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So, this is my first story ever, and it kinda started out as just for myself, because I love Shen and ninjas, and adventure books with epic stories. But as I read "Disrupting the Balance" I saw comments that ppl want more Shen, and I posted it. Hope it's enjoyable, if u comment pls go easy on me 'tis my first time.
"I don't hear it anymoar!" - blurted out Gragas, as he was pushing the toplane with Shen. Shen stabbed a minion to death and asked:
"Them summoner!" - answered Gragas with a tone telling he considered it obvious. He stopped beating the **** out of the minions and continued:
"That voice tellin' me whatta do. It's gone!" - he paused for a few seconds. - "Well, I'll drink for that!"
Gragas pulled the cork out of his cask and gulped down almost half of it's content within a second.
"You drink for anything you can name..." - answered Shen - "But you're right. I don't sense my summoner either."
He sheathed his blade and looked around on Summoner's Rift. As far as he knew, both nexuses were still standing. Made sense too, it was only fifteen minutes into the game.
"Well, da match is over!" - said Gragas - "I'm goin' back to the nexus. I have a friend waitin' in the inn anyways."
"The winner team would have been announced" -started Shen but he couldn't finish, because a raging bear broke out of the nearby brush and ferociously charged at them.
Shen drew his sword in a flash and stood between Gragas and the ganking bear (that turned out to be Udyr) to cover their retreat, but Gragas pushed him away.
"DUDE!" - he yelled - "Them summoners are gone! Ye can have some for that"
He hurled his cask straight into Udyr's face, the rims broke and the barrel exploded, pouring wine everywhere and flushing the bear a few good meters away. Udyr stood up coughing.
"What?! What the ... Gragas, your summoners disappeared too? I thought it was just mine having some problems, but I was coming to steal blue and saw the lane was pushed and ... and what is going on then?"
"Da game is OVER! We can continue it at the inn sometime if you like, but I'm goin back now to da nexus. Gettin' out of this Rift for now."
"No, this is not how a match ends." - Shen stepped forward - "There's something seriously wrong here. The summoners never leave us just like that. And when did you lose connection, Gragas? A good minute ago. We'd be back at the Institude by now."
"Well you can keep fighting if you like, I'm outta here. You're taking this way too seriously Shen." - said Gragas as he walked away, already drinking from another cask he got somewhere. Shen looked after him, then back at Udyr.
"Actually" - the bear started - "It's Summoner's Rift and you're pushing my toplane. Why shouldn't I just gank you?"
"This is not a game anymore Udyr." - answered Shen coldly - "It seems like the summoners are no longer in control, and our death could be a lot less illusionary by now."
"Hmm, my instincts tell me, that you're right. If that's the case, it's best to head back to our nexuses and recall to the Institude. Check on them hooded fellows. If they really screwed something up it doesn't worth dying for."
"Reasonable" - Shen nodded - "I hope our teammates will come to the same conclusion. Without the summoner, I don't have contact with them."
"I'll look around in my jungle" - suggested Udyr - "maybe your jungler wandered in with a brave idea. Let's warn them that the summoners probably lost control over the game and that includes death too. I am the jungler in my team but I'd still appreciate if you'd check your woods too."
"Agreed. Let's no one die today."
Shen watched as Udyr retreated into the jungle, then he also turned around, and started carefully walking into the woods. The sight of the blue golem slowly emerged from the trees' shadows as Shen neared it. It stood still, maybe too still. No one around it. Shen went on, ready to draw his katana any second. The wolf camp. Shen approached it. All of them were asleep.
He crossed the midlane to check the other side of the forest. Wraiths missing, but the lizard was allright. No one from the enemy team. Even his own midlaner was missing. Maybe he's back at the nexus already - thought Shen. Somehow the Rift was gloomy like never before. He walked up the stairs to his base and headed to the pool. He stood on one of the symbols and started recalling back to the Institude of War.
He opened his eyes in the Hall of Summons on the rune platform - the ground shook and there was an explosion-like sound of cracking rock...
"BLOODY HELL SHEN!" - Garen jumped at him, pushing him away from a huge rock that just broke through the wall hitting the ground where Shen stood.
"Catapult fire?!" - gasped Shen as he got onto his feet again -"The Institude is...?!"
"UNDER ATTACK!" - screamed Ezrael, who just ran into the Hall. His shirt was torn in half, with a huge cut on his chest. He was losing a lot of blood.
"The cursed villains!" - yelled Garen as he ran to the door where Ezrael just fell in - "I'm going to kill them all! ONE BY ONE!"
"Who? But who's attacking?" - shouted Shen after him.
"THE ENTIRE NOXIAN ARMY!" - roared Garen as he stormed out.
Shen, still confused, turned to the wounded Ezrael, trying to stitch a fieldwork bandage together out of the explorer's torn shirt. He managed to wrap it around his chest, and halt the bleeding a little.
"Where is the Circle?" - asked Shen hastily - "The Circle of Summoners. They should have interfered by now. Bloody hell, Noxus is not allowed to launch an offensive against the Institude! WHERE are they?
"I don't know." - groaned Ezrael - "They disappeared!"
"Allright, you'll be fine for now" - said Shen quickly, even though he wasn't that sure himself - "I go find the summoners."
Shen ran out of the Hall of Summons and over the corridor leading there. Just as he ran past the door, from the corner of his eye, he saw Udyr appearing on the rune platform. He didn't actually know where the summoners were in general, they never let the champions that close to themselves. It wasn't sure that they are in the Institude at all. But Shen suspected that if they are, they must be in some physically high place, probably a room on the top floor or in one of the upper towers, so he chose the quickest path to the Main Stairway and ran as fast as he could.
From the windows of the corridors, he could see the huge army that gathered at the feet of the Institude. He also managed to pick out some catapults, that ultimately explained the stone which almost killed him.
The building itself was full of wounded champions and guards from that little symbolic guard unit the Institude had. It didn't avoid Shen's attention though, that not a single Noxian champion was inside the building. Eventually he reached the front door which was also the place where the main stairway started.
Garen and Jarvan were at the front door, they gathered every able man that remained, and were preparing to break out. Their number didn't seem to even near the tenth of the Noxian Army.
"You can't do anything!" - howled Malzahar - "The Prophecy came true. The Void will consume the land!"
"THIS IS NOXUS, NOT THE VOID!" - yelled Garen and punched the prophet in his stomach. Malzahar fell to the ground and his voidling bit Garen's foot.
"Curse!" - said Garen as he kicked the little crab off his boot. Meanwhile Malzahar managed to get up and started floating again.
"I have warned you!" - he said - "Now if you forgive me, I will not witness your demise. From this close up."
At that point Malzahar simply flew away, with his characteristic open armed levitation.
"One less bloody idiot..." - muttered Garen as he returend to Jarvan. Shen caught up with him, and thought he can't lose anything with a quick question.
"Where are the summoners?" - he shouted over to them.
"They are not here!" - Jarvan yelled back - "WE must settle things OURSELVES!" - the latter was more to the little group of soldiers than Shen. - "OPEN THE DOORS!"
"No! That's not good they'll come in!"
But Shen was late. The doors were already blasted open, and the two Demacians lead their few soldiers against the noxian siege with a loud "DEMACIA!" battlecry. But at the same time noxian soldiers invaded the Institude, running in the front door by the dozen. A catapult stone was immediately fired in through the door, that literally washed away half of the demacian squad, sliding on the blood-wetted slippery corpses. Shen himself barely managed to dash away from the stone's path.
Now that the noxians were flooding the hallway, Shen needed to act fast, and without emotions. In just a split of a second, he whipped out both of his blades, slicing the closest noxian throat in the process, like a shadow, he dodged a slash aimed at his chest, and stabbed his left katana into the attacker's lower neck, to the larynx, but did not pull the sword out, instead he pulled the noxian closer, and while holding him as a human shield with his left, the blade in his right hand parried and cut and pierced through the enemy invaders.
Eventually Shen kicked off his human shield into an other noxian, whom he managed to stab dead while still on the ground, then tumbled and rolled towards the stairway. He stood up and blocked a slash with the bracer on his arm, then thrusted his balde up to the hilt into the soldier's stomach, stepped back to avoid a cut while letting go of the weapon stuck inside his opponent and used his other katana to finish off the second attacker. Shen then darted off to the starway, barely collecting his blade.
His only chance was to find the summoners, altough it seemed highly improbable now that they are in the building, let alone the chance that they would actually be able to help. He made it to the second floor, when another catapult stone broke through a huge window, taking a good bit of the wall with it as well, and crashed into the staircase which collapsed. Shen tried to jump to the platform, but it was too far away, and he fell down among the huge stone stairs. He felt the impact, but nothing more.
Full moon. That was the first thing Shen noticed when he opened his eyes. The second was the darkness. Third was the pain. He quietly moaned and raised his head. Every bone of his felt like as if it could shatter into pieces any second, but he managed to sit up and look around. It took him almost an entire minute until he realised what had actually happened. He is sitting among the crushed ruins of the Institude of War.
Still no trace of the summoners. Shen wasn't even sure they're actually alive. He remembered the demacian attempt to break out from behind the sieged doors. He started to scan the corpses laying around him. The air was cold, and the icy wind cut into his cuts and abrasions. At least the moon gave a little light, despite the thick, black clouds around it.
Shen noticed Garen's sword, but there was no sign of his body. He also found no trace of Jarvan IV, but judging from the other corpses, the demacian onslaught didn't actually made it farther than a few meters. It was a bloody massacre. Shen raised his eyes, looking further up. He saw thousends of little black tents around the ruins of the Institude, and when he focused his eye a little stronger, he could make out some disarmed catapults farther away in the darkness. The demacians had no chance. But at least they died with honour - or did they? The charge seemed completely pointless to Shen now, as he witnessed it's result.
"Soo, Honour doesn't worth dying for anymore?" - asked a sarcastic voice, that sounded like as if it came straight out of the Void. Shen immediately threw one of his katanas at the sound's direction, but it passed through a balck mist then bounced off of the ruined stone wall.
"You can no longer harm me, Shen. I am free." - two blazing white eyes appeared out of the black mist, then, after a brief glint of metal, the two Umbra Blades followed.
"Nocturne!" - said Shen coldly - "You brought the noxians upon us?"
Nocturne let out a cold metallic laugh.
"No, I have nothing to do with the noxians. They came on their own."
Shen gazed into Nocturne's blazing white eyes. He faced them so many times in the Fields of Justice, but back then these eyes were empty compared to what they were now. He then slowly asked the question that bothered him the most, ever since the toplane-pushing with Gragas. Shen somehow felt Nocturne knows the answer. And perhaps Nocturne knew more than what Shen wanted to hear.
"What happened to the summoners? Why didn't they interfered?"
Nocturne remained silent and pulled his ghostly finger over the edge of his blade. Finally he faced Shen, and stared into his eyes. Shen's mind was filled with nightmarish flashing images of screaming summoners as he cuts them down one by one, mercilessly ripping them apart. Then Nocturne spoke, with a voice as cold as the wind in the night.
"Because the noxians came to me first."
"But" - Shen narrowed his eyebrows - "the noxian army could not have entered the Institude if the summoners were there. How could they come to you first?"
"They did not have to enter the Institude. They were already isnide." - Nocturne's voice sounded like as if it would form an evil smile. Aside from being crippling cold.
"Who got inside earlier? And how?"
"Ooh, Shen, but you know them very well. Singed, for example is an excellent chemist. The prisoners of the League are protected by both physical and magical barriers. Thanks to Singed's acids, wich melt everything from stone to iron, the physical barriers were no longer a problem."
"They freed you!" - Shen concluded - "But how could they overcame the summoners' magic? It is said to be the strongest in all of Valoran."
"Remember" - said Nocturne calmly - "Destroying is always easier than creating. Our little friends were actually lucky with this one. The answer is Ryze. No, he did not side with Noxus. But the urge, to discover all kinds of magic, study them and understand them was strong. So strong, that he actually visited my prison and studied the magic that kept him safe from me." - Nocturne paused here for a while. - "And that included writing it down. Twitch was promised support in his research and a seat in Zaun's council for stealing it. Talon is not as much of a patriot as Katarina is, he never does anything that doesn't pay off directly to his hands. But he was paid well for killing Twitch after the rat acquired Ryze's documents. I don't even have to tell who planned it all out, do I now?"
Shen knew the answer:
"Swain. Jericho Swain." - the face of the general appeared in Shen's mind, looking at him with a cruel, awkward grin - "But who broke the magic barrier? I don't suppose LeBlanc decieved it?"
"No, the summoners are better than that. It was a dark mage who broke the barrier. A tiny one. Called Veigar. No one suspected that he is actually that evil. No matter how hard he kept telling you. Veigar had enough power to destroy the barriers with the information Ryze gathered."
"Then you killed most of the summoners, and the noxian army lay siege on the Institude. Nice plan."
"Not just me. Brand was also freed. We both had our little vengance against the summoners."
"So you didn't care for the noxians. You only wanted revenge over the The Circle."
Nocturne flew a little closer to Shen's face.
"The summoners are dead, Shen! The Institude is in ruins. The old world is destroyed. Aren't you angry? Don't you long to avange it? Or are you scared?"
"I would judge the responsibles." - replied Shen with a tone as confident as he could get, facing The Eternal Nightmare - "And my judgement would be just."
Nocturne flew even closer, their eyes were only inches away now.
"You cannot judge me, Shen. You cannot touch me. I am beyond your reach."
"You're exaggerating Nocturne, the "Old World" is not destroyed. The noxians can be stopped."
"I hear they worked a lot on your emotions. You surely don't feel sorrow over the destruction, do you? You don't even care. Just like with your fater, right?"
Shen's vision blurred and faded. It took several seconds until he could see clearly agian. He was deep inside the forests of Ionia, walking up the stairs, to the altar where his father was restrained. It was his initiation, when he became the Eye of Twilight. He had to witness his father being tortured, without showing a trace of emotion. He took his position. Deep breath. Shen signalled the torturer, that he is ready. Nocturne nodded, and the light glinted on his blade as he began cutting the skin of his victim.
"How does it feel, watching your own father suffer, Shen? Would you rather take his place instead of him?" - Nocturne's voice echoed from the Void as his blade pierced through his victim's body.
"No! Noocturne wasn't there" - Shen told to himself - "The torturer was a member of the Kinkou. But I must not answer him!" He remembered the trial too well. It was a painful memory and the last thing he wanted is to re-live it. Shen had to force his eyes to look at his father. He wasn't even allowed to blink.
He tried to keep his mind empty. His father also wants him to pass the test. No matter how much it hurts, he would be disappointed if the ritual would have to be stopped because of his son.
"Shen, I am so disappointed..." - whispered Nocturne as he was sawing off his victim's legs - "You are not as strong as I thought."
"He did NOT suffer permanent damage!" - Shen yelled at him - "Stop this madness already!"
"Your emotions are taking over you. You are not worthy, Shen!" - Nocturne didn't even try to restrain himself now. He was extracting his victim's spine through his body. There was enough blood for five matured adults.
"You are mad, Nocturne! This is not reality!" - said Shen trying to calm himself.
"Are you the same as weak ... if it's about your friends?" - asked Nocturne's cold, metallic voice as he was cutting Akali's belly open, who was now restrained on the altar.
Akali! And Kennen! Shen totally forgot about them during the attack. Did they die in the Institude? Or could they escape? Are they hurt?
"Where is Akali?" - Shen stepped forward.
"Shen...!" - Akali groaned in pain. Nocturne was using her sawed off ribs to pierce her lungs - "I'm here ... Help me!"
"NOCTURNE!" - bawled Shen - "Where is Akali?!"
Nocturne looked up with a chunk of fried meat in his hand, resembling a yordle leg.
"Kennen knows. Ask him."
Shen just wanted to grab Nocturne, but he found himself among the ruins of the Institude once more.
"You are not easy to impress." - Nocturne said, now in a calm, steady tone. - "I did not harm any of the champions. But I saw many of them fleeing. Your friends were running South. But be careful. Brand also went South, and he's probably lighting the Plague Jungles on fire above Wukong's head by now." - Nocturne picked up Shen's blade from the cracked floor and handed it to him - "You should not throw your weapons around so carelessly."
Before Shen could answer, Nocturne turned into mist.
So it turned out to be kinda too long for one post.
From the Shadows
Shen shook his head. He needed to get used to reality again. Nocturne's vision dazzled his mind. Nocturne really doesn't have anything better to do than play pranks on him? But at least he gave some usable information. So now Shen had a destination, but first of all, he needed to get out of the ruins, and through the noxian warcamp surrounding it.
This warcamp basically consisted of thousands of little black tents for the infantry, which were set up in a rim around the Institude's ruins. The distant disarmed catapults indicated the position of the artillery officers, and as it is in an army, usually that isn't far from the general's tent. Now this meant that the general's tent was pretty far away with all the extra guards with it, and Shen had no reason to even try to go near it.
The stairway collapsed upon itself during the siege, but the pile of stone where Shen awakened was still roughly two meters high. He got onto his feet and carefully walked to the edge. He had to land without making any loud noise, otherwise he will be noticed and the entire noxian army will be at his heels in no time. Shen, agile as a cat, dropped himslef from the ledge and rolled as soon as he landed, thus supressing most of the noise.
He knew the Institude's stairs were facing directly South, so that is the direction he had to follow. The night was on his side, hiding him from prying eyes. The grass was also tall, only the former garden of the Institude had it's grass cut short. The moon however, was shining bright.
Shen lay down onto the ground, letting the grass cover him, and sneaked towards the closest little black tent. There were so many of them that he had no choice but to sneak through among them till the edge of the camp. He noticed a few guards patrolling with torches but aside from that the army seemed to be asleep.
Shen reached the first tent from the Institude and crawled forward, slowly and carefully. The entrances were facing random directions, so occasionally he had to sneak directly in front of open doors. Suddenly he heard footsepts behind him. Without a moment's hesitation, he rolled behind the closest tent that covered him from the noise's direction. Shen waited for them to pass. The noxian soldiers were quietly speaking to each other with muffled whispers:
"Do you think we should go now?"
"I dunno, general will be angry if he finds out."
"Oh come on he won't. Just think about it, the corpses all lay there in full equipment. Tomorrow morning the loot will be collected and we ain't gettin nothin. In this moonlight we have a chance to actually pick up something valuable."
"I dunno, it's risky."
"Look, I'll have Roach standing guard for us okay? His tent is somewhere around here. I'm sure he'll be in, hes a good lad." - the man made a few steps forward - "Psst! Roach! You here? Comeon lad I've gotta talk to you."
Shen decided it was time to sneak on, but the noxians were looking at his direction. He couldn't leave his cover just yet. But then, from a tent closely right to him, a man pushed his head out to look around. He immediately knew that this guy is "Roach" and that this Roach had noticed him crouching there. Shen almost left his shadow behind, so quickly he drew his katana and leaped forward to the tent, slicing up Roach's throat before he could shout, and just barely managing to land soundlessly on his fingers and toes.
"Roach! Psst! **** it mate, come on out here." - the noxian continued the quiet whispering - "It'll worth your while I promise."
"Leave it dude, Roach is a bloody good sleeper. You won't wake him up without the rest of the camp, unless you know wich tent is exactly his."
"To hell with it, I have no idea. **** I still say we should try it. Find some fancy blades or somethin..."
The noxians kept on walking and Shen could finally move forward. Just in case he tugged Roach's body back into his bed and continued south, making sure he moves low enought to be hidden by the tall grass. Occasionally there were passages left free between the lines of tents. Every once in a while Shen crouched up to check on the positions of the torch-equipped guards. The closest was to his lower left, but still far enough for him to safely cross one of these empty paths.
He rolled behind the cover of the closest tent in the next bunch and froze. He spotted a man in black clothes, without a torch, moving in his direction. It was unlikely that he noticed Shen, but still, he was heading exactly towards him. So - thought Shen - there are guards without torches too, I need to be more careful.
He could have just sneaked forward but a noxian roughly two meters to his left stepped out of his tent. Bloody sleepless folk! This was a dangerously close distnace. It wasn't all though. The guy coming towards him actually pointed with his finger just a little near his hiding spot. The sleepless soldier turned around and glared into the darkness that surrounded Shen. Allright - Shen thought - my cover is blown in about two seconds, but it will hold out that far.
He quickly but silently drew his blade, and for exactly one second held back his breath and aimed at the nearing noxian who pointed out his location before. The katana swished through the air, and with deadly precision, hit the soldier's voice box, silencing him as he fell on his knees, choking from the sword that pierced his throat. Shen already made his next move before the flying katana actually hit it's target, slicing the sleepless soldier's neck with his other blade, and so the two noxians silently fell to the ground at the exact same time.
Shen wasted no time, he crawled back to recover his blade and dragged both of the soldiers into the sleepless noxian's tent. No one should notice 'till morning. He couldn't sneak as fast he would have liked to from now on, because he took extra care to scout for torchless guards as well as keeping an eye out for noises betraying someone's restless night. He avoided nearing tents where he could hear the sleeper rolling around in his bed, or even talking to themselves.
Shen was already nearing the edge of the rim when he noticed a patrol of around nine or ten soldiers sweeping the area, clearly searching for something, and clearly not bothering if they waked someone up in the process. This marching allowed them such speed that Shen simply wouldn't have had the time to slowly sneak out of their way. He had to think fast of another solution. He will almost certainly be found if he keeps crouching at the foot of a tent in the shining moonlight. The patrol was nearing fast, so Shen decided, and crawled into the nearest tent. He was lucky, the infantry inside was fast asleep and didn't show any signs of waking up too soon.
That's good - thought Shen - he can stay alive as long as he stays asleep. He hid in the darkest section of the little temporary home. Shen listened and he could cath a few voices. He wanted to know if it's him they're looking for. After all, he hid all the bodys perfectly.
"Check that area!" - said a commanding, deep voice - "He might have tried to leave the camp."
"Understood" - answered another male voice.
A few seconds passed by without any voices, then:
"Nothin' left." - reported a soldier
"Clean right, not a soul" - said another.
"No sign of the looter, Sir!"
"We must find him, or them by the morning" - said the voice that was probably of an officer of some sort - "Every captured object belongs to the Noxian Army. Besides if the soldiers find out that some took more than their share, that will cause a riot. So get moving and find whomever stole Garen's claymore. In the report of the succesful seizure of the Institude by Dusk, that sword lay before the Front Gate. Now it doesn't. General Swain specifically ordered it to be taken to his residence by dawn, so you'd better find it fast."
Shen heard footsteps passing before his tent's door. He counted three soldiers overall walking past his cover. They made enough noise for Shen to know when they were finally out of dangerous distance. He dropped one more glance on the sleeping soldier, then carefully sneaked out of the tent. The last twenty meters to the edge of the warcamp went smoothly, Shen didn't notice any suspicious activity. After leaving the most outer of the tents, he still kept sneaking in a crouch until he was sure he's far enough to safely stand up, without being noticed from the noxian camp.
Shen was finally out of reach for the noxians. His legs and back were all hurting from the much sneaking, crouching, and all the laying low. He glared into the full moon. Now where? Forward, just like that, always forward? If Akali ran South from the attack, that doesn't mean she kept on to that direction. He needs to find a village and ask if anyone has seen her.
Shen started walking on the clear, open field hoping to find the road somewhere. It was his best bet, to find the road and a village along it. Then he can ask about Akali. He had no idea how far could Akali be ahead of him. If she's healthy, she could be a good thirty miles away by now, but there is a good chance the girl is wounded. In that case Shen suspected she must have spent some time in the closest village, and the inhabitants will be able to give him directions about her location.
Shen's legs were aching. He must have fell on his left ankle. When sneaking out of the camp he could not allow himself to focus on his injuries, but now it became painfully obvious that many of his bones are badly bruised. The long blades of grass were stroking his legs as he kept going on the seemingly endless field. The cold air refreshed his lungs and gentle wind breezed his body.
Shen was tired, his head filled with a dump pain, but he kept his eyes up, searching for any sign of the road. Miles went after miles and he kept losing strength every minute. After an hour's walk he finally saw it, a narrow bumpy little dirt road. Now there's bound to be a village soon. Shen kept thinking about his friends as he followed it.
Nocturne said Kennen knows where's Akali. Makes sense, they escaped together, but did they pick different ways? Were they forced to split up or was it just easier to disappear if they went separately. Perhaps they're still together, trying to get to ionia somehow.
Crop fields appeared on the roadside as Shen kept going. What started out as just a few trees on the right, now formed a sparse forest, while little hills appeared on the left. His steps were hardly balanced. His left ankle hurt so much now, that he was putting a lot of weight on his right leg. As he neared the cropfields, Shen noticed an unusually large pack of ravens gathering around a scarecrow. He smiled. This could only mean one thing. He crossed the cropfield and approached it.
"Fiddlesticks? Is that you?" - he asked silently.
"Master Shen!" - looked up the scarecrow. As it moved, a few crows angrily flew off of it, haveing their rest bothered - "Wonderful times for ravens and crows, isn't it? Wonderful times..."
"Ravens and crows..." - repeated Shen - "They say they're the only true victors of war."
"Every one of the darlings is fed and happy. There haven't been such a feast in decades." - said Fiddlesticks with his creaking old voice.
"Look, Fiddlesticks, I need you to tell me something. Have you seen Akali or Kennen going over this road?"
"Master Kennen went this way, but that was a dozen hours before."
"Was he alone? And unharmed?" - asked Shen excitedly. This was the first good news in a long time.
"He seemed to have suffered a few scartches here and there." - answered Fiddlesticks slowly - "The poor thing was so exhausted, barely dragged himself. My crows, the dears, they thought he'll be part of the dinner today. Yes, my darling..." - he turned to one of his ravens - "Yordle's eyes are certainly succulent.
Shen ignored the comment. There was more he wanted to know.
"Where is the village these cropfields belong to?" - he asked.
"These are but the very outer fields. The village is further along the road, in a few hour's walk. You could get there by dawn."
"Thank you Fiddlesticks. I appreciate your help. If I may know, how did you avoid the noxian attack?"
"I spend all my free time here in these fields, so that I can be with my lovelys. You need to find time to be with those who are important to you."
"So that's why I never saw you at the Institude." - smiled Shen - "But that doesn't matter anymore now does it? I'll be on my way."
"Safe journey Master Shen" - creaked Fiddlesticks.
Shen made his way back to the road, but he decided he won't push himself to the village. Instead he walked inside the little roadside forest. As he went among the shadows of the trees, he heard the wind playing around with the leaves, and occasionally, the light footspets of animals running away, or the sound of birds' flapping wings.
When he was deep enough not to be seen from the road, he sat down at the foot of an old oak. He closed his eyes, steadied his breathing and cleared his mind to prepare his body for regeneration. The healing music of the Ionian waterfalls played in his ears. He rested his entire being in perfect peace, and balance.
Shen awoke early in the morning, but rays of light were already seeping through the trees' foliage. The meditation was succesful, his bones now strengthened, his muscles full of energy. Even his skin healed a lot for one night. Only his clothes remained torn and dirty.
Shen stood up, and bowed before the woods, thanking them for their shelter during the night. He continued his travel, leaving the forest, and following the road further south. Thick white clouds covered the sun, and it's damped yellowish light casted through the morning fog. The air was still cold and felt a little wet. Rain is to be expected. Now in the daylight Shen could better examine the landscape.
The countrysides of the south were mostly flat, with only a few smaller hills breaking it, and the endless sea of grass was dotted by a few loan oaks and small groups of pines, aside from the little forest to the road's right. After a few hours of walk Shen finally saw the thatched roofs of the village houses.
So here's the next chapter in Shen's journey. It's only one but it's pretty long, I hope you'll enjoy. I finished it during the night so there might be some spelling errors.
Shen walked up to the village along the bumpy dirtroad. The houses weren't densly placed, each had a lot of space around it. Even from a distance he saw that the village centered around the meeting point of two roads, the one he arrived on, and another crossing it. The intersection itslef seemed to have turned into some kind of main square. As he was nearing the houses, some man in rugged leather clothes who was previously leaning against the wall of a nearby house, now ran up to him.
"You wish to enter our fabulous settlement, good sir?" - he asked with a grin.
"I do" - answered Shen with a questioning look on his face. The guy didn't move. - "So please stand aside, if you will."
"Certainly sir! There is just one little business to settle before that. To enter, you need to donate a small amount to ... hmm, let's say to the village's church."
"The village church is taxing people entering the settlement?" - Shen looked at him suspiciously - "To be honest, it doesn't sound too believable."
"It ain't tax sir, no way, it's just a little donation. A sign of your good will towards the village you're just about to enter."
"What if I'm not entering the village with any specific good will in mind?" - Shen started to figure out what's going on.
"Nah sir, I DO trust you are the generous sort." - he answered with a threatening face.
"You're cheap." - Shen told him - "You could have at least come up with a better excuse to extort money from travelers."
"Now listen here old man! I don't know what you're so dam confident about with these ridiculous torn rags of yours. Maybe those two rusty rods on your back you're so proud of, I ain't know but me is bloody sure ya stole 'em somewhere, can't even hold one of em with two hands. I just tell ya that one, I shout back to them fellas and before you count to three, ya'll find urself thronw into da ditch n pieces. So pay up sucker, while I let you!
Shen analyzed his opponent. Avarage height but thin, with a relatively weak muscular system. No visible weapons on his outfit. Leather and linen equipment, not likely to wear any protection. Uncovered head with high, almost sticking out cheek-bones - easy to break. Supposedly having backup, if not lying, then around three-four young adult males, probably stronger than himself - should be avoided, one or more of them could die. Greedy, agressive facial expression, probably won't listen to reason.
Decision was made. With one precise, strong punch on the face, Shen knocked him out unconscious before he could even think about shouting. This way he could avoid any larger conflict.
"Old man ey?" - he muttered as he knelt down to check the damage inflicted - "Quite a punch from an old man it seems..."
Everything was allright, he was unconscious but breathing, cheekbone appeared to be slightly bruised. He will recover in a few hours, though a temporary memory loss is possible.
"Now about my torn rags, I think it's time to balance out our wealths." - and with that said, Shen took half of the coins he found in the guy's pockets. It was three gold coins and twenty coppers. He must have been doing rather well. Maybe a wounded champion who couldn't resist him?
He looked around. It was early in the morining and most of the folk were still sleeping. He couldn't spot anyone who would have noticed, so he stood up and went inside the little village. He stopped at the main square at the crossroads to look around. First thing he noticed was a wooden column on the middle of the square, with a wood staute on top of it, showing some kind of bird expanding it's wings. Then he looked at the houses, they were randomly placed around the village center.
Some had farm wagons near them, a hen house in the back garden, scythe and rake laying around. He noticed that a few houses were burned down. Also, there were a few similar black tents like back in the warcamp, indicating a noxian presence. Than he spotted the largest building, with empty barrels in front of it. That must have been the tavern. If you're looking for rumours or information, that's always the place to start. He headed over to it and entered through the large two winged wooden door. It looked like a nice, comfortable place with the tables in fron of the bartab, still supporting some drunk villagers, and a stairs leading to the floor above. But then he noticed the tavern keeper as he was cleaning the bartab with some old rag.
"What the ... well now, I didn't expect that." - Shen said, both laughing and surprised - "Gragas! What are you doing here?"
"Bloody hell..." - Gragas looked up and stared at him - "Is dat you Shen? Goddamit, come, come closer I'll give you some drink in a minute."
"No need, I think I'll manage." - answered Shen still smiling.
"Well I can see you ain't had an easy time gettin' here. Still better than dead ain't it. I actually thought you were."
"I'm not so easy to kill. But now you to tell me. How did you get away and how did you end up here?"
Gragas drank the mug of grog he originally poured for Shen, even though he refused it.
"As ya know, I recalled a lot earlier than you, so I arrived back at da Institude before the siege began. It was a chaos already. Everyone somehow felt that them summoners are missing and some claimed they saw Brand runnin over a corridor. Now as ya can imagine, Nasus and Renekton immediately jumped at each other's throat, and so did Kayle and Morgana. It was a bloody mess I tell ya. I just grabbed me cask and ran straight to the backdoor of the Institude because it was facin' south, and the noxians came from da north. And so I followed that little road till over here, but then I got tired and saw this place had a bloody inn, so I decided to get some rest. By the way, did you know that Fiddlesticks planted his arse in one of them cropfields? Anyways, I was just gettin the party started when those rotting noxians got here too. They said they're "takin' over" or something. What matters is that at the end they didn't get enough grog so they killed old Barty, the tavern keeper and I took over. I'll be stayin' here till the road to north is clean again. Then I'll go to Freljord, to the Avarosa Iceflow. I have a brewery there, and it's far enough from all these noxians."
"Interesting story." - Shen nodded - "and since you're the tavern keeper now, can I ask for some food? Bread will do. I can pay. And I also have some more questions if you have the time."
"Sure but I'm not taking money from you Shen. Friends from da League, and I don't know how many of them are left." - Gragas opened a cupboard and put some bread and cheese on the bar counter. - "Now tell me, what's eatin' ya?"
"I'm looking for my friends, Kennen and Akali." - answered Shen as he got to his breakfast - "Fiddlesticks told me he saw Kennen going this way. Have you seen him? Or Akali for that matter?"
"No Shen I haven't" - said Gragas with a worrying look on his face - "But that doesn't mean he's not here. You know they don't like nonhumans around here, especially since the noxian army arrived."
"Yes, I know Noxus detests all nonhumans, or at least those who don't slaughter in their name." - nodded Shen.
"Now what I'm thinking is that even if he's here, hes probably laying low somewhere, trying to avoid attention. But then the peasents won't be much of a help finding him."
"Shame." - sighed Shen.
"But you're not entirely safe here either" - continued Gragas - "A drunken noxian told me they're looking for any ionians that survived. They don't want you in their lines when Noxus attacks. Shen, if you're recognized, you'll probably be attacked on sight. Lucky thing you came this early, coz these soldiers are the lazy sort."
"I see. And then I can forget about talking to the villagers. Seems like I'll have to take my mask off for now."
"What? But you never removed it before." - Gragas was pretty surprised.
"Yes, but by now, everyone knows my mask yet no one knows my face. It simply does not serve the purpose of hiding my identity anymore. I will also need some new clothes. Do you have any idea?"
"There's a tailor close by, you could try there. Look, if anyone's gloomy with you, just tell 'em I know you."
"Many thanks." - answered Shen. He stayed to finish his breakfast. He didn't need to take off his mask for that, it was torn around his mouth anyway.
When he finished, he walked out of the tavern and searched for the tailor's shop. He soon found the sign hanging from a small building with a tiny drawing of a shirt on it. But it was early in the morning and the shop was still closed. Shen headed back to the tavern but then he saw a little well near it, so he walked up to it instead. There was a bucket full of water around it too. He sat down next to it on the ground, drew both of his swords and began cleaning them with his clothes. It's been a while since he took lives for real, but all of them was necessary. He regretted none of his decisions. When the blades were relatively clean again, the sun has already rose higher and villagers began to appear on the main square. Then he finally saw the tailor unlocking the door of his shop, and entering. Allright, time to take off that mask. Shen removed the torn piece of clothe covering his head and the gentle, cold wind blew into his face, breezing his medium-lenght dark black hair.
A ninja adapts to his environment. Swords and masks are not symbols, but tools to aid him in achieving his goal. A ninja does not pursuit false ideals. If in this environment, the mask is only setting him back, and keeping him from finding his friends, then he will take it off. His freinds worth a lot more than that.
He got up and headed straight to the tailor. He entered the little wooden door, into the shop. It was a small dark room with only one window, and many clothes and equipment were stored on the wall, on shelves or hanged up.
"Why come so early?" - asked the tailor with a grumpy voice. Then he looked at Shen's clothes - "Ah, I see ... so what'll it be?"
Shen picked a good, strong linen shirt and a leather jacket plus a pair of studded leather trousers. His belt, bracers and other steel armor was still in one piece so there was no reason to drop those.
"You don't look like you have the money for that." - said the tailor with a bit of contempt in his tone, as he packed everything together - "It'll be three silver coins."
Shen put a gold on the counter. Back in the Institude he didn't encounter much with lower grade money than gold, but he still knew the currency from earlier years. Ten silvers make a gold and a hundred coppers make a silver coin. Of course in the Institude they used unreasonable amounts of gold, but that was just for the show, since they didn't take anything home from matches anyway. It was meant to make them feel special.
"I don't trust you" - grunted the tailor as he picked up the coin - "I never saw you before here. Who the hell are you anyway? And that" - he pointed at the gold - "is fake isn't it?"
"You treat every customer like that?" - asked Shen calmly - "Can't be doing too well in business."
"You're joking?" - asked the tailor angrily - "You look like a beggar and then throw gold in my face? Why should I believe it's genuine?"
"Gragas knows me. You can ask him about me next time you go to the tavern. Probably that won't be too long from now. You still don't look sober."
"Riiight. Gragas. But if he happens to say he never saw you..."
"The gold will still be genuine." - Shen finished the sentence for him.
The tailor searched all his drawers, then finally gave Shen the seven silver coins and pushed the equipment a little closer to him.
"Pleasure doing business." - he said - "Now get out of here."
Shen grabbed his belongings and left the shop. He went straight back to the little well behind the tavern where he cleaned his blades, and changed his clothes there. The old ones were really dirty and torn, but still mostly recognisable so he had to get rid of them somehow. He noticed that the tavern was lit by torches during the night and of them was still burning on the wall outside. He took it out of it's iron support and ignited his old clothing. No one will be able to trace him now. In the flames he saw the ruins of the Institude again.
It was time to start loking for his friends. Still nothing about Akali, but Kennen should be nearby. Shen went back to the main square to ask villagers heading out to the fields. He saw that a few noxian guards already woke up, some headed to the tavern others just stood at their posts with their face rotting from boredom. They were looking straight through him, none of them seemed to know who he was. They were fully unaware that Shen, the Eye of Twilight walks past them. He looked like a simple wanderer, as it wasn't unusual for them to carry weapons.
"Good man, could you anwer a short question?" - he asked a nearby villager - "I'm looking for a yordle who went this way. Have you seen him?"
"I don't know of any yordle who went this way and is still in one piece." - he answered with contempt - "Go ask in the tavern. Maybe he'll be served as dinner today."
"Why hate nonhumans so much?" - asked Shen.
"They're the cause of everything The war, the noxians here and all." - answered the man - "But if you forgive me now, I'm heading to the fields. Good day!"
Shen kept asking villagers, but with no luck. Most of them didn't even care to answer after Shen said the word "yorlde" and others simply never saw Kennen. Shen started to feel like as if he was looking for his favourite rabbit or mouse, because people didn't really consider his friend any more important than that. Many were surprised that he's actually looking for a yordle while most people try to avoid them. Shen was losing hope, so at one point, when most of the villagers were out on the fields already, he decided to go check around the houses. He really wouldn't have been surprised to find Kennen in a small cage at a backyard by now. He checked every house's garden from a distance, but saw nothing more than cats and chickens. The noxian soldiers started getting nervous and were glancing at him increasingly often. Shen was really disappointed. There was no sign of any of his friends whatsoever and dusk was already coming. He decided to go back to the tavern and continue the search tomorrow. Maybe he will have to use his talents to search houses from the inside. If he still finds nothing, he'll have to move forward assuming that Kennen avoided the village. But it was on a crossroad, wich way did he follow then? At that point someone pulled his belt to get his attention. He looked down and saw a little boy standing at his feet.
"Please sir, do you have any food? I'm hungry!"
Shen smiled and knelt down to him.
"How old are you boy?"
"I don't know." - the boy answered with huge eyes fixated at Shen.
"How many winters can you remember?"
"Hmmm, about ten." - answered the boy, then with growing curiosity - "why, how many do YOU remember?"
"Me?" - Shen smiled. He grew up in Ionia where winters were nothing like here. There weren't snow and frost. But he knew the child is ultimately asking for his age so he answered - "It's at least thirty."
"Woow, you're so old. My father remembers about five winters only."
"He must have been drunk on the others." - said Shen - "So about you being hungry, doesn't your mother feed you?"
"No, she doesn't. All of our food goes to Helios. My mather believes it's best. But I'm so hungry."
"Helios? Who's that? Is he your father, or a relative?"
"No, you silly. It's him!" - and the child pointed at the top of the wooden column in the middle of the main square, that had the wooden bird statue on it.
"This Helios is a bird?" - asked Shen. He started to get confused.
"He's the Eagle of Light." - answered the child - "He's very powerful and he protects us if we're kind to him. But he must be getting really fat by now."
"How do you give food to this Helios." - Shen started to suspect what's going on.
"We burn it. Sacrafice they call it. I don't know how he eats it afterwards but he likes it, because people say he accapted it when everything's in ashes."
"Cáel! Cáel, there you are!" - that was the voice of a middle-aged woman, running towards them - "If you keep wandering off, I'll have to beat you harder next time." - she caught up with them and turned to Shen - "I'm sorry he gave you trouble sir, he's just a bad boy like that, won't happen again."
"He was hungry." - said Shen as he stood up. He looked sternly at the woman.
"Ah, the gluttonous little devil. We fed him yesterday but he's still crying."
"Yesterday?" - repeated Shen - "And you consider that sufficient?"
"We're hardly rich folk sir. If we'd only have more!"
"Yet you still have enough food to burn. I understand why you make those sacrafices, but try to keep up a balance between your child and your god or else he will become a sacrafice himself, starving to death."
"YOU! YOU...!" - the woman's eyes widened in anger - "Don't you have a little respect for Helios?! We have offended him, we let the nonhumans too close, so now he sent the noxian army to get rid of them. We must convince him again that we are worthy!! And also, beg for forgiveness!"
"But that doesn't exclude feeding your child at least once a day." - Shen insisted.
"OH MY! What is one child before the mighty Helios, Eagle of Light?! He's not even worthy to be sacraficed to the Lord!"
"I wonder how kids survive around here..." - muttered Shen, then continued aloud - "Does the other villagers believe in this ... diety?"
"THE MIGHTY HELIOS!" - shouted the women - "YES! We all follow his command, you will NOT find any nonhumans unharmed among us! The Eagle of Light only tolerates faithful humans!"
"Then how come he's an eagle? That's not exactly human..." - Shen was getting disgusted.
"BLASPHEMER!" - screamed the woman, pointing at him with her finger - "HE MOCKED THE NAME OF THE MIGHTY HELIOS! BURN HIM!!"
With the coming of dusk, villagers were returning from the fields and people started to gather up around them. The woman was totally out of her mind, blazing cheeks and rolling eyes, shaking her finger pointing at Shen. Her child so scared, he was hiding behind the ninja.
"HERETIC! You are no different from those dirty nonhumans! Having no respect for the Lord, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!"
A man broke through the small crowd that gathered and walked up to them.
"I'm the village mayor. Is there a problem?" - he asked.
"Nothing, I'll be on my way." - answered Shen quickly.
"This man here mocked the name of our Mighty Helios and wanted me to stop sacraficing to the Lord!" - said the woman, pretending an offended calmness.
"I only said, " - Shen turned around. He was getting a little angry - "that you should also keep a little for your children. That's all."
"Look sir, I can see you are a traveler" - started the mayor calmly - "but please try to understand that Helios is holy and almighty and you should keep him in the greatest respect you can. These are hard times and we need the support of our Lord, so everyone is free to sacrafice as much as they see fit. Unfortunately we cannot tolerate offenders of the Lord, so I must ask you to leave the village in peace."
"Very well." - Shen looked straight into the mayor's eyes - "I will leave tomorrow. I don't want to be here for the boy's funeral, when he starved to death."
The boy in question started to cry. Shen felt sorry for him, he wanted to help but the child's own mother stopped him from doing so. Now the people wouldn't let him just take the child for a dinner to the tavern. It was impossible, his mother was a fanatic, and the crowd backed her up. Shen walked back to the tavern, feeling the woman's gaze on his back, but he didn't care. He entered the inn. As he walked towards the bar counter with Gragas behind it, he saw the man he knocked out earlier, in the company of two musclemen and many empty bottles on their table.
"...and he wore a ridiculous mask like this" - he made an awkward grimace - "I swear if I find im, I'll teach 'im a thing or two. Took three gold coins goddamit!" - and he hit the table.
Shen ignored him and walked straight over to Gragas. The giant dwarf was pretty busy serving all the people since it was hightime, evening after work.
"I'll need a room for today. And I'll pay for it." - said Shen.
"Well if ya so much want to, I won't resist. Fifteen coppers it is. Hey Shen, you look angry. Wha happened, you haven't found anythin'?"
"Yeah, no trace..." - Shen sighed, and handed the coppers to Gragas - "But I wonder how did you get in here. You're a dwarf after all, didn't their bird want to bite you?"
"Do I look like a dwarf to you, even if I am one?" - said Gragas laughing.
"Then a giant, it's all the same for them."
"I guess you met their lil bird too. But ya forget that I brought grog. You give them some good wine and not even Hulos or whatever will care for what the f.uck you are. Besides my brewing skills are also much better than the previous tavern keeper's, so dat ****ty eagle can't have a word."
"Finally someone speaking sense." - Shen smiled bitterly. - "I'm going to sleep now. Wich room is mine?"
"End of the corridor to da right upstairs. G'night. Here, take this bread too. I bet you're hungry."
"Thanks. Listen Gragas, there is boy named Cáel, his mother doesn't feed him because she burns all her food to that eagle. Here's a silver coin, if you see him running around alone, please feed him from this."
"Upholding the balance again? Allright, don't get pushy, I'll do it for you."
Shen walked up to his room and quickly ate the bread he brought up with himself. The room was little with only a single bed, a table and a small cupboard, no other furniture. But this was enough for him, Shen didn't even took his wrist-bracers off, he just lay over the bed and fell asleep.
He had a very strange dream. He was very short, his eyes were at the level of Talon's knees as he walked into the room, holding some crumbled papers in his hand. He held them high and shook them in his hand. "They're here, all here! Ryze didn't notice a thing." Nocturne was sitting behind his desk in his green robe with pieces of yellow armor on it, his wooden staff still in his right hand, and the red-eyed raven on his shoulder. "Excellent work. May I have them?" He crawled closer to the desk and handed the papers to Nocturne. The general carefully looked through them, then nodded and handed it over to Veigar who was standing at his side. "Does this appear to be useful?" Veigar took the papers, looked at them for a few seconds then laughed. "YES! Evil can certainly be spawned from it! Suffering awaits!" Nocturne now turned to him. "Thank you for your work. I will inform Zaun about their newest council tomorrow. And about your money, Talon please, will you be so kind?" Talon walked over to him and thrusted his blade right through him. Pain pierced his body as he fell on the floor. Nocturne was still looking at his papers while Veigar laughed horribly. Then Shen awoke. It took him a few seconds to calm down and realise where he is.
It could have been around midnight, and one of the houses near the tavern was burning. He quickly got up and ran downstairs. He saw Gragas still behind the counter, just some of the guests have passed out already.
"What's going on?" - he asked.
"Oh, didn't I tell ya?" - Gragas looked at him - "Some of the village youth ran off when the noxians came. Now they play bandits and sometimes raid one of the houses. But don't worry, da bastarts never come here because they know they'd meet with the worse end of da barrel."
"And don't the guards do anything about it?"
"They're checking for leftover. These are lazy old fools, so they always arrive late. Now they're searching for any valuables the bandits didn't take for themselves. The houses are far from each other, so hopefully the fire won't spread."
"They don't even try to cath them?"
"Why would they?" - Gragas pulled his eyebrows.
"Allright. Goodnight Gragas." - said Shen as he climbed the stairs back to his room.
The rest of the night was relatively peaceful and Shen could have some rest. There were no more strange dreams or burning houses or anything. In the morning he awoke for Gragas shaking him.
"Hey Shen wake up! Come on dude!"
"What's up? What is it now?" - asked Shen between two yawns.
"A drunken peasent just told me there's an execution going on. Hell it's a "sacrafice to the eagle" but that's all the same. They're killing a nonhuman!"
"Bloody hell!" - Shen immediately jumped up. - "I owe you one for that."
He quickly got his swords on his back and ran out of the tavern, straight to the main square. Gragas didn't lie, there was a tied up brown furred little yordle on top of a pile of wood. The crowd had already gathered they were almost igniting the bonfire already. Shen ran closer and broke through the crowd to see the yorlde. It was Kennen. He was given some toddler's clothes and there was no trace of his original equipment.
"STOP!" - Shen shouted
"SHEN!" - Kennen yelled with his high-pitched voice - "I'm so happy to see you! Help me out please!!"
"It's the blasphemer again! BURN HIM TOO!!" - shouted the woman from yesterday, who was naturally in the first line.
"No one burns anyone!" - said Shen firmly - "This yordle is with me. None of you will touch him. We are leaving together."
"Now this is more than enough!" - the village mayor walked up to him with a pitchfork in his hand. - "That yordle is a sacrafice to the Lord and you will NOT stop the ritual. I asked you to leave kindly, if you refuse to, we'll have to use force."
"I'd like to see you try, peasent." - Shen answered coldy.
"STAND ASIDE, or we'll burn you too!" - shouted the mayor at him. - "You can't stop the entire village!"
"BURN THE HERETIC!" - screamed the woman.
"I give you one last chance to leave!" - yelled the mayor. - "Then we'll remove you with force."
Shen stood still, solid as a rock. The mayor hesitated then grabbed his pitchfork with both hands. Shen still didn't move. The mayor waited a few more seconds, then defeating his insecurity he tried to hit Shen with it. In just a flash, Shen drew his blade, stepped forward and stabbed it into the mayor, who groaned in agony. The crowd froze in silence as blood dripped from his blade.
"Anyone else who wants to burn the yordle?" - he asked aloud. - "I'll slaughter the whole village if I have to."
Total silence. No one dared to answer as Shen pulled his blade out and let the mayor's lifeless body fall to the ground into the pool of his own blood. He walked over to Kennen and cut his bounds.
"Come on Kennen, let's get out of here." - he whispered to his friend.
I hope you enjoyed Shen's little village adventure. Any comments are of course greatly appriciated. I'd love to know what you think about the story : )
Btw this language filter sucks, it doesn't even allow words like "dam.n" or "bas.tard". Village folk aren't raised by the gentry lol.
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