Just gonna keep on posting chapters.
Leona stood transfixed at the sight in front of her. A stalwart Rakkor strode, covered in the ashes that was once a enemy. What happened in front of her happened so quickly that even her beyond human battle sight, honed by years of training and centuries of carefully bred genes, struggled to keep up. Pantheon... was simply too fast. He was too strong. Too precise, too brutal, too powerful, too sharp, too everything.
A whisper escaped her lips as she strode forwards, compelled by the corrupting smoke, to face her oldest friend. It was hardly a romantic scene by any measure. The ugly, hardened rock that was once searing lava made up the walls about them and the ground the strode over. Below them, lava flowed slowly, like gelatin, dumping heat and flames into the air above them in excess. But to her, it was as fitting as anywhere. Leona only had eyes for her friend.
Her legs shook with excitement and apprehension, yet her armored feet marched firmly. Wouls she die by his blade too? Would he cut down the the one who he shared so many mock duels with? But this time, with sacred Rakkor relic weapons in the place of sticks and stones? The chosen of the Solari couldn't think of a more perfect end.
She felt like she was falling in love all over again.
Three minutes before...
"It's better this way. That you died by my shield. "
Pantheon, weakened to the point of helplessness, looked up, as the Shaco burst out of thin air, bringing down his wicked dagger. He could barely hear Leona's words over the cackling of the Demon Jester.
"Don't worry… I'll follow you soon, Markus. We all will."
Pantheon stood up straight, not even looking at the man swooping in to stab him in the back. "Haha. Kill? Me? Leona, you still dreaming, little sunshine?" He stared straight into his friends eyes as Shaco's shiv fell closer and closer to his neck. "You've forgotten who I am."
Shaco rammed his shiv in deep just as Pantheon swayed ot the side. The knife sank in several inches, cutting through the Rakkor's hardened body. The Demon Jester gave a few grunts of effort as he tried to worm the shiv deeper.
"Hoho!" Shaco clacked I know what you are!" He twisted the shiv about in the Rakkor's body, widening the wound. "DEAD!"
The Artisan of war turned at the proclamation.
His armored skull swiveled to face the Demon Jester. Cold, piercing eyes, barely visible within the shadows of his huge, intimidating helm, drilled into the clown. Normally, Shaco gave as about as many f*cks concerning other champions, and their innate desire to kill him, as the League had manatees. He logically had even less reason to fear a dead man.
But this time was different. A little. It was the eyes. Those eyes were not the eyes of a hateful, or even angry man. The eyes that were staring him down were the eyes of a souless machine, one whose only function was death. Those were the eyes that were calculating, not seeing, and the soul behind those eyes was completely and utterly conquered by the mind. A mind which had just then decided to do nothing more than to kill him.
Shaco knew those eyes. The jester saw those eyes every time he happened to pass a mirror.
The clown's grimace of a smile shrank by a few centimeters. He, a merchant of fear and death by trade, was not used to being on the receiving end of the fear of daeth. He didn't like it. Without so much as a sly taunt, a knife appeared in the jester's other hand, and shot at the Rakkor's face.
Pantheon only had to tilt his head to the side, and the shiv glanced off of the temple of the rounded Rakkor helm. No blood, only sparks, were shed. He clenched the muscles on his back, and at once, his body closed around the shiv in it. The knife was stuck fast, and with his spear arm, he rammed his spear through the demon jester's foot, and into the rock beneath them.
"Child!" Pantheon shouted to the child mage strapped to his back. "Now!"
Annie rustled out of the bundle on Pantheon's back, and raised her hands. The little girl stared down the demon jester bearing down on her, and with every bit of courage a child could muster, cast a cone of flames. Fire bloomed from her palms, as she drew on her latent magical power.
Shaco was wreathed in searing flames. The screaming came loud and furiously.
"Ahh! AAAAAAAGH! HAAAGGGHH!"
Lee Sin, willed by the black smoke, sprung into action, and shot towards his immolated ally. He drew on the msytical powers at his command, and shielded the demon jester from further damage, but that only prolonged Shaco's agony.
The Blind Monk wasted no time on sympathies. A flurry of blows erupted from hands, using the monk's iron-like flesh as deadly instruments, striking stunning blows that would have shattered most men's bones, and pureed an ordinary warrior's flesh. But each of those strikes found only the metal of Pantheon's shield to greet, and no warrior's flesh, no matter how great, can be hardened enough to damage the magic-strengthened metal from the ages of the Rune Wars.
Lee Sin's strikes found only impregnable rune-steel to meet. His strikes struck up a shymphony of war on Pantheon's shield, letting loose loud, clear tones as the Aegis of Zeonia shook off the energy delivered from the Blind Monk.
The Blind Monk struck the ground, sending waves of vibrations through the rock to cripple Pantheon's legs, but the Rakkor skipped off of the ground, dodging the damaging wave by milliseconds.
Lee Sin shouted, and drew the voice of his shout into the space in front of his body. The air in front of him slowly started to form into a barely visible ball-like shimmer. With the power of chi he formed the sound into a missile, and launched it with a flourish. The shimmer soared towards the Rakkor with deadly percision.
Pantheon made no attempt to dodge. He barely glanced at the incoming missile. He merely bent down, until he was nearly crouching. Then, with a tremendous shout, he slammed his shield into the ground, cracking the hardened lava easiely, shooting deadly sharp shards of rock all over the place, but more importantly, letting loose a blast of sound that was nearly deafening.
Lee Sin groaned as the world round him, made up of sounds and vibrations instead of light and colors, was swept away in a wave of sound borne from the force of Pantheon's blow. To him, it was as if the world was suddenly swept up in a blinding snowstorm. His sonic wave was all but lost in the wave of noise. This is why he did not notice Pantheon until the Rakkor was almost upon him.
A thrust by Pantheon missed, but the monk had to spend more time and energy to avoid it that he normally would have to. It was clear now. The Ionian warrior was now on the defensive.
Lee Sin tried every move, every counter, every clutch, grab, and throw he knew on the Artisan of War, but the man was simply too skilled and too well protected by his massive shield for the blind monk to find any sort of opening at all. And with every thrust, Pantheon was getting closer and closer to the monk's heart.
Pantheon drew back, tucking his spear behind his shield for a second. Lee Sin took the opening to deliver a full-force kick to the Rakkor's head. On any other warrior, even with a heavy heal like Pantheon's, that strike would cleanly remove the hapless victim's head. But the Artisan of War took the strike in stride. If the Rakkor warrior suffered a concussion from the clean blow, he didn't show it.
Instead, Pantheon stared down the blind monk from behind the leg in his face.
As soon as Lee Sin saw those eyes, he knew he had made.a fatal error.
The cruel spearhead of Pantheon's lance emerged from behind his shield, and then disappeared in a blur.
The spear lashed out and seemed to but touch Lee Sin at a single point, and disappear once more, only to find itself buried in one more part of the monk's body. This happened dozens, perhaps even hundreds of times. The monk could not keep up with the storm of thrusts. Leona couldn't. Perhaps even Pantheon did not track where he struck.
But while the attack was nearly invisible the results were not. The Lance of Zoenia found purchase even in Lee Sin's hardened body. And where it found bite, it found blood. Blood spurted out in small bursts where Lee Sin was pierced. The Blind Monk's abnormally strong heart, required to fuel his amazing feats of strength, worked against him as blood sprayed from his wounds with deadly volume.
Lee Sin fell to a knee.
"You fight well, Ionian." Pantheon stared down at his prey with the trademark Rakkor cold professionalism. "Were you not blind and unarmed... this fight might've turned against me."
The Blind Monk chuckled as he struggled to a knee.
"Hehe... you... honor me!" The Blind Monk slammed a foot into the ground, and twisted his leg forwards in his ultimate strike. His greatest kick, the Dragons' Rage. "EEEEEEE-KUNNN!"
In flash, Pantheon swept the butt of his lance at the monk's feet, robbing him of his foothold. Yet still the monk swept his leg forwards. With the other half of his body, Panteon crouched down and braced himself against the monk's kick. With no foothold, and striking against a braced object, the Blind Monk kicked himself... over a ledge, and into a pit of lava.
Lee Sin flailed in the air for a bit, trailing blood from the dozens of piercing on his body, feeling the heat of lava at his back.
He was baptised in in flames... now he was going to die in them? How fitting.
He closed his mind's eye and let the hot air rush past him.
Then a something flew through the air, slammed into him, and nailed him to an opposing rock wall.
"Gaah-hah!" The pain was deep and immediate.
"Hmph!" Pantheon shouted out, to the monk hung like a painting across the Magma Chamber. "Quit crying! You're tough enough!"
Lee Sin felt the shaft in him and realized that Pantheon had thrown a spear straight through him, impaling him on a rock wall, and saving him from the lava pits below. The monk gave a pained sigh of exasperation. Only a Rakkor would think to save anyone in this fashion. t hurt like hell... but he'd get live through it.
Pantheon turned from the nailed monk, to the still moving lump of black that was Shaco. Pantheon loomed over the nearly dead clown. Without the slightest trace of hesitation or pity, the Rakkor raised his shield, and slammed it's edge onto the Demon Jester's neck. The bones cracked like clay and the smoking remains finally lay still. Finally, Pantheon turned to his last opponent. He noticed her staring at him, enamored.
"Hm? What's got you so happy, Leona?"
Leona smiled, and raised her blade. Truly, the gods have smiled upon her today if this man was to be her end. She leveled the golden edge of the Zenith Blade at her friend. Not even the black smoke would change how she felt now. She didn't need the corruption to enjoy what was to come.
"Nothing, Markus. Lets... just have our last fight."