A.N. (4/1/2021) - Happy April Fools! Here's my contribution to the holiday with a story idea that came to me a while ago.
Omake 10 - Through The Kaleidoscope
Rin groaned as she woke up.
Blinking her eyes, she took in the appearance of her room at Beacon. Several trinkets were scattered across the room, a consequence of her latest experiment from yesterday and because she was too tired to clean up once she was done.
Yawning loudly, she stretched her arms in the air before relaxing.
"Ana," she called out. "What day is it?"
A figure suddenly materialized right next to her, revealing a young girl wearing a dark cloak. "It's Monday. Since the break is over, school is starting again in an hour."
Rin sighed at that. "It's not like that matters much to me. Miss Goodwitch isn't going to ask me to assist her in class until the rest of the students from the other Huntsmen Academies get here."
Ana gave a glance to her side. "Then it's probably best if you clean your room."
At her words, Rin gave an exaggerated groan at that. "Do I? It's not like it's anything dangerous."
"What even is it?"
"Huh?" Seeing the curiosity on Ana's face, Rin was happy to answer her. "Well, I've been thinking about how I was going to make my next prototype Jewel Sword. And I think I've figured it out."
Getting out of bed, she dragged Ana alongside her as she showed off a small piece of Dust floating in the air. "I've never really thought about it before, but most of the materials Zelretch gave me were based on the Thaumaturgical Foundations based on Earth. But obviously, I should have accounted for the fact that Remnant would have different Foundations since it has an entirely different history."
Rin saw the confused look on Ana's face and sighed. "The point is, I managed to figure out how to tap into those Foundations so that I could see if I need to change any parts of my magecraft knowledge."
"Oh," Ana said. "So you're trying to see if the things you know are wrong or not?"
"Exactly!" Rin snapped her fingers at that. "Now, all I need to do is check and see if last night's experiment worked. If things go well, I think I'll finally make some progress in understanding the Second Magic."
Grabbing the piece of Dust floating in the air, Rin began pouring some of her magical energy into it.
Ana gave it a suspicious look. "Is it safe to test it? The last time you tried to test something, you accidentally caused your workshop to explode."
A blush formed on Rin's face. "Hey, I'll have you know that this is perfectly safe. I've already done something like this before during the summer, and nothing too bad happe—"
Space suddenly shattered at that moment as a bright flash of light suddenly filled the room.
Rin sighed as she continued to fiddle around in her workshop. Due to various recent events, she hasn't been able to experiment as much as she used to. Because of that, she decided to spend the rest of the day holed up in her workshop.
As such, it was the perfect opportunity to study one of the most mysterious subjects of Remnant - the study of Aura.
Aura was something that Rin had a hard time wrapping her mind around. It was somewhat similar to vital energy, Od (Lesser Source), but fundamentally alien in its application.
Because nobody on Remnant had magic circuits, nobody except for a small number of magic-users were able to process it into magical energy. Rin wasn't even sure what the Maidens and other magic-users had that allowed them to use magic.
And yet, somehow people were still able to use magic to some extent. Or rather, it was more accurate to say that people had some ability to use magecraft in the form of Semblances.
A Semblance is a more tangible projection of one's Aura, where it is fueled by one's Aura. Unlike magic circuits, which acted as pathways that allowed the user to access the Thaumaturgical Foundations engraved unto the world, Semblances were somehow able to enact magecraft without the need to utilize Foundations.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was still an age where magic was still not completely gone yet. Rather than being the Age of Man, you could argue that the paradigm shift from the Age of Gods to a different kind of time.
An Age of Dust.
Dust itself was proof that the Age of Man was not an accurate description of the current magical affairs of the world. With practice, Aura-users were able to cast magecraft through the practice of Dust casting, with the most obvious example benign the various ways Weiss used Dust to fight.
Yet at the same time, there was still a distinction between Aura-users and Magic-users. It wasn't simply an issue of power either. Rather, it was probably an issue of how much access to Mystery an individual had.
Either way, Rin was able to conclude that Aura was at the very least some category of thaumaturgical energy. Not quite Od, but neither was it as capable as magical energy.
Rin sighed at that and knelt onto the ground as she began to prepare another experiment of hers.
Because she was essentially an alien who was accessing the Thaumaturgical Foundations of another world, Rin needed to at least study the major Foundations of Remnant to understand how to better her magecraft.
So once in a while, she tested several methods to derive information by accessing the memories of the land derived from the leylines. This allowed her to somewhat have a grasp on the Mysteries that inhabited this world, allowing her to instinctively know how to better adapt her magecraft to suit this world's presence.
"Now then," she said as she finished drawing the magic circle on the ground. "The most major Foundation on Remnant is the history and faith that's wrapped around Dust."
Placing a rather large piece of Dust in the middle of the circle, Rin pricked the tip of her finger and allowed several drops of blood to fall on the piece of Dust.
"My Jung was never really any good back on Earth," she commented. "But I know a little bit about the theory behind the collective unconsciousness of mankind."
On Earth, gems were valued for numerous reasons. The relationship between magecraft and jewels dates back to Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, which was almost as old as human history itself. And even outside of magecraft, people understood the concept of the four classical elements. Earth, or rather 'stone', is simply a broader category of how people viewed gems.
Their relationship with the supernatural, their relation to faeries and elementals, allowed them to possess numerous thaumaturgic qualities that allowed them to be used for various experiments in magecraft.
Dust were basically gems that were oversaturated with numerous elemental properties to an abnormal degree. And because this was an Age of Dust, the mystical significance of Dust was strengthened even further than regular gems in magecraft.
And due to Dust's significance in the rebirth of the new age of humans and faunus, the collective belief and faith of mankind gives power to the Thaumaturgical Foundations of Dust.
"Now," Rin began to pour magical energy into her surroundings as she began to activate the magic circle. "As a Tohsaka - or some strange copy of one - I know of several decades of studies into the deepest mysteries of Gemcraft. And one of the core mysteries of gems is the observation of interior spaces of crystalline solids. Giving off the illusion of an endless expanse within each jewel, an infinite world contained inside a tiny object."
In other words, a Kaleidoscope.
"Pietro's idea of making an Aura battery is a good one," she muttered as her eyes closed. "But what I'm interested in is something more than that. I want to see if it's possible to create an Aura reactor, a source of Aura that can recharge itself without external aid."
Dust and Aura had a strange connection that Rin didn't fully understand, but Rin knew that it was a powerful relationship. Unless you had access to magical energy, the normal method to activating the internal energy held within Dust was to pour one's Aura into it.
So her theory was that if it were possible to completely isolate the existence of the piece of Dust before her, she could use magecraft to limit and manipulate the observer effect so that she could interact with other dimensions.
Through this, she hoped that she would be able to draw in energy from alternate realities where the same piece of Dust activated with an infusion of Aura. Using a mix of theory based on the kaleidoscope and Rayshifting, she figured that it was possible to create a pseudo-Aura reactor by taking in the excess Aura from worlds where Aura-users used the piece of Dust.
In simpler terms, she wanted to make this piece of Dust capable of producing Aura from alternate realities.
The entire room was completely saturated with magic power by the time she opened her eyes. At the center of the magic circle, the piece of Dust began to float in the air, and Rin could feel that some kind of energy was being emitted from it.
Rin blinked at that. "Holy crap, it worked—!"
The surrounding space suddenly began to split right after she said that. A flash of light later, and she was gone.
Covering her eyes, Ana quickly opened them once the light dimmed down. A flash of alarm ran through her as she saw that Rin was unconscious on the ground.
"Rin!" Moving to her side, Ana knelt down and nudged at the girl. "Rin, are you okay?"
A groan came from the other girl and Ana gave a sigh of relief as she realized that Rin was fine. Her eyes narrowed as she suddenly noticed something.
Rin's clothes had somehow changed from what she was wearing before. Instead of the pajamas Rin usually wore to bed, Rin was somehow dressed in some kind of red winter coat and black skirt. Not only that, but it also seemed as if Rin had somehow shrunk in height by a couple of inches.
As Rin slowly stood up, her eyes settled on Ana's appearance. The confusion on Rin's face told Ana that something was wrong, and the words that came out of Rin's mouth only confirmed it.
"Who the heck are you?"
How is this an April Fools chapter? Well obviously, it's because this is a prank by fanon!troll Zelretch on both Rins.
If you haven't guessed by now, this chapter is a sort-of crossover between Magus of Dust and its rewrite Argus Magus. Basically, the premise of this is that both Rinserts have traded places and are now stuck in each other's worlds.
This takes place several months after where I left off at the end of Magus of Dust, somewhere near the start of Volume 2 of RWBY, and about 5 months before the end of Beacon. I've mostly skipped most of the events with Tukson and the White Fang.