How They Met

“So, how did you two first meet?”

-  Kai: Pfft. I charmed her and we just…clicked. *clears throat* *crickets chirping*

- Cinder: *rolls eyes* Ah, oh yeah- I had a grease stain on my forehead. He came to my booth thinking that I’d be some old man. *Kai: “I did not!”*

- Wolf: *blushes* *clears throat* Uh, I have a large appetite…

- Scarlet: The oddball in the Rieux Tavern. Who never tried vegetables until the day I met him. *whispers to Cinder: “He liked the tomatoes.” Cinder: “No duh.” *

- Thorne: *chuckles* I guess you can call it love at first…sight…Haha. Get it?
*groaning from everyone else*

- Cress: *blushes* Um, I met, or saw, him online…by stalking him… *squeaks* No, it’s not like that-! I mean, we met through a D-comm chip…he thought my hair was a magpie nest mauled by a cheetah… *Thorne: “I did not!”*

- Jacin: I was a son of a guard…What kind of question is that?

- Winter: *beams* We, along with Selene, were best friends! We knew each other since birth. I always loved playing games with him. *smiles*

The Downward Spiral Chapter 66

Chapter 66: Harder Better Faster Stronger

“RUBY GET DOWN!” Jaune called to her as a Grimm that the blonde was pretty sure was called a ‘Leokaiser’ pounced from behind; a two meter long mass of muscle with bone armour along its’ spine and forelimbs and protruding spikes upon its’ shoulders, the Lion Grimms’ mane was comprised of jagged bone ridges that shifted like armour plates
“Got it” Ruby’s voice was utterly toneless as she stepped backwards into the beasts attack, shaft of Crescent Rose catching it by the forelimbs and slamming it into the ground in front of her before opening its’ exposed belly with the blade of her scythe. Jaune, seeing that Ruby had her situation under control flew off in search of Ren and Nora; running into the forest had been a bad decision on his part that had rendered his flame-thrower too risky to use. Seeing his team-mates he dove to the ground and shifted Dragonslayer to its’ sword and shield mode skewering a small Grimm with too many limbs as he landed
“Why would their be a little monkey Grimm?” Nora demanded as she brought Magnhild down on Grimm after Grimm as they approached in a twisted parody of an arcade game “MONKEYS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CUTE!”
“Where’s Ruby?” Ren asked as raked the ground around him with the storm-flowers
“Right here” came her reply as she raced into view cleaving through a nearby tree, her attack revealing a chameleon Grimm with a barbed tongue that Jaune didn’t have a name for
“What the….” the blonde trailed off as he deflected a leaping spider-monkey with his shield only for Ren to annihilate in a storm of bullets
“I saw its outline move” Ruby explained “I trained with Squish back at beacon I know what to look for”
“Um guys” Nora called her voice slightly nervous, Jaune swung his sword low and removed the head of the last of the smaller Grimm which remained to screech its’ defiance rather than run. Turning to see what had gotten Nora’s attention he gave an audible gulp, Leokaiser a full pack of them stalking out from the trees
“I count eight” Ren noted calmly
“Two each, yeah we can do that….yeah” Jaunes’ tone made it clear he was struggling to convince himself
“ARRRGH” Ruby charged forward with a war cry that nobody her size should have been able to produce, Crescent Rose bisecting the first Grimm to leap at her, the second exploding, a pink mist in its’ wake
“SMASH!” Nora laughed gleefully as she returned her weapon to its’ hammer mode and charged forward, the two of them fighting back to back weapon crushing or carving any Grimm that approached, Ren readied his pistols and aimed at the last Grimm expiring before he could fire
“Go team” Nora laughed as she skipped back over to Ren and Jaune, had anyone else said that Jaune would have suspected they were being sarcastic.
“Yeah go team” he agreed leaning against a tree, bone deep weariness setting in “Just please no more” they had escaped, a term Jaune would only use for the situation ironically, into the forest over a day ago their tents and camp destroyed leaving them to rely on what was in Ren’s backpack when he had managed to grab it; this thankfully included ammunition bottled water and tinned food, it did not however contain a map
“Indeed” Ren sighed “The amount of Grimm in this forest is too high”
“Yeah about that, I think I’ve got an idea of where we are” Jaune told them all eyes turned to him so continued “Pyrrha knew a bit about Haven’s initiation because she was originally going to go there; it’s kinda similar to Beacon, in that it involves getting sent into a forest but it’s more of an endurance test than a quick get in and get out. The path we were following was the safe way to Anquan-Jia”
“And this is the forest that Haven’s students train in” Ren surmised
“Yeah” Jaune nodded “This is Hong-Zhao forest, if we push through it we’ll actually get to the walls of the capital sooner it’s just a risk I didn’t want to take before”
“So let’s go” Nora grinned, Magnhild balanced over her shoulder “We’ve got Grimm in front of us, bandits behind us….we’ve come this far we may as well keep moving forward”
“I want to agree” Jaune sighed “But even in this forest we shouldn’t have been coming across as many Grimm as we have. It’s like they’re all congregating”
“It’s because of me” they all turned to face Ruby who had spoken “Grimm are attracted to negative emotions….they know I’m a murderer, I’m what’s drawing all the Grimm” the other members of Team RNJR shared nervous looks, they had all seen what Ruby had done to the bandit but none of them had brought it up yet, preferring to wait until they were out of the literal and proverbial woods
“So what are you suggesting?” Ren asked
“We split up” Ruby mumbled, her voice dangerously close to cracking “If I’m what’s drawing the Grimm then I’m going to head off in another direction and get them away from you while you go to Haven”
“Not gonna happen” Jaune told her bluntly
“Agreed” Ren nodded
“Sorry Ruby but you’re stuck with us” Nora planted a hand firmly on her shoulder
“I killed someone!” she cried the first tears falling thick and fast down her cheeks “I came to Mistral because I wanted to kill someone, what’s wrong with me?”
“You killed someone who was trying to kill us” Jaune pointed out as he wrapped an arm around her, Ren and Nora joined them
“I know what grieving and wanting to make everyone responsible suffer feels like” Ren admitted softly “I think we all do”
“So come on” Nora sighed “We’re going to fight our way through this forest and into the capital, all four of us….right after this Team RNJR group hug”

Read the rest of the chapter HERE