The next morning, Weiss woke up contented as could be as just the right amount of sunlight brushed her eyes. She stretched and felt very refreshed. Everything in the world was pleasant, until Ruby blew a loud whistle in her ear causing her to fall to the ground.
“Good morning, Team RWBY!”
“What in the world is wrong with you?” asked Weiss from the floor.
After yesterday’s events, they were moved onto campus and shown to their dorm. They had been fairly exhausted and decided to sleep off the rest of the day and into the next morning.
Weiss looked around and was astonished to find that she was the only one still a-bed. The other three were already dressed in their three piece uniforms consisting of a vest and suit coat matched with a red-and-black plaid skirt.
“Now, that you’re awake, we can officially begin our first order of business.”
“Decorating!” said Yang with an armful of stuff.
“We still have to unpack,” added Blake, holding her suitcase before it burst open and dumped its contents on the floor. “And… clean.”
Ruby blew her whistle again. “All right! Weiss! Blake! Yang! And their fearless leader Ruby, have begun their first mission.” Ruby threw her fist in the air. “Banzai!”
Blake and Yang did the same. “Banzai!”
Simultaneously, all three girls bent at the hip and tilted to the left. Weiss was not-so-secretly irritated. But, there was nothing she could do other than get dressed and help.
When she came out of the bathroom, Yang had already hung a poster of the boy band, The Achieve Men. Their members were split into two smaller fan groups called the Lads and the Gents. The Lads were composed of Browny, Nosey, and Ruby’s favorite, Ragey—he made her laugh. Yang however was a fan of Nosey; his big nose and funny voice was endearing to her. The Gents were composed of Beardy, Crazy, and Drinky. Ruby and Yang’s Uncle Qrow always said he liked Drinky best, but would never say why.
To balance out the pop poster, Weiss hung one of her favorite art pieces from home. It depicted the Forest of Forever Fall as it looked in every season. Funnily enough, there was only one image and not four.
Blake meanwhile organized their books. It was going well, until Blake was shocked to discover she had brought one of her more scandalous tales Ninjas of Love with her. She slinked away and tried to hide it.
Ruby used her scythe to hang a curtain over the window by Weiss’ bed. Weiss gave her a dirty look when she finished.
The four girls stepped back and were shocked to find that in the effort to decorate their room, their beds, tables, and chairs had been thrown around and piled precariously.
“This isn’t going to work,” said Weiss.
Blake noted, “It is a bit cramped.”
“Maybe we should ditch some of our stuff,” suggested Yang.
“Or!” began Ruby, “And hear me out! What if we ditched our beds and replaced them with bunk beds?!”
Weiss looked at the beds. Several problems flew through her head as well as a certain memory of something her older sister once said to her. “That sounds incredibly dangerous.”
“And super awesome,” said Yang.
“It does seem efficient,” Blake added.
Weiss grabbed at straws. “Well, we should put it to a vote.”
“I think we just did,” said Ruby.
Three for and one against. Again, Weiss was not-so-secretly irritated, but could not fight the democratic system.
Team RWBY set to work and made their bunk beds in the fastest and most efficient way they could. Blake’s and Yang’s beds were on one side of the room and stacked on top of each other. Four separate stacks of books were placed on top of each of the four posts on Blake’s bed supporting Yang’s. Ruby however was more creative and secured ropes to the ceiling, wrapping them around her bed and suspending it above Weiss’.
“Objective complete,” said Ruby.
Weiss worried that her own mortality rate had just dropped by several decades and hoped Ruby used strong ropes.
“All right. Our second order of business is… classes.” Ruby checked their schedule. “Now, we have a few classes together today. At nine, we’ve got—”
“What?!” shrieked Weiss. “Did you say nine-o-clock?!”
“It’s 8:55, you dunce!”
“Uh… to class!”
Team RWBY dashed out of their room and was quickly followed by Team JNPR who had the dorm across from them. All eight of them were seen streaking across campus in a mad dash passing Glynda and Ozpin. Glynda frowned while Ozpin sipped from his mug.
Just in the nick of time, both teams made it to Professor Peter Port’s class. He was an older huntsman with grey hair, eyebrows, and a mustache. He was also a little wide in the waist band. But he was best known for his bombastic storytelling which in his mind amounted to teaching. He was known among the student body as the Mad Tale-King.
“Monsters!” he began in his deep voice. “Demons! Prowlers of the night! Yes, the creatures of Grimm have many names.” He referred to the wall behind him which bore several sketches of known Grimm including the King Taijitu, Deathstalker, Beowolf, Boarbatusk, Nevermore, and Ursa.
“But I merely refer to them… as prey!” Port laughed, shaking Ruby out of a tired daze. “And you shall too upon graduating from this prestigious academy.
“Now, as I was saying, Vale, as well as the other three kingdoms, are safe havens in an otherwise treacherous world. Remnant is absolutely teeming with creatures that would love nothing more than to tear you to pieces. And that’s where we come in.
“Huntsmen! Huntresses!” he said, making a suggestive clicking sound in Yang’s direction.
She giggled nervously and felt nauseous. Sometimes she cursed her great curves and golden locks.
“Individuals who have sworn to protect those who cannot protect themselves. From what you ask? Why, the very world! That is what you’re training to become. But first, a story. The tale of a young, handsome man… Me! When I was a boy…”
Port continued to ramble on about his past including some strange anecdote involving his grandfather.
Weiss nodded. She was bored, but played the dutiful student taking down any notes she thought might be helpful. She heard snickering from her left and looked at Ruby who had been doodling.
Ruby passed an irreverent picture of Port she had drawn down to Yang and Blake. It was complete with stink lines. Weiss was a little disgusted and a little more than disgusted when Ruby made a bodily noise with her tongue. Yang and Blake were beset by giggles.
Weiss clenched her pen, feeling the heat swell in her face. This was hardly appropriate behavior for the leader of a team of huntresses.
“The moral of this story,” said Port, his voice coming back into the foreground, “a true huntsman must be honorable…”
Weiss looked at Ruby as she balanced an apple on her binder on a pen and all on her finger while making a strange face.
“A true huntsman must be dependable…”
Ruby yawned and seemed to nod off slightly.
“A true huntsman must be strategic, well-educated, and wise…”
Ruby was now picking her nose.
The heat in Weiss had now grown into a full rage. She began grinding her teeth and started to shake. Ruby wasn’t fit for the position of team leader. She was just a child. And a very immature one at that. Weiss should have been team leader, not her.
“So, who among you believes themselves to be the embodiment of these traits?”
Weiss raised her hand and with a little more force than she meant, she said, “I do, sir!”
“Well then, let’s find out.”
A teacher’s aide rolled in a cage containing an ornery Boarbatusk.
“Step forward, and face your opponent!”
Weiss marched up to the front of the class and drew Myrtenaster.
“Go, Weiss!” cheered Yang.
“Fight well!” called Blake.
“Yeah! Represent Team RWBY!” added Ruby.
“Ruby!” scolded Weiss. “I’m trying to focus.”
“Oh,” Ruby said in a tiny voice. “Sorry…”
But the fact that Weiss hadn’t said anything to Yang or Blake hadn’t escaped her.
“All right,” said Port, wielding his double-bitted axe-musket. “Let the match begin!” he said, cutting the cage open.
The Boarbatusk charged Weiss. She rolled to the side and slashed at its flank—it had no effect as the Boarbatusk was covered in bone-like protrusions giving it a decent set of armor.
“Ha-ha!” said Port. “Weren’t expecting that were you?”
Ruby looked a little worried. “Hang in there, Weiss!”
Weiss charged, but the Grimm’s bone armor turned her blade. She lost her balance and Myrtenaster became entangled in the two giant tusks that gave the creature its name.
“Come on, Weiss!” cheered Ruby. “Show it who’s boss!”
Weiss looked back at her. Her grip loosened, and the Boarbatusk managed to disarm her, throwing the rapier to the other side of the room. It knocked her backward.
Port seemed to be enjoying himself. “Oh-ho! Now what will you do without your weapon?”
The Grimm charged Weiss and she managed to dodge it. The Boarbatusk ran into its cage and knocked itself somewhat senseless giving Weiss enough time to collect her sword.
“Weiss!” called Ruby. “Go for its belly. There’s no armor—!”
“Stop telling me what to do!” Weiss already knew what she had to do. She knew where to hit it. She didn’t need Ruby’s assistance. And she’d be damned if she took any from Ruby.
Ruby shrunk into her seat as much as she could. Several others were also uncomfortable.
The Boarbatusk turned itself into a ball and spun-dash at Weiss. She produced a glyph before her, which the Grimm ricocheted off, landing on its back. Weiss backflipped up and launched herself from another glyph giving her the vantage point necessary to thrust Myrtenaster into the beast’s gut. Weiss withdrew her rapier and stabbed it again. It wasn’t necessary, but it sure felt good.
“Bravo! Bravo!” called Port. “It appears we are indeed in the presence of a true huntress in training.”
The bell chimed.
“I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today. Be sure to cover the assigned readings and stay vigilant. Class dismissed.”
Weiss collected her books and stomped off without her team.
Ruby ran after her and caught her in the hallway. “Weiss.”
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you being—”
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?! You’re supposed to be a leader. And all you’ve been so far is a nuisance.”
“What did I do?”
“That’s just it! You’ve done nothing to earn your position. Back in the forest, you acted like a child, and you’ve only continued to do so.”
Ruby shrank under Weiss’ smoldering words. “Weiss… where is this coming from? What happened to all the talk about working together? I thought you believed in acting as a team.”
“Not a team led by you. I’ve studied. And trained! And quite frankly, I deserve better. Ozpin made a mistake.” Weiss stormed off.
Weiss walked outside onto Beacon’s ramparts. Standing at the far end was Professor Port. Weiss saw him and thought she might be able to plead her case of Ozpin’s mistake to someone sensible.
Port turned. “Ah! Miss Schnee. And to what do I owe this fine pleasure?”
“I…” Weiss faltered. How to begin? Maybe a little white lie wouldn’t hurt. “I enjoyed your lecture.”
“Of course you did, child. You have the blood of a true huntress in you.”
That was good to hear. “You really think so?”
Weiss looked away for a second; a calculated measure.
“Hmm. Something’s troubling you.”
“Dear girl! Confess to me your strife!”
“Well… I think I should have been the leader of Team RWBY.”
Port was quiet for a second. Then, with a bit of a laugh, “That’s preposterous!”
Irritation rose in her voice. “Excuse me?!”
“I have believed in Professor Ozpin for many years, and the man has never once led me astray.”
“So, you would blindly accept his decision even after seeing how exceptional I am?”
“With all due respect, your exceptional skill on the battlefield is matched only by your poor attitude.”
“How dare you!”
“My point exactly. I see a girl before me who has spent her entire life getting exactly what she wanted.”
Weiss folded her arms. “That’s not even remotely true.”
She fell under Port’s gentle scrutiny and began to crumble beneath its weight.
“Well, not entirely true.”
Port decided to try to appeal to her high-esteemed sense of reason. “So, the outcome did not fall in your favor. Do you really believe that acting in such a manner would cause those in power to reconsider their decision?”
Weiss seemed to have heard him—she defrosted a little.
“I suggest that instead of fretting over what you don’t have, savor what you do. Hone your skills. Perfect every technique. And be not the best leader, but the best person you can be.”
Weiss gave a helpless shrug, but wouldn’t meet Port’s gaze. He knew that even that much was a big concession for her and walked away satisfied.
Back in the hallway, Ruby turned and ran into Ozpin.
“Hmm. Now that didn’t seem to go very well,” he noted.
Ruby couldn’t help the doubt from welling up inside her. “Is she right? Did you make a mistake?”
“That remains to be seen,” he said with a half-laugh.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it’s only been one day. Ruby, I’ve made more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on Remnant. But at this moment, I would not consider your appointment to leader to be one of them. Do you?”
Ruby looked unsure.
“Being a team leader isn’t just a title that you carry into battle but a badge you wear constantly. If you are not always performing at your absolute best, then what reason do you give others to follow you?
“You’ve been burdened with a daunting responsibility, Ruby. I advise you take some time to think about how you will uphold it.” Ozpin walked away.
Ruby considered what he said. What was the best way to show Weiss that she could be at her best and uphold her responsibility as team leader? She thought back to her antics in the classroom. Perhaps some of the things she had done were childish and immature. Perhaps Yang and her father were both right: a part of growing up meant working well with others. It would mean needing to give up many of the childish antics she enjoyed, but her relationship with Weiss was more important.
It turned out, growing up required more than just drinking milk.
Keep writing, my friends.
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