Merlyn Graves is evil. Or at least that's what he tells himself.
Looking at the statute of two hunters erected outside Beacon Academy, I can't help but be struck by the feelings of familiarity the male hunter's visage invoked. It was a handsome face full of optimism, strength and immense potential. With eyes full of hope and dreams, of a future without war or a time where the innocent would no longer have to live in fear of the monsters at their doorstep perhaps. Yes it was a familiar face. One that I had recently seen at my initiation, during my first weeks at Haven Academy. The eyes then were the same hope-filled orbs that adorned the statute before me today.
Well they were hope-filled. Before I rearranged those handsome features with a well-placed gauntlet. Good times.
Not to say that my opponent was weak. On the contrary, that hunter was one of the best fights I have ever had. A fearsome, blonde swordsman clad in battle-scarred gold and wielding a sword that was as large as his skill was deadly. Braced feet apart at the center of a vicious melee, the hunter downed foe after foe, his great sword more than a match for any opponent who dared to meet him in single combat. Which was why I engaged him with five opponents instead when it was my turn. I can never forget the hilarious look on his face when he was blindsided by my minions as he stepped forward to face me. And his expression as my fist became the last thing he saw? Priceless. Its like they say, the best fights are those which end overwhelmingly in your own favor.
"You must really like that statute huh?"
I was broken out of my reverie by a voice coming from somewhere around my right elbow. It took me awhile before I managed to locate the red-cloaked pixie that had seemingly materialized out of thin air.
"Sorry if I'm, you know, disturbing you or something. Its just that you had this really goofy grin on your face and I was curious so I came over to say hi."
Well that was embarrassing.
What followed was a minute of increasingly garbled rambling as the silver-eyed huntress's script fell apart when I, apparently, failed to respond accordingly. I didn't bother interrupting. After all I had yet to meet someone who was shorter than me, and it was a rare occasion that a fine lady would so willingly approach me on her own initiative. Well, she obviously doesn't know me very well. After some time in my dubious company, I'm sure she wouldn't be so friendly with anyone else ever again.
"Oh! I totally forgot introductions. Silly old me."
So saying, the huntress stuck out her hand. And at that moment I was sure that I had became diabetic as the sweetest smile I had ever seen blossomed across the huntress's face.
"I'm Ruby Rose."
In reply I released my semblance and began pulling in the shadows, wreathing my body and hand in darkness while at the same time plunging the surrounding temperature to create a creeping chill that enveloped the both of us and found its way into the marrow of our bones. I find this a fun way of both introducing myself and getting a reaction out of strangers. Courtesies and small-talk are boring. Besides, most of the time, such things serve as smokescreens obscuring a person's true intentions and I prefer to just cut straight to the heart of things. That is the best way to resolve conflicts, whether in relationships or open combat. It was therefore quite off-putting when Ruby merely kept smiling. She didn't even flinch. Instead, I caught an unfamiliar look in her eyes as I allowed the laughter to die off. Interesting.
Reaching out, I wrapped my hand firmly around hers. My interest was further piqued as the rough calluses of an experienced warrior scratched against my own.
"Merlyn Graves. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"Gravely so I'm afraid."
My lips twitched as I beheld the incredulous expression on Ruby's face, I had not expected Beacon Academy to have someone who could not be affected by my semblance. The only people I know of who could resist its effects are people who are, in their own ways, Death-seekers. People who actually want to die, and all of them had been my masters in the years before my first semester at Haven Academy. Pursuing death at such a tender age, the necromancers would have so much fun with this one.
We exchanged a few more pleasantries before Ruby turned and led me back towards the academy that had been built on the edge of a cliff. Looking at the school from the window of an airship, I had thought that this cultural exchange between Beacon and Haven Academy would be a waste of time. However, this silver-eyed warrior alone may make this entire trip worthwhile. Now if only I could just bring the death-seeker in her out to the surface...