Garen Crownguard had never questioned the absolute truth that was the Demacian way of life. It wasn't until he clashed blades with Katarina. Tahm Kench: > "You live by a code that'll never let you get what you want. Let me take you to her."-Garen > "Don't starve your heart, child! Let. We know they're shipped together, a lot. In lore and out, but I'm not sure if they ever had an actual relationship. Several new champions have.Garen & Katarina: Secret Love (League of Legends)
The Myths Now, Katarina's lore doesn't mention Garen at all, but the evidence doesn't stop there. As of Garen's visual update, inGaren has a couple of jokes directed toward the crimson-haired Noxian. One of which has him pretend that he's been doing some thousand one-handed stand pushups, mentioning how he 'didn't see her there. The other, more simplistic one has Garen say 'Demacia', albeit not in his usual patriotic tone, more like in a flirty tone. They aren't really rivals, as their roles are different.
However, there is a romantic connection between the two, from times gone by. We are committed to preserving that. Katarina and Garen have or had some sort of romantic relationship. Obviously, Garen still has some sort of feelings towards Katarina Demaciaaa Cloaked by magic rather than by nature, the enemy troops seemed to materialize from the boulders and trees around them, already infiltrating their lines and leaping for throats by the time the unawares Vanguard noticed. A few chaotic seconds passed and two of his men went down before Garen shouted out a defensive formation and the Demacians fell into position.
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In the rush to reform one more fell but the Vanguard were some of the most disciplined of Demacia's forces. Where a lesser group could have easily fallen into panic they rallied; cries of, "Demacia! Garen easily lost himself to battle.
He'd been born to be a soldier, groomed for command since he was young and a Champion-representative of Demacia for the last four years. He was a fighter by nature and he couldn't stop the vicious grin that alighted on his face as his sword, a massive blade half as wide as a kite shield, finally slid through the unprotected side of the faceless Noxian in front of him. Conceit was far from his mind now, in his element, singing steel in his hands and the coppery scent of blood in the air.
He'd never lost, there was no one who could keep up with him, no challenge- The Demacian soldier next to him seemed to explode, a sharp spray of blood rushing from his neck as he collapsed, and Garen scarcely blocked the black steel daggers that were on a collision course for his own neck.
A glimpse of vivid red was all he caught of the owner of the blades as they vanished, then without even disturbing the dust, reappeared aiming a dagger at his unarmored thighs. He swung where he thought the enemy would be, felt the bite of a blade sinking into his flesh in return, but his attacker paused, now a few steps away. He noticed his counter hadn't missed at all; her jacket was torn and a wound on her upper left arm began to bleed onto the cloth.
He'd seen her before, at the Institute. Long red hair, vivid green eyes, and a jagged scar that carved its way over her left eye. What was her name? She flew back in at him blades extended only to connect with his sword and he pushed against her momentum hard, sending her stumbling to the side. His follow through missed, though, and she tucked into roll before popping up at his side in another clash of steel.
It was an easy parry, but Garen felt shaken. Her pursed lips let out an answering whistle and as suddenly as the battle had begun the Noxian force disengaged to slink back into the rocky landscape. Garen took a step toward where the red-headed woman had been standing moments before only to stagger back as a knife sank into the metal where his pauldron met his breastplate. He hadn't noticed that his own private skirmish had drawn him out from the line until his first captain came trotting up behind him.
We need to make it across the border as soon as possible. Send a scout- Corporal Girard- ahead to the main force relaying our movement, not the events of today.
Those wounded need to patch as we go, get the healer to triage. The enemy did not seem to be as trained as our foes earlier today. Well, let's do what we can.
Put them on the cart with the cargo along with anyone too gravely wounded to march. We can't afford to stop now but once we make back into the neutral zone I will call a halt.
A little something so you remember the day you lost. A perfectly timed ambush indeed. Captain Renault, give the orders to move. The sooner we leave this mess behind us, the better. A grim feeling settled in the pit of stomach and a shakiness danced in his legs, something he contributed to his untended wound, as Garen followed behind his troops. As the shuffle of feet and hooves filled the air, he paused, wrenched the knife from his armor, a scowl on his face and an angry flush creeping up his neck.
This was his karmic retribution for his pride, wasn't it? He glared at the offending knife, raised his hand to throw it Pretending it hadn't happened wouldn't improve his attitude and it wouldn't help him see with unbiased eyes in battle next time. His hand dropped into his lap, idly tracing his thumb over the 'S' etched into it's smooth surface. The Sinister Blade, as her League moniker went. One of the Champion-representative for Noxus, he'd seen her before at the Institute of War, and he'd seen her on the magically-controlled Summoner's Rift.
He'd never seen her on the real battlefield. A not entirely unpleasant weakness coursed through his knees again, reminding him of his injury and he spurred his horse into motion, dropping the knife into a pouch on his belt.
As much as he hated to admit that he would listen to a Noxian, he hated more that he'd been outdone. He wouldn't make the same mistake twice; there would be no underestimating her again.
When the Dauntless Vanguard was finally a sufficient distance into the neutral territory of the Institute, Garen ordered a halt. They burned no campfires and built no pyres but hurriedly buried the dead and folded their blue cloaks to return to their families.
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Undoubtedly it was his most hated aspect of command, especially now. How was he supposed to tell a mother her son had fallen in a mission that had failed? Garen stayed until every last shovelful of dirt was cast. Their single healer had been too exhausted to cast any spells by the time the Commander arrived to have his leg looked at. All he could do was apologize, bind the wound and hand him half a potion that was supposed to speed recovery.
But with all of his duties finally completed, the Commander gratefully retreated through the hastily erected camp to the solitude of his own bunk, carefully removing only the most restrictive pieces of armor and leaving his boots on. They were all on high alert tonight after today. He shifted uncomfortably and stared up at the canvas roof and his thoughts immediately slipped to her.
He'd never met one who so easily traded blows with him, especially not a tiny, unarmored slip of a woman.
Her strength definitely lay in her agility; the only hit he'd managed to land on her had been glancing and he'd been on the defensive for almost the entire fight. Across the canvas their brief fight replayed before his eyes.
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Even in the privacy of his own thoughts, Garen immediately felt guilty. To feel satisfaction over fighting a Noxian Well, it wasn't that out of the ordinary to desire a worthy opponent and it just so happened that he'd found his preeminent rival in a Noxian assassin. Coincidence, and not and unreasonable one since Demacia had been at war with Noxus since its founding. He would fight her again. Until one of them went down, he would seek her out on the battlefield.
His heart pounded in his chest at the prospect and a grin crossed his face.
He was going to take great pleasure in watching the fire die in those emerald eyes. But as he finally closed his eyes and willed his mind to stop, he noted, without humor, that his knees were still weak. Since Garen's return from Noxus, he'd been assigned more time at the Institute of War for his failure in returning with their target, the Noxian soldier Sion whose remains Katarina's contingent had stolen from him that day.
It would bring a swift victory, and glory to Noxus. It would make her father proud. He was furious beyond words, refusing even to look his daughter in the eye. She had shamed him, and their family name. The greatest assassins do not seek recognition or glory, he reminded her. Overwhelmed, Katarina struck out into the wilderness, alone. She would complete her original mission. Demetrius would pay with his life.
Even so, her mind swam.