Chapter 13, The Semblance of Qrow Brenwen
Qrow and Pyrrha stormed out of the Palace entrance passed the two guards. They came out into the courtyard, where Qrow came passed Pyrrha. She paused as she glanced up to him, curiously. Qrow came a few steps from her, before he paused. Placing his hands over hips as he paced paced and forth anxiously. He narrowed his head, groaning in frustration.
He knew something like this happen. He expected nothing less of King Larr. His pride and arrogance would never allow him to listen to reason. Even now, when his allies fall to the Grimm, he questions and refuses to help even after hearing the word of Queen Maria. Even though he himself knows that her versions were indeed the truth.
"That didn't go so well." She said.
Qrow then paused, glancing to Pyrrha. He nodded his head in agreement.
"No, no it didn't." he said.
Pyrrha glanced back in the direction of the castle. She didn't understand. Qrow said that she was the prodigy. But why didn't those people believe him?
"Qrow," She asked, turning back to him, curiously.
"Why didn't those people think I'm the prodigy?"
"The prodigy has never been a child before, kid." Qrow insisted.
"Oh..." Pyrrha said, remembering that to be true.
"The Realms all believe the Line of Knights died with Akara," Qrow claimed to her.
"The King and the council wouldn't have ever believed that she would chose a child to be her prodigy. Especially from the dead."
The question was what were they to do now?
They needed someone to train her in the ways of the knights. But now that the King refuses to release any of the other professors from active duty, they would be unable to teach her to fight. It was true that Rueben did major in the history of the knights. But he would be unable to teach her to fight. He may have been a powerful wizard in the past and was fluent with a sword. But he was far too old.
Qrow shook his head. No, that was out of the question. He couldn't afford to endanger her with his semblance the same way he did to them
Rueben came up from behind, passing by Pyrrha who glanced up at the professor.
"I told you to let me handle it!" Rueben exclaimed.
Qrow paused as he turned to him, sternly.
"That Bastard knows damn well Queen Maria's word speaks the truth," Qrow claimed to him.
"Even so, speaking out like you did," Rueben argued back.
"Questioning the King, what were you thinking?!"
"The King is a fool!" Qrow exclaimed to him.
Rueben felt himself twitched at what Qrow had said. Glancing back to the guards, he saw them sanding there at the doorway. Neither of them seeming to have unheard what Qrow had spoken of their king. The sight of which caused him to breath a sigh of relief.
"He's delusional," Qrow insisted as Rueben turned back to him.
"We bring him the Prodigy. But he chooses not to believe us even though he knows it's the truth. And instead he believes throwing kids into a war their unprepared for will solve the problem with the Grimm."
"I understand that," Rueben insisted to him.
"And I do not heed the kings decision. Believe me, I find his arrogance most troubling as you do. But we need causing a scene, speaking out in front of the council?!"
Qrow cocked his head, glancing away sternly.
"Knights like you do not understand what it means to be civil," Rueben said.
"There are other ways to solve matters then yelling or with the blade of your sword."
Qrow continued to face away, his eyes narrowed to the side as he frown. Even now his semblance continues to bring bad luck to them. He had no regrets at what he did back in the council chamber. Nor did he believe they had much of a chance of convincing King Larr or the council that this child was the prodigy.
Glancing back to Pyrrha, who looked back up at her, sullenly. Rueben was right. He was uncivil. He didn't even understand such a meaning. He was trying to make sure that Pyrrha is trained as the prodigy. Already he was getting in the way of that.
He then sighed before turning away as walked away.
"Where are you going?" Rueben asked.
Qrow paused for a moment, glancing his head back at them. Only to then turn away and continue walking. Rueben of which sighed and narrowed his head. Pyrrha attempted to follow him, only to then feel his hand grab her shoulder.
"No, leave him be," he said to her.
"He needs time."
Pyrrha looked back toward Qrow, frowning.
Qrow was sitting at the counter of a Bar somewhere near the palace. Leaning forward over the counter, Qrow leaned his head back as he took another drink from his shot glass. He then flipped the small glass and placing along the five others. He the narrowed his head as the whiskey had set in. Easing the feeling of guilt and remorse which he felt.
All the while, he pondered and questioned himself. Why was he even here? Why did Queen Maria with all her most trusted Knights, chose him to find the prodigy?
He pleaded with her that he was the wrong chose. She herself knew of his semblance and what happened back in Tydara. What happened to those kids that were under his wing. All because of his semblance.
He trained those kids. They looked up to him. Only for them to payed due to his misfortune.
And now Rueben thinks that he should be the one to train the prodigy. Has the old man lost his mind?
No, not again. He wouldn't allow Pyrrha to suffer the same way as those kids. Not with all the realms in the balance. And not after giving his word to Lukas. He said that he would protect her with his life. If he got involved with training her, he would be placing her in danger.
He couldn't do that to her. Nor to Lukas.
Qrow glanced up at the bartender as he walked passed.
"Hey waiter," He slurred, raising a shot glass.
The waiter turned to him, seeing how drunk he appeared.
"Don't you think you had enough?" He asked, curiously.
"Come on." Qrow egged on.
Qrow then glanced up at the screen above. He saw the news playing. The Anker seemed to be talking with an image of the burned ruins of a town which seemed to resemble Arthamore. Qrow squinted his eyes, curiously.
"Hey, turn it up." He said, glancing to the waiter.
He then glanced back up at the screen. The volume slowly began to go up as he started to hear what the Anchor was saying.
"Today, King Ozpin of the Kingdom of Beacon appeared before the public," The Anker announced as an image of Ozpin appeared next to him.
"In a Press conference regarding the rumored attack on the sanctuary of Arthamore, the king made a public announcement that all reports are as follows. The Grimm have invaded the core realms."
Several voices erupted throughout the Bar. The people behind them all stared up at the screen or at one another. Gasps of shock and awe, they all talked among one another at the news of the Grimm attack.
"As of now, it has been confirmed," The Anchor continued.
"The death toll of the attack are in the thousands. As Beacon soldiers recover the bodies of both civilian and Military personal. "One of the bodies recovered was identified as Former Knight of Beacon, Zak Ark,"
Qrow froze in complete shock as Zak then appeared over the screen.
"And at what the more disturbing news have recently been told. Eye witnesses from one of the survivors of the attack reveal a great tragedy for Beacon and the Kingdom's alliance."
It was then that the image of Zak changed to Lukas.
"General of the Beacon Army and former disciple of Akara, Lukas Nikos has been killed while defending Arthamore."
The shot glass he was holding dropped from his hand and shattered over the floor. Qrow stared up at the screen both in distraught and horror. Slowly, he sat back over his stool. He closed his eyes, narrowing his head. Lukas and Zak... were dead?
Lukas, one of the last disciples of Akara and a dear friend. The only one who ever had any faith in him, even when no one else would. Whom he had fought beside during the war. Who even entrusted the life of his own daughter to him.
Qrow clinched his fist.
"Damn it" He said to himself, slamming it down over to counter.
"God damn it!"
He bowed his head, mourning the loss of his two friends and fellow knights. Only to the realize...
She probably doesn't even know about what happened to her father. The question now was...
How was he going to tell her about her father?
Pyrrha pushed open the gates of the Academy as Professor Rueban walked in through the Courtyard. He glanced down to the young prodigy.
"Thank you, child." he said, nodding her.
Pyrrha smiled up at the elderly Headmaster, nodding her head back to him.
"Your welcome." she said.
She then glanced back in the direction of the street leading into the city. She stared worryingly, wandering where Qrow had gone. Was he alright? Why was he so upset?
"I hope Qrow is alright." She said, glancing back up at the Professor.
Rueben nodded his head in agreement.
"As do I," he insisted to her.
"Qrow has been burden. Even now it continued to haunt him and deter his decisions."
Pyrrha glanced up at Rueben, curiously as the Headmaster as he walked into the courtyard. She was curious. What did he mean by he was burdened?
Pyrrha followed after Rueben. She walked up next to him.
"What do you mean?" She asked, curiously.
Rueben glanced down to her.
"Has anyone ever told you what a semblance is?" Rueben asked, curiously.
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Oh yes," she insisted to him.
"My mother and father said it's a one's own power. It's a manifests from one's own innate."
"That's is correct," Rueben insisted to her.
"Everyone has their own personal unique semblance. A projection of one's Aura. And it can lead to all sorts of abilities."
Rueben frowned as he then turned forward.
"But Qrow's has been a great burden to him and those around him."
Rueben sat down over the bench which stood the tree of Kasadar. He stared forward at the tree, placing both hands over top of his cane. Above he saw the bright red leaves drifting in the wind. One of the leaves broke off from the twig above and drifted through the air before landing over the ground before Pyrrha. She paused, glancing down at the leaf.
"Do you know why this tree's leaves are red?" Rueben asked, curiously.
She then glanced to Rueben. She shook her head.
"No." she said.
"Because they bear the blood of Kasadar." The Professor proclaimed to her.
"A once great wizard in the early years or Lothadare, who fell to great tragedy."
Pyrrha glanced up at the bright red leaves of the tree above.
"What happened?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"He was forced to commit an atrocity against his own will," Rueben said.
"The King long ago was a cruel man, driven by his greed. He sought the land of a Faunas Village. He ordered Kasadar to conjure a spell to rid the Grimm from their village. When Kasadar refused, the king was forced to use such means of power over him."
"What did he do?" Pyrrha asked, glancing to Rueben.
"If Kasadar was to refuse, the king would have charged him and his family with treason," Rueben claimed to him.
"For the law had said a wizard was never to question the word of the king. And so, he was forced to cast a deadly spell upon the village."
He glanced up at the leaves above before he spoke of the spells name.
"The Red Death."
Pyrrha frowned, worryingly. She had never heard of such a spell. Yet the very name of the spell sounded so terrible.
"What is that?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"The Red death is a forbidden spell that brings death to all it is cast upon," Rueben claimed to the girl.
"It an illness that no medicine can cure. It turns ones blood to poison, and it is a slow suffering death."
Pyrrha widened her eyes in awe at the name, cupping her hands over her mouth. How could someone dare cast such spell? Especially upon the faunus?
"It was the man crimes that Lothadare have inflicted upon the Faunus," Rueben claimed to her
"And it is why the leaves of this tree remain red with blood. This tree was created by Kasadar's magic and after he casted the spell over the village, his magic became stained with the blood of the people he had slain."
Pyrrha gazed back up at the leaves above. She was both saddened and in distraught of such an act committed by the king and Kasadar. That all those leaves were of the blood of the faunas of which they had so cruelly sickened with such a spell.
"Kasadar was driven into madness," Rueben claimed to her.
"Unable to forget his horrible mistake nor forgive of what he had done. And that is why this tree remains. For it is a reminder of when's one's mistake deters ones path."
Pyrrha narrowed her eyes, frowning.
"And I'm afraid Qrow may be going down that path." Rueben claimed to her.
Pyrrha glanced up at the professor.
"Because of his semblance?" she asked, curiously
"Yes." Rueben answered.
Pyrrha was so confused. Mother and father had always said that semblances were a wonderful thing. For someone to have their own unique special ability. it was a surprise when she had discovered her ability back in Arthamore when she had saved that woman. But how could something so good cause so much pain?
"I don't understand," she said.
"I thought Semblances were a good thing."
"Not all semblances," Rueben insisted to her.
"And Qrow's was not just a burden on himself. But all those around him."
14 years before.
"Before the war with Salem, Qrow was a professor at the Academy of Ataria."
An Atarian student stood at the opposite side of a large boxed in arena. Wielding a double bladed light blue and white sword twirled it round. He then charged forward before he leaped in the air and raised his blade over his head. He then slashed it down. Only for his blade to be blocked by a familiar long sword form of the harbinger. Pressing forward, Qrow forced him back. The student tried desperately to push back, his feet sliding over the floor of the arena.
Qrow then pushed him back before swiping his sword several time. His student twirled his double bladed sword around, blocking his every attempt. All the while, he was being pushed back toward the red line. Drawing closer and closer to it with each blow Qrow made.
"And many of the students there had trained under his guidance. Two teams would become his prodigies."
The other students stood along the outside of the arena, observing them fighting. Some of them whispered to one another, betting how long the fight would be.
"How long do you think its gonna be?" A female student asked as she leaned over to the other.
He glanced down to his scroll as it opened.
"I'd give it about a minute." he said, smirking.
Turning their attention back to the fight, they saw Qrow swipe his sword around, causing the student to slid back till the heel of his foot came to the edge of the red line.
"Qrow trained them to become Knights of Ataria."
He glanced up at Qrow, who charged toward him. The Student grinned and leaped forward into the air. Qrow too then leaped into air at his student.
Qrow's student twirled around in mid air in an attempt to swipe from around. But just as his blade came around and was to strike down Qrow, he suddenly dodged mid air, shifting to the left as he spun around. His student glanced to him, seeing him pass him by before Qrow swung his sword around and struck him from behind.
His young prodigy was sent flying down like a star falling from the knight sky. He crashed down over the floor of the arena, landing flat over his stomach. The other students all flinched upon his impact over the arena floor. Qrow landed before the red line. He glanced up at his student, who laid motionless over the floor of the arena. His weapon laying several feet in front of him.
"But even then, his semblance continue to have presence over him. Bring misfortune to his prodigies."
Qrow rushed over to his student, the blade of his sword shortened before he sheathed it behind him. He came up next to him and kneeled down, placing his hands over his shoulders.
Qrow came up and "Hey, you alright?" he asked.
Slowly his student leaned off the floor, groaning from the impact. He nodded his head.
"Yeah..." he insisted, nodding his head.
"Yeah... I'm good..."
He must have hit him with more strength then what he had intended to. There was no mark or any sign blood. So he didn't hit him too hard. Though it looked to be enough for him to completely knock him down completely.
Qrow chuckled, patting him over his back.
"Come on," He said, taking his arm and threw it over his shoulders.
"Let's get you up."
He reach over, grabbing his weapon. Qrow then pulled his prodigy back onto his feet and helped him over to the stand. They came up to the other, where two of them came up and took him from Qrow.
"Take this as a lesson," Qrow said to them.
"Your enemy will be unpredictable and will use any opportunity given to them to strike. You all must be vigilant, even when you are faced with the Grimm."
Qrow staggered through the park, wasted by all the shots he had drank. The feeling he once had with the loss of his two fellow knights was lost. All but replaced with the soothing feeling of ease from the alcohol. He felt himself drifting side to side, uncontrollably. His vision burred. he could hardly tell where in the part.
He came out into the square and just as he was to tale a drink from his flask, he then paused. Glancing at the very center of the square, stood a large statue of Akara. The stone replica of the presumed last Knight of realms resembled that of a women of her mid age. She was both feminine and muscular with long hair that was once a dark ale brown and reached down her back. She wore strapless armor which covered from her breast all the way to the battle skirt and legging armor. Holding a long sword before her, gripping the handle with both hands. Her head narrowed down as if she was glancing down at him.
Qrow staggered up before the statue, stared back up at Akara.
"Well, if it isn't the Knight herself, Akara," he said, slurring his words.
"Quite the spot they picked for you. Right at the heart of Lothadare."
"If only you could see what it's become." he said.
Slowly the easing feeling all those drinks may had given him was then lost. In it's place, the remorse and guilt of the failure he tried desperately to escape.
"We sure could use you," He said.
Qrow then frowned and narrowed his head.
"The Kingdoms are becoming more and more divided by the day," Qrow continued.
"They refused to help us train her. We're continuing to fall to Salem and the Grimm. And now Lukas and Zak..."
He glanced back up at the statue, staring down over him. He paused at the mention of her two disciples, closing both eyes as he bowed his head in remorse. Slowly his hand holding his flask dropped to his side. Everything was falling apart. With the loss of the knights and now with the death of both Lukas and Zak, the realms were all losing hope. Kingdoms were now falling to the Grimm
And with Akara granting the realms with granting them with such a thing, they refuse to believe it to be so. And what was worse, Queen Maria choses him to find the prodigy. And now it may fall to him to train her. The question was why?
Out of all those who she knew would be a better choice, why must it be him to train her? Even after all that had happened?
"Why did she chose me?" He asked, glancing up at Akara's statue.
"I can't train your prodigy. I'll only be endangering her like I did them."
There was only silence to follow.
"I'm not the man you once knew," Qrow proclaimed to the statue.
"I never was."
"But why would Qrow bring them misfortune?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"It was never his intention," Rueben insisted to her.
"His semblance activates at any time and to anyone around him. Even when he doesn't intend to use it."
"But why?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
Rueben shook his head.
"There are many things in this world that even I do not know," Rueben insisted, glancing to her.
"Semblances are all unique depending on the host. There are even aspects of them that I never thought were possible.
Pyrrha narrowed her eyes as she thought. They always said that semblances differed depending on the individual. And yet they could also be unpredictable. Could that be the reason she posses polarity, the same semblance as that of her father?
"But even with his semblance, the students continued to follow him." Rueben continued.
"Even to the very end."
"What happened?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
Rueben glanced to her before it was that he spoke of that faithful day.