In an empty blackness, Qrow Branwen's voice can be heard.
Qrow: The City of Mistral...
Nora: Ugh! It's about time!
Qrow and Team RNJR are walking through a stone brick tunnel illuminated by translucent lanterns.
Nora: Whose idea was it to walk again?
Ren: Well, we did face many obstacles. Broken airships, destroyed settlements...
Jaune: Oh, and, you know, all those people and monsters that tried to murder us.
Ruby: Pfft, we were fine. (looking at Qrow with a smile) Only one of us almost died.
Qrow: (looking at Ruby, smiling back) Hey.
Nora puts her hands on her hips and looks at Ren.
Ren: (looking at Nora) Hey.
Nora giggles in response.
Jaune: So, how much farther to Haven Academy?
Qrow: Almost there. But I figured I'd take you kids on the scenic route.
The group approaches a pair of large, wooden double doors, which Qrow opens, flooding the tunnel with sunlight. Ruby runs out onto a massive platform that doubles as an elevator, stopping at the railing to gaze out over the city in wide-eyed awe.
The others join her to take in the view of buildings and stone stairways perched on mountains.
Ruby: This... is... awesome!
Below them, large crowds of people are going about their day - walking around, talking and buying merchandise legally and illegally.
Qrow: It's certainly something.
Ruby: (noticing a kiosk selling weapons) Oh my gosh, look at all the weapons!
Qrow: Vendors here'll sell you just about anything... whether they should or not.
Jaune: They really made the most out of these mountains.
Qrow: Every inch. Stay away from the lower levels. The higher up you go, the nicer it gets.
Nora: And we are going up! (pointing upward)
Weiss: So, how much farther?
Pilot: We're in the home stretch now.
In the pilot's box of the ship, Weiss stands in the back, leaning against a wall with her arms crossed.
Pilot: No more stops from here to Mistral. Sorry for the long trip. Keeping us off the radar's been harder than I thought. Lots of air traffic around northern Anima.
Weiss: It's fine. I... just hope I haven't been a burden.
Pilot: (chuckles) You and your money are more than welcome on this ship, kid.
The ship's radio suddenly picks up a transmission.
Pilot: (looking at it) What the...?
He reaches over and adjusts a slider, evening out the wavelengths on the screen.
Weiss: Is everything okay?
Pilot: I don't know. We're still over Lake Matsu. Shouldn't be picking up broadcasts this far from Mistral. Someone must be close.
A female Mistral pilot begins speaking over the radio in a panic. Hearing this, Weiss stands up straight and listens closely.
Mistral Pilot: Mayday, mayday! We are a small passenger flight, and our Huntress is down! We aren't equipped to deal with this!
Pilot: Oh man.
Mistral Pilot: The Grimm hit us 400 klicks north of the southern shoreline!
Weiss' eyes widen as the sound of an explosion and the Mistral Pilot gasping can be heard.
Mistral Pilot: Get them off us! If anyone can hear this-- Ah!
Weiss' expression grows even more concerned as the Mistral Pilot cries out and the transmission abruptly ends. The Atlas pilot turns off his radio and turns the ship. Weiss walks over to him and grabs onto a handle in the ceiling.
Weiss: We're going to help them, right?
Pilot: What? No. I'm trying to avoid them.
Weiss: But... they'll die.
Pilot: Look, if we picked up their transmission, I'm sure someone else did, too. Besides, this is a cargo ship. She's not much good in a fight. I just wanna finish this job and get home. Sorry, kid. My ship, my rules.
Weiss closes her eyes for a moment, then gazes out the windshield as the ship turns to the right and continues flying over the lake.
RNJR and Qrow enter the campus grounds of Haven Academy, which is devoid of any other people. They stop in a courtyard, where Ruby smiles and wipes a tear from her eye. Jaune places a hand on her shoulder, and she sighs.
Ruby: We made it.
Qrow stops behind them, and while they continue on their way, he takes a moment to glance around and lets out a sigh.
Inside a hallway, RNJR is following Qrow, and Ruby calls out once again, louder this time.
Nora: Maybe try louder?
Ren: There doesn't seem to be anyone here.
Jaune: Well, I guess school isn't really in session right now. Maybe that's it.
Qrow: No, this isn't right. Come on.
Qrow hurries ahead.
Ruby: Wait for us!
RNJR picks up the pace to catch up, and soon, all five are running to a pair of wooden double doors. Qrow comes to a stop in front of them, draws his sword, and extends the blade.
Qrow: Get ready. There could be trouble.
RNJR follow his lead in drawing their weapons. Qrow brings up his foot and kicks the door open. Just on the other side, Leonardo Lionheart widens his eyes, throws his hands into the air, and lets out a frightened scream. Jaune, Ruby, and Nora widen their eyes and scream as well, while Ren gives the headmaster a confused stare. Standing on one foot with his eyes wide, Qrow suddenly looks down, loses his balance, and falls. Shortly after, Lionheart makes a noise and briefly faints. RNJR let their weapons down and stare, dumbfounded, while Qrow sits up.
Ruby: Uh, Professor Lionheart?
Lionheart gasps and sits up.
Lionheart: Qrow! For crying out loud, you nearly scared me half to death!
Qrow stands up with a growl.
Qrow: Me? Why weren't you waiting for us at the entrance?
Lionheart: Huh? (pulling a pocket watch from his coat and checking it) Oh, right. Apologies. I guess time slipped away from me.
Qrow: You're joking.
While Lionheart stands up and RNJR put their weapons away, Nora asks a question.
Nora: Where is everybody?
Lionheart: Ah, you must be the students Qrow mentioned.
Ruby: Yes, sir. (giving a loose salute) Ruby Rose.
Jaune: Jaune Arc.
Nora: (posing with her arms held stiffly out to the sides) Nora Valkyrie.
Ren: (putting his arms behind his back) Lie Ren.
Lionheart: (chuckles) A pleasure to meet you all. Leonardo Lionheart, at your service. I'm afraid most of my staff is currently away until classes resume, but--
Hearing this, Qrow briefly clenches his fists and then leans in toward Lionheart.
Qrow: What? Leo, you can't be serious. Who's guarding the Relic?
Lionheart: Qrow, the children.
Qrow: Already know. I filled them in. What do you mean your staff is away?
Lionheart: (as this information sinks in) You... filled them in?
Nora: So, is this not going at all like anyone thought it would?
Sun: Total garbage!
Ghira lets out a growl, and he and Sun turn to each other.
Ghira and Sun: We can't let them get away with this!
Kali: (smiling) Well, at least you two can finally agree on something.
They look at her, then back at each other. Sun gives an awkward chuckle while rubbing his head, and Ghira glares slightly and growls, fists clenched. The three soon have their attention called to Blake Belladonna, who speaks up from the porch.
Blake: Guys. Everything's going to be okay.
A little while later, Blake exits her father's study, stepping out onto the balcony where an armored guard is standing. The guard turns and addresses her.
Menagerie Guard: Good evening, miss. Can I get you anything?
Blake: Just a little time to myself, if that's alright.
Menagerie Guard: Sure thing. Just call, if you need me.
The guard walks into Ghira's study, shutting the door behind her. Blake takes a deep sigh and is soon alerted by a familiar voice.
Ilia: You need better security.
Alarmed, Blake turns to see Ilia drop down onto the railing. The young Belladonna reaches for the door, but Ilia holds her hand up.
Ilia: Please! I-I just need to talk.
Blake slowly takes her hand away from the door.
Blake: How could you take the fall for them, Ilia?
Ilia: (standing up) Blake...
Blake: Corsac and Fennec blamed you. We confronted them tonight, and they deny knowing anything and everything found on your Scroll. They talked about how disappointed they were to hear that you'd sided with Adam. But you and I both know they're guilty.
Ilia: You can't prove anything.
Blake: That Scroll might not have been enough to lock them up, but it's enough to sway the Faunus here. When we go public tomorrow, they're not going to stand for any of it. And neither should you.
Ilia removes her mask, a solemn expression on her face.
Ilia: Your plan isn't gonna work, Blake. (looking at her) Please... just leave Menagerie before it's too late.
Blake stares at her in silence for a few moments.
Blake: You're going to have to make me.
Ilia remains silent for a few moments before responding.
Ilia: (sadly) I know.
The chameleon Faunus dons her mask once again and steps backward off the balcony. Blake turns away and gains an angry expression, her cat ears folding. After a moment, the anger fades, and she sighs, taking on a saddened expression.
RNJR and Qrow are gathered in Lionheart's office, with the headmaster sitting behind his desk.
Lionheart: I have to say, Qrow, this all seems very reckless, even for you.
Qrow: No, reckless is leaving one of the Relics completely unguarded. It's not checking in with Oz for ages!
Lionheart: There was nothing to check in about before the fall of Beacon, but since that day, Mistral has been in chaos! (standing from his chair, fists clenched) Vale wasn't the only Kingdom to suffer that night. Everyone was watching. Every house in every Kingdom saw that poor girl ripped to pieces, (Ruby looks away, upset) saw monsters crawling over the city, Atlesian Knights attacking citizens... (Jaune grimaces) and then nothing. You could feel the dread in the air. With all that negativity, you can imagine what it was like when the Grimm came for us. (walking to a window and looking outside) Mistral's territory is the widest reaching in the world, you know, and that makes it infinitely harder to protect. We lost so many great Huntsmen, teachers from this very institution. And it's only gotten worse.
Ruby: What do you mean?
Lionheart: (leaning on the windowsill) We may have dealt with the Grimm, but the Mistral council's still at odds with representatives from Atlas. First, it was the Dust embargo, now it's the closing of borders. (turning and looking at Qrow) I'm not sure what happened to James in Vale, but it seems to have only worsened some of his more unfortunate tendencies. (sighs) And, on top of everything, we still don't know where the Spring Maiden is.
Qrow: All the more reason we need the Huntsmen and Huntresses here!
Ruby: (moving closer to the two) Okay! Okay. Things are bad; they're bad. But we can figure this out. Why is the Spring Maiden so important?
Lionheart: (looking at Qrow) I thought you filled them in.
Qrow: Mostly filled in. Look, there's a lot to cover, okay? I quit teaching for a reason. (removing his flask from his shirt and taking a drink)
Lionheart: (sitting back down in his chair) The four Maidens each have the power to perform feats of magic, and they are the only ones capable of reaching the Relics.
Qrow: The Relics are each locked inside a chamber that can only be opened by a specific Maiden. Winter for the gift of Creation, Summer for Destruction, Fall for Choice and Spring for Knowledge. (taking another drink) Spring is the problem.
Ren: What happened to her?
Lionheart: She was determined, at first, when she inherited her powers, but the weight of responsibility proved to be too much for the child. She... ran. Abandoned her training, everyone. That was over a decade ago. There's no telling where she could be now.
Qrow: I... know. At least... I have a pretty good idea.
Lionheart: (widening his eyes and standing up) Are you serious?
Qrow: It's not exactly good news.
Lionheart: (walking around to Qrow from behind his desk) What are you talking about? This is incredible news! (taking Qrow by the shoulders and shaking him) After all these years! Where?!
Qrow: (shoving him off) I did some digging around. Looks like, after Spring ran away, she was picked up by bandits, specifically the Branwen tribe.
Ruby lets out a small gasp of surprise.
Jaune: Yang's mom?
Qrow: That's right.
Qrow pulls out his Scroll, walking over to and placing it on Lionheart's desk. The hologram monitor on the desk displays a map of Remnant.
Qrow: (as the map pulls up a zoomed-in section) That's about where they've set up their main camp. It's where they fall back to after raids and scouting missions. Raven's managed to gain a lot of followers since she returned to the tribe, and I'm sure when the Spring Maiden showed up, it only made things easier.
Lionheart: (walking over and patting Qrow on the back) Well, Qrow, I've got to hand it to you. With these coordinates, we can mount a retrieval force and head out in a few weeks.
Lionheart walks over to the computer, while Qrow clenches his fists.
Qrow: A few weeks?
Lionheart pulls up a hologram keyboard and taps a few keys, while Qrow's Scroll displays the text "COPYING FILES", followed by "DISCONNECTED".
Lionheart: That's right. (walking back around behind the desk)
Qrow: Leo, maybe you didn't hear me. My sister has the Spring Maiden, and I know where she is. (placing his hands on the desk) We need to go, as soon as possible! (knocking books off the desk)
Lionheart: (angrily) And perhaps you didn't hear me. This Kingdom is in shambles. "As soon as possible" does not mean tomorrow. It means, as soon as I can convince the council that I need Huntsmen more than they do. Unfortunately, bandit tribes aren't very high on their list of priorities when the threat of war is just on the horizon.
Qrow: Then damn the council. We'll do it ourselves. You and I are trained Huntsmen and these kids aren't exactly pushovers.
Nora: (jumping up while Ruby fistpumps) Yeah!
Ren: (standing) Perhaps there's a more peaceful way to approach this?
Qrow: We need to get Spring as far away from here as possible. And Raven isn't going to give up her most prized possession without a fight.
Lionheart: Unfortunately, you and your sister are evenly matched. And I'm not the fighter I used to be. No offense, but these students and I can't take on an entire bandit tribe and a Maiden that's no doubt had years to hone her skills. We need to be positive we can apprehend Spring, because if we fail Raven and her tribe will scatter. And we'll be lost. We get one shot at this. And it needs to be perfect.
Qrow: (staring several beats before sighing) You know Oz wouldn't be happy with any of this if he were here.
Lionheart: Perhaps you're right. But he's not. I'm doing the very best I can.
Ruby: There has to be something we can do.
Lionheart: We pulled their files after the Fall of Beacon. Nothing but lies and forgeries.
Jaune tightens his fists and glares at the floor in anger. There's another beat of silence before Qrow speaks.
Qrow: Well, I can't say this has been a warm reunion, Leo.
Lionheart: I'm sorry. I know you've all traveled a long way. But I will do everything I can to help.
Qrow: Sure. We'll stay in the city for the time being. (taking out his Scroll and waggling it at Lionheart) Local comms are still up. Keep in touch. (turning away) Come on, kids.
They all begin to file out of the room. At the rear, Ruby turns around to face Lionheart again.
Ruby: It was nice meeting you, Professor.
Lionheart: (taking a moment to respond) Likewise.
After Ruby departs, Lionheart hangs his head, looking stressed. A holographic W projects up from his desk, followed by the sound of Arthur Watts' voice.
Watts: Oh, Leo. We have got to work on your improvisational skills.
Qrow and RNJR walk back down the academy hallway. Nora is the first to stop and speak.
Nora: So, what do we do now?
Qrow: (sighing and turning around) You four head back to the house. I need a drink.
He walks off, leaving the four teenagers looking at each other with concern.
Qrow sits at a bar, alone and looking down at his glass, not drinking. Oscar Pine approaches him from behind.
Oscar: Excuse me.
Qrow: (turning) You know, I don't think they allow kids in here, pipsqueak.
Oscar looks at Qrow for a second before turning his head to the side and speaking softly.
Oscar: Shut up, I'm getting there.
He looks back up at Qrow, whose attention he now most definitely has. Qrow's eyes widen slightly and then narrow, suspicion dawning.
Oscar: Umm... I'm supposed to tell you... I'd like my cane back.
Qrow blinks and closes his eyes for a brief moment before nodding with a slight smile. He stands up off of the bar stool and faces Oscar, causing Oscar to take a couple steps back. Qrow lifts the collapsed cane off of his hip.
Qrow: Hmm. It's good to see you again, Oz.
Qrow tosses it at Oscar, who catches it reflexively. The cane immediately extends itself out from the collapsed base when it touches Oscar's hand. Oscar looks down at it, surprised. His other hand comes around to hold the shaft before he looks up at Qrow and blinks.
Bumblebee is parked at a fuel station named "Just Rite". Inside, a bartender cleans a glass.
Just Rite Bartender: Aren't you a little young to be drinking?
Yang Xiao Long takes off her aviator sunglasses.
Yang: A water. It's hot out.
Just Rite Bartender: Ohhh. Sure.
He disappears below the counter and laughter comes from the drunk man a few seats down from Yang.
Shady Man: Are you telling me you're too young to drink? You look like a regular Huntress. And a beauty at that.
Yang: I'm good. Thanks, pal.
Shady Man: (approaching Yang undeterred) Seriously. Not too bulky. Not too lean. You're...
Yang: Just right. Yup. Like I said, I'm good.
The mook puts his hand on the countertop next to Yang with a soft moan before reaching out with his other.
Shady Man: And your hair...
Yang grabs his wrist before he can touch her hair. When she turns to face him, her eyes are glowing red, startling him.
Shady Man: Huh?
He barely glances in the correct direction before Yang's metal fist slams into the side of his face. Falling backward, a tooth knocked out of his mouth, the man hits the floor and continues to bounce floor-to-ceiling toward the exit like a pinball before disappearing through the doors. As the doors close behind him, the "Open" sign flips around to "Closed".
Just Rite Bartender: (straightening and setting the bottle of water on the counter) This one's on the house. He's been driving me crazy.
Yang reaches for it with her left hand, but it trembles. Her metal hand grabs and steadies it. She gives a long, shaky sigh before picking up the bottle and guzzling the water down.
Just Rite Bartender: So, what brings you around these parts?
Yang holds up a finger, still guzzling until the water is gone.
Yang: Thanks. And I'm, uh, looking for someone.
Just Rite Bartender: (chuckling) Not too many people come out here. Too far from the Kingdoms. Only person worth notin' around here is... well, Ra—
Yang: (cutting him off) Raven Branwen. (retrieving her glasses and heading out) Thanks again.
Just Rite Bartender: N-now, missy! You don't want to go messin' with bandits! They're a world of trouble!
Yang: So I hear.
Outside, the Shady Man is on the ground holding his face, but he calls out to Yang as she straddles and engages Bumblebee.
Shady Man: Hey, girlie!
Yang: Seriously? This isn't over?
Shady Man: (getting to his feet) I heard you're... looking for someone. Heh.
He gives her a toothless grin.
Jaune, Ren and Nora are sitting on a pair of red couches in a living room when there's a knock on the door. They tense and look at each other before Jaune cautiously goes to open it. Oscar is on the other side, looking hesitant and uncomfortable. Jaune looks back over his shoulder at the other two, and Nora shrugs.
Jaune: Can I... help you?
Oscar: Um... yeah. Is there a Ruby Rose here?
Ren and Nora immediately stand up, tense and defensive.
Nora: (darkly) Why?
He looks to his left and Qrow appears, moving drunkenly and grabbing Oscar by the shoulders.
Qrow: I found him!
Qrow snorts into his hand and continues laughing as he stumbles into the house.
Oscar: I think her uncle could use some help.
Qrow almost makes it to the couch Jaune just vacated before he stumbles and saves his balance by falling backward onto the cushions.
Qrow: Whoa. Ugh. (settling onto his back and folding his arm over his eyes) I found him.
Ruby: (offscreen) What is going on out there?! (stomping into the living room) Can't a girl read her comics in peace?
Qrow burps and chuckles, catching Ruby's attention. She sighs and puts a hand to her forehead exasperatedly.
Ruby: Qrow, did you get drunk again?
Oscar: Oh. (finally stepping in as he looks at Ruby) You have silver eyes.
Ruby looks at him, a touch surprised. She turns to Ren and Nora, who shrugs again, before looking back at Oscar.
Ruby: Who... are you?
Qrow chuckles from the couch.
Oscar: Uh... Well. My name is Oscar Pine.
Qrow: Wait for it...
Oscar: But you probably know me as... Professor Ozpin.
RNJR all gasp, and look confused. Jaune takes a couple steps back. Qrow continues chuckling.
Qrow: (punching his fists into the air) I did it!
He falls off the couch onto the floor, startling Nora.
Nora: (hands going to her mouth) Ooh!
Cut to black as the opening starts playing.