Quinn was giddy with excitement as she followed the tyrant through the halls of his private quarters, heading up towards the roof garden, after ascending a staircase at the same painfully slow gate as last time, she found herself before a glass door, Swain slowly let it swing open, standing aside to admit her entrance. Stepping out into the garden she felt her breath leave her behind, it was like stepping into another world. Gone was the dour and menacing buildings of noxus, or even the simple dignity of Swain's quarters, it was like she had just stepped back into the forest she had so recently left behind. All around here was naught but green, tall trees blocking the sun from sight, plush grass cushioning her feet as she stepped out, twirling around slowly to take it all in, breathing deep to take in the scent, somehow this little glade seemed free of the cities industrial smog, it smelt like a forest should, fresh, free, like morning dew hanging off a branch, like... Well to Quinn, all forests smelt like home. "You... You weren't kidding when you said it would be big enough to accommodate them both..." She looked back at Swain, the Tyrant watching with a bemused raised eyebrow.
"I never, 'kid', child. Come, their nest is this way, I expect they're both fawning over one another as usual." Swain stepped off into the forest, disappearing behind a tree, Quinn made haste to follow.
"Valor!" Swain called, "someone is here to see you!" A shadow broke off from one of the tree's in the distance flying towards them with all the haste Quinn had, had on her way up here. Without slowing down in the slightest, Valor slammed headlong into his friend, wings wrapping around her head as her screeched with glee, sending them both tumbling into the dirt.
"Agh! Valoooor." Quinn had put on her usual scolding tone as she gazed down at the eagle eagerly nuzzling his scalp into her cheek, in moments her face had softened and she in turn wrapped her arms around the person she loved the most in the world, stroking a hand slowly down his spine. "I... I missed you to Valor." Quinn felt tears of relief rolling down her face as she petted her beloved friend, he in turn was frantic to stay close to her, wings not letting loose their grip around her neck in the slightest. As the two lay there on the grass embracing one another and letting out all the stress that had been pent up from them being apart so long, the Tyrant watched, unable to keep a smile from his lips as a bit of their joy infected him. Beatrice joined him before too long, fluttering down from her and Valor's nest to alight herself on Swain's shoulder. The tyrant pulled his eyes from the gleeful pair to look to his own companion as she gave him a brief nuzzle in greeting, his hand coming up to tickle under her chin.
"Hello to you to, Beatrice. They certainly seem pleased to see one another." Swain twitched his head to the pair of Demacian's currently lying in his garden, who'd have thought there'd be a day when that'd happen. Beatrice trilled in agreement, fluffing out her feathers as she watched the pair peacefully, glad to see her mate so happy once more. "And now that the girl has arrived, we can say for certain that Valor will be staying with you for a good time longer." As always, Swain's voice had begun to soften as he talked to Beatrice, the odd little avian being the being he cared for more than any other in this world and beyond. She in turn perked up at his words, letting out a pleased cheep. "Yes yes, I am sure you will be glad to have company other than me." Beatrice turned her head to the side, letting out a concerned squawk as she bounced along the roost closer to her owner. "No, of course I'm not jealous." She lowered her head, letting out another squawk. "Yes I am sure! Beatrice, I told you last night, I'm glad that you've found yourself a mate. Even if he is a Demacian. You deserved a companion like that, and I look forward to when your chicks are born just as you are." Beatrice flared her wings, the soft black feathers momentarily wrapping their way around the Tyrants covered neck. Letting out a loving chirp. He smiled and stroked a knuckle across her brow.
"I love you to Beatrice."
Meanwhile, the pair of Demacian's had finally managed to unwind the themselves from one another, Valor sitting contentedly in the lap of Quinn, as she stroked down his spine, Swain's words to Beatrice brought her head up, and she couldn't help but grin. "So the Tyrant isn't as heartless as the legends say after all." Swain's head snapped to her, letting out a low disgruntled growl at her having heard the sentiment.
"Quiet, Quinn." That was the first time he had called her by name since... Well since they had met, and even though he sounded grumpy, it was not nearly the threatening tone he'd taken when he first found her in the woods with his bird. It seemed he might finally be starting to warm up to her. "But... While I have your attention, dinner is served in the feast hall at seven every night. When you come, you are not to make much in the way of conversation with anyone of import, lest you reveal yourself. You will stay by my side, and if anyone asks why a member of my guard is joining us at the head table. You will say that I am shaping you as a new tactician, and that you are under my personal tutelage. None will be able to argue with that." As always, there was not even the hint of these words being a question, or even a statement, they were a command. No one was more used to command than the great tactician, and rarely did anyone ever argue with him over them, and like so many others, and despite her best efforts, Quinn could not find a reason to contest them. Only nodding in agreement and supplication.
"Good, you are welcome to stay in the garden as long as you wish, but do not. I repeat, do not. Enter my study or any other room in my quarters without my permission in advance. Understood?"
"Now, there is a bathroom in the opposite hall to your bedchamber, you should make use of it as soon as you can tear yourself away from Valor. You smell like a latrine." Quinn blushed, smelling herself for the first time, she did not exactly have much time to bathe when deep under enemy lines, and had to admit it had been rather along time since she had found the time to do so. She did smell a bit well... Unclean, her hair matted with dirt and her covered in dried sweat.
"I'll uh... I'll get onto that now." She murmured in embarassment, putting Valor off her lap and into the grass as she stood back up, heading back the way she had come, Swain nodded, turning away and walking towards the balcony edge of the garden with the two birds in tow.
Quinn swiftly made her way through the halls of Swain's quarters towards the bathroom, shutting the door behind her and bolting it. Though she highly doubted the Tyrant would intrude, she turned to find a large porcelain bath with a shower built in behind it, turning the brass handles she received something every girl missed when out in the wilderness.
After filling the bath she cast off her disguise, climbing in and sinking all the way under the water apart from her face. Letting the steaming bath relax her tortured and tired muscles, letting out a long contented sigh. This was the most at peace she had felt since leaving for this mission, alone in the hot water, knowing there were no threats on the immediate horizon, only a hot meal in the evening and Valor upstairs. Shewas finally free from the stress of infiltrating Noxus, seeing as she was now the personal guest of the lord himself, she had nary a thing to fear. The only question was...
What was she going to say when she finally returned to Demacia?
She really didn't know what she would say. Swain's rivalry with Prince Jarvan the fourth was famous, and if he got wind that one of his elite was willingly his guest.... Well there was barely a doubt in her mind that she would be tried for treason. The relaxation the hot bath had brought on began to melt away as she fretted over her return. She would have to lie but... Well when she did return, would it be with Valor? He had a family here, a lover and a whole host of chicks on the way. She couldn't ask him to leave all of that behind, but she in turn couldn't leave him behind. She started to wonder if she would ever be able to return home with him, but in the end, finding no solution in easy reach. She pushed the thoughts from her mind, deciding to ask Swain if he had any suggestions when she found the time.
Eventually, after washing her hair for the first time in weeks and exulting in how smooth it was to the touch once more, Quinn dressed and left the bathroom, nearly slamming into the portly, elderly woman who stood before her. Her silver hair in a tight bun and her body clothed in a modest, black dress.
"Yes. Hello. You are the lord general's guest, correct?"
"Uh... yes?" Quinn was rather confused, who was this woman, why was she here, had Swain allowed her into his quarters?
"Right. Wonderful, I have taken the liberty of stocking your wardrobe with fresh clothing, I would suggest you go and change into some post haste, those look well past due for a wash."
Now she knew who this woman was, and she almost laughed from the thought finally hitting her, she didn't know why but it had never occurred to her that Swain might have one, maybe she had just assumed Noxian's differed from Demacian's in that area as well. She was the maid. "Oh! Thank you, I'll uh, go do that now." Swiftly she made her way past the woman and into her own room once more, finding her closet to be well stocked with the uniform of Swain's guard, along with, oddly enough, a long blue dress, seemingly fit for nowhere else other than a formal party. She supposed she would need something like that to wear if she were to accompany Swain to all feasts and events, finally, on the final hangar of the wardrobe was a dark green, fluffy nightgown that for a moment she considered changing into now, but in the end decided against it, she still had to attend dinner. After changing into another set of uniform, putting their trademark coat on once more, but neglecting to pull the hood up; she stepped out to find the maid once more waiting outside.
"I'll take your dirty clothes now. They will be delivered to your room on the morrow." The maid intoned in the same commanding tone of the tyrant himself, seems similar personalities worked well together. Though Quinn founding herself wondering what an argument between the two would look like, it would be entertaining at the least. She stepped back in her room and picked up the bundle of clothes, handing them over to the maid who nodded and stepped off down the hall once more.
"Uh.. Thank you!" The only response she received was the sound of the door to the quarters closing behind the maid. "Not the friendliest of people, is she...?" Quinn muttered to herself, setting off down the hall once more towards the gardens. Only to find Swain descending the stairs, the two birds roosting peacefully on either side of his head.
.... "You look like a lobster , Quinn. Did you use the entire cities supply of hot water or was your princes dragon friend in there with you?" Quinn flushed, finding the Tyrant's sense of humour a little bit mean.
"Hey I haven't gotten to have a bath in weeks, can you blame me for wanting to relax a little."
"Hmn, I suppose not. Come, it is time for dinner." Swain stepped past her, heading towards the door the maid had so recently gone through, and as Quinn followed after him. Valor hopping from Swain's shoulder to her own, she found herself thinking that maybe, just maybe, living here in the enemy capital for a while wouldn't be so bad after all.
Quinn followed Swain down into the feast hall, and immediately upon arriving, she understood why it was called as such. Well over a hundred diners occupied the huge, high vaulted room, spread out over dozens of long wooden benches. Quinn looked around, seeing all sorts catered to here. From the lowly privates at the far back of the hall, joking and hollering to one another loudly. To the table reserved for the leaders and champions of the city. Of course not a single distinguishable word could be heard, everyone in the hall talking becoming a thick wall of white noise, you could only hear people who were right beside you. Darius, Swain's right hand man stuck out like a sore thumb for still being dressed in full battle regalia near the head of the table, though he was hardly the only great warrior there. Katarina, still dressed in her ludicrously tight fitting and revealing all leather outfit; and her family assassin, Talon sat further down, locked in conversation, Singed only a few seats past them, eagerly devouring his food through a small parting over his mouth in the bandages he wore over his body, underneath a simple tunic. Darius looked up as Swain entered and gave him a respectful nod, Swain returning the gesture as he limped on over, Quinn in tow.
Swain lowered himself down at the head of the table and a servant seemed to simply materialize with that eerie speed all good waiters possessed at his side, placing a plate of mutton and vegetables down afore him and a stein of mead beside. Quinn watched, still on her feet as she was unsure as where on the table she belonged, until Swain looked up at her from his seat, nodding to the spot just across from Darius. Hastily she joined him, hoping few would take note, though a server certainly did as in moments she had recieved the same meal as the Tyrant, which, to tell the truth, looked absolutely delicious to her famished stomach. To her companion it must have seemed delicious as well, as Valor hopped down off her shoulder, pecking at the meat without even pausing to ask her permission.
"Agh-! Valoooor..." She glowered at him, as did the other woman in his life from her roost on Swain's shoulder. He wilted under the women's rage and sulked his way back onto her shoulder, though in his actions, he'd drawn at least some attention as Darius raised an eyebrow over his fork, looking to Swain.
"Even your guard have birds now, sir?"
Swain was in the midst of taking a draught from his mead, having lowered the sash over his face for the first time since Quinn had met the General, he raised a finger to stall the question, half draining his stein in one go before lowering it. Hands clasping together.
"Quinzel, is a special case. She showed exceptional promise, and as such, she is my new student. Beatrice, would you show her impatient featherbrain where it is your meals are being prepared to put his mind at rest?" He finished the sentence, casting his eyes to the raven sitting relaxedly on the roost of his shoulder, she looked to him before bouncing off her roost, flying off through the halls with Valor in tow. Meanwhile, Darius turned back towards Quinn, who was internally wondering if the tactician was truly so great if his name change was pretty much the same as her real name.
"A student? Now that's something new, well it is an honour to meet you, Quinzel." Darius extended a hand across the table to her, a smile finding itself in unfamiliar territory across his lips. Quinn hesitated for barely an instant before returning the gesture, immediately regretting it as he practically maimed her hand.
"The honours all mine, I've heard a lot about you, Sir." She squeaked out, wincing as he let her hand go. "Thank you for saving me in the bar earlier by the way, your brother was well... Well no offence sir, your brother turned into a raving lunatic." She felt Swain wince internally at her admitting to being the girl from the bar, but Darius only laughed.
"What do you mean turned into!? That one has always lacked any sort of control, as much as I'd like to be able to say a kind word for my brother, ever since he gained a celebrity status as an executioner, he's thought the world belongs to him." Swain looked up at the pair as the topic of conversation leaned towards the fellow who'd been foolish enough to not listen to his commands.
"Speaking of Draven, what did you say when he woke up?"
"I told him if I hadn't knocked him out then and there, it'd be his head on the executioners block, and that he should learn to shut his stupid ungrateful mouth when his elder brother tells him to, sir."
"... Yes, that is what I would say as well, though not in such words."
"Of course not sir."
The pair fell into casual conversation, but Quinn's attention was waning, every now and then she would catch Katarina looking to her, and she knew for certain at least one person here knew the truth of her identity, she wondered idly what Katarina wanted now as she idly picked at her food, eventually ignoring the other woman 's incessant stares as she fell into her own mind, getting into the monotonous pattern of eating, if Katarina wanted to talk to her then she could just come over and talk.
Which, soon enough she did. Katarina unabashedly pushed the man at Quinn's side further down the bench, ignoring his protest as she sat down beside Quinn. Speaking in a hushed whisper only loud enough for Quinn to hear.
"So the Demacian is joining us at the command table? You certainly lead an interesting life Quinn. But when are you going back to Demacia, I don't want to have to wait forever for Garen to get that letter." Quinn almost laughed, the feared Noxian warrior was wanting her to hurry up in delivering her love letter.
"I don't know when I'll be going home, Katarina. I don't really have any plans of tearing Valor away from Beatrice and there's no way I can leave without him. You're both league champions, won't you see him there?"
Katarina sighed and knuckled her brow. "Yes, I will see him there at some point, but there's no knowing when we'll be both called to the league at the same time, and we don't exactly have much in the way of leisure hours there."
"Okay, you have a point, look, I'll try and get it to him as soon as I get to Demacia, okay?"
"But whe-" Quinn hastily cut her off, as funny as she found it that Katarina, a woman she'd been taught to fear and despise, was pestering her as to when she'd give her words of love to the vanguard of Demacia himself, she really wasn't in the mood for it.
"I'll get back, when I get back, Katarina, I'm sorry, but I'm really tired, so can I please just eat? Okay?"
Katarina let out a quiet humph, sitting there for a moment before muttering, "Okay." Without another word, she stood up, stroppily moving back to Talon and her meal. Finally leaving Quinn alone to her thoughts and her now only lukewarm meal.
Meanwhile, after flitting their way past many a startled servant and soldier, the two lovebirds had found their way to the huge kitchens, where dozens of chef's worked round the clock to keep the many occupants of the fort happy as a Noxian ever was, but more importantly, well fed. Like all big restaurant kitchens it had that rather indistinguishable smell that though delicious and mouth watering, could only really be described as sort of like chicken. There were likely a thousand crisis happening every moment in this kitchen, the chefs certainly made it sound like it, kitchens were like military bases, things only got done if everyone was in everyone else's way, and there was always a dozen people yelling at a dozen other people, with one guy sitting back and just letting it all happen, but somehow, despite rarely needing to say much, this was the guy in charge. If he weren't there, it'd all fall apart. That was who Beatrice and Valor were going to see. Beatrice led the way past the main doors to a much smaller window to the outside, bobbing her head like a swan going for fish so as to fit through, gracefully fluttering to the floor. Her larger mate flopped to the floor a few moments later, his much wider wingspan a tad unsuited for fitting through such tight spaces. Beatrice nuzzled her mate worriedly as she masked with the ease of a practised liar her amusement. As Valor pulled himself to his feet and shook off his wings, the head cook noticed the pair, jolly red cheeks and rotund belly he was the very image of the stereotypical head chef, he even had a wooden ladle clasped in the same way most would a mace in one hand.
"Aaaah, miss Beatrice. So good to see you, I was beginning to worry you'd be missing dinner, and what's this? You brought a friend, or a lover hmmmmnnn?" The large man gave the birds at his feet a sly smile and Valor a comradely wink. "You're a lucky man mr. Eagle." Valor preened himself pridefully as Beatrice fluttered up onto the chef's shoulder, a fat pointer finger coming to tickle under her chin. "Come, let us see what I've got for you!" The chef doddered along through his own kingdom of the kitchens, Valor hastily hopping along the ground to keep up as Beatrice happily rode shotgun. Soon enough, the cook had found the pair a large haunch of boar to share, reverentially laying it down on a wide plate and bringing it outside for the pair, resting it down on a stone balcony railing. "Enjoy."
And so the pair of birds had a lovely romantic dinner by moonlight, well, as romantic as two predators snapping meat from the leg of a hog can be. Eventually they found their way back to the rooftop garden, settling into their nest together as down below, back in the feast-hall, Quinn and Swain were both mopping up the lasts of their meals. Swain was the first to stand, impelling Quinn to follow with only a glance.
"Ah, yes, good night sir. I'll see you on the morrow in the meeting room?"
"Of course, we have much to do." Confirmed Swain, sweeping away from the table and leaving Darius to his devices, Quinn in tow.
"Hmn? What was that, Quinzel?" Swain put a certain tilt on the words, wordlessly reminding her that she was a spy in his lands he'd allowed to stay by his own good-graces, and in fact was only still alive thanks to him deciding for it to be so. She probably shouldn't pry into state secrets, even if she hadn't meant it as such. She had honestly simply been trying to make conversation.
"As I thought, come, it is about time we both retired for the night."
Without another word to her, Swain led their way up to his quarters, giving her only a nod as Quinn moved off towards her own bedroom, casting her clothing in a heap on the floor, the young scout fell upon the bed with a quiet groan, tired both mentally and physically. It took hr quite a time to collect herself enough to crawl under the covers, after that it took not time at all for her to sink into a deep slumber.
Her dreams were troubled to say the least, going from memories of her brother, to visions of Valor lying on the floor of a forest, dead, to herself locked away in a jail cell, only a sliver of light falling upon her emaciated form. Not a Noxian jail cell, but a Demacian one, with Prince Jarvan himself as her warden, there was only a single word spoken in the dream. One word that snapped Quinn back to wakefulness once more, sitting up in bed with beads of sweat rolling down her body.
She wasn't a traitor? Was she? She was sticking by her closest friend, if she was a traitor, she would have torn him from the one he loved. She wasn't giving away secrets to Swain, she was just being there for her friend, like any good friend would. No, she wasn't a traitor, she was sure of that. She was upholding the values of Demacia by sticking by Valor when he needed her most. A good Demacian showed loyalty to family, and if anyone was family to her, it was Valor. So no, she wasn't a traitor. That was something she could promise herself.
Quinn's internal conflict and ensuing self-affirmation was rather rudely cut off by a harsh knocking on the door.
"Quinn, get out here." Came her hosts voice, and hastily she dragged herself from bed, dressing on her way to the door. Throwing it open, only to find Swain standing before her in his full battle armour, looking deadly as ever, though she thought she saw a trace of nervousness in his eyes, the two birds roosting nervously on his shoulder, their feelings much more obvious.
"There is someone here to see us."
He turned around, and nodded her towards a man in the doorway. Staring impassively at the group with the assurance of someone who knew no one in the room could do a damn thing to go against him or even think of hurting him.
A man in the robes of a summoner.
"Miss Quinn, you and Mister Swain are both needed on the fields of justice."
Quinn's blood went cold. The league. She had entirely forgotten the league, what if after the match they sent her back to Demacia, what if she couldn't get back here... Worst of all, what if she and Swain were to be on opposing sides of the match, Valor and Beatrice would have no choice to hurt one another. The league didn't know they were mates, one was Noxian, the other was Demacian. It went without saying that they'd be on opposing sides. Swain however, only had one question on his mind as he lowered his helm over his features.
"How did you know Quinn was here?" He asked, his eyes burning over the sash covering his face. The summoner, face half hidden in the hood of his fanciful, rune covered robe however did not seem in the faintest bit intimidated, staring right back at the lord of Noxus, his lip twitching up with the faintest hint of contemptuous disdain.
"The institute of war knows where all its champions are, Jericho. We must, for us to be able to call on you whenever the need arises. You know that." It took a moment for Quinn to notice, but the summoner hadn't called Swain by the name she knew him by, Jericho? So that was his first name... She had only ever heard him called Swain, and it had honestly never occurred to her that he might have another name, ridiculous as it was now that she thought about it. Jericho Swain growled under his breath as he put his cane down on a hall table, picking up his staff from its stand on the wall.
"Only my closest companions my call me by that name, Summoner."
The summoners smile only widened, a hint of teeth showing in a mocking grin. "Oh I do apologise, Lord Swain, I'll be sure to keep that in mind from now on. But don't you think we have more important things to be tending to than your preferred name? The institute is calling." He waved his hand as if to indicate a door, the door itself appeared as he did so, a swirling magenta portal tearing its way into being. Swain deigned not to give the rude mage more fuel and only nodded, stepping through the portal and fading into its magical interior, the Summoner looked to Quinn, the same snarky smile across his lips.
"Will you be joining us, Miss Harlington?" So he called Swain by his first name, and her by her last. This summoner really was just trying to rub them the wrong way, she wondered to herself why it was the institute saw it fit to send him to call them to it, instead of someone with manners. She simply glared at him as she stepped through the portal, the summoner stepping through a few moments later. Closing the portal with a literal snap of his fingers. The rush of wind filling the space ruffling Quinn's hair as she looked around the hall they had arrived in.
Like all of the institute, it was constructed from thick stone blocks, each carved with a rune, the long passage lit by braziers hanging from the ceiling, burning with a purple flame. Swain had been here dozens of times before and already he was on his way, his staff clicking against the stone with every step. Quinn however, was entirely lost, this was the side they summoned Noxian champions in, not Demacian ones. She was about to ask the summoner where it was she should be going when his mocking tone resounded from behind her, bouncing off the echoing walls. Looking all for the world like ancient, otherworldly catacombs, the institute was a rather foreboding place to be, especially with the strange noises that came from the sections they weren't allowed to enter, like the wild laughter that would resound from the room fiddlesticks was sealed within when he was not out on the fields of justice. It was by no definition of the word, homely.
"Great news miss Harlington! I'm your summoner for today." He laid a hand on her shoulder, a comradely gesture from anyone else, an irritating one from this particularly poor example of humanity, she got the sense that he was loving every moment of it. Thankfully, Valor's patience was not as strong as Quinn's and he nonchalantly moved his foot ever so slightly so as to rest atop the summoners hand, talons digging into the back of it. The Summoner yelped and pulled his hand back quickly, which was really rather a poor decision, it forced the talons deeper into the skin as he pulled away, opening 3 small wounds on his hand. "Stupid bird! Watch where you put your feet." He shoved past Quinn. Waving a hand for her to follow, "Or I won't watch where I put mine." Snarled the summoner over his shoulder. Quinn couldn't help but grin up at Valor as he fluffed himself up happily at having wiped that stupid smile off the man's face.
"Good job, Valor." He looked down to her, a cheeky twinkle in his eyes as he let out a gleeful caaw. Though, as she set off to follow her summoner for the day, Quinn thought on what that little mean gesture could mean for them, seeing as they had to deal with this petty man for a good while more. It meant one thing certainly.
This wasn't going to be a good day.
The pair of Scout and Eagle followed the Summoner for a while longer, eventually reaching the room where Summoners sent their champions to the Fields of Justice, and joined their minds with them before hand. twenty Pentagrams filled the rooms floor, in four rows. The ones on the outside for the summoners, the ones on the inside for the champions. Swain was currently standing before a young female summoner a good head and shoulders shorter than him, she had pretty, if roughly cut and poorly kempt dusty blonde hair, and had the look about her of a frightened mouse. Quinn rather got the sense that in that pairing, it would be Swain in the driver's seat. Her own summoner pulled her from the distraction, quite literally as he grabbed a hold of her wrist, rather roughly yanking her into her own pentagram as he stepped into his own, he turned to face her.
"Ready?" Before she even had time to nod, he'd place a hand on her brow, and she could feel the magic's of the summoner filling her mind. It felt rather like having someone standing over your shoulder, far too close for comfort. She could feel the Summoners thoughts in her own mind, his feelings, and his rancour for her and hers, particularly the bird who sat atop her shoulder. Staring balefully at the man, who returned the look in kind. "There, it's done. You and Jericho --" She caught Swain's shoulders tensing as he said that, he really was grating on the tyrant's nerves with his use of his given name, "-- and you, are the first to arrive. So there will be a bit of a wait. You can go to the fields to wait now, or you can wait. I don't care." The summoner turned on his heel, not being needed in the room until it was time to go, as he made his way out, Quinn caught sight of him pulling a cigarette from somewhere in his robes. Meanwhile, now that he had left the room, Swain saw fit to ask his own, rather more polite Summoner a question. "Madgova, will Quinn and I be on the same team for this battle, or not?" The Tyrant's voice burned with its usual essence of command, which did nothing to help the poor girls nervousness, she seemed to be trying to sink into her robes as she smiled worriedly up at him.
"You're... You're from opposing cities. O-of course you're not on the same side, that's um... That's not a problem is it?" Her voice only helped strengthen Quinn's mental image of her as a mouse, little more than a timid squeaking. Indeed the two birds of prey in the room had both been eyeing her rather like they would a tasty meal until she spoke, at which point, both their eyes filled with sorrow, as they whipped to face one another. Beatrice hopped from her roost on Swain's shoulder to fly to her mate, landing beside him on Quinn's own mantle and allowing him to wrap his wings about her in a loving embrace, the smaller raven crooning sadly as she buried her head into the soft downy feathers of his chest. Swain watched the wordless exchange with pain, knowing what the pair might well have to do to one another today.
They may have to kill each other.
He let out a long sigh, and turned back to face the summoner known as Madgova. "Not for me, no. But it is not I in which my concern lies." Madgova looked from him to the pair of birds on Quinn's shoulder, her eyes slowly widening as it dawned on her why it was the pair seemed so eager to embrace each other, despite their opposing cities. Her hands both came to her mouth as her eyes in turn filled with sadness, she was a very sentimental and romantic woman.
"Your birds, they're... They're in love? Oh my god, I was wondering why Quinn was with you, but it makes sense now. Oh, you're going to have to fight each other, it's so sad.... I'll --" The timid little summoner turned away from Swain to face the two tormented avians, "-- I'll do my best to make sure you two never have to fight okay? I'll keep Swain away from Quinn as much as I can." Each and every person in the room suddenly felt their respect for the young girl go up in leaps and bounds, the two birds letting out caw's of thank you as Swain merely nodded, turning away from her to step towards Quinn, extending a hand for Beatrice.
"Come along, dear. We should get out there quickly, lest the other Demacian's see you together." Valor gave him a look that said he couldn't give a damn if the other members of his nation knew he was with the raven of their enemies leader, but Beatrice nodded, giving Valor once last loving nuzzle before hopping across to Swain's pauldron, the Tyrant turning on his heel and clicking his way back to the pentagram. "Madgova, if you will."
"Oh, uh-right, right." Madgova waved her hands in a spell, the pentagram below Swain slowly getting brighter and covering the tyrant within its glow, his silhouette slowly fading away until the Tyrant no longer stood within the room. Quinn stepped onto her own dais and looked to Madgova, seeing as her own, rather poor example of a summoner still had yet to return to the room.
"Hey Madgova, could you send me to the fields as well? My summoner's out smoking, and to be frank, I don't have to deal with him anymore than I have to." She gave the girl what she hoped was a smile of comradely suffering, knowing that Madgova had to deal with him most every day ,seeing as they worked at the institute together.
"Sure! I can do that Quinn. Yeah... No one really likes Stefan, he's a jerk... You know after a match on the fields, all he talks about is how many kills his champion got, and how much a better summoner he is than anyone who didn't get as many... Which usually means it's me." She looked down at the ground bashfully as she walked to occupy Stefan's abandoned control pentagram, Quinn frowned at the other girls sadness, laying a hand on her shoulder and smiling reassuringly, her other hand coming up to brush a bang from Mangrove's eyes
"Hey, I bet you're a great summoner, Madgova. You keep practising at it and you'll far outstrip him in no time at all, so just don't let him get to you, okay?" Madgova blushed at her compliments, but smiled all the same.
"Thanks Quinn.... I'll do my best."
"Atta girl, now, shall we?" Madgova nodded and waved her hands in the same way she had for Swain, Quinn feeling her body slowly being pulled from reality. She'd never liked teleportation much, mostly for what came in the middle. On her way to the fields of Justice, Quinn found herself falling through what seemed to be an endless vortex of pure magic, chaotic swirls catching her and throwing her this way and that, Valor holding onto her painfully tight. Thankfully, the trip was brief, and she arrived at the platform at the north east end of the Fields, though for now, her only companions were Valor, as ever, and the diminutive yordle merchant just beside the rune covered ring. Who looked at her under a concerned furrowed brow.
"You all righ', missy? Yer lookin' a tad queezy."
"I, uh... Y-yeah. I'm fine. I'm fine." Quinn reassured him, but the yordle shook his head, reaching into his pack and pulling out a canteen.
"'Ere, 'ave a drink before the other champ's arrive, yeh look like you could use it." Quinn accepted the canteen gratefully and had a long draught from it, giving the merchant a smile as she handed the flask back. "Good luck out dere, young miss."
"Thanks." She looked to Valor, the bird's eyes still filled with worry. "I think we'll need it..."
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