Many years ago
“Zelos. It has been long enough. We will talk now.”
The stern voice could be heard outside a door. The door was simplistic: It was a sliding door, with a wooden frame and a beige paper body that had a few, colorful flowers painted upon it.
“No!” A young boy yelled from within a closed room. “I hate her!”
“We have been over this-”
“I hate her!”
“Zelos. You will come out here and you will apologize, to her, for what you said.”
Within the room, young Zelos paced up and down, fuming. He had done so for the past hour. He honestly thought that woman was going to take Irelia away. She had come over for that, right? So he made a mistake, did it matter that much? That baby killed his mom. It didn't matter.
He hated her.
"You do not understand what hatred is."
"I hate her!"
"No. You do not."
Young Zelos' door slid to one side, revealing a young, but recognizable Master Lito. He was dressed in flowing robes which easily hid his figure, his black hair was tied up by a ponytail, his face was clean shaven and spotless, save for the bags under his eyes from fatigue. His green eyes that stared at the young boy were neither warm nor cold. "You are not doing this. You and I will have words."
Zelos turned away in a huff. He stared at the wall and crossed his arms angrily.
"Zelos. You are her brother."
"No I'm not! She’s dumb!"
Lito walked over and grabbed a fistful of the young boy's hair. He lifted Zelos off the ground and carried him out of the room.
Zelos knew better than to kick and scream. He closed his eyes from the pain he was feeling and did his best to quietly hold it in, letting out only the occasional whimper. Lito walked through the hallways, opened another door, and carried his son into this new room with him.
The room was simple, almost bare. There was a chair, a bookcase filled with books, and a few children's toys and stuffed animals carefully laid in a chest. A square window around shoulder height allowed the rays of the noon sun shine in. In the center of the room was a cradle. Within the cradle, a rose colored blanket with a sleeping baby girl could be seen.
Lito quietly lowered Zelos to the ground in front of the cradle. He pointed at the sleeping baby, and with a calm, unwavering voice, just barely a whisper, he said, “That is your sister. You are her brother.”
Zelos frowned and was about to look away when he felt his father’s hand clasp his head, keeping the little boy’s face in place.
“Look at her and tell her you hate her.”
He moved the young boy towards the cradle.
Zelos leaned over the ledge and stared at the little bundle. He wanted to say he hated her, he did, but...He could not.
With a soft sniffle, Zelos said in a morose tone, “I want mom back...” He was only seconds from bawling his eyes out.
“I do too, Zelos. I miss her already. I miss her with all of my heart, and all of my soul. But that, is life. I am going to die, you are going to die, even little Irelia here is going to die. We are all going to die, one day.”
On that note, Lito led the dumbstruck Zelos out of the room. He walked his son to the kitchen, where a little modest, wooden table was. To the left of the table was a sink, with a polished metal faucet, as well as a few cupboards and drawers. Various knives and cutting boards could be seen littering the wall near the sink. The stove was an old block of black cast iron. Burnt and blackened wood visible from the stove’s small door that was ajar. it
Lito motioned to Zelos to have a seat at the table while he started the fire in the stove. The father opened the cupboard and took out a teapot and two cups. He walked over to the sink, quietly filled the pot with water, and placed it on top of the stove. The cups were a dark, mottled brown that seemed to be handcrafted. Both had a carefully engraved surface, one cup had the depiction of various birds while the other had large tigers.
“Dad...?” The young boy nervously spoke. He was still in some shock from what his father had said.
“Am...am I going to die?”
“Yes. You will. Everyone dies,” Lito calmly replied. “But not before me. I will die long before you or little Irelia. Do you understand what that means?”
Zelos shook his head, sniffling. Lito looked over and shook a finger at the young boy, chastising him, “Do not cry. Tears will do nothing.”
Lito smoothed his hair back and rested himself against a nearby counter. He stayed there for a few moments before walking over to the table and seated himself across from his son. He brought with him the cup depicting the birds.
“Zelos, I miss your mother as well. I love her, even now. I gave you this week to be angry, to lament, to try and get it out of your system, but you are still angry. That is enough. Do you know who Irelia is?”
Zelos’ answer was him casting his eye downwards, not saying a word.
“She is your sister. She is your family. When I die, all you will have left is your family, Zelos. Like your mother, when I die, I will not be here in this realm. I will be in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul, but I will not be here. In this world, there is no one else you should trust more than your own flesh and blood. When I die, you and Irelia will continue living. You can hate her, I cannot stop you, but what will it do? Do you understand what hatred is?”
Zelos nodded, “Is when you dislike somethin’.”
“No. That is not hatred. Hatred is all consuming, all burning.” Lito slid the cup towards Zelos. “Pick that up.”
Zelos picked up the cup.
Zelos blinked. He looked at his father somewhat bewildered at such an idea. “But...mum...mum made this.”
“For you. Yes, she did. Destroy it.”
Zelos violently shook his head and put the cup back on the table. He knew he was going against his father’s wishes, and he would be willing to take the punishment for it. Instead of being punished, he felt a comforting hand ruffle his hair.
“Why did you not destroy the cup?”
“Because mum made it. I don’ wanna...”
“Hatred destroys everything you love and care about. Hatred is all consuming, it does not leave time for thought, for consequence. You simply act like an animal. Hatred is something you can never truly control, as it will control you. It twists thoughts, corrupts the heart, and brings forth a side of you that you never thought possible. Once something is destroyed, it is a much harder task to put piece it back together than to have never broken it in the first place. Your mother made Irelia, for you, for me, and for her.”
Lito got up from his seat and made his way back to the cupboard. He took out another cup. It was also a mottled brown, but had irelia flowers decorated upon it, creating a stark contrast between the dark brown and the white and pink colors. “Your mother had a feeling that we were going to have a daughter, and before she died, she made Irelia this cup. Your mother wanted us to all to be happy. Your mother wanted us to be a family. We are all like these cups, Zelos. Remember that for as long as you live.”
Lito took out another cup. His face contorted into a smile as he reminisced. The cup in his hand had a simple heart on it. That was it, that was all that decorated the cup, a single heart. “I will die one day, Zelos. Who then will Irelia have, if she does not have you? You are her family, she is your family. You will have many responsibilities, son. You are the heir to the Hiten style. It will give you strength. What then, is the point of strength? For some, it is to build strong families. For others, it is to make works of art. There are many reasons to have strength, and everyone needs a reason to not only have it, but a purpose to use it for. What purpose is this?”
He rotated the cup in his hand, a tear streaming down his face. “You are too young to know the answer yet. I do not expect you to reply to this question for many years. I do not, however, want you to hate something so soon. You will understand when the time comes. For now, do not harm what your mother died to give us. Do not hate your sister. That would hurt your mother far worse than death.”
A series of knocks on the door interrupted his thoughts. Lito wiped at his face, making sure he was out of Zelos’ line of sight, and brushed away the single tear that trailed down his cheek. He placed the cup back in its place.
They could hear a woman, the wet nurse, speak up, “H-hello? Who are-”
A gruff voice could be heard, “Xiang. Where is he.”
Zelos looked over at his father. He was slightly confused. “Grandpa? Grandpa’s here?”
“Zelos. Go to Irelia’s room and stay there. Watch after your sister.”
“Zelos. Go now.”
Zelos slowly complied, got up and shuffled away. Lito stared at the stove, seeing the steam escape the mouth of the pot. He took the pot off the stove, and placed it on the table. He grabbed the cups and quickly placed them back into the cupboard. With that, he made his way to the front door.
Zelos entered the room Irelia was kept in. He grabbed the chair, dragged it next to Irelia. He could not hear them for almost the entire duration of their conversation. He sat in that room for easily an hour, staring at the sleeping, still form of the baby. Her blanket barely raised up and down with every quiet breath she took. He remembered his mother telling him how loud and wild of a baby he was, refusing to sleep and attempted to run before he even knew how to walk. From what he had been told, they were supposed to be loud, annoying things.
Irelia was not.
The young boy’s train of thought was completely destroyed as a loud, resounding boom echoed through the house. It sounded as though wood was splintered, stone shattered. The window in Irelia’s room shook and she woke up screaming.
Zelos covered his ears, wincing at the sound of the baby’s shrill shrieks. He looked around and tried finding something to placate her with. He grabbed the closest toy to him, a stuffed bunny, and wildly flopped it about. “Look! Bunny! Stop screaming!”
Irelia continued her shrieks, her little face red with anger, fear and confusion.
Zelos looked around once more, trying to find something else to help calm her down. He reached down into the cradle and clumsily picked up the baby. He glared at her as he pleaded, “Please please pleaaaase stop screaming.”
Irelia stopped screaming. Her head seemed to be rolling backwards, so Zelos reached around and gave it the proper support it needed. The baby girl giggled and with her tiny hands, attempted to grab Zelos’ nose. Her green eyes shimmered with delight.
Zelos was not exactly sure how to react, except by giggling back at the baby and extending his finger out to her hands. Her tiny fingers wrapped around his finger and shook it about happily while she made soft, gurgling noises.
A calloused hand reached up at the window, not seen by either of the children. It had a thin, glass cutting tool in the palm of his hand. As it moved to press it on the glass, the hand disappeared. This was followed by a sound that resembled the crack of lightning.
Irelia, however, did not react to this frightening noise. She snuggled herself closer to the young boy’s chest and fell asleep once more in seconds.
Six years later
Irelia sat at a desk in her pitch dark room. Three candles were her only source of light, aside from the moon that shone through her window, and sat within reaching distance from her. She held a small block of wood in one hand, which was bandaged, and a carving knife in the other. Her hand shook as she attempted to shave off a piece of the wood, her small fingers not quite strong enough yet to do such a feat easily.
The knife nearly slipped. She managed to keep a steady hold on it, and turned it about. Irelia spoke to the knife, “We can do this, you and I. Right? You want to.”
She resumed her wood carving.
Unbeknownst to her, a mysterious figure started to sneak up on her. The moment she flicked the knife upwards, cutting another shaving of wood, a pair of hands clamped themselves around her eyes.
“Whatcha doin’, Irie?”
Irelia dropped the knife and held the block of wood to her chest, as if trying to hide it.
“What’s that, hm?” Zelos peered over the top of her head, curiosity lit in his eyes. “Is it something evil? Do I have to tell dad you’re hiding a super evil in your room? Or maybe you’re keeping it in a box?”
“Go away!” Irelia sounded panicked. She did not want her surprise to be ruined. “It’s not done!”
“What’s not done? What are you...” Zelos’ trailed off, his eyes narrowed. He reached down and prodded her bandaged hand, “Hey, what happened, Irie? Did you cut yourself? How’d you do that?”
Irelia paused, trying to think of a reply. She eventually said in a cautious tone, “It wasn’t my fault.”
“It wasn’t my fault. The other knife didn’t want to carve.”
Irelia looked around. Her lips quivered as she tried thinking of a perfectly sound and reasonable lie. She did not want to ruin the surprise. “...Nothing...?”
“You tryin’ to carve the air then?” Zelos laughed and pinched his younger sister’s cheeks. He pulled at them while he said, “Come on, you can tell me.”
“The other knife didn’t want to carve. This one does.”
“Irie, knives can’t talk.”
“It’s not talking. It’s just...” Irelia tilted her head, unsure how to explain herself. “It’s what it wants.”
“And what do you want, Irie? What do you wanna do with the knife?”
“...I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
Zelos sighed. He leaned on top of Irelia’s head, making her support the adolescent boy to the best of her ability. Luckily he was smaller than the other boys his age or else she would have fallen flat on her face. “What’s the surprise, Irie?”
“...You...you know the test you’re going to have to do?”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“I...” Irelia raised the block of wood into view. More than a quarter of it had been shaved into a semi smooth, circular shape. “I’m making you a good luck charm.”
Zelos could not help but smile. He tapped the edge of the block, “Irie, you don’t have t-”
“I want to!” She looked up, barely able to meet her brother’s eyes due to him leaning on her. “Even if I’m not there, I want to make sure you know I’m there! I want to make sure you know that I’m there with you, so you don’t have to be nervous!” Irelia’s eyes and her tone of voice gave her a strange sense conviction, not usually seen in most six year old girls. Although, considering what happened a few days ago, it was not so strange a sight to see from her.
Zelos’ smile widened. He pulled back the side of Irelia’s mouth, showing that most of her baby teeth were missing. “I know you’re in my corner, Irie. You don’t have to hurt yourself tryin’ to do something you’re not good at-”
“I’m doing this. I want to do this.” The young girl waggled the knife to and fro, “It wants to help me do this. I can do this now. I...I just, I want to make sure you’ll be alright Zelos.”
Zelos reached over and took the knife from her. He turned it about and examined it. Nothing special screamed at him about the knife. He spoke to it, “Oi, you. Yeah, you. You’re helping Irie do this, alright? If you hurt her, I’ll throw ya into the river. Got it, buddy?”
He handed the knife back to Irelia and rubbed the top of her head, messing her ordered hair up. She sputtered and glared at him, “Zelly! Don’t do that!”
“Oh relax, you look better this way anyways!” He pulled her hair upwards and with two fistfuls of her hair, made a pair of makeshift horns for her. “See? Now you resemble your true form: a demon!”
Irelia put the wood and the knife on the desk, slid away from his hands and out of the chair. Once she was able to close the distance, she started playfully punching his side ever so slightly. Her knuckles barely touched the side of his stomach, but did so in such quick succession it caused a strange, tickling sensation.
“Gah! No! Stop it!” Zelos giggled uncontrollably.
“You will fall before the tender fist!”
Irelia kept up these almost feather light punches, which playfully drove her brother away from her chair and desk.
“I-ha ha! I can’t- ha ha ha! Stop it! I - ha ha- I can’t-”
Zelos weaved around one of her punches as it slowly came forward. He flanked her from behind and picked her off her feet, suspending her in midair. “Gotcha!”
Irelia playfully kicked her legs as his fingers started to tickle her sides mercilessly. “Gah-ha-ha! St-stop that Zelly!”
Zelos dropped her to the floor. Before Irelia could touch the ground, he had caught her under her arms and kept her from slapping the wood underneath. He swayed her back and forth as though he were performing a ballroom dance. She swayed to and fro, not in complete control of her actions. He sang his next command at her. “Ir~el~ee~ah, Ir~el~ee~ah, you~can~give~uuup!~”
The little girl laughed and giggled, “I-I call a tie! I call a tie!” That was all she would concede.
Zelos put Irelia to the ground and vigorously mussed her hair about. “I can live with that! Come on, it’s not bad to admit defeat! We all lose sometimes!”
Irelia laughed and smiled at her brother. “I can never beat you, Zelos. The most I can ever hope for is a tie.”
“Pft, please, you’ll be kicking my butt in a year tops.”
Zelos looked over at the desk, silently thinking of something.
Irelia was still calming down from her fit of laughter. She looked up at Zelos, still giggling, “Y-yeah, hee hee, yeah Zelly?”
“When it’s time for you to do the admittance test, I’ll make a charm for you too. Alright?”
Irelia’s smile widened. She tilted her head at Zelos, “You think I’ll be good enough to do the test? You’re one of the youngest to-”
“Because I’m awesome,” Zelos interrupted. He mussed her hair up one more time before replying in a soft tone, “And by association, that makes you awesome, got it? You’ll pass the scholar tests easily, and the combat tests you’ll be fine! We’ll be training at the Placidum together to kick butt in no time!”
Irelia nodded and started to walk back to her desk. She picked up the carving knife and stared at it for several moments. “The knife wants you to use it when you need to. It thinks its a good idea.”
“Hey, if even knives like me then I have nothing to worry about!” Zelos laughed and left Irelia’s room before he stopped and slapped his forehead. “Oi! That’s right! I almost forgot! Why I came here! Dad-”
“Had requested for the both of you to come to the dining room, and is slightly perturbed that neither of you are there as of yet.”
Master Lito’s voice froze both Zelos and Irelia in place. He was standing at the door, arms crossed and and looking overly angry. His sword seemed to rest against the opposite side of him, as though it were mimicking his very posture. The bags under his eyes were the only sign of fatigue as he walked into the room with a youthful spring in his step. “What has taken you two so long?”
“Just...messing around, dad.”
“Mhm. I see. Just ‘messing around’.”
Lito stared at his two children, his knitted brow and his glare able to melt ice from the sheer intensity that exuded from him. This intensity disappeared the moment he broke into a smile and motioned to them, “Dinner is ready. Come, before it grows any colder. Do not forget that you both need to wake at the crack of dawn. The later the dinner, the more chance that it will cause indigestion.”
Their father walked out of the room, expecting his children to follow in his wake.
Zelos started to move when he pointed at the wood carving knife Irelia was holding. “Hey, does your knife want to have dinner with us too?”
Irelia visibly winced. She slowly put the knife down and shook her head, “No...Knives don’t eat dinner...”
“I know that. Come on.” Zelos laughed and motioned to her to follow him. “Let’s go before dad actually gets upset.”
Irelia looked at the knife, then at Zelos. He never thought about it before, but the smile she gave him back then seemed almost...forced? Nah, impossible. She knew it was not true, it was just a knife. An imaginary friend, he had one when he was around her age. At least it was not telling her to do something horrible, like kill people. Let her have it for a while.
Either way, it did not matter. After that day, she never brought such a notion up again. She must have gotten over it like any other kid.
Six years later
Zelos was outside, the birds were chirping, the smells of nature prevalent, and he was surrounded by eight Ionians dressed in training clothing. He held a wooden sword in one hand and scratched at his face with his other. He hummed and waited for them to attack him. By the time their hands moved, red marks appeared on their cheeks. They yelped and leaped away from him, rubbing their faces in pain.
“Heh!” Zelos admonished them with a waggle of his finger. “Your body language yelled your intentions! Gotta be careful with that or I’ll sack you!”
The others laughed and shook their heads. They readied themselves once more. One of them called out to Zelos, “Oi, sarge! Let’s make a deal!”
“A deal?” He motioned to them. “Go ahead, what’s the deal?”
“If one of us touches ya, you buy drinks for us tonight!”
Zelos rolled his eyes and threw his bokken to the ground. He readied himself, grinning all the while. “Tell you what, whoever makes me bleed first, I’ll buy em drinks for the rest of the year. I get you though? You owe me a drink.”
The Ionians laughed and nodded, preparing themselves. Zelos’ eyes flitted about, his hands poised and ready for any attack.
A man came running up the fields, red faced and out of breath. Zelos looked over and waved at him, “Hey Liang, what’s up?”
“It’s...It’s...” The thin man tried to catch his breath. “It’s your sister, sir!”
Zelos’ eyes narrowed. He walked over and grabbed the man’s shoulder, then started to drag him. “She’s doing it again, isn’t she?”
“Yeah, she is.”
A little distance away, wood splintering could be heard.
The twenty year old man, big in frame, clutched his arm in horrid amounts of pain. A big, black bruise could be seen, dribbles of blood seeping out of the tiny cuts that lacerated the area. Irelia held in one hand a broken wooden sword, and in her other hand she held her opponent’s outstretched weapon hand. Around her neck, a little wooden talisman hung.
From the side, a young Akali and an older, still physically fit, woman watched. The woman leaned over and whispered aloud to the young ninja in training, “Not bad.”
“No, mother. Not bad at all.”
Irelia released her opponent’s hand and bowed to him. “Are you alright?”
“Gah! How do you hit so hard?!”
Irelia looked at her broken training sword, analyzing it. She eventually shrugged in response. The man groaned and walked away, rubbing his arm profusely. “I think it’s broken...” He made his way over to a bench where a whole gaggle of injured men sat. From boys and girls her age, to men older than Zelos, they rubbed at similar bruises.
Irelia looked around, staring at the other trainees her age and older. Even the Placidium guards looked uneasy from her gaze.
“Irie, what are you doing?”
Irelia turned to the source of the voice. She smiled and waved at the approaching Zelos. “Training.”
Akali’s mother spoke up, “She is doing fine. I’m watching her, nephew. Them being too fragile to be her sparring partners is the only problem I can see.”
“That’s not the problem, auntie dear.” Zelos grinned at Irelia and crossed his arms, mock fury evident on his face. “I’m here because I’m told that she’s just kicking everyone’s butt left right and center. Can’t let you get too big of a head, right?”
Irelia readied herself in a stance, her hands raised. She motioned to Zelos to make an attack, a gesture he laughed at. Shaking his bokken at her, he asked, “Do you want a weapon, or do you want to do this the good ol’ fashioned way?”
“I want a weapon. I want to show you something.”
“Oh?” Zelos threw the wooden sword at her. “Alright, show me.”
By the time Irelia caught it, Zelos had disappeared from view. He reappeared behind Irelia, his hand slicing at the back of her neck. “And got...ya?”
Irelia ducked, rolled backwards in between his legs and vaulted herself to a standing position.
“Hah! Nice job Irie! Is that what you wanted to show me?”
“No.” Irelia dashed forward. “This is.”
Zelos barely reacted in time, the palm of his hand slapping the point of the wooden blade away from his chest. If he were any slower, that would have hurt his ego, and possibly break a rib. Irelia spun around from the force of his impact, landing squarely into his open arms. He wrapped his arms around her in a hug, rocking her back and forth playfully, “Nice one, Irie! I didn’t get the hang of the Bladesurge technique till I was fifteen! Although...” He turned Irelia around to face him, then pushed her away. “Your footing was a bit off which slowed ya a lot. The point of the Bladesurge technique is to get from point A to point B as though there was no distance at all. And besides...”
Zelos reached over and bopped the top of Irelia’s head. “Why were you aiming for my chest? You trying to kill me or something?” In front of the entire crowd, he messed her hair about. “That’s just being sloppy, Irie!”
Irelia did not particularly enjoy the demeaning gestures or words in front of everyone, and she made sure she communicated this via the glare she shot Zelos. He laughed and grinned as he always did, “Oi oi oi, Irie, don’t be mad. You’re still young. Remember dad’s golden rule?”
“Blood deserves punishment, for you have already lost the fight?”
“...Okay, second rule?”
“To kill is easy, but to incapacitate is a true test of a swordsman’s skill?”
Irelia grumbled to herself and nodded. Zelos laughed and started to walk away. She called out to him, “Zelos, your sword?”
“Eh? Ah! Nah, keep it!” He waved at his little sister, “Try not breaking that one though, alright? Keep your self control in check, and I expect to see that sword at dinner tonight!”
Zelos walked away, motioning to the others that had followed him to follow him once more. “Come on, back to training we go.”
“Zelos?” A new, yet familiar voice spoke up.
He turned around and waved at the woman approaching. “Hey, Karma! What’s up?”
“The Council wants to speak with you.” Karma bowed to him. “I was asked to retrieve you.”
Zelos sighed and rolled his eyes, “They’re interrupting my training.”
“It’s urgent. It’s about Noxus.”
Zelos’ eyes narrowed. He nodded and quietly made his way into the building of the Placidium. Irelia moved forward to follow them when a matron's voice said, "Irelia. You will now train with Akali."
The woman sliced the air with her hand, silencing Irelia. "He will be fine. You need to train more if you want to beat him, right? You want to make your father, and him, proud, yes?"
"Then leave him alone, and train. Akali needs a warm up, and Soraka will be coming to take you for your studies in an hour. Do not procrastinate."
Akali stepped towards Irelia, unsheathing her kamas. "You know he is proud of you, yes?"
Irelia nodded and took a stance. She knew that, of course, but she wanted to hear him say the words. She wanted to hear him say that he is proud of her, that she deserves to be a successor to the Hiten art. Anything she could do, he always did better. Her dream was to run side by side with him. Not as Irie, not the delicate doll he made her out to be, but for him to respect her as his equal. She wanted to live up to their family name, and make Zelos proud to call her his sister rather than laugh and make a joke as he always did. He was warm, he was charismatic, he was swift, he was able to implant his personality into his technique. Everyone that met him seemed to like him almost instantly, while she? Almost everyone else was put off by her demeanor. she was just a bit serious, that was all, and in all honesty? A little shy. Irelia found it hard to interact with others she did not know, or grow up with in the Nightblade village. Irelia knew it would be foolish to try and overcome him, but she wanted to be his equal. Was that so wrong to dream?
Irelia's mind focused once more at the ninja before her, and she surged towards Akali. No fear, no hesitation, she would become better, and Zelos would have to acknowledge her skill some day. He would have to.
That evening, she found out that Zelos was chosen to sail to Demacia within the week. He had agreed.
Her stomach knotted. He was leaving her. Irelia could not hear Soraka's words or Zelos'. He was leaving her, like their father, he would not be here. War was looming, why would they send him away? She barely heard the explanation. She was numb.
Despite their reassurances, Irelia did not respond. She would stay at the Placidium until it was time for him to travel westward towards Karma’s village, the nearest port. Irelia was allowed to accompany them. On their way there, ten or so miles away from the village while on the carriage, she saw something from the corner of her eye despite her bowed head. Deep within the forestry there, she saw the blossoms of a familiar flower waft in the wind. She would make one plea from him, but chances were that he was going to go anyways. Once he said something, he always, always, kept his promise. He was going to go, but Irelia would make sure that he remembered her.
The moment they reached the port town, Irelia ran towards the woods without a word to anyone. No one stopped her, knowing how angry she must be at the moment.
It took hours, but Irelia found the tree with her namesake’s blossoms. He would return. She knew it. When he returned, she’d make sure that he would come home to a stronger Irelia, to a stronger sister. She would make him see that she can walk side by side with her big brother.