A/N: For new or returning readers of my work, please see chapter 13 of the Piltover Enforcer. It is a must more lengthy Author's Note that I felt better posted over there. But I will at least say this... I dedicate this work to all Riven players out there, anyone who needs the strength to move foward, and the author responsible for "A Blade Reforged." I can only hope this story equals it.
Image courtesy of Kuroid on Deviantart.
Side note: Wow, chapters seem so much shorter when I edit them for misspellings on ...
they teach us
only the strong survive.
But if you live only...
...to serve a flawed purpose...
...what is the purpose of your life?
Somewhere in Valoran, a lone figured walked a path layered with snow, tattered hood drawn over her head. She shuddered with each step her feet took on the freezing cold, on what little of her footwear remained. But that was the least of her worries. She owned no robe, or winter clothing, simply the bandages that wrapped her body, purple bodice covering her stomach, belt around her waist, and a makeshift cape that wrapped around her shoulders which were tattered from use.
What stood out most from this figure, was the few pieces of armor that only belonged to a Noxian commander. On her left shoulder, a dark green shoulder guard, on the right ankle, a shin guard. What was even more odd, was the gauntlet on her right hand with a green rune etched into the back of it.
And on her back, a broken black blade, which was strapped to her back by a small length of rope.
The woman raised her right hand to shield her face from the growing blizzard. She would need to find shelter soon. But, unfortunately, none were in sight. She managed a soft sigh, which caused her to see her own breath.
Shelter... I must find shelter.
She stopped for a moment to take in her surroundings. A few trees, some rocks, and a few hills. Nothing.
Perhaps she would finally meet her end here. Ironic, that she, once a commander of Noxus, surviving many gruesome battles, met her demise at the hand of nature.
Still, she had to press on. She continued onward in the blizzard that began to reach it's peak. Perhaps fortune would smile upon her, and she would stumble across a forgotten shack of sorts.
And she did stumble-tripped-rather. Upon what, she did not know.
Landing on the freezing snow, what was left of her body heat escaping her, she stood up again and dusted herself of the snow that clung to her body. She turned her attention to a slab of stone that she seemed to trip over.
She walked around it and inspected it further. She narrowed her eyes beneath the hood as she tried to make out the writing that seemed to be carved into it.
Then a realization hit her.
The gloved hand slowly reached out and wiped the stone clean of snow and ice. Only, it was no rock. It was a gravestone.
Her hand began to shake violently as she read aloud the following:
Died during the Noxian invasion of Ionia.
May she find peace in the afterlife, along with her Grandmother.
Becoming self-aware of where she was, she mustered the courage to gaze about the area. The blizzard cleared ever so slightly, enough to be greeted by thousands of gravestones similar to the one in front of her.
The woman placed the gloved hand on the stone and muttered a silent prayer to any god that would listen. Whether it was the harshness of winter that finally took it's toll on her body or the the heavy guilt that burdened her being. She slumped to the ground, the color draining from her face slowly.
Her eyes grew heavier by the second, would she finally die? Would she ever find peace? She would know her answer soon.
Before her eyes closed shut, she saw sandaled feet step into view. Who could that be?
It did not matter. For the next thing she could remember was darkness.
Screams. Endless screams. Would they not end? She could see them... the horrified faces of both Noxians and Ionians alike as the chemicals melted their faces away. Why? Why would they do this? It was not the glory of war she was promised... just murder. A massacre. So much death...
She stood atop a mountain of bodies, not able to distinguish who belonged to which nation. She felt tears well within her eyes, and then the arms of the bodies all reached up to grab her all at once.
She felt herself slowly descend into the pile of bodies, arms reaching for whatever they could grab to further pull her down and suffocate her from within the stench of the dead. She tried to scream but no sound came.
She raised one arm toward the sky as if someone would come. But no one did. And she slowly returned to darkness again.
She awoke with a sharp, loud, gasp. Body desperately breathing for any air it could gather, sweat on her brow. The woman took a deep breath before exhaling. It was just another nightmare. No need to worry.
They happened much frequently than they usually did. Such as the case when things seemed dire.
She ran a hand through her ashen-white hair before blinking. It was warm. She took a moment to look around and found herself in a room which was extremely simple yet elegant. There was only one window, and a water pot. Along with a desk with a simple wooden chair.
She was lying on the bed and sat straight up to sit at the edge of it. She planted her face in her hands as she took a moment to process what had happened.
Yes, that's right! She was near death, but someone had intervened and decided to aid her. Obviously thinking it was not yet her time. Curious she was, as to who or what saved her.
She glanced to the end of the bed and spotted a small table, upon it was a tray of bread, cheese, and a cup of water. Her eyes widened at the find as her stomach growled. It had certainly been some time since she last ate...
Renewed energy from the mere sight of a meal, she stood and approached the tray before gingerly picking up the bread and took a small savoring bite. Never had she been so content with a simple piece of food before.
She took several more savoring bite before picking up the cup of water and took several long sips, along with a few bites of the cheese. As she ate, a realization hit her. The familiar weight of her blade on her back was missing.
desperately, she began to search frantically around the room, before spotting the blade resting on the opposite side of the room propped against a wall. She sighed with relief before returning to her meal.
Once finished, she walked over to her broken blade and promptly tied it to her back once more. She had little knowledge of where she was. Time to remedy that.
She opened the door slowly and carefully, as to not raise alarm to anyone. She walked down the hallway as she took in the sight. The architecture of this place suggested it wasn't of Noxus or Demacian design... nor did it bear the resemblance of a military building.
The woman walked into a large opening, an intersection of sorts. There were many more hallways and several staircases, along with a rather large ornate door. She grew even more curious.
"It is a relief to know you are well." A voice said.
Instincts kicking in, the Noxian turned around with blade drawn. Switching her posture to that of a defensive one.
"Who are you?" She demanded.
The man in front of her, wore no shirt, which displayed the tattoos on his chest, on his arms were cloth bound by red string. On his legs were loose black trousers that would belong to a monk, likewise for the sandals on his feet. His hair was tied into a long flowing braid that wrapped around his neck. However, a red cloth covered his eyes, and wrapped around his head.
A realization hit her as she observed the individual before her. His footwear. It was the last thing she saw before passing out.
"You... you're the one who saved me."
A smile. "I am."
She wavered slightly before stumbling to the floor, with amazing speed, the monk caught her. An amazing feat in of itself considering he could not see with the cloth that covered his eyes.
"Your body is weary from the harshness of winter. Let us return you to your room so that you may properly rest. What is your name if I may ask?"
She mentally sighed before speaking.
"I am... Riven."