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Austin Argento is a first-year student at Beacon Academy. He's a quick-witted and fleet-footed swordsman, and second in command of Team AALE. Austin primarily wields the chain-dagger-and-katana combo, Jinsoku Ombra.

Appearance Edit

Physical Appearance Edit

Austin has a lean, lightly muscular body, and is fair skinned. He's got white-or-ash-blonde and relatively straight hair that reaches just barely eye length, though he usually wears it somewhat messy.

Outfit Edit

Austin wears a light grey medium-sleeved shirt with a nice leather tunic/shirt overtop, and casual slack style pants. Along with that he also wears vambraces, riding-boot style shoes, and a worn grey-brown cloak.

On occasion or when the need arises he wears reading glasses, though not very often and generally not usually in combat scenarios. He’s got a few pouches on his person for spare dust, throwing knives, and other supplies, and his vambraces are slotted to fit spare blades as well.

He bears his family’s crest, a stylized scorpion, engraved in his bracers and on the back of his cloak. He also has a more personalized emblem, which can be found on the arms of his glasses.   

Personality Edit

Generally upbeat and often quite mischievous. He’s often caring and friendly to those both friend and stranger, but might come across as a bit cocky or overconfident. An observant type, though can be impulsive, and is willing to get involved if it’s a cause important to himself, his friends, or family. He tries to keep situations relaxed, and allows himself to be a bit more silly around friends. He can be a bit of an instigator for trouble, though for the most part calm and difficult to make lose his cool. Enough danger to his loved ones though can bring out an angrier side of him he’s not fond of.

Despite his sometimes-impulsive nature, Austin is easily the most patient member of Team AALE, in comparison at least. While he’s known for being calm under pressure, there are certain things that can push him over the edge - though his anger is usually short lasted, demonstrated during the Hanamura Festival.

Being a thief for most of his life, he’s developed some almost impulsive habits; whether he needs to or not, he’ll often look for ways out of or around things, and opportunities to take things that don’t belong to him, a nervous habit of sorts nearly becoming a form of kleptomania. This trait has seemingly caused him to develop a bit of anxiety and restlessness. As a result of his background, particularly due to his family, he's become a bit more skeptical about people he doesn't know, though he makes an effort to be kind and generous towards all regardless.

Austin is also an entertainer. At his core, he seeks to impress people in whatever he's doing, to the point where he can come across as being a bit prideful or show-offish at times. This can lead to some negative situations from time to time, or even his downfall in less-serious fights because of his flashier moves. He also feels strongly about being told he can't accomplish something, and will go out of his way to prove he can.

Backstory Edit

Austin was born into the Argento clan, a gang of street thieves and petty criminals. From a young age he rejected their lifestyle, and as such gained a some mistrust and disfavor from the rest of the family, sans his brother Zephyr - the only direct relative he had aside from their grandfather. After years of progressive loathing and prompting from the rest of the family, Austin finally chose a life of independence and decided finally to leave them behind. However, upon being left to his own devices, he quickly learned the tragic irony life had in store for him - being a child, alone, in the seedy underbelly of Mistral, he’d have to use those skills he had tried to leave behind if he wanted to make it on his own; relying on, and to his dismay, eventually learning to love them.

On his own, he took to joining groups of travelers and the frequent caravans going to-and-fro between villages, across the wilderness of Mistral. During the treks, he’d look for unsuspecting victims and offer his assistance in any way he could to make a quick buck. At the same time, he'd attempt to get anything of value from them that he could, putting to use the tricks and skills taught to him by his family before. His life seemed to mellow out for a time, and though still young, he felt he had found a way to sufficiently take care of himself. 

Amidst one such journey however his opinion changed, when he had the misfortune of getting caught in the act. The caravan he was traveling alongside was well ready to leave him behind to fend for himself, a strict punishment, but one they found necessary to keep order. They were quickly put to ease however when the target of his crime, Astra Mulberry, came to his defense claiming that she’d told him that he could have what he took. When things died down she gave him a stern warning, understanding his position but encouraging him to look for a better way to get by. Her kindness drew him in, and upon reaching the village of Soyo, he followed Astra like a lost puppy in search of a bit more compassion from the elderly woman. By sheer luck or the grace of the gods, she welcomed him to stay with her in order to save him from the slippery path he was on - on the grounds that he work for her at her shop. 

It was in Soyo that Austin met Laurel Maia - now Lana Mulberry - the other adoptive child of Astra and his new sister. In time they bonded and formed a rather close relationship despite their differences, finding similarities in their lives, and the struggles they once faced before kindness smiled upon them. 

After old age brought upon Astra’s passing, Austin and Lana fared on their own (with help here and there from the other villagers) for some time before catching the attention of the Rangers that protected their village. The Rangers taught them valuable skills in order to better and take care of themselves, to be more resourceful, and most importantly, to fight. The kids picked up odd jobs here and there, and somewhere down the line with the support of their home behind them, they were even able to get into a nearby entry-level combat school. Eventually, they’d go on to be supported one last time in their decision to move to Beacon Academy in Vale, in the hopes that they’d one day return and take up the torch themselves as Rangers, protecting those that helped them make it to that point, and those on a similar journey.

After all, you know what they say - It takes a village.

Skills and Abilities Edit

As a student of Beacon Academy, Austin has had a number of years worth of combat training. He's trained primarily in knife and sword, for fighting both Grimm and people alike. Before attending Beacon, he attended Refuge Academy with Lana for their initial huntsmen training, and even before then the two were given some base training under the watch of the Rangers in Soyo. He possesses above-average speed even without the use of his semblance, and is fairly skilled in acrobatics, as well as having a good grasp on spacial-situational awareness and hand-eye coordination.

Upon returning after the fall of Beacon and spending more time with the Rangers, he's given a student to care for while they go through their basic Ranger training, allowing him to hone leadership qualities.

From a young age, Austin was exposed to rough living conditions living in Mistral. By way of his brother Zephyr, and some other members of the family, he learned to take care of his basic needs - whether or not it was by honest means would depend on who was teaching. There, he learned the basics of lying efficiently and stealing quickly, as well as how to navigate and maneuver in urban environments. His smaller stature as a child meant that he was fast and easy to hide, and as such, he was used primarily for smuggling and look-out purposes, leading eventually to pickpocketing. He continued to hone these skills after leaving the clan. Needless to say, Austin is a thief.

Weapon Skill Edit

A common weapon in the repertoire of the Argento Family is the knife or dagger. As such, early on in life Austin was taught to wield just such a weapon for self defense. He took up the skill quickly, having plenty of opportunity to practice with his brother, even learning to accurately throw knives at a young age. Eventually, he added chains into the mix as they were easily obtainable improvised tool in his environment, and unknowingly mimicking the emblematic style of his ancestor.

While training with the Rangers he was encouraged to pick up new weapon skills, and after attempting a variety of new things, he settled on swords with their similarity to what he already knew. This eventually led to the construction of his primary weapon, Jinsoku Ombra. He's trained most heavily in light bladed weapons, and is well off to improvise with others he's familiar with. Upon the story's start, Austin is a budding and proud swordsman inspired by stories of old, able to rely on his skills to overcome obstacles rather than brute force. As time goes on he, he comes to be more adaptable on his arsenal, occasionally making use of bows, handguns, and even long-range rifles (citation needed).

Austin has an affinity for using Wind and Lightning type Dust in combat, though is flexible with a variety. In chapter one, he's seen using Lightning Dust on his chains in order to electrocute a Griffon they had ensnared. He's also demonstrated a use of Fire and Ice in the previously ensuing fight, as well as for utility purposes. Austin has also on occasion shown the ability to utilize his aura in offensive technique, creating large slashes through the air to attack at range.

Given that there are no real defensive elements in his kit outside of sword mode, Austin is well versed in using his cloak and chains in order to block and parry strikes, and even will wear his chains around his body as a sort of makeshift armor.

Semblance Edit

Austin’s Semblance, which he calls Striding, allows for near-instant movement - a distance of up to three meters at the time of joining Beacon - akin to a flashstep or shunpo.[1] He's described the movement as being like a single step, and thus, a stride. The speed is such that to those unaware of his abilities, it may seem like teleportation. Given that it is a dash, however, the movement can be stopped or hindered by obstacles in his path. It uses relatively low amounts of aura to preform, but rapid overuse can cause nausea and/or disorientation, and appears to rely on having either something to push off of, or momentum already in action in order to activate. It would seem Austin can carry the weight of his gear and some added on top of that, though the upper limit to this has yet to be revealed.

Austin has demonstrated a good deal of precision with his movements, catching Andrew after being thrown by the Griffon in Chapter One, albeit not without difficulty stopping afterwards.

When using his semblance, Austin appears to quickly flicker from his departure and his destination.[2] As of yet, Austin hasn't demonstrated any effect on his semblance with Dust. An "evolved" version of this semblance has not yet been seen.

Fighting Style Edit

Opportunist: “Look for an opening; get in, get out — and abuse every mistake.”

In short, Austin tends to fit the roles of a duelist and a support-fighter, using his skills and tools to help distract and trap enemies away from the rest of his team.

Austin is a quick and nimble fighter, making use of his high speed and cunning mixed with an acrobatic style to quickly close gaps with his enemies, and strike before they have time to react. Lacking any form of firearm in his primary weapon set, Austin relies prominently on close range combat, though will use smaller throwing knives or will throw his daggers to compensate for longer ranged attacks. Alongside this, he regularly uses chains to increase his weapons' reach in dagger form, and uses of a variety of dust and aura based attacks to increase his reach and power.

While he may not be quite as strong as his teammates, he generally relies on his speed and skills versus raw power. While using his knives, he fights more like an assassin or "trickster"; clever use of his environment and semblance allowing him to dip into combat range when there's an opening, before absconding back to the edge of the fight. By using his chains to drag knives behind him, he's able to pull-off unique surprise attacks, using momentum to follow his movements through with trailing weapons or even set up snare-like traps or as set up for allies. This cements the primary theme of his fighting style — confusing the enemy, and abusing that confusion. In team settings, he has more freedom to create diversions to keep enemies busy for his allies, and lay traps or attack from enemies blind-spots when they're distracted.

With his weapon's sword mode, Austin fights more like a duelist, still punishing his enemy’s mistakes as best he can, while more likely to stay in the fight and press advantages than try to duck out. As a bonus, it becomes much easier for him to parry and riposte in this form, as well as perform certain techniques with the unique construction of his blade. Naturally, in sword form his fighting becomes much more one-on-one focused, save for a handful of techniques to deal with multiple angles of attack; for example, using Ice and Wind Dust to create walls or harsh gales to keep opponents at bay, or to set up for further attack. With a combination of a good understanding and use of dust coupled with a head-on aggressive approach to fighting in this form, it makes him a much more serious competitor while still being able to act as support.

Flaws and Weaknesses Edit

Austin tries his best to think things through to the best of his abilities, but he's focus is easily shifted. If his attention is occupied by something other than his own movements, he may fall into a series of patterns that can become predictable given time and observation. His semblance in particular is weak to other abilities, namely sensory-type, that can do things like track and predict movement, or things that may slow down the user's perception of time or offer some form of clairvoyance.

While his flashier techniques may be useful when applied properly, much of their value comes from the surprise, so should he become dependent on them or the fight drawn out too long, it may put him in difficult a position. Ultimately, despite his planning, the nature of his fighting style and his character results in a bit of improvisation and on-the-fly thinking on his part.

While he does posses a powerful gap closing ability in the form of Striding, he lacks range with his standard weapons outside of some specialized attacks, leaving him at a severe disadvantage against some opponents with both range and high mobility. Along with such, despite his endurance, he's fairly fragile when taking hits head on.

Trivia Edit

  • Austin alludes primarily to Susanō, Japanese god of storms, as well as partially reflecting the Anemoni Auster and Notus.
    • His direct influence is Susanō, the Japanese god of storms and the sea, who angered his family, was banished from his home, killed a giant monster of a snake-dragon, and found a legendary sword that controlled the wind.[3]
      • Early on, Austin claims Jinsoku Ombra, and some elements of his life, were inspired by the story of Otama Asuyo - a tale based on the story of Susanō and his fight with the Yamata-no-Orochi.
    • Secondarily, Notus is the Greek and name for the god of the South Wind, thought to bring storms and destroy crops, a parallel to a portion of Susanō's myth. Similarly, Auster is the Roman counterpart of Notus, the god of the south wind, and more accurately, the embodiment of the Sirocco wind. His brother, Zephyr, shares a similar allusion a la the Greek north wind, Zephyrus. 
      • Sirocco is the name of Austin’s weapon in the story's fifth chapter, The Great and Terrible King.
  • Austin’s name can be broken into two halves, AU and Tin, AU being the chemical symbol for gold, and Tin being a silverish metal, both playing into his color scheme. Argento is Italian for Silver.
  • The silver aspect of his character play thematically on how he tends to end up second, or in “second place” in life. He’s the second brother, the second in command for his team, the second child Astra took in, etc.
  • Austin has a lot of inspiration drawn from mostly Japanese elements; the region he’s from, fighting styles and weapon, and his family structure being on the forefront of that idea. Even his family backstory plays lightly on the "Ronin" and "Outlaw Hero" archetypes common to many traditional Japanese stories.
  • His semblance references a common trope in older samurai movies and media; the idea of finishing off enemies in one quick movement and moving as though in a blink of an eye. Similarly, pieces of his fighting style pull heavily from anime/game thematics and ideas.

References Edit

  1. http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_Step
  2. This appears visually similar to Emerald's use of her semblance to disguise movements
  3. Susanō exile and Yamata-no-Orochi myth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanoo-no-Mikoto#Myths
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