Garen sat there, not quite sure if he heard her right. He thought about making a break for it.
Katarina smiled as if anticipating the chase.
No, Garen would need to take her out first. And then there was that bodyguard of hers. He got up, Katarina following his every movement. He walked towards the door and saw the cloaked man sitting outside.
When did he get there? Garen thought. But this position was great.
He turned around and noticed Katarina tense up. She whipped out her dagger only to have his fist crash into her stomach. Raising his leg, Garen kicked a table right into her ally. Then he ran. Flat out running, head dipped low, bulky arms swinging at his side.
The two assassins had gotten out of their stupor and chased after him. Katarina stumbled a bit, but her bodyguard was completely unfazed. He nimbly weaved in and out of the crowds. He was catching up.
Garen turned around, swinging a wild haymaker. He expected to catch the man on the jaw but he had simply slid under him, blades scratching the marble floor. The man flipped back on his feet and swung his hand out. From underneath his sleeve, a hidden blade, so large Garen couldn't believe that he could be so agile. The man lifted his hood a bit, and Garen could see angry eyes staring back.
"What is your name?" Garen asked.
The man grunted.
Garen and the cloaked man started sparing. Despite being weaponless, Garen was brutal hand to hand. He caught the man's blade mid swing, and smiled with satisfaction as his fist collided with his opponent's face.
The other man backed up, covering his nose.
"Surprised?" Garen asked "It's written all over your face. You never thought I had it in me did you?"
The man stepped in again, feinted and jabbed upwards. Garen would've been skewered if the shield hadn't formed in time. The other two were floating behind him.
How did they get here? Garen thought. He focused on moving them. They slowly responded. But every time the assassin made a move, the shields were ready to intercept. Garen was starting to understand. He still didn't know where they came from, but he knew how to control them. They reacted to instinct. If he truly needed them to save his life, they would respond.
The bladed man was starting to get frustrated. He paced around him, looking for an opening.
"Talon!" came a cry.
It was Katarina. She had finally caught up.
"Talon you *******, wait up!" She saw the three shields and stopped. She had fought him before and she knew how to cancel them. For a minute.
Garen weighed his choices. He could stay and fight, or run. Neither was looking desirable at the moment. But if he were to fight, he would need a weapon. He couldn't defend forever. He thought about his sword.
"Take the blade. Use the blade. Learn the blade. Remember the Code. Never surrender." He recited. Why did he do that? He didn't have time to think about it because the sky flared up in brilliant colours.
A flash of blue appeared in the sky. Just as it had before, a giant sword fell from the heavens. But something was new this time. Lodged between the long fissure was Doran's blade. Garen walked over to the sword. As his hand touched the hilt, the sword glowed bright once more. When the light dimmed, he was holding a large and familiar broadsword. The beautiful carvings etched in as if they were never marred. The blade just long and lethal as if it had never been defaced. In his hands, was Justice.
Several onlookers crawled out from their hiding spots to look in awe. Katarina and her companion, Talon, only scowled.
Without warning the two jumped at Garen, attacking viciously. But in Garen's eyes, they were moving too slow. He easily deflected their blows, and started giving some back. He fended off two of the most skilled assassins Noxus had to offer like it was child's play. He battered them and pushed them back. The two were already gasping for breath. Garen cut Katarina across the cheek and dealt a glancing blow to Talon. The large blade wrapped around his hands shattered. Talon fell to his knees, completely at his mercy. His eyes, although disoriented, accepted defeat, as if calling for Garen to deal the final strike.
Everything around Garen suddenly became silent. He didn't hear the civilians cheer his name. He didn't hear Katarina scream. This was not the path he wanted to take. He didn't want to become a murderer. Sure, he'd killed soldiers on the battlefield before, but never in cold blood. Never when they were at his mercy. Never when their lives were in his hands.
Talon looked up at Garen with disgust. "Do it." He spat.
Garen simply shook his head. "No."
He brought up his arm and smite him down. He heard Talon's head crack on the marble floor.
Someone was clapping their hands. It was Jarvan. "Nice. When did you learn that?"
Garen pulled at his scarf. "About two seconds ago."
The soldiers ran in and before they knew it, the two assassins were tied up.
"Take them away" Jarvan called. "They will be publicly executed tomorrow at noon."
They were about to be lead away when Garen called out.
"Wait. Let me take them."
The soldier in charge looked like he was about to disagree when he saw Jarvan nod. He handed Garen the ropes to the two. Garen walked off, towards the cells.
Garen lead Talon to his cell, then took Katarina downstairs to separate the two. Katarina looked at the cell in dismay. She stepped in and shivered. She sat down on the bunk, and put her head in her hands. The white dye had rubbed off, and the fake patch of skin over her eye had been ripped of in their scuffle.
"Are you cold?" Garen asked.
Garen took off his coat, slipping the keys to the cell inside it's pocket. He always repaid a debt, even to Noxians.
Garen couldn't believe how sincere his own voice sounded. He'd never talked to anyone in that way before, much less a Noxian.
"I told you I don't want it!" She said. She looked like brittle glass, ready to break at any second.
Garen stepped into the cell. He knelt down and brought himself to her level. He unbound her shackles and looked at her eyes. She wouldn't look at him. He gently put his folded coat on her lap. Garen reached out for her hand and she instinctively pulled away. He kept it held out and eventually she put her hand in his. He guided her hand to the pocket, letting her feel the outline of the key. Her head bolted up, staring at him in the eye. Garen nodded gently and put a finger to his lips.
"You saved my life. It's my turn to save yours."
Katarina started crying, hot tears splashing onto his coat.
Garen got up and took the spare key off the peg on the wall. He locked her cell, and walked away, leaving Katarina behind.
We'll, this was kinda unplanned but the end for TMoDB! (Epilogue coming up)