Edgar Jantleigh broke the seal on his ration tin and rolled the flimsy but sharp-edged lid back to reveal the orangey contents. They were, certainly, well-described as “contents”. Or perhaps “product”. By no means “food”. The day he started calling this stuff “food” was the day he knew he’d been out here too long.
He looked across the table at Malva, who was chewing through a serrated spoonful of nutritious product. They each frowned at each other, thinking about how they’d already gone through all the good jokes about the rations, to the point that any further attempts at humor would only be depressing, and knowing that the other was thinking the exact same thing.
“So I hear Ms. Crownguard’s arrived,” he ventured.
Malva nodded, and poured a measure of water from her canteen into her cup. No good drinking straight from the canteen when you’ve been eating that much product; you didn’t want to have to taste it out in the desert. “On Friday, right? Can’t wait to see her give these Noxians a piece of her mind.”
He nodded back, pushing his fork through the granular, gooey contents of his ration tin. “So, uh. You think she’s going to be bunking with Ezreal?”
Malva considered that, with a very slight grin. “Well, first off, if I were her, and I could teleport back to the Institute any time I liked, I wouldn’t be sleeping in a tent. I’d be back at my quarters every night to sleep in a nice big soft bed.” She furrowed her brow in thought. “Although, wait, can Champions really teleport back and forth every day? Seems like that would have some side effects. Thaumic radiation or whatever.”
Edgar shrugged. “No idea. Seems like it would.”
Malva continued. “Anyway. Ezreal. I hear they’re in a rough patch lately, but assuming they’re still together, sure, why not.”
He poked at his rations. “I heard that they’ve broken up entirely, but it’s not as though there’s been an announcement. They just haven’t been very affectionate in public of late. Perhaps the Crownguards scolded her for being so open about it. Maybe she’s out here in part so that she can get some alone time with him away from all the Herald reporters.”
Malva took a drink and thought it over. This was some genuine conversation material that wasn’t about their awful accommodations or the various ways they could get killed in the near future; Edgar imagined she was taking her time to savor it. “She can do better. I’m sure there are a dozen dashing Demacian knights who’d just love to spend some time with her.”
Edgar smirked. “I’ve only been to Demacia once, on exercises, but I’ve heard about Demacian betrothal and courtship. Doesn’t sound like a great time.”
Malva readied another dose of vitalyzed nutritional product (citrus flavor) for herself. “Who knows? Maybe she’s had enough random flings in closets at the Institute; maybe she wants to try all the ceremony and formality.” She lifted the spoon part of the way, then added, “But I have to admit, Ezreal does sound a lot more exciting. And now they’re about to spend a couple months dashing around fighting Noxians and breaking into floating pyramids or whatever they do. I could see that reigniting something.”
Edgar glanced toward the entrance to the tent. It was just about noon. He was always a bit surprised when he stepped out into that sun and didn’t hear himself sizzling. “I’d hope he’s at least trying. I mean, this is Lux we’re talking about.”
Malva frowned. “Sure, she’s pretty, but…do you really want to wake up to,” She snapped her face into a beaming, glassy-eyed parody, and raised her voice a few octaves. “That was really super!” she chirped. “Let’s iron these bedsheets so we can get some extra marching practice in!” She dropped the facade, which was probably starting to hurt her face. “Or, you know, just her screaming ‘DEMACIA’ in bed.”
Edgar burst out laughing as that image flicked through his mind. Malva couldn’t help grinning even as she scrunched up her nose with a bit of a shudder. She took another drink from her cup.
Edgar sighed. “Okay, okay. That does sound pretty weird.”
Malva nodded. “And it’s not like Ezreal couldn’t get—”
The klaxon blared. He shoved two rapid spoonfuls of ration-paste into his mouth, swallowed, and downed the rest of his cup of water as he snatched up his rifle and followed Malva outside. They heard a distant war-cry, followed by the pop of answering gunfire.
Breaking into pyramids, fighting Noxians…it did sound rather romantic, he thought, as he crouched behind the barricade and swept the horizon.
Interactive Love Event I
Sometimes it seems as though interactive lore events are all blood and death, or at the very least Big Decisions about the fates of nations. But Lux’s addition to the Piltover roster reminded me of some comments from Factioners about the whole Luxreal situation.
The first strong comment I received was from someone saying that they hated this pairing because it combined their favorite character with the character they dislike the most. I also felt that the Lux/Ezreal combination was rather forced: they seem so fundamentally different that it’s hard to imagine them working out. Besides, they’ve been together for at least a few years at this point, which is a pretty long time for people to be dating. My initial plan was for them to break up, but why not put it to a vote?
Should Ezreal and Lux stay together? Or should we be expecting them at the Seeker’s Ball next year?
Here’s a quick compilation of their relationship so far.
- March, 20 CLE: Ezreal joins the League of Legends. He is a daring Piltovian youth with a natural talent for magic—and impressive abilities, despite a total lack of formal arcane study. He discovered a Shuriman amulet on one of his reckless and illegal “expeditions” there. There may have not been a single other Valoranian mage alive at that time who could tap into its power, but Ezreal did. It fused with him, and he soon became a Champion of the League, representing Piltover, getting handsomely paid, and probably hitting on girls with pick-up lines about the Institute of War. He is clever, bold, and supremely arrogant. Some believe, however, that he’s less sure of himself than he pretends to be. He sees Demacians as a bunch of fascist killjoys, but perhaps at times he wishes he could be part of something larger than himself.
- October, 20 CLE: Lux joins the League of Legends. She also showed great magical potential, but combined it with a passion for learning and a dedication to her studies. Demacian magic is tightly regulated and often quite “simple” (a Demacian might say “pure”) in form. Its syllabus includes two elemental subfields that may have Shuriman origins: stone and light. Lux’s talents are for the latter. Her parents and superiors saw her potential, and pressed her into service in the Demacian military. She was quite literally dragged away from her home to begin life as a soldier, and the experience broke her. (As she would later confide to Ezreal, “I’d killed people before I was old enough to drink in Piltover.”) Even more so than most Demacians, she has become accustomed to sharply dividing her true feelings from her outward appearance. She loves her country, but deeply envies the freedom that Piltovians possess.
- At this point, Lux and Ezreal may or may not have been together; if so, they were keeping it quiet.
- March, 23 CLE: The Howling Abyss is opened as a Field of Justice. The shopkeeper on the Howling Abyss says to Ezreal, “Is it true what I’ve heard about you and… uh… Miss Crownguard?”
- June, 23 CLE: Aatrox causes a minor panic when he swoops down and enters the League. It stands to reason that Ezreal’s sketch comes from around this time, when he was investigating Aatrox.
- 5 July, 24 CLE: Demacia, Piltover, and Bandle City attack Zaun’s pyrikhos mines, triggering the Battle of Shurima. (See also: The Summoner’s Herald, Vol. I, Issue 2.) Ezreal, who had been mostly snarking from the sidelines, goes berserk when a Zaunite gunnery crew turns their cannon from the Demacian regiment to target Lux herself, and blasts her with what seems to be an instantly lethal wound. Ezreal certainly grows somewhat here, getting a taste of real warfare off the Fields—the sort of warfare that defined Lux’s early life. Though it doesn’t seem to affect him much, he also sees firsthand the dedication of Demacian soldiers and their loyalty to Lux. As for Lux herself, she sees the potential of Piltover in the battle, and had been doing quite a lot of research herself during the Hextech Revolution. And when she came to, thanks to Piltovian medicine, she probably heard about her boyfriend singlehandedly slaughtering dozens, if not hundreds, of Zaunite soldiers in his rage. This might have made things a little weird for both of them. They both left with some serious psychic damage, especially Lux. (Because it’s not like she was sane to begin with.)
- November, 24 CLE: The Harrowing comes to Runeterra. The dimensional damage inflicted by the previous Battle of Shurima drastically amplifies its effects. Ezreal tries to talk Lux into doing something incredibly dangerous in Shurima during the disruption; she gives him a talking-to about the consequences of killing and what likely awaits him if he sets foot on the Shuriman battlefield this Harrowing.
- July, 25 CLE: Lux comes to Piltover’s aid in the war for Shuriman independence. Things between her and Ezreal seem to have cooled off somewhat, leading to a fair amount of gossip around the Institute and in their respective states.
Another factor to consider: should Mega Man and Sailor Moon really be dating? Is that weird? It seems a little weird.
To be honest, I don’t really “get” the connection here. I can see why they might be intrigued by one another, and (while I don’t know, or want to know, much about their personal tastes) I imagine they find each other attractive. But it seems a lot more like a crush than “true love”. My feeling is that either they should break up, or one or both of them needs to change significantly—which might not be a bad thing.
I do admit that I’ve used Ezreal mostly as comic relief, and perhaps that’s not fair to him. Maybe this arc is a good time to show Ezreal being clever, along the lines of the Aatrox piece. Maybe what he went through in the Battle of Shurima didn’t just traumatize him, but also broadened his view of the world. Maybe both he and Lux have been learning from each other: Lux learning how to do her own thing, and to question authority, and Ezreal learning that doing the right thing can be as satisfying as scoring a personal success. It’s entirely possible that I don’t see the Lux/Ezreal thing working in part because I see Ezreal as kind of a shallow, self-absorbed douche, and that’s not really fair to him.
Also, just throwing this out there—isn’t it a little narcissistic for them to be into each other, given their similar appearances?
But Don’t Take My Word For It
Discuss here. The Court of Looooove is now in session. Make your cases, love-advocates.
The leaders of your respective factions have called you to a private audience to debate the weighty matter of whether Ezreal and Lux continue dating. Haha, no, not really. (Well. Maybe if Cassiopeia got really drunk? Can snakes get drunk? I mean, I don’t see why they couldn’t.) To the extent that there’s an in-universe component to this vote, it’s probably your Summoner giving some solicited or unsolicited advice to either or both of them, or maybe doing some subtle matchmaker stuff.
You know what? This is fun. We need more lore events like this.
I’ll leave the poll active for archival purposes, but I’ve called the vote closed as of July 26 at 8:38 p.m. Pacific. The weighted results are 57% pro-Luxreal.
That said, I do hear the criticisms of this pairing, and we’ll take it as a challenge to find a way to make it more plausible. Both characters are probably going to develop somewhat in the process.