Okay, due to many delays, Including work on my novel, I've been putting off working on this project. However, I got some time on my hands and I'm try and get some more work done of this done. Apologies for the leave of absence.
I'll post here when I have something for you guys, thanks for the continued support!
Edit: aight got a nice long section ready to post, gotta proof read and all that good stuff.
Jarvan hadn't slept much that night.
He found himself staring at the stars for most of the evening, gazing into the darkened sky, his mind on his people and those he had left behind when he had journeyed out through Valoran. His mother and father had been his only real family, his grandfather having died and passed the throne to Jarvan Lightshield III, Prince Jarvan’s father. But such a position hardly left much in the way of time to care for children and such petty things as the youth of kin. With unsettled issues hanging heavy on his heart, Jarvan had been thrust into the world of gladiator style combat training where he learned the art of war or he would die by his trainer’s weapons.
His first real trainer had been one of his father’s wards, a warrior from the east by the name of Xin Zhao. Jarvan would never be able to forget his first meeting with the dark haired Demacian warrior...
It had been a brisk morning, fog still rolling about the lower gardens of the Demacian Palace. A young Jarvan, barely into his teens, had been rousted from is bed by his maid and hurried into some training clothes and then shoved out the door towards one of the many courtyards of the palace.
“Good morning, young master.” The man bowed in his direction, only the creases at the corners of his eyes showing the truth of how old he was and how much he had seen. Jarvan had eyed him carefully. He had seen the man before, escorting his grandfather to and from the many meetings he attended throughout the days. He had never been introduced to the man, but if he was trusted by his grandfather and his father, then Jarvan had assumed that he as well could trust him.
“’Ello…” Jarvan said, raising an eyebrow high as he eyed the man curiously. “Who are you?”
“My name is Xin Zhao. At the request of your father, today we will begin your martial training.” He spoke with an odd accent. It was not one Jarvan recognized from the many different diplomats he had observed in the king’s court. “Here.”
Jarvan was barely able to catch the cloth armor jacket before it hit him upside the head. He looked at it briefly before sliding it over his head and shrugging the loose garment over his chest. He looked about for lance that the man carried about with him. “Are we using lances?”
"A lance is a weapon for knights and those who wish to use the weapon for a range advantage. It is good for open combat on the fields of battle, allowing massive strikes and a deep defensive gap between you and your opponents." The warrior said blatantly. "For a duel, you will rely on your cunning, your speed and your reactions to negotiate the battle before you. A long sword such as this one-" He tapped the training weapon at his hip, "gives you all that you will need for now."
Jarvan nodded silently and took the matching weapon from a small rack that had been set up on one side of the courtyard. Xin Zhao nodded as the prince strapped the belt around his waist.
Draw your weapon." He pulled the sword from the sheath and looking at Xin, Jarvan fell back into what you could call a cat-stance. His sword was held vaguely in front of him, between himself and Xin. He sighed as he drew his sword, the metal humming along the mouth of the sheath. He raised the gleaming blade high and bowed in salute. "Let us begin."
"Again! Get on your feet!" Xin Zhao bellowed as the prince sat on the ground, his knuckles white around the hilt of his sword. He was bloody from small cuts and bruises and sweat was pouring down his face. They had been at it for hours. The Seneschal had taught Jarvan the basic steps of a fight... initial thrust, parry, counterthrust... lunging, foot work... he was covering all the bases. Yet Jarvan just wasn't fast enough.
They say you can tell the skill of a swordsman when they first pick up the blade. Jarvan had been optimistic, hoping to tap into some unknown well of strength, but through hours of training, the young prince was still falling for the most basic tricks. He had heard many a tale of the swordsman of old; they were vigilant, swift and powerful. Jarvan was aggressive and reckless, but he didn’t learn from his mistakes. He had recognized the little things that Xin would do, but with every lock of their blades, Jarvan would fall for the same tricks. He had a huge amount of fight left in him, despite his heaving chest.
Jarvan wiped a trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth. He struggled to his feet and returned the Seneschal's salute and settled into a dueling stance, one foot forward, the other back, approximately shoulder length apart. He lunged, Xin letting him come, stepping backwards nimbly, just letting the edge of his blade strike the prince’s outstretched blade. Jarvan tried again, but put too much emphasis into the motion of his arm and was left off balance. Xin stepped inside the arc of the prince's sword and brought the pommel upwards into the Jarvan’s gut, sending him flying. He landed on his back, gasping for breath.
"Let us just be done with it." Xin said, turning. He had reacted instinctively caught off guard by the brazen manner in which Jarvan had come at him, not meaning to strike his prince so hard. "You are a not a Lightshield, you are merely a boy.”
"NO!" The prince gasped, using the scarred blade to pull himself to his feet. Xin Zhao frowned. What the Jarvan lacked in skill or swiftness, he made up for with sheer force of will and tenacity. "Again..." He could barely lift his sword to the salute. A cheer went up from around the courtyard. A large crowd of soldiers and officers, handmaidens and servants had formed, all watching their young prince fight valiantly, showing that he would never give up, despite the beating that the Seneschal was giving him. It was a testament to his strength and will power.
"Young Master..." Xin has begun to say. He stopped. The prince had his eyes closed.
I will fight... I must fight...
...I am a Lightshield… A LIGHTSHIELD.
Jarvan shivered as though someone had sent a shock down his spine.
There was a fire in Jarvan’s soul when he finally opened his eyes. A glimmer that hadn't been there before. With every fall he took, every blow that he had taken, his will was growing stronger. His determination to live, to prove that he was worthy of his name, was giving him the strength he needed.
It was then that he saw a smile tug at the corner of Xin’s mouth.
"Young Master, you're too soft for this sort of thing, we should-..." Jarvan dropped the decorum that Xin had instructed him on and launched himself forward, charging at him with new found energy. Xin raised his blade to block and was met with the humming ring of steel on steel.
"I AM A LIGHTSHEILD." The Prince said through gritted teeth. With two hands, he raised his blade up and brought it down, hard, again and again and again. Though he barely came to Xin’s shoulder, he could use the high strikes to set Xin off balance.
Xin was surprised, the prince was really laying into him and he was being driven back. Xin grabbed his sheath, pulling it off his belt and stepped back putting a gap between him and the mad blows. Taking advantage of the moment, Xin regained his footing and tried to counter attack.
As the glimmering steel blade arced towards him, Jarvan knew he was in trouble. His last strike had missed and had sent him stumbling forward right into Xin’s range. He shut his eyes, his heart beat pounding in his ears as he screamed in his mind, his base fear and will exploding in his chest.
The blade never connected.
Jarvan opened his eyes and felt warmth surrounding him like the embrace of his mother. It was comforting and the look of shock on Xin’s face told him that he had managed something that he shouldn’t have been able to. He looked to the ground and saw that a brilliant light had exploded around him, driving Xin back. A smile spread across his face as he recognized the Lightshield he had summoned.
“I am a Lightshield!” He proclaimed. He looked to Xin, expecting some sort of approving gesture.
All he got was a boot to the chest.
Jarvan smiled to himself, indulging in the memory with a fondness that he hadn’t maintained back then. He had been livid when he picked himself up off the ground in the courtyard, but he had been rewarded with a cheering crowd and a nod of approval from the strict master that Xin was turning out to be. That had been his first step towards the warrior tradition that had been passed down from Lightshield to Lightshield. In the many years that followed, he was trained as a leader of men, gradually gaining a command of his own and proving himself over and over in simulated combat and then real combat on the fields of battle.
There came a point where he had been out matched and out maneuvered though, and it would haunt him for the rest of his life. A nightmare that had haunted him ever since.
He closed his eyes, massaging the bridge of his nose, willing Swain’s face to depart from his mind for once, gracing him with a half decent night of sleep. He had enough troubles weighing on his mind now with just the most recent events hanging over him like a shadow he couldn’t escape. He had spared the dragoness for reasons he couldn’t fully understand, and he wondered if he would ever truly realize. It had been an impulse decision he had made on a whim, seeing something in her that he could only wish to see in himself. There were parts of himself that he had seen in her eyes in the first instance of their meeting.
Fear… confusion… a loss of purpose… He had seen all of them swimming around in those magenta eyes, hiding just behind a thin veil of anger. But even deeper down… there was a fire in her heart.
Sleep continued to evade him though, despite what he try to put his mind at ease. He suffered as he always had the image of Swains haunting red eyes hanging in front of him, looking down on him, accusingly, with both pity and malice deeply set in his gaze. That gaze continued to haunt him, terrorizing his conscious and eternally driving him mad. Jarvan heard a rustling along the smooth surface of the stone, the light pit-pat of bare feet moving about. He opened his eyes, only to find a pair of bright magenta eyes staring back at him. His voice caught in his throat, luckily catching the yelp he nearly emitted at the sight of Shyvana standing directly over him.
“What do you want??” He hissed quietly, willing his heart to slow itself from racing. He tried to keep his voice as low as he could, trying not to disturb the men. A guard was posted a short ways down the main staircase, where he had a clear view of the path as it wound through the stone mountains from the pass. They may have been somewhat alone, but his men were still asleep around the depression. Shyvana just stared at him though, her face just in front of his, her hair teasing his nose and brushing against his check. She reached out towards his face, but he intercepted her hand before it came too close for comfort. He grabbed her about the wrist, keeping clear of the injured knuckles and fingers he had bandaged earlier as best he could, despite the blind move.
“Your face…” She whispered softly, her hand still hesitantly extended, her smaller arm still caught in his powerful grasp. As much as it unnerved him, she didn’t oppose his grip, only wincing slightly when he accidentally applied too much pressure, his gaze uneasy. She didn’t flinch though, her eyes still set on his cheek. He slowly released her hand, letting her fingers slide forward and brush along his cheek. He felt the sticky sting of the gashes she had carved on his face from earlier in the day.
“It doesn’t bother me… I’ve become used to injuries like them.” He said reassuringly, a bit of bravado lacing his voice, the rest stalwart honestly.
Through his two years fighting and journeying in the wastelands, he had come to be used to all the little cuts and bruises that came with combat. He was used to it, and he had long ago been trained to not let such small things bother him. Such minor distractions could lead to disgrace in death in battle.
“You are a curious one, Jarvan Lightshield IV.” She said quietly, coming nearly nose to nose with his, staring deep into his eyes. A romantic notion came to mind but he dismissed it. He had no interest in such things right now, and he didn’t wish to take advantage of her emotionally confused state. He couldn’t say much more for his own emotional health, but he did have a set of values he would abide by.
“Jarvan is fine…” He said, staring up at her. “Just…. Jarvan.”
“Shyvana….” She echoed, cocking her head slightly to the side, still staring at him with those haunting eyes. “…just Shyvana.” He could hear a hint of something in her voice which he hadn’t heard in a long times.
…playfulness? He couldn’t even begin to recognize the emotion.
“Is there something I can help you with?” He asked, sighing, closing his eyes again almost wishing that she would remove herself from his face. While attractive, he still had only just met the young half-dragoness and only hours previous she had been trying to kill him.
“Why have you come here?” Her voice had lost that hint, that something foreign to his ears that almost left him hopeful he would here it more. It had been replaced with the cold dead inquisitiveness of a lost soul, someone searching for something now, searching for anyone to give her a purpose, anyone to latch onto.
The same question, yet again….
Jarvan pushed himself up, Shyvana finally pulling back from being directly in his face, giving him a little breathing room at last. She stepped back over him, keeling at his side as he propped himself up with one arm, reexamining the dragoness as if for the first time. He put aside the fact that she had been trying to kill him and simply took in her appearance for a brief moment. The pale moon light left her skin with an eerie, almost blue tint to it, her hair a bright purplish hue in the blue desert moonlight. Her eyes shone a brilliant magenta though, standing out like beacons in the night, an almost inhuman quality to them. He smiled at his own joke, causing Shyvana to cant her head slightly to the side, confused at the gesture.
“Come, talk with me while.” Jarvan said, getting slowly to his feet. “You never know…” He murmured, looking up into the sky again staring straight past the moon and into the heavens. “Maybe it’ll calm your nerves and ease my tensions.”
The stone was cold under his bare feet, but the cool night air against his bare skin was refreshing and invigorating. He had taken advantage of the rare situation of a protected location and had stripped down to just his uniform pants to sleep in for once. Underneath the armor, he had collected a motley collection of scars of his own, the true trophies of his combat beneath the Great Barrier. He pulled his boots on, tucked a knife into the cuff of the right one, and donned a rough hewn tunic against the brisk night air. Shyvana watched him rise, still kneeling where she had been before; her hands perched on her knees.
Jarvan motioned for her to follow as he slowly made his way up the upper staircase to where Shyvana’s father’s corpse still lay. He respectfully past the corpse though, just out of earshot of his men. The wind might carry their voices, but it wouldn’t carry far enough to disturb anyone. Jarvan sat down carefully, perched on the edge of the overhang, his back to a pillar, his neck craned to look out over the Shurima desert. Shyvana followed close behind him, stopping to stand, looking out over the desert for a brief moment. He motioned for her to sit, gesturing to another pillar with a broad sweeping gesture. The young dragoness looked at him for a few seconds and then with a cursory glance at the corpse, she clasped her eyes shut, turning her head away in pain. She sat down on the edge, her feet dangling over the edge of the stone monolith, her hair blowing in the gentle night wind. She brushed it out of her face and tucked the untidy mess behind her ear. She pulled the rough blanket tighter around her, her legs kicking whimsically over the edge as is she didn’t have a care in the world for once.
The image reminded Jarvan of the Demacian Academy school girls who had often tried to garner his attention during his rare times on the campus. It was a stark contrast though, the smudges of dirt accenting her face instead of makeup, the heavy burden of the loss of her father weighing on her shoulders where the school girls only had their books and studies to drag them down. Years of traditional education paled in comparison to the wisdom and knowledge that Shyvana’s father had bestowed upon her. Jarvan had never been enticed by the women of Demacia, most of them too petty and too concerned with their looks and the concerns of the middle class only weighing on their minds.
Shyvana was by far more attractive in his eyes, though to many she might be nothing more than a beast that should be slain or returned to the wild. Jarvan had learned much in his travels though, slowly losing interest in the hunts, and gradually realizing he was seeking to learn from the prey rather than merely take their bones and scales as trophies.
He had learned stealth from the wild Seeker Beasts of the Plague Jungles, strength from the great Ravager Bisons of the Tempest Flats, patience from the vicious Kumungu Saber Tigers as they tracked their prey, ingenuity from the Striped Monkeys of the Uristan ruins… the list went on. He had been learning more as he hunted, taking the traits of the wild residents of Valoran.
“You’ve taught me one of the most important things I think I was missing…” He said, looking out over the Shurima desert, his memories drifting past his eyes. When Jarvan had left Demacia, he was looking for atonement. He was looking for absolve for the guilt he felt for letting his men die due to his own stupidity and failure, hoping to find it in the combat of Valoran.
He hadn’t found it yet.
However… what he had found was the motivation to go on; to keep on fighting for his men, to never rest till he had vanquished his foes. It had lit a fire in his soul, but at times, this left him conflicted. He felt alive when he was fighting for his life; he felt the passion of combat, the truth of his existence. His love to fight, it was in his blood. He had learned though, imparted from the wisdom of the Anubis, Nasus, that fighting didn’t always lead to answers. He leaned back against the pillar, his mind lost in thought. Shyvana leaned over, perching her chin on Jarvan’s knee. She stared at him for a few moments, as if she was waiting.
Her eyes glowed in the moonlight, the image hinting at the beastly nature that resided behind the façade of a broken and lost young woman. Jarvan matched her stare for a long time, searching deep into those shimmering orbs of rose and magenta color. They stood out in the night, the fire that burned brightly in them unable to be hidden by the dull pains of the loss of her father.
There was something deep in those eyes that sent a shock up and down Jarvan’s spine.
“What could I have taught you?” She asked, confused. Her brow furrowed in thought, her eyes dropping away from his gaze to stare intently at a loose thread on the tunic that Jarvan wore. She looked up at him again, and caught him still staring at her. She blushed and glanced away from him. “My father taught me many things… but I’ve only just met you.” She fell silent against, moving away from Jarvan slightly, sitting up again. “…how could I have taught you anything?”
“You defended your father against us… even though you could have never won against us…”
“That’s what you think.” Shyvana said with a small giggle.
Her laughter surprised Jarvan. It was a sound that had long eluded him, and something he had never really cared for back in Demacia. He had regarded children with vague disinterest, and he had paid no mind the giggle and flirtatious looks that he attracted when he strode through the corridors of the Academy. He had done his best to flaunt it, and when it served him he could abuse it to get his way, but deep down he knew that the girls that gazed up him wanted one of two things: power or money. It was the desire that they could someday be the next queen and live out their days in the comfort of the Demacian Palace that drove them. It disgusted Jarvan to no end.
However, the sound that came from Shyvana as that playful spark returned to her eyes and voice, it was different. Genuine. She had found humor in his words despite the disparate position she was in. Despite the fact that one could interpret the gesture as a threat… Jarvan idly dismissed it, wondering how he could coax more of that gorgeous sound from the girl.
Shyvana purposefully paid him no heed. She looked down to the sands of Shurima, the wind shaping and whipping the sands into something completely different than what they had just been. They swirled and rippled like an ocean that had become weary with life and has simply decided it was tired. The eerie blue cast of the moon further reinforced Jarvan’s impression of a sleepy ocean.
“My father once told me though…” Shyvana continued to look out over the ocean of sand, a fond look slowly surfacing on her face. “You should never attack someone outright for any reason. Only defend those you love from the attacks of those blinded by ambition or emotion.”
Those words struck Jarvan as odd at first.
He had long followed blindly with the notion that he was fighting for some noble cause. He had been reared on the thought that all Noxians were his mortal enemies and that anyone opposed Demacia’s reign and expansion were in the wrong. It had never occurred to him that it could have been him and his people that could have been at fault. He furrowed his brow in thought as he tried to quell the lingering doubt that had gotten lodged in his mind.
Demacia was absolute though, it was the greatest of powers in Valoran bringing justice and freedom to all and… Jarvan paused.
Why should anyone oppose us? We are only doing what is right… only what… He paused again. The revelation rocked over him.
“What we see as true…” Jarvan spoke softly, his brow still knit in argument with himself.
“What one perceives as truth is not always the truth.” Shyvana said. She looked almost content as she continued to stare out over the Shurima desert. “Unlike the texts of tomes and the scriptures of civilizations past, the world can’t be seen in black and white.” She gestured out towards the desert with a broad sweep of her arm. “The world is awash with an infinite shade of grey and as many colors as one can imagine. The same can be said for people and their reasons. Absolute truth is an idea created by man to reassure his methods.”
Jarvan smiled broadly as the realization Shyvana had instilled in him took over his thoughts. He didn't fight for Demacia, he fought for himself and for his own satisfaction and gain. No longer could he hide behind the veil of ideals and politics. There would come a time when Jarvan would be given the laurels of the Rule of Demacia. Until then, he could only work to keep those he cared for safe and to protect his country and his people. His duty was to his people, not the idea that Demacia was the sole absolute truth in life.
Jarvan looked back up and once again was face to face with Shyvana, her eyes looking deep into his. He tried to jump back, but the stone pillar behind him kept him from running from her. The tip of her nose was bare millimeters from his own and her bright eyes glimmered as she cocked her head slightly to the side, both curiosity and mischief sparkling behind those magnificent magenta orbs.
The pause between them continued to grow between them.
“You look troubled, Jarvan.”
“I… I…” Jarvan closed his eyes and calmed the chaotic swirl that was his mind. “Let me ask you a question.”
Shyvana sat back on her haunches and cocked her head the opposite direction. “Proceed.”
“Say you face an enemy that you have long been opposed to, but they have never personally wronged you.” Shyvana paused but kept her rapt attention on Jarvan. “You’re faced with a choice: do you continue to oppose them or do you just ignore them?”
Shyvana frowned as she thought.
“My father was the scholar, not I.” She said with trepidation. “However, he did tell me something once.” She laid down next to Jarvan, letting her head hang down over the ledge as she renewed her stares over the Shurima deserts.
“Shy-…” She pressed a finger to his lips and motioned for him to do the same. Jarvan creased his brow as took pause at the seemingly foolish gesture. Shyvana looked up at him and spitted him with a glare. He sighed and followed suit. He felt foolish as he scooted along the stone and lay out, his head hanging over the edge of the stone monolith. He looked out over the desert. It was odd to look at the world like this but he couldn’t figure what he was supposed to be seeing.
“’Even if you turn the entire world upside down, the world will continue to spin’.” Shyvana’s voice was low and reverent. Jarvan could hear the tears welling in her eyes as she quoted her father’s philosophy. “’So it is not our place to judge or render judgment, but it is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves from the unjust judgment of others’. My father watched and protected this pass for hundreds of years because of his beliefs. He was unlike men in that he possessed the wisdom to abhor war and strife, though he was no stranger to it. He survived the rune wars and he made it his goal to protect and prevent those dark times from ever resurfacing.”
Jarvan watched the shifting sands with unease heavy on his chest. A heavy weight was crushing him slowly and as he sat here with this young Dragoness, he slowly began to feel that weight upon his chest ease. The bright eyes and optimism she seemed to embody in this unguarded moment belayed the body of her father that was not thirty feet away. It was refreshing.
Shyvana blinked away her tears as she sat up and looked to the carcass of her father.
Jarvan sat upwards as well with a grunt of awkward exertion. He looked to her face and saw the innocence evaporate as something dangerous flashed in her eyes.
Anger is threatening those beliefs that her father held.
It simmered quickly and the fight drained from her eyes leaving her looking lost and sad, like she was afraid of the world around her.
He searched for something reassuring or comforting to say but he was at a loss for words.
How does one console a dragon?
He opened his mouth to say something, but his mouth felt dry and the words didn’t form when her eyes glazed over and tears began to fall down her cheeks.
Jarvan could fell, skin, gut and field strip a Ravager Bison without batting an eye. He had dueled the likes of the Frost Trolls to a standstill and nearly frozen to death in the Freljord. He had taken on the likes of the great, multi-eyed Amethyst Wyrms of legend with nary more than a few acid burns to show for it.
Faced with the tears of a young dragoness, Jarvan was at a complete loss.
She had been alone for so long, without the only person who had ever cared for her lost from her. The pain and hardship must have been unbearable.
He began to reach out to but a hand reassuringly on her shoulder but paused, still at a loss. She looked at him as tears continued to well in her eyes and run down her cheeks, the brilliance in her magenta eyes dulled by the pain that afflicted her and now struck at him as well. Seeing her like this, it was almost too much to bear. Shyvana fell towards Jarvan as she burst in muted sobs, tears staining Jarvan’s rough spun tunic. He looked down at the head of dirty red hair and the small convulsing shoulders. He placed a hand on either shoulder and simply let her cry against him, wishing he knew what kind words he could offer to sooth the pain she felt.
She cried, and she cried, and she cried.
The next morning, Jarvan woke as the sun crested the mountains behind him. He squinted as the orange orb slowly rose over the distant peaks. There was a certain silence that the morning brought that was peaceful and set his mind at ease. As he took several deep breaths of the last of the cool night air, he realized there was a bundled lump asleep next to him. He felt his cheeks grow hot as Shyvana’s red hair peeked out from under the edge of the dark blanket.
He remembered her falling asleep last night with choked sobs and tears still running down her face. He hadn’t the heart to roust her from her uneasy slumber and his presence alone seemed to have calmed her.
Jarvan carefully stretched, still trying not to disturb the young dragoness. As his arms rose above him, he realized that he felt well rested for once. He paused, trying to remember what had plagued his dreams the night before.
The realization that he had slept restlessly was both shocking and amazing to him. He took pause, and looked down at the young dragoness and smiled. He tucked one of the dirty strands of hair that fell into her face behind her ear. He was already growing fond of the young dragoness. Perhaps she would return to Demacia with him.
Jarvan stiffened as a demonic screech cut through the sky and echoed back and forth about Mogron pass. He looked skywards for the source of the sound.
Shyvana jumped up, on all fours, her hair almost standing straight up as she growled. Her eyes had grown wide, going from a frightful sleep to unbridled fury in an instant. Her face was a mix of horrifying and demonic rage, her eyes wide and her grow contorted in her rage. She bared gleaming white teeth with long fangs.
“It’s him!” She roared. “He’s returned!” Gone was the innocence from the night before, replaced by a fury brought on by hellfire’s of damnation. As the cry echoed across the pass again, Jarvan’s men stumbled onto the plateau, their weapons drawn and raised to the sky. Shyvana continued to growl as she watch the horizon of a distant mountain.
“Who?” Jarvan asked as he struggled awkwardly to his feet, his leg stiff. “Who has returned?”
“Kampf!” She shouted. “Come down here! Show yourself!” She bellowed into the open sky, slowly turning slowly, as if she were tracking a target.
“Kampf?” Jarvan repeated, frowning.
“Here, sire.” Forsythe tossed Jarvan his tunic and gloves. Jarvan plucked them from the air and shucking the rough tunic he had been wearing, he pulled the tight leather tunic that he attached his armor to over his head. Jarvan pulled his hair free of the tunic and tucked the garment into his pants, fastening his belt down. He began attaching his armor plates, fastening the snaps and shoving the belt through the buckles, fastening them down. He took his helm from Argyle’s outstretched hand and his lance from Isaacs. The remainder of his men were packing up the encampment, breaking down the cook fire and scattering the coals and rolling their bedding away.
The men eyed Shyvana with tepid interest, still not sure whether they should fear her. Jarvan nodded to them subtly which seemed to calm them. They eased their stances slightly, but yet another ear splintering screech caused them to clamp their hands over their ears. Jarvan dropped his helmet and clasped his hands over his ears as Shyvana screamed back, her cry both pained and vicious.
As Jarvan and his men struggled to regain their footing, a dark shadow swept over them. A massive black dragon crashed down onto the monolith, his massive talons crushing the rock and sending dust cascading down the side of the monolith. He was a massive reptilian beast with long black horns and small red eyes that shown like rubies even in the morning sunshine. His chin was lined with rows of razor sharp horns, his head distinguished by one massive horn that curved around the right side of his face, the opposite horn having been broken off long ago in a battle with another great beast. He snorted smoke that rolled across the plateau like fog in the early morning, the stench of his breath overpowering.
His eye darted back and forth between Jarvan and Shyvana, what one could best call a sneer forming on his long snout. His body was covered in black oily looking scales from head to the tip of his tail, shard bony extrusions dotting his spine and festooning his shoulders and the tip of his wings. His massive black wings folded back as he used crooked talons to hold himself upon the plateau, swinging his great head, taking in Jarvan’s motley crew.
“Ah yes.” He rumbled. Jarvan could hear the bass tones of the mythic beast reverberating in his heart, the beast voice alone able to cause his heart to race. “The monster-slaying hero.” He paused as he reared his head back and let a booming chuckle reverberate from his scaly belly. His chest swelled as fire licked the sky, a great pillar of flame reaching out as if to blind even the sun. As smoke curled from his nostrils and his great jaws, he lowered his head to Jarvan’s eye level. “Did you ever find the remnants of your friends that I devoured?” He chuckled again, the stone beneath Jarvan’s feet rumbling with the sound. “I tried to leave them somewhere you would find them…”
“You-you…” Jarvan swept his lance back as he crouched to leap but the dragon knocked it aside, sending the weapon tumbling down over the edge of the cliff. Jarvan nearly went after as he tumbled backwards, stopped only by his crash into one of the pillars that rose up around the edge of the monolith. The dragon took a massive stride forward and clasping Jarvan’s leg in one talon lifted him high. As Jarvan struggled with the crushing pressure on his leg, the beast eyed his squirming with vague disinterest.
“Spare me, pathetic human.” The shutter lid swept back across his eye and retracted again as the beast took Jarvan’s defiant glare in. A long pink scar swept down across his eye, bisecting scales and ending abruptly at the corner of his jaw. His left wing was also held at an odd angle, the leathery material shredded in places. There were also long gashes along his throat that swept along his neck and down his side.
“PUT HIM DOWN!” The dragon swung his head towards Shyvana, who was still down on all fours, her teeth bared and her eyes wide. She had long thin pupils like that of her dragon father, her rage barely contained as she struggled to keep her beast form from surfacing.
“And the half-human runt.” Kampf chuckled again as he continued toying with Jarvan. “How fitting you would fall for a human just like your father. Typical.” He tossed Jarvan up into the air and plucked him from his fall towards the edge by his other leg. Jarvan screwed up his face in pain, but he refused to let the beast get any satisfaction out of Jarvan.
“He is mine!” Shyvana hissed, her voice rumbling from her throat unlike anything Jarvan had heard from her before.
Kampf paused and eyed Jarvan again. He then swung his massive head towards Shyvana and eyed her as well. He reared back and belched more flame into the sky as he roared in laughter.
“How quaint!” Kampf roared as he shook with laughter, a crooked grin forming on his long snout in his best impersonation of a human sneer. “You have developed an affection for him?” Kampf said, dangling Jarvan above Shyvana like a treat just out of her reach. She continued to stay down, her rage still growing as smoke rose from beneath her palms.
“Fine, you want him?” Kampf said, rearing back, “You can-…ARGH!” The beast hissed in pain as he brought Jarvan too close to his great head. The Prince had finally managed to retrieve his knife from his boot and as he swung past, dangling upside down, he had struck out, his knife aiming for the beast’s eye.
The blade had struck true and deep, black blood gushing from the socket as Kampf reared back and sprayed fire and smoke into the sky, roaring in pain. He tossed Jarvan aside like a child angry with his toy. The prince crashed into Shyvana, sending them both tumbling into the basin on the lower plateau of the monolith. They crashed into one of the walls, the wind getting expelled from Jarvan’s lungs, and Shyvana crashing on top of him.
His head spinning and blackness creeping into the edge of his vision, Jarvan struggled to calm his spinning head as Shyvana struggled to get to her feet, sprawled across the prince’s lap.
“Are you hurt?” He opened his eyes, the plateau still spinning underneath him, a red blur centered in his vision. As the sky slowly righted itself and the many stars retreated from his vision, the red mass resolved itself into the red hair and violet eyes of Shyvana. Her eyes were aflame in anger, but there was still worry plastered across her face.
“I think so…” Jarvan said with effort. His chest felt heavy, as if someone were sitting on it. “I think I may have cracked rib or two.” He said as he leaned forward and struggled to his feet. He looked up as the blackened corpse of one of his men went sailing by, tumbling down the side of the monolith towards the desert below.
“You and your men, “She glanced to where they stood defensively, “Should get out of here.” Shyvana said. She stepped over Jarvan towards Kampf.
“Like hell.” Jarvan said, an ambitious grin on his face. “I still have to pay this bastard back.” He raised his lance and pointed at the dragon. “Besides, I love a challenge.” Jarvan looked to Isaacs, a grin on his face. “Lieutenant?”
“Ours is but to do or die.” Isaacs said, licking his lips. “We will follow you anywhere, my liege.”
“You’re sure you want to do this?” Shyvana frowned as she turned back to Jarvan. Seeing his ambition and aggression she couldn’t help put on a brave expression for the prince. He could see she was trembling, her shoulders and arms held tight around her. Whether it was due to rage or fear, Jarvan couldn’t be certain, but he reached out and put a hand on her shoulder. She looked back at him with her violent magenta Eyes. Jarvan could tell that she wanted retribution for her father, and he didn’t think she would be able to live with herself unless she was able to see this vile beast slain, or do it herself.
“I’ve got your back no matter what.” Jarvan spoke with a certainty that instilled confidence in Shyvana. She smiled as he picked up his lance and stepped up to her side. Jarvan took off at a run, closing on the beast. Shyvana raced past, a swirling sheet of flame beneath her feet carrying her forward at an unbelievable pace. He reared back her fist as she closed with the beast and collected a ball of flame in her hand. The flames swirled around her fist and she struck, hard, the ball of flame exploding against his scaly hide. She followed the blow up with an almost instant strike with her left hand, using the flat palmed blow to smash through the fire weakened scales. Kampf roared in pain as he kicked out, the blow sending Shyvana skittering back across the surface of the plateau.
Jarvan crashed the pommel of his lance down on the sandstone plinth and send a standard flying through the air, arcing high above the dragon. It crashed down, striking the sandstone and imbedding itself opposite the beast. Jarvan hit a button on his lance, cause a small magical charge to explode, extending his lance instantly. He hooked one of the barbed tips of the lance around the standard and pulled himself in, the lance retracting, drawing him past the dragon. He flew directly under the beasts snout, and using his standard as a back stop, his kicked off and launched himself towards the beast. He brought his lance up, using his forward motion to put extra force behind his first blow. He aimed for the beast’s neck, and the blow hit with a sound like the firing of a cannon, but the dragon’s thick hide and armored scales did much to deflect the blow. It did drive deep and Jarvan pulled himself up and over the beast, rolling in a rough landing that left him on a knee as he skidded to a stop.
“Isaacs!” Jarvan ordered, turning to his men, “Keep your distance but don’t let the beast escape!” Jarvan ordered as he sprinted forward again. The Lieutenant and his men surged forward, propelled by their captain’s battle cry and their will to live. As they charged, a wave of flame swept over them.
“Shield!” Isaacs shouted at the last moment. He and his men raised their shield over their heads and brought the broad metal plates down in front of them, crouching behind the large broad steel plates. However, several men had forgotten their shields and they paid for it with their lives. Two more men went to meet their maker, their charred corpses falling to the ground unceremoniously.
Shyvana moved from side to side, juking Kampf’s attempts to snap at her. He nearly clipped her one time, but she raised her arms and was merely knocked backwards towards her father’s remains. She went end over end, and crashed into the remains. She pulled herself up to her knees, struggling to raise herself up.
She had just pulled herself to her feet when Jarvan bowled her over, grasping her around the middle and diving to the side. She rolled with him as she felt the hair on her back get burned away, black smoke rising from the bones, the last of Shyvana’s father remains getting burned away. All that was left were the bones. Shyvana came up on all fours and skittered to a stop, her nails already stumps. Bloody marks were left on the stone beneath her, her rage blinding her to the pain in her hands. She launched herself forward, flames billowing behind her as she sprinted, rising up onto two feet.
Jarvan extended his lance and struck the dragon on his shoulder, just above the joint to his wing. The blow had just managed to strike the scales right and the blade managed to get under the scales, cutting deep. The dragon roared, rearing back angrily. He struck left and then right with the extended lance, the blade skittering along Kampf’s neck.
The sound of Shyvana’s transformation caused bile to rise in Jarvan’s throat as her skin seemed to bubble and boil as she launched up through the air. Her arms seemed to break and snap in multiple places as the bones splintered and expanded, taking on a whole new form. Her nose elongated into a long snout, her eyes growing in size and her teeth growing into mighty fangs. Her bones knit themselves together as she expanded and spread her wings.
They were tattered as if someone had shredded them, and her attempt to launch into flight only left her crashing down towards Kampf in a ball of talons, fangs and flames. She struck hard, her newfound mass catching the dragon off guard. Shyvana lashed out with her claws, spaying flame as she swiped at his face. She raked her claws across his injured eye, the bloody socket getting shredded. She grappled with him momentarily, before she opened her mighty jaw and clamped down around his throat. She tried to pike through the scales, but her sharpened fangs only ground on the armored plates. The softer tissue on his neck started to give way, causing him to roar in pain. He lashed back and forth, his brute strength great enough to even heft Shyvana and toss her back, her grip unable to hold on.
Kampf slashed at her with his talons, cutting a deep swath in Shyvana’s side and down her leg. Jarvan dove to the side again as Shyvana crashed down, the young dragon trying to roll out of the fall but merely crashing down on the stone. She roared in anguish, the sound like that of a wounded animal. She struggled to right herself, and when she finally managed to get herself to her feet, she took off at a sprint on all fours, fire swirl around her feet and leaving a burning wake on the ground behind her. She lashed out again, her claws cutting deep but catching on his armor plates. Kampf spun and struck Shyvana with his tail, the heavy pummel like appendage easily batting her aside. As she tumbled through the air, she shrunk down to her human form. Her frame falling back to its normal size, the thick blue skin and armored scales reverting to her delicate pale skin. Her hair returned to its long length, the long red strands the shade of the crimson blood that stained her skin. She hit the monolith and rolled, her body twisting at and odd angle as she did.
Shyvana finally came to rest, face down on the ground, a pool of blood expanding from the massive wounds on her side and hip.
“NO!” Jarvan bellowed. “SHYVANA!”
His face contorted in rage, Jarvan thrusted his lance forward, sparking the magic charge that resided in the long barrel of his weapon. The tip of the lance exploded forward, extending many times its reach and hooking to one of the many horns that crested Kampf’s brow. The Dragon screeched in anger, tossing his head up, nearly ripping Jarvan’s arm from his socket as he tossed Jarvan skyward. Jarvan tried to roll as he landed, trying to come up in a fighting stance. He only managed to crash into yet another pillar as the dragon spread its wings and threatened to send all of Jarvan’s men stumbling off the side as he took off unsteadily into the sky in a massive gust of wind.
Jarvan pulled himself to his feet as the beast circled about, preparing to swoop in upon the monolith and spray it with fire.
“Take cover!” He shouted as the beast closed in, Jarvan’s men scattering for shelter behind rocks. Jarvan dove towards Shyvana, her form still lying motionless upon the ground, the deep gash in her side, running down her hip and across her thigh. Jarvan summoned his lightshield with all of his strength, throwing the barrier up around him and the dragoness, the flames descending around them. Jarvan turned as he poured what magical energy he had remaining into the shield, the heat barely getting split to either side. He felt his armor growing hot as the dragon’s flames began to break through the Lightshield. They scorched his back and began to burn through the leather tunic when the beast finally passed overhead and the flames retracted. Jarvan fell to his knees over the dragoness, his legs limp and his arms feeling frail with the exertion. Sweat poured down his face and his back screaming in agony as blackened flesh tightened over the wound. Shyvana blinked open her eyes as tears dripped down Jarvan’s nose, the pain overwhelming.
“Jar…van….” She said softly, her small trembling hand reach up to his cheek. “…you saved me.” Her gaze looked distant.
“Stay with me…” Jarvan breathed softly. The monolith was eerily silent as Kampf circled around yet again. He would be looking for a finishing blow with his good eye. “I’m going to finish this. For the both of us.” Shyvana smiled weakly, tears welling up in her eyes. Her hand fell away from his face and her eyes fluttered shut, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Thank…. You….” She fell silent.
“Shy… Shyvana…” Jarvan breathed, he froze, his mind racing, his anger flaring, desperate for something to help her. He reached into a pouch on his belt and withdrew a small vial, filled with a crimson substance. He snapped the top off of the small vial and carefully holding Shyvana’s head with one hand, and emptied the contents into her mouth. He could only hope it wasn’t too late.
A green aura enveloped her as she coughed and spluttered, the health potion taking effect, the dragoness on the verge of death. Her eyes fluttered open as she looked up in the smiling face of the Jarvan.
“Welcome back.” He said softly. She smiled and closed her eyes again. Nuzzling his hand weakly. Her chest rose and fell, her heart beat thready but solid. He laid her head gently on the stone and stood, ignoring the pain in his back. He retrieved his lance and looked skywards, the dragon diving towards him. Jarvan stood valiantly, taunting the beast in.
“It’s time to end this, Kampf!” Jarvan bellowed. “You dare defy my will?” Jarvan smirked, a thought racing through his mind.
“Demacia… get some.” Jarvan raised his arm and clasped his hand down over his other arm, bending it at the elbow. He raised his fist and extended his middle finger in a defiant archaic gesture that Kampf immediately recognized.
Kampf screamed in rage at the obscene gestures that Jarvan made, refusing to be goaded on by this pathetic human. He dove, aiming for the human standing defiantly on the cliff. As he stretched his talons open for the strike, the human rolled away.
Jarvan dove to the side, coming up in a stance on one knee and a hand to brace him and struck the pommel of his lance down onto the stone. The center of his lance shot out like a ballista, arcing up through the air, and landing deep in the neck of dragon. The beast roared as it coiled back, trying to grasp the standard with his jaw and rip it out, however the standard retreated as the beast tried to gnash at it. Jarvan sprinted towards the edge of the cliff as the beast tumbled down, towards the ground, rolling and writhing in pain. Jarvan extended his lance again, the long blade extending out to strike the dragon. The blade just barely missed, but the dragon realized only just too late that Jarvan hadn’t been aiming for him. The hooked prongs at the end of the weapon hooked onto the standard that was impaled upon his neck, drawing Jarvan in at an alarming speed. The beast swung its head around and rolled, spraying flames at the pesky human, but the flames had no effect, a bright Lightshield erupting between him and his quarry, as the human continued to close, his weapon raised above his head.
Jarvan raised his weapon up, and summoning all the force in his body and the spirit of his fathers before him, he struck down as the beast crashed into the ground. His lance pierced the beast’s chest and drove home as the hit the ground. The impacted with such force that the ground around them rose up to form an arena, the sandstone spires rising up to surround Jarvan and the beast that writhed in agony, blood pouring from the massive wound. Kampf tried to belch flames and burn Jarvan to a crisp in an act of defiance, but they exploded outwards from his chest, sending Jarvan flying.
Jarvan struck one of the walls of the cataclysm that the fall had caused and the force of the blow caused him to lose consciousness. He crumpled upon the ground at the edge of the staggered wall.
When Jarvan came to, he found himself still in the arena he and his draconian quarry had made, but the beast was absent. He shook the confusion from his head and pulled himself to his feet, his head swimming. As he struggled to maintain his balance, the black blood that coated the ground and the sides of the arena told Jarvan that his quarry hadn’t gone far and wouldn’t last long less he could find a place to lay up and heal. He needed to find the bastard. He didn’t think he would survive another round and it was going to be rough even if any of his men had survived.
Jarvan retrieved his lance from the side of the arena and gave it a cursory inspection. The magical components were still intact and he had a few of the standards still loaded in the long weapons hidden barrel. Satisfied the weapon would hold up, he slammed the pommel into the ground and launched a standard through the air, arcing the flag up and onto the peaks of the arena. It impacted heavily in the rock and bored down and stuck, forming a solid anchor though an odd angle. Jarvan spread his feet to roughly shoulder width apart and struck out, triggering his lance. The head fired and extended like a pile, he swung the weapon at the last second and hooked the prong onto the standard and with a tug, he found himself being launched upward and out of the arena. He sailed over the edge with ease but found himself tumbling down towards the ground leading with his shoulder. He crashed into the ground and rolled, ending up in a pile a few feet from his intended landing point. He grunted and blew dust from his mouth as he righted himself and slowly pulled himself to his feet.
Maybe that fight took more out of me than I thought it did.
Jarvan looked up to the fire blackened monolith that stretched up toward the sky. He jogged to the edge of the ridge he was below and paused, looking about. Droplets of black blood led north, headed for the entrance to Mogron Pass. The trail that led back up to the top of the monolith was to his right. He took pause, almost dreading to find out just how many of his men had survived, but steeled himself against the thoughts. He stepped over the edge of the ridge and jumped, sliding down the soft material towards the path, starting a small avalanche as he went. He jumped clear of the falling debris and jogged the rest of the way up to the base of the watchtower. He had already spotted two unidentifiable bodies in that short journey.
It might not be about who we find dead more so who we find alive. Jarvan ran up the steps two at a time, finding solace in the exertion. As he neared the top, he slowed to a walk, finding another body burned to the stone, his body burned to a crisp. Jarvan leaned down and carefully chipped away some of the burnt flesh to reveal the Demacian dog tags that had hung on a leather strap around his neck. The leather was gone and the metal was melted to the skin. Jarvan pried it free and turned it over. The name stamped on the metal read ‘Jacken Argyle’. Jarvan felt bile rising in his throat. He clasped the remains of the metal sheet in his hand and closed his eyes, the stench of burned human flesh clinging to the inside of his nose.
“Thank you, my friend.” Jarvan carefully stepped over Argyle’s remains and continued up the top of the monolith. There were the several burnt forms, many of them not more than armor and bones. Some, Jarvan could identify, though there were others completely missing.
Isaacs was sitting on the steps that led upwards towards the top of the monolith, his head in his hands. At the sound of armored boots on the stone, he looked up. His eyes were tired and bloodshot, and instantly Jarvan knew.
“He died at the hands of a mighty beast.” Isaacs said with a heavy sigh. “I suppose he would have liked that.”
“Valin…” Jarvan said, putting a hand on Isaacs shoulder. The man looked up. “Valin, your son was a great man and a true Demacian hero. Shore was a proud and capable soldier. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Valin Isaacs nodded solemnly and pulled himself to his feet, albeit shakily. He closed his eyes as he stretched his back.
“I think so.” He nodded again, pausing. “I think… I think that if I survive this, I’m going to retire.” He said with yet another nod as if to reaffirm his decision. “Get married again perhaps. Settle down.”
Jarvan nodded in agreement. Valin Isaacs was many years his senior and a career soldier. He hadn’t cared much for command so he had stayed in the infantry, choosing to mentor the younger Prince rather than rise through the ranks. In many ways, Jarvan was as much as his son as the young Shore. Only a few month older than Forsythe, he was nearly as young, though he had only just joined Jarvan’s company when they had suffered their crushing defeat at the hands of Swain. Under the watchful eyes of his father, he had shown great promise, but that had just been cut short. Valin clutched what Jarvan recognized as a set of dog tags that was halfway melted, just as he had found Argyles.
Jarvan turned and began to search for any other survivors. He found two more similarly charred corpses about the watch tower. Unable to recover their dog tags, he could barely identify the remains of the armor as that of Torn and Orion. He found Forsythe alive but unconscious, a gash on the top of his head above his eye. It ran all the way down, across his eye and down to the corner of his eye. A talented healer could have saved the eye, but here, stuck in Mogron pass, the boy would be wearing an eye patch for the rest of his life. Jarvan examined the wound, and while grievous, it would be survivable. Jarvan quickly bandaged the wound and then continued his search.
Jarvan moved onto the upper tier of the monolith where he found Shyvana sitting pensively, her back to the bones of her father, the remainder of his flesh burned away by the flames that Kampf had rained down upon the monolith. Jarvan stood beside her taking in the bloody sky, the sun just beginning to fall towards the horizon. He hadn’t realized it but he must have been out for several hours. Jarvan picked a singed blanket and draped it over Shyvana’s small shoulders. She clutched the blanket and leaned her cheek against the hand he left resting on her should for a brief few moments.
Shyvana looked up to him with sunken eyes, dark circles accenting the magenta orbs that glowed like gems in the long shadows that stretched out from the pillars. Their flame was only barely dampened, but Jarvan could feel her pain and shared it. Jarvan looked down at her with silent understanding.
“About your men…” She spoke quietly, her normally powerful voice was hushed and reverent.
“Save it.” Jarvan said with reserve. “They knew the risks and they knew they may not come back from this.”
“They say dragons are without remorse.” Shyvana looked to the ground. “I suppose I’m more human than I thought.” She stifled a sob with a course laugh.
“That’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Jarvan did his best to manage a chuckle of his own. “We may be a young breed, but we have our perks.”
“Is that so?” Shyvana said, standing. She winced as she fully extended her leg, pulling the skin taunt over her hip. The wounds had stopped bleeding, but even with draconian blood in her veins, it would take her several days to fully heal. Her pale skin was even paler than normal and he could tell she had lost a lot of blood. As she stood, the centermost gash began to bleed, just barely a trickle running down her leg.
“Ask me about it when we have some peace and quiet and I’ll show you.” Jarvan said with a smirk.
“Is that so?” Shyvana asked, raising an eyebrow. She moved slightly closer to Jarvan and sniffed a few times. “I smell fear…” She had a smirk to match Jarvan’s and she giggled at the aghast look on his face.
“I…” Jarvan stammered, taken aback by her response. He had been flirting with her to try and relieve some of the tension, but she had plenty of fire still left in her yet.
“Kidding.” She said. The small smile she wore suited her, though the exhaustion that showed through in her face and eyes really made her look human. She began to turn, but the motion of her hips cause her to fall forwards into Jarvan’s arms. She blushed as he sank to his knees, carrying her carefully to the ground.
“Sorry…” She spoke softly, her face glowing red against her pale skin. Her cheeks were nearly the shade of her long red hair. “The damage is pretty bad.” He inspected the damage and knew that if they weren’t patched up, they would only fester and get worse.
“I’ll get that bandaged for you.” Jarvan picked her up and stood, his own knees threatening to give out. He moved carefully, giving the bodies a wide berth. He set Shyvana down in the shade of the upper tier and propped her gently against the wall. He rummaged through his pack and pulled out his canteen, a long strip of gauze that had been rolled up and a few other things. “I used my last health potion on you before, so we’ll have to do this the hard way.”
Jarvan pealed his armor off and stacked it neatly to the side, and pealed his sweaty tunic off. He poured some water from the spring over it and laid the garment out over a rock to dry. He returned to Shyvana’s side, a small bundle under his arm. As he sat down, he unrolled the bundle, revealing medical supplies and a few small packs. He helped Shyvana lay out carefully, stretching her back.
Shyvana nodded bravely, a sad look on her face. She pulled the blanket back and revealed her hip. She did her best to preserve her modesty, but Jarvan caught a glimpse of a crimson tuft of hair. Shyvana’s face was crimson. Jarvan ignored it and began to clean the wound, using a bit of gauze and some water to wipe away the dried blood. She winced as he went about his task. She hissed in pain as he carefully cleaned over the wound.
“I used to think you gentle.” She said, trying to keep her voice even. “How wrong I was.” Jarvan poked her in the shoulder.
“You wanna do this?” Jarvan asked. She pulled the blanket up over the edge of her face and looked up at him with big eyes. She shook her head and stayed quiet while he finished cleaning and then wrapping the wound as best he can. She only winced a few times.
“Thanks.” She spoke softly, and Jarvan nodded solemnly. He continued working on her hip, trying to patch the wound up as best her could. He pulled a small leather kit from his belt and unrolled the small parcel to reveal a small bolt of thread and a few needles. Jarvan grunted as he shifted, sitting cross legged. He looked up over his shoulder, watching the sun drop over the mountains, starting the plunge the world into darkness.
Isaacs pulled Forsythe over and went to work starting to build a fire. He stacked the remainder of the wood they had accumulated and then sparked some char cloth and lit the bit of tinder he had saved. He blew into the embers and soon he had a roaring fire. Jarvan nodded his thanks and taking a burning stick, he held a needle over the flames and when satisfied with the needle, he threaded the hook of the needle. Shyvana looked down as Jarvan matched her gaze. Isaacs extended his hand, a small piece of thick folded leather, held in his hand.
“Here, bite down on this.” He said with a nod. Shyvana glanced back and forth between the leather and him and nodded meekly. She extended her neck and clamped down on the leather, her gaze returning to Jarvan. Isaacs set a small bottle down next to him and then stepped back. His eyes followed Isaacs as he turned and slumped down across from the fire, holding a small pan of water over the fire and holding his free hand to the fire. Jarvan watched him for a few seconds, but matched gazes with Shyvana. Her eyes glowed, reflecting the light of the fire. Her pale skin looked almost ghostly in the moon light, her face still flushed red, despite the loss of blood.
“Ee jen-le.” Shyvana said weakly, grinning behind the leather. Jarvan couldn’t help but smile at the words.
“I’ll do my best.” He rinsed and scrubbed his hands with a bit of soap, washing the soap away with water and shook them dry. He held his hands up to the fire and waited for them to dry. Satisfied, he raised the needle and thread and went about sew up the worst of the gashes that ran up and down Shyvana’s hip. He set the needle aside carefully and pulled out a small filleting knife, used for cleaning and gutting dead game. He rinsed it off and sterilized it, holding it over the flame. Satisfied, he rinsed more water over, it cooling the blade. He raised his gaze to Shyvana, her face screwed up, ready for the pain. Jarvan nodded as Isaacs set the pan of water down next to Jarvan and then kneeled over Shyvana. She looked up at him with big eyes. He set his hands on her shoulders firmly as she tried to shrink back towards Jarvan. He held her fast though.
Jarvan raised his knife to the wound and carefully, pulled the raw wound apart. The flesh was crimson and there was blood still pooling in the bottom of it, going deep above and below the hip bone, a small gash along the bone. He set about carefully digging out the small bone fragments, and a piece of talon that had been broken from Kampf’s talon. He carefully worked the talon out, and was amazed that Shyvana had been able to stand, much less walk with the sharp piece of talon stuck in her side. Jarvan set the bone and talon in a shallow dish that he sat beside him, blood dripping from fragments. Her moans and muted screams echoed in his ears though, he knew that the pain was immense.
Jarvan began to dig through the other gashes, but neither had been as deep as the central one. He set the knife down on Shyvana’s pale skin, more blood staining her pale skin. Jarvan wiped some of the blood from his hands and then pulled the stopper from the bottle that Isaacs had left him.
“This is going to hurt.” Jarvan spoke softly. “I’m sorry.” Shyvana raised her head and looked at him with sad eyes. Jarvan’s heart throbbed, but he poured the alcohol into her wounds. She bucked against Isaacs, nearly throwing him aside, but Isaacs kept the pressure on, keeping her shoulders pressed firmly to the ground. Her screams were muted by the leather, but they cut deeply into Jarvan’s heart.
He poured the steaming water over her, getting it deep in the gashes, washing away the alcohol. Shyvana feel silent, only a whimper or a weak moan coming from her as Jarvan held the skin together with one hand and pierced the skin with his other hand. He pulled the short length of thread half way through and tied the suture off with a basic double knot. He continued working up and down the gouge, diluted blood gushing out as he reached the end. Satisfied that the sutures were firmly tied, but not too tight, he began the second gash, only needing a few sutures along the middle of the deepest part of the gash to close it. He repeated it with the third gash and when we was finished, he washed the wounds with the now cold water that remained in the pan.
He took a clean cloth and carefully wiped the blood away and blotted up the remained of the water and blood. Isaacs nodded to Jarvan and returned to the fire. He sat down and stared into it deeply, as Jarvan, satisfied with her sutures, pulled the blanket down around Shyvana. He pulled himself to his feet and dipped the pan into the spring. He drunk deeply, the cool water relieving the tension in his shoulders. He dipped another pan from the spring and poured it over his head, the water dripping over the side of the monolith. He dipped the pan a third time and filled the large bottle on his hip and carried it over to Shyvana. He sat down next to her, lifting her head gently into his lap, his back to the cold stone.
Her eyes fluttered open, the magenta orbs seeming muted and soft compared to their fierce and aggressive brilliance. She smiled up at him, her hers fluttering closed again as soon as she had put eyes on Jarvan.
“You were gentle.” She said softly. Jarvan chuckled softly.
“That’s not exactly what I was led to believe.” Jarvan said, brushing hair out of her face. She nuzzled his hand softly, her flushed cheek hot to the touch. “Here.” Jarvan said, helping her sit up slightly, still propped up against his chest. She carefully pushed herself into his lap, her head leaning against his chest, just below his chin. Jarvan lifted the pan to her lips and she drunk greedily. She nearly drained the pan, barely leaving any in the bottom. Jarvan carefully wiped a drip from her chin as she sat back. Shyvana breathed deeply, her chest rising and falling calmly.
“Thanks.” Her voice was barely a whisper, her soft tones weak with exhaustion. Jarvan began to help her lay back down but she gently shook her head. “Please, let me stay like this.”
Jarvan paused, but pulled the blanket up to her chin. Shyvana pushed against him, snuggling down, turning her head slightly. She pulled Jarvan’s arm across her chest underneath the blanket, wrapping it around her. She was cold to the touch and Jarvan’s warm body would help keep her warm. Jarvan tensed at the swell of her chest brushing his arm, but Shyvana pulled him close and quickly drifted off to sleep with Jarvan’s arm draped across her shoulder and down across her chest. He sighed, but sat back and looked to the stars, content.
As Jarvan drifted off to sleep, something new predominated his mind. As he fell asleep, his dreams were no longer nightmares about Swain, but instead, they were dominated by a certain red-haired half-dragon.
(Alright, this was actually originally just part 4, but I actually exceeded the Character limit by almost another half, so i had to break it up.
Anyone who's still reading this, I appreciate your continued support and I hope you're enjoying. I had originally planned to end the story after Part 4, with part 5 more or less being a Epilogue but i'm really enjoying exploring the shy side of Shyvana. So I don't exactly know how long the story will end up being, but I plan on working on it a bit more steadily now.
Thanks Guys and Gals. Enjoy.)
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