Dragon Rising [A Master Yi Story]
Galvanized by his string of defeats on the Fields of Justice, and fueled by revenge for his destroyed village, Master Yi abandons the League in search of a legendary sword, to perhaps find the power to finally enact his vengeance upon the evil that robbed him of everything he loved. But the League does not take kindly to deserters, and will throw everything they have at him to stop him... even the very Champions that Yi once fought with...
Master Yi landed softly on a moss-covered branch. His footfall made barely a sound as his padded feet were further cushioned by the welcoming vegetation. The branch made the slightest creak as it accepted his weight. Then, all sounds were almost immediately erased by a soft whirring that spat out of the writhing tentacle amounted on the back of Yi's head. He silently leaned further forwards, until the branches and leaves in front of him gave way to a spectacular view of the Plague Jungles. A sea of green greeted him, sweeping up gray, cracked mountainsides that stretched up to kiss the blue-white sky. Somewhere here was the Dragon Rising. Yi would find it.
Master Yi glanced up from under the jungle canopy; spotting a hawk far up in the sky. It was a beautiful creation, made completely of blue-white crystal. The hawk shot through the air like an arrow and it exploded a few miles past him in a twinkling shower of ice.
“Hello, Ashe.” Yi muttered. He considered this revelation. The Frost Archer, Ashe, was searching for him... she was probably sent by the Institute after him, which meant that they were getting desperate now. Ashe and he had clashed many times before on the Fields of Justice; usually ending badly for Ashe in close quarters combat. She must have known that she could never win against him in up close, in thick terrain created by the deep jungle. Therefore she has support, likely her Barbarian King husband, Tryndamere, although Anivia or Nunu was possible as well.*
He wiped moisture from the four lenses on his helm. This specially optimized armor was an antique, just like him. Back, thousands of years ago in Ionia’s glory years, when he was still almost mortal, he was a feared Headhunter of the Qin Dynasty. This Headhunter armor favored ambush tactics and stealth far more than the all-around combat suit he wore in the Field of Justice. Two lenses on his helm were for seeing, and the other two actually predicted a half-second into the future; allowing the user to see everything and everything that will be. Perfect for picking off that straggler in the party; one wayward step could result in a new Trophy of a skull. A tentacle writhed at the back of his skull, absorbing as much ambient noise as it could, and neutralized them, making him virtually silent. Finally, the suit was equipped with a vicious blade affixed to his forearm, allowing a killing-blow bare-handed.
Vicious. Brutal. Just like his glory years.
Yi crouched lower on the tree branch he was perched on. They were coming.
How did it come like this, that he was hunting his comrades like prey now?
Many days before...
He saw Jax leap at him with that deadly lamppost of his, through one of the seven lenses of his vision-enhancing goggles. Weakened as he was, there was no doubt that being hit by Jax’s strike would be the death of him. He had to evade. He tried to start an Alpha Strike on nearby Miss Fortune, who was pre-occupied with fending off allied Alistar, but before he could leap, he found himself locked in place, his feet frozen in mid-stride, as hexes and runes surrounded him.
Ryze, he realized, and then a brass lamppost caved his windpipe in.
He ran in with in the center of his four allies, periodically stopping to allow his slower comrades to catch up. The enemy, five in all, charged right back at them. Let your allies absorb some spells, his summoner relayed to him, and Master Yi complied. He held back, letting Alistar and Pantheon charge by him down the river. The enemy immediately engaged, causing a light show of spells and abilities to erupt at the riverbank. He closed his eyes, and willed his chi to flow quicker. He felt his limbs loosen, his heart quicken, and his senses shape like a razor-sharp edge. Finally, he ignited his sword, and let the blue flame of Wuju spill out his blade.
He charged into the fray.
He blocked a strike by Jax, and then responded with a double strike to the enormous man’s belly. Before the Grandmaster-at arms could respond, Master Yi successfully started an Alpha Strike on an ambushing Talon, cutting deep through the assassin’s armor, and slaying him. Out of the corner of his lenses, he spotted the Demacian Mage of Light, Lux, charge of out some nearby rushes and launch her sealing light at him.
Clever girl, he thought. She must have saved her spell for me.
However, her summoner’s aim was poor, and the spell struck instead a distracted Pantheon; the light dissolved harmlessly against the Rakkor’s Aegis of Zeonia.
Master Yi moved to respond, but something in the forest behind the riverbank caught his eye.
A tall, gangly figure, carrying a vat full of poison on his back, stood above the river. His face was shrouded by a cloth, and his cold, dead eyes were housed in a pasty, hard head. Singed. The Chemical weapon.
Yi felt his pulse quicken and his chi flare up in anger. Horrifying images flashed through his mind. Of a mottled child’s hand, still clutching its doll, lying lifeless in the mud, flashed across his mind. Of houses burning from an art not magical, or natural, but alchemical. Of blood running red, and then pearl-of mother, then green. Kissing good-bye his second to last-wife, Rixa.
“I will bring much glory to our village, and the Wuju style,” he promised to his wife at the village gates, to the cheers of his watching kinsfolk and neighbors. It was the start of the Noxian invasion, and many Ionian warriors were eager to do battle against the craven enemy. Master Yi would be the greatest of them, slaying the enemy left and right. He didn’t realize the possibility that his tiny, mountain-embedded village would be attack. He never even considered.
“Just come back safe, my husband” Rixa said, smiling. Her face seemed radiant in the morning sun. Of all of his past wives, Rixa had the blackest hair, and the kindest smile. She was always there for Yi while she was alive.
“I will return soon.” Yi promised again. He bowed to his wife, to his family, and to his village. And with that, he left without looking back once… not at his beautiful wife in the morning sun, nor the green crops ripening for harvest, nor the worn mountain path leading up to his beautiful waterfall-side village.
Why? Why did he say, “I will return”? Why didn’t he plead Rixa to stay safe too? It was as if the request would have made it so. But instead, because he wouldn’t be there… and the mountain path would be littered with bodies, the houses and crops would burn with colored fires not of this world, and the waterfall would run red with blood. He gripped his sword tighter, and charged his hated enemy.
Yi leveled the point of his sword at Singed, and the tip just touched the monster’s chest, when Yi stopped. All of Yi stopped. Hexes and Runes floated about him, freezing him in place.
It was the Runed Mage, Ryze.
Singed gave Yi a mocking glance before finishing off Pantheon from behind. The proud Rakkor died with a crushing blow to the back. To his left, Yi could see Alistar being torn apart by Lux and Miss Fortune, and to his right, he could see the fresh corpses of Ashe and Teemo, soaking in the mud, with Jax standing over them.
He was the only one left.
The Hexes and Runes lifted, and Yi dropped to his feet. Singed wordlessly stepped to his back, cutting off his only escape route. The other three closed in on him slowly.
Yi swung up his sword in a fighting stance. He still had his Highlander ready. He could still win.
He imagined that Singed was smiling as the chemical weapon pulled back his cloak to reveal what he was wearing underneath. Thornmail. Anathema to Yi. The spiked armor would magically damage him every time he attacked the monster. And Yi struck a lot. It was then that Yi realized that ALL of the other team was wearing Thornmail. He felt his summoner groan in despair as the young magician realized his battle was lost. But Yi was not so pessimistic.
He swung his sword experimentally. He could still win. He could still—
“Hey.” Jax called from behind Yi, “Remember this?” As Yi turned, the hulking man leaped, and crushed the Wuju master’s skull from behind.
Yi lay in his bed, at his quarters in the Institute of War. His latest wife, Hae-In, tended to his residual wounds he collected from fighting as an avatar in the Fields of Justice, from his bedside. She gave him a tender smile as she peeled apple slices with a small knife.
Hae-In was a newcomer to the Institute of War, and the first wife Yi took after Rixa. As Yi lived a very long time, he took many wives over the years, in order, as each one of them in turn grew old and died as he stayed young. The villagers were always happy to marry their daughters to the good and venerable Yi, and Yi always let the young girls divorce him peacefully if they were unsatisfied with endlessly caring for a centuries-old man who never grew old. Hae-In was a disciple of Ahri, one of the humans who grew up in the area where Ahri preyed as a fox. In the northern sector of that province, women were especially oppressed by the village council there, and the entire area was blight on Ionia’s good name. Women like Hae-In saw Ahri’s animal predations on men like actions worthy of a savior.
So, she and dozens of other women had followed the Nine-Tailed Fox from the island of Ionia, across the sea to the mainland, all the way to the Institute of War. Once there, Ahri sent a woman to every other Ionian male champion as a goodwill “gift”. Thankfully, none of the other Masters abused Ahri’s recklessness. Lee Sin was a celibate monk, Shen was far too devoted to his order, Kennen was a Yordle and Udyr quickly sent his young girl scurrying back to Ahri out of fear of him accidently hurting her with his great and barely controlled strength.
Ahri. The fox still had much to learn about being human.
Yi had raised some eyebrows when he accepted, even though he felt uncomfortable for marrying in such a fashion. Still, he made it clear that Hae-In was free to leave him whenever she liked, and she responded by telling him to shut up and his quarters were a mess. She seemed happy.
And with a companion once again, after years of isolation, he felt a little happy as well.
The two sat in peace as Yi rested, and Hae-In continued peeling apples.
BAM! The door to Yi’s quarters burst open.
“Sir,” stammered a League of Legends official, “It is not allowed to trespass in champion quarters unless-- ”
“QUIET!” yelled the other man. The intruder was short and fat, with a wispy mustache that framed his fat lips. He was a wealthy Ionian merchant, guessed Yi. “You! Master Useless!” The fat man gestured at Yi. “how do you explain this!?” The man angrily tossed a couple sheets of paper over Master Yi’s head. One landed on Yi’s lap, and he could see it was the match record upside-down. His name was circled in red ink.
“Five kills, twelve deaths?!” The man tore at hair that was no longer there. “What kind of show is this!? ”
Yi calmly re-arranged the papers, and handed them back to the man.
“The enemy was very skilled.” The man seemed to have a seizure.
“Because of you, I lost ALL of the Plague Jungle mining rights to those Zuan *******s! You’re A MASTER! You don’t give me that kind of **** when you’re a million years old, and tell me, ‘they were very skilled’!” The man imitated Yi’s voice in a high-pitched manner.
“Sir!” the League official protested, “This behavior is unacceptable! Please leave!”
“No! What’s unacceptable is that this DINOSAUR is lounging in a hall for REAL champions!” The man turned to Yi with a sneer. “Die of old age already, you antique, preferably before you represent me again.” The man spit on him.
In a flash, Hae-In was on him with her knife. She grabbed the man by his neck, and slammed him to the ground.
“Take it BACK you pig!” she screamed, holding the fruit knife to the man’s flabby throat, “or I’ll gut you like a one!”
“Argh!” The man yelled, “Get the ***** off me! Get her off me!” The League official tried to pull Hae-In off the hapless man.
“Hae-In! Release him!”
At Yi’s words, the girl released the man, and the pudgy man scrambled back. A thin line of blood ran down his neck, which the man pawed at with concern.
“She killed me! She killed me!”
The man fled from the Champion’s Quarters, down the dark corridor, clutching his neck. The League official gave an apologetic nod to Hae-In and Yi, before running after the Ionian merchant.
“Che!” Hae-In pouted, sitting back down on her bedside stool. “How annoying!” She started peeling apples again, more roughly and forcibly than necessary.
“My wife?” Yi asked the girl. Hae-In gave another smile to Yi, though it was a little forced. She was still childishly angry. Or maybe everything seems childish to me, I am thousands of years old. Yi sighed, and put his hand on hers. “You forgot to wash the knife.” Her smile faded, and she stared in horror at the slightly bloody apple slices.
It was the same deal, every day.
He suffered yet another loss. Yet another death for a man who remained deathless for thousands of years. Every day, it was yet another defeat by the hands of the magical, the enormous, or the wicked. Blinded. Stunned. Knocked dozens of feet into the air, and into the waiting jaws of something monstrous. Torn to shreds by a werewolf, while being magically blasted apart. Rooted to a spot before feeling cold steel pierce his heart.
He was getting old, he used to joke, a couple hundred years too old. But now it was no longer a joke. He was slowing down. Five hundred years ago, Yi could have avoided the rupturing tail of Cho’Gath like water flowing around a rock. Eight hundred years ago, he could have matched Warwick’s Infinite Duress blow-for blow with a kitchen knife, and cut open the man-wolf’s jugular while he was at it. A millennia or so ago, in his prime, he could have found the miniscule imperfections in Fiora’s rapier as it shone in the light, and using the art of Wuju, sliced clean through her Demacian steel sword with a twig.
After yet another defeat, Master sat alone in a sanctuary in the Institute of War. Another summoner had, after dying several times early on, cursed him for being useless, and left his avatar uncontrolled in impatient fury. Yi could only watch from in front of the Nexus Obelisk as his allies were slowly but surely crushed.
He sat alone in the garden, with his sight fold over his eyes. The translucent sheet was necessary to rest his eyes, as extended use of his magically augmenting goggles eroded his eyesight. Like Master Lee Sin, within a couple of centuries, he may be blind. Then where would he go to?
A soft sound of rustling fur drifted through the ambient noise, one that Yi had learned well. It was the sound of tails whipping about. Nine of them.
“Mistress—no, Master Ahri.” He bowed to the source of the sound. “What gives me the pleasure?”
Soft giggling cut into the air.
“Master? Me? I’m no Master like you, Yi, but I AM getting quite good at one certain skill.” She giggled again, and Yi thought he sensed Ahri looking around. “So where’s Hae-In? You’re still together, right?”
“She is back at our quarters, probably preparing tea. ” Yi took off his sight fold. It was Ahri. Beautiful. Foxy. And dangerous. She was playing with a glowing blue orb, tossing the contained energy about like a beach ball. Yi estimated the amount of magical power in that orb was enough to crush a boulder at the moment. “If you like, you are welcome to join us.”
“No, no, I just wanted to see how you were doing,” Ahri waved dismissively. “I heard you were losing a lot lately, so I wanted to cheer you up.” She laid her head on her orb and looked up at him. “So how are you doing?”
“Fine,” Yi gave a grateful nod, “thank you.”
Ahri reached out, and tickled Yi’s chin.
“You shaved your beard.”
“Maybe I thought if I looked younger, I could fight and feel younger.”
“Oh, I know how to make you feel young again.” She smiled. “I’m sure, living for so long, that you picked up quite a few… tricks along the way.”
“I am old and senile. I’ve forgotten a lot.”
“I’ll help you remember.”
“You’re a little young for me. What are you, seven? How long do foxes live, anyhow?”
Ahri pouted, puffing up her cheeks.
“You’re no fun. Shen’s no fun, Udyr’s no fun…” she muttered, and trailed off. The two sat in silence for a while. The trees rustled in the wind, and a bird chirped somewhere off in the sky. “Yi.” Ahri’s face hardened, and Yi could see the Fox clearly in her. “There’s something else I wanted to talk to you about.”
A few more moments passed, as Ahri gathered her words.
“I… heard about what happened to your village.” She watched Yi carefully, for any sign of recognition. “From Shen. I also know that the man responsible, Singed, is here, at the League.”
Still Yi remained silent.
“And you are so powerful”
“So why… don’t you kill him?”
No answer. Yi sat motionless for a least a minute. The air felt very cold suddenly, and the sun too hot.
“Ahri. You have a lot to learn about being human,” Yi coldly stated, “Especially about tact.” He rose to leave.
Yi made it halfway out of the courtyard, before Ahri called out:
“You’re right.” Ahri said. When Yi looked up, he was shocked to see that she was crying. The human comment must have hit a too close to home. “I’m just a stupid fox, I don’t know anything. But I do know this.” She strode up to face Yi. “Any fox would have delivered Justice to that man already.”
And with that, Ahri exited the sanctuary, tails whipping about.
…Yi stood there, motionless, for much longer.
Until he realized.
She was wrong on one count. He was no longer powerful.
But she was right that... Justice. Will need to be delivered.
Yi stood in his quarters, totally naked. Ahri had galvanized him into action. He would not lose his determination now. He reached down into the very back of his closet, and removed a loose tile from the floor.
Underneath, was his old armor, from a thousand years ago. His Headhunter armor.
He dressed slowly; nostalgia washed over him as he piece by piece, assembled his old self. A hand, from nowhere, offered him his Headhunter’s sword. Yi glanced up at the owner’s hand.
Hae-In. She placed the sword, blade down, in his hand, and closed it tight.
“Whatever you are doing, my husband,” Hae-In said solemnly, “I am always here to support you.” Yi closed his eyes, and gripped her hands in gratitude.
“Thank you, my wife.” Yi lifted the sword onto his back, and fit it into its holder. Yi started towards his quarter’s exit, before his wife gripped him by his shoulder, and then hugged him from behind.
“Yi!” She lay her head on his back. “Stay safe.” Yi smiled, and held her hand.
“I will retur--” But he stopped himself. He would not repeat the words that lost Rixa. Hae-In looked up in confusion. “You too, Hae-In. Please… stay safe. I can’t lose another companion so soon.” This time, Yi looked back. At his dark quarters, kept tidy and clean by his fastidious wife. His warm bed, soothing, yet cool. And his beautiful wife, her round face shining with equal parts concern and courage. He would remember them this time.
He was outside the Institute of War. It was dark out. The stars were shining in the sky, and the moon was half-full. Everything was silent outside the monolithic building.
Halfway down the outside steps, Yi came across someone fishing in a pond. It was perhaps ten o’clock in the evening, yet Jax still sat patiently at the pool, fishing rod in his hands, ready. The hulking man seemed so odd, perched on a minuscule stool next to a pond not much larger than most spas, completely entranced by his red bobbing fishing lure floating in the center of the pond. Jax, without looking up, must have noticed Yi, for he raised a four-fingered hand in greeting.
Yi returned the gesture, and started back down the steps. He got about six steps before Jax called out again. His deep voice cut through the still night like a knife.
“They’ll come after you, you know. They don’t take kindly to deserters.”
Yi glanced at Jax, who was still staring intently at his fishing lure.
“I know.” Yi replied evenly.
“They are powerful. And they will send everything that they have against you.”
The fishing lure started to bob.
“I’m counting on it.”
“Pardon?” Jax faced Yi for the first time. “You’re counting on what? The might of the entire League of Legends crushing you?” Yi smiled.
“Or… Me crushing them.” Yi shrugged. “One of the two.”
The two men stared at each other for a bit… before bursting into laughter. HA! HAHAHA! HAHAHA, HA! Jax wiped a tear from one of his helm slots.
His lure was caught by a fish.
“I like your style, Yi. I can’t wait to hunt you down, wherever you go.”
“And I can’t wait to send the bloodhounds scurrying back to their masters, their tails tucked between their legs.”
Yi raised his hand in farewell, and continued down the Institute steps.
Jax waved goodbye, and glanced back at his lure. There was a fish caught on his line, but it seemed to be thrashing more wildly than it should. Jax pulled the line out, and glanced at the Silverfin.
“What the--” From the fish, burst a worm. The worm rapidly grew into a metallic-colored butterfly, and flew off, leaving Jax with a fish looking like it was killed by a depth charge.
Hell… Jax mused. He had accidently used a Razor Worm as bait?
Jax watched the razor-sharp butterfly flutter away with a sense of deep foreboding.
Master Yi glanced up from under the jungle canopy; spotting a hawk far up in the sky. It was a beautiful creation, made completely of blue-white crystal. The hawk was shot through the air like an arrow and it exploded a few miles past him in a twinkling shower of ice.
“Hello, Ashe.” Yi muttered. He considered this revelation. The Frost Archer, Ashe, was searching for him. She was probably sent by the Institute after him. Ashe must have known that she could never win against him in close quarters, in thick terrain created by the deep jungle. Therefore she has support. Likely said support was her Barbarian King husband, Tryndamere, although Anivia or Nunu was possible as well.
He wiped moisture from the four lenses on his helm. This specially optimized armor was an antique, just like him. Back, thousands of years ago in Ionia’s glory years, when he was still almost mortal, he was a feared Headhunter of the Qin Dynasty. This Headhunter armor favored ambush tactics and stealth far more than the all-around combat suit he wore in the Field of Justice. Two lenses on his helm were for seeing, and the other two actually predicted a half-second into the future; allowing the user to seeing everything and everything that will be. Perfect for picking off that straggler in the party; one wayward step could result in a new Trophy of a skull. A tentacle writhed at the back of his skull, absorbing as much ambient noise as it could, and neutralized them, making him virtually silent. Finally, the suit was equipped with a vicious blade affixed to his forearm, allowing a killing-blow bare-handed.
Vicious. Brutal. Just like his glory years.
Yi crouched lower on the tree branch he was perched on. They were coming.
How did it come like this, that he was hunting his comrades like prey now?
Yi leaped from branch to branch, avoiding Ashe’s search party one step at a time. The heat was oppressive, and the humidity was thick like prison chains. This was the Plague Jungles, and one wrong step could result in a twisted ankle, or a broken neck. And he could not afford any injury right now. He stopped to rest by a particularly large Madrongo palm. He gasped, resting his hands on his knees. Sweat dripped from off of his helm. How many hours had he been running now? Six? Seven?
He was considering taking a longer break, when an image flashed across his vision a half-second before it happened; an enormous arrow of ice slamming into his chest and freezing him to the Madrongo. He dodged Ashe’s deadly blow just in time, ducking low to the ground. He could feel the air freeze above his back as the Enchanted Crystal Arrow froze the Madrongo clean through. The massive tree, now too brittle at its base, toppled over in a splintering of ice shards and wood planks.
Yi kept on moving.
“Master Yi has deserted the League?” High Councilor Heyward Relivash mused, “Is this confirmed?”
At a large round stone table inscribed with runes that constantly fed its three occupants information on the league, the three High Councilors, Heyward Relivash , Kiersta Mandrake, and Vessaria Kolminye, convened in as the Council of Equity. All three sat hooded and masked; only Vessaria revealed any physical feature in her dark gray hair that spilled out from her hood.
“Yes.” Kiersta glanced at a parchment left on by his side. “It seems that Master Yi deserted the league twelve hours ago. He was witnessed exiting the Institute of War, without permission or leave, by Jax, who was fishing at the time.” Kiersta’s mouth twitched in annoyance. “It seemed that… HE… Jax... delayed his report for so long, ‘because his dinner exploded’”
“Why would he do something like this?” inquired Vessaria, “Has anyone interrogated his wife, Hae-In?”
“Hae-In has already been interviewed by League officials,” Heyward replied, “and as expected, it was a fruitless effort. Master Yi would never be as foolish as to endanger his wife by letting her know where he was going”
Vessaria sighed and put her head in her hands.
“I’m not sure that the good Master knows where he is going, either.”
“So,” Kiersta interjected, “What are we going to do about this? We can’t just leave such a powerful being running amok in Runeterra. For the sake of peace, we can’t let any of our champions desert.”
“We will hunt him down, then.” Heyward replied heavily. “Deploy our champions suited to search and capture, and have them find and capture Master Yi. Back them up with Summoners ready with banned spell, Emprison. And ready a tribunal for the absentee Master.”
Heyward fingered the High Councilor’s Emblem of Judgment, a heavy chain necklace that represented the vow he took for peace on Runeterra. The Judgment that he inherited from High Councilor Reginald Ashram.
“I will keep peace on Runeterra, Reginald.” So Heyward vowed, “Even if it means bloodying my hands”
They had him cornered. But so did he. Ashe took point, aiming her Frost Bow at anything that looked suspicious. Tryndamere stayed close to his wife, hefting a great sword, even larger than Yi’s sword, hell, even larger than YI, about as if it weighed no more than a toy. Finally, Anivia took the rear, leaving a trail of frost everywhere she hovered. After chasing Yi for several miles, they were pushing into a cliff face that boxed in on itself, where he hid right now. Yi was perched on another tree branch, carefully observing present and future actions by the three.
“Yi?” called out Tryndamere, in his gravelly voice, “Where are you, man? Let’s just come out and go home!” Yi could see Ashe roll her eyes even before she knew she would.
“Like he’ll answer, Tryn. He’s come this far. He’ll try to dodge us again.--”
Ashe turned back to the cliff-box, drawing her bow, not noticing that Anivia had fallen a bit behind.
Yi leapt then. A powerful Alpha Strike on Anivia, and while in the air, he ignited his Wuju Style, Double Striking. The Cyropheonix died, and immediately transformed into an egg. Within a few seconds, she would revive, and raise the alarm.
Yi grabbed the egg, and using all of his strength, hurled the egg several miles into the jungle. Anivia would be fine, but considerably confused and pissed when she rebirthed. Preferably down a cliff or something.
“--So keep your eyes open.” Ashe turned at the odd simultaneous sound of an Alpha Strike, Wuju Style, Double Strike, death of Anivia, and Anivia being hurled several miles away, all compressed in the span of a second.
“Actually, Master Tryndamere, I am here.” Master Yi rested on his Headhunter’s sword; the only trace left of Anivia was a rapidly melting spot of frost on the ground.
“Yi!” Tryndamere called, “You did answer! Nice armor!”
Ashe nocked her bow.
“What did you do with Anivia? Yi.” Her eyes were getting dangerous.
Yi glanced in the direction he threw Anivia’s egg.
“Nothing.” Yi shrugged, “She’s fine, albeit a couple miles from here right now.”
“Really.” Ashe narrowed her eyes. She always got very pretty when she did that, but very dangerous as well. “Well, you’re coming with us, Yi. You’re under arrest.”
“Am I?” Yi pulled out his sword.
“You are” Ashe drew her bow back further.
“Well.” Yi got into a ready stance.
“Well.” Ashe inhaled. Yi smiled. All three of them just stood, tense.
“Let’s go then,” Yi said, and launched an Alpha Strike.
How long had they been fighting?
All three of them were exhausted. Even with his Headhunter’s armor, Yi could barely keep up with the Freljord duo, Tryndamere, although near death, had worked up a rage, and Ashe’s Enchanted Crystal Arrow was nearly ready again. He would have to fight dirty.
Yi charged forwards, over-extending himself, and catching Tryndamere off-guard. Yi stabbed into the Barbarian King’s chest, when the King grabbed Yi’s sword, and ripped it out of him. He flung Yi, sword and all, against the cliff face. The Barbarian King roared in his rage. He was invincible, now. His rage was undying and terrible. Yi scrambled for a specific rock he left against the Cliff face, dodging frost-shrouded arrows all the way.
RAAGGH! Tryndamere charged him, just as Yi reached his rock.
“Sorry, Tryndamere.” Yi, muttered, as he slammed his sword into the ground near the rock, just as Tryndamere was over him, great-sword raised. The ground collapsed, after the sticks Yi had set up were punctured by his Headhunter’s sword. Tryndamere fell twenty feet into a deep pit that Yi had dug hours beforehand, before landing hard at the bottom.
The Barbarian King seemed to be stunned by the fall. No matter. He even he couldn’t spin out of that pit.
“Tyrn!” screamed Ashe, and she ran to the pit.
“He’s fine, Ashe.” Yi consoled her. “I would never hurt any of you if I had to.”
In response, Ashe raised her bow. She was furious now. An Enchanted Crystal Arrow was nocked, and ready.
“WHY?! Why are you doing this, Yi?!” Yi held his hands up, trying to calm her.
“Ashe… put down the arrow.” He could not yet see her firing in the future. He wanted to avoid that.
“Answer me! Before I skewer you!””
“Please, put down that arrow, first. You don’t want to shoot that.” He wanted to avoid this ending...
“DON’T I?!” Ashe fired her arrow at him, and of course, Yi saw I coming.. He grabbed the arrow mid-flight, and re-directed it at Ashe, where it scored a direct hit. The arrow exploded on her like an icy grenade. When the fog cleared, Yi could see Ashe, frozen in place, struggling against the effects of her own arrow. Ice slowly crawled up her body, immobilizing her.
“You…” Ashe muttered, “You are so strong… why don’t you fight like this at the Fields of Justice?”
Yi thought of an analogy she would understand.
“An arrow fired backwards has no power to it. I had not yet found my purpose.”
Yi reached into her sheath, and pulled out the rest of her Crystal Arrows. He crushed them at her feet, and then stepped quickly back as Ashe was encased in Ice. She would be trapped for a couple hours at least. And with that, Master Yi strolled off. In his hands, was a description of the conflict that an earlier Ruling on the Fields of Justice resolved.
The Match where he lost, 5 to 12, was over an expedition for an Ionian artifact from the days of the Qin Dynasty, rumored to be lost deep within the Plague Jungles.
When the fat Ionian merchant had tossed the match papers on him, he pocketed the sheet out of curiosity.
The reason was that the artifact in question was a legendary sword.
He would find it. And extract his revenge.
Malzahar, the Void Prophet, forced open an entire field of negative energy over where Yi was running. The attack wrenched open a sliver of the Void upon an innocent half-acre of the Plague Jungles. Plants withered, animals twitched once, and died, and proud trees twisted, and doubled over, before turning as black as death itself. Yi ran as quickly as he could out of the zone, feeling the power of the Void eat away at him, little by little.
He rolled onto firm ground, looked up, and twisted away as a savage claw made a pass at shredding his face. Malzahar’s voidling, those creatures that sprung from the source of his spells as a side effect, had now grown huge and frenzied, leaping like a predator at Yi constantly.
It tried to jump on him, so he caught it on his sword, and flung the beast off into a fern.
Yi leaned forwards, and slammed his sword into the Voidling. The creature squealed, twisted, and then shriveled until nothing was left but a blackened shell. Panting, Yi pulled himself up.
Immediately, Yi was hit by cruel visions of his own demise. He could see himself, standing alone against a flood of voidlings, and creatures much worse, pouring out of the sky. Yi could see and feel himself be devoured alive by the creatures. This was Malzahar’s Malefic Visions, was it? The ability blocked much of his Yi’s visions, so he could not see Malzahar sneak up on him to suppress him.
Yi was hit then by a beam of light that shot from Malzahar’s eyes. They completely suppressed his will; Yi could not move an inch unless Malzahar wished it so. All the while, Malzahar was burning away Yi’s soul.
Just… A little bit longer… Yi thought desperately… No… He was going to die… he had to… do something…
Yi focused, and slipped into Slipspace.
Here was a world different from the earth, or even the Void. Here was the fifth dimension, the world he traveled in with each Alpha Strike. Yi drifted over to where Malzahar stood, frozen, and thrust his sword into the prophet’s back.
Immediately, he returned the real world, and the prophet screamed from the seemingly mortal wound. The floating man went rigid, and then turned into a mass of purple space, before disappearing.
He would be back. As slave to the Void, he would be revived once more. But he was out of Yi’s way as of now.
“WHAT?What the HELL?! HOW!?”
The Councilor’s assistant quailed under the interrogation.
“L-Like I said, sir. We found Tryndamere trapped in a deep pit, Ashe frozen solid, and Anivia wandering in an entirely different sector of the Plague Jungles, lost. Tryndamere and Anivia are fine, and we’re treating Ashe for hypothermia right now”
“Bah!” spat Councilor Garth Gareth, the man appointed head of the search and capture mission for Master Yi. “Who cares about them? Useless, stupid idiots… Can’t even handle one champion… and Master Yi at that.” The man muttered and cursed for a while, before realizing something that made him very excited. He fixed the assistant with an evil grin. “Did… IT… agree to come?”
“Um… yes.” The assistant glanced at his sheet. “It… agreed to come from its imprisonment on the condition we sacrifice thirteen living souls to it after the mission is complete.”
“Humph.” Garth crossed his arms. “Fine. I’ll just find thirteen idiots somewhere in my department later. I’ve got plenty of them.” The huge man rubbed his eyes with hairy arms. His robes did nothing to cover his enormous stature. “So… who do we have in the meanwhile?”
The assistant glanced back down at his tablet.
“Shen, Akali, and Kennen reported in. We have more Champions volunteering to retrieve Master Yi, they should be here within a couple of days.”
Garth rubbed his chin, deep in thought.
“Okay. Just pull those ninjas to the jungle and let’em loose. Let them do their ninja thing. They can all go to hell for all I care; they just have to stall for IT.”
“Understood, sir” The assistant bowed, and exited the tent, leaving Garth alone. The huge man smiled. He was savoring the anticipation. IT was coming. And he couldn’t wait to set it loose.
“Yi.” Yi glanced back. It was Shen, and acting absolutely not like a ninja, was standing in plain view behind him.
“Master Shen.” Yi nodded at him. “It’s good to see you.”
“Yi.” Shen held out his hand, palm up. “Won’t you come quietly? What is so important for you here?” Yi glanced at Shen’s outstretched hand.
“Shen… I can’t.” Yi shook his head sadly. “If I go back, the ghosts I carry in my heart will never die.” Yi swung his sword to his shoulder. “Or rather, I will never be able to kill them.” Shen slowly lowered his hand in disappointment. He seemed to shrink.
“Let it be so. We will take you back by force and beat some sense in you later.” He raised his hand, and his comrades struck. Akali jumped from a tree to the left of Yi, and Kennen fell from the direction of the sun, shuriken in hand. The future vision of Yi was barely enough for him to dodge Akali’s scythes and Kennen’s shuriken. Yi knew instantly he was outmatched. He won a fight against three champions using dirty tricks. There was no way he could defeat three that ambushed HIM.
“YI!” yelled Shen, who started his taunt, which was more than just words, but magically-infused shouts to force Yi to attack him. Yi overloaded his noise canceller on the back of his head, to emit a screeching noise block out the sound of Shen’s taunt, and caused every ninja to grasp at their ears in pain. Ninjas have more sensitive ears than normal people do, Yi noticed.
With that, Yi fled.
“Wait!” yelled Shen, reaching out. “Yi!" As soon as they recovered, each Ninja dashed after Yi.
Even with Highlander, Yi had trouble creating distance between the ninjas and him. He had to work every step to gain his advantage. Yi consulted his map. The sword HAS to be close by, he thought. He saw all of the landmarks near it. He rushed past a long-dead altar, an old Ionian Pavilion, and a stone dragon. These are all Ionian design, he realized. He had to be close. Yi stopped onto a blank stone clearing.
It SHOULD be here! He searched around, confused, until he saw a slot in the ground.
Could it be…? Yi placed his sword into the slot.
Well, he was stumped. Yi tried to pull his sword out, but it was stuck. He pulled harder, but it was stuck fast. He pulled with all of his strength… and the sword came free… along with the ground. Yi fell into a deep chamber under the clearing.
Looks like… it was just poor building design.
Yi shook his head, and looked about. He was in a dusty old anteroom, with a raised platform in the middle. The light from the hole he broke through shone onto the center of the platform… and on it…
A sword. The sword. Yi stepped forwards, slowly, almost reverently. He glanced down an inscription on its side, and read it out loud.
“Rlung Tsi Hya Tyan Gaor
The characters were in the Qin’s dialect. It read: Dragon Rising From Ocean To Heaven. He knew those words from somewhere. But from where? He gripped the Dragon Rising sword. The grip felt good. But like all swords stuck in the ground, it was stuck fast.
“Hell,” Yi muttered. He pulled harder… and something in the sword pulled back. What was he to do? He let the sword have its way.
AGGGGH! The sword suddenly started draining EVERYTHING from him. He felt his essence pour into the slowly warming steel, and the inscriptions seemed to glow. His life’s works, skills, experiences, rushed into the sword like a river. It was like standing under a waterfall. It was like BEING a waterfall. He wanted to stop; stop the sword from robbing everything from him, but he was held fast to the blade. He just kept on draining, and draining himself further and further….
“Yi!” He heard Akali’s voice ring out through the chamber. She found the hole he made in the clearing above. “Shen! I found him! He’s here!”
Just… a little bit more…
Akali leapt from the hole to the ground, she ran at him, trying to tackle him… but finally, the sword came loose, and as Akali struck him, Yi stumbled back, clutching the Dragon Rising sword. Akali recovered, then circled him cautiously.
“Yi…” Akali raised her scythes. “I don’t want to hurt you.” Yi raised his sword in response… and felt nothing. There was nothing. He held his sword clumsily and awkwardly; he no longer felt the flow of his chi. It was then he realized—the sword had robbed him of eight thousand years of training. He could no longer launch an Alpha Strike, no longer ignite his sword, nor could he meditate effectively. He was truly nothing now.
Kennen and Shen appeared from the hole in the ceiling, and jumped on him from above. The three ninjas dog-piled him. He felt himself being restrained, but it no longer mattered. He, once called master, could no longer even hold the title. He had failed.
Ahri strolled through the tents of the League’s encampment. Hundreds of summoners had gathered here to keep Master Yi under lock and key. Each one of the cast the banned spell, Emprison, on Master Yi in turn, keeping him indefinitely in stasis. He was locked under a tree, guarded by Akali, Shen, and Kennen. The spell cast a prison cage around the Master. He could talk, and look around, but he could not move an inch from the tight cage surrounding his sitting, praying form.
Akali eyed Ahri suspiciously as she approached.
“I’m here to see Yi. Let me pass?” Akali held her scythes up, but Shen came up behind Akali, and put a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s alright, Akali. Let her pass.” Akali glanced once at Shen, and then at Ahri, before lowering her scythes slowly. Ahri smiled at Shen, before walking over to the captured Wuju Blades-man. She sat at his side, and lay against the cherry blossom that he was resting against.
“Hello again, Yi-Yi.” She smiled.
“Hello, Ahri.” Master Yi looked up at the fox. She seemed so much more human now, smiling. “I’m sorry for what I said about your humanity. You’re as human as anyone in the league.” Singed’s image flashed through his mind for an instant before he recovered. “And more than many.”
“Thank you.” Ahri’s tails started wagging, and she smiled more. “So did you find what you were looking for?” She leaned over to look at his new sword.
“Yes,” Yi held up his Dragon Rising sword. The League had tried to confiscate it from him, but it seemed it was now magically bound to him, and could not be more than ten feet from him. “I found what I was looking for… but I lost something else.”
“Pretty...” Ahri admired the blade. “It looks strong… by the way, did you eat? I had my disciples bring kitsune tofu.”
Master Yi chuckled.
“That’s very fox-like of you, Ahri. I didn’t know you bought into the myth that foxes like kitsune.”
“That’s not all, Yi.” Ahri gestured to the disciple bringing the tofu. “Hae-In made it.”
“Hae-In?!” Yi looked up at the serving woman. It… it really was…
“My husband.” She held laid the tray at his feet. “I’m glad you’re still safe.”
Yi looked up into the face of his wife. She was dressed in a simple garb, holding a tray of fried tofu. Her smile was more beautiful than anything he had seen since he left the institute. He bowed to Ahri and Hae-In.
“Thank you… Thank you…”
“…So that’s it.”
Councilor Garth stood in an extremely dark tent. Seated, if you could call its pose that, in the center, was something spindly and inhuman. Its glowing emerald eyes burned maliciously as the Councilor offered his feeble excuses.
“So… what you are telling me… is that the mission is already done.” The voice that came out was like bubbling acid; it burned the ears and grated your soul.
“Y-Yes.” Why did he feel so afraid, wondered Garth. He was a Councilor of the League… and here was something that looked like it could barely hurt a sheaf of wheat.
“Now…” The being grated its teeth. “What does that have to do with my sacrifices? The thirteen you had promised me?”
The Councilor decided to take a stand.
“No mission, no sacrifices.” Garth crossed his arms with finality. “I’m not going to risk my job, dragging thirteen dolts from their work, just to feed your fat arse.” The figure instead clacked its teeth with annoyance.
“You drag me from my home, pull me into the sun, lure me with promises of fresh souls and new meat. And then you betray me… Summoner… this is unacceptable.” The figure fingered his scythe.
“Go to hell!” Garth motioned out the door “You want souls so bad, go get it yourself! Selfish arsehole.”
The figure gave a wide smile; the grin was like a gash in its potato sack skull.
“Is that an order… Summoner?”
Garth’s eyes widened, and he started to speak:
“Wh--” And then the scythe came whizzing down, carving off the Councilor’s hand. The huge man doubled up in pain, clutching his stump. “A-AARRGGGGH! AGGGH!”
“Rejoice, summoner! I want not your tasteless soul! I desire virgins and bravehearts, heroes and saviors, to feed the emptiness within me!”
The Harbinger of Doom, Fiddlesticks, rose to feed…
A bloodcurdling scream split the peaceful scene by the cherry blossom. The three ninjas all drew their weapons, ready for any sign of danger.
“I’ll go check it out,” Akali announced, and slid up to the nearest tent. The clearing was a small hill that was surrounded by tents, boxing them in. There was a main entrance, but the canopies of the tents darkened the walkway into a dark corridor.
Akali poked her head around the corner. There was no one.
“Shen!” She held her hand to her mouth while calling. “There’s no one here—hurk!” Her eyes opened in surprise as a jagged scythe tore into her shoulder. She dropped to the floor, scrambling away, clutching her wound.
“Ka, ka, ka, ka” Fiddlesticks raised his scythe again. “Come here, my lovely.” Akali ‘s eyes narrowed in annoyance. She gathered her scythes, and charged Fiddlesticks.
“Akali!” Shen yelled, “Back!”
“Forget it Shen!” Akali yelled as she sped to Fiddlesticks. “he’s yet another unworthy foe! And outnumbered!” Akali held her scythes out be her sides, and lunged.
“Shadow Danc--” She struck, but Fiddlesticks burst into a murder of crows on contact. “Wh—What the--?” Akali struck at the crows, but they quickly started flying around her, trapping her in a tornado of birds. “Wha—What? Shen? Kennen? Help me!” She rammed her shoulder into the flapping birds, but they stayed as solid as a wall.
“Ka, Ka.” Fiddlestick’s voice rang out from every crow’s beak. “You are right, my lovely… on the Fields of Justice, I would be in deep trouble… but t unfortunately for you, the cursed League always limits my true powers during a Match. I found it annoying… but it worked to my advantage today.” The crows started to close in on Akali. “Now… time to feed! Watch as I devour her wholly!”
“Shen?” Akali called out, her composure cracking, “I… I… Help!
“Hah!” Shen yelled, slamming against the crows. “No! Ki Strike! Vorpal Blade! Shadow Dash! Stand United!” Shen yelled out each of his trump cards as he tried to rescue Akali, but nothing worked, and by every passing second, more and more of Akali was stripped away by the flocking crows.
“Shen!” yelled Ahri, charging up a spirit orb, “Duck!” Shen turned to look just in time to duck down, as Ahri’s glowing orb passed through the crows without affecting them, but on the way back, the orb punched a hole in the flapping birds. Shen and Kennen reached in to grab Akali, but only managed to get her halfway out before the hole closed, and she was stuck.
“Ouch! Ka, Ka. That HURT!” Fiddlesticks shifted form again, and turned instead into a pale, handsome man dressed in pitch-black rags. On his shoulder was Akali’s unconscious form. “Oh… you dogs… that hurt.” He gestured to a bruise on his cheek. “Whatever. I’ve had a nice appetizer, I mean, look at me! Just imagine what I’ll be like once I have the full course in a more private place!”
Fiddlesticks laughed as he floated off in a flock of crows, with Akali still draped on his shoulder.
“After him!” Shen yelled, and he and Kennen took off. Ahri called Hae-In:
“Hae-In! With me! We’ll help them!” Hae-In nodded, and then glanced back a Yi for a second, before smiling. She took off her outer dress, and let down her hair. Four tails erupted from her backside, and white ears sprouted from her head.
She winked at Yi mischievously.
Sorry, she mouthed. And then she left with Ahri.
Still, Master Yi sat, trapped. It was several minutes before the last Emprison spell wore off.
Apparently, in all of the confusion, no one bother to refresh his debuff. He hefted his Dragon Rising Blade. Still awkward, he realized gloomily. But he had to go. His wife was in danger, so he had to be there. Shen, Ahri, and Kenner were in danger, so he had to help. Akali was going to die, so he had to run.
Yi grabbed the Dragon Rising Blade, and dashed after the Harbinger of Doom.
He caught up to Shen and the others within a few minutes.
“Yi!” Shen cried, “What are you doing here! Your skill--”
“I will be fine,” Yi stated firmly, “I am still the Yi you know.”
Shen seemed to want to protest… his eyes narrowed. But after a bit, he focused back onto the path, before nodding.
“We can always use more eyes. Fiddlesticks looks like he’s headed to the Plague Jungles.” Shen looked up worriedly at a slowly shrinking black figure, flying in the distance. “If we lose him, we’ll never find him before--”
“With us? You won’t.” Everyone turned to look at the newcomers. Ashe, Tryndamere, and Anivia were running, or flying as fast as they could alongside them. Ashe motioned with her bow, and fired a crystal hawk from her bow ahead of them. The hawk quickly caught up to Fiddlesticks, and exploded on the monster’s back. Instantly, everyone could see in their minds the Harbinger of Doom flying away. He was headed to a cave in the mountains.
“Let’s move.” Ashe commanded, loading another crystal hawk in her bow, and then firing. “It’ll take a good amount of time to reach that cave.”
The party raced deep into the jungle.
Fiddlesticks landed at the cave entrance, and laid Akali on the floor. She twitched on the floor, eyes rolled up in her head, murmuring nonsense.
“Hehehehhah! Will I have time for the full course?” Fiddlestick stared out at the mountain slope ahead of his cave. But no. Already, the annoying pests were making their way up the slope. They were like flys buzzing around a juicy steak. Can’t they leave a guy to dine in peace!
“Ugh…” The Harbinger sighed, annoyed. “I’ll have to wait.” He picked Akali up, and strolled into the cave.
Ashe fired another hawk down the cave tunnel, lighting up the path in everyone’s eyes. No enemies were spotted.
“Clear!” called Ashe, “Go!” Shen led the way, followed by Tryndamere and then Yi, and finally, Kennen, Ahri, Anivia and Hae-In brought up the rear. Ashe aimed outside, tracking for any opponents, before dashing in with them.
Fiddlesticks stood in the center of a large cavern, with the comatose Akali rolling by his feet. He clutched his scythe with full, human hands, and rubbed his bony, handsome face with his other hand. The party filed in the cavern, slowly spreading out around them.
“Hey, hey,” called Fiddlesticks. “Aren’t we all friends here? Fellow champions, we should talk things out.”
Ashe fired a frost arrow at Fiddlestick’s head in response. The missile stuck in his head, and jerked it back. Fiddlesticks slowly brought his head back, and reached up with his free hand. In one tear, he ripped out the arrow lodged in his forehead.
“Guess not.” Where the arrow punctured, grew an emerald eye. That eye shone green light in a beam, straight at Ahri, bathing her as she looked at herself, confused. The light started to intensify.
“Ahri-get-down!” yelled Yi, as he tacked the fox, knocking the two of them from the green light. The rock behind them that took the light exploded in a cloud of green smoke. Yi yelled at his allies, “Go!” All of them charged Fiddlesticks, who held the allies at bay with his explosive gaze. Everything the light touched exploded after a few seconds, dealing fatal damage. After being nicked on the cheek by a Ki Strike by Shen, Fiddlesticks grew irritated.
“Go to Hell!” the Harbinger screamed, and he exploded in another murder of crows, wrapping Shen, who flailed about helplessly. But that was a mistake, as Ahri and Hae-In immediately launched spirit orbs at the crows, which ate away at the trapping crows as Fiddlesticks screamed.
He reformed at a spot fifty feet away, but Yi was already on top of that. His headhunter armor let him predict where Fiddlestick would show up. Yi thrust the Dragon Rising Blade into Fiddlestick’s back, which bit shallowly. Fiddlesticks jerked forwards, clawing at his back.
His gaze fell on Akali.
“If I can’t feed on her, then--” He raised his scythe, and brought it down, but a wall of ice stopped his blow, separating Akali and Fiddlesticks. He glared at Anivia, pure hate boiling over.
“Die!” He shone his emerald light on the Cyrophoenix, and Anivia could not dodge; she was too slow.
“Stand United!” yelled Shen, and he shielded Anivia from the explosion. Green smoke billowed about the Cyrophoenix, and she seemed injured, but she was left intact.
Fiddlesticks widened his eyes in surprise, and turned to Shen.
Shen slammed a fist into Fiddlestick’s stomach, sending the Harbinger sprawling. Kenned flipped to the back of Fiddlestick’s head, and slammed hard at the back of the Harbinger’s skull. Fiddlesticks stumbled forwards, cursing, until he was tripped hard by Tryndamere, who flung his sword underneath Fiddlestick’s wiry legs. As Fiddlesticks looked up, he stared into the business end of a ninja sword. Akali was being guarded by Kennen. The rest formed a concave around Fiddlesticks. He seemed to consider his options.
“I… I give up.” Fiddlestick raised his hands, and knelt. The pale man submitted. Shen stepped forwards, and lowered his point for a secon—
“PSYCH! DIE!” Fiddlesticks stabbed himself with his scythe, over and over, creating gashes all over himself that spilled emerald light everywhere, filling the cavern. “GAHAHAH! HAHAHA! DIE! DIE!” There was not an inch of cavern that was not glowing green.
Shen dashed to Akali, and shielded her as best he could with his body. Anivia draped herself over Ashe and Tyrndamere’s rising protests.
“Don’t worry, children, I may still survive as an egg.”
“That’s a LIE and you know it, ANIVIA!” screamed Ashe, as the she, a Queen, beat against the Cyropheonix’s breast, crying.
Yi looked for Hae-In. He could at least protect her. But he didn’t see her anywhere. There was only Ahri, kneeling, hand over her mouth in horror. She was staring at something—what?
The green light suddenly disappeared.
“HAE-IN!” screamed Ahri, “NO! NO!”
Time seemed to slow for Yi. His gaze travelled slowly up to where Fiddlesticks was. Hae-In had hugged Fiddlesticks as tightly as she could, blocking the majority of the light with her body. Her head was buried in Fiddlestick’s disgusting chest as he stabbed her over and over again with his scythe, cursing her.
He stretched out a hand for Hae-In. His wife. She turned back, locked eyes with him... and smiled.
No. Not again.
The back of the cavern exploded. Rock fell in chunks larger than most houses. Fiddlesticks collapsed, leaving Hae-In standing, arms limp, head down. Blood dripped down her front. Soon she was swallowed up by the falling rocks as well, and there was silence.
Hey. I surrender now.
Look at me. I’m not even beautiful anymore. Just a stupid scarecrow, see? Caw, Caw. But broken, heheheh.
Hey. What’re you doing with that sword? Help me.
AGGGH! AGGGH! HAAAAAAGHHHH!
They were coming. Yi crouched low in the rushes by the riverbank. His allies waited alongside him.
Master Yi leveled his Dragon Rising Blade at his final enemy; angling the tip at his heart. The disgusting monster was even more revolting in battle, with his thin, rotted limbs that moved awkwardly in battle, or his shrouded face that concealed horrific chemical burns. Singed. The Human-Chemical weapon walked slowly towards Yi with his allies, each more sinister than the last. He did not know they were there yet.
This was it. Whoever claimed victory at this juncture would have a clear shot at their opponent’s nexus. The duration of a respawn had been drawn out to an eternity. Every move was crucial.
Yi let his sword drop; the razor sharp edge cut rivets in the muddy river water that they stood over. In the background, he could see the Baron Nashor, a monstrous purple serpent with a mouth as wide and dark as hell, writhe in his personal pool of muck and acid, ready to devour any champion foolish enough to fall in reach of his maw. To his back, he could sense his allies, tensing for the upcoming fight…
Unlike most other battles in the Fields of Justice, Yi was fighting alongside close friends this time. Like comrades, they were siblings of war.
Singed and his party were coming. But Yi needed a little bit more. His friends were all injured, and their abilities had been spent.
He had come this far… Yi had evolved more in this past half-year than he had in any thousand. But an ultimate ability was still out of his grasp. After the Dragon Rising Blade had robbed him of all of his power, Yi had to learn new ones. But a truly devastating move eluded him.
Please, Dragon Rising… Yi pleaded in his mind… Grant me the power to defeat my enemies. Give me the strength... to bring justice to Singed, and peace to my wife and village
He closed his eyes.
Three months before…
Yi sat alone, in the sanctuary. A slight winter breeze chilled Yi to the bone. But still he remained, sitting at the foot of a new mulberry tree, planted in honor of someone who gave her life for her friends. Yi lay against the trunk of Hae-In’s tombstone.
His tears had dried up. His quivers of rage and self-deprecation had lost their fire. Just like him.
He cradled the Dragon Rising Blade in his lap. The wretched blade had cost him so much… because of it, he had lost Hae-In, he had lost ten thousand years of training in the Wuju style, and most of all… he had lost faith in himself.
So he decided to remain there until he died, until his friends could take his remains and bury them next to his last wife. So that sometime before the Last Judgment, perhaps he could find forgiveness from Hae-In.
He decided, to let his hatred die out with him.
He closed his eyes under his sight fold. The headhunter armor had robbed him of even more vision than Heimerdinger’s goggles usually did. At this rate, within the next hundred years, he would be blind.
A heavy footfall cut through the sounds of the winter breeze.
The footsteps sounded closer, and Yi could sense somebody standing over him. With a deep sigh, that somebody sat down next to him. The weight of the man caused the ground to tremor a bit.
“Hey man,” the deep voice grated, “I’m sorry I never got the chance to fight ya.”
Yi lowered his head, and raised it.
“Master Jax.” Yi pulled off his sight fold, and his failing eyes confirmed that it was Jax. The hulking figure sat with a knee up, arm on the knee, and his signature brass lamppost resting against his thigh. The man seemed depressed, although it was impossible to tell through Jax’s thick clothes and his concealing helmet. And he noticed Ahri was there, too.
Ahri stood silently to the side of Jax, her head bowed in sadness. She was wearing white robes; the colors of mourning for Ionian culture. They must be for Hae-In, Yi thought. Just thinking her name made him ache.
“I’m less sorry,” joked Yi, although his voice was cold, and his smile was distant. “I would not have wanted to fight you even with all of my skills intact.”
Jax glanced at Yi.
“So it’s true, then?” Jax inquired, leaning it closer. “Your skills have vanished.”
Yi laughed another cold laugh, and held up his bundled Dragon Rising Blade. “Yes, and all I got from it was this stupid sword.”
“For this lump of metal… I lost my wife… I lost ten thousand years of Wuju training…” Yi slumped. “And I lost my faith in myself.”
“…” Jax seemed troubled.
“Hae-In… I lost her… Just like Rixa…” Yi clenched his fists. “I couldn’t save either of them… I failed!” Yi slammed the mulberry tree, causing tremors to shoot up the trunk, and shaking free hundreds of leaves that floated off in the wind. “I FAILED AGAIN!”
His fist quivered against the trunk, as blood seeped out from between his hand and the bark of the tree.
Jax exhaled a bit.
“It don’t suit you.” Jax turned to look at Yi. “Whining.”
“Where’s the man who defied the entire League of Legends for his revenge? That man who bragged he might crush the might of the League? That man was glorious, once. But now he’s defeated, by the woman he loved, without a blow. ” Jax looked down on Yi, and his helmet held a contemptuous angle. “Pathetic.”
Yi felt anger boil over him like he hadn't felt in since he witnessed his village's fate.
“What would you know, mercenary?” Yi stood up quickly, “I know there is no purpose left for me in this world.”
“Singed still lives,” Jax shot back, “his crimes on your wife and village go unanswered.”
“I have lost the power to kill him.”
“Train it back.”
“Ha! Ten thousand years of training, and you say ‘train it back’!” Yi paced. “I have lost everything for my revenge! I don’t want to find out if I have anything left for my vengeance to take! This revenge--”
“Idiot!” yelled a girl’s voice, and Yi had just enough time to turn before Ahri’s orb caught him full in the face.
“Ooph!” Yi flipped backwards once before landing on his stomach. Ahri summoned four flames that sped at the injured master. Yi caught each flame in the stomach in turn; the magical explosions lifted him five feet in the air with each impact. Each time, he rolled over in pain.
Ahri grabbed Yi by the collar in front of an astonished Jax, and slapped him, hard. The last blow was almost as stunning to Yi as the first five.
“You lost ‘everything’, you said?” Ahri repeated, silkily. “Then what am I to you, Yi?” Ahri stared at him full in the eyes. “Are your friends so meaningless to you that you forget them? Just like that?!” her voice softened to a whisper. “Am I nothing to you, Yi-yi?”
Yi didn’t answer. But a spark of life flickered in his eyes again.
Ahri stood perfectly still for a while, staring at Yi, who didn’t return her gaze.
She smacked Yi, and grabbed him by the back of the collar.
“Jax, we’re going.” Ahri marched off, dragging Yi.
Jax got up, and dusted off his robes.
“To where, huh?” He tapped on Yi’s head lightly with his lamppost. “And what’re doing with him?”
Ahri glanced back.
“Training. We’re going to deliver justice to Singed.”
The Sparring Pits. The duel arenas of the Institute of War. The ugly, hive-like and jagged structure loomed on a mountain north of the Institute of war. Seven circular arenas, each of them crafted out of what looked like junk, formed a larger, circular super-structure, six forming an outer ring and one in the center, in which Champions could test their might in one upon one duels. The fights were all extremely dangerous, as many Champions are as powerful as demi-gods, and all fights were fought with only the protection afforded in the Fields of Justice. Challenges are not lightly given, as they could easily result in death.
As such, many of the most powerful Champions cause the Sparring Pits to clear out if they even stray close enough to the pits.
Jarvan the Fourth, the Exemplar of Demacia was sitting at the long tables, a jug of ale in his hands, chatting with his subjects over his latest victory. He didn’t know it, but both Xin Zhao and Garen had held back in their 2 v 1 in the arenas, but they both knew Jarvan didn’t have to know that. Jarvan laughed uproariously at a joke he just told, and took a swig of ale, before something caught his eye.
Three somethings, strolling through the entrance.
Jax always turned many heads as he strode in through the entrance gate. The Grandmaster at Arms was the undisputed champion of the Sparring Pits, and his presence always caused a great deal of animosity and jealously. More than a few of the combatants milling about ground their teeth at the sight of him, wanting to finally usurp the King from his throne, but unable to.
More heads turned at the sight of Ahri, who was following the Grandmaster. Mages and the like were very rarely seen in the Sparring Pits, as all combat was unguarded, a wrong hit with a very real weapon would break bones and crush organs. On the flip side, few flat human warriors, like Fiora or Gangplank, had any sort of defense against an orb of pure magic, or a wave of fire. As such, magic versus physical fights were always short, fast, and deadly.
But the most surprising appearance by far was Master Yi’s, as the rumor that he had lost his capability to fight had spread like wildfire through the Institute. That the Master would even show up in such a dangerous environment was incredible, even more now that he was nothing more than an average man with a sword.
Jax strode up to a dirty booth set into a rock wall, and tapped the cell bars separating him and the snoozing attendant.
“Marcus. Wake up and give me the keys to Arena Zero.”
The attendant, a fat, balding man with a frizzy red bread, woke up flustered.
“Whe—Who? Oh… Jax” Marcus the Attendant rubbed his eyes, and rummaged in a bag stained suspiciously with something that looked like blood. He muttered darkly at the enormous man as he fumbled. “Dammit, I wuz sleeping, man.” He slammed a rusty ring of keys into the slot in the bars.
“Here yeh go, yeh impatient basterd. One set’o keys… So, who’s the unlucky… dead meat nah… ow!” Marcus whistled as he noticed Ahri behind the hulking Grandmaster. Marcus blushed a bit as he tipped his head at the fox. “’Cuse me, Ma’am! I didn’t know someone as fine as yeh… I mean…” Marcus turned and whispered to Jax. “Don’t break her, ‘kay? It’d be a tragic loss to men, everywhere.”
Ahri huffed, annoyed.
“Not me,” She jerked her thumb at Yi. “Him.” The attendant didn’t notice her, and was too busy miming humping movements to Jax.
The Nine-Tailed Fox grabbed Yi and Jax, and strode angrily towards their arena. They took a short corridor down, before arriving at another cell door, with seven locks in it. Ahri took each key in turn, and unlocked each of the locks, grunting with effort. The aging mechanics groaned, and a rumbling sound rung off of the stone walls. A cage rose to meet the cell door, and the door swung open with a piercing creak.
Jax nudged Yi into the cage.
“In you go. I’ll meet you on the other side.” Yi took a light step in and turned to face the two. The cell down was closing slowly. Jax gave Yi a thumbs-up, but Ahri remained stony-faced. Yi hung his head, and leaned against the cage walls. He was so tired…
The cell doors almost closed, before Ahri gave an exasperated “Ugh!” and darted into the cage. Yi imagined he could see Jax’s eyebrows shoot into his forehead, as he watched the hulking man disappear upwards, as the cage sunk into the ground. The two Champions stood in silence as the cage-elevator rumbled its way to their arena. Seconds dragged on into what felt like hours, as Ahri stared determinedly off into space.
“Ahri…” Yi started to say, but the Fox turned her head even further.
The cage ground to a halt, and the front door popped open. Yi took a step forwards, before Ahri blurted out, “Yi!”
Yi stopped, and turned to face her.
“I’ll fix you. Somehow.” She pushed him out.
They strode out into arena.
The ground was a grayish dirt, ground out in a circular fashion, with steep walls rising all around them. Seven pillars stood proud in the fading sun, crafted from the hardest iron, fashioned to look like stone pillars, and magically-runed to withstand the toughest the League Champions to throw at them. At the top of the walls, the spectator’s stands rose to crown the arena. Practically the entire Sparring Pits had dropped everything to watch Jax fight.
Jax was standing in the center, his trusty lamppost at ready. Yi had fought the deadly light fixture before. Jax handled the improvised weapon as if were the most balanced edge, and he could easily crush steel and rock with the brass staff.
Jax swung the lamppost up, and held it in front of him.
“Yi… ” Jax tensed up. Yi slowly brought his Dragon Rising blade up. The sword felt as awkward as ever in his clumsy hands. Jax sighed, as he registered Yi’s discomfort with the blade. The man shook his head slightly.
“I hope this works,” he muttered, as he leapt and struck.
Yi woke up. The world seemed to be running colors again. No. Jax had just grazed him, for the twentieth time, it seemed. The Wuju master was sprawled at the base of one of the pillars, bruised, bloodied, and confused. He and Jax had been sparring for the last half hour. No, sparring would be the wrong world. Slaughtered would be better fitting, except that with each blow, Jax held back tremendously. Yi would have been killed several times over if not for the Grandmaster’s mercy.
Yi tried to stand, using his sword as a support, but he collapsed as his knees gave out. Yi raised a hand. He was done.
“No… no more.”
Jax slumped, and struck the bass of his lamppost into the ground.
“Is that really it, Yi? No spark, no nothing?”
Yi sadly shook his head. He truly was human now. So many times during the fight, he tried to launch an Alpha Strike, but the Wuju arts that let him slip into Slipspace to appear behind the foe was lost to him now. His pinnacle art of Chi focus, his Meditation, constantly evaded his grasp. His Wuju style was lost to him.
“Ahri… Jax… I’m sorry.” Yi pulled himself up and started towards the exit.
“You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” Ahri slammed Yi hard with a spirit orb. Yi collapsed onto the ground. This was not the first time that Ahri had lost her temper during the fight. Once she nearly killed the two of them with a dash straight into the middle of them that shot lightning bolts into their guts. “You CAN’T be done already! You can’t!” Ahri grabbed Yi by the collars and started shaking him. “I promised! I'd fix you!”
She head-butted Yi, smashing into his seven-lensed helmet. Fortunately, Heimerdinger’s craftsmanship was too good for his work to be damaged as easily as that. Unfortunately, fox's skulls are not crafted meticulously from tempered steel, and Ahri’s skull broke.
“…!” Ahri crumpled wordlessly as she clutched at the helmet-shaped dent in her forehead.
Yi reached out, but she brushed it off, seriously pissed now. She strode up to Jax, and punched him in the gut. Of course, it did nothing but confuse Jax.
“Ahri… what are you--?”
Ahri grabbed his lamppost, and put the business end on her head.
“Hit me.” She was dead serious. Jax looked around, before moving in closer, wondering if he had heard wrong.
“Hit. Me.” Ahri punctuated each word with a tap on the lamppost. Ahri glanced back at Yi, taunting him. Yi had never felt as confused in his entire life, which was saying something. “If you don’t care about yourself, or your revenge enough that you won’t take this training seriously, Yi…” Ahri fixed Jax with deathly stare. “Let’s see how you care about somebody else.”
“Jax. Hit. Me.”
There were murmurs of confusion, and protests from the spectators at this proclamation, and Jax shrugged helplessly.
“Ahri, I’m not going to hit you.”
Ahri gave a very fox-like growl, and then stomped off to one of the spectating walls. She called out to a observing Summoner.
“You there! Summoner! What’s your name?”
The Summoner looked around confused, before calling back down,
“I’m a big fan of yours, Miss Ahri! My name is--”
“Whatever.” Ahri blew him a kiss. “Summoner, your heart is mine…” The spell stuck the poor boy straight in the face, and he immediately gazed longingly at Ahri, in a trance.
Ahri called out in her sweetest voice, “Summoner, is your every desire mine?”
“Y-Yes… my Ah…Ahri…”
“Good… now take control of the Grandmaster at Arms for me, pretty please?”
“Y-Ye..” The Summoner made an outward motion with his hands, and a glass-like orb sprung out of nowhere at his fingertips. The image in the glass orb locked onto Jax as he and Yi yelled out in confusion.
“Ahri! What’re you doing?!” Yi yelled, struggling to his feet.
Ahri turned back, and smiled at him, as the Summoner seized control of the Grandmaster at Arms. The Grandmaster slumped forwards, arms limp.
“Yi…” Ahri called out, “I’m fixing you..." She turned to the Charmed Summoner.
Ahri took a deep breath.
"Use Jax to kill me.” Immediately, Jax leapt with deadly force, and slammed into Ahri as hard as he could with his lamppost.
“No!” Yi reached out with his hand, as he saw Ahri cry out in pain, and go tumbling across the arena. Many of the spectators were calling out in protest at the brutality, and those that were Champions immediately tried to intervene, but the ever-present magic barrier separating the combatants from the audience kept them at bay.
Jax ran at full force with his lamppost. He called out desperately, “Yi! I can’t stop myself! I’m not in control!”
Jax leapt again, intending to crush Ahri’s skull, but the Fox Spirit Dashed out of the way, narrowly avoiding the fate of the iron pillar behind her, which was crushed at the base, despite its strengthening charms. Jax immediately ran at Ahri again, charging his lamppost with additional power. His lamppost shone gold with the energy as he swung at Ahri again with killing force. The Fox narrowly escaped death once more with a desperate dash. Jax’s full-force blow caused a crater the size of a small house to erupt in the center of the arena. The ground shook with Jax's latent magical power.
“Ahri!” Yi called out, as he struggled to his feet. “Stop this!”
Ahri pulled herself up, knees shaking. No one had ever seen the Grandmaster fight seriously outside of the Fields of Justice. His un-bridled power was a terrifying and awesome sight.
“Yi… You put so much pressure on yourself, to protect. For your friends… for those you love… you would die for them.” Ahri gave a grim smile. “I know that about you. That’s why…” She spread her arms out as Jax started his ultimate strike. The arena started to buzz with the magical energy overflowing from his lamppost. Despite it being unplugged, the lamppost shone brighter than the sun, and darkened the arena around it.
“I’m going to be like you. I'm dying for a friend right here. I trust you, Yi.” She left herself defenseless as the Grandmaster leapt.
“AHRI!” Yi stood, and crouched. He prayed desperately to the sword.
Dragon Rising! Of all the times… please! Give me strength!The sword started to warm, and he felt… something! He’d take it.
The arena exploded. A storm of dust slammed against the magical barrier, and the spectators reared away from the torrent. It was like watching a hurricane within a glass cup as the energy exploded against the barrier, and then upwards into the sky. The storm raged for a half of a minute, before slowly clearing out.
When the dust cleared, the Grandmaster was standing in the center, alone. His full-force blow had caused a crater the breadth of the arena to erupt. All seven of the pillars were strewn about the scene like twigs after a storm. Many of the audience groaned as they feared the worst. Jax himself, now free of control, gripped his face in despair.
And yet, at the far side, there crouched two figures. Yi held Ahri in one arm, and the Dragon Rising in the other. He was smiling, as he slumped onto his sword in exhaustion, but his grip held a new-found confidence. Ahri smacked Yi on the back of his head, laughing.
“Yi… you did it.”
The spectators started cheering, as some Champions just started running from the cages to enter the arena to help.
Yi limped up to the relieved Jax, and gripped his forearm.
So the story is still alive? Excellent
when will you continue this? I NEED to continue reading it!
Uah. Right away, sirs.
Really, it's so rare to find a well structured text such as this(well, i can't say much since i can't write one either) that when i find one i just can't stop reading...
Most of the fanfics are like "he did this then he did that, the he put his hands at his pockests him he he him he he him his him he..." and it's so.... Hard to tolarate such a repetitive word, that no mater how good the plot is, I simply can't read it...
You did a really good job both on the Plot and structure.
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