Chapter Three: The Reflection
I come to my senses on a Demacian hillside, overlooking the mountains. Below me, theres roof. I squint to better see whatever the field holds. Near the edge of the battlefield, the very one that used to be my parents' birthplace, I think I see my father, with his ruffled chestnut brown hair waving slightly in the breeze.
"Papa!" I call out to him. He doesn't look up; his body is ragdolled with the others tossed to the side after the dogs were done playing.
Before Erick can grab me, I dart down the grassy hillside and stumble. The world spins over and under me as I roll, completely unable to bring my tumbling body to a halt. Slowly, the momentum dies and I am left stunned and dizzy at the foot of the hill; I can hear Erick calling for me, but it sounds like I'm underwater with all the ringing in my ears.
My eyes trail to Erick. He looks worried. And quickly, with the rough touch on my shoulders, I see why. I look up, and begin to scream, terror filling me as my eyes meet with a Noxian soldier's, a smug grin falling on his features. He says something, but I can't hear him. I'm struggling, crying, begging. His hands, those sick hands, claw and tear at my dress.
Someone calls, and he looks up. He throws my already-battered body to the ground, then glares at me.
"Why do you want to join the League, Sadia?"
Wait. That's not what's supposed to happen! He. I loved them too much for them to die. I could still save one of them. The otherst the best or the strongest. They were the most horrible beasts that ever walked the earth.
He repeats the question. My gut twists into a sickly knot.
"I don't know."
He repeats again.
My eyes fall on my father, blood matting the edge of his hair and splattered across his breastplate, motionless, his fingers curled with rigor mortis and mouth opened from his dying breath. My memory fades to seeing Erick, years after this event with my father, strung up, dangling limply from the rope holding him to a gnarled tree branch, his executioners chuckling like madmen to themselves, those Noxian pigs.
"So no one else has to die."
My voice is somber and quiet, but the response is true. Erick, Father, and now Mother…. I loved them too much for them to die. I could still save one of them. The others… I could get vengeance in the League. Too many Noxians got away with their war crimes. They needed to know that they weren't the best or the strongest. They were the most horrible beasts that ever walked the earth.
The vision fades, and I'm back in the stagnant hall of the Institute. No fresh breeze toys with my hair, and no sounds meet my ears but my breathing. A new summoner, blonde and about my age with her robes tied with a strand of rope around her middle, smiles at me as I sit in tears, struggling to collect myself.
"I think you're the strongest champion yet. Congratulations, Sadia Bladon, Gentle Strongarm of Demacia, and welcome to the League of Legends."
She comes up to me, and wraps her arms about me in a hug. "I see it all, you know. What happens in your reflection is public to all the Summoners, but the Champions don't have to know. Come with me, I'll show you to the commons."
I feel only slightly reassured by her kind words, but follow her nonetheless.
A long hall separates the reflection chamber from the commons door, which, compared to the other doors I've been through, seems small and far too simple. The young Summoner steps up to the door, and it opens of its own accord. "Have fun. The inhibitors should keep you safe in the commons, but that's not saying that you won't run into a scrap or two. Your first match, which will decide if we keep you or not, will be tomorrow. You should get acquainted with the other Demacians, as they will be your team, so you feel more comfortable."
The commons is simple and cozy. There's a fireplace, a bar, a multitude of tables, and a series of hallways branching off of it, each labeled with a rune representing each country. I recognized Demacia and Noxus, but I could only assume that the others were the same idea. Around the room, Champions mingle, drink, fondle their weapons, gamble and gossip. What made the room louder was the pair of champions bellowing their lungs out at each other and the senseless babble throughout the commons.
At a table to my left sat a young man, probably in his mid-twenties, with spiked brown hair and a vainglorious grin lit across his features. The man sitting beside him glanced up from sharpening and cleaning his axe... He's Darius, the Hand of Noxus… the very executioner that oversaw my brother's execution. He has to be, with an axe that big. They looked similar enough to be brothers, but Darius was quiet.
In a tone steeped with pompousness, the first drawled, "Well, well, well. If it isn't another little lassie for the League, eh?"
The Noxian crest is on the headband holding his hair from his eyes.