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Shen's Contemplation

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Junior Member


Just an attempt at fan fiction :/

Shen’s Contemplation

To Shen the world had always been clear cut. There was good and there was evil, and if either side shoved too much, he was there to trim the fat. He was unbiased in the kill, even his blades reflected the harmony, one engraved with the sun and the other the moon, their weight and shape identical. But this kill was different. He had always regarded members of the order as observers separate from the balance, like weightless spirits of the deceased that watched the scales of life.

He stood in the sparing arena waiting for the gong to sound. On the other side stood Zed who was balancing on the balls of his feet, eyes barely blinking. Shen saw the tension in his opponent’s calves and sighed. He was hoping that Zed might not be as predictable as last time. The remainder of the order was standing around the arena encircling the two combatants. Everyone knew that the match was rigged, everyone except for Zed, who sheathed and unsheathed his blades apprehensively.

Shen had read and reread the stars countless times last night, even disturbing his master’s peace to get a second opinion. It was unmistakable, Zed was the target and Shen was the appointed dispatcher.

How can he not feel the tension in the air, wondered Shen. He noticed that Zed was staring in his eyes, trying to foresee his attacks, but there was nothing to be seen there. Shen had long ago learned that combat was about melding intuition with the rehearsed moves, like smelting fragments of various metals to produce a produce that was elegant in its uniqueness. The highest of the order never stuck to the combat patterns, they mixed and matched them, adapting to the flow of energy that came from within. It was a lesson Shen had picked up rather quickly, and it gave him a significant edge over Zed, despite training side by side with him since day one.

Shen looked over at Akali who nodded at him. He knew that had she been chosen, she would kill Zed without hesitation. He had never seen her constitution falter. Occasionally he wondered if Akali carried out her grim work as executioner for the sake of the order or so she could cake her garbs in the thick red life essence that poured so freely out of her victims.

“I’ll have you this time,” said Zed.

Despite the mask, Shen could tell that Zed was smiling. His competitiveness and enduring demeanor had always been a joke around the order but Shen enjoyed that aspect of Zed.

The Gong ranged once, it was a deep sundering sound that awoke the stagnant spirit and summoned it to action. Zed instantly took a step forward, fully exposing his grim claw blades. Shen clasped the hilts of his shouldered Katanas but left them in the sheath. He had grown so accustomed to them that he could feel the added weight of even a single drop of blood. The poison that his master had coated the blades with upset the balance of the weapons. They cried to be cleaned.

Shen stood still and waited as Zed made his way closer, scanning him for some sort of tell. There was none, Shen stood motionless; knees bent, hands tightly clasped on the blades, waiting for the first jab to be thrown.

Zed reached for his throwing stars, and hurled one at Shen with such force that the air parted for the projectile, reluctant to stand in its way. Zed’s aim was true and the hulking star was so large that its impact could penetrate through steel.

With reflexes fast as light itself, Shen darted to the side of the star and towards Zed. The dash was so quick that Zed had to pull up a clumsy guard and failed to properly parry. Shen pulled his right blade out and metal clashed, putting a slight dent in Zed’s claw blade. He held back his second strike and retreated slightly to the left, waiting for Zed to counter attack. The clunky ninja failed to see the opening Shen had provided and instead opted to take a defensive pose himself. Stupid, Shen thought.

Zed tossed his second star and the Shen dodged it just as easily. This time he continued to wait, watching as Zed circled around him, unsure of what to do. Kennen gave an unwarranted jump, his boundless energy getting the best of him. Kennen would also have ended Zed’s life by now. The Yordle could channel his energy so precisely that sometimes even Shen had trouble dealing with his attacks. But he was a slave to he own imperishable energy. There was no greater purpose to the carnage he left behind. It was created for the sake of finding some outlet for his power.

“Are you just going to wait?” asked Zed, “Of course you’ll win if you remain defensive, you have larger reach.”

For once no one corrected him. The spectators were deathly silent and the master held his tongue. “Don’t think of combat as a linear equation,” answered Shen, hoping the lesson would digest quickly enough that Zed could gain the upper hand, “The advantages and disadvantages of certain techniques can be rearranged in countless ways depending on the order of your attack.”

Zed charged directly at Shen with his most powerful dash, Shen lost sight of him entirely for a second, but despite the agility, Shen was already prepared. He ushered forth his most powerful energy shield just in the nick of time, as the tips of all four claw blades swiped at his chest. The energy shield withstood the blow and in Zed’s open stance Shen had to restrain himself from swiping back. Instead, he grabbed Zed by the shoulders and rammed his forehead into Zed’s face plate. The blow was so thunderous that Shen’s consciousness almost gave way to the sickening crunch of Zed’s facial features. He heard the delicate cartilage of Zed’s nose snap and the weak bones in his cheek shatter.

The unfortunate ninja let out a shriek of pain and dropped to his knees heaving heavily. Blood streamed out of his mask like an open faucet, and he choked on some that welled up inside the visor.

“First blood has been drawn, and I am the victor,” declared Shen.

“Are you kidding me?!” cried Zed, “What kind of a cheap blow was that?”

The Gong was not rung, and the audience was unmoving. Shen saw Akali’s disapproval, but held her gaze. He couldn’t gather the nerve to bring down a member of his own clan, and he was resilient to her disgust. “The match continues,” growled Shen’s master, “First blood must be drawn by blade.”

Zed stood up hastily and retreated, “What’s a matter Shen am I so below you now that you are the eye of twilight, that you will not do me the honor of fighting fairly?”

“It is not a matter of fair. I drew first blood therefore I won.”

“The match continues!” cried his master.

“There is no rule saying I must use my blades.”

“There is now Shen,” said his master. The old man had a venomous expression on his face that drew everyone’s gaze. No one had ever disobeyed the will of the stars before. His glare cut into Shen deeper than any wound could, it was so disapproving that Shen was almost compelled to deal a killing blow, but something held him back.

Zed charged again, this time preparing a spin strike that Shen had seen before. He pulled out both blades and counter struck the blow with such force that Zed fell lopsided to the ground. Shen lifted his Katana and placed it directly over Zeds neck. He looked at how close the poison was to killing his friend, there was less than a centimeter of flesh protecting Zed from the lethal toxin. The tiniest slice of the razor sharp weapon would open a passage for the contagion.

“I have clearly won,” announced Shen raising his blade back up, “If you do not accept that I am the victor then disqualify me from the fight and announce Zed then new Eye of Twilight.” Shen sheathed his blades and made his way out of the circle, forcing his way past Akali, whose tried shouldering him back into the ring.

“What have I ever done to you?” called Zed from the ring, “Shen, do not disgrace me like this, do not turn your back on our fight.”
Shen felt his head swim as he wordlessly headed towards the Dojo. He felt the stars bare down their tremendous weight. He half expected a comet to crash down on top of him and end his life right there and then.

“Do you hear me Shen?!” cried Zed, “Leave, and I will kill you if it’s the last thing I do!”

Shen stopped for a moment, and clutched his katana. The memory of his final test, watching his father be tortured to prove his loyalty flashed before his eyes. If he walked away, all the pain that his father endured would be for nothing. Those final moments of his father’s torment, where scalding iron removed layers of his skin, where Shen had almost looked away would be meaningless. It was his father’s smile, the look of pride that had allowed Shen to endure.

He took his hand off the katana and continued to walk away. He knew now why he couldn’t kill Zed. Had his father still been alive, there would be no smile, no pride in Shen’s assassination. He had always seen himself as an observer, but now that he had become painfully aware of his role in the balance, perhaps it was time to tip the scales.

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Senior Member


Spacing would make this tons easier to read

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Senior Member


^^ yes. But still, a great read!! +1

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Junior Member


Spaced it out, and thank you