To Piltover, To A Ball (9)

CHAPTER 9

“What do you mean? She really did that for you.” Irelia frowned.

“It doesn’t seem right at all. Anyway, don’t make me shut you up.” Talon released a sigh.

His mind reviewed what she just said. She did it for him? She blocked the arrow to prevent him from getting hurt? The Ionian always got on his nerves and thought he should’ve just dropped it and kept quiet. Maybe, he really was overthinking. The “normal” Talon wouldn’t really think about such things, he wouldn’t work himself off of a woman. His composure quickly fell when it concerned Riven. Finally while he lost himself in thought they already arrived to group with Riven. Irelia offered a hand to him and he declined. “Geez Ionian, they’re just scratches. Attend to her instead.” He scoffed and glanced at Riven, and obviously referred to her. He felt enraged for a reason and he went to his horse and took bandages he prepared before they left the Institute of War. Talon knew things like this could’ve happened on the road. “Maybe…” He thought of giving Riven some bandages, Talon shifted his head to her direction. Fortunately she also looked at him but it seemed she already had bandages being put on by Irelia.

Riven smiled at him but he returned a frown. She wondered if she did something wrong to offend the man, she stood up but failed to do so because of Irelia. “I must talk to him, please let me go.”

“Men are always like that. Leave him be.” Irelia chuckled. “You must rest so we can move on, both of you actually. I’m going to find water, I won’t go far.” She took the pieces of cloth left and put them in her pocket saddle. Afterwards, she left the scene with a gourd on her hand and she summoned the blades she normally used and like birds they floated behind her. Irelia was still careful so she brought her weapons with her.

Now Riven was left with her thoughts as she sat down on the ground, her back rested behind a big rock. Men are always like that? Is he no different from other men? She was never knew to men courting her but she knew some only courted her because of her social status as a leader and a great fighter. No one got to know who she truly was or how she really felt.  Well, Talon always acted like that. His emotions change by a heartbeat. Almost like he’s hesitating, but Riven didn’t know. The urge to talk to Talon about what happened grew and grew, alas, she couldn’t help it and she stood up slowly. Every move her shoulders made only seemed to hurt her more but surely she bore with the pain due to wanting to talk to him. Slowly, she approached him. His distance from Riven wasn’t too far. As she was about to speak from behind him, Talon interrupted.

“You’re reckless, you know that?” Talon said. Riven was still behind him. Downcast crimson eyes looked at his blade, cleaning it from the work he did earlier. Looking at her seemed to be a much of a task, she should have evaded the arrow from earlier.

“She told you, huh.” She shook her head and sighed. Why the hell did she tell Irelia the first place? Nonetheless, it already happened but why did he have to speak those words? “You know, I chose to catch the arrow for you. You assassins feel like you can do things alone, thinking it’s better to work alone. But I chose to catch it because I’d rather hurt myself than see a friend in pain.”

Now he literally can’t face her. “I could have dodged it… you’re just not thinking.” He spoke once more and stopped cleaning his weapon.

“Then it could have hit the horse which would give them the edge if we lost our means of transportation.” She still stood behind him, her head faced the ground. The wound on her shoulder meant nothing to what came out from his lips. Words that hurt like a knife.

“Whatever.” He too stood up and walked away from her. “You should rest or you’ll be nothing but a hindrance while we travel.” His voices echoed as he stepped further away from her.

Riven spoke no more and went back to the place she sat on earlier. Somehow miffed about the conversation she and Talon and had earlier, she grit her teeth and held her shoulder. What’s wrong with trying to save someone? In the army, the men protected each other and kept their honor till the end. Maybe died for her, for their captain. If she died, no one would lead them to battle anymore. People think everyone from Noxus was ruthless but there was also love and honor. The soldier fight to protect their homeland and fight for people they loved. That’s why there were willing to lay down their lives for the ones they cared so much about. However, Riven had no one to protect other than her comrades. In the end she never really got to protect them and all she could remember was the screams of pain and agony of her fallen comrades. Now that she finally had someone to protect, he called her reckless and someone who did not think straight. Still, she was happy that she became his shield.

Meanwhile, Talon who had just scrambled away from Riven, found a place to be alone not far from where they took their rest. He sat down and held his head. Just when Riven said she did it because she considered him as someone close to her, he may have lost it if he stayed longer. He rested his elbows on his knees as both of his hands held his face, almost like he sulked. Riven refers to him as a friend? Nobody told him that in a long time. Talon let out an annoyed sigh and said. “If I stay there too long I could have kissed her.” He felt blood rose to his face, and a slight enchant as he held them. This assassin never felt so confused. Talon only wished that she didn’t have to get hurt. He was glad that she cared for him but angry at himself for not being too attentive to fend off the arrow. Which reminded him, he knew those men hired to kill Riven and he knew the kinds of weapons they used. The Noxian’s way of battling was strategic and over the years they have created so many experiments to improve weaponry. Suddenly he sprang out from where he sat and ran back to Riven. Once he saw her he stopped running and resumed with walking. “Riven.” He called out to her. Deep inside he was worried.

“What is it?” She asked, a hint of surprise from his sudden appearance.

“Your wound.” He paused and looked at it, then at her face. “Tell me if it isn’t healing.”

“It will, probably.” She said, her hands reached for the fringes of her hair and threw them back.

“Just tell me if it doesn’t.” He sighed to release the tension he felt within him as he attempted to sit beside her.

Riven did not argued with him, and hugged her knees as Talon inched near her. “About earlier…”

“Don’t think about it. What’s done is done.” He muttered.

“I see.” She chuckled.

His eyes widened when he saw her chuckled, which was rare when he’s around. “What are you laughing at?” He said coldly.

“I just think maybe I am reckless and stupid. Also, I sort of looked unpleasant earlier as well.” Riven looked at him for a response.

“Forget what I said. You just… do what feels right.” His gaze met hers as they caught each other staring, only to get interrupted by the Ionian Irelia. Talon sighed and broke the connection of their irises.

“I found some water. Let’s go now. Unless Riven is not yet ready to travel once more.” Irelia packed her things then approached the two. Once she did she revealed a smirk. “I somehow feel something happened here.”

“Eh… let’s go.” He stood up and left the scene and went to his horse.

“I see. Heh.” She smiled and offered a hand to Riven. “You can ride with me if you’d like—“

“She’s riding to Piltover with me.” He said as he straddled his steed and forced the horse to move beside the two women. His hand reached out to Riven.

“Alright then.” Irelia shrugged and climbed her horse as well.

All that was left was Riven to get on. Once she did she wrapped her arms around Talon. “You’re much warmer than before… or it’s me turning cold…” She whispered softly.

“Riven…” He muttered.

The fragile peace between Noxus and Demacian was beginning to fade. Each day more and more issues arose between the two mighty nations and it became a concern for the council of the Institute of War. Politics was nothing more than an extravagant game a chess and one side was playing their pawns well, almost achieving all-out war.

To try and ease the tension between the two powerful city-states, the council appointed two of the League’s most devoted and promising champions. Two young, idolized warriors from both nations, Garen, a young commander and noble from Demacian and Katarina, a deadly assassin noble from the ruthless Noxus. These two were to work together to try and keep the fragile peace between their beloved nations and how they were going to achieve this? By throwing a grand ball of course.

Garen had met lady Katarina on the fields of battle a great many times and he’s even said that she was his equal in every way. Of course the more these two fought on the fields of justice, the more his feelings for her developed, blossoming into an innocent yet fiery crush that even he couldn’t ignore. So the fact he was supposed to work with her, not through violence, but through corporation, it set the young Demacian’s nerves ablaze. In time and with much arguing, the two finally put aside their differences and worked together. Setting up a grand and beautiful ball, one that was to be spoke about for years to come. Garen found himself at the doors of the entrance. There the handsome knight greeted and thanked all the honored guest of both Noxus and Demacian for showing up. He wore a finely tailored suit that hugged his muscular body wonderfully and really brought out his more noble features. “Thank you for coming, it’s a great honor to meet you.” He said to nearly everyone that walked through those double doors, a wide smile on his handsome face, stunning bright blue eyes making eye contact with everyone, no matter the nation they came from.

Of course, many disagreed with the idea of throwing a killer ball. Most Noxians who disagreed just wanted to be a killer instead of going to the ball. They couldn’t resist once she flashed those deadly emerald eyes at them. It seemed as though they were intimidated and didn’t want to argue with one of the finest assassins in Noxus, both in skill and in looks. In her heart, she truly didn’t want to go as well but due to the treaty in Kalamanda, the peacefulness was needed to remain even just for a while. So, Garen and her ended up with making a glorious ball. It was Garen’s idea. The woman quickly disagreed but since she had no other plan to stop the endless fight between the two nations, she ended up saying yes. It was beautifully planned. It took place in The Institute of War for none of Katarina’s people would go to Demacia if the ball was located there. The same goes with Garen’s people. Before the ball started, they set up the place so marvelously that it may keep the guests minds off of fighting. Katarina invited champions as well, those who don’t annoy her as much. Like, Talon, and Cassiopeia, her siblings. But she knew Talon wouldn’t have come. The way Katarina decorated the hall was very amusing because the way she decorated it was just right. Not too fancy or too dull. She too was impressed with what she did for she never knew she had taste. One thing she forgot to do was find something to wear for that night. Thankfully, her sister had helped her. Cassiopeia dug in her wardrobe and found a gray dress with spaghetti straps and the length of the dress was up to her upper knee. It was also fitted to her slim body. Kind of like a slip dress. The lady finally wore it. It suited her tastes for she hated long and heavy gowns. Her sister knew her well. Finally the moment had arrived and the ball had started but Katarina was in the Institute’s garden. She sat near the fountain and brought some champagne and started to drink. She also realized she was going to dance with Garen in front of a crowd. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea after all. Not that she was scared to dance but she felt nervous for her partner was Garen himself. The rivalry between them ever so slowly turned into a small romance. Her feelings for him haven’t fully developed. Who knows that maybe tonight will.

Often would the two meet secretly, sometimes Garen would risk himself and go to the Du Couteau mansion or maybe Katarina, going to the Crownguard mansion whenever Garen’s sister Lux, was not around. Not that they did anything. Mostly they would meet to talk, she was interested in Garen that her emotions change when he’s around.

Garen noticed the absence of his counterpart. There wasn’t much he didn’t notice when it came to the deadly and beautiful Noxian. Quite a few times Garen caught himself staring at her like a day dreaming fool, always looking away hoping she didn’t catch his glances.

Once Garen felt all the guests were situated and satisfied, he grabbed himself two glasses of champagne. It wasn’t hard for him to figure out where she ran off to, there was really only one area near the grand hall that was relaxing and worth anyone’s time in being alone to collect one’s self. There she was, sitting alone out in the lush and beautiful garden, the unnatural color sitting off the crystals illuminating her silhouette, making the young knight sigh out in absolute awe.

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