"Anyway." Nora said, changing the topic. "I just remembered something! Our secret call we planned in advance!"
"Your secret call? I don't follow..."
"Yeah me either."
"Don't worry guys." Nora said with a mischievous grin. "I've got a secret signal that'll make someone come to US." Nora cupped her hands in front of her mouth like a megaphone. "Qrrrraawwww..." she cried out softly "Qrrrraaah..."
Wait, is Nora doing that stupid sloth call she told Ren about? She can't be serious. "Uh Nora, what are you doing?" Jaune asked
"SHHHH!" Nora hissed. "I'm using my secret call." she cupped her hands again. "Qrrrrrraaaaaaawwww."
I facepalmed shaking my head. "This is a waste of time."
A few minutes passed with Nora doing that call. Aside from a few birds, it was completely quiet causing Nora's head to droop. "Maybe the reception's not that strong in this forest..."
"Yeah...that's gotta be it..." I said giving her a small pat on the head trying to console her.
"Alright...let's go." Nora sighed.
We all turned around to continue when there was a rustle in the bushes behind us. I immediately fumbled with my spear, quickly pulling it out in front of me while Jaune and Nora got into battle positions. The rustling got slowly louder as we waited in suspense.
"AAAAAAAAAGH!" Jaune let out a scared cry and raised his sword to charge in when Nora quickly reached out her arm in his path.
"Wait!" At her urging, Jaune reluctantly stopped as the sound in the bushes got louder. Still holding our breath, out walked not a grimm, but a black haired teen with sharp violet eyes. Upon seeing us he lowered his weapons and his eyes flickered to Nora.
"Ren!" she happily yelled.
"Oh you gotta be kidding me!" How the hell did Ren find us?! Don't tell me he actually heard that ridiculous 'secret call' of theirs.
Nora bolted over to Ren with alarming speed, barely stopping in time and somehow managing not to crash into him. "Haha I knew it!" she yelled excitedly. "You heard my secret call!" Ren tilted his head and gave her a quizzical smile.
Now I know Ren has really good senses, but I don't think he heard us. It's more likely he heard the commotion with Yang and Ruby earlier and came to investigate. Nora however, ignored Ren's confused smile and yanked him over to meet us.
"Guys, meet our newest team member. Wait." she turned to him. "You don't have anyone else, right? Just you?" Ren smiled and gave a nod."YES! Our newest member."
"No complaints here." Ren is a skilled, perceptive student. With him around my chances of making it out of this exam alive are a lot better.
"Who is leading this group might I ask?" Ren said speaking up.
"Oh well...we actually don't have a leader..." Jaune said rubbing the back of his head. "We've kinda just been moving along trying to find the last of our teammates. Wait...how DO we choose a leader?"
"Doesn't matter." I said waving a hand dismissively. "Ozpin will figure that out. As long as we can work as a team and get the relic, we can all get out of this mess."
"Great. But uh...where ARE the relics?"
"That's...the part I'm not sure of..."
Ren pondered for a bit before running to the tallest tree. He jumped, kicking off of it to gain more height before sinking his bladed pistols into the bark. With one continuous movement, he pulled himself up and leaped off the pistols he embedded in the tree as a platform.
'Hot damn, when can I learn to move like that?'
With one final flip, he reached the near top of the tree and looked around for a moment before returning to us. "I can see an enormous clearing with many stone pillars not far from here. If we get there we should be able to obtain our relics."
"Alright Ren! You the man." I grinned and motioned for a high five.
Ren just stood there looking for at my hand for a moment before giving a small smile and walking off. Ah, I guess Ren's only buddy-buddy with Nora. Come to think of it, he didn't talk very much in the beginning of the series unless he thought it was necessary. Well, I guess that happens when your parents are killed in front of you and your only friend is an enormous chatterbox.
Nora put a hand on my shoulder. "Don't take it personally."
"I won't, I know Ren's just like that. He'll warm up later on."
Her brows raised. "Didn't you just meet him like 30 seconds ago?"
"I'm psychic." I said with a playful smirk.
Boy was THAT a bad idea. From then on she continued to pester me with countless questions about the future. I tried to ignore her, but that didn't work. Nora was already used to the silent treatment from Ren. So if anything, she took my silence as a reason to keep talking to me about the most ridiculous things. Good god woman, we're in a forest of deadly monsters. Surely you have more pressing matters than finding out what your future meal is going to be.
"C'mon Aero..." Nora persisted, not the least bit daunted by my ignoring her. "What color's my underwear?"
"Nora, if I'm right about your underwear you'll call me a pervert, and if I'm wrong you'll call me a fraud. I lose either way."
The orange-haired girl gasped. "You ARE psychic!"
"Hey look, there's the relic site!" Jaune said excitedly
"Oh thank god..."
An enormous stone ruin came into view, it looked like some sort of grand hall with over a dozen pedestals. This place had obviously seen better days, but looking at it, you could feel the history of this place, the wear, and tear of the ages. It wasn't the only ruins in the forest either, along the way there were several man-made objects in the forest which seemed to hint at an ancient civilization. Remarkably, each one of the pedestals still had its own pieces on them, not a single one of them was missing. It seems we were the first ones to arrive.
"Chess pieces." Ren said quietly.
"So then, we just pick whatever piece represents us or whatever?" We each walked forward taking our piece.
"Ooooh..." Nora stared at the rook with wide-eyed fascination before snatching it and dancing around with it on her head. "A castle! I am now your queen! Queen Nora!"
"What'd you pick Ren?" I asked turning to him. Ren opened his hand revealing a tall piece with a pointed top. "Nora the rook and Ren the bishop huh? Hmm. I think a rook suits Nora quite well." Rooks move in a straightforward manner, forward and back, left and right. It works for a simple girl like Nora.
"I picked this one." Jaune said holding up a pawn. "It's nice, it's simple...it's me."
"Jaune...have you ever played chess before?"
"Um, well...never mind it's not that important."
"Don't keep us in suspense." Nora joked, lightly elbowing my side. "What'd YOU pick?"
"This one." I said showing a slightly large piece with a crown. "It's supposed to represent the king."
"Well someone thinks awful highly of themselves." Jaune chuckled.
"The opposite actually. I consider the king to be the second most useless piece in the game. It's not very effective on its own, it constantly needs to be protected and if it's taken, everything falls apart."
"That bad?" Jaune asked with surprise. What's the worst piece in chess?"
"Well..." My gaze shifted downward to the pawn in Jaune's hands.
"Oh..." Jaune sighed as his head drooped. "I don't suppose it's too late to change my mind?"
"What?!" We all looked up in shock as a giant black crow-like grimm flew overhead. It didn't seem to notice our presence and kept on past us. Soon afterward, sounds of a desperate battle were heard right where the Nevermore had headed.
"Someone's in trouble! C'mon gang!" Nora led the charge, bringing us to a dense thicket of trees. Carefully peeking out, I saw Ruby, Blake, Yang, and Weiss huddle in a defensive circle with the Nevermore in front of them and an oversized black scorpion at their back.
"Wow." Yang said keeping her gauntlets raised and at the ready. "This situation looks pretty GRIMM huh?"
'Okay what's going on?! Why is everything so drastically different from how it was before?!'