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argh. You caught me.
I have time right now, so I should be able to finish it. It's around 93% done. I'm having trouble clsoing out the chapter
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Ahri muttered to herself as Yi gripped her, as they shifted away from the Wu, and back into the real world.
She uttered the same phrase, over and over, like it was some incantation to make everything right.
"Get out, find Jax outside of the Institute, and find some way to stop Heian. Nothing else matters."
The golden world of the Wu was melting away around her to give way to the oppressive heat, to the hardened rock, and to the fires and lava of the Magma Chamber. Bit by bit, her feet found purchase on the black rock. Bit by bit, Yi started to slip away, as the black smoke started pouring out his body once more, and his directives to capture Ahri were conquering his mind
As Yi fell further and further away, Ahri muttered once more, "Get out, find Jax outside of the Institute, and find some way to stop Heian." She looked up. Before her, Leona and Pantheon were locked in mortal combat. Their weapons glinted in the light of the fires below as they clashed again and again.
"Nothing else matters."
"Pantheon!" Yi called out to the Rakkor warrior. "Please! I need your help! Take Ahri and run!"
The Rakkor didn't answer at first. Pantheon first parried a slash from Leona's Zenith Blade, hopped a few steps back, and then turned to Yi. If the Rakkor held any resentment to the Wuju Bladesman for cutting his shield hand off, Pantheon didn't show it.
"Please! If you don't run, there will be no one left to stop Heian from destroying the world!"
"...Get out, find Jax outside of the Institute, and find some way to stop Heian."
"Everyone dies some day. I'm a soldier, not a scholar, but even I know that." the Artisan of War stole a glance back at Leona. "So why don't I die doing something I want for once?"
"Because you're the only one who can help!" The smoke was close to dominating Yi's mind. "Please. For Ahri. For Leona."
Pantheon stood silently for a few moments. He glanced from Ahri, who was still muttering, and he seemed to be thinking over the request.
Then, he sighed, and threw down his lance head down into the rock. His spear quivered as his hand left it's wooden shaft, and balled into a fist. He strode over and reached out to Ahri, who was still repeating the plan under her breath. "Come on, little fox. We've got more trials ahead of us."
Ahri reached out to Pantheon's huge, spade-like hands, and gripped it. In a single motion he lifted her on his shoulders, where Annie, still swathed in the cloth on Pantheon's back, happily greeted Ahri.
Yi stood forlornly off to the side. Seeing Ahri go clearly pained him. He was losing a struggle against the black smoke that would compell him to capture her at all cost. He almost wanted to let the smoke win, if it meant she wouldn't have to go. But he was resolute.
"Thank you for taking care of her."
"Hm! Just be alive to take her back." The Rakkor crouched. "She needs you." Pantheon stared deep into Yi's masked face. "But even I can tell you need her more." Damn, Yi thought tilting his helm down in slght annoyance, saw right through me.
The Rakkor stared up to the blackness above them. Somewhere above them was where the dark army dropped in their troops. His muscles clenched, and the rocks and dust about them began to quiver with the stored strength in them. A rumbling could be heard rising from the ground; as their elaticity was pushed to their limits.
Pantheon glanced back down, at Yi and Leona, who even now were struggling to stop themselves from attacking him.
"We will return."
From Pantheon's shoulder, Ahri looked up. Her eyes were still confused, but clearer now. She opened her mouth slowly, to speak the first words that weren't the plan.
"Get out, find Jax, stop Heian." She looked only at Yi. "I'll do it, Yi."
"I know you will," he whispered. "Good luck."
And with a warrior's shout, Pantheon leapt from the rocky platform of the Magma Chamber, rocketing from the hardened lava and into the inky blackness above.
"Are you going to be alright?" Yi asked, facing the Radiant Dawn. She was kneeling on the ground. Her usually shining red locks were matted to her skull; sweat caked the strong features of her face, and most of her ornamental pieces of her armor was bent, cracked, or snapped clean off. Blood slowly dripped out from inside her armor, but Yi could not see where she had been struck.
Leona gave a brave smile.
"Heh. The sun's glory can't be put ut by a few scratches like this!"
"Don't take it the wrong way, but I wasn't talking about your body. How are you holding up mentally, being forced to fight your childhood friend?"
"Never better." She closed her eyes in a sort of satisfied way. "I feel refreshed."
"You really trust Pantheon, don't you?"
She fixed Yi with her clearest stare. "Absolutely."
"You Rakkor really are amazing." Yi glanced to the side. Lee Sin was already removing himself from this impalement on the rock. Shaco was completely dead. And there was one more...
Master Yi turned to the last champion in the room. "Why didn't you join in?" Master Yi fixed the beast hiding in the shadowed with a helmeted glare. "Rengar?"
The Pridestalker's eyes gleamed from the shadows in the back of the chamber. He had been watching the fight the entire time. His voice came out guttural and animalistic, as usual.
"I... want to savor this hunt. It's no fun to snatch the up now. And what's more..." His rough tongue slivered out of his maw to lick his lion-like lips and his eyes gained a dangerous glint to them. "Prey always run off to find more prey."
"You mean to follow Ahri to Jax and the others outside?" Yi contemplated this. Then the Wuju master bowed, almost sarcastically. "I'm sorry. I thought you were too simple to come up with a scheme like that." He looked up, his face stoic. "You are more clever than I gave you credit for."
The Pridestalker did not rise to the provocation.
"When it comes to hunting, never underestimate me." He slunk back into the shadows. "Especially since next time... I'll bring with me real hunters"
A band of about twenty or so dark soldiers stood silent vigil over the magic-blasted rocks of the Proving Grounds. They all held in their grips crossbows, their bodies were wrapped from head to toe in armor of Onyx, and they were positioned at every angle along the Proving Grounds. Their watchful gaze covered every possible approach.
Except, of course, from above.
One of the soldiers noticed a shadow that seemed to have no owner, rapidly shrinking in a spot directly over him. Then a certain sound caught his attention; the shout of a manly voice from above.
Pantheon and his passengers landed with the force fo a meteor onto the cool, glowing rocks of the Proving Grounds. An explosion of dust erupted from the center of the Proving Grounds, shrouding the three champions who made it. As the smoke cleared, a spiderweb pattern of cracks could be seen blossomed in the slight crater that Pantheon had made with his Grand Skyfall. Dark soliders lay scattered about them, blown away by the force of Pantheon's landing.
Not to be fazed, the survivors started to envelope the three champions that had landed in their midst.
Pantheon raised his spear, ready to fight. But Ahri hopped off of his shoulder, to place a hand on his weapon. She looked up at him, and gave him a strained smile.
"I'll take these ones. I need to blow off some stress."
The Artisan of War said nothing. He only stared at Ahri, dumbfounded. His silence confused Ahri, and she cocked her head. Her smile got wider, but none of the warthm reached her eyes. She was still pissed.
"What, Panth? What are you looking at."
Still the Rakkor remained speechless. He lowered his spear, despite the slowly advancing soldiers around them, to raise a hand to his head. As if he were checking to see if something was gone. "You..." He finally managed to stumble out, "your head..."
Fed up, Ahri turned away from her companion, and to the cluster of dark soldiers. A thicket of crossbow bolts were leveled at her, slowly swallowing her up as the soliders shifted to surrounder her. More dark soldiers were streaming in from the opposite end of the Proving grounds. This should be a bad situation.
She held her palm out, and let the Pheonix Sun spin itself into a frenzy.
"Come on then! Come at me!"
She heard the Thwack! of the crossbows behind her as they fired, so she spun around to sweep the Pheonix Sun at them--
But to her surprise, she was greeted to the sight of the dark soldiers stumbling back, their crossbows discharged uselessly into the sky. One of them fell forwards, and Ahri could see that his helm was shattered. Black blood splattered the rock tiles of the Proving Grounds, as one by one, dark solider after soldier fell to some invisible force, like a hammer, that shattered their helms like glass.
She turned around, and she could see that even the stream of reinforcements from the other end was being whittled down by the same force. The sound of gunshots overwhlemed her. Dozens of them, fired in rapid sucession, filled the empty space of the Proving Grounds like a wave.
A lone figure leapt from the far end of the Proving Grounds, wielding a thin blade with deadly accuracy. The solo warrior lunged into the thicket of reinforcements, cutting accross the weak points of the dark soldier's armor with ease.
One dark soldier rushed at her from behind, a huge two-handed axe in his grip. The soldier struck downwards with crushing force, driving the blade into the solo warrior's back. Or so he thought. The warrior looked upwards, a smug grin on her refined face. She had caught the two-handed axe with the main gauche, the parrying blade that she kept on her back.
"Too slow!" She yelled out, as her rapier lashed out, and slashed the axe warrior from head to toe. Blood and obsidian tumbled out of the axeman's body. He looked as if he had been hit by an explosion, not a sword.
"A'ha." Fiora levelled her rapier in front of her, holding it point forwards, and with her free handle sprawled over the blade's edge, as if it were a spear. She fearlessly held out against the dozens of dark soldiers in front of her. "Prepared?"
The swarms of soldiers in front of her stepped back a few centimeters.
Fiora disappeared in a storm of slashes. She seemed to be buried underneath the weight of the troops around her. Then the blood and limps started flying. And a few minutes later, there was nothing left standing.
"Hm-hm." Fiora hummed to herself in a sort of self-satisfied way as she wiped the blood off of her rapier. Around her, the broken pieces of dozens of dark soliders. Black blood oozed through the cracks of the rock tiles like inky, sticky rivers.
"Didn't need to butt in." She called out, walking over to Fiora.
"Hm." Fiora didn't even look up. She just kept on cleaning her blade with a hankerchief, still wearing that unbearably arrogant smirk on her face. "Excusez moi. I 'ad no idea you were t'ere." She looked up, and sighed, eyes closed in mock-exasperation. "T'ey all vanis'ed so quickly I not notice Mademoisselle standing off to t'e side" She opened her eyes, another barbed retort at the tip of her tongue. "You know, you s'ould--"
But as soon as she saw Ahri in full, her mouth hung open and not a word escaped the Grand Duelist.
"Sacrebleu," Fiora muttered finally, striding quickly over to Ahri. "You... your... t'ey're gone..."
"What?" Ahri called out, annoyed. She turned, and noticed Pantheon still staring dumbly at her. "What is it?!" Annie rustled her way out of the cloth on Pantheon's back. Even the child mage was transfixed by the sight of Ahri for some reason.
"Pretty... Sis! You look pretty!"
"What?" Ahri sucked in a breath. She turned to Fiora, who seemed to have recovered.
"Mon Dieu." Fiora cursed, "You do not know?"
Fiora drew her blade, and threw it at Ahri's feet. The rapier clattered along the runic stone, glinting even in the dim light. The sword was like a mirror. She drew closer.
In the reflection, to her shock, she saw Master Yi's second latest wife, looking right back at her. It was Rixa, who died in Singed's chemical attack on her village. From beyond the looking glass, Rixa's soft black hair, and her deep dark eyes stared back at her, confusion and shock clouding her beautiful face. How could this be? Rixa for years was dead now. Ahri drew closer…
It wasn’t Rixa, she realized. She scarcely recognized the person in the mirror-- but there was no doubt of it. Her triangular ears had vanished, leaving rounded, human ears at the sides of her head. Her yellow, fox-like pupils had deepened in hue and shurnk, leaving twin beautiful pools of black in her face. She glanced down, and saw that her tails were gone too-- the only trace of them left were nine strips of cloths that lay about her, as a part of her dress. She shivered as the wind bit at her exposed legs.