NEW A/N AT THE END
YOUR BOY IS BACK MOFOS!
Before I reply to the reviews, yes. There was an intentional rickroll in the Strength chapter. Why did I do that? Because I'm bored mwahahahaha!
And lastly, holy fuck. I just read my previous take on aura and Stands, specifically on chapter 5, and jeez. No wonder a few readers were going ballistic. While Avdol saying a person doesn't have any aura is intentional since I planned that up, him saying one is unaffected of gaining a Stand regardless if it's locked or unlocked is BS. So yeah, changing that tiny segment. And by change, I mean removing it. A full rewrite of other chapters isn't possible as of now but I will rewrite them if I have free time.
By the way for future readers, the aunt chapter will not be removed since I want it live on. I just repeated this since I stated it in an update and that update will be removed.
PS: Reviews will be answered momentarily. Read A/N below to know why I hadn't responded to any reviews yet.
Modification is done so now I'm gonna answer a few reviews that caught my eye before doing the next chapter.
Involuntary gulps occurred between a few of the students while the adults felt an ominous sensation as they stared at the wooden item. If there's anything these viewings are telling them, is that every time it focuses on an object and/or individual, they most definitely have an involvement with what they're going to witness be it directly or subtly.
A tingling sensation ran up Sun's spine as he gazed at the item from hell. Its eyes felt like it was staring at the innermost part of his soul, reflecting his very life at its wooden retinas. "That is hella creepy..."
Normally, his teammates would've picked that chance to tease him or have some brief, sweet revenge for his pranks but, a chill prompted them to stay silent. Something did not sit right with this doll and since most of their hunches before were right, trusting their guts would be the most sensible thing to do.
"If there's anything I've learned in horror movies, is that dolls like that one are a big nope." dolls usually don't scare or creep Scarlet out but there are a few exceptions. This just happened to be one of them.
Arslan, having overheard them, rolled her eyes. For her, she doesn't sense nor see anything wrong with that flimsy looking doll. Chalk it up to her for not seeing the impossible become possible. "Don't tell me you're shaking like leaves just from seeing that. Seriously, that is nothing to be scared of."
That miffed them a tad bit. "Listen here girlie. We got here first, so we know more! Stop getting your panties up in a bun—" (1).
Neptune swiftly put a hand over his teammate's mouth, being the mediator. "What Scarlet meant is that past screenings have some similar things where objects that may or may not seem harmful in hindsight, could actually potentially kill you. Case in point, the boat from the last one."
Arslan blinked momentarily, before sheepishly rubbing a hand on her neck. Ok yeah, she might've been a bit aggressive. "My bad then... It's just that in my hometown in Mistral, I've seen many dolls, though mostly made of porcelain. Staring at that wooden one is child's play so believe me when I say this. That doll is nothing compared to those creepy shits." she replied, slightly shivering from the memories of the eery hellspawns. (2)
Sun's irritation died down instantaneously as he felt that statement spiritually. "Don't remind me of those demons, please..." he shook his head, trying to get the memory of those abominations staring at him. Just a glimpse of their soulless eyes is enough to make a man uneasy.
In the audience, Pyrrha overheard them due to Scarlet's small outburst catching her attention. Her whole body subtly shook in fear, remembering those toys, if she could even call them that.
So many sleepless nights...
Meanwhile, Ozpin merely sat and partook in his beloved beverage, thinking of the next Stand user's possible capabilities and just waited for the inevitable as well as a few others. Didn't stop them from voicing their own two cents though.
"I'd say it's possessed. Like a ghost finding his host, the Stand possesses the doll to do some mayhem."
Oobleck hummed. "That's very plausible, Peter. The possibilities are aplenty when it comes to Stands."
"Maybe it's controlled like a puppet? Like how a ventriloquist operates his dummy, the user controls it to do their bidding." Glynda chimed in as she put a finger on her chin. After all, she has a semblance that is more or less like telekinesis so sue her if that's the first thought that came to mind.
"Or it's the doll itself."
Eyes darted over Qrow who took a swig from his flask. He then put one leg over the other as he donned a relaxed position in his seat.
"I mean, think about it. Mr. Monkey Brain last time controlled a goddamn ship possibly bigger than Jimmy's flagship so a doll being a Stand isn't too farfetched in my eyes. Again, Stand rules. It can be whatever crap you can think of."
Ozpin shook his head in an amused manner. "Crudely profound while being straightforward... You never change."
Qrow shrugged. "I just prefer being blunt. Though, I could be subtle or tactful if the situation calls it. Comes with the job of "birdwatching"." a person glinted towards him, though he had failed to notice until it was too late.
The Beacon staff felt amused with that remark whilst Tai began to tease his brother from another mother when he overheard them.
They certainly won't deny his skills in being inconspicuous though. While the old crow of Beacon is too frank from time to time, he could be subtle at the right moments.
"YOU JUST MADE A PUN! OH MY GOD, I CAN'T WAIT TO TELL YANG ABOUT THIS!"
"LAY OFF ME DUMBASS! DON'T LUMP ME IN WITH THE LIKES OF YOU!"
Yup. Subtle indeed.
Raven shuffled in her seat, hesitating whether she would change seats to get away from the two idiots or stay because her seat provided a good view. "Why did I associate myself with these two before again?"
The door harshly opened — "Oh, thank god..." — startling a few others while one thanked the deity for rescuing his behind. Being branded as one of the "Punsters" — terrible name courtesy of Tai because of course — of the family is the last thing he wanted and he'll gladly help Ruby castrate himself if the time comes.
PR, clad in another hoodie and pajama outfit, came through. None verbally commented about it as they're used to his casual get-ups. Steam emitted from the deity, as he seemed to be rubbing off his cloaked head with a towel as he breathed out a content sigh.
"PHEW! Nothing beats a hot shower!"
Eyebrows were raised.
"You take... showers?" a stupefied Winter failed to see the importance of a being doing something... inexplicable for the likes of him.
"Wellllll... not really." their confusion rose. Evidently so when they continued to stare at him. "While sure, it's pretty pointless however, it helps me think sometimes. It first happened when I heard of the phenomena known as "shower thoughts" where we suddenly become philosophical or think more when having them. I thought it was just a bunch of baloney, but it actually works."
Some felt it was understandable since epiphanies unusually strike them when taking showers, even when sometimes it's mundane.
PR then cleared his throat as he slowly hovered towards the screen. "Go on and do the usual before I start the screening. Anything from banal stuff to important queries will do."
A certain reaper tilted her head. "Banal?"
"Obvious or dull but in this case, it can also mean common or ordinary. It's a very archaic term so I don't blame you if you're unfamiliar with the word, Ruby. Just used it right now so I get more familiar with it, since, you know, language nut and all. Anyways, disregarding that, go ahead and shoot." PR said while motioning for them to go on with his hand.
All of them gave a brief glance towards one another, waiting to see if anyone goes first. Seeing that no one volunteered at the moment, Pietro took the opportunity to voice his queries.
"Earlier, Mr. Ironwood informed me about an issue where a person doesn't have any aura. I, for one, assume such a thing is, putting it bluntly, nonsense." he looked at PR observantly after the deity stopped in his place. "However, I am an open-minded person so I, as well as the others, would like to hear your thoughts since I reckon you know more about our world."
PR then turned towards him before scratching his head as he contemplated that question. "I... uhm, actually heard that tidbit of conversation earlier. I was actually taking a break that time so I came and watched along for a bit since why not. So... I guess it's not true?" he looked a bit uncertain.
Saphron raised her eyebrow. "Why do you sound like you're not sure about it?"
PR sighed. It's like he's being interrogated. "Well, aura is complicated but, yeah. It's not true. Every living thing has aura, well, in your world. If you remembered what Avdol said, then, disregard it. It's just his perspective or his own thoughts about it. I mean, what can he say to his parents at a young age? "Look mom! My Semblance is a fire bending chicken man!""he said that whilst doing an impression of a child, albeit poorly, to prove his point. "If I was his parents, I would've thought he was hysterical or something and since he's in an environment where scientific items or officials are scarce and pricey, he just concluded that he doesn't have aura. Him getting hurt while his Stand is manifested is another 'evidence' to prove his point. Though, spoiler alert, he does find out about it sooner or later. He and Joseph didn't talk about the significance of Stands and Aura before so it's understandable that he doesn't know."
It seemed that while he did answer a query of theirs, the questions that lingered in their minds multiplied.
"So... if that is the case, then why do Stands leave their users' bodies vulnerable to damage?" Amber asked.
PR's left eye twitched. It's like a presentation though this time, he wasn't prepared. "Uhm... that is a can of worms I do not want to open but seeing that y'all insist, then fine. Oh god..." he massaged his temples before sighing briefly. "So, what Pietro said was right earlier though I would also like to add some more about that. Stands are the manifestation of the soul, not a fraction, but the entirety of it.
Though I don't know how the hell one's soul is measured, aura can be used in various amounts. Think of it like a box of pizza, regardless of how terrible the analogy is. So, consuming an amount of aura is like eating a single slice. You just partook a portion of it. For Stands however, you eat the whole pie in one go, meaning you partook all of the source at once. So, when someone's aura breaks, they just ate the entirety of the pie slice by slice though they get fatigued afterwards while Stand users don't have this drawback. In other words, manifesting a Stand is in a way, similar to breaking someone's aura, you use the entirety of your soul, leaving you vulnerable.
And lastly, yes. Glynda did lock Jaune's aura. You can lock someone's aura by weakening someone's aura and destabilizing it hence, it's impossible to control it. You can unlock it by stabilizing it either with the help of someone or by going through an event where it's forcefully unlocked through life or death situations though there are times where it won't occur. Just wanted to add that in to clarify your thoughts." (3)
PR then sped up and hovered towards the screen. He had conducted his usual chants before inserting an orb, not even bothering to acknowledge their other queries. After everything is set, he turned around as he slightly raised his hand to make the crowd go silent.
"I apologize if I was able to only answer that. That question surprisingly took a lot from me so I'm heading out to my room to rest since I've been doing crap for most of my time. I'll answer the others by the next screening. Toodles." without waiting for their responses, he instantly disappeared in a cloud of smoke, leaving the group to themselves.
Needless to say, the turn of events prior to the present was a bit overwhelming for them. The information they had received still left them contemplating though, seeing that their query time got cut short, they relaxed instead as the screen began to flicker before starting the next screening.
Also, while a bit peeved, they could sense the urgency and fatigue in his voice so they decided to adjust themselves in their seats as they try to get comfortable.
It was a fine day in Menagerie. The sun is shining brightly; the crystal clear seawater, free of any pollutants, flowing freely; ferries bringing in more faunus as they come and go.
Truly, it was a fine day.
Near the shore, our group of heroes are seen discussing with one another, their luggage either in hand or lying at the ground beside them, as they debate on staying at the decent looking hotel Joseph had pointed at with Anne watching them silently from behind.
Suddenly, a faunus guard of sorts hurriedly approached them with a whistle in hand as he whistled loudly to catch their attention. Seeing that they continued to go on with their talk without giving him any thought, he whistled more fiercely and as soon as he was a meter away from the group, he stopped.
The group now turned towards the guard, who was vehemently breathing with an intense gaze towards a particular Atlasian, disrupting their discussion.
"You! I'm talking to you!" the guard pointed to Polnareff, his face donning a very vexed expression.
Polnareff stared. "Huh?"
"You! You threw this trash didn't you!?" Polnareff looked even more confused when the guard scoffed at him. "You lowly humans! You dare try to dirty Menagerie!? You shouldn't even be here in the first place, you scoundrels!"
Kakyoin leaned closer to Jaune's ear, feeling a bit agitated. "I didn't know this place's xenophobia run this deep..."
The faunus and faunus supremacists took offense to that, though the former only by a bit. They can't fault him when a major percentage in the faunus society look down on humans, especially in Menagerie.
"Sienna, calm down." Ghira said, a bit irked at the student's remark but kept his own composure. "He has a point, unfortunately. With the current White Fang's mentality influencing a majority of faunus, including in Menagerie, a lot of people would think the same."
"And I would like to add that the vice versa occurs when faunus arrive at the other kingdoms, even at Beacon." Ozpin briefly glanced towards CRDL, who flinched when they felt his stare, before looking down solemnly. "Racialism and xenophobia are common nowadays, sadly. I still can't fathom why such things exist." he added, frowning at the petty concept of prejudice towards others just because of racial diversity
Ghira somberly nodded. "It is a sad fact, I'm afraid. And to make it worse, some faunus now share bigotry, no doubt because of a certain someone." he gave a subtle glance to Adam as to not provoke his ire to prevent any unnecessary disputes which would waste everyone else's time.
Sienna sighed, upset about the truth in their points. She now debated whether putting Adam in charge of the White Fang branch in Vale will do more good for their cause or not.
Ilia, who noticed her superior's expression, thought grimly as if reading what she's thinking. "Oh you don't know half of it... Makes me wonder why I choose to follow him."
"Don't generalize." Jaune chastised, indifferent at the unfolding scene. "With how the White Fang operates nowadays, a lot of faunus are influenced. Add in their shitty history with some scumbags who can't accept the fact that there is diversity in races and the result is that kind of mentality."
Adam clicked his tongue, grimacing at the memories of their rallies going south. It left a sour taste in his mouth just remembering those scenes. "If only I could've seen the truth sooner then maybe, less of my own people would've been harmed."
Meanwhile, a lot of people in the crowd, especially the female Schnees, took subtle glances toward the Schnee Patriarch before looking back at the screen with a frown.
Kakyoin became saddened at that before looking back at the occurring dispute. He remembered some events that are associated with the faunus turning for the worse when he saw it in the news as a kid. He just never knew the outcome would result to this with how different faunus act in their hometown.
"For this offense, you should be fined! A fine of five hundred lien should suffice!" to further emphasize that he's serious, he raised his open hand in front of him as if rubbing it in his face.
Yang cringed. With how destructive and easy-going she is — according to her teammates but she believed the contrary, albeit slightly — she would've spent thousands already just from the fines alone! "I'm starting to have second thoughts of visiting your place, Blakey. No offense."
Her partner sighed in indignation at the scene. It's like a corrupt cop trying to fine someone a large amount for something minor. "None taken."
Polnareff's eyes widened in both confusion and indignation. "What? Five hundred?"
"In Menagerie, there's a law that says you will be fined for littering!"
Yang turned to her partner with a brow raised. She just thought it was like those city rules to make citizens more disciplined like the ones in Patch. "Blake?" (4)
Blake once again sighed, now in trepidation as she already sees how they'll react. "It's... somewhat true but I remember it being 50 lien only..."
Now a lot of people were pissed at the unfairness, some more than others.
"You mean to tell me the guard, out of prejudice of all things, raised the fine by 10 times?" the Schnee heiress asked in which she was replied by a nod. While Weiss wouldn't worry about paying the fine at all if she was in their shoes, the inequity of the event left her vexed.
She then thought of her father, thinking that he would be one of those who would do such a thing. Truly, a mind of a bigot is utterly sickening.
And it seems the group remained indifferent despite the circumstances.
Kakyoin narrowed his eyes. It was a large amount. In fact, it was too large that made him suspicious about it. "Five hundred lien..."
Joseph merely donned a neutral look. "It won't really bother us even if we do pay it but..." it would inconvenience them a bit since there is a chance paperwork is involved. If they got lucky, they can just give it to the guard and head off.
Avdol just raised his brow, confused at it all. "Trash?"
The guard then accusatorily pointed his index finger to Polnareff. "Got it!?" he yelled out with a sneer
"Trash?" Polnareff parroted Avdol, his bewilderment increasing as seconds pass. None said a word as the two parties had a standstill. Chattering soon approached as many faunus went towards them, seeing what was causing the commotion.
"What are you talking about?" last he checked, not one in the group, especially himself, littered once. It will be stupid since they are in a land where majority of the habitants sneer at them, even if they didn't do anything.
He looked around, seeing more faunus approach as they whispered to one another but he couldn't care less about that. He surveyed the area, checking to see what 'trash' the guard was referring to until something caught his eye from below. Something conspicuous.
Something very familiar.
Avdol snorted, trying to stifle his laughter lest he provokes the guard and the gathering crowd. He would not like to be stared at as if he was walking trash, thank you very much. (5)
Realization hit hard. Like a bulldozing bumper car, being driven by a overly excited driver who drank too much caffeine, heading straight towards your unsuspecting car.
One by one, each person in the crowd would either laugh, chuckle, smile, or look amused at the eccentric development. Though there are those who remained neutral.
"D-did he really—!?" Marrow put both hands on his belly, struggling to keep his breathing in check as he laughed hysterically.
"Apparently." Flynt chuckled as he remained amused, subconsciously waiting to see what happens next.
"I don't see anything here besides my own luggage." the confusion dissipated rather quickly as a smirking Polnareff pointed his finger on the guard's chest. "Would you be so kind as to tell me what trash you're referring to?"
The guard, knowing he screwed up, leaned away instinctively which was futile since the Atlasian leaned forward, upping his panic.
The smirk did not help.
"Where is this trash, sir?"
Polnareff closed the proximity between them, his face dangerously close as his smirk turned a tad malicious.
The guard gulped, intimidated as a chill went up his spine. "Th-That's your luggage?"
"That's right." the guard looked more panicked when he felt an arm 'playfully' hooking around him. A lump formed in his throat
"I-I'm terribly sorry."
Amusement rose as the comical scene progressed. The interactions between them, while it can truly happen in real life, were done in a droll manner as if it was taken straight from a show.
The group laughed wholeheartedly, barring Jaune who just lightly smiled in amusement, while the crowd slowly went down in numbers after finding out it was just a misunderstanding. They would've openly insulted the group for their 'wrongdoings' however, seeing that the guard was the one at fault, they just left with huffs and went on with their businesses.
Though, out of all of them, Anne laughed the loudest due to her slightly higher pitched voice compared to the deep and gruff voices of the men. Said men noticed that as they stared at her, including Polnareff who turned around to regard her. Something about her presence caused them to pipe their laughter.
Feeling the stares, Anne stopped with her guffaw as she huffed, looking at the side with her hands behind her back.
The guard took that opportunity to flee before the intimidating Atlasian could 'berate' him again. "Well, I'll be going then..."
"Oh yeah, wasn't she supposed to go find her father?" asked a confused Marigold.
Robyn shrugged. "Maybe there's an issue that prevented her from doing so that's why she stuck around. I know I would've."
"What's with the brat? She's still following us." Polnareff muttered to Jaune, making sure he said it as quiet as possible to not attract other faunus. Considering Anne is a faunus herself, him saying that would just result into faunus glaring at him or something even worse.
At this point, Joseph had to ask. "Hey, weren't you going to go see your father?"
"Why don't you stop following us and get going?" Polnareff followed, raising his voice a bit. Since Joseph made it loud and clear that they're not her legitimate companions, surely it's fine to do so, right?
She huffed in response, her fox ears slightly drooped. "I'm meeting up with him in five days. I can go wherever I want!" she gave them the stink eye before turning away. "I'm not taking orders from you guys."
Normally, this type of attitude would make her look like a brat to them, no doubt. However, her true emotions were somewhat shown when she subtly glanced to Jaune, her eyes showing that she's pleading to stay either to feel safe or for unknown reasons.
Though, Juniper called bullshit on that as she realized that look of hers. After all, she had done that look to her husband from their teenage years. "Don't tell me..." she felt a bit conflicted when she had that thought. On one hand, this has proved that the Arc charm was still effective but on the other, this was a damn child! A twelve year old at least! "Well... their age gap is only five years plus, the age of consent is thirteen years old. A year wou— wait, what am I thinking!?"
Yeah, she's desperate for grandchildren. Blame Adrian for that. Kid's cute as a button. Sue her for wanting to have an army of those calling her "gwany." It's every mother and grandmother's dream to be chased by a bunch of cute critters.
Jaune just stared, in his aloof way of course, before turning his attention to the group.
"She'll be in danger if she stays with us." Avdol warned, not wanting to add a bystander to this private battle. Plus, she will weigh them down in fights if she gets involved.
"Maybe she doesn't have any money?" Kakyoin mused.
Joseph sighed, reluctantly agreeing. He doesn't want a lone kid to just wander the streets of a very crowded place especially when he heard the White Fang has a base in the island. Worst case scenario, the kid will join and rat them out. Though surprisingly, the White Fang hadn't came to them yet.
Something to think about later.
"Fine... I guess we can pay for her hotel room. It won't bother us financially anyways and I'd feel guilty if we leave her be." he turned to the Atlasian. "Polnareff, bring her, but don't hurt her pride."
Anne just waited, hearing what they said as her ears and tail fully drooped, reminding them of an abandoned pup. She didn't notice Polnareff as she brooded in her place.
"Hey!" the young girl looked up, seeing the Atlasian was referring to her. "You're poor right? We'll pay for you, so come with us."
The place was filled with audible slaps as a majority in the audience planted a palm in their faces.
Coco sighed before she chuckled for a bit. "Of course..."
"Poor choice of words... No pun intended." Bolin commented, looking unamused.
Anne sighed in vexation, a bit offended at the straightforward comment.
Joseph did the same as he put his hand on his forehead before shaking his head while Avdol and Kakyoin chuckled amusedly.
Polnareff just blinked, a tad confused on their reactions. Did he say something wrong?
As the mirth died down, the group looked towards a decent three-story establishment as the sun shone on the windows.
"Well then, let us check in..."
The scene changed to the insides of the hotel. While most establishments in Menagerie are made of wood, there are rare instances where it is made up out of concrete, marble, or painted cement. Though, these are reserved for the slightly higher class of their society or foreigners that come to their continent.
Including humans. On occasion though.
The group still felt the stares of various citizens however, at this point they're used to it.
"I'm terribly sorry, but we are rather full at this time of year. The rooms won't be next to each other, is that all right?" the female hotel clerk informed Joseph, who was busy doing the paperwork for them to get in, as she held herself professionally.
Normally, she would don a slightly aggressive nature towards humans but since the man in front of her is a big name, one who doesn't discriminate and help out their kind a lot with his business, their hotel included, she'll let it slide.
"Considering that he's a CEO of a huge real estate company, I can see why their business got helped by him too. Strange that he still reaches to Menagerie though but not unwelcome." Kali mused. He probably had connections within the continent or had deals with her husband. Either way, she's glad not all rich folks are as stuck up as the elitists in Atlas.
"Well, I guess we don't have a choice. Then for the rooms... Avdol and I will share a room..." Joseph declared to the group as he awaited for their responses.
"Jaune and I will share a room, since we're both students." Kakyoin informed as Jaune nodded with the decision. He's fine with that.
Joseph turned his head over the remaining unpaired members. "That would mean the last room would be Polnareff and..." they turned towards Anne, who just stood there silently. She blinked in rapid succession, before realization hit her.
"You're joking! Like I'd room with him of all people!"
The hotel clerks couldn't help but chuckle at the display, letting their prejudice aside and accepting that these people are good natured with how casual the girl acted despite her attitude towards the one with the weird hairdo.
"Well, she is a child, but also a lady..." he turned to the hotel clerk. "Could you make it four rooms?"
"Yes." she complied. A few moments later, the hotel clerk presented them four keys leading to their rooms.
Polnareff went to grab his room key first as it dangled. "I can relax more in my own room anyway! Nothing would suit me better!" he let the key jingle for a bit before taking a few steps away from them.
He "Let's go. We've been through hell since we left Hong Kong. Let's hurry up and take a shower where it's safe."
Cue the amused chuckles from the group.
"For an Atlasian, he seems very laid back. But then again, there's Ms. Katt." Ciel gave a glance towards the mentioned feline, who looked oddly proud at the subliminal insult.
"Darn right I am! Just because the society of Atlas is filled with stuck-ups, doesn't mean that I should be one too!" she quickly caught on to what she said before looking at the other Atlasians. "No offense."
Many wouldn't deny that, especially Weiss. With how many gatherings she attended, she'd experienced firsthand the elitism in the higher class of the social hierarchy in that forsaken kingdom. When the day comes that those entitled silver-spooned morons would renounce their elitist ways will be the day that her father will care for faunus.
Which is never.
"Why do I feel offended all of a sudden?" Jacques thought in his seat, brows quirking at the sudden thought.
Once they went to their respective floors, the group separated from one another though not before bidding the others a temporary farewell.
Polnareff then went to go to his room as to unpack his belongings and milk this opportunity to relax. As he got to the door, he inserted his room key, unlocking it before entering as he observed his lodging.
The place looked cozy enough to rest in. The quality is satisfactory and while the hallway is a bit cramped, the room is quite spacious. The hallway had two doors which Polnareff inspected one of them and it led to a dim bathroom. Yet, despite this, something felt off.
Barbara felt a bit disturbed at the room's appearance and atmosphere. "Liminal spaces man... They creep the hell out of me..."
Diana blinked. "I'm surprised you knew what liminal spaces are."
A brow was raised. "Is that an insult?"
Diana shrugged. "Not really. It's just that the term is rarely used." (6)
Mary rose her brow. "What are those anyway?"
"Basically, they're places, often empty ones, that are both unsettling, but also familiar. A good example is the one we've just seen since while we're familiar with hotel rooms, knowing something is off despite the emptiness of the atmosphere made it uncomfortable for us."
Mary's eyes widened in realization. "Ohhh. That makes a lot of sense." she remembered the time where she saw an empty parking lot and just seeing it gave her some chills. "Didn't know there was a term for that until now."
After that bit of inspection, he tossed his key to the desk near the bed as it landed right next to the doll. He then went to the transparent sliding door before giving out an irritated sigh.
"I guess you guys aren't going to give us a chance to rest..."
"He's quite perceptive, I'll give him that." Vernal was impressed. Sure, instincts have a role in one's perception but regardless, knowing when an unwelcome party is there or not will increase survivability.
Something that she herself had plenty of practice for.
He eyed the small refrigerator behind him as he turned valiantly to it. "Come out."
With a sharp hiss, the refrigerator slowly opened as a man slowly crawled out of the freezing "hiding spot." Said man returned the glare with an equal amount of malice as the two parties had a stare off.
"Yeesh... What's with the baddies being creepy as hell!?" Reese exclaimed, clearly creeped out. Oddly enough, when she glanced to some others, they were more weirded out than disturbed.
"You get used to it." Yatsuhashi replied while his eyes looked contemplative as he didn't break his gaze to the screen. "Though, why a refrigerator of all things? He could've just hid in something else. Sure, it's unorthodox and many won't think that someone's inside it, but seriously?" he questioned.
"Maybe his Stand sort of prevents him from getting hypothermia?" Velvet mused before frowning. "But that doesn't explain the significance of the doll..."
"Good point... I guess let's just find out." Fox suggested before he relaxed himself in his seat.
Meanwhile, Nadir looked ticked. "Is no one questioning how that big ass dude fit in that small thing!?" seriously, he even came out of the thing with his hands first! Did the dude even have enough space to do that!?
He slumped when he was met with silence instead of any reactions. He glanced towards his teammates for some support but they faced the screen instead of looking at him. Though, Bolin glanced back at him as he tilted his head to the screen as if gesturing to find out for himself. So, he did that, though not without some grumbles.
As soon as the man's body was entirely out of the small refrigerator, he crouched down as he entered a stance.
Polnareff's eyes narrowed. "That's some sharp killing intent you've got there. Why don't you let me know your name before I, Polnareff, kill you."
The mysterious man did not waste a second to reply. "My name is Devo the Cursed. My Stand suggests the card called "The Devil." It evokes a curse's dark manipulations, deteriorating mental health, and an inauspicious path of ruin and downfall."
Brawnz raised a brow. "So in other words, confusion and misfortune?"
Roy shrugged. "Probably. That edgy chuunibyou talk kinda flew over my head. Like seriously, get to the point. I get it that you wanted to sound profound but that's just too much man."
May looked away nervously, hoping her teammates won't catch her sudden change in demeanor. Truth be told, she once had the so called "Second Year Syndrome" back in middle school. In fact, it's a major reason why she's this timid in the first place! That damn phase made her cringe every time she remembers even a moment from her past! She'd never live it down when her teammates find out about it.
""Dark Burning"... why I thought it was a cool name for a move was beyond me..." (7)
"How did you know I was in the fridge?"
Instead of humoring him calmly, Polnareff lunged forward as he violently grabbed the collar of Devo's clothing as he closed the proximity. "Seriously!? Are you that stupid? You took everything out of the fridge and didn't bother putting any of it away!"
"Wait, those were there? I didn't even notice it..." Nolan asked his teammates which he was replied by a bunch of "same"s from the three. Looking around, others were confused too.
Though, instead of looking panicked at his situation, Devo smirked maliciously.
Sensing that something was off, Polnareff released his grip as he backed off. Sweat was dripping from his body as he donned a fighting stance.
"EBONY DEVIL!" Devo yelled as his Stand manifested. The alien looking Stand had a pair of horns that were rounded at the end as it appeared small in size. The Stand was also holding a miniature sword with its right hand.
Harriet whistled. "Feisty looking thing. Guess we're gonna see a sword fight between the two." she laid back against her seat as she waited for the battle to begin.
The Stand launched itself towards Devo as it conducted a series of continuous stabs. Its swift attacks managed to land on Devo's forehead, left eye and tongue as the man yelled in pain before moving a few steps away from Polnareff. Blood sprayed the room, painting some of the furniture red.
Many cheered at the counterattack as the ambush went south for Devo. Though, they were curious why Ebony Devil didn't do anything to protect its user or attack back but they chalked it up to it being overwhelmed by Silver Chariot's speed.
"Nice! He hit something vital!" Marina thought that ending the fight before it even started was a good tactic. Though, she had to admit that was rather quick but hey, it was efficient.
Clover nodded. "Eye sockets are vulnerable since the skull doesn't cover these parts. So, he can easily reach the brain with those strikes."
"Plus the cuts were deep. About an inch or two went through. I'll be surprised if he lives through that." Vine added.
A rather odd scene occurred next as the fading figure of Ebony Devil disappeared. What's more odd is that it looked as if it fell towards the doll before disappearing.
"Talk about pathetic." Polnareff remarked with a smirk as he let Silver Chariot disappear before crossing his arms. "The ape we met the other day was a much more powerful and terrifying Stand user than you." his smirk fell as he grunted in confusion when saw that Devo was still standing despite the fatal attacks connecting.
"N-Now you've done it, Polnareff!" Devo chuckled maniacally, the wounds surprisingly not affecting him. His hand covered his left eye as blood dripped down on his fingers. "How dare you do this to me!?"
His chuckles eventually turned into full blown manic laughter as blood violently gushed out of his injured socket before he thrashed around in place looking...
"It hurts! IT REALLY HURTS!" he continued to bellow as his laughter rang out through the entire theater. In contrast to his statements, his expression looked as if he was feeling the most pleasurable experience that mankind has given to him.
They felt sick. This was utterly revolting. How a man could feel joy through excruciating pain was beyond them. They had to swallow and prevent the biles that were forcing themselves up their throats. Him being miraculously alive was ignored due to the overwhelming disgust they felt towards the man.
"Holy shit... I think I'd rather have Tyrian than that psycho..." Mercury whispered to his partner, who nervously nodded in agreement. Tyrian may have a lot of screws loose in his head, but the man was bearable enough to work with. They can't imagine teaming up with this guy.
"Ditto..." Emerald agreed, which was a first and Mercury would've called her on it but it was not worth it at the moment.
"I bet death threats and torture gets him off. Fucking sicko... Bastard makes Tyrian look like a tolerable person." Roman sneered. Seeing someone worse than the scorpion faunus was something that he did not expect to see nor does he want to see, especially meet.
Tyrian however, scoffed at their comments. He looked appeased at the scene before him and to think such plebeians decide to trample on it made his tail twitch violently. "Tch. If only a bit of carnage is allowed but noooo..." he cursed lowly before grumbling in his seat.
"W-What's with him?" Polnareff subconsciously took a step back as he felt disturbed at this odd chain of events.
"IT HURTS!" another bellow rang out as Devo walked back to the balcony. "Curse you..." the bellow increased in intensity before a gurgling sound was heard. Even the taste and feeling of liters of blood on his throat was ignored as he continued to spout curses at the atlasian. His back was now against the fence of the balcony.
"How dare you!? How dare you do that!? Now I can really hold a grudge against you!" his vision started to get blurry as red mostly covered his peripheral vision. "Such... Such painful agony must be avenged! I let you find me and attack me on purpose!" he declared loudly to the world as he leaned backwards, letting himself fall off the balcony as his scream faded.
Though, instead of hearing a distant thud, he heard the sound of metal clanging as if he fell to a garbage bin. Noticing this, Polnareff immediately made haste towards the fence to investigate and what he saw made his blood still.
There was no sign of any corpse on the ground or anywhere within the hotel's vicinity.
"H-He's gone!" he desperately looked around, making sure he didn't just overlook him but alas, that was not the case. "He disappeared?"
Audible gasps rang out as pandemonium erupted.
"H-How—!?" Qrow's baffled exclaims died down immediately as he sighed exasperatedly. "You know what, I don't give a shit anymore. We — especially me — should be used to this bullshit." he reached his flask, grumbling. "Stupid disappearing acts and all that crap."
The Rose family and his colleagues had sweatdrops forming on their heads, even the oh so superior Raven. Apparently, mood swings aren't common when it comes to the drunk.
"I mean, he's got a point..." Summer thought. Tricks like that will give them an element of surprise, making them have more advantages to use in battle. Thus, they should be used to it since Dio's subordinates are more likely to fight dirty which, in her opinion, is vital when fighting humans and faunus or anyone with a brain in a life or death situation.
She'd rather fight using practical means than using flashy moves and stalling out the fight regardless of whether or not her fighting style says otherwise.
"Wh-What's going on?"
As soon as those words came out of his mouth, his sense of unease increased. Unknown to him, something else was creeping up behind him as this disembodied being approached him with haste.
When Polnareff noticed the bloodlust from behind him, it was too late.
He grunted loudly as a large portion of his left foot's flesh has been sliced off by an unseen force. Blood gushed violently, spilling red across a portion of the balcony and the inside of the room.
"I-I can't believe it! When did he cut me!?"
A few cringed at the sight.
"Yeesh... That gotta hurt." Mercury felt phantom pains across his legs which utterly baffled him. Weren't his legs mechanical!? "How the fuck..."
Nora, however, mused at the sight. Something about this scene is strangely familiar. "This gives off horror movie vibes..."
Pyrrha gave her a questioning look, but the thought also reminded her of something she had seen before. "Now that you mentioned it, it does..."
A few others sent them confused looks, but they won't deny that thought. The event does look like something straight from a B-rated horror movie. (8)
He crouched down from the pain as he twitched from the injury. "I-I don't think I felt an attack... No, I'm sure I didn't feel it." he said shakily as he limped his way towards the telephone next to the bed.
As soon as he was close, he immediately sat down on the bed to rest and treat his injured foot as he swiftly dialed Joseph's number to alert them of his predicament.
"Mr Joestar! A Stand user was hiding in my room!" his voice then donned a confused tone. "Wait, are you Avdol!?" he immediately regained himself as there are more important matters to focus on.
"Anyways, listen! He's completely baffling. I can't tell if he's strong or weak... H-He just creeps the hell out of me!" he looked down towards his foot as he continued to wince from treating it. "He ran away... damn it, I don't know how too... Just don't let your guard down! My leg's suddenly been cut open."
It was then shown that the suspicious doll was underneath the bed, holding one of the only blades available in the room.
"See what I mean Pyrrha! That's a horror movie thing!" Nora exclaimed, shaking her fellow redhead frantically. "Seeing something that is not supposed to be there is one of the universal rules of a horror movie!"
"O-Ok, I get it! S-So please stop shaking me! I'm g-getting dizzy..."
Ren smirked in amusement at the exchange before shaking his head and looking back at the scene. Nora muttered a quick apology in which Pyrrha stated that it was fine.
"Just don't do it again please..."
"... No promises."
"Ebony Devil, who suggests "The Devil"?" Avdol replied in a questioning tone. "You're positive that's what he said?"
"Yeah. But no matter how much I think, it still doesn't make sense. I know for a fact that I saw a glimpse of his Stand. But even though I don't remember, let alone seen an attack, my leg's been gouge." Polnareff tried to rack his brain, thinking of any possibilities that may have happened but nothing comes to mind. Sighing, he took a look at the doll he had just found from underneath the bed.
"Anyway, I'll be there in five minutes. Room 1212, on th twelfth floor, right? Contact Kakyoin and Jaune for me too! Later!" he hung up the phone as he dialed the front desk of the hotel. After a few moments, one of the staff picked up the call as he picked up the doll from the floor, inspecting it.
"This is the front desk."
"Hello? Room service? I hurt my leg a bit..." he then turned the doll before slowly pulling it closer. "Could you bring up some kind of medicine and some bandages? This is Polnareff in room 912."
"Understood. We'll bring it up immediately."
He then put the phone down as he did the same to the doll, slightly adjusting it as he went to make himself a little comfortable in the bed. He still eyed everything as he prepared himself for any surprise attacks.
Suddenly, an aggravating thought hit him as he looked troubled.
"Ooohhh~ Did he figure it out!?" Melanie exclaimed. A lot from the audience overheard this as they hoped that the Atlasian did solve things out.
"Hope so. Less hassle along the way." Miltia added, hoping that was the case.
"I got hurt in the pants that I hadn't washed or even worn yet. Damn it..." he then sighed exasperatedly as he put a hand on his forehead, grumbling.
Cue the facepalms.
"... Nevermind." Melanie never wanted to strangle someone so much up until this point.
Meanwhile, Junior gave a hidden chuckle as to not increase his niece's ire. "There, there. Just let the idiot be." he struggled hard to hide his snorts and fortunately, his niece didn't caught wind of it.
Good for him. As Miltia had said, less hassle along the way.
The camera then panned towards the doll before the scene changed, showing the room of Avdol and Joseph.
"Do you know about the one who attacked Polnareff, Avdol?" Joseph inquired, noticing the hint of surprise in Avdol from earlier.
"Indeed. Devo, an assassin who claims to be a Native American medicine man, but he's a terrifying Stand user. Mafioso, militaries, and politicians from all around Remnant hire him. I've seen Ebony Devil once before." Avdol stated, before trying to recall the event.
"He was covered in wounds, and those wounds were all obtained by provoking his enemy to attack. He controls his Stand through the power of its grudge against that attacker. That's why, to ordinary people, it seems like a curse killed the victims."
"That definitely explains the confusion and misfortune part of his Stand. The kind of power to kill your enemies before them finding out what happened..." Sage shivered at that. Even Semblances don't have that same type of caliber when it comes to assassinating.
"And it's a perfect Stand for a complete lunatic like him... Remind me to have a forty feet long pole to keep him away from me." Russel added, dreading at the thought of meeting Devo face to face.
"So the dude completely fell for the sicko's tactics?" Dove felt sorry for Polnareff, knowing that he's treading on thin ice and if he fucks up...
Cardin felt sorry too. "Yup. He's screwed"
Sky prayed for the Atlasian. "RIP for you, Polnareff. Only a miracle will help him get through that crap."
"And Polnareff fell for that?"
Avdol nodded. "Sadly, yes."
Joseph grunted at the thought, before inquiring more information. "What kind of Stand does he use?"
"No one knows. Everyone who meets him ends up killed." both shared a brief silence, musing from the thought before Avdol spoke up and pointing a fact. "Right now, it's dangerous to leave Polnareff alone..."
"Or any of us, in fact."
"Ominous speech aside, he does have a point. More individuals means less flanks for the enemy and the lesser the flanks, the lesser the chance of any casualties happening." Jane concluded, earning nods of agreement from the crowd.
"So he might be able to pick us off, one by one..." Joseph sighed, not liking his ally's situation one bit. He tried to think of a plan for this predicament but since they know nothing of the enemy's whereabouts, grouping up is fine for now. So, he went towards the phone as he dialed to his grandson as to explain the current issue.
Soon after, the telephone in Jaune's and Kakyoin's room rang.
"Jaune. Something happened to Polnareff so he called to me. He will be here in five minutes. Everyone will meet up in this room. A regrouping is necessary to prevent anything happening."
Jaune nodded, responding immediately to prevent wasting time. "Got it. We'll all meet up in room 1212, old man." Jaune put down the phone as his look started to turn a little grim.
Kakyoin noticing his friend's slight change of demeanor in the mirror decided to inquire him. "What's going on, Jojo?"
He turned towards the door, gesturing his fellow student to follow him. "Let's go. Apparently, we're in danger. I'll explain along the way."
It goes back to show Polnareff's room as the Atlasian appeared to be troubled by his conundrum. He shuffled his clothing and afterwards, put his hands in his pockets to fish something out only to find nothing.
"That's weird. I can't find my room key." he looked around, backtracking. Remembering what he did before, he slowly walked towards the slightly bloodied desk as he inspected it. "I could have sworn I set it here..."
Finding nothing, he sought out to the bed, lifting one of the pillows up briefly as he shuffled the find to continue his pursuit with a sigh of disappointment. "If I don't have my key, I won't be able to get back in here. Could I just tell the front desk?"
Involuntary shivers ran down the spines of those who were weak against the creepy abomination. It did not help that it had zoomed in to one of its eyes, the Atlasian's actions reflecting on it as if the inanimate object was watching it intently.
Fiona squirmed in her seat as she instinctively leaned closer to Robyn, who gave the girl slow rubs on her back to try and calm her down. "Why did it have to zoom in to its eye!?"
Oscar sank even deeper in his seat, eyes covered by his hands. "Oh god, it's starting to remind me of that one doll movie! Why did I watch that!?" flashbacks occurred as he whimpered even more in his seat.
He then proceeded to look underneath the bed to see if it just fell there. "Is there a fine for that?" he groused at the thought before clicking his tongue, relieved that he found what he was looking for. "There it is. Must've fallen during all the commotion earlier."
He reached for it, slightly going further underneath the bed.
"Ah shit, things are about to go down..."
Ivori nervously chuckled at Kobalt's mutterings. "That's putting it lightly."
Tock groaned at the occurring scene, offended at the easy rookie mistake. "Common' luv! Itz 'n obvious trap! How did yer fell for it!? Ar' yer fooking kidding me!?"
Maria shared the same sentiment albeit with less crudeness. "Ay ay ay, lad's gonna be in a rough spot."
As soon as he grabbed the item, a mild thudding noise came from above. He grunted, freezing in place. Surely, it was just the people on the upper floor creating a ruckus rig—
That went out of the gutter immediately as the thudding sounded relatively similar to someone running.
And it was close. Directly above him, which was the bedframe, came the heavy footsteps of a small creature if the sound was indicating it. He looked around in confusion, gasping lowly at the sudden event and as he looked forward...
A makeshift rope made out of cords shot out from the other side of the bedframe, catching his unsuspecting grip.
Said creature jumped nimbly, cord in hand as it knocked down the lamp, circling around the downed Atlasian. It shot out another string of knotted cords, entangling his right hand as it pulled the string violently, successfully disabling Polnareff from moving his arms to escape the trap or to counterattack.
His eyes widened in utter shock, his mind only now registering that he had fallen for the enemy's trap. "Wh-What's—" before he can utter more words, the creature, who had emerged from the side, squirted the liquid of the bottle it's holding directly straight to Polnareff's face.
Polnareff screamed in pain as the liquid managed to get in his eyes. "I-Is this shampoo!? Damn it! My eyes!"
An eruption of panicked pandemonium came from the audience, most of it coming from the younger generation. The students panicked, some paling due to the doll's intense amount of bloodlust and fearing for the worse while the adults grimaced as they braced themselves, recalling some scenarios where they were pinned down by the enemies and barely coming out alive.
The three arc children — Adrian included since he's technically an Arc — whimpered loudly as they instantly latched onto their respective mother's warm embrace as they shivered, the scene replaying on their minds over and over like a broken record.
Juniper didn't hesitate to bring the two closer to her as she tried to soothe her beloved younglings. "There, there. It's all right. Mama will protect you from the scary doll... at least I hope I can." she muttered that last part since she's not sure herself if she can handle seeing that. There's a difference between watching a horror movie, knowing moving dolls in those were fake than actually seeing one with her own two eyes.
Saphron did the same to her son, both her and her wife trying to calm their wailing child. She rocked Adrian in her arms while Terra rubbed his hair as she spoke soothingly. "Shh, shh. It's fine honey. There's no bad doll going to hurt you."
Juniper after noticing her eldest daughter's and her wife's actions immediately glanced to her frozen husband, silently prodding him to help her calm the children as well.
Said husband felt an intense aura beside him as he tried to regain himself before the stern glare of his wife worsens. "Wh-What she said, sweeties. Calm down because your mother and I are here to protect you." he tried to give his best reassuring smile but it only ended up in him smiling nervously. "This is ironic considering I won't be sleeping tonight. Thanks for the nightmare fuel, PR... WAIT!" his eyes suddenly widened as he thought of something. "Um, PR? Can you please do me a favor and put these three to sleep?"
Suddenly, the three quivering children passed out like a light much to the startled confusion of the Arc matriarch and the Cotta-Arc duo. Before they can exclaim what happened, they heard something inside their minds.
"Put them down to sleep since Nicholas asked me. Was gonna do it anyways just now to avoid them having possible trauma whether he asked or not. You're welcome"
The two weakly smiled, silently talking PR for that before steeling themselves for what's to come.
The doll then pulled out and brandished a hacksaw from behind the desk and with a wild swing, began to cut down the bed's legs at speeds it should be incapable of doing.
As Polnareff watched the scene unfold in front of his very eyes. As leg by leg went down, the amount of sweat he was excreting increased by the minute. "Th-This isn't good! Being trapped under the bed isn't good!"
And with that thought, the doll had finished cutting the final leg as the bed collapsed, creating a huge ruckus as it smashed him from underneath.
Meanwhile, the doll brandished the hacksaw again with a sinister chuckle as if it was a lumberjack who is proud of cutting its first tree when suddenly a knock came from the door, pulling the doll out of its machinations. The doll dropped the hacksaw in order to leap from its position swiftly in order to be inconspicuous once again.
Leonardo held up a finger as he stared at the screen in trepidation. "I don't like where this is going."
Salem scoffed from her seat, not liking the weakness her subordinate is emanating. What's a little bit of blood and guts being sprayed around. As long as it displayed results and it won't foil their schemes, she will overlook whatever bloodshed that should occur. "Note to self, have a little tête-à-tête with him about this. It won't do if one of my own will cower easily in the face of any hostilities." (9)
The door opened with a slight creak as a turtle faunus, evident from the large shell it has in its back, announced his arrival. "Mr. Polnareff, this is room service. I've brought your medicine." the bellboy declared, completely unaware of what had occurred and the imminent danger that is coming.
"Oh, come on! How did you not hear that!? Aren't faunus supposed to have super hearing or something!?" Ruby flailed in her seat in disbelief.
"You're stereotyping, Ruby. Not all faunus have enhanced hearing." Blake informed. "Our enhanced senses are different depending on our heritage."
"Indeed." Penny then put a finger up her chin, recalling a fact she had seen from her earlier analysis when she was a robot. "From what I remember, turtles have below average hearing compared to humans since they rely on other senses. However, they will still respond to loud sounds but I assume the walls are just too thick for him to hear the sound."
"I hope that is the case because if not, I will question if his mental capabilities are dimmed down or if he has trouble hearing." Ironwood added, head still not comprehending how the lad hadn't heard the loud commotion.
Polnareff feared for the man as he immediately tried to warn him. "Get away! You'll be killed!"
Unfortunately, the bellboy did not heed his warning and had stayed instead. "Huh? Wh-What has happened here!?" he took a step further to check on their Atlasian guest and to investigate, increasing Polnareff's fretfulness.
"Get out of here! I told you, you'll be killed!"
However, it was too late.
The bellboy took notice of an odd figure from the shadow, indicating that said figure was behind him. It saw it raise a blade slowly, readying to attack. Before he can make any more movements, the blade had struck, slicing through his face like butter as the large chunk of flesh fell, exposing the blacked out innards of his head. The deceased body fell, creating a moist and loud thud as blood pooled from the head.
Once the deed was done, the doll roughly grabbed the deceased body's hair as it hastily pulled it towards inside as it closed the door, putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign to fend off any more interruptions.
While they would normally try to endure the abhorrent gore, this had managed to churn their stomachs in the worst way possible as a majority had emptied the bile that had made its way up their throats. Censored or not, seeing someone's face fall off their heads is not a pleasant sight. As usual, buckets had conveniently popped out of nowhere to each person that had vomited to give them the opportunity to let it all out without worrying of any mess they could make.
"Why..." Nebula had gripped the edges of her bucket tightly. "I... am so — HNGK! — glad that... PR guy... censored that shit. Maybe next time... we should suggest censoring... more fucked up shit in... the future."
"Good... idea..." Octavia grumbled in unsteady breaths.
"I'm... taking note... of that..." Gwen muttered, definitely putting that in her higher priorities.
"Preach..." Dew would've screamed that happily but couldn't do so with her constantly groaning into the bucket.
"Man..." Sun groaned, not liking how he had emptied his breakfast and probably even his dinner from the past day. "Not even a full day has passed and I've already vomited again..."
"You can say that again... I am so not calling Jaune "Vomit Boy" again after this..." now that Yang had experienced the joys of puking, she had made a mental note to try and lessen her usage of that nickname since she now understands that sometimes, these things are uncontrollable regardless of how different the circumstances are.
Hazel had a hidden grimace as he prayed for the young man as he did so for others that had fallen from his hands. "Rest in peace lad..."
Joanna looked solemnly at the scene. "Another victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time..."
The doll chuckled sinisterly as he ran around the room as if it was a kid. It made a dash towards the front of the bed then went back as it ran to Polnareff's left. Somehow, it was immediately right beside his face on the right side as it hackled loudly, holding the blade in a threatening way.
"How dare you!?"
"You know, the little shit reminds me of how you fight. I don't want to say it, but it knows how to take advantage of blind spots and it looks like it's very good at doing ambush attacks." Roman scowled, not liking how he had lowkey approved of the thing's fighting style despite how unorthodox and effective it was, but regardless, he needs to give credit where credit is due.
Hey, he has standards so it's a given he won't like the way the psychopath operates on his duties.
Neo just stared at the screen, seemingly transfixed to it but it was more of trepidation than in awe. "Similar, yeah. Gotta agree, but there's no way in hell I'd act like that. Sure, I may be psychotic at times, but cutting off a person's face is a different type of fucked up shit, even for me."
The doll then waved the blade as his smirk widened a bit. "How dare you stab one of my eyes out, Polnareff!" it hackled even more as the Atlasian's eyes was still frozen in disbelief.
"A doll!? That's the..." he clicked his tongue. "SILVER CHARIOT!"
Instead of being alarmed or taking a defensive stance, the doll just waved the blade mockingly in front of its fellow Stand. "Are you stupid!? Your Stand isn't one that can fight where you can't see!" it immediately leaped out of a random slice Silver Chariot had conducted as it swiftly sliced the thigh of its right leg.
The wound was inflicted on Polnareff as he screamed in pain. Blood gushed out from the large wound as he felt the limb go slightly numb due to how much it hurt.
The doll smirked even more at the sound as if it was music to its ears before procuring a small spear. It spinned the weapon wildly before taking a leap and plunging it right at the bed before the Stand Stats appeared.
[Stand Name] : Ebony Devil
[Stand Master] : Devo
Power - D
Speed - D
Range - A
Durability - B
Precision - D
Growth Potential - B
"Bullshit stats..." if someone had told Elm that this was the peak capabilities of the small abomination, she would've laughed at their face, but after seeing it officially, she made a note to grind the lesson of not judging a book by its cover to her head and to always look underneath the underneath.
Klein's brown eyes had glowed as he focused on the enemy's identity and Stand. "Unusual name... Could be an alias since he doesn't have a last name, but then again, there are others who do not have it as well like Headmaster Ozpin, for example."
Ozpin nodded. "Plausible. Assassins do tend to take on aliases to prevent other parties from knowing their identities. Then again, he doesn't need to in his case."
"So, he renamed himself then?" Willow asked for confirmation, earning a nod from her butler. "I see... Still a very odd name though..."
It then shows the room where Anne is residing where she is shown to be fixing herself up in front of a mirror. A knock was then heard as she stopped what she was doing before going to the door to see who was knocking.
"Oh, Jojo." this was a surprise. She had noticed Kakyoin beside him through the peephole, both looking very serious. She opened the door before regarding their presence. "Did you need something?"
"So you are here." this confused her as she raised a brow but decided to stay quiet since she caught a sense of urgency in his voice. "Listen up. Don't leave this room for a while."
This confused her even more. "Huh?" "What the hell is going on?"
Jaune just ignored her confused state as he chose to finish his statement. "I'll come for you again later."
"Don't open the door to any stranger, got it?" Kakyoin added before he and Jaune had left towards the old man's room.
Going back to the battle, the doll had taken another leap yet again before lunging its spear at the bed, narrowly missing Polnareff's head who gasped. Hackling, the doll retracted its weapon before doing consecutive random stabs at the bed, playing with its food.
"Damn it! How heavy is this bed, anyway!?" Polnareff grunted as the stabs seem to get closer on hitting him. "It's at least 120 kilograms... I have to use Silver Chariot to cut this cord..." before he can proceed with his plan, he saw the doll swiftly dashing in his peripheral before opening its mouth and viciously bit the Stand's leg.
"Y-You bastard!" he grunted in pain as he began to sweat even more. "As soon as I stop attacking, this happens! Even if I can't see, I'm just gonna have to keep stabbing away!"
"While it may seem like a sound plan, it would be difficult to force a hit. There's too many disadvantages and it would take a miracle before he can even land one." Winter commented, stating the flaws of the strategy.
"He doesn't have any other means of attacking so I say it's just a last stand of sorts so I say we cut him some slack."
Winter nodded, already knowing that. "I can see that, Captain Clover. I'm just merely stating the faults of the plan so I won't condemn him for conducting it. After all, we did have some fair share of last stands in our careers."
Whitley could see the point in their statements but had frowned at the thought that came to his head. "He wouldn't have resorted to such tactics if he was a bit more cautious..." he sighed, before transfixing his gaze back to the battle. Despite the criticism he had thought, he won't censure him greatly since he doubts he can do better. After all, the only reason they know that something will happen is because of the screen.
Silver Chariot then performed a random thrust, close to where he had been attacked but the doll had easily dodged the strike.
"You suck!" the doll then did multiple backflips to provide itself some space before leaping over Silver Chariot, who tried to slash in retaliation but missed, as it landed on top of the mini fridge. It then grabbed two wine bottles before proceeding to smash the bottoms, making a makeshift weapon.
It leapt towards the knight themed Stand before sliding underneath its legs as it performed multiple acrobatic flips and turns to avoid the knight Stand's strikes. It made another leap towards his head before repositioning itself as it pressed its face at Silver Chariot while blowing a raspberry.
Watts sneered at the display. "I commend that obscenity for its skill but I cannot stand such uncouth behavior." it reminded him too much of his scorpion colleague, who was shaking giddily at his seat from the performance. He sighed, before fixing his gaze back at the screen, trying to tune out his "ally." The less he thinks of the fool, the better.
It then vaulted over the ceiling light to dodge a strike before propelling itself to bash one of its bottle on the Stand's head while simultaneously sidestepping the succession of thrusts aimed at him. Silver Chariot gasped as Ebony Devil continue to pick up its pace, darting over the room randomly making it harder for it to track its movement.
"Looks like even a knight can't cut open a watermelon when he can't see! Talk about dense!" the doll mocked as it stabbed Silver Chariot's left shoulder with a broken bottle before proceeding to bite the nape of the Stand. It then wriggled and spinned, further intensifying the bite as it dug deeper, causing Silver Chariot to stumble about as it hit the frail mirror with its sword making shards fall towards the floor.
Polnareff could only cry out in excruciating pain before gasping suddenly when a series of spear thrusts had been embedded on the bed, earning him a few cuts in the head.
A few had their mouths slightly agape at the savagery they were witnessing. Some paled at the prospect of possibly facing something that was previously believed to only exist in horror movies.
"... I'm never going to look at dolls the same way ever again..." it's official, Arslan now has a slight phobia towards dolls.
"You and me, pal... you and me." Sun muttere, his paranoia for those little shits increasing.
The doll let out a war cry as it continued it's assault, making Polnareff grit his teeth. "Y-You bastard... Give a rest already... YOU LITTLE SHIT!" Silver Chariot then picked the bedsheets before throwing it over itself, hoping Ebony Devil gets caught in it who had gasped in surprise.
It then shows the room of the old Joestar and Avdol, both appearing to be deep in thought.
"...Nice transition though." many looked towards Nora. "What? It's true though! That was smooth! The way the bedsheets was used to transition from scene to scene was cool!"
"Apologies... Let's move on." "Leave it to Nora to disperse the tension." Ren gave a hidden chuckle before looking back at the screen, others following suit.
The door opened, breaking the two from their thoughts as they faced the newcomers. "Hm? It's just you two?" Joseph asked, slightly bewildered and a bit concerned.
"What happened to the girl?" Avdol asked, concerned as well.
"Well, we went to check on her..." Jaune started before he and Kakyoin approached the other two. "But she's not a Stand user, so we thought that we might be putting her in more danger by bringing her here." Kakyoin reasoned.
Joseph nodded approvingly. "Good point. So that just leaves Polnareff. But man, is he late... It's already been way over five minutes."
"Well golly, Joseph! Surely he's not fighting someone at the moment and he's just lazing around! Gee, what could've happened to him!?" Jane remarked, obvious sarcasm lacing her tone.
Juniper frowned at her supposed uncle. "I find it a tad worrying that he's not considering that maybe he's busy fighting."
The doll, now encased in the bedsheets, began to thrash and struggle from Silver Chariot's grasp.
"I've caught you! I'm going to snap your spear in half!" it then grasped the sharp end of the weapon before violently breaking it unaware that Ebony Devil had thought of a scheme.
As the spear was broken, the doll then made a slash, cutting the left hand of the knight Stand as Polnareff grunted even more. He felt numb, his whole body hurt but he needed to continue or else!
Enduring the pain, he then closes his fist to numb said pain before letting out a loud battle cry. Silver Chariot then directed a series of rapier thrusts, shattering the few remains of the mirror. The doll, now free from its grasp, began to slice up the bedsheets that were covering him.
Ignoring the taunting chuckles of his enemy, Polnareff directed Silver Chariot to cut the tight cords that was immobilizing him as he fell to the floor with a slight thud. Now free, Polnareff cheered. "All right. Damn it... But a-at least, I finally managed to cut the cord... I need to return Chariot under the bed and get the hell out of here."
Before he can conduct that plan, he saw the doll running across the bed's edges, pouring a strange liquid at the floor near the bedside. It continued to apply more of the liquid where Polnareff was near, causing the man's eyes to widen in alarm.
"Wh-What the hell are you doing!?"
"What he said. The fuck is it doing wasting all that good stuff?" Qrow asked, grumbling a bit as he saw the liquidy goodness being wasted.
Winter put a hand on her face. At this rate, she might just glue the thing to her face if the drunk continued to spout those nonsense. And by her count, she'd probably had done this more than ten times in the span of a day. "Why did I bother hoping that you'll say something intelligible for once..."
Qrow scoffed. "What? Can't a man be sad after seeing his beloved be thrown away like its nothing?"
The Rose family gave him a look before following Winter's example. They're really considering to just glue their hands at their faces after this.
The doll ignored him as it continued to pour ample amounts of liquor while obnoxiously laughing out loud, which sounded comparable to an engine motor but reverse. It then ran towards the pile of alcohol cans after the one its holding was empty as it stabbed said cans before spreading the leaking cans across the room. Some had hit Polnareff, much to his dislike, making almost all of the bed moist with the beverage.
After its done, it suddenly limped, looking inanimate as it dropped to the floor. This unexpected change had made Polnareff pause in confusion. "Huh?"
This was unforseen by him. The thing suddenly became motionless as it sat. This suddenness had made him forget about his predicament for a bit as he transfixed his gaze at the weird sight.
"And of course he doesn't take advantage of this." Cinder wanted to let out a loud sigh to damp out her frustration but decided against it since it would be unbecoming of her.
Polnareff didn't budge one bit, still eyeing the doll for any sudden movements. The standstill between the two had exuded an intense tension around the room, making the scene more daunting.
Having enough of the little act it did, the doll seemed to have snorted, preventing itself from laughing but in the end, it let out low sinister chuckles. It perked up before turning his head by 180. "Hey, Polnareff! I'm gonna bite your balls off now, man!" it hackled at its declare as its head spinned excitedly in circles.
Polnareff could only click his tongue in disgust. "What an obscene guy. CHARIOT!" the Stand lunged forward as it did a horizontal strike, but alas, the doll jumped and dodged it without any effort once again.
It then used the knight Stand's back as a platform to jump back towards the ceiling light, which had fallen off due to its weight, hanging on it with it's head still backwards as it grinned mockingly. "I'm gonna run off to a place you can't see now." it pointed to Silver Chariot as its sneer grew. "You numbskull! Try giving the floor you're stuck to a good feel!"
After pointing that out, Polnareff indeed felt something off about the floor. It felt... sticky. As he raised his arms to see what it was, he was mortified to see that the undersides of his arms are covered by the liquids.
"It's soaked with beer, juice, and alcohol! I spilled them on purpose! If I could take a piss, I would have done that to make it even more wet." it hackled loudly as it taunted him even more by doing hip thrusts and holding an extended piece of its clothing as if it was holding an erect phallus.
They all scowled in disgust except for the ones who were too innocent to get what it had implicated.
"Tch. Disgusting." Weiss glowered at the repulsive opponent for its comment.
"How revolting..." Willow added in disgust.
"I can now officially say that my hate for that piece of shit increased. If only I was there, I would've castrated his balls off of his limp dick." Miltia remarked as a few had raised their fists in total agreement.
It then went back to the cord of the ceiling light as it held a malfunctioning hair dryer that is spouting out fire instead of wind. "And now... what do you think I'm gonna do with this short-circuiting hair dryer and that wet spot, Polnareff?"
His eyes widened in realization at the implications as he dreaded to think what would happen if he gets caught.
"I'm not gonna dry you off!" it hollered a few times before it set the dryer's intensity to high causing more electrical currents to exude from the device. "Die! This should take care of my grudge... POLNAREFF!" it let the dryer go as it smiled, waiting for the screams of pain to come.
Unfortunately for him, his plan is about to go downhill.
Polnareff smirked as his eyes shone with determination. "You're not the only one who's been scattering stuff around!" before the dryer could land at the bed and ignite the sheets, Silver Chariot had skewered it, but that's not all. It continued to raise its rapier at tremendous speeds, skewering the baffled doll as well.
The crowd was on an uproar as many hollered. Arms were raised, yells were let out. It was a good time.
"LET'S GO!" team SSSN screamed, each having an arm around their necks.
"HELL YEAH! TAKE THAT PRICK!" Yang cheered followed by a chorus of whoops and hollers from the majority of students.
Port clapped as he gave a guffaw. "Bravo! Good show! This reminds me of the time when I was a wee lad and—"
"Pete, please stop. You're gonna ruin this moment. Just shut up or else I'll replace Bart's lattes with dark blends." Qrow grumbled, his happiness of seeing the alcholo waster souring as all of the Beacon staff became pale.
Glynda's gaze hardened with a slight tinge of panic. "Peter, just please heed his warning or I'll personally shut you up myself."
A highly caffeinated Oobleck is a Beacon wide threat and they'll do any drastic measures to prevent that.
"H-How did you know where I was on top of the bed... so precisely!?" the doll's eyes widened as he saw exactly how his plans began to be thwarted.
Polnareff was able to foil his plan by using the shards of the mirror.
The Atlasian smiled, doing a mock salute. "I broke the mirror! So I can see the top of the bed really well from this angle."
Silver Chariot proceeded to mercilessly throw the doll from its rapier, making it bounce violently around the room, breaking various objects in the process.
"So that's how... thought it was just a lucky strike." Miltia muttered, a bit in awe at the turn of events due to Polnareff's planning.
"Though, what he did needed a bit of luck too. There's a lot of factors where if he was unlucky, would screw him up big time." Junior informed.
Ozpin nodded. "Indeed. The shards being misplaced is one of them and another is the bad angling of said shards. While these can be overcome by using his Stand to subtly angle them, however, it is difficult and the doll might catch on to it."
Melanie frowned at those, especially at Junior for starting it. "Leave it to you guys to make things pessimistic... Can't we just have a moment where you don't bring up the bad what ifs and such?"
The headmaster just donned his enigmatic smirk. "Of course. We were just stating some aspects that could lead to the worst case scenario."
The twins didn't feel better after hearing that. In fact, that made them grumble even more.
The doll was cornered. It can do nothing against the towering man whose bravado had increased at tremendous paces after being able to use his peak capabilities once again. It can only scream on top of the mini fridge before leaping away and trying to flee.
How naive of it to think it can escape.
"Hold it there!"
The next thing the doll knew was that its legs were severed cleanly, spewing cotton on the floor. After having no means of escaping since it would only be futile, it laid on the floor, defeated and piteous.
Polnareff stomped his foot. "Hey, Devo. I have a question for you. I'm looking for a man with two right arms. How about you tell me what that guy's Stand is?"
The doll could only look fearfully yet, it remained prideful. "You idiot! No assassin reveals their Stand's identity! Even their allies! The only time they reveal their own is when they or their opponent is dying! With stupid Stand users like you guys who keep showing off your Stands, we already know all your weak points! If it weren't for that mirror, I would have killed you by now!"
Tortuga scoffed. "I know right? Funny how a bit of quick thinking and on the spot tactics could change the fight. Surely, being full of yourself is more important than looking out for anything that could screw your ass, innit?"
Harriet snorted and nodded. "You got that right. Never hurts to be a bit more cautious."
"Indeed. A little bit of paranoia is enough to ensure one's survivability." Vine added.
Polnareff clicked his tongue. "All right. Come at me one more time!" that sentence alone made Devo perk up, either from fear of from incredulity. Polnareff noticed this as his glare hardened. "What's wrong? Didn't you say you were going to bite off my balls or something? Just try it, you vulgar little shit!" he donned a posed, preparing himself.
(Cue Silver Cavaliere)
(A/N: Sorry for the abrupt note but I don't know why Kakyoin's theme was played in Polpol's moment so I put his own theme since it's awesome too.)
The doll slowly crawled, desperate to get revenge as it used its last strength to leap towards Polnareff. It cried out as it raised its jaw.
"Slice up everything except your balls!"
The doll's last attempt of attack was fruitless as every bit of its being was reduced to atoms after being sliced and diced. The result...
"Ahhhh... Music to my ears." Roman grinned. One psycho down means less of those people to meet. If only the same could happen to one of his "colleagues."
The scene changed, showing the hotel bathroom as a bird faunus employee knocked on the door, holding a running hose while his cleaning products are on the side. Unaware of what had transpired to the person within the locked stall, he called out.
"Excuse me, sir. It seems that you've been in the bathroom a long time." he slowly opened the door, which was a mistake on his part. "Are you all right?"
Afterwards, what he had seen would haunt him as well as the weak minded as the scene would forever be engraved in his mind. It showed Devo, or who is assumed to be him as the body was unrecognizable. Blood was everywhere, bone shards layering the floor and the disfigured body. Chunks of flesh slid down the stall's walls as the face was deformed yet, it can somehow portray the last moments the person felt.
Pain. Excruciating pain.
Here lies Devo... in his last moments.
Some wanted to puke once more but had felt that their stomachs were too empty to even produce bile so they made do with violent grimaces.
"I said it once... and I said it again. Thank that God for censorship." Nebula wanted to make a shrine for PR after this. Fuck atheism! This is evidence that there's a loving God out there! (10)
A limping Polnareff opened the door of 1212, alerting the other crusaders.
Joseph took charge as he looked disapprovingly. "Oh, Polnareff. You're finally here. You're not very punctual. All right, everyone. We're gonna get right to it. Let's figure out what we're going to do if Devo attacks us."
"I-I'm so tired..."
Cue the Stand stats.
[Stand Name] : Silver Chariot
[Stand Master] : Jean Pierre Polnareff
Power - C
Speed - A
Range - C
Durability - B
Precision - B
Growth Potential - C
"...That's lowkey a dick move. The hell?" Barbara wanted to smack each and one of them, with extra force in it for good measure, regardless of whether or not she can do it.
Jane sighed. She wanted to at least defend them — since, you know, family — but nothing really came to mind, and to be frank, she wanted to smack them as well for their lack of concern and unjust berating.
Surprisingly, Juniper thought so as well albeit she voiced it out instead. She frowned, disappointed. "I'm going to have a talk with my son and uncle once I have the chance..."
Due to the prior events, Polnareff was taken to Menagerie's police station. He is now sitting down in front of two faunus officers, one which is a feline and the other an avian, inside the questioning room.
"Answer me!" the interrogator demanded. "Why was there a dead boy's body in your room? And the dead body that was in the bathroom... They're connected, aren't they!? I knew we shouldn't have left you human bastards alone in Menagerie!"
"Despite the unnecessary last part, he's kinda right to become suspicious of him. Two murders had happened after they arrived in Menagerie. That's bound to set off some alarms in their heads." Kali stated, albeit her mood soured a bit at that last comment.
Ghira nodded in agreement. "True. Since they stand out more since they're the only humans in Menagerie, it's more likely that they'll get blamed too. Polnareff is just unlucky that he was the one that was attacked."
The complete disregard had ticked the feline officer even more as he grits his teeth while a few veins bulged in his forehead. He slammed the metal table once more in anger. "ANSWER ME!"
"I have the right to remain silent."
This pissed the officer beyond comprehensible levels as he snarled. His whole body shook, ready to make any drastic actions to put that asshole in place for disrespecting him.
That is until the door opened.
Polnareff perked up at the sight as the two officers looked towards the door. The Atlasian stood up in glee, smiling at a swan faunus in a business suit being accompanied by another faunus officer. "You're finally here! I've been waiting for you."
The man approached the interrogator with some assumed documents in his hand.
"I had the Speedwagon Foundation take some measures." Joseph's voice rang out as it shown him and Avdol in their room. "Polnareff should be released soon enough."
"But that was close." Avdol grimly muttered, apparently a bit worried of what had happened to Polnareff. "To think that the enemy's pursuit would come so early..."
"As long as Dio's body is Jonathan Joestar's, he'll know about everything that Jaune and I do. That's why he keeps coming after us without a moment's rest. But, on the other hand, we're able to read Dio's thoughts too."
"Wait, he can do that? Thought that he can only use his spirit photo thingy..." Ruby asked confusedly.
Yang shrugged. "Probably. Maybe we just didn't see it since there wasn't any opportunity for him to use it. Which is a bummer, really."
Avdol nodded. "I'll go buy a Polaroid camera."
Joseph intervened as he suddenly stood up. "There's no need for that. I can create a spirit photo even without a camera." he pointed at the old TV nearby, which had left Avdol a bit flabbergasted since he did not know about it.
The two approached the television as Avdol remained silent. His small curiosity shall be answered in due time. Joseph began the process, putting both of his hands on each side of the TV as sparks appeared in his arms. Before long, his Stand Hermit Purple had appeared, the vines going around the TV with some even going through it.
And with a flicker, the television had been turned on.
"Michael's not here yet? Where's Michael?"
The channel changed.
"This week's number three jumps up five points from last week..."
Another channel change.
"The price of gold today is..."
"You look delicious, meow!" "What!?"
A bit shortly, Hermit Purple's ability had initiated as the television had rapidly switched from channel to channel as the monitor began to distort its images until it became a swirling vortex of channel numbers.
Avdol stared in disbelief and awe. "The channels seem to be changing chaotically..."
Many whistled at the sight.
"Woahhh... Kinda trippy to look at, not gonna lie." he would admit that it had made Oscar a bit dizzy, but it's nothing he can't handle. The windmills in their barnyard are worse.
"That is so cool!" Nora practically vibrated in her seat, looking as if an earthquake occurred in her spot. "Imagine if he, like, opens up a fortune telling career as a side gig and Avdol can help out! We get to have first dibs too!"
Ren actually mused that thought. It sounded very intriguing and it wouldn't hurt to try. "While I believe that fortune telling requires crystal balls, it won't hurt to replace it with a television. It seems kinda cool too, to be perfectly honest."
Pyrrha hummed. "It sounds splendid. Maybe we can learn a thing or two about ourselves." "And maybe it could help deal with my dilemma with miss future Arc."
Yeah, she's still a bit strung up at that thought, but PR assured them that it is not guaranteed and they could still change stuff.
"Wait a minute, wouldn't the TV be broken after this like what happened with the camera?" Ruby pointed out and immediately, Ren and Pyrrha decided to end Nora's thought process.
The amount of TVs they would possibly break was enough for them to cry a bit. Their poor, poor wallets.
"It's trying to connect words from the TV into a sentence. It's more spirit audio than spirit photo." Joseph informed his comrade before focusing back on his ability.
Shortly after, the ability bore fruit. Glitches of multiple programs ranging from talk shows to cartoons had been shown in the monitor as the channels and audios became a bit more distorted.
The two perked up, especially Joseph. "There! It said, "There is a"!"
"Wh-What!? What did it just..."
"Yooo, that's kinda sus, bro."
Blake raised a brow. "Sus?"
Sun sheepishly rubbed his nape. "Uhm... uhh... It's kinda a meme in an impostor game. It's short for "suspicious"."
"But why sus though?"
He shrugged. "I'unno. It's easier to say. Plus, it rolls off the tongue." (11)
Yang snickered softly. That last line reminded her of their former dorky friend. Admittedly, she kinda misses his antics. More teasing material that way. Plus, he makes her sister happy so that's a plus on her book. Ohhh what could've happened when he wasn't expelled.
"I'm pretty sure I heard, "There is a traitor among us...""
The channels continued to flicker as the rest of the words made their blood cold.
The question was chorused by most the overwhelmed crowd. Eyes were the size of dinner plates while their jaws fell on mach speed.
"Language, Mr. Vasilias!" Glynda sternly scolded. While sure, she overheard them cursing before, but at least they used their inside voices so the others wouldn't have been bothered by the swearing. However, this time, the cuss echoed the room. And she wouldn't blame him for screaming that since that was practically in everyone's minds anyways.
"Wh-What do you mean!? He's a good guy! It must've been some kind of mistake!" Jane defended. In her mind, Kakyoin wouldn't have helped Holly if he was a bad guy. Plus, he looked completely genuine with his intentions!
Roman simply shook his head. He kinda expected this. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Always remember kiddos. Trust is a very fragile thing since it can be broken easily. That's why don't trust anyone asap. That's a death sentence waiting for you."
The students scoffed, but the adults winced a bit. Those words hold some truth in them, especially in this cold, cold world.
"And pray tell, why should we listen to your perspective on trust? After all, listening to a criminal is pointless." Whitley sneered which in turn, made Roman just puff his cigar.
"Meh. Listen or not, it depends on you brat. Don't really care regardless. I was just feeling a little generous to share of my ol' wisdom, but clearly your greatness spoiled my mood. Surely, some snobby prick in his ivory tower knows trust better than a man with real world experience. Get a reality check kid. Trust is a very rare resource nowadays."
Whitley shook with fury. This disrespect shall not be tolerated and it shall not go unpunished! However, his retaliation was cut swiftly when he noticed his father's glare.
"Do not bother, Whitley. What he had said bore some truth, even if admitting it put some bile in my throat. After all, in our world of politics, trust is but a mere myth."
He could feel the glares directed at him but he paid no mind to it. Philistines and fools have have no right to judge him.
"I-Impossible. Kakyoin is Dio's servant!?" Avdol exclaimed in bewilderment.
Suddenly, the flickering and random changing of channels had come to a stop as the distortion provided a single scene. The monitor showcased the back of a being with such divinity, depending on the eyes of the beholder, and animosity causing the two to pause.
Joseph began to hyperventilate a bit. "Th-This is—!"
A chilling voice responded. "Joseph Joestar, you're watching aren't you!?" as soon as the figure said this, he turned around, pointing at them. Momentarily, cracks began to form at the edges of the monitor.
"DIO! He found us! Look out!" the cracks turned into big fissures as the TV exploded, the impact sending the two flying back a bit as smoke enveloped the entire room. Afterwards, the smoke settled, leaving a slightly sparking, broken television.
Many shivered at the voice. Dio never failed to bring such fear and unease into their hearts. How could a voice be so hostile yet so caring at the same time?
"Brrr... Goddamn. The goosebumps he gives is unreal..." Robyn uttered lowly and despite the unease she felt, she comforted their honorary sister Fiona, who was basically trembling, along with her other honorary sisters.
Grunting in pain, the two slowly regained their bearings as Avdol began to question what he had just heard. "B-But what does that mean?"
"It's just as you heard. It said quite clearly that Kakyoin is Dio's servant and that he will betray us!" Joseph responded sternly, causing his Vacuan friend to gasp.
"It can't be!"
Joseph faced Avdol, his face full of hope and determination. However, what had transpired still bothered him. "I trust Kakyoin. There must be a reason, but if he is indeed communicating with that blonde bastard, he could take our heads while sleeping at any time! He'd be Dio's Trojan Horse!"
Mary rose her brow. "Trojan Horse?"
"It means someone or something that is secretly intending to undermine or bring the downfall of an enemy. Basically, a fraud or traitor."
"Oh... Thanks Saph."
"No probs." "Reading those story books has some advantages, hmm..."
"Where is Kakyoin!?"
Avdol grimly replied. "...he's with Jaune..."
We now see the two students along with Anne, who was being handheld by Jaune, as the two led their trip. Meanwhile, Kakyoin's eyes were shadowed, his facial expression darkened.
He stared at Jaune with ill intent enough to make a man faint. His eyes show strong hostility, as the supposed traitor of the crusaders followed the duo quietly.
— TO BE CONTINUED —
Omake: Dress-Up Copycat
Blake strolled along a random hallway as she sighed wearily. She just woke up yet she already felt her energy dissipate the moment she had left the room. Yang's constant "jokes", if you can call them that, added fuel to the fire. She felt listless, she just wanted to go back to bed where the heavenly comfort shall ooze her fatigue.
Sadly, her team insists on getting breakfast.
Not that she didn't mind, but apparently, they aren't getting any fish which is a huge minus in her book. But hey, free food.
With another sigh, she walked down towards the direction of the bathrooms as she recalled the horrendous joke the brawler had made.
"Hey guys!" Yang suddenly chimed in, catching their attention. The brawler donned the most shit-eating grin she could possibly muster, making the others slightly have the urge to get out the room before she can conduct her schemes.
With a few dramatic coughs, Yang began. "What do you call milk when there's an earthquake?"
Seeing no one sacrificed themselves, Ruby decided to bite the bullet albeit with some grumbling. "What?"
Yang snorted. "A milkshake!"
What followed after was a hackling Yang being chased by an irate heiress and reaper, doubling their work since the chase basically ruined their organizing and rearranging of the room.
Blake sighed. "Why did I wake up today..."
End of flashback
The memory soured her mood a bit, but she endured and moved on. That bit of scuffle was a tad amusing, in her honest opinion. It was just ruined since she was just a sourpuss after being woken up from a delightful slumber.
Enough of that.
Shaking her thoughts away, she noticed that she is now where Jaune was supposedly working. She had known of his attempts to acquire his doctorate and it had spread within the people.
The thought inspired her. Despite being at the lowest, he persevered and now, he can achieve something a few could barely get their hands on. Just goes to show that whatever life throws at him, he throws it back and he continues to move forward.
Smiling a bit, she noticed his daughter looking around before noticing her. The small child then walked towards her while holding something.
Something very white.
"Uhm... I couldn't find daddy anywhere... Since you're a friend of daddy, could you please give it to him?" she handed over the things she was carrying, which was his hat and his coat.
Blake looked blankly. This was a strange turn of events. "At least she has manners."
Giving the child a warm smile, she took the items as she patted the child on her head. "Sure thing, Jolyne. Let me just go to the bathroom before I find him. You don't need to follow me. Just go to the table and wait for breakfast."
The little girl beamed before nodding and taking off with a slight skip in her steps.
Blake couldn't help but smile even more at the retreating form of the youngling. Such cuteness should be illegal.
Anyways, with a small mission given to her, she went to the bathroom with the pieces of clothing, hopefully relieving herself — no, not that kind — and to take a shower to freshen herself up before meeting back with the others.
After a quick shower and a change of clothes, Blake looked and felt fresh. Fresher than ever, to be frank.
"Must've been PR's doing."
Oh well. She won't complain. She felt refreshed so there's no downside to any of it.
Remembering her mission, she now went to get the pieces of clothing from the locker she had used before exiting the showering area of the bathroom and going to the more typical one. Aka the restrooms with the stalls, mirror, sinks, you get the point.
She stood in front of the mirror as she adjusted her appearance to look more presentable. Suddenly, a funny thought came to her mind.
"Wonder if they go through with this considering their odd appearances."
She let out a chuckle imagining it. Polnareff must've been the one with the most hassle since he probably needs a lot of gel to maintain his toothbrush hair.
Another thought came to mind. Specifically one connected to a certain edgy person.
"Screw it. I'm kinda curious how it feels to wear an oversized coat and a hat that's ripped in the end."
Despite it being silly in hindsight, she decided to wear the pieces of clothing. Afterwards, she looked back at the mirror.
She smiled. "Not bad..."
While the coat was too large for her, it didn't seem to ruin the overall outfit. Nothing a few folds could fix. Plus, she's not wearing this forever, just a bit.
She then turned a bit to the side, looking over the edges where the hat was ripped off. Surprisingly, the thing did blend in with her hair as if it is a parasite that will bond to whatever host that wears it.
"Weird analogies aside, I look pretty good."
Suddenly, another funny thought came to mind once again, but before she can follow through, she made sure no one was approaching the restroom as well as checking for sounds to notify her if there's any people inside said restroom. Noticing none, she smiled before turning back to the mirror.
She donned the most serious and intimidating expression she could possibly muster as she pointed her right index to the mirror while the left hand held and lowered the hat.
"Good grief. You're all bark, yet no bite. And now, you're pissing me off. STAR PLATINUM!" she tried to do a gruff voice to the best of her abilities, but it only resulted to her just lowering her voice's pitch.
After yelling those lines out, she let out a sigh as she began to take off the clothing.
The sound made her freeze. Her blood ran cold, every hair on her body stood ramrod straight. She didn't budge nor move as the stall door creaked, her mind still processing a million thoughts all conveying one message.
"I FUCKED UP!"
"OH GOD, NOT HER! I SHOULD'VE JUST LOOKED DOWN THE STALLS!"
"Never took you as a fan of VB."
There, behind her, was no other than Yang, the tormentor of souls. Her face showed a smirk like all the smirks she had done before, except this one will forever haunt her whether she's awake or in her sleep.
"While you rock the look, Blakey. You should probably return his stuff. After all, we can't let him find out about your escapades. It will be a shame if the news spread." Yang grinned before holding an arm up high. "Think about the headline! "Quiet Kid Cosplaying Edgy Boy In The Restroom!" That would sell like hot pies!"
"Please... Just knock me out right now..."
Eventually, the two items were returned, but ever since then, there was some sort of aura whenever the latter half of team RWBY were together, whether in crowds or just the two of them.
"Curse you curiosity!"
A weird ass omake, I know.
Anyways, finally! Your boy has brought you another chapter! Well, an unrevised one but still.
This chapter will be revised by tomorrow after I wake up since it's currently 2am as of now when I'm writing this A/N. It explains why the writing is a bit wonky. Depending on the initial feedback, the changes will be more or less. During that time, I shall also go over and reply to your reviews as well as putting the meanings or references for the numbers. AKA the ones that I've been putting in sentences like (1) and so on.
I have the time to do this only because I'm in a 'calm before the storm' moment where everything is dormant. And to be honest, the storm is approaching since I'm getting so much activities and projects xd. So, just expect a chapter on late June or early July since my classes are done by June 10 and your boy will become a senior high school student. CHEERS!
Anyways, that is all. Thank you for your continued support in this fic. Ciao~
(1) - You probably already know the idiom, but for those who don't,
(2) - Dolls are creepy, especially the porcelain ones, and I won't change my view on them. Sure, I can tolerate them, but those fucks are one of my childhood fears. I still find them eery, but my fear for them went down as years go by.
(3) - Just my spaz on the aura thing so it would fit to the RWBY world. I'm not going to bring it up in the future chapters because I felt like I've explained enough.
(4) - There's a difference between official laws and unofficial laws, especially with their punishments. Though, the latter is more common on villages and small neighborhoods so Yang is talking about that since I think of Patch as a village rather than a city. Feel free to correct me about this if I'm wrong.
(5) - No, I won't apologize for this. I'm gonna continue on making puns. Also, I added a bit of extra stuff so that it fits the place. After all, Menagerie is filled with peeps that hate humans, so I figured why not add that element.
(6) - Liminal spaces are a thing. It's pretty common actually. I actually wrote this part when I was still interested in the backrooms, but even if I'm not interested in it, I still would've put this since they are creepy as hell. Actually made my skin crawl a bit when I saw an example of it in google.
(7) - We don't really know much about May, so why not make her a small back story lol. She just gives me a chunibyo vibe, and she kinda reminds me of a chunibyo character in one of the animes I watched before. Also, props for those who got the attack reference.
(8) - According to the trivia, Ebony Devil is inspired by Chucky from Child's Play, hence the "horror movie vibes" and the following hints to it in the other paragraphs.
(9) - Tête-à-tête means one on one. In other words, a private conversation between two people.
(10) - The atheism part is a joke. Just wanted to clarify since society nowadays has a lot of snowflakes. Personally, I don't care about your religion beliefs. Just act like a decent human being, and I'll be friendly with you.
(11) - I'm not taking this part out. Thought of doing it, but decided to go along with it. Sun would likely say this anyways considering the type of guy he is. So yeah, if you don't like it that's fine, but you won't change my mind lmao.
A/N: Yeah, I know. Not much changed. Still suffering from brain lag, and I've been burnt out. I felt as if stuff here is fine, though I did skim it since I am focusing on my schedules since some sudden school stuff happened, which was me doing some docs and attending rehearsals for our moving up, so yeah. I could've started modifying this chapter and writing the chapter last month, but I've been burnt out. In other words, I've lost motivation in stuff. So, I'm putting this fic in a hiatus for now since I wanna focus on IRL stuff. Will be occasionally doing the fic from time to time, but for now, I would like to put this on hold.