‘SlashAngemon is dead. The insect has been felled by our hands. We will all take our time enjoying that cute girl that was with him before we gut her like the mercenary pig she is. The blonde girl gets it next.
The Honest, Hardworking Knights of Valencia’
“Apollomon…what does this mean? What’s going on?!” Thomas asked.
“SlashAngemon and Irene…they’ve been captured by the knights of Valencia?!” Statuedramon yelled. “We have to go back to Braig’s lab! They might need our help!”
“Please, Mr. Apollomon,” Zelda said.
“…Fine. I give you three permission to go to that damn place…just make sure you find out what happened,” Apollomon said after a moment’s thought. “But do not dawdle while you are there; find Irene and…and SlashAngemon if you can, and come back immediately.”
“Understood, sir!” Thomas said.
“Victoria,” Apollomon said to me. “You ought to go with them. I’m certain they could use the assistance of a swordswoman of your skill.”
“Of course, sir,” I bowed.
“Come on, we have to go now!” Statuedramon urged. The Rookie led us out of the basement and the villa, and began running as we got outside.
“Well, this ought to keep them busy for a while,” I said. I sat atop the roof of Saias’s Villa, watching Thomas and his friends run to Braig’s lab in Yew. Sitting next to me was Irene. “See? I told you I’d take care of everything.”
“…Yes…” Irene sadly watched as her friends grew smaller and smaller as they ran off into the distance.
“You don’t need to worry about them, dear; nothing is going to happen to them…” I placed my arm around Irene’s shoulders and pulled her into a hug. “Braig’s lab has been mysteriously frozen over. There isn’t anybody there who can hurt them, and the letter I placed on the door of this villa will lead them to believe that it was the knights who took you instead of us.”
I don’t understand, though…who or what made Braig’s lab freeze over? Hopefully, that creepy old man died in there… Irene slowly placed an arm around my waist and returned my hug. Poor thing…she just hasn’t been the same since she killed SlashAngemon…Not that she really smiled much before…Irene began sobbing quietly once again. I pulled her in closer and kissed the top of her head.
“I think we’re almost there, Victoria,” Thomas said to me.
“I never knew knights would do anything like this,” I said. “Do they seriously hate you guys so much that they’d go so far as to harm an innocent little girl?”
“The thought never actually crossed my mind, but I’m not surprised by the fact at all,” Statuedramon said. “I swear, if they’ve hurt one hair on Irene’s little head, I’ll…I’ll…” Statuedramon came to a sudden stop, and began looking around. “Does it…suddenly feel colder to you guys?”
“Not especially; why?” I asked.
“I don’t know…it just suddenly feels like I just suddenly walked into Nymphaea…”
“It can’t be that cold, or else we’d be feeling it, too,” Thomas said.
“Remember, Statuedramon is a Digimon, and a reptilian one at that,” I said. “He’s more sensitive to atmospheric changes than we Humans are.”
“Please don’t use my name and ‘sensitive’ in the same sentence,” Statuedramon grimaced. “But seriously, why do I feel so cold all of a sudden?”
“I’m no expert, but I have feeling that this might be why you’re feeling cold, Statch,” Thomas said. “Look over there.” Thomas pointed at what appeared to be a large building completely encased in ice.
“Wait a minute…isn’t that Braig’s lab?!” Zelda asked.
“What the hell happened here?!” Statch asked. “Come on, let’s go in; Irene might be—”
“No, don’t…you can’t…go in there…” a young man near Thomas’s age and height was limping weakly over to us.
“Hey, are you okay?!” I ran up to the young man and helped him stand up, placing his arm around my shoulders.
“You mustn’t go to that place…those who touch the ice are killed instantly…I just barely made it out in time…”
“What were you doing in that place? Did you work there?” Thomas asked. “Or were you—”
“Yes…I was one of the scientist’s test subjects. My name is Michalis…” As I got a brief glimpse of the back of the boy’s right hand, my heart immediately skipped a beat; on the back of his hand was an x-shaped birthmark.
Just like the one my baby had!
“I can’t remember how I found my way to this place; I’ve been here for as long as I can remember,” Michalis said. “I can’t remember very much of my life, though; it’s all the same…just one big blur…”
“Was there anyone else in the building when it froze over?!” Statuedramon asked. “A Digimon called SlashAngemon? A small girl with black hair, maybe? Perhaps a few Valencian Knights?”
“…As far as I know, I was the only test subject…a few scientists may have been there,” Michalis said. “But I was definitely the last remaining subject of theirs…if there were any knights, they would’ve been with the scientists that were about to preform another test on me just before the entire place froze over. The ice…it came so fast…”
“Where do you live, Michalis? Your parents must be worried about you,” I said.
“I…I don’t know…I’m not sure if I even have any parents…”
“Do you know your last name?” I asked.
“I don’t know anything about myself…other than my first name…”
“Is there anything we can to do help you?” Statuedramon asked.
“No, I…I don’t need any help.” Michalis removed his arm from my shoulders, and began staggering away. “I only came to warn you about this place…Please…just get away from this place!” Michalis slumped against a brick wall, nearly falling over, but still he continued to walk away from us.
“Michalis, wait!” I began running after him as a large poleaxe was flung, lodging itself into the wall in front of Michalis.
“Who’s there?!” Thomas shouted, drawing his sword quicker than I had ever seen him. The time he’s spent with that mercenary guild has done wonders for his skills and reflexes, I see…
“No need to shout; we were going to show ourselves eventually,” a large, well-built man, followed by a smaller, scrawny, pale-skinned man, walked out of an alleyway. “We got business with the kid; we aren’t here for you.” The larger man removed his poleax from the wall -- a feat that would have proved difficult for anyone else, and yet one he pulled off with remarkable ease -- and pointed it at Michalis. “I’d come with me if I were you, kid; you don’t want to see my boss get pissed.”
“Boss?” Thomas walked over to the two men. “Do you two work with Abigail and Adrian?”
“Oh, so you’ve met those clowns, have you? Well, allow me to introduce myself; my name is Magnus, and this little guy behind me is called Clive,” Magnus said. My heart froze as the man called Clive stared directly at me, grinning.
No…no, it can’t be him…
“So, what were you promised for joining the cult of the deaf, dumb, and blind?” Statuedramon asked.
“I suppose I could tell you…” Magnus traced his fingers over the two gold bands around his left arm. “I love money, and I want money; lots of it. The lady boss promised me all the money I could ever want!” As Magnus continued to ramble about money, Clive’s eyes were fixated, staring unblinkingly at me.
“Well, hello there; we’ve met somewhere before, haven’t we?” Clive asked me. He stared straight into my eyes.
“No…you were taken in…they locked you away forever…” Tears welled up in my eyes, blurring my vision. “What are you doing here?! Why have you been released?!”
“I hardly think that’s any of your business, my dear,” Clive laughed.
“Victoria, who is that man?” Thomas asked.
“…The man named Clive…” I began to grow dizzy just thinking of the man…and what he did. “He was the man who raped me almost nineteen years ago.”