The Wanderer (11)

CHAPTER 11

After that old dream of hers, she found herself opening her crimson eyes. As she did, her vision started hazy but then it adjusted back to her normal vision. First, she saw the ceiling above her, the lights were out but the surrounding was bright, it was clearly morning. Riven tried to remember what happened last night but it’s hard for she only remembered that she passed out due to so much blood lost. She tried to sit up, with the thought that sitting up might hurt, she moved carefully yet there was no sign of pain felt. Then she felt movement on the bed, but it wasn’t her doing. Slowly, her head shifted to where the movement came from and there she saw Talon, the upper part of his body rested on the bed, and his bottom part sat on a chair. Talon looked as though he was sleeping soundly. His hair covered his face but Riven could see a small portion of his eyes, which somehow, made her heart skip ever so quickly. Just like in her dream, she reached for his forehead, and she brushed off the strands of his hair. And finally, she saw his face but it looked so tired. Now she wondered if he stayed up all night for her. Her face shifted to the location of her wound and it was patched up nicely, her clothes were changed as well. Did Irelia change her clothes… or Talon? The thought swayed her, and her cheeks flushed in embarrassment.  Riven tried to move her hand away, Talon didn’t seem to wake.  Unconsciously, she inched her face near his, and planted a kiss on his cheek. Maybe because she felt grateful, but why a kiss? Even Riven was confused. Perhaps she is staring to fall for him, which is queer. She let out a sigh and slowly, she started to leave the bed she was in but before her toes could touch the floor, a hand grabbed her arm gently.

“Where do you think you’re going? You’re still in bad shape.” Talon, who is now awake and staring at her said, his hand still locked on her arm. He then moved from his chair to sit at the side of the bed. He dare not tell her he was awake all night and got his rest two hours ago. He was definitely exhausted yet the problem is, with Riven around, he could lift a whole building.

“Oh.  I apologize if I woke you up.” Her head faced down in worry. Did he know she kissed him? It was more suspicious if she stayed in that position, so Riven faced Talon again, who is now only an inch closer. Surprised, her body reacted quickly, and now her cheeks felt blood rising. “Talon,” she could only speak his name.

Ignoring the sound of his name, he went closer… and closer… until his lips were placed on hers. It was the first time her was able to explore the parts of her lips. His hand moved to her waist and he pulled her closer, their chests together as well. He’s never done and felt this before but he felt like he needed more. Talon wasn’t made of stone. Of course, he too felt bright red but his body did not show signs of embarrassment. He lets go and says “I like you this way. You look… so… beautiful.” He was blunt and hoped she’d get the message.

She thought the kiss would be as cold as the snow in the Freljord  but Riven felt warmer than the Burning Vengeance. His kiss was soft and gentle and it tickled her lips, was he really this good at kissing? Has he kissed many women in the past? Maybe he was just toying with her emotions like he always did since the beginning.  When they finally parted those tender lips, she heard him talked and somehow there was sadness in his words. Still confused as if she spun her head around thousands of times, she could not say anything in reply.

“Riven, I—“ His voice stopped as he sensed someone nearby. He quickly turned around only to see Irelia who was watching the two as they shared a moment. Talon stepped up and looked at Riven, then to Irelia. “I’ll go get ready.” The warmness of his voice faded not only because of the presence of Irelia but also because he never received a reply from Riven. Now he was left to think that Riven never really felt the same. He’ll always be the comrade Riven thinks he is. Leaving the room rashly, he stumbled upon the innkeeper and asked what’s wrong yet because of Talon’s mind being busy somewhere else, he passed him without even looking. He went to the stables and took care of the horses, fed them, and started to put the luggage they carried. To other people, it would seem that all they think about assassins are the usual. Cold, merciless, murderers, anything related to that but why is it when he’s with Riven he always felt like he could be better. His feelings for her never faded since they met.

Meanwhile, when Talon just left, all Irelia could do was chuckle. “No need to be all shy, Riven. I know you have strong feelings for him. I won’t tell.” She covered her mouth and smiled behind it. “It’s strange to see you Noxians show emotions. I have never seen Talon actually smile with and to other people, unless he is beside you, he starts to tease and talk than what he normally does. I for one have never experienced it but I think he may like you as well.” Irelia’s words were too much. She already knew Talon liked Riven as well but she also promised him not to tell and let them find out for themselves. “It’s just my speculation but maybe not. Anyway, are you alright now, Riven? I’ll get you some bread and water. Tell me if it hurts though, and I will do what I have in my ability to help.” She went to the small kitchen provided in the room and poured water on a wooden cup that they brought along the journey. Irelia was being too kind. She did forget that they are the enemy. Yet, she sensed no harm in Riven, only clouded thoughts and a confused mind. After all, they are human as well. They could feel, laugh, cry, maybe even blush but she’ll wait to see what will happen. Her comrades at home will think her crazy. “Here you go.” She handed the cup.

“I do not understand what you are trying to prove to me. Nothing is going on between us, Irelia and I suggest you stop thinking such foolish things.” Riven tried to think that what happened earlier never did. She took the cup and drank from it, and she continued. “It’s not attachment or love… It’s… it’s being there for a comrade.” She defended. Though besides all that she said, all she felt at the moment was the soft touch of Talon’s warm lips and how he held her so gently.

“Being there for a comrade my Ionian ass. Do you mean to say you kiss all of your comrades so passionately that hearts started to form on the top of your heads? Know your feelings Riven and don’t deny them. Just be sure what you’re doing is good for you.” Irelia crossed her arms and looked ticked. Why do these Noxians deny their own feelings? Why do they deny love? Maybe that’s what Noxus needed, love. To be frank, maybe not just Noxians but Ionians, Demacians, and even the people residing in Piltover deny their feelings, even Irelia herself. Everyone denies it. So, she came to the conclusion that she couldn’t blame them for hiding it.

Riven said nothing in reply and slowly got up on her feet. “I want to see Ionia.” She was still at war with herself. “May I ride on your horse this time? I’m afraid that if I ride with Talon, he might bump my wound. So I request you ride with him instead.” She needed space, at least, that’s what she wanted for now. Riding along with Talon will make things difficult for her, for the both of them. With that said, Irelia had no choice but to agree, after that she left Riven for a while to get ready. Now alone, she started to grab her things, there were some that weren’t hers. Of course, they were none other than Talon’s things. She eventually took them as well and left the room with all her and Talon’s belongings.  The moment she closed the door behind her, Rujin, the innkeeper’s wife was near the door with something in her hand. “Oh! Rujin. Good morning.” Riven faked a smile.

“Mrs. Riven! How are you feeling?” Rujin’s voice was old yet kind. She understood that Riven was about to leave so quickly, she took Riven’s hand and placed a necklace on it. “It’s something I made for you. Please do take it.” The necklace was simple and made of wood. The pendant was the same size of a coin and it is carved to look like a tortoise. “This animals lives for many years and I hope your love for your husband lives on, longer that the life of a tortoise.”

She felt sadness climb in her heart but she did know they were only faking it. “I can’t accept this.” Because her heart will hurt if she did.

“Take it. Love is something very confusing and unexpected. But; if you really are sure that it’s love, fight for it.” Rujin smiled in reply and manually put on the necklace on Riven. “Such a beautiful woman. I do wish you happiness.” After that, she left Riven with her thoughts, the gift rested on Riven’s neck.

Riven had no choice and she continued on with the luggage. She got outside the inn and said her goodbyes to the innkeeper and his wife. Her eyes met Talon and drastically, she looked away. The snow-haired Noxian handed Talon the items he left at the room and said no other word. She went on Irelia’s horse and started to make the steed walk.

Silence was all there is left in the journey. Talon was still quiet as ever. Riven was in front of the two. Irelia started to talk to Talon and the sound of her voice reached Riven but she can’t quite interpret the words Irelia conveyed. Out of curiousity, Riven looked behind only to see Talon smiling as he listened to Irelia. It pained Riven to see him laughing with another woman. She couldn’t hide the sad thought of somebody else making Talon happy. Little did Riven know that Talon and Irelia were actually talking about her. Talon was smiling because he told Irelia that Riven gives him happiness. If only she knew indeed. The journey went on in silence and soon after that, they reached the docks. Irelia eventually paid for the ferry, for Talon, Riven, herself and the horses. The ferry arrived in Ionia smoothly with no troubles with pirates or any other thing that may cause the journey to fail. After an hour in a ship they were there… they finally arrived to the destination, Ionia.

Ionia is covered by a huge wall that protected them from unwanted people. By unwanted people, people like Noxians. They went down the ship and Riven was staring at awe, she felt nostalgia and butterflies in her stomach. Mixed emotions all in all. There’s the tricky part, getting in.

For Irelia, would be easy but her two companions are too noticeable. “I suggest you take the potion here before anyone can see you.” Irelia said and motioned Talon to do the same.

“Alright, alright.” Talon took his satchel and brought  out two elixirs and gave one to Riven. “Just take a small sip and change your eyes, skin color, hair, the necessary ones to be changed.” With that said, they found a quiet place and Talon immediately took a sip and imagined the changes to be done, afterwards, he said the changes out loud and like lightning, the magic worked quickly. Talon’s eyes were of emeralds and his hair turned as light as the sun, his skin tone remained the same and his height increased by two more inches.

It was Riven’s turn. She took off the band that held her hair in place and sipped from the potion. “Hair to be two times longer with a dark color, eyes to turn blue, and skin to become lighter and free of scars.” And immediately it happened, and Irelia was confused. She wouldn’t even identify Talon and Riven in such form.

“Both of you, I can’t really tell if you really are Riven and Talon.” Irelia stared at the both of them but later she looked inside her bag and took out clothes. “You have the perfect timing. There is a festival here and I hope you might enjoy yourselves!” Irelia handed them clothes to wear, similar to the Ionian fashion so they would blend in perfectly. The two eventually changed into the clothes and they went inside the wall with no troubles. With their horses, they reached a place which is Irelia’s home.

“We’re staying at your place?” Talon groaned in agony, just to kill the silence.

“Not really. Both of you will live over there,” she pointed the house which was two houses away from Irelia’s home. “But you can live in my home as well because I am usually outside patrolling and training new recruits. You may choose.” Irelia smiled and looked at the two again. “Well, how about Riven staying in my house and you will stay at the other one, Talon?”

“Forget it. The houses here are awful and awkward-looking. I don’t want to be left alone in one. Besides, Riven doesn’t even know how to handle the utensils here or even cook.” Talon complained. The true reason is he wanted to stay with Riven, for her safety and to make things easier.

“I’m alright either way but I choose your house, Irelia.” Riven started to take her things and immediately, she went inside. After hours of journey she wanted to rest. She looked around inside and saw there were multiple rooms. Finally she could get privacy from Irelia and Talon. Irelia left Talon and Riven and there was no conversation after that. Talon and Riven did their own thing. Riven went to take a bath and Talon decided to sneak outside and go to the festival to check things out.

Riven refused to talk to him after their kiss so Talon went on the festival about to get started. He saw that lanterns were being set up for tonight and stands that sell food and other sort of things to entertain someone are being put up as well. In the crowd he saw someone familiar and annoying. He approached her and tapped her back, completely forgetting the fact that he changed his appearance. “Katarina, he whispered.”

The red-head turned around only to be confused by his sight. “Who the hell are you and what do you want?” She growled in anger. “If you’re here to say threats just because I’m a Noxian I swear—“

“It’s me, Kat. Talon.” He shook his head in disappointment, why is she even here?

“Don’t toy with me, Ionian.” Katarina’s anger seemed to grow.

“I caught you and Garen in your room, old hag.” He chuckled as he stared at her.

Katarina grabbed Talon’s upper clothing and dragged it down. “How dare you—Talon. Don’t say such things out loud. Why are dressed like that? I’m here for information about father and I find you here all dressed up for a party? It’s good disguise though. Where did you come up with it?” Her face showed hints of curiosity as she stared up at him. “By the way, where’s Riven?”

As Talon chuckled, it stopped when Katarina mentioned Riven’s name. He wondered what she was doing or what she felt when they kissed. She seemed angry when he kissed her, did she really feel that way? These things still wandered around his mind as if it’s poisoning him. “It’s the Crimson Elite. They’re after her for an unknown reason. To be clear, we were informed that Riven was dead, right? Now that she’s actually alive, they say it will cause an uproar in Noxus. There must be something that happened the day Riven never came back to Noxus.” Talon was indeed full of worry… he couldn’t deny that he was. His feelings were real, he thought but the only question is if Riven felt the same. There was something about that kiss that was filled with love, yet with sadness as well. Riven looked as though she wanted to cry when they were on the bed. Was his kiss really that not pleasurable?

“Now, now fool. Are you sure it’s from the Crimson Elite?” Katarina asked. If he was, Katarina felt as though it was also connected with her father. Did Riven have something to do with it and couldn’t tell? Were those scars and burns she had were merely just and accident as Riven told them? So many questions made. Talon insisted that it was true and the look on his eyes were no lie. To brighten up the mood, Katarina gave out a laugh. “You seem too worked up about things when Riven is concerned.”

“I’m leaving.” His movement was as quick as his words, and he did leave the scene and her sister and went on in the festival. It still hasn’t started so he predicted that it would start at night where the lanterns will do their work and shine below to give light in the evening. As he passed by the store by store, one seemingly caught his eye and there he saw an animal locked up in a cage. What made the animal catch Talon was a memory he had with Riven, saying she liked this animal. The feathers were as white as Riven’s hair. It was quiet and calm, just like Riven. It was perfect. Talon approached the vendor and asked how much it was, the man replied that it cannot be bought but it can be won by playing his game. “Come back later,” the man said to Talon “come back when the festival is starting and I’ll give you a chance to get it.” So Talon went back to the house to get ready. The game to obtain the white owl was simple, he must get the ball to hit a moving target. Little did the man know that it was Talon’s specialty, and to Talon, it seemed too easy of a task. He went to take a bath and changed into more comfortable clothes. Irelia’s house was a little big and for some reason she had men’s clothing in her house. Maybe she had it ready for guests that may stay there. On the other room was Riven who made no noise whatsoever which intrigued Talon. He went to her room and said “Riven, it’s me. Are you in there?” There was no response received. The slide was slightly opened and Talon peeked in to see Riven on her bed, asleep.  He slid the door open and approached her and he felt it bizarre when he saw Riven but she didn’t looked like her at all. Well, because of the potion. Eight hours left until the potion wears off and it’s just enough time to roam around. Talon also felt queer by the way he looked at a mirror. He set it aside and went to Riven’s bed. She looked too different, as if it was a different woman. “You’re better the way you are.” He sighed and casted a hand on her shoulder and slowly moved it back and forth. “Riven, wake up.”

Sluggishly, she opened her eyes to see Talon who was beside her. Riven’s heart ached as she gazed upon his hues. “Why… are you here?”Cold her voice was.

“We’re going to the festival, right? Are you planning on going?” He asked, and sat down on the rear of the bed.

“Well, yes I am. We are? I thought you hated crowded places.”  Her head made a delicate tilt as she stared at him.

“Hmm…” he paused and looked around. “Riven… let’s pretend that we’re not from Noxus, that we never became part of the Crimson Elite, forget our ties in the past and go to the festival with me. Pretend that it’s just uhh… a date.” He felt blood left his body as he went closer, he grabbed her hand and helped her stand up. Talon held her other hand as well and looked straight at her. “I’ll wait outside for you.” With that said, he left the room and left another confused Riven.

Why must he toy with her all the time? Riven felt anger climbing to her head as her hands formed into fists. It hurts to know what he’s doing. She combed her hair with annoyance and fixed her clothes carefully, the clothes after all weren’t her belonging. She was now ready. Riven went outside and saw Talon, who was there waiting. Talon showed a gentle smile, what has gotten inside his mind? She tried her best to deny it, but his smile was rarer than all the jewels in the earth, and to be the one to make him smile did meant something. And together, they started to walk to the festival. It was now dark outside yet the lights made the evening so beautiful. The fireworks were like a word of art written by an artist. Everything looked magnificent and everything made Riven’s heart flutter.  Talon and Riven were beside each other as they walked along the streets, store by store they passed.

Talon did not forget the surprise he had for Riven, the snowy colored owl, her loved animal. He eventually led her to where the store was and told the man he was ready. The owner of the stand gave him three balls to throw at the moving target, if he hits it, the owl is his for Riven. Right after the first try, it was a perfect hit. The owner of the stand felt enraged, because Talon was not supposed to hit the target. He couldn’t make a commotion because people saw Talon hit the target so perfectly. In the end he gave the snowy owl to the two.

She felt too happy. “Talon…” All she could say was his name. To think he’d go and did something like that for her. Though she knew he’d hit it, she was happy because he was willing to give her something she loved, and he never forgot that she loved a white owl as well. Riven took the cage and inside it was the owl who fluttered its wings softly, which made Riven smile. She could almost forget all her troubles.

Talon sighed in relief. She finally smiled, he thought to himself and gave her back the smile she released. “Consider it as an I’m sorry present. For what I did.” Talon put his hand on the back of his neck. Riven nodded in response to him. Eventually they continued on but this time they went to a quieter place in the festival near the forest. They both sat on the ground and Riven was still busy with her new companion.

“What should I name it?” Riven quickly asked as she sat down. “I was thinking of something simple yet enigmatic.” She placed the cage down and stared at the creature. “It will be hard to train though. It has already grown up.” She added and turned her gaze to Talon, who was already staring at her. He looked so gentle, not to mention he smiled a lot of times that evening.

“How about Sid? It’s a short name and it’s simple.” He replied after a long silence. Riven gazed at him again and nodded.

“Well, it’s a good one but… hmm… maybe Byron?” She then tried to open the cage and reached inside to pet her friend. The owl stayed still and it closed its eyes every time Riven stroked its head. “Thank you, Talon. I am honestly confused right now. I have no idea but why did you kiss me?” Riven asked bluntly and stared up at him, her eyes locked with his.

So she finally asked. Before Talon could answer, he saw a shadowy figure pass near the roofs of the houses in the festival. He quickly stood up. “Riven, I’m sorry but you must stay here. I’ll be right back.”

“Alright then,” she replied and swiftly, he left. Riven was now left alone, in deep thought. Why did he have to leave when she asked what was in her mind before they left the inn. Suddenly, a group of men began closing in on her until she was surrounded. Due to her deep thinking, she had no time to react. Talon was gone, and she had no weapon to defend herself with. It was clearly hard to make a move. She decided to stay still.

“Well what do we have here?” Said a man who seemed to be drunk. “Why are you all alone here, beautiful?” They all reeked of rum and they all looked ghastly.

“What do you want?” Riven growled in annoyance and stood up, only to be held by two other men.

“You know exactly what we want. Hehe.” The stranger began by cupping Riven’s cheek and traced his hand lower to her neck, then her collarbone when a familiar voice seemed to ring in Riven’s ear but all she felt right now was disgust.

A figure from nowhere started to appear and spoke, “I was starting to fall asleep yet you bastards woke me up.” The voice was from a man, a very familiar voice. Riven then knew who he was. Before the group of men could speak, the owner of the voice quickly threw them down. He did not kill them, just severely damaging and bruising them. The men were eventually running away, Riven was left with the familiar man. Riven’s eyes seemed to widen as the man went closer. “A lady like you shouldn’t be alone,” the man said. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you company for a while.” He had no choice but to sit near her owl, and Riven sat as well.

“Thank you, sir.” She pretended not to know him of course, but she could never forget such a face. A face such as Yasuo.

“Yeah, yeah. I never wanted to save you anyway but since they disturbed my almost-sleep, I had to beat them up. Consider yourself lucky.” Yasuo said who was surprisingly drunk as well. “What’s yourrrr name, miss?” He gave her a smile and took something hidden in his clothes, a bottle of rum, and drank from it.

( Alright so here is chapter 11! I’m sorry for not updating for so long. I got busy and my chapters were deleted so I had to write anew. </3 Anyway, I hope you like it. ^_^ )

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