Chapter 4: A Reluctant Prattle
387. Riven counted every step she took from Riven's door to Irelia's. Counting her steps was a habit she adopted early on during her militaristic childhood. It was her way of taking her mind off of things like nervousness, stress, or just boredom when she was walking place to place. Her favorite part was that, when she did it, she never had to look up, which was something she loathed doing with a passion. Much to her chagrin and angst, she was forced to look up every now and again and lose track of her counting, usually when someone called her name or bumped into her after turning a corner. Such was not the case this time, however, and she was silently appreciative of her luck.
With a hesitent knock, Riven heard feminine grumbles on the opposite side of the door before it opened towards a slightly-shocked Irelia and motionless blade set.
"...I thought I made it clear that we weren't friends," Irelia said with a furrowed brow while looking Riven over.
"Just a favor..." She was interrupted rudely.
"A favor? A favor is something you ask a friend, am I wrong? I don't believe I can simply ask a random summoner to go and fetch my..." Riven was getting a bit steamed.
"Look, I was just wandering if you had any experience as a body-guard. I need one." Her words were quick and clean, save for the smallest hint of spite. She didn't appreciate the way Irelia spoke to her like she was lesser than human. She understood that Irelia didn't like her, but that was no reason to be so stuck up when all she requests is a favor, and even then, Riven had every intention of paying her.
"What for?" Irelia inquired. She had a hard time grasping the idea of Riven needing a bodyguard. That was like saying Gragas needed to drink more to stay healthy, ignoring the fact that his brew heals him (with use of his passive, anyway) when he drinks it.
"Can you do it or not?" Irelia thought for a moment, deep enough to tune out Riven's tapping her foot against the ground. She gave an askewed smirk before nodding. She asked when she would start, to which Riven replied tomorrow would be fine.
The next day...
Riven's luck was getting better and better. She had the chance to repay Katarina today on the field, in top lane. This was destined to be a good match.
Niether word nor attack took place between either of them since the match began about 5 minutes ago. The tensions were high and niether intended on gifting the other the satisfaction of a kill. But after a few more minutes, Riven was the first to attack. She charged straight to Katarina and went for a sideways cleave, but she found herself slicing air, no doubt Katarina's killer instincts were ready. No later did it dawn on her that Katarina had used Shunpo than a boot pierced her spine for an agonizing jolt of pain, coupled with the excruciating pierce of her blade that stabbed just above her hip. Riven wasn't a stranger to pain and this was a pinch on the arm compared to what she'd endured in her past. She raised her broken sword and exerted a strong ripple of ki, then used her last 2 strikes. With Katarina stunned, Riven's killer instincts kicked in too and she ran into the bushes, towards Katarina's side in hopes she'd get brave and follow for the kill, even though she wasn't very close at all to dieing.
To her horror, a half health Sion came from the river and soon she was surrounded. She couldn't help but think "Who the heck jungles Sion!?" Katarina ran into her bush, but before she could Shunpo, Riven Flashed out, almost to safety. Alas, Sion Flashed in close, then Katarina used her Death Lotus after a Shunpo. Thinking quick on her feet, Riven expended another burst of ki, interrupting Katarina's channel by the 4th blade and leaving her with enough health to stay in lane. She had one more trick up her sleeve though.
Sion closed enough distance and used Cryptic Gaze to stun Riven just outside of turret range. But was she really stunned? When Sion and Katarina were close enough, Riven used Cleanse. Sion and Katarina muttered some curses. However, Riven wasn't done yet. She figured she had about 5 seconds before Sion could stun her again. Riven called forth the Blade of Exile and, with a terrifying speed, caught up to Sion. 2 ferocious cleaves tore Sion apart fast, but then he turned around with a frightfull red aura and souls surrounding his red axe. Riven was prepared for this, though. A valorous side step to dodge his axe and then a final hit with her combo, sending Sion into the ground. She prayed she calculated her next move correctly. A normal attack and then Windslash gave her a... Oh no...
Another savage boot to the back and she fell next to a still-barely-alive Sion. It was over now. Katarina raised her daggers above Riven so that they resembled the fangs of a snake, then Riven closed her eyes...
Riven opened her eyes in time to hear a thud as Katarina's corpse fell to the ground. What the...
"Well, I know you said I started today, but it's only the first match of the day. Honestly." Riven blushed. Downright embarassing. Come to think of it, who jungles Irelia? What an odd coincidence. Nevertheless, her timing was nothing short of a miracle.
"Thank you, Irelia... Even though I would've liked to have Katarina for myself." Irelia nodded. Riven attempted to sit up only to be rudely reminded of the grievous stab-wound that had soaked her back in blood. It was excruciatingly painful and the fact was, there's no way she could've stood long enough to teleport or walk back. She didn't want to, but she was helpless. Irelia started walking towards the enemy blue golem.
"Irelia... Could you..." She sighed. It was so pathetic. "Could you help me up?" Irelia stopped and turned her head. After checking around for any other undesired guests, she kneeled beside Riven and put an arm under her shoulder, then her other arm held the wounded Noxian up by her ribcage.
"Ready?" Irelia asked. Riven nodded. With a small groan from the pain, Riven was hoisted up onto her feet. Irelia inspected her for a second and, slowly, she withdrew her arms being very cautious incase she couldn't stand. She did this until Riven was standing on her own.
"I... can't walk," Riven muttered bashfully, hushed to a near-mute sound level, after stumbling into Irelia's waiting arms. This was so degrading, she wanted to drive her sword right through Katarina and watch her body fall to the ground again for causing this.
"It's okay, I'll carry you." Irelia's voice was soft and reassuring, almost loving. She reassumed her position and began to slowly guide Riven back down the pathway, minions still asininely fighting their miniature, endless war.
Riven's frown eased into a smile. She didn't know why, but, for some enigmatic reason, she liked being held. She'd never been held as a child, as her parents were always too busy with the rune wars and left her at, what could hardly be called, "childcare". As far as she knew, she managed to isolate and expel all of her mommy, daddy issues along with all but 1 memory. She had no recollection of what her parents were like, only a vague semblance of their silhouettes from her last memory of their presence in her life. It was a recurring dream of hers, but she could never remember what her dreams were about, anyway.
It was back when she was about 4. She was tucked in, eyes closed, pretending to be asleep like all children, and her mother kissed her on her cheek before turning to leave. She heard her stop at the doorway and giggle before Riven turned and looked. Her last remnant of her parents was them, kissing in the doorway before whispering goodnight to her, the candle in the hallway didn't shine on them. Only behind them. A few weeks later, her grand-mother told her that her parents died in the war. She said that, when a Demacian mage split the ground apart, her mother plummeted down, and then her father jumped in after her. Hardly an honorable death for their skill and fame. Then, a few months prior, her grand-mother died and she was sent to an orphanage.
Riven clung a little tighter to her rescuer, unaware of her own actions. Irelia didn't fail to notice this, but she didn't care as much as she thought she should've. In fact, it reminded her of Xivi... A tear and sniffle were unisonal-ly elicited from her at the thought. She, too, clung tighter to her charge, equally unaware of herself. She hoped that Riven didn't notice her tear or sniffle.
"Thank you, Irelia." Riven whispered, now leaning her head against Irelia's shoulder.
"Any time Xiv - I mean, Riven," she corrected before wincing. Shiz. No one, not even her own family, knew about Xivi. Riven picked her head up and looked at Irelia quizzically.
"I'll tell you some other time," Irelia whispered, an inward sigh at the agreement.
With the 2 assists from the first encounter, Riven took her snowball-sized advantage over Katarina and rolled it into an even bigger one as time went on. Katarina couldn't do anything to stop her; whenever she tried, Riven would stun her, combo, and finish with her Windslash. She got revenge 3 times and, come team fight time, Riven attacked everyone. Irelia used the opportunity to attack their carrys and the first fight ended in an ace. By this point, Riven was pretty beefy with a high damage potential. It came as no surprise to anyone when their inhibitors fell and they turtled next to the nexus. It was more of a surprise that they hadn't surrendered yet, the crowd had been shouting at them ever since the second ace.
The minions flooded in faster than they could kill them. They could've just let them do all the work because defeat was inevitable now. Riven was the only person left in the enemy base, as everyone else went to kill Baron. But she felt compelled, as if by destiny, to stay. She watched as they helplessly tried to kill the minions, staring with hate-filled gazes straight back at her.
Time seemed to slow down for Riven. She saw the perfect opportunity. All 5 of them were below half health and too careless to heal. Acting on her guts, she Flashed into the cluster of minions by the turret, right next to a (metaphorically) stunned Veigar, and put her sword up to him so that it was pointed at his chest. She summoned Blade of the Exile, unceremoniously piercing through his blue cloak.
AN ENEMY HAS BEEN SLAIN!
Without a second's delay, Riven ate 2 turret shots like they were candy, then swung, mercilessly, at Nunu twice. He was about to run, but he was finished of by a well-timed Ki Burst.
Her sword was glowing restlessly, begging for more. She dashed forward into 2 more turret shots, which were completely negated, and jumped high into the air. As she came down, she delivered a vehement strike that shook even the nexus, knocking both Katarina and Kog'Maw a considerable distance. In fact, she never would have caught up to them if she hadn't saved her best move. She pulled her sword back behind her head, taking another pair of turret shots in her back. With a calm- or at least, as calm as one could be on the situation- breath, she swung her blade outward with all of the force she could muster, and sent an omnipotent, green wave of pulsing aura into Katarina and Kog'Maw.
She ran out of turret range, unsure of where their fifth person was. But only shortly after, a swift and critical wound drew it's way across her back. Runnels of crimson seeped out of her wound, further staining her torn vest.
Master Yi appeared in front of her, sword burning a translucent cerulean in his tightly gripped hands. There was not a word spoken before he used Highlander. Riven knew she wouldn't win this 1 on 1. She had to think outside the box and fast.
With a furious shout, Yi raised his sword high and ran forward at a scary speed. Wait, that was it! His sword! Riven side stepped the strike that impaled the ground, sticking the sword deep into the ground and spawning a large crack sent straight through meters of enchanted stone. While his blade was stuck, Riven's blade returned to normal, not that she intended to use it anyway. She dropped it to the ground and took a swing at Yi. Her fist didn't meet anything, not even air. So fast was her fluent strike that the air around her fist became a small vacuum. But Yi was faster, already beside her outstretched arm and bringing his knee up to her elbow. There was a roaring snap and a laugh from Yi. She had had run ins with broken bones brfore, but this was her most severe to date. Yi was still laughing menacingly.
Her adrenaline numbed the pain and, for a moment, all she could see was Yi, everything else replaced by an opaque, somber shroud. Nothingness. Her unharmed fist tightened until her nails dug into her skin. She didn't know it, but her fist was surrounded in the same green energy her Ki Burst emitted. She screamed a violent, fear-inducing scream an pulled her arm back before letting it go like a crossbow bolt.
"HAHAHA-UGHHH..." He was paralyzed, whether it was by fear or Ki no one would ever know, but it wasn't over. Riven finished him with a powerhouse of a kick into the wall 15 feet away.
Without much delay, the victory alert boomed over the field, at least for their team. Riven clenched her arm around her wounded arm as she watched their nexus shatter like a mirror. A crystal descended beside it's remnants, one of the many they used as cameras for matches. She reluctantly walked over to it. Everyone in the crowd watched the whole thing, many clasping their mouth shut at the gruesome broken elbow she nursed in her good arm.
"Fellow Noxians, no not those of you who only think they know what it means to be a Noxian, I'm talking to those of you who, like I, were once proud to be that which people think are weak. That's right, they think we're weak, and maybe with good reason, too. When I was young, there were no guns, no machines or anything else so cowardly! That was back when it was honorable to die at war, just like my parents and yours." She paused for a second. The crowd was in an ocean of feelings, most confused, but most Noxians were listening with astute, sagacious focus.
"Do you know why all of this changed? I'll tell you why. General Boram Darkwill has been corrupted by the immoral members of the Noxian High Command." The crowd broke out in whispers as if it was foul herecy and to be caught talking about it were a capital offence.
"Think about it. My proposal is this: in 7 days from now, you, the people of Noxus, will vote, between me or him, who will rule Noxus. If you wish to stay loyal to him..." The crowd hushed at the sight of Riven being stabbed through the chest by a large blade. She froze as the blade twisted, died as it exited. A train of gasps befell upon the crowd when Riven fell forward, Talon standing behind her.
Riven didn't like the way death was portrayed on the field. But it was short-lived as she felt her soul being tugged back into the realm of the living. She totally forgot she purchased a Guardian Angel Armor at some point during the match.
As talon walked away, he heard a familiar sound; the sound of revival. Oh, how he dreaded that sound. He turned around to a kick in the chest, knocking the breath out of him. She stood over him, flourishing her sword and pointing it at him.
"Unfortunately, I can't repay your shrewd deed, as you weren't summoned here and death would be permanent. I'll warn you, though. If you ever fail to kill me again, rest assured you won't wake up." She reclenched her arm and returned to the crystal. Most of the crowd nearly vomitted at the sight of her condition. Newly revived, yes, but she had a gaping hole in her chest, which was bleeding too much to see anything else that may have been sticking out, her arm was limply hanging the wrong way, and her back was red.
"I forget where I was... Oh, that's right. If you choose to stay loyal to Darkwill, you may continue to thrive as the proclaimed "cowardliest empire" in all Runeterra. And yes, "empire" was mock-emphasized. I don't know about you all... But I am NOT weak." As if to prove her point, she pushed the ball-bone of her arm back into place with another snap. The crowd watched in utter disgust, those with weaker stomachs vomitting on their floors. She teleported back to the summoner platform before she left.
When she returned home she was completely filthy; some dirt, most blood. That, coupled with the fact that she was tired and stressed out, made her decide to take a bath. She entered her bathroom and ran cold water. She was way too overheated for warm water, she might even turn it warm just by herself. When it reached 3 quarters, she slipped in and let the relaxing, cold waters envelope her and ease the stress. Her arm was fixed and the hole had been filled back up. All her injuries were gone, but the pain lingered. She couldn't tell if she were imagining it from memory or if it was real.
Suddenly, Riven felt a hand on her hair, then on her throat, pushing her below the water. She tried to struggle by flailing her legs wildly, kicking up splashes of water. When she opened her eyes all she could see was a flurry of red swirls on the surface of the water. She tried to scream as a reflex, but her mouth was filled with water.
Katarina held tight, waiting until she stopped moving. But, when her legs started showing signs of slowing, she heard the door open. She kept holding until Riven stopped moving, completely. No sooner did the door open than Katarina slipped, unseen, out the window.
Irelia opened the door slow, so as not to invade on one's privacy. When she didn't hear anything she uncovered her eyes and looked at the tub. All she could see was water all over the place and an arm slung over the side of the tub.
"Oh, no, RIVEN!" She pulled her out of the tub and put her on a towel, then put one over her. She panicked, glancing at the window. This was her fault!
She put both hands on the part of the towel covering Riven's chest and pumped 10 times. Nothing. She tilted her head back and raised her chin, then she closed Riven's nose and cupped her mouth over hers. She breathed in 2 times. Nothing. Another 10 pumps. Nothing. Another 2 breaths. Still nothing. Irelia cried with the next 10 pumps, and then she smiled when Riven spat out a half-a-pint of water and sat up. The closest thing to a word that was spoken was Riven's grunt when Irelia hugged her.
Riven felt very awkward and exposed, but, at the same, she felt the love emanating off Irelia and she just let it go for alot longer than a hug between 2 friends should be, relishing in the feeling of being held. Eventually, she eased into it.
It took Irelia a while to become aware of herself, when she did, she stopped and looked at Riven, expecting a frown or a wide-eyed stare, something! But, when she looked, she was shocked to see a wide smile plastered across her close-eyed, beautiful face.
Riven opened her eyes and stopped smiling when she couldn't feel the loving embrace of her savior anymore. She felt the awkwardness and exposed feeling return again. She was a little relieved that Irelia wasn't looking at her body.
Irelia stopped thinking, because now wasn't the time to think. If there was 1 thing her time with Xivi had tought her, aside from her homosexuality, it was that you had to take what you wanted before it was too late. She crawled up closer to Riven and put 1 arm around her neck, then the other pushed her, gently, to the towel on the floor while she kissed Riven. She missed the feeling of a woman's lips on her own.
Riven felt incredibly uncomfortable, but she couldn't figure out how to use her arms. Well, aside from wrapping them around Irelia's soft, pearlescent skin. Before she knew it, she let Irelia's tongue slither it's way through her lips. Then Irelia's conscience came back and she sat up.
"I'm so sorry Riven, I-I don't know what came over me," She plead.
"It's okay, Irelia. Really. Uhh, just let me get dressed. Please don't leave." She got up and left Irelia where she was. Irelia couldn't figure out what just happened.