Grey and Ezreal just entered the garden when the Explorer spoke "so why did you want to see the garden?" he asked since the Abyss Watcher wanted to see the garden before they left.
"I need to speak to Zyra" Grey replied and looked at the garden "Zyra! Are you here?" he yelled which made Ezreal jump slightly from the fact that he just yelled like that.
A few seconds later and the Rise of Thorns appeared "hello Grey" she then noticed who was with him "you brought the Explorer this time" she said remembering that last time he was with Annie.
"yes, sorry if we're disturbing you" the Abyss Watcher apologized.
The red haired carnivore waved it off "it's fine, but is there something you need?".
Grey nodded "yes, remember those flowers I gave you?" he asked and Zyra smiled pointing somewhere.
The Abyss Watcher saw that Zyra did not only take care of the flowers, but also managed to grow more.
He originally gave her enough to fill the palm of his hand and now there's enough to fill a small table.
"I see you managed to grow more" Grey said and Zyra nodded "now, i was wondering if you could let me take a few?".
Zyra raised an eyebrow "you want to take them?" she said starting to doubt if Grey was different from other people.
The Abyss Watcher shook his head "no, all I need is their petals, I won't actually harm them".
Zyra thought about it, as long as Grey only takes the petals, the flowers will not be harmed, she then nodded "alright, but be careful".
Grey nodded "thank you" he then walked to the flowers and knelt down picking the petals.
Zyra and Ezreal walked up besides the Abyss Watcher "so why do you want these?" the Explorer asked.
"they have an ability to cure poison" Grey replied "I want to have them just in case".
"how do they work?" Ezreal asked looking at the purple flowers.
Grey shrugged "I never figured it out, Zyra is the expert here".
"I honestly don't know" Zyra said "they somehow naturally generate magical energy that cures poison".
"seriously!?" Ezreal said excited about the fact of never hearing of such a plant. He looked at Grey "you got to let me study them".
"you'll have to ask Zyra. Their hers now, not mine" the Abyss Watcher replied.
Ezreal looked at the Carnivore woman "can I?".
"did I ever let you study any of my children?" she asked reminding him of the many times he tried to do that.
The Explorer sighed in disappointment "no".
"then you already know my answer" Zyra said.
Grey stood up after collecting the petals "alright, this should be enough, thank you Zyra" he said and Zyra nodded in response. The Abyss Watcher turned to Ezreal "so shall we leave?".
The Explorer nodded and they both left the garden walking through the hallways.
Grey had a question bothering him so he voiced his thoughts "so how are we getting to Shurima?" he asked thinking it might take days to travel there.
"the summoners have something called a transport station" Ezreal replied "it's to help the champions go back and forth between their home and here".
"makes sense" Grey thought on how useful the transport station would have been when he and Ahri were coming to the Institute of War.
They reached a door near the exit of the Institute, once they're inside, they see a summoner sitting in a table with a map of Runeterra behind him and a circle made of runes besides them.
The summoner saw them "ah, hello champions" he said "are you leaving the Institute?".
Ezreal nodded "yes, we'd like to go to this place in Shurima" he said pointing at a place on the map.
"alright" the summoner nodded and motioned to the rune circle "just stand in the circle".
Grey and Ezreal nodded and stood in the middle of the circle. The summoner waved his hands casting a spell. The runes glowed and then the two champions vanished.
They found themselves in the middle of a desert. Grey saw a big Boulder near them and he can see a city with a big golden disc in the distance.
The Abyss Watcher turned to the Explorer who was inspecting the Boulder "so what now?".
"according to the map I got from Nasus" Ezreal said pulling out a scroll and opening it "the entrance should be... Right here" he then pushed a certain spot on the Boulder.
The Boulder shook and then split in half revealing a stairway leading to the underground.
Grey chuckled "this brings me back, we had something similar to this in Farron keep".
"well, what are we waiting for" Ezreal said pulling a torch and igniting it "let's go".
Grey nodded and they started going down the stairs, the Abyss Watcher started thinking about his friend 'I wonder how's Ahri doing?'.
With the boys gone, it was just me, Aki, Lux and Katarina "so Ahri, how's life in the Institute?" the red haired woman asked me.
"it's pretty good" I shrugged "nothing bad happened so far, and the room is pretty good".
"speaking of your room, how about we go and see it?" Lux said.
I didn't see anything wrong with that, so I nodded "yeah, why not?".
We got up from the table and walked out of the dining hall towards the rooms, we passed other rooms before stopping at mine and Grey's room.
"wait, you and Grey live together?" Katarina said seeing both our nameplates on the door.
I nodded and opened the door "yeah, it's a little payback" I said before going in and sitting on the couch.
Lux and Aki started looking around the room while Katarina sat with me on the couch "a little plane, don't you think?" she said.
"we just joined a few days ago" I told her "we didn't have time for decorating".
"it looks pretty nice actually" Lux said and then looked at our bedroom "but there's only one bedroom".
"yeah, me and Grey sleep in the same bed" I said which mad them a little taken back.
"isn't that a bad thing since you're not the same gender?" Aki said and then blushed slightly "u-unless you two are together".
Oh I wish it was like that, I just sighed In slight disappointment "no, we're not together, and don't worry, Grey wouldn't do anything like that" I then chuckled remembering how he is when it comes to being around girls "actually, he's the shy type around beautiful women" if anything, Aki should be worried if I'll do anything to him.
"so what are your plans for today?" Lux asked.
I shrugged in response "I don't know, I usually hang out with Grey".
"and what do you do then?" she asked again.
"go somewhere or tease him" I replied, of course, it was mostly teasing.
"hold on Lux" Katarina cut off the blonde while looking at me with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion "Ahri, have you ever... Spent time without Grey".
I thought about the question, other than my little problem with taking life essence, I didn't spend that much time without him.
My tails got closer while I started playing with my fingers "well... The first night in the Institute we didn't stay in the same room".
"I'll take that as a no" Katarina said with a deadpan look.
"wait, you've always been together?" Lux asked.
"it's not like we were born together, he's been around ever since I turned human, or Vastayan" I said in defense.
"so you're just not used to being human without him around" Katarina said, I guess she was right.
"I have an idea of what to do" Aki said and we looked at her, she looked nervous from the attention but still continued "Ahri, you're Ionian, right?" she asked and I nodded "well I know something that a lot of people, specially from Ionia, love" I got really interested "have you ever been to a hot spring?".
Me and Ezreal were walking through an underground tunnel for a few minutes now.
"so what do you hope to find in this place?" I asked wanting to know what we're looking for.
"there's a crown of a noble from the old Shurima in here, I wanted to find it" Ezreal told me.
"seems easy enough" I replied.
Ezreal nodded "yeah, now we just have to-" I cut him off by grabbing his shoulder and pulling him back "ow, what's the big idea?" he asked and I just pointed at where he was going to step a second ago.
Over there was a plate from the ground raised above the rest by a small amount "I saw a trap like that before" I told and then pointed at a hole in the wall "it ended with me being shot by flaming arrows".
"wow, thanks" he said and we walked around it "sorry I wasn't more careful".
"don't worry about it" I waved it off.
We walked to a gateway that revealed a stairway that was pretty long, the sides were embty, just darkness.
At the end of the stairway was another gateway, but it was bigger then the one we were at.
"this feels... Familiar" I said a little uneasy as we started walking down the stairs and I still felt troubled "I have a bad feeling about this".
Ezreal rolled his eyes "please, what could possibly happe-" he was cut off by a loud thud.
We turned around and saw a giant ball of rock had dropped in the beginning of the stairs and started rolling down towards us.
"it's the Catacombs of Carthus all over again. Run!" I said turning around and running down the stairs with Ezreal following me.
"got a plan?" he asked, the stairway is long and the gateway was big enough for the ball to keep following us.
But then I remembered how I dealt with this problem back in my world "yes, we don't have to out run it, we just have to avoid it".
"got it" Ezreal replied, we reached the gate way and immediately jumped to the sides while the ball passed by us. The ball crashed into a wall at the end of the hall and we came out of hiding "phew, that was close" Ezreal then noticed something "hey, look at that".
He was pointing at the right wall and there was a gate "guess that's where we should go" I said as we opened the gate and walked inside. I then stopped feeling a familiar presence 'is that?... No it can't be'.
"are you coming?" Ezreal yelled and I shook my head to clear it before following him.
Surely I'm mistaken... I hope.
How I've never been to a hot spring before is beyond me "this is amazing" I moaned lower my body until the water reached my chin.
"I knew you would like it" Aki said relaxing besides me.
"it's pretty good to relax once in a while" Katarina said sitting across me.
"if I could live here then I would" Lux said taking the same position as me.
"well we can't stay here long, it's bad for your health" Aki told her and the blonde sighed in disappointment.
"hey Aki, I got a question" Katarina said and Aki shyly nodded "well, you look Demacian, but your name is Ionian, what's with that?".
I just realized she was right, Aki is an Ionian name but she looks Demacian like Lux.
Aki looked a little hesitant "it's because my parents" she said and explained further "my father is Demacian but my mother is Ionian, they met during one of the times Ionia and Demacia traded materials, and they fell in love after that".
"that sounds sweet" I said before standing, turning around and grabbing some soap, I sat back down, pulled out one of my tails from the water and started cleaning it. I then looked at the red head of the group "hey Kat, how did you and Garen get together?".
She blushed slightly and looked away "it's... An embarrassing story".
Lux decided to join in "one full of drama, romance, comedy, action and-".
"no, no it isn't" Katarina deadpanned cutting Lux off "you know what? I'll just tell you, it's better than Lux telling you her version" the blonde just glared at her "it was after an official match, Noxus lost to Demacia and I was pretty pissed off. I went to the local bar and took a few drinks, that's when Garen came in, he started talking about how Demacia is better than Noxus so I started bad mouthing Demacia. It ended in a big argument with a lot of drinks" she then blushed a shade that matched her hair "next thing we knew, we woke up next morning in the same bed... Naked".
I almost dropped my soap as Both me and Aki blushed realizing what she meant "oh... Well, that escalated quickly" I said.
"yeah, it was super awkward, the fact we remembered most what happened didn't help" Katarina chuckled "we had two choices. One, kill each other for what we did. Two, talk it over. We took the second one, we spent the whole day talking and found a lot of stuff in common. Two days later we had our first date" she finished with a fond smile and then looked at me while I finished cleaning my fifth tail and started with another one "well, your turn".
I raised an eyebrow "my turn in what?".
"come on, tell us how you met Grey" Katarina explained. Lux and Aki also looked interested.
I guess it wouldn't hurt "well, like I said it happened right after I turned human, or Vastayan is a better term. I was going to figure out what to do next when this big hole in the sky showed up and he fell from it. He didn't know what Ionia or Runeterra were, he then told me about places that apparently I was supposed to know but didn't, we met Shen, Akali and Kennen after that, they're who told us about the Institute of War. We then started traveling to it together. I admit we had our... Issues" I remembered my problem with taking life essence and Grey blaming himself for the Abyss Watchers, but then smiled remembering how we found comfort in each other's arms "but we got through them. after a few days of traveling, we finally made it and you know the rest" I finished.
The others looked satisfied at my answer "well he definitely knows how to get a reputation" Aki said which made us look at her.
"what do you mean?" I asked.
"well, Grey has been a hot topic between the summoners. They've been asking a lot of stuff about him, how did he get here? What's his world like? What's his powers? a-and a few girls who saw his face and talk about how cute he is" she said in a slight blush. I felt my territorial instinct kick in about the last part "but there's been a few rumors that are rather... Concerning" we then looked at her in confusion "it's about Grey being Undead".
"what's wrong with that?" Katarina asked "there's champions like that".
"not exactly" Aki shook her head "you see, those champions are brought back with necromancy magic, if it wears off they'll be dead again, but Grey is... Different, it's like he's forced to stay alive, the summoners feel something is bounding him to the mortal realm, like a... Curse".
"a curse?" Grey is cursed? That's the first I've heard of this.
"I don't know, there have been requests that we take it into studying" Aki told us "but those have been denied, by the Grand Summoner himself".
"wait, why would that old man care?" Katarina said.
Aki shrugged "I wouldn't know, I'm new to the Institute after all, but I did hear rumors that he's been acting weird since Grey and Ahri showed up".
Katarina looked at me "hey Ahri, what do you know about Grey being Undead".
I thought about it and didn't come up with a lot "not much, only that it keeps him from aging and you need to be one to become an Abyss Watcher" wow, if that's all I know then I really need to connect with Grey more, speaking of Grey "hey, do you think their fine? Grey and Ezreal I mean".
"yeah I'm sure they are" Lux said with a nod "Ezreal goes on all kinds of adventures but always comes back, not unharmed but still alive".
"I think it's about time we got out" Aki said standing up and covering herself with a towel. I finished cleaning my last tail and got up doing the same.
"oh let's go to the arcade" Lux suggested as we all got up and left.
Me and Ezreal finally reached the end of the damn hallway, it had a few traps in it, a few dangling axes and shooting arrows.
I pulled out an arrow from my shoulder armor "and Ahri keeps telling me to wear something other than my armor" honestly this armor isn't the most protective but it's still the best in my opinion.
We entered a big throne room that was held by pillars and lit by torches, at the end of the room was throne and on it was the crown.
"well, looks like we found it" I said as me and Ezreal walked across the room and reached the throne.
Ezreal was about to grab it but stopped when we heard a strange noise, we turned around and saw black fog that seems familiar to me in an unsettling way.
The fog then vanished and a someone was in it's place. It was a tall slim man that was wearing a white knight armor. The helmet had a cage visor and you can see glowing blue eyes behind it. It was on all four and in it's right hand was a long sword. The armor and the sword were also giving off frost.
Ezreal activated his gauntlet "uhmm... What is that?".
"an Outrider knight!?" I said recognizing the armor "what's it doing here?".
"you know that thing?" Ezreal asked preparing for a fight while I pulled out my sword and knife.
"yes it's- look out!" I didn't have time to explain as I grabbed Ezreal and jumped away from the knight that jumped and brought it's sword trying to cut us in half.
The sword sliced into the throne, the sword was stuck there and the Outrider knight started trying to pull it out.
Me and Ezreal got up and prepared for battle "alright Grey, you know that thing so how do we fight it?".
I stood up and thought about it, I didn't fight many of these but thankfully I was able to get a few pointers "when fighting an Outrider Knight, agility is the key, I'll fight him in close combat while you back me up from afar".
Ezreal nodded while the Outrider Knight finally pulled out it's sword and turned towards us.
Ezreal jumped back slightly and I engaged the Outrider Knight in battle, it swung it's sword towards me while I rolled under the strike.
It made another swing and like the first I rolled under it. I then anchored my knife in the ground and used it to spin around swinging my sword.
It was a clean hit and the Outrider Knight lost it's balance for a moment. Ezreal then started shooting it with magical arrows while I pulled my knife from the ground and jumped swinging down my sword.
The Outrider Knight then regained it's balance and swung at me, I wasn't fast enough to dodge the strike so it landed a hit on my unprotected right shoulder.
Thankfully, it wasn't enough to cause Frostbite so I jumped back dodging the other swing.
Ezreal then appeared in a flash of light and fired a big magical shot at the Outrider Knight.
The Outrider Rider was about to attack Ezreal, but I jumped in front of my friend and parried the sword with my knife.
The Outrider Knight was left wide open and I skipped in front of it and stabbed it with my sword, I pulled it out and then struck the Outrider Knight with a bigger swing.
The Outrider Knight fell on it's back and tried to move but fell limp, it's body glowed and vanished but it's sword remained here.
I pulled out my Estus Flask and took a drink to heal my wounds, Ezreal relaxed and walked up besides me "so what exactly was that?".
"an Outrider Knight" I answered walking to the sword. I knelt down and picked it up "a creature from my world".
"so what was it doing here?" Ezreal asked standing besides me.
"I don't know" I shook my head standing up "those things don't usually leave their post".
Ezreal sighted "well, it's over now" he then turned to the throne "let's get the- oh come on!" he cut himself off and started complaining.
I looked and saw that the crown was cut in half "that must have happened when it first attacked us" I said remembering that the throne with the crown on it was behind us at the beginning of the fight "sorry Ezreal".
"nah, it's not your fault" he waved it off and walked up to throne before picking up the crown "at least we got it".
I nodded and turned to the entrance "now let's get out of here before anymore traps pop up".
"and... Victory" I yelled as I won against Lux.
"no!" she complained as her screen showed the word 'loser'.
I found a lot of fun being here in the arcade, I'm a natural apparently. I barely lost a few times while Lux barley won at all.
"you're not really good at this are you?" Katarina said standing besides Lux while smirking.
"great job Ahri, you're really good at this" Aki complemented me, she got to play a few times and she wasn't bad at all.
The other blonde groaned "whatever" she then looked at the exit "how about we got some dinner, I'm starving".
We all agreed on that and got out of the arcade, went through the halls of the Institute and entered the Dining hall, We picked up our food and sat down on a table together.
It was pretty late so we just made small talk while eating, when we finished Katarina stood up "well, I got to go. I'm supposed to meet Garen after he finishes his business in Demacia".
"and I'm supposed to make sure he did his business and not ditch them to go with Katarina" Lux said standing up as well while the red head rolled her eyes.
They left and it was just me and Aki now, after a couple of minutes I decided it's time to go to bed "well, I guess this is goodnight".
"yeah, I guess" Aki said as we both got up "hey Ahri, thanks for letting me hang out with you today".
"no problem, we are friends right?" I replied.
She looked a little surprised "we are?" she asked and I nodded "thanks, I'm not really good at making friends, being shy and all that".
"don't worry about it. in fact, if you want to hang out again just find me" I said and she nodded before we went our separate ways.
I went to mine and Grey's room, got in and entered the bedroom before jumping on the bed.
Without Grey around I noticed how big and empty the bed looked. Maybe I can buy a few pillows or stuffed animals.
I put that thought in the back of my head for now before lying down on the bed and closing my eyes.
Grey and Ezreal exited the Tomb a while ago, they traveled slightly towards the big city Grey saw earlier.
They stopped halfway to the city and Ezreal said that it was better to continue in the morning. They made a fire and sat around it.
Ezreal was sitting crossing his legs while Grey had one foot on the ground with the other bent so he can rest his arm on his knee.
They decided to spend a few minutes talking to each other... Well, Grey was talking while Ezreal was laughing.
"you've got to be joking" the Explorer said between laughs.
"I'm serious" Grey told him "he told me people were in danger, when I looked over the cliff, he kicked me in" Ezreal started laughing again "then he started screaming some nonsense about being unbound by worldly wants. Point of the story is never trust a bald man with an accent".
Ezreal continued laughing and after a few minutes, he got his breath back in control and sighed "well, we came all this way for nothing" he pulled out the two halfs of the crown "this thing is now half it's worth" he and the Abyss Watcher chuckled slightly at the pun "sorry if it was a waste of time".
"it's OK" the Abyss Watcher waved it off "I actually had some fun, the deadly traps sort of made it seem like home. And besides, we didn't get the crown, but we did get this" he pulled out the sword that the Outrider Knight left and threw it at Ezreal who caught it "that's an Irithyll long sword, only Outrider Knights has these".
Ezreal inspected the weapon "it's amazing, it's somehow generating some kind of ice magic without any source of power".
"weapons from the Boreal Valley are known to do that" Grey told him "Irithyll is a land blessed by the moon and is covered in it's frost".
"so it's some kind of magical moon weapon" Ezreal summed up. Grey thought about it, Ezreal wasn't right but he wasn't wrong either so he nodded "wow, how would Diana feel when she hears about this".
Ezreal looked at the sword again and then looked at the Abyss Watcher but his eyes widen because Grey... Wasn't there.
In Grey's place, sitting in the same position was a knight in a very old and very burned armor. The helmet had a slit for the eyes and it's back had a crown like shape. The chest area had a few rags connected to it with their tips being on fire.
The knight looked at Ezreal and spoke in a very ancient and threatening voice "Ezreal? Are you alright?" the Explorer blinked and found the Abyss Watcher with the knight gone "you spaced out for a second there" he said in his usual voice.
Ezreal shook his head "yeah, just tired I guess" he then yawned "well, let's go to sleep. The earlier we wake up the earlier we get back to the Institute".
Grey nodded and they both lied down going to sleep, but Ezreal couldn't help but wonder about what he saw.
(A/N: thank you for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, please comment in anyway you like and tell me how you like the story so far).