Chapter Three

"Transform like Optimus Prime,
Evolve into the top of the line,
I'm jumping lanes only stopping to dine,
I'm plotting a crime it's murder in the first of degrees."
- Badministrator

Elizabeth was crying. Crying was something usually, in her opinion, reserved for babies or the elderly. Nevertheless, here she was, crying her eyes out, fat tears rolling down her cheeks. After asking a passing summoner to show her the way back to her room, she returned to find a stack of freshly pressed clothes waiting for her. She changed out of her still bloodstained pyjamas into a clean, white shirt and trousers. They smelled sterile and clinical, nothing like the vanilla scented clothes back home, and she suddenly felt very far away from anything she knew. Even when she looked outside the window, there was nothing familiar. The League's beautiful gardens were filled with flowers she couldn't even name, foreign to her eyes. Instead of daisies and tulips, there were strange red grasses and tiny white flowers growing on the sides of vast, ancient trees. Hence, the crying.

Homesick wasn't exactly the way to describe it. She had technically only been here for two days, maximum. However, being pulled out of your own home into a world you thought of as fiction is something that generally shakes a person up. When you add the fact that you cannot return home for another ten years, one would hope that a few tears are excused.

She lay on the bed, staring out the window. The sun was just beginning to set over the horizon, twilight settling over the landscape. She sniffled and wiped her eyes, rubbing her forehead to soothe the post-crying headache. How did things end up like this? She thought miserably. I had things I wanted to do, get my degree, get a job, get married... And now I'm stuck in this stupid place. She used to think it would be something wonderful to go to another world, be someone special. Yet here she was, it definitely wasn't wonderful and she was the same old boring person she had always been. A fresh round of tears pricked her eyes.

Something stirred outside the window. Too tired to sit up properly, she lazily tracked the source of movement. A small table was set up under a tree, something she had failed to notice through her tears, a polka dot teapot steamed in the presumably cool air. Elizabeth groaned in despair. "Can anything normal even happen here. For just, like, a second." Several chairs were set out around the table, like a child preparing for a tea party.

The source of the movement turned out to be a tiny person. Not just short, but this person had to be about three-feet tall, skin tinged an odd sort of purple colour. What only had to be Lulu was busying herself with hanging up streamers and cutting the cake on the table, her Fae companion fluttering elatedly behind her.

A Yordle tea party. Of course. She pulled herself up from the bed and yanked the curtains shut, blocking the strangeness of it all from her sight. It'll all be better in the morning... She thought, not bothering to count all the times she had said that during her stay here. Despite the fact that it was still light outside, she stripped off her clothes, and got under the covers, drawing them up to her chin. She closed her eyes. Sleep took her quickly.

The morning dawned bright and rosy and Elizabeth woke to a knock at the door. "Mmpf." She said, rubbing sleep from her eyes. She trudged out of bed, shivering at the cold air and bent to pick up the scrap of paper that had been pushed under the door. There was another knock.

"One minute!" She called, unfolding the paper.

Hi Elizabeth! If it's okay to call you that? We usually have to call Champions by their titles, but since you don't have one, it's okay to call you by your name, right?

Anyway, I knocked about 7ish but you must have been asleep. Do all people in your world sleep so late? You have to start with your training today, just the basics, of course. We can even do the fun stuff like picking out your armour! When you're awake, come and find me at the training grounds, I'm sending someone to knock on your door at lunchtime, just to check you're awake! I ran into Ahri last night and she offered to help with your training, isn't that nice! Have a good day!

Summoner Lee

The knocking became very insistent and she was almost afraid that the door would be broken down if she left it any longer. "I'm coming!" She put on the clothes given to her yesterday and opened it. It wasn't Summoner Lee or anyone else she recognised. It was another summoner, judging by the robes she wore.

"Hi!" The summoner said, grinning widely. "It's so good to see you're up, Lee has told me so much about you!"

Elizabeth stared blankly at her brightly smiling face. "Are all summoners so... perky? And awake?"

"We get to work with our heroes! Why wouldn't we be excited? Anyway, I am Summoner Smith, and we're starting a little late, Lee just sent me to make sure you were up. Would you like me to show you to your training?"

"Uh, sure." Elizabeth said, trying to get a peek at the file Smith held in her hand. "Is that my file or something? Can I see?"

The file snapped closed. "Maybe another time. Gather your things and we'll get going!"

Elizabeth looked back at the virtually empty room. Then back at the Summoner Smith. "I have no things." She said, unsmiling, finding the puppy-like demeanour on both her and Summoner Lee more than a little irritating.

There was a pause. "You're not going to bring your weapons?"

"I don't know where the one I had on the rift is."

"Well, I'm sure we can sort something out. Follow me."

They set off down the halls and Summoner Smith chattered all the while, her blue eyes alight with curiosity about Elizabeth's world. Already in a bad mood, Elizabeth answered her questions as briefly as she could, preoccupied with the thoughts of her 'training'. Eventually, they reached the same courtyard where she had spotted the Gem Knight the previous day. Taric was no where to be seen today, but in his place was Ahri, as well as someone she couldn't quite place. Elizabeth was pleased with this, not sure how much she'd have to talk about with the Gentleman of Gems.

The two were locked in battle, the training grounds flashed with bright lights, and by the looks of things, Ahri's opponent was taking a beating. Her blue orb lashed out, going straight through the petite blonde girl opposite her, and then conjuring azure flame-like wisps that followed. Ahri giggled. The blonde girl scowled in response.

"It's such a treat to see a match between two of the strongest mages." Smith said, dreamily. "Luxanna almost never loses 1v1s."

"That's Lux?" Elizabeth was incredulous. She was so much more... intimidating. A severe expression on her face, her luminescent wand summoning colourful blazes of light. She was wearing something similar to her Spellthief skin. The clothing was ripped in several places and her flaxen hair was coated with sweat. Ahri danced around her, kindling fox-fires to throw at the light mage.

"Well, that's Miss. Crownguard to you." Smith said tightly.

"Um, okay. Sorry. You two going out or something?" Elizabeth joked, chuckling.

"Yes."

"Oh." She stopped laughing abruptly. "Well, that's nice. I didn't think Champions were allowed to date summoners."

Smith looked happily at Lux. "They made an exception."

Ahri was stopped in her tracks when Lux threw a snare from her wand, rooting the Fox in place. Her ears pressed back against her head as Lux cried "Demacia!" and the arena was filled with a blinding light. When the air cleared, Ahri looked a little worse for wear, her white tails smudged with something that looked like soot, and her clothes seemed somewhat singed.

She smiled sweetly at Lux, "Playtime's over." With moves so fast for Elizabeth's eyes to follow, Ahri zipped across to where Lux was standing and blew her a kiss. Just as Elizabeth had done the previous day, Lux walked powerlessly towards her. The orb went straight through her body and the light mage gasped with pain. Another few foxfires and Lux was on the ground, glaring up at Ahri.

"You'll beat me one day, Lady of Luminosity." Said Ahri, offering her a hand.

"Maybe on the day I actually start trying." Lux winked and took the hand, pulling herself to her feet. They both laughed.

"You fought very bravely, Luxanna!" Summoner Smith called.

The Demacian mage turned towards them, wiping the sweat from her brow. Elizabeth felt naked under her gaze, Lux's icy blue eyes looking her over. "Is this the new champion?" She said, asking Summoner Smith rather than Elizabeth.

"She is."

Elizabeth wasn't sure what to make of Lux. What she'd seen of her in game back at home was a bubbly, optimistic blonde but now it was a different story. While she could see Lux was friendly, there was a certain cool, levelheadedness about her, like every thought was calculated. "We'd love to see you fight for Demacia, Champion."

"Maybe, yeah." Elizabeth said, uncertainly.

"It's something of an honour to be asked to represent Demacia." Lux continued, a little smugly. "Only the best get chosen to fight on the Fields of Justice for Demacia. We'll be keeping an eye on you." She flashed a smile, white teeth gleaming.

"Uh, good." Elizabeth was a little lost for words, knowing there was no way she would ever be good enough to fight for either Demacia or Noxus.

"It's early to be deciding her alliance, isn't it?" Ahri said.

Lux held her hands up in protest, smiling. "I'm not deciding anything for her." She stared at Elizabeth. "She can make her own decisions, I'm sure. I'll let you get on with your training, Champion." She left the arena, Summoner Smith following closely behind.

"Excellent idea." Ahri said, taking Elizabeth by the hand, leading her over into the courtyard, Elizabeth looking back at Lux's retreating form. The courtyard itself was a small expanse of sand, scuffled by the footsteps of the fighting mages, a few training dummies hung limply in a corner, clearly have gone unused for a long time. She turned to face her companion.

"Why was she so eager about Demacia?" She asked.

"Her homeland is her life. As it is to her brother." Ahri answered simply. She smiled coyly. "Enough distractions."

She dragged one of the decrepit dummies out from its resting place. "The key to magic is in the mind." She explained. "The reason I can control my orb is because I think I can. In some cases, magic is part of who a person is. Other times, you have to work for it." Elizabeth nodded, not sure she quite understood. "Let's give it a go. Shall we?"

The training session was a semi-success. For the most part, Elizabeth could not conjure balls of fire like Brand or create tempests like Janna, and she couldn't manipulate ice like the Frost Archer. However, she did manage to push the dummy backwards. It was only tiny to begin with and she was unsure whether it was her who actually moved it. With words of encouragement of Ahri, she eventually managed to move the training dummy a good few metres. Elizabeth felt giddy with excitement, astounded that she had been able to achieve this. Whatever 'this' was. Ahri called it telekinesis, but that word didn't feel right. That word implied a feeling of effortlessness that didn't happen with Elizabeth, she practically passed out with the stress of trying to move it again. The strain it put on her mind felt crushing, suffocating. Nevertheless, the electrifying sense of power it gave her was incredible.

Elizabeth grinned all the way back to her room. It might not be a feat of fabulous elemental power but it was hers.