from The Right Weapon
The Keeper presented another sword, shorter than the Demacian blade, in a black scabbard trimmed in red. The scabbard was cut in a powerfully angular style. It looked completely unbreakable. The mind just could not imagine it bending.
“Nimble little weapon, this. No cross-guard, but that means nothing to get tangled in those robes. Nice thick blade, made for thrusting. Won’t break. Subtly triangular cross-section; leaves a nasty wound.”
He unsheathed it. The blade was smoky obsidian, shadowed and unreflective. The eye slipped right off it. It looked like a weapon that could come out of nowhere and kill in an instant.
Mauro reached for it. But he hesitated with his palm an inch from the hilt.
The Keeper placed a meaty pink hand over his, and secured it around the grip. “So who’s worthy to die at your hand? Who’s in your way? And who will learn that you’re stronger when you shove this through their heart? Whose dying eyes will you glare into as you spit out you’re beaten?”
Fresh from being rejected by the shop’s merchandise, Mauro was short on patience for this nosy proprietor. “Look, you’re asking a lot of personal questions for a shopkeeper—”
The Keeper’s voice boomed. “I’m selling you a weapon. It’s personal.” He grunted. “Now. Do you have an answer? You think this is a sword for someone who’s scared of killing?”
Mauro looked down into the sword’s smoky shape. “It’ll probably depend on whose side I’m on when I have to use this, I guess.”
His fingers went cold.
“Let me guess. This one’s Noxian,” he said, awkwardly.
The Keeper’s scowl relented, and as though himself slipping out of the sword’s influence, he smiled. “Nobody else makes black look better than Noxians.” He nodded. “Go on. Read the inscription.”
Mauro didn’t have to look down to read the words. He felt them channeling up through his cold fingers into his arm. “I shall slay a worthy foe, I shall prove my strength, I shall become legend, you shall not deny me.” He could almost hear the weapon hissing from the dark corners of his mind. And I think you are weak and afraid, Mauro of Nyroth.
He heard another voice. A real voice. The Keeper.
“So how many worthy foes have you slain, Mauro?”
“Ho, ho ho ho. Apologies, Summoner. After being told what to do by fellows in robes for so long, I do admit I enjoy yanking your chains in my, ah, new position.” The Keeper took the blade back, and sheathed it. “You’re not in a hurry, are you?”
Mauro didn’t have a chance to reply.
“You’re not, I can see that, which is good, because I don’t sell weapons in a hurry.” The Keeper grunted. “They say there’s no match for a Demacian sword but a Noxian blade, and vice versa. You take either of those weapons, and one way or another, you’re becoming part of that war. Your Institute? Ha. It’s a water break. 25 years? Fah. Blink of an eye. Assuming they don’t blow Valoran apart with the next Rune War, then some day, the last Demacian King and the last Noxian Grand General will choke the life out of each other on a heap of bodies. Those swords want to be there.”
This gave Mauro something to think about as the Keeper turned and walked over to a corner. He soon returned with a curved Ionian sword, and his tone had changed quite completely.