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A coil of Ideals [A story on being human]

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Like others said before, there's been a lot of stories out there.
Some I found amazing to read, other just didn't feel real to me at all.
After reading, I wanted to challenge myself and find out if I could create something that could be real, funny, serious, and have a bigger ideal behind it.
I could have written it about another champion, but I liked this champion the best, so why not.

This story is about people, It's about friendships, hardships, and everything else.
There's a few spots where I made my own take on the lore, opting to shift something because I thought it didn't make sense, or something better could replace it.
So bear that in mind, and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this! :]

Currently, there are 9 chapters already written out, but slowly being edited and polished.

Chapter 1

"She's very stoic. That's about all I've got to say.
After entering the league, she went back on her noxian training. Not suprising, Just running away won’t teach you anything new. She's an ex-military commander through and through, so tread carefully. That's about it. Nothing new.

And if you’re going to ask me what you can do to make her a real champion, just teach her her the new rules of engagements, wind her up and let her do her own thing on the fields. Noxians know how to fight."

The institute of war. Hallways after hallways, room inside rooms, and definitely more secrets in both politics and magic than anywhere else in this world.

"Actually that’s not what I was going to ask you. It’s a lot simpler: Why me?"

That's where my life exists. Right in the eye of the storm.

"I thought you were more clever than that. Okman’s razor. There’s no complicated reason for this: You volunteered for it. Remember? Or do you want me to fetch the paperwork you signed? I can do that for you, really. I'm a league head, but of course I have time to grab a piece of paper for any summoner who forgot. I'm not busy at all. Nope."

In effect, everything I used to champion, I don't anymore.
You give up your old life for the pursuit of the league, whatever that means to you. That’s the life of a summoner.

Trying to keep up with his busy pace, I chose to ignore his sarcasm.
"But out of everyo-"
"You are everyone. She's new, not a lot of veteran summoners are talking about her due to her unimpressive background, and most of the lot are busy working on perfecting their synergy with one or 2 champions.

Same old bull**** as usual.
They don't want to take on a brand new champion, and of course, only veterans are allowed to debute a champion. All the trainees in the would be happy to debute her, but hell if I’m going to let a rookie summoner have any political weight before they even know Avagadro’s Mass Laws, or how to properly link with a champion. Let them stick to perfecting their studies first, like everyone else did. Humph, young hotshots."

7 Years and I had made a good name for myself.
7 years up to now, and here I was, discussing with a head of the league. The organizer they called him.
It was a pet name he took good care in keeping.
In old records, he was a great summoner. Now he’s just the paperman. Getting things together, and keeping things moving. I don't think it was his choice.

"Really? A new champion and no one else wants to summon her? I mean, look at when swain joined the league. Almost every veteran jumped up to summon him first. She’s not that far off the chain of command from Swain." My argument.

But you don't argue with the Organizer.
"She's a glorified soldier from an archaic time. She fought for Noxus, got high honors, and became a commander. Then deserted after losing a battle to Ionians of all people – which, I’ll remind you, Swain did not. Now she's here trying to reforge Noxus, in her naive perfect picture of that state. Of all the crazy goals I've heard, that's the most bat**** insane one – from a commander no less. That reeks of damages from before she turned 13, brainwashed likely during interment and boot camp.

What, you think I can’t tell? I’m old son, these points just line up and make a perfect straight line. Other champions out there sound like... I don't know, try victory? Yes, good word that one.”

I am a summoner, a tactician. A judge, and the hand behind trials so to say.
Nothing else, nothing more.
The league replaced all forms of warfare, and political strife. If you had an issue, that couldn’t be solved by the usual trial of your state, and was important enough to pass without a resolution, the trail could be solved by a league match. A fight between 10 champions of different states, true and ultimate hero’s of their respective nation.

Likewise, with such an important backing, league matches were often just blogged down by politics. Any, and every match usually had some subtle goal behind it’s cause. If there were some “innocent” matches, they usually involved the extremely wealthy, bickering for land or a will. Anything else, and you could imagine someone was making a killing.

And that's how the cookie crumbles.

"That's a harsh way of seeing her." I rebuttled. The organizer seemed to have a very jaded standpoint on my new charge, and hasn’t hestitated to point out how dumb I had been for volunteering. Part of his charm, I guess.

"I don't make the rules. I see it as it is. She got past the judgment, but without any real point. How is she going to remake Noxus from here? Goalless. She’s milltiary, leave revolution and reconstruction the the political masterminds, not the grunts. Not that she’ll understand that, being brainwashed and all. But she's your problem now, for all you know, you might be looking at another Jax. If you’re lucky.

Oh god, I remember Jax..."

Or so they say on the papers.. and word of mouth. In reality, there's a lot of stuff we summoners can get away with. The league isn't as strict as everyone believes it to be. We are all human if you dig deep enough. For the good, or bad. Behind every faceless summoner of the league, you’re still going to meet an opinionated real person, even if they all pretend to throw away their ties.

For the most part, they turn out to be pretty boring actually.
But I’ll get to that latter.

"You're not giving her a fair chance here, I doubt that's the full story. And where is she now? Her quarters?"
"I have to scan through 50 or more wanna-be champions each week, you think I bother spending time on anything else? My god, you're thick. As for where she is, you're talking about a solider here. Where do you think you'd find a serious soldier a week before a war?"


Walking up to the training grounds, I found the girl in question.
She worked alone, with one training dummy. A few side scraps of personal items to the side, water, food, the works. Cleanly placed, and organized.

I waved a cheery hello, but was met with utter silence.
She just kept at her routine. Amazing start. I really wished the Organizer would be wrong.
He rarely is though, that comes with experience. The older you get, the less mistakes you do. Especially for someone in his position. Though considering he's "The organizer" and not a League summoner, he probably can make mistakes.

"I'm Summoner Farstride, I'll be your first summoner for the fields of justice."
I introduce myself, courteously.
"Good to know." She barked back in a monotone.
Clearly she didn’t care a bit for small talk.

More silence. More sounds from her broken sword whacking away at the dummy.
I decided I should get on with my job and begin with the first steps. I was a professional, and this was my job. Like everything, there are steps and an organized set of preparations to do. By the textbook.

Assessment first. I sat down, and took notes at her moveset.
She didn't display anything out of the ordinary I quickly noted.

"So. How does it work?"
The silent girl finally speaks. Progress.
"What works?" I answered lightly.

Riven paused for a bit, clearly expecting I would understand what she meant.
"Summoners. You controlling me. I don't see the point of it. You're frail, and unable to even lift my sword, let alone use it's powers. I'm a hundred times your superior, I should command my actions, not you."

I gave her my best raised eyebrow look from my perch on the ground. I doubt I'll ever get the full experience The Organizer can give, but for now, it'll do.
All right. So she's already sized me up, and decided she would curb stomp me any day of the week. Great. She's no Lux to talk to, but she's no Cho-gath either. I’ll count that as a blessing she hasn’t tried to slice me, yet. I would make a little better of a training target then an immovable stuffed straw man.
I say little, because summoners aren’t known for their physical powers.

"I don't control everything. Your moves, and your actions, how you attack, and the technique are all you. That dash move you know how to use, I can't, and I won't be the one doing that. I serve as more of an advisor, and support then anything else."

Riven breathed a sigh of relief, she had probably been mulling this over for a while now.
Would be strange wouldn't it, having ALL of your body controlled, especially by a man at that too. I laughed at the thought, which she replied with a glance.

"Oh! I'm just thinking abou - well, actually, I'll keep that to me."
The sword whistled around, and struck the training dummy, again and a third time in slow successions. Basic strikes, done perfectly. I noticed no other attempts at hitting a different target, no flurry of strikes, nothing fancy. This must be what she’s used to, how she trains. I wonder if she trained daily on her self imposed “Exile” or if this was the first day in long years since she had ever stepped through the motions.

I watched her train, she wasn't quick. In fact, she would practice the same exact strike, again and again, Slowly and methodically.
So that when it actually came down to the fight, the attack would be executed perfectly from reflex. At least, that’s what I concluded. Smart. Dedication to every little detail, even something as basic as a single strike to the gut. I could guess it was also the most efficient way to hit the gut.

I felt a need to tell her I wasn't going to be useless in the fight.

"Summoners keep you linked to the field, so when you... err, die, you're soul and body are still well preserved. As per say, I'm the guardian making sure nothing screws up."
I bit my tongue. Probably not the best thing to talk to a champion first.
Let's just tell her how she's going to die, multiple times. Yes, excellent point. I mentally berated myself.

"It doesn’t bother me summoner. Death that is. Keep going."
She said, in between her strikes. Riven seemed to notice my pause, and guess correctly. So she did have some people skills. Huh. Noted.

"Ah. Well, I'm just a redundancy. There's plenty of spells around Summoner's rift that will see to it nothing bad happens.

I can use my magic for other abilities that can cripple enemy champions at the best of times. It's hard spells that require a lot of focus to correctly do, so I can't use them often. I'm an adapt at letting you teleport a short distance in any direction, and sapping an enemy champion of their stamina.

But, the main point, is that in a fight, you can only tell where the people around you are. So champions running around the other side of the jungle are pretty much impossible to pinpoint. Without any form of communication, the fight's not coordinated, and just a simple brawl. Spells are gimmicks. Teamwork, and cooperation are what wins matches."

Riven understood, I think. Or at least, she didn't rebuttal me.
She had been a commander after all, so she knew tactics and coordination. This was probably textbook to her on hindsight. We all have our own book we follow for comfort.
Starting to get used to her stoic silence.

"Summoners on the other hand, get to see the entire battlefield, where the enemy champions were spotted, where allied champions are, and can talk to each other to plan out ambushes and the likes.
I think that's the main thing we offer champions in fights. You guys do the heavy work, and we tell you where the best spot is to do said work."

"Eyes and swords."
Riven grunted her approval, still focused on perfecting the same basic strike.

I laughed a bit, she suggested a perfect metaphor. Hey, she might actually be really clever, behind that robotic soldier persona I’m seeing. One could only hope.
"Yep. Exactly that. I'm your eyes and I tell you where to strike. Which is also why I'm here with you right now. I need to know more about you, your skills, and who you are. I need to know your limits better then you do. Just how far I can push you to win."

At this, Riven stopped training. Sweat had formed on her brow and the target dummy was nearly shredded to the core, despite Riven's slow steady strikes. She seemed to take my request seriously.

Brown eyes and my own connected. Standing there, the sword slightly tipped to the ground and an expression of utmost determination.
She didn't say anything, but she didn't need to. At this point, I felt I could understand just what she implied.

Talk the talk. But in the fight, you better know how to fly, little bird.
I could tell she didn't think I took this as seriously as she did.
And then she voiced it.

"You don't have the soul of a solider. And at that, you seem loose. Up in the clouds and not down on the earth. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since I have no idea of your abilities yet, but had you been in my army, I would have beat that friendly attitude of yours down before the enemy could. Anyone else would have sent you to the mines before even trying."

As a summoner, I've battled a lot of times, but the fights have never been personal, or lasting, let alone physical for me at least. After a while, you became numb to the entire thing. It doesn’t feel like a serious fight unless there are high stakes. Felt a lot more like track and field, a sport. I wasn't a solider, I wasn't in a war, I was just an athlete. Representing war.

The league is now the new source of warfare, and here was Riven, who only experienced war in the traditional sense. To her, the next match was as important as any battle, even if to me it was just a routine squabble that made it all the way up to be settled by a league match, for whatever company’s gain.

My humor, my kind little facade, my lack of attention to detail. It was probably sickening her.
I reeked of weakness in her eyes. She was going to go once more into war, with me as the only army she had. And here I was, giggling at my own thoughts and talking like there were no problems in the world.
She didn't see me as an advantage, she saw me as an anchor she would have to deal with and make the best of.

I understood her. But I disagreed with her.
Maybe anyone else would have stood up, and left at her snide remarks, but not me.
Textbooks to follow and whatnot. This sort of scenario is pretty common with some champions.


I composed my words and plucked them out of my head carefully.
“ War is obsolete now. When you'll have your first League match, you'll understand this. I can't swing a sword, I can't even lift my weight more than 12 times. As a soldier, I would probably be the worst you can get. … But that's not where I fit in. My role is beyond physical and will power.”

“When I say I need to learn where your limits are, you might think "I know that answer the best, how dare you even consider that?" What I mean to say is, I need to know your limits in the league matches.

It's different from war. I know more things about the summoner's rift then you do – How fights really span out, what to pay attention for, how to time things correctly. Combined with what I'll learn today and the rest of the week, I really WILL know your limits better then you could. Left on your own, you might take risks in the fight that I would KNOW would get you killed, and you might back down on possible kills that you could have scored. Experience in this is my strong suit. That's what I'm for. I'm not just your eyes. I'm going to be your instincts."

“You might think you know a lot more then I do. Probably you do, But like I said, in the traditional sense of war. Maybe charging into the enemy would have gotten you killed back then. That won’t always apply now, and I’m going to explain to you the new rules of engagement.”

She sat down during my speech.
It wasn't an angry sit down, or a tired sit down. But a very resonating presence, a sort of “I’m listening to you talk, so you better have something smart to say”.
Sword upright and held from tipping over by her gauntlet, the solider was thinking.

She paused for a moment, unsure of something, but if I saw doubt in her face, it was gone before I considered it's existence. With a nod at me, she turned and resumed her self-training.
This was what I'm good at, and she believed me. Or rather, what choice did she have but to believe me and hope for the best?
In one week, we would have the first official league match.

At the very least, she was flexible enough. Progress.

With her return to training, she made it clear she didn't want to waste a second of it.
Maybe after a few matches she'll be a little more human with me.
But right now, I'm just a tool in her eyes, and she expects me to see the same.

Professional curtsey.
All right, I can play with that.

Game on.

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I like the different perspective.

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Chapter 2

Even if I spent all my life practicing with a sword, I doubt I'd be able to beat Riven.
But Irelia had 4, and she didn't have the same weaknesses of having to hold them.

I cringed with every exchange.

"Turn back, she's cutting you to pieces!"
"I'm fine." Curt, short, and obviously irked I would even suggest running.

Irelia expertly weaved through the minions, striking Riven and matching her blade to blade.
Riven refused to retreat. She stood her ground and took the blunt of the damage.
As soon as Irelia's limits on her hilten style were crossed over, she would retreat gracefully; an infuriated Riven would try and catch up, fail, and go sulking back to her position. The exchanges wasn't completely lopsided. But just enough to slowly and inevitably put the advantage to Irealia’s favor.

Although her movements weren't commanded by a summoner, I saw the tell-tell signs of practice.
The timing on when to attack, and when to fall back.
Early in the practice match, Riven had the advantage, but slowly, Irelia was adapting her tactics to match her opponent.
Riven on the other hand, hyper aggressive. Sensing weakness, she would lunge venomly for a quick and fast kill. She had yet to kill the cautious Ionian.

Irelia was treating this like a league match, and not a fight.
Riven was treating this like a fight, and her antiquated mentality would get her killed.

In a war, butchering the enemy fast allowed you more breathing room to deal with the next opponents. Fights were decided within seconds, who swung faster, who actually hit first, and most of all - who could take a blow and keep going. Soldiers fighting soldiers.

There was little fineness. It was luck, and the luckless, tempered only by gear and some skill.
One on one fights rarely happened, and if they did, they wouldn’t say 1 on 1 for long. Hence the haste needed.

Riven knew no one else would jump her on her fight. But I don’t think she fully realized how to make the best use of that. I spat out my advice, as fast as I could, trying to fill in the gaps in her mind.

"Why are you trying to fight her? Focus on the minions, clear them up, and then see what you can do about her after. Commit to a fight only when you know the enemy either can’t run, or is also going all-in – and that you’re likely to win it. Run back to your minions the moment you don’t think that’s not possible. Riven?! Answer back!"

No answer.

She backed off, sword still at the ready. Ignoring the minions, keeping a sharp eye on her opponent.
I could sense Riven was trying to adapt as well. Basing half her experience on what she knew, and the other on the theoretics I told her. She was listening after all. Somewhat.

The will of the blades was competent, and knew just when to strike.
She ended minion after minion, while Riven stood her ground, waiting. Preparing a plan.
“Clear out her minions as well, else she’ll overwhelm you in a moment.”

The broken blade edged reclusively forward, but before it could reach the range of any of Irelia’s minon, 4 blades struck out furiously and forced her out of the territory. Irelia would not allow a single of her minions to fall. Completely out of her element, Riven grudgingly returned to her ready position.
After most of Riven’s minions had been decimated, Irelia went in for the kill.

In a quick dash, all 4 swords struck at Riven in 4 different spots, the soldier could only block 2. The other 2 lodged deep in her shoulder and leg. I felt her pain. Her last wave of minions were crushed, and the enemy minions began harassing Riven’s weakened form. She was buckling from the onslaught of both the champion and the numerous grunts.

But Riven didn’t flinch. This was her moment, the one advantage she could get. She struck true with the hilt of her sword in a quick and practiced jab, giving her enough time to sweep down with the blade on Irelia’s stunned form. Blood gushed out, but Riven was already executing the next strike. She might not know league fights to the letter, or the minion game, but the fight had been initiated. And now, it was no different from the battlefields she knew. This was her turf.

Her shoulder and legs were inevitabilities. Pre-determined, and planned for. Riven would take the damage, in exchange for the crushing blow she could deliver after her defense and getting rid of 2 of Irelia’s 4 blades, keeping them lodged in her body. Gauging Irelia’s strength in her blades Riven banked her hope that Irealia’s command was too weak to retrieve them once they suck in this deep.

Perfect. Knowing no one else would interrupt the fight, taking bodily damage in exchange for a win was useable strategy, and the only advantage Riven would get. She could tough it out, worst things had happened before. Normally, against most opponents, that combo would have worked. But Irelia was no normal opponent.

Riven’s gut strike was blocked. Against all odds, Irelia had managed to both snap back into the fight and descend both her remaining blades just fast enough to prevent the fatal damage. The strike knocked the wind out of her however, and she retreated backwards, which was the first mistake the captain did.

With more room, Riven used every advantage she could get, swinging her sword fully for all the damage it could do. Irealia could only move backwards to avoid the strikes, giving Riven even more ground to fight in. Blocking a gut strike from a halfswing could be done. Now, Riven’s attack were unblockable with the extra room for momentum. Irelia could only dodge, or retreat.

But the will of the blades had one more ace up her sleeve. Using her power, she drew out the 2 lodged blades in the Noxian soldier, halting Riven painfully in her tracks. Riven had overestimated Irelia’s command, and the captain did not waste her chance.

An equilibrium strike threw the solider on her knees, and the Ionian’s blades fanned out in her signature hilten style, all 4 fully restored. Her movements and strikes were obvious to me. This duel’s fate had already been decided, Riven’s early gambit had failed. She was setback for the rest of this fight.
"You won't win this!" I barked
"I know." Riven coldly countered me.
"Retreat, use your abilities to back out of this!"
"No." She uttered back with such finality it caught a silent break from me.
What? WHAT!?

And she stayed her ground. The fool stayed her ground.
Knowing full well she would lose, she stayed her ground to die.
I was outraged.

Irelia struck, and struck again, blow after blow. The two combatants remained locked in fury, if I had been anything else but a summoner, I’d have probably thought this was a cool match.
But as a summoner, I saw much more than just swords being struck and parried.
It was a once sided curb stomp battle. Eventually, Riven would make one mistake, and Irelia and her minions would pounce on it. Irealia could afford to make mistakes, several in fact, without any real repercussions.

That moment came soon.
Riven buckled for a half second from a minion’s lucky shot at her leg, kicked it off, and stood back up. That's all it took for Irelia to execute the soldier. A momentary laps in attention, and her own broken sword came just a millisecond too late to stop the onslaught.

I sighed, watching Riven, 4 blades skewered in her stomach and chest.
She wasn't surprised, in effect, there was a deep calm from her eyes. As if this very situation was meant to happen, destined to happen.
The blades exploded out, and she crumpled on the ground, lifeless.

"That ends this practice session Irelia, thank you for your help."
I said with a hint of ire, stopping the flow of power to the minions, and letting the stadium guide Riven back to the living.

Irelia nodded, turned, and left.
I'm not sure whether the Ionian was pleased at having destroyed the butcher, and finally put that question to rest, or just neutral. More importantly, I wasn't sure the full effect it would have on Riven. So stupid of me.

I had requisitioned Jax to be the first sparring partner for her first unofficial league practice match, but Irelia shot out of nowhere and volunteered herself. The others at that table agreed it would be an even match.
I saw nothing wrong with that at the time.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Something terrible had gone down.


We ate in silence.

When she first opened her eyes, she seemed stunned she was alive again.
"You really don't fear death, and you've proven it Riven. Like a true fool, I might add. And now, I've got to teach you how to beat death, instead of embracing it."
A rather stunned Riven just nodded back at me. I reached a hand out, and lifted her back on her feet.
"Let's get something to eat and mull this over. There's a lot we need to change."
Not a word, the defeated soldier just silently stalked behind me.
She seemed in trance, unable to understand what was happening.

"You died Riven. That's what it feels like," I said in a patronizing voice.
My patience was getting close to null.
No answer back. Surprise, surprise.

We sat down in the cafeteria. It was, thankfully, empty. Too late in the night.
I summoned out the éclairs I had bought a while ago. I got them before the practice, expecting anything to be pretty positive and this as a good reward.
But right now, I felt at a loss of where to go with this troubled champion.

She didn't eat with the same augusto as the first time she tried them.
Back then, the wonderful treat managed to completely captivate her attention for a good minute while she scarfed it all down like a pig. That composed facade tasted demised by the sugary goodness of a well baked éclair, and she was a kid again. It was a good memory to me at least. I had laughed until she stood up and grabbed my shirt to shut me up.

Now, she simply ate slowly, as if it was a chore. I could imagine the treat was tasteless in her mouth.
"Why didn't you run?"
I had to ask at some point. I'll get it over with now.
"Because she was stronger." She said, mouth half-filled.
I did not expect that as an answer. How does it even make any sense?

Riven stopped talking, finished chewing, and spoke again.
"She deserved to win. She was stronger, I couldn't beat her. I was weaker then she is."
Oh. She’s about as bat**** insane as Uldyr was. Goddam the organizer.

"If they had told me you were also suicidal, I might not have taken you on either."
Riven shrugged. It's obvious her senses were coming back to her. She was speaking in her typical language again. You wouldn't understand. She exposed to me. You have no idea what it means.

Partly my fault. I hadn’t done all the research. I knew she put a lot of faith on what strength means, at least enough to want Noxus to change for it. I didn’t realize just how absolute her rule was.

I had enough. This was going nowhere. My career was in jeopardy because of her antics. There’s a certain stigma that summoners get if they fail matches, and it’s only made a hundred times worse if they fail at debuting a champion. I wasn’t going to be an Edrad Marris, last I heard, he was now a minion summoner.

I stomped my hands on the table, standing up, and screamed at her.
"Listen you arrogant Noxian, if she was stronger, then she'd win. I get that. But you didn't fight her with 100% of what you had. You could have beaten her, as far as I'm concerned, whoever wins the fight, WINS THE FIGHT. Where strength goes, Riven. You. Not her, YOU could have won - All it would take, is some clever positioning and some good tactics, not stupidly rush in and hope she'll fight you when you've got the advantage."

Riven flashed me an angry stare, got to her feet and rebuked me with as much ferocity as I could.
"The strong survive, and the weak have no place in this world! That’s the Noxian spirit! She was a better swordswoman then I was, she had better technique, I fought her with the best plan I could come up with and she was the victor. I gave what you call 100%, and it didn’t cut it. Truly, I shouldn't be alive right now, not now, and not then!"

"Well tough luck! You're still breathing, and you've got a spot in this world AS A CHAMPION NO LESS. OWN UP TO IT.
Whatever happened on that hill, happened! You should have died, they should have won. That's how the story goes.
They didn't, and you're still alive.
That's how the story ends! Go on, insult their final efforts by trying to die stupidly again and again!”

Riven's face turned pale, she took a step back, and her hand hovered on her hilt. Fury and anger almost disappeared the moment I brought the Ionian war. Jackpot.
Survivor's guilt. For the Ionians of all people. That’s what I’d have to deal with to make this champion viable in the league. Well, now I knew what the real problem was. How do I solve it?
Sometimes, this job can be so difficult.

I leapt on the table, pressing my advantage, and roared down on her, a lion about to pounce on a mouse.
"This isn't war, it isn't survival of the strongest. It's survival of the cleverest. IF I SAY YOU CAN WIN, I ****ING MEAN IT. And if you win, that means you're the strongest. Point, end. I don't care if you have to run circles around them, EVERY SINGLE TACTIC IS NESSARY TO WIN. Dirty or not, And if you can't win giving it 100%, Then, and only then, do they deserve the win!”

I was furious, and letting it all out. And then I forgot who I was talking to.
She wasn't a mouse, and I definitely wasn’t a lion. Neither was I her superior officer, or a boot camp trainer. I hadn’t felt physical pain since the time I dropped the “Codex on Lay-remission matrices” – which believe me, is heavy. I guess I deserved what came next for overstepping.

A swift gut punch knocked the wind out of me, followed by an elbow jab to my legs knocked me down from the table. I felt my bone crack and splinter in my affected limb. My hand instinctively struck forward, almost hitting her temple if she hadn’t dodged it perfectly. I registered brief surprise from Riven, unbelieving I had the reflex to almost hit back. I was surprised myself actually.
Before I could fall off completely, she grabbed my shirt and outstretched punch and threw me back a few feet from said table with a whirl of her stance. I hit the stone ground hard. My head was spinning from impact. I groaned, for a moment forgetting where I was.

Then it rushed back to me, cracking my eyes open, I saw the outline of Riven stalking out of the cafeteria. No!
I uttered through my broken ribcage, a whisper. It hurt, so much. But I knew I had to say something, now. Or else the moment will forever be gone.
"Tomorrow... 6"

I couldn't even hear it myself. But Riven’s black hazy outline paused. For half a moment, and then walking out.

I saw black and void darting across the cafeteria until everything was black.
My vision flickered, and for a brief moment, I swear I saw a faint tell-tell sign of red hair, and green eyes.
My last sight.

Did I just fail?
My last thought.

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Chapter 3

"You OK?"

I woke up. Ouch.
Something was prodding my side.
Ouch, ouch ow.
Oh not good. Not good at all.

I curled to the side and moaned.

"Ahh, don't be such a *****. It was only three hits, by a girl too."
Jax. Only he had such a tell-tell voice. That *******.

I liked jax. When he came into the league, he already knew everything would change, and he trained for it. His summoner and him were the best team I've ever seen, straight from their debute, and so many months after. No one could belive a soldier of fortune could defeat the epic heros from the league. Even the heads of the league had to change the rules specifically for him.

And he's a great friend as well. When he wants to be at least.

"She can lift a 20 pound sword with one hand. And use it for hours."
"I'd say it's probably 50 pounds, full at least. Wish I could use that."
"So my point's even better."
"What are you talking about? You still got your ass handed to you."

I sighed, and turned over.
Ow. Mistake. Big mistake.
Jax seemed to feel my problem and laughed.
"I'll get a healer to patch that up."
Before he left, I croaked out his name

"Jax. What happened?"
I could almost hear glee in his voice when he talked.
"I was going for a midnight snack, and then I heard some yelling. I walked in, you were standing on a table, yelling at the new kid. She didn't look very happy, and was about to slice you in half. Instead, she gut punched you, nailed one disgustingly beautiful elbow on your leg, and sent you packing. Then walked off. Very dramatic too. You two make a perfect couple."

"You're an ass."
"Ah ah ah! Ass what?"
"Grandmaster at asses."
"Better. I like my titles."
"Jax, how do I deal with her?"
"You're asking me? You know what I'd do."
"Something like that."


I woke up at 5. Barely a few hours of sleep, especially after the fiasco of mending a broken leg-bone.
But, I at least, plan on giving this everything I had.
It was my job after all. Troubled champions or not.
If she didn’t show up, I could claim to having tried everything in my power.
I wasn’t going down for this at least. Stubborn girl.

At 6, I was at the training grounds. Only the most devoted of all were practicing.
The blue twilight of dawn giving the only light around the camp, and steadily increasing.
Waiting was never tough for me, but today was difficult – I was fighting off fatigue and falling asleep sitting down by the same target dummy I had met her a day ago.

Back then, I had no idea what I was getting into.

But now, I knew just what the stakes were.
I heard footsteps behind me. Well, the game has changed.
Maybe I can do something after all.

I cracked my head from side to side.
Time to start over.


Riven dashed forward, her shield vibrating heavily. She struck the target dummy, then yelped out a battle cry, energy ripping the dummy apart. Her blade greedily went for another swing, and propelled by her motion, carried out three perfect dashes away the next second. The target dummy chased her halfway with haste, but could not catch up, and turned back around, sulking in defeat.

She crossed a well treaded dirt line, then instantly prepared for another round.
"Good. Minions can do much more damage against a champion then even I can do by igniting them early in the fight. If they attack you back, you want every single minion you have to attack them. Every advantage you can get. The line won't be clear-cut like this, so you'll have to guesstimate just where the point is."

Riven grunted, and jumped back a few feet, making a good clearing between her and the dirt line I drew.
"Again. Open with Harass 4 this time."

Riven struck out the dirt line, keeping a steady hand on her blade. She reached the enemy minion line, and stayed there, representing her striking the minions. In the real match, she’d have to do this all at the same time, but for now, I wanted to drill her the individual parts. We had practiced everything else, this I felt, was her weakest point.

I moved the target dummy forward, trying to chase her off the invisible minions.
The straw man floated cautiously to Riven, circled like a panther, then bull rushed in.
She lunged forward, struck the target, and attacked again, snarling at the effort.
I didn't back down the target dummy, not like last time. In a real fight, no matter how wounded, the target would not back down – not here. Not here where it thought it could kill.

"JUNGLER!" I roared halfway through her attacks.
She didn't pause, she turned on her heels, sword ready to block the imaginary target dummy's final attack, while sprinting back to her minion line.
She lunged, she dashed and she ran to the drawn circle line I had on the far side of the lane.

"Good job, 3.4 seconds when you reached turret protection, and another .7 seconds to make it beyond turret. We need to make that time a bit faster in case a champion like jax is the jungler. His leap would have caught you with that speed. Boots first might fix that problem, but let’s improve as much as we can without having to resort to items."

Riven returned to the imaginary minion line, lifted her sword and got ready.
We had been practicing for 7 hours straight. I saw the sweat on her brow, and the refusal to give in burning her eyes out. I contemplated calling it a day.

"Let's go, summoner." She barked, annoyed with my pause.
"We've been at it for long enough. To keep going won't give us better results. Let’s take a break, eat, and go over theory."

She wasn't thrilled with the idea, but even Riven gets hungry. And it wasn’t wasted time either. Theory and more knowledge were important, and plenty of it had nothing to do with how she would battle, but how she would be positioned in the grand scheme. That’s not something you can drill.
"We won't have to go to the cafeteria, I made lunch myself this time. We'll eat here, and save some more time."
"A good plan." Riven grinned and sat down at her minion line. She really was exhausted.
I wonder if I pushed her too hard today.

We started munching on sandwiches that I made.
I'll be boastful when I say, my sandwiches are a thing of legend around here.
In the good way that is, to be clear. Just don’t ask Jax. He would be delighted to explain everything that could possibly be wrong with them.

The only time I saw Riven smile, was after perfecting a complex maneuver, or eating.
One of these days, when things settle down, I should introduce her to some of my friends and have a lighthearted day off. I doubt she'd appreciate it, but I think it would do her some good.

"So, here's the plan for tomorrow: Take it off. I want you to eat and get fat. Rest a lot, and feed that body of yours what it needs to fix your muscle damage from the work we did. I want you mentally and physically prepared for the day after."
It had been almost a week since we started the serious training. Ever since that morning. I was pretty proud of how far she came. The day after would be her first league match yet.

She smirked at my comment.
"I should be careful with that, Don't want to end up as fat as you are."
"Nonsense, this flabby gut makes me adorable to the ladies. Ever hug a teddy bear?"
I patted my non-existent gut. In truth, I was a twig. Most summoners are, we tend to not eat much. Too busy studying something, reading something, or working on a spell. We were a strange bunch by normal definitions.

"I've never had a stuffed animal, I think it's a strange hobby children have. For some, getting separated from their toy hurts as much as losing their friend. It's understandable when someone can use your friend or lover as a weak point, but an inanimate object is just asking for trouble.”
"Strange hobby? Ha! Even adults like to sleep with stuffed animals, it's their guilty pleasure. Think of it this way, if your sword was lost, would you be as upset as if you had lost your best friend? That's what they feel like."

Riven chewed on her sandwich thoughtfully.
"I suppose so. It makes more sense when you put it that way, but I don’t sleep with my sword, and I wouldn’t be broken with it gone."

"I'll have to introduce you to Sarah, my lady friend. Or actually Lux. She can probably tell you all about the touchy-feely sentimental things. I don't think my gender is cut out for that, hah"
Riven just raised one eyebrow at me,
"You actually know a girl? Are you sure she’s not imaginary? That's rather... surprising."

I bit and finished my sandwich.
"You’re worse than Jax, you know?" I said in between mouthfuls.

"Sounds like Jax would be someone I'd get along with. I haven’t talked to any of the other champions since I arrived, only Swain and Talon approached me, but I turned them down. Too busy practicing. "
I laughed, Jax would indeed.

"I’m not surprised you turned Swain down, he hates Darkwill and everything that man respresented. You on the other hand, earned your place with him. Talon… probably an envoy from Katrina. Good job staying away, Politics would not be your strong suit. “

She nodded solemnly at that. It took another special breed of people to jump and flourish in politics.

“As for Jax, He's a bit of a kleptomaniac though, I warn ya. Leave your sword out, and he'll pluck it. Any weapon you leave lying around, it's going to find a way into Jax's hands. He stole Garen’s sword earlier this week, just for the giggles. Lux had to coax it out of him. It didn’t end well for her, poor thing."

He was the second champion I mastered, and really the reason I moved up ranks.
That and Xin, both taught me just what it meant to be a summoner. The hard way at that too.

“What happened to Miss Crownguard?”
“Well, you might think it’s childlike, but she got stuck with the bad end of a dare to get her brother’s sword back.”
“Long story short, she got her bother’s sword back, but she can’t talk around us… the normal way.”
“I don’t see the point.”
“It’s fun in a way. We like to pretend we infuriate one another, but it’s just a way to relax.”
“By having her not talk? I fail to see the humor in that.”
“It’s tough to explain, our humor is different – she’s allowed to talk, just not the normal way around us in particular, at least up until the end of the week, and I'm just repeating myself… Ahhh, actually let me just explain everything in a nutshell:

I sit at this table every now and then, that’s universally known as the Misfit’s table. Any champions that don’t really fit in with the others, or summoners that are not shut-ins visit and we hang out. It’s our little refuge of friends, where we don’t have to be serious about everything. There’s usually drinking involved.”

She just sat and listened in. I have no idea what was going through her head, but I doubt it was anything I’d want to know. Wanting to stop embarrassing myself, I decided to switch the topic.

"Pop quiz, champion."
"What's in that bush?"

I had been hammering her this entire week for one specific lesson. How to be paranoid.
"Good, and in that tiny bush right there?"
"Fiddlesticks, about to cast crowstorm."
"And behind that wall there?"
"The entire enemy team, ready to flash in for my head."
"And slightly to the side of that lane there?"
"Teemo's mushroom, or Shaco's boxes. Probably both."
"Good job, paranoia pays off in the league."

I laughed because it was fun. She actually cracked a smile, I had no idea if it was genuine.
“But seriously, as much as it sounds like a joke, these steryotypes exist for a reason. Keep that in mind when at all possible.”

Riven nodded, “I know summoner.”
"Get some good rest Champion. I mean it. This won't be like any war you've been in, think of it more like a sport."
Riven nodded again, she must be in high spirits after all our work. I’d almost imagine she must be excited for the fight.

Or dreading it.
She didn't say anything, but I already knew one thing she meant.

I'll be fine.