The golden essence drifted around him, floating without form, and yet so full of life, meaning, knowledge, and power. Ezreal could feel the wound around his thigh begin to lighten, skin and muscle awakening back to life. _The ‘Ora’_, he recalled, from the passionate hours spent studying the wonders of other realms. Turning back, Ezreal could see the wall separating him and danger, on the verge of being torn down, dust being kicked up around the edges.
He nodded a grateful smile at the group gathered behind him, the girl dressed in turquoise and gold, who healed him with this mysterious power source. They continued to stare blankly at him, clueless. He didn’t know what would happen if he got captured by the Rememberances again. Chrono-enforcers, or agents, were recognised for the swift, brutal and efficient methods they utilise to conclude a case. Ezreal mouthed a silent “thanks” as he begins warping through time and space.
“Next time, k-” shouted an enthusiastic female voice, but was cut off as he jumped through history.
The experience gets him every time. Ezreal felt as if his body was split into each individual cell and sucked back together after what felt like hours of countless spins but was rather a span of a few milli-seconds.
Keeping a total number and shrinking the last of the Hextech-Core Batteries into a more storage-able size, Shen swiftly manoeuvred his way through the occupied Piltovian streets, his plain, woollen cloak ruffling amongst the diverse population, brought together by trade and innovation.
A few seconds was all it took for Shen to completely scan his surroundings for threats, his technology working in tandem with centuries of experience. Shen slipped into an alley, alert and sharp. He ensures that the shrunken batteries were well stored inside the complex but organised compartments of his armour, hidden from sight of the naked eye. Shen begins channelling, preparing to jump into another timeline.
The warp was a familiar routine. To Shen, the transition between two timelines centuries apart was comparable to drawing his blade. Everything happened quickly and as expected, no surprises. Counting down every millisecond, he neared the landing, expecting to get flashes, vision or warnings of the upcoming future.
Instead, he was surprised by the continuation of his countdown.
Then it hit him.
His urgency to get away from the Rememberances jolted him back into the world, awakened. Ezreal sat upright and turned his sore back, taking in and adjusting into his new environment. His bed was positioned in the corner of the bare room, floor laid with dust and walls decorated with cobwebs and cracks, where hot sunlight peeked through. A small, dusty table was located on the opposite corner, a man resting atop it. Ezreal assumed that the male had kept him safe.
“Thanks,” he tried to say but his cracking dry throat not allowing it.
The man remained seated in the shadows, his deep, collected breaths echoing throughout the room. Ezreal could see the outline of the man’s broad frame, seemingly immoveable by a force other than the man’s own.
“Don’t drink water. You’re thirsty, but the water will kill you,” the man advised, “Your body won’t have the energy to process the water and temperature changes.”
“Eh-, oh,” couldn’t and didn’t know how to reply, Ezreal felt a strong certainty in the male’s voice, irresistible.
Ezreal was out again, his body collapsing into itself. He realised he was too exhausted and would have to rely on the man’s care for now, grateful.
He didn’t know the reason he didn’t land in the right time when he warped. Shen had rarely come across uncertainty in his life. However, centuries of training and experience allowed him to remain patient and steady, problems were solved through logic, not emotion.
The boy’s suit was unlike anything Shen had ever encountered. It evolved and flowed like liquid, taking forms of weapons and armour or utility. The suit still shared similar features with his, likely a future version of his. He quickly examined the suit and found the lifeline system on the right arm wrist-plate, just like his. He dragged his finger across the bar and tapped the edge twice, activating it. A hiss of air and whirring metal flowing told Shen that the boy’s broken body would be monitored and restored by the suit that now fully enclosed him.
It was as though he hadn’t just fought and escaped the Chrono-enforcers and warped through centuries of time. Ezreal was in awe of what his suit could achieve, it had not only healed all wounds, but has also replenished him in terms of energy levels.
“How did you get here?” the man asked.
“I never intended to land here, I just warped,” Ezreal felt like the man could be trusted, but decided to not tell him about the Rememberances for now.
“Running from the Rememberance?” the man guessed.
Ezreal smiled in answer, somehow not surprised by the man’s guess.
The man nodded, sighing: “They target the ones that threaten the time, changing history and destroying futures, while they do the same themselves. You stole the suit?”
“How do you know so much?”
The man smiled at that, stepping out of the shadows, revealing himself. He had a warrior-like build, his body a sign of power and strength. “Heard of the Project Corporation? I was trying to get to them, settle some issues. You somehow cancelled my warp and got me here.”
“Sorry, I didn’t know how it happened,” Ezreal apologised.
“Time is a fragile enigma,” the male quoted.
“I’m gathering a group of people, talented people,” he added, “we try to achieve a better future, consider joining, Ezreal.”
Ezreal was shocked, the man knew his name, which he had been cautious to conceal, but more so at the man’s identity. He had guessed, not believing at first, but the man’s words had confirmed it.
“Shen, the Conqueror, the Trespasser, Warlord. That’s you, isn’t it?” Ezreal asked, already knowing the answer.
“Consider it, kid. You’re not in risk anymore, I can leave now,” Shen began to warp, running system checks on his suit, “See you again.”
The red light on both their forearm plates began to flash.
“So it’s true,” Shen said, “they have developed technology to track people through warp.”
Looking outside the window, Shen estimated at least fifty men, uniformed and armed as Chrono-Agents and positioned to prevent any chance of escape. His heat sensor and radar confirming his estimate, 60 Chrono-Agents. In all of Shen’s encounters with the Rememberances, they never worked in such large groups outside of their dimension. They must have known he was here.
At this point, they weren’t given a chance to surrender. Fire began immediately, a constant barrage of blasters coming from all direction.
Shen lifted his hands, projecting a shield that blocked and absorbed the continuous fire. Shen could feel the force of the projectiles against the shield on his palm, like raindrops on an umbrella.
The building was torn apart nothing left but woods scraps. The fire ceased. The dust lifted and cleared, giving Shen a chance to assess the situation. He dropped the shield and disappeared.
Ezreal was stunned by Shen’s abilities in combat. Staying so calm. His shield had also completely blocked the lethal projectiles that tore the building down in a matter of seconds. He turned from the fire and dust to look at Shen, but only saw a blink of blue that had vanished before he realised that the Warlord had left. _Where did he go?_
The men had advanced a few ten metres during the fire. Shen dashed toward the closest few, striking them with his blade that hadn’t been unsheathed until a few milliseconds earlier.
The stronger ones could barely withstand to blows from Shen.
He shredded through the men, who dropped as soon as they came within blade’s reach. Shen wanted to end it quickly, before they had a chance to reorganise themselves.
Ezreal could see that Shen was struggling, there were just too many men and now they had regrouped, now fighting as one. It had left him speechless, Shen was an overwhelming force, cutting through lines of armed men. The battle had intensified beyond Ezreal’s abilities to be able to help. He felt useless and pathetic, worried.
He was truly scared when the dust started to kick up again, no, rise up. _The Rememberances’ reinforcements?_
Then there was wind.
Another man had joined the fight, his blade, possessing the wind itself, swept through rows of men, throwing them aside. He was fast, deadly, enemies that found themselves within 10 metres of him wouldn’t didn’t have an opportunity to answer his sword. The remaining Chrono-agents, already exhausted, were forced to retreat.
Shen and the man made eye-contact, acknowledgement between two warriors, legends.
“It’s high noon,” the man concluded.