Chapter 1: A Knight's Promise
General Lukas stood at attention on the bridge of the Phoenix. Staring out through the view port as he peered out over the ship. He observed the crew hard at work repairing the damage the ship had sustained in battle. And though the months of war were now behind them, he knew the time of peace would not last.
They had been battling the Grimm for months now and had pushed them back to the Realm's bridge. The Grimm had retreated once more to the Sea of Stars. Though many knights of the Realm were lost, it was nonetheless a victory. But it like King Ozpin.
No victory over the Grimm could convince him of peace. Not until Salem's Empire had been over thrown.
As of late, the Grimm attacks were getting worse. The alliance of the realm's Kingdoms have been in deep struggle. Salem has spread the Grimm's forces across the realms and the Sea of stars. The fifth realm had already fallen to them and the Grimm had captured their Queen. General Ironwood of the Kingdom of Atlas in talks of pulling his forces back to protect their realm.
The King ordered he return to his family in the mountains. Take the time to rest for whatever time they had.
He had not seen them in the months he had been away. His dearly beloved wife. Their beautiful young daughter. But the Oath he took to King Ozpin to defend the realms against Salem far exceeded his own desires.
LuKas looked back. He saw the Captain of the ship standing at attention behind him. He was a man of his mid thirties with brown hair, wearing a light grey uniform with the rank of Captain across his right breast.
"Captain," Lukas greeted, turning to face him.
"How are the repairs coming along?"
"They are proceeding ahead of schedule, General," The captain reported.
"The Phoenix should be back to full functionality after we arrive."
Lukas nodded his head.
"Excellent work, Captain," he said with anticipation.
"Carry on. We'll need her in good shape when we are called back to the war."
The Captain nodded his head. He turned and walked back, passing by another of Beacons Royal Guards. The knight came up to Lukas. He was a man no older then him, with light blonde hair, a small goatee over his chin and wearing silver armor over his long sleeved shirt and jeans.
"General Lukas." he said, nodding his head.
"Zak." Lukas greeted back.
Zak came up beside the General.
"You know, everyone's down below celebrating." Zak said, nodding back toward the lift behind them.
"It's as Ozpin said," Lukas insisted.
"This was no victory against Salem. It's merely borrowed time. There is no victory until her Empire has been overthrown."
"I think you've been around Ozpin too much." Zak said, padding his friend on the shoulder.
Zak looked out over the ship.
"I still can't believe we're finally going home," He said.
"Has it really been that long?"
"It's hard to say at this point." Lukas said.
Lukas narrowed his head. He could hardly recall a single memory of his own wife or daughter. The years they spent fighting the Grimm, they had been gone for so long. Even when they thought they had driven them off, the Grimm would return in greater force. Or they would be called by one of the other Realms. There were only few times such as this, when the realm could be given a time of peace, that they could see their families again.
But even then, the time spent with them was short as they would be called back by Ozpin. He wondered just how long would it be before the grim return to their realm.
"I mean, I still think about them." Zak said.
"There hasn't been a single moment where I haven't thought about my family. But with all the fighting and stuff, I can barely remember a time I was ever with them."
"I haven't thought of Amara or Pyrrha in so long." Lukas said, glancing to the side.
Zak turned to him.
"Hey, you remember when Jaune used to try and get me to teach him how to use a sword?" He brought up.
Lukas chuckled, remembering when Jaune
"I remember," Lukas said, chuckling.
"That kid has always been way over his head." Zak said, shaking his head.
"Sounds like his father." Lukas said, glancing to Zak, smirking.
Zak chuckled at his remark, dropping his arms as he gripped his sides.
"I also seem to remember," Lukas said, thinking back to those times.
"He and Pyrrha would always play in the old tower."
"Oh yeah," Zak said.
"The one outside the town. I believe we were the ones who showed them."
"Amara always used to worry about them going out there." Lukas said.
"What's there to worry about?" Zak asked, curiously.
"There hasn't been a Grimm sighting near Arthamore since the war started. It's the safest place in the realm."
There was a bright light beaming in the distance. The two men turned and saw the sun rising from behind the mountains.
"Lets hope it stays that way." Lukas said.
The sun rose from between the far mountain peaks, glistening through her bedroom window. Pyrrha was still sleeping soundly in her bed when the light then touched her face. She flinched before opening her eyes, glancing to the window. Pyrrha eyes gaped opened as she gasped.
Throwing aside the covers, Pyrrha jumped out of bed and went to the window. She pushed the shutters open and leaned out the window. Peering ahead to the sun which stood above the mountain peaks.
It was the first day since the news that Beacon had defeated the Grimm. Mother had said, at first sun rise between the mountains the next morning, it will be the day father would come home. Pyrrha was so excited. She couldn't wait to see him again.
Pyrrha looked back into her bedroom.
"Coming, mother!" She said.
She turned and closed the window.
"Mama!" Pyrrha called, padding down the stairs.
She came around the corner of the stairway, where she found her mother in the kitchen.
"Mama, today's the day!" she exclaimed.
Amara glanced to Pyrrha, smiling.
"I know, Pyrrha." She said, chuckling.
She then lifted up the pan and turned to the two plates on the counter. She turned the pan, scrapping the eggs onto the plate
"Now come, Your breakfast is getting cold."
Pyrrha came down the stairs and hurried over to the table. She pulled out one of the chairs and climbed up onto it. Amara came up behind her and placed her plate in front of her.
"I can't wait!" Pyrrha said, looking up at her mother.
She shuffled up to the table and started eating. Amara came around the table and sat across from her daughter.
"Settle down, Pyrrha," her mother chuckled.
"Your father doesn't get back until later today."
"Will he get to stay longer this time?" Pyrrha said.
"I'm not sure," Amara said.
"I hope so. It depends if King Ozpin may call on him again."
"But can't he let father stay a little longer?" Pyrrha asked.
Amara sighed and lowered her fork. Setting it next her plate. The passed few months had been hard on her daughter. Pyrrha had grown up without a father for most of her life. Yet those few times they were together, their very hearts cherished one another. A time long remembered was when they rode through the fields on horses. He taught her to use a sword. In hopes that she could follow in the footsteps of her parents and become knights of the Realm.
Though while the months were hard for Pyrrha, they had taken it's toll over Amara as well. Like her daughter, she missed the man she loved. The man whom she had attended the Academy of Beacon. The man whom she had fought by beside during the war. Since leaving the Royal Guard, she felt as if they were growing apart.
There was no other Amara loved then Lukas and was loyal wife to him. However since he becoming General of Beacons Army, he had become distance from them. But in the few times he came to visits, he seemed to be more preoccupied with the war and the Salem's forces. Though she understood it was not of his choosing. But she felt that his duty to protect the Realm was weighing over his shoulders.
"I know it's hard," She said.
"But you have to understand, your father's duty is important. Not just for Beacon but for all the realms. Do you know why?"
"To keep the Dark people away?" Pyrrha asked, curiously.
"Yes," she said.
"The Grimm are dangerous, Pyrrha. You remember all those stories your father told you?"
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Yes." She said.
"It's exactly like that," Amara insisted.
"They will hurt us if they are given the chance."
"Oh," Pyrrha said.
Amara reached out her hand and took hold of Pyrrha's. She glanced up at her mother, who peered down at her so reassuring.
"We just have to make what ever time we have with him." She said.
Pyrrha narrowed her head.
There was a sudden knock on the front door. Amara and Pyrrha looked back toward the front entrance. Amara got up and walked around the table. She opened the door and saw a boy no older then Pyrrha. He had spiky blond hair, wearing a small white t-shirt and pants.
"Jaune," She said.
"Hi, Mrs Nikos," He said.
"Can Pyrrha come and play?"
Amara looked back at Pyrrha, who came up behind her.
"Hey Jaune," she said.
"Hey, Pyrrha," Jaune said.
"Wanna go to the tower with me?"
Pyrrha looked up at her mother.
"Can I go, Mama?" she asked.
"Be back before lunch," she said.
Pyrrha gasped. She turned and raced passed her mother. She came bursting out the front door and followed Jaune. The two hopped off the porch and raced toward the open gate. Amara walked out onto the edge of the porch. She looked out to Jaune and Pyrrha as they came out of the gate and raced down the street.
Pyrrha and Jaune came into the alleyway at the near edge of town. They came up to the tall stone wall which stood taller then even the greatest beasts of Salem's dark magic. A tall wooden board stood leaning over a hole in the great stone barrier.
"Come on, Pyrrha." Jaune said as he came up to the wooden plank.
He tried lifting it but it was too heavy.
"Uh, a little help?" He said.
"Oh, sorry," Pyrrha said.
She came up to the other side of the wooden plank. Jaune grabbed the other side and the two hoisted it up, placing it to the side.
"Come on, Jaune, let's go!" Pyrrha said as she hoped down into the hole.
"Hey, wait up!" Jaune said.
Pyrrha climbed down the steep, narrow path into the tunnel. Jaune slid down behind him before losing his balance.
"Wow, wow, wow!"
Jaune suddenly fell forward and rolled down the path. Landing flat over his stomach. Pyrrha covering her mouth with her hands, chuckling.
"Are you okay, Jaune?" she asked.
Jaune groaned, shaking his head.
"It's okay." he said, getting up and shaking all the dirt from his blond hair.
Pyrrha turned to the long blackened abyss of the tunnel. At the far end, she could see the light peering through the opening.
"Come on," she said, grabbing Jaune's hand.
She then pulled him along into the tunnel.
Pyrrha came out through the hole on the other side of the looked up at the far hills, where a tall lookout tower stood. Jaune climbed up out of the hole behind her.
"Race you to the top!" Pyrrha declared.
She the turned and ran for the hills.
"H-hey, no fair!" Jaune said, climbing up out of the hole and ran after her.
Pyrrha and Jaune raced ahead through the tall grass, laughing. They came up the hill side to the entrance to the abandoned tower. Pyrrha looked back at Jaune, who staggered up the hill behind her, struggling to catch his breath.
"I won, I won!" Pyrrha cheered gleefully.
"Hey... no... fair..." He said.
"You only won... because... you go..got a... Head start."
Realizing he was right, Pyrrha narrowed her head, frowning. She didn't mean to start before he did.
"I'm sorry," Pyrrha said, glancing to the side.
Jaune took a deep breath as he stood up. He looked up at Pyrrha and frowning, seeing her looking sad. He glanced to the side, rubbing the back of his neck. He didn't mean to make her sad.
"It's okay," he said, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Sorry for being such a poor sport."
Pyrrha smiled. She knew he didn't mean it. He wasn't entire to blame really. She should have been more considerate about being fair.
"It's okay." She said.
She then looked back to the entrance of the tower.
"Come on, Jaune," she said.
She came up to the old wooden door and opened it. They came into the tower and inside there was a circling row of stone steps.
Pyrrha and Jaune lifted the hatch in the floor of the tower and climbed up into the room above. Where past knights of Beacon once stood, standing guard over all of Arthamore. Now it was Pyrrha and Jaune's secret hid out. Filled with the old blankets and pillows and the toys and books from home.
Since their fathers had took them out beyond the walls, Jaune and Pyrrha would often sneak out to go play in the tower. While they liked playing with the other kids in the square, they often felt trapped inside the walls. They had never left Arthamore before. Never have they seen the realm that was beyond the mountains.
Jaune came up to a small crate, where several of their toys. He reached in and pulled out a long a two wooden swords.
"Hey, Pyrrha," he said.
"Wanna play knights?"
Jaune leaped up over the great with a blanket tied around his next. He then drew his sword from his side and held it up.
"Beware Grimm!" he said.
"It is I, Jaune Ark, Knight of Beacon. You can face me if you dare!"
Pyrrha hoped out from the curtains, also wearing a cape, holding her sword erect at her side.
"I'm Pyrrha Nikos," she declared.
"And I challenge you!"
"Oh, yeah?" Jaune said.
He hoped down off the crate and swiped his sword at her. Pyrrha held up her sword and blocked his attack. Jaune swiped his sword from one side to another. But Pyrrha was quick to react, blocking each attack.
As their swords collided once more, they pressed them against on another before she preformed a mover her father had taught her. She slid her blade off of his before she narrowed down and swiping his legs, knocking him down.
"Hey!" Jaune said, rolling onto his back
"Gotcha, Jaune!" she laughed.
Jaune smiled, chuckling. Pyrrha reached down, offering her hand. Jaune took her hand as she pulled him back onto her feet. Pyrrha then turned and came up to a small curtain, hovering over a small nest of pillows. She unraveled the blanket from around her neck and sat down in small next of pillows under the curtain.
She took out an old book her father gave her long ago. It was all about the Knights of Opara and their quests and battles against the Grimm. Long before the war had ever began. It was Pyrrha's favorite book.
Jaune came up and sat down with her in the nest.
"Hey, is that...?" He said, pointing to the book she was holding.
Pyrrha glanced down at her book. She then looked up at Jaune and nodded.
"The knights of Opara," he said.
"Oh, man, I loved that book. Mom and Dad used to read it to us every night."
Pyrrha opened the book.
"Hey, you remember when Akara fought to Outburst in the great forest of the fourth Realm?"
Pyrrha nodded her head. She turned the page to picture of the Outburst. A Grimm that was said to be a large black org, covered in chains and great spines. Its hands and claws as sharp as a thousand swords.
"Dad said he fought two of them," Jaune insisted.
"And they were like, huge!"
Jaune leaned back and opened his arms wide.
Pyrrha smiled and chuckled.
"Oh, and remember the great winged serpent?" she said, glancing down at her book.
She turned several pages before coming to the fifth story in the book. When Akara and the knights embarked on a noble quest to the Seventh Realm. When they battled against the great winged Serpent of the Ancient Sea of Salava. Her mother used to read it to her every night before bed.
"Yeah, that was cool too." Jaune said, leaning back against the pillows.
He placed his hands over the back of his head, gazing up at the ceiling.
"Hey," He said.
"Do you think, when we're knights, we'll be able to go on a quest?"
Pyrrha glanced up at Jaune.
"A quest?" she asked.
"Yeah, it would be fun," Jaune insisted.
"Visiting other realms, fighting Grimm. Hey, maybe they will even write a book about our adventures."
"That would be lovely," Pyrrha said, peering down at her book.
She turned the page to a picture of Akara. The median knight standing over a beast of Grimm, the leader, exclaiming her sword into the air. Her fellow knights of Opara standing around her. The Archer. The Academic. The warrior. The Monk. The Engineer.
And the Mage.
Pyrrha was always so captivated by the stories of Akara. She and Jaune grew up hearing the tales of the great median who brought great peace to all the realms. She often inspired to be like her someday. To one day train at Beacon Academy like she had. And to one day, become a knight of the realm.
"Lets do it!" she said.
Jaune glanced to her.
"Huh?" He said.
"Lets go on a quest, together!" She said, closing her book.
"Really?" Jaune asked.
Pyrrha nodded her head.
"Yeah," She said.
Jaune leaned up.
"Yeah, lets do it." He said.
"Pyrrha and Jaune, Knights of Beacon. On a noble quest to save the Realms from the Grimm!"
"Jaune," she said.
"Yeah?" He said.
"Promise me, we'll do it together." she said.
Pyrrha reached out her pinkie finger.
Jaune smiled and reached out his pinkie and wrapped it around hers.
"Promise," He said.
The tower then began to rumble as they heard the hovering sound of an ships engine in the distance. The two turned and looked up, only to see a large beacon cruiser passing overhead. Pyrrha stood up. She ran up to the side of the tower overlooking Arthamore. She saw the ship moving toward the city.
"Father!" she said.
She then turned to Jaune.
"Juane, come on!" she said.