- For the village of the same name, see Kuroyuri.
"Kuroyuri" is the fiftieth episode of RWBY and the tenth episode of Volume 4. It premiered for Rooster Teeth sponsors on January 21st, 2017 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on January 22nd, 2017. It was made public on January 28th, 2017.
Oscar Pine sets out from his aunt's farm, talking to Ozpin in his head about how it no longer feels crazy, and it scares him that it now feels like the right thing to do. He stops at a train station to buy a ticket to Mistral, but he doesn't have enough funds. Ozpin's voice advises him that he will have to figure out expenses on his own, and then immediately cautions him as they both feel someone approach. Hazel Rainart arrives and pounds on the machine to help Oscar get a ticket. He tells Oscar never to let a small obstacle obstruct his path. After Hazel departs, Oscar mentions feeling a reaction to his presence and asks who he is. Ozpin admits that Hazel is someone from his past who is not to be taken lightly.
Ren's past is revealed, showing him as a child talking with his mother and anticipating his father's return from hunting. While shopping for a gift to welcome his father home, Ren overhears three boys picking on a homeless Nora Valkyrie, who is a stranger to the town. When the boys notice him, Ren panics and would have run away if his father had not stopped him. Nora and the boys run off, and Li Ren tells his son that inaction can be the worst action to take.
Jaune and Ruby do not find medicine and return to where they left Qrow propped against a tree. The ominous cry of a Grimm in the distance causes them to react, though there is no current threat. Ruby feels the burden of having brought so many people into this situation but Jaune refuses to accept her apology, telling her that she gave all of them courage by doing what she is doing despite so much loss.
The Nuckelavee, a monstrously tall horse with a human torso growing out of its back, attacks the Kuroyuri of Ren's past. Young Ren is knocked unconscious when the roof crashes into his own home and his mother dies. He comes to while carried by his bleeding and running father. His father collapses when the ground shakes, and he forces Ren to carry on, giving Ren his knife. Ren does not leave his father's side until the Nuckelavee is upon them. He runs on, leaving his father to shoot arrows at the beast. Ren hides on a lower path near an aqueduct and sees Nora hiding under a building across the way. The Nuckelavee moves through the town, and Ren sobs as he realizes that his father is dead.
However, Ren gathers his courage and activates his Semblance, which causes a shimmer of Aura and desaturation of his appearance. A Nevermore descends to the roof of the building where Nora is hiding, and Ren rushes across to give her courage. She clutches him when the Nevermore gets closer, and he uses his Semblance, desaturating her as well. Both the Nevermore and Nuckelavee pay them no further heed. Ren picks up a fallen wooden hammer from the ground and gives it to Nora, telling her that they will keep each other safe.
In the present day, Ren and Nora happen upon a cave in the mountains after a Shion flag hits Ren in the face. Inside it are the scattered weapons from battles and dried-black blood, as well as the hoofprint of the Nuckelavee. Among the weapons, Ren finds one of his father's arrows. Through the other side of the cave, they can see movement in the trees below, heading away toward Kuroyuri. Ren and Nora clutch hands as the Nuckelavee roars.
The episode opens on a view of Oscar's aunt's farm at sunrise, then cuts to the interior of Oscar Pine's bedroom where he is staring at a packed, green backpack on his bed. He looks toward the window. His fingers tense for a moment. Cut to Oscar, now wearing the backpack, walking along a dirt road away from the farm. He stops and looks over his shoulder, then faces forward, adjusts the backpack and resumes walking. Cut to Oscar following a dirt road in a forest.
Ozpin: (voice only) I'm sorry.
Oscar: You know... the weirdest part is how it feels. Leaving home is crazy. Going to the city is crazy. Everything you've told me is completely crazy. But it doesn't feel crazy anymore. It feels like I'm doing the right thing.
Ozpin: Well... I suppose that's good.
Oscar: No. It's scary.
Oscar bows his head as he speaks, then lifts his head up and looks nervously at the sky as thunder crackles in the distance. He quickens his pace down the road.
Cut to a train station. It has begun storming, and Oscar hurries to the covered platform, holding his hands over his head. When he gets there, he walks up to a large machine with a screen on it, which reads:
Scan Lien to begin."
He rests a Lien card against a scanner. The screen displays an error message that reads:
Unable to complete request.
Insufficient Funds (Code: 726)"
Oscar: Stupid thing. I'm assuming whatever weird magic this is doesn't come with an infinite supply of money?
Ozpin: I'm afraid you'll have to solve this one on your own.
Oscar suddenly becomes more alert.
Ozpin: (hushed tone) Be on your guard.
Oscar: What do you mean?
The view slowly pans to the left, moving out from beside the machine. Soon, Hazel Rainart, who is walking toward Oscar, becomes visible.
Oscar turns his attention to Hazel, who continues to approach him. Hazel stops near the machine and raises up his fist. In response, Oscar flinches away and widens his eyes, uttering a small noise. Hazel then slams his fist down on the machine, which beeps and makes the sound of dispensing paper, while Oscar straightens up and stares. As Hazel moves his fist, the machine spits out a small ticket. While Hazel walks away, Oscar picks the ticket up and then looks at him. Hazel then stops and looks back at him.
Hazel: Don't let such a small obstacle block your path.
He resumes on his way, while Oscar watches.
Oscar: That man. I felt... Who is he?
A train horn is heard in the distance.
Ozpin: Someone from my past. Someone who should not be taken lightly.
Cut to the other side of the train tracks as the silver-gray train arrives. Its engine has glowing cyan markings, each in the form of two parallel lines with a series of evenly-spaced diagonal lines connecting them.
A cracked signed bearing the name Kuroyuri rests against ruins. An upwards pan and several cuts show the dilapidated village. Ruby Rose and Jaune Arc walk down the road, carrying Qrow Branwen on a stretcher. They pause and look unhappily around.
Jaune: Oh, man.
Ruby: Come on.
They continue forward.
Ruby: Any of these places look like a pharmacy?
Jaune: It's... honestly hard to tell.
Among the ruins is an abandoned bicycle.
Ruby: Ren really didn't want to come here, did he?
Jaune:Uh... didn't seem so.
Ruby: Do you know... why?
Jaune: (sighs) I think I have a pretty good idea...
The two continue on and the image pans away from them to show a withered waterlily on the ground atop a miniscule puddle.
A pretty waterlily in full bloom floats on an aqueduct in the town center of Kuroyuri. Ren, as a child, looks eagerly at it with a smile.
An Ren: (laughing lightly) Why, hello, little Lie. Are we trying to catch a fish?
Ren: I've found a flower on the water!
An: Oh, I see!
Ren rushes over to his mother.
Ren: Can we take it home and plant it in the garden?
An: Oh no, sweetheart, that flower lives here.
Ren looks down dejectedly and An rubs his head.
An: But I'll tell you what you can do. Take this Lien and go find something nice for your father's return. He's been hunting for quite some time. I bet that the journey's been very tiring, don't you?
Ren: (taking it) Yes.
An: Do you think you'll know what he wants?
Ren: I think... he wants a water flower in the garden!
An: (with a chuckle) Why did you have to inherit my sass?
She gives her son a playful nudge on his bottom as Ren turns away on his new mission to find a gift for his father. He crosses the planks that serve as a bridge over the aqueduct. An watches him go with a smile.
A wide shot of Kuroyuri shows a prosperous and peaceful town. Ren rushes up to a weapons stand.
Ren: What can I buy with this?
Young Blacksmith: (chuckling) Well, something just your size.
Ren deflates in disappointment at being unable to buy a new weapon for his father.
He next waits in line at a liquor merchant.
Ren: Sake, please.
The wine merchant gives him a bemused look, and with a sigh, shakes his head in the negative. Ren groans, a little frustrated.
He walks through the open town before stopping to look in a bakery window. There are several treats, including slices of lemon meringue pie, frosted cupcakes, actual cakes with frosted waterlilies atop them, and a shelf of kitten-shaped bread. Ren is happily excited but turns when he hears a voice.
Tall Boy: Hey, get back here!
Ren looks around the corner of the bakery, following the sound of a group of kids laughing and mocking. Three boys stand in a semicircle around a dirty looking girl who is crouched on the ground and clutching a loaf of bread. It's young Nora Valkyrie.
Tall Boy: Where'd you get that bread? I didn't see you pay for it, thief!
Short Boy: No, look, it's all moldy!
Tall Boy: I think she got it from the trash!
Medium Boy: (reaching out) Lemme see!
Nora bites his finger before he can touch the bread.
Medium Boy: Ah! She bit me!
Tall Boy looks at Medium Boy's hand in horror before Medium Boy pushes Nora backward onto the ground. Nora whimpers for a second but gets up and grabs her bread off the ground. She takes a few more steps back before crouching away again.
Short Boy: Where'd she come from?
Ren watches, taking a few uncertain steps forward.
Short Boy: She's dressed all weird!
Tall Boy: I bet she's abandoned! Like a dog or something!
Medium Boy: Does that mean I have rabies?
All three chuckle meanly. Nora sees Ren getting closer and looks at him with big, blinking eyes. The bullies see her focus has changed to behind them and they turn to look. Ren panics at having their focus and he turns to run, only to immediately bump into the legs of his father, Li Ren. He falls back and looks up at him.
Li: What is happening here?
The three bullies panic and look around, uncertain whether to run yet. Nora, however, sees this as her opening and takes off with her bread. After a beat the bullies decide to run, too.
Li: (to Ren) Do you wish to run with the rest of them?
Ren is standing upright, but he lowers his face in response.
Li puts his hand on his son's shoulder and lowers to one knee.
Li: Sometimes the worst action to take... is taking no action at all. Go home. I need to speak with the mayor.
Li leaves. Ren watches briefly and turns away thoughtfully.
Jaune walks up to Ruby in the ruins of Kuroyuri. Both are looking dejected.
Ruby: We should get back to Qrow.
'Qrow Branwen leans against a dead sakura tree, groaning. Though not conscious, he holds a hand over his wound. A wide shot shows Ruby crouched near his legs and Jaune standing over them both.
A creature makes a loud noise from off in the distance, causing both Ruby and Jaune to turn. Jaune's hand immediately goes to his sword and looks around for the source of the noise.
Ruby: It's far off.
Jaune: I know, but Ren and Nora are still out there.
Ruby looks at Qrow before standing and approaching Jaune.
Ruby: I'm sorry.
He turns around to face her, though she is not looking up.
Ruby: This is all my fault. I should have never dragged you guys into this.
Jaune: You didn't drag us in. We wanted to come.
Ruby: But you didn't know about Tyrian, about—
Jaune: (cutting her off) Ruby. We lost... We lost Pyrrha.You lost her, too. And Penny, and your team, and in a way... your sister. But you're still here, despite everything you've lost, everything you could still lose, you chose to come out here.
Ruby turns to face Jaune, and becomes emotional as he continues.
Jaune: Because you felt like you could make a difference.
She lifts her head and looks at him.
Jaune: You didn't drag us along. You gave us the courage to follow you.
He puts his hand on her shoulder. She smiles at him, grateful, and he smiles back.
Set to ominous music, the scene changes to a framed picture of the Ren family. Young Ren is sleeping until the sound of Grimm awakens him.
An: (rushing in) Lie, get up. We have to go.
Ren: (tired and uncertain) Mother?
An: (grabbing his arm and pulling him up) Now, right now, okay? Let's go!
In the kitchen beyond Ren's bedroom, the outer door bursts inward as a heavily-breathing Li enters.
Li: An, what are you doing?! We need to hurry!
An: We can go to the safehouse!
Li: No. I saw the beast. We need a Huntsman. And you two need to leave.
The creature sounds, loud and ominous, causing all three to look up at the ceiling and walls in alarm.
An gets down to her knees to make eye contact with Ren.
An: It's OK, darling. Everything's OK.
The roof breaks above her head and the screen cuts to black. Crashing and a faint scream can be heard. They are soon followed by the muffled screams of many and loud footsteps accompanied by Li's heavy breathing.
Ren comes to gradually, held by his running father. Bits of flaming sparks speckle the air.
Ren: Father? What... Where's Mother?
Li is bleeding profusely from above his left eye. A woman nearby screams.
Ren: What's going on?! Where is Mother?
Villagers run in a panic, and black specks of ash float with the sparks. A rumble caused the ground to shake and Li falls, dropping Ren and landing on his back.
Everyone runs past them as Li pushes himself up slightly.
Li: Lie, you have to run.
Ren: (moving to his father) No. Don't. Please. Get up!
He looks up when he hears the Grimm roaring noise again. Behind them, people run while slowing flowed by the silhouetted image in a cloud of smoke. It is a Nuckelavee Grimm, a horse-shaped creature with a human torso growing out if its back.
Li: Listen to me, son. You have to be brave now. Do you understand?
Ren: (shaking his head) No, please. Please, I can't!
Li withdraws a knife from its sheath on his hip.
Li: Yes, you can!
He puts the knife in Ren's hand and pushes him away before falling back with a groan. Ren looks at the knife.
Li: Take action, son.
Getting to his feet, Li looks down at his son.
Li: Your mother and I love you.
Lie: (gripping the knife tighter and fighting tears) Father...
The Nuckelavee stomps on the ground behind them. Li turns and readies his bow.
Li: (on a cough) Go!
He notches an arrow and pulls it back. He shouts at his son one more time as he releases the arrow.
Ren runs and Li lets loose arrow after arrow at the towering Grimm.
Under an arch and jumping sideways down to a landing beside some steps, Ren crouches, panicking. The cries of Nevermores overhead cause him to look up. He hears sobbing from across the way and discovers Nora crouching beneath a building. A Nevermore flaps loudly and lands on the roof of a building near to the girl. It lets out a loud, dangerous cry.
The Nuckelavee stomps through the center of town releasing its own roar. Ren realizes that his father is now dead and cries. Behind him, the waterlily for the aqueduct floats untarnished. There's another Nevermore cry as Ren continues to sob. He stills and Aura shimmers over him, graying out his appearance.
Ren lets out a calm breath as color returns.
The next shot is of him running toward Nora, and he moves under the building to where she is.
Ren: (putting his hand on her shoulder) Hey!
Nora gasps but calms when she sees that she's not been found by anything intending her harm.
Ren: We have to be brave.
The Nevermore cries above them, leaning down its head closer to the ground.
Nora whimpers and then throws her arms around Ren. His eyes and arms go wide before he accepts in. Putting his arms around her the shimmer happens again and both of them lose the color vivacity in their appearance.
The Nevermore, now shown to be dangerously close to where the two children crouch, turns its head and lets out a confused cry. Smoke rises from its body as it turns and cries again before launching into the air.
Color returns to the two children and the sounds of heavy steps are nearby. Ren watches the Nuckelavee come closer. Nora turns and together they watch and wait as it pauses next to where they hide before moving on.
Nora: I'm scared...
Ren: Me, too.
The shot pulls back to show the wooden hammer on the ground. Ren moves to retrieve it but Nora clutches his arm, afraid.
Ren: It's OK.
With another whimper, Nora lets him go and watches with big eyes as he moves away. Ren grabs the wooden hammer and returns to her.
Ren: We'll keep each other safe.
He offers her the hammer. She looks down at it, clearly emotional before she takes it from him.
Ren: What's your name?
Ren: My name's Lie Ren.
He smiles at her, blinking.
Wind blows with the whistling note of high altitude as present-day Ren walks a stony ledge. Before him is more of the mountain, with a cave just ahead.
Ren: (to Nora, as she comes up behind him) We never get the easy path, do we?
Nora: (putting her hands behind her head) Easy's no fun anyway.
She drops her hands and turns to him.
Nora: You OK?
Ren: (with a nod) Mmm. And you?
Nora: I've got you here, don't I?
Ren looks at her as if he does not know what to make of her response.
Nora: (gesturing with her hand as she moves forward) Come on. There's more than one way up a mountain.
Ren watches her for a beat before smiling. Thunder rumbles and Ren loses the smile, turning to look up at the sky.
Nora: Hey! There's wind blowing out of this cave!
'Shown from inside the cave, Ren catches up to Nora. Leaves blow outward toward them.
Nora: Think it might lead to the peak?
Ren: I suppose there's only one way to find ou—ah!
He cuts off as a large piece of fabric abruptly blows out from the cave and covers his face. Nora giggles, covering her mouth with her hands, as Ren frees himself.
Ren: Yes, yes. Very funny.
He looks down at the marked fabric in his hands and goes still. Nora lowers her hands and steps closer.
Nora: Hey, what's wrong?
Ren: This is the symbol for Shion Village.
Nora: Shion? But that's... that's the village where we found the Huntsman. It's weeks away from here!
Ren drops the fabric and runs into the cave.
Nora: Ren! Wait!
Ren stops once he is far enough into the cave to have a good look at what's there. Nora catches up to him and becomes alarmed at what she sees.
Nora: Oh my gosh...
In the spacious area, weapons speckle every place you can look. Swords, axes and staffs are all either propped up or on the ground. Ren moves in and picks up an arrow. He studies it while Nora approaches just behind him. As she looks he also sees what's on the ground... the Nuckelavee hoofprint. It is pointed toward another opening on the opposite end of the cave.
Several trees are outside this opening, just below. One at a time, moving away from the cave where Ren can be soon looking out, the trees shake.
Ren: (shaking his head) No...
Before the two of them are the shaking trees and the abandoned village of Kuroyuri. Nora takes his hand and he returns the grip before the scene cuts to black. The Nuckelavee roars.
- The knife Lie Ren gets from his father seems to have inspired his weapon. Similarly, he gives Nora a wooden mallet that might have inspired her weapon.
- Main article: Kuroyuri (episode)/Image Gallery