Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 1 - The Beginning of the End​

And so it is that I, Wisemon, shall begin the creation of a new documentation of history as it continues to transpire. The preceding day, I finished with my previous telling of history the way it was five hundred years ago.

To those of you who are familiar with my previous lore, Lilithmon’s Epic, you may or may not recall that I am able to see into the hearts of others; I can experience their emotions as my own, and I can read their thoughts, and interpret them to the written word. I can see the many pasts of our world, Arcadia, including those fortunate several who had the misfortune to never occur in the first place. I can even see into the future, and view the path down which our destiny decides to transcend…or plummet. And at this very moment, I can see that our destiny — the term “our” being used in a collective manner to refer to all known life on the several continents on Arcadia — is headed towards a very bleak and very, very lifeless path that will undoubtedly end with the destruction of all but two…but in the end, even those two shall be brought to their knees, and beg for mercy as death’s sweet embrace slowly takes them unto another plane of existence.

Now, dear reader, you could very well be asking yourself, “If the events of your previous book happened over five hundred years ago, and you are able to see the pasts and futures, why did you wait until recently to write that book?” The answer is not quite as simple as the question, I’m afraid. Yes, I do see the futures — all of them. At least, that was what I was told by her. However, some of these visages appear clearer than the others. It seems to be that the clear ones have a higher likelihood of occurring. And so one day, I saw an image of the future. A wonderful and beautiful future seemed to be but a hair’s breadth away, but to my endless regret, the visage I saw turned out to be but a falsehood. The exact opposite occurred. A horrible future filled with naught but despair is all that I could see, and it is all that I see now. That was why I waited to write the story of Lilithmon, of Zelda and Thomas, and Statuedramon. If I had interfered, like I did the time before theirs’, I risked altering the very fabric of reality. I simply had to wait for as long as I possibly could before writing their story — had I wrote simply what I had seen before their journey began, I’d have been dead wrong. I could have ruined the happy future those two truly got to experience. And now, as one still walks the earth while the other sleeps endlessly within it, I write the tale that was theirs, and prepare to write the one following it.

The continent itself hasn’t changed much; however, in this story, there will be dealings with another continent far to the east known as Cyllene. Don’t worry about the name for now, for it will not come up again until much later. As for Arcadia, everything remains basically unchanged. However, a new species of Digimon has been discovered; we call them Trailmon, train-like Digimon who can give rides to many in only a short period of time.

Now, allow me, if you will, to speak fondly of the characters you perchance had the opportunity to know and love. I speak, of course, of the members of Lachesis. Some lay dead from age or battle. Others yet live still, both grieving for the lost and celebrating the new. Several have departed on a long journey, hoping to find themselves or maybe others. The guild itself is now an ally of the Valencian Military; it is as it was; a small, but independent faction of mercenaries, and there is no more hatred between the two groups.

I myself have chosen to become a member of the mercenary guild Lachesis. This was mainly done for my newfound love for Bellaluna Rosalina, the Witch. Chrysania remained the same as ever throughout our long and happy espousal — a sweet and loveable bundle of energy. However, as she was not ours by blood, she did not inherit the Mark that I had and her mother used to have. Our own daughter did, though. Our own daughter, whom all three of us loved, was emblazoned with the mark on her left arm. But that did not stop sweet Bellaluna from loving her — she did not even complain about the gradual swelling of her belly as our daughter grew inside her. Knowing her, this shocked me somewhat.

What became of the others? I do not wish to tell everything in this prologue chapter. The fates of the others, if you wish to know, will be discussed in this second entry to my chronicles. In this story, I take somewhat of a more active role in the story (yay!), and as a result, I will undoubtedly be forced into situations where I may end up ruining a beautiful future I saw…or mayhaps bring an end to the ugly one I inadvertently helped to create oh so long ago…That story shall be told much later. If the future is still around (which, based on a very recent vision of mine, this is quite doubtful), I shall chronicle that tale. But at this very moment, this story must be told exactly as it happens. Whether I interfere and change the future or not, I must insist on writing things exactly as they occur, without worrying about the futures that could have been, and the pasts that never were. Now, as with my previous story, along with any future ones I may construct, I am able to see into the hearts and minds of any whom I choose. Therefore, I am more than capable of writing in the first person.
And so, without any further ado; ladies and gentlemen, to you I humbly present Lost Chronicles II: One World.

Best Regards,
~Wisemon


[HR][/HR]A lone woman walked through a rather dense forest. It was dawn, and there was a misty fog obscuring her surroundings, but this did not deter her in the slightest from her trek after several days of walking nonstop. She knew where she was going, and she had gone there countless times before. Even through the mist, one could clearly see the excitement on her lovely face. It had been a long while since she had been home, after all. However, in the back of her sharp mind, she knew she had to stay calm, and remember why exactly she had chosen to return home. This woman’s name was Heather Reed, and she was returning home to Lachesis.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 2 - New Life

The young woman, Heather Reed, whom I mentioned previously, will indeed be in this story. However, she comes in a little bit later. Our story actually begins here with a young man named Matthew. Young except for the fact that he was easily over one hundred years old; however, he looked to be not a day older than seventeen years. He couldn’t quite remember. He carries that cursed Mark, emblazoned on his forehead, you see. At the moment, young Matthew Kasuto is honing his combat skills, hoping to be of some use to his allies.

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Valencia Province

“…And that’s four out of five targets hit directly at the center,” the small Digimon standing at my side said. “The fifth was only a few millimeters off. You’re doing great, Matt; wanna keep going?”

“I…I have to, Coronamon,” I said. I walked to the bull’s-eye targets that were pinned to several spread-out trees roughly ten feet away from me, and retrieved my practice arrows from them. “If I’m going to be an archer…If I want to be able to help my friends…I have to keep practicing. I have to keep practicing until I can hit these targets dead center — blindfolded!”

I heard Coronamon sigh as I readied my bow. “Well, you’re nothing if not tenacious, Matthew,” he said. Whok! I hit my first target right in the center. “You remind me of someone I used to know.”

“Really? Who?” Whok! I hit my second target.

“I don’t know. I…can’t remember,” Coronamon admitted. Whok! I hit my third target. “We Digimon have a difficult time remembering our previous lives after being reborn — especially us at the Rookie level, like me and Lunamon.”

“…Didn’t you say you used to be the leader of Lachesis?” I asked. I gently rubbed my right arm, easing the pain I felt from firing all of those arrows.

“…Did I?” Coronamon asked. “I can’t exactly imagine myself in a position of authority…” Whok! I hit my fourth target. “All I can remember about my previous life…The only thing I can remember is being a member of Lachesis with Lunamon. So, maybe I was a leader.”

“…How long have we been together?” I asked, lowering my bow.

“About 50 years. And still, no memories return,” Coronamon sighed. I eyed my fifth and final target. Whok! I hit it dead in the center. “Y—You did it! All right, Matthew! Way to go!” Coronamon excitedly jumped in the air, and raised his fist triumphantly. “Way to go, buddy!” I simply stood in the same place I had been, amazed at my accomplishment. It had taken me so long to be able to hit the targets at all, let alone hold a bow the correct way and pull back on the string.

“…I can’t believe I did it!” I said. “It’s taken me so long…” At that time, a cheerful and happy laughter and applause startled me; the noise was somewhere behind me, and when I turned, I saw a young woman looking gleefully in my direction. She did not appear menacing in the slightest, but the very appearance of her filled me with fear, and I stepped behind Coronamon to distance us. She was slightly taller than I was, and looked to be the same age that I looked — keeping in mind that I was over one hundred years old, of course.

“Wow, that was, like, so totally amazing!” the girl said. She took a step forward, and I took a step back. Failing to notice, she continued advancing towards me.

“S—STEP BACK!” I shouted without thinking. I held up my dark grey bow — completely backwards — in front of myself. The girl stopped walking with a surprised expression on her face, followed by an almost sad one.

“Oh, you’ll have to excuse my pal here,” Coronamon said, placing a small hand over my knee. “He’s got a bit of a…how do you say…a phobia of pretty girls.”

“Oh! Oh my gosh! Oh, I’m so sorry!” the girl said frantically. “I didn’t mean to scare you! Really, I didn’t! I was…I was just looking for, like, a house or something! Somebody told me it was in this forest!” She looked to be on the verge of tears. Seeing her like that made me feel guilty, but I was still far too nervous to say anything more.

“Okay, okay, take it easy,” Coronamon said calmly and gently. “No one’s going to hurt you, okay? Now, why don’t you tell us your name?”

The girl looked less scared, and after a moment, she smiled down at Coronamon. “I…I’m Giselle. Giselle Alberona.” Again, she looked up at me. “I really am sorry…I…I didn’t mean to scare you like that…”

“Hey, no harm done. Not like he’s gonna have a heart attack or anything. Oh, I’m Coronamon, and this here is my Human partner Matthew,” the short Rookie level Digimon said, shaking Giselle’s hand. “You said you were looking for a house? Perhaps the two of us could be of assistance.”

“Oh, I don’t want to be, like, an inconvenience or whatever, but I’m, like, totally lost!” Giselle laughed. My hands were deep in my pockets at this point. They were completely empty, save for one small item: A Digivice. Slowly, I ran my fingers over it as Coronamon and Giselle continued to talk, and after a moment, I removed it from my pocket to look at it. From what I was told, the one I had was the “original model,” and was called a Normal Digivice. It was small and turquoise, and fit easily in the palm of my hand. At its center was a blank screen. “Hey, you’ve got one of those, too?” Giselle’s voice snapped me out of my small trance. I looked up, and there Giselle stood, smiling at me, and with a similar device in her hand.

“…A Data Link…Digivice,” I said quietly.

“Yup! It was, like, the fifth model made by the guy who invented the Digivice!”

“…Uh huh…”

Her smile was wide, and her green eyes were shimmering with excitement. Her long brown hair was tied with a green bow that matched her eyes, and her ponytail fell to her waist. A black skirt that reached her knees swayed in the breeze, and a ruffled, burgundy shirt exposed her navel, or her entire belly when she leaped into the air with joy, which she did quite often excitedly while talking to Coronamon. She stood no more than two feet away from me, and looked at me happily but expectantly, as if she were waiting for an answer…

“…Matthew? Are you ready?” Coronamon asked.

“…Huh?”

“This young lady wishes to join Lachesis. Weren’t you paying attention?”

“Oh…sorry…”

“It’s…okay if I join, right?” Giselle asked. “I don’t want to, like, make a big deal or whatever if you’re uncomfortable around girls…”

“Oh, don’t worry about that!” Coronamon said. “Our group’s got a whole bunch of cute girls in it, but Matthew’s scared of them, too. Trust me; you won’t be any problem at all. We’re happy to have you with us, Giselle.”

“Oh…thank you!” Giselle said happily.

“Are you ready to go home, buddy?” Coronamon asked.
“…Yes. Let’s go,” I said, giving Giselle an uncertain glance as I followed behind them.

[HR][/HR]
Heather Reed
Valencia Province

I was finally there. I had finally arrived back home at the Lachesis fortress, deep in the forest. It was close to noon, and my stomach was growling fiercely and loudly after not having eaten anything all day. I ignored my belly, and just stood in place, admiring the large fortress. I remember hearing that it had once caught fire and was destroyed, but over time, it had been rebuilt by the knights of Valencia out of some debt they owed to our group (I hadn’t quite been informed of the details yet.) Over time, the fortress had grown to look as old as it had before it was destroyed, with various plants and mosses growing on the brick walls. A huge growl from my tummy brought me back to the present.

“Okay…let’s get you fed,” I whispered gently. After a deep breath in a failed attempt to stifle my excitement, I steadily walked through the open doorway and into Lachesis Fortress. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised…even after a few months, it all looks exactly the same…

I eventually came to the main lounge area of the fortress, where the members of our group sat comfortably to unwind, read, or speak with friends. As I stepped into the light, I was noticed instantly. Everyone I could see smiled immediately in reaction to my sudden presence, and all ran up to me. Many of them hugged me; others started talking all at once in an incomprehensible and loud chatter. The one closest to me was a young woman named Lucia. When the others noticed her, they backed away from her quickly and quietly; Lucia had a well-known reputation for being the scariest member of Lachesis. I wasn’t afraid of her, though. I knew that she was really a sweet person, and the two of us got along very well.

“…Glad to have you back, Heather,” Lucia said. At this point, the others had returned to what they had been doing before I arrived, not wishing to evoke the anger of the infamous Lucia. “What took you so long? It was a simple job. And where is Lloyd? Didn’t he come back with you?”

“Oh…it’s kind of a long story,” I replied sadly. “But right now…I just need to eat something. I’m afraid I haven’t eaten anything all day, and I’m quite famished…”

“Really now? It looks as though you’ve been eating quite well to me.” Lucia looked down, and placed a hand over my very round belly and gave it a few soft pats. “What; did you eat Lloyd or something?”

“Oh, goodness, no. But…” I looked down and smiled, placing my hands around my belly. “Well, I suppose you could say that I’m eating for more than one, now.” Lucia’s pretty face went blank for a moment; then, signs of realization twisted her lips into a large and happy smile.

“OOOOH, you’re pregnant?!” Lucia exclaimed happily. I nodded. “Oh my Goddess! Oh, that’s amazing! I’m so happy for you!” Lucia hugged me, and began asking questions immediately. “Is it a boy or a girl? Have you decided on a name? How many months?” It was quite unusual to see Lucia so energetic and enthusiastic, and it caught the other members of Lachesis that I could see off guard. But again, I wasn’t surprised. I knew all along that Lucia was really a kind and loving woman, in spite of her frightening appearance and demeanor (especially her demeanor.)

“Oh…so many questions, Lucy,” I sighed. “I’ve…been pregnant for about four months now…”

“…Four months?! Heather, you look like you’re about to burst! Are you sure?” Lucia asked. “I’m still surprised your shirt’s buttoned up all the way…”

“Well, it should give out any day now; I’ve got two in here,” I looked down at my stomach. Lucia gasped.

“Twins?!” I nodded again. “Oh, Heather, I’m really happy for you! Is there anything I can get for you?”

“Well, I’m quite hungry; I haven’t eaten all day, as I’ve mentioned to you several times…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 3 - Lost

Matthew Kasuto

“Here it is, Giselle,” Coronamon said, standing in front of Lachesis Fortress. “Welcome to your new home!” Giselle gasped.

“I get to live here?!” she exclaimed. She jumped in the air, and I took a step back to prevent her from crashing into me.

“Well, you don’t have to, but everyone in our group currently does live here in this fortress,” Coronamon said. Then, in a more serious tone, he said, “Many of us, if not all, don’t have a home of our own anyway. We live here in this fortress. It’s a really big place, so with as many as we’ve got, it’s no problem at all.” Giselle smiled up at the large building, and then looked over at me.

“So, Matthew, what’s it like to be here?” she asked. “Do you, like, go on a bunch of adventures and stuff?”

“…It’s…okay…I guess…” I avoided direct eye contact with her. To be honest, her happiness was really quite infectious, but I still could not get over my fear, so I steadily looked down at the ground, and remained silent.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go on in! Introduce yourself to everyone!” Coronamon ran into the fortress, and was followed by Giselle, leaving me alone outside the fort.

…Why am I so afraid? I thought to myself as I slowly walked in. Every girl I’ve ever met scares me, except for my sister…and Heather, I guess…Why is that? My thoughts were interrupted by the loud clamor of many people talking all at once. Nervously, I walked faster until I reached the lounge of the fortress.

“Matthew! Matthew!” my twin sister, Eleanora, walked up to me with a big smile on her face. Following her was her own partner Digimon, Lunamon. She took my hand in hers and pulled me to the center of the room, where several others were crowded around Heather Reed, who sat on a couch. “Guess what?! Guess what?! Heather’s pregnant!!!”

“You didn’t really give him enough time to guess, you know,” Lunamon said.

“Oh, I know; I just couldn’t keep it in anymore!” Eleanora grabbed my wrist and pulled me over to Heather. “C’mon, Mattie; you’ve got to feel this! It’s so amazing!” Excitedly, Eleanora placed her hand on top of Heather’s round belly. “There’s life growing inside of here, Mattie! And she’s so warm…”

“I thought you were afraid of pretty girls,” Giselle whispered.

“Oh, he is. That’s his twin sis, Eleanora, so of course he isn’t afraid of her,” Coronamon said. “And Heather there is kinda like a mother to those two…” As everyone continued talking, Eleanora placed my hand on top of Heather’s belly. She was right; it was warm, and amazing…

“I love the way it feels to have life growing inside of me,” I heard Heather say to me. “And I also love it when people feel my stomach…So please; take all the time you want, Matthew…”

“…Where is everybody?” I asked after a few moments.

“Well, some people are still out on jobs,” Heather replied. She turned to look at Giselle. “Young lady, where you looking to join our group?”

“Oh, uh, yes,” Giselle said, startled. “I, like, just found Matthew and Coronamon today, and I was looking for this place when I got lost in the forest. My name is Giselle Alberona.”

“Eh, don’t feel too bad about getting lost out there,” Eleanora said. “Even our smartest get lost in that forest.”

“You mean Edmund?” Coronamon asked.

“Well…no, not him. He’s a genius.” Eleanora smiled and blushed slightly.

“Well, anyway, we all welcome you here to Lachesis, Miss Giselle,” Heather said.

“Oh, thank you!” Giselle said happily.

“Oh, and right now, Lucia is talking with the boss about…about Lloyd’s current predicament,” Heather said, turning back to me.

“Current predicament? What do you mean?” I asked.

“Lloyd is missing.” As if on cue, the door to the boss’s room opened up, and out walked Lucia. Instinctively, Eleanora helped me stand up. My taller twin stood in front of me, carefully observing Lucia.

“…Missing?” I asked.

“Yes, missing!” Lucia barked. I jumped back in fear, but Eleanora kept a tight and comforting grip on my hand. “…According to Heather’s information, we believe he may be somewhere in the Trillium Mountain range to the northeast.”

“We went out there a few months ago on what we thought would be an easy job, but as it turns out…well…it wasn’t quite so easy,” Heather said. “We were supposed to come back together, but Lloyd stayed behind to make sure I came back because…well, you know.”

“Ulysses and I have decided that we need to send someone up to the Trillium Mountains to find and retrieve Lloyd,” Lucia continued. I swallowed nervously. Usually, Ulysses was a very easygoing and approachable man, but at times like these, he had a tendency to crack under pressure, and become a rather “clumsy” leader.

“I’ll go,” Eleanora said quietly. To my dismay, Lucia shook her head.

“No. We have already decided to send Matthew and Coronamon.” Several surprised gasps filled the air. Eleanora glanced over her shoulder at me.

“Okay…well, I’ll go with him, then!” Again, Lucia shook her head.

“It has been decided that Matthew and Coronamon will go to the Trillium Mountains alone.”

“…Well…but…no!” Eleanora stammered. “Send me! Send me alone, without Lunamon even, if you must! Just don’t—”

Eleanora Kasuto, are you defying a direct order from Ulysses Melchett?!” Lucia screamed.

“N—no…”

“Good. Then be on your way, Matthew,” Lucia said.

“Right now?! He can’t even have lunch first?!” Eleanora yelled.

“Do you have a problem with this?!” Lucia asked. Frantically, Eleanora turned around to look at me. I had never seen her look so scared in her entire life. “Lloyd’s life could easily be in danger at this very moment. You don’t have any time to waste eating.”

“…I’ll be okay,” I whispered at a volume that only Eleanora could hear. “If I die…I won’t have to deal with Lucia, at least.” Eleanora teared up and hugged me tightly.

“How could you be so cold, Lucia?” I heard somebody ask.

“…You think I’m being mean?” Lucia asked. “Mean…would be forcing him to those mountains without Coronamon. If I wished him dead…that is what I would do. I want him to live…and to learn to take care of himself. A day in those mountains should do just that. And that way, Eleanora, you won’t have to worry about him as much anymore. Please…just let him go. It’s the only way he can grow and learn to protect himself…” Hesitantly, Eleanora let go of me. Looking steadily down, she walked away. I could hear her quietly sobbing.

“…What’s so bad about those mountains?” I heard Giselle ask.

“You see, the Trillium Mountains are almost as cold as Nymphaea Province,” Coronamon said. “There’s an air current that runs down from the Black Rose Mountains that keeps it icy cold and snowy. To make matters worse, the Digimon that live there are very territorial, and tend to attack intruders without warning. They’re very savage, but very powerful.”

“…Could I go with him?” Giselle looked up at Lucia. “I’m joining Lachesis today, ma’am, so if I, like, need some way to prove myself worthy of joining—”

“No. I welcome you to our group, Giselle, but I’m afraid you will need to stay behind,” Lucia said. “This is for Matthew and Coronamon only. Do I make myself clear, everyone?” By the looks on everyone’s faces, I could see many that clearly wanted to object, but out of fear of Lucia, they kept their lips sealed.

“Can’t we at least eat lunch first?” Coronamon asked. Lucia glared down at the small Rookie level Digimon. “…Never mind. Let’s go, Matt.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 4 - Divide and Conquer

Lucia Delbray
Lachesis Fortress

Quietly, Matthew and Coronamon left the fortress lounge, heading for the outside. With them out of sight, I turned my attention to the remaining members of Lachesis I saw before me. “All right, everyone; we each have our own tasks to do today.” I looked through the job requests given to me by Ulysses, nearly all of which had something to do with bandits. “Okay…Bokomon; I want you to take this one.” I handed the Rookie a piece of paper.

“A…a request to eliminate thirty bandits?!” Bokomon exclaimed. “All by myself?! Lucia, I am a noncombatant, and—”

“I didn’t say you’d be alone,” I interrupted. “Take Neemon and AeroVeedramon with you.” Nervously, Bokomon turned to glance behind. The rabbit-like Neemon, with a blank expression on his face, stood at his best friend Bokomon’s side. The large AeroVeedramon was curled up in a ball, sound asleep, as he had been ever since Heather had arrived home. Bokomon sighed wearily into the piece of paper I handed to him.

“I’d be better off going alone!”

“Oh, goody; are we going to the candy store?” Neemon asked happily.

“No, you nitwit!” Bokomon snapped the waistband of Neemon’s pants, an oft-seen habit of his. Bokomon then marched over to AeroVeedramon and pulled out a rather large book from his pink belt. “Hey, you giant oaf; wake up!” Bokomon slammed the book on top of AeroVeedramon’s head. The Ultimate level Digimon woke up slowly, and didn’t seem very fazed by Bokomon’s action. The Holy Dragon yawned in a way that showed each and every one of his sharp fangs.

“Bokomon…what do you want?” AeroVeedramon asked.

“WAKE UP! We have a job to do!” Bokomon yelled. AeroVeedramon sighed.

“Do it yourself…”

“Lucia told us to—” In the blink of an eye, the lazy dragon was on his feet, towering over everyone else in the room.

“Let’s go, little man,” AeroVeedramon said, walking out of the room with Neemon in tow.

“AAARRGGH! I’m surrounded by idiots!” Bokomon ran out of the room after the two Digimon.

“Okay then…Eleanora, you are with me,” I said. Eleanora’s eyes widened, but I heard no objections, so I continued through the papers Ulysses had handed me. “Just one bandit for this job…Hey, new girl!” I looked over at Giselle. “You need some experience, right? Go out and do this job, okay? And take someone with experience with you.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Giselle said happily. I looked around the room, thinking of who to send with Giselle, until I saw someone in the corner, all alone and reading a book. “Isole! Hey, Isole!” With an annoyed look on her face, the young girl looked over at me. “Take the new girl out on a job, will you?” Isole rolled her eyes.

“Lucia…for the last time, I am not a fighter! I am a tactician!” Isole said. “We don’t fight! We plan! We strategize! We keep idiots like you from getting yourselves killed!”

“Good; then keep Giselle here from getting herself killed,” I said. Isole swore under her breath and slammed her book shut before walking over to me. “Couldn’t I get Eleanora instead? Why don’t you take the new girl out to show her how things are done?!”

“Because I’m not a teacher. That’s your job, tactician,” I said.

“Well, at least let me take Lilliana! She’s quiet! Plus, she needs to learn the way things are done, too! C’mon…”

“Nope. Take Giselle. And no more back talk, Isole, if you know what’s good for you.” Isole rolled her eyes one last time before uttering a “fine” under her breath. The violet-haired tactician took the job request from me in one hand and dragged Giselle along behind her in the other. “…Is Elizabeth back yet?” I asked, looking around the room. A young woman with long green hair stepped forward.

“…I’m right here...” As usual, Elizabeth had a somber and distant expression on her face. I caught myself looking into her eyes; one was green, matching her hair, but the other was a deep violet, like that of Isole’s hair. Behind Elizabeth was her partner Digimon, Quetzalmon.

“Good. I want you and Mia to take this job…” I handed Elizabeth the job request as a young blonde woman walked up to Elizabeth. “This one’s a bit more difficult than usual, but I know the two of you can handle it no problem.”

“Aw, thanks, Lucy,” Mia said.

“…Shall we depart?” Elizabeth asked.

“Sure! Whenever you’re ready!” Mia replied happily. The two women left the room, Mia with a youthful and energetic spring in her step, and Elizabeth with an empty one in hers. I watched silently until the two were out of sight, and then returned to the job requests I held.

“…Ah, this one should be just right. Alicia!”

“You called?” a tall, brunette woman raised her hand. Though she said only two words, I could hear the sultry seductiveness in her voice that sent a chill down my spine. “Well? I’m waiting for my hard, hard, job…”

“…Take Lilliana on this one. Make sure she learns.” I handed Alicia a job request paper.

“Oh, I’d be delighted to show her what I’m capable of,” Alicia said. Nearby, I could see tiny Lilliana with her long blue hair look up nervously at the tall and beautiful Alicia.

“…Are you sure that’s a good idea, Lucia?” Heather asked. “I don’t think Alicia’s exactly a good role model for Lilly…”

“Alicia isn’t going with her to be a role model. She’s going to make sure Lilliana doesn’t die.”

“I thought that’s what I was for,” Lilliana’s partner Digimon, Kamemon, spoke up.

“Don’t worry about the details. The three of you — go.”

“Whatever you say, Lucia,” Alicia said, placing a hand over Lilliana’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, sweetie; I’ll make sure nothing bad happens to you…” Alicia led Lilliana and Kamemon out of the room.

“Only a few jobs left…Let’s see…Where is…Sieglinde?” I looked up.

“Right here,” another young blonde woman walked up to me. In her hand was a long rapier, and behind her was her Digimon partner, Lupinemon. I handed her a job request paper.

“Wait…you should take Tactimon with you,” I said.

“If I am able to assist, then I shall gladly do so,” a tall Digimon behind me said.

“Good. Then go do it.” I could hear Tactimon’s armor creak and clang as he slowly followed after Sieglinde and Lupinemon out of the room.

“Only one job left…Geitz.” A tanned, blond man looked over at me with a bored expression on his scarred face. “You and Katsumi go on this one.” Geitz sighed and took the request paper from me.

“Great…the crybaby…” Geitz looked at the paper, and then looked up. “Wait, where is Katsumi?”

“I’m…over here…” A violet-haired woman walked up to Geitz. Her face was wet with tears, and her eyes were red.

“Jeez, save your damn tears for after we kill the enemies, got it?!” Geitz growled. Slowly, Katsumi nodded her shaky head.

“Are you sure you’re okay to go, Katsumi?” Heather asked from the couch. Katsumi nodded again.

“It’s okay…I always cry…Just as Geitz said,” Katsumi said. Geitz said nothing as he picked up his twin lances and left the room, with Katsumi slowly following after him.

“Wait a minute; I didn’t get a job!” Heather exclaimed. I laughed a little.

“Heather, did you honestly think I would let you go on a job while pregnant?” I asked.

“…Not even if I be extra, extra careful?” Heather asked.

“Nope. Just stay here with the others, okay? I’m sure Matthew and Coronamon will be back soon with your husband, and he’ll be okay too…”

“…Fine…” I smiled at her.

“Are you ready to go?” I asked, looking up at Eleanora.
“Yes. Let’s…just get this job over with.” Eleanora left the room in a huff before me. I sighed, and followed after her.

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Trillium Mountains
30 Minutes

Coronamon and I stood still, looking into the entrance of the frigid, ice-covered Trillium Mountains. Even the ground beneath us was ice; I was amazed neither of us hadn’t slipped and fallen yet.

“You doing okay, Matt?” Coronamon asked. I didn’t answer, and continued looking up at the mountain range. There couldn’t have been any more than ten mountains; this range was definitely smaller than the Black Rose Mountains, which had over one-hundred mountains in its range.

“…Let’s keep going, Coronamon,” I said. “We need to find Lloyd before anything bad happens to him.” I heard Coronamon sigh.

“All right. Just be careful, Matthew. We don’t know what kind of Digimon lurk here, so stay on your toes, even if they get frostbite.”

“Yeah…I got it.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 5 - Alone but Never Alone

Heather Reed
Lachesis Fortress - Lounge
10 Minutes

I sat alone on the couch for what seemed to be weeks. Every once in a while, I would shift my weight around or fidget nervously while thinking about Lloyd.
Lloyd…please…come back…I don’t want our babies to grow up without their father…I looked around the room. There was nobody else around. I sighed. Nobody else around to help take my mind off of Lloyd. I looked to the door of our boss’s room. Quite often, I would hear the gruff voice of Ulysses in conversation with Dominimon, another Digimon who lived here with us at Lachesis. I laid my head back and placed a hand over my round belly, wondering how long it had been since Lucia and the others left. My heart skipped a beat when I heard the sound of someone running quickly down the stairs.

“HEATHER! HEATHER! HEATHER! You’re back!!!” A young woman — rather, a young looking woman — ran into the room and threw her arms around me at once. I was so happy to see her, too; not only because I missed her, but because it was so lonely to sit around with nobody to talk to, especially Lloyd…

“Larraine…Oh, I’ve missed you too, sweetie…” I gently place my arms around her tiny body.

“I’m sorry I didn’t come down sooner,” Larraine said. She plopped down on the couch next to me, smiling wide. “I heard all of the commotion when you came back, but I…I was practicing one of my dances…You know; one of those special ones…” Looking ashamed with herself, she looked down and away from my gaze.

“Oh, sweetie, don’t look so sad; you have a special duty,” I said gently. Larraine was a dancer, and thus a non-combatant like Isole. She dressed in what some might think to be immodest clothing; however, as a dancer (particularly, Larraine fancied herself to be a belly dancer, and she was a very skilled and graceful one at that), they were actually quite appropriate for the task. In spite of her beautiful and shapely figure, her most striking features were actually above the shoulders (unless one counted the Mark on the back of her left thigh). Her eyes were a deep crimson red, like that of a Digimon’s. Her hair was a vast and shimmering blue; however, unlike Lilliana’s dark blue hair, Larraine’s was a purely unique blue that I had never seen before. Larraine’s hair was the exact same shade of blue as the sky. All in all, Larraine was an incredibly beautiful woman whom everyone in Lachesis loved dearly.

“Special duty? What could be more special than the creation of life itself?!” Larraine gasped, looking down at my stomach. Again, I smiled at her.

“Yes, I know, dear. But your dances do more than ease the weary hearts of those who see them, you know,” I said. “You dance specifically to give homage and blessings to Goddess Arcadia. Not many people can perform those sacred dances that you do, Larraine, so you should take pride in all of the hard work that you do, because I know Arcadia would.” Larraine smiled at me.

“Thank you, Heather.” After a moment, she turned her attention to my stomach. “I heard everyone talking down here; that is so amazing, Heather! And twins, too! You are so lucky!” I smiled back at her. “Is it okay…Could I feel your tummy, Heather? I’ve never felt a pregnant woman’s tummy before…”

“Oh, of course, sweetheart! I just love it when people feel my belly!” Excitedly, Larraine placed her hand on my stomach. We sat there, unmoving, for what felt like a long while. I could hear Larraine giggle when I felt one of the babies kick.

“Welcome back, Heather.” I looked back, and saw the door to the boss’s room open. The Digimon Dominimon walked out, and was followed by our boss, Ulysses. It was Dominimon who spoke. “We are glad to have you back with us unharmed,” he said.

“We’re sorry about what happened to Lloyd, but I have no doubt that he’ll be back with us soon,” Ulysses said.

“Sir, with all due respect, why would you send Matthew to a place as dangerous as those mountains?” I asked. “I want my husband to come back safely, but I don’t want anything to happen to Matthew or Coronamon up there! And don’t tell me it was Lucia’s decision!”

“…It was exactly as I heard Lucia yell,” Ulysses said. “I wanted Matthew to learn how to protect himself alongside Coronamon so he wouldn’t have to be so dependent on Eleanora all the time…”

“I know it’s important, but not at the cost of his life, Ulysses!” I exclaimed. “I would rather him be weak and inexperienced than dead, and I know Eleanora feels the same!” Ulysses sighed and shook his head.

“I…I don’t know what to say…Beyond that I would never intentionally put anyone in my family in danger,” Ulysses said sadly. “I’m sorry, Heather…but I think this is for the best.”

“…Fine.” Without another look at Ulysses, I began forcing myself to stand up.

“Oh, Heather, don’t try and stand up!” Dominimon said, placing his arms protectively around my shoulders. “Is there anything you need? I would be more than happy to go and get it for you.”
“Well…could you at least help me stand?” I asked. The kindly priest did so, but he kept his arms around me when the task was complete. “My sword was damaged while on the job, so I need to go see our blacksmith.” Dominimon promptly picked up my sheathed sword from the couch and graciously handed it to me. After a word of thanks, I slowly waddled out of the room.

[HR][/HR]
Ulysses Melchett

Sadly, I watched at Heather left the room. I understood how she felt; truly, I did, and I did not want anything to happen to Matthew, Coronamon, or Lloyd any more than she did.

“Is Elizabeth here?” I heard Dominimon ask.

“No, I heard Lucia send her out on a job with Mia,” Larraine replied.

“…Good.” The tall Mega Digimon turned to face me. “Ulysses…we need to talk about her.”

“Why? What’s wrong with Lizzy?” Larraine asked.

“Elizabeth…has been here for almost ten years now,” Dominimon continued. “And…she does not appear to have aged one bit since joining us.”

“So? Neither have I,” Larraine interrupted. “Katsumi, Matthew, and Eleanora look the same after all those years, too.”

“Yes, but that is because you carry the Mark,” I said. “However, I have the feeling that is not what Dominimon means…am I correct in saying this?” Dominimon looked at me and nodded.

“We Digimon are able to sense if a being is Human or Digimon,” Dominimon said. “In the case of the Marked, like you, Larraine, we sense a different presence altogether…”

“But in the case of Elizabeth…?” I began. Dominimon shook his head.

“She does not carry the Mark; I know that for certain.”

“Then what is the problem with her?” I asked.

“I…do not know,” Dominimon answered. “My Digimon instincts say she is Human, but…I don’t know. I trust her, and I like her, but…” Dominimon looked down. “There’s something…in the back of my mind saying that…that there’s something more to Elizabeth than we realize.”

“…Is that a bad thing?” I asked. “We all like her. She is trustworthy. Everyone here has secrets that we would rather not share,” I looked at Larraine, who almost too casually looked up and away to avoid my gaze. “I think you’re just worrying to much about nothing, Dominimon.”

“Perhaps you’re right…” Dominimon sighed and spread his wings out, not sounding entirely convinced. “Please…do not tell Elizabeth I said any of this. I do not wish to hurt her feelings…”
“I understand,” I nodded.

[HR][/HR]
Heather Reed

It was not a very long walk to our blacksmith’s forge, to my relief; it was directly behind the fortress, and only a few minutes away. With the additional weight I carried from being pregnant, all of this walking wore me out more than it usually would have. As I entered the forge, the familiar scent of smoke and flames came to my attention.

I probably shouldn’t stay here too long; I don’t want any of this smoke to hurt the babies. After a few moments, I finally found the man I was looking for, kneeling on the floor and hammering away on something or other. “Hello, Wayland.” The hammering stopped.

“Heather.” Wayland was a man of few words. He was always direct in his words, and sometimes a little tactless, but he always did good work on fixing up weapons.

“I, uh…I kind of broke my sword again while on my last job…”

“Wouldn’t be the first time.”

“Yeah…hence the word ‘again,’” I laughed. Wayland did not.

“Give it here. I’ll get to it as soon as possible.” I handed the man my sheathed blade. “You should probably leave soon. Don’t want this smoke to hurt the little ones in you.”

“Oh…you know? But you haven’t turned around since I arrived…”

“I saw you on your way into the fort,” Wayland said. “Didn’t think you of all people would get fat, so I figured you were pregnant.”

“I see…and if I were just fat?” I asked. Wayland said nothing, and continued hammering away. “Well…I guess I’ll be going, as you said…”

“If you were fat, then there would just be more of you for Lloyd to love,” Wayland said suddenly. “And…all the rest of us.”

“…Thank you, Wayland.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 6 - Burst

Isole Frost
Celosia Province

“Okay…we’re here,” I said. “Finally.”

“All right…so, what do we do first?” Giselle asked. I rolled my eyes. It was bad enough that I had to go with this loudmouthed idiot who relentlessly continued to attempt to be my friend, but that she didn’t even try to remember anything I had told her over and over again made it even worse. I sighed. Fortunately, the trip was not actually as long as it seemed.

“Giselle, for the last time, we are here to fight bandits. Understand?! Do you not see them up ahead?!” I asked.

“Oh, is that who those people are?” she asked. It took every ounce of self-control to keep myself from strangling Giselle.

“Giselle, they are a group of ugly, shirtless men carrying axes, and they are with a bunch of offense-oriented Digimon. What do you think?!” I asked.

“Hmm…Yeah, I think they’re bandits,” Giselle agreed. I clenched my fist.

“Well? Go deal with them!” I said. “I’m the tactician! You go fight them! If you can, that is...”

“Oh, no, I, like, don’t fight,” Giselle said. As I was about to yell at her, she pulled a Digivice from her skirt pocket. “I don’t, but she does.”

“That’s…a Data Link Digivice,” I said. Giselle nodded happily, and held it out in front of her.

“Rosemon, realize!” Immediately, the form of the Mega level Digimon Rosemon began to materialize in front of Giselle.

“Who is it that I will be fighting?” Rosemon asked. Giselle pointed.

“Those bandits up ahead of us!” Giselle exclaimed. Rosemon nodded.

“Rose Spear!” Rosemon swung her whip through the air and struck one of the Human bandits, no more than ten feet away from us, directly in the chest, killing him. This caught the attention of the other bandits, and they immediately came running towards Rosemon. Again, Rosemon swung her whip and lopped off the heads of all the remaining Human bandits. The Digimon, all of them Gazimon, stood their ground.

“They look like they’re about to Digivolve,” I said. “Can you handle this, Rosemon?”

“Of course we can!” Giselle exclaimed excitedly. The Gazimon all held hands and began to glow with the light of Digivolution. Where they once stood was a massive Digimon called Raremon. I had heard of him before, but the stench I read about was completely unbearable. “Are you ready, Rosemon?” Again, Rosemon nodded. Giselle held out her Digivice once again, and she place her hand over it. “Charge! D.N.A. …Burst Mode!” I looked on in amazement as Rosemon was enveloped in a beautiful light.

Giselle…you are capable of something like this?! Rosemon had reached the Burst Mode. Her red clothes had become white. Otherwise, she looked the same. In spite of my deep loathing of Giselle, I was completely motionless from what I had just seen. Never in my life, did I ever think I would see anyone capable of Burst Digivolution.

“Repent, unclean soul of darkness,” Rosemon said gently. Her cape began to grow larger; she spun around, and covered up Raremon completely. “Charité!” Rosemon’s cape emitted a bright, magenta light that disappeared as soon as it shone. Raremon was nowhere to be seen.

“Well? What do you think?” Giselle asked. “Am I amazing or what?” I looked at the younger girl.

“…You didn’t do anything. It was Rosemon who did all of the work,” I replied. Does she seriously not realize how much I hate her?! “Well…anyway…our work here is done. Let’s go back home.”
“Okay!” Giselle returned Rosemon to her Digivice, and then merrily skipped her way home. Once more, I rolled my eyes at her as I followed along.

[HR][/HR]
Bokomon

“Are you serious, AeroVeedramon?!” I yelled at the dragon. “You aren’t even going to bother fighting these bandits?!”

“Nope,” the Ultimate yawned.

“Oh, goody, goody; more fun for us!” Neemon yelled before a bandit hit him on the head with a thick club, knocking him unconscious. A splitting headache developed.
“…I have to do everything!” I spat. I pulled a book from my pink belt and began flipping through the pages. None of the bandits had been killed yet, thanks to AeroVeedramon, and with Neemon unconscious, I was once again forced to do everything. “All right…here it is…” I began mumbling in an ancient language. All thirty bandits began to charge at me. A bright light enveloped us, and I closed my eyes. When I opened them, all thirty lay dead on the ground. “Well…that takes care of that job. Time to take all the credit…again. Ah…spells are so much fun to cast; I’m so glad Katsumi gave me this book and taught me how! I just wish there was something I could do for her to help her stop crying in return for her kindness, poor dear…”

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto

Lucia rode her Digimon partner, Mihiramon, into battle, lopping off the heads of many bandits all at once with her special axe. At first glance, one wouldn’t think her to be so utterly frightening; she wore a simple white blouse and a black skirt. If it weren’t for the scar on her left cheek and the eye patch covering her right eye, she would have looked like a sweet, harmless secretary. But those who knew her know just how scary she is on and off the battlefield. I stood motionless as she and Mihiramon continued riding around, slaying bandits.

“Samurai Tiger Tail!” Mihiramon struck a bandit who was attempting to sneak up on Lucia from behind, instantly killing the brigand.

“And that’s all of them,” Lucia said. She slid off Mihiramon’s back and walked up to me. “I noticed you and Lunamon didn’t fight at all.” I looked down at the sword in my hand. I knew very well how to use it; from what I was told, it had once belonged to an ancestor of mine, and I wished to honor him, whoever he was, by learning to use it to protect Matthew.

“I…was planning on fighting,” I said nervously. “But…it’s hard to watch somebody’s back when they’re riding a tiger who can kill people with its tail…”

“Heh. I see your point. Mihiramon and I do make a pretty good team,” Lucia began scratching the Ultimate behind his pointy ears. “…You must think I’m a monster…”

“A…monster? Of course I do!” I yelled without thinking. “What kind of monster would force my baby brother up to those harsh mountains all alone?!”

“…You…must know…I objected myself,” Lucia said. “It…was Ulysses’ idea. I objected, but he made up his mind…” Lucia turned to face me. “But you’re wrong about one thing, Ellie; your twin brother is not alone. Coronamon is with him. That…was my idea.”

“…Yours?” Lucia nodded.

“Ulysses intended for Matthew to go completely alone to the Trillium Mountains. I had to beg Ulysses to let Coronamon go with Matthew…”

“…Thank you…Lucia…” I felt a tear run down my cheek.
“Poor dear; you must’ve been worried sick this entire time,” Lucia said softly. “Here; why don’t you and Lunamon take my spot on Mihiramon on our way back home? You must be more exhausted than I…”

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Trillium Mountains

“How long have we been walking?” I asked.

“It’s been about thirty minutes since we’ve arrived here,” Coronamon responded. I looked around; the scenery was exactly the same as when we started. Pure white was the only thing I could see; snow, ice, you name it. Thanks to Coronamon’s flame, it wasn’t nearly as cold as it looked. I looked down at the little Rookie just as he stopped walking. He held out an arm to stop me.

“What’s wrong, Coronamon?” I asked.

“…We aren’t alone,” he responded. At that moment, piles of snow flew through the air as enormous Digimon leaped out of the ground. “Damn it; IceGolemon!” A pack of five of the Digimon began walking towards us.

IceGolemon? I’ve never heard of them,” I said.

“They’re Ultimate level Digimon, evolved from the Golemon Digimon,” Coronamon said. “This isn’t good; we can’t fight them as we are now!”

“Then why don’t we change?” I asked, pulling out my Digivice. Coronamon smiled, and both he and the Digivice began emitting a bright light.

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon!” Coronamon changed from a small Digimon barely up to my knee to a huge, winged lion, taller than most I’ve seen at Lachesis. “Better hop on, Matthew; this could get messy!” I did as my Digimon told when an IceGolemon ran up to us. “Fira Claw!” Firamon tore through the Digimon and killed it instantly, in spite of being only a Champion.

“The others look mad,” I said.

“Not for long; Fira Bomb!” Firamon unleashed several flaming spheres at the remaining IceGolemon, killing them all. At that moment, more and more IceGolemon began to dig themselves out of the snowy ground. “Crap; more are coming!”

“What should we do, Firamon?” I asked. The Beast Digimon looked around.

“…If they’re just going to keep coming…we’ll have to bury them,” Firamon said. “Take one of your arrows and light it with some of my flames. Fire it at that ledge over there.”

“…Are you sure about this?” I asked.

“Of course not. But I don’t think we have any other choice.” I nodded, and pulled out an arrow, setting it ablaze with Firamon’s tail flame.

“Ready…aim…fire!” I let go of my arrow, and it soared over the heads of the advancing IceGolemon until it lodged itself into a tall ledge. The ice melted instantly, sending piles and piles of snow down, crushing the IceGolemon.

“It’s coming down faster than I thought! All right, let’s get out of—” Firamon was interrupted as the two of us were buried in the snow. I was knocked out instantly.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 7 - Distant Memories

Matthew Kasuto
~~~​
I was back home. Not at Lachesis, but to my own home, with my family. My mother and father, and Eleanora. It has been a very long time since I’ve seen either of my parents; I can’t even remember their faces. But there I was, sitting at a table, eating dinner with Eleanora and my parents. At least, that’s who I thought they were. Their faces were obscured, as if I couldn’t remember what they looked like. Two faceless strangers…I don’t even know how old I was in this memory, this dream, but it was the last memory of my parents that I have, because on that day, they were murdered. Killed by bandits. If it weren’t for Eleanora, I’d have been killed, too. They set our home on fire. Our parents were trapped; there wasn’t anything we could have done for them, or they us. Eleanora took my tiny hand in hers, and began running. The two of us kept on running, and running, and running, until we just couldn’t keep going. She had always been the braver one of us; she spoke to others more, she fought more, she smiled more…Maybe it was because I blamed myself for our parents’ death that she was the way she was? Always smiling, always trying to make me happy…I knew that, logically, I had done nothing; I didn’t start the fire, I didn’t trap them. But, they did try to keep me safe…If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have gotten trapped the way they did in that fire, and left to die while Ellie and I fled for our lives. In that time, my twin sister grew to be a protective older sister, and after that, she became something of an overprotective mother figure to me…Maybe that was why I was so weak, and timid; because I had Ellie to fight all my battles for me, and to take care of me, I never learned how to fight by myself. I remember her adamant opposition to me learning archery like it was yesterday. At the end of our argument, she broke down in tears; you’d think I was abandoning her forever! Because we’ve been together for so very long, she is the only beautiful woman whom I do not fear in the slightest. I love Eleanora like she were my mother, and I know she sees me as her son. It’s quite unusual; we’re twins. The same age. Why must we continue acting like there’s an age difference between us? Or, maybe did other twins behave this way? I wasn’t certain. All I know is that when I see Eleanora, I see a mother. And when I try to recall my actual mother, nothing…
~~~​

“Matthew…hey, Matthew! C’mon, little buddy; wake up!” Someone was shaking me vigorously. I felt cold, but not from the air. My clothes were soaked. “Matthew!” My eyes popped open. “Oh, man; thank the Goddess you’re okay, buddy!”

“…Sparrow?” I was looking up into the eyes of my closest friend at Lachesis; Sparrow Lea. At 23 years old, Sparrow was many decades younger than I; however, he looked older, he acted older…usually. He was an older brother to me, in spite of our age difference.

“Glad you’re okay, bud,” Sparrow said. Above us flew Sparrow’s Digimon partner, Hawkmon. “Hawkmon and I saw that avalanche, so we went to go see what was going on just in time to pull you and Firamon outta there.”

“What were you two doing up there?” Firamon asked. It was on his back where Sparrow and I sat.

“We were…just…looking for something. No big deal,” Sparrow said.

“What were you doing?” Hawkmon asked.

“Lucia sent the two of us out on a job. Lloyd’s gone missing, so she sent us to find him,” Firamon said. Just hearing her name sent a chill down my spine.

“…And…we failed,” I said quietly. Sparrow bit his lip nervously.

“Well…don’t feel…too bad,” Sparrow said. “Lucia’s a tough gal to please; trust me, I know.”

“We know, but we find it hard to keep track with all of your results,” Firamon said smugly. “Seeing as how you hit on every girl you see…”

“Right…Well…Let’s just keep on going home, then,” Sparrow said nervously. “I’ll see if I can take the blame for what happened today…”

“…You’d do that for me?” I asked.

“Sure! Anything for my bro!”
“…Thank you, Sparrow…” I laid my head back down, and closed my eyes. My entire body ached, so I wanted to rest up before Lucia reprimanded me.

[HR][/HR]
Elizabeth
Celosia Province

“Welp, that should be the last of ‘em!” Mia said cheerfully. I retrieved one of my knives from a brigand’s throat.

“…Yes…”

“Hey…are you okay, Lizzy?” Mia asked.

“I am fine…I am always like this, aren’t I?” I asked.

“Hmm…Now that you mention it, I guess you are,” Mia said. “Why is that?”

“Well, do you remember the day we met?” I asked. “It was about ten years ago…I was in a complete daze, as if I had just woken up for the first time. I couldn’t see clearly, and I stumbled when I walked. That was when I came across that fortress…Lachesis…Even though it wasn’t my intention to join when I first stepped foot in the fortress, I was welcomed instantly by all. I’m glad I did end up joining, though. I have so many good friends, especially you, Mia…”

“Lizzy…”

“Of course, when I first walked in, I never thought you’d be a mercenary group!” I smiled.

“So…why do you always seem sad?” Mia asked. “You remind me of Katsumi in that regard…Is it because of your amnesia?”

“…Yes. I…can’t remember anything before joining Lachesis eight years ago. I don’t even know how old I am,” I admitted. “But Lachesis gave me the opportunity to go out and make memories of my own.” I turned to look at my best friend. “And now…thanks to everyone…but you especially, Mia, I know who I am. I enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I love laughing with my friends. And I love…having friends…to share all of these experiences with. I still don’t have any memories…but I’m okay…without them. Although, sometimes…I guess I get a little sad, thinking about who I was before I lost them…”

“…It’s okay, Lizzy,” Mia placed her arm around my shoulders. “We’ll figure out some way for you to recover your memories together.” I smiled at her.

“Yes. Yes, we will,” I replied, trying to sound optimistic. We began to walk home, and we did so in silence for a few minutes until we came saw a young girl, no more than six or seven years old, staring up at a tree. The girl noticed us, and came running over to us.

“Um…can you help me?” she asked. “My Nyaromon is stuck in a tree; can you get her down?”

“Oh, of course, dear,” Mia said. “You just wait right here; I’ll go get—”

“Mia,” I interrupted. “Bandits.” Mia turned around, and saw a small group of bandits running in our direction. Mia’s usually smiling face turned serious.

“I’ve got this,” she said. “You get the Nyaromon. And keep the girl safe, too.”

“Understood.” I effortlessly picked up the girl and jumped up into the tree to join the girl’s Nyaromon. I saw Mia reach into her purse and retrieve a small stone, which she held high up above her head.

“Come forth…MegaKabuterimon!” A giant red beetle appeared before Mia, startling all of the brigands. “MegaKabuterimon, darling, you know what to do.”

“Always, Mia,” MegaKabuterimon said.

“W—what just happened?” the young girl asked.

“It’s okay, sweetie; my friend down there is what they call a Digimon Summoner,” I said. “She’s able to call forth Digimon to fight alongside her.” The little girl’s eyes were glued on Mia and her Digimon Spirit.

“Horn Buster!” The summoned Digimon fired a powerful blast from his horn. Though they were all Human, not a trace of them remained when MegaKabuterimon’s attack finished.

“Well done, love,” Mia said, gently placing her hand on the Digimon’s leg.

“Always a pleasure to be of service, my lady,” MegaKabuterimon said before vanishing. Smiling, I picked up the trembling Nyaromon and jumped down out of the tree. I handed the girl her Nyaromon, whom she promptly hugged tightly.

“Oh, Nyaromon, don’t scare me like that again!” she said.

“We’re glad you’re both all right,” Mia said. Her charming smile was once again on her lovely face.

“T—thank you for your help,” the girl said. “Um…My name is Cynthia…”

“Well, it’s very nice to meet you, Cynthia. My name is Mia, and this is my best friend, Elizabeth.”

“…Nice to meet you, Cynthia,” I said. “If you ever need help again…don’t hesitate to contact us…”

“Oh, that’s right; we work at Lachesis!” Mia said. Cynthia’s face lit up.

“You two work there?!” she gasped. “Oh, I’ve always wanted to join La…La…”

“Lachesis,” Mia finished.

“Yeah! Me and my friend have always wanted to join, but my mommy told us we’re not old enough,” Cynthia pouted.

“Oh, don’t worry about that; I’m sure you’ll be old enough in no time,” I said. The young girl’s face lit up again.

“Oh, I can’t wait!” Cynthia exclaimed.

“Why don’t the two of us walk you home, dear?” Mia asked. “We wouldn’t want something to happen to you and Nyaromon.”
“Yay! Oh, I can’t wait to tell Miya that I got to meet two heroes from La…Lachesis!” Cynthia said.

[HR][/HR]
Lilliana Meadows
Celosia Province

“Okay…it looks like we’re here,” Alicia said.

“…Will I…have to hurt anybody?” I asked nervously.

“Oh, no; absolutely not, love,” Alicia said. “Unless you want to, you will never be forced to harm another living being in your life at Lachesis.”

“…Okay…thank you, Miss Alicia,” I said. Alicia shrugged.

“Don’t thank me ‘till we’re done,” she said. “Can’t promise you’ll come out unscathed until after that.”

“Okay…”

“Now, do you see those bandits up ahead of us?” she asked, pointing one of her arrowguns forward.

“Yes…?” When I saw them, I began to feel more and more nervous.

“Okay; there are only three of them, so we shouldn’t be here too long,” Alicia continued. “I’ll take one of them out, but only to get their attention. When they come this way, you and Kamemon will take care of them. Clear?”

“Y—yes,” I said.

“Don’t worry, Lilliana; I won’t let them hurt you,” Kamemon said. I looked down at my Digimon partner, and smiled. Alicia pointed an arrowgun directly at one of the bandits. I adjusted my glasses, and tightly held on to my Digivice. It was a D-Power, one that I could use specially made cards to make Kamemon fight better. At the moment, I had only one card, but it was the only one I needed.

“Three…two…one…Now!” An arrow flew through the air and struck one of the bandits in the center of the forehead. He fell dead instantly. The other two bandits saw us, and began to charge. “That’s your cue, Lilly!”

“Okay…Digi-Modify! Digivolution activate!” I slid the card through my Digivice, and Kamemon began to glow with the light of Digivolution.

“Kamemon Digivolve to, Gwappamon!” Kamemon now stood a good deal taller than he had been. “Gawappa Punch!” Gwappamon extended both of his arms and punched both of the bandits in the face, knocking them to the ground. “DJ Shooter!” Gwappamon shot off the discs on his heads into the throats of the bandits. Blood came spurting out, up into the air and leaking onto the ground. They were both killed instantly.

“All right! Good reflexes, both of you!” Alicia clapped, smiling happily. Gwappamon glowed again and turned back into Kamemon. “Very good job, Lilly! How do you feel?” My eyes were glued to the two bandit corpses that lay on the ground. Blood was still slowly welling from their necks, staining their bodies and the ground around them. Slowly, I looked up at Alicia. “…This was your first time seeing someone die, wasn’t it?” I nodded slowly. “I’m sorry…I should have asked you first…How are you feeling, dear?” I looked down.

“…My tummy hurts…Feels icky…” I felt dizzy from looking at that blood. I almost fell over when Alicia gently grabbed my arm.

“Oh, sweetie…” Alicia picked me up, and began walking, with Kamemon following, carrying Alicia’s arrowguns. “Let’s get you home; we’ll put you to bed, and Larraine can rub all of that ickyness out of your tummy, okay?” I nodded slowly, and curled up in Alicia’s arms.
…I was always so afraid of her…I thought she would be mean…I never knew Alicia could be so nice like this…

[HR][/HR]
Katsumi Rosalina

“…There…all done,” I said, killing the final bandit with a magic spell. He fell dead without feeling any pain. But still, I felt guilty; guilty for bringing yet another’s life to an end…

“‘Bout frickin’ time,” Geitz said. “What the hell took you so long?!”

“I’m…sorry,” I said. “I just…don’t like killing people…” Geitz rolled his eyes.

“Well, c’mon; I haven’t got all day!” Geitz barked. “Unless you want me to leave you here, get moving!”

“Y—yes, sir…” Once again, I found my eyes filled with tears.

“Honestly…as though it weren’t bad enough that you’re a whiny little cunt, but I learn that you’ve got that damned Mark, too?!” Geitz shouted.

“…I’m…sorry…” Geitz shook his head.

“Filthy Marked scum…Don’t know why they even let filth like you into Lachesis!” Geitz kept walking. I, however, dropped to my knees. Tears were falling faster and faster from my eyes.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 8 - Bolero del Vientre de la Diosa

Sparrow Lea
Lachesis Fortress – Lounge
2 Hours

Firamon and I successfully brought Matthew home to Lachesis, by which time it was night — Matthew had fallen asleep once again on our way back. I lay him down on a couch, with his head resting in Eleanora’s lap. Every now and then, she would gently brush his hair out of his face. If it weren’t for Lucia standing over him and glaring down at him, it would’ve been a rather sweet moment.

“Has everyone returned?” I heard Mihiramon ask from on the floor at Lucia’s feet.

“…Tactimon and Sieglinde haven’t come back yet,” Lucia looked around the room. “Edmund still hasn’t come back from wherever it is Ulysses sent him, and Lloyd is still missing.”

“What about Katsumi?” I asked. Haven’t seen that pretty lady in a while…

“Geitz made her cry, so she’s up in her room,” Lucia said. “Mia and Elizabeth are with her.” Lucia turned her attention back to Matthew. She cleared her throat, and Matthew’s eyes opened up. He sat up slowly and yawned, looking around.

“Oh…did I fall asleep again?” he asked. Eleanora tapped his shoulder and pointed at Lucia. Matthew’s face went completely pale.

“…You caused an avalanche?” Lucia asked. “Without even thinking of the consequences…you…”

“I told you, that was my fault!” Coronamon said. “It was my idea…”

Silence!” Lucia screamed. “Not only could you have gotten yourselves killed, but you could have also killed Lloyd! What the hell where you thinking?! Matthew, you idiot! How could you let something like this happen?!”

Jeez, I haven’t heard Lucia yell like this in…hours…

“…I...uh...”

“Shut up! No excuses!”

“Lucia, don’t yell at him! He’s just a little baby!” Eleanora protested, pulling Matthew’s head up against her body into a hug, resting it on her soft and ample bust.

Lucky man, I thought.

“...Eleanora, it is only because you insist on treating him as such that he remains that way!” Lucia barked. “Tomorrow morning, I fully expect you to go back to those mountains; do not come back until after you’ve found Lloyd Reed. Understand?!” After a moment of glaring down at Matthew, Lucia stormed away with Mihiramon, uttering something under her breath. When she was gone, Matthew began to tear up.

“Oh, don’t worry, Mattie; she’s gone now,” Eleanora said gently.

“Yeah, don’t listen to her,” I said, sitting down on the couch next to him. “Listen; tomorrow, I’m goin’ with you up to those mountains, okay?” Matthew looked up at me.

“But…what if Lucia says—”

“Ah, to the Dark Area with Lucia! I’ll just tell her I didn’t find what I was looking for, and I’ll need to go back!” I said.

“Not a complete lie, though,” Hawkmon said. “We didn’t find what we were looking for, but right now, our bigger concern is you, Matthew.”
“…Thanks, guys…”

[HR][/HR]
Tactimon
Celosia Province

I stared down the final bandit. He was the last of the ones foolish enough to remain behind, and as he realized this, he was beginning to look nervous. It was now dark out, but as a Digimon, I could see him easily. The man raised his knife, but he was too late. I swung my sheathed blade, and killed him instantly.

“Nice. Not bad at all, Tactimon,” Sieglinde said. I turned around to look at her; the lovely woman sat atop Lupinemon’s back in a similar manner to Lucia sitting on Mihiramon’s.

“I’m surprised you could see that; you’re only a Human, and not a Digimon,” I replied.

“No, but I used to be.” I turned my helmeted head to look at her. “Don’t act like you don’t know,” she giggled. “You remember me, don’t you?”

“Sieglinde, what are you talking about?” Lupinemon asked.

“Well, about five-hundred years ago, me and Tacty over there used to fight against Lachesis,” Sieglinde said.

“Please…don’t remind me of that time,” I said. “SkullCaliphmon is not…what I would call a Digimon worth dying for…” I looked down at my fight forearm. At the Mark. Even after being reborn, the Mark remained.

“From what I heard, you didn’t really die for him,” Sieglinde said. “You refused to fight against those three…and you were killed by SkullCaliphmon because of it.” After a moment, I nodded. “I was the same…I completely turned traitor against their group, and DeathPhantomon killed me.”

“But…you’re Human,” I said. “How…Just what are you, Sieglinde?”

“Oh, it really isn’t too complicated once you understand it,” Sieglinde shrugged. “Well, as you know, about five-hundred years ago, my body hosted the soul of a young girl named Linoan. I don’t know how that happened, but whatever. So anyway, when I was killed by DeathPhantomon, both me and Linoan were killed. After that, I guess since I performed a noble deed, we were both reborn not too long ago. However, for some reason, I’m the one who remembers this, not Lupinemon. I don’t know what happened up there that switched our consciousnesses and memories around, but whatever. We’re both pretty happy to be working at Lachesis, right, Lupinemon?”

“Always, Sieglinde,” Lupinemon said happily.

“Wait, if you were Linoan, why do you call yourself Sieglinde now? Aren’t you still Linoan?” I asked.

“Meh. I guess I am. But I was reborn, so I figured I should go by a different name, and Sieglinde sounded kinda pretty, so I just went with it,” Sieglinde replied. “Just think of me as Linoan with the old Lupinemon’s brain. It’s not so confusing that way.”

“I…see…”

“Well, what about you, Tacty?” Sieglinde asked. “Do you remember anything from the past?”

“I remember…everything,” I replied. “I remember SkullCaliphmon…and being murdered by him. I remember those three…Thomas…Statuedramon…and Zelda…” I sighed. “Really…it is because of Zelda that I am with Lachesis…”

“…Where are they now?” she asked. I shook my head.
“Well…I can surmise that Thomas has died long ago. He did not carry the Mark, after all. Zelda and Statuedramon…I don’t know their locations,” I admitted. “But…I do know this…they are…alive.”

[HR][/HR]
Larraine
Lachesis Fortress
10 Minutes

“…And they all lived happily ever after. The end…” I closed the book and looked over at Lilliana and Alicia. Lilliana lay in her bed, fast asleep. Her glasses lay on a nightstand next to her, where a lamp illuminated her room. Kamemon sat on her bed close to her head, looking down at her with a concerned look on his face.

“She fell asleep a few pages ago,” Alicia whispered.

“I know. I just couldn’t help continuing on,” I smiled, looking at the cover of The Little Mermaimon. “I can see why this is Lilly’s favorite fairy tale…”

“…I shouldn’t have made her see all of that up close,” Alicia said. “If I had known…If I had known she’d have gotten sick at the sight of blood, I would’ve just taken those bandits out from afar…”

“Well, it was sweet of you to stay with her, Alicia,” I said.

You’re the one who read her her favorite story,” she replied. I smiled.

“I’m just glad I was able to help make her feel better…” I looked down at Lilliana, and brushed a strand of her deep blue hair out of her face. “Well…it’s almost time for my dance. Do you want to come and watch?” Alicia shook her head.

“I’ll stay here with Lilliana…You go on ahead, Rainy.” I smiled at Alicia, and left the room quietly, not wanting to wake up Lilliana. As I gently closed the door to her room, I found Katsumi sitting in the hallway. Mia and Elizabeth sat on either side of her.

“…What’s going on?” I whispered. “Are you okay, Kitty?” Katsumi shook her head. She sat up against a wall with her legs drawn in, and her face buried in her arms. My heart sank; even though seeing Katsumi crying was a common sight, it still made me feel sad to see her like this.

“Geitz yelled at her,” Mia said. “…Again.”

“He insulted her…because she has the Mark,” Elizabeth said.

“…I didn’t know he hated us,” I said. He’s never said anything to me, before…

“Lucia is chewing him out for it, though,” Mia said. “Says we need to treat everyone here equally.” Elizabeth shook her head.

“I don’t understand…why that man is still here,” she said. “Why is someone like him…allowed to stay in our group?”

“…I don’t know,” I admitted. “It’s not like he’s the boss’s kid or anything…Well, let’s not worry about Geitz right now. I heard Lucia yell at Matthew a few minutes ago.”

“She was pretty loud,” Mia added. “She didn’t have to be so hard on him, the poor thing…”

“What were you doing in Lilliana’s room?” Elizabeth asked.

“Well, as it turns out, she gets sick at the sight of blood,” I said. “She and Alicia went out on a job today, where Lilly apparently saw blood for the first time. It made her tummy hurt, and she almost passed out, so Alicia carried her home, and I read Lilly her favorite story until she fell asleep…”

“Rainy…you’re like everybody’s mother here,” Mia laughed.

“Yes, I suppose I am, aren’t I?” I giggled. “I even rubbed Lilly’s tummy for her while I read to her until she fell asleep…At the very least, I am old enough to be the mother of everybody here…”

“How old are you again?” Elizabeth asked.
“I dunno…a little over five hundred years, I think,” I answered. “Well, anyway, it’s almost time for me to dance. Would you like to watch, Kitty?” Katsumi slowly lifted her head. Her gorgeous face was wet with tears; her lovely, golden eyes reddened from crying. But, with a little effort, I saw her nod. I smiled, and helped her stand up. I even saw a tiny smile begin to form when I mentioned my dance. “Please feel better soon, Kitty…You, and Mattie, and Lilly…”

[HR][/HR]
10 Minutes

I stood on a stage specially constructed for me to perform my dances in the lounge room of the fortress. Most of my friends faced me, all with looks of eager anticipation on their faces. There were only a few people missing. Alicia and Lilliana were still upstairs. Wayland was apparently still in his forge. I didn’t see Geitz or Ulysses anywhere, and I figured Sieglinde and Tactimon were still out on their job. AeroVeedramon slept in a far corner, as usual, and Neemon slept standing up, also as usual. Every few seconds, I would see Bokomon snap the waist of his pants to wake him up.

Ooh, I can’t wait to show everyone my newest dance! My heart beat rapidly in my chest, and it was as if happiness itself was coursing through my veins. The anticipation made me dizzy, but in a good way, and I could see that it was this way with all of my friends in the audience. The lights in the room dimmed. A single light shone down on me. All eyes were on me. It was time. I breathed in, and out, and closed my eyes. With a wide smile on my face, I began. My entire body acted as though it were a liquid during the dance. I spun around, and gracefully raised my arms up into the air. Time had no meaning to me in but the few minutes I danced, as it always did for me during these times. I brought my left leg forward, balancing on my bare foot momentarily as I spun once more. I undulated my stomach muscles and “rolled” my belly — a particular favorite of the crowd’s — and shimmied my hips. Though my eyes were closed the entire time, I could easily sense the awe and, in some cases, desire, from the crowd. The blanket-like cloth that I usually wore wrapped around my body was in my hands, and swayed majestically in the air as I turned, and spun. The dance concluded with a final twist of the hips that bounced my chest; I placed my left leg forward, placing my weight on my right leg. The cloth I held spun around my body when I gracefully but firmly stretched out my arms, returning to its original position around my shoulder, leaving my belly, for the most part, exposed, just the way I loved it. When I opened my eyes, everyone in my audience was on their feet. Their applause, cheering, and whistling were deafening, which was the greatest encouragement a performer could ever receive. As usual, I felt blessed to have friends as wonderful as everyone at Lachesis.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 9 - In the Depths of the Pit

Matthew Kasuto
Lachesis Fortress
15 Hours

Sparrow and I stood side by side at the entrance of the fortress. It was early in the morning, and the sky was completely clear. Coronamon and Hawkmon stood at our sides, ready to fight alongside us. Eleanora stood close by, tightening the string of my bow after cramming as many arrows as possible into my quiver. Sparrow rested his poleaxe on his shoulder. He seemed enviously relaxed about our mission today.

“Be careful up there, okay?” she asked over and over.

“He’ll be fine, gorgeous,” Sparrow said. “Nobody better than me to look after Matthew, after all!” Eleanora smiled, and turned to me.

“I’ve got your lucky rock right here, Mattie,” she said. At the center of her dainty hand was a green stone. I reached out to pick it up. The surface was smooth and cool, while the underside was warmed from Eleanora’s touch. This stone was the only keepsake I had of our parents; from what Eleanora told me, it was given to me by our mother. But that had been very long ago. I didn’t remember her face, and I never bothered to ask Eleanora about it.

“…You hold onto it while I’m gone,” I said. “I don’t want to lose it…” I handed her back the stone, and she gripped it tightly and smiled at me. The echoing of footsteps coming from the stone floor of the fortress’s hallway caught my attention.

“Now, remember, you two,” Lucia suddenly said from behind us. I jumped at the sound of her voice, and hid myself behind Sparrow. “The orders from Ulysses are for you to not return until you find Lloyd. Understand?”

“And what are your orders, Miss Lucia?” Sparrow asked, sounding almost as if he were mocking Lucia.

“…I’m not the one in charge,” she replied. “I don’t make the rules…”

“…And? Your orders, Lucia?”

“…Just come back alive, you four,” Lucia whispered. “Also, Ulysses doesn’t know you’re going with Matthew, Sparrow. He just thinks you’re continuing your search, but please…”

“I know, I know. Keep Mattie safe,” Sparrow said, looking at Eleanora rather than Lucia. “Don’t have to tell me twice, Lucy. I’m happy to keep my pal outta harm’s way.” My bold friend placed a hand on my head and ruffled my hair.

“And make sure Lloyd makes it back in one piece, too,” Lucia added. “I don’t want to tell Heather that something’s happened to her husband.”

“None of us do,” Sparrow agreed. “Which is why we’re both going to make sure he comes back with us.” Lucia nodded.

“Be careful,” Eleanora repeated one last time.

“Better get going, then.” Sparrow and I looked at each other, and nodded. We both pulled out our Digivices, and aimed their lights at our Digimon. I glanced at Sparrow’s Digivice, a red D-3, as both of our Digimon began to evolve.

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon!”

“Digi-Armor Energize!” Sparrow yelled.

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Moosemon, the Prongs of Hope!” Both of our Digimon stood tall in their new forms, ready for us to climb on and ride to the Trillium Mountains.

“Be careful,” I heard Lucia whisper as we both took off. I waited a few minutes to make sure we were out of Lucia’s range of hearing.

“Sparrow…how come you’re so brave around girls?” I asked. “Why is it so easy for you to flirt with them?”

“Huh? Oh…I don’t know,” he replied. “It just…sorta comes naturally to me, I suppose. Our group’s full of beautiful ladies, I just can’t control myself when I’m around them, you know? Isn’t that why you’re afraid of them?”

“…Sort of…I think? I don’t know,” I whispered. “They’re all so pretty…that it makes me scared…I don’t know how I’m supposed to…act…”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s normal,” Sparrow said. “Although…in your case, I suppose it does seem a bit more phobia-like…Why are you asking me this now, after all the years we’ve known each other? You got an eye on a certain lady in our group?”

“What?! No, I…well…maybe…”

“Well? Who’s the lucky lady?” Sparrow asked. I remained silent, keeping my eyes on Firamon’s mane. “Well, it’s all right if you don’t want to tell me who…Just thought I’d keep myself from flirtin’ with whoever it is you like…Unless it’s Lucia. You can keep her.” I cracked a smile.

“…I thought maybe if I asked you how you’re so brave around all of those pretty girls, then I’d learn to get over my phobia,” I admitted. “And I…wanted to get over it…before I told her…”

“Well, you’re not afraid of Eleanora, right? Because she’s your twin sister? Just…try imagining you’re talking to Ellie when talkin’ to the girl…without it being ‘weird!’” Sparrow added quickly. “Although, Rainy once told me that it was that fear of yours that made you so charming. So, if you’re hot for Rainy — which, if I may add, I totally cannot blame you for — then you’re in luck, pal.”

“Are you two through, yet?” Moosemon interrupted.

“Huh? Why?” Sparrow asked.
“We’ve…reached the foot of the mountains,” Firamon said, sounding out of breath. I looked up, and was surprised by what I saw. Due to my conversation with Sparrow, I hadn’t realized that both of our Digimon had run the entire way.

[HR][/HR]
Lucia Delbray

I spent the last five minutes or so inside the fortress, leaning against a wall in the lounge and thinking. Many of the members of Lachesis regularly admitted to being afraid of me — in fact, Larraine, Heather, Isole, and Mihiramon were the only ones who didn’t seem to fear me in the slightest. Even Ulysses acted as though he feared me.

And yet, it’s not him who gets the blame for sending Matthew to the Trillium Mountains. It’s me. I looked down, and readjusted my eye patch. Ulysses is the one who wanted to send Matthew all alone; I do everything I can to get Coronamon and Sparrow to go with him, and yet I’m still treated as the villain…I can understand why most of the others are afraid of me, though. I suppose I do have a rather commanding presence. I laughed quietly to myself. “Oh, well. Ulysses might not seem like he’s doing a good job at being the leader, but I do trust his judgment and reasoning. His heart is always in the right place…I just wish he’d change his planning just a little bit…”

“Lucy! Hey, Lucy!” I lifted my head, and saw Larraine coming my way. As usual, she had a big smile on her face. “Lucy, everyone’s done with their morning training!” Her smile and infectious high spirits were more than enough to take my mind off Matthew. “Since they’re all done, they all went out to do some jobs!”

“Very good. Did everybody show up?” I asked.

“Well, not everybody,” Larraine said, speaking slowly and nervously. “Well, the boss is talking to Dominimon, so he’s excused I guess, and you told Heather not to do the exercises, and you never let me do them…”

“…And? Was there anyone else, Rainy?”

“Uh…well…Lilliana still hasn’t woken up from being sick last night, and Alicia’s still with her,” Larraine trailed off. “Also…Isole didn’t show up again…” I rolled my eye.

“Damn it…she’s always skipping out on training!” I left the room and stormed all the way upstairs and barged into Isole’s room. In spite of how loud I was, she did not flinch, as if she were expecting me. She ignored me, however, and continued reading. “Isole, you missed early morning training again today!” I yelled.

“Duly noted,” was all Isole said back to me.

“I can’t remember a single time you’ve ever once joined us!”

“I don’t like getting up early in the morning. Is that a problem?” Finally, she looked up at me. Her eyes were a very pretty shade of brown, but they almost seemed lifeless every time I looked into them.

“...If I were to reschedule some of the training sessions to mid-afternoon, would you join us?” I asked. “…Please?”

“Nope.”

“Isole…c’mon; even that new girl showed up,” I said. “Giselle, wasn’t it?”

“Great. Just another reason not to show up.”

“…You hate her, don’t you? I don’t know why, but—”

“Because she’s a loudmouth,” Isole interrupted. “I don’t like people who talk a lot…or loudly.”

“Well…since you hate her so much, I thought maybe you’d…I don’t know…show up and try to outdo her?” I asked, hoping she would agree.

“Nope. Don’t care for pointless contests.”

“Isole! Being prepared for battle is a matter of life and death!”

“I'm only a tactician. Why is it important for me of all people to be tortured by you?”

“Well...okay, maybe you don’t need it for battle...but it will help you out in life!”

“Tactics are my life. Fat or muscle has nothing to do with tactics and how good one is at them.”

“But...you'll live longer if you train your body. You’ll be a lot healthier, too.”

“I'll be...healthier? And live longer?” she asked. I nodded. “I’ll live longer...so I can spend a longer time with annoying loudmouths like you?!” I stared sadly at Isole. “In that case, I’m going to go stuff myself with all the chocolate cake I can and eat myself into an early grave. See ya, Lucia.” Isole calmly left her room and closed the door behind her, leaving me alone. I looked down at the floor and sighed.
They grow up so fast…

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Trillium Mountains

“…We’ve been here for almost an hour…and we haven’t seen any sign of him yet,” I sighed.

“Don’t look so down, buddy. I’m expecting this to take all day, to be honest,” Sparrow said from atop Moosemon’s back. “Don’t even be surprised if it takes us a few days.”

“…Okay…”

“Don’t worry, Matthew; I’ll make sure none of us freeze to death,” Firamon said. “And I’ll make sure none of the IceGolemon get either of you.”

“…IceGolemon?” Sparrow looked at me. “You mean there are IceGolemon? Here? On this mountain?”

“Yeah…? I thought you knew…” Sparrow looked me dead in the eye.

“Matthew. IceGolemon…are some of the most dangerous species of Digimon there is,” he said very sternly. “They are very intelligent, and they work well in groups of Digimon — even those of differing species — to craft traps to capture prey and enemies.”

“Don’t a lot of Digimon behave that way?” I asked.

“It is highly unlikely that a Digimon like that would consider eating a Human, so that can only mean one thing.” Sparrow paused. “If the IceGolemon captured Lloyd…then it would be because they see him as an enemy. If they see him as an enemy, then they will likely think of us in the same manner.”

“Sparrow…? What are you trying to say?” I asked nervously.

“…If we don’t act fast…we’ll likely be killed,” he whispered. “And it is likely that Lloyd as well has been killed before Heather even came back home. The IceGolemon are a perfect fit for their element; cold and unforgiving.” Sparrow looked back to me. “…Are you certain that you saw IceGolemon here?” I nodded. “
…We may…have to leave here…”

“What are you saying, Sparrow? We can’t abandon Lloyd!” I exclaimed.

“I know, and we won’t, but I don’t think that the two of us can handle a large number of IceGolemon!” Sparrow said. “We have to get out of here before we find any—” At once, large piles of snow flew up into the air. Firamon and Moosemon were tossed into the air; Sparrow and I fell off their backs and into the snow, where more and more piled high on top of us.
“Firamon, help—” I looked over to my Digimon, and saw that both he and Moosemon had turned back into their Rookie levels. The snow continued to pile higher and higher until it was all I could see.

[HR][/HR]
Isole Frost
Lachesis Fortress
30 Minutes

Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked around. My vision was still blurred, so I lifted my head to look around when I was overcome by nausea and a heavy feeling in my stomach that made me feel quite dizzy. “Urrrrp…ooh…where am I…?” Immediately, Lucia was at my side.

“Are you okay, Isole? You’ve been out cold for about half an hour...” She placed a soft and cool hand over my forehead, and brushed my hair away.

“Oh...Lucia...Damn it all...Guess I’m still alive...”

“Well, I’M glad you are.” Lucia helped me lay down, much to my spinning head’s relief. “I found you in the kitchen. “You were out cold, so I carried you up to your room.”

“…You were just so...loud...I was trying to concentrate....I just needed to get away from you…and do something to piss you off, I guess…”

“If you told me that you were busy, I would have left you alone, you know,” Lucia looked down sadly at me.

“...Yeah, I guess...”

“So, what happened?” she asked.

“...I was on my third slice of cake when I passed out. Just ate too much. No big deal, Lucy.”

“...You shouldn’t have done something like that. You have such a little tummy...”

“I—I do not!”

“Well, I guess not at the moment.” Lucia laughed, and placed her hand over my rounded stomach.

“DAMN IT, LUCY!”

“Why did you think something like that would ‘piss me off’?” Lucia asked. Slowly and gently, she began rubbing my belly, and in spite of my inner reluctance, it did feel good.

“Well…you were blathering on about how important it was to be healthy…or some ridiculous bullcrap like that,” I said. I avoided looking Lucia directly in the eye. “I just wanted to get away from you, like I said…”

“Isole…you know I could never hate you,” Lucia whispered. “I’ve only known you all your life, after all…”

“…I know.” I looked up at her, into her sole crimson eye.

“Even though you aren’t actually my daughter, Isole, I’ve raised you as though you were ever since I found you when you were only an infant...You are my daughter,” Lucia giggled. “You were so adorable back then; I just couldn’t leave you behind. And now, you’ve grown up into such an intelligent and beautiful young woman…” Blushing, I looked away from Lucia. “Although, your personality does your last name justice, Isole Frost.”

“Damn it, Lucia; why can’t you just say something nice?” I asked. I sounded angry, but I couldn’t keep myself from smiling. “You go and compliment me, and follow it up with something like that…”

“I can’t help it; you’re just so damned cute when you’re flustered,” Lucia laughed. I rolled my eyes, and she placed a cool and comforting hand on my cheek. “I don’t want anything to happen to my baby girl…So I’ll always be here for you, Isole. You know that, right?”
“…I do. I’ll never forget, either.”

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Trillium Mountains

…Well…this is the second time in a week that I’ve woken up after being buried in an avalanche…I should probably work on that. I opened my eyes and quietly sat up. My entire body ached, and I almost fell back down while getting up.

“…Glad you’re awake,” I heard Sparrow saw. I looked up, and saw him standing above me. His back was to me, and his axe was held tightly in both hands.
“Are you okay, Matthew?” Coronamon asked, placing a hand on my shoulder. He had a nervous look in his eyes that was unfamiliar to me.

“…Sparrow? What’s going on?” I asked.

“…Just look around,” he whispered back. Finally, I worked up the strength to stand up, but when I did, my jaw dropped. We were completely surrounded by IceGolemon.

“When we were buried in all of that snow, I think the ground may have opened up,” Hawkmon said. “We seem to have landed in an underground cavern as part of the IceGolemon’s trap…

“I’m going to get you out of here, Matthew,” Sparrow said. “Don’t worry…wouldn’t want to worry Ellie…”

“Well, you’re coming with me!” I retorted. “Because I’m not leaving this place without you and Hawkmon!”

“…Right. Yeah…” Sparrow looked down and smiled at me. “Yeah…we’ll both get out of here together!”

“Just one problem,” Coronamon said. “I…don’t have the strength to fight them, or even to Digivolve…”

“I do, but I don’t think Moosemon is strong enough to win against even one,” Hawkmon added. Sparrow looked at the IceGolemon for a moment. He sighed and looked up. As Hawkmon said, we were in a cave; at the roof of the cave was a large opening where we must have fallen through. Even now, snow was still falling down into the icy cavern. One such clump of snow fell directly in the middle of Sparrow’s face.

“…That…fucking…HURT!” Sparrow shouted. I could hear a few of the IceGolemon laugh.

“It’s just snow,” Hawkmon said. Sparrow wiped the snow off his face; as he did, a spherical object fell to the cavern floor.

“…What is…that?” I asked. Sparrow’s face immediately brightened, in spite of the large bruise on his forehead and his bloody nose.

“…That’s it!” he exclaimed. “That’s what I’ve been looking for!”

“What is it?” Coronamon asked. Sparrow picked up the object, and gazed at it with a look of bewildered elation.

“It’s…a Digi-Egg,” Sparrow said. “I heard there might be a Digi-Egg here on the Trillium Mountains…”

“It’s awfully small for a Digi-Egg,” I commented.

“No, it’s not the kind of egg that Digimon hatch out of,” Sparrow said. “It’s an Armor Digi-Egg; they’re what I use to Digivolve Hawkmon.”

“Care to give it a try to see what I become?” Hawkmon asked.

“Always!” Sparrow held the egg high up above his head. “Digi-Armor Energize!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 10 - Blazing Courage

Matthew Kasuto
Trillium Mountains

Sparrow held the Digi-Egg high up above his head and shouted, “Digi-Armor Energize!”

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Allomon, the Fangs of Courage!” Hawkmon now stood taller than ever, even more so than the IceGolemon surrounding us. Undaunted, each of the IceGolemon crouched down to all fours.

“GEYSER PLUME!” Pure white steam erupted from the backs of the IceGolemon that filled up the cavern in a matter of seconds.

“Matthew, don’t breathe this stuff in!” Sparrow shouted.

“Why not?!” I asked, trying to hold my breath. Without any explanation, Sparrow grabbed me by the back of the shirt and hoisted me and Coronamon up onto Allomon’s back.

“Dino Burst!” Allomon’s mouth opened, and a relentless stream of orange flames spewed out and evaporated many of the IceGolemon.

“Ice Punch!”

“Hang on, everyone!” Allomon said. When a few of the IceGolemon leaped into the air behind us, Allomon twisted around and struck them down with his thick tail. Two of them fell to the ground, and one of them died. The other one got back up without hesitation.

“Geyser Plume!” The IceGolemon blasted us with a steaming shot of water from his mouth. Allomon stood up straight, making sure that none of us on his back were hit by the attack.

Wow…these IceGolemon are tough; I can see why Sparrow was afraid of them, I thought. But with Allomon…hopefully, they won’t be a problem anymore…

“Dino Burst!” Allomon’s flames tore through the IceGolemon’s attack and struck him directly in the chest, instantly killing him. At this point, only three IceGolemon remained. Allomon glared at them, and after a moment, two of them turned to run away. Rolling his eyes, the final IceGolemon jumped in the air, preparing to attack us with another Ice Punch. “Dynamite Head!” Allomon rammed his head into the IceGolemon’s. The ice shattered and his head fell off. The final IceGolemon had died. “…Well, that wasn’t too tough,” Allomon sighed, turning back into Hawkmon.

“Don’t forget; we still need to find Lloyd,” Sparrow said. “For all we know, there could be hundreds more IceGolemon between us and him.”

“In that case, might I suggest that we go further into this cave?” Hawkmon asked. “This den seems to be the dwelling place for those IceGolemon, so I do not think it likely that they thought we would overpower them. Therefore, I have a feeling that Lloyd may very well be here.”

“Are you sure about this, Hawkmon?” Sparrow asked.

“…Not one-hundred percent…more like…maybe eighty?” Hawkmon crossed his arms as a puzzled expression formed on his feathery face. “Well…maybe seventy? No, that’s too low…Seventy-five? Yes, that’s a good number; very good, indeed.”

“Hawkmon!” Sparrow interrupted. Hawkmon looked up at his partner.

“…Let’s do it,” he said. “Let’s go.” Sparrow nodded.

“You up for this, Matt?”

“…I’ll be fine,” I replied. I just hope nothing bad happens…

“Right; then, let’s go!” Sparrow led the way through the icy cavern. To my relief, the cavern narrowed into a small path as we continued on, making it seem as though a large IceGolemon would have difficulty moving around much, no less several hundred all at once. The light began to dim from the opening in the cavern, but with the flame on Coronamon’s tail, this wasn’t an issue. After a few more minutes of walking, the path began to widen until the four of us were at the center of yet another cavern. The walls were completely made of ice, and daylight shone through.

“…Where are we? Are we still at Trillium?” I asked.

“…Maybe—” Sparrow was interrupted when a frigid gale made snow fly everywhere, momentarily blinding us. When it ended, a lone Digimon stood before us.

“Well…look who it is,” the Digimon said. “If it isn’t…their child…their descendent.”

“Who are you?!” Sparrow asked. Coronamon and Hawkmon stood between us and the Digimon, holding out their arms to protect us. “Tell us who you are!”

“Hmm…I’d have thought those IceGolemon I threatened into working for me would have torn the four of you limb from limb, yet here you all stand. Not in pieces. If you hadn’t found the Digi-Egg of Courage, Sparrow, you four would have died,” the Digimon said. “…Not that your lives hold any value. It is just one in particular who matters to me, but I just can’t seem to find her; no matter how hard I look, or how long…”

“Start making sense!” Coronamon ordered. The flame on his tail blazed and grew larger.

“Oh, do forgive me. Not introducing myself; how uncharacteristically uncivil of me.” The Digimon turned around to look at us. “I am…the perfect being. I am the apocalypse of which legends speak. And I am, for once and for all, your executioner! You may call me…IceDevimon.” The tall Digimon turned his back to us.

“Ice…Devimon?” I asked.

“…Why do I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere before?” Coronamon said to himself. “IceDevimon…”

“Well, it doesn’t matter to me if you know me or don’t. I’m told I have somewhat of a fondness for the spotlight, but the truth is, it would be better for me to lay low,” IceDevimon said.

“…Whatever. Clearly, you’re our enemy if you sent those IceGolemon after us,” Sparrow said. He had a tight grip on his axe.

“Are you really issuing a challenge? Foolish lad.” IceDevimon turned to face us. “I’m looking for something very important to me. I’ve been searching since the formation of this world, when the planet was still young and mankind was just barely crawling out of the mud! But still, I’ve not found it! Time and time again, I’ve been killed and reborn, but still, I’ve no results to show for all of my efforts! Do you have any idea how that made me feel inside?”

“…I’m guessing…happy isn’t on the list,” Coronamon said.

Furious!” IceDevimon snapped. “Outraged! Sick with anger! Absolutely fucking disgusted!

“Will you shut up and get to the point?!” Sparrow asked.

…I wish he’d stop taunting the Digimon that’s powerful enough to threaten those IceGolemon into attacking us…

“Well, you see…the way things have gone has caused me to develop somewhat of a taste for bloodshed…among other things…” IceDevimon flew up into the air, landing quietly behind us. “I derive the majority of my pleasure from bringing harm to beautiful women. I love hearing their screams. I lovefeeling…them…Young Matthew…You’ve a twin sister, don’t you? Tell me about her…if you please…The color of her eyes…The way her hair smells…How soft her skin is…The exact shape of each and every curve of her delicious, womanly body…”

“…No…No!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

“Well, that’s too bad. It’d be no fun to take out all of my anger on you four…when I could simply fly to a village on the other side of the continent and have more fun doing the same to a gorgeous young lass. Men are no fun at all for me to torture or kill, which is why I’ll go ahead and promise not to murder you.” IceDevimon bent his knees to look my right in the eyes. “No, Matthew Kasuto…I’ll just beat you within an inch of your life.”

“Gotcha!” Sparrow swung his axe, but IceDevimon flew away, easily dodging the swing of Sparrow’s axe.

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon! Fira Claw!” In what looked like an effortless motion, IceDevimon leaned back and out of the way of Firamon’s attack. In doing so, he wrapped his long arms around Firamon’s, and encased my Digimon partner in ice.

“You know, you should be more careful,” IceDevimon remarked. “Hasn’t anyone told you just how dangerous I am?”

“I’ve never even heard your name before,” I said. IceDevimon’s blood-red eyes narrowed, and he glanced at Firamon.

“…Aren’t you worried about your kitten?” he asked.

“No. Firamon’s got flames all over his body. That ice should melt and evaporate in no time,” I said. IceDevimon grinned. Two sharp fangs protruded from beneath his lip.

“Don’t be so sure.” I looked at Firamon, and gasped. The flames covering his body had died out. “Without any oxygen to feed them, the flames have dissipated. Now, he has no way to escape.”

“Digi-Armor Energize!” Sparrow held up what IceDevimon called the Digi-Egg of Courage.

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Allomon, the Fangs of Courage! Dino Burst!” Once more, IceDevimon swerved out of the way of the attack. Allomon’s attack, however, hit the ice encasing Firamon, making it melt and evaporate. Firamon was left lying down at the center of a cold puddle.

“Firamon, are you okay?!” I asked. My partner’s eyes shot open, and he stood up, unleashing a ferocious roar that shook the earth. The flames on his body erupted with loud pops, further illuminating the already bright room.

“Fira Bomb!”

“Dino Burst!” Both Allomon and Firamon unleashed their attacks onto IceDevimon, but the icy fiend simply stood tall and smirked.

“Tundra Freeze!” IceDevimon’s eyes widened, and unleashed pale blue beams from them that froze Allomon’s and Firamon’s flame attacks solid. The two fireballs fell to the ground and shattered. “Avalanche Claw!” IceDevimon shot up into the air and flapped his wings, sending a barrage of icicles down onto our Digimon. Snow and dust was kicked up into the air, obscuring the Digimon from view.

“Firamon!” I attempted to run after my Digimon, but Sparrow grabbed my arm at the last second to stop me. The dust cleared in a few moments; Coronamon and Hawkmon lay face-down on the ground, covered in cuts and blood. IceDevimon landed on the ground, looking down at the four of us.

“So…this is the extent of your power,” he remarked. “You had me worried. With the reputation your guild has, I’d have expected more out of two of the more experienced fighters.”

“You haven’t faced me yet!” Sparrow yelled. Ignoring his comment, IceDevimon looked down at the Digimon.

“Still…these Digimon did put up more of an interesting fight than I would have ever dared imagine, reputation or no.” IceDevimon looked back up at me and Sparrow. His very gaze sent a cold chill running up and down my spine. “Try not to take that as a compliment, though. The only reason you four are still alive, is because…well…I’m running out of time, and I don’t enjoy rushing my artistic savagery. I’m afraid I wasted far too much time enjoying watching your Digi-slaves struggle and attempt to fight back. I’ve searched these damned mountains for years, but still, no sign of my beloved possession. There’s no more reason for me to linger here, it seems.” IceDevimon smiled, and bowed. His knees were bent in doing so, but even still, he remained taller than us. “As a final act of good will…I will return your friend to you. And fret not…he draws breath still, and his life is not at risk.” IceDevimon snapped his fingers, and an icy-blue flame surrounded the entire cavern. A large block of ice fell down slowly from the ceiling, shattering into dust when it gently hit the ground. At its center was a Human. “Tell him to enjoy the progeny in his wife’s belly, and to be thankful that it is not mine. Mine would have torn its’ way out of her belly at the time of conception. That tends to happen.”

“…No way…Lloyd?!” Sparrow ran over to the unconscious man, and when the dust cleared, I could clearly see the scruffy beard and dark brown hair of my friend, Lloyd Reed. “He’s breathing…my Goddess, he’s breathing! He’s alive! Matthew, he’s alive!” Sparrow exclaimed. From the corner of my eye, I could see Sparrow looking up at me expectantly, but I was looking right at IceDevimon. Or rather, where he had been.

“IceDevimon is gone,” I whispered.

“Oh, who the hell cares about that freak?! Lloyd is alive!” Sparrow repeated. “He’s back! We found him! And now, we can go home! Aren’t you…happy about that?”

“…Yeah…I am,” I said. “I’m just…a little shaken up about IceDevimon, you know?”

“Yeah, that guy was pretty out there. But we don’t need to worry about him any more, okay? He’s only a distant memory for us.”
“…Okay.” I looked down at Lloyd’s body. Coronamon and Hawkmon stood over him, watching him carefully. “Let’s get him home. Back home to Lachesis…and to Heather.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 11 - Return

Eleanora Kasuto
Lachesis Fortress
6 Hours

Restlessly, I looked out the window of my room for about the fifth time that minute. Lucia had told me that Matthew and Sparrow might be gone for as long as a week. My thoughts of “only a week” quickly became thoughts of “one fucking week!” I looked out the window again. The sun had set. The sky was a deep and murky black, and not a single star tore through its infinite darkness. I tried so hard to take my mind off of my baby brother not being here; I polished and shined my sword, which once belonged to a distant ancestor of mine, or so I had been told. Even after all of these years, its edge wasn’t close to dulling, and I had polished it so well, I could see my reflection as though my sword were a mirror.

“Only a week…Only a week,” I kept saying aloud to myself. “Only a week…An entire, fucking week…Oh, Mattie; I miss you so much! Why didn’t I go with you?!” I banged my head against a brick wall several times. This was the first time that I’d been apart from my twin this long. Sometimes, we’d go on different jobs to two different places, but we’d both be back home in a few hours. I had spent the entire day without him, worrying about him, thinking about him. “…Screw it.” I tossed my sword onto my bed, which landed next to the snoozing Lunamon, and left my bedroom, quietly closing my door behind me. I stood atop the top stair of the stairway to the first floor of the fortress, and sighed with relief. The cool, stone surface were a very welcome comfort to my bare feet, sore from standing up and walking a good portion of the day (mostly from walking back and forth, fretting about Matthew.) I strolled down the stairs and walked into the lounge. It was quite late, and many of the others had already gone to bed. Lucia, Mihiramon, Heather, Larraine, Dominimon, and Ulysses were the only people in the lounge when I came down.

“…Still thinking about Matthew?” Lucia asked. She sat on the floor, propped up against Mihiramon’s side as the Ultimate Digimon slept quietly.

“I can’t help it; I haven’t been this long without having him around,” I whispered.

“Oh, Ellie, he’ll be okay,” Larraine said gently, smiling kindly at me. “I know Sparrow or Coronamon wouldn’t ever let anything bad happen to him…”

“I know…But I’m still worried. Plus, I miss him…”

“Well, if Sparrow finds what he’s looking for, they may not be gone as long as we think,” Ulysses said.

“What is he looking for?” I asked.

“An Armor Digi-Egg,” Lucia answered.

“He already has the Armor Digi-Egg of Hope to evolve Hawkmon; now, he’s looking for another that’s said to be somewhere in the Trillium Mountains,” Ulysses added.

“Can any Digimon Armor Digivolve?” Heather asked.

“Actually, very few actually can,” Dominimon said. “You see, Hawkmon as a species is a descendant of a species that flourished in ancient times, so he is able to ‘evolve,’ in a sense, to an Armor Level Digimon. However, it really isn’t very different from regular Digivolution; an Armor level Digimon like Moosemon is about as strong as a Digimon of the Champion level. Anyway, many of those ancient Digimon seem to have died out, leaving few descendants out there capable of Armor Digimon. I believe AeroVeedramon is also one who can borrow the power of the ancients, should he so choose to. However, he would have to degenerate to the Rookie level in order to perform such an action.”

“…Wow…when somebody asks a question, you really go out of the way to answer it,” I said. Dominimon shrugged.

“I’m the keeper of the library here at Lachesis; at many times during the day, I decide to look through the pages of the older books with Lilliana or Isole; after all…we are the librarians. As a result, I may know a few things here and there, but I would never consider myself a genius. If you ask me, Edmund would be the genius out of all of us,” Dominimon said.

“Yeah…I bet he’s smarter than everyone here combined,” I added in a dreamy voice.

“Sheesh…all the girls around here fawn over him like he’s some kind of god,” Lucia muttered with a small smile on her face. “I even told Giselle about him, and now she can’t wait for him to return…”

“Are you saying that you don’t?!” Larraine asked. Her eyes were wide with shock.

“Hey, he’s a good kid and all — well, I guess he’s older than me with that Mark, but you know what I mean — anyway, I just don’t see the need to exalt a regular man.”

“When is he coming back?” Larraine asked, looking at Ulysses.

“It’s not up to me. The lad’s on a quest of his own to find something,” Ulysses said. “Knowing him, though…I’m sure it’ll be soon.”

“That’s good; haven’t sparred with a mage in a while,” Lucia said. Lucia placed an arm atop the back of Mihiramon’s neck. At that moment, the Ultimate’s ears perked up, and he lifted his fuzzy head. “Mihiramon? What’s wrong?”

“…I hear someone coming,” he growled. It was one of his friendly growls, so we were all at ease as we looked to the entrance.

“Maybe it’s him!” I suggested. Larraine squealed and jumped up off the couch and stood next to me.

“Don’t get your hopes up, you two,” Ulysses said. “It’s probably just Wayland…”

“You say that as though it were a bad thing,” Heather laughed quietly.

“Oh, you know I didn’t mean it like that; but when you get to be an old fart like me, it gets hard to breath, and when you’re around someone who smells like fire, and I choke…”

A figure emerged from the shadows; my heart just about jumped out of my chest. It was brother.

“M…Matthew…” Tears began to cloud my vision as they welled in my eyes and slid down my cheeks. Matthew walked into the lounge, alone. The fact that he was alone caught my attention for half a second, but it was pushed out of my mind immediately as I ran up to my younger twin and pulled him into a choking hug. “Matthew! Oh, Matthew…Oh, I’m so glad you’re not hurt!” The nocks of his arrows protruding from his quiver dug into my shoulder, but I didn’t care; I barely even noticed.

“Eleanora…I was only gone for a few hours,” came a strangled reply. “…I missed you too, though…”

“Glad you’re back; she wouldn’t shut up about you all day long,” Lucia said. “…Wait. Why are you alone?”

“Oh…Sparrow’s coming,” Matthew replied as I released him from my hug. “All four of them are coming.”

“…Four?” Heather, with a big struggle and help from Dominimon, stood up off the couch. Her face had turned pale, but her eyes were wide with excitement. “Matthew…did you say…four?”

“Yes…” Matthew looked at all of us in the lounge. “We found him. We found Lloyd.” Complete silence befell the room.

“You…found him?” Heather began to tear up as I had. “You…found my husband?”

“Yeah; Sparrow and the Digimon are helping him walk, but he’s okay.” After a moment of breathing, Heather waddled over to my baby brother and pulled him into yet another choking hug, this time picking him up off the floor as she did.

“Oh, Mattie…thank you…Thank you for finding Lloyd…”

“I think I can hear them coming in now,” Mihiramon said. Sure enough, just as the Digimon said, Sparrow emerged from the darkness of the outdoors. Around his shoulders was the right arm of Lloyd Reed. Immediately, Heather went to her husband’s side to help him stand. Lloyd was conscious, and smiling, as Heather placed a big kiss on his cheek.

“…I’m sorry…for making you worry,” Lloyd said. Heather shook her head.

“Don’t be…you were just…trying to keep me safe,” she replied, placing her hand on her round belly. “Well…me, and our children…” Heather and Sparrow helped Lloyd walk over to a couch, and helped him sat down. Matthew and I sat down in front of them, and Sparrow attempted to sit next to me, but when he placed an arm around me, I elbowed him in the ribs and made him leave.

“What happened to you up there?” Lucia asked.

“Yeah, you were both gone for almost four months,” Larraine added.

“We were asked to go on a job in the Trillium Mountains to fight an unknown Digimon,” Lloyd began.

“This was before we knew I was pregnant,” Heather interjected. “When he found out, he tried to make me go home, but—”

“But she’s as stubborn as a LoaderLiomon,” Lloyd finished. “Anyway, we came across a strange Digimon known as IceDevimon after many months of searching, but we weren’t able to defeat him.”

“Wait, you found him, too?!” Sparrow asked. “We fought IceDevimon right before we found you! In fact, he was the one who gave you to us!”

“…That makes sense,” Lloyd said thoughtfully. “After I made Heather go back home, I was overcome by darkness…and ice…I’m surprised I didn’t straight out freeze to death.”

“So, what’s the deal with that IceDevimon?” Sparrow asked. “Why were you asked to fight him?”

“We don’t know anything about him,” Heather admitted. “The only thing we were told to do was take him out…”

“Were you two successful, by any chance?” Lloyd asked.

“…No,” Matthew spoke up. “He defeated both of our Digimon easily…but after that, he gave Lloyd back to us…”

“Is he a Digimon we should all concern ourselves with?” Lucia asked.

“According to the official records of Lachesis, some of the earlier members of our group fought against a Digimon of the same name,” Dominimon replied. “According to what I’ve read, he gained strength by use of a Human host named Clive Howell, but ultimately, IceDevimon was slain in battle by a…a Digimon Summoner…”

…That’s weird…it almost sounded as if…as if Dominimon were fighting back tears…

“Well, if that one was killed, it could be the same one,” Sparrow said. “Before we fought, IceDevimon mentioned something about dying and being reborn a bunch of times.”

“He didn’t really say anything to us,” Lloyd said. “He just…came out of nowhere and attacked. I don’t even remember if I heard him say a single word…”

“Really? He was quite dramatic, if you ask me,” Hawkmon said.

“…Maybe…there’s more than one?” Matthew suggested.

“Maybe…But something about that sounds a bit…off,” Sparrow said. “Hey, boss, what do you think we should do about that IceDevimon?”

“…I don’t think he’s something to worry about,” Ulysses said. “I, uh…need to go do something. Dominimon, will you…assist me?”

“Of course, sir,” Dominimon said politely, following Ulysses out of the lounge and into his room, closing the door behind him.

“…Nothing to worry about?” Heather asked. “He kept my husband imprisoned, and Ulysses thinks it’s no big deal?!”

“Don’t go doubting the boss’s final words,” Lucia said. “First of all, you don’t want Mia pissed at you for doing that. Secondly…he’s in charge. He wouldn’t be in the position he’s in if the master before didn’t think he was capable of handling it. So…I’m going to trust Ulysses.”

“Me too,” Matthew agreed. “I mean…I know that he was the one who wanted me to go without Coronamon or Sparrow to those mountains, but he wanted me to get stronger. His heart is always in the right place, at least, so he has my faith.”

“Yeah, and he’s pretty chilled out,” Sparrow said. “I mean…he’s a dude in a position of authority, but he’s also like…a dude you can just go up and talk to!”

“Are you all listening to yourselves?!” Heather asked. “Look, I don’t hate Ulysses; I like him a lot as a friend, but…I just don’t think he’s cut out for being in charge of every one of us!”

“Yeah…he tends to make bad decisions in critical situations,” Lloyd added. “I agree with what Matt said about his heart being in the right place, but I don’t think that makes up for the mistakes he’s made…and the lives that those mistakes have cost.” I stared down at the floor.

It may have cost lives…but I’m glad that it didn’t cost the lives of any of my friends…or Matthew. I looked over at Matthew, and placed my hand over his. “Well…he hasn’t gotten any of us killed yet…I’ll keep following him.”
“Um…guys? I think we should just change the subject,” Larraine said. “I don’t want to keep talking about who’s in charge and who’s not…Let’s just…talk…okay? No more saying anything bad about anyone who lives here…even…even Geitz.” Everyone remained silent. Larraine was easily the kindest and gentlest person here at Lachesis, so usually, people obeyed and listened to her as they would with the boss, and in some cases, even more so. And so for the rest of that evening, we all sat around the lounge and conversed, and laughed, and shared stories. All except for Heather and Lloyd…

[HR][/HR]
Ulysses Melchett

“…Are you doing all right, Dominimon?” I asked. We walked into my room, and I closed the door behind us. “Earlier…when you were talking about IceDevimon…you looked like you were about to—”

“That was nothing,” Dominimon quickly interrupted. “Just…Just a little slip of the tongue, sir. Nothing more, I assure you.” I looked at the Angel Digimon. In all the years that I have known him, I have never known him to tell a lie, so I decided to let the matter slip.

“Well…the reason I called you back here…is to discuss Geitz,” I whispered.

“…You aren’t going to kick him out, are you?!” Dominimon asked. “In all of Lachesis’s history, that has never happened to us before!”

“No, no, I would never…do that to one of our own,” I hesitated. “However…I think he may be up to something.”

“Something…? Like what?”

“Well, that’s just the thing; I’m pretty sure he’s up to something, but not entirely, and if he is, I don’t have the slightest idea of what it may be.”

“So, why all the secrecy?” Dominimon inquired. I sighed.

“Dominimon…it is a well-known fact that I am not entirely…leadership material,” I said. “Geitz in particular seems to have it out for me, and I do not blame him. I crack under pressure. I can’t make rushed decisions. I can fight, sure, and I think I do okay leading people in battle, but…outside? I don’t know a thing about directing others, Dominimon. I just…don’t know. And I feel as though Geitz is going to use this against me somehow…I fear…he may one day turn all the people I care about against me…”

“Ulysses…”

“I’m sorry, Dominimon; perhaps it is just the paranoia of old age directing my thoughts,” I laughed.

“Well, sir…If one day, Geitz does do as you fear, know this.” Dominimon walked up to me, and clasped his hands over my shoulders. “You will always have one person on your side.”

“…Thank you, Dominimon. I knew I could count on you to—”

“Me? Actually, I was…thinking of Mia,” Dominimon said nervously. “But…yeah…me too, I suppose…” I laughed again.

“Yes…Mia doesn’t even seem to notice all the mistakes I’ve made,” I said.

“She is your number one supporter. I don’t know why, but she really supports you all the way, one-hundred percent,” Dominimon said. “And people here love her. Surely, she would be able to sway a few others onto ‘your side.’”

“…You talk as if we’re preparing to begin a war, old friend,” I said.

“Who knows? Geitz is a jerk, but he has a brilliant mind. He could very easily create a division within our group.”

“Going to war…jeez, if only old man Murmuxmon had seen this coming, he’d have probably picked someone better suited to handle this situation,” I sighed. “Or maybe he’d have stayed boss himself.”

“He’s still alive?”

“Yes. The reason he retired…well, he was rather vague about it, but it seemed like he wanted to go on a journey.”
“…Well…I don’t think you need his help,” Dominimon said. “Murmuxmon must have chosen you to be our leader for a reason. I know you’ll be able to see Lachesis through whatever crisis it may come across.”

[HR][/HR]And with that, an end is brought to this arc of the story. Tomorrow, the next shall begin, early in the morning. And as that arc draws upon us in the following chapter, chapter 12, our destiny is brought ever closer to its demise.

~Wisemon
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 12 - Visions

Katsumi Rosalina
Lachesis Fortress
Morning

I awoke with a start. My heart was pounding in my chest, and my entire body, even the bed beneath me, was moist with a cold sweat. It was the same way I woke up every morning. I was breathing heavily, as though I had been running. I turned my head, and looked at my arm. The Mark. The Mark that Geitz had blasphemed me for the other day was at the center of my left forearm. I spent a majority of my childhood staying indoors due to it, fearing the ire of the children of Yew. I never really had any friends growing up, aside from the people I worked with at Lachesis. They were always more like family to me, though. Even so, I was always thankful for them. However, something told me that, deep inside, I still didn’t have any real friends. It was as though I was always closing everyone off.

“…It’s…because of that vision I had,” I said to myself. Not wishing to think of the visions I received, I climbed out of bed. I found my shirt on the floor, and put it on. My boots were nearby, and I put them on as well. Quietly, I left my room and went downstairs. It was very early in the morning still; there wasn’t a single person awake in the lounge. Heather and Lloyd sat beside each other on a couch, both fast asleep. AeroVeedramon was in his usual corner, doing what he did best; sleep. I walked as quietly as I could out of the room so as not to wake Heather and Lloyd (I knew from experience that AeroVeedramon was normally next to impossible to wake up.) I stepped outside and looked at the early morning sky. The sun was just beginning to rise. The leaves and grass were covered in sparkling dew. A misty fog hung low to the ground. It was rather cold, but my face felt absolutely frozen from the tears that wet it. I looked back at the fortress before continuing on my way.

[HR][/HR]
Yew
20 Minutes

I looked at the house before me. Compared to the others on the same street, this one was rather small. The architecture was also different; whereas the other houses were painted in bright white, yellows, or greens, this one as a dark reddish-violet. It was a single-story house, and was somewhat oval shaped. Two tall, lit candles served as pillars, both right next to the front door. I stepped between the two candles, and knocked on the door. The door opened almost immediately, and two glowing and beady yellow eyes peered at me from behind.

“…Katsumi…It’s good to see you again,” Wisemon said.

“Hello…father,” I whispered. “May I…come in?”

“Of course, dear. You know you never need to ask,” Wisemon said kindly. I walked into his small house. As usual, shelves were crammed end to end with books. The circular table was in the exact same spot it had been, but I saw that he had finally bought a second chair for it. “I haven’t seen you in a few weeks, Kitty; how have things been?” Wisemon retrieved a soft handkerchief from his long sleeve, and gently wiped my face dry. “You’ve been crying again…”

“…Define ‘again,’” I said. “I’ve never really stopped…”

“…Did you have another vision?” Wisemon whispered.

“No…I just…Could you…tell me about…about Luna?” I asked.

“You mother…what about her would you like to know?” Wisemon asked.

“Father…I need to know…Did she love Chrysania more than she loved me?” Wisemon’s eyes widened.

“Katsumi…how could you ask something like that?” he whispered.

“…She always seemed to love her more. I know it’s because she adopted Chrissy long before she became pregnant with me, so of course they’d have a strong bond…but sometimes…it feels like she loves the child she adopted more than the child she conceived.” Wisemon stared at me in silence for a moment.

“…Your story reminds me of an old friend of mine,” he said. “Do you remember Thomas Kasuto?”

“Yes…He’s an ancestor of Matthew and Eleanora, right?” I asked. “I…sort of remember him…but it’s been so long…”

“Thomas was also adopted,” Wisemon said. “He was taken in by a woman named Victoria. However, this was after Victoria conceived her own child. Her child, Michalis, was taken from her at birth, but eighteen years later, they finally came into contact…”

“Oh…I’m so glad for them,” I said, trying my best to smile.

“…Don’t be. Michalis…felt betrayed. He felt as though Victoria loved Thomas more; that she didn’t love her own son at all. Michalis ended up…murdering her.” I gasped.

“Oh…Oh, my goodness…I…I certainly wasn’t having those thoughts about Luna!” I exclaimed.

“I know, sweetie. Your predicament, though…it reminded me of his own,” Wisemon explained. “Oh, I do so love to reminisce…”

“…You never did answer my question, father,” I said. “Did Luna love Chrysania more than she loved me?”

“Of course not. She loved you both the same, as I did…and still do…for all three of you,” Wisemon said. I looked down at my hands.

“…Thank you…father…”

“Kitty…I have a feeling you didn’t come all this way just to ask me that,” Wisemon continued. “Was there…something else you wished to discuss?” I looked up into the eyes of my father.

“…Yes. Father…why do I receive visions of the future?” I asked. “How…did that happen?”

“I do not know the answer to that. I’ve told you this before, haven’t I? I have tried many times to find an answer, but there simply is none. You are my own daughter, Katsumi. Remember; I too receive visions of the future.”

“…I’ve…had those visions for as long as I can remember. Awake or asleep…it matters not,” I said. “There’s…one in particular…that I can remember…When I was really young, back when Luna and Chrysania were still alive and young, I had a dreadful vision of the future; one were nobody was left alive. Everyone…except for me. And I was left all alone to wander in the empty world, knowing that I would be forced to endure the loneliness for all an eternity, due to my heritage. That was why I didn’t let anyone get close to me; so that when they died, I wouldn’t be lonely or sad. But the isolation I feel hurts. It hurt so much when Chrysania died, and even more when Luna was killed in action…That was another reason I chose to seclude myself, father. I have been a member of Lachesis for around five-hundred years now, but all it lead to was more death. And that was why I cried all of the time. Because of my pain, and my weakness to do anything about it…”

“Kitty…as you know, I too can read the future, but my visions often turn out to be incorrect,” Wisemon said. “Don’t think that…because of what you saw…that you are destined to be alone. Even if I die…and if everyone else in Lachesis was to die, and you were to be the last one left alive, you still wouldn’t be alone…because Goddess Arcadia will be there for you.”

“Father…”

“Always remember that I love you, Katsumi, and so does the Goddess. Neither of us will ever abandon you. I promise.”

“…Thank you, daddy…”
“Think nothing of it. I’m always more than happy to help out my baby girl,” Wisemon said, beginning to gently stroke my face.

[HR][/HR]
Geitz Felgrande
Lachesis Fortress
20 Minutes

I sat comfortably on a sofa in the lounge room, trying to act as casually as I knew how — for a man with a huge scar running down the side of his face, this was quite difficult. I could tell that old man Ulysses knew I was up to something…but he had no idea what that something was. Every time he walked by, I could see his beady eyes stare right through me. Alicia walked by and sat down on the couch next to me. She was already aware of my plan, and she supported my decision. But it was only the two of us at the moment. We had to figure out who else we could fully trust, without any doubts of loyalty in the slightest. But then, the night before, I had heard a few others talking after Lloyd had returned. I had heard exactly what I needed to hear.

“I’m fine, Lloyd; you don’t need to help me down the stairs,” I heard Heather laugh. I turned my head, and I could see the two walking slowly into the room.
And here they come. Lloyd helped Heather sit down, and started to walk towards the kitchen when Alicia drew her arrowgun and fired. Her shot whizzed past Lloyd’s head, missing him by an inch. The swordsman turned around, glaring at us.

“Sorry, but I needed to get your attention,” Alicia said. “Also…welcome back, Lloyd.”

“Sit down,” I said. “I’d rather we just skip the formalities.” With a confused expression, Lloyd sat down next to Heather.

“…What do you want?” he asked. The two of us weren’t exactly on the best of terms, but I knew that Lloyd wasn’t the most social person, so I could trust him with my plan, especially given our common disinterest.

“Your help,” was my answer to him.

“You got a funny way of asking for it,” Lloyd remarked.

“Oh, please; if I had wanted you dead — which I don’t, by the way — you would already be dead,” Alicia said. “I’m just that good, after all.”

“…So, what do you need my help with?”

“…Both of you, actually,” I said. “I…have a plan. But, only Alicia knows of it. If I’m to succeed, I’ll need a few more people on my side.”

“What’s your plan?” Heather asked.

“My plan…is to overthrow Ulysses.” The married couple stared at us.

“That…would be treason, you know,” Lloyd said.

“So, are you telling me you’re fine with the way things are?” I asked. Heather and Lloyd exchanged quick, cautious glances. “After all…he doesn’t seem to be all too concerned about Lloyd having gone missing; he doesn’t even seem to think the Digimon who you were after was a big concern.”

“…You were eavesdropping last night, were you?” Heather asked. I nodded.

“I also heard…that you don’t dislike him as an individual,” I continued. “But you needn’t worry; my plan won’t involve him getting hurt — well, maybe a few scratches — but at the very least, he won’t die, or be seriously injured.”

“So, this is what you’ve been up to,” Lloyd said. “You’re a suspicious person already, Geitz, but lately, you’ve been more suspicious than usual.”

“Are you with me?” I asked.

“I…I don’t think this is a very good idea,” Heather said. “Are we to assume that you, Geitz, would take over when Ulysses is removed from position?”

“…That does not matter to me. My goal…is to dethrone Ulysses,” I said. “After that, I don’t care who’s in charge, so long as it isn’t him.”

“…What did you mean by ‘a few scratches?’” Lloyd asked.

“Well, you see, Ulysses undoubtedly has a few supporters — most obviously, Mia,” Alicia answered. “As a result, Geitz and I find it to be likely that we may end up being forced to…you know…fight amongst ourselves…”

“You mean…spill the blood of our own,” Lloyd’s voice rose.

“No — again, there are no deaths involved in my plan,” I said. “Only a few scratches, and nothing more. And even those scratches aren’t guaranteed.”

“So that’s why you really needed our help,” Heather said.

“Think about it. Do you really want those kids of yours to grow up in a Lachesis run by a man as negligent as Ulysses?” I asked. “We could all get ourselves decapitated, and he’d say it would be ‘no big deal!’ Is that the kind of Lachesis you want your children to grow up in?!”

“…No…it isn’t,” Heather said.

“You…are right, Geitz,” Lloyd added. “I apologize; I misunderstood your intentions…”

“No apology necessary; I know how ludicrous it must sound,” I said.

“So, what do we need to do in order to get your plan started?” Heather asked.

“Just a little more time. We begin at noon…Just under four hours. Be ready.” No need for them to know everything…or even the truth. To get what I want…I’ll kill whoever deserves to die.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 13 - Iconoclasm

Ulysses Melchett
Lachesis Fortress
4 Hours

Larraine finished up her newest dance by turning to a three-fourths view and leaning back as far as she could to face the audience, giving them a charming smile and a wink. At this, the crowd around me erupted into cheers and applause. I felt the same as the others, but I remained quiet, not wishing to draw attention to myself. Larraine bowed and curtsied in a very modest manner before jumping off the small stage. There were a few whistles, and many encore calls, but Larraine sat down, breathing heavily and wiping the sweat from her brow. The cheering quieted as the crowd allowed her to rest and catch her breath.

“That was your third dance in a row, Rainy; no wonder you’re exhausted,” Lucia said.

“I’m sorry…I just couldn’t help it,” Larraine said. “Everyone was so happy…I just wanted to keep seeing their smiles…”

“Then you should keep your disgraceful face hidden, you filthy Marked cunt.” Everyone turned their heads to look at Geitz as he walked into the room, most of which were glaring. However, nobody said anything, eyeing the twin lances he carried in his hands; everyone here knew that Geitz was more than capable with them in combat.

“…I’m…sorry,” Larraine said. For the first time in my life, I saw her face turn from joy to a crestfallen expression.

“Geitz, get out of here!” Lucia screamed. At this point, I stood up, and walked over to Geitz.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Felgrande?” I asked, not even a foot away from the younger man.

“Yeah; actually, there is a problem, old man,” Geitz smirked. “I don’t like the way you do things.”

“Then direct your anger at me, and not at Larraine!” I growled. Geitz walked away from me, and towards Larraine. “I was talking to you, Felgrande.” Lucia stood up, placing herself between Geitz and Larraine. In a single, smooth motion, Geitz swung a lance and struck Lucia on the head. Lucia fell to the floor, clutching her bruised forehead. Sparrow and Eleanora rose to their feet, and I retrieved my claymore from the scabbard on my back. Geitz slammed his boot on the back of Lucia’s head, forcing her face to the ground. He took one of his lances, and placed one of its tips on the back of her neck.

“…What do you want, Geitz?!” Eleanora asked, holding on tightly to my arm. Geitz smiled, and pointed his other lance at Larraine. The room fell silent.

“What do I want…What I want…is for Ulysses to get his moldy ass off the throne of Lachesis!” Geitz yelled.

“…If it means you won’t harm Larraine, or anyone else, and you’ll keep your grubby hands off of Lucia…then I will…retire,” I said. Geitz began laughing. It was quiet at first, but grew gradually louder and louder.

“Retire? Retire?! Do you really think…that I’d go to all this trouble just for you to retire?!” Geitz asked. “Oh, Ulysses…if it were that simple, then you would never learn your lesson!”

“Just tell me what you want!” I shouted.

“No need to be so impatient, old man,” Geitz said. He looked around the room, at everyone who was glaring at him. “What I propose for you, old man…is something…of a test,” Geitz said. He tapped the butt end of one of his lances on the ground twice. Alicia, Neemon, Lloyd, and Heather walked into the room, joining Geitz.

“…You said nobody would get hurt,” Lloyd whispered.

“I promised nobody would die,” Geitz replied. “Anyway…Ulysses…the way you do things…You rush in without thinking. You take unnecessary risks, and unnecessary risks leads to unnecessary bloodshed. Because of that, you could easily get everyone here killed just like that. And not just us; the people you are attempting to protect get caught up in your line of fire, old man! And the worst part is, you don’t even seem to care if any of us get put in danger!”

“When Lloyd was lost in the Trillium Mountains…when we told you about IceDevimon…you said IceDevimon wasn’t a big concern of ours,” Heather added. My heart sunk. “That Digimon kidnapped my husband, and you don’t think anything needs to be done about him?!” Ulysses stared at those who opposed him. In an awkward silence, I stared down at the floor.

“And…do you all…feel this way?” I asked. Alicia, Lloyd, Heather, and Geitz all nodded. Neemon, however, stood still, staring off into space.

“Neemon, what in Arcadia’s name are you doing over there?!” Bokomon shouted.

“Oh, I thought we were all just standing up,” Neemon said.

“You nincompoop! Get over here!” Bokomon dragged Neemon by the back of his pants away from Geitz.

“Aw, but I was having fun,” Neemon whined.

“…You said you had a test for me,” I glared at Geitz. “Well? What is it, then?”

“Well, apparently, there are still a few people here who have deluded themselves into putting their faith in you,” Geitz smirked. “Something about having trust in the previous boss’s judgment. How about you, Ulysses? Do you have faith in yourself?” I blinked, and looked around at everyone else in the room.

“Of course he does!” Mia blurted out. “Ulysses is the greatest boss Lachesis has ever had!”

“Mia…” I looked at the young woman. I felt a mix of awe and dread at what she had said.

“Well…I guess that answers my question, there,” Geitz chuckled. “I don’t want you to simply retire, Ulysses. What I want from you…is to show everyone else here just pathetic you are. Alicia and Lloyd will be waiting for you in Yew. You, old man, along with anyone who has faith in his abilities as a leader, will wait here. What I want from you is to send people out to fight and defeat Alicia and Lloyd.”

“So, when you said ‘test,’ this is what you meant,” I said. “A challenge in tactics…”

“Correct. These won’t be fights to the death, of course. Unlike you, I care about my comrades,” Geitz said harshly. “And…to make sure you don’t skip out during your test…I’ll be taking this young lady hostage.” Geitz looked at Larraine. The dancer backed away, but Alicia caught hold of her arm. “If…you are successful…then I will leave, and never bother any of you again. But if you lose, Ulysses…Then I will make you suffer the same pain you forced me to endure at a very young age.” Geitz brought his hand to the side of his face, and brushed his fingers across his scar.

“Then force me to endure whatever it is you have in mind, but do not hurt any more of our comrades!” I yelled.

“Oh, no; you aren’t getting off that easily, old man,” Geitz retorted. “This test is to prove if you really are worthy of the previous master’s praise. If you fail, then you will suffer the consequences for all of your past actions!” My fingers tightened around the handle of my claymore.

“…I understand,” I said. “And how will I know if I’ve failed to meet your expectations?”

“When you run out of people to send to fight us,” Geitz motioned at himself, Alicia, and Lloyd. He then turned to face those of us who were still seated, other than Heather. “Whenever you’re ready…come and fight us in Yew. No time limits.”

“Yeah…wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone,” Sparrow muttered under his breath.

“Good luck. You’ll definitely need it.” Lloyd and Neemon turned to walk out of the building, and Alicia gently tugged Larraine along after her. “Oh, and Ulysses…Don’t even think of leaving this fortress. If any of my allies so much as catches the slightest glimpse of you in Yew…Larraine is dead.” Geitz turned, and walked out of the building after the others. All of us stared out down the darkened hallway in a long moment of silence.

“…Um…Lucia hasn’t moved since Lloyd attacked her,” Matthew suddenly said. I bent down and looked at her.

“Damn it…she’s unconscious,” I murmured. “She was the only one here who stands a chance against someone as skilled as Geitz, let alone Lloyd and Alicia…” I looked around at those who had stayed put. Sparrow, Matthew, Eleanora, Elizabeth, Mia, Bokomon, Lilliana, Giselle, and Isole all had stayed put when Geitz left, as well as their own individual partner Digimon. Bokomon was quietly cursing out Neemon for his stupidity, and Heather had turned away from the rest of us. Tactimon, Sieglinde, Katsumi, Wayland, and Dominimon had all gone out on jobs.

“Heather…why are you going along with what he said?!” Eleanora asked. Silently, Heather shook her head.

“…This…wasn’t what I imagined it would be like,” Heather whispered. “I just…Geitz promised me…a safer Lachesis…for my children, when they’re born…” After a moment’s silence, I walked over to her.

“Heather…nobody here is angry with you,” I said gently. “Nobody here blames you for joining with him. You only wanted to do what you thought was the best choice for your children when they’re born. That doesn’t make you a traitor, nor does it make Lloyd one, or even Neemon.” Heather slowly shook her head as I heard Bokomon curse his unintelligent friend’s name once again. “Alicia…she probably went along with what Geitz has in store for us willingly; she idolizes Geitz to no end.”

“Ulysses…what should we do?” Mia asked. I sighed, and once again looked at Lucia.

“Lucia…is probably the only one here who can take on Geitz, as I said. But, there’s no way she could defeat him after fighting both Lloyd and Alicia…”

“I could go,” Mihiramon suggested. I looked at the Ultimate level Digimon.

“…I’ll send you out…when Lucia regains consciousness,” I said.

“Well, whatever we do, we need to act fast!” Sparrow shoved his fist into the palm of his hand. “He said we don’t have a time limit, but Larraine is still their hostage to make sure we do as they say!”

“I know…but we have to be careful about who we send to fight them,” I said. “I won’t be sending Matthew, Isole, Bokomon, or Lilliana into battle.”

“…Why not us?” Matthew asked. “We can’t fight yet…but our Digimon can!”

“I’m sorry, but that’s my decision. I’ll let Giselle go because I know exactly what her Digimon is capable of, but Coronamon and Kamemon can only reach the Champion level, isn’t that right?”

“…I used to be a Mega,” Coronamon said. “But…that was before I died and became reconfigured…”

“Ulysses, who will we be sending out first?” Mia asked. Again, I looked at the people before me.

Hmm…with Rosemon, Giselle just might be the strongest one here…Should I send them right away? Or, should I send out someone like Sparrow first to scout things out, or…My thoughts were interrupted by an abnormally loud snore. I looked to the far corner of the room, and found none other than AeroVeedramon snoozing away. AeroVeedramon…if he actually got serious for once, then maybe…he might stand a chance! I walked over to the Ultimate level Digimon, who was rubbing his snout after the previous loud snore.

“…Boss…what’cha want…?” AeroVeedramon mumbled.

“AeroVeedramon…do you think you could go out and fight?” I asked. After a drowsy sigh, AeroVeedramon slowly stood up and stretched his wings.

“Yeah…no prob,” came a reply with a yawn.

“Do you even know what’s happening?” Eleanora asked.
“Don’t worry; Aero has phenomenal hearing in his sleep; maybe even better than when he’s awake,” I said. The dragon lumbered out of the room, and I could hear the flapping of his giant wings as he began to take flight. Good luck…AeroVeedramon…

[HR][/HR]
Geitz Felgrande
Yew
20 Minutes

“…And you’re certain he’ll come?” Lloyd asked. He, Alicia, Neemon, and I sat atop the roof of one of the higher buildings in town. Larraine was behind us; her arms and legs were tied together, so she wouldn’t be able to escape.

“I have no doubt about it,” I replied. “I hit Lucia pretty hard; there’s no doubt she’ll be out cold for at least a few hours. Without her, the next strongest fighter there is easily AeroVeedramon. I’d have gotten to him earlier, but he was asleep. I needed to get to him while he’s awake.”

“Ooh, and speak of the scaly devil; I do believe that’s him,” Alicia said. I looked out onto the horizon. AeroVeedramon was flying slowly our way. After a few seconds, he landed on the roof with a disgruntled sigh.

“Okay, Geitz…just go ahead and give up,” AeroVeedramon said.

“Aero…So glad you could join us,” I said.

“Wha…Oh, never mind…Just give up. You won’t be able to win with these numbers, and you know it, Geitz.”

“Oh, of course I know it,” I laughed. “Would you…care to increase my numbers?”

“…Why would I—”

“Just look at yourself, buddy,” I said. “You’re out here, in the blazing hot sun, I’m sure after waking up from a pleasant dream and wonderful nap.”

“…I was a pretty bitchin’ dream…”

“And who was it that sent you out here?” I asked.

“…It was…Ulysses, but—”

“But nothing. Ulysses forced you to come all the way out here, maybe even against your will!”

“…What’s your point, Geitz?”

“Well, Aero…I just want you to know that we would never do that to you,” I smirked. “All Ulysses does is make you work, when you could be having pleasant dreams. With him gone, and out of the picture…those naps and dreams return.”

“…So…what do you want me to do?” AeroVeedramon asked.

“For now, just listen carefully; when this is all over with, you can sleep all you like, and for as long as you like.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 14 - Aesthetics of Deprivation

Ulysses Melchett
Lachesis Fortress
30 Minutes

“…It’s been almost an hour since AeroVeedramon has departed,” I said. In those past minutes, everyone had remained quiet. Lucia had not yet regained consciousness. Mia and Elizabeth had helped Heather up to her room a few minutes ago, and were just now coming back into the lounge.

“He’s pretty slow; maybe he just hasn’t found them yet,” Sparrow suggested.

“No. He may seem slow because of his laziness, and he does walk slowly, but his flight speed is top class,” I said. “…I will…send a few people…out to search for him…”

“Ooh! Who’s it going to be?” Giselle asked excitedly. I looked at her, jumping up and down.

“…Giselle…At the moment, Rosemon is easily the strongest among all of us. We can’t just send her out right off the bat. I have a feeling that Geitz is expecting exactly that kind of mistake,” I said. “If we want to get Larraine back without a scratch on her…at the very least, the first thing we ought to do is scout the area, and find out exactly how willing Lloyd and Alicia are to go along with Geitz’s plan. If Lloyd isn’t willing he may not fight to his fullest ability…”

“But…if he does?” Eleanora asked. I sighed.

“Then we’ve got ourselves a real problem. He might be an even better fighter than Lucia, and with her unconscious…”

“How the hell is she still unconscious?!” Isole asked. “He only hit her twice!”

“It’s…because of something I did to her, very long ago,” Mihiramon asked. “Do you not remember it, Isole? You were very young at the time, as was Lucia. On our first encounter, I attacked her. When she recovered, and came back to me, I attacked again. Over and over she would do this until she finally gained my trust. However, due to all of the damage I’ve caused to her…there are a few…permanent issues she has. Her skull, for example; she was probably only ten or twelve at the time. She was hit with one of my attacks. Geitz must have hit her exactly or close to where I hit her, and thus, it did more damage to her than it would have to someone like, say, Sparrow. He must have known about that…that’s why he struck her on the head…”

“She might be out for a longer time than we expected; still a few hours to come, undoubtedly,” I said. “All right; Sparrow. Eleanora. You two, and your Digimon; head for Yew. Scout things out for us. Also…see if you can find AeroVeedramon. Come back in thirty minutes if you don’t find anything.”

“…What if we do find something…?” Sparrow asked.
“In that case…just come back alive,” I said. Eleanora and Sparrow exchanged glances and nodded before leaving with their partner Digimon.

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto
10 Minutes

“Something…doesn’t seem right,” I said. I walked through the unusually empty streets of Yew with Lunamon cradled in my arms.

“What do you mean?” Lunamon asked. “Is it because there’s nobody in sight?”

“No, not that; I was just…thinking about Geitz,” I replied. “I mean…do you really think he’d go to all this trouble just to dethrone Ulysses? I’m starting to think he’s got a deeper reason than that…”

“Well, Geitz did say he was going to make Ulysses suffer the pain that he did; maybe it has something to do with that?” Lunamon suggested.

“I don’t know…I feel like there’s something else…” After a few more seconds of walking, Lunamon’s ears perked up. “Lunamon? What’s wrong?”

“…I hear something,” she said. “Something is coming…from the sky…”

“Magnum Crusher!” A Digimon diving down out of the sky and struck the ground where I had been standing only seconds before. The crash sent bricks, dust, and dirt flying up into the air.

“…Well…it looks like we’ve found AeroVeedramon,” I said. The Holy Dragon stepped out from the dust, and walked out way. “Tell me; why did you suddenly change sides?!”

“Because…Geitz promised me…that when all of this was over, and Ulysses was no longer in control…he promised me…that I could sleep…for as long as I wanted…as much as I wanted,” he replied. “Don’t struggle…that makes it hard…for both of us…”

“…Like hell I won’t struggle!” I pulled out my Digivice, and held it out as it began to emit light.

“Lunamon Digivolve to, Lekismon!”

“…Of course…you’re going to struggle…” AeroVeedramon spread his wings and took flight.

“Moon Night Bomb!” Lekismon threw a watery sphere up at AeroVeedramon, who tore through it with the blade on his arm. “Tear Arrow!”

“Magnum Crusher!” Before Lekismon could attack, AeroVeedramon dove down and slammed his claw down on Lekismon, pinning her to the ground.

“Lekismon!” I drew my sword and charged at AeroVeedramon, but he flew up and out of the way quicker than I had ever seen him move before.

“…This is making me tired,” AeroVeedramon said. “I guess…I’ll have to unleash one of my strongest attacks…so I can sleep some more…”

“Strongest…attack…” Lekismon, with a struggle, sat up. “Eleanora…you have to leave…right away!”

“No; I’m not leaving you!” I cried. The Holy Dragon landed on the ground before us.

“Eleanora, do as I say!”

“Dragon Impulse!” AeroVeedramon launched a powerful blast of energy in the shape of a dragon from his mouth. The attack enveloped us in its light. For a brief moment, I couldn’t breathe as the attack burned my skin and tore my clothes. Lekismon degenerated back into Lunamon the very instant the attack hit us. Finally, it was all over; the attack had even burnt the ground beneath us, sending smoke flying into the air. “…Well…now there’s one less person to disturb—” I ran forth from the smoke, tightly holding on to my sword. AeroVeedramon could only look on in shock as I struck his right arm, drawing a good amount of blood.

“AeroVeedramon…tell Geitz that…he will never…win,” I panted. Unable to stand up any longer, I collapsed to the ground.
“…Damn…you took one of my strongest attacks full on, and you can still move,” the dragon wheezed. “Marked or not, that should not have been possible…” I ignored him and closed my eyes shortly before losing consciousness.

[HR][/HR]
Sparrow Lea

“Damn; nobody in sight,” I said. “Literally; nobody! These streets are usually packed with people walking around, but…nobody…”

“In that case, you’d think that would make it easy to find somebody,” Hawkmon said. “Perhaps people were frightened away when they saw AeroVeedramon flying around, looking for Geitz?”

“Yeah, maybe…” I stopped walking, and looked around. “We haven’t found anything; think we should head back?”

“Perhaps we ought to try and find Eleanora and see if she found anything?” Hawkmon suggested.

“Yeah; after we find her, we should probably—” The sound of an arrow hitting the ground just as I was about to take a step forward resonated through the air. Undaunted, I looked around, and saw Alicia sitting atop a building, looking down at me.

“Well, hello there, Sparrow,” Alicia said. “I’m surprised he sent you out after AeroVeedramon; we were all expecting him to send Giselle and Rosemon to defeat us in one fell swoop.”

“Ulysses is a lot smarter than you all give him credit for,” I retorted. “So, how’s the view up there, gorgeous? You always did enjoy looking down on others.”

“Oh, it’s a wonderful view, Sparrow,” she laughed.

“Yeah; can’t say that I object to my view either,” I chuckled, taking a quick peek up Alicia’s skirt.

“Well, go ahead and take a good look then; it might be the last thing you ever see,” Alicia whispered.

“Is that a threat?!” Hawkmon asked.

“Of course it is, silly Hawkmon.” Alicia stood up and jumped down off the one story building, pointing her arrowguns directly at us. Without warning, without hesitation, she began firing at will at the ground beneath us.

“Digi-Armor Energize!”

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Allomon, the Fangs of Courage!” I jumped onto my partner’s back as he began running towards Alicia. “Dino Burst!” Alicia skillfully jumped away from Allomon’s flames, laughing as she did. While in the air, she fired two more shots, striking Allomon’s knees. The Armor-level Digimon fell to the ground, roaring in pain and thrashing his large tail around. I jumped off just in time to avoid being crushed. I brandished my axe, but Alicia only laughed again.

“Do you really think you can defeat me with that letter opener?” she asked haughtily. Ignoring her taunt, I took a swing at her, but she gracefully and elegantly maneuvered around my weapon each time I swung at her. “Time to end this!” Alicia held up her two arrowguns and shot me, hitting both of my shoulders. The pain made me drop my axe. I fell to the ground at the same instant Allomon turned back into Hawkmon.

“Damn…you…Alicia…” My blood was slowly seeping from my wounds and out onto the streets.
“You should know, Sparrow…I’m not as merciful as Lloyd,” Alicia said. She knelt down and pulled her arrows from my shoulders. “I went along with Geitz’s plan willingly…” The sexy sniper turned to walk away, and I soon blacked out from the blood loss.

[HR][/HR]
Geitz Felgrande

It had been a while since I had sent out my allies. With AeroVeedramon around, defeating Ulysses was sure to be even easier than ever, and it was even simpler than I thought to convince him to join me. Lloyd, Alicia, and AeroVeedramon had been gone a while, leaving me alone with Larraine on the same rooftop. To my relief, she had remained silent, until…

“Geitz? May I…ask why you’re really doing this?” Larraine asked. I breathed an annoyed sigh.

“Fine…” I turned around to face her. “When I was only a little pipsqueak, ‘bout nine or ten years old…there was a bandit raid in my home village. Ulysses and a few others from Lachesis had come to help, but…because of the way Ulysses does things…the way he acts first, and asks questions later got several of the villagers caught up in the brawl, and even killed some of them. Two of them…where my parents.”

“Ulysses…got your parents killed,” Larraine whispered.

“Now do you see why I want that bastard out of power?” I asked. “This isn’t some worthless game I’m playing, here; I want him to know what it feels like to lose those he cares about because of his own careless actions. I will humiliate him; I will tear his heart to pieces! I will ruin Ulysses for what he did to me!” I knelt down and grabbed Larraine’s arm, hoisting her up. “C’mon; it’s starting to get cold out. Let’s go in.” Larraine remained silent as I helped her walk into the building.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 15 - Advance

Mihiramon
Lachesis Fortress

“…It’s been over an hour…Eleanora and Sparrow haven’t returned yet,” Ulysses said. “AeroVeedramon is still not back. Damn it; what the hell is going on?!”
“It’s starting to get late,” I said, looking out a window at the sky, which was turning a faint shade of orange.

“What should we do?” Mia asked. “We can’t just sit here! We have to do something!”

“I know, I know; but we can’t afford to lose any more of us,” Ulysses said. “Rosemon and Mihiramon are the strongest people here, and we can’t send them out just yet; we have to wait until later, when Geitz and the others have tired themselves out.”

“All right. I found it.” Isole came walking into the room, holding an old-looking book.

“What is that?” I asked.

“One of Katsumi’s spellbooks. I’m going to use it to heal Lucia.”

“Do you know how to use magic?” Ulysses asked.

“Nope; only tactics. Brought this for Lilliana.”

“M—Me?!” the young girl asked.

“Yep. You’re still a mage in-training, but you’ve got potential,” Isole said, handing the book to Lilliana. “…I know this is something you are capable of. I wouldn’t be asking you otherwise, you know?” Lilliana looked up wide-eyed at the other girl.

“…Okay. I’ll do my very best!” Lilliana jumped down off her chair and walked over to Lucia.

“Isole…what will happen if this doesn’t work?” I whispered. “If Lilliana is unable to properly cast the spell…what would happen?”

“A rebound,” Isole whispered back. “If a healing spell is cast incorrectly, then…” Isole looked down at Lilliana and Lucia. “It means death…”

“And you’re willing to risk Lucia’s life over this?!” I growled.

“I’d rather risk hers…than Larraine’s,” Isole replied. “And I think you and I both know that Lucia would say the exact same thing.” I opened my mouth to speak, but said nothing. I knew she was right, so I remained silent as a bright light suddenly appeared underneath Lucia, along with a magical array.

“Okay…this is it!” Lilliana exclaimed. She held out her hands, which began emitting a similar glow. A bright light covered everything and everyone in the room in its blinding glare before vanishing. Everyone in the room looked down at Lucia in anticipation. Her single eye instantly opened.

“Lucia…you’re okay!” Ulysses exclaimed.

“…Damn…how long was I out?” Lucia sat up and clutched her head.

“A few hours, at least,” I replied. “Geitz and the others have taken Larraine to Yew. We’ve sent Sparrow, Eleanora, and AeroVeedramon to fight him, Alicia, and Lloyd, but none of them have returned yet.”

“So…the bastard went and caused a schism, did he?!” Lucia stood up and jumped onto my back. “That son of a bitch; I swear, if he hurts Larraine, he’s dead!”
Ulysses laughed. “I guess there’s no point in me convincing you to go, is there?”

“None at all.”

“I see. Giselle, Elizabeth, and Mia,” Ulysses looked at the three young women. “You three go with her, and split up when you get to Yew.”

“You got it, Mr. Boss!” Mia exclaimed happily.

“We shall do as you wish,” Elizabeth said.

“What are the rest of you going to do?” Giselle asked. She looked at Matthew, Isole, Lilliana, and Ulysses.

“I have been forbidden from stepping foot in Yew, lest something dreadful happen to Larraine. Isole is a noncombatant. Matthew and Lilliana are still in-training, and their own Digimon aren’t strong enough to stand up to any of Geitz’s allies.”

“I resent that!” Coronamon exclaimed.

“Don’t worry, Ulysses,” Lucia said. “We’ll make sure nothing happens to Larraine.” Mia, Elizabeth, and Giselle followed me out of the fortress. Once outside, I immediately took flight, flying as fast as I could to Yew.

“Are you unharmed, Lucia?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about me,” she replied. She reached into the scabbard around my shoulders and retrieved her special axe, which she called the Pendulum Axe. “Just worry about the upcoming fight.”

“…You never change, Lucia,” I whispered to myself with a smirk. As I continued flying, a familiar scent caught my attention, and I slowed my flying speed.

“Mihiramon? What’s wrong?” Lucia asked.

“…I smell someone…familiar,” I said. Lucia looked down to the ground below, and smiled.
“It seems that a certain man has decided to join in as well,” Lucia said. “One of Lachesis’s oldest, wisest, and strongest…Edmund Luxord!”

[HR][/HR]
Giselle Devereaux
Yew

I had been left alone, strolling along the deserted streets of Yew for several minutes.

I wish I brought a coat; it’s starting to get cold. I looked up at the now completely orange sky. The sun was just about to vanish over the horizon, even though it was only 3 or 4 o’clock. Less daylight in winter…less time to go shopping, back when my parents were…when they were…still alive. I pushed the thought out of my head, and took my Digivice out from my pocket. “Rosemon, realize!” The form of the tall Mega instantly began to materialize in front of me. “Rosemon, did you hear about what’s going on?”

“Yes; I caught the general gist of things. And I was flattered when people were saying that I was the strongest there,” Rosemon replied. “Something about a schism, right? That Geitz jerk started it, and we need to find and kick his ass, right?”

“Yep! You’re so smart, Rosy!” I exclaimed.

“Why, thank you, Giselle,” Rosemon said. “But unfortunately, it will take more than flattery to defeat any of them.” Rosemon and I looked at each other, and smiled. Rosemon’s smile soon vanished, and she began frantically looking around in the sky.

“Rosemon? What’s wrong?” I asked. “Is somebody coming?”

“…Giselle. Stay low, okay?” Rosemon asked. “Take cover in that alleyway over there.” I looked up at her in shock; usually, I would have argued with her about not wishing to abandon her or something similar, but this time, I kept my mouth shut, and did as she asked of me. When I was safely hidden, Rosemon looked straight up. “…You can come out now…AeroVeedramon.”

“…You knew I was nearby,” the dragon said, quietly landing on the ground. “Was I…too loud?”

“Not really. You were actually pretty quiet, so it’s no surprise Giselle couldn’t hear you,” Rosemon said. “But, I am a Digimon. You’d have had a better chance of hiding in the sky if you painted yourself red.”

“Yeah, I guess…So, shall we get started?”

“A question, first. AeroVeedramon…why did you suddenly side with Geitz?” Rosemon asked.

“Oh…you knew? Yeah, about that…Geitz just promised me I could sleep once all of this was over,” AeroVeedramon said. “How’d you know I joined him?”

“Like I said, I knew you were flying above us. I wondered why you didn’t just come right down and talk to us…I figured that was because you were waiting for Giselle to leave.”

“…Heh. You’re sharp, just like the newbie said,” AeroVeedramon said. “Yeah…I was waiting for Giselle to leave; don’t like hurting those who don’t fight back…Which is why I was glad I ran into Eleanora earlier.”

“Eleanora…is she—”

“Enough. I grow weary of simply talking,” AeroVeedramon interrupted. “The sooner we get our fight over with…the sooner I can take another nap…”

“Very well, then. Rose Spear!” With the slightest flick of her wrist, Rosemon swung her whip through the air, and had AeroVeedramon not jumped back in time, the dragon would have undoubtedly had his arm torn off.

“Damn, girl, you sure are taking this seriously,” AeroVeedramon sighed.

“Rose Spear!” AeroVeedramon flew up into the sky just in time to avoid another of Rosemon’s attacks.

“Well…I guess if you’re taking this seriously…then I should, too…”

“What do you mean?” Rosemon asked.

“Against Eleanora…I used one of my stronger attacks…but I think for you, Rosemon…I should use my very strongest!” AeroVeedramon spread his large wings, and became surrounded in flames.

Oh no! Rosemon, please…be okay!

“Forbidden Temptation!”

“V-Wing Blade!” As AeroVeedramon flew down towards Rosemon at high speed, Rosemon in turn fired a blast of pink energy at the charging dragon. However, AeroVeedramon was able to fly clear through Rosemon’s attack until he crashed into the Mega level, shoving her deep into the stone pavement.

“Rosemon! No!!!” AeroVeedramon flew back up into the sky, and looked down at the Digimon he felled.

“Giselle…don’t worry…I’ll be…okay,” Rosemon wheezed, digging herself out of the dirt.

“Rosemon, please…let me help you!” I said.

“No…I’ll be fine,” she replied.

“Dragon Impulse!” Without hesitation, I removed my Digivice from my pocket.

“Charge! D.N.A. Burst Mode!” Rosemon looked at me as I placed my hand over my Data Link Digivice. I saw a small smile as she became enveloped in light, changing into Rosemon Burst Mode. AeroVeedramon stopped his attack, and looked at the new Digimon standing before him. “…Do it, Rosemon.”

“Jewel of Heart!” The glowing jewels floating around Rosemon Burst Mode began flying around AeroVeedramon, each of them striking him hard enough for me to hear them collide into the Holy Dragon. After a few seconds of this, AeroVeedramon fell to the ground, unconscious (or asleep.)

“…Wow…we did it! Rosemon, we did it!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah…we…took out one of Geitz’s allies,” Rosemon said.
“Ooh, just wait until I tell Isole about this!”

“…Why?” Rosemon asked.

“‘Cause! She’s my best friend in all of Lachesis!” I replied. “Oh, besides you, of course!”

“…If you insist,” Rosemon said in a voice filled with uncertainty.


[HR][/HR]
Geitz Felgrande

“Ulysses…still hasn’t accomplished anything,” I said. I sat inside a deserted shrine that was located in the middle of Yew. It was several centuries old, but I could never figure out why it had been abandoned in the first place. I placed Larraine in a different room where I had Neemon watching her. Which is probably a bad idea, now that I think about it, knowing how stupid Neemon is…

You are doing well, Felgrande,” a mysterious voice said. I knew not who it belonged to, and normally, I’d have been up and alert, ready to attack whoever spoke to me. But instead, I remain seated, calm as ever.

“…Yes.”

Well then…I suppose you know what must come next.” The voice didn’t even sound as though it came from anyone in the room, as if the voice was speaking directly into my mind.

“No…tell me.”

Oh, very well. I suppose I can give you my assistance. But be grateful for it, now!” A puff of black smoke seeped from the floor. It grew larger and larger, and soon, it took the form of a Digimon I had never seen before.

“You…who are you?” I asked. “You’re not…IceDevimon…” The Digimon’s presence sent a chill down my spine. He did look familiar for some reason, but I knew I had never seen the Digimon.

“I am ShadowSeraphimon,” the Digimon said. “IceDevimon is a being far greater than you could ever hope to imagine.”

“…What do you want from me?” I asked.

“Like I said…I am here only to aid you…in this upcoming battle of yours,” ShadowSeraphimon said. “Trust nobody. Feed your anger. Only anger…will make you strong enough to achieve your most desired goal, Felgrande.”

“…Is that so…”

“Here. Take my power. My darkness. Use it for yourself; use it to grow stronger…” I blinked. ShadowSeraphimon was nowhere to be seen.
Did that…really happen?

[HR][/HR]
Larraine

I tried my best to stretch my arms, but as they were tied behind my back, this was a difficult task, if not completely impossible.

“Are you okay, Larraine?” Neemon asked.

“No…I’m fine, dear,” I replied. “Neemon…why did you decide to follow Geitz?”

“Because he walked out of the ‘Foretress’.”

“Um…it’s ‘fortress,’ actually, and…when I say ‘follow,’ I mean…why do you agree with what Geitz is thinking?” I asked.

“Oh, I have no idea what Geitz is thinking,” Neemon said.

“You…don’t?”

“Because I’m not a mind reader, am I? Hmm?” I couldn’t help but laugh at Neemon’s ridiculous response. He could say the craziest things, but I felt his naïve sincerity quite refreshing. “Do you know what Geitz is thinking?!”

“Um…yes, actually, I do,” I answered. Neemon gasped.

“Holy sock! You are a mind reader!”

“…Yes…also, Geitz is…he’s planning on doing some very mean things.” Neemon gasped again.

“He is?! That sounds…mean!”

“Yes, it is. But…nobody can do a thing about it if I’m trapped here,” I said sadly. I don’t like taking advantage of somebody like this…but I want my friends at Lachesis to be safe! If I can get back home without Geitz noticing… “Neemon…would you please help me out? I can’t get back home while I’m tied up…”

“Sure!” Neemon placed his mouth around the ropes constricting my hands and feet and began chewing. “This tastes bad!”

“Neemon…it’s not good for you to eat rope,” I said.

“It’s not?”

“Don’t you remember Bokomon telling you that yesterday?”

“Oh yeah! Not really.” Neemon resumed chewing on the ropes. After about ten minutes, I was finally free.

“Okay, Neemon, I’m free…you can stop eating the rope, now,” I said.

“But I’m hungry!” Neemon swallowed the rest of the rope in one long slurp.

“All right…now that…that…is all dealt with…we can escape!” I said. “C’mon, Neemon!” I opened the window and climbed out, thankful that I was on the first floor of the building. I quietly walked away, but after a few moments, I noticed Neemon wasn’t with me. I went back to the shrine, and found that Neemon had walked into the wall and knocked himself unconscious. At that point, I decided to carry him.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 16 - Battle for the Future

Lucia Delbray
Yew

“Don’t you think we ought to try and find Edmund?” Mihiramon asked.

“No. Edmund can take care of himself,” I replied. I shifted my weight around constantly, as sitting on Mihiramon’s back for a long time always made me feel sore. “As for the situation…he’s smart. I know he’ll be able to figure out what’s going on, and I have no doubt that he’d help us.”

“Well, if you insist…” Mihiramon turned a smooth curve in the air. After all of the years I had ridden on his back, I didn’t even need to hold on to him as he flew, even when he looped around in the sky. “…I’m getting tired. Let’s take a short break.”

“Very well; we can resume our search on foot,” I replied. Mihiramon dove slowly to the ground until he landed. The Exalted Beast spread his massive wings and stretched. Oh, Larraine…where are they keeping you? I thought. This is…just like before…when I first met her…I just hope she doesn’t unleash ‘that.’

“Lucia, are you all right?” Mihiramon asked.

“Oh…yes, I’m fine,” I said. “I was…just thinking about Larraine…”

“She’ll be okay, Lucia. Just keep walking; we’re sure to find somebody soon.”

“Unless that somebody finds you first!” said a voice from up above. I looked up, and saw Alicia sitting on the rooftop of somebody’s house. She was pointing one of her arrowguns directly at me. “Don’t move…unless you want me to shoot the buttons clear off your shirt…”

“You have all gone too far!” I said. “I don’t know what kind of grudge Geitz has against Ulysses, but dragging Larraine into the middle of it all…That is unforgiveable. And…for your own safety…you should give her back to us.”

“For our safety?” Alicia asked. “Surely, you don’t mean you’d kill us for her…”

“I am not speaking of myself. Larraine…holds the power to destroy us all. If you provoke her enough…who knows how many will be killed?”

“…You’re bluffing!” Alicia yelled, and jumped up to her feet. She fired a few shots from her arrowguns at Mihiramon and me, but we were both able to avoid them all. I jumped onto Mihiramon’s back and held up my axe. With a look of fear, Alicia turned and ran away, racing across the roofs of several homes.

“After her, Mihiramon! Don’t let her get away!” I shouted. With a mighty roar, Mihiramon jumped up and began galloping in the air after the fleeing sniper. In no time at all, we caught up to her.

“Samurai Tiger Tail!” Mihiramon turned his tail into a three-sectioned staff, and struck Alicia on the back of her head. She was out cold before she even fell down. I jumped down off Mihiramon and picked her up before she rolled off the slanted roof. “Lucia? What should we do?”
“…Let’s take her back home, first,” I sighed. “After that, we can resume our search for Larraine.”

[HR][/HR]
Ulysses Melchett
Lachesis Fortress

“Sir…it’s getting late,” Matthew said.

“I know,” I replied. Ever since Lucia left, I stared out the front exit of the ancient fortress. Nobody has come in or out since.

“…What will we do about dinner?” I heard Lilliana whisper. “Everyone who normally cooks isn’t here…”

“Oh, I’ll do it,” Isole sighed.

“Hey, I can cook!” Coronamon chimed in. “I remember I used to do it a lot in one of my past lives!”

“I’d be more than happy to assist as well,” Bokomon added.

“That’s good. I don’t know how to turn on the stove, anyway,” Isole said. This comment was followed by an awkward silence. My fingers tightened around the hilt of my claymore. I felt so useless just sitting here, but I knew I couldn’t go out and fight with Larraine’s life at risk. I stood up, about to walk into my room when I heard the sounds of running footsteps. I turned around, and saw none other than Larraine herself running towards me.

“Ulysses! I’m back! I’m back!” she exclaimed. Cradled in her arms was an unconscious Neemon.

“You…You managed to escape?!” I exclaimed.

“Yup! I managed to convince Neemon here to free me,” Larraine said, gasping for breath.

“You’re back,” I said quietly. “That means…”

“You can go out and kick Geitz’s stupid ass,” Isole said. “And now that she’s here, I won’t poison everyone else with my cooking…” I looked at the small group before me.

“My friends…when I return…Geitz will no longer be a threat to us,” I said. “For all that he has done…for the threat on Larraine’s life…He will never step foot in this fortress again!”

“You’re…going to banish him? Or are you going to kill him?” Larraine asked.
“…That decision will be up to Geitz, Larraine,” I said, turning to leave the fortress.

[HR][/HR]
Mia Kiru
Yew

“Wow, it’s really getting dark,” I said. The sun still lingered on the horizon, but just barely.

“Should we start heading back, then?” Elizabeth asked from atop Quetzalmon’s back.

“Yeah…poor Ulysses must be worried sick; we should’ve been back about ten or twenty minutes ago,” I said. Elizabeth and I turned around, only to see Lloyd.

“…I had hoped not to run into the two of you,” he said.

“So…does that mean you’re going to fight us or not?” I asked. I placed a hand into my purse and pulled out a Digimon Talisman as Elizabeth, after dropping down from Quetzalmon’s back, drew a knife from the holster on her leg. In the smallest fraction of a second, Lloyd drew his sword and struck down Elizabeth. Blood went flying everywhere as she hit the ground, clutching the wound that spread from the top of her right shoulder to the left side of her belly.

“You…Lloyd…How dare you hurt Elizabeth?!” Quetzalmon shouted. “Freezing Wave!” Lloyd turned and swung his sword again, cutting a large wound through Quetzalmon’s side. The Armor Level Digimon fell to the ground next to Elizabeth, bleeding heavily. I could only look on in awe and fear as Lloyd returned his sword to its scabbard. “…W—Why did you…do that?!” Lloyd turned and looked at me.

“Elizabeth was in my way. You, Mia, are the stronger opponent.”

“…You hurt her…because of something like that?!” I asked.

“You are a Digimon Summoner…which means I can let loose without worrying about killing anyone, as your Spirits are immortal.”

Come forth, MegaKabuterimon!” Lloyd smiled as the giant Insect Digimon apparated in front of me.

“An opponent with strength and skill of this caliber…to show them my respect, that requires me to go all out in a fight,” Lloyd said, reaching for the sword strapped to his back. “This sword…the Akinakes…I received it from my friend, Dinohyumon, as a parting gift. And now…your Spirit shall fall before it in my friend’s name!”

“I don’t think so; Horn Buster!” MegaKabuterimon fired a powerful blast from his horn at Lloyd, but the swordsman easily maneuvered around it and struck the Digimon Spirit with the giant blade. MegaKabuterimon fell over backwards, and vanished. My heart was pounding in my chest as Lloyd wiped the blood from his sword.

“C—Come forth, Blastmon!” At once, the massive Mineral Digimon Blastmon appeared before me. Blastmon cracked his knuckles and looked down at Lloyd.
“…Your ace in the hole, immediately?” Lloyd asked. “How unlike you, Mia. How truly…pathetic.”

“Final Subagōn Punch!” Blastmon was about to smash his fist into Lloyd when the swordsman jumped in the air and struck the Mineral Digimon in the face with his sword, instantly defeating him. Frantically, I searched through my purse for another Talisman, but when Lloyd landed on the ground, he grabbed my arm and looked me straight in the eyes.

“When you are gone…Ulysses will have no choice but to endure the torture for his misguided past,” he said. “Now…perish!” Lloyd raised his sword, but stopped when a bright flash of light struck him from behind.

“Now, now…that most certainly is no way to treat a lady,” said a familiar voice. With a frightened look on his face, Lloyd turned around.

“…Edmund!” I gasped. “You’ve returned!”

“…Edmund Luxord,” Lloyd muttered. His grip tightened around Akinakes, but he turned and looked away from Edmund.

“I don’t fully understand what’s going on, Lloyd, but it seems quite obvious to me that there are those among our group who have chosen to turn coat and play for the other side,” Edmund said. “A new player to this sick game of Geitz’s. Tell me; will the Swordsman crumble and fall to the Archsage? Or, will he turn tail and run?” Lloyd’s grip on his sword tightened, but then loosened. The giant blade fell to the ground.

“…I didn’t…want…to do this,” Lloyd said.

“I know,” I whispered. “Heather told us why…when you all left. She told us that you wanted to make a home that your children would be safe in.” Lloyd nodded.
“There is no shame in a task like that,” Edmund added. “To protect those you care about; that is what makes us all people. It is what keeps us going. It is what separates us from the Thanatos Bandits, and all of the evil Digimon in the world. So don’t feel any shame for turning on us for such a noble goal.” Lloyd slumped to his knees.

“…I…I’m sorry,” he sobbed.

“And you needn’t concern yourselves over the welfare of either Elizabeth of Quetzalmon,” Edmund said. “With my magic, I healed their injuries. They’ll be fine upon the morrow, Mia.”

“Oh…Thank you, Edmund!”

“…Um…May I ask why you’ve chosen to wrap your arms around mine?”

“Yes, I did,” I said dreamily.

“…Very…well, then. I’ve…no objections,” Edmund said.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 17 - Path of the Darkness

Ulysses Melchett
Yew

The sun had officially set by the time I set foot in Yew. With the directions I received from Larraine, I found the ancient shrine she had been kept in no time. I gripped my Digivice in my free hand, and kicked open the doors, where I saw Geitz sitting and waiting patiently.

“…Surprised you came, old man,” he said. “Guess you don’t care about Larraine’s life after all. Not that I’d care about that filth—”

Shut your mouth, Geitz!” I screamed. “Larraine is back home at Lachesis with Neemon, and she gave me directions to this shrine!”

“Well…I guess that explains how you managed to find me,” Geitz said. “You always were bad at finding things on your own.”

“…Why are you waiting here?” I asked. “This was a shrine dedicated to worshiping the Goddess Arcadia. Why are you here?”

“Because this is where my parents were killed,” Geitz replied. “And they were killed…by you, Ulysses.” I was overcome by shock.

“…Maybe you’re right,” I said. “I do…tend to act before thinking. That gets those around me into trouble. But, I’ve never had to worry about it before because I always had comrades around me to make up for my shortcomings. And I, in turn, make up for theirs. We all complete each other, back home at Lachesis. Me and my comrades…Comrades like you…Geitz.” Geitz’s eyes widened in anger.

“Shut up…Shut up! Shut the fuck up, Geitz! You don’t know anything!!” Geitz picked up his lances and swung them around, and I in turn swung my claymore to protect myself, deflecting each thrust of Geitz’s lances. “You’re out of your league, old man! If you were a bit younger, you would probably win, but now?! You’re way too old!”

“Hasn’t anyone ever told you…to respect your elders?!” I swung my claymore and skewered its tip in the middle of Geitz’s left shoulder. He dropped both lances immediately, and I forcefully yanked my weapon out of his shoulder. Geitz dropped to the floor, clutching his bloody shoulder with a pained expression on his scarred face. “Geitz…give up this madness. You could have won against just me, but against all of Lachesis? You never had a chance!” Geitz looked up at me. His face was contorted with rage and pain.

“Don’t…talk…down…to…me!!!” Geitz stood back up, raising his fists. I sighed.

“Geitz…Would you just listen to me for—” I was interrupted when the front doors of the shrine slammed shut. A black, shadowy entity appeared beneath Geitz. “Geitz…what is…going on?”

“Ulysses…I will never lose to you; I won’t be defeated by the man who got my parents killed!” Geitz shouted. The darkness had completely surrounded Geitz. “Darkness…is my greatest weapon! I will use it to blot out stains like you from history forever!” Geitz had completely vanished from sight, but from behind the darkness, I could hear him laughing. The darkness began to fade. Geitz had become covered in an eerily pitch-black suit of armor. “I…am…Duskmon!”

“Duskmon…you…you’ve been turned into a Digimon?!” I asked. Duskmon’s armor was covered in large eyes, and each and every one of them were staring directly at me. A blood-red sword extended from the armor covering Geitz’s arm and hand.

“Ulysses…you die…now! Blood Strike!” Duskmon rushed forward and swung his sword, slicing clear through my claymore. Another sword protruded from Duskmon’s other hand, and he swung it at my head. I instantly kicked him in the chest, making the Digimon take a few steps back and miss me completely. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my Digivice. “…That Digivice…the Fusion Loader?! I never knew…you had one…”

“Reload; Firamon! Gwappamon!” the two Champion level Digimon instantly materialized before me.

“Wait…These two…aren’t they the partners of Matthew and Lilliana?” Duskmon asked.

“They are. I had a feeling you’d have a trick up your sleeve, Geitz, so they decided to follow along after me,” I replied. I held up my Fusion Loader once more. “Are you two ready?”

“Yes, sir,” Firamon replied.

“Ready to kick this traitor’s ass, sir!” Gwappamon exclaimed.

“Good. Firamon! Gwappamon! Digi-Fuse!”

“LoaderLiomon!” the new Digimon stepped forward, growling at Duskmon.

“…Do you not have a partner Digimon of your own, Ulysses?” Duskmon asked.

“Oh, I do. He’s far too big to let loose in a place like this, though, and I wouldn’t dare risk letting him out in a place like Yew, where he could cause some major damage,” I said.

“…Whatever. The end result will not change.”

“Loader Morningstar!” LoaderLiomon shot the iron spikes from his tail at Duskmon, who was able to nimbly sidestep out of the way of all of them
“Deadly Gaze!” Duskmon unleashed red energy beams from his hands and the eyes decorating his armor at both me and LoaderLiomon. I was hit directly in the chest and sent flying into a wall. The attack burned a hole clear through my shirt and burned my skin. I looked over at LoaderLiomon, who had turned back into Coronamon and Kamemon.

“N—No…Coronamon…Kamemon…”

“Maybe you should have brought out your own Digimon partner rather than leave the work to another’s,” Duskmon said, approaching the fallen Rookies.

“Quick — back into the Fusion Loader!” I held up my Digivice once more, and the two injured Digimon disappeared in its light.

“Now, only you remain,” Duskmon said. He pointed one of his swords directly between my eyes. “Good riddance…Ulysses! Lunar—” The doors of the shrine slammed open once again.

“Goddess Bow!” An arrow enveloped in light and water flew through the open doors and struck the eyeball on Duskmon’s chest dead center.

“Ulysses, are you okay?!” Mia asked, helping me to sit up. Sparrow and Eleanora were both at my side, as were Hawkmon and Lunamon. The Digimon Spirit Aquarimon walked in after them.

“…Geitz…has turned into that…Digimon you see before you,” I said.

“Yeah, I had a feeling that was him when we came in,” Sparrow said.

“But don’t worry, sir; we’ll help you fight him, no matter how strong he is,” Eleanora added.

“I don’t know how much help I’ll be,” Mia said. “Aquarimon here is the only Digimon Spirit I have left who can fight…”

“You needn’t worry, Mia,” Aquarimon said, smiling gently at Mia. “Even if Duskmon is too strong for me, I won’t let him hurt you or your friends.” Duskmon looked at the Mega level Digimon.

“…None of you…have any futures,” Duskmon said. “You will all…perish…” I sighed.

“Darkness has corrupted Geitz’s mind. I doubt he any longer has any sense of self,” I said. “Are you all ready to fight?”

“We wouldn’t be here otherwise,” Sparrow said. Hawkmon nodded in agreement.

“…Good.” Once more, I pulled out my Fusion Loader. “Lunamon! Hawkmon! Digi-Fuse!”

“Saberdramon!”

“Saberdramon…you can do it!” Eleanora said.

“Night Roar!” A rain of burning feathers shot out of Saberdramon’s wings; Duskmon began frantically swinging his swords, trying to strike each and every one of them.

“This ends now,” Aquarimon said. The God Man Digimon snapped her fingers, and a large urn, overflowing with water, emerged from the ground underneath her feet. “Aquarius Wyvern!” Water from the urn began to swirl around Aquarimon’s body, taking the shape of an enormous dragon. Aquarimon took flight, gracefully maneuvering around Saberdramon’s feathers until she made contact with Duskmon. A huge blast of water erupted like a geyser when she collided into him, forcing the two Digimon backwards. Aquarimon crashed into her urn, sending it toppling over and spilling water all over the floor. Duskmon was sent flying into a wall, gasping for breath. Bits and pieces of the dark warrior’s body flew off, and in that instant, I knew Geitz was dying. Duskmon’s body began to fade away, leaving Geitz behind.

“…Is he…dead?” Eleanora asked.

“No. But he is…close,” I whispered. I walked over to the fallen man. To my astonishment, his body was fading away the same as the Digimon do when they die. “You’re…disappearing?!”

“Don’t be so…surprised…old man,” Geitz wheezed. “As you’ve said…I’ve been…turned into a Digimon…so now…I die as they do.”

“Does that mean…you’re going to the Dark Area?” Sparrow asked.

“Humans can go there anyway…moron,” Geitz said. “But only…their souls. I guess…I lost my soul…I traded it away for darkness…and that is a decision…I will never…regret.” Geitz closed his eyes, and vanished completely from sight.

“…That’s it. He’s…gone,” Eleanora said. “After what he said about those who have the Mark…I thought I’d be happy to see him dead…but it’s the opposite…”

“Yeah…hard to believe the bastard’s actually gone forever,” Sparrow said hoarsely.

Whereas those two felt sadness at Geitz’s parting, I felt nothing. Emptiness. I was neither glad nor angry that Geitz was dead. “You three…do I truly deserve…to be the ruler of Lachesis?” I asked.

“Of course you do, Ulysses!” Mia exclaimed. “Who cares about what Geitz thought about you?! That doesn’t make you any less of a ruler!”

“…Let’s get you back home, sir,” Eleanora said. “We all need time to rest, and to think about everything that’s just happened…”

“…Yes…you’re right, Eleanora.” I turned to face those who had come to help me. “Thank you…all of you. If you hadn’t come to help me, Duskmon would have killed me.”
“…Don’t think anything of it, sir,” Sparrow said. “As Edmund would say…it’s only natural for the pawns to protect the king.”

[HR][/HR]
Lachesis Fortress – Lounge
20 Minutes

“Geitz…is dead,” I said. This news sent murmurs of shock throughout the crowd before me. Alicia, Lloyd, and AeroVeedramon all had varying degrees of expressions; Alicia was horrified, Lloyd seemed surprised, and AeroVeedramon was fast asleep. The three were, along with Elizabeth, Eleanora, Sparrow, and their Digimon, being healed by Lilliana and — to my surprise — Edmund Luxord. “I have…nothing to say about what happened today. You may blame me, if you wish, for the death of Geitz, and also for driving him to do this.”

“No; do not blame yourself, sir,” Edmund said. “Geitz did what he did of his own free will. You cannot blame yourself for the actions of others.”

“Well…in any case, I wish to congratulate those who were brave enough to stand up to Geitz,” I said. “You stuck with me, and did what I said, in spite of what Geitz said about me…all of which was true.” I heard Mia disagree with me quite loudly from the audience. “And those of you who chose to side with Geitz…I wish only to apologize to you. I apologize for letting you down, and for making you feel like you weren’t safe with me in charge. Geitz wished for me to learn from my mistakes, and in a way, I did. When he threatened Larraine, I knew I had to put aside my rush-in headfirst way of doing things. I was able to do as he wished…and I won, because of it. None of my comrades had ever been in danger like that before, or so I thought; but as it turns out, we are all in danger every day. Whether we have a weapon in our hand or not, we all have a chance of dying on the battlefield. I never stopped to consider this before…but because of what Geitz did today…I now realize this to be the truth. Because of the work all of us do, even off the battlefield, we are still in danger of being attacked by bandits. Geitz may not have gotten revenge for his parents — who were, sadly, killed because of my own foolish actions — but he also wanted me to learn the errs of my past, and I did. Everything he did was not in vain. He may not have accomplished his fondest desire, but he helped to shape a better future for us all. A future where I can truly and earnestly protect the people that I care about…all of you.” Everyone in the audience was stunned silent by my speech — although, Neemon always looked that way.

“Wow…I never took you for a speech giver, Ulysses,” Sparrow said.
“Hey, I didn’t, either,” I chuckled. “I just made all of that up off the top of my head, but that doesn’t make it any less true.”

[HR][/HR]The new Lachesis has had its first taste of darkness. Far down the road, ShadowSeraphimon will continue to torment them. But, what is his true role in this saga? Only time will tell…

~Wisemon
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 18 - The Great Thief

Matthew Kasuto
Lachesis Fortress
2 Weeks

Life at the Lachesis guild had gone pretty much back to normal. Everyone continued to do their various jobs. Eleanora continued to baby me on our missions. Sparrow continued flirting with every girl in sight. Everyone acted as though they had completely forgotten about what Geitz did on the day he died. Well, everyone except for Alicia. She continued to mourn for the loss of Geitz Felgrande, blaming herself for what had happened. Everyone in the guild continued to console her, saying that she did nothing wrong (even though she beat up Sparrow and Allomon, and attacked Lucia and Mihiramon.) Of course, I hadn’t been there, so I don’t know for sure of every last thing that had happened. However, I had an uneasy feeling that Alicia would continue to blame herself for the rest of her life.

On the plus side, Edmund Luxord had returned on that day. He was the type of person to go out on journeys and not come back for a long time, but everyone in the guild rejoiced each and every one of his safe returns.

Nobody has said anything about Geitz’s transformation into a Digimon. Everyone simply acted like it never happened. But it was the only thing on my mind since that day.

A Human turning into a Digimon so suddenly like that?! And it doesn’t seem that the transforming was an ability of Duskmon’s, which possibly means Geitz probably didn’t know he would turn into Duskmon, either. What happened on that day?! Did that IceDevimon have anything to do with it? My mind buzzed with these sorts of questions every minute of every day. It made me feel uneasy, to know that a Digimon as powerful and clearly evil as IceDevimon roamed free, and Geitz’s transformation and death didn’t help these thoughts, and I couldn’t help but feel like they were connected somehow. However, all of these thoughts and feelings were put on hold, for at that moment, Ulysses opened his door and ran into the lounge, holding quite a fancy-looking piece of parchment and an excited smile on his face.

“We have a job!” he exclaimed. That caught me by surprise. Usually, when Ulysses said ‘we’ have a job, he is referring to the guild as a whole. In all of my years at Lachesis, this has only happened once; however, due to my inexperience, Eleanora made me stay home with her. “Our entire guild has been issued a job!”

“What a surprise; I don’t think I’ve gone on a single guild request since my mother and father left on their journey,” Edmund said.

“I know I’ve never been on one,” Sparrow added.

“What does this job entail, sir?” Lucia asked.

“Before I get into that, I’d like to explain something to everyone here,” Ulysses said. “As is tradition within this guild, requests like these are strictly voluntary; they are usually a good deal more difficult than the normal jobs. So, if for any reason, you do not wish to partake in this mission, it will not be forced upon you.”

“Yeah, yeah; just tell us what the job is already!” Sparrow said. Ulysses chuckled, and held up the parchment.

“This mission is a request…from the Royal Family of Valencia Territory.” Complete silence befell the room. I could hear a few surprised gasps.

“The Royal…Family? I thought they hated us,” I said.

“You’re getting your history mixed up, my boy,” Edmund said. “It was the knights who hated us roughly five-hundred years ago, while the Royal Family back then didn’t even know of our existence. Now, neither party has any abhorrence towards us, as Lachesis now works as a small, independent unit and ally of the Valencian Knights.”

“In fact, it was the knights who hated us so much who helped to rebuild this fortress after the death of a particular evil Digimon at the hands of Lachesis,” Dominimon added.

“So, what do they want us to do?” Coronamon asked. “Is it some really powerful, Mega Digimon or something?”

“Well, the job itself isn’t stated on this paper,” Ulysses said. “All it says is for us to meet with the Royal Family; then, they will discuss the job with us.”

“You mean…we actually get to go to the castle?!” Sparrow exclaimed. “We’ll get to see the Royal Family? The princess…?”

“Sparrow, you’re staying behind,” Ulysses said. “I don’t want there to be an incident involving you and the princess.”

“…Me and my big, fucking mouth…”

“Don’t worry, Sparrow. I would have made you stay behind, anyway!” Ulysses grinned.

“Well, if we’re just going to the castle, then you don’t need anyone to go with you, do you?” Lucia asked.

“You’re right; I don’t need anyone to come with me. However, Lucia, I would like you, Larraine, Edmund, and Dominimon to come with me to the castle…And Lucia, I don’t want you to be armed when we go, and Mihiramon shall remain behind. We shall depart as soon as you are all ready.”

“Just the four of us?” Dominimon asked.

“It makes sense, actually,” Lucia mused. “People tell me I look like a secretary; Dominimon is a priest, on top of being an Angel Digimon; Larraine is a dancer; and Edmund is a mage. That way, we won’t appear armed and looking for violence, but if we have to fight, we could do so easily and at a moment’s notice.”

“…Why would you have to fight?” I asked.

“Well, Matthew…I’m not entirely sure this is real,” Ulysses said. “It’s incredibly unlikely that it’s a forgery, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.”

“I’m ready to go whenever you are, sir,” Lucia said. Larraine, Dominimon, and Edmund all nodded in agreement.
“All right…let’s go. To Valencia Castle!”

[HR][/HR]
Ulysses Melchett
Yew
25 Minutes

“Wow…it’s so big!” Larraine exclaimed, looking up at the enormous, ornate castle that stood before us. The huge doors were open, and people, both commoners and knights, were walking in and out.

“Yeah; it’s even bigger than Sparrow’s mouth,” I said, getting a laugh from the others.

“Someone’s coming,” Lucia said. I looked forward, noting a tall and slender female knight approaching us. I was on guard at first, but as she got closer, I saw that her expression was kind and welcoming, and not menacing in the slightest.

“Good day, weary travelers. I bid thee fondest welcome to Valencia Castle,” she said. “Might you be the group we are expecting from Lachesis?”

“Yes, good lady, that is us,” I said, returning her polite formalities.

“Oh, excellent. My name is Alena, and I have been tasked with escorting you to the king and queen,” she said. “Which one of you is Ulysses?”

“That would be me, milady,” I bowed. Alena smiled at all of us.

“Very good. Right this way, then.” Alena lead us into the castle and through an enormous hallway. It was my first time inside, and I was amazed by how large it was, appearing to be larger on the inside than on the outside. There were rows of pure white statues lining both walls; dragons on the left, and wolves on the right. Occasionally, we would pass somebody who would wave and smile kindly at Alena as she returned the favor. At the end of the hall was a pair of closed, ornate doors.

“…Is that where I will be meeting with His Majesty?” I asked.

“That is correct, sir,” Alena replied. “However, the king and queen will be meeting only with you, Sir Ulysses. I apologize for any inconvenience, but this was the will of his majesty.” I looked again at Alena. A sense of foreboding welled up within my core, but Alena didn’t seem to have the slightest hint of malice in her lovely eyes, and her sweet smile was quite sincere.

“…It is no inconvenience, Dame Alena,” Lucia said. “We don’t mind waiting for our master to return.”

“Are you all certain?” I asked.

“It isn’t a hassle in the slightest,” Edmund assured me.

“Go on ahead, sir. We can wait,” Dominimon added.

“If you’d like, I can escort you four to our mess hall,” Alena suggested. “It’s close to lunchtime, so I would imagine you must be quite hungry right now.”
“Yes, you all go along with her,” I said, facing the ornate pair of doors before me. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto
Lachesis Fortress – Outside

“…Amazing! You’re really getting good at this, Matthew!” I exclaimed. Matthew had just hit ten targets in a row dead center, the last of which was taped to a tree more than fifty feet away from where he stood. It always made me feel just a little bit sad to see him grow up like this and do things on his own without needing me to do it for him, but at the same time, I felt a little bit relieved by the fact that Matthew would be able to protect himself if we were ever to be separated again. Coronamon and Lunamon applauded as Matthew readjusted his bowstring.

“Not yet,” Matthew said quietly. “They’re at the center, but just barely. If my arms had twitched even just a little, I’d have been completely off. I need to get better.”

“Matthew…why did you suddenly decide to take up archery?” I asked.

“…Because…I’m tired of bothering you,” he whispered. “I…I always feel like I’m bothering you when you go out of your way to protect me…”

“Matthew! That isn’t true in the slightest! I’m your big sister; I’m supposed to—”

“No, you’re not,” Matthew interrupted. “Eleanora, you aren’t my big sister, and you aren’t my mother. You are my twin. I care about you and love you the same way you do for me. I’d like to be able to be the one protecting you for a change…”

“Matthew…” I began walking over to him when I heard the fluttering noise of a Digimon’s wings. Matthew and the Digimon noticed as well, looking up at the sky as a Human girl tumbled out of the forest near the fortress. Chasing after her was the Digimon Kazemon.

“What the hell?!” Coronamon exclaimed. The Human was holding a knife coated in dried blood. A long cape flowed out from behind her, barely hanging on, as it was practically torn to shreds. Her clothes were no better; there were cuts and holes all over her violet top and skirt. Her own body was covered in small cuts, none of them serious, and her lavender hair was a jumbled mess.

“Hurricane Wave!” Kazemon aimed her attack directly at the girl, but she was able to gracefully backflip several times out of the way of Kazemon’s attack. The girl finished up her backflips directly between me and my brother. She looked back and forth at the two of us with a surprised expression on her face.

“Oi! You two fighters?” she asked. “I could really use yer help right now!”

“Uh…yes, we are,” I replied, looking up at the Kazemon. “What’s going on…?”

“Jeez, I’ll tell you later, k?’ I’m not much of a fighter meself, so I’m really counting on you both to help out!” she said. Matthew and I exchanged glances as the Kazemon landed on the ground.

“Give it to me!” Kazemon shouted.

“Oi, now; you’re making me sound like a thief!” the girl exclaimed. “I’m just a thief by nature! I don’t go breaking in to innocent people’s homes, you know! I just take what needs to be taken for the good of all!”

This girl is a…thief?! Should we be helping her or not…?

“…Let’s help her, Ellie!” Matthew said. The look on his face was determined and serious. “I’m…I’m going to go and help her!” Before I could stop them, Matthew and Coronamon ran up to the Kazemon, placing themselves between her and the thief girl.

“…Who are you?!” Kazemon asked.

“…Uh…umm…I…I’m…” Matthew was stuttering, and looking around nervously.

“It doesn’t matter who we are!” Coronamon said. “Why are you chasing after this girl?!”

“…That is none of your business,” Kazemon said. “Now, I’ll ask you again; who the hell do you think you are to be able to stand in my way?!”

WE are the mercenary guild Lachesis!” Coronamon exclaimed. My eyes darted briefly to the thief girl just in time to see her eyes widen with shock.

…Who is she?

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon!” Kazemon, shocked by Coronamon’s transformation, began slowly backing away. “Flame Dive!” Enveloping himself in flames, Firamon charged at and crashed into Kazemon, toppling her over and down to the ground. The large Champion Digimon had Kazemon pinned facedown to the ground, with both of her arms underneath his claws.

“Ow…ouch! Damn it, okay, okay…I yield,” Kazemon said, struggling under Firamon’s grasp. “Let me go, okay? I’ll leave…” Reluctantly, Firamon stepped off of Kazemon’s back, and the Fairy Digimon flew up, clumsily at first, and then flew away and out of sight.

“Yeesh, thanks for the help back there,” the thief girl said. “I’m glad I ran into you when I did!”

“Well, I’m glad we were here to help out!” Firamon said, turning back into Coronamon. “I’m Coronamon, and this is my partner, Matthew.” My twin was looking steadily down at the ground.

“…Is he okay?” the thief asked. “He doesn’t look too good…”

“Well, try not to be offended,” I said, walking up to Matthew. “Matthew has a bit of a fear of pretty girls.”

“…Pretty, huh? Well, in that case, I’m flattered,” the thief said with a slight blush in her cheeks.

“Yeah, I don’t really know how it started,” I said. “Anyway, I’m Eleanora, his twin sister, and over there is my partner Digimon, Lunamon.”

“Who are you?” Coronamon asked.

“Me? I’m the great thief Lira Elric.”

“You said something like that earlier,” Lunamon said.

“Well, don’t get the wrong idea, now,” Lira said. “I steal things, sneak around, pick locks; that sort of thing. Like I said to that Kazemon, I don’t steal things from innocent bystanders or nothing.”

“…Would you like to come in?” Coronamon asked. “You look pretty beat up. You should stay and rest for a while.”

“…Are you sure about that?” Lira asked. “After all…I just told you I was a thief…”

“Well, if you were planning on stealing from us, you wouldn’t have told us you were a thief right at the beginning,” Lunamon said.

…I don’t know…Something about her just doesn’t seem right…

“…If you don’t have a problem with me coming in, I’d be more than happy to do so,” Lira said. Coronamon and Lunamon led her into the fortress, with Matthew following far behind.

…Why would a Digimon like Kazemon outright attack her? Even if Lira stole something from her, a Digimon with a sweet temperament like Kazemon wouldn’t act so harshly…What are you doing here, Lira?
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 19 - The Devoted

Larraine
Valencia Castle

The mess hall of the castle was gigantic, larger even than the entire first floor of Lachesis Fortress. There were many knights and soldiers eating and talking amongst one another, some Human and some Digimon. The air was filled with their voices, creating a slightly disorienting atmosphere as Alena led us through the room. Most of the knights had a plate full of food emitting a savory aroma that made my mouth water and my stomach growl. Everyone I saw seemed to be different from the knights I remembered from several hundreds of years ago; they all looked so friendly, and many went out of their way to greet Alena. One such person was approaching her now.

“Well met, Dame Alena,” the man said. He was a big man, donned a dark grey suit of armor that seemed larger and heavier than those of the other knights. He had an intimidating face at first glance, with a mouth hidden by a large beard and mustache, but his grey eyes had the unmistakable glimmer of kindness in them.

“Sir Wikstrom, how pleasant to see you again,” Alena replied, shaking the large man’s hand.

“Wouldst thou care to join us for lunch? Verily our friends doth gather as we speak,” Wikstrom requested.

“Oh, that would be delightful,” Alena said. “That is, if you have no objections to these travelers accompanying us.”

“None whatsoever,” Wikstrom said. Behind his bushy moustache, I was fairly certain that he was smiling. “It is an utmost pleasure to make thine acquaintances.” One at a time, Wikstrom shook the hands of Edmund, Dominimon, Lucia, and finally, me. My hand was so tiny compared to his, and for a moment, I feared it might snap off my arm when Wikstrom shook it. “Well then, please, come and join us. Make thyself at home.” Wikstrom sat down at a rectangular table next to two others. One, a silver-haired man, was dressed in a fancy white suit, making him stand out from the other armored knights in the room. The other, a dark skinned and long-haired blonde woman, sat next to him. A huge axe lay on the floor next to her.

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet my friends,” Alena said, turning to us. “The man over there is Siebold, and the woman is Pherania. My friends, I’d like to introduce you to Larraine, Lucia, Dominimon, and Edmund from the mercenary guild Lachesis.”

“Lachesis? Vut a rare honor it is,” Pherania said, speaking in a thick accent.

“…Is your last name, by any chance, Danved?” Edmund asked.

“Yes, it is! Do you know vun of my relatives?” Pherania asked.

“Quite a few, really. I’ve been around for several hundreds of years,” Edmund replied.

“Ah, den you carry de Mark, den,” Pherania said. “Yes, all of my ancestors are named after a man from long ago named Pheragas. He vus a brave und powervul man, so in his honor, all descendants are named Pheragas, or Pherania if dey are born vemale.” Pherania reached down to the floor and picked up her massive axe as if it were nothing. “Dis axe belonged to dat man, und it is given to de kids of de next generation to carry on dat man’s great legacy.”

Wow…she’s so familiarized with her family history, I though. I wish I could be so lucky…

“Um…where are Charlotte and Leopardmon?” Alena asked.

“Verily, Leopardmon is on a job right now,” Wikstrom said. “And as for Dame Charlotte—”

“Fat-ass ain’t here yet,” Siebold interrupted. “Probably got that huge gut of hers stuck in a doorway again.”

“Siebold! That has only happened to her once!” Alena snapped. “…Okay, twice. But small doorways don’t count! And besides, how many times have I told you not to make fun of Charlotte?! She’s very sensitive!” Siebold shrugged, and Pherania whacked him on the back of his head.

“Oh! Here comes the great white Whamon herself! Better call CaptainHookmon before she gets away!”

Siebold, will you shut up?!” Alena whispered loudly. At that moment, a tall, gorgeous brunette walked up to the table and sat down between me and Alena. True to Siebold’s rude commentary, her belly was large and plump, poking out from the bottom of her shirt and shaking with each step she took. She was incredibly beautiful, in spite of what Siebold seemed to imply, and the rest of her body was quite slender. “Good day, Dame Charlotte. How fare you today?”

“Very well, Dame Alena, thank you,” Charlotte replied with a happy smile on her face.

“I’d like to introduce you to some new friends of mine,” Alena said. “From the mercenary guild Lachesis, this is Edmund, Lucia, Dominimon, and sitting next to you is Larraine.”

“…Larraine? I’ve heard of you,” Charlotte said, looking at me in awe. “I’ve heard people say you’re the best dancer in the land…”

“Oh, I’m flattered, sweetie,” I said.

“…You’re so skinny,” Charlotte whispered.

“Ha! I’m surprised you even remember what skinny even looks like!” Siebold laughed. Pherania grabbed him by the back of his head and shoved his face quite forcefully into his lunch tray, and face first into his mashed potatoes.

“No…Siebold’s right,” Charlotte said. “I’m just a fat, ugly pig…You’re lucky, Larraine. I wish I could be built like you…”

“Well…to tell you the truth, Charlotte...I think you’re the lucky one,” I said. “And I wish I could be built like you.” This brought a look of surprise to Charlotte’s lovely face, and I could hear a gasp from Lucia.

“But…why would you want to be like a fat, ugly pig like me?” Charlotte asked.

“You aren’t a fat, ugly pig, Charlotte...” I reached over and placed her hand over her cheek. “I can tell, just by looking into your eyes…You are a strong and brave warrior, and you’re always there for your friends, to fight alongside them and protect them...but I’m not. I’m always forced to remain behind, and pray with all my heart that, when any of my friends goes out on a job, that nothing bad happens to them...If I was strong like you, I wouldn't have to worry so much, because I could go out and fight alongside them.”

“So you would really give away that perfect body for dancing for a body like...this?!” Charlotte grabbed and squeezed her belly, shaking it a few times.

“The dances I do are to appease the goddess, and the only way she’s seen fit to thank me is to continue to hurt my friends, and other innocent people, so I don’t care about her anymore! Ok, sure, you might be...uh...” Let's see...how do I say this without hurting her feelings? Think, Larraine, think... “…Ok, your belly might be slightly larger than a few other people, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you're a strong and brave knight. Me? I’m only a weak, pathetic dancer who can’t help her friends in the slightest. Of course I would rather be built like you, sweetie. I don’t care if that means I get fat; I wouldn’t even care how fat I would get, so long as I could give my all to protect the people I love!”

“…So...you don’t think that...I’m ugly, do you?”

“Ugly? Sweetie, I think you’re absolutely adorable!” I pulled the young woman into a tight hug. “Now, I don’t want to hear you say anything bad about yourself, okay?”

“…Okay. Thank you, Larraine,” Charlotte smiled.

“And I don’t want to hear anything from you about her. Understood?!” I looked at Siebold. Underneath the table, I could hear Pherania slam her foot onto his. I hoped the sound of cracking bones was but a mere figment of my imagination.

“…Yes, ma’am…” I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind. I looked, and saw Lucia looking at me.

“Larraine…you didn’t really mean that, did you?” she whispered. “About the Goddess…?”

“I meant every word I said,” I replied calmly. “Why, if it were up to me, I’d be so fat I couldn’t see anything past my stomach looking down, as long as it meant I could be stronger than I am now in this thin, bony body!”

“…The only problem is, because of the Mark giving you a Digimon’s metabolic rate, it would be difficult for you to gain even a single ounce,” Edmund said. I looked at him and smiled sadly.

…I keep forgetting he has the Mark, too…He must have it as bad as I do, with the constant hunger and frail body; no wonder he taught himself magic…

“Well, why don’t you teach yourself magic?” Charlotte asked.

“…I’ve tried. Many times,” I said sadly. “It’s not that I don’t think I’m talented; it’s that…nothing happens. I think it may be because of my heritage; since Digimon can’t learn the magic Humans use, it seems that only a few of the Marked are able to use it, like Edmund.”

“But…do you really not care about the Goddess, Rainy?” Lucia asked.

“…I never have. She took my mother from me at a young age. I never met my father. I’ve been cursed with a near eternal life, forcing me to watch loved ones die over and over. So, no, Lucia. I don’t care about her. I hate her. I hate her for doing this to me!”

“What about your dances?” Dominimon asked. “The dances you perform for all of us; you say it is to show respect to her, don’t you? To grace her?”

“I’ve never once said anything close to that in my entire life,” I said. “I’ve heard that from others; I have no idea how the rumor was started, though. But I dance because…only because it makes other people smile. It makes them happy. That is the only reason I’ve ever danced before.”

“…Very well spoken, Larraine,” said a voice from behind.

“Ulysses! You’re done so soon?” Dominimon asked.

“Er, not quite. Lucia, Larraine, Dominimon, and Edmund; we are to meet with the prince and princess of Valencia.”

“…T—the prince and princess?” Lucia asked nervously.

“Indeed. The king and queen spoke to me for a little bit, but it seems their children are the ones who are more in the know about our big job.”

…Wow! I’ve never met royalty before! I hope I’m dressed appropriately for this! Is it inappropriate that my midriff is exposed? Oh, this is so exciting!

“Thank you for looking after my friends while I was away,” Ulysses bowed to Alena.

“Are you all ready to depart?” a Digimon from behind Ulysses asked. I had never seen him before, but he was a tall and knightly Digimon covered in white armor.

“…Omnimon,” Alena said quietly. “It’s rare to see you here…”

“I simply do not wish to leave my lady’s side,” Omnimon said curtly. “Now, then; are you ready? It wouldn’t do to keep my lady waiting.” Edmund, Lucia, Dominimon, and I all exchanged nervous glances.

“Ah, don’t be too worried,” Siebold said. Bits and pieces of mashed potatoes fell from his brow. “The princess is a real sweetheart. It’s Omnimon you don’t want to keep waiting. Trust me; don’t even accidentally piss him off.”

“You vould know,” Pherania muttered under her breath. I sighed a quiet breath of relief, and stood up to join Ulysses and Omnimon. Omnimon looked at all of us, as if looking for someone.

“Where is Apollomon?” he asked. “I was certain he would be coming with you today.”

“…There must be some mistake,” Lucia said. “There is nobody named Apollomon among us.”

“On the contrary,” Edmund said. “He used to be with us. Unfortunately, Apollomon was slain in battle, and reborn as the Coronamon currently partnered with Matthew Kasuto.”

“…I see. That is most unfortunate,” Omnimon said. “Things may have been easier to discuss with Apollomon around.”
“Well, just do your best. I’m sure we’ll all be fine,” Ulysses said.

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto
Lachesis Fortress

“You know…this is a pretty good place you’ve got,” Lira said. “Nice and big. Lots of space to hide stolen goods.”

“Lira, we aren’t a thieving business; we’re mercenaries,” Eleanora said. The two of us sat next to each other across from Lira. The three of us were the only ones in the lounge. “Sure, it would be helpful to have somebody with your particular skills around, but we don’t steal; we help people. We kill bandits. That sort of thing.”

“Yeah, I got it,” Lira remarked. “I was just sayin’ is all…”

“…Well, whatever. Are you ready to go, Matthew?” Eleanora asked.

“…W—what do you mean?” I asked.

“Ulysses partnered you up with Isole, Giselle and Rosemon today.” My heart sank. Giselle was undoubtedly polite and kind, but the thought of being close to a beautiful woman filled me with dread. Isole was just as pretty, but not usually as nice as Giselle.

“Oi, that doesn’t sound like a good idea,” Lira said. “You said your bro’s got a tough time around cute dames. Or…are Isole and Giselle not good-lookin’ lasses?”
“Meh. Not into girls, but I wouldn’t kick ‘em out of bed,” Eleanora shrugged. “Anyway, I’ve got a job assigned for myself with Coronamon and Lunamon, so would you mind going with him, Lira?”

“…Me?!”

Oh, no…not another beautiful girl…

“Yeah. I’d like you to see how things are done; Matthew will do a good job of doing so. Also…” Eleanora hesitated, and looked cautiously around the room. “Giselle isn’t exactly the most responsible person here. Sort of a ditz, really. Isole’s kind of crabby, but she doesn’t do any of the fighting herself. I’d like it if you could keep an eye on my brother for me; you seem like a sensible and cautious young lady.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what; you both sure do know how to dish out the compliments. Even though Matthew hasn’t actually said anything…Well, whatever. I’d be happy to go along.”

“Oh, thank you, Lira,” Eleanora sighed with relief.

“No problem. I may not have a Digimon partner of me own just yet, but I like to think I can handle myself in a fight,” Lira said before turning to look at me. “You ready to go, Matthew?” I felt my face heat up, and I looked steadily down at the floor.

“…Y—yes…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 20 - Seven Days

Ulysses Melchett
Valencia Castle

Omnimon had remained entirely silent while escorting us to the prince and princess. The echoing footsteps of the Exalted Knight and the occasional flapping of his black cape in a breeze were just barely enough to break the awkward silence. As we continued on, I noticed fewer and fewer people coming and going. Suddenly, Omnimon came to a stop, turning around to face us.

“Just ahead of us,” he said, “…is the room where the princess herself awaits your presence.”

“Oh, is the prince not with her?” Larraine asked.

“Wha…O—oh, yes, he’s there too, of course,” Omnimon stuttered. “Now, under no circumstances are any of you display any signs of discourtesy to her — I mean, them. Any such action will grant you a swift and painful execution. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, of course,” I said.

“…Very good. Now, step this way.” Omnimon pushed open a rather tall door and walked in ahead of us. I took a deep breath, and walked in after him. Larraine, Lucia, Edmund, and Dominimon all followed after me without hesitation. Omnimon was off to the side of the room, kneeling and bowing his head. Ahead of us were two Humans; a young blonde girl and a tall brunette man. The girl stepped forward with a pleasant smile on her face.

“Greetings; it is an honor to make your acquaintances,” she said. “I am Micaiah, Princess of Valencia. This man is my brother, Aegolius, Prince of Valencia. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to meet with us today.”

“No, it…it wasn’t a problem for us at all, milady,” I said, trying hard to shake the nervousness from my voice. “We are all deeply honored that you feel that we are the best suited to fulfill the job request you have in mind.”

“Then let’s get down to it, shall we?” Aegolius asked with a noticeable hint of impatience in his voice. “Seven days from now…an incredibly powerful Digimon will once more walk the surface of Arcadia.”

“We don’t know anything about the Digimon, though,” Micaiah said. “We just know that it’s an evil Digimon…and we would like to ask the help of Lachesis in dispatching it. Will…will you do it? I can understand if you wouldn’t want to…”

“We of Lachesis have no intention of ever denying a request given to us,” I said. “However, I would like to have ever piece of information possible that you have to give us regarding the situation. How do you two know of this?”

“…My big brother told me about it,” Micaiah said, looking over at Aegolius.

“I…cannot say how I know of this, nor does it matter,” Aegolius said.

“And yet, your parents do not know,” I said.

“I didn’t wish to bother them,” Aegolius answered quickly.

A little too quickly, I thought. He doesn’t seem to be lying about that Digimon, but he’s keeping something from us…But if I drill him too hard, Omnimon will have us thrown out, or killed…

“Seven days from now is a full moon,” Lucia commented. “Does that have any correlation to the Digimon you speak of?”

“…I…do not believe so,” Aegolius replied. “But…maybe? For all we know — which isn’t much, mind you — it could.”

“If so, then perhaps the Digimon you speak of is of the Garurumon family?” Edmund asked. “Perhaps a WereGarurumon?”

“No…this Digimon is much stronger than anything like that,” the prince whispered. “The Digimon…I don’t have a name, or even what it may look like…but…something came to me in a dream, and warned me about the Digimon.”

“Hmm…Such things are not uncommon,” Dominimon pondered. “The one who warned you of this Digimon; was it the Digimon itself, or an outside source?”

“…I do not know,” Aegolius shook his head.

“Aegolius told me not to go to our parents about it,” Micaiah said. “He said that, because it was a dream, that our parents might not believe us…”

“And that is…all the information that I have for you,” Aegolius said.

“Please…defeat this evil Digimon,” Micaiah pleaded. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt because of that Digimon…”

“…I have one more question for you,” I said. “Do you know where this Digimon will appear?”

“It will be…in Celosia Province. Somewhere…in this province,” Aegolius said. “…I must go. Please, excuse me…” The prince abruptly turned from us and left the room.

“…Um…I’m sorry I don’t have any more information to give you,” Micaiah said once Aegolius vanished around a corner. “And I know less than Aegolius does; I didn’t have the dream that he did…”

“You don’t need to worry about it,” I said. “I swear on my life…we will put a stop to this evil Digimon. We of Lachesis will not allow it to hurt anyone.”

“Wow…T—thank you…for listening to us,” Micaiah said. To our side, Omnimon stood up.

“Very well then. Your mission at this castle is complete,” the Exalted Knight said. “My lady and I shall see you off.” Omnimon and Micaiah led us out of the room and through a large hallway. “And do we have your guarantee that you will be able to stop this Digimon?”

“…Of course…Omnimon,” I said. “But surely, you’ll be there to help us during this crisis?” The Digimon shook his head.

“My place is here at my lady’s side. That is my one and only job, as it has been for many hundreds of years. Unless she asks me to…then help you I won’t.”

“Actually…I’d kind of like it if you would help them,” Micaiah said.

“…No. Unless…there is…” Omnimon hesitated, as if thinking of what to say next. “Unless your own life is in danger, my lady, I shall not move a finger.”

That’s what I figured,” Micaiah giggled under her breath. “I swear, I see him at least fourteen hours every day!”

“…I care not what others may say. My only desire is to protect Micaiah,” Omnimon said.

“My mommy says that you were that way with her when she was around my age,” Micaiah said. “And also, grandma, and—”

“Yes, well, I, uh…I do not think that Lachesis will need any help to defeat this evil Digimon,” Omnimon interrupted. “Apollomon may have died, but he has been reborn. Knowing that he and SlashAngemon are there is more than enough to ease any worries of mine.”

“…Who’s SlashAngemon?” Lucia asked.

“I believe SlashAngemon has died as well, if memory serves,” Edmund said. Omnimon stopped walking.

“…How long ago was this?” Omnimon asked.

“I don’t think any of us were even born yet,” I answered.

“…I see…Then, what about Dianamon? Is she—”

“She was also killed, and later reborn as a Lunamon partnered to Eleanora Kasuto,” Edmund said.

“Was…SlashAngemon ever reborn?” Micaiah asked.

“Not that any of us know of, unfortunately,” Dominimon said. I looked over at the Digimon priest.

“Are you SlashAngemon?” I asked.

“No; I met him several times when he was alive, back when the Order of the Enchantress was still trapped in the Dark Area,” Dominimon answered.

“…The Celestial Vanguard seems to be falling apart,” Omnimon said. “And nobody seems to know where Seraphimon went off to after Lilithmon killed herself nearly one thousand years ago…”

“Don’t you miss your friends, Omnimon?” Micaiah asked. “You should take some time off and go visit—”

“I wouldn’t exactly call them friends, milady; they were simply…in the same group I was in. And in any case, I wouldn’t think of abandoning you for my own selfish pleasure. Not now, and not ever.” Omnimon sighed, and looked up. “…We have reached the exit. You may now depart, members of Lachesis.”

“…Please feel free to visit whenever you want to,” Micaiah said. “It gets lonely without many friends in the same province; my only friends are other princesses from other provinces…”

“I’d be more than happy to visit you,” Larraine smiled. “And…I would be honored to be your friend.” Micaiah’s face brightened.

“R—really? Do you mean that?!” she exclaimed. “Oh, wow…all of the knights, and all of the royal people that I know are always so…formal! I’d love to have a friend who’s actually normal!”

“Well, you can definitely count on everyone at Lachesis to be a friend,” Lucia said. “Although…some of us aren’t exactly what I’d describe as ‘normal…’”
“And you needn’t worry about that evil Digimon, either,” I said. “We’ll all make sure it does no harm to anyone.”

[HR][/HR]
Isole Frost

I lay on my bed, studying three different books’ accounts of an ancient battle. Next to me was an open journal, containing many scribbled notes and observations.

Let’s see…this book says the battle was one on account of Digimon soldiers cornering fleeing enemies at the bottom of a ravine…but this other book says they were all annihilated in that very battle, leaving no soldiers available to escape! How is that possible?! I placed my pencil down and rubbed the sides of my head.
How am I supposed to think of battle and survival tactics if all of my books disagree with each other on how the same battle ended?! Hang on…they disagree, but…they both agree that the battle was won because of the Digimon Kabuterimon…but the Kabuterimon-species Digimon wouldn’t come into existence almost half a century later! How is that…Wait…It’s similar to Kabuterimon, but not quite, and not a MegaKabuterimon, or any of its Mega level forms…Not to mention any Digimon I’ve ever seen before…Is this…a new Digimon species entirely?! Oh, my god! Where is that stupid pencil?! I looked around my bed before realizing that my pencil had rolled underneath me. I fished it out from under my tummy and began writing frantically on a page in my journal. Hm…If it doesn’t have a name, then maybe I should name it…An ancestor to the Kabuterimon Digimon…Old…Ancient…Got it! Primal! PrimalKabuterimon! The sound of a book sliding and falling on my desk broke me out of my trance. I looked up at a clock that hung from my wall.

Almost 2…I’d better get going. Hesitantly, I got out of bed and slid my feet into my sandals. Oh, my god…another mission with Giselle! Why am I always being sent out with her?! I walked out of my room, loudly closing my door behind me before walking downstairs into the lounge. To my dismay, Giselle was already there, happily humming a loud tune to herself. I clenched my teeth, and approached her. Matthew and Coronamon sat nearby. I felt a small portion of my anger leave as I told myself the two would be accompanying me with that loud, pathetic excuse for a living being. Next to Coronamon sat a girl who I had never seen before. She smiled and stood up when she noticed me.

“Good day, then; you must be Isole,” she said as she shook my hand. “The name’s Lira. Eleanora sent me to watch over Matthew on this ‘job’ of yours.”

“…She did, huh?” I glanced at the two. Coronamon nodded and smiled.

Said that Giselle’s sort of a ditz,” Lira whispered. “From what I’ve seen so far, she couldn’t have been closer to the truth.” To my own surprise, I smiled. “I, uh…I’m a thief, but I didn’t come here to steal nothin’! I was just running from a Digimon when those two twins helped me out.”

“…You’re a thief,” I said. “Which means…you have expertise in picking locks and such…correct?”

“Yeah, I know; El told me that someone with my ‘skills’ would be handy to have around,” Lira said. “To be honest, I don’t mind much stickin’ around, least for a little while. I can fight okay against Humans, but Digimon over the Rookie level tend to give me a hard time, so don’t expect me to do any front-line fighting or nothin’.”

“…Lira. Do you wish to join us?” I asked.

“That wasn’t enough of a yes for you? Yeah, I’ll join the group,” Lira laughed. “Reckon I’ll have to speak with yer boss later on, but that’s my plan.” Again, I smiled.

“Thieves are quiet. I enjoy quiet people.” I looked over at Matthew, and blushed a little.
Take it yer not too fond of Giselle, then?” Lira whispered. I shook my head.

“I am, as you know, Isole Frost. I am the group’s tactician,” I said. “For me to best do my job, I need a…quiet environment. In a way, I suppose I could…relate to your line of work, at least in that regard.”

“Heh, yeah. Hard to take gold from a noble when yer constantly yellin’ yer head off,” Lira agreed. “So, what’s the job we’ve got to do?”

“Oh, it’s the usual — bandit hunting,” I said.

“Don’t worry; Rosemon and I will do our very bestest!” Giselle chimed in.

Yeah…I’m sure.
 
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