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“Come forth, Vajramon!” the man held his talisman up to the sky just as I had done, and the form of Vajramon appeared before him. This Vajramon, as opposed to others of his species, wore blue armor instead of the usual red armor. “Do be so kind as to eliminate these…pests.” Vajramon looked down at the astral form of Renamon standing in front of me. Her bushy tail twitched anxiously, and the soft, golden fur that coated it stood up on ends.
“This girl…is she also a Summoner?” Vajramon asked.
“Yes, she is; is there a problem?!” Vajramon’s owner asked. The large Ultimate shook his head. “Good; now, they’d better not be here when I get back!” The bandit walked off without taking another look back.
“It is the duty of us that are summoned to obey the orders of those who summon us, no matter who they might be…” Vajramon removed his two giant swords from their sheaths.
“I couldn’t agree more,” Renamon said. “Now if only Gallantmon thought the same way…” Renamon briefly glanced at me over her shoulder. Vajramon suddenly gasped.
“You…Are you perchance the young lady I’ve heard of? You are the owner of Gallantmon’s talisman?” Vajramon asked.
“Why does it matter?!” Statuedramon asked, stepping between Vajramon and me and raising his shield.
“Gallantmon…is one of the most powerful species of Digimon in existence,” Vajramon said. “For one such as him to have died is inconceivable, and yet his lust for battle and destruction has allowed him to live on, so to speak, as nothing more than a spirit, ready to be summoned by whoever is fortunate enough to have stumbled upon his Digimon Talisman.”
“I wouldn’t exactly call her situation ‘fortunate,’” Renamon snorted.
“Yes…I am well aware of Gallantmon’s volatile behavior. In the realm where Digimon Spirits like Renamon and I reside, there has been much talk about his utterly disgraceful behavior, and many Digimon Spirits, including me, have come to truly pity this sad state of affairs you seem to have landed yourself in. They’ve heard stories of your kindness and your gentle demeanor, and they eagerly await the day their talismans fall into your hands so as to make up for Gallantmon.”
“…I…see…I…I had no idea any other Spirits had heard of me,” I whispered. I felt my face become ablush with slight embarrassment, but also a warm joy that filled my heart. I looked up at Vajramon and smiled at him. “But Vajramon, you have to know that I don’t consider myself unlucky or anything similar because Gallantmon won’t listen to me; I consider him a dear and invaluable friend, just as I do Renamon, and Thomas and Statuedramon, and everyone at Lachesis where I work.”
“You…actually consider him a friend?” Vajramon asked. “But…it is the duty of Spirits like me to do whatever is ordered of us by those who summoned us; Gallantmon refuses!”
“I am aware, Vajramon; even so, if anything bad happened to him…if he were to disappear and I were never to see him again…I can’t even bear the thought of it…”
“Vajramon, you keep saying it is the duty of Spirits like you and me to do whatever is asked of us,” Renamon said. “Yet, in spite of this, you have yet to do so; your master ordered you to attack, and all you’ve done is talk.” Vajramon sadly looked toward the ground as he slowly crossed his two giant blades.
“Yes…Please…forgive me,” Vajramon whispered. “Deva Blade!” Vajramon crossed his blades and fired an x-shaped energy beam at Renamon, who engulfed her fist in blue flames and punched through Vajramon’s attack, making it disperse and shatter.
“You’ll have to do better than that if you wish to stop me; I AM a spirit, just like you, after all. We’re built stronger than other Digimon of our species,” Renamon said.
“I’m well aware of that,” Vajramon said, placing his swords back into their sheaths. “I fully intend to use every ounce of my strength to fight for my master…Such is the fate of us spirits…”
“You don’t sound all that happy about it,” I said. “I don’t blame you; your owner isn’t a good person. Back when you used to be alive, you must’ve detested such people.”
“…You are correct. I dedicated my entire to life fighting such people, and was killed by a man almost exactly like my owner…and the fact that my soul belongs to such an inhumane son of a—”
“If you’re unhappy with your situation, why don’t you leave your ‘master?’” Renamon asked. “It’s not as if we spirits have a contract with whoever summons us; we just do whatever is asked of us by whoever summons us out of obligation, similar to genies being called from a magic lamp.”
“But…my owner, he’s…there’s no way my talisman could ever be taken from him…” Vajramon said. “And you!” Vajramon pointed at me “Why do you consider us Spirits to be your friends?! Spirits aren’t alive! We’re just tools for Humans and Digimon to use whenever they want; we’re weapons! No soldier would ever take time to talk to his or her weapon, would they?!”
“That’s a ridiculous question,” I said. “I don’t consider you or Renamon to be weapons. Sure, you all may have died, and you may feel obligated to do what is ordered of you, but Digimon Spirits all have memories of when they were alive…they have feelings, and they each have their own personalities. In a way, there’s really no difference between Spirit Digimon and living Digimon.”
“…136 years I’ve had my soul trapped in a talisman…not once, even when I was still alive, have I ever met anybody like you,” Vajramon said. “Even though I risked my life protecting people from bandits like my current owner, I still detested those who I protected because I knew that there was not a single living being that was not, to some degree, selfish.” Vajramon looked over in the direction his owner had walked. “But you…even though we’ve been long deceased, you still continue to treat us as if we were still alive.” Vajramon looked back at Renamon and me. “What…should I do? I can’t…fight you…it is my master that needs to be vanquished, not someone kind and truly selfless like you.”
“It’s like I said earlier,” Renamon said. “We spirits are not under any contract with whomever summons us; it’s more like we’re obliged to do so out of appreciation for having been summoned. We are not, under any circumstances, forced to do whatever those who summon us order.” Vajramon began steadily looking down at the ground.
“Are these assholes still here?!” Vajramon’s summoner asked, walking out from an alleyway riddled with debris.
“Forgive me, but…I am unable to bring myself to harm either this girl or her Digimon Spirit,” Vajramon said.
“You can’t bring yourself to do it?! How would you know?! You’re dead! You don’t have feelings! Just do what I tell you!” the bandit yelled. Vajramon stood staring at his summoner. “Fine, I get it; don’t like hitting girls, eh? No problem; I’ll dispose of them, you get the other two.” The bandit jerked his thumb over at Thomas and Statuedramon.
“They are…friends of yours?” Vajramon asked me.
“Yes, they are,” I said. “They were the first friends I made that weren’t spirits…and they’re my….best…friends…” I whispered the last part in a shaky voice.
“…I see.” Vajramon once again removed a sword from its sheath and pointed it at his summoner.
“What is this?!” he asked. “You turning on me?!”
“I can no longer allow myself to follow the orders of one like you!” Vajramon said. “When I was alive, I dedicated my life to eradicating Arcadia of scum like you!”
“Fine; then get your worthless ass back in here!” Vajramon’s summoner held up his talisman, which began to shine a bright light on Vajramon, who suddenly disappeared. “You worthless piece of crap!” the man tossed Vajramon’s talisman over his shoulder. “I can handle you three all by myself!” The man cracked his knuckles and raised an arm, ready to attack, when his arm was unexpectedly grabbed from behind by another person and painfully restrained behind his back. The bandit fell to his knees, revealing that the person who had restrained him was a man roughly the same size as him, though he was wearing a shirt and had short, black hair. I could hear Thomas and Statuedramon gasp when they saw the man’s face.
“Adrian?! Is that you, Adrian?!” Statuedramon gasped. The man looked over in the Rookie’s direction, smiling when he saw him and Thomas.
“It’s been a while, you two; how’ve you been?” he asked.
“How have we been?! You’re gone for about four years, and that’s the first thing you have to say to us?!” Statuedramon yelled.
“Yeah…I’m sorry I made you worry,” Adrian laughed nervously.
“Let go of me, damn it!” the bandit yelled weakly, struggling against Adrian’s grip.
“How did you escape? Garret said the last time he saw you, the Valencian Knights were dragging your blood-drenched body off into a forest,” I said. “We…never thought we’d see you again…”
“Come on, kid; you underestimate me,” Adrian laughed. “I’m a master of hand-to-hand combat! Anyway, how is everyone else doing? What’s Garret been up to? Is he being a total dickass as usual?”
“You expected otherwise?” Statuedramon asked. Adrian laughed.
“No, I guess not…”
“I think my arm is broken…” the bandit moaned. He had continued to make attempts to stand up, but he found that he could not.
“And you…you must be new to Lachesis,” Adrian looked over at Zelda and Renamon.
“Yes; my name is Zelda. I’m pleased to finally meet you,” Zelda said. “I…Yesterday, Thomas told me about what happened to you…”
“Well, personally, I’m just as surprised that I’m still alive as all of you are; pleased, but surprised nonetheless,” Adrian said, completely ignoring the squirming bandit. “And you must be Zelda’s partner Digimon, right? No, wait…you look a little different than Statch…” Adrian looked back over at Zelda. “Are you a Summoner?”
“…How could you tell?” Zelda asked.
“Well, for starters, Renamon here looks to be more transparent than Statch, and it almost it looks as though she’s glowing; it’s not easy to see, however,” Adrian said. “I’ve met a couple of Summoners in the past, so I can tell if a Digimon is a Spirit or not just by looking.”
“I haven’t been with Lachesis very long; just a few days,” Zelda said. “I’ve been looking for my sister for a while, and when I met Thomas and Statuedramon while they were doing a job, they were kind enough to allow me to join them.”
“We wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for Zelda; she and her Summoning ability have saved our lives on many occasions,” I said.
“A Summoner, huh? That’s just amazing…so Lachesis finally has somebody with a talent as rare as yours,” Adrian said breathlessly as he looked over at Zelda.
“I think I’m dying…” the bandit moaned, having stopped attempting to struggle against Adrian’s grip.
“Nobody cares!” Statuedramon yelled.
“Everyone…everybody there believed you were alive this whole time — even Garret,” I said. “Now, you can come back with us and prove them all right…”
“Well…I’m afraid I can’t…” Adrian said. “As much as I’d love to see everyone again — especially Luna, if you know what I mean — I’m afraid I can’t go back with you; at least, not yet. I, uh, have…a few things I need to take care of. When I’m done, though, I’ll make sure to come running over as fast as I can.”
“What is it you need to do? Is there anything we can do to help you so you can come back sooner?” Statuedramon asked.
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you, little buddy,” Adrian said. “It’s kind of a top-secret thing.”
“Don’t call me little; only Chrysania is allowed to call me that,” Statch said defensively. “After all, BlackGaomon and I are the only ones there who are shorter than her…”
“Ah, Chrysania…I’ve missed seeing that cute smiling face every day,” Adrian said. “Well, give everyone my best, and tell them I’ll be back soon.” Adrian looked down at the bandit he was still holding tightly onto. “Don’t worry about this guy; I’ll make sure that he’s…properly taken care of.” With a final look over his shoulder, Adrian waved goodbye as he walked off, unceremoniously dragging the protesting bandit through the dirt behind him.
“We’ll meet again…Adrian…” As our friend vanished from sight, we too prepared to leave the town. “…With the bandit gone, there’s nothing left to do here. We should start heading back home.”
“Wait!” Zelda said, running into an alleyway. “I just need to get something…” After looking down at the cluttered pavement of the alley, she knelt down and picked something up.
“Is that…Vajramon’s talisman?” Statuedramon asked.
“Yes…I just wanted to give him a good home; I hope I’ll do.” Zelda placed Vajramon’s talisman into her satchel. “I’m sorry I made you two wait; let’s go.”
I sighed with exhaustion as I opened the door of an ordinary-looking building and walked inside to see that the ordinary-looking bar hadn’t changed in the slightest since my last visit a few months ago. To my relief, the interior of the bar was completely devoid of any other people, save for a woman sitting at the bar’s counter that I immediately recognized; she had long blond hair and was garbed in a black cape.
“I’m back, Abby,” I said. The woman turned around, smiling as she saw me. “You miss me, pretty lady?”
“WAY too familiar there, Adrian,” the woman said. Her smile vanished and was replaced with a stern glare. “And call me by my entire name, if you don’t mind.”
“Fine, fine; apologies, Abigail,” I sat down at the bar next to her.
“So, how was the trip?” Abigail asked. “Did you discover anything intriguing?”
“Well, apparently, there’s a new girl at Lachesis; a Summoner,” I said. “Kinda cute, too; looked like she could be your younger sister, Abby—er, Abigail.”
“So, she’s joined up with them, has she?” Abigail stretched her arms up above her head and yawned. “Shouldn’t be THAT big of a deal…though, I did hear a conversation or two between her and that bastard she’s always with; about how Digimon notice something different about her…like they do with us.”
“Like they do with us…you thinking she might be—”
“I doubt it,” Abigail quickly interrupted me. “At least, if she is, she’s not aware of it, and being one of us is kind of difficult not to notice. She’s probably just…something else entirely…no cause for alarm…” Abigail leaned back on her stool, resting her back on the bar’s counter behind her with her hands folded neatly and resting on top of her belly. “So, did you make any more…enlightening discoveries?” Abigail whispered the last part in a seductive manner.
“Not much…well, I did find a rather strong bandit while I was in Mandrake Town; I brought him back with me and immediately took him to Braig.” Abigail shot back up and glared at me.
“You took an outsider to Braig without the master’s consent?!” she hissed at me. “How could you be so stupid, Adrian?! What if he escapes?! Our entire operation could be ruined!”
“Come on, you of all people should know that we need as many pawns as we can get our claws on. Besides, I’d beaten the man to a pulp before taking him to Braig; there’s no way anything could possibly go wrong,” I protested. “And, if Braig succeeds, then we shall have our sixth pawn…”
“…And if Braig were to fail?” Abigail asked, a smile forming on her beautiful red lips.
“Well, if he fails, then Andy will be getting a new friend,” I laughed.
“Andy…? Oh, him…Adrian, you really need to start calling people by their real names,” Abigail said.
“What do you expect? I can’t remember Andy’s entire name! It’s too long!” I protested. Abigail laughed. “I also heard a few more rumors about our fiery friend,” I said cryptically.
“The one and only,” I replied. “Well, technically, there are more than one Flamedramon in Arcadia, but you know what I mean.”
“What did you hear about him?” Abigail’s voice sounded impatient.
“I’ve heard rumors that he’s headed to the north,” I said. “A few surviving eyewitnesses said they saw him heading up to Nymphaea.”
“To Nymphaea Province? Why would Flamedramon go there? It’s completely covered in ice; nothing that would interest a murderer like him!”
“Does it matter why he’s going there?” I asked. “The important thing is that he’s out of the way — at least, for now, he is. He’ll undoubtedly be coming back, which is something that I’m not exactly looking forward to. I really am getting sick of all this laying low and sneaking around so he won’t find us…”
“I agree,” Abigail had once more leaned back and rested against the bar’s counter. “We cannot allow someone like him to get his hands on those members of Lachesis; we need them alive.”
“We need them alive,” I repeated. “In order for us to fulfill our desires, right? Or rather, our ‘lady’s’ desires.”
“Dearest Adrian, you wouldn’t happen to be mocking our fair lady, would you?” Abigail asked.
“I really don’t think she’d give a shit, so long as we do what she wants,” I sighed. “And as long as we get what we want, I have no problem doing what she wants.”
“Then you won’t mind going back to keep an eye on those friends of yours, then?”
“What?! Again?! Surely, it must be someone else’s turn by now! Where the hell is Magnus?!” I fumed.
“Oh, you know him; that lecherous and greedy fool is presumably off with pleasurable company,” Abigail climbed down off the stool and began dusting off the back of her cape. “It’s what our dear lady wishes of you, Adrian; I’m certain you wouldn’t mind doing anything for her…would you?”
“Fine…fine, I’ll do it.” I, too, climbed off my stool.
“As for me, I’ve been ordered to head over to Braig’s place and give him yet another of our lady’s countless requests.” Abigail sighed. “Why is it always me that gets sent to that old man’s place? He can’t keep his eyes off my chest for a second! I don’t mind when it’s you, or Magnus, or passing-by strangers, but that old man is seriously creepy; he thinks his staring turns me on or something!”
“Not that I blame him for staring or anything,” I interrupted. “But, weren’t you the one who scolded me into taking pride in our fair lady’s demands?” Abigail laughed quietly.
“Yes, you’re right.” Abigail turned to look at me. “After stopping at Braig’s place, I’ve also been ordered to follow Flamedramon; you said he was heading north, right?” I nodded. “How charming; I simply adore the subzero temperature of Nymphaea…However, with this assignment, I’ll not be seeing you for a while, Adrian. I’m following Flamedramon…so if he finds me, we may never meet again…”
“Are you nervous?” I asked.
“On the contrary, I’m quite enthralled! You know I love living dangerously more than anything!” Abigail stared at me, her once lovely smile twisting into a more psychotic one. “Chasing Flamedramon into a place as frigid as Nymphaea on top of the fact that if Flamedramon finds me…it’ll be all over for me!”
“You love danger a lot more than I remember,” I said. “Idiot; do you want to die?!”
“Oh, of course not! I want to live!” Abigail snapped. “It’s the chance I could die that makes me feel so…excited! Living dangerously like this…doing the things we do…those who cause death are surrounded by it every day! Work like this, where we risk our very lives in order for us to receive that which we all desire, is the only beautiful work there is…very desirable, wouldn’t you say, Adrian? Nothing turns me on more than this!”
“Uh, yeah…sure…” Abigail’s voice was becoming more and more deranged with each word that passed her lips, as did the look on her face. “Look, just make sure you don’t do anything stupid like…I don’t know, intentionally getting discovered by Flamedramon, or sleeping naked in the snow, or something, okay?”
“Of course not; there’s no thrill in purposely ending my life. If I died, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goal,” Abigail said. “Oh, this is all so enticing, my heart could just burst!” Abigail turned to look at me once more, a much less insane expression on her face. It looked almost…sad. “…As I said, with a job like this, I may not see you for a while, if I get the chance to at all.”
“You won’t die,” I said firmly. “You care too much about achieving your goal to give up on life, just as I care about mine, and Magnus his, selfish though his and my goals may be.”
“Yes…you’re right, Adrian…” Abigail said calmly, closing her eyes. “I’ll take my leave of you…for now.” Abigail opened her eyes and gave me an intent look. “I will come back, Adrian.”
“I believe you,” I whispered back as Abigail disappeared in a wisp of smoke as she always did. I smiled as the last traces of the smoke vanished, and I then left the empty building, firmly closing the old door behind me.