual, please."
The server simply shakes her head. "Must be your lucky day, Yang. Junior is out to the market right now. I will get your lunch, but try to be out of here before he gets back," she winks at Yang before walking off to grab the requested order.
Confusion crosses Ruby's face as she turns towards her sister "Yang, is it ok for us to eat here?"
"Yeah, Rubes. Don't worry. I'll handle anything that happens ok?" Yang smiles, hoping to put the younger girl at ease. After a moment, the server returns and places two large bowls on the table.
"And here we are your stews. Please do not let Junior see you ok?" the server, pensive and uneasy, hurries back to her other guests, not even bothering to take payment from the girls. The blonde hungrily tucks into get food and after a few quiet glances around the inn, Ruby digs in a well.
After eating their fill of stew and reveling in the feeling of full stomachs, Yang reminds the server to put the bill on her tab. She smiles at Ruby and motions for her to follow as they make their way out of the tavern. The girls weren't but a few feet out the door before they were stopped by an irate voice..
"Yang!" exclaimes a man standing in the doorway.
Yang groans and grimaces. "Hey, Junior... what do you want now?" The man walks out into the open. He is exceedingly tall with dark shaved hair and a trimmed, short beard. He crosses his arms as he approaches the girls. .
"I knew you would adventally pass by this way!" Junior exclaims.
"Do you mean eventually?" Ruby asks poking her head out from behind Yang.
"Adventally? What does that even mean…." Yang questions sarcastically.
"Who is this?," Junior asks irritated, trying to divert the subject away from his idiocy. .
Yang defensively pushes Ruby behind her, growling. "Does it matter who she is?" Ruby looks between the two, uneasy. She could tell Yang was getting upset.
"It matters not to me; I just want the coin you owe me. You know... after you nearly destroyed my bar and bruised up my barkeep!?" The man says with fury but cools his features with a smirk. "Just heard you finished another job so maybe now you have enough to pay up, Goldie Locks."
Oh no… he should not have called her that, Ruby thinks as she feels heat radiating from her sister. Yang snorts. She pulls her fist back and punches the man in the stomach. He falls to the ground holding his gut, letting out sharp breathes.
"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME!?" Yang screams. "Let's see what you have to say after this," she says, swiftly landing an uppercut on the man's chin as he moves to stand. Swiftly, she knocks the air from his lungs with another jab to the gut.
The man's head totters unsteadily, his eyes blink rapidly as if seeing lights and he wheezes, "we … we …. We …are…..eve-even…..please…" Junior holds his stomach tightly with his left arm and holds up his right hand in surrender.
In that instant, Yang's face switches to a big goofy grin, celebrating her victory. "Sounds good to me, Junior," she pivots on her heel and waves behind her. "See you next time." Her voice rang jovially. The man groans loudly as a woman comes out from the tavern and rushes over to help him up. She watches the duo walk away talking amongst themselves. The blonde was gesturing wildly, obviously bragging about her victory. Quietly to herself, the woman mutters that she hopes Yang won't be returning any time soon.
Another hour passes and the girls start to see some familiar landscapes. They cross the threshold of another village and take in the aroma. One scent in particular draws the younger girls' attention.
"COOKIES" Ruby yells, suddenly sprinting at full speed towards a bakery.
"Ooooiii… RRRRRUUUUBBBYYYY," Yang shouts, running behind her as fast as she can She falls behind quickly. "...or not…" She huffs. "I'll meet up with you in a second," calling out to the speed demon, she does her best to regain her barings.. Catching her breath, Yang walks further into her hometown of Patch at a slow pace, taking in the familiar sounds of dogs running wild. I wonder how Zwei is doing? She wonders. Knowing exactly where her young sister was going, Yang casually strolls to the bakery. Pushing her way into the crowded establishment, she sees her crimson clad sister sitting at the counter with a pile of empty plates already next to her. By the time Yang reaches Ruby, the young girl's coin purse was so light, the coins barely make any noise as Yang shakes the purse.
These are delicious, I wonder if Yang can learn to make these. Oooh! Or those! Ruby stuffs cookie after cookie into her mouth. But suddenly she shivers at the sound of knuckles cracking just behind her. She slowly turns around to see the blonde throwing people out of her way to get closer to the counter. Yang grips the cloak around Ruby's neck and rips her out of the seat. "… Yang, I-it-...uhhh…" Ruby looks up with a pout and whines "Yang nuuuuuuu," she protests, flailing her feet wildly as Yang drags her practically on her back out of the bakery.
"Come on, Rubes. Father is probably waiting for us. Plus I'm sure he wants to know how Crescent Rose held up this time." Yang loosens her grip on her younger sister as they near the edge of the village. Their home lay just beyond the border. As they approach the gate leading to their farm, Yang clenches her fists and cracks her knuckles once more. She thinks to herself, she is so lucky… My dear baby sister… How can someone eat so many cookies so fast…
"Ruby…" The elder sister sighs. "Straighten up and dust yourself off. At least look somewhat presentable for father."
Shooting up her fingers and pointing at Yang, Ruby hollers, "YOU'RE ONE TO TALK! LOOK AT YOUR TUNIC!" Ruby motions at Yang's completely torn up tunic and blood covered knuckles.
"Whatever." Yang shrugs nonchalantly. "How about we just go inside, hmm?" She says with a smirk.
"Yeah, yeah..." As soon as they enter the property, Ruby pushes her way into the house and they drop their belongings in their respective rooms, along with what little coin the two of them had left. Yang's right, better have Father look at Crescent Rose. The younger sister ponders as she reaches for her weapon, a magnificently crafted scythe with a crimson powder coated edge on the blade and a charcoal black colored surface. I bet she could use an oiling and some minor maintenance.
In her own room, Yang nods approvingly at her gauntlets,"I am sure father will be happy to hear I did not manage to break these…. yet,"she smashes her fists into each other. Emerging from their home a little more refreshed, the two walk towards their father's workshop as the sun begins its descent beyond the horizon.
A/N This is my first ever fanfic. Please be gentle with me. I have three amazing people helping me edit this but please feel free to leave comments. I will be trying to update this story bi-monthly every 15th and 30th of the month or last day if there is no 30th day. Also the story might be a little slow at the beginning but please bare with me.