Outside Braig’s Lab
“The man named Clive…he was the man who raped me almost nineteen years ago.” The news came as quite a shock to me, but at the same time, it made perfect sense; after all, Victoria had never once mentioned being married, and the one time she told me and Statuedramon about the loss of her child, she never mentioned who the father was, other than the fact that he was a knight.
“Well then, it seems I’ve made quite an impression,” Clive said. His grin was absolutely sickening. Victoria’s face was completely colorless as the man began walking toward us, and she didn’t respond to his words as she fell to her knees. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but apparently, that’s not my job!” Clive looked spitefully over his shoulder at Magnus.
“If you want the money I promised you, then you will do what I asked of you,” Magnus said. “But know this; I did not ask for your help because I sympathized with you, nor did I do it because I approve of what you’ve done in the past, you worm. I asked for your help because I needed it from somebody, so if you don’t do what I tell you to, you can be easily replaced.”
“Yeah, yeah, I got it,” Clive said, rolling his eyes. “Sorry, kid, but you’re going to have to come with us.” Clive grabbed Michalis’s arm and twisted it behind the kid’s back. Michalis’s face became contorted with agony as Clive pulled him away. “Maybe, when I have a day off, Victoria, you and I can—”
“That’s ENOUGH!” I drew my sword and thrust it into the lower part of Clive’s back. His grip on Michalis’s arm immediately loosened as he fell to the ground, screaming in pain as he clutched the bleeding wound my sword made.
“It pains me to have to dirty my blade with the blood of someone like you,” I said. “But if that’s what must be done, then I’ll do so without a second thought.” I began to remove my weapon from Clive’s back, and as I did so, the entire blade became encased in ice, as did the wound it made. “What…the hell?! What did you do?!” When Clive opened his mouth to speak, his voice sounded much darker, not at all like the relatively quiet voice he normally spoke with; this one sounded much more menacing, and was much deeper than before.
“My vessel’s life was being endangered; I simply did what I had to so that the two of us could continue living. Oh, here’s your toy, by the way.” Clive stood back up and pulled my sword out of his back and dropped it on the ground in front of me, causing the ice covering the blade to shatter. My sword managed to escape unscratched, and I could see the wound on Clive’s back close up with ice. “Now, which of you wish to be the first to be forever subjected to my frozen hell?!”
“Clive,” Magnus placed his hand over Clive’s shoulder. “Or, whoever the hell you are; we retreat.”
“Retreat?! Why the hell should we retreat?! There’s no way they can defeat us!”
“Perhaps, but I have my reasons,” Magnus said. To my surprise, his eyes were fixated on Zelda, and he looked both concerned and intrigued. “Come on; let’s go.”
“But…what about the kid?” Clive asked, his voice returning to its original, more calm and quiet tone.
“Forget him; we can always get him later. Now, let’s go!” Magnus grabbed the back of Clive’s shirt and dragged him away.
“Should we go after him?” Zelda asked.
“…No. They’d probably just lead us into a trap; they could do so very easily if they wanted to,” I said. “We’ll run into them again eventually. For now, let’s just go back to Apollomon.” I turned to look at Victoria. “Are you alright? Can you stand?” When she didn’t respond, I knelt down next to her and gently placed my hand over her shoulder. “He’s gone now; I promise he’s not going to hurt you now, or ever again,” I whispered into her ear.
“...Thank you…Tommy…” I helped her stand up, and then turned to Michalis.
“You should come with us,” I said.
“No, I…I don’t need any help,” Michalis said. He looked very nervous, as if he was afraid I would strike him. “You shouldn’t get yourselves involved with someone like me…”
“We’re already involved,” I said. “Those two that were after you work with a few people that tried to kill my friends and me. I don’t know what they wanted with you, but I can say that whatever it was would not have been a very pleasant experience for you.”
“Please,” Victoria said. “Please, allow us to help you!”
“…Fine. I will go with you for now, but I will leave if it benefits me,” Michalis said. “Where will you be taking me?”
“We’re taking you to our boss, Apollomon,” I said.
“Wait! What about Irene and SlashAngemon?” Statuedramon asked.
“I don’t think they were here,” I said. “That note the knights left for us…did anything about it strike you as a little odd?”
“We were able to read it,” I replied. “No knight I’ve ever seen has had legible handwriting.”
“What are you saying?” Zelda asked.
“I don’t think it was a knight who left us that note. Whoever did, I’m sure, is trying to provoke us into fighting the Valencian knights…someone like Abigail.”
“Abigail? You mean the lady who turned into BioLadyDevimon? Why do you think it was her?” Statch asked.
“She’s always had a bit of a manipulative streak,” I recalled.
“That’s a pretty big assumption to think someone would do that,” Victoria said. “What makes you so sure? Surely, there are a large number of knights with legible handwriting.”
“Perhaps, but one thing is for certain; we won’t be finding anyone in this place,” I looked up at Braig’s laboratory, which was still completely covered in ice. “At least, we won’t be finding anybody alive, and if we go in, we’re likely to freeze to death before we find anything. Also, if Irene and SlashAngemon really were taken by Valencian knights, they wouldn’t be kept here, where someone could easily walk in and find them, even before it became frozen over; those knights would’ve taken them back to their headquarters toward the center of Yew rather than a scientist’s laboratory such as this one.”
“So, that’s it? We’re just going back to Apollomon without them?” Statuedramon asked.
“You heard what Michalis said; anyone who touches that ice instantly dies,” I replied. “We can’t just wander in there without knowing what will happen to us. We have to go back.”
Magnus’s Hideout (Unknown Location)
“Why didn’t we do it?” Clive asked. He sat atop one of the many piles of empty crates scattered throughout my hideout. There wasn’t really any other way to describe the interior of the hideout; boring gray walls, gray floor, and piles upon piles of empty, wooden crates. There were two doors on opposite walls leading outside. “You spent most of the day bitching me out about how important it was that we get that kid, and then we just go and leave him behind?!”
“That’s enough, Clive!” I snapped. I stood with my back leaned against one of the hideout’s walls.
“You’ve never even told me why the kid was so important!” Clive continued rambling, ignoring me.
“Well…to tell you the truth, I was never told why, either,” I said. “All I was told was that I needed to find the kid and bring him back with me; I wasn’t given any explanation of why he’s so damn important or anything.”
“Okay, I can understand that part,” Clive said. “So, why, then, did we leave if we needed to bring him back with us?”
“It doesn’t matter why, okay?! We’ll get him eventually,” I said.
“…I noticed you were staring at that blonde girl practically the entire time,” Clive said. “Were you—?”
“I am NOT you!” I picked up my poleax and struck the pervert across the back of his head with the flat side of the axe’s blade, making him fall off the crates he sat on. “Look; I just got this really strange vibe off that girl. That’s all. I don’t know how to explain it; she just didn’t seem…normal.” I reached down and grabbed Clive’s hand and helped him stand up. “We’ll get the kid; don’t worry. We’ll try again tomorrow, okay?”