DISCLAIMER: RWBY BELONGS TO ROOSTER TEETH AND ITS ORIGINAL CREATOR MONTY OUM (R.I.P)
Please review and enjoy this chapter.
Chapter 15: A Soul Forever Haunted.
To say the first few days of their search for Raven uneventful would be incorrect.
In contrary, they had encountered many trails left by the infamous Branwen tribe, but instead of joy all she felt was anger and disappointment seeing the destruction and desolation the bandits left in their wake.
Ruby should have seen that coming. She had to remind herself this was not the same tribe who helped her in occasions during the war, at least not yet the same. Right now they're nothing but criminals running around exploiting the weakness of others for their own gain, they had not yet felt the desparation that pushed them to side with the very same people they considered as enemy.
Still, the feeling of dismay she got caught her by surprise at some degree until the rage hit her and washed the precedent feeling. It's not without reason however, and it's not directed for the mere material toll for she had seen far worse a small town was indesputable. It was when she saw the first body did she snap.
It was a kid.
A kid none older than 10 had her little stomach stabbed with a sword far too big for her tiny body.
Exactly on their second day in Mistral, the local authorities announced a small town on the eastern region was attacked by bandits and they required all available Huntsmen as security while they commenced relief plan for the survivors. Naturally they both agreed to help since she and Qrow were the closest one on the scene.
They arrived a few minutes sooner than the main forces but even so they were too late to help. Ruby found the young girl slumped a few metres from the town's entrance, laying on her own pool of blood with face frozen in pained shock and panic, eyes cold and empty like all other dead body she too many encountered in her life.
After that, Ruby spent the rest of the day helping wherever she could to recover and evacuate the remaining bodies and survivors in hope to distract herself from her anger. Not once she saw those who survived staring at nowhere with the same dead gaze, some had a flicker of hope that too eventully disappeared when the authorities brought back their dead relatives, some just completely dull as if they had joined the dead even though they're completely alive.
One of the former was the dead girl's sister Ruby found.
Seeing her reaction had Ruby thinking as a sister herself, had she seen Yang's death would she act the same? Screaming and weeping and crying and wailing like she was the one dying? She never knew, maybe if she was on her right mind back then she would but all she felt was a cold and empty nothingness.
She never knew.
She hope she never going to find out.
That day was the worst day in her life. She almost had her eyes plucked out by a damn mad doctor and his oversized scalpel. Thankfully she managed to tear one of her arm free and shoved the knife down his throat on time and escaped, else she would be dead right now.
As dead as she could anyway.
Though the sharp tool left a deep scar on her left temple, but true enough to what he said, she didn't notice it until the blood trickled down her left eye and momentarily blind it but it's nothing sort of mere inconvenience considering her state.
But then something unexpected happened. Right when she was about to open the reinforced steel door acting as a barrier from outside world it suddenly exploded inward and almost clipped her head off, of course it missed but the sorry state of her body combined with the never ending dizziness and burning pain in her veins worked wonder to her and she ended up challenging a wall in a head-butt match.
The only thing she remembered seeing was a figure burning in golden fire standing in the doorway before she lost consciousness. After that everything just gone by, days passed to weeks and weeks to months until she pulled herself together and got her bearing back.
Ruby didn't know what to feel about that, she was glad she had not needed to see her sister's demise but she also sad the last clear memory she had about Yang was when they got ambushed with blood and dirt clinging on them like second skin. She also never got to apologize to Yang for making her worry sick because she simply never had the chance.
And then this whole fiasco happened.
It's difficult enough living with the memory of her former teammates, now she had to live it up again. She always put on nonchalant mask around them in hope to keep her inner turmoil at bay, a raging storm of myriad of emotions ready to explode the moment Ruby first saw them well and very much alive. Not once she thought to just spill the beans to her sister and friends, to just cry on their embrace while they soothed that everything's gonna be okay and nothing to worry about, Instead of what to fight tomorrow they could discuss what for dinner and other trivial boring stuff she missed so much.
But she refrained, knowing very well everything was not going to be okay unless she stepped down herself, that her sacrifice was more than required to ensure it. The future needed to be secured, and nobody more suitable than her to keep it safe.
If you want things done right, you have to make sacrifice.
Ruby snorted, gaining a look from the bartender the counter she was sitting behind of. "Something the matter, young lady? Was it the drink?"
"Ah, nah it's good, I was just mulling something"
"Well you have to excuse me, it's a bit unusual for someone to order Atlesian Vodka at this time of the year. Stuff's usually popular during winter"
She hummed and casted him a small smile, taking a full shot of her drink before pouring another. The man didn't ask her anything more and she was grateful for it, she never good dealing with strangers anyway.
The bottle had been emptied to its half yet she hadn't got tipsy at all. As expected her Semblance neutralized it before it could affect her even though she's not using it, at moment like this Ruby felt more annoyed than anything because she wanted to forget.
To forget the horrible sight of the deads, to forget the horrendous past chasing her. She simply wanted to relish the feeling of unberdened soul but even that she wasn't allowed to.
Ruby took another swig.
At least the burning sensation was pleasant enough, maybe that's why she prefered the drink specifically.
The bar wasn't anything fancy at all, just a small shop in a small town it barely significant in the vast Kingdom of Mistral. Though the quiet was welcomed, a quality itself more famous bars didn't have and personally she liked it that way.
Soft glow of orange light illuminated the place, glinting back at her reflection on the clear beverage. Ruby stared at herself for a moment, realizing the lone trail of tear on her left eye and hastily wipe it with her palm. She had her hood drawn on her head, obscuring the outside view and isolated her from other customers sitting on their respective tables, it also shielded her face in addition to her strands of hair.
Nobody noticed it, thankfully.
Despite not having her eyes directed anywhere on her back, Ruby was fully aware with her surrounding, keeping utmost attention to her senses and mental probbing for Aura. Right now there were eight other people not counting her and the bartender, three on her seven and nine o'clock sitting under the windows and four on her six huddling in one table laughing too damn loud for her liking.
A quick glance confirmed she was the only female present. Earlier there was a waitress serving the customers but Ruby supposed her shift had finished, it's almost midnight afterall and no girls wanted to walk home alone in the middle of the night.
Ruby gulped down her last portion of Vodka and frowned, thing failed to even sway her and its frustrating to say the least. If only she had unlimited access to it like she did back in her timeline she probably would drown herself again.
She was about to order another batch when the bartender suddenly paused drying a glass and glared somewhere behind her. "Careful, trouble's coming" he grumbled to her with his gruffy voice.
Not long after he finished his sentence, someone suddenly plopped down beside her, swaying and pretty much wasted. "Oi mate! whaddya think ya are doin'? Ain't ya see the lady's drink over 'ere empty? do your job will ya?" What followed later was a string of gibberish neither Ruby or the bartender understood, but between trying to comprehend his words and giving her another drink the bartender wisely chose the latter and gave her another bottle, after figuring out she still capable to handle it of course.
He would be surprised.
"Thanks, but I don't need someone telling me what I want" Ruby said harshly, already in the middle of downing the fresh alcohol. She was glad her Uncle was not present, he probably would die from shock seeing his niece drinking alcohol like it's a juice.
The drunkard shifted, accidentally knocking her side. Ruby fought back an urge to punch him to kingdom come, knowing she could get him killed and the last thing she wanted was being charged for manslaughter.
He hadn't realized how close he was to death yet.
"Y'know... Me and my pals spent our ev'ning tryna figure out your gender 'till I decide to say fuck it and 'pproach you directly, and I'm not disappointed to find out you're a girl"
Ruby knew where this conversation going and she hated it. "If you're not dumb and drunk enough you probably would have figured it out sooner"
He guffawed, the smell of alcohol was strong from his breath even after downing a bottle of Vodka Ruby could still tasted it. She made a disgusted face and leered at him from the corners of her eyes when he kept on talking. "You shoul' put the blame to this damned hood ya 'ear!"
His hand moved out to grab her hood but Ruby intercepted it with her own. "I wouldn't do that if I was you" She growled menacingly, increasing the pressure on his wrist to make her point across.
Her actions made him paused for a second, through her peripheral she could see the bartender silently picking up her glass and the Vodka from the counter. Ruby also aware the man's pals had gone silent from the whole ordeal.
"And why's that?" He challenged, this time his other hand moved to reach her.
In a flash, Ruby quickly twisted the appendage on her grip, gaining a pained scream from the man. Before he could register what happened she already drove a weak punch to his face -mindful to not accidentally kill him but still strong enough to leave an impression- and smashed his head to the counter, he didn't have time to recover before Ruby threw him to the ground and held his arm into an armlock.
The other occupants stared at her, clearly shocked especially the man's so called friends while the bartender just sighed.
"You bitch! What do you think you're doing?!" One of them yelled.
"Do you know who you messed with?! Release him and we'll let you out alive" Followed another, brandishing a dagger from his hips. His friends followed his example and quickly pulled their own weapons, and not long Ruby was faced with three people holding swords and a dagger to her direction.
Should have brought more.
"Gentlemen, as you can see over here your pal is not in a very good condition" Ruby twisted the arm she was holding a little bit to garner another scream, emphasizing the meaning of her words. "As a Huntress with years of experience in field I diagnosed him having a syndrom called dumbfuck, and what you see here is one of the symptoms, please take a note broken bones is the small outcome and it can get worse if left untreated"
"I'm sorry! please it hurts-" The guy she was holding begged but Ruby cut her off by pressing a boot to one of his cheeks.
"Shh, you shouldn't talk". And to his friends she added "Now you can just walk away-the exit is over there by the way-and spare the bartender from a headache of cleaning blood from his place or we can help rearrange his shop, who knows maybe he can get a stray tooth and call a tooth fairy to grant him his wish when we're finished"
They seemed to hesitate, whether because of her threat or the realization that she was above their leagues was unknown and honestly Ruby couldn't care less. She could deal with these idiots any day but something she learned first was to avoid needless conflict, first and foremost.
Beside they were drunk and won't pose any much challenge anyway.
Thankfully they could still see reasons through their hazy mind, probably self-preservation taking control, and slowly lowered their weapons although their angry gazes never changed on the slightest. Good, another clash prevented without her needing to draw Crescent Rose, she needed to make personal achievement based on that.
"Good to know we can make an agreement" Ruby chirped with fake enthusiasm, she pulled the man under her seize to his feet and let him go. However he was only on his second step when Ruby caught his shoulder, effectively stopping him in his track. "On the serious note, when someone warns you about something you better take heed, it might save your life"
He hastily nodded, ripping himself free and practically skipped to his friends all the while clutching the arm Ruby previously held. Now back with his flock he regained some of his confidence and turned one last time to her with fury burning in his eyes. "You'll pay for that!"
That was expected, so Ruby merely stared at them unimpressed and replied flatly. "Looking forward to it, fair warning you better bring more of your pals next time"
Their replies came in a lot form of profanities Ruby sure her younger self would die from embarassment hearing it but it's just another day for her. Still, she glared at them until they vacated the bar to make sure they won't try anything funny before returning her attention to her drink.
Or the lack of it.
"Right, sorry" The bartender apologized and brought her drink from his safety. "This one's on the house, those nuisances already been here for few days and had caused me more headache than a week's worth"
"A few days?" Ruby asked, pouring a shot and promptly took it in one swift motion, she sighed at the familiar sensation flowing down her throat.
He grunted in confirmation and narrowed his eyes to her. "You said you are a Huntress, is that why you can so casually down those? Not to be rude or anything but I've seen a few Huntsmen crashed after taking not even a bottle of that stuff"
"Oh this? Yeah people said it's too strong for their liking but it took me around 8 or so to start feeling tipsy, that if I refrained from using my Semblance anyway"
"E-eight?! Why do you even bother then?! And what would happen if you use your Semblance?"
"Well, I like the taste and the sensation it brings, as for your second question let's just say my Semblance would neutralize the effects alcohol has to someone"
Thank God her Semblance only rapidly burned any foreign materials her body wasn't used to have like white blood cells to bacteria and disease, else she would require massive amount of carbohydrate just to live. Her Uncle once said everyone's body was special depending on their Aura, Yang's for example could withstand heat from the fire she emitted, the very same fire that can burned anything in 2 meters radius to crisp that wasn't accustomed to her Aura.
That was one of her Aura unique ability, apparently if something hasn't been exposed to it for a certain amount of time it won't survive initial contact with her Semblance but if it has then nothing would happen to the said something. In the future Yang could control who she chose to be immune to it by sending a small burst of her Aura to that someone and left it to the person's body, and in case she wanted to take back that immunity she could 'denounce' the person by absorbing her lent Aura back, an action that can be done mentally and physically by her.
Basically her sister could leave a piece of her soul into people she trusted, and everyone in Team RWBY and JNR had that small piece of her soul with them. The fact Ruby could still feel the warmth of Yang's golden fire within herself wasn't lost on her, whenever Ruby felt like everything was just too much that small flame would increase in intensity and comforted her to keep on going, not unlike the warm of Yang's embrace.
Even in death Yang still looked after her sister.
It didn't help everytime Ruby got so far an arm distance with mini-Yang the fire would fluctuate as if to remind her that the person next to her was indeed Yang, the rightful owner of the blaze. It confused Ruby because for all she knew one's soul cannot be fooled or replicated, which meant this Yang was the same Yang from her timeline minus the experience and growth her sister had. Artificial Aura was one thing, but this? does that mean Ruby too shared the same soul with her younger self here?
... She took another shot.
"Where do you think you are going, young lady?"
She was half-way closing the door of their inn when her Uncle called her out from a chair on her left, looking all pissed with his glare, the very same glare he had when she usually did something wrong as a kid.
"Qrow, it's 2 in the morning, why are you not sleeping?" She started, taking her hood off and placed it on the armrest of a couch in the middle of the room before crashing down to the said couch, followed with a contented grunt as she buried her face to its soft cushion.
"I should be the one doing the asking, where the hell have you been while I'm away?" Qrow settled down on the other couch across from her, staring her right into her closed eyes. He leant in forward and sniffed the air before scowling. "Did you drink?"
"Are you drunk?"
"No, and it's suck"
"Ah, I think 5 or 6 bottles of Atlesian Vodka? I lost count after my fourth"
Qrow fell silent for a moment and Ruby could imagine him looking at her dumbfoundedly. "You're gonna die from kidneys failure" He finally chose to say.
"Said the guy who drinks alcohol on daily basis" Ruby countered, not exactly liking how her Uncle basically scolded her while being a hypocrite himself. She cracked open an eye to met his gaze "So have you found anything?"
"Yes" Ruby perked up, pushing herself off the soft and comfortable cushion and sat straight, what he said next however served to kill her spirit. "Now I know the populace is as helpful as an unshielded candle in the middle of a storm"
"Qrow..." Ruby growled, not exactly liking the way he delivered his point. "You can't blame them for not knowing anything"
The Hunter scoffed. "They don't need to be such an ass about it. What about you though? Did you find anything interesting?"
"Hm? Other than almost punching someone to death and thrashing a bar nothing at all" She paused. "Okay I did punch someone but it's because he was an idiot and nearly got his hand on my beloved cloak" Ruby patted the aforementioned cloak on her side to emphasize.
Qrow chuckled at that, earning a confused look from her. "Now that brings back memories alright"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, Summer once hospitalized a guy with her punch after he so stupidly pulled her cloak in a bar, to say she was fuming would be an understatement" He crossed his legs and leant back on the couch, a small content smile visible on his face. Ruby had long understood what that smile meant, his Uncle and dad always had that smile whenever they talked about her mother, she supposed it's a reminiscence smile remembering the simpler time.
She could relate on that.
"You said mom hated alcohol"
At this point Qrow already understood which him she was refering to. "Who said she was there for a drink? She actually came to drag me and Tai from our little bonding moment back, of course we resisted but after seeing her incapacitated a guy twice her size with single strike we relented, suddenly the thought of hanging around was shoved to the most back of our minds" He shook his head lightly, smile turned to a sad one. When he continued his tone was all somber "You know, your mom could be such a pain sometime, and a bit unpredictable too, one time she could be that soft girl who seemingly too nice to even hurt a fly and the next she suddenly became the badass you can only dream of becoming"
Ruby listened to his tale intently, she always loved it when her Uncle or father or even people who knew her mother talked about her admirable actions and past. This one story specifically she hadn't heard from her Uncle before, and thus she tried to remember every details he said while mentally picturing the situation.
She imagined her father and Uncle stared at her mother with their jaws on the floor, along with other anonymous people who happened to be on the bar that day, while her mother still had her fist raised from punching the poor bastard. Their dumbstruck expressions turned to terror when her mother shifted her attention to them before dragging them out the bar by their collars all the while they both screamed like little girls.
Ruby chuckled. "That's the infamous White Death for you"
Qrow was visibly taken aback. "I told you about her old nickname?"
She hummed in affirmation. "Originally gained during a mission with team STRQ after she single-handedly killed an entire Grimm nest in a remote town on northern Vale, but made famous when her team with the help of others fended off a large Grimm invasion in the city of Vale in what known as Operation Clean House. After-action report stated she killed 30% of the invading Grimm alone, mostly by petrifying them"
"That's a lot you know about"
Ruby shrugged, her reply was simple. "I had had my source"
Silence reigned on the small living room, the ticking of the clock was suddenly became so palpable along with the sound of small animals outside. Qrow was left to ponder on who exactly responsible for telling his niece about that particular nickname his late partner had, and not surprisingly Ironwood's name was on the top of the list.
First on the list.
A small thudding drew his attention back to Ruby, only to find the young woman lying on the surface of her couch, head sandwiched between its armrest and her arm, covering her eyes and face as she breathed in and out slowly.
"Hey, if you're going to sleep then sleep in your room. I can no longer carry you all the way there, you know?" Qrow began jokingly, but when his niece kept on quiet he knew something was wrong. "Ruby?"
He waited for one whole minute, then another and another, when Qrow thought Ruby had fallen asleep for real she suddenly spoke up with cracking voice, catching him off-guard.
"Have I told you how tired I am? To this whole situation and generally everything?"
It's a rhetorical question, he knew that much so Qrow didn't answer. Still, staying quiet seemingly wasn't the best option either. "Something is bothering you" It wasn't a question, but more to statement.
"... I'm fully agree with people when they say I'm mentally scarred. I learned about psychology for a while and I can tell a damaged soldier when I see one, and I'm one"
Qrow wasn't ready for this, he's not the one suitable to speak about this matter. "Rub-"
"I never got used seeing the carnage human and Grimm alike left behind, I just tolerate it"
So it was that. About that one village which perished under bandit attack a few days ago.
His niece was rather adamant about it, how she pushed herself almost non-stop in searching any survivor that day. He had to admit the sight was a disturbing one, dead bodies littering the ground, some Faunus some human, an indiscriminate killing by the Branwen Tribe. At one section he found a group of people killed in a perfect line, an indication of execution added by the precise shot to the head that killed them, but having an extra hole in your head seemed a far better choice than some whom lost their head entirely or those burned alive, amongst other gruesome death.
Qrow was disappointed to what Raven had done, and he could say Ruby was too.
"We... Can't change what has transpired" He began, leaning forward on his seat all the while keeping an eye to the woman infront of him. "That's what I'll say at moment like this. But the proof you are here talking about what had happened-or rather-what will happen threw the phrase out of the window. I can't even fathom the burden given to you, to fix a whole planet and its occupants' destiny all by yourself"
Ruby laughed a short bitter laugh. "Believe me, I don't fully understand it too. Mom warned me about this, he offered me the option to quit and she seemed... Supportive to it. I supposed she had better knowledge about this matter afterall"
"She had gone a lot, I assume you know her tale?"
"Not all of it, but more than enough. I did a bit of tracing during my spare time when I didn't shoot on terrorists or petrifying Grimm, and was actually succeeded to locate the old household of Rose family here on Mistral"
That gained Qrow's attention, he never knew where exactly Summer's origin house at since she was very discreet about it, the idea of visiting the place that once owned by the greatest Huntsman family intrigued him but it could wait. Else he would getting out of topic here.
"Then you must understand not everything is meant to be fixed, that some things are unchangeable" He paused, realization slowly dawned on him. This Ruby is different with his Ruby, the woman infront of him was a Huntress and war veteran to heart, meaning she had gone through worse than what they had witnessed a few days ago. As terrible as it was, it should be nothing compared to the war she fought. So why did she all of sudden become like this? After days of showing nothing but steely visage and undying resolve in her eyes she suddenly just broke down?
Unless something she saw in that town triggered an unpleasant memory, another episode of PTSD perhaps? Afterall Ozpin did say she probably suffering a mental illness, and while he knew so little about it Qrow understood the weight of it, that sometime it could be more lethal than physical wound.
He continued, this time slowly as he felt the need to tread his word carefully. Qrow figured he had to urge her to open up about this matter to understand it better. "Assuming this is not alcohol talking, you actually been bothered for quiet a while now"
"Yeah it's... Actually been weeks, since I first saw my friends on Vale, long before I revealed them myself" Ruby took a deep shuddering breath, her lips trembled as she spoke again. "Blake, Weiss... And Yang. God I missed them so much it feels... It feels like I am whole again when I see them. I hadn't felt that happy in the last five years even the victories that saved hundred thousands if not millions didn't bring me that much of joy. I know I'm being selfish but..." She trailed off, sniffed and said one thing Qrow dread the most from her.
"I'm scared, Qrow"
She was openly crying now, tears streaming down her closed eyes as she sobbed and whimpered silenty. Her arms were wrapped around her body in an attempt to comfort herself, she looked so small and frail without her cloak covering her.
Suddenly the image of a great Huntress who managed to fight titans and prevailed vanished from his mind, instead a little girl no older than 4 year old replaced it, the very same girl this Huntress was years prior when she learned that her beloved and strong mother would never return to hug her and tuck her good night anymore.
The very same girl he had to comfort when her father himself broke down too.
"It's hard enough to live with the memories of my friends, now I have to live with them again after everything that happened. The idea of distancing myself from them was so tempting, but I know they will find a way to connect with me" There it was, the small fleeting warm inside her chest, coming from Yang's piece of soul. For a brief moment she relished the sensation, mentally thanking her sister before continuing "They looked so young, so boisterous and positive to the world they hadn't been tainted by its worst. Everytime I see at them, glance at them, all I see is a promising future and that is enough for me to keep on marching"
"Worst of the world?" Qrow asked, the way she said it, it didn't sound like she was refering to Grimm or a bunch of scroundels and villains.
"It's... Shocking. We joined Beacon to be the greatest protector of mankind, the knight in the shinning armor, the sword and shield of humanity and the hero everybody wants to be" Those words were spoken in a hollow and empty tone, as if it no longer had any meaning. The idea of becoming a hero was left somewhere in her trail, never to be found again, it's so far and distant from where she was now. "The World of Remnant has a lot of fairy tails, some people even interpreted it as a fantasy land or wonderland because of it. Those who believes it as one is either a naïve kid or a madman, for there no rainbows and flowers in this so called wonderland, only death and destruction"
"How is this relevant?"
"It is relevant because if this information ever break out to the public there will be chaos and chaos brings Grimm and more destruction" Ruby said matter-of-factly. "Do you know why this planet called Remnant? Long time ago when The God of Darkness exterminated mankind, humanity left one of their biggest gifts when they're gone, a power now no longer exist amongst us"
"Magic..." Qrow muttered.
"Yes, magic. Back then magic is a common occurance in daily basis, a power to wield wind, fire, ice and many other natural forces, was a part of humanity. Until that one faithful day when Salem influenced the whole mankind to oppose the Gods" Ruby wiped the tears leaking down her cheeks, her eyes hardened as she recalled what they unveiled. "Human, as arrogant and reckless as we are, thought that by killing the Gods we will achieve something. But it's not power or glory we got but extinction, wiped to dust by the very same being who gave us the power to wield magic. And that power, such great force, wasn't easily neutralized to nothingness. When the body of its owner turned to dust, they remained dormant in those small particles, flying along the wind until one day they finally gathered to one place creating a bigger form, the crystal we know as Dust"
"Hold on, are you saying all this time we are using the carcass of our dead ancestors as weapon?" Qrow asked, more than a little shocked.
"In a way, yes. Nothing about Dust screams natural, piece of rock that can explode or freeze anything nearby it?" Ruby shook her head. "Mankind had been using magic to fight Grimm, when we had it we flourished and prospered in this planet, hunting Grimm to the deepest corner they became afraid of our presence. But when that power was gone, the table turned against us, we are the one on the hiding and we are the one fearing them instead, until we stumbled on the piece of hope that ironically was the reason why we are like this; Dust, the byproduct of a power once gifted to us and also the remants of mankind's arrogance"
Her gaze was empty as she stared at the ceiling, what remained of her tears glistened on her silver orbs furthermore reflecting the world around her. "It's called Remnant because we live in a place of a former glory of what it was, a planet full of death we have to force children to fight so they could survive in it. This world is anything but wonderland"
Qrow blinked, he was still processing the information he receieved when that particular sentence hit him. "It's uh... Necessary... Many great Huntsmen were children when they first kill a Grimm, you should have known since you are one of them"
"So is many great Huntsmen were children when they get killed" He opened his mouth as if to say something but close it again when nothing came out. It's a fact so Qrow had nothing to say about it. "I lost count how many time I cried myself during my stay with my former team-this team-in the bathroom. I honestly don't know what to feel about it, sometime I cry because of how happy I am, sometime because of the pain seeing them again. In the end I simply chose to ignore the reason and lock it down. But... I can't help but be remembered on the days my teammates died whenever I look at them"
Yang's golden blaze as she looked at her hazily on her verge of consciousness, Blake's purple casket as it slowly lowered to the ground, and the worse of all Weiss's bloodied and broken body as she raced down snowy mountain in desparate search for help, always appeared on the front of her mind whenever Ruby looked at them. She barely spent any time with Team JNPR knowing the mental burden would be too much, considering their death only a few weeks ago minus Pyrrha.
Pyrrha was the worst.
She was one of their reasons fighting against Salem, to avenge her needless death. But now after Ruby managed to defeat Salem she didn't know what to say about it, so she stayed silent and never mentioned it to any of JNPR or RWBY. Of course she gave them a few advice here and there especially to Jaune but it still limited to what it was, almost like a formal teaching than anything.
She hated herself for that.
"After all these years all I've truly got left is Crescy here" Ruby patted Crescent Rose on the floor, when she put it down there was a mistery. "Almost lost her in several occassions but she always returned back to me"
At this point Qrow had settled to just listen, he didn't know what to say anyway so he offered her his attention, which was something Ruby needed it seemed. A place to conveyed her heart content into, not someone to show her a pity for her conditions.
So she talked, she rambled on about how screwed the future was, how many she had known about Rose family so far, about Salem and Ozpin, and other informations no common people possessed. Qrow kept on listening until her voice slowly faded to a light snore and her troubled look to turned into peaceful one before giving his reply.
"I'm sorry, kid" He kneeled infront of her sleeping form, brushing a strand of hair out of her face and wiped any trails of tears left. "You're more like your mother than you think, I hope you won't feel the pain of death and abandonement but you did, just like your mom, but instead of giving up to it you fight on so others won't feel the same like you"
He grabbed her discarded red hood, thumb gracing the faded letters on its collar, suddenly became aware with the weight of his own cloak on his back. With a sigh, Qrow draped it on Ruby's sleeping form as impromptu blanket and soundlessly left the room.
He was in the middle of the halway when he finaly broke down, leaning against the cold concrete wall with his back. But as always, the cold never managed to penetrate the piece of garment that was his cloak, a cloak once belonged to Summer.
A cloak that was his sole companion during lonely journeys and missions, an object of reminder that his partner and fearless leader would always be with him, that he still had deemed it he needed to keep the one and only gift Summer left behind safe, one that was a part of her.
The girl, apart from being his niece, was Summer's child, and that was enough reason for him to dedicated his life to keep her safe. Her mother was one of few people that changed him from a mere killer to who he was now. Before Qrow attended Beacon, his only reason to live was to ensure the Tribe's succession even by killing others. He had ravaged, destroyed and took countless live, all of it under the name of Branwen Tribe, and with his sister they managed to pull countless successful raids no authorities capable to stop them.
That was until on his 17th birthday, their camp was under attack by one Hunstman that he felt his first loss.
Although his perspective of that day had changed, he would never forget how everyone around him was slayed so easily. He thought he was invincible, those who survived on the battlefiled for a long time often thought so about themselves, but the way that one Huntsman killed the bandits was just terrifying.
And then it was decided, what survived of the Branwen Tribe, that in order to acertain their further survival they would need someone to counter the Huntsman Corps continous assault to their community. It was rather precedented for Qrow and his sister to end up being the chosen candidats, two healthy and talented children directly from the head family of the tribe leader.
It didn't help the rumour about a Rose also about to join Beacon spread like a wild fire amongst them.
The Tribe dubbed it as rivalry, but Qrow believed it simply as a strong ambivelance feeling to Rose bloodline. The Tribe hated the Roses, just like any other groups of criminals, but above all they feared them like all other criminals did. It never been a rivalry for every clash the bandits had with a Rose it usually ended up with many casualties and loss on the bandits side, while the said Rose would only get as much as a sore muscle in return.
So when the news of the Rose's demise reached the Tribe, they rejoiced like there was no tomorrow, celebrating the lost of one of few remaining defenders Remnant had. Qrow joined in the celebration, and that was still one of his biggest regret, but he was 5 when that happened and honestly didn't have much of an idea on what's going on.
The next news about the Roses however actually put the Tribe into a state of impeccable anxiety, that one girl survived the Purged, as they called the event, and was brought to Vale by the authorities.
One girl encased in white cloak.
A girl by the name Summer Rose.
It's more than enough reason for Qrow and Raven to be sent to Beacon, and after a few days of planning they finally set on to the famous Combat Academy. It's a wonder such a simple name brought so much ruckus, had he not so dead-set in completing his objectives, Qrow would have realized the need to question them. But he was as much as a killing machine, hell-bent to complete his orders whatever the cost.
It still disgusted him to this day that one of those orders was to kill Summer by any mean necessary.
It disgusted him more that he actually tried to.
During their day of initiation on Emerald Forest he once tried to... Complete the deed. It was either he or Raven, but fate seemed to choose him specifically. He was so close from slinging the newly acquired Harbinger between Summer's neck when all of sudden she turned around and of all things to do, smiled at him.
The foreign gesture shocked him in place. With Harbinger raised high suspiciously close to her level, she never suspected it as a battle stance like any other sane person would. Instead, Summer began to fawned over it like a child in candy store, not even aware what she considered as the candy might be the tool of her demise not few minutes ago.
In that moment, Qrow found himself hesitating for the first time.
Where was the ruthless character the Tribe often used to describe the Roses as? Where was the merciless trait that was a part of the Roses?
Many questions ran down his mind, confusing him even more than before. But as his red eyes locked on Silver ones and saw the warmth and joy pooling in it one question wormed its way above all.
Where was the cold and dead gaze they supposed to have?
In the end, he decided to search his answers first, and when it's became apparent there were none he finally accepted the woman in his life. That was the beginning of his change, from a killer to protector of the very same bloodline he was taught to demonize.
It took Raven for a little more while to open up like he did though, and it took her more to stop tripping Summer. Qrow had lost count how many time he had to pushed Summer out of the way, what start from a mere nudge turned to a full blown shove when the Tribe decided to send their own strike-team when it was clear neither he or his sister would continue their assignment.
On that day their true identities were revealed, and with that was the true nature of their objectives.
Tai was livid. The blond literally and inch away from turning Qrow's head to bloody pulp when Summer stepped in, however her initial response was actually served to agitated Taiyang even more.
"Don't you understand?! They're going to kill you for something you didn't even do!"
"But they didn't! And that's what matter for me. Besides, it's not like this is the first time someone threatened to kill me for things I don't responsible of"
Her response hit him like a brick to the nose of a flying airplane, and it's more painful than his broken hand. To have Summer compared him and Raven with others, no matter how subtle it was, was probably the worst punishment Qrow ever got from her. It didn't help how Summer adamantly refused to look them in the eyes for a whole week after that incident, but Qrow could still see the disappointment in her otherwise cheery gaze whenever she looked at him or Raven.
But Summer was a woman of silver heart, no matter how much of a misdeeds you commited to her she would always forgive you if you just apologize and promise her to never do it again especially to others. Those traits of her were one of the cause Qrow found her intriguing as a person and not long he opened himself for the first time to someone that wasn't his sister.
She understood how the world worked, she understood how painful it was to loose someone important. Yet despite it all she would always find a way to see the light in the end of the tunnel, but unlike many, she would return to the darkness and find someone looking for guidance to the said light and help them even if it meant stumbling and hurting herself in the process. For Qrow who had never even known he was lost, it's confusingly unusual to see a person like her.
Usually it's a matter of strength, in the Tribe and society, those who held the highest power would continue to live while the weak would ended up either die or as a stepping stones. He had seen what weakness brought to someone, and he once deemed who showed it unworthy, so seeing a supposedly eternal enemy of Branwen Tribe managed to get far stronger than many others through kindness and the need to help the weak instead of strength threw his belief asunder.
Qrow sighed, pulling his flask and took one long swig from it. He made his way to the terrace of their inn, giving a nod to a Faunus guarding the entrance in his way past before settling down behind one of many wooden columns.
No matter what people said, Mistral was actually a pretty nice kingdom. The scenery was great with many forests dotting the maps and while it didn't have as much as a tolerance to Faunus, the people were kind enough to outlanders.
As he adjust his position, Qrow wondered what his future niece said about the old Rose household in Mistral. Assuming the place was still exist and being taken care of by the government, it would be more than thirty years since someone truly owning it ever return there. If what people said about Rose family once rivaling the Schnee in term of power and influence, Qrow wouldn't be surprise if it's some sort of mansion
The idea of living in such of place was enough to make him frown in distaste, even more when his mind strayed to what if Ruby had to live in it all by herself, being the last Rose she was. He doubt she would want to despite her lack in social skills she wouldn't survive the loneliness of being independent.
Qrow paused, gazing up at the broken moon that he just found out the cause recently. Now he thought about it, the way his adult niece said it, it almost like she closed herself because of her experience dealing with loneliness. She simply didn't want to go through all the pain of losing someone invaluable to her so she chose to ignore the hole left by previous people in her chest even when it screamed fo her to be filled.
It hurted him to think that his niece would be like that. It seemed even the most kind of human could only took so much before declaring enough was enough.
Another sigh escaped his lips and Qrow began to fumble with his flask again, he would always try to numb his mind when it couldn't reach a conclusion for his thinking or when it involved the intricate persona of a Rose, which the latter always caused the former. He was halfway pulling the metal container when it slipped off his fingers and bounced on the ground for several feet until it came to a halt after hitting an object.
Qrow groaned a frustrated groan, jumping to his feet to acquire his flask. He was about to snatch it from the ground when he suddenly froze at what he saw, hand still extended forward and eyes wide open.
The object stopping his flask was a pot.
And on it was a single pristine white rose, blooming at its fullest, tall and thorny showing a single message that despite its beauty it could always fight back if one was pretty much to disturb it.
Qrow held back a choked breath.
Ah, right. Why is the question of the lifetime to any intelligent living being, wondering why something as it was, was a part of life. This also the very same question Ruby had been questioning to herself and her Uncle for the last ten minutes.
Ten minutes ago since her Uncle suddenly barged into where she slept and practically shoved her awoke, ten minutes ago when she got startled beyond anything from her slumber and accidentally rolled herself down the comfortable couch to the ground, then had her head smashed to Crescent Rose's metallic side.
To say Ruby had a bad morning would be an understatement.
"Why what?" Qrow queried, glancing behind to where she lagged on a few steps from him. They were currently walking on a forest, the sun hadn't shown itself to the horizon yet so it's completely dark around them.
It's dead in the morning.
"Why the hell don't we have breakfast first? Don't you know I'm hungry after last night?"
"It's your own fault for not taking dinner"
"Well yeah but I didn't know it would be like this! Where do you get this info anyway? Is this even credible?"
Qrow shrugged, hands in his pockets. "Best intel comes from the people, some civvies says they know where the Branwen is and they want us to meet them"
Ruby stopped trying- and failing- to comb her unkempt hair and blinked, something about what her Uncle said wasn't adding up and despite her rather not so good condition thanks to sleep deprivation she still managed to catch it.
"Deep in the forest?" She asked incredulously, her instinct went overdrive to combat mode. Her guts told her something wasn't right and her feeling regarding this kind of situation rarely wrong. Already she mentally recounted her ammunitions while making sure Crescent Rose was safely positioned on her back.
Before Qrow could reply, a flash of red suddenly appeared directly on his path only a few metres from where he was. Seeing the danger before her, Ruby quickly activated her Semblance and pushed him out of the way all the while mentally cursing to herself on how correct her instinct was.
I freaking hate it when I was right!
She had seen the same trick before, during the war back in her time the splinter faction of White Fang usually utilized Red Dust as Improvised Explosive Device for ambushing military personel and civilian alike. So when the ground suddenly exploded into a briliant red and hot fireball she barely flinched, even when bullets started screaming past her she just calmly guide her Uncle behind a downed tree before pulling Crescent Rose compact form and shoved it to her Uncle.
"I've had my suspicion and if my guess is right then we'll need them alive" Ruby explained, gesturing toward where the bullets came from with her thumb. "I might end up decapitating someone if I use a weapon right now"
The only answer Qrow got in return was a cloud of rose petals as she suddenly disappeared, though he was sure he heard a sigh from the woman.
A few metres forward their hiding place, Ruby reappeared behind another tree, this one still standing, and silently scanning the place where their assailants at. Silver Eyes glazed with annoyance and a tad bit of anger, she glared to the very same men she encountered last night on the bar.
Of course it was them...
This time they brought more of their friends, a total ten of them scattered across the rudimentary battlefield each carrying old looking rifles Ruby dully wondered when they would finally break, also each of them turned to her direction when they spotted her and began to fire wildly, so spread out she didn't even bother to take better cover.
Still, as pitiful as it was Ruby knew it's only a matter of time before one of them land a lucky hit to either her or her Uncle. Aura could protect them alright but it would still hurt as hell, and while not deadly it might hit somewhere vulnerable like their eyes and permanently blind them. The last thing she wanted was to lose her invaluable eyes.
Ruby waited for them to reload before dashing out her hiding spot, running through bushes and trees so she's not completely exposed to the hailstorm of bullets and explosions. A grenade blew up a few metres beside her forcing Ruby to roll on the ground to neutralize its blast momentum before she pushed herself back up and continued to run.
It took her a few seconds to close in the gap to her first target, a group of men targetting her Uncle from behind a boulder. She mentally noted the sounds of Harbinger shotgun mode firing in the background as she punched the first man on the side of his head and kicked him to his two friends.
They were caught off guard by her sudden appearance from thin air they didn't know what hit them until it's too late.
The unconscious body crashed on the second guy, he was standing on the middle of the group so he got the blunt of force behind her kick his lifeless friend receieved. The third guy realized what's happening brought his weapon to bear only for Ruby to catch its barrel and slammed it against his head, causing him to stumbled and released his weapon.
At this point the second guy already recovered and now screaming bloody murder to her as he lunged forward to tackle Ruby down. Not to take any more chance, Ruby kicked the third guy on the side of his head, she winced mentally when his head smashed against the boulder, and with a quick readjustment bashed the stock of the borrowed weapon on her grip to the coming enemy's head. The wooden rifle shattered to pieces from the impact, so did the man's Aura as he crashed down to the ground, unmoving.
It's all happened in least than three seconds.
Ruby swayed a bit on her feet, she quickly leaned against the boulder to catch her breath and mentally will the bile rising on her throat back down. Usually it won't take her much to finish these scumbags but the lack of sustenance combined with the fact she drank nothing but alcohol last night took a toll on her stamina and body.
Welp, note to myself; never skip dinner before drinking Vodka.
She glanced to where her Uncle was only to find the man already finishing up the second group of their attackers, the glint of Harbinger sharp edge reflecting the early morning light to her. It took her a moment to realize her Uncle was staring somewhere in the distance before he shifted his weapon to its ranged function and fired.
Four different cries of pain echoed in the forest followed with thuds as whoever Qrow shot crashed to the ground, with a shake of her head both to clear the nauseous sensation and the disbelief in her mind, Ruby tentatively took a step forward and when she was sure she won't start vomiting she rushed to where her Uncle was heading.
Leave it to him to use a close-range weapon as impromptu Battle Rifle. Poor guys didn't stand a chance against the full blast pellets of Harbinger's shotgun mode.
With one final glance to her downed opponents, Ruby turned her attention to her Uncle. "You good?"
Qrow snorted, waving his hand dismissively "They don't even scratch me". He handed back Crescent Rose to her and added "I thought you would pull a badass move or something and defeat these guys in one swift motion"
Ruby scowled, kicking one of the writhing men her Uncle shot on his stomach, eliciting a groan of pain from him "Maybe next time".
The Hunter squatted low, staring directly at the bandits. "You think what I'm thinking?" He asked Ruby.
"That they are related to the Branwen?"
"Huh, I honestly thought you fell to this trickery they pulled on us" Ruby said dryly in response, scratching the back of her head.
Qrow scoffed. "Please... Cheap trick even a blind man can see from miles away"
"The fuck are you talking about?" One of the bandits whispered to her Uncle through gritted teeth, apparently still in pain. If Ruby had to guess, the man probably had his muscle beat to slag considering how a normal person usually had 'unrefined' Aura like Huntsmen do, thus it only offered a protection in very basic level. And seeing how Harbinger could easily blow a concrete from metres away, what a human body could do in comparison?
"We know nothing of the Branwen!" Another one interjected, she recognized him as the guy who pulled a dagger against her earlier in the bar.
"Yeah no. I'm not buying it" Qrow cut in before any of them could say anything more.
Shrugging, Ruby decided to join in the conversation, if one could say that. "You guys aren't the most discreet of suspects, ain't you? I mean wasting yourself in a bar like there's no tomorrow, literally dumping your money for drink in how many nights"
"So what? It could be because it's our payday! You don't even know us!"
"Dumbass, nobody would pull a sword against someone if they can help it especially in a middle of a bar full of witnesses" She shook her head in disbelief, running a hand on her still unkempt hair almost absently. "Listen, I've got a very bad morning right now, my stomach is aching, my head is kinda fuzzy and I don't exactly on my best temper. So please, just tell me where your boss is and I promise you the only one you're going to deal with is the police instead of my fist... Or my baby"
Ruby grabbed Crescent Rose from her back, extended it to its Scythe mode and unceremoniously slammed its forward-end blade near the bandit's face, ignoring the terrified scream he uttered in change for a respond "This is my baby"
"That's a fucking giant scythe! Who the fuck call it their baby?!"
"Uhh... Me? That's not the point! Can you tell us where Raven is?"
They suddenly fell quiet and Ruby stored her weapon back, for once they seemed genuinely conflicted, looking around the area between her and her Uncle nervously. Finally after a full minute of silence one of them spoke with tone full of resignation. "Screw it, I would rather have the police gets me instead of Raven"
His friends made a small sound of agreement, earning a frown from Ruby.
"I could just beat you out you know? After what I've seen, what you people have done, I honestly want nothing but to kill you all"
Qrow shuffled in discomfort, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Hey now-"
"At least you will only kill us. But Raven... She'll do other unimaginable things to us if she find out we're betraying her, trust me, missy, at that point death is the best outcome one can ask for"
"So you're saying you're too afraid of her?"
"Yes" He admitted shamelessly. "We're not even a full member of her tribe, she merely hired people like us to gather information on the next village she'll ravage"
"Well, I can assure you she won't do anything to any of you"
They laughed at that, a short bitter laugh as they pushed themselves to sitting position. Ruby kneeled down so she was on eye level with them. "What two Huntsmen can do against her? Do you even know what she capable of doing?"
"I'm fully aware with her capability, and I'm quite sure I'm more enough than match to her". When they stared at her like she had shoved Crescent Rose down her throat Ruby quickly added "But I'm certain it won't come to that, you see this guy over here" She jabbed a thumb to her Uncle, eliciting a scowl to appear on his face. "Is actually her brother"
Almost instantly their gazes settled on Qrow who merely shrugged before taking a swig from his flask. "The name's Qrow Branwen"
He despised everything related to the Tribe, but Qrow had to admit their priceless expressions were amusing.
"So please tell us where Raven is, would you? If we find her ourselves we might accidentally mention something about a group of rag tags which somehow related to her, and that they attacked us unprovoked" Ruby continued, internally snickering to their paling complexion. She knew Raven wouldn't give a damn to what happen to her or Qrow but they didn't know that, they said it themselves they're just a bunch of hiredguns. "But if you insist then I can't exactly force you, beside you're right, she'll probably cut something doesn't supposed to be cut if you betray her"
"We'll show you the way to her camp!"
"Just... We know nothing about any of this!"
Ruby hummed and stood up, crossing her arms then looked around her, or specifically the rest of the bandits. "We can make that work, a simple plan would suffice. Although your other friends aren't necessarily needed so I guess I'll let the authority to take care of them"
"I don't care about them" One of them said flatly, briefly Ruby felt a sense of disgust but she snuffed it out. It's pretty common for these lowlifes to shove their friends under the bus afterall and no point to make a fuss out of it.
She turned around to face her Uncle. "Make the call, I'll brief them of the plan"
"You sure about this?" He asked, a slightest hint of uncertainty in his tone. "We could just interrogate them for information"
"Yes, but it would be better if we bring them with us. For all we know they could be lying if we do interrogate them, and the last thing I want is to waste precious time back-tracking these guys again". She shook her head, lowering her tone significantly "The words bandits and trust cannot be put on the same sentence, Qrow, people like them are full of deceit"
"We could always make a call to the authority and have them ask these guys again, I mean bringing them sounds more risky, what if they lure us to another trap?"
"Then we'll fend them off again, though I doubt it they hve another ambush set up. The worst thing they could pull is to try running away and we all know they won't be able to outrun me if it comes to that"
Qrow was silent as he pondered her proposal, his eyes occasionally flickered between the bandits on the ground and Ruby. "Alright then. Tell me about your plan with them"
She nodded. "Pretty simple, we follow them in considerable distance, have them knock the door while we wait and then we take the matters into our accord"
"And if that doesn't work?" He questioned expectantly, mimicking her earlier gesture and crossed his arms infront of his chest.
"Contingency plan, we spice things a bit" She declared with a smile full of mischief. "But first, we must disarm them. Don't want another additional guns blazing our direction"
Ruby was about to turned away when her Uncle suddenly grabbed her by arm, stopping her mid-motion. "Wait, one more thing. You know Raven marked me with her Semblance, right? She can sense me from continents away"
"We can have you anywhere nearby" She replied, frowning. How could she forget about that. "Guess I have no choice but to do this alone"
"I'll stay in considerable distance, not too far but too close either in case things go south. Honestly I don't like this plan already and we haven't started yet"
"Yeah... Yeah, it's a risk we have to take"
Won't be the first time. Ruby would say but refrained
Sorry for taking a bit longer than expected, I had a problem working on the ending of this chapter so if it feels a bit rushed please bear with me. I honestly didn't have much of feel working on it after what I did to the rest of this chapter.
Anyway, I haven't watch any RWBY Volume 7 episode after Episode 3 so I don't exactly have any idea on how it progreses. To be frank I've lost my interest seeing how the show goes, I tried to not let what people said about it bother me but seeing it directly is a completely different story.
That been said, I want to address some interesting things I forgot to say in previous chapter. In Episode 3 it is hinted that Ruby's Semblance is not exactly speed but something else, now I actually had my suspicion about it but since the show insisted it was speed I tried to find the logic in it being speed. But now, well let's just say it could be developed to something far more potent. The kicker here is Ruby Character Short from Volume 4, when Ruby was fighting a Beringel she managed to split herself to 3 different copies when using her Semblance, and unless she capable to run faster than light itself it should be impossible, from then I started to think how is that possible but I dismissed it as an exaggeration.
Anyway, next update probably around the first week of 2020, I would have a lot of free time so it probably sooner but don't look it up too much.
Responses for reviews
merendinoemiliano: Mayybeeeee Ironwood does, but hey someone has to point out why Ironwood seemingly not interested to Ruby if he knew she has that much of power within her albeit dormant. Also, I believe Aura more than capable to hold back a few hits from bullets and blade but keep in mind that the bullets might be enhanced with somekind of material specifically to penetrate Aura, afterall the second thing you do after creating a weapon is a way to counter it.
JackTheSpades: Winter is there when Qrow barged in and demanded answers from Ozpin, she simply on the right place at the right time lol. And yeah Qrow already confronted him about it, also part of the reason why he wasted himself afterwards. That's before Rot explained everything though so you get the idea XD.The Imperial Forerunner: Asides from modern-day fighter aircrafts, I love World War II vessels too. My favorite would be US made ones but Kriegsmarine was cool too.
Lucian Naruto: Rot sees them as a kids and she is determined to keep them safe, in the process she unknowingly leaves an impression to them not just as a mentor of sort but a figure to look up to.
AMV Riptide: It's a plural noun though and I perhaps confused myself, either way thanks for notifying me.
Alank2: Bro that is a nice cover you recommended, thank you for that and your compliments.
Sm0keyPanda: I will keep on trying my best, this story could be more better if I have a decent understanding about English. Thanks for your encouragement.
bankerrtx01: I was waiting for someone to point that reference out lol. I love Halo even though I never play the game but the lore is just so complete it seems everything has their explanations. I just hope one day I will finally able to play it.
Guest (Firewyrm2): Nah no shippings lol. Huh, I'm not familiar with Kid Icarus Uprising so that's probably why I didn't catch it. So anyway I did a little research about gunpowder, and the materials needed are actually pretty simple I don't doubt there is some on Remnant. But hey it could be because they grow too reliant to Dust they don't even bother to look for something else to propel their bullets.
Sorry if my responses are a bit crude, it's 3 in the morning here and I want to upload this ASAP.
That concluded it then, I see you guys on the next chapter and as always please reviews.
Take it easy, guys.