Hokay! So! I'm still sick, unfortunately, but I did promise a little something. This does have a plot, I promise you that. With the starting of my own writing endeavors and the start of a webcomic (Yeap I finally did it! www. ), time is getting harder to manage.
I will continue writing, and with Equinox nearing its end, all I'll have is my own work and the Riven story to work on in terms of writing (not including the various short stories and that Graves/TF story Kuz and I are still working on).
KuzAnn was unable to help me edit this chapter, but still give her muchos love.
And for Swain, I have to say this now, because of this person, , who I have been RP'ing with as LeBlanc, has influenced me way too much for my own good! A lot of the Swain writings and ideas that I write about come from them, and I want to give GeneralSwain from tumblr the due credit they deserve. My Swain is different, but for example his backstory? Way better than what I had in mind. I'm going to be using snippets from them, and I want people to know that if it weren't for them, my depiction of Swain (and LeBlanc) would be horsecrap compared to what he's developing into now.
Now, before I do anything else, this review from Celesdian:
A good, solid chapter as a return. A lot of information is given, but the plot.. What's the plot?! Lol it's a good setup.
Quick question. You might have already mentioned this before, but what do you plan to do with the number of champions that came out since you started this story? Especially with the implied relations (not romantically, ... I think) between Riven and Yasuo?
Answer: No I hate Yasuo...pffftahaha, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I don't like how he was handled, truth be told, and the problem my story suffers is that I already used Master Yi for the exact same narrative that is expected out of Yasuo. Does that mean I'm not including him? Nope! With his introduction, I had to do some rewriting of the story, but I don't think I'm going to spoil how I'm bringing him in. Lucian, Thresh, Jinx, Vi, they don't affect the story in particular and I can use them for cameo appearances more than anything.
Sivir, however, I have to keep with her old lore rather than her new Shurima one, along with Cassiopeia. For the confusion that this will cause in new readers, I apologize ahead of time. The amount of rewriting it would cause me at this point would be catastrophic.
Hokay! So my cover art for this story isn't done yet, to get a feel as to how I do title stuff take a look at Equinox, I designed that (and drew both Leo and Diana's silhouettes), but I think I'm going to pop in some future glimpes now.
Note: They are subject to editing and the way they are written will not necessarily be how they are shown in the final product. Also, it's not in any particular order
A Jester's Deal
"No no, go ahead!" Shaco laughed, throwing his hands up to the air. "Go right ahead! I want to hear this next plan! May I make a suggestion? It involves several trained monkeys, a taser and banana cream."
Riven's eyebrow twitched. She glared at the demon jester, trying to get a read on him. An impossible feat, but it was better than just accepting what he said at face value. "Why."
"Why? Why what? Why is there the moon, the stars? Where has all our love gone to? Wh-"
"Why the monkeys?"
Shaco blinked, his head snapped a full 360 degrees, and he burst out laughing.
"You do have a sense of humor!"
"Can I just gut him and get this over with?" the Blade's Shadow said while pointing at the Jester with his blade.
"He's here because he wants something, you and I both know that. And seeing as how I'm not picking a shiv out of my back, he needs me for it."
"Very good! Very good, you get a gold star!" Shaco laughed once more. "Yes, I need you for it, and it will benefit the both of us. But, before I say anything, how do you trick a trickster?"
Riven fell quiet. She closed her eyes and fell into thought. The answer was obvious, but what would the cost be? The moment he finished that sentence, the Exile knew what his purpose was for. It was no coincidence that he was here.
Katarina's eyes became steeled, staring at Riven. She could sense the collecting tension from everyone: Katarina, Talon, Morgana and Shaco. It was staring them in the face, their solution, the lynchpin to the plan, but what would the cost be?
"To trick a trickster…" Riven started to say while she stood up. Her amber eyes locked with Shaco's soulless, pupilless whites. "You must break their expected rules. You need our help for this."
"Of course I do! A one man show is good fun," Shaco giggled, flicked his finger towards the table. A shiv flew out from the depths of his checkered shirt and embedded itself in the wood. He started to swat at the handle, making the metal reverberate as he said, "What I'm asking is if you, all of you, want to jump in, and hold the hat while I pull the rabbit out?"
Riven had been bought more time. Her forces were rerouting Swain's forces effectively, and with the pandemonium caused by Darius, she was free to make a beeline straight for the gates of the Darkborne Hold. She had sent a squad to scout and secure the gate earlier, they should be stationed nearby and waiting for her signal to advance.
The gate was open. Why was it open?
Riven stared at the black iron gate that was meant to hold invaders at bay, it looked like it was inviting her. The courtyard was filled with various corpses, of her men and women. Their weapons planted into the ground where each one had fallen. Swords, spears, axes all silent in their watch. In the middle of it all, an odd purple ball stirred.
Riven's greaves clanked noisily on the ground, she rolled her shoulder and took a quick glance in the polished black sheen. There was no one behind her, no one on the parapets, just this one being.
"Hrm? Finally," the ball said in a cocky tone. "I was wonderin' when you'd show up."
It unfurled, and the Grandmaster-at-Arms Jax stood. He was sitting on what appeared to be a warhammer the length of him, and its head the size of a barrel. Jax kicked his weapon with far too much ease and sent it flying upwards. His hand stretched out, caught the haft of his hammer and stared at Riven.
"Jax? What are you doing?"
"I'm a merc, Riven. I get paid to fight, no matter the fight."
Underneath her black helmet, Riven's amber eyes glowed. Traces of emerald started to wisp from forehead, the beginning patterns of runic words being revealed. "I thought better of you, Jax. Shame on me, I suppose."
"Nah," he said with a shrug. "I could say I'm doin' it fer the money, but let's be honest, I'm not. I'm testin' to see if you deserve this. That if your 'conviction' is worth all this blood. And hey, think of it this way: Loser buys winner a drink."
Riven raised her blade up and pointed at Jax. "No hard feelings?"
"None at all, sweet eyes."
It was Jax. There was no way to convince him to not fight, unless you surrendered and let him beat you unconscious. This last line of defence, damn it all to hell Swain, why all these delays?
Riven dashed towards Jax, blade about to swing when her eyes caught the reflection off of her blade. Stabbing downwards, she barely slid underneath a giant, four pronged boomerang weapon that hurtled with unerring accuracy at Jax. The Grandmaster had to mimic Riven's action in order to evade the attack.
"C'mon, Jax, stop stallin' her already," Sivir called out, running at full speed directly at the Grandmaster.
Riven launched herself out of Sivir's path and just in time. The Battlemistress had grabbed one of the discarded weapons, taken to the air and stabbed down at Jax's helmet. The blade pierced one of the holes, and if Jax had not struck the sword with his palm and shattered it, it would have killed him then and there.
Jax jerked his shoulder forward and struck Sivir in her gut, making her roll backwards and away from him. "Siv, come on, we can party a little later with some drinks. L-"
Sivir's boomerang nearly decapitated him while returning to its owner. He ducked in time to evade yet another mortal blow, but his hammer was not quick enough. The shaft was sliced in half as the boomerang blade returned to her awaiting hand.
"Remember when you were some no name merc walking around thinking you were the cock of the walk?" Sivir bent her entire body back, and heaved her blade at the far wall. The gem on her gauntlet shone in unison with the one on her weapon, and when it struck the brick, it bounced off towards Jax, shearing through the weaponry as it made its way towards Jax while Sivir took off running again. The Grandmaster grabbed the nearest weapon to him, a battle axe, and took to the skies.
Sivir contorted her torso, allowing the axe blade to shave the tip of her nose, and she fired a bone breaking elbow at his back. The Grandmaster staggered for a moment while Sivir dove to get a weapon. Her boomerang struck the other wall, bounced towards the south, and then flew towards Jax again.
"Get going!" Sivir yelled at Riven before focusing her attention on the Grandmaster once more. The axe blade came down and nearly lopped her arm off because of her break in concentration.
How did she do it? How in the hells did she do it? Darius could not understand. That match, what a laugh. His summoner had to intervene! Intervene! And who would have given the order? Who could have given the order? And damn her, damn her words! They still rang in his head!
"What is your price of a mile, General Darius? What are you willing to give up?"
Why did that question echo in his head again, and again, and again? Anything and everything for Noxus! Noxus' strength was unparallel to any other city-state and country! Noxus was needed to rule, Noxus-
"Hey bro! Bro! Brooooo? Bromego? Brosabi? B-"
"What?!" he snapped at the door. "What is it, Draven!?"
The Glorious Executioner booted the door open, his hands holding two plates of food. The succulent smell of properly cooked beef and spiced perfectly filled Darius' nostrils.
"Saw what happened, and I have to say, that sucks, man."
Draven rested the plates on Darius' desk. One was a twelve ounce steak, drizzled in some sort of sauce that Darius could not put his finger on, and the sides of it filled with pillowy mashed potatoes. The other plate was enough salad to feed a rabbit colony for a week, drizzled in "Draven's Homemade sauce." Which, the first time Darius heard his brother call it that, sent Draven to the infirmary.
"Thought I'd bring yer food up here, since you were probably gonna be all pissy about it."
"I am not pissy about it."
"Yeah you totally are!" Draven said with a loud laugh. "That's how you get! But look at this way: It looked awesome. Dramatic! Suspenseful! I think even the great Draven shed a tear!"
Darius grumbled in response.
Draven walked over, clapped the Hand of Noxus' shoulder and asked, "Y'want me to kill her?"
"C'mon, it'd be easy."
"No, if she dies I'll do it myself."
"Snip snip, and besides, we know I'm the better one."
"Like hell you are," Darius growled, standing to his feet.
"It's a confession I gotta make," Draven said while backing away and flexing his biceps. "In this line of profession, the only perfection, is Draaaaven."
Darius lunged forward and wrapped his arms around his brother's head, locking him in place as he swung him mercilessly about.
"Fine! Fine! You get her!" he hollered after nearly a full minute of struggling.
Darius set Draven down. 'Even though they were both in their thirties, they still acted like children,' he thought to himself.
Draven started to strut towards the door and waved Darius off, "Later, chompsky! I got some work I gotta catch up on." He stopped halfway out the door, looked back and shot his brother one last grin. "But ah, if anythin's botherin' ya, I'm down at the sparring pits. I'll even let ya win one."
Draven slammed the door behind him, laughing all the while.
Darius finally cracked a smirk, shook his head and muttered, "Idiot…"
He got up and made his way over to his desk. Ever since they were young, Darius took care of Draven, but it was Draven who was the chef. When Darius joined the army, the slop that they were fed by the cooks was slightly better than whatever horrors he concocted in the stew pot on the campgrounds. When Draven was finally old enough to join the army, people welcomed him as a messiah from Darius' cooking.
Darius looked at his axe that rested in the corner. The reason why he started to swing it, it wasn't for Noxus. How odd, to admit that. The original reason he swung it, was to protect his younger brother. The cocky little egotistical shit that he was. Yes, there was the duty to Noxus, that had been with him always, but he remembered it so clearly, the thoughts that he entertained as he waited in line to enlist.
Darius stormed over to his desk, pulled his chair back and sat down on it with a loud thud. He moved to start eating, but a book caught the corner of his eye. Riven's memoirs, the propaganda she had been publishing and spreading in Noxus. What was her price? What did she pay? Why couldn't he push the words down in his head?
Darius reached for the book, opened the first page, and started to read while he ate. He would not sleep that night until he finished the entirety of the book.