Layfon Alseif fell to his knees, sweat mixing with the blood that trailed down the side of his face and caked his tea brown colored hair, breathing heavily, almost wheezing even, for breath, the clear blue sky having a green aurora in it.
"Come on. I thought you'd put up more of a fight than THIS." The cocky voice of his unexpected opponent, Savalis Leukens, who's white hair reached the middle of his upper back, and also covering one of his two blue eyes via a hair bang.
"Damn it..." Layfon cursed under his breath, narrowing his blue eyes in a deep scowl.
The Fallen One, a being resembling a golden goat, had entered his enemy's body.
Anyone who gained a Fallen One into their bodies would in turn gain a tremondous amount of kei (a type of energy people used in combat).
Before, the Fallen One had entered Nina Antalk, a blonde haired, blue eyed girl who was a couple of years older than him and also was his platoon captain.
The end result was her becoming possessed by the Fallen One and attacking him.
Though he barely stopped her suicidal rampage, he'd been attacked by Savalis, who forced the Fallen One out of her and into himself.
Nina was severely injured, so she'd been sent back to the city.
But when Savalis attacked him, Layfon had been forced to fight, as both knew of Layfon's power as a former Heaven's Blade (one of 12 of the strongest Miltary Artists, people who use Kei to fight beings known as either Contaminoids or Filth Monsters, from Glendan, Layfon's home city).
As Savalis himself was a Heaven's Blade, it was almost a given he'd try to test his powers out on Layfon.
It was almost indstinct for Heaven's Blades to want more power and skill.
But, as this lead to his own current position, Layfon, in spite of his typically kind and patient nature, somewhat felt like he was, for lack of a shorter term, screwed.
With his Dite (weapons used by Military Artists) destroyed in his fight with Nina, and with no alternative weapons at his disposal, the only thing he could do was-
"Internal Type Kei - Whirlwind!" Layfon flew out of Savalis' range of aim, as he had used a full on blast of crimson Kei at him.
"Why do you keep running? Aren't you going to fight Layfon?" Savalis spoke loud enough so he could hear.
He was just toying with him, and Layfon knew it as he landed back on the ground.
"Shouldn't you be using your power to fight the Elder Filth Monsters?!" Layfon yelled at him as he ran, a strategic way of running at a constant radius of his opponent that'd become reflex to him, trying to see the best timd to strike, even if it was only with his fists.
"Exactly why I have to finish you. Because I've got a hell of a lot of bigger bugs to fry." Savalis responded, and Layfon skidded to a stop as he used a Kei blast at him, right where he would've been had he kept running.
The attack left an array of boulders collapsing to the ground.
With his speed faltered greatly by the attack, Layfon couldn't move in time when Savalis launched another blast right at him.
Without much time to react, Layfon was left with no choice but to use a defensive move he'd learn from the Heaven's Blade, Reverse.
"Kongoukei!" He focused the move to his abdomen, and he barely conjured it before the attack hit home.
But as Layfon hadn't properly learned this type of attack, only observed and copied, he wasn't able to completely avert the attack.
His feet made dual trails as it dragged him back, Layfon standing his ground.
But next moment, his back was set on fire as pain racked into him.
He looked behind himself, realizing then that Savalis had used the Fleeting Shadow ability to clone himself.
His distraction made his makeshift shield dissipate, and Layfon found himself being hit on both sides.
He screamed in pain, caught completely in it.
When it ended, Layfon still stood on his feet, looking right at Savalis from across the barren field of a wasteland.
Savalis smirked at him, Layfon's body swaying before crumpling to the ground, body with wounds all over him, his all black military uniform in shreds.
He breathed deeply, but steadily.
His vision was becoming hazy...
"I guess that's the best you've got. Oh well, I guess it was fun while it lasted." Layfon heard Savalis speak, but only barely.
Layfon pumped his kei within himself, then pushed himself back up, his Kei the only thing keeping him up.
"I see you'd like to die on your feet. I'm fine with that. It's about time we finished this."
Savalis charged his Kei in his palm, then released it all in a single blast.
Layfon scowled, but sighed then, knowing he couldn't beat him even if he tried.
Savalis was just too powerful.
Because of that, he opened his eyes, saying a silent goodbye to all of his friends, narrowing his blue eyes as he braced himself for death-
A golden light slashed through the air, blinding Layfon just when the Kei blast should've killed him.
He stared in shock, then realized what the golden light was.
A sword with gold highlights all over it, with a very sturdy metal bound to it.
His Heaven's Blade Dite...!
He took the hilt of the blade, feeling it absorbing Savalis' Kei like a conductive metal to electricity.
Layfon twisted the blade down towards the ground at his side, then grunted as he pulled it back up with all his strength, slashing through the air and knocking Savalis' Kei right back at him.
The blast hit home, and Savalis was sent flying through the air.
But Layfon wasn't finished.
Internal Type Kei - Whirlwind!
A blue circle of wind came around him, and he blasted off at his enemy.
"Savalis!" He roared, his Heaven's Blade glowing with blue energy, as he neared the white haired man in the sky.
Savalis' eyes widened, right before Layfon charged his Kei, bringing his sword above his head, then slamming it down at his shoulder.
Savalis roared out in agony as the blade cut through his body, making him fall back to the ground, plummeting, crashing painfully on the ground.
Layfon fell with him, but landed on his feet, breathing heavily while using his Heaven's Blade as a support.
Then he froze at the ancient yet powerful voice that boomed behind him.
"My body has become dust, and has lost all purpose." He looked behind himself, seeing a golden goat floating in the air behind him.
The Fallen One.
"But now, the spirit of hatred drives me to wish to become the flame of change. I see in you the potential to the lord I seek. Come now, and grasp me, you who desires the flame." It sent out rippling waves of what Layfon thought was its Kei, and like the first time he met face to face with it (which still brought bad memories) the former Heaven's Blade weilder was literally frozen to the spot, unable to move.
"I... I don't want...!" Unlike last time however, he had no strength to stop the Fallen One from doing as it wished with him.
It flew right through his body, and Layfon lost the ability to breathe for a moment, falling to the ground and onto his knees as blue and golden orbs circled him in the air.
Then an explosion of Kei ripped through his body, making him arch his back as a beam of crimsom Kei emitted from his body and into the sky, his screams piercing a person's ear from miles away.
The orbs spun at an unbelievable pace in an endless orbit around him, and then they all entered his body at once.
Layfon's eyes widened as he felt this.
Then he screamed again as the aurora grew brighter out of nowhere.
And finally, it exploded, creating a light so bright that Layfon was unable to look.
But he wouldn't know what had happened until later.
For, the boy had been knocked out.
Jaune Arc walked, dark blue eyes reflecting his exhaustion as he walked beside the 15 year old girl, her black hair with claret highlights the thing his eyes were paying the most attention to, the lights of the stores and street lights keeping their surroundings alit as they walked.
"Thanks again for your help Jaune!" Ruby Rose spoke to him, silver eyes reflecting happiness as they walked back to Beacon, "But... are you sure you don't want me you with the bags?"
"Ah, no I'll be alright Ruby!" Jaune lied, faking a smile of content.
He'd accompanied her to the store, mainly to buy stuff for what Jaune thought was a party, though gravity was making the bags pull down on his skin, making the carrying process all but an ordeal for him.
But the problem was, Jaune didn't know who the "guest of honor" was going to be.
He wanted to ask, but he was scared to.
After all, for all he knew, it could probably even be Ruby herself.
And he didn't want to create an awkward situation with the first person he'd bonded with since coming to Beacon.
She was like the interchangeably younger and physically ironic older sibling to him depending on the situation and vice versa.
Jaune knew that he didn't want to do anything to make that bond be disrupted at all.
He really didn't think ANYONE would want that to happen to them.
"Hey Jaune... what do you think the guest of honor would like tomorrow?"
Jaune's eyes snapped up.
He wasn't sure what to say.
Who was this freaking "guest of honor"?!
"Hmmmm... Maybe you should ask her without her realizing what you're asking about." He said with a smile.
He'd decided to go with the assumption that the "guest of honor" was a female.
Most of her friends were females anyways, with him and Lie Ren as possibly the sole exceptions.
Ruby seemed to be taken aback by that answer, but she composed herself visibly.
"That's true. I should ask the "guest of honor" ASAP." Ruby said with a thoughtful expression.
"You go ahead and do that." Jaune smiled.
Good, it seemed like he was in the clear...
"I wonder how old the "guest of honor" will be turning tomorrow. Do you know Jaune?" Ruby asked, silver eyes questioning.
"Hm? How old - ah! - I mean right! I wonder how old she'll be turning!" Jaune quickly and abruptly stopped himself from blowing what he believed was his cover.
He couldn't ruin himself now - he'd already put himself too deep!
He mentally cursed, though he kept smiling physically.
It was obviously someone's birthday tomorrow.
But Jaune didn't think anyone's birthday was even close!
He cursed again.
Think darn it, THINK...!
Ruby stared at Jaune, then asked him up front, "Really? I thought you of all people would know how old their turning."
"I know who the "guest of honor" is... do YOU know who the guest of honor is?"
He panicked at the sentence that she said next.
"I do. But could you tell me who it is just so I can be sure?" She smiled, lightly rubbing her hair sheepishly.
Okay, Jaune thought, his mind going into desperate overdrive to find the answer he sought out so badly. She just said I should more than anyone. So obviously someone I spend a lot of time with... my teammates? Yeah, them most likely. So Nora or Phyrra... well... Nora never really says anything about that kind of stuff... except with Ren maybe... but that's not important. Besides, she'd probably be bouncing off the walls in happiness the week that was happening...
Jaune gained an exasperated expression then, the very thought enough to give him a good deal of dread.
He was truly scared in that moment...
Agh-! He was getting off track!
So since Nora wasn't an option, that obviously only left...
Jaune's eyes lit up, determined that he'd finally gotten the answer.
It was Phyrra!
Now reassured with this realization, mentally screaming in delight to the heavens, Jaune smiled at Ruby, "I'm sure Phyrra will be turning 18."
As soon as those words escaped his lips, Jaune suddenly felt like slapping himself in the face.
Practically EVERYONE in Beacon Ruby knew was 17!
Heck, Ruby was the sole exception when it came to 17+ age group for the entire student body!
Jaune mentally sighed.
Think before you speak Jaune, he spoke to himself, think...
Ruby was staring at him, before she burst out laughing, so hard some people stared as they passed.
Jaune gained a strange look himself when he heard her.
It took a few moments for her to calm down, and even as she spoke, there was a hint of laughter in her voice, "Jaune, do you even know who's birthday it is tomorrow?"
"..." The boy sighed in defeat, "Ok, no... who's is it?"
"It's yours!" Ruby yelled in a loud voice.
Jaune became stiff as stone at that statement.
His own birthday... who'd have thought that he of all people, would forget his own BIRTHDAY...
Jaune sighed to himself.
"I guess those hours of training with Phyrra every night is taking more of a toll on me than I thought..." Jaune said aloud.
Ruby looked at him, "Oh really? Well, at least you're using your free time to get stronger. I bet you'll become a girl magnet in no time!" Ruby said supportively, giving him a thumbs up.
Jaune smiled, "Thanks Ruby. I'm glad I-"
What he was glad for, the world would never know.
A sudden earthquake shook the ground, and it was so violent that Jaune almost lost his balance.
But he steadied himself, looking with Ruby as they heard the sudden sounds of explosions filling the air.
"What the - ?!" Jaune screamed in surprise when he saw a monster who he assumed was a creature of Grimm (while being unlike any he'd ever encountered in the past).
It flew over their heads, a gust of powerful wind blowing in their and many other people's faces.
"What the heck?!" Ruby yelled, the shock of the Grimm's sudden appearance still setting in.
"We've gotta tell the others. I'll get everyone together."
"I'll try to hold it off!" Ruby responded, pulling her weapon out - a crimson scythe with a type of rifle mixed with it - and aiming the blade side towards the ground, blasting up into the air.
She landed on the top of a roof top, and using her speed, she was soon on the Grimm's tail.
Jaune also was about to follow her, but took out his scroll, writing his and Ruby's teammates, as well as Ozpin and Glynda Goodwitch.
'There's a Grimm in Vale Port! Get here ASAP!' Jaune's message read as he sent it.
The bags he'd been carrying were left abandoned as he began to run after Ruby.
But then several flashes of light streaked past his eyes, and before Jaune knew it, the roars of the Grimm pierced the night.
He looked, some misguided attacks leaving explosions filling the sky, most of the others flickering the Grimm's bug like body.
Behind him, he heard another roar coming from the docks.
As he turned to look behind himself, Jaune could clearly hear another roar emitting from that area again.
He scowled in indecision, but then, seeing that the first Grimm was already being well taken care of by the eleven flashes, chose the other route, as he had no problem believing Ruby was safe.
With that, he dashed towards the docks.
Layfon was woken by a feeling of weightlessness that didn't belong.
Or at least that was the start.
Soon, as he fell, wind whipped at his face, and he barely conjured the energy to open his eyes before he realized his position.
When the realization came to his mind, his eyes went wide.
But, purely by reflex, he reached for his Dite, "Restoration - 02 - ?!"
He looked at his Dite holster, then remembered the events that had recently transpired.
Remembering his Heaven's Blade, Layfon's eyes skimmed his surroundings, settling on the gracefully crafted blade that spun as it fell.
He used Kei Whirlwind to push himself towards it, and grasped it tightly, before spinning through the air, slashing the air and landing harshly on the ground, falling down on his knees in pain after making the land.
The former Heaven's Blade weilder groaned after a moment, then slowly rose back on his feet, breathing deeply as he looked back up at the sky.
His eyes grew wide as he saw the 3 regios, Zuellni, Myath, and Glendan, that fell above him, their immense size giving him no thoughts on how dangerous it was to be under them.
Before he could gain his bearings on the situation however, a roar pierced his ears and a powerful gust of wind rammed right into him, making him stumble back.
After the gust passed, Layfon looked behind himself and saw the Elder Contaminoid flying away.
His eyes went wide, but then looked between that direction and the 3 regios that were falling.
The regios were still very high in the sky, but with the speed that they were falling, they'd be due to causing massive damage to the numerous buildings around him.
He looked around himself, noticing the large mass of water that were near wooden structures he'd yet to ever see before.
He could try to find a way to push the regios into the docks.
Sure, most people might end up getting wet when they tried to leave (as the air was breathable out here) but he'd have difficulty doing that without his steel threads.
Layfon looked at Glendan, thinking that if his mentor in the use of steel threads were there, Lintence, then he could borrow his weapon for that purpose of depleting the damage done to the city.
But with the Contaminoid flying around, there was no telling how much damage it'd cause if not attended to as soon as possible.
He doubted that he could defeat it himself, but with his Heaven's Blade, he'd be sure to be of SOME effect.
At least until help arrived.
But he couldn't do both...!
"Damn..." He cursed under his breath.
In that moment, Layfon made his choice.
Choice 1: Fight Contaminoid
Choice 2: Save the Regios.