I'm glad that those who have read the story are enjoying it so far. This next chapter I feel is kind of strange, but I hope it doesn't break the flow completely. I'm trying to put even more set up for the future conflicts. I am going to enjoy writing the third chapter a lot more, since it will be one of the last set ups for the conflicts and the actual delving into the juicy stuff. P.S. Any suggestions to help the flow or the message and the story will be taken into consideration!
And I read your story Cerubois, I like your writing style! I'll be sure to check on the story when I can!
***Based on suggestions, I'm breaking up some of the paragraphs. I'll do more editing when I have the time to try and make it not so wall of text-y without detracting from the story***
Edited: I went ahead and fixed a bunch of the semi-colons in this chapter as well, also did some long needed fixing of some dialogue in Wukong's bit and changed a bit of the word choice with Udyr's fight (not detracting from it). I also uncensored d.amn just because I think that word fits best in this scenario
She was told she would have to wait another two days to be allowed to be in League matches. Summoners by then would be able to handle her psyche and soul. It was somewhat comforting, all things considered. She was not in fighting form yet. Riven spun her blade uneasily, she was still unsettled by her meeting a few days ago. That Ionian woman had shocked her with her friendliness, and with her apparent ignorance. Riven was well-known during the Ionian war, would people really not know who she is? Was her appearance that well-guarded? And more importantly, how much longer would Riven be able to feign her identity?
Riven stared at the dying fire before her, the remnants of her lunch charcoaled in the pit. She could not sleep indoors despite the League’s insisting. They told her it was dangerous in the forests, other champions liked to hunt in the woods. It didn’t matter to her, if she stayed in the Noxian quarters she would have to face one too many familiar face. She chuckled to herself. She didn’t know what was worse: Confronting those who she wronged or her countrymen.
Little did she know was that answer would have to wait. Riven shot straight up, she could hear branches break. One swipe of her sword completely doused her fire and she fled into the woods. A blood curdling howl followed her. One wolf? Strange, but manageable. Riven spun on her heels and readied her blade, she has dealt with wolves before. Simply show your dominance and they would leave you be. Her eyes widened as a blue, furry beast leapt straight at her, claws outstretched. She fell backwards and caught the monster with her feet, vaulting it over her with one fluid movement. She rolled back to standing and readied her blade once more. The creature disappeared. Her feet shifted carefully as she strained her ears to try and hear him.
A twig snapped, she dropped her sword, spun and grabbed at the creature’s open jaws. It was so close to her that his tongue licked her neck, sending shudders down her spine. She twisted the beast down to the floor, holding him in place. The beast raked her arms with sharpened gauntlets, making her release it. It leapt back to its feet, snarling at her as it slowly paced around her. Riven gripped her sword tighter, the blood flowing from her arms made her hand slick. She noticed her arms were tingling, making her grip on her sword even harder. The beast stopped suddenly, sniffing the air. It dropped its’ vicious demeanor for a moment, and tackled her to the ground. Her sword arm was pinned down as the beast continued smelling her. Her free hand was ready to gouge its eyes out when it cocked its head, “…Riven?”
Her eyes widened. She knew that voice. She booted him off of her, brushing herself off, “N-no. You must be mistaken. Riven is dead.”
The beast snarled at her, “Your scent…familiar... You are not the monkey?”
Riven nodded, the beast howled angrily, “D.amn it! There goes lunch!”
It turned on her, bringing itself closer to her. “Then who are you? Are you her?”
Riven glanced at her arms, the beast seemed to be licking its lips at the scent of her blood. She would have to be careful, “I will not give my name until you give me yours, strange beast.”
“Warwick.” The wolfman stated bluntly, his eyes shining now with viciousness. “Now who are you? Your scent...Your sword…Old memories…Singed failed. The little ****.”
Riven narrowed her eyes, “You are wrong. I am not who you think I am.”
Riven’s blood still flowed down her arms, she let it flow into her palm as she gathered a small pool of it. Warwick hunched over to her, “No…I’m sure…I know…What was your name…”
He smelled the air, his mouth curling into a vicious grin, “…Blood.”
He suddenly shot straight up and howled maniacally, “Blood! Ah ha ha! Blood!”
He leapt at her once more. She threw the crimson that had pooled in her hand into his eyes. Warwick blinked momentarily in response. He slashed left and right, her blood now blinding him. Riven looked around, she had to figure a way to pacify him. That answer, would come crashing in front of her as a fist barrelled forward and sent Warwick flying through the air. Warwick smashed against a tree harshly. He dragged himself back to his feet as a large, hairy man loomed over him. “Do not taint our forest, cursed one.”
Warwick snarled at the man who cuffed the wolf down to the ground with a thunder clapping slap. The hairy man glanced at Riven, “We have been looking for you.”
Warwick sprung back to his feet and launched himself at the man. Warwick bit deep into his forearm, his claws raking the man’s body as he made no response to the attack. Raising his freed hand, he struck Warwick squarely on his head, knocking him out. He stared at his bleeding arm, and flexed it as hard as he could. The flow surprisingly stopped. Riven examined the man, he wore a strange black gi with animal furs decorating his being. His large beard covered most of his face. Riven suddenly realized who this man was, the legendary beast man of Ionia, Udyr. He repeated himself, “We have been looking for you.”
Riven stood her ground, her sword readied. He continued, “You are wounded. Are you alright?”
Riven glanced at her arms, their bleeding had stopped but they still ached. She shrugged her shoulders, “What do you want?”
Udyr cracked his knuckles, “We want to know why you are in our woods, little girl.”
Riven shot him a questioning look, “You…you don’t know who I am?”
Udyr remained deadpan, “I do. What that means, is yet to be determined.”
Riven was about to question him more when Udyr disappeared from sight. She ducked instinctively and a fist fired above her, shattering the trunk of a nearby tree. Udyr chuckled as Riven rolled away from him, “Good. Now we fight.”
Riven held her hand up, “Wait, no. Champions are not allowed to attack one another outside a sanctioned match, right?”
She barely dodged another strike as Udyr responded smugly, “Did not stop Warwick. Let them try to stop us. We need a challenge.”
Riven drew her sword and was ready to strike him, but guilt shot through her. She froze for only a moment, which was all the time Udyr needed as his strike hit true, rocketing her off her feet. She landed harshly and rolled back to her feet, grabbing at her chest in agony as Udyr slowly walked over. “You hesitated. Why?”
Riven breathed in and out, she needed a reason, “B-because I don’t want to fight.”
Udyr roared in laughter, “Then why are you here? The League is only meant to kill!”
Riven clenched her jaw, flustered at the man. Udyr continued, “You are here because you want to fight! You hesitated because you showed guilt! Do not lie to us!”
Udyr’s body became wreathed in fire, “We will burn this entire forest down if you do not strike back. Fight us!”
Riven exhaled sharply, got to her feet and readied her blade. Udyr rushed forward, she could read it this time. She feinted with a swipe upwards. Udyr caught her blade and struck downwards in an attempt to cave her skull in. The fire licked Riven’s face as she twisted away from it, and with all her might punched Udyr in the solar plex. Udyr’s body lifted off the ground from the force of the punch. Riven pushed herself away from him and readied herself once more. Instead of the expected retaliation, she heard something strange. Laughter. Udyr was laughing as the flames died down. He pointed at her, “Good. You are strong. We look forward to fighting you.”
Riven was shocked, Udyr strode forward and clasped her shoulder. He dragged her away as he led her twisting through the forest. Despite her best attempts, she could not break free of the man’s vice grip. “Stop struggling. You will dislocate your shoulder.”
Riven settled down and complied with Udyr as he led her through the forest. They eventually came to a clearing, randomly in the middle of the forest. Udyr stopped here, “Do you wish to live in these forests?”
Riven glanced at his face, trying to read what he meant. He spoke up, “You were in Warwick’s territory. You cannot trespass on his land unless you are ready to fight. His territory stretches the entire Southern part of the forest. This is our territory. The lake is half a mile walk from westward, the main path is a little further south westwards. These forests are owned by the League. They are meant to house those who find nature more hospitable. You may stake your claim here.”
Udyr turned around and started to walk away from Riven, she could not let it lie like this. “Why are you doing this? Why did you fight me?”
Udyr turned and pointed at her, “We were asked to, Nevir. And as for why we fought, did you want to?”
Riven shook her head, he simply stated in response, “That is why.”
He disappeared from sight, Riven looked around her and realized this was an old camping spot. It was relatively well hidden from sight, and it provided protection against the autumn winds. She looked over to a decaying tree stump, it was half pulled from the ground. With a little exertion she managed to pull the rest of it out, and centered it near the middle. This was a better seat than the last log provided she mused to herself. It was then she realized her arms were still bloodied, so she headed towards the lake.
Following Udyr’s vague direction she eventually reached the lake. Looking around carefully for anyone nearby, she made her way to the water’s edge. A quick wash of her forearms revealed the deep scratches from Warwick. She fondled the satchel hanging off her waist, carefully avoiding the bundles of papers within, and grabbed some bandages. She clumsily wrapped her arms, smirking at the thought of her old ally being a shaggy beast now, “Serves him right.” She sat there for what seemed like hours, lost in thought. The tide’s flow eventually splashed itself on Riven’s sandals, causing her to yelp in surprise. The water was much colder now.
She stood up, stretched her body, turned around and saw from the corner of her eye a monkey tail pull up and away. Riven’s stomach growled, She eased for her sword carefully, and slowly made her way towards the twitching tail. Why is there a monkey in this region of the world? She was about to ignore it when a rock sailed and hit her head. The chittering in her ears sounded like the monkey was taunting her. She turned to face it, its’ tail swinging back and forth. She clutched her forehead, moving her hand into her line of sight to see specks of blood on her palm. That must have been why Warwick was so adamant about catching the monkey. Annoying little bugger. Another rock was thrown at her from a completely different direction, but this time she caught it and threw it back with ease. The sound of rock hitting bone echoed through the forest, and the screech of pain soon followed, which was then promptly followed by the sound of cracking branches.
Riven turned back to face the lake, she was relaxed. She reclined into the sand, and fell into thoughts. She reached into a satchel she had been carrying this entire time and withdrew papers from it. She figured she would have to look at the list eventually. It was a list of every champion inducted into the League so far, she started shuffling through the papers and squinted to read the text. Whoever wrote these had absurdly small handwriting. She had finished the Demacian some of the non-human champions when she flipped over to the list of Ionian champions. Her eyes widened, her hands started to tremble as familiar names came popping out at her.
Where they were born, where they lived, where they trained, where they fought, she recognized almost every region. Many of these regions were those that she herself was in charge with. Only one name stilled her hands for a moment, Lee Sin. She cocked her head; she did not know he was in the League. She would have to speak with him. Her stomach was flip-flopping as she pulled out Irelia’s file finally. Save the worst for last. She read it slowly and carefully, her fears confirmed. She threw the papers on the ground and started coughing violently. Memories started to race through her mind. No, no, no, not again. Not here, not now. “Are you alright?”
Riven looked up, completely stunned. It was Irelia, except she was decorated in full Ionian ceremonial armor. The Mantle of Decorum hung behind her head, marking her as a capable warrior and the highest honor any Ionian could receive. Riven knew she was dangerous before, but this exceeded her expectations. Riven spoke up shakily, “Y-yes, I just…had a coughing fit.”
Irelia helped Riven to her feet, “I asked Udyr to check upon you. Did he harm you?”
Riven looked at her arms and hid them behind her back stupidly. Why was she hiding her wounds? “No, it was Warwick. I am fine.”
Irelia frowned, pulling Riven’s arms out from behind. “Warwick tends to coat his claws with a paralyzing poison when he hunts. It is mild and can cause nausea, but you must let it pass. He constantly hunts in those woods, it was a miracle you didn’t meet him sooner.”
Irelia examined Riven’s bandages, her frown did not disappear. Without a word she unwrapped Riven’s arms, and before she could protest they were already rewrapped comfortably and expertly. She then proceeded to wipe Riven’s forehead off with a damp cloth, cleaning the blood. Irelia shot her a smirk, “You need to learn how to take care of yourself better. It’s not easy to be alone.”
Irelia stood up and stretched her legs and proceeded to walk towards the spilled papers. She knelt down and gathered them up in a neat pile, placing them back in the satchel. Riven’s thoughts were racing, ‘Why is she being so nice to me? Why send Udyr? Why help me? Why?’ Riven called out to Irelia, “Wait!”
Irelia stood up and turned to face Riven slowly, locking their eyes once more. Riven could see how most would be intimidated by this young woman. The sword flourishes, as though painting with blood. That was from a Noxian field report on her, the rest of the report retold how she tore any Noxian in her path like cattle to the slaughter. Riven spoke up, “How…how did you know where to find me?”
Irelia chuckled, pointing to the lake, “Despite what you may think, I paid attention when we spoke. Where else would I expect a fisherwoman to be?”
“Then why did you come looking for me?”
Riven anxiously waited for a response, Irelia shrugged her shoulders, “You have been living outside of the Institute for almost a week now. I am allowed to be worried about comrades, no?”
Riven stepped forward, her speech almost shrill now, “How can you call me that so easily?! You don’t know me and I don’t know you!”
Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Riven spoke out of emotion, she had just gone ahead and screwed things up. She was mentally berating herself when she heard Irelia’s response, “That is true. Yet I feel as if I can. Is that alright?”
Riven ran her hand across her forehead, “Y-yes, I …I’m sorry for my... Thank you for your help.”
Irelia bowed towards Riven, “Hopefully I’ll see you in your first match. It’s easier when you see a familiar face. Farewell for now.”
Riven’s face lost all color, two days. She bowed to Irelia in response, “Irelia, thank you for everything. Goodbye.”
As soon as Irelia’s figure disappeared Riven collapsed to her knees. Two days, that was when her identity would be revealed and everything would be ruined. She got back to her feet and made her way to her satchel. With one swift swipe she grabbed it and attempted to lift it. It was heavier now. She laid it back on the ground and opened it.
Her eyes widened, tears trickled down her face. It was a box with a note attached to it, the smell of meat and rice permeated from within. She read the note carefully, ‘Keep your strength up. Do not make me worry.” –Irelia. Memories suddenly raced through Riven’s mind: blood everywhere, screams of anguish, pleads for mercy, screams of pain, limbs flying, heads rolling. She shook her head clear, and stared at the note. She could not stop the tears from flowing. Even if it only lasted a week, no matter her sins, she at least had found a comrade for the time being.
Hours later, in darkest pitch of night a monkey swung from tree to tree as quickly as he could. The monkey could see the fire from a fair distance, he made his way towards it. A man wearing a multi-lensed pair of goggles sat, meditating. He spoke out loud, “Did you have your fun today, apprentice?”
The monkey landed in front of him, whirling a staff around him. “Yes Master. Warwick is great for training, but then there was that woman who interrupted.”
The man made no motion, “Oh? What woman?”
The monkey chittered excitedly, “I made Warwick chase me for an hour straight, he couldn’t catch me the dumb lug. When I was leading him on I saw a woman sitting around. Smack in the middle of nowhere in the woods. I thought it had to be the newbie. Anyhoo, she was looking all bored like so I thought, ‘hey, why not introduce the two.’”
The man the monkey called Master shot him a glance, “That was rude of you, Wukong. You could have harmed her.”
The monkey continued to chitter, “Don’t worry sir, she bested him! He seemed stunned though, like he recognized her. Called her Liven or somethin’.”
The man shot straight up, his sword drawn. Wukong was taken aback by the raging aura encircling his master. “What did she look like?”
Wukong scratched his chin excitedly, “Well, she was human, so kinda dumb lookin’. I guess she’d look good if she had any hair on her arms. Hm, she had white hair…”
A sigh of relief was heard when Wukong snapped his fingers, “And…a scar on her cheek! Yes, that’s right! On her left cheekbone. She was also kinda muscular. Most muscular human female I’ve seen. Hm…She also had a big shoulder pad; she wore a glove on her right hand with some funny symbols and her sword…”
“Was about seven feet in length, a foot wide at the base and a foot and a half at the tip? Lined with runes?” The Master’s aura strengthened.
Wukong shook his head, “No no no, her sword was broken. I’d say it was about my forearm in width at the base, and less than my arm in length. It’s got a weird fork in it now and jagged edges. It had similar symbols to those on the glove too .”
The Master paced back and forth, “Is that all? Maybe I am wrong…”
Wukong shook his head, trying to think harder. “Hrm, what else... what else...She was very skilled. Y’see, I was kind of upset she stopped my fun so I caught her when she was relaxing, and threw a rock at her. Caught her that time. Then when I threw the second, she caught it and knocked me out for a bit. If only I remembered the name…it was definitely an R sound…River, Raven, Regis…I think I’m still woozy, definitely not Regis…”
Wukong handed his Master the rock, it was no more than half the size of a coin. To knock out a human would be a tell of strength with such a pebble, but to knock out Wukong with a well-aimed rock would be almost superhuman. Wukong seemed to be in deep contemplation when he snapped his fingers once more, “Riven! That’s what he called her!”
A scream of anger echoed through the forest as the Master sliced at the fire before him, causing it to split apart. Wukong leapt out of the way, surprised to see his master so angry. “She was supposed to be dead! D.amn her!”
He sheathed his sword, his aura still ignited, “Come apprentice. You will see what it means to avenge your master’s death and what it means to be a Wuju master.”
The man strode into the swallowing black night. For the first time in his life, Wukong was frightened.