You know, this is where I would usually go into greeting everyone happily at my return, explain myself, and all that familiar yadda yadda. But I just can't bring myself to do that this time.

Why? Well, that has to due to a certain troll review bombing me about updates.

Let's make this clear so there are no misunderstandings. I understand the frustration for a lack of updates to my RWBY stories. I know I'm a liar for promising more updates. I know I've been pretty lazy in writing anything for these stories as of late. I can't say I didn't see this coming for all the lip service I've made about continuing to upload for RWBY. Everyone is free to feel frustration and send PM's my way to talk about how upset they are. That's what that button is for.

But god damn it, if you're going to call me a bad person, a liar, and harass me about a work of fanfiction written by a guy who's doing it for fun than at least have the damn audacity to do it with an account and guest reviews. Seriously, it's irritating.

I'm not even going to say anymore to that person. I'm done with that. I want to talk to the real fans and patient readers who've kept waiting to hear something without going as far as too go into my other stories and review bomb me.

I want to explain myself honestly to everyone. No lies, no promises, nothing that can be taken out of context.

I'm not happy with my work. It's true, I do have chapters already finished. I could upload them. But the problem comes in how I'm unhappy with what I've written. I'm just not satisfied with how what I've typed down has come out, you know? Every time I try to continue writing for either of my RWBY stories, I find myself distracted by something else or just lacking the usual energy to do so. It most likely has to do with having gotten into a new fandom, coupled with all the crap I've been dealing with regarding my life outside of writing, but I was already running low on steam in writing for RWBY at that point. And I've tried telling myself I just need to keep writing and get over the slump.

But I'm still not satisfied with what I've come up with. I really don't know what it is that I'm lacking to get my fire going again. It's not like I've fallen out of love with RWBY; I still browse the site for more stories and I still watch the show. I've had no complaints and only good things to say about the latest volume, and I'm stocked for V8. Yet I'm still drawing a blank and growing unsatisfied with what I've done.

I'm not trying to say I'm abandoning my RWBY stories; I'd like to continue them. But when you've written 80K+ to be uploaded but find yourself unhappy and wanting to scrap it all to start from zero, you kinda find yourself struggling to keep writing.

So, I'm no longer going to make any promises on updates. I'm done with lying. If I update, I update. It'll be as simple as that. The only reason I'm updating right now is to speak up about all the harassment and let those who're reading this understand the situation.

If you're upset, if you have questions, if you want to understand more, please, send me a PM. Don't be so petty as to play the troll. If I can, I will answer back as best I can.

I really have nothing more to say right now. For those who are here to simply read, enjoy. You faithful and understanding fans deserve far more than one simple chapter as this.


Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to RWBY. All rights are reserved to RoosterTeeth and Monty Oum.


Chapter 3: Budding Supports.

The door to the infirmary shut behind Chrom with a click. Behind him, he could still hear the cheers and welcomes the newest member of his own militia was garnering. He couldn't help but smile as he added another friend to his growing list of comrades. It was always nice to meet a new face. After all, strangers were just friends you hadn't met yet.

Chrom was no doubt sure that Jaune Arc would make a great addition to the Ylisse. A promising warrior such as himself would fit nicely along with the others. Not to mention the blond's odd weapon was one of fascination. He scratched his chin in contemplation, wondering if he could somehow persuade the knight to lend it over to Miriel for study.

'It would be nice to have a sheath that doubled as a shield in battle. It would definitely come in handy with our infantry troops.'

True, Chrom wasn't much of a strategist. But even he wasn't dull enough to not think of how useful something as simple as Crocea Mors could be to their armory in mass production. The tactical value it possessed would no doubt be worth a fortune to merchants. It would surely be a boon to have such a weapon in the hands of their troops.

In his thoughts, Chrom hadn't even noticed his retainer, Frederick, walk alongside him through the halls of the castle. Ever vigilant and intimidating as ever. A normal person would bulk at the sheer sight of the stern-faced knight, and a soldier would tremble. It was funny seeing as not even the formidable iron wall that was Frederick the Weary could stomach even a morsel of bear meat. The mere smell caused the Great Knight to pale and subtly gag. Chrom's mouth did begin to water at the thought of the tasty wild meat before a cough from the loyal knight snapped him out of it.

"Are you sure of this, Chrom?"

"Hmm? Sure of what, Frederick?"

Frederick's stern features grew sharp even as his liege was ever ignorant at the problem at hand. As great as a man as the prince could be, even he had his faults. Far too trusting being one of the biggest.

"I am speaking of the two newest members of our militia. They are both strangers with no idea of the land they walk, both who could possess hidden agendas with the prince of Ylisse welcoming them into their homeland, and both conveniently possess something akin to amnesia. Do you not find any of that troubling?"

"No, not really." Chrom state offhandedly, throwing Frederick for a stumble. The stern knight scowled at the carefree way the prince was handling the situation.

"My prince, please think of this seriously! They are both strangers to the land who may very well be after your life! Maybe even the life of your sisters as well. Surely you must have some doubt!"

Again, Chrom didn't show any concern. He didn't slow down in his steps, even as Frederick paused to stare at the back of his prince with growing frustration.

"Frederick, I truly do appreciate everything you do for this kingdom. Even more so for my family and myself included. I can honestly say, you are one of the most trusted friends I can put my life in the hands of. But I am no fool. I know a threat when I see one as clear as day. You taught me as much." Chrom chuckled lightly before stopping for a moment. He craned his neck to gaze at the weary knight who would go through so much trouble as ridding pebbles out his way to avoid tripping, with fondness. His words were gentle yet stern as he spoke to his most loyal of comrades.

"But I know a good person when I see one. True, Robin and Jaune are both strangers. They know little to nothing of the world for reasons we know not of. And they may well be threats to others. But I've seen into their eyes and found kindred spirits within them both. All they want to do is find a place for themselves in this world, to be of help, and to prove themselves. In my eyes, they're people I would hate to abandon."

The infamous weary knight wasn't sure what to say back. His features were stern but did soften just a bit in the face of such earnest words. Doubt still remained and they weren't dulled in the slightest. His charge though knew that. In no way was Chrom telling him to stop doubting their newest recruits. The prince was simply telling him his thoughts and reasons. He had the power to command him to stop being suspicious.

But he would never have it in him to deny the kind of person Frederick was.

"You are far too trusting, my prince." Frederick said bluntly.

Chrom shrugged, turning back to return to his walk to wherever he was heading. No doubt to inform his sister, the Exalt, of the newest member of his militia.

"True, I will not deny that. But you'd be surprised how many allies one gains when faced with such deep trust. It may be a double-edged sword, but the kind of comrades I would gain from it is worth any kind of knife to the back."

While Frederick was still full of doubt and suspicion, not to mention frustration with the way his prince dealt with matters, he still faithfully followed close behind without another word.

He was not happy. But that was fine. As Chrom's retainer, he would continue keeping an eye out for his prince. Ever vigilant. Ever weary. Always keeping a sharp eye out for any threats to his prince and princess. It was fine when Frederick thought about it. Chrom could be as trusting as he pleased. The azure haired prince could welcome a sourly bandit who just attempted to chop his head off with a grin to their ranks for all he cared.

Because at the end of the day, Frederick would be the one right behind Chrom's back. Always keeping his eyes glued onto whatever threat he deemed dangerous for any kind of slip up. Then the razor edge of his ax would do the rest for him.

[-]

After some time, Jaune had seen his newest comrades leave to greet another member of their militia. If what he had heard was right, it would have to be the white-haired man who fired lightning out of his hands with a glowing yellow book. That still surprised Jaune. To think magic was actually something that wasn't but a fantasy in storybooks. If magic was a thing, maybe even he could use it!

Visions of epic battles with his shield and sword in hand began to play in that blond knight's mind, with the added touch of slinging balls of fire and gales of razor wind at his beck and call. Nothing would be any more awesome than that! Well, maybe if he could ride a dragon too.

Wait a minute. If magic was real, if zombies were real; did that mean that dragons were real too!?

The rest of Jaune's stay in bed consisted of his daydreaming of the possible future ahead of him. He didn't really have much else to do.

Illusions of grandeur were better than going hysterical at his situation. Since he was a stranger to the people, and its kingdom, he couldn't really leave his room to wander the castle. He was just made a member of its border militia, so he didn't want to make a bad first impression. From what he learned from interacting with the few people in this new world, they were old fashioned. It really was like he was thrown back in time to the days of The Great War.

Remembering that he was no longer in his world, Jaune found his illusions shattered and growing somber. Right, he almost forgot that he wouldn't be able to see his family anytime soon. Or Ruby, Yang, or Pyrrha. Not as long as he remained in this strange new world. Again, it was still hard for him to believe that he was just thrown off into another world.

His old life was now gone.

At least for the moment. Stubbornly, Jaune shoved down the sadness and slight tears in his eyes. If a magic gate brought him here than it could surely bring him back! All he had to do was find Marth again and have her take him home. It didn't matter how long it took to find the mysterious masked chick, he would find her. In the meantime, he could at least train with other warriors to become a proper Huntsman.

By the time he came back to his home, he would not only have stories to tell but experience to show off.

The door to the room creaked, signaling Jaune that he had a guest. Shutting the door behind them, Jaune smiled as he found the ball of energy that was Lissa walk in with another familiar face. The white-haired lightning slinger followed behind the cleric, smiling politely as he met Jaune's eye. The pigtailed blond rounded his hospital cot with a bright grin on her face, seeming to be struggling to contain whatever she wanted to say.

In a way, Lissa reminded Jaune of his younger sisters. And even Ruby. He felt that having her as a friend would help him get used to this new world. It was like a familiar presence in a strange new world.

"Hey there, Lissa. Back to see me so soon? Please tell me it's so that I can finally get out of this room. I'm growing stir crazy here." Jaune chuckled weakly.

He really was. With no comics, tv, or games to entertain him, he was bored. His own imagination could only entertain him for so long. Idly, he wondered if he still had his Scroll on him. That would be very helpful to have. He made a mental note to check his gear, which he left alone at the corner of the room, later when no one would disturb him.

Tapping her chin, Lissa took a closer look at Jaune's injuries. She was after all a healer. While it would have been better to use magic to patch him up, using it extensively would wear out his body. And her own. Sometimes it was just better to let your own body heal you.

"Well, I could give you a quick check-up. That would be helpful. I can't in good conscious let you go out to march with us if you're still in pain. Though a quick healing spell would fix that too." she said out loud before moving closer to inspect his injuries.

"Uh, march?" Jaune was confused.

Robin decided to speak in Lissa's stead as she began to carefully unwrap the bandages over Jaune's chest.

"It has been decided that the Shepherds are to march to Regna Ferox to discuss plans of a treaty of sorts in defense of the invading Plegian forces. Normally the Exalt herself would go to meet with the leader of the country, but the citizens don't wish for her majesty to leave the kingdom, not with the threat of assassins on her back. So, the prince and princess will go in her stead to form a treaty." Robin explained as best he could from what he heard.

Jaune blinked dumbly. Regna Ferox? Plegian? Exalt? Those were all terms he knew nothing about. Go figure.

Robin sighed, "I take it you have no idea what I'm speaking about?"

"Do you?"

A grin of sympathy answered Jaune's question from the amnesiac, "Can't say I fully do."

If he recalled correctly, Jaune was the same as Robin. Missing bits of his own memory. It was kinda comforting for Robin to know that he wasn't the only one with no idea of what was going on around him. He had a brother in arms, learning about the world beside him with no place in this strange world.

"Robin's like you. He must have gotten conked in the head real bad to lose all of his memories. Though, I guess not exactly like you. At least you remember your name and home. Robin though; nothing. Not one recollection of his life before we found him sleeping in daisies." Lissa commented with a growing frown on her face as she examined Jaune's wounds.

Jaune couldn't help but stare at Robin with a quirked brow, "Daisies?"

"They were dandelions." Robin sighed before changing the subject, "So, you are like me? You can't remember how you got here?" he asked curiously.

"Kinda? It's hard to say." Jaune lied. He couldn't tell them he came from another world. That was crazy. So, he had to come up with a story, "I remember my home and family, among other things, even how I got here, but there are missing pieces. Like, I can't remember the name of my village or anything more significant like world events. All I do know is that I followed Marth through her gate and wound up dropping down into a fight with zombies. For all I know, I could be from the other side of the world." he chuckled lightly.

It sounded good to Jaune. A form of selective memory loss. And the idea that he could have been, for all purposes, someone from the other side of the planet would help to explain his weird or odd customs. Not to mention his weapon. From what Jaune gathered, this wasn't the most technological civilization. He doubted they even knew how to reach the other side of the world or that it existed. Hopefully.

Seeing as Jaune was an amnesiac, Robin nodded along to the explanation. After all, he was far worse than Jaune. He knew next to nothing of the world as a whole. He was similar to a slate whose writings had been erased.

"Well, I suppose we both have much to learn about our new world than." Robin said kindly with a smile. Jaune did the same, finding even himself comforted that he wasn't alone. It was nice to have a kindred spirit in these circumstances.

"Okay, this isn't making any sense! Did one of the healers already get to you?"

Turning back to Lissa, Jaune found the young cleric poking at his chest with a frustrated frown.

"A healer? Not that I know of?" Jaune answered unsurely.

"Than how are your wounds healed? It hasn't even been a day since we returned to the castle. And I healed some of your injuries but left the lesser ones alone to heal by themselves. But you don't seem to have been hurt at all! There's not so much as a scratch!"

Poking Jaune's chest a bit more with force out of frustration, Lissa was further dumbfounded to find her finger meeting resistance in the form of white energy bounce her touch back. She gaped at the light that pulsed over his chest in some kind of warning. That was certainly a first in her line of healing.

Jaune flinched. Yeah, he wasn't sure how to go about explaining his aura. One of the questions in his head was answered though. This world didn't seem to know of aura. Funny, they could use magic, but not aura.

"That's my Aura." Jaune answered the unasked question as both Lissa and Robin stared at him. In his mind, he didn't think it would hurt to let them know about it. If he was to be fighting alongside them, they would eventually find out about it. And there really wasn't any harm in knowing about it.

"It's basically my soul given form to protect me from harm. Kinda like a magical barrier that clings onto my body to heal and empower me."

"Aura? I never even knew that you could use it to do something like that!" Lissa exclaimed in both surprise and excitement. She moved close to Jaune again, repeatedly poking her finger aggressively against his chest. To her wonder, the energy returned to defend Jaune's body from even the slightest bit of harm to his person. She couldn't help but giggle as she began to throw a few light punches into the defended field of energy.

Aura was not a new concept to those of this world. Many who worked within the arcane arts knew of the odd electrical veil that all humans possessed. It was used to measure one's mood and was a sign of life to those who also studied the healing arts. It was said that some high ranking Generals were capable of producing a powerful force of energy to protect them from lethal blows. Maybe the two were related in some way?

"Please stop that!" Jaune groaned

"Can you feel this! Lissa Slap!"

Jaune felt no sympathy for the pigtailed healer as she slapped his face with a grin only to begin flailing her throbbing hand around in pain. He only looked at her dully for even thinking of slapping him. Protective field or not, that was just rude.

Robin couldn't help but look on with fascination. From what the white-haired amnesiac learned of himself, he was a curious man who had a thirst for knowledge. Seeing this Aura in effect brought out the muse and thinker in him. To think such an ability existed. Magic was common to him, a subject that seemed to be ingrained into his head no differently than the ability to walk and speak. Other aspects of knowledge were known to him, such as the try and true weapon triangle theory. But the ability of Aura was a fascinating unknown his mind didn't possess knowledge of.

"Amazing. It seems to react to any kind of damaging force that comes into contact with your body. It's even automatic. Not only does it protect, but you said heal and empower, correct?" Robin asked curiously, wanting nothing more than to learn of this new discovery.

The white haired tacticians curious nature was already in playing. He wanted nothing more than to learn all he could about the mystical energy that served as a shield and a staff to its wielder. If such a technique or energy could be taught to others, than all the better.

Tactics would be changed and evolved with the inclusion of this aura ability in the hands of troops.

Jaune shrugged, ignoring Lissa's cries of pain along with Robin as he explained, "From what I understand, yes. I can't say I'm an expert on this stuff. I only just recently learned I could do this myself. But as great as it is, it's not infinite. The more I use it, the more my aura depletes until it's gone. It'll come back once it recharges, but I'll be defenseless in the meantime and unable to do anything that it benefits."

"That is interesting. From what I can gather from what I've seen of you in battle, along with your ability, you would be better suited for the role of General? No, you are also agile with little armor to slow you down. Maybe a Myrimodon? But you use a shield and don't possess the incredible speed they do."

Robin began to mutter to himself, finger stroking his chin as several different battlefield units came to mind involving the blond knight.

He was already thinking of how to properly advise Jaune out on the battlefield in the coming fights to come. He was after all appointed as the strategist. Which meant he needed to understand how to best use his troops when faced with an enemy. The role of Knight didn't really suit the boy who possessed an odd mix of other specs several units possessed naturally.

It was almost as if the blond boy was a modifiable unit, no different than clay to be shaped to better fit the field in time.

Jaune didn't understand any of what Robin was saying. Something about proper placement and partners? It almost sounded like the mutterings of some tile-based RPG he used to play back home.

"I don't know what you mean by General or Myr-something. But I'm a Huntsman. In training."

"Huntsman?" Robin hummed in contemplation at the strange new unit term.

Huntsman. A unit that could reduce the damage of whatever attack he was hit with depending on the severity of the blow with Aura; an ability that loses its effectiveness with every hit.

Capable of healing their own wounds as they held a moderate amount of aura as well without the need of a Healer or healing time in desperate times. Moderate movement that could improve.

The unit's range was short, better suited for close-quarters combat.

A strong Defense.

Moderate Attack.

Resistance unknown.

Skill unknown.

And uses a special weapon type Robin would now dub as Sheilth. A unit that was suited for fighting heavy hitters to act as a rampart of sorts, ill-suited against ranged units, and effective against beasts. High potential in the battlefield.

Journal in hand, Robin was already furiously scribbling down the newest unit class into his journal. Several battle formations were already being formed in his head that he excitedly began to adjust.

'If he was back in my world, I'm sure he would be one hell of a gamer.'

Finally easing the pain throbbing in her hand, Lissa huffed as she returned to Jaune's bedside with a pout.

"As cool as that trick is, I think I should get back to why I'm here. Chrom wanted to let you know that we'll be marching tomorrow morning to Ferox. Of course, it's a voluntary mission. So, he wanted me to ask you if you wanted to go along?" Lissa said brightly, "If you're feeling up to it, you'll be coming along with us on your first mission! And we can even help you learn about a few things about the kingdom while we're at it. So, what do you say?"

Go on a mission to a foreign land he knew nothing about? Or stay in bed.

It wasn't even a question.

"Do I even need to answer? Of course, I'm coming! Besides, I want nothing more than to learn about this part of the world I'm in." Jaune grinned excitedly.

The more he learned, the closer he would get to finding a way home. And the more he traveled, the closer he would be to finding Marth. Plus he would love nothing more than to gain some experience from seasoned professional fighters.

[-]

"I don't know what I found more appealing! The Grimm, or zombies!"

"They're called Risen, dear comrade."

"LIKE I CARE WHAT THEY'RE CALLED! THIS ONE'S TRYING TO LITERALLY BITE MY HEAD OFF!"

The next morning had come quicker than Jaune had anticipated. By the time he woke up, he had already been cleared to leave. Since it was his first time moving out with the Shepherds, Lissa and Vaike had been helpful in assisting him in preparing for the march to another new land, gathering the necessary materials needed for the road while explaining the reasons for them. Well, Lissa did. Vaike was pretty much there just to chat with the newest member of their team and try to borrow Crocea Mors.

It seemed that his simple old sword and shield had gained more popularity in this world than his own. Now it truly felt special.

Packed up and ready for the march ahead, Jaune had met with the rest of the Shepherds that had volunteered to met with the leader of Regna Ferox. Proper introductions were made this time as he was greeted by the red-haired horseback lancer who had saved his bacon the other day, Sully. He had also met Frederick, a literal walking grand knight with a stern expression that screamed not to mess with him. Then there was Stahl, another cavalier in green armor who seemed pretty laid back with a love for food. And of course, there was Virion.

Right eye twitching, Jaune swiftly deployed his shield in time to block a downward chop intent to split him down the middle. Again, he found the newly dubbed zombie called Risen, lean its menacing stitched together decayed face to his own. Its broken jagged teeth furiously chomped forward.

It seemed that it didn't need a weapon to draw blood. Scratching and biting weren't beneath the dead.

"Damn it, Virion! Shoot the thing already! SHOOT IT IN ITS FUCKING FACE!"

The ever-elegant azure archer poised a finger in wait to the shouting blond knight behind him. His sights were drawn elsewhere on the battlefield. A forlorn sigh escaped his lips while he spun an arrow in his hand. His aim was true as ever as drew and fired.

Out in the field, Sully found one of the Risen she was more than happy to run through with her lance topple over. A feathered arrow could be found stabbing through its forehead.

"Damn it, Frills! Don't steal my kills or I'll kill you!"

"Isn't she lovely, Jaune?" Virion sighed dreamily, watching by as the red-haired cavalier began to skewer several of the undead.

Jaune wasn't sure. He was far too busy fighting to push off the cruel teeth of an eager Risen troop breathing down his face.

"STOP LEERING AT SULLY'S ASS AND KILL THIS THING ALREADY! I DON'T WANT TO TURN INTO THE UNDEAD! I HAVEN'T EVEN HAD MY FIRST KISS YET!"

There! He said it! Jaune admitted to his greatest of all shames to the entire world! You know, other than 'borrowing' his family's ancestral weapon and cheating his way into one of Remnant's most notorious combat schools without any combat experience.

Rolling his eyes, Virion dully aimed his bow back. He didn't even spare the Risen the honor of his sights. He fired a single arrow, piercing its forehead like the one before. The Risen troop staggered back, moaning as the critical hit rendered it motionless.

That was just what Jaune needed. Spying his sword on the ground, he eagerly snatched it up and cut down the Risen with a horizontal slash. It was reduced to a miasma of darkness soon after.

Heaving from the near close death, Jaune spun around to shout at the flamboyant archer for abandoning him to stare at Sully.

"Did I hear correctly? Truly, you've never felt the taste of a woman upon thy lips? Surely, you jest!"

The shout on Jaune's lips was swallowed as he quickly found Virion staring him dead in the eye. The archer stroked his chin in interest at the knight, making Jaune feel a lot more nervous than he was fighting the living dead. He couldn't help but sweat anxiously.

"Uh, I don't think now is the tim-"

"Gods above! It's true! Why you must not fall here, Jaune! No, you must live on so that I! The Archest of Archers can assist you in becoming a true man! For how can a warrior fell demons if he hasn't even the memory of a maiden's sweet kiss in his heart to push him forward!" Virion shouted dramatically to the entire battlefield or warriors and Risen.

"NOW IS REALLY NOT THE TIME, VIRION!"

Spying an opening, one of the ax-wielding Risen rushed forward to the two distracted men. Its beady red eyes glowed maliciously as its ax gained a dangerous glint. It was ready to deal a devastating hit. It moaned and jumped up into the air, diving straight down for a hammering chop to split either warrior's heads like a log.

Eye twitching, Jaune reacted quickly. Crocea Mor's shield deployed from his sheath to block the attack from above. A clang of steel rang out that slightly budged him back a step. Somehow the Risen was kept afloat in its diving position, stamping its feet onto the large shield to rear its ax back to hammer away at the white steel. Muscles reinforced by aura, Jaune pushed the Risen off back into the air. The undead was like a rag doll in the air, limbs flying as gravity began to send it back.

Virion smirked, his sights already locked onto the undead pest. Before it could hit the ground, he fired a salvo of arrows to render the dead lump of flesh into a nice pin cushion. A dark miasma of purple hit the dirt as the Risen was felled by the combo.

"Perhaps you are correct, Jaune. We have plenty of time to discuss such important matters once the fighting is over. Fear not, the great and grand Virion will make sure that you become a man by week's end! After all, what lady could resist a man in armor and feats of heroism against evil?"

Yeah, Jaune was just going to tune out his partner for a bit.

Three more Risen had launched themselves at both Jaune and Virion not a moment later. The blond knight was forced to go on the defensive, moving his shield in front of his body to block the wild and ferocious swings of the Risen's swords and axes. Meanwhile, Virion stuck close to his back, setting his aim's on any Risen he found straggling away from the rest of the Shepherds. The blue archer focused entirely on sniping, caring little for any Risen that may edge close for a fatal hit. As long as Jaune was at his back, Virion didn't have to worry. The blond knight would simply move to block any attacks that would come at him.

That was Robin's plan after all. In only a day since the white hair amnesiac had met his new comrades, he had already come up with several tactics on the battlefield that would suit them all. His two team tactics were the pride and joy of his planning. By having everyone on the field close by another Shepherd, they could all increase their attack power and defense, even mobility with certain units. By pairing up, they could deal with stronger opponents while cutting back on injuries. It was truly a well thought out tactic.

Well thought out, but not perfect when matching the pairings personalities.

From the corner of his eye, Jaune could make out the sight of Lissa running off into the battlefield, staff held high above her head with the intent to bash an already weakened Risen to dust. The girl had a war cry on her lips as Frederick and his stead frantically ran after her. The weary knight's face was panicked. It seemed even a great knight like Frederick couldn't even reel in the young princess. On the other side of the field, Jaune could also see Sully running her lance through any Risen stupid enough to think it could take her.

'Wasn't she suppose to be watching over Vaike?'

Speaking of Vaike, the shirtless beef head blond was currently searching the field for an ax. Because he forgot his own. The Vaike was in the middle of a battlefield without a weapon to defend himself with. He also had no armor to protect him from even a simple blow. Basically, he was a sitting duck scratching his head while he moved around the battlefield full of hostile undead, eyes searching the ground for his ax like a child searching their filthy room for their favorite toy.

Luckily Stahl was around to deal with any Risen that would try to jump on Vaike. The gray-haired food-obsessed cavalier was frantically sweating as he stabbed the head of another Risen that strayed close to the blond ax warrior that was searching through the grass for an ax that may have dropped.

And to everyone's confusion, an unknown force was taking out several Risen. An invisible entity stood like a wall in the battlefield. Blood could be seen flying as the invisible force destroyed every Risen that passed it by. Whatever that unseen entity was seemed to be undetectable by even the undead. Almost like a fallen warrior had crossed through the other side to aide them in their fight against evil!

". . .So, not even the Risen can see me. I thought wearing this armor would make me stand out, but it doesn't. I wonder if anyone even knows I joined them in the march?"

Foul righteous spirit, begone!

And then there was Jaune and Virion.

Jaune wasn't sure what Robin was thinking when he partnered him up with a womanizing archer. From what he remembered, the tactician had said that they would each cover the other's weaknesses. Even with Jaune's high defense and aura to help block out damage, he wasn't what you would call high in attack and lacked speed/movement. As an Archer, Virion possessed a rather decent attack power, which could prove fatal to certain units. The only problem was that he lacked defense and would be powerless against groups.

With this formation thought, Jaune would be the defense that would revolve around Virion to shield him from attacks and draw in aggro to keep any units from going after the archer. Virion would be the sharpshooter, tagging whatever Risen would circle them while providing support to any of their allies close by. When Jaune thought about it, it was a well thought out strategy. Now if only Virion would take things seriously and stop eyeing Sully.

Out of all the new pairings that Robin had created, only one of them really worked. Said team was also the one to deal the finishing blow to the Risen mob.

"Together!"

Blades drawn close to the ground, the team that was Chrom and Robin both charged at the Risen boss. The head of the Risen was badly wounded, its limbs hanging by threads. Weakly it tried to raise its sword to counter. But the two warriors closed the distance within the time it took to prepare a swing. With a flash of silver steel and bronze, the Risen found its chest drawn with an X. A gurgled moan was drawn from its lips as it faded away.

It was with a relieved sigh that Robin knelt on his knees once the Risen boss was defeated. For whatever reason, the Risen seemed to wither away once the leading Risen was slain. The rest that remained would lose their spirits to put up much of a fight and would attack without much direction. They became no better than raging beasts. They were much easier to deal with in that regard. With the boss defeated, Robin turned his eyes to the rest of his small army to bask in the glow of their well-organized victory.

"Damn it! It's over already?! The Teach didn't even get the chance to smack down one lousy braindead goon!"

"You're still alive? I would have thought those ugly mugged bastards would have chopped off your head."

"It's over? Does that mean we can take a break and eat lunch? I can't go on another moment longer if I don't at least get a muffin! My blood sugar's dangerously low."

"Ho, ha! Take that you stupid undead freaks! Fear the wrath of the mighty Lissa!"

"Please, princess! Don't go running off like that! You're not suited for battle! And stop whacking the Risen miasma!"

"Now that the beasts are defeated, let's return to our plans for finding you a nice maiden to kiss! Why I dare say I can even have you lay with a beautiful woman by the end of it!"

"Stop talking about my virginity so casually! The last thing I want is a wingman like you!"

"Did anyone see how many Risen I killed? Anyone?"

". . .Hmm? What's this? It seems to be an iron ax, dropped without so much of a thought. Now, who could be so brainless to drop their weapon on the battlefield?"

Robin wasn't sure what to make of the sight of his troops.

What he could gather was that Lissa was smacking the lingering smoke of the Risen, Frederick was fretting over the small wisps that touched the princesses dress, Stahl was digging through what he believed was the green armored cavalier's snack sack for a treat like some junkie, Sully was cleaning off her spear of blood far from her partner with annoyance, Vaike was grinning nervously as a red-haired spectacle mage handed him his ax with a glare on her face, and Virion and Jaune were currently arguing over something concerning the blond knight's chastity.

Oh, and some disembodied voice was once again haunting their ranks. Investments in holy water were already being made. Robin was going to have to make a not of having their little band of warriors enlist a priest to banish that foul yet gallant spirit.

'These are the men and women I'm supposed to lead into battle? I don't think even recruits act as they do.' Robin massaged the bridge of his nose.

Why did he now just feel that he had more than he bargained for as tactician? Was this why the position had been open? Because no sane or wise strategist would dare to lead such a chaotic pack of warriors?

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Robin turned to find Chrom grinning. The prince's eyes were locked onto the loud and rambunctious warriors with amusement.

"I know they may not seem like much, but they're reliable. Even if they do act like children."

It seemed that Chrom could tell what Robin was thinking.

"Well, they did defeat the enemy without much injury. And no casualties." Robin remarked. Even if Sully abandoned her partner to do her own thing.

"In thanks to you! You are after all the one guiding us. I remember the last time we all had to deal with bandits without you. I think Vaike suffered a broken arm, Stahl was thrown off his horse, Lissa was grazed by an arrow, and Sully saw red and slaughtered several of the bandits while dealing with an arrow herself that was dug into her back."

"What about Frederick?" Robin couldn't but ask curiously.

To that Chrom stared at Robin dully.

"Have you seen the guy? I'm sure I've seen him knock down an archer with a stern glare once. The man's walking suit of heavy armor that can chop down a tree with one swing of an ax. He doesn't get hurt much by small fry. I'm sure he'll become much more of a threat with you guiding him onto the battlefield."

Out of all of them, Frederick was the most seasoned warrior. Which was why he was appointed to watch over both Chrom and Lissa. Half the time, Chrom had relied on only Frederick and himself to deal with the enemy while the others picked off the lesser and weakened units. It wasn't that Chrom believed his friends were weak compared to the two them, but he just wasn't sure how to lead them. Most of his orders were to let them attack the enemy in their own way.

Robin smiled at the praise. Even without truly knowing who he was, he at least found himself with a new identity. Robin the tactician. The knowledge he did retain was a blessing. With it, he found himself with comrades and even a job. And while he felt the emptiness and longing for the memories he lost, the new memories he was making were helping to ease the pain. As Robin gazed at his comrades rather unique antics and personalities, he felt a new purpose growing.

"Hmm, well I suppose I'll just have to learn to deal with their personalities next. I know enough about their combat abilities, but little else about them themselves. A good tactician knows how his troops fight, but a great tactician knows how his troops think. And an even greater tactician knows why his troops fight to the bitter end other than duty."

Robin didn't just want to be a tactician that thought of his troops as nothing more than chess pieces. The very thought brought a bitter taste to his mouth. No, he wanted to get to know his troops. Not just to know how to properly place them around the battlefield, but to become their comrade. Their friend. Because that was what he was seeing at the moment.

Not a bunch of rowdy warriors who should act stern and disciplined like proper soldiers in arms. But a bunch of friends freely interacting with another without care for titles or rules. And he wanted to be part of that too.

With the new purpose in mind, Robin walked towards his comrades with the intent to get to know each and every one of them. They had a long march ahead, what better time to begin than now?

[-]

The march to Regna Ferox had continued once the Shepherds had dealt with the Risen. Of course, since the march ahead was long, it wasn't much longer until the small militia had agreed to stop for a spell and rest by a nice field by a creek. Though their mission was important, it would be foolish to run themselves ragged before they even reached the border. Nothing would be less impressive than a group of warriors who were dead tired, hungry, dirty, and wounded when meeting with the ruler of a country.

After setting up camp, the Shepherds divulged themselves in their own habits as they rested. Sully decided it would be great to go for some light sparring with Chrom, to which Vaike had jumped in to join as well. Lissa rested by the creek, splashing her feet in the water without care after treating the few wounds on anyone after their battle. Frederick, being ever vigilant, wandered off to clear the dirt road ahead of any pebbles that would get in the way of Chrom's path. Virion, after pestering Jaune with his plans to meet a nice town maiden in their next stop, had begun to stock his arrows and maintain his bow with a cup of tea. And Stahl helped himself to whatever he had left in his snack sack by the campfire as he greedily watched over the stew they were cooking.

Now, where did that leave Jaune himself? Well, he was currently sitting by the camp along with a certain red-haired mage that was running her hands over his beloved family weapon with fascination.

"Miriel, I said no. I don't care how interested you are in Crocea Mors design, you can't just dismantle it!" Jaune shouted in annoyance. "It's a family heirloom for god's sake! It's over a hundred years old!"

"A hundred years old?"

Miriel said in awe as she continued to examine the wonder of technology in her hand. Oh, how she wanted nothing more than to understand how it was built. The sheer knowledge she could gain from taking it apart would change the ways weapons were made! It would be the breakthrough of the century!

"From how advance it is, I would have believed it was a new age weapon. But the scratches and nicks on the blade itself attest to the age. The shealth as you call it doesn't appear to have suffered much damage or age as the sword, speaking of its materials being made of a new kind of metal I have yet to see. I find it hard to believe that such an innovation is over a hundred years old. I would have thought that whoever created it would have shared their invention with the world by now."

"Well, it's a family weapon. Other than myself, it hasn't seen any battles in over a century. The last person to use it was an ancestor of mine. My family has mostly kept it hanging over the fireplace at home as a decoration." Jaune said casually.

Miriel appeared aghast at the information.

To think they would just use such a marvel as a home decoration! The very discovery of a weapon capable of shifting into a new one was revolutionary. If she could discover how a simple sheath could turn into a shield, she was sure she could replicate the function into other methods of transformation with enough time and research.

It was funny, Jaune thought to himself as he talked with the cool faced mage. She didn't seem the type to show too many emotions that betrayed her calm and collected personality. Yet he could he see that she was just itching to learn all that she could about Crocea Mors. She looked like a child who was just given a new toy to play with.

A toy she wanted to take apart, piece by piece.

The moment that Miriel had joined the Shepherds and spotted Jaune revert his shield back into its sheath, she had been by his side with question after question. Where did he get such a unique weapon? What was it made of? Who designed its transformation features? What was his weapon's weight? Her curiosity was obvious to see, the hunger for knowledge she wasn't aware of practically gleamed in those aloof eyes like a giddy girl about to venture off into her first day of school.

He was almost afraid to let her know about his Aura. She seemed to be the scientific type, possibly mad scientist with how eager she was with learning how to take apart Crocea Mors. This wasn't exactly Jaune had pictured having a pretty woman hovering over him.

"Jaune, I again ask you, please allow me to study your Crocea Mors inner workings. I promise I'll only take the shield apart and leave the sword alone." Miriel calmly asked with the shealth hugged closely to her breast. It was like she was begging a friend to take home their adorable stuff bear.

It would have been cute if it weren't for the fact she was going to remove every stitch of his 'teddy bear'.

"The shealth is what I'm worried about! It's like asking someone to borrow the gun but leave the bullets!"

"A gun? What is that?" Miriel asked curiously as Jaune blanched.

Right, different world. The deadly discovery that was a gun hadn't been thought up of. Maybe it was better that way.

Pinching his brows in frustration, Jaune did his best to take back his precious family heirloom. It was all that he had left of his world. That and his Scroll. He couldn't help but feel a shiver go down his back. If the red-haired mage found out about that, she would probably burn him alive so she could take it off his hands to study over. He wasn't sure that was a good idea right now.

Technology was a tricky double-edged sword that could either improve the lives of many or doom the lives of others. He wasn't really sure it would wise to suddenly introduce something as simple as his Scroll to this old-age world. Who knows what kind of ripple effects he could create?

"Miriel, I can't just let you dismantle Crocea Mors. I know it's a huge discovery for you, but it's a precious family heirloom that's been passed down to every firstborn son of the Arc family. Nothing you could ever offer would be enough to allow you to-"

"Ah, then it's a favor you desire. I see."

Blinking owlishly, Jaune than bore witness to the cool faced Miriel removing her glasses and mage's hat that he was sure belonged to a witch. And to his gaping horror, he watched the beauty subtly unbutton one of the buttons to her robe, leaving an alluring peek of her skin.

"I am above such uncouth things, but this is the discovery of a lifetime. So, I suppose trading for such secrets that can change the field of weaponry and more for something so simple as nightly companionship is a more than a fair trade. If anything, I feel that you are asking for far too little." Miriel coolly stated as she leaned closer to the red-faced blond knight.

'Okay, just what the hell kind of world have I dropped myself into! Who the hell would sleep with someone for an old, hundred-year-old sword and shield! And just what kind of guy do you take me for!? I'm not so desperate as to trade my family's treasure for a booty call!'

Snapping his jaw back in place, Jaune carefully pushed the red-haired mage off of him with a nervous chuckle, glaring faintly at Virion in the background who winked and gave him a thumb's up. With the glasses and hat off, he could now see just how beautiful the woman was. She kinda reminded him of Professor Goodwitch; the blond disciplinary professor that had greeted all the first years back in Beacon. Mentally he was kicking himself for pushing off such a sexy mature woman.

"I-If I agree to let you just look Crocea Mors over until we head back to our march, will you agree to never mention this to anyone?" he gulped nervously.

Miriel simply quirked a fine brow before nodding. Buttoning up her blouse and putting her lenses place back on, she stepped away from the blushing knight with a small victorious smile.

"I thank you most graciously, Jaune. I promise to return your precious weapon in perfect condition. With a few modifications as well." Miriel calmly said in a bright tone before heading off into a tent to begin her venture into a scientific breakthrough.

Calming his beating heart from its mad drumming, Jaune suddenly sat up in alarm as she shouted at the retreating back of the mage.

"I said look it over! Don't take my baby apart!" he cried.

He was beginning to sound like Ruby now. Oh, how he hated himself for taking his beloved Crocea Mors for granted. For all he knew, the little show of skin was all part of Miriel's plan! She was a witch!

Crying over his weapon in the hands of an eager scientist, Jaune was accompanied by a new visitor sitting beside him as he was blinded by tears.

"Are you sure it was a smart idea to allow Miriel to walk away with your weapon? From what I've learned of her, she's more than likely to take it apart."

Sighing, Jaune sat back on a log alongside the purple-robed tactician, Robin.

"She had me under her spell. I was weak and now Crocea Mors is doomed to the hands of some chick's cold hands. As always, I was completely powerless." Jaune whimpered.

Robin couldn't help but chuckle. He had seen what had happened. It was an interesting strategy on Miriel's part, he had to admit. The woman was truly cunning. His mind was already working over how to use her skills in magic on the field.

"So, what are you doing, Robin?" Jaune asked, taking Robin out of his thoughts of tactics to look back at the knight. Smiling, Robin reached into his coat's pockets to take out a leather-bound journal and quill.

"Well, I thought it would be a good idea to learn more about my comrades other than their abilities. I've already talked with most of the Shepherds about themselves. You are one of the only ones left to talk with. Not to mention it helps to kill some time before we head out again."

"Making profiles, huh? I guess that is smart of a tactician to do." Jaune said with a sigh as he stretched out his arms. "What do you wanna know? Fair warning, I don't recall much with the whole memory loss here; nothing but personal matters have really stuck." he chuckled while motioning with a knock to his head.

Robin nodded as he opened up his journal. While Jaune's memory loss wasn't as bad himself, there would be certain things the knight wouldn't be able to recall. From what Robin gathered, Jaune's memory loss pertained to things such as places and historical events. Asking him to name his home wouldn't yield him any information. It be better to ask him personal things, the simple matters.

"Fair enough. First of all, do you recall your birthday month?"

Jaune scratched the back of his head, "I guess that would be the 5th of May?"

"Favorite food?"

Tough question to answer. Jaune wasn't sure this world had such a wonder as chicken nuggets. He was going to have to see if he could somehow recreate it with what little he knew, "Roasted chicken with french fries."

Robin paused his writing to stare at Jaune with curiosity, "French fries? I don't believe I've ever heard of such a thing."

"Well, it's something my home created. I don't think anyone else would know about it." Jaune covered his slip with a quick lie.

Robin nodded without care, writing down the interesting note.

"And what is your hobby? What do you like to do in your free time?"

Jaune pursed his lips, trying to come up with an answer that fitted this new world. He loved to play video games, watch tv, and read comics. None of which existed here, that he was sure of. Pretty much everything he found pleasure in was gone now, huh.

"I like to play games, watch plays, and read, I guess." Jaune shrugged halfheartedly with a tinge of wistfulness. While this talk was nice for Robin to get to know more about him, it was starting to depress Jaune. He was beginning to realize just how out of place he was. And how he wouldn't even be able to indulge in his old favorite pass times. Everything which had made him smile was out of his reach.

Only now did it really hit him how much he was missing home. Weird how melancholy could set in so suddenly.

Robin hummed in interest, inwardly taking note of Jaune's disposition. He could sense a tone of sadness. In hopes of cheering him up a bit, he decided to continue the subject.

"Games? What kind of games did you play? From I've learned, you're not a citizen of Ylisse or any land close by. It seems you have different manners and culture compared to the rest." Robin asked.

In Robins's observation of all his troop, he had made notes of all their quirky natures and way of speaking. Sully was rough around edges, acting more of a man than most of their troops; not counting Frederick. Stahl was gentle, speaking to others like they had been friends since childhood; he was a friendly person by nature. Frederick was stern and spoke with command in his voice; he was rather uptight but cared for those he trusted. The list went on. But one person had stood out among all those quirky individuals.

Jaune was an abnormality. His dialect was rather disrespectful when compared to others, lacking formality when compared to the likes of Frederick. Not in the way he insulted others with foul words, but in the way that his words were far too...carefree? No, that wasn't it. It was more...casual. Though Jaune was a knight by appearance, he didn't act anything like one. In a way, he appeared alien to the others. Like a piece to a puzzle that didn't quite fit in despite appearing as all the other pieces.

Perhaps that had to due to the fact that the blond knight was from another side of the continent. That would certainly explain it. But still, there was just something odd about his new friend.

Scratching the back of his head in thought, Jaune tried to answer the question as best he could. Again, video games were out of the question. Which pretty much left him with one other form of entertainment he loved.

"Back home we would play a lot of board games. I know one of my younger sisters loved to play chess, which I sucked at. My second older sister loved to play Twister since it helped to keep her limber. My third older sister always dragged me off to play poker since she loved to gamble. The twins loved to play any game that had to do with money. And my youngest sister always played this childish game called SweetLand." Jaune said fondly in memory of his sisters.

"How many sisters did you have?"

"About seven."

Robin made sure to save that interesting piece down into his journal. So, he came from a big family?

"And what game did you like to play?"

"Dungeons and Grimm." Jaune said automatically before wincing. Right, the Grimm didn't exist. How lucky for them. Then again, they were stuck with the walking dead.

"Dungeons and Grimm," Robin said with some fascination. "And what was this game about? I'm not familiar with the other games you mentioned other than poker, but this one sounds interesting."

Jaune felt himself grin a bit. Dungeons and Grimm was the game he had played since way back as a child. It was the ultimate game for a person who wanted to be a hero! It was too bad none of his sisters shared the same love of it as he did.

"It's this awesome board game based on adventure itself! You choose your class of hero with stats of their own while maneuvering on a board created as a dungeon that someone else created with monsters called Grimm! It's the ultimate game of strategy, chance, and teamwork! It's a game that's always changing and no playthrough is ever the same. It takes a real man of strategy to conquer a dungeon with his team." Jaune rambled on with some pride at the end.

Jaune didn't like to brag, but he was a great Dungeons and Grimm player. Which was why he was considered a dork by others. Honestly, he was a fan of games with strategy. He may not be a fighter, but he could at least plan his attacks out.

Now Robin was really intrigued. The game Jaune had spoke sounded more up his own alley. Stroking his chin, he couldn't help but ask more about the game. To which Jaune was more than happy to explain as he borrowed a page from Robin's journal to better show off how it worked.

The sense of homesickness Jaune had felt had left him. He even forgot about the horrors that Crocea Mors had fallen under at the hands of an overly curious mage. Even Robin had forgotten to continue asking his questions about his newest friend. In the next hour, the two had gotten engrossed in talking about a game that didn't even exist in this world.

At least for now.

Already, Jaune had begun to change the world in his own unique way. A new game would come to be created by two dorks. A game like Dungeons and Grimm was complicated, but not impossible to recreate from scratch. Not with someone as smart as Robin by Jaune's side. With his help, it wouldn't be long until he could indulge in an old favorite game from his homeworld.

Though the questions had for a time stopped as the two began discussing how to recreate the game, Robin was able to finish his passage of Jaune in his journal.

Jaune Arc.

Huntsman.

Birthday: May 5th.

Likes: Games, plays, and tales of adventure.

Dislikes: Carriages.

'Jaune Arc is an interesting warrior among the Shepherds. While not as skilled as many, he is adept at defending and wields a power known as Aura that allows him to halve damage of any sort. An amnesiac like myself who fell out of a magical gate, he seems to be a foreigner from a faraway land. Wields an exotic weapon known as Crocea Mors that forms from a sheath to a shield. Apparently has seven sisters. Friendly, kind, overdramatic at times, and appears to scream like a girl. He is the Shepherd who comes up with the most interesting of games and rather unique ideas.

Appears to have a kindling talent in strategics like myself.'


As I said, I got nothing more to say. I'm lacking the energy to give out any more news or explanation. I'm sorry for those who have to deal with this fallout and felt I ruined this chapter by bringing up those matters. I couldn't even read the reviews because I felt I would have to deal with the same old troll bombing me again. Just ignore them; God knows I'm trying.

NeoShadows fading in and out.