Prologue: The Knight who Fell through the World
In the world between dimensions the clash of steel and the sounds of gunfire was drowned by a cacophony of screams from panicked civilians signified that the fight was not over. The enemy still fought even with their leader defeated.
On one of the platforms was a blonde man and a dark-haired woman. Both on the ground unmoving and covered in the pool of their own blood.
The blonde man wore armor resembling that of a knight. His face marred with a scar on his cheek. In his hand was the blade that held the promise of a forgotten hero. A sword that was reforged with a precious friend's memory. It used to have a companion, a shield that turned into a sheath. But it was lost when he sacrificed it to save a friend.
Despite the pain he felt as he bled on the ground, he didn't regret it. In fact, he was happy. His friend, a machine that wished to be human, lived and escaped with another precious friend to the portal that led to Vacuo.
Up above, he saw Yang trying to stop an exhausted Penny from jumping in and Weiss was holding on to a panicking Ruby. He assumed that she must be trying to convince her partner that she could reach him with her semblance. In a way, Ruby could fly for a brief period. But they were too far away. If she were to do that, then she wouldn't be able to go back up. She'd die with them.
That was unacceptable. With all his strength, he yelled out to them. Telling them to go. That made them pause. Various expressions of sadness and regret formed in their faces. When he saw the portals begin to get smaller, he just gave them a smile.
Ruby finally relented. She stopped trying to argue with Weiss. Penny also stopped trying and let herself be pulled by Yang towards the portal. Both Yang and Weiss gave him one final look before they finally crossed over.
And with a hiss, the portal closed.
The dark-haired woman in a black outfit seethed as she felt her life drain as lifeblood seeped from her massive wounds. The power she so coveted now betrayed her as its flames began to slowly flicker. She felt it leaving her for another. She felt it being taken away from her. She tried to scream, to call for her allies, but all that came out from her mouth was a thick glob of blood. Tears fell as anguish and rage filled her entire being.
'How could this happen?' She asked herself. The impossibility of such a weak and insignificant insect could do this to her was mind boggling. Maddening.
All she could recall was that when she hid amongst the populace that they were evacuating, somehow she was found just as she entered the spirit of creation's domain. That blonde fool pushed her away with gravity dust when she tried to burn everything around her.
After that, all of their fighters regrouped and fired upon her. Leaving the evacuation to some of the surviving soldiers.
And yet, despite them working together, the fight was hardly a chore for her. She even managed to siphon the winter maiden's power when the puppet with a soul was distracted.
It was when that damn blonde buffoon managed to tackle her as she was flying when everything went wrong. Because when she tried to burn him as he held onto her, she didn't see the backpack full of high grade explosives he was carrying.
A white light enveloped her and a deafening explosion was heard. Pain. All she could feel was pain at that point.
When she came to, she could no longer feel her arms and legs. Her breathing was ragged and she felt herself choking on her own blood.
Only her eyes and head moved. There she found herself on the middle most platform, the hub that connected bridges to portals that led to other places. The explosion must have damaged something as all the bridges began to fade away into dust. On one of them, she saw her hated enemies trying to reach out to someone, that someone being the damned blonde knight who had somehow fallen near her. Like her he was bleeding, but his armor must have helped him as it had seemed like he could still move his body. She saw him try to stand up but his injuries and loss of blood prevented him from doing so. The Fall maiden could only curse silently. It hurt too much to talk.
She saw the Winter Maiden, that puppet, trying to use her flight to reach him but failed as she was still affected by her grimm arm. They could do nothing as their friend lay dying with her as the portals began to close.
But then in the background she saw a woman. Her pink and brown eyes were hidden in a disheveled hood but from down to her position, she could recognize her clearly. The trickster. Her temporary ally. She tried to yell out something but only blood came out. Even then she dared to rely on her.
But from her bleary eyes, Cinder saw Neo smile cruelly and turn to leave along with the remaining civilians and the loathed huntresses.
She saw the portals shrinking and shrinking down to its smallest size as the only way out disappeared one by one. They closed with a soft hiss as particles of golden light slowly fell all around them.
The only thing Cinder could hear was her heartbeat slowing down. Her life flashed before her eyes... And a single tear fell down the side of her face.
From the corner of her eyes, she saw that the platform that they were on was also beginning to decay like the bridges.
Those last beats of her heart were loud. So loud in her ears. So loud that when it stopped, she felt that she was going to miss it.
Cinder Fall's eyes closed. Never to open again.
Jaune Arc turned his head towards his hated enemy. The woman looked anguished on her deathbed. Catharsis filled him when he saw her. Broken and mangled, he felt like he had finally done something good. Like he had finally avenged all the people who died at the Fall of Beacon. Especially to his partner.
Jaune began to remember all the good times he had back at Beacon. He had good friends. He had a good family. All the people that he cared for... And all that cared for him, he remembered them all.
He made a content smile as everything around him crumbled.
He heard a small crackling sound and turned to see that Cinder's body was turning white. Like ash. And like ash, she began to crumble away just as the part that she was at decayed into golden dust particles. Nothing was left as her pale ashes devoid of those cruel embers, fell along the golden dust.
To Jaune, it looked like this was it. It was finally his time. When he felt the spot that he was on beginning to disappear, all he could do was to close his eyes as he fell into the void.
His chapter in Ruby's story finally comes to a close.
That was supposed to be it wasn't it?...
So why did he find himself in a forest when he opened his eyes?...