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Thread: Lost Chronicles I: Lilithmon's Epic

  1. #101
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 97 - Blood and Thunder

    Myotismon

    The moon hung low in the sky; the city of Yew basked in its light. “In another few hours, the sun will rise,” I said to myself. “I’ll have to make this quick.”
    I looked down at the large city from the sky and smirked, baring a single fang. I spread open my cape to signal my bats. In an instant, hundreds of bats descended, their small black bodies swirling around me as they awaited my command.

    “This is a rush order, boys; I don’t care, I don’t want to know how, just wreak a little havoc on the city below. Just enough to grab the attentions of those self-righteous bastards who dare to stand against us!”

    My bats complied, flying down to Yew. In no time, the streets were coated in blood. The air was filled with the screaming of the victims of my bats. My smile broadened. If this doesn’t get their attention…I don’t know what will!


    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa
    9 Hours

    “What if we just get Dynasmon to blow up the entire castle for us?” Statuedramon asked. “If that castle of his caves in on him, that would save us the trouble of actually having to fight SkullCaliphmon.” We had been sitting around the living room since returning from Yew, trying to brainstorm ways to fight the remainder of the Order.

    “I…guess I could ask him if he would be able to do that,” Zelda said.

    “Or, we could ask him to fly us in there,” I suggested. “SkullCaliphmon’s castle doesn’t have a roof so he can remain immortal in the moon’s light; Dynasmon could just fly us down into any room that SkullCaliphmon is and fight him there. That way, Dynasmon wouldn’t be wasting all of his energy trying to destroy the castle instead of helping us destroy the Digimon that lurks within.”

    “Why do I get the feeling that all of our victories over these Digimon are going to be because of those Spirit Digimon?” Statuedramon asked.

    “A lot of them are Mega levels; equal in power maybe even to Apollomon and Seraphimon,” I replied.

    “Yes; Gallantmon, SaberLeomon, and Dynasmon are all very strong, and since they’re Spirits, there is no way for them to die,” Zelda said. “But they still feel pain, and all the same emotions that we do. If they become badly injured while here, we must wait for them to recover before we ask for their help. And I’d feel bad, asking them to do all of this work…”

    “I know. Because they are more than just powerful Digimon helping us in fights…They are our invaluable friends,” I said.

    “And from the way they act, you’d think that they were all your bodyguards, Zelda,” Statch added.

    “It’s because they’re all just drawn to her sweet and charming personality,” I said. Zelda’s face reddened, but she smiled as she shyly lowered her head.

    “So, that’s the plan, then?” Statuedramon asked. “If Apollomon hasn’t returned by the end of next week, we’ll be going to SkullCaliphmon’s castle?” I nodded. “Can’t wait; cracking that bastard’s skull is going to be so much—” The front door swung open, nearly falling off its hinges in the process as Pheragas ran into the living room.

    “Thomas…you ah going to vant to see dis,” the large man said, breathing heavily.

    Great; who is it this time? Calmly, I stepped outside only to find that the pale blue sky was filled with smoke.

    “Dat smoke is coming from Yew,” Pheragas said. “I don’t know vut it is, but dare is too much smoke for it to be a forest fire. It seems dat somebody is attacking de city.”

    “…It’s like they’re trying to get our attention,” I said.

    “In that case, it’s probably a trap,” Statuedramon said. “What are we going to do, Thomas? You going to go see what’s going on?” Zelda already stood at my side, awaiting my orders.

    “I don’t see how I could not. This is what we do, after all.”

    “…Ah, hell. Fine, I’ll go with you,” Statch said resignedly. “Even though it’s most definitely a trap,” he added under his breath.

    “The three of us will be back soon, Pheragas,” I said.

    “Do not get yourselves killed over dare,” the warrior said.

    “We won’t.”

    It took only ten minutes for us to find ourselves in the burning capital city. Smoke filled the air as its scent filled my nose. The streets were stained with blood. The flames that covered nearly everything in sight were gold in color. Even from more than ten feet away, I could feel their heat and intensity.

    “This is Myotismon’s doing,” I said.

    “YOU THREE!” A pair of baleful blue eyes gleamed through the thick, dark smoke, looking down at us from up in the sky.

    “Myotismon…”

    “Do you know why this is happening?” The Ultimate Digimon hovered down through the smoke, landing on top of a burning building in front of us. The golden flames reached his chest, but his body was not singed in the slightest.

    “I have a feeling you wanted us to come here,” Statuedramon said.

    “The reason you…killed…all of these innocent people…it was just so you could fight us, right?” Zelda asked.

    “That is correct!” Myotismon’s voice thundered through the smoke-filled sky, making the golden flames surrounding him flicker menacingly. “SkullCaliphmon believes — and I do too, of course — that as soon as you are all dealt with, we will have no more problems keeping our freedom.”

    “Well, Myotismon, I hope you had fun taking all of these lives,” I said. I drew my sword from its scabbard. “Because they will be the last lives you will ever take!”

    “You made a big mistake, challenging us,” Statuedramon said. “With Hydramon and Belphemon down for the count, the rest of you should be significantly weaker. When we kill you…what do you think will happen to the other nine?”

    “You are only an Ultimate level Digimon,” I said. “You’ll be a lot easier for us to kill than the other two.”

    “SILENCE!” Myotismon yelled. “The others might only wish for their freedom, but I want something more! They may not care about having the entire continent under their thumbs, but I do! What good does our freedom do for us if we don’t spend our days doing things like this?!”

    “…I get it now,” I said quietly. “The others have yet to do something like this because they want to keep the freedom they didn’t have for so long. Like SkullCaliphmon…he doesn’t want to go back to the Dark Area, so he’s just sitting in his castle…”

    “I’ll have you know that SkullCaliphmon is not just sitting around!” To my surprise, Myotismon had suddenly apparated in front of me. “SkullCaliphmon is not that kind of Digimon!”

    “So, what is he doing?” Statuedramon asked.

    “…He…he’s…strategizing.”

    “Right, well, while he’s busy ‘strategizing,’ we’re going to break into his castle and kick his bony ass back to the Dark Area.”

    Myotismon looked down at the shorter Rookie. “I should tell you that I am in an extremely foul mood!” Myotismon snapped. “If we allow you three to roam free, it will severely hinder our desires!” A large hand clasped itself around Myotismon’s shoulder. The Ultimate Digimon looked up and stared into the face of Gigasmon. “…You were the one to kill me last time!”

    “Me no understand how you back,” Gigasmon said. “But me make you go away again for good!”

    “Crimson Lightning!” A blood-red whip appeared in Myotismon’s hand, and before Gigasmon could react, the Digimon Spirit was struck repeatedly in the face by Myotismon’s attack before vanishing. Statuedramon ran up to the taller Ultimate, furiously swinging his sword around Myotismon’s head, while the Undead Digimon deftly evaded each attack. “You’re getting on my nerves, Rookie!” Myotismon reached out and grabbed Statch’s sword mid-swing. “You’d be nothing without this weapon! I’ll take great pleasure in destroying it!”

    “Fist of the Beast King!” A flaming lion’s head struck Myotismon from behind; the furious Digimon turned around, now staring down Leomon.

    “Grisly Wing!” Myotismon’s attack hit Leomon square in the chest, making the Spirit fall over.

    “…Geez, I’m bad at this…” Leomon looked up at Myotismon one last time before he was struck by a Crimson Lightning, making him fade away.

    “Come forth, Gallantmon!” Zelda cried out. The Exalted Knight Digimon appeared next to her. “I…I’m sorry to call you up so soon after—”

    “You do not need to worry,” Gallantmon said. “You may call on me anytime you wish, Zelda.” Gallantmon looked over at Myotismon. “Hear me, Myotismon! I slayed the Digimon known as Belphemon in only a few attacks! What do you think would happen if I hit a Digimon like you with the same attacks?!”

    “I doubt either of us will ever find out,” Myotismon said. “Nightmare Claw!” A shadowy entity shot out of Myotismon’s hands at Gallantmon, and though the Spirit held up his shield to protect himself and Zelda, the attack turned him a sinister, gruesome shade of black.

    “Gallantmon, are you okay?” Zelda asked.

    “I…I’m fine…” Though the Spirit had fallen to a knee, he pointed his lance at Myotismon, firing off a blast of lightning from its tip which Myotismon was able to avoid merely by moving his head.

    “Crimson Lightning!” Myotismon’s attack hit Gallantmon’s head repeatedly, soon making the Spirit vanish. Zelda rummaged through her satchel, looking for another Talisman.

    “Dynasmon—” Zelda was instantly interrupted, and knocked to the ground by another of Myotismon’s Crimson Lightning attacks.

    “ZELDA!” Statuedramon and I ran over to her, but we too were attacked by Myotismon. I picked myself up almost instantly and began to walk over to Zelda. But I stopped when I saw her reach over and pick something up off the ground.

    “…A talisman,” she said softly.

    “Crimson Lightning!” Myotismon aimed another attack at Zelda as a look of rage flashed in his eyes. I swung my blade and intercepted the attack, cutting through his whip.

    “Come forth, Lobomon! Cross forth from the other realm and aid my friends in this fight!” A Digimon I’d never seen before, covered in shining white armor and matching Myotismon in height, appeared in front of Zelda.

    “…This fire wasn’t here the last time I was here,” Lobomon said. Looking around, the new Digimon Spirit gazed sadly at the fire that continued to consume the city. “…I guess this means my old master’s dead now. Huh. Oh, well.”

    “Lobomon…I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to—”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Lobomon interrupted. “Old boss wasn’t the nicest guy, and he didn’t call me up too much, and rarely for battle. So, how can I help you, young lady?”

    “I will make you vanish!” Myotismon yelled.

    “…This guy, I’m guessing?”

    “If it isn’t too much trouble for you…” Zelda said. Lobomon smirked. Myotismon began flying toward the two when Lobomon jumped into the air.

    “Lobo…Kendo…” Lobomon looked on as his weapon flew out of his hands, flying straight past Myotismon’s head before crashing through the window of a burning house. “Huh…Well, crap, that didn’t work.”

    “…Are you freaking kidding me?!” Statch asked. “How’d you find a Digimon this clumsy?!”

    “…Uh…my bad?” Lobomon asked. Myotismon suddenly appeared behind Lobomon, and punched him in the back of the head. Lobomon turned to fight back, but in doing so, he stepped on his scarf and slipped, falling to the ground. Myotismon raised an arm, about to attack once more when Lobomon jumped back up and thrust a sword through Myotismon’s arm. Myotismon fell backwards, and Lobomon pinned Myotismon’s arm to the ground. “Howling Laser!” Using the weapon on his left arm, Lobomon fired a burst of light energy through Myotismon’s back and clear through his chest. Myotismon yelled out when it happened as Lobomon removed his sword from the Ultimate’s arm. Myotismon forced himself up, looking down at the gaping, bloody hole in his chest.

    “This…can’t be…happening!” Myotismon’s body began to turn back into small bits of data, to his horror. “I think I’m…I’m dying? No, this…isn’t right…I can’t…I CAN’T…No, please! Don’t…make me…go back…there…” The final bits of Myotismon’s data floated away, lost in the smoke-filled sky, with his golden flames disappearing as soon as he did.

    “…My work here is done,” Lobomon said. “That was fun. Call me again whenever.”

    “Thank you for your help, Lobomon,” Zelda said. Embarrassedly, Lobomon looked down and away as he glowed in a golden light, and then vanished.

    “Well, that’s three down,” Statuedramon said excitedly.

    “The rest will follow shortly,” I said. “Let’s go back to the villa; we need to tell Pheragas what happened."
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  2. #102
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    Chapter 98 - Time of Action

    SkullCaliphmon
    Cyprus Desert

    “The rest will follow shortly,” Thomas said. “Let’s go back to the villa; we need to tell Pheragas what happened.”

    Those bastards! How dare they murder Myotismon?! In my anger, I crushed the crystal sphere given to me by DeathPhantomon which I had been using to watch the members of Lachesis — their witch, in particular, especially when she took a shower. Though I am only bone, I crushed it with ease. The shattered pieces rained down on the floor before my throne. He…the kid really looked up to me! He was just trying to make me proud of him, so what do I do?! I send him to his death, that’s what I do!

    “Careful, your grace; DeathPhantomon didn’t give you too many of those,” Tactimon said.

    “…Yeah…you’re right…” I looked up at the knight; as always, he was kneeling before me. “Apologies, Tactimon…I rarely get angry like that.”

    “I understand, your grace. Myotismon…his passion for remaining alive was perhaps the greatest among the Order.”

    “In a way, his death suited him,” said a voice from the shadows.

    “Who goes there?!” I asked, startled by the sound of the new voice.

    “No need to get so tense, Mr. Skeleton King…” A golden wolf stepped out of the shadows.

    “Lupinemon…what do you want?” I asked. Tactimon rose from the floor before me and backed up against a wall as the newcomer walked up to me and casually lay down on the floor in front of my throne.

    “I had a bit of an unwelcome detour while I was in Nymphaea; I came here to the desert to warm myself up a little.” The sunlight seemed to reflect right off the Digimon’s fur; I had to keep myself from covering my empty eye sockets, reminding myself that I had no eyes to go blind with. “Since I was already here…I thought I might as well pay you a visit.”

    “Well, your timing couldn’t be any better,” I said, drumming my fingers impatiently on the arm of my throne. “Myotismon was killed a few minutes ago.”

    “Oh, was he, now? That is a shock…” Her voice sounded unsurprised, almost sarcastic. “Hmph. No big loss there…”

    I stuck the two blades of my sword into the stone floor, two inches away from Lupinemon’s snout. “I’ll have you know that Myotismon was an excellent Digimon, and—”

    “—And you’re the only one who feels that way,” Lupinemon yawned. “Which reminds me…you still owe me for letting those…kids into your castle a while ago.”

    “No I don’t.”

    “No?”

    “Our deal was for you to lure them into my castle so that I could kill them,” I said. “I didn’t kill them because of Flamedramon’s intervention. If you want me to ‘owe’ you, I’d suggest you find them and lead them back here.” I was expecting Lupinemon to acquiesce, but to my annoyance, she stood her ground.
    “Not happening,” Lupinemon snorted. “Our enemies are intelligent, the swordsman and summoner in particular. The swordsman was able to deduce my incapability of compressing the weight of my Digimon form while in my Human form simply by looking at Linoan’s footprints. And then there’s the summoner; she has Digimon instincts and senses, but Human intelligence to make reason of them. She will be a dangerous adversary.”

    “What’s your point, Lupinemon?!” The golden wolf looked at me over her shoulder.

    “They will not fall for the same trick twice, SkullCaliphmon, not even the Digimon that accompanies them — he may not be the brightest, but he’s very cautious, which will make it harder for us to trick even him.”

    “Well, nobody said you had to trick them to get them to come here! Force them if you must! Just bring them here so that I can put an end to them!”

    “I refuse.” Lupinemon turned away from me. “If you do not owe me anything…then I certainly do not owe you anything. If you want them dead so badly, get up off your bony ass and slay them yourself!”

    “You dare insult His Grace?!” Tactimon barked. “Ally of his though you may be, I shall have you hanged for—”

    “Who are you to threaten me, worm?” Lupinemon asked in a smug voice. “You are merely a servant of one of the Order’s twelve — granted, you are the only one aside from DeathPhantomon’s servants. Know your place.” Lupinemon left the room, and vanished as quickly as she had appeared.

    “The nerve of that bitch!” Tactimon spat.

    “Leave her be, knight,” I said. “I am quite used to her, and right now, she is the least of our concerns.”

    “Our concerns…Your Grace, I’ve a proposition for you.” Tactimon knelt down before me once more. “Your Grace, allow me to find those accursed Humans who slayed Myotismon. Allow me to bring them to you.”

    “No, you don’t need to go through all that trouble,” I said. “…Just kill them in their own homes. That will suffice for me.”

    “Yet, Lupinemon—”

    “I only told Lupinemon to bring them to me because I did not trust her to kill them. That girl…no matter how many times she says otherwise — no matter how many times she says that she is a Demon Beast — she cannot hide the stench that comes with being an Exalted Beast.”

    “An Exalted…Then she—”

    “That girl is far too affiliated with the light for her own good,” I said. “If she isn’t careful, that could get her into a lot of trouble…or even killed.” The thought of Lupinemon being killed filled me with delight, but at the same time, I knew I couldn’t act on desire alone. If she were to die, then the rest of us would grow weaker.

    “…Is there any danger of her turning traitor, Your Grace?” Tactimon asked.

    “I do not believe it would ever come to that, Tactimon,” I said quickly. “However…the fact that she is an Exalted Beast…could inadvertently drive her to lead us all to our ruin, as well as our demise; both us, and our enemies.”

    “Your Grace, I shall personally see to it that that never happens,” Tactimon said. “I shall place my life on the line, if need be. I will go after the vermin at Lachesis, but if I come across Lupinemon in doing so…do not expect me to show any mercy.”

    “…Act as you see fit…Tactimon…my final knight from the days of old.”

    Zelda
    Saias’s Villa

    For the past two days, Thomas had done little more than sit and stare out the large bay windows of the villa’s spacious living room. He barely ate, and I was unsure if he had even slept the night before. He sat on a window bench, with his left side towards the window and his legs pulled up against him, and every once in a while, I would see his head turn, as if he had seen something. His face was pale with exhaustion and drenched with sweat.

    “No need to worry about him,” Luna said, placing a hand over my shoulder from behind. “I’ve seen him go two weeks without eating before…although, come to think of it, that may have been because of the Stingmon that had nearly skewered his stomach at the time…”

    Nearly skewered?! How can you be…Maybe it would be better if I don’t ask. “Well, I’m going to worry about him anyway,” I said. “He must be exhausted; he hasn’t been eating or sleeping, and he’s been fighting and walking constantly for the past few weeks…Isn’t there…anything we can do for him?”

    “…You’re so adorable,” Luna cooed in a soft voice, lightly pinching my cheek.

    “He’s thinking about Apollomon, isn’t he.”

    “I guess it has been a while, but our orders from him were to wait a week until going to fight SkullCaliphmon if Apollomon hadn’t returned by then, and it hasn’t been a full week yet. If Thomas wants to spend that time waiting and hoping Apollomon will return, then we should let him.”

    “But…if he’s busy worrying about Apollomon, then won’t he be distracted in battle?” I asked.

    “I doubt it. Thomas isn’t the kind of guy to get distracted like that. After all, he hasn’t been once distracted by that cute face of yours while fighting alongside you and Statch, has he? And don’t say anything like you don’t think you’re attractive enough to catch anyone’s attention, because even though your modesty is rather endearing, it is unbecoming of such a beautiful girl.”

    “…I’m sorry…I just don’t know any other way to think about myself…” I could feel myself grow more and more flustered by the minute.

    “You have nothing to worry about, is all I’m saying.” Luna smiled down at me, gently sweeping some of my hair away from my face. “If it’d make you feel better, you can ask him yourself; he is right there.”

    I looked up at the sorceress, and smiled back at her. “…Chrysania…has a wonderful mother,” I said.

    Luna’s smile widened. “Zelda…you’re free to think of me like a mother, too, sweetie,” she said softly. “I remember what you told me about your own mother, how she hurt you like that, and…well, if you ever need someone like that to talk to…” Luna nervously rubbed the back of her neck, looking up and away. I placed my arms around the woman’s slender waist and hugged her.

    “Don’t worry, Luna; even if there’s no one else I can go to, I know I can always turn to you.” Giving the sorceress one final smile, I pulled away and walked over to Thomas. I softly whispered his name, making him flinch back in surprise. His surprised expression faded when he saw me, turning into a very exhausted-looking smile.

    “How are you?” he asked. His voice was hoarse, shaky, and raspy; whether it was from thirst or not having been used in some time I wasn’t sure.

    “…I should be asking you that.” I sat down on the bench directly in front of him. Our backs were propped against the wall. Like every other thing in the villa, the window seat was rather large and spacious, and I was able to sit with my legs out in front of me, with my feet pressed against his. “Are you okay, Tommy?”

    “I am…fine…”

    “Apollomon and the others will be fine. They will return, and it will be any day now,” I reassured him.

    “…I’ve…been thinking about what to do about SkullCaliphmon,” Thomas said. “Part of me wants to continue waiting for Apollomon to return before we fight SkullCaliphmon…Then, there’s another part of me that remembers just how…easily SkullCaliphmon defeated Apollomon last time, and that was back when it was only him, Lilithmon, and Cherubimon alive. But now, there are nine of them, and I doubt Apollomon would be able to help us much against him…” Thomas rested his forehead in his hand. “I’ve been trying to decide what would be the best thing for us to do…but I just can’t get my mind off Apollomon. We don’t know where he is, we don’t know where he went, we don’t even know if he’s still alive! Hell, we don’t even know what happened to Seraphimon! And if it’s not him I’m thinking about, it’s Lilithmon. We have to stop her, I know that; but every time I think of a way to stop her or any of the others, a new problem just pops up in my head.”

    “Do you…regret your decision?” I asked. I scooted myself closer to him and drew my legs up against my body, with my arms resting atop my knees and with my feet resting atop his. “When you were asked to become our temporary leader, you accepted. Do you regret it?”

    “Regret it? No way!” What had once been a worn-down, almost gloomy expression turned into a look of confidence. “If I regretted it, I wouldn’t be sitting here trying to think of what would be the best thing for everyone. I knew it would be difficult, sure, but I’m not going to give up; I accepted the job, so I’ll see it through to the end.” I smiled at him.

    “That’s one of the many reasons why I love you so much, Tommy; you see everything through to the end, and you try your hardest to keep all of us safe,” I said. “Trying to think of what would be best for everyone is a difficult task. You knew that, but you accepted the burden regardless, and you’re working hard to ensure you keep your word. But Tommy…you’ve been working so hard, that you’ve been neglecting your own needs and wants. I don’t want to see you make yourself sick — or worse — over this. Please…come eat a meal with the rest of us, okay? And our bed is so cold and lonely without you for me to snuggle up against…”

    Thomas reached out and placed a hand over the top of my head. “I’m sorry…You said I’ve been neglecting myself, but it seems that I’ve neglected you more,” he said. “I’m sorry.” His hand moved down, and he gently moved his fingers against my cheek, brushing away a tear. A kind and gentle warmth sprung up in the middle of my chest at his touch, and I couldn’t help but smile. “I’ve missed seeing that beautiful smile of yours…just seeing it makes all my worries vanish.”
    “I’m glad I was able to help you,” I said softly.

    Thomas looked directly into my eyes. “You do so much more for me than you ever know, Zelda. You’ve saved my life plenty of times on the battlefield, even when we first met and didn’t know each other. Your smile eliminates all my fears and worries. You are the person that keeps me going, and you are the light that keeps me from falling into a pit of despair, or into darkness itself.”

    I…I had no idea… He had begun looking out the window once more, and with an inattentive expression on his face, he absently began stroking the tops of my feet in the same manner he did when he stroked my hair at night whenever I would wake up after a nightmare. I never knew I had done so much for him! Instinctively, my feet flinched back, without his notice, as soon as he began to slowly roll my toes between his fingers; I had to stifle my laughter. How many times have I told him how ticklish I am? Guess he hasn’t forgotten… I didn’t mind, though. I smiled. He had never forgotten, nor would I want him to; though, based on his forlorn expression, I doubt it was on his mind. He would always have playfully done something like this just to try to get on my nerves, and no matter what I said, I always enjoyed it. His fingers would always linger on my navel, which I encouraged him to do, not only because I loved the way it felt when he would gently stroke it, but because I was very well aware of his preferences. His touch was always so gentle, and he’d always stop whenever I asked him to…I would guess. I never have, of course.

    After a while, he turned his gaze from the window back to me and said thoughtfully, “Zelda…before I met you, I was only an assassin. All I did was kill people for a living. That was all I did, and I did it without a second thought. My life had almost no meaning. But now…now that you are in my life…my life has meaning. Because you are here with me, I have someone I can protect. You give my life meaning. You are my light, Zelda. I love you.”

    “Thomas…I…” My face had reddened a considerable amount, and I hid it in my arms. Would now be…a good time to say it? Probably not…Either way, what if he says no? Oh, but I’ve just got to know! “Tommy…when all of this is over…when Lilithmon and the others are all dealt with…” My heart was beating very rapidly; I feared it would burst through my chest. I felt so nervous, and I was certain my face was redder than it had ever been. The palms of my hands and my face were perspiring in my nervousness, and to me, the room felt like it was broiling.

    “What is it?” Thomas asked, giving me an encouraging smile. “You can tell me.”

    “When…when all the members of the Order are all gone…we…w—we should…g—get…” In my own light-headed nervousness, the word I was trying to say would not come out, as if it had vanished without a trace from my very memory. However, I had forgotten all about it when Thomas’s eyes immediately darted to the window. His entire body turned around, and on his face was a look of almost fearful shock. “What is it? Is something wrong?”

    “…Someone’s coming,” he said.

    “Is it Apollomon?!” I looked out the window; the person I saw was, to my dismay, not Apollomon, nor anyone I knew, for that matter. The person — clearly a Digimon — was walking up to the villa through the scorched grasses of the lawn. “Who is that?”

    “I don’t know,” Thomas said, rising slowly to his feet. “Let’s go see.”
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  3. #103
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    Chapter 99 - Echoes from the Crypt

    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa

    The unknown Digimon stopped walking when Zelda and I stepped outside. Its pitch-black armor reflected the light of the sun, and he held a large, sheathed katana. It simply stood there as we approached it.

    “Who are you?” I asked warily.

    “You are the ones…fighting the Order of the Enchantress…correct?” The Digimon spoke slowly and unsteadily, but in a clear and firm voice.

    “Who are you?” I repeated. The Digimon held out his sheathed blade. We both took a step back as he brandished his weapon.

    “Foolish creatures who seek to change the course of destiny; I am a servant of the Order’s twelve! My name is Tactimon, and I am SkullCaliphmon’s only living knight from the days of old!” the Digimon thundered. Almost instinctively, I glanced up at the sky upon hearing SkullCaliphmon’s name.

    It’s almost night…I wonder if the servant suffers the same weakness as the master? I put my hand to my sword, but Tactimon held up a hand to stop me.
    “Your deaths will be much less agonizing if I am not required to use my sword.”

    “Then don’t draw your sword,” I said. “Better yet, stay still so it will be easier for me to kill you!”

    “Why have you come here?” Zelda asked. “Is SkullCaliphmon too afraid to show his face during the day?”

    Tactimon glared down at her. “His Grace SkullCaliphmon’s powers are limited during the day,” he said. “It is only under the light of the moon where he becomes truly immortal.”

    “And as soon as he steps out of that light, he can be killed as easily as you or me,” I said. Tactimon’s eyes narrowed with contempt.

    Be careful, Tommy,” Zelda whispered into my ear. “I can sense…a strange power emanating from his sword.

    A strange power…now I see…

    “You will never find out, because right here…right now…you shall all perish!” Tactimon yelled. In an instant, I drew my own sword, and both weapons clashed.
    Sparks flew in the air at their contact. My face was mere inches away from Tactimon’s as Tactimon vowed, “I shall fight you all to my very last breath with every ounce of strength that I possess!”

    “…Pathetic. So, this is all the strength you have?” I asked. Tactimon gasped quietly in surprise. His sword lowered. “I do not even need to use half of mine against you!” All in one motion, I batted his sealed sword away with my own and struck the side of his arm, forcing him back a few steps. Tactimon stared up at me, bewildered and with his free hand covering the bleeding wound on his sword arm.

    “How?! I am a Digimon, and you are nothing more than a mere Human!” Tactimon shouted. “How are you this strong?!”

    “You forget who you’re dealing with — or maybe you never knew,” I said. “I am an assassin. I live in the shadows, and I have successfully murdered every last target given to me…even Mega level Digimon. And you, Tactimon—” I pointed to the Digimon’s sword. “—your true strength lies in your strategical abilities, and not your physical strength. It’s your sword…your sword is your power, isn’t it?” Tactimon remained silent. “Your sword…it has some special abilities, doesn’t it? That’s why you keep it chained in your scabbard, right?”

    “…You found out so quickly,” Tactimon said. “You’re quite an observant one; I can see how you would make a good assassin. But how did you know about my sword? You are only a Human!”

    “You can thank my girlfriend; she has the ability to sense things that only a Digimon could sense, and not a Human.” Tactimon’s head turned to Zelda.
    “Then…you carry the Mark?”

    Zelda’s face went blank with shock. “…You know about us?” Her voice trembled.

    “I can sympathize with you, young lady,” Tactimon said. “The way you must have been treated…ALL those carrying the Mark are treated as such, and yet, you seem to be an exception.”

    “Tactimon…do you—”

    “What a cruel twist of fate,” Tactimon interrupted. “To be mistreated horribly for something that cannot be helped. That sort of thing should not happen to you…” Tactimon lowered his head. “…Rather…what I should say…that sort of thing should not happen to us…”

    “…You do have it,” Zelda whispered. Tactimon showed us his injured arm, where my sword had hit him. In the middle of the blood I had drawn was the Mark.
    “…I almost laughed out when you hit me, in the exact same place as this accursed Mark,” Tactimon said. “I had hoped…that you would have removed it completely with your attack…”

    “That would not have worked,” Zelda said. “My mother…when I was young…she cut the skin off the back of my hand — she did the same to my sister’s back, where her Mark was — in the hopes that it would disappear completely. But…no matter how many times she did it, the Mark would always return…She eventually drove herself mad from desperation, and I was always frightened that she would cut off my hand…Tactimon…there is no way to get rid of the Mark.”

    “I see…that is most unfortunate,” Tactimon sighed. He looked up at us; his pure yellow eyes almost seemed to be filled with sadness. “I…I cannot continue this fight…I cannot fight a fellow Marked…I cannot fight against one who treats us fairly…” Tactimon knelt down before us and placed his sword down on the lawn. “I surrender to the both of you. Do with me what you will. You may…even dispose of me if you wish, assassin.” I looked down at him, feeling nothing.

    “Why did you come here in the first place?” Zelda asked.

    “…SkullCaliphmon…His Grace…wanted you dealt with…I volunteered for the job, but…I didn’t know you were also Marked,” Tactimon said. “I…I didn’t know…” Tactimon began to weep quietly into his hands.

    “Tactimon. Why did you come here?” Zelda repeated gently.

    “SkullCaliphmon…he told me…to kill you all…”

    “Is your word to your master so irresolute that you will give up as easily as this?” I asked. Tactimon stared up at me in surprise. “I…am not a soldier. I cannot stand the knights of Valencia Territory and what they do. But I do fight as part of a guild, and I do have a master, just as you do, Tactimon. When he gives an order, I follow it — and not just me; everyone else in my guild does, too. We do so not because he is simply the one in charge; we do it because he is worthy of being in charge. That is something he has proved time and again. Is your bond with SkullCaliphmon really that weak?!”

    “…Say whatever you want. I…will not do something as unjust as inflict suffering on one who has been through Hell.”

    “Tactimon…you FOOL!” The sky darkened with thick clouds. Directly above us, the clouds swirled and formed a thin but powerful tornado that hit the ground between us and Tactimon. When it was over, SkullCaliphmon stood in its wake. “How dare you chose not to obey an order of mine?!”

    Tactimon cowered before his master. “Your Grace…please, forgive me…”

    “And now, you’re begging for forgiveness after giving up on life?! You’re a disgrace to my other knights hundreds of years ago, Tactimon!” SkullCaliphmon barked. The tall Mega Digimon held his sword up in the air, and spun it around in a circle. “Echoes from the Crypt!” The wind began to pick up around the four of us, gradually growing stronger and louder until a tornado formed around us. The wind blocked everything around us from sight, and for a moment, it felt as though I had been lifted up off the ground. Zelda kept a tight grip on my arm the entire time. I blinked. The winds were gone. We no longer stood in the front lawn of the villa; instead, we stood in the worst possible place.

    “This is…SkullCaliphmon’s castle?!” Zelda asked. I looked up. The sky had darkened with nightfall. The moon was in plain sight.

    How…did this happen? What was that?!

    “Pretty neat, huh?” SkullCaliphmon asked. Behind him was a large, ornate throne. “With just one attack, I brought all of us to my castle, hundreds of miles away from where we were, in only a few hours!” SkullCaliphmon’s head turned to look at Tactimon. “Tactimon, let me make one thing very clear to you; I order you to fight them! This is no longer a request!”

    “…No. I…refuse to fight these two,” Tactimon said firmly, standing to face SkullCaliphmon. “Do whatever you want to me, but I will not hurt—” SkullCaliphmon picked up his sword and shoved it deep into Tactimon’s face until it emerged through the back of his head.

    “Sheesh, it’s just talk, talk, talk with you, isn’t it?” SkullCaliphmon wiped the blood off his weapon as Tactimon’s data vanished. “Hah, preposterous. What could have driven him to choose his own demise?” SkullCaliphmon turned to look at Zelda and me. “Now…our fight begins.”
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  4. #104
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 100 - Creature of the Light

    Thomas Kasuto
    SkullCaliphmon’s Castle

    “Now…our fight begins,” SkullCaliphmon said. I drew my sword and Zelda reached for a Talisman right before SkullCaliphmon pointed upward. “Look up. The sky…it is clearly visible, and there’s not a cloud in sight!”

    Shit, he’s right! The moon was brightly shining down on everything in the castle, leaving not a speck of shadow around. He’s…immortal!

    “With the moon shining down this brightly, you won’t even be able to so much as hurt me, let alone kill me!” SkullCaliphmon laughed.

    “Final Elysion!” A beam of light shot out from above Zelda’s head and hit the Mega Digimon point blank. The attack created an explosion, kicking up sand and dust that hid SkullCaliphmon from view.

    “Gallantmon!” I gasped. The tall Digimon Spirit stepped between us and approached SkullCaliphmon.

    “You came here without me asking you to?” Zelda asked. “…I had forgotten you were able to.”

    “I apologize for that,” Gallantmon said. “I hope you do not mind me coming here; it seemed as though you were in danger.”

    “No, I don’t mind. Thank you for your help, Gallantmon.”

    “You think he helped you?!” SkullCaliphmon scoffed. “An attack like that couldn’t dare to come even remotely close to killing me under the moon’s light!”

    “He…isn’t hurt?!” Gallantmon exclaimed. “I had heard he was immortal, but this is unbelievable!”

    “Gallantmon, we need to find some way to get him into the shadows!” Zelda said. “He won’t be immortal anymore, then!”

    “You are correct,” SkullCaliphmon said. “You could also wait until morning…but you’ll all be dead long before either of those things happen! Sirocco Sword!” Gallantmon jumped in front of us, letting the unseen attack strike his shield. “Protect yourselves all you like! My winds can pierce through steel without effort!” As if on cue, the sides of Gallantmon’s round shield fell off as though they had been cut through. The corner of Gallantmon’s cape floated away in the same manner. “Look at that! Pretty clean, huh? No jagged edges or anything!”

    “…Gallantmon…do you think you could force him outside of this castle?” I whispered. “His immortality ability is only effective while standing inside this castle.”
    “I shall try…”

    “You will wear the face of despair when I am finished, Spirit; Grave Danger!” SkullCaliphmon raised his hand, with his palm upwards; countless tombs popped out of the stone floor and began flying in the air around Gallantmon.

    “Royal Saber!” A blast of lightning shot out from the tip of Gallantmon’s lance, striking each of the flying tombs and turning them to dust. However, more tombs popped out of the floor to take their place. When Gallantmon finally pointed his spear at SkullCaliphmon, the Undead Digimon merely laughed.

    “Now, dance, my tombs! Dance!” SkullCaliphmon began waving his enormous sword around in the air as if it were a conductor’s baton. All of the tombstones rushed forward and hit Gallantmon, each of them shattering into smaller, jagged pieces of rock that cut through Gallantmon’s armor and what was left of his shield. With his legs trembling, Gallantmon struggled to remain standing. SkullCaliphmon ran forward and hit Gallantmon over and over with his dual-bladed sword. Gallantmon weakly hit the floor, disappearing.

    No…even Gallantmon was defeated by him?! This isn’t good…

    “Now…you two…” SkullCaliphmon walked up to the two of us. “At your current rate, you’ll run out of Spirits to hurl at me before you both die. You have no chance of escape in my trap-filled castle. So, my question to you is this; how will you spend your last moments? Begging for mercy? In each other’s arms? Fighting back?”

    “We aren’t going to die here,” I whispered, drawing my sword from its scabbard. “You are.”

    “How will that happen? How are two Humans going to stop me?” SkullCaliphmon asked. “Oh…but I guess one of you isn’t a Human, though.” My heart skipped a beat, and I glanced over at Zelda. “Poor, contemptible creature…you are neither Human nor Digimon, the two races created by the Goddess. You have somehow deluded yourself into thinking these allies of yours care about you and love you. Your very existence is baffling…and your life is without meaning.”

    SkullCaliphmon, shut your mouth!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

    “…You’re wrong,” Zelda whispered. “My friends…they all care about me…and I care about them…”

    “That is not possible,” SkullCaliphmon said. “Who could ever love a half-breed subhuman? You are a disgusting presence.” Unable to contain my anger, I ran up to SkullCaliphmon and rammed my fist into his skull, sending him flying through the air. The Digimon landed on the ground behind his throne, where he was completely covered by its shadow.

    A shadow?! Then…if we can hit him hard enough… SkullCaliphmon sat up, and put a hand to his skull, below his right eye where I had hit him. Between his bony fingers, I could see that I had made a few small cracks. Although, that may not be necessary…

    “Damn, you hit hard; I wasn’t expecting to feel that,” SkullCaliphmon said, wrapping his fingers around the hilt of his sword.

    “You’re finished.”

    “What are you talking—” When SkullCaliphmon looked up at me, the part of his skull that I had struck fell apart, caving in and leaving a large hole behind that took his right eye with it. “What?! How did you do—”

    “Look down.”

    SkullCaliphmon did as he was told. His remaining eye cringed. “Shadows?! Here?! How is that possible?!” The Undead Digimon scrambled to stand up and leave the shadows provided by his throne. I kicked a rock that was near my foot, and it hit him in his other eye, making another hole. In a final effort to escape, he reached his arm out into the moonlight.

    “SkullCaliphmon…you are the one who lead a meaningless life,” I said. “Make sure to tell your friends in the Dark Area that.”

    “This is…not…the end…The others…they will—” I stomped with all my might on SkullCaliphmon’s shaking arm, shattering the bones and breaking his arm clean off. SkullCaliphmon’s skeletal body faded into dust, and was carried off by the wind, leaving his cloak, sword, and crown behind, all of which faded away soon after.

    I looked at Zelda, who was looking steadily down at the ground. “Are you okay?” I asked.

    “…I…I have been called worse,” Zelda said. She turned to smile at me and said, “I’ll be fine. I won’t cry…You don’t need to worry.” I sighed, and smiled back at her.

    “If you ever need to…you know where to find me,” I said. “I’ll always be there for you.”
    “Tommy…thank you.”

    I placed my arm around her shoulders and the two of us turned to leave.


    Lupinemon
    The Savage Prairie
    Shendu Territory

    The stars were brighter than they had been for a long time. “That must mean another of our number has been defeated,” I said to myself. “Us twelve darknesses that darken Arcadia, and with it, the light of hope…Our deaths brighten the stars’ light…” I was undisturbed by our vanishing comrades. Belphemon, Hydramon, Myotismon, they were all weak in my eyes. They were indeed powerful, but they let themselves be killed. A sure sign of weakness. Taking my mind off of them, I looked back up at the sky. Each star twinkled and shined. It was breathtaking. “I suppose that’s another good thing that comes of each of us dying…”

    “Care to repeat that little comment?” Without turning around, I knew who stood behind me; I could tell by the stench of iron that came from his armor.

    “Greetings, Generalmon,” I said.

    “You do not seem very agitated over the recent events that befell our group,” Generalmon said. “You do know that each of these deaths make the rest of us weaker, correct?”

    “Yeah, I know.”

    “And yet, you do not care? DeathPhantomon has informed me that SkullCaliphmon has fallen as well.” Generalmon remained silent for a few moments, as if expecting a reaction from me. I wasn’t going to give him one, of course. “Lupinemon…you do not belong with us.” That comment surprised me; I turned and bared my fangs at the Warrior Digimon, growling. “You are not like the rest of us.”

    “Explain yourself before I tear you limb from limb, Generalmon!”

    “…You can hide behind your empty words as often as you wish,” Generalmon said. “You say you are a Demon Beast…but you are really…an Exalted Beast.”

    “Are you questioning my loyalty to the Order?!” I roared. “How dare you?!”

    “I dare because I know it to be true!” Generalmon retorted. “You are a creature of the light, not meant to walk amongst the shadows. Your presence dissipates the darkness we loyal to the order need in order to thrive here, outside of the Dark Area!”

    I flung myself at the heavily-armored Digimon, but he swatted me away with his large axe.

    “Take that anger and direct it at the members of Lachesis — and not at me — if you truly wish to prove your loyalty.”

    I turned my head to glare at Generalmon, but he was gone. My heart was beating rapidly, and I could hear it easily in the silence of the night.

    “…Members of Lachesis, huh?” I looked up at the sky. “Yeah…I’ll pay them a visit…”
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  5. #105
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 101 - True Emotions

    Andromon
    2 Days

    I had heard rumors of his presence in this city. Myotismon’s words continued to ring in my ears as I walked through the moonlit streets of Yew, and even though word of his demise came to me a while ago — along with his destruction of the northernmost part of this city — they continued to haunt me. I know I had no emotions with which to feel this way — they died with my humanity when I became Andromon. Neither Human, nor completely a Digimon, either. But even so, his words…they continued to unease me, confuse me. Could it be that my heart is actually beginning to remember how to feel? I wasn’t even sure if I had a heart anymore. Probably not. But if I did…that would certainly explain the emotions I was told I wasn’t supposed to have…by everyone I have met ever since I became this form.

    “Everyone…except for Thomas,” I muttered. “The only one who has yet to berate me, he is…him and his friends…” My thoughts turned immediately to the three…They had never really specifically mentioned anything about whether or not I should feel emotions; however, they also haven’t said that I couldn’t…I quickly pushed all of these thoughts from my head. I had to focus on the task at hand. I had to find him. Even if he kills me as soon as he sees me, I had to find him. The chance that my questions would be answered was something I was more than willing to risk my very existence over, and I wouldn’t give up until I found him. After about an hour of walking, the scent of carnage caught my attention. “Odd…in the northern part of the city, I am not…yet the aroma of death lingers fresh on the air…”

    “Who goes there?!” An enormous Digimon glared down at me. He stood on the ground, and yet he was taller than every building around. “There should be no survivors…who are you?!”

    “You have been sought out intentionally…There are questions for you, I have,” I said. “My name is Andromon.”

    “…A Machine Digimon? Or perhaps—”

    “Not a Digimon at all, I am,” I interrupted. “Or, so I have been told since turning into this monstrosity you see before you.”

    “Why have you come here?” His voice sounded less angered, and truly curious by this point. “What questions did you have for me?”

    “…Your ally…Myotismon…Told me about you, he did,” I said. “A Machine Digimon, you are, and yet you possess emotions. Please…tell me…how I can get my own emotions, Machinedramon.”

    “…Emotions…are not something you can simply ‘get,’” Machinedramon said. “You either have them or you don’t. Nothing to it.”

    “But it’s different for us!” I yelled. “We’re machines; just hunks of steel! Some of us have emotions, and some of us don’t!”

    “Which is exactly what I meant by ‘you either have them or you don’t,’” Machinedramon said.

    “And I…I’m a step further from different,” I said. “Created…in a lab, I was…the researchers…they forcefully combined a Human with Digimon DNA. They failed…and thus, I was created, doomed to never be either race ever again…”

    “Oh…so, you were a prototype for those Bio Hybrids Lilithmon has working for her…” Machinedramon stared down at me silently for a few seconds. “…Myotismon…said you have no possessions because of your origins, didn’t he?”

    “Yes. Not the only one, he was, but his words sting the most.”

    “That’s probably what I hate the most about that bastard; he’s never direct with someone unless he’s insulting them,” Machinedramon spat.

    “You do not like him?”

    “Hardly! I hate him even more than DeathPhantomon and Lilithmon! That is definitely saying something!” Machinedramon said.

    “He told me you have true emotions…what do you do…to experience yours?”

    “You want to prove him wrong, don’t you?” I nodded. “…I feel happiest…when I am destroying things. Rampaging through a city like this one, killing innocent people, seeing the streets stained red with all the blood…nothing makes me happier than seeing something so artistic. If you want to prove Myotismon wrong…then do as I do, Andromon.”

    “Do as…you…” I turned to a building beside me, opening up my chest plate and preparing to fire a Gatling Attack.

    “No, not that one,” Machinedramon interrupted. “Not just any building. If you want my advice, if you want my help, then you will go after a particular building. If you can get rid of that one, then you may be at my side as much as you wish.”

    “At your…side?”

    “We both hate Myotismon. We are both mechanical Digimon. Furthermore, to be honest, I do not particularly mind your company, Andromon,” Machinedramon said. “Destroy this one building for me…you will experience emotions as I do…this is beneficial to both of us.”
    “…Where is this building?”


    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa
    5 Hours

    “You killed him?!” Statch gazed at me in awe. Zelda and I had just returned home. Statuedramon was the first to greet us, and his first words were ‘where the hell did you two go off to?! Do you know how worried we’ve been?!’ as he dragged us into the living room, where Luna, Chrysania, and Pheragas sat. “You actually did it?! How?!”

    “I thought the plan was to wait a little longer for Apollomon to return,” Luna said.

    “…I take it this means they haven’t returned yet,” I said. Luna shook her head sadly.

    “They’ll be okay, mommy,” Chrysania said, placing her arms around the sorceress’s slim waist. Luna reached down and patted her on the head. “Mr. Apollomon’s really super strong, and, and he’s got Dianamon and BlackGaomon with them…they’ll be okay…”

    “…Sure they will, sweetie…”

    “So, vhy is it you two decided to go to de desert, den?” Pheragas asked. “And how did you get back so quickly?”

    “Well, we didn’t really decide to go,” I said. “SkullCaliphmon just kind of showed up and took us to his castle without our consent.”

    “He used one of his attacks to take us there in only a few hours, rather than days. It seemed like an instant to all of us, though” Zelda added. “After Thomas…after he killed him, we had to walk all the way back.”

    “Wait, you killed him?” Statch asked.

    “All I did was punch him in the skull,” I shrugged. “He was…saying some terrible things about her…I just got so mad that I punched him. He flew over his throne and landed in its shadow, and next thing I know, the part of his skull where I hit him broke apart and left a big hole, and he died.”

    “You punched his skull in,” Statch said. “You literally fractured his skull…with your bare hands…Remind me to never piss you off again…”

    “It seems your title of ‘The Assassin’ is well deserved, indeed,” Luna said. “You permanently killed an unkillable man. Twice.”

    “And now, ve ah left vith eight to kill,” Pheragas said. “Vut ah your orders, Thomas?”

    “…I really think we should go looking for Apollomon,” I said. “But we don’t have any idea where they went; we don’t even know where Seraphimon is…”

    “If we find him, he might be able to tell us where Apollomon, Dianamon, and BlackGaomon are,” Luna suggested.

    “I think one wild-goose chase is enough; I say we focus more on Apollomon than Seraphimon,” Statuedramon said. “If we decide to go searching for them, that is!”

    “We’ll all go along with whatever you decide to do, sweetie,” Zelda said, gently squeezing my hand.

    “…Luna…you fought Generalmon, right? Did he tell you anything in particular that might reveal where he might be?” I asked.

    “Actually, he did; he seemed to have a pretty deep grudge against the entire city of Acacia,” Luna said. “I don’t know what would drive someone to hate an entire city like that, but I’d be willing to bet that if he’s anywhere, that’s where he’d be.”

    “And this Generalmon…is he strong?” I asked. “I know you fought him on your own, Luna, but how strong do you think he is? Would we be fine as a group?”

    I think so,” Luna shrugged. “I’m not even that strong, and I killed him by myself. Though, he did break a few of my ribs in the process…”

    “…Okay, here’s the plan,” I said after a moment’s thought. I opened my mouth to speak again when Statuedramon suddenly sprung up.

    “I hear something!” he said frantically.

    “What is it?” Luna asked.

    “…Sounds like…” he gasped. “Everyone, get down!” Without hesitation, all of us hit the floor as two missiles soared through the air and crashed through the windows, exploding.
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  6. #106
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 102 - Lucemon's Decision

    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa

    The windows shattered, sending shards of broken glass flying everywhere as we hit the floor. I quickly grabbed Zelda and lay over her to shield her from the attack with my body, and Luna did the same for Chrysania. I lifted my head just high enough to get a look around, my ears ringing. The entire room was filled with smoke from the explosion, but luckily, there didn’t seem to be any flames. Statuedramon stood in front of all of us, holding up his shield to protect us from any additional oncoming attacks as Pheragas placed himself between Luna and the new hole in the wall to protect them.

    “Is everybody okay?!” Statuedramon asked.

    “Damn it! They just keep coming, one after another,” I muttered. “Who is it this time?!”

    “I can’t tell; I’m going out!” Statch nervously walked up to the smoldering hole. Zelda and I both carefully sat up; we were surrounded by shards of broken glass, and we were both covered in small cuts that stang when we moved.

    “I’m okay,” she whispered, anticipating what I would say. There was a particularly large cut on the side of her left arm. Blood welled forth from it, staining her sleeve. I clenched my fist, looking down at the floor.

    I am so fucking sick of seeing her get hurt! She’s been through so much in her life, but all of our enemies find it necessary to do things like this to her! I unclenched my fist when I realized I had torn open the skin of my knuckles in doing so. I’m going to kill that bastard in the most painful way I know how for doing this to her! I placed a quick kiss on Zelda’s forehead, then ran through the smoke and outside after Statuedramon. “Who is it? Who’s the bastard who hurt her?!”

    “Is she okay?!” Statch asked.

    “She’s fine,” I replied.

    Shaking his head, he looked around. “I can’t see anyone through all this smoke!”

    “Two voices…familiar to me, they are.” A form finally began to materialize in the smoke. The voice of the person who had spoken was familiar. “Oh, dear…a terrible mistake, I have made…”

    “…Andromon? Andromon, is that you?!” I asked. The prototype Bio Hybrid walked through the smoke. “Andromon, what the hell are you doing here?!”

    “This place…is where you live,” Andromon said to himself. “I had not been made aware of such fact.”

    “What are you talking about?” Statuedramon asked.

    “Asked to come here, I was. Ordered to eliminate this building and all its residents, was I.”

    “…Someone made you come here?” Statch asked. “Your speech pattern’s kind of confusing me…”

    “…He was right, though,” Andromon said. “Told me I would feel emotions for the first time when I came here, did he. And emotions, I do feel…not the ones he promised me, but emotions nonetheless.”

    “And who is he?” I asked, suddenly feeling less angry. I guess I can’t really be mad at Andromon if he wasn’t told we were here…

    “Machinedramon is his name. Ally of Myotismon, he is.”

    “Machinedramon…he’s one of Lilithmon’s allies,” Statuedramon said.

    “Andromon, do you know where he is?” I asked. The anger that had vanished was suddenly renewed. Andromon looked down at me.

    “…You would…trust me?” he asked. “After I…attacked you?”

    “C’mon; it’s obvious you didn’t know this was where we all lived. You haven’t attacked since you realized that.” In spite of the circumstances, I did my best to smile at Andromon. “Also…you said you felt emotions for the first time…what do you feel, seeing what you’ve done?”

    “…I feel…what you would call…despair,” Andromon said. “Guilt.”

    “Then, that’s all the more reason we have to trust you, Andromon. You obviously didn’t want to hurt me or my friends,” I said. “Please…take us to where Machinedramon is.” Andromon stared at me for the longest time.
    “…Very well. Wish to make up for what I have done, I do. Take you to him, I shall.”


    Yew
    20 Minutes

    “Almost there, we are,” Andromon said. Statuedramon and I were the only ones who had gone with him. Luna was with the others, treating their cuts and wounds from the broken glass with her potions and spells.

    “You shouldn’t have come with me,” Statuedramon said. “I’m okay because of my shield, but you’re pretty badly cut up from protecting Zelda.”

    “I’m fine,” I said. “It’s only on my back. If you’re worried, I’ll have Luna take a look at it after we’ve killed Machinedramon.”

    “Your hand’s bleeding, too.”

    “That was from clenching my fist too hard.” Statuedramon grimaced, taking a few steps away from me.

    “I apologize,” Andromon said. “If I…if I hadn’t—”

    “Andromon, I told you; you have nothing to apologize for,” I said, giving him what I hoped was a friendly smile. Andromon nodded understandingly, but the look in his eyes made it seem like he wasn’t fully convinced yet. “…Tell you what; if you still feel bad about it, then you can help us fix up the villa. Deal?”

    “…Yes, of course,” Andromon said. “Thomas…the first person to not treat me any differently after I turned into this form, you were. Do anything to help you and your friends, I would.”

    “Glad to hear it, buddy.”

    “We’ve reached Braig’s lab,” Statuedramon said. “This is where he’s at, right?”

    “Told me he would be waiting here, he did,” Andromon said. “But see him, I do not…”

    “This was where he was freed from the Dark Area by Sephyrus, wasn’t it?” I asked.

    “So he has told me.” The ground trembled. Somebody was slowly approaching us. Somebody big.

    “Think that’s him?” Statch whispered. I nodded. The three of us turned around as the giant, mechanical Digimon came into view. In spite of his large size and the length of each of his strides, it seemed to take him ages to finally walk over to the frozen lab.

    “Andromon…back so soon?” he asked. “Good job! How did it go? Did you find the emotions you sought?”

    “…Not exactly,” Andromon said, giving Statuedramon and me a rather confused look.

    …Doesn’t Machinedramon see us?

    “I discovered the way emotions feel…for the first time,” Andromon said. “Machinedramon…you promised me joy…I felt sorrow…guilt…”

    “I’m sorry to hear that,” Machinedramon said, sounding truly remorseful. “Were you successful in killing them?”

    “…No. I found that I could not do it.”

    “I understand; if it is the first time, it is always a little overwhelming,” Machinedramon said sympathetically. “Now…who are these two?”

    “You don’t remember us?!” Statuedramon exclaimed. “I killed you, like, two or three weeks ago!”

    “…I do not remember,” Machinedramon said. “Wait…are you from that Lachesis group?”

    “YES!!!”

    “Oh, now I see. Andromon, why did you bring them with you?”

    “We are here to kill you, Machinedramon,” Andromon replied.

    “…Kill me? After everything I’ve done to try to help you, Andromon, you’d do that to me?”

    “Tell me my friends lived in that house, you did not! Kill you, we will!”

    “…I see.” Machinedramon lowered his large head to face Andromon specifically. “I, Machinedramon, will not yield to the frail heart of an infantile coward! Don’t resist; it’ll make your deaths faster and more painless!”

    “I’d like to say the same to you!” Statuedramon said. “Seeing as how I killed you last time and all…”

    “My power has no limits!” Machinedramon roared. “I will crush you! Giga Cannon!” Statch held up his shield as Machinedramon fired off his attacks. Not aimed at him, Machinedramon’s attacks soared over Statch’s head and blew up Braig’s old laboratory. After over a month of being frozen in place, the ice finally shattered as the building collapsed in place. Statuedramon was left transfixed, staring, at the now burning building, as Machinedramon struck him from behind with his right arm’s Dragon Fire attack, sending the Rookie hurtling through the air and into the rubble of a demolished house.

    “Lighting Blade!” Andromon joined in the fight, firing off several energy blades at the titanic Machinedramon, though all of his attacks bounced and broke apart as they hit his steel body. “Speak to Wisemon, did you not? How was Machinedramon defeated ages past, I wonder?”

    “He was killed by a Digimon called EmperorGreymon,” I said. “Like most of the others from the Celestial Vanguard, nobody seems to know where he went, so we’re going to have to try to defeat Machinedramon by ourselves!”

    “Giga Cannon!”

    “Watch out!” Andromon pulled me to the ground just as Machinedramon attacked again. The attack passed harmlessly over our heads, eventually vanishing from sight.

    “Just give up!” Machinedramon said. “You can’t run; I’ll just chase you down until I catch you!”

    “We’re not running away,” I said. “My job is to kill people like you on a daily basis. I couldn’t look at myself in the fucking mirror if I turned away now!” Statuedramon finally climbed out of the rubble, and ran over to us.

    “Yeah, you’d better believe we’d die before surrendering!” he yelled.

    “Permission granted. Giga Cannon!”

    “Gatling Attack!” Andromon’s chest plate opened up and fired two missiles into Machinedramon’s cannons before he could attack. The cannons exploded, consuming Machinedramon in a ball of flames.

    “Holy shit!” Statch exclaimed.

    “Andromon…”

    “Stop him, that will not,” Andromon said. “Prepared for him, you must be.” As if on cue, Machinedramon stomped through the flames, heavily burnt with several wires drooping all over him. Bits and pieces of his steel armor had melted away, and as he walked, he left behind puddles of molten iron. The cannons on his back had simply vanished.

    “I misjudged you,” Machinedramon said. “But you will not be so lucky again; Dragon Fire!” Machinedramon brought his claw down on us as Andromon shoved Statch and me out of the way, grabbing Machinedramon’s arm midair before it hit the ground. Andromon hit the ground in a matter of seconds, becoming trapped under Machinedramon’s claw. “You were too much trouble.”

    “Lightning Blade!” With his free arm, Andromon fired another energy blade, this one piercing clear through Machinedramon’s arm. After a loud, metallic creak broke the silence that followed, Machinedramon’s arm fell off, freeing Andromon. Machinedramon took another step forward as Andromon attacked him once again, sending a Lightning Blade through the larger Digimon’s chest. Machinedramon came to a sudden stop; various mechanical bits and screws fell through the hole in his chest, followed by some melted iron and torn wires.

    “Well…it seems…you have beaten me,” Machinedramon said, his voice and his body creaking loudly. “But the Order of the Enchantress shall triumph! I may perish…but sooner or later…the Darkness of the Dark Area…it will billow forth and devour this continent!” With a final creak, Machinedramon’s head fell off and hit the ground with a resonating thud, sending small scraps of iron flying into the air as his body disappeared, leaving nothing behind. Andromon sighed with relief, falling back down to the ground.

    “Andromon, are you okay?” I asked.

    “Be fine…I will,” Andromon said, breathing heavily. “That…wore me out…”

    “When we get back home, we’ll have our witch brew you up a potion; they snatch the exhaustion right out of you,” Statuedramon said enthusiastically. “You are…coming with us, aren’t you?”
    “Still…owe you a debt, I do,” Andromon said. “Fix your house, I shall.” I smiled.


    Horusmon

    “…And so…the fifth flame dies out…” I sighed. Machinedramon…you were so powerful, too; how could they be this strong?! Or…is it that we’re getting weaker? I looked down at the city of Yew from the sky. Thomas, Statuedramon, and Andromon were leaving. I could…attack them right now…but…that would not be an honorable victory. I wish to fight them at their strongest.

    “Horusmon!” I turned around. Flying up to me was Lucemon.

    Oh, great; him. Even DeathPhantomon would be better than him…

    “Lucemon wishes to know what you are doing,” Lucemon said, his monotoned voice as dull and creepy as ever.

    “Just observing the battlefield from afar.”

    “Like a vulture, waiting to pick clean the bones of the fallen.”

    I looked at Lucemon. “Is there a point to your visit?” I asked.

    “Lilithmon told Lucemon that you were the last to see Apollomon and Seraphimon alive,” Lucemon said. “Was her statement a truth, or was it a falsity?”

    “No. She speaks the truth. For once.” I looked to the north. “I buried them in a landslide in the Black Rose Mountains a while ago. I have no doubt that they are still alive, but they will all die at some point.”

    “LUCEMON WANTS TO BE THE ONE TO KILL THEM!”

    “…You really are an oddity, Lucemon,” I said. “I’ll take you to where they were buried. How’s that?”

    “Lucemon wants to kill the other members, too,” Lucemon said. “You will take Lucemon to where they were buried, then Lucemon will find the other members and kill them all at once.”

    “Got it.” Freak.
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  7. #107
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 103 - Andromon Joins

    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa
    20 Minutes

    Zelda immediately threw her arms around me as Statch and I walked into the villa. I was surprised at first, but I returned her loving embrace. Luna, Chrysania, and Pheragas crowded behind her. “Welcome back,” she whispered. “None of you got hurt, right?”

    “It’s nothing we can’t handle,” Statuedramon said. “I got kicked into a building, so I guess I’m a little bruised up, and Thomas is still cut up from when Andromon attacked the house, and—”

    “That was Andromon who did that?” Zelda asked.

    “Yeah…did we not tell her…?” Statch looked up at me.

    “No. We just walked outside and spoke to Andromon before going to Yew,” I said. We were probably gone for about an hour; no wonder everybody looks so worried…

    “I’ll get you a concoction for all those cuts; I’ll see if I can find anything for Statch, too,” Luna said, heading upstairs.

    “Is Andromon okay?” Zelda asked. I turned to glance behind me; Andromon stood motionless on the lawn, giving the entire villa a guilty stare.

    “You can come in if you’d like,” I said. Reluctantly, Andromon’s eyes glanced up at me, but he slowly walked toward us.

    “It’s good to see you again, Andromon,” Zelda said, smiling sweetly at the Digimon.

    “Apologize immediately, I must,” Andromon said quietly. “‘Twas I who attacked—”

    “Yeah, Tommy just now told us you were the one who attacked us,” Chrysania said. “You don’t need to feel sad about it; you’re still traveling with Tommy, so you must be a good guy!”

    “He already promised us that he would help us rebuild,” Statuedramon said.

    “Vut’s done is done,” Pheragas said, nodding. “If you ah helping us, den you really ah an ally.” Andromon looked at the five of us. His eyes began to well with tears.

    “…Everybody…I thank you…from the bottom of my nonexistent heart…”

    “Don’t cry, man; you’ll just rust,” Statuedramon said. I opened my mouth to speak, but my words came out as a partially stifled yell. There was a searing pain on my back, as if there was melted steel being poured on it.

    “Stop complaining; if it hurts, that just means it’s working,” Luna said. “I’ll have the tears on the backs of your shirt and coat looked at later.” The sorceress walked over to Statuedramon and took hold of his arm, slathering a putrid, green potion on a large gash, making the Digimon howl in pain. Ignoring him, Luna looked up at Andromon. “Are you hurt, big guy?” Andromon glanced at Statch and me.

    “…No…harmed, I am not,” he said slowly.

    “Suit yourself. Make sure you come to me the next time you start bleeding.” Luna began slowly lapping the mixture of mine and Statch’s blood off the tips of her dainty fingers with a look of calm but crazed joy in her eyes. “I’ll make sure to have you…dealt with…” Andromon slowly backed away from the sorceress.
    “It should stop burning in about ten minutes,” Zelda whispered to me when Luna was looking the other way.

    “You didn’t get hurt too bad, did you?” I asked.

    “No, I’m…fine…” She gave me a worried look as I quietly removed a shard of glass from the side of my right arm.

    “Well, Machinedramon’s dead,” Statuedramon said.

    “Dat is very good!” Pheragas exclaimed. “Dat leaves us vith seven left, no?”

    “Is Mr. Andromon going to join Lachesis?!” Chrysania asked, excitedly jumping up and down. Unsurprisingly, she slipped and nearly fell, but Pheragas caught her in his large arms.

    “You need to calm down, little vun.”

    “I’ve been trying to, but I can’t do it when I’m really super happy!”

    “But you ah alvays happy.”

    “Oh, yeah…”

    “Have a place to go, I do not,” Andromon said solemnly. “Stay here, I will…if you’d let me…”

    “YESYESYESYES! Oh, please say you’ll join us!”

    “Very well…I…shall,” Andromon said. Chrysania squealed with sheer delight; throwing her arms up in the air, she hugged Andromon.

    “THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU THANKYOU!” Chrysania began bouncing up and down, nearly making her hat fall off.

    “It’s almost time for dinner; would you like to join us, Andromon?” Luna asked.

    “Required to eat, I am not,” Andromon said. “Not eaten in four years, I have, nor do I feel the urge to do so.”

    “Would you like to join us?” Luna repeated.

    “…I would.”

    “Great! The dining room is this way…”

    “Would you like me to give you a hand, Luna?” I asked.

    “I was going to make you, anyway; glad to see you’re volunteering.” The witch smiled at me.

    “HALT!” All of us turned to face Andromon. His eyes were open wide. “Someone…is approaching…”

    “What do you mean?” Statch asked.

    “Approaching this house, somebody is,” Andromon said. His head turned around completely, and looked out the open door. “There…in the sky…” The rest of Andromon’s body turned around, and the Android Digimon stepped outside. Nervously, Zelda and I followed after him in time to see a rather tall Digimon descend from the sky onto the villa’s lawn.

    “Greetings, members of the guild known as Lachesis,” the Digimon said in a dull, monotone voice. “I believe this is the first time you have met Lucemon, is it not?”

    “You’re a member of the Order of the Enchantress,” I said.

    “Yes, Lucemon is a part of that group.” The Digimon stood silently, staring at us. “Do you…need something from Lucemon?”

    “Uh…you were the one that came to us,” Statuedramon said.

    “…Yes…Lucemon did come here…But he cannot remember why…”

    “How’d a guy this dumb almost kill Dianamon?” I whispered to Statch.

    “Lucemon heard you.” The Digimon was suddenly two inches away from my face. “Lucemon hears everything. He also just remembered why he came here.”

    “…Well? Why did you come here?” Zelda asked.

    “Lucemon came here…because…he knows where Apollomon is.”

    “Apollomon?! Where is he, you bastard?!” Statuedramon asked.

    “Apollomon is with Dianamon, BlackGaomon, and Seraphimon in the Black Rose Mountains,” Lucemon said. “They were buried in a landslide, but are still alive.” Without a moment’s hesitation, I ran out the door, only to be stopped by Andromon.

    “A trap, this could be,” he warned.

    “I am not going to risk the lives of my friends over the chance that what he says could be a lie!” I said. “Even if it is a trap — even if Lucemon is just going to take us away somewhere and attempt to kill us — that’s okay. We’d have to fight him eventually, so it’s just as well that he showed himself now, rather than later.”

    “What Lucemon has told you is not a lie; your friends are in the Black Rose Mountains,” Lucemon said.

    Could be,” I said. I looked up at the orange sky. “Andromon, you come with me.”

    “Me…? Go with you?” Andromon asked.

    “It’s getting late, and I’m sure the others are getting tired and hungry,” I said. “Also…while Apollomon is away, I’m in charge, so I’m ordering you to come with me.”

    “U—understood…” Andromon spoke nervously, though he smiled at me.

    “Would you like me to go with you?” Zelda asked quietly.

    “No. It’ll be dark by the time we reach the mountains; I don’t know what might be waiting for us there, or if that’s where we’ll be going at all,” I said. “Please…stay here where it’s safe.”

    “…Okay…please be careful…”

    “We will.” I leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “We’ll both be back before you know it.” Lucemon placed his arms around mine and Andromon’s waists and hoisted us up into the sky.
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  8. #108
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 104 - True Master

    Thomas Kasuto
    40 Minutes

    I looked down on the scene far beneath. Several peaks of the Black Rose Mountain range where visible beneath, while others were hidden in the clouds above. Lucemon had flown incredibly fast in spite of carrying both me and Andromon, and though it was night by the time we reached the Black Rose Mountains, we reached them sooner than if we had gone by foot, which would have taken an entire day.

    I’ve never been here at night. It looks…different. The entire landscape had an eternally menacing look to it; during the day, the jagged spires and seemingly bottomless chasms seemed to have a blood-red glow to them. At night, each of the mountains were pure, pitch black, making them look like the claws of a hideous beast. The perpetual dark clouds that hung low in the sky did not help matters. Occasionally, they would rumble with thunder, or move with a heavy wind, but it very rarely rained in the area. The only precipitation the mountains received were at their peaks, which — when they could actually be seen through the dark clouds, which was hardly ever — were completely pure white with snow, in stark contrast to their dark appearance at night. The chasms underfoot glowed an eerily blood red.

    “Horusmon showed Lucemon where your friends were buried.” Lucemon finally landed, carefully placing Andromon and me on the ground.

    “Horusmon is here?” I asked.

    “He is deeper in the mountains from where your friends are buried,” Lucemon replied. “Your friends are…in this general vicinity…”

    “Thomas…detecting signs of life in this direction, I am,” Andromon said, pointing down a steep cliff.

    “Yes, that is where they are,” Lucemon said. He picked the two of us up once more and flew down the slope at a dizzying speed. He stopped when we reached a large pile of boulders.

    “They…they’re buried under all that?!” I asked incredulously.

    “How are they still alive?” Andromon asked breathlessly. I started to scurry over to the boulders, but Lucemon placed his hand over my shoulder, stopping me.

    “Allow Lucemon,” he said. “Grand Cross!” Lucemon created a cruciform syzygy in his hands, which he then fired at the boulders. The boulders were destroyed instantly, shattering into little more than sand and leaving the forms of four Digimon in their wake.

    “APOLLOMON! DIANAMON! BLACKGAOMON! SERAPHIMON” I ran over to the body of our guild’s leader, slumped against a rock. He was covered in dust and bruises, but he was breathing. “APOLLOMON! APOLLOMON, SPEAK TO ME, DAMN IT!” Slowly, the Mega Digimon’s eyes opened.

    “Thomas…” he began to laugh quietly, though it quickly turned into a fit of coughs. “So…you found us…Tell me; are the others…okay?” I looked over at Dianamon, BlackGaomon, and Seraphimon. The three Digimon were slowly beginning to sit themselves up with the help of Andromon.

    “Yeah…yeah, they’re all fine,” I said.

    Apollomon rested his head in his hand. “Damn…how long were we buried here for, kid?”

    “It’s been a few weeks. Are you okay, sir?”

    “Yeah, I think so. We Digimon are built differently from Humans, you know,” Apollomon said. “I could’ve easily lasted a few more weeks like that…Just sayin’…” Apollomon placed his hand on top of my head. “So, what sort of hell have you all been raising without me around?”

    “Well, we killed five of Lilithmon’s allies…” Apollomon’s eyes widened as Andromon shouted my name. I looked up just in time to see Lucemon hold out his two hands, one enveloped with light and one with darkness.

    “Ultimate Sacrifice.”

    “Gatling Attack!” Lucemon was struck down to the ground by Andromon’s attack.

    “This guy…I’ve killed him before,” Dianamon said weakly.

    “Sit down! You aren’t strong enough to fight him now!” I said. “Leave this to Andromon and me; you four sit back and take it easy for now.”

    “Hmph. You giving us orders?” Apollomon asked.

    “Until you return home…it was the general consensus among the others that I act as leader,” I said. “So, yes…I am ordering you, Apollomon, and you, Dianamon, BlackGaomon, and Seraphimon, to sit down and take it easy.”

    “This is weird; being given orders by someone I’m used to bossing around,” Apollomon said.

    “When you all get your strength back in a few days, do something about it,” I said firmly.

    “I didn’t know you had such a side to you, Thomas,” Dianamon said. “I kind of like it.”

    I walked off to join Andromon. “Where is he?”

    “I do not know,” Andromon said. “Detect the warmth of life from him when we flew, I did not.”

    “So, we just need to be on our guard, is what you’re saying.” I pulled my sword from its scabbard. “Which way did he fall?” Andromon raised his hand, but before he could point, Lucemon charged him, tackling the Android Digimon to the ground. Lucemon aimed a punch at Andromon’s face, but only ended up hurting his own hand when Andromon moved, making Lucemon punch the steel-covered part of his head. I quietly snuck up behind Lucemon and placed my hand over his mouth, and just as my sword made contact with his neck, he grabbed my arm and flung me over his shoulder. As I was in the air, Lucemon flew up to me and shoved his knee into my back, making me fall to the ground.

    “You imbecile! You have no chance of winning against us, no matter how many of us you kill!” Lucemon said, placing his foot on the back of my head. “Your friends have but one fate; to sink into the darkness! And you will share that fate, Thomas!”

    “Lightning Blade!” Andromon’s attack hit Lucemon in the middle of his back, knocking him off of me. As Lucemon lay on the ground, I was reminded of Wisemon’s words.

    “Dianamon…your mother fought him,” I said.

    “…You mean Crusadermon,” Lucemon said. “Yes…that Digimon engaged in combat with Lucemon…”

    “What about her?” Dianamon asked.

    “I don’t understand the details of it, but apparently…” I looked at Lucemon, took a deep breath, and sighed. “Apparently…these Digimon lose power when they fight someone carrying the blood or the weapon of the Digimon that killed them five hundred years ago.”

    “Thomas…why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Dianamon slowly rose up, despite her trembling legs. Using her hook as support, she walked up behind me and Andromon.

    “We’ve already killed five of them, and Lucemon’s only an Ultimate level; I thought Andromon and I could handle it.”

    Lucemon glared at us. “You are all nothing in the shadow of the Order; you will all fall one by one at Lucemon’s hands!” he shouted.

    “I’ve heard enough from you; Arrow of Artemis!” Dianamon’s attack pierced through all of Lucemon’s ten wings, pinning him against the side of a cliff. A look of horror spread across Lucemon’s face as Dianamon leapt up and brandished her weapon.

    “No…please, don’t!” Lucemon pleaded. “Lucemon doesn’t want to—”

    “Crescent Harken!” Dianamon tore through Lucemon’s body, cutting him in half. Lucemon screamed as the two halves of his body hit the ground before they both disintegrated into small bits of data. Breathing heavily, Dianamon sat herself down on a nearby rock. “Well…that wasn’t…so hard…”

    “Dianamon…you shouldn’t have pushed yourself,” Apollomon said. “Thomas is right, you know…we’re all running low on energy…”

    “With Lucemon dead…how many does that leave us with?” BlackGaomon asked.

    “Lucemon was the sixth to fall,” I said. “We’re halfway done.”

    “Who do we have left to kill?” Seraphimon asked.

    “Generalmon, Horusmon, DeathPhantomon, Lupinemon, Cherubimon, and Lilithmon are all still out there. But with the other half gone, they’re sure to be running low on strength.”

    “That does not mean we can take them lightly,” Apollomon said. “Even with half of them gone…they are all still incredibly powerful…”

    “Understood, sir,” I said.

    “I thought you were in charge until I returned home,” Apollomon smirked. In a mocking voice, he added, “Sir.”

    “I know how much you love bossing us all around,” I said. “It doesn’t feel right when it’s the other way around. When we get home…you can get started right away. All of us have missed you doing it.”

    “Really? Even Statuedramon?” Dianamon asked.

    “Especially him.”

    “Well, in that case, we’d better get started,” Apollomon said. “We’re all going to need a little help…”

    “Hey, Andromon, are you hurt?” I asked.

    “Feel pain, I do not,” was his reply.

    “In that case, can you help me carry these guys back?”

    “Happy to, I would be.”
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

  9. #109
    I'm a Maniac IamTheSovereign's Avatar
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    Chapter 105 - Return to the Mountaints

    Thomas Kasuto
    Saias’s Villa
    12 Hours

    Without having Lucemon with us to fly us around, our return home had taken longer than our journey to the mountains. With only Andromon and me to half-carry and half-drag the bodies of Apollomon, Dianamon, BlackGaomon, and Seraphimon, it was surprising to me that we found our way home as soon as we did.

    Pheragas, Luna, Chrysania, Statuedramon, and Zelda all crowded around us as soon as we walked in. Pheragas effortlessly hefted both Seraphimon and Apollomon at once into the air with his massive arms, carefully setting them down on the couches in the living room as Andromon and I did the same for Dianamon and BlackGaomon.

    “Lucemon has been killed,” I said.

    “Den ve ah half-finished vith dem!” Pheragas exclaimed.

    “So, what happened to you guys up there?” Luna asked. Reaching into her cleavage, she pulled out a small, brown flask. “I’ve got a pain-killing vulnerary here if anyone needs it…”

    “We were all buried in a rockslide…caused by Horusmon,” Apollomon said. “It was after…we fled from Hydramon…Seraphimon found us…and then we were attacked…”

    You were all buried the entire time we’ve been sitting here waiting for you to return?!” Zelda exclaimed, her eyes wide with horror.

    “You don’t need to worry about it too much, love,” Dianamon said. “Remember, the four of us are Digimon…we can endure things that you Humans cannot…”

    “I berated Apollomon for making this large group separate,” Seraphimon said. “Perhaps if he hadn’t, we would not have been gone for so long…”

    “Don’t expect us to fight with you anytime soon, though,” Apollomon said, ignoring Seraphimon. “It’s been…over a week, right? I doubt any of us are in any condition to do any fighting…”

    “Eh, you don’t have to worry about any of that,” Statuedramon said. “Thomas, Zelda, and I have been doing a good job of kicking all of their asses without you!”

    “Really? Well then, why don't you take on the rest of the Order while we sit back and take a break?” Apollomon asked.

    “What?! No! Damn it, that’s not what I…oh, never mind!” Statuedramon looked away, pouting. “I was…I was going to do that anyway! Yeah. Uh-huh…”

    “It shames me that I am unable to assist you now when you may need it the most,” Seraphimon said.

    “Don’t worry about it; like Statuedramon said, we’ve been doing fine so far,” I said. I stood up and left the room. At the front door stood Andromon, standing and waiting patiently by himself. “Are you ready?” I whispered. The Android Digimon nodded. “Good; then let’s go.”

    “Hey, where are you going?” From behind me, Statuedramon tugged on my coat sleeve.

    “Statch…We have to go out again.”

    “What for? You just got back, didn’t you?” he asked.

    “Something we must do, there is,” Andromon said.

    “This is something we’d prefer to do by ourselves,” I said.

    “What is it? Can’t you at least tell me where you’re going?” Statch asked.

    “We’re going back to the Black Rose Mountains. According to what Lucemon told us last night, Horusmon is farther up in the mountains from where Apollomon and the others were found. Andromon and I are going to find him and put an end to him.”

    “By yourselves?! Do you have any idea how strong that Digimon is?!”

    “Yes, I do, and that’s why I’m going with only Andromon,” I replied.

    “Feel pain, I cannot,” Andromon said. “Feel exhaustion, I do not.”

    “Having someone like that around in a fight against someone like Horusmon would be…beneficial,” I said. “And I’m not the kind of guy who lets his friends go off and fight when they’re alone, so I’m going with him.”

    “Great! Count me in!” Statch said. I knelt down in front of the Rookie, looking him in the eyes.

    “Statuedramon…you are not coming with us.”

    “…Thomas, you’re one of the smartest people I know, a hell of a lot smarter than me, and calmer, and more patient. You always seem to know where you are, or what you’re doing,” Statuedramon said. “So, most of the time, I do not mind it when you act this way with me. But this time, I must ask; please, don’t treat me like a child.”

    “Statch…”

    “I’m over five-hundred years old, damn it! I can do things by myself, you know! But…I do them better when I’m with you, because…Because you’re my best friend, Thomas! I don’t want you two fighting that Horusmon by yourselves!”

    “Statch…you’re my best friend, too, and that’s why I don’t want—”

    “I know! You don’t want me to get hurt! But I’m still a Digimon! And even though I can’t Digivolve like other Digimon can, I can still take care of myself, and I can sure as hell make sure nothing happens to you or Andromon!”

    “…Fine. You can come with us,” I sighed. Smiling, I looked down at the ecstatic Rookie. I don’t know how…but somehow, I’ve never once won a serious argument with this guy…

    “All right! Let’s go, then!” Statch bolted out the door, with Andromon following slowly behind.

    “…You’re leaving again?” Zelda asked as I was about to leave. I turned to face her. Her eyes were filled with sorrow.

    “…I’m sorry. Horusmon…is one of the strongest Digimon I have ever seen; he may even be stronger than Dynasmon and Gallantmon combined. I wouldn’t…be able to live with myself if something happened to you,” I said. “Pheragas and Luna are probably going to be real busy helping out Apollomon and the others. Just…just stay here and help them…”

    “Okay. I will.” Zelda smiled at me. “But you have to promise me you’ll all come home alive.”
    I leaned over slightly and kissed her. “We will,” I said. “And when we get back…I’ll fix up anything you want to eat, and as much as you want. I know it’s been a while since I’ve cooked for you.” I stared into her eyes one final time before turning around, closing the door behind me.


    9 Hours

    The trip up to the Black Rose Mountains didn’t take nearly as long as our previous trip back home; the sun was still in the sky, though it was about to set. Not that it really mattered to us now, being in the permanently overcast mountains. It helped that Andromon and I didn’t have four relatively large Digimon to carry between the two of us. The spot where Apollomon and the others were buried was soon in sight; as we walked up to it, I saw that the stains of Lucemon’s blood on the ground and on the side of the cliff had yet to fade away.

    “So, this is where it happened, huh?” Statch asked.

    “Up ahead, Horusmon must be,” Andromon said.

    “If he’s here at all,” I said.

    “…No. He’s here,” Andromon said. “Sense him, I can.”

    “Where is he?” I asked. Andromon’s head tilted up; Statch and I did the same. The tall Mega Digimon stood above us on the edge of a cliff, looking down at us.

    “…You know…I wasn’t always an evil Digimon,” was the first thing Horusmon said to us.
    "Evil can confuse you when you're staring at it straight in the face. You can hope the face of evil will change, but it won't unless you force it to change."

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