Tales of Legends - The Rising Ashes
EDIT: I would love some feedback on this.
The dew hung low over the Fields of Justice, as Pulsefire Ezreal and Eternum Nocturne stood silent, watching, waiting. Neither of them belonged here, in this time, but both were stuck for a reason, this moment and those to come. The only sounds that could be heard on the Rift were the distant metallic thwacks of Jax's training. He was always here when no one else was, perfecting his craft, and making sure he could keep his self-proclaimed position of “Grandmaster.” There was an unsettling calm over the fields that knew so much strife and combat, that were tainted daily by the blood of the champions that fought for sometimes even the pettiest of ideals.
Ezreal was nervous, he knew exactly what was to come, and he knew this was the start of it all. The grim, dark future from where he hailed traced its origins to this exact moment in time. He had come back to try and avoid his world, to avoid his timeline...but he didn't know how. The chaos caused by the coming events destroyed most of the records covering the details, and he only had a vague idea of what was to come. He had a feeling that the being that was once the prince of nightmares knew more, but he trusted this creature no more then his contemporary self trusted the shadow being.
However, no matter how little trust existed between the two, only they knew what was about to happen.
Several guards waited nearby, and they seemed to be jittery. Nocturne shot a glance at one of them, who instinctively began preparing a subduing spell in his head. The guards were summoners in training, almost fit to summon champions themselves.
Fools, Nocturne thought as he turned his attention back to the spot in the center of the field, if I had wanted to leave I would have. Unlike his former self who was imprisoned here, the Eternum creature was here by choice, he was here for this.
PEARL, all systems are at maximum strength, correct?
They are Ezreal, PEARL responded without a moments gap, but I would warn you against heavy expenditure of energy, this time period does not have a way to recharge pulsefire systems, and should you fall dormant you could cause an ontological paradox should they try to revive you.
He normally limited his power, both because in this time there was no way to replenish it, and to keep his powerlevel consistent with his current self. However, for what was to come he needed every ounce of strength available to him, no matter the cost.
The droning of Jax's training reached a crescendo as he finished warming up when suddenly a huge pillar of flame exploded from the center of the Rift. The heat coming off of it was immense but neither Nocturne nor Ezreal moved, this was why they were here. The pillar rose at least a hundred feet into the air, and spewed flame from Nexus to Nexus. The pillar persisted for a nearly a minuet, and when it died there wasn't a sound on the rift, not even the rhythmic thuds of Jax's lamppost.
The guards looked confused, and checked to see if Brand was somehow present, but not even the Burning Vengeance possessed such terrifying power. The pillar seemed to leave no trace of its existence except a slight singing where it erupted, nothing caught fire miraculously, and a lithe figure laying in the center. It was a female, no older then her mid twenties, wreathed in flames, and seemingly unconscious.
The guards sprung to action, not heeding the shouted “STOP,” that came from Ezreal.
Ezreal quickly hit the guard closest to him, his metal fist knocking him out with a single punch, and then shifted to the next one. He held back the power on the bolt that discharged the excess energy from the shift, but with his systems at full power even the restrained bolt knocked the guard back several feet. The quickly carried through the moment of the shift to knock a third guard out, but there were three more that he couldn't reach.
Luckily Nocturne reacted as well, and tendrils of nightmares sprung into the closest guards mind, and he froze, screaming. The visions imparted into the minds of others by Nocturne were often almost too much for even the champions, and this guard would likely be in a coma for weeks, but it was a kinder fate then had he reached the girl.
Time seemed to shift as he growled, and in an instant he was in front of the next closest guard, tackling him to the ground.
There was nothing that could be done for the last man however, and he ran up next to the girl, a spell of binding spewing forth from his lips. He was almost done when the girl awoke and rose her hand up. The man simply disappeared in a puff of smoke, incinerated instantly.
Ezreal was about to breathe a sigh of relief when he suddenly he heard the quick sounds of grass crunching underfoot.
Oh god, no. He thought and the Grandmaster launched himself into the air, leaping high over Ezreals head, his lamppost in a spin so fast that it was impossible to track. He landed next to the girl and lashed out with the makeshift weapon, looking to incapacitate her. There was a loud smack, and the girl had the head of the lamppost in her hand. It crushed effortlessly in her grasp and began to glow white with heat. Jax was only just able to release his favorite weapon before the heat fused his hands to it, and he leaped backwards, sending what might be interpreted as a confused look towards Ezreal.
“What is she? Not even I could stop that strike,” Jax demanded to know.
“She's the most important woman you've ever met. She is the focus for everything that is to come.”
“We have observed for ages, we know her role, we know what the bionic intends to do in the coming time. You should stop now, Ezreal, the future will come.”
Nocturne floated away after his taunt, and Ezreal was visibly shaken. Can't fight the inevitable. The voice echoed in his mind, they had told him it was suicide, he couldn't stop it. No, I will make my own future.
The girl laid there, shivering despite the flames that surrounded her. She looked at Ezreal, then Jax, remembrance seeming to flicker in her eyes. Slowly, champions that made the Institute their home trickled out, they all had felt the disturbance caused by her arrival. Malphite seemed to be in physical pain, he could feel the discord her arrival had caused to the harmony of the world, and even the terrifying Fiddlesticks ventured out of the easternmost chamber to satiate his curiosity. The assembled group looked uneasy at the sight of the newcomer, and hushed whispers began to pass through the crowd. No one attempted to approach any closer then Ezreal and Jax, and even Brand shied away from the flames.
Eventually a robed man stepped forward, and everyone recognized him as High Councilor Heyward Relivash himself. He spoke in a soft, gentle tone as he addressed the girl.
“Quite an impressive display of power child,” the elderly man said, “I doubt there's a mage in Runeterra that didn't feel it.”
“Always that word,” she snapped back at him, her voice sweet but with an angry undertone, “must you always call me child, Relivash?”
The Councilor looked confused as he replied, “I'm sorry, you seem to have me at a disadvantage, have we met before? Perhaps you've had dealings with the Institute that have unfortunately slipped my mind; not that I believe I would forget someone as powerful as you.”
The girl looked angry and the flames that wreathed her flared to life. “Don't play coy with me Councilor, I've fought for your Institute as long as I can remember, don't ever start to...”
She was silenced by a quick motion from Ezreal, who turned towards the High Councilor. “She's not from our time, Heyward, she's disoriented and confused, it's be best if we got her some clothes and a room.”
She glared at him for a moment, but then shrunk back in acquiescence. He was right, and she needed some time alone.
Heyward looked at Ezreal inquisitively, he knew more then he was letting on, but he decided to let it go for now. “Very well, if you cooperate then I'll have some men escort you to quarters. I will have to keep you under guard until we sort this all out, miss...”
The girl hesitated, and looked down. After a moment she looked back at him and said, “Before I found myself here, they called me Phoenix.”
If I get enough interest I'll continue this story.
The room was cold, yet still Pheonix was covered in sweat. Heat swelled inside her, and she couldn't control it. It felt like it was slowly cooking her alive from the inside out, and in the small stone room she had no outlet. The room had glass windows that let light in, but they had no hinges; she couldn't open them. There was a wooden bed with a straw mattress, and a leather chair. There was no fireplace, and everything in the room would be set ablaze if she tried to relieve the pain.
The guards at the door wouldn't let her out, she had already tried, and so she could only lay fevered on the bed, trying to keep the power in check. She heard a small click as the door was unlocked, but she couldn't make out the figure that entered through the haze her burning mind was in. She heard words, but they had no meaning, then the figure scrambled to do...something. The world around her had no meaning.
She felt the cool touch of metal against her stomach and was sure that she would soon feel the sharp sting of flesh parting as a dagger slipped into her gut; it was the least she deserved. Instead a cool energy pulsed through her, and the fire inside seemed to dissipate instantly. She remembered this energy.
It took a couple moments before she was able to register her surroundings, and she finally came to recognize the figure standing over her to be Ezreal...no, not Ezreal, not quite.
“Thank you...” she said quietly, attempting to bring herself to sit up on the bed. She had a short moment of panic, she didn't remember getting dressed, but either she had or someone had thought of it for her. Her garb was simple, a plain white dress that did little to hide her form.
She examined Ezreal, trying to decipher what was going on. He looked about the right age, if not slightly older, but they had said she was from the future, so should he be younger? On top of that he seemed to be wearing a completely metal suit...it actually seemed to be a part of his body. He had no left hand, it was replaced by a cannon of sorts. What could have happened to him.
Ez noticed her staring at his hand, and preempted her question, “I don't belong here either Pheonix, if that's what you wish to be called. I'm from the future, not long past where you came from. What do you remember?”
Pheonix hesitated, Ezreal seemed to be sincere enough, but she didn't trust him...she couldn't trust anyone, not after...
“That energy. You...calmed...the power inside of me. I remember that.”
He smiled a little, her voice sounded reassuring, it was honestly good to see her again. “Do you remember the match?”
“Yes...and no. It's, blurry.” The memories were there, but more as feelings, abstractions. “I remember feeling a surge of power, a knowledge like never before. I remember...desperation. Feeling backed into a corner. I remember fear. Shaco. I remember Shaco.” She reviled at the memory, he had been so cruel that match, inflicting wounds that were more painful then deadly.
“Do you remember the end? Right before you appeared here.”
“No. I just remember pain. Pain and hatred. I remember feeling like I would burn alive and not caring.”
“It's something. I was in that match too. Fighting for Noxus; I hate those guys. The match was between Noxus and Demacia over the body of Talon. He had been caught trying to assassinate a medium ranking officer in the heart of Demacia. The man was a Noxian spy, but was about to sell out and seek asylum. It would have been an easy kill, but Lux happened to be walk in right before he slew the man. She caught the sight of movement and flooded the room with light.
“He was bound by Lux, and arrested by Garren, who had been escorting her, and summarily executed. Demacia didn't want to release his body to Noxus, they didn't want an undead assassin of Talon's skill, and so the league got involved.
“You were chosen for Demacia, and I for Noxus. I don't know why they chose me, probably some sort of cruel joke, but it saved your life. It was one versus five, and you were pushed into your nexus. You began channeling all your energy into a torrent of flame, your Pheonix Form as it was known. There was something wrong, there was too much energy. Shaco actually burned to a crisp, the death inhibitors barely caught him. There was fire everywhere, and the magic that protects the fields started to break. Worst of all, it was consuming you.
“I had to think quick, and began charging a Trueshot Barrage, but modified the frequency at which the magic reverberated. It interfered with the power flowing through you and stopped you from being destroyed.
“Then the magic hit the nexus, and it interfered with it as well. It shattered, not just exploded like it normally does but shattered, and you vanished in the torrent of flame. The magic running through it began feeding back and it caused a chain reaction; one that ended up destroying magic on Runnetera. There's no reason it should have, none of the research we did since then explained why we should, but what we did discovered was that you had been sent to this time period.”
“So you came back for me then...?” Pheonix asked softly and almost shocked.
“I came back to avoid this!” Ezreal spat back, suddenly a bit angry. “Look at what happened! When the magic died Zuan and Piltover became superpower nations. Without the league to settle disputes Zuan and Piltover fought an all out war. Not everyone agreed, and some unlikely alliances formed. Viktor was dying without magic to power his enhanced vital systems, and Jayce realized that Piltover had moved beyond defense of their ideals and were lusting for power. The horrors of that war made the Damicia-Noxus wars look like sunshine and rainbows. Jayce decided to take a gamble and together they discovered a new source of power, dubbed 'Pulsefire'.
“I was the first to volunteer to be tested, that decision probably saved my life. We should have known better then to trust Viktor, what he did to Jayce...it's unspeakable. He got his glorious evolution, and it was terrifying. When he modified Jayce he installed a control chip, there was no way to fight it. We didn't realize what was happening until he had already gotten control of Vayne, Jarvan, Darius, and Shyvana. Some tried to stop him, but they all fell. Jax, Udyr, Caitlyn, Ahri, all kidnapped one by one, all changed. My power restored allowed me to evade them and even build up a small movement to try and stop him. Katarina, Garen, Cass, Ryze, and Yi joined me at first and others came over time, but we were outnumbered and out classed. Katarina tried to assassinate Viktor, but got caught, and Garen went on a suicide mission to try and save her.
“We were already about to give up when things just got worse. Malzahar returned, and he brought an army. His power, being linked to the Void, seemed to have been unaffected by the destruction of magic. The void horrors descended on the armies of Zuan and Piltover, while Viktor launched his assault. The might of the shadow isles backed the void, and for every man, woman, and champion felled added to the void armies might. We knew there was only one chance for our world; we had to avoid this timeline completely. Many believed it couldn't be done, but anything is better then that.”
Pheonix looked at her feet, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. More pain, more suffering, more of my doing. “All of this, because I couldn't control my power...?”
Ezreal sighed, he had calmed down significantly. “Not necessarily. It's believed that your summoner that game broke the rules in an attempt to pull of a feat unlike no other. We're fairly sure he was channeling through a seventh focus, and ended up proving why summoners are limited to six maximum.”
“And yet, all of that which you have described, is all my doing. You've said it plainly enough even if you wont damn me outright!”
“You've always been blind, unable to see anything more then yourself. This is greater then you, greater then me. One person doesn't destroy a world, they just play a part. I'm here to stop your from playing yours, Pheonix.”
“Don't call me that, don't you dare call me that, you know it's a mocking name, you know how much I hate it.”
“As you wish, Kinslayer.” Ez spat as he left the room, disgusted.
Bump :D keep it going
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