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.
 

IamTheSovereign

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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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