Ch.21 is an author's note.
Important PSA on page 53.
Little summary: Luxanna Crownguard did indeed pass the Judgment of the League, though only barely, but what are her true motives for joining the League of Legends? There is more to her than just her disarming smile.. Rated M for very coarse language, descriptive and detailed violence, and adult themes.
1. My Katarina is "old lore" version. I am not changing her after all my planning.
2. This isn't your conventional pairing. It has a plot, which is the focus, not "OMG, let's make out for 5 chapters." There will be some scenes, apparently (my characters just recently decided upon this for me), but it will be used to fuel further encounters in the future. If your looking for a place to bang one out, this is probably not your story. My bad. (Check out WaddleBuff's stuff instead)
3. I despise the useless Lux who needs someone to rescue her. She can be kind, yes, but she's not a child in an adult's body. Given her lore and Judgment, there's so much more to her. If you like your typical "I'm super girly and can't even squish a bug on my own!" Lux, then maybe you won't want to read this. Chapter One is the "softest" Lux will ever be portrayed.
Ch.1: The Welcoming Party
Her body slowly sunk into the supporting back of the chair as fatigue nestled in her bones. Most of her hair was trapped behind her small shoulders, and the skirt of her armor twisted uncomfortably beneath her legs. The thought of moving, though, was too monumental to consider fixing either. She even still clutched her worn-out traveler's bag in her hand.
Rays of light streamed through the window from the sun just passing its zenith. The glass was a piece of unique craftsmanship and worked like a prism, scattering rainbows across the polished floorboards, the plush rug beneath her toes, and on a golden lock that refused to stay tucked behind her ear. The designer had decided that the decor should revolve around the special glass and made everything white, allowing crystal clear sight of each radiant part of the rainbow. Each passing moment changed the way the colors danced about the room as the sun made its descent.
With time, her bag slipped from her grasp, tumbling to the floor beneath. So tired, she felt, that retrieving it felt a daunting task. Exhaustion weighed down her every muscle. If she could only stay like that, curled up in the comforting velvet arms as warm colors tickled her face, she would hide there until the end of her days. The soft scraping sounds of boot heels coming and going just beyond her door reminded her, however, that time would not stop just for her. Lux held her breath for a moment, stalling, before releasing a tiny sigh.
"Things won't change if you stay here," she whispered. "Everything seems worse in your head. You can do this," she continued to reason, and a beautiful smile returned to her lips. "Maybe this could be fun."
A sudden thud against her door stole the tranquility of the moment, and the young woman leaped from the chair with fright. Before she could chide herself for being so startled, the sudden motion combined with her weariness caused her head to spin. "Watch where the **** you're going next time!" a harsh feminine voice hissed from the other side.
"Me? Why not watch where the **** YOU'RE going, *****, or my laser will give us an anatomy lesson about your entrails!" replied an equally furious young man, eagerly hoping to match his opponent. Lux had finally caught a hold of herself by this point and pieced together the scene beyond her door. She tried to imagine which of the many faces she had memorized during her stay at the Academy would possibly match with either of the voices.
Thwack! The majority of a steel-tipped weapon lodged itself in the door. "You won't have time to change any of those pretty settings," the female countered.
"You... you... crazy *****!" he stuttered. "You could have killed me! The League w-"
"Will do nothing," the icy voice interrupted, "because they know that if I wanted you dead, we'd already be at the funeral." The woman's tone sent shivers down Lux's spine. It was no ordinary threat but instead death's promise. Could it be...? "Come find me when your balls finally drop so we can have a real match," she taunted, and nearby viewers laughed.
"Save it for the Fields of Justice," intervened a third voice, deep and resonating, from down the hall.
"Oh goodie. He's back," the female growled, and the weapon was removed, giving the door a new peephole. "We'll settle this soon, little boy, but if you cry out for mommy, know there won't be a *** to suck on materializing in front of you."
Light footsteps wandered away while purposeful ones strode closer. "How many times have we asked you to not seek out fights with her outside the Fields, Ezreal?" At the mention of his name, Lux immediately recalled his profile as Piltover's finest explorer. His uncharacteristic belligerence now surprised her as she recalled more information, but she had to consider the other in the dialogue. Perhaps she was as bad as they said she was, she mused.
"How many reports does it take to get her out of here?" he countered. "She's the absolute worst!"
"Clearly not enough with either case. Get moving before there is an official report of your hand in the encounter." The young man, Ezreal, shuffled away and muttered under his breath things Lux could not catch but was no fool to not have guessed. The door then opened, without knock, and in entered a man befitting of his commanding voice. Finding one to match his height was quite rare, but to also match his muscular physique was unheard of. His bulky armor added layers to his broad chest, causing him to seem far larger and more intimidating. This did not mean he was undeserving of the illusion, though. He was a seasoned warrior and carried himself tall on and off the battlefield, and had been named Captain of Demacia's Vanguard recently. Even she found herself shrinking from his presence.
"Not even a little knock? How rude," she dared to joke to ease her discomfort.
"I see you finally collected yourself from the floor and relocated here," he returned harshly.
"...that was a bit far, doncha think?"
He closed his eyes and sighed, taking a moment to recollect himself. "Perhaps," he acquiesced. He took a seat in the velvet white armchair she had been resting in just moments before. He knew that towering over people did not make for easy conversations. "You have been accepted into the League of Legends. I offer my congratulations."
"I offer my appreciation of your acceptance," came her stiff reply.
"Please. Do not make this any harder than this has to be."
"Harder than what? Than what has already happened?" she asked. It sounded innocent enough, but Lux was concerned about a specific matter. Did something go wrong?
"No. Harder than what is already expected to come. While your Judgment took time to have a proper ruling, that was meager test of what will be asked of you. As a member of the Crownguard family, you will be expected to serve as an icon for Demacia that all can look to for guidance and strength. You will be under the vigilant eye of the public. You will not disgrace the crest that you wear with your actions. Is this understood?" Her head reeled with the implications of the information but easily hid her pleasure from her brother. Instead, she had to continue her role.
"Can't you say something sweet like you're proud of me or happy to see me, Garen?" she asked, and it was truthful enough. She had missed him in the long years they had been apart, and a small part of her thought that perhaps they could grow close again, as they had as children.
The man sighed, and she noticed the deep lines of exhaustion etched in his face. "Of course I am proud of you and all you have accomplished. Not just because of what you brought to the family name, but as a brother happily watching over you as you make a name for your own. And of course I am overjoyed to see you standing here with me, but I cannot show that. We have a name to uphold, and we cannot allow others to create rumors of favoritism. If you somehow got out of trouble, what would that suggest? That we are just as corrupt as the rest of them, and how would that reflect Demacia? If you do not get in trouble, then I do not have to make a call about what to do with you. Two minions with one dagger. Surely a tactical mind like yours can understand, right?"
"I just don't understand why you think I'm going to screw up. If you keep telling me I'm going to, then I'm probably going to. I thought I was doing well."
"And you are. Relatively speaking, of course. This is just... a pre-emptive measure. A gentle reminder that, even though you are miles from your home, you are still bound there. Just as I am. I cannot be the warm and gentle brother we both wish I could be to you. My duty is to push you to always strive for excellence, even if we do not enjoy the methods." He rose to his feet and made his way towards the door. "I will see to it that the hole is repaired swiftly. I will have to file a report on the incident after all due to the property damage. Someone will get to it soon."
"I offer m- Thank you, Garen."
"I am sorry, my dearest Lux." He closed the door behind him.
"Not as much as I am," she whispered to the empty armchair, but then she shook the feeling away. Despite Garen's other words, he had brought her the most crucial bit of information she had sought for many long hours. She had succeeded! She, Luxanna Crownguard, had been accepted by the League of Legends. While she was not entirely thrilled about becoming a champion, she had passed the summoner's in-depth test without raising alarm. Not only that, but they now welcomed her within their halls. With confirmation that escape would no longer be necessary, the little remaining adrenaline quieted in her veins, and an overwhelming sense of weariness completed its control over her body. Before she could act on it, though, she grabbed her bag from the floor and emptied the contents into the bottom drawer of her nightstand. She would organize her possessions later and place the more valuable things in the top drawer for easier access. Ordinarily she would have scouted the grounds of her new home, but her body demanded a thorough investigation of the hills and valleys of her bed. After changing into more comfortable clothes, she began her inspection the best way she could: closing her eyes and enjoying the feeling of the soft sheets.
Without surprise, Lux drifted off for much needed rest. Her muscles relaxed for the first time in many days as she had accomplished an important step by successfully joining. Her mind, however, continued to buzz furiously, and she ran through memories of the last few hours until she found herself standing before the plaque again. "The truest opponent lies within," it read, and Lux continued forward through the doors. The darkness enveloped her, but she felt no fear. As a master of light, she had to understand the dark just as well. She refrained from using any spells to light her way, for she knew the summoners wished to remain mysterious. Suddenly, a faint light appeared, revealing her brother standing mere paces away. Joy flushed her face at seeing him again after so long, and she nearly raced those last steps to embrace him before she remembered her place.
"Why do you want to join the League?" he asked expectedly, but Lux tried her best to not let anyone know.
"To fight for justice in the name of Demacia," she answered calmly, flashing a brilliant smile at him.
Garen's stony face remained composed. "What is the real reason, Luxanna?" he pressed. Her smile shrunk by a few molars, then completely. He would exchange pleasantries with her later, she hoped.
Reciting the Measured Tread, a book she had memorized since childhood, she replied, "Victory for our allies, defeat for our enemies, and justice for all." She nodded satisfactorily upon completion, and quickly glanced at her brother's expression. Rather than enacting the upward turn of his mouth, Garen frowned. Lux opened her mouth to continue her statement, but intense light surged through the room. More memories flooded her mind as the summoner searched for the specific moment they needed. Anticipating this very move, she guided them to the best one she had to offer while shielding one that did not serve a purpose to the search. They saw flashes of her selection and latched on, thinking themselves brilliant, and played it for all to see.
A young Lux sprinted as quickly as her legs could carry her back home. While waiting for her class to begin, she had accidentally turned invisible again. She still had no control over when it would happen, but she was eager to show her parents her ever-growing abilities. Far too long had they dismissed her efforts and only looked to Garen and his military achievements. For once, she, too, wanted to prove she was worthy of the Crownguard name. She snuck through the front door, as quiet as a mouse, and hoped to surprise her parents, but the surprise fell on her. As she entered the living room, she overheard the conversation that forever changed her life. "She will serve you well, just as Garen has before her," her mother said, nodding her consent.
"Your daughter is at the age where she needs her parents most!" a soldier tried to reason, but another man interrupted them with a voice full of authority.
"It is all in the King's name. You will provide all the parenting she will need." Without any means to argue, the men glanced at one another uncomfortably before agreeing with the decision. The image was replaced with thousands of other fleeting snapshots that Lux had prepared, most particularly the grudge she had forever carried against her family. The summoners devoured the juicy details with glee, probing deeper in her mind, and with each replay, Lux forcibly changed her visage to grow more and more distraught. When the summoners had finally backed off, taking far more information than perhaps had been necessary, Garen approached from the shadows again, and she was confused that she had not noticed his absence.
"Will you admit the real reason why you want to join the League now?" he asked once more.
"Because I have nothing else," she answered sorrowfully, and she fell to her knees. She bit her tongue viciously, and her eyes stung with tears. She focused on the pain, and the tears streamed down her face, completing the look. The summoners quietly whispered back and forth, her name mentioned more than once, but she pretended not to notice. Garen walked away from her broken form, not even bothering to see if she would be okay.
To read more from the beginning:
I'm posting this here because I'd like to hear what people think. I don't need compliments or praise (though I'll never say no ). Just some constructive criticism. Or maybe the "Uh... what i don't even *copy/paste line from story*" and allow me to fix it XD
Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you!
Note: Feel free to friend request me. I'm really nice. If you want a game, understand from the get-go that my internet is the worst (and it's why I write more than I play; also how I got screwed for chapter 20). Play for lols and fun only, sorry. Also, if you encounter me in a game, feel free to say hi, but don't mention my story/writing. I'm probably with my RLfriends, and they don't know I write... I'd really appreciate it