Here's the new story for the Thursday slot. I didn't really advertise it as I had a few ideas I was knocking out, but this one won out. It's going to be an attempt at both a slice-of-life and a plot-driven story. Odd, I know, but I'm going to be taking inspiration from two things. 1) the romanticised view of criminal organisations like the Mafia and Yakuza and 2) the literal game, Yakuza, which does manage to find an odd balance between slice of life and story. In a way, maybe it's best to think of this like Service with a Smile, except that instead of running a coffee shop, Jaune joins the local mob.
Small disclaimer; it goes without saying that YES I am aware that the real Yakuza do terrible crimes, hide those behind the idea of being honourable, etc, and that I don't believe the romanticised view used in games, books and movies. That said, I don't want to write a crushing literary view into the hopelessness of someone caught in a downward spiral into criminality. This is therefore going to embrace the more romantic view of organised crime.
A Huntsman wouldn't be in a situation like this…
It was the only thought to cross Jaune Arc's young mind as he lay curled up on his side, cheek partially submerged in a puddle slowly turning pink from all the blood spilling out his nostrils. His knees were tucked up to his stomach, eyes misty with tears that were only partly from the pain. The rest was from the sheer injustice of it all, the shame and also the thought of just how much a failure he really was.
The two muggers arguing over his body didn't care. "Forty, fifty, sixty lien. That's it? I've seen bums with more cash on 'em. Not even a credit card."
Jaune's empty wallet, a felt X-Ray and Vav collectible he'd won in a magazine competition, splashed down into the puddle, spraying his face with dirty water. Vav's smiling face appeared to taunt him, smiling bravely with a thumb held up. It was faded and threadbare, now even worse thanks to the water sinking into it.
"He has a scroll," the other said, his foot still on Jaune's other cheek and keeping his head down. He hadn't tried to break free, not after his initial attempt to intimidate and then fight the two off. Despite having a sword and them being unarmed, he'd failed at even that. "I know a guy can wipe it clean and pawn it off. Might get a few hundo for that."
"A few hundo," the first mocked. "What a shitshow. Worthless cunt!"
Pain exploded through Jaune's body as the heavy boot struck his midriff. He coughed out, spluttering into the water. Though he wanted to scream, the best he could manage was a pitiful moan.
"Wasting our time!" the man roared, rearing his foot back and kicking Jaune again. "Fuck! We stick our neck out and for what, sixty lien and a second-hand scroll?"
"You're going to kill him if you keep up," the second mugger said without too much concern.
"Asshole deserves it!"
"Calm it, Pierce. What about the weapon?"
Crocea Mors? Jaune's eyes widened and he desperately clutched the family heirloom to his chest. His fingers locked around the crossguard in a death grip, but that wasn't enough to stop the much heavier man wrenching it from him.
"Please," Jaune whimpered. "It's a family heirloom."
They didn't even hear him. Jaune wasn't surprised. His ribs were so sore that he could barely raise his voice, and what little he said was lost to the plinking of the rain and distant sound of cars buzzing by the alleyway. No one was out in this weather, nor so late. He shouldn't have been out either, but he'd been so miserable that he wanted to take a walk and clear his head.
Now this, Jaune thought, tears running down his cheeks as Crocea Mors was drawn and checked by his attackers. No wonder dad wouldn't train me. I'm pathetic.
"It's just a sword."
"That it? I thought it'd be one of those fancy mechashift things."
"What, and you think a Huntsman would get their ass kicked like this?" The first sheathed the weapon again, then tossed it to the other. "Talk to Jay and see if it has any value. If not, scrap it for metal."
Crocea Mors. The Arc family weapon. Scrapped because of him.
He had to do something, even if it was hopeless. Jaune's muscles burned as he planted his hands down under him and pushed. He would leap into action, catch them off guard and tackle them down. M-Maybe if he was quick, they'd be so surprised that they couldn't react. Even the best of people could be taken if they let their guard down. All he needed was the confidence to try, the guts to make the effort.
Dad always said so.
Jaune dragged his cheek painfully across gravel and out from under the boot. The mugger who had been keeping him pinned stumbled back. This is my chance! Jaune thought, lurching up with his hands held before him. "Give my sword ba-"
A fist flashed right through his guard – literally sailing between his raised forearms before he could close them. There was no time for fear, only the sickening crunch of bone and cartilage and the cold embrace of concrete once more. The world didn't stay still. Vale's sky twisted and spun as he stared up at it, the rain seeming to cycle down onto his face like it was coming down a swirly slide.
His face felt numb.
"Damn. Feel like I cracked my knuckles." The man laughed. "Whatever. Meet back up at the tap after you've pawned it."
"Sure thing. Let's get out of here before Hei finds out what we're doing."
The first laughed. "I told you, the Xiong are done. They're finished."
"And who-" a deep voice boomed threateningly "-did you hear that from?"
Dizzy as he was, Jaune's head still fell to the side, looking toward the mouth of the alley. He hoped for a saviour, an officer or a huntsman, but what he received was a man who looked like he'd been through the same ordeal Jaune had.
The man was tall and broad, arms crossed over a wide chest. His black suit trousers and waistcoat over a white shirt might have made him look intimidating in any other scenario. His face gave it away. A black eye had swollen over the left side of his face. His left cheek was red and raw, as if someone had struck him with a burning hot piece of metal. If that wasn't enough, he was clearly favouring his right side and hunched at the shoulder. The man dressed smart but looked a mess.
Just like me, Jaune thought dully.
The muggers elbowed one another and stepped over Jaune's body to present a united from to the new man. The larger one cracked his knuckles, while the smaller unsheathed Crocea Mors and waved it menacingly in the air.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Junior. Heard you and yours ran into a bit of trouble of late."
"This territory belongs to the Xiong Clan," the so-called Junior replied calmly. He unclasped his arms and reached into his pocket, drawing out a pair of black gloves that he slowly worked his fingers into. "All those in it are under the clan's protection. You know the punishment for coming into our territory and causing trouble. Give the kid his stuff back and we can go our separate ways."
"And if we don't?"
The gloves creaked as Junior flexed his fingers. "You know how this goes."
They must have. The two men looked at one another, the smaller one nervous and the larger drawing a deep breath before squaring his shoulders. "Fuck off. The Xiong Clan's down and out. Don't think we didn't hear all about your muck up. Your whole gig got wrecked by a little girl. You can't look after yourselves, so what makes you think you can stop us?"
"Yeah!" Crocea Mors whistled in the air as the smaller man swung it. "You're old news, Junior. Crawl back to your hole and rot. These streets are free game."
"Tch." Junior spat to the side and reached into his pocket one last time, removing a shiny pair of red shades that he set upon his nose, covering his eyes. They glinted in the light from the nearby streetlamps. "You were warned."
He rushed forward.
The muggers swore and Jaune stared in awe, unsure why a man would charge into two others unarmed, especially when one had a sword. Junior's black shoes cracked down on the pavement as he hurtled in.
"We warned you!" the biggest mugger roared. "Get him!"
The same meaty fist that had knocked Jaune for six went screaming in toward his saviour's face. The man hardly reacted, only to slam his left foot down and draw his right shoulder back. It was enough to send the fist sailing by. At the same time, he touched one gloved hand to the man's elbow, guiding it along, before hooking his other hand under, moving his right foot in and jutting his hip against the man's stomach. With a lurch and a sudden cry, Junior pulled the man around his body and over his outstretched leg, half a trip and half a throw, sending the much bigger man splashing down into a puddle.
Crocea Mors came in with an accompanying battle cry as the smaller man slashed down toward the suited man's shoulder. Jaune tried to cry out a warning but it didn't matter. Junior drew his feet back together and stepped swiftly to the left, dodging with ease. As the smaller man overextended, Junior brought both hands up and reared back, striking a devastating blow that caught the man's face and sent him tumbling through the air. Crocea Mors clattered down on the floor of the alley.
The big man was already on his feet and charging in, but Junior turned to face him, hands up in a boxing stance. He blocked two swinging haymakers and retaliated with a sharp and sudden jab, staggering the larger man. When the brute stumbled back, Junior pressed in, delivering a one-two punch that ended with an uppercut, throwing the large man back and leaving him out cold on the floor.
"W-Wait, wait!" the smaller man begged. "We're sorry, Junior. We didn't mean to-"
Junior silenced him with a sudden kick, sweeping his leg up and over to strike the man's neck and send him spinning into the closest wall. He impacted with a crunch and then slid to the floor, moaning helplessly. In less than two minutes, both of the muggers were down and out, unable to move as Junior walked up and knelt by the smallest, rifling through his pockets.
Jaune stared at the man in awe. He was so strong, so skilled and he'd done what he couldn't in a matter of seconds. Junior approached, shoes splashing down in the puddle. A powerful hand took his and hauled him up. The sudden change in height sent a wave of vertigo washing through him. He stumbled, one foot splashing down as he tried to catch himself.
"Why…?" he croaked.
Something soft thumped onto Jaune's chest and he looked down. His saviour was holding out a roll of bills, money taken from the wallets of the thieves. Jaune stared in confusion as it was pushed into the pocket of his hoodie.
"The Xiong Clan apologises for the inconvenience you've experienced this night," he said gruffly. He sounded annoyed. "I hope this will be enough to settle affairs."
Jaune stared dumbly down at the rolled-up money. At least three hundred lien, more than he'd had on him by far. He didn't know what to do. This man had come and rescued him from two people looking to rob him and leave him in an alley, recovered his belongings and was now offering to pay him for the privilege? Jaune opened his mouth to ask what was going on, only for his legs to give way.
The floor rushed in but didn't strike him. Two heavy arms caught him before he could hit the ground, supporting his weight as his eyes slid shut. Even now, he was still weak. Still useless. Unable to even thank his saviour properly.
No wonder Beacon rejected his application.
Jaune dreamed of home.
He dreamed of his family, his sisters, his mother and his father. He dreamed of them wishing him well as he left to Vale. He dreamed of their proud faces and the way his mother and father would hold onto one another. He dreamed of Beacon, its glorious spires and the promise of becoming a huntsman. He dreamed of himself stood tall with Crocea Mors dug into the ground, his hand upon the hilt and a beautiful girl on his arm. He dreamed of adventure and glory.
But dreams would not hold, and soon his world became that of stinging pain, cold air and the constant tschh-tschh of a broom sweeping up what sounded like shattered glass, followed by a scrape and a loud tinkling noise like rain. Slowly, Jaune opened his eyes, blinking up at an incredibly tall ceiling set with bright lights, girders and innumerable speaker systems.
"Hey," a feminine voice said. "You're awake."
His head rolled to the side, taking in a pretty girl who looked a couple of years older than he. She was dressed in white with straight black hair cascading down her shoulders to a fluffy feather neck scarf. Her skin was pale, her eyes bright green, and he would have called her beautiful.
If she wasn't so beat up.
Her bottom lip was cut straight through and had started to scab over, leaving her smile just a little crusty and crooked. There was a swelling over her left eyebrow as well, ugly and large with a white plaster stuck over it in a cross-shape. Another plaster clung to her chin, but he could see the purple skin around what must have been a nasty bruise or cut. She'd tried to cover it up with makeup and he could tell she was a very pretty girl normally, but right now she looked as worn and broken as he felt.
"Wh-Where am I…?" His voice came out nasally. His nose felt tight and he was having trouble breathing. He brought a hand up, but the girl caught his wrist before he could touch his face.
"Don't. Your nose was broken and had to be reset. It's got a tight bandage on it to keep it in place. Breathe through your mouth instead."
He followed her instructions and found it easier. Letting his hand fall to his side, he took a few long breaths to get used to it. Now that she'd pointed it out, his nose felt numb and tight, like it was being pinched from both sides. He longed to touch it, but the look in her eye said she wouldn't let him.
"As for where you are," she continued. "You're in our club. The Club. Best nightlife in Vale," she said proudly. "Or it was up until two nights back." The girl looked aside and Jaune followed, taking in what was an incredibly large room. There was a big dancefloor off to the side with a DJ's stand behind it, numerous tables and chairs over toward the far end beside an entrance.
He, himself, was laid out on what appeared to be a circular bar set in the centre of the club. It was a big place, but it was also a ruin. Men in black suits with red ties moved around with brooms and dustpans, collecting shattered glass that littered the dancefloor. A huge pillar that must have been glass once lay shattered open, with two men using metal poles to gently break the fatally sharp shards still clinging to the bottom. Another held open a large metal container, catching them as they fell and shattered inside.
Not one of the men looked in best health. They were covered in bruises, cuts and scrapes, and one or two even had their arms in slings. Those didn't work the glass and were instead hunched over tables looking over documents or nursing drinks. Obviously, the nightclub was closed. There wasn't a guest out of uniform to be seen, with the only differing person a girl in a red dress similar to the one beside him. She was busy using a pair of tweezers to pluck glass out of a man's leg.
"Not much of a nightclub now, is it?" the girl beside him said with a heavy sigh.
"What happened…? Was this a Grimm attack?"
"In the middle of Vale!? Ha. No. Just some dumb broad with more power than sense. Came looking for information and didn't get what she wanted. Assaulted our boss, and when we tried to intervene, threw down and kicked our asses, wrecking the place in the process. Millions in damage, not to mention the injured." The girl hissed through her teeth. "Bitch. If I ever get my hands on her…"
"Then you'll be in intensive care," a man growled. "Or worse."
The girl smiled weakly. "Hey boss."
Boss? Jaune creaked his head around to look the other way, taking in dark eyes set between black hair and a blacker beard. "You!" he gasped, eyes widening. "You're the one who saved me!"
"Saved?" the girl snorted. "Caped crusader now, boss?"
"More like a chance encounter. I needed some fresh air to clear my head and came across two punks making trouble on our territory." The girl's face sharpened on hearing that. "Turns out news of our misfortune has spread already. Common thugs," he growled. "Not been years since the trash dared cross us like this. If it carries on, the Lumen won't be far behind, and you can be sure the other families will be rubbing their hands together."
"I'll take Miltia out and do rounds later," the girl promised.
"Hngh. You do that. Take some men with you. I know you don't need them," he said to the suddenly affronted girl. "You're tougher than most of them, I know. I need them seen, however. Need them visible. You two can't be everywhere at once."
"Tch. I'm babysitter, then?"
"Pretty much. People need to know the Xiong Clan isn't down and out."
"Miltia won't like it… but I'll talk her round. What about this guy?" she asked, nudging Jaune's arm. "Just some poor schmuck you felt like helping out, is it? That's not like you."
"I always step in when someone is hurt on our turf."
"Yeah, and you usually leave the ones behind it knocked out in an alley somewhere. You've never brought a victim back with you." She tried for a cheeky smile, which faltered somewhat with how swollen her face was. "Feeling sentimental?"
"They'd have only woken up and done him in again if I left him there; I didn't put the effort in for him to get mugged a second time. Then it was either drag him here or to the nearest hospital. His wounds weren't that bad, and I'm not traipsing through the rain or waiting for a taxi."
It was strange to not be involved in a conversation that was about you. Jaune stayed quiet, more from not knowing what to say than fear. Melanie laughed, the noise rough because of her injuries. It didn't feel like he'd been saved. If anything, he felt like he was in a Doctor's GP surrounded by other people suffering their own ailments.
There was a long silence, and it took Jaune longer than he liked to realise they were looking at him expectantly. He would have blushed if he didn't feel so exhausted. Instead, he cringed. "S-Sorry. Did you say something?"
"Still out of it, huh? How's your head?"
"It… Only a little pain."
Junior reached out a big hand and took the left side of his face in it. The fact those same hands had smashed two people into pulp wasn't lost on him, but Junior was gentle. He used a thumb to pull on the skin under Jaune's left eye, opening it wide.
"Look left. Now look right."
Jaune followed the instructions obediently.
"Look at me. Hm. Your eyes are tracking. That's good. How is your vision? Blurry?"
"N-No. I can see fine. I just feel like crap…"
"Probably just the pain from being knocked silly, then." Junior let him go. He reached under the bar and brought out a small, sealed packet. Typical shop painkillers. "Here. These ought to help."
Two small white pills had never looked so inviting. Jaune took them straight up, swallowed and then accepted the glass of water the man offered, chasing them down. "Thank you," he rasped. "Not just for this but… saving me. I thought…"
He didn't know what he'd thought, but he'd been afraid. So afraid.
"No problem, kid. Or not your problem anyway. One week past, no one would have dared hit someone on our turf. They can smell weakness, though. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone is eating away at our borders." Junior sighed. "Not that it's anything you need worry about. You're welcome to hang around if you like, kid, but the Club is a mess. I'll call you a taxi to take you home."
Ansel? You couldn't take a taxi from Vale to Ansel any more than you could any of the frontier villages. "N-No. Junior, I-"
"Hei." the man interrupted. "The name's Hei Xiong. Junior is a nickname."
"Hei. I'm sorry-"
"It's fine. You were saying no…?"
"I live outside Vale," he explained quickly. "Far, far outside it. I… I don't actually have anywhere in the city to stay."
Hei hummed. "You came looking for work?"
He'd come for Beacon, to become a Huntsman, but it felt so stupid to say that to someone who had saved him from being beaten up by thugs on the street. Hei was an actual Huntsman, so he'd see through it in an instant. "Yeah," Jaune said miserably. "I came to make a fresh start. Not been the best so far…"
"That means it's only up from here, right?" the girl laughed, slapping his shoulder. "Can't get any worse."
Jaune tried to smile. He really did. His heart wasn't in it, and everyone could tell. Hei sighed and sent the woman a quick look. He nodded to the main doors and said, "Melanie. Go do those rounds. Be seen."
"Fine. Fine. Slave driver."
The girl, who he now knew was called Melanie, kicked off her stool and sauntered away without so much as a wave. Jaune watched her go, confused and not sure why he was. Maybe it was what they were doing and why. It didn't make sense in his head that a nightclub had to worry about that kind of thing, but then most nightclubs didn't have their owner go police the nearby alleyways.
"Troublesome girl," Hei said. "Wouldn't trade her or her sister for the world. Your scroll didn't survive the tussle, I'm afraid. I've asked one of my boys to take a look at it and see if they can't fix it. If not, I'll get you a replacement."
"Why are you doing this?" Jaune asked.
Hei's eyes narrowed. "Helping you?"
"Being so generous. You already helped me. Why are you replacing my stuff?" This guy had already done more than anyone could have been expected to. He didn't have to go any further.
"It's business, ki- I can't keep calling you kid. What's your name?"
"Jaune, then. This is business to us. We look after those inside our territory. You were hurt on our turf – your belongings were damaged. Think of this as an insurance pay out."
That explained so little. If he was going to get everything back then he couldn't complain, however. He almost lost- Jaune froze. His heart jumped up to his throat and stuck there. "Crocea Mors!" he gasped.
Hei frowned. "What?"
"My sword! My dad's sword! Where is it?"
"That was yours…? Shit." Hei swore under his breath and moved away from the bar. He raised his voice, calling out to one of the suited men brushing up the broken glass. "Simon. Take Ben and head to the alley between the pharmacist and the bus stop. I left two men out cold. Find a sword and bring it back, quickly."
The men in question nodded and propped their tools by abandoned tables, quickly picked their way across the dance floor and jogged to the main doors. They pulled on red lenses before rushing out into the rain, slamming the door shut behind them.
Jaune's heart continued to pound in his chest. He fought the panic down. What would Nicholas say if he came back without his sword?
Nothing. The answer was immediate. Dad wouldn't raise any fuss and would never bring it up. That didn't mean he wouldn't react, though. That didn't mean he wouldn't be disappointed in his son for losing it. This would prove his thoughts about teaching Jaune right, too. Everyone said he wasn't cut out to be a Huntsman, and this only proved them right.
His mother and sisters would look at him with such pity. Pity, but not surprise. Here comes Jaune, coming back after failing to get into Beacon, and he's lost Crocea Mors as well. Oh, that's a shame, but really, is anyone surprised? He always was a bit of a cry-baby.
Jaune's eyes watered.
He'd heard it all before. A hundred times over.
It's okay, Jaune. It'll be okay, Jaune. Don't worry if you're not good at this, Jaune. You only need to be more confident, Jaune. You can do it, Jaune. Well, at least you tried your best, Jaune. It's not winning that counts, Jaune, it's taking part.
I'm so pathetic. So pathetic that the owner of a nightclub smashed to a million pieces can still afford to take pity on me.
His father wouldn't be wallowing in self-pity, either. Nicholas Arc was a man of action. Aside from not losing his sword in the first place, he'd be up on his feet and hunting down those responsible. Damn it! He wanted to be better. Wanted to be like his old man, like his grandfather and his great grandfather, heroes all.
"I'm not a Huntsman."
Jaune blinked and looked up at Hei. "Huh?"
"You said you wanted to be a Huntsman like me."
Had he? Jaune felt his face heat up. Oh great, he'd gone and said that out loud, and now he looked and sounded like an idiot. Wait, did Hei say he wasn't a Huntsman? That didn't make sense.
"You have to be," Jaune blurted out. "You beat up those two thugs and-"
"And that's it. I'm a fighter. I know how to handle myself. Huntsman, though?" Hei brought a hand up and touched his badly swollen eye. "It was a Huntress that did this to me." He gestured to the ruined nightclub. "It was a Huntress that beat up not only me but Melanie and her sister along with all my boys. All without breaking a sweat."
A Huntress did all that? But Hei was so strong! He was so fast!
"And you want to know the best part? It's that she wasn't even a proper Huntress. She was one in training. It was a kid your age," he said, laughing bitterly. "Probably a Beacon applicant."
It felt like Jaune's head was caught in a vice.
How many times had people warned him that being a Huntsman wasn't a game? How many times had he been told that people going to Beacon trained for most of their lives and how he couldn't match them in just a year or two? He'd always dismissed it. Always assumed it was just his dad underestimating him again.
Now, he knew. Hei was a man strong enough to beat down two grown men who could have left Jaune for dead, and Hei and his entire bar had been beaten up by one girl, one girl who was at the level of what he'd pretended to be. Jaune had never felt that gap more keenly.
I never had a chance of making Beacon, did I…? If I can't even protect myself then how could I have made it in a school full of people who can do this?
Reality had a crushing weight to it, a sense of finality. Beacon was not – and perhaps had never been – an option. No amount of confidence was going to get him into Beacon, and no amount of apologies would make him any less of a failure for losing Crocea Mors.
"Jaune? Jaune!" Hei snapped him out of his thoughts with a firm shake of the shoulder. "Right. You're staying here for the night. We've spare room and I don't trust letting you out my sight if you keep going in and out of focus like that. You might black out in the middle of the street and get hit by a car." He sighed and muttered, "Maybe I should have taken you to a hospital after all. I didn't think it looked that bad."
Rest sounded good. Even the mention of it had Jaune feeling woozy. With the painkillers kicking in and taking the pain away, the adrenaline that had been keeping him up was fast fading. Combined with how little sleep he'd gotten since receiving his rejection letter, his body felt like it was about to crash.
"Tony!" Junior called to another man. Another black suit with red tie and a hat. The yellow kitchen gloves he wore ruined the uniform somewhat. "This is Jaune," Hei explained to the man. "Take him up to one of the spare rooms and see him settled in. Make sure to show him where the toilets are and leave him some water."
"Sure thing, boss." The man helped slide Jaune to the edge of the bar and off. "Come on, mate. Let's get you to a bed. You look like you've had one hell of a week."
He led Jaune away, leaving Hei behind to pull out a binbag and start shovelling up broken bottles from behind his bar. Everything was in disrepair, from the tables to the dance floor, the lights to the walls. The Club was in ruins, which sort of fit with Jaune's own life. Through his despair and exhaustion, Jaune couldn't help but point that out.
"Yeah, we've been fucked up a real treat." Tony chuckled. "Guess we're not so different, hey? Both down on our luck because someone tougher decided to kick our asses. Hei will get us out, though. He always does. The boss isn't the kind of man to let fate dick him over. He takes life into his own hands." Tony laughed. "That's why he's the boss!"
A man who takes life into his own hands…
That was the kind of man Jaune wanted to be.
Oh look, another Jaune-centric story. Lol. Yeah, well, it is what it is. I've probably made it clear by now that I love RWBY in its S1-3 section, so it makes sense I want to either focus stories there or skip the post S-3 canon events entirely. At least this Jaune doesn't have any secrets.
I've already deciding the pairings for this story and it may surprise you. I will confirm it's not either of the Malachite sisters since I already did Miltia for Service with a Smile. This story is going to focus on the idea of Jaune dragging himself up from rock bottom, turning himself from a weakling bum into a self-made man. Or, as those old adverts on webpages used to tell me - Turning from a lvl 1 mook into a lvl 100 mob boss!
This story may contain grey themes but shouldn't be dark, certainly not by the standards of Null. A little crime, a little bloodshed, plenty of swearing, but also moments where Jaune isn't on the job and is basically a normal guy living in Vale. That's when the Baka Mitai can start!
Next Chapter: 14th January
P a treon . com (slash) Coeur