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I walk into my room to find a bruised, cut-up Garen with his back up against one of the walls of my room. I'm frozen, standing there giving him a confused stare as he writhes in pain from the injuries he sustained in combat. From the short distance between me and the wounded warrior I notice several cuts and gashes on the flesh no longer covered by the armor he usually wears. His armor is beat and worn from extended periods of combat, all of the damage seemingly to have been done by the same weapon.
I walk over to Garen slowly, as I can still barely believe what it is that I'm seeing before my very eyes.
I ask.. "Garen.. What.. What happened..?"
He struggled to speak due to the pain of his wounds, but he managed to say "Who.. urgh! Who are you? Where am I!?"
"This is my house, Garen, why are you here? What happened to you? You look all beat up!"
"How do I know I can.. agh! Trust.. you..?"
The wounded warrior doubled over in pain and seemed to pass out. He had been through a lot. Thinking it might not be best to call the authorities and trouble them with his inability to comprehend our reality, I figured it'd be better to tend to him myself using what I knew about tending to serious wounds. I managed to lay him down without opening his cuts any further and began to do my work.
Not too many of the cuts went deep into his flesh. There were only few serious injuries, however there were also some things that were quite peculiar. A cut on his face, as well as a gash on his right arm. As I tried to tend to it I felt a very strange, otherworldly force repelling me. I felt helpless as I tried cleaning them. A feeling of hopelessness overcame me if I got anywhere near them. I decided to avoid them and leave it to the medics of Runeterra.
I did what I could and waited.
I thought to myself, "What the hell could have happened to him? Why the hell is he even here?"
I knew deep down that the answers to these questions could only come from Garen so I waited some more. It was a while until he awoke. I'd say around 4 or 5 hours. I actually wasn't keeping track. I was so busy focused on wondering about why the heck a character from a game that I played was in my room, wounded, practically dying.
When he came to, he asked again, but a bit more active this time, "Where am I!?"
He forced his body to sit up but the pain from doing so sent him back to his wounded position.
"Don't work your body like that. I'm sure you remember that you've been hurt. Right?"
I didn't think I was getting to him. He turned his head to face me and said, "Who are you? And why are you dressed so strangely? What is this place?!"
Not knowing where to begin, I sighed and began to explain, "Garen.. you're not in Runeterra, this is Amer-"
"Impossible! There is The Void, and Runeterra! And certain this ISN'T The Void! You tell me where I am- grah!"
He moved too much again.
"I told you to stay still.. You're all injured and.. stuff. Just relax, and I'll try to explain."
"Contrary to what you believe, there is more than just Runeterra and The Void. This.. place.. universe..? Reality..? I don't know. Well.. this is Earth.. And.. I have no idea why you're here, or how you got here.. but you are. Now it's you're turn."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"What do you remember before.. this?"
There was a period of silence.
"How do you know so much of Runeterra and The Void? Answer me that, boy." he said, almost interrogating me.
I was confused at first, wondering where his curiosity came from, but then I realized it might be typical considering he didn't even know I or our world even existed.
"Well.. here, Runeterra is a fictional place. I know.. almost everything about you.. Jarvan the fourth.. Katarina.. Lux.. and all the other champions in the league."
"I can assure you, we are far from fictional."
"..I can tell.."
"What do you mean you know almost everything about us?"
I was getting a bit lost, as I wasn't sure where this was going.. or what I should go with it..
"Well.. I know you are a great Demacian warrior.. Which makes me wonder even more because you were wounded so greatly.. Those cuts on your face and arm haven't even began to heal yet!"
"But how.. do you know?"
I hoped this wouldn't confuse him too much. I was confused tons on my own. It wouldn't help for both of us to be completely lost.
"You.. Runeterra.. and all the other champions.. are.. well.."
He was getting a bit aggravated and anxious. It's understandable. He was thrown into a world that he didn't even know existed, alone, injured, with pretty much no where to go. Luckily I was here. Sort of.
"What about us? Please hurry, I must get back to Demacia and help the others!"
"In this world.. You and the others are.. a part of a game.."
I hoped he would understand.. I don't think he did..
"A game!? You think the league is a game?! It is much more than a measly game, that much you can be sure of."
"I'm sorry.. I didn't mean to offend. That's kinda just.. how it is. It's literally a game. If you want I can show you."
He was definitely getting more.. uppity, is probably the best I can put it.
"There's no time for that. I must get back to Demacia!"
I sat there not saying anything for a moment.
Then, "How exactly do you plan on doing that..? You're incapable of using magic. As far as I know your capabilities are limited to your fighting ability, and you're still seriously injured. Relax for a moment. Let's find out what's going on and what needs to happen. Let's start wi-"
"There's no time! Luxana, Jarvan, and Xin Zhao are all waiting for me!"
I knew I was going to have to be a bit assertive myself if I was going to try to help him.
"Well they're going to have to wait a bit longer. Look, if you were to rush into battle again, you'd be useless. It sucks, but that's the fact of the matter right now. And what's worse? We don't even know how to send you back, nor do we even know how you got here. If you wanna help the others, you're going to have to relax. We'll figure this out together."
He gave me a rather intense look before sighing and responding.
"..You're right. We'll do this together.
..Well.. You know my name. What do they call you?"
To be honest, I was a bit excited. I could barely hide it.
"My name is Justin. Justin Mina. Nice to meet you, Garen."
"Justin. A strange name in my land. Nonetheless, it is nice to meet you as well, aside from the fact that I don't know why I am here, I thank you. For what you've done and will do to help me. I do not think I would be in such a good condition if not for you. I owe you."
I couldn't believe it. A champion of the league just thanked me. In my own room. He was bloody, so that was gross, but **** was this cool. But I'd have to remain calm, cool, and collected if we wanted to get him back, so we got right to work.
"You're welcome, Garen. Now. What's the last thing you remember? Before you woke up here. Also, was it or was it not in the Fields of Justice?"
At first he seemed confident-- ready to say something. But a pause, and an expression of confusion and deep thought proved to me that this might take longer than I thought.
"I.. I was definitely fighting.."
"Noxians, I presume?"
"Yes. Those Noxians.."
"Yes, I'm aware of them and your hatred of them as well. Let's continue. What. Happened?"
He paused to think again. His wounds hadn't even completely healed yet he moved as if he were perfectly fine.. I thought that perhaps it was his passive at work but.. I don't think that's how things worked in their.. "real-life."
"I think I was.. I was fighting Noxian soldiers.. and I remember something hit me!"
"What was it..?"
"It was a solid at first, but when it hit me it became a fluid of some sort. It ate through my armor like it was nothing! I have never seen anything like it! My armor is the best there is!"
I thought to myself wondering what that could've been.. After some pondering I came to a conclusion.
"Was Urgot around while you were busy fighting?"
"I do not recall seeing him, but he is definitely a tricky one. It could have been him..
..Why do you ask?"
I almost smiled.
"He kinda.. does that in our world. A lot."
He thought to himself again and said, "But.. it wasn't Urgot that I fought.."
"Well.. you have cuts all over your body and the parts of your armor that weren't dissolved.. could it have been.. Katarina.. or Talon?"
Upon my mentioning of Katarina I noticed his face get a bit red. Seconds after it was back to serious Garen, however.
"No, it wasn't them.."
He seemed confused again. Which confused me. There's been a lot of confusion.
"You say you know much about my world, yet you suggest these names I have never heard before."
What? ..What? I didn't expect that at all.
"The.. Noxian executioner duo..? They're brothers. You don't know of them?"
"Never before have I heard of these names."
"Hang on.. let me think for a moment.."
I sat there.. completely lost..
I thought, "Could Runeterra be in.. a previous.. patch..? A moment in lore-time that doesn't have any mention of Draven or Darius..?"
Hoping to figure what was going on out, I asked "Who was the last champion admitted into the League?"
"You don't know? It was Zelos. He's a great addition to the league and has proven to be a formidable opponent for many others. Of course, haha, not for the mighty Garen!"
..at least he was still Garen.. But.. wait.. Darius and Draven don't exist.. but Zelos is a champion in the league? How is this possible?
"What's the matter, Justin? You look troubled."
I wondered to myself, "Should I tell him..? Will he even understand..?"
"Well, Garen, in our uh.. version of the League.. I guess.. Draven and Darius exist. Zelos does too, but.. he's not a champion in the League yet."
His response was expected. "I still know not of Draven and Darius within Noxian ranks. I'm sure our spies would have informed us of their existence, and if they were champions of the League, I myself would know of their presence. Perhaps your 'League' is not as accurate as you believe it to be?"
I still didn't know what to make of the situation so I was still guessing.
"That could be it.."
I decided it would be pointless to pursue this topic any further and changed the topic of the conversation so we could move on. This was about getting Garen back to Runeterra, not wondering why Zelos was a champion in his world and not ours.
"Let's forget about those discrepancies for now. You were hit by the strange fluid and part of your armor was dissolved. Who did you fight to get all of these wounds?"
He seemed lost for a moment but he quickly got back to reliving the moments in his head.
"It was Du Couteau."
His face was dead serious. I think I sensed a tiny bit of fear.
His expression was getting a bit more stressed.
"The General Couteau? ..Katarina's father."
He was getting aggravated again. Not at me. It seemed like he was looking back, angry about what happened before he was sent here.
"I hear he's.. a skilled warrior, Garen. What happened?"
Yet another pause.
"He was so fast. His fighting was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I could barely keep up."
He was definitely reliving things. I could see it in his eyes.