Riven: Crimson Elite – 14

2 Jul

As they reached the ninth floor hallway she spotted them. The infamous Blood Brothers, Darius and Draven stood in their way. Darius was a hulking beast, wearing his same armor from the last time they fought. Draven was not quite as armored, but his two lethal spinning axes were whirling in his hand. Riven had heard plenty of stories about how talented he was with them, and was not keen to find out. Talon looked over towards her and she nodded. She realized this was why she had come along. She was to delay two of Noxus’ finest warriors to allow Talon to get through to the General. With that, she did not waste any more time before pulling out her broken sword and flying forward at her enemies.

She dashed forward and to the left, feinting towards Draven first. The pair seemed to expect this and Darius immediately moved to get in front of his brother. Right then, Riven saw Talon burst by, and fled to the opposite side of the hallway. Riven started her triple slash but after the second swing was blocked by Darius, she concentrated a ki burst, stunning him. As she dove past the dazed warrior, Draven lined up an axe and sent it sailing towards her head. Riven deflected it away and charged at the Glorious Executioner. He turned and fled down the hall, retrieving his downed axe on the way. By then, Riven knew Darius would be back up and turned just in time to dive out of the way as he was rushing at her, blade held high. He swung downwards, looking to cleave her skull, but she was too quick. She dove back underneath him while he was still off balance and kicked up into his stomach, doubling him over.

Just then she felt a searing pain in a line down her back. The inch long spikes on the end of Draven’s throwing axes had penetrated her armor fully and she roared in pain. She brought the hilt of her sword down with a crack on Darius’ head. He slumped over and she turned to face Draven, hoping to fend off his attack. Just as she turned, she saw four blades appear, one in both arms and both legs, quicker than her eyes could follow. He collapsed and hobbled back into the room on the side of the hall. Riven turned and saw Katarina sprinting up the hall towards her. “He’s upstairs,” Riven said and Katarina quickly ran after Talon. Riven sat there, clenched her teeth and grimaced through the pain as she pried the axe from her flesh. Blood began to pour out of her wounds and she looked around for something to staunch the bleeding. She found a tapestry hanging and tore off several strips, plugging the inch deep holes down her back. As soon as the searing pain died down, she went over to the door and jammed Darius up against it. She knew it wouldn’t hold Draven forever, but it gave them time to hear him coming out if he wanted to cause trouble.

Aching with pain, she slumped down against the wall and sat there, catching her breath. They had done it. She knew Talon would not have a problem dealing with a man like Darkwill, and that meant the deed was done. Soon after Vladimir came rushing up the stairs and upon seeing Riven gasped. He ran over to her and moved the makeshift gauze away. “Let me try something,” he said and then put his hands to her back. It felt weird, but when she looked down, her wounds were closed and she felt slightly better. “You still lost a lot of blood, but that’ll at least prevent you from losing any more. How’d it go up here?” “It was just swell, as you can see,” Riven said, “Talon is upstairs with Katarina and they should be done by now. Let’s go see.” At that moment Katarina and Talon came rushing down the stairs. They looked far more panicked than someone who had just won over the allegiance of a nation. “What’s wrong?” Riven asked quickly. It was Katarina who spoke. “The guard and my sister refuse to take our side on the situation. There’s a revolt in the town square led by them. We need to take care of it immediately.”

Riven shared their concern and wondered what course of action they should take. This was not entirely unexpected, although they had all assumed Cassiopeia would follow Katarina anywhere. “Vlad, we’ll need you to make blood runes here and transport Riven to your runes closest to the square. Come back as quick as you can, and then you’ll be able to take us.” Talon spoke with all the authority he had, and Riven had to admit, he was a strong leader. “Sounds good, but Riven’s-“ Vlad started to point to Riven’s wounds but she cut him off. “No, this is a good plan. Let’s go.” The hemomancer looked like he wanted to protest further but after a withering look from Riven he began creating the blood runes. Once they were set on the floor, he grabbed Riven’s arm and they disappeared. Riven noticed that each time she traveled like this, the less she minded, and barely even felt any odd sensations as she reappeared inside of an attic. “We’re right outside the square, just head north one block and you’ll find it.” Vlad paused, hesitating and then said, “Riven… be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt.” She smiled and said, “Just go get my backup and you won’t have to worry about that.” She was trying to sound more confident than she was. She had lost too much blood and needed the others to get there as soon as possible. Vlad disappeared and she stepped down into the house and out in the street.

When she got to the square she yelled, “What is going on here?” The soldiers all looked over to her as one and stood up straight, in full military posture.  “There she is. There’s the one who has been causing all this trouble.” The hissing voice was quiet, but carried quite well over the complete silence in the square. Cassiopeia slithered up atop the steps in the center of the town square and said, “Men, this woman who stands before you is the reason your families are going hungry. This woman is the reason that your leader lies dead in his castle. This woman is everything that is wrong with Noxus right now. If we eliminate her, it is the first step on our path to global domination.” Riven was confused, ‘How could Cassiopeia possibly know any of this without being informed by Katarina?’ That was when it hit her. She was being set up. The people were not going to take all of the changes going around without someone to blame, and Talon had set her up perfectly. She was the perfect scapegoat for everything. She had destroyed the food storage facility and left plenty of witnesses. She had just assaulted the castle and made herself far more visible than Talon had; plus, she a former soldier who had almost been killed by her own people. She made the most sense as someone with a big enough grudge against Noxus to perpetrate all of these actions.

‘This is why Talon wanted me so badly. This is why I’ve been getting the jobs I have. And now, my public execution at the hands of the army means that no one is dissatisfied.’ Riven despaired, but did not let it show on her face. She merely pulled out her broken rune sword and stood there, ready to challenge any who came. No one moved for several moments, and then she stood up straight. “Come then, if you wish to challenge me, come see what my blade can do. You’re all being lied to by your new administration. You will be used, like I was. However, no matter what you do to me, with your weapons, your lies, and your corruption… no matter what tool you use, my spirit is not lost. I am Commander Riven, Exile of Noxus. Come at me if you dare!” She bellowed these words, which echoed around the silent streets of Noxus. The army looked frightened, but then Cassiopeia shrieked, “KILL HER!” The army charged with a loud cry and Riven dropped into a deep state of concentration. She used all of her anger, all of her hatred at the injustices committed against her and focused on her blade. When she opened her eyes, her rune blade was forged again and she smiled, knowing that when she died here today, she would take many souls with her.

The closest soldier flew at her and she dodged to the side, swinging her full sword through him, slicing him at the waist. Before she could look over another two were at her coming in high. She stabbed one and the other’s blade bounced off her new armor. She quickly stabbed again at the opening created and yet another soldier fell. She moved this way and that, dodging and diving with an elegant beauty. Her movements were fluid and every time she received a hit, her armor kept her from taking the full force of an attack. She slashed, she swung her brilliantly glowing rune sword, and every time she picked a target, it found its mark. The pile of bodies around her began to grow and the soldiers were starting to hesitate to come after her. She kept moving, slowly wearing down inside from the enormous amount of concentration keeping her sword took. Combined with the lack of blood, and sheer exhaustion from the weeks she had spent in motion she knew she did not have much time left. None of the Noxians saw this, all they could see was a goddess moving around the battlefield, slaying all who came before her.

Eventually, a shriek came out, “Enough! Move aside, all of you.” Cassiopeia came slithering through the ranks and faced Riven. “If these cretins cannot properly deal with you, I will.” Riven, weary to the bone, knew she did not have enough energy left for a full fight. She dropped to one knee, balancing herself on her sword and looked down. As she sat there, her only thought was, ‘This is it. I’m going to die.’ Just saying it to herself in her head steeled her, got her ready for it. She decided upon one last triumphant act before she bowed out. She staggered to her feet, taking off her black armor. Thought it had served her well during this last stand, she didn’t want to die in the symbol of the Crimson Elite. Still holding tightly onto her rune blade, she stood up, using the blade for balance. It was taking all of her effort just to keep it together for the next ten seconds, but she would not fail. The medusa hissed, “Come Riven. You are done. I will take you into captivity and you will have a fair trial.” Cassiopeia’s smile was frightening and Riven knew what the outcome would be. “It is not me who should be tried, but you and your band of wicked warriors. Cassiopeia, you,” she emphasized her next words carefully, “you are beyond redemption.”

With that, the exile jumped forward and swung her blade through the torso of the serpentine woman, watching her body slump down to the side. Completely spent, Riven dropped to her knees and fell further, onto her back. Staring up into the sky, as her vision faded at the edges, she saw the stars and couldn’t help but think ‘If this is dying, it’s really not so bad.’ With that, the Exile’s eyes closed and the world around her went black.

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7 Responses to “Riven: Crimson Elite – 14”

  1. Abby July 3, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    10/10 would read 100 times again.

    • League Tales July 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      🙂 Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • League Tales July 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Oh, and that gunner doesn’t happen to mean you’re an Arsenal fan too, does it?

  2. John Smith July 3, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Why does everyone make Talon out to be evil? I mean I know he’s an assassin, but that’s a job just like a soldier. But now you’re pairing her with Vlad?!?! He drinks other people’s blood. He is more evil than most of Noxus combined. I guess I’m biased as Talon is my favorite, but it’s hard to find anyone else who supports him.

    But great story and writing other than that 😀

    • League Tales July 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      For me, Talon isn’t evil, he’s brilliant. He’s uniting all of Noxus under one banner and he’s using as few deaths to do it as he can. He’s not really being evil, just pragmatic. 😀

      • John Smith July 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

        I guess our views of evil differ then lol.

        But again, good story.

      • League Tales July 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

        Haha, agree to disagree? 🙂 But thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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