Riven took a swig of her restoration potion, grimacing bitterly as the sour fluid ran over her tongue. But it was worth it, for little by little she felt the fatigue pull from her heavy limbs and stiff muscles. However, it did little to remove the blood which stained her cloth-and-metal rag-tag armor, which still and encumbered her body.
Whose blood it was, she didn't even remember anymore. After all, she'd died many times, and taken down twofold the champions with her. They seemed to forget that deaths weren't taken into account; all that mattered was how many you chopped down, and while it was indeed difficult to fight on her own, there was still no way she could keep her emotions in check with Lux around.
It was a good thing they haven't come across each other yet.
She sighed in content as all the aches and pains left her, before hurling her vial into the lake, letting it interrupt the pinkish water, little ripples erupting around it. Underneath, Fizz and Nami's aquatic bodies glowed lightly, a gentle aura that didn't seem to match the grotesque cuts on their bodies. However, as much as watching their slowly dissolving corpses bleed out was fun, she knew that within moments there would be people coming. There always was. So, as always, she set off deeper into the arena and towards the action.
And when it came to action, there was something everywhere. Already the clangs and bangs of bullets and swords cluttered the ambience. Shouts of war, yells of allies to each other and yells of enemies to their enemies. It suddenly made perfect sense as to why everyone would get annoyed at the Demacian's loud honor cries.
A series of quick rustles headed toward her. Riven scaled the nearest tree in response, hoping her armor wouldn't contrast with the natural greens and browns. Making herself a shield of camouflage with the leaves, she peered towards the noise, sword ready. Hopefully, there would only be one person. Dispatching one is as easy as taking on a siege minion, that's what she thought, and so far she'd been right.
However, Lady Luck had dulled her shine this time. Bolting from the foliage emerged Ashe and Kayle, dexterously whirling about. Then they halted just below her, tense and cautious, towards the direction of which they emerged.
They're running from something.
"Get back here!"
Or someone, obviously. Someone very rude, abrasive, and loud.
Someone named Tryndamere, who just burst from the brush, great sword dragged behind him tactlessly. Treating his blade with such a crude demeanor…she ought to send his head flying for just that.
"Pursuing us this far? I believe you are asking to be killed, Barbarian King," Kale said smoothly. Her helmet was gone, revealing a shaggy yet sleek mane of gold. Blue eyes of which held an iciness rivaling Ashe's glared daggers, holding back nothing. Even Riven had to admit she had a notable air of both strength and undeniable sexiness about her.
Apparently the barbarian did not agree.
"Shut up, you ugly whore! Get away from my wife!"
This time is was Ashe who replied, her voice cooler than Freljord's most desolate mountains. "Leave or I will land an arrow between your eyes, honor-less knave. Our future marriage gives you no power over my actions nor of those around me."
Riven thought he would be hurt by her words. Why was she acting so hostile anyway? It was a shocker in itself that they were being married, though it did make sense now that she thought about it. Instead of hurt, however, he was angry, jaw clenched, face taking hold of a dark shade of red.
"You should be with me! By MY side! We will rule Freljord together—we should fight together! You belong with me!"
Ashe narrowed her eyes, fingers grasping the feathers of an arrow. Kayle visibly hadn't changed, but Riven could tell that the connection between she and her blade had altered to one of immense energy.
"It was you who cast aside our alliance in this competition, King Tryndamere, by denying my decision of allying with the Judicator."
A flash of rage emit from his body, fury wrapping his abused steel blade. He pointed it rudely at Kayle, who tightened her scowl condescendingly.
"She is no ally of great loyalty—she who is called the 'Judicator' is merely a weak woman! Nothing more!"
"Then clearly that is where our opinions differ."
Quicker than Riven could have ever done, Ashe strung her bow and let the arrow fly—rather, it didn't fly at all, it tore through the air in a swirl of ice and heatless wind. The arrow slammed into the hilt of his sword around his hand and wrapped it in a case of ice, frozen solid. The accuracy was amazing, so amazing that she was sure Ashe could shoot a bullet if she wanted to. Tryndamere's eyes widened in shock as he stared at his disabled hand, then hatefully at his wife. Before he could speak, Riven decided to make her entrance, leaping out of the tree and over the surprised duo. She landed in front of the king and sneered, putting all the arrogance she could into one facial expression.
"Who is hopeless?" She jeered. Tryndamere, still startled as to where she came from, blinked in confusion. And, in one fell swoop, she sliced him from shoulder to shoulder, blood splattering onto her face and neck. He stumbled backwards before landing solidly to the ground, eyes white and the ground quickly reddening around him. The stench of copper soon filled the air, only instead of it being a dreadful smell, it sweetened her senses. Served him right it did!
Remembering the two women behind her, she turned on her heel, crouched low and sword up in a defensive barrier. Ashe and Kayle eyed her, Ashe with mild amusement.
"Were you above us the whole time?" She asked lightly, stringing another arrow, but not firing.
Riven fidgeted nervously. "Well…yeah." She then flicked her eyes over Kayle, whose sword was now engulfed in flames. Things were not looking up at all.
Ashe nodded slowly, smiling. "I see. I do thank you for killing Tryndamere...having to fight him would not have been good for future relations under such circumstances. Marriage might not be possible." Who knew what kind of film could be leaked-in a competition where allies could be picked, the future king and queen of Frejlord not siding together could end up looking...unpleasant to her people.
Kayle, on the other hand, shifted slightly, though her face remained of stone.
Kayle. Riven had always wanted to meter her strength, had always wanted to spar against the immortal, but not here with Ashe. Ashe…would take her down in moments. Her power was not something to be trifled with. Against such ranged prowess, her sword was useless. Even though she could cover good distance with her winged assault, it wouldn't be enough if the two rangers simply made more distance.
After moments of pure silence, the frost archer's brow knit. "Aren't you going to attack? I'll give you the honor of initiative."
Riven hesitated. She could probably take her down with her combos if she truly was giving her the initiative…but…there was always Kayle and her invulnerability blessing. And that sword, those flames. It would not end good.
"…Or do you not want to fight? You don't think you would lose easily would you?" She guessed.
Bingo. She couldn't admit that though, and just looked away, embarrassed.
Ashe lowered her bow. Kayle followed suit, the flames extinguishing like a candle snuffed by wind. Riven looked forward to see that the queen was now directly in front of her, hand extended gently. Questionably she stared at the hand, pale as snow and just as delicate, as if it was some alien object.
"A truce," she mused kindly. "This is just the preliminaries, friend—there is much more to come. In future issues, I trust you can fight alongside Kayle and I. The same offer extends to those you decide to partner with." There was a knowing tone to her voice, but she ignored it, taking her hand firmly. She was cold to the touch, sending chills up her spine, yet it still found some way to seem warm in nature, matching the personality.
"So…I hear you have taken an interest in General Luxanna Crownguard. Do I hear the truth?" A playful atmosphere rose around her, and the corner of her mouth made the most slight of grins.
Riven blushed madly. "Of sorts."
"Ah. Then I wish you the best of luck. Now, I believe—"
She was stopped mid sentence as a horrible screech scratched through the forest, loud and full of dissonance. It reminded The Exile of nails running down one of those vile boards of which a scholar would scribe upon, but magnified tenfold. Her hands, which went instantly to her ears, became wet, and her head spun. When it was over, Ashe and Kayle were looking towards the source of the ugly noise, their ears bloody.
"What was that…?" Riven breathed, a hint dizzy, but more or less alright. Ashe had one hand to her forehead, eyes scrunched closed. Kayle, on the other hand, had concern etched over her features.
"Only one champion of my knowledge could produce a sound of such magnitude—rather, only one champion controls sound to begin with."
There would only be one reason why Sona would let loose such discord. She would never do it on purpose because it harmed not only enemies but herself and allies as well, so it was obviously accidentally, only Sona rarely made accidents when it came to things like that. Most probably, something happened to her. And if something happened to her...Something would have happened to her teammates as well, lest it were her teammates causing it.
But that would never happen.
Riven sprinted towards the sound, hoping she wouldn't arrive too late. If the Demacians fell any lower than they were already, they'd be in big trouble.
Ashe and Kayle watched as she left, wishing for Riven's wellbeing that Crownguard would be all right. It was blatantly obvious to them, and most other keen champions, how Riven felt about her. Yet…that girl seemed utterly oblivious whenever the topic was hinted.
Looking cleverly from one to the other, Ashe sent up her hawk, clearing the area of bugs. And, with a shy smile, the Immortal and the Queen met in a single sweet kiss, ice colliding with fire in a crystal embrace.
When Riven heard the discord, it was loud. Very loud.
So naturally she thought that Sona would be close by.
She thought wrong.
Since leaving her new allies, she'd seen nothing that sparked interest. No blood. No destruction. Not a blade of grass nor leaf or pebble strewn the wrong way. Yet still she ran, almost stumbling over obstacles, heavy and just exhausted from being active for so long. Had it been a rift match, it would be long over.
Just as her hopes were dashing, a familiar Demacian war cry sounded nearby. It was Garen, most likely spinning like an oaf or something, no matter how affective it may be. She picked up the pace, but still his voice was far. Then she glimpsed, above the trees, a glimmering pillar of blue as the soul of a defeated champion was transported to the area of the dead. It had to be Sona—only she could have perished, right?
Lux would be fine.
And if she wasn't…she'd just kill the one who did her in. Simple as that.
Mmmh, simple it is indeed, Miss Riven.
She caught herself from snagging her foot on a root, a flare of anger quickly spiking in her chest.
Oh come now, don't be so surprised. I am a summoner.
Battling the fatigue of her limbs, she continued at a slower pace, struggling to push up metal barriers. She left her mind exposed, to conserve strength, and all this time he was digging through her thoughts like they were his own.
Fuck off old coot, and get out of my head! She demanded.
I believe you have forgotten our little agreement, champion, and I require your senses at this point and time.
Desire my senses? I'm your assistant, not your helper. Get. OUT.
First there was silence.
Then she felt her body go numb, and she collapsed forward, the momentum sending her crashing against the misshapen rug of stone and dirt. She tried to get up.
Her body was rooted to the ground, and her nerves completely unresponsive.
What did you fucking do?! Riven screamed in her mind, pushing in vain to move her arms. Undo what you just did. Undo it!
The deal, Miss Riven. I require your senses. You shall give me them, or I shall take them myself.
Wasting time. She could hear the fighting now, hear the yells, but they were muffled. Who knows what could be going on. Gritting her teeth in rage, she let a word of begrudging agreement escape her lips.
And darkness enveloped her. First she felt sheer terror—it was always horrible when a summoner decided to take control of her body, but never to the extent that she couldn't see, couldn't hear or breathe. It felt as if someone had sucked away all the warmth and soul of her body, bottled it up, and buried it far, far away. And then moments later, everything came rushing back in a torrent of pure energy, flooding her senses. Quite the opposite sensation, and almost as frightening.
She was left shakily on her feet, knees vibrating uncontrollably. In her mind, she could practically see that bastard sneering down at her cheekily as her pride lay in shambles.
There you go. Now that wasn't so hard was it? I just took a view of the place…in detail. Utilized some of my summoner perks with a more desirable amplitude. Oh! I even gave you a little gift, Miss Riven. Although you claim such things are dishonorable, little exile, I'm sure you will now think otherwise.
She felt his presence fade. The burning of his eyes against her being, which she had blatantly shrugged off since the beginning of the match, disappeared at last. How stupid it was of her to think of that instinctive discomfort as simple anxiety…who knows what he saw in her head. What he read of her.
Who he read of her.
She shuddered. And still, the haunt of his presence remained with that new weight in her pocket, presumably his ominous 'gift', which she dared not uncover.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a blinding flash of brilliant light. It was all too familiar to nearly everyone in the League from top to bottom, and was one of Demacia's trademarks.
So close, just beyond the trees. So close.
With energy the bastard summoner must have revitialized her with, Riven dashed, sword gripped tight. A spray of sand seemed to erupt behind her from the force of her boots, leaving dents in the earth behind her.
She rounded one tree. Then another little cluster of shrubs. Then she came upon a tree taller than the rest, and scaled it with one arm, using it as a viewpoint.
And quite the view there was.
Just beyond where she crouched in the tree, a rune strewn clearing exposed itself, stained with blood and corpses. There lay Garen and Talon, dark puddles beneath them both. And then, there stood Galio, his great wings around him in a protective shield. In his large, stone arms lay an unconscious Lux, small and feeble compared to the sentinel's form. Winding from her cheek to the opposite collarbone shone a deep cut, slick but not running.
From a blade. The Sinister Blade's weapon, no less.
And there stood the Sinister Blade herself, pale with blood loss yet flushed slightly and bristling.
They looked like they were talking. It was a strange sight to see, Katarina conversing with a Gargoyle. It was stranger still that she seemed to be slowly relaxing.
Riven burst from the tree, a good distance from the clearing, but not long enough for her to be bested by distance. With a tumble and a dashing lunge, she aimed for just one more strike. One that would end the Noxian.
But her sword only bit the dust, quite literally, as her target blinked out in a burst of smoke.
She moved to give chase. She could catch her still. Gain some points. Put the red bitch in her place. Get some payback.
Before she could start to run, the ground combusted in front of her, splattering coppery dirt into her face. She whipped around to face Galio, two feet from her. His ever observant eyes probed her carefully as if she might suddenly disappear just like Katarina, before simply laying down Lux.
Then he too was gone, flying above the trees in powerful gusts of wind.
Riven watched him fade over the leaves before she knelt over her crush, all sorts of anger and relief pouring out of her—anger at Katarina. Anger at the match. And, mostly, anger at that damn summoner. It had been a long, long time since she felt genuine fear, and he made her feel that. It was worse than any death she'd experienced and pain she'd endured.
She felt the weight in her pocket pulse against her, like a living thing, and remembered what he said. She wondered what it was. Then she wondered if she would prove him wrong.
Picking up Lux, as if she were made of glass and nothing more, Riven walked from the clearing.
She was light as a feather, she realized. And still so helpless in her arms, which have never been able to protect.
Thanks so much for the reviews! I actually have finals this week...so for the PAST week I've been studying and didn't have time to go on...but thanks for the support! I was a bit choppy and a bit off with this chapter, buuuut I wanted to put more focus on Riven. I'll be doing a lot of that-there's are several characters [Ashe, Kayle, Vi, Cassie, ect.] who I plan on developing as the story goes on...though you can see that the first two are already in a nice relationship ;).