Last Updated on 8/12/2012: Bonus Chapter(ff.net only)
The story has come to a close
A Little bit of Fanart I drew up. Hope everyone enjoys it!
Artwork on deviantART
Shadow of the Maven on Fanfiction.net
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: An Unlikely Encounter
Chapter 2: The Maven and the Shadow
Chapter 3: Two of a Kind
Chapter 4: The Implication
Chapter 5: Public Knowledge
Chapter 6: A Whole New Level
Chapter 7: A Brighter Tomorrow
Chapter 8: An Unexpected Visitor
Chapter 9: Crescendo of the Heart
Chapter 10: The Winds of Change
Chapter 11: Unforseen Consequences
Chapter 12: A Song for the Wounded
Chapter 13: The Night of the Shrouded Moon
Chapter 14: The Man With Two Faces
Chapter 15: No Hope for the Wicked
Chapter 16: The Wraith in the Blackness
Chapter 17: Where Shadows Fall
Chapter 18: One Last Remedy
Chapter 19: The Long Journey Home
Chapter 20: A Day for the Duelist
Chapter 21: Fragile Hearts
Chapter 22: Cracked Foundations
Chapter 23: A Silent Warning
Chapter 24: An Unparalleled Force
Chapter 25: The Voidwalker
Chapter 26: No Rest for the Weary
Chapter 27: As Daylight Dies
Chapter 28: A Whole New Tactic
Chapter 29: The Last Icathian
Chapter 30: Final Preparations Pt. 1
Chapter 31: Final Preparations Pt. 2
Chapter 32: An Untapped Energy
Chapter 33: Words for the Worried
Chapter 34: The 12 Pillars of Creation
Chapter 35: No Time for Doubt
Chapter 36: The Ultimate Sacrifice
Chapter 37: The Dirge of 1000 Tears
Chapter 38: A Feeling Beyond Time
Chapter 39: Resurrection
Chapter 1 - An Unlikely Encounter
The dimly lit halls of the Institute of War provided the perfect cover. In the dead of night he slipped out of his upstairs apartment. He always was accustomed to the darkness that seemed to surround him, and his knack for stealthy moves and silence earned him a reputation as “The Blades Shadow”. Nobody at this Institute fully understood what would lead such a person to join, for he was sell sufficient, and did not need the League, and yet here they found him, silent and disconnected, always watching, always listening, constantly observing the world around him, but never speaking.
Talon was a middle aged man, an assassin of the Noxian’s under the direct order of General Du Couteau, that is before his mysterious disappearance. Under the circumstances most would have guessed that Talon, being the man he was, would have simply left. Du Couteau had made him what he was, and the only reason Talon stayed with the Noxian was because he was the one person who he had not managed to best in battle. When the General came up missing most forgot about his Shadow Warrior, but Talon never forgot the man that had served to be the only mentor he ever had, and he had an iron determination to track down the General.
Of the champions in the League, it seemed, the only person Talon took any interest in was that of Katarina, the daughter of his missing mentor. Talon knew that she was completely and utterly capable of handling herself, but with his silent vigil he watched, waiting for anything that would threaten her. Although what he felt for Katarina was simply business. Being the go to guy for her father instilled him with a sense of protectiveness for the general and his family, and in the general’s absence he had sworn to himself not to allow any harm to come to either of his daughters.
In his silence Talon had overseen the events of the League with an eye that could see a mosquito flying from 20 yards away; an eye for detail that only a master thief of his standard could possess. It is with these eyes that he formed a close bond with an unlikely champion, although they never spoke.
He recounted many a night he would stand outside her doorway in the dead of night, simply listening, for the music that she played had an adverse effect on him. The melody would sink into his body and fill him with emotions that he had long since discarded. He cared little for emotions, and saw them only as the body’s way of hindering instinct. In his line of work instinct was the only thing that Talon ever needed.
He recalled the first night he’d heard the woman playing her music, and felt ashamed by the memory. It was on a night like this that he’d first crept from his quarters. He’d heard stories of a woman who played a magical instrument, and not only magical but valuable. The Etwahl would fetch a nice price in his network of thieves on the outside of the Institute of War, and it was for this reason that he left his room that night. His mind set on the instrument.
As he crept down the corridor the only thing that filled his mind was the thought of the gold that the instrument would fetch to the right buyer, but as he neared the room he heard it’s magical charm. It seemed to flow around him and embrace him, a feeling he had never felt before, and as he listened it was as if the music spoke to him. Every note played tugged at his heart, pulling apart the stoney skin that encased a man who had never felt connected to anyone in this world.
“What are you doing out this late” He heard a woman's voice but as he glanced back and forth he could not find a source.
“If it is me that you’re looking for than you need not look anywhere but your destination, if it is the Etwahl you desire, than you need not look anywhere but inside”
Talon froze solid ‘how do they know what I’m here for, and who is it that is talking to me.’ Still glancing side to side Talon’s vision betrayed him revealing now physical source of the voice filling his head. He continued down the corridor and stopped just shy of the room where the instrument was kept. The music grew in volume and with every passing second Talon felt his resolve weaken. The voice in his head grew louder and louder, but it was not angry, but welcoming.
“If you wish to find me than all that is asked of you is to open the door, but if you wish to find my instrument, you’ll find it tearing you apart, I know of you, and I know what your intentions are. Don’t assume that I will allow you to have what you want, for this instrument is mine, and mine alone. The heart of this instrument belongs to me, and as long as I draw breath it will remain loyal.”
Talon felt his arm inching towards the knob on the door, fully aware of what could be waiting on the other side. His mind told him calmly to stop, for he had heard tales of such enchantments before, the “heart” of an object could not be broken easily, and unless broken stealing such an object was a wasted effort, for without it’s rightful owner it would not be used to it’s full potential, and in many cases, would come up missing from the thief who had taken it.
As his mind told him to stop his body would not heed. His hand reached for the handle gripping it lightly and turning it, the door pushed open without a sound and what Talon found on the other side of the door mesmerized him. A young woman sat behind the instrument, gently plucking the strings, the music in the room was soothing and gentle. His left foot led as he stepped into the room, not of his own will, but somehow drawn to the music that was so ambient, and as he entered into the room he felt his body grow weak. The woman never raised her head to speak but Talon could hear her at all times.
“I have brought men with stronger resolve than you to their knees with this instrument, but I will not harm them, it’s not in my nature. The music I play has been said to bewitch the heart of man, and you are here, but why? The music I have been playing is no less enchanted than the clothes in my wardrobe, and yet you have entered my room, why?”
Talon tried to say something but no sounds came out, maybe he was talking but the music drowned everything else out. As he stood in awe at the sight before him he felt his legs begin to tremble under an overwhelming weight, and finally his legs failed him and he fell to the ground. Surrounded only by the music that had brought him to this room.
Chapter 2 - The Maven and the Shadow
As he opened his eyes Talon became instantly aware of where he was. He lay in his bed, with his head softly resting on the pillow. As he sat up he felt a renewed vigor in his body, a looseness in his joints as though he had actually become somewhat younger. Not to say that he was old and rusty, but the subtle aches that he’d become so accustomed to having no longer existed in him, and as he thought about the night before he wondered what had happened, and how he had come to be in his own room. Had it been a dream?
As he exited his room like any other day he found a piece of paper sitting on the counter in his apartment.
“You shouldn’t wander the halls late at night, especially if you plan to sleep in them, you’re lucky it was I who found you and not one of the Demacians.”
The previous night was blurred to him, and he could not separate reality from what he remembered. As he left his room he looked back and shut the door, walking slowly down the hall, the same hall he had walked the night before. As he inched his way down he saw the familiar door, the door where the melodies had come from, and the voice once again came over him.
“I’m glad to see that you’re awake, you did give me quite a scare last night, you should be more careful not to collapse in other people’s living quarters”
Talon ignored the voice in his head turning abruptly and walking down the stairs into the Grand Hall. It was this large open space that served as the border into the Institute of War. All around there were benches filled with champions conversing with one another, and just beyond the Grand Hall was a small terrace. As he walked toward it, he remembered that he had no plans today, if all had succeeded last night he’d be on his way to Noxus to sell the instrument to a life long friend of his, a friend who had no name.
As he entered the outside terrace he was blinded by the light that soaked the inhabitants of the place, he glanced around and saw a few champions sitting around and talking. He walked to an empty bench at the far corner of the courtyard and sat down, this was the only place in the courtyard that had any shade. With his eyesight recovering he looked once more at the sight in front of him, and the first thing he saw made him understand the sudden and unnatural burst of light as he came out from the Grand Hall.
Leona and Lux were sitting together and speaking. Talon had observed Lux quite a bit, she was a Demacian, and he kept a close eye on all of them. Many a time he had the opportunity to inflict his wrath upon them, but each time he found his body immobilized. Whether he liked the reality of the situation or not, every person at this Institute had indirectly shaped who he was, and as he looked at them in their vulnerable states he could not bring himself to harm them.
He glanced once more back and forth looking for anything else that had any significance, and saw Katarina, chatting with Cassieopia, and he decided that was the direction he should keep an eye on.
From the other side of the courtyard Katarina glanced and caught Talon’s icey stare.
“Why do you think he does that?” she said aloud
“Who does what?” Cassieopia added
“Him,” Katarina raised a hand pointing at him “all he ever does is sits, and watches. It’s creepy”
“He is sworn to protect you sister, and me as well.”
“I don’t need any protection, least of all from him,” Katarina said in an annoyed tone “I could probably beat him one on one anyday.” she added as she walked away.
Talon had seen her point towards him but paid no mind to it. He was aware that she did not like the fact that he watched over her in silence, but it was his own honor that bound him to her. In her father’s absence he was the only other that could protect Katarina from a foe that not even she could defeat.
As he relaxed a bit he heard the ever familiar sound of the voice in his head, a voice that was becoming a little to ordinary for his comfort zone.
“It’s a nice day out, the sunlight is wonderful, and yet you insist on sitting in the shade, some people will never understand the beauty that is so plentiful right in front of their eyes.”
He was tired of this woman already, he hated the way she could invade a person’s mind so easily, and that she would never confront him face to face. He looked around the courtyard once more but saw no sign of the woman. He looked up at the windows and saw her, peering from her room down, her eyes fixated on the spot where he sat.
“Good job you found me” the voice entered his head once more.
Just as the voice finished her figure disappeared and a few moments later she entered the courtyard with her instrument in hand. The place grew silent as she passed by everyone to go sit in the middle of the sunlight, and she began to pluck the strings gently, creating a melody that brought tears to the eyes of the surrounding women. As she played her eyes stayed fixated on Talon, as if watching for his reaction to the music.
Talon sat in relative indifference as this woman tested his patience. Everyone else in the courtyard was mesmerized by the sounds drifting from the instrument but Talon was not. He stood up and slowly walked by her, making direct eye contact with her, and he thought something as he passed by.
“Thank you for the compliment” The voice in his head sounded genuinely happy
He looked back and found her to still be looking at him, a smile spread across her face.
“My name is Sona, and I do hope you’ll come again tonight, to listen to the music”
As Talon neared the entrance to the Grand Hall he felt a great weight lifted from his shoulders and the music stopped, there was a gentle applause at the masterpiece that had been crafted in front of everyone in the courtyard.
Night descended on the League as fast as light had come, and Talon found himself lying in bed restless. He remembered earlier as he had walked by the woman, Sona, and looked at her eyes. They were beautiful, and as he looked into those eyes, it felt as though they looked straight into his soul. Why could he not get that moment off of his mind?
He sat up and placed his hands to his head in silence, and before long he found himself climbing out of bed and walking down the hall, just as the night before. He didn’t know whether it was himself doing this, or if it was a divine force that overwhelmed his body, but he slowly made his way down the hall, arriving at the door once more.
Chapter 3 - Two of a Kind
“Do you intend to stand outside all night, or would you like to come in?” The voice in his head welcomed him inside
The door opened without a sound and Talon stepped inside to see the woman in her night gown, sitting on the couch with the Etwahl sitting in front of her.
“Please do have a seat, I wouldn’t want you to collapse again.”
Talon didn’t know whether to take this kindly or as an insult and sat down any way. Sona began to pluck the strings ever so gently once again sending out an ambient melody, but this melody was one of sadness and despair. As the notes flew from her fingertips it reached a part of Talon’s heart that hit him hard, and the music wove a tale of his life.
Sona sat calmly behind her instrument playing as Talon was submerged into a methodical re-enactment of his life’s events. As she played Sona would periodically glance at Talon, trying to find any sign of something surfacing within him, and as she played Talon felt emotions well up inside him.
Since he was born he had never had a family, and the only kin he ever held were those who had taught him to fend for himself. It was out of this desolation that rose a man who was silent at all times, but a man who could read the hearts of those who stood in his wake. Many a time in battle it was like an extrasensory tool, he could use an opponents own weaknesses against them.
As the Maven plucked the string gently Talon felt the voice invading his head again, but he did nothing to fight it, for this time it had a soothing tone to it, and a reassuring feel.
“I’m sorry, if I scared you before, the whole telepathic communication. It’s a bit hard for some to get used to, but it’s my only way to communication. I, like you, remain silent all of the time, but not by choice. I understand what you went through as a child, whether you choose to believe it or not, but I too had no parents.”
Talon looked over to see the Maven not playing anymore but with her head buried in her hands, and tears streaming lightly down her cheeks.
Talon would have normally taken crying as a sign of weakness, but this woman was different. This crying was not over simple lost objects but over a loss of arguably the most important things in life. He stood up silently, readying himself to leave when he too felt an onrush of emotional agony that forced him back in his seat, as he raised his hands to cover his face it wasn’t sadness that filled him, but anger. He was angry at himself for being so cold and disconnected, but it was the best way for him to maintain his special kind of protection. He stood once more and sat next to the Maven silently and placed his hand softly on her shoulder.
She did not raise her head but her voice rang beautifully through his head.
“It is said that even men with the iciest of hearts can still show compassion, and I believe you have just proved that Talon. I did not mean you any harm last night, and was quite surprised by your sudden fall to the floor, I couldn’t understand what had happened, but I believe I do now.”
For the first time Talon’s lips parted and words escaped them.
“And what do you believe happened last night?” he said very calmly
“It was the music. The Etwahl has always been praised as an instrument of the heart, whether it be played using enchantments or not. It has a way of tugging at the strings deep inside all of us. I don’t think you’ve ever had an emotional confrontation in your life, and last night it all came at once, and it overwhelmed you.” the voice said softly as if whispering into his ear
Talon looked at Sona again and found now that she was looking back into his eyes, as if searching his heart for any sign of doubt, but she was correct, and Talon acknowledged it with a short nod. Sona removed her hands from the instrument and her arms found new nest around his body as she hugged him. Talon was not sure what to make of the action, but deep in his heart something clicked and he knew it felt right, and even before he realized it his arms were moving to match hers as he hugged the maiden gently.
It was an unlikely pair, an Ionian and a Noxian, but all the doubt that had been present in their minds at the time melted away as the warmth of that soft embrace washed over them.
Chapter 4 - The Implication
Talon awoke and realized that he was not in his room. He was laying on a couch, in a room that he recognized. He saw the instrument sitting in front of him, and remembered the previous couple nights. Here was his chance to take the instrument, and yet he could not bring himself to touch it. He remembered the events of the previous evening and the warm embrace that he had shared with Sona, and felt his heart rise in his chest. He got up slowly and exited the room, leaving everything as it was, and wondering what the day would hold.
As he closed the door behind him he found Katarina standing outside of the door way, with a smirk on her face.
“So the Blades Shadow spent a night out, that doesn’t seem natural for you.”
Talon took no heed to the words and walked past her silently. Katarina watched as he walked and deep in her mind she felt a happiness for the man she had come to hold as her own brother, though she would never admit it. As she walked down the corridor she thought about what could have happened in that room last night, but knew that Talon was incapable of doing anything out of impulse, and it gave her a renewed sense of faith in him. Whether Ionian or not, this woman had managed to crack the stone shell of a man who never spoke a word to anyone, and she was happy for him, and also for her.
Katarina was a woman who cared little for the romanticism of the real world, instead focusing entirely on becoming stronger, but as she thought about Talon, she found a renewed sense that maybe there was someone out there, who could have the same adverse effect on her, as Sona had on Talon.
She walked down the hall toward her sister’s room with a smile on her face, this time not a childish smirk, but a genuine smile. As she entered the room a pillow flew and caught her by surprise finding its way directly into her face. She stumbled back with an annoyed look on her face as Cassieopia began to laugh.
“And just what the hell was that for?” she said half heartedly knowing her sister was childish at times.
“Just reliving the past I suppose, it’s been a while since we were both allowed to be kids.”
She sat down and began discussing with Cassieopia the discovery that she had made just a few minutes ago.
“Really? With the mute girl.” Cassieopia said with a certain disgust
“Her name is Sona, and I do believe she deserves to be called by such.” Katarina said calmly
“And since when do you care for names, least of all the Ionians.”
“I hold no hatred towards an Ionian who is as pure as this girl, she has never harmed anyone in her life. She exists to make music that calms the rage of those around her. Have you ever listened to her play?” Katarina added, remembering a time in the past when she found herself bewitched by the melody of the Maven.
“I suppose I have heard her play before, but really? Talon came out of her room this morning? And what do you suppose they were doing in there?” Cassieopia said all of this in a childish seductive tone.
“Just because you used to be a seductress doesn’t mean that she is, there was something in his eyes this morning, they weren’t so cold, as if they’d been thawed. But I don’t believe they did anything of the adulteress manor.” Katarina added with a disconcerting look in her eyes.
She stood up and got ready to leave when Cassieopia added one last comment.
“And what do you think will happen when people learn of their new found friendship? Talon has always been dark and isolated, and this could come as a sign of weakness to the Demacian’s who may wish to harm him.”
Katarina left, simply adding, “They wont find out, will they sister?”
Chapter 5 - Public Knowledge
Even as they kept their relationship hidden, Sona and Talon stirred up a lot of conversation within the walls of the League. Champions noted the change in Talon’s appearance and daily routine, and also a new “glow” that seemed to envelope Sona. The songs that she played were more joyous than ever, and the whole League found themselves feeling more peaceful and kind. Talon made regular visits to Sona’s at night to listen to the beautiful music she played, and to talk.
As the weeks passed by he and Sona formed a very close bond, spending night after night with each other, wrapped in each others arms in silence. But the silence was never silent as Sona taught him how to talk with his mind, never requiring Talon to speak in his voice, and thus allowing them to communicate even in public.
His circle of protectiveness now extended further than Katarina and Cassieopia and he found himself constantly looking out for Sona as well, keeping a close eye on the fragile woman, ready to strike in a moments notice if anything would threaten her safety.
Katarina had taken up Talon’s routine and now watched over him, keeping an eye on his every move. She was happy for him, and felt that her “brother” would need help to protect Sona. There was something surreal about the way he looked at her, and Katarina could not help but feel it was a joint responsibility. All her life Talon had watched over her, keeping her safe from the shadows that surrounded the streets of Noxus, and now she repaid him by watching over the one person he cared about, not out of honor, but cared for with his heart.
One day as the sun poured out onto the courtyard Sona entered and sat next to Talon in the shade, this struck awe into the other champions around, but Sona didn’t seem to mind, and Talon shared the same indifference. Lux happened to be in the courtyard and looked on in awe as the two held hands and sat silent, but not silent.
Being Demacian, Lux should have taken this as a sign of weakness in the warrior that struck fear in the hearts of the Demacian soldiers, but she herself was of a soft heart, and felt a surreal happiness for the two of them as they sat together. Even Ahri was awestruck by the obvious attraction between the two of them. Her being a bewitching being as well seemed surprised. Ahri had many a-time tried to manipulate the heart of Talon with various charms, but each time his trained mind would block her attempts, and she wondered how Sona of all people had captured the heart of him, when even she could not.
Soon enough everybody in the Institute was aware of the romance between the two unlikely counterparts, but life continued as normal, with no threat to either of them.
Chapter 6 - A Whole New Level
It had been months since the night that Talon had snuck upon the door to the room of the Maven with the magical and valuable Etwahl, and as he recounted the events of the last few months he felt his heart flood with emotion, and felt the ever welcoming smile reach his lips.
He walked out his door in the dead of night, inching his way down the hall way to Sona’s room. As he reached the door it opened and she met him with a hug as he walked in. He wrapped his arms around her, and she buried her face into his shoulder softly nuzzling it. She moved her head up looking into Talon’s eyes and smiling softly. Before they were aware of it both their eyes had closed completely and their lips parted slowly, meeting each others softly kissing.
Talon wrapped his arms low around Sona’s back lifting her up and carrying her over to the couch and setting her down, she looked back up at him smiling, and he smiled back.
“Having a good day?” her voice was cheerful in Talon’s head
“It just got a lot better.” he said the words instead of thinking them
They kissed once more for what seemed like an hour and sat next to each other holding hands and cuddling on the couch. Sona stood up and looked back at him, motioning for him to follow her, as she slowly walked into her bedroom. Talon stood up and followed her, closing the door behind them.
They sat on the bed side by side and kissed once more allowing themselves to fall back softly holding each other close. Talon moved his hands lightly down her back as she pressed her body closer to him.
Sona pulled her lips from his and looked at him for a minute smiling.
“You’re a lot different from the man I met a few months ago,” the voice in Talon’s head held a very soft and gentle tone as it spoke, “I was unsure of you back then, and now I feel like I know you completely.”
Talon smiled and hugged her close as she continued to speak to him.
“You’re the only person I’ve allowed myself to open up to, and I was unsure back then why I was so open with you, but I feel comfortable now, I know that you care about me, and I care about you too, I know you’re not used to the feeling.”
There was a long pause, as if she wasn’t sure of the next thing she would say.
“I love you” the words came first from Talon and the same then came from Sona.
As they sat there smiling at each other both of them felt overcome by emotion and went back to kissing and cuddling. Talon softly ran his hands down Sona’s back causing her to shiver softly against him. She placed her hands on the back of his shirt lightly pulling it over his head, revealing a very muscular man.
“My my my, I knew you were strong, but I never imagine that strong” her voice rang seductively in Talons head.
As she had pulled his shirt of so did he do to her, adding in “My my my, I knew you were beautiful, but I never imagine you could get anymore beautiful”
As he stared at her his heart seemed to beat harder and harder in his chest, she fell over top of him pinning him down lightly and kissing him.
“Oh yeah, and what does a man like you, do with a beautiful woman such as me?” this thought was even more seductive than the last.
All Talon could do was smile and kiss her softly as they lay there with her over top of him.
“It’s easier for me to show you, rather than explain.” he said as he rolled over hovering over top of her and lowering himself to kiss her.
Chapter 7 - A Brighter Tomorrow
As the sunlight poured through the overhead window in the bedroom it shone bright against Sona's face. Talon's eyes opened slowly and when he finally gained enough awareness to tell what he was looking at he became filled with emotion. He stared at the woman next to him, thinking simply about how beautiful she looked bathing in the light from the sun. He slowly climbed out of her bed pulling the sheets back over her softly and kissing her on the cheek. He exited the room and entered the den and looked around. The room that he'd once only meant to invade for it's owner's valuables, was turning more and more into home everyday. He walked into the bathroom and turned the shower on. He climbed in and stood, letting the water run through his hair and down his body.
He recounted last nights events and couldn't help but smile. As the words went through his head he knew what he had heard was true, and that this woman was the one thing in the world that he knew above all else was true. Just as he finished remembering the door opened and Sona stepped into the shower next to him, smiling softly at him.
"Good morning." the voice in his head was cheerful and sweet.
"Good morning to you as well." Talon spoke the words wrapping his arms around her and kissing her softly.
As they stood there in the shower looking at one another both couldn't help but smile, but neither could find words to say, and they didn't have to. Words weren't necessary for them to explain how the felt, and a simple look into the others eyes would reveal the truth. As they looked into each others eyes they kissed again. Sona took a step forward nestling her body against Talon's and holding him softly.
After an hour the two emerged from the bathroom, clean and ready for the day. When they opened the door and stepped into the den however, there was someone else with them.
Katarina sat upright on the couch looking at the two as they walked out of the bathroom. The only expression she held was a childish smirk on her face, and a condescending look in her eyes. She did not say all the childish things running through her head, but simply nodded and left the room.
"What do you suppose that was all about?" Sona sounded concerned now
"It's nothing, she's been watching us like that for weeks now, I'm not quite sure why, but I promise everything will be alright." Talon's voice reassured her and she smiled at him.
As the morning drifted on Sona and Talon lay side by side in her bedroom, not wanting to leave one another for a moment, but this was the League and everyday held new possibilities. As the minutes passed by they counted the time they had left together, at least for the morning.
Talon had an assignment to run outside the city but would be back later that day. Sona had no plans but decided that she'd likely spend the day in the courtyard entertaining the other champions with her music.
As Talon got up to leave he looked back and kissed Sona softly.
"I love you" her voice rang through his head with a sweet and gentle tone.
"I love you too" he said allowed trying to match the sentiment of her voice.
Talon boarded the train silently, knowing that he had to focus on his assignment. Since he had come to the League he had an agenda of his own, and that was to try and track down General Du Couteau. He boarded the train this morning to meet with an informant, an old friend in Noxus who may know the whereabouts of the General, or at least, another missing link to the chain. As Talon stood on the train he ran the thoughts through his mind. How would he tell the General that he'd fallen in love with an Ionian woman?
Sona sat silently in the middle of the courtyard, her Etwahl by her side, and just as she was about to begin playing the strings Katarina appeared in front of her. In a hushed voice Katarina said.
"Do you think that we could speak in private? Don't worry, I mean you no harm."
Sona stood up and followed her to her room where she sat down on the couch. After a few minutes of awkward silence Katarina broke the ice.
"So Talon? What is it about him that captures your interest"
As she spoke the words Sona was unsure of what exactly it was about the man that had caught her eye. Perhaps it was his lack of emotions, or his sorted past. The man that she'd come to love was one of the most mysterious of the League, with only 3 people within it's walls outside the High Council knowing his past.
"It's not one thing about him that captures my eye. It is everything about him. His protective nature, his silent regard. Most would interpret his actions as being disrespectful, the way he never speaks when spoken too, but it's only because he doesn't know the correct way to say the things he wants to. He's a wonderful man, maybe a little confused about his past, but aren't we all?" these words rang in Katarina's head and she tilted her head slightly, wondering what all of that meant.
"More to the point, I want you to know that he is still loyal to my father. I don't want to sound mean, because I like to see him happy, and you have brought him that, but when my father is found, things could get tough for a while. I want you to know that I'm ready to stand against my father on the subject if it comes down to it. He loves you, and no loyalty in this world should ever step between that. I believe he realizes this already, but what he doesn't realize; is that his loyalty to you far outweighs his loyalty to my father."
"Then why are you hear to warn me? If you already know he will choose me, over the other?" Sona's tone becamse concerned again, and her face turned slightly pale at the thought of losing the man she loved.
"I wanted you to know that you two aren't alone in this. Me and Cass both can see that you're happy, and more so that you two deserve the happiness that you have found, no matter the cost. My father may be a powerful man, but he cannot separate the hearts of two individuals. I came to tell you simply, that you should not worry when the time comes, keep the smile on your face. Talon will do the right thing when the time arises. I know that he will."
Katarina slowly stood up and walked Sona to the door, just before she opened it she wrapped her arms around the Maven and added one last comment.
"He's like a brother to me, y'know? I'm really glad that he found you, and that things are going so well. He's never had anyone to call his own, and now he does, and I can't think of anyone else that suits the part as well as you do. I wish you both the best."
Sona walked out of the room silently with a renewed sense of faith in the situation before them. It seemed as though she was winning the hearts of all the right people, and the future looked pretty bright through her eyes. She went down the hall and up the steps, then to her quarters. She entered her bedroom and laid down on the bed, resting her head against the pillow and fell asleep; smiling because she knew everything was going to be alright.
Chapter 8 - An Unexpected Visitor
The inner cabin of the train was dimly lit and the faint aroma of corroding metal was constantly in the air. As Talon boarded he sat on the bench and it gave out a high pitched creak. He sat in silence thinking only of the task before him.
He'd received word a few days ago from a colleague that his former mentor had resurfaced. Whatever the circumstances were Talon took up the journey to Noxus in a heartbeat. Likely with people having witnessed the General's reappearance his captors would soon move him to a new location, and then he would be lost once more.
The ride was silent, but every fiber of Talon's being was reforming itself, bringing back the hardened warrior he had been at the right hand of the general. His eyes reverted back to their dark color and iced over. His face lost it's brightness and was replaced by a stone cold expression of indifference.
The train stopped and Talon looked out the window, this was his home. The station in Noxus of his choosing was one in the lower class portion of the city, a slum. This was the slum where he found himself as a child, and where his life as a thief had begun. Stealing from market stalls simply to live, and eventually onto more complex tasks of high class Noxian households. He made his living on the streets back then, and at every turn assassins had tried to bring him down, but none succeeded, until General Du Couteau.
The thoughts running through his head ended as he stepped off the train and smelt the familiar aroma of food. He was starving, he'd not had breakfast that morning and the train ride had only served to expand his growing appetite. But he had no time for food now. All that he cared about was his informant and finding his mentor before he was hidden once more.
As he walked down the streets of Noxus he remembered his way around. Locating the store where the meeting was to take place was simple enough and Talon edged his way toward the entrance. After 15 minutes of watching the place he saw a man tattered clothes open the door. This was the man he was hear to see, and as soon as the door was opened Talon entered the room, without a single person noticing.
"You're still good, but not good enough to fool me" the man in the tattered clothing shut the door and looked directly at Talon who stood in front of him.
"You always were a little better than me at these sort of things, you have the eyes to spot anyone who tries to sneak past you" Talon said this sternly wanting to cut the small talk and hear the news.
"Right then, no wasting time. 5 days ago a man matching the last known description of General Du Couteau was seen to be exiting a train in the lower district. Witnesses described the man as being an old man with glazed eyes and a stern expression, he was accompanied by 5 men wearing black suits. None of the witnesses saw any faces, other than that of the supposed General." the man in the tattered clothing was running his hands through his hair now.
"And what way did they head? Any other sightings in the other districts."
"That's the odd thing boy. Later that day witnesses saw the 5 men leave on the same train they'd come in on, but this time with no cargo."
"So you think he's in the city somewhere?"
Just as the words came from Talons mouth his eye caught something. Under the sleeve of the man's tattered jacket he saw a small glimmer of light. He focused and soon realized what it was. Rushing forward Talon seized the man by his collar and lifted him into the air with ease.
"What aren't you telling me Henry?" his voice was stern and threatening
The glimmer he'd seen was a bracelet, but not just any bracelet. It was said that in Demacia there was a master craftsman who made Jewelery that would sparkle in even the most dim of places. This bracelet was just such a bracelet, and in the utter blackness of this store it had shone it's light to Talon.
"What would a man like you, who claims to be so loyal to Noxus be doing with a bracelet like that." Talon forced the man back against the wall pressing at his throat.
As the man struggled for breath a figure appeared in the door way, and in a familiar voice Talon heard the words it spoke.
"It wasn't him who called you hear, it was me. This is the man responsible for all that has befallen me. He's a Demacian double agent who was able to stay out of my sight for the longest of times. Kill him, for he is a deceiver and a liar. Kill him for the glory of Noxus."
Talon looked over at the figure recognizing the man that stood before him instantly. As he looked on he was struck by awe and his body loosened slightly. He lowered the man slowly still pinning his chest to the wall.
"General, is it by you're order that this man be executed" Talon said sternly staring the man in his eyes.
With a short nod of his head the man confirmed his orders. Talon pulled the man away from the wall looking into his eyes and asking one last question.
"Is there anything you'd like to say before I administer a swift death, traitor?"
The man chuckled and spat in Talons face and said, "Kill me if you please, but don't think that 1 death will change the outcome of this meeting. I've heard the stories that come in from the Institute Talon, you've found yourself a *****. A mute Ionian *****, and you really expect people to be ok with it. You're more pathetic than the wretched peasants that live in the lower district of this city, but then again, that is where you were raised. It is all that can be expected of you."
With a swift flick of his wrist Talon drew his sword and ran it through the man's body, non fatally. For this man who mocked him, who insulted him and his childhood, he would make a special place in his memory for such an execution. As the man screamed in pain by the blade going through his stomach Talon was already working all over his body. Cutting at his arms and legs.
The man sat helplessly against the wall, tears running down his face, blood staining every inch of his body. Talon looked at the man with an icey cold stare.
"Pathetic? That's what you believe I am, and yet here you are, at the mercy of a man as pathetic as I? You don't deserve the air that you breathe." Talon spoke the words sternly and drew his blade across the mans neck, severing head from body.
He reached down and undid the bracelet from the man's wrist, holding it in his hand strongly.
"Do you know who's bracelet that is Talon?" the General said in a calm voice
"It's hers, I've seen it before, it was your wife's, and then Katarina's." Talon said as he looked at the precious object in his hand.
"That's right, it's been a long time my old friend, but we aren't safe here. We must move to a new location. Then we can catch up."
Talon and the General ran through the streets lightly using the shadows to hide them. As they rounded a corner Talon remembered a small apartment that he'd squatted in for a few months. The ran up the stairs and through the door to the small apartment. It sat unchanged from the time Talon had spent here in his teens.
"Where have you been sir? Your daughter's are safe, they are at the Institute of War." Talon did his best to be quick with his speech to allow the General time to speak.
"I've been underground. People believe that the Demacians had captured me and held me as a prisoner, but that is not the case. I went into hiding on my own accord. I couldn't afford to tell you or the girls about my plans, it would have compromised the underlying purpose." the general said this while taking a seat on the floor, "I learned of the existence of a double agent among my own people, and I knew that if I left, than things would settle in time. I've been in hiding these last couple years, waiting for the right time to resurface."
The General looked up at Talon smiling.
"What you did back there was unorthodox at best, but I suppose the man was looking for it. Keep the bracelet that he wore, it belongs to you now. Katarina can't know that I've returned. The plans aren't ready yet, and there are loose ends to be tied. As for you, you've fulfilled your requirement to me. I've always looked at you as being my student Talon. I respect the decisions that you have made in life, and I thank you for watching over my daughter's in my absence. The Ionian the man spoke of, I've seen her once. Years ago when she was but a simple musician I attended one of her concerts."
Talon looked at the general wondering how he could possibly know all of these intimate details of what happened within the Institute of War.
"My eyes have been watching over all of you Talon. Just as yours watch my daughters so do mine watch them and all the other champions in the League. She's a very beautiful girl, perhaps the bracelet will suit her a little better than it did Katarina."
The General got up leaving without looking back but added in, "Your services to me will no longer be required, if you do not see them to be necessary. It seems to me that you've started a life of your own at the Institute, and when your service to the League is over -- well I'm sure you and Sona will make something that lasts."
Talon watched as the general disappeared into the darkness of the alley, wondering why the General had been so easy to let him go. It was not normal for the General to be so unforgiving on such an issue. He was thankful that there would be no choice between Sona and the General. As he looked at the bracelet he clenched in his right hand he smiled, knowing that it would be the perfect gift for her.
As he boarded the train once more he tried to expel the memory of the man he'd killed today. He was no longer an assassin for Du Couteau, he was whatever he chose to be. As the train left the station the only thing on his mind was the night before, and all the warm and comfortable feelings he'd had with Sona by his side. He smiled and waited to return to his home, and the woman he loved.
Chapter 9 - Crescendo of the Heart
As he stepped off the train Talon was happy to be back. He'd been gone for nearly the entire day, and night had set in on the Institute already. He looked at the windows and saw that most of the rooms were dark, but where his gaze was focused the light remained on. He smiled and walked up the long staircase into the Grand Hall. The place was dark and no one was around. He took a left and walked up the staircase to the second floor, and down the hall to the ever familiar door.
He opened it silently and noticed that no one was around but in the bedroom he heard gentle breathing. He shut the door gently not wanting to wake Sona up. As he walked into the bedroom he found her sleeping, with a pillow held close to her chest. He looked at her for a minute and smiled. In her sleep, he thought, she looked even more beautiful than before. Everything about her was peaceful. Her body was nestled closely to the pillow that she held, her long light blue hair spread across the bed. As she slept she would occasionally move. Talon walked over to the bed quietly and laid down beside her. He pulled the sheets back up covering her softly and put his arms around her. He was home. He was where he was meant to be.
Sona rolled over and looked at him half asleep and kissed him softly.
"I missed you today." her voice was excited to have him back safely
"I missed you too. I got you something" he spoke the words tenderly to her.
From his pocket he withdrew the bracelet that shone it's light in the darkness. Sona's eyes opened wide as an even bigger smile appeared on her face. Tears began to form on the outer corners of her eyes and she threw her arms around him, nestling her body firmly against him.
"It's beautiful, but you didn't have too."
"When I saw it I thought of you. The way the light showed itself to me in the darkness. It reminded me of you. You're my light in the darkness Sona, and nothing is ever going to change that." he put his arms around her gently holding her against him and looked down into her eyes which were looking into his.
He lightly grabbed her left arm and held it up, slipping the bracelet onto it and kissed her softly.
As they lay there together Talon was completely at peace. It was an odd thing for him, and something that he had never experienced before. In his mind he replayed the words the General had spoken to him. He knew that this was the girl he wanted to be with, and he took great pride that the General had said they would form into something that would last.
"What're you thinking about." her voice founds it's way into her head as she brushed her nose against his
"Just how beautiful you are." Talon could not help but notice the amount he smiled recently.
Sona sat up letting her hair fall over her back. She grabbed onto Talons arms and lightly tugged motioning for him to sit up as well. They sat facing one another on the bed, smiling. Neither of them could find words to say to describe the way they were feeling at that moment. Sona gently moved her way up, sitting in Talon's open lap and placed her arms gently over his neck and kissed him.
"I love you so much Talon." her voice was tender and caring, and Talon found himself smiling even wider than before.
"And I love you too Sona." he placed his arms gently around her back standing up and holding her around his waist.
He faced the bed with her clinging to him softly and lowered her onto her back, with himself hovering over top of her. He ran his hand lightly down her sides kissing her softly as they moved. Sona began to blush but did nothing to hide it. This man, the stone cold assassin from the Noxian regime, was the only man in the world that had ever made her feel this way about herself. She lifter her arm looking at the bracelet and smiled once more.
"I haven't seen you all day, and yet in the small amount of time you've been here tonight I would swear we spent the whole day together." her voice was cheerful.
Her eyes sparkled as she looked at the glowing bracelet around her wrist, and as she looked up at Talon his eyes regained their color. She placed her hands at his waist tugging lightly at his shirt. Talon looked down at her and smiled. He bent down kissing her neck softly and then kissing her on her soft warm lips. She leaned up into it while gently sliding the shirt over his head. Talon lay down beside her and she nestled herself softly against his chest, resting her head below his neck. Talon moved his hands placing them softly on her back running them back in forth. As they lay there together both of them felt the same on rush of emotion, and the found themselves incapable of doing anything but look into each others eyes.
After what seemed like days of looking at each other Sona gently removed her night gown and re-assumed her position against Talon's chest. He looked down at her kissing her softly.
"And just what are you thinking about?" he said this in a childish tone.
"Well," she said seductively then paused "it's easier if I show you, rather than explain." she copied the words he had said on the first night.
"Is that so?" Talon said as he placed his hands gently on her waist. "Well I think I have a few things that I could show you as well"
The rest of the night passed on in a symphony of emotion as the two enjoyed each others company. When they had finished Talon laid on his back, his right arm wrapped around Sona. Sona laid by his side nestled against him, with her head resting on his chest. As they both fell asleep the sun began to rise, but it was the weekend, and neither of them had plans tomorrow, except for being with each other.
Chapter 10 - The Winds of Change
As the wind died down only one thing remained in it's path. As the figure knelt down propping itself only by sheer force of will it looked past path of destruction. At the end only the path hovered the heart of the tempest, her scepter gripped tightly in her hand. She spun the scepter once more and he felt the winds once again strengthen, knowing what would come next. As he looked both ways he saw no possible escape route, he was deadlocked into a corner as he awaited his fate. The winds met at the point of origin and as the woman let her scepter fly forward so too did the torrent that she'd created. As it came towards him he found his opportunity. A small change in angle allowed him to dash forward slightly narrowly avoiding the massive tornado and concealing him soundly in the bush.
He gazed out not knowing whether to stay where he was and wait for his opportunity, or to retreat back. It was his first match in weeks, and so far things were not well. As he stood his ground he strained his eyes to see an emerging figure coming through the lane. The figure hovered lightly in the air, their long hair flowing smoothly through the air. As he stood in the bush he held his breath; hoping that his eyes had deceived him, but it was not his luck. As Talon stood wounded in the bush completely hidden from the gaze of the enemy champions he looked at his love, standing next to the Storm's Fury. He could not bring himself to exit the bush and confront his foes, and as the blue light enveloped him, he had only seconds to think of a plan.
As he appeared on the start pad he felt the strange power renew him. He felt the weight lift from his joints and the vigor return to his body. He knew that if he stayed where he was he would have no other option than to live his most horrible nightmare. Although fake it was not something he would ever want to do. Laned against the woman he loved Talon stood motionless trying to find another way out of this situation. He saw one of his "allies" re appear on the start pad, and despite his best judgement he broke towards the top lane; wanting only to escape the inevitable. As he ran up he felt the immense power come over him and his body began to tense, with all of his might he fought but could not overcome the will of the summoner. His body turned but not of his own choice, and once again resumed his position in the bottom lane.
As he ran forward he found himself guarded by the minions that were ever plentiful. They piled in front of him creating at least a thin barrier to protect him from his enemies. As he ran forward he saw her, and so to did she see him. Her eyes grew very large and tears began to form at the rims; both of them knew that this was not a good thing. He threw his daggers forward striking the enemy minions with great force; the blades tearing through them like paper dolls. Every action he took was in direct opposition to what his mind told him to do. As he struggled against the power of the summoner so to did the summoner struggle to overwhelm the warrior. The mixing of the overwhelming powers at hand took a toll on Talon's body, and with each passing moment his body became more and more heavy.
1 Second, his blades once again found their target; striking Janna with cold force causing her to flee backward. His arms grew heavy.
2 Seconds, in the blink of an eye he found himself standing beside the sorceress as she hovered with fear in her eyes. His arm moved and his blade found it's mark striking her twice. His knees began to tremble with the growing proximity to her.
3 Seconds, his blades rushed out in all direction as he forced himself into the shadows, falling back behind Janna. She looked around startled, not seeing the man that had been beside her a second ago. She turned around to see him standing some distance in front of her, but it was in that split second that it all ended. As his blades shot back to return to their owner each one pierced through her body causing her to fall on the ground.
He turned to see Sona standing beside her tower motionless, and as he looked he caught eye contact with her. When he looked into her eyes all he saw was the fear that was present in her heart, and with one last burst of will he tried to break free of the summoners grasp. As he focused all of his will into this one command his blades flew once more, striking Sona briefly before he collapsed.
Blood dripped from the wounds in her arms, but she paid no mind to these injuries. As she looked forward all she saw was Talon on the ground writhing in pain as he tried his hardest to escape his nightmare. Just as soon as he'd fallen on the ground the dimly lit environment of Summoner's Rift turned pitch black, and all sight of each other was lost.
Chapter 11 - Unforeseen Consequences
The voices in the room were clear, though no one was visible. He didn't know whether he was dreaming or if he was awake. His vision was black and he was unsure of where he was. Was he blind? Or were his eyes closed?
"We're losing him." a voice came from his right
His heartbeat slowed and his breathing became irregular. He thought about the match and remembered his blades striking her. Even just once, and then blackness.
Over the course of a few hours he drifted in and out of consciousness not knowing whether to be afraid or not. His head was throbbing and he felt sharp stints of pain as nurses put IV's and other medical apparatuses into him. He could not open his eyes, nor could he move any part of his body. As he struggled to talk he felt his body tense once more and the sound of a machine beeping.
"His adrenaline is spiking!"
"Quick someone tighten his restraints!"
Why was he here? What had he done? Was Sona alright. All the thoughts passed through his mind as pain overtook his body and he screamed out in pain.
The screams echoed through the corridor where Sona sat on the bench, not knowing what was happening. She had been denied entrance under the pretext that he was dangerous. He'd managed to break free of the summoners' control of his mind, but at the cost of his own. It had been almost a day since he was taken to the infirmary, and he was showing minimal amounts of progress. It was said that only the strongest will could break the magic that linked summoners' to their champions, and Talon had proven his will to be stronger than any others.
Hot tears flowed down her cheeks as she listened to the sounds of agony that escaped the room. She heard the sounds of him writhing in pain as his body began to spasm. The restraints tore at his flesh.
"Doctor these restraints won't hold!" a nurse called out.
"Put him under."
He felt the needle enter his neck and once again the darkness overtook him. His body grew limp and fell back onto the bed.
"Wake up," the voice came from far away echoing slightly as it reached his ear, "are you still with us"
He recognized a voice he hadn't heard since many years ago.
"It's nice to see that you're able to come back to us."
He opened his eyes but saw nothing. The world around him blurred as he moved his eyes back and forth. As he stopped he managed to regain his focus. He was in the walls of the Noxian High Command. He looked down and saw his uniform shredded, blood staining his chest.
"Do you remember what happened?" General Du Couteau stood in front of him with a concerned expression on his face, "Did you finish the assignment or not?"
He tried to answer but no words came out, but the General nodded his head in satisfaction.
"Someone get over here and sew him up."
Katarina emerged from a dark lit hallway and began the process of stitching the wound on his chest. He lay back and let his eyes fall once more, and was once again immersed in the darkness.
As his eyes reopened he recognized the corridor of the Institute of War, and he stood outside of the doorway to his living quarters. Something looked different though, and as he searched his mind he realized that he was looking at the corridor as it stood the first night he'd arrived. He'd never had a home of his own and was not sure what to make of the place. As he reached out for the door knob he found himself unable to make physical contact with it.
'What is going on? Why can't I speak? Why can't I move? Why am I not able to control any of my actions?'
"Doctor he's coming back"
His eyes opened to see the bright lights of the infirmary. A woman stood over him looking down at him.
"Can you hear me, nod if you can"
He slowly moved his head nodding at the woman.
"He's back doctor."
"That's a good sign, but he's not in the clear yet."
The nurse moved off to the side exiting the room leaving only Talon and the doctor.
"My my that was quite a show you put on. Bet you didn't think things would turn out this way. Don't strain yourself trying to talk. I'll do all the explaining. Do you understand?"
He nodded once more showing that he was competent.
"Good. The powers that link a summoner to you are far greater than even you can imagine, which is hard for me to imagine given that you managed to overcome such an intense connection. You're in the infirmary here at the Institute of War. You've been here for 3 days and only this one instance have you been level headed enough to respond in any promising form. Your mind is fragile you know? You're lucky to have survived such a disconnection of the magnitude you suffered. There's a woman outside, she's been there since we brought you here, we've told her it's unhealthy to stay, and that she needs to rest, but she will not leave, would you like to see her?"
As he remembered what happened he was unsure of how to face her. He'd struck her, although not of his own mind, he'd still inflicted pain on her, and he didn't know if he could ever come to terms with it. He lived his life this way, always hurting people but never being hurt. He'd never had anyone to call family and had never had anything to lose, and now, the one thing that seemed to bring meaning outside work into his life, he'd harmed her, and he could not bare the shame of the situation.
He nodded his head slowly, feeling tears escape his eyes. The doctor left the room for a moment and returned with Sona by his side. She stood over him looking down into his eyes. As her eyes met his he felt the familiar pain rise in his chest and sighed painfully. Tears filled her eyes as she had to look at him in this state.
"Why did you do this to yourself." her voice was sad and lonesome
"I didn't want to hurt you, I knew they would make me do whatever it would take to win the match, and I didn't want to hurt you." he spoke with his mind so the doctor would not hear. His eyes scanned over her and saw that her arms were bandaged. "Looks like that didn't work so well."
His eyes began to shutter and his vision blurred once more. His body lifted from the bed and the doctor placed his hand on Talon's chest pinning him down.
"He is weak and exhausted. He's making a recovery but it will be slow. You should go and get some rest. He'll be alright."
Sona walked out of the room solemnly, feeling guilty for what was happening. She felt it was her fault for his being in this condition. Sadness blinded her judgement as she let the guilt fill her heart. As she walked slowly up the stairs to her room the tears once again streamed down her cheeks.
Chapter 12 - A Song for the Wounded
As she neared her room the tears only grew in quantity, and it wasn't long before she was outright bawling. As she reached for the door knob she did not notice the door was unlatched. She walked into the darkened room, unaware of the visitor that sat before her.
"There's no reason to cry, he'll be ok." the voice was unfamiliar and it filled her mind with such a force that it stopped the tears at once.
"Don't worry; I'm not a threat, and I've come here simply to reassure you that he'll be fine. He's been through much worse in his life, I would know trust me." the voice invaded her mind skillfully, but she could not place even a gender to the sounds that it emitted.
"Who are you?"
"Let's just say that I'm a friend. Someone who has known Talon for many a year. Things look rough now, but they will improve. He's not one to give up so easily. As for you, stop blaming yourself for this, because it's not your fault." the voice was soothing as it spoke to her, and even as the tears had not stopped flowing her cheeks began to dry.
"The barriers that surround this institute are beginning to strengthen, I was only allowed the opportunity to be here for a short while. The answers that you are looking for rest only in your own heart, and the object that is linked to such a beautiful heart is the key to his revival." the figure stood up but she could not make out anything about it.
"Please tell me your name, I need to know who I'm speaking to." her voice pleaded for an answer
"I'm the man who took Talon in when he had no where to go. The man who trained him to be all that he could be. You know my daughter Katarina, and I'd ask that you not allow her to know of my return. When I heard of Talon's injury I found the trip necessary. I knew that you would need reassurance, and I know that you have it within you to heal his body and his mind. You are gifted as you are beautiful. Your gifts are what will bring him back from wherever his mind has been lost. You can call me the General. General Du Couteau, and I might add, Thank You. For the beautiful concert you put on 5 years ago. But I must be leaving now, please do keep this meeting our little secret." the figure slipped out of the doorway before Sona could respond to what it said, and as she walked to watch him leave she saw no one in the halls.
She wasn't sure if she was losing her mind or not but thought about the words the figure had spoke. What did he mean by "Your gifts are what will bring him back." As she thought about the words the bracelet that Talon had given her glistened in the darkness of the room. She looked at her wrist quickly, not remembering having ever taken it off. As she walked across the room to retrieve it the light it gave off intensified, revealing that it sat atop her Etwahl.
As she stared at the instrument the pieces clicked together in her head, and she knew immediately what had to be done.
As the night passed by she played the instrument allowing her emotions to flow forth from her fingertips. The sounds were audible and not recognizable by anyone in the Institute, but as the waves of sound traveled through every inch of the building, so to did they echo through the infirmary.
Talon lay unconscious in his bed, trapped in his own nightmares, moments in his past that haunted him.
He opened his eyes to reveal a bright and sunny day. He did not recognize the landscape, and all around him the trees seemed to close in on him. In the distance he heard the melody. Though unconscious he was aware of everything that had taken place, and he recognized the sounds, and he struggled to find his way back to her. Twisting through the forest he followed the smooth and gentle melody, constantly tracing it back to it's source. After what had seemed like an eternity trapped in the forest, not knowing if he was moving in a circle or not a light appeared. Everything around him turned completely black except for a single point in front of him, that glowed bright white. As he neared the light he recognized the bracelet immediately. As he grasped the object in his hand his eyes opened once more and he gasped for breath.
"Can anybody hear me?" Talon spoke the words not sure if he was dreaming or not.
"I can hear you just fine." Sona sat beside him in the darkness of the infirmary.
"How did you know what to do?" he asked her quietly
"I got a little help from a friend."
Talon looked over at her, the bracelet lighting the darkness that filled the room, she place her hand lightly against his cheek and kissed him.
"I'm so sorry for everything. I never meant to hurt you, and I never meant to make such a big mess out of things."
She kissed him once more speaking to him softly in a tender tone.
"It's alright. None of your actions were your own, and you proved that by what you did. You gave me quite a scare, but I'm just glad you're okay."
Talon began to move his arm, realizing that he was no longer restrained to the bed. He stood up wrapping his arms around her softly and lifting her up.
"We've spent enough nights apart, what do you say we spend this one together." he said the words as he carried her out of the room and back up the stairs toward her apartment.
Chapter 13 - The Night of the Shrouded Moon
As they entered into Sona's apartment Talon still carrying her he turned the light on. Resting on the couch there sat a piece of paper, folded delicately and placed directly in the center of it. He recognized the symbol it bore at once, and picked it up, slipping it into his pocket as to not worry Sona further. They sat beside each other on the couch, there arms wrapped closely around one another, not wanting to lose the other. Talon smiled softly, trying to conceal the uneasiness of his mind. He once again picked her up lightly, and she wrapped her legs softly around his waist. He kissed her lightly entering the bedroom, and falling backward onto the bed. He landed softly and Sona rest atop his chest.
"How are you feeling?" she said in a concerned tone.
"I'm feeling fine, but let me see your arms please."
She held her arms out and Talon looked at the bandages. His heart sank as he remembered what he had done, and he lightly undid the cloth wrappings to reveal that her arms were no longer cut, and not a scar remained. He looked at her and smiled.
"Forget about it. Please? You had no control over what you did, and the damage has been fixed." her voice sounded solemn as her bright eyes looked directly into his.
He felt the familiar feeling that her eyes brought; as the searched his mind for any sign of doubt. Sona lay down resting her head softly on his chest and breathing gently. It is there that the night ended; her head resting lightly on her chest, his arms wrapped gently around her back.
When he woke up the next morning Talon walked slowly to his apartment, remembering the note he'd found last night. The symbol on the paper was one he'd not seen since his days of service to the Du Couteau's. His orders would often times be printed on such a slip of paper, bearing the symbol of the Shrouded Moon.
The Shrouded Moon was an organization that existed secretly within the Noxian High Command, and to this date none of it's members had ever broken the code of silence. Talon wondered why the paper would be placed so indiscreetly. The Shrouded Moon was an organization forged from secretism and no one would compromise it's existence by placing the note where he found it.
As he walked into his room he shut the door behind him. He opened the note and a small golden ring feel out.
"Talon, the time is drawing near and our plans will be realized soon enough. We expect that you will join us on the night we hold so dear. The night where our shadows will cast the enemies of Noxus into their graves. We send this note to you so that you're aware of your ever present obligation, under the order of General Du Couteau. Even in his absence our plans can be postponed no longer. Ready yourself for the night, we expect to see you soon."
As he read the note the memories filled his head. The Night of the Shrouded moon came once every 10 years, and on this night those trained in the art of stealth at a masters level could shroud themselves from the sight of anyone. Much like the wards that existed in the League, there existed ways for people to uncover their stealth, but on this night, the Moon would be blackened by an eclipse, and the power of those who knew of it's presence would use it to evade any detection at all. 10 years ago Talon had used it's blessing on a long line of assassinations within the walls of the Demacian capital city.
The note crumbled at Talon's fingertips revealing another, smaller slip of paper, with handwriting that he recognized as the General's.
"Do not believe the things that the Shrouded Moon have said. The note you recieved is accurate, but it is a falsity of their true plans. The targets that are set to be eliminated on this years moon are enemies not of mine, but enemies of the order. They've grown corrupt in my absence, wishing only to further their own power within the government that I established. I would like to see you on that glorious night, so that we may eliminate those among us who have committed this treason against me. Do not let them know of any suspicion, and follow them as if you're aware of the plan. The traitors will be dealt with before any innocent blood is shed. This is my final request of you.
P.S. The ring should compliment the bracelet nicely. I was never able to give it to my wife before she passed, and so I give it to you. Make her happy Talon, and when all of this is over, you'll find your way back to her."
He looked at the ring noticing a glossy gem resting atop it. The gem emitted a faint energy but it was not powerful. He lay down and closed his eyes, thinking of what he should do. At last he decided that he would carry out the General's wishes, and then hang up his title for a more peaceful lifestyle.
He gripped the ring lightly in one hand as he stared at it in awe; not knowing how to present it to her. As his mind thought through multiple options simultaneously he decided upon the one he saw the most fit. He stood up and walked back down the hallway, he'd been gone for an hour, and he hoped that Sona would not be awake just yet.
He entered her room silently and laid beside her softly. Not knowing how he would present the ring to her. He had his mind set on the decision, but as he lay there he could not think of the words to say.
"Good Morning." her voice was half sleepy but still cheerful.
"Good morning." hearing her voice he found a renewed sense of courage as he held the ring in his hand lightly. "I have something for you, something that has been passed to me by an old friend, something that I hope you will like."
She turned around looking at him with tender eyes and kissed him softly. He stood up kneeling at the edge of the bed and looking up at her. He smiled as his eyes met hers and saw her face light up in the morning light.
"Since the first night that I came to this room I've felt something, something I feel only in your presence. A sense of serenity that I was never used to feeling before, but a feeling that I never stop feeling now. It brings me joy, and it bring me happiness, just as you've brought me both. When I was growing up I considered myself a loner, and I never foresaw any chance that I would find a woman least of all a woman like you. My past is assorted, and it contains many things that I'm not proud of, but when I'm around you I feel like I have the power to become stronger, and the power to become a better man than I was before. Each day I take a new step in trying to right all that I have done wrong. It's easy especially with you by my side, and I want you to know; that I will always be by your side. The last 6 months have brought me a lot of blessing, but the first blessing they brought was you."
"You're so sweet Talon, but what is this all about" her eyes seemed to scan him for any sign of a deeper message in his monologue.
"What I'm trying to say is. Sona, I love you, and I will never stop loving you." his hands moved even before he could tell them too drawing the ring within sight of maven.
She looked at it with tears forming at the rims of her eyes. She pulled him up beside her holding him closely against her and kissed him.
"Sona, will you marry me?" the words escaped his lips instinctively. He hadn't planned to say it at just that moment, but his mind could not stop him from voicing the underlying question to all of his words.
"Of course I will."
As the ring drew closer to the bracelet both shone with tremendous luminosity. The ring hovered lightly moving it's way onto Sona's hand as she stared in amazement. Talon was at a loss for words at the event that he'd just seen, and also by the happiness that he felt flooding his heart.
They walked slowly out of the room and down the stairs, finding a nice place to sit in the courtyard. They sat side by side, not caring what the other champions had thought; their hands clasped gently in the others. Lux looked over toward them with a smile on her face. She stood up and slowly approached them, noticing the light that the two objects gave off. She recognized the craftsman ship immediately, and as she walked she found herself not fearing this man anymore.
"Sona you're absolutely glowing." she said with a childish giggle. "The bracelet, and the ring as well. I know the man who makes them, he's the same man who crafted the crown jewels of Demacia."
Talon was unaware of the status of such a craftsman, and as he looked at his bride-to-be he smiled once again. His thoughts ran to the thought of the General, who had blessed him with both items.
"I'm glad for both of you, I never thought in my wildest dreams, that there was a soft spot to you Talon. You've come a long way from where you were before, and I'm proud to say that I do not view you as an enemy anymore. Everyone at this Institute gets along so well, and I hope that in the future we can learn to get along as such."
Talon looked at her with amazement in his eyes, and even though he'd been part of the Noxian High Command, esteemed member of the Shrouded Moon, and had always grown up hearing how inferior the Demacian's were, he found a spot in his heart for the comment, and so to did he hope to put the past behind him, and become more acquainted with the vast amount of gifted people that called this Institute home.
Word spread quickly among the champions of the new Talon. The man who's anger and hatred had once struck fear into the hearts of his enemies had been welcomed with open arms into the family that the Institute of War provided him. The news of his proposal spread as well, and everywhere he turned their were the kindest wishes for both he and Sona. Lux had volunteered to help with any planning involved, along with many of the other female champions.
Though he allowed himself to be momentarily distracted by the glimmering happiness that the League offered, he did not forget the Night of the Shrouded Moon. As he sat with a smile on his face he concealed all the inner workings in his mind, thinking constantly about what awaited him in Noxus. He'd not seen the organization in over 5 years. He was unaware of any progress the members had made, and he found himself fearing the night. The night he would cast the traitors into their graves, and so might he be cast into his.
Chapter 14 - The Man with Two Face
As he exited the train he once again stepped into Noxus. It was a very calm day, but tonight things would be different, and Talon didn't allow the last bit of peace left sink to far in. He went about his preparations with haste. As he walked ever close to the gates of the Noxian High Command all of the words he'd read ran through his mind. He felt himself dreading the coming night, and the inexplicable bloodshed that it might bring. Before he would have flourished in the excitement the night brought, but now with something to lose he found himself wishing he'd never come.
The gate opened slowly and as he walked through he felt out of place. He had not been to this building since he had join the League shortly after the disappearance of General Du Couteau almost 5 years ago, and now as he looked upon the building it seemed so foreign. He'd always felt like a stranger in the world; never having a place to call home, and simply wandering from place to place. Now he felt like a stranger in the one place that had ever really been a home to him, and his heart sank at the feelings of despair.
As he entered the building he hung a left and took the elevator down 16 floors into the heart of the Shrouded Moon. 16 Floors underground was a suitable place for it's members to convene out of the light of the government that was unaware of their presence. He opened the large double doors and stepped inside seeing familiar face after familiar face, but these faces were the faces of friends no longer, and when he looked at them all he could see was traitors. As he looked around he noticed a face he did not recognize, but he paid no mind to it. In his absence it was only correct that the order had filled his place with a new assassin.
"Talon it's good to see you came, are you prepared for the night ahead of us?" Talon turned around expecting to see a former ally, but in his wake stood the stranger who looked at him and with a wink and then vanished.
Could this have been the General in disguise, and Talon saw it to be the most likely possibility. He chose not to confront the stranger anymore, not wanting to draw suspicion to himself. He took his seat around the large Circular Table that stood in the center of the room. Atop the table sat a hologram emitter showing the faces of all the targets for this evening. As he stared at them he saw that none of them were enemies of the state. Each one of them was a face he had seen before; each of them a member of the High Command. Every one of the targets had been identified as a traitor to their government but as Talon scanned the faces through his mind he soon realized the intentions of the Shrouded Moon. 13 Targets had been marked for death, and 13 assassin, not including himself, made up the ranks of the Shrouded Moon. Talon saw through the deception with his own eyes, not even needing the general's warning on the matter.
A man walked by silently handing him a slip of paper, his order printed on it. The orders were vague giving a time and a rough co-ordinate of where the person would likely be at that time. It gave no names but simply a number, and as Talon watched the holograms again he found his man. He recognized him as the man who had taken over the High Command after General Du Couteau had vanished. His name was changed, and he appeared to be a much older man now. As he stood up he turned around to leave, there was no briefing or planning. Each member made their own plan on the spot. To them it was a game of life or death.
He walked through the streets of Noxus waiting for the sun to set, passing idly by the shops in the market place. A man approached him. He was a short man of about 40 years old and he wore a blacksmiths apron. He did not say much but the story was told in his eyes.
"Come with me, all the plans are in order. There is something you require." his eyes looked at Talon piercing through his body.
As Talon followed the man into a well kept shop he thought about what this endeavor could possibly be about. He felt the heat from the forge and as the entered the back room to the shop he saw a figure standing in front of a table. They entered the room quietly and the figure turned to reveal his identity as the General.
"Glad to see you made it Talon. This is an old friend of mine, but we won't bother with names, if it comes down to it, I wouldn't want anything to happen to him involving our plans tonight."
"Alright, why was I called here?" Talon wished to get straight to business hoping it would make the day go by faster.
"As soon as I sent the note to you about this night I commissioned this man to forge you something. Your sword has always been faithful to you, but I felt like it could use an upgrade." the general stepped side ways revealing a masterfully crafted sword of black metal.
"This metal is one of the rarest in the world, and also once of the strongest. I came across it in my travels while I was gone, and I knew that i would have a use for it someday. So I salvaged a large chunk of it and had it transported to the city in secret, if anyone had caught wind of the transportation it surely would have been stolen. To say the least this sword alone could fetch hundreds of thousands to a private buyer, it is not a cheap weapon, but it will serve you on this night."
"What is the metal called sir?" Talon directed the question towards the general.
"I'm not sure to be quite honest you'd be better off asking him."
"The metal that forged this sword is a metal only found on the battlefields of ancient times. Some say that it was metal transported directly from the void itself but this is not true. Back even before the first Rune War there was a great war amongst the land of Runeterra and the Void. Back then evil magics drew the two planes closer and closer, and due to it's unwatched nature a temporal rift split through the sky, raining fire and brimstone from that hell onto our earth. The kings of that time commissioned and expedition to dig underground, originally a fail safe if they were unable to repel the beasts that threatened their lands and their people. During the digging crews discovered a metal, pitch black and ice cold to the touch. Everything they had at that time failed to break the metal in front of them, but after obtaining high enough heat, using the ever present magic around them, they managed to melt the metal. They used it to forge the weapons that were used to combat the void, and after the war was done they saw it only fit that such a powerful metal be locked away out of the reach of people who would use it to conquer. So they threw all the weapons into the void, knowing that void creatures would be unable to use them. The metal is called by many names, but the one that stuck was the name of a sword, forged from the metal back then. It was wielded by a strong hero, and he called his sword Starcry."
"So the metal is known as Starcry then?" Talon looked at the man calmly
"That is correct. The metal has it's own unique properties. For instance it is the densest metal that we know of a this time. Along with that it is a super conductor for runes that may be attached to it, amplifying their power tremendously, but it also acts as a sponge, retaining the magic the runes emit more efficiently than any other metal. It is ice cold to the touch no matter what temperature the weapon is stored at. It's an incredibly heavy weapon, and this is where your eyes have failed you. What you see before you is not one sword, if it were a single sword it would be much to massive for you to handle in combat, at least combat as you know it. What rests in front of you is a set of dual daggers, both weighing 20 lbs. It seems a bit much, but I think a man of your size can weild them with tremendous ease. I've done everything I can to make these daggers as aerodynamic as possible, and you should be able to do your job well with them." as the old blacksmith finished his speech he walked over to a small box that sat at the corner of the table and withdrew two small orbs placing them on the hilts of each dagger.
"These have been outlawed and confiscated in days past, but I've been saving them for an occasion such as this. These are runes that have been handed down through my family over the years. I'm not sure of their actual power, but I pass them on to you Talon."
As he placed the runes onto the hilts the daggers glowed with a tremendous energy. The heat from the connection fused the runes to the hilts and left no way of separating the two. As Talon took hold of one of the daggers he felt the power course through his body and as he lifted the dagger he felt the air in the room shift as it circled around his arm. The dagger did not feel like it weighed 20 pounds, but felt almost weightless in his clutch. The rune connected to the bottom glowed brightly.
"Thank you, they shall serve their purpose well" Talon said this calmly.
The blacksmith exited the room leaving a piece of paper atop the other dagger. General Du Couteau looked at Talon.
"You should read the note, I think it will lend some insight to you."
As he grabbed the note he opened it hastily and read it's words. When he was finished his mouth hang open, his lungs not breathing. His eyes were wide and tears began to form at the sides of them. He could not believe the note, not this way. The General looked on in silence stating only one thing.
"It's the truth Talon, he wanted better for you than the life of a black smith, and can you not say it's what you have now?"
Talon could not bare the knowledge that had been instilled upon his mind. The man that made this sword had said that the runes were only passed through his family, and now he'd passed them on to a man whom he had never met a stranger, or was he?
Talon dropped the noted on the ground and stepped on it, blacking out it's entirety other than one line.
"Make good use of them, my son."
He walked out of the shop into the daylight not knowing how to feel. All he knew was that the sun would set soon, and when it did, the answers would become clear to him. His mission drawing ever closer, he looked only forward, to the next day, when he would return to his fiance, and would have no more encounters of this sort.
Chapter 15 - No Hope for the Wicked
The sun inched it's way down the horizon. Second by second the light faded into darkness, and as it wrapped itself around Talon he became one with it. Drifting through crowds he knew not where to go. He had been told that this night would be the night to cast the traitors into their graves, but beyond that statement there were no orders. He'd left the General back at the shop. After reading the note he'd gone to rest, not allowing any hint of emotion to escape his mind. As he stood in the streets he felt like a ghost, but even ghost was an understatement for what he was. He figured his best bet was to simply be at the place that he'd been assigned to, and as he moved in the direction he was ever vigilant to watch for any sign of the General.
As he entered the town square he looked at the slip of paper, and then at the large clock that stood in the center. Only 15 minutes until his mark would show himself. As he stood in the shadows he felt a hand pulling at his sleeve, and when he looked back he saw nothing. A few minutes passed and the general appeared in front of him. His face was stone and he looked at Talon with eyes blacker than the night itself.
"You were their scapegoat, I assume."
Talon looked at him with question in his eyes.
"Look at the moon."
Talon looked up to see the moon shining bright in his eyes. He understood what the general had said.
"The night has not yet cast it's shadow on you, and yet here you are waiting for your target. This is one of the most public regions in the city and they set you up to fall on their behalf."
Talon clenched his fist tight, knowing that he'd made a mistake in judgement. He'd allowed the events of the day to cloud his mind and in turn had forgotten that the moon still cast it's light, and it would for at least another hour.
"Come then, we'll let our target have his evening stroll, we have some intel to gather" the general said this walking away swiftly as Talon followed.
They came once again to the gates of the high command. The entered and headed directly in the direction of the Shrouded Moons' Headquarters. Instead of taking the elevator down 16 floors they took it down one floor deeper. The general pulled a keycard out of his pocket and scanned it into the computer and the doors opened.
"You've never been here before, nor does this place exist to anyone other than myself and a few other privileged individuals whom I'd trust to my dieing breath."
As they walked further into the darkened halls the lights began to spark into activity as if they'd not been on for years. All around them the sound of a mechanical whirring.
"This is the archive Talon. It's a mechanism of my own power, it automatically downloads every file of any computer based on the Noxian network. It's how I discovered the betrayal in our midst. Nobody knows that I have the capability to single handedly monitor all the information sent, received, or stored in this city, nor do I intend for anybody to ever figure it out. We'll use the archive to retrieve the list of targets for tonight, and we will make our moves as they make theirs."
The general approached a hub and touched his hand against the glass extending a keypad his way, and as he typed the names of the targets appeared on the screen before them. They eyed the screen in discontent as the general recognized all the faces on the screen, not one of the deserving the fate that would have seemed so imminent only a few days earlier. He jotted the names and places down in a small list and he and Talon exited the complex.
As the moon raised higher and higher into the sky so too did the eclipse draw nearer, and as the edges of the moon grew dark so too did the assassins fade into the shadows.
"How will we find them when they are cloaked?" Talon asked
"We will stick near their marks as best we can. When they make their move there will be a very brief opportunity for us to see them. They themselves are cloaked but their weapons will still shine with the light from the streets. You must watch closely for the blades to fly. It's why your blades are black, they will not be visible at all."
As they entered the location for the first hit they stood vigilant watching for the target. When they saw the man they immediately took up space by his sides, walking silently and shrouded. The man was unaware of their presence, and also unaware of his impending fate. As they watched all around them they saw nothing. Then out of the corner of his eye Talon saw the last portion of the moon become blackened. He looked in all directions watching his surroundings for any sign of the impending peril that lay ahead.
In the darkness of the alley he sat. Waiting for his mark to come into sight. As he looked on silently the only thing that filled his mind was the promotion the assassination held for him. He was one of the members of the secret organization that would overthrow the government. Thirteen assassination all in the walls of Noxus, but not one culprit would ever be brought to justice. As he caught his first glimpse of the man walking through the streets he felt his heart begin to race. He took a deep breath trying to control the excitement that coursed through his veins, and as he looked on waiting for his moment a maniacal grin occupied his face. He slipped out the alley concealed by the shadows around him. He followed the man from a distance, not wanting to put himself to close when the body fell. He saw his opening.
As they walked through the streets following the man marked for death Talon felt the anticipation building inside of him. As he glanced in all directions he caught his first hint as to where the assassin would come from. There was water in a nearby alley way that sat still except for small ripples coming form the edge of it. He saw the position of the ripples origin moving unnaturally but did not see any cause for it to be happening. He kept his eyes peeled in that direction. His heart raced each second that passed wondering if his eyes had deceived him. That's when he saw the flash of steel from 7 yards away. It was a small throwing dagger, and as the assassin flicked his wrist it flew directly towards his mark. Talon brought his hand into the air catching the dagger between his fingers. He rushed in the direction it was thrown and stood silently.
The sound of heavy breathing was the only sound that escaped the assassin. He was unsure of what had happened but his dagger had missed it's mark entirely. As he stood still trying to line up another shot he felt the air escape his nostrils with heavy sound. Unaware of the man standing directly in front of him.
Talon heard the sound of air escaping the nostrils in front of him, and as he stared at blank space he wondered who it was that would taste the metal of his daggers first this night. He flicked his wrist and felt the resistance from bone on the other end as the dagger forced it's way into the body. He heard it exhale loudly as it tore through tissue and severed the bones. In front of him the man became visible and blood ran down the sides of his mouth. Tears rolled down his cheeks and for a second there was a short scream. Talon moved his other dagger into position and drew it across the traitors throat silencing him, as the body dropped to ground it released a heavy thud. Talon walked away slowly, still concealed by the shadow of the moon.
The night carried on this way, and with only one mark left to protect the general left it in Talon's hands. He had business to attend to at the archive. By now the datalogs would be updated and those inside Noxus that needed to know would know that he had returned, and he would greet them with his own steel.
Chapter 16 - The Wraith in the Blackness
Time was running short and Talon grew fearful. The last hit of the night would be in the hands of the most skilled assassin that the Shrouded Moon possessed. It was set to take place less than 5 minutes before the moon would inch it's way back into existance, and the light from it would reveal everything. He increased his pace making haste towards the area that was listed. With uneasiness in his heart he looked from side to side looking for any sign of this final target. He looked at the name again and tried to remember the faces he'd seen earlier but the streets were empty. As he looked forward he saw one man standing alone in the darkness and decided this was the man to be protected.
He recognized the man as the new leader of the High Command; the most powerful individual in all of Noxus. As he walked ever closer to the man another figure emerged from the darkness, and it's there that stood Talon's worst fear.
He had no name anyone who had ever lived to hear the name spoken had found themselves on the wrong end of his katana. Talon recalled the bloody memories of years past when they had worked together on an assassination dispatch. He recalled the bloodlust in the mans eyes, the way his teeth looked razor sharp. This man was not a man at all. Very rarely did he ever step foot outside unless called upon by the command or the shrouded moon, and for this reason he was unknown to almost all of Noxus. He was nothing more than a wraith, but it was that same quiet secretism that scared Talon the most. He did not know this man or how he would fight. His very existence was a blur on the memory of Noxus, and as Talon watched silently the two men chatted.
This man was a target, so why was the assassin talking to him. He looked back up at the sky as the outlines of the moon started to come back into sight, and as he looked down he saw it. The wraith withdrew his dagger silently and drove it through his marks chest. He fell to the ground silently and his killer walked away slowly.
Before Talon had even a moment to react he felt a cutting pain in his arm and as he looked down he saw the blood running. He looked up and the assassin stood in front of him.
"I know what you're doing, but you won't steal my chance at greatness. A worm like you has no place in this world and by this nights end you'll find yourself in worse condition than he is."
He withdrew his Katana and swung as Talon raced to draw his blades. The metal clashed with a loud crash and Talon pushed his sword back. He swiftly moved forward thrusting his blade toward Talons open chest but Talon was already on the defensive moving his blade sideways and knocking his enemies off target.
'He's fast. I can barely see the movements of his blade.' The thoughts raced through Talon's mind as he tried to find a way to bring this fight into his favor.
The metal soared once more and caught Talon off gaurd slashing violently at his chest. The blade hit it's mark ripping the skin apart as Talon fell backward. The gash extended from his right shoulder diagonally downward 4 inches above his waist. The blood flowed out of the wound slowly. Talon had not managed to escape the blade but this wound was not fatal. He felt the pain rising up inside of him as he staggered to his feet. Breathing heavily Talon drew his daggers into the air placing them in such a way as to protect against the next attack.
His enemy was gone, or was he. As he glanced to the side he caught him as his blade was thrust towards Talon's ribs and he side stepped avoiding the blow. Seeing his opportunity Talon brought the heavy dagger downward with a crushing blow, it met the mans arm heavily cutting a few inches through the tissue.
Where there should have been screams of pain there was only laughter as the man looked at his arm. Talon readied himself for another attack, knowing that he wouldn't be able to win this fight in the conventional way. He would have to weaken his opponent to give himself the advantage. He dashed to the right throwing his 3 smaller knives toward him, as they connected they stuck into him but did not phase this wraith. He withdrew each one from his body slowly and one by one threw them back at Talon with ever greater force. As he moved to dodge the last knife caught him in the right shoulder causing him to fall of balance and as he tried to recover the assassins blade found it's mark into Talon right shoulder.
He cringed in pain as he fell to his knees, his right arm immobilized by the pain that overwhelmed him he knew that he didn't have much time left. As he faded back into the shadows he tried to recover.
"Hiding is meaningless Talon, the moon will be back in mere seconds, and you don't stand a chance against me. You may have been the pride and joy of the High Command before, but age has gotten to you. It's time to relinquish your title and face your fate like a man. Running is not an option, because if I can't find you, then i'll find those you love. She's very beautiful, for an Ionian."
Talon heard his words and her face flashed into his mind. The whites of his eyes turned blood red with rage and hatred. He found his second wind and the pain melted away beneath the rush of adrenaline that filled him. As he rushed forward his stuck both his daggers into the mans chest driving him backward against a wall, and still there was no pain in this enemies eyes. He moved his Katana easily and rammed it through Talon's stomach the other end piercing his back. Talon fell to the ground crippled by the pain that overwhelmed him.
"All of this fighting and you can't even manage to stand up. You've become useless, you've become soft. You let your emotions get the better of you, and know look at you. You can't even fight anymore Talon. I pity the ones that are like you."
The man grabbed Talon by his shirt and picked him up, throwing him backward against the wall. As Talon struggled to prop himself up everything ran through his mind. For the first time in his life Talon was afraid of death. Before this time he'd had no purpose in life, he wandered like the shadows with no family to care for. Now everything was on the line, and as he struggled to breathe he remembered her voice. She had never given up on him, and he didn't intend to give up on her. Even if this fight cost him his life he would finish it. He wouldn't allow this man kill him in a place like this.
Talon struggled to hold himself up and as tears began to form in the rims of his eyes the runes on his daggers emitted a soft glow. He stepped forward heavily thrusting one dagger directly at his enemies chest but it was knocked away gracefully, but the other dagger was already on it's way into his ribs. As it penetrated his skin it sheared the bones from the inside and for the first time his opponent showed a form of weakness. He did not cry out, he did not fall, but as the dagger entered his body he cringed in pain and faltered where he stood.
The thoughts of his fiance filled his mind and with each passing second the runes glow became brighter and brighter. The daggers in his hands became weightless and as he struggled to catch his breath he knew that he would only have one shot at winning this. As his opponent recuperated from the blow he stepped forward into fighting stance. Talon lifted his arms this time not placing his daggers in a defensive position at all, he left his body wide open.
The blade thrust forward piercing his stomach once again, but this is just what Talon had wanted. As his Katana was occupied inside of Talons body he moved his daggers in a quick flurry. The sound of bones breaking and tissue tearing was all that surrounded them. As Talon's movements began to slow his opponent fell over. Lacerations covered nearly ever inch of his torso and as he fell Talon stood over him, struggling to stay standing. He placed his dagger over the mans head and drove it downward one last time. It pierced through his chest and downward through his heart.
Talon stood over the man for a second realizing what he had just done and his opponents breathing came to a stand still. He looked up into the sky to see the full moon staring back at him, and as he smiled knowing he'd won he collapsed. His wounds bled out and as he struggled to keep breathing he lost consciousness, not knowing if this was where he would die.
Chapter 17 - Where Shadows Fall
As he awoke he was increasingly aware of the pain that crept through his body. He brought his hands to his chest feeling the wetted bandages that had been wrapped around his wounds. He lay helpless in the darkness that engulfed him and tried to recall the events after his fight, but even with his greatest effort he could not bring to mind anything. He'd collapsed there in the back alleys of Noxus bleeding from every wound he had. With each passing second his death became more and more inevitable and as he lay there he closed his eyes for a single second, and yet they did not reopen. Now he lay in a pitch black room bandaged and confused. He was unsure of who had brought him to this place, or why they would want to save him of all people.
"How do they feel?" A voice came from every direction, the darkness of the room prevented Talon from drawing a source.
"There's no need to be silent, I can't help you if I don't know what's wrong."
"They are fine, but who are you? Why did you bring me here?" Talon spoke these two questions despite all the others running through his head.
"Names are meaningless in a world that you do not call home, and as for your second question I am unsure to say the least. You looked like you could use the help. Laying face down in a pool of your own blood is never a fitting look for any warrior." the voice was tender and feminine.
"You didn't have to help me, I would have been fine where I was." Talon said silently
"Is that so? Because from my perspective you only had minutes to live. Are you truly content with dieing in a place like this? Has all the hard work you've done lead to an ultimate pay off of dieing with no one beside you in the dirty streets of this city? Or do you long for something more in this life?" he heard footsteps moving towards him and the lights in the room flickered into existing lighting the room dimly.
A woman with dark red hair stood before him. She was of a slender figure and very beautiful. She smirked at him childishly as her eyes scanned over him. At her side rested a scabbard housing a long rapier on her left a small dagger rested in it's sheath. She walked ever closer to him and he found himself enticed by the elegance of this woman. Each step she took she did not hesitate, each step was sure footed as if she knew that she was going in the correct direction at all times. Talon had never taken a step in his life without considering the consequences of his actions, and this woman seemed to through consequence to the wind and walk for herself and nobody else.
"Stand up." she said softly
He stood up silently and felt the pain ravage his body as he faltered once more and stumbled. In the blink of an eye the woman caught him before he fell and held him up. Tears formed in his eyes as the pain tore through his limbs. It was not the pain that made these tears it was his relative helplessness at this time. He had never needed help from anybody and yet here he could not even stand for himself.
"What you need to realize Talon, is that not a single person can go through life alone. We all go through moments where we need someone else, whether it be short term or long, at any moment our legs may crumble, and our bodies may be ravaged, and without someone by your side you're no better than a man already in his grave." she said this softly as she laid him back down, "get some more rest."
As she exited the room she said one last thing with no context.
Talons eyes fell heavily as he lost consciousness again.
Meanwhile the General was attending to his own business. As he walked through the corridors to the building he once controlled he felt disgusted by it. He had seen the truth for what it was and now he would exact his revenge for allowing such corruption to take place inside a sacred domain. As he walked he thought of each mans face, the men who had used him.
He opened the double doors heavily walking through them quickly and in front of him there was an assembled group of 5 men. These 5 men were currently the most powerful men in all of Noxus, and unbeknownst to anyone except the general they were also the most corrupt men in all of Noxus. As he stepped through the doors they greeted him, not knowing his true intentions.
"How are you gentlemen, it's been a very long time" the general said in a happy tone, faking every emotion that exited his body.
"It's good to have you back sir, we've been lost without you." One of the men spoke up.
"Don't try to convince me that you've actually been lost. All 5 of you are here, just as I had anticipated, and all 5 of you are blind. I'll waste no time with cheap small talk when the ending outcome of this meeting has no change. All 5 of you are responsible for the fate that has befallen me, for the past 10 years you've claimed to be allies and in secret you've all been pulling the strings yourself. Manipulating every order I've ever given, and tonight is the night where you will all face the consequences of your interference." the generals tone took a violent turn as his eyes turned blood red with hatred.
"What is this corruption that you speak of Du Couteau?" one of the more veteran men stood with his hands clenched in fists.
"Shut your mouth traitor. You can fool me no longer so do not try. Each and every one of you will die tonight, and I will reclaim the position that I held before all of this. I will turn this city-state back into a place that is worth living in, and I'll do it through honesty not corruption."
As he spoke all the memories crossed through his mind, all the information he'd gathered in the last 5 years raced through his mind and it made tears form in his eyes.
"Why did you do it? She'd never harmed a soul in her life, she was a peaceful woman. Was it so that I would start a ridiculous campaign? Did you order her death simply to instill me with a hatred for them? Was her life, and mine alike, just another string to pull in your scheme?"
Ten years ago the General had been married to a beautiful woman with radiant brown hair. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean, and her voice so tender that no child could resist it's soothing sound. In her prime she'd died from what appeared to be natural causes, but the general never fed into the lies. She was a fairly young woman, and she was in perfect health. As he began to search for an answer it led him into self exile. He needed time away to think, to gather information that he couldn't gather while running the High Command. In his travels he'd met with countless people that helped him in his journey, and each one of them led him directly to where he stood now.
"It's hard to believe that when I took this state over I was married to a beautiful Ionian woman, and yet only a few months later I was waging war against them. What I thought was justified back then has been revealed to me as lies and schemes, and it all leads back to you 5 men. You ordered her death, and I don't know for what purpose. You falsified the medical examination documents and you set up a scapegoat to take the fall for you. You fed me false information and made me believe that the Ionians were out to destroy this city, and that my wife, the love of my life had been killed by one of their agents. I retaliated by starting a pointless war with them. It's earned me hatred by every city-state in Valoran and yet I did it anyway, to bring to justice the men that killed my wife. I was a blind fool, because those men stand before me here, and now I will bring them to justice. Have you any idea what it feels like to lose the person you love most in this world? To know that they aren't coming back. All 5 of you are lonely men with no families and no love, but I guess that is the price the pay for being two faced." with his last word the general drew his sword and slaughtered the 5 men where they stood.
He exited the room leaving the 5 bodies where they were lifeless and bleeding. He exited the complex and walked though the city streets not sure of what to do when this night was over. He had other matters to attend to now, only a few short hours ago the feeling had crept up his spine, and he knew that something had happened to him. In his mind he only hoped that he was not to late.
Talon's eyes opened once more and the room was still lit up. He glanced to the side and found the woman asleep in a chair as if she'd been watching over him. He got to his feet slowly and staggered as the pain began to slowly creep along his body. He thought about all the words the woman had spoke and by force of will made his way towards her. The air in the room was cold and damp. When he reached the spot where the woman sat he could see she was shivering. He took his jacket off painfully and placed it over her lightly and began to walk back to the bed he'd been resting on.
"That was extremely kind of you, and I must say it's good to see that you're still able to move. I have a jacket of my own y'know, but it's always nice to meet a man who still has a sense of compassion."
"Fiora, you said? I assume that is your name, and I'll ask you again why--" before the words could fully come out he found himself crippled by the pain from his wounds, he dropped to one knee and shook as he tried to regain his composure.
"That is my name, and the reason why I helped you is because I volunteered to come here. You work for the Institute of War now, as do I. You've not met or seen me yet, but expect to in the future. I was meant to have this day to settle in, but I watched you board this train, and I couldn't help but follow you. You're one of the most feared men in all of Demacia, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to see you fight. It was a glorious battle, and you won because you put your heart into that fight. I admire that about you. When I picked you up I was tempted to end your suffering where you lay, and bring glory to all of Demacia by slaying the man who has slain so many of ours, but I could not. There's something different about you now, something that didn't exist in years past. Maybe it's a rediscovered sense of purpose, or the fact that you try and atone for all that you have done. In any case I brought you here because you were not safe to die in these streets."
"I'm sorry" these were the only two words that escape Talons mouth before he fell forward heavily unconscious again.
Fiora looked on in shock as the man was crippled by the pain that overtook him. She could not imagine all the things that were going through his mind. His physical wounds were extensive, and to any less of a man would have killed him hours ago, but as each second passed Talon fought the pain with an ice cold resolve. She wondered what would drive a man to fight through such agony rather than choose the simple way out, and she remembered the few things she'd seen before she boarded the train to follow him.
"It's the girl. It's always been the girl. The young Ionian that I saw him with. She is the heart of all of his actions. She is the reason why he fights even against death itself." Fiora spoke the words softly as she rose to pick him up again. She raised him onto the bed once more and lay a blanket over him to keep him warm in the night to pass.
"Well if it is for her that he fights, then I'll make sure his fight is not in vein"
Chapter 18 - One Last Remedy
In the darkness of the small building Talon lay sleeping heavily. Fiora had laid him back onto his bed and covered him. As he slept he did not dream and his mind was blank. Even in his unconscious state he was frighteningly aware of his physical agony, and with each breath he took his agony only heightened. His effort to show compassion to this woman had caused his wounds to tear further open and as they bled he slowly lost his grip on reality. At every turn it seemed that there was no escaping the pain that seemed to follow him. His own shadows now came back to haunt him as he lay motionless on the bed, his only company the silence.
Bandages riddled the floor around him dyed crimson with his blood. No matter how she tried Fiora could do nothing to stop the bleeding that had taken over, and with each passing moment she knew his fight would only intensify. She looked at him as he slept. She saw the warm sweat pour down his forehead and wiped it away with a cool rag. She knew that his agony would only get worse, and as she poured over her memory trying to remember anything at all that could save him she found the answer. Talons body was in a heightened state of recovery, his body recognized that it was failing and as it worked tirelessly to repair itself it only made the bleeding worse. The over activity made his heart rate increase and pump more and more blood through his body, but where there were meant to be closed circuits of veins there were only lacerations, and as the blood pumped it poured back out and into the bandages.
Fiora remembered her father and felt ashamed at the thought, but as she remembered him she found the answer to her pondering. She remembered the duel that he would go in to, and she remembered how he had brought dishonor to their entire family. He was prided as one of the best duelists in all of Demacia, that was before his lies had been uncovered. A tireless history of thrown matches and cheating had served to earn him a reputation that was shot to pieces when he was caught poisoning his opponents. Fiora remembered one poison in particular that may be of use to her now, but as she remembered it she remembered the condition Talon was in. If she went through with this plan it may stop his bleeding, but it also might kill him in itself. She finished wrapping his wounds once again and left the shop to go look for the chemicals she needed.
As the hours passed by Talon still slept, or possibly he wasn't sleeping but did not have the energy to so much as open his eyes. At the first sign of him reawakening Fiora stood by his side, ready to explain her plan to him, and see if he would chance it. He moved his head to the side and his eyes opened slowly, tears flowed down his cheeks as he struggled to breathe.
"I may have found a way to stop your bleeding. At the rate you're going right now you will surely die unless something is done. The bandages I've been administering will not stop it, and with each passing second your body only makes it worse. The remedy in itself may kill you as well, but it's the best chance we have until the morning, do you want me to do this?"
Talon was unable to speak and as he looked to his side the light began to grow brighter from behind her, suddenly blinded he closed his eyes quickly and nodded his head gently.
"What I'm going to attempt to do is paralyze your body, it will drastically slow your heart rate and slow the bleeding, but it's risky, if I administer to much of this poison it will completely stop your heartbeat." Her words fell on deaf ears as Talon once again slipped into the darkness of his own mind, and as she prepared the procedure she found herself staring at the man that lay before her.
She could not imagine what was going through his mind as his entire world seemed to change around him. With death looking so imminent she couldn't begin to grasp just how he was feeling, and as she began to inject the poison into his veins she prayed that he would make it through the night.
As the poison sunk it's way into Talons veins he felt his body begin to go numb, and his breathing began to slow. As the beating of his heart subsided the sweat that soaked his forehead left and his body began to grow cold. His skin lost it's color and turned pale white. Fiora placed her fingers over his throat trying to feel a pulse and found one. It was slow but his heart was still going. The bandages that wrapped his wounds began to dry as the blood that covered them began to cake and create temporary walls to conceal any more bleeding. As she looked down at his face his lips tightened as the agony of the new threat found it's way in. The poison was slowly crippling his body and Fiora knew that he could not handle it for long in his weakened state, as she prepared the cure for it she watched him ever closely, making sure that he did not slip away.
Half an hour after injecting him with the poison Fiora found it to be suitable to remove his bandages. As she removed each one she noted that the bleeding was now minimal, she cut the existing stitches and took this time to redo them more thoroughly. When she'd initially stitched the wounds she had fought with him every step of the way as the agony cause his body to spasm, now he lay motionless on the bed. When she finished she placed new bandages over the freshly stitched wounds. As she looked at the man she sensed something was wrong. The subtle rise in his chest that told her he was breathing was no longer present, and as fear struck itself into her heart she placed her fingers on his neck again. As she desperately searched for a pulse she could not find one. As she began to panic she was unaware of the man that had entered the room behind her. She pressed heavily on Talons chest trying with all her effort to start his breathing once more, still unaware of the shadowy figure that was now in the room.
He walked over to the bed lightly placing his hand on Fiora's shoulder and pulling her away, and as he stood silently over his lifeless pupil he prayed that he was not to late. He retrieved a small syringe from his coat pocket and stabbed it down directly into Talons heart and hit the plunger.
"Who are you and what are you doing? Can't you see that he needs help" Fiora was hysterical as she panicked trying to find a way to undo what she had done.
"I appreciate you taking care of him in my absence, but you'll never fully understand just the way this man works. Take it from the man that raised him, I know what I'm doing, this isn't the first time this has happened. It's Epinephrine it will help his heart restart, but I'd ask you to administer the other part of the procedure."
Fiora walked over to Talons side slowly placing her hands back on his chest and pressing down on it firmly, and as she bent over slightly bringing her face closer to his she remembered how she'd never kissed anybody in her life. This wasn't really a kiss more as it was saving his life but the thoughts did not sway her and as she parted her lips and clenched his nose shut she breathed in deep allowing all the air to travel directly into him.
She worked tirelessly trying to revive the man that lay before her, and with every passing moment she began to lose hope while the general stood back and watched silently. He had learned one thing about Talon very quickly after they had met, and that was to never give up on him easily. Talon always had some way of returning from even the worst of situations, and as the general looked on in silence he knew that Talon would come back from this. He had to, or else all of his hard work had been for nothing.
As the pressure on his chest intesified Talons heart sparked back into life, and as he tried to take a breath he couldn't. He felt that his nose was being held shut and as he opened his eyes he felt Fiora's lips meet his once more. He raised one of his arms slowly and placed it on her back. Fiora realized that he was back but still could not seperate her lips from his, and as she stood there she realized that this would be her true first kiss, and she was glad that it was with him. She placed her hands behind Talons back and pulled his body closer to hers and as their lips fell apart from eachother Talons body grew limp and collapsed back onto the bed. He was unconscious again, but he remembered the kiss. Fiora retrieved the blanket and lay it over him once again.
"That was quite something, I've never seen anyone take CPR that seriously" the general said in teasing tone, "I hate to ruin the moment but I'm sure you're aware that his heart belongs to another woman."
"I know, but-" she began her statement, "it's nothing"
As Fiora walked away silently tears began to form in her eyes, tears both of joy and sadness streamed down her cheeks. She'd just saved a man's life and was glad, but she was unsure of why she felt sad. As emotions she'd never felt before in her life gripped her heart like a clamp she cried. The general watched silently as always, wondering what he could do.
Chapter 19 - The Long Journey Home
Talon lay awake on the bed while a medical professional looked over his wounds. With every passing second there was not a single change to what had already been done, and as the doctor looked over every inch of his body he would sigh in disbelief. He raised his head and looked up at Talon with question in his eyes, and then back down at the wounds which were beginning to heal.
"Doesn't look like I can do much beyond what has already been done. Whoever found you did a pretty good job of fixing you up, and you owe your life to them. I can however administer a catalyst. I doubt you want to be bed ridden for weeks waiting for these wounds to heal. Apply it to them every 4 hours, tomorrow morning you should be fine to leave on your own accord."
Talon looked at the man with relief in his heart. He'd been in this city for to long and what had originally been planned as an overnight visit had now turned into a 2 day stay. He took hold of the small bottle of ointment that was extended in his direction and went about applying it. When he was done he lay back and let his mind wander. He did not feel the pain from the wounds anymore and he could sleep no longer. He was unsure of how he would pass the time until the next morning and the only thought filling his mind was getting back to his fiance and starting a normal life.
As the doctor left the building Fiora entered silently and sat down in her chair. She did not speak but simply looked in Talons direction. He glanced over at her and then back up at the ceiling remembering the events that took place last night. He was unsure of why she had done what she did but he did not regret that she had done it. He owed his life to her, and a kiss was a small price to pay for it. Whether he chose to speak the words out loud he was grateful to her for helping him in his time of need, and as he mulled the thoughts over in his mind he allowed it to think of every possibility. He knew that most would not come to being and he was unsure of how to repay such a heavy debt to somebody, but the only thing he was worried about right now was Sona, and as he thought about her he could not stand the waiting any longer.
He gripped the sides of the bed lightly and climbed to his feet slowly, as he rose so did Fiora.
"You can't leave yet, the doctor said tomorrow"
"I don't care what he said. I don't expect anybody to understand the circumstance that make me take these risks, but I have to go, I can't wait any longer." Talon said this as he walked slowly past the duelist.
As he walked past Fiora looked on in awe. By sheer force of will Talon brought his body under his complete control, and with every step that he took it brought him closer to the woman that he loved. Although the pain was present he forced it out of his mind and continued forward; slowly making his way to the train station.
As he boarded he took his seat and found Fiora sitting beside him. He was not surprised in the least seeing as she now worked at the Institute as well. The train ride passed in relative silence.
Fiora was constantly watching the man, trying to figure out why she felt so strange as she sat beside him. Her hands would seem to move on their own and at random points in the ride she'd find her hand clutching his. As she stared at his stone cold face she did not know what it was that compelled her to try and get closer to this man. She saw the brute strength that he possessed, the ice cold resolve to stand on the brink of death; but there was something more to it. He did not blindly follow orders, and he possessed a mind that could think for itself. He possessed a determination that was inspiring. Men in his position as Fiora thought of them were the most egotistical people there were, never allowing their lighter emotions to show, but Talon had shown his. With two words he'd cut through the barrier that always seemed to frighten people. As he carried out his life he realized all the horrible things he'd done, and for the longest time he allowed the guilt to tear him apart from the inside, but now as he sat beside her all she could think of was his apology. It was short only consisting of "I'm sorry" but the words had been cut from his mouth by the incredible pain that had gripped his body. All of these things stirred up emotions inside of Fiora that she was not familiar too, and as she searched for an answer she found herself only drawn closer to him.
Talon sat silently thinking about the woman at his right. He was aware of her new found attraction to him but he did not let it phase him. She was beautiful, and she was kind, she was generous, and to top it off she had saved his life; but the only girl that he truly cared about was hundreds of miles away, resting comfortably at the Institute of War. He would not let Fiora cloud his judgement in this matter. He was aware of a certain warmness that came from her presence but he was set to be married to Sona in the months to pass, and when her image flashed into his mind, everything else was expelled. He sat and thought about her for the entire ride back to the Institute.
As the train neared the station the subtle changes in speed told them they would be stopping soon. As Talon glanced around the cabin he found himself renewed by reaching his destination. As he looked outside it was dark, the train ride had taken all day and he decided that he would go see if she was awake. As the train stopped and the doors open he left the car slowly and walked up the long stair case into the Grand Hall. He walked up the familiar stair case and arrived outside her door. He opened it silently and Sona sat in front of him with a broad smile on her face.
"I'm happy your back, I really missed you" the thoughts projected themselves into Talons mind as he walked over and sat beside her on the couch.
She threw her arms around him holding him tightly not wanting to let go. But as she clutched tightly Talon felt the pain grip his body once more and shivered. Sona withdrew her arms sensing something was wrong, and without ever having to ask Talon removed his shirt to reveal the wounds.
"What happened to you? Are you alright?" a million questions poured from Sona's thoughts as she was gripped by a nervousness.
"Everything is fine. I know that the General came and spoke to you while I was hospitalized and I think it's time that I do some explaining. It's funny because the last couple days have felt like a dream, from the moment that I left this place to just now when I came back. The truth is that the story that you know is not the truth at all." Talon began to slow his words thinking of the right way to explain all of his new found knowledge to her.
"What do you mean the truth I know isn't the truth at all? Is something wrong?"
"10 Years ago I became an assassin for the Du Couteau family under the direct command of the General. It's true that I've killed people, and it's true that I killed people not a few days ago, but it was for a reasonable cause. The general told me he'd been hiding and I couldn't figure out quite why. When he approached me about you in particular I began to draw my assumptions. I found it odd how the man who had waged war against the Ionians could be so quick to not criticize my having a relationship with one. Back when I had first taken residence with the Du Couteau's the General had a wife, and she was very beautiful but more so she meant the world to the general, just as you mean the world to me. Not long after he'd taken control of the Noxian High Command his wife was murdered by what at that time was believed to be an organization or government seeking to bring down Noxus. Over the last few years the General has been in hiding gathering information from countless sources that brought him back to one common place and that was his own people. Countless men inside the High Command turned out to be traitors and it was revealed to him that it was these men who were the cause for all of his actions. They framed a young Ionian man and blamed him for murdering the General's wife. The only reason the Ionian War was ever started was because of the anger the General felt towards the people that had killed his wife. From the very start his own people worked against him and when he approached me about one final favor I could not decline. My life as an assassin is over, and I've been freed from my contract with the General."
As Sona sat listening she could not believe the things that she was hearing, and yet each word to her sounded so logical. She looked at him once more and saw all the wounds. She was afraid of losing him from the very start, but as she remembered his last words she felt the burden of it lift. Her husband was an assassin no longer, and it was that statement that drove her to start crying softly again. Talon wrapped his arms around her lightly and placed a hand behind her head holding it closely against his chest. She looked up at him and he looked down at her and he kissed her softly. He lifted her up in his arms and walked slowly into the bedroom closing the door behind him. He was finally home, the place where he was meant to be.
Chapter 20 - The Day for the Duelist
As she stepped out of her bedroom into the warm atmosphere of her new home she felt a sense insecurity. She was always so accustomed to living in large houses being of noble blood, now as she stood in the small apartment that the League provided she realized that her life of nobility was over. As she thought she did not care much about it, her life of nobility had been shot to pieces when it was revealed that her father had fixed almost all of the duels he'd taken part in, and she looked around once more with a renewed sense of hope. Large or small the apartment provided to her was homey. It was warm and was decorated like most Demacian households and she enjoyed it.
Smiling she stepped into the bathroom and removed her nightgown stepping into the shower and turning the water on. As it flowed down her skin she felt reinvigorated by it, this was just what she needed to wake her up. She was not accustomed to having so much free time, and she was not sure of what the day would hold for her. Thinking of the days that preceded this one she felt the familiar burning in her chest as Talon came to mind. She was not sure what it was about the man that caught her attention so often. They'd only just met 3 days prior and yet she thought about him more than anything. She wondered if he was alright and if his wounds were healing correctly. As she exited the shower to start her day she made it a note to see him at some point to make sure he was feeling better.
As she exited her apartment there was a familiar face standing in front of her. Though she'd not seen the face for years past she recognized the woman immediately and smiled. Childhood friends never forgot faces, and as she remembered Luxanna childish face she giggle slightly. Lux looked at her and giggle back. Lux placed her arms around Fiora and hugged her softly.
"It's been a while hasn't it?" Fiora said moving her hands to hug Lux.
"Yeah. I was told that you'd be coming here, and I've been awaiting the day ever since." Lux looked at her with a large smile on her face.
As the walked down the stairs the chatted about old times and also about more recent events. As they caught up they ended up in the cafeteria.
"Would you like to get some breakfast?" Lux asked her
"Yeah I'm starved. Noxus doesn't exactly welcome us very kindly." Fiora said this without realizing it
"What were you doing in Noxus?" Lux asked her
"Promise not to say anything?" Fiora knew that she could trust Lux not to tell anyone her private matters.
"You know me don't you?" Lux said childishly
"I saw Talon leaving and I felt the urge to follow him. The man that strikes so much fear into the heart of Demacians, i couldn't pass up the opportunity to observe him a little more closely." she said all of this in a hushed tone so nobody would over hear.
"Talon has changed, I've seen the entire thing happen before my own eyes. He's getting married to Sona. When he first came to the League he was so quiet and menacing. He never said anything to anybody, and the only places that you would ever find him were shaded corners where he would sit and watch, it was all very creepy." Lux began. "Sona is an Ionian, she's the one who plays the Etwahl, and she's magnificent, and so beautiful too. I really couldn't believe it the first time I saw the two sit together, they seemed like such an unlikely pair, but I guess true love can bring any two people together, and now when I see them together they look so happy."
Fiora listened and as she heard that Talon was engaged she felt her heart sink for a moment, and as she began to think of why the feeling faded as Lux began to speak again.
"What did you see him doing in Noxus? I thought he'd given his life there up."
"He was on one final assignment, Du Couteau was there as well."
As the name was spoken Lux's eyes grew wide and she got ready to stand up but Fiora took her by the shoulder and pulled her back onto the seat.
"It's not the bad, I saw him, I spoke with him, he's changed as well. He explained the entire situation to me, and I couldn't understand why until the very end. The League, Demacia, everyone will know of his return by the end of this day. He has no need to hide anymore now that his true plans have been fufilled. Did you know that he had a wife, before he took over the High Command?"
"No I didn't, who was she?" Lux asked this question quietly trying to think over all she'd heard.
"She was an Ionian." Fiora said this bluntly and waited for a reaction but Lux just continued to listen, "She was murdered shortly after he took over the High Command. I don't want to bore you with the entire story but suffice to say that his war was not a war meant for power, it was a war for her. He was led to believe that the Ionian's were the cause of him losing his wife, blinded by rage he allowed himself to make horrible mistakes. His hiding was meant to give him time to get to the bottom of the lies. Talon was in Noxus to help him fufill his retribution to all the men that had committed treason against him."
Lux looked on shocked by every word that she had heard. She thought about the general and felt sorry for him. His actions had earned him hatred by almost every city outside of Noxus, and it was all for nothing when in the midst of it all it was his own people that were responsible for causing that war. They had used his own love against him, and caused so much blood shed over no good cause.
"Have you seen him today at all? Talon I mean." Fiora asked her in a worried tone.
"No I haven't why?" Lux asked childishly
"He's in pretty rough shape. I watched him fight, and he's still as strong as all the stories say he is. I saved the man's life after he collapsed. He fought against another assassin, and his wounds were extensive. I felt horrible watching and when I saw him fall I knew I had to do something." Fiora said all of this while burying her head in her hands.
"You always were a kind heart, even if you never allowed it to show. What happened between you two? I know you're not telling me the full story Fio." Lux used her old nickname for Fiora to try and lighten the mood.
"He died, and I had to give him CPR. It worked, but- I kissed him. I can't get him off of my mind since that moment. He was on the brink of death and he stood up to cover me with his jacket when I was asleep and shivering, and as I tried to explain to him why I had helped him his wounds crippled him. Just before he lost consciousness he said two words 'I'm sorry' but that's all that he needed to say. I was expecting a long apology but as he stood on the brink of death those two words must have held all of his explanation." Fiora said all of this while replaying the moments in her head.
"Don't worry about it. He's a changed man like I said, and it's all thanks to her. What you feel is only natural, because I feel it to, and I've not so much as hugged him. It's just something about who he is as a person that draws people to him. He's done unspeakable things in his life, and yet with each step he takes he tries to repent for all of it. He tries to take the entire world on his own shoulders and bare the burden in silence. It's something in the way his eyes are always ice cold. They are the eyes of a man of incredible years, and yet he's so young. So much has befallen him and he's a natural leader although he doesn't lead. You can almost feel sorry for him, if he would let you. I can't begin to imagine how much his own guilt tears at his mind, and in some ways I wish that I could talk to him, and try to help him, but he won't let anyone in." Lux finished her statement and stood up slowly.
"What are you going to do?" Fiora asked her silently
"I'm going to go and see them, do you want to come along?"
As Fiora stood up slowly she followed Lux up the stairs and to the door to Sona's room.
"He never stays in his own apartment, he's always here with her." Lux explained as she knocked on the door softly.
Sona opened the door slowly and motioned for the two to come in.
"How are you both today?"
Lux was accustomed to Sona's way of communication, but as the voice filled Fiora's head she was not sure what to think.
"It's alright you'll get used to it, look in front of you, that's who is speaking to you." Sona said all of this in a warm and gentle tone, knowing that it would take some time for her to get used to it.
"This is Fiora. Fiora this is Sona." Lux said happily as she introduced the two, "Fiora is a long time friend of mine who recently joined the League. We wanted to come by and see how you were doing. I heard that Talon got back late last night."
"He's back yes, I was so relieved when he came back. I owe you a thank you Fiora, he told me about you. I'm very thankful that you took care of him, I don't know what I can ever say to thank you enough for what you did." Sona looked into her eyes and smiled.
"You don't have to thank me, he looked like he could use a hand, and I couldn't leave him out there in that shape." Fiora said this softly, "where is he?"
"He's in the room resting, it will take some time before those wounds heal completely." her tone came across with more than a hint of nervousness.
"Don't worry he'll be alright, in fact that's partially the reason I came her. I think I might be able to help." Lux stood up slowly, "he won't mind will he?"
"No you're fine Lux." Sona said this wondering how Lux could help.
As Lux opened the door to the bedroom she found Talon laying on the bed asleep, his shirt was gone and all that shown was his ravaged chest. She walked over the bed slowly and inspected the wounds.
"Don't let anyone know I can do this sort of stuff, I don't do it often, but I've gotten pretty good at it." Lux said this cheerfully
As she moved her hands a ball of light appeared before all of them and she moved her hands over Talon's wounds. The separated flesh began to grow back together closing the wounds off as she passed the light over them.
"The pain won't be gone right away but this should help him in the long run. Give him a couple of days and he'll be back in tip top shop" Lux said this cheerfully and hugged Sona softly.
"Thank you, I owe both of you girls a lot for everything you've been doing."
"Don't worry about it, just invite us to the wedding." Lux said this with a childish tone and began to giggle.
Fiora looked at the bed and her mind flashed back to the alley where she found Talon lying face down. She was glad to see him back in a stable environment, and as she stared at him the familiar feelings of warmth re entered her. She was not confused about them this time, and as she stared at him she felt inspired in her own goal. She'd come here to prove that she was the best Duelist in all of Valoran. Not dislike Talon's goal to expunge his past through service to the League, so to did she have the goal to clear her own name from it's past of dishonor.
Chapter 21 - Fragile Hearts
As he awoke he was instantly aware of the healing that had been done. He felt the familiar pain from his wounds but as he moved his hands he realized they were not bandaged and all the skin was now mended. He looked around slowly trying to recall where he was, and as he glanced to his right he found Sona laying softly by his side with her head nestled against his shoulder. He kissed her forehead lightly and stood up slowly. As he exited the bedroom the pain overtook him and he faltered but did not fall. He walked slowly into the bathroom and turned the shower on and let the water flow over his body lightly. After he finished he climbed out and looked at himself in the mirror. His eyes were cold and as he looked at himself he asked himself what had brought him to where he was.
He'd never had a family, and when the General had brought him in he hardly thought of it as family. Everything in his life had always seemed like another piece of work, every person was one of two things, and acquaintance or a target. He walked his life in a linear path never becoming attached to one place for to long and as long as he walked he did not look back, but now as he stood still, attached he looked back. He was ashamed of his past, and with the discovery of all the corruption in Noxus only made him feel worse. He'd kill many innocent people thinking that he had a good reason to, and now they'd just been cleared as more innocent than they were before. He brought his hands down and splashed the cool water over his face trying to snap himself out of it, but it was only a momentary solution, and he knew sooner or later his past would catch up to him. With each day, with each step, he tried desperately to put distance between himself and the past that he couldn't accept, and with each passing moment he was thinking and formulating, trying to find a way to repent for all he had done.
He exited the bathroom quietly and went back into the bedroom to find Sona awake and looking at him with a smile on her face. He walked over toward her smiling and kissed her. She placed her hands on his waste and he lifted her up gently. As she wrapped her legs around his waste she moved her arms around the back of his neck and hung in his grasp.
"How are you feeling?" Sona asked him happily
"I've felt better, but it's better than it was a couple days ago."
"I was worried about you, Lux and Fiora came over yesterday. Lux is responsible for the wounds being shut, she's really extraordinary." Sona kissed him lightly on the lips.
As Talon stood holding her in his arms he thought about Lux. She had always seemed like a kind person, and yet she was a Demacian. Talon couldn't understand why she would be so quick to help a Noxian like himself. He thought and felt ashamed, how many had he killed? Were they friends, or family. How many lives had he cut from this world and how many injured lives had he left in his path. Tears began to form in the rims of his eyes and Sona moved her hand to wipe them away.
"You're a good person Talon. You may not believe it, and people may not see it yet, but you're changing, and you're an extraordinary individual. I know that you can come to terms with all of this, but it will take time." she looked at him with her warm blue eyes, "and I'll be here for every step that you take. No matter how badly you've been injured you've always found your way back to me, and I don't plan to abandon you like so many in the past, I love you with all of my heart Talon, and I'm not going anywhere."
Talon smiled and kissed her and laid back onto the bed. Sona lay on top of him with her head nuzzling his chest. He placed his hands on her lower back and ran them up and down. He wasn't sure why, but despite his own guilt and pain, just having Sona there with him made him feel invincible. As he held her closely she said something in almost a whisper, and he looked at her smiling. She sat up on top of him and looked down at him smiling. He took his shirt of and she laid back down with her head on his chest.
"I love you Sona." he said the words silently as she kissed him and removed her blouse.
As she walked around the Institute she felt overwhelmed by everything. The complex in itself was absolutely massive, housing hundreds of champions and summoners alike. She looked from left to right trying to find something to do, but with each turn she could not see anything. As she approached the courtyard she heard Lux yell for her in a high pitched voice. She walked outside and sat at the small table that Lux was at.
"Well that was a normal way of getting my attention wasn't it?" Fiora said in a sarcastic tone
"Yeah sorry" Lux said this giggling and looking at her
"Why are you staring at me?" Fiora began to shudder feeling awkward under Lux's gaze.
"You've gotten a lot prettier since I saw you last." Lux said this with a genuine smile on her face
"Oh and by who's definition of pretty are we going off of?" Fiora asked her
"Mine." Lux said giggling
They spent the afternoon talking in the courtyard. 3 hours after she'd arrived Lux had to leave for important business and Fiora was left to roam around once more. She walked up the stairs to the floor where all the champions stayed, and as she looked down the hall she saw the door that led into Sona's room. She thought about Talon again and the warmth resurfaced in her stomach. As she thought about the man she felt her body begin lighten for reasons she didn't understand. All that she knew was that she couldn't get him off of her mind. As she thought back to their kiss in Noxus she smiled and placed her hand to her mouth touching her lips lightly. She thought about what Lux had said and wondered if Talon found her to be pretty. All of the thoughts raced through her head and as she thought she felt her stomach begin fill with a strange sensation. She always heard people talking about butterflies in their stomach when they felt love towards someone but she had never loved anyone in her life, and as the unfamiliar sensation spread through her body she smiled and walked down the hall. As she neared her room she saw the door across the Hall open and Talon stepped out of it.
"Talon?" Fiora asked kindly
He turned around silently and looked at her. He smiled lightly remembering all that she had done for him.
"I didn't know your room was across from mine."
"No need to worry I don't stay in it often. Most nights I don't sleep. The daytime is so bright and blinding, I'm more accustomed to being a person of the night. It's better that way, people tend to dislike men such as myself." he said all of this sternly and began to walk away.
"Can I ask you something?" Fiora said softly
"Do you think I'm pretty? Lux was--" Fiora stopped in the middle of the sentence realizing what she had just asked without ever meaning to.
"I have more important things to do with my time than rate women on their looks, but if you want the honest truth just say the word." Talon's voice never lost it's cold and stern tone.
"Yes" Fiora said almost whispering.
"My honest opinion of you is this. You have kind eyes, and yes you are pretty, but regardless of outward appearance you hold something that many people here do not. Honor is what drives you and yet it does not run your life. If honor ran your life then I would have ended up dead on the streets of Noxus, and I thank you for all that you've done for me. I realize that my thanks probably don't mean much to you."
"Why would you say that?" Fiora asked
"Don't act like you don't know who I am. I've left hundreds of your people dead at my feet, and each time it earned me praise among mine. But what is praise from corrupt men who are only out for their own agenda's. I think about it every night. How many people I've killed, how many of them had families, how many had friends. I've taken many lives and I can't replace them, but how many lives have I damaged in the process? I can't take back the things that I've done, and a simple apology will do no good to a nation. I don't understand why you or Lux want to try and help me, when I'm the enemy. I don't understand why any of this is happening." With his last words he turned slowly and began to walk.
Fiora grabbed his shirt lightly at the elbow and turned him around. She looked into his eyes softly and saw that they were not as cold as they had been before. As she stared at him the warmth overtook her and as her body began to press itself closer to his she felt her lips touch his once more. Talon backed away slowly and left her without saying a word. He was unsure of what to do about the small problem that was developing within her, but he knew in his heart that he could not let it interfere with his relationship to Sona.
Fiora stood in the center of the corridor frozen in place. As she thought about what had just happened she turned quickly and entered her room closing the door quickly behind her. She walked into the bathroom and stepped into the shower removing her clothes and turning the water on. As the water poured lightly over her smooth skin she smiled, and as she thought more about it she felt her heart sink. Whether or not they had kissed was irrelevant, because the man that she felt all of these odd emotions for was not hers. Tears began to form and they rolled down her cheeks slowly as she stood in the shower. The only thing surrounding her a wall of confusion over what she should do.
Chapter 22 - Cracked Foundations
The audible ticking of the clock was the most prominent sound that filled the room. As each hand moved the sound of heavy breathing could be heard as it moved in unison with the ticking. Each second that passed another breath either entered or exited his lips. The sound of metal touching glass rang out as he moved his hands. The restraints on his hands were only precautionary, nobody doubted the kind nature of this visit, but the man that sat in this empty room was dangerous. He'd shown up early in the morning saying only two words before he was moved to where he sat, and as he watched the clock so to did he count the moments that were wasted sitting. The metal door let out a high pitched screech as it opened and two figures entered the room silently, looking at the man that sat in front of them. As he looked back at them he saw the shock in their eyes and the same shock portrayed in his. He'd been gone for far to long and before him stood two girls he hardly recognized as his own daughters. They'd grown so much in the time he had been away.
"Just going to stand there looking dumbfounded? Or are you going to say what's on your minds?" The general spoke the words jokingly to the girls
Cassiopeia was the first to move. Her form twisted and slithered as she moved across the floor and put her arms gently around the man that sat in front of them. Katarina did not move. She'd not seen her father in years, and though her heart had been freed of a large amount of concern, her mind told her that this was not as joyous as it would seem. Her father had left her and her sister to fend for themselves and though they'd done it that didn't account for the lost time. As she stared at him her heart burst into flame and the anger welled up inside of her. Just as it was about to break the surface the general spoke.
"It's only natural that you not be happy to see me Kat. You always acted so tough, and any of the boys in the high command would say that you are, but you have a personality so much like your mothers. What do you remember about her?"
Katarina searched her thoughts trying to remember every shred of information she could about her late mother. She'd died when Katarina was very young and for the most part it accounted for the reason why she had taken up her profession. After her mother had died Katarina spiraled downward into a deep depression, but out of this solitude was born a determination like none other. She spent each of her days training her mind to be better suited for the world that existed around her, and with each passing day she threw out the emotions that served to hinder her.
"Well let me elaborate a little bit." the general began softly, "neither of you knew your mother very long, and it is for that reason that I must apologize. I couldn't protect her the way that I had sworn to when we were married. All of this war that you two had to grow up around, it wasn't right for children such as you two. When you were little you were both so tender and loving. Looking at you now I couldn't even begin to imagine you're the same girls. All of this is directly my fault. There is a truth that I've buried deep inside my heart, something that you two do not know, and something that you two should know. In Noxus you were raised to believe that other races were weak, and it was all such a good sham. That city breeds hatred into the minds of all it's civilians but that hatred is misguided. You're mother was one of the few people that saw through all of it, because she was not of Noxus. She was an Ionian, and so are both of you. It can be told by the color of your eyes. They are the same color as your mothers. No matter how angry you try to make those eyes out to be they hold that gentle color and the tender nature that your mother had. I thought you two might like to know the truth, but I can't stay for long. I've over stayed my welcome here already and I'm afraid I have important matters to attend to. I leave you with this Katarina. Hate me as much as you like for leaving you, and for concealing this from you, but never turn those eyes into something that they are not. They are the eyes of gentle soul, whether you choose to believe that your hardened exterior represents what is inside is irrelevant, your eyes will always tell the story of what your true nature is, don't ever lose those eyes that your mother blessed you with."
As the general stood up to leave her turned slightly and saw tears flowing down Katarina's cheeks. It was the first time he'd ever seen her cry. He walked over to her slowly and wrapped his arms around her gently and as he pulled back he kissed her forehead softly and exited the room.
"What exactly are we doing here?" Fiora asked the question while glancing from side to side
"We're watching" Lux said giggling
"Watching what exactly?" Fiora said still trying to figure out what she was supposed to be looking at
"Them." Lux said in a very hushed tone grabbing her hand lightly
Fiora turned her head and saw Katarina and Cassiopeia leaving the small room they'd entered a few minutes ago. This time a third figure left and as it exited the room Fiora recognized him immediately. He turned his head slighly and smiled at her softly.
"Not very lady like of you two to spy on other people's personal affairs." the generals voice rang through her head
As the figure walked out the doors of the Grand Hall Katarina and Cassiopeia went about their daily routines. Katarina went outside to the courtyard to see if anything interesting was happening. Cassiopeia moved slowly to the cafeteria trying to digest all the information that she'd just heard.
As Fiora watched them both leave she spoke softly to Lux.
"Who are those two?"
"Katarina and Cassiopeia. They are General Du Couteau's daughters, and if I'm correct the man that was in that room was he himself." Lux said softly
"It was I recognized him, and he's aware that they were being watched." Fiora said this and stood up walking silently to her own apartment.
She had woken up early for a training regiment with Xin Zhao and Garen. If she wanted to do well in the league that meant that she needed to hone her skills even further. Although there was no opponent who could best her in all of Demacia that didn't mean the League wouldn't have an opponent who could out do her.
As she entered her apartment she sat down on the small couch that rested in the living space and let her head fall lazily onto the arm of it. Even before she could realize how tired she actually was she fell asleep. Her breathing was soft and rhythmic and as she slept she dreamed. She dreamed of the night in Noxus where she'd found Talon lying in a pool of his own blood mere moments away from death. She relived the events that took place over the course of that night and as the dream became more vivid two words echoed through the entire dream. "I'm sorry" she saw his body grow limp and fall forward heavily as she looked on in horror. She was not sure if he would die and as the words escaped his lips she realized the implications of them.
She jolted out of her sleep quickly when she heard knocking at the door. When she went to answer she found Talon standing in front of her. He handed her a small piece of paper and walked away without ever saying a word. As she unfolded the paper she looked at it. On it were jotted down a location and a time.
'Western Training Grounds
She wondered what all of this was about and decided that she would be there tomorrow to find out. As she watched him walk away she smiled and thought of all the possible meaning this could have. Was it possible that he wanted to meet her in the training grounds alone to talk? The thoughts raced through her head and she smiled wide thinking of everything that could take place.
Talon awoke early in the morning. Today was the day that he would prove his superiority. As he walked into the bathroom to shower before the day he thought of the events that would take place. He had given Fiora the piece of paper late in the day yesterday and he knew that she wouldn't be able to refuse. He stepped out and threw on his armor slowly and walked down to the training grounds. It was 5:45 A.M. and he went about his business quickly preparing for what was about to take place.
As the bell rang 6 A.M. had arrived and Fiora stepped into sight in front of him. He looked at her trying to figure out how he would go about doing this. He drew his blade slowly and Fiora looked at him with an odd expression on her face.
"I'd suggest you draw your blade as well, or this may end quite quickly." Talon said in a stern voice.
Fiora soon realized that the paper she'd received yesterday was not a love not at all, it was a challenge. She drew her rapier slowly not knowing how to feel. As the moments passed by the two stood motionless sizing the other, and as each second passed slowly the heat of combat took over Fiora's mind, there would be no holding back in this fight. She had seen Talon fight before, and it would take everything she could muster to combat him.
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