Well, better get off my lazy ass and write more. Please comment
Chapter 3: Night-time stories
30 minutes later
Kayle grunted as she hauled the last bit of the venison onto the makeshift oven. The fire was burning brightly but Kayle didn’t care – no bandits were stupid enough to attack two champions of the League. The venison that was previously placed on the oven was releasing an aroma that made her mouth water. Unlike many of the other angels, Kayle had nothing against eating flesh – she had caused the deaths of many beings, what was but one more?
Ashe sat quietly beside the oven as she slowly turned the meat around. The frost in the deer had initially made the fire hard to start, but repeated magic from Kayle ensured that the fire won. Now, they were waiting for the meat to cook while Kayle planned to dry the parts that weren’t going to be eaten yet.
“Done,” Kayle announced as the venison finally cooked. “I suppose we can eat now, right?”
“Right,” Ashe agreed. She got up and walked over to her bags. “I doubt you’ve brought along a plate, right?”
Kayle shrugged. “I can just use my hands.”
“That sounds rather ungraceful for a being like you,” Ashe said, grinning mischievously.
“Eleven years on Valoran, what can you expect?” Kayle shot back, but couldn’t stop a grin appearing on her face as well. “Anyway, why is royalty sleeping on the forest anyway and hunting her own food?”
Ashe laughed. “I still haven’t truly thought myself as royalty yet. Even after all these years.”
“You were still a princess before then,” Kayle added. “Before you were crowed queen.”
“Never truly felt like one,” Ashe said, shrugging. “There was always too much to do to ensure the survival of the tribe for such formalities to exist. It was only a title, and gave few privileges.”
“And yet you used your title to your full advantage, uniting Freljord together.”
“You make it sound too impressive,” Ashe said gently. “Come now, we don’t want to let the venison burn.”
Sensing the topic was getting too sensitive; Kayle shrugged and pulled out a piece from the fire. Without further ado, she bit into it, tasting the smoky venison. Beside her, Ashe was doing the same, although Kayle noted that she preferred to use her plate and utensil.
“Mmmm…” Ashe murmured. “It’s really warm.”
“I suppose it’s not a luxury in Freljord,” Kayle replied.
“It’s not too cold in the halls of Freljord, although the nights can be really freezing. Warm food is the one thing that all Freljordian demands, otherwise I might have a riot on my hand,” Ashe finished jokingly.
“Sounds like a hard place to live in,” Kayle said, trying to imagine living in such a cold place. The clouds in her home-world were affected by magic, so everything remained warm while the clouds didn’t melt into nothingness.
“It’s home,” Ashe stated. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else now.”
The thought of home brought the conversation to a screeching halt for Kayle. The thoughts of the angels’ plight invaded her mind again, although she soon pushed them out in favour of the present. Once the meal was finished, the two women packed up their belongings. Ashe announced that she would try to find some water.
Kayle shrugged, her body didn’t need too much water to survive. As Ashe left the clearing, Kayle picked up her two swords and started swinging them. Remembering her match against Master Yi and Jax, she decided that she needed to pick up her swordwork again. The twin swords flashed in the light of the fire as she spun them in a familiar drill that was taught to all battleborn angels. As the swords swirled, Kayle frowned lightly. They were too light. The weight of her hefty greatsword was more familiar and allowed for stronger strikes.
I can always attack from a distance if worse comes to worse, she thought as the drill finished. She placed her swords on the base of the tree that held her hammock. A rustling behind her made her turned around. Ashe had finally returned with some water. To be specific though, it was a block of ice. With arrows sticking out of it.
“Forgot my waterskin,” Ashe replied in response to Kayle’s raised eyebrows. Kayle shook her head in amusement.
“Need me to melt it for you?” Kayle offered. Ashe shook her head.
“Thanks, but I’ll be fine. Melting the ice would be too messy. I’ll just cut the ice into smaller cubes so I can place it my waterskin. If I need water, I suppose I can heat it over the fireplace.”
“Fair enough,” Kayle replied. She sat down again by the fireplace as Ashe got to work.
Maybe I should help her. Bladework is my speciality and not hers.
Getting up, she picked up her swords and strode towards Ashe who was trying to slice through the ice.
“It’s going to melt before you can even separate it,” Kayle said with amusement. Before Ashe can respond, Kayle kicked the block of ice up, ignited her swords, and sliced at the block of ice until they were smaller parts.
“Thanks,” Ashe said, amazed at the speed of Kayle’s swords. She quickly picked up the blocks of ice and placed it into her waterskin. “I haven’t seen you use those swords in the League before.”
“It’s not my speciality,” Kayle responded. “I prefer to use my greatsword.”
“Well, now that I’m done, I suppose we can just relax.” Ashe threw her waterskin back into her bags and lied down before the fireplace and gazed up into the starry night. Seeing as there was nothing else to do, Kayle took off her golden armour and carefully laid it at the tree base before walking towards the fireplace.
“Who’s in the revealing outfit now?” Ashe asked, smirking. Kayle flushed but did her best to look as dignify as possible in only her bindings. It failed miserably as Ashe continued to s****er.
“I… um… oh, shut it,” Kayle snapped at Ashe. She folded her wings around her to try to hide herself, but this only drew open laughter from Ashe.
“Wow, you should really try to petition this to the League officials. They would absolutely love it.” Ashe finished in howls of laughter. Kayle briefly considered pushing her into the fire before remembering that mortals don’t do too well in a fire.
“I’ll stick to my armour,” Kayle responded. “Unlike my sister.”
The laughter died down as the topic swung towards the Fallen Angel.
“What happened between you two?” Ashe asked cautiously. “If you don’t mind me asking.”
Kayle remained silent before she finally responded.
“It was about half a year before the Valoran summoners brought their powers onto our world,” she began. Our fight against my enemies was drawing to a close. Ten thousand years of ceaseless fighting actually looked as if it would finally end. However, my sister pitied the enemy, claiming that they were being oppressed by the Order of Seraphs.”
“I guess they didn’t take it too well,” Ashe said softly.
“That was an understatement,” Kayle said wryly. “The Order was furious, especially when the war had nearly reached its conclusion. We were all tired and sick of the war and were desperate for the end. However, Morgana’s objections raised trouble. The Order didn’t want her to embarrass their name and give the enemy a renewed cause. The war had caused all angels to become more reckless and tempered. Without hesitation, they ordered me to silence my sister, through any means necessary.
“I desperately tried to find her, to dissuade her from her cause. However, if there was one thing I should have remembered from our childhood, she was stubborn and passionate about a cause if she truly thought it was worthwhile. In the end, all words proved futile, and an order had been given.”
“So what did you do?” Ashe asked quietly.
Once again, Kayle paused.
“You must understand,” she said quietly. “She was my baby sister. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t hurt her. So I did the only thing that I thought I could. I disavowed her from my family, cutting all familial links between us two. The order was to clearly silence my sister. Without a sister, the order now had no merit. It was nothing but an attempt to delay the inevitable.”
“Surely your Order of Seraphs wouldn’t let that go.”
“They were utterly devastated that I had disobeyed an order. However, their next order left little to doubt. I was to bring Morgana before them – no other interpretation of the order was possible. The Order was determined to punish both of us for our disobedience. Completely weary from the war and the task before me, I sought out to find Morgana again.
“Before I found Morgana and her allies, I was pulled aside by a Seraph to assist him in laying siege to an enemy city. The fighting was beginning to become incredibly desperate and furious – the enemy knew it was soon to be over and they would become extinct. In the end, my forces were able to capture the city. Angels don’t die, you see, but we can be captured and kidnapped to unknown places. We discovered that the city held many of our former soldiers – to be tortured eternally. Many of our forces were furious, and when the word reached the ear of the Seraphim, a new order was given.”
“You made them pay, didn’t you?” Ashe demanded. “Nobody should suffer such crimes.”
“No, they shouldn’t,” Kayle agreed sadly. “But didn’t excuse the order that was given. The city was to be purged. Soldiers, women, and children were all to be ‘purified’ by fire. Immortals that were captured would suffer the same fate that they tried to enforce upon the soldiers.”
Ashe’s reaction quickly turned to one of horror. “You couldn’t have. Please, tell me you’re joking…”
Kayle looked hard into Ashe’s eyes.
“I only wished I could.” Kayle whispered almost to herself. “I tried to excuse myself, but I had already disobeyed orders once. Through sheer spite, the Seraph dragged me to the frontlines and ordered me to kill a young girl in front of all my troops and her family and city.”
“No, no, you couldn’t have,” Ashe repeated to herself, staring at Kayle with horrified eyes. Fresh tears were now running down Kayle’s eyes. “I thought you claimed yourself as the strongest of your race! You could have resisted!”
“I couldn’t!” Kayle asked, almost pleading. “I am right when I say I am the strongest of my race… but only of my race. The Seraphs… they were significantly stronger than we are. I had no choice… you must understand!”
“So, what happened to the girl? Surely you wouldn’t have…”
“The young girl… she kept pleading. So were her parents. And behind me, my former friends… they were cheering. Cheering at the death of an innocent.”
“So Morgana is right – you are tyrants,” Ashe accused bitterly. Kayle didn’t deny the accusation.
“She saw me do it,” Kayle stated. “Morgana saw me murder the girl. Then her family. Then her friends. And it kept going. The other angels were ordered to stay back as I was forced to turn my blade and fire on innocents.”
“You could have disobeyed!” Ashe shouted. “What was the worse that could have happened?”
“If I tried to stop or disobey, my body was taken over by some other force, and the more I resisted, the more I was covered in blood,” Kayle replied bitterly. “Once I was finally discharged, I stumbled numbly on to find Morgana, hoping to find solace in family. In my former life. But I was too late – Morgana saw how far the angels would have gone and made a contract with both dark magic and the Valoran summoners.
“Before I could even speak to her, our world was already ruined as she pour forbidden magic into our land. Worse, she managed to capture images of my massacre and with it, she showed it to the rest of the world. My image of a hero of my people was shattered beyond repair. The war had barely only ended three days before a civil war sprung up. Chaos reigned freely as angels turned on angels. One side represented the militants and their masters, the Seraphim. The other side represented what Morgana stood for – freedom.”
Ashe continued to stare at Kayle, unbelievingly.
“So you believed your sister’s cause was right?” Ashe asked tentatively after a long silence.
“It was right from the beginning,” Kayle responded dejectedly. “I only saw it was a just cause at the end of the war. My upbringing and faith in the Order of Seraphs had blinded me from the start. By the time I came around to this conclusion, I was already in Valoran, and nothing I said or done would turn Morgana from forgiving me. In a way, our enemy had won – they destroyed the angels’ image of perfection. I was once a hero. Now, I’m a mass murderer to the victims, a tyrant in my sister’s eyes, and a traitor to the other angels.”
“But why did they allow you to come to Valoran if you were a traitor?”
“At first, I thought it was an order to stop the chaos that was occurring everywhere. It was only when I arrived in Valoran that I discovered I was actually sold to the summoners. The Seraphim had used me as a bargaining chip to cease all conflicts on my home world. The portal to my home world was closed and I was literally forced into servitude. I will remain here for a thousand years. They knew Morgana was here and left me to suffer.”
“To suffer?” Ashe repeated, looking at Kayle. “Is that what you truly believe?”
Kayle looked up, wishing she had her helmet, wishing that she could hide herself now that she had laid herself bare.
“Suffer? Yes, I should continue to suffer and redeem for my crimes. Other than that… I truly don’t know where I should go.”
“You’re a good person, Kayle,” Ashe said quietly. “The last eleven years were proof of that. Your actions off the Field of Justice were always to help somebody. Your time here, even if you hated it, has made some of our lives better. Understand this, you may have committed your war crimes, but you were forced into a position nobody ever want. Champions such as Singed and Warwick enjoyed their atrocities – you didn’t and that already makes you a better person than they are.”
“I thought I had buried the past,” Kayle said bitterly. Ashe saw that tears were running down the angel’s face. “Even so, it continues to haunt me. Every night, I hear the screams of that city. Every night, I see the rivers of blood that come from it. Every night, I spat at the angel’s idea of absolute justice. And every night, I hate myself more and more, and wonder what everybody would think when they discover the truth.”
“I don’t hate you,” Ashe said, a small smile returning. “And you shouldn’t hate yourself. If the records are true, you’ve truly gone beyond your call of duty in the League of Legends. Eleven years here, and not a single kill on Valoran has been attributed to you. Your sense of justice meant that every criminal remained alive to face their charges.”
Kayle gazed into the fire. “I swore I would never kill, except on the Fields. I swore that I would never take another life after the massacre at that city. As ‘The Judicator’, I would see that my brand of justice is enforced, not the angel’s version!”
Ashe moved over and gave Kayle a small hug. “That’s the spirit. Even if you don’t have other members of your homeworld, you still have us. You still have Valoran… and no matter how badly you think of yourself, you always have the chance to redeem yourself.”
Kayle gave a shaky laugh. “Thanks, I’ll be glad to call you friend. You’ve given me things to think about – I truly hope that I could shake off my past, but that would be an insult to all my victims.” Kayle sighed and looked around. The camp-fire was burning lower and the moon was rising higher. Around her, she felt the denizens of the forest moving.
“The night is getting old,” Ashe said, yawning. “Until tomorrow then.”
“Good night,” Kayle replied. Without a further word, she flew up to her hammock and closed her eyes, fearing the nightmares that would inevitably come.
Author's Note: Well... if anybody was metaphorically hurt by the Mood Whiplash, I'm sorry (going from a pleasent and slightly comedic story to a full blown war story). Anyway, I'm sorry the chapters are getting longer and longer (for the record, it's five pages on Microsoft Word for this chapter alone). Please keep reading and commenting!