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Chapter 28: There is Always Hope


Sienna Khan was not having a good day. She never did have a day that was 'good' ever since succeeding Ghira Belladona as the leader of the White Fang, and turning it into a force to fight the oppressors. The once peaceful global protest organization became the radical terrorists infamous throughout the world. Humans and Faunas were getting the results of equality, but it was through fear instead of respect.

'What did respect give us anyway?' Sienna thought bitterly.

In the Faunas' perspective, the peaceful protests under Belladona's regime never gave the immediate results. Progress was so slow, the humans may as well be mocking them with their 'kindness' while at the same time they rocks during their public gatherings. Sienna made it a mission for Faunas equal rights to happen instantly no matter what the cost. So when Ghira stepped down, Sienna didn't hesitate into forming the group into an image the tiger Faunas seemed fit as a movement to get what her people deserved. It was supposed to be simple, but...

Sienna could only ask herself so many questions. Where did go all wrong!? When did the agenda change!? How did the White Fang, the hope for Faunas equality in the world, become so rotten!? At first, Sienna was in blind ignorance of the problem that was right in front of her, too distracted by the fact that actual results were coming through. She thought that since becoming the leader of the White Fang that the good days could finally begin.

She was so wrong. So very, horribly wrong, and she was blind to it for too long until several years ago. It took facing death itself donned in mechanized crimson armor the likes Sienna had never seen. When the Blood Dragon first emerged, she had been both enraged and terrified that a single person destroyed operations containing hundreds of members at once with pure destructive power. It made it worse that the person in question was a Faunas herself having a pair of red dragon-like wings peeking from the back of the armor. The White Fang were divided having the Blood Dragon join their cause or get rid of her, including Sienna herself for a time.

Her wishes however came true in the worst possible way when the Blood Dragon stormed right into the main HQ of the White Fang. Faunas that have become veterans were beaten and torn through like wet paper against the crimson monstrosity. Sienna didn't have enough time to get up from her throne before her guards, Faunas trained to be on par with veteran Hunters, were knocked out and she for the first time meeting the Blood Dragon.

She could never forget that memory. That intimidating armor of crimson and those emerald eyes glaring with such intensity it was otherworldly. Sienna wanted to move, to act, to fight this intruder that dared to bring down the hope of her people, but her body refused her own commands. Because her instincts knew that she could not fight the Blood Dragon as it was tantamount of a worm fighting a lion.

Sienna didn't say anything, but the Blood Dragon hardly spoke a word herself. The only thing that she did was stare at Sienna behind that helm for seconds that felt like painfully long hours before throwing down a Scroll. It had a video on play of White Fang agents holding a gun to civilians bound and tied. Something broke in Sienna as she watched operatives of White Fang she trusted with the cause hold weapons to children without remorse, and it didn't matter whether they were Faunas or not. Years of her own hardship from humanity's abuse forced down the bile that threatened to escape from her.

The tiger Faunas didn't notice the Blood Dragon turn her back to Sienna until she heard the metal of the armor sink into the stone as she walked. When Sienna picked her head up to try to say something, but only came out as gasps, and the Blood Dragon refused to meet her eyes. Only these words were spoken to her.

"You're a pathetic fool."

Why did those words haunt her, she still didn't know. But from that day on, the blindness to the 'good' days was a false dream. There were never any good days because her cause had started untold and horrific consequences for the world at large. Worse was Sienna finally saw what truly lay behind the eyes in most of her followers. No longer was it the drive to make things, but rather to make the oppressors pay. They did not care for equality, only to shed the blood of humanity however they wanted. This shocking realization over the following years left Sienna numbly humbled.

It was too late for Sienna to back out as the leader. If she stepped down, it would cause a power vacuum within the White Fang and most likely turn it into something far worse. At the same time, Sienna felt her own drive waning with the White Fang, and she wanted so much to simply quit.

For now, Sienna had a rare window of a break from her duties with the White Fang. Right now she was not the leader of the White Fang and not Sienna Khan the Faunas heroine/fanatic. She was just Sienna, a regular face, though above average in looks, walking down the streets in a town near Mistral. Sienna wasn't without caution having donned a grey cloak to hide her tiger features, burnt orange skin, and shadow her face that would immediately identify her as the White Fang leader. But all Sienna wanted to do was forget about the problems of the world for just a little bit.

'Gods, when did I want to be so... normal!?' Sienna thought.

Her somber mood was broken when her acute sense of smell was overridden by blissful sweetness. Her ears perked underneath her hood in response and she turned her head in the direction of the scent. Just beside her on the sidewalk was an ordinary flower shop with shelves outside showcasing roses, lilies, daisies, and tulips of all colors in ebony pots. With years spent in dreary hideouts of stone and torches, the sight of flowers so radiant in their natural way was a sight for sore eyes.

"Maybe a little look wouldn't be so bad." Sienna mused under her breath.

She walked to the green-painted door and entered into the shop. As the door swung open, it flicked the bell above her signalling to the shop that a new customer has arrived. Inside, there were even more flowers in number and varieties, and the more extravagant were planted within vases of clear tinted glass smooth to the touch. The smell in the shop was so heavenly, Sienna missed the fact she was the only one in here and the fact the shopkeeper had his eyes on her.

"Are you alright?" A male's voice reached Sienna's ears.

Honed instincts from years of infiltration and fighting made the Faunas twist on her heel and adrenaline rushed through her body prepared for combat. She dropped down into a low stance on reflex and her right hand was halfway behind her back beneath her cloak. It was only the constant reminder she was on a break that Sienna did not jump at the source of the voice instead of reaching for her concealed weapon. In other words, Sienna was too close into accidentally shooting a civilian for no other reason than her jumpy nerves.

That civilian being the apparent owner of the flower shop as the man was the only one here, and Sienna relaxed her stance to study the man. The first detail that caught her attention were the bright golden scales of all things that covered his forearms and peeked at his neckline, indicating his status as a rare reptilian Faunas yet they seem to radiate this odd sensation upon looking at them. He possibly had more over his body, but it was hidden in short-sleeved red shirt worn under a black gardener's 'apron'. They contrasted heavily with his very pale skin, but it had a certain glow to it that showed that the man was very much alive.

Looking up to meet his face, she was greeted with the soft, yet elegant facial features of a young man, his pale skin lacking any fault to it. His eyes were a soft blue holding a strong gaze to them, but it did not bring any sort of fear from Sienna. His hair was a mess of pure white to match his skin and almost looked to be translucent. In all, his figure was lean, but there were signs of above average muscle tone. And speaking of facial features, the owner's expression was neutral as if not even shocked by Sienna's display of movement.

"You don't seem well." The man noted, leaning down behind the counter to grab a jug of water. "Do you need anything?"

"I-" The words caught in his throat at the unusually empty tone in his voice. "Forgive me, I'm just... a bit lost?"

By the tone of her voice, her statement came out more as a question, but the other Faunas did not even raise an eyebrow. The pale man did not give another glance as he walked throughout the shop and began watering the flowers to keep their vibrant life intact. Sienna wanted to speak, but found the ability to do so to be utterly lost. However, the owner was a step ahead of her.

"Lost, you say?" The Faunas said. "Yet, you are here in this shop. So you don't seem to be lost."

Those words in any sort of tone would have seemed threatening. But the man before the leader of the White Fang spoke with such indifference to the point of being cold that his words were instead confusing Sienna. She took a few deep breaths to center herself and decided to answer.

"I haven't, well, indulged myself in a while as you say." Sienna answered. "With what I do, I have hardly even smell flowers anymore. Always cooped up in work, and this is one of the rare times I have a break."

"Your work must be taxing." The pale man said, still not turning to face Sienna as he went to water a few pots filled with white tulips. "The weight of it all pushing down on your shoulders. So much it is crushing you in spirit."

Those words confused Sienna even further as this now seemingly odd Faunas. However, they also had the effect of stroking a chord of her heart that spread a wave of sudden apprehension. It was almost as if the man spoke from a view of clairvoyance.

(A/N: *Cough* Discernment of the Poor *cough*)

The tiger Faunas brushed it aside and kept a stern expression. She deviated away from the conversation and looked at the admittedly beautiful arrangement of flowers, making a dazzling appearance of green spotted in colors so bright like Dust crystals. Sienna tried to admire them and the efficiency of the Faunas' job, but her mind refused to do so. Instead, her thoughts went back to the White Fang, the movement she spent almost half her life forging through blood, sweat, and too many tears. A cause that was turning into bloodbath of killers and avengers, and Sienna was putting her brain through a headache trying to figure out a way to save it.

"Disband the White Fang."

"Either you fix this mess you did or I will."

The words from the Blood Dragon automatically echoed through Sienna's head when she went down that train of thought. She almost growled in frustration at how fucked she was, and the White Fang in its entirety. Despite its fallen status, the White Fang is the only hope for the Faunas. That was the only reason that Sienna held, and she knew it was a weak reason anyway. Sienna just needed time to think, to find the perfect solution so everyone is happy and the White Fang can go on. It needs to-

"It won't work." The voice of owner cut through Sienna's thoughts. "It never will."

Blinking back to reality, Sienna realized the whole time she was staring at this one crimson rose and not anything else. She whipped her head around to face the man, only to find the Faunas directly in front of her. The difference in their height forced Sienna to lift her chin slightly to heatedly glare back at the flower shop owner's blue eyes. Her blood boiled in fury, ready to argue until it clicked in her head.

'He knows?!' Sienna thought in fear.

"Your cause, Sienna Khan," The man spoke, his voice reverberating throughout the small shop, "is too far gone. Too dark. Too rotten like the fields of grain that have been left unkempt that they wither before harvest. Your goal is just, but one heart cannot bring change if the rest are not willing to."

"How?" The words spilled out of Sienna's mouth. "How do you know all this!? Who are you?"

"Who am I?" The man said. "Just a man given a second chance in life, yet I have no regrets. I have seen the hearts of all of this world. I know how the darkness of the heart festers and grows... And how unyielding it is on both sides."

"But I can't just give up!" Sienna cried, uncaring if anyone heard. "I have to save it. I just have to. The White Fang is our people's only hope. Without it, there is no equality for the Faunas. The humans will treats us like dirt again, and I can't let that happen."

She didn't even know why she continued to even speak to the man instead of dashing out of the shop before local authorities would apprehend her. That is if she didn't try to silence the reptilian Faunas to prevent him from the calling them in the first place. But here she was, speaking her mind to a complete stranger. There was just this strange aura around the pale man that eased Sienna to say the truth.

"Do you understand why I can't give it up?" Sienna argued. "No matter how far it has fallen, I can't turn it all down. Too many people have risked their lives, or some lost, just to create this foundation. A hope for Faunas equality, even if it means making the humans fear us. There is no other way."

"And yet, I see how obvious the problem is." The man said in the faintest way that can be considered scolding. "You are desperate to see it, how persistent that same hope that has built your organization that still burns in your people. What makes you say that the destruction of the White Fang will take away the hope of the Faunas with it?"

Again, Sienna opened her mouth, but as soon as her mind fully processed the words her lips only uttered chocking gasps. It wasn't only the words he chose, but also how he spoke with them with a voice full of absolute clarity. She felt like a child being taught a lesson by a wise elder, and he never once showed any sort of expression to convey his own opinion on the matter. Minutes continued to pass between them, and Sienna still couldn't find in herself to reply to the pale, golden-scaled Faunas.

"If people had the hope to create the White Fang, in both of its forms," The man elaborated, keeping his gaze on Sienna, "then people can have the hope again to create something even greater. The process of change... it's all a cycle. Just like the seasons of the earth or the rise and fall of the sun. Give faith in people that change will happen because have already worked for it already. It is simply the nature of sentient beings to rarely, if ever, give up for a cause. And one where peace is made will forever bring out the hearts among the masses to join in to make it a reality."

In the middle of the reptilian Faunas' speech, Sienna found herself caught in his words. He spoke with a wisdom that he may as well be speaking with magic. She did not notice how her recent frown of despair slowly crawled up to a barely made smile.

"I find that trait quite beautiful with our race, both human and Faunas." The man went on a tangent, his lips twitching in a barely noticeable smile. "Think of all of us as the flowers here. We all express different colors and stems of origin. An individual by themselves can be beautiful in their own right, but together we create something that is infinitely extraordinary. We may fight from our differences, but those very same traits can allow us to compliment each other. To shine as great as the heavens dictated."

The man stopped almost too suddenly and blinked his soft blue eyes for a moment. His attention went back to Sienna with the same neutral expression, but the tiger Faunas a lighter tone to his stance. For some reason, she had the feeling of the light of the sun from the pale Faunas.

"That is the world you want, isn't it?" The man stated. "You don't have to put it all on your shoulders for as long as people have that hope, your dream is very possible."

"...Thank you." Sienna said in a barely heard whisper. "Your words were very... insightful, especially after all these years just letting everything I've committed my life to fade away into something dark."

"You tried your best." The reptilian Faunas assured Sienna. "Think of this as the setting of the sun. Look forward that a stronger, and better movement will come by the new dawn."

"I don't know if I'll bear it." Sienna murmured.

"Then at least have your hope burn bright still till next time." The man said.

A chuckle escaped Sienna's lips, but she didn't have the capacity or the paranoia to care. Too long has the tiger Faunas felt this free. She almost forgot how it felt to feel just a little bit normal, and she didn't feel as burdened when she entered the flower shop. All because of well-said words from a bizarre Faunas. Then Sienna felt bashful when she came to a realization the entire: she didn't the guy's name.

"Where are my manners?" Sienna said, extending out her right hand. "My name is Sienna Khan, but you already knew that. What's your name?"

The 'Faunas' lips twitched upward into a kind smile as he shook her hand. "Karna. Karna Surya."

"Karna." Sienna rolled the word along her tongue, committing it to memory. "How did you know I was with the White Fang anyway?"

"You could say I am very observant." Karna said. "Would that be all, Sienna?"

"Well, this is my only free time for a while." Sienna said. "So I guess I better do some flower shopping."

"Of course." Karna said professionally. "I am sure we can find a flower to your tastes."

"Please don't rush." Sienna said, smiling widely. "Take all the time you need."

'Because this has been the best company I've had in years.' Sienna thought in her excitement.

In the following weeks, Sienna would plan to crunch more time from her duties as a leader just to simply visit Karna to talk or buy some flowers. She had no idea that the moment she grew a liking to Karna that she entered a world that was beyond her. In another world where she never met the demigod son of Surya, Sienna would have been fated to die in a coup by Adam. But now, her destiny has been changed forever.

(Royal Palace, Kyoto)

The wait for dinner was... tense to say the least. 'Least' was being put very likely in this case. The air above the occupants in a dining room of artistic Japanese-style was dense with an underlining pressure. They all sat in a crouched position at a low table with Ruby's teammates sitting on one side with Kurama, Yasaka, Kushina, and Jeanne joining the dragons with the strongest kitsune Yokai sitting near the head of the table. Directly across the table from Kurama was Sirzechs, followed by his wife Grayfia, Sieg, JNPR, Naruto, and Kurahime.

The cause of all this tension mostly came from the most unlikely, and sort of expected, source. Sirzechs and Kurama were shamelessly glaring at each other like two children that simply didn't like each other. It would have looked childish if they weren't unconsciously leaking out their power, which caused the air to become heavy with their combined pressure. If one were to stand up, they would be instantly sat back down to escape the crushing pressure forced down upon them, and sitting at the table as they were was their only comfort. It was just close enough that everyone with the exception of Yasaka, Grayfia, Millicas, and Kunou had visible beads of sweat.

Speaking of Millicas and Kunou, the two were sitting side by side at the head of the table for everyone to see. Unlike most people, they had plastered smiles on their faces, with Kunou leaning close to the son of Sirzechs and Grayfia. For one Rose Dragon Empress, it was too close.

'Such incredible pressure.' Thought Jeanne, feeling the most uneasy due to her holy powers. 'This is the power of the Lucifer!? It feels like destruction itself.'

"Shitty bat." Kurama cursed.

"Furball." Sirzechs responded in kind.

Their respective glares intensified, and the pressure they created from their presence increased. If it weren't for the sealing wards of chakra Kurama and Yasaka placed, there would be cracks appearing on the ceiling akin to a spider's web. RWBY, JNPR, Jeanne, and Sieg tensed their posture ready to make a retreat if the situation became too hectic since the strongest devil and Yokai had zero skills in getting along in the same room. That was evident when Kurama made a subtle use of his chakra to channel it into a ball of water the size of Sirzechs head and drop it on the devil's head.

'Why is it worse that they act like fucking children!?' Weiss screamed in her head.

"Aww, did the bat get a little wet?" Kurama mocked.

In response, Sirzechs practically exploded with his magic, and the Power of Destruction was unleashed from his body that destroyed the water that soaked his shirt and hair. The amount of raw power the Super Devil was releasing, but it was in reality a drop in a sea of demonic might that was refined over an eon old. A dark red miasma of magic surrounded Sirzechs like a hellish fire, and his presence made Kunou whimper softly due to her race's sensitivity, and thus lean in closer to Millicas.

"You wanna go, fox shit!?" Sirzechs exclaimed, jumping off from his seated position and reaching across the table to claw at Kurama. "Let's go, right here, right now."

"Round two, bat shit!" Kurama snarled, potent chakra pulsing from his body as he went to meet with Sirzechs and fight on top of the table.

"Fight, fight, fight!" Cheered Nora, as expected.



If it weren't for the almost comical, quick action of their respective wives grabbing their husbands. Before the eyes of mostly normal beings of the supernatural world, they watched as two of their strongest were instantly brought low by their life partners just before they engaged into a potentially titanic clash. That, or a childish brawl on the floor of the dining room. Yet, these ultimate powers of their people were tamed by a simple, yet violent pinch.

"Gwyfwia, pwease wit hwurts." Sirzechs cried, his voice muddled as Grayfia pulled on the Crimson Lucifer's right cheek with a stoic face.

"Sirzechs darling, we are guests here." Grayfia admonished her husband. "You promised Millicas to be on your best behavior. You know how much he wanted to be here."

'Gods, she's another Glynda!' Jaune and Yang thought in panic.

"Hime, not the ear!" Kurama wailed, yanked back by Yasaka as the golden kitsune pulled on one of his sensitive fox ears. "It always hurts when you pull the ears! Why is it always the freaking ears!?"

"Ku-kun," Yasaka spoke with that sickly sweet smile, "this is Kunou's special day, and I will not have you ruin it with you and Sirzechs' childish feud with each other. So get over it!"

"He started it!" Both males protested to their wives.

"And we're finishing it!" Shouted Grayfia.

"So you will pipe down, sit down, and peacefully eat with us." Yasaka said. "Is that clear?"

There was no further protest from the strongest devil or the strongest Yokai. Sirzechs and Kurama sat back down hanging their heads in shame with a gloomy atmosphere over them.

"What do you have to say for yourselves?" Asked Yasaka.

"We're sorry." Kurama and Sirzechs spoke in a defeated manner.

"Good." Grayfia said with a small smile on her beautiful face.

During the whole scene, Ruby's pride were too in shock to make a comment until then. In their minds with the sheer power that they held, something as their wives pinching at them would be far less likely to calm them down. By logic, they had the right do anything they want because hardly anyone can stop them.

"...What did I just see?" Yang said, finally finding her voice as she glanced to Ruby for answers.

Ruby gave Yang a knowing smile. "People no different than us."

"But... how?" Weiss muttered.

"Doesn't matter if you have raw power to level the entire planet." Ruby said. "They are just somethings raw power will never compare. Like friends and family."

"Hello." A melodious, youthful feminine voice spoke from outside the room. "Dinner is finally ready."

The paper doors to the room slid open, revealing the owner of the voice to be a small girl standing at a height of 5'3". She had golden blonde hair reaching to her lower back and wearing a black dress with a grape-purple cowl. Red eyes and a sweet smile screamed cute and kindness, giving the impression that she was as sweet as cookies. In her hair was a black and red circlet with seven pointed stars.

While everyone took in her appearance casually, there were some that took the woman's appearance with surprise. None were as expressive as Ruby as her posture stiffened on sight of the woman. Suddenly, her pupils thinned to slits, her dragon features became more pronounced with the appearance of her golden horns and red scales, and she was releasing subtle waves of her draconic power. The two locked eyes with each other in a staring match, the friendly air almost gone.

"Um, sis, are you okay?" Yang asked concerned.

Ruby didn't know why she didn't sense the blonde woman's presence, but it was there was no mistaking it this close. The others didn't notice since they were still new to the life of the dragon, but Ruby had years to live with only her human soul untouched. She felt her dragon side snarling in open fury, and she fought against the notion to openly attack the blonde. They were natural enemies after all and throughout history of the supernatural. Every scent of the divine aura from the woman flared something within Ruby. Standing before Ruby was a god.

Well... that is awkward as it gets. Just as bad when you put a mongoose and a snake in the same room. A lot of people wanted to know what Karna was up to, so here you go. I really like Karna as he is one of my favorite characters in the Nasuverse, and he can be a really chill guy. There's something really wholesome about Karna working at a flower shop, and it oddly fits with his calm nature.

Here's a list of Ruby's peerage and their class of strength.

'King': Ruby Rose - Extreme Ultimate-class (High Satan-class to God-class with Balance Breaker) (Top 50 with Juggernaut Drive)

Queen (Mutated): Karna - Mid to High Satan-class

Rook (Mutated): Sieg - Mid to High Ultimate-class

Rook (Mutated): Jeanne - Mid to High Ultimate-class

Knight: None

Knight: None

Bishop: Weiss - High-class (Highly proficient Semblance and sword technique, combined with strengths of a dragon)

Bishop: None.

Pawn (Mutated): Yang - Extreme High-class (Divine Axe Rhitta Sacred Gear)

Pawn: Blake - Mid-class. (High-class in speed and agility.)

Pawn: Jaune - Low-class (... He's improving though.)

Pawn: Pyrrha - High-class (Well-rounded and adaptive combatant)

Pawn: Ren - Mid-class (Only lacks stamina)

Pawn: Nora - Extreme Mid-class (Plain maniac with a hammer)

Pawn: None.

Pawn: None.

So we have 2 Pawns, 1 Bishop, and both Knight spots empty. I know who I want for the Knights but who for Pawns?

Up next is Chapter 29.

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