(Yang)

She slumped forward with a groan as the bell rang, the leader of her team scoffing next from the side at her uncouth behavior. Yang thought this class was never going to end, and being sat next to Weiss for the entire duration of it meant she couldn't even try and sleep. She liked Weiss and all, but the girl was incredibly strict.

"It's finally over~!" Yang celebrated weakly.

"Twenty this time." Weiss ground out, making the blond blink.

"Huh?"

"That's twenty times I had to make sure you stayed awake!" Weiss glowered at her. "Can you stop dozing off without me needing to keep an eye on you for once?!"

"But Weiss~!" Yang whined, glancing to make sure the professor had left before whispering. "Port's class is so boring!"

"Professor Port." The heiress corrected. "And that isn't any excuse! I bet you didn't even learn anything!"

"Did you?" Blake quipped with a blank stare.

"Y-you stay out of it!"

Yang's partner smirked from behind her book, causing Weiss to blush at the jab. She eventually sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. "Look, the point is that it's very disrespectful to the professor. At least try to pay attention to his lessons."

Yang frowned and leaned back in her seat, scratching her cheek guiltily. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

"Of course, I am." Weiss harrumphed, turning to look to her partner, who was spacing out as usual. "Don't you think so too, Levianna?"

She didn't respond.

"Levianna?"

"Huh- wha?" She blinked in surprise. "D-did you say something, Weiss?"

Yang muted her laugh with a snort as Blake giggled quietly. Weiss sighed, resting her elbows on the desk as she held her head in exhaustion. "Why do I have to deal with you people?"

"Aw, c'mon, Weiss-Cream-"

"Don't call me that." Weiss-Cream snapped.

"You say all that, but I'm sure you love us~" Yang said with a sing-song lilt at the end and a smile, wrapping her arm around her team leader's shoulders. "Personally I wouldn't want to be in a team without you in it."

"I-I- well-" Weiss was caught off guard, stuttering a response as she blushed.

"Hm? What's up?" Yang questioned, but smirked inwardly. Way too easy, Weiss-Cream~

"That's… kind of you to say, Yang." Weiss smiled a tiny bit. "Thank you."

"That's what friends are for, right?" She continued.

"F-friends… yes." Weiss nodded, then shook her head, her smile dropping somewhat. "D-don't think I'll go easy on you because we're friends, okay?"

"Of course~" Yang grinned.

Suddenly, the blond's scroll vibrated loudly on the desk, making the two pause. Yang blinked and picked up her scroll, remembering the day as she saw Ruby's name on it. Today's her date, isn't it?

Ruby did say she needed help. It is her first date, and with someone so much larger than life like Reid to boot. She was obviously going to ask her older, more experienced sister for any help or advice she could get, and Yang wasn't about to abandon her baby sister to sail the sea of romance alone any time soon.

With that thought in mind, however, Ruby really didn't need any help. Her and Reid have excellent chemistry, and anyone could tell just by looking that they were clearly infatuated with each other. Yang was bout 99% sure that the date would go by just fine.

But if Ruby needed help, even just to settle butterflies in her stomach, then Yang felt it her responsibility as an older sister to help in any way she might be able.

She quickly shot off a response, telling Ruby she'd swing by soon. Thankfully, they only have two classes scheduled for the day because of the Firesteel Festival, and Port's- Professor Port's was the second one.

"Right, sorry girls, but I gotta go," Yang said with a small wave.

But, before she could be on her way, Weiss grabbed her arm, looking at her with narrowed eyes. "You know, Xiao-Long, for someone who just brought up how good of friends we all are, you've been fairly absent recently. Care to explain?"

"W-wait, Weiss, this is important." She tried to soothe her team leader.

"Then as a member of the team, you should let us know what it is." Weiss insisted.

"W-well, it's just- it's about my little sister." Yang quickly explained, thinking of an excuse. "She uh… doesn't have a lot of friends, y'know."

The annoyed frown on Weiss' face dissipated as she listened.

While Yang hadn't quite lied, she wasn't sharing the whole truth either. It truly stung her to resort to half-truths like this, but there just wasn't any good way to say "oh I hang out with the fucking Titanslayer. Y'know, no big deal." Weiss would pull her hair out if she knew.

An amusing image, but not something worth the trouble of bringing about.

"After I left Signal, she was pretty lonely. I wanted to make sure she's doing alright." She continued. "Thankfully, she got herself a boyfriend recently, but it's her first. Today's her first date, and she wanted my help. That's all, honest."

"I suppose that's... valid." Weiss let go of her arm, and Yang could've sworn her expression looked pained, but she regained her haughty persona almost instantaneously. "Alright, I can excuse it. Family comes first, after all."

Yang noticed her raven-haired partner barely smother a flinch from the corner of her eye, prompting the blond to raise a brow. She quickly dropped it, however. All of them have their personal shit, she wouldn't pry, not unless she really had to.

Yang smiled. "Thanks, Weiss. Don't worry though, It shouldn't take too long, so let's meet up near the bullhead station, say, an hour before the festival. Sound cool?"

"Fine." Weiss relented, then smiled to herself. "The Firesteel Festival… You know, I've never been to a festival before?"

"I'm… gonna pass." Blake said, standing up from her seat. "Not my thing." She provided as a way of an explanation

"Sit your fat ass back down, Blakey." Yang pointed at her with a glare. "You're going, whether you like it or not."

"Fat ass-?!" Blake blushed and shook her head. "But I-!"

"No, Yang is right." Weiss agreed. "You can come with us to enjoy the scenery. This is a once-a-year event, and we'll attend it as a team."

Yang giggled at her partner's groans, leaving the classroom as she waves goodbye to her team. They might've had a bit of a rough start, but they'd managed to get along well. While she can be genuinely annoying at times, Weiss made for a very good leader. She was the smartest of the lot of them and was also admittedly the hardest working.

She ought to do something nice for her. The poor girl has been pushing herself too hard recently. Yang felt absolutely terrible when she realized that this team had practically been the girl's first friend group.

But that was for later.

Her sister needed her now.


(Cardin)

With his hands stuffed in his pockets, the leader of team CRDL stomped down the streets of Vale, looking to let out some steam after being kept under Goodwitch's hawk-like watch. Being on her shit-list was never a good thing, and they made sure to dump him at the top spot in said shit-list after the stunt he and his team had pulled.

The four of them could scarcely blow their nose without Glynda breathing down their necks- the school days had grown so boring he was starting to figure that he might as well quit and go sign up with the guild instead. They had nobody to push around, were given detention for not getting A on tests, their scrolls were confiscated – for the first week at least – and they were forbidden from carrying their own damn weapons with them unless they were attending combat class.

Hell, they weren't even allowed to leave Beacon, until today that is. Ozpin gave them leeway and convinced the bitch professor to lift her fucking heel off their necks and give them at least one day off for the festival, to go do their own thing and get a chance to rest.

... Beacon's tests are hard.

Cardin wouldn't say he's any genius, but he knew he wasn't stupid either. With that observation in mind though, the quizzes taken at Beacon are brutal. There's a bunch of shit he'd never heard of being talked about, not even the professors would mention them because apparently, he needs to read the books and study on his own.

What the hell was up with that? At the very least, reference that shit in the lectures- don't make them look for it on his own in a 500 page thick book!

Cardin clicked his tongue and scowled angrily. The glasses nerd and fat fuck weren't making it any easier for him either. What kind of shitty teachers are they?

"There's no way she's that dense." One of his team members, Dove Bronzewing, rolled his eyes.

"Dude, I'm serious." Insisted Sky Lark. "Was walking my way down the hall, saw that chick running in a hurry and tripped her, you know, for a laugh, and what did she do? Apologize! I'm ninety percent sure she noticed me do it too!"

"Isn't that Levianna girl part of Wildberry?" Russel Thrush noted. "I dunno about you, but I really don't want to piss them off. They got the Schnee Heiress with them."

"The Schnee can go suck horse cock for all I care." Sky scoffed, then shivered. "It's that blond chick that scares me. You see her last fight with Nikos? The bitch almost won that!"

"Heh, as if Nikos is special," Dove stated. "'Invincible Girl' my ass. Probably paid off the other contenders to get the top spot."

"Bro." Sky deadpanned. "She beat the four of us. On her own."

".. That was just luck."

"We both know that's bullshit!"

Cardin couldn't say he missed the constant bickering of his teammates, but it was so much better than them twiddling their thumbs while Goodbitch looks she's about to pop a vessel from so much as seeing them in class.

"Alright, you three can shut up now." Cardin sighed. "Let's just stop thinking about Beacon. I wanna do something fun."

"We can go to the arcade?" Dove suggested. "Should be pretty empty around now."

"So you can go break another Claw Machine?" Sky laughed. "Yeah, sure. Nobody's gonna bail you out though."

"Oh go fuck yourself, dude."

"Yo, wait, I have a better idea." Russel grinned, prompting the three to look at him expectantly. "How 'bout we visit Astera's store? Pick up some of those potions for Combat Class. Maybe we can kick that redheaded bitch down a peg or two."

Cardin paused. That's one way to waste time. None of them had really gotten a close look at one of the potions yet, and what was a better time than now? Who knows, they might stumble on the Titan Slayer himself, get an autograph or something.

Cardin certainly liked the sound of that. Might even sell it for a decent chunk of change if he played his cards right. Sure, having a hero's autograph is cool, but money was better.

"Oi, what if Glynda or one of the other professors find out though?" Sky said. "We're already in deep shit. Any more could get us expelled."

"Ah yes, you've gotten stronger in less than a few days. Must be the work of those strange potions." Dove mocked, a smirk on his face.

"Your pea-sized brain might not realize this, but that's a very valid conclusion!"

"Ladies, ladies, settle down." Cardin waved calmly. "I think Russel's idea is decent. We've gotten so strong because we studied and trained hard nonstop. We're remorseful, so we wanted to make it up by being the best we can be."

Russel and Sky both paused, the former having an impish smirk on his face as the latter frowned in worry.

"We do?" Dove dumbly uttered.

Leave it to Dove to be a dumbass.

"No, that's our reasoning, moron." Cardin smirked. "We hide the potions, use 'em before the fight, then toss the vials. How in the hell could Glynda even find out about it then? Even if they suspected foul play, they'd have zero proof."

"...Tsk, I don't know." Sky scratched the back of his head with a small frown. "I still feel like it's a bad idea, man."

"Relax dude," Russel said, patting him in the back. "Even if they somehow found out about it, there's no rule in Combat Class that says 'no potions'. We can just point that out and be on our way."

"You're being awfully optimistic about this." Sky narrowed his eyes.

"Pussy." Dove snorted.

"Eat a dick, asshole."

"Well, Sky, if you don't want to, then you can run back to the dorms." Cardin shrugged. "The three of us will just buy our tickets to fame when we beat the redhead."

Sky opened his mouth to argue, stopping in place as the three went about their way. Cardin wouldn't really blame him. Getting kicked out of Beacon would only make them laughing stock among hunters, whether they be Beacon Graduates or Guild Hunters.

Personally, Cardin never really cared whether or not he graduates. Sure, it'd give him a bit of a name and a head start over Guild Hunters, regardless of his rank, but at the end of the day he only really wanted to be a huntsman for one reason.

The Winchester Family is an ancient warrior clan, older than the four kingdoms by about half a century. Over the course of its existence, it had produced powerful and prodigious fighters that would go on and clear out parts of the world that were infested with Grimm. Without them, about a fifth of the world would still be Grimm territory.

Being the heir of a family like that was to live under constant pressure, especially when you were seen as a failure by your own father. The old man would beat him to within an inch of his life and be disappointed that Cardin couldn't defeat a veteran warrior with thrice his experience… or disappointed that he survived.

Cardin aimed to be a huntsman, sure, but that was because it paid a lot, and civilian chicks dig huntsmen. Once he's old enough, he can retire early and get a wife or three, then live it easy. None of that 'warrior heritage' or whatever other bullshit his old man keeps ranting about. He'll take the easiest and best-paying jobs, saving money without worry.

Really, it's all the deranged ramblings of a senile old man. Duty? Honour? All that means squat. Money is what moves the world and what pushes hunters to do their jobs. Cardin found it especially ironic that his father keeps raving about them despite the abuse he used to inflict on him.

Oh well, he'd already moved on. He gave the old man what he deserved after he broke his leg on a mission. Crippling him for the rest of his rotten life was oh-so-satisfying. Getting disowned had always been a price he was willing to pay.

He'll still use the Winchester name for shits and giggles just to piss him off more. Who's gonna stop him? You can't legally disown your children in Vale after all.

Sky ran after them, scowling as he saw the smirk on their faces.

"Heh, look who changed his mind." The leader of CRDL said.

"If we get in trouble for this, I'm cutting ties with you fuckers."

Cardin laughed. "Fine by me!"

The four headed towards the potion shop, with Sky continuing to whine and groan on about how terrible the idea was. The other three ignored him of course- he'd always been the pussy of the group, or the 'rational one' if you heard it from him. He even tried to stop them from setting free the Rapier Wasps on Pyrrha.

... In hindsight, they probably should've listened to him that one time. They didn't know they'd be attracting a Brothers-damned Ursa Maxima just because of some stupid sap. Why does it attract Grimm in the first place? Grimm don't eat anything except for Humans and Faunus.

Sure, they wanted to teach Nikos a lesson, but not kill her. The Rapier Wasps would've just knocked her around and caused rashes for a couple of days. They can't kill anything that has Aura because of its healing properties.

Cardin knew he was a bully, but he wasn't a murderer.

"This the place?" Dove said, pointing at the marble white store, with the sign displaying 'APC'.

"I think so." Russel nodded.

Cardin shrugged and headed inside, his eyes widening as he saw who's behind the counter. The bunny Faunus who was cleaning the counter froze like a deer, or rather a rabbit, in this case, caught in headlights. The rest of his team also showed similar reactions, the store quiet from the lack of response.

Until the leader of the team smirked. "Velvet! What a surprise to see you here!"

"Ah…" She smiled, though it looked more like a grimace. "Welcome, sir. Anything I can help you with?"

Cardin almost laughed at the sheer lack of enthusiasm, he stepped forward before resting his arm on the table. "C'mon, you don't have to act like a stranger. We're both students at Beacon, we're basically friends."

"This isn't Beacon, sir." She responded with a fake smile. "I'm afraid I can't act so casually. My boss is strict."

"Heh, could've fooled me." Russel chuckled. "Isn't he around our age? I doubt he's actually made these things. Maybe they're just a scam."

"Not to mention all that crap about beating Fenrir." Dove quipped. "Does he really expect people to believe that he managed that using a normal sword? No guns, no Dust? Sounds like bullshit if you ask me."

Cardin glanced back at his team; Russel and Dove were still uncaring as Sky grew more concerned by the second. He wasn't about to start shit, that was a dumb idea. Velvet could always just rat on them to Glynda and they can kiss Beacon goodbye. Sky is being paranoid for no reason again.

He was just gonna tease her a bit, get a rise out of her for a good laugh. He's pretty sure she can kick his ass anyway since he doesn't even have his weapon on him at the moment.

Looking back, he was a little surprised to see her losing the smile, her features morphing into an annoyed frown. "Sir, please refrain from mocking my boss to my face. It's tasteless."

Cardin blinked. That's… a new one. He'd seen her flustered, scared, and tired, but never annoyed. This is the first time Cardin or, by extension, his team as a whole, have successfully pushed her buttons. So taking shots at her boss is a no-no?

He grinned. That's great to know.

"Oh, c'mon, Velvet. They're bringing up good points." Cardin shrugged, patting the Faunus on the shoulder. "A sixteen years old guy having enough power to kill Titans on his own without Dust then goes on to make these magical drinks that make people stronger. Doesn't that sound a bit too far-fetched?"

"I've-" She clamped her mouth shut, taking a sharp breath through her nose. Cardin hid his annoyance behind a calm smile as he failed to get a rise out of her. "Sir, if you keep this up, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"Guys, really not the time and place for this…" Sky warned.

"I'm just saying." Cardin shrugged, ignoring his teammate. "Kinda suspicious that he went up and disappeared after the whole brave announcement of 'destroying the Grimm once and for all'. What's he even doing here?"

"Maybe he was just lyin'." Dove added. "And he's just hiding here because he's scared that they're gonna send him on a real mission."

"Should've kept his nose out of huntsman business." Russel sighed. "That's why the death rate is so high. Plenty of idiots not knowing they're in over their heads."

The two shared a laugh, and Cardin noticed Velvet's clenched fist. She didn't show any other outward reaction other than that, but it was enough. If they just get her to do something stupid…

"Hm, actually." Cardin moved away from the counter, taking an orange-colored vial off one of the shelves. "Let's test out what these potions can do. On the house, yeah?"

"What? No, it's not." Velvet's frown deepened. "If you drink one, you're paying for it."

Of course, he's gonna pay for it. He's not dumb enough to steal something literally in front of an employee, one who happens to go to the same school as them. Again, he's just trying to piss her off. Who knows, they might get her in trouble if she attacks them.

"Oh don't be a killjoy." Cardin rolled his eyes. "C'mon, you want to prove your master- I mean, your boss is legit, right?"

Velvet noticed the slip-up and scowled, trying to take the vial back away from him. "If you're not going to pay, then I'll call the police. Give it back."

"Woah there!" Cardin laughed, dodging her lunge. "You'll never get it back with those wimpy ass jumps-!"

Something suddenly grabbed his arm, stopping him in place. Cardin blinked and slowly turned around to see a middle-aged man with a goatee, black hair, and brown eyes looking at him in annoyance. A red button-down shirt, white suit pants, and white shoes.

Maybe it was his mind playing tricks on him, but something was screaming at him that this man wasn't someone to be messed with.

"Stop it." The man warned with an intimidating glare.

"Huh?" Cardin narrowed his eyes.

"If you're gonna take something then you better pay for it." He said with finality. "Understand?"

"Get off of me, old man." Cardin pulled his arm away, scowling at him. "The hell's your problem?"

Cardin paused, clenching his hand only to notice that the potion wasn't in it anymore. Without wasting another second, the stranger threw the vial that was in his hand to the Faunus.

"Hey, that's mine!" Cardin said.

"No, and it never was." He responded sharply, making him flinch. "If you want one, buy one. You're not taking anything for free."

The leader of CRDL clenched his fist in anger, and Dove went over and threw a hook at the old man, only for it to be easily blocked. The old man tightly held Dove's fist before pushing him away.

"The fuck…?"

"Dove, what the fuck is wrong with you?!" Sky yelled. "Harassing an employee we know is a huntress is one thing, but attacking a civilian?!"

"A civilian wouldn't have blocked as he did," Russel noted with narrowed eyes, the four of them surrounding him.

"And?!"

"If you guys are itching for a fight-" The old man points at the front door with a thumb over his shoulder. "Then let's take this outside. I don't want to trash the place."

The four – well, excluding Sky who was clearly frantic – looked at each other and nodded. No one wants to be responsible for trashing Astera's place, and it certainly wouldn't be a good idea with Glynda already peeking her eyes peeled for anything to kick them out of Beacon.

But this old fuck is gonna pay. Does he think he can make a fool out of Cardin and get away with it?

The three followed after him, but the leader was stopped by Sky, who looked very pale. "You cannot be serious! You're really gonna fight a civilian… over what?!"

Cardin ignored him, stepping forward.

"Cardin, please reconsider this!" He pleaded. "It's some random old guy we're probably never gonna see again. C'mon dude, don't do anything stupid."

But he didn't care. No nobody just gets to piss off Cardin fucking Winchester and get away with it. Besides, the guy obviously can fight seeing how he blocked Dove's fist, It's not like they're beating up some defenseless civvie.

"For the love of- Fucking- fine!" Sky grinds out. "I can't believe they stuck me with you idiots."

As soon as they stepped outside, Russel rushed and aimed a sucker punch right at the back of the old guy's head, but he merely sidestepped and tripped him, making the younger man stumble and fall.

"From one world to another…" He mutters to himself, rolling his neck with an audible 'pop' "Guess idiots fill every part of every world."

Russel quickly gets up and scowls, clenching his fists in anger. The four of them surrounded the old man, who assumes an unfamiliar stance as his only response. A straight posture with his right fist up near his chin and his left down by his hip. It didn't take a genius to tell that this man was no joke.

The conviction in his voice stated as much.

"Come at me!"


(Kazuma)

At times, Kazuma would feel like he was cursed.

From the very beginning of his career as a Yakuza, twenty-eight years ago, until now even after he'd supposedly reincarnated, thugs and delinquents still flocked to him everywhere he went. Sometimes simply because he passed them by, or looked at them for a fraction of a second, or being in the general vicinity.

And if no thug was after him to bash his skull in was around, he'd wind up getting dragged into other people's problems, only to go out of his way to fix them. Usually via the medium of his fists smashing in some guy's face.

He isn't quite sure how many people over sixteen he's beaten already. He lost count around two thousand something. It certainly doesn't help when six or eight guys try to gang up on him at a time, only to get their asses handed to them on a silver platter.

Apparently, being the legendary Dragon of Dojima wasn't worth shit for keeping violent idiots away. They'd still rush him just for breathing their air. What even is the point of that title again? All it had done at this rate was bring him trouble.

You know, at least he doesn't have to worry about some upstart Yakuza trying to kill him for glory again, or, god forbid, Majima keeping an eye on him 24/7. He'd rather fight an entire army of delinquents than go through that again. Not a single moment of privacy…

Speaking of delinquents though; these guys are a bit tougher than average.

Kazuma tilted his head to the side, avoiding a jab before elbowing the attacker in the face, knocking him down. The kid with the mohawk throws out a roundhouse kick, which Kazuma deftly ducked under, rushing him with a flurry of blows to the face and chest.

Mohawk guy had his back to the wall, prompting the Dragon of Dojima to quickly land two hits on his stomach, before slamming his head back. The guy suddenly glowed lime green, flickering and shimmering before it died down. His eyes rollled up into his skull and he slumped down, going unconscious.

Kazuma paused, his brows furrowing slightly. The hell was that? That wasn't Heat. It looked off, somehow.

"Russel!" One of his friends yelled, scowling deeply at Kazuma. "You'll regret that!"

Kazuma ignored the weird glow for now, getting into his signature stance as he regarded the three remaining morons. "Had enough? Or do I need to bash your heads together some more?"

What Kazuma assumed to be the leader charged with a yell and a very obvious hook that he casually parried. He saw the other two already, ducking and dashing away from their attacks before grabbing a nearby brick.

Without wasting another second, Kazuma threw it at the closest guy, hitting him right in the face. The kid cried out in agony, crouching to nurse his probably broken nose, but right before Kazuma's eyes, it healed. Some scratches around his nose naturally closed up, making the older man's eyes widen.

Okay, there's something really weird with these kids. Them being tougher and faster than your average thug he can understand, but what the hell was that? Healing? There's definitely no Staminan around here for them to use.

"Fuck!" The kid stood up, screaming in anger and pain. "You stupid old fuck! I'll cave your skull in!"

"You're gonna need to land a hit first." Kazuma taunted with a smirk.

That did it. The kid charged at him in blind rage, which only made it easier for Kazuma. He weaved, ducked, parried, dashed, and blocked all his attacks in succession, sidestepping as the other one tried to hit him from behind. In response, Kazuma twirled and landed a spinning kick right into the angry kid's face, sending him flying back. He slapped away the thug leader's arm, pushing him away with a jab to the cheek before grabbing a nearby bicycle.

The Dragon of Dojima swung it at the leader, hitting him square in the face, then quickly smashing his head with it. The leader groaned in pain, but Kazuma wasn't quite done as he lifted him a bit by his hair, then delivered a brutal kick to the face.

The leader tried to get up, struggling to say something before he glowed too, orange instead of green. As the glow died down, the leader fell back down, fully knocked out. The remaining two looked terrified, losing their wills to fight after seeing two of their friends get beaten down.

Knowing that this was over, Kazuma spoke. "We done with this stupid fight?"

"Y-you… old bastard!"

"Dove, stop!" His friend quickly stopped him. "W-we can't beat him. Cardin and Russel are out, and our Auras are on the verge of breaking. We need to go."

Aura? Kazuma raised a brow. Is it that weird glow they had?

"F-fuck…" The one named Dove gritted his teeth, glaring at him hatefully. "W-we'll get you for this! You're just lucky we didn't have our weapons with us!"

Kazuma watched as the two guys took hold of their friends before running away with their tails tucked firmly between their legs, a scene he's very familiar with. He's a bit surprised that they didn't apologize and beg instead. The thugs here must have more balls.

With a sigh, he re-enters the store, pausing as the bunny-eared girl looks at him in shock and surprise.

"What?"

"E-eh?! Uh, sorry, for staring." She said quickly. "I just… didn't know you could fight?"

"Heh." He smiled. "My former line of work demanded that kind of skillset. Isn't anything special to be honest."

"What? Not special?!" Velvet looked at him as if he said something mad. "That looked like the work of a veteran hunter- no, even better! I've never seen movement that fluid in my life before!"

"No, really. It isn't much." Kazuma shook his head. "I've just been doing this for so long. It comes with age."

"Yet I've never heard of you before." She said. "Did you work as huntsman, or something else? Military agent? A lieutenant?"

"U-uh, no." He responded with a slight frown. "Nothing of that sort."

"O-oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry. I was just surprised is all." She bowed her head apologetically. "I'm guessing you're here for Mr. Astera?"

"Yeah." He nodded. "Is the kid in?"

"He should be, yes." Velvet responded. "I'll send him a message to let him know you're here."

"Please do." He urged. "I'll be waiting right outside."

With that said, Kazuma quietly left the store, lighting up a cigarette as he thought over the past few days.

To call what he was experiencing culture shock would be an understatement. For someone who never left his home country, Kazuma had a hard time settling in an entirely different universe. Strange names, stranger fashion sense, multicolored hair, and then there's the getting used to talking fluently in English like it's Japanese.

Of course, people calling him by his first name tripped him up too. He knew that westerners also usually use first names. Sure, all these things were pretty small in the grand scheme of things, compared to what's on the outside of course.

None of it really compares to those Grimm beasts he's seen on this world's web though. That Astera guy wasn't joking around when he said that there are actual monsters plaguing the world. That had made it pretty clear that Remnant is far more dangerous than Earth.

When you're not living in Kamurocho at least, Kazuma amusedly considered. That place attracts the worst of the worst.

Kazuma wasn't sure why he's called here, or what he's supposed to do. As far as he knows, he's all alone in this place. He quite literally appeared out of thin air, and the only person who knows what he is seems admittedly a bit sketchy. He's willing to look past that though. Everyone has their own secrets. Reid doesn't seem like a bad person if he was being honest.

It's been a while since I've felt this… lost. He exhaled. I wonder how everyone back home's doing?

At the very least, this world shared a lot of similarities with his own country. The currency held roughly the same value, and convenience stores are a thing and went by the same name, the food is the same, and admittedly, the alcohol here is much better than he experienced. Lots of weird names, but most were pretty good.

"Um, sir?" Kazuma blinked, glancing to the side to see the bunny girl nodding to him. "Mr. Astera is waiting for you in the back."

"Right, thanks."

Kazuma put out the cigarette and flicked it into the nearby trash can before going inside the store. Velvet opened the back door for him, which he nodded gratefully to her for.

He entered, spotting the white-haired man on the sofa waiting for him. Reid smiled and nodded, gesturing to the nearby couch.

"How has your stay in Vale, and by extension, Remnant been so far?" He asked.

"Confusing, in all honesty," Kazuma responded, sitting on the couch. "Is the entire world like this?"

"Hehe, Mistral is pretty similar to some Asian countries from what I know." Reid grinned. "I'm sure you'll find more familiarity there."

"Let me settle in here a bit first before we get talking about traveling."

Reid snorted at that. "Fair enough. I'm sure you'll get used to it as I did."

Kazuma nodded, then a serious frown took over. "You told me to come over once I'm ready. Here I am."

"Right. Well, I'll keep it short." Reid nodded. "Simply put, I want to hire you."

"Hire me?" Kazuma raised a brow. "For what?"

"Two jobs, mainly." He raised two fingers. "To be a bodyguard and a trainer."

The Dragon blinked, waiting for the younger man to elaborate.

"I'm gonna keep it real with you, Kiryu. None of this world's hunters are suited for these jobs." He sighed. "Not because they're weak or incompetent. The main issue is… well, me."

"You?"

"At the risk of sounding cocky, I'm too strong." He shrugged. "I'm already leagues above the top hunters of this world. A bodyguard significantly weaker than me isn't a bodyguard, they're a meat shield. See what I mean?"

"I can't say that I do." He shook his head. "A bodyguard's competence shouldn't be confused with his strength."

"Not in this world, unfortunately," Reid said. "Especially when I'm already targeted by the big bad. She'll keep sending her best assassins in the hopes of killing and or kidnapping me, so I need someone strong enough to keep them back."

"And that someone is me?"

"Yes. I know you've dealt with assassins of all kinds before. I'd be stupid if I didn't come to you and ask you to do this." He smirked. "Of course, that's not all. It might sound a little too much, but I also want you to help me train."

Kazuma mulled over his word silently as he continued.

"I'll be paying you for both jobs too. I have more money than I know what to do with, to be honest." He admitted. "So what do you say? It's an honest job if a bit dangerous. One that should be right up your alley too."

"... I'm not a good teacher," Kazuma argued, admittedly weakly. "I've never taught anyone how to fight."

"Just sparring is fine." Reid insisted. "I can pick up a lot by watching too."

"And if I refuse?"

"Then that's your choice." He answered. "I'm not gonna force you into doing something you don't want to."

The older of the two paused, contemplating. An honest job is a tempting offer to be fair. Getting one by himself might be difficult seeing how he's not fully settled yet. He's not used to how this world operates.

Everything has been moving a little too quick for him if he's being honest, and he's not about to trust a stranger he still barely knew just because they were nice. Kazuma can discern that Reid isn't out to get him or anything of that sort, but he also knows that not everything works in terms of black and white.

He'd been used by good and bad people alike. Reid could be simply trying to butter him up by giving him a house, money, and a job before using him when he lets his guard down. He wasn't thinking Reid would do it, but it's still a possibility considering it he still barely knew the guy.

"Answer me this first," Kazuma said. "How do you know who I am? You told me it's a long story, but we have time, don't we?"

Reid stilled, getting visibly uncomfortable all of the sudden. Kazuma frowned, slightly concerned with this shift. It was very obvious that Reid did not want to answer the question, even if he promised that he would, but Kazuma doesn't know why.

Both knew that Kazuma was owed this, seeing as Reid dragged him to this world in the first place. Sure, he was summoned at a strangely convenient moment, but even he didn't want to leave Japan, much less Earth itself.

"Ah… well…" Reid rubbed the back of his neck. "Can you give me a bit more time?"

"Why?" Kazuma's eyes narrowed. "There something keeping you from telling me?"

"No, no, it's like…" He scratched the back of his head. "You already have a lot to process, right? If I told you the reason why I know you, it might shatter your worldview... just a bit."

Kazuma paused, looking even more confused. How? What kind of reveal would garner a warning like that?

"What do you mean by that?"

"Look It's… big. I'd rather not even tell you at all to be honest, but we both know that won't happen. I wouldn't want to lie to you, Kiryu." He sighed. "I know it's a lot to ask seeing we're basically strangers, but I want you to trust me."

Kazuma redirected his gaze floorwards with a frown.

"Give it some time, a few months at least. Settle and get used to this place first." He continued. "There's no rush, we have all the time in the world. I swear on my own life that I'll tell you everything you want to know."

The ex-Yakuza looked back at his summoner, his eyes resolute and as honest as they could be. It was easy to see that he was being honest, but for the life of him Kazuma could not understand why he's still so hesitant.

One thing he can agree with Reid on is how overwhelmed he'd been feeling. A different universe, the possibility of reincarnation, monsters, magic – it's all one shocking revelation after another. If Reid wasn't exaggerating…

Kazuma ought to take his advice for now. He's right, it's all going too fast; he should settle down and take a breather first. As Reid said, there's no rush. Nobody to save yet, no dark secrets to uncover. Just him getting used to Remnant.

"Fine." He relented. "I suppose rushing things isn't a good idea. I'll wait, but I expect you to tell me when I next ask."

"I promise." He nodded with a smile, then leaned forward. "So, does that mean you're taking my offer?"

"Well…" Kazuma rubbed the back of his neck. "I guess I do need a job. I wouldn't know what to do if I had nothing to work as."

"Yes!" Reid pumped his fist in excitement. "Are you free right now?"

"We're starting right away?" Kazuma responded with another question.

"Well, I've gotta put you through your paces first. I have an area where we can spar." He pointed at the trapdoor then smirked. "Think you're up for a fight against the Hero of Vale?"

"Heh, I should've expected this," Kazuma said. "Alright, you're on."

"Follow me."

Kazuma nods and stands up from his seat, following the younger man into what seems to be a basement. The mood doesn't often strike, but every once in a while Kazuma gets an itch for a good fight. However, usual street brawls with thugs or delinquents for opponents never managed to scratch it, most never even landed a punch.

He could discern from the way he held himself that Reid seemed experienced enough to hold his own and fight back well. A good fight every once in a while helps to keep his mind away from current issues… and his old age.

Kazuma sure hopes that statement about being too strong hadn't all been hot air.


"Are you ready?" Reid asks him.

"...Yeah." Kazuma nods, getting into a stance. "Just one question."

When the ex-yakuza followed Reid, he didn't expect to need to go down so many floors, with each passing level being even crazier than the last. There was one filled with weird, glowing plants, another was a library, then one more was packed with weird robots – Golems, rather, from what Reid had told him – working automatically. There were so many strange sights he could never have witnessed back home.

Hell, even this training ground Reid had brought him down to is gigantic. Easily the size of a football field, probably bigger. Why would he need so much space just to train? Shooting practice? For sure it'd be better to just gun down those Grimm Monsters instead of punching them, right?

"Do we really need so much room just for a spar?"

"Huh? Oh, well, not really. At least, not yet." He shrugged. "I also use this place to test my Golems against each other. Besides, plenty of space is optimal for training. The bigger the better and all that."

"I suppose," Kazuma muttered.

"Oh, by the way, here." He threw a vial filled with golden liquid at him, prompting the ex-yakuza to drop his stance to catch it. "Drink that. It'll unlock your Aura."

"Aura?" He parroted. That's the same word those thugs uttered.

"It's what Hunters use to fight Grimm. An invisible shield around your body that increases your overall physical ability." He summarized. "It helps with Stamina, gives you an appreciable regeneration factor, hell it even extends your lifespan by a few decades, on top of the increase in strength and speed."

So that's why those thugs were stronger than average.

"Can anyone unlock their Aura?" Kazuma asked.

"Nope, only those willing to join a huntsmen academy." He answered. "Unlocking a civilian's Aura is illegal unless it's necessary for an emergency."

"Is there a reason for this?"

"Well, aside from it probably increasing crime rate, those with Aura attract Grimm." He explained, scratching his chin. "To put it in other words; they're more, vibrant let's say, to a Grimm's vision. If an entire city's worth of civilians had their Aura unlocked, it'd be like blood and chum in the water for sharks, the sharks, in this case, being Grimm of course."

"So it'd pull in a massive horde of the monsters, is what you mean?" Kazuma concluded, for Reid nod in confirmation. "I see. Makes sense, but wouldn't it be illegal for me to unlock it?"

"Two things." He raised two fingers. "First: You're gonna be a bodyguard. Aura is a must-have for you. Second: I'm the Titan Slayer of Vale, I can bend the law for stuff like this by virtue of being politically untouchable at the moment."

"That so…" He glanced at the vial curiously. "Drinking this will make me stronger, then."

"Basically, yes. You'll probably feel a good couple of years younger because your lifespan gets extended." He said. "Say maybe 10-15 years worth? It really depends."

"... I guess I'm gonna have to drink this." He opened the vial. I just hope it tastes better than a Staminan at least…

With one gulp, he swallowed the contents of the vial, pleasantly surprised at the sweet taste. A few seconds pass, and all of a sudden it's like he's been rejuvenated; his body felt even lighter than it had a decade ago, the faint back pain that had become an irritating constant disappears completely as a reddish, blue-tinted glow envelops him before disappearing.

Is this Aura? It felt… incredible.

He couldn't help but look at his own hands, test clenching them before throwing a shadow punch. Reid wasn't kidding; he hadn't been able to move so easily since his early twenties. What the hell?

But that could wait, he shook his head, then got into his stance once more.

"Jesus, that's a lot of Aura," Reid said in surprise, mimicking him and shifting into his own stance. "How do you feel? Think you're ready to go now?"

"I am." He nodded. "This Aura stuff isn't a joke. I feel amazing."

"I know, right?" He grinned. "Let's see how well you can manage with it, though. First one to hit the ground loses."

Kazuma tenses, seeing his opponent dashing towards him with speed he's never experienced before. He ducks under a hook, throwing an uppercut in response that was barely evaded. Reid quickly rushes forward, throwing heavy punches and kicks that were either blocked or dodged.

Kazuma read his movements, deducing that while his opponent had decent experience, he doesn't seem very skilled in hand-to-hand combat. His stance and footwork were passable at best, his strikes were relatively slow but it didn't take a genius to know that they would hurt a lot if they landed. Now Kazuma could see why he wanted a trainer.

Parrying a punch, he threw a jab out at Reid's chest, which he took without even flinching. Kazuma knew it hurt him, and he took that split-second window to start his counterattack, but all of his strikes are evaded gracefully. He's surprised; Reid's offense is nothing particularly noteworthy, but his defense is amazing.

Reid blocks another jab and backs off, a smirk creeping up over his face. Kazuma noticed something subtle in the way he dodged; he didn't use his eyes a lot, meaning he was relying on instinct, and while that's good, overreliance on it is a bad idea, so how did he intercept every single punch or kick he threw?

Though, he also noticed a window. Reid only barely dodges his attacks so he can keep in close, meaning Kazuma had to be faster. If he's just a bit quicker on how he strikes, then he could put Reid on the ropes.

He shifts his stance; holding both fists in front as he hunches his back slightly, knees bent enough to spring back or to the side as he needs to.

As if he recognizes the stance, Reid takes a step backward, looking more cautious than before.

Kazuma rushes out, a pink glow coating his figure as he throws his punches straight and fast. Reid couldn't dodge, opting to put raise his arms in a guard in front of him, but with that those jabs had done their job as he redirects his fist somewhere else, hitting Reid's side. He dropped his guard, giving Kazuma the needed opening to land a flurry of blows to his face.

He goes in for a kick, but Reid manages to interpose his arm above himself to block it, his other arm going in for a hook. Kazuma weaves out from under it then circles around, taking Reid's feet out from under him with a sweeping kick. Without wasting another second, Kazuma delivers a heavy blow on Reid's back, sending him flying.

However, Reid just managed to orient himself as he was thrown to land on his feet, saving himself at the last second.

"Heh. You almost got me." He smirked. "I knew this wouldn't be easy."

"You're not so bad yourself." Kazuma complimented.

With that brief exchange, Reid goes on the offensive again. A feint, followed by a hook and a roundhouse kick which Kazuma had predicted, but he couldn't predict his opponent suddenly twisting his body in such a way defied all of Kazuma's expectations, giving Reid a chance to finally land a solid kick to the man's face, one strong enough to stun him, but the pain quickly disappears as he put on up his guard. Unfortunately, the decision came too late for the ex-yakuza as a powerful gut punch stops him completely. A hook, a jab, a knee, and a kick – all of them come in too fast for him to dodge.

Kazuma felt that he needed to do something, and do it fast.

His eyes narrow as he tanks more and more hits, waiting for the perfect chance to launch his counter. The pain numbed as his senses sharpen, and in a heartbeat, right before another jab gets to land, he delivers a powerful cross punch to Reid's midsection. With it, abruptly stopping the teen's onslaught.

He had most likely noticed the attack coming, but by then it was too close and he had no chance to dodge. Reid gasped in pain, his pupils shrinking into pinpricks as he instinctually stumbling back. He coughs and hacks, gasping for air as Kazuma takes the opportunity to rush him once more, not willing to give him the chance to regain his footing.

The tides were turned, Kazuma has the hero where he wanted him. The shock of his Tiger Drop utterly stopped Reid from being able to dodge. Every kick and punch lands, hard and direct. Reid was stuck and couldn't counter. Kazuma wouldn't let him; his speed was a problem and it was best dealt with by piling on the pressure while Reid was disoriented.

Just as Kazuma prepares to hit him with a finisher, Reid caught his fist, his pupils now slits as he grinned. "By the way… I haven't mentioned what a Semblance is yet, have I?"

"What-!"

An explosion of steam shoves the ex-yakuza back a few paces. Kazuma shields his eyes from the burning gas, shocked and confused at what had happened. He didn't have the time to process the sudden reversal as his opponent launches himself back at him with a kick, which lands on him square in the face.

He just about manages to stay on his feet, but couldn't dodge the subsequent gut punch that knocks the wind out of him, nor was he able to stop the continuous flurry of hooks that seared hotter than fire. It felt as though Reid's fists were suddenly composed of bright hot glowing steel, each hard blow spiking an awful stinging sensation that laced upon his nerves and distracted him.

Kazuma felt dazed as he took a few steps back, and Reid halts his combo, opting to taunt him. "Age catching up to you, old man?"

"You're… good." He commended, wiping the blood away from where it had dribbled in spurts out from the corner of his mouth, then frowned. "But still, you're nothing great."

His aura, up until now red in color, exploded brightly in blue, making Reid flinch at the sudden luminosity. Kazuma shifts into his signature Dragon stance, gesturing for him to come.

"Bring it on!"

Accepting the invitation, Reid charges in with an obvious punch, which Kazuma parries before delivering a powerful hook in return, but it didn't stop the white-haired hero from continuing his attack.

A punch for a punch; each would hit the other with all the strength they could afford each blow, hits powerful enough to shatter through their Auras and spill blood. Neither of them was planning to stop or give up, adamant about winning no matter what.

He doesn't know what Reid's motivation is, but Kazuma would never disrespect such a driven opponent by half-assing things. It only took a handful of seconds into the fight for the Dragon of Dojima already know that Reid is no pushover, the kid was a worthy fighter even. He might not get much out of winning this, but he sure as hell isn't about to lose either.

And, if he's being honest, he had almost forgotten how fun it is to fight with a clear head. Without stakes or risks, just two people testing themselves against one another. Master Komaki would be proud to see Kazuma pushing himself again.

When Kazuma's strike hits its target, that being Reid's face, he finally manages to force him to back away, his Aura flickering weakly as he grit his teeth in a grimace of pain and frustration. As a retort, he extends both hands out toward Kiryu and unleashes a huge burst of steam that envelopes the ex-yakuza. Kazuma bites down a scream and charges forward, doing his utmost to ignore the searing heat he's smothered by.

He dashes in quickly, going around and behind his opponent before hitting his neck with an elbow strike. Reid gasps, a sickening sounding 'crack' the result of his landed blow. Reid stumbles forward, holding the struck area of his neck as he grunts in agony. Kazuma sees his chance and rushes in once more, and, when he was mere inches away from his target, blue flames exploded out and pushed him back, burning his arms and face.

Thinking quickly, he put them out before they spread, glaring at the white-haired man, who mirrored his gaze scornfully.

"Fuckin' cheap shot…"

"You were wide open," Kazuma noted. "You always are when you attack, it gives your enemies something to exploit. That's what I noticed."

In a way, Reid looked offended at that, his scowl deepening, but then he sighs, his muscles relaxing as he keeps rubbing his neck. "That so? I suppose that makes sense. Did you really have to hit me there, though? It hurt like fuck."

"That's the idea." Kazuma nodded. "Pain helps you bring your foes down more quickly. It's distracting, which makes it more likely for them to make mistakes."

"That's true. Tsk." He rolled his neck, a grimace still prominent on his face. "I guess we can stop for today. You pass, with flying colors obviously."

"That's sudden. Any reason, in particular, you want to call it here?"

"I have a date with my girlfriend soon." He said. "So I need to get ready for it. You can spend the rest of the day however you like. There isn't much I need from you right now."

"Is that so?" Kazuma relaxed his posture. "So we're done here?"

"Yeah." Reid nodded, "I'll contact you when I need you. The next few days are probably gonna be quiet, though. I'll be going on a… let's call it a business trip soon."

The way he said 'business trip' really makes it obvious that it would likely have little to nothing to do with actual business, especially with that glare he wore on his face when he while he said it.

"And what am I supposed to do until then?"

"Whatever you want." He shrugged, heading towards the exit. "My advice? Explore the city. There's a weapon festival going on today, maybe you'll find something that might interest you. See you, Kiryu."

Kazuma watched him leave the training grounds, after a moment he directs his gaze at his fists. Usually, after a fight like that Kazuma would be feeling it for hours if not days, but shockingly, he feels just fine. In fact, he's barely even tired. Is this what Reid meant by a healing factor?

Something like this would've helped a lot back home.

He turns back to where his summoner left. This Reid kid is no joke; Kazuma could believe what he'd told him; about being one of the strongest in the world. His technique and skill had been lacking, but his strength, speed, and tenacity made up for it.

Kazuma wasn't sure he'd win if they fought for real. He had eyes that only very few people shared, and each of them almost defeated him. It didn't take a genius to see that he was a well of potential, especially given his age.

However, he's fairly emotional as well, or prideful more like. He hated to be forced onto the back foot and rushed at any opportunity to try and take the advantage and go on the offensive. He was impatient. He seemed… desperate, almost, like he needed to end the fight as fast as he could.

Kazuma shook his head at the thoughts. He can ask Reid about it himself later. Right now is the time to worry about himself and what he might have to do in a 'weapon festival' to occupy his time.

"Weapons, huh…" He mumbled.

He wonders if he might find something good to use.


(Reid)

"Ow, fuck!" I flinch as my neck stings again, prompting me to rub it. "Fucking hell, why does it still hurt so much?"

I mean, I got my neck elbowed by the fucking Dragon of Dojima after his Aura got unlocked; it's obviously gonna hurt, but why is the pain lingering? Usually, it subsides after a few seconds at most, but it's already been five minutes. I even drank an HP potion to get rid of it, but that didn't help either.

I click my tongue with a frown. This is gonna get real annoying, isn't it?

I roll my neck and sigh. May as well just nut up and live with it. A bit of pain isn't about to stop me.

Speaking of pain, I now know why the Tiger Drop is a busted move in the Yakuza games because holy fucking shit it hurts. Christ, it felt worse than the time I had my arm cut off. My entire body was in pure agony, not just where I got hit, though it was obviously worst there. I never want to get decked by that move ever again.

Instead, I wanna know how to do it. I didn't have my Sharingan on him at the moment he hit me with it so I couldn't copy it. But that's fine, that was literally our first spar after all.

And I gotta say, that was damn close. Admittedly, I would've won easily if I cheesed Kiryu with my potions, but the guy forced me to use both my Semblance and magic, not to mention he almost completely broke my Aura.

AP: 1121/40,250

He was not fucking around. That Aura potion did wonders on his stats.

Name: Kazuma Kiryu

Title: Dragon of Dojima

Age: 48

Race: Human

Level: 164 242

HP: 25,000 31,500

MP: [Dormant]

AP: [Locked] 10,000

STR: 263 605

VIT: 282 648

DEX: 254 584

INT: 210

WIS: 380

CHA: 350

LUK: 250

Absolutely fucking busted. His physicals are already higher than mine. Speaking of my stats, another window showed up. It shows Kiryu as a mentor, which is pretty nice. I don't know what it does yet, but at least I know for sure that he's willing to help out with my training.

His Aura is also immense for someone who's just had it unlocked. I'm not sure if it's his experience or his strength prior to gaining Aura that contributed most to this huge increase. 10K Aura is a huge head start, and it'll only grow from here. He hasn't even unlocked his Semblance yet.

I wonder how good his magic potential is.

Also, I was right. He can activate Extreme Heat Mode, and it's as strong as I expected. An instant 50% increase to his physicals, and he can even brush off my Haki-infused fists. I need to learn how to do that too.

Name: Reid Astera/Alaric Delmar

Title: Titan Slayer

Age: 17

Race: Human/Leviathan Hybrid

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Level: 161 (51%)

Professions: Gardener, Chef, Teacher

Mentors: Kazuma Kiryu

Students: Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao-Long

HP: 19,100 [Regens 1910 per minute]

MP: 15,050 [Regens 1455 per minute]

AP: 40,250 [Regens 4025 per minute]

STR: 522

VIT: 382

DEX: 476

INT: 301

WIS: 291

CHA: 316

LUK: 196

Points: 40

I don't know if I should start investing points into my stats now or whether I should wait a bit. I'm leaning towards waiting since I'm looking to go on a dungeon spree, as well as wiping out a few slave auctions as soon as they open up. Roman has an in with the whole slave business, and I made certain he knows to keep me informed about them.

I also need to evolve my Sharingan. The third stage is great and all, but I want my Susanoo damn it.

There's also Artificer to look into, and finding a way to auto-produce high-tier Golems. Expanding my current base, maybe converting more of it into a factory as I finally visit my mansion. I think Oz managed to get me the one by the sea, and that's great. I always wanted a private beach.

Then there's the whole Raven thing, and finding out what Salem's next move will be. I'm assuming Cinder is in Mistral right now, which would make sense since we already informed all headmasters and generals about them. Lionheart is a traitor, so he's gonna look the other way if he's found them.

What a pain.

I respect your work ethic, but you need to relax.

"No time." I shake my head. "Last time I got too confident it almost got people killed. I'm not gonna rest until I can be sure Vale is safe."

...I'm warning you; keep this up, and you'll break.

"I appreciate the warning, really, I do. But I can't relax, not yet." I respond. "What if that's what Salem wants? What if there are more changes to Remnant that I don't know about? I need to be ready for every situation and to do that, I've gotta tie up any and all loose ends. Getting stronger is the top priority."

The Mysterious God remains silent.

"Stopping a Gamer's momentum is nigh-impossible, and there's still so much stuff to do," I mutter, then smile slightly. "So I'm gonna make sure I enjoy myself today. Until I get everything rolling, breaks aren't an option."

Suit yourself.

I look at the time, it's twenty minutes before I need to meet up with Ruby.

At a weapon festival, with a weapon fanatic.

Something tells me this is gonna be a good date.


Sorry if you happened to get multiple notices of me updating this. It was just me editing out the ANs since when I reread them, I found them tasteless. Idk about you, but I sounded condescending as fuck and I hated that.

Instead, I just replaced them with the SGO Discord link - which you should absolutely join btw - and my .

I'm gonna stop posting ANs from now on unless I have something actually important to say.

Join the Discord server: (Discord . gg / wd3tUYWVCd) No spaces.

If you want to support me, here's my pat reon link: (Pat reon dot com / Mirlnir)

Edit: No, kiryu's stats weren't in the hundreds thousands. FF just refused to load the arrows for some reason.