Hey, long time, short chapter, possibly angry readers. All is to be expected as I try and get myself back into the swing of regular writing now that I have somewhat passable Internet, and my Muse appears to return.

no shit, my long silence was borne from equal parts shattered self-confidence, attempting to work crappy writing out of my system, and a lack of motivation/inspiration.

to you loyal readers, I thank you, and hope you can understand.

The day had not progressed well for Ruby, as a lack of sleep the previous night had translated into being barely being able to keep her eyes open.

She was essentially running on sugar and caffeine; which, as many people can tell you, is nasty, but sometimes necessary state of being.

Her team was worried, but not overly so, pegging it on a small bout of insomnia.

So RWBY slogged through the day.

As Lunch time rolled around, a sight of relief was breathed by team RWBY. Apparently Blake had a solution for their leaders sluggishness.

"Are you sure, Blake? This doesn't look exactly... good for me." Ruby asked, skeptic of the properties Blake had claimed of the frothy brown liquid in the mug in her hands.

"It probably isn't, and it tastes terrible, but when I had to go for... extended survivalist camping trips with little time for resting, it kept me running." Blake admitted. RWBY knew what she was talking about.

"What's in it?" Weiss asked.

"A few roots, some herbs, a little juice from some berries and even a tiny bit of some select mosses. I learned the recipe from a crazy old woman back when the White Fang ran protests instead of robberies. It works, but it takes medicine to a whole new level of nasty." Blake reassured.

"Where'd you get that stuff?" Yang asked.

"Beacon is surrounded by impenetrable forests on three sides, and you ask me where I get a 'fruits of the forest' remedy?" Blake replied, arching her eyebrow.

"I guess it's this, or fall asleep in Port's class later." Ruby said, raising the mug to her lips.

The drink was nothing but bitter in all the worst ways. Ruby almost spat it out.

"I'd sweeten it, but apparently that ruins the effect." Blake explained. "The cure beats out the disease any day."

"I'll say," Ruby said, pawing at her tongue to try and get the taste off.

They were interrupted by shouting before the conversation could continue.

"Hey! Whose sword is that?"

"Put it away before Goodwitch gets here!"

Florence pulled herself off of the stone floor as she blinked herself awake by sheer force of habit.

Her ears were ringing slightly, but she could make out voices.

Taking stock of her surroundings, she could make out the interior of a large structure resembling a church somewhat, though the tables with plates of food present identified it as a mess hall of some sort.

There were a number of young-looking people surrounding her, younger than her by a few years at least. Many were on the cusp of their adulthood.

There was murmuring and chatter, and whilst it sounded familiar, she couldn't recognize what language it was... or she didn't know it, one of the two.

A pair of large doors at the end of the building banged open and a blonde woman who gave Florence flashbacks of some of the stricter teachers in the dragon college, if those teachers had just had their costume party interrupted, stormed through the doors.

Instinctively; Florence knew to fear this woman.

The angry disciplinarian began shouting in the same foreign language as the others, and they parted to let her through and even backed off slightly.

Her tone softened, slightly, as she addressed Florence and her companions, but only got blank stares in return.

"We can't understand you, do you speak Astoran?" Lukas asked.

All he got in reply were several confused looks and a string of babble that made no sense to their ears.

"Try speaking Deltoran, some of that sounds... similar to a dialect popular amongst the youth in the Five Finger Delta." Elric said. "Though there are plenty of words I don't know."

"You speak Deltoran?" Melanie asked incredulously.

"Enough to make a few silver off of selling hides and firewood, but not much more than that, I'm afraid." Elric replied. "Anyone else familiar with Deltoran?"

Surprisingly, it was Melanie who spoke up. "I could hold a conversation in it, the parents of one of my friends growing up could only speak Deltoran. I'm not fluent by any stretch of the imagination and I never travelled there to pick up dialects."

"Worth a shot," Florence said. "Ask them where we are. I'm convinced that this is not Lordran."

Melanie rattled off a hard-to-follow string of words and was met with a response in kind.

"I'm not 100% certain, but I think she said we're in the kingdom of 'Vale'." Melanie translated.

"Never heard of it."

"She said that she would take us to someone who would explain what's going on." Melanie elaborated.

"Lead the way. We're about as lost as that time we got stuck in the Tomb of Giants and Patches stole the lantern." Florence said. "I don't need to remind you of how bad that was"

"Don't remind me." Melanie said before translating for Florence.

Ozpin could practically feel the wave of warm energies as it breezed through his school. His scheme was coming together.

It did not surprise him when Glynda sent a message shortly after telling him that the marks had disappeared, along with the soapstones. He had been expecting that.

His scroll soon beeped afterwards, alerting him to a large disturbance in the cafeteria.

That would be the ancient heroes. No doubt that Glynda would bring them to him.

He sat behind his desk, occasionally sipping from his mug and had nearly ran out of coffee when there was a knock on his door.

"Here goes nothing," Ozpin murmured to himself.