Following her unexpectedly invasive initiation to the League of Legends, Riven exited the reflection chamber, finding herself in the main hall of the gigantic institute. From the raised entrance, she had a full view of the expanse of the room, aside from the parts blocked by the large pillars extending from the floor to the ceiling. The entire building had an eerie violet glow to it, and the walls and floors shimmered in the light. Riven's interest was grabbed by the impressive fluorescent blue details all along the edges of the walls. They vaguely resembled the Noxian runes inscribed into her gigantic, broken sword.
Riven studied the area quickly before progressing; a habit she'd picked up while traveling alone. There were a few hooded figures conversing quietly on the other side of the room. On her right, a lone man stood silently, a large hat obscuring his face in the shadows of the pillars. Several attendants shuffled swiftly through the pathways, their footsteps ringing audibly across the hall.
Riven progressed into the room slowly, unsure of where she should be heading. Her steps down the stairs managed to echo loudly, even though she was only wearing padded boots, only adding to her unease. The hooded figures paused and glanced over, and she froze. Were they hostile? She tightened her grip on her sword.
Continuing her descent slowly and warily, she pretended to study the other areas of the room, her attention still focused on the figures. As they kept looking, she began to feel the need to yell across the hall and challenge them.
'Stop,' She thought to herself, taking a deep breath. 'Just relax. You've been through a lot in the past hour. Your mind is a mess.'
With one further step, they turned back to each other and continued their conversation, leaving Riven in relief. She'd had enough of suspicion and doubt everywhere she went. One of the main reasons she considered coming here was the hope that the League might offer a more positive change of pace.
She arrived at the bottom of the stairs, and took another look around. She then noticed that some of the details on the walls spelled out words in an elegant text. Directions. To her immediate right was apparently the library, and her left the mess hall.
'Speaking of messes…' She continued her thoughts, a hand on her gut. She was starving. She hadn't had much money for food on her journey here, and she could use a full meal. Her goal in sight, she headed towards the archway that led out of the main hall.
The sight that awaited her, however, distracted Riven completely from her hunger. In the mess hall were many people and creatures of mystical appearances, some sitting together in groups, others alone. Other champions of the League, she realized, along with the summoners in their usual robes. There were a few impressive-looking humans scattered about, but the ones that really stood out were the supernatural. A large humanoid tree sat alone along the windowed wall, bathing in the sunlight that leaked into the room, and playfully toying with a small sapling trying to get to his water dish. On the other side of the room was a giant bull, whom she actually recognized as Alistar, a former gladiator from Noxus. She'd also heard that he still held a grudge against them, and made a note to avoid him for now. As far as she knew, there wasn't any fighting allowed inside the institute, and she didn't plan on being kicked out before she had a chance to explore the pros and cons.
Her stomach growled, and Riven remembered the reason she was here. Proceeding towards the buffet on the far side of the room, she passed a small group on ninjas, all of whom studied her curiously. She tried to ignore it. After studying the buffet for less than a few seconds, she quickly filled a plate with whatever was available. At this point, she didn't care whether it tasted good or bad, as long as it was edible. A vacant table nearby caught her attention, and she sat down at it. She preferred to be alone, and the room had sufficient space to accommodate her wish.
Riven began wolfing her food down. It was exceptional, especially compared to how she was used to eating. Almost unfairly delicious. Suddenly, it all hit her at once. The past, the long, seemingly endless journey, and finally the rude awakening at her unexpected destination. Her eyes teared up as she thought about the hardships she'd had up to this point, and now it was somehow all supposed to be fixed just by showing up here. She wondered why she even thought of joining the League in the first place. She'd heard of the noble goals and actions that were expected of League champions. Here she was, without either. She didn't even have the drive to battle she once commanded. Simply a strange need to drift and move on to further destinations, with no clear end in sight.
Just then she caught something in the corner of her eye. She quickly wiped away the tears and focused on the spot. There it was again. On the other side of the room, an occasional strange glimmer in the sunlight occurred near one of the tables. She kept staring, but it didn't happen again. She was about to brush it off as another oddity of the institute, but as she blinked, a young woman appeared at the table. A petite, fragile-looking girl with beautiful golden hair that shone brightly in the light. She seemed captivated by the sun, a faint smile showing on her face. Her clothes were casual, but sparkled with elegance all the same. Riven couldn't help but stare at her in wonder, and was only awakened when the other girl slowly turned her head to look back. Riven quickly averted her eyes, but noticed that the girl's smile had turned into somewhat of a mischievous grin, and just as suddenly as she appeared, she vanished. Riven looked to the spot where she'd been, and then around the room. She was nowhere to be seen.
Riven turned back to her food, only to find the girl sitting across from her. She jumped a little in her seat in surprise, causing her to bang her knees loudly against the table. As Riven grimaced from the pain, the girl sat there, until finally breaking the silence.
"Hello, Noxian." She stated simply, smirking. Her tone of voice was high, cheerful.
Riven immediately took the words as a challenge. "Former Noxian." She corrected, glowering. At least, that's the term she would use whenever someone challenged her identity.
The girl shrugged, "A Knock will always be a Knock."
"And you're obviously just another blind Machee." Riven countered.
The girl giggled, "Well you sure looked blind a few moments ago looking for me, didn't you? Oh, and they call us Shinnies nowadays. Where have you been?" She added, almost as an afterthought.
Riven opened her mouth to respond, but stopped. She had to keep her emotions in check. "Why are you here?" She asked instead.
The girl paused for a moment, and her smile faded. Riven realized she'd hit a sore spot somehow.
"I could ask you the same question," Came her solemn answer.
Riven turned back to her plate and shuffled her food around the plate, reminded of her lack of direction. "That isn't what I meant."
"I know. But it is what I meant." The girl replied quickly, leaning on the table, her voice back to its normal, cheerful tone.
Riven looked up and met the girl's blue eyes with a cool stare. She knew she was being played with, and she really didn't want to play along.
"Please go away." She said flatly. In her experience, that line usually sent people away, regardless of what they wanted.
As expected, the girl stood up suddenly and turned to leave, but stopped and looked back.
"Aren't you at least going to ask my name?" She asked.
"Why would I-" Riven stopped short when she noticed a strange blue glow surrounding the girl. She squinted to see it more clearly. 'Another trick?' She thought cautiously.
The girl smiled again and held out her hand. Riven looked at her own, and noticed the glow was surrounding her too. She reached for her sword, but as soon as she grabbed it, she was in darkness. She was weightless, in limbo. She was terrified. Just what the hell was going on? Was this the girl's doing?
Let's see what you're capable of. A man's voice spoke inside her head. Only then did she realize what was happening.
She was being summoned.
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