“C’mon, I think I see something over there!” said Jaune Arc, new student at Beacon and partner of Pyrrha Nikos.
Said partner was strolling, almost insouciantly, just behind him. As Pyrrha followed her partner through the bush towards whatever he saw, she took a few moments to examine him. On the surface, it made no sense for an exemplar of Huntresses-in-training to go out of her way to partner with a boy like Jaune Arc.
He was clumsy, awkward, and just all around goofy. There wasn’t anything about him that could be taken even remotely seriously.
All the same, Pyrrha couldn’t help but be drawn to him.
On the surface, he was an awkward boy playing at being an adult. Just beneath said surface, though, she could feel something simmering. She could <em>feel</em> the raw potential he had, untapped for his entire life. His eyes, soft and naive, had a spark that whispered of determination and resolve. His bravado, though nearing arrogance, spoke of a man that did not fear the judgement of others.
Pyrrha stopped her train of thought to ponder on her word choice.
A man? No. He wasn’t a man. Not yet. But she could already tell he would be; and he would be a great one, indeed. Aura never lied.
An Aura was more than just a defensive ability. It was a physical manifestation of one’s soul. The stronger your soul, the more Aura you had. Jaune had a <em>lot</em> of Aura.
Though his ego was unprepared for the harsh dangers ahead, his heart could bear it and more.
If he could even make it to the harsh dangers ahead without breaking his neck, that is.
Pyrrha bent down to grip Jaune’s arm and help him off the ground. The young blond brushed the dirt off the front of his shirt and turned to Pyrrha, a sheepish smile on his face.
“Heh, thanks, Pyrrha,” he said sincerely.
The amazon merely smiled and rubbed his back, silently urging him to continue forward. Jaune took the sign and kept walking forward, seeming as though he hadn’t just tripped and made a fool of himself in front of her.
That was another thing about him, she thought. He never let the little things get to him, and he was always grateful to receive a helping hand. Most other boys would’ve refused her help on account of their masculine pride. Then they would proceed to spend the next several minutes red-faced and pondering what they could do to regain their image. Jaune was the opposite. He always bounced back, unperturbed by trivial embarrassments. It was a quality many women looked for in a man. At least, it was one she looked for.
Pyrrha carefully clamped down on that line of thought and tried to ignore the, suddenly loud, beating of her heart. Now wasn’t the time to get lost in fantasies.
In front of her, Jaune came to a halt and she stopped next to him, gazing upon the cave entrance.
It was quiet for a few moments before Jaune spoke, “Think this is it?”
There was a beat of silence before Pyrrha responded, “It could be…”
The sword-wielding boy seemed to brighten at her answer, “Great! I’ll make us a torch!”
As he set about gathering the materials for a torch, Pyrrha’s gaze turned to settle on him. She knew there was the possibility of this cave also not being what they were looking for, and might even be the cave for a monster of Grim. She knew he would want to search it anyway, however, and she knew she would follow him despite her reservations.
No one else might see the great man he would be someday, but she could; and she wanted to be beside him the whole way. Whether as a friend or something more…she would cross that bridge when she came to it.