Temporary HQ, Yew
We had been in this small, cold, dusty old house for what seemed to be years. As I stormed out of the basement for the tenth time that day and into the house’s only room, I suddenly screamed, “When the fuck are we getting out of here?!” Apollomon looked over at me and sighed, though he did so with a sad smile on his face.
“I understand how you feel, Statch,” he said. “Trust me; we all do. We all want to get back to our fortress, but we can’t — not yet, at least.” Apollomon walked over to me, knelt down, and placed his hand over my shoulder. “We’ll go back there as soon as we can — or as soon as Flamedramon is dealt with, okay?” I opened my mouth to say something, but as I did, the house’s front door opened, and Irene and SlashAngemon ran in, quickly closing the door behind them. “Was there a problem?” Apollomon asked.
“We were out buying food as we usually do,” SlashAngemon said. “But…we may have been followed.”
“Did they see you come here?” Apollomon stood up and walked over to a window to look outside.
“We aren’t sure; there were only two of them,” Irene said. “We may have lost them around a corner, but…”
“You don’t need to worry,” Apollomon said, smiling at Irene. “It’s our friends.” Apollomon opened the front door, and to my slight surprise and extreme annoyance, in walked Saias and Lector.
Great, what do they want now? I thought as the two knights were greeted by Apollomon.
“We apologize for the sudden intrusion,” Saias said. “Sir Apollomon, how is Sir Pheragas holding up?”
“Well, he’s still having difficulty moving, but he says the pain isn’t as bad,” Apollomon said. “Also, the burn looks like it’s getting better.”
“That’s good; I was worried about him,” Lector said.
Like hell you were!
“This house seems quite small for a group as large as yours,” Saias said. “If you’d like, I could escort you to a more spacious locale?”
“What do you have in mind?” Apollomon asked.
Please tell me he isn’t actually going to consider this, is he?! I stared at Apollomon. Just because they’ve helped us out doesn’t mean we can trust them; they’re knights, for Arcadia’s sake!
“I have a private villa that none of the other knights know about,” Saias said. “It’s just north of this city, so we’ll be able to exchange information more easily. There’s nobody else residing there, and you won’t have to worry about paying me for the privilege.”
“Speaking of exchanging information…” Apollomon trailed off.
“Yes, we understand; there are things we must discuss with you, as well,” Lector said.
“Would you like for me to take you there?” Saias asked.
Please don’t say yes! I looked over at Apollomon, who looked as though he were considering Saias’s offer. Whatever you do, just don’t say yes!
“Yes, I think that would be the best idea,” Apollomon said.
“Everyone, even me, has been complaining about the lack of space this house offers; a larger house would be much appreciated,” Apollomon said. “I’ll go let everyone down in the basement know.”
“Here it is,” Saias said after stopping in front of a mansion-sized house. “This is my villa; please feel free to make yourselves at home while you stay here.” Lector opened the large front doors and allowed us all in.
I gotta say; for a knight, this guy sure knows how to live! We were all escorted by Saias through the villa and into a very large living room, big enough to contain three times as many people as we had in our group and still be large and spacious.
“I hope you find everything to your liking,” Saias said. Turning to look at Pheragas, he gave the large man a concerned look. “Sir, are you all right?”
“I may ‘ave been injured by Flamedramon, but I assure you, good sir, dese vounds are noting to be concerned about,” Pheragas said.
“We’re both feeling better than we were just after the battle against that lizard!” BlackGaomon said.
“Is there…food here?” I asked nervously. Saias laughed.
“Of course there is! The kitchen is over there,” Saias pointed down a hallway. “Help yourself to anything you like, and as much as you like, Sir Statuedramon. The same goes for everyone else, too, of course.”
Well…I may not want to be here, but at least I’ll get free food! In a split second, I ran in the direction Saias pointed.
“Damn it, Statch, you’d better leave some for us!” SlashAngemon hollered after me as he and most of the others followed behind me.
“You aren’t going to join the others?” Saias asked me. Lector and Apollomon had also stayed behind.
“No, there is something I need to discuss with you,” I said. “About that man that was with you the last time we saw you.”
“That’s most fortunate; there’s something we must discuss with you.” Saias looked at Apollomon. “About Ienzo.”
“You should probably sit down,” Lector said.
“Chrissy is amazed you ate all that food!” Chrysania said, her mouth and eyes open wide as she stared at me.
“What do you mean? I ate as much as I normally do...” I said, getting a confused look from Chrysania and Statuedramon, who were both sitting at the same table as me.
“You normally eat five helpings each meal every day?! Shit, woman, where do you put it all?!” Statuedramon asked.
“Well...in my stomach...” The look on Chrysania’s face was growing more and more confused.
“But how does your tummy not explode from eating that much? Even if Chrissy's tummy didn't explode from eating that much, her tummy would be thiiiiis big around!” Chrysania spread out her arms as far as she could for extra emphasis. “But Zelda's tummy isn’t big at all! Does it hurt?” She lightly poked my stomach, which tickled, and I had to keep myself from laughing.
Oh, no, I forgot! I can’t let them find out I’m a…Come on, Zelda, think of something…something convincing…“Oh...uh…is it...not normal for people from Celosia to eat this much? Because, I’m actually still kind of hungry...” I turned my face away from the two as my stomach growled with hunger rather loudly. That sounded so stupid! God, I’m such a stupid, useless idiot! I hope that’s a convincing enough lie until I think of a better one… I felt my face turning red.
“You just ate five helping; how are you still hungry?” Statuedramon asked. “I mean, of course I would still be hungry, being a Digimon, but you…what do you have, like, a black hole in the middle of your stomach that absorbs all the food you eat?”
“Do you ever stop being hungry?” Chrysania asked with a concerned look on her face.
“Oh, I do get full; it just takes a lot of food for me to stop being hungry,” I said. Statuedramon sniffled. I looked over at him and saw tears in his eyes. “Are you okay, Statch?!”
“I’m so happy,” he said. “I’ve never once met a Human that understands the painful hunger I have to live with every day! I understand just how you feel, Zelda!”
“Ienzo is…dead?!” I looked at the two knights in shock.
“We found him dead as soon as we walked into his hotel room,” Saias said. The higher-ranking knight was resting his forehead in his hands. “I apologize…it seems I made you and your friends waste your time for nothing…”
“No, don’t…worry about that,” I said. “Do you know…who did it?”
“No; he was the only one in his room when we entered, and we didn’t see anyone else leaving the room when we were there,” Lector said. “He was stabbed a single time in the chest by a relatively large object; some sort of a spear, maybe.”
“And the man that was with us, Braig…” Saias said. “You said he was capable of fusing Humans and Digimon together?”
“We don’t know for sure, but our ex-comrade, Garret, said it was him,” Apollomon said. “As you said that Braig had taken over Ienzo’s work, I think this could be a possibility.”
“You may be right…” Saias said. “I’ll ask him about it tomorrow. Tonight, I think it would be best if Lector and I stayed here overnight, just in case anything were to happen, and we’ll leave tomorrow morning.”
“I understand,” Apollomon said, turning to look at me. “If that’s all, the two of us should join the others at dinner before Statuedramon eats everything in sight.”
“Yes, of course; we’ve kept you waiting for far too long,” Saias said. Apollomon and I left the room and headed for the kitchen.
“Well, that group certainly is a lot friendlier than what we've been told by the other knights,” Lector said, looking over into the kitchen at the mercenary group. “A lot nicer than some folk at the military we work at, that's for sure...What do you think, General Saias?”
“…The girl...” I muttered, not looking up at Lector.
“Which girl? There was quite a few of them. They were all so pretty and feminine, not like the ladies where we work...”
“The one with the golden hair...Lady Zelda...”
“Yeah, what about her? Oh! You don't think she took offence to when I thought that she looked like an exotic belly dancer or something while we were coming over here, do you? I wasn't trying to be rude; I was trying to compliment her! Belly dancers are so damn sexy! Wait! Oh, shit, that didn't come out right! I should learn when to not think so much! General Saias, sir, please don't tell anyone about this!”
“Uh, no...This isn't about that, and for the last time; there isn’t anyone around who can read your mind,” I gave Lector a weird look. “While we were talking to Sir Thomas about Ienzo, did you...happen to overhear the conversation she had with the witch’s apprentice and Sir Statuedramon?”
“Yeah, it was kind of hard not to laugh when Statuedramon started crying like that...” Lector laughed.
“Oh...then, do you mean how she wolfed down all that food like it was nothing, and was still hungry? Yeah, couldn't believe that myself.”
“I couldn’t believe it either, Lector,” I said. An unusually serious expression appeared on Lector’s face.
“Wait...you don't think—”
“That's exactly what I think, Lector. She's exactly like me, down to the same voracious appetite. You know how other Digimon notice how I’m different, right? Since I have it, I can also tell who else might have one; trust me, Lector.”
“But...I didn't see it anywhere on her!”
“That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have it. Perhaps she doesn't wish for her allies to know. I don't blame her; it’s scary, being unwillingly born as something that every living thing in the world views as a taboo. It's a worrisome thought, losing all the friends who care about you and love you, and I’d rather not see that kind, innocent young woman experience such pain.”
“But, Saias,” Lector interrupted. “You told me about yourself, and I didn't fear, loathe, or hate you! You're my commanding officer, but my best friend first and foremost.”
“Yes...you're right, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I can only hope that woman has friends like you in their organization.”
“I’ve got another question, Saias,” Lector said. “It’s about what Flamedramon told you a few days ago. He said that you were like him…what did he—”
“I can only assume that he has it, too,” I said. “But Flamedramon…he has an even more distinct presence, different from me or that girl. I’m not sure what to think about him…”
“So...what should we do? About Zelda?”
“Nothing. If she doesn't want her friends to know, then we will respect her wishes and say nothing.”