Winston remained motionless as Professor Port proceeded to set the lock on each of the Grimm's cages so they would all release their captives at once. The guardsman watched in total silence as the professor moved despite the other student's whispered voices reaching his ears. None of the prattling that carried on between them was pleasant to hear, but that hardly bothered him.
Most of his spectators appeared to have misunderstood what he was intending to do, instead believing that he was attempting to show off much like his snobbish teammate did. They did not hesitate to mutter whatever insults came to mind, nor did the guardsman care what they called him. Creep, freak, crazy; the usual insults the blissfully oblivious citizens of the worlds he visited had for him before they discovered why the Death Korps' intervention was specifically called for. It was nothing new to him and barely worth mentioning, save for how that one brute he had made note of earlier enjoyed himself far too much with every new insult thrown.
Winston decided that particular individual would need to be 'intimately acquainted' with his entrenching tool if he ever could figure out a way to not get caught afterwards. It would be a challenge, completely pointless in what it would accomplish in regards to the risk such a task would pose, but well worth the trouble since it was for his teammates' sake.
Idiots and ignorant students aside, which unfortunately made up the overwhelming majority of the classroom to Winston's disappointment, at least his team seemed to be watching him with the intent to learn something… not that he was intentionally looking at them. Well, most of them anyways.
Yang and Ruby seemed eager to see what he was capable of, although his commander looked a little less certain about his safety than the blonde if her concerned expression was meant for him and not their still sulking teammate. Blake might have been able to pass off an aura of indifference if she was dressed properly in a full hazardous environment combat uniform like a proper korpsman such as himself. Sadly she wasn't, and the only hint of interest he could see from her was the slight cock of an eyebrow and slight twitching of her ribbon again. Weiss seemed to be the exception, not that it was any surprise. She was still looking a little sullen after her previous failures were pointed out by both the professor and himself, but the heiress also had a smile on her face that looked less than friendly.
Winston had no doubt that she wanted to watch him fail after telling her a simple fact about what he was capable of. He was going to enjoy wiping that stupid look of superiority off of the noble's face.
"Alright, the cages are set!" Port happily announced as he retreated from the cages, each one of them now sporting a small red crystal on their locks.
The guardsman stopped paying attention to his teammates and returned his focus to his opponents once more. He was not going to make the same mistakes Weiss did.
"Let the hunt-" The instructor said as he pointed the barrel of his archaic axe-gun hybrid towards the waiting Grimm.
"-BEGIN!" He shouted as a cloud of fire burst out of his weapon.
The flames reached the cages in an instant. Winston expected them to injure the Grimm trapped inside, but was pleasantly surprised to see that the cages were as resistant to the rocking of their inhabitants from the inside as they were to heat that assaulted them from the outside. The same could not be said for the locks.
The flames detonated the crystals attached to each lock, shredding them into pieces, a few of which tried and failed to penetrate the guardsman's standard issue trench coat. Without anything to hold them up anymore, the cage doors fell forward onto the ground with a thunderous clang which was soon followed by the beating of hooved feet as the boarbatusks rushed out of their now scorched prisons.
It was hard to say whether it was the unexpected explosion of heat which spurred the Grimm into action or the instinctual knowledge of how their sudden release could only mean there must be prey nearby for them to exact their revenge. Regardless of which, the three boarbatusk that charged towards the guardsman standing defiant against them did not bother with tactics. There was no need to as they had the advantage in size, numbers, and experience, each of which their fallen member had shown to be nearly enough to take out a single huntress on its own. With the three of them together, there was no need to do anything beyond simply running straight for their hapless victim.
At least, that is what one might possibly imagine the Grimm were thinking given how they had been forced to watch Weiss' previous fight.
Winston had to admit, the boarbatusks' blind charge was a bold tactic, and quite the effective one. Two of the Grimm were just as tall as him with much more weight behind them to aid their charge, while a third was at least a half meter taller. If he recalled what the survivors of Greenleaf had told him after the first pack of boarbatusk assaulted the doomed village, the larger one was called an 'alpha' and was much more dangerous than the others.
Not that he cared. Whether it was a leader, a standard grunt, or the smallest of whelps; it would die by his hand all the same.
The trio of Grimm closed in on Winston at once with the largest boarbatusk leading the charge as the other two trailed closely behind, unable to maintain the same frightening speed as the alpha. Although they were unable to catch up with their leader, they compensated for their lack of speed by moving to either side of the beast to catch the guardsman should he try to roll away. It was another well thought out move on the Grimms' part, but one that Winston easily saw through.
The korpsman twisted his body at the last possible moment to avoid being gored by the alpha boarbatusk as the students watching him cheered the spectacle playing out in the middle of the classroom. He could feel the hem of his trench coat beat against the Grimm, but he did not let the reminder of how close he flirted with death distract him. He instead used his momentum to swing the shovel head of his entrenching tool high in the air towards the two Grimm who tried to make the most of their leader's initial attack.
Winston brought his entrenching tool down hard on the boney forehead of the boarbatusk that reached him first and darted towards the last beast. A resounding *crack* came from its head while a noticeable dent had been beaten into the armor protecting its skull as the Grimm tumbled to a stop, squealing in agony as a thick black liquid oozed from its fresh wound. Undeterred by the pained cries of its wounded kin, the last Grimm tried and failed to ram its large tusks through the guardsman yet instead found itself being used as a brace for its prey as he pushed off against its side to regain some distance from his opponents.
Winston's hands felt numb after having tried to crush the beast's armored skull with brute strength alone, but seeing his victim unsteadily stagger back to its feet made whatever discomfort he felt fade away. He was tempted to finish off the beast with a single lasbolt to the head now that its protection was compromised, but he did not allow himself to finish off his injured opponent so easily. He was trying to prove a point to the arrogant heiress. Using better tools than she did would fail to teach her the lessons she needed to learn by watching him, as well as give her a valid reason to still believe herself to be his superior. He could not allow either to happen.
He was also hoping to teach his other teammates a thing or two as well. That seemed to be a hopeless endeavor now that most of them were cheering him on like a bunch of blood drunk Khornate Berzerkers...
"Wooo! You got this, tough guy!" Yang cheered, clearly enjoying the show.
"Go get them Winston!" Ruby shouted. "Represent Team RWBY!"
"Show off!" Weiss huffed, to no one's surprise save for Ruby's.
…okay, maybe they were not that far gone in their excitement, but the point still stood. At least one of his teammates was wise enough to recognize the danger he was facing and act accordingly.
Unsurprisingly, it was the assassin-esque girl who once again proved she held a certain degree of practical experience his other teammates clearly lacked. "Be careful!" Blake called out.
Winston didn't pay the crowd watching him much mind beyond listening to his team in case they had any further advice for him. If the other team he had come to class with were saying anything to him, he couldn't hear them and wasn't about to break eye contact with the three boarbatusk in the arena with him to find out. All it took was one momentary lapse of judgment for everything to go horribly wrong, as both Weiss learned earlier and the injured boarbatusk had recently discovered.
As for the Grimm in question, they had moved to protect their wounded member while it shook off the likely concussion Winston had given it. Although the beasts had no words with which to express their anger, the way their radiant red eyes glared at him made it all too clear that they were no longer taking him lightly.
Winston was perfectly fine with that. After missing his morning workout regimen earlier due to sleeping in so long, he was in desperate need of a proper warm-up.
Only when the alpha let out a throaty roar did both parties resume their battle. The korpsman backed up slowly as he watched the Grimm prepare their next attack against him, careful to keep track of each one of them as they tried to circle around him. They moved slowly, almost warily, much to the Guardsman's surprise. The few boarbatusk he had slain days after arriving on Remnant had been all too eager to try and run him down whenever they had a clear path to him. This was new, and made Winston all the more alert of his enemies' movements.
He couldn't tell what they were planning after they had fully encircled him, aside from knowing whatever it was couldn't be good for him. A predictable enemy was one that could be safely and reliably dealt with, an unpredictable enemy could kill even the best of soldiers and send any strategy into total disarray. It wasn't a litany the Death Korps had taught him, rather one he had learned for himself after surviving multiple engagements where unorthodox tactics had been used by both sides. Complacency had killed better and tougher than him, and he had no intentions of dying to a couple distant cousins of the armored squig. Not after having come so close to death the first time he had encountered one of those vile xenos.
Sensing the unease from the guardsman, the alpha let out another roar and stood back as the other two Grimm continued circling around him. They moved in tandem so the lonesome guardsman could never have both of them within his sights as they drew closer. As both Grimm closed the distance between him without bothering to speed up into a charge, what they were attempting to do became painfully obvious to Winston. Unfortunately, unless he wanted to rely on his laspistol, he had no other option but to weather everything they were about to throw at him.
As it turned out, they were going to do exactly that. The injured Grimm attacked him first, its tusks barely sailing over Winston's head as the beast swung its maw at him. The guardsman tried to get a quick stab in as it prepared a follow up, but was forced to roll away before he could do so when the Grimm behind him tried to stomp on him while he was focused on the other.
Winston was only able to land a glancing blow against his second attacker as he brought his bayonet around to the second boarbatusks' face. The serrated blade barely scratched the surface of the armor covering its head, failing to even remove the blood red markings that decorated it. The korpsman didn't bother letting out a sigh of disappointment, but instead turned to face the injured boarbatusk once he heard the clacking of its hooves draw near.
He turned just in time to see the Grimm try to ram him and spun out of the way before he was trampled. The tip of his bayonet caught one of its legs, once again causing the wounded beast to collapse on itself. A roar of rage from the alpha overtook the pained cries of the injured monster, but neither distraction was able to strip the korpsman's focus away from the second boarbatusk as it tried to swing its head with all the strength it possessed, believing that sheer brute force would be enough to overwhelm its opponent and protect its fellow Grimm while it recovered.
It was a noble, almost human act that sickened Winston to his core. The guardsman once again ducked underneath the tusks that sailed towards his head and soon found himself staring at the lightly armored back end of the beast determined to defend its brethren. Winston plunged the bayonet side of his entrenching tool as far as it would penetrate through the Grimm and quickly wrenched his weapon free as the beast tried to kick him away with its hind legs. The boarbatusk let out a horrible shriek as the serrated metal tore away a fist sized chunk of dark flesh and staggered forward in a desperate attempt to get away from the student ravaging its backside.
The defending boarbatusk was losing a lot of thick black ichor from its fresh wound, one that Winston knew would be fatal if given enough time and cripple the beast until it finally perished. He had no intentions of letting the beast live long enough to succumb to its wound, nor did he have the ability to finish it off then as he could hear the alpha boarbatusk already preparing to come towards him with the same reckless charge that gave Weiss the opening to stop her enemy in its tracks.
Although he lacked the ability to conjure up an immovable rune with powers he could not yet even begin to comprehend, he did not need such an unnecessarily flashy method of stopping the alpha. All he needed was a wall and a few seconds alone with the beast to finally take care of the greatest of the threats he was faced with.
By this time, the students that had been cheering as they watched the ongoing fight or talking amongst themselves waiting for it to end had fallen deathly silent. After witnessing one boarbatusk effortlessly handle one of the best and most arrogant students in their class, watching someone they had all written off the moment they laid eyes on him handle three of the Grimm with brutal efficiency was nothing short of awe inspiring. Whether it was from terror, surprise, or a desire to see exactly what one person with a shovel could do when properly motivated, everyone was enthralled by the spectacle before them. Even Professor Port found himself speechless, if only for a moment.
"You've got this, my boy!" He exclaimed with a boisterous laugh. "Show them what hunters are made of!"
"Watch out! It's going to roll at you!" Ruby shouted, apparently finding the professor's outburst motivating enough to break her own silence.
Winston didn't pay her any attention, but instead ran towards the nearest wall as he prepared himself for the alpha's assault. The leading boarbatusk did not disappoint him and soon started its reckless charge, closing a span of over fourty meters in mere moments. The guardsman watched the Grimm rush towards him from behind his shoulder as he ran towards his destination and, only when the beast was incapable of changing its trajectory did he throw himself to the side to avoid being crushed underneath its massive weight. The alpha managed to catch his legs as he dove to safety, not enough to harm him from the impact but more than enough to turn his leap for safety into an uncontrolled tumble.
The guardsman was able to roll back onto his feet just before colliding with the wall face first, something the alpha boarbatusk failed to replicate. The Grimm slammed into the barrier head first, snapping off its tusks from the force of the crash and stopping the beast dead in its tracks as it languished in pain. The alpha tried to get back on its feet, but found itself crashing onto its side as it saw the world spin around it in a disorienting mess of flashing lights and blurred colors through its hazy crimson eyes. The only sight it could clearly make out was a motley mix of grays marching towards it before the unmistakable gleam of a well polished bayonet became the last thing it would ever see.
Winston stabbed his bayonet as far as it would go through the largest of the alpha boarbatusk's eyes, bracing one leg against the beast's armored head to help him reach as far as he could through one of the only two openings in the Grimm's well protected head. The only thing that stopped him from pushing the shaft of his entrenching tool all the way to the blade was one of the tapered segments in the middle of his weapon that allowed it to collapse in on itself being too large to fit through his victim's eye socket.
The boarbatusk died without letting out so much as a whimper, the only recognition of its death coming from the shudder that traveled through its entire body as the guardsman twisted his weapon to ensure his opponent was dead. With the alpha dead at his feet, he ripped his weapon free from the corpse and prepared to take care of the remaining two Grimm who were still recovering from their wounds. He braced his weapon handle first so as to fight them with the spear end of his entrenching tool, but found himself staring at the bladeless handle he climbed down into the arena with. Apparently his bayonet caught on something and came off inside his opponent, hardly a surprise considering how he had been unable to penetrate a boarbatusk's skull armor earlier. Winston was not looking forward to digging around elbow deep in the boarbatusk's corpse to retrieve that memento mori.
What a shame… for the surviving Grimm. Now he was going to have to get creative with how he dealt with them.
"Oh ho! Looks like there's been a weapon malfunction." Port announced to the students which had finally started to resume talking amongst themselves, although missing their carefree attitude from earlier. "Let's see how Mr Voytoski handles himself now."
"Aha!" Weiss shouted, her voice oozing smugness.
"Really?" Blake chastised her teammate, saving Winston the trouble of having to do it later.
Yang also muttered something to the heiress, but he was hardly able to hear her over the 'support' Ruby was trying to give him. "Ahh! Don't let them throw you around like Weiss!" The younger girl shouted, earning an indignant humph from the noble and a chorus of nervous laughter from the rest of the class.
As much as he wanted to see the heiress' ego trampled, he did not look away from the two boarbatusk that were staring at him with absolute hatred written across their maws. The fight was not done yet, and he was not about to let his minor victory get to his head.
Winston did not let his opponents make the first move this time and rushed at them, holding his shovel like a chainaxe as he drew closer. The Grimm both let out a furious bellow before matching his charge with one of their own in an attempt to avenge their fallen leader. The first Grimm to reach him was the one with the cracked skull armor, and it once again found its headstrong charge rewarded with yet another heavy impact against its head that sprayed more black fluid from its wound and dropped the beast to its feet some distance away as it came to a crashing stop.
The Grimm with a hole in its backside charged at him with a renewed fury after seeing its companion injured once again, raising its head high in an attempt to avoid receiving the same crippling blow the other boarbatusk suffered. That proved to be a fatal mistake, one that Winston was all too prepared to take advantage of. The small guardsman had just enough room to slide underneath the boarbatusk and draw one of the many bayonets he carried with him as the Grimm's unprotected underbelly passed over him. The guardsman simply let go of his entrenching tool and stabbed his spare bayonet upwards with both hands, burying the blade in the monster's throat before he was dragged across the floor by the panicking monstrosity who was desperate to remove the guardsman from underneath itself.
The Grimm let out a strangled cry that quickly turned into a weak gurgle as the grip Winston held on his bayonet proved to be far stronger than the one the boarbatusk's underside held against the sharpened blade buried inside it. The boarbatusk frantically tried to turn in an attempt to remove the weapon that was slowly opening up a weeping gash in its throat which only managed to prolong its suffering as the serrated edge continued to tear through the beast's underside slower than it had initially started. By the time the beast had lost the will to continue fighting against its demise, the floor of the classroom had been painted black by its smoking blood and Winston was painted black from helmet to toe in the viscera he managed to rip free from underneath the Grimm.
The guardsman freed his blade from the boarbatusk moments before the Grimm dropped dead to the floor. With only one last boarbatusk left to go, Winston locked eyes with the beast as it roared a final challenge and ran towards him. It came slowly, finally having learned the lesson that its kin had failed to understand but fast enough to still gore the guardsman with ease if he wasn't careful. As for the person in question, he hardly paid it any mind beyond how he now needed to change his stained bandages once the fight was over, brushing off the few guts and bits of bone armor that were draped over him as he waited for his final opponent to approach.
He could hear several familiar voices expressing their disgust at what they had watched in addition to someone with a weak stomach throwing up, creating an even larger ruckus from the people around whoever had been too squeamish to watch a soldier serve his purpose. Winston didn't listen to anything they were saying and instead weighed his options on how to deal with the final Grimm.
He could run back to grab his entrenching tool and try caving the boarbatusk's skull in, but that would take too long to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. There was also the option of slowly whittling away at its limbs until the beast finally collapsed from its injuries and mounting exhaustion, although that was even less likely to occur given how Grimm seemed to be sturdier than a bloodthirsty Ork. There was another way he could end the fight in an instant, an extraordinarily flashy and painful way, but much more certain to get the job done. Safer too, should the Grimm try something else if given enough time to think.
Winston changed the grip on his bayonet so he was holding it firmly by the base, ready to thrust at his enemy as he walked up to it seemingly without care. The injured boarbatusk was hesitant to charge at him after having suffered for its overzealous attempts to kill him earlier, and watched the guardsman approach to avoid repeating the same mistake. Hatred, as well as a flicker of fear, filled the beast's gaze as it stared down the human who had slaughtered its kin and injured it so grievously.
The Grimm thought of all the things it would do with the huntsman-in-training it was unleashed against once it finally beat him down. It would start with breaking every bone in his body, then tear off every one of his limbs as he screamed out for mercy, before finally crushing the last bits of life out of the mortal that dared to injure it and slay its pack mates. All it needed to do was knock down its enemy and then there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. Sure, the one who captured it in the first place would likely try to stop it, likely kill it before it could finish too, but the boarbatusk hardly cared about what might happen to it in the future as it knew it would never leave this arena alive. The only thing it knew it could do was try take out the menace that had nearly bashed its skull in, and that was exactly what it intended to do.
Once Winston was finally close enough for the boarbatusk to move without fear of missing its opponent, the Grimm let out a piercing roar as it opened its powerful jaw and tried to take a bite out of the korpsman who made no attempt to move out of the way. The beast was disappointed to see its enemy fail to react the way it should have, and for a brief moment something akin to wonder passed through its mind. Even as the beast felt the armor protecting the arm it bit give out underneath the force of its jaws, if only slightly, it couldn't help but to think that something wasn't right.
Its suspicions were immediately proven correct as the next, and final, thing to pass through the boarbatusk's mind was the bayonet that popped back out of one of the cracks covering its armored head, the weapon still tightly clenched in the guardsman's right hand from deep inside the beast's skull. Winston watched the baleful red light in the Grimm's eyes fade into nothingness as he waited for it to collapse before wrenching his knife in place to ensure its demise and tearing it back out of the mouth before rigor mortis set in. He gave the fallen beast one final poke in the eye with his bayonet to ensure it was truly dead before sliding his weapon back into its holster and moving on the alpha's corpse to retrieve the other one that came off inside it.
"My, my, my! What a show!" Port boomed, chuckling as he and the rest of the class tried not to think too much about the disturbing wet sounds that ensued after Winston plunged his whole arm into the alpha boarbatusk's ruined eye socket. "I don't think I've seen any huntsmen-in-training do something quite like that before, and certainly not with a shovel of all things.
Winston ripped his arm free from the corpse he had been digging around in to turn and face the professor, liberated bayonet in hand, the lenses of his gas mask burning a hole straight through the man's heart. "It's an entrenching tool, not a shovel." He reminded the professor as he wiped off the gore drenched blade on the back of his gloves and walked over to retrieve said weapon.
"A-aha, of course. How could I forget?" Port nervously joked as he burned that subtle distinction in his mind.
"Anyways, I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the incredible risk you took at the end of your fight?" He then addressed the class at large in the hopes of using up what little time remained in the class productively.
Winston feigned agreement with a nod in the firm knowledge that he and everyone else in the Death Korps would have done exactly what he had with the same thing without a second thought if given the chance. It was the most efficient and fastest way to take down the Grimm. The safest too, for a given value of 'safe' most civilians definitely wouldn't agree with.
"Then, I have to ask you, why didn't you use your aura to shield yourself when the boarbatusk bit you?" Port asked him, taking the guardsman completely by surprise.
"...what?" Winston finally muttered once he found the presence of mind to speak again.
He had been expecting to hear a lot of things from Port in regards to what he did. The subtle confirmation that the veteran huntsman agreed with the course of action he had taken came as a surprise, but a welcome one. That massively raised his impression of the bumbling huntsman, yet did little to clear up his confusion.
"Aura can be used as a shield?" The guardsman asked, mentally recounting what little he knew about aura, the parts about how it would protect him in particular and how he shrugged it off as superstitious nonsense.
When he read about its protective properties earlier, he thought they were exclusively meant to protect his soul, not his body. What a pleasant surprise. If only the articles he found on aura explained how to actually use it, that entire fight could have gone a lot better.
"Of course it can!" Professor Port exclaimed. "What, do you mean to tell me you only had your aura unlocked yesterday?"
The last part was something he had regularly said to promising students who suffered from a brief moment of forgetfulness as a playful jab. He did not expect to hear Winston's honest reply.
"Yes, sir. Last night, in fact." Winston droned.
Port's eyes bulged out through the thick cover provided by his bushy eyebrows at this revelation.
"Y… y… you… wha…?" Words failed the professor as he considered just how much danger he put one of his students in and how much trouble he would be in if Glynda ever found out.
"Permission to clean up, sir?" The guardsman gestured to his once gray but now thoroughly blackened uniform.
"Uhmunuh huh?" Port babbled as he pointed to the exit to his class, which Winston interpreted as his request being granted and took his leave so as to change his bandages and check his right arm for any damage.
The veteran huntsman stood there in silence until the bell signifying the end of his class rang out and the students, just as stunned as he was but wanting to leave and forget everything they had witnessed, waited for him to dismiss them.
"Extra credit to everyone if you NEVER mention a word of this to Mrs Goodwitch!" He shouted as he quickly staggered out of the class in a daze with the rest of the class slowly flowing out behind him.
The only exception were the members of Team RWBY, who were still trying to process everything that happened.
"Did… did he beat three boarbatusk without using his aura?" Weiss whispered in a mix of awe and terror.
"Yep. He… he sure did." Yang said, wondering how she might have fared with just a shov- entrenching tool, instead of her shotgun firing gauntlets.
"No wonder he looks so beat up." Blake added, shuddering at the thought of fighting Grimm, or anything else for that matter, without her aura.
"Wow~!" Ruby gasped in giddy amazement, more focused on the incredible feats her new teammate had proved himself capable of.
"Can you imagine what Winston will be like once he learns how he uses his aura?" She asked her team, oblivious to the horrified expressions the other girls donned after giving this terrifying image a thought knowing they willingly agreed to share a room with him.
Special thanks to Tireless Traveler for beta reading this chapter!
And here we have the main RWBY cast and a few secondary members getting first hand experience of the kind of stuff the 'average' guardsman does on a regular basis without so much as batting an eye. This is pretty terrifying stuff, even if the Grimm would probably be little more than minor pests if introduced to the W40K universe.
Never forget that when you're willing to stare down shattered gods, endless legions of daemons, insanely powerful xenos, and other inhuman threats with nothing more than a flashlight, t-shirt, and baneblade sized balls of steel you're absolutely going to freak 'normal' people out if they ever see you in action. And these girls volunteered to share a room with one such person…
The Commissar 13: So, E-11 entrenchment tool, a mono-knife bayonet and a lucius pattern las-pistol. That will be interesting.
Hate to nitpick, but I want to correct you on our Krieger's inventory while I have the chance. The lasgun is the Krieger's reliable… *ahem* effective Lucius Pattern No. 98 that only has a mild chance of exploding when overcharged. The laspistol is… not. In order to not spoil anything I want to mention in a later chapter, all I will say is that there are a lot more important things to learn about it than what make and model it is, like why he pulled it out with the rest of his assorted knicknacks last night…
Lushikatomikyarimimo: Winston being an absolute chad. Thing is, the laspistol, it's a Very interesting gun, and you could go down two paths when including It to a story…
This, however, I am willing to spoil. The laspistol will be stronger than most of Remnant's weaponry, not quite a guaranteed limb remover but more than enough to blow a cauterized hole or crater through flesh.
As for the lasgun, Winston has mentioned it has been personally 'improved' by a tech priest. Need I say more?
XXxxxadisxxxXX: Interesting character and concept. I'm always down to read about Kriegers. The only thing that I didn't like in the story is the wishy-washy pronoun use…
While the pronoun use in the first chapter was incredibly sloppy, there is a reason behind that and why I will have several characters referring to Winston differently throughout the story until his identity is fully revealed within the story. Every character that interacts with Winston will have their own idea of what lies underneath his mask and uniform with the way they refer to him being one of the many ways they subtly (or not in Qrow's case) show this. Think of the slight 'wishy-washy' pronoun use as an indicator of what a speaker thinks Winston is. As for the narration's default use of male pronouns, Winston refers to himself this way and the narration closely follows his perspective. Having something to consistently call him also makes my life easier.
To everyone wanting Weiss to be humbled immediately:
One of my major gripes with the first season of RWBY is how Weiss seemingly gets over herself in under a day simply because a professor spoke with her a few minutes after arguing with Ruby. Not only is a damn well interesting side plot resolved in a couple of seconds, but there is no way in hell any teenager would concede an argument so easily if they were as prideful as the Schnee heiress. So, while Weiss was certainly humbled, her hubris will take a little longer to whittle down in this fic.
Well, that's almost it for me. Before I go, I have to thank everyone who followed and favorited this story for making it my most popular one so far. You're all awesome and I hope to see you all again.