91 Chapter 86

"You know, I feel like a divorced dad whose EX got the kids." I propped my head up with my arm, sitting at the table watching Artoria hold both the True Longinus and Gram.

Artoria seemed amused by that, flashing me a smile as she lightly swung both weapons. "This demonic sword doesn't like me." She gave it a few more swings.

Yeah, it wasn't exactly 'sapient' but it had its own intelligence. It was more like it was putting up with her as opposed to wanting her to wield it. Almost like it could recognize Excalibur and begrudgingly admitted its inferiority and just stayed quiet in her hands.

Honestly, it almost completely ignored the fact that she was a 'dragon' even though the sword vehemently hated dragons. My Ascalon has more powerful Anti-Dragon properties due to its nature as a Noble Phantasm, yet holding it did not bring about nearly the same feeling as this Gram did.

"But the Spear won't stop glowing." I pointed out.

She furrowed her brow as she stared intently at the Spear, setting the sword down next to her. "This Spear, it is not a Noble Phantasm but I feel uneasy with it in my hand." She ran a finger along the flat of the spear tip. "It feels like something is watching me intently, judging each of my actions. And other facets remind me of my own Lance."

"Really? It reminds you of that ridiculous thing?" I was surprised by her admission.

"You know of my lance?" She tilted her head.

"I do…I suppose I am one of the few alive that does, Zelretch being an obvious addition." I sat back in my seat. "The pillar that fastens the layers of reality to the world." I waved my hand flippantly.

"Not even my knights knew of it's true nature." She said quietly. "Merlin warned me very early on not to overuse its power, comparable to my sword it was, but it's nature made it incompatible for mortals to wield over time."

"Hmm….the spear, do you like it?" I shot her a smile.

She looked at me with a little surprise on her face. "Are you….asking me if I was interested in keeping it?"

"If you liked it, I wouldn't mind giving it to you."

A smile crept up on her face as she shook her head. "No, it's giving me an uneasy feeling. It would not reject me but I feel like I would lose something precious if it took it as my weapon." She sat it down next to Gram. "But…your intent is very much appreciated." She turned her head away, a small red tint on her cheeks. "Besides, it is your spoils of battle, I have already taken Caliburn, and I feel uneasy about that decision."

"Worried about your 'descendant'?" I asked.

"It is a strange feeling." She admitted. "I know I am not technically related to him, but I somehow feel responsible for his actions….as deplorable they were, yet he did them for a good reason." She took a seat at the table. "I am conflicted, what should I do?"

"Well, he seemed to realize he was in the wrong, that means he's isn't beyond saving." I pointed out.

"And you are not angry he had a hand in…." She didn't finish but I knew she was speaking about Kunou.

"I am furious." I replied, which wasn't a lie. I would not bat an eye if Yasaka 'dealt' with him. "But I'm not unreasonable. He didn't directly involve himself, and my heart isn't made of stone. I can recognize the reasoning for working with Cao Cao, I can't say what I would or wouldn't do for my sister, I don't have one….but I don't know what I would do to save someone I care about."

"I wish to have words with this 'Pendragon Family' at some later point." She stated, her expression hardening.

"I will happily go with you." I offered. "It seems like there are several more reasons to go back to the world now." I sighed. "I never intended to get attached there…."

Artoria got up from her seat, walking over to me before pushing herself in my lap. She looked up at me, rather bashfully.

"Hello." I couldn't help but laugh as I wrapped my arms around her.

She leaned back, meeting me eyes. "Is this uncomfortable?"

"No, I was just surprised." Someone is getting more confidant.

"Hmm." She hummed lightly, I could feel her head against my chest. "It's true, I also have things there that occupy my thoughts."

"Izzy?" I asked.

"Yes, I admit I do not have many people I can call friends, and I did enjoy my time spent with her. Rin was different....with Izanami it felt like I connected with someone on my own. " Artoria said quietly.

"You know, Zelretch probably wouldn't mind shuffling you back and forth when I'm away." I already told her that I would be heading out soon, and she was there when I spoke a little bit about the world I was going to.

"It would not be inconvenient for the Wizard Marshall?" She looked up at me again.

"Of course not, he already considered you part of the family, even without us dating."

"Oh." She looked rather happy at that comment. "I see….I suppose I should make preparations then." A small pep in her tone gave away at her excitement. Maybe she's been feeling a bit stifled staying in the Clock Tower for so long?

"I felt bad telling Izzy I wouldn't see her for a bit." I sighed. "I think it would do her good if someone popped in every now or then." I could tell that Artoria wasn't trying to be overly sexual when she sat on my lap like this, but her shifting her butt over my groin every now and then….

"Izanami is not the only one either." Artoria spoke. "Your bond with Kunou was rather sudden, but it was no less heartwarming to see you so taken with her."

"I can't help it, she adopted me." I chuckled.

"And Yasaka?" She asked.

"What about Yasaka?"

"I'm curious on your thoughts of her."

"She is a good mother; it must be hard to juggle that along with ruling over a large portion of Japan's Youkai."

"I meant as a woman."

"Oh...really?"

"I have seen the looks you've given her. I was merely curious if there would be another woman in your life or not."

I thought about it and I still wasn't quite sure myself. "No idea, I doubt I will ever abandon Kunou so something may happen in the future, but I'm not really on the look out for more women to add to my growing ….."

"Harem?" She finished for me, a slight twitch of amusement on her face.

"Someone is being bold today."

She looked up at me, her face a little flushed as she reached up and pulled my head down into a kiss. It wasn't very deep, but it was much more than a slight peck on the lips.

"Okay, what's going on with you?" I enjoyed the brief moment of intimacy, but she was definitely acting strange.

"I am perfectly fine." She turned away.

"Yeah, no." I poked her cheek. "As much as I enjoy this closeness, you are acting strange. Spill."

"It's nothing, just when…." Her face turned a much brighter red than before. "When we engaged in battle and I fought that….Hercules person, I felt some things."

"Well, I could only imagine what it was like to fight someone calling themselves Hercules after facing the real thi – "

"From you." She clarified.

"From me?" I looked at her in confusion until realization dawned on me.

I think there was some sort of sympathetic link when her Dragon's core roared to life and the Boosted Gear that was inside my soul.

Does that mean I basically blasted her with all my lust for those few moments?

"Whelp, time to go kill myself."

She tugged on my sleeve to grab my attention. "I was surprised, and perhaps a little unsure of how to process those feelings at the time…..but I am happy you feel that way about me." She said quietly. "Compared to someone like Yasaka I was worried that you didn't…" She trailed off but didn't finish.

Oh, that's why she was feeling emboldened.

Awkwardness aside, at least she is happy, I guess. On the flip side, if I felt things like that from someone I was attracted to, it would definitely give me a confidence boost.

I ran my hand down her arm until her fingers intertwined with me. I had to leave later, but I would just enjoy these few moments for now.

***

I flipped my hat, setting it neatly on my head, looking around the room. "I suppose this is goodbye again."

"Don't forget to bring back souvenirs." Rin barely gave me a look.

"Love you too Rin, and yes I'll be very careful, thank you for your kind words." I ignored her and turned to Artoria. "Take care of yourself, make sure Rin eats at least twice a day, also don't forget to change her dia—"

"Fuck you Schweinorg." Rin shout from the other side of the room. I smirked at her and her lips curled up as well. "Try not to be too much of a manwhore."

"A herculean task, but I shall try." Seems like her and Artoria had a chat. Well, I'm glad she isn't making any false assumptions on our relationship then.

"Be careful, you do not know what dangers are awaiting you." Artoria stepped forward towards me expectantly. "Do you have everything you require?"

"Foodstuffs, healing materials, alchemic ingredients, Onmyoji supplies." I wrapped my arms around her, pulling her in close. "I have more than enough. Besides, this world isn't supposed to be very dangerous, all things considered."

"Do not be overconfident." She lightly chided, she stood up on her tip toes and placed her lips against mine briefly.

"Yes ma'am." I shot her a smile, which she reciprocated.

"Usually, I'm the one having to make sure he's prepared." Zelretch stepped in. "It's good to have someone to keep his head on straight." He gave a gentle smile towards both me and Artoria. "Her words ring true, I only know some vague outlines of this world-line you are going to, having only glimpsed it in the past by mere chance."

"Yeah, I read the notes. There are humans there, so I should be able to wing it." Stood up straight as Artoria removed herself. "My acting skills are quite good. Anything you want me to grab while I'm out and about?"

"Oh, now that you mention it, I do have a small list with me." He waved his hand and a piece of paper flew right over to me, bundled up into many pages.

I looked it over and gave him glare. "You are the worst." I deadpanned.

He just cackled. "Do what you can." He waived me off. "Other mundane things as well, I wouldn't mind some soil samples from various places, perhaps some foliage as well. If they have any interesting foods or varieties, I wouldn't mind expanding the garden."

Hmm, I forgot he had his own garden. If I remembered correctly, he traded favors with the Blue to adjust the growth rate there, a mild adjustment to the temporal flow, basically a bounded field that accelerates time.

"Well, I have the coordinates already, but would you mind giving me a lift, old man?" I asked.

"Sure." He smiled, waiving his hand, allowing a new portal to open. "This should get you relatively close to civilization, though how accurate it is I don't know."

"Good enough for me." I gave one last look around the room. "Off I go." And I jumped in.

***

The split second between the two points had me merely blinking as I started falling through the air, smacking into tree branches before I hit the ground.

"Owwwww." I whined, face planting into the dirt.

[10/10 nice face plant]

Well, what do the other judges have to say?

I rolled over to stare at a young woman looking at me a few feet away. "Hello."

She blinked at me. "Are you okay?"

"Probably." I stood up, brushing myself off. "Did you see a hat anywhere?"

"I saw it fall over – " She disappeared in burst of rose petals. " – Here you go." She happily handed it back to me.

"Thanks." I brushed it off as well, putting it back on my head. Not the weirdest thing I've seen before. "You're pretty fast." I took another look. She was wearing a red cape with a hood, and her hair had some red highlights. Were those natural or not? Curious.

She seemed to beam at my praise. "It's my semblance." She said excitedly. "What about you, what was yours? I saw that bright light suddenly fill the sky you were like 'WOAH' and fell and then 'Smack' hit the ground." She started gesturing with her hands. "Was that your semblance?!"

"Sure, why not." The fuck is a semblance?

"That must mean you're a huntsman!" She practically squealed.

"What's a huntsman?" I asked in confusion. Some kind of hunter?

She tilted her head. "Someone who fights Grimm, duh." She looked at me weirdly. "How do you not know that?"

"Erm….I'm from very far away?"

"How far away? Like Mistral? But even mistral has Huntsman, maybe Atlas, but they're everywhere and there's no way you wouldn't know about them then. I guess you must be from Vacuo, I heard its all desert over there. Did you come from the desert; is it really as hot as people say? I heard that there are a lot of Grimm that hide under the sands and make it hard to travel."

"Further away." I said without really thinking about it, getting a better look at the broken moon in the sky.

She gasped. "ARE YOU AN ALIEN!?"

Wait, what? Why would she even reach that conclusion. I mean….it isn't technically wrong….just kind of a weird train of thought to randomly reach. "Sure, kid."

"OH MY GOSH!" She threw her hands up in excitement. "I can't wait to tell Yang, and dad! Uncle Qrow too!" Rose petals began to fall around her as she practically vibrated in the spot she was standing.

"Well, some directions to town wouldn't be remiss." She seems fun, probably no older than 15, maybe a little bit younger than that.

"Awesome! I can show you Patch, and you can meet Dad he's home right now."

I just shrugged. Wasn't like I was going to get a better offer anytime soon. Would give me an opportunity to get some actual information from her about this world.

"Oh, by the way, I'm Ruby -- Ruby Rose" She turned around waving at me. "Oh right, it's R-U-B-Y R-O-S-E" Enunciating her name like I couldn't understand her.

"Ruby, we've been speaking the same language this whole time." I deadpanned. "I'm Wilhelm Henry Schweinorg, it's a pleasure."

***

Here we are, RWBY is a go. Probably going to do another Interlude where Artoria goes and hangs out with Izzy, checks up on Arthur and all that. Since more and more characters are becoming 'permanent' parts of the story, interludes will probably start coming more frequently. I'll probably start labeling them in the title from the perspective of the person.

Anyways, if you want to read 5 chapters ahead or support me, visit my pat.reon.com/Astoryforone. Also, we have a discord -- https://discord.gg/N8bDxwwapb , come hang out, ask me questions or whatever.

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