Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 181 - At Peace

Giselle Alberona



Matthew and Eleanora, along with their partner Digimon, landed on the ground before us. Mia stood at my side with Celtinemon, and not far away, BioNymphmon was still engaged in combat with BioCaturamon. Augustus and his Digimon Spirits were facing down ShadowSeraphimon, along with Statuedramon. For the first time that day, the fight was finally beginning to go in our favor. The angst in my chest finally began to subside, especially with the arrival of the twins. I glanced back up at Sakkakumon; the massive beast had not moved since I or any of the others had left the giant maze of a Digimon; however, nine of his ten spheres had darkened; the final sphere, the top right, emitted an ominous, white glow.

“I guess there really is only one of those dimensional masters left,” I said to myself. “Let’s see…I’m pretty sure only Zelda is left inside of Sakkakumon, right?”

“You ought not remain so calm. In the face of your countless sins, fall to your knees, and pray to the almighty Goddess!” BioCaturamon growled. “But fear not; though your sins number many, the Goddess is all-loving and forgiving! Through much turmoil, your souls may be salvaged from the pit of hell yet!”

“I have heard enough of your ramblings about the Goddess! I shall not stand to have her be slandered in such a way!” Celtinemon screamed. “You speak of her with words laced with false kindness, as if you claim to worship her. But what you say about her is nothing of the sort! You treat her like some vengeful deity who cares nothing for her creations! Arcadia is not a hateful Goddess! She loves all of her creations; Human, Digimon, and the Marked!”

“HAH! The Goddess cares not a whit for any living thing — not the least of which is those Marked scum!” BioCaturamon spat. “My Bio Hybrid form — the Digimon I have become — he has met the Goddess almost 1,000 years ago. His memories of her have become one with mine. And my memory of Goddess Arcadia…is that of a cruel and vengeful bitch!”

“Faerie Divider!” Celtinemon flew out at BioCaturamon, but the Exalted Beast grabbed her blade in his teeth and shattered the cold, glowing steel in between his jaws. BioNymphmon suddenly flew in and fired a Lunar Blast directly in the middle of the larger Bio Hybrid’s face. Bahira was flung backwards by the powerful attack, but quickly bounded back and turned into a massive gavel and slammed himself down on Marissa, pinning her to the ground.

“Celtinemon! Let’s take it to the next level! D.N.A. Charge! Overdrive!”

“Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon! Clear Moon Sky!” BioCaturamon’s gavel form began to glow, and he turned back into his beast form.

“Howl of the Heavens!” A celestial ball of energy formed at the end of Morgannamon’s staff, but as BioCaturamon opened his mouth and began to roar, Morgannamon’s attack vanished. Morgannamon cringed, and the feathers of her wings ruffled themselves, shortly before becoming enveloped in the light of Digivolution and turning back into Celtinemon.

“I-I’m sorry…Giselle,” Celtinemon whimpered through the roar.

“Don’t worry; you did your best,” I said, giving my Digimon partner a kind smile, which seemed to make her feel better.

“Ah, the touching friendship between sisters mercenary,” BioCaturamon sighed. “But, make no mistake; the judgment of the Goddess shall blight out even your mutual love from this world in her righteous fury!”

“Lunar Blast!” BioCaturamon turned around, and BioNymphmon launched a sphere of bright pink energy into the Exalted Beast’s mouth, exploding instantly on impact. BioCaturamon was flung backwards, smoke and blood both pouring out of his mouth and between his sharp fangs.

“CURSE YOU! Goddess’s blood on your accursed heart, wench!”

“Come forth, MegaKabuterimon!” Mia held out a Digimon Talisman, summoning a massive Spirit between Bahira and Marissa. BioCaturamon leapt up, and grabbed MegaKabuterimon’s giant horn in his teeth. The Digimon Spirit tried to shake him off, but to no avail. Finally, MegaKabuterimon slammed his horn onto the ground, and pinned the Bio Hybrid to the ground.

“You poor, twisted soul; corrupted by darkness, you see the Goddess as a being of hatred and evil,” BioNymphmon said sadly. “Let it be by my light that you return to her side, and be accepted by her infinite graces.”

“No…No, wait!”

“Dazzling Gleam!” BioNymphmon’s entire body became enveloped in a bright light; although bright, I had no need to cover my eyes. I too became covered in the light. Its warmth was comforting; I felt all fear inside of me fade away to nothingness. The agony in my heart vanished; the angst in the pit of my stomach settled down. BioCaturamon, however, howled viciously, and began to fade away. “…Poor thing. The Goddess loves us. All of us. Even you…and even someone like ShadowSeraphimon.” BioCaturamon shut his eyes, and lay dead in his Human form, his data vanishing away completely.

“He’s…he’s really gone!” I exclaimed. “Marissa, you did it! You defeated Bahira!” The tiny Bio Hybrid clumsily landed on the ground, and turned back into her Human form, breathing heavily.

“…That…kinda took a lot out of me,” Marissa sighed. “I…I need to rest…for a bit…Sorry…”
Zelda Kasuto


A soft and gentle golden light spilled out onto me. My eyes opened; I lay on the ground on my side. I raised my head, and groggily looked around. Aside from the warm light, there was only pitch-black darkness.

Where am I this time? I wondered. Still inside of Sakkakumon, I knew that much. Gradually, I made myself stand up. Still, I saw nothing. Reluctant to leave this warm and comforting light, I did so anyway. I knew I couldn’t remain still, after all, if I wished to return home. But then suddenly, a row of benches, all facing one direction, materialized in the darkness. What was going on here? I looked closer. The benches that seemed to just pop into existence weren’t simply that; they were pews, like in a church. My heart froze. An ornate podium materialized at the front of the pews. Standing calmly at the podium was none other than my own father, Dominimon.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 182 - Father and Daughter Destiny

Zelda Kasuto



My heart froze. An ornate podium materialized at the front of the pews. Standing calmly at the podium was none other than my own father, Dominimon. The Angel Digimon stepped forward.

…S-Stay calm, Zelda…It…It could be a different Dominimon…It could have started out as an entirely…different Digimon…

“…Zelda, my beloved daughter,” the Digimon said, his voice barely above a whisper.

“No…N-No…”

“Before that man took my life…I never really had the chance to spend much time with you,” Dominimon said. Were I able to see his face behind the steel helm, I knew that he would be smiling. “If I had known I would be forced to leave you, I would have spent as much time as possible with you. No…I would have done something to prevent leaving you, of course…And…I would let you know just how much I love you…Zelda…”

“N-No…why…WHY?!” I screamed. “Why did you have to…”

“Zelda…I’m sorry…I never meant to hurt you,” Dominimon whispered.

“No…not just that…Why…Why did you have to show up inside of Sakkakumon?!” Dominimon looked somewhat taken aback. “I…don’t want to fight you…to get out of here…I’d rather be killed myself than be forced to fight my own father…But I…I have to go back! I have to get back to Lachesis…My friends are waiting for me, and I can’t let them down!”

“Zelda…I’m sorry I never told you about ShadowSeraphimon,” Dominimon whispered. “What he was capable of, and that he was my brother…If I had, then maybe I wouldn’t have…had to leave you. But I never thought that he’d have any need of my DigiCore like this…”

“I know. I-I know…I know how much you love me, father…and I want to tell you how much I love you, and how much I missed you…before I…I…”

“Before you have to fight me.” Hearing the words come out of his mouth struck my heart like the sharpest of swords. Tears dripped down either side of my face, and I nodded my head in response to Dominimon’s statement. Dominimon knelt down next to me, and clasped his hand tenderly over my shoulder. “Zelda…I want you to know, that I could never fight you, as much as you could never fight me. But, it’s as you say; I need to be defeated before you can leave this place.”

“F-F-Father…p-please…don’t…take your own life,” I whispered. “Watching you die once was more than I could bear. I couldn’t…dare…to watch you again. But I…have to, don’t I?”

“Zelda…If that is what you wish…then I shall not do so,” Dominimon said. “You should know…that ShadowSeraphimon foresaw this. The two of us, meeting up like this…He gave me a piece of his darkness.”

“W-What are you talking about?” I asked. Dominimon turned to face me. His Mark, placed at the center of his forehead like Matthew, shone in the light.

“In order to force us to fight, ShadowSeraphimon tainted my DigiCore with his darkness. That way…we can truly fight.” Dominimon stood back up. The darkness of the room seemed to race towards my father, and covered him completely, golden wings and all. “Zelda…let me tell you, one final time, how much I love you…before this side of my mind vanishes completely into the darkness…”

“No…Father, no!!!” A long right arm grew out from the shadows, seemingly made entirely of bone. His golden wings merged, and formed a long, flowing cape. Eventually, the rest of the darkness faded away. My father had turned into a completely different Digimon. “F-Father …?”

“Not…anymore. I am the darkness of ShadowSeraphimon placed into your father’s soul brought to life. My name is Bagramon. People know me as the Sage of Death.”

“No…father…”

“I am not your father, you pathetic sniveling wretch!” With his longer, right arm, Bagramon reached out and struck me across the face. I was sent flying backwards almost two feet, but felt almost no pain when I reached up to feel the wound. It bled, and was undoubtedly a dark shade of red, but still felt no pain.

I guess I just got used to it, from when my mother used to hit me…I smiled. With only his large hand, Bagramon picked me up by my left arm, and placed me back up on my feet.

“Your father…doesn’t exist anymore, princess. And it is by Lord ShadowSeraphimon’s decree that you fall into eternal darkness!” My smile widened just slightly.

…I never thought I’d be thanking ShadowSeraphimon for anything. If it were Dominimon, I don’t know if I could do it. I guess he thought that Bagramon would be just as hard for me. And a younger me might have succumbed. But I’ve changed. Dominimon is…gone. Nothing can change that. And as Bagramon said, he is not my father. I can do this. I will destroy him…and get back home to my friends! That weakling from 500 years ago who used to pathetically stammer in the face of such adversity as this no longer exists; I’m a stronger woman now. I will fight to protect my friends, no matter the cost! “Come forth, Seadramon!”

“Ice Blast!” Bagramon held up his hand, and blocked the attack with ease.

“…I’m a little surprised you chose to fight back, wench,” Bagramon said. “ShadowSeraphimon didn’t think you would. I must give credit where credit is due. But the strength of your Spirits is beyond pathetic!” Bagramon reached and grabbed Seadramon by the neck and tore his head off with a single flick of his wrist. The Spirit tried to fight back, but vanished from sight immediately. It was indeed a gruesome sight that made my stomach lurch, but as a Digimon Spirit, I knew that Seadramon would be okay.

“Okay; one Spirit down…Come forth; Greymon and Dokugumon! Use the combination attack!”

“Poison Thread!”

“Nova Blast!” I smiled. It was a classic, simple combination, but a favorite of ours that we had devised. Dokugumon covered Bagramon in a mass of thread, and Greymon lit it ablaze. Almost immediately, Bagramon was consumed in flames.

“All right, nice work, you two! Okay, Okuwamon! Let’s finish this up!”

“Double Scissor Claw!” The third of my summoned Digimon Spirits rushed out towards the towering Bagramon, and lashed out repeatedly with his sharp, massive claws. Bagramon yelled some unintelligible word or phrase, and slashed Okuwamon with his own claws, instantly defeating the Spirit.

“Savage Cyclone!” From his skeletal claw, Bagramon unleashed a massive windstorm that consumed Greymon and Dokugumon in a dark whirlwind, instantly destroying them as well.

“Jeez…He’s so strong,” I whispered. But then, so was Dominimon…Wait, that’s it! Dominimon!

“Time to say your prayers to the Goddess, princess!” Bagramon growled. “Any final words?”

“…I guess you must think you’re pretty tough, beating up a little girl,” I said slyly. “Gotta say though, you aren’t even close to being as strong as Dominimon. About a fifth, I’d say. Maybe a sixth or seventh. Tenth at most. Pretty weak, really.”

“WHAT?! How dare you?!”

“She dares because she knows it to be true.” It was Mercurymon who spoke, having materialized on his own as he so often did. “Your darkness has made you weak, Bagramon. Dominimon was a strong, powerful warrior! You…are nothing of the sort!”

“…You…YOU WORTHLESS BASTARD! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill ALL of you!!!”

“Go ahead and try, weakling! I knew Dominimon for many a century, and your power does not begin to compare to his! You are a disgrace!”

“Astral Snatcher!”

“Dark Reflection!” Bagramon’s claw reached out and struck one of Mercurymon’s shields. At once, the Demon Lord was struck with a blast of immensely powerful light energy. Bagramon roared in pain, and his arm began to fade away before my very eyes.

“Good riddance…Bagramon,” I whispered gently. Bagramon fell to his knees, and faded away. In his place remained Dominimon. “…F-Father.”

“Zelda…I am…proud of you,” Dominimon whispered. “Thank you…for freeing my soul…”

“…Yes…father,” I whispered. My eyes began to well with tears, but I refused to cry. “I…I love you, father…”

“And I you…my beloved…Zelda,” Dominimon said. “Zelda…I…” I closed my eyes, nodded and smiled, for I knew in my heart that he may be reborn someday. Apollomon and Dianamon were, after all. My sadness faded with the last sight of my father.

“…We’ll meet again someday…Father,” I whispered. The beautiful church shined in a radiant, ivory light. I felt myself being transported from the dimension within Sakkakumon, and out onto the ground of the outside world. I opened my eyes. All of my friends were around me, and that was all that mattered to me. All that remained were ShadowSeraphimon and Sakkakumon. “Mercurymon…let’s do this!”

“To arms, milady!” Mercurymon nodded.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 183 - Rumble Blend

Statuedramon



This is it…everyone’s here! I thought. Everyone who had been trapped inside of Sakkakumon has been freed! We can do this; we can defeat ShadowSeraphimon now!

“Everyone; prepare for battle!” Augustus Maxwell called out. “BlackWarGreymon! Come forth, Beelzemon!” Mia nodded and smiled, summoning the Spirits Aquarimon and BanchoStingmon while Zelda summoned Okuwamon to stand alongside Mercurymon. I Warp Digivolved to my Ultimate level, Seiyaryumon, while at that moment, Karatenmon stepped forward, alongside Celtinemon. ShadowSeraphimon was completely surrounded, but he still did not falter. In fact, he seemed almost thrilled at the current outcome.

“I have escorted the injured members of Lachesis to a safe abode,” I heard Karatenmon whisper to Augustus.

“The injured are the least of your concerns at this moment!” ShadowSeraphimon boasted loudly.

“There is no need to keep up this show of false bravado,” I growled.

“What makes you think it’s just an act?” ShadowSeraphimon asked. “I’m not alone, you know!”

“Yes, a dead Bio Hybrid, and a completely emptied out Sakkakumon; I’d be brave too,” I said sarcastically. ShadowSeraphimon laughed, and from up in the sky, Sakkakumon began to wriggle about violently. “What?! What’s going on, ShadowSeraphimon?!”

“…You’ve forgotten, it seems…Sakkakumon is far more than a labyrinth,” ShadowSeraphimon said. “Sakkakumon is, in and of itself, a living being, as well.” My heart sank. Sakkakumon lowered itself closer to the ground, much smaller than it had been.

“Ah! Master…How good it is to be able to move on my own once more!” Sakkakumon bellowed. “My Lord ShadowSeraphimon, the next time I am to be inhabited by esteemed guests of yours, I do wish you would give me proper warning!”

“Yes, I offer you my apologies, old friend,” ShadowSeraphimon whispered. “I know that storing those DigiCores within you ceases your movement, but I promise, this will be the last time you shall ever need to do such a thing. Because now…you have all the power you will ever need.” Sakkakumon grinned, and began to laugh.

“Yes, yes! Those fools never thought that they would be helping us, did they?!” Sakkakumon asked.

Helping them? No…That can’t be right!

“Permission to show off…my lord?” Sakkakumon asked. ShadowSeraphimon nodded.

“By all means…Show them all the power you have gained from these fools.”

“I won’t let you win! Ivory Blitz!” All of Sakkakumon’s orbs began to coil up and swirl around in the air. My attack was absorbed in one of the sphere’s eyes, and shot right back at me, sending me back down to the ground.

“Prepare for your demise! God Blaze Cannon Reflection!” Sakkakumon revolved around again, and fired another attack from a different sphere’s eye. I rolled over onto my side in time for my body to avoid any direct hits from the golden fireballs, but my wings took several hits in the process.

“No way! That was Morgannamon’s attack! How did Sakkakumon use it?” Giselle asked.

“Is this what…ShadowSeraphimon was talking about?” I whispered to myself.

“While you lot were inside me, fighting against the small army my lord hath gathered, it served two purposes!” Sakkakumon asked. “If you had been defeated by our army, it would have diminished the amount of annoyances standing in our path. But, victorious…your powers used within my worlds, I am able to copy, and use at my leisure. And any other attack used against me, I am able to reflect! None of you stand a chance against the perfection that is Sakkakumon!”

No…this can’t be…

“Everyone! Attack him all at once!” Augustus ordered.

“Terra Destroyer!”

“Double Impact!”

“Goddess Urn!”

“Ivory Blitz!”

“Feather Flare!”

“Shooting Star Sword!”

“Crimson Beast-King Wave!”

“Ice Archery!” Sakkakumon began laughing maniacally, and twisted around once again, absorbing each and every attack fired at him. Grinning directly at me, Sakkakumon revolved once more, and fired all of the attacks back at all of us in every possible direction. I looked around, and saw that while none of Sakkakumon’s reflected attacks directly hit any of my friends, the sheer range kept us all immobile. Sakkakumon grinned, as though this were exactly what he wanted.

“Oh no…Guys, get out of the way!” I called out desperately. “He’s about to use my—!”

“Aurora Force Reflection!” The words rang out, and for a moment, my heart stopped. From Sakkakumon’s mouth, the immense lightning blast of my Sovereign form began charging.

“Damn it!” Spreading my damaged wings as far as I could, I forced myself into the air, and took the brunt force of my most powerful attack. Completely overwhelmed, I was forced back down to the ground in less than a second, flat on my back at my Rookie level once again. “Damn…so…powerful…Stronger than mine…How?!”

“You have been weakened across the span of time, Sovereign!” Sakkakumon said. “Your age is finally catching up with you! You are nothing in the wake of my power!”

“…Maybe…alone, I am…but…I am far from alone!”

“Hah! That may be true, but your friends are even weaker than you! You cannot hope to defeat me!”

Damn it…Hey may be right…But, I still have two more DigiCores left with me! I gave one to Mihiramon to become Baihumon; I still have the Cores of Ebonwumon and Zhuqiaomon. If I could just find their spiritual successors…

“Ice Archery Reflection!”

“Harmony Swords!” Golden swords glistened in the light of the late afternoon sun, striking both relentlessly and elegantly against the fired arrows of gleaming ice fired from one of Sakkakumon’s eyes, striking each arrow just moments after leaving the immense Digimon. “Everyone! Stand tall! If we believe in what we’re fighting for, and we fight for what we believe in, we shall not ever lose!” Karatenmon screamed.

…Hm. An unyielding spirit…and a heart of fire. Looks like I may have found another one…

“Nova Blast Reflection!” Karatenmon swung his sword through the mass of flames shot out at him with ease.

“Karatenmon!” I reached into my shield’s mouth and into the endless abyss within, retrieving the DigiCore of Zhuqiaomon. “Got a little present for you!” The Ultimate looked down at me, and smiled as he saw the Core, glistening as though it were made of flames. “Here, catch!”

“No, not that!” ShadowSeraphimon gasped, alerting Sakkakumon. Karatenmon caught the flung DigiCore, and at once, merged with it. Flames enveloped Karatenmon, and for the first time that day, I saw ShadowSeraphimon shrink back in fear.

“Karatenmon Digivolve to, Zhuqiaomon!”

“No…NO! What the hell have you done, you little bastard?!” ShadowSeraphimon exclaimed. “You’ve unleashed the most savage and brutal of all the Sovereigns…Do you wish to be destroyed as well as us?!”

“No. He doesn’t.” It was the newly evolved Zhuqiaomon who spoke. “To be honest…the flames of my soul are telling me to destroy everything that I see before me. But, Statuedramon trusts me. He trusts me to protect his friends. I don’t know if I have the spirit to meet his expectations, but I shall do whatever is necessary to do my friend proud! Phoenix Fire!” At once, Sakkakumon twisted around in an attempt to absorb Zhuqiaomon’s attack, but the immensity of the flames spewed from Zhuqiaomon’s beak were too much for him to handle, and he was forced back several feet in the air.

“My…word! Such strength…much more than Azulongmon, even!” Sakkakumon gasped.

“Sonic Zephyr!” Zhuqiaomon flapped his massive wings, and immediately, Sakkakumon’s spheres dispersed. I gasped.

That orb…the center orb, the one with no eyes! He hasn’t attacked us from there yet! That must be his weak point! “Zhuqiaomon, there! Strike there! The center orb!”

“Blazing Helix!” At the tips of his four wings, Zhuqiaomon formed a massive swirl of flames aimed at that center orb. Sakkakumon trembled as the flames approached him, and with them, his impending doom. He did everything he could to move, but he seemed stuck in place by Zhuqiaomon’s previous attack. The Blazing Helix struck him, and engulfed him in flames. In an instant, Sakkakumon had died. A clump of ashes fell to the ground at ShadowSeraphimon’s feet.

“And now…the real battle begins,” I said to myself.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 184 - ShadowSeraphimon's Testament

Statuedramon



Sakkakumon had just been slain in battle by Zhuqiaomon. ShadowSeraphimon was now, finally, alone. And this time, he seemed to truly be nervous. Karatenmon, as Zhuqiaomon, alighted to the ground before the Fallen Angel, towering over him. ShadowSeraphimon was completely surrounded. I pulled my sword from my shield’s inner dimension and stepped forward, standing between Augustus and Mia.

“…Things do appear grim…But I shall fight to the bitter end!” ShadowSeraphimon spat. “We, who are the chains who lead to his victory; we chains who constrain our enemies movements, their hopes and dreams; we have all been promised as such. We are all undyingly loyal to our lord and master IceDevimon! And it is by his decree that the world be swallowed up in the dark of night! And so, I shall give even my life to help my lord achieve his goal!”

“ShadowSeraphimon…before we begin, I have a question for you,” I said, talking slowly. “A little while ago…did you pay a visit to a man named Geitz Felgrande?”

“Geitz…? Oh, why, yes, I did, in fact!” ShadowSeraphimon cackled. “The poor bastard was trying to cause a schism within your guild, wasn’t he? And I gave him my powers of darkness to become Duskmon in hopes that he would succeed! But, it turned out to be a waste; in the end, he was killed by Aquarimon. But, at least it wasn’t a complete waste of my time!”

“…What do you mean?” I asked.

“Oh, don’t be so coy, blue Sovereign. I know what you and that old man are planning; you needed Geitz to counter a much greater darkness!” ShadowSeraphimon exclaimed. “But, even if he were to somehow miraculously be brought back from the Dark Area, my darkness has corrupted him far too much to be saved!”

…What a fool. I shouldn’t even bother correcting him…and I should keep it a secret from the others now, anyway. And if anyone can drive the evil from Geitz’s heart, it’s Baez…

“Now, enough talk! Come…and FIGHT ME!”

“As you wish! Phoenix Fire!”

“Shadow Shockwave!” ShadowSeraphimon held out his arm, protecting himself from Zhuqiaomon’s flames with a strong, magical barrier. The Fallen Angel flicked his wrist, and the barrier moved forward and struck the massive Sovereign, forcing him back into the air. “Strike of the Seven Dark Stars!”

“Blazing Helix!” The attacks of the two immensely powerful Digimon collided with a massive explosion of fire and darkness that made the earth beneath us tremble.

“Lunatic Dance!”

“Red Lion Dance!” Crescemon and Flaremon charged forward, but only managed to hit the sides of ShadowSeraphimon’s arms, rather than his body. The Fallen Angel managed to overpower the two Ultimate Digimon, and flung them both to the ground.

“Shadow Excalibur!” ShadowSeraphimon drew two shadowy blades from the armor on his arms, but before he could attack, Flaremon launched a fireball in the shape of a lion’s head, striking the Fallen Angel in the face. “Still have some fight in you, even after fighting your way out of Sakkakumon, I see. Let’s see how long that lasts! Shadow Starburst!” A charge of electricity surged through his shadowy blades, both of which he flung at Crescemon, who only had enough time to look up and flinch as the blades lodged themselves in her upper arms, pinning her to the ground. As her blood began to spill, a look of rage flashed in Flaremon’s eyes.

“RED LION DANCE!” Furiously and erratically, Flaremon began aiming punches at ShadowSeraphimon’s head, but to his dismay and increasing anger, each strike missed. He readied one final punch, but ShadowSeraphimon created another shadow blade and jabbed it into Flaremon’s stomach. The Ultimate roared in pain, and fell to his knees.

“Hey, Flaremon! Stand down! Zhuqiaomon! Go in!” I ordered. “Mia, Zelda, Augustus, ready your Spirit Digimon!”

“N-No!” Flaremon roared.

“Damn it, Flaremon, don’t move around too much! And whatever the hell you do, don’t pull that fucking sword out—!” Flaremon stood back up, and in a single motion, removed the shadow blade from his stomach, and flung it to the ground. “FLAREMON, YOU DUMBASS!”

“Sh-Shut…up!” Flaremon said, staggering towards ShadowSeraphimon on unsteady feet. “I’m doing this…by myself!”

“Listen to your friend, Sovereign Blue,” ShadowSeraphimon said calmly. “If he is so eager to die, then I shall abide by his foolish desires! Strike of the Seven Dark Stars!” Flaremon closed his eyes, bracing himself for the impact of the attack, when a large shield of ice erupted from the ground, taking the brunt of ShadowSeraphimon’s attack. Flaremon opened his eyes, and looked towards Crescemon.

“…Why?” he asked. “Why…did you do that? You shouldn’t waste your energy like that…”

“Why?! You idiot…Why do you THINK I saved your life?!” Crescemon snapped. The blades stuck in her arms became sheathed in ice, and then shattered to pieces, leaving the Ultimate free to move. “You, Flaremon…are a thick-headed, arrogant bastard who thinks he has to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, all on his fucking own! You rush into battles without even thinking about how badly you might get hurt! Like just now; you saw me get hurt, and you…you just rushed in, and you got hurt again, because of me…”

“Crescemon…”

“…But that…that’s also why I love you,” Crescemon said in a small voice. “…You don’t give up on anyone. You would never abandon your friends in the thick of battle…But, you…just don’t care about yourself, at all! And that scares me…It scares me when I think that, one of these days, you’ll get your stupid self killed, and I may never see you…ever again…” Without saying a word, Flaremon walked over to Crescemon, and placed a hand over her shoulder.

“Crescemon…I would never do that to you. From all the time I’ve spent with Mattie and Eleanora, and whenever they speak of their parents, I know how hard it is to lose someone important to you. And I…I won’t ever leave your side, Crescemon,” Flaremon whispered, leaning over to kiss Crescemon on the cheek. At that moment, the two Ultimate Digimon became enveloped in two different colored lights, a bright red-orange for Flaremon and a deep blue-violet for Crescemon. Though different in color, I knew that they were both lights of Digivolution.

…It is time. Our King and Queen are returning…Flaremon and Crescemon both turned to face ShadowSeraphimon, glowing in a much brighter and more powerful light of Digivolution.

“Flaremon Digivolve to, Apollomon!”

“Crescemon Digivolve to, Dianamon!”

…They are here. The true leaders of Lachesis have returned, after so many years…Apollomon and Dianamon looked into each other’s eyes, and nodded. ShadowSeraphimon began backing away from the newly evolved pair, only to back into Zhuqiaomon.

“This is the end for you…ShadowSeraphimon!” the exalted Mega screeched.

“Solblaster!”

“Arrow of Artemis!” With nowhere to run, ShadowSeraphimon simply stood and accepted his fate as the attacks of the two powerful Mega Digimon reached him. Engulfed in fire and ice, ShadowSeraphimon simply vanished.

“…Did that get him?” I asked.

“Yes…ShadowSeraphimon will trouble Lachesis no longer,” Apollomon said. “…Ah!”

“What’s wrong?” Dianamon asked.

“…I just realized…when I became this form, the memories…memories from long ago, waiting to resurface…They’ve come back to me,” Apollomon whispered. “Statuedramon…”

“It’s good to have you back, boss,” I whispered.

“No…I’m back, but I’m no longer your King. That is Flamedramon’s job…At least, for now, it is,” Apollomon said.

“Yes; we are simply members of the guild, like you, Statch,” Dianamon added.

“Like…me…” The words, coming from Dianamon, surprised me, to say the least. She had been one of the most condescending towards me in the old days, but always in a friendly and playful way. Thomas…I hope you’re able to see this right now. This great moment…a great evil has been vanquished by our true leaders…Plus, Dianamon’s no longer a bitch to me. That’s a big plus.
ShadowSeraphimon



“…Ah…that…was close,” I whispered. At the moment when Apollomon and Dianamon’s two attacks hit me, I teleported away, although not as quickly as I would have liked. The tips of my wings began to fade away, although slowly, and my entire body was wracked in pain from their combined powers. I looked up at the dark grey sky of the Black Rose Mountains, and sighed. “I have to get back…to IceDevimon…If I don’t hurry, I…”

“ShadowSeraphimon. Be at ease.” As the new voice spoke, a familiar chill swept through the air, but my heart warmed.

“My lord…IceDevimon…I—”

“Do not fret yourself, ShadowSeraphimon,” IceDevimon whispered, materializing in the sky just a few feet above me. “It is all going according to plan…”

“But…master! Bahira and Sakkakumon have been eliminated! I myself am on the verge of death! How is this going well?!” I asked. IceDevimon grinned. I felt the air around me grow colder and colder. “Master…?”

“ShadowSeraphimon…It is as you said. You are close to death. But still, you are about to perform one final service for your master…”

“How do you…mean? I can’t fight…and what good is a chain who cannot restrict the enemy’s movements, their hopes and their dreams?” I asked.

“My word…So, that’s how you interpreted it?” IceDevimon asked. I said nothing, and stared into the crimson eyes of my master. “I call all of you my ‘chains,’ because that is what you are. You are not chains who restrain the enemy…You are chains that restrain a much greater darkness. With your defeat…that darkness is one step closer to becoming free.”

“Master…?”

“With each of my loyal minions that is destroyed, I am that much closer to achieving my goal. You, ShadowSeraphimon, are the next chain to be severed.” IceDevimon began to lower himself to the ground, as a massive icicle formed in his claw.

“…Master…I…am ready. For you, I would give my life. And I offer it now for the greater good.”

“Thank you, ShadowSeraphimon. You…were a good servant. One of my best…but this needs to be done.” I nodded, and stood up, facing my master one final time. IceDevimon drove the icicle deep into my chest, and pierced my heart. All went dark around me. “ShadowSeraphimon…you now give me your life in a noble act of sacrifice, in the wake of the dark god of time and dimensions. And when he is free…all will be as it should.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 185 - Desert Rose

Larraine



It has been slightly over a week since the defeat of ShadowSeraphimon, and all was exceptionally well in his absence. Of course, it was of a bigger relief to find out that Sparrow had not actually been killed. I had not been able to stop smiling at him or hugging him for the rest of that day; I could not remember a time that I had been happier, knowing a friend that I thought was dead was really and truly alive. And so, with life returning to normal at Lachesis, our worries finally began to decrease. With more and more time to myself, I had decided to take some time off, and travel to the desert province of Cyprus to the south.

“It’s been so long since I’ve seen daddy…Well, my real one, at least; not that stupid old dragon who left me!” I spat, thinking of Statuedramon. I stopped walking for a moment, and took a deep breath in to relax myself. Can’t be in a bad mood when I find daddy, after all! The warm desert sand was soft and comforting, like silk on my bare feet. My home village, Linnea, was finally in sight. I smiled and, hardly able to contain my excitement, I began running the rest of the way to Linnea Village, reaching it in but a few short minutes that seemed an eternity in the process, but at long last, I was home. Ignoring any passersby, I headed straight towards the restaurant that had also served my father’s home. As I came up to it, I saw the faded, painted letters that read “Meramon’s Diner.” I walked in, and immediately spotted Meramon, my father’s younger brother. When I had been found wandering the desert, the younger brother had been only a Candlemon at the time, but by now, he was as tall and almost as powerful as his older brother.

“Larraine! Larraine, dear girl! How are you?” Meramon smiled, that wide familiar smile that was as warm as the flames covering his body.

“Oh, Uncle Meramon, I’ve missed you!” The Champion Digimon and I embraced, and in spite of his flames, I felt no heat; only warmth, a soft and tender warmth. “How’ve you two been? And where’s daddy?”

“We’re both fine, little one; just fine,” Meramon said. “Skull’s in the back, fixing something up for the two of us. You know him; he’ll probably let you have his entire portion if you give him a piteous glance — sad eyes, pouting lip, you know the one.”

“You mean this?” I made the face exactly as Uncle Meramon described.

“Yeah, that’s the one. Skull never could resist that one…”

“Oh, but I would never just steal daddy’s food like that! Could you imagine just how big I’d get if I did that every single day?” I giggled.

“Ah, but you’ve got the Mark, right? It’s hard for you to find enough food to eat,” Meramon said, speaking in a more subdued voice.

“Yeah, I know; trust me, I’ve tried. But still, I’m just a scrawny little thing, no matter how much I eat; just bony and hungry…”

“Jeez, don’t they feed you over at that mercenary guild?” Meramon asked.

“Of course they do, silly! They’re all so nice to me up there! Didn’t you ever read the letters I sent to daddy?” I asked.

“Well, of course; I miss you as much as he does,” Meramon said. “Still…I’m a bit surprised you decided to join that guild in the first place; you hate seeing people get hurt. I can’t imagine that it’s easy for you…”

“Oh, well, I’m not actually a mercenary myself; I’m a dancer! I just dance at the guild hall, and that ups everyone’s morale! Oh, I just love seeing everyone’s smiling faces while I’m dancing; it makes me so happy…”

“Ah, that explains it. I figured that’s what you’d do, with all those lessons you took in your childhood. Never thought it’d get you in a mercenary guild, though.”

“Well, that doesn’t have much of why I joined the guild in the first place,” I said. “I haven’t even told daddy this story yet, but…”

~~~​

It was dark, and rainy. Obviously, I wasn’t in the desert province anymore — it never rains here, obviously. Let’s see…I think it was Celosia Province? Anyway, it was night, and raining; mist covered the ground. There were a few street lights lighting the area, and I was just skipping down the block, when suddenly, someone reached out and grabbed my arm from behind. I didn’t know this at the time, but the man who grabbed me was a man named Barbossa, the leader of the Thanatos bandits. I knew immediately what he had planned when I saw his face. I screamed, and he forced me to the ground, on my stomach. It was at that moment that a woman passing by — my dear friend, Lucia Delbray, and her partner Digimon Mihiramon — came and tried to stop the man from…well, you know. Then, there was some kind of weird, bright blue light, and suddenly, the bandit Barbossa lay on the ground, with almost half of his body torn off, bleeding. I don’t know what really happened just then, and Lucia says she doesn’t know. Anyway, because those two tried so hard to save my life on that night, I decided that I would have to repay them somehow, so I decided to join them and their mercenary guild and help them with the only skill I had at my disposal — my dancing.

~~~​

“…So, that’s what happened…” The unmistakable, gravelly voice of my father spoke warmly and sadly.

“Daddy!!!” Turning around, I jumped instantly into the arms of my father, SkullMeramon, leaning against the closed door to the restaurant’s kitchen.

“Oh, my little desert rose; why didn’t you tell me something that horrible almost happened to you?” SkullMeramon whispered, placing his large arms around my tiny body.

“Daddy, I didn’t want you to worry about me,” I whispered back. I smiled, feeling myself grow sleepy in his warmth.

“Well…I’m just glad to see you, especially seeing you so happy and safe as you are now, my sweet Larraine…”

“Oh, I just remembered; you once told me about that guild when I was little, right?” I asked. “The mercenary guild Lachesis?” SkullMeramon immediately smiled.

“Ah, now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. Yes…Not too long before I found you, little one, some mercenaries from that guild saved me and my little brother when he was a Candlemon and I was only a Meramon. A swordsman named Thomas, and a Summoner named Zelda—”

“No WAY! Auntie Zelda saved you?! I don’t believe it!” I exclaimed.

“Ah, then she still remains in the guild?” SkullMeramon asked. “Yes, it was her Spirit, Gallantmon, who saved me and Candlemon from one of Etemon’s attacks.”

“There was another one with them, remember, older brother?” Meramon asked.

“Ah, yes…A Digimon called Statuedramon.”

“…What?!”

“Have you met with him as well, darling? He’s sure to still be at the guild as well,” SkullMeramon asked. My eyes narrowed, and I pulled myself away from his embrace.

“That old bastard…I’ll never forgive him!” I head Meramon gasp; I hardly ever swore, and never insulted anybody, so I could understand his shock.

“…What did he do, darling?” SkullMeramon whispered.

“That monster…He…He’s my REAL father, apparently,” I snapped. “But, he left my mother before he even knew she was pregnant with me. He didn’t even know that she died trying to take care of me, and that I was forced to live in that horrible church with Sephyrus, only to be thrown out to the desert winds. If it weren’t for him…I wouldn’t have ever had to suffer all of that! I won’t ever consider him my real father! That’s you, SkullMeramon! YOU’RE my daddy!”

“Oh, Larraine…”

“…I’m sorry, daddy; I didn’t mean to yell at you,” I said, wiping a few stray tears from my eyes.

“Here, darling; why don’t you have a little something to eat and feel better?” SkullMeramon asked. I nodded silently, and began to smile once again.
Statuedramon



“…Now then, with ShadowSeraphimon out of the way, I have a vague idea of who will be ordered to be deployed next,” Reapermon said. He and I, along with Abigail, Flamedramon, Zelda, and Isole, sat in the archive room of the fortress, surrounded by many books and records that lines the walls. “…His name is Horusmon.”

“Wait, HIM?! He’s come back from the dead, too?!” I asked. “Jeez, first Lucemon, then Daemon said that DeathPhantomon was back, and now Horusmon, too?!”

“Also…someone else,” Zelda whispered. “When we were in Shendu Territory, I saw a bright light…It was from Generalmon.”

“Generalmon?! Are you certain?!” I asked.

“He kidnapped me and held me prisoner in his tower, remember? I’d never forget that damn color. It was Generalmon; I’m certain of it,” Zelda said firmly. “I…I didn’t say anything earlier about him because I felt that he wasn’t a threat at the time. Generalmon is smart; I have no doubt that he knew we were there. And obviously, if he were going to fight against us, he’d have attacked us countless times by now. He’s alive, and he knows where we live, and it’s been over two months since we were last in Shendu. He’s not against us; I know it.”

“…You’re right,” I muttered. “Remember his dying words? He was utterly devoted to one of Luna’s ancestors. It wasn’t until his dying moments that he realized that Luna actually was one of her descendants. But now, he knows…None of Luna’s descendants may be here anymore, but there is no way he’d want to sully her memory any more than he’d want to by fighting against us.”

“But, then…does that mean we can necessarily count on him as an ally?” Flamedramon asked.

“…I believe so. Even when he had sworn loyalty to Lilithmon, I don’t think he was ever truly evil. He was…hurting. Grieving. He didn’t know what else to do to get rid of the pain he felt over losing Celina. But, now that Lilithmon is no more, he wouldn’t have anywhere else to go,” Zelda said. “As I said before, if he were still our enemy, then he’d have attacked us by now. The fact that he hasn’t says to me that he at least regrets his previous actions, and no longer means to stand in our way currently.”

“I agree with Zelda; I could tell how much he cared about that woman back when we killed him in Mandala all those years ago,” I said.

“…Very well, then. I’ll try to refrain from burning him when next I see him,” Flamedramon muttered.

“John, darling, must you be so…edgy all the time?” Abigail asked.

“I can’t help it. He kidnapped Zelda, remember? I can’t forgive him for that,” Flamedramon said in a quiet voice.

“You know I can’t either, but if he truly is an ally, then we must accept him as one,” Abigail whispered to her husband, wrapping her arm around one of his.

“I suppose…”

“I’ve not yet heard the name Generalmon before this conversation,” Reapermon added. “Therefore, I believe there is a good chance that, whoever he may have been in the past, he is not an enemy right now. If he was, then I likely would have known of him before now.”

“That’s a good point,” I mused. “Now, what were you saying about Horusmon?”

“Ah, yes; well, as I said, Horusmon has been reborn. Now, you know his story, do you not?” Reapermon asked.

“Yes; something about being cursed by the gods for abandoning Anubismon,” I replied.

“Yes…well, they aren’t quite ‘Gods’ in the same sense as Goddess Arcadia, mind you, but rather a certain circle of Digimon who live in the desert region. The thing is; Horusmon was reborn, and accepted by them once more.”

“What?! Why would they do a stupid thing like that?!” I exclaimed.

“Well, it is to my understanding that they believe Horusmon to be cleansed of all evil, having been defeated and reborn from a Digi-Egg. But honestly, I have my doubts about that one…”

“I sure don’t blame you,” I spat. “…It was during Horusmon’s last battle that I first became Azulongmon. He mentioned something about me being someone’s servant. At the time, I didn’t know what he meant. But now…” I closed my eyes. Baez…he was talking about you, wasn’t he. My old master…

“Do you think we should go? To the desert?” Flamedramon asked. Reapermon lowered his head and sighed quietly, lost in deep thought.

“…The Digimon of that desert group, formally known as the Royal Order, hold the utmost faith in their reborn ally, much to Anubismon’s rage. If we go, we should obviously make ourselves known to the Order, for they are most definitely an ally to us. If we go unannounced and attack Horusmon, they might see us as an enemy. But, more importantly, we need to decide why we are going, what it is we should accomplish while there, and how long we ought to be gone on this outing,” Reapermon concluded.
Larraine



The sky was a lovely, dark violet rimmed at the horizon with a bright pink tint along its edge. “Ah…now this is the life! Beautiful night sky, cool desert breeze, and all that yummy food in my tummy! I could get used to this!” I raised my arms up above my head and stretched; a small wind wafted by, rustling my dress and sashes. I squeezed the cool, silky sand between my toes, and relaxed, leaning against the front of daddy’s restaurant. Several stars twinkled in the sky, further enhancing its beauty. I smiled as I spotted the constellation of Leomon, the first one that Meramon pointed out to me in my youth. Having then read about Leomon later on, that Digimon inspired courage into me, which was hard to do with all that had happened; it was partially because of the constellation’s legend that I felt that I should join Lachesis.

“…That hair, blue as a midday’s sky…I’d know it anywhere…” I suddenly became alert at the sound of the new voice.

“W-Who’s there?!” I asked, failing to hide any fear I felt at that moment. “I-I’m warning you, my daddy is an Ultimate-level Digimon! If you touch me, he’ll burn you to the ground!”

“Oh, my dear, I’ve not come to bring harm to you. No, those days are long, long gone, my dear…”

“W-Who…are you?” I asked. The voice was slightly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it.

“And look at you…you’ve grown and matured into such a beautiful woman. Yes, truly you are the treasure of your guild.” A man stepped forward from the shadows. My heart lurched; had there been any room left in my stomach, my heart would have plummeted downwards. That long raven hair, a seemingly-gentle smile, and those dark robes. I clenched my fists, but drew away from him.

“…Sephyrus!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 186 - The Royal Order

Statuedramon


“…So much to figure out,” I whispered to myself.

“Yes; but, let us just focus on one thing at a time. Why should we go and meet with the Royal Order in the first place?” Reapermon asked.

“Well, to deal with Horusmon, right?” Abigail suggested.

“Yes, but how do you propose we go about doing that?” Reapermon asked. “This ties in with the why, in a sense. We need to figure out what we’re going to do when we get to the desert.”

“We can’t blatantly attack him on sight, as you said,” Zelda said. “Hm…Who’s the leader of the Order?”

“I believe it is a Digimon called GodPhoenixmon,” Reapermon said. “Rumor has it that he was alive when even Arcadia herself was still young.”

“…I…vaguely recall speaking to him once,” I whispered. “My memory’s still a little hazy from those days, but they’re there…He’s a very understanding Digimon, but also very protective of his friends. We’ll have to be careful…”

“So, we go to the desert and find Order, and express our worries about the presence of Horusmon?” Reapermon asked. “I think…it would be best to avoid speaking with Anubismon alone; he’s too wary of Horusmon and almost hostile. It would look suspicious on our part.”

“Agreed; we should seek out this GodPhoenixmon first, if we can,” Flamedramon concluded.

“…Should we talk to Horusmon himself?” I asked. “Maybe not see him alone, but if we went to see him, we could see how he really is; to see if he is redeemed or not.”

“No…I know he is not,” Reapermon said. “I heard from ShadowSeraphimon that Horusmon is still with them…”

“So, why do we not go directly to him and fight him?” Flamedramon asked. “If you have proof, then even GodPhoenixmon would be understanding, correct?”

“…No…He would want obvious proof, not the murmurings of some dead evil Digimon,” I said. “He would need to see Horusmon doing something with his own eyes, or hear it from one of the other members of the Order. That’s the kind of Digimon he is.”

“So then, are we not simply going there to spy on Horusmon, in that case?” Reapermon asked. “That hardly seems an apt reason to visit the Royal Order.”

“Well, if they are our allies, it makes sense that we would have to visit them at some point regardless,” Abigail said.

“You make an excellent point,” Reapermon agreed. “We go to visit them, and voice our concerns about Horusmon while avoiding meeting directly alone with either him or Anubismon. Sound good?”

“Yes; I don’t think the amount of time we spend there is as big of a concern for right now,” Flamedramon said.

“Now…who should go?” I asked.

“I think Larraine is already in the desert; said something to me earlier about wanting some time off,” Flamedramon said. My heart sank. I had a feeling that she was going to see Meramon; she had told me that she viewed him as her father, and not me.

“And you, Statch; you were the only one able to defeat Horusmon, so I think you should go, too,” Flamedramon continued.

“…Oh. Well…I think…you guys can handle this yourself,” I said, avoiding eye contact with everyone in the room.

“You’re not coming with us?” Zelda asked.

“…It’s because Larraine is there,” Abigail whispered.

“I…well, you know what she said; she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. She…she said she doesn’t think of me as her father. It…hurt…when she said that, but…it’s the truth. She doesn’t want me around her.”

“But, Statch, if it ends up that we have to fight Horusmon, and you aren’t there to fight him…” Reapermon’s voice trailed off.

“Baihumon can do it; he’s a Sovereign too, you know,” I whispered. “Also, Zhuqiaomon. If we can find him—”

“Mihiramon has only become Baihumon once, Statch, and that was only to fight Piedmon, who obviously was weaker than Horusmon,” Flamedramon said.

“Well, what about Zhuqiaomon?” I asked.

“Again, Karatenmon only became him once, and that was only to fight a weaker Digimon,” Flamedramon said. “Besides, we don’t even know where Augustus and those guys went after ShadowSeraphimon died. You’ve got to come with us. I…don’t think I could handle him by myself. I know you could…Sovereign.” I sighed. This was so like Flamedramon, trying to appeal to my sense of duty.

“…Okay. But if Larraine yells at me, I’m putting the blame on you, ‘boss!’” I huffed. And so, it was decided that Zelda, Flamedramon, Abigail, Edmund, Reapermon, Sparrow, Hawkmon, Lucia, Mihiramon, Isole, and I would travel to the desert.
Larraine



“…Sephyrus!”

“Ah, you remember me? Truly, I am flattered,” Sephyrus said, speaking in his usual gentle voice. My heart raced with fear. I was about to call for daddy and Uncle Meramon, but Sephyrus held out a hand to stop me. “Please, my dear, I mean you no harm — although, I do not doubt that you have feelings of anger upon seeing me still alive. But, I do assure you, I am neither willing nor able to harm you any further.”

“You…What…are you…What the hell are you doing here?!” I screamed.

“Ah, an interesting question…You see, I’ve nowhere to go. No place to call home. No reason to be here, there, anywhere…”

“Then, why are you HERE?!” I asked.

“As I told you, my dear…I’ve no place to remain, no place to go. I wander this grand world, and observe all there is to see of our Goddess’s wondrous creation and world,” Sephyrus said calmly.

“Oh, like you care about anything like that!” I snapped. “…Tell me. Why did you throw me out into the desert and leave me to die, huh?! Why…WHY?!” Sephyrus’s smile faded, and turned to a sad frown.

“I was given orders to. Nothing more. My mistress asked for me to empty Cyclamen City of all its inhabitants in search for quintessence. You…know what that is, do you not?”

“A little bit…The…life essence stuff of Humans and Digimon, right?”

“Precisely, my dear. My mistress sought such a substance to lengthen her life. By ridding Cyclamen’s citizens of their lives, I was able to bring their quintessence to my mistress, and she…well, she was eternally grateful to me, naturally.”

“You…you did all that just to extend your own selfish lives?!” I screamed. “You sent me out to the desert…”

“So that I would not have to kill you on my own,” Sephyrus said quietly.

“Th-That…You…”

“Well, I admit that, at the time I made my decision, I didn’t sense much quintessence within you, and I wished to end your…at the time, your annoying screams. But as I grew older, I came to realize why I spared you. It would’ve been easy for the bandit who found you to crush your skull. But, I simply had him toss you into the desert winds. I didn’t want to see a young life die before my eyes.”

“You…Fine, say whatever the hell you want! Don’t ever expect any forgiveness for what you did!”

“Oh, my dear, I would never be as stupid as to expect such a thing. Long have I been awaiting for the Goddess’s judgment to smite me from this earth as I so deserve; obviously, to do so on my own would be a selfish indulgence on my part,” Sephyrus said. “If you would like, my dear…you’ve every right to take my life in retribution for my sins. Would you care to—?”

“NO!!!” I screamed. “…No. I…am not a killer. I am not YOU! I would never take the life of another living thing! I could never…NEVER…do that…”

“Larraine…you are as kind-hearted as you were when we first became acquainted,” Sephyrus whispered softly.

“Well, I wish we’d never met!” I snapped. I turned away from the man and walked away. A bizarre vibration on my wrist stopped me. It was a slim, bracelet-shaped device recently developed by Andromon for long-distance communication for our guild members; Andromon had given it to me just before I left. “…What is it?”

“…raine…Can you…me?” It was Lucia. “Larraine! Can you hear me? Are you there?”

“…Yeah, I’m here. What do you want?” I asked. I could feel Sephyrus looking at me speak to my wrist, but I tried my best to ignore him.

“Are you okay?” Lucia asked. “You sound a little mad…”

“It’s nothing. Now, what do you want?” I asked again.

“A few of us are heading out to Cyprus Desert to a village called Myrta — it’s not too far away from Linnea. We’ll meet you there, okay?”

“…Okay. I’ll be there soon.” I had been to Myrta around three times before — it was a famous desert resort with some of the greatest food I had ever eaten — not that I was all too hungry following the immense meal I gorged myself on.

“Ah, so you are going to Myrta? How wonderful!” Sephyrus exclaimed.

“Who’s that?” Lucia asked. “Is there someone with you, Rainy?”

“No, it’s nobody. Why Myrta?”

“Something about some Royal Order, I think…? I don’t quite recall the name, but I think that was it…”

“Okay; I’ll ask you about it when we get there,” I said. “…Seeya later.”

“Okay, bye!”

“So, you’re visiting the Order?” Sephyrus asked.

“Not that it’s any of your business…but yes, I am.”

“Excellent! I shall accompany you.”

“You will NOT!”

“Ah, but you see, I had plans to speak to their leader, GodPhoenixmon. And you, my dear, are incapable of combat, is this not true?”

“…It…is, but—”

“Then, all the more reason to accompany you. Bandit attacks are common in the desert — likely my own fault — but were you attacked unescorted, it could prove to be disastrous.”

“Oh, yeah, I’d miss out on the chance to have you use me as a Human shield. Fuck off!”

“Larraine…I will be accompanying you, whether you desire my presence or not. And I will speak with GodPhoenixmon of my own volition — again, whether you like it or not. Now, let us proceed.”

“…Ugh! Fine! Let’s get this over with!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 187 - Missing Ache

Larraine



It had been a short walk — no more than twenty minutes — from Linnea Village to Myrta, and for the most part, it had been a silent one, much to my relief. Sephyrus had said not a word as he followed me through the desert. Had he uttered a single world, I likely would have popped him in the nose, more likely harming myself more than Sephyrus, and having a broken hand is not something I wanted at the moment. I knew he was still behind me, though, and every time I heard him breath, I could feel my rage grow.

However, as I saw the bright colors of Myrta that I had not seen in many years, the multicolored flames of candles, the shimmering golden sands, the pure white stars in the dark violet skies, I felt my angst fade away. Though midnight, many Humans and Digimon, even children, walked the sandy streets with joy on their shining faces. I walked on, aware that Sephyrus was still following me, and found the outdoor bar I had found during my previous visit, roughly thirty years ago.

“…Is there something specific you desire from this place?” Sephyrus asked. Even his voice irked me — that smooth, calm, silky voice, that long flowing raven hair, that perfect smile, and those glittering eyes filled with knowledge and patience, it was then that I realized that he was actually a very lovely man; beautiful and elegant, almost like a woman, but he was still not without a certain manly frame underneath his priest’s robes, his shoulders in particular.

N-No, wait! Damnit, where are these thoughts coming from?! “I need a drink…”

“Well, I’ve plenty of money. Please, drink to your heart’s content, my dear.”

“…Okay.” I was suddenly a little nervous; I’d never had a drop of alcohol before in my life. But, I’d often heard Ulysses say the phrase multiple times whenever he was stressed out, and I knew without a doubt that I was most certainly stressed. The bartender smiled and handed me a large, ornate glass almost half the size of my head, undoubtedly a fancy bauble to please the multitude of tourists. Inside was a bright red liquid that smelled quite fruity, and I immediately felt my hunger return at the smell.

“…Is there a problem?” Sephyrus asked. “You…desired a drink, did you not?”

“Yeah, I did!” Without another moment’s hesitation, I lifted the glass and chugged the entire drink.
Statuedramon



Stars began to fade away in the pale lavender sky as the sun inched its way up the eastern horizon. It was odd, but Myrta actually began to fade away with the stars, and the people went to sleep alongside them, for the most part. Still, there was a good number of people out and about, considering the time.

“It’s almost six in the morning; Larraine should’ve gotten here ours ago, even if she stopped to rest,” Flamedramon said. I grunted in acknowledgement to the other Digimon’s words, and said nothing else.

“I told her to wait for us at the motel,” Lucia mused. “Although, I never did get a response from her…”

“Probably because she knows I’m coming,” I whispered. “Probably hiding, no doubt…”

“Well, Statch, if it’s any consolation, she’ll probably be too pissed off at you to say anything,” Mihiramon suggested.

“Mihiramon, shut up!” Lucia hissed.

“Hey, I’m just givin’ the facts; you told me what she said to him. Sounds like she won’t want to say another word to her old man,” the lumbering Ultimate said casually.

“Well, in some ways, that does make me feel better, I guess,” I said quietly. “Just…forget about it, okay? Whatever happens, happens. Nothing more, and nothing less…”

“Oh, I think it’s a lot more than less,” Abigail said, trying but failing to conceal her laughter as she looked over at an outdoor bar. “Oh, Statch, looks like your little girl found herself a gentleman caller!” I groaned. I looked up, and saw the others walking over to the bar, muttering amongst themselves; all but Zelda and Reapermon, that is.

“…Goddess, has that girl been drinking?!” Flamedramon asked. “Looks like she’s about to fall off her stool laughing…”

“No way! I’ve never seen her drink a drop of alcohol from the time I’ve known her!” Lucia laughed.

“Ooh, this ought to be good,” Mihiramon said.

“Wonder how this’ll affect her dancing?” Sparrow mused. “A drunken dancer; should be a hell of a show…”

“Doesn’t look like she’ll be able to stand longer than two damn seconds; that hangover’s going to be hell for her,” Isole said, hardly trying to conceal one of his rare grins. I looked down and clenched my fists.

“…It shouldn’t have to be this way,” Zelda whispered, speaking out loud the words I had often thought. “I…can understand her dislike of you, if I may be honest. I was in her place with Dominimon, remember?”

“…Yeah. How…did you ever bring yourself to forgive him?” I asked. “You…probably had it worse than she did. She was abandoned by Sephyrus and left to die, but it seemed like she had a pretty good life when Meramon found her…”

“To be honest…I’m not really sure how I was able to forgive Dominimon. I mean…I was never truly angry with him in the first place. I guess…Larraine, in her own eyes, has a father figure in Meramon, so apart from you leaving her in the first place, she may also see you as trying to take Meramon’s position as her father, biological or not. As for me…I never had that kind of person in my life. The closest I ever had was probably Apollomon, but he was more of a boss, you know…? I…I’ve never had a father figure before. Dominimon never had to steal anybody’s position.”

“So…because of Meramon, she still hates me?”

“Well, I’m sure there’s more to it than that, Statch,” Reapermon said. “…Zelda and I both want to help you, but I—”

“No. This isn’t a situation that wants to be helped. So…let’s just leave it at that,” I said firmly.

“And let me give you my first bit of advice. You saying things like that…it’s just another way of you walking away from her,” Reapermon said. “Statuedramon, listen to me; don’t do this to her again. Don’t leave her. It may take a while — maybe even a hundred years. But you can make this work. You can, and you will. You obviously have the time, and I know you have the…charisma to win her over. Just give it time, Statch…”

“…Thank you.” And then, Abigail’s voice yelled the four words that stole away my newfound joy.

“SEPHYRUS?! What the hell are you doing here?!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 188 - Dual Sympathy

Abigail Luxord



“…I never thought that you were still alive, after all this time,” I whispered. I had conflicting feelings about seeing Sephyrus again; the last time I saw him, we were allies, regardless of the fact that I had abandoned him and the other Bio Hybrids soon after. He was an easy man to talk to, though I always worried how he would react when he found out that I had sided with Lachesis. He knew of my Mark, and he didn’t treat me any differently, which was rare for me at that time in my life.

“Abigail…I’m happy to see you have been accepted by them,” Sephyrus whispered calmly. A nearly unconscious Larraine had her arm slumped around his shoulder, helping her to stand up. Larraine, meanwhile, had a drunken, silly grin plastered on her blushed face. “They are a truly wonderful guild; I’m glad you’ve found a place where you can be happy, my dear…”

“Y-You knew?” I asked.

“I had a feeling; and then I saw you with Flamedramon, which confirmed my suspicions. Not to mention the ring on your finger.” Sephyrus smiled and, looking over at Edmund, added, “I’m sure your son loves you deeply, my dear.”

“How do you know he’s our son?” Flamedramon asked. “…Am I going to have to burn your ass again?”

“He was always good at figuring these things out back when we worked for Lilithmon. It’s like he’s like a mind-reader,” I said.

“Would that I were, my dear; I am simply skilled at reading people,” Sephyrus said gently. “And…I can see the kindness of Abigail’s eyes within the eyes of their progeny.”

“…I must say, of the stories I’ve heard of you…You aren’t entirely what I expected, Sephyrus,” Edmund said.

“Few things in life rarely are what we expect of them,” Sephyrus explained.

“So, um…what are you doing here, Sephyrus?” I asked. “And, why…is Larraine with you…?”

“Don’t worry; if we have to fight, I’ve got you all covered!” Isole snapped.

“Oh, you needn’t worry about my intentions, my dear. I simply ran into her in Linnea,” Sephyrus said, readjusting Larraine’s weight around his neck.

“Yeshh…he…he’shh…he’shh here wif me now cuzh of banditsh,” Larraine said in a slurred voice.

“What bandits?!” I asked.

“Oh, it was simply a concern of mine; I feared it as a possibility for a lone woman wandering alone in a place like Cyprus Desert to be attacked by desert brigands,” Sephyrus said. “That is why I have decided to accompany her, for the time being.”

“Yes…ever since the death of Barbossa, their numbers seem to have scattered all across Arcadia,” Flamedramon mused.

“But…why is she drunk?” Sparrow asked.

“She…well, she said to me that she was feeling stressed — due to my presence, of course — so, she desired a drink. I…can only assume she has never had an alcoholic beverage before in her life; she’s only had a single glass.”

“I’ve never seen her drink, no,” Lucia replied, taking Larraine from around Sephyrus’s shoulders. “Larraine? Are you okay, dear?”

“Ohh, yeah, I’m…hic…I’m gooood,” Larraine said, giving the taller woman a smile. “Oh, yeah…Shephyrush ish shtill a…a…shtill a butthole…but I…I’m good. Yeah…”

“Sephyrus…I was told that Thomas defeated you 500 years ago,” I said. “How did you survive that battle?”

“It was thanks to the quintessence I had gathered alongside Lilithmon,” Sephyrus continued. “I never would have imagined, though, that a simple Human would be enough to destroy my Bio Hybrid form.”

“You can’t transform anymore? Guess you aren’t a threat after all,” Flamedramon said.

“Quite so; Thomas destroyed Premenitmon on that day, and I myself am untrained in true combat. At least, not fully. I know enough to have been able to protect Larraine from any bandit attack, but beyond that, I fear I’d have been quite useless to her.”

“You’d claim to protect her…after abandoning her in the desert?” I turned around; it was Statuedramon who spoke.

“…It has been a while…Statuedramon,” Sephyrus whispered. “You…are her father, no…?”

“Yeah…only found out about it just recently. But, I abandoned her, too…and that’s why she hates me.”

“…Your guild came here to speak with the Order, did it not?” Sephyrus asked.

Why change the subject? I thought. Guess he really isn’t a bad person after all. “Yeah…you guys can go on ahead; I have a few things I wanted to talk to Sephyrus about,” I said.

“…I understand, my dear.”

“Are you sure about this?” Flamedramon whispered.

“Yes…I…for right now, I trust Sephyrus. He can no longer transform, and I can. Even if he is still our enemy, I’ll be safe,” I said.

“…Fine,” Flamedramon spat in a reluctant voice. “I know better than to argue with you when you’ve made up your mind.”

“I swear on my life, Sir Flamedramon, that no harm shall come to Lady Abigail.”

“…She’s stronger than that,” Flamedramon said, turning his back to the two of us.

“This village lies on the border of the desert close to Cyprus Wasteland; quite literally, actually. It is in the wasteland part of this village that you will find the Royal Order,” Sephyrus said.

“…Okay. Got it. Um…thanks, I guess,” Flamedramon whispered. I glanced over my shoulder, and watched Flamedramon, Edmund, Lucia, Mihiramon, Sparrow, Hawkmon, Isole, Zelda, Reapermon, Larraine, and Statuedramon walk into the distance, toward the edge of the Cyprus Desert. I turned back to Sephyrus, and looked into his deep black eyes.

“…Well? What is it that you wish to know, my dear?” Sephyrus asked.

“It…it’s about quintessence, actually,” I said. “What…is it, exactly? I was never sent to find any — not directly, at least. What is it?

“In every living person there is an energy called quintessence. It is a person’s spiritual energy, or life force. The stronger the person, the more quintessence. Lilithmon needed the quintessence to create the Bio Hybrids I told her about. Eventually, she found a way to transfer the energy from a living being into her own body. To do this, a person had to be murdered. Lilithmon then sought to gather quintessence. Her first few Bio Hybrids were failures. However, by experimenting on me, she gained a great knowledge of Human anatomy. Her Bio Hybrids became nearly invincible, indestructible. However, she only created them to help her gather more of it for herself…so she could achieve immortality.”

“But if all of this happened over one-thousand years ago, then how are you still alive? You are no longer a Bio Hybrid, and you haven’t got the Mark…”

“As I said, I allowed Lilithmon to experiment on me. She placed the blood of a Digimon in me. Time is nothing to me now.”

“Don’t you…age?”

“Oh, I do age…just very slowly. I am cursed to walk Arcadia for centuries yet.”

“…I see.”

“Oh, my dear, you needn’t be so sad on my behalf. I have sinned…and this is my punishment.”

“But…how could I not feel sorry for you?! You…”

“Abigail…you are a very kind woman. But, your kindness is wasted on me. I do not deserve it, and you know it.”

“B-But…that…that’s all in the past! Sure, you’ve done some bad things, but you aren’t a bad person! I know you aren’t!”

“…How do you know for sure?” Sephyrus asked.

“Because…Flamedramon told me what he thought were your final words. You had failed Lilithmon…You loved her. And you cried…because you couldn’t be with her anymore…”

“…Abigail…”

“Please, Sephyrus…don’t keep beating yourself up like this! You’re good, I know it!” I said firmly. “…As the wife of the current master of Lachesis…I hereby invite you to join our guild, Lachesis.”

“…W-What…?” For one of the few times in my life, I saw the serene calm on Sephyrus’s face vanish; in its place was utter bewilderment.

“Sephyrus…will you join Lachesis?” I held out my hand to Sephyrus, and looked deep into his eyes.

“You…are serious…”

“What’ll it be?” I asked, speaking as gently as I could. “Will you continue to wallow in self-pity, or will you walk forward and attempt to redeem yourself of the sins you committed? The decision is yours.”
 
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