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Riven The Exïle
Only four hours before we begin our assault in the Ionian camp just north of our landing. I am never nervous, but, for some reason, today I cannot shake this uneasy feeling, something deep inside my body is twisting and trashing about, it's repulsive. All I can do is stare at how the waves of the ocean come and crash with this far-land shore. I closed my eyes and took in the smell of the fresh salt, just trying my best to relax from this ominous feeling that has taken life inside of me, only to hear distant steps coming towards me.
Before I could turn around and see who it was, a strong familiar ease nested my soul. It was Monica, a dear friend of mine playing her ocarina. A smile formed in my lips as I listened to the soothing, nostalgic yet peaceful melody. After a while I take a good look at the woman's beautiful long white and silvery hair. Her cute feminine appeal and personality, I was always envious of it, and these years within the Noxian army I have worked to become as great as Monica. I wish I had my hair grow just like that, or wear more accentuating armor, but then again, I am not as gifted as she truly is. The song stopped and she smiled at me saying: "If you keep looking at me like that, I will have to convince myself that I like you." I looked down and blushed, slowly shaking my head. "Hey, no need to go shy on me, I only tease you." She later added after seeing me in this state. Too proud to admit the way I felt for just a few seconds, I turned around and faced the ocean again. Monica came closer to me, standing by my side and giving me a gentle smile. "You were never one for much words. Anyways, I noticed you were not in your bedroll so I came looking for you. I figured you would be in shore staring at the ocean, that is all you ever did back on the ship. I guess you are having trouble concentrating or sleeping so I wanted you to listen to my song. Say today is your birthday no? Then consider this melody a gift.... it does not have a name yet, but I am glad you always spend countless days in your apartment's balcony just to listen to me play it."
Monica was right, and I smiled brighter than ever. I loved her song, I just can`t describe how much, so she started playing it again. I closed my eyes, and could not help but think on the days I prepared my schedule just to be standing on my balcony, and listen to Monica play the ocarina. Her tune always spoke to my heart after a bloody battle, regardless of how many lives I had taken, or how many allies were lost in the battlefield, this song, was always my treasure. An hour had passed before Monica stopped playing her song, she reached for my hands, and slowly she intertwined her fingers with mine. I was shocked, and well, no words came out of me, but she rested her head on my shoulder and smiled at me. "I never told you, but your eyes wide and face bright is what moves my time and season. As I probably meant something to you when playing this song back home, so did you. This is the only song I know how to play, I was never good with instruments, so I thought one day people would get tired of it. But you, you always came back to listen to it. I can`t thank you enough..."
In silence I took Monica into arms and embraced her. I that's all I could do at the time. I was both relieved and happy that the woman I have always admired as a superior was just a human like everyone else. I can somehow feel the warmth of her heart next to mine when holding each other like this. It was far from the things I have experienced within Noxus. It was always so cold, so, lonely. War cries and screams of pain were my only song, blood was the only thing I smelled, and steel was all my hand ever touched. Now, I have tender skin I reach for with these hands of mine, a smell of vanilla and almond mixed perfectly, and of course, her song, these were the different things, the ones outside battle, the things that made me feel real.
Monica steps back after some time passed of snuggling herself into my arms, and wipes a trail of a tear she had on her eye. I raised an eyebrow out of the curious sight that was to see my fellow field officer showing more and more emotions. She read my curiosity and promptly spoke: "For years we have been taught that only the strong survive, but what if I want to find another purpose in life? Say, you and I, when this war is over, lets flee nexus, lets go live together away from all our conflicts. We can be in peace, you can hold me like this and i can play you the ocarina! Maybe I can conjure up some more songs for you to like, just a world, where we can be truly alive! What do you say?" I was completely amazed, I could not believe what Monica was saying just moments before war with Ionia broke out. But the look in her eye was somewhat intimidating, she has had this idea grown inside her head, so much that it flames inside of her, I can...sense it. Monica frowns and placed a hand over my cheek, to speak again: "Hey, if you say no I can understand. I know you would not be able to bear the life of an exile, it was just the foolish ranting of a crazy woman. I..."
As Monica became silent with all the flood of her emotions, I took her into arms again and gave her a tight hug. "Thank you, ever since the first day we enlisted together you have always looked up to me, but the truth is, if it were not for you, I would never be where I am today. You are the only soldier who has seen me weep, rage and express myself as an artist... There is no one else I could possibly ask to start again, with me."
Time passed quickly and the sound of the battle drums were banging back at camp. It was sign that the battle was about to begin. Monica stepped back and nodded, so we both rushed to camp. Every soldier was ready and standing in attention to receive orders from the field Adjutant. I fell in line as Monica later made her organized appearance next to the Adjutant, giving orders and whatnot. Soon we marched ahead to face the Ionian army.
The clash of steel and screams of pain along with hungry cries echoed about in my being. I have slain about thirty of their footmen already, but something was not right. All along Ionian troops were coming in very few numbers, and only Monica and I were able to hold off their three man cells. Many of our soldiers were falling down due to the unusual combat style of the martial artists of Ionia. Still how come their numbers are so few? I heard Monica scream, and I saw the face of horror she had never wielded in my years as a soldier under her wing. I too was afraid, the ionian soldiers were turning into leaves, they were but illusions! My gut was right, these bastards are shadier than ourselves. They seemed to posses knowledge of powerful magic that used their terrain to cast illusions on us. "They are trying to tire us out! Everyone just group up together and protect each other's back, they have to be near somewhere!"
Monica shouted. We all rallied to one another and stood firm, cautious, paying close attention to our surroundings.... Suddenly ionian soldiers came rushing out of the trees, and others from camouflaged ground clusters! We all stood our ground and fought bravely. Monica swept trough the battlefield graciously with her twin lance. The way she defeated wave after wave of soldiers single-handed was truly inspiring. Not only I was motivated but the other soldiers shouted and bolstered their resolve to fight. I rushed to Monica's side and smiled at her, she eagerly replied: "Hey there! You know, I bet you are impressed on my performance today... Let me tell you a secret... It's because I have a friend....you."
Hearing those words made me feel complete, so I stood by my friend's side and defeat what seemed like countless of ionian numbers. But, their numbers appeared endless, and most of our men were began to lose footing. We heard a loud scream from our men, one of the ionian generals, Yi, had swept trough the back-line and slaughtered eight of our men within the blink of an eye. We had no choice but to retreat at the time, we were tired. So our men began to defend in groups as we kept pushing back to a safer location where we could regroup and strategize. It was in that moment I heard an evil laugh of a familiar noxian officer. It was singed, he had the siege weapons ready. Our men starting cheering proud of their foreseen victory now that our secret weapon had finally achieved it's final stage. Monica took my hand, and I looked into her eyes, I sensed fear as she screamed: "Get out of here! Run! Run! Don`t stay, just run now and don`t turn back." I did not understand the reasoning behind her panicking until I saw the first barrel be lunged at our direction. I felt the shudder climb up my spine and down, eyes glued to that first shot. The realization of it all shook my ground, Singed cared not for who died, the mission was to completely wipe out all of ionia, and the plague was created for that very reason, to extinguish all life. Monica pushed me and as a reflex I dashed out and ran, but upon seeing the barrel of toxics explode and take the lives of both my men and ionian men I rushed back. Monica was coughing out blood but she made it out fine looking at me with concerned look: "Hey, I told you to run...." I took Monica and helped her walk out of the explosion radius. As we made our way out, I saw it, I saw it all, the faces of the soldiers melting away becoming distorted, other bodies burning away until their bones and veins were exposed and rotting away. Monica whispered: "Only the strong survive....in Noxus...they teach you only the strong suvive..." I closed my eyes and kept moving forward....
I finally came to rest with Monica in my arms upon a small hill that had a dying tree on it's top. Under the shade of the tree's leaves I looked down at all the men and women who were melting away, both ally and foe. My heart, it feels heavy and it is about to break... but I will not let it shatter, I still have Monica...she is strong so she will survive. I smiled for a moment when I felt her hand over my chest, she was handing me her ocarina and whispering: "Live....you must live... Take my ocarina, I`m too tired to play the song you want... I know its your birthday, but I am too tired right now... When we get back, lets go live together....far away... from all of this...okay?" Every single word that came out of Monica's lips, shattered the glass of my heart, I could not believe it, I wanted to choke on tears but nothing came out, I was frozen. I took her hand and gave it a firm squeeze, I just could not let her leave me without a fight, not like this. I felt her reach up and place a soft kiss over my cheek with what seemed like the strength she had left, after her lips left my flesh she said: "In Noxus they teach us only the strong survive, but if you live only to serve a flawed purpose, then what is the purpose of your life?"
Monica's color faded, and so did her grip on me, she...died. I had no chance on telling her what I truly felt, I had no grasp of the reality that was the ominous feeling inside of me. All these years I have been living a complete lie, and the only truth I had was Monica's song....
I stood up and for what seemed like an eternity I created tombstones and dug the graves of all my fallen comrades and enemies. One by one, for every single one of them, I will atone. Specially for Monica... I prepared her grave under the shadow of the hill's tree. There I shattered my runic blade as an oath to live in Exile, just like Monica wished for. She gave me this blade, and I will use it's shattered and flawed purpose to reforge a new path....
Monica... I have a name for your song... When I come back, I`ll have you play it for me.... I promise...
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Very beautiful Riven enjoyed it very much.
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