The road looked far from lonely. In fact, it would've been more assuring if it looked lonely and untouched.
While it was nothing on a dramatic scale, the mere length of how far this linear path went on noted that these Grimm had some kind of intention aside from trying to hunt something. Nobody in particular went missing in this forest, so it hadn't been because of a Huntsman's presence that caused the collateral damage.
As everybody walked, Walter occasionally took out what appeared to be a compass. It seemed to be broken at a first glance, though...
Nevertheless, it either seemed that he knew how it worked, or he just took it out by habit. Both the former and latter seemed equally likely, however, as the man clearly wasn't the stoic and serious type of person.
It's rather quiet. Walter thought, somewhat let down by the lack of action despite some of the more open areas of the forest.
Heh, heh. But I'll admit, this is more enticing than paperwork! Walter's eyes gleamed mischievously, grinning with his back turned to the students. I thank you for your recognition of where my abilities shine, Peter! An aging man like me often has to sharpen his fangs. I owe you a beer- or a Grimm for you to behead!
Somewhere in Beacon, Peter felt like someone was complimenting him, and that someone owed him a beer.
Walter's thoughts trailed off as he opened his compass again. Almost forgetting that the students were behind him, Walter was just about to glance at them with the intention of talking to not bore himself to death when the compass suddenly froze.
And so did he.
Raising a hand, he motioned for the students to stop.
At the moment, they were in the middle of passing by a rather open area in the forest, with two paths diverging in front of him. Here, the open skies were clearly visible, as if a hole had been made in the middle of the forest. But that didn't seem to be what Walter was concerned about.
His eyes glanced down, finding a single black feather.
And his eyes gleamed, a certain sharpness appearing in them as he remained still.
So that's how they were going to roll.
Taking out what appeared to be a rather small telescope, Walter reached for his coat as the bottom of the telescope opened. He then smashed what appeared to be a rifle into the telescope. Two hinges that had been sticking out of the telescope's sides extended and latched themselves into the rifle.
Raising the rifle, it took less than a second for Walter to pull the trigger in the direction of where his compass had pointed to. Almost immediately after he shot, a loud screech came from one of the trees, followed by a lifeless thud.
The ground began to shake, and the sound of trees being torn apart led to a clear indication of just what was coming.
"EVERYONE! Stick together and get ready-" Walter shouted as he cocked the rifle. "We've got Grimm coming through! Harpies, Bulls- and some reinforcements!"
At once, every direction of the open area had Grimm bursting out, all of them facing the group of five. About four Sitting Bulls burst out both in front and behind the group, and about four Harpies appeared, gliding above the group. In addition to these Feind Grimm, Klein Class Grimm also appeared.
Twenty four Beowolves.
Well, twenty three, since Walter immediately shot one of them down while it was running mindlessly. The Beowolves immediately tensed up and put up their guard as they approached the group, while the Sitting Bulls continued to charge, this time towards the group.
Unsheathing his sabre with his rifle on the other hand, Walter shouted at Team KFSC, "No time to talk! Give 'em everything you got. Watch out for the bird brains!"
Two of the tough-skinned Sitting Bulls in particular charged towards Cian, while the other two Bulls charged towards Ferris, Krysanthe, and Sepia. Meanwhile, the Harpies glided around them, ready to avoid any predictable shots until they decided to attack. In the meantime, they positioned their flight so that if the Huntsmen attempted to attack them, it would become a heavy commitment that could go bad due to the restless Sitting Bulls. The Feind Class Grimm, as primitive as it seemed, were using each other.
And the Beowolves' numbers proved that hacking and slashing without thought could get the team under a heavy disadvantage. There were about eighteen of them charging towards the team from all directions, the rest heading to Walter. The Grimm were using quantity- but a team of Huntsmen also had quantity and quality too.
When people told him what to do, he usually knew how to follow it. But he wasn't a leader, despite seeming like he could be one to some others. Really, him and his loud mouth were more suitable for fitting right with his just as loud fighting style.
What were they going to do?
Ryuu thought, though he absentmindedly focused on running straight into the barrier with Andromeda next to him. He took a deep breath.
There were many things they could do given their circumstances, but now was clearly not the time to play dumb- not when nobody knew what they were dealing with. Even the simplest of simpletons could notice that.
"Well, I don't know either, honestly," he admitted as he turned around to look at the barrier, "but I'd rather know when that stuff goes the hell away."
Clicking his tongue while saluting the woman in a carefree manner, Mark whipped a demon that approached him, disintegrating it rather easily. After smacking his whip at another demon, he swung the whip at a lamppost before landing on top of it. He squinted his eyes as he saw a cloud of ashes rise up a skyscraper.
Neither him nor his heart were sated. Nothing childish such as being "hungry for more," as that had faded quite a short moment ago, but after being withheld of his power, everything continued to feel off for him. Had it been long ago, he would be in control of every passing moment. Control was what he had.
He was control incarnate.
But his absence, and his loss of his own strength, made him further from his position. This magic... this... "harmony," referred to implications he would rather not think about. Harmony must come with discord, and he was both order and chaos.
For centuries he existed, and not all of them had been spent on spreading fear through victory. Never once had he been mortal, yet he remembered watching over mortals. It was an era lost within time- and within him. He was once a gatekeeper, one who stood between two grounds of morality. Watching proved to be unbearable without a sense of control, however, as humans proved to him.
The rest of what happened was history- one he had long forgotten, unfortunately. But fortunately, his short memories proved to be useful in the long run. There was almost nothing to mull over for him, after all.
But Duatos grew curious. Of what the world had to offer to him aside from control. How it had evolved, or where it would go.
Time can and will tell.
He felt his power beginning to grow restless for silence. He needed to leave.
Leaving. Retreating. A peculiar idea, yet one he must succumb to for now.
As his body began to fade into ashes yet again, Duatos remained wordless as his distance from the man grew.
When he returns, this city would not be the focus of his return. The vast deserts to the endless seas. The mystical ruins to the lively cities. From the rise of dawn to the morning star, he will focus on everything- to gain control over it.
And one day it will all crumble.
And thus, he slowly slid away before floating into the air, the visibility of his ashes fading.
And with the departure of order and chaos returned the normalcy of the world, as the clouds faded.
The skies went unfittingly blue, returning back to normal despite the damage dealt to the city.
As soldiers began to mobilize their forces to leave the barriers and look out for any more potential threats, the evacuated citizens remained contained within safety's reach. The monsters that had remained up until the skies had cleared had become harmless ashes, as if nothing about them could hurt anyone.
Them vanishing didn't do anything to lessen the impact of the sudden attack.
The attack itself had been relatively small scale, but massive in impact. There were still places in Kora that had yet to receive news of the attack on Riesling, and some who drove to visit Riesling were greeted by a confusing sight of the mobilized army.
The soldiers remained competent, however, never lowering their guard as they divided their forces to both watch over the evacuated citizens and analyze the shattered heart of Riesling. Everything had happened in a flash, after all- they weren't going to take their chances just yet.
There was little ambition he had aside from that. Aside from that rather straightforward and even generic goal he had, he was a person, like any other.
Whenever he passed by the hangar, he would want to meet his friends.
Whenever training was over, he would want to grab a snack and relax.
He had those thoughts, too.
And he knew he wasn’t the only one, so that was why he fought.
He was sure that others thought similarly as well.
An iron gargantuan made its way past the debris.
Ashes filled the air, painting the world a gloomy orange. Whereas orange would often be correlated with an afternoon sky in the past, now there was simply nothing but the same color. It painted the destroyed cement in the form of dust and ashes, marking almost the entirety of the land as inhabitable.
Time before the Quantum Cataclysm had since been deemed unrecognizably useless, as there wasn’t much left of humanity in the first place. The quick-witted had been the ones to survive the dimensional breach in the atmosphere as invaders in the appearance of iron monsters appeared shortly afterwards.
The GRIMM Threat, as many called them.
Sleek, yet bulky, the tall machination floated past the remains of Vacuo. There wasn’t much to be lost in Vacuo in terms of environment, really- only the people were its true value, and they no longer inhabited the land.
A single three story building would be of even height with the machine. Inside the mech, a single radio crackled, void of presence to the outer world.
“The feedback’s getting stronger,” the voice said. It appeared to belong to a young woman, her tone calm yet precise. “Take a turn to your left.”
Behind the mech, a large city stood from a distance, once the home of Shade Academy. In front stood a small canyon jutting out of the desert. Within the canyon was an entrance to a mine.
“Grab whatever Dust you can,” the voice told him once more. “Remember, Oak, the goal isn’t to search and destroy- your top priority is extracting as much Dust as possible and getting out of there safely, as the GRIMM can tear this place down at any moment.”
The man began inputting several commands to the mech, sitting within the complex control deck surrounding him. Metal slid out behind the seat of the deck as it began encasing the man in a light set of armor, as well as equipping him with life support. From two sides, metal surrounded his face as a helmet soon formed, its visor sleek and masking any sign of his human face.
Humanity wasn’t what the GRIMM needed- it was what they wanted.
The chest of the mech opened as he soon emerged, a heavy rifle in hand. As a set of stairs formed down to the sand beneath him, Trad Oak walked down and soon set foot on Vacuo.
Stepping into the cave entrance, Trad wasted no time- little, if he did at all.
Cold air greeted him as he went deeper into the cave. The logo of the SDC passed by him, along with a single bony hand attempting to claw its way out of the cave. It wasn’t uncommon knowledge that the SDC had actually contributed towards elevating the dire circumstances of Remnant through their poor management of the mining sites at the time of destruction. A fat lot of help having Faunus workers ended up being, considering nobody had been responsible enough to secure the Dust to some form of authority at the very least.
He hadn’t become a Huntsman for no reason, though. Cleaning up the mess of the past and destroying the obstacles of the present- that much, he understood as his duties. For these duties would ultimately protect the powerless and frightened.
Was he frightened? Of course he was. A few Huntsmen also extracting Dust at Vale were reported to have been torn apart not too long ago. Ironic, considering he initially preferred the idea of heading to Vale first.
Ms. Cirsium had objected at Lionheart’s suggestion of sending Huntsmen to Vale, stating that much of the GRIMM there were far more dangerous than the ones at Vacuo and Mistral. A compromise had eventually been made between Ms. Cirsium, Lionheart, and Ironwood- one of the leaders of the Huntsmen- to send Huntsmen to both Vale and Vacuo. More had been sent to Vale, though many returned injured or outright shocked to the point of danger.
That was to say that there weren’t many who returned in the first place.
A light flickered on beside his visor, several canisters contained within the two Dust cases he brought with him. He needed to be fast.
By the time natural light had faded, Trad began seeing old lightbulbs dangling on the ceiling, though many of them were shattered on the ground. He had been going on a downward slope for quite some time, so there should be a visible mining site soon…
A few minutes later, Trad froze as he made sure he was looking at things right.
“Bingo,” he muttered to himself as he intensified the flashlight.
A massive mining site greeted him, wide and full of cart rails all towards a now defunct Dust storage container. It was like a giant cavern, with a whole lot of nothing. But he knew that veins of Dust would be hiding within the area. The platform he stood on was probably where the SDC employees used to stand on.
“Beginning extraction,” he spoke to the radio. Taking the stairs down to the area full of rails, he headed to one of the tunnels.
Red Dust. A common, but valuable Dust for its heated properties. This was his third extraction mission, and quite honestly the entire experience was still nerve-racking. Training had been rather intense, but missions weren’t just intense- they were often intense enough to get you killed, and it’s not because people wanted you dead. This had to be the highest amount of natural Dust veins he had seen so far, however.
Placing one of the canisters on a large Red Dust vein, he set aside his rifle and inputted a code, prompting the canister to latch onto the vein. Ms. Cirsium had pointed out to always attach the canister away from any entrances if possible, though it often got confusing when the Dust veins started to have weird shapes.
Picking his weapon up again, he left the tunnel. As nice as it’d be to watch the Dust all trickle down into the canister from crystals to powder, that was literally the equivalent of watching a more exciting version of paint drying. He needed to get all the Dust he could, unless he wanted to end up like the guy who returned to mother base in several pieces.
Another tunnel contained Blue Dust, and another with Yellow Dust. When he reached the fourth tunnel, however, he blinked as he found a floating Dust vein.
This had to be Gravity Dust. As many as there were back in Atlas, these things were pretty crucial to their Semblances. Yeah, sure, flying was cool and all, but you didn’t want your mech to suddenly lose juice and plummet you into a horde of unsuspecting GRIMM.
Latching a canister onto the Gravity Dust vein, Trad picked up his rifle.
He halted abruptly, his breathing going shallow as he felt his throat tighten, turning off the flashlight as quickly as possible.
A single red light shone past the tunnel. Glancing behind him, Trad took a step back. When his footsteps proved to be rather quiet, he took the risk and retreated more.
Come on, come on…
His tough luck- of all places, he had to be surrounded by Gravity Dust veins just floating around him! But their footsteps were pretty loud, so maybe if he timed it just right…
He knew it was a dumb idea, but whatever. He’d heard of people do crazier things than him, though he wasn’t sure if they survived or not.
They were getting closer…
Another footstep. He had to do it now.
Leaping onto one of the veins with his rifle on his back, he took out two all-terrain knives as he slammed it into both a vein and a wall close to him. Much to his fright, the vein shook… but did not go any further. He made sure to bring the vein close enough to the wall to shield all of his body.
The footsteps stopped briefly.
So did his breathing.
The last thing he needed here was the radio crackling to life to scare him, or the sound of firepower being sent at his direction.
…He did make sure that all canisters were looking away from the tunnels, right?
His life would prove it.
Much to his surprise and relief, the footsteps started growing distant, and the red light began to die.
Remaining still for one whole minute, Trad did not move an inch.
“Oak? You’ve been dead frozen for a minute now. Is everything fine?”
Trad nearly jumped at the voice. Thankfully, it was Ms. Cirsium’s voice. Had it been, say, Peter Port’s voice, he might’ve just fallen off the Gravity Dust chunk immediately.
“Yes, Ms. Cirsium,” he responded. “Just, uh… avoiding some mishaps.”
A brief pause came from Ms. Cirsium, though it seemed that she was quick to catch on. “Get out of there as soon as you can, Trad,” she spoke rather urgently. “The Dust is important, but your life is far more important. We don’t need people being idiotically brave-hearted and getting themselves killed.”
As he steadily got off the Dust chunk, he pulled the knives out as he glanced at the Dust canister.
“Stay on your toes, and give me a heads-up if you happen to confront the GRIMM at any point.”
Putting away the knives, Trad took out his rifle again as he quietly walked around the Dust he had latched himself onto.
Kneeling over one of the Dust canisters, a dark figure covered in ashes that constantly puffed out of itself fiddled with the canister he had placed earlier.
Trad’s eyes widened as the figure jerked its head around, its red eyes glaring straight into his.
Without any warning, he pulled the trigger, blasting its head right off.
“I think things are gonna be rather shaky, Ms. Cirsium!” Trad shouted in his helmet, quickly unlatching the Dust canister. Three-fourths of it had been filled up. “GRIMM’s right in front of me!”
“Leave the mining site!” Ms. Cirsium spoke, almost as if it was an obvious thing. “Don’t do anything stupid- secure yourself for departure first.”
Running out of the tunnel, Trad took out a hook shot as he analyzed his surroundings. Two of the ash-covered figures turned straight at his direction as they revealed their long fingers. As subtle as they looked, those were the same claws that Oswald told him to be careful of before. Reason being?
Well, those guys who came back in several pieces didn’t do that to themselves, obviously.
Launching the hook shot at the root of a stalagmite, Trad began running as the two GRIMM pilots rushed over to him at a frightening pace, their movements jerky and unnatural. He pulled the trigger, pulling him straight out of their clutch as they simultaneously attempted to slice him apart from both sides.
As soon as he reached the stalagmite, with all of his strength, he kicked the very protruding terrain he had latched onto before firing his hook shot again to make sure he didn’t land like a flattened bug. The sharp thing fell straight on one of the pilots, impaling the pilot from the head through its stomach. As Trad descended while flying towards one of the tunnels, he took out his rifle and opened fire on the remaining pilot.
Moving to the side quickly, the remaining GRIMM pilot raised an arm as it fire a ball of magma straight at him. His eyes widened as he pulled one of the hook shot’s triggers, causing it to let go from the terrain it had been stuck to. Tumbling as he got back on his footing, he put away his rifle as he hid behind an empty Dust rock near the Fire Dust tunnel.
Taking a deep breath, Trad took out a sleek blade and a small handle, occupying both of his hands. Leaping out of the rock, Trad activated the handle, creating a large kite shield composed of Lightning Dust. He held the large Gravity Dust canister with his shield arm.
The GRIMM pilot let no roars or the kind- it simply stared at Trad, devoid of emotions he could discern. It lashed out eventually, claws first.
Raising his shield, he let the claws weigh down on him before he lifted the GRIMM pilot up. With a small push, he moved his shield away and kicked the pilot across the mining cavern. He then made a beeline towards the Red Dust tunnel and unlatched the canister.
The canisters were huge and were seriously meant to be attached to the Dust cases, but he had no time to lose. As the GRIMM pilot got up, Trad rushed up the stairs and began making a run for it.
As natural light began to show up, so did his tension. The pilot was faster than him, though he had his hook shot to give him boosts of speed when he needed it. Eventually, he burst out of the mining site entrance and ran up the stairs of his Semblance.
Tossing the canisters into the control room, he smashed the docking button as the stairs were pulled away quickly, and the Semblance’s chest began to close.
“System online,” a monotone voice echoed in the mech, “Svalinn Root- combat active.”
Retaining its crouched form, Trad forced the mech to activate its rockets, pushing itself away from the mining site. There was no GRIMM at the surface, meaning that…
In an ear-deafening entrance, the mining site blew apart as a monstrous mech appeared, its appearance beastly and inhumane. Trad took several short breaths as he watched the monster advance towards him.
A common GRIMM. As common as it was, only a few of them were needed to tear down Vale’s capital.
Getting up from its crouched position, Svalinn Root assumed a standing combat stance as it continued to rocket away from the Beowulf GRIMM. And as soon as it stood, it began firing at the enemy mech with raw firepower. Twin heavy rotary cannons caused a bullet storm as the GRIMM advanced, shrugging off most of the damage.
Trad hastily changed the mech’s grounded status to an all-range mode. Ascending up to the air, Svalinn Root continued to fire before it turned and blasted straight into the skies.
The GRIMM, too, soared into the skies, its monstrous shape turning into that of a triangular ship.
It’s only one, Trad thought to himself. I need to get rid of this thing before I head to the base.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to leave. It’s just that this thing was far too close for him to safely activate hyperdrive and just leave the place for good. He needed to deal with it as soon as possible.
Turning around in the air, Svalinn Root began firing at the ship with one rotary cannon, creating a larger version of the shield he had used earlier on the other hand of the mech.
The ship maneuvered wildly, only a few bullets scratching its surface as it fired bolts of magma-like substance at Trad’s mech. Svalinn Root strafed to the right as it raised its shield, letting the magma bounce off its Thunder Dust shield as it continued to fire its rotary cannon. Bullets lit the orange skies of Vacuo as the ones that missed punched the sandy grounds with small holes and unknown magma.
The GRIMM’s patience soon ran out as it eventually morphed back into its Beowulf form, leaping straight onto Svalinn Root’s shield. Ignoring the damage it was receiving from the shield, the GRIMM began clawing wildly, attempting to attack around the shield and damage the mech itself.
It’s trying to bring me down to the ground first, Trad realized instantly.
He needed to stay in the air to survive. This much, he knew. He wasn’t going to let a single GRIMM bring him down.
Let’s do this.
As the Beowulf managed to tear off chunks of Svalinn Root’s shield arm’s armor, Svalinn Root’s cannon arm morphed into that of a regular one. It then pulled out a giant sword from its back, its edges lit with a serene green that contrasted to the orange all around him.
Smashing the Beowulf off his shield, Svalinn Root charged towards the Beowulf in the skies. The Beowulf, maintaining its monstrous form rather than morph into its more compact self, remained in the skies, fire blasting out of his back as it extended its black metal claws.
At the very moment the Beowulf lunged one of its in attempt to hit Trad’s head around the shield, Trad suddenly turned off Svalinn Root’s shield, instead turning the mech’s head ever so slightly. The GRIMM’s claw ended up scratching the side of the mech’s head.
Gritting his teeth, Trad had Svalinn Root pull its former shield arm back before driving it straight into the GRIMM mech’s chest. The GRIMM pilot had to be inside the head, unlike his Semblance.
Svalinn Root’s engine roared as the blade it held glowed brighter. Its form began to extend as it revealed a Dust core, containing five Thunder crystals loaded into it as lightning began to crackle down the mech’s arm.
As the mech raised the GRIMM up, Trad roared, “Eat THIS!”
Pulling its shield arm out of the GRIMM, Svalinn Root twisted as it kicked the GRIMM straight forward into the skies. Before the GRIMM had a chance to retaliate, Svalinn Root’s rocket boots throttled to maximum performance as it rocketed towards the enemy, its blade raised behind itself.
With a single, vertical, upward slash, Svalinn Root cleaved the Beowulf in half.
The skies were lit with a single explosion that covered both mechs. And out of it, only Trad emerged, his mech partially damaged.
Taking a deep breath, Trad sighed. He then spoke to the radio,
“Leaving the extraction point with a Red Dust canister and a Gravity Dust canister. Heading to Atlas now.”
“Do you have any injuries that need treatment?” He heard Ms. Cirsium speak from the radio.
He glanced at his body, raising an eyebrow before he muttered, “I think I have a head ache.”
The radio went silent for a moment before Ms. Cirsium responded rather amusedly, “Well, it’s good to hear that it’s no worse than that.”
As Svalinn Root exited combat mode and began to charge up its hyperdrive, it remained still in the air.
The skies were still bleak, and he was certain this wasn’t going to be the last time he visits Vacuo. They always would, eventually. What mattered was how much more experience he got from these missions, as well as trying to survive.
There was a time when the skies were stated to be blue, and he lived only when he didn’t remember those skies. But hell, nobody told him to not want to see it- cause he really wanted to. Maybe he would.
After all, he probably wasn’t the only one who wanted to.
“Good work, Trad,” Ms. Cirsium told him as he left the area.
It was a rather standard mission, yet also an odd one.
Sightings of various Grimm that usually did not gather in the particular area within the south of Vale? That usually meant that a specific cause led such Grimm into the area. Normally, Grimm that were amphibious or belonged to the plains did not simply waltz right into south of Vale because the regions were often more mountainous.
The lair was considered to be hidden within the forests of the wilderness, though it was far from impossible to miss it- approaching it, however, was a different story.
Ozpin stacked the papers in front of him as he set them aside- he'd have Glynda sort them out later. It had been a busy day not only reassigning certain teams, but also looking over some of the proposals made by his colleagues for the next Vytal Tournament. He could imagine some being rather excited for something that took years to wait for, and while he understood the excitement- well, he wasn't going to return it with just as much energy.
Turning to the rather excited Professor Port, Ozpin glanced at the hologram on his desk, which presented the face of an aged man with a beard.
"Peter, I would like your honest opinion," Ozpin spoke, staring hard at the face in the hologram.
"And what might that be?" Peter asked, his tone confident. His recommendation for putting Walter in charge of leading the students on a glorious day of slaying Grimm was one of good thought. There were no concerns from his part!
"This is the same man who bailed out of his hall duty to participate in a boat race, yes?"
There was only one concern from his part.
Coughing, Peter added in, "Bail out? No, he hasn't. But he IS rather... dedicated towards preventing his pride from deflating, which explains why he often does his work in advance.
"I would also like to add that Mr. Bridgeman, though newer among the faculty, is very trusted and has a reputation that precedes some of his more personal traits that can be subjective to public opinion. His abilities as a Huntsman is quite respectable, and I have personally allowed him to help teach some of my classes due to the increasing volume of students as of recent days."
The man smiled as he nodded to himself. "He is energetic, but a fine lad who can give quite a helping hand! I can assure you that."
Ozpin nodded. Yes, it was wrong of anyone to judge a book by its cover. Quite frankly, Ozpin knew his doubts about the energetic professor, who seemed to rival Oobleck when the right topics for conversation popped up, were more of personal opinion than facts. If anything, Mr. Bridgeman had recorded history of teaching briefly at Shade and Haven before moving to Beacon. He had a statement behind his name, so that much should've been enough to assure Ozpin that Team KFSC would be in safe hands.
Putting aside his thoughts about the man, Ozpin looked forward to the team of students' success.
The airship dropped everyone off in the middle of a forest. Trees surrounded the landing site as Team KFSC pressed their feet against the healthy dirt, though the air seemed rather tense for a peaceful-looking area. It was common knowledge that almost any area of the wilderness was usually like this, because Grimm enjoyed ruining lots of things that would be great without them.
A tall man walked out of airship last as he moved past the team, carrying a small navigation device that resembled the shape and design of a small Scroll model. On its screen were several blue dots, which indicated at the team members who were behind him, and the small airship that gradually left the site. Everyone's Scrolls, for those who brought them, would technically work properly, though reception was rather terrible due to being further away from Vale's CCTS. They were supplied with small radios instead, though they were most likely not going to be used if things didn't go south.
Turning to Team KFSC, Walter Bridgeman, a Grimm Studies professor like Peter Port, let a small grin creep into his face as he spoke loudly,
"Everyone! I apologize for not being able to introduce myself, as I had been going over our routes during the ride. As you have heard in the mission briefing, I am Walter Bridgeman, and I teach Grimm Studies- but you may call me Walter. I don't do well with formalities, y'see."
Pointing with one hand at what was clearly a disorderly set of trees torn down by Grimm, Walter used the other to press a button on the navigation device in his hand as a small visual hologram appeared.
"This area has a history of Beowulves and Manticores roaming around- but there have been sightings of an amalgamation of Grimm here, such as Harpies and even an Ogdoad. If my thoughts are correct, then we may confront a Bael by the end of this mission."
Turning off the hologram, Walter continued, "Observations outside of the mission site has led us to believe that environmental damage such as this has been caused by some Sitting Bulls- there is still the possibility that we may meet Nightmares instead, however, so I advise that we keep our eyes peeled to win any quick draw while we're moving. Once we find the lair, we do what Huntsmen train for.-"
His grin widened with a hint of nostalgia and pride as he finished simply, "-Annihilating monsters."
He had yet to unsheathe or load his weapon, though he expected the team to do so at this point. "As for questions, well... I'll be answering any on our merry way. If you happen to get separated, make contact via the radios. I may be older than you lot, but none of us are deaf in the ears just yet.
"Well, there's no time to lose, cause I'm already dying to get started," Walter spoke, his sharp voice booming, "Follow me, ladies and gent! Let's make this mission count. Keep an eye out for any Grimm that pop out of the trees."
The jingling of six keys attached to the ends of his coat, Walter began walking towards the flattened paths caused by the Grimm.
The day before had ended up being a spiral of emotions for her. First, she was reassigned to a team quite abruptly in the midst of her search. She hadn't even gotten anyone's numbers at the moment, and now she was thrown into a completely new team with very little time to get accustomed to everything.
At that moment, she realized Beacon was tough.
GEEZ, it's tough, she thought, gulping as she shook her head at Rowan's question about... questions. I better keep myself awake.
Everything sort of flew by like a violent wind, but for now, things seemed to have settled... for now.
She glanced at her teammates. There was... this blond dude who looked a little scary- no offense to him, really, but he just kinda did. He didn't seem to be a necessarily bad person, but- gosh, she just kept thinking the worst of interpretations for some reason! Then there was another guy who seemed like he was ready to run everything down with a gun, though he didn't seem like he'd point it at her any time sooner. And finally, there was a rather purple girl who had quite a bit of sass in her.
If her cousins taught her one thing, it was that sass could range from "cute" to "holy crap, can you stop." She hoped it wasn't the latter.
Her mind kept trailing back to Ferris, who seemed to wave at her with an uncharacteristically wide grin in her imagination- as if they'd never meet again for some reason. She already kinda missed that fluffy coat...
NO! Let's get myself INTO this mission, not away from it! Yun thought as she smacked her cheeks. She then suddenly let out a really bright smile, seemingly for no reason at all to the people around her.
"I'm READY!" She said in response to Rowan, pumping a confident fist. Yeah, so what if she didn't know her team that well? That didn't mean she couldn't try getting to know them eventually! She could hear an engine revving up in her mind as her motivation went up to overdrive.
Hana stared at Taidan with a blank look. Its blankness lasted only for a brief second, however, as it grew incredulous when she wondered where he came from. That's right, the guy was capable of some flexible mobility with his equipment. Several Huntsmen seemed to carry around such equipment, and it seemed pretty convenient at times. She wouldn't ever compliment them out loud, though- it seemed awfully pointless and chummy, especially if it came from her.
His casual appearance wasn't much of an issue, though she'd be lying if she said it didn't startle her.
She blinked when she heard Sterling's voice as she glanced at him, almost unnerved at his more literal "casual appearance."
A boatswain with a Master's degree in Food Chem- how did both of them know about-?
Well, now I know boats sure aren't my deal, she thought wryly.
These guys sure knew how to make an entrance, though.
Her silver, sunglasses-wearing teammate asked if she had an issue. Issues? Well, she had tons of issues! Heck, most of her standardized essays were just nitpicking off her issues! Most of them were just insignificant to complain about, thus she kept them all to herself. Talking about what was important had become somewhat of a focal point for her conversations, especially back at Mistral.
"I don't have an issue," she mumbled.
"...Okay, maybe I do," she sighed, almost uncharacteristically so. As she remembered who she was talking to, the energy within her suddenly flared as she added in, "It's nothing important though, so don't rub it in!!"
She knew they probably didn't mean any ill intent, but that didn't mean she shouldn't let her guard down! As the leader of the team, especially one so full of energy, she had no intent on falling behind that department.
Hana's flare died down a little as she turned back to the oceans, burying the bottom half of her face into her elbows again to hide her cheeks. Sarina was probably elsewhere drinking tea or something...
"Hey," she said out loud, staring down the brilliant blue in front of her with her orange gaze as she slowly lifted her face out of her elbows.
A brief pause came, her gaze softer than before. She was terrible at this whole "socializing with the team" aspect because, quite frankly, there was no room for that back in Mistral. But these guys were terrible at lying, so surely hearing her out would be the best compensation!
Not that she thought they were aware of that, but heck, she was their leader! She could talk about whatever she wanted, right?
"You all were in Beacon for the most part, right?" Hana asked. "You ever get the feeling to just... get really impatient? So much to the point where you just want to explode with it. You better be honest!"
She always had some kind of valid reason to be angry. As for the length of the validity in question, that was an entirely different story, but still, she had her points.
Concerning the topic of her team members, she had quickly come to accept the fact that she would be their leader, and she would even go as far ahead to die trying to get that point across. Thankfully, despite their relatively carefree and happy selves, they weren't morons- just... really optimistic, in their own ways. She wasn't going to lie by saying it didn't ever piss her off, because it sometimes did, but not in the sense that would get her punching the dorm apart.
She blushed when she slowly noticed that she was actually complimenting her team. Pouting grumpily, she huffed as she crossed her arms and leaned against the ship.
The fiery girl seemed less angry about her team and moreso about the mission itself.
As childish as it sounded, she didn't like waiting for something that had a chance of not showing up. She... had some bad memories pertaining to the topic, but there were much less serious memories than the ones that were simply annoying to think about. The reason for her anger at the moment was more personal than something she wanted to direct towards someone, and for that, she kept it to herself. None of her team mates needed to hear her getting all riled up for the umpteenth time. No matter whether she was their leader or not, they were inevitably more familiar with each other than with her for now. She knew she had to be flexible for not just their sake, but her own as well.
The mission still ached her patience, though. Quite honestly, she felt more used to the beat-em-up side of things rather than defending objectives. While the cannons did do a bit of justice towards breaking the silence, showing her team what she's made of, as well as seeing how capable they were sounded more appealing.
Far seas greeted her, however, and everyone on her team seemed willing to wait things out.
Geez, she sighed out loud as she let her chin rest on her hand, her elbow pressed next to her arm on one end of the ship's dock. I guess I don't have to necessarily come up with something for my team yet...
She blushed when she remembered Taidan and Sterling walking around, smiles and all as if they hadn't casually dunked on the students that scared her or- intentionally or not- made her stumble on her own words, with Sarina casually watching them as if it were all commonplace.
...Or maybe I do!! She thought, her pout intensifying as she unknowingly scrunched up, her fiery demeanor just simply refusing to calm down. She started to resemble an angry gerbil that could neither vent its anger on anything or feel the need to bother anybody just yet.
The orange-haired girl buried the bottom half of her face into her arms as she continued to stare at the seas alone, wondering about what to have her team do, or if they really had to do anything at all at the moment.
Bang stared at Mr. Touhama Shuuji for a moment, his blank expression indicating towards any kind of thought whatsoever.
His train of thoughts passed by his station of recognition as he looked for any sign of this man, who showed up. None, unfortunately, but he was overflowing with spirit. For a moment, Bang wondered what this man wanted from him, but Bang himself wasn't too concerned about that.
What he was more concerned about was that he had essentially been challenged.
Unconsciously putting down his grocery bags at Shion's direction, Bang kept his gaze locked onto Touhama Shuuji, as the man shut his parasol and assumed a stance. It was a stance Bang did not recognize. Perhaps it was because...?!
...He knew almost nothing about martial arts.
Well, that didn't change the fact that this man was challenging him.
Bang Constantine lived a somewhat different life from the average high school student, or at least, an average high school student without powers. It was a very subtle difference, something that did not show up quite often, and served as both a bane and a boon to him. This vague difference was to accept not only the norm, but also believing in certain, specific things outside the norm.
For example, while television taught him that there were probably no poor CGI monsters wrecking cities on a daily basis...-
Glancing at Shion, he nodded to her as if she understood what was going on, and it was something he wasn't going to decline. Then, bowing respectfully to Touhama, Bang raised his fist, as his other was currently in a cast. He hunched over ever so slightly, a tilted leg pushed forward. His eyes gleamed, questioning nothing of the man who challenged him.
-...he also believed that answering the challenges of the public to also be the norm.It really wasn't.
If this Touhama Shuuji knew something more than he did, then he was ready to accept it. After all, Bang wasn't an Esper. But he wasn't going to go ahead and reject this man's passionate challenge. There was passion- spirit, flowing through his words, and Bang recognized that. It had actually been quite a while since he boxed in actual matches, but he had sparred enough to not lose his form. He also seemed to be so into the situation, he briefly forgot about his cast and what he was going to make for dinner.
Hello. I am NarayanK. I enjoy drawing, writing, reading, and trying out things I find interest in. I like a diversity of content but I'm not exactly the most original of people.
[center]Chronicles of Sarastrea
A Certain Variegated Pseudepigraphum
[url=http://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/75870-heroes-of-beacon-the-next-chapter/ooc]Heroes of Beacon - the Next Chapter[/url][/center]
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;">Hello. I am NarayanK. I enjoy drawing, writing, reading, and trying out things I find interest in. I like a diversity of content but I'm not exactly the most original of people.<br><br><hr class="bb-hr"><br><br><div class="bb-center"><div class="bb-h1"><span class="bb-b">Current Roleplays</span></div></div><br><div class="bb-center">Chronicles of Sarastrea<br>A Certain Variegated Pseudepigraphum<br><a href="http://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/75870-heroes-of-beacon-the-next-chapter/ooc">Heroes of Beacon - the Next Chapter</a></div></div>