Chapter 1 – A New Chapter in Life
The sun was just beginning to set on the horizon, as Remnant’s broken moon began to light the twilight sky. The activity in Vale's magnificent capital was beginning to slow, though it wouldn’t be long until the night owls and less-than-reputable citizens came out to flood the city's numerous clubs. As it were, homes were lighting up as their occupants returned home from work, while others darkened, replaced by the lights of cars as they ferried towards the downtown.
Far from the action, a seventeen-year-old girl sat in front of a mirror, brushing her hair. The girl, one Juliette Asimi, took delicate care of the strawberry-blonde locks, before giving equal attention to the matching fox ears atop her head, being careful not to disturb the sensitive skin at their bases. After a while, she looked in the mirror and smiled, pleased with her work. Normally, Juliette wouldn't be one to care much about her appearance this late in the day, but her boyfriend of two years had sent a message to her scroll, asking her to come over. She left her house, telling her parents where she was going before stepping out.
She didn't have to travel far, as her destination was only three blocks away. When she reached the sizable apartment building the Fox Faunus made her way to the door, beelined for the elevator, and pressed the button for the fourth and final floor. Needless to say she was well versed in the route to her boyfriend's home.
Upon reaching the top floor, Juliette stepped out of the elevator and made her way to apartment 423. When she reached the door to the apartment, she knocked in the manner she had grown accustomed to: two quick knocks, a brief pause, and two more quick knocks. A few seconds later, a middle aged woman answered the door, a smile on her face.
“Good evening Juliette,” she greeted as she stepped forward to hug the teenager.
Juliette responded, "Hello to you too, Mrs. Caxton," while opening her arms and tightly returning the other woman's hug.
“Juli," the other woman started in a falsely reprimanding tone. "I’ve told you several times to call me Sabra.” She continued as she pulled away, still smiling.
“Sabra, whose there?” A male voice called from the living area of the large apartment.
“It’s Juliette, dear,” Sabra responded as she ushered Juliette in. The two women walked into the living area as Sabra's husband, William Caxton stood up from the couch to welcome their guest.
“Ah, hello Juli.” He said as he greeted Juliette like his wife had; with a warm hug. After the two of them separated, William continued, "So I assume you're here for George?"
“Nope." Juliette denied, "I just came here to enjoy the company of my two favorite people,” she joked, causing William to chuckle and Sabra to laugh.
“Well, you picked a perfect time to show up," Sabra said as she walked to the counter that separated the kitchen section of the apartment from the living area. She grabbed an opened envelope on the counter and handed it to Juliette. "The letter came today,”
The letter was unassuming and plain-looking, save for the symbol on the front. A symbol that a wide-eyed Juliette immediately recognized. A circle with two axes crossing each other in the center, and one laurel on the bottom of each of the axes’ hilts, made up the unmistakable symbol of Beacon Academy. ‘Beacon Academy!’
Juliette mentally screamed. Looking up from the envelope, she scanned the Caxtons' faces. "What did it say?" She questioned excitedly.
William shrugged, “We don’t know. George read it, and then went to his room. That’s probably when he called you,” he told Juliette. Not needing to be told twice, Juliette excused herself and went for her boyfriend's room.
Upon opening the door, she stepped into his room and closed the door behind her. It was the same as usual: neat, tidy, and well-maintained, quite the far cry from the average teenage boy's room. On the far wall on the right side of his bed was his armor, hanging in its display case. And next to it, his spear, Dragon's Bane.
George was a Huntsman in training, as evidenced by said weapon and armor. He had actually graduated from the primary combat school Signal Academy earlier that year, ranking the top of his class in combat and second in academics. Ever since, he'd been waiting to receive the letter that had previously occupied the envelope back in the kitchen area.
Looking around his room and not seeing him anywhere, Juliette turned her gaze to the sliding glass door that lead out to the small patio connected to his room. She could see the top of his dark brown hair above the back of the lone chair that was out there. Juliette stepped forward and slid the door open.
“George?” She said in a soft voice. At the sound of her voice, George sprang from his seat and looked his girlfriend in the eyes. As he was just over six feet tall, and Juliette was a couple of inches under, he had to look down slightly to meet Juliette in the eyes. The first thing Juliette noticed: George's eyes were rimmed with red, clearly meaning he had been crying. Juliette was instantly worried; George had always been one of the strongest people she knew. Before she could voice her concerns, however, George took one step forward and wrapped his arms tightly around Juliette.
George bent his head down, and softly murmured, "Juli," into her fox ear.
“George?" She asked, her concern growing, "What’s wrong?”
“I made it.” He told her. A few seconds later, George let go of her and reached for his chair, grabbing a letter that had fallen from his lap when he got up. He handed it to Juliette, who, with widening amber eyes, went straight to work with reading the parchment.Mister George St. John,
I have the distinct privilege of congratulating you on graduating top of your class at Signal Academy.
In honor of your academic achievement, leadership, and battle skills, you are cordially invited to Beacon Academy this Autumn.
Beacon Academy is widely regarded as the leading educational facility for young Huntsmen and Huntresses across the grand region of Vale.
Welcome to next generation of Huntsmen and Huntresses, who, once armed with the greatest skill and in-depth knowledge, will protect our world.
I do hope to see you among the other remarkable candidates at this year's orientation.
Juliette’s heartbeat picked up to what felt like dangerously-high speeds as she finished the letter. Looking up from it, her eyes met his as a smile came to both of their faces. Juliette jumped back into George's arms as he opened them, squealing with excited laughter that matched George's own as he spun her around the room. She felt miniscule static shocks where he touched her - a common issue when George was overly excited or emotional - but ignored them, far too busy basking in the moment of pride.
“You made it!” Juliette shouted as her boyfriend sat back down in his chair, holding her in his lap. She realized then that his tears had not been ones of sadness, but of elated joy. "George, is this why you were crying?" She asked, though she already figured the answer. "I never doubted that you would be accepted. Were you not expecting it?”
George sighed happily and shook his head, “It’s not so much that I wasn’t expecting to be accepted, not meaning to sound like I’m bragging. It’s just… Well… You know how much this means to me. This is another major step forward in my goals.”
Juliette laid her head on his chest and smiled. “I know that your parents would be beyond proud of you right now George.”
George responded by rubbing one of her fox ears, just the way she liked. While she enjoyed this however, something crossed her mind.
Hoping that George wouldn't hear the worry in her voice, Juliette asked “So, how long do we have until you leave?” George sighed and tilted Juliette's head in a way that they made eye contact.
“Juli," he said softly, "I won’t be going far. Beacon is right here next to the capital.”
“Yes, but non-students and staff aren’t allowed to go to the grounds unless invited. And on top of that, it’s isolated from the city.” She said to him, her ears drooping slightly. “And on top of that, there might be other… girls there, girls that will-“ She didn’t finish the sentence as George interrupted her.
“Juliette, you know better than that. You’re training to become a doctor, so look inside that beautiful brain of yours and know that I would never be unfaithful to you. We’ve been together for two full years, the happiest years of my life. Why would I ever throw that away?”
“I’m..." She started, then hesitated. "I'm not sure."
George smiled slightly. “I swear on my honor, as often as I can, I will get ahold of you and talk until you can't stand my voice anymore. And whenever I am able to leave the grounds, I will let you know when and where I will be."
“This is another chapter in my life Juli. One that I am eagerly looking forward to. And even though I’ll be away from home, don’t worry. You will still have a significant role in that chapter, just like you will in every chapter after.” He emphasized his promise with a soft kiss to his love's forehead.
Juliette smiled happily as she felt his lips touch her. Her worries eased, she was content to simply lay under the twinkling stars with George. By now, the sun had completely set, and every jagged shard of the broken moon was visible.
“We are going to have to tell your aunt and uncle about this, of course.” She said.
“I know." He grinned, "I just wanted you to be the first to hear the news. And then after them, I’ll have to contact professor Branwen..." He trailed off, his mind filled with the thoughts of just how much the next few weeks would change his life.