Image Credit: Robert Schilling
Noxus, Ivory Ward Marketplace
By Victor Flores
She had always loved this marketplace.
There was a regal character to it, before, that only came with countless years of wear and tear.
That had been lost when Jericho Swain rose to Grand General and the ensuing civil wars which left nothing but rubble in their wake. Despite the new construction projects and their aesthetically pleasing design, the marketplace would never reach their former glory… at least not to her.
The hot sun had warmed the stones to a pleasing temperature that felt amazing against her scaled belly. She coiled the full length of her body into a relatively small ball around the overly polished marble table at which she waited for her sister.
With a loud whooshing sound, Katarina appeared from nowhere atop the large table.
“Well met, Katarina,” hissed Cassiopeia.
Katarina leaned forward and hugged her sister closely, and as she sat back with her legs folded said, “and to you as well, little Cassie!”
Cassiopeia admired her lithe, deadly, and beautiful sister. A skin-tight outfit that gave the impression it was sewn directly onto her body; the only blemish on her being a scar across her left eye, which only added to her fierce appearance.
Katarina had pulled out one of her two throwing blades to sharpen it. Whenever an assassin had spare time, they sharpened their blades. Even out of the Fields of Justice, one must be ever vigilant.
Despite the urgency of their meeting, Cassiopeia was finding it hard to stay attentive.
“Hey! Daydreamer, you there?” snapped Katarina.
“Sorry sis,” Cassiopeia blinked lazily, “it’s the heat. I’m still not used to the whole ‘half-snake’ thing.” She uncoiled herself from the comfort and warmth of the marble table so that she may be fully present for what she was about to discuss. “Something is not right,” she said sibilantly.
Katarina’s face contorted into a look of both rage and compassion. Cassiopeia was having difficulty adjusting to the serpent’s curse, but at the same time, she was family.
“I know weakness is unacceptable and we must pay any cost to spread the Honor of Noxus,” as Cassiopeia looked longingly at her tail, “but recently nothing seems to go as it should on the Fields of Justice.”
Katarina unfolded her legs, stood up and placed her hands on her curvaceous hips. “I’ve felt the same thing,” she said thoughtfully, “the passion of battle is nothing like in the Fields, but that doesn’t excuse some decisions I’ve made out there… repeatedly.”
“It’s shameful, really,” Katarina said, as she removed her hands from her hips and relaxed her stance. “I’ve literally jumped into the Baron’s den, alone, against an entire team, at the least opportune times!”
“At the moment before I jump it feels right, but as soon as I’m being reconstructed on the base plate I feel profoundly foolish and unskilled.”
Cassiopeia lifted her thin, scaled hands excitedly, “Really? So you’re saying that it’s not just me?” She lowered her voice to a gentle hiss and leaned in conspiratorially, “Could it be… you know… the S-word?”
Katarina’s face split into a sly smile, comforting her sister, “I don’t know about all that sis, but I’ve seen many things lately I cannot explain.”
“We should take our concerns to the Grand General. He owes our family quite a few favors, especially after today.” She leaned back a bit clapped once, “Dirty, dishonorable Demacian scum; always happy to kill them”
Katarina vanished and reappeared walking away from behind her, towards a food stand. “I’m sure the old tactician can come up with something that will please us both,” she said over her shoulder.
Uncoiling herself completely from the table and looking questionably at the back of her sisters head, Cassiopeia asked, “What are you doing?”
“It’s a three-day journey to Zaun in the Iron Spike Mountains,” Katarina replied. “The Grand General is meeting with Singed, the Mad Scientist, to build a new war golem. We will be able to seek council with him there.”
Cassiopeia smiled at Katarina’s boundless energy and passion for adventure. Her enthusiasm was contagious.
“Yes sis,” exclaimed Cassiopeia, “to Zaun we go!”
This is an original story written by Victor Flores and edited by Vaughn Reynolds. It takes place in the fictional world of Runeterra, which was made popular by the game League of Legends.