Warwick’s snapping jaws aimed for Udyr’s jugular to finish him off. Riven’s grip on her sword tightened. Her Summoner made her lurch forward, forcing her to make a broad sweep with her blade towards Warwick and Udyr.
Warwick bit into a black blade, his teeth shattered from the force of his own bite. Riven was not going to let Udyr die like this, that would make her the monster she once was. Warwick reeled back, giving Udyr enough room to strike him. Warwick stumbled back, still grasping his jaws and now his chest in agony. Udyr struggled to his feet, glaring at Riven, “…You cannot attack your comrades.”
The announcer called out, “Riven just stopped Warwick from slaying Udyr! What is she trying to do?!”
Riven furrowed her brow, shooting a glance back at Udyr, “I’m not.” She turned her attention back to Warwick who grabbed at the chipped teeth in his jaw. “Stupid, stupid woman! Stupid *****! You’re next!”
Riven clumsily ran after Udyr, swiping at him as he easily dodged the strikes. She hoped he would be able to read her intentions. Warwick howled once more and ran after Udyr. He threw himself on all fours and started to run at incredible speeds, the wounded Udyr could barely move faster than a jog. Riven leapt at Udyr and arced her blade. She completely and utterly missed him but nearly dismembered Warwick. The wolfman had to leap out of the way to keep his arm, effectively slowing his pursuit.
The announcer called out, “Ah! Riven is trying to get the kill for herself to try and gain an advantage in the top lane! She’s trying to curb Warwick’s bloody nature the only way she knows how!”
Udyr surprisingly made his retreat into the nearby brush. The brush eventually regenerates itself, she had to make a note of that. Riven stopped her pursuit for two reasons. The first was because she was content Udyr got away, the second being this was an obvious trap. Warwick did not seem to care or he was too caught up in his blood lust to care. Warwick leapt head first and snarling into it, than he promptly flew out. His body skipped off the ground as a cloud of smoke surrounded him.
A kama flew out of the smoke, piercing his throat. He gurgled on his own blood. A green flash booted him in the face which was quickly followed up by a second kama embedding itself in the other side of his throat. Akali appeared behind him, her hands gripping the hilts of her weapons. With one fluid movement she decapitated the beast. His blood splattered over her, and Riven could see that Akali suddenly became exalted with the blessings of the jungle. Despite her wounds, Riven readied her sword in anticipation for an attack. There was no way she could run now, she was too wounded to move quickly and Akali was not only fresh for the fight but strongly empowered.
Akali flicked her kamas, the crimson droplets flying off. The announcer called out the first blood for the Ionians. She stared at Riven, her previous resolve now fleeted, “…Go.”
Riven was startled, Akali continued, “Go back and heal up. I could kill you anytime I wished to.”
Riven was about to reply when she saw the soft look in Akali’s eyes. She stepped into the brush and felt a blue energy surround her. Riven was torn through space. She would have to figure out what Akali’s words meant prior to the duel with Udyr. For now, she wished to bask in the new feeling welling in her chest. Somehow, what had just happened with Udyr felt right though she was unsure why. That feeling quickly dissipated when she returned and a seething fallen angel met her at the summoning platform. “You.”
Riven stared the angel in her eyes. Morgana strode towards Riven, her clawed hand shooting forward, “I saw that. What the Hell was that display?”
Riven slapped Morgana’s hand aside, “A challenge, to your masters.”
The fallen angel burst out laughing, the air seemed to chill from such a phenomenon, “Masters? I am bound to nothing but my own word. How ironic that a lapdog states such an absurdity.”
Riven glared at the angel, “Do you know who I am?”
“Riven, the Butcher of Noxus. I believe that was how you were introduced and how your information was related to me,” Morgana stated smugly.
Riven shook her head, “Did they tell you that I was born and raised there, that I was uplifted by the people of Noxus? Yet the very same people and country I fought for betrayed me. Noxus slaughtered my comrades, they aimed to kill me. It was sheer blind luck I survived, it was even luckier that I survived the after effects of a biochemical barrage. You were fed false information, I am no lapdog. I am Riven. You will call me as such.”
She quivered at her own words. She was being incredibly candid, and incredibly blunt to one of the most dangerous beings ever inducted in the League’s hallowed halls. The cold raspy voice of Singed interrupted the conversation, “Luck? I suppose, but you could always thank me.”
“For what?” Riven spun on him, her anger was barely contained, “What, in the name of every heavenly star, should I ever thank you for?”
“For saving you.” Singed stated bluntly, drawing a flask from one of his many pouches. He started to pass it from hand to hand, then throwing it up and about him as he continued,
“Despite the Noxian General stating, lessee if I remember this correctly… ‘Make use of dead weight,’ and ordering us to annihilate both your squad and the Ionians, you survived. In spite of your inevitable death at the hands of some Ionian jokers, you managed to survive. So a thank you is in order, for saving your life. Anytime now.”
Riven’s mind screamed, her Summoner drew back in pain. She wanted to tear his throat out. What happened next shocked her, Singed and Swain. Before Singed could continue his insults, Morgana strode forward and prodded him gently, “Really? Then perhaps you should thank me for sparring you.”
She clenched her fist, Singed toppled to the ground. He arched his back in agony. She unclenched her fist the moment he muttered what sounded like an apology. By the time Singed got back to his feet Warwick was rejuvenated, snarling curses at Riven. Morgana slapped the wolf across his face,
“Heel. Back to the jungle, no more personal prejudices from any of you. Riven, Akali is going to be excessively aggressive or else her blessings will have gone to waste, her Summoner will make sure of that. Try to use that to your advantage, Warwick you will help Riven top and kill Akali if you and she wish to make up for your mistake. Grab a vision ward, it is a pink rune that lets you see through the strongest of invisibility magic, activate it when you wish to strike and carefully place it. Singed, Sion is in trouble, stop dawdling.”
The two of them looked at the angel while Riven was already following her advice. Morgana’s wings flipped open to their full span as she yelled at the two, “Go!”
Riven was back in the game, her mind set straight. Nechako attempted to communicate with Riven only to be promptly told to quiet down. She would talk to him when she needed to. Right now she needed to focus.
Fifteen more minutes passed, it was a slow match. Sion and Singed managed to etch out a victory in their lane despite Udyr’s constant harassment and had destroyed the enemy’s first guard tower. An eternally respawning dragon had been slain twice by Warwick. It was a feature of this battlefield; apparently this dragon could be slain every few minutes to give a great monetary benefit to the team that had slain it. At least the wolf benefitted the team in some small way. Meanwhile Morgana had more or less decimated Karma despite Udyr having struck the angel down once.
Riven and Akali silently struck minion after minion down, each tensing and waiting for the other to strike first to no avail. Udyr did not remerge in the top lane much to Riven’s disappointment. She needed more answers. Riven eventually lost the top lane because Warwick refused to help her, and Akali’s advantage proved too great for Riven to compete with. She had to retreat and lose their tower.
Upon her return she expected a rebuking. Instead Morgana tapped her own chin thoughtfully, “We still have a slight advantage, we could etch out a victory if we play smart.”
Riven nodded, turning her attention to the shopkeeper when Morgana caught her attention once more, “Or…we can have some fun. I believe you should buy some items to enhance what little magical aptitude you have. Perhaps an Amplifying Tome, or a Rabadon’s Deathcap.”
Riven hunched her shoulders, taking in Morgana’s intentions. The angel wasted no time, “You are mad at being pulled around like a puppet, yes? Tired of dancing to whatever strings someone imagines they have you hung by?”
“…Yes. I however refuse to throw the match. That would be the greatest insult to the Ionians.” Riven knew this was fact, she could see it in their eyes. She would not commit such an atrocity, she already had too many under her belt.
“You would honor those that despie you, nay, hate you? Why do you repel those who welcome you and embrace those that you have persecuted? Are you some special type of stupid?” Morgana’s prodding worked, it fired Riven up.
“No. I despise those that jerked me along, who inflated my ego into making me think I was never wrong, that I was indisputable. I thought I was the will of Noxus, and I was to carry out the orders of men who were supposed to be that very same spirit. I tore through men, women and children, all the way from the unborn to the elderly, they did not stand against my so called might. These whom we are fighting are some of the greatest Ionia has to offer. The very least I can do is fight them on the battlefield, the same field that I had scorched with my rampant naivety.” Riven looked around worriedly, she had just divulged a lot of personal information. This was bad, and unprofessional of her.
Morgana snickered at Riven’s concern, “You look worried. Frightened that over a hundred thousand people have just heard you?”
Before Riven could get a word in Morgana continued, “Luckily for you, I have had many years of experience with our Summoners. No one has heard what you said, except for a select few.”
“Who? Who has heard?”
Morgana’s smirk did not fade, “The only ones who heard your winged words were those it would affect most.”
Sighing, Riven shook her head, “It matters not. The point still stands, I’m d.amned if I do and d.amned if I don’t.”
“You wish to fight them, but not able to win? You wish to show them how hard you are willing to fight? I am following you, yes?”
Riven nodded, which made Morgana’s smile returned, “Very well. You do not have to throw the match, you may honor them however you wish. I, however, have made no such deal.”
Morgana’s smile faded, “This is going to hurt me a lot more than you. In exchange for this, I do have a request of you.”
The exiled warrior cocked her head, not sure if she should be dealing with a corrupt being like this. the fallen angel’s smile briefly returned, “I own a little bakery in the Institute. If you ever need an ear, just state your name and ask for me. Everything is on the house for you, angel’s word.”
“Thank…you?” Riven was completely confused. According to Morgana’s portfolio, mortals were a trifle, pawns to be played with. She had lived over a thousand years, she had seen the rise and fall of civilizations, and she despised mortality. All she desired was power at any cost. Riven knew Morgana was an exile, but she was a millennia old and despised all mortal life. They were vastly different, two different types of exile. Morgana wished to rule her people, to throw off the shackles of the supposed tyranny while Riven sought inner peace. At least that is what the fallen one’s profile said. It was still odd that such a powerful and malicious being would be so…sympathetic.
Morgana’s body shuddered, her head fell limp. The announcer cried out, “Morgana has apparently disconnected from her Summoner! What is going on here?! Apparently after speaking with Riven she left the match! What an upset! What could Riven have possibly said to make the fallen angel leave?!”
Swain nearly snapped his cane in half. This was not good, a four versus five meant almost certain doom. If the Noxian and Zaunite alliance had a gross advantage then it would simply make the victory look sweeter, but the Ionians were not far behind. The chances of victory were now miniscule. He noticed Morgana’s Summoner started to shake, his body fell limp momentarily. He rose back up, energy surging from his eyes, a woman’s voice called out, “Are you watching, Swain? Have you seen what has come to pass?”
Swain tapped his cane angrily, “We had a deal, fallen one. An angel, disgraced or not, cannot betray their word.”
“And yet here I am. That means I have not betrayed my word, has it?” The Summoner’s smile seemed vicious, purple and black veins appearing in his face. “It is as you mortals phrase it, a loophole. And besides, you did not tell me the full truth.”
Swain was irritated beyond belief, “And what, pray tell, would that be? I told you she was a Noxian commanding officer that went AWOL during a war. That is all you needed to know.”
“Truly? Then I will tell you all you need to know. Tell me, Swain, how old do you think I am?” The Summoner looked at him with a malicious glint in his eyes.
Riven cocked her head at Morgana’s still form, the fallen angel was no longer moving. She wanted to reach out and prod the angel out of sheer curiosity. She heard the sound of the rest of her team coming back to base. Warwick howled to the sky, glaring at Riven, “You, this is your fault! Are you so desperate to rush to death?! I could have granted that wish, but no, you went and did this!”
She closed her eyes momentarily, and then glared at him, “I did not do this. It was you, and Singed, and the Noxians that had done this.”
Singed’s cold voice spoke up, “Really? You blame everyone but yourself? How noble.”
Riven pointed at Singed, “You. You are not allowed to say such hypocrisy. My fault is that I was too stupid and let all of this come to be.”
She turned around, gripping her sword. “Now then, come along, we have a fight to attend.”
Warwick skidded in front of her, raising a clawed hand to stop her advance, “We have lost. We have to surrender.”
She slapped his paw aside, “You can surrender, I was summoned here to fight, I do not surrender. Sion, do you not have a showdown with Udyr?”
“Well…I wanna.” Sion grumbled, “But he’s got all his buddies to help him, I can’t show him who’s da man when he’s so cowardly.”
Riven snickered quietly to herself, Udyr, cowardly. Sure. She spun her blade about, “I am going to fight them. Sion, if you have even the slightest bit of honor befitting a Noxian soldier, you will not surrender.”
She stepped past Warwick, and walked down the path by herself. She looked back, none of them moved. Singed called out to her, “This is your own stupid idea, you made the bed now go lie in it!”
She smirked at him, “You almost sound worried.”
She faced forward once more, taking one step after another. This was what she was most used to, being by herself. No friends, no comrades, her versus the world. This was her life for the past decade. She walked down the path, following the minions as far as they would go. Her Summoner chimed in her ear, “Warwick’s Summoner requested for surrender, we have two yes and one undecided. What is your answer?”
She did not respond, he already knew the answer. The announcer called out for a failed surrender, this was seen by both teams. She stopped in the middle of the entire arena. She could sense the other team. Udyr stepped out of the bushes, followed by Akali and the frost Archer Ashe. A Minotaur barrelled down from the opposite side of Riven, accompanied by the lady Karma. They circled around her, Karma spoke up, “Your team wishes to surrender. Why are you here? Are you trying to prompt them to surrender?”
Karma looked at Riven questionably, “Then why are you here? You will die, not many can face such odds and win.”
Riven gripped her sword, swinging it behind her, “I am here because I wish to make a statement. I may, or may not win, but that matters not. What does matter is that I am not Riven the Butcher. She died many years ago in the chaos and hell of war. I am simply Riven. I do not give up, I do not back down, I do not surrender. To do so would only dishonor my opponents.”
“Oh?” Karma smiled at her, “Is that what you told the children you killed?”
Riven bowed her head, her shoulders trembled momentarily. She looked back up and glared Karma in her eyes, “…No. You remember them…you remember their horrific burns…their wounds… To not do so would have been worse than the mercy I gave.”
Before Karma could argue, Riven silenced her with a raised hand, tears streamed down her face despite her strong voice, “But that does not justify me. No matter what I say, no matter what I do, I killed children. I killed the elderly, I killed the innocent, and I cannot fathom to apologize to you. Not because I do not wish to, but because it would be an insult. An apology would not suffice, not in this lifetime. The least I can do, right now, is to fight all of you. I will fight to the very bitter end, it is only one of many steps to redemption.”
Riven’s sword blitzed with energy, it swirled around her fist, “However, I will not face Udyr.”
Udyr grunted, about to say something when she glared at him, “You were not a part of the war. You did not partake in it. I will fight these four, the Noxians had wronged them but never you. This match is about you and Sion, I think people would be disappointed if you did not face him. If you want, I will ask my Summoner to send his a message for a duel. Warwick and Singed are nowhere close by, and if they start to advance I will warn you ahead of time.”
Udyr stroked his beard, thinking about what she had said. He looked at her, “…And how do you propose to win this match?”
“I don’t know.” Riven admitted, “But I don’t care. I will fight for as long as I live, not as a Noxian, but as a person.”
Udyr walked over, clapping her shoulder, “Good to hear that, Riven. However, we are not that sadistic. Tell this to Sion’s Summoner: if we fail in slaying him then we will surrender.”
Alistair the Minotaur roared at Udyr a plethora of insults, each insinuating the cowardice of the Noxians and the sheer stupidity he had uttered. Udyr waited for the Minotaur to finish before he continued,
“If he fails to slay us, then he will surrender. You do not have to surrender, it is only the majority that is needed. We assume the cowardice of Warwick and Singed are prevalent, and they have requested surrender. If the three of them surrender, then you will lose. At least this way, if you will lose, it will be with your boots on.”
Udyr walked past her, Riven’s Summoner fired a message off to Sion’ Summoner. An instant no was thrown down, the announcer called out, “The Butcher has just challenged most of the enemy team to a one versus four fight! What is she thinking?! And we see Udyr walking down the path, we are alerted that he has challenged Sion for the outcome of the match! Whoever wins in their duel, wins the match! What drama, what excitement folks!”
Riven turned her attention back to the four in front of her. Her sword blitzed with energy, reassembling itself into its monolithic size. She flipped it around her, she was focused. She rushed forward, aiming straight for Karma. A kama flew out at her, she tumbled underneath it. Her sword was too gargantuan to complete the roll, so she had to be creative.
Placing the edge of the blade on the ground, she made a makeshift spring board, launching herself off it and towards Karma. Alistair moved in the way of the blade, it sliced cleanly across his skull. He snorted at the wound, “That is not the first from your people, Noxian.” Numerous battle scars, numerous wounds from whips and beatings were all etched in the bull’s body as a testament to everything wrong with Noxus.
“Do not call me Noxian.” Riven roared, “Call me Riven!”
Using the broadside of her sword she smashed the Minotaur’s face, his legs buckled from the blow. Riven vaulted over Alistair and crashed down to Karma, she could see the ninja closing in quickly. Five seconds had passed, she needed to act faster, she screeched in mid run and faced down Akali. A harsh wind from Karma tore at her back, she could feel her blood drizzle down but she needed to take out the most damaging target first. A click was heard and smoke appeared, Akali disappeared in the smoke.
From her pouch Riven withdrew a small pink rune, throwing it on the ground made Akali completely visible. Their weapons clashed, Akali slashed at Riven’s stomach, nearly disemboweling her. Riven caught the first kama, and used her free hand to slash at Akali. This time the ninja did not have the blessings of the jungle to aid her. Akali attempted to boot Riven’s face, the dull sound of flesh striking stone thumped. Akali smiled at Riven, she had her where she wanted her, “Now you’re mine.”
Riven was too contorted to block the incoming strike from the kama, but she was always well known for her ability to improvise. The sound of metal striking bone was heard, Riven caught the kama with her teeth. Crimson droplets fell on the kama’s metal, the strain was immense on her jaw. Wrenching the kama out of Akali’s hand she kicked the ninja’s leg, she could feel the kneecap dislocate. That was one incapacitated, three more to go.
Riven spent too much time dealing with the ninja, her sword could barely sustain itself any more. She leapt away and saw Akali, Alistair and Karma all bundled together. This was a chance she would not lose. She let loose her Wind Scar, tearing at the earth. It did not incur any fatalities but it did wound the Minotaur the most. He had suffered most of the blow while the others suffered only a gash or two. It was then her sword reverted back to its broken form. Riven scanned the area, she noticed something was off. Where was the archer? Riven spun just in time to catch an arrow about to embed itself into her back. She almost breathed a sigh of relief when the arrow exploded with magic. A thin layer of ice lathered itself on Riven’s body, the frost archer lived up to her name.
She was only slowed by it though, but it was more than enough for the others to catch her. She felt the giant hand of Alistair slam her into the ground, shattering both the ice and her ribcage. She did not get a chance to breathe as he roughly grabbed her and threw her to the awaiting feet of Karma and Akali. Suddenly her Summoner detected movement from Warwick and Singed, he cursed inwardly to himself for thinking aloud. They were going to ambush Udyr.
Udyr had walked down the path, no minions stood in his way from either side. The undead warrior trudged towards the mighty beast man of Ionia, the announcer cried out, “This is it! Udyr has stated that if Sion can defeat him, he will instantly surrender! But if he defeats Sion, they will have to! This is going to be a fight for the books people!”
Udyr cracked his knuckles, “Do you know why we despise you, zombie?”
“ ‘s cuz I’m stronger than you, duh.” Sion stated. He knew he would win this fight, Singed and Warwick would assure it. They just needed to wait for his Summoner’s signal. They had slowly inched along the path, enough to make sure Riven hadn’t noticed.
Udyr shook his head, “We have met many who have died once, and been reborn. It is that of the mighty Phoenix, to die and to become anew. But you, you have died and you have adulterated that idea. You are no different now than before, you are an insult to every living being. You do not deserve such an honor.”
Sion laughed, hefting his axe on to his shoulder, “Oh? Then why’re you so gung-ho to fight me now, Ionian?”
Udyr turned around and pointed down the path, “It is because of her. You-”
Udyr ducked a swipe that would have decapitated him, he continued, “gave that poor girl no chance and tried to rein her in. You people clipped her wings. You people are-”
Another swipe was made at him, he dodged it with ease, “-trying to keep a bird that does not wish to be caged, caged. It is because of this gilded cage that you-”
Another swipe, another dodge, “-forced her into she is like this. Even now, she has improved in her ability, in her strength, in her courage from a single fight, a fight she wished to partake in. Meanwhile you, who have been in dozens, hundreds of fights, you have-”
Sion roared angrily as he attempted to tackle Udyr to no avail, “-not changed your style nor your thinking in the slightest bit. We fight you not because of your pride or your ego, we fight you to destroy her cage, to finally let her spread her wings.”
“WILL. YOU. SHUT. UP?!” Sion hollered at him. He was promptly met by a strong crack to the jaw, tearing it off.
Udyr cracked his knuckles, fire danced around him. Sion picked his jaw from the ground and set it back in place, he laughed murderously. His crimson eyes glared at Udyr, freezing him in place for a scant moment. It was the curse of the undead, their gaze can paralyze any man or beast. Sion’s hellfire surrounded him as he barreled down at Udyr. The beast man promptly shook off the effects of the undead gaze and leapt away, the hellish flames licking where he had once been. “Your thirst will be the end of you.”
Sion swung his axe at Udyr who caught it easily; this was when Udyr began his onslaught. Tearing into the zombie deep gashes now formed, Sion staggered back. He flicked a green rune on to the ground and swung once more at Udyr. This time his axe bit deep into Udyr, “Hah! How does Chopper taste?!”
“You tell us.” Udyr wrenched the axe from Sion’s hands and sliced off one of his arms. Sion looked dumbly at where his limb once was, he reached down and set it back in place. “That’s the good thin’ ‘bout bein’ dead, nuthin’ hurts. Now for you, that’s a different story.”
Udyr raised an eyebrow, he saw golden light surround the green rune. He snarled at Sion, “The deal is off if your allies aid you.”
“I can’t stoppem, and besides, I think the League would agree that if I get the killin’ blow, the deal holds.” Sion’s smile stretched further than should be for a human.
Udyr threw the axe to the ground, “We do not retreat. If you wish to fight like a coward, we will kill you all the same.”
A howl was heard from the bushes and Warwick leapt onto Udyr, keeping him pinned as he wildly slashed at him, “Delicious, once more it’s all thanks to the good commander!”
Singed appeared behind Sion, he raced at Udyr. The beast man threw Warwick off of him and turned his attention to the incoming mad chemist. A single strike made Singed reel back, allowing Udyr some breathing space. He took a step to the side as an arrow flew down the path. Singed was struck by it and utterly encased in ice. Before Warwick could react a Minotaur rammed him into a tree, raining blow after blow into him. Ashe appeared next to Udyr, readying her bow as Udyr dodged the ice covered chemist. He made his way to Sion whose arm kept falling off and reattaching itself. Cracking his knuckles Udyr made his advance, “You say you cannot feel pain? It is time for some empirical testing.”
They had come thanks to Riven's warning. It was only a few moments earlier, Riven sputtered out blood and rolled on to her back. With one quick movement she grabbed the hem of Karma’s dress, “Send…Send help. Udyr is about to be attacked…” Karma nodded, and pointed to Alistair and Ashe. They hurried down the path to save their comrade.
Karma knelt down and simply gazed into Riven’s eyes. Riven knew she had lost, but she refused to give up. She stood back up, looking Karma in her eyes, “You…I know what I did to your village…I’m…I’m… I know I said I wouldn’t apologize…that it would be an insult…but….I need to say it… I am so sorry. I am sorry, so very sorry…”
Riven breathed in and breathed out, hefting her sword up. She readied herself, she was starting to black out. “If I die, I die on my feet.” She rushed forward, Akali caught her in mid strike, and with one quick twist snapped Riven’s neck. Riven tumbled to the ground, her breathing became shallower. She could hear Karma’s voice, “Did that really accomplish anything, Akali? Did that make you feel better?”
Blackness overcame Riven’s eyes, but she could still hear. Akali’s response made her shudder, “…It accomplished one thing: It made me feel awful. I need to speak to Yi and Irelia, the pact is not meant to be kept. She was right… She was right….”
…Irelia? The blackness closed around her, the last thing she heard was the announcer calling out, “...And Udyr is literally beating Sion to death with his own arms! Ladies and gentlemen, we have never heard the undead warrior cry for mercy but we can all hear those howls! And here he is, the victor! Udyr has won!”
Riven smiled, good. It was best this way…Right?
Cont. Next Post