Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 121 - Daughter to Dragons

Larraine

Those first few golden rays of the early dawn sun gently stretched across the cool stone floor, pouring in from my bedroom window. Unable to resist its powerful tug into the conscious world, I sat straight up in my bed, partially covered by my haphazard blanket. Groggy and dazed, I sleepily looked around my nearly empty bedroom with blurred morning vision. My bed was the only piece of furniture I kept in my bedroom, so as to leave ample space to practice my dances; although, this did not necessarily stop me from bumping into it and falling flat on my face from time to time…

“Larraine? Are you awake yet, my dear?” Bokomon’s voice called out from the other side of my closed bedroom door. The small Rookie Digimon’s head poked out from behind my door, and smiled when he saw me.

“Hey…What time is it?” I yawned.

“It is around four in the afternoon,” Bokomon whispered. “You must have been dancing late last night, weren’t you?”

“Yeah…It helps calm me down, you know? I was…Well, you know.”

“…I know. We were all worried about our friends, my dear,” Bokomon said.

“Yeah…I just couldn’t fall asleep even after dancing for hours…I don’t think I even went to bed until about three in the morning…” I yawned once again, and plopped back down on my bed, staring up at the ceiling.

“…You know, for such a graceful dancer, you do certainly have the most unruly pillow hair I’ve seen,” Bokomon chuckled.

“Just a part of my charm, wouldn’t ya’ say?” I asked

“Absolutely, my dear,” Bokomon said.

“…Bokomon? Has there been any word from the others…?” Bokomon smiled, and leaped up onto my bed with me.

“All of them arrived back, safe and sound, early in the morning,” the Rookie Digimon replied. “I’d have woken you up earlier, since I knew how worried you’ve been about them, but I knew you needed your rest…and quite obviously, they did as well. Most of them are still sleeping, actually.”

“But…they’re all safe? None of them were hurt? Lucia? Zelda? Edmund?” Again, Bokomon smiled.

“Not at all. All of them are safe, and alive. Omnimon has taken Princess Micaiah back to Castle Valencia, without even bothering to give his thanks or say goodbye…Oh, and another thing; Statuedramon wished to have a word with you when you woke up.”

“Statuedramon did? Whatever for?”

“He did not say…but, he did seem quite serious…which, considering that lazy lizard, must mean that this is a grave matter indeed,” Bokomon chuckled.

“I HEARD THAT, ASSHAT!”

Goodness, has he been waiting in the hallway all day for me?!

“You may come in; the young lady is awake and about,” Bokomon called back. My door opened once again, and the ancient warrior quietly stepped into my room. “I will be just outside if either of you have need of me.” Bokomon bowed his head to me and stepped out of the room, leaving me alone with Statuedramon.

“U-Um…hello,” I said shyly.

“Hey…um…Larraine…this…has been bothering me for a really long time, but…you…just look so…familiar to me,” Statuedramon began. “I, uh, I’m not exactly the brightest Digimon; I forget things all the time, but…”

“Oh, I remember you,” I said. “I saw you in that church in Cyclamen City about 500 years ago when Mr. Sephyrus was looking after me.”

“Right, yeah, I remember that; just spoke about that with Daemon a bit earlier. He said he…Daemon told me what Sephyrus did to you…”

“…You mean how he abandoned me when I was begging him for help?” I asked. “That man…was so kind to me, and all of the other orphans…but, after seeing that hate-filled look in his eyes, just thinking about him makes me sick to my stomach…”

“Well…you don’t have to worry about him anymore, I guess; a good friend of mine defeated him in battle a long time ago,” Statuedramon said.

“…Good. I’m glad he’s dead. I hope it was painful.”

“Larraine…I didn’t think that just by looking at you that you could be capable of feeling hatred for another living being…”

“Sephyrus is my exception. I hate him. I hate him!”

“…Sorry…I…I probably shouldn’t have mentioned him in the first place; I was just trying to reassure you, I guess; I don’t know how much it might have traumatized you, so I just wanted to make you feel better…”

“Well, thank you for that, Statuedramon; I really appreciate your kindness,” I said, smiling at the Digimon. “…Is that…the only reason you asked to see me…?”

“Oh, right, my bad; I get sidetracked a lot, too…Anyway, I said I recognize you, yeah? But, it’s not just from that day I saw you in Cyclamen. You…look like someone I’ve met…”

“I see…Well, I’m not sure how I could help you; I never knew my father, and my mother died soon after giving birth to me…Sephyrus did say that I resembled her, though, and that she was friends with him back when she was pregnant with me; maybe you’ve seen her…?”

“…What was her name?” Statuedramon’s voice was just barely above a whisper, and his face appeared graver than I had seen of it before.

“H-Her name was Kisara,” I replied. “Sephyrus didn’t ever tell me my father’s name; he was waiting for me to get older, but—”

“Larraine. I…think I may know your father’s name. But first…do you have the Mark?”

“Yes; it’s on the back of my left thigh; here…”

“…Yeah. That’s it all right. I didn’t find this out for a little while after I left Lachesis, but I have it, too,” Statuedramon continued. “Mine’s on my back, hidden by my armor. Zelda was confused as to why a Digimon like me was unable to sense that she had it as well, but it was because I have it. Since we both have the Mark, I wasn’t able to tell that she was different.”

“Statuedramon…what are you trying to say? Who’s my father?” I asked.

“…Your father…is me.” I said nothing at first, and simply stared at the Digimon.

“…Um…wha…what? What…are you…you…”

“500 years ago, I met…the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her name was Kisara, and—”

“Wait…if…if you really are my father, Statuedramon…why…why didn’t you stay with my mother?” I asked. “Why did you leave her to die in childbirth, Statuedramon?!”

“I didn’t even know she was pregnant! It was just a one-night fling!”

“Well, that doesn’t make me feel any better!”

“Yeah, I realized that as soon as I said it…Ah, jeez…This isn’t really going the way I expected…”

“What the hell did you think would happen, you two-timing bastard?!”

“Hey, now, don’t call me a bastard; I’m still your father—”

“Only by blood.”

“Larraine…”

“Get out of my room. You…are not my father. My father is SkullMeramon.”

“…Skull…Meramon? In the desert…?”

“My father is the Digimon who found me, lost and alone in the desert, and saved me from dying. My father clothed me, put food in my tummy and a roof over my head, and cared for me, even though I have this damn Mark, thanks to you! It’s the only thing you ever gave me, and it hasn’t ever done anything good for me!”

“But—”

“GET OUT!”

“…Okay. Good-bye…Larraine.”

“And good riddance to you.” I heard the door quietly close behind Statuedramon, and I hurled myself back onto my bed, and under my blanket. Instantly, I began to cry.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 122 - Desire for All that is Lost

Statuedramon

“…She really said that to you?” Abigail gasped.

“Yeah. She did. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. And I…I don’t blame her at all. I hate myself, too…If I had known Kisara were pregnant, I wouldn’t have left…”

“Well, see, this is kinda why you don’t have one-night stands in the first place,” Flamedramon said.

“Fuck off.”

“I was just saying; jeez…”

“…I don’t understand, though; I wasn’t mad at Dominimon for leaving me and my sister,” Zelda said. “I mean, I hate my mother for what she did to me and Hannah, but I wasn’t ever even slightly mad at my father, even before I knew he was Dominimon…”

“Maybe it’s the age difference? Larraine is, what, ten or so years younger than Zelda?” Abigail suggested in a desperate voice. “Like, in about ten years, she’ll probably stop hating you? Maybe…?”

“Abby, we’re both over five-hundred years old; I really don’t think that age has anything to do with it,” Zelda responded. “…Would you like for me to talk to her? I can’t stand seeing you so miserable…”

“…Nah…she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me…so, I’ll respect that,” I whispered. “She already has a SkullMeramon as a father figure, apparently. No need for me to butt in on that…”

“A SkullMeramon? Really?” Flamedramon asked, looking somewhat confused.

“Yeah; Zelda and I met him a while back in Linnea Village when he was a Meramon.”

“Oh, that Meramon that owns the restaurant? She said he was her father?” Zelda asked. I nodded.

“I know he’s a good guy…He’s already done a better job of being her father than I could ever be. I…I’m useless.”

“Don’t say that!” Flamedramon exclaimed. “…Okay, that probably sounded odd coming from me, but…C’mon, you’re still the girl’s father, right? You brought her into this world! I mean…if Edmund ever…if he had ever hated me like Larraine does for you, I…I don’t know what I’d do with myself…”

“It’s fine…I…I’ll be okay. I guess I…I’m kinda used to this…First, Victoria was murdered; then Thomas died…and now, Larraine…doesn’t want to have anything to do with…her father…I’m…I’ll be fine…”

“Statuedramon; you quite obviously are NOT fine,” Abigail interjected. “I can see the pain in your eyes, dear. I can feel your angst, all bottled up.”

“…Whatever.”

“Statch, listen; this is exactly what happened to Seraphimon,” Flamedramon said. “You can’t keep ignoring the way you feel, because if you do, you’ll become a Digimon like Daemon…and I don’t know if we’d be able to help you at that point any more. You’re one of the Four Sovereigns, far stronger than one of the three Celestial Digimon. We wouldn’t be strong enough to save you from yourself, or the rest of the world from…well, from you.”

“Don’t give me that crap. Seraphimon was whining like a little bitch, being all alone when he could’ve chosen to have friends around him. I still have you guys…and I always will.”

“Well, what’s stopping any of us from getting killed?” Zelda asked. “We’re mercenaries. Getting killed might as well be on the job description.”

“…I’ll tell you what’s stopping you from getting killed. I am. I ain’t going to let any of you get killed while I’m here,” I protested, giving each of them a sharp glance from my one eye.

“Guess I can’t argue with that,” Flamedramon chuckled.

“…Where is Larraine now?” Zelda asked.
“Up in her room. Lucia’s in there with her right now…which probably means she’ll come down to beat my ass any minute,” I sighed.

[HR][/HR]
Geitz Felgrande

“So…old man Baez; how long do I gotta stay here with you?” I asked.

“Patience, young Warrior of Darkness,” Baez replied in his kind, fatherly voice, without the slightest speck of impatience. The two of us, underground in a stony cave dimly lit with torches, had been here for many days by this point; I had stopped counting a while ago. “You have successfully become Loewemon, but only once. Every other attempt has led to you simply becoming Duskmon once more.”

“What’s the big deal?” I asked. “They’re both powerful; what difference does it make which one I become?”

“…And that is why you will remain Duskmon, until our training has completed,” Baez said. “I am prepared to stay here for many years until you realize that true strength comes from within. Once you realize this, you will gain full control over your evolution, and beyond that, your future — your destiny.”

“But, that’s what I don’t really understand; why’s it bad if I keep turning into Duskmon?”

“…Duskmon…and Loewemon…are both the Legendary Warrior of Darkness.”

“…Both of them? How can two—”

“They are the same being, essentially. Duskmon, however, is a corruption — a mistake, a genetic mutation if you will — whereas Loewemon is the true Warrior of Darkness. Yes, Duskmon is powerful; in some ways, his power could easily exceed that of Loewemon. But, due to the nature of his origins, his darkness is not that which can be controlled. If you remain as Duskmon…the darkness will envelop you once more, and you will be tossed back into the Dark Area…and I don’t know if I will be able to retrieve you a second time.”

“…Was it…ShadowSeraphimon? Did he want me to go to the Dark Area in the first place?” Baez nodded. “So, why did he pick me in the first place?”

“I’m afraid that I am not at liberty to give you much information on the matter. All I will say is this…Geitz. You are destined for something very important. It was ShadowSeraphimon’s intention to throw you off course of that destiny; you and a few others.”

“Others…? Those guys back at the guild?”

“Yes, some of them. Others, however, are not presently at the guild.”

“…Baez…who are you…really?” I asked for the fiftieth time that week. And, for the fiftieth time, Baez gave me a sad smile, and for the fiftieth time, he gave me the same explanation.

“I will tell you when the time is right, Geitz Felgrande. But, please know that it is not my intention to keep this information from you, my son.”

“Yer not my dad; my dad’s dead ‘cuz of that old codger in charge of the guild…”

“Sorry; it is a priestly habit of mine,” Baez chuckled. And then, a look very grim spread across his pale face.

“What is it?” I asked, mildly interested.

“…I sense…a distortion…a distortion in time and space,” Baez said, his voice barely above a whisper.

“What does that mean?”
“…Someone is about to alter the very fabric of reality; of time and space itself,” Baez said. “Clockmon…”

[HR][/HR]
Murmuxmon

Eaglemon had died recently — and it wasn’t too long after I had already saved him from the brink of death. Vikemon, I had killed myself. I was all that remained of IceDevimon’s original forces, consisting of Parrotmon, Zudomon, and Asuramon. But, that didn’t bother me much; Parrotmon was an insufferable loudmouth, and Zudomon had become treasonous since his rebirth as Vikemon. And besides, I had my own squad of powerful fighters — my Demons, as I liked to call them — who would be more than able to help me unfurl the grand red carpet to my goal. But, alas, their help would not be enough. I needed the abilities of one Digimon in particular in order to set the stage for my grand scheme in the first place. Vehemently neutral, and difficult to locate for that very reason; it would be even harder to convince him to aid me without harming him — and I most definitely needed him alive and unharmed. And so, as I quietly entered the lair of Clockmon, I was not surprised in the least to find myself initially ignored by the Machine Digimon.

“…I take it this means you’re ready, Murmuxmon,” Clockmon finally said after a few moments spent in silence, reading. I nodded solemnly, although the Digimon had his back to me.

“It is time. We must go.”

“I already told you, I don’t want any part in whatever it is you’re planning,” Clockmon said in a surprisingly calm voice.

“Yes, yes, you’ve made your position on the matter very clear when last we met three years ago,” I said.

“Then why come here again, if you know my answer?” Clockmon asked. “I know as well as you do…that you will not harm me. You need me for your oh-so precious scheme.”

“Indeed; that is very true, Clockmon. I have no intention of having any harm befall you,” I answered. “But…I do need your abilities. You, who governs time, Clockmon…I wish to travel to the past.”

“You told me of this countless times; but my answer will remain the same. I will not help you travel back to the Ancient Kingdom.”

“Oh, but you will…Surely, you know by now, what the Ancient Kingdom did to Celicia Kingdom, do you not?”

“…Yes. SkullCaliphmon waged a bloody war that lasted many years, resulting in the deaths of many innocent Humans and Digimon, for it was the desire of SkullCaliphmon to annex Celicia, which is now today all of the continent of Arcadia, and make it a part of his own, where Cyprus Desert stands now.”

“Very good; none can beat a Clockmon when it comes to memorizing the ebbs and flows of history.”

“Flattery will do you no good, Murmuxmon,” Clockmon said. “Threats will do you no good. Killing me will do you less than no good. I’ve no friends, none to call family, that you can threaten into making me do as you wish. I would feel no shame in watching you slaughter an innocent in return for my neutrality.”

“I am aware of that.”

“Then why are you here?!” Clockmon asked once more, finally with a hint of anger in his dull voice.

“…Because I can still force you to do as I wish.” Clockmon gazed at me, silently, glaring spitefully. I smiled. “I promise you, Clockmon…no harm shall befall you. History shall hardly be changed at all.”

“I warn you, Murmuxmon; there is no such thing as a ‘slight alteration’ when history itself is changed! This change will lead to your very demise, mark my words! The past is better off left as is — forgotten and unchanged for all eternity!”

“Necro Interrogation!” A dark violet light shone from my eyes; Clockmon was completely enveloped in its gleam, and then his arms fell limply at his side. “…Now, then…be a good boy, Clockmon, and wait for me. My Demons await their master’s call to action.”

“…Yes…Master,” Clockmon said dully.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 123 - Distant Utopia

Isole Frost

The vast library in the city of Yew had always been a favorite place of mine to stay when I knew that Lucia was going to be in one of her regular, bitchy moods. Today, however, was different; I had been sent by Master Ulysses to do research on the ancient kingdom known as Celicia, together with Lilliana and Kamemon.
There was very little known about the kingdom, as it had been destroyed around 1,300 years ago, and very little documents of it existed, apart from the varying speculation of many historians. Apparently, Statuedramon had been alive at that time, but as his memory was still partially lost, it would be no use attempting to retrieve any information from him. Cherubimon and Ophanimon were also alive at that time, but they had departed so soon after Daemon had been defeated, that nobody seems to know where they went. And so, I was stuck with the various and aggravatingly differing accounts of countless scholars.

“Um…Isole?” Lilliana spoke up in her small, timid voice. “I, um, found a few more books on Cyprus Kingdom when SkullCaliphmon was its king, but I couldn’t find any more on the kingdom SkullCaliphmon attempted to take over…”

“That’s fine; I think we’ve got plenty of reading material for now,” I replied, looking up at the mountain of books towering over us; unfortunately, nearly all of them were the usual blathering of a scholar attempting to refute another scholar. “It’s just so annoying; one book says that a Digimon called Murmuxmon leveled SkullCaliphmon’s Cyprus Kingdom to the ground before destroying all of Celicia, but this one says that Murmuxmon worked with the Three Celestial Digimon to protect Celicia from SkullCaliphmon! Not to mention the fact that the master we had before Ulysses was also a Murmuxmon!”

“Couldn’t they have been two different Murmuxmon, though?” Lilliana suggested.

“It’s possible, but keep in mind that Digimon have indefinite lifespans. Coupled with the fact that Murmuxmon are so rare, they are said to be only mythological…”

“But…wouldn’t that mean that the master we had before Ulysses was an evil Digimon?” Kamemon asked.

“…Ugh! This is all so damn confusing! These stupid scholars can’t even agree on one thing! Is Murmuxmon a good or an evil Digimon?!”

“…Isole? Why are we studying these ancient kingdoms anyway?” Lilliana asked. “Did Master tell you why?”

“He just mumbled something under his breath about Wisemon; I didn’t care enough to ask him any more…”

“Oh! Wisemon! Why don’t we just ask him?” Lilliana asked.

“Because he’s out doing some other kind of job,” I replied. “Probably looking for Cherubimon and Ophanimon, if I didn’t know any better.”

“Okay…Well, I’m sure we can probably think of something with just the two of us!” Lilliana exclaimed. I smiled at the younger girl, equally affected by her enthusiasm.

“Yeah, you’re right. The two of us are obviously the smartest Humans at Lachesis, other than Edmund,” I said, whispering the name of the archsage in an almost dreamy tone that I hoped Lilliana and Kamemon didn’t notice. “Now, then…If we can just figure out why King Byron decided to sell out Celicia to SkullCaliphmon…”

“King Byron did no such thing. The good king was too devoted to his wife, daughter, and kingdom to commit such an atrocity.” I looked up and over at a young woman who had approached us. That, however, was all that I was able to tell about her; she dressed herself in a black cloak and shroud that covered her face and most of her body, save for her legs — both of which seemed rather scrawny — her neck, and her face from the lips down. Two thin strands of azure hair hung at either side of her face. She had spoken to us in a quiet, somber voice.

“…And who are you?” I asked. She might be with all of those evil Digimon; she could be with IceDevimon! She could BE IceDevimon! If he’s a shapeshifter…I’d better be careful!

“…My name is Melanie,” the woman said. I noticed her gazing at Lilliana, as did Kamemon. Lilliana in turn could not take her eyes off of the woman, but immediately, Melanie turned to face me. “King Byron was a good man, Isole. He would never condone such a terrible act.”

“How do you know my name?” I asked, growing more suspicious of this strange, somber woman by the minute.

“I…I heard it spoken by the little one, and her Digimon partner,” Melanie replied. “Now, you must listen to me, Isole—”

“Why should I?!” I snapped. “Look, I don’t have any idea who you are, but the two of us are busy at the moment, so if you could just get lost, that’d be great, thank you.”

“Isole, don’t be so mean!” I heard Lilliana whisper. Her words were bolder than any I’ve heard from her before, but the look on her face made it clear that she wished she hadn’t said them. Looking steadily away from me, she would glance at me with a scared look in her eyes every few seconds. And so, I deigned to do as Lilliana asked — I adored her, after all, being the quietest member of the guild. And she was smart! What a combination…

“…Look, I’m sorry. I’m just frustrated with all of these notes and speculations contradicting each other; it makes it damn near impossible to study!”

“Oh, you need not apologize, Isole; I understand perfectly well how difficult it is,” Melanie said.

“So, um, what were you saying about that king? It almost sounded like you knew him…”

“King Byron was a good king, Isole; you need to understand that above all else if you wish to learn about the ancient kingdom.”

“…Okay…? Um…I don’t think I was that debated on the subject myself, even though every note contradicted each other…”

“Isole, listen to me. It is important that you understand that with your heart and soul,” Melanie pressed.

“Okay, okay! I believe you! Jeez…”

“Do you promise?”

“Yes, I do! What’s the big deal?”

“The entire situation is a big deal, Isole. And you will need to act without prejudice in order to resolve the chaos that has been wrought.”

“…What is this all about?” I asked. “Who are you really, Melanie?”
“I…cannot tell you who I am…but…why I am here…has very much to do with the ancient kingdoms you study,” Melanie began. “…Isole…you will need to go there.”

[HR][/HR]
Murmuxmon

Ancient buildings constructed entirely of white stones dotted the landscape. We had done it. The ones behind me, my servants, had all safely arrived with me, as well as Clockmon.

“So, this is really it, eh?” a blond, well-dressed man named Alphonse Lincoln said in his regular, enthusiastic voice. I grinned.

“Yes; this is Celicia, the Ancient Kingdom!” I roared.

“…Neat! I wonder if the women are as gorgeous as they say,” Alphonse asked.

“Nyah, that’s all what you worrys about,” a Digimon called Puppetmon said. “It’s always da dames on da mind which you, eh?”

“Pretty much,” Alphonse agreed.

“Not much of a Summoner, if you ask me,” a large, red-haired man named Kieran said. “Not much of a warrior, either.”

“Hey, no need to take a risk when you’ve got somebody who’ll gladly do it for you!” Alphonse exclaimed.

“Exactly my point. You are weak.”

“Will you two shut up?! I’m sick of listening to you two arguing!” another Digimon, Agunimon, screamed. In his rage, he had completely enveloped himself in his own flames.

“Yeah, yous guys are boring,” Puppetmon added.

“Who asked you to talk?!” Agunimon snapped.

“That is enough, my children,” I said, stepping between Agunimon and Puppetmon. “Marissa will be back at any moment with a report on our position.”

“…Really?” Kieran asked.

“…I realized how stupid that sounded as soon as I said it,” I admitted.

“Well, when she’s awake, she certainly can be trusted,” Alphonse said. “And wow, talk about a total babe…” Alphonse’s normally wide smile grew even larger as he caught sight of the orange-haired woman slowly walking up to me and my followers.

“Mm…Lord Murmuxmon…sorry for the wait,” Marissa Ruby yawned, something she could often be seen doing. “It…looks like we’re ‘bout one city away from the capital…not too far to Celicia proper…”

“Excellent work, my dear,” I smiled. “You did the job much faster than we all expected…”

“I’m narcoleptic, not lethargic, you know…”

“I know, my dear, I know. You are my most dependable follower…aside from the narcolepsy,” I said. Marissa nodded and smiled, letting out another yawn as she did. “Well now, is everybody ready to proceed?” I asked, looking back to my followers; my Demons. There were no words of dissent, and so I lead us all into the nearby city Marissa had come from, looking for a shortcut to the capital city of Celicia kingdom. As we walked through the streets, I ignored the stares we all got from the passersby. My attention, however, was diverted to something of a riot towards the center of the old city. A young woman, bearing skin as pure white as snow, ran past.

“Yowza,” Alphonse whispered, staring at the woman, in awe of her beauty that had even taken my own breath away.

“Bit of an insurgence going on?” Kieran asked. A huge crowd of people were chasing after the young woman. Intrigued, I stepped before the mob, making them all come to a halt.

“Whatever is the problem?” I asked. I knew not whether to be helpful to the mob of the young lady, so I maintained a neutral tone of voice.

“That girl over there; she be the problem!” one member of the mob said.

“A tiny little thing like her? I can hardly see how she could be so problematic,” I said honestly.

“T’aint wha’ she did; ‘tis what she be!” another person said.

“…Does she have the Mark?” I asked.

“Aye, that she do, right in ‘er belly; but she do be a witch also!” a woman exclaimed. “See that skin? Pure white! And them red eyes! T’aint right!”

Ah, yes…I’d forgotten that the Humans of this time had tanner skin from sun exposure. Differing skin color…what a ridiculously pointless reason to hate another living being. I looked back at the woman the mob had been chasing; she had not said a word in protest of the accusations thrown at her; her somber face neither flinched nor cringed. Her long raven hair waved gently in a passing breeze. Alphonse could not take her eyes off of the solemn beauty. “And, are you certain that the young lady is, in fact, a witch?”

“W-Well, jus’ look at ‘er!” someone said. “She got th’ red eyes of th’ Devil!”

“She needa’ be killed!”

“Now, that’s completely unnecessary,” I commented. “Surely, a more reasonable solution can be reached without the need for violence?” From behind, I could hear a few confused mutters amongst my Demons. “Perhaps…I could take her?” Those in the mob glanced at one another, equally confused.

“Well, if ya promise ta keep this Devil spawn away from us, you kin’ keep ‘er!” someone said. “Just keep this trash outta our town!” The large mob shot dozens of spiteful glares at the woman.

“…What’cha thinking, boss?” Puppetmon asked as the mob began to disperse.

“Who cares? He just spared this little cutie! Would’ve been such a waste,” Alphonse lamented. The woman slowly walked up to me, bowing her head.

“…You have my gratitude, sir,” she whispered, speaking slowly. “My name is Elderia…I…I can never thank you enough…”

“So, then…are you actually a witch? Or were they simply being an ignorant lot?” I asked.

“I…sort of…I’m a gypsy…but…I know magic…I can use magic…”

“Interesting…You may be far more useful than I imagined,” I muttered. “…Elderia. Your life is now mine to do with as I desire, now that I have saved it. Do you understand? You belong to me.”
“Yes…I shall…do whatever you want of me…anything…For saving my life…I will do anything for you, My Lord,” Elderia whispered.

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto

I loved nothing more than lazy Sundays, were the only thing to do was sleep in, eat lunch late, and stuff myself silly with cheesecake until I could do nothing apart from lay back on a sofa and stare at the ceiling. Lunamon nestled her head against my plumpened belly, sleeping soundly. Across from me, Matthew sat in a chair, with his arms and legs crossed, fast asleep.

“Ellie, darling, you look almost as pregnant as I do,” Heather giggled, sitting down on the sofa next to me.

“Fifteen slices of cheesecake will do that to a girl,” I laughed in response. “Is this what it feels like to be pregnant…?”

“Sort of; except that I do get hungry,” Heather smiled.

“Oh, jeez; I definitely won’t be feeling like that for a LONG time…”

“You say that now, but remember; you’ve got the Mark. I’m sure you’ll be hungry in about ten minutes,” Lunamon mumbled. Ignoring her remark, I looked up at Heather and smiled.

“…How’s it going? Felt anything yet?”

“No…just some kicks, but I haven’t felt anything signifying that it’s time,” Heather responded, placing her hands on her round belly. “It should be any day now…That’s what the doctor keeps saying, anyway…”

“Doctors have been wrong before; they might come sooner,” I suggested.

“Oh, I hope so; I love being pregnant, and feeling them move around in my tummy, but I just want these sweet little miracles to be born so I can hold them…Like I used to with Madelyn…”

“…But Madelyn’s back now, Eathie,” I whispered. Heather was beaming now, and her eyes were brimming with tears of joy.

“I never thought I’d see her again…It was so…difficult…to become pregnant with her…and these two…So when Madelyn was taken away from me, I thought my life was over; I never thought I’d get to be a mother again…But now, I’m pregnant with twins, and my beloved Madelyn has returned to me! I just feel so…so…”

“Heather…”

“So…wet…”

“…I did not need to know that, Heather.”

“No! Wet…I think…I think my water just broke…” I instantly shot straight up, knocking Lunamon onto the floor and waking up Matthew. Heather and I locked eyes.

“…S-Surely you jest…”

“Eleanora, my water just broke! I wouldn’t kid about that!” Heather snapped testily.

“B-But…But, I was just kidding about doctors being wrong and the babies coming early! Doctors are never wrong!”

“Well, the babies are coming! NOW!” I felt on the verge of fainting. Lunamon, Heather, Matthew, and I were the only ones in the entire fortress. It was too far and too late to go to Yew and get a doctor…
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 124 - Departure for a New Era

Matthew Kasuto

“Well, the babies are coming! NOW!” My sister looked on the verge of fainting. Lunamon, Heather, Eleanora, and I were the only ones in the entire fortress. It was too far and too late to go to Yew and get a doctor…

Madelyn was there as well, but then Heather began moaning in agony, and the moans shortly turned into screams, so we decided to not bring her to her suffering mother so as not to traumatize her, and prayed that she would not hear the screams. “Oh, Goddess, THEY’RE COMING! THEY’RE COMING!!!!!” Eleanora’s screams synchronized with those of Heather’s, until Lunamon jumped up and slapped her on the back of the head.

“Pull yourself together, woman!” the small Digimon snapped. “Now, we’re the only three here right now, so we have to help Heather! Now…who here knows…how…to deliver a baby…?” A dead silence fell over us.

…Katsumi, please tell me you know how to deliver a baby! I thought.

Yep, I sure do! Now, this is going to get kinda…um, how should I say this…

Complicated? I suggested.

Bloody. Very, very…bloody. Now, first of all, you’re going to need to go boil some water.

Why is that? I’ve heard that, but I never knew why, I pondered.

Honestly…I don’t know either. Just do it. Careful not to burn yourself!

“MATTHEW!” Eleanora screamed. “C’mon, stop spacing out and help me!”

“…Okay…need to go boil some water first,” I muttered.
Don’t worry, Mattie. I’ll walk you through every step, Katsumi said in a very calm voice.

[HR][/HR]
Isole Frost

“…I…cannot tell you who I am…but…why I am here…has very much to do with the ancient kingdom you study,” Melanie began. “…Isole…you will need to go there.”

“…Excuse me?” I asked, certain that I had misheard her. “You…must be joking…”

“This is no joke, Isole Frost. You and your friends at Lachesis will need to go to the ancient kingdom.”

“You’ve got to be kidding! They don’t call it the ‘ancient’ kingdom for nothing, you know! It fell about 1,300 years ago!”

“Um…Miss Melanie? Do you perhaps mean for us to go where the kingdom was?” Lilliana asked.

“…That would be redundant, for you are already there. Where Celicia was…Yew is. The city of Yew was built in commemoration of Celicia.”

“Melanie, I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand what you’re asking,” I said. “Could you please just tell us what you want us to do?”

“…Of course. I am requesting that you and several members of Lachesis travel through time to go to the ancient kingdom.”

“Time travel?! But that’s impossible!” I yelled, forgetting that I was in a library. I lowered my voice, and said, “Melanie, time travel is forbidden magic! Only a Digimon called Clockmon is able to perform it without any repercussion. Besides which, it’s impossible for anyone else to do it!”

“No. It is not…impossible. It is only labeled as such due to the nature of its unpredictability,” Melanie said. “It is very difficult to perform, though; it requires a bit of time for a large group…”

“So you…are going to send us back in time,” I began.

“Yes.”

“To the ancient kingdom…”

“Yes.”

“…And you expect me to go along with that?!” I shouted, once more forgetting that I was in a library.

“Oh, of course I don’t expect you to believe me; trust me, I know how…unbelievable all of this might sound right now,” Melanie said. “But, Isole…it is very important that you and your friends at Lachesis do this.”

“Sounds like end of the world time again,” I muttered. Melanie shook her head.

“No…It will be far worse than that.” The tone of calm sorrow in Melanie’s voice sent a sharp twinge of chilling fear through my heart. “There are those who have already gone back in time; they seek to alter the course of history. If that happens…then…”

“Then what…?” Lilliana asked in a frightened voice.

“…It’s possible that we may never even know about it; if they alter the course of history, your own pasts will conform to the changes. That’s what makes it all so dangerous…The evil ones; I know not what exactly they plan…but they must be stopped.”

“…Isole…I believe her,” Lilliana whispered. “She sounds so sad…I want to help her!”
“I believe her too, but…it’s…just so astonishing, is all,” I replied. “But…Miss Melanie, I will take you up on your offer. I’ll take you to our guild hall, but I can’t guarantee that the boss’ll decide to come through with anything…”

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto

Katsumi was right; it had been a very bloody ordeal. Several times, I felt like vomiting — but I knew I shouldn’t. I knew the pain Heather was in was excruciating beyond belief, so to complain would have felt wrong. Of course, the arrival of Isole was a big help — as was that of a woman named Melanie. Lilliana had simply been sent to her room — being only twelve, nobody wanted to scar her for life. But finally, it had been done. Two lives had been brought into this world, and out of Heather’s belly. One, a tiny dark-haired girl, was being cradled by Eleanora. The other, a blond boy, was held by a teary, smiling Heather. Sitting next to her was Madelyn, gently running her fingers through her new little brother’s hair.

“…What are their names going to be?” Eleanora asked.

“Lloyd…Lloyd and I have already discussed this,” Heather said in a shaky voice. “This little man here…his name will be Isa Matthew Reed.”

“My name…?” I asked

“And that little cutie will be Leila Eleanora Reed,” Heather concluded.

“But…why our names?” Eleanora asked.

“It was something I decided just now, their middle names; if you two hadn’t been here for me…I don’t know what would’ve happened…I can never thank you enough for helping me bring these little ones into the world…So, your names are their middle names.”

“Oh…H-Heather…” Eleanora brought little Leila up to her face so as to hide her tears.

“And you, Mattie…come here.” I did as Heather ask, and sat down on the floor next to the smiling woman. She leaned over and placed a big kiss on the middle of my forehead, right where my Mark was. “…Because of everything you knew…everything you knew how to do…all of this went so much safer than it could have been…Thank you, Matthew, sweetheart…”

“How did you know how to do all that stuff, anyway?” Isole asked.

“I, um…well…I mean…” I glanced over at Katsumi’s spirit.

You don’t have to tell them, she smiled. You don’t have to tell them about me until you’re ready, my love.

“…Well, back before I decided to train as an archer, I would just stay in the guild’s library, and…I guess I must’ve read a book on childbirth or something,” I mumbled.

“Is that so…” I knew right away that she didn’t believe me. But, fortunately, that was not the most important thing right now. Everyone was too focused on Heather, and her newborn twins, so Isole simply dropped the subject. “…When will Ulysses and the others return?”
“It’ll be a while,” Lunamon stated. “Everyone’s out on a job right now, but the master should return within a few hours.

[HR][/HR]
That Night

Ulysses sat, cross-legged and his head lowered, towards the center of the lounge of the guild. Various looks of confusion and disbelief passed in the eyes of my friends upon hearing Melanie’s story.

“…In all my years of magical study, I’d never once dreamed of such a thing being a possibility,” Edmund said.

“That’s pretty awesome! I’ve always wanted to travel through time!” Sparrow remarked. “Chicks dig time traveling men! I think…”

“Do you believe her, Isole?” Lucia asked.

“Yes, I do. I can sense the sadness in her voice when she first spoke to me and Lilly…” At this point, Ulysses raised his head, and looked over at Melanie.

“My dear, are you yourself capable of Time magic?” he asked. Melanie nodded.

“I would not be suggesting this otherwise; I will travel with you all to the ancient kingdom, and I will do whatever I can to aid you in stopping the evil ones,” Melanie said. “…I’m afraid I do not know their identities, but I do know this; they are not capable of time travel…so they had to force a Digimon named Clockmon to help them.”

“Clockmon?! No way! He’s supposed to be neutral!” Statuedramon exclaimed. “Man, I just spoke with him, like, a month ago, too…What a drag…”

“Well, they found some way to either coerce or force him to assist him,” Melanie said. “That is why I make this request of you, members of Lachesis. Please…come with me to the ancient kingdom. We must stop the evil ones at all costs; the very fabric of reality is at risk.”

“What’ll it be, boss?” Lucia asked. “We gonna help her?”

“…Yes. We will. Even if what she says is a lie, it is too risky to simply ignore.”

“S-Sir Ulysses…I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Melanie whispered. “I am prepared for us all to go whenever you are finished preparing…”

“Miss Melanie? Something you gotta understand…Us here at Lachesis? We’re always prepared to go,” Ulysses said. “Really, the only thing that needs to be done is decide who’s going with us.”

“Not Heather,” Lucia interjected.

“Oh, come on!”

“No, Heather; the twins need their mother! They were just born,” Lloyd said. “I’ll stay with you too, okay?” Heather said nothing, and looked somewhat disappointed, but still, she smiled.

“…So, aside from you two, who else is staying?” Lucia asked. “Larraine and Lilliana, obviously.”

“No, let me go, too!” Lilliana protested, much to Lucia’s surprise.

“I think that’s a good idea, mom — er, Lucia,” I said. “Lilliana knows a lot about the ancient kingdom, as do I; I think having us both would be rather helpful.”

“…Very well, then. So, Sparrow, Lilliana, Isole, who else wants to go?”

“I…think most of us ought to go,” Ulysses said. “If things are as bad as Melanie says, then we’ll need as many fighters as we can get.”

“I am in full agreement; the enemy is powerful, if they are able to convince Clockmon to aid them,” Melanie said.

“…Statuedramon, Lloyd, Heather, Madelyn, Larraine, Neemon, Bokomon, Loralyn, and Dominimon,” Ulysses began. “All of you shall remain behind. Anyone else who does not wish to go will not be forced to do so.” Not a sound was uttered by those present in the room. Everyone looked enthralled by the thought of traveling through time, even Flamedramon.

“…I’m not going with you this time?” Bokomon whispered.

“Do not fret, Bokomon; from your perspective, we’ll hardly be gone at all; such is the nature of time travel,” Melanie said. Ulysses looked around the group crowded around him, and nodded.

“We shall go in the morning. Rest well, my comrades…and prepare for the upcoming day.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 125 - Disowned by Time

Isole Frost

Melanie led our guild towards the outskirts of Yew, in the middle of an open field. It was high noon; the middle of a sunny, cloudless afternoon. Melanie laid a spellbook out on the ground, and began chanting an incantation in an ancient language.

I wonder what the words mean; I’ve never heard or seen them in any of my own spellbooks, I thought. A burst of pale blue light erupted from the ground underneath Melanie’s book. Pages of the book flipped wildly back and forth in the resulting whirlwind.

“Someone…will need to remain here…and ensure that nobody enters the warp in time by mistake,” Melanie said. “The warp will not dissolve until we arrive back; though it could be instantaneous, it just as easily couldn’t be. We will need to post a guard…by the warp.”

“Guard it, I will,” Andromon spoke up.

“…Are you sure?” Melanie asked.

“Need food or drink, I do not; require rest, I do not,” Andromon said. “…Enjoy them, do I…but unnecessary for me, they are. Guard the warp, I shall.”

“Thank you very much…Andromon,” Melanie said. The robed young woman smiled almost unnoticeably at the Cyborg Digimon as he stepped away from the group, and then faced the remainder of us. “Is…Is everybody ready…?”

“Wait! Wait!” Sparrow’s arm shot up into the air.

“If you have to piss, do it in your pants,” Lucia said.

“No, it’s not that! I just have a question for Melanie!” the redhead shot back. “Could you…lower your hood?” I rolled my eyes.

“…W-Why…do you…want…that?” Melanie asked shyly. What little of her face I could see was reddened with embarrassment.

“I want to see how pretty you are!” Again, I rolled my eyes. Melanie slowly shook her head.

“N-No…p-please, no…”

“Aw, c’mon; I’m sure you’re just beautiful!” Sparrow said. Melanie shrunk away, hiding behind me. Lucia grabbed Sparrow by the collar of his shirt, and shoved him into the warp in time, walking in after him. A rush of excitement rushed over me, and I ran up and into the warp after Lucia. And then, it was all ablur. I was surrounded in a silver fog, and then I landed on the ground.

“…Jeez; my neck’s all stiff…Ah, can barely move the damn thing…” Slowly, I climbed to my feet; slightly dazed, I looked around the dusty fog. “…The hell is everybody? God, I hope nothing happened during the time travel…thingy…”

“Isole…? Isole, is that you?” I looked up upon hearing the voice of Lucia. “…It appears that our venture was a success.”

“…We’ve traveled to the past,” I said breathlessly. “We…We’re in the past! We’re in the ancient kingdom! We’re in Celicia!”

“HALT!” My heart instantly sank. Standing just ahead of our group was a large Ogremon. “You are trespassing on private property! You are all hereby under arrest for this heinous crime!”

“…Property? There isn’t a building in sight,” I commented.

“Oh; questioning the authority of the second-in-command, are you?! GUARDS!” Ogremon stuck his fist in his mouth and whistled, and instantly, a herd of Minotarumon, each of them carrying some crude spear, axe, or some other kind of weapon, emerged from the ground, surrounding us all. “Take ‘em all. They’ll be participating.” Ogremon and the Minotarumon forced all of us to our feet, prodding us in our backs with their various weapons while unarming us of our own.

“Don’t provoke them,” Lucia mouthed. “Just do as they say for now.” I nodded, and looked around at our group.

“…Not everybody’s here!” I almost shouted. From behind me, I could hear Melanie gasp in shock.

“…No…This…can’t be!” she said. “…It wasn’t supposed to be this way…” Sparrow, Eleanora, Mia, Giselle, Celtinemon, AeroVeedramon, Elizabeth, Sieglinde, Tactimon, Matthew, Tamiko, Kentaurosmon, Melanie, Lucia, Edmund, and Zelda had all arrived with me, but none of the others were anywhere to be seen.

“We can’t worry about that now,” Lucia replied. “We’ll find them later.”

“Enough talking!” Ogremon jabbed his club into my lower back. But I couldn’t resist asking one more question.

“Where are you taking us?” Ogremon grinned, a vile and nauseating grin.
“Yeh must be new ‘round ‘ere if yeh don’t know,” he said. “We’s takin’ yeh’s to The Games.”

[HR][/HR]
Lilliana Meadows

“…Where is everybody?” I whispered. Kamemon held tightly onto my hand as I looked around the small savannah. A few of my friends were with me, but most of them were nowhere to be seen. But, most astonishing of all, Madelyn was with us.

“Young lady, what are you doing here?” Ulysses asked gruffly. Madelyn calmly stood up, and dusted off her dress. “Your mother and father will be worried sick about you! Why did you come with us?!”

“…I just wanted to give them some time alone with the twins,” she replied in a cool voice.

“That is hardly an excuse — this is dangerous, and your parents just got you back! I don’t want to see them sad again in case something happens to you!” Abigail said.

“I…I apologize for inconveniencing you all…but I felt it better to leave them alone,” Madelyn whispered. Ulysses and Abigail glanced at each other, both of them shaking their heads.

“Um…Madelyn…? Are you maybe…feeling a little jealous?” I asked in a small voice.

“What is there to feel jealous about? She’s just been reunited with her family, and now she has a little brother and a little sister!” Flamedramon said.

“I think that’s what Lilliana’s gettin’ at,” Kamemon said. “D’ya maybe feel like maybe you were gettin’ replaced, Madelyn?”

“…Not on purpose,” Madelyn replied. “I…I know it’s not exactly like that; I knew they didn’t want me to be taken away, but still…”

“Madelyn…I want to tell you something, as a mother,” Abigail said. “Our children, no matter how old they get, will always be our precious little babies, and we don’t favor one of our babies over the other. I may only have one child biologically, but I know this for a fact. Heather and Lloyd will always love you, no more and no less than they love Leila and Isa. That’s what Katsumi was so worried about; she was scared that Luna loved her adopted daughter, Chrysania, more than her birth daughter. So, there’s nothing to be worried about, dear…”

“I know…I don’t even know where these thoughts come from…”

“No need to blame yourself; I heard its normal for siblings to get jealous of newborn siblings, or something like that,” Quetzalmon said.

“…Well, now that you’re here, you may as well help us look for the others,” Ulysses said. “Damnit…even Melanie is missing…” That, perhaps, was the most distressing issue; Melanie, the one who had brought us here, was nowhere to be seen, and so for now, returning to the future, our present, was nothing short of impossible. The looks on the faces of Hawkmon, Kamemon, Madelyn, Ulysses, Flamedramon, Abigail, Quetzalmon, Mihiramon, Lupinemon, Trionfimon, Lunamon, and Coronamon told me they were all thinking the same thing.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 126 - Let the Games Begin

Isole Frost

“So, allayeh listen here; yer all now a part of the Games!” Ogremon repeated, leading us all into a dim prison. Each of the Minotarumon shoved us into a different cell, and locked the doors behind us. I wasn’t particularly scared; I knew all of us together could overpower these Digimon. What bothered me was that Lucia told us not to; she and Melanie had agreed that doing so would alter the course of history, or some such nonsense. “So, if yeh don’t knows what that means, it means yer lives are now MINE to control! Gya ha!”

“…I’m guessing you’re going to make us participate,” I muttered.

“Yeh got that right, girlie! Yer here, and yer competin’!” Ogremon laughed. “And yeh’d better b’lieve you’ll be puttin’ on a good show fer the crowd!”

“Um…forgive me, sir, but not everybody here is a fighter,” Tamiko said quietly.

“Shut yer trap! You’ll be fightin’ if yeh don’t want yer other friends teh get hurt!” Ogremon snapped. Tamiko shrank back against Kentaurosmon. “And make it a GOOD fight, too! No half-assin’ anything! And you’ll be startin’ today!”

Jeez, this probably can’t get any worse…

“PHERAGAS?!” Zelda practically screamed. I looked across to the opposite end of the room where Zelda was. A large man, bald and dark-skinned, sat on his cot in his own jail cell. He looked up when Zelda shouted the name.

“…Yes? Vut is it?” he asked. “Who ah you? And ‘ow do you know who I am?”

“Pheragas, it’s…me! Oh…but, this is the past…”

“Probably an ancestor to the man you knew?” I suggested.

“…Just like him…he looks just like the Pheragas I knew five-hundred years ago. Er, seven-hundred years from now, I guess?”

“Vut ah you talking about?” Pheragas asked. “I ‘ave been ‘ere my entire life. I do not know you.”

“No…no, of course you don’t…I apologize for bothering you, sir,” Zelda whispered.

“Tink noting of it. Ve vill be competing together in de games, so ve vill ‘ave to be friends, no?”

“…That would be wonderful…”

“Although, ve may ‘ave to be ending up doing de fighting as vell…”

We’ll have to fight HIM, too?! Goddess, he could probably snap freaking Talosmon in half with his bare hands! Okay, NOW things couldn’t get any worse…

“YOU!” Ogremon jerked a green thumb in my direction. “Yer competin’ first, tiny! You and…THEM TWO!” Ogremon pointed at Giselle and Celtinemon. “You’ll be tag teamin’ against…”

…Way to go, Isole. You and your big inner voice…

“YOU! And…YOU!” Ogremon pointed at Sieglinde and Tactimon. My heart sank. Sieglinde and Tactimon were among the strongest members of our guild. And Ogremon expected us to fight them head-on?! Subconsciously, I glanced over at Pheragas, who gave me an encouraging nod of his massive, bald head.

“Just do it,” he whispered. “Dat is de vay de games vork ‘ere. Dat vill be de only vay you vill all make vith de surviving.”

Well, it’s either that, or let these bastards hurt my friends…and since I’m competing alongside Giselle, it probably won’t be her that they hurt if I don’t fight, so I might as well…

“AN DON’ FERGET; FIGHT WITH EVER’THING YOU GOTS, OR YER PALS ‘LL GET IT!” Ogremon roared, opening up our cell doors. Worriedly, I glanced up at Tactimon.

“What are we going to do?!” I whispered. The black-armored Digimon merely shook his head.

“I do not know, Isole; but we must fight, as much as it pains me to say it. Yes, we could prevent this, but Lucia is correct; if we alter the past, then it could have dire consequences on the future we came from. And besides…” The Digimon looked down at me. “We cannot let them hurt our friends. Isole…Give it your all. Please.”

“…Okay. I will. But only if you do too, Tactimon,” I said. Sieglinde, Tactimon, Isole, Celtinemon, and I all walked through a pair of large doors held open by two Minotarumon, and walked out into a huge arena.

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, and Digimon of all ages! Welcome…to another exciting round of the Games you all hold close to your heart!” A Digimon I recognized as a Lampmon floated around the arena, apparently serving as the announcer. “Word has reached me that our recruitment staff has located several very brave and very willing volunteers to participate in today’s matches!”

Willing?! The forced us into their fucking dungeon! I almost wanted to scream. Though, I doubt it would have made a difference if I did or did not, as nobody would have heard me over the roar of the crowd.

“So, everybody; put your hands together for our first team; a pair of powerful swordsmen from parts unknown! Give it up for SIEGLINDE and TACTIMON!” My two friends were rushed to the opposite half of the arena from Giselle and I. “And now, for our second team; a triad of women whose beauty knows no rivals! Give it up for ISOLE FROST, GISELLE ALBERONA, and CELTINEMON!” The crowd was screaming in wild anticipation for our fight. Nervously, I glanced across at Sieglinde and Tactimon. Tactimon simply shook his head over the entire ridiculous situation, and Sieglinde had a look of deep sorrow in her eyes. She was not the slightest bit arrogant, but she and I both knew that Giselle and I wouldn’t stand a chance against even just her. Celtinemon might last longer, but in the end, there was no doubt that Sieglinde and Tactimon would emerge almost completely unscathed. “Ladies and gentlemen…LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!”

“Um…I don’t even have a weapon! What am I going to do?!” Giselle exclaimed.

“Oh, come on; have you already forgotten?! Your Digivice! Use it!”

“Oh…Oh! Yeah, got it! D.N.A. Charge! Overdrive!”

“Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon!”

“…She wasn’t lying about Digivolving to Mega…good. Okay, now, just, I dunno, be a hand-to-hand fighter!” I pulled a small dagger out from the blue sash around my waist as Sieglinde rushed up to me. Haven’t used this since I shanked Carmillamon…No, stay focused. She and I both know this needs to be done; she’s strong. Don’t hold back! I made a few feints at her, all of which she dodged adeptly and gracefully. Her ponytail danced wildly in the air, earning a few whistles and applause. She held out her rapier, and I noticed a flash of hesitation in her eyes.

“Do it,” I whispered. “Don’t worry about me.” Sieglinde nodded, and jabbed with her rapier; I tried to dodge, but my robe sleeve got caught and torn by the blade. A thin cut formed on my left arm. I gave the blonde a smile of reassurance, and tore the rest of my sleeve off.

“Night of the Falling Stars!” Morgannamon raised her staff up into the air, and unleashed several glimmering falling stars from the day sky, earning a wild roar from the crowd. The stars struck the ground around Tactimon and Sieglinde, both of whom narrowly dodged the attacks.

“Primary Tactic!”

“Clear Moon Sky!” The attacks of the two Mega Digimon collided midair. The crowd went wild.

Is this all there is to it? This isn’t so bad, I guess…Sieglinde had even managed to find a way to jab her rapier quickly, but delicately enough for me to either dodge with ease, or not even notice the pain I felt from being lightly stabbed. Sieglinde, in turn, was already fast enough to dodge each jab of my dagger. And then, I heard a few voices in the crowd complain about Giselle, and her lack of action. I glanced over at Lampmon, who was conversing with Ogremon, when the announcer jerked his head over at the brunette. For fuck’s sake…that stupid kid’s going to get us all killed!

“…I’m sorry,” Sieglinde whispered, noticing the fear on Giselle’s face. She rushed towards her, and my body suddenly moved on its own. Sieglinde swung her blade, and I pushed Giselle out of the way just in time. Sieglinde’s rapier tore through my robes and my skin, causing a mess of blood to fall to the ground. The crowd was now beside itself with joy and excitement at this. I clutched my chest, and fell to my knees. “N-No! Isole…”

“Don’t…worry about it,” I panted. “Just go along with it…okay…? As Lucia ordered…don’t do anything that would drastically alter the past, or our future may cease to exist.”

“Clear Moon Sky!” Morgannamon flew above me, and fired several blasts of light at both Sieglinde and Tactimon. Both warriors fell to the ground, defeated. A gong sounded.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it has been decided! The winners of this match are Isole, Giselle, and Morgannamon!” The air, the very sky rumbled with the raucous screams of the observing crowd; it was deafening. And I hated it. There was nothing I detested more than loud noises, and the blood that flowed from the bodies of my dear friends — not to mention myself — made it all the worse. It was horrid.

People were horrid…

[HR][/HR]
Murmuxmon

Out across the sandy horizon, the stone block architecture of SkullCaliphmon’s castle shimmered and wavered in the harsh light of the desert sunlight. I looked down at my hands — my now Human hands, as a part of my disguise. I had changed my shape into that of King Byron’s, the king of the ancient kingdom of Celicia. And the real one? Killed. Done in by my hand. And the best part was, the queen, Mana, had no inkling of my plan in the slightest; she fully believed that I was her husband.

“Are you okay, dear?” Mana asked, walking up to me.

“…Fine, my love,” I replied absentmindedly. “Just…thinking about that castle.”

“I know…SkullCaliphmon must be stopped if we are to all live in peace,” Mana whispered. “But…the thought of attacking first doesn’t sit right with me, especially since they’ve done nothing as of late…”

“Do not fret; I will deal with this situation,” I said. “I promise to protect you, and Citrine as well.”

“I know, I know…It just scares me…You can never know what SkullCaliphmon’s thinking…”

“That’s assuming he does in the first place,” I muttered. “…Mana…SkullCaliphmon has requested an audience with me today. I…didn’t want to tell you because I did not wish to worry you…”

“…That’s okay…Do you want me to go with you?”

“No. I’ll only take a few of the royal guard with me; I’ll leave the captain behind with you in case…you know…”

“You’re not even taking EmperorGreymon? Are you certain?” Mana asked.

“Don’t worry, dear. I promise…I’ll come back safely. We’re just talking,” I said, holding the beautiful queen close to me. EmperorGreymon had been among the many those I had yet to convince to join me, and I doubted I ever would. He had an unshakeable loyalty to his queen and kingdom, and he was a member of the Celestial Vanguard, the group that Omnimon, Seraphimon, and Apollomon had all been a part of. This was not a problem; however, as I was not, in reality, the king, I had to exude utmost caution around this powerful Digimon. One false move, and it could all be over for me. This didn’t bother me as much as when I first arrived in the ancient kingdom with my followers. That had been seven years ago, at least for us and those around us. But, I knew the members of Lachesis would be arriving soon. I was surprised that they hadn’t yet, until I stopped to consider the intricacies and nuances of time travel, a feat that always made my head hurt. I had really grown close to Queen Mana, I felt; only 34 years old, and in the prime of her exquisite beauty, I found my thoughts often directed around her, but as always, I had to remind myself of my mission. The destruction of both Lachesis and the kingdom of SkullCaliphmon were the bulk of that mission. SkullCaliphmon’s downfall was more a personal matter than that of Lachesis, so as I gathered around me my Demons, I reminded them that they were to avoid the Mega Digimon at all costs — he was mine to kill. The castle was just within reach now, and I had turned back into Murmuxmon. Of course, my coming was a surprise to the castle’s residents — I had lied to Mana about the meeting that was planned between us. And so, when we began our assault, many a Digimon tried to stop us, and many a Digimon fell in defeat.

“You boneheads! Don’t let this castle fall! If we lose it, our kingdom is no more!” SkullCaliphmon called out. Tactimon, SkullCaliphmon’s most loyal knight in the past and a member of Lachesis in the future, jumped out at us, but he was knocked to the side, unconscious, by Kieran. Alphonse and Marissa had eliminated an entire squadron of SkullScorpiomon all on their own, while Puppetmon and Agunimon had managed to defeat some SkullBaluchimon. All that remained was SkullCaliphmon himself. The skeleton king gritted his teeth in anger as I approached. “Jeez, first those Vanguard bastards come in and wreck shit up, and now this boner…When will it ever end?!”

“…You fought against the Vanguard? Interesting.”

“Oh, come one! What is your problem with me, anyway?! Did that Vanguard send ya’ in to kill me, huh?!”

“…I don’t know what you mean. I have nothing to do with them.”

“Ah, cut the shit, mate! I saw you with ‘em! Yer their blasted lackey!” Now, I was genuinely perplexed. Was there another Murmuxmon that I didn’t know about? Or, was this a previous incarnation of myself? Well, none of that mattered to me at that moment, for I was ready to attack.

“Gehenna Flame!” A deep crimson flame rose up from the ground. SkullCaliphmon’s castle was consumed by a maddened hellfire. Fleeing remnants of SkullCaliphmon’s army were caught up in the inferno, and burned to ash within seconds of touching the flames. SkullCaliphmon himself swung his sword, and vanished.

Oh well, I thought. I may not have killed him, but his kingdom, his army, all of it was as good as finished. Many of the civilians that had lived in his kingdom had left of their own accord to Celicia Kingdom, but those who didn’t became fuel for my all-consuming flames. “…And with that, I am one step closer to achieving my goal. Lachesis…you…are next.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 127 - Sparrow vs Edmund

Sparrow Lea

“WHAAAAT?! I have to fight HIM?!” I screamed. Edmund Luxord looked equally perplexed at the thought of having to fight me in return. Behind me, lying in a cot, a sleeping Isole covered in bandages stirred in her sleep.

“Yep! Jus’ think o’ this o’ bein’ a battle o’ brain against brawn!” Ogremon said, looking quite pleased with himself and his decision.

“But his brain is going to kill me!” I whined.

“…If you vould like, I could take your place,” Pheragas the First suggested. “Den, it vould really be a battle of the brains and de brawn.”

“What?! I’ll show you! I can do this!” I snapped. “…Even though it’ll probably kill me…And Hawkmon isn’t even here…”

“Too bad! Git ready fer this!” Ogremon opened up mine and Edmund’s cell doors, and let us both out. Oh, how tempted I was to bash that stupid Digimon’s head in, but the warning Lucia gave us echoed consistently in my mind. And so, I began mentally preparing myself for an imminent death at Edmund’s hands — or rather, mind — and stepped out into the coliseum’s arena. A Lampmon stepped out and introduced us — accidentally calling me Jack at one point rather than my name. Every bit of me was trembling at the thought of having to fight Edmund, who many firmly believed to be the strongest member of our guild.

“…Let’s get this over with,” Edmund said. “Give it your all, understand? For the sake of our comrades!”

“R-Right!” I raised my axe up into the air, and rested its handle on my shoulder. “Listen here, Edmund! I won’t be going easy on you just because you have a hot mom! You’d better believe I’ll be coming out the winner!”

“Ooh, and the trash talking has already begun!” Lampmon exclaimed. “And if Sparrow’s telling the truth, then I wouldn’t mind getting a closer look at Edmund’s mother, if you know what I mean! But, which of these two fighters will emerge victorious?! Only time shall tell!”

“All right! Let’s get this—!” I rushed in towards Edmund, which I immediately knew was a big mistake. All it took was a single snap of the archsage’s fingers, and I was engulfed in flames. It really wasn’t hot at all, but it still hurt like hell. I fell to the ground in an instant.
“Uh…looks like…Edmund Luxord is the winner!” Lampmon exclaimed in a surprised voice. The crowd went wild, and I passed out completely.

[HR][/HR]
Isole Frost

The obnoxious cheers from the crowd woke me from a blissful slumber. I tried to raise myself up, but a sharp, stinging pain on my chest kept me from doing so.
Right…Sieglinde…her sword got me…And then Morgannamon…she defeated her and Tactimon…how long ago was that? Have I been asleep all this time? How bothersome…

“…Isole…” Melanie’s voice trembled delicately at my side. “I…I’m so…sorry…I never meant for any of this to happen…”

“Don’t worry ‘bout it…I’ll be fine…Ogremon said I can’t fight for a while anyway, since there’s no joy in watching someone beat up an injured girl,” I laughed.

“That isn’t…what I meant,” Melanie said. “All of this…none of this was supposed to happen. We weren’t supposed to end up in this horrible place, I swear it! I…I…”
“…Dry those tears, love…We all believe you…We can all tell how honest…how…sincere you are when you talk…how passionate…You’re one of us, Melanie…we all love you, and trust you…and we’ll help you stop the monster who wants to ruin everyone’s future. We’ll help…you…” I laid my head back down into my pillow and closed my eyes. Sleep had taken hold of me, once more pulling my consciousness into the realm of dreams and nightmares. Before I left, I almost could have sworn that Melanie almost began to glow in a white light…

[HR][/HR]
Mana Celicia

Byron had been gone for quite a while; he was a fair and fine warrior, but there was no telling what SkullCaliphmon would do. I sincerely doubted that he would request a peace talk, knowing him, and Byron had gone to visit him unarmed and without EmperorGreymon, or any of our finest knights. I missed him, and I felt terribly worried about the whole situation. I’d have gone to see my precious daughter, but she had become rather closed off as of late, and I wanted to give her her space. I decided to take a walk through the palace garden to get my mind off of everything.

Our kingdom of Celicia was a peaceful one. Though I was its queen, it was more than perfectly safe for me to wander the streets of my kingdom without cause for alarm. It was wonderful. Everyone I passed by smiled so kindly at me, it was enough for me to forget that I bore the Mark. Though I had been born a princess, my station and that of my family was rather low; marrying the high prince, Byron, seemed like an unachievable dream. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized that our station was lower than others due to my Mark. Had I been with a Digimon? Had my parents? No. And yet, we were all seen fit to be cursed with the accursed brand on my belly. And, in spite of this, once I had married dear Byron, I was never again shunned, or insulted, or attacked ever again. As all of these thoughts raced through my mind, I noticed a large group of befuddled travelers.

My…what strange clothing they all have; they can’t be from around here! And they look a little lost. Let’s see if I can help them! “Good day, travelers; pardon me, but you all appear to be rather worn out and lost. Might there be anything I can do to assist you…?” An aged man, possibly the group’s leader, stepped up to speak to me.

“I apologize for the inconvenience, milady, but I wish to know if this is in fact Celicia Kingdom?” the man asked.

“Yes, it is! Might I ask where you are from?” I smiled.

“Where we…are from? Yes, yes…we, uh…we’re from—”

“We came from the eastern continent,” a lovely blonde woman spoke up. Like me, she had the Mark on her belly.

“Oh my! What a rough journey that must have been!” I exclaimed. “Would you all care to rest in the palace? All of you looks very exhausted…”

“We thank you for the offer, milady, but we do not wish to impose upon you,” the older man said.

“Oh, it isn’t any trouble at all, dears; I’m the queen of this kingdom, after all!” I giggled.

“Y-You’re the…queen?!”

“…You really aren’t from around here, are you? Well, that’s fine! I would appreciate your company, actually; my husband is out for a…chat with a Digimon called SkullCaliphmon, and he has been gone for quite some time, I’m afraid, and I…I’m rather worried about him…”

“Where you, now? Well, you needn’t worry anymore, my love.” My heart skipped a beat at the sound of my husband’s deep but calm, soothing voice. “I apologize for…Y-YOU!” Byron gasped, and glared at the group of travelers I had been talking to. “…Er…Might I…ask who you all are?”

“They’re a group of travelers from the Eastern Continent, darling,” I smiled. “I invited them to stay in the castle while recovering from their long journey across the sea.”

“I…see…Well, travelers, I implore that you ask if there is anything I may do to help you rest,” Byron said.
…I haven’t seen that look in his eyes before…For a moment, he almost seemed…malicious…No, I must be imagining things. I must be as exhausted as these dear travelers…

[HR][/HR]
Andromon

Several minutes have passed since my friend were transported back in time by Melanie. And to think, I had expected them to arrive a mere split second later.

Oh well…explain the intricacies of time travel, no one can, I thought wearily. Behind me, the time warp Melanie had opened emitted a bright blue light, and gave off a tremendous energy that made even me tremble with fear. I closed my eyes, and tilted my head up towards the sky.

“…Do Andromon dream of electric Sheepmon?” My eyes opened at the sound of Dominimon’s voice. He and Bokomon, both out of breath, had arrived near the portal.

“What you are doing, might I ask?”

“Andromon, it’s…well, it’s a little complicated,” Bokomon stammered.

“Madelyn has gone missing, it seems; Lloyd and Heather are beyond frantic with fear, so we decided to come here,” Dominimon said. “…We both suspected she may have left with the others back in time. Call it a fatherly hunch…”

“…Understand the reasoning process of Humans, I will never,” I sighed. “But step aside, I shall…trust you both, I do.”

“Thank you, old friend,” Dominimon whispered. “…I never even thanked you properly for keeping my Zelda safe while you traveled with her for all those years.”

“No need, you have…Flamedramon and Abigail…did most of the work, they did,” I said.

“…I’ll find some way to pay you all back someday. But, for Heather and Lloyd, I shall go and find their daughter.”

“Find her, you will…And good luck,” I smiled at the two Digimon. Bokomon and Dominimon both nodded at me, and stepped into the gleaming light of the time portal.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 128 - Out of the Blue

Murmuxmon

I knew right away that those members of Lachesis with old man Ulysses weren’t the only ones he had brought with him. And, it had not taken me long to figure out where they had ended up — I saw, on my way back to the castle, a skirmish in the coliseum between Sparrow and Edmund. That was problematic; Edmund was strong, and I had seen his parents among those who had gone with Ulysses. I decided against wasting time worrying about how they ended up here in the past at all, and spent my time thinking of ways to quietly eliminated them. But there was another issue — Mana had grown quite fond of them. Slaughtering them outright wouldn’t go well towards concealing my identity. Fortunately, my path hardly ever crossed with that of Ulysses; I had feared that spending too much time in my presence would reveal my identity as Murmuxmon. After all, it was I who chosen him to be the next leader of that mercenary guild.

“Well, no matter…I suppose my first business should be that of that coliseum,” I muttered. “…If I send a few down there…then maybe I could kill two birds with one stone; get rid of both Lachesis and the Games that so distressed Mana. And I needed her in my favor. There is nothing quite like having royalty indebted to you. All right; time to rally my forces and kill those bastards from Lachesis.”

[HR][/HR]
Madelyn Reed

I knew that Ulysses and a few of the others were still cross with me for having accompanied them to the past. But, at the moment, none of that mattered to me. Immediately after settling into the room given to me at the castle, Queen Mana had immediately sensed the guilt and distress in my heart, so she introduced me to her daughter, the princess Citrine. The two of us had become friends so quickly, that I regretted my initial regret over having come to the past.

Citrine was a shy and withdrawn girl, with hair the color of her namesake, and close to my age; from time to time, I suspected Mana brought her to me in hopes that she would open up a bit more. But, whatever her reasoning, I’m glad she did. I loved Citrine like a sister right from the start; although, I often felt like the older one, due to Citrine’s shy temperament. And to think, I came with Ulysses and the others over sibling jealousy in the first place! The two of us stayed up long past midnight chatting about the silliest little things.

“S-So, did I, um, tell you that I have the Mark…?” Citrine asked.

“No, but I saw it on Mana’s tummy, so I assumed you have it as well,” I smiled.

“It, um…It’s…between my…you know…o-on my…c-c-chest,” Citrine said quietly. “Um…I…I don’t really want to show it to you…”

“That’s okay; even if it were somewhere else, you wouldn’t have to show me if you didn’t want to,” I said. Citrine smiled at me, and then looked down nervously at the floor. “…Citrine? Is there something wrong?”

“…W-Well, um…”

“You can tell me, Citrine. It’s okay,” I whispered gently. Citrine remained silent for a few moments, and then looked me directly in the eyes.

“…Madelyn? Can you promise not to tell anyone what I’m about to tell you?” Citrine asked. There was such purity in her eyes; how could I have refused?

“Of course; this’ll be just between us, I promise.”

“…Well…it…has to do with my…legs,” Citrine began.

“You mean how they don’t work properly?”

“Yes…And, um…Do you know how…m-my father…acts so nice around other people?”

“Yes…?” The uncertainty with which Citrine spoke filled me with dread; I had remembered the scathing look he gave to Ulysses just the other day when we first arrived at the castle, and it had bothered me ever since. “…What about it?”

“…Would you believe me…if I told you that if it was because of my father that my legs don’t work right?”

“What…are you saying?” I whispered.

“Madelyn…m-my father…something about him has changed…It was about seven years ago when I first noticed a change in his personality. I…I asked him about it, to see if he was okay…that was the first time he…he hurt me…I don’t know how he does it…it’s like he’s doing it with his mind, or some kind of Digimon’s ability. He keeps hurting me…he’s been hurting me ever since then…and I don’t know why…”

“Oh, Citrine…I’m so sorry…Does your mother know?” I asked.

“…I’ve tried telling her…but she doesn’t believe me…She doesn’t believe that it’s my father hurting me…but she does everything she can do to help me out and everything, so I can’t really fault her…”

“…Well…you know what I think we should do?” As the thought entered my mind, my heart fell to the pit of my stomach. “…Let’s watch him for a while. There’s something up, I can tell. So, let’s watch him!”

“Maddie…”

“W-Well, I guess you can’t really walk around…But I can go watch him! Yeah! I’ll definitely go watch him!”

“Are you certain about this…?”

“Of course! I want to do whatever I can to get you to stop hurting, because you’re my friend!”

“…Madelyn…”
“Don’t worry about me! I’ll be back in a flash!” Without even bothering to wait for a response, I ran happily out of the room.

[HR][/HR]
Lilliana Meadows

“Lilliana, please tell me you’re kidding!” Kamemon gasped.

“…What’s wrong? I just suggested to go shopping for Mister Byron in town,” I said.

“Lilly…do you have any idea how bad of an idea that is?”

“What do you mean…?”

“Lilliana…I’ve never said this before…but, you have a horrible sense of direction,” Kamemon said. “You get lost in the fortress back home, for Arcadia’s sake. There’s no way you can make it to town and back to the castle!”

“Wha—? Kamemon! Why would you say that…?”

“Well, because it’s the truth,” Kamemon said flatly. “I mean this in the nicest way possible, but…you couldn’t find water if you fell out of a boat.”

“K-Kamemon…sniff…”

“Don’t be like that, Lilliana; I’m not trying to be mean—”

“I was going to ask you to come with me so I wouldn’t get lost!” I wailed.

“O-Oh…I thought…you were going alone…”

“Well, I am now! I don’t wanna go anywhere with you!” I screamed at the small Digimon, running as fast as I could out of the castle. Tears clouded my vision, and though I really did not know where the town actually was, I ran and ran to get away from Kamemon. Some Digimon partner he was! I kept on running until I tripped over my own feet, and fell to the ground, sobbing. I lifted my dirt and tear-covered face, ignoring my glasses as they fell to the ground. Something shot past me overhead, and I looked up at the sky just in time to see a giant blade cut through the air. Had I not moved out of the way when I did, the sword would have cut clear through my belly and severed me in half. Two enormous Digimon stood before me, poised to attack. “W-Who are you…?!”

“My name is Butenmon,” the Digimon carrying the giant sword spoke up. “My partner here is GrapLeomon.”

“We were sent by our master…to eliminate you of Lachesis,” GrapLeomon whispered. “Prepare yourself, little one! Lion Beast Wave Slash!”

“Dance of the Sun!”

“DJ Shooter!” Discs flew above my head and crashed into the two Digimon, stopping them both in their tracks. “Lilliana!”

“…G…Gwappamon…”

“…I knew I shouldn’t have let you go out on your own. We gotta keep remembering that there’s someone evil here who’s fixing on screwing up time and space,” Gwappamon said. “Don’t leave my side. I promised to always protect you. It’s time for me to keep my word!”

“…I’m sorry for what I said earlier,” I whispered.

“Don’t worry about it. I was entirely at fault. I shouldn’t have said…any of that stuff,” Gwappamon whispered. “Now then…who are these guys?”

“They said their names were Butenmon and GrapLeomon…”

“Ultimate level Digimon, huh…? Lilliana, you should get out of here. There’s a chance…I might not make it. You need to get out of here…get Flamedramon and Abigail. They’re probably the only ones who can defeat these two. I’ll hold them off until you get back, okay?”

“No! Gwappamon…I-I won’t leave you!”

“Go on! If you don’t want me to die, then you’ll go get help! Right now!”

“…Gwappamon…” I clutched my Digivice close to my chest, and fresh tears filled my eyes once more. I turned away as Gwappamon ordered, when a pure blue light shone out from my purse. I peered inside, and gasped when I saw a card of the same color. “…Gwappamon, wait! Take this!” I held the card up; its sapphire radiance shone on the three Digimon before me, taking their minds off the ensuing fight for just a moment. “Digi-Modify! Matrix Digivolution Activate!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 129 - A Link to the Past

Madelyn Reed

King Byron…King Byron…Where could he be…? I quietly walked around the large castle, trying not to appear to be too suspicious. I was surprised at how well I was able to navigate Castle Celicia; I guess my time spent in Silverveil wasn’t a total waste after all!

“…Hey.” My heart leaped practically out of my chest. Melanie was right behind me; I was unsure how long she had been following me, but I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of an answer to show just how clueless and unobservant I really was…

“Melanie…what are you doing here?!” I whispered loudly. “I…I didn’t even think you were in this group here! Where are the others? Where did you come from?”

“You’re searching for the king…aren’t you?” Melanie asked.

“Oh, um…yeah…?”

“…I felt that might be the case. Madelyn, you may not like what you find. I haven’t told you this yet, but the man everyone knows as King Byron is an imposter,” Melanie said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“What do you…? Wait, that…actually makes sense,” I pondered. “Citrine said he’s been hurting her…I mean, that’s why I’m looking for him in the first place…Oh! I should go tell her!”

“Wait! This isn’t something you can just state out loud to people in the past like this!” Melanie exclaimed quietly.

“Oh…I guess not…Well, if that guy really isn’t the king, then who is he?”

“…I can’t tell you. One of those weird rules of time travel, you know?”

“Wait…did you hear that…?”

“I imagine that was the king; we should be quiet from here on if we intend to spy on him,” Melanie whispered. I nodded, and walked to where the voice came from.

“…So, that should take care of Lilliana…” the man pretending to be King Byron was talking to himself in his room. I had my ear pressed against a wooden door. “Butenmon and GrapLeomon have never failed to get the job done before. Kamemon wouldn’t stand a chance even if he Digivolves to his Champion level!” Behind me, Melanie gasped. “Now then…who should I send to deal with those at the coliseum? Most of their strongest members are there…”

The coliseum? Is that where everyone else wound up?

“…is already there, but he won’t be strong enough to defeat them, for sure. Perhaps Alphonse or Kieran…?” Byron’s imposter continued talking to himself, mumbling under his breath about something or other.
“We have to go.” Melanie mouthed the words. I nodded, and followed the hooded sorceress down the hallway.

[HR][/HR]
Gwappamon

“Digi-Modify! Matrix Digivolution Activate!” Lilliana slid a radiant blue card through her Digivice, and I began to glow with a similar sapphire gleam.

“Gwappamon Matrix Digivolve to, Shawjamon!” The light of Digivolution faded away; I looked down at my new form, and at the weapon I now held. “…This power…I’ve reached the Ultimate level! I never thought I’d see the day…Lilliana! Now! Go and get help!”

“…Please, be careful!” Lilliana called out, finally turning around to leave. “Now, then…you two. Ready to go at it?”

“…Two against one isn’t entirely my style…but if you insist, it shall be done!” Butenmon exclaimed.

“Lion Beast Wave Slash!”

“Crescent Moon Slash!” With a lot less effort than I thought would be necessary, I swung my staff to block GrapLeomon’s attack with ease. This, however, left my back wide open for Butenmon’s Dance of the Sun attack. Blood and tatters of my cape flew through the air, creating an opening for GrapLeomon to ram his fist into my gut. I fell to the ground, coughing up blood, and GrapLeomon kicked me in the side of the head. Butenmon picked up my staff, and placed the blade up against my neck.

“You just Digivolved to Ultimate for the first time; you expect to beat us, who have been training all of our lives?!” Butenmon yelled.

“Not to mention that we had an extra seven years here in the past!” GrapLeomon added.

“…Seven…? You’ve been here for seven years…?”

“GrapLeomon! There was no need to tell him that!” Butenmon snapped.

“C’mon; there’s no way he’ll be getting out of here alive!” GrapLeomon whined.

“It always pays to be cautious, my friend. Which is why I insist we kill him now instead of toying with him,” Butenmon replied. “Especially since you blabbed to him.” As the two Digimon stared at each other, I reached out and grabbed the blade of my weapon.

“Hydro Descent!” A raging surge of water erupted from the opposite end of my weapon, striking Butenmon directly in the face. The larger Digimon dropped my staff, and I cut through his helmet and face with the blade.

“Cyclonic Kick!”

“Whirlpool Formation!” A swirl of water burst from the ground around GrapLeomon, keeping him from advancing any closer. Another Hydro Descent knocking him flat on his back, unconscious.

“Dance of the Sun!” Butenmon’s gigantic sword tore through the front of my chest. “We’ve never once failed to eliminate a mark. That is why our lord values our service so dearly. Shawjamon, you undoubtedly were our first real challenge in countless years; a respectable warrior for one so newly Digivolved. But now…you will be the first to fall!”

“Samurai Tiger Tail!”

“Freezing Wave!” The attacks of the two Digimon struck Butenmon in the back; in an instant, he fell over, leaving his sword lodged in my back as he lay defeated.

“Jeez…Lilliana wasn’t kidding; you really did reach Ultimate,” Mihiramon muttered as he and Quetzalmon hurried to my side. “Not bad, old man.”

“Listen; turn back into Kamemon,” Quetzalmon said. “That’s the safest way to get that sword out of you, okay? You’ll still be hurt, but it won’t be a big gaping wound.” I slowly nodded, and focused my attention and energy within. I began to glow once more in the light of Digivolution, and turned back into Kamemon.
“All right, little guy; just get up on my back and take it easy for now,” Mihiramon said. I nodded, but found myself incapable of moving, leaving it up to Quetzalmon to place me on the back of the Exalted Beast.

[HR][/HR]
Flamedramon

“…Is this the place?” I asked.

“Gee, I don’t know; it’s the only coliseum in the entire town!” Abigail exclaimed. “Now, come on! Our little boy is in there!”

“Yeah, and all the others,” I muttered.

“Oh, right, yeah. Well, they can take care of themselves. Eddie still needs his mommy!”

“Right, and I’m a friendly little guy who uses ice attacks…”

“Don’t just stand there! Come ON!” Abigail tugged on my arm and dragged me into the coliseum. It was a surprisingly clean building; a few guards glared at us, but did not approach, thinking us to be spectators to their barbaric games.

“Where are they?” I hissed. Abigail shook her head. We approached two Human guards, but the two held out their weapons to keeps us from going through their guarded doorway and down the dark hallway.

“Let us through!” Abigail said through clenched teeth.

“Unless you wish to participate in the games, entry beyond this point is not allowed,” one of the guards said in a gruff voice.

“Oh, to hell with it!” My arm swung through the air; in an instant, the two guards were set ablaze and died within seconds.

“…Flamedramon…why did you do that?” Abigail asked breathlessly.

“Oh, like you weren’t about to shank them with that knife you keep hidden in your cleavage!” I retorted. Abigail remained silent as the two of us ran down the hallway until we found ourselves in another room.

“Abigail! Flamedramon!” Zelda’s gentle voice echoed through the room as soon as we entered.

“Jeez…how’d you all end up in here?” I asked, looking around the prison cells at our captured friends. “…Ph-Pheragas?! What are you doing here?!”

“That isn’t him, Father,” Edmund called out. “This man is the ancestor of the man we knew when I was born.”

“…Huh. You look just like him,” I said.

“Your friends ‘ave told dat to me many times,” Pheragas shrugged, speaking even in the same accent, the same mannerisms and everything as my old friend.

“…Where’s Melanie?” Abigail asked. “Eddie, darling, have you seen Melanie?”

“She was here just moments ago,” Edmund whispered.

“…She…vanished,” Isole said between raspy, weakened breaths.

“Isole, don’t speak; you need your rest,” Lucia said gently.

“Melanie…she…vanished…before I passed out,” Isole continued. “I think she…teleported…warped somewhere…I saw her glowing…She used her magic to warp herself somewhere else…”

“But…why would she—”

“HEY! What’re you doin’ here?!” An Ogremon sauntered over to me and Abigail. “You here teh participate er what?!”

“Actually, we’re here for our friends. It seems that you haven’t been taking very good care of them,” I said. Isole, Sparrow, and Sieglinde all lay unconscious in their own cots, covered in bloody bandages. “We’ll take them off your hands.”

“Wait! Flamedramon, don’t kill him!” Lucia shouted.

“Oh, like hell you’ll take ‘em from me!” Ogremon sneered. The green Champion Digimon raised his club and jumped at us, but Abigail pulled out her Digivice faster than the Ogremon could even blink.

“Bio Hybrid D.N.A. Charge! Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioLadyDevimon!”

“No, Abigail! Stop this!” Lucia screamed.

“Black Wing!” My wife’s arm turned to a large spear, which she deftly swung in the air before impaling Ogremon in the chest. The Digimon’s data dissolved and floated away before his blood could hit the floor beneath him.

“…Abigail…what have you done?”

“What? You wanted to kill him yourself, Lucia?” I asked.

“You IDIOTS! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?!” Lucia yelled. “Ogremon wasn’t supposed to die here like this! By killing him, you’ve changed the future we came from in ways none of us can comprehend!” Abigail reverted back to her Human form, and stared silently at Lucia.

“But…it was just one Digimon,” Abigail said quietly. “How can…one Digimon’s life make such a big difference…?”

“I’m afraid that isn’t how time operates,” Melanie said.

“M-Melanie! When the hell did you get back?!?” Lucia exclaimed. The cloaked woman had just suddenly apparated at her side. Melanie, of course, ignored her.

“By drastically altering the course of one person’s life in the past…you’ve altered the courses for every one of us in the future. That is why we have come here, remember? To prevent those evil Digimon from doing the same! But now that you’ve done this…we may not even be able to return home.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 130 - The Invincible Kieran

Madelyn Reed

“…My father…is an imposter…?” Citrine whimpered.

“I really hate to tell this to you…But, as Madelyn has told me, the man masquerading as your father has been inflicting such horrible pain on you; perhaps this revelation makes the facts easier to believe?” Melanie asked.

“Y-Yes, I suppose that does make sense…But then, who is he? Who’s pretending to be my father?” Citrine asked. “…Where’s my daddy?”

“…I regret to inform you that the imposter has…killed your father,” Melanie said quietly.

“………I see…M-My daddy…is…no longer with us…No, I can’t worry about that right now. The one pretending to be him; who is he?”

“Melanie said—”

“It matters not who he is. The important thing is stopping him; he is a monster who came from the future with the goal of changing that very future. He needs to be stopped,” Melanie said.

“…Very well. I shall do everything in my power as the princess of Celicia Kingdom to aid you, my dear friends,” Citrine said, giving us a shy, sad smile. “Is there…anything I can do now to assist you? Should I warn EmperorGreymon? What about my mother? Should she—?”

“I would advise against sharing this information with others, for starters,” Melanie began. “At the same time, do your best to remain vigilant. If this information does get out, then…just stay safe, okay? However, there may be a time where you will need to rally the knights of your kingdom. For now, stay safe, Citrine.”

“…I will.” Melanie and I said our goodbyes to the princess, and left the royal palace of Celicia.

“…Melanie…you never did tell me how you found me,” I said. “And where are the others? Do you know?”

“Yes; we are heading for them as we speak. I found you by mere coincidence; I had come to keep watch on Byron, or rather, his imposter, when I found you doing the same thing. But, I do have to ask…what are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here; you should be with your parents and your new brother and sister.”

“…It’s a long story…but I don’t regret coming. Citrine is such a wonderful friend…”

“I won’t judge you, dear; but, I really think you should stay behind with Citrine. You’ll be safer that way,” Melanie said.

“I know…I never really was that good at making decisions on my own. I was a slave for most of my life, so I only know how to follow orders…”

“Don’t worry about it. Just stay close.”

“No!” Melanie and I both jumped at the new voice. Dominimon, holding Bokomon in his arms, alighted down to the ground in front of us. “Madelyn. You are in big trouble!” Dominimon shouted.

“I-I’m sorry,” I stuttered. “But, um…Mr. Ulysses knows that I’m here, and—”

“You be quiet!” Bokomon snapped. “Do you have any idea how worried your parents are about you, young lady?! Honestly, how could you leave them like this, so soon after your mother just gave birth to your new siblings?!”

“I didn’t think they’d notice,” was all I said, looking away from the two angry Digimon. The three of us remained silent, staring across the distance of no more than fifteen feet at each other.

“…Melodrama bores me.” This new voice, unknown to me, sent chills plummeting down my spine. A large man with deep crimson hair walked up to our group of four. A scar ran over and obscured his right eye. In his hand was a large and deadly-looking sword, and strapped to his back was an immense battle axe.

“And who are you?!” Dominimon asked. “We’re in the middle of something right now, so—”

“SILENCE!” the man interrupted. “I didn’t say you could talk.” He looked at each one of us with what looked to be disapproval in his remaining eye. “…Women, Rookie levels, and Angel Digimon. Is that all Lachesis is composed of? My lord promised me a bountiful harvest of souls.”

“…You came from the future as well,” Dominimon stated. The man nodded.

“My name is Kieran. I am here at the behest of my master…to eliminate your mercenary guild. But if this is all Lachesis has to offer, then my job will be a short one.”

“Don’t count on it!” Dominimon drew the sabre attached to his wrist, and swung it hard at Kieran’s head, but missed by the slightest margin. I blinked, and saw that Kieran had actually drawn his axe without my notice to block Dominimon’s attack.

“Hm. It seems you have some skill after all,” Kieran said quietly. “But as I said…you are only an Angel Digimon. Not suited for combat, unless your foe is a Demon Lord.”

“Make no mistake. I always win when I’m fighting for my friends!” Dominimon swung again, but Kieran held his axe up at just the right angle to protect himself. The man then raised his own sword and jabbed it at Dominimon’s side. Three golden, blood-stained feathers spiraled away in the wind. Dominimon faltered in his battle stance and backed away from Kieran. “Final Excalibur!” The Angel’s sword glowed in a radiant light as he held it skyward, but Kieran swung his mighty axe through the air before Dominimon could act. A giant gash formed on his chest, and blood seeped out, staining his pure gold feathers.

“…As I said. Angels are weak. They are strong only to one variety of Digimon…how pathetic. Your mercenary guild will fall in defeat like a ripe plum…”

“You’re wrong…You won’t win…You won’t!”

“Dominimon, don’t get back up!” Bokomon exclaimed. The small Rookie pulled a large book out from his pink belt.

“Bokomon, watch out!” I yelled. The little Digimon was wildly turning pages in his book, and didn’t notice Kieran slowly approaching him. “BOKOMON!” My yelling was in vain. Kieran swung his sword once again. Bokomon’s book split clean in half; its pages flew off with the wind while its covers hit the ground with its unconscious owner. “No…no…this is bad…”

“Calm yourself, maiden. I don’t fight unarmed women. Had you a weapon, you’d share the same fate,” Kieran said. “And you, mage…my blood boils over at the thought of fighting you. But at the same time…I sense an overwhelming power from within you. I could easily be destroyed in doing so…”

“…Very wise, warrior. I will not chase you down myself…and I’m sure you know why,” Melanie said.

“Indeed. Time travel is indeed a very complicated business,” Kieran nodded.

“Yes…but make no mistake. If you do something you know you shouldn’t…I’ll destroy you in a heartbeat.”

“Yes…Why do you think I spared your weak Digimon comrades?” Kieran turned away. “…I am the strongest Human working for my master. The Digimon that serve him…are all more powerful than I could ever hope to be. Keep that in mind, my dear…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 131 - A Grasping Truth

Ulysses Melchett

The bright blue sky, filled with pure white clouds, was the only sign of hope that I could draw from our current situation. We stood in a large dirt clearing, with a large forest off in the distance. Abigail and Flamedramon, to my immense relief and amazement, were able to find the members of the guild. The small group I had arrived in the past with met with this much larger group, minus Melanie and Madelyn. This thought remained in the back of my mind as we spoke of what happened.

According to Isole, Melanie had teleported herself away to Arcadia knows where, and I had no idea where Madelyn had gone off to; I felt the two disappearances were undoubtedly connected, but I tried not to worry about it. But, of course, worries have their own unique way of gripping the mind.

“I’ll go out and search for them,” Lucia said, jumping onto Mihiramon’s back. “We will also have to be on the lookout for our enemy. We don’t know how powerful they are, so we should travel in groups, at least two or three.”

“Yes…I’ll be fine on my own,” I said absentmindedly. This feeling…We’re being watched. But by who…?

“Sir? Is there something wrong?” Lucia asked.

“…No. Nothing’s wrong. There’s just something I need to take care of. All of you go on ahead and divide up into your groups…I’ve got something I need to take care of.”

“If you insist. Be careful, boss.” Lucia took charge as she usually did. She divided our large group into many smaller ones. Sparrow and Hawkmon went one way, and Eleanora, Lunamon, Mia, Isole, Giselle, and Celtinemon went another; AeroVeedramon, Elizabeth, and Quetzalmon; Sieglinde, Lupinemon, and Tactimon; Tamiko, Kentaurosmon, and Zelda; Edmund and Trionfimon; Flamedramon and Abigail; and finally, she and Mihiramon would be going off with Matthew and Coronamon. A few were reluctant to leave me alone, but when they finally did leave, I thrust my claymore into the dirt.

“Now, then…Come on out, wherever the hell you are.”

“…Very wise of you to send your comrades away. You obviously do not wish to see them harmed…Is that not right?” a dark voice echoed throughout the area.

“Something like that…” The voice sent chills down my spine. It wasn’t the way the voice sounded that filled me with fear; it was the familiarity I felt when I heard it.

“It certainly has been a while, hasn’t it…Ulysses Melchett?” From the shadows in the nearby forest, a large and imposing figure approached. My heart sank a hundred yards.

“…Master…Murmuxmon…What…W-What are you doing here?!” I yelled. The Digimon before me laughed.

“Oh, Ulysses, I am not the master anymore…That title was the one I gave to you, remember?” Murmuxmon asked kindly. “Master Ulysses…”

“What are you doing here, Master? Murmuxmon…How did you get here, in the past?” I stared at the Mega Digimon. I was unsure whether to feel joy at the sight of my old Master, or suspicious towards his very presence here in the past. Though, in the back of my mind, I felt that I already knew the answer…

“Why, Ulysses…you already know why I’m here. I can see the realization forming within your beady, black eyes.” Murmuxmon grinned. “If I didn’t arrive here with you…then that can mean only one thing…”

“…So…You are…with the enemy…”

“You were always so naïve, Ulysses…Haven’t you ever wondered why I asked you to lead the guild when I left?” Murmuxmon asked.

“You told me…it because…you had faith in me…” I mumbled. Murmuxmon laughed; a typical villainous laugh.

“Oh, absolutely! Yes…I had faith in you…and your ineptness to screw everything up for Lachesis!” Murmuxmon was laughing maniacally now; I had never seen him act this way before. “I thought your entire damned organization would crumble to the ground underneath your sheer stupidity within a single year, Melchett! But as each year passed and Lachesis remained, my blood boiled over. I seethed with rage! How could you not screw up the one time I actually wanted you to screw up?!”

“Master Murmuxmon…What are you saying…?” I asked.

“What am I saying?! How stupid can you possibly be, Ulysses?! I was sent to infiltrate Lachesis by my master, IceDevimon. I was named second leader by Apollomon shortly before he died in battle. But, I was not to stay forever…IceDevimon needed me to return as soon as I was able to, so I picked the stupidest man I could find, and placed him in charge of your sorry organization. But man, it was exhausting; after Zelda and the others left on their little trip, it was another 244 years before you joined. I had to wait 353 years at that damned guild before you were named as the next leader!”

“Why…Why does IceDevimon hate us so much, Murmuxmon?!” I inquired.

“He isn’t completely heartless, you know. He was enraged when I was killed back when I was Asuramon. He had nothing against you lot at the time, but when I died…when Parrotmon, and Zudomon died…and ChaosGallantmon betrayed him…That’s when his ire began to grow. Zelda believed him to have died, and he very nearly did. But he can never die. He bided his time, and revived me, his most loyal henchman. Zudomon and Parrotmon had to do it on their own; he had only enough power to revive me.”

“What is IceDevimon after?! What are you planning, Murmuxmon?!”

“I really don’t think that’s any of your business, Ulysses,” Murmuxmon said in a haughty voice. “…But, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tell you that I…was the one who killed King Byron.”

“You…what?! The king is DEAD?!”

“You heard me. I murdered the king seven years ago when I first arrived…and I took his place.”

“Took his place…? The queen isn’t blind. You look nothing like Byron! You are a fool, Murmuxmon!”

“A fool?! I prefer to save that word for someone who falls for such an obvious trick like this!” Right before my very eyes, Murmuxmon changed his shape from a winged Digimon to the man I knew as king. “See…?! Now, who’s the fool again? Because I don’t think it’s me!”

“…Talosmon, Realize!” The form of the bronze giant appeared between me and Murmuxmon.

“Murmuxmon…I remember the day you left like it was yesterday. There were hardly any of us at that time compared to as we are now. Just me, Ulysses, Wisemon, Edmund, Katsumi, Tactimon, Matthew, Coronamon, Eleanora, and Lunamon. You made me so proud to be the partner Digimon of Ulysses Melchett,” Talosmon began. “You had faith in him when no one else did. It was because of your motivation that Ulysses was able to do everything he did. Sure, he may not have made the best decisions from time to time, but nobody cares more than he does. Ulysses has been a good master, Murmuxmon! I will not stand by as you say that your motivation was nothing but a lie!”

“And what do you plan to do about it, Bronze Giant?!” Murmuxmon turned back into his Digimon form, glaring deep into Talosmon’s eyes. Talosmon readied his giant sword, but it was too late, as Murmuxmon launched a Gehenna Flame from his mouth at the gargantuan Mega. Talosmon was launched backwards several feet, and fell flat on his back. I brandished my claymore, and swung it at Murmuxmon, but missed. “You don’t seriously mean to defeat me, Melchett?! Talosmon is no match, and you’re only a Human! You’re nothing to me!”

“That isn’t important! Our reason for being here in the past is to put a stop to whoever intends to change the future we came from!” I shouted boldly. “Stopping whoever seeks to harm others…That’s what you taught me to do, Murmuxmon! All I’m doing, all I’ve ever done, is following your command…even if that means I have to destroy you!”

“Well, when you phrase it like that, I can certainly understand your logic,” Murmuxmon pondered. “Even though it will be the death of you…will you still continue…?” Without giving my old master a response, I charged at him, striking him directly in the chest with my claymore. “…You poor, contemptable, fool…But your last act will be one of courage. I will make sure your friends know that after I burn you to a crisp! Gehenna Flame!” Before I could so much as blink, the flames of Murmuxmon surrounded me. My skin seared away instantly; my hair blackened and burned away. The blade of my sword melted, and I could feel the fluids in my eyes evaporate. I tried to scream, but no sound came out over the roar of the inferno. All of this happened within the span of just a few seconds. I was nothing more than a charred skeleton by the time I hit the ash-covered ground. Murmuxmon’s dreadful, victorious laughter was the last thing I heard.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 132 - Sincerity

Sparrow Lea

“Okay…So, what exactly should we be looking for, Hawkmon?” I asked. The surrounding territory was quite dull; nothing much but dirt and sand, and little plant-life. However, at the bottom of a cliff nearby was a dense forest. “The enemy? Madelyn and Melanie? Madelyn and Melanie…mmm, what a combination…”

“Sparrow, you do realize that trying to flirt with Madelyn will result in a highly bloody death at the hands of Lloyd, do you not?” Hawkmon asked. “Lloyd aside, I do not advise in attempting a relation with the young lady. I heard from Heather that during her time as a slave, a horrid man…well, he…he raped her.”

“O-Oh…I, uh…didn’t know…Well, they should’ve told me! I wouldn’t try to make advances on her and traumatize her if I had known! Jeez…”

“It’s kind of a personal thing, you know,” Hawkmon said. “I don’t even know if I should’ve told you; I just don’t want you to hurt her.”

“Oh, come on! I only hit on girls unless they’ll hit back!” I protested.

“You know what I mean. You flirt with every girl you see. On the off chance you actually could get a girlfriend, you’d just leave her for the next pretty face you saw!”

“…Leave, Hawkmon. Get out of my sight.”

“Oh, don’t be like that! You know I’m right!” Hawkmon said.

“No, Hawkmon. You couldn’t be any further from the truth. Yes, I do flirt with every girl I see. But, if I were committed to another…I can’t believe you’d say that right to my face, Hawkmon. Some friend…”

“Everyone in Lachesis thinks that!” Something inside me snapped. I pulled my Digivice out from my pocket, and hurled it right at the Rookie Digimon, striking him in the face. “Sparrow…”

“I’ll tell you only one more time. Get out of my sight. Our partnership is over!”

“Very well…I shall do as you wish…and disappear.” Without even batting an eye, Hawkmon turned his back to me, and flew off into the distance.

“Hawkmon…how could you say that to me?! That isn’t something you say lightly and expect it to be forgotten just like that.”

“If it’s any consolation, Sparrow…I never once thought that about you.” I sighed, and slowly turned around. Melanie stood behind me, the hood of her cloak somewhat ajar; light reflected off one of her eyes, and I could see a lovely shade of sky blue. At her side was Madelyn, and behind them, the unconscious bodies of Dominimon and Bokomon.

“…What do you mean by never? We only met, like, a few days ago,” I said.

“N-Never mind. But, Sparrow…You will need to reconcile with Hawkmon before this journey is at an end,” Melanie said.

“I know…although, I did briefly consider leaving him behind in the past when we go back…So, um…how long were you, uh…listening to us…?” I asked.

“L-Long enough for me to hear your plans for flirting with me,” Madelyn whispered. “And, um, for Hawkmon to tell you not to…and why…”

“Right…well, this is awkward.”

“Don’t worry about it, Mr. Sparrow. I know you aren’t anything like the man who raped me,” Madelyn whispered.

“I should certainly hope so; that isn’t exactly something I condone!”

“Aw, well isn’t this sweet?!?!?!” An obnoxious, maniacal laughter burned the air around us. I tightly gripped my axe and turned around just in time for a flame-covered fist to strike me directly in the middle of my face. The flame burned like none other I’ve felt as I hit the ground — granted, I’ve felt very few flames beforehand, but this fire almost seemed to be alive in its own way, a separate being than the one who threw the punch, and the flame was filled with a much deeper hatred than its owner. I looked up at the one who hit me; a red-armored Digimon with flowing blond hair stood above me. “Sorry, take you by surprise? Boss man always said the element of surprise was second only to that of fire! The name’s Agunimon!”

“Agunimon…one of those Digimon who went back in time, I take it?” I asked.

“You take right! Or, took…taken? Tooked…?”

“Not the brightest flame in the campfire, are you…” Agunimon’s blue eyes narrowed with utter contempt.

“Pyro Punch!” Another one of Agunimon’s punches just narrowly missed my head. My vision still blurred somewhat from his previous attack. I blindly swung my axe in the air, but missed quite pathetically. Agunimon took this opportunity to kick the side of my head. Once again, I fell to the ground, and Agunimon hit me with his Pyro Darts attack.

“Hold steady, Sparrow; I’m coming!” Melanie exclaimed.

“NO!” I could easily imagine the startled look on the mage’s face. “I’ve got this…I ain’t going to let this freak burn either of you ladies. You just keep watch over Dominimon and Bokomon over there, okay?”

“…Understood,” Melanie whispered.

“You hear me, Agunimon?! You aren’t going to lay a finger on these ladies while I’m still here!” I screamed, swinging my axe once more at Agunimon.

“Fine; then let me fix that!” Agunimon chuckled gleefully. “You’re here now…but not for much longer! I’ll start by burning YOUR fingers! Pyro Tornado!” Agunimon’s attack hit me in the chest; the flames seared my skin, and I feared my heart would melt from the sheer intensity. I staggered, and dropped my axe to the ground.

“Sparrow, watch out!” Madelyn shrieked. Had I been more conscious, I doubt it would have made a difference. I fell over backwards, and fell off the cliff I noticed earlier.

Back when…I was with Hawkmon…Hawkmon…You bastard…You had to fly away before I could forgive you. I fell through the tops of the trees, hitting over and over again the thick branches, the sharp, thin twigs of the forest, until I finally hit the ground. I was bleeding in more places than I could count from the fall alone. I looked up and around. Nobody. I looked up the steep cliff; it was a lot bigger than it felt when I fell down. Is that…a meteor…? No! “Agunimon!”

“PYRO PUNCH!” I rolled away just in time; the force of Agunimon’s impact cracked the earth. Flames rose up from the shattered ground, and singed the back of coat. “Ready to surrender? I’ll make your death less painful if you do! Can’t promise the same for the ladies, though…”

“N-Never…I will not give up…” I reached to pick up my axe, but quickly remembered that I had dropped it before falling from the cliff.

“What makes you so…what’s the word…determined?” Agunimon asked.

“…Well…if it were any other situation, I’d probably say something cheesy about fighting for my friends,” I said. “I’d mean it, of course…but this time…It’s a bit more selfish. I’m trying to prove a friend wrong.”

“Oh? Interesting…I’ve never heard that one before. Do go on.”

“He insulted me, right to my face. I’d never…I’d never do what he said…to a woman I loved. Hasn’t he known me long enough to know that…? I would never…do that!” A shimmering green light erupted from the ground between me and Agunimon. The earth rose and crumbled, and from it, a Digi-Egg rose, and floated over to me.

“…Sparrow. I should never have said that.” My heart skipped a beat; I looked towards the sky, and saw Hawkmon flying towards me. “I’d never be so foolish as to beg forgiveness, Sparrow Lea…but I will do whatever it takes to make it up to you,” Hawkmon said.

“ENOUGH of this! Pyro Tornado!” Agunimon unleashed a flaming tornado from his hands, but before it could hit me, Hawkmon jumped in front of me.

“HAWKMON! NO!” The flames vanished, and Hawkmon fell, badly singed, to the ground.

“Sparrow…I’m…sorry…”

“Y-You’re forgiven…Hawkmon…just…don’t die…Don’t you dare die on me, you son of a bitch!” I screamed. The Digi-Egg in my hand began to glow once more, and with it, Hawkmon. “…Time to deal with this crazy Digimon. Are you ready?!” Hawkmon nodded. “All right; prepare yourself, Agunimon! Digi-Armor Energize!”

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Shurimon, the Samurai of Sincerity!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 133 - Enter the Dragon

Sparrow Lea

“…Time to deal with this crazy Digimon. Are you ready?!” Hawkmon nodded. “All right; prepare yourself, Agunimon! Digi-Armor Energize!”

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Shurimon, the Samurai of Sincerity!” Hawkmon, in his new, leaf-clad form, stood tall and proud above Agunimon. “…This power…it’s different from when I Digivolved into Allomon or Moosemon. So much stronger…”

“You may be powerful; but it’ll never be enough,” Agunimon said. “It never pays…to anger a dragon.”

“A dragon…? You aren’t a dragon,” Shurimon scoffed. Agunimon closed his eyes, and lowered his head to face the ground.

“When the mark of the dragon shines bright in the sky…legends tell of a terrible flame that will scorch the land and bring humanity to its knees,” Agunimon said. The tall Digimon snapped his fingers, and a spark of flames flew up into the air. The shape of a dragon made of fire formed in the sky, looking like over a mile long, and burning intensely.

“Be careful,” I whispered. “Something’s going to happen…Be on your guard.”

“Affirmative,” Shurimon nodded. The flaming dragon Agunimon conjured twisted around the sky, and flew down to envelop its summoner.

“You think you’re the only one who can change form, ninja. Digivolution is normally reserved for the strongest of Digimon; but then, I suppose I don’t really know about Armor evolution,” Agunimon said. The flames now had him completely hidden from sight, save for his sky blue eyes. “Agunimon Digivolve to, BurningGreymon!”

“…Well, fuck, that’s not good,” I muttered. “And I thought he was tall before…Sure you can handle this, Shurimon?”

“I am. Do not fear, Sparrow…I shall not let you down. Ever! Kusanagi!” BurningGreymon spread his massive wings and took flight, flying above Shurimon’s thrown shuriken.

“Pyro Barrage!”

“Double Stars!” Shurimon jammed two of his shuriken into the weapons on BurningGreymon’s arms before the Dark Dragon could even ready his attacks; the weapons promptly burst into flame and seared BurningGreymon’s arms. Shurimon then threw the massive shuriken on his back at the dragon, and knocked him flat on his back.

“If I were you, buddy, I’d stay down!” I shouted triumphantly.

“Well, you aren’t me, buddy! And I ain’t staying down! Wildfire Tsunami!” BurningGreymon took flight once more, and became covered in flames that he shot out at Shurimon. My partner tried to strike back, but the flames of BurningGreymon’s attack proved to be too much for him. He fell to the ground, landing face first into the dirt. “HA! See?! Why stay down when you’re obviously stronger than your enemies?!”

“No…you aren’t strong!” I yelled. “Shurimon will defeat you! Just because you knocked him down doesn’t mean you’ve won!”

“Perhaps you’re correct…Well then, allow me to ensure that he doesn’t ever get back up again!” BurningGreymon dove down, reaching his claws out to Shurimon’s chest. As soon as he made contact, Shurimon’s body shattered into hundreds of leaves. “W-What?! What is this?!”

“You’re right, BurningGreymon; there’s no need to stay down when you’re obviously stronger than your foe!” Shurimon exclaimed, hovering in the air above BurningGreymon. “Kusanagi!” One final time, Shurimon threw his large shuriken. The weapon tore through BurningGreymon’s chest, and the dragon came crashing down to the ground.

“N-No…hah, damn it…guess you really were stronger, huh…” BurningGreymon was breathing heavily, and turned back into Agunimon. Blood came spurting from his mouth, and his voice was as ragged as his messy hair. “Stronger than me…but my master…he’s on a whole other level…All of us servants combined couldn’t come close to matching his power. So, Shurimon…I suggest you be afraid…be very afraid…of what is yet to come. Because…mark my words…it will be the end of you all…” Agunimon coughed up one final spurt of blood, and disintegrated into millions of bits of data.

“…Well, that was fucking ominous,” I said. “How are you holding up, buddy?” Shurimon lowered himself to the ground, and turned back into Hawkmon.

“I’ve been better, admittedly,” Hawkmon nodded, speaking slowly. “Fortunately, that last attack of his missed…I doubt I’d have been able to keep my heart in my chest where it belongs with that dragon attempting to claw it out…”

“Yeah, you’d have to be Andromon or Talosmon to survive that,” I agreed. “…Or Lucia.”

“You’d best ensure she never finds out you’ve said that,” Hawkmon laughed.
“Well, she’d only prove my point if she did find out.”

[HR][/HR]
Tamiko Silverveil

I looked around the surprisingly barren landscape of our past world from atop Kentaurosmon’s back. It was actually quite similar to my homeland of Silverveil, on the continent of Cyllene. Empty, dusty, and rather disheartening, devoid of hope and happiness. I looked over my shoulder at Zelda; the older girl had her arms fastened comfortably around my waist. “I haven’t seen a single living thing since we’ve split up, and that was almost an hour ago…Should we go back?”

“Let’s keep going for a little while longer, dear. We need to keep going and find those evil Digimon before they hurt anyone,” Zelda replied.

“I can keep going for quite a while, whatever your decision may be, ladies,” Kentaurosmon said. “But…I would advise you climb off my back soon. Someone is approaching; an unfamiliar presence…and a violent one.” Sure enough, I looked in front of Kentaurosmon, and saw one of the largest Humans I’d ever seen, with a dire expression on his scarred face, approaching us.

“…You’re Kentaurosmon, aren’t you?” the man asked. “A noble knight of the not-so-noble kingdom of Silverveil. Even on Arcadia, your prowess was noted before you came to us.”

“What is it you want of us?” Kentaurosmon asked. The Digimon held up his shield, blocking us from view as we quietly slid off his back.

“…I’ve wanted to fight you ever since I’d heard you’d come to the Arcadian Continent. But unfortunately, duty called at the time, and I had to travel back in time with my master. But now…my responsibilities and my desires just so happen to intermingle perfectly. I, Kieran, challenge thee, Kentaurosmon, to single combat!”

“Surely you jest,” Kentaurosmon scoffed. “A mere Human like you is nothing to the might of a Mega Digimon!”

“…Perhaps it would interest you to know that I defeated Dominimon earlier in the day?” Kieran offered.

“N-No! That can’t be possible!” Zelda yelled. “Not Dominimon…There’s no way he could lose to you…!”

Oh, that’s right…Dominimon is her father…I…wonder what it’s like to care one’s father. I’ve never known…

“He can and did, maiden. Now, step aside. I challenged Kentaurosmon, not you or your Spirits!” Kieran yelled. “Now, unless either of you wish to die, stay out of my way!”

“Inferno Frost!” Kentaurosmon fired countless arrows from his crossbow, all of which Kieran was able to nimbly dodge with a speed that his buff physique would not suggest was possible. “I will not allow you to speak ill of my partner or her dear friends! Stand back, ruffian!”

“Is that the best line you could think of?!” Kieran swung his axe, and struck the front Kentaurosmon’s shield. I could hear the sound of metal chipping, and a chunk of red iron flew off from the Digimon’s shield.

“Inferno Frost—!”

“Not fast enough!” With all his might, Kieran pressed his axe down further into Kentaurosmon’s shield; the entire thing shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces.

“Kentaurosmon!”

“Fret not, Tamiko; it shall take more than this to defeat me! Inferno Frost!” Before Kentaurosmon could attack once again, Kieran threw his axe to the ground and swung his sword, cutting through the crossbow on Kentaurosmon’s arm. Another sing cut through the armor on his chest and spilled some blood.

“N-No…”

“Yes! I’ll destroy Kentaurosmon and take all the glory that comes with it! I’ll take it all!” Kieran yelled maniacally.

“S-Stand back Tamiko,” Kentaurosmon whispered raggedly.

“No…No, I won’t! I’m not going to stand by and watch you get destroyed by this…nobody!” I shouted.

“Don’t do it, Tamiko! Don’t get involved…” I, of course, ignored him, and pulled out my Digivice.

“I don’t care! I won’t let you get hurt, Kentaurosmon! Charge! D.N.A. Burst Mode!”

“…Kentaurosmon Burst Mode!”

“…Hm. The Burst Mode…Ultimate evolution…A power achieved by a Digimon joining its power with that of its Human partner,” Kieran pondered. “Hmm…The foreign princess is indeed a viable threat to his majesty. I shall eliminate her first!”

“NO! Gungnir Thrust!” An immense spear materialized in Kentaurosmon’s hand, and he jabbed it out directly at Kieran’s chest, but once more, the nimble Human was able to avoid the strike. “This fight is between the two of us, miscreant! Focus on me, or be destroyed!”

“…I think I’ll be the one doing the destroying here!” Kieran picked up his sword once again, and thrust its blade deep into Kentaurosmon’s gut. The Gungnir fell to the ground, and following it, Kentaurosmon. “My weapons were given to me by my lord Murmuxmon. They are infused with the power of some of the strongest Digimon. I will not be defeated so easily. Not by you weaklings!” A bright glow enveloped Kentaurosmon, and he turned back into Kudamon. Kieran raised his sword and axe into the air, prepared to kill.

“Come forth, Mercurymon!” The form of the tall Digimon Spirit materialized in front of my Digimon partner. Both of Kieran’s weapons bounced effortlessly off of Mercurymon’s shields.

“…My opponent has fallen. There is no need for me to stay here any further…” Kieran sheathed both of his weapons, and turned away. “Be gracious that I choose to spare your lives. But be aware…this will not be for long. Whether it is me, my master, or one of my allies…your end will come soon.” As Kieran walked away slowly, I ran over to Kudamon and picked up his tiny, blood-soaked body.

“Kudamon…Kudamon, please…be okay,” I sobbed, clutching him close to my chest.

“He lives still, but just barely,” Mercurymon said. “We shall remain vigilant, for his sake.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 134 - Life is no Game

Elizabeth

“AeroVeedramon…wake up!” I shouted. The snoring Ultimate twitched his wings in his sleep, but remained otherwise motionless. “AeroVeedramon, wake up. WAKE UP.”

“Don’t waste your breath, my dear,” Quetzalmon said. “Lucia is the only one bitchy enough to wake him up. You’re just too gentle…”

“That…is an absurd reason as to why I am incapable of waking him,” I whispered.

“Well, it just means he isn’t afraid of you. That’s reserved solely for the Tiger Woman.”

“Marvelous…so, when whatever enemy shows up to fight, we’ll be left on our own…”

“Pretty much. But, at least we can handle ourselves, right?” Quetzalmon winked. He had always been a bit of a flirt, but he always had a special tone of voice reserved for flirting with me specifically. I knew it should bother me, but his voice was always so warm and kind, and it always put my woes at ease, of which I had many, in part due to my amnesia. The Mythical Animal twisted his serpentine body around mine, and snuggled his head right up against mine. I smiled, and gently placed my arms around him.

“…Thank you, Quetzalmon. Thank you for always being with me…and for always staying by my side, no matter what happens,” I whispered.

“And by your side, I shall remain as long as you need me to,” Quetzalmon whispered back. I closed my eyes, and embraced the warmth of the moment before a slight chill ran up my spine. “Are you okay, Lizzy?”

“…Are we being watched?” I glanced over at AeroVeedramon, but the dragon was sound asleep.

“Watched? I do not think so, my dear…” I pulled away from Quetzalmon, and surveyed the area. A small, golden lamp sat amidst the dirt and dist.

“Was that there before…?” I asked.

“I don’t think so, but…” The lamp was beyond eerie. An excessively grotesque smile sat beneath two beady, red eyes. I drew a kunai from my leg holster, and jammed it into the top of the lamp, which howled in pain.

“I knew it…Now, who are you? Why are you following us?” I pulled the knife out from the lamp, and a vaporous, purple mist erupted from the shattered crack, followed by a green vapor that took on a humanoid form. “…Lampmon…?” My jaw dropped as the mist took the form of the Digimon that acted as the announcer of those barbaric Games.

“Ah…My emerald-haired goddess; what a blessing to gaze into those beautiful eyes of differing colors!” Lampmon bellowed. “…Hm? You aren’t crying, now are you?”

“Just don’t talk about her eyes, got it?!” Quetzalmon asked.

“N-No, it’s fine,” I whimpered. “D-Did you need something, Mr. Lampmon…?”

“Oh, just to destroy you and your friends; nothing big!” Lampmon laughed.

“…What!?”

“Oh, yes, did I not mention that before when you were a prisoner?!” Lampmon asked. “Ah, well; no matter. My true master is Murmuxmon — that’s the baddie you and your guild came to the past to destroy. I’ve been here in the past my entire life, but when Murmuxmon arrived seven years ago, I pledged my service to him at once! Ogremon never found out about him; he never was the smartest guy around…But now, why don’t you fall to the ground like a dog and prepare for your untimely demise, my dear?”

“…I’m no dog. I’ll bow to nobody evil! I’ll not lower my belly to the ground and cower in fear while I still draw breath!” I screamed.

“Hm…I’d not have guessed you to have so much courage based on your demeanor,” Lampmon grinned. “This ought to be more satisfying than I dared dream! Phantom Turban!”

“V-Wing Blade!” A wide beam of energy tore through the ground and struck Lampmon in the chest and knocked the Mega to the ground.

“Well, look who’s finally awake,” Quetzalmon muttered under his breath.

“Meh, heard the whole thing,” AeroVeedramon yawned. “This’s the guy who kept us in that arena or whatever, right…?”

“Yes, I do remember you!” Lampmon exclaimed. “I’d have sent you out to fight, but you were always sleeping. Not even Ogremon could wake you up by smacking you in the head with his cudgel!”

“Yeah, people hit me on the head a lot, I just got used to it,” the Holy Dragon said, uttering another air-quaking yawn. “Ah, all this talking’s wearin’ me out. I’ll just kill you now, kay?”

“I think not! You see, my goal of destroying you was born seven years ago, here in the past. Long before any of you were even born!” At these words, another chill fell down my spine.

Long before…I was born? Why…why doesn’t that sound right to me? There’s no way I was alive at this time, but these surroundings all seem so familiar for some reason…like…I’ve been here, but not in our future…

“V-Breath Arrow!”

“Phantom Turban!” The turban sitting atop Lampmon’s fat head shifted around on its own, and took the form of a shield that completely blocked AeroVeedramon’s attack. The ribbons composing the shield squirmed around once more, and took the form of a dragon that flew out at the Holy Dragon. AeroVeedramon readied his Twister Saber attack and tore through a few ribbons of Lampmon’s attack, but the split ends tied themselves around AeroVeedramon’s arms and neck.

“Freezing Wave!” Quetzalmon’s attack struck dead in the middle of Lampmon’s back, distracting the Mega long enough for me to cut through the ribbons encasing AeroVeedramon.

“Magnum Crusher!” With Lampmon’s face at the center of the palm of his hand, AeroVeedramon slammed Lampmon’s head deep into the ground.

“Phantom Turban!” Lampmon’s turban changed into a large sword, and cut almost all the way through AeroVeedramon’s left wing. AeroVeedramon roared, and tore himself away from Lampmon, and the Wizard Digimon flew back up into the air to strike the Holy Dragon in the face. I plunged one of my kunai into Lampmon’s back, but no blood came out. I felt nothing, really; my knife passed through as if through a mist. I felt my face go pale at the utter uselessness of my attack, and then felt Lampmon’s ribbons tightening everywhere around me. Two around my left arm, one on my right wrist; two around both legs, one around my waist, and the tightest was around my throat. I was lifted up into the air, and my arms and legs were spread out. My body started to become numb, starting with my fingers and toes before spreading all the way up the rest of my limbs from the cut-off circulation. AeroVeedramon was in a similar hold; miraculously, his left wing had not torn off the rest of the way. Quetzalmon, due to his snake-like body, only had two ribbons around his neck.

“L-Let go…of Elizabeth!” Quetzalmon hissed.

“You mean my emerald goddess? Oh, you need not worry; only a few scratches to contrast with her delicate beauty,” Lampmon grinned. “Her life shall remain intact.”

“In that case…release…my friends,” I coughed.

“Oh, no no no no no! You, my gorgeous, are all that I need. These dragons will die soon enough…and I’ll have you all to myself!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 135 - A Battle of Spirit

Mia Kiru

A peaceful clearing in the forest presented itself to my group, consisting of Eleanora, Lunamon, Isole, Giselle, Celtinemon, and myself. This provided us a nice opportunity to rest after over an hour of walking. What looked to be an ancient city was at the outer edge of the forest; even in these early years, the white-brick structures looked old and weathered, but whether it was from age or some battle I could not tell.

“…What part of Arcadia are we at?” Eleanora asked.

“Queen Mana’s kingdom is a big one; its capital is where Yew is now,” I said. “Although, it is possible we are in the place that will become Lotisea Province, based on the architecture of this old city.”

“Hard to believe anything can look old at this point in time,” Isole said. “We came from the year 1300 all the way to the year 57…”

“Whoa, we traveled back almost 1,300 years into the past?!” Giselle gasped so loud that she almost choked on the inhaled air. “I didn’t think we’d come THAT far…”

“And yet, there is still so much that is familiar,” I added. “It’s almost like one can tell, instinctively, where everything is going to end up in the future.” The others all nodded in agreement. “And then, when you go into town; everyone smiles at you, just like back home…”

“…Mia? Are you getting homesick?” Eleanora asked.

“Maybe a little bit…I’m starting to miss the others who didn’t come with us, but it really is like when we were back home, too, when we would go out on jobs, you know? But still…something about this seems different about this…”

“It most likely is the severity of the situation,” Isole said. “So much more is at stake, even compared to when we were at the Cyllene Empire. We can’t risk altering our future too much. Time travel is dangerous work…”

“Indeed it can be. But, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I mean, sure, the future might be changed, but there are a whole lot of awful things that have happened. Wouldn’t it be nice if those bad things changed into good things?” It was a man who spoke, and his voice was not familiar.

“…W-Who said that…?” I asked. I looked around, but saw nobody.

“Look!” Giselle pointed up at the roof of one of the destroyed buildings. A blond man with a kind smile sat, looking down at all of us. A fine black suit seemed the appropriate choice of outfit for him, based on the sophisticated way spoke, down to his words of choice to his gentlemanly tone of voice.

“Who are you?” Isole asked bluntly. “Are you with them?!”

“‘Them’ who? If you mean the bad guys you came to stop, that’s a big yes!” The man smiled and clapped his hands. “The name’s Alphonse! Alphonse Lincoln! Murmuxmon entrusted me with hunting you all down, but I gotta say, I don’t think he could’ve picked a worse choice; there’s nothing I hate more than having to hurt pretty girls like you…” Alphonse gazed at all of us, fondly admiring our very presence.

Ah, just like Sparrow…This won’t be too problematic, I suppose. I’ll use this to my advantage!

“But, of course, I won’t be the one doing the fighting.” Alphonse slid off the building’s roof, and landed gracefully on the ground below.

“Oh, you have some super-powerful Digimon partner that you think can take us on?” Eleanora asked smugly.

“Hmm…in a manner of speaking, I guess you could say that!” Alphonse chirped. He slipped his hand into his pocket, and his gentle smile became quite menacing.

No…he couldn’t be…like me and Zelda?! He can—?!

“Come forth, Cerberusmon!” At the center of Alphonse’s hand was a Digimon Talisman. The dreadful Digimon he conjured lunged at us and leaped overhead, landing on the ground behind us. “Cerberus, my boy, time to get to work! Do try to make it rather painless, if you can.”

“Quick, eh? Probably not my usual greeting, then,” Cerberumon growled.

“…Eleanora. Take the others…and get out of here,” I said.

“What?! Don’t be so blonde! It’s not like you!” Eleanora shouted.

“Don’t argue with me. He’s a Summoner; I can handle him,” I retorted. “Remember; Summoned Digimon are stronger than living Digimon. And since I’m a Summoner, I’ll be fine. Okay?”

“…You better know what you’re doing, Mia,” Isole sighed.

“Go on. I’ll keep Cerberusmon distracted long enough for you to get out of here.” I reached into my purse and pulled out MegaKabuterimon’s Talisman. The enormous Insect tackled Cerberumon and pinned him up against a building with his large horn.

“Well, that was a little rough; I wasn’t going to try and hurt them while they leave,” Alphonse said. “And I sure wasn’t going to order Cerberusmon to do it, either; I told you, I don’t like hurting pretty ladies.”

“I’d have to defeat Cerberusmon anyway; might as well get an early start,” I shrugged. I looked back, and saw that Eleanora and the others had safely gotten away. “Let ‘er rip, Mega!”

“Absolutely, my dear! Horn Buster!” A bright light surrounded the two Digimon Spirits, and soon, Cerberusmon had vanished from sight completely. MegaKabuterimon stood triumphant above Alphonse.

“Well? Do my Spirits pwn or what?” I exclaimed triumphantly. Alphonse remained silent. “What? You were so confident before. Was the puppy your only Spirit?”

“…You…by the Goddess, you…”

“Is there…a problem?” I asked.

“Problem? Oh, no, …I was simply marveling at your beauty…You are so very exquisite standing in a patch of sunlight; the way it reflects off your shimmering gold hair is just…Oh wow. I cannot believe I can still breathe in the face of such beauty!” Now, it was my turn to remain silent. I was used to Sparrow flirting with me, but Alphonse was far more suave with his words that it caught me off guard. “Hey, how ‘bout one date?” he asked. Now, I was truly stunned. Here he was, an enemy, asking me to go on a date with him! The nerve!

But, he is kinda cute. Hell of a lot more formal than Sparrow, that’s for sure. No, wait! He’s the enemy! I’ll have to get one of my Spirits to kill him.

“Well? What do you say, gorgeous?”

“…If you can defeat me, I’ll consider it,” I said.

“Ah! Excellent! I guess this means I’ll get to go all out! Now, let me see…” Alphonse reached into his pocket, and pulled out several Digimon Talismans, more than I had ever seen in one place at one time. “Hm…If we’re fighting MegaKabuterimon, then Togemon probably won’t cut it…Scorpiomon, Sepikmon, Tankmon, Raremon …Oh! I could try my new one!” Alphonse held up a single Digimon Talisman to the sky, and gazed at it lovingly. “Yes; probably my strongest Spirit, other than Gaiomon.”

Wait…he has EIGHT Digimon Spirits?! Are you KIDDING ME?! That’s impossible…but, didn’t Zelda say she had nine once…? Aw, and I’m stuck with three…

“All right! Get ready, gorgeous; I’m getting this one to go all out!” Alphonse held the Talisman directly above his head. “Come forth, MetalSeadramon!” A long, coiling serpent slithered down through the air, and I gasped as I recognized it as the same silver-colored MetalSeadramon that was the partner of Karen Swan. MetalSeadramon held the same recognition in his eyes as he stared down at me and MegaKabuterimon.

“…Glad to see you lot survived that night,” MetalSeadramon whispered. “…Did you all make it back home safely? Karen…?”

“Yeah, we all made it back just fine,” I replied. “Karen was really shaken up about losing you, though…”

“…I miss her too…If you see her again, though…tell her that I’m fine,” MetalSeadramon said. “I’m happy with my current owner, so she won’t need to worry.”

“…I will. Don’t worry…”

“Ahem…I hate to interrupt this sweet reunion, but I must remind you, MetalSeadramon, that this is a business meeting,” Alphonse said. “And, as I recall you saying when we first me, you are a business Mon.”

“…Yeah…you’re right. Sorry for this, Mia,” MetalSeadramon said.

“Don’t worry…Just do what you have to do,” I whispered back.

“River of Power!”

“Horn Buster!” The attacks of the two Digimon Spirits collided in the air, but MetalSeadramon’s proved to be the stronger. The River of Power surged onwards, and blasted MegaKabuterimon into small flecks of data.

“Damn it…Come forth, Blastmon!”

“Final Subagōn Punch!” With a mighty leap, Blastomon rocketed into the air and slammed his two fists onto MetalSeadramon’s back, forcing the opposing Spirit to the ground. This, however, enabled MetalSeadramon to coil his long body around Blastmon. The crystal gems began to shatter and crack, and soon, Blastmon was destroyed.

“All right! That’s one more down!” Alphonse exclaimed. “Hey, how many Spirits do you have left, lovely Mia?”

“…Just this one. Come forth, Aquarimon!”

“Excellent! Just defeat this one, and I’ll get a date with that Summoner!”

“As you desire. Poseidon Dive!” An enormous tidal wave rose up from the ground just beyond this ancient city, and in a matter of seconds, the deluge crashed down on us. The cold water made my skin crawl, but to my amazement, I was able to breathe. I looked to my left, and saw that Aquarimon had changed to her underwater form.

“Don’t worry; as long as I keep this form, you’ll be able to breathe underwater,” Aquarimon whispered. MetalSeadramon shot past her, missing her by a few inches. “Now, pardon me as I take care of this beast! Water Nebula!” MetalSeadramon roared as his shining silver armor became crumpled and dented. “Goddess Blades: Seven Slice Dance!” As Aquarimon swam past MetalSeadramon, the fins on her arms extended into long blades which she used to cut through MetalSeadramon’s armor and scales. The surrounding water reddened with the Digimon’s blood. Two final strikes from Aquarimon’s Goddess Blades sent MetalSeadramon sinking to the ground as the water he conjured from his attack receded until it vanished from sight completely, and with it, MetalSeadramon. Aquarimon shifted to her land form, and pointed her Goddess Bow directly at Alphonse’s chest.

“Care to summon another Spirit? Aquarimon will just defeat them!” I exclaimed.

“…Yeah…you’re probably right,” Alphonse sighed. “Well, there’s nothing much I can do. I submit…”

“…Just…like that?” I asked. “You’re just going to let me go?”

“Oh, no no no. I didn’t say I’d let you go,” Alphonse winked. “I’ll be going with you.”

“Why? So you can stab her in the back when she’s not looking?” Aquarimon snapped.

“Only if she wants me to.”

“Wha…?”

“Oh, and I’ll be joining your guild, too. Hope that’s fine!”

“Why would I let you join after you—?!”

Alphonse tilted his head, but kept his charming smile. “Don’t tell me your guild has never accepted past enemies before; I know Flamedramon treated you far worse than I would ever imagine doing,” he said.

“I…guess…Why do you want to join us, though…?” I asked.

“Well, we agreed that if I defeated you, you’d go on a date with me. But then, it occurred to me that we never discussed what would happen if I lost,” Alphonse said. “So, I figured I’d might as well join you. A guild with someone as beautiful as you can’t be all bad, now can it?”

“…And that’s…the only reason you want to join? Me?”

“Yep! But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be betraying any of your pals or anything! Wouldn’t want to eliminate that lovely smile of yours.” Alphonse winked once again, and I couldn’t help but smile.

“…Fine, I give up. But, if you do anything to make me think that you’re not loyal to my guild, I won’t hesitate to get Aquarimon to snipe you in the face,” I snapped. “…Or lower, if you catch my drift.”

“Yeah…I got it, my love,” Alphonse said, not in the least off-put by my threat.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 136 - Thread of Life

Eleanora Kasuto

My mind, already burdened with worry over Matthew, was now unbearably crammed by unease over leaving Mia behind. Every five seconds, I’d subconsciously turn around to look back, but saw nothing but forest.

“Ellie, just stop worrying about her; Mia’s going to be fine,” Isole said.

“It’s not just her; she’s worried about Matthew, as well,” Lunamon whispered. “She just has a lot on her mind is all…”

“Look, if you’re worried about them, then go and look for either one; I don’t care,” Isole snapped. “Find your brother; find Mia. Just stop moping around, would you?”

“But…what about you?” I asked. Isole sighed.

“Just go. We’re going to look for Ulysses, okay? Go look for Matthew and Mia,” Giselle said.
“…Okay. Thank you.” I picked up the small Lunamon, and ran in the opposite direction we came from, hoping Mia would be safe and sound.

[HR][/HR]
Sparrow Lea

“So…now that Agunimon’s dead, what should we do?” I asked. “Should we try to find the old man?”

“That may be the optimal decision,” Hawkmon said. “Although, it may be wise to find Madelyn and Melanie; they aren’t safe by themselves.”

“Yeah, good point. But, our fight against Agunimon took us a long way away from them, so finding them might take a while,” I said, more to myself than to Hawkmon. A loud yawn broke though the silence, nearly making me jump out of my skin. “…AeroVeedramon…?”

“Mmm…who’s that…? I don’t know any AeroVeedramon…” It was a woman’s voice who spoke; a soft and soothing voice that made my heart race. The woman who spoke was far lovelier than her voice; bright orange hair and deep violet eyes, with a complexion fair and loose, black clothing.

“Oh, no need to worry about him, gorgeous; let’s talk about us,” I smiled kindly at the woman. “My name’s Sparrow; and who might you be, my little dove?”

“Huh…? Oh…I’m Marissa…an assassin,” the woman said through several yawns. The casual tone of voice with which she spoke was rather unsettling, but she was just so pretty that I paid it no mind. “Came back in time with my boss to do something…don’t know what…just something…”

“Back in time?! You’re trying to change the past!” Hawkmon screeched. “Then you must be with Agunimon!”

“Hm…? Yeah, guess so…Is that weird…?” Marissa asked. “He’s kind of a jerk…”

“Well, the good news is that he’s dead,” I said.

“Oh…is that so…? Oh well…bound to happen sooner or later,” Marissa yawned. “But…if you killed him, I guess this means we gotta fight now, huh…?”

“It’s starting to appear that way,” Hawkmon said.

“Well…Just don’t be too surprised when you see what I can do,” Marissa said. Without even bothering to ask what it was she could do, I pulled my Digivice from my pocket.

“Digi Armor Energize!”

“Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Shurimon, the Samurai of Sincerity!”

“…Armor…pretty neat,” Marissa whispered. She pulled her own Digivice out from her pocket, and held it up above her head. “Bio Hybrid D.N.A. Charge!”

“Wha…she’s one of them?! Like Abigail?!” I exclaimed.
“Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioNymphmon!” Marissa, upon turning to her Digimon form, grew much smaller, shorter even than Hawkmon or Coronamon, and darter around the sky faster than I could see. “Get ready for this! My Human side is all lazy and stuff, but I’m in a whole ‘nother league!”

[HR][/HR]
Tamiko Silverveil

Kudamon lay, a small and curled, fuzzy lump underneath a soft fleece blanket, next to an unconscious Kamemon. Zelda and Lilliana sat by either side of me as I gently stroked Kudamon behind the ears.

“They’ll be okay, dear; they just need to rest,” Zelda whispered.

“…Shawjamon…and even Kentaurosmon…for them to be defeated…these bad guys must be really strong,” Lilliana said in a barely audible voice.

“…It…It’s all my fault…if I were a better partner…then Kentaurosmon…he’d have—”

“It’s nobody’s fault.” I looked over my shoulder, and saw AeroVeedramon crash unsteadily to the ground. On his back was a badly injured Elizabeth, and in his hands an equally hurt Quetzalmon. “They’re really strong…too strong…Lampmon’s powerful, even for a Mega. There was nothing I could do…”

“AeroVeedramon…”

“Don’t talk for now; just rest, and save your energy,” Zelda whispered.

“…I’m pathetic…I couldn’t protect my friends…from that bastard,” AeroVeedramon wheezed. “It was all I could do to keep them from getting killed…”
“…We need to find the others,” Lilliana whispered. “If the enemy found us now, we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves, strong as they are…We have to…we can’t lose…everybody’s future depends on it…”

[HR][/HR]
Celtinemon

“…I should have guessed…the moment she asked to stop to rest…that she would FALL ASLEEP!” Isole screamed. Giselle squirmed around in her sleep, but remained as such through my outburst.

“Try not to be too hard on her, Miss Isole; all of this walking around is exhausting for all of us, even me,” I said in a gentle voice.

“Yeah, but this is important! We can’t afford to waste time, OR sleep out in the open!” Isole snapped. “This is ridiculous; we need to find Ulysses, not conserve our own energy!”

“…Why don’t you go on ahead, then? I’ll stay here with Giselle; I know you act like you don’t like her, but I think that you care about her deep down,” I replied.

“N-No I don’t! Really! Honestly!” Isole shouted. “…But, she is your partner, and, er, not…mean, so I guess it makes more sense for you to stay with her anyway…” I smiled.

“I wish you luck, Isole. Please, be careful.” Isole nodded, and ran back to the forest. I sighed, and then sat down on the ground next to Giselle. I stoked her brown hair out of her face, and looked up at the sky. My right arm suddenly jerked up into the air and reached for my sword. “W-What’s going on?! No!” My sword lowered closer and closer to Giselle. I tried to loosen my fingers, but they wouldn’t budge. “G-Giselle! Wake up!” My partner didn’t stir. “GISELLE!”

“Ah, ain’t gonna work, lady. Try an’ struggle all yeh want, you ain’t gonna break free!” Slowly, my head raised up, again, without my doing. A rather short Digimon sat above me in the trees, looking down at me with a devilish grin. “Ah, there’s them pretty eyes! Can’t wait to see ‘em fill with despair when ya cut yer pal’s throat!”

“Who are you?!” I screamed.

“The name’s Puppetmon. Mega level, by the way,” the Digimon said. “Lachesis, right? Yep? Here to kill you all. Hope that’s cool with yous.”

“N-No, that’s NOT cool with us! Now let go of me!”

“‘Fraid I can’t do that’s. Gotta kill you on order of Murmuxmon, after alls,” Puppetmon said. “Won’t do you any good to wake up yer pal, either. I’ll just make you chase ‘er till she dies!”

“No…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 137 - Looking for Blood

Celtinemon

“Faerie Divider!” Still caught up in Puppetmon’s Wires Choking attack, I charged my sword and cut through the threads that bound me. Puppetmon, clearly surprised, picked up his hammer and jumped down from the trees.

“Puppet Pummel!”

“Faerie Divider!” Our two attacks collided, and the two of us were thrust back by their overwhelming power. “Shooting Star Sword!” I flew high up into the air, and fired a powerful beam of light from my sword at the wooden Mega level. Although the attack hit, Puppetmon did not appear fazed in the slightest. Puppetmon leaped high into the air and slammed the end of his hammer into my belly with explosive force, making me fall back down to the ground. I glanced over at Giselle, but still, she had not woken up.

“Don’t bother tryin’ to wakes her; I slipped her a little something earlier that’ll keep hers fast asleep for a good long times!” Puppetmon smirked.

“…She might not wake up soon, but I can still fight you!” With my eyes still on my sleeping partner, I saw her Digivice begin to shine from inside her pocket. “Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon!”

“Oh, so you’s a Mega now too, huh? Nice trick!”

“Clear Moon Sky!” As I readied my attack, my arms were suddenly thrust and tied behind my back by Puppetmon’s doing.

“You’s as strong as you’s purdy; can’t let one of yer attacks hit me, right?” Puppetmon asked.

“Actually, I wouldn’t mind if you’d let a few of them hit…”

“Yeah, whatever; but, thanks for makin’ yerself stronger for me! Makes it all easier for me to get rid of yer pal there!” Puppetmon exclaimed. The small Mega twitched his fingers about, and forced me to raise my staff above my head, while the crystal at its center began to glow. “Now! Shoot of your strong attack!”

N-No! How is he doing this?!

“Night of the Falling Stars!” Just seconds before my attack launched, a tiny Digimon flew out from the trees and crashed into Puppetmon; the two Digimon tumbled to the ground, and I was freed once more from Puppetmon’s grasp.

“W-What…just happened?” I asked.

“Morgannamon?!” Sparrow, followed by a Digimon I didn’t know, followed the small Digimon out of the forest.

“Sparrow, what’s going on?!” I asked. “And who is that with you?”

“See that small Digimon — Nymphmon? She’s with the bad guys, but she’s a lot stronger than she looks. I’ll need some help defeating her, if you don’t mind,” Sparrow winked at me. “And this…is Shurimon. I found another Digi-Egg for Hawkmon and Armor Digivolved him.”

“Puppetmon, what are you doing here?!” The tiny Digimon alighted into the air over Puppetmon’s round, wooden head.

“Oh, sorry, did I knock into you’s right before you’s were about’ta finish the enemy?!” Puppetmon retorted sarcastically.

“You were the one who got in MY way! I was preparing to attack when you slammed into me, you big wooden idiot!” Nymphmon screeched. “Well, go on! Redeem yourself by taking their lives!”

“Fine! I was gonna do that anyway, shrimp!” Nymphmon glared at the marionette, but said nothing before spreading her butterfly wings and taking flight. “Hah! Good riddance, tiny! Now, onto business!”

“Man, I wanted to fight the girl…” Sparrow sighed, looking disappointed as Nymphmon flew away.

“Sparrow, she’s, like, three inches tall,” I said.

“I like short girls too!” Sparrow protested.

“Focus, Sparrow. We must focus on the enemy at hand,” Shurimon said. “Double Stars!”

“Wait, watch out!” I screamed. Puppetmon grinned and held out his hands, taking hold of Shurimon with his invisible wires.

“Get ready to hurt your friends!” Puppetmon laughed. “I feel like using that big weapon on your back for this! Kusanagi!”

“Sparrow, move! Get out of the way!”

“Ha-ha, too late for that!” Puppetmon had forced Shurimon to use his attack before I could move; Sparrow attempted to block the thrown shuriken with his axe, but he only succeeded in splitting his own weapon in two. Several shards of metal cut through his shirt and became lodged in his shoulder.

“W-Well, that’s just great!” Sparrow gasped. “What do we do now?! He’s controlling us like that spider bitch, Widow…”

“…I’ll have to knock him out,” I whispered. “He’ll get hurt a little bit, but I promise he’ll survive.”

“…Okay. I trust you, Morgannamon,” Sparrow said. I nodded, and raised my staff up into the air.

“Hahaha! Just try to attack me, and I’ll just make you’s hurt you friend!” Puppetmon’s fingers danced around, and Shurimon was placed between me and the evil Mega level.

“Please…forgive me for this, Shurimon,” I whispered. The Armor said nothing, but blinked once. At once, I felt the guilt ease away; I could tell that Shurimon understood what needed to be done, and he knew that for that to happen, he would have to literally become Puppetmon’s shield. “Clear Moon Sky!” Shurimon lowered his head, bracing himself for my attack; he was completely enveloped in a crystalline gleam, and instantly turned back into Hawkmon, defeated.

“…Wha…? No way…you attacked your friend without hesitation?” Puppetmon asked, completely overtaken by confusion. “Man…you’s fucks really are serious about stoppin’ lord Murmuxmon, huh…”

Now’s my chance! Puppetmon muttered something under his breath, and began untangling Hawkmon from his threads. “Night of the Falling Stars!” Puppetmon gasped, and looked up at the slowly darkening sky. Bright stars began to break through the darkness; at this point, Puppetmon began to run away, but it was too late. Stars began to rain down to the ground, blasting the tiny Mega Digimon’s body until there was nothing left of him but small fragments of his data.

“…You got him,” Sparrow said breathlessly. “You actually beat him…”

“He was a strong one; he didn’t do much of the fighting himself, but when he did…It felt like he was unstoppable,” I said. “It was probably for the best that he became too lazy to fight; we may not have won.”
“Yeah…” Sparrow knelt down next to the unconscious Hawkmon and picked him up. “…C’mon. We need to find the others. If Puppetmon was as strong as you said, then the others working with him might be a hell of a lot stronger. Especially that Nymphmon…”

“Really?! But she’s so…small!” I exclaimed.

“I know; that’s what makes her so dangerous,” Sparrow added. “She’s really powerful, and really fast, too. We’ll have to be careful around her.”

[HR][/HR]
Murmuxmon

“…Puppetmon and Agunimon have been defeated…and Alphonse has left me…” I looked upon the endless sands of what would become Cyprus Desert in the future. Or, would it? After I changed the past, that is.

“You should not dwell on such matters, my lord. Focus upon what you desire to be changed, rather than what has already occurred, and what may or may not take place, lest you risk changing something you do not desire.”

“…SkullGreymon. What are you doing here?” I asked. “Didn’t I give you my orders?”

“You did, you did. But, when you are as powerful as I am, such things can be completed in a short manner of time.” The Ultimate Digimon paused. “…Murmuxmon. When…will it be my turn? As you have said, Puppetmon and Agunimon have been defeated. You have disposed of their leader, and you say Talosmon has gone missing. It is only a matter of time before Lachesis crumbles to the ground. So, when—?”

“Not now, SkullGreymon!” I roared. “We must remain careful with how we go about this! Yes, you could destroy them all with a single attack, but then what? The very country beneath their feet?! No, SkullGreymon. We cannot risk Celicia being destroyed in the process. IceDevimon’s orders were very…very, specific.”

“…Fine. But, remember, without Alphonse, Puppetmon, and Agunimon, our forces and power are dwindling. We cannot risk total annihilation. Should one more of your beloved demons fall…I shall set foot out on the battlefield.”

“Very well, SkullGreymon. I shall let you know when that happens. I assure you, you will have your fun.”

“I very much appreciate it, my lord sir. I seek blood, and I shall spill it in your name, Murmuxmon.”

[HR][/HR]
Citrine Celicia

Father…n-no, “father” has been gone for a long time. I wonder where he is…I hope he isn’t hurting my friends…I was completely alone in my bedroom; my mother was in the outer garden speaking with EmperorGreymon, so I had no way of moving around. Although, my legs had gone numb and weren’t in as much pain as they normally had been. I surveyed my room, looking for something I could use to help me walk; I found a cane in a far corner that my mother had apparently forgotten to mention to me, as noted by the pink ribbon and the tag with my name on it, a birthday present from six months ago. As kindhearted and loving as my mother was, she was often very forgetful. I reached for the cane and, with a bit of effort, I was able to stand up and even walk. I knew Melanie told me told me to stay put, but my curiosity had gotten the better of me. As quietly as I could, I left my room, and walked along an empty hallway to my parent’s bedroom. The door was closed, but somewhat ajar. I poked my head in. Nobody.
“Well…here goes nothing.” Taking a deep breath to gather up my courage, I stepped into my parent’s bedroom for the first time in years. “If that man really isn’t my father, there should be something in here that will tell me who he really is.” As I walked in, I closed the door quietly behind me, and nearly shrieked. “…Just a statue…I think…Is that thing a Human or a Digimon?” A Human-like body from the waist up, covered in a cloak and holding a large wooden mallet, was attached to a large bronze clock. “It’s gotta be a Digimon…but I’ve never seen one like this! Fascinating…” Its eyes were open, but it seemed to be unconscious; it was breathing, though, so I knew it was alive. The completely unresponsive Digimon simply stood with a blank expression on its face. Reluctantly, I reached out to lightly tap his face. No reaction. His eyes were glazed over, almost in a trance. The presence of this Digimon was unnerving, to say the least. Unsure of what to make of him, I quietly walked out of the room, and shut the door behind me exactly as I found it.

[HR][/HR]
Puppetmon

The sky above me had just begun to darken. I was lucky to have been spared the misfortune of death, but just barely; a passing Biyomon in the sky was fortunate enough to serve as my shield for Morgannamon’s attack. But even though I didn’t take the brunt force of the attack, I was nonetheless heavily damaged from the resulting shockwaves, and on the brink of death as it was.

“Lucky for me they didn’t notice,” I coughed. “But, Murmuxmon isn’t one’s to forgive failures. I’ll have to destroy someone in order to make up for this…or he’ll destroy me!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 138 - Gypsy Caravan

Matthew Kasuto

As the sky above grew darker, so too did my thoughts; the day was late, and the clouds overhead had a lachrymose aura as they condensed and prepared to let loose what would undoubtedly seem to be an endless deluge. Already, a light rain filled the air with a thin, cold mist that did little to ease my fears. I imagined the others were undoubtedly feeling the same way. I did everything I could to push these thoughts from my mind; I looked down at Mihiramon, at his stiff but smooth fur and his ragged, tattered-feathered wings, and wondered how he was able to support both me and Lucia on his back in his old age, although he never seemed to let the effort bother him.

“Lucia. We need to turn back,” Mihiramon growled. “I sense no one in these woods, and it’s getting late. We must leave before this rain begins to pick up.”

“…That may not be possible,” Lucia whispered. “Mihiramon…do you know where we are?”

“Specifically? No.”

“We’ve traveled a long way from Celosia,” I guessed. “We probably aren’t even in where Valencia will be in the future.”

“…This is Lotisea Province,” Lucia said.

“Lotisea? No, the greenwood hasn’t even begun to grow in this time; it won’t for another two-hundred years at LEAST!” I exclaimed.

“Lotisea Province, I said, not Lotisea Forest,” Lucia replied. “And this small forest is the area that will become the Cursed Woods.”

“…As if this day couldn’t get any worse,” Mihiramon rumbled.

“Oh, come on, there’s no way that curse could be in place now!” I said. “The curse was caused by a Cherrymon; there’s no way he could be alive this far back in time, even if they do live for a long time!”

“I dunno…I’m getting a bit of an odd vibe from this place. The chill of evil is in the air,” Mihiramon said.

“Look, I’m not saying this out of superstition, you two. This place has ‘Cursed’ in its name for a reason, you know. It doesn’t matter if that Cherrymon isn’t alive now or not. There is something here that undoubtedly augmented that Digimon’s powers. Mihiramon, you said it yourself; the chill of evil is in the air.”

“Lucia, what are you trying to say?” I asked. “You’re a bit more worked up than usual, and that’s definitely saying something.”

“Matthew…we’re in the Cursed Woods at night. It’s possible that we may never make it out again.”

…No way. Katsumi, that isn’t true, is it? I thought.

I don’t know what to say, Matthew…But I agree with Mihiramon; there is definitely something evil afoot here, Katsumi whispered, hovering casually in the air above me. I’d go on ahead to check things out, but I’m sensing some kind of magical interference…

“…That’s most likely because of me.” The fur on Mihiramon’s back stood straight up at the sound of the voice. Seeming to appear as if from nowhere, a beautiful woman, tall and almost too slender, glanced up at us. Her long raven hair hid her frame, and her crimson eyes seemed to bore right into the soul.

“W-Who are you?” Lucia asked.

“…There are many answers to that question. My name is Elderia…” The mysterious strode past us, almost casually so. “As for what I am…well…that isn’t so easy to answer.”

Just now…you spoke to me, didn’t you? Katsumi’s spirit asked.

“Yes, I did. And I can see you as well, my dear,” Elderia said. My heart sank. Only Karen and Coronamon knew about Katsumi’s spirit; everybody else in Lachesis was in the dark.

“Who are you talking to?” Lucia asked.

“A spirit. A young lady lost to the cruel whims of fate,” Elderia replied. “…And a fellow carrier of the accursed brand of hate. The same as you, little one.”

“I’m not so little, you know. I’m over two-hundred years old,” I said to the gypsy.

“…Is it from the Digimon blood?” Elderia asked. I nodded. “I see…Lord Murmuxmon has told me that it is not even yet the year 100 yet, whatever that means; I myself am only 24 years of age. I wasn’t quite certain how it all worked…other than the curse it brings to us…”

“This Murmuxmon…is he the one who came back in time?” I asked. Elderia nodded solemnly, not once making eye contact.

“He is an embodiment of change. He seeks to change the world in the past to bring forth an everlasting utopia…a world where the Marked are not vilified like demons. He…he promised me this solemn vow…and he saved my life. I will help him do as necessary to achieve that wonderful dream…”

“Lady, you’ve got it all wrong,” Lucia said. “The only thing that Murmuxmon wants is to bring about a world where he and the other Demon Lords have indomitable power. He is pure evil…”

“…That cannot be. Would evil incarnate save the worthless life of a gypsy like me? A cursed woman with the Mark on her belly?!” Elderia asked. “My life is insignificant, but out of mercy, he chose to save me. He is salvation…My hope…my future…My only chance for happiness.”

“You can’t for a second believe that crap,” Mihiramon snapped.

“You’ve never even met my master; how can you say such slanderous things about so wonderful a Digimon?!”

“Because we know why he came back here! We followed after him to stop him from hurting innocent people!” Coronamon said.

“SILENCE! I will not allow you to talk about my master in such a way any longer!” Elderia began to weave her slender arms through the cold, misty air. The rain slowly began to hasten and intensify as more and more clouds blotted the sun from the sky. “Fade away into the darkness of the unknown — the darkness of my own heart and soul — for all of eternity, and know that it is only by my own mercy that you shall not suffer in the afterworld!”

“…I’ve had enough of this. Coronamon, deal with her,” I muttered. My small Digivice lay at the center of my palm, and began to activate.

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon!” My Digimon partner leapt off from Mihiramon’s back and onto the moist forest floor. The flames of the Champion Beast burned bright in spite of the drizzling rain.

“…Will you be okay without us?” Lucia asked. “We need to go and look for the others…”

“I have a few questions I need to ask her. Don’t worry; we’ll be fine,” I whispered. Lucia said nothing as I slid off Mihiramon’s back; as the Exalted Beast turned around to leave, she didn’t even look back, and said only one thing.

“Just come back alive.” Mihiramon spread his massive wings, and took to the misty air, vanishing from sight in but a few seconds.

“…So, what is your question?” Elderia asked. “I assume it has to do with the young woman I see above you…? I can only assume something dreadful has befallen her at some point…”

I was killed in the line of duty; nothing more, Katsumi’s spirit said flatly.

“…I wanted to know how you are able to see Katsumi,” I said. “Nobody else can see her but me; why can you see her?!”

“I can offer no explanation; not to you, and not to myself…But I share in her craft of dark magic; that much is evident to me,” Elderia said. “…But for one skilled in the art, I fail to see how you weren’t able to prevent your own death…”

Death comes to everyone at some point; there is no point in lamenting the very miracles of life. Going against this sacred flow would disrupt the natural order of things.

“I disagree. If someone so close to me were to perish, I would be incapable of suppressing my sorrow,” Elderia said. “You are far too casual about your own demise, my dear. Surely you’ve loved ones of your own…or do you not care for them?!”

You don’t know the first thing about me. Katsumi’s voice was barely audible; a telltale sign of her uncommon anger. You are nothing more than a pathetic excuse for a sorceress who only thinks of her own selfish desires! You serve Murmuxmon only because he claims he can give you what he wants. You are no better than the other evil Digimon Lachesis has fought over the years! You’re a disgrace to the craft of dark magic! Matthew, slap her for me!

“…Wha…?”

I’m a ghost, remember? If I slap her, my hand will just go through her stupid ugly…really…exceptionally…pretty…face…Oh, wow, she is gorgeous…Ahem. You do it.

“I don’t really want to…”

Then make Firamon do it!

“…I’ve no more to say to you. If you’ve no more questions, then I shall banish your souls into the darkness of infinity!” A flash of lightning, a blue streak in the sky, cracked and illuminated our surroundings. The rain was now almost impossible to see through.

“Firamon…are you ready?!” I asked.

“Always, my friend. It shall be done.” Firamon leaped into the air and lunged at the petite gypsy, but was knocked into the sludge-covered ground by a blast of darkness from Elderia’s fingertips.

“Now…perish…” Elderia’s entire body was now wrapped in rain and darkness. She raised an arm to attack, but hesitated for a slight moment.

Is she…sad? She looks so guilty…

“Fira Claw!” Enveloped in flames, Firamon’s claws tore through the front Elderia’s violet gown and knocked her to the ground. “Next time, don’t hesitate. But, hey; you can’t help having a gentle heart.”

“No…you’re wrong…I do whatever is necessary of me for Lord Murmuxmon. I’d do anything to make his dreams a reality…anything…And I shall prove that by destroying the two of you!”

“You fool…You really have no idea what’s going on, do you?!” The solitary flame on Firamon’s head intensified and roared as ferociously as the Digimon it sat upon. The rain began to part above him, as if it were avoiding his power and wrath. “Firamon Digivolve to, Flaremon!” As Firamon grew larger and larger before her eyes, Elderia backed away from a swung, flaming claw.

“…Again…he’s Digivolved to Ultimate again,” I whispered to myself.

“It’s because of you, Matthew,” Flaremon said. “Your presence…your desire to win, and to stop Elderia and Murmuxmon…They are what drive us forward into the future, by making sure there is one. A future that we can return home to.”

“The only future that will be is the one Murmuxmon will create!” Elderia shouted. Darkness began to swirl at her bare, muddy feet; shadows rose up, and charged themselves into Flaremon, tearing through the skin of his raised arms.

“Is that all you’ve got?! Pathetic! Purifying Howl!” Flaremon roared, shaking the earth and the sky above. The shadows instantly vanished into a red light, leaving Elderia completely defenseless.

“Flaremon! End this!” I shouted.

“Crimson Beast-King Wave!” Flames gathered around Flaremon’s clenched fist, taking the shape of a lion’s head that Flaremon fired off at Elderia. At once, the gypsy fell to the wet, soggy ground, defeated. The rain stopped at that same instant, and the sky cleared while clouds parted ways.

“…N-No…I…I lost…” Elderia was breathing heavily, but didn’t seem to be on the verge of death. “Murmuxmon…I…I’ve failed you…Your dream…Your utopia…”

“You’ve put everything you believed in on the line…and you lost,” Flaremon whispered, turning back into Coronamon. “Maybe now you’ll listen to me when I tell you that Murmuxmon is evil.”

“…Honestly…I don’t care one way or another if he’s evil…He saved me…I owe my very existence to him,” Elderia said. Tears glistening in silver moonlight slid down her cheeks.

“Coronamon, it’s a waste of time trying to reason with her,” I said. “…We should go.” Coronamon, however, ignored me, and walked right up to the gypsy.

“Elderia. You lost because you began to have doubts in your own conviction. Am I not right?” Elderia said nothing, and looked away from the small Rookie. “It was hard at first; if I stayed as Firamon, you probably would’ve won. I could tell how strong you were when those shadows of yours hit me when I was Flaremon.”

“…All I ever wanted…was to live without the hate brought upon having that accursed Mark,” Elderia whispered softly, gently brushing her fingertips across the brand above her navel. “Murmuxmon promised me such a life…and you tell me…that he was lying to me…You, Matthew, and Katsumi, who bears the Mark as well…who are both so strongly opposed to what Murmuxmon told me…how could I not have doubts?”

“…It isn’t your fault, Elderia,” Coronamon said. “It isn’t your fault you lost, and isn’t your fault you have the Mark, either. You are simply the victim of a cruel fate.” Elderia’s eyes began to tear up once more. “Listen to me…it isn’t too late. Elderia…you are a smart, kind, and beautiful woman…you can still have the happiness you deserve. Just…think about everything we’ve told you. That’s all I ask of you…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 139 - The Battle is Joined

Murmuxmon

The small forest that would one day be the sight of the endless Lotisea Forest held the pleasant scent of freshly fallen rain. I could feel Elderia’s darkness lingering in the air, its aura tempting me in the direction of its owner. Trees and branches that got in my way were burned to ash and fell, sinking into the mud. And then, I found her body. Still breathing, and covered in blood and dirt.

“…Elderia.” The gypsy glanced in my direction, and sank away as I approached.

“M-My lord…”

“It looks like you’ve failed me, Elderia. What a shame…”

“…I’ve nothing to say for myself. I was weak…and I let you down…”

“Yeah. You sure did…And I had such high hopes for you, my dear.”

“…Your utopia…I don’t deserve to be a part of it…but…will it still…?”

“Oh, that? You actually believed that?! Ha! Oh, what the desperate will delude themselves into believing…”

“…Lord Murmuxmon…I—”

“SHUT UP!” In a fit of rage, I stepped over and kicked Elderia in the stomach. “Filthy Marked scum! I should’ve known from the beginning you’d be nothing more than a failure! That’s all your kind is!”

“M-Murmuxmon…!”
“…Great. With one less pawn on the board, I’ll have no choice but to release SkullGreymon onto them…” I held up my claw, and a blue flame appeared at its center. The faces of my comrades all showed up — those that were still alive, at least. SkullGreymon was nowhere to be seen. “…He’s gone off on his own. He must’ve known about the gypsy’s demise somehow. Apologies, Ulysses. I tried to spare your children of the wrath of that foul one…But now, it’s all over for them. All will be as it should be.”

[HR][/HR]
Tamiko Silverveil

The last few rays of sunlight disappeared over the edge of the horizon. Lilliana stood at my side, holding on to my hand. Her timidity and gentleness reminded me of my younger brother, Kelik; just remembering his name was enough to bring a tear to my eye. Unconsciously, I gripped Lilliana’s small hand tightly, and smiled to myself as she slid closer to me for warmth.

“…Have you seen anyone yet?” Dominimon flew past us overhead and landed on the ground beside us.

“Nobody yet,” I whispered. I turned around, looking at the bodies of our injured friends. Kudamon, Kamemon, AeroVeedramon, Quetzalmon, and Elizabeth all lay unconscious on the cold, hard ground. “…They’ll be okay…won’t they?”

“No need to worry; Zelda went to find Edmund to speed up the process, so they’ll be fine,” the Angel Digimon said.

“Oh, that’s too bad. I suppose I’ll just have to make them worse, then!” An eerie chill filled the surrounding air as did a pale vapor. My heart trembled in fear as a familiar Digimon descended to the ground. “And I still need to punish you for running away from your duties at the coliseum, you know.”

“Not Lampmon again…” The large Digimon grinned wide and cracked his sweaty, blue knuckles.

“Thanks to you idiots, I lost every last one of my employees; that damn Pheragas gathered up the remnants and is plotting a rebellion against me! With all of them together, they could actually defeat me,” Lampmon grunted. “So, I’ll just defeat you and load the data of all of your Digimon to strengthen myself so I can punish that traitor! All of you are traitors! All of you…must perish!”

“Tamiko…keep Lilliana safe for me,” Dominimon whispered, stepping forward to face the Mega level.
“Hah! So, you’d like to go first, angel boy? I guess I can handle that…no need to be greedy when your lives will all eventually be mine for the taking!” Lampmon yelled, laughing maniacally.

“…We’ll see about that,” Dominimon said, drawing his sword.

[HR][/HR]
Sparrow Lea

I sighed a deep breath of relief as I saw Hawkmon return. Not so much for his own presence, but for the beauties he had with him — Isole, Melanie, Madelyn…also, Bokomon was there, but I didn’t pay him much notice. However, my relief was short lived as I saw that they, as Celtinemon and I were, were covered in blood.

“…Damn it…just what the hell is going on here?” I muttered.

“I was just about to ask that,” Isole said dryly. “We were ambushed by Butenmon and GrapLeomon when Hawkmon found us. If he didn’t come when he did…”

“…They’re not supposed to be stronger than us,” I whispered. “We’re the heroes, aren’t we…? We’re supposed to be strong enough to crush them! Why haven’t we been…doing that…?”

“Well, they ARE stronger than us, so just deal with it!” Isole snapped.

“Hey, you’re the tactician; you’re supposed to deal with it!”

“Maybe if you were strong enough to be considered a pawn, I’d have been able to do it already!”

“STOP IT!!!” All heads turned to Madelyn at her sudden outburst. Most of us at Lachesis hardly had the chance or the time to get to know her; given her delicate appearance, hearing her shout like this was quite the surprise, to say the least. “Just…stop it! If you keep arguing like this, then we really will lose…I don’t want to know…what’s going to happen…if Murmuxmon gets his way. I don’t want to go back there…please…”

“…I’m sorry,” I whispered. “We’ve never faced Digimon this powerful before is what I really meant; they’re even stronger than Daemon’s flunkies…”

“You will defeat them,” Melanie said, standing by Madelyn’s side. “I have faith that you will win.”

“That’s great and all, but all the faith in the world won’t do us any good if they kill us,” Isole muttered.

“Then what do you propose we do? It took me over an hour just to find all of you; if I go to find anyone else, it might be too late to do something,” Hawkmon said.

“And the sun’s already gone down; that’ll make it difficult to move about if we get attacked,” Bokomon added.

“Not to mention the thunder in the distance,” I said. “We really shouldn’t be carrying big metal weapons through a thunderstorm…”

“Thunder…? I don’t hear any thunder,” Celtinemon said.

“Yeah, it’s over…that way…” Another loud crash echoed in the near distance. The earth tremored, nearly knocking us all off our feet.

“…Sparrow…? I don’t think that’s an electrical storm,” Hawkmon said.

“It’s not an earthquake either,” Bokomon said. Another crash sounded, and with it, an enormous, skeletal leg slammed onto the ground before us. Above it was an even larger Digimon, larger than any I had ever seen before. My heart froze as did my body at the sight of the monstrosity before me.

“…Hawkmon…is that…what I think it is?” I asked. My partner Digimon, though trembling, nodded his head.
“Yes…this is SkullGreymon,” Hawkmon whispered.

[HR][/HR]
Lucia Delbray

“…Mihiramon! Quick, turn around!” I shouted. The large Ultimate sighed.

“What is it this time, Lucia? I swear, if it’s about Matthew again—”

“No! He needs me! I can feel it, he’s in trouble!”

“Of course he is…”

“Mihiramon! C’mon, let’s go! Hurry!”

“You know, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between you and Eleanora anymore…” Instead of hurrying as I asked him to, Mihiramon lay down on the ground.

“What are you doing?!”

“I’m not going anywhere. If you want to save him, do it on your own.”

“Mihiramon!”

“Shut up. He’s got Coronamon with him, remember? He doesn’t need you; he doesn’t even need Eleanora,” the Digimon growled.

“Fine! I WILL go on my own!” I retorted.

“Nobody is going anywhere.” Mihiramon’s ears perked back instantly. Underneath me, I could feel the fur on his back begin to bristle.

“Who’s there?!” I yelled. I looked around, and saw a large man, tall and muscular, jump down from a tree, landing on the ground next to me and Mihiramon. “…Are you with the enemy?”

“That depends. Are you with Lachesis?” the man asked. A sharp sword was in his right hand, and strapped to his back was a large battle axe.

“…I’ll take that as a yes,” I whispered to myself, sliding off Mihiramon’s back.
“Very good. My name is Kieran…and I shall be your executioner.”

[HR][/HR]
Elderia

Murmuxmon had left me quite some time ago, leaving me to ponder my own dark thoughts alone. The rain began to pick up once more, due to the instability of my emotions influencing my magic. My belly was bruised and sore from where Murmuxmon had kicked me. A quiet, high-pitched fluttering of wings above me caught my attention, and instantly, the rain stopped.

“…BioNymphmon,” I whispered. Giving me a sorrowful expression, the small Bio-Hybrid fluttered to the ground and regained her Human form.

“Elderia…what happened to you?” Marissa asked. “They…defeated you…?”

“Yes…but…I wasn’t really that injured from them…not until…he arrived…”

“Who?” Marissa, ignoring the wet, muddy ground, sat down next to me and clasped my hand in hers. “Who did this to you, Dearie? Who hurt you? Who bruised your pretty tummy and scratched that lovely Mark…?”

“…Murmuxmon.” Marissa’s normally groggy, sleepy eyes were now wide and alert. “Well, Matthew defeated me first, and then Murmuxmon—”

“Murmuxmon?! Our master did this to you?!” she asked angrily.

“…I failed him…and I have this damn Mark…he has so many reasons to hate me…”

“But, that doesn’t give him the right to attack you!” Marissa exclaimed. “Elderia…You poor, sweet thing…”

“Marissa…please…don’t worry about me…Just fulfill your orders…I don’t want to see Murmuxmon take away your beautiful smile…Please…don’t fail him,” I whispered.

“…Fine. I won’t…I’ll destroy Lachesis. But not for him. I’ll do it for you…Elderia. I will hunt down the one who hurt you, Dearie. I will…destroy Matthew Kasuto.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 140 - Outlaw Immortal

Sparrow Lea

“Dark Shot!” A single missile was launched from SkullGreymon’s back, striking the ground before us and leaving a massive crater in the wake of its fiery detonation.

“Um, Hawkmon…? You’d better Digivolve,” I said nervously.

“…It won’t matter…I could become Mega through some freak chance, and it still wouldn’t be enough to defeat SkullGreymon,” Hawkmon whispered.

“Just shut up and Armor Digivolve!”

“Fine…Hawkmon Armor Digivolve to, Shurimon, the Samurai of Sincerity!”

“Celtinemon, you’d better Digivolve, too!” Giselle exclaimed. The Ultimate level Digimon nodded, taking flight next to Shurimon.

“Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon!”

“Are you ready, Morgannamon?” Shurimon asked.

“I suppose I have to be at this point, whether I like it or not,” the Mega Digimon lamented, raising her golden staff into the sky. “Clear Moon Sky!”

“Double Stars!” The attacks of the two Digimon struck the side of SkullGreymon’s face, but the lumbering behemoth didn’t seem to notice the assault. “Sparrow…he’s too strong,” Shurimon said, hovering closer to the ground. “What should we do?”

“DARK SHOT!”

“Clear Moon Sky!” Morgannamon made an attempt to counter SkullGreymon’s attack with her own, but the celestial, blue orb she shot out from her staff merely dissipated in the wake of SkullGreymon’s oncoming missile. A fiery explosion cut her off from sight, and filled the air with a thick smoke.

“Yes…blood…I can smell it!” SkullGreymon roared. “I will have it…all of it! I shall spill the blood of every member of Lachesis!” At that moment, Morgannamon rocketed out of the remnants of the explosion, and raised her staff skyward.

“Night of the Falling Stars!” Several large shooting stars, glowing with the powerful ferocity of Morgannamon’s determination, rained down from the night sky and struck SkullGreymon in a bombardment of light. The Undead Digimon unleashed a mighty roar, not of pain but of anger, of annoyance, and swung his massive arm through the air, cutting through the light of Morgannamon’s attack. With a look of fear monopolizing her beautiful face, Morgannamon sank back as the lumbering SkullGreymon approached.

“Stand back, beast! Kusanagi!” Shurimon, placing himself between Morgannamon and SkullGreymon, flung the large shuriken from his back at the opposing Ultimate. SkullGreymon raised an arm to defend himself, perfectly blocking Shurimon’s attack.

“No…nothing’s working,” I said quietly in a trembling voice of despair. “Everyone, fall back—!”

“Hold on; look closer,” Shurimon said, looking at the SkullGreymon’s raised right arm. I blinked, and two of his fingers snapped clean off.

“Shurimon…! You did…uh, something!” I exclaimed.

“I suppose so…but I was aiming for his neck,” the Armor level said, retrieving his flung shuriken. “If I couldn’t even slice through his wrist, cutting through his neck may not even be possible.”

“Don’t give up yet, buddy! You just cut off some of his fingers! Let’s keep it up!”

“Dark Shot!” Another fired missile from SkullGreymon’s back knocked Shurimon onto his own back, making him turn back into Hawkmon. “Well, now…when will you bleed?! TELL ME!”

“Clear Moon Sky—!” SkullGreymon whipped around and slammed his fist onto Morgannamon, shoving her deep into the ground. At first, she turned back into Celtinemon, but then into the Champion level D’arcmon, and then a much smaller Digimon, the Rookie level Salamon.

“No! Celtinemon!” Giselle began to run over to her fallen Digimon when I grabbed her by the arm to stop her, and pulled her back from SkullGreymon’s huge, descending foot before it too hit the ground. “Save her! Sparrow, save her! Let me go! I have to save her! Please…”

“Dark Shot!” A missile was aimed at both me and Giselle. Time seemed to slow down as the missile was launched. Slower, slower, slower the missile moved, and then it happened. An explosion of flames was all I could see. The missile vanished completely from sight, and SkullGreymon roared, and for once, it was in pain.

“Seems I got here just in time.” I looked to my side, where I saw none other than Edmund and Trionfimon, both of them standing tall and confidently, gazing up at SkullGreymon’s immense form. “Luck is on your side today, Sparrow Lea. My darling Trionfimon sensed the presence of a powerful Digimon in this direction, and insisted that we hurry towards it.”

“Oh, don’t give me all of the credit, Edmund; you know you sensed it to, my love,” Trionfimon winked, swishing her soft, fluffy tail around in the air. “Let’s just defeat SkullGreymon and call it a night, shall we, dear?”

“Two more have joined us, I see…a Human and a Digimon have invited me to spill their blood. How very kind of you!” SkullGreymon tore through the flames of Edmund’s magic attack, and approached us.

“Let’s have a little fun, shall we?” Trionfimon pulled a deck of cards from between her breasts, and slid a few cards from the top. “Support Card: Binding Chains!” Golden chains erupted from Trionfimon’s chosen card, and constricted SkullGreymon’s entire body. The Ultimate level struggled and thrashed about, but was unable to free himself from the chains. “Support Card: Thunder!” The chains around SkullGreymon lit up first, conducting the electricity from Trionfimon’s card. SkullGreymon roared once again, and fell to his bony knees. Edmund snapped his fingers, and SkullGreymon became enveloped in flames, but still, the massive Digimon resisted and stood back up.

“…Still won’t stay down; how very sad,” Edmund lamented.

“I’ll just need some stronger cards,” Trionfimon said. “Summon Card: White Dragon!” Trionfimon’s card began to glow in a pure light, and before her appeared a massive dragon, bipedal and winged like a MetalGreymon. “Go on, sweet baby; destroy this SkullGreymon like a good little boy, okay?” The summoned dragon roared, and unleashed a blast of light magic energy from its mouth. SkullGreymon roared one final time, and vanished into the light, finally dissolving into small bits and pieces of remnant data.

“Well, now…I’d say the two of us are in for a big round of applause,” Edmund smirked. “…Lucky for you, though, I’m not the narcissistic type.” The powerful mage knelt down and picked up Salamon before walking over to Giselle. “I believe this one belongs to you, my dear.”

“U-Um…T-Thank you, Edmund,” Giselle said in a small voice, taking Salamon back from the archsage. I looked back at the ground where SkullGreymon had been minutes before. Trionfimon’s summoned dragon vanished into thin air, leaving no trace behind. Hawkmon still lay unconscious on the ground, badly injured.

“Don’t worry,” Trionfimon whispered into my ear. “Hawkmon and Salamon will both be okay. They just need to rest for now…”

“I know, but…do we have the time to wait for them to recover?”
 
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