Noxus: Foreign Investigation
The Hunt for Jhin is the tentative name to my sort-of running storyline of vaguely-chronologically-connected pieces about (you guess it) Jhin and (mostly) Zed, with the addition of a homicidal blood mage and a yordle. I was gonna post it in Bad writing, but... well since I see Riot is far from doing anything about Jhin yet (since they are busy with Targon and stuffs), I can entertain myself with this further.
Including: the Zed lost his Shadow Arc, which is the third chapter of Bad writing collection: League of Legends. The piece may answer some confusions regarding the events happening in this storyline.
Premise: The Virtuoso, Khada Jhin, had been freed. The Master of Shadows was the only Ionian aware of this fact and was determined to track his enemy down. Meanwhile, the Matron of the Black Rose herself also saw it fit to rectify the chaos Jhin had caused within the Noxian border. As several factions began to move against him, the artist himself began coming home, to deliver the vengeance against those who incarcerated him.
Vladimir regarded the paper with subtle curiosity.
"So… the Virtuoso has struck again."
"We thought he no longer had any interests within Noxus, but it seems he still does."
"And you think this concerns us because?"
"He's a wild factor. We don't know what he is or who he works for. Such is not good micromanagement, and I mean to rectify that."
Vladimir looked down at photos of artful gory scenes again.
"He's one of a kind," he commented "all the blood splashes are natural, which means he's mastered the expertise of killing the exact way he wants. Everything was done to… perfection."
He looked up again.
"And what do I have to do with this?"
"You will help me look into him."
The blood mage closed the file, fingers tracing the paper's edge.
"If I may ask, don't you have far more stealthy and trustworthy agents to conduct this investigation?"
The Matron smiled
"Oh Vladimir, are you underestimating yourself?"
"I speak of the obvious truth. As someone who's good at micromanagement, I have to say this is quite a risky choice."
"I have to make do, Vladimir. There's simply no option left."
A smile crossed the Hemomancer's lips. So the Matron heard of his dealings with the Master of Shadows, huh?
"Ah, typical, you already knew."
"I have my doubts, but we all know I'm not in place to verify them all. Besides, you are smarter and much more cunning than I've previously thought. And trust me when I say that there have been few who could pull that off."
She pulled out a small ring with the rose insignia on it.
"This will help you avoid scrutinizing eyes. This is a suggestion, Vladimir, and is not a request. Should you feel uncomfortable…"
"Oh, very well." She handed him the ring. That was easy.
"This killer is special, Matron. He's too intriguing to be left in the dark, don't you think?"
"Killing people mindlessly like that isn't quite to my taste."
"You suspected he was working for someone, though."
"I told you, I have my suspicions. And you will help me verify them, in whatever way possible."
"And am I allowed to kill him?"
LeBlanc raised an eyebrow.
"It is not required, but if you do, I can certainly find a way."
"You don't think the Virtuoso would be happy doing these murders forever, do you?"
"No. Though someone like him getting bored isn't gonna go down quietly. Showmanship has its price." LeBlanc smiled "I've discussed it with Swain. Your position on the High Command shall be preserved until you return."
Vladimir stood up, holding the file in his hand.
"If I may," he said, bowing slightly.
"Goodnight, Vladimir. Your deed to the Rose shall be remembered."
Vladimir unlocked the door to his mansion and stepped in.
"I must praise you, Master of Shadows. So far you are the quietest and stealthiest of all intruders who'd snuck into my house."
The aforementioned man stepped out from the shadows. His eyes glowed red.
"Thank you, anyhow, for not causing any property damage," said the mage in an airy tone "I've changed the window up to five times already."
Zed smirked under his mask.
"I had some urgent business to run." Vladimir explained, passing by the ninja and heading to the living room "Anyway, you came. How have you been?"
"So far nothing has shown up, I suppose."
Vladimir opened the door to the living room and cast a spell. All the candles burst into light.
"I see. To what do I owe your presence today?"
He turned around to find Zed holding a set of clothes.
"You lent me these. I thought it is proper to return them."
"Ah, yes, thank you," Vlad said, taking the clothes and setting it on the nearest couch "now what may I do for you, Zed?"
Zed took off his mask. His face betrayed no emotions. Vladimir guessed he'd been perfecting such look for his whole life.
"You said Jhin killed people in your nation. I want information on those cases."
Vladimir poured tea from one of his newly acquired thermoses.
The caster smiled.
"You're getting good at this."
"I've had practice," said the assassin.
"I have no particular reason to deny you this piece of knowledge. You'd know what to do with it. The thing is… why?"
"You're no longer a protector of equilibrium, justice and all that jazz. You're the bad guy to those things now. So, why would you be interested in stopping him?"
"I am not a psychopathic murderer, Vladimir. His freedom now is my fault. I have to fix it."
Vladimir drained his cup in one go.
Zed stayed silent.
Vladimir produced a yellow file and handed it to him.
"If that is the case, you'd also want to know he has begun killing again. It seems his 'audience' is making a move."
The mage could see Zed's eyes slightly harden as he skimmed through the file.
"He killed those who vouched for the Ionian War to commence," Vladimir explained "if anything, I think this 'faction' is solidifying their stand, either through fear or favor of others. But you're not concerned about politics, I see. You're concerned about the killer alone."
"Are you looking into him?"
"Why yes, as for me, he's a morbidly fascinating individual. How a man can make the foundation of a whole nation stir. And my boss wants to know more about him."
"Your boss? Swain?"
"Nope, the other boss," Vladimir smiled. An idea was forming inside his head "to think about it, now, I'm not a generous person."
"That is expected. You're only that towards Lulu's wishes. I will pay the right price for the information you provided."
"You're going to let me help you."
The assassin almost gagged.
"My boss wants me to look into him. She wants information. Finding some way to keep tabs on him, I suppose. And I figure there's no better person to acquire it from than someone who's personally been involved with him."
"Your boss obviously doesn't want him dead."
"It's not necessary, but isn't restricted. After all, if he were to die, this 'shady faction' commanding him would be uneasy. My boss would have enough strings, then, to figure out the rest."
Zed stared at him.
"I can tell you what I know. I can show you more than four thousand sketches I've done of his 'masterpieces'. I can explain how he adapts his motifs into his works. But I cannot tell you who let him out or why they did it. Nor do I care about that."
"If you want to find someone who commands an Ionian sociopath, you go to Ionia. You and I have the same goal: hunting for Jhin. The purpose behind that goal isn't that important."
Vladimir poured himself another cup of tea.
"Whatever happens, tomorrow I will leave for Ionia. It will be appreciated if you consent."
"You've placed me in debt," said Zed "I cannot deny you this request."
"Well, that settles it, then," Vladimir beamed him a smile "it's a pleasure to be working with you."
"Again," Vladimir reaffirmed.
"Ah, how exhilarating," Zed remarked "can I have another cup?"
"I'm gonna have to borrow this set of clothes again," said Zed, after having changed into the so-called aristocratic clothing.
"Oh, keep it. I have more than I need of those. Is this your disguise?"
"Yeah, it's funny how literally no one recognizes me without the mask."
"Well, except for Shen, of course, but who knows what he's doing these days. He's not out on the streets looking for a sociopathic murderer, that's for damn sure."
"Isn't that a really convenient use of a mask? Had I known this I would have donned one myself."
"How are you gonna disguise yourself, by the way? You're quite a high profile Noxian. Why your boss would send you is frankly lost to me."
"She knows I'm the only one who can obtain this information for her. Sometimes you will have to make do. Worry not, I have insurance from her ladyship." Vladimir produced a ring he wore on a necklace under his shirt "this will help me avert people's attention."
He turned around and smiled to Zed.
"Come now, don't be so cautious. We are in an equal opportunity partnership. I'm not trying to extract any information from you at all."
"You say so, but now I have a member from a Noxian faction helping me fight someone from an Ionian faction. You will see it causes complications."
"I know," Vladimir said "and my words stand. I'm only tagging along until I have what I deem sufficient. Whatever you'd like to do with him is, again, not my concern."
"Fine. You can be useful. If you're finished packing, we'll go now."
So... I won't deny that I was really interested in Jhin. His release was actually the reason I started looking into Ionian lore as a whole (I used to write a lot of Noxus). The idea that Shen and Zed (obviously my favorite rivalry of the game) have a common enemy is just so awesome I really hope Rito can nail it. In the mean time, I'll interest myself with this little project.
FYI, this is not a running story in any way, shape or form, the pieces under this project has the same premise, but isn't a consistent story (though initially it may appear that way). There will be a lot of conversations about life, morals, past, science and more! Just classic me stuffs!