Summer Rose watched the background around the cubed hole displaying the sky disappear from her view. She was in a trance at the small but powerful scenery before her silver coined irises, containing the perfect shade of blue that blended with a darker shade below while accompanying large contained fogs spread around. She could say it was like looking at a television program in the middle of the night, seeing as the brightness nearly blinded her with it's beauty.
But she wasn't. She was simply looking at a scene of the world through glass lends while disregarding the huge metallic frame around it delivered by the bullhead she set foot on. The vehicle was rather quiet with it's inhabitants it ate up minding their own business. Darkness clouded the majority of it's insides, but served to not bother the young adult. The solid black haired female wanted to continue to stare onto the work of art. Unfortunately, she had to keep an eye on her fellow friends and teammates.
Summer was the leader of Beacon Academy, Remnant's number one place to learn the ways of the huntsmen's Team STRQ. The team was known as one of the most well noted teams of huntsmen and huntresses in training. If possible, the most well noted team. Her group had been traveling with her today to their targeted destination, silently going on with their regular lives.
One of her teammates was Taiyang Xiao Long. He was considered the hard hitter and the power house of the team. Not to mention the ladies man. The teenager had a patch of messy but cute looking slightly combed blonde hair and fair complexion with a generic shade of blue that was similar to the ocean his leader adored. He sat crisscross on a small built in anchor shaded bench with his scroll held vertically in his hands as his thumbs explored the screen rapidly with a thirst of victory.
His movement and figure made his brown leather vest almost let go of it's tan dress shirt for freedom. Luckily though, his shoulder arm piece shined effortlessly under a beam of light, ruining nothing on the teen but other's sight. She watched for a moment as it breathed through his over exaggerated movement. Then she saw as his caramel brown cargo pants began to reveal his knees to the world effortlessly, helping his black shoes show off his shins that females all over drooled for. At least he wasn't ashamed of it, Summer admitted. Besides, it was one of the many traits of Taiyang that she gave homage to.
Just like her partner, Raven Branwen, sister of Qrow Branwen and primary strategist of the team. Unlike her boyfriend, she had long raven black hair and a complexion like vanilla ice cream. Not only that, but she was sitting in a grovel state next to her leader, staring at the floor as if she was in a trance. With every bump of the ship in the dangerous hazards of clouds, she watched as her partner's set of necklaces bounced off and on her chest to conceive a sound almost like jiggling keys. Hopefully, it didn't look that much painful due to her body being covered by her shallow cut black and red dress decorated with designs of colorless trees on the stomach section of her clothing.
To the other black haired female, she looked rather cool in the stance she pulled off. Her gauntlets on her respectful arms, her sword being caressed near her right breast and her legs, and her head held down instead of being high. It served to turn her into a devoted badass in her eyes. And did she mention her eyes? Her eyes were the perfect shade of red. It wasn't too dark to look like pools of blood, nor was it light enough to be considered cherry flavor pieces of candy. It was only a natural shade.
Even though she had a rather serious outlook on life, she was pretty lenient on some situations. Which was just like, but also nothing like her brother Qrow Branwen, the second strongest of the group... And the one who got them into most trouble. As a matter of fact, he was the reason him and his teammates were on this mission to begin with. He looked exactly like his younger sister, yet if she was gender-bend. He had the same red eyes as her, but they were more meek to the naked eye, along with short coal black hair that was rather comfortable to mess with on some occasions.
He was sitting peacefully and to a degree, lazily, as his hands rested on his knees and his head slacked towards the ground. Summer couldn't blame him nonetheless since he barely slept, even though he knew this would happen. Precisely like his sister, his crooked cross necklace smacked his chest frequently from the ship's movement. His gray dress shirt wrinkled instantly in his new found state that helped his red cape stay at ease. The same went for his midnight black pants with his elbows digging into them and his weapon, a scythe in a resting sword state, hanging onto them for defense. His attire did not bug him, but his silence did.
With the sudden serenity in the air, Summer couldn't help but break it with a nervous fact. "Well, I can say for all of us that this is going to be a great mission." Her eyes shifted towards her black haired male teammate to tell him without eye contact received back, "You did a good job picking this mission, Qrow. It will be so cool to see Menagerie for the first time."
At the call of his name, the tired teenager instantly lifted his heavy head to stare at his leader with an expression of a wolf eyeing it's prey. He then told her while he rubbed his languor eyes underneath gale eyelids, "Yeah, it would be kinda nice to sight see. But I only pick this mission so I can stop those filthy White Fang from doing stupid shit like this again."
"That's not nice to say," The young female responded in slight disappointment with lowered eyebrows and a small frown. "You make them sound like animals."
"To a degree, they are animals," Raven jumped in suddenly, in an as a matter of fact tone. Silver eyes presently roamed her way to hear the rest of what she would say. The woman continued with a serious stare in her red orbs looking down at her partner. "I'm not saying what Qrow just said was. Offensive. But they are a mixture of humans and animals. That's why they're faunus after all."
"Yeah," Her brother blurted out at a room volume with a sinister smirk. "I wouldn't even be surprise if they were created by a monkey and a dude fucking on a abandon island." The area around him went silence once more at his choice of words that stabbed the mood in it's back. It also caused the man's twin sibling to grin secretly at the floor and his other female friend to shake her head in antipathy.
But neither of them did what Taiyang did, which was look at his partner sideways to inform him nastily, "That's supposedly how AIDS were made, dumbo."
"Who you calling dumbo, stereotype of all blondes known to Vale," The black haired male responded with a glare escaping his eyes and onto the other's.
"You," The blonde haired male replied once more, daring not to 'correct' himself. "Since you have no clue about how history works. And you should listen to Summer and stop talking crap about the White Fang."
"Then why don't they quit acting like crap." There they went again, their leader thought. This would happen almost everyday, at least five days a week. Qrow would either say something smart enough to grind Taiyang's gears or Taiyang would make fun of Qrow to the point where he'd blow up in rage. Either way, it didn't fix anything. It only served to irritate the hell out of Summer and Raven. Now wasn't an exception since the two found themselves in each other's faces. With the way they were, the leader wouldn't be surprise if the two began to make out passionately after confessing their dying love to each other.
"At least I'm not kissing other girls like my leader behind my girlfriend's back!"
... Silence filled the room once more at the sound of a sheathing sword, kissing it's covers body slowly but surely. At the sound of it's whispers in the male's ears, the two found themselves quickly sitting back down to refuel on relaxation. Yet, it really wasn't the sound of a sword that put the fear of gods in them, but the look of Raven's face. The one fitted for a killer that had just found the one who witnessed him in a crime. Only with that expression present were they ceased of their arguing.
Sadly though, they would never be ceased of this special affair.
Eventually, out of the humiliating yet dangerous reticence was the sound of engines dying slowly as a feeling of falling surrounded the bullhead. This only meant one thing to the ground of young adults. They were finally here. They had finally reached Menagerie after what felt like hours. Usually, there would be cheers and laughter of happiness surrounding the team of huntsmen and huntresses together. But not this time.
Instead, there was only one person aside from Summer who was excited about their trip. And that was the person who awaited them when the exit from the bullhead's insides opened. Beacon Academy's strange but preferably intelligent, Bartholomew Oobleck. Though he wasn't a professor at the school, he has become one of the most smartest teenagers there that it came as to no surprise that he was a replacement for Team STRQ's original guide.
The messy green haired man began to put on his pith helmet before concealing his enthusiasm through his glasses, exclaiming happily, "Alright, gang. Let's get this thing going! We'll be doing our mission first, so we'll be going to the White Fang's leader, Ghira Belladonna's house for starters. Then onto the search-."
"The search for the punk that stole our cardio, we get it," Qrow cut him off to finish impatiently before pushing past him into the dept of the small island. "Let's just get this over with before I bust a cap in pretty boy's ass."
"... Um, okay," Oobleck questioned more then answered with confusion apparent on his face as he watched the angered teen proceed to their target person. "Then let's set forward everyone! To the Ghira's home, we go!"
"We go," The leader of Team STRQ exclaimed in excitement before dragging her last two friends into the land of faunus gladly. Even though her actions could've lead to minor or major injuries, Taiyang and Raven weren't hurt emotionally nor physically by their energetic friend. Instead, they were healed by their worries at the complete sight of the land called Menagerie.
The place was so vibrant of color based on the smiles delivered between faunus, the elegant clear skies and the splendid ocean that served as a great view to them. There were rumors here and there back at Vale that such a place would be crowded and dirty all around. A home filled with nothing but dirty back stabbing bastards, they said. A place that not even humans would feel good being in, they said. But what did Summer, Taiyang and Raven say?
Forget about the rumors. This place was gorgeous.
The three teammates of Team STRQ and their guide proceeded down the path created for them and the others around them peacefully... Even though there were plenty of eyes staring them down ominously. The stares of discomfort almost made the raven haired female create a scene as she grabbed her sword. But this was quickly subdued when her boyfriend instantly grabbed hold of her hand, calming her down a little.
She had to admit, even though he could be a pain in the ass sometimes. Tai was a loving person... When he wanted to be. Aside from his perverted and somewhat flirtagious nature, he was like a bear. Cute and fluffy to cuddle with. Unhealthy and toxic to live with. Which is why she loved that Summer always had her back.
Speaking of Summer, the black haired teenager began to notice the looks of fear given to her and her friends. With that in mind, she asked quietly to Oobleck in distress, "Um, are they afraid of us or something?"
"Oh, don't worry, Summer," The green haired male reassured rather quickly without batting a eye at her. "They're only looking at us because we are probably the only humans here. Nothing to be afraid of... Or maybe it's because of what we did to them-. But let's not think about that right now. What do you all think of Menagerie so far?"
"I think this place is amazing," Summer admitted out loud to where the faunus around her heard clearly. "I would never want to leave here! They got a nice looking ocean, great marketplace, the most fanciest houses I've seen, pine trees, you name it!"
"I take it all back," Raven blurted out in relief afterwards. "The faunus have good taste. I would come back for a vacation."
"That is if the faunus don't hate us when the time comes," Taiyang added with a hint of astonishment and worry. His words were enough to make the nerdy teenager in front of him and his team clarify nicely with one finger up as if he was informing them of one more thing.
"The faunus do not hate you in particularly. They hate almost all of the human race because of what we've done to them. But faunus can be forgiving. As long as we get on their good side and stay low, you will be seen as friends to everyone here. So remember to smile, not cause a scene if you can and lay low."
"Easy for you to say, four eyes," Qrow butted in out of nowhere, loud enough so that his whole team could lay his eyes on him, which was a success. "Everyone can 'forgive' you... Everyone except the White Fang."
"Actually, yes, Qrow. Everyone except the White Fang to a degree."
The four of them walked down their path more and more while exploring the beauty of Menagerie. Only to meet something even more marvelous. So marvelous that it caused all of Team STRQ, except for Qrow, to widen their eyeballs and let their jaws hang effortlessly in surprise. The sight of Kuo Kuana.
As they looked upon the scenery, they became lost at the sight of clear mountains that made the homes below pop out to them. The nature of life clanged onto the area like a puzzle that dared to never be undone. And a stairway down to the main home of them all served to be so intimidating and staggering that it ordered them to come down there. "This here is Kuo Kuana. The main source here in Menagerie. And that big mansion size house down there? That's where Ghira Belladonna is."
"Great," Qrow sadly interrupted with anger hidden in his voice. "Now let's get this over with and then go home. This place freaks me out and looks like a dump."
"Qrow does have a point. The sooner this is done, the more time we have to explore." With that being said, Summer immediately grabbed hold of her three friends suddenly in a bear hug. The sudden act made Oobleck wonder what was to come while both Taiyang and Raven braced for what would happen next. Without a warning as usual, nor a test run, as usual. Summer did the one thing she's always been good at.
Using her semblance to get to places.
So, the black haired female dashed effortlessly through the crowds of faunus to grab a now shocked Qrow and head to the main home of Menagerie. Yells of shock and laughter surfaced around the wielder like wildfires even though she didn't care. All she cared about was the thrill. And with thrill came fun. Eventually, through fruit and vegetable stands, faunus and a set of stairs, Team STRQ and Oobleck were met with the front manor of Ghira's home.
They were met finally after a minute or two from the bullhead, a set of huge doors and shade. At the sight of his goal, Qrow waited for no one to answer the door before him. But just before he could knock on it, a similar female voice that he's lived with cleared her throat to ask wonderingly, "Shouldn't it be Summer who knocks on the door?"
"How come," The brother questioned back without looking at his sister. He expected her to answer him, yet what he got was a whiny male voice responding,
"Because she is our leader after all."
"Does it matter? I mean, we're here after all, so who cares who knocks or not-." Before shots could be fired between the set of teens, the door was knocked suddenly. The sound of cold metal slamming harshly into sets of wood caught them all of guard. Their only question was who did so? Who just went in for the kill and alerted the White Fang's leader without their vote on it?
None other then a now annoyed Oobleck, who soon grabbed Summer to replace him in his position. Eventually, after a second or two, the door was answered by a man who they thought was conceived to intimidate them at this very moment. A certain someone who helped create the White Fang to begin with. A figure of hope to all faunus, and hopefully humans... That is, back then. The man who answered the door was none other then the White Fang's leader, Ghira Belladonna.
He was a tall, muscular man with solid black hair combined with a beard and yellow animal like eyes. He seemed to wore an open dark violet coat with white fur trim, exposing his hairy chest that made him look more like a beast. Over his beige pants was a matching sash that wrapped around his waist and was secured with a large, silver metal buckle. On the shoulder of his coat was a silver metal spaulder, which through a pair of curved strips across the chest attached as a clasp on the opposite front panel of the coat. Finally, the white toes of his black leather boots had a shape reminiscent of paws with claws at the tips.
With his appearance and his menacing frown in all it's glory, Summer couldn't help but nearly stutter with a crooked smile, "Are you Ghira Belladonna, leader of the White Fang?"
"Yes I am," The man answered without hesitation in a deep cunning voice that caught Raven, scared both Taiyang and Oobleck, and made Qrow think it was just a act. "And who might you all be?"
"I-I'm Summer. Summer Rose," The leader of Team STRQ answered with a stammer. "And these are my friends. We are Team STRQ... Except for Oobleck, he's our guide. And we, um, came to ask you about a situation that happened recently."
"What kind of situation? And if this is about the protest, I swear-."
"No, no, no," Summer quickly interrupted, trying to not push Ghira on the edge of things. Especially when he already looked big enough to squash her like a bug. "We came here to ask you about someone. A man name Adam Taurus came to Vale yesterday and stole a huge stash of dust cardio from a local store. And we have insights that he was from Menagerie and is part of the White Fang. Do you know where he could be?"
"Adam Taurus?... No. I never heard that name before. Never seen him before either."
"Aw, gag me with a spoon," Qrow murmured suddenly under his breath. He could've let this all go. He could've kept his cool and let his leader try to negotiate. But he knew that this would take too long and her didn't have the patience to begin with. In conclusion, the black haired man let his inner anger out, disobeyed his sister's orders to keep a level head, and pushed Summer aside to play bad cop. "Name's Qrow. Nice to meet you too. And I really don't have time for your bullshit. Where's Adam Taurus?! I know he's here somewhere."
"Excuse me, but I don't know where he is," Ghira responded, anger now becoming apparent in his voice.
"Well, excuse me, but that's not my problem. Now tell me where he is-."
"Look, sir. Unless you want your head carved into the pavement, I suggest you and your little team here leaves. My wife is having some technical difficulties and I don't have time for you and your games. Now get off my island or I'll get you off by force. Good day." With the man's scoldings, the doors to Ghira Belladonna's manor were closed for good for Team STRQ. It was with that fact that Taiyang had no choice but to say out loud to his assigned partner in pure rage,
"The hell was that?! Could you not shut up for two seconds?!"
"Fuck you, Tai."
"Well," Raven blurted out with a clap of her hands in minor frustration. "I guess we need a plan B."
"Luckily, I have one," Oobleck said in triumph. "We'll be staying here overnight, so we might have to camp somewhere away from here. And first thing in the morning, I will apologize to Ghira about the inconvenience. If he accepts my apology, we will probably know where Adam is. But if he doesn't, then I guess there's always other cardio to find out here on these great blue seas."
"Why we gotta stay here?"
"Because you messed things up again," Taiyang nearly screamed in frustration, causing the black haired man to approach him as if he was ready to kill. This only made their leader groan out in annoyance to command them not as their friend, but their leader,
"Guys, it was my fault. I didn't know how to negotiate is all. Now stop arguing before I. Get.. Upset?..." Before Summer could say anything else, her eyes laid upon something far in the southwest, on top of a house. She saw something out of this world. A shadowy figure with a dash of red. For a second, it looked like a rogue Grimm staring down at it's prey, but after a few moments, it looked more like a human being. No. Far worse...
Raven and Oobleck soon realized that Summer was lost in a trance away from the conflict at hand. So they asked her what she had saw. She replied with nothing, she was just thinking. She didn't know why she lied that evening. She didn't even know why she still went with Plan B. Was it because she didn't give up yet? Because she's worried about her safety? Because she wanted to stay in Menagerie for a while longer? She didn't know now... But it would come along in time. And when it does,
It will definitely turn her world upside down...
Yo, FG96 here. And I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but not knowing how it would go. So I decided to just publish it. This little Summer's Calf arc will be four parts (four chapters), so it will take a while until we get into that Ruby Taurus, Ladybug, and a lot of other action. So please have patience, and if you don't, then check in sometimes to see if I'm done with this arc or not. I plan to update this every Friday if it goes well, but I don't know. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and as always, have a good day! :)