So it was written, that for their uprising against the Institute of War, that all zones of proper representation would submit a male and female champion as tributes to take place in an annual fight to the death, known as the Hunger Gam...wait what? What do you mean that's copyrighted? Okay...the...Leauge of Hunger, how's that? Good? Okay...yes, the League of Hunger. This battle will have one victor, and one alone. The sole survivor shall be brought back to his home town safely, and both him and his zone shall be showered with prizes, while being taken care of for the rest of his or her life. Best of luck to all.
I felt the breeze run through my hair, felt the air across my skin, enjoying my natural element. The world seemed so peaceful, even if it wasn't. Ever since the uprising...After the Kalamanda incident, Noxian and Demacian forces continued to butt heads, and even without magic being used, the Institute over-stepped it's bounds, and continued to intervene in their political issues. Eventually, Noxus and Demacia came to an agreement, and felt that the Institute of War had become to strong, and could potentially be a threat for their people's way of life. They were however, to late. The Institute's strength had grown further than anyone could have predicted, and the city-state's armies were crushed. The League of Legends had fallen, and the Institute would now micro-manage all political systems across Valoran. However, the Institute had found such joy and fascination in the League of Legends, that they felt it necessary that the individuals continue to put each other to death. However, this time around, Death would be permanent.
The wind this time of year felt...depressing. Sad, blood-ridden almost. Knowing that as the breeze swept across the land, it only brought troubling times. I glided down from my favorite hill towards the town square, where all Zaun champions would have to gather, bobbing up and down to look past the crowded streets. The citizens didn't have a care in the world, only Champions from their associated city-states and minor zones were in danger.
It might only be the first year, but it felt like a million years had passed. As I glode into position it occurred to me that one male and one female would be chosen, and looking between the already present Twitch, Singed, and Warwick, it occurred to me that this first year, I had no choice in the matter. I would be taking part in the League of Hunger. As this realization occurred to me it felt like a punch to the stomach, and I tripped up in the air, temporarily taking foot on the ground momentarily, before regaining my balance. If I was going to fight, so be it. I had the wind on my side.
“Hello and welcome everybody. I will be representing Zaun for the coming years from the Institute of War. I am High Summoner Nikasaur, and before we begin, I have a message that wishes to be played.” She motioned towards a massive screen that had originally been used in order to view the League of Legends matches, but as of now had a new purpose.
“Greetings, and may I say, that this years League of Hunger is going to be spectacular!” High Summoner Kolminye appeared, the replacement for Reginald Ashram after his...mysterious departure. “As you all know, one male and female champion shall be brought from each of the following zones in Valoran: Demacia. Noxus. Ionia. Pitlover. Zaun. Bilgewater. Bandle City. Freljord. Shadow Isle. Mt. Targon. And as...special guests, we shall have two competitors from both the Kinkou Ninja Order, and the Plague Jungles. Good luck participants, lets have a good show.” The image faded out.
“Well now, who's excited? Now I'll explain some rules, that you'll hear once more before you enter the arena. Similar to the League of Legends, Champion abilities will be greatly restricted. In this case, you will be able to use any weapons available on the field, and whatever your secondary ability was on Summoner's Rift. No ultimate’s will be aloud, and that includes transformations. Passive abilities will also remain active on this new battlefield. There is no re spawning, once dead, you're life is terminated. Remember that. Also, there is only one winner, and remember that when you decide to try and make friends. Now then...at this time we will now choose from the available champions the two tributes. I would start with the ladies, but as Janna is our only female, why don't you come on up while I choose the male.” I drifted up, the shock having already left my system, and being replaced with anticipation as I began to go over in my head all the potential enemies I could come across.
Warwick ended up being chosen as the male, but my mind was so focused on potential strategy that I zoned out the rest of the world. The wind wrapped around my ears preventing any sound from passing their barrier, and it wasn't until two hooded summoners began to push me along that I realized the time to head for the Institute had begun. We were moved towards a carriage that would ride out, giving time for other participants to be chosen and make their way to the Institute as well.
“Why aren't we using summoning platforms, like we did for the original League of Legends?” Warwick was glaring at Summoner Nikasaur, who shifted uncomfortably.
“Well for this new event we wanted things to be a little...different. Before the actual combat we've decided to add a few...catches.”
“Such as?” I figured I would let Warwick ask the questions, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
“For example...citizens and summoners who feel like helping out can send you items, weapons, potions, or just general supplies during the battle. We do a whole fashion show, and even an interview.” I could sense Warwick become suddenly uncomfortable about the thought of a dog in a fashion show. The questions stopped and we sat in silence as our carriage headed towards the Institute.
The silence probably would have become unbearable, if it weren't for the sudden appearance of a rampaging Mundo beside the carriage. “Dr. Mundo? What are you doing?”
“Mundo goes where he pleases, and Mundo under orders to deliver message to all participating pairs.” He tossed in a folded up piece of paper, before I could have sworn I heard him use Ghost, and he sprinted off away from our carriage.
“Well...let's see then...” Nikasaur unfolded the paper and read around. “In order to give our participants a fighting chance, we are giving each pair the detailed information about who they are fighting from each of the chosen areas. For Demacia, we have Garen and Lux. For Noxus, we have Swain, and Katarina Du Couteau. For Ionia, we have Master Yi and Karma. For Piltover, we have Heimerdinger and Caitlyn. For Zaun...well...you two of course. Umm...for BandleCity we have Lulu and Teemo. For Freljord we have Sejuani and Tryndamere. For the...” Nikasaur shivers a bit. “For the Shadow Isles...we have Evelynn and Yorick.” The two didn't seem to scary in the League of Legends, but without any of our powers they could be an extremely deadly combination. “From Mt. Targon, there will be Pantheon and Leona. From the Kinkou Ninja Clan, we have Kennen and Akali, and lastly the Plague Jungles, we have Nidalee and Rammus. Okay?” She giggled at her own joke but I payed no mind to her. I just went over the list repeatedly in my head. Who was a threat, who would be a joke.
“Many Yordles are going to die today...” Warwick was getting excited and licking his lips. Apparently his instincts were kicking in and all he could think about was killing.
“Now then...down to business. When we arrive at the Institute you will be separated into a your own individual rooms to receive a makeover, we're going to make you prettier than ever, and somewhat...presentable.” Nikasaur looked doubtfully at Warwick, wondering how they could ever make him a crowd pleaser. Then again, it wasn't her job, so she returned to her spiel. “After your first impression, you'll be changed into formal attire and sit down to have an interview with High Summoner Phreak. The point of all of this is to make the citizens of Valoran, as well as the summoners at the Institute, have some sort of favorite among you. The more popular you are, the increased odds of something being sent to you inside the arena.”
“I don't care about my popularity. If someone has higher popularity then myself, I'll just slaughter them and take their precious gifts.” Warwick growled at Nikasaur who scooted to the other side of her seat in the carriage so she was across from myself. “Do you understand? We're almost there.” She pointed behind me and I peeked my head out the window to see the Institute of war approaching.
“Yeah...I got it all...” I became nervous once again. The last time I'd become popular was over a photo scandal that had gotten out of hand. However that was all in the past. At this point I'd just have to...go with the flow that the wind provided. My wind.
"You just have so much...hair dear!" A summoner was brushing my hair and changing it to a silver color, feeling it matched more appropriately with my attire. A silver dress with several sparkling ribbons, the idea that being during windy times I would become a glorious streak through the world of shimmering wind. The silver would represent the literal wind. "It must be difficult to be maintain it, but it sure is beautiful." I would feel complimented, if I didn't feel like a corpse already. Being prettied up for my viewing, where the people of Zaun and any friends I had would look at my flowing hair and beautiful dress. At least i wouldn't die in these clothes.
“Now then, after your presentation, we go straight to interviews, for the sake of time.” Nikasaur was looking at a list of names. “You'll be going after the female champion of Piltover, so you'll have plenty of time being you have to present yourself. You and Warwick will walk through the halls of the Institute, presenting yourselves to any and all viewers, and remember to make them like you.” She closed her folder and looked up at my. “You shouldn't have any problems my dear.” Smiling at me, I could tell she was feigning every moment. She might have been one of the few summoners who had grown attached to the champions of the zones. Seeing them die permanently would be a big loss.
I left the room and followed the directions given by Nikasaur, and saw Warwick in a Tuxedo and a top-hat. He looked like a gentlemen...even with all the hair, which had been trimmed down an insane amount. Warwick growled as I approached and looked towards the doors. Infront of us stood the Demacian, Noxian, and Piltover champions. Behind us stood the remainder of the champions, all in various outfits complimenting their style, or just attempting to make them presentable. Garen and Lux both wore uniforms of the Demacian military, with matching designs across the plates. It looked like they'd be representing Demacia as a team. Behind them, Swain and Katarina also wore militaristic apparel, and Swains back plate had two massive opening in it, most likely for his wings.
The Ionians had just taken their spot, two places in front of us, when the doors swung open, and they began to march. Garen and Lux started out first, as a roar of applause echoed through the building. The hallway had turned into a massive arena, stretched further than I could see, and through some magic the summoners must have been working on, bleachers and rows upon rows of seats had appeared on either side of the walkway, every seat filled to the brim with hooded summoners and high-class citizens alike. As the Piltover pair walked forward, Caitlyn looked as steampunk as ever, and Heimerdinger twirling his wrenches, shooting them like pistols at cheering fans, a guard at the door waved us forward.
Warwick began to walk uncomfortably forward, looking up at the crowd who almost seemed shocked by his change, and then it happened. Feeling my need to impress these people, who might determine my fate, wind swirled around my body, and the ribbons fluttered outwards, sending shimmering sparkles through the air, as my silver hair flowed behind me.
Gravity held no power anymore, and I was twirling and grinning, blowing kisses to whomever I happened to be facing. I noticed a special booth on either side, one holding the High Summoners, and another holding the remaining champions. Their glances had no effect on my actions, and soon enough I was exciting the doors at the end of the massively long hall, and turning a corner, the adrenaline flowing. All the champions were seated along a bench, where a screen appeared that showed a stage with two seats. As Rammus and Nidalee, Rammus in a holey suit, and Nidalee dressed in a very revealing and tribal outfit, took their seats, a summoner walked through the exit of the arena, and closed the doors, before walking to another pair of doors at the end of the bench.
“Momentarily these doors will open, and you will each have a time of interview with High Summoner Phreak. During these interviews you will be asked a series of questions. Your answer could determine your fate in the League of Hunger. Remember this.” On screen an introduction was being given, and High Summoner Phreak walked out on stage, doing a little introduction. I guess I felt a little lucky being a later interviewee. The adrenaline was wearing off, and I started to think about the questions that could be asked, and how I would answer them. What kind of person would I be? As I questioned, Phreak called out for Garen to take the stage. After smiles and a hand-shake, they took their seats.
“So Garen, Might of Demacia, how does it feel to be representing the city of Demacia in the first League of Hunger?” Phreak leaned in towards Garen, as did I, silence fell over everyone as the first interview began to take place.
“Well, it's a true honor to serve my people. I was a crowd pleaser back in the League of Legends, summoners of all ranking knew my name, and I was a force to be reckoned with. It's only fitting that I make a name for myself once again, as the first winner of the League of Hunger.” Garen raised his fist to the air and the crowd went wild. Easy modes had such a popularity attached it hardly seemed fair.
“Big talk, considering you have 23 opponents. Do you have a strategy in mind?” Garen let loose a laugh.
“Well, I think I'll do what any smart champion would do, and rush into battle getting a Trinity Force as soon as possible, for...say it with me!” The rang out simultaneously. “TONS OF DAMAGE!!!” It made me sick.
A buzzer went off signaling the end of his interview. With a massive bow he exited the stage. Swain went on next, discussing something about being a Master Tactician, but Swain was never someone I payed attention too. Suddenly I felt like I had been snapped to an alternate reality when I suddenly noticed the Manatee sitting on the bench, his fin on the floor and a spatula in his grip. I raised my eye-brow, as his name was called and he hopped awkwardly on stage.
“Urf, you've recently been revived to take play in the League of Hunger, and should you win, and then given a chance to re-build from where you left off.” Phreak leaned in for Urf to respond, and dressed as a cook, sitting their awkwardly. Warwick got up and howled from beside me, and it echoed into the main room. Urf, who's mouth was open to respond, froze in terror, and he sat there silent for the rest of the interview. The crowd was dead silent as Teemo took the stage.
“Well, we appear to have another crowd favorite, Teemo the Yordle, representing Bandle City! How does it feel to be here?” The crowd's dead silence didn't phase Teemo in the least.
“It feels good knowing that all the young yordle's in my scout troop will get to see the true power of the Scout's Code!”
“So I asked Garen this, do you have a strategy you plan on using?” The crowd leaned in, curiosity peaked. Suddenly Teemo faded from sight. “Teemo?”
“Boo!” Teemo jumped out towards the crowd and made a silly face. After the initial shock wore off, the crowd went ballistic, whistling and shouting for Teemo. “Oh, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
“Well that's good to hear! Ladies and Gentlemen, Teemo!”
The interviews continued, each Champion doing their best to make an impression on the citizens of Valoran. Tryndamere discussing the union of Freljord, Rammus answering every question with OK, regardless of it made sense or not. Katarina came up, bloodthirsty as ever, almost putting the crowd back into shock, and soon enough I found it to be my turn.
“Janna, Mistress of the Wind, Goddess of the Skies, welcome to the stage, how does it feel?” Phreak's eye showed a minor expression of pain, smiling non-stop like this must be straining his cheeks.
“It feels like the winds of the world will carry me to victory. Not that they'll be given a choice.” I giggled, it was a corny joke, but it got the crowd laughing and loosened them up after the past few bloodthirsty interviewees.
“I guess they won't, but you've never really been much of a solo fighter now have you?” I still didn't have much of a strategy, so I'd just wing it.
“I wouldn't say that. I've had my fair of one on one's in the past, but that was under the restrictions of summoners. Without someone commanding me, the very air that everyone else is breathing in will be under my control.” This wasn't necessarily true, we'd still be under the League's restrictions, but this at least made me look confident.
The crowd was cheering as I stood up and pointed out to them, looking individuals in the eyes as the ribbons began to rise and twinkle around me. “All those who feel I'm an underdog, be careful, because I might just take your breathe away.”
The crowd went crazy, and Phreak stood beside my, raising my arm upwards. “Ladies and Gentlemen, representing Zaun, Janna!” I took a bow as I continued to sparkle leaving stage, headed to a waiting area for the remainder of champions to finish their interviews. Warwick could be seen sitting on the bench, but Urf seemed to have vanished.
As Nidalee entered the room, being the final interviewee, we all rose and were escorted down a hallway by yet another summoner I didn't recognize. “You will each be given a final preparations room. A timer will be announced, and when time ends, you will be summoned to a randomized platform in the special arena designed specifically for the League of Hunger. You will wait there for 60 seconds. Should you leave you platform, be it stepping off or even gliding,” the summoner's eyes turned towards me, “ then special explosives designed by the yordles of Bandle City will detonate, and immediately take the life of whoever leaves to soon. Now, you'll find your designated rooms at certain intervals along this hallway. Head out, and good luck to you all.”
With that, everyone departed into separate directions, and I entered my chamber. A jacket, pants, and boots, almost like apparel Ashe would wear, or some type of hunter. I changed from my dress, and sat, waiting...
As the timer entered it's final numbers I stepped onto my summoning platform, and as soon as the countdown hit zero, I felt that ever so familiar surge of energy, signifying my teleportation to the Fields of Justice. I embraced it, knowing that it could very well be my last. The light blinded me momentarily, and I stood on a small metal ring. Around me, flashes of light signified the summoning of the other champions. In front of us, was a massive Nexus, with an enormous opening. Inside was almost every item we could think of. Trinity Force, Bloodthirster, Deathcaps littered the ground. Even items we had never seen before, generic swords, armors, and various medical supplies and potions could be seen strewn across the ground. Closer and closer to the platforms the item quality decreased, to dorans items and poor quality blades. Camping supplies also were spread about.
As I started to look around me, at the forest, and an enormous mountain top, I had to decide where I would go. The precious items in the middle would certainly do me the most good, but the question was whether I could beat champions like Garen or Rammus once I got there. I saw a small survival kit, with first aid supplies, a warm looking coat, and a bottle to store water, and decided I would head for that first and head towards the Mountain.
“Welcome to the League of Hunger!” All the Champions had been successfully summoned, to my left was Kennen, eye-balling the Nexus. To my right...nobody? I guessed Teemo's passive had kicked in. “60 seconds until the explosives are disabled.” I looked down the line as the countdown dropped. 55...54...53...when I noticed Urf. Upright on his fin, he seemed to be wavering from side to side. I guess without feet it must be hard to balance yourself. 49...48...47...and then it happened. Waving his flippers wildly in the air, Urf was unable to maintain leg-less balance any longer, and fell forward off his platform. Before he even hit the ground, explosives sent shockwaves through the air, threatening anyone else off balance to potentially be knocked off their platforms, but as blubber and manatee chunks rained from the sky, no other Champion fell prey to the explosives.
I returned my focus to the survival kit, and the countdown reached it's final seconds. 3...2...1.
“Greetings and Hello all you summoners and champions viewing this bloody spectacle! For today's events you will have two fine commentators, myself being Shaco, and my partner, being...Shaco!” The red and green Shaco pair laughed maniacally behind their booth, with papers in front of them they paid no mind too. “As you can clearly see, we've had our first death before the countdown even began! Something I'm somewhat an expert on.” He laughed again before a video replay of Urf's explosive finish covered the screen.
“At least he's consistent with the way he dies. Enter the fields and give a permanent first blood!” The green Shaco laughed at his own joke as he watched the replay again, in slow motion. “Alas, I will not know the joy of slicing up his blubbery body. Warwick how I envy thee. However, the carnage has just begun...” Both the Shaco's vanished, and the cameraman could be heard screaming in terror before the video was cut, and the screens returned to the arena, where Urf's body parts had taken rest on the ground.
I dashed from my post towards Kennen, who had ignored my presence completely and headed towards the Nexus in the center of the field. An obvious trap, but at least it would narrow down the list of champions, increasing my odds. I picked up a bottle of water, a small pack with three healing potions, and a jagged piece of metal. Not quite a knife, but it was better than nothing at all. With my Zephyr floating around my body, and a tailwind at my back, I floated quickly towards the mountain region without taking a second glance behind me.
The trees whipped by, but years of jungle battles on Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline had trained my body to easily dodge in and out of the trees and brush. First step, to find a water source. The bottle I had picked up ended up being completely empty, but headed towards the mountain I imagined there had to be a spring or river somewhere near the base, and then I could head upwards and have a vantage point over the entire arena.
Sure enough, after about 10 minutes of gliding I neared the edge of the mountain, and found a small pong, with a stream headed up towards the top. If I was lucky, there would be a spring at the top pouring out this water, but in the mean time I bottled as much as I could and began the trip upwards. Considering I wasn't actually walking, the uphill battle wasn't to difficult, yet another advantage I would have in this area. Anyone who did make it up this high would be extremely winded by the time they reached me, making them weaker than if we fought at ground level, not to mention the weight of any gear they'd bring with them.
Finally the ground began to level out, and I found a small spring bubbling up from the mountain , almost boiling. A hot spring...at least I knew the water would be free of contaminants. I hovered slowly outwards, not wanting to take an unexpected plummet to the world, and was briefly blinded by the sunlight. For a brief second I felt fear, as if Leona would come crashing into me at any moment, before the world revealed itself.
The Nexus was in the distance, bodies strewn across, but several moving around still...the fighting had ceased. I hadn't really thought about an alliance. Teaming up just seemed silly, with only one winner any alliance would have to fade eventually. I raised my hand to block the sun from my eyes to try and make out who was dead, and who was still standing. The only clear-cut pair was Garen and Lux, one bulking beside the other, and a tiny corpse I could only assume to be Kennen's lay at the mouth. The others were impossible to make out, until I could see Rammus waddle outwards covered in thornmail and a sash over his forehead. That would be problematic... Pantheon was nowhere to be seen, his shield given to him for the sake of his abilities, unfair in my opinion, but I didn't make the rules, would have made him obvious. Along side the trio were two other figures, but as the sun began to sink my sight was all but gone, and I moved back to the safety of the trees.
The temperature decreased along side the visibility of the arena, and I began to shiver. Keeping warm was no problem though, I began to increase the speed of the wind around me, the friction of air particles heating up the area around me, and I moved towards the hot spring, wondering if sleep would be possible. I still had plenty of energy, and perhaps I should be hunting fatigued or tired individuals, but a bright light illuminated the sky as Shaco and his clone appeared, covered in blood.
“Greetings surviving champions, we are here to give you an update on the casualties so far! First we have Jim, the camera man...” The green Shaco smacked the red Shaco.
“Wrong list! We're supposed to list casualties in the field, not the filming booth.” The red Shaco looked down at his sheet and ripped it up.
“Well that was a waste of time! Let me see yours!” He began to list off the names in unison with his partner. “First, and obvious to all, is Urf the Manatee. Bet Warwick is upset he didn't get that kill.” A howl in the woods could be heard, but it was far enough that I maintained concentration on the screen. “Other casualties include Sejuani, who without her mighty boar seemed unable to comprehend combat. Next up, Karma! Be carful whoever killed her, that one might come around to bite you.” The pair laughed at their own joke yet again. “Then we have... Kennen, Yorick, Akali, Tryndamere, Heimerdinger and finally Miss Fortune. Now then...I think I saw the lady who delivers the coffee just a moment ago...” The screen went dark and the world once again became black.
So nine casualties left us with Leona, Pantheon, Swain, Katarina, Garen, Lux, Nidalee, Rammus, Caitlyn, Warwick, Teemo, Lulu, Master Yi, Evelynn, and myself. Panic struck as I realized Evelynn had been given her stealth abilities, making her even more lethal than nearly all of my opponents. I stood up and spiraled some wind to some of the lower branches, where light hadn't quite given their leaves life. They were dry and crunchy, and I scattered them in between all of the trees. If this worked, I could move about freely without giving away my position, but anyone that walked by unprepared would leave a loud crunching noise in their wake.
Nine down, fifteen to go. I lay down on a soft patch of grass beside the springs, their warm waters keeping the cold at bay. My stomach growls, and in the morning I begin my search for food.
I wake to a sound, and I jump up holding my make-shift dagger, looking into the woods. I hear the sound again and realize it's not the crunching of leaves, but yelling...behind me. I hover to the edge of the mountain and look down to the base of the cliff. A straight drop onto a fight scene. Pantheon can be seen in a corner, with Rammus, Garen, and Lux surrounding him. Lux with a bow, Garen with a massive claymore, and Rammus being...well pointy. Pantheon is yelling something unintelligible when Pantheon leaps through the air, and before Lux can prep a bow, his shield comes down on her skull. A loud crack drops her to the ground, and Pantheon turns to Garen, prepared to strike again, when a burst of smoke replaces him with a squirrel.
Lulu can be seen walking slowly from the bushes laughing madly, before Garen plants his sword firmly in the skull of the squirrel. Wonderful...Garen with a support Lulu. Both Lux's body and Pantheon's reformed body begin to glow, before dissolving and being removed from the fields, forever.
Lulu does a twirl of delight as Rammus and Garen seem to convene, and Lulu briefly looks upwards before pointing and shrieking something. Garen and Rammus look straight towards me before they make a beeline around the mountain, looking for the way up. This wasn't good...I never thought about having to get back down from the mountain, and my stomach was growling. I stood no chance against the three of them, so I began to quickly make my way down the mountain, hoping to leave the side they weren't coming up.
Rapidly I made my way down the steep hill, going down was harder than going up, because with gravity on my side I often would lose control and have to slow down, or risk slamming into a tree. I was on the left side of the hill leading to the top, when I could hear footsteps. Looking through the dense forest I spotted Rammus, heavy and waddling up towards me. Looks like they'd split up.
I began to hover towards the middle of the hill, pausing between movements to hide behind a tree, listening for any running to signify they'd spotted me. Silence...then a crunch. I peaked my head out to see Garen, who had frozen in place. Another crunch...but I couldn't see Rammus or Lulu. More crunching heading in our direction, only a few feet between us, some poor soul had walked in on a very dangerous trio, who was thirsty for blood. Though...it seemed they weren't the only ones already on the hunt.
“ARGH!” I poked my head out to see Garen standing there, spitting out blood. He fell forward and balanced himself on his sword, now dug into the ground. Evelynn was standing behind him, a pair of daggers in her hands, dried blood on one, fresh Demacian blood on the other. “Stealth...OP...” Evelynn delivered the killing blow as Rammus and Lulu appeared on either side of her. Now was my chance...as Lulu fired her whimsy at the cackling Evelynn, I took the opportunity to dash past Rammus's back. His powerball being restricted this match, I knew I could escape him, heavy from the armor on his body it took him longer to turn in my direction than for me to be long gone.
I didn't bother checking to see if Evelynn had gotten away, which would have probably been for the better, but with Rammus and Lulu at the mountain, and Garen and Lux already slain, I made my way back towards the Nexus, which was sure to have food. A bright flash headed towards the sky, meaning that someone else had died. A few minutes of hovering, and no second light meant either Evelynn had slain someone and gotten away, or had been killed herself, most likely as a furry critter.
Floating at the edge of the woods I looked at the Nexus. All the gear had been moved around, sorted out into a variety of piles. I spotted a pile of food, a pile of weapons, and a pile of survival gear. Nobody was around...as expected. I drifted out cautiously, when Caitlyn walked out from inside the Nexus, Hextech Gunblade in hand, and a bag that she tossed onto the survival supplies. Looked like they were still organizing. I had never really expected Caitlyn to be in an alliance, but I guess her ability to lay down the law increased her life span. They had after all accepted Rammus, but given an invitation he would only respond with 'Ok'.
As Caitlyn headed back inside to gather more supplies suddenly one of the start pads came to life. Teemo, who I could only assume had stayed on his summoning platform for the past 24 hours, zipped across the field towards the supplies. Knowing what to get, and where it was located, he picked up a dart gun with a bag of darts, the exact bag Caitlyn had just thrown out and stuffed them in his tiny survival shirt. After those, he picked up a bag of food, a vial of water, and ran away holding them with one arm. His other covering his nose, as he skirted off.
Within seconds Caitlyn could be seen charging out after him, but with Teemo's tiny body and the ability to Move Quick, all she could do was chase him off. I took the opportunity to glide quickly to the pile of supplies, my speed easily matching Teemo's, and with the distraction I would have plenty of time to gather anything I needed.
I sifted through the weapons, finding a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and a pair of Ionian boots. If they kept their power from Summoner's Rift, this was a jackpot, though considering Garen's swift end while donning Warmog's I brought along a pair of Phantom Dancers, just in case. Stuffing a few food items and a few more potions into a bag on the survival pile, I looked inside the Nexus and my jaw dropped. In the corner, with their easily recognizable logo, was a variety of Hextech Explosives, used by Ziggs himself. Behind the pile, a Mega Inferno Bomb. This would be perfect. Hovering out of the Nexus to deciding the best way to wipe out their supplies, I noticed several Yordle Snap Traps strewn around. I guess being so focused on the weaponry I hadn't noticed them, but to a Yordle like Teemo, it must have been incredibly difficult to resist. No wonder he plugged his nose.
Setting my bag of supplies at the entrance of the Nexus, I began to toss the explosives randomly through the piles, placing some of them inside, and others just on the ground around them. Peeking towards the woods, to check for anyone who might intrude, I pushed with all my might to get the Mega Inferno Bomb as close to the pile as possible, before my strength gave out. Everything was in place...and I picked up a small skull shaped necklace, pointed it at the fuse, and a burst of flame shot out. I tossed the item into the pile, grabbed my supplies, and bee-lined for the woods. Hopefully that was a long fuse, because I knew the explosion was going to be plenty big.
The shock wave reached me before I was able to reach the treeline, and I was sent headfirst into a tree before the sound of the explosion rung through my ears, and the world went black as I lost consciousness.
Over the course of the day I regained consciousness off and on. The first time the light of the world returned to me I crawled towards the tree-line and found the safest spot I could find, and with as much effort as I could exert tossed leaves and chunks of dirt over-top of me, to avoid being spotted. My body had little energy and I couldn't stand up in a fight, let alone defend myself in my condition, and soon enough I faded out again.
The second time reality came back I could see a tiny figure sprinting towards the camp. By the looks of it I could only assume it was Teemo, who let out a joyful shout of approval and sat down eating a cupcake that had been knocked free from one of Caitlyn's Snap Traps. He began to eat it without mercy, crumbs flying everywhere as he attempted to devour the entire thing at once. Letting out a mighty belch for such a small creature, he zoomed off into the tree-line.
Finally I was back in reality for good, but before I could even move, voices froze me in place once again. I lay there, dead silent, as Lulu, Rammus, and Caitlyn all exit the tree line immediately to my right. My breathing halts, and I just stare as they walk towards what was once their glorious camp. Lulu had a massive bandage rapped around her waist that was stained with blood. I guess Evelynn put up more of a fight that I could've hoped for. Something distorted was being shouted from Lulu at Caitlyn, and Caitlyn backed away looked terrified. Lulu raised her staff and suddenly the sheriff of Piltover was a defenseless squirrel, and with an 'Ok.” Rammus gently rolled after the creature, slowly, almost teasingly, as even with all it's effort to scurry away, the squirrel vanished beneath Rammus, who's spikes came up from the dirt with a new coat of red coated across them.
Terrifying...Lulu began to limp towards what used to be the supply cache and began to sift through it for anything useful. Rammus seemed to be kicking the dead corpse of the squirrel around wishing for more of a fight. He cocked his head looking confused and stomped on it's body one last time. With that a bright light erupted and the squirrel turned back into Caitlyn, before evaporating into the sky. Lulu came out of the wreckage with a single health potion and immediately chugged it, before wiping her mouth and pointing towards the area of trees Teemo had headed through not that long ago. As soon as they were gone I ruffled through my bad and chugged my own health potion. The healing would be slow, but I soon had enough strength to get on my feet, and headed towards the wreckage. If I was lucky the explosion would have scared off most everyone else, but even so, being in the open was an enormous risk. I skitted by not leaving any hint of my being there, grabbed the forgotten gunblade, and headed in the woods opposite Lulu and Rammus.
A few minutes of floating, and two health potions later, I had recovered my strength and had decided with my new supplies to mount an offensive. With a Gunblade, Phantom Dancers, and a Crystal Scepter, not to mention my incredible speed, I could easily take on the most troublesome opponents. I heard a crack, and stopped moving. I wasn't touching the ground, but floating inches above it, so someone or something had made that sound. Hovering up a few more inches I pulled myself up into a tree, supplies in the bag on my back, and began to scan the area. Another crack, this time much closer than before, and I turned to my left to see Katarina, only a few feet from me, with a dagger in her hand and eyes fierce. She seemed to be looking at something, and I followed her gaze to see Swain sitting on a log drinking from a cantine. He let loose a sigh and stood up, leaning on his cane.
“You know, they don't call me the Master Tactician for anything Katarina.” He turned his gaze to the tree she was standing behind and raised his arm upwards. Talons sprayed forth from the ground and pinned her feet to the ground. Struggling to be free, her efforts in vein, she looked up at her captor.
“You coward, fighting from a distance like that. How did you know I was here?” Swain let loose a laugh as a bird cawed, flew from the branch above her and perched itself upon his shoulder. “You got to keep your bird? That hardly seems fair.”
“Oh my dear Katarina. Pantheon kept his shield didn't he? Beatrice is a weapon for me, a tool really. Why would the Institute deny me a simple bird to keep me company?” He laughed to himself as he stroked Beatrice before pointing towards Katarina. “Now now, don't look at me like that. You look so cruel right now...how about we change that.” Beatrice lifted from his shoulder and made a beeline for Katarina's face, dodging the dagger she waved wildly as it pecked at her eyes. Blood spurted out as the Noxian Noble lost all vision, and I began to debate leaving or not. With Swain pre-occupied I might get lucky.
The talons freed Katarina as she dropped to her knees, one hand over her face as blood dripped to the ground, the other clutching her dagger. Beatrice returned to her masters shoulder, blood dripping from her beak onto Swain's shoulder, but he payed no mind. He simply stared at her, almost as if he were imagining all the different ways he could kill her at that very moment. “I might just leave you here. You're no longer a threat to me, or anyone for that matter.” A howl could be heard in the distance. Warwick was near, and closing by. “Oh, even better. I could let the mutt finish you off. How would that feel? Dying to a dog, unable to even see your killer's eyes as they take your life.”
Katarina stood up, wobbling and balanced herself against a tree. “I won't die to a dog...and...I won't die to you...” She began to walk towards Swain, hands extended as she swung her knife wildly.
“Determined aren't we.” Beatrice cawed again. “Quiet Beatrice, I know the wolf is coming. I'll just...leave her here to die.” He raised his hands laughing, and the ground beneath Katarina grew purple. Katarina's ears perked up, locking onto the sound of the laughter. She had been trained for this, and wouldn't be caught again. Blindly rolling forwards towards the sound of his laugh, Swain stepped on a branch and time seemed to freeze. Katarina's momentum had placed her immediately in front of swain, and she had placed her dagger through his heart. Beatrice began to squawk wildly and as Katarina yanked the dagger free and she stabbed the bird before it could leave Swain's shoulder. Swain stumbled backwards, blood spilling from his body. “I...was the master...” He collapsed before he could finish, fading out of existence along with Beatrice.
Breathing deeply, Katarina blindly felt her way to the base of the tree I was spying from, and sat, eye sockets bleeding, dagger still clunched tightly in her hand. I could hear her panting, and then tree limbs breaking. Warwick appeared in the clearing, sniffing around at the blood where Swain's corpse once lie. He picked up on Katarina's scent and stood up looking through the tree-line. “Noxus blood...smells so filthy.” He sniffed the air and let loose a howl, before making his way to the same tree. I reached up into my bag, and pulled out the pair of Phantom Dancers I had come across. Warwick had a pair of Madred's Razors strapped to both claws, and no protection. He rounded the tree and looked down at the wounded Katarina. She swung her knife blindly knowing he was there to no avail. “Oh my dear Katarina...you look like you're in pain.” His malicious tone showing every bit of blood lust in his body. “Let me help you with that.”
As he raised a claw to swipe at Katarina I dropped from the tree, planting one Phantom Dancer in his neck, and the other somewhere on his back. I could only assume I'd hit the spine dead on, because his body instantly went limp and dropped on top of Katarina's, who began to stab wildly at it.
“Stop, stop, stop.” I whispered in hopes nobody had been tracking the howling. “He's dead, you're alright.”
“Is...that Janna? I guess...even in this new arena...the support is saving me.” She coughed up blood and her arm released the dagger, still in Warwick's back, and she rolled him off of her. “But I don't...get it.”
“I guess I'm a sucker for honorable fights. Warwick attacking you while you're blinded...it just didn't seem fair.” It was true, I felt terrible for her that she would die in such a manner. Katarina, while blood thirsty, was a loyal Noxian, and deep in her heart she was a true warrior. If she was going to die, it would be in a fight where both participants were armed, awake, and prepared to fight. But crippled and weak was not how she deserved to go out.
“Fair...you're funny.” She coughed before reaching out for me. “If I was in proper condition...I'd have stabbed you in the back...” Her arm dropped to her side as her breathing grew shallow. “Thank you...though. Dying to...a mutt like him...” She pointed to where she had rolled Warwick's body, just as it began to fade from existence. Finger's quivering the arm dropped back to her side.
“Don't mention it...just...” My hand's were shaking. Sure I just killed Warwick, but it was instant...I didn't have to...talk them through it. “Just breathe and...” I bit my lip, used to saving lives not taking them.
“Don't...talk me through this...Just end it. I've accepted my death, but not defeat. If I die to you, it's because you went on to win the entire battle.” Her head tilted in my direction, her un-seeing eyes locked with mine. “Got it...?”
“I...understand. The mighty Katarina was defeated by the winner, and nobody can blame her.” Katarina smiled as she tilted her head back, and with gritted teeth I lifted up the Phantom Dancers from their position in the grass, having falling out after Warwick's body vanished, and pierced Katarina's heart against the tree. Her body stiffened up as she shrieked, before going limp, and she faded out of existence with a smile on her face.
“Are the tears over? I wouldn't want to become the one person who killed my opponent with their back turned, but this funeral for Katarina has been dragging on for a while.” I turned ripping my stained Phantom Dancer from the tree and spun to see Master Yi, legs crossed in a meditation with Youmuu's Ghostblade in his lap. “Now then...are you ready?” Standing up and entering a combat position, Master Yi pointed his sword at me and waited.
Instead of fighting however, I threw my Phantom Dancers at him and reached for my Gunblade.
“That's not how you use swords!' Master Yi moved to the side and watched the Phantom Dancers glide by before looking up at the barrel of a Gunblade. “Oh...that's...not even fair.” I pulled the trigger, and his body faded from existence before it could hit the ground.
My arm was shaking, and I collapsed on the ground. I had used up all the energy I had gained since the incident with the explosives within the past 20 minutes, and as the sky lit up with images of the four people who had died around me, as well as Caitlyn, I fell asleep against the tree where Katarina's corpse had been not to long ago.
Shaco and his clone appear across the screens of Valoran as all of the contestants have gone to sleep for the night, and nothing interesting is expected to occur. Both of them have a frown on their faces as they look down at their written scripts, with two armed summoners appearing on the very edge of the screen. They tap their papers on the desk and look out to the audience.
“We apologize for...cutting off before. We had technical difficulties, and would like to greet the audience once more! Our...” The Green Shaco coughs, “replacement camera man Summoner Jilly has kindly volunteered to do the rest of the broadcast here in the studio that the League has graciously provided...” His head seemed to twitch to the side with every word.
The Red Shaco turned to face a screen behind him as they reviewed several of the deaths so far, finishing with the most recent four of Katarina, Swain, Master Yi, and Warwick. “As you can see the Master Tactician was defeated by an opponent that had a handicap worst than his own!.” The mood seemed the lighten slightly.
“Don't let Lee Sin hear you calling Blindness a handicap, he might flail around trying to hit you!” Both Shaco's laughed as the scene with Warwick's death occurred. “And what's worst, a jungler being ganked by a support, IN THE JUNGLE!” The laughing continued, tears streaming from their eyes as they pounded on the table, when one of the Summoner's weapons sparked and they calmed down a great deal.
“Ahem...now then we have Katarina Du Couteau's final words, but the question is, are there any truth in them? Janna has shown us she is capable of not only an incredible gank, but using unorthodox methods to catch her opponents completely off guard!” It plays the scene of myself throwing Phantom Dancers at Master Yi as she whips out a Hextech Gunblade, and delivers a fatal blow before he has time to react.
“And...there you have it. Shaco and Shaco keeping Valoran...you know what. No.” Red Shaco picked up Green Shaco and beamed him at the guard to his right, before deceiving behind the guard to his left. The Green Shaco was impaled and showered the guard with knives killing him instantly, before a blood curtling cry could be heard as the left guard's body fell limp.
Shaco appeared, even redder than before with blood stains across his jester outfit, and with a wicked grin he smiled to the audience. “May the odds be ever...in your favor.” With a puff of orange smoke, the camera dropped to the ground and the feed was lost, and instead cut to sunrise over the fields.
“Ahem...testing...one two...” High Summoner Phreak's voice came booming out over the fields as I awoke. “Final Six Competitors, it is a moment like this where we feel it is time to make things a little more...interesting. By now your food supplies and health potions have become diminished, and you're growing desperate enough that you might need to try and find another contestant just in hope they'll have supplies you can steal. Fret not! We have provided a gracious banquet where the Nexus...used to stand, with prepared meals from every city and city-state Valoran has to offer! Not to mention a few...surprises.” Phreak coughed lightly at the mention of surprises. “Be quick though, this offer is limited time only.” I waited for more hints at what might await, but the sky grew brighter, and the forest came to life with birds chirping and animals rustling around, while any human voices had gone silent.
Standing up I tried to gauge where I was. If I remember correctly I hadn't gone to far from the center of the arena. If I hurried I should be able to make it back first. Picking up my Gunblade and Scepter, I decided at this point I was faster than anyone out there, and would easily be able to kite them around with my Zephyr, and I quickly made my way through the forest in the direction opposite the clearing Swain had met his end. The trees seemed endless, and everything looked the same. I thought I'd gotten lost until I could see a break in the forest. Light poured in and I found myself on the outskirts of the field.
Rows upon rows of tables were scattered, similar to the way the weapons were at the beginning of the fight. Near the center of the starting zone were the enormous, and probably well cooked meals. Near the outskirts were dried foods and bread, but nothing to sustain anyone for to long. My stomach growled as I slowly moved outwards before a rustle behind me cause me to spin and found the yordle Teemo at the end of my Gunblade Barrel. “Woah woah! Hold on lady!”
I had the opportunity to kill him, but he didn't seem threatening at the moment. If he really wanted to he could have probably killed me already. I didn't lower my weapon but questioned him. “Why shouldn't I kill you here and now. You're unarmed and an easy kill.”
“Well, because if you want anywhere near that food without losing the event, you'll listen to me. I've been stealthed right here since I escaped from Lulu and Rammus. I can't take them on alone, and I doubt neither can you. I propose...we team up.” I raised an eye-brow, and thought about Pantheon meeting his end, as well as how they may have killed Evelynn. I witnessed their...ruthless murder of their own teammate Caitlyn as well, and the odds seemed less and less in my favor, so I lowered my weapon, but didn't look away.
“Alright, say I do accept this alliance. How do I know you won't kill me as soon as they're dead?” He reached into a small bag at his side and pulled out a small dagger. I raised my weapon again, but he tossed it gently to the ground beneath my feet.
“There. I'm unarmed. You can check me if you want, but it's not like a Yordle goes around swinging Infinity Edge or anything.” I looked at the dagger and kicked it back towards him.
“Keep it. It's not like you'd be able to hit anything vital from down there...no offense.” Teemo smiled as he put the dagger away in his pouch and looked up at me with arguably the cutest face I had ever seen.
“None taken!” He turned his attention to the field and pointed to the tables. “Now, do you see those?”
“Yeah...tables with food, like promised.” I couldn't really see any harm in the food. I mean sure the summoner's could have poisoned them, but that would be a poor end to the first League of Hunger.
“Well, I guess you're little stunt with the explosives inspired the Summoner's. While I was stealthed I discovered how difficult it is to sleep standing up. Shortly before the voice boomed out I must have been wobbling in my sleep because I fell down and saw Summoner's covering the field. For a brief moment I thought they were here to pick us up, but as I stealthed back into the darkness I watched as they dug up the earth and placed Hextech Mines across the entire field.” He pointed to a patch of dirt not three feet from where we stood, and I could see indications that the ground there had been moved around.
As I started to look around the arena trying to spot openings in the mines a glint of armor shone from across the field and Teemo darted behind a tree. I moved back to the cover of the trees and could see a healed up Lulu and Rammus, still as tank-like as ever, making their way into the field. Lulu paused for a moment and pointed for Rammus to move forward. She moved back into the forest, obviously detecting the trap, and within moments an explosion sent dust flying up. I got excited, that might have dropped us down to five...but a spike from Thornmail protruded from the dust, and Rammus continued his unstoppable march forward, with Lulu keeping a distance, but walking in a straight line behind him, headed straight for the middle table. Another explosion, and this time I could see a crack in the armor. Rammus didn't seem to notice. He curled forward and a small shield formed around him.
Teemo and I watched as mine after mine went off, until they had reached the center, with a trail of craters behind them. Rammus immediately took a seat and began to devour any food in sight. Lulu set her staff down and began to do the same. They must have felt invincible, and with Rammus unharmed by any mines, attempting an attack on them would be impossible. They would see us coming, and our progress would be impeded with us having to search for signs of the explosives. Teemo poked at my foot as I hovered in the air and he pointed to the tree-line to our right, and motioned to follow.
“If we're going to attack them it will have to be from the path they created. We have to move now though, or they might finish and make their own way back out.” So it was decided that now would be the time to go on the offensive. Rammus and Lulu had the easy life the entire match, immediately well armed from the get-go. Even if I had destroyed their stock-pile, the Summoner's had given it all right back.
As we moved I couldn't help but wonder where Leona and Nidalee had been hiding out all this time, and as I entered the half of the Arena I hadn't yet visited, a massive field of tall grass revealed itself, and I could only assume Nidalee had been lying in wait for the entire battle to ambush any unlucky individual who stray into the tall grass. I didn't trust the field, so we moved closer to the tree-line to avoid any snares that might have been placed, until we were almost to the spot Lulu and Rammus had entered the clearing from. Suddenly a loud metal pounding shot through the forest, three clicks. As if a Shield was being hit. We paused and then dove to the safest place we could find, as it happened again, moving away from us and towards Lulu and Rammus.
I could see the two of them first, getting up from their meal and turning around. The metal pounding was moving closer to them, and soon I could see Leona's figure, tall and proud walking towards the two of them. An enormous Bloodrazor in her hand, and what appeared to be Pantheon's shield. Pantheon...I guess his shield stayed behind after his death and Leona had stumbled upon it.
“In the name of Mount Targon, I swear I will vanquish the two of you here and now, for the killing of Pantheon.” She waved the weapon through the air and a massive black sphere surrounded her , before she charged the two of them with a triumphant roar.
Rammus and Lulu seemed almost dumbfounded, and Lulu picked up her staff aiming it at Leona. She fired a green ray of light, and Leona threw Pantheon's shield at it. The sun glinted off it briefly, and the green ray of light ricocheted back onto Lulu. Her staff fell to the ground beside her as she turned into a squirrel. With a mighty heave of her sword, disregarding Rammus as he pounded away at her body, a bright aura absorbing most of the impact, Leona swung her sword downwards, and with a bright sweep of light two halves of a burning squirrel were launched into the air, and disintegrated as Eclipse faded.
Leona turned to face Rammus who had leaned forward with a protective barrier encasing him. She backed away from him slowly, waiting for the moment when the barrier faded to make her move, when a 'click' turned her battle hardened face into one of defeat. A massive explosion smashed her protective aura and her body was destroyed, as chunks of her poor protective gear rained down. Armor doesn't protect against land-mines.
Teemo pointed and shouted. “Now!” Rammus had stood up from his defensive curl, and I could see that the Thornmail was a bright orange, super-heated from Leona's eclipse, and ready to be taken down. I charged out with Teemo behind me, and with a twirl of my body I fired a Zephyr of cool air at the super-heated metal, and with the momentum of the attack it exploded, revealing the vulnerable under-belly of the Armordillo, and I swung the Gunblade upwards into his stomach.
“Ever died to a support? Well get ready.” I pulled the trigger of the weapon as Teemo shouted for joy behind me.
“OK.” The blast was so powerful that his shell burst from the back, and within an instant his body disappeared.
“We did it we did it! We killed the bullies!” Teemo was jumping up and down before he stared at the seemingly endless supply of food that Rammus and Lulu had barely dented. “All this running around has got me hungry! Let's eat!” I reloaded my Gunblade with my final shot, and as Teemo's cute little body danced towards the table of food I wondered if this shot would end up being for me, and my heart sank. He really didn't seem like he should be here. I floated over as he took a bite from a Yordle Cupcake, when the mountain in front of us, the one I had spent my time on, spit up a massive fire-ball. The ground began to shake, and lava poured over the face of the cliff, slowly burning down the forest.
“I guess that's why they said limited time only, we have to go now!” As fast as possible with my refreshed Zephyr I moved forward to grab Teemo, and pulled him away from the half-eaten cupcake in his hand. “Run run! Go now!” Teemo seemed to be confused for a moment, having his heavenly cupcake session ended with the eruption of a volcano, but soon we were back in the woods. The other side of the field had already began to succumb to the lava, and a few explosions of the mine-field began to send fireballs over our heads. We were nearing the tall grass when Teemo's foot-steps stopped and he shouted out.
“Wait! Help me!” I turned to see one of his legs caught in a trap. Time was not something I had to spend thinking, so when the branch snapped behind me I drew a blank. Teemo was shouting for help when a spear grazed my side from the tall grass, and I raised my Gunblade firing at the target that seemed to have thrown the spear. As my mind came back to focus from panic I watched as Nidalee fell forward onto her knees, and collapsed with a gaping hole in the chest, before her body disappeared from the field as well.
Teemo's cries for help had stopped and I turned back to his aid to see that the spear that had only grazed me, had ended up going past me and making it's way through Teemo's yordle body. You didn't have to be an expert in Yordle Anatomy to tell that he wasn't going to survive. My heart stopped, and time seemed to freeze as I approached his tiny body. “Janna...did you...get her?” I reached out for his hand, and even with his layer of Yordle fur, I could tell his body was going cold.
Tears streamed from my eyes. This couldn't compare to the incident with Katarina, and I knealt beside him, dropping my Gunblade at my side. “Yeah...I got her.”
Teemo smiled weakly with tears coming from his eyes. “Then...you did it. You won.” He reached up and put his paw against my face. “Could...could you...” His breathing grew slow as he pointed at his bag. I reached inside and found a single Yordle Cupcake. I used my Gunblade to snap the spear, and lifted him up pulling out the other half. He winced in pain, but as I quickly began to pull off small crumbs of the Cupcake and feed them to him, he smiled up at me. “I'm...glad it was you here with me.”
My hand was shaking so much as I tried to feed him bits of the treat that I got icing on his furry cheeks. “I'm...so sorry. You...saved me and yet...I couldn't even protect you in return.”
Turning his head, not accepting any more of the Cupcake, he whispered to me with the last of his strength. “It's...okay. Now...you don't have to...do this the hard way...” He was right, and it pained my heart to think that if Nidalee hadn't done him in, it would have been me. His eyes seemed to loose focus, and the heat from the lava flow was growing dangerously close. I hugged his body tight, and held it there.
I didn't care if the lava reached me or not. This was cruel, why did I have to be the one to endure all of this, to return home having experienced this sick game...I squeezed tighter until his body disappeared from my grip, and I sat there crying as the world grew cold. For a brief moment, I thought, I hoped that the lava had taken me, and that I had died with everyone else, when High Summoner Phreak's voice boomed out across the arena.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of the First Annual League of Hunger! Give it up for Janna of Zaun!” I opened my eyes, the lava had turned to a hardened black rock form, and the flames engulfing the arena had vanished. With a bright purple blast of light, I found myself on a cold hard floor, weapons gone, and small chocolate cupcake stains mixed with blood on my fingers.
Mundo walked in the doors with a towel and a dress. “Mundo here to tell Janna that she need to clean up and be presentable. More interviews and flashy camera's before Janna go home.” He set the towels on a bench on the side of the stone room, and hung the dress up by a hanger on a coat stand.
I stood up and took in the room that had just replaced the arena. A door to a shower, a bench, the coat-hanger with my dress, and a mirror. Looking in the mirror I did not see Janna the protector, or Janna the healer. Instead, I saw a tall skinny killer looking back at me. Cuts on my body that would turn to scars, and blood that I felt no matter how much I washed it off, I would always see.
Numb, I drifted to the shower, removing my battle clothes, hoping to never see them again. Turning on the water, my feet against the hard ground I could barely tell if the water was scolding or freezing. I let it slide against my skin, eroding away the past days events. My body moved without commands, soap and shampoo, wash, rinse, repeat, over and over. The blood was gone, but every time I looked down at my pale body, all I could see was red. I continued the process until the hot water had run out, and I was certain I had washed off several layers of skin. I walked out of the shower and attempted to float, but my body felt so heavy I slipped on the wet stone and collapsed on the ground. Curling up, not willing to move, not willing to accept what had just happened, I lay on the cold ground soaking wet for what seemed like an eternity.
A rap at the door and Mundo's voice seemed to snap my body back into a trance, where I was looking out as someone else dried their body. Hopefully it was someone free of the atrocities I had just committed. I had a mental argument as the silvery dress slid over my body.
I had killed before. The Fields of Justice were a dangerous place. People died all the time, but...they always came back. Was this any different? Was I just now realizing what a horrific arena the Institute of War was responsible for. They had changed the look and feel to the fighting, but was it something new?
It was...they had turned from a group sworn to end Political strife, to a group that turned it's citizens and warriors to play-things, to kill each other for Valoran's amusement.
My body forced a smile for the audience. I answered questions honestly, as I did when I first joined the League of Legends. What was it like to kill? How did it feel to be victorious? Someone else had written my key-cards, and someone else was responding to the questions.
After several hours of questions, public appearances, I was put back on a carriage. I was their puppet, and as they sent me from city to city, I couldn't look anyone in the eyes. They had Champions that they cheered for, people they had watched fight and die in the past. However I had taken that from them. I had taken their Champions from them, forever. Why did I have to be the winner, to live on and experience life, when so many others died for me to live.
It clicked. Katarina, Teemo, all of them. They died, and I survived.
As I headed back home, for Zaun, for peace, I decided then and there, that this would not happen again. The Institute of War had become corrupt, and it would be my job to end their corruption, and to end the League of Hunger before it could even take off.
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