“Where is the scepter? I won’t ask a second time.”
His captor had some kind of juice covering his teeth. A berry of some kind? Maybe leftovers from a rejuvenation biscuit? It made it hard to concentrate on his threats.
“Sorry, could you say that one more time? I don’t think I heard you; did you ask where the septum is? Because that’s on your fac—” the butt of the lance made contact with his stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Yon wheezed, trying to catch his breath. Was that blood on the ground? Of course it was; it was his. From his face. From earlier. Wow it must have been a while, because he couldn’t remember when he got hit in the face. Okay, switch gears.
“Listen punk,” Yon said, looking up at his torturer through his disheveled hair, “you can keep asking me where the scepter is, but I’m never going to tell you. You can’t break me. Asshole.”
The Noxian beater snarled and flipped his lance. The blade was now at Yon’s throat. A little more pressure and he’d find himself looking at a lot more blood on the ground. It would still be his, which really put a damper on things. Not good.
“Last chance, maggot.”
Okay, switch gears again. “Okay, okay, you got me.” Yon tried to lift his hands in defeat, but the rope and pole that he was tied to made it difficult. His hands ended up flailing pathetically. “Just untie me, and I’ll lead you to it.” The Noxian just looked at him. I guess Noxians weren’t all brawn and no brain like the rumors said. They should have name tags. “Alright, it’s in Naljaäg.”
“That’s a made-up word.”
“All words are made up.”
The soldier raised an eyebrow. He must’ve been thinking about how it was true—all words were made up. He lowered his lance and left the tent, presumably to find his superior. Or maybe to contemplate the origin of words. Finally, alone time.
Yon took a deep breath and held it. The runes along his shoulders and back began to glow a pale blue as he concentrated. When he exhaled, his breath was frost. He blew at the ground, carefully, containing the ice to the interior of the tent. His hands gripped the pole they were tied to, and ice flowed out of them. Before long, the entire tent was frozen. He could hear a commotion outside. Man, Noxians took a long time to notice unnaturally cold temperatures from a very specific section of their camp. He took another deep breath. Who was going to be the first poor sap to die? He could hear orders being shouted from every direction. Aww, they cared enough about him to send multiple people? Respect. Footsteps approached from all sides, but still no one had passed the entrance. At least their military brains were turned on. It didn’t matter, though.
Yon exhaled and released all of his breath at once. A ring of frost exploded outwards from the tent, and a unified shout of confusion came from the Noxian soldiers. Yon broke free from his restraints and leaped into the air, crashing through the top of the tent. After breaking through, he took survey of the situation. Earlier, he’d been blindfolded; now, he could see the much-larger-than-expected camp and the more-numerous-than-expected soldiers staring at him. This was going to be a much more difficult jailbreak than he realized. Either way, now that he’d grabbed the attention of the camp, he could move on to the next part of his plan.
Which was…what, again?
He landed and broke into a sprint, past the frozen soldiers. Each time his feet hit the ground, a wall of ice sprouted up from the ground, protecting his sides. He could hear the Noxian arrows poke at them, not even making a crack. They kept firing, too—can’t they tell they aren’t doing anything? Clearly a little dense. As he passed each tent, he extended his arm and fired a stream of frost. Nothing major, but it ought to keep its inhabitants occupied for a while before they joined this extravagant chase. He took a quick opportunity to glance behind him. He was shocked to see an extreme lack of footsoldiers at his tail. Even the arrows were no longer clanging in rough unison against his ice.
Yon slowed to a stop and was suddenly keenly aware of the birds perched all around him. Everywhere, crows cawed at him. Well, that’s rude. He flicked a chunk of ice at one of them, and it landed square in its face, eliciting a feeble squawk. Stupid bird making stupid noises. He quickly realized, however, he may have acted too quickly. The crows took off and began to fly in a circle above him. Marking him? He readied, and an icy blue surrounded his hands, the Freljordian runic energy at his beck and call.
“So, Rylai’s legendary crystal scepter is in Naljaäg?”
The voice boomed out across the valley, seemingly from all directions. It commanded attention. Yon felt uneasy—not a common feeling for him. He looked up. Nope, wasn’t the birds; they were still squawking. Didn’t hurt to check.
“Uhh, yeah Naljaäg, Freljord. Makes sense, doesn’t it?” he replied. Keep it light; keep it chill. Ha, fantastic pun, Yon.
He saw movement out of the corner of his eye and squared up. He maintained his stance, however. Low to the ground, runes primed. His fingers tingled, itching for release.
“Hmm, how tedious.” A man stepped out from behind a larger tent. He walked with purpose, and his back was straight. A large cape surrounded him, and an eerie red glow pulsated beneath it. Only on his left side, however…strange. “Fortunately,” he continued, “Naljaäg isn’t terribly far. The Delverhold will prove to be an efficient pass through the Ironspikes. A few days’ travel, at most. You gave that information quite freely, Freljordian, how can I trust it?”
“Well I generally don’t do well under pressure. Especially pressure from steel at my neck.”
The man chuckled. Suddenly, he whipped his cloak to the side and revealed his left hand. Or at least, it was in the shape of one. The demonic hand reached out towards him, and crackling lightning shot forth. Yon conjured an ice wall between them, but it shattered as the energy collided with it. At the same time, darkness enveloped the camp, and an eye appeared directly above him. Panicking, he crafted a crystal dome, hoping to guard himself from whatever that eye was there for. A few seconds later, the the ground around him cracked into pieces. The uneven earth caused Yon’s knees to buckle, and he fell to the ground, his protective dome now broken. He came to the realization that this was no mere man; this was the Noxian general himself. Clearly his one-armed-ness had been remedied. That would’ve been nice to know.
Swain approached, his left hand still energized. “I tire of this. It would do you well to speak truthfully. Do not try my patience.”
Which gear to use? Almighty Lord General? No, sounds patronizing. Murderous, bird-loving demon pawn? Probably not.
“Swain, sir, I assure you I’ve not spoken in haste. Lying is against my moral code, it just isn’t in my blood. The scepter is in Naljaäg.” That sounded pretty good. It was pretty good. Wasn’t it?
Swain, still looking down at him, turned his head slightly, as if to contemplate whether it was the truth. Apparently deciding to believe him, he walked past with a flourish of his cloak. Wow, he really liked his cloak. After Swain passed, a platoon of Noxians surrounded Yon, their lances gleaming brightly in the noonday sun.
“You’ll stay with us until we reach Naljaäg. The sooner I acquire the scepter, the sooner I can leave those forsaken wastes. I advise you to comply.” Two of the soldiers bent and lifted him to his feet, tying his hands again and shackling his feet. Ah, so they learn too. They pushed him forwards, and he faceplanted into the dirt, only to be dragged to his new quarters. What was the point of standing him up if they were just going to push him down again? Assholes. The new tent was larger—that’s nice of them—but not without purpose. This one had metal beams for support, and the central pole was made of iron. Four men raised him, while two others tied him, yet again, to the iron rafter. Two additional ropes secured him to the ceiling, leaving him five feet above the ground and sufficiently bound. A few nods of satisfaction went around the room before the soldiers exited the tent, leaving one inside on watch. Yon sighed dramatically.
His next breakout would need an actual plan.