After the opening, the scene shows outside on the quad of Haven Academy. The battle between the White Fang and the Menagerie Faunus as well as the Mistral police force continues. One of the Mistral airships shines its searchlight on three White Fang soldiers.
Mistral Policeman: (Over P.A.) Cease fire, immediately!
The three try to run away, but they are stopped by a combined group of Menagerie Faunus and Mistral policemen led by Ilia Amitola. Eventually, two of the White Fang soldiers drop their weapons and hold their hands in the air to surrender when they are surrounded. The last White Fang soldier tries to fire his weapon, but it is whipped out of his hands by Lightning Lash and he is tackled and restrained to the ground by Ilia.
Female Rabbit Faunus: (smiling) Thank you.
Adam: (seething) I'm going to make you regret ever coming back...
Blake: More police are on their way, Adam. Huntsmen too.
Adam: (chuckling evilly) Still too afraid to face me on your own.
Blake: I'm here for Haven, not you.
Adam: Heh, you are still afraid, and you should be. I've made powerful friends while you've been away.
Sun: (off screen) Oh yeah?
Adam look to his left as Sun Wukong approaches him holding Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang in its staff form.
Adam: (pointing Wilt towards Sun) Tell me, does Blake make all of her classmates fight for her?
Sun: Nah, it's a volunteer gig. I'm just sayin', for someone who claims to have such great friends, there doesn't seem to be a lot of people here willing to fight for you.
Adam looks around, seeing his followers surrendering to the overwhelming numbers of forces Blake brought with her, only proving Sun's point right. A searchlight then shines down on him.
Blake: You can try and make me regret coming here, Adam, but honestly... I've got more important things to deal with.
Adam lets out a frustrated growl and swings his sword at Sun, but the monkey Faunus counters his attacks by swinging his shotgun nunchucks. Adam then blocks Blake's sword swings as she comes at him, followed up by Adam getting knocked away by Sun. Adam bolts, with Sun giving chase. Adam runs away into the bushes and trees while Sun continues to pursue him, but Blake calls out to him.
Blake: Sun, wait!
Sun: But he's getting away! We could take him!
Blake: (sheathing her katana) No, we can't. He wants to lure us away so he can pick us off. We need to protect the school and the people here. Besides... now he can see what it feels like to run away. (smiling) Thank you.
Sun: (smiling back) Eh, we all need help sometimes.
Sun's attention is then drawn to Haven's Great Hall where he and Blake see their old friends and allies fighting off their enemies.
Sun: I think there's a few people who could use yours.
Sun is about to run off to help finish the fight, but Blake stops him before he leaves.
Blake: Be careful.
Sun: (smiling) No promises.
Sun runs off as Blake smiles at his last remark, before she too runs to finish the fight. Back inside the Great Hall, Hazel Rainart launches fireballs from his fists with his fire-Dust enhanced arms at Weiss Schnee's summoned Queen Lancer. The Lancer dodges out of the way of the blasts. Meanwhile, the remaining members of Team JNPR fend themselves from Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai's shots.
Jaune: You guys okay?
Nora: I don't know how that big guy is still standing. He recharges his Aura faster than I've ever seen!
Qrow: (grunting in pain) He's sheer willpower.
Oscar takes cover behind a nearby column.
Ozpin: We just need to get him to his limit!
The Queen Lancer summon is then shown firing projectiles at Leonardo Lionheart, who defends himself with Stalwart. He then knocks the summon away with a flame torrent coming from his weapon. Hazel uses the opportunity to launch a combined fire and lightning attack which causes the Lancer summon to dissipate. Weiss stares in shock as her summon disappears. Suddenly, Blake jumps in and kicks Hazel to the ground before jumping next to Weiss and Ruby Rose.
Blake: Are you hurt?
Weiss: N- No! I just remembered you being more of the quiet one.
Hazel, Emerald, and Mercury slowly advance toward the three of them.
Blake: Not today.
Blake draws Gambol Shroud, while Ruby holds up Crescent Rose.
Weiss: Alright. (holding Myrtenaster defensively) Well, what's the plan, Ruby?
Ruby nods. Lionheart tries to launch an attack on her, but Ruby shoots at his shoulder. His Aura flickers before Lionheart runs out of the room through the doors behind him in fear.
Mercury: (watching Lionheart run away) You've gotta be kidding me...
Hazel lets out a fearsome roar, while Emerald and Mercury just watch him. Ruby calls out their team attack.
Blake and Weiss run forward, followed closely behind by their leader.
Raven: I warned you, Yang. I gave you every opportunity to walk away from Qrow and Oz. So you can believe me when I say this wasn't personal.
Yang: (glaring) You opened the vault.
Raven: Thanks to the chaos you and your friends caused upstairs. I knew you could handle it. You're my daughter after all.
Yang: Qrow and Oz told me how the Maiden powers are transferred. The girl you found... she would've had to have trusted you if you were in her final thoughts - cared about you a lot.
Raven: I'm sure they told you plenty, and you just sat and obeyed.
Yang: No, I'm starting to ask questions like you said. So tell me... what happened to the last Spring Maiden? Did she die in battle? Was it sickness?
Raven: What does it matter to you?
Yang: (eyes widening) I can already see the answer. It's all over your face. How could you?!
Raven: She was scared when we found her! Weak. No matter how much training I put her through, she never learned! She wasn't cut out for this world! And with those powers, she would've been hunted her entire life! What I did--
Yang: (quoting her mother) "Wasn't personal."
Raven: It was mercy!
Yang: Which is it, mom? Are you merciful, or are you a survivor? Did you let me walk into that trap because you knew I could handle it, or because it meant you could get what you wanted?!
Raven: It's not that simple. You don't know me, you don't know what I've been through, the choices I've had to make!
Yang: You're right. I don't know you. I only know the Raven dad told me about. She was troubled, and complicated, but she fought for what she believed in, whether it was her team or her tribe! Did you kill her too?
Raven eyes widen and looks away, before turning back to face her daughter again.
Raven: I've stared death in the face over and over again! (in her anger, her Maiden powers activate) And every time I've spat in that face and survived, because I'm strong enough to do what others won't!!
Yang: Oh, shut up!! You don't know the first thing about strength! You turn your back on people, you run away when things get too hard, you put others in harm's way instead of yourself!! (she balls her hand into a fist, shaking) You might be powerful, but that doesn't make you strong.
Raven: (enraged) Who do you think you are, lecturing me?! Standing there, shaking like a scared little girl?!
Yang: Yeah, I'm scared. But I'm still standing here! (begins approaching Raven) I'm not like you, I won't run, which is why you're going to give me the Relic.
Raven: And why would I--
Yang: Because you're afraid of Salem!!! And if you thought having Maiden powers put a target on your back, imagine what she'll do when she finds out you have a Relic. (Raven turns away, seething) She'll come after you with everything she has. (Raven's expression then turns solemn) Or she can come after me. (Raven's eyes widen when she hears her daughter say that, before turning back to her.) And I'll be standing there, waiting for her.
After a tense moment, Raven deactivates her Maiden powers.
Raven: (somber) You don't want to do this, Yang.
Yang: Nope. But I'm gonna do it anyway.
Yang walks forward, bumping her mother out of the way as she passes her. Raven looks down before turning to see her daughter approach the Relic chamber. A tear drips from Raven's eye.
Raven: I... (holding her arm as tears well up in her eyes) I'm sorry...
Tears well up in Yang's eyes as well.
Yang: Yeah... Me too.
Yang then hears the sound of one of Raven's portals as well as the sound of flapping wings from behind her. She looks behind her and sees a black feather fall gently to the ground. Yang then proceeds forward and enters the Relic chamber. She approaches the Relic of Knowledge - an ornate, gold and cyan lamp - as it rests on the stone pedestal. Yang grabs the Relic by its handle, and small, indistinct whispers can be heard when near it. Tears then stream from Yang's eyes, before she falls to her knees as she breaks down crying.
Back above ground, Lionheart bursts into his office and runs behind his desk, frantically opening drawers trying to look for something. Suddenly, he hears ominous clicking noises, and looks up to notice a Seer floating menacingly in front of his desk. A familiar voice comes from it.
Salem: And where might you be going?
Lionheart: (stammering) Uh, your grace! (nervously chuckling) I was just looking for something.
Salem: Leonardo, do you have something you wish to tell me?
Lionheart doesn't say anything for a bit, before telling Salem his response.
Lionheart: It was Cinder! She altered the plan! Huntsmen showed up here! Qrow! Several students, one with the Silver Eyes! The White Fang attack, it was stopped! (stammering) I don't know that they'll be able to recover the Relic... (beat) Your grace, I can still be of assistance!! If I leave now, I-- I can avoid the authorities and come find you, I'll do whatever it takes! (another beat) Your grace?
Out of options, Lionheart aims his weapon at the Seer, but it uses one of its tentacles to knock it off his wrist. Lionheart tries to run, but the Seer wraps one of its tentacles around Lionheart's ankle, causing him to trip and fall.
Lionheart: (begging pathetically) Please, ma'am! I'll do anything! I can still be useful!!
The Seer aims its sharp tentacles at Lionheart. He tries to crawl away, but more tentacles wrap around his body.
Lionheart: Please!! PLEEEAAASE!!!!
Despite his pleas, Lionheart is dragged towards the Seer offscreen. The sound of a stab can be heard.
Lionheart: (weakly) Please...
Lionheart's dying breath can be heard as another stab is heard as well.
In the Land of Darkness, Salem herself stares at the Seer in front of her on the table, leaning her head on her hand in disappointment.
Back at Haven, Oscar is seen defending an exhausted Qrow while Ruby and her friends hold off their opponents, who are all exhausted as well.
Ruby: That's enough! Just give up.
Mercury snarls and yells in frustration, slamming his fist into the ground.
Emerald: It's not over! Cinder will come back, she'll have the Relic, and she'll stop all of you! She won't let us down.
The platform leading to the vault is heard coming back up. Everyone stares as Yang comes back up with the Relic of Knowledge in her hand. Emerald looks in surprise as Cinder didn't come back up. All of Yang's friends look up to her and smile.
Hazel seethes while tears stream from Emerald's eyes. Yang smiles back down to her friends and shares a brief glance with Blake, who looks down for a bit before looking back up to her. Emerald falls to her knees and begins to sob. Mercury and Hazel slowly back away.
Mercury: Emerald, get up, we need to go.
Emerald shakes her head and remains stationary.
Emerald looks around as her breathing gets frantic. She holds her head and lets out a loud scream, activating her Semblance. Suddenly, the room turns dark as black smoke rises from the ground nearby. From it, a giant effigy of Salem, limbs bent and deformed, towers above everyone in the room. The giant Salem opens her eyes, and lets out an ear-piercing scream as it swoops down over everyone. The screen goes black for a moment. Afterwards, everything returns to normal, Ruby shakes in fear as she comes to terms with what she had just witnessed. Everyone in the room is still present, with the exception of Emerald, Mercury and Hazel, who have disappeared.
Blake: Wha-- what was that?
Ozpin: An illusion. But an accurate one. That... was Salem.
Outside, Hazel is seen running and carrying an unconscious Emerald over his shoulder, with Mercury following not too far behind him. Up in the tree branches, Adam watches his allies run, before he too leaves.
Kali: The police rounded up the remaining White Fang members. Haven is safe.
Ghira: Unfortunately, it appears that Adam escaped.
They all look down.
Ilia: It's okay. (walking into the building) He was the only one to escape tonight. Those in the White Fang that followed him? Won't support a leader that abandons his people. He won't have their help after this. He'll have no one at all. And the White Fang will be left divided.
Ghira: We've been fighting amongst ourselves for too long. Perhaps it's time for a new brotherhood. A new family for Faunus truly working towards a better world.
Kali: And they'll need a new leader.
Ghira nods in acknowledgement. Sun peeks behind Ghira and notices his old friends from Beacon, waving to them. He then wraps his tail around Blake to turn her around and have her see her old friends too. She slowly walks towards them nervously while Sun and her parents smile. Yang walks down the stairs and hands the Relic to her uncle.
Qrow: What happened?
Yang: I don't know exactly. When I got down there, Cinder was gone, and Vernal was dead.
Qrow: And Raven?
Qrow: Well, we're all glad you're still here, firecracker. (placing an assuring hand on her shoulder)
Suddenly, Ruby groans and falls to her knees. Weiss catches her.
Weiss: Are you okay?
Ruby: (sighing) I feel like I should be asking you guys.
They both look up to see Blake approaching them. Yang walks over and drops to her sister's side.
Ruby: So Blake, what're you doing here?
Blake: I... I was gonna ask you three the same thing.
Ruby, Weiss, and Yang, share glances with each other.
Ruby: That's... a looooong story.
Blake: Well... I'm not going anywhere.
Ruby: That's all that matters. (giggling) That we're all here together. Right?
Ruby looks to Yang as she says that. Blake briefly looks away with a sorrowful expression on her face. Yang looks up at her and smiles.
Blake looks back over to them and smiles. Weiss offers a hand out to her, and the cat Faunus eagerly joins in to Team RWBY's first group hug after a long time of being apart. The four girls embrace each other while their friends look on smiling. Qrow, still holding the Relic, then approaches a panting Oscar, who is kneeling on the ground.
Qrow: I don't know how, but we did it, Oz. You okay?
Oscar: I'm alright.
Oscar: He's resting. Too much energy fighting.
Qrow: Hey, don't strain yourself!
Oscar: No! He had... a message... (taking a few more pants) We must... get the lamp to... Atlas.
Oscar groans and falls, but Qrow catches him. He lays the exhausted farm boy on the ground and looks over as Team RWBY finishes their embrace. Qrow then stands back up, and looks to the Relic he holds in his hand. The lamp is seen glowing brightly as the indistinct whispers are heard again. Qrow sighs as the screen cuts to black and the credits roll.
After the credits, the scene shows the Xiao Long-Rose Family Home on Patch. Taiyang Xiao Long is seen tending to his garden. He then hears the sound of flapping bird feathers and notices a falling black feather. Taiyang sighs.