Ch 5 - 'Cause We Needed Even More Problems, Pt.2

A/N: Yep, ended up splitting the chapter because of the length. Here's the second half.

Between this chapter and the last (when I wrote them, not when they got published), I ended up revising a lot of plans concerning what goes down in Haven's Vault, and things that happen with the Lamp later on.

Also, deeznutthebest, remember when you asked me about Vyliria wearing heavier armor? If you're still here, this one's for you...

Disclaimer: I don't own Dark Souls or RWBY. Dark Souls belongs to From Software and RWBY belongs to RoosterTeeth. I only own my OCs.


Bandits in this age were both similar to and different from hollows, Vyliria found herself concluding. Similar in the sense that they were opponents that were only twice her size at the maximum, and had weaknesses that could be used to put them down quickly and efficiently. Nothing overtly special about them, just the run-of-the-mill foes that she had carved, stabbed, blasted, burned, shot, and cut her way through in Lothric, and even before then in her days as an undead. At the same time, while they didn't feel pain, hollows were generally pretty mindless things, and while they may remember habits from when they still had sentience (such as parrying, casting spells, or blocking with a shield), they weren't really capable of strategy beyond rushing an opponent and trying to drown them with sheer numbers. Granted, while these bandits were also trying to kill her using their numerical advantage, said brigands had two clear advantages over hollows (three advantages if one counted guns): namely, they had functioning brains, and aura. The former meant that they could react to what she was doing, and actually plan how to kill her, and the latter meant that unlike a hollow, she couldn't put them down in a single blow to the right parts of the body.

That said, these brigands still weren't trouble to the likes of her. She'd already left a dozen corpses behind her on this particular street, saving two children from being forced to watch both their parents be raped, before directing the whole family in the general direction she felt Penny's soul was in. Homosexual… or bisexual… bandits… gotta say, that's a first for me, she thought, even as a quick cast of black flame blew apart an opponent's aura, before she cast fire surge to set him alight, leaving him to scream and die in agony as she turned to her next opponent. Her parrying dagger rushed to her hand on a trail of burning ash, lazily guiding a spear out of the way of her chestplate, before she raised the Moonlight Greatsword overhead and slashed down, the blade glancing off the bandit's shoulder as his aura flickered, yet held. She huffed in annoyance, spinning counter clockwise to follow up, emulating the techniques of the Abyss Watchers (she'd died to them more than enough times that she'd be able to pass as one if she took out the armor set and Farron greatsword plus parrying dagger that sat in her storage) to slash across the bastard's chest, breaking his aura and leaving a shallow cut as he cried out in pain. That's practically a scratch, she thought condescendingly, even as she stepped forwards, parrying dagger stabbing into his shoulder to keep him in place as she plunged her teal blade straight through his chest, the blade coming out his back coated in blood. He coughed a good deal of it onto her, and she narrowed her eyes in annoyance before kicking the dying man off her blade. Bullets slammed into her aura, and she turned towards a bandit shooting her with an assault rifle. She gave no further reaction to the attack beyond swapping her parrying dagger for her Izalith staff, casting a great soul dreg at the scumbag, watching the woman's efforts to run out of the way of the spell fail as it tracked her, the explosion from the impact breaking her aura and leaving a rather messy corpse behind.

Three more bandits began hounding her with gunfire, and she actually began to get miffed at the continued annoyances, replacing her staff with her Black Knight shield to spare her aura from the impact of the bullets. Placing her sword upon her back, she knelt down, not patient enough to wait for the idiot's lack of trigger discipline to lead to their magazines emptying at the same time. Her palm lit with black flames, and she touched it to the ground, sending an undulating black serpent pyromancy racing towards one foe, shortly followed by two more. Two of the bandits were hit, and both their auras held, while the third managed to roll out of the way of the spell entirely. Before they could recover, she was already moving, springing towards one of the weakened opponents while calling her repeating crossbow to hand. Her opponent's aura shattered from the first half of a barrage of explosive bolts, but the second half was blocked by the brigand who hadn't been hit by her spells. He drew forth a warhammer, even as the other two dropped their guns and began to draw pistols. From an alley immediately to her right, another four opponents brandished three assorted melee weapons and a shotgun.

Finally moving from annoyed to outright aggravated, Yorshka's chime came to hand, a miracle that would deal with all her opponents at once already leaving her lips.

By his own family abhorred,

Leading a lifetime of war,

The Nameless King fought beside his Stormdrake,

As their foes around them made the very earth quake,

And even as the enemies around them did swarm,

The Firstborn smote them all with a Lightning Storm!

From the overcast skies crashed a golden bolt of the gods' fury, racing along the ground in waves that decimated her opponents, not a single one surviving the blast. Vyliria sucked in her breath as the largest mass of souls since the Breach in Vale was greedily devoured by her darksign, small wisps of color matching auras of the slain whisked into that burning circle on her back right shoulder, and she felt her mood ease as newfound energy filled her limbs. Even if she couldn't properly enhance herself with pilfered souls without a firekeeper, that didn't mean that a sudden influx of them wouldn't give her some benefit. She drew the Moonlight Greatsword once more, taking a quick glance around the street in search of more bandits to murder. She'd come back to get her Proof of Concord Kept from the bodies later. She took a quick look around, thinking about where to head next… and then something felt off.

Vyliria's instincts had been honed by literally countless deaths, and manners of combat against nearly any conceivable foe (she hadn't yet fought a monster shaped like giant genitalia, with (in)appropriately themed attacks, but she was sure that with her luck, it was only a matter of time), so by now she'd learned to listen to her instincts whenever they told her to do something. And right now they were screaming bloody murder that something was coming from her left and above. So without any preamble, she twisted fast enough that if she were a mortal without aura she'd have received muscle damage, and placed the Moonlight Greatsword in a position to ward off a projectile attack aimed at her torso or head. Not a second later, a bolt of lightning (of the non-miracle variety) crashed down from the clouds into the flat of the teal weapon, though the lunar magics of the blade prevented the electricity from traveling to her body and causing harm.

She lowered her blade from a block to a guard, shifting her stance, and looked to the two new arrivals to the street. The first was a younger woman with her eyes closed, though even now she lowered her hands and opened said eyes to reveal ice-blue irises. She had very short dark brown hair and tanned skin, and from this angle Vyliria could see a tattoo of a bird rising from flowers on her left arm. On her chest was a light brown vest with dark brown panels on the top, which bore a dark brown, buckled strap on its back. The vest sat over a torn white shirt, unbuttoned and partly revealing a black bra (though Vyliria noted with slight amusement that she was bigger), and the shirt also had a collar that was turned slightly upwards behind her neck. Her maroon-colored jeans had the right side rolled up to her thigh, showing that it had dark pink lining inside. On her hips was a brown belt, a pouch likely containing ammunition on the left side. Her legs bore dark brown calf guards, the one on her right leg having a garter styled strap that went under the rolled-up pant leg. Her footwear consisted of beige and dark brown lace-up boots whose sides were folded over, with white lining, and a pair of maroon socks that partially obscured her calf guards. On her hands were two differently sized dark brown, fingerless gloves, the left one ended at her wrist, and the right reached her elbow and bore a dark brown vambrace, while both ended in a large cuff. And though Vyliria still couldn't understand why one would wear it outside the bedroom, she had a narrow, dark brown choker strapped around her neck. In her hands were two crescent shaped blades, each with a ring-shaped center. The larger, outer blades had hooked points that moved back towards the grip, and there were four smaller blades located in pairs above and below the grip, which itself was wrapped in red cloth and curved to form part of the middle ring. By now somewhat familiar with the mechashift weapons huntsmen employed in this era, the large outer blades looked capable of collapsing toward the grip of the weapon, likely for ease of storage. Atop the ring and below the upper blades, a pair of rectangular gun barrels were leveled towards the Irithyllian. Within the main ring was a smaller, thinner ring, connected by a pin to the forward facing portion of the weapons, which in the absence of a more obvious firing mechanism likely acted as a trigger for the barrels.

The second woman was older than the first. Her shallow-cut black and red dress had a black miniskirt beneath. There was a series of beaded necklaces visible on her neck, and a belt that carried her weapon's sheath wrapped around her waist. Additionally attached to the belt was a long black object that appeared to be some manner of fur or feathers, with a red and white bandana-like material hanging from behind her. Red armored gauntlets that protruded outwards rested on her forearms, and her hands bore black fingerless gloves. Perhaps Nora was onto something when she was talking about how everyone in this age seems to wear fingerless gloves. Her legs were adorned with black mid-thigh high leggings, and her feet had black heels with red soles. From the back of her head sprouted a long mane of deep black, bushy hair, done in a loose ponytail made so that the ends resembled curved black feathers. It brought to mind a certain blonde brawler, despite the differences. On her face, reminding her of the White Fang, was a full-face Grimm mask, resembling a nevermore, with four eye slits that were black and red inside. Her weapon appeared to be a katana hilt connected to a rotary scabbard chamber filled with what seemed to be different types of dust blades. Oh joy, tons of different types of dust attacks, like Myrtenaster, though thankfully without the glyphs. Then again, that bolt of lighting wasn't natural, even if it came from the sky, the woman's blade is sheathed and no one besides myself talked, so it wasn't a miracle, and the younger woman was lowering her hands, soooo, oh fuck…

"Wow," she dryly commented to what was likely the leader of the bandits and her protege, "My luck must shit if I encountered two Maidens trying to kill me in under six months." The look of surprise from the unmasked girl told Vyliria what words did not, confirming that there was actually a Maiden and that this wasn't just a case of someone with a semblance that could create lightning storms (of the non-miracle variety).

While she was talking, stalling for time to formulate a strategy to fight a Maiden (and her plus one) without the Dark Soul at her beck and call, her instincts (and paranoia) were telling her something was off. Why would the younger woman close her eyes to use her powers? Why would the older woman be the only person in the bandit group to wear a mask? Her mind reached towards her darksign, and she closed her eyes.

When she opened them again (even if it was out of habit, as she'd be able to see what she was seeing now regardless), the world was a sea of rippling gray, buildings, corpses, and inanimate objects taking the form of vague shapes she could barely see. Yet the two people in front of her shone as colorful flames in the dull world. The younger woman's soul shown as a pale blue flame, not dissimilar to Gwyndolin's soul, though significantly smaller. And yet, it was of roughly the same luminosity as Pyrrha's, Nora's and Ren's. Jaune's shown a visible degree brighter and slightly larger, likely owing to his massive aura pool, and Penny's was… different. Not necessarily brighter or darker, or that differently sized from those of her other friends, just different. But she was digressing, because the soul of the younger woman bore no resemblance at all to what she felt so long ago from Cinder, which had only been half a Maiden's power at the time. And so she looked to the elder woman, the bandit's leader.

And that brilliant crimson fire was triple the size of Jaune's, burning so brightly that she had to squint to look at it. Well, if that's how we're going to do this… she stopped reaching for her darksign, and blinked a few times as her vision cleared, and returned to the normal visual spectrum. She let the Moonlight Greatsword be washed away in a wave of embers, not wanting to use her best weapon unless the need became dire, in order to save some tricks for a foe she'd have a feeling she'd be fighting more than once. In her left hand her Black Knight shield coalesced onto the material plane, and in her right, the straight sword of a knight of the Ringed City. Even as she shifted her guard to the woman who was the actual Maiden, though didn't ignore the other woman, embers gathered to her neck, and started washing down. The armor below her hood burnt away, replaced by the much sturdier protection offered by the gear of Alva, Seeker of the Spurned, looted from the depths of Irithyll dungeon. The steel armor sat on her form, red cloth embroidered with gold-colored threads wrapped about her neck, and covering her left shoulder, in addition to a separate sheet of the cloth acting as a half skirt that went to her right knee. Upon her right shoulder was an enlarged pauldron, and the steel gauntlets covering her fingers tightened over her weapons. Her thighs and legs bore leather armor, but the feet and knees were protected by steel. Her eyes narrowed beneath the desert pyromancer hood still covering her head.

"You know," she began as the transformation completed, "on anyone else, the deception of presenting someone else as a Maiden would have likely worked. Unfortunately for you, I can see your souls as clear as day. And yours burns magnitudes brighter than the girl's," she continued, pointing her blade towards the older woman. "Though one would wonder as to what circumstances lead to the leader of a group of bandits obtaining the power of a Maiden of the Seasons."

"Color me impressed," the older woman finally spoke. "You're certainly a cut above the average huntsman."

Vyliria cocked her head to the side. "Huh, I would have thought you'd be pissed that I offed so many of your brigands. Or that you'd at least immediately assume I was a Maiden as well."

"If they were too weak to defeat a single opponent, then they didn't deserve to be part of the Branwen Tribe," the older woman responded. "And I know enough about my powers to recognize that yours aren't the same."

"Branwen?" Vyliria asked, an eyebrow raised beneath her hood. "Any relation to one Qrow Branwen?"

"That fucking traitor doesn't deserve to use our name!" the younger woman shouted.

"Vernal," the older woman named the younger, speaking the word in an even tone of voice. Vernal was instantly cowed, and settled for merely glaring and aiming her weapons at the Irithyllian. To Vyliria, she said, "So you're one of Ozpin's pawns in his doomed crusade, then."

Vyliria genuinely laughed at the accusation. "I walked this earth before Salem was born!" she shouted. "I've slain things that make Salem look like one of your bandits by comparison. No one plays a hand in the fate of Vyliria of Avalon save myself, and while our goals may align, Ozpin certainly wasn't an exception to that rule."

"Those are certainly bold claims to make," the woman said, off-hand reaching to her face, and then removing the mask. Beneath it lied facial features that reminded the unkindled of Yang, though her eyebrows were somewhat higher upon her head, and her skin tone was noticeably lighter, paired with some developing age lines beneath the crimson orbs that gazed at her. Without the mask in the way, Vyliria could see the Maiden's hair was tied by a red bandanna. A cowlick poked up from the top of her head, once again reminding Vyliria of the Y of RWBY.

"So which Maiden are you?" Vyliria continued, as if she hadn't been spoken to. "You can't have inherited Fall, since I killed her and you look old enough to be Yang's mother, so you'd have to have had them for a while." She didn't miss the way the woman's eyes widened at her statement of killing Cinder, and then widened further still, though only for half a second, at the mockery. "Waaaaait…" The bonfire lit in her mind, and she added that reaction to the similarities in appearance to Yang, coupled with the fact that her eyes were the exact same shade of red that Yang's became when she was angered or her semblance kicked in. Then there was the relation to Qrow Branwen, who was Yang's uncle, and the fact that she was facing the leader of the Branwen tribe of bandits. The final nail in the coffin was that Yang's biological mother left her as an infant, yet Yang knew she was alive. "Are you actually Yang's mother?! Fuck me, what the Izalith are the odds?!"

The only warnings that Vyliria received were the woman's eyes lighting with crimson fires like the golden flames Cinder had borne, and the scabbard rotating so that the red chamber lined up with the hilt. Even so, while her opponent blasted towards her on a trail of arcane energies, and that she was on the faster end of foes she'd battled, her reaction times were still a rough match to the woman's speed, and with an explosion of fire dust, the katana the woman wielded harmlessly slammed into the blackened titanite of the Irithyllian's shield. Her counter thrust was barely intercepted by the bandit leader's blade, and the woman's eyes widened at the sheer speed Vyliria herself followed up with, launching two slashes that the woman managed to halt before they could hit her. She grunted as she felt two impacts begin a slow but steady drain on her aura, Vernal shooting some manner of lasers from her weapons at Vyliria. She rolled out of the way of a swing from the Maiden, and rapidly shifted her shield to be placed on her back, smirking as she felt the next attack harmlessly bounce off of it. Her opponent's blade clashed against her own, but the unkindled shifted the angle to cause the katana to slide down until it caught on the tendrils at the pommel of her sword. Gotcha, she thought. Her now-empty left hand shot forwards before the woman could react, and a torrent of black flames sent her stumbling back in shock with a grunt. Vyliria took a step forward, spinning counter clockwise as she started to swing her sword, her opponent stepping out of reach… of the physical blade. Brilliant flames burst to life along the Ringed Knight straight sword, extending into an ethereal, rune-etched blade of fire three times the length of the sword it came from. The flaming blade struck the Maiden again, and with a yell Vyliria charged forwards following up with a stab.

The Maiden glared, the flames coming from her burning eyes brightened, and her hand glowed blue. The unkindled went to charge her, but found her feet unable to move. She glanced down to see her feet encased in ice, which was slowly crawling up her ankles. "Oh, fuck off!" Another bolt of lighting, an electric blue of a brighter shade than what Vyliria herself had called down upon the grounds of Beacon, crashed into her, and she ragdolled several feet before righting herself in midair and managing to recover into an upright landing. Immediately, she had to angle her burning sword to block twin laser blasts from Vernal, barely managing it. "Okay, that is fucking annoying!" She called her staff to her offhand, slinging a crystal soul spear at the younger woman to force her to move, before having to cast a twisted wall of light to intercept another lightning bolt from the Maiden. Immediately afterwards, she had to dismiss the staff and grab her blade in both hands to intercept a physical attack from her opponent, now using a blade of lightning dust that came at her almost as fast as the actual lightning. She saw the electricity crackle from that katana onto her own weapon, but even if it had struck the physical blade near the hilt instead of the blade of flame, neither were conductors, so she was safe from that manner of harm. She retaliated with wide sweeps of her blade, flames trailing along as her foe blocked each blow with lighting reflexes, before she felt lasers bite into her aura again. Her opponent went back on the offensive, several of her incredibly fast strikes managed to get past Vyliria's guard, and the unkindled realized that she was using her Maiden powers to augment her speed. The next round of fire from Vernal glanced off her shield, before a yell caused Vyliria to turn and block an actual attack from the blades of the woman's weapon. She realized her mistake even as she did so, and a hand slammed into the back of her head with a blast of electricity, sending her flying, crashing through a building and carving a furrow in the next street, groaning as she rose, pulling her hood down and shaking her head as her aura fizzled out, identifying a metallic moan she heard as a nearby water tower being stressed by the wind.

The Maiden practically flew out of the building she'd just crashed through, and buried her blade through Vyliria's chest before she could react. Ow, that hurts, she thought idly, looking down more in surprise that the weapon had gone straight through her armor than the fact that there was a katana in her lung. The same lung that Neo had stabbed, now that she thought about it. Though the speed of the attack was likely the culprit, she reflected. She was going faster than a crystal soul spear.

The woman who had a weapon in her gave a dismissive hmph, apparently taking Vyliria's shock to be caused by the fact that she was dead and just didn't know it yet. Unfortunately for the bandit leader, she'd seemed to have forgotten the fact that she mentioned that she was older than Salem, and the (quasi) immortality that implied. Because the Irithyllian just smiled at her, and barked a laugh, dismissing her own blade as she grabbed the hilt of the sword in her chest with both hands and blasted forth black fire, a savage grin gracing her face as the Maiden recoiled in pain. The woman backed off to get out of range of the fires of humanity blooming from her palms, and Vyliria used the opportunity to remove the blade from her torso, taking a second to note the blue of ice-dust upon it before whisking it away in a wash of embers. Her Black Knight glaive formed from fire coursing down her limbs, and she ran at the disarmed woman before she could fully process the loss of her weapon, jabbing her with the point of the weapon before transitioning into a slash, spinning the blade overhead to land a third before the woman unleashed a wave of cold blue power and sent her back. Even as she rose into the air, hands rising as lightning crackled in the heavens, Vyliria took a quick sip of estus, before replacing her flask with Yorshka's chime and looking up at the elemental magic being arrayed against her. "Yeeeeah, no." she gave the chime a ring, speaking even as she swapped out her glaive for a Lothric Knight shield and raised it overhead as she crouched beneath it to frantically block the wrath of the heavens raining down upon her.

A curse upon all those whose hearts still beat,

Salvation to all Hollows did its message entreat,

Those who sought the Usurper wished to wrest control from the Fire,

The swordsmen of the Sisters standing against deific magic most dire,

Ignoring the very face of death as it brought upon them its hateful stare,

The Sable Church's leaden Vow of Silence from Londor did they bear.

The purple orb dropped from the chime, and with a crackle, all magic in the vicinity yielded to the command of the dark miracle. The fire in the Maiden's eyes went out, and she yelped, terror clear in the sound, as she fell ten feet to the earth. She swapped out her shield for the Ringed Knight straight sword once more, flicking the fire that caged the abyss within to life, and started walking towards the woman, who scrambled to her feet and began to back up. "You know," the unkindled mused, "I really should've just used that on Cinder. I mean, her weapons came from her semblance, so she would have been completely fucked if I had cast Vow of Silence. Then again, it does take away the thrill of the fight, and I had that in hand without having to cheat."

"W-what did you do?!" the woman screamed at her, and Vyliria grinned at the fear she could now see in her eyes, unarmed and without her powers.

"Ah, you know, just shut off all the magic and semblances in the area for a bit. Granted, if you still had your sword, the fact that your aura is still up would make you a threat, buuuut, I stole it, so now I'm gonna kick your arse and then figure out how to get a message to Yang to let her know that I captured her mother." But before she could get started, she was interrupted by two lasers carving into her armor and burning her torso beneath the eastern steel (folded over a thousand times, if the legends around Alva were to be believed).

"Raven!" Vernal shouted, finally naming the bandit leader (Vyliria really should have asked Yang what her biological mother's name was… or what her surrogate/Ruby's mom's name was, come to think of it) while charging the Irithyllian down. Vyliria just sighed, intercepting one crescent blade with her sword, and slapping the other aside with her armored palm before following up with a great combustion, not wanting to waste the flames of humanity on the mortal bothering her.

"Rude," the unkindled commented, as Vernal staggered back, before attempting to circle around her in an ultimately futile attempt to place herself between Vyliria and Raven. She turned her gaze past Vernal to see that Raven had widened the gap between them, and added, "Really? You're going to make me chase you? Ugh."

"Vyliria!" she turned again, this time seeing Pyrrha running down the street, Jaune roughly a dozen feet behind, almost at the water tower a few houses down.

"It's fine guys," she called out, already starting to turn before Raven could get any further, "I got th-" she felt her magic come back to her. Oh, shit.

A blast of wind nearly knocked her from her feet, and she was forced to dig her sword in the ground to stay in place as the air passed over her. Even as she stood back up, Raven was floating into the air again, hand raised, and she gestured… past her. Twin lightning bolts crashed into two of the supports for the water tower, and with a groan, they snapped, the structure tilting over and tumbling straight towards Pyrrha. Both Jaune and Vyliria screamed her name, and the champion looked up in alarm as she raised both hands, black outlining them and the tower as she attempted to use her Polarity to stop it from falling on her. Yet even so, while the outside of the structure was metal, the roof was wood, and the tons of water inside likewise remained unaffected by her semblance, and so it continued its inexorable descent. Her eyes began to widen in the half second before Jaune reached her, attempting to tackle her out of the impact zone and put himself in harm's way instead.

Yet when he touched her, there was a yellow flash, followed by a tidal wave of black Polarity booming forth from Pyrrha, sending the water tower flying, clearing the street entirely and crashing into the one Vyliria had originally engaged Vernal and Raven in, water flying everywhere from the site of the impact. The wave (of the Polarity, not the water) reached her, and she yelped in surprise as her armor was swept up and she went flying, crashing into a house, and though this time she didn't go through the wall, during the impact she felt several bones break. Thankfully, the magnetic wave stopped a few dozen feet past where it hit her, so she wouldn't have to worry about Penny getting affected by… whatever the fuck that was. She removed herself from the wall, taking another sip of estus to heal her wounds, and looked around for Vernal and Raven, who were nowhere to be found. Godsdamnit. Come to think of it, there were no more sounds of combat in Shion at all, which meant the Branwen bandits had probably cut their losses and ran. I guess that's a win. Plus, I have a new weapon to play with. Probably gonna need to wait until we get to Mistral so I can buy more dust blades for it… and probably a scabbard like Raven had, though I could just draw new blades from my pocket dimension if it's expensive. That said…

While that train of thought ran its course, she'd been running to Jaune and Pyrrha, who were both getting up and looked to be safe. "Dear Gywn, are you unharmed?" Vyliria asked.

"Uh, yeah Vyl," and "I'm alright," came from Jaune and Pyrrha, respectively.

"Okay, that's good news," she said, in a completely normal voice. "So, do you mind telling me what the fuck just happened?" she asked in a much less clam tone.

"I tried to tackle Pyrrha out of the way of the water tower, and then I felt this push from my aura, and there was this big yellow flash… and, uh," Jaune trailed off.

"It felt like my aura was strengthening, and my semblance was three times stronger," Pyrrha picked up, "I couldn't immediately reign in my new strength," she admitted abashedly, "and that happened, although I feel normal now."

"A flash of yellow… like your aura…" Vyliria muttered to herself. Seeing his girlfriend about to be crushed was certainly stressful, and semblances can unlock like aura in stressful situations, and Jaune hasn't unlocked his semblance… The facts were put together, and a bonfire lit in her mind again as she reached her conclusion. "Can you try doing it again?" she suddenly asked Jaune.

"Huh?" he responded.

"Put your hand on Pyrrha's shoulder, and try pushing your aura into her."

Realization began to dawn in his redheaded girlfriend's emerald eyes, even as Jaune mumbled a confused okay and did as instructed. A few seconds passed, and his hand, wrist, and forearm began to light up with the yellow glow of his aura, which began to seep onto Pyrrha's shoulder. "Huh?!" Jaune said again, much louder.

Vyliria called forth a huge greatmace from her storage, tossing it to the floor. "Pyrrha, lift that!" She did as instructed, and her eyes widened as it shot into the air, rising above the surrounding houses before she stopped it.

"Holy shit…" Vyliria said in a low voice.

"It, it feels like I'm pushing my aura into her," Jaune commented. He took out his scroll with his other hand and checked it. "That's because I am!" he added.

"But you're losing aura from that," Pyrrha said with concern, letting the large weapon fall back to the ground with a thud, Vyliria walking over to grab and store it as the redhead stepped away from Jaune to stop him from doing what he was doing.

He smiled at Pyrrha. "Well, someone said I have a lot of it." Pyrrha blinked, and then a grin broke out on her face, and she stepped forwards and they embraced. For once Vyliria decided not to ruin the moment.

When they separated, she added, without a hint of sarcasm or teasing, "Congratulations on unlocking your semblance, Jaune. So what are you going to call it?"

Jaune stood still for a second, but came up with a name rather fast. "Aura Amp, because I use aura to amplify that of others, and their semblances."

"And I would assume that since aura heals, your semblance would also speed up healing. That goes rather well with your miracles," the Irithyllian commented.

"Yes, it would," Pyrrha responded.

"Great," Vyliria said. "Now you can practice on me by refilling my entire aura." Jaune looked annoyed for about a second, but complied, and honestly seemed to enjoy using his newfound semblance as Vyliria felt her aura start to replenish at a very rapid rate.

"So Vyliria," Pyrrha began with trepidation, gesturing in the direction Raven was, "was that-"

"Yes, the bandit leader was a Maiden. Not sure what season, but it can't be Fall." She then added, almost as an afterthought, "Oh yeah, she's also Yang's mom! What are the odds?"

"What?!" two voices shouted at her.

"Yeah, this'll be a strange story to tell, but I'd rather have to only tell it once, so let's get back to the others first, and then figure out what to do from there. This town looks a bit too trashed for me to be comfortable leaving the villagers here, and the Grimm are going show up at some point for sure with so much negativity in the area," Vyliria replied, setting off to do just that, making a mental note to grab her concords before the locals started disposing of the bodies. For the time being, she ignored the series of questions hounding her, as well as Jaune's struggle to keep up with her while he continued restoring the black shimmer that was her aura. Like she said, she'd deal with it in a minute, so Jaune and Pyrrha could wait until then. At least I have a good story to tell Penny, she thought as she went down the street.


A/N: Yeah, Vyliria has no issue murdering bandits. Time spent with RWBY, JNPR, and Penny isn't gonna change that. She also rates the average bandit as only slightly above hollows in terms of difficulty. Though the auras that the mooks have rapidly become an annoyance that soon shifts to aggravation.

Then Raven and Vernal show up. Now… the RWBY wiki says that Raven has black shorts in her V2 appearance. There's no stated change on that for V4, but the photo on the wiki clearly shows a black miniskirt. Just wanna head off any conflict on that count, unlikely as it is.

Remember all those times in the first book she sensed souls with her darksign? And that she'd been training it more recently? Yeah, because that meant she instantly saw through the bullshit and pegged Raven as the actual Spring Maiden. And then an insult made in an attempt to annoy her opponent accidentally reveals she's Yang's mom. Yeah, that's gonna have an impact.

So, uh, I did a quick rewatch of the fight between Raven and Cinder, and honestly, Raven didn't really use that many "Maidenly" attacks, mostly seeming to use her powers to allow her to move really fast and jump really high, compared to how much fire Cinder liked using. That said, there were occasions like with the giant sword where she had ice powers, and the thing where she slammed her hand into Cinder's face looked like lightning. And if Amber could use lighting, I'm assuming Raven can as well.

Yes, Raven would have a spare hilt for Omen lying around, otherwise I wouldn't have Vyliria steal the sword. Am I gonna have Vyl use her own version of Omen later? Not really sure, but the option is now there.

Vow of Silence Maiden Powers; but Raven was basically wiping the floor with Vyliria prior to that, and absolutely would have still been a threat if she still had her weapon.

Oh yeah, and Jaune gets his Aura Amp a volume early and in a completely different manner. That's cool.

I also realized that it's been a long time since I did a whole chapter only from Vyliria's perspective.

Next time, we get back to the knuckleheads on a boat to Menagerie. See you then!