Yang is the daughter of Raven Branwen and Taiyang Xiao Long and was born approximately two years before her younger half-sister Ruby Rose. Ruby mentions that Yang used to read bedtime stories to her when they were young.
Yang was raised alongside Ruby on the island of Patch, off the west coast of Vale. Their father, Taiyang Xiao Long, was a Huntsman who taught at Signal Academy and a former member of a team consisting of Summer Rose, Qrow Branwen and Raven Branwen - the last of whom disappeared shortly after her birth. Following this, Yang's father became romantically involved with Summer, who took the role of Yang's surrogate mother and gave her a sister two years later in Ruby.
However, Summer would frequently embark on Huntress missions all over the kingdoms, and early in Yang's childhood, she was killed during one. Yang's father, distraught at losing yet another love, suffered an emotional breakdown. It was then that Yang found out Summer Rose was not her biological mother, and that the woman who gave birth to her, Raven Branwen, had also abandoned her shortly thereafter. Motivated to find out why her mother left her, one day Yang attempted to follow up on what she thought was a clue to her whereabouts and waited until her father left the house and traveled to the location herself, wheeling Ruby in a wagon and walking until she was bruised and tired.
Upon arriving at the building, Yang and Ruby were attacked and almost killed by three Beowolves; their uncle, Qrow, thankfully appeared just in time to save them. Yang was ashamed of her stubborn, brash actions, aware that she had almost gotten her younger sister killed, and resolved to continue searching for her mother while helping raise Ruby, but also to not allow that search to consume her.
Years later, a 17-year-old Yang heads to a nightclub searching for clues about her mother and confronts the proprietor, a man named Junior Xiong, who has a reputation for "knowing everything". She shows him a picture and attempts to coerce the information out of him, but he says he does not know. Yang is then surrounded by henchmen from the club and backs off.
As she walks away from the bar with Junior she begins flirting with him and offers to give him a kiss but punches him in the face instead.
Junior's henchmen then descend upon her and she attacks and incapacitates all of them. She then comes under attack from the DJ above who is firing at her with a machine gun. After knocking him down to the club floor, two girls, Melanie and Miltia Malachite, jump in to fight her. Despite some difficulty, she manages to defeat both of the girls.
By then, Junior recovers from Yang's punch and returns with his bazooka before firing several rockets at her. Yang manages to stop the rounds, but Junior then changes the bazooka into a bat and begins attacking her with it.
She finally uses Ember Celica to destroy much of the club and knock Junior out a window. Outside she runs into Ruby, who is surprised to see her there.
As she drives throughout Mistral, Yang thinks back on a training session with her sister Ruby. Yang eventually overpowers her, and Ruby flies into the bushes using her Semblance. When Ruby does not respond, an Ursa emerges from the bushes. Yang fights the Ursa but is tossed out of sight when Ruby wakes. The Ursa attempts to attack Ruby, but Yang puts herself between both of them. She is struck by the Ursa and activates her Semblance to clash with the Ursa one last time in order to obliterate it. Yang informs her concerned sister that she always has her back.
Yang is seen with Team RWBY in the Beacon Academy food halls talking about the nature and uses of Dust, before they are interrupted by Cardin Winchester throwing Jaune Arc into their table, sending it flying.
Yang is later seen with the rest of Team RWBY watching Ruby fighting against Cardin in a sparring match before she forgot mentioning Ruby's fear of large crowds.
Welcome to Beacon
Yang is first seen greeting Ruby on the airship to Beacon Academy, displaying her excitement that her "little sis" will be attending the same school as her. She teases and then consoles Ruby when the latter displays her nervousness and even unhappiness that she might be treated as someone "special" at their new school.
Yang shows concern for Ruby's apparent lack of social skills and manages to create an opportunity to let Ruby learn on her own by dashing off with her friends, leaving Ruby alone (who later falls down on Weiss Schnee's luggage).
Yang reappears inside the auditorium of Beacon Academy where the students have gathered and waves Ruby over beside her. She asks Ruby about her day so far, who responds by recounting the trouble she got into involving Weiss and Blake Belladonna. Yang at first thinks Ruby is joking but realizes her little sister is telling the truth when Weiss comes up and starts berating Ruby again.
She tries to play the easygoing mediator between the two, but with no success. Their heated conversation is interrupted when Professor Ozpin starts with his welcoming speech, and Yang shows some vague exasperation when Ozpin mentions that they are still nothing compared to the world they will enter. She mentions directly afterward that Ozpin seemed "kind of off".
Later, when all the new students are preparing to go to sleep, Yang crashes next to Ruby and asks her about the letter she is writing. The two have a conversation where Ruby once again brings up her unhappiness at having to join the school without knowing anyone, but Yang tells her that there are plenty of friends at Beacon whom just Ruby has not met yet, after teasing her about Weiss being an enemy rather than a "negative friend".
Yang drags Ruby over to where Blake is reading a book and attempts to engage the two in a conversation. At first, Blake's aloof unsocial character causes the conversation to die multiple times and Ruby and Yang awkwardly tries to pick it back up every time it happens, but after Yang proclaims that Blake is a "lost cause" Ruby inquires about the book Blake is reading, which starts what appears to be a genuine exchange between the two.
However, Yang butts in and tells Ruby about how she is proud of her for starting a conversation and expressing her dreams to be a protector of the peaceful world they live in so other people may enjoy it. Yang then picks Ruby up, which annoys the latter and causes a brief fight between the two, until Weiss storms up and interrupts them again.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Yang talks to Ruby while they are getting prepared for their initiation about what she will do about teams. When Ruby suggests that she would just join Yang's team, Yang suggests that her little sister should be more outgoing and find a team of her own. She and Ruby then talk to Jaune who was put down coldly by Weiss, having had Pyrrha Nikos throw her spear at him.
Yang remarks that he probably should not have referred to Weiss as "Snow Angel" and the three of them then head to Beacon Cliff for initiation. After Ozpin tells them about their initiation and how they will form teams, Yang is launched into the Emerald Forest with the other students.
Yang is seen literally flying through the trees with a pair of aviators on, thoroughly enjoying the experience and extending it by using the kinetic energy from shots from her shotgun gauntlets to keep moving. After bouncing through the trees, Yang nails her landing and takes off. Shortly after when Ruby lands, she instantly starts looking for Yang in the hopes of making Yang her partner.
While walking through the woods, Yang starts to become bored after not finding anyone. When she hears a rustle in the bushes, she wonders if it is Ruby, but is instead attacked by two Ursai. She dodges their attacks and almost seems to be playing with them until she notices that a small strand of her hair was cut off. Yang goes into a rage at this and punches one of the Ursa with a flurry of punches, sending it flying into several trees. She goes to confront the other bear, but it is quickly killed by Blake in a single strike. The two smile at each other and Yang claims that she could have taken it.
Yang and Blake arrive at the temple. As they approach it, they make note of that the relics are chess pieces and that some relics are missing, which suggests that they are not the first to arrive. After Blake and Yang examine the chess pieces, Yang chooses a yellow knight because it looks like a "cute little pony". When the two are about to leave the temple, they hear what sounds like a girl's scream. Yang asks Blake what they should do but she seems distracted by something above them; as Yang tries to get Blake's attention, Ruby suddenly falls from the sky.
Yang is seen asking Blake on what they should do, which continues from the previous episode in reference to Jaune's feminine scream. After seeing Ruby fall, she is left confused by the later turn of events, such as Nora Valkyrie riding on an Ursa, and when Pyrrha is running away from a Death Stalker, which chased her from its cave.
Shortly after she tries to give her sister Ruby a hug, but is interrupted by Nora. When Ruby decides to attack the Death Stalker, she fails and is forced to run away. Yang rushes to her aid but is unable to after the Nevermore keeps them separate with a barrage of feathers. After Weiss saves Ruby, Yang hugs Ruby in delight knowing she is safe.
Once Ruby and Jaune choose their chess pieces, Ruby leads both teams away as Yang smiles seeing that her sister is becoming what she knew she would. When Blake asks what is wrong, she implies it is nothing, but Blake seems to already know. Both teams are then split and each faces the Grimm species separately as Team JNPR faces the Death Stalker and Team RWBY faces the Nevermore.
After a series of attacks prove unsuccessful, Ruby makes up a plan to beat the large bird. Yang helps Blake make a slingshot, which launches Ruby into the air with the help of Weiss' glyph. Yang watches in amazement as Ruby slays the Nevermore. She is later made an official member of Team RWBY and hugs her sister in joy when Ruby is made the leader.
- Episodes Covering These Events
- "The First Step"
- "The First Step, Pt.2"
- "The Emerald Forest"
- "The Emerald Forest, Pt.2"
- "Players and Pieces"
Start of Class
After rooming with her team, Yang wakes up with a joyful approach. She states that they need to decorate their room. She is seen placing a poster about a boy band named The Achieve Men. When Ruby is suggesting they make bunk beds, Yang agrees along with Blake, while Weiss seems to be annoyed by the fact.
She later attends class, where she seems to have no interest, and seems to be weirded out by one of Professor Peter Port's gestures.
Yang is seen eating lunch with her team alongside Team JNPR, where she seems to be the only one interested in Nora's story. She later comments that it must be hard being a Faunus after seeing Cardin and the rest of Team CRDL teasing Velvet Scarlatina, a Faunus with rabbit ears.
When Ruby points out the Ursa's growl in the distance, Russel Thrush shouts out that the Ursa is attacking Cardin. She then quickly grabs Russel and demands the Ursa's whereabouts. Once she releases Russel, she and Blake go to find Glynda Goodwitch while Ruby, Pyrrha, and Weiss make their way to Jaune and Cardin.
- Episodes Covering These Events
- "The Badge and The Burden"
- "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2"
- "Forever Fall"
- "Forever Fall, Pt.2"
Yang walks with her team on the streets of Vale. The team sees Vytal Festival preparations and stumbles across a crime scene at a local Dust Store, prompting Weiss and Blake into a tense discussion on the White Fang. Weiss comments the White Fang know only how to lie, cheat and steal, and Yang responds it is not entirely true.
Soon after, the team chases a fleeing Sun Wukong at Weiss' demand. After bumping into a girl named Penny Polendina, the team leaves, only to have her appearing instantly in front of them. After Yang believes Penny heard Yang call her weird, Penny goes directly Ruby, asking her if she was her friend. Later that night, Yang and Ruby continuously hear Blake and Weiss argue about the White Fang.
Two days after Blake accidentally reveals herself as a Faunus, Yang pushes to find Blake with her sister and Weiss. When Penny shows up out of nowhere, Yang and Weiss take the opportunity to leave while Penny is distracted. During the duo's search, Yang asks Weiss if she cares about Blake's absence, believing they are responsible to search. That night, Yang and Weiss meet with Blake and Ruby after the Faunus is found.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Beginning the Second Semester
While in the dining hall, Nora flings small grapes at Yang, who catches them in her mouth. Yang then sees that Blake is looking at her notebook and asks what she is doing, but Blake quickly closes the book and says she is looking over notes, causing Yang to lose interest and continues catching food. Ruby appears with a book full of ways to start the new term off with a bang, resulting in Yang making a lame pun about liking to start her terms off "with a Yang". No one finds it funny, and Yang is hit in the head with an apple, causing her to become angry, and she tosses an apple back. Nora tosses back an entire pie, but it ends up hitting Weiss instead of Yang.
A large food fight breaks out between JNPR and RWBY, with Yang grabbing two whole turkeys to use as her gauntlets. She uses them to smash a barrage of watermelons and then launches the turkeys at Jaune, taking him out. However soon after, Pyrrha hits her with a loaf of bread that she tosses at Yang like a spear. Yang quickly gets back into the fight, picking up the two turkeys and beats Lie Ren by smashing him into the floor. Yang, in turn, is smashed through the ceiling by Nora moments later when hit by her watermelon hammer. After the fight ends, Yang crashes through the ceiling back into the room and has a good laugh with the others.
Yang is seen playing a board game with her team, one in which she is seen clearly to be the dominant player, having taken out both Ruby and Weiss, each much to their dismay. She then points out to Blake on how it's her turn, but the latter shows no interest in the game and soon leaves, following the arrival of Sun Wukong and his friend Neptune Vasilias. That night, Yang enters the dorm room with Weiss and Ruby and seems disappointed in the fact that she lost the game to Neptune, with Ruby telling her she should have attacked when she told her to.
She then has her attention caught by Weiss telling Blake to stop, as she was leaving the room. There, the team gets into a discussion, most of which reflect on Blake's worries and concerns on the White Fang and Roman Torchwick. But Yang tells her that Ozpin told them not to worry, for the police and Huntsmen/Huntresses would take care of it, but Blake remarks on how it is not enough. After hearing Ruby's idea of the four of them stopping their enemies, Yang agrees enthusiastically and tells Blake that she loves it when she is feisty, making her smile.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The next day, Yang and her team change clothes in their dorm. The team explains their parts in the mission, and Yang says she will get intel on Torchwick from someone. After Sun and Neptune suddenly appear with the intention of helping them, despite Ruby and Blake not wanting them to, Yang is paired with Neptune, despite Weiss' protests.
Yang and Neptune ride on Bumblebee to Junior's club at nightfall. Two henchmen attempt to stop Yang from entering, remembering what she did to the club, but Yang easily blows the entrance open, proudly proclaiming she is back.
After a hostile welcome, Junior immediately defuses the situation, knowing a battle would go the same way as before. He asks Yang what she wants, and she replies she is still owed a drink and drags him to the counter. Junior tells Yang he has not seen Roman since the night she first entered the club and that he never returned with the men Junior loaned to him. Yang becomes frustrated and leaves with Neptune.
As Yang and Neptune board the bike, Yang, Weiss and Ruby receive an urgent call from Blake and Sun, whose cover was blown in their part of the plan and are now being chased by Roman inside an Atlesian Paladin-290. When Blake, Sun and the Paladin run by Yang and Neptune in the street, Yang immediately revs her bike and gives chase to help stop Roman. She maneuvers around cars being flung at her and asks Neptune to slow the Paladin down. Roman counters Neptune and Sun, removing them from the fight. Weiss causes the Paladin to slip on an ice patch and plummet off the highway, and the battle begins in earnest.
After several team attacks, Team RWBY gains the upper hand. Yang catches Roman off guard, leaping onto the back of the Paladin and continuously punching its head. However, he charges her through pillars with great force and punches her through another pillar as she falls. Blake grows worried, but Ruby reassures her, revealing Yang absorbs energy from each hit she takes and uses it to make herself stronger.
With Yang's newfound strength, she delivers several blows, shattering pieces off Roman's mech. She grabs one end of Blake's Gambol Shroud, and with Roman frozen to the ground from Ruby and Weiss' team attack, Yang connects a final punch, shattering the Paladin and sending Roman out of it.
Yang fires Ember Celica long range to finish Roman off, but Neo Politan appears and blocks it with her umbrella. Yang angrily charges and punches Roman, but Neo had deceived her with an illusory barrier depicting the two. The fake barrier shatters from Yang's punch, and the two are revealed to have retreated to a nearby airship and make their escape. Yang and Team RWBY leave the scene.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Aftermath and The Dance
Sometime thereafter, Yang, along with the rest of RWBY, attends a sparring class and watches Pyrrha obtain successive victories against Team CRDL and against Mercury Black. Later, Yang sits next to Blake on their bed and attempts to convince her to go to the dance after rejecting Sun, mentioning their worry over her lack of sleep and high stress level.
Yang and Weiss are given the responsibility to organize the dance, and Yang promises the day will be enjoyable for Blake; however, Blake once again shrugs her off, thinking of it as a waste of time, and leaves for the library, which saddens Yang.
Yang helps Weiss prepare for the dance, carrying a huge speaker. Noticing Ruby, Yang asks what she will wear for the dance, but when Ruby says there is no point in going if Blake does not, Yang counters that Blake will go and walks out. At the library, Yang attracts Blake's attention with a laser pointer and takes her to an empty classroom to discuss the recent problems. When Blake is averse to talking, Yang tells her to simply listen and that she is not trying to make Blake stop her ongoing investigation of Roman Torchwick, but merely to convince her to slow down.
Yang begins telling Blake about her and Ruby's past and who their mothers were, bringing up how her mother was a member of a team alongside her father, Summer Rose and Qrow. However, shortly after Yang was born, her mother left. She tells Blake how she asked and searched for answers on why her mother disappeared but never found anything, until one day she believed she discovered a clue to her whereabouts. She went on a search with a sleeping Ruby, and they were attacked by creatures of Grimm.
At the last minute, Qrow came to the two girls' rescue. Yang states her stubbornness almost got them both killed that day. Blake, in return, expresses sympathy for Yang's past but states her situation is different. Yang disagrees, saying that she does not want Blake to stop, but to slow down just as Yang has in her search for her mother.
However, when Blake keeps pressing on how only she can do anything, Yang gets frustrated at her, asking her what would she do if Roman suddenly came barging through the door. Blake answers she would fight, and Yang points out Blake is unable to stop him because she cannot stop Yang herself. She hugs Blake, telling her that she is not asking her to stop, but to rest, not only for herself, but for everyone she cares about. Yang invites Blake to the dance once more, promising she would save Blake a dance.
The next day, Yang is seen in joy over her sister's dress, saying Ruby looks beautiful. Yang gives Blake her first dance of the night, keeping her promise, before Sun takes over. Shortly after, Yang welcomes both Mercury and Emerald Sustrai to the dance as they enter. She is later seen alone on a balcony, apparently lacking a date of her own, overlooking the dance floor until Ruby approaches her, who she headlocks playfully, much to Ruby's chagrin, and advises to have a good time while they have the chance; she is not seen for the rest of the night.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Mountain Glenn Mission
The following day, Yang along with Blake and Weiss confront Ruby upon her return to their dorm after a meeting with Ozpin, Glynda and James Ironwood. After Ruby informs them of her situation, Yang attempts to cheer her sister up by revealing a package addressed to them by their dad. Revealing it to be Zwei, the family dog back in Patch, Yang reads the letter their father sent, stating Zwei will be staying with them for an indefinite amount of time.
Following an announcement from Glynda and a speech from Ozpin, Yang and her team choose to select a Search & Destroy mission, but after being unable to join, Ozpin bends the rules for them and signs them up for Quadrant Five.
Later, Yang and her team are completely shocked when Bartholomew Oobleck reveals he is the Huntsmen joining their mission. The team travels to Mountain Glenn via an airship and are briefed on the way, and Yang mentions Mountain Glenn was an attempted expansion of Vale before it was overrun by Grimm and cut off. Doctor Oobleck believes it would be the ideal place for a criminal hideout.
After their arrival, they are almost immediately set upon by Beowolves, which they kill in droves while Oobleck looks on. Yang eventually becomes restless and questions why Doctor Oobleck does not help them fight, to which Oobleck responds that this is a job they all signed up for.
Oobleck later asks Yang why she wants to become a Huntress. She initially misinterprets, saying she fights Grimm and helps people, and Oobleck clarifies the question and asks again. Yang responds she is a thrill-seeker who wants to travel around the world and get wrapped up in as many adventures as she possibly can, and if she can help people along the way, it makes it all the better.
After the group sets up camp for the night, Yang, Blake and Weiss make a fire. Yang complains about them not finding anything, and Blake replies they cannot always have luck on their side. Yang, Weiss and Blake agree they could not give complete, satisfying answers to Oobleck's question.
After having difficulty sleeping, they start talking again. Yang recognizes the driving purposes behind Weiss and Blake's reasons for being Huntresses, and she says it is her nature to go with the flow but is unsure how long she can continue as such. Instead of motivation from the ideas of heroism, Yang wants the feeling of not knowing what the future will bring and for that to be a good thing. Becoming a Huntress is in line with that for Yang.
She adds that she differs from Ruby, who has felt a genuine sense of duty and desire to protect people and do what is right ever since Yang read her stories when they were little. When the conversation shifts to how young the group is for the responsibilities of being a Huntress, Yang says they are not children anymore; they are armed to the teeth in a war zone.
Yang takes night watch duty after Ruby, and after her turn ends and she goes to inform Weiss it was her turn, she notices Ruby's empty sleeping bag and grows worried. Unknown to her and the rest of the team, Ruby had been captured by the White Fang. After Zwei leads them to the hole she had fallen through into Mountain Glenn's underground city, Oobleck explains the expansion's history, and they prepare to go in after her.
Having successfully reached the underground levels of the city, Yang, Weiss, Blake, Oobleck and Zwei locate Ruby, who flees from Roman, using the distraction created by her team. Before White Fang henchmen can shoot Ruby, Yang arrives and blows them away. Ruby reconnects with her team, and Roman's train begins to depart.
Ruby informs them of the weaponry the White Fang has on board, so Ruby prompts them to chase after the fleeing train. While aboard the train, several train cars with bombs detach, prompting them to run to the front while fighting White Fang members. Oobleck discovers the train cars detach and explode to create openings in the tunnel for the Grimm
Yang, Weiss and Blake head into the train to try and stop it, and Ruby and Oobleck remain atop the train. As Yang, Weiss and Blake encounter Neo, Yang decides to fight her, and her teammates move on. Yang and Neo fight, but Neo easily counters and parries her, quickly beating and rendering her unconscious.
Before Neo can kill her, a mysterious woman arrives through a red portal and scares Roman's aid away, saving Yang's life. As Yang regains consciousness, she catches a small glimpse of her rescuer before regrouping with her team. The train nears an incoming wall, and Weiss creates a shield of ice around them, protecting them from what could have been a fatal crash. The team reawakens on the surface of Vale's city, only able to look in horror as Grimm rise from the underground and begin attacking the human populace.
Grimm surround Team RWBY, and they attack, later aided by Team JNPR, Team CFVY and a few professors. After the fight, Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang look over the city from the school and talk about how they managed to do their job. Weiss says how they should get extra credit, but Yang doubts that will happen after the destruction the Grimm caused. After thinking on what to do, Ruby suggests they go to bed. Everyone agrees.
Later, Yang is alone in what is suggested as a dream sequence, walking through Beacon's courtyard late at night. She comes to a stop in front of the academy statue and is met by Raven Branwen, who saved her from Neo earlier. Yang stands her ground and demands to know who the woman is. She removes her helmet to reveal red eyes and features almost identical to Yang's own. Yang's eyes turn red as the woman cryptically states they have a lot to talk about.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Vytal Festival Tournament
At the enormous floating stadium Amity Colosseum, Team RWBY's first match in the Vytal Festival tournament is with Team ABRN of Haven Academy. Yang fights Arslan Altan, a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Despite taking some beating, Yang deals the finishing blow against all of Team ABRN, punching them clean out of the stadium. After an action-packed match, Team RWBY emerges victorious, and the team heads to the Vytal Festival fairgrounds to get a meal.
There, they run into Emerald, who praises their performance in the match. It is revealed that Yang will be joining Weiss in moving forward onto the doubles round to represent Team RWBY, whilst Emerald and Mercury will move on from their team. Emerald remarks that they wil not go easy on them if they happen to be paired up, and they bid farewell.
Team RWBY ends up eating at a noodle store run by the Shopkeep. Weiss attempts to pay for their meal, but her card is declined. Fortunately, Pyrrha arrives and pays for their meal instead, and they are joined by Team JNPR. After they have eaten, JNPR is called away to their next match. Yang and her team follow them over to the stadium, taking their place at the spectator stands to cheer their friends on. When they walk in, Yang notices Mercury and Emerald walk in behind them.
When Team JNPR and Team BRNZ face off, Yang agrees that Jaune has gotten a lot better with combat, but he still has nothing on Pyrrha's skills. After Team SSSN dances after their defeat of Team NDGO, she calls them dorks, to which Blake agrees. She heads off with her team to congratulate them.
Later, Yang plays video games with Qrow and Ruby in their dorm room and discusses their experiences fighting Roman and the White Fang. Qrow briefly takes out a photo of his previous team, Team STRQ, which includes Raven. Yang is briefly transfixed by the picture, but Qrow notices and puts it away. Qrow remarks that Yang and Ruby have a lot to learn, but that they will "go far" if they "never stop moving forward".
Yang and Weiss face Neon Katt and Flynt Coal of Atlas Academy's Team FNKI in the doubles round of the tournament. Neon immediately draws Yang's ire by criticizing her weight and hair. When the fight starts, Neon manages to evade all of Yang's attacks and continues taunting her with puns and insults, angering her even further. However, after Weiss sacrifices herself attacking Flynt, Yang manages to defeat both him and Neon, winning the match.
Yang fights in the singles round against Mercury. Using her Semblance, she defeats him. After telling him he would have better luck against her next time, Mercury seemingly states that there will not be a next time, and he lunges for her with his boots. In apparent self-defense, she punches his leg, firing Ember Celica at the same time. However, because Mercury has no Aura left to shield him, Yang's punch apparently breaks his leg. The crowd in Amity Colosseum, however, sees Yang shoot Mercury in the leg without provocation. Atlas soldiers, some androids and some human, come to apprehend Yang for her apparently unwarranted assault.
Back in Team RWBY's dorm, General Ironwood tells Yang that he looks at her action as a stress-induced hallucination. He says that no matter the situation, millions of people saw Yang attack Mercury without provocation. He also informs Yang that she is hereby disqualified from the tournament.
Yang asks her team if they believe her side of the story. Ruby and Weiss do, but Blake hesitates. She reasons that she has seen Yang's actions before but in a different person. Blake makes Yang promise that she is telling the truth. Yang promises, and Blake accepts. The rest of her team leaves and Qrow arrives soon after. Qrow thinks Yang's story of self-defense as a lie or that Yang is crazy. Yang said she is not lying, and Qrow reasons that she must be crazy.
Yang mentions seeing her mother. She recalls her mother saving her and vanishing when Yang is incapacitated. Qrow verifies that it is her mother, but he also relays to Yang that she will not intervene again. Qrow says her mother is dangerous and has a very different worldview. He says she should not let what happened in her singles match defeat her. He offers her a way to move on, telling her some information that will help her track her mother down.
She is later seen listening to Cinder's speech in her room with Zwei also there.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Battle of Beacon
Yang leaves her dormitory with Zwei. She calls Weiss and Blake about the attack and asks if they have seen Ruby because she will not answer her Scroll. The two try to assure her that Ruby is probably fine and can look after herself. Yang appears to accept this with some reluctance and heads for the school's docks.
She rushes to Weiss and the group of students as they finish prevailing over the rogue Atlesian Paladins. As Weiss tells her of her whereabouts, Yang sets off to find Blake.
After beating up the White Fang rank and file, she, to her horror, sees Adam stabbing Blake in the stomach. Yang is driven into a berserk rage, leaping towards Adam with tears in her eyes - until Adam intercepts her attack with his sword and severs her right arm with a powerful blow from his Semblance, dealing more damage than her remaining Aura can block. She is sent falling to the ground, unconscious, and with yellow embers flowing from the stump of her limb. Blake uses her Semblance to divert Adam's attention and escapes the building with Yang's unconscious body.
After Yang is bandaged for her injuries, Blake apologizes to the unconscious brawler for being a catalyst to Yang's dismemberment.
After the incident, a crestfallen Yang safely recovers in her home in Patch. When Ruby visits her, she explains what befell Beacon along with their team and says she wishes to be left alone. In the winter, she sees a crow flying outside her window and does not notice her father rush past her open door.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Recovering on Patch
Months after the fall of Beacon, Yang remains at home, no longer bedridden but still very troubled and living rather idly. She watches television instead of reading books and does chores around the house emotionlessly. When her father gives her the cybernetic arm Ironwood ordered specifically for her, Yang is less than enthusiastic about putting it on.
Between segments on the news, small kitchen accidents and nightmares, Yang is clearly struggling with trauma connected to Adam cutting off her arm.
It is not until Port and Oobleck visit her father that she is directly confronted with what is holding her back from putting on the new arm. Some frank talk between the four of them, and loving support from her father, helps Yang begin to come to terms with moving forward. She is also struck by realizing, due to overhearing her father saying goodbye, that she has been holding him back from important things like helping with Beacon's repair and going after Ruby.
The next morning, Yang steps outside the house, equipped with her new arm. Taiyang stops his gardening, and the two get into battle stances.
The Xiao Longs train for weeks and Yang learns to enjoy the new arm. Taiyang introduces to her a lesson about relying on her Semblance so much that it becomes a handicap. In the process, he opens up about Raven, telling his daughter he sees so many of her mother's good qualities in her. However, he adds that she also needs to see her way around problems rather than through them, a fault she shares with her mother. Yang takes the lesson to heart and bonds with her father even more.
Later, Yang is seen repainting her robotic arm in her colors, along with the left half of Ember Celica. She prepares to leave on her motorcycle, but Taiyang catches up with her before she can depart. He agrees that she is old enough to make her own decisions, and asks whether she is going to find her sister or her mother.
- Episodes Covering These Events
- "Volume 4 Character Short"
- "Of Runaways and Stowaways"
- "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back"
- "Taking Control"
Sometime after the conversation with her father, Yang takes a ship to Anima and rides Bumblebee to cover ground more quickly. During her travels, Yang encounters a drunk patron who, even after she punches him for being too pushy in his interest, approaches her to suggest he can help her in her search. Said patron leads her to a clearing where he and other bandits surround Yang. However, she defeats them all with ease.
Yang is escorted into the Branwen Tribe's camp, where she is finally reunited with her long-absent mother, Raven. The tribe leader congratulates Yang on finding her and offers her hospitality, but Yang counters by stating she came for Raven's help in finding Ruby, something she could do with her Semblance. When Raven refuses and orders her removal, Yang angrily insists she complies and punches another bandit who tries to silence her. In doing so, she reveals a caged Weiss who quickly makes her escape, assisted by her Arma Gigas. Before they can fight their way out of the camp, Vernal halts their advance with a lightning bolt and Raven commands her tribe to stop fighting, lest they attract the Grimm. Raven commands Yang and Weiss into her tent to learn "the truth." As the bandits disperse, the two share a hug of reunion.
Yang and Weiss learn Raven and Qrow attended Beacon Academy to kill and not become Huntsmen, that Ozpin was very interested in Team STRQ and shared many secrets with them and that there is a being named Salem who leads the Grimm to destroy humanity. When Raven starts insulting Team RWBY, Taiyang and Qrow, Yang angrily yells at her mother and asks why she left her. She and Weiss learn of Raven and Qrow's shapeshifting ability, which Ozpin gave them. Raven creates a portal and gives an ultimatum: either they stay with her and learn more or go to Yang's uncle and sister and face what she believes is certain death. Yang angrily replies that all she cares about is Ruby's safety. When she and Weiss ride toward the portal, Raven says she will not act kind the next time they meet. Yang dismisses her and leaves. The two girls reach Qrow, who takes them to Ruby. As her sister tearfully apologizes to her for leaving her, Yang embraces Ruby and tells her she loves her. The two of them invite Weiss to join the reunion hug.
Yang shares a meal and reminisces with Ruby, Weiss, Jaune, Ren and Nora. She shows off her cybernetic arm, and when Nora challenges her to arm wrestle with it, she cuts the match short by shooting it as a projectile into a wall along with Nora. Nora is petrified at the detached limb, but Yang considers revealing the detaching feature a success and laughs heartily. When she and Weiss sit to learn of Ozpin's nature, Yang presses him to answer why he would turn her mother and Qrow into birds. Qrow says it with their decision and was taken seriously. Ozpin then offers the former Beacon students a chance to leave if they feel that the battle against Salem is too much for them. Yang decides to stay on the condition that Ozpin no longer keeps any further secrets from them. Ozpin agrees and invites the students to take the night to rest before taking action.
The next morning, Yang meets Ruby and Weiss outside and expresses disbelief at being in Mistral along with what Ozpin revealed. When Ruby mentions Blake's absence, Yang acts dismissive, bitter and apathetic of the Faunus. Ruby and Weiss press her about this behavior, and she reacts with defiance and red eyes, leading Ruby to worry. After realizing how she came across, Yang dismisses them and returns to her bedroom. She is surprised to find Weiss approach her, and she explains herself. She details the feeling of being alone and left behind and assumes Weiss would not understand. Weiss opens up about her family situation, and Yang apologizes for her assumptions. She continues to not understand why Blake would choose to leave if her friends from Beacon are there for her and why Blake would not be open about herself. Weiss comforts Yang, saying all they can do is be there for Blake when possible, but Yang thinks Blake may not come back to them. Weiss reassures her and says Team RWBY is more a family to her than her brother or father and that she is there for Yang. The blonde is in a better state of mind as Ruby checks in on them.
- Episodes Covering These Events
- "No Safe Haven"
- "Welcome to Haven"
- "Lighting the Fire"
- "Known by its Song"
- "Rest and Resolutions"
- "Alone Together"
The Battle of Haven
On the night of a full moon, Yang travels with Qrow and the others to Haven Academy to meet with Professor Lionheart about the raiding party for the Branwen tribe. During the meeting, however, she spots her mother in her avian form, prompting Raven to reveal herself to everyone. Yang and the others are shocked to find that both Lionheart and Raven have seemingly conspired with Salem's faction, and they find themselves surrounded by the enemy.
In the ensuing battle, Mercury confronts Yang, and they fight once again. She is shocked when she sees Weiss impaled by Cinder Fall. When Raven and Vernal travel with the Fall Maiden down to the Vault of the Relic, Nora urges Yang to stop them. Before she can, however, Mercury and Emerald attack her. Throughout the fight, Yang is at a great disadvantage with Emerald's hallucinations and Mercury's surprise attacks. Ruby interrupts the fight, saving her, and the sisters prepare to fight together. Yang coordinates with her sister and fights Emerald, but she is later exhausted from the long battle. Upon the arrival of the Menagerie Faunus and the Mistral police force, Yang is shocked to find Blake standing outside the school building. However, she quickly complies with Ruby's command to head for the Vault, dodging Emerald and Mercury and detaching her robotic arm. Yang then jumps down the pathway and lands, confronting her mother as she is about to take the Relic.
Yang asks what happened to the previous Spring Maiden and realizes Raven killed her, which turns the discussion heated. Yang criticizes Raven for her hypocrisy and cowardice, reasoning that she is not strong because she lets others take conflict for her. Yang uses this logic to demand Raven to relinquish the Relic because of her fear of Salem, vowing to stand against the enemy when the time comes. She does not heed her mother's warning and shoves her away to reach the Vault. Yang returns Raven's apology and turns to find her mother gone, spotting only a black feather. Yang walks into the chamber and takes the Relic, but she drops to her knees and cries at the revelation of her mother leaving her once again.
Yang returns to ground level with the Relic in hand and glances at Blake with a smile. After Salem's followers make their escape after Emerald's breakdown, Yang gives Qrow the Relic and reports that Cinder is gone and Vernal is dead. However, she only states that Raven is gone, withholding her mother's status as the Spring Maiden. As she rejoins her teammates, Yang makes amends with Blake and Team RWBY hugs, reunited.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Journey to Atlas
Recovering back at the house, Yang and her friends pack their belongings as they learn from Qrow about Ozpin's plan of getting the Relic to Atlas. She then jokes about using Weiss as a potential chance of getting some money for the former heiress' return to her kingdom. As Ozpin emerges from his rest, they learn from him that the Relic of Knowledge can answer three questions every one hundred years. Yang is amazed, though she comments that this Relic puts a lot of pressure on them to keep it safe.
Two weeks after the Battle of Haven, Yang and her friends are in a train station on their way to Argus, a stepping stone on their long journey to Atlas. Once aboard the train, Team RWBY passes time in their passenger car. Ruby calls for an official team exercise, video games, and Yang gets up to retrieve her Scroll for it. Blake, in an overtly courteous attempt to reacclimate with the team, helps Yang get her bag from a high shelf. Yang tells her it was unnecessary but reassures her that she is happy the team is back together.
Manticore and Sphinx Grimm interrupt them, and they climb atop the train to fight them off. A tunnel and the Relic's Grimm attraction complicate the fight. In response, Ruby devises a plan that Jaune, Ren and Nora take all the passengers and the front cars to Atlas safely while Team RWBY, Qrow and Oscar use the rear cars to fight the Grimm. Just as they win the fight against the Grimm, the Sphinx spits one last fireball at the tracks, derailing the train and sending the fighters into a snowy forest. Maria Calavera, an old woman who happened to stay in the rear cars, comes out and greets them.
As she struggles to extricate Bumblebee from the snow, Yang laments their predicament and confronts Ozpin about breaking his promise to stop keeping secrets. The discourse grows heated between the two, as Ozpin ultimately defends his secretive methods despite causing the group to be separated from Team JNPR. Suddenly, Oscar temporarily overrides Ozpin and urges Ruby to summon Jinn from the Relic. The magical being introduces herself and reveals that she can still answer two questions, incensing Yang as she realizes Ozpin had lied about all the questions being used. Qrow tries to speak up, but Yang gets defensive which causes him to relent. After her sister asks Jinn about Ozpin's secret, Yang and the others are separated from one another in a white space. Jinn then begins to tell them a story to answer Ruby's question, revealing that Salem was once human.
As she learns of Salem and Ozma's past, and that Ozpin cannot defeat his former lover, Yang is angered by the revelation. Her temper worsens when the Headmaster seals himself within Oscar's mind, and Yang forcefully demands Oscar to bring him out despite him being unable to. As the tension in the group rises, Maria steps up and directs them to a nearby trail to try and find shelter. Yang is seemingly irritated by the given orders, but her complaints are cut off quickly by the older woman. She later pushes Bumblebee with Maria riding on it, as the heroes find Brunswick Farms and enter to take shelter from the snowstorm.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Nightmare of Brunswick Farms
After Qrow breaks down the front door of the main house, Yang goes with Weiss to find blankets to keep themselves warm. But in the master bedroom, they find a pair of decomposed corpses on the bed causing Weiss to cry out in terror. As the group gathers around the fire, they learn from Qrow that everyone else on the estate had also seemingly died in their sleep, and they have no other choice but to spend the night at the manor until the storm clears. After Ruby suggests that there should be supplies for them to use, Yang grudgingly agrees to go with Blake to find a vehicle. The pair looks into a shed and find a flatbed to attach to the back of Bumblebee. All is well until Yang looks out the window and is frightened upon seeing Adam. She admits her PTSD to Blake and asks if they will have to confront him again. Yang is happy when her partner reassures her that they will face Adam together. But things turn sour when she is seemingly insulted by her partner's promise to protect her, causing her to turn around to go back to the main house.
Later that night, Yang is seen sitting by the fireplace, gazing into the warm flames. Ruby comes into the living room and tells everyone to be ready to leave in the morning. The next day, she's outside as the finishing touches are put on both her bike and the flatbed trailer. But when the trailer gets a flat tire, Yang becomes depressed at their misfortune. She then argues that it would be best to simply discard the Relic, citing that it might not be found for years. But when Ruby loses the lamp in the well, she's insistent upon reclaiming it before leaving, much to Yang's discontent. She and the rest of the team descend into the underground waterways to find the lamp, which is quickly found, along with a band of Grimm called the Apathy, whose screams drain everyone of their will. Maria calls for them to flee, as more Apathy emerge from the tunnels. They flee to a cellar, only to find more Apathy waiting for them, and are nearly incapacitated by their screams. Though once Ruby disintegrates them with her silver eyes, Yang immediately heads for the locked exit and breaks it open with her robotic fist. After they find Qrow passed out in the bar, Yang grabs Blake's hand and quickly leads the way outside. She then calls for Oscar, who was just finishing replacing the flat tire, to leave immediately.
Yang drives along the snowy path, her team behind her in the trailer. As Maria finishes her story about the Apathy, Yang apologizes for her careless words, saying they cannot give up until the Relic is secured.
- Episodes Covering These Events
A Brief Respite
As Yang continues to drive, The group learns Maria was a Silver-Eyed Warrior known as the Grimm Reaper, but she was blinded and went into hiding out of fear. All of a sudden, they get a call from Jaune on Ruby's Scroll, and Yang drives up the hill and announces to the group they have finally reached Argus. After she parks Bumblebee, the group reunites with Jaune, Ren and Nora and takes the trolley through the city, where they find Jaune's sister Saphron Cotta-Arc and her son Adrian Cotta-Arc. At the Cotta-Arc house, Yang plays with the baby and later fonds over him with Weiss, and they all meet Saphron's wife Terra Cotta-Arc and eat sandwiches. Team RWBY plans to get through the Argus military base the next day, but when they go, its front gate quickly closes before them.
Yang yells at the guards for not hearing the group out first, but they eventually meet Caroline Cordovin who only allows Weiss to return home in Atlas. The gates close on the group again and Qrow goes out to drink, leaving Team RWBY and Oscar are left to tell Team JNR about Ozpin and Salem. The revelation to Jaune, Nora and Ren does not go well, and the entire group splits to have time by themselves. Later, Yang calls out to Ruby, who is conversing with Maria, as the group finds that Oscar has disappeared.
They then split up to search for Oscar. With no luck, Team RWBY and Maria return to the house at night where they find Qrow drunk on the front steps, something that Yang has never seen before. After she and Ruby get their uncle up, they are reunited with Jaune and his group, and everyone is later surprised to find Oscar with a new outfit. Inside the house, Yang and the others listen to Jaune's idea of stealing an Atlas airship, later asking how they would get on the airfield. The group is saddened when Qrow rejects Jaune's idea, but their spirits are quickly lifted when Ruby decides to hear Jaune out and that they should do things their way.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Airship Heist
While the majority of the heroes head to the Argus coast to steal an airship, Yang and Blake take Bumblebee to the CCT relay tower to disable Argus' military radar. Yang drops Blake off, and after exchanging a few words, waits by Bumblebee for her return. However, when contact with Blake is lost and the plan starts to unravel, Yang tells her friends to keep it together and goes to find Blake.
Yang soon finds Blake at the mercy of Adam Taurus. She drives Bumblebee off a cliff and disembarks in midair so that it rams into him and falls into the river. Yang offers Blake to take her place and fight Adam, who agrees without question. The two combatants exchange blows, Yang holding her own and clearly having learned and grown more skilled since her previous encounter with Adam at the Battle of Beacon. After blocking a full-force attack from Adam's Semblance with her robotic arm, she tells Adam it is his last chance to stand down. But Adam calls her bluff, insinuating she is afraid to die protecting Blake, which visibly angers Yang. Blake grabs Yang's quivering hand and rebuts Adam by saying that they are protecting each other.
When Adam challenges that Blake is promising Yang what she once promised Adam - to not leave her - Yang counters, asking if Adam was manipulating her. Yang and Blake engage Adam once more, landing a succession of hits by working together. Yang grabs Blake's weapon, and with the ribbon, she sends Blake careening toward Adam, but Blake loses the engagement, and her Aura breaks upon her body hitting the cliffside. Yang pays attention to Blake free climbing as she engages Adam. Adam bullheadedly charges at Yang, and she activates her Semblance. She catches his blade in her robotic hand, her hair on fire, and jerks him forward into a strong punch to his gut, the force sending him sliding on the ground and kicking up the earth.
Both Adam's and Yang's Auras broken, she throws his sword over the edge, setting Blake up to punch him under the jaw. He stumbles over Blake's weapon, and Yang and Blake retrieve the severed portions of it, stabbing him through both sides of his torso. His blood spreading, Blake and Yang remove the blades and watch Adam hobble until he falls lifelessly into the water below. Yang comforts Blake, who breaks down after having killed the man who defined much of her life. She says she knows Blake will keep her promise not to leave Yang again.
Yang and Blake reconvene with the group at the cliff, the heroes having disabled the mech while a Leviathan and several Grimm are set upon Argus. Everyone boards the stolen airship, and Yang and Ruby console Blake as she blames the invasion on herself for failing her part of the plan. Yang helps distract the Leviathan for Ruby to use her Silver Eye powers. It is not enough, however, and Yang is powerless to stop the Leviathan from focusing on Ruby. Ruby is successful, however, and Cordovin allows the heroes to leave for Atlas.
After Blake and Yang share what happened with Adam, Yang takes Blake's hand, saying they were there for each other, and Blake smiles. Oscar shares that Ozpin has been mentally present to a degree, leading Yang to wonder if the former headmaster had been spying on them. On approach to Atlas, Yang enjoys the view, yet she worries about the military's overt presence. A voice on the radio welcomes them to the Kingdom.
- Episodes Covering These Events