Lost Chronicles II: One World

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 161 - Bearer of Hope

Loralyn Syra’an



It had been two days since I’d left Celosia Province, and gone back to Lotisea. It would be at least another half a day before I’d arrive at the village that Deckerdramon protected, Saceaea, and therefore, the sun would be nearly set by the time I arrived, making it easier for me to move around undetected while I searched for Deckerdramon.

Or so I had hoped no more than ten minutes ago.

I suppose I oughtn’t be surprised. The guards working for the royal family of Lotisea were trained to detect the slightest of movements in areas of low visibility. As their princess — no, their heretical princess — I was recognized immediately, and subsequently bound and captured quite roughly by two JewelBeemon, with their sharp claws piercing the skin of my arms.

“Loralyn. You should not have returned,” one of the JewelBeemon said. “You were granted mercy by your parents and simply banished. But since you’ve returned…they may be liable to execute you.”

“…Does Deckerdramon know why I’ve left?” I asked.

“He does not,” the second JewelBeemon replied. “He was deceived into thinking you’d gone on a mere pilgrimage. You and I both know what his reaction would be if he found out why you were gone for as long as you have been…”

“You were always our Guardians’ favorite, you treasonous bitch!” the first JewelBeemon snapped. “So what if you’re a heretic?! Deckerdramon llllllllllooooovvvees you no matter what you think, even if it goes our kingdom’s doctrine! That stupid guardian should be executed too!”

“Enough, older brother,” the second JewelBeemon said, loosening his grip on my arm just enough to remove his claws from underneath my skin.

“But…that doctrine was made by the warrior who founded our kingdom! King Lotisea the First…Men must be brave, and women must be caring…”

“Brother; that doctrine was created over one-thousand years ago,” the younger JewelBeemon said. “Do you not suppose that something so…sexist…could be liable to change?”

“Silence, younger brother! That was the wish of the man who founded our forest kingdom! Do not speak ill of his words, lest you be punished alongside Loralyn!”

“…Yes…older brother…”

“…Say whatever you want. I will not take back what I said. I meant it,” I whispered.

“Why did you return?” the younger JewelBeemon asked quietly. “You must know what will happen to you…”

“…I needed to see Deckerdramon,” I answered. “There’s something I needed to talk to him about…”

“You might not get the chance, princess!” the elder JewelBeemon scoffed. “We ought to have killed you the moment we found you!”

“Her parents ultimately decide her fate, older brother. If we had killed her without their consent, even if it is their desire, they will be very cross with us,” the younger JewelBeemon said.

“Yeah, yeah…today’s your lucky day, princess.”

“…I’m sorry,” I heard the younger JewelBeemon whisper. “Many of us have wished for your return, milady…but not like this…”

“Please, don’t trouble yourself about it,” I said, smiling at the Ultimate Digimon. “If this is what the Goddess has planned for me…then I am prepared. But, I must speak to Deckerdramon no matter what!”

“…I’ll see what I can do.”

“All right, here we are!” The older of the two JewelBeemon brusquely pulled on my arm, attracting my attention to the small village before us. Saceaea Village. The door of one of the white stone houses opened up, and an elder-looking Insect Digimon stepped out. “Grandpa, keep watch over her, wouldja?!”

“Well, I suppose I could, since you asked so nicely,” the Digimon said, speaking in a wheezy, raspy voice that ended with a small laugh. “Come on inside, my dear. I’ll make you some tea…”

“No tea, Gramps! She’s a prisoner!” the older JewelBeemon snapped.

“Now, now, son; that’s no way to treat such a lovely young lady. Now, come on inside, dearie, and I’ll make you something warm to drink…”

“…You can’t argue with the wisdom of old age, brother,” the younger JewelBeemon said. “Come, let us depart, older brother.”

“Fine! But we’ll be back! And with a firing squad of Mothmon, too!” The older JewelBeemon spread his wings and flew off in a huff, leaving his younger brother behind.

“…I’ll do what I can to get your message to Deckerdramon,” the remaining JewelBeemon whispered before flying away after his brother.

“Come on inside out of the cold, dearie; and call me Zamielmon,” the grandfather of the two JewelBeemon said, walking back into his house. A small part of me wanted to run off, and find Deckerdramon on my own, but at the same time, I felt more than obliged to indulge myself in any rare kindness shown to me, in fear that it may not happen again.

“M-Mr. Zamielmon…I, um, suppose you might know who I am…”

“Of course; how could I forget?” Zamielmon asked. “My family has served yours for generations; I was with your sweet mother when you were born, dear Loralyn. I thought I’d never see you again…”

“Y-Yes…forgive me, but I…”

“You don’t remember my face; I’m not surprised,” Zamielmon smiled. “I’m not a knight like my grandchildren; not anymore. Five-hundred years ago, I was injured quite badly helping a few not-so-local heroes from Lachesis fight against some Bio Hybrids and reborn evil Digimon. Deckerdramon requested that I retire, but my family’s been serving the Syra’an Royal Family ever since.”

“Lachesis…That’s where I went when I was run out of my kingdom,” I whispered with a small laugh.

“Did you, now? Well, you walked into a loving family, I see,” Zamielmon said. “…I’d heard a rumor that you were forced away; your family told everyone you were kidnapped by some bandits…”

“…I’m not surprised…They never really cared about me,” I said.

“Loralyn…”

“Zamielmon, if my parents ever truly loved me, would they have left me for dead in the forest?” I asked.

“Think of it this way, my dear; if they didn’t love you, they would have executed you on the spot for your personal beliefs,” Zamielmon sighed. “…Here, the tea is done.”

“…Darjeeling. You know my favorite…”

“Now, Loralyn…You know what I’ve been wanting ask, don’t you?”

“…You want to know why I’m here,” I whispered. “…I needed to speak to Deckerdramon.”

“No doubt you’re aware….the circumstances of our small reunion isn’t a pleasure visit. If all goes as my older grandchild plans, you may very well be executed,” Zamielmon said. “I do hope you’ve a good reason for venturing this far into the forest kingdom…”

“Yes…Zamielmon, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’ve heard…rumors…of someone or something murdering powerful Digimon,” I said. “I was worried about Deckerdramon, so I—”

“So, you risked your life over a rumor,” Zamielmon sighed, scratching his long beard.

“I know it’s foolish to put any stock into silly rumors, but I was worried. If it were true, and something happened to Deckerdramon…I couldn’t live with myself…”

“Loralyn…Your heart has always been in the right place, my dear. A princess born noble and true, you are…You are every bit deserving of the title of a noblewoman as the old hero’s wife…”

“When you say hero…do you mean the ancestor to Matthew and Eleanora Kasuto?” I asked. “Zelda’s husband…”

“Indeed…Thomas Kasuto…he and his partner, Statuedramon, came here to save us from the Bio Hybrids and a reborn Horusmon,” Zamielmon said. “If you’re at Lachesis, surely you’ve met her; I’ve only had the pleasure once or twice meself…”

“Yes, I have; she’s a wonderful person,” I said. “But…There’s something…wrong with her…Whenever I’m around her, I can sense an incredible amount of sadness…”

“That’s to be expected, Loralyn; she outlived her husband and many of her descendants by several hundreds of years, all without showing signs of aging herself,” Zamielmon said. “Now, then…While my own grandchildren are away, why don’t you run along back home to Lachesis, and I’ll give Deckerdramon your message?”

“Zamielmon…I’m a prisoner. If they found out you let me escape, you’ll get in trouble…”

“Heh heh; I’m an old Digimon now. Lived one hell of a life. Married me a beautiful wife, had some wonderful children and grandchildren, met a number of heroes. So what if they assassinate me for some stupid reason? I’m okay with it,” Zamielmon smiled.

“…I’m not. I won’t let you die, Zamielmon, and I won’t let Deckerdramon die, either.”

“Well, you see…that may not be possible.” A voice, with the slightest hint of an accent, came from the other side of the front door of Zamielmon’s house, sending chills down my spine.

“…Loralyn…get away from here,” Zamielmon whispered. The front door of his house was destroyed, blasted away by some powerful attack, and a rather tall man barged in.

“You should listen to the old Digimon,” the man said. “I’ve no interest in killing Humans — only powerful Digimon. You know…like Deckerdramon.”

“…You’re the one…you’re the one I heard about,” I whispered.

“Oh, so ol’ Dayan has a reputation, does he? I guess killing a Digimon as powerful as Behemotmon will do that for a man.”

“No…”

“But, if you do decide to get in my way, doll, I won’t hesitate to kill you,” Dayan said, giving me a vile smirk.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 162 - Embrace the Madness

Loralyn Syra’an



“If you do decide to get in my way, doll, I won’t hesitate to kill you,” Dayan said, giving me a vile smirk that filled me with dread.

“My lady, stay away from this cretin!” Zamielmon yelled.

“Or what, you’re going to shoot me with an arrow? As if,” Dayan spat. “You’re a decrepit old ‘mon, Zamielmon. But you do have one thing that I need!”

“Arrow Lance!” Zamielmon readied the crossbows set on his arms, but before he could fire, Dayan rushed over and grabbed the elderly Digimon by the face.

“…You’re too slow, old man,” Dayan whispered. “Tear Arrow!” As soon as I glanced back over at Zamielmon, a large arrow made of ice tore through the back of his skull. I could say or do nothing as the beautifully glimmering frost now mired in crimson blood vaporized into water and vanished. Zamielmon’s data began to dissolve, but instead of dispersing into the air, it all went over to Dayan; the man became enveloped in an unearthly golden light as he absorbed the data of Zamielmon.

N-No…what…what the hell is going on?! This man…he can use the attacks of Digimon, and he killed…I have to get out of here…My mind is telling me to run, but my body refuses to move! I can’t…

“…Ah, the flavor of a Digimon’s data just gets better with age,” Dayan sighed. “…You, there. Like I said, killing Humans doesn’t get me any power, but if you get in my way, I won’t hesitate to cut your throat. So, what’ll it be, darling?”

“…N…No…I…I can’t—”

“—You’re so scared, you can’t move. Is that it?” Dayan asked. I said nothing, and instead simply stood my ground, trembling uncontrollably at the sight of Zamielmon’s murderer. “Well, you’re a good-looking lass, so I’ll spare you…as long as you stand still while I go to find Deckerdramon.”

“N-NO!” At last, my body began to move, although it did so with a mind of its own. I grabbed on to Dayan’s right arm as he began to walk off, although I did little to slow him down.

“So, you intend on dying after all, eh…?”

“I don’t care about myself, but I will not let you kill Deckerdramon, or anyone else!” I shouted.

“Well, that’s just too damn bad, because killing Deckerdramon is the only reason I came here,” Dayan sighed. “Zamielmon was simply…a nice little treat.”

“Get out…Get out of here, RIGHT NOW!” I screamed.

“Bow Cutter!” The limbs of a bow erupted from the sides of the arm I had grabbed and tore through the chest of my robes, leaving a thin, bloody cut on my skin, before proceeding to slash through the waist of my robes, knocking me to the ground. “Okay…An arrow to the face, and you’ll be as good as dead, darling. Sit tight…”

No…it can’t end…like this…Deckerdramon…

“Snipe Headshot!”

“Summon Card: Silver Wolf!” A large beast charged through the broken doorway of Zamielmon’s house, and shoved Dayan to the floor. The beast made a snap at Dayan’s neck, but the Human — at least, I thought he was a Human, though I was beginning to doubt this with each passing second — shoved his large fist into the beast’s mouth. Pulling back, the beast lunged at me, but instead of attacking, he shoved his head into my stomach and tossed me onto his back, running out of the building.

“Loralyn!” A fox-tailed Digimon, with Edmund Luxord at her side, ran up to me, and placed a hand over the silver wolf that had taken me away from Dayan. “You’re safe…thank goodness…”

“U-Um…who are you?” I asked.

“I’m Trionfimon; a Digimon from Lachesis,” the Digimon said. “I believe you know Edmund right here? I’m his…partner. Zelda and Dominimon found that note you left for us, so we came after you in case you were found by some palace guards.”

“I see…Well, I’m afraid I found worse than palace guards — and I found some of them, too.”

“The man you spoke of. In your letter…is he here?” Trionfimon asked. I nodded my head slowly, glancing over my shoulder in fear, but to my relief, Dayan was nowhere in sight.

“…Loralyn…why did you come here?” I heard Edmund ask from behind Trionfimon. “Deckerdramon is more powerful than you think; you and I both know he’ll be fine, no matter how powerful that man is.”

“No, you don’t understand, Edmund!” I exclaimed. “That man; he kills Digimon, and adds their power to his own. He even uses their attacks! He just killed Zamielmon with one of Lekismon’s attacks! He even told me that he murdered Behemotmon…”

“Behemotmon?! But that isn’t possible…Talosmon told me that he had killed him,” Edmund whispered.

“Trapped in the bottom of a ravine, buried under a pile of rubble…that necessarily won’t kill someone as powerful as Behemotmon.” The voice of Dayan once more filled my heart with dread, and as soon as I turned around, the large man had his hands wrapped around my throat. “You die first…Loralyn Syra’an!”

GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF HER!” Trionfimon screamed. The silver wolf beneath me reared up on its hind legs and lunged once again at Dayan, throwing me hastily off of its back.

“Dino Burst.” Dayan clamped the wolf’s snout shut, and struck the beast with a blast of fire that enveloped its entire body. “…Trionfimon…a summoner-type Digimon. If I take your power for my own, I’ll have an entire army literally in the palm of my hands!”

“Summon Card: White Dragon!”

“Jaws of Demise!” A massive dragon flew out from a card Trionfimon held up, but around its neck a pair of massive jaws formed of darkness snapped down and crushed the dragon’s neck. Like the wolf before it, the dragon dissolved into nothingness. “…A pity, really. These hallucinations of yours grant me no power when I kill them…But, when I kill you…” A loud snap echoed from behind me, and a burst of flames erupted from the ground around Dayan’s legs.

“…Let me warn you but one time,” Edmund said in a low whisper. “You threaten the woman I love again, the next place I burn will be your head. Is that understood, monster?”

“Heh; threaten me all you like, mage. Strike me with lightning, blast me with fire, it makes no difference; the power I’ve absorbed from all the Digimon I’ve slain will keep me alive throughout your pathetic onslaught! Go on, Human mage! Do your worst!” Dayan raised his arm up into the air, changing it into one of Zamielmon’s arrowguns, but before he could fire off a single arrow, from behind him, a different arm reached and grabbed Dayan by the neck.

“Maybe an ordinary Human can’t match up to you…but I assure you, Edmund Luxord is far more powerful than you could possibly comprehend,” Dominimon whispered. “But, you won’t live long enough to find out, because right here and now, I will destroy you!”

“Father…please, be careful…” Zelda, helping me to stand back up, looked cautiously over at Dominimon as the Angel wrenched Dayan’s wrist behind his back.

Wait…so, Dominimon is Zelda’s father, and Edmund is Trionfimon’s lover? I’ve been away for too long…

“Zelda, my dear, please stay back,” Dominimon said.

“Well, now this is interesting…On our way to find Deckerdramon, who bothers to show up other than my dear younger brother?!” The new voice seemed to be filled with the very essence of darkness itself. Dominimon flinched quite noticeably upon hearing it.

“…B…Brother?!” Dominimon whipped around, and gasped as another Angel Digimon approached. “…You’re alive?!”

“Oh, brother of higher faith; how little trust you have in your older brother ShadowSeraphimon…”

“…You aren’t my brother!” Dominimon snarled. “When we were both Patamon, you chose to go to the side of darkness; you left our family to swear loyalty IceDevimon!”

“Oh, you always did amuse me, younger brother,” ShadowSeraphimon said in a sneering voice. “You always said that I was a coward, joining him out of fear that his side would win…I laughed the rest of the day you said that, brother. You and I both know that I joined IceDevimon…sheerly out of loyalty!”

“…ShadowSeraphimon…You monster! What is it you want?!” Dominimon yelled.

“So…you finally want to know what I’m interested in?” ShadowSeraphimon whispered. “Well, since you asked me so nicely…I’ll tell you. Dominimon…IceDevimon promised me a reasonable slice of the world when his plan is complete. We, who are the chains who lead to his victory; we chains who shackle our enemies’ movements, their hopes and dreams; we have all been promised as such. We are all undyingly loyal to our lord and master IceDevimon!”

“You monster…I will destroy you!” Dominimon yelled.

“Well, go on then! Try your best, pathetic younger brother of mine!”

“Final Excalibur!”

“Strike of the Seven Dark Stars!” Dominimon raised a massive, glowing blade up into the air, aiming for ShadowSeraphimon’s neck. But suddenly, his arm stopped in midair. It trembled. And then, he fell. ShadowSeraphimon smiled, lowering his arms, and his brother fell to his back in a puddle of his own blood.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 163 - A Nightmare Revisited

Edmund Luxord



“Strike of the Seven Dark Stars!” Dominimon raised a massive, glowing blade up into the air, aiming for ShadowSeraphimon’s neck. But suddenly, his arm stopped in midair. It trembled. And then, he fell. ShadowSeraphimon laughed, lowering his arms, and his brother fell to his back in a puddle of his own blood.

“DOMINIMON!!!” Zelda watched on in horror as her father lay dying before her, a mere few feet away. She staggered, and fell to her knees as tears welled in her sapphire eyes. “No…father…this can’t be…happening…F…Father…”

“Zelda…please…listen to…me,” Dominimon muttered. “I don’t want…for you…to chase after revenge…the way you told me your sister had…”

“Father…please…don’t die…You can’t…you can’t do this to me! After everyone I’ve lost, I have to lose you now too?! WHY?!”

“Zelda…You cannot…spend your life chasing after the notion of revenge,” Dominimon coughed. “Promise me…that…you will always be…the sweet girl that I love so much…Live…as life dictates…and do as…your heart…commands…” Dominimon’s limp hand fell to the ground, and his body disintegrated into small fragments of data that were all absorbed by Dayan. Zelda screamed for her father one final time, and fell to the ground, unconscious.

“Dominimon…tell me…this isn’t happening,” I whispered. I’d known the Angel Digimon for a few hundred years; he had joined almost three-hundred years after I had been born. Whenever I missed my mother or father, I would always go to Dominimon. He always had this gentle and calm air about him; he was a good listener, and always said the most comforting words possible. I felt not the same pain as Zelda, but close — he was a father figure truly to us all at Lachesis, even those who were still blessed with parents in the guild. “…Trionfimon. Look after Zelda and Loralyn. I’m fighting him alone; and I will not let him claim one more life — my own included,” I whispered.

“No, Edmund.” His presence of his voice did not come as a surprise. As a Digimon Spirit, he and the others undoubtedly felt the same pain as the woman who held their Talismans. Mercurymon stepped forward, and placed a hand on my shoulder. “This monster has hurt our master, and claimed the life of a friend to all of us of Lachesis,” the Digimon Spirit continued. “Leave this fight to the lot of us.” One after another, the remainder of Zelda’s Digimon Spirits summoned themselves unto this plane of existence. Seadramon, Dokugumon, Greymon, and Okuwamon all glared down Dayan, and began slowly surrounding him with Mercurymon.

“Digimon Spirits…Digimon ghosts, essentially,” Dayan whispered. “Killing the dead will give me no power. I desire only to destroy the living. You Spirits will give me no strength, so get out of my way!”

“I think not; only she, who owns our Talismans, can rightfully give us orders,” Mercurymon said.

“However, since she lays unconscious…we act of our own accord,” Seadramon added.

“We’re acting as our hearts command…like Dominimon wished of his daughter,” Greymon said.

“And our hearts are telling us to destroy you!” Dokugumon exclaimed.

“We shall tear you to pieces!” Okuwamon screeched.

“…Shine Breaker.” Numerous armaments erupted from all over Dayan’s body, firing off blasts of light energy aimed at all of the Digimon Spirits, but without warning, the light bent and dove right into the shields on Mercurymon’s arms.

“Dark Reflection!” Mercurymon raised his arms, and reflected Dayan’s attack directly back at the monster.

“…It truly is a shame. If you were a real Digimon like Deckerdramon, your powers would assist me greatly,” Dayan sighed. The reflected strike just narrowly missed him, and struck the ground a few feet behind him.

But Mercurymon is a real Digimon…Oh…I suppose I oughtn’t to mention that to Dayan…Mercurymon will disappear temporarily like a regular Spirit, but if Dayan loads his data…

“Final Excalibur!” A sword materialized in Dayan’s hand, and before Mercurymon could move, Dayan threw the weapon directly into Mercurymon’s face. The glass shattered, and the Digimon Spirit vanished, much to the surprise of the other four Digimon Spirits.

“You bastard! Now you’re going to get it! Nova Blast!”

“Terra Hydro Breath!” Dayan pointed his hands at Greymon, and struck the Spirit with a powerful blast of water, tearing a hole through the Digimon’s chest. One after another, Dayan attacked the remaining three Digimon Spirits as they approached him until they were all gone. “…What a waste…those five were all so powerful. Especially Mercurymon…his reflection abilities would be so helpful…”

This isn’t good…not even Mercurymon stood a chance…

“Now, then…I’ll just load Trionfimon’s data and go on to take Deckerdramon’s, and call it a day,” Dayan said. I clenched my fists, and readied a spell in my mind when Dayan reached out and grabbed me by the neck. “Too bad, mage; you’re too dangerous for me to let you live. But, think of it this way; you won’t have to watch your girlfriend die. And now that you can’t talk, you can’t cast any of your bastard spells!”

Foolish idiot…I reached and grabbed Dayan’s wrist, and watched as my spell seared his hand clear off his arm. He pulled back a bloody stump of an arm immediately with a look of anguish and fury mixed in his baleful grey eyes. “…Nonverbal spellcasting is difficult; it requires concentration and mental discipline. Of course, I had all the time in the world to practice.”

“You die…NOW!” Another one of Dominimon’s blades apparated in Dayan’s uninjured hand, and pointed it directly at my chest.

“NOBODY IS KILLING ANYBODY TODAY!!!” Both Dayan and I froze in place when the thunderous voice spoke, and without warning, a barrage of missiles rained down from the sky, kicking up a storm of dust and flames that separated us from each other’s view. The ground beneath us quaked viciously with the coming footsteps of a massive beast. “NOBODY…EXCEPT FOR YOU, BASTARD!” The dust of the explosion was blown away by a single swipe of an immense tail, revealing none other than Deckerdramon.

Matthew Kasuto



“So…Zelda has already left,” I whispered, speaking to nobody in particular.

I don’t sense Edmund’s magic anywhere nearby; I think he and Trionfimon could have gone with her, Katsumi added.

“Yeah, I saw them and Dominimon leave earlier this morning; some kinda hurry,” AeroVeedramon yawned.

“And you didn’t…bother asking what they were doing?” Flamedramon asked.

“Um, not much occurs to AeroVeedramon in between his naps,” Mia said. “After all, those breaks only last for a few seconds…”

“Is that so…? I guess it’ll be quite a while before they get back,” Abigail sighed.

“Yes, plenty of time for me to continue going over what I know about those servants of IceDevimon,” Reapermon said.

“…I’d really like my son to be here for this, not to mention Zelda and Dominimon, but I guess it can’t be helped,” Flamedramon said.

But…where did she go?! AeroVeedramon said they were in a hurry; what if they’re in danger?!

There’s nothing we can do about it right now; we have no way of knowing where they went,
Katsumi said.

“Now, then…where did I leave off?” Reapermon asked.

“Yesterday, you told us about a Digimon called ShadowSeraphimon,” I said.

“Right…As I’ve said, I never personally met any of the others, but working as a bounty hunter, you hear a good many things,” Reapermon said. “Apparently, that one is searching to corrupt the light of noble warriors, and convert them into darkness to not only power himself, but to keep him and the others from being destroyed by those lights.”

“Noble warriors…you mean, like everyone here at Lachesis?” Abigail asked.

“Not just you lot; warriors separate from this guild. Knights from all over the continent have displayed both legendary prowess and valor. Omnimon of Valencia and Dynasmon of Shendu have been especially skillful in making names for themselves in their respective regions. I’ve no doubt ShadowSeraphimon intends to deliver them to the side of darkness…for his safety and the sake of power.”

“What?! Are you certain of this?!” Flamedramon exclaimed.

“Certain?! Goddess, no! It just sounds like something he would do,” Reapermon said.

“Then what are you certain of?! What will happen that you know of?” Flamedramon asked. “Look, I don’t care about their personal lives. I just want to know what will happen so that we can stop it. Okay?”

“Understood…Have you ever heard of the Tower of Progression?” Reapermon asked.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 164 - Chaos

Edmund Luxord



“NOBODY IS KILLING ANYBODY TODAY!!!” Both Dayan and I froze in place when the monstrous voice spoke, and without warning, a barrage of missiles rained down from the sky, kicking up a storm of dust and flames that separated us from each other’s view. The ground beneath us quaked viciously with the coming footsteps of a massive beast. “NOBODY…EXCEPT FOR YOU, BASTARD!” The dust of the explosion was blown away by a single swipe of an immense tail, revealing none other than Deckerdramon himself.

“Ah, there you are…What a glorious sight to behold!” Dayan exclaimed. “Yes, I can sense just how powerful you are just by gazing upon thee…I can only dream of how powerful I will become when I absorb your data! I may very well become drunk with power!”

“…You are already drunk if you think you can defeat me,” Deckerdramon whispered in a soft voice. “My armor was blessed by Goddess Arcadia herself, in person. My artillery was forged in the flames of the master blacksmith, Vulcanusmon. The ultimate offence and defense in one being; you have no hope of destroying me with strength stolen from other ordinary Digimon!”

“Ordinary?! I’ll show you just how ordinary Behemotmon is! Earth Ravager!”

“Crocodile Cannons!” A rain of dark maroon flames rained down from the sky, but each and every one of them were struck down by one of Deckerdramon’s missiles. “Behemotmon…his power pales drastically in comparison to my own; he even said so himself. He was too much of a coward to face me in battle of his own volition. He was racked with fear the last time we met, around 200 years ago, when Azulongmon and I sealed him away in the Black Rose Mountains.”

“You lie…Behemotmon is strong! Stronger than you think! I know; I can feel his power flowing through me! His power…his power…power…” Dayan looked down at the ground, and fell silent. “…POWER! All of it…beLONGs…to ME!!!” The created man instantly raised his head; his eyes were encompassed in a crimson glare as a shadowy aura was released from his body. “DIE…DIE…DIE! ALL OF YOU…DIE!!!” A sword of Dominimon’s materialized in Dayan’s hand, and the man rushed towards the immense Deckerdramon.

“…Cyclone Crusher!” With a sigh of exhaustion, Deckerdramon swung his massive tail and struck Dayan in the ribs, sending the man flying into a stone building. “The darkness of that monster has already taken a hold of him…That just might make our job much more difficult, son of Flamedramon.”

“I understand,” I whispered. “Corrupted by darkness as he is, he can move without fear for his own life. He truly has become a…monster…”

“Yes; a simple-minded beast that seeks only slaughter and destruction. Not really too different from before, if you think about it,” Deckerdramon said. “But, if this goes on, the darkness will swallow his mind, and he will fully develop into the very puppet he was intended to be when he was created. Just another slave to darkness, no longer his own being…We must destroy him now, for necessity, and…out of pity. A monster he may be, neither Human nor Digimon, nor even bearing the Mark, he is alive in his own way. But not for long…If we kill him now, he may still have his dignity intact when he breathes his last…”

Right, because that is so fucking important…

“Like it or not, we must slay Dayan to preserve his humanity, or whatever the hell he is,” Deckerdramon said. “As the guardian of Lotisea Province, this is my decree!”

“GRAHAHAHA! AND AS THE VESSEL FOR BEHEMOTMON’S INNER DARKNESS, IT IS MY DECREE THAT YOU SHALL ALL PERISH BY MY OWN HAND!!!” Dayan screamed. “EARTH RAVAGER!”

“Crocodile Cannons!” Repeating their previous spar, Deckerdramon fired missiles at each of the flames Dayan called forth from the sky. “Edmund! Confine his movements!”

“Leave it to me!” Trionfimon winked. “Support Card: Binding Chains!” Large metal chains erupted from the ground at Trionfimon’s feet, constraining Dayan’s arms and legs behind his back. “Now, it’s time to have some fun! Support Card: Thunder!”

“Tear Arrow!” Dayan snapped his fingers, and a single crystalline arrow tore into Trionfimon’s hip; the card she held slipped from her fingers and fell slowly to the ground. The arrow vanished, and Trionfimon dropped to her knees, clutching her bleeding side. “HAHA! AND NOW TO MAKE YOUR POWER MY OWN! AN ARMY OF INFINITY RIGHT IN THE PALMS OF MY HANDS!”

“You keep your hands off of her!” I screamed. With a single snap of fingers, Dayan became consumed in a raging inferno of my own magical creation as I ran over to Trionfimon’s side.

“Dear…don’t worry…it’s not too bad,” Trionfimon whispered. “I stopped the bleeding with a Healing card…But I—”

“No, please don’t talk. You need to save your strength,” I whispered back, giving her a kiss on her forehead. “Please…”

“M-Mr. Edmund! Dayan’s moving again!” Loralyn exclaimed.

“Not for long!” Deckerdramon raised his tail up into the air, and slammed it down onto Dayan, pinning him to the ground. “Any final words, monster?!”

“…Yeah…It’s a shame I wasn’t able to get your data today. Zamielmon was a decent consolation prize, and he’ll hold me over until I can take your data. Yours and…the others.”

“Others?! Who are—?!”

“Shine Breaker!” Multiple golden beams of light shot out from Dayan’s body, lighting up the entire sky with its unmatched radiance. It vanished shortly thereafter, and Dayan along with it.

“…Who is he going after?!” I screamed.
Eleanora Kasuto



“Have you ever heard of the Tower of Progression?” Reapermon asked.

“…I have,” I whispered. “A few years ago, when I was on duty in the archives with Katsumi, we found a rather ancient book detailing the process of Digivolution. It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know about Digivolution itself, but we found a chapter about that tower. Katsumi said that the tower stabilizes Digivolution, or something like that…”

“Indeed…that tower is exactly as your friend told you. It is because of that tower that Digimon are able to Digivolve, or so it has been said,” Reapermon said. “Well…at the very least, it has something to do with Digivolution. The most common theory is that, while the Tower of Progression doesn’t cause or enable Digivolution, there is a very real possibility that, if it were to fall, then all the land will be thrown into chaos. Digivolution will cease to function properly — it may not work for some, and others will propel faster down their evolutionary line, at the extent of their lifespan. Others yet may Digivolve into a Digimon they may not be able to ordinarily — land Digimon becoming Fish Digimon, fiery Digimon turning to ice. Many will die instantly…Countless, innocent lives…”

“…And you think that something is going to happen there?” Flamedramon asked.

“Without any doubt. Back when IceDevimon thought I was nothing more than a loyal pawn of his, I heard from a few Tsukaimon that an agent has already been posted inside of the tower. He or she plans on making their move sometime soon…and when that happens, the tower will fall.”

“Damn it; we can’t let this happen! Where is this tower?!” Flamedramon exclaimed.

“…Right here on Arcadia, in Elphierr Territory. On the border of the territory and the desert province,” Reapermon whispered.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 165 - Soul Stealer

Edmund Luxord



“…He’s really gone,” I whispered. “I can’t sense his presence anymore…”

“That is to be expected, son of Flamedramon,” Deckerdramon replied. “His goals are too important to him for him to risk it in a battle he knows he cannot win.”

“I see…and also…” I glanced over at Zelda, lying unconscious with her head in Loralyn’s lap. “…Dominimon…We’ve lost Dominimon…”

“Words cannot begin to express my sorrow at the loss of your comrade,” Deckerdramon whispered. “I’ve met the man before on one of his pilgrimages about 420 years ago; he was a very kind and gentle Digimon, especially for a priest…”

“…And he was Zelda’s father,” Trionfimon said.

“Is that so…Just another reason to mourn,” Deckerdramon said in a lamentful voice. “…Warriors of Lachesis. I have been your ally since long before the formation of your guild, as an old friend of Apollomon, and I shall remain as such until the end of time. I know not what is going to happen in your future…And believe me when I say that I would do anything to go back home with you and help you, but as the guardian of Lotisea Province…I simply cannot.”

“I understand,” I replied. “Without you here, your kingdom is severely at risk of invasion by IceDevimon’s forces. We cannot let that happen…”

“I’m sorry…But, if things get really bad, then send word my way. I will drop everything at once to come and aid you, no matter what,” Deckerdramon said. “…This was a promise I made 500 years ago to your guild, but I wasn’t able to uphold it way back then; I am truly ashamed of my inaction. But now…while I may be on standby, I hereby declare myself a member of your Guild.”

“Well…that…was sudden,” I said. “…Very well. As our guildmaster’s son, I hereby accept your request to join Lachesis, Deckerdramon. Welcome to the Lachesis Mercenary Guild.”

“Edmund Luxord, I humbly do thank thee. And now…”

“Yes…what ought we do now?” I asked.

“Shouldn’t we go back home?” Loralyn asked. “We need to get Zelda back home; the poor dear needs to rest…”

“But…what about Dayan?” Trionfimon asked. “He said he was going after someone else; shouldn’t we go after him too? And ShadowSeraphimon; where did he go? It’s like he vanished the moment he killed Dominimon…”

“Yes, that would undoubtedly be the ideal choice, but then, can we defeat him with just the two of us?” I asked. “Let us return home for now…we don’t even know which way Dayan went. Trying to track him down won’t do us any good…”
Flamedramon



Reapermon had been leading us towards the desert province of Cyprus for half a day now. It was decided that Abigail and I would be the only ones to follow Reapermon into the desert, while the others would all remain home; traveling in the desert was no easy task, even for those of us who were used to it, and even I was not looking forward to the arduous trek. Although the desert didn’t exactly have the fondest of memories for me, being the place of my original birth, the weight of our current predicament was the foremost thought on my mind. I looked to my side, catching a smile from my beautiful wife, Abigail.

“…That’s right; neither of us have fond memories of this hellhole of a desert, do we?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know; we met here for the first time, back when you were called John,” Abigail whispered back. “My hometown wasn’t exactly an oasis, but I will always love it for being the place we met for the first time, my beloved Flamedramon…”

“Yes…that’s the one good thing about my desert memories…You,” I added. “Oh, wait…Thomas and Zelda were both from the desert as well, weren’t they?”

“Oh, yes, that’s right; two more darlings for me to fawn over…” Abigail giggled, and grabbed on to my arm. “…Your muscles feel so tense; you need to relax, dear. You don’t want to be all sore when we reach the tower, do you?”

“…IF we reach the tower,” I whispered. “I’m still not entirely certain we can trust Reapermon…”

“Whyever not? He’s one of Zelda’s Digimon Spirits, after all; and let’s not forget that he has all of that history with Statch,” Abigail said.

“…Whatever. I don’t doubt that he’s leading us to the tower…but, at least for now, I shall withhold my trust. He’s a Virus type, after all…”

“Yeah? And so is LadyDevimon,” Abigail pointed to herself. I sighed, and looked back over my shoulder. Our journey through the desert had taken a little more than a day and a half, and Abigail was showing signs of the desert environment taking its toll on her stamina. But not once did she complain.

“You two…we’ve arrived!” Reapermon exclaimed. I looked up ahead of me, into the sunset-orange sky at the looming black tower that tore out of the horizon. “The Tower of Progression…we’re here, my friends.”
ShadowSeraphimon



Dominimon was dead. My own brother, slain by my hand. That was the only thing that mattered to me. It mattered not that Dayan absorbed his data, for I had obtained something far greater — his DigiCore. Yes, it was his DigiCore that I truly sought; his data meant nothing to me. And now, with it sitting in the palm of my hand, glowing a radiant gold, I smiled.

“That’s one more I found, bringing the total to nine,” I whispered. “Not to mention…I was lucky enough to grab ahold of Zamielmon’s DigiCore when Dayan killed him; lucky me, indeed. I just need one more, and then I will have ten…”

“Admiring the spoils of the kill, m’lord?”

“Ah…there you are, Bahira,” I whispered. “Have you been well, your honor?” Bahira, a large man in pale blue and dark violet judge’s robes, smiled down at me, his face illuminated and shadowed by the glow of Dominimon’s DigiCore.

“Yes, very well, good sir, very well indeed…So, you say you’ve obtained DigiCore the ninth, then?” Bahira asked.

“Yes; from my own brother, Dominimon.”

“Your brother? My, ‘tis a right shame…Siblings ought not to quarrel, m’lord sir,” Bahira sighed. “God will pass judgment upon you sooner than you may expect…”

“Have you found a suitable candidate for our tenth?” I asked, ignoring the man’s comment.

“No, m’lord; I knew not which Digimon would be slain by your hand, so I was uncertain whom else to track down for you,” Bahira said.

“No matter; I understand. Our tenth hunt shall be a DigiCore from a dragon.”

“Dragon…huh…So, do you know where it is that Lachesis is headed, m’lord sir?” Bahira asked.

“No…enlighten me, Bahira.” The lead servant of mine grinned wide, showing his array of large teeth.

“Last I checked, a pair of the Lachesian Warriors were seen heading for the Tower of Progression with the traitorous Reapermon at the helm.”

“…That is a surprise,” I whisper. “Well, now…time to reave some traitors and steal some Cores!” I glanced at Bahira and returned his smile, revolting though his might be and hidden though mine might be behind my helm. “…Bahira…The Tower…Who guards it, my friend?”

“The Tower is guarded by four powerful wizards, each one representing one of the four classical elements,” Bahira said. “Eveene of the Great Sea, a woman neutral in all matters. Amiri of the Great Sky, a bit of a reckless man. Desdemona of the Great Flame, a kind but impatient young woman. And finally…the strongest of the lot…Jarod of the Great Earth…”

“He can’t be too powerful; he’s only Human,” I said.

“Well, as far as Humans are concerned, his magical prowess is on par with even the Archsage of Lachesis,” Bahira said. “However, we have not only them to worry about, but their familiars.”

“Ah, yes; the guardians of the tower,” I replied. “…Well…we’ll deal with them when the time comes, my friend.”

“As we always do, m’lord sir.”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 166 - The Tower of Progression

Desdemona of the Great Flame



The Tower of Progression always seemed so empty; cold and lonely, nary a soul to be seen during most hours of the long, long day. Only the other three guardians, and our four familiars, were the only people I saw on a day-to-day basis. And yet, I was very rarely lonely. My own familiar, DemiMeramon, always made sure of it.

“Dezzie, my dear, have you finished your studies for the day?” DemiMeramon asked. The small Digimon hovered up above my shoulder.

“Oh, hey, Demi! Yup, I’m all done!” I exclaimed. “And now, it’s playtime!!! Let’s go!”

“Yes, dear; let me just check your…progress. Hm…”

“So, what should we do first, DemiMeramon?!” I exclaimed. I looked around my room, a veritable volcanic paradise filled with lava, and eruptions of flame in the distance. Everything in sight was in flame, aside from the desk I did my boring old studies on, unfortunately. The best part was, as one of the four guardians of the Tower of Progression, I didn’t feel any of the heat! In fact, my magic power was augmented daily just by spending time in this special room of flames.

“…Desdemona, come here for a moment…”

“So, what d’ya think?” I asked.

“…You completely skipped this section on D.N.A. Digivolution,” DemiMeramon sighed. “Finish that section first, and then we can play.”

“But, that section is so hard,” I whined. “I don’t understand a thing that dusty old book is saying, so I just skipped it! No big deal.”

“Dezzie, D.N.A. Digivolution is indeed one of the most complex subjects; not much is known about it,” DemiMeramon admitted. “But, that is why you must study it so carefully. As a guardian of the Tower of Progression, you must study every form of Digivolution around, from Armor to D.N.A. to Spirit.”

“Oh…Spirit, too…?”

“…You skipped the sections on Spirit Evolution, didn’t you…” DemiMeramon sighed.

“No, not Spirit Evolution! Just Spirit Unification…”

“Desdemona—”

“Oh, it’s not too big of a deal; nobody has even seen the Spirits of the Legendary Warriors for hundreds of years! I’m sure it won’t matter that I skip that section, anyway.”

“Oh, Desdemona…You mustn’t be so impatient all the time, my dear,” DemiMeramon sighed. “This is why I can’t Digivolve to the Mega level like the other three familiars; I can only go as far as Ultimate.”

“B-But…that shouldn’t have anything to do with how little I understand my studies…”

“Desdemona, please—”

“DESDEMONA!” I instantly froze up. The loud, booming voice of Jarod of the Great Earth echoed from the bottom floor of the tower.

“…D-Did you tell on me, DemiMeramon?” I asked.

“No; you know I wouldn’t ever sell you out to…that man,” DemiMeramon whispered. “He’s too scary…”

“DESDEMONA!” Jarod hollered again. “Come down here. We have visitors!”

“…Visitors? Here?” DemiMeramon asked. “How rare…”

“Ooh, maybe they’ll play with me! How exciting!” I exclaimed. “I’m coming, Mr. Jarod!!!”
Flamedramon



“Ah, so you are the warriors of Lachesis we have heard about. It is an honor to have your presence here at this noble tower. I am Jarod of the Great Earth,” a rather elderly man dressed in blue-trimmed white robes spoke to us; in his hand was a long brown staff with a violet jewel at the top. This bottom floor of the tower was pure white, made of marble and quite pleasantly cool compared to the scorching winds of the vast desert province. Four hallways sat in the middle of one of the four walls of this nice, cool room.

At Jarod’s side was his own familiar, a Tsunomon, and leaning against one of the walls of the room was another man introduced to us as Amiri of the Great Sky, a blond man dressed in red and brown robes; his familiar, a Yokomon, sat atop his head, and in his own hand was a green staff with an emerald jewel at its top.

“What could warrant a visit from our world’s greatest mercenary guild?” I hesitated for a moment at Jarod’s question; I was uncertain about telling these two our reason for visiting the tower. Reapermon had told us that there was an agent of IceDevimon’s within the Tower; what if it had been either Jarod or Amiri?

“Well, we had heard of your tower from a book found in our archives,” I began. That part, at least, was true. “We simply wished to visit and learn what we could about this Tower; I apologize we were not able to give any warning to our sudden visit, and I do hope we are not being a bother—”

“Oh, nonsense; brave heroes are always welcome here at our Tower!” Jarod boomed. Soft footsteps echoed from one of the four hallways leading out of the room, and into one of the four smaller towers at the sides of the main structure. “Ah, and here comes another of our guardians.”

“Took ya’ long enough, Dezzie,” Amiri sneered as a young girl, dressed in a red-trimmed black kimono, with short, bright red hair skipped into the room, followed by a DemiMeramon. In her hand was a red staff with a ruby jewel at its top.

“Desdemona of the Great Flame, did you finish your studies for the day, my dear?” Jarod asked.

“Uh, y-yep! Sure did, grampa! Yup! Totally finished…”

“And where is Miss Eveene?” Amiri asked. “We’ve got honored guests; she ought to show her pretty little face around here, don’t you think?”

“Don’t patronize Lady Eveene, Amiri. You know she rarely leaves her room,” Jarod said, giving Amiri a stern glare.

“Through choice; it’s not like she’s ill or anything,” Amiri snorted. “If she were injured, it would be a different matter; but she rarely gets up off her ass—”

“Amiri! That is enough!” Jarod snapped.

“Right, right, I’m sorry,” Amiri sighed. “She rarely gets up off that nice, tight little ass—”

“AMIRI!” Jarod raised his staff, and struck Amiri on the top of his head with it.

“Um, Mr. Jarod? Want me to go and get Miss Eveene to meet our gests?” Desdemona asked.

“No, do not worry about her for now. She will leave her room when she desires,” Jarod replied.

Hm…Not here at the moment? Could she be the agent of darkness…?

“…Is there a problem, Flamedramon?” Jarod asked.

“No…No problem at all, Lord Jarod,” I whispered.

“Is that so…Flamedramon, why don’t you tell us why you and your guild have decided to venture our way?” Amiri asked. “I don’t think you’re telling us the entire story…”

“Oh yeah, why are you guys here?” Desdemona asked. “Just checking out the tower or something?”

“Well, that is what they say; I do not peg them to be liars,” Jarod commented.

“…Well, I suppose there’s no harm in telling you,” I said, glancing over at Abigail.

“Before we tell you…have you heard about IceDevimon?” Reapermon asked. Desdemona gasped, and clutched her staff against her chest. Jarod shut his eyes, and looked down and away, while Amiri gave a rather nasty, hate-filled grimace at the sound of IceDevimon’s name. “…I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Well, we’ve received word that an agent of his is here inside of the Tower of Progression,” I said.

“What?! This cannot be!” Jarod exclaimed. “The Tower of Progression was specifically designed with a magical barrier to ward off evil! None with darkness in their hearts may enter this sacred domain!”

“Well, to be perfectly fair, I of all people was able to enter,” I said. “I’ve got a hell of a lot of sins left to atone for; if someone like me can enter, then certainly some goon of IceDevimon could easily get in…”

“Flamedramon…You cannot honestly expect me to believe an ally of IceDevimon would be able to enter this tower, do you?!” Jarod snapped.

“…You’d better believe it. Because, you see…the agent of darkness is already here,” Reapermon said quietly. Without another word, he raised his Judgment Sickle up into the air, pointing it directly at Amiri’s head.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 167 - The Agent of Darkness

Flamedramon



“Flamedramon…You cannot honestly expect me to believe an ally of IceDevimon would be able to enter this tower, do you?!” Jarod snapped.

“…You’d better believe it. Because, you see…the agent of darkness is already here,” Reapermon said quietly. Without another word, he raised his Judgment Sickle up into the air, pointing it directly at Amiri’s head. The guardian of the tower simply looked on, slumped against one of the walls of the room.

“Reapermon! What is the meaning of this?!” I exclaimed. “You…it was you all along?!”

“Don’t get in my way, Flamedramon!” Reapermon shot back. “Serpent Flame Purgatory!” Amiri raised his staff to block Reapermon’s attack, creating a barrier of wind to nullify Reapermon’s flames. Yokomon was blown off of the guardian’s sandy-blond hair and fell to the floor behind his master.

“REAPERMON! Cease this at once!” I screamed, tackling the Mega Digimon to the ground. The Serpent Flame Purgatory spiraled out of control and blasted the wall just above Amiri’s head, but the wind guardian jumped and rolled out of the way of both the attack and the falling rubble from the wall it hit.

“…How did you know it was me?” Amiri asked.

“W…What?!” Jarod gasped, looking up at Amiri. “Amiri…?!”

“…I’m surprised you didn’t already know by now, old man,” Amiri said.

“You’re IceDevimon’s pawn?!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, that’s him, all right; traitorous bastard,” Reapermon grunted.

“Traitor…what a funny word for you to use, Reapermon,” Amiri said. “You were a loyal pawn of darkness too, right? Or, so we all thought…devious, wretched traitor!”

“Grim Slasher!”

“Yokomon; destroy them now!” Amiri grabbed Yokomon, and threw the familiar into the air as it became enveloped in the light of Digivolution.

“Yokomon Warp Digivolve to, Gryphonmon!” The Mega Digimon shrieked, and pounced down on me, pinning me to the floor. “You, master of Lachesis; you shall be the first I kill!”

“Heh; not planning on killing me, eh?” Reapermon asked.

“Oh, I plan on making your death as painful as I know how, traitor!” Amiri spat. “All in the name of Lady Kiara!”

“Kiara? Who is that?!” I asked. “I thought you served IceDevimon!”

“IceDevimon…? Honestly…I never even heard the name before today; I only grimaced to keep these two dopes in the dark,” Amiri pointed at Desdemona and Jarod. “Of course, that had to end the moment you attacked me,” Amiri sneered. “Lady Kiara…is the only person deserving of my undying loyalty and respect! And Gryphonmon agrees!” The massive Digimon pinning me to the ground smirked, and dug his sharp claws into my shoulders. As my blood slowly seeped onto the floor, I began to lose my patience.

“Fire Rock—!”

“Nope; wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Laughing, Gryphonmon slammed the side of his claw against my neck; I could practically hear the snap as he forced me to look up at Amiri; with his arm secured around Desdemona’s chest and his staff pressed up against her neck as she lay helplessly on the ground, staring up in terror at her captor, I extinguished my flames and grimaced as Amiri grinned wider. “One wrong move from you or your lovely wife, and I’ll rip out all the air from this little lady’s lungs. She’ll be dead in seconds!”

“N-No…Amiri…don’t do this!” Desdemona whispered.

“Get your hands off of her!” DemiMeramon squealed, flying up to Amiri’s head, but all the wind mage had to do was blow lightly and the small In-Training Digimon fell to the floor, only to be stomped on by Amiri.

“…What is it you want, Amiri?!” Jarod asked, speaking in a cautious voice. The whole time he spoke, his eyes were fixated on Desdemona.

“Oh, so now you’re actually interested in what I want, is that it, old man?!” Amiri snapped. “…Whatever. It’s not like I’m the real guardian of the Wind Tower. I’m only here on Lady Kiara’s behalf to stir up a bit of havoc and raise some hell.”

“And who is this Lady Kiara? Tell me more about her if you’d please,” Jarod said.

“I have absolutely no obligation whatsoever to do that,” Amiri said in a coy voice. “She is a real beauty, though. Most beautiful I’ve ever seen, really…”

“Okay…now, did this beautiful woman specifically tell you to do harm to Desdemona?” Jarod asked.

“Not Dezzie specifically, but she did say killing the lot of you would be quite okay with her.”

“Amiri…”

“Don’t even try to waste time convincing me not to hurt you, now,” Amiri said. “I was a part of her army long before I met you. There’s nothing you can say or do to keep me from wanting to take your lives!”

“Oh, naughty, naughty…What kind of misbehaving are you up to now, Amiri?” A sweet, calm voice echoed with almost liquid-like clarity throughout the entire room. Without warning, Gryphonmon was struck by some unseen force, shoving him off of me and tearing his claws out of my shoulders.

“Are you okay, honey?!” Abigail exclaimed, kneeling at my side.

“I’m fine…but…”

“Who did that?! Eveene, is that you?!” Amiri shouted.

“Oh, darling Amiri; you should already be aware of the tricks up my sleeve!” Desdemona slowly turned her head around to face Amiri, but the moment I blinked, the young woman’s flaming red hair instantly changed to a deep, midnight blue, while her red and black kimono changed to a cropped, light blue tank top and matching dress skirt, while her red staff turned to blue with a sapphire jewel at its top. Perplexed, Amiri looked away from the bluenette and up at Desdemona, who stood before the wind mage, also appearing slightly confused.

“Y-You…?! When the hell did you switch places with her, Eveene?!” Amiri exclaimed.

“Amiri, you should know me better than that,” Eveene whispered, gently sliding her way out of Amiri’s grip. “I’m the slippery one, after all, darling. Guardian of the Water Tower, you know?”

“Damn; that does it! Prepare to say goodbye to DemiMeramon!” Amiri shoved Eveene away into Desdemona, and slammed his foot down onto where DemiMeramon had been; however, his foot slipped, and the traitorous mage fell over and landed on his back. I looked down on the floor, and saw only a Bukamon.

“Oh, yes, did I mention my familiar’s magic had her swap places with Dezzie’s?” Eveene smiled.

“Eveene…you never cease to amaze me,” Jarod whispered. “Flamedramon; Reapermon; Abigail. Will you now aid us in the fight against this traitorous scum?!”

“With pleasure,” I replied, twisting a flame around my right arm.

“Gryphonmon! Deal with them! There is something I need to find here in the Tower!” Amiri yelled. The Mega level reared up on his hind legs and roared. I shot out a stream of flames from my claws, but all Gryphonmon had to do was flap his massive wings to scatter my flames.

“Damn; no good…”

“Flamedramon, do not despair; just prepare for battle! Digimon Familiars; Warp to your Mega forms!” Jarod commanded. “DemiMeramon! You…you just go as far as you can.” The small In-Training Digimon gave an annoyed glance over at Desdemona, and flew away from the fire mage to join both Tsunomon and Bukamon.

“Tsunomon Warp Digivolve to, Craniamon!”

“Bukamon Warp Digivolve to, Plesiomon!”

“DemiMeramon Warp Digivolve to, Volcdramon!”

“Heh; you three don’t stand a chance against me! Especially you, Volcdramon! Heh…only an Ultimate level. How pathetic!” Gryphonmon screeched.

“Urgh; don’t remind me,” Volcdramon whispered.

“Gryphonmon; just surrender now! You know damn well you are the weakest among us all! One attack from me, and you’ll be deleted!” Craniamon bellowed

“That may be…but, who said I would attack any of you Digimon?!” Gryphonmon asked.

“Duo Solar Spear!”

“Shaking Pulse!”

“Volcanic Fount!” Gryphonmon spread his wings, and soared over Craniamon, Plesiomon, and Volcdramon, and effortlessly maneuvered around a twist of fire shot out from the palm of my claws, and landed in front of Eveene and Desdemona.

“You two…die! NOW!” With a look of fright, Desdemona shrank away from the Mega Digimon; Eveene, still smiling, swung her staff in defense of Gryphonmon’s claws.

“Gryphonmon, please; even I can kick your ass!” Eveene smirked.

“Möbius Bite!” Without her noticing, Gryphonmon’s tail lashed out and bit Eveene’s waist. The guardian of water shrieked, and dropped her staff.
Amiri



The sounds of battle reverberated from many stories down the Tower of Progression. I heard a shriek from Gryphonmon — or possible Desdemona; it was hard for me to differentiate between the two at times, particularly from this far away — and a mighty tremor shook the very core of the tower. I sighed, and looked up. While the others had been preoccupied by my familiar, I had escaped up the main, center tower; the smaller towers of us four guardians surrounded this main tower, to which the entrance was poorly hidden by Jarod by some cheap illusory earth magic that I was able to easily dispel with my wind magic. I reached the end of one more flight of stairs, and stopped to catch my breath. Looking out a window to my right, I saw that I had climbed far above the clouds, and the sun was long set in the velvety lilac sky.

“…One more flight of stairs to go,” I whispered to myself. Using my staff as support, I began my final trek up the white, marble stairway, until finally, I reached my goal. A large, circular room with an altar at its center; and at the center of that altar was a gemstone of the purest, ivory white; a gem so pure and radiant it illuminated the entire room. It was this gemstone that gave the Tower of Progression its power, its legacy; the tower itself had no special abilities controlling Digivolution. It was the gemstone that did all of the work. We four guardians guarded not the Tower of Progression, but this sacred gem. And now, it was mine.
 

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Chapter 168 - Essence of Evil

Flamedramon



“Möbius Bite!” Without her noticing, Gryphonmon’s tail lashed out and bit Eveene’s waist. The guardian of water shrieked, and dropped her staff. Gryphonmon unleashed a mighty roar, and raised his massive claw up into the air. “Eveene of the Great Sea! This is it for you!”

“NO!” Abigail retrieved her Bio Link Digivice from her cleavage, turning herself into BioLadyDevimon before charging at Gryphonmon, but the Mega Digimon effortlessly swatted her away.

“Flame Fist!”

“Solo Roar!” Gryphonmon slammed his forelegs onto the ground, knocking me down to my back; as he unleashed his attack, the flames I had conjured faded and dissolved away into the air. I was then face to face with his stern metal mask; one claw raised, Gryphonmon swung at my neck. Blood was spilled, but I felt no pain; only the pressure of Jarod’s body lying atop my own, and the warm blood that seeped through the three large gouges on his chest.

“Jarod! Jarod, you dumbass! You didn’t have to do that!” I exclaimed.

“N-No…Jarod…this can’t be happening,” Eveene gasped, clutching the bleeding wound at her waist.

“Mr. Jarod…Please, don’t die, Mr. Jarod!” Desdemona screamed.

“Sorry…I don’t think I…have a say in this matter, my dear,” Jarod said, gasping for breath. “I may not last much longer…but…I will not allow Amiri to disrupt the balance of the entire world!” With a sudden, final surge of energy, Jarod picked up his staff, and jammed its butt end into the floor, piercing the marble slabs. The earth beneath us began to tremor, and sharp spikes made of solid earth shot up around us, around the entire room and even the walls. In this short moment, Gryphonmon lunged, and clamped his beak down on Jarod’s neck. More blood spilled out from Jarod’s eyes, nose, and mouth, joining the blood that had previously left his body. Jarod’s body hit the floor; Desdemona shrieked at the sight, and passed out. The earth continued to shift around; the earthen spikes grew and climbed their way up the walls, and clear through the ceiling.

“Alas falls the sage of earth!” Gryphonmon cried out triumphantly. “So too shall fall the sages of water and fire! It is by Lord Amiri’s will that you all perish; each death more painful than the last!”

“…You’ve made a grave mistake, Gryphonmon!” Craniamon yelled. “You should have killed me first…so as to avoid my wrath! SHOCK RINGER!”

“Too slow, Exalted Knight!” Gryphonmon meandered around the shockwave fired out from Craniamon’s spear, as well as another one from Plesiomon’s mouth, and landed on the ground in front of Volcdramon. “Legendary Claw!”

“Volcanic Fount—!” Before Volcdramon could unleash his attack, Gryphonmon charged through and slashed through the Dragon Digimon’s chest. Volcdramon roared one more time, and his data faded away.

“Damn it! You’ll pay for that, Gryphonmon!” Craniamon roared. “Duo Solar Spear!” Craniamon tossed his massive lance through across the room, and pierced Gryphonmon in the side of the head. One more shriek mixed with a spurt of blood escaped from his beak as he was slammed against a wall at the opposite side of the room, and Gryphonmon vanished.

“…So powerful,” I whispered to myself. “Craniamon…Gryphonmon, he…”

“Yes…He claimed the lives of my friends, and though he was willing to do so, he cannot be fully to blame, as Amiri ordered him do commit these murders. It is Amiri…we shall destroy! Right here and now!”

“…N-No…Don’t…bother,” Jarod gasped.

“Jarod! You’re still alive?!” Abigail exclaimed.

“…Listen to me…Amiri…is long gone,” Jarod continued. “I can no longer sense his magic…in this tower…The…stone…”

“The stone…? What stone?” I asked.

“The Gemstone…that this tower was built to protect,” Jarod whispered. “Amiri…you must…get it back from him…That gem is what causes the balance…and stability…of Digivolution…We four guardians protected this gemstone… Small remnants of the gem’s power remain where it was, at the top of the tower. For now, my earth magic shall keep this power in place…”

“…Are you…going to die?” Eveene asked.

“I…am afraid so…my dear,” Jarod answered. “But…I lived a long, grand life…Amiri and I will need to be replaced, once all of these more pressing matters have been attended to. Craniamon…”

“Jarod…don’t say anything. You and I both know this may have happened one day, with the powers of evil growing as it has been,” Craniamon whispered.

“…Yes…and also…please…watch over…Desdemona…at least, until Volcdramon is reborn one day…” A sigh crept past Jarod’s blood-stained lips, and he lay still.

“…This…is all my fault,” Reapermon said in a quiet voice. “I…should not have led you two here—”

“Don’t worry about it, Reapermon,” Craniamon interrupted, speaking before I could. “If you three hadn’t come here, it’s possible we all would have died on this day. Amiri holds no honor; he and Gryphonmon could easily have killed us all in our sleep…”

“We tried. That’s all we can do, or hope to do,” I added. “It is always better to die trying to stop evil, than to live on doing nothing.”

“Right…Now then, Flamedramon; would you and your guild be interested in going on a manhunt?” Craniamon asked. “You can consider it a job; I’d be more than willing to pay for your assistance, if you desire.”

“No. This is much more than a simple mercenary job,” I said. “This will be a favor between friends. No money will be necessary, Craniamon.”

“Flamedramon…”

“But, in return…If the time comes, we will undoubtedly require your assistance, Craniamon; you and the other guardians of the tower,” I said. “Is this acceptable?”

“…Yes. It would be an honor to fight alongside you in the future, my friend,” Craniamon said.
ShadowSeraphimon



“My Lord…what are we doing here?” Bahira asked. “Were we not going to the Tower of Progression, ShadowSeraphimon?”

“Our presence is not necessary, dear Bahira,” I whispered. “There is an agent in the tower; an ally of IceDevimon. Rumor has it that he’s masquerading as one of the Guardians, but is about ready to make his move. Our own motives and desires would only be a hindrance to them. Besides which, I have already obtained what I wanted…”

“You located your tenth DigiCore?” Bahira asked. I nodded, and held up the blazing-red sphere.

“It is the DigiCore of the fire guardian’s familiar; quite a powerful entity,” I said. “With this tenth DigiCore, we can now proceed with the next step of our plan!”

“Ah, excellent, my lord!” Bahira said.

“Now, then, Bahira…which of these troublesome fools of Lachesis is expecting the judgment of the Goddess?” I asked, gazing up at the ancient fortress of Lachesis.
 

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Chapter 169 - Divine Decree

ShadowSeraphimon



“Now, then, Bahira…which of these troublesome fools of Lachesis is expecting the judgment of the Goddess?” I asked, gazing up at the ancient fortress of Lachesis.

“A better question, m’lord sir, would be, which of them is not deserving of divine retribution?” Bahira asked. “The sins of Flamedramon are numerous and countless, while the Humans known as Sparrow and Alphonse are afflicted with the sin of lust. Many more yet bear the accursed Mark of mixed, tainted blood. Edmund Luxord, the son of Flamedramon, along with the Summoner Zelda, seem to have just returned from a venture into Lotisea Province; they too bear tainted blood.”

“Bahira, just…pick one. Any one. Anyone will do just fine,” I sighed. “Their feels of angst shall lead to an earlier demise while inside the beast.”

“Ah…right as always, m’lord!” Bahira grinned, holding up his gavel.

“Now, follow my lead!” I raised my arms up above my head, and preformed an ancient incantation, cloaking myself in a shadowy aura that increased my power. “Strike…of the Seven Dark Stars!” Seven violet spheres of pure dark energy formed around my wrists, which I then fired at the decrepit fortress. In mere moments, bricks and stones from the castle hit the ground and shattered, while the earth beneath us began to tremor and shake. Immediately, a small number of Lachesian mercenaries were outside, facing us.

“Ah…Sparrow, Elizabeth, Alphonse, and Bokomon…How good of you to join us!” Bahira exclaimed.

“Who are you?” Bokomon asked.

“Oh, I’m so glad you asked!” I responded. “My name…I am…the one…the only: ShadowSeraphimon!” Silence followed the exclamation of my name, much to my disappointment. “You…have heard of me, have you…?”

“Yes, we have; from Reapermon,” Sparrow said. “We just aren’t overly thrilled is all.”

“Reapermon?! How dare that treasonous bastard spread such slander about me?! He will be the first to die!” I exclaimed.

“While I do appreciate the fact that that honor does not fall to any of us, I must ask that you refrain from bringing harm to any of our other allies,” Bokomon said.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline your request; Reapermon will die, but only after I’m finished here!” I yelled. “Your judgment day is at hand! Shadow Shockwave!” With a mere flick of my wrist, a blast of invisible energy shot out and struck down the four warriors of Lachesis, and along with them, their ancient fortress.
Eleanora Kasuto



An unending darkness had overtaken me, although it seemed to vanish as rapidly as it had settled upon me. The fortress of Lachesis lay in ruins all around me and the others, with a thick cloud of dust obscuring our surroundings, even the sky itself. I found an unconscious Lunamon far off to the side, buried in a very small pile of debris and rubble.

“WARRIORS OF LACHESIS!” A voice boomed and reverberated through the air, shaking the cloud of dust. “HEAR ME, WARRIORS OF LACHESIS! I HAVE CAPTURED YOUR FRIEND!” A blast of energy tore through the air, completely blowing away the dust cloud. A tall figure clad in green and white armor, adorned with ten ebon wings, hovered above us.

“You…What are you…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” I heard Zelda scream.

“Ah…Yes I remember you. Dominimon’s daughter. My niece,” the Digimon said. “FOR THOSE UNAWARES — ALTHOUGH THERE SHOULD BE NONE — I AM THE ONE AND ONLY SHADOWSERAPHIMON!!!”

“What are you doing here?!” Zelda repeated. Ignoring her, ShadowSeraphimon turned to face the rest of us. “It wasn’t enough for you to murder my father…? Your own brother?!”

“I HAVE YOUR ALLY IN MY HANDS! SURRENDER TO ME AT ONCE, OR HIS LIFE IS FORFEIT!!!” I looked up, and saw a shorter but larger man standing behind ShadowSeraphimon, with another figure at his feet and the figure’s head, covered by a black cloth bag, atop a tree stump. My heart sank and fell to my stomach when I saw who it was.

“Sparrow…”

“IF YOU VALUE THE LIFE OF YOUR SCARLET-HAIRED COMPANION, THEN YOU WILL TELL ME WHAT I WISH TO HEAR!” ShadowSeraphimon continued. “Now, ALL of you; surrender your pathetic lives to me, and I will let you live! If you do not, then the Human known as Sparrow Lea shall suffer a most painful, agonizing death!!!” From the corner of my eye, I saw Hawkmon slowly fly up to and land on the ground before ShadowSeraphimon.

“…I surrender my life to you, ShadowSeraphimon,” the little Rookie whispered.

“Hawkmon…” I shook my head. How could this be happening?

“Ah, what an obedient Digimon you are!” ShadowSeraphimon cackled.

“Please, I beg of you…spare my friend,” Hawkmon said.

“‘Please, Master; spare my worthless friend!’” ShadowSeraphimon corrected. Hawkmon grit his teeth, and bowed to the Mega Digimon.

“Please, Master; spare my…w-worthless…friend,” Hawkmon spat. ShadowSeraphimon laughed to himself, and slammed his foot down on Hawkmon’s body, forcing him to the ground.

“Not bad…I just might spare him after all!” ShadowSeraphimon said. “But first, I’ll need to see more groveling from your OTHER allies!” My mind went blank for a moment. I remembered that moment in the future, where I met my future self and her fiancé, a bed-ridden Sparrow. I felt nothing romantic for the man as of now, but I saw how happy we were in the future, and I did not want to rid Future Eleanora of her happiness. So, I too, prepared to stand up and surrender to ShadowSeraphimon, when someone reached and grabbed my arm from behind.

“Don’t be stupid, Eleanora!” Isole hissed.

“But…we can’t leave Sparrow behind!” I whispered.

“And we won’t! We just…We can’t do anything rash, okay?” Isole asked.

“Well, Sparrow…it looks like your other friends don’t care very much about you,” ShadowSeraphimon shrugged. Sparrow’s slumped body twitched very lightly, but made no noise.

“Hear ye, hear ye!” The large man standing above Sparrow raised a gavel up above his bald head. “It is by this jury’s verdict that the Goddess shall pass judgment upon this man!”

“Everyone, allow me to introduce you to my number one servant; Bahira,” ShadowSeraphimon said.

“This man, so afflicted with the sin of lust, has angered our Goddess! Her judgment shall smite him out of this world’s history like a bolt of lightning! It is by her will that Sparrow Lea shall perish on this day!”

“No…No, Sparrow!” I shrieked.

“May his accursed blood seep into this Goddess’s earth, and be cleansed of all sins!”

“Sparrow! Get up! GET UP! SPARROW!!!”

“Bǎo Chuí!” With his gavel far up above his head, Bahira quickly lowered his arm, and time all around seemed to slow. The gavel reached Sparrow’s head, and crushed it to a bloody pulp. Blood spatter hit me in the face, and I shrieked at the top of my lungs. Tears blurred my vision, and Isole had to hold me back from running over to his completely lifeless body.

“Don’t! El, it’s too late! There’s nothing…we can do,” Isole whispered desperately.

“That is correct! There remains nothing for you to do!” ShadowSeraphimon called out triumphantly. “As these feelings of despair override, dissolve away into the abyss of the Beast!” Immediately, the ground beneath me began to tremor violently, although with my legs as weak as they were, it was difficult to tell the difference between the two. “Come forth, my loyal servant! Come forth, Sakkakumon!” The earth split open, and a single green sphere with a large, smiling mouth emerged from its depths. Several more spheres, each covered in large eyes, followed after, all of them connected by thin, golden rods.

“No way…Is that…a Digimon?!” Isole asked.

“Sakkakumon, the time is nigh! Absorb these warriors of Lachesis! Make their powers one with yourself, and blight them from this land!” ShadowSeraphimon yelled.

“SAY IT, AND IT SHALL BE DONE!” the massive Digimon exclaimed. For the second time that day, all went dark around me, and I felt nothing.
 

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Chapter 170 - Ravine of Chaos

Mia Kiru



A vile, nauseating scent emanating from my entire surroundings, a bizarre tunnel of sorts, woke me up with a start, the near entirety of which was a pale, moist pink. The darkness that had overcome me was at once gone. My head ached, though it was more from the stench than from hitting my head against something. In fact, my surroundings, although wet and smelly, were actually quite soft, almost disturbingly so.

“…Ew…! Aw, and I just got these pretty shoes, too…” Sighing to myself, I stood up, and brushed myself off as best I could. “So…where am I…? Did I die…? Oh, no, am I in the Dark Area…? Ah, man! I didn’t think I was that bad; jeez!” I began walking around, looking for any sign of my friends, or, at the very least, a sign of life. “Let’s see…well, if this really IS the Dark Area, I probably won’t find Lizzy or Rainey…Hm. SPARROW! ALPHONSE! CAN YOU HEAR ME?! …FLAMEDRAMON?! ARE YOU THERE?!”

“Mia…? Is that you!?” My heart skipped a beat as I heard Giselle’s voice calling out to me.

“Oh, no, Giselle? You wound up here too?!” I ran over to where I heard my friend’s voice, and found her with several others from the guild. Matthew, Coronamon, Eleanora, Lunamon, Zelda, Statuedramon, and Celtinemon were all with her. “Ah, man…I didn’t think ANY of you would end up here in the Dark Area! But then, I didn’t think that I would, either…”

“Um, Mia, dear? I don’t think we’re in the Dark Area,” Zelda said. “Do you remember that Digimon called Sakkakumon?”

“Yeah…? Didn’t it kill us?” I asked.

“No…ShadowSeraphimon told it to swallow us up, remember?” Eleanora asked.

“Yeah…? Oh! So we’re in its belly?” I asked. “I guess that explains the smell…”

“Looks more like the intestines,” Statch remarked. “So, how do we get out?”

“I’m not sure we want to find out,” Celtinemon said quietly.

“Well, we have to do something! It smells like shit in here, and there’s probably a good reason for that!” I exclaimed.

“I’ve tried summoning one of my Digimon Spirits, but there’s been no response,” Zelda whispered.

“…Not responsive?” I whispered. Zelda nodded.

“The Digimon Spirits live in a plane alternate to our own; similar, but different,” Zelda continued. “If they are not responding to us, that can only mean we have been transported to a plane of existence separate from our own, and theirs…”

“What are we supposed to do, then?” I asked. “If we can’t even ask Mercurymon for help, then we might be trapped in here forever!”

“Mia; please, calm down,” Zelda whispered. As I was about to give my reply, from the corner of my eye, I saw Matthew reach his hand to his bow. “Matthew…? What’s wrong?”

“…We aren’t alone,” the Marked archer said. Before I could ask who else was here, several enormous eyes materialized along the walls of what we all assumed to be Sakkakumon’s intestines.

“The hell kind of digestive track is this?!” Coronamon asked. A pale, glistening arm reached out from the “floor” and grabbed my ankle. I screamed, and tried to shake it loose, but the arm only pulled me into a massive eye that had formed beneath my feet.

“MIA!” Giselle reached for my hand as I was pulled down and into an abyss of darkness.

~~~~~
For the second time that day, I regained consciousness and found myself in an unfamiliar setting. To my relief, this one did not share in the same rancid scent as the inside of Sakkakumon.

“Aw…man…That slimy hand grabbed me, and pulled me inside of an eye, which was probably like a weird…portal…thingy,” I said to myself. This new area instead seemed to be an outdoor area, glimmering in a golden orange sunset, settled in a wide, deep canyon. The air was filled with the rich scent of the earth, dirt, and soil. It was actually a very lovely sight, although I still didn’t know where I was. “Wow…I wonder if this is what the inside of my tummy looks like? Am I even still inside of Sakkakumon anymore…? Well, as long as I’m here, I might as well look around…”

“My fair lady, I’m afraid there is not much here to see,” a voice said. Startled, I twirled around, but saw nobody, nothing apart from my own shadow. However, a figure began to rise from the ground where my shadow stretched, growing taller and taller with each passing second. “Do forgive me for surprising you, my dear; it has been far too long since I’ve had company in this dire abyss. I simply wished to have a little fun…”

“…Who are you?” I asked.

“When you ask someone's name, isn’t it proper to give your name first?”

“S-sorry. I’m Mia…”

“And I…am Gravimon! What a pleasure it is to meet you, Dame Mia!”

“Um, Mr. Gravimon, do you know where we are?” I asked.

“I’m afraid I don’t…I was overcome by darkness, and when I came to, I was here,” Gravimon said.

“Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened to me and my friends,” I whispered. “I think some Digimon called Sakkakumon swallowed us, and then we were in his intestines, but then some weird arm pulled me back up into its stomach…”

“Okay…I have a feeling that isn’t what happened to me…”

“Yeah; I don’t even know if that’s what happened to me in the first place,” I said. “So, Mr. Gravimon, what were you doing before you came here?”

“Hm…I’ve been here for so long, my memory has begun to grow hazy…I come from the desert region, where I had a large group of friends…”

“Oh, cool! One of my friends is from the desert, too—”

“…I was…sick,” Gravimon continued. “My friends…they tried to save me…but one friend of mine…He had the opportunity to save me…but he didn’t.”

“Gravimon…”

“Yes…you are friends…with one who comes from the desert?”

“Yup! We’re both members of a mercenary guild, too!” I exclaimed.

“…Guild…? Desert…? You…YOU TRAITOROUS LITTLE TART!!! HOW DARE YOU BETRAY ME?!?!!?!”

“W-What?! I-I think you misunderstood me; I wasn’t—!”

“SILENCE! You, all of you, will pay! You, wretched servant of Horusmon; how do you imagine your master will respond when I present your crushed, bloody corpse at his talons?!”

“Wha— Horusmon?! I don’t even know who that is!”

“Revenge…Revenge! REVENGE! Horusmon will pay for betraying me! Octogravity!” The tendrils extending from Gravimon’s back lifted themselves into the air, and fired blasts of energy at the ground around me, leaving large dents in the golden soil.

“Ow! Hey! STOPPIT! OW!”

“High Gravity Grip!” Gravimon’s massive hands, each one larger than me, reached out and grasped me. I could feel the oxygen forcibly escape my lungs as soon as Gravimon gripped me.

“N-No…Gravimon…Why…? I’m not…”

“DIE! DIE! DIE!”

“Sword of Dragon’s Soul.” A powerful blast hit the back of one of Gravimon’s hands, and the bizarre Digimon dropped me to the ground.

“Ugh…what…?” I tried to stand up, but a sharp pain in my side kept me from rising.

“Don’t get up, Mia. Gravimon probably broke a few of your ribs.” I looked up, and saw none other than Statuedramon standing right at my side.

“Argh, another one of you?! Horusmon must’ve been hiring slaves left and right!” Gravimon snapped.

“No. I am no slave of that cursed god,” Statuedramon said. “…I spoke with Horusmon, 500 years ago. He said something about leaving a friend to die when he could’ve saved him. I don’t know what happened between you two in the past, but it has nothing to do with either me or Mia. But, since you decided to hurt my dear friend, I will destroy you!”

“Get over yourself, lizard! Octogravity!”

“Dimensional Shield!” The energy beams fired by Gravimon all hit Statuedramon’s shield dead center, and were absorbed into the mouth design. “Sword of Dragon’s Soul: Earth!” A deep violet glow encompassed Statch’s sword, firing a sword-shaped projectile of the same color directly at Gravimon’s face.

“You’ll PAY FOR THAT!”

“Gravimon…I’m sorry. I really am…Your betrayal at the hands — er, claws — of Horusmon must’ve been the driving force keeping you alive in this veritable hellhole of a maze; the source of your nourishment…But with this battle, I will put your soul at rest. This, I promise you,” Statuedramon said. “Statuedramon Digivolve to, Shenlongmon!”

“…Digivolution…Horusmon has trained you well,” Gravimon sneered. “But no more! Let’s get started!”

“Let’s end this! Golden Dragon!” Shenlongmon’s entire body glowed in a radiant, golden shine. He flew up in the air, and back down at Gravimon, striking the taller Digimon directly in the chest with his claws, tearing a large hole through his body as he flew out the other side.

“Ah…! Damn it…how could I let myself be defeated…by the worthless flunkies of Horusmon?!” Gravimon yelled.

“I’m sorry, Gravimon…I’m so sorry that your hatred blinded you to who we are,” Shenlongmon whispered.

“…I…remember,” Gravimon said, coughing up a spurt of blood, with the data of his body beginning to fade away. “…I…before I came here…I was…Anubismon…That…was my name…”

“…Anubismon?” I whispered. “I think Reapermon mentioned that name before…”

“Reapermon…? I…do not know that name,” Gravimon said. “…The only name…that burns in my memory…is Horusmon’s…His treachery will reign on, sometime very soon…Beware…the God of War…The God cursed by the Gods…” Gravimon let out one more sigh, and then vanished. Following him, the ground, the very world around us, faded to black until there was nothing left. “Statch…? What just happened?”

“…Hm. Remember…we’re still inside of Sakkakumon — a multidimensional being,” Shenlongmon said, becoming enveloped in the light of Digivolution before turning back into Statuedramon. “Specifically, it is composed of ten different spheres, each one containing its own dimension, and each one with its own lord and ruler. When that ruler is defeated, the sphere blackens, and the victor can traverse to another world. Only…when the lord of a dimension is defeated, can those trapped inside of the beast be freed.”

“Okay…so…how do we leave?” I asked. As soon as I asked, several large eyes appeared all around us.

“The eyes,” Statch said.

“Great…Now, which one do we go through?” I asked. “And we also need to find the others!” The world around us began to tremble, and several more slimy hands emerged from the darkness.

“Mia, stand back!” Statch exclaimed, cutting through one of the arms. One of the hands reached up my dress and caressed my thigh, making me scream. Another one pushed Statuedramon’s back, shoving him through one of the eye portals.

“No, Statch!” Another hand reached out and pushed me next, sending me through a different portal.
ShadowSeraphimon



“…Something is wrong,” I whispered.

“What is the problem, m’lord sir?” Bahira asked.

“…Look at Sakkakumon,” I said. “One of his spheres…it has gone black.”

“Black…? This can only mean one of the ten Digimon has been defeated!”

“Yes…it was the Earth Sphere; Anubismon’s DigiCore must’ve been destroyed,” I whispered to myself.

“Anubismon?! I thought he was still alive!” Bahira exclaimed.

“He is; he was reborn some 200 years ago. I retrieved his DigiCore when he first died, and turned him into Gravimon at that time,” I said.

“Goodness, m’lord; you’ve been hunting for cores for such a long time!” Bahira said.

“Yes…This is not the first time I’ve trapped others inside of Sakkakumon. Sometimes, those I trap do manage to defeat the rulers of the ten dimensions,” I admitted. “But, Gravimon…he’s lasted for almost 1,000 years; I never thought he’d lose…It must’ve been Statuedramon who beat him.”

“Hmph; I’d have thought they’d be too bereaved to fight those ten Digimon,” Bahira snapped.

“As did I…I suppose I oughtn’t have snagged Statuedramon so soon…Ah, well. Live and learn,” I said.
 

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Chapter 171 - The Silent Forest

Giselle Alberona



“…Ugh, my head…” As my eyes gradually opened, I was immediately startled by a sudden, heavy breeze that nearly rolled me over from my back onto my side. I sat straight up, and was dismayed by the amount of leaves and twigs I felt in my hair.

“Giselle, are you okay?” I heard Celtinemon ask.

“Yeah, I’m fine…I just hope the wind doesn’t get any more leaves stuck in my hair; this’ll take forever to fix,” I whined, pulling out as many as I could find.

“I think that’s going to be the least of our problems,” Celtinemon said. “Like…how are we going to get out of Sakkakumon?”

“Sakkakumon…? Oh, that’s right, I nearly forgot…”

“Any ideas?” Celtinemon asked. “If I try hard enough, I may be able to break us out with one of my attacks, but…”

“Break us out how? I don’t see any walls or anything,” I said. “It’s just a huge forest…”

“Yeah…”

“Maybe we can find a Digimon that lives here, and they can help us?” I suggested. “I just hope it’s not some gross bug Digimon or whatever…”

“Nope, I wouldn’t worry about that! Haven’t seen any bugs since I got here!” a voice called out. The voice was unnervingly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. A Digimon armed with a bizarre weapon that resembled a pinwheel flew out from the thick growth of trees that seemed to surround us.

“Excuse me; can you help us?” Celtinemon exclaimed.

“Sure thing; JetSilphymon is here to save the day!” the Digimon said cheerfully. “So, what can JetSilphymon do for you?” A chill fell down my spine; I knew with certainty the sound of the Digimon’s voice, I just couldn’t place its owner.

“Um…We were just wondering if there’s any way to get out of this place,” I said.

“Get out…? Hm, no, I don’t think so,” JetSilphymon said. “I’ve been here for a few months in this forest, but I haven’t so much as seen another person until I found you two!”

“I was afraid of that,” Celtinemon sighed.

“So, what brings you to town?” JetSilphymon asked. “How long have you been here? Did you bring me a present?!”

“U-Uh, well, it’s kind of difficult to explain how we got here,” I said. “I don’t think we’ve been here very long, though, and we didn’t bring you anything, sorry…”

“Aw…”

“…I’m sorry, but…Have we met?” I asked. “Your voice sounds really familiar…”

“No, I don’t think so…But then, my memory’s been kinda hazy ever since I woke up in this forest…”

“And…how long did you say you were in this forest…?”

“About a month or two — although, it’s kinda hard to tell, since there really isn’t any night or day. Like, it’s kinda dark, but also kinda not, so it’s hard to keep track of the days,” JetSilphymon said. “Why do you ask?” And that was when it hit me. Why JetSilphymon’s voice sounded so familiar…was because it belonged to a friend who had once been very near and dear to me. A friend that I had betrayed out of selfish cowardice, an action that I had regretted the moment I had done it.

“…Rosemon?” I whispered, walking up to JetSilphymon.

“W-What…?” JetSilphymon gave me a confused look, but the joyful sparkle in her eyes was now gone. Almost immediately, another wind began to pick up much more fiercely than it had been when I woke up. “I don’t know any…Rosemon…”

“But…don’t you…remember me?” I asked.

“Giselle, be careful,” Celtinemon warned.

“…Gi…Giselle…?” The wind grew fiercer and fiercer; I was almost blown off my feet, had Celtinemon not grabbed my arm. “…You…are Giselle…?!”

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked if she remembered me…

“…I meant what I said. I have no memory of my life outside of this damn forest,” JetSilphymon said. “But…there is one name that continued to burn on inside of my core…That name is linked with the betrayal of one I thought I could trust. And hearing your name…brought those painful memories back.”

“Giselle, stand back!” Celtinemon whispered.

“Yes, stand back, Giselle Alberona! I don’t want you dying on me before I get to see all hope fade from your eyes as I kill your new best friend!” JetSilphymon shrieked. “Ultra Turbulence!” JetSilphymon swung her massive pinwheel at me, but Celtinemon pushed me down to the grass before the oversized weapon could hit me.

“Faerie Divider!” Celtinemon raised her thin sword, and clashed it mercilessly against JetSilphymon’s pinwheel over and over again, until finally, Celtinemon knocked the weapon out of the Cyborg Digimon’s hands. “Shooting Star Sword!” Celtinemon flew up into the air and held out her sword, forming five large, intricate magic rings around the tip of the blade. Massive, pure-white shooting stars were launched from the center of the rings and struck JetSilphymon dead-on, throwing her backwards several feet into the dense forest. “Giselle, we have to get out of—”

“Jet Winter!” Without warning, JetSilphymon rushed out of the trees, and rammed her fist against the side of Celtinemon’s head, knocking the Ultimate Digimon down to the ground.

“Celtinemon, are you okay?!” I asked, rushing over to my Digimon partner.

“Stay back; this is far from over!” Celtinemon exclaimed. “Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon!”

“Digivolved to Mega, have we?! Well, I assure you; that power won’t be enough to stop me!” JetSilphymon shouted.

“…We shall see,” Morgannamon replied in a quiet, serene voice. “Clear Moon Sky.” A celestially blue orb formed at the top of Morgannamon’s staff, which she fired off at JetSilphymon, who easily cut through the attack with her pinwheel. “Clear Moon—”

“Ultra Turbulence!” Once again, JetSilphymon and my Digimon partner clashed in midair, striking weapon against weapon in the hopes of defeating the other. My heart jumped for joy when I saw Morgannamon gain the upper hand once again, holding down JetSilphymon’s pinwheel with her staff.

“Night of the Falling Stars!” The already dark and gloomy sky grew darker yet, and several points of light cut through. These points swelled up, and then began to rain down upon JetSilphymon in a shower of pure light energy. JetSilphymon fell to the ground, and Morgannamon’s attack continued to rain down upon her, hiding her within a veil of light and dust. “Now, then…Will you stay away from my dear Giselle, or will I have to completely destroy you?”

“…How about…neither?! Jet Winter!” JetSilphymon rose from the cloud of dust and flew up to Morgannamon, ramming her fist into her belly. Morgannamon cried out in pain just before JetSilphymon twirled around and kicked the side of her head. “Ultra Turbulence!” JetSilphymon struck Morgannamon with her pinwheel, tearing up her dress and cutting her skin. All I could do as my partner Digimon fell to the ground, gasping for air, was watch on in horror. “Watch carefully, Giselle; if you’re lucky, you may get sprayed with Morgannamon’s blood!”

“N-No, please…stop it!” I stuttered. My eyes began to fill with tears, blurring my vision. “Please…she’s had enough…don’t…Don’t hurt her…sniff…anymore…”

“And why should I listen to you, after you betrayed me to Ulysses?!” JetSilphymon screamed. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. “Don’t worry; you’ll die too. After I finish eviscerating my replacement here!” I didn’t know what eviscerating meant, but with the hatred Rosemon felt, I knew it couldn’t have been anything good. I slumped to the ground, hands and knees, as tears slid down my face. Something fell out of my skirt pocket, and fell to the ground next to my hand. I glanced over and picked it up, holding it up to my face; my Digivice. I blinked, and looked up; JetSilphymon was standing over Morgannamon, with the tip of her rapier resting on her soft belly. It was then that I knew; I had to act, and I had to do it now.

“…Morgannamon. Get up,” I whispered. “We must defeat her…to put her soul at rest.”

“I’m…trying,” the Mega Digimon gasped. “But I don’t…have…anymore strength left to fight…”

“Then I will give you mine. All of it!” I said. I held out my Data Link Digivice, and slammed the palm of my hand onto it. “CHARGE! D.N.A. BURST MODE!” Both of the female Digimon’s eyes widened as a powerful light burst from my Digivice.

“Morgannamon Burst Mode!” Morgannamon’s damaged dress became fixed, turning from violet to a deep crimson red. Her pure ivory wings turned to black, as did her shimmering violet hair. The crescent moon on her staff changed to a glowing, bright star. The transformed Digimon rose up to her feet once again, and glared down JetSilphymon.

“…That was our little trick!” JetSilphymon snapped. “Have you forgotten?! We could do that too…have you abandoned me so readily?!”

“Rosemon…you have been hurt, both body and soul,” I said together with Morgannamon Burst Mode. “I will do whatever it takes to heal the wounds that I have inflicted.”

“You can try all you like…BUT NOTHING WILL HEAL THE PAIN YOU HAVE DEALT TO ME!” JetSilphymon screamed.

“…I’m sorry,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper. I shed one final tear, for Rosemon, and then looked up to Morgannamon.

“Star Seraph!” Morgannamon held her staff up above her head; a deep golden light enveloped JetSilphymon, causing her to scream out in pain. The weapon in her hand shattered into thousands of little pieces, and several patches of her skin became burned.

“You…You bitch! What the hell…did you just do to me?!” JetSilphymon asked.

“The same thing you threatened to do to my best friend. A painful death,” Morgannamon said.

“…End this now,” I said.

“As you wish, my dear,” Morgannamon nodded. “God Blaze Cannon!” Morgannamon Burst Mode held her staff out in front of her, and a pale blue flame shot out from its tip and out towards JetSilphymon. One final scream escaped past her lips, and then there was nothing left of her.

“Rosemon…I love you,” I whispered. “I’m sorry…that you had to die twice, because of me…”

“Are you going to be okay, Giselle?” Morgannamon asked, turning back into Celtinemon.

“…Yes. I…I’ll be okay,” I whispered, smiling back at my Digimon partner. However, a dizzied fatigue soon overcame me, and I was once again enveloped in darkness.

“Giselle! Giselle, wake up!!!”
Sparrow Lea



“…Hey, he’s waking up!” A very dim light hovered up above my face as my eyes gradually began to part. “Sparrow; can you hear me?”

“…Ugh…damn…where am I this time?” I asked, groggily looking around. With a light tug on my arm, I was immediately sitting up.

“Sparrow!” As I grew more alert, my surroundings became less blurred and more identifiable. A dank cabin in the woods, covered in layers of dust and many burn marks, along with a broken cup of what had likely contained coffee.

“Augustus…?”

“Ah…thank the Goddess you are unharmed,” Augustus Maxwell sighed.

“What…happened?” I asked.

“It’s a bit complicated, I’m afraid,” the ex-knight said. “Your guild was attacked by a Digimon called ShadowSeraphimon; your friends are…safe, at least for now. But…”

“But, what?! Spit it out, man!” I exclaimed.

“Okay. ShadowSeraphimon and a man named Bahira staged your execution,” Augustus said. “Obviously, it was fake; we were able to pull you out of the wreckage of your castle before their heinous plot, but all of your friends currently believe you to be dead on a tree stump.”

“…Wow…Boy, when you spit it out, you really spit, man,” I said.

“…Thanks…I think,” Augustus replied. “Now, my comrades, Marissa Ruby and Karatenmon are scouting the area, and it seems that ShadowSeraphimon has sent several of your friends inside of a multidimensional Digimon called Sakkakumon. In the meantime, he plans to execute another of your friends.”

“What?! We can’t just sit here, then!”

“Calm down, Sparrow; we won’t let ShadowSeraphimon hurt you or any more of your friends,” Augustus said in a calm, patient voice. “However, we can’t move rashly; your friends just saw what they deemed to be your execution. If you just barge in, they might not believe you’re really you…”

“Oh…But, tell me; is Eleanora safe?” I asked. “And Matthew; where’s Matthew?”

“…Sparrow…I’m afraid the two of them were among those sent into Sakkakumon,” Augustus said.

“…I’m going.”

“Sparrow!”

“Don’t stop me, August! I’m going to save my friends!”

“Sparrow, get back here!” Augustus hissed. “They’ll be okay! Trust me! We’ll stop ShadowSeraphimon, but for right now, you have to lay low; understand?”

“Fine. I’ll do as you say,” I said, sitting back down on the cabin floor. “Just make sure they all get back safely, you hear?!”

“…I swear upon my life, Sparrow Lea; all of your friends will remain safe and unharmed,” Augustus whispered.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 172 - Campaign of Fire

Mia Kiru



“…Great…Now, where is this stupid portal taking me? I’d better not still be inside of Sakkakumon when I get out,” I said, speaking to nobody in particular. At long last, I reached the end of the tunnel of darkness, coming to another eyeball portal. I landed face-first into the portal, and then sank through it. A wave of heat met me as I exited the portal and entered, to my dismay, another dimension of Sakkakumon. This one was far less beautiful than the canyon of pure gold, being an unsightly shade of red and filled with volcanoes and magma. The sulfur emitted from the volcanoes was beyond wretched, and yet slightly more tolerable than the inside of Sakkakumon himself. “Ew…it’s so hot, and I’m getting all sweaty…First, my shoes get ruined in…whatever those tunnels are made of, and now my clothes are getting wet. This is not my day!!!” I whined.

“Agh, damn it; what’s with all the complaining, eh?! You little runt!” A red-scaled fist emerged from beneath the hardened lava, not ten feet away from me. Had I been an inch closer, I would undoubtedly have been sprayed with liquid magma as a massive dragon Digimon climbed to the surface of the ground.

“U-U-Um, h-hello,” I stuttered nervously.

“Well?! Why have you chosen to disturb me, you scrawny little runt?!” the dragon yelled.

S-Scrawny?! I am not scrawny! Check me out! I got some sexy curves, damn it!” I yelled back.

“You dare contradict the one and only Dorbickmon?!?! The noble flames of a dragon would burn you to cinders, runt!”

“…They’d burn me to cinders…but…?” I asked.

“You catch on quickly, tiny Human,” Dorbickmon sighed. “If it were any other time, I would have destroyed you more than ten times by now…”

“So, what do you need?” I asked. “I mean…in return for sparing my life, what is it you ask of me, o great one?”

“Heh; the runt sure has a big mouth to go with that brain,” Dorbickmon said. “All right, here’s the deal; see that cave over there?” Dorbickmon pointed a sharp claw at a small opening in the side of a volcano, one crudely formed of hardened magma.

“…Yes, sir.”

“I want you to squeeze through that little hole, and grab the treasure that’s on the other side, understood?”

“Y-You should really phrase that b-better,” I said, trying hard not to laugh.

“Don’t talk back to me, runt!” Dorbickmon snapped. “Now, listen; I’d do this myself, but that stupid cave is…fragile. If I destroy it with force, it will collapse and destroy the treasure. Now, hop to it, runt!”

“Okay, okay!” Carefully, I began making my way towards the cave of hardened magma. To my relief, the solid magma was actually quite cool, but I could feel the heat from the liquid magma rise up from the ground and through my shoes. The air was terribly hot and dry, and I was getting quite dizzy from it and a lack of water. As I reached the haphazardly created cave of hardened magma, it looked menacingly smaller than it was when I was closer to Dorbickmon.

“What’s the holdup, runt?!” Dorbickmon roared. “The cave is not hot; a Human like you can easily stay alive in there!”

“Um, Mr. Dorbickmon? It’s…a little too small for me,” I said. “I think I’ll get stuck…”

“QUIT STALLING, RUNT!”

“Okay! Jeez…” I sighed, removing my cape from my shoulders and turned myself sideways, forcing myself into the small cave. “Ah, man…I’m not THAT skinny, Dorbickmon! I’m not even going to be able to get out to tell you I couldn’t reach that stupid treasure…Ow! Stupid low ceiling; now I’m going to get a big ugly bruise on my head…”

“WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG, RUNT?!?” I heard Dorbickmon scream. I flinched when his loud voice echoed through the cave, lodging my waist in between to large boulders.

“…I’m STUCK!” I screamed back. “You need to learn some patience, Dorbickmon…”

“NO EXCUSES, RUNT! And don’t talk back to me!”

“Dorbickmon! I can’t move! I’m stuck between to rocks! I can’t get to that stupid treasure!”

“You will get through the cave and give me that treasure, or suffer the consequences!” Dorbickmon snapped. I looked over my shoulder, and saw Dorbickmon’s bloodshot eye glaring at me. I squirmed around a little bit in an attempt to free myself, but only succeeded in getting more stuck, this time at chest-level.

“You know what?! Fine. Okay, fine! Make me suffer your consequences! I don’t care anymore” I shouted. “I can’t move; my big ol’ self is stuck between some rocks, and I can’t get back out! And if you can’t even have a little bit of patience, then I don’t care about your stupid treasure!”

“Excuse…me?! Do you truly mean to defy me, runt?!” Dorbickmon asked. “You will never live to regret that foolish decision!”

“Well, it’s not like I can comply with your stupid demands stuck like this, you impatient idiot!”

“Then comply with the flames of my wrath, runt! Dragon Infernal Fire!”

Oh, crap! Shouldn’t have said that…Dorbickmon exhaled a stream of powerful flames from his mouth, filling the cave with a blaze in less than a second. Me and my big, fat mouth! And stupid, stuck body…Dorbickmon’s flames were now inches away from my face. A plume of water erupted from the solid magma beneath my feat, dousing back the flames. “A-Aquarimon?!”

“Mia, I’m so sorry it took me so long to find you,” the Digimon Spirit whispered, emerging from the water. “Traveling between so many dimensions takes a lot of work; I’d never have guessed you be inside a Sakkakumon…”

“Well, you sure found me at just the right time,” I said, giving the Spirit a gentle smile. “Now, uh…could you help me out of here? I’m pretty stuck…”

“Not anymore!” The ground began to tremor violently.

“This volcano better not be active,” I whispered. Aquarimon smiled back at me. The boulder walls that had trapped me moved gradually apart until I could finally move. I looked up, and saw Blastmon smiling down at me. “Thank you, Blastmon…”

“This puny dragon giving you a hard time, Lady Mia?” Blastmon asked.

“The presence of two more allies will be of no help to you, runt! Dragon Infernal Fire!”

“Goddess Urn!” Fire and water collided in the air, forming a massive cloud of pure white steam that blinded Dorbickmon from view. Aquarimon readied her bow, ready to attack, when a massive read claw emerged from the steam, and tore through the Digimon Spirit’s body. Aquarimon gasped, and fell to the ground, vanishing from sight.

“How dare you?! Final Subagōn Punch!”

“Dragon’s Fury Blade!” Forming a mighty sword made of flames, Dorbickmon slashed and cut through Blastmon’s crystalline body, vanishing like Aquarimon before him. “A Summoner…you are weak! You rely on others to do your fighting for you, and you will never win, runt!”

N-No…it…can’t end like this! I fell to my knees, and tears welled from my eyes. If Aquarimon and Blastmon were defeated so easily…MegaKabuterimon wouldn’t stand a chance…Am I…going to die…here…?

“Say your prayers, runt. They may be the last thing you ever think!”

“No…This can’t be…happening…Am I really so weak…?” I clenched my fists on the ground as a single tear hit the back of my hand. I blinked, and nearly gasped. Next to my hand was a Digimon Talisman. Could this be…the treasure Dorbickmon was searching for?!

“Say goodbye, runt!” Dorbickmon roared.

“…Okay. I will…but only to you!” I held up the Digimon Talisman I had found; my heart skipped a beat as it began to glow luminously as all Digimon Talismans did. A mighty Digimon in a black coat, standing nearly as tall as Dorbickmon himself, had appeared.

“…How long it has been since I’ve breathed the air of the real world,” the Digimon sighed.

“DIE, RUNT! Dragon’s Fury—” The very instant Dorbickmon swung his flaming sword, the Digimon I summoned grabbed on to his wrist in the blink of an eye.

“Come now…This is no way to treat a lady, lizard.”

“Arrgh! Who the hell do you think you are!?” Dorbickmon asked.

“My name…it is BanchoStingmon,” the Digimon Spirit said. “But you…? You can call me…the winner of this little sparring match.”

“IMPUDENT FOOL! DRAGON INFERNAL FIRE!”

“Bloody Finish.” BanchoStingmon raised the long dagger equipped on his right arm, and jabbed it into Dorbickmon’s neck, tilting the Dragon Man’s head skyward and making his flames reach harmlessly into the sky. “See? Winner.”

“You…haven’t…won yet…damnit! Burning the Dragon!” Dorbickmon slammed his claw into the hardened magma beneath him, and a rage of flames enveloped him. “DIE! DIE! DIE!!!!!!!”

“Yes, that would be very nice of you. Depth Charge Sky!” BanchoStingmon cloaked himself in a radiant light, rising up into the sky. Dorbickmon roared; the flames around him took shape into several dragons as BanchoStingmon began flying towards the Dragon Man. The two Digimon flew past each other, and in an instant, Dorbickmon dropped to the ground, defeated.

“…Ahh…damn it…I can’t believe that scrawny runt…got the better of me,” Dorbickmon sighed. The data from his body began to float and fade away.

“Mr. Dorbickmon…Who were you, before you came here?” I asked.

“Who…was I…? Hm…I don’t…know,” Dorbickmon said. “…My name…was Volcdramon…but apart from that, I know nothing…”

“…Dorbickmon…may you find peace in another life,” I whispered. The Dragon Man shut his eyes and fell silent, fading away completely.

“I do not understand; he attempted to murder you, and yet you pray for his happiness?” BanchoStingmon asked.

“Yeah…I don’t know why…But, I have this weird feeling, that the Digimon we fight here inside of Sakkakumon…that they aren’t here of their own free will…and that killing them is the only way to really free them, you know?”

“…Yes. I understand what you mean,” BanchoStingmon nodded. “Well…do not hesitate to contact me if you desire my services once again.”

“Yes, of course. Thank you, BanchoStingmon.”
Matthew Kasuto



I had been wandering the inside of Sakkakumon for the longest time; after being separated from the others, I found myself, along with Coronamon, in another vast tunnel that seemingly went on forever.

“…Damn it…No sign of the others, or any other living thing in this damn maze,” Coronamon muttered.

“Smells like something used to live here up until a few months ago,” I said, covering my nose with both of my hands.

“Well…it looks like we don’t have a choice but to go through one of those eye portals,” Coronamon said.

“But, we don’t know where it will lead us to; it could send us right into a trap!”

“That may be…but if we are ever to escape this place, we will have to try it,” Coronamon whispered. I looked down at the small Rookie, and sighed, knowing he was right. Coronamon grabbed on to my hand, and smiled up at me. “Let’s do this…together, Matthew.”

I nodded. “Let’s go.” With the eye portal directly in front of us, Coronamon and I stepped through it, closing our eyes and holding on to each other for dear life. As soon as we passed over to the other side, we began to fall. I opened my eyes, and saw nothing apart from an ocean of gold directly beneath us.

“Well…at least we tried something!” Coronamon grinned nervously at me just moments before we plummeted into the golden ocean.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 173 - The Dark City

Giselle Alberona



“…Giselle? Giselle, can you hear me?” I heard Celtinemon’s voice faintly ask. My eyes softly opened, and I found myself lying down, resting my head in Celtinemon’s lap.

“Oh…Celtinemon…? Are we…still inside of Sakkakumon…?” I asked groggily.

“I’m afraid so, dear…I was able to find a portal to take us out of that forest, but it only led us to a different world inside of Sakkakumon.”

“So, where did we end up this time…?” As my eyes gradually adjusted to our surroundings, they were forced to adjust once again, this time to bright neon lights. With Celtinemon’s help, I stood up, and looked around the dark alley we were in. “…Some kind of city…?”

“A very empty one, my dear,” Celtinemon added. “It’s…strange. It’s really dark, but all of these lights, too, it’s both light and dark at the same time…All these lights, and nobody in sight, no less…”

“And all of the buildings and streets are jet-black,” I whispered. “…It’s really creepy here, Celtinemon; let’s hurry and get out of here…”

“It may not be that easy,” Celtinemon said. “Remember when we were in that forest? The portals to leave only showed up when I defeated JetSilphymon…”

“So, we just have to find another Digimon to beat up…?” I asked.

“Is something wrong, Giselle?”

“I just…I’m just getting tired of all of this constant fighting,” I whispered. “I’m tired of seeing all of these different Humans and Digimon get hurt, especially my friends. I don’t want to leave Lachesis, though; I don’t have any other home to go to…”

“Giselle…”

“…I’m sorry, Celtinemon. Just listen to me blather on like this…We need to focus on getting our friends out of Sakkakumon!” I turned around to begin walking out of the dark alley, when Celtinemon grabbed me from behind, and wrapped her arms around me. “C-Celtinemon?!”

“…Giselle…I’m sorry…I never knew how hard this life was for you,” Celtinemon whispered. “You always seemed so happy…so carefree…I never realized how much you might be hurting on the inside…”

“Celtinemon…”

“Giselle…if you ever feel really sad or depressed, I want you to talk to me. Okay? I want to be able to help you if I can…and I don’t ever want you to be sad…”

“…Okay. I promise…but I also want you to come to me if you ever feel sad,” I whispered back. “Also…”

“Yes? What is it, Giselle?” Celtinemon asked.

“…Why are you squeezing my breasts?”

“Oh…Sparrow told me that this is how Human girls hugged,” Celtinemon said. “…Is this…not…true…?”

“N-No!!! Not in the slightest!” I exclaimed. “…Er…not that I know of…”

“…Do you want me to stop?” Celtinemon asked.

“Please do.”

“Right. I’ll just be…doing that now.” Celtinemon pulled away quickly, and embarrassedly flicked her wings back and forth, a rather frequent habit of hers when nervous. “Let’s, um…let’s get going, then. Which…which way should we go first…?” Outside of the alley and out in the streets of the dark city, it was not nearly as dark as it first seemed. There wasn’t a single living thing in sight outside of me and Celtinemon, of course, and it was unnervingly quiet and still.

“Um…I don’t think we’ll be able to ask around for a portal to leave this dimension of Sakkakumon,” I said. “Maybe we can try to find that Digimon of this dimension…?”

“Yeah; you’d think they’d stand out in this crowd,” Celtinemon said sarcastically.

“Looking for someone?”

“Yeah, just the Digimon ruler or whatever of this dimension so we can kill him and save all of our friends and get out of this Sakkakumon…”

“Excuse me?! Why would you do such a thing?! Whatever have I done to you?! Of all the nerve!”

“Yes, that’s nice, Celtinemon. Now, help me look for this Digimon…”

“U-Um…Giselle…?” Celtinemon whispered.

“Yes? What is it?”

“Y-You really need to look behind you…”

“Hm?” The very second I turned around, I was met with a faceful of water that forced me down to the ground. “What the fu—?!”

“You would dare attempt take my life without even consulting me?! Now, just how is that fair?!” the Digimon asked.

“W-Who are you…?” I asked, climbing back up to my feet while wringing the water out of my hair and skirt.

“If you must know, my name is Splashmon; and I am, as you say, the lord of this world you have found yourselves in!”

“…Oh…Oh, dear…Um, Celtinemon? W-What should we do?” I whispered.

“Well, first of all, I think a very sincere apology is in order!” Splashmon snapped. “And you’d better make me believe it!”

“Um…well…See, the thing is, we really do need to kill you,” I said.

“How dare you?! And I was going to consider offering my hand in acceptance of your apology! You rude little Human!”

“I don’t care about any of that! My friends are counting on me to save them from Sakkakumon and ShadowSeraphimon! I’ll do whatever it takes to save them, and the rest of the world!”

“…Very well, then. But, never forget, girl…You were the one who started this fight! Hydro Pressure!”

“Giselle, watch out!” Celtinemon grabbed me by the waist, and hoisted me into the air away from Splashmon’s attack before haphazardly dropping me onto the roof of one of the surrounding buildings. “Wait here!”

“Okay…Good luck, my friend!” I whispered, holding out my Digivice.

“Celtinemon Digivolve to, Morgannamon!”

“Hah! Digivolution will not grant you a win! I have not only the strength of a Digimon, but a Human as well!” Splashmon exclaimed.

“What are you talking about?” Morgannamon asked.

“Heh; haven’t you figured it out yet? We Digimon here inside of Sakkakumon have all lead previous lives!” Splashmon said. “ShadowSeraphimon specifically chose those of us who have had some contact with the mercenary guild Lachesis, so as to allow our spite and hatred to augment our power! Most of the others have forgotten, but for whatever reason, Lord ShadowSeraphimon allowed me to retain my memories.”

“…What does that have to do with him having Human strength?” I asked. Splashmon grinned widely.

“As for me…Before I became the lord of this lovely empty city, I was known as Boltmon. My data was forcibly taken from me, and merged with some worthless Human, and we turned into a Bio Hybrid together. We were killed by Flamedramon, but my DigiCore was scavenged by Lord ShadowSeraphimon,” Splashmon said. “And now, I am the lord of the Realm of Steel.”

“…That has nothing to do with me. Clear Moon Sky!” Morgannamon shot a blast of energy clear through Splashmon’s chest. I smiled to myself at my friend’s success, but Morgannamon was shot back by another blast of water.

“Too bad for you…my entire body is made of nothing but water!” Splashmon exclaimed. “Hydro Pressure!”

“Clear Moon Sky!” The attacks of the two Digimon collided, but Morgannamon’s attack pushed through the stream of water and struck Splashmon in the face.

“I told you; my body is made of water! A simple attack like that will not hurt me!” Splashmon exclaimed. “My body will simply regenerate after each pathetic attack of yours!”

“Well, then; what if I keep attacking you until there’s nothing left of you to regenerate?! Night of the Falling Stars!” Morgannamon waved her staff through the air, and a barrage of shooting stars rained down from the sky and down onto Splashmon. The Aquatic Beast Man’s body rained down onto the ground around Morgannamon as her attacked continuously obliterated him. Each time Splashmon attempted to regenerate himself, another of Morgannamon’s Falling Stars blasted him, and rained him down once again on the ground.

“…Ergh…not…not bad, wretch…but…let’s see how you handle this!!!” Splashmon’s body began to regenerate itself and rise back up, this time taking a different form than the Digimon’s original humanoid shape, growing into a massive beast instead. “…Ahh…you see before you…my true form…my Darkness Mode…Your executioner!!! Tiger Typhoon!”

“Clear Moon Sky!” Once again, the attacks of Splashmon and Morgannamon collided, but this time, Splashmon’s attack triumphed, obliterating the Clear Moon Sky and pushing Morgannamon to the ground.

Oh no!

“…Not bad…but you aren’t the only one who can change form, understood?”

Oh! I guess that’s my cue! I pulled out my Digivice, and aimed it at Morgannamon. “Charge! D.N.A. Burst Mode!”

“Morgannamon Burst Mode!”

“What?! BURST Mode?! Inconceivable…A Mode Change stronger than my Darkness Mode…? I can feel your power exuding from that sickening aura of light emitting from your body…”

“Then, allow the light to purify your hatred, and eliminate your darkness. Star Seraph!”

“TIGER TYPHOON!” One final time, the attacks of the two Digimon clashed, sending sparks of light and water flying through the air. However, at the last second, Morgannamon unleashed a God Blaze Cannon that overpowered Splashmon’s attack. Both of my partner’s attacks struck Splashmon in the face. Splashmon unleashed a massive roar that shuck the ground and shattered all of the windows in the nearby vicinity. A loud sigh left Splashmon’s throat, and the Digimon fell to the cold, wet ground, defeated. “…Ah…damn…it…I can’t believe it…I…lost…to such a weakling…How…pathetic…Forgive me…Lord…ShadowSeraphimon…” Splashmon closed his eyes, and his data faded away.

“Morgannamon …you did it!” I exclaimed.

“…Yes…I…I’m quite tired,” Morgannamon sighed, turning back to her Ultimate level. “I…I think that turning into Burst Mode so soon after the previous one was pushing it…”

“Celtinemon…”

“…We’d better get going…It looks like this city is starting to fade away, just like the forest did,” Celtinemon said. An eye portal appeared on the roof right at my feet just as Celtinemon flew up to me. “Let’s get going, my dear…”

“Right!” Hand in hand, Celtinemon and I stepped into the portal. A bright light enveloped us, and when it vanished, standing directly in front of me was none other than Sparrow. “S-Sparrow?! You’re still—?!”

“SHH!” Sparrow clasped his hand over my mouth, and pulled me aside behind a tree. “…Yes, I’m still alive. ShadowSeraphimon wasn’t able to get me, so he had one of his flunkies pretend to be me and staged my execution,” he whispered.

“Sparrow…you’re really…still alive,” I said, being careful to whisper the words.

“Yeah…Sorry I worried all of you,” Sparrow said. “Augustus was able to pull me out of the wreckage of the castle just in time before ShadowSeraphimon saw him, and now he, Marissa, and Karatenmon are planning an ambush. August told me to stay low, but…”

“You kinda didn’t listen to him, didja?” I asked.

“Pretty much…Look, I just wanted to make sure that those three didn’t get hurt, and all. I really do owe them my life, after all,” Sparrow said. “Also…how did you manage to get out of Sakkakumon?”

“Well, Celtinemon Digivolved to Mega, and defeated Splashmon and JetSilphymon, and then, we were suddenly out here! I don’t know all the details or anything…”

“Right…Well, now that you’re here, would you mind…?”

“Yeah, don’t worry about it! Celtinemon and I will go make sure nothing happens to August or the others!” I said, smiling at the flame-haired man.

“Remember; don’t accidentally let slip yet that I’m actually still alive,” Sparrow whispered.

“I won’t; that’s a promise!”
Matthew Kasuto



An endless abyss of golden water overcame me; I was separated from Coronamon almost the very instant I became submerged. Owing to the fact that I was unable to swim or stay afloat, I fell beneath the surface of gold. The last thing I could remember before blacking out was a massive hand reaching out for me, and along with it, a rough-sounding voice.

“Argh. Laddie…yeh sure be pickin’ lousy times to go a’swinnin’, yeh know? C’mon, now, just rest, nice an’ easy thar…”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 174 - Lord of the Castle

Statuedramon



A solitary, black castle loomed before me. An equally dark sky hung forlornly and ominously above my head, flashing occasionally with bolts of lightning. I sighed, annoyed only with myself for being separated from Mia. I glanced back at the ebon-bricked castle, and pondered for a moment as to whether I should enter or not; however, without my notice, my legs had begun to move on their own, taking me to the castle.

“Stupid legs; next time, I pick where we go!” I muttered under my breath. As I entered the mouth of the castle, two large torches lit themselves, turning the castle from completely pitch-black to assorted shades of black, grey, and white. I looked up, and saw a staircase leading up into the ceiling. “Man, I gotta cut back on the drinking…” I shook my head, and continued on my way, seeing nothing apart from more lit torches, and more oddly placed staircases leading into walls and ceilings. “…Just looking at this damn castle’s giving me a headache…”

“Is that so…? Well then, perhaps I may be of some assistance of you…” It was a calm, eerily soothing voice who spoke, so soft and quiet it almost sounded as though it was speaking into my mind. A shadow twisted around the flickering light of a torch, sliding across the floor directly in front of me. A Digimon rose from the shadow, smiling down at me.

“Who are you…?” I whispered.

“My name is NeoMyotismon; and you, my little friend…Are you not Statuedramon?”

“Y-Yeah; how did you know?” I asked, growing suspicious of the Digimon.

“Oh, never mind that; come with me, little one…let us cure your disorientation,” NeoMyotismon said. “And perhaps, you’d care for some refreshments or…provisions?” I froze.

“…Food?!” My mouth dropped. NeoMyotismon laughed.

“Ah, I see we have a little more incentive for trust, now,” NeoMyotismon said.

“Well, yeah! A bad guy would just let me starve to death!” I exclaimed.

“Yes, they would…Well, such as it is, the dining room is this way…” NeoMyotismon sunk down into the shadows once again, but reached his arm out and grabbed me, pulling me down into the shadow after him. I blinked, and sat before a large banquet. “My magic has imbued the food before you to cure any ailments of the one who consumes it.”

“Holy…! Wait…it looks like someone’s already been here,” I said. “Some of the food’s already been eaten…Who—?”

“That would be me,” NeoMyotismon said quickly. “Now, then…Red, or white wine, for the Mr. Statuedramon…?”

“Red, please!”

“Ahh, you have excellent taste, sir…” NeoMyotismon snapped his fingers, and shoved a goblet of red wine underneath my face. I took a small sip, and my disorientation faded at once. NeoMyotismon smiled at me while I continued to eat and have a wonderful time with my new friend.
Giselle Alberona



Looking for and finding Augustus Maxwell did not take very long — it was only a few minutes, in fact, when I found him speaking with Karatenmon.

“Hey!!! Mr. Augustus!” I ran up to the two, waving vigorously so they could see me.

“Lady Giselle…Were you and Celtinemon not trapped inside Sakkakumon?” Karatenmon asked.

“Oh, we were, but Celtinemon defeated Splashmon, so we were able to escape!” I exclaimed.

“My word…Such a feat is nearly unheard of, escaping from a Sakkakumon,” Augustus murmured.

“Oh…Well, anyway, Sparrow sent me to help you guys fight ShadowSeraphimon so he wouldn’t have to disobey you and help you himself.”

“I told you he was planning on doing that!” Karatenmon said.

“Yes…but, whatever the case, we appreciate your assistance, milady,” Augustus said, bowing to me. “Our comrade Marissa is scouting the area to ensure that there aren’t any of ShadowSeraphimon’s lackeys surrounding the area. Although…in all honesty, she’s probably sleeping…”

“Don’t be so sure…” An orange-haired woman dropped to the ground from the thick foliage of the trees above, landing between me and Augustus. “Situation isn’t so bad; it’s just ShadowSeraphimon, Sakkakumon, and that self-righteous git of a Human he has working for him. We can take ‘em, easily.”

“Marissa, we can’t—”

“I wasn’t talking about ShadowSeraphimon; I meant his two flunkies,” Marissa interrupted. “Point is, there isn’t an army lying in wait to pounce on us when we get in there, ‘kay?”

“…Very well, then. Marissa, Karatenmon, Giselle, Celtinemon; are you all ready to follow me into battle?”

“Yes, sir!!” Karatenmon and I exclaimed, saluting the ex-knight. Celtinemon simply bowed, and Marissa gave a half-assed attempt at a salute. “Then, let us go! Onwards; to free our comrades!”
Matthew Kasuto

“…Ugh…Damn it, where am I this time…?” I lifted my head, but a throbbing pain from within my skull forced me back down. With my eyes fully open and accustomed to the light, I found myself on the main deck of a massive ship.

“Argh! You’ve awakened, then, laddie?!” a loud, vigorous voice bellowed. “Argh, good te’ have ye’ among us, laddie! Welcome aboard!”

“Wha…?”

“Well, up ya go, up ya go, laddie!” a large hand reached for me and picked me up and placed me on my feet. “Welcome…to the ocean of gold, laddie!”

“Ocean…?” I looked out to the horizon, and saw nothing but golden water as far as the eye could see. A few small islands littered the water here and there, but otherwise, nothing. The sky above was clear and blue, with a few white clouds at the edge of the horizon.

“Ya’ sure gone an’ scared the life out a’ me, laddie; fallin’ from that sky like ya’ did! Yar har har!”

“That’s right; I fell into the ocean…Did you save me, sir?” I asked.

“Arg, that I did, laddie. And you can call me Olegmon, thank ye!”

“Olegmon, then…Thank you for saving my life,” I said.

“Arg, don’t go and go all respectful on me, laddie!” Olegmon laughed. “I just be a pirate, me hearty. No need for honorifics.

“A pirate…? But…i-if you’re a pirate, why did you save me?” I asked.

“…Ya’ remind me of me own lad, boy,” Olegmon said. “Part of me thinks tha’s why I pulled yer scrawny ass outta tha ocean, ya know?”

“…Only part of you?” I asked.

“Ya…Part o’ me got ta thinkin’…Maybe I jus’ diddit for the hellof it. Who knows? Ah, who cin comprehend how the mind works, right, laddie?”

“Y-Yes, I suppose you have a point…” I smiled, and sighed with exhaustion, but suddenly, I became more alert and alarmed. “Coronamon! Coronamon, where are you?”

“Eh? What’re ya’ screamin’ for now, laddie?” Olegmon asked.

“My friend, Coronamon; where is he?!” I yelled desperately.

“Friend? I dunno what yer talkin’ about; you were the only one I saw, fallin’ from the sky,” Olegmon said.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 175 - Castle of Nightmares

Statuedramon




It seemed like more than a few days since I had first arrived in NeoMyotismon’s castle. It took nearly every bottle of wine in NeoMyotismon’s cellar to keep me from becoming disoriented while inside the bizarre white castle. NeoMyotismon was frequently gone, but he had given me the freedom to roam the castle to my heart’s content, although I had rarely taken the opportunity to do so in order to avoid getting lost. Although, during one of my rounds, I noticed a closed door close to the dining room of the castle that had not been there when at my most recent meal. Behind it, I could hear a ragged breath, along with a sigh of exhaustion. I was tempted to check it out, but I heard NeoMyotismon traveling through the shadows and sneaking up on me, so I continued on my way to the dining room.

“How are you doing today, my little friend?” I heard NeoMyotismon ask.

“Um…Well, I was wondering…” My thoughts turned briefly to the closed door, but I changed my mind about asking NeoMyotismon about it. “…Could I try the white wine tonight?”

“Ah, but of course, my little friend. Enjoy yourself…”

“Yeah…”

“…Is there something wrong, my little friend?” NeoMyotismon asked.

“I was just…wondering why you’ve been gone so often,” I whispered.

“Oh, Statuedramon, I’ve already told you; I simply have some business to attend to,” NeoMyotismon said, laughing softly. “As an Undead Digimon, it is important for me to gather as much moonlight into my body as possible to retain my life energy…you understand.”

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” I said.

“Now, then…With that in mind, I must take my leave of you once again, I’m afraid. Please, enjoy yourself in my absence.”

“Sure…” NeoMyotismon smiled once again, and sank back down into the shadows. I sighed, and sipped the wine NeoMyotismon left behind, and instantly spit it back out. “Damn…I’m sticking with red wine from now on.” I set my glass back down onto the table, and glanced back at the closed door I noticed earlier. I still heard a ragged breath from behind it, aggravating my curiosity until I wasn’t able to take it any longer. I stood up and marched over to the locked door, forcing it open with all of my might. What I saw made my stomach lurch painfully, and it wasn’t from the revolting wine I had just tasted.

“Statch…please…help me…”

“Zelda…” One of my closest friends, filled with a quiet inner strength that was oft belied by her gentle heart, never before had I seen her in more pitiful a state than this. Wrists and ankles bound in chains, covered in thin cuts all up and down her arms, legs, and belly, and sitting directly in the full light of the moon, she had a defeated look in her normally lustrous blue eyes, surrounded with rings of exhaustion and dark bags, pale lips, almost seeming to be completely emaciated. “Zelda…I’m…so sorry…”

“Statch…what…?” I cut through the chains binding my dearest friend, and gently clasped her hand in mine.

“…You’ve been here in this castle…for so long…haven’t you?” I asked. “Probably even longer than I have…I…never knew…”

“Statch…don’t blame yourself,” Zelda whispered, gently brushing a stray tear from my cheek. “I’m fine…NeoMyotismon needs me alive for his plan, so he made sure I had just enough to eat and drink so that I wouldn’t die…”

“That bastard…He was…he was my friend!”

“Statch…”

“He treated me like royalty…like a king…Food and wine, I was always eating, and drunk. But, behind my back, he was…he was hurting you like this…Why?! How could he do this to you?!”

“He said…that he needed me for my Mark,” Zelda whispered. “I have the blood of both races within me; he kept me in the moonlight to absorb my power. He wanted to become stronger…”

“Not anymore. I’m stopping that bastard, right here and now!”

“Statuedramon, my dear friend…after all that I’ve done for you, you decide to betray me…” I turned around just in time to see a long arm reach out from a shadow in the corner of the room and grab me by the neck. NeoMyotismon stepped out of the shadows, lifted me up into the air, and dug his claws into my neck. “How could you do this to me?! After all that I’ve done for you! How dare you?!”

“NeoMyotismon…you kept me blind to who you really are by appealing to vices. You were hurting my closest friend behind my back!” I shouted.

“Closest friend…? Hm…I do recall a man with you the last time I saw you; stabbed me in the shoulder!” NeoMyotismon snapped.

“What…? Do you mean Thomas?” Zelda asked.

“Hm, yes…Back in the church in Cyclamen City, that damnable city of thieves,” NeoMyotismon said. “How is that city doing, anyway? Someone killed me not long after your friend interrogated me oh-so kindly; I believe it was a LadyDevimon, but I think she was also blonde, maybe…?” I swallowed hardly, and exchanged a glance with Zelda.

It was Abigail…

“…Cyclamen City lies in ruins right now,” I said. “It was overrun by bandits lead by Sephyrus, and has faded away into the desert.”

“Heh; I knew they couldn’t live without their loving priest. If you hadn’t visited me, that woman wouldn’t have killed me long ago! ShadowSeraphimon grabbed my DigiCore then, and I’ve been trapped in Sakkakumon ever since then…That’s TWICE you’ve betrayed me!!! YOU SHALL PERISH!!!”

“Goddess, ENOUGH out of you!” I jabbed my sword into NeoMyotismon’s wrist, and the Undead Digimon screamed and dropped me onto the floor. “Sword of Dragon’s—!”

“Doom Cannon!” NeoMyotismon fired a blast of dark energy from his chest that struck me in the face, making me drop my sword and shield.

“Damn it; Zelda, get your—!”

“Talismans?” NeoMyotismon interrupted. “Sorry…But, if you want her little trinkets back, you’ll have to defeat me!” NeoMyotismon held out a small brown satchel, holding it between his claws.

“…I…um, forgot to mention…NeoMyotismon took all of my Talismans,” Zelda whispered.

“Okay…That doesn’t inspire confidence,” I said, standing back up.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 176 - Bittersweet Victory

Giselle Alberona



ShadowSeraphimon was now in sight. Many of my friends were strewn across the ground, either unconscious or trying to stay as far away as possible from ShadowSeraphimon, covered in bruises and assorted injuries that would temporarily incapacitate even people as strong as them. For the most part, these wounds seemed fresh, despite the fortress having collapsed over three hours ago; I looked over at ShadowSeraphimon, and saw wet blood on his hands. I clenched my fists, hearing a few of my knuckles crack. Celtinemon reached from behind me, and placed her hand tenderly over my own.

“They’ll be okay,” my Digimon partner whispered. “We’ll stop him, and save them all.”

“Your partner is correct,” Augustus said. “ShadowSeraphimon will fall before sundown; this, I do solemnly swear to you, my lady.” Augustus gripped the Talisman that hung from his neck, and held it at the center of his hand. “Let’s start with a bang, shall we? Come forth, BlackWarGreymon!” The Digimon Spirit materialized in the sky directly above ShadowSeraphimon; the Fallen Angel did not notice, and flicked his wrist at my fallen comrades, sending them flying backwards by an unseen force. BlackWarGreymon held out his gauntlet, and soared down towards ShadowSeraphimon.

“Mega Destroyer!” ShadowSeraphimon gave a startled glance up at the sky just as BlackWarGreymon crashed into the Fallen Angel. An explosion of dust surrounded the two Digimon and hid them from sight, catching the attention of both Sakkakumon and the large Human ShadowSeraphimon had working for him, the one called Bahira.

“Master!” Bahira called out.

“Do not fear, Bahira; it will take more than the likes of these fools to defeat me!” ShadowSeraphimon exclaimed. “Although…maybe you ought to grace them with the Goddess’s holy judgment?”

“Ah, my lord, an excellent thought!” Bahira exclaimed.

“Celtinemon, stop him!” I exclaimed.

“At once! Faerie Divider!”

“Away with you, accursed fairy!” Bahira swung his gavel through the air, and when Celtinemon approached him, he rammed his weapon into her belly, sending her flying backwards. “I…am no mere Human, sinful ones. I am…” Bahira raised his gavel skyward, and slammed the palm of his hand onto it. The light of Digivolution exuded from his weapon.

“N-no…He’s…a Bio Hybrid?!” Celtinemon gasped.

“Bio Hybrid D.N.A. Charge! Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioCaturamon!” Bahira laughed madly in his new form, and glared directly at me. “Feel the might of a god’s divine judgment! Treasure Hammer!”

“Get back!” Out of nowhere, Marissa slid past me, and kicked BioCaturamon in the neck, forcing the massive Bio Hybrid back away from me. “Why don’t you pick on a Bio Hybrid your own size?!”

“Hah! I attack whomever my lord or my goddess desires of me, weak or strong! I alone shall carry out the Goddess’s will!” BioCaturamon growled. “But, if you dare to challenge me, I shall not back down!”

“Well, let’s hurry; I’ve got a nap scheduled for thirty minutes from now,” Marissa said. “Bio Hybrid D.N.A. Charge! Bio Hybrid Digivolve to, BioNymphmon!”

“Now, this just got interesting!” BioCaturamon said. “Let’s rumble!”
Statuedramon



“Shenlongmon Digivolve to, Seiyaryumon!” With NeoMyotismon’s neck grasped firmly in my claws, I pushed the Undead Digimon through the ceiling of the room and all the way out of the dark castle.

“Why, Statuedramon, how kind of you to bring this fight to a place where I can truly stretch my wings!” NeoMyotismon exclaimed. “Blue Obliteration!”

“Ivory Blitz!” NeoMyotismon reached his claws out, but a blast of pure white energy fired from my mouth kept them from gouging my eyes out. “Ivory Blitz!”

“Doom Cannon!” Our two attacks collided in the air, creating a massive explosion that forced the both of us backwards. “Nightmare Raid!” From the cloud of dust from the explosion, a swarm of NeoMyotismon’s leeches flew out towards me, each one latching on to a different patch of my scales.

“N-No! Damn it! Get off of me!” I roared.

“Give it up, my former friend,” NeoMyotismon sneered. “The moment my familiar spirits latched onto you, they began draining you of your life energy.”

“Ivory Hurricane!” I spread out my wings and flapped them powerfully, surrounding myself in electrical energy to blast away the leeches. “Hah!”

“…You’d better look closer, my friend,” NeoMyotismon said. “You may have defeated some of them, but in the time it took you to do that much, even more have attached themselves to you. And not just your scales, mind you…I planted a huge one, right at your Core.”

“At my…Core? Cheap bastard…”

“You have five minutes. If you manage to defeat me by then, you’ll be saved. If not…your life energy will belong to me…and I will use that strength to destroy your little friend,” NeoMyotismon whispered.

“…Is that so? Well, then…thanks for letting me know,” I said. “Thank you…for giving me the motivation to destroy you with every ounce of my strength!!!” I gripped my claw at my chest, and became covered in a bright blue light. I saw myself growing larger and larger as NeoMyotismon grew smaller and smaller as I Digivolved into Azulongmon for the first time since fighting against Daemon over a month ago. NeoMyotismon looked on in awe and fear as I summoned immense dark clouds in the sky.

“…You have…four minutes,” NeoMyotismon whispered. “My Nightmare Raid will devour your Core! Nothing will be left of your data!”

“That would be true, were I an ordinary Digimon. But I…am a Sovereign! I’ve not one DigiCore, but twelve!” NeoMyotismon’s face paled instantly at his sudden realization. Thunder rumbled and bellowed in the dark sky. “Aurora Force!” With nowhere to hide, NeoMyotismon closed his eyes, as if accepting his fate as my most powerful attack blasted him. At once, his data burned away, and NeoMyotismon fell to the ground, dying.

“…Ahh…Yes…the strength of the traitor…it never ceases to amaze me,” NeoMyotismon said. “Just think…if you had stayed with me…that strength would have grown…we’d have feasted upon the cold, bloated corpse of your friend…her hideous mixed blood…All that power would be…just ours…for the taking…” NeoMyotismon’s eyes closed one final time, and the rest of his data faded away. I sighed to myself, closing my eyes as I gently alighted to the ground and reverted to my Rookie form.

“…NeoMyotismon…Did it really have to be this way? If you had never been taken by ShadowSeraphimon…would you have been evil?” I asked, speaking in a low whisper. I looked at the ground, where NeoMyotismon had been moments before he died, and picked up the satchel containing Zelda’s Talismans. “…I guess…we may never know. But now, your spirit may lay at rest peacefully…my friend.”

“Statuedramon…” I glanced to my left, and saw Zelda leaving the solid black castle, unharmed and unscathed.

“…Zelda…Here. Your Talismans…”

“…Thank you, Statch. For saving me…”

“Please, don’t thank me…I didn’t even notice you over my own stupidity; you suffered longer than you should have because of me,” I whispered. Zelda smiled, and leaned down on the ground next to me, placing her arms around me shoulders.

“Don’t blame yourself. It was NeoMyotismon who hurt me, not you…You saved me from being hurt any further by that fiend…or probably even from being killed. If anything, I don’t think I could ever thank you enough…”

“…Zelda…I…Do have a favor I’d like to ask of you, when the time comes,” I said slowly. “In about one years’ time—” Before I could finish my sentence, the ground beneath us began to tremor violently. The earth split in two, and several eye portals formed around us. With the ground quaking as they were, Zelda and I were unable to resist further, and were thrown into two separate portals, hurtled into the infinite blackness of Sakkakumon.
 
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IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 177 - Sacrifice

Statuedramon



As the darkness that overcame me faded, so too did my resolve and what little optimism I may have had after defeating NeoMyotismon. I had landed in a heavily wooded location inside of Sakkakumon; at the center of this realm was a cleared area devoid of trees. However, upon closer inspection, I saw that it was, in fact, a massive tree stump emerging from the ground that I now stood upon. I sighed, and heard my breath echoing across the void.

“…There’s got to be somebody here,” I said to myself. “No matter who it may be, I will destroy them, and escape this damned maze. Even if…they make me fight the shadow of an old friend.” I looked around, and saw no signs of anyone having been here for the longest time. No movement, not even a breeze to sway the leaves, each one a tranquil explosion of a fiery orange, red, or yellow, without a single one leaving its branch to touch the ground. It was completely silent, almost perfectly so, and that bothered me. Where was the master of this dimension? Without any master, this world would not exist as it does; a sea of trees. An empty abyss of silence. A swift, darting movement caught my notice from the corner of my eye. I drew my sword at once, and glanced around cautiously. Something small, like an insect, whizzed past my head, and stuck in the ground. “…An arrow. Looks like they found me instead.”

“A familiar presence…? Oh, well, what have we here…? A friend of ages past…?” Approaching me, a rather small Digimon came into sight. “Well…? Do you not remember your old friend?”

“Z-Zamielmon,” I whispered. “I didn’t even know you were killed…”

“Yes, it wasn’t very long ago; that’s probably why it’s still fresh on my mind,” Zamielmon whispered. “A member of your guild…what was her name, Loralyn? She was captured by a few guards, my nephews, and held at my place. That was when some weird Human barged in, and…well, that’s the last thing I can remember. I suppose he must have killed me…”

“A Human? A Human killed a Royal Guard of Lotisea Province?!” I exclaimed.

“Ex-guard, remember; Deckerdramon forced me to retire because of my injury, as you’ll recall,” Zamielmon said. “Anyway, that a Human killed me isn’t what was weird…It was that he used the attacks of Digimon to do it.”

“A Digimon’s…attacks?! Impossible!”

“Believe it, my friend…Somewhere, roaming loose in this world is a man with that kind of crazy ability…and he’s hunting Digimon. Powerful ones. He had the powers of old Behemotmon, and even an Aegisdramon. He came to Lotisea to claim Deckerdramon, from what I understand. I doubt he succeeded, though…”

“…I just can’t believe…such a thing would ever be possible,” I whispered. “Although…long, long ago, I thought the notion of a Bio Hybrid to be impossible…”

“Ask Loralyn for yourself; she was there. Ask her when you get out of here,” Zamielmon said.

“Out of here…? Zamielmon…do you know…where we are?” I asked.

“Yes. We are inside of Sakkakumon, are we not?”

“…Yeah.”

“Yes…I have heard that time flows at a different rate within Sakkakumon. While it may have been days for you, I doubt even an hour has passed in the outside world. And, the only way for you to leave is to defeat each guardian spirit of each of Sakkakumon’s different realms, right?” Zamielmon asked.

“Zamielmon, I don’t want to fight—”

“No, Statch. I will never raise an arm to a cherished comrade,” Zamielmon said, giving me a sad smile. The Demon Man reached to his back, and removed the large arrow he had stored. As I came to understand his intention, I slowly began to shake my head. “…I’ve already told you…everything you need to know. Use that knowledge, with your power…to end this madness for me.”

“Zamielmon…you can’t—”

“Goodbye…Statuedramon,” Zamielmon said. With tears streaming down his face, he pointed the tip of his arrow at his own chest.

“ZAMIELMON, DON’T!”

“Ultimate Arrow.”

“ZAMIELMON!!!!!!!!!” By the time I was able to reach my friend, it was already too late. He lay on the ground, dying, with his arrow having torn all the way through his chest. “Zamielmon! You dumb bastard; why the hell did you do this?!”

“They pull the strings…Now, you cut them…I’m counting…on you,” Zamielmon gasped, coughing up a spurt of blood. His data faded away completely, and was gone.

“…Damn you…ShadowSeraphimon,” I whispered in a choked voice. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I stepped through a portal that appeared before me as the wooded area dissolved into darkness. A blinding light shone through, and when I opened my eyes, I found myself returned to the real world; one not within Sakkakumon. Directly in front of me was none other than ShadowSeraphimon himself. “Zamielmon…I swear upon my life…Your death will not have been in vain. I will destroy ShadowSeraphimon, and any other who dares to get in my way.”

“You…?! You’re still alive?!” ShadowSeraphimon exclaimed. “NeoMyotismon was supposed to deal with you…”

“Yes; he tried. And he failed,” I said, glaring down the taller Mega Digimon. “And then, Zamielmon gave his life trying to get me out of that damn place.”

“Zamielmon?! Ah, and I had just gone to the trouble of acquiring his DigiCore for Sakkakumon; what a wasted venture,” ShadowSeraphimon said.

“You bastard! You can’t just toy with the lives of other Digimon!” I roared.

“Yes, yes, I’ve heard the lecture many times,” ShadowSeraphimon said disdainfully. “My brother tried to say something similar to me right before I took his life.”

“Your…brother? You have a brother?” I asked.

“HAD a brother. Dominimon was killed by my own hands.”

“Dominimon…? Dominimon is…your brother?” I asked, my voice barely above a whisper.

“Come, now; pay attention!” ShadowSeraphimon snapped. “I have no brother! I killed him only a few days ago. Oh, but don’t worry; it wasn’t a wasted kill. I retrieved his DigiCore and put it to good use inside of Sakkakumon as one of the ten guardians.”

“How…how could you do that?!” I yelled.

“Whyever not? I lacked the Core of a light-element Digimon; Dominimon was quite the thorn in my side. I killed him, and put his data to good use; this is the first time his life has had meaning, undoubtedly!”

“How can you even SAY that?! Dominimon…he has a daughter! His life was never without meaning!”

“Hmm…Last I saw him, before the day I killed him, he had run away from his wife and two children, unable to stand the pressure of bearing the Mark. Imagine my surprise when I saw one of those two daughters with him on our more recent meeting,” ShadowSeraphimon said. “Of course, that was about five-hundred years ago, not too long after I first became a loyal servant of IceDevimon. Oh, we had quite the discussion that day; angry words were said. Horrible words that could never be taken back. It was quite entertaining, if I may be quite honest with you. But, on that day, I knew the time would come when I would have to kill Dominimon; he had sworn to put an end to me, or some such nonsense. I figured I ought to do the same to him if I wanted to continue living.”

“…Dominimon promised to destroy you, huh?”

“Oh, I’m certain he meant it; he was a skilled fighter, no doubt. I’m certain he could have easily destroyed me. But, the thought of fighting his brother weighed heavily upon his heart,” ShadowSeraphimon sighed.

“…Very well, then. For Zamielmon…and for Dominimon…for everyone I care about, dead or alive…I will pick up where Dominimon left off…AND DESTROY YOU!” I roared. Drawing my sword, I charged at the Mega Fallen Angel.
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 178 - Stealing Thunder

Mia Kiru



It was a very peculiar forest I found myself in following the defeat of Dorbickmon; dark clouds loomed above in the sky, flashing with lightning and threatening rain. Although, after just escaping from the intense heat of the volcanic dimension in Sakkakumon, I welcomed the possibility. The air was quite dry, to my dismay, with not a single droplet of water to be found anywhere; no morning dew on any leaves, which seemed to be almost aglow with an unearthly green. I looked back up at the sky, or rather, clouds; not a single patch of blue was to be seen. A massive bolt of lightning flashed in the sky, and I began to feel uneasy about standing amidst these rather tall trees during a thunderstorm.

“…For once, I’m glad I never grew all that tall,” I said to myself. “If I could just find the Digimon who lives in this dimension, I would have to worry about all this stupid thunder…” A large crash emanated from the forest behind me, making the ground beneath me quake violently. A massive horn tore through the trees with ease, shaking them apart into small splinters. A massive Digimon crawled forward, its horn so massive that the face was completely hidden from sight.

“…Ah…I thought I heard someone,” the Digimon said in a low growl. “And by the Goddess, what a find! How long has it been since I’ve seen one so lovely…”

“…U-Um…Thank…you…?”

“Now, then…What can old RhinoKabuterimon do for you, little lady?” the massive Digimon asked.

Jeez…first, Dorbickmon wants to kill me, now this big lug wants to mate with me! Hard to say which one is worse…

“Come on, tell me! Wouldn’t want to keep a pretty thing like you waiting, now!” RhinoKabuterimon said. “As the lord of this entire world, I shall give everything in my power to your happiness!”

Man, it sounds like he’s already proposing to me! I’ll just get BanchoStingmon to kill him and get away from this place as fast as I can…I pulled my newly acquired Talisman from my purse, and held it in the center of my palm. The form of the Insectoid Digimon appeared before me with crossed arms.

“Wha—?! Who is this?!” RhinoKabuterimon snapped.

“…I would ask the same of you, but seeing as I don’t care, I won’t waste my time,” BanchoStingmon said quietly.

“Get away from my future wife, you prick!”

“You don’t even know my name!” I shouted. “BanchoStingmon, hurry up and kill him!”

“…No.”

“What!? C’mon, you said you’d help me out, and I really need your help—”

“This is not my battle,” BanchoStingmon interrupted. “Call the one this battle is meant for. It is personal…for him.”

“What’re you talking about?!” I squealed.

“I battle passionately and without question to whoever owns my Talisman. However…I refuse to fight another’s battle for them,” BanchoStingmon said. “To do battle…is a sacred rite of spirits clashing. When it is personal for one to commit to the art, I refuse to interfere and rob an ally of that sense of personal enlightenment.”

“You sure do talk a lot,” RhinoKabuterimon sighed. “If you aren’t going to fight me, send in someone who will so my fiancé and I can get on with our wedding day!”

“Jeez, talk about delusional,” BanchoStingmon sighed. “Mia…this is a battle for MegaKabuterimon. It is for him, and him alone.”

“Mega…Kabuterimon?” RhinoKabuterimon whispered.

“I apologize for this act of defiance,” BanchoStingmon said.

“No…I understand,” I whispered.

“Seeya.” BanchoStingmon nodded and gave me a thumbs-up before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

“Come forth, MegaKabuterimon! Stand by my side, and rid our world of this evil!”

“At your service, Mia!” The massive Insectoid Digimon landed at my side, quaking the ground as he stepped forward towards RhinoKabuterimon. “…Is that…?”

“What’s wrong?” I asked. Oh, no, I hope that isn’t some relative of his…Poor thing…

“THAT’S ME!” MegaKabuterimon exclaimed. “That’s my body!”

…WHAT?!

“The hell are you talking about?” RhinoKabuterimon asked.

“And please tell me you’re kidding,” I said flatly.

“I’m a Digimon Spirit, remember? So that means that I was killed in a previous life of mine before my spirit was born into your Talisman of me! I was that RhinoKabuterimon before I was killed by a Phoenixmon!” MegaKabuterimon said in a surprisingly enthusiastic voice.

“What?! I’m not dead, you looser!” RhinoKabuterimon retorted. “I’m right here, breathing and alive!”

“I assure you, you are long deceased,” I said. “We’re all inside of a Digimon called Sakkakumon—”

“ENOUGH! I will not be made a fool of by this runt of an insect! Thunder Laser!”

“Horn Buster!” The attacks of the two insect Digimon collided with a massive clash of electrical energy. Sparks flew everywhere as the two Digimon’s attacks reached a stalemate and pushed the two opposing Digimon back.
Statuedramon



My blade clashed against the palm of ShadowSeraphimon’s right hand. To my left, I caught a glimpse of BioNymphmon engaging in combat with another Digimon. I saw Augustus as well, along with Karatenmon and Giselle. ShadowSeraphimon wrapped his fingers around my sword, and at once, my body surged with electricity. The Fallen Angel flicked his wrist and tossed me through the air and into a tree.

“Statuedramon Digivolve to, Shenlongmon!”

“Digivolution? So, I take it this means you’ve gotten your memories back, Sovereign?!” ShadowSeraphimon hollered.

“Golden Dragon!”

“Shadow Shockwave!” Our two attacks clashed; an explosion of energy was released upon impact, but once again, I was sent flying backwards and hit the ground. “Is that the best of your abilities, Sovereign Blue?! How pathetic! Your master ought be ashamed in his choice of servants! But then, when you’ve the brain of a gnat, one’s choices tend to be beyond stupid!”

“…That’s crossing the line, ShadowSeraphimon. Don’t you EVER mock my master! Shenlongmon Digivolve to, Seiyaryumon!”

“Digivolve all you like, weak one; your power is but the merest fraction of my own! Strike of the Seven Dark Stars!”

“Ivory Blitz!” Before I could finish charging up my attack, ShadowSeraphimon’s attack overcame me. I was surrounded by darkness in an instant, and turned back into my Rookie form.

“Pathetic. You sought to protect your friends, but your blood shall be among the first to be shed. Join young Sparrow in the afterlife!” ShadowSeraphimon slammed his foot on the back of my head, pressing my face down into the mud. “PERISH!”

“Come forth, BanchoStingmon!”

“Bloody Finish!” A Digimon flew down from the sky; a rather tall one I figured, based on how loud the buzzing, insectoid wings sounded. ShadowSeraphimon raised his leg up off of me, and was gone.

“Statuedramon…are you okay?” I heard Mia’s voice ask. Her small, cool fingers gently touched my arm, while a tiny hand wrapped around my other arm and helped me to stand up.

“Yeah…you came just in time, Mia,” I said quietly.

“Hey, no problem! I’d rather be here helping my little buddy than get propositioned by a dead bug!” Mia exclaimed.

“…Don’t we all.”

“Now, then…let’s give ShadowSeraphimon a fight he’ll never forget!”

“Right. Let’s do this!”
 

IamTheSovereign

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Chapter 179 - He's a Pirate

Matthew Kasuto



“Coronamon…where are you?” I whispered to myself.

“Ah, don’t yeh worry, lad; we’ll find yer pal!” Olegmon bellowed alongside a jovial laugh.

“Yeah, but…he can’t swim,” I said.

“There be plenty of rocks here ‘n thar. You need not worry ‘bout ‘im!” Olegmon said. “…Oh! He be a fire ‘mon, right? Yar, that’s not good…Ye’d best hurry up, laddie!”

“Olegmon, YOU are the captain of this ship! You should hurry up, not me!”

“Oh, that be right! I gone and forgot again! Yar har!” Olegmon leaped up and landed before the ship’s wheel. “Yar! Let’s a’go!” Olegmon’s massive ship veered to the left and almost tipped over completely; the mast barely dipped into the golden ocean, but Olegmon didn’t seem to mind, and instead, laughed it off entirely. I hung on for dear life as the ship returned to normal position and arose a giant wave beneath it.

Coronamon…we’ll find you, I promise. That is, unless Olegmon gets us both killed first…

“Yar! I think I found ‘im!” Olegmon yelled, pointing off the side of the ship.

“Olegmon, that’s a stick…”

“…Oh! So it be, so it be…Oh! There!”

“That’s the same stick.”

“Oh…yeah, but if yeh lookit it at—”

“It still looks like a stick,” I said flatly.

“Yar…Oh! I be smellin’ a fire!” Olegmon exclaimed.

“Where?!”

“O’er by that peak! Yar, I be seein’ a light, too, an’ it ain’t gold!”

“Are you sure?!” I asked.

“Trust me, laddie; I know me gold, and I know me fire! It be impossible to start a fire in this place! That light’s got to be yer pal!” Olegmon shouted.

“Coronamon…”

“Yar, I got me some good eyes, just like you, archer; looks like some kinda wave tossed ‘im up thar,” Olegmon said. “Buried in some rocks ‘n shit…”

“That makes sense; he was terrible at climbing,” I commented.

“He be trapped under some rocks. Don’t worry, laddie; I’ll get ‘im down for yeh!” Olegmon exclaimed. “Twin Broadsword Boomerang!”

“Wait, what are you—?!”

“Don’t worry, lad; I got me good aim with me left arm!” Olegmon said, tossing his axe with his right arm.

Oh, Goddess…

“There! Got ‘im, laddie!” I looked up, and saw Olegmon’s axes breaking through the rocks pinning Coronamon down. Like a boomerang, the axe returned, and to my immense relief, Coronamon with it, hanging on to the large handle. “Yar, it were nothin’!” Olegmon said modestly.

“Coronamon! Are you okay?!” I practically screamed, shaking the tiny body of my Digimon partner.

“M-Matt…s-stop shaking me, I’m dizzy enough as it is!” Coronamon exclaimed. “Matthew…listen to me—”

“Oh, Coronamon, I’m so glad you’re okay! After we fell into the ocean…and then, I couldn’t find you for the longest time…I thought you were…”

“…I’m sorry to have worried you,” Coronamon whispered. “But, Matthew…you have to listen to me; Olegmon is—”

“Oh, yes, Olegmon was the one who got you down!”

“Er, yes, I am grateful for that, but…”

“But…? What is it?” I asked.

“Yer buddy there be tryin’ to tell ye’ to hurry up an’ kill me,” Olegmon said calmly.

“What? Coronamon…?”

“Listen to me. You know we’re still inside of Sakkakumon. The only way for us to get out is for us to defeat Olegmon,” Coronamon said.

“Yer pal be right, laddie,” Olegmon said.

“Olegmon…”

“He’s evil, Matthew. We need to defeat him.”

“Kay, that’s where ye bad wrong, lad,” Olegmon said. “I not be evil, laddie. I helped ye’, aye?”

“You did…but…”

“I be knowin’ fer a long while now, where I be at,” Olegmon sighed. “And in me old life, maybe I was somethin’ of a baddie. Ye saw me back then — I used to be Vikemon, an’ before then, Zudomon, workin’ for Barbossa, an’ before that, IceDevimon ‘imself.”

“IceDevimon…?”

“But, that all be in th’ past now, laddie. I be a new mon. I be Olegmon now. I helped ye cuz I wanted to. I had no ult…ultear…er, no bad reason to be doin’ it. I want ter be helpin’ ye. And I be doin’ that again by fightin’ ye.”

“How is that going to help us?!” Coronamon asked.

“Yer pal, there; he don’t want to fight me, yeah? But, he gotta in order to get out of here,” Olegmon said. “I help ye be findin’ inner strength. Sometimes…actually, sometime soon for ye, I feel; you’ll have to fight someone you don’t want to be fightin’. But, you’ll have teh, in order to be protectin’ yer pals. This’ll be fer practice, yeh hear?”

“Olegmon…”

“Now, laddie, I want ye to go all out a’gainst me, understood? Wouldn’t want ye ta go feedin’ the fishes, now!” Olegmon laughed.

“Matthew…let’s do as he says,” Coronamon said.

“I don’t…want to fight you, Olegmon,” I whispered. “I can’t…”

“Yeh got to, laddie! Yeh wanna see yer sis again, right? Don’t go disappointin’ the poor lass!” Olegmon bellowed.

…Katsumi…what…what should I do? I asked. …Katsumi? Are you there? I glanced around nervously, and so no sign of the phantasmal spirit of my beloved. Oh, no…

“Coronamon Digivolve to, Firamon! Flame Dive!” Firamon charged into Olegmon, digging his sharp claws into the pirate’s arms.

“Yar, not strong enough, ye scurvy dog! Two-Fist Scuttle-Buster!” Olegmon swung his axes through the air and slashed away at Firamon. Thin spurts of blood flew through the air with each swing of Olegmon’s arms, but in spite of the heavy damage he had already taken, Firamon’s flames burned brighter and more vigorously. The Champion Digimon roared, and Digivolved into Flaremon.

“Red Lion Dance!” Flaremon unleashed a barrage of flaming punches, striking Olegmon in the face multiple times within the span of a single second.

“Yar, not bad, matey!” Olegmon exclaimed. “But try te get past this one! Twin Broadsword Boomerang!”

“Crimson Beast-King Wave!” Olegmon joined his two axes together and hurled them past Flaremon’s head as my partner blasted Olegmon with intense crimson flames.

“Heh…Yer…pretty good, laddie,” Olegmon grunted. “Yeh might actually win…If yeh hurry…”

If he hurries…? I gasped, and looked up. Olegmon’s axe hurtling towards my partner’s head. “FLAREMON! DUCK!!!” Without even bothering to question me, Flaremon bent his knees and hit the deck. Olegmon’s eyes widened as his own weapon tore through the side of his neck. “Olegmon!”

“Ah…y-yeh got me…laddie,” Olegmon said in a hoarse whisper, grinning through the blood that spilled from his open mouth. “Good…for you…boy…Yeh diddit…just when yer pal needed yeh to do it. I’m proud of yeh…proud…” Olegmon began coughing madly, spitting up blood on the deck of his ship.

“Olegmon, no…don’t go! Don’t die…”

“Ah, yeh don’t need me…I be a pirate. Don’t need scum like me in yer life…Yer friends are waitin’ for yeh…”

“Olegmon, YOU’RE my friend!!!”

“Haa…Yeh sure know how teh ease an old barnacle into the afterlife…Never in me past two lives…Never been called someone’s pal before…” Olegmon gently shut his eyes, and faded away.

“…Matthew. Let’s go,” Flaremon whispered after a moment.

“Flaremon…why? Why do I keep losing friends before my eyes without being able to help them?” I asked. “Alicia…Katsumi…Olegmon…”

“Matthew…I’m sorry,” Flaremon said. “If…If anyone should be to blame, it would be me. I’m your Digimon partner; I should be able to protect you. Not just your body…I should be able to protect you from this sadness…as well as the lives of your friends…and I’m failing you…” I looked down at the deck, and said nothing. An eye portal formed beneath us, waiting for us to travel through it. “…Let’s get going.” With a single arm, Flaremon picked me up, and jumped into the portal.

…Olegmon…I…see you later…
 

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Chapter 180 - Ice Girl

Eleanora Kasuto



It was a barren and frozen world that I found myself in. I’d lost track of the days spent trudging through the snow and ice that raped the land, possibly walking around in circles for all I knew. Lunamon lay limp and fast asleep in my arms, still very warm. Such did not come as a surprise to me; most Digimon who used ice attacks would naturally be immune to such cold temperatures. But me? I could practically feel my heart gradually coming to a slow but steady stillness. I could see each breath I took as a cold white mist escape from my lips. The snow began to hasten its escape from the cloudy gray skies, and become a blizzard. I could barely see two feet in front of me, let alone my own two feet.

I was very thankful for the boots I wore; the protection from the ice was not total, but nevertheless better than nothing as I trudged onwards. The blizzard parted somewhat in front of me, just enough for me to see a crevasse in the side of a mountain. I held Lunamon’s body closer to mine, and slowly walked into the cave. It was somewhat of a tight fit, but there was enough room for me to sit down with Lunamon in my lap and rest my sore legs.

And that was over a week ago. Or at least, that was how it seemed. In this blizzard, with neither sun nor moon visible through the storming skies, it was impossible to tell how much time had truly passed. It could have been an hour, a day, or even a year. I held Lunamon’s small body as close to mine as I could for warmth. With sheer willpower, I was able to keep myself awake in this cave of ice to avoid freezing to death.

But, I was weakening. I was tired. I was cold, even with Lunamon nestled up against me. I had lost my sword, my great ancestor’s weapon that had won him countless victories and saved countless lives; the one and only testament of my strength and willpower. Without that, I was nothing; powerless; afraid. I could be of no use to anybody. I looked up at the roof of the cave, and sighed quietly. Would it be so bad if I froze here, and died…? This was a thought I had consistently running through my mind upon entering this frozen wasteland.

NO! I quickly thought to myself. No…I can’t do that to Matthew…I have to…get out of this place…somehow…I clenched my fist, and forced myself to stand up again. “I will…get out of here…I will…survive…” I shut my eyes, and left the cave of ice. At once, that small, frozen space seemed the more inviting and warm than the blizzard that, once again, rendered me near senseless. After but a few seconds of wandering the endless field of snow, slapped in the face by the oncoming sleet, my knees once more gave out beneath me, though this time, the action was involuntary. I tried desperately to rise back up, but found myself unable to do so. “N-No…I…can’t go out like this…I have to…get back home…Matthew…” I collapsed in the snow. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. All I could do was angrily fight against the darkness that slowly overcame my mind. Upon being dropped, Lunamon had woken up, and was trying desperately to shake me awake, but to no avail. At that moment, before closing my eyes, the last thing I could see was Lunamon, with a frightened look in her eyes, opening her mouth to scream my name.

…Eleanora. You have no right dying here. Not when a great evil must be purged from this world!

“…What…?”

Open your eyes, damn you! You don’t get to die yet; not while that monster is still walking freely in our world!

“…Who…are you…?” I whispered.

I told you to open your eyes. So, do it! Immediately, my eyes snapped open. I was no longer on the ground. I stared blankly at myself, covered in snow, and then at Lunamon at my side. The blizzard had ceased around us, but persisted close by, as if warded off by some magical force. Standing before the two of us was a Digimon, a tall and humanoid woman looking as if to be carved from ice. Pale, blue-green skin and bluer lips, fingers, and toes, matching her long hair and her rather skimpy armor. “You stand before Yukinamon, Human. Show me the respect I deserve.”

“Try doing something to deserve it first,” I said dryly. The Digimon glared, and quickly swung her arm through the air. For a moment, nothing happened, but then, an unseen force struck me in the gut, knocking the wind right of me. I fell down to the snow, breathing heavily.

“E-Ellie, are you okay?” Lunamon whispered.

“…What do you want from me?!” I grunted, climbing back up to my feet.

“I told you…you can’t die yet!” Yukinamon snapped. “Don’t you pay attention?! You don’t have any right dying while evil like IceDevimon walks freely in our world!”

“…Ice…Devimon…?” Lunamon whimpered.

“What do you know about him?” I asked.

“What do I know about him? Honestly…what don’t I know about that freak?!” Yukinamon asked. “Well, let’s start at the beginning, why don’t we? First of all, it was that bastard who murdered me in the first place. He delivered my DigiCore personally to ShadowSeraphimon. I was the first to be trapped in Sakkakumon, over seven-hundred years ago…I’ve lost count, to be perfectly honest.”

“How awful…Why did IceDevimon do that to you?” Lunamon asked.

“Well, little one, that’s where the story truly begins to get interesting. You see, I used to be one of IceDevimon’s cronies. One of his most loyal, he even used to say,” Yukinamon sighed. “But, one day…I guess you could say my usefulness to him came to an end. So, he killed me. For a few dozen years, it seemed merciful. I was useless to him in life, so he wanted to preserve that usefulness, in life or in death. From that, it should be easy even for you to figure out what happened.”

“What does this have to do with me?” I asked.

“Impatient slut…Fine. The first time IceDevimon was killed, it was at the hands of a Digimon Spirit under the command of one of your ancestors,” Yukinamon said. “He was, as you know, reborn. But, at the time that he was killed, he was missing…a part of himself. He was weaker…but because of that, he was able to revive himself much, much sooner.”

“What do you mean by a part of himself? Explain,” I said.

“…IceDevimon was originally what some might call the ‘perfect being.’ Male and female, Human and Digimon,” Yukinamon said. “I know that sounds impossible, but it’s true, so don’t try to strain your tiny little brains thinking about it. That Digimon, or Human…I don’t know what its name was, but it split into two forms; a female Human, and a male Digimon. The male Digimon was IceDevimon. And, IceDevimon told me of a third body; something of a leftover husk when the two beings split apart. But, my point is, IceDevimon is trying to find his other half; a female Human. Because he hadn’t found that woman when your ancestor and her Spirit killed IceDevimon, no less the empty shell of his original form, he was defeated very easily. However, it seems that IceDevimon was able to find that shell, and now it serves as IceDevimon’s master.”

“Well, that’s just great; there’s something out there even stronger than IceDevimon,” I muttered. “…Yukinamon, how do you know this if you’ve been trapped inside of Sakkakumon for so long?”

“ShadowSeraphimon gave me this information. I suppose he still held out hope that I would one day become useful to IceDevimon, so he kept me up to speed on everything that happened,” Yukinamon said. “Now, as for what this has to do with you, Eleanora…because it was your ancestor that defeated IceDevimon, only one of her bloodline can kill him for good. As a result…the task will fall to you, Eleanora Kasuto. You must be the one to destroy IceDevimon.”

“…M-Me?! Why me?!” I asked. “How did I suddenly turn into the one destined to kill IceDevimon?!”

“Because the Goddess is no longer around to do the job for you. And not just IceDevimon; you must find and destroy his other half before the two merge,” Yukinamon continued. “If the two join back together with the empty shell, then it will be impossible to destroy him. Arcadia will never know peace…only darkness, and despair. It has to be you, Eleanora. Not just for the blood that runs in your veins, but for your spirit. Your heart of fire; that will be key in destroying IceDevimon, as well as his other half.”

“…I…I don’t—”

“Oh, enough of this! I just told you that you’re the only one — other than the Goddess — capable of destroying the source of evil in this world, and you STILL aren’t sure of yourself?!” Yukinamon snapped.

“I just don’t think that I’m the best choice—”

“Enough of your bellyaching! If you don’t think you have the guts to stand up to IceDevimon, then I’ll cut you open and show them to you myself! Phantom Frost!” Instinctively, I reached to grab my sword, but found nothing. As soon as I had remembered that I lost it, pale blue flames cut deep into my shoulder. The cold flames stung my skin, but strangely enough, I found that I did not bleed when Yukinamon pulled them back. “Well?! Fight back, damn you! If you can’t defeat me, then you’ll never stand a chance against IceDevimon! Phantom Frost!”

“Lunatic Dance!” Lunamon, having Digivolve to the Ultimate-level Crescemon, intercepted Yukinamon’s attack with her curved blades. “I don’t care who you used to be, or who you are now! I will not allow you to harm my friend!”

“Well, darling, by all means; go ahead and try to stop me! Tundra Claw!” Yukinamon’s right hand, a malformed claw of a pale blue, struck Crescemon’s blades, shattering them to pieces. “Phantom Frost!” Yukinamon hit Crescemon with a blast of pale blue flames, sending her flying backwards.

“Crescemon!”

“You’re next, Eleanora! Just try to stop me!” Yukinamon snarled. A twist of flames formed in her left hand, forming themselves into the shape of a rapier.

“Ice Archery!” Immediately, numerous sharp icicles tore through the cold flames in Yukinamon’s hand. “Dark Archery!”

“You should have just stayed down…Icy Aegis!” A translucent, glimmering sphere made entirely of ice formed around Yukinamon. Crescemon’s dark arrows helplessly bounced off of the shield and landed on the snow at my feet. “Phantom Frost!” Yukinamon’s rapier extended itself, and swung it through the air, striking both me and Crescemon. I found myself still standing, but instantly, Yukinamon was upon me. “Tundra Claw!” Yukinamon’s thin, sharp claws raked across my belly. My blood spilled onto the snow, dying it from pure white to a soft, pale magenta, and then to a deep crimson. Then, Yukinamon began to alternate between her two offensive attacks, trying to corner me with Phantom Frost before striking with a Tundra Claw. With the quickening loss of blood and the extreme cold, my movements began to slow drastically. Yukinamon’s blue lips twisted into a grim smile as she realized that I was close to death.

I…I knew it…Without my sword…HIS sword…I’m useless…Can’t do anything…right…I slumped against the side of an icy mountain, and looked Yukinamon directly in the eyes. Here…she comes…D-Damn it all…I struggled to so much as keep my eyes open; they rested at the tips of my white boots. Next to them were the darts fired by Crescemon. My pulse quickened. Yukinamon readied her final Tundra Claw. I…will not die here! As fast as I could, I bent and grabbed one of the arrows. I smiled; Yukinamon left herself wide open with her attack. I shoved my hand into Yukinamon’s soft belly, briefly stunning her, and with my right arm, jabbed the arrow of darkness into her heart. Her face became twisted in an agonized shriek that was lost to the winds of a sudden blizzard. Yukinamon fell to her knees, clutching at the arrow, which buried itself deeper into her chest and through the skin of her back.

“N-No! You…actually did it?!” Yukinamon said in a breathless voice. “Haa…Good! Good girl…If you had lost, I’d have had doubts about the future of our world…And about this decision.”

“Wha—?” Before I could react, Yukinamon rushed at me, and wrapped the fingers of her left hand around my throat. I fell to my back, and the Icy Digimon became enveloped in the light of Digivolution, beginning to fade away. Her data flowed into the scars and cuts she had previously opened up all over my body, until she finally vanished. W-What…just happened…?

“Ellie!” Crescemon was at my side, helping me stand back up. “Ellie, are you okay?! Where did Yukinamon go?!”

“…I…think she died,” I whispered. “…Didn’t she…?” I looked down at my hands. My scars had all vanished. The cold of the snow and ice all around me suddenly vanished. I didn’t feel warm, but definitely not cold. What happened? What the hell just happened?! The world of ice began to fade away. An eye portal appeared beneath us, and we were instantly transported out of Sakkakumon. Crescemon and I landed on the rubble that was once the fortress of Lachesis. Directly to our right, Matthew and Flaremon landed at the same moment. My brother and I exchanged glances, and looked down at ShadowSeraphimon. This…this power; it’s Yukinamon’s…She and I are now…as one.

And don’t you dare forget it,
I heard Yukinamon’s voice whisper. Just don’t let IceDevimon find out about this. Surprise attacks work wonders on enemies, you know. If he knows what you are, then he’ll be able to prepare himself, and all of this will have been for naught.

…I understand,
I replied. Thank you…Yukinamon.

“…Nine worlds, demolished. One remains,” ShadowSeraphimon whispered.
 
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