Believing, or rather, hoping his team would be much more capable than Jaune had proven to be, Winston made a slight detour to the locker room to retrieve his lasgun before attempting to spar with Team RWBY. It was a short trip, barely taking a couple of minutes, and yet that had apparently been far too long for some of the huntsmen-in-training to continue practicing amongst each other. The training area that had once been filled with young men and women sparring against each other was now filled with more students resting after having won or lost a single battle after only a scant few minutes.

How people so incapable at defending themselves were able to survive this long after giving up so easily was something the guardsman couldn't begin to comprehend, but then again, these were also civilians pretending to be something they were not. Expecting a bunch of untrained combatants to treat their training as seriously as they should was probably asking for too much.

Winston wanted to scoff at these pathetic excuses for fighters. His prior experiences with civilians from a past campaign and the agonizing experience of keeping them from staring down the barrels of their own autoguns was enough to keep him silent, thankful that they at least knew enough to not be at constant risk of blowing their own brains out.

It was difficult remembering that these were not trained guardsmen or Death Korps cadets, but civilians pretending a bunch of feral xenos… daemons… whatever the Grimm are, were worth worrying about. The students, much like their enemies, were pathetic. The people of Remnant had no idea how lucky they were to be able to consider the Grimm as the greatest threat to their quiet, peaceful lives.

But the battleground, even one meant specifically for honing one's skills in mock battles, was no place to be thinking about such things. Winston quickly cleared his mind as he caught sight of his own team after a brief moment of searching, and was pleased to see that some of them were fighting like their lives depended on it. His satisfaction quickly turned into confusion when he looked down into the fighting pit they secured for themselves to see which weapons his team were using.

His leader, Ruby, was wielding a massive scythe that would have looked natural in the hands of an Astartes but appeared comically oversized with the way it dwarfed her, yet she was still somehow able to wield the massive weapon with the same ease he carried his lasgun. The black and red blur that was the young girl darted around Yang, her opponent for this fight, in a flurry of wild slashes which was effortlessly deflected by her older teammate barehanded.

No, not barehanded, but for as small as Yang's weapons of choice were, she might as well have been. It wasn't until Winston stood at attention beside his other two teammates who were spectating the fight between Ruby and the blonde brawler that he saw the latter was using weaponized gauntlets to defend against a weapon that was larger against her. What Winston was witnessing made little sense, much like most things he had taken notice of after arriving on Beacon. He could only assume the absurdity of the spectacle before him was one of the many things aura was capable of, and he was once again glad he had allowed Ozpin to grant him this same power.

Winston watched the ongoing duel in silence, not daring to take his eyes away from the heated battle taking place before him even as Blake offered him a slight nod that he barely saw out of the edge of his vision. He could also barely see Weiss beside her, carelessly staring at the Scroll in her hands rather than watching their two teammates struggle to gain the upper hand against one another. He was tempted to chide her for her lack of awareness, but chose to focus on his dueling teammates rather than waste his words on a noble who likely thought herself above such reprimands.

It was a good thing he chose not to divert his attention away from the battle too, because if he hadn't been paying attention he never would have noticed Ruby fly towards him after Yang sent the smaller girl flying out of the arena with an explosive blast released by her gauntlets. The korpsman had just enough time to dive to the ground before the blur of red and black sailed over him and came to a crashing stop a few feet behind him, followed by his leader's scythe which came clattering to a stop beside her.

"Hah hah, gotcha sis! Looks like you're still not able to beat me yet!" Yang laughed in triumph, oblivious to the harm she had almost caused to the rest of her team.

At least, until Weiss let her have it. "Hey, be careful! You could have hit one of us." She said, gesturing at Winston as he pushed himself back off the ground, completely unperturbed by the near miss.

"Oh… crap. Sorry about that." The brawler sheepishly apologized.

"Are you okay?" Blake called out to her newest teammate as he walked over to where Ruby was lying down.

Winston gave her an almost imperceptible nod as he made his way to Ruby and offered a hand to his leader who offered him a sheepish grin before accepting his help getting back onto her feet.

"Thanks… and sorry for almost crashing into you." She apologized as she dusted off her skirt.

"I'm fine." He replied monotonously.

The young girl gave her teammate a quizzical look before running over to collect her scythe, collapsing it into a far easier to carry metal block that looked almost like a weapon case instead of the weapon itself. It was an overly complicated feature with barely any practical use. The Mechanicus would have adored an invention like that.

"I uhh… thought you didn't like being touched." Ruby said in an awkward attempt to make conversation as the two of them walked back to the rest of their team.

"What I like doesn't matter." Winston answered.

"O-oh." The young leader said, deflating a little at his response.

"So, how'd your little practice session with Goodwitch go?" Yang asked Winston once he was back with the rest of Team RWBY.

The guardsman gave her a shrug. "I fought Jaune. Goodwitch wanted to make sure I could use my aura before fighting anyone else." He told her.

"Really? How did you do?" Yang asked, scanning the training area for Jaune and letting out a silent sigh of relief after noticing he still had all his limbs attached.

"I was disappointed." Winston replied.

"He beat you?" Blake asked in disbelief.

"I didn't need to use a weapon to beat him." He said, adjusting his gloves as he did so.

Yang instantly perked up hearing this. "So, you're as good with your hands as you are with a shovel?"

"Entrenchment tool." Winston corrected. "And I don't know if I can say that. All I did was punch him once before headmistress Glynda called off the fight."

The brawler's grin turned predatory as she listened to him. "Well, if you're looking for a real fight, I might be able to keep you entertained for a bit, tough guy." She said, flexing her arms much to Ruby's embarrassment. "It's not often I get a chance to fight someone who also knows how to use their fists."

"No, you're not." Weiss interrupted, raining on Yang's parade. "Your aura is almost at fifty percent. The rules say you can't start a duel in class unless your aura is at least above eighty percent."

"Who said anything about showing off during class?" The blonde said, not letting the opportunity pass up just yet. "We'll have plenty of time to see who's the better brawler when combat class is over."

"But class isn't over yet, is it?" The heiress fired back.

And I never agreed to fight someone with a primitive power fist barehanded either, Winston thought to himself. If Yang could deflect several dozen kilos worth of sharpened metal with pure strength alone, there was no way he was going to fight her without his lasgun. Then again, the second he brought out a ranged weapon the massacre would be going in his favor instead. Maybe it was her gauntlets and not her aura that gave her that inhuman strength? Perhaps he might need to take her up on her offer sometime, once he knew whether or not he would be instantly killed the moment the blonde managed to land a glancing blow or worse against him.

"Yeah, Weiss is right." Ruby said.

…unless his commander made the decision for him. As much as he wanted to disagree with her, if only to wipe that smug look off of the heiress' face, Ruby made the right call. It seemed he could place his faith in such a young inexperienced leader after all.

"I want to fight him first!" Ruby then declared.

…or maybe everyone on this planet had a death wish.

Winston looked at Blake, the only one of his teammates that seemed to posses common sense to see what she would say. The two of them locked eyes, or lenses for one of them, each one radiating an aura of indifference before the black haired girl finally spoke up.

"Why do the both of you want to fight Winston so badly?" She asked, coming to his defense.

"Because he's the only one we haven't seen fight before!" Ruby practically shouted.

"Did you not watch me in Professor Port's class?" Winston asked her.

"That doesn't count!" The energetic girl said, waving her hands as if to brush off her teammate's words. "You were using your shovel back then. I want to see you use your laser guns!"

"So that's why you want to fight him." Yang said, smirking as Ruby shrunk in on herself after being called out.

"Uhm, I mean, don't the rest of you want to know what he can do? We have all fought together during initiation so we have an idea of what everyone is capable of." Ruby explained in an attempt to defend herself.

"She does have a point." Blake conceded.

The guardsman nodded in agreement. Knowing what each other was capable would help compensate for any weaknesses they individually possessed.

"But does it have to be her?" Weiss said accusingly. "You've already lost one fight today."

"And you haven't?" Winston asked the heiress.

"I totally won against that boarbatusk!" She indignantly replied, her cheeks growing crimson with a mix of anger and embarrassment.

Weiss looked to her teammates for support and found all but Blake making no attempt to hold back their laughter after being reminded of what happened to her in Port's class. The heiress glared at the guardsman for embarrassing her, and his lack of response to her fury only further enraged her.

"Blake, I'm going to fight Winston first. Hold my Scroll for me." She said, standing up and storming off into the locker rooms to grab her rapier.

The rest of Team RWBY watched on in silence, unsure of what to say before Yang finally spoke up.

"Well, that happened." Yang said, before turning her attention to the guardsman. "Looks like you're doing a real good job of pushing Snow Angel's buttons."

"Buttons?" Winston asked. "Has she been augmented by a tech priest?"

If she was, that would go a long way to explaining why she was so reckless. The same could be said for why she was acting so stupid too. Metal might be stronger and more resilient than flesh, but the same could not be said for its effects on intelligence. There was a reason the Imperium did not send Servitors into battle unattended, after all.

"Huh, guess they must not have that saying over in Krieg." The brawler muttered to herself.

"Hey, Winston." Ruby said, reaching for the sleeve of her teammate's trench coat before Winston could notice and pulled his arm away from her.

"Don't touch me." He told his leader who quickly pulled herself away from him.

"Oh, sorry." The young girl said, before shaking her head and giving the korpsman a determined look she thought she should adopt while acting as a leader. "You know you don't have to fight Weiss if you don't want to, right?"

"What I want doesn't matter." He replied, exactly as Ruby thought she would.

"Come on, you know what I mean." She pleaded, looking to her other teammates for support.

Winston didn't know. Orders were absolute. Anything else was irrelevant. If he happened to be able to beat down a smug noble into submission after she requested a fight with them, then who was he to argue against her?

Of course, it was difficult to hear what someone was saying through his gas mask sometimes and it was always the orders he hated most that he had the most trouble with…

"Hey, if our tough guy feels like showing Weiss up again, I'm all for it. I think it would be fun to watch." Yang grinned. "It'll be nice to know what I'm up against when we finally have a chance to go one-on-one."

"I don't mind waiting for my turn." Blake said.

"I'll make it quick then." Winston announced, slinging his lasgun onto his back and trading it for his laspistol and one of his many bayonets.

Yang let out a boisterous laugh at his display. "Oh, I cannot wait to see what else you've got, tough guy."


"Are you sure you still want to do this?" Ruby asked as her two teammates made their final preparations.

Winston was not one to flee from a fight, especially one against an ignorant noble who had yet to learn her place in the world, nor did he have any intentions of showing Weiss any mercy. Actually, perhaps he would show her some mercy after all, albeit unintentionally. He decided to forgo using his lasgun this time in favor of his laspistol and the bayonet he tucked into a small holding strap on his right forearm, much to his leader's disappointment. The laspistol, although still functioning properly despite the lack of maintenance he had given it since receiving it, was still a force to be reckoned with. Winston could only hope that he wouldn't have too much trouble shooting at a target that was three twice as small as a Beowolf, especially since he still wasn't too used to using a laspistol yet, to say nothing of how the sights had been thrown off after he crashed through that wall back in Greenleaf.

As for Weiss, she once again found the time to glare at someone who wasn't her opponent despite the danger that entailed. She was quite fortunate that he was treating her as a civilian rather than a fellow guardsman, because such behavior would have earned her a stern talk with the nearest Commissar for such blatant recklessness, even if they were both waiting for their duel to start.

Winston was relieved to see that she at least was slightly more prepared for a melee battle than Jaune was, although that was not to say he was anywhere close to impressed with what little there was to praise about the heiress. Her weapon and combat uniform was clean and free of any grime or blood unlike his own, even if it was a dress which would offer her no protection at all against a blade or stubber round, footwear with absurdly long and fragile heels, and a distinct lack of flak armor could be considered combat ready attire. If it hadn't been for seeing her weapon, Myrtenaster in action earlier, Winston would have thought the heiress would have been better off fighting him unarmed than with such a fragile looking piece of steel. Watching the white haired girl stab through a Grimm twice her size, armor and all, did a lot to change his mind.

That was the entire reason he decided to use his laspistol for this battle, after all. What better way to dispatch a close ranged opponent than with a firearm from a few dozen meters away? So long as those glyphs or whatever Ruby called them couldn't block the hundred or so lasbolts his laspistol could fire off before running its power pack dry, he had nothing to worry about.

"Just count us off while I'm still ready!" Weiss shouted at Ruby, the younger girl hiding her face behind the Scroll in her hands as if the vastly improved data slate could somehow conceal her from sight.

"Winston's aura is almost below the limit he needs to start…" Ruby called down to her irate teammate, offering him one final pleading look to decline the match.

"I'm fine." Winston said. "I won't need to use it."

He didn't need his aura to fight Jaune after all, but what was that about it being above eighty percent already? Goodwitch said it was close to breaking after hitting him with her riding crop earlier, didn't she? Maybe people with less aura could recharge it faster? That was something else he needed to talk to Ozpin about.

Yang let out a laugh, as did a few other students who had finished up their own spars and were gathering to watch the other students who were still capable of fighting. Whether it was out of a desire to see the new arrival in action, a need to see if the heiress really was as great a person as she made herself out to be, or a simple thirst for violent entertainment, a sizeable crowd had gathered around the small little arena Team RWBY had claimed for themselves. Luckily for them, this small little pit's walls were just high enough to prevent any stray lasbolts from striking the crowd above.

Not that it stopped Yang from punching Ruby out of the ring and nearly injuring him in the process. Nothing could be made entirely safe, after all. Winston was content with what he was working with though, as he didn't need to spend nearly as much time lining up the perfect shot to take his opponent down.

"Are you trying to make fun of me?" Weiss roared, abandoning all sense of dignity as she continued shouting at the guardsman.

"No." He told her, pausing a brief moment to think. "Would you like me to?"

"Okay, when I say 'go', you can start!" Ruby announced in an attempt to stop her teammates from fighting before they could start, not that Winston was aware of what was happening in the first place.

"Three…"

A countdown before battle? Winston hadn't heard one of these since boot camp. It was almost nostalgic hearing a countdown before people started trying to shoot at him again. The experience was not pleasant by any means, but certainly nostalgic.

"Two…"

His sidearm was still locked and loaded, safety on until Winston felt a need to fire it, sights… well, there was nothing that could be done about them until he had some free time with a few tools from Beacon's workshop and a firing range. There wasn't anything he could do about the beam intensity either. Hopefully Weiss' aura was strong enough to survive a lasbolt, or else the old quartermaster's laspistol would be sending yet another poor soul straight to the Emperor.

"One…"

The bayonet he selected for this fight was still where it needed to be, ready to be pulled free the moment it was needed. As for the blade itself, the alloy it was made of was probably sturdy enough to survive against most melee weapons the primitive technology of this planet could produce. Or was it?

…at least the arm it was strapped to couldn't be injured any worse than it already had been in any case. Worst case scenario; he acquired a few new dents and scratches, maybe a decent sized hole if he was a little bit off in his assumptions.

"Go!" Ruby shouted, unable to hold back her enthusiasm as she shouted out the final word and watched Weiss run at Winston with the same mindless tactics she used against the boarbatusk that nearly humiliated her.

The white haired huntress ran at the guardsmen in the same, reckless manner from when her opponent had been a mindless monster instead of an experienced guardsman. If he hadn't been Weiss' opponent, Winston would have voiced his own disapproval of the girl's actions immediately for failing to have learned from her previous mistakes. Instead, he simply waited for her to draw close before making her move.

It was just as the korpsman was able to clearly make out the determined scowl on his opponent's face did he finally act, taking only a few steps forward to answer her foolhardy charge. If Weiss had noticed that the guardsman had not yet found her threatening enough to raise his laspistol, then she simply did not care. The only thing she was focused on was the tip of her blade pointed at Winston's chest and how she was going to make him pay for humiliating her earlier. Not wanting to give her new teammate a chance to fight back, she thrust her rapier forward with all of her strength believing that it would be more than enough to drain his remaining aura and win their duel in a single hit. Unfortunately for her, reality and the guardsman had different plans.

Moving without any apparent sense of urgency, the korpsman stepped forward and swung his right arm at the weapon sailing straight towards him and held his laspistol at stomach level. A sharp scraping sound echoed around the two combatants as the guardsman's attempt to ward off the huntress-in-training's attack proved itself to be successful, the girl's weapon creating a shower of sparks as it scraped against the hardened alloy of the bayonet it failed to penetrate as it was swept aside.

Whether it was a failure to plan for what would happen after she had struck Winston or the guardsman surprising her by brushing off what she was certain would be a match ending attack so easily, Weiss stumbled forward as she tried to stop herself. The guardsman did not move away from the frail young woman as she crashed into him but instead used her own momentum against her, twisting her around and wrapping an arm around her neck with his free hand and pushing the barrel of his laspistol against her lower back with laughable ease.

The heiress struggled to escape his grip for a brief few moments before feeling the barrel of the laspistol growing uncomfortably present in her mind, combined with the knowledge that it could be fired at any moment her captor felt like it, did she finally stop trying to break free and calmly waited to be released. Her cheeks grew red with embarrassment as she waited for Winston to release her and the expressions of disbelief splayed across her teammates' faces did the reality of what had happened finally dawn on her.

"Pathetic." Winston sighed directly into her ear, silent enough so only she could hear, before pushing the heiress away.

That was the second time he could have killed his opponent without a weapon today.

He had been expecting Weiss to perform poorly, but not that poorly.

"What did you say!?" The heiress yelled as she pivoted around a few feet of way and entered a fencing stance in an attempt to save what little dignity she had left.

"You're pathetic, Cadet Schnee." The guardsman droned on, before mindfully adding, "Are you hard of hearing too?"

The white haired huntresses' fury reached a boiling point, and unlike before, she did not blindly run forward as rage consumed her. This time, she pointed her weapon straight towards the guardsman far from where he could lay a hand on her.

Winston thought this was her way of yielding, until he recalled what little information Ruby had given him about the heiress' weapon:

It has a ton of dust in the hilt she uses to do stuff like create ice walls or shoot fireballs.

The guardsman quickly realized what his opponent was aiming for and threw himself to the side moments before a torrent of fire spewed out of Weiss' rapier, leaving him feeling noticeably warmer but physically unharmed. The same could not be said about his pride as a soldier…

"Hah, now who's pathetic?" Weiss mocked.

Winston did not bother to answer her, nor did he make any attempt to pick himself off of the floor and charge headfirst towards someone with a sword that doubled as a flamer. He simply flicked the safety off of his laspistol and braced the weapon in both of his hands before delivering his response to the heiress with a quick pull of the trigger.

The laspistol let out a loud bark as the first hastily fired shot sailed past its intended target and hit the wall behind her, creating a shallow crater behind and spraying the shocked looking heiress with a few small pieces of superheated slag. The follow up shots the guardsman followed it with as he scrambled back to his feet were just as inaccurate as the first, but were enough to force Weiss to back off in fear of being struck by them.

That was the worst thing the white haired huntress could have done, as her panicked retreat allowed Winston to grow more accustomed to his laspistol with every shot fired. It might have helped him hit his intended target too, if the spread of his lasbolts didn't come out at random, likely an indicator of some internal damage that would likely need to be fixed along with the other surface level issues he spotted earlier. Regardless of why he couldn't seem to land a hit on his opponent, there was no denying that with every shot he took it was clear to everyone present, the heiress most of all, that it was only a matter of time until he finally hit his target.

Weiss seemed to realize this too, and summoned a wall of ice large enough to completely shield her from Winston and prevent him from climbing over it. For a brief moment, the huntress in training allowed herself a sigh of relief now that she was confident she had enough time to safely do so. The continued crackling of ionized air that escaped every time Winston fired a lasbolt did little to help her think of a way to fight back against him.

Weiss Schnee, despite proving herself worthy of the opportunity before her father in order to attend Beacon in the first place, had no real experience fighting another person before. Sure, there were the numerous robots her family's company helped Atlas produce along with the many Grimm she had been tested against, but never another person. The heiress thought that the innate talent her older sister regularly complemented would have been enough to overcome any other student who made the foolish decision to fight her. That assertion had been proven false in a matter of moments, and Weiss struggled to search for a way to win her fight against a self-asserted soldier.

Her attempt to end the fight in one quick move failed horribly and she was hesitant to try it again. Letting Winston continue assaulting her from a distance was right out, as he clearly had the upper hand with a sidearm of all things! She could hold her own against cutting edge weaponry and had to hide against a pistol! At least it wasn't powerful enough to break through her ice wall.

Yes, that was right. All she needed to do was wait until her opponent stopped firing before leaping over the wall she created, get close enough to Winston so he couldn't use his weapon effectively, and then victory would be hers. It was a fool proof plan that couldn't possibly go wrong…

…or so she thought, until a crimson bolt of energy pierced through the ice beside her face and left behind a steaming hole in what she believed to be her impenetrable defense.

In the time Weiss had been using to psyche herself up, Winston had been busy firing at the ice in front of him hoping his power pack's charge would last longer than the ice would. After having served on an ice world before, Winston was reasonably sure that the hot shot power pack his laspistol was drawing its ammo from would be more than enough to penetrate through after a couple of shots.

His relentlessness was rewarded by a girlish scream that came from the other side of the wall as Weiss fell to the ground after the near miss and did not stop firing after hearing confirmation of his prior assumption. Instead, he lowered his aim from where he assumed Weiss' face and fired at a few select areas in an attempt to weaken the ice in those areas. The guardsman held no illusions that he could melt a hole large enough to walk through, nor did he intend to do something so stupid when his enemy trapped herself behind a barrier of her own making.

No, he simply wanted to soften up a sizable section of the ice as he approached Weiss' hastily constructed defenses. Once he was satisfied with his work and he could no longer hear the girl scrambling away from his line of fire, he inspected one of the weakest areas of the ice wall that he could just barely see through. Weiss' silhouette was hard to make out, but visible enough to tell Winston several things.

The first was that Weiss did not have any other weapons or grenades on her. Secondly, he could tell that she was staring right back at him, likely trying to come with a plan of attack now that she believed she was safe if the stupefied expression she wore was any indicator. The last, and most important of all, was that she had never fought in an ice cavern before, unlike him.

Not wanting his opponent to try firing something else out of her incredible example of Remnant's extravagant weaponry and feeling that he had let the fight go on for far too long, Winston lowered his pistol and reared his right fist back, silently making sure Weiss was where he thought she was before striking. The guardsman punched the wall with all of his strength and his arm easily shot through the thin, partially melted section of ice Weiss made the mistake of taking shelter behind and quickly grabbed hold of her dress before yanking her into the wall.

The damage his lasbolts inflicted on the wall, while not enough to cause his previous shots to punch through the wall similarly to how his fist had done, was still weak enough to break once the heiress was dragged through it. The white haired huntress let out a startled yelp as she crashed to the ground at Winston's feet, dropping her weapon as she landed flat on her rear.

Unlike before, Winston did not waste time speaking down to his opponent and simply shot her while she was down. For a brief second, the korpsman was afraid that he had made a horrible mistake when he heard her cry out in pain, but set aside his worry once he saw that Weiss was unharmed aside from the scorched portion of the dress covering the hole in the fabric exposing her scalded shoulder. Apparently the heiress was unfamiliar with pain, something he found particularly jarring on account of the large scar running down across her left eye.

"Pathetic." Winston muttered to himself upon seeing his opponent's will to fight had been drained with that single shot.

Seeing as the fight was over with Weiss unwilling to stand back up, Winston removed the power pack from his laspistol and turned the safety back on before holstering it. He was among allies now. There was no good reason to be walking around with a loaded firearm in Beacon, unless he was in Ozpin's presence, of course. You never could be too careful around some people, especially an Inquisitor.

As for Weiss, she hardly cared about what was happening around her. Her attention was more focused on the searing pain emanating from the pink patch of skin exposed by the burnt hole in her dress. The rest of her team shared her concerns, if Ruby's immediate descent into the arena was anything to go by.

"Weiss, are you okay?" The young girl shouted as she ran to where her partner was curled up in pain.

"He shot me!" She hissed out between pained moans.

"That's what I was supposed to do." Winston reminded her, sounding far less sure of himself with every word he spoke as he saw the concern on his leader's face. "...right?"

The heiress shot him a murderous look for a brief moment before returning to nurse her wound. Blake and Yang were also making their way down into the arena now, both girls expressing their concern for their teammate in their own unique ways, Winston hoped. He honestly couldn't understand what they were all so worked up over. Most people didn't survive a lasbolt to the torso from point blank, and those unfortunate few that did were lucky if they went into shock from their arm being blown off.

Still, maybe this was one of those things about civilians he didn't entirely understand. It certainly seemed like it, even if Weiss' aura protected her from injury. His team's concern and lack of action despite it was probably something similar, and not wanting or caring to understand what was going on through these civilians' minds, Winston knelt down in order to make himself useful, unlike them.

"Stop complaining and let me look at your arm." Winston told Weiss, forcefully pushing Ruby aside as she was just about to ask how she could help.

"Why would I let you do that?" Weiss snapped back.

Winston grabbed her arm with an iron grip, earning some very unrefined language from the heiress that made Ruby blush the instant they were spoke. The guardsman ignored the noble's colorful vocabulary as he inspected the damage. He then idly prodded it a few times, shaking his head at every gasp of pain that came from Weiss before letting her arm fall unceremoniously.

"You have a light second degree burn." Winston informed her unceremoniously. "Put some burn ointment on and bandage your shoulder afterwards. It will leave no scar if you treat it properly."

The members of Team RWBY all stopped to stare at him for a moment with stupefied expressions as they processed what they were hearing.

"You've done this kind of thing before?" Yang asked, finally breaking the silence that had cropped up.

No, he did not, because most lasbolt wounds were fatal. The rare few that weren't usually demanded immediate attention from a quartermaster, whether it was the life saving assistance provided by their limited medical supplies if the wound was easy to treat or the reading of the victim's final rights if it wasn't. He seriously doubted even a Space Marine could get away with a quick trip to the nearest first aid kit to treat a lasbolt wound, let alone a whiny noble.

"I am more familiar with a medicae's duties than most." Winston offered, hoping it would satisfy her.

"Right… Ruby, Blake and I will take Weiss over to the nurses' office and tell Goodwitch where we're going." The blonde said as she and her black haired partner helped Weiss back onto her feet. "Don't let the tough guy shoot any of our other friends while we are gone."

"We'll be fine." The little black haired girl said as she watched the rest of her team depart with Weiss in tow, leaving only her and Winston left in the arena.

"...did I do something wrong?" Winston asked Ruby when he was certain no one else could overhear them over the idle chattering of the crowd that had started up once the fight had come to a grinding halt.

Ruby was about to tell him no, but stopped when she realized she wasn't quite sure if that was the right answer considering what happened. Before she had a chance to give him an answer, one of the spectators that had been enjoying the show made his displeasure known to everyone around him.

"Are you two going to fight each other or kiss down there? I want to watch the freak shoot someone else, not stand around all day!" A red headed brute shouted down at her and Winston.

Ruby shrunk down at her fellow student's jeering, an act that did not go unnoticed by her teammate. He was also pleased to see that this was the same person that had been making fun of Weiss earlier. That was good. Now Winston didn't have to track the idiot down to some dark stairway without cameras to be able to shove his entrenching tool up his ass.

"Twat." Winston shouted back, shouting the first insult he could think of that might goad the idiot into a fight.

"The hell did he just call me?" The redhead asked, before someone whispered something in his ear and the boy flew into a flippant rage.

"What did you call me you fucking freak!?" The brute yelled as he trembled with fury. "How about I come down there and beat your ass in front of everyone?"

That… was easier than it should have been. Khorneate cultists had more self restraint than this idiot.

"Winston, what are you doing?" Ruby whispered, fighting back against the urge to hold her hands over her ears to shut out the bad words she was listening to.

"Are you going to talk or are you going to fight?" Winston said, making his challenge known to the gathered students that had latched on to the newest source of entertainment that had appeared.

"Dove, get my mace. I'm going to show this little creep why no one messes with Cardin Winchester!" The idiot barked, as if shouting his name or talking in third person was supposed to make himself look impressive.

The only thing it did for Winston was make him eager to put the idiot in his rightful place for insulting his teammate earlier. Sure, Weiss might be a noble, but she was still his teammate. An insult against one of them was an insult against all of them, and Winston was not going to let such a slight stand.


Special thanks to Tireless Traveler for beta-reading this chapter!


Author's Corner:

To those of you wanting Weiss to be humbled or were curious as to how I will be handling lasgun strength (sometimes), I hope you're happy with this chapter. While I am fully confident that aura would block the worst damage a lasbolt can inflict, I seriously doubt it would be 100% effective. Seeing as how it isn't the lasbolt itself that is dangerous but the miniature explosion that occurs when a superheated projectile hits comparatively cooler solid matter or liquids and how aura apparently doesn't defend against arctic temperatures, I think it is safe to say that aura would not prevent someone from getting burned when hit by a projectile in the 'Megathoules' range. This would go doubly so when said lasbolt is coming from a weapon or using ammo especially designed to penetrate through heavily armored targets, like terminator armor… or tanks.

Do keep in mind that this is all purely speculative on my part.


Comments:

Metastability & drbakerarcho2008: (Winston's knowledge of Grimm vulnerabilities, namely shovels)

Notice how Winston says 'shovels' in this section. While an entrenchment tool might be a type of shovel… how does he know that entrenchment tools and bayonets aren't the only melee weapons good for killing Grimm?

Well, that is what I was going for at any rate. I could correct that minor discrepancy since it seems to have fallen flat, but I think I will keep it as is due to the implication.

Ghost of The Drive-In: ... Just how close was our Krieger and the regimental Enginseer?

Close enough to get a personal upgrade to his lasgun and consider taking a memento mori from the Tech Priest. And when did I ever say they were an Enginseer?

Negronomicon: (The Krieger life cycle, role assignment, and cultural loathing of nobility.)

Yes, I am aware that not all Kriegers are not clones according to some sources, but given how the entire vitae womb system was implemented due to the risk of Krieg's population dying out due to their overzealous desire to die for the Emperor I have to ask: how much of a gene pool was there left to start the entire project from? Enough to make the end results indistinguishable from cloning and/or inbreeding?

As for role assignment, Kriegers are made to be easily replaceable if not outright disposable. In order to avoid losing their entire medical or engineering staff, they need to have a lot of soldiers know how to fill multiple 'vacancies' so the regiment does not fall apart after a single bloodbath.

And don't forget that Krieg became a death world thanks to the Imperium's apocalyptic response to the planet's aristocrats declaring their independence. Centuries of warfare that would make both World Wars look like child's play and made Krieg as hospitable as Catachan, an infamous death world, all thanks to a couple of nobles that didn't want to pay their yearly tithes. Why wouldn't the average Krieger HATE the same class of people who stained their entire legacy and are the sole reason they are a shame filled death cult?

holandia1103: Heyyy, really nice fight scene. Though I struggle to call it a fight as it was so one sided.

I'm sure our guardsman would agree with you. Not only is Winston a purpose bred soldier fighting against someone who decidedly isn't but, as he has said before, he is the lone survivor of his regiment. It takes either divine intervention, Ciaphas Cain levels of plot armor and pragmatism, or enough skill to impress a Space Marine to survive something that could wipe out an entire regiment. Take a guess as to which of these Winston has going for him.


As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you all again in the future!