That's right, I've started another story... I'm really enjoying writing at the moment, and have an urge to do it everyday. SO to try and not rush the other story I'm working on http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1136792, I started working on this one, which at the moment, heavily features Lux and Shen, but the main character is of course Akali. I hope you guys enjoy it, but please note that this will be less reguarly updated (as I have to focus on university and the other story - in theory )
She sat, legs crossed, eyes lightly closed. The cool chill of the slight breeze blowing through the tall grass that matched her current height didn’t seem to deter her supreme concentration. Her dark hair, tied into one tail extending down her back banded in several places and curling like a snake when it touched the floor, contrasted to the summery golden grass that surrounded her, brushing delicately against her skin. Her arms were positioned lightly in her lap, but her back gave away the years of meditative practise she had endured as it was perfectly straight. It was unclear even to her how long she had been here, for time mattered not when thoughts had to be arranged and decisions had to be made.
Taking one last deep breath through her nose, the lids containing her eyes gently lifted revealing her dazzling emeralds. She sat for a short while staring blankly and unemotionally outwards, in her small patch she could not see anything save the light sky that majestically stood proud over her, revealing the true beauty of a bright, but refreshingly cool summer day. The sun, positioned directly above graced her cheeks with warmth, but the wind also eager to caress her face stole away the heat, providing a nice balance that she enjoyed. She listened to the very distant call of birds, the calming sound of the breeze passing through the long grass and she placed her hands upon the ground behind her, digging her fingers slightly into the dirt.
Her stance finally relaxed and she pushed her legs outwards allowing her back to naturally lean, resting her weight upon her arms. She looked upon the simple clothing she wore, un-dyed cotton, tarnished slightly by dry dirt around the legs and sleeves from her physical exercises earlier in the morning, she picked at the dirt upon the legs before deciding it a vain task and her deep stare remerged. She had no need for the fine elaborate clothing that others seemed to indulge in. When she was on mission or representing herself upon the fields of justice then she had the correct attire, but outside it wasn’t necessary, or so the teachings said. For she was one of the Kinkou, the order dedicated to protecting the balance of Valoran, charged with the duty of pruning the tree, she was Akali, the Fist of Shadow.
A rustling from a distance away in the grass caught her attention. Her thoughts scanned her mind quickly judging many scenarios at once. A pupil of her mother, she was taught how to think, before she was taught how to kill. She deemed there to be no threat, and quickly concluded the sound to likely be a distant animal, most likely rodent sized moving through the grass away on its business. As the rustling grew slightly closer, she heard the footfalls of a large man, probably wearing a kind of heavy armour and ever so faintly she could hear the footfalls of another. Smaller and petite in comparison, she likened it to a female.
She stood up revealing the rest of her small, but developed feminine frame. The action was not meant to be stealthy believing there was no need and her eyes cleared the line of grass spotting the two figures. They walked a slight distance apart from one another, but walked parallel, obviously intending the same location. The male was as she assumed well built and large, wearing heavy Demacian armour. The female who she barely heard, which now she understood why, walked next to the Demacian. The vibrant red hair was unquestionable; it was Katarina, the one of Noxus, a very well trained Assassin. They had come to blows once before in a scheduled league match, but the opportunity never arose to fight one on one.
Again thoughts and scenarios rapidly scanned through her mind. Potential was there. Potential to cause great pain and suffering, or to allow an unsteady peace for a short while. Either way the decision was in the Noxian’s hands, and it had the possibility of affecting Valoran greatly. However for today it was nothing of meaning to Akali and so she watched them walking away through the long grass towards a small settlement, the league barely visible on the horizon. They hadn’t spotted her, or so she assumed, not that she demanded stealth against them, but to avoid an awkward conversation she remained silent.
Today’s training ritual completed she pondered how to spend the rest of her day. Normally she would eat and return to training for a short while, but her fellow Kinkou, Shen, had advised her not to train so much, commenting the need for balance in mind and body, and he didn’t just mean meditation, but social interaction. She had adopted this by recently taking Kennen to sit with the Demacian table, usually consisting of Lux, Garen and Xin Zhao, during meals. She had respect for them all, and she had for some unknown reason to her taken a keen liking to Lux. Despite being young she seemed incredibly talented in the field of magic, and her ability to manipulate light was something that grew an intrigue inside Akali, for she favoured the shadows, not the light.
Garen was someone she wasn’t interested in and sitting with him became a by product of sitting with Lux. It’s not that she didn’t like him, but his personality was something beyond which she cared, his loyalty to Demacia was unquestioned, his capabilities in battle honed beyond most others, there was nothing new to learn from him. Lux however was different, her loyalty to Demacia was still unquestioned, but something hid inside of her, there was something far deeper to her than what appeared on the outside and with this it garnered Akali’s attention.
Kennen however was participating in a league match today and so she would have to go alone. A single line of hesitation drew across her normal confidence, but it was quickly erased and she headed off towards the league. She assumed Garen also wasn’t going to be present, due to his apparent other engagement. Her, Xin Zhao and Lux, she imagined the social aspect she wanted to achieve for the day failing miserably, with Xin Zhao who barely spoke except to depart words of wisdom, and Lux who she believed didn’t like Akali enough to allow a proper conversation to come to fruition. Despite this in mind she continued on towards the league.
Her glance hit the plate of food she carried, the size of this new “standard” plate, meant for champions of all eating habits, barely contained any food, it was enough for her, but it looked pitiful in comparison to the size of the plate. This was her usual amount however and gave it no question. There contained enough to keep her healthy and everything she needed, a helping of berries, a small portion of grain and nuts and a slice of the meat they prepared that day along with a small piece of bread. In her other hand she carried a glass filled with water, using her usual grace and dexterity she nimbly manoeuvred through the crowd, into the section where the “Demacian” table was. It wasn’t officially the Demacian table, but it just seemed apparent that every day a Demacian champion would sit at this table, honourably defending it against any foreign invaders.
A curious eyebrow rose as the only one present at the table was Lux, she held a small book in one hand while feeding herself a large helping of fruits with the other. She didn’t spot Akali’s approach and quietly she slipped into the ornate chair opposite her. Her plate and glass barely made a sound as they touched the table and she sat looking at Lux for a short while. She seemed completely focused, reading frantically seemingly sucking all the information out of the small book that she could.
“Is it a good book?” Akali asked deciding to actually try to engage in conversation.
Lux seemed to snap from a trance at the surprise the ninja was now sat opposite her, after the quick expression of shock had disappeared, a small smile and a hint of embarrassment hit her cheeks. “Oh yes” she replied quietly. “I find it extremely interesting.” There was a pause of silence as the ninja decided how to continue. “You shouldn’t sneak up on people” Lux stated, a small trace of a playful smile upon her face, but the red still being dominant.
“I apologise Miss Crownguard” the Ionian said politely bowing her head slightly in apology.
She giggled slightly at the response, “Akali, you know you can call me Lux!” the friendly smile remained on her face looking at Akali, who returned with one of her own rarely seen smiles and nodded in agreement. Lux gently closed the book and placed it upon the table and continued eating her generous helping of fruit. She couldn’t mask the fact her mind was being sifted through, trying to find some relevant information.
“Are you okay?” Akali asked tilting her said slightly examining the young woman.
“Yes, I’m fine thank you, how are you today?” the blonde haired girl replied, with a pleasant smile. This exchange of pleasantries was obviously rehearsed to Lux. Despite it not being what Akali had meant, she was glad the silence between them had been broken.
“Today has been the same as any other. I trained. I meditated. Now I eat” she replied, emotion in her voice seemed void, as it had for the entirety of the conversation so far.
“But that didn’t answer my question. I asked how you were, not what you did.” She looked calm, polite, retaining the innocence in her face that seemed to embrace her entire being.
Akali pondered this for a while, although allowing no change to display on her face. “I am normal” she replied after a moment’s thought. Lux gave a small nod and went back to the plate, the pile now diminished in size greatly in a small space of time. Silence once again embraced them focusing the laughter, joy, jeers and interest happening in the large dining hall of the league. “Where is Xin?” Akali asked picking a small amount of grain between her slender fingers and placing them into her mouth.
“I believe he was summoned today for a match” Lux replied. “I think Kennen is also participating” the portion of fruit upon her plate was now smaller than what Akali started with. She seemed to be eating faster than normal, or as far as the Kinkou remembered. It could be that usually she spoke the most out of them all, her and Garen engaging in conversations about many different things, while Akali listened intently, but today was not the case.
“I see.” Akali paused for a moment, looking at the way she seemed to be placing food quickly into her mouth before asking “are you in a rush?”
Lux hesitated slightly a moment of blush once again returning to her cheeks. “I.. I’m meeting someone.” The indication was clear about her feelings towards who she was going to meet at least to the well honed senses of the ninja. “In the library” she hastily added as she spotted the recognising smile begin to appear across Akali’s face.
“I see. What is his name?” Akali asked with a slight tone of accusation, the small wry smile not disappearing.
Obviously shamed by the fact she had let on so easily her true feelings towards the individual, she quickly glanced around the hall. Hastily she rose from her seat and moved over to Akali pressing her hand against the ninja’s ear, she whispered one name. A curious glance was her reply as Lux moved back to her plate. “I understand” she stated with a nod the smile now fading.
Lux picked up the book she was intently reading earlier lightly positioning her hands in front of her chest. “It was nice to speak to you Akali” the honesty clear in her sweet voice. Taken aback by the sincerity of her comment she nodded and involuntarily smiled once again. A grin appeared across Lux’s face “I guess I’ll have to find you someone next!” adding a wink, her face still quite red. Akali replied with a quizzical eyebrow, but she hastily left the room before the Fist of Shadow could muster any appropriate words.
The smile upon her face had not yet faded, and she revelled in the enjoyment she just experienced from something so simple. She glanced up from the table and instantly spotted the figure of Shen. He stood near the entrance to the dining hall looking in her direction, giving her a small a nod to show his approval he casually left the hall.
“What do you mean low impact?” A slight frustration resided in her usually neutral voice. Akali looked with minor stern upon the face of her fellow Kinkou, Shen. He stood in his natural stance among the gardens of the league, two fingers of his right hand pressed against his hidden lips, while the other two rested below his chin. Although not visible due to the mask that always accompanied him, his eyes stared forward or so Akali assumed.
It was a while before he spoke again. “I have studied them, as you suggested” his passive tone finally replied. “I do not see what you believe. It will be low impact and not worth the time to study further. I suggest you drop it.” His nature indicated fact, even if it was his opinion.
“They are important” she forcefully added, the emotion in her voice rising to a level that Shen moved to face her, his gaze staring down upon her and any other may have agitated in hesitation at his almost automaton like movements, it’s not that they were rigid, but it seemed that more logic went into them than should be necessary. She did not waver with his gaze, but instead stared back, her eyes showing no sign of irritation. “Their ties to the leaders are what make them important.”
“Have you ever experienced love Akali?”
Her body physically startled at the strange question he asked. He still spoke to her like a teacher, and she always viewed him as such due to his ability to always part with words of wisdom. “I... I have not” she finally finished, she felt a small warmth trying to blossom on her cheeks, their young red petals quickly being pruned by the ninja.
“Have you ever experienced hate?” he again quickly added.
She hesitated less this time to answer, thinking she could see the picture he attempted to paint. “No” she stated flatly and honestly.
“Then how do you see the correct balance between them when you haven’t experienced either?” he asked giving a brief questioning gesture with his left hand.
She was hesitant to reply. The kinkou weren’t forbidden from such things, but they were considered improper, after all her mother had been the former Fist of Shadow, so love amongst their ranks maybe uncommon, but not impossible. “We as kinkou. Give up those rights. Our emotions cannot be our guides, but the logic of balance is what decides our actions.”
“You are correct” Shen stated, again sounding factual. “However, you can experience love and hate without them being a part of you. Look to others. See how they react under such emotions. Love and hate can cause both destruction and peace. I believe your problem Akali, is that you think too broad. You spoke about their ties to leaders. What of them as people?”
She understood the lesson he was teaching. How to experience emotions without embracing them, by seeing how they affect others and what becomes of them through their actions of their chosen emotion. How sometimes the smaller picture was of more significance than the larger image. She nodded in agreement, the lesson being learnt, although the learning experience felt slightly hollow, as with most lessons taught by Shen.
“However, you are free to love and hate as you feel” there was slight emphasis on the you, but he seemed to indicate no emotion behind it. “You are the Fist of Shadow, as your mother before you. Her love for another caused balance to spring into life in the form of you Akali. An excess of one can lead to a balance of the scale. So why you try to hide your emotions so fervently is something I fail to understand for the role of avoiding emotion completely is left to me.” He turned away from her now, again taking to viewing the scenery of the gardens.
“I do not wish for my emotions to complicate decisions I will have to make” she replied turning away from him. She glanced over her shoulder slightly, seeing Shen continue to stare forth out of the corner of her eyes. “I do not think love is meant for me, Shen” she added before walking away from him and back into the main halls of the league.
“Akali!” yelled a bright vibrant voice. Akali instantly responded, the voice was obviously non-threatening containing innocence and youth, and she turned to the location where the yell came from. Further down the long elegant corridor of the league leading to the entrance of the grand library stood Lux. She waved one of her youthful hands while wearing a beaming smile and she began a jog towards the ninja, clenching a stack of books to her chest.
“Lux?” Akali questioned as she got within ear shot. “Is everything ok?”
“Yes, everything is fine, why wouldn’t it be?” She replied the smile still not fading from her face, although it contained a small hint of worry at the possibility something could be wrong.
“It’s just. You yelled?” Akali replied inquisitively, realising though that she may have made a mistake in the importance of Lux’s cry.
“To get your attention of course!” She replied enthusiastically. “I was wondering where you were going? Do you have any plans at the moment?”
Akali shook her head. “I wasn’t sure to be honest. Maybe to get my evening meal. I hadn’t really decided yet.”
“That’s odd” Lux pondered for a second and Akali raised a curious eyebrow in response. Either ignoring or not seeing the intrigued intent of the ninja she continued on. “Well! I was wondering if maybe you wanted to do something. I enjoyed our talk earlier” her voice was honest, not that Akali even bothered to try to see if there was any deception, but it was more instinctual for the kinkou, just like breathing or knowing how to walk quietly.
“I have no other routine to accomplish. So I see no reason why not” Akali replied with a light smile of her own.
“Great!” Lux exclaimed, not losing any of the enthusiasm from before. “Maybe you can help me...” Lux began to trail off, only the faintest of blush gracing her perky cheeks.
“I will try” she replied a hint of concern trying to break into the passive tone, but was inaudible amongst the neutrality of her trained voice. “Shall we head for the evening meal?”
“Actually Akali, I’d prefer not to. I think privacy would be better suited for this topic” seeing the look of confusion upon the ninja’s face she continued with a broad grin. “It’s sometimes nice to talk to just another girl, you know? Without ears of men and big brothers around.”
Akali nodded the light smile returning to her face. “I think I know somewhere we can discuss things” she replied heading off towards the exit to the league, Lux catching up to walk by her side, books still held tight, like a mother cradling a child that wasn’t her own.
“It’s nice and warm here” Lux stated running her hands through the tall grass, almost equal to her height. As she entered a circular patch where the grass did not touch, she saw Akali already sitting in a very relaxed positioned. She couldn’t help a small look of surprise taking over her face at how relaxed this ninja was, her feet were out stretched, she rested upon the palms of her hands placed behind her back. Her foot that passed over her other leg gently rocked back and forth. She looked forwards not looking to Lux as she entered.
“What is it that you wish to speak of?” Akali questioned gesturing a hand to the dirt but still not looking upon Lux.
She prepared herself for the dirt as best as she could, her desire to keep the casual dress she wore clean proved to be a lost ambition as she placed herself gently upon the ground. “Well you know” she began, inspecting her dress each movement causing more pieces of dry dirt to brush against it. “It went ok” she stated looking at Akali with a reassuring smile.
“I’m glad to hear that. You seemed slightly nervous when you left” Akali replied, the lack of emotion making Lux feel a slight childishness to her desire to speak to the ninja about such a topic.
“I suppose you don’t feel nervous talking to people that interest you?” Lux commented the smile fading from her face.
“No. I have no use for that kind of feeling” she replied her eyes meeting Lux’s.
“I have no use for nerves either! They still come after me though!” her smile returning to her face. “You will have to tell me your secret.”
“It’s not nerves that I spoke, but the “interest” that you mentioned” her voice sounded honest to Lux, but Akali tried to contain any inadvertent deception.
“Oh?” Lux questioned giving Akali a strange and curious expression. “Just because we aren’t allowed to have certain things, doesn’t stop us from wanting them though, right?” She grinned at the suggestion. Akali remained silent for a while deciding how best to respond. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest anything. I suppose our upbringings are different and I do not fully understand” the formality rang harsh in her voice, her head bowed deep in apology.
Lux began to shift as though she was about to stand and leave. “What do you feel, when you see him?” Akali quickly questioned, not wishing for Lux to depart yet, she was enjoying the company and the unusual topic of which they discussed.
The vibrant girl looked back at Akali who seemed genuinely intrigued for the answer to the question. “Well, I feel kind of... silly.” Lux replied a small hint of blush captivating her youth and innocence.
“Silly?” Akali questioned a small smile appearing across her face.
“Yes. In a good way though. I also feel warm, nervous and of course, happy” she replied looking away from Akali.
“I see. Is that how most people in love feel?” Akali replied and was surprised by Lux’s startling, her hands viciously waving from side to side head shaking in firm disagreement.
“It’s not love!” She barked, the redness in her face blooming to full blossom. “Not yet at least” she added giving Akali an innocent smile.
Akali smiled in return, it was broad for Akali, but to anyone else it would be an average quaint smile. “I understand. Sorry for my jump to that conclusion.”
“It’s ok. Probably no worse than Garen who would probably demand ‘When is he going to take your hand in marriage? Are you sure his family have no ties to Noxus?’” she impersonated her brother, sitting herself straight up with one accusing finger pointing forward.
“He is like that?” Akali questioned curiously.
“Well he was like last time” she replied folding her arms in annoyance.
“He just cares for you.”
“I was 9!” she cried. The two sat eyes locked on each other for a while before Lux’s face cracked and she began to snicker eventually giggling loudly. Akali found her laughter to be infectious and she couldn’t help but chuckle slightly herself. “You are nice Akali” Lux said calming down. “It’s nice to have another girl to talk to for a change.”
Akali just nodded in agreement the smile still upon her face widening the further their conversation grew. It was an interesting experience for her, she had never spoken to someone so lively before, she had a certain appealing innocence that Akali could not help but admire and enjoy. Akali for now was enjoying the normality of it.