Lilithmon’s Epic Chapter 5
Fire. There was nothing around me but fire when I stepped outside. It consumed everything around it like a sponge, leaving behind nothing but death and ruin in its wake. A thick, black smoke filled the air. It was accompanied by the cacophonous roar of the fire, though this was diminished by the helpless wailing and dreadful cries of the defenseless villagers, in addition to the maniacal laughter of the bandits as they slayed Human and Digimon alike without hesitation. I stood frozen, paralyzed momentarily by the fear that ate at my heart. Tears blurred my vision as it did, but whether the tears were from the smoke or from my own sense of helplessness and despair was a mystery to me.
“Shit, these guys really did a number on this place,” Statuedramon said, joining me on the front steps of my house, one of the few left untouched by the raging inferno. Limping up behind him was Thomas, who didn’t seem disoriented in the slightest, in spite of the practically suffocating amount of toxic smoke in the air. Statch looked at him and said, “You’re walkin’ funny…”
“No I’m not. You’re…delirious from hunger,” Thomas said.
“Well, yeah, I am, but you’re still limping,” Statch said. “…It’s that old wound again, isn’t it.” Thomas looked down and away from the short Digimon.
“…It’s not going to hinder me like it’s done in the past,” he said. “The pain…I’m getting used to it. It is not nearly as bad as when I got it nine years ago.”
“…I’m going to trust you when you say that,” Statuedramon said gravely. “That means I’m not going to watch your back while we’re out there; this is too big for us to stay together in one group, so we’ll need to split up.”
“Making sure that no more villagers get hurt should be our number one priority,” Thomas said. “We can fight the bandits after that.”
This fire…it’s a little strange…It almost seems like the way it’s moving around the different buildings is…almost like it’s a living being…
“My lady? Your orders?” Renamon’s question interrupted my thoughts.
“Oh…yes…We cannot allow a single bandit to roam freely in this village,” I said in a shaky voice, knowing what would come from all of this. Blood. Violence. Suffering. It always seemed to follow me. “Renamon…do whatever…do whatever you must to stop them.”
“I understand,” Renamon said in a calm voice. “Those who choose to defy the sacred principles of life…they shall pay with blood.” Renamon clenched her paw, and her entire arm became enveloped in misty blue flames. As an Ogremon ran past her, she reached out and grabbed him by the neck, her sharp claws penetrating the skin of his neck. The Digimon howled in pain, both from Renamon’s flames and her claws, and the tall Rookie lifted him up and hurled him into a blazing house. This put an end to his screaming when it collapsed on top of him before he was able to get out. “I shall do everything in my power to ensure the remainders of these vile criminals suffer the same fate.” Renamon stormed off, looking as calm and composed as ever, and was followed reluctantly by Statuedramon.
I prepared to follow after them as well when a dreadful sight caught my eye; the lifeless body of a small child, covered in blood, his head turned at an unnatural angle. I looked around, and saw many more corpses lining the street, both bandits and villagers. In all my life, I’ve not once seen anything as terrible as this, and yet…the very sight of it reminded me of my home town…Adonis…the first of a nearly endless line of settlements to cast me away for something about myself I am unable to change.
“Are you ok?” Thomas suddenly asked. Without noticing, I had slumped to the ground next to the lifeless child. I reached up and felt my face; it was wet with tears. “You…may blame me if you’d like,” Thomas said. “If Statuedramon and I hadn’t come here…none of this would have happened…”
“None of this was your fault, Thomas, and I never had any intention of blaming you.” I picked myself up off the paved street of the village and brushed the dust off my skirt, which was stained with the still-warm blood of the child. Thomas still looked concerned, so I gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile.
“But…if Statuedramon and I had never come here…” Thomas looked around the village, at all the burning houses and buildings of the village.
“Anyone can get blamed for anything; people can be — and often are — made to feel especially responsible for those events which they have no control over, even when they know they aren’t at fault for what happened, and when that happens, they may even begin to blame themselves…I…know all too well the anguish of being blamed for something I had no control over…and I don’t want you to feel that pain, nor would I wish it on anyone else…” I glanced over at him once again, and saw that he looked somewhat surprised by what I had said. “Well, enough about me; how are you feeling? Your arm doesn’t hurt, does it? And your leg; is it feeling better?”
“…No. I am fine,” Thomas said. “Stay close. You saved my life, so now I will protect yours.”
“…Thank you.” I attempted to smile at him, but he had turned away before I could muster up the courage to do so which, for some reason, left me feeling slightly disappointment. I began following after him, my thoughts drowning out the savage roar of the surrounding flames. Ever since he had first woken up, and started talking to me — very shortly after I had accidentally addressed him as a knight — I’d had this…unfamiliar feeling in my chest. He had spoken very kindly to me…which was something that I was not used to. We hadn’t spoken for very long, but I could already feel like this was someone I could trust. This thought brought a wave of emotions into my heart. Not wishing to bother Thomas with my foolishness, I kept them all to myself, as I always did. Then came the previous, unfamiliar one…the one that left me feeling flustered. He came to a stop, and turned to face me. I could feel the blood rush to my face, and my heart began to race. His eyes were dark and piercing, and I found myself lost in their deep, chocolaty gaze. Mmm…Chocolate…
“Zelda.” The sound of his voice brought me back to my senses. I had been grinning ever since my thoughts turned to chocolate, and I was looking him dead in the eye as I was.
Oh, no; I’ve just been standing here, standing and smiling at him this entire time?! He probably thinks I’m the weirdest person in all of Arcadia! Oh, stupid, stupid, stupid Zelda! Why do I always have to—?
“We aren’t alone.” Thomas drew his blade from its scabbard and began staring intently at the roaring flames of surrounding buildings.
“Get down!” Thomas pushed me out of the way of a stream of flames that came bursting from a burning house. The attack hit another house, and the sound of a malicious laugh filled the air. “Are you okay?”
“Y—Yes…” The two of us had landed on the ground, At first glance, Thomas looked quite slender and small, and his arms were no bigger around than my own, but as he shielded me with his body from the attack, they felt very strong, and his body felt very warm…I did my best to avoid looking him directly in the eyes, though I don’t think it would have mattered, for as soon as the attack ended, he quickly got back up. At least he didn’t notice me blushing when we fell…I think. Oh, god, I hope…
“The enemy…it’s hiding in the fire,” Thomas said. The same laughter from before filled the air once again, and it sounded as if it came from every direction.
“Very impressive! Not! Well, whatever. How were you able to find me?” An unknown voice asked. The form of a lizard-like Digimon stepped out of the flames, wearing an amused smirk on his fiery face.
“You can thank my master for that,” Thomas said. “She trained me to attune my senses to the world around me. Sound, hearing, even pure instinct…I’ve even got a nose that would put a Garurumon to shame. And I could hear…without any problem…your very quiet breathing, even through the thick roar of the flames you made.”
“Thomas…who is that Digimon?” I asked.
“Flarerizamon,” Thomas said. “A Digimon made almost entirely of flames, he has the ability to expand and spread out his flame body over a wide area and engulf nearly anything in it.”
“Well, aren’t you a smart one?” Flarerizamon asked. “I guess that’s why we’ve been ordered to take you down specifically. We didn’t even get any info on the midget Digimon or the cute girl!”
“…And you were the one behind setting every house in this village on fire,” Thomas said.
“Well, duh; only someone as powerful as me could produce all of these flames!” Flarerizamon said.
“And all of those flames are still a part of your main body,” Thomas said. “Meaning, once I defeat you, these flames will disappear.”
Both Flarerizamon and I stared at him in shock. No way; he was able to figure that out just by looking at the fire?!
“But…that’s only if you defeat me!” Flarerizamon said nervously. “If I defeat you first, I…I’ve got nothing to worry about!”
“Well, why don’t you fight me and see for yourself?” Thomas asked. Flarerizamon lunged forth, flames trailing behind him and claws extended, and it was all over in an instant. Without even turning his body, Thomas held up his sword. Flarerizamon surrounded him with flames, from which the Digimon leaped out of. I barely even saw Thomas move…but Flarerizamon lay motionless on the ground in the blink of an eye.
“Now are you impressed?” Thomas looked down into the dying Digimon’s eyes. “In that one swing of my blade, I was able to cut through and sever every last one of your nerves without cutting your skin or spilling your blood. Any second now, you will—” Flarerizamon’s body dissolved into small fragments of data, and soon disappeared “—die…a very painless death.” He smoothly and quietly slid his blade back into its scabbard, and as he began walking back towards me, his face a mix of light and shadows from the slowly receding fire, I became increasingly aware of how truly dashing he looked; his long, dark coat, trailing behind him, was flowing up and down in the wind; a pair of blue eyeglasses seemed to further bring out the rich darkness of his deep, dark eyes; a small, but dark and noticeable beard covered the lower half of his face, adding an air of ruggedness to his undeniably handsome face.
And…he’s nice to me, of all people…I doubt that would last if he ever found out what I was…
“Are you unharmed? That Digimon didn’t hurt you, did he?” Thomas asked. I looked up at him, and slowly shook my head. “…I made sure to kill him in a way that wouldn’t be bloody. You don’t look like you’d be comfortable with the sight blood. It’s gotten easy for me to tell if people are or aren’t.”
“…You’re right. I’m not,” I said. “To be perfectly honest…I felt incredibly sick, looking at all of yours. But even though I can’t stand the sight of it, I couldn’t just leave you alone to die. I had to help you…”
“And for that, I am eternally grateful to you. Had you and Renamon not arrived when you did…We definitely would have died right there…”
“…Earlier…when Flarerizamon attacked…” Thomas looked up at me. “…You saved my life. I…I don’t know what to say…Thank—”
“No thanks are necessary; I already promised you I would protect you while I’m here in return for saving my life.” Those words left me feeling a familiar loneliness.
While he’s…here? It was hard for me to understand, but…I didn’t want him to leave. Rather, I didn’t want to be left behind. It had been so long since anyone was as kind to me as he was. At that instant, I made up my mind. I wanted to go with him and Statuedramon. Besides…maybe they can help me…find her…
“Are you ready?”
“It seems that I was right; all of that fire was part of Flarerizamon’s body, and killing him seems to have put an end to it,” Thomas said. “With that problem out of the way, we can start dealing with the bandits.”
“…Yeah. I’ll do whatever I can to help you, Thomas.” I just hope I don’t get in your way…
10 Minutes Passed
“Ok, that should be the last of ‘em,” I said as I swung my sword, killing a Gizamon in the process.
“Not yet, Statuedramon; there’s still one more,” Renamon said, her icy-blue eyes glaring coldly at the rampaging Minotarumon.
“Oh, yeah; forgot about that dumbass…Geez, this is going to be a real pain in the ass…” The towering Ultimate level Digimon smashed his left arm through a building, and began laughing as it crumbled to the ground in a pile of rubble. “Where are Thomas and Zelda? And why did all that damn fire suddenly disappear?!”
“Statuedramon!” The voice of my friend suddenly rang through the air, and when I turned around, I saw him and Zelda running toward us.
“Thomas! Where the hell have you two been?!” I hollered back.
“Sorry we’re late,” Thomas said. “I got kind of hung up fighting a Flarerizamon earlier. It took me longer to find you, though.”
“Flarerizamon, huh? That explains why the fire vanished,” I said to myself. “Well, now that you’re here, we can deal with the big guy!” I pointed at Minotarumon.
“Please, allow me,” Renamon said, leaping into the air as she prepared to attack.
“Wait, Renamon! You don’t know what you’re doing! He’s too—”
“Earthquake Drill!” Before Renamon could attack, Minotarumon swung his arm and struck her, sending her flying through the air until she crashed into a house behind me.
“Renamon, are you ok?!” Zelda shouted as she ran over to her Digimon. As Zelda approached her, Renamon began to turn transparent.
“Zelda, I’m only a Spirit; I’ll be fine,” Renamon said with a small smile, and without a hint of worry in her voice.
“Wait, what’s going on?!” I shouted. “What do you mean?!”
“I will have to take my leave for a while; I need to rest…” Renamon gently shut her eyes as she completely faded away.
“What happened?! Where did she go?!” I yelled. “She’s not…She didn’t die, did she?!”
“She’s fine,” Zelda said calmly. “Rather, she will be fine.”
“What do you mean? She just vanished into thin air!” Thomas said.
“Renamon…is not like any other Digimon,” Zelda said. “She’s a Spirit, called forth by me to aid you.” Zelda reached down to a leather satchel, small and brown, that I just noticed was around her slim waist, and from it, she pulled out what appeared to be a grey rock, small and octagonal in shape. “And…there is one other Digimon that I am able to summon.” Zelda held the rock up above her head, a strange light emitting from it as she did.