Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 141 - Mutiny in the Bounty

Tamiko Silverveil

Dominimon’s unconscious body lay on the ground before a grinning Lampmon.

“Hm…? Didn’t you say something rather funny about being able to defeat me ten minutes ago?” Lampmon asked.

“No way…Lampmon didn’t even use any attacks; just his bare hands!” I said, speaking in a small, quavering voice.

“Dominimon is so powerful, too; almost as strong as Edmund and Flamedramon,” Lilliana whispered. From the corner of my eye, I could see Kudamon stir, opening his eyes in a daze.

“Tamiko…please…let me fight,” the small Rookie said. “I can still…”

“…I guess…without Dominimon, there’s no one else here who can fight…but…”

“Don’t worry, Tamiko…I’ll be…fine…” Kudamon stumbled up to Lampmon, who merely scoffed at the injured, trembling Rookie. “Kudamon…Warp Digivolve to…Chirinmon! Wind Cutter Sword!” Lampmon clenched his fist, preparing to attack, but Chirinmon was too fast, cutting through the Mega Digimon’s chest with the horn on his head. Lampmon screamed as Chirinmon landed unsteadily on the ground. I smiled at my partner Digimon’s success, but my joy was short lived as Chirinmon collapsed, and turned back into Kudamon.

“Ahh…! Damn it…that actually hurt! Better kill you first before you get your strength back!” Lampmon snapped. “Phantom Turban!”

“Shining Force!”

“Primary Tactic!” Several powerful blasts of energy struck Lampmon in the back, once more taking him by surprise.

“Tactimon! And Lupinemon!” I gasped.

“Yup! Zelda found us, and she told us to wait with you in case something like this happened!” Sieglinde walked up behind me, giving me a friendly, albeit rather hard, slap on the back. “She didn’t find Edmund or anyone yet, so she told us to tell you that she’s still looking for him!”

“Yes…it is very fortunate we found you, Tamiko,” Tactimon said. “We shall protect you and the injured, so rest easy.”

“Ah, excellent! More corpses for the mountain!” Lampmon cracked his knuckles, and sailed towards Tactimon and Lupinemon. “Phantom Turban!” Tactimon swung his sword, but stopped halfway before striking Lampmon’s neck. I looked closer, and saw that the ribbons of Lampmon’s turban had rearranged themselves into the form of a shield, perfectly blocking Tactimon’s attack.

“Shining Force!”

“Golden Smog!” The two eyes on Lampmon’s lamp began to emit a baleful crimson light, and exhaled a hazy, golden fog that surrounded Lupinemon. Her lustrous eyes glazed over, and the Mega level fell over. “Phantom Turban!” The shield formed by Lampmon’s previous attack quickly changed into an enormous spear that struck Tactimon deep into his shoulder. In a flash, they were severed by Sieglinde’s rapier.

“Stand firm, Tacty! We can do this!” Sieglinde winked, and twirled her sword around in the air.

“Think so?” Sieglinde whipped around, prepared to attack Lampmon, but was met with a large, blue fist to her face that knocked her to the ground, where she was surrounded by Lampmon’s Golden Smog. Tactimon swung his sword once again, but once again, he was halted by Lampmon’s Phantom Turban. “You’re all…going to die. Here…and now! Phantom Turban!” More and more threads erupted from Lampmon’s turban, grabbing hold of Kudamon, Lupinemon, Tactimon, and Sieglinde, and hoisting them all up into the air. “NOW! PERSIH! IN THE NAME OF LORD MURMUXMON, I COMMAND YOU ALL TO PERISH!!!” Lampmon, now mad with excitement, prepared one final attack. With his arms raised up in the air, Lampmon was oblivious to his surroundings, and thus did not notice the large gathering of armed warriors behind him, many of which I actually recognized by face. Leading them was none other than Pheragas the First.

“TO ARMS, COMRADES!” Pheragas yelled. With a single arm, he lifted a massive axe and jammed it deep into Lampmon’s back. The Mega Digimon screamed and yelled, thrashing around madly to see who it was who attacked him.

“T-That voice…is that…you…Pheragas?!” Lampmon tried to turn around, but found that in doing so, he made the wound inflicted by his former servant deeper. “You…b-bastard…after all that loving care I showed to you and the others…do the Games mean nothing to your treasonous, evil heart?!”

“You vorked us all like slaves, and vhen ve ah injured, you cast us aside like a broken toy,” Pheragas grunted. “You attacked us vhen ve vould not comply vith your mad, mad orders. You, Lampmon…deserve var vorse a vate dan dis.” Pheragas forcibly removed his axe from Lampmon’s back, and swung once more, aiming at Lampmon’s neck. Lampmon backed away, preparing to counterattack, but was too slow. Pheragas’s axe sliced all the way through Lampmon’s neck. The Mega Digimon’s head and body both hit the ground at the same instant, and dissolved away into small fragments of data, and Lampmon died instantly.

“…Nice…you actually did it,” Sieglinde smirked. “Glad you were able to get here in time, big guy!”

“I did vut only vas necessary of me,” Pheragas said in a modest voice. “I vas able to vree de other prisoners, but it seems it vas not necessary vor de deveat of Lampmon, at de very least. Still, I am glad dey got to vitness his demise.”

“We couldn’t have done it without you, though,” Tactimon said.

“Oh, vell, you all did most of de vork,” Pheragas replied.

“Pheragas…you are a hero!” Sieglinde exclaimed. There were several nods of agreement among the other prisoners gathered behind Pheragas. “It may not have gotten to that point, but you gathered all of these innocent, captured people — you freed them — for the purpose of forming a rebellion against your cruel, hateful so-called master, who you yourself ended up killing! If that doesn’t make one a hero, I don’t know what does!”

“O-Oh, vell…I suppose if you vish to tink of me dat vay…”

“Yeah, totally! Hey, and you should have kids!”

“Sieglinde!”

“Maybe, name one or two of them after you. You know, just…just saying. Maybe train them how to use that cool axe of yours, or something like that…”

“…Is dat vun of your vuture traditions?” Pheragas asked, giving Sieglinde a confused glance.

“Yes. Yes it is.”

Stop fucking with history, Sieglinde,” Tactimon whispered into Sieglinde’s ear.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 142 - A Glimpse of the Glow

Lucia Delbray

Kieran and I clashed our axes together over and over, their loud metallic clangs filling the vaporous air.

“Heh; nice. Been a while since I fought a Human as strong as you, you know?” Kieran asked. “…And quite a good-looking lass, too. This ought to be interesting.” Mihiramon reared up on his hind legs, and took a swipe at Kieran, but the large man unsheathed his sword and blocked the attack flawlessly with his blade.

“You’d better just back off,” Mihiramon growled. “We don’t have time to screw around with you! Get out of our way NOW!”

“Well, I’m not moving, so if you want to get past me, you’ll have to defeat me first!”

“Samurai Tiger Tail!” Once more, Mihiramon reared up, and swung his tail at Kieran’s head, but once again, his attack was blocked, with Kieran catching the Ultimate Digimon’s tail with his bare hands.

“…You’re an Ultimate, aren’t you? And this is all you can do?” Kieran asked. With a slight twist of his arm, he yanked Mihiramon down from the air and onto the ground. “You should know…Lord Murmuxmon has given me strength. I’m not a Bio Hybrid…but he gave me just enough data from slaughtered Digimon to make me as strong as I am now while still retaining my humanity. So, forgive me if I tear your still-beating heart right out of your chest!”

“Think you’ve got all the answers, do you?! Armored Tiger Tail!” Large metal spikes shot out from Mihiramon’s tail, piercing through Kieran’s hand as it begun to spin like a drill. Screaming, Kieran pulled away, and looked at his bloody right hand in shock.

“…Even with one hand…I can still defeat you!” Kieran snapped. Kicking his sword aside, Kieran picked up his axe with his left hand, and swung it at me, missing my head by just a few inches. I jumped off Mihiramon’s back, and begun swinging my own axe at Kieran once more. Despite his injury, he was fighting back quite impressively through the pain. As hard as I tried to keep my distance due to my axe’s length, Kieran was constantly able to bridge the distance. “Yeah…you’re as good as they say, Tiger Woman. Oh, if only we were allies; we would be invincible together as comrades, my dear! What do you say; would you and Mihiramon at all consider joining me?”

“You must be joking!” I shouted. “What makes you think I’d join someone as evil as Murmuxmon?!”

“I did not mean for you to join Murmuxmon and whatever the hell he desires to do here in the past. I meant ME…my dear. Nobody could defeat us together. Murmuxmon will be nothing more than a distant memory! The whole world — every continent out there — would bow down at our feet like the pathetic weaklings they are!”

“…No.”

“What?!”

“…You talk about living beings…Humans and Digimon…as if they are some form of possession for you to wield dominion over, and throw away when you get bored with them,” I whispered. “I could never…be with someone like you. Whether it’s working for Murmuxmon, or at Lachesis; you are someone I could NEVER consider to be an ally!”

“…Very well. I gave you a chance…but since you have the nerve to reject my kindness, I’ll make sure you and your pet live to regret such unwarranted stupidity!” Kieran raised his axe far up above his head, ready to strike once again; I could do nothing more than lift my own axe to protect myself. Kieran swung, his axe making a loud whoosh through the air as it sliced clear through my weapon. The two pieces of my axe hit the ground, followed by several splots of blood that seeped through a newly opened wound that ran from near the bottom of my chest to the middle of my stomach. My vision grew blurry as more and more blood welled from the cut and stained my blouse. Kieran took advantage of my unsteadiness by striking the side of my head with the handle of my axe. I fell down, landing face-down in a puddle of my own blood. I vaguely heard Mihiramon calling out my name before I felt Kieran kick my shoulder, forcing me to roll over onto my back. From the corner of my eye, I could see Mihiramon pinned to the ground, with Kieran’s sword pierced through one of the Ultimate’s wings.

“M…Mihira…mon…”

“Oh, your pussy is the least of your problems at the moment,” Kieran whispered.

“Mihiramon…get…get up…” I coughed up a few drops of blood while talking, and I could hear Kieran laugh.

“Ready to die now?” Kieran asked. I glared up into the man’s eyes, but said nothing. “…I’ll take that as a yes. Sorry, lovely; I’ll try and spare that cute face of yours, though.”

“Armored Tiger Tail!” Catching Kieran completely by surprise, Mihiramon’s tail drilled through the front of Kieran’s chest. More enraged than in pain, Kieran yelled out. His eyes were completely blank, and his screams filled the air. My eye widened as I could see some of his teeth grew and sharpened. His screams grew more and more feral, and his muscles swelled and expanded.

“I’ll destroy each and every one of you!” Kieran roared, his voice much deeper and monstrous. “None from Lachesis shall survive my wrath! You shall all perish in the shadow of Murmuxmon!”

“Tiger Wing Blades!” A blast from Mihiramon crashed into Kieran’s back, but the savage was left completely unfazed. “Tiger Wing Blades!” Again and again, Mihiramon attacked, but Kieran continued his approach towards me. Mihiramon roared even louder, shaking the air with his voice. Soon, I could hear nothing over the sound of his desperate roar, not the breeze, not the gentle chirping of a distant Nyokimon, not my own ragged breathing. A blinding, white light gradually filled the surrounding area. I closed my eye to blot out the excessive shine for just a moment, but the split second I opened them back up, Kieran lay dying on the ground.

“…What…what the hell…was that?!” Kieran gasped. “You, Digimon…what did you do to me?! That was…way beyond your power…that light…what…was that…?” Kieran’s eyes glazed over, and his breathing ceased.

“…Lu…cia…Are you…okay…?” Mihiramon wheezed. I looked over to the staggering Ultimate level, and saw that he had forcefully torn his wing away from Kieran’s sword, nearly tearing his wing in half in the process.

“F-Forget about me, you dumb bastard! Why’d you get up like that?! You almost lost your damn wing!” I screamed.

“Wings are replaceable, Lucia…but you? You are the least replaceable thing in the world, my dear,” Mihiramon whispered in a gentle voice.

“…Mihiramon…that light…”

“I know. It was like what Larraine did…” I nodded. “…Her light was blue, though. Mine was white…Do you think that means anything?”

“…She’s Statch’s daughter, right? And he said that he’s one of the Sovereigns; he’s obviously not an ordinary Digimon, you know? Probably passed on some kind of special ability to her,” I murmured. “…Is he your dad, too?”

“Doubtful. I’m probably older than the old fart,” Mihiramon yawned. “…Whatever. We still have some shit to do. Save the wondering for later, ‘k?”

“Well, you’re no fun…”
“I’m an old mon. Get used to it.”

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto

Matthew…I can sense an overwhelming presence of malice nearby! Katsumi’s spirit warned. I said nothing, and continued walking. Matthew! Did you hear me?! Be careful!

“…I heard you. But, aren’t we always in danger, my dear?” I asked.

Mattie, don’t make light of this! Her power is growing with her rage; she’s getting to be stronger than even Flaremon! Be careful, okay?!

“We’ll be fine, Kitty. Don’t worry…we’ll stop them. We’ll stop Murmuxmon from changing the past.”

Mattie…Please…She’s…

“…Yeah? What about her?” I asked.

…She’s…right behind you. With a start, I whirled around, and was greeted with a swift kick to my face. Matthew!

“You were the one who hurt Elderia, weren’t you?” the woman asked. Coronamon whirled around and readied an attack, but a look of fierceness flashed in the deep violet eyes of the woman that matched the vividity of her bright orange hair made the brave little Rookie back off. “You hurt her; that was not necessary, you bastard! What kind of man beats up on a defenseless little girl?! Especially one who’s had such a difficult life!”

“Who the hell do you think you are, lady?!” Coronamon snapped.

“Call me Marissa,” the woman said hotly. “Now, answer my question, you filth!”

“…Look. She attacked us first, okay? Well…I think she did. Either way, she was trying to kill us. She should just consider herself lucky I didn’t return the favor. A meek little thing like her, it just wouldn’t have felt right. But, if a real bitch like you comes at me, I’d be more than happy to cut your throat.”

…Matthew…This isn’t like you, Katsumi’s spirit whispered quietly. You used to be so gentle…what happened to him…?

“Well then…I’d best slip into something a bit more comfortable, hm?” Backing away from me, Marissa pulled a Digivice from the waist of her skirt. “Say hello to my little friend, the Bio Link Digivice!”

…She’s a Bio Hybrid…Matthew, please; I’m begging you! Be careful!

“Bio Hybrid D.N.A. Charge! Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioNymphmon!” A mere fraction of her Human form’s height, BioNymphmon whizzed around in the air overhead. “Behold! I may look small, but I am a full-blown Ultimate level! You idiots don’t stand a chance!”

“…Coronamon. You know what you need to do,” I said quietly.

“Matthew…Understood. I will do my best. Coronamon Warp Digivolve to, Flaremon!”

“Ooh, I’m so fucking scared! Do your worst, you son of a bitch!” BioNymphmon shrieked.

“Crimson Beast King…W-Where the hell’d she go?!” Flaremon cautiously glanced around his surroundings, trying desperately to find the petite BioNymphmon. It was at that moment that I spotted her just behind Flaremon.

“Flaremon! Watch out!” I shouted. “She’s right behind you!”

“Lunar Blast!” From her small and dainty hands, BioNymphmon conjured a glowing, pink sphere much larger than herself that she unleashed at the back of Flaremon’s head. Roaring fiercely, Flaremon turned around and swung his claws at the tiny fairy, but missed. BioNymphmon used this opportunity to fire another Lunar Blast right at Flaremon’s furry face. Toppling over backwards, the massive Ultimate shrunk and turned back into Coronamon.

“Flaremon!”

“You’re next! Lunar Blast!” In the slightest fraction of a second, I readied my bow and fired an arrow right through the center of BioNymphmon’s attack. Surprised, BioNymphmon hovered motionless in the air as my arrow sailed onwards and struck her leg. “OW! You bastard! I’ll kill you! I’LL KILL YOU! DAZZLING GLEAM!” BioNymphmon’s wings began to glow and expand outwards. Pure white blasts of energy shot out from her wings at me, much faster than I could react, let alone ready my bow to counterattack. The energy blasts exploded the instant they hit the ground, throwing clumps of dust into the air.

“Coronamon!”

“Lunar Blast!” As I began running over to my partner Digimon to protect him, another attack of BioNymphmon’s struck me in the back, making me fall to the ground. I looked up just in time to see her unleash another Dazzling Gleam, striking Coronamon and myself. The air filled with the bright light of her attack, but soon, I saw nothing but darkness.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 143 - Ne'er the Twins Shall Meet

Eleanora Kasuto

Lunamon finally shut her sweet, pink eyes as she shifted her weight around in my arms. Small, almost invisible droplets of rain fell through the dense, green leaves of the dark and misty forest.
I wish I knew where I was going, I thought. This forest is so familiar, but the arrangement of all these trees is all wrong. I guess 1,300 years will do that to a forest, but still…

“Hey! Ellie! There you are!” Lunamon’s ears twitched at the sound of the voice, but the small Rookie remained asleep. Waving and smiling at me, Mia ran as fast as she ever did. I returned her radiant smile, but jumped back when I saw who was following her. Completely dumbstruck at the sight of Alphonse Lincoln, I promptly dropped Lunamon on the moist ground.

“Mia…? What…are you…is he…what the fuck…?!”

“Oh, yeah! This is Alphonse! He was that man I was going to fight when you all left, remember?” Mia asked.

“YES, I REMEMBER! I MEAN, WHAT THE FUCK IS HE DOING RIGHT BEHIND YOU?!” I screamed.

“Oh, he just wants to join our guild!” Mia smiled. I stared in dismay at the young blonde.

“…I’m starting to believe that actually is your natural hair color…”

“What do you mean?” Mia asked.

“Nothing; never mind…”

“I believe she is attempting to imply that she doesn’t trust me in any way, shape, or form, while also attempting to maintain the stereotype that blonde people are uniquely unintelligent,” Alphonse said. “As a blonde myself, I take offense to this.”

“Oh! Oh, that isn’t very nice, Ellie! We can trust Alphonse! Sure, he’s a bit of a flirt like Sparrow, but he’s a nice guy!”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” I replied calmly.

“Oh, c’mon! I even had my back turned to him for a while, but he didn’t stick anything in me—”

“MIA!”

“—like a knife! Or, a sword!”

“…Oh. Yeah. That’s totally what I thought you were going to say,” I mumbled sarcastically. “Goddess, Mia, think before you speak…”

“Well, he did grope me a few times, but other than that, nothing evil or suspicious!” Mia added.

“Are you…certain we can trust this man?” I asked.

“My lady, I would like nothing more than to prove my loyalty to you and your guild,” Alphonse said. “Perhaps…over dinner, sometime?”

“…Can I kill him now?”

“What?! No! He’s a member of our guild!” Mia exclaimed.

“If you think that for even a minute that I actually trust this man, then you’re even dumber than Neemon!” I screamed at the blonde.

“…You don’t have to be so mean about it,” Mia sulked.

“D-Don’t cry! L-Look, all I’m saying is that we just need to be careful, okay?”

“Okay…”

“And you, Alphonse; if you do anything even remotely suspicious—”

“I am fully aware; Lady Mia already gave me the proper warning,” Alphonse said. “Something about a sword to the groin or whatnot…? I wasn’t paying attention; I was too busy staring at—”

“Hey, Ellie? What are you doing out here in this forest?” Mia asked. “Are you looking for Mattie…?”

“That was the plan, but…I think first, I need to find myself…”

“A little soul searching, huh?” Mia asked.

“No, I literally do not know where I am right now.”

“Oh, I remember! Murmuxmon told me before I came here; these small woods are the site of the notorious Cursed Woods in the future we all came from!” Alphonse chimed in.

“And us being in the Cursed Woods is a good thing because…?”

“Well, now we know where we are! We can all easily make our way back to Celicia! And the woods aren’t supposed to become cursed for another…seven-hundred years, I believe?”

“Welp! Now that we know where we are, what say we go look for Matthew?” Mia asked.

“By any chance…Is Matthew a blond kid wearing green…?” Alphonse asked. His face looked pale, and his expression far more serious than his previous dopey grin.

“He’s hardly a kid, but yeah, that’s him. Why?” Mia asked.

“…Then we need not search any further…” Alphonse lifted a trembling arm and pointed dead ahead of himself. “…He’s…right there.” My heart skipped a few beats when I looked where Alphonse had pointed. Crucified and tied to a large oak tree by tethers constructed of light, my brother, covered in blood, hung silently, just barely alive. In a smaller tree next to him was Coronamon.

“Matthew! MATTHEW!!!”

“That light binding him to the tree…Gods, Marissa must be nearby,” Alphonse muttered. “Eleanora! Stay back!”

“Like hell I will! That’s my twin brother up there! I’ve got to get him down!” I screamed.

“Just…Look, let me do this, okay?” Rummaging through his coat pocket, Alphonse pulled out a Digimon Talisman. “Come forth; Togemon!”

“Ya’ called me, boss?” the giant Champion Digimon asked upon materializing from a golden light.

“That poor kid on the tree; get him down safely and gently.”

“Huh? That kid…? But, Boss…Marissa—”

“Don’t worry about Marissa. Just get him down,” Alphonse said quietly.

“Yeah, Boss. Got it!” The large Togemon stumbled carefully over towards Matthew, and unleashed its Needle Spray attack at the light tethers that bound my brother and Coronamon. Catching them as they began to fall, Togemon lay them gently on the ground before me.

“MATTHEW! Speak to me! Wake up!” I yelled hysterically. No response. I placed my hand over his chest, and I could feel his heart beating, although just barely. “Matthew…” I placed his hand in mine, and then, everything seemed to happen all at once. A blast of pure light energy exploded behind me, and I could hear the unsheathing of two swords.

“Gaiomon! Go all out!” I looked over my shoulder, and saw that Alphonse had summoned another Digimon, the immense, Mega-level Gaiomon. Opposing them was a diminutive, fairy-like Digimon.

“Alphonse, Alphonse, what are you doing?! Freeing my hostage, and then attacking me?! Lord Murmuxmon will be most displeased!” the small Digimon exclaimed.

“To the Dark Area with Murmuxmon! Only a monster would ask for a young child to be crucified to a tree! …And make his beautiful sister cry!”

“Oh, Alphonse…Did the little blonde persuade you a little too well?” the Digimon asked.

“No! Well, yes, but…Look, I meant what I said about the kid, Marissa! Even without his hot sister in the picture!”

“Marissa?! THIS little thing is Marissa?!” Mia exclaimed.

“I am NOT little!” Marissa snapped.

“Yeah, that’s her; Marissa Ruby…She’s a Bio Hybrid Nymphmon, too,” Alphonse whispered.

“Isn’t it a little too late for you to be forming a conscious after everything you’ve done?” BioNymphmon asked. “Remember, your list of sins FAR outnumbers my own! You’ve been with Murmuxmon even longer than me!”

“That may be, but I’m not going to give up on life just because of a few misguided mistakes. The first step to redemption begins with moving forward with your life; don’t worry about forgiveness from those you’ve hurt. Work towards fixing those mistakes first, and set things right! And I’ll start moving forward…by destroying you! Gaiomon, take her out!”

“Cross Slicer!”

“Oh, don’t be absurd! You know none of your Spirits stand a chance against me! Lunar Blast!” Forming a large, pink sphere between her hands, BioNymphmon easily stopped Gaiomon’s massive blade in the palm of her tiny hand. “You’re nothing compared to me!”

“Tankmon. Get her.” Yet another Digimon Spirit emerged from one of Alphonse’s Talismans, appearing right behind BioNymphmon.

“…Oh, please. Your pincer attack?” BioNymphmon scoffed. “That may have worked on your other enemies, but not with me!”

“Hyper Cannon!” Laughing to herself, BioNymphmon flew up into the air and away from Gaiomon’s sword. Tankmon’s fired missile sailed directly towards Gaiomon, but at the last second, the projectile meandered and soared up into the air, striking a direct hit against BioNymphmon. Screaming, the tiny Bio Hybrid fell to the ground.

“W…What the hell was that?!” BioNymphmon shrieked. “Tankmon’s missiles…they don’t have a mind of their own, damn it!”

“Please. You don’t think Gaiomon was holding hands with you because he liked you, did he?” Alphonse asked. “I’m surprised you didn’t notice it; Gaiomon’s Gaia Reactor attack. He can concentrate all of the air in the atmosphere, and increase its temperature. And, what Tankmon fired…was a heat-seeking guided missile. It sensed the air around you that Gaiomon heated, and sailed right towards you.”

“You…bastard…you’ve never…done that…before…”

“Think I should’ve told you? Forget it. Never reveal all of your tricks, even to your allies,” Alphonse replied.

“But how…could this be…? Your Digimon…aren’t stronger than me…”

“Have you forgotten? Each of us have our own unique ways of defeating the enemy,” Alphonse retorted. “Agunimon prefers winning a quick, decisive battle with pure strength that overwhelms the enemy. Kieran enjoys long, drawn-out battles with true warriors. Puppetmon destroys the enemy from within by taking control of them, and forcing them to fight amongst themselves. You, my dear, overwhelm the enemy with your speed, and strike when they get exhausted. But me…my expertise is strategically trapping the enemy, and annihilating them in one blow.” Alphonse snapped his fingers, and instantly, the gigantic form of the silver-colored MetalSeadramon that had once been the partner of Karen Swan appeared above the fallen BioNymphmon. “One blow…coming right up!”

“River of Power!”

“…Lunar Blast!” Once more forming a pink energy sphere between her hands, BioNymphmon unleashed her attack before MetalSeadramon had a chance to react, instantly destroying the Digimon Spirit. “Dazzling Gleam!”

“Togemon! Defensive maneuver!” Alphonse ordered.

“Needle Spray!” Without hesitation, Togemon began firing needles indiscriminately at the white energy darts unleashed by BioNymphmon’s wings, matching the Bio Hybrid needle for needle until one of BioNymphmon’s darts slipped through and struck Togemon between the eyes.

“No! Togemon…” Alphonse watched in dismay as Togemon fell backwards, defeated.

“Any more bright ideas, boss man?” Gaiomon asked.

“…If your opponent were them…instead of me…or if you weren’t enamored by that blonde girl…you’d be the victor,” BioNymphmon said in between heavy breaths. “Next time…don’t underestimate me!”

“…Why did you attack Matthew?” I asked. The small Digimon looked down from the sky at me. “Tell me. Why did you almost kill my brother?! Answer me!”

“Why…? Well…why the fuck not?! He nearly killed one of my own allies! Elderia…she could barely defend herself, a mage as powerful as herself…She was just a sweet, little girl, and he ruthlessly and viciously attacked her! That bastard…he deserved far worse a fate!” I said nothing, and glared at the small Digimon. “Death to Matthew, and all those he calls kin! He shall suffer for what he’s done to poor Elderia!”

“…That’s ENOUGH!” Unable to control my hatred, I leaped up into the air, and drew my sword, slicing through BioNymphmon’s shirt. Screaming, the pixie hit the ground in a puddle of her own blood. “Threaten my brother once again…and I will kill you where you stand!”

“Good luck trying! Lunar Blast!” As soon as BioNymphmon fired her attack, I swung my blade, and cleaved through her energy blast effortlessly. “Dazzling Gleam!” From her wings, BioNymphmon fired a countless number of needles, all of which I was able to dodge as I leapt through the air once again and struck the Bio Hybrid with my sword. “Damn it! You’re actually strong…and this is my Digimon form!” With a look of purest malice, BioNymphmon turned her back to me, and began flying away.

“GET BACK HERE!” In a fit of rage, I began running after BioNymphmon, but as I chased her, she unleashed her Dazzling Gleam attack once again, leaving a trail of dust in her wake as she flew on. Several glowing darts were actually successful in hitting me, mainly my legs and feet. My boots were soon torn to shreds, but still, I chased after the Digimon on bloodied feet, eventually meeting her at the end of the forest, atop the edge of a high cliff overlooking the ocean. Tumultuous dark clouds raged overhead, matching the churning, ink-black waters of the sea.

“Ready…to do this?!” BioNymphmon gasped, looking to be on the verge of collapse. I, too, felt exhausted, but I wasn’t about to let her know that.

“Let’s end this!” Catching BioNymphmon completely off guard, I swung my blade, striking as quickly as a flash of lightning I saw just moments before, striking her belly and cutting through her chest. With an agonized shriek, BioNymphmon hovered down to the ground, and regained her Human form, a much taller woman with bright orange hair. “…Marissa. I have a tendency to spare my enemies. But for you…I’ll make an exception.”

“Not so fast!” In a lightning-quick maneuver, Marissa plunged a sharp, serrated dagger into the left side of my abdomen. “Among Murmuxmon’s followers…I’m known as the ‘assassin,’ I’ll have you know! And for very good reason! So, do excuse me if I assassinate you!”

“Not a chance in hell!” I dropped my own sword to the ground, and forcefully yanked the dagger from my belly, and slashed Marissa across the face. “You die, NOW!” Without thinking, I tackled Marissa to what I expected to be the ground, and then fell off the cliff that I had forgotten we were positioned over, all the way down and into the churning waves of the ocean south of Lotisea Province. Below the surface, I kept my grip on Marissa’s throat, determined to see her perish before the night has finished. This…may be my last battle…I’ll make it count! Marissa opened her violet eyes once again, and I pulled my hand back when I saw the grief and sorrow contained within them. That was when darkness surrounded the both of us. What…is this…? I didn’t pass out…are we both still alive…? A gentle force began to slowly lift the two of us up towards the surface until we finally broke through. “What…is this…?” Somewhat less gently, both Marissa and I were teleported back up the cliff all the way to the top.

“Marissa…and…you must be Eleanora…” A raven-haired woman spoke so gently, giving both Marissa and me looks of deep concern. “…I’m glad I found you…”

“…Are you Elderia?” I whispered. The woman nodded, and glanced to Marissa. “Why…did you save us both? My brother hurt you…and Marissa is your ally…why—”

“Eleanora, your brother only did what was expected of him as a warrior of Lachesis. There is no need to concern yourself over that matter,” Elderia replied. “…Marissa swore vengeance on him. And, I’m assuming she got it…”

“…Yes.”

“…Before Marissa left to get her revenge…Not long after your brother defeated me…Matthew told me about Murmuxmon…his goals…his cruelty…At the time, I chose merely to ignore what Murmuxmon did out of gratitude for saving my life from those who wished me dead. I’m a gypsy, and he needed my powers; my magic, and my ability to see the future, even if just partially. He needed me to see the future to see what he has changed thus far…but after the talk Matthew and Coronamon had with me, I know Murmuxmon would have killed me himself once he had no need of my powers…If…they hadn’t said anything to me about Murmuxmon…my doubt in him would never waver. I’m sure I would gladly have given my life for him…but not anymore. Murmuxmon needs to be stopped. And I can’t…I can’t bear to see any more innocent Humans or Digimon get hurt…especially because of me…Eleanora…Please…please promise me that you and your friends will stop Murmuxmon.”

“Elderia…” I lowered my gaze, and glanced over at Marissa. “…Is she…going to be okay…?”

“She’ll be fine; no need to worry. She…she’s just sleeping.”

“Sleeping? Like…not passed out, even?” I asked.

“No, she’s asleep. She’s…seems to suffer from narcolepsy…If you can even call it suffering. She looks so peaceful and cute sound asleep…”

“A narcoleptic assassin…Murmuxmon must’ve been desperate,” I huffed.

“Well, she’s strong. And she isn’t narcoleptic when in her Bio Hybrid form,” Elderia said. I sighed, and lowered my hand to my belly, where I saw that the wound had closed up. “My magic…I used it to heal the both of you. You will both…live through this. I swear it.”
“…Elderia…thank you. Thank you…for saving me,” I whispered. The beautiful gypsy blushed, but smiled.

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto

Slowly, my eyes opened to take in the world around me. My whole body ached, but I was able to slowly lift my head. Eleanora was instantly at my side as soon as I did.

“Matthew! Are you okay?! Please be okay! Where does it hurt?! Tell me where it hurts, and I’ll—”

“Eleanora. I’m fine,” I whispered dryly. I could tell that the tone of my voice filled my twin sister with sadness, but I paid it little mind. “And I thought I told you, you don’t need to worry about me like this.”

“Like hell I do! You were fucking crucified!” Eleanora screamed.

“…You’re not my big sister, and you’re not my mother. So, stop treating me like I can’t take care of myself.”

“Matthew…” I glanced around, and saw Coronamon lying unconscious in Mia’s lap. Next to her sat a blond man I didn’t know, but I paid him no notice.

“…Let’s get going, shall we? Murmuxmon won’t defeat himself.”

“Matthew!” Eleanora snapped. “…You aren’t going anywhere until you tell me why you keep trying to push me away. Got it?!”

“Jeez, you’re never going to let this go, are you…”

“Matthew. What happened to you over in Cyllene?” Eleanora asked. “…Is it about Katsumi? I know you loved her…”

“Eleanora. I…I was there…when she was killed.” Eleanora and Mia both gasped. The man sitting next to Mia had both pity and a somber confusion in his amber eyes.

“You didn’t…you didn’t ever tell me that…”

“She was shot in the chest; by that same woman who killed Alicia and Wayland. That arrow just…tore…through her chest…there was nothing I could do to save her…All I could do was kill Eliza for what she did to the woman I loved…If Flaremon didn’t ever stop me, I’d probably still be there, stabbing her bloated corpse with that arrowgun…”

“Matthew…”

“…And…there’s…one other thing,” I mumbled. I glanced over at Katsumi’s spirit, who gave me a gentle smile and an encouraging nod. “…Back in Shendu Territory…after we were left shipwrecked by Leviamon…I began seeing her spirit.” Eleanora gave me a blank look.

“Spirit…you mean…her ghost…?” I nodded.

“She’s remained at my side ever since she first came to me that day, helping me, giving me advice, support…I doubt I could’ve gone through half of the battles I’ve took part in since returning from Cyllene…had she not been there for me.”

“Matthew…WHY DIDN’T YOU EVER TELL ME?!” Eleanora yelled tearfully. “Why…didn’t you tell me…?! Why…”

“I…didn’t think you’d believe me. Besides…I didn’t want you to constantly remind me of her death. I have enough of that in my dreams at night. Coronamon knows too, and Karen Swan does, too. I just…didn’t want to keep hearing about how she died…that she did.”

“Do you really think I’d have…done that to you?! Matthew…how could you…?”

“…Um…I hate to interrupt this, but…I think we should start looking for the others,” Mia said quietly, not bothering to hide the anxious look on her face. “The only problem is, I don’t know where they are…”

“Hey, no problem! Just leave it to old Alphonse!” The blond man sitting next to Mia jumped up enthusiastically, and reached into his pocket. “Come forth, Cerberusmon!”

Huh; another Summoner. How interesting, Katsumi mused.

“You wouldn’t believe this fella’s nose! He can track somebody’s scent from halfway across the continent!” Alphonse exclaimed in an excited voice.

“Ah, you flatter me, buddy,” Cerberusmon said sheepishly. “But, I’ll do my best to find the warriors of Lachesis! Just leave it to me!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 144 - Dark Destiny

Sparrow Lea

A nervous Hawkmon ran his beak through the feathers on his wings, an oft-seen habit of his when he was uncertain of what to do. All around me, my friends and allies had similar expressions ranging from simple confusion to outright angst and concern. Still unconscious, AeroVeedramon, Elizabeth, Quetzalmon, Kamemon, Salamon, and Kudamon rested peacefully, blissfully unaware of the certain danger the rest of us faced. At the makeshift camp that had been set up for our recovering friends, Mihiramon lounged off to the side, with Lucia sitting, nestled up against his fur.

It was Eleanora who spoke first, speaking in that gentle, soothing voice that had always made my worries vanish.

“…Murmuxmon and his allies…no, his pawns; they hurt our friends,” the beautiful swordswoman began, speaking calmly but firmly. “But rest assured, I will get revenge for the pain inflicted upon them. I swear on the blade passed down from my ancestor, Thomas Kasuto, that I will personally strike down Murmuxmon.” Matthew stared vacantly off to the side, not seeming to pay attention to what Eleanora was saying. Mia and the man with her, Alphonse, both nodded in agreement to Eleanora’s short speech.

“I don’t think all of us ought to go fight Murmuxmon at once, though,” I added. “Remember, we’ve still got some injured people here, and I don’t doubt that Murmuxmon has more allies lying in wait for us to leave so they can pick them off one by one.”

“Well, I guess I’ll stay behind, then,” Sieglinde offered. “I’ll be able to smell if any enemy comes our way with Lupinemon.”

“I shall stay as well,” Tactimon added. “…I’d feel bad if I just left Sieg to do all the work by herself…”

“Why, thank you, Tacty!” Sieglinde beamed.

“…Now, then; before we go to fight Murmuxmon, should we track down our missing allies? Or, should we go to him right away?” I asked. “We still don’t know where the boss is…”

“Um…actually…There’s something I need to tell all of you.” The gypsy woman, Elderia, nervously glanced around our large group. “…Murmuxmon…a few hours ago, he…he murdered your master, Ulysses.” A grim silence fell upon us all.

“…What…do you mean?” I asked in a quavering voice. “Ulysses…he’s…dead…?”

“I’m sorry…but it is the truth, and you need to know it. Talosmon has gone missing, as well…”

“…That can’t be,” Eleanora whispered, speaking just barely above a whisper. Matthew, too, looked surprised by the news, but didn’t seem altogether that broken up about it. Mia, on the other hand, promptly burst into tears. “Without a master…without our leader…what will we do…? Without Ulysses…it’s like our head has been separated from our body…”

“…We get revenge. That’s what we’ll do,” I replied. “Our enemies…they may kill some of us from time to time…We will grieve for our fallen brethren…and in the meantime, we shall find those responsible…and destroy them.”

“Sparrow…”

“Now’s not the time for tears, Ellie. Now…is the time to fight!” I said, doing my best to give the beautiful woman an encouraging smile. In truth, I felt just as at a loss as she, but I knew I could not let it affect me, lest I follow in the footsteps of our leader, and perish in battle. “I’m going to go kick Murmuxmon’s ass. Hawkmon, Matt, Coronamon, Ellie, Lunamon, Mia, Lucia, Edmund, Trionfimon, all of you are coming with me. Oh, and you too…blond dude who’s name I don’t remember at the moment.”

“Call me Alphonse; Alphonse Lincoln,” the man smiled.

“Yeah, you come to. And you too, cute gypsy girl.” I glanced at Elderia, having forgotten her name as well.

“…What about me?” Mihiramon asked.

“…Dude. Seriously? Your wing is all torn up!” I stared at the Ultimate level Digimon, in awe of his eagerness to fight once more in his current condition. “You stay behind.”

“Fine…”

“Isole, Giselle, Lilliana, Melanie, Madelyn, Bokomon, Dominimon, and Zelda; you all stay behind as well,” I continued. “Also, if Abigail, Flamedramon, or Talosmon show up here, tell them where we went…and send them our way. We’re going to need all the help we can get.”

“Just to be clear…where are you going?” Bokomon asked.

“Murmuxmon is…most likely in the capital city, Celicia,” Elderia said timidly. “He probably won’t be at the castle, knowing him…he’s probably anticipating all of you to find him…”

“Will you guide us to him?” Lucia asked.

“I…I can, but…I…can’t help you fight him,” Elderia whispered. “I’m…sorry…”
“Hey; don’t worry about it, gorgeous,” I smiled. “Just lead the way, and we can take care of the rest.”

[HR][/HR]
Flamedramon
Celicia Castle

“…This is where Melanie said to look, right?” I asked. “She told us to find someone important here in the castle, without getting caught…”

“Yes,” Abigail whispered. “I believe she said we would find that person in the queen and king’s personal quarters.” I gazed up uncertainly at the large, ornate door that lead to that very room. “…Flamedramon? Is there something wrong?”

“I dunno…I just…I’m not sure if I fully trust Melanie,” I murmured.

“Whyever not, dear?”

“Well, she just came up to us out of the blue, you know? I mean, everything she’s told us so far has been correct, but…I can’t help but worry if she’s somehow trying to lead us into a trap…”

“Oh, Johnny…”

“…I’ve told you not to call me that. That was…a name from a previous life. I am Flamedramon now.”

“I’m sorry…”

“…Well, this door isn’t going to open itself. Let’s go.” Removing any hesitation I might have had, I opened the door to the private chambers of Queen Mana and King Byron. The room was empty. I sighed a breath of relief, and walked in first, with my wife following in after me. My gaze focused on a far corner of the room, where a motionless being stood, staring blankly at nothing.

“…Is that him?” Abigail asked.

“Must be. I’m surprised, though…I didn’t think Murmuxmon would have it in him,” I said, walking up to the Digimon. “Clockmon…you’re supposed to be eternally neutral because of your powers…And somehow, Murmuxmon was able to get you to do as he wished. You poor bastard…”

“Well…okay, so we were able to find Clockmon like Melanie wanted; now what?” Abigail asked. “…Looks like he’s under the control of some spell Murmuxmon cast…”

“Yes…his eyes are completely blank; pure white…”

“…Do you think Edmund could undue whatever spell Murmuxmon cast on Clockmon?”

“I’m not sure…If anyone could have, it would have been Luna. But Edmund…”

“Why not him? He’s your son; how could you doubt him?”

“It’s not that…It’s just that Luna has a deeper expertise in dark magic, where Edmund uses the magics of nature; you know, fire and wind, and all that stuff.”

“So then…Wisemon or Katsumi could also have reversed the spell?”

“Undoubtedly…but Wisemon didn’t follow us, and Katsumi…Well, you know…”
“Well, let’s at least take him with us,” Abigail said. “Maybe we can find someone to break this spell…”

[HR][/HR]
Murmuxmon

The deep, golden moon hung softly in the middle of the otherwise clear and empty sky. In its simple radiance, I could see the approach of those who dared to face me. The warriors of Lachesis were coming for me. I smiled. I clenched my fist, and spread my wings out as they came closer and closer. Though they numbered fewer than I had expected, it mattered not to me.

The only thing that mattered was that I change the one thing I could not all those years ago…
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 145 - Stratagem in Black Armor

Sparrow Lea

There he stood. Bathed in the golden light of the unusually large moon that hung low in the sky, Murmuxmon stood, waiting for us, as Elderia had said. Hawkmon alighted to my shoulder, and nodded.

“…This is it, Sparrow,” he whispered. “Our final battle…”

“No. Not our last…because we’ll win,” I replied. “We’ll win…because we have to.”

“I didn’t quite mean it like that…But, now that you mention it—”

“Hawkmon? Shut up,” I interrupted.

“…Of course.”

“Everybody; prepare yourselves!” Lucia yelled. “Digimon, evolve to your highest forms, and ready for battle!” My friends and I readied our various Digivices, whilst Mia and Alphonse pulled out the Talismans containing their strongest Digimon Spirits.

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

“Coronamon Warp Digivolve to, Flaremon!”

“Lunamon Warp Digivolve to, Crescemon!”

“Come forth, Aquarimon!”

“Come forth, Gaiomon!”

Murmuxmon glared down at us all, not moving, never quavering, not appearing to be the slightest bit concerned about his upcoming battle. “So, you’ve betrayed me too, Alphonse…”

“What can I say? I’ve always had a set of morals when I was working for you,” the blond replied. “I only stayed…well, honestly, it was because Marissa was so beautiful. But then, I met this lovely young lady here, Mia. But, she’s just so much more than another pretty face. She’s brave, and loyal, and kind, too. And her friends; they’re all there for each other, you know? Sparrow and Lucia are there to motivate their friends when things go bad; Matthew and Eleanora care so deeply about each other. I guess I…just wanted to be a part of all that, you know? Plus, I heard from Elderia that you savagely attacked her after losing to Matthew…and also, that you murdered Ulysses. So, let’s just say…that getting revenge is quite high on my list of priorities!”

“You are a fool, Alphonse Lincoln! Your Spirits combined couldst never hope to lay a finger on me! And yet you blather on about revenge?! What revenge could you possibly hope to get with such meager strength as your own?!”

“Duh…in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not exactly alone here!” Alphonse exclaimed in an almost excited tone of voice.

“Oh, you mean the warriors of Lachesis?! They don’t fare much better than you do, traitor! Just slightly, but not by very fucking much!” Murmuxmon roared.
“…We’ll see about that,” I murmured. “Everybody…! CHARGE!”

[HR][/HR]
Tactimon

“Tactimon, were you able to find anybody?” Sieglinde asked. Slowly, I shook my head, filling the silent air with the unmistakable metallic clinks of my obsidian armor. The blonde swordswoman sighed impatiently and sadly.

“Sieg, don’t worry…Everyone will be okay; I promise,” I whispered gently.

“Everyone…except for Ulysses, that is…”

“Sieglinde…”

“I mean; if Murmuxmon’s strong enough to defeat the master and Talosmon…then…what about Sparrow, and Ellie, and all of the others? They don’t stand a chance, even if Edmund is with them…”

“Sieglinde…I don’t think you have anything to worry about, my dear…” I raised my arm and gently placed a hand on the young woman’s flushed cheek. “Sieglinde…I’m scared too. But, I believe in them. I believe in not only their strength, but their commitment to their duties as mercenaries of this guild.”

“Tactimon…”

“…Sieglinde…If…things don’t happen to work the way we desire, then…I want you to know…that I—”

“GUYS! LOOK OUT!” Catching the both of us completely off guard, Lupinemon, running faster than I had ever seen her run before, tackled both me and her Human partner to the ground, just in time to take us out of the line of fire from an oncoming blade of air. “Looks like our…‘friends’ are back,” the Mega Digimon growled. I looked up, and saw Butenmon and GrapLeomon standing above us.

“We’ll need to make this quick,” Sieglinde said, drawing her rapier. “We’ve got to protect the others!”

“Nya ha ha! And just how do yous plan on doing that?!” another voice asked. Descending from the trees, an injured Puppetmon swung his hammer at me, just barely missing my head as I moved out of the way. “Ha ha! Yous thought you were through wit’ me, didja?!”

“Lord Puppetmon, let us not waste any more time; we must obliterate them for our master Murmuxmon!” Butenmon raised his massive sword in the air, preparing to strike.

“Okay, okay; go ‘head and mince them!” Puppetmon cheered.

“Dance of the Sun!”

“Cyclonic Kick!”

“Everyone, close your eyes!” Lupinemon exclaimed. “Shining Force!” A blast of white energy erupted from Lupinemon’s golden fur, filling the air with its blinding radiance. Butenmon and GrapLeomon instantly halted their attacks, covering their eyes with their hands and arms to blot out the intense light.

“Puppet Pummel!”

No! Lupinemon! Unaffected by Lupinemon’s gleam, Puppetmon moved forward, ready to strike. I blocked his hammer with my sheathed blade, but just barely. The light of the Shining Force faded away, enabling GrapLeomon and Butenmon to open their eyes and move forward once again. Damn; this isn’t good…! Lupinemon was caught off guard by the force of Butenmon’s massive sword striking her left flank. “Lupinemon!”

“Don’t forget about me!” As soon as I looked over my shoulder at Lupinemon, Puppetmon swung his hammer and struck me on the side of my head. “Nya ha ha! All right, which o’ yous guys wanna finish these guys off? Or, should I dos it, eh?”

“If you only care about the glory, then I suggest you stay out of our way,” GrapLeomon said.

“Indeed; the job needs to be done swiftly and accurately, not artistically,” Butenmon added.

“Fine! Then you deal with it!” Puppetmon sneered.

“And deal with it I shall! The King of Fist!”

“Wild God’s Thrust!” Ignoring any pain I felt at the moment, I lunged forward and rammed the tip of my blade into GrapLeomon’s face, clear through the back of his head. His entire head exploded, and in an instant, the Ultimate Digimon was dead.

“Hm…Still have some fight in you, I see,” Butenmon murmured. “No matter…We may fall, but Murmuxmon shall destroy you all!”

“Ultimate Tactic!” My sword began to emit a furious light as I held it skyward, shortly before cutting through Butenmon’s waist. The second Digimon fell, and soon died as well.

“Haah…man, and after all that talk, too,” Puppetmon said wistfully. “Puppet Pummel!”

“Wild God’s Thrust!” My sword made contact with Puppetmon’s hammer, resulting in a massive explosion that pushed the two of us apart. “Primary Tactic!” In the slightest fraction of a second, my attack was fully charged, ready to blast away Puppetmon. And yet, to my horror, my body, moving on its own, turned and faced Sieglinde and Lupinemon just as I unleashed my attack. “NO! SIEGLINDE!!!!”

“What the hell do you think you’re DOING?!” Lupinemon screamed, jumping in front of her partner just before my attack made contact. “Damn it…Tactimon…why?!”

“Lupinemon, it’s not him…It was Puppetmon,” Sieglinde whispered.

“Aw, damn it; I was hoping I could trick yous!” Puppetmon whined. “Oh well; I can still kill all of yous!” With a few twitches of his skinny fingers, Puppetmon forced me to raise my sword back up into the air while preparing another Ultimate Tactic aimed at Lupinemon and Sieglinde.

“Urgh…you two…get away from here!” I grunted.

“NO! We are NOT going to let Puppetmon succeed in breaking up our guild!” Lupinemon howled. The Mega Digimon leaped up off the ground, charging right at Puppetmon, but it was at that moment that Puppetmon forced me to unleash my Ultimate Tactic. Lupinemon took the full force of my strongest attack, slamming her directly into the hard, dusty ground.

“Lupinemon…” Taking control of me once again, Puppetmon turned my sword at Sieglinde. “NO! Cease this at once, Puppetmon! Do what you will to me, but do not turn my sword against my friends!”

“Hmm…Okay! Puppet Pummel!” Puppetmon’s hammer struck me directly in the face, exploding instantly on contact. The force of the impact was almost enough to knock me completely unconscious. Sieglinde was instantly at my side, and Puppetmon walked past, chuckling to himself. “Well, well…so much fer tryin’ to protect yous injured friends, yeah? Yous de only fighters theys got to protectin’ them, yeah?”

“N…No…”

“Yeah, afraids so, yeah? Don’ go worryin’ now, cuz you’ll all be seein’ each others soon up in heaven!” Puppetmon chuckled. Just before the small Mega could leap into the air and aim a Puppet Pummel at our wounded and unconscious allies, I grabbed his leg and kept him steady on the ground. “Wha?! Leggo!” Puppetmon squirmed and struggled, but could not break free from my grasp. Instantly, two weapons were shoved in front of his face; Shawjamon’s staff, and Kentaurosmon’s crossbow.

“…What I meant…was that we weren’t the only fighter protecting our friends!” I shouted. “Finish him!”

“But…Tactimon…Your arm will be…” Shawjamon stuttered.

“Don’t worry about what will happen to me! Just end this Digimon NOW!”

“…Very well. Hydro Descent!”

“Inferno Frost!” Shawjamon and Kentaurosmon unleashed their two attacks with all of their might. Puppetmon screamed as he was enveloped in the glowing energy of their blasts before finally disappearing into small fragments of data.

“…Looks like…the plan worked,” I grunted.

“Well, you aren’t a renowned tactician for no reason,” Kentaurosmon agreed, turning back into Kudamon. “You knew Murmuxmon would still have allies prowling around, so you set up this trap to catch them by surprise. And I must say, it worked exactly as you predicted it would.”

“…Yes…”

“Tactimon…” I glanced over at Sieglinde. Fear and concern still marred her beauty, and I knew why. “Your arm…” I sighed, and nodded. My right arm, the one I had used to grab Puppetmon with, had not been able to escape unscathed. Even now, I could see a few specks of data flying off of it, and I could no longer move it.
“Don’t worry, Sieglinde. I’ll…be fine,” I whispered. “I did what I had to do…in order to protect everyone…to protect…you.”

[HR][/HR]
Sparrow Lea

“N…No…this Digimon…he’s…so powerful!” I exclaimed to myself. The sky was tinged with the darkness of Murmuxmon’s flames; the very flames that had defeated all of our Digimon, forcing them back into their lowest levels. My entire body ached with a terrible pain that kept me from moving.

“Heh…and you all seriously believed you could defeat me with such meager power?!” Murmuxmon yelled. “Even your pitifully old master put up a better fight than all of your Digimon!”

“This…isn’t right,” Edmund whispered. “All of the Digimon together…they should’ve been strong enough…”

“I’m sorry…Edmund,” Trionfimon said. “I tried…”

“All of you, BURN!!!!!!!!! GEHENNA FLAME!” One more time, Murmuxmon’s fire surrounded us all. I closed my eyes, prepared to embrace the pain. I waited, but the pain never came. Confused, I opened my eyes, and saw Flamedramon standing above us, using his own flames to block Murmuxmon’s.

“Fa…ther…” Edmund forced himself to rise up, but was only able to do so with help from Abigail.

“Don’t overwork yourself, darling,” Abigail whispered gently. “Flamedramon can handle this…”

“FIRE ROCKET!” Flamedramon’s orange flames merged with Murmuxmon’s dark ones as they swirled around the Dragon Man.

“No; what do you think you’re doing?!” Murmuxmon yelled.

“What any father should; murdering the Digimon that hurt my son!!!” Flamedramon charged through the air, and crashed headfirst into the taller Murmuxmon and pushed the Mega Digimon back.

“I-Impossible! You…you actually damaged me!?”

“Now, then…since you’re aware of how strong I can get, I suggest you back down,” Flamedramon said. “Although, that may not do you any good; I’ll destroy you either way!”

“Hah! One lucky strike does not a powerful Digimon make!” Murmuxmon snapped. “How do you plan on defeating me, weakling?!”

“…Because…I know your secret weapon,” Flamedramon smirked. “Abby, dear; would you be so kind?”

“Of course.” Abigail snapped her fingers; out of nowhere, a twist of darkness appeared, and from its center emerged an unfamiliar Digimon, the sight of which made Murmuxmon gasp.

“You…how did you find him?!” Murmuxmon growled.

“Doesn’t matter; the only thing that does matter is this…without this Clockmon, you’re powerless,” Abigail grinned.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 146 - Scion of Legend

Abigail Luxord

“Without this Clockmon, you’re powerless,” I grinned. “If we destroy him, you’ve no way to return to the future you’ve longed to change.”

“…You wouldn’t dare,” Murmuxmon growled. “You wouldn’t be able to return home if you destroyed Clockmon, either.”

“Oh? And how do you suppose we managed to arrive in the past in the first place?” I asked. Murmuxmon said nothing, but glared furiously at me. “Well, I’ll tell you; we have a powerful mage among us capable of time magic, just like Clockmon.”

“You bastards…You wouldn’t dare murder an innocent!” Murmuxmon yelled. “Surely even you know who Clockmon is, correct?! A neutral Digimon he is; he can’t risk upsetting the balance of the world because of his control over time, but I was able force him to do what I want with a little bit of my own power. Tell me; do you really have it in you to destroy an innocent Digimon?!”

“Oh, please; don’t you know who I am?!” Flamedramon stepped forward. “Before I joined Lachesis…I had a bit of a reputation as a serial killer. Working up the nerve to kill this Clockmon will be like child’s play for me.”

“…They let a monster like you join them?! Ridiculous!” Murmuxmon exclaimed.

“Heh; the same could be said for you, right?” I asked. “Well, then, darling; are you ready to melt this Clockmon yet?”

“Just tell me when,” Flamedramon replied.

“No…you wouldn’t dare,” Murmuxmon repeated. “You wouldn’t…” Flamedramon tapped his claws together, and a small twist of flames revolved around Clockmon, but not touching him just yet; in spite of this, the look on his face remained ever expressionless, his eyes blank and emotionless. “N-No! NO! STOP THIS AT ONCE!”

“Give us one good reason,” I asked.

“Urgh…If Clockmon goes…then…all of time itself will be disrupted!” Murmuxmon pleaded. “You can’t do this! It would destroy the world — far worse than anything I would have done!”

“Yes…and like I said, we’ve got a powerful mage who can use time magic; anything that falls apart will just be put back together,” I whispered coyly. “Oh, we’d be MORE than happy to destroy this Clockmon — if it means destroying you and putting an end to your plans!”

“No…wait!” Sparrow, stumbling up off the ground to his feet, glared at both me and Flamedramon. “You can’t possibly mean that…He’s only being forced into helping Murmuxmon; he isn’t evil! You can’t possibly mean to destroy him…”

“Sparrow, get back!” Edmund snapped. “My mother and father…they’re only doing what needs to be done. Would you rather see one innocent die, or spare him and let millions of innocents suffer and die alongside all those you care about?”

“Edmund…”

“Please, just stay back, love,” I whispered. “…Clockmon proclaims neutrality, but he has a good heart; he hides himself so nobody will get hurt, so I know this is something that he would agree to.”

“How can you just assume something like that?!” Eleanora exclaimed. “You haven’t even met him before! You’ve no right to say something so…so horrid!”

“SHUT UP!” Flamedramon snapped his claws, sending a spark of flames in Eleanora’s direction. Though they dissolved before they could reach her, Sparrow shoved the swordswoman to the ground and out of the way of Flamedramon’s attack. “Don’t get in our way.”

“Jeez…now that’s just rough,” Murmuxmon sighed. “Are you sure you’re the good guys…?”

“Murmuxmon. Stand down right now, or you and Clockmon are both toast,” I said. “Literally.”

“…No…I will not let it end like this! Gehenna Flame!”

“Flame Fist!” The flames of Flamedramon and Murmuxmon collided in the air, cancelling each other out the moment they impacted.

“I’ll destroy you! I’ll burn you all before you have a chance to destroy my Clockmon!” Murmuxmon roared. “Gehenna Flame!” From the tips of his claws, Murmuxmon unleashed countless dozens of blazing orbs. Flamedramon tried his best, but was ultimately overpowered by the sheer number and power of spheres fired by Murmuxmon.

“Oh, dear…I guess I’d better get involved,” I whispered to myself. “Bio Hybrid DNA Charge! Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioLadyDevimon! Darkness Wave!” My attack was able to combat Murmuxmon’s at first, but I soon found myself unable to delete them all in time and, like my husband before me, I too succumbed to their numbers.

“BURN! EVERYTHING BURN!” Murmuxmon unleashed yet another Gehenna Flame, this time as a wall of fire, surrounding me and the other members of Lachesis. “I’ll burn you! I’LL DESTROY YOU ALL!” The flames of Murmuxmon began to close in, but at that same instant, they began to shrivel and evaporate into steam. “What?! What is this?! What’s going on?!”

“Murmuxmon…your plan to change the future…it will never work.” Standing before me, wearing a large black cloak, was none other than Melanie.

“…You…I should have known…Who else would dare to help these misfits in their hopeless struggle against me?” Murmuxmon asked. “Only one as stupid as you…”

“Melanie…just…who are you?” I asked.

“…That isn’t important right now,” the cloaked mage whispered in a very gentle voice.

“Oh, come now; don’t keep the lady waiting!” Murmuxmon cackled. “She wants to know? Then I’ll show her! Gehenna Flame!” Murmuxmon launched one more blazing orb from his mouth, and laughed as it whizzed straight past Melanie’s head. The speed and force of his attack was enough to blow back the dark hood obscuring Melanie’s face. Long, flowing hair, blue as the clearest lakes, erupted from the back of Melanie’s hood and fell past her slender waist. The mage let lose a sad, mournful sigh, and turned to face us.

“N-No…your face…it can’t be,” Sparrow whispered.

“You look…just like her!” Eleanora gasped.

“…Lilliana,” Edmund breathed the words, speaking in a voice that was just barely above a whisper. “Is that…really you…?!”

“…Yes. And…no,” Melanie replied. “I am…Lilliana Meadows…the same as the girl you all know, but…I came from the future…One of them, at least. A future…that was ruined by Murmuxmon!” At this, Murmuxmon began to laugh; violently, uncontrollably, and evilly.

“And so, you went to the past to gather up these sorry losers and try again!” Murmuxmon spat. “If it didn’t work the first time, why would it work this time?!”

“…I am not certain…I began to doubt myself when I failed to keep Ulysses alive,” Lilliana’s future self replied. “That event was what ruined the future I came from…I needed to prevent that much at all costs, but I…I failed…”

“You are a fool, Lilliana Meadows!” Murmuxmon yelled. “Did you truly mean to best me with such a pathetic plan as this?!”

“…It doesn’t matter…My life…it is insignificant, if it means I can stop Murmuxmon,” Melanie whispered.

“No! No, don’t say that!” Eleanora exclaimed. “Lilly, you’re important to all of us! We love you so much…you can’t go…sacrificing yourself…for this monster…”

“Ellie…You of the future said the exact same words to me before I left; and you cry the same tears…” Melanie smiled, brushing the tears that streamed down Eleanora’s face. “But unfortunately…it is the truth.”

“No…Lilliana, it isn’t!” Eleanora protested.

“Murmuxmon is pure evil incarnate, but is the servant of one far more powerful and dangerous,” Melanie continued. “If we can stop him…Murmuxmon’s master will be that much easier to defeat.”

“HAH!” Murmuxmon scoffed. “Do you really think my master to be so insignificant?! There is no stopping him! Eternal glory…to IceDevimon!” At this proclamation, Future Lilliana snapped her fingers, sending a giant bolt of lightning sailing directly at Murmuxmon. The Demon Lord roared with hatred, waving his arm to dissipate the massive thunderbolt. “You…stupid BITCH! I’ll kill YOU first! GEHENNA FLAME!” Unleashing a mighty roar, Murmuxmon began spewing his dark flames from his mouth. I grabbed Edmund and pulled him to the ground with me to protect him, while Flamedramon readied his own flames to protect himself and all of the others.

“Titan Inferno!” A blazing fireball fell down from the sky; at its center was none other than Talosmon. The bronze giant pulled out his massive sword and cut through Murmuxmon’s flames. “Stone Apocalypse!”

“Gehenna Flame!” The attacks of the two immensely powerful Mega Digimon collided in the air, cancelling each other out perfectly. “…Impossible! How the hell did you survive!?”

“…I’m not sure myself,” Talosmon said in his loud, booming voice that echoed across the land. “Had I been in Ulysses’ Fusion Loader, I’m certain I would have perished along with my partner. But now…I’m more than ready to destroy you…for what you did to Ulysses Melchett!”

“DIE! DIE! ALL OF YOU, DIE!!!!!!!!!” Murmuxmon continued laughing as his ebon flames burnt the ground; I heard none of my friends screaming in pain, so my heart was instantly put at ease. It seemed like an eternity, but the flames finally began to die down. I glanced around nervously, and to my relief, saw that nobody had been badly singed by the flames.

“…There’s no need to lose your temper, Murmuxmon,” Future Lilliana whispered.

“WHAT?!”

“We of Lachesis aren’t the only ones here, you know,” the sorceress continued. “Look closely…” Murmuxmon’s eyes scanned the battlefield, as did my own. My heart jumped when I saw the bulky form of Clockmon resting silently within Murmuxmon’s flames. Murmuxmon began to scream relentlessly at the sight before him.

“NO! NO! CLOCKMON!” Shoving his way past Future Lilliana, Murmuxmon trudged through his own flames and dug Clockmon out. “CLOCKMON! Don’t you dare die on me, you son of a bitch! Clockmon!” Clockmon’s blank eyes began to glimmer in the first few rays of the rising sun as color began to return to them.

“…Murmuxmon…you…bastard…what have you…done?!” Clockmon gasped. “In spite of my warnings…you dragged me into the past with you…DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU’VE DONE?!” Murmuxmon remained silent, glaring down at the horridly burned Champion Digimon at his side. “You, who would dare manipulate time for evil…prepare…to face the…consequences…” Clockmon closed his eyes, and faded away on the wind as small fragments of data. Murmuxmon let out a yell of purest malice, which soon became a scream of pain and agony. As I looked upon the Mega Digimon, I could soon see why.

“No…NO! How could this happen…?! My dreams…my utopia…My…future…has it all been taken from me so…easily?!” Murmuxmon fell to his knees, and at once, his body began to decay and wither. A finger fell off, and then an arm, all of which dissolved into bits of data. Murmuxmon turned his head to glare at us; the meat of his face had all but vanished, leaving only a bloody remnant of his visage along with two bulging, bloodshot eyes. “LA…CHE…SIS!!!!!!!” Murmuxmon reached out his remaining arm, and readied one final Gehenna Flame, firing it directly at Talosmon. The massive Digimon was caught completely by surprise, and the attack bore clear through his iron chest. Staggering, Talosmon fell to the ground, and began to fade away alongside Murmuxmon until he too vanished into nothingness, and soon, the rest of Murmuxmon’s body was nowhere to be seen. I sighed a quick breath of relief, only for the ground beneath my feet to tremor violently, splitting in several areas around us.

“We have to get out of here!” Future Lilliana exclaimed.

“Wait! What about our other friends?! Back at the camp!” Mia exclaimed.

“Don’t worry; I’ve already sent them back to the future! Now, come!” Melanie held up her hand; a magic circle formed in front of her slim and dainty fingers, and from it, a glare of light erupted in the sky. “Come! This will take us all to the future!”

“Melanie…No, Lilliana; wait,” I called out. “This land…will it—”

“Yes. Celosia will fall…as was foretold by history eons ago,” the somber mage replied. “Many will perish…But, many will survive. However, that isn’t our priority. This is an unavoidable ebb given to us by destiny; no matter how much we rage against it, this will not change. Celosia will be destroyed…” As I was about to give a reply, from the corner of my eye, I saw an orange-haired woman and a raven-haired beauty approaching our group. “…You wish to accompany us as well, Marissa Ruby?”

“Yeah…well, I am from the future originally,” the orange-haired woman replied. “So…”

“I’ve no problem with this. And you, Elderia?” The other woman stared blankly at the time mage. Matthew looked back at the dark-haired woman expectantly, almost pleadingly so.

“…Matthew…I…I’m sorry,” Elderia whispered.

“Elderia…”

“I will remain behind. I will stay here and die, as I did in your past, Matthew, as it was meant to be. I am glad to have met you…and I will continue to watch over you…once I am gone…”

“…I’ll miss you, Deri,” Marissa whispered.

“And I you, Marissa,” Elderia whispered, leaning over to kiss the taller woman on the cheek. “You, Matthew, and Alphonse have both showed me kindness in a world where I thought there was none…and for that, I am eternally grateful…”

“Come on, we have to get going!” Future Lilliana forcefully grabbed my wrist, and pulled me in after her into the time portal she created moments before. I looked back one last time to see Elderia giving us all a sad smile before she was consumed by flames.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 147 - When Past and Present Collide

Matthew Kasuto

It had all happened so instantly, it almost felt as though it were nothing more than a faded dream. I opened my weary eyes, surprised that I felt no pain whatsoever in my body — apart from that rather large rock that was jammed underneath my ribcage when I landed on the ground, at least. I took a quick survey of the world around me, and sighed. All around me was a grey, shadowed landscape, and it was impossible to declare whether it was night or day by looking up at the equally grey sky.

“…Katsumi…are we…at the Black Rose Mountains…?” I whispered.

No…Strange as it sounds, I get the feeling that we’re close to home, the spirit murmured to herself. Close…to the fortress…

“That…can’t be,” I said. “This dry and cracked ground…we aren’t at Black Rose?”

“No, we aren’t.” Walking straight past me, Future Lilliana looked up at the foreboding grey clouds that smothered the blue sky above. “Matthew…I’ve brought you and your friends home to Lachesis, as I said I did…But…I’m afraid I…”

“Yes…? Is there something wrong?” I asked in a gentle voice.

“…I lied to you, just a little bit,” the time mage whispered. “You are home, but…Where you stand now…This time…It is twenty years later than the time you originally came from…”

“Twenty…Did you bring us to your future?” I asked, still speaking in a gentle voice. Slowly, the mage nodded her head. A cool breeze raced across the barren landscape, freeing her lovely blue hair from the confines of her ebon cloak.

“I’m so sorry…But I had to bring you here…at least, for now…”

“Don’t worry about it, Lilly. It’s still home, after all,” I whispered. “You obviously had a reason to bring us all here; something you need our help with, right?”

“…Yes. I didn’t want to involve you, but…”

“We’d all be more than happy to help you,” I interrupted.
“Matthew…You…you have no idea how much that means to me,” the Future Lilliana whispered. “…Come. We need to get you home to the others…”

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto

The cool, stony interior of the fortress was every bit as comforting and welcoming as it had been in the past, twenty years ago to this day. I had been told by Lilliana’s future self that many of our own future selves still remained in Lachesis; and so, as I sat on my usual spot on one of the many sofas in the lounge room of the fortress I waited, almost anxiously, for my own future self to show up. Anxious as I was, I barely noticed the absence of my twin brother while others slept to ease whatever pain and weariness they felt.

And that was when I heard the quiet, echoing noise of footsteps walking into the fortress. Excitedly, I turned around, only to be disappointed, and somewhat surprised, at the two unfamiliar faces that I saw. One, a pink-haired young woman with a carefree smile on her face and a tad shorter than her raven-haired companion, a woman who was somewhat taller and a bit plumper, with a more serious and serene expression on her face.

“Eleanora…I’m glad to see that you’ve returned,” the taller woman spoke in a soft and gentle voice that befit her serene visage. The other woman, meanwhile, began to speak a bit louder, more casually, and more excitedly than her friend.

“Glad to see you came back in one piece! You had me worried when you said you’d be going THERE the other day!” She spoke in a charming and happy voice that truthfully endeared me to her more than I already had been. She had a playful smile, similar to Larraine, and sweet violet eyes that sparkled in different shades in accordance to the angle of light that hit them.

“Eleanora…you appear to be significantly injured,” the other woman said. “Cynthia, please refrain from smothering her in that hug and examine the subject carefully.”

“…Oh, you’re right, Miya! Oh, Ellie Belly; who did this to you? You didn’t fight someone you shouldn’t have picked a fight with again, did you?” Cynthia asked. “Oh, and your friends, too! Did they get hurt too? Hm, I didn’t even know Mia went with you…”

“Cynthia…Examine more closely our injured comrades; they are far too young to be the individuals we know,” Miya whispered. “I believe these individuals may be the past selves that Lilliana told us would be arriving shortly at our fortress. Is that not the case, Eleanora?”

“Uh…yeah, I guess so,” I replied. “…Lil only said she’d be taking us back to the future; I didn’t think that she meant the future she came from, instead of our present…”

“Lilliana was advised not to do such a thing before she left for our past; it seems that she was dead-set on aiding each and every one of us,” Miya said, smiling for the first time since I first saw her. “That woman has a very generous heart, as I am certain you are well aware of by now.”

“Yes…Lilly…she’s always been very gentle, but so shy and timid, too,” I whispered.

“What?! Lil, shy?! I don’t believe it!” Cynthia laughed. “Are we talking about the same Lilliana?”

“Eleanora. You must understand…many of the individuals you know now have changed in our future; a few…are not even with us any longer,” Miya continued. “Our present, and your future…this is the year 1,320. If I’m not mistaken, the year Lilliana took you from was 1,300, was it not?”

“…Give or take a year or so, I guess,” I said. “We’ve kind of been fighting a lot, so I haven’t really been paying attention to the date…You said it was 1,320 now?”

“That is correct. Have you any desire to meet with your own future self?” Miya asked.

“Uh…sure…? But, what about the others…? You said some weren’t with us anymore; what do you mean by that?”

“…I’m afraid it is not my place to say—”

“A lot of them have died,” Cynthia interrupted. A horrible pain clutched at my heart at the mere thought of such a concept! “Of course, some of them just went and got lost. Missing in action.”

“Cynthia…please, refrain from saying such things to the past generation, particularly while they remain injured and unwell,” Miya said in a stern voice. “I’ve no wish to see their conditions worsen due to horrid news.”

“Huh…? O-Oh, right; sorry about that, Ellie Belly,” Cynthia whispered, glancing nervously away from me.

“No, don’t…don’t worry about it,” I said absentmindedly. “That kind of thing…happens all the time…right? We’re mercenaries…we…we have to expect that it will happen. It’s…okay.”

“Eleanora…”

“I told you…I’m fine. Just…take me to my future self, okay? I have something I need to ask her.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 148 - My Future Self and Me

Matthew Kasuto

Clouds of mist surrounded our once grand fortress; time had certainly, for once, been cruel to the brick structure, now covered with dozens of plants and definite signs of recent battles, with several holes and burn marks in various locations of the Lachesis fortress. The sun rose, turning the silver mist a glittering gold.

And yet, the future Lilliana’s words rang painfully in my ears, blotting my mind. Many of my friends in my future, her present, had been killed in battle. Coronamon was among them. Admittedly, however, this news was greatly offset by the revelation that Eleanora was still alive and well.

“…Lucia is missing in action as well,” Future Lilliana continued. “No one knows where Mihiramon and Larraine are, either…”

“Larraine too…? Just who have you all been fighting against the past twenty years?” I asked, trying hard but unsuccessfully to hide the small quaver in my voice.

“The same as usual…bandits, Demon Lord Digimon like Murmuxmon, Daemon, and Barbamon…Nothing out of the ordinary,” Lilliana replied in a distant voice. “…Well, come on in. I’ve told the others of the arrival of you and your friends, and they wish to speak with you.” As Lilliana and I both walked through the golden mist surrounding the fortress, a lone figure approached us, stepping hardly on the stone floor.

“LILLIANA!” the figure exclaimed in a familiar voice. “Lilliana! What the hell did you just do?!” Feeling both relieved and somewhat unnerved at her presence, the future self of none other than Isole Frost stepped out from the shadows and mist so that light hit her ever-lovely face. In the span of twenty years, she had grown much taller, developing into a mature and beautiful woman, along with a more-developed bust, the lack of which had always caused her embarrassment in her past. Her dark grey robes were now opened, showing that she wore a black top with several diamond cuts running down through the middle, and a black knee-length skirt. Her sandals have also been replaced with dark boots, and her blue sash, now fastened around her waist, still held a hidden dagger.

“Hello, Isole; how are you today?” Future Lilliana asked calmly, as if not noticing Isole’s rage.

“Don’t give me that bullshit; you went and did EXACTLY what I told you not to!” Future Isole exploded. “I specifically told you, MANY TIMES, to NOT go back in time! So, why the hell would you go and do it anyway, huh?!”

“…I’m sorry…but, can you honestly say that you’re happy with the future as it is now?” Future Lilliana replied. “Lucia is gone. Heather and Lloyd were both killed. I just had to do something to prevent all of that…I couldn’t just stand by and let evil win, Isole.”

“…Okay. Fine. Just…don’t do it again, okay? The fact that you made it back alive is miraculous enough,” Future Isole sighed. “…Don’t worry me like that, okay? I’ve already lost a mother…don’t make me lose my best student too, okay?”

“Isole, I’ve no intention of dying,” Future Lilliana smiled. “Not until I can make sure that this horrid future can be completely averted, at least…”

“No, Lilly. No dying. Ever. Got it? Don’t you dare die on me! If you do…you’re expelled!”

“Yes, ma’am,” Future Lilliana giggled.

“So…Is this our Matthew? Or the past one?” Future Isole asked.

“The one from the past. The others wished to speak with their past selves when I told them of their arrival.”

“Wait…you told everybody but ME?!” Future Isole gasped.

“Well, look at how you reacted when you found out I brought them to our future, Isole! Surely, you can see how I would want to avoid poking the Grizzlymon with a stick!”

“Oh, whatever…” Future Lilliana winked, and lead me through the dank hallway once more until finally, we reached the lounge room. At first, the once-familiar rabble of several voices speaking at once confused me after waiting in silence for so long, but this was quickly pushed out of my mind when I saw my own future self walking up to me.

“Hey, me,” future me said. Hovering above him, to my surprise, was Katsumi’s spirit. “Glad you made it here safely. If you didn’t…well…I guess I wouldn’t be here otherwise, you know?”

“Y-Yeah…I guess so…”

“Well, c’mon; come see the others!” Future Matthew grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me all the way into the lounge. In the far corner of the room, I saw Lucia and Mihiramon sitting, with contemplative expressions that bordered on depressed on their faces. “…It seems that Lucia and Mihiramon are both missing in action in my time. That didn’t really seem to bother them, though; I think they have something else on their minds…”

Huh…I wonder what it could be…

“Larraine is missing, too?! And Hawkmon is…dead?!” I heard Sparrow yell. “How the hell could this have happened?!”

“…We’ll simply have to try harder in our past to prevent that from happening in our present,” Elizabeth replied. Standing next to her was her own future self; to my amazement, she looked exactly the same as her younger self. The same height, slenderness, even the same clothing; not a single thing about Elizabeth was different in the future.

But…that can’t be! Only those of us who have the Mark don’t age! And Elizabeth doesn’t have it, or I’d be able to sense it! Just…what is she? We still don’t know that much about her, I guess…

“Um…excuse me…” Slowly and shyly, Lilliana, the younger one from my time, walked up to me. “Matthew…? Is that…my…Future Self…? Isn’t that…Melanie…?”

“Yes, to both of those questions,” Future Lilliana replied. “If you want, you can keep calling me Melanie so things won’t get too confusing.”

“…When…did you…um…”

“Yes? You can ask me; I am you, after all,” Melanie whispered, placing a hand over the timid Lilliana’s head.

“…When…d-did you get to be so…pretty?” Lilliana asked.

“Aw…I’d almost forgotten how shy and modest you were in the past,” Isole’s Future Self said. “I think I prefer the littler you…”

“Oh, hush; the same goes for you,” Melanie laughed. The older mage removed the black cloak that had for so long hidden her frame; she wore a green sweater, zipped down to just above her navel, and a black skirt. Her ocean-blue hair was just as long as ever. “Lilliana…just have more confidence in yourself. You’re sweet, smart, and cute just the way you are. And I’m not saying that because we’re the same person.”

“O-Okay…”

“…And you’re the future me?” I heard Isole ask, looking up at her own future self.

“Yeah, I am; what about it?” Future Isole asked.

“Nothing! I was just wondering! Jeez…”

I guess some things don’t change, I heard Katsumi’s spirit whisper. Laughing to myself, I looked back into the lounge room. I saw two Bokomon, one standing with his face to the corner, and the other standing a few feet away with an uncertain expression on his face.

“Um…what is the problem with future me?” my time’s Bokomon asked.

“Oh…Neemon died, too,” my future self replied.

“Neemon?! That…idiot…?! How?!” Bokomon spat. “He doesn’t battle!”

“…Please…in the past…just look…after him,” Future Bokomon sobbed, not once looking up.

“Hey, Matthew! Over here!” Mia waved me over, sitting on a sofa next to her own future self. The future Mia was a good bit taller than the one I knew; she wore a sleeveless black coat, a cropped violet top, and matching skirt. Catching me completely by surprise, her stomach was swollen and round, with the younger Mia’s hands placed gently around it. “Guess what? I’m pregnant in the future!”

“Oh! Oh, that’s wonderful, Mia!” I exclaimed. Future Mia smiled warmly and gently and, taking my hand in her own, placed it on her belly.

“Now I understand why Heather was always smiling while she was pregnant,” Future Mia whispered. “It’s such a warm feeling, having a baby grow up inside of you…”

“Ah, there you are!” An unfamiliar pink-haired woman walked up to me and both Mia’s, along with another unfamiliar woman. “Hey, Mia! How are you feeling? Lily told us you were going pay us a visit, so I’ve been wanting to see you!”

“Oh! Okay! Um…who are you?” Mia asked.

“I believe it was a while ago in our time,” Elizabeth said. “The day everyone found out Heather was pregnant, do you not recall saving the life of a pink-haired child?”

“Yeah! That was me! My name is Cynthia, and this my best friend, Miya!” The pink-haired woman exclaimed. “You two saved me from those bandits; you inspired me to join Lachesis with my friend when I got older! You were both so brave…That made me want to become a mercenary with Nyaromon! Oh, and she Digivolved into an Angewomon now!”

“Wow…Well, I’m glad that I had a lasting impression on you, then!” Mia said, laughing and blushing modestly.

“And look at you now! You’re pregnant…!” Cynthia exclaimed. “It’s so sweet…”

“Oh, that’s right! Who’s the father?!” Mia asked excitedly. “I-Is it Edmund?!”

“I resent that.” Nervously, Mia slowly turned her head over her shoulder, and gasped when she saw the man that stood above her.

“A-Alphonse?!”

“Yes; Alphonse is my wonderful husband in the future,” Future Mia said gently, reaching out to place her hand over her husband’s. Unlike his present self, Alphonse no longer wore his dark coat — I suspected it was the one now worn by Mia. A few dark lines surrounded his golden eyes, and he had grown somewhat skinnier than his already slim present form, almost alarmingly so.

“B-But I…I barely even know him!” Mia exclaimed.

“Oh, you will,” Future Mia winked, giggling when Future Alphonse leaned down to kiss her on the cheek. Somewhat embarrassed, I looked away, only to find AeroVeedramon snoozing away in his usual corner of the fortress.

“Um…Is that…the future him, or our Aero?” I asked.

“That’s yours,” Future Mia said in a saddened voice. “The AeroVeedramon from our time was killed alongside Neemon…”

“…I see.” Once more, I glanced over at the sleeping Ultimate level Digimon. As to be expected, not the slightest hint of worry or concern marred his face. Sighing wearily, I continued my observation of the room around me. Two Tactimon were casually chatting away, speaking mainly of battle tactics and whatnot. I saw Tamiko, with Kudamon around her shoulders, walk up to her own future self and Kentaurosmon.

“I guess…call me Saphira, if you want to,” Tamiko’s future self suggested. Cradled in her arms, wrapped in a sky blue swaddle, was a sleeping infant. Absolutely speechless, Tamiko smiled down at her future child, and then down at Saphira’s belly. “I’ve got another one on the way as well!” Saphira giggled, gently patting her swollen belly.

“U-Um…may I…?” Tamiko asked in a shy, quiet voice. Sapphira smiled gently and nodded as Tamiko reached out to feel Saphira’s pregnant belly. “…Wow…I’ve never felt a pregnant tummy before…”

“This one’s been in here for about four months,” Sapphira said. “And this little angel is close to seven months.”

“It’s…kind of weird; it’s different than feeling my own belly, even though you’re me,” Tamiko said. “S-So, um…Who’s the father? I-Is it Edmund…?”

“I resent that,” Kentaurosmon muttered. “In our future together, my dear, we are married.”

“Wait, how the hell does that even work?!” I asked. “You’re, like, a horse, or something!”

“In the case of differing raced unions, like with myself and Tamiko, depending on if the child will be Human or Digimon, one of two things will happen,” Kentaurosmon said. “If Digimon, a Digi-Egg will appear to the two. If Human, then the wife will become impregnated without need for…um, intercourse, if you, uh, will. However, this is only if the wife is Human, or a Human with the Mark. If the Human is the husband, then only a Digi-Egg can appear.”

“And, since I’m with Kentaurosmon, I got the Mark, too.” I looked up at her, and saw that she indeed had the Mark on her left cheek, just below her left eye, making it closely resemble a teardrop.

…I’d never thought of it that way before…but I guess it makes more sense than the alternative, I thought. Further away, I saw Edmund and Trionfimon speaking with their own future selves, both of whom wore wedding rings on their fingers. Sieglinde spoke with her own future self while two Lupinemon sat at their feet. Unsurprisingly, the four of them looked exactly the same as their past selves.

“Um…where…is Dominimon…?” I heard Zelda ask. Her future self, completely identical and equally beautiful, gave her a mournful look, and slowly shook her head. “No…father…”

“Damn it; I don’t see Statch, either,” Flamedramon snapped. “Man, your future sucks, future me…”

“Look on the bright side; he’s just missing in action, that dope,” Future Flamedramon responded.

“He could still be alive,” Future Abigail added.

“Yeah…but if he’s lost, you won’t see him for a hell of a long time,” our Abigail sighed.

“Well, as your new master, I say he’s alive,” Future Flamedramon assured.

“New…MASTER?!” Sparrow exclaimed.

“Father…you’re…the new head of Lachesis?!” Edmund asked.

“It’s what Ulysses asked of him,” Future Abigail replied. “When we first returned to Lachesis, he spoke with Flamie in private, and told him that if anything happened to him, that he’d want Flamedramon in charge of Lachesis.”
“Aw…I was hoping it’d be me,” Sparrow whined. “…And, where’s my future self…? Don’t tell me I’m dead, too…”

“No, you’re alive,” Melanie responded. “He’s upstairs in Eleanora’s bedroom.

“…Wow…I like the sound of that!” Sparrow exclaimed, earning him a smack on the back of his head by Hawkmon.

“Hey…where are Heather’s children?” I suddenly asked. “I just remember she gave birth to those twins right before we left to go fight Murmuxmon. Are they here now?”

“Well…yes, they are,” Future Matthew responded somewhat nervously. “They’re here, but…” Before my future self could give an answer, an ear-splitting screech tore through the air. Everyone looked immediately to the kitchen, where they saw Giselle standing, a look of absolute horror on her face, staring at her own future counterpart.

“No…no…NO!” she continued repeating. “How…could this happen?!” she said between sobs.

“Giselle, darling, what’s wrong?” Future Mia asked. As I looked closer, and finally saw Giselle’s future self, I knew at once why Giselle was in anguish. Isole immediately began to laugh at the sight before her; many of my friends from the present were surprised, but the older generation counterparts went about as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. Future Giselle, in spite of her past self’s almost stereotypical preferences and insecurities, was now tremendously overweight. Her peerlessly massive belly, the area that seemed to accumulate the vast majority of her weight gain, popped out from the bottom of her pink shirt, preventing her from buttoning her tight blue jeans.

“This…is amazing,” I heard Isole whisper to herself. “Thank you, Arcadia, for befalling misery unto that whiney brat…”

“Celtinemon died a while ago, it seems,” Future Elizabeth said. “Giselle had already lost Rosemon, and now Celtinemon, on top of countless other friends…She just found a new coping mechanism, is all.” Giselle broke down in tears, and yet, Future Giselle didn’t even seem to notice, as she was busy gorging herself on dozens of pastries.

“So…what was it you were saying about Heather’s twins?” I asked, looking up at my future counterpart.

“Oh, yes…Isa and Leila…right, well…I don’t really know where to begin,” Future Me replied.

“Well, like I told you, Lloyd and Heather were both killed around five years ago our time,” Melanie said. “Understandably, that had a huge impact on the two of them, not to mention poor Madelyn — she usually just locks herself in her room and cries all day long, and hardly eats anything anymore. But, Isa and Leila…it’s almost as if…they’re broken. Like, something inside of them just stopped working…”

[HR][/HR]
Eleanora Kasuto

I look exactly the same. Those were the first words that flowed through my mind when I opened the door to my future counterpart’s bedroom. The other me was not at all surprised by my arrival; rather, she smiled so kindly and gently, with tears beginning to form in her lustrous black eyes.

“Lunamon…It’s…been so long,” she whispered, staring at the small Digimon that slept soundly in my arms.

…Oh…Lunamon…must have been one of those who died in Lil’s future, I thought somberly. Without speaking a word, I walked up to my future self and handed her the sleeping Rookie.

“…I’d forgotten…how warm she was,” Future Eleanora whispered, clutching the Digimon gently against her chest. “Thank you…Eleanora…for taking such good care of her for me…”

“Is it okay if I ask what happened to her…?” I asked nervously. Although, I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to know.

“It’s the same that happened to many of the other partnered Digimon…they died protecting their Human partners.”

“…I see…” As she tenderly stroked Lunamon’s soft, fuzzy ears, a flash of bright silver caught my eye. “…Um…Is…is that…a…a ring…?” I asked. Future Eleanora smiled, and held up her right hand; around one of her slender fingers was indeed one of the most beautiful rings I’d ever seen. “A-Am I…m-m-married…?!”

“Not yet; we’re just engaged,” future me replied, giggling when she saw my blush. “See that big lump in our bed there? That’s your future husband!”

“O-Oh…I…thought that was Matthew…”

“You have a sick mind,” the future my laughed, causing the blanket-covered lump to stir restlessly.

“I-Is it Edmund?!” I asked excitedly.

“I resent that.” My eyes shifted to my bed as the person resting in it rose up from underneath the blanket. My stomach lurched the instant I saw the flaming red hair of none other than Sparrow Lea rise from my bed.

“W-W-WHAT?! SPARROW?! WHY ARE WE MARRYING SPARROW?!” I yelled louder than I meant to.

“Didn’t I tell you the past you would react this way?” Future Sparrow sighed.

“Oh, Eleanora, he’s not THAT bad,” future me consoled. “Sure, he’s a flirt, but I’ve not once seen him hit on another girl since our engagement; he’s as loyal and kind as they come. Seriously!”

“…Did he knock you up?” I asked.

“No, me, I’m not pregnant,” Future Eleanora replied in a dry voice. “…Not yet, anyway. I’m really looking forward to having a baby in my tummy, and finally being a mother! And I know you are, too…”

“Well, it’s kinda hard to screw a man with only one arm, so bear with me,” Sparrow sighed.

“One arm…? What…” Sparrow sat up completely, and shifted his body around to show me his right shoulder. My stomach lurched once more, but this time from sickened nausea rather than disappointment. Sparrow’s right arm had been completely torn away, replaced by bloodied bandaged rapped around the stump of his shoulder all around his torso. “…Sparrow…I…I’m sorry…I…I wouldn’t have said that if I knew—”

“Nah, don’t worry about it, my love,” Sparrow whispered. I looked into his dark eyes; the excitement and enthusiasm that I had grown to know and secretly fancy was all but gone, being replaced by a lifetime’s wisdom and deep understanding of the world. Dark rings and bags surrounded them, but otherwise, Sparrow looked much the same as he did twenty years ago.

“…Um…if it’s any consolation…you, uh…at least you aged quite well!” I said, trying to force a smile. “…But, if it’s okay…can you not tell MY time’s Sparrow that—”

“I won’t say a word about our engagement in the future to him,” Future Sparrow interrupted. “Although, he’ll probably tell you how he feels in…a few months or so, give or take.”

“Ugh…He already does that fifteen times a day…”

“Don’t worry; it’ll be so much more romantic,” the future me responded. “At least, more so than the usual dribble that spurts out of his mouth…”

“Gee, thanks, El…”

“…Now, listen. Sparrow lost his arm because of a Digimon,” Future Eleanora said. “We don’t have much information about it, but please, be cautious around it…Beware a Digimon known as Tormentismon.”

“Tormentismon…? I’ve never even heard the name before,” I whispered.

“All we know about Tormentismon is that it is an artificial Digimon, constructed as a torture machine,” future me continued. “Tormentismon…it is pure evil. Please, stay far away from it.”

“How can I stay away from it when I don’t even know what it looks like?!” I asked.

“You’ll know…trust me, you’ll know,” Future Sparrow answered with a grim but gentle expression on his aged face. “Tormentismon was the Digimon that got me, but…you were there, too, and…it…almost got you…I want you to promise me that you won’t—”

“I’m not leaving you behind!” I argued. “If this Tormentismon is as dangerous as you say, then that’s all the more reason to save you from it!”

“Ellie…”

“No! Don’t argue with me! Your wife wants to be a mother, so…you need to be alive…so you can put that baby in her tummy…okay?! Don’t…don’t you dare die on us!” I screamed, nearly choking on a few sobs as I did.

“…I won’t. I won’t ever leave you behind, Eleanora,” Future Sparrow whispered gently.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 149 - Darkness of the Unknown

Matthew Kasuto

“Lloyd and Heather were both killed around five years ago our time,” Melanie said. “Understandably, that had a huge impact on the twins, not to mention Madelyn — she usually just locks herself in her room and cries all day long, and hardly eats anything anymore — but, Isa and Leila…it’s almost as if…they’re broken…like, something inside of them just stopped working…”

“I think…there’s a bit more to it than that, though,” Future Matthew said. “I can see it in their eyes…the darkness…”

“Well, of course there’s going to be some darkness; their parents were killed,” Future Isole muttered.

“No, not like that. It’s like…whenever I’m around the two of them, I can practically feel the darkness that rests in their hearts, like an empty void that sucks away all of the light…like the darkness has taken control of them in some way…”

“…Are you suggesting that they’re evil?” I asked in a small voice.

“I don’t know what to think anymore…But, I know this; someone here…is,” Future Matthew said. “The darkness…it’s overwhelming. More so than it has ever been; and the source is coming from this fortress…”

“I know Leila is a practitioner of dark magic, but that doesn’t necessarily make her evil, Matthew,” Future Mia suggested. “Dark magic is just another element to manipulate, like fire or ice. It isn’t darkness that corrupts, it’s the power it has at its disposal that corrupts.”

“And what about Isa? If anything, he’s probably the more suspicious of the two, since he’s hardly ever here,” Melanie added. “Leila just stays in her room all day long with her partner, Noiramon. Besides, she’s far too gentle to even consider harming another living being. But, Isa…”

“…Yes? What about me…Lilliana Meadows?” The voice, cool and calm, filled the room with complete silence as a lone man walked in.

Is that…really Isa? I thought. They grow up so fast…

“Isa…what are you doing here?” Melanie asked. “I thought you had a job to do.”

“I finished early, so I thought I would come home and check up on my dearly beloved sisters,” Isa replied. A tall, rather broad-shouldered man with his mother’s blonde hair and father’s green eyes, leaned casually up against a wall. His face was quite fierce, but he didn’t appear to be angered in the slightest. He wielded a massive, two-handed sword, one that he held in but a single hand. His black sweater was adorned with two crescent moons at the shoulders. “Now, tell me; is that so wrong? They’ve shut themselves up in their rooms; between the two of them, they probably eat less than a few ounces of food a meal, maybe a day. As their brother. I feel as though I should be available for them at all times.”

“…And? Were you successful?” Melanie asked.

“How can you doubt me, my dear? Of course I was successful; I slaughtered every last one of those bandits in the blink of an eye,” Isa said in a calm, almost amused voice. “You should know by now…how good I am at killing people I don’t like.”

Okay, yeah, this guy’s totally evil, Katsumi’s spirit said. Probably…

“Now, then…what’s all of this I heard about me being…evil?” Isa continued. “Have you really no faith in me, Lilliana? Or, perhaps…are you the one who is evil?”

“What?! No!”

“Hmm…I see what you did…gathering the past members of the guild here in the future…you want them dead, don’t you? Their future selves are far more powerful, so it would be easier for you to get their past selves killed here—”

“ISA, SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!” Future Isole screamed at the top of her lungs. The large man simply shrugged his shoulders, and began walking away. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?!”

“As I said, I wish to check up on my dear sisters. And I’ve no wish to be slandered for doing so,” Isa replied.

“…The nerve of that bastard,” Future Isole snapped, rolling her chocolate eyes as soon as Isa had left.

“It was my fault, though,” Melanie said. “He only said what he did because of what I said…”
“Maybe, but…It sure does make him seem a more likely suspect than his sister,” I whispered.

[HR][/HR]
Isa Matthew Reed

I smiled to myself as I heard the final words of Matthew’s past self.

A more likely suspect than his sister…

“…I can live with that. Least they know someone around here is evil,” I whispered. “That’ll keep ‘em on the wrong track…for now.” As I made my way up the stone staircase, I noticed the form of my own Digimon partner standing in front of my bedroom door. “WereGarurumon…how’s Leila doing?”

“Haven’t heard a peep from her all day, I’m afraid,” the Ultimate Digimon sighed. “So, what was Isole bitching about this time?”

“You could hear her screaming all the way up here? Impressive,” I noted. “…Well, they all seem to think I’m evil, now.”

“What?! But, Isa, they can’t—” I held up my hand to stop the Digimon from speaking.

“…Let them think what they want, for now. It is of no concern to me,” I said. “We’ve more pressing matters to attend to, anyway. Shall we?” WereGarurumon nodded, and opened the door of my bedroom, which I shared with my twin sister, Leila. The shadows stirred as I flicked on the lights, and in the far corner, I saw Leila sitting on the hard, stone floor.

“…Isa…you’re safe,” she said in a quiet voice. “I was…so…worried…about you…”

“You don’t need to worry about me. I’m not going to abandon you…like our parents did,” I replied.

“…I know…but still, I worry…”

“Well, thank you; I’m flattered,” I whispered, placing a hand atop of her dark, brown hair. “…Here, I brought you some tea.”

“Tea…? Isa…”

“Don’t worry; it’s your favorite kind,” I assured you. “An herbal blend with strawberry flavoring.”

“T-Thank you, Isa…” With small, trembling hands, Leila took the warm, divinely-scented cup of tea from me and took a small sip. “…It’s wonderful, Isa. Thank you…”

“I know most of those herbal teas are too bitter for you, so I learned to make my own, and created this one by myself for you,” I said, smiling at my twin. “That’s part of what took me so long; it took quite a while to find the right herbs in the mountains.”

“…I’m blessed, to have a brother as thoughtful as you,” Leila whispered. “And thank you…any other tea would upset my stomach…but not yours, brother.”

“That’s because you hardly eat anything all day. You need to put some food in your stomach so it won’t hurt all the time,” I said. “You’re as skinny as my sword. You need to put some meat on your bones so the wind doesn’t carry you away from me…”

“I know…I’d like to…I just…can’t bring myself to eat much anymore…not after…”

“It’s okay. Don’t worry…”

“…How’s Maddie doing?” Leila asked, taking another sip of tea.

“I checked up on her one last time before I left, just after you…she’s the same. In bed, not moving…poor thing’s completely traumatized…”

“I can understand that…She was…there…when they died. Right in front of her…” Leila continued to sip away at the tea I prepared for her, so I turned my attention to the other Digimon in the room.

“Noiramon…you heard, didn’t you?” I asked. Another Ultimate Digimon, a beautiful angel Digimon with dark ebon feathers, turned to look at me. A deep, dark violet minidress was all she wore, apart from a Holy Ring around her left ankle. Rumor had it she was the reincarnation of an equally beautiful angel that had been killed long ago while aiding our mercenary guild; that was why, in spite of her dark-colored theme, Noiramon had a heart as pure, tender, and gentle as any other angel Digimon. She would always do her best to remain happy while in Leila’s presence, but truthfully, she was just as delicate and emotionally fragile as her Human partner.

“Yes…Isa…I’m so sorry…that they all said that about you,” Noiramon sniffled. “They shouldn’t have…not you…”

“What happened…?” Leila asked.

“…They think I’m the evil one they’ve been searching for. The traitor,” I answered.

“Isa…that’s…so horrible…they couldn’t be more wrong!” Leila exclaimed, speaking in a stronger voice than I had heard from her in a long time. “You take such good care of me…and Maddie, too…You even take the time to feed us so we don’t wither away into dust…How dare they say that about you?!”

“Hush, Leila…I don’t care what they think about me…just so long as you remain safe,” I whispered. Raising my hand, I gently began to stroke the side of her face. “Leila…I swear…no matter what happens…bandits, evil Digimon, or…even our own comrades…I swear on my life that I will protect both you and Madelyn. You two are my entire world, and I don’t want to lose either of you.”

“Isa…I…”

“Yes…? Was there something else?”

“…I…need your help, again…”

“What do you need? Just tell me, and I’ll get it for you.”

“No, it…it isn’t anything like that,” Leila began. “…Um…you…you’ve been studying magic too, haven’t you?”

“Yes, I have; we both decided to cover opposing ends of the magic spectrum, learning both white and black magic at once,” I replied.

“So, then…the portal Lilliana created when she brought the past members of Lachesis here with…how long do you think…it will remain open?”

“A few days, at the very least,” I said. “Why…?”

“Just as I thought…Isa. That portal…will become a necessity for the two of us…”

“I understand. It’s what he asked of you, isn’t it?” I asked. Slowly, almost unnoticeably, Leila gave me a small nod of her head. “…Very well. Just tell me what you need me to do…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 150 - A Traitor's Worth

Matthew Kasuto

“…Let me get this straight,” Lucia began slowly. “You, Melanie, brought us here into the future to help you and our future selves fight a powerful evil, right?”

“Yes, that is correct,” Melanie nodded.

“And, you believe that someone to be Isa Reed?” Once more, Melanie nodded. “…From the looks of things, I’ve no doubt that there is an evil presence here in your future. However, there’s no saying whether it is someone from the guild or not. What proof do you have that it is Isa who is evil?”

“…I’ve none.”

“So, if it is not Isa or Leila…then who would it be?” I asked. “I don’t want to think of them being traitors — them or anyone else in our guild.”

“To be honest…I haven’t any idea who else it could be. I don’t like the thought of either of them being traitors either, but at the same time, all of the Digimon sense an overwhelming growth of darkness nearby. We’ve found nobody in the near vicinity of the fortress that the Digimon sensed were evil…and yet, when Isa goes out, he’s gone for a very long time — usually a day or more. And when he returns…”

“…It’s as if we can feel the darkness pouring out of him,” Future Lupinemon concluded. “We don’t know whether this means he simply fought against it or he himself is the source of this darkness, but the darkness is present nonetheless.”

“That darkness has been the call of many evil Digimon, masterless and free, towards the guild,” Melanie added. “Thousands of innocents from Yew have already been slain by them. If this continues, then…we all may share the same fate…That’s why I…I brought you here; to help determine the source of this darkness, and help us conquer it.”

“…I have one more question for you,” Lucia began slowly. “Exactly how certain are you that Isa is the source of this darkness? Because I will not tolerate having you slander the names of our comrades over a mere accusation. This goes against everything our guild stands for, and I will not have you drag its name through the mud!”

“I…I don’t know what to say…Like I said, if it isn’t him, I don’t know who else it could be…”

“…What about you, Katsumi?” I whispered. “Do you think it could be Isa?

Well, based on the way he taunted poor Melanie earlier, I really hope it is, Katsumi said thoughtfully. That way, you can kill him, and it’ll be okay!

“…R-Right…Well…thanks for the input, I suppose…

“Very well. I’ll go talk Isa,” Lucia said. “But, if it turns out he truly is not evil, then you’ll have to think of a damn good excuse to keep me from beating the ever-loving hell out of you, Melanie.”

“I understand,” Melanie whispered.

“Looking for Isa? I’m afraid you won’t find him here.” Looking towards the stairway leading upstairs, I saw Eleanora, along with her future self — although truthfully, I could not tell them apart — walk into the room, followed by Sparrow’s future self — the missing right arm honestly caught me by surprise, but more so than that was the fact that he had an engagement ring on his left arm’s third finger. “He left just a few moments ago,” Future Sparrow continued. “He and Leila both left — them and their Digimon, too.”

“Where did they go?!” Melanie snapped.

“I dunno; they just jumped out the window!” Future Sparrow exclaimed. “Well, Leila didn’t jump; Isa was carrying her, and Noiramon flew out, but—”

“…We can’t let them get to it,” Melanie whispered to herself. “Lucia…if Isa truly is evil…then he’ll be heading towards the portal that I opened up; the one I brought you to this future with.”

“Why would he do that?” I asked. “From what I saw, he was a swordsman; no magical abilities at all. He shouldn’t have any interest in the portal…”

“You’re wrong there; after Heather and Lloyd were killed, both Isa and Leila took it upon themselves to study both light and dark magic,” Melanie replied. “They did so…in order to bring their parents back. But in the process…it’s possible the study of dark magic may have corrupted one or both of them.”

“Melanie, why didn’t you tell me that sooner?!” Lucia asked.

“Because…darkness itself is not evil; it only is so when one chooses to make it that way! On its own, darkness is vehemently neutral. It is power that corrupts, not darkness!” Melanie exclaimed. “If they were corrupted, they must have had views on light and darkness that were entirely black and white; one is good while the other is evil. That is how you become corrupted, for that is the curse that comes with the study of magic, and if that has happened, then we must keep them away from that portal at all costs.”

“But, why?” I asked. “What good would that portal do for them?!”

“…This is exactly why I was against you going into the past in the first place,” Future Isole muttered. Ignoring her, Melanie glanced at me sadly, and sighed.

“With the proper knowledge and abilities…one could turn that portal into a gate…a gate that leads straight to the Dark Area.” Without a moment’s hesitation, Lucia grabbed Melanie by the wrist and pulled her up onto Mihiramon’s back directly behind her.

“You’re coming with us,” she said sternly. “Isa must be stopped at all costs. If what you said about them is true, then Leila is undoubtedly in danger. Once we defeat Isa, then your future will be safe from evil…at least, for the time being!”
“All right, comrades; to battle…or whatever,” Mihiramon mumbled.

[HR][/HR]
Isa Matthew Reed

“…There it is,” Leila whispered. “The portal Lilliana used to bring the past members of Lachesis here to their future…”

“Yes. This…is what he wanted, right?” I asked. Leila nodded, and knelt down on the ground before the large, ominous portal.

“…Are you sure we should be doing this, buddy?” I heard WereGarurumon ask.

…Honestly…I don’t know…but…do we really have a choice? Leila…This is for you. Everything I’ve ever done has been for you, and for Madelyn. Why should this time be any different…?

“Isa!” WereGarurumon’s voice broke me out of my thoughts. Looking up at the tall Ultimate Digimon, I gave him a sad look, and sighed.

“If…it’ll make Leila happy…then we have to do it,” Noiramon whispered. “Even if the cost must be my own life…it will be done.”

…I guess there’s no going back after all, then. Oh well…at least I’ll be able to keep my promise…

“ISA REED!” Almost as if I expected to hear her voice, I gripped the hilt of my claymore and turned around. Directly behind me was none other than Lucia Delbray, sitting upon Mihiramon’s back. With her were the other past members of Lachesis, along with Lilliana’s future self.

“…Are you here to stop me?” I asked. “Because I won’t let that happen.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 151 - Recollection of a Petal

Lucia Delbray (past self)
Lachesis Fortress — Outside

“ISA REED!” Almost as if he expected to hear my voice, Isa gripped the hilt of his claymore and turned around. Directly behind me was none other than Leila, lying unconscious on the ground.

“…Are you here to stop me?” Isa asked. “Because I won’t let that happen.”

“What the hell did you do to Leila?!” I yelled. Isa glanced over his shoulder at his twin, and shrugged.

“Dunno…wasn’t like that when we got here,” he sighed.

“You expect me to believe that?! I swear, if you hurt her—!”

“Oh, relax; she probably just fainted because you yelled too loud,” Isa interrupted. “She’s quite a dainty little thing, you know; she needs to be handled delicately, like a baby bird.”

“Isa…Why did you come here in the first place?” Melanie asked.

“Oh, you know why, gorgeous. This portal you opened up to the past…you weren’t able to close it on your own, so I’m using it for myself to get what once was lost.”

“That’s what you say, but…”

“…You think I’m the traitor, right? Think I’ve got plans for opening a gate to the Dark Area with this portal?”

“Isa…”

“Well, to be honest, I don’t care what any one of you think of me; I’m doing this…because it needs to be done. And I won’t allow you to interrupt me,” Isa said. “…That being said, I’ve no doubt that you lot fully intend to do so.”

He’s not being very direct with his answers…on purpose, no doubt. But, does that mean he really is the traitor? Or…

“Leila deserves to be happy. I will not let you stand in the way of her happiness!” Leaping through the air, Isa swung his massive sword, holding it in only one hand. I picked up the sword I took from Kieran when Mihiramon killed him, and blocked Isa’s wild assault. With our swords locked together, I was unable to notice WereGarurumon until it was too late; the Ultimate level Digimon had jumped above his partner, and hit me in the center of my chest with a Garuru Kick, knocking me off of Mihiramon’s back. Mihiramon reared up on his hind legs and swatted a massive claw in retaliation, but both Isa and WereGarurumon were too fast. In seconds, Mihiramon joined me on the ground, just before I climbed up to my feet to fight again.

“Lucia…do you need any help?” I heard Flamedramon ask.

“…Nah. The two of them together are nowhere near as strong as Kieran was…I can handle this,” I said.

“Think so…? You know, I wouldn’t object to having to fight more of you guys at once,” Isa suggested.

“That’s okay; I can tell, you aren’t really into it,” I replied. “You’re forcing yourself to fight, but you aren’t sure if it’s the right thing to do, huh?”

“Sh-Shut up!” Isa screamed.

“You don’t really want to open the gate to the Dark Area, do you? So…why bother?” I asked. “Is someone forcing you two to do it?”

“I told you to shut up! WereGarurumon, attack!”

“Wolf Claw!”

“Armored Tiger Tail!” The attacks of the two Ultimates collided, filling the air with the sounds of their metallic grinding and the light of the sparks that erupted from their clash.

“Now, then…Isa…There’s no point in trying to lie to me, you know. I can see it in your eyes…You don’t want to do this anymore than we want it to happen,” I continued. “Let’s put a stop to all of this…We promise to protect the both of you from whomever or whatever is forcing you to do this, okay? Just tell me…”

“No…nobody is…forcing us to do this,” Isa whispered. “We’re doing this…of our own volition. Nothing more to it…”

“Enough bullshitting; I know you’re lying, okay?! Just answer me!” I screamed. Isa remained silent, and looked away from me, down towards the ground.

“Well…if he doesn’t want to tell you, I guess I will.” My heart froze at the chill in the air brought upon by her voice. I looked down on the ground where Leila was, and watched as she rose to her feet unhindered. “Oh, well…and here, I was hoping to be able to pin the blame on Isa for just a little while longer. I wish I’d remembered that you were this intelligent, Lucia Delbray, but the you from my time went missing in action while I was still young…What a fool,” Leila scoffed.

“What…are you talking about?” This pressure around her…I can barely speak…

“Oh, Lucia, you big dummy…I almost laughed when I heard that you all thought Isa to be the one who’s the traitor,” Leila said. “Of course…the two of us both know that couldn’t be farther from the truth, since I’m the traitor.”

“…You…Leila…? We thought…we all thought…that Isa had attacked you…”

“Oh, that? Yeah, just trying to make him look more likely a suspect than me,” Leila continued. “Of course the stubborn fool couldn’t ever find it in himself to attack his pwecious wittle sister, no matter how evil she became…”

“…Why…why are you doing this?” I asked.

“Why? Hm…I dunno. I guess it’s just something to do to pass the time,” Leila sighed. With a snap of her fingers, her torn white nightgown changed into a small and skimpy black dress. Her deep crimson eyes were brimming with darkness. “Oh, and…nobody is forcing me to do anything. It’s more like…I feel obligated to do as he asks in return for his generosity.”

“For who…? Leila, who are you doing this for?!” I screamed.

“Oh, you want a name! I see…Well, I guess I’ll see you later. I have a past to return to.”

“NO! STOP!” Striding past me, Melanie glared at Leila, who merely gave a coy smirk to the older mage. “Leila…I will not allow you to do as you please! This portal was opened by me with noble intentions, and I will not let you sully it with your evil!”

“…Fine. I suppose I have a few minutes to kill,” Leila whispered to herself. “Minutes, idiots, whatever. Now, just die already!” With a wild swing of her slender arm, Leila unleashed a burst of magical energy aimed directly at Melanie’s head. With an air of calmness about her, Melanie simply clasped her hands together, and Leila’s attack erupted into flames, and vanished.

“You don’t seriously think you can defeat me, do you?! I’ve been practicing magic long before you were even in your mother’s belly!” Melanie snapped.

“With the power given to me…his power…I know I can!” Leila ginned widely, and sent out several more attacks at Melanie, all of which met the same fate as her first assault.

“Don’t think I know only dispelling magic; thanks to Isole, I’ve learned some offensive spells as well! Like THIS!” Melanie snapped her fingers, sending a bolt of lightning sailing past Leila; although at first it seemed as though she dodged it, the evil twin placed a hand on her hip, were I could see that her dress had been partially torn by Melanie’s attack. Noiramon gasped at the sight of her Human partner in pain, but my attention was soon transfixed upon Isa.

Hmm…he hasn’t moved an inch since Leila revealed herself as the traitor…did he know? No, he doesn’t look surprised…But, just whose side is he on…?

“…Damn it. I’ve wasted too much time here…Lilliana! While I thank you for setting the stage for me, I will not allow you to get in my way any longer!” Leila screamed. “Time to say goodbye…TO YOUR PAST!” At these words, I immediately shifted my gaze from the solemn Isa to the enraged Leila. The sorceress held out her arm, forming a mass of dark energy around the tips of her slim fingers. With a yell of frustration, Leila fired the energy ball not at Melanie, but at her past self. The young Lilliana Meadows trembled in fear, but before the attack could reach her, before Kamemon or anyone else could move to protect her, Melanie stepped forward, taking the full force of the attack directly in the center of her belly, and clear through her back.

“MELANIE!” Immediately, I was at the mage’s side, resting her upper body in my lap. “Melanie…don’t…”

“…Serves you right. Next time, don’t get in my way!” Leila snapped her fingers, and the portal behind her turned from pure white to a deep, crimson red.

“Leila Reed…now…is the time…come to me, my dear. Now…” A dark voice spoke through from the other side of the portal, sending chills down my spine.

“Yes, master.” Leila bowed to the portal, and without wasting a second, stepped through the portal, with Noiramon following along after her. Within a matter of seconds, the portal vanished from sight, leaving no trace of it behind.

“N-No…This…this is worse…than I thought,” Melanie gasped, coughing up a few drops of blood.

“Melanie, don’t speak; try to rest,” I said in a quavering voice. “…Can’t you…heal yourself…?”

“No…it doesn’t work on mortal injuries like this one…but that’s okay…I have…just enough energy…to help you out one last time,” Melanie whispered. “Leila Reed…must not be allowed to do as she pleases…in my past…your present…Go…stop her…” Melanie lifted a trembling arm and, with a lot of effort as evidenced by her face, her hand emitted a bright, ivory gleam. Directly above us in the sky opened another time portal. “Go…stop Leila…before it’s too late…”

“…M-Melanie…I…I don’t know what to say,” Lilliana whispered. With tears streaming down her face, she slowly approached her slowly dying future self. “You…saved me…”

“Of course…you…are me, after all…and besides that…I almost began to see you as a little sister…rather than my own past self…” With her arm still raised, Melanie brushed her fingers against Lilliana’s cheek. “Isn’t that…weird…”

“Melanie…How…can I repay you…? For saving me…”

“…That book…the one you keep in your purse,” Melanie whispered. Trying to steady her shaking legs, Lilliana reached into her purse, and pulled out a book, which I instantly recognized as her favorite: The Little Mermaimon. “It’s been so long…since I’ve seen it…long ago…I thought I’d grown too old to be reading fairy tales…but I…missed that book so much, every day…” Without hesitation, Lilliana handed the book to her future self, who clutched it gently and tenderly against her chest. “T-Thank you…Lilliana…you…were the first one from my past who believed in me…If not for you…I would never have been able to save my friends…Thank…you…” Melanie breathed in one final time, and then lay dead, cold and blood-soaked on the hard ground.

“…Leila…You’ll pay for this!” I whispered through clenched teeth. “Let’s go…Let’s go back home, everyone. The others are waiting for us…and so is Leila. And her master…We need to stop them.” Climbing atop Mihiramon’s back, I looked up to the portal Melanie created mere minutes before, and then helped Lilliana climb up behind me on the Ultimate’s back. “We’re coming for you, Leila. I swear on my life, I will personally destroy you!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 152 - Eternal Bond

Matthew Kasuto

I opened my eyes, slowly at first as they adjusted to the bright, sunny sky that was the complete opposite of the dark, foreboding sky of the future.

The very future that I have to prevent…I glanced over at Lilliana, teary-eyed but otherwise motionless as she sat upon Mihiramon’s back behind Lucia. Eleanora gently took hold of her hand and helped her down of the Ultimate Digimon’s back, while Alphonse wrapped his jacket around her tiny shoulders. Lilliana…I swear, your future self will not have died in vain. And also…I’ll make sure you yourself won’t ever have to go through what she did. I won’t let you die. I promise.

“Wait a minute…Isa?! What the hell are you doing here?!” I heard Lucia scream.

“Ah…so you noticed me…I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t.” The calm, soothing voice that belonged to none other than Isa Reed caught the attention of not only myself, but all of my comrades as well.

“Why did you come with us?” Lucia asked. “You shouldn’t be here! Why didn’t you stay in the future where you belong?!”

“Yeah, about that…I, uh…I just want to help my sister. That’s all,” Isa whispered. “But…at the same time, I also don’t want to side with her. I want to save her from herself…and whatever darkness lurks within her heart…”

“Then why did you help her before? Did you know she was evil?” Mia asked.

“…Yes. I did. And so did Noiramon and WereGarurumon. I only went along with her because…well, you know why. She’s my sister. My twin. She’s a part of me, you know? That’s why I made it seem like she was innocent. I didn’t want anyone to suspect her, because I knew they’d have…hurt her. I couldn’t have that…”

“Isa…”

“…All I want is to protect her. I don’t care what needs to be done…but at the same time, I can’t bear to go against the rest of my comrades at Lachesis. So this time…I’ll try and save her…from the other side,” Isa said.

“…Isa. She spoke of owing her abilities to some ‘master’ of hers. Do you know who she means?” I asked. The male twin turned to me, and closed his eyes.
“Her…master…yes. His name is…”

[HR][/HR]
Leila Eleanora Reed

“So…this is what the Black Rose Mountains looked like when we were born,” I mused. “…Not really that different, actually.”

“Yes; it is the rest of Arcadia that is different,” Noiramon said quietly. “Because of IceDevimon, the rest of the continent had a similar, dark landscape to these mountains.”

“IceDevimon…? Oh, right…”

“Remember? He’s your master’s master,” Noiramon said.

“…Just another way of saying the boss is a slave to that guy, isn’t it?” I asked. “I’m sure IceDevimon has plenty of other dopes to spare, am I right?”

“Not necessarily, Leila. I’ve heard that, due to the influence of Lachesis, Lilithmon, Behemotmon, Carmillamon, Daemon, Barbamon, Lucemon, Eaglemon, and Murmuxmon have all been slain. Furthermore, in this time, they have also had encounters with Leviamon and ShadowSeraphimon, but have yet to defeat them.”

“Huh…Levi and Shadow, eh? Wonder if we should go and find them…”

“No need. They are indeed powerful allies, but not the likes of which your master needs assistance from,” Noiramon added.
“Yeah, you’re right. So…should we go and find him, then?” I asked. Noiramon nodded. “All right. He lives somewhere among these mountains, he said…”

[HR][/HR]
Matthew Kasuto

“…His name…is Reapermon,” Isa whispered.

“Reapermon…” Just the sound of the name was more than enough to send a chill racing down my spine.

“I first met him myself a few years back, my time,” Isa continued. “From what I could gather from his conversation with Leila, he gave her the power she now wields, so I’ve no doubt that he’s the one responsible for turning her evil.”

“Why would she come to the past, then, if she got his power in the future?” I asked.

“No…Reapermon’s a special case. He isn’t a Digimon of the future…he comes from your time,” Isa said. “He was only able to speak with Leila through portals in distortions of time and space, but he wasn’t able to physically come to the future himself. If Leila came here, it’s only because Reapermon asked her to. The only question is why he may have…”

“That doesn’t matter right now,” Lucia said, placing a hand over Isa’s shoulder. “All we need to do is defeat this Reapermon, and Leila will be free of his influence, correct?”

“…I hope so,” Isa whispered.

“No. Not ‘I hope so.’ We WILL save Leila,” Lucia said firmly. “Now, then, can you tell us where Reapermon lives?”
“…I…don’t know…I’m sorry…”
“Don’t apologize. It’s not your fault. For now, let’s return to the fortress, and come up with a plan for finding him,” Lucia said.

[HR][/HR]
Statuedramon

Damn, those guys that went to the past sure have been gone for a hell of a long time…I guess I just thought that they’d be back in the blink of an eye…Oh well. Not like it matters…I looked up at the mouth of the dark, foreboding cave that lay before me, and sighed. “…How many times have I walked this path, I wonder…? Better yet, how many times have I tripped over a rock and broken my fucking nose? Heh…” As I walked through the cave, memories of my last conversation with my daughter, Larraine, flooded my preferably empty mind. The look of rage that had transfixed me with fear and sadness; the spite in the words she said to me…I shook my head. I knew I deserved such treatment; and yet, even with that thought, there were moments when I, filled with naught but despair, thought of nothing more than removing all traces of myself from the face of the earth. Unfortunately, my position bound me to protect the very earth I wished to leave. I was a Sovereign. I was Azulongmon. Leaving Arcadia unprotected was unthinkable, and I felt that Larraine would hate me even more if I had left her again.

“Greetings, Statuedramon.” I looked up. Standing before me was my old friend Baez. “I apologize for notifying you on such short notice. Thank you for coming.”

“Nah, it wasn’t a problem; thanks to Wisemon, I was able to get your message earlier than I usually would,” I replied. “…Besides…I had a feeling it would be better for me to get away from the guild for a little while…”

“Oh, did something happen?” Baez asked.

“…I don’t want to talk about it.” Silently, I strode past Baez, and walked into the moderately lit cavern the man had decided to call home. “How’s training with Geitz going?”

“Very smoothly, admittedly. I must say, I had my doubts about his willingness to learn and his…stubbornness, let’s say; and yet, he’s among the best students I’ve had to this day,” Baez said, smiling kindly at me. “He’s further towards the back of the cavern meditating at the moment. He’s managed to become Loewemon a total of three times in your absence.”

“Three?! Wow, I wasn’t expecting that many transformations…What about Duskmon? Has he become that one at all?” I asked.

“…Forty-seven times.”

“Jeez…ShadowSeraphimon just had to pick that jackass, didn’t he…”

“He’s far too dependent on power for his own good,” Baez lamented. “He’s learning otherwise, but this is something that’s deeply rooted into his way of thinking. It’ll take some time to overwrite.”

“That’s fine; we have plenty of time before we have to make our move,” I said. “Now, why did you ask me here, my old friend?”

“…Statuedramon. While it is not yet time for Geitz to move out, it is time…for you,” Baez said in a stern, solemn voice. “Zhuqiaomon. Baihumon. Ebonwumon. All of them have perished in many, many ages past, as you are aware. Now is the time to find their successors.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 153 - Fade to Block

Isa Matthew Reed

“…There he is. Reapermon…” Sitting quietly for the longest time at a desk in the fortress’s library and hunched over a pile of books, Isole finally spoke up after countless dozens of hours of waiting. “It says here that he’s a Mega level Digimon, and a strong one at that. In the beginning, the three Celestial Digimon banished him to the underworld, but rumor has it that he escaped, and so there’s a price on his head. But at the same time, the books also say that he’s a bounty hunter himself, looking for wanted criminals and other evil Humans and Digimon to decapitate with the Judgment Sickle attached to his right arm while holding them in place with the Guilty Chain equipped on his left arm…”

“Wow…so, is he evil or not?” Sparrow asked.

“It doesn’t say…But, he is a Virus type, so it’s always possible,” Isole said quietly, not once lifting her gaze from the books before her. “…He’s also a Cyborg Digimon like Andromon, so if we do have to fight him, then fire, water, and light-based attacks may prove to be the most effective.”

“Well, I’m two thirds of those elements!” Coronamon exclaimed, jumping up from the floor and landing on Matthew’s shoulder. “Matt and I can handle this guy on our own, right, buddy?”

“…Maybe,” Matthew whispered.

“I’ll go, too,” Flamedramon added. “To be honest, I’d rather do this alone, but I know that Coronamon used to be Apollomon, so just the three of us should be fine.”

“Um…I can’t actually Digivolve to Mega yet,” Coronamon said. “I can go as far as Ultimate, but…”

“Don’t worry about it. You may not remember it, but you were a member of a powerful organization known as the Celestial Vanguard. I myself am a descendant of one of their members. So, trust me when I say the three of us will be fine,” Flamedramon said. “Now, then; Wisemon, have you found Reapermon’s location yet?”

“Not yet, I’m afraid; I’ve nothing to help me with my divination regarding Reapermon, so I’m focusing all of my efforts on locating Leila instead,” Wisemon said. “Fortunately…I have something tying me to her location; her twin brother.” The tall Ultimate gazed into my eyes, and I gazed back, although somewhat reluctantly. The eyes of the Digimon were pure, bright yellow, glowing an eerie shade beneath the hood of his cloak. “Because Isa never came into contact with Reapermon, I can only utilize him to discern his sister’s locale.”

“That’s fine; just keep working with that,” Flamedramon nodded, and then turned away to face the rest of the group gathered in the library.

“…You’ve found her, haven’t you?” I whispered. Wisemon nodded his head just barely.

“I know how important she is to you. I figured I’d give you a head start,” Wisemon whispered back. “She’s at the Black Rose Mountains.” Almost instinctively, I winced. I had heard those very mountains were where my parents had been killed in battle. But why would Leila be there?

“It doesn’t help that I don’t know her exact goals,” I murmured.

“You need not worry about that,” Wisemon replied. “If anyone can save her…I know you and WereGarurumon can. Now, go. Go and save your sister, Isa.”
“…Thank you, Wisemon.”

[HR][/HR]
30 Minutes

“…Is this your first time to these mountains, Isa?” WereGarurumon asked.

“Yes…I…always made it a point to avoid jobs that required me to come here,” I said. “Jeez, just look at them…it’s like they’re stabbing clear through the dark sky…”

“Indeed; it’s a foreboding landscape, and a far more unforgiving terrain to visit,” WereGarurumon commented. “…Are you certain that you’re up for this?”

“…I am. I need to…I will save her.”

“I can appreciate the protectiveness you feel for your twin, but I can see that this will be a far more trying task to your mentality than it will be physically,” WereGarurumon said. “If you’d like, I could go by myself…”

“…No. Thanks, buddy, but…I need to do this. I need to be the one to go and save Leila,” I said. “But…I know I can’t do it alone.” The tall Ultimate Digimon smiled and nodded.
“I understand. I will stay by your side no matter what may happen.”

[HR][/HR]
Lucia Delbray

“…And so, with that attack of his in mind, you’re sure to be able to defeat Reapermon,” Isole said, lightly closing the thick book she had been reading aloud. “Flamedramon…I know you’re one of the last people I need to warn about him, but—”

“Don’t worry, darling; Flamedramon will be just fine,” Abigail whispered, sliding her hand gently around Isole’s shoulders.

“Are you sure you don’t need anyone else to accompany you?” I asked, looking at the Digimon who was our new guildmaster.

“Thank you, but Matthew and I will be just fine by ourselves,” Flamedramon nodded. “Although, Statch would probably be a better choice than me since he’s one of the Sovereigns—” I heard Larraine snort at this, and mutter a sizeable number of foul words about him that I was not aware she knew “—since he isn’t here at the moment, as the new leader of Lachesis, I feel that it is my duty to go.”

“Now, we just need to decide what to do with Isa,” I added. Turning my head, I glanced over my shoulder at Wisemon and asked, “Have you found Leila yet?”

“…Yes, I have. She is at the Black Rose Mountains,” the tall Ultimate Digimon responded quietly. “…I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for? You did your job!” I exclaimed.

“Yes…I…was able to find her…almost immediately,” Wisemon said. “As soon as we arrived down here.”

“Wait…you knew this whole time?” Flamedramon asked. “Why would you wait until now to tell us?!”

“Because this matter is personal to Isa!” Wisemon responded, raising his voice and speaking louder than I had ever heard him speak. “I know you aren’t fully trusting of him yet, but I believe in him. He will save Leila, but he needs to do it by himself.”

“…I get what you’re trying to say…but, I just can’t let the kid go alone there,” Flamedramon said, walking past the taller Digimon. “C’mon, Matt. We’re going to Black Rose. Everyone else, please stand by. If we don’t return within a day, form a search party. That is all.” Flamedramon and Matthew, with Coronamon in tow, quickly left the basement of the guild, and vanished from sight.

“…I guess there’s nothing else we can do right now,” Mia sighed.

“Damn it; I hate sitting around, doing nothing,” Sparrow muttered. A few others stated their own disliking of being forced to stay behind, until it was just me and Mihiramon left in the basement’s library.

“Aren’t you coming?” The ancient Digimon asked.

“…No. There’s something that I…need to check on,” I replied, slowly and cautiously glancing around the room.

“I’ll wait here, then.”

“No, go on ahead. I won’t take long…”

“Lucia…”

“Get going!” I snapped.

“Jeez, you’re pushy…don’t know how you got anyone to get you pregnant with that attitude…”

“I was never pregnant! Isole was adopted, you dumb bastard!”

“Okay, okay! Don’t get your panties in a twist…” Chuckling to himself, the lumbering Ultimate made his way up the stairs and left the basement.

“…Okay. The others have left…why don’t you come out now?! Show yourself!” Glancing around, I saw no signs of movement. “…Where the hell are you?! I know there’s someone here…”

“…Surprise, bitch.” The unfamiliar voice made me jump, but when I turned around, I still saw nothing. Nobody, nothing, no movement whatsoever. “Trump Sword!” I remained perfectly still, and two swords sailed directly past my head, just inches away from cutting my hair. “Nice…if you’d moved, I’d have killed you. But, you…you’re far from being prone to such amateurish mistakes, my dear Lucia.”

“Who the hell are you?! Show yourself!” I yelled.

“Oh, no, not yet. The fun part is much, much later…”

“Bastard—!”

“Trump Sword!” The back hilt of one of the swords struck me on the back of my neck, while another struck the back of my head. I took one final look around the room before blacking out.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 154 - Darkness Looms Upon Her

WereGarurumon
Black Rose Mountains

“Isa…do you sense it?” I asked. “This overwhelming sense of dread, and power accompanied by it…”

“You know I’m not a Digimon, WereGarurumon…So, I never thought I’d be able to sense anything like this,” Isa whispered quietly, gazing up towards the top of the mountain we were currently scaling. “It’s her…Leila is nearby. And probably Reapermon, too…”

“We must hurry. If Leila finds Reapermon before we get to her, then we may not be able to save her…”

“Yeah…C’mon. It’s probably not much farther before we get to her.”

“…I’m afraid that is not the way it is meant to be. You see…I will not allow you to meet with your sister…Isa.”

“Wanna come out of hiding, Noiramon?” I growled, scanning the bleak horizon. In an instant, the petite Fallen Angel descended to the ground before us, gazing at us with the saddest expression I’ve seen from her yet.

“Noiramon, please don’t intend to slow us down,” Isa sighed. “…I came here to save Leila. You should be doing the same, you know.”

“Should I…? I know…but…this is what she wanted of me,” Noiramon whispered.

“To become her shield?! This is madness, Noiramon!” I exclaimed.

“…I’m fully aware of that, WereGarurumon. And yet, it can’t be helped…”

“Noiramon. I’ll only ask you once to get out of my way,” Isa said sternly. “I won’t hesitate to fight back if you attack…but know that it won’t do Leila any good if I have to kill you.”

“…I don’t intend to lose,” Noiramon replied. “I fight…for my partner. With Leila’s future and happiness on the line, I will not lose! I can’t…”

“We’re wasting time, Isa,” I whispered. “Go on ahead. I’ll distract her.”

“Are you sure about this, buddy…?” Isa asked.

“I am. You need to get going. You’re the only one who can break through to Leila. Get moving,” I said.

“Nobody is going anywhere!” Noiramon exclaimed. “Sinister Shadows!”

“Isa, get down!” The shadows beneath Noiramon’s tiny feet began to swirl and expand, jumping out of the ground as sharp spikes and directly towards Isa’s head, which would have undoubtedly killed him had I not pushed him away when I did. “Garuru Kick!” I swung my leg through the air, unleashing a mighty shockwave that drove away the shadows conjured about by Noiramon. “Go on; get going! Now!”

“…Thank you, WereGarurumon,” Isa whispered.

“Oh, no you don’t! Sinister Shadows!” As Isa once more began his ascent up the rocky but lightly steep mountain, Noiramon aimed another attack at my partner, but a single, well-aimed Wolf Claw tore through the shadows. As soon as Isa vanished from sight, I turned around to face Noiramon.

“…Looks like it’s just us, Noiramon,” I growled. “Or…should I say, Vir—”

“SILENCE! Sinister Shadows!” Beneath me, my own shadow began to distort, and rise up from the ground, constricting my arms and legs so that I couldn’t move. “WereGarurumon…I’m so sorry it had to come to this…but you know the way it is. We who have been partnered must do anything in our power to aid our partners.”

“Yes, Noiramon, I know,” I replied. “But, I also know the difference between loyalty…and mindless self-deception! You follow Leila blindly; you claim to feel sorrow for your actions on her behalf, but do you even know what it is that Leila is doing?!”

“…I…do not, but that matters little—”

“It matters more than you know!” I snapped. “…Listen to me, Noiramon. You only think you’re helping Leila…but the more that you do what she asks, the further down into the darkness she descends…If this continues, then nobody will be able to save her!”

“And you accuse me of acting the fool?! Weren’t you and Isa the ones to always say that darkness is not evil!? And here you are, saying just that!” Noiramon shouted. “What is the difference?! Where is the line drawn, WereGarurumon?! Tell me!”

“…Darkness, as I said, is not evil. But…it is powerful,” I whispered. “The level of power that comes with darkness can be intoxicating…that is what leads to corruption. Not darkness itself, but the power. That is what happened to Leila…and you will share that fate, Noiramon!”

“No. I will not! I will not lose myself to mindless power! I will continue to serve Leila, as I always have! And I shall do so…by destroying you!” Rising slowly from the rocky ground, Noiramon glared down at me with a newfound determination in her emerald eyes. “Midnight Raven!” Gradually ascending further away from me, Noiramon enveloped herself in darkness and crossed her arms over her chest. Darkness and shadows swirled around her slim body, forming the shape of a large raven. Emitting a shriek, the massive avian, with Noiramon at its heart, charged directly at me, its sharp beak aimed at the center of my chest. With all of my strength, I tore free from the shadows holding me in place and readied a Wolf Claw to counter Noiramon’s attack. Our two attacks met, claw striking beak, but in the end, I was pushed back, unable to contend with the strength of the Midnight Raven. I fell to the ground on my back, and looked up at Noiramon.

“…You…you’re a lot stronger than you look,” I grunted. “…Go ahead, then. Kill me. Finish me off. But know that the second you do, you will fall into the same darkness that grasps at Leila. Nobody will be able to save the two of you. All that will await you…is death…at the hands of Lachesis.”

“…No…no! I won’t…let that happen!” Noiramon exclaimed.

“Then, don’t kill me. It’s as simple as that,” I said. “You want to save Leila? Then don’t fall into the power of darkness. Don’t be seduced the same way she was…and you can save her.”

“But…I have to…I have to…do as she asks,” Noiramon whimpered. “I…don’t know what to do…”

“Noiramon…I can’t make that decision for you. I can only tell you what two roads lie ahead of you,” I responded. “Betray Leila…to save her life…or obey her to destroy her. The choice is yours, my dear.”

“…M-Midnight…R-R-Raven…”

“Garuru Kick!” Jumping up from off the ground, I landed a kick on the side of Noiramon’s head. The two of us landed on the ground, gasping for breath. “…You left yourself wide open. I think it’s safe to say…the victory goes to me.”

“WereGarurumon…you…” Noiramon sat up, and looked over at me, clutching the side of her head that I had hit. “…You decided for me after all, didn’t you…”

“Heh…if you want to think of it that way…it wouldn’t be incorrect,” I said. “Now, you can be happy. You obeyed her to the very end, but you didn’t end up destroying your partner.”

“Why…would you do that for me?” Noiramon asked.

“…I have my reasons,” I whispered. I stood up, and looked down at the beautiful Fallen Angel. “You’re important to me. To…all of us. You weren’t meant to dabble with the powers of darkness…I think fate has something different in store for you.”

“…You’re not…going to kill me?”

“No. How could I live with myself if I destroyed a gentle, innocent soul?” I asked. I knelt down before Noiramon, and gently raised her left leg up slightly off the ground, placing the heel of her foot in the palm of my hand. A ring slid down her leg, stopping at her ankle. “This ring…it is the source of your power. Not darkness. Not even your loyalty to Leila. You are your own person, Noiramon. Use the power of this ring…your Holy Ring…to regain the power that was taken from you. Use it…to save Leila.” Before my eyes, Noiramon began to change. The ebon feathers of her wings turned to purest white, and her dark violet hair to a golden blonde. Her emerald eyes turned to sapphire, and her violet minidress to a white, full-length gown. “…Come with me, Virgomon. Together with Isa…we will save Leila, and bring her back home.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 155 - The Valiant

Isa Matthew Reed

“…WereGarurumon…thank you. I promise, I’ll come back to you as soon as I find Leila,” I whispered to myself as I made it to the top of a rather steep cliff. “I’ll find her, and I’ll save her…and then we can all go back home together. I’ll defeat Reapermon, too, if that’s what it takes to bring her back to her old self…”

“Hmm…Well, are you sure that you can, Isa?” I glanced up, sword in hand, fully expecting to see my twin atop some mound of earth, looking down at me condescendingly. Instead, she was right at my side, looking at the landscape behind me. “He’s really strong, you know. Reapermon, I mean; not WereGarurumon. I’m certain Noiramon will be able to defeat him,” Leila whispered into my ear. “…But that’s beside the point. Reapermon is nowhere to be found amidst this blasted mountain range. I fear I must look elsewhere for him…”

“No.”

“Isa…you’ve never once refused me anything my heart desired; why should this time be different?” Leila asked.

“…You’re lost to me…Lost in the power of darkness. But I will…bring you back,” I said sternly. “Back home, to Lachesis, where you belong.”

“And what makes you think I want to go back? Because you asked really nicely? How pathetic…”

“Leila. You will come back with me if I have to use force to do it,” I said.

“Really…? You’d turn your giant blade against your demure twin sister?” Leila asked. “How ruthless you’ve become, dear brother…”

“Ruthless…you say that as if I were the one who murdered Liliana,” I scoffed.

“The bitch was in my way. I had business to take care of…and I’m a businesswoman,” Leila said. “…Why would they want me back after what I did to her anyway?”

“…Before I came to Black Rose to find you…Aunt Zelda told me a story,” I began. “When she first joined Lachesis, there was a shy young girl named Irene. Very kind and timid, but at the same time, she worked for an evil Digimon called Lilithmon. As it turns out, Irene had been ordered to murder a close friend of hers, SlashAngemon, who’d been a father figure to her. It wasn’t until later that she learned that Irene was only with Lilithmon because she was promised that Lilithmon would help her find her mother. A lie, unfortunately, but with that knowledge, the members of Lachesis in the distant past felt no anger towards Irene…She only wanted to be with her mother…Nobody could bring themselves to hate her.”

“…What a bunch of idiots. Prepared to welcome back a murderer; their lunacy never ceases, does it, Isa?” Leila asked.

“The point is…if I learn why Reapermon is forcing you to do what he wants, then there may be no consequences upon your return—”

“I DON’T WANT TO RETURN, ISA!” Leila screamed.

“Leila…our family…your family…”

“I don’t care about them,” Leila said.

“…Not even Madelyn?” I asked. “If she saw you now…it would break her heart…”

“So what? Like I said, I don’t care about anyone in Lachesis.”

“Leila…”

“Isa, shut up!” Leila snapped. A surge of dark energy shot past my ear, missing it by inches. “…No amount of talking is going to make me go back. No amount of convincing is going to make me want to go back. My allegiance stands with Reapermon. Nobody else.”

“Then…”

“That’s right, Isa. Lachesis is nothing to me. You are nothing to me. You never were…”

“…That wasn’t what I was going to say,” I said. “What I was going to say was…this makes you an enemy to Lachesis. You are nothing like Irene, like I thought you were. You…are an enemy. And as an enemy of Lachesis, I will use every last bit of strength I own to take you down!”

“…My. Looks like you finally grew a pair, Isa. Too bad for you…because that means I’m going to enjoy allowing my darkness to destroy every inch of you! Come at me, bro! Try all you like, you won’t be able to stop me; not with the power given to me by Reapermon!”

“I am sick…of hearing that bastard’s name!” I screamed. I held up my broadsword in a single hand, and swung it at Leila with all my might, but a barrier of darkness conjured by the sorceress halted my advance.

“C’mon, Isa…we’ve studied magic together for so long…you should know what I’m capable of by now!” Leila said.

“…You’re right. I…do know. I know everything that you know. We read the same books, crammed together under the bedsheets at night over an old tome with a flashlight. That’s why I know…that my white magic will cancel out your black magic!” Holding my sword high above my head, I chanted in an ancient language the words that would imbue my blade with the holy magic that I had studied long ago. My sword emitted a radiant, golden light; Leila screamed in pain and agony as I aimed it directly at her. “A little longer…just a little longer, Leila…I’ll drive the darkness away from you! Never again will you be seduced by its power!”

“No…! NO! I won’t let you!” Leila held up her arms to cover her eyes and protect them from the harsh light; even her shadow seemed to quaver, as if harmed by the light from my sword. “ISA!”

“Your suffering shall soon be at an end; please, just bear with it for a little while longer!” I begged.

“That shan’t be necessary.” At once, the light emitted by my sword vanished. Leila looked up, a vile and devious grin on her face.

“Leila…who…was that?!” I asked. I asked this question, although I knew the answer. I had heard his voice, and I’d hoped never to hear it again. My legs began to tremble as I saw the form of a tall, massive Digimon appear behind Leila.

“Isa…I’d like for you to meet Reapermon,” Leila whispered.
“So, this is Isa…what a pleasure to make your acquaintance, good sir,” Reapermon whispered.

[HR][/HR]
Abigail Luxord

“…How long has it been since Matthew left?” Eleanora asked in an anxious voice.

“Ellie, darling, it hasn’t even been ten minutes yet,” I said gently. It was just the two of us, along with Larraine, waiting in the lounge of the fortress. “I know you’re worried about Matthew, but you really don’t need to be. He’s with Flamedramon; he’s easily one of the strongest members of the guild, you know. I know my husband will be able to keep Mattie safe, so please don’t worry, dear. I’d hate for your beautiful face to become frozen with such a distressing look of sadness…”

“I can’t help it; we don’t know how strong Reapermon is,” Eleanora whispered.

“I assure you, Flamedramon will be more than enough to defeat him,” I replied, smiling kindly at the young twin.

“And with Flaremon at his side, it will be even easier for him to protect Matthew!” Larraine chimed in.

“Yeah, I guess…But I’m still worried.”

“It’s okay, darling. That only shows how much you love your twin brother,” I said. “Just don’t let your concern overtake you and turn to despair…”

“But…”

“To despair is useless. Take your fears and worries, and use them to help you grow stronger as a person.” Larraine rolled her crimson eyes at the sound of the new voice. I looked to the exit of the room, and saw Statuedramon walking in. “El, I’ve known Flamedramon almost as long as Abby here. If anyone knows the true extent of his power, it’s the two of us,” Statuedramon said. “When he was our enemy, he told us his goal was to burn the entire world. To this day, I fully believe him to be capable of doing something like that.”

“Where did you go off to, Statch? You disappeared as soon as we got back home,” I said.

“Oh…right, sorry ‘bout that. I just, you know, had a few things to take care of,” the Rookie Digimon said nervously, avoiding making eye contact with me. “I just…had to go see an old friend of mine, nothing more. But, I do have some important information from him.”

“Oh? What kind of information?” Eleanora asked.

Probably something useless,” I heard Larraine whisper under her breath. The dancer had gone to the opposite end of the room from where Statuedramon had decided to sit, and was glaring quite menacingly at him. Though I was certain he heard this remark, he paid it no mind.

“Well, I’d kinda prefer it if Flamedramon were here to hear what I have to say,” Statuedramon said. “Where’d he go, Abby?”

“They went to the Black Rose Mountains to help Isa fight Reapermon,” I replied.

“Ah, Reapermon, eh? Yeah, he’s pretty strong,” Statch smiled. “Wait…they…they’re going to FIGHT him?!”

“Yes…? Statch, what’s wrong, dear?” I asked.

“No, no, this is all wrong! Abby, come with me! Turn into BioLadyDevimon and fly me over to those mountains RIGHT NOW!” Statuedramon exclaimed.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 156 - (Don't Fear) The Reapermon

Isa Matthew Reed

“So, this is Isa…What a pleasure it is to make your acquaintance, good sir,” Reapermon whispered. I said nothing in return. Reapermon’s appearance was a fearsome one; I’d only seen his skull face before, which in itself was fierce enough. But, with the rest of his mechanical body in full view, the scythe on his right hand, and the gnarled claw that was his left, for the first time in my life, I felt truly afraid. Afraid for my own life.

“…You…were the one who turned Leila evil,” I said.

“I gave her access to the power of darkness; yes,” Reapermon nodded.

“Reapermon is my master,” Leila smiled. “I’m finished speaking with my brother. You may destroy him now, Master.”

“…Destroy…him…?” For a split second, Reapermon had a bewildered look on his face as he glanced down at Leila. “You mean…for me to murder your twin brother?!”

“Is that not what I said, Master?” Leila asked. “Now, hop to it!”

“I will not let you do that!” WereGarurumon’s voice disrupted the silence that followed Leila’s command. My Digimon partner leaped into the air from behind me, over my head, and landed an aggressive Wolf Claw directly at the center of Reapermon’s face.

“So, you’ve come to die as well, WereGarurumon,” Leila sighed. “…Pity. I take it this means Noiramon was defeated. Oh well…”

“I’ve not come to die!” WereGarurumon growled. “And I did not defeat Noiramon!”

“Oh…? Then, where is she, pray tell?” Leila asked. WereGarurumon said nothing, and instead, pointed up into the sky whilst glaring at the sorceress. Leila and I, and even Reapermon looked up at the sky were the Ultimate pointed, and I gasped at what I saw. Noiramon had completely changed; her black and violet color scheme had changed to a gold and ivory one. The new Angel Digimon alighted gently to the ground next to WereGarurumon. “…The fuck are you?! You aren’t Noiramon!”

“…Not anymore,” the angel whispered gently. “Like you, I had been corrupted by the power offered to me by darkness. But, thanks to WereGarurumon, I was able to break free, and return to my true form. My name is now Virgomon.” Reapermon’s eyes widened quite noticeably upon hearing the Digimon’s name. “I aided Lachesis in the past, in this time, before I was killed by NeoDevimon. I was reborn later in the future, but before I could become my true Ultimate level, Leila and I were introduced to the corruption of darkness, and I became Noiramon instead,” Virgomon said.

“…I see…so, that was my doing, as well,” Reapermon sighed.

…Something’s not right here…he seems almost sorry about what happened to Virgomon…and he almost objected when Leila told him to kill me…Is this truly Reapermon?

“And now that I am here…WereGarurumon and I will give it our all to defeat you,” Virgomon said. “Together, we will protect Isa, and free Leila from your clutches!”

“…This can’t be happening,” Reapermon muttered. “This is all wrong…”

“Radiance of Spica!” A powerful glow surrounded the immense Reapermon as he was struck by Virgomon’s attack before once more being assaulted by WereGarurumon.

“Bah! This is ridiculous! I’ve wasted enough time as it is!” Reapermon shouted.

“Indeed! How dare you waste my master’s precious time?!” Leila shouted.

“It is time to end this madness…once and for all! Grim Slasher!” Reapermon raised his crooked, metal claw up into the air, and Virgomon and WereGarurumon jumped directly in front of me to protect me. However, at the last second, before he could launch his attack, Reapermon turned to Leila, standing with her back to her master, and fired his Guilty Chain. My face instantly paled as Reapermon’s claw dove into Leila’s back and tore through her belly. Leila simply stared blankly, as blood welled from her mouth.

“M…Master…? Why…?” was all she could say. “Have I…been…unfaithful…to you…?”

“Begone, foul sorceress!” Reapermon hissed, moving in closer to Leila with his scythe raised.

“N-No…stop him! Stop him!” I screamed, but I was too late. Reapermon’s scythe swung through the air faster than I could blink, and yet it all seemed to take an eternity. The scythe cut clean through Leila’s neck. Blood came spurting out in an instant, staining the ground beneath Leila seconds before her severed head could hit the rocky earth. Reapermon retracted his bloodied claw, and looked down at the ground where Leila’s headless body had plummeted. “…You…YOU STUPID, FUCKING CUNT! I’LL KILL YOU! I’LL KILL YOU!” Lifting my broadsword in a single hand, I began furiously lashing out at Reapermon, first striking his left leg, making him fall to his knee. A second slice of my sword left a deep cut in the side of his face.

“Take it easy, kid; I only did what had to be done!” Reapermon exclaimed.

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

“Wolf Claw!” Rushing past me, WereGarurumon landed his attack in the center of Reapermon’s chest.

“Radiance of Spica!” Once again becoming enveloped in the light of Virgomon’s attack, Reapermon yelled out in pain until he finally fell over, landing on his back. I held out my sword once again, placing the edge of its blade against Reapermon’s neck.

“Any last words?!” I asked.

“…You’re making a big mistake,” Reapermon said, gasping for air. “I’m not—”

“SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UUUUUUUPPPPP!!!!” I raised my blade up into the air, and as I began to swing it down, out of nowhere, an arrow flew and lodged itself into my leg. “ARGH! What the—?!”

“Isa…stand down.” I glanced over my shoulder, seeing Matthew, Coronamon, and Flamedramon standing behind WereGarurumon and Virgomon. Above them was BioLadyDevimon, and riding on her back was Statuedramon. “Please. End your attack on Reapermon,” Flamedramon said.

“What?! Are you kidding me?! Do you know what this bastard just did to my sister?!” I yelled.

“Yes…we can see quite clearly what happened,” Statuedramon said, leaping down to the ground. “We saw the whole thing.”

“Why didn’t you do anything to help her?!” I asked. “Why are you stopping me from killing Reapermon?!”

“We have our reasons,” Statch continued. “Isn’t that right…Reapermon?” Behind me, I could hear Reapermon stir, and as I turned, saw him rise to his knees, as if bowing before Statuedramon.

“Statuedramon…my King and Sovereign…long have I anticipated your return,” Reapermon said.
 

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Chapter 157 - Growing Anxiety

Isa Matthew Reed



“Statuedramon…my King and Sovereign…long have I anticipated your return.” Those were the very words Reapermon had said to Statuedramon many hours ago. And now, the monster that murdered my twin sister stood with the members of Lachesis in our own fortress.

“We heard from Statuedramon that you aren’t our enemy…but that’s all we heard,” Flamedramon began. “Do you want to tell us what you really are?”

“As you desire, Master Flamedramon,” Reapermon said. “I am a friend, as Statuedramon said. And what I am…is a bounty hunter.”

“Yes, yes, we read that about your species,” Isole said. “Who is your employer? Who are you after?” Reapermon glanced over at Statuedramon, who have a small nod of his head.

“The one who set Reapermon out on his job is a man named Baez,” Statuedramon said. “Reapermon went undercover, posing as an evil Digimon while fighting alongside Barbamon, Daemon, and the others. The main purpose of this was to find out as much information as possible about a Digimon called IceDevimon.”

“IceDevimon…is he really that dangerous?” Matthew asked.

“More than you could ever imagine,” Statuedramon said. “According to the information we have on him from Mercurymon, Baez and Wisemon, he may very well be the one pulling all of the strings.”

“I’ve fought him twice with Sparrow; he was pretty strong, but I never thought he’d be so…so evil,” Matthew whispered.

“Unfortunately…I was never able to get information about him from any of the others,” Reapermon said lamentfully. “Without any leads, I went ahead and did the next job given to me by Lord Statuedramon and Lord Baez, and that would be to gather an army of powerful warriors.”

“Is that…Is that what you were doing with my sister?” I asked. I almost choked on the words, remembering what had happened to Leila hours ago.

“…I can never begin to apologize enough for what I did. And yet…it needed to be done,” Reapermon said. “I introduced her and her then-partner Digimon D’arcmon to the power of darkness in hopes of strengthening their frail spirits. I had D’arcmon Digivolve into Noiramon rather than Virgomon to become a more powerful fighter. But, with Leila…that power…I never imagined she would be overtaken by the power. I never…”

“Is that why you…you…k-killed…her?” I asked in a quavering voice.

“I didn’t have a choice. Leila was beyond fixing at that point; no amount of healing would be able to undo the damage that was done to her. She was no better than Daemon; just a slave to evil power. I had to kill her.”

“But…”

“…Think of it this way. If I didn’t kill her, she’d have killed you,” Reapermon suggested. “And after you, she’d have gone after Madelyn. Is that something you’d want, Isa?”

“…No…”

“Why did you give her access to darkness?” Flamedramon asked. “Why not a different element? Fire, water, light, anything…”

“Because that was my order from Lord Baez. Take someone and introduce them to darkness without it corrupting them,” Reapermon said. “For that little army I was speaking about…he’s personally training someone to control darkness, but he had me introduce Leila and Isa to darkness just in case he was unsuccessful in his attempts. That was all he told me.”

“I see. And, what do you know about this, Statch?” Abigail asked.

“…I’m afraid that information is classified,” Statuedramon whispered.

“Are you KIDDING me?!” Larraine screamed. “This Digimon just murdered one of our friends, and you don’t even have the decency to tell us why he had to do it in the first place?! What the hell is wrong with you, old man?!”

“Larraine!” Abigail gasped. “Don’t talk to your father that way…”

“No…it’s okay,” Statuedramon whispered.

“No, it’s not okay! This bastard will never be my father!” Larraine yelled. “I don’t care if he was the idiot who got my mother pregnant, he was never there for us! He never cared about either of us…he never…cared…” With tears streaming down her flushed cheeks, Larraine ran out of the room, and was followed shortly by Eleanora.

“…So, um…what can you tell us about Baez?” Flamedramon asked, obviously wanting to change the subject.

“…Right. That information I was telling you about, Abigail,” the Rookie Digimon began. “As many of you already know by now, I am one of the four Sovereign Digimon tasked with guarding this world by Fanglongmon. However…for close to one-thousand years, the other three Sovereign Digimon — Baihumon, Ebonwumon, and Zhuqiaomon — have laid dead.”

“Dead…? Then…that means you’re the only Sovereign protecting the world at this moment?” Abigail asked.

“Yeah, for now,” Statch nodded. “Baez sent me out to find three Digimon to serve as the successors for the other three Sovereigns.”

“Successors? Do you mean like descendants?” Flamedramon asked.

“Something like that, yeah, but they don’t have to be, which is good, because I don’t think those three ever got laid,” Statch said. “I just have to find three Digimon who are supposedly pure of heart, or…something like that.”

“In that case count me out,” Flamedramon said. “I’m…yeah, you know.”

“Never considered you a candidate in the first place,” Statuedramon smirked. “…And, Zelda…I’m sorry.”

“You’re sorry? What for?” the blonde woman asked.

“…Reapermon here…he’s one of your Digimon Spirits,” Statuedramon whispered. “Reapermon used to be Vajramon.”

“…Vajramon…? You mean…?”

“Yes. I…knew where he was…this whole time…and I didn’t tell you,” Statuedramon said. “I couldn’t…his mission required him to move about in absolute secrecy…I’m sorry…”

“Don’t apologize, Statuedramon,” Zelda whispered, smiling down at the Rookie Digimon. “V-Vajramon…do you remember me?”

“Of course, my lady. I’ve never forgotten you; not your smile, and not your kindness,” Reapermon whispered. “It’s been far too long, Lady Zelda…”

“Oh, Reapermon…I’m so happy to see you again!” Zelda ran up to the Mega Digimon, and wrapped her arms around his leg. Reapermon smiled, and knelt down next to her.

“HEY! HEY, we’ve got a big problem!” Mihiramon, gasping for breath, charged into the room, nearly crashing into a wall in the process. “Lucia…it’s…she’s…she’s gone…”

“Gone?! What are you talking about?!” Mia asked.

“I…can’t find her anywhere,” Mihiramon gasped. “She told me she…was going to wait in the basement for a while…I looked all over the fort her when she didn’t come back out…can’t…find her…”
Lucia Delbray



My one eye opened, slowly at first, adjusting to the light. I was standing up, but my arms were chained to a stone slab behind me. Looking around, I could see that I was inside, though where exactly, I hadn’t the faintest idea. I noticed almost immediately that whomever had taken me had removed almost all of my clothing, leaving me in nothing but my bra and panties.

“Ahh, finally, fair sleeping beauty awakens and blesses us with the sight of her sweet ruby eye!” I glanced up, and saw a tall, humanoid Digimon standing before me.

“…Are you…the one who fought me…?” I asked.

“Why, yes, yes, yes, I am! You may call me Piedmon!” the Digimon exclaimed in a hearty, happy voice. “Yes, that’s right, THE Piedmon! No, autographs, please…Oh, okay, if you insist, I’ll give you one! But only one!”

“…Who are you?” I asked. Piedmon gasped.

“WHAT?! What, what, WHAT?! You mean, you don’t…know…me?” Piedmon sniffled. “But…I’ve told practically everyone…Did she not get the invitation…? Sniff…”

“Are…you okay…?” I asked.

“WAHH! Yes, yes I am! I am much better than okay!” Piedmon exclaimed.

“…If you insist…”

“Now, then, why don’t I further introduce myself by telling you why I dragged you here?” Piedmon pulled a dagger from his shirt sleeve, and jabbed it into the stone that I was chained to, just inches away from my wrist. “Tell me, Lucia Delbray…Tell me where I can find Baez.”

“Baez? Who is that?” I asked.

“Oh, oh, oh, proclaiming ignorance, are we?! You don’t expect me to believe that runt of a Sovereign didn’t tell you about one of the most important people ever to walk Arcadia?!”

“Sov…You mean, Statuedramon?”

“WHO ELSE WOULD I MEAN?!” Piedmon yelled.

“I don’t know! I never even heard the name Bays before…”

“No, no, no, IT’S BAEZ, not BAYS! Get it right, woman!”

“What do you want with this person?” I asked.

“Hmm, wouldn’t you like to know? But, I’m afraid, this is information that is tippy-top secret, my dear!” Piedmon said. “You claim to know nothing about him…but is this true, I wonder to myself?”

“Yes, it’s true! I’ve never heard of him!” I protested.

“Hmph. Well, as my colleagues have always said…we have ways of making you talk.” Piedmon smiled, and removed a long, thin feather from his sleeve. My heart began to race almost immediately.

“…W-What are you…going to do with that…?” I asked nervously.

“Lucia, darling, sweetie, believe me, eternity in the company of IceDevimon and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this feather if you don’t tell me what I wanna know!”

Oh, gods…Couldn’t have been captured by Reapermon, could I?

“Spill the beans, girl! Tell me where to find Baez! Or else…you get the FEATHER!” Piedmon glared at me.

Just kill me now, Goddess…
 
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Chapter 158 - The Clown from Hell

Piedmon



“Spill the beans, girl! Tell me where to find Baez! Or else…you get the FEATHER!” I glared at Lucia Delbray, known far and wide as the “Tiger Woman” due to her fearsome combat prowess and tandem with her partner Digimon, Mihiramon. But, chained as she was to the stone slab behind her, she was but another canvass for me to elicit the artistic marvel of torture upon. “You will tell me everything I want to know about Baez,” I said. “Because you see, my dear Lucia, I know your greatest weakness.”

“You don’t know anything about me, Piedmon,” Lucia said quietly.

“Aww, there’s no need to have such a dour expression on such a pretty face.” With my feather gently but securely fastened in between my index and middle finger, I slowly approached the Tiger Woman. “According to my research, you, my dear…are extremely ticklish.”

“No…NO! NO! STAY BACK! STAY AWAY FROM ME!” Lucia began to thrash about, but I only laughed as I brushed my feather delicately and lightly against her armpit. The young woman convulsed violently with laughter. She was absolutely miserable, I was certain, and seeing her in pain like this, I couldn't help but smile and laugh with her as I brought the feather down lower, and brushed it against her navel. She was thrashing around madly, the sound of her laughter drowning out the metallic thrash of the chains that tied her in place. She made many attempts to turn away, but only in vain. She twice attempted to kick me between the legs, but, alas for her, I was too far away. Seeing her with such agony on her beautiful face, I couldn’t resist her as she was; unable to restrain myself from her any longer, I leaned over and very slowly licked the side of her neck.

“Mmm…exquisite, my dear; the perfect mix of succulent fear and joyous, unyielding agony,” I sighed.

“S-S-Stop…p-please, I don’t…know anything about Baez,” Lucia said between deep breaths. Ignoring her, I knelt down and slowly licked the right side of her abdomen, quickly darting my tongue inside her navel, generating yet another fit of forced laughter from my guest.

“Careful, my dear; I wouldn’t want for you to burst a lung laughing so hard!” I chuckled.

“Maybe…if you’d stop—”

“Oh, I jest, my dear,” I interrupted. “If your lungs burst, why, I’ll just sew them back up and shove them down your trachea!” Lucia groaned as I stooped further down to pick up her leg, and I weaved my feather intricately in between each of her toes. Lucia was now screaming with laughter, and as arousing for me as it all was, I began to grow bored. “Okay, Lucia, seriously?! If you don’t tell me what I want to know, then I’ll toss this feather away…and we move on to the knives. Sharp, pointy knives of painful awesomeness.”

“…Do…your…worst,” Lucia gasped, glaring furiously up at me.
Flamedramon



“…There. See it, right there?” Reapermon asked. Reapermon looked down, and pointed his scythe arm at a dagger embedded in the stone floor of the basement. “This belongs to a Digimon called Piedmon. He’s a servant of IceDevimon…”

“You mean, he was here?! And we didn’t even notice?!” I asked. “Then, he…he took Lucia?! Is she…still alive…?”

“I don’t doubt that at all; Piedmon isn’t exactly a…murderous sort,” Reapermon said.

“Are you sure about this?! You mean, she isn’t in any danger at all?!”

“Flamedramon…this is one of spying on the other side; I can tell you about all of the Digimon we’ll be fighting,” Reapermon said. “Now, Piedmon; he’s a bit…odd, but you can’t let that make you underestimate him. He’s a strong fighter, and a master swordsman.”

“So…is Lucia safe or not?” Zelda asked.

“Presumably, yes; as I said, Piedmon isn’t one for executing prisoners; rather…he prefers toying with them for information,” Reapermon said. “Repeated aggravation and annoyances are his so-called forte. If Lucia has any peeves, then Piedmon undoubtedly knows, and is thus using them to gather whatever information he desires from her.”

“Then…she’s safe, right? She isn’t in any danger?” Abigail asked.

“…I wish I could say that. But…he can be rather impatient at times, depending on the necessity of the desired information. Usually…if annoying or provoking his prisoners fails to work, then he will move on to more…drastic methods,” Reapermon said quietly.

“Will you make up your damn mind?!” I screamed frantically. “Just…tell us if she’s going to be okay while we track her down! No more details! Just yes or no!”

“For the time being, yes, she is fine,” Reapermon said. “While Piedmon may proceed to actually torture her, he will not ever kill her.”

“…Fine. Now, how do we track down this Piedmon?” I asked.

“Lucia’s partner Digimon is Mihiramon, is it not? A Beast Digimon’s sense of smell should be more than enough to track her down.”

“Oh yeah,” Mihiramon mumbled.

“Better yet, we even have one of Piedmon’s knives to help you track him down,” Reapermon said. “Well, Mihiramon; whenever you’re ready, get to tracking down Lucia and Piedmon.”

“Yeah, got it,” the Ultimate Digimon nodded.
15 Minutes



“O…kay, she’s in this general vicinity,” Mihiramon whispered. I glanced over the edge of a steep, rocky hill, at a large group of Digimon consisting solely of Sangloupmon and Matadormon. “…I don’t see her anywhere…Reapermon?”

“…This is it,” the Cyborg Digimon stated. “Piedmon is here. These Digimon here, they’re the Champion and Ultimate forms of Piedmon himself. They’re guarding his position.”

“But…where is he?” I asked. “Are they underground?”

“No; they’re here. Piedmon’s magic is keeping his hideout from sight. We need to break through his troops and get to Lucia,” Reapermon said.

“There’s a lot of them, you know,” I said. “I don’t even know if we can handle them all by ourselves…”

“…We aren’t alone,” Reapermon continued. “Someone’s been following you and your guildmates for a few minutes.”

“Ah! You planned this, didn’t you?!” Isa exclaimed. “Some of your cronies coming to finish us all off when we’re exhausted, right?!”

“That’s…where you’re wrong.” It was a vaguely familiar voice that spoke, and with it came the presence of a familiar Digimon. When I turned around, I nearly choked on my own tongue when I saw the people standing behind me.

“You’re…Augustus?!” I exclaimed. “One of the generals of Cyllene…what are you doing here?!”

“Correction; I am an ex-general of Cyllene,” Augustus said. “For starters, my old empire has collapsed without its leader. But, before that happened, I had already abandoned my country. I couldn’t stand…serving a country that was so cruel…”

“…That’s right…I’d forgotten you were the one who brought Madelyn back,” I whispered. “And the ones with you…I saw you with the Goddess’ Rebuke, didn’t I?” The Digimon standing behind August us nodded, and knelt down before me; at first, I thought, out of respect, but on closer inspection, I saw that it was to pick their sleeping third comrade up off of the ground.

“My name is Karatenmon; I…do hope you can forgive me for my previous affiliations with so cruel an empire,” the Digimon said quietly. “And, uh…do forgive Miss Marissa here for…her lack of consciousness at the time…”

“Apologies accepted; you three were never really evil in the first place,” I said. “So, what are you all doing here?”

“Call it…redemption,” Augustus said. “I found Karatenmon shortly after Madelyn reunited with her family. Imagine my surprise, finding a fellow runaway soldier from the same kingdom on a completely different continent…”

“Lord Augustus was kind enough to not report me to the superior officers and take me in,” Karatenmon added.

“Yes, hence the ‘runaway soldier’ part,” Augustus said. “Well, as I said, our group is a guild of sorts, I suppose you could say. Like I said, we seek redemption for our previous sins. Barbamon, Carmillamon, Murmuxmon…they were evil where we were not, and yet we served them. We all committed horrible acts against our better judgment, and so we’ve been working on hunting down servants of IceDevimon. We’re here now for Piedmon’s head.”

“And I thought I was the bounty hunter,” Reapermon said.

“Except nobody’s paying us. Now, can we count on you for your assistance?” Augustus asked. “If it is your wish…we can remove ourselves from your sight. We would understand…”

“To be honest…we could really use your help,” I said. “There are too many Sangloupmon and Matadormon for us to handle. With your help, we can handle the guards, and go in to save Lucia at the same time.”

“Then it’s settled; with all of us together, Piedmon will fall. And his guards will follow soon after!” Karatenmon yelled out. “Now, who will go in to save Lucia?”

“I’ll do it…I’ll go in all by myself,” Mihiramon said.

“Out of the question,” I said. “Piedmon is a Mega level Digimon; you’re no match for him!”

“I don’t care, Flamedramon. Lucia is my partner! It’s up to me to get her back!” Mihiramon exclaimed.

“I won’t allow it! There’s no way you can do it!”

“…There is…a way,” Statuedramon said quietly. “…You know, Mihiramon…you remind me of an old friend of mine. He was very young, but held an endless amount of power and courage within him. His name…was Baihumon.”

“Baihumon?! You mean…the Sovereign?! I really remind you of him?” Mihiramon asked.

“You do. And that’s why…I am going to grant you his power. I can already see a little bit of his light in your eyes; he may have already chosen you. As the only living Sovereign, I must honor my good friend’s wish.”

“His power…the power of…a Sovereign…Me…?” Statuedramon said nothing, and walked over to Mihiramon, placing his head on the Ultimate Digimon’s head.

“By the power given to me by Fanglongmon… I name thee a protector of Arcadia. I christen thee, Mihiramon of Lachesis, a Sovereign of the West.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 159 - Piedmon's Last Jest

Mihiramon



A wave of tension and fear stirred Piedmon’s small army of Sangloupmon; the Demon Beast Digimon alerted the older Matadormon, and they too felt the same distressing calm before the storm that was about to strike them. Augustus Maxwell tapped the Talisman that hung from his neck, summoning the Digimon Spirit Premenitmon.

“Golden Ankh!” The Digimon Spirit held his staff high up into the air as it emitted a bright golden light. The Sangloupmon and Matadormon were caught completely off guard; some of them evaporated into nothingness instantly, while a few others, from what I could tell, had momentarily become blinded. Amidst the ring of Piedmon’s followers, a large fortress began to take form, much to the surprise of the remaining members of the army of Demon Beasts and Undead Digimon.

“Mihiramon, now’s your chance! Go in and get Lucia!” Flamedramon commanded.

“Yeah, got it!” Piedmon’s followers had spotted us from our position, and began to charge directly our way. Ignoring them, I tore through the huge crowd of Digimon and charged my way into the fortress where Piedmon had Lucia held captive. At first, the inside was pitch-black, but almost instantly, several lights flicked on overhead, all the way down a single hallway. Not hesitating for a moment, I ran down the hallway, and broke down the door at the hall’s end. “LUCIA!” Before me, a tall, skinny Digimon turned instantly around; behind him, chained to a stone slab, was my Human partner.

“Oh, oh, oh; what have we here? A ferocious ‘mon named Mihir?” the tall Digimon, who I assumed to be Piedmon, asked.

“What have you done with Lucia?!” I roared.

“Oh, nothing at the moment; nothing, nothing, nothing!” Piedmon exclaimed almost joyously. “I was just about to when you oh-so rudely barged in to my private domain…”

“Cut the crap; you barged into our guild first of all, and took Lucia from us!” I snapped. “Now, give her back!”

“Ah, so you seek my plaything as well, do you? Well…you can’t have her!”

“She isn’t a plaything! She’s a living being, you monster!!!”

“And, so you desire her as well; my beautiful, cherished treasure,” Piedmon sighed. “The tongues of all with transport sound her praise. The eyes of all, as on a goddess, gaze…”

Damn it; this is getting me nowhere…Guess I’ll just have to beat the hell out of this guy and take Lucia back by myself! “Samurai Tiger Tail!”

“Mihiramon…don’t…he’s…too strong,” Lucia whispered.

“Don’t say shit like that; I’m taking you back home!”

“Too slow!” As soon as I swung my tail, Piedmon was nowhere to be seen. “Trump Sword!” Four swords, large and sharp, tore through my sides and my wings, leaving a mess of blood, fur, and feathers on the floor.

“Damn; and I just got those wings repaired by Edmund, too…” I reared up on my hind legs, and took a swipe at Piedmon, who deflected with another one of his swords.

“Ending Snipe!” Piedmon unleashed a blast of electricity from his hands directly into my face. Roaring in pain, I took a step back, only to receive another Ending Snipe to the middle of my chest. “Naughty, naughty, naughty, you are…But, you might make a nice rug! It would be fabulous, and it would cover the blood stains you so rudely spilled onto my floor!”

“You’re the one who stabbed me, idiot!” I snarled, climbing back up onto all fours.

“DON’T TALK BACK TO ME!” Two more of Piedmon’s swords cut through the front of both of my shoulders. “Clown Trick!” A ring of fire erupted from the ground, completely surrounding both me and Piedmon. “Now, then…I’d say you’ve done a fair job of standing up to me, considering you’re only a measly little Ultimate Digimon.”

…I don’t understand…I’ve been trying to tap in to the power given to me by Statch, but…nothing’s happened! I figured I’d be able to Digivolve to the next level, but…

“Well, I suppose it is time for you to choose, Mihiramon,” Piedmon said, bending down to look me directly in the eyes. “Surrender to me…and I will give Lucia back to you.”

“…And if I don’t?” I growled.

“Heh, heh, heh…if you don’t, then I’ll simply murder her!” Piedmon exclaimed. “I’m not usually one for murder, but this thought just popped into my head a second ago! Am I a genius, or what?!”

“…Total psychopath is more like it,” I whispered under my breath.

“Thanks…for the compliment!” Piedmon cheered. “Now, then…what will it be? Lucia…or your friends? Whose life will you choose to save? Surrender, and save Lucia…and then, I will proceed to murder all of your other friends at Lachesis! Keep fighting, and I shall kill only her! Now, who will you save?! All of your friends…or your closest?” I shut my eyes.

He has me right where he wants me…Reapermon was right; he’s pretty fucking smart…Damn good swordsman, too…What do I do now…? “…Piedmon…kill…me…instead of the others. That is my decision.”

“Oh, oh, oh? You mean to slake my newfound bloodlust with only your own life?” Piedmon asked. “Eager to perish? For truly, there is no other option…once I have decided on something.”

“No…Mihiramon, don’t!” I heard Lucia call out. “Save the others…don’t worry about me!”

“Have you made up your mind?!” Piedmon asked. “Do you wish to play the role of the martyr in this comedy of errors?”

“…I do. Now, let Lucia go!” I growled.

“Over YOUR dead body!” Piedmon screamed. “Heh…YOUR dead body. I’m pretty clever…”

“Get on with it,” I whispered.

“As you desire, my dear, dear Mihiramon! TRUMP SWORD!”

“NO! MIHIRAMON!!!!” Piedmon swung his arm, and the flames around us instantly died down. Drawing a sword from his sheath, Piedmon swung down with all of his might; barely an inch away from my face to the point that I could feel it with my whiskers, a blinding white light enveloped the entire room.

…Again…this light…Just like when I battled Kieran…Was that what Statuedramon meant when he thought I was already chosen by his pal…?

“Mihiramon…what’s happening?” Lucia asked. Whereas Piedmon had to cover his face with his arms to block out the harsh light, Lucia seemed to be completely unfazed by its shine.

“…The power given to me by Statch…it sure took its sweet-ass time, eh?” I glared over at Piedmon. I spread out my wings, and arched the fur on my back. “By the power given to me by the Sovereign Azulongmon, I condemn thee, Piedmon, to everlasting agony! Mihiramon Digivolve to, Baihumon!” The white light compressed around me, and I could feel myself growing larger and taller, until my back broke through the roof of Piedmon’s fortress.

“No, no, no; this is impossible!” Piedmon gasped. “No…how, oh, how could this happen?! A Sovereign has come to retrieve my goddess?!”

“…Piedmon. I banish ye into eternal oblivion. Tekkousho!” I raised a single claw up into the air, and swung down with all of my might. Piedmon was instantly torn to pieces, dissolving into fragments of data that disappeared on the wind. As soon as he was gone completely from sight, I let out a sigh. At once, I could feel myself grow smaller and smaller, until I was back to being Mihiramon. I turned to Lucia, and smiled.

“…Mihiramon…what…what the hell just happened?!” Lucia asked, her face a mix of awe, exhaustion, and confusion.

“Long story short, Statch gave me the power to become one of the Sovereign Digimon,” I said. “Some old man told him to do it, or whatever. Now, let’s get you home. Did he hurt you?”

“…No…Piedmon never hurt me,” Lucia whispered gently. “He just…humiliated me. Injured my pride, I guess you could say…”

“…Get some rest. Sleep on my back, and I’ll take you home, Lucia Delbray…”
 

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Chapter 160 - Dead Music

Dayan



How long has it been since my creation? I found myself asking this question a few times. Although, more frequently I asked the more impossible question: Why had I been created in the first place? Why did Widow choose to bring me into existence? Sure, she needed me to help out in that skirmish back at the castle — you know, before I betrayed her and fed her to her pet spider — but, far beyond that…Was I just…an experimentation? A means to satiate an insatiable scientific curiosity? A mere pawn to that vile sorceress? I shuddered at the mere memory of that woman, and shook my head to erase her from my current thoughts, and focused on the sight before me. At the bottom of the rocky chasm, buried in an avalanche of stones and boulders lay the legendary Digimon I had been searching for.

“…Of all the Humans to show themselves to me first…I never expected it to be you,” Behemotmon whispered. “I had sensed…the creation of an artificial Human…to think that you’d show your face here…”

“So, you’ve heard of me, Behemotmon; I’m flattered,” I said.

“Why do you come to see me? Surely, not to free me…”

“Sorry…afraid not. I need something from you…but you don’t really need to do anything.”

“…It is…my power you are after…is it not?” Behemotmon asked. I nodded. “Heh…I was buried here ages ago by a Digimon called Talosmon…I don’t know how much power I have to give you. I’m barely alive as it is…so I don’t have any room to complain…”

“I promise you, I will put your powers to very good use,” I said, giving the Phantom Beast a malicious grin.

“Though…I do need to warn you,” Behemotmon said. “This power of darkness that you will receive…it may be too much for you to handle. If you aren’t careful…the power could easily overtake you, and consume your very existence.”

“Please; have you any idea who you’re talking to?!” I asked. “I am much, much more than a simple, puny Human! I have absorbed the data of many Digimon; I AM a Digimon, essentially! Your powers of darkness…mean NOTHING to me! I will only become stronger with it!”

“…You damned fool. Well, I did my job. I tried to warn you…but I do have a request for you,” Behemotmon wheezed. “…My enemy…he lives still…Fenrirmon…use my power…and obliterate him, should you run across him.”

“Sure thing…anything for more power,” I whispered. “Shine Breaker!” Holding up my hand, I used the attack of Aegisdramon, having stolen its data from the Valencian prince. A golden aurora of light surrounded Behemotmon, and then he was gone. The fragments of the evil Digimon’s data began to flow into my body, inside my lungs and bloodstream. “…Ahh…The power of Behemotmon finally belongs to me…I can’t wait to test out his Earth Ravager attack on some unsuspecting fool!”

“Aha…so, this is where you’ve gone off to…”

“Who’s there?!” I shouted, turning around. I saw only darkness.

“You are the one…aren’t you?” the voice asked. “The one created by that woman…?”

“…And what if I am? What’s it to you?” I asked. “…I can sense your presence; you’re a Digimon?”

“My name is ShadowSeraphimon. And I have an interesting proposition for you…if you’re willing to take part…”

“Why should I do what you ask me to? Do you have any idea that I could kill you where you stand and take your data as my own?!” I asked.

“You don’t know who you’re talking to, child. I’m way out of your league of power,” ShadowSeraphimon laughed. “But…I could lead you to greater power. IF you’re interested, that is…”

“More…power…?” I gazed into the shadows where ShadowSeraphimon’s voice sounded. “…Lead the way, then. I’m all yours…”

Edmund Luxord



The sight of their backs vanishing into the distance was the last I saw of them. I was the only one they had told of their departure, not wishing to cause a large fuss. Isa, Noiramon, and WereGarurumon had left for the Black Rose Mountains, where Isa was to reopen the portal to return to the future they came from; a future I swore to them that I would prevent. With a final nod of acceptance and appreciation, Isa and the Digimon had gone. I let out a soft, lingering sigh, and walked back into the fortress. The mists of dawn had snuck their way into the old brick castle, leaving everything in a dim haze of nostalgia and sorrow.

“…Are they gone?” I heard Trionfimon whisper.

“Yes…it is for the best, my love,” I responded. “Their future may disappear into nonexistence, but in their own way, they will live on. They deserve to have those three with them.”

“Yes…You’re right. At least we have them in this time, right?” Trionfimon asked. “We’ll get to see them grow up, too…”

“Indeed; and the darkness that held a grip on Leila will never form in the first place. If it tries, we will destroy it immediately,” I added. “…Heh…Saying goodbye to those three…I just reminded myself of a sonnet composed by our Bard…”

“…We have a Bard?” Trionfimon asked.

“Oh, yes, I’d forgotten; she hasn’t shown up since your arrival here,” I said. “She doesn’t live here in the fortress; rather, she abodes in the nearby city of Yew. She came as a runaway from Lotisea Province, and was attacked by bandits along the way.”

“Poor dear…Chased away from Lotisea, huh? Does that mean she didn’t value someone’s life?”

“Yes; she was chased away for…being rational,” I whispered. “All she told me was something about resenting some rather evil Bio Hybrids causing trouble 500 years prior. She spoke up about dislike for such people, and was banished from the Province after refusing to change her opinion…”

“Well, remind me to never go to Lotisea, then,” Trionfimon said, rolling her eyes. “The poor thing; I’d like to meet her sometime…”

“Hm, she’s rather shy, but I could take you to her home in Yew,” I said. “She is quite an early riser; her harp music is the best thing to listen to while waking, and her singing voice is far beyond angelic…”

“Take me to her! Take me to your Bard!” Trionfimon shouted excitedly.

“As you desire, my dear…”

“No…such a thing would not be possible at this time…”

“Dominimon…? Is there a problem?” I asked, gazing up at the taller Mega Digimon as he and Zelda walked into the fortress. The Angel Digimon had a distinctly worried tinge in his voice that matched his daughter’s expression.

“She isn’t hurt, is she?” Trionfimon asked.

“No, she’s fine…most likely,” Dominimon said. “But, she isn’t…here with us at the moment, I’m afraid…” Zelda reached into her satchel, pulling out a scrap of parchment and handing it to me. The words, written with beautiful calligraphy, sent a chill up my spine and numbed my mind.

‘To my wonderful friends at Lachesis,

Short has been my time at your guild, but I have enjoyed every moment spent with you, and I wish I had chosen to spend more time with you all before this day. But on this day, I’m afraid I must depart to my place of origin. Yes, I must return to Lotisea. This will only be a temporary venture and, in spite of the risks, I simply must go back. These are very dark times, and there is someone I must speak to. Fear not, for he is a friend and ally to you of Lachesis. I go because I have heard numerous reports on powerful, legendary Digimon being slayed. I fear for his safety. I may very well be attacked upon return to my home village, possibly killed. But, I care not for my own fate. As I said, I care only for my dear friend, Deckerdramon, the Guardian of our province. And so, I go now to Lotisea to help protect Deckerdramon. And so as I leave for home, I thank you once more for your friendship and hospitality, and I apologize for keeping a secret from you, however insignificant the fact may be to me personally.

I will see you all soon, dear friends.

~Princess Loralyn Syra’an of Lotisea

7/21/1301’


“…Princess…Loralyn is…a princess…?” I whispered.

“And they ran her out of her own kingdom?!” Trionfimon exclaimed. “What nerve!”

“…This is not good,” I said. “She’s going back…a heretic in Lotisea…she isn’t safe.”

“This was written just yesterday,” Dominimon said. “She should be halfway to Deckerdramon’s Temple by now. We must go now.”

“We don’t have time to wake the others; just the four of us will go,” Zelda added.

“Understood; we will do everything in our power to protect her,” I said.
 
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